Saturday, November 10, 2007


Now don't get me wrong, I kind of like ebay. I use it and they haven't done anything really bad or stupid to me and it generally works OK.

However, they've started sending me a 'magazine' which kind of says 'use ebay, you can buy stuff'.

Thing is I know this. I know that you can buy lots of stuff on ebay!

Don't send me a magazine. If you must send me an email...


I'm vaguely looking for a job, part-time so I can carry on making my fortune in the music business. I get an email saying that a 'featured recruiter' (from some website or other) is 'seeking talented people'.

This top firm turns out to be the 'world's local bank' HSBC. 'We know talent when we see it' they say.

So how much does this top firm pay its talented staff?

£13,300 a year to be a 'Customer service and Sales Representative' Presumably having to talk to pissed off customers or people who don't want to be sold 'financial products'. Great.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Post Twonks 2

'Royal Mail' have sent me a letter with the subject line ‘Add a festive touch with a Christmas stamp’

I quote:
“Imagine you have two letters in front of you. Which one would you open first? The one with the postage stamp, or the one with a printed postmark?”

It continues:

“It may seem like a small detail, but anecdotal evidence suggests that letters with stamps are perceived as having a positive, personal touch, and are far more likely to be opened. And independent research shows that direct mail makes the recipient feel more valued than email or e-newsletters. That’s why we want to help you make your post stand out this Christmas with our special edition festive stamps”.

Is it saddest (most sad?) that Royal Mail waste money on this kind of thing or that I expend energy getting annoyed about it?

If only they had some system whereby I could ACTUALLY FUCKING POST A LETTER YOU HALFWITS! (see previous entry on letterbox)
My theory that the Post Office is bored of doing stuff like delivering mail continues to be reinforced.

Quite understandably the post box near where I work was closed due to firework attack a few days before bonfire night. I noticed on 6th November that it hadn’t been re-opened. I mentioned this to the post office staff who kind of shrugged. It’s now 9th and I’ve been queuing in the post office just to hand over post too damn long. I called ‘Royal Mail’ and asked them when they were going to let people actually post letters again. The answer is ‘several weeks’. Yup, that’s several WEEKS to send someone to take a metal plate out of a letter box.

Be quicker getting a metal plate taken out of your head…No wonder people want to firebomb the useless bunch of twonks.

The Dentists

I have arranged a dental appointment. For the second time in a row its been at 2.30.

This amuses me greatly...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

News just in from Gloria Hunniford

Gloria appears through the letterbox to say that ‘Funerals aren’t getting any cheaper’

By way of explanation she says ‘Prices do have a habit of going up don’t they? And funeral prices are no exception’.

Well, who needs to go to college to get an education? – just read the 'Advertising Feature Magazine' in What’s on TV. And yes, they do call the 2 pages of Gloria an 'Advertising Feature Magazine'.

Gloria also things that ‘forewarned is forearmed’ Almost like having your own village wise woman eh? A stitch in time saves a muckle eh?

Mini Cabs

The last 3 minicabs I have seen in the last 24 hours have:

1. Done an illegal u-turn on Roundhay Road
2. Run a red light at the junction of Roundhay Road and Harehills Lane
3. Driven over the car park fencing at the Rounday Park bonfire before driving off down the wrong side of the road - before pushing into the traffic when a car came the other way

Do they do some sort of test? When I'm driving I twitch 'like a man on a fuzzy tree' until I've got away from them somehow. They don't seem to be able to drive more than 100yds without doing some illegal stunt.

North by Northwest

This week I was involved in my own mini version of the crop-spraying plane scene from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Or maybe it was ‘Duel’ (you know, the one where Dennis Quaid gets chased by a tyrannosaurus truck that looks big in his wing mirrors).

So, I’m Dennis Quaid but on foot, on Easterly Road. The truck is a man from the Council on a very small but surprisingly nippy and waspish weed spraying tractor which goes at just a bit faster than my fastest walking pace. He's chasing me! He really is chasing me! He has to stop once in a while to spray weeds so I get ahead. Then I see him buzzing like a swarm of small crop spraying Council hornets swaying from side to side in my wing mirrors, catching me up, slowly, slowly, he’s getting closer, he’s nearly on top of me, I can’t walk any faster, he’s actually going to run me over, oh my God no! But I’m on the path, I’ve got right of way, surely he’ll stop?….He’s stopped, phew. Couple of sprays and he’s after me again – for nearly a mile down the road!

Clothes in rags, shoes hanging off, tie down my back, I finally make it to work and slam the door...There's no twist here I'm afraid.

Last Weekend

I pre-do my blog in Word you know. This means it's not always as up to date as it should be (that and the fact that I try not to say too much if there's nothing to say - whaddya mean you hadn't noticed?) So the below if a few days old...

It’s not often that you can pinpoint when a ‘new thing’ becomes just a ‘thing. Strangely, it happened with the kettle today. The ‘Turbowasserkucher’ we had went back to Romford, the WSM spare practice room kettle stopped working and we got a new one (fascinated so far?) Today I picked it up and filled it (just as much as I needed, mind) and thought ‘weren’t we going to get a new kettle’? So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the exact moment the ‘the new kettle’ became just ‘the kettle’ in my head. How long did this take? I dunno, I’m not that weird.

It’s been a strange weekend for reasons I’m not telling you about. The leaves decided to fall off the trees this weekend. Friday, clear lawns, Sunday, covered lawns

Been playing the Sundays which is a strange mood to be in…

A Free Gift

Always up for a free gift me. My favourite for now is from Viking Direct the stationery people - "Buy 6 packs of Post-it Warm Pastel Notes and receive a FREE pair of pyjamas"....and all I got was lousy cheap radio.

Notice I managed not to comment on the pointless wankiness of 'Warm Pastel Notes'.

By the way, