Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

All things must pass.

This is the last post; it supercedes all previous posts and codicils.

I must say I like the symmetry of ending this now, a couple of days shy of the second anniversary of its inception. I could have just waited till Thursday and closed the circle completely, but that would have been a bit dramatic, I don’t want to flounce off.

I just got bored, the posts were becoming strained. I have always derived more pleasure from writing my blog than reading others, but that has changed. I now read my blogroll and then go and do other things. I know I have said in the past that I would carry on regardless, but I can’t.

I still intend to read all the blogs on my list, and comment. In fact it’s the interaction that I will miss, but hopefully by increasing my msn contacts list I can interact in real-time.

I have returned the look of this place to its traditional template, and I’m leaving it online for the foreseeable future, it may transfer somewhere as an archived memory of my ramblings, and it will probably be nice to look back in a few years and see what was on my mind.

I’m not ruling out a return at sometime in the future, that would be silly, I’ll always have things to say. I just won’t be doing it here. I have a project in the pipeline that will take a lot of my creative energy and also a lot of my time. When it’s ready you can expect your comments boxes to be spammed.

Until then my friends, adieu

| posted by Simon | 12:10 pm | 0 comments

Monday, March 22, 2004  

Random nonsense.

I have been listening to Keane, very good despite their shit name.

I have been reading this, and pissing myself, with thanks to The Wood Tree Gnome !

Today I sold my first home built computer, getting cash for doing something that you vaguely enjoy is a new experience for me. I say vaguely, I do enjoy it until something goes wrong, then I swear at it and throw things at it, then I glare at it for a while. When the sound card I put in didn’t work I did consider hitting the fucking thing, but thought better of it. The strange thing is, when I had installed it at it’s new home, as I walked back to car….I felt sad !

I’ll get me coat !

| posted by Simon | 11:56 pm | 0 comments

Friday, March 19, 2004  

Time and tide...

I got up this morning to the sound of the wind howling around the eaves. The tide was in, and the breakers were a good twenty to thirty feet high when they hit the harbour wall. Later, after I had dropped Tracy at the shop, I was in the kitchen making breakfast when I heard the sirens. I thought nothing of it; it's a common sound even out here in the northern hinterland. I have just found out that two men have been pulled out of the Solway; one of them was taking photographs of the tide and fell in. The other jumped in to save the first one. The photographer is ok; the man that jumped in to save him is dead.

I suppose sometimes it's better to mind your own business, but sometimes you just have to help. The song lyrics, below, have been going round in my head for a little while. To me, they are about nosey neighbours and the conclusions they jump to. But sometimes you have to be nosey; sometimes you just have to help !

Tom Waits - What's he building ?

What's he building in there?
What the hell is he building In there?
He has subscriptions to those
Magazines... He never
Waves when he goes by
He's hiding something from
The rest of us... He's all
To himself... I think I know
Why... He took down the
Tire swing from the Peppertree
He has no children of his
Own you see... He has no dog
And he has no friends and
His lawn is dying... and
What about all those packages
He sends. What's he building in there?
With that hook light
On the stairs. What's he building
In there... I'll tell you one thing
He's not building a playhouse for
The children what's he building
In there?

Now what's that sound from under the door?
He's pounding nails into a
Hardwood floor... and I
Swear to god I heard someone
Moaning low... and I keep
Seeing the blue light of a
T.V. show...
He has a router
And a table saw... and you
Won't believe what Mr. Sticha saw
There's poison underneath the sink
Of course... But there's also
Enough formaldehyde to choke
A horse... What's he building
In there. What the hell is he
Building in there? I heard he
Has an ex-wife in some place
Called Mayors Income, Tennessee
And he used to have a
consulting business in Indonesia...
but what is he building in there?
What the hell is building in there?

He has no friends
But he gets a lot of mail
I'll bet he spent a little
Time in jail...
I heard he was up on the
Roof last night
Signaling with a flashlight
And what's that tune he's
Always whistling...
What's he building in there?
What's he building in there?

We have a right to know...

| posted by Simon | 1:10 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, March 18, 2004  

Radiohead TV.

You probably already know this, but if you download winamp 5 and you have broadband, you can stream a number of excellent music channels. Including Radiohead, REM and Bjork. They just stream videos all day, it's ace ! Of course there are a number of really crap channels and a fair sprinking of dodgy porn. As a bonus you can search hundreds of online streaming radio stations as well. I spent most of yesterday listening to a swing station, there's also some very good blues stations. A word of warning.......if you have kazaa open at the same time, you could find yourself with a rapidly decreasing hard drive space. As tune after tune comes on and you think "oo I love this song, I'll just get it for my collection". So today I'm watching Radiohead TV, and so far I've got absolutely nothing done. Ah well, fuck it !

| posted by Simon | 12:33 pm | 0 comments

Monday, March 15, 2004  

The shape of things to come ?

I hope Tony Blair has taken heed of what happened in Spain yesterday, because when the vast majority of the voting public, who didn’t want the war in Iraq, finally get their chance in the polling booths of Britain, I sincerely hope Mr. Blair will suffer the same fate as Snr Aznar.

Jack straw is taking a leaf out of Tony Blair’s book, and trying to prove the, if-I-say-it-often-enough-people-will-believe-it, theory. Well it’s worked in the past so why not ?

Blair and Straw, in fact the whole New Labour cabinet should read this, I was going to suggest that Bush read it, I then realised the stupidity of that advice. Bush didn’t get where he is today by being aware of the consequences of his actions.

| posted by Simon | 1:15 pm | 0 comments

…. the stream of warm impermanence …

Right, as you can see I’ve changed the text to 12 point. I changed it because I was having problems reading the bigger posts. I know others were too. That’s the extent of the changes. I intend this site to be read in IE5+ at a resolution of 1024 by 768. If you can’t or won’t view it this way then I apologise, because you’re not seeing it as it was intended to be seen. Right or wrong, the vast majority of puters in the world use internet explorer, I hate netscape with a passion and I can’t comment on mozilla or opera, or the others that I don’t know. I also sympathise with anyone who hates gray, but that’s how it’s going to stay for a while, although I have kept a copy of the old template just in case.

Hope you all keep coming !

I went for a walk a few days ago, to try and ease my back. The Doc’ said it would work, I suppose it did a little. I took my camera with me; here are a few of the pics I took:


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

Sunday, March 14, 2004  

What a beautiful day.

I didn’t think I would read words like humbled, crushed and humiliated when reading a match report. But City managed to surprise me again. 4:1 was an impressive scoreline, and probably ensured the championship will leave the north west.

During this time England were in the process of bowling out the West Indies for 47 runs, their worst defeat at Sabina park. I then watched England get the 20 runs they needed to win the first test.

I was then treated to one of the most magnificent Sunday dinners ever. It was exceptional and now I know why snakes sleep for a month after a meal.

I thought today couldn’t get much better, then Tracy just mentioned pudding. I’m going to sleep for a week.

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

The winds of change.

In two weeks time this blog will be two years old. I thought it would be fitting to give it a new outfit. I want to simplify things; concentrate on the written content instead of having pretty colours and images everywhere.

Everything except the blogstrop code has survived, albeit in text form. The blogstrop code didn’t look right so I binned it. Everyone who is currently using it can continue, I’m leaving the pages on my server. I’ve put up a text link to the blogstrop main page, just in case anyone wants it in future.

There may be a little tweaking to do, but it looks the way I want it to.

The puzzle ends on the 26th of this month. I will then start posting clues; the first person to get the right answer wins a book. However, if the answer comes after the third clue is posted the prize will be withdrawn. Get thinking !

| posted by Simon | 3:00 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, March 11, 2004  

Out of the melting pot.

Coming from Manchester I grew up with lots of different people. In fact the amount of work in Manchester in the sixties and seventies brought people from all over the globe. I witnessed a lot of racism, some of it from my own family. Looking back it was just fear, fear of change. These people blamed the ills of the world on anyone who wasn't familiar.

Today we have no such unfamiliarity, the world is a tiny place. You can chat to someone in Japan and California at the same time. I did last week. We can go and watch the sun rise in New Zealand, we recognise the difference between Hovis and Focaccia. Some people even speak more than one language. What have we to be afraid of ? Is it people with a different skin colour ? Or people who worship a different god ? Or speak a foreign language ? Or, heaven forbid, all three ?

I think there is one thing far more frightening than those ! Hatred. It's not just the BNP who hate. It's engrained in the fabric of western society. It's on television, in the newspapers that we read and the adverts we are bombarded by. The sad thing is, we all united against a hatefull regime in the forties, people from our own families died in a war against facism. It's been on the periphery of society since then, but now it gains ground with the arrival of political parties who spread lies and fear. Make people afraid again, then they'll hate. You knock on someones door on a northern council estate and tell them that all the money the council had for repairing their house has been spent on Asian families, or on a new Mosque, what do you think the reaction will be ? You tell that lie to thousands and keep telling it, and soon enough it becomes accepted as truth. The hate starts and grows. It's always easier to have someone to blame.

Living in Cumbria I see less tolerance than I used to. After I went to court I expected recriminations, but none yet. Maybe I'm being unfair, maybe people in this neck of the woods aren't a bunch of racist fuck-heads, or maybe they are. I sincerely hope the BNP don't field any candidates around here, they just might get in.

