Dec 12, 2005

Lines and lines and lines and lines

"Lines and lines and lines and lines," said Tubbs, crumpling the map in confusion.

We had plenty of lines at Cord bar last Wednesday, and Kate Moss wasn't even there. Every three months I help run an evening of electronic music and abstract visuals at Cord Bar in Manchester's trendy Northern Quarter. The night is called II (Two) and it has now been running for a year. Our theme this time around was 80s/electronica and much of what we did was inspired by the dull but strangely appealing 1980s sci-fi flick Tron.

We had DJs and visuals and a Pac Man game and Operation. Plenty of beer was drunk and the Operation patient was buzzed muchly. I think it was a resounding success, so thanks has to go to Fil and Kolyn for the visuals, music and, er, the scary no-eyed mask. Thanks be to the gods that are Sometimes Records, particularly Maroogally and Pachuco for DJing.

If anyone has photos of the electrical tape we used to make the floor look like a Tron 'circuit', please let me know. Meanwhile, here is a list of tunes that Kolyn, Fil and I played. It's in alphabetical order by artist, just like my CD collection.

AFX - Arched Maid Via RDJ
DAF - Satellite
Donna Summer - I Feel Love
Fad Gadget - Ricky’s Hand
Flanger - Bosco’s Disposable Driver
Forgemaster - Track With No Name
Four Tet - She Moves She
Japan - Visions Of China
Kraftwerk - Numbers (pictured above)
Landscape - Einstein-A-Go-Go
Leila - Don’t Fall Asleep
Manitoba - Tits + Ass: The Great Canadian Weekend
Max Tundra - Ink Me
Mu-ziq - Brace Yourself Jason
Mu-ziq - My Little Beautiful
OMD - ABC Auto Industry
Small Rocks - Clodhopper
The Normal - Warm Leatherette
To Rococo Rot - I Wanted To Meet Him
Tricky Disco - Tricky Disco (Plone Mix)
Tuff Little Unit - Join The Future
Vector Lovers - Girl + Robot
Venetian Snares - Marty’s Tardis
Wauvenfold - Tri Gard
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Computer Games

"You lied to me Edward," wailed Tubbs. "You lied to me. There is a Swansea..."

Nov 6, 2005

Intolerant pleb

A blogger called Rambix [blog since deleted] has just posted that "Muslim riot" returns 27,100 hits on Google, this apparently being a sign of it being a violent religion.

This made me wonder. I twiddled my mouse in cyberland and to my vague curiousment I find that "Muslim peace" returns a hit rate of 28,200.

I have posted to this effect on his blog. Aren't intolerant plebs fun to tease?

Oct 23, 2005

Overheard conversation... #4

Two chaps walking out of Piccadilly train station, one animatedly trying to express himself: "I can't really describe it... it goes nice with meat balls."

But what was he talking about? Sauce? Parsley? Ikea?

Oct 22, 2005

Anski updateski onski myski campaignski

My 'Save Takuma Sato!' campaign seems to have paid off.

Midland, the mysterious Russian mafia that have taken over and re-painted the Jordan F1 team, have revealed the hapless Janapese to have signed a contract a month ago. I launched the Save Takuma Sato! campaign 26 days ago. Coincidence, methinkNO!

Midland boss Colin Kolles is nicknamed Chavski because he thinks Burberry looks good and he has the manners of, erm, a chav. He also likes confusing his sporting analogies when talking about F1. He says of the contract: "'The ball is in [Sato's] court. If he wants to sign it, he could be a Midland driver next year - we're waiting to hear."

This is a resounding success for the Save Takuma Sato! campaign. Running this campaign has been a lot of hard work; the past 26 says have consisted of:

- thinking about saving Takuma Sato;
- eating crisps;
- reading articles about Takuma Sato;
- wondering what Japan is like;
- watching Dr Who reruns on UK Gold;
- licking pavements;
- thinking about saving Takuma Sato.

So as you see, I have put tremendous effort into the campaign. Takuma is currently prostituting himself in Hapan for corporate whores (ie doing PR work), whereafter he will go on holiday happy in the knowledge that the campaign continues for as long as crisps are 3 for 2 at my local newsagent.

Oct 13, 2005

I only have pies for you is one man's obsessive quest to find out everything about everything.

Sometimes it is informative, such as his recent re-posting of his trip to New Orleans during a hurricane alert a few years ago. Most of the time it is just silly. He replaces menus in restaurants with carefully designed parodies, and devotes pages and pages of his site to finding out how much is inside stuff (eg, how much toothpaste inside a tube, how much tree is in a Christmas tree).

However, and this (sadly) is my reason for my post, the site author's recent turn of genius is a pie chart based on a survey he conducted. He asked people's favourite TV channel - and he came up with this, the best pie chart in the world. No, really. It's complicated, messy and fantastic, and how all pie charts should look.

His pie chart is far more interesting than this one, far less yellowy than this one, and less scary than this one.

This is INTERESTING, dammit!

Oct 2, 2005

Screw Mr Scruff, get yerself some electric toys and heroin Britney instead

Yours truly and a few chummies stumbled upon a couple of bands at the In The City festival last night. We had tried to get into Mr Scruff, but with just one doorman and a queue to rival Ikea on 'Two Square Bits Of Wood For The Price Of One' Day, we took a wander and ended up at Dry Bar.

The band we saw were not entirely non-undisimilar to the Zutons, only more stoner and with a person 'Bez' dancing while adorned in a suit made of hands. They are Misty's Big Adventure and they were massive fun. They describe themselves as "hip hop, scratching, screwy beats, pop and electric toys". One of their toys flashed. Ooo.

The second is a scuzzy garage rock band called M.A.S.S.. Their show was compelling mainly thanks to lead singer Justine, a frenzied 'Britney on heroin' (thanks Dan for that description). I actually recognised one of their songs from the wireless, Hey Gravity, which Justine sang while standing on the bar at the other end of the venue from the stage, holding the microphone with one hand and smashing the hell out of the venue's piping with the other hand. If the piping had burst, spewing effluent on the crowd, it would have been one of the less eventful moments in an a startlingly exuberant performance. Apparently the Libertines love 'em as much as Docherty loves his Class As.

I must make a note to check out more In The City gigs next year. I'm off to find a piece of paper.

Sep 26, 2005

Save Takuma Sato!

In 2006, the famous privateers in F1 motor racing will be no more. Peter Sauber has sold Sauber off to BMW, Eddie Jordan's bright yellow will make way for the dull dark blue of Midland F1 and even Minardi are leaving F1 having given their team to Red Bull.

Another massively important change in Formula One next year will be the absence of the Formula One Losers League, a fantasy league I have been running on the interwebular cyberspaceway. Without proper web support, I can't produce the all-singing all-prancing website I need to take the League to the next level.

Perhaps the most upsetting change in '06, however, is Takuma Sato not getting a race drive. The cheeky little Japanese has wowed us with his inconsistency and crashes over the past few years, and despite his frankly dangerous driving style, he is the most successful Japanese F1 driver of all time.

I have been watching the Brazilian grand prix. He came into the race demoted ten places on the grid for smashing wildly into Michael Schumacher two weeks ago. And he has just been demoted another ten places because of an engine change. There are only 20 cars in F1, so that's a pretty impressive penalty. I love Takuma Sato for exactly this.

But BAR have dumped him in favour of grinning Brazilian Rubens Barrichello and some bloke called Jenson Button. It's been on the cards for some time - as Taku says, ""I am not surprised by todays confirmation about next year."

But look on the bright side. He put in a near-perfect drive in Turkey, and I think it was the British GP where he produced a solid points finish in front of a British crowd for British American Racing.

So what are Takuma's options? Test driver for BAR? Getting a seat in Jordan/Midland (like BAR, they have a Japanese engine, so national loyalty could play a part)?

