Sunday, 31 March 2013

more of danny's artwork

More of Danny's artwork.
He doesn't want to sell his originals  but I'd be selling limited edition signed prints of them if l was him.  There must be some money in it somewhere, and it must be better than real work.
If only l was artistic....(instead of autistic)

toodle pip

Saturday, 30 March 2013

out in the boro (again!) - and mink

As it was Good Friday and it was a holiday for most, l went through to Middlesbrough for a lads night out with Robbo, Danny and Matt.  We drank copious amounts of ale,  talked a load of crap, and chilled out, all happy to have a break from work.  We hit some of our usual pubs around the Linthorpe road area, but ended up going to the Mink bar, by which time, everyone was pretty drunk (except me of course).  It was the first time l had been in there, and it was my kind of bar. Dark, plenty of people, live music, and a handy tattoo parlour if the hankering for an immediate tattoo strikes you (and it has me in the past). By then,we were also on the double Jack Daniels, Matty disappeared completely, Danny was told by the bouncers he was going to be thrown out and was refused any more alcohol, and he also disappeared as soon as he went outside. This left me and Robbo as the last men standing (bloody amateurs).  Afterwards, us two got a taxi back to Robbo and Kerry's, which we then had to stop so Robbo could get out of it to throw up, so only one of the hardy crew remained in one piece after the rock and roll madness - me.  l was rather amazingly, up pretty early (7am!) to get some coffee down before heading home, as l have work today and Sunday.  I had also been entrusted with the front door key by Kerry, as she didn't want Robbo losing the key and waking up her, Gill, Cairan or Chloe on our return, which was a success, but l ended up coming back to Catterick with it, as l left it in the back pocket of my jeans afterwards (oops). The girls are going out tonight (sounds like a Take That song), but I'm not sure if the FPO is going through or not, as we have a lot on this weekend.  Mink will certainly be visited again in the future, but l think there may be less Jack Daniels consumed next time.  Oh - Chloe has also taken a bit of a shine to me.  I'm a natural when it comes to youngsters.

Me and Robbo in the taxi home - like a pissed up old married couple (in this case, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton)

toodle pip

cutting my head open

One of the more stupid things l have done recently, was cutting my head open, by standing up in the kitchen and catching it on an open cupboard door (with a sharp metal corner). This resulted in the above hole in my skull, which l quickly cleaned up (see towel above) and held together while a work colleague sprayed some glue on it to hold it in place.  The scab has now gone, but l have another scar to add to my collection.
And hurt like hell.

toodle pip

Friday, 29 March 2013

sorting out the garage door

This is what our garage was like a few years ago.  Now it is worse. Much worse.
More untidy, full of more junk, probably full of cobwebs, and it needs the door fixing.
I'm looking forward to going back into it to check out the long forgotten goodies once we get the door fixed, but l am also dreading the spiders that will be waiting to pounce on me (and the builders trying to rip me off to fix the door).
My hatred of them (and fear), knows no bounds.
By the way, I'm still on about the spiders - l 'm not scared of builders (only on Tuesdays).

toodle pip

the folk blues festival posters from 1965

Two great posters from 1965 for The American Folk Blues Festival.
I haven't got them, but l'd certainly like them.

toodle pip

proper snow

Snow snow bloody snow.
I'm sick of everyone going on about it.
I have lived in Germany, where it was a lot worse, and they just got on with their lives and coped with it (with stereotypical efficiency)
If you want to check out proper snow (and with folk still getting the job done - not just in Germany), just peruse the photograph above, and thank yourself lucky.

toodle pip

Thursday, 28 March 2013

brian aldiss - the saliva tree

Memory is a funny old thing.
I remember reading Brian Aldiss' 'The Saliva Tree' (and other short stories) when l was a youngster (many, many moons ago), and have just re-read it on kindle.  The story was excellent. It kept me interested, kept the old pages turning, and kept me desperate to find how the plot developed.  But then again, that is also my problem.  The thing is, when l was re-reading it, l couldn't remember anything at all from when l originally read it.
The old memory banks were completely closed for business, yet l do remember the cover and title vividly.
It's not even a fantasised scenario, whereby l was just imagining l read it while younger, as l was really into science fiction books when l was a kid (which bright 14 year old virgin wouldn't be?).  I loved the works of   Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock and Isaac Asimov at the time, and my original book may still be in a box in the garage (amongst many others).  The trouble is, l can't remember anything about the stories nowadays (or where my book has got to).  I was talking to the FPO this evening, and realised all l can remember about 'Stig of the Dump' was that he was found by a boy on the dump.
I can remember old 'Raven on the Wing' and stories from 'The Valiant', but that is not good enough, especially for someone as big headed as me.
The positive way to look upon this, is l can re-read the books, and enjoy them all once more, afresh and alive.
The negative outlook is, l have lost many of my marbles, and things will only get worse.
My view is, there's so much information that l am interested in and have access to nowadays, it would be freakish to remember everything, so for whatever memory has been lost or erased, something else has taken its place.
That's my view, and l'm sticking to it.
By the way, if you are into people being sucked dry (and Lordy knows, l am), The Saliva Tree is the book for you.

