Saturday, 30 June 2012

food, drink and dexy's - result!

Of to the Boro today to meet Robbo and  Kerry (plus Cairan) for lunch at the Cross Keys. A splendid time was had by all, l stuffed my face with a cheese and bacon fat supply (see above), and we ordered some tickets to see Dexy's at the Sage in September, after a possible holiday together at the start of September. Not a bad day's work by anyone's standards, and myself and the FPO even went down to JT's in the evening. One of us was a bit tipsy by the time they came home, lost his balance, and fell in the bath, but l won't say who that was (OK, it was me - drunken idiot).
Keith would be proud. Here's our half of the bill.

toodle pip

Friday, 29 June 2012

billy connolly's route 66

Myself and the FPO have been considering doing the Route 66 road trip next year (at the moment it's that or Japan), and saw the Billy Connolly TV series when it was on, to help whet our appetite. I have also just finished the book of the series, and it's made me want to get out there and explore (and meet people). The route and stops that Billy did are easily manageable in a month or three weeks, but obviously, the longer you have to do it (and the more money), the better it would be. I love the USA, but there are still plenty of places l haven't been to, both there and abroad (like Japan), so we will have to see how it goes.
I suppose l could always do a 'Vanishing Point' kind of trip and travel it as fast as possible, and with minimum sleep (3 or 4 days?), but that would be a different experience altogether, and l would have to go back to illegal substances (what a sacrifice). Not sure if the FPO would be up for that kind of trip (in both senses).

toodle pip

the uk at night from the international space station

As it says in the title, this is the UK at night from the International Space Station.  I think l can see our house (looks like we are having a BBQ).
It looks really populated and built upon, but as anyone knows when you fly over it, there is plenty of greenery. In fact, if l remember correctly, only about 10% is classed as urban, and that includes roads and back gardens, so if anyone says the UK is full, they are talking crap.

toodle pip

5,000 ducks going to a pond in china

Something you certainly don't see very often, unless you live near Taizhou, Zhejiang, where these pictures were taken on June 17th. About 5,000 ducks being taken to the pond by local farmers. I would hazard l guess that they are not being altruistic, but have plans for duck eggs and soup. I could be wrong, but l doubt it.
The photos came from here.

toodle pip

Thursday, 28 June 2012

this weeks nme stone roses cover

Nothing to say really, apart from l really like this weeks old school  NME Stone Roses cover, advertising their gigs at Heaton Park this weekend. It's raining now, and it's set to continue (bloody British summers)  so pack your wellies.

toodle pip

geronimo (1962) - arnold laven

 The real Geronimo

Geronimo, played by the blue eyed Chuck Conners, surrenders to the army for a life in the reservation, but rebels against the way the Apache were treated, going on the run with his small band of followers, before gaining respect and surrendering again. Conners certainly looked the part (although he should have worn some contact lenses), but it was not exactly historically believable. The films dialogue and acting was often wooden, and pretty much all the white men were baddies (apart from Adam West - AKA Batman). At least it gave the Apaches point of view, which was rare back in the day. Conners later married his love interest in the film, Kamala Devi, and she really reminded me of Samantha (In Sex and the City) and Jenna (In 30 Rock). Maybe she is secretly their mothers (or at least one of them).
Geronimo (and his life), is well worth checking out, and it's amazing that he didn't die until 1909 (of pneumonia). That is just before The First World War. As l've often said, the past is not that far away. Saying that, Conners life, both as a sportsman and actor was also pretty impressive.
Now l might go and dig out the old 'Branded' TV series that l have on DVD and give that a dusting off. It's much better.

toodle pip

under attack from bleeding ants

When l was pottering about yesterday, l went to put some trainers on in the hallway and noticed some ants and a few flying ants. Tracing them back, l discovered a load of the little buggers in our storage space under our stairs, trying to get nests going. It's a good job l spotted them when l did, as there would have been flying ants all over the place, but l seem to have more or less sorted them out (I hope). The worst part was having to move all of our crap in the hallway to even get under the stairs to spray them, there were shoes, coats and clothes everywhere. So far, l've used Mr Muscle, flea killer and spray adhesive. It'll be bleach next, and ant powder if more appear.
There is still the odd one trying to escape and struggle for life, so l haven't put stuff back yet, but methinks the end is near (famous last words).
Watch this space.

toodle pip

spreadable spam - mmmmmmmmm

Spreadable Spam - what's not to like?

toodle pip

the odd couple (1968) - neil simon

An easy going feelgood comedy from 1968, The Odd Couple was originally a Broadway show, and Frank Sinatra was one of the considerations for the film, but after seeing the movie, you can't imagine anyone else playing the roles that Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison) and Jack Lemmon (as Felix Ungar) made their own (although Art Carney played Felix on Broadway). I know there was also TV series and a follow up film with Matthau and Lemmon reprising their roles, but for me, this is the definitive article, played superbly by Matthau and Lemmon, and with a great supporting cast (including John Fiedler from '12 Angry Men'), unlike  the follow up, which stinks the place out Surstromming style. 
Not much story to the movie though. Felix doesn't turn up for his regular game of cards with the boys at Oscar's house, and they learn that he may have been trying to kill himself as his marriage has broken up. He ends up staying at Oscar's, they get on each others nerves (mainly due to Felix, with his constant cleaning, cooking and aches and pains), but it all works out in the end.
Another American classic, if, like me, you like old movies.

