Friday, 30 April 2010

cool set of drawers

Very clever indeed


After cycling home from work today, once again cursing the wind, but at least not getting any more punctures (bloody thorn caused three!), I jumped into the bath when I got back and started Nick Hornby's 'Slam' (didn't read it all of it in the bath, I finished it later on). Now I would not say I am a massive fan of Nick Hornby, but I have read some of his other books and enjoyed them, such as Fever Pitch (the first one of his I read, and still my favorite), High Fidelity, About a Boy, How to be Good and A Long Way Down (hmm, more than I thought - that's quite a few). This one however, was the worst I have read. It concerns a young skater (Sam), who gets a girl pregnant and then they have their baby. There is some more stuff about their families and life, but that is about it. No surprises, unless you count Sam going forward in time now and again to see his future, but he was (to me anyway) just dreaming. It was Sam narrating the tale all the way through, but the tale just enfolded as you would have expected (more or less). OK, but nothing special, thankfully it was only about £2 from the charity shop. If I had paid full wack for it I would have slapped Nick Hornby so hard the next time I saw him.
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Thursday, 29 April 2010

results of my political test

Glad to see I didn't agree with any Conservative policies

Take the test here

david cameron and the common people

space needle cleaning

When the Space Needle in Seattle needs cleaning, it's a bit harder to do than a normal office block. Balls of steel.
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alexander mcqueen's death

Alexander McQueen killed himself, and all the papers can focus on are what drugs he had taken before doing so ("The cocktail of drugs Alexander McQueen took before hanging himself in wardrobe" - The Daily Mail). The guy had pressure at work, suffered from depression, anxiety and insomnia, had made previous suicide attempts, self harmed, often felt lonely and isolated, and was "heartbroken" at the death of his mother, who was to be buried the next day. Poor sod, I'd have taken loads of drugs if I felt like that (although I do admit there is no way they would help the matter)

The Daily Mail story here

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

meltdown and an american werewolf in london

Watched An American Werewolf In London (1981) again today, and I can't believe that it is nearly thirty years since it came out. It seems like a long time ago, but thirty years! I thought the effects would be really embarrassing, but they were not too bad, and a lot better than I would have guessed. Can never get sick of certain scenes (The Slaughtered Lamb, Jenny Agutter in the shower), but I had actually forgotten that the dead mate keeps coming back to talk to the American who becomes the werewolf. Reminds me of the time I nearly copped off with Jenny Agutter in Newcastle, but that tale will be saved for my book!

I also finished Ben Elton's latest book, Meltdown, which is about University friends who end up doing really well for themselves, making loads of money and getting famous. Obviously it goes wrong (hence the title), and it references the collapse of the banks, MP's expenses, New Labour and state education amongst other things. I like reading Ben Elton's books, and worked out today I have read all of them so far (13), which means I have read more books by him than any other author, alive or dead. I would not call him my favourite author, it is just the fact he is so prolific, and as I like the books, I read them. I do think they always seem to state the bleeding obvious, and he generally uses whatever theme or story is in the news, but I also think it is harder to do than it seems, and he does throw in twists that are unexpected. It's a bit like classic pop songs or some art work. Once the piece is seen or heard, people often go "I could have done that, it's simple". But the thing is, it's not, it just seems like that after the event. Just think how many people saw the unmade bed or sheep cut in two and said they could have done the same. The fact is, they didn't, you didn't, and I didn't. Ben Elton has stuck to paying his taxes in the UK and wanting a fairer society, so I also like him for that (although I still don't like his stand up routines).

Also watched Barcelona getting knocked out of the European Cup, as they only won 1-0 tonight, as they had a perfectly good goal disallowed right at the end, which would have sent them through to the final (in Madrid as well!). I bet the Chelsea fans are gutted.

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choke, what just happened and bayern munich

I have watched two films today (amongst other stuff), one of which was 'What Just Happened' and the other one being 'Choke'.

What Just Happened (2008) stars Robert De Niro as a movie producer getting loads of shit, and guest stars Bruce Willis and Shaun Penn (amongst others). It was alright, but movies about making movies, or the mechanisms of making movies, don't really do that much for me. I suppose if you were in that loop, there would be loads of things you would recognise and identify with, but unfortunately for me, I don't.

