Monday, July 28, 2003  

Ideas please.

Because of the recent demise of pravda88 I now have no home page. I had designed a portal for myself; it included a search box and some links. I have started making a new one to upload to simon-m, it looked a little bit old and sparse. If you have any ideas of things that could go on it let me know, when it's done you can have access to it.


| posted by Simon | 10:30 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, July 27, 2003  


I have linked to 4 sites that I have been reading for ages. Sometimes it's easier to leave things as they are, but fuck it. I don't have to tell you who they are, you all read them anyway.

| posted by Simon | 6:35 pm | 0 comments

New for old.

Yesterday Tracy bought me a spanking new printer/copier/scanner so I have been itching to use it. My old scanner has been fucked for a while. I had intended to upload some old photos but then technology conspired against me. Now I can scan and publish willy nilly so here is the first one. It's a view of Scotland over the Solway Firth, taken from the front garden of our old house. We moved out a couple of months before I started blogging. It was perfect for bringing up a teenage taxdodger, miles from trouble, unless you count shouting at cows, which at the time of writing isn't an offence punishable in law. When the taxdodger left we moved into our little flat, but I still miss the peace and quiet, and the view.

More to follow, and if there are any pictures you want to see just ask.

| posted by Simon | 5:42 pm | 0 comments


As coincidences go, this one is right up there. Just as I was pulling into work on Thursday night, a song came on the radio that just about summed it all up for me.

"I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
but heaven knows I'm miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
and heaven knows I'm miserable now

In my life
why do I give valuable time
to people who don't care if I live or die."

I'd be interested to hear your stories of synchronicity.

| posted by Simon | 1:09 am | 0 comments

Saturday, July 26, 2003  

Two blogs.

I've added two more to my list, and they are both fucking class.

Chew get meh ?


If you haven't already, go and look right now !

| posted by Simon | 1:04 am | 0 comments

Friday, July 25, 2003  

End of week post.

You may have noticed that some of my images have gone west, that's because freeserve have finally binned my entire first ever web site and along with it all my image files, bastards. I will get around to putting all the images on my new server, but for now you'll have to live with it. I think I might also transfer the old site onto the new server, just for posterity. Watch this space.

Today "the French" blew up a woman's bag because they thought it contained semtex, it turned out to be puff pastry. I think they knew exactly what it was and blew it up because it wasn't freshly made. I think the French police have a culinary flying squad that swoop on amateur cooks and destroy cheap and nasty ingredients.

"C'est le sweeney et nous n'avons pas pris notre petit déjeuner, vous sommes dessous arrestation mon fils ".

| posted by Simon | 11:29 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, July 24, 2003  

A rare thing indeed !

Fucking genius

| posted by Simon | 12:30 am | 0 comments

Monday, July 21, 2003  


Are you cross-eyed ?     July 23rd - August 23rd.

Leos are - Pleasant to look at, green fingered, bilious and have a penchant for hyperbole.

Before the end of August you will realise that you are a link in several very long chains, in fact you are the nexus. Get yourself out to the periphery where it's nice and quiet. Don't forget, Mick Jagger and JLo are Leos, you don't want to end up with fat lips and big arse do you ? You might want to invest some of your time to growing medicinal herbs, you're not going to get sick but it will take your mind off being unemployed again. Oh, and don't forget the wire brush and Detol !

Do: Wear a grey wig.
Don't: Mention the war.
Say: "I'll take the blue slacks with the matching flat cap please".

| posted by Simon | 12:37 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, July 20, 2003  

Background information.

I don't think I needed much prodding to spill this, but Steve has prodded gently, so here goes.

When we signed our lease for the shop we were aware that a new development was in the pipeline, we didn't really have any idea what was involved so we made sure we had a get-out clause in the contract. A move that wasn't lost on our landlord who included a similar clause of their own. Over the coming months the picture cleared somewhat and we began to see what the intentions of the council were.

A company called Harrison developments were given the contract "to bring Workington into the 21st century". The big news was that Debenhams was to be the flagship store, as soon as that was made public a whole host of other main street chains threw their hats in the ring. Pretty soon it became obvious that most of the small independent traders, including ourselves, were out of the equation. After a few phone calls on the pretence of market research, I managed to get my hands on a copy of the proposed layout. I got more than I bargained for; a booklet came in the post, which showed the plans and also a list of the proposed rent prices for each unit. The cheapest unit is almost a 100% increase in cost for us, and with approximately 16 small businesses looking for alternate accommodation, our chances are slim to none.

