Archives for March 2009

For what we are about to claim …

… may the Lords (house of) make us truly thankful (that we don’t get caught.)

You know you couldn’t make this stuff up better if you tried. I can’t imagine the atmosphere in Jacqui Smith’s household right now, but I imagine it’s a right Carry On.

The country’s going to the dogs and all the while someone’s fiddling (in more ways than one) while Rome burns.
It would be nice to see the Government’s finest tightening their belts, rather than watching people undoing them, in these troubled times and lightening the load (ahem!) on the taxpayer by avoiding outlandish claims.

There’s lots of jokes n’ puns I could use here but I must restrain (ooh!) myself and not view the situation too pessimistically. Maybe parliamentary instructions are not explicit (aah!) enough for layman’s (sigh!) interpretation.
Let’s face it, legal small print is usually too hardcore (Mmm) for most of us to swallow (now stop it!)

But hey give them a break. After all, where on the allowance claim form does it say you CAN’T claim for porn?

Maybe it was research?

Oh this has been a fun post to write.

Help! Someone I Know Has a Problem with Porn

Help! Someone I Know Has a Problem with Porn

The answer my friend …

I love having an answer machine on the telephone and I hate leaving a message on an answer machine. Yes life is full of contradictions isn’t it?

I usually never answer a call, letting our ‘phone take messages. Mainly because we are so sick of calls encouraging use to claim money for unlawful bank charges, or telling us of opportunities to ‘Get out of debt’ free.

I did once answer it and wound up the person on the other end of the line, who was trying to sell me a mobile, so much they ended up calling me a mother******.
I have now been banned by my other half from picking up the ‘phone.

We have a snooty lady as the pre-recorded message on our answer machine. I have never bothered to re-record my own crappy attempt. The ones I’ve heard on other people’s are usually very boring and mechanical or depressingly un-funny.

Apart from genuine friends calling no-one usually leaves a reply. You just get beep, beep, beep but occasionally you get some interesting recordings.

One such was from a school that was convinced we were the parents of an errant truant and would we please confirm that Jonny (not his real name) was at home because he certainly wasn’t at school.

Then there was,

“Hello?” (in a male, squealing, pre-pubescent voice.)
“Pick up the phone.”
“P  p  p  pick up the phone.”
“Pick up the phone. Pick up the phone, Pick up the phone.”
“P  p  p  pick up the phone WHOOH!”

This went on for a couple of minutes. That’s a long time. Try it at home (make sure nobody is listening.)

I’m sure my messages on other people’s machines are just as bad. I feel a bit of an idiot and forget what I want to say.

They consist mainly of  “… errs …”

Cat Time is Unit Time

When I see cats going about their daily business I’m always reminded of the film ‘About a Boy’ where Hugh Grant is talking about filling up his day with units. One unit being equal to 30 minutes.
One unit for watching countdown, two units for web based ‘research’ etc.

I think cats are just the same. Each day stretches away into the distance for them so to make it a bit more cope-able (a long day with no appointments planned is just too stressful) they may divide their day up as follows:-

Wake up, stretch, clean – 1 unit
Breakfast – 1 unit
Clean – 1 unit
Fuss – 2 units
Nap – 4 units
Lunch -1 unit
Clean – 1 unit
Sit outside and watch the world going by – 3 units
Wind up dog over the road by dangling tail in their garden – 1 unit
Come inside for a quick pre-dinner nap – 3 units
Pre-dinner fuss (hanging around owners feet as they try to cook) – 1 unit
Dinner  – 1 unit
Clean – 2 units
Nap on sofa – 3 units
Fuss (draping yourself all over owners new black jumper) – 1 unit
Supper – 1 unit
Clean – 2 units
Stare at dark corner of Lounge looking for sudden movement – 2 units
Re-upholster sofa back using claws – 1 unit
Midnight snack – 1 unit
Clean – 1 unit
Short power nap – 2 units
Go upstairs and mither the owners (for any reason really) who’ve gone to bed – 1 unit
Sitting in the garden after being kicked out at god forsaken am – 2 units
Skulk back inside for a quick pre-breakfast snack – 1 unit
Clean – 1 unit
Sleep – 8 units

Repeat above.

Simple really.

I mustn't fall behind schedule ...

I mustn't fall behind schedule ...

Power Lyrics

I heard on my in-car entertainment system (yeah okay, my car radio) Rod Stewart’s ‘You Wear It Well’ recently and I remembered how much I like this song. It’s got a great tune, is sung well (apart from in the YouTube clip below which was the best I could find) and has fantastic lyrics.

One particular line that I always find myself singing along to is, “But I ain’t forgetting that you were once mine” and then the corker “But I blew it without even trying.”

The second line, “But I blew it without even trying”, is such a great line. It says a lot in only seven words.

It reveals a lot about the character in the song. It implies that he regularly messes up his relationships but this one he screwed up without even breaking a sweat. In that one line I can almost picture the guy. His attitude, how he looks upon life. His reactions to certain situations.

That’s what I call a ‘Power Lyric.’ A line that economically and succinctly puts over a meaning but in a length of line that you wouldn’t normally expect that amount of meaning to be conveyed on.

(Yikes! There you go, case in point, 29 words to labour over one.)

I have to admit I don’t really listen, or only half listen, to lyrics these days. Mainly because so much of it is the, “I love you, you love me”, stuff with which we are often force fed.

Anyway that’s my Power Lyric. I’m sure you’ve got your own.

The Apprentice – you’re inspired!

