erm..that came out wrong  

Friday, 28 September 2007

Twelve of the finest double-entendres ever aired on British TV & Radio.

1. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator - "And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!"

2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator - "Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him."

3. Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator - "This is a really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother."

4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 - "Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford Crew."

5. US PGA Commentator - "One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them . Oh my god!!!!! What have I just said?!!!!"

6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on 'Time Team Live' said: "You'd eat beaver if you could get it."

7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked, "So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?" Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard!

8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: "Ballesteros felt much better today after getting a 69 yesterday."

9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said: "There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this."

10 Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports: "Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets."

11. Michael Buerk on watching Phillipa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked: "They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts."

12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: "Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself."

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Retro - Rocket  

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Today is Moe's birthday. To celebrate, we went to the Ebury hotel in canterbury. It was like stepping back in time to the '70s - complete with soundtrack - but in a good way. Melon for starters anyone? I had the duck with blackcurrent and creme of cassis sauce. Very tasty.

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Does he take sugar?  

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

In an attempt to comply with the new draconian immigration laws in this country, the missus has been packed off to English lessons. For those not up to speed with the latest initiative from this brain-dead government, from April this year only those individuals able to pass the impossible Life in the UK test (i.e. not many) or those who can demonstrate their commitment to this country by passing a 12 month English course are permitted to stay in the country indefinitely. As if getting married, and coughing up the £750 price tag (on top of the £1,500 we have already paid) wasn't enough of a demonstration. Not to mention the should-be-free-but-actually-costs-£200 English course itself. That is, unless you are an asylum seeker or one of our Eastern European cousins, in which case - of course - everything is totally free.

On returning home from her first lesson, I had a look at the slim package of loose-leaf course materials my £200 had purchased. What caught my eye was the list of instructions on the front of the pack of pages. Reading through them, I can't think when I have read a more patronising list of instructions. First, I was helpfully informed that the pack contained several pages of paper and that I should be very careful because said pages were not connected together in any way and were thus prone to getting rather muddled. Oh calamity! But luckily, I was subsequently informed that in the UK we have a thing called a "file" which is designed for just such an eventuality. Using this "file", I would be able to restrain my wayward pages and organise them into a handy logical sequence. Marvellous. There then followed detailed instructions on how to put the whole shooting match together, in case he intellectual challenge of threading several pages into a folder proved too much.

After reading through this, I was left with a number of thoughts: Firstly, since when did ignorance of language equate to ignorance per se? Just because someone is learning English does not mean they are stupid, and to patronise someone in this way is nothing less than snide racism. Secondly, why do the powers that be think they have the right to patronise anyone in this way. Lastly, what has gone wrong in this country that allows such despicable laws to be enacted, cloaking this unpleasant mix of patronising racism in the guise of respectability.

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Wise Words  

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Behind every great man, there is a woman with nothing to wear

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Land of the Rising Blood-Pressure  

Friday, 14 September 2007

Life with my Japanese wife can be extremely demanding. Particularly when she refuses to take-off her "Japanese head" when trying to deal with European problems. We are currently trying to work out what we're going to do when her married visa expires in December. It's a massive problem because of the insane immigration laws in the UK which mean either she has to pass a test that not even native speakers would want to face, or take a course which won't finish until next year. Either way, we are screwed. Not to mention the huge financial penalties which are incurred every time you apply for a visa change.

It's a tricky situation, but what's made it even worse is my wife's total inability to listen to a reasoned long-term plan to get us through this in the most sensible fashion. Instead of listening to me, she prefers to rely on a whole series of misinformed blogs and Japanese websites for guidance through what is an immensely complex set of regulations. The reasoning is, if it's written by a Japanese, then it must be right. Utter cobblers: I don't like to generalise, but of all the people on planet Earth, the Japanese are probably the least likely to have a clue when it comes to dealing with a situation that requires initiative and decisive action.'s really hard work sometimes.

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The Haiku of computers  

Saturday, 8 September 2007

For enraged computer users everywhere - help is at hand in the shape of these handy computer haiku for every eventuality. Sigh...breath deeply and count to 10

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Web site you seek
Can not be located but
Countless more exist
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask way too much.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen
dies so beautifully.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
You step in the stream
but the water has moved on.
That page is not here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

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Spare the rod...  

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The following article appeared in an engineering newsletter that I subscribe to. I'm glad to see other people clearly share my frustration with the modern obsession for removing any and all of life's rough corners.

Mike Page, Editor, writes:

Referring back to my comments about engineering education in schools in the July 23 Newsletter, a reader wrote that while agreeing with what was said, he felt the teacher's standpoint ought to be considered too.

He said: "As a mature engineer who has been made redundant three times from engineering I now see the teaching of students from the other perspective as I now work as a senior technician in a school."

He emphasised: "Don't blame the teachers! Most would like nothing better than to teach practical skills in technology but alas it's the councils themselves who have 'dumbed down' the subjects, because of little Jonnie might burn his finger or get a little soldering flux fumes up his nose. Peter the great said, 'Knowledge is a wonderful thing but never lose the joy of discovery'."

He continued: "If blame is to be apportioned for the lack of skills being taught, blame the average man in the street for taking schools to court because his child cut themselves in school. Blame the government demanding that students are taught how to pass examinations not to learn basic skills in engineering. Employers should blame themselves for their own lack of forethought regarding what is taught in technical collages and their short sightedness for not taking on apprentices."

The reader said: "Schools should teach basic skills, lighting the fire of the imagination of potential new engineers; colleges, technical institutions and the employers themselves should teach the skills they want and mould the minds of this valuable asset."

A number of school teachers have said the same thing and complain of 'dumbing down' practical activities. Many of us learnt from an early age that things can be heavy and hurt when they hit your toes; that fire can be hot; that you need to learn to swim to survive in deep water. Unfortunately, some of our youngsters do not appreciate these things until they experience them later in life. Dumbing down may protect authorities from litigation, but it does not help people gain experience or give confidence to take the occasional risks.

Hear, hear

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Ladies & gentlemen, the bear has left the building.  

Sunday, 2 September 2007

We are trying to make the best of the last few days of Summer holiday we have left before Moe starts school. Today's adventure was to the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. The idea was to visit the wood that was the inspiration for A.A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh. Maybe it's just me, but I would have thought that such an iconic place would be well documented and well celebrated online, but no. After a good amound of searching, I eventually I found a hand-drawn map depicting the location of the woodland in question, and armed with this and our trusty 1985 roadmap of England, we set sail in hope of finding, if not small yellow bears and enchanted forests, at least some pretty scenery. We also wanted to give Moe, brought up on the Disneyed-version of the Pooh stories, the opportunity to say in future life that she had walked in the 100 Acre Wood and experienced for herself the magical charm of this ancient woodland.

Well, naturally we were sadly disappointed on all fronts. For starters, there were hardly any bloody trees there at all! Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned, but to mind, the one vital ingredient that an enchanted forest needs is trees. Instead of deep mysterious woodland, the whole area is basically gorse and bracken. Impressive though the view might be, "Blasted heath" just doesn't have the same emotional appeal as enchanted woodland really.

The second big disappointment was that the local authority had made no effort whatsoever to make the 5km walk remotely interesting for the many visitors the site obviously attracts. How much would it take to put up a few Pooh-related signs - even some bloody directions would be a start. The "Enchanted Place" is actually just a dense clump of pine trees; Roo's sandpit is actually a festering swamp, filled with half-rotten timber; Eeyore's place is a muddy quagmire with a filthy stream running through it.

It's easy to criticise Disney for sanitising and plasticising everything they get their hands on, Pooh being possibly the most telling example. Yet, they know a thing or two about presentation. I read that the locals in the Ashdown Forest were up in arms when Disney Corp offered to fund the renovation of the famous Pooh bridge. I cannot see why, when nobody seems to care very much about making the best of the original. Conservatism for the sake of it does not accomplish anything. Much as I dislike the falsified,plastic Disney vision of the world, sometimes we need a little magic. Instead of magic, Moe will just remember a muddy and pointless slog through te English countryside. What a pity.

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