Whatever, Takuma Sato deserves a seat because:

a) I have watched crap Japanese F1 drivers for years, and Taku has broken the mould;
b) He performs like a rally driver, throwing his car around the track like a child with a Tonka;
c) He's cute and I want to adopt him.

Save Takuma Sato!

Aug 7, 2005

Overheard conversation... #3

Couple walking arm in arm. He says: "I've been meaning to tell you, I've invited four other people on holiday to Lanzarote with us." She says nothing.

Honeymoons aren't what they used to be.

Jul 27, 2005

Life, the Sanctiverse and everything

This following post is part of my response to ongoing discussions within my church, Sanctus1. it may or may not mean anything to you...

For those worrying about where Sanctus1 is going, there is one thing we can be sure of. Sanctus will *not* become a prescriptive church that requires a sign-on-the-dotted-line minimum commitment if you are to be a ‘proper’ Sanctus member. Sanctus is not like that. Ben is not like that. The strategy group folk are not like that.

But! I think there is something we need to be aware of as Sanctus that I may not be too popular for pointing out.

Lost orders

Think back to Sunday’s service if you were there. It was a multi-media fest that was complicated and technical. I only turned up to do the sound desk and the DJing, but I was shattered afterwards. It was a lot of hard work for a small number of people. When the service finished, I hung around to chat to a few people before I started setting down the sound; pulling out wires, putting things away, trying not to let the speakers fall on my head, etc.

As time went on, I realised the pack-down was not going as quickly as it usually does, so much so that by the time we had finished, the few of us who remained couldn’t possibly go to the pub. Pack-down had taken so long, we were staring down the barrel of last orders.

You are not a muffin

I am not suggesting that getting to the pub is an essential part of our Sunday services. Nor am I suggesting Sanctus1 is just a bunch of lazy muffins who don’t help to clear up after services. I think this happened because there were unusual circumstances: a few key people either weren’t there or a few key people had to get away.

However, it was unfair that Ben, having planned and run the service and knackered himself out as a result, had to work his butt off putting everything away at the end. It was unreasonable that the people who were most heavily involved in the service were left to tidy up their mess by most Sanctus people (not all, thankfully).

Which I think brings us back to getting practical, as Richard says. What if the Covenant Community idea gets knocked on the head because of the strong reaction to the leaflet that was sent out a few weeks ago? Where do we go from here?

Where do we go, part 1: Shredding Ben

We are a cool, chilled-out post-modern community that is led by the creativity and skill of its fuzzy-edged attendee-base. So why on Earth does Ben do most of the work? Why are we, in practice, almost totally led from the top?

As Sanctus1 gets larger, we need to work to make Ben redundant. By that I don’t mean bribing the human resources folks in the Church of England offices into shredding his contract. Sanctus1 as a loving community needs to take on Ben’s role, which means leading the Wednesdays and Tuesdays, doing the services, etc. It will free Ben up to lead the vision of Sanctus and initiate or develop more things like Blah, II, the MBS fair, other missional stuff, etc.

Of course, this relies on willing and discipline on Ben’s part to be let go of his role as it stands.

Where do we go, part 2: Teenager vs badger

Although I sound as though I’m admonishing a lazy teenager, I will say this anyway. People should not have to be asked to do the washing up, to put the chairs away, to scrape the wax up from the carpet, or to carry the tray of cups to the smelly Methodist kitchen. Badgering the service organisers on Sunday and offering five minutes of your time would have meant the world. (Sorry to mention Sunday again. I’m not annoyed about it, it is just an observation – I am merely using Sunday as my ‘model’ to argue with!)

I do recognise that a lot of people do these jobs a lot of the time, but not always and it’s often the same faces.

Where do we go part 3: Venn I fall in love, it will be forever

Richard’s suggestion of fairly low-key Venn diagram group structures deserves some thought. If the idea of being led by these groups scares you, just remember that it already happens to some extent, it’s just that the groups are often not overtly identified (are Kolyn and I the II Group?).