toodle pip

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

the sheepshead fish

This little bugger is called the Sheepshead Fish, and can be found off the coast of America, from Cape Cod down to Brazil. I know you don't eat the heads of fish (well l don't anyway) but it puts you off eating them completely when they have human type teeth. More about it and using fish for drugs, can be found at Scientific American.

toodle pip

w.c fields posters

No excuse needed to put up some old W.C Fields posters.  The man was funny - very funny (and he died on Christmas Day, as did Dean Martin).

toodle pip

everyone was young once - status quo

Yes, even the mighty Status Quo were young in 1972, when these pictures were taken by their tour manager, song writer and harmonica player, Bob Young.  His website has lots of Quo goodies and can be found here.

I used to love Quo  years ago, but l can't say l have been interested in any of their new stuff for years.  They also have a movie coming out soon (Bula Quo), and l am dreading it, as the clips l have seen in advance of it don't exactly make me think it will be any good.  Hopefully it will be so bad and tongue in cheek, it may actually be decent in an 'ironic' sense, but l very much doubt it.  The trailer is here.  Feast your eyes.

toodle pip

england schoolboy internationals

When l was a wee nipper, grubby at the knees, and longing to be a footballer (among millions of others), we used to have school trips to the old Wembley Stadium to see the England schoolboys play.  I found two of the old tickets amongst my countless junk, and l have scanned the two matching programmes. What amazes me, is that these footballers were deemed to be some of the best in their respective countries, yet none of them (as far as l know) went on to become superstars.  The only name l recognise is a certain Alan Curbishley in the 1973 programme, who went on to become the manager of Charlton Athletic and West Ham United. I certainly am an old git, when l can say l remember seeing football managers when the were playing as schoolchildren (and not in the Jimmy Savile sense).

toodle pip

charlie's funeral

One of the bad thing about getting old is that everyone starts dying around you, and you end up going to funerals, not weddings, especially if you are an old indestructible git like myself. One of the funerals was yesterday, for Charlie McCabe, Mark from J.T's uncle.  It was held at the packed out St John's Church in Hipswell, and was hardly unexpected, as he had been given six months to live about 4 years ago (he had lung cancer). We all went to The Arc afterwards for some drinks and food, then myself, Rocker, Ritchie, Frenchie and Dave Diamond headed to the wine bar and J'T's later on. There followed drunken games of 'Killer' and then it was home for the footie (a 1-1 yawnfest between England and Montenegro). The actual service was one of the better ones l have been to, as there was hardly any singing to be done, just the one song in fact (Morning Has Broken), as the others were CDs that were played. Not that l sing in church myself you understand, but it's good that there wasn't loads of hymns.

toodle pip

but is it art?

More artwork, but l can't decide if it is genius, or the daublings of a lunatic (and no, it's not one of mine).

toodle pip

Monday, 25 March 2013

the master and margarita

The Master and Margarita is one of my favourite books, and may possibly be my favourite.  Over the Christmas and New Year period, l watched Vladimir Bortko's subtitled 10 part Russian TV series based on it (thanxs to You Tube), and was also mightily impressed with that.  The devil and his crew (including the cat) were great, and there was also plenty of nudity if it began to sag (fnaar fnaar). There was the odd bit of overacting and hamminess, but overall, it told the story just as l would have wished, and certainly did not let the book down. The soundtrack (by Igor Kornelyuk) was also excellent, and that has been downloaded and blasted out on more than one occasion, as you can really immerse yourself in its grandeur (Pretentious? Moi?).
Get me.  You would never think l came from good, hearty, working class stock (and still am)

toodle pip

everyone was young once - james dean

It just goes to show that everyone was young once.  Here's James Dean in 1949 when he was just a fresh faced and cheerful 18 year old.  Hardly recognisable from the moody superstar he became.

toodle pip

Sunday, 24 March 2013

rod stewart - the autobiography

I finished the Rod Stewart autobiography the other day, and must admit, it was a lot better than l anticipated.  I really liked Rod back in the day, when he was juggling his solo career with being a member of the Faces, but went off him after he buggered off to the States and started asking if I thought he was sexy or not (yes....l know it is a character in the song asking the question, but that didn't sound so good).
Anywhoos, he is funny, honest (it seems), self deprecating and has many a tale to tell, so l would recommend the book to anyone with a passing interest in his work or life (and what a life he has had).

toodle pip

danny's artwork

I work with a girl who's partner does artwork as a hobby, and is pretty damn good at it.  Here's one of his works, a black and white pen picture of Charles Darwin.
Impressive stuff, and l'm madly jealous of his talent.

toodle pip

Saturday, 23 March 2013

vortex illusion carpet

This is enough to make you puke.  A vortex illusion carpet in the gaming section of a store in Paris. It must be great working there, watching the customers trying to navigate it, but l wouldn't like to visit the store after a few ales (or on psychedelic drugs).

toodle pip

an upset daily mail reader

If this is true, it is excellent.  Supposedly from The Daily Mail a while ago.

toodle pip

return of the fishermans blues

Back in the day, l was a big fan of The Waterboys, and when they were on the Fisherman's Blues tours (one of which is above), l followed them around, selling a magazine that l had put together about them (much to Mike Scott's annoyance in the end).  Still one of the best experiences of my life, and l got to see the concerts on numerous occasions, plus plenty of the UK and Ireland. I am still interested in the band, have seen them since, and have only just finished Scott's 'Adventures of a Waterboy'. This, for the most part, was pretty good and interesting, but l got a bit bored towards the end with the Findhorn spiritual adventure (bloody hippies!). It got to be like someone describing their dreams or drug experiences, probably great for them, less so to the listener (or reader).  Then again, that's probably just me (miserable sod that l am).
I  found out today (here) that The Waterboys are to release an anniversary edition of 'Fisherman's Blues' with the original and re-released versions, plus 85 new songs, over 7 cd's.  Furthermore, tickets have just gone on sale for a December tour, revisiting the album and era, and with original members Steve Wickham and Anthony 'Anto' Thistlethwaite on board as backup. That is more than enough, even for an obsessive like myself.
I gave away a load of my magazines outside a show in Liverpool a few years ago, so l think l will try and dig out any remaining copies l can find lying around, and do the same outside this years Liverpool gig (I'm from there).  That is, if l don't get hassled by the security this time.
Bring it on!  All of it!!

toodle pip

Friday, 22 March 2013

drunken night in with the rolling stones

Myself and the FPO stayed in tonight and knocked back some wine after our chicken soup.  While we were knocking back the wine, we were also prating about to a Rolling Stones compilation which featured the two videos below, both of them magical, but for different reasons.

The Jingles version of The Rolling Stones' 'She's a Rainbow' is done in the style of Oasis, with the front Jingle doing a more than credible Liam Gallagher impression. It's also cool that they are covering one of the lesser known Stones songs (from Their Satanic Majesties Request), so l assume whoever chose to do it must be a fan.

The Wayne Gibson one is from Crackerjack, in front of a bunch of young children, and the subject matter and lyrics couldn't be more out of place if they tried.  Under My Thumb is a real put down of a girl and how she has been made to be submissive and weak.  A treat for any five year old.  What madman booked this, thinking it would be a good idea?  A great Northern Soul classic, and a top Rolling Stones song, but pleas...not in front of the children!

On a related note, l can now do the splits and rest my arm and head on my extended leg while doing so. I'll never walk again, and my scrotum will never be the same, but it was worth it.  To see a martial arts master doing the same, check out the end video of Lou Reed (at 2:48). It's not as easy as it looks.

toodle pip

Thursday, 21 March 2013

equality street

The funniest thing on Red Nose Day

toodle pip

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

the retarded and god

I was at a training course on Monday morning, so l had to drag myself out of my pit early for a change, and try to stay focused while l was there.  As it was a refresher, l remembered most of the stuff from the last time, so l can't really say it was that exciting.  One the other hand, times have certainly moved on for the better.  I would not like to pass too much judgement on this book, 'Helping the retarded to know God', as l am guessing there will be plenty of judgement contained within, but l can't imagine the contents to be level headed, or something that l would like to practise. I could be wrong, but somehow, l doubt it.

toodle pip

lebanon (2009) - samuel maoz

Based upon Samuel Maoz's own experiences during the Lebanon war of 1982, and shown from a viewpoint from inside an Israeli tank, this is an excellent film, highlighting the tension, fear, abandonment, paranoia and claustrophobia within it's body (as the tank is portrayed as a living entity).  There are long stares of rapprochement, fear, hatred and anger towards the tanks gunsight, and war is shown in all its haphazard, indiscriminate and bloody 'glory'. It ended a bit suddenly for me, but it had me hooked and reeled in from the beginning.  Great stuff, and anything that demystifies the attraction of fighting a war in a real and believable way, is fine by me.

toodle pip

mad magazine

I don't think l have bought a new Mad Magazine for a few years, but once upon a time, l was an avid reader and collector, and still have a load of them stashed away.  The humour was obviously geared towards American tastes, but some of the writing was razor sharp, contemporary, ironic and sarcastic. I also loved some of the cartoons, especially the Don Martin and Mort Drucker ones.  Here's some of the better covers from the recent (and not so recent) past.  Like a pub that l no longer visit, l'll miss it when it ceases to exist (apart from in my memories).

toodle pip