31 August 2005

New lid

Oh what a happy Womble am I. My current skid lid, an Arai Giga II is now eleven years old, and falling to pieces, so I've finally got off my bum, broken out the credit card and forked out for a new lid. It's another Arai, cos they fit so well. This one is a Signet Cathcart replica.

RRP £379.99. Reassuringly expensive, as they say.

In the past all my lids have been plain black, but I thought it was about time for a change.

New Orleans

The Police in New Orleans really do have their priorities wrong. Thousands of people are homeless as a result of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, and the Police are wasting precious time trying to stop looting from supermarkets.

OK, I know that the Police have a duty to prevent lawlessness, but please, get real. The food in these shops can not be sold, indeed, that which is still fit for consumption will be beyond it's 'best before' date before the insurers even get to it. So instead of trying to stop people nicking it, take control of it and get it distributed fairly to those in most desperate need. As for the other stuff, electrical goods, etc, most of it is ruined anyway.

27 August 2005

Hurrah for Saparmyrat Niyazov!

Hurrah for Saparmyrat Niyazov, the President of Turkmenistan!

So why do I say this? After all, it is well known that he prefers to spend public money on silly projects rather than on social welfare, closed nearly all of the hospital in Turkmenistan, sanctions heavy-handed censorship of all media, declared himself 'president for life' and has banned men from having beards or long hair.

Well, he has done something that I have been calling for in the UK for many years - he's banned lip-synching (i.e. miming to music), saying "
Don't kill talents by using lip-synching... create our new culture". At last, someone has seen the truth - there are too many talentless so-called entertainers out there, making money on the back of someone else's ability. We should ban it in the UK too.

OK, so he's done one thing I really approve of.

However, he's still a cunt.

Why I hate going to London

OK, we'll skip the bit about the 5 hours I spent on trains getting there and back, suffice it to say that it was cramped, hot and uncomfortable. They journey back was made more bearable by the lads in the vestibule having a party on the way back- it cheered me up no end.

Yesterday, I walked from Westminster to Rathbone Place (off Oxford Road). It's only about 2 miles, although I probably walked three miles because I did a couple of detours on the way. Apart from the fact that my foot was killing me by the time I got there, I was extremely peeved at the huge number of moronic pedestrians who seem only to have two speeds: slow and stop. London is full of these gormless dawdlers who don't even have the sense to move when they see an increasingly annoyed Womble stomping towards them in a mission to get to Hobgoblin Music before the place shuts.

One poor pedestrian who decided to stop in the middle of the pavement for no apparent reason was rather startled to hear a very angry "oh for fks sake!" right in their ear, before being unceremoniously moved to one side to allow the rest of the street to get past them.

Oh yeah, and Recess Monkey, you were right - the book shop I wanted was indeed Foyles. It's been refitted and had a new shop front since I was last in there and that's why I missed it when looking for it again. They still didn't have the book I wanted though. Ho hum.

24 August 2005

I told you it hurt!

Shirl thinks that her bruised toe is impressive - but it's absolutely nuffink compared to my foot, which is still swollen. The bruise starts above the ankle bone, and goes all down the left-hand side of my foot (or should that be left-foot side?) and right across the top of my foot and down to the toes. Every day has a new array of colours in which to delight, from the deep purple line under my ankle bone, to the black puddle on top of my toes. My foot isn't so much black and blue, as brown and purple. I must be the only Thai boxer in the country to sustain more injuries out of the ring than in it. In fact, if you look really carefully, you can still see the last bit of blood blister growing out of my big toe nail from when I kicked my sparring partner in the kneecap...

poor Alice

The Granada News team have just referred to heavy metal veteran Alice Cooper as a 'pop star'. Even I'm offended by that! 'Pop' is the musical equivalent of playing with dolls and dressing in pink frilly frocks.

According to his website Alice Cooper stood against Richard Nixon in the US Presidential Election. What a wonderful world it might have been if Cooper won.

separated at birth?

Pic of Blair from Guido

if you're going to try to hit a biker...

make sure it's not a Policeman.

Police Pan is not exactly inconspicuous, especially when being ridden by a Policeman in a fluorescent yellow jacket, so I can only assume that the driver in Bolton town centre yesterday was either blind or very, very stupid.

The bike was heading in a straight line and the driver of a car on the opposite side of the road suddenly decided to turn right, in front of the bike, causing the rider to brake sharply. Needless to say the Policeman followed the car down the cul-de-sac. I hope he gave the numpty a producer.

Ha ha ha.

21 August 2005

Amateur Transplants

I stumbled on the Amateur Transplants website a while ago and I still think it's brilliant. There's some great songs on there, including 'London Underground' and 'The Menstrual Rag'.

Although you can download a couple of tracks for free, it's much better if you buy their CD to help them to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Relief.

20 August 2005

torture time

I've not been training for three weeks now and I've decided to bit the bullet and go back to the gym at 12pm. My sparring partner, Cath, has promised to be nice to me. Ha! I'll believe that when I come home with no new bruises/dislocations/broken bones.

I've remembered not to eat a bacon butty for breakfast this time - the last time I did that, it decided to come back up. I've had cocopops today :o) At least it will be more colourful.

computer strife

Yesterday I suffered from a real PICNIC error (problem in chair, not in computer). I was holding an advice sugery and had downloaded the backup of my case management software onto my USB bar. When I got to the surgery and uploaded the backup onto my laptop, I discovered I'd copied the wrong bloody file - one that was a month old.

In a panic, I sent the slave back to the office with instructions on how to retrieve the correct file. Apart from setting the burglar alarm off, and then coming back and telling me my instructions were 'pants', he said he thought it was OK. He handed me a CD and said "I put it on there". Hmmmm, my PC doesn't have a CD burner... The CD was blank and I was preparing to do the whole damn lot in notepad when he said, oh, and here's your memory thingy back and handed me the USB bar. By some miracle he had actually managed to put the file onto it, and the day was saved.

Hurrah for the slave!

19 August 2005

Mo Mowlam 18 September 1949 - 19 August 2005

I am truly saddened to hear of the death of Mo Mowlam, a lady whom I greatly admired. My sincere condolences to her family.

17 August 2005

Dear HMRC...

I have just spent the past two hours completing the online self-assessment tax form. It would have helped if I actually understood some of the questions. I'm an Office Manager, not a bloody financial advisor! A glossary might be useful. I didn't know what 'post-cessation and similar business receipts' were so I assumed I didn't have any. I bet I'll get a letter telling me I missed summat out.

One More Mile

This picture caught my eye and led me to read OMM, which is a rather good biker site for those who want more out of their ride than just a journey from A to B. I liked the pic because it sums up my outlook on life. No matter what the world throws at me, so long as I've got my bike, it's not all bad.

Oooh! That's a long one!

I'm back. Didja miss me? Whaddya mean you didn't notice I was gone?

I've just spent a week in Crete - my first proper holiday since 1998. So here's a not very brief summary of my jollies.

Place : hot, arid
People : friendly, welcoming and very polite
Food : plentiful, good quality and cheap
Weather : hot & sunny

Tuesday - got up at 3.30am, got to the airport and found that the flight was delayed by 3 hours. Grrrr. Good news: got a meal on the plane. Bad news: it was full of tomatoes (I'm allergic to them), so I couldn't eat anything except the blueberry muffin. Yak. Felt sick on the coach from Chania to Plakias cos I was so hungry. The coach driver, Costa, was a star; he knows exactly how wide his coach is, which is a good job, given that he drove it through the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, which has some very tight turns and rocky overhangs.

My suitcase got damaged somewhere between Manchester Airport and Chania Airport. Family from hell on the coach, with mum gobbing off at everyone and one of the kids being a complete pain in the arse.

This pic is of the German Alps, just close to the border with Austria. Not bad, for a pic taken out of the plane window.

Wednesday- spent the day exploring the village of Plakias, where we were staying in the Apollon Studios. Nice room, excellent pool, hard bed, even harder pillow. Had to use a folded up blanket as an extra pillow. It was so windy at night that it was like sleeping in a wind tunnel. Family from hell in neighbouring studio block complained about everything in sight and kept having a go at the rep.

Thursday - boat trip from Souda Bay on the MV Ostria. Fantastic! Great tour guide (Kristo) showed us the cave of Barbarossa (a pirate)
and I had a ride on the 'banana' (don't be rude! It's the big yellow inflatable thing they tow behind a speedboat). Managed to skin my thumbs whilst trying to stay on the damn thing. It stung like hell when I had to jump in the sea to get back to the boat. Lovely dinner on the boat and then a bit later, another opportunity to swim in the sea which was, surprisingly, very warm. We were on the boat for several hours and the trip was well worth the €42. The taxi-driver (supplied by the rep) who took us from and back to Plakias, was very nice, but completely bonkers. He yattered on at us in Greek for the whole journey, not seeming to be at all bothered that we didn't understand 95% of what he was on about.