Choke (2008) stars Sam Rockwell as a sex addict who also raises money for his mothers (Angelica Huston) hospital bills by working in a theme park and choking in restaurants. It is a dark comedy which has a few twists and turns in it, incorporating Jesus' foreskin, saving people, and flashbacks to his childhood. It is based on the Chuck Palahniuk (who wrote Fight Club) book, but the screenplay is by Clark Gregg, who also directed the film, but as I have not read the book, I am not sure who should take the credit for the great storytelling (still Chuck I would guess). Everyone was good in it, especially Angelica Huston, and I enjoyed it more than I was expecting, and as I didn't really know about the film before watching it, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me.

I also watched some of the Bayern v Lyon game, the second leg of the European cup semi final, with Bayern waltzing through to the final.What an utter bastard, Manchester United should have beaten Bayern, but they blew it. Makes me more depressed each time I think about it. Looking forward to the second leg of Inter v Barcelona this evening (it is now Wednesday) Hope Barcelona win by enough to get through (they are 3-1 down)

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

latest collapsing news

I had an appointment at the doctors today, supposedly to get a heart monitor put on for 24 hours. What a waste of my precious time, as I was told when I was there that the monitor they had would not be of any good, as it checked for palpitations, which I do not have. I do have an appointment with the cardiologist at Northallerton hospital in June, but they said at the doctors there is not much more they can do until the cardiologist has seen me. They did give me the results of my final blood tests, which I had last week to check for diabetes. These came back normal, so I am in the clear for that. All the blood tests I have had have been OK, so it is back to thinking that it is my heart that is the problem, probably the electrics, as my ECG test was fine (I have the heart of a 21 year old). Bit of a bugger having to go to the doctors just to be told that, as I could have just stayed in, as I was entertaining myself (fnarr) reading and watching stuff (as usual). Ah well, at least I am off work till 3pm Thursday, so life is still pretty good at the moment.
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who david met next

Click on the link and see who David has met!

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the kids knew how to freak out in 1970

This is from the Double Deckers in 1970, the freaky dancing starts just before a minute is up
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Monday, 26 April 2010

oil city confidential

This is a documentary about Dr Feelgood, which is just great. It was done by Julian Temple and mainly narrated by Wilko Johnson, who is still a real character. It must have taken ages to find all the clips that were used from old films, the documentary still had not even got to the point where the Feelgoods get signed, even after about an hour into it. Lots of interesting stuff is referenced (Essex floods of 1953 etc), but Wilko is easily for me, the star of the show and certainly his own man. When the band were taking off, the band were pretty heavily into the old alcohol, except for Wilko, who didn't drink and would get depressed a lot (taking loads of speed probably doesn't help). He split from the band after a disagreement about songs to be put on their new LP, and that is when I lost interest in them. The Feelgoods were the first proper band I saw live (Reading Top Rank in 1976 I think), and I loved them. I hitch hiked to the gig and back from Catterick, (by myself), but it was well worth it. I remember I met up with and went with Robin Collins and a mate of his I can't remember, who both lived in Oxfordshire (Robin in Lewknor). Myself and Robin both got the Stupidity live LP when it came out (helping it get to no 1!), and I have fond memories (and a bootleg DVD) of watching them on The Geordie Scene while I was skiving off school in 1975. Marvellous times indeed. They were certainly ahead of their time, just before punk rock broke, and a welcome change from ELP, Genesis and Prog Rock, I can tell you. It's a pity they now consist of no original members. Personally, I think they should change their name and stop calling themselves Dr Feelgood. Then again, what the Hell, I don't care that much what they do now.
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record sleeve art

A very clever idea, reproducing record sleeves as artworks, including creases if required. They are too expensive for my liking, though I don't have their information to hand at the moment. Certainly look impressive enough.
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Sunday, 25 April 2010

the volcano and the northern lights

Here's some great pictures (from The Times) of the volcano in Iceland with the Northern Lights. It must be fantastic be there and see it in real life. Talking of the volcano, I have been led to believe that it is not called Eyjafjallajokull, that is the name of the glacier it is on. The volcano's name is Gear, which is a lot easier for the likes of oiks such as myself to say. Could be wrong, though this is what was said on Have I Got A Bit More News For You last night. I certainly can't be bothered looking it up at the moment.
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emma and pauls wedding