We arguably also need a group that identifies ways of getting people involved in S1 stuff that want to get involved, e.g. Claire doing some talky / discussion leading. I have really enjoyed the Wednesday evenings that have been led by other peeps – remember Stefan’s rapping?

Where do we go part 4: Navel fluff

I’m quite glad Richard suggested thinking in more concrete terms. We must move this discussion on because as long as we are navel gazing we are distracting ourselves from first-priority stuff like God and our relationship with God and our missional focus, etc. Not that the discussion shouldn’t be a priority, as I think it’s necessary and we are going through all-important growing pains, but we need to arrive somewhere.

One thing that struck me at Blah… was we can spend too much time discussing about ‘secondary’ things in the kingdom, so we need to manage our debate sensibly (which I think is achieved very effectively by Blah…).

Let’s enjoy a multitude of stimulating discussions during this Covenant-themed summer, but do remember that we are trying to move things forward, and do please please let your voice be heard.

Wishy-washy disclaimer

If I didn’t go to Sanctus1, I wouldn’t go anywhere. I love the people in it and around it. I hope I have not been too critical or too judgemental. If so, it was a bad turn of phrase and was not intended. I have deliberately not edited my text above so I do not water down what I’m saying (I can become so appeasing, I can disappear easily into diplomatic nothingness). Also, I have not covered everything nor am I ever likely to.

I am surrounded in S1 by very committed and loving people, and I’m so glad it is you lot I am discussing with. Please respond, criticise, call for my summary execution, or gush [delete as appropriate].

Time for breakfast.

PS – my red-underline intrusive spell check thingy says ‘missional’ is not a word.

Jul 19, 2005

Insanity Prawn Boy

The interwebular cyberspaceway is chocked to puking with clever-as-a-hat cartoons and animations that make your Wow! bone quiver with undulating curiosity. But nothing, nil, zero, nooba is greater than Insanity Prawn Boy. With his sublime catchyphrases such as "hello" and "that is right" and "even that Nazi Moon-Base?", the pink comma-like sea creature is probably the best thing that has happened to computers since The Outstanding Potato Man, Burnt Face Man, or dare I suggestion-box this, the ludicrously manic Notepad Invaders. Which isn't a Man, but it is too fun not to mention here. Click on here to take you to Weebl and Bob's Insanity Prawn Boy and his friend The Toast King.

2021 update: some or maybe all these links are now broken because, well, time

Jul 15, 2005

Fundamentalists rule (but only 31% of the time)

I was a little bit flumfazzled to discover I am 31% fundamentalist according to one of these Internet personality test deelys

It's called What Is Your World View It's called What Is Your World View and it is here.

Here are my voluptuous figures - my spiritual body chopped, if you will, into chunks of metaphorical limbs, torsos and scalps. I am Cultural Creative 75%; Postmodernist 69%; Existentialist 50%; Romanticist 44%; Idealist 44%; Modernist 44%; Fundamentalist 31%.

I'm only Materialist 13%. That's a shame. I'd like to cover more than 13% of my body with material, but if the clothes have to come off, then the clothes have to come off.

See you soon in my bikini.

Jul 9, 2005

Bromley and the aloofness of Dracula

In its infinite wisdom, Bromley council is refusing to host ceremonies for lesbian and gay couples wishing to have civil partnerships. The borough's mayor has waffled on about undermining families, which sounds like someone digging for oil under grandpa.

Bromley is a Conservative-run council, so it's a good job Michael Howard has stepped in to make them see sense. Oh... except... ah, of course, this is the Michael Howard who hates gypsies and asylum seekers and Arabs. I think that last one is Kilroy. They are the same person anyway, the only difference being that one sucks your blood and the other one just sucks. Did you ever watch Kilroy? Fill a room with mindless idiots and speak slowly to them. No wonder he wanted to lead Veritas; he had plenty of practice for that sort of thing on the tellybox.

Bromley Council has given a resounding V-sign to its lesbian and gay couples. The ever supportive Howard says councils should be able to stick their fingers up gay people... er, I mean, up AT gay people if they so wish. "They are responsible to their electors for their decisions," says the undead one. Well, fang you very much, you aloof loon.