I have heard two interesting facts recently. First, Debenhams have the last say in which shops are situated around them. Second, they usually negotiate their business rates to be £0.

One more sinister thing in this story is one I cannot prove, even after several underhand phone calls. I obviously can't say what I think yet, but it includes public servants working indirectly for private industry all at taxpayer's expense. I know it's true, I just can't prove it yet.

I'll keep you posted, and if you have any information on Harrison developments please let me know.

| posted by Simon | 7:13 pm | 0 comments

Saturday, July 19, 2003  

Urban guerrilla #1

| posted by Simon | 11:50 pm | 0 comments

Successful tactic.

It appears that the successful way to gain possession of a pound coin that has been glued to the floor is to wait till everyone has buggered off home. Then while you're cleaning up, prize the thing off with a screwdriver. This must be the case, 'cos it was gone when we opened up this morning.

Speaking of opening up, we had our first taste of competition this morning. Game, the national chain of computer game shops, has opened up around the corner from us. We put on a brave face in the last few weeks, but we have been worried. So far our worries have been unfounded, today was ok. Let's see what the next few weeks are like.

The arcade where our little shop is has been earmarked for development. The new rents will be so large that all but a couple of the independents will be forced out. We have received a letter from the local council telling us that "Should we want to move to the outskirts of the town, financial assistance will be provided". Now, to me that sounds like they're saying "Fuck off, we don't want little shabby shops cluttering up our spanking new shopping centre". Workington town centre will resemble all the other minor town centres in this country. This country is having its character ripped out.

And no, this bitter rant has nothing to do with City losing 2:1 at Mansfield.

| posted by Simon | 10:01 pm | 0 comments

Red neck day.

This morning we watched two squaddies (army recruitment office opposite our shop) super glue a pound coin to the arcade floor. We have spent most of the day laughing at people trying to pick it up. We noticed different tactics depending on the type of person.

#1. Ohmygod there's a pound coin: Mostly children. You point to the pound coin, then run over to pick it up, after failing dismally you then attempt to kick it in the vain hope that the rubber from the bottom of your trainers will somehow break the bond.
Score: 5/10 for trying. 0/10 for ingenuity. 0/10 for success.

#2. I wonder if anyone's looking: Mostly older people. You wander over to the coin surreptitiously, you then bend to pick it up and upon realisation that it's stuck you carry on walking in one fluid motion.
Score: 2/10 for trying. 5/10 for ingenuity. 0/10 for success.

#3. Ok where's the camera: Mostly everyone else. You catch sight of the coin and stop dead in your tracks. You then have a good look around in case you are being watched. After wandering into the general vicinity of the coin you then decide it's too risky and walk off laughing to yourself.
Score: 0/10 for trying. 0/10 for ingenuity. 0/10 for success.

The coin was still there when we closed; I'll keep you posted as to the successful tactic.

To finish of my red neck day, I ate my tea in my underwear (my tea was on a plate not in my underwear) I was too warm. Next I may well be washing myself with a rag on a stick !

| posted by Simon | 12:28 am | 0 comments

Friday, July 18, 2003  

We have a winner.

Dr.D has figured out the mind exercise. The answer was "Skill" which in Latin is ars, the word that the English "art" is derived from. Confused ? ok, the code in the original post should have taken you here, from there if you look in the source code you should have ended up here, and if you guessed that the key word was Simon, Robert would have been your fathers brother.

If you fancy something really taxing try this. I think this is a puzzle, but its got me stumped at the mo'.

| posted by Simon | 10:45 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, July 17, 2003  


This is the first step in solving the riddle:

Click here for a spoiler.

That only gets you to stage two.

| posted by Simon | 11:03 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  

Which poet am I ?

You are Maya Angelou.
You have a strong sense of self and have faith in your abilities. You are an optimist and believe that things can get better if people work together. You also have faith in humanity.

Find yours here, via hestia.

| posted by Simon | 2:09 am | 0 comments

Sunday, July 13, 2003  

Mind exercise.


| posted by Simon | 6:31 pm | 0 comments

The day the music died.

We were rudely awakened by a rock band, and I use the term loosely, covering Black Sabbaths Paranoid. They went on to murder songs by Guns and Roses and Oasis. By this time we were washed and dressed and feeling curious as to what was going on. There was some kind of function in full swing down on the marina, so I took my camera and went to investigate.