Back to work today (Saturday), after being at Emma and Pauls (the head) wedding reception last night, just outside the Boro, (Stainton?). Drove there from Robbo and Kerry's, then picked the car back up before coming home today, as I wanted to watch the United v Spurs game (3-1 to United) before heading off for work. Had a good time at the do and we all got suitably pissed (and I even managed to remain standing). Mandy stormed off to bed in a huff when we got back to Nunthorpe, as she was pissed and thought we were all picking on her for trying to stop Robbo breathing (it's a long story). All fine afterwards though, and laughing about it in the morning. I got up through the night to use the loo, and must have got out of bed a different way, as I ended up trying to find the door handle where it wasn't, as I was trying to open the wall, not the door (it was pitch black). Worked it out in the end, although I thought I might piss my pants if I couldn't find it pretty damn sharply. At work again at 3pm, but haven't done too much tonight, and even fell asleep at the end of Match of The day, which is pretty unusual for me, so I must still be tired. It must be all the blood they have been taking out of me recently. Ah well, beddy byes is a calling, so..
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Friday, 23 April 2010

blood tests, the savages and breakfast at tiffany's

I have had the day to myself today, as I had to be up early for the last (I think) of my blood tests, which was to see if I could be diabetic. I had to go to the health centre for my blood to be taken, then had to go and drink some Lucozade, and then come back and have more blood taken two hours later. Riveting stuff. This did mean I got the day off work to doss about, so it was back home and back to film watching, reading and listening to music. Hurrah!

Enjoyed The Savages, (2007) which starred Philip Seymore Hoffman and Laura Linney as two siblings bought together by their fathers decline, as his dementia gets gradually worse, until he dies. Cheerful it is not, but enjoyable all the same, and both the leads, plus Phillip Bosco (who played the father), were excellent. Philip Hoffman Seymore I really like. I have seen him in a few films now and enjoyed all of his performances. An actor I could happily watch all day (if I didn't have to waste my time attending work). Not a lot happens throughout the film, but that suits me just fine and dandy.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) is a film I had never seen before, but have obviously seen lots of stills from the movie, as Audrey Hepburn is held up to be such an icon because of it. She plays Holly Golightly, a naive gold digger who is wooed by her neighbour, George Peppard, and of course, being Hollywood, they find love and get together at the end. I haven't read the book for a long time (by Truman Capote), but I am pretty damn sure she does not find any love with the neighbour in that. I am pretty damn certain she is still looking for love and unhappy with her lot (like Madame Bovary, by Gustav Flaubert). I was also amazed at Mickey Rooney playing an irate Japanese neighbour. Wow, what racist stereotyping. He was all yellowed up, (complete with big buck teeth), and acted stupid all the way through it. I know times were different then, but it was still a sight to behold! I thought the film itself was average actually. After the hype surrounding it being such a major film, and Hepburns performance being praised as probably her best, I expected more from it. never mind, glad I have now seen it, although the sight of Hepburns fingers when playing the guitar are frightening. They are really, (really) long (never go out with girls with big hands), and at the end of the song, if you look at her left hand, it is really odd looking, like a monsters claw. Trust me, I'm a doctor. Check it out!
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niagra falls

This is something I only discovered today. Niagara falls are controlled upstream and the water diverted to other places for power. here's part of the falls (American Falls, not the Horseshoe Falls), which have had the water diverted in 1969 for some Army exercises and work. Impressive.
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Thursday, 22 April 2010

food poisoning

This made me laugh on another sight. I have certainly been bad in the past, but no-where near as bad as this (still, there's always time)

I've never had food poisoning before. And I'll die a happy man if I never have it again. Approx 11/2 hours after eating a couple of dodgy burgers, I was being very, very, very sick into the toilet. It was spraying out so violently that I had to dip my head under the rim to keep it all in the bowl. As if that wasn't bad enough, it then started coming out the other end with just as much gusto. I had to choose between sick in toilet or shit in toilet. In the end, to save destroying the carpet, I had to puke in the toilet and shit in my pants. This went on for about 30 minutes. By the end it was just bright orange bile coming out of both ends. My throat and arsehole burned red hot for days.