In the same way that the Deep South does not represent the rest of the USA, I am sure Bromley's Victorian opinions are not a reflection on Londoners as a whole. On a more northerly note, I hope the Tories get absolutely stuffed silly in Cheadle on July 14th.

Jul 8, 2005

W gets it right

This has been a week of contrasts, in which we wonder if we humans can really be that awful.

In the words of one person...

"On the one hand you've got people here who are working to alleviate poverty and to help rid the world of the pandemic of Aids. They're working on ways to have a clean environment.

"And on the other hand you have people killing innocent people.

"The contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill."

I'd never thought I'd post a quote by George W Bush to my blog, but for once he's right.

Jul 6, 2005

Oooh...klahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain

Do come along at 7.30pm on Sunday July 10th to aLECTRO_eCOUSTIC's jolly event at the Oklahoma café/gallery (the trendy shop / cafe / record store in Manchester's Northern Quarter).

The event promises, and I quote, "axiomatic integration and GradCom (two electronica solos from Hamburg with films".

Also, feast your lobes on Lee Patterson and Ben Gwilliam ("The duet of Patterson & Gwilliam construct evolving soundscapes and textures with prepared objects and found sounds both of the acoustic and electronic"), Christian weaver ("timbales, mixture of improvising and cuban songs") and Joe Williamson, a double-bassifier from Canada.

They've also got films from Monica Bellachichi.

Yes, okay, it means absolutely nothing to me either, but it's better than punching a penguin in the face with a flannel. I'm already there.

Jun 18, 2005

Aren't eyes brilliant?

The temporal presentation enhances the well-known afterimage in complementary colour.

Jeremy Hinton writes: “The illusion illustrates Troxler fading, complementary colours, negative after-effects, and is capable of showing colours outside the display gamut.”

What the hey am I on about??! See here.

Jun 4, 2005

Can you please knob down the volume on your telebox?

[Edit: What WAS I on about. Vegas is brilliant.]

Will Johnny Vegas please stop shouting?

Like Vic Reeves with his stupendously surreal Catterick, Johnny has grabbed all the jelly and vomit that comprises his beer-stained brain and poured it into one show. What funnels out of his slightly disturbing imagination is 18 Stone Of Idiot, currently slurping its way out of your telebox every weekend.

Now, I appreciate Vegas. I too have little control over my belly, and I often dribble more out of one side of my mouth than the other. I too have visited Beauty's Castle.

But the joy of Johnny is often in his witty asides, subtle glances into nowhere, and that cheeky little grin when he thinks of a joke that he know he couldn't tell without getting the We-Hate-The-KFC-Ad brigade breathing self-righteously down his neckhole. The problem is with 18 Stone Of Idiot is that he shouts. All the time. Loudly.

We are living in an age where sublety is a crime. Surely, the Crazy Frog has an emotional, vulnerable side underneath that warty exterior? Maybe, just maybe, Michael Howard's brick-handed politics of dog whistling and minority lynching will be tempered by the Tories' next campaign of fighting crime with fluffy bunnies and homemade cookies.

Maybe I am just getting old. I can still remember a prime-time TV moment when Les Dawson, putting his porky arm around a Blankety-Blank contestant wearing a distateful bright red dress, remarked "Bloody hell, woman, you look like a hemorrhage." Unsubtle, totally offensive and more than enough giggle to tickle your ribs sillyways.

If then Johnny Vegas is today's Les Dawson, I can forgive him for all his shouting and dribbling and tomfoolery. But he isn't. Isn't he?

May 18, 2005

Come and see me DJ on June 8th instead of wasting your money on a creatively bankrupt film franchise

I will be joined by Kid Mingus and Lypcyl at the next II.

II (Two) is a quarterly free event in the basement of the Northern Quarter's trendy Cord bar, just off Tib Street.