Our marina.
Kids jumping into the sea.
More kids jumping into the sea.
Some Swans and Signets.
Lots of Ducks.

By the time we got back the rock band were in the beer tent, the dj had gone down like a lead balloon and the Samba /Calypso marching band were just getting warmed up, it's no surprise that the kids were throwing themselves off the dock.

| posted by Simon | 3:27 pm | 0 comments

"Do something !"

Tony Blair didn't really deceive anyone; you're not telling me you actually believed him when he said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ? Next you'll be telling me that you believed New Labours election promises. The most interesting thing about present developments is Blair's reluctance to accept Dubyas medal (sounds too much like Dastardly and Mutley for my liking). It does show Blair is worried more than ever about public perceptions. It will be interesting to see if he takes Glenda Jackson's advice and resigns when no evidence of WMDs is forthcoming.

Why oh why oh fucking why do checkout operators put the receipt in your hand, then put the change on top ? It's infuriating; you have to try to jiggle the cash into your other hand whilst simultaneously holding five carrier bags and dodging some ineffectual parents rogue offspring. A little common sense please, put the change in the palm of my hand and then I can take the receipt with my finger and thumb.

Speaking of ineffectual parents, we get them in the shop all the time. It's no surprise that teenage crime in rising faster than something that rises very fast. Parent brings child into shop and proceeds to look at the games, ignoring child. Child then careers around the shop shouting at the top of its lungs, picking games up, tugging posters and generally getting in the way of other customers. Parent then notices child and says, "Don't do that Taylor/Jackson/Courtney/Chelsea". I stand thinking to myself "You should give it a fucking good hiding, take it home and put it to bed with no tea".

Cue irate anti smacking campaigners, go on I dare you !

| posted by Simon | 12:57 am | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

Rules for work.

1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until about 4pm and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

2. If it's really a rush job, run in and interrupt me every ten minutes to see how it's going. That helps. Even better, hover behind me and advise me at every keystroke.

3. Always leave without telling anyone where you are going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

4. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which one is priority. I am psychic.

5. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.

6. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out it could mean a promotion.

7. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations. I was born to be whipped.

8. If you have any special instructions for a job, don't write them down. In fact save them till the job is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.

9. Never introduce me to people you're with. I have no right to know anything. In the corporate chain I'm plankton.

10. Be nice to me only when the job I'm doing for you could really change your life and send you straight to management hell.

11. Tell me all your problems. No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate. I especially like the story about how much tax you have to pay on the bonus you received for being such a good manager.

12. Wait until my annual review and THEN tell me what my goals SHOULD have been. Good job I'm not here for the money.

Thanks to Steve for that.

| posted by Simon | 9:50 pm | 0 comments

Phlogging a dead horse.

Yes, I'm sure that title has been used before, but it made me chuckle so fuck it.

I have had a little go of my camera today and the results are here for your perusal. I think with a little practice I may one day take a half decent photo, till then you have to look at these:


I've added them to photos section on your right, it's growing steadily.

| posted by Simon | 9:25 pm | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

Corporate bully boys.

Fuck Wiley

You have my full support Lyle™ and Wiley have lost another potential customer.

| posted by Simon | 10:41 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, July 06, 2003  

Bollocks !

Judging by this image you may be led to believe that I have the tiniest clue about what I'm doing. Nothing of the fucking sort ! I'm trying to build a pc from scratch on my own, I have tech back up from Tracy's brother Maff, and the tax dodger. Unfortunately they both seem to have left the planet. It has been running, for a short time, then I reset the drive info in the bios and it's none too happy any more, it keeps trying to run scan disc and then switches itself off, piece of shit ! It looks like I'll have to wait until my free tech support sobers up from last night.

Back to Lara I suppose, we are in the Paris ghetto. I'll do a full review when I've seen most of it, for now though here's a brief one.

The controls aren't as easy as they were on the previous games, it's very dark and to be honest I think they have dumbed it down too much, too many hints and clues for my liking, making it far too easy to progress through. I like the new stealth moves, handy if you're running low on ammo, the graphics are good but not X-Box standard. The music makes the atmosphere more than the game; I think I prefer it the other way round, a la TR1. For now I'll give it 6/10 but this could improve if the game gets a lot harder.

| posted by Simon | 1:34 pm | 0 comments

Friday, July 04, 2003  

Threesome !

Me Tracy and lara, see you in a couple of weeks.

| posted by Simon | 8:15 am | 0 comments
a good book
tres bon
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