Thursday, September 27, 2007
Nearly came a cropper: just about wheezed into the filling station this morning on fumes of ethanol.
Ahoy there! Today is/was World Maritime Day. Support your local Flag of Convenience.
Whither Belgium? The centre of international co-operation is also the home to a dysfunctional domestic federation.
Axis of Evil Updates
"You arrogant renegade, your accusation against the DPRK is no more than barking at the moon!"
(Ironic) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an unintentional comedian:
An Iranian-American journalist asked him to clarify his extraordinary claim on Monday that there were no gay people in Iran, pointing out, "I know a few myself."
"Seriously? I don't know any," the president replied, in apparent surprise. "Give me some addresses so we're able to go to visit them and learn about them."
Given that sodomy is a crime punishable by death in Iran, it was a particular chilling offer.
"The Bereaved" - Experimental Pop Band
"Have You Passed Through This Night" - Explosions in the Sky
"1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to be)" - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
"Nailing Honey to the Bee" - Brian Jonestown Massacre
"Harold Budd" - Rothko
"Neon Golden" - The Notwist
"Personal Stereo" - Appliance
"Nixon in China: Act II, Scene II, Tropical Storm" - John Adams
"Zebra" - The Magnetic Fields
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
On the radio the first Tottenham goal looked onside to me.
What is the top item that you think Motorway Service Areas should try to improve? Show your MSA dinner, too! But, where's Taunton Dean(e)?
Bog Roll: artistic use of the humble toilet paper.
"Best" blog on the web.
Last night at the Spitz: get there if you can and support the cause.
"King of Nothing Never" - Lambchop
"Pushkin" - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
"Trumpcard" - Jimi Tenor
"The Swarm" - Simian
"I Ain't Crazy" - Brute
"Darkest Dreaming" - David Sylvian
"Bittersweet Me" - R.E.M.
"Brandenburg Concerto No.6 (J.S. Bach)" - Muenchener Bach Orchester
"Plays John Cassavetes" - Ekkehard Ehlers
"One Chance" - Modest Mouse
"Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck" - A Minor Forest
"It's All Around You" - Tortoise
"Roman Candle" - Bedhead
"Tired Hippo" - Yo La Tengo
"Lyasnya" - Pullman
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
£500,000 (or about 105,000 dozen donuts) for a new playground. Hope the kids enjoy it.
Times are hard. At the end of the pay month, there was enough money in the account to buy about three-and-a-half dozen donuts.
Radiohead playing games with fans.
50 years ago (yesterday): dem bums play the last game at Ebbets Field. By the time I turned up on Long Island, Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds (home of the New York baseball Giants) were memories, though much fresher than now.
I saw all my baseball games at the Big Shea (including a "home" game for the briefly itinerant, hated Yankees). Dodger and Giant series were the big tickets given that both teams had only just left the area. Add to that, there were a couple of favourites from the 50s, like Wille Mays and Don Drysdale, still playing for those clubs.
My first game at Shea was to see the Dodgers on a hot Sunday afternoon in June 1968. We got held up in traffic and missed the first few innings. Sat in the upper deck, which was so high we could touch the sun. Or to be precise, the sun touched us with a severe burn. I did not have a beer (being slightly under age at the time).
My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer
Think Rheingold whenever you buy beer
That plastic batting helmet was still around in my parents house in the 80s.
"Niger" - Mali Music
"Brandenburg Concerto No.1 (J.S. Bach)" - Muenchener Bach-Orchester
"Shadow Pugilist" - June of 44
"Run! Christian, Run!" - Super Furry Animals
"Vent" - Tricky
"Bird in the Hand" - Sebadoh
"The Girls Want to Be With the Girls" - Talking Heads
"intercourse" - Techno Animal
"Our Way to Fall" - Yo La Tengo
"Trick Bag (Shoppin' for My Tombstone)" - John Lee Hooker
"Falling" - Julee Cruise
"Man Research (Clapper)" - Gorillaz
"Inside Elevation" - Pan American
"Send a Message to Her" - Beck
"Shoes" - Atmosphere
"Leaning Against the Wall" - Kings of Convenience
"Mr. F" - The Sea and Cake
""Peace - a Theme" - King Crimson
Monday, September 24, 2007
Camp Nou or is it Nou Camp? To be turned into a urinal or tread worn tire.
"Samples of earth taken by Russians who planted a flag on the seabed below the North Pole last month show beyond doubt the Arctic is Russian, its natural resources ministry said..." Might as well go further and annex Alaska on the basis that Siberia was once linked to it.
Baseball news: Washington Nationals play last game at RFK. Check back in April in case the building schedule on the new digs slips. Meanwhile, the cynics weigh in against the club's hitherto parsimony. Misschatter was serving mojitos.
"Driftwood" - Sickoakes
"It's Not My Cross to Bear" - The Allman Brothers' Band
"Untitled" - HIM
"Exit Right" - Eleventh Dream Day
"The Long Narrow Road" - John Surman
"You Were Right" - Built to Spill
"Side Netting" - Telstar Ponies
"Lachrymae Antiquae" (John Dowland) - Kronos Quartet
"Improv - Some Pussyfooting" - King Crimson
"Polynomial C" - Aphex Twin
"Down by the River" - Low/Dirty Three
"I Get My Kicks for You" - June of 44
"Pipeline/Kill Time" - Sonic Youth
"Nomanisisland" - Subtle
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Life sucks. Have another drink.
Oh dear what can the matter be/Gwyneth Coles is stuck in the lavatory
The fence cut the bridge in half: on the west side of the canal, there was the usual grimy bustle of Hackney's remaining factories, all wheezing forklifts and tight Victorian yards; on the 2012 side, silence. I looked through an unusually large gap in the fence. There was a street of intact and handsome old industrial buildings, a billboard advertising the new Lexus, and roads and pavements eerily populated only by traffic cones, like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film.
Do I want the Olympics in London? Yes. Do I want the Olympics in London to bankrupt the city/country? Hell no. Do I want the Olympics to be an opportunity to kick start East London? Yes. Do I want the London Olympics to be an excuse to lay waste to East London and put nothing into the community? Hell no.
Missed a London cycle event. Ken had a ride. Now deliver some cycle paths rather than cycle routes (a waste of paint and a danger to cyclists, motorists and pedestrians).
Weekend Cyclist. Two rides. 50km. No falls.
"Hair Dude, You're Stepping On My Mystique" - Out Hud
"This Bum's Paid" - Out Hud
"Dad, There's A Little Phrase Called Too Much Information" - Out Hud
"Story Of The Whole Thing" - Out Hud
"Abillera" - The Necks
"Listening In Depth" - Labradford
"Dead Dogs Two" -cLOUDDEAD
"If I Was Santa Claus" - Atmosphere
"Powder" - Bedhead
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Then sing of Barum, merry town and Barum's merry mayor too
I know no place in a'l the world old Barum to compare to.
Apparently, this is fun: spinning through the North Devon evening after scarfing hot dogs, chips, candy floss, chocolate, fizzy drinks and possibly a nip or two of something stronger. Still, no worse than visiting McDonald's.
By burning waste from McDonald's "restaurants" around Sheffield, the company claims it is making a green contribution. Power for just 50 homes (according to green groups; McD's says 130 "buildings") from a menu of products that already has a staggering environmental impact as well as superfluous packaging. Each McD's produces 100 tonnes of waste a year: tackle the unnecessary waste first.
Vegetarian Society launches its "Silent But Deadly" campaign - i.e. what comes out of the bottoms of cows ain't good. "Farmed animals produce more greenhouse gas emissions (18%) than the world's entire transport system (13.5%)." Green fields: pretty, but not so green.
Yeuch. I'm not loving it.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - The Beatles
"New Broadway" - The High Llamas
"Immune" - Low
"Wrinkled Ghost" - Robert Pollard
"Kesson Dalef" - Aphex Twin
Untitled from The Eventual Bow - Sonna
"Tharoman" - Threnody Ensemble
"Dead Flowers" - The Rolling Stones
"Dazed and Confused" - Led Zeppelin
"Spiderwebbed" - Tortoise
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Up above the streets and houses,
Rainbow climbing high,
Everyone can see it smiling
Over the sky.
Paint the whole world with a rainbow.
Or maybe it was: "pete gets soaked walking to work"
The US Defense Department is to hold a Q and A session on a $1 million contest to build a lightweight, wearable battery power system for US forces. Wage war and save the environment. Cool.
Make cities mobile: Severing car dependency
More silly environmental news: Surfers fear smaller swell as Atlantic wave farm approved. Tough.
"The Waterfront" - John Lee Hooker
Mystery Bretheren Vironment - Mice Parade
"Charlotte's Mouth" - Seefeel
"I Couldn't Sleep, Either" - Montgolfier Brothers
"Lewis" - Yo La Tengo
"This Year's Girl" - Elvis Costello
"Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine" - Bob Dylan
"Bonde" - Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder
"Excavation" - Haruna Ito
"Emperor Tomato Ketchup" - Stereolab
Monday, September 17, 2007
10 places not to take your hols
Iamadonut: guaranteed not unhealthy content according to the Chinese Government
It's EU Mobility Week: so get mobile, but preferably not using a car.
That Viagra e-mail? It is a scam.
England suck, England suck, England don't suck. Women to the rescue, as usual.
Suddenly, the Archbishop of York is an expert criminal investigator (or a stooge of the McCann media machine).