I'll will be playing tweeting birds and sit-down acid mayhem. Joining me will be Kid Mingus and Volume star Lypcyl. A spectacular visual show of basement proportions will be provided by Fil and Kol.

II takes place on Wednesday June 8th at Cord from 8pm, and it is totally, irrefutably and unegregiously free.

If you intend to see Star Wars instead of coming to II, please read this review first. You don't have to see it. It's not compulsory. In fact, it will be a devastating waste of money and you will die two hours earlier than you would have done if you go and see this creatively bankrupt excuse of a film.

May 1, 2005


Oh yes, it was just meant to be a quick drink with Kol & Dudie...

(Respectable rating: 9.5)

...but then came the fateful decision to abscond from Manto's, thanks in no small part to the bar having all the atmosphere of a puddle.

(Respectable rating: 8.4)

Bar-hopping on Canal Street is addictive; once you hop, you can't stop. So Via Fossa it was. I caught up another brace of chums - Rob and Howard, two people I have known since before Mel & Kim were in. We spent our evening talking about politics, suspiciously amiable Indian guys trying to chat me up ("My name is Gudpa, do you want a lager?") and the amusing Eddie Izzard lookalike we saw near the bar.

(Respectable rating: 6.5)

A quick stop via McTucky's, then off to Eden across the canal for more drinks with Kol & Dudie. The trannie DJ was bad, the music even worse, but hey the drink was nice, the company lovely, the eye candy was eye candy, and the tables were... well, just waiting to be danced upon.

(Respectable rating: 0.1)

I ain't never gonna be respectable.

Apr 26, 2005

Weebl & Bob pimp kudos joy

Well shiver me timbers and call me Chunky, if it isn't a new episode of Weebl & Bob.

The latest episode brings a mixture of jousting, Pimp My Ride and jam.

W&B, as they are know to fellow omelettes, can now carry a heap load of kudos on their shoulders for giving respect to Pimp My Ride. This show is one of the best programmes ever to come out of the Axis of Evil, er, I mean, America. Right up there with the A Team, Knight Rider, and - yes - Saved By The Bell.

If you have't come across Weebl & Bob before, there isn't much to understand. There's an egg called Weebl. He's the bigger one. And there's an egg called Bob. He's the smaller one. And in this episode, they meet another egg.

Pimp my click, motherclicker. (It's a LARGE-ISH FILE by the way.)

Apr 23, 2005

If my corneas melt, blame Starflyer 59

I fear more and more that my corneas are beginning to meld unhelpfully with my computer screen as I wade deeper into the world wide mire of the interweb.

My latest obsession was sparked when I discovered very little of Starflyer 59 on Wikipedia, the public access online encyclopedia of some renown. Starflyer 59 (or SF59 to those in the know) are a Christian rock band that I have followed for some time. As SF59 fans have a tendency towards fixation beyond that of a casual fan, I expected to see a feast of text on Wikipedia. But no, there were only a few lines, which on Wikipedia barely amounts to a sausage.

Well, not until now. I have started by adding a discography to the page. You can see it by clicking your little arrow here. See that discography bit? That's me, that is.

Of course, now this has ignited another obsession in that completist bit of my brain that insists I own every bit of Starflyer 59 plastic on this polluted Earth. So if anyone has She's The Queen, Le Vainqueur, Plugged or Live At The Paradox (which I had forgotten existed until I researched for Wikipedia), please let me know. Please. No, seriously...

My eyes hurt.

Apr 10, 2005

Aliens have invaded my blog. Sorry.

Very inconvenient this, but aliens have invaded my blog.

It was happily surfing the interweb dimension when suddenly these UFOs flew over and...

...well, see for yourself. Click here.

Stupid aliens.

Apr 4, 2005

Bill Drummond is going to be at Greenbelt... says my playbuddy Fil whose letterbox spewed a flyer claiming the KLF genius will appear at the UK's premier post-evangelical fest.

Me wonders if this is something to do with a chap called John Davies, a curate based in Liverpool who is a Drummond obsessive and Greenbelt's SoulSpace organiser.

