Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Halloween 1967. I can still remember bending and glueing my orange UNICEF trick or treat collection box for the first time.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Drives like a milk float,
top speed thirty-five downhill,
less with radio on.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Five hours in the dark without electricity, a taste of the future as the UK cannot produce enough energy. A man from what used to be called the Electricity Board with natty work boots came to repair a fuse - about the size of a desktop PC by the looks of things. More reason to get a wind turbine for the new home in North Devon.
There is still a hose pipe ban in South London. And, there's a flood in the garden. How many metres to the cubit?
A mix up in North Devon:
"We are twinned with Bideford in Devon - and extremely proud of it. There was a ceremony in 1984 in Manteo where there was an exchange of friendship and gifts. Everybody here knows about Bideford."
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Saturday, October 21, 2006
In case you are interested, here's the latest news on the relocation to North Devon.
It's more than a holiday. Indeed, that thought needs to thump through the brain driving around the lovely green hills and to ridiculously pretty little places like Clovelly.
Somewhere out there, there's these seeds. These seeds are destined for our new garden in the green hills. That garden is waiting for our arrival. Our stomachs look forward to the arrival of the seeds - now all grown up - in their dark stomachness. Lawyers are working feverishly, as we speak, cross umlauts and dotting syllables on the iron-clad contracts delivering the seeds temporary home.
I'm speculating about my new workmates. There will be a guy who rides in on a motorbike. At least two colleagues will have worked in the building since it was constructed in 1970. One manager will forget to zip his flies and have crumbs on his jacket and egg on his tie. For certain, there'll be a tecchy guy who does no work, but can fix computers, phones and faxes. And, I know (because I saw her at my interview) there's the tea lady who pushes a trolley and rings a bell to announce her arrival.
The village. It looks like a great, laidback kind of place. I saw three blokes doing maintenance at the pub: one to apply the putty to the windows and two to drink tea and watch him. There's a village shop and the Village Hall was showing "The Da Vinci Code" last weekend. Even if you've seen it on Sky, you'll wind up going just to catch up on the local gossip.
I can feel the London cynicism waning.
Friday, October 20, 2006
WASHINGTON - This year's ozone hole over Antarctica is bigger and deeper than any other on record, US scientists reported on Thursday.
The ozone layer shields Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, and the layer thins out over the South Pole each year, primarily because human-made compounds release ozone-eating chlorine and bromine gases into the stratosphere.
"From September 21 to 30, the average area of the ozone hole was the largest ever observed, at 10.6 million square miles (27.4 square kilometres)," said Paul Newman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington.
That's just a bit bigger than my back garden. For comparison, Europe is 4,010,000 square miles.
If the stratospheric weather conditions had been normal, the ozone hole would be expected to reach a size of about 8.9 million to 9.3 million square miles (23 million to 24 million square kilometres), about the surface area of North America, NASA said in a statement.
Scientists measure the total amount of ozone from the ground to the upper atmosphere in Dobson Units, and a NASA satellite detected a low level of 85 Dobson Units on Oct. 8 of the East Antarctic ice sheet.
WASHINGTON - The vast sheet of ice that covers Greenland is shrinking fast, but still not as fast as previous research indicated, NASA scientists said on Thursday.
Greenland's low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice each year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, the scientists said in a statement.
The high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall, they said.
This is a change from the 1990s, when ice gains approximately equaled losses, said Scott Luthcke of NASA's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory outside Washington.
"That situation has now changed significantly, with an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River," Luthcke said.
The ice mass loss in this study is less than half that reported in other recent research, NASA said in a statement, but it still shows that Greenland is losing 20 percent more mass than it gets in new snowfall each year.
"This is a very large change in a very short time," said Jay Zwally, a co-author of the study. "In the 1990s, the ice sheet was growing inland and shrinking significantly at the edges, which is what climate models predicted as a result of global warming.
Glad to be moving to a point on high ground nowhere near a glacier, flood plain or ozone hole.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Job quitting, Devon moving front...
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
- George W. Bush
On the plus side of the ledger, food will be on the donut family.
"Houses will begat jobs, jobs will begat houses."
- George W. Bush
On the debit side, no job begatting the donut house.
On the non-moving, non-begatting, non-Donut front, great news from the interweb...
Don Caballero hit town just as I head off into the sunset.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Back from North Devon. Went to loverly Clovelly on Sunday.
Just as it should be:
Two warm scones fresh from the oven, a dish of strawberry jam, a dish of clotted cream and a pot of tea of your choice...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Gratuitous old photo of the grumpy Donut in a Cosmos t-shirt. Dates this to about 1976.
Once in a Lifetime.
What did we do before teh interwebs and computers gave us such fun?