Make your opinion known, earn money (and earn me money): be a YouGov Panel member (sorry UK residents only).
WHOM have you slept with?
"Epitaph" - King Crimson
"Tower of Our Tuning" - Broadcast
"When We Reach the Hill" - The Black Heart Procession
"Silver Rider" - Low
"California" - Low
"Sine Wave" - Mogwai
"Comely Row" - Solex
"Desert Chorus" (from Harmonium) - John Adams
"Rainy Day, Dream Away" - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
"The Story of Jazz" - Yo La Tengo
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Tarka Trail again. This time heading south from Puffing Billy towards Meeth, uphill for 6km, then a short drop into East Yarde. That was 22 minutes of hard pedalling. On the return trip managed to hit a steady 30kph on most sections though it is bumpy gravel with the odd remnant of ballast. Slowed for dogs and walkers, met and passed horses at Watergate. Then, nearing Torrington, belting along at 32kph, passed two people sitting on a bench. Distracted. Yikes!! That gate is approaching quickly!! Brakes. Skid on gravel. Wipeout. Road rash.
Green bin bags: do you realise that conventional plastic rubbish bags take a hundred or so years to degrade? These babies will degrade within 18 months. On the downside, you've got to order them online and they do produce CO2 when they degrade.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Hey, kinky linky link (nsfw)
16.16km on the Tarka Trail - Puffing Billy to Bideford - at a clip of 23.3kph. Not bad for an out-of-shape, bloated 49 year-old.
Cows in green fields, unconcerned about Foot-and-Mouth disease, but they ought to know that animals can now be moved to abattoirs.
The Sex Pistols say a dirty word on TV.
...[Pistol Glen] Matlock is the first person without an Oxbridge degree to have used the word [fuck] on television, an irony only if you have peculiar views about the value of an Oxbridge education and/or swearing.
Meanwhile ex-Stone Rose Ian Brown praises the 70s (and the Pistols too boot):
There was no Walkmans, videos, Nintendo or Xboxes, no internet, no mobiles. No computers. No DVDs. There were only three TV channels. They cry laughing. But it made us hungry and thoughtful. And we had great things like the Sex Pistols.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Well, not really that exciting: driving from North Devon to Chandler's Ford, Hants (site of some excitement yesterday)**.
After farting around Bideford and Barn'aple on the A39 "Atlantic Highway", we push south-east on Devon's own la via della morte or A361 North Devon Link Road. Before the link road, these parts could be reached by dirt roads and tractor clogged single track lanes only.
The link road meets the M5 (and civilisation) near Tiverton Parkway rail station. We avoid hitting caravans and peel north on to the motorway.
Rover hits 85mph on the M5 or to give it its proper name - the Caravan Clogged Motorway.
Time for a pit stop at the delightful Taunton Dean(e) Services. As usual, Cleetus the Slack Jawed Yokel was serving at Costa Coffee, so instead of waiting 15 minutes we ploughed onwards.
Exit 25 - Somerset Cricket and cider.
The A358 brings traffic 24/7 to the otherwise pleasant village of Henlade. There's a roadside cafe in a lay-by before you enter the village - no entrance from our side. Carved wooden mushrooms are also available.
The home of dangerous driving: the A303 Ilminster by-pass. Three lanes, alternating passing lane every mile or so. This is road design crying out for head-on collisions.
50mph speed limit through Chicklade.
The wide expanses of the A303, running from the M3 in Hampshire to Exeter, it is part of the main route from London to the South-West though it places it resembles a country lane.
Back up to 80mph on dual carriageway near Wylye, site of The Bell pub - excellent beer and food.
Stonehenge lurking to the left. This bit of the A303 is notorious for traffic jams. Got caught here for half-an-hour in both directions on my last trip.
The bizarre A303/A34 junction. Going eastbound to southbound necessitates a hasty exit, apply brakes, negotiate mini-roundabout, under the both roads, past a pub isolated by main east-west/south-north highways, another mini-roundabout and a very short entrance ramp.
Merging with the A33 just before meeting the M3 near Winchester. Another notorious bottleneck. There seems to be a plethora of white vans.
A particularly grubby windscreen as we pass over what used to be Twyford Down, demolition of which was one of the grubbiest excesses of Thatcher's Britain.
Entering Chandler's Ford, there were signs saying "Road Closed Ahead". Thought nothing of it. Parked at Waitrose to pick up chocolate and flowers. As I got back in the car, I switched on the radio to hear: "second robber in Hampshire bank raid dies." Thinks: "Hmm, wonder where that was?" Well, it was here and I was here.
On the way home, this was supposed to be a photo of Stonehenge.
Toilet break at the Little Chef near West Knoyle.