We have to rely on right minded people thinking for themselves and not giving in to the torrent of lies that come from these hatefull people.

Spread the truth !

| posted by Simon | 11:31 pm | 0 comments

Nomenclatural determinism.

Stuart made me think about names, and I remembered that I had a woodwork teacher called Mr Carpenter. Then the same day I saw a geezer on the news, he was being interviewed about all the litter in and around one of the estates in Workington, he worked for the environment agency, he was called Mr Shatwell !

Of course there are those who go against the trend, like the consultant who did my vasectomy, Mr Cumming, and my works doctor is called Mort. Danny Invincible doesn't play for Arsenal and I'm sure Greg Dyke isn't.

Then Stan sent me this, probably the most unfortunate of all, poor bastard !

And no, I don't dance.

| posted by Simon | 4:30 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 10, 2004  

Back trouble ?

Regular readers will know that I have Spondylosis (Arthritis in my neck) and that I had an accident at work that fucked up my lower back. Well today have gone for the full set. The middle of my back has been in spasm, and it fucking hurts. I managed to put up with it from six this morning till nearly one this afternoon, but when it hurts to breath you have to call it a day. Off to the docs in the morning, till then I am trying these new liquid pain killers. Large, orange and taste vaguely of Polish Vodka.

| posted by Simon | 9:32 pm | 0 comments

Saturday, March 06, 2004  

Enraged from Cumbria.

Steve has already covered this, but Blair fucked me off so much today that it warrants a comment from me also. He once again made the connection between Muslim terrorists and Iraq. No such connection exists. Blair is lying again.

Follow this link, the bottom link in the mutimedia room is "Operation Iraqi freedom". Click it and watch one of the most moving things I have seen in a long time. If you have a 56k connection it may take a while, but fuck is it worth it. The images are haunting and the music is breathtaking. Don't miss it !

| posted by Simon | 12:25 am | 0 comments

Well read sir !

I got 8 out of 10.

See how you do.

(via burnt toast).

| posted by Simon | 12:06 am | 0 comments

Friday, March 05, 2004  

Oh no, tell me we didn't say that ?

After you have phoned your son and found his mobile to be diverted straight to answer phone, ensure you hang up properly. Do not under any circumstances engage in about twenty minutes of inuendo laden conversation with his mother, based around whether or not you want a "hot pork sandwich", and culminating in the line "get in that fucking bed". When, a little later you see the light on your phone flashing, you will exclaim loudly "Oh shit !" Your son will then call you the next day and tell you exactly what you have done. He will then spend years in therapy trying to heal the mental scars.

| posted by Simon | 11:47 pm | 0 comments

The holy trinity.

Warning, this post contains graphic reference to male bodily functions.

The holy trinity takes place in the bathroom, it takes a good ninety minutes and afterwards you feel fantastic. You must complete the trinity in a certain order, it throws the whole thing out of phase if you fuck with the intricate complexities. The trinity is; Shit, Shave and Shower.


This must be a double flusher followed by a massive piss. The whole process should give you enough time to read a magazine, for instance the New Scientist or the monthly pull out section of the Observer. You could if you wish have a magazine rack next to the crapper. I have quite a large selection of old Web User magazines, a couple of Food and Sport monthly and a copy of Junky, by William S. Borroughs. Although the latter can and does change. When you have finished you should feel like you have lost weight and have learned at least one new thing.


I have spent almost twenty five years perfecting this most menial of male tasks, this is what I have found to work best. First wash your face in very hot water and a good liquid soap. Solid soap has too high a caustic content and can dry the skin. Next is the shaving process itself. For this you will need a Gilette Mach3 razor a shaving brush and a pot of Palmolive shaving soap. The brush lifts all the hairs and makes it easy for the blade to get rid of them. After you have shaved twice, once down and then again up, you must rince your face in cold water to close all the pores. Dry with a clean towel and you're done. No cuts, no spots and no red rashes.


Red hot and very soapy. Get out looking like a lobster. The glow stays with me for ages.

This has been my holy trinity for years, and a few other blokes I know. What puzzles me is, what is the female equivelent of the male holy trinity ?

Any ladies out there care to divulge ?

| posted by Simon | 12:25 am | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 03, 2004  

Reading writing and arrhythmia.

My first TMA arrived back this morning, freshly marked by my course tutor. I felt my pulse race a little as I opened the envelope. I passed ! He chided me for not including scientific notation in all my workings, although I did get a decimal point in the wrong place on question 2. The question that asked me to waffle about why and how we sweat was my best; there’s a surprise eh ? Waffling being one of my pass times.