Lock the doors, take the ‘phone off the hook, give the cat some prawns, banish the kids to their bedrooms, get granny an extra sherry. Yes The Apprentice is back!

March 25th. (Wednesday) sees the welcome return of this classic suited n’ booted, tycoon finding, knockout TV extravaganza.

Hosted as usual by the Sid James of the corporate boardroom, as Jonathan Ross refers to Alan Sugar, The Financial Times readers version of X-Factor returns for a Fifth series.

I love it when the contestants all start off luvey duvey with each other, talking about team building and giving their all, while all the time hoping and planning to stuff up one anothers chances at the first opportunity.

Though I do think some of the contestants must be looking to be awarded the business persons version of the V.C. because they seem very keen to put themselves right in the firing line.

For example who’d be a team leader in the first programme? Whew, lamb to the slaughter or what? Anyone who’s smart won’t do it but you always get some schmuck who’s talked into doing it by having their vanity massaged.

“We think you’d be great.”
“As soon as we saw you we thought you were the one to lead us in this first task.”
(Titter, titter)
“Aw shuks, sure okay then, ‘course I’ll do it.”

You can almost hear the taxi driver starting his black cab up, ready to whisk them off to business oblivion land. (Though personally I reckon they just get dropped off by the bustop at the end of the road, London taxi fares, do me a favour!)
They won’t be remembered by anybody except possibly some drunken guest at their next party, “Oh you were the prat that went out first weren’t you? You got well stiched up!”

Sometimes their personal competition winning tactics also seem a bit strange to me. Do they not realise that if they get in the bad books of that weeks Team Leader they are going into the boardroom for sure?
If you don’t agree with your boss, shutup, look helpful and take solace in the fact that their gonna’ get theirs sometime soon and you’ll be smiling right at them when they do.

“Et tu, Brute?”
“Damn right matey. BIFF!”

It’s nice to see that Alan Sugar’s cockney accent hasn’t been rounded off by his many years of champagne and limos. It will be a welcome return of some of his not so chirpy cockney catchphrases including:-

“You’re not pissin’ my money up the wall!”
“I don’t like liars, I don’t like cheats. I don’t like bullshitters.I don’t like schmoozers. I don’t like arse-lickers.”
“You’ve gone out and lost me money!”

His accent is so strong I keep expecting him to say, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”, at any minute.

But it does beg the question what will the eventual winners actually be doing? I thought he’d sold his manufacturing empire and was just involved with property?

Perhaps they’ll just end up as glorified secretaries.

If that’s so I do hope the winner has brushed up on their shorthand and typing.

The Apprentice - The Best Of [DVD]

My company needs YOU!

Data is timeless

I was listening to good ol’ Radio 2 on the way to work yesterday and it mentioned a study that:-

‘… concluded that Children of older fathers have lower IQs.’

The study was done by Australian scientists using data from the U.S.

So I thought, “Yawn! Another red wine is bad for you, red wine isn’t bad for you paper fodder production.”

But what caught my ears (if there is such an expression) was when Liza Tarbuck said that the data they used for the report was collected between 1959 and 1965.


Firstly I’m not sure a study done in one country is necessarily relevant in another. Secondly they used stuff that’s at least 44 years old!

I know that the results from these studies seem to be released every day and are taken with a pinch of salt (which is also apparently bad for you, a study says so) by most people.

What I never considered was how old can the data they use be? I just assumed it would be up to date as implied in the news headlines, “A recent report …” or “The latest study …”

Well it seems that it can be very old indeed. What relevancy data written on parchment paper is now is very questionable to me. Everything has changed since way back when. Unless it is meant as a Historical study but I don’t think it’s being presented as such.

But then I suppose these studies are not meant to be taken too seriously are they? After all they’re just designed to keep a bunch of scientists employed and guarantee a new grant when their existing one expires. Perhaps as long as they publish something then that’s enough to keep the cheques coming.

“Not breathing can seriously shorten your life span”, a new study shows.

“Masturbation causes Cancer.”

“Masturbation doesn’t cause cancer.” (Teenage youth heaves a sigh of relief.)

“A new report shows that staying in bed is safer than climbing K2.”

It does make you wonder how many studies out there are using data that Noah started. (“Building a wooden ark in times of severe flood can greatly increase your chance of survival”, a scribe says.)

I know we all have to earn a crust but it would be nice if people spent their time on pursuits that actually meant something in the real world. Surely there are useful things to study out there?

But I’m obviously missing the point.

Must be a lack of data.

Costa lot

Gennaro Pelliccia’s tongue is worth £10m ($13.95m). That’s a lot of money for a tongue. It’s a lot of money for a body. Heck it’s a lot of money for a whole neighbourhood.

He’s the chief taster at Costa coffee and so his wriggling muscle has been insured by Lloyds of London for a huge salivating amount.
I wonder if the small print in the insurance policy has restrictions on usage similar to car insurance where you can’t off road etc.
Clauses like no tongue piercing, no overly aggressive French kissing, no sticking out of tongue at friends or colleagues, no licking of frozen metal. Why you would want to do the last one is beyond me but some people seem to be fascinated with doing it.

I imagine this tongue has a great responsibility for ensuring the coffee is a good as it possibly could be. There’s a lot tasting on this tongue. The most expensive tongue there has ever bean.

I just hope the tongue hasn’t had a curry the night before.

No kissing please, I don't want to lose my no-claims bonus!

No kissing please, I don't want to lose my no-claims bonus!