I'll never forget the sensation of hot liquid shit endlessly filling the seat of my trousers and then spreading down the legs. I had to bend my legs tightly to create a seal and keep it all from spreading out onto the carpet.

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l love japan

Apparently, because of their love of Kit Kats, the Japanese have the privilege of loads of extra flavours, some just for certain regions. They are sooooo far ahead of us.
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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

bloody bike

The bike was magnificent yesterday after being souped up and the puncture fixed by yours truly the day before. It flew like Icarus himself towards the sunshine that is my work, only like Icarus, not quite making it all the way, as I got another bloody puncture about half a mile from my workplace. I therefore walked the last bit into work, yet still made it in on time as I had been going so fast previous to the puncture. Had to drop the bike off this morning and get a lift home at 3pm, so I have just been in the garden fixing the bloody thing again, so let's hope it will be OK for tomorrows journey in. At the moment the tyre is once again throbbingly hard and ready for action, begging to be mounted and taken to the promised land that is my work. It will probably end in tears.
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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

the pacific, the rocker and blindness

Got round to watching some episodes of The Pacific at the weekend, three episodes, one after another, which was a good way of getting into it, as the characters are hard to distinguish from one another at first. By the time the third episode with R and R in Australia had finished, they were a bit more defined. I am sure the series will get better as it goes along and the involvement with the characters grows, it's pretty good at the moment (even though it is now getting so that all the big scenes have to have the colour bleached for more authenticity, since Saving Private Ryan).
I have just been watching a film called The Rocker this morning, It stars Rainn Wilson (from The Office USA version and Six Feet Under) as an aging rock drummer who joins his nephews band after getting fired from his old band Vesuvius (who of course, go on to be massive without him). It was really cliched and predictable, but it was a pleasant enough waste of time with the odd funny moments. At least I managed to watch it all the way through (fast forwarding past some of the songs).
More than can be said for Blindness, a movie in which a blindness epidemic starts to strike, and people start getting quarantined (including a sighted person). It was crap. Straight away it was annoying. Someone goes blind at the wheel of his car, but gets taken home instead of to a hospital. When someone is struck blind and has to sign a hospital form, they sign with a big cross because of course, they can't see (and must have also forgotten how to sign their name, even though people can do it normally without looking). When they are quarantined, there is no help, they are just shoved into large wards and left to find their own beds and fend for themselves. That was about as far as I got. Christ on a bike (with or without a puncture), I hate films like that, which are just so unbelievable. Obviously when watching a film, you can bet taken away by a story, and that story can be far fetched, futuristic or whatever, but the day to day things such as signing your name instead of putting a big cross on a bit of paper, should be right, otherwise the film immediately loses it's credibility, avoids the reality of the situation, and I very quickly lose interest and patience with it.
I need to have a lie down now
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fixing a hole

Damn! Got my first puncture last week and got round to fixing it last night, as I have work again today. Took me back a bit, as I used to fix them all the time when I was but a nipper, but for fucks sake, I am nearly 60! (or feel like it). The memories came flooding back though, and I remembered what to do (I think). I have just been outside to check and the tyre is still throbbingly rock hard. I just hope the whole wheel doesn't fall off when I am half way to work. I am going to double check it is tight before I go. Souped it up a bit and altered the brakes as well, so I will get to work in half the time or kill myself, one or the other.
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Monday, 19 April 2010

things that make you feel old - part 245

Sinead O'Connor nowadays, plus the fact that Jet Black from the Stranglers is now 71. Punks not dead (yet!)
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danny rose goal - fight the power