"The Devil-Tips" - Arab Strap
"Pictures" - Mojave 3
"United Nations" - Bobby Conn
"Nobody's Fault But Mone" - Led Zeppelin
"Satan" - Orbital
"Providence" - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
"Erik's Budding Romance" - A Minor Forest
"The Bends" - Radiohead
"Candlewax" - Spooncurve
"White Worms" - Dump
"I Would Hurt a Fly" - Built to Spill
"Along the Route" - To Rococo Rot/I-Sound
"The Girl with the Flesh Colored Crayon" - Aix-em-Klemm
"The Keen Teen Skip" - cLOUDDEAD
"Make Your Move" - The Delagados
"Pilot" - The Notwist
"Happy Hour" - The Housemartins
"Missouri" - Low
"Simple Halo" - Shipping News
...and 30 odd more...
* - the author does not recommend taking photos whilst driving at excessive speeds (except for artistic purposes)
** - nothing to do with me guv.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Bagging the homemade compost.
e-Bay fraud and how small-time fraudsters get away with it.
Plans to rejuvenate the Quartier Europeen in Brussels.
Glass and steel aside, there's a lot of grubby old buildings around Euro-Land
22 years in a Travelodge? Must be the complimentary biscuits.
Onions out to dry.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
To Lanhydrock near Bodmin, Cornwall - for a Cancer Research 10k.
"It's all about fun" intoned inane DJ. Yeah, that and the chaffing.
Sisters celebrating with a Tracker bar.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Teatime on the Grand Western Canal.
Not the intended walk due to FlyBe being the crappest airline in the world, but a pleasant stroll along the towpath at Tiverton.
"Galapagos" - Tortoise (Spring Heel Jack remix)
"Shoulder Length" - The Seas and Cake
"f.l.f. Precious Bodily Fluids" - Appliance
"No More Mosquitoes" - Four Tet
"Denvermolorado" - Atmosphere
"Dream for an End to Sorrow" - Rothko
"The Way You Say Good-Night" - The Magnetic Fields
"Washington D.C." - The Magnetic Fields
"The Fix" - The Black Heart Procession
"You Ain't Got a Hold on Me - Mark Kozalek
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Police State Update: Proof positive (yet again), that judges are fecking out of touch with reality.
irresponsibly: gin is "low" in calories, y'know.
BBC-South West was filming at the Village Hall last night for "Inside Out" about village shops.
Meanwhile, the BBC drops climate change programme due to lack of balance.
The Big Match.
"Yasmin the Light" - Explosions in the Sky
"Soul Sucking Jerk" - Beck
"Love is Like a Bottle of Gin" - Magnetic Fields
"Connected by a String" - Devics
"Hindenburg" - Town and Country
"Keito" - Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder
"Piazza, New York Catcher" - Belle & Sebastian
"Not Fade Away/Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" - Grateful Dead
"Robot Chant" - Mogwai
"Just Stand Back" - Low
"Easy Money" - King Crimson
"Shudder/King of Snake" - Underworld
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Nice motor, Steve.
A night of committee-ing with the gardeners.
Not much else happened so here's a photo of beans and cuke.
"Pay No Mind (Snoozer)" - Beck
"My Father, My King" - Mogwai
"Distance Comes in Droves" - Archers of Loaf
"O Salutaris Hostia" - Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble
"Brandenburg Concerto No.1" (J.S. Bach) - Muencher Bach-Orchester
"Lament" - King Crimson
"Deepest Shadows Have Light" - Rothko
"Kill All Hippies" - Primal Scream
"Onions" - Do Make Say Think
"The Sewing Machine" - The Sea and the Cake
"The Slaughter of the Innocents" - King Crimson
"Helicon 2 (Max Tundra Re-mix) - Mogwai
"We're Pastie to be Grill You" - The Orb
"River of Bass" - Underworld
"Glue of the Otherworld" - Four Tet
(posted after the fact)
Monday, September 03, 2007
Rock stars (particularly Any Winehouse): do drugs, please or you'll end up like Chris Bloody Martin:
"...every culture needs a totemic figure who is prepared to go into the wilder terrain of substance usage, a place where the rest of us don't want to or don't need to go."
Don't write off the internal combustion engine, just yet:
"The use of solar power for cars will stay marginal until 2020-2025"
Higher river levels as more CO2 makes plants less thirsty. So I don't feel guilty about not watering the tomatoes.
"Bhajore" - Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra
"The Negatives" - Hood
"I'm Goofballs for Bozzo Jazz" - Don Caballero
"Vacuum Boots" - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
"Eat Junk Become Junk" - Six by Seven
"Deep Down" - Calexico
"Rafters" - Moby
"Palm Trees in the Fecking Bahamas" - Don Caballero
"Addition" - Spokane
"Witness" - The Delgados