I think I have got my head around this OU thing, at first it terrified me. It seemed like I didn’t have enough time to do the work. With a little thought and planning in my study time I found it a lot easier. I have now managed to start reading for pleasure again. Nick Hornby – How to be good.

Which has got me thinking about relationships and why so many are doomed to failure. I’m only about fifty pages into the book so it’s too early for a review. It has kicked off a thought process though, mostly about selfishness and greed. When I have inadvertently found myself watching one of the turgid daytime TV programs about matters of the heart, I invariably find myself staring agape at a couple of chavs who think that airing their dirty washing on national television is akin to a course of very expensive therapy. These Burberry clad inbred half-wits all seem to say a variation of the same theme, namely that they aren’t getting everything that they want. This pattern of selfishness runs through most of these programs both here and in the US. There is a whole generation of people growing up who will settle for nothing less than getting everything that they want. Mathematically this is a big fucking problem, half the world will be bitter and twisted and the other half won’t care.

Of course there are the cases on daytime telly that just defy belief, “I’ve been living with my boyfriend for a year and I’ve brought him on your show today to tell him that I’m really a man” No shit mate, you have a bigger Adams apple than me, did he miss the tell tale signs ? You know, like the fact that you shave in a morning, or piss standing up. Or, if you’re like most other blokes I know, you scratch your bollocks about 74 times a fucking day ? Then there’s the sex……. I’m not even going to open that can of worms; fuck knows what manner of weirdo will find me from a google search. Then the poor sap comes on, and he really didn’t know ! The poor fucker is heartbroken, but then I think “hang on a minute” You loved him/her, why now that you find out he’s got a cock do you stop loving him ? Is it ‘cos it’s bigger than yours ?

Selfishness ! He/she for lying in order to keep the bloke and him for giving in to a society that frowns on any relationship that isn’t considered normal. This world is going to be a very lonely place to live, populated by asexual loners, too scared to commit themselves just in case they get the smallest cream bun.

| posted by Simon | 1:59 am | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 02, 2004  

Carpe diem.

Or actually, seize the moment is what the poster at work says, but I can’t find a Latin translation of moment, so seize the day will have to do.

As usual the corporate wank-masters have totally missed the fucking point with their jingoist bollocks. They have taken a metaphysical call to arms and turned it into a fucking buzz phrase. No we’re not talking about cherishing every day as if it were our last, what these transnational whoremongers are referring to is an in house training scheme. Soulless cunts !

Chairman Momo talks about action, reaction and the need for periods of calm reflective thought. I have always thought that “doing” was what we were best at. All the best feelings in the world come after we have done something. Reaction will always be what a large group will do; there is always one leader and many followers. Action is such a lonely path to forge. This site has made me think so much in such a short space of time that it has become the only non-blog to be included in the places to go section.

Coming soon, a new questionnaire, are you a Chav ? If you don’t know what a Chav is, check this out !

| posted by Simon | 12:54 am | 0 comments

Monday, March 01, 2004  

Back to blue.

I really didn't like the green very much. I just couldn't be arsed changing it. Today I could.

After my recent computer failure I lost the dial up connections for my web space. I also lost the info for the shop site and the lifeboat site. I tried to find it in my internet pads (I have pads going back to 1999 when I first plugged in) it wasn't there. The dawning realisation that I was going to have to phone a call centre and speak to someone left me with a sinking feeling. These feelings weren't helped by the fact that the phone number was virtually impossible to find on their website, hidden on a page about html help. You can imagine my surprise when I did ring !

Call centre bloke: Hello Freeola customer help line ?
Me: Hello, I'm trying to find my dial up info and ftp info, I've lost it.
Csb: Certainly sir, can you give me the URL and your name and address ?
Me: Yes, blah blah blah.
Csb: K, one second.
Csb: Right, it's blah blah blah.
Me: Thank you very much.
Csb: Anything else I can help you with today ?
Me: No, thank you that's fine !
Csb: K, bye.
Me: Bye !
Me: ?

Far too easy that was, I'm still feeling a bit puzzled. He was bright, cheerful and he did what I wanted him to.

I feel I should explain what the pads are. A5 with the coiled spring holding the tops together. I jot down things while I'm online; ideas and things to do. Colours off peoples cs sheets, snippets of code, curry orders, email addresses, messages to the tax dodger when he lived at home, plans and layouts for web sites, poems, insurance quotes and all manner of general jottings. I'm currently on volume 7, the other six have the dates that they were used written on the front cover. How organised is that ?

When I get around to re-installing photoshop I'll scan a random page, and wack it on for everyone to see the inner workings of my head.

| posted by Simon | 12:03 am | 0 comments
a good book
tres bon
my sites