Tuesday, September 30, 2003
DOWN GOOGLE, BAD GOOGLE
I'm getting a lot of hits from people searching for information on the identity of the alleged Premiership rapists.
Sorry, folks. I know nothing.
I think you want to go here instead, though the Grauniad is not naming names.
If you do know the names...
Monday, September 29, 2003
ANY OLD FRIDAY FIVE
1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
I had an abiding respect for Johnny Cash, but my tastes change from week-to-week. He was a great character, not afraid to stand up for what he beleived in and a true master of the craft.
2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
(As an example) I wouldn't give 2 bits for 50 Cent. Why?
3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
I have no view on that question.
4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
Many gigs stand out. Calexico at the Barbican. The Gotan Project at the Bush. Mogwai in Philly. Godspeed You Black Emperor in Baltimore.
5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
Property is theft.
There is, I believe, an argument that punters are persuaded to increase their musical breadth by the availability of music on line. So, sales of discs may have increased as a result. The industry says that sales are down, but that may be due to the economic downturn and not "internet piracy".
There is probably a greater threat to copyright and the industry from pirated discs coming out of China and South-East Asia. Napster was an easier target for the industry.
I'm now back from my holiday, nicely refreshed, innundated by e-mails (203 at work; 280 at home (mainly viagra related)), tanned, fat and out of shape.
Managed to miss the power outage in Italy by hours.
Here's me doing an impression of Jesus in front of Siena Cathedral.
And, plenty of this (and the usual Chianti and a rather nice San Gimignano white) was downed.
A WEASEL DIES
Elia Kazan: rot in hell.
Friday, September 12, 2003
...AND ANOTHER THING...
Whilst I'm away, will somebody please visit Commuterland to get the web counter going. It's slower than London traffic before the Congestion Charge.
Better still, sign up (if you haven't already done so) and contribute. Details over there...
The Donut goes on holiday for two weeks to sunny Italy, where I hope to have a cup of tea and a nice chat with that nice Mr Berlusconi.
Whilst I am away, I thought I'd appeal to base instincts and post pictures of some big tits.
If I can't get to an internet cafe in Toscana, I'll see you all on 27 September with stories to tell and pictures to share.
Ryan, the worst blogger in the world (tm), has had a running battle with the running dogs of conservatism over moral equivalence. (Incidentally, I had a similar experience with Howard Owens over Hamas, the IRA and the Maquis.)
Well, here's another one. Boris (I wonder how he'd deal with this week's Friday Five) Johnson MP (publisher) and Nicholas Farrell (editor) seems have fallen in love with controversial Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi in the Spectator. You may recall that Berlusconi hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he compared a German MEP to a Nazi Concentration Camp officer. (Incidentally, Larry Hovis, one of the stars of Hogan's Heroes 60's Nazi PoW camp comedy , died this week.)
In his latest gaffe, the PM said that Mussolini had an unfair bad press. You know the stories about running the trains on time. Even my Italian next door neighbours on Long Island came out with that pearl. But, now he denies that Mussolini was responsible for any deaths of innocents (ignoring the rape and pillage of Ethiopia, summary arrests and executions of opponents and general nastiness) and that Jews were sent to holiday camps (and not concentration camps).
"Mussolini did not murder anyone. Mussolini sent people on holiday to confine them [banishment to small islands such as Ponza and Maddalena which are now exclusive resorts]."
So, he was a nice liberal democrat this Mussolini geezer. Elections weren't necessary because he was so popular. The judges did his bidding and the press kow-towed. "Exclusive resorts", like Robbin Island and Alcatraz.
So were does this put Berlusconi in the moral equivalence league table? He may not be a Saddam, although you could see him making similar excuses for the Iraqi leader. Frankly, I couldn't care. What worries me more is that buffoons like Johnson and the odious Nicholas Farrell seem happy to pump up this fat shit:
"When Berlusconi makes his so-called gaffes, he is, I feel sure, speaking from the heart. He comes across, therefore, not as a politician but as a human being. How unlike the baleful Alastair Campbell."
Moral equivalence! Moral equivalence!
"The forces of political correctness trashed my Musso book because I have dared to challenge received wisdom in Britain [ed: and the rest of the world] that the dictator was nothing but a grotesque buffoon — punto e basta. As I point out, grotesque buffoons do not hold power for more than 20 years more or less bloodlessly, as Mussolini did — even in Italy. "
Wrong. What about the buffoon clan in North Korea. What about Suharto, Marcos, the Revolutionary Party (sic) in Mexico, the Colorado in Paraguay?
Why then, were Italians so pleased to see the back (or ringing neck) of Il Duce. Because he was an evil despot? Because he ruined his country? Because he locked up, beat, tortured and killed those who disagreed with his imperial delusions? Because he hung around with that Charlie Chaplin character?
Actually, I do care. Berlusconi isn't much better than Mussolini. In his world, he would prefer to ignore elections, have the judges under his control and the media parrot his intolerance and stupidity (well, most of it does already; he's working on closing down those that don't dance to his tune). He may never descend to the same barbarity that Mussolini did, but he is certainly no friend of democracy and remember that his first premiership was propped up by some very nasty neo-fascists.
NAME THAT FRIDAY FIVE
1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?
No change. Boy, I'm dull.
2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
No idea, except that I was going to be called Catherine if I was a girl and I have a middle name, but my parents didn't give my bro and sis middle names cause their first names were long enough!
4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
I can live with just about anything, including Petie.
5. Is the analysis of your name at kabalarians.com accurate? How or how isn't it?
Your first name of Pete creates individuality, independence, self-confidence, initiative, and an inclination to physical activity. You are not inclined to merge your opinions and viewpoints with others, to accept compromise, or to work in a subservient position against your will. Your expression is invariably quite direct and candid, and lacks the moderating tone of tact, diplomacy, and friendliness. Others find it difficult to accept your domineering and, at times, argumentative manner. Your circle of friends is restricted to those of like nature. Once friendship is established, you are very loyal and steadfast and do not tolerate gossip or criticism. In your close associations and family life, there is little demonstration of sentiment, appreciation, sympathy, or encouragement. It is difficult for you to find the right words for such circumstances.
A load of bollocks. Weakness in the head? What, I'm mad or summat? Independence? Yes, I'd agree with that, but it probably applies to everyone. Physical? Wreck, maybe. The only accurate comment is that my family and I are formal with each other.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SPIN
"The idea of a left-wing Labour Government as the alternative to a moderate and progressive one is the abiding delusion of 100 years of our Party. We aren't going to fall for it again."
So sayeth, the Prime Minister at a private dinner with the Trades' Union Council (TUC) last night. Or did he?
Union leaders are saying this morning that the PM was much less confrontational in the speech. No cameras or reporters were at the dinner to verify the text. So, it's one version for the press and public; and another for the Labour Party paymasters.
No spin there, then.
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
You Can Purchase Land on the Moon. Stake Your Claim Now
Moon Land For Sale, unbelievable, but true.
The Perfect gift
Great Long-Term investment
You retain full mineral rights
A Great conversation piece
Each package contains the deed for one acre of land and it
lists the actual location of the property by quadrant,
latitude and longitude.
A lunar map accompanies this, marked
with an X showing the location of the property.
Stake your claim!
...of tobacco?...ugly?...down the p hole?
Thanks to Howard for the kind words (I think) over at his awe-some site. I think he was taken aback at my awe of his blog.
I've mentioned Howard before. He is the web guru for a newspaper out in Southern California. Howard is a complulsive blogger, who speaks with strong conviction. We don't see eye-to-eye on many things political. We both share a love for baseball.
That's enough accolades, let's get blogging.
ALL ABOARD THE SKYLARK
A (badly segued) nautically inspired post...
Last night, I met up with some former colleagues in Washington DC: the man from DTI, the man from the Treasury and the man from C & A (actually, the man formerly from the LSE, but now formally on the rock and roll). We went aboard the PS Tattershall Castle anchored next to the new Jubilee Bridges on the Thames.
What do blokes talk about down the pub? Bollocks usually. But, we didn't talk football and birds. No, it was telecoms policy, ownership of the media and slagging off the Home Office.
Meanwhile, I direct your attention to Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties (c)Dave Barry
Monday, September 08, 2003
ANNIVERSARY PLUS A BIT
Way before the Sun cottoned on to blogging (pinched from the bloke in front of me at the test match and Gert), I am a Donut was launched (or was it lunched) in the blogosphere.
The year has seen highs and lows. Reading through some of my old posts (and losing my original post thanks to the vagaries of Blogger), I'm surprised at the length, breadth and depth of some the posts. Also, I've been a bit daft on occasions. The war brought out the best and the worst of me. There were lots of quizzes. I found fun in the Friday Five. I lost interest in Photo Friday. There was a bit of music and sport too. I enjoyed doing the footy predictions. Increasingly in recent months, the blog focussed on me rather than what was on my mind.
I'm not sure what I expected when I started blogging. I am in awe of the likes of these. The Donut has something to aspire to, or maybe I'll just steal stuff.
The year ahead sees us moving house (bucking the iffy property market) in October/November (fingers crossed), flying out to Australia (via Singapore) in the Spring (funds permitting after house purchase) and learning how to grow fruit and veg.
Blogwise, I aim to make new friends, take less quizzes and to save the world. The Donut will be serious, semi-serious or totally silly, depending on my mood and whether or not on a particular day I am totally fucked off with Blair and Bush.
Thanks for reading.
Meanwhile, Ill just have another margarita.
Sunday, September 07, 2003
PROPERTY IS THEFT
So (like Mike), steal good content.
Meanwhile, on the other side (so to speak), why not bare your bum at Shrub.
Nicked from Nick.
Champagne hangovers are bad.
audi olympics to give up blogging? filched from Gert
Life in a Call Centre
Beckham added: "One of their players said to me 'you won't get out of here alive'."
Happy Birthday Diamond Geezer.
Friday, September 05, 2003
A TESTING DAY AT THE OVAL
Yesterday was spent sunning myself at the first day of the last test - Alec Stewart's final test of an illustrious career. Despite the poor performance of England and the run rout by South Africa a fun day was had by all. Here's me a bit burnt, nicely fed and lubricated.
Better day for England today. I was (ahem) working from home so managed to watch most of the day whilst typing away my notes from Kazakhstan.
BOWLING FOR KAZAKHSTAN
We came, we saw, we bowled...
Ten-pin bowling seems quite popular in Almaty. There was a bowling alley close to our hotel and the lawyer in our team suggested we go bowling our second night in Almaty. So, bowl we did, supped Tyan-Shan beer and had a good laugh. Driving around the city there seemed penty of other alleys. The one pictured is from up in the mountains at the ski resort of Shymbulaq
THE SPIC AND SPAN FRIDAY FIVE
1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most?
Vaccuumminngg and dusting.
2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing?
Cleaning out the toilet as long as I don't have to use my tongue.
3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed?
Sunday morning regular as my bowels after breakfast.
4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules?
The infield fly rule is often invoked.
5. What was the last thing you cleaned?