Thursday evening, mum of family from hell ran out of studio, shouting 'fire'. Turns out that a palm tree at the side of their studio (on the shaded side) had somehow 'spontaneously combusted' (yeah, right) giving mum another reason to gob off at the poor rep (flat full of smoke, no smoke alarms, everyone could get burnt to death in their beds, etc).

Friday - did absolutely bugger all other than laze around the pool and read. Was very pleased to learn that family from hell had been moved in the middle of the night to another resort. Yippee! Peace at last.

Saturday - same as Friday, except got roped into a game of piggy-in-the-middle with a bunch of kids in the pool. Great fun (sez me who usually hates kids). Hot enough to boil a monkey's bum.

Sunday - hired a motorbike - a BMW F650. What a bloody nightmare. The bike was ok-ish (if you don't mind getting vibration white-finger and a numb arse) but my pillion was crap and whinged almost all day. The roads have no grip whatsoever, junctions are only marked once you actually get on them (scary!) and there are some very nasty hairpins on the mountain roads.
Cretan drivers seem to ignore speed limits, helmet/seatbelt laws, double white lines, etc. and love to beep the horn at every possible opportunity. I was enjoying the ride, despite the 32° heat, until I got to one particular hairpin between Rodhakino and Suda. There was a car coming the other way and a car behind me, and as I tried to turn, the bike started sliding sideways, so I put my foot down, and that started sliding too (I told you there was NO grip), so the bike started to go down and the slave decided to put his foot down. Him being smaller than me, this meant that I couldn't lift the bike back upright again because his leg was in the way. Then he gets off completely and grabs the bars off me, yelling "just let go, will you?" to which I responded "I will if you let go of my bloody thumb!". Anyway, I gently laid the bike down and got off, whilst the car drivers were tutting about the delay. Bollocks to 'em. No damage done, except to my pride.

We visited Rethimnon, which was a lovely old town with a Venetian fortress on top of a hill. We also discovered a beer called 'Vergina', but we weren't tempted to try it...

Monday - The mad taxi driver took us to Rethimnon to join a coach trip to the excavation of the Minoan settlement at Knossos. Our guide was a real-life genuine archaeologist/boffin and she completely blew out all the stuff I'd been taught at school. She pretty much said that the Welsh archaeologist, Arthur Evans, who excavated the site in the 1920s and 30s was a bit of a prat who came up with some dud theories and then tried to make up a story about the 'Palace' - even throwing in a 'throne room' for good measure. It wasn't a palace at all, and the 'throne' was just a chair. The silly bugger even claimed that the big clay things were baths. No they weren't - they were coffins. That's why some of them had skeletons in them. Unfortunately, Evans also decided to reconstruct part of the building, using concrete, and got it wrong, and now they're pretty much stuck with it.

Got back to the studio mid-evening and then swam a kilometre in the pool :o) Found the anti-mozzi spray and decided to use it - and got bitten 5 times. I didn't get bitten at all before I used the spray :o(

Tuesday - Back home again. Queued for over an hour to get the luggage checked in at Chania airport and then pretty much got straight on the plane. Uneventful flight, and then had chicken chow mein from the chippy for tea. Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Oh yeah, and a miniature bottle of Ouzo got broken in my suitcase, and everything smells lovely.

08 August 2005

dozy bugger

Slave just rang me to ask where the keys are for the shed. My guess is that he's locked them in the shed.

Place your bets ...

05 August 2005

Hoax warnings

There really are some thick people out there. Do they really think I want my inbox to be bombarded with stupid messages about e-mail viruses that will cause my toilet to flush whilst I'm in the shower, or make my computer tapdance on the desk?

The latest of these hoaxes claims that if you see a car driving towards you with no lights on, you mustn't flash your lights to warn them because a gang initiation dictates that the occupants of that car will have to shoot you.

Get a grip folks! Don't you think that the BBC would have reported it by now, if it were true? The Authorities don't circulate sensationalist warnings by e-mails telling you to pass it on to all your mates! Bloody hell, get a life! If you believe half of these stupid warnings, you should have your computer confiscated cos you're obviously too gullible to be allowed to have access to the Internet.

Read this, and this and don't send me any more stupid e-mails or I will send you a virus that make your television change channels just at the bit where Inspector Slack asks Miss Marple how she solved the case.

Oh yeah, and don't forget folks, don't eat apple pips in case an apple tree grows in your tummy.