toodle pip

the weathermen's place is up for sale

With a really corny headline about the apartment exploding onto the market, the place that 'The Weathermen' used as their bomb making factory at 18 West 11 Street, (with the resulting accidental explosion in March 1970 a consequence) is now up for sale through  Corcoran brokers for a cool $10.9 million. Dustin Hoffman and his family narrowly escaped the blast, as they lived next door at the time.
The top photograph is me (my arm anyway) pointing at the bear in the window in 2006. This was dressed by Norma Langworthy, who his since passed away at the ripe old age of 92, but hopefully her descendants will keep the tradition going.
How time flies, and how sickening it is how gentrified New York is becoming.

toodle pip

nagai hideyuki 3d artwork

These drawings by Nagai Hideyuki are just great. Drawn on notepads to give a 3D effect when they are positioned at the right angle, they must have taken loads of planning. It certainly takes loads of skill (more than l have).
His website is here fore more information and drawings.

toodle pip

the workers hands - george rosen

 A tanner

A walnut sheller 

A wood carver 

A jeweller 

 A glass polisher

 A metal worker

A worker in a glass factory

These are from 'The Workers Hands' by George Rosen, MD in Ciba Symposia (July 1942), and they show the damage long term repetitive work causes (especially for the poor people who have to do this type of manual work).
My own hands are as soft as butter through repetitive avoidance of physical, strenuous, or even just plain hard work, and there's no tell tell signs from the repeated and frequent onanism over the years.

toodle pip

how to draw george osbourne

As a follow on from the earlier post about Chloe Smith.
By October Jones - here.

toodle pip

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

victorian children police photographs from newcastle

All of these poor little buggers were sentenced around Newcastle in the mid to late 1800's. Mostly, they would have been poor, cold, underfed and desperate (apart from the two middle class boys doing the burglaries). Victorian criminals - in the great scheme of things, this was not that long ago, and may be someone's grandparents.
Much as l despise the Daily Mail, this was pretty interesting and there's more information about the kids on their site (just don't buy the paper).

toodle pip

chloe smith on paxman - action starts at 6.30 aprox

Paxman is unleashed upon another MP (in this case Chloe Smith from the Treasury) who won't answer the questions put to her, probably because she did not want him to know the truth (that she was ill informed and not kept 'in the loop').
I should feel a bit sorry for her as she has obviously been put forward to take the flak instead of the odious creature that is George Gideon Osbourne, another one of the privately educated posh boys that are fucking up the country for us poor bastards, but sod her. She's a Tory and knew what she was getting into. If she doesn't like it, resign and do something else, or at least answer the questions properly, reveal how politics works behind the front it puts on, and kick up a stink to show you are against it.
Time for a revolution brothers and sisters.

toodle pip

little man what now? - hans fallada

Little Man What Now? is very similar in message to 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' by Robert Tressell, as it deals with the injustice and poverty heaped upon the normal working man, trying to scrape through and make a living for himself and his family. In this case, it deals with a German couple in the 1930's, and more of a 'white colar' worker at that. Apart from that, the stories are nearly identical, with hardship heaped upon the workers, no rights,a  reluctance to join unions, and struggling to get by on a daily basis. An excellent book, as all of Hans Fallada's have been that l have read. Not as intricate or factual as 'Every Man Dies Alone / Alone In Berlin', but l enjoyed this one more because of the message. If in doubt, read all of the above.

the death of the colburn lodge

Look on and weep brothers and sisters, as it looks like The Colburn Lodge is not going to be re-opening anytime in the future. There is no concrete news on this, but it has been empty and boarded up for a while now, and the word on the street is that it will be knocked down and houses/flats built upon the land.
This used to be an iconic pub in Colburn and Catterick Garrison, passed by as you headed towards Camp Centre from the A1, and a stop off (or beginning) point before hitting the Scorpion / Staxx / Walkerville nightclub (also sadly demolished). I used to do a rock disco in there. My dad and his mates used to drink there. 60 Squadron used to be over the road and at one time it was always heaving. Numerous fights, drinks spilt, laughs a plenty and Rabbi being knocked out like Jesus on the floor (and people just stepping over him). Those were the days my friends...... It was so crazy, that Robbo got banned for being cowardly and not fighting, punters wore toilet seats around their heads, and old Joe used to draw his gun on you in the toilets.
What is the world coming to when our cultural fabric and memories are allowed to wither and die away in this fashion. I haven't even mentioned The Human Frog from Rising Damp.
All to be taken away, and certainly never repeated.

toodle pip