A search for "Bill Drummond" on Greenbelt's website turns up no results in exactly 0.4 seconds. Why do they need to tell me it took 0.4 seconds to find nothing?

Fil reckons it's all a practical joke and Drummond won't turn up, replaced instead with a grey stick.

Here's a grey stick for sale at a handsome price of 56 Australian dollars. Drummond may be interested in buying this expensive bit of twiggery. After all, he has got money to burn.

A search for "grey stick" on Greenbelt's website also turns up no results in 0.4 exactly seconds. A coincidence? I think not.

Mar 25, 2005

Overheard conversation... #2

Irritated woman manhandling rucksack off bus, man walking behind being generally unhelpful.

Woman: "No, you don't understand, it's not a dating holiday, it's a singles holiday."

Someone revoke her passport, pleeease.

Mar 20, 2005


Goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess goddess click click click click click click click click click click click.

The best spoof fan site I ever did see. I even left a message in the guest book. See if you can find it!

Mar 17, 2005

A tribute to my dead phone

So. Farewell then
Nokia 3310
In charcoal grey.

I remember when
Everyone had one
Back in

The day.

"One Key Calling"
"Closed User Group"
"Voice Dial"

Such features
I never


E J Fats (92)

Mar 13, 2005

William, it was really nothing (well about 30 seconds)

Ah the joys of butter sandwiches, of felt felt and of the web that is as wide as the world.

I was as excited as a Christmas tree when top revolutionary punk rockers The Others sent me a link to their new video, 'William'.

Imagine my delight as my computer jumped to a splash page complete with an audio loop ... which plays and plays and plays and doesn't stop when you load up the video proper. I shouldn't have to press mute, that's the web page's job. It should mute. The Realplayer should load and the page should mute.

Just picture my contortions of spasmodic happiness as, with the main page muted, the video loaded a collossal 30-second clip. Not much longer than the annoying loop I had already endured.

So now I am disappointed with The Others. In the true spirit of the band's name, here are some "other" websites (geddit?!?!?) that might be worth bothering with instead:

1) Check out Performance here (click on the Features link). Apparently the lead singer keeps blanking my friend Bex. I'm sure it's not intentional, but until he is proven innocent, he is indeed a total twap.

2) Laugh at two terrible racial stereotypes shouting at each other. Japanese shop assistant: "Talka to da haaand!" Black kid: "I'm gonna blow this motherfucker up if I don't get my motherfucking change!" As uncomfortable as The Office. Come back, Willis, all is forgiven.

3) A Year Of Living Generously is an inspirational idea... so why is the 'Generous actions underway now' column completely empty? I'm going to be generous this week, just to make up for it.

Mar 10, 2005

Chiquita safetyadvil law biology: spam as poetry

One of the idiosyncrasies of spam e-mails is they often end with a very entertaining list of random things.

I got an e-mail today trying to sell me Xanex. I was more interested in the entirely unconnected life advice at the bottom of the message. I have cleaned up the punctuation. Heed this:

"There are 10 types of people: those who know binary and those who don't."

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do."

"Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand."

"A bus station is where a bus stops."
And wait for it... "A trah station is where a trag stops. On my desk I have a work station." Geddit?!?!? What is a trah, anyhoo?

Another e-mail pushing Viagra had this fabulous list of words. I re-print it here exactly as it originally appeared. This is poetry:

"chiquita safetyadvil law biology
japan dougbfi future misha nimrod niki minou
play velvet arizona
electric dollarsjoanna h2opolo happyday
bigman bfi volley
abby mimisuzuki corrado denali

amelie bootsgoblue chance japan metallic clipper rock"

The Xanex is arriving by pigeon, and I'm collecting petrol vouchers for the Viagra. Oh happyday! It's enough to make my bootsgoblue.

Mar 9, 2005

Formula One Losers League

I know I keep mentioning my Formula One Losers League to people I meet, but you really should give it a go.