If, like me, you were wondering who the hell Kim Rossi Stuart is. Check here. (In fact, Rossi looks a bit like Chelsea's crocked midfielder Joe Cole.)
And this guy too.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Scooby-doo going for a run in Hyde Park.
It was the Nike RunLondon event today. Mrs Donut ran for Sarf London. Mr Donut cheered on and was hit by a errant water bottle.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
On the train Friday evening, whilst most commuters read their free London newspaper:
dude 1: what's that.
dudette: is that sky?
dude 2: it's a podcast.
dude 1: wicked. i didn't know you could do that.
dude 2: yeah. it's the latest model. it's got a larger screen.
dude 1: that's cool.
dude 2: yeah, check this out.
dude 1: oh, that's crisp. crisp, man.
dude 2: yeah, it's the latest "simpson's" series from the u.s.
dude 1: that is crisp, man.
dude 2: like you can get, what? series eight here on dvd? this is the latest series. i downloaded it last night.
dude 1: yeah, i've seen all the simpson's and i didn't recognise that one. that is crisp.
dudette: i didn't know you could do that on an i-pod.
dude 2: yeah, it's a bigger screen. you can get podcasts and download shit.
dude 1: that is crisp. crisp!
dudette: did you get that on line?
dude 2: no, from the apple mega store in oxford circus. only 179.
dude 1: 179? man, i gotta get one!
dude 2: yeah. it's a new release and it's a promotional price. 179.
dude 1: i gotta get one! that's my birthday present!
dude 2: 179.
dude 1: crisp!
dude 2: and like, i don't get a newspaper in the morning. i download a podcast from the bbc and watch the news on the train.
dude 1: 179? i gotta get one.
Or, you could read a book.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Last week's mini-tour of European cities beginning with the letter B meant two early morning cab rides to Heathrow.
Getting a minicab anytime of the day in London can be a colourful slice of life at the best of times. Speeding through London at 60mph is not, in my opinion, life enhancing. So, thankfully the lottery that is Greyhound Cars spared me from budding Michael Schumacher's.
No, last week it was a battle of the airwaves.
I can just about stomach bland music at 5:15 in the morning. The dulcet tones of John Humphreys after 6am or the shipping forecast: fine. But, Premier Christian Radio? To boot, an American hack of the pulpit giving a less than rapturous account of the life of Saul. Uh. (A quick web search brings up said Old Testament preacher.)
But, Saul (he was a bad geezer, y'know) and the programme that followed about how to spruce up your sex life (as a married couple, of course), beat the pants of what I had to endure on Friday morning.
Chris Moyles. Radio One.
My god. I never knew anyone listening to Radio One anymore.
Imagine a fat bloke with the charisma of a stale bun. Throw in his mate who is the only one stupid enough to laugh at fat bloke's jokes. But, mate thinks fat bloke is cool so sucks up to him. They probably went to school together. Fat bloke probably worked for Hospital Radio whilst mate cleaned out bed pans.
Radio One for some reason has added a girlie to this format. I've know idea what her role is. She doesn't seem to suck up to fat bloke. She has no rapport with mate. Obviously they didn't go to the same school. In fact, I suspect she's got a proper qualification in broadcasting or journalism. The only reason she's wasting her time on this pile of crap is that she can't get a proper gig on Radio 6, the BBC's cool music station.
Fat bloke occasionally plays some music. Now you won't hear his choices on Radio 6 because he doesn't want the music to stand out, otherwise it might show up the blather from the three airheads for what it is. Blather. So, fat bloke plays some Coldplay or that bloke from the Sony ad.
In some ways I can understand why the driver chose this wallpaper. Just that: it's wallpaper. It probably makes driving around comatose people at 6am who do NOT want to engage in blather that much less tedious for the poor bloke.
Oh, both drivers got a good tip. What tipped the balance was arriving in one piece having not experienced unreasonable early morning g-forces hammering down the A4. Maybe it helped that I was suffering from radio numbed brain.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Apparently a sweaty night in Southamption last Sunday. Sorry to miss it. Video of one song exists somewhere out there. The lens fogged up after five minutes.
Sweaty pictures here at the Ali Fresh Myspace er space.
T-shirts and CDs are available.
Monsoon like weather in London: got about 5cm of rain in an hour. Add this to several weeks of heavy showers and the garden can take no more. Result: the greenhouse floods.
Climate change? September was the hottest on record, as was July. August and September were very wet as well. Thunderstorms and squally showers are unusual for October. Two of the dryest winters on record in 2004/5 and 2005/6.
When the flood calls
You have no home, you have no walls
In the thunder crash
You're a thousand minds, within a flash
Don't be afraid to cry at what you see
The actors gone, there's only you and me
And if we break before the dawn,
They'll use up what we used to be.
Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say good-bye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
In any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.