This is a view of the Danny Rose goal from the stands (if it stays up) from the Arsenal v Spurs game. The clip has been on youtube from other cameras but has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Netresult, whoever they are.
What a bunch of bastards, if they are preventing someone putting up their own film, after they have already paid outrageous prices for the privilege of watching the game live, and then being fleeced for the three p's (a pie, a pint and a piss). I know that technically the piss is free, but you get my point.
The goal is on TV and shown round the world, with clips being franchised everywhere, money being made and profits maximised, so let the poor old fan have a bit of enjoyment with his camera and allow him to share it.
Normally, I would not have put this clip up, but fight the power I say. Great shot though.
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Here's a great picture of the volcano in Iceland (Eyjafjallajokul - try saying that after a few pints) by Marco Fulle. Impressive.
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Sunday, 18 April 2010

new york police

Who says the police over-react to any threat of terrorism in the States? They should have tried living through the Blitz etc......
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living in the middle of nowhere

When I was trying to avoid the football scores at work yesterday, I decided to get out and have a short drive. That is when I thought it was like living in an episode of Wallander, it's pretty quiet and bleak around these parts, and the view when at home is about the same (top photo).
Thing is, it is also very close to the A1 and right in the middle of Newcastle, Leeds, Middlesbrough and York, so it's handy for mingling with the outside world whenever I want (only now and again).
Right, back to the sheep shagging.
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rocks off

Love the song but it's the first time I have seen this video tonight. Marvellous end to the day!
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Saturday, 17 April 2010

the seasons back on!

Hurrah!! Spurs have beaten The Rent Boys and Terry has been sent off for further humiliation. There is only one point in it now with three games left to play. Sadly though, United play Spurs next. It's squeaky bum time and I have already pooped myself four times today.
I can't stand this excitement - I'm off for a bath
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my little ginger prince

It's all gone blurry through the tears. I have just finished watching United Beat City with a late Scholes goal (15 seconds from time), and Spurs are beating Chelsea 2-0 at half time. Come on!!!
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Friday, 16 April 2010

election debate cock up

Classic stuff. Look at what the online comment about Cameron is. Fantastic!
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madison square gardens

Thinking of Mad Men (see earlier post) got me to thinking about Madison Square Gardens in New York. During the series, they were discussing the contract for demolishing Penn Station (the above ground part in the photos above), to build a sporting and office complex (which turned out to be Madison Square Gardens). I do like the gardens (and certain stores and pubs opposite), but do think that they should have kept the old building and done something with that instead. The upper station was demolished in 1963 and the Gardens were completed in 1968. The outcry regarding the demolition led to the formation of the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission, which prevented Grand Central Station going the same way. Love your history I say.
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babettes feast and the end of mad men

So, the end of Mad Men was tonight (or at least we watched it tonight). Don Draper and some of the other people from the agency are breaking away and forming their own company, as they were about to be sold off. Don (who you actually feel sorry for, even though he has been cheating throughout the series) is getting a divorce from Becks, but now has a new family of sorts with his fellow workers. It has been a really well put together series with a great cast and development, keeping you guessing what is going to happen, but also blind-siding the viewer with unexpected developments, such as the sacking of Sal. Can't wait for the next series, but I hope they don't drag it out for too long, they should quit before any shark jumping takes place.

After the FPO had gone to bed, I watched Babettes Feast (1987), a Danish subtitled film that was pretty bleak for most of it, but got more colourful as Babette prepared the feast (wow! symbolism!). Basically, villagers, especially the two daughters that Babette worked for, had been living a pious life in the middle of nowhere (Jutland). Praising the Lord for every morsel they got, they are suspicious when Babette (after she wins the French lottery), wants to prepare a large French meal for the sisters and the villagers, who have been squabbling and moving away from the 'Love thy Neighbour' teachings. They are overcome with joy and unbridled emotion when eating the meal, as they have never experienced anything equivalent to it before. They then find renewed love and faith and Babette is happy as she has created something beautiful ' As an artist'. The sisters think Babette will now return back to Paris (as they discover she used to be a head chef in an exclusive restaurant), but she explains she has spent all of her winnings on the meal. They then say to her that she will get her rewards in Heaven. End of film. A very slow paced two hours, but I enjoyed it.

Now it's looking at crap on the computer for an hour or so before beddie byes
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