It's like a fantasy league, except (a) you're not juggling a $60,000 budget; you're just ticking boxes to pick your team and (b) you actually have to create the worst team you can in order to do well in the League. It's a Losers League, see?

You don't have to be good at F1 to have a go. In fact, it helps to be bad. Very bad.

All you need is an internet connection and £5.

Go, go, go...

Mar 5, 2005

Cord thanks blah love you blah lovey darling

Twas a decent night at Cord. A little cold, but considering the whole thing was organised within a week, it was a triumph.

Thanks to Mike Fallows, graphic design genius in residence at Sometimes Records, and to Stephen Devine. Both impressed more than a break-dancing Thora Hird.

Fil and Kol did a really good job with the visuals, even if Kol said there was 'something missing' and Fil didn't get his Highly Technologistic Gizmo working. Something must have gone right, because I took this photograph (below).

And thanks to Ben and all of Sanctus1 for supporting the event. You are my truffles, my only truffles, you make me happy when pies are grey.

Mar 4, 2005

Overheard conversation...

... at a bus station:

Woman on mobile phone: "Hold on, I'll just ask." Turns to man next to her. "What do feminists do?"

Man (a bit nonchalant): "Burn bras. Hate men..." He pauses to think. "Lesbians." he adds.

Woman into mobile: "We could do the men hating thing." At which point she says bye and gets on a bus.

I blame Germaine Greer.

Feb 24, 2005

Pete Doherty takes drugs no really yes really

Shambolic rock god Pete Doherty has invoked the vampyric wrath of Tory leader Michael Howard.

Howard said: "Here you have a man who takes drugs and gets locked up - yet ends up on the front pages."

Er, yes, Howie, that's how newspapers work.

Maybe the Conservative leader should cast his mind back to his stint as home secretary when he released a chap called John Haase onto the streets.

Haase was a well known drug pusher who was let out of jail a paltry ten months into an 18 year sentence. The dealer would have been delighted to rejoin his notorious gang which included Paul Bennett, also released by Howard, and speed dealer Simon Bakerman.

Bakerman's cousin is thought to have had a lot to do with Haase's release. Step forward notorious drug runner, er, MP Michael Howard.

Do I get a job on the Eye now?

Feb 6, 2005

What I'm listening to at the moment

Mercury Rev: The Secret Migration [beautiful, delicate and every so slightly pagan]
Super Furry Animals: Songbook Vol 1 [how many memorable tunes can you fit on one greatest hits?]
The Dears: Lost In The Plot [morrissey eat your heart out]
The Strokes: Room On Fire [not as lo-fi anymore, but still a top rhythm section]
Various Artists: Future's Burning [bloc party, franz ferdinand, 22-20s etc]

What I wish I wasn't listening to at the moment but I keep hearing it on TV
The Killers: Somebody Told Me [Mr Brightside was a good single, but they can just piss off with their rhyming of "confidential" and "potential".

What I want to hear more of
The Duke Spirit

Jan 2, 2005

My New Year: pub, Gorman, egg, pi

My New Year's Day evening was spent in the pub with Al, Becca, Eek, Kid Mingus and Laura.

Laura is a pedal optician, which means she makes knees bendy or something. Eek was arrested once for scuba diving on the wrong side of the sea, but he still thinks Billy Ocean is actually an ocean so what does he know.

I've never seen Al wear a hat.

Anyhoo, Eek and I stayed up watching Dave Gorman, drinking whiskey and talking about the Pixies until 6am, after which I grabbed three hours sleep before guzzling a fried-to-death breakfast from Tesco's cafe.

Fry-ups with an albeit mild hangover have a way of re-stablising your life, kind of yinging your yang or something like that. In fact, I swear to you the eggs looked like this...

By the way, my New Year's Resolution is to learn pi to 100 decimal places. Off the top of my head, this is what I've learnt so far:


--some way to go, but I have a very bad memory, and Jeremy Clarkson's talking about engineering on the telebox so I've forgotten what this blog was about in the first place, so I had better go before I forget how to do other stuff. Like, erm...