Wednesday, January 31, 2007  

Why ?

Why does Barry Scott feel the need to shout at me from the television ? It’s just fancy soap Barry, shut the fuck up.

Why does Match of the day feel the need to put City on last every fucking week ? In fact Sky did it last weekend, we got a couple of minutes with no commentary, just the mumblings of two has been footballers from the studio. It’s a media conspiracy I tell you.

Why wont companies email you back ? Is there no common decency left these days ? I fucking despair sometimes. We need a recession, that would sort the bastards out; they would be quick to get back to us then…. Fuckers.

These and many other questions will probably never be answered.

| posted by Simon | 10:05 pm | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2007  

The solution.

Big Bobbie had bun problems, here’s the solution.

If Big Bobbie labelled his bun machines 1 to 10 then took 1 bun from machine 1 and 2 buns from machine 2, then 3 buns from machine 3 and so on up to machine 10 he would be able to weight them all at once, thus using his scales once only. If the load was 4g light then machine 4 is the culprit, likewise if the load was 9g light, then machine 9 is the faulty one.

A simple yet elegant solution don’t you think ?

| posted by Simon | 6:38 pm | 0 comments

Monday, January 29, 2007  

It makes you think.

We all have things that are precious to us, maybe they’re real or possibly they are memories, special thoughts or secrets. We have places to hide them away, behind locks or in holes under the floor, or maybe wrapped in the deep confines of our minds. Sometimes we lock things away so safe and for so long we forget ourselves where they are. Then years later, a smell or a particular string of words spoken in a certain way can take you back, and all is revealed again.

Have you ever just found yourself thinking about an old friend or place you used to visit ? Just a thought out of the blue ? I wonder what triggered it, I wonder what series of smells and sounds, or words would bring those deep memories back to the surface again ?

I have found myself making a mental process of this recently. If I suddenly think of someone or something I try and trace the most recent sights and sounds, or word, music, tastes, or anything else that could contribute to the retrieval process.

I find myself fascinated by the mind, by everything from its evolution to it chemical processes and beyond into what it may be capable of.

One of my memory triggers is the smell of raw tobacco, it brings back a vivid memory of childhood, being cold and wrapped up in my dad’s sheepskin coat at the side of a cricket field. It has occurred to me that maybe once you have made the connection that every time after you are just referring back to the most recent time it happened. In that case it maybe more than the smell, it could have been something else.

Help me out; do you have any memory triggers ? Do you know why ? Or do you just have an opinion ?

| posted by Simon | 8:27 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, January 28, 2007  

More music.

This is another great album, there's some very good stuff out at the moment. I've never been a massive Springsteen fan, but this is well worth a listen. As is Norah Jones' new album.

| posted by Simon | 2:59 pm | 0 comments

Saturday, January 27, 2007  

Big Bobbie’s bun factory.

Big Bobbie had a bun factory; his buns were exceedingly good and loved by everyone. However, Bobbie had a problem. One of his 10 bun making machines was making buns 1g lighter than the other 9 machines. Bobbie only had one set of old scales and knew he could only use them one more time. How did he discover which of his 10 machines was making the light buns, with only 1 use of his old scales ?

| posted by Simon | 11:08 pm | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 23, 2007  

Read all about it.

In other news, James are touring again.

| posted by Simon | 9:41 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, January 21, 2007  

Chess #001

Black to play. Would you resign ?

| posted by Simon | 12:55 pm | 0 comments

Saturday, January 20, 2007  

Another nail in the coffin of the welfare state.

I’ve heard plenty of debate recently about why our health service is ineffective and going down the proverbial shitter. The three links below will give you some idea of the real reason behind the decline of the NHS. I have been a harsh critic of PFI and see no reason to change my mind. If anyone thinks that private companies would act out of any other motivation than making money then you’re as deluded as a C4 executive defending BB.

The first link made me laugh, the Tories invented PFI and now have the audacity to criticise its effects on the NHS.

The second link made me fucking mad. There are people being denied effective medicine and care in order to line the pockets of big business shareholders. Welfare for the rich… I hope you’re fucking proud of yourself Mr Blair.

The third link made me weep, and illustrates just how out of touch the government are, and just how riddled with corruption this country is.

You would think that maybe some money should be spent on actually making ill people better. Maybe I’m being naïve, but I thought that’s what the NHS did.

I think I’ll move to Cuba, they have a better health and education system than we have, it’s free and it works. Although, if Fidel doesn’t pull through I can see things changing quite quickly.

| posted by Simon | 5:04 pm | 0 comments

Saturday, January 13, 2007  

Musical musings.

At the beginning of December I recommended Tom Waits’ new album and hailed it as three discs of absolute genius. Steve offers the same advice here, albeit a little more eloquently. Here’s a little snippet of the man’s lyrical genius.


Well they call me William the Pleaser
I sold opium, fireworks and lead
Now I'm telling my troubles to strangers
When the shadows get long I'll be dead

Now her hair was as black as a bucket of tar
Her skin as white as a cuttlefish bone
I left Texas to follow Lucinda
Now I'll never see heaven or home

I meet her when Charlotte slivers in moonlight
A sly grin and a bow full of stars
I got a kid who captures a firefly
And leaves it over there to die at the shore

As I kick at the clowns at my hanging
As I swing out all over the crowds
I will search every face for Lucinda
And she'll go off with me down the hill

I thought I'd broke loose of Lucinda
Rain returned and so did the wind
I cast this burden on the God's that's within me
Now he'll miss the world and go free

The devil danced inside empty pockets
But she didn't want money or pearls
Boy that wasn't enough for Lucinda
She wasn't that kind of girl

Now I've fallen from grace for Lucinda
Who'd ever thought that Hell would be so cold?
I did well for an old tin can sailor
But she want it the bell in my soul

I spoken to God on the mountain
And I've swam in the Irish Sea
I've ate fire and drank from the Ganges
I've played bell for mercy for me

I thought I'd broke loose of Lucinda
Rain returned and so did the wind
I was standing outside the white house
And there I was afraid to go in

I heard someone pull the trigger
Her breast heaved in the moonlight again
There was a smear of gold in the window
And then I was the jewel of her sin

They call me William the Pleaser
I sold opium, fireworks and lead
Now I'm telling my troubles to strangers
When the shadows get long I'll be dead

Now her hair was as black as a bucket of tar
Her skin as white as a cuttlefish bone
I left Texas to follow Lucinda
I know I'll never see heaven or home
No I'll never see heaven or home
No I'll never never see heaven or home

Another great album out at the moment is Dog House Music by Seasick Steve; he stole show on Jools’ Hootenanny at New Year. His life story is well worth reading on wikipedia and the album is a bargain at £9.99 on play.

| posted by Simon | 10:31 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 10, 2007  

The Gambler.

I have issues with Kenny Rogers. This started a few weeks ago when I heard a fucking awful song about what a hard time the USA has had over the last ten years. Not as fucking hard as anyone foolish enough not buy arms of them I can tell you.

Anyway, whilst mulling over Rogers’ mawkish shite I happened to think about The Gambler, one of his earlier hits. I actually quite like the song; it’s one of those I find myself singing along to when it’s on the radio. I decided to listen a bit more carefully just in case there were hidden messages about the world issues of the day. What I discovered was that once you get past the catchy chorus it actually doesn’t say anything about anything. It’s meaningless wank.

Allow me to explain.

On a warm summers evenin’ on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
till boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

A train bound for nowhere ? Does this not mean it’s stationary ? And since when has anyone been too tired to sleep, it’s like these fuckers that tell you it’s too cold to snow. You can’t stare at darkness, there’s’ nothing to see. There’s one thing I know about train journeys, and that’s if there is an old bloke in your compartment or the next seat he WILL speak to you, bored or otherwise. There’s no escape even if you don’t make eye contact, he’ll waffle about just about anything.

He said, son, I’ve made a life out of readin’ peoples faces,
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey Ill give you some advice.

If we are to believe the first two lines of this verse then this bloke must have made an absolute fortune at the card tables of America, why then is he waffling to a loser on a shitty train bound for “nowhere” ? The second two lines prove my argument, he’s basically saying “you’re a loser, but you’re obviously doing better than me because you have whiskey, give me some and I’ll tell you how not to be a loser”

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, if you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

He then scrounges a cigarette as well the cheeky twat. The pearl of wisdom in the last line needs no explanation, do you know anyone who doesn’t want to learn how to do it right ?

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Now we get to the crux of the song, the chorus. This is where he imparts his killer poker wisdom that will allow the listener to run out and make a fortune. The first line encompasses the whole thing, if you can master that bit you’ll be a millionaire before you can say “Straight flush”. But he doesn’t tell us how, how do you know when to hold and when to fold ? Tell us oh wise one, because if you can’t this song is pretty much dead on its arse.

Now every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

So when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

Again we are offered the blindingly obvious in place of decent advice and after imparting it the gambler drops dead. Still our listener seems to get something from the shit advice imparted by the bum. We’re then treated to a few repetitions of the chorus before it finally fades out, just in case we didn’t hear right the other three times. I’m surprised anyone in the US is still working; they must all be fucking rolling in it.

Well done Kenny, you’ve made a fortune out of a song that says fuck all to anyone. Ok, that’s not difficult; most of the shite that’s peddled these days is vacuous bollocks. This might be a recurring theme here.

| posted by Simon | 5:43 pm | 0 comments

Monday, January 08, 2007  

Happy New Year.

The main reason it’s been quiet on this little corner of blogland is because I’m enjoying my job so much. The vast majority of my early posts were fuelled by the hatred that my previous employer engendered in me. I’m also extremely busy, with new candidates coming along all the time. The adult education system is strange because it isn’t totally governed by the normal term times; people join, learn and leave on a rolling year. Anyway, I digress, it seems that my unhappy moods and strange working hours lent itself to blogging, and now my life is more regimented with regular working hours and good nights sleep, I have nothing to say.

It’s also strange how internet habits change and evolve. I have recently found a really good chess server and I’m totally addicted. I play people from all over the world; I play in tournaments and fast games. I still can’t beat the taxdodger; he’s been beating me regularly since he was about 13. At the moment though, I’ve won more than I’ve lost and I’m building up a really good rating. Come along for a game if you fancy a battle of wills with a Russian or a Brazilian, or even me.

I have got a bit of a rant in my head about Kenny Rogers, I don’t know what it is about him I don’t like, but I’m sure that committing it to blog will make me feel better.

| posted by Simon | 5:32 pm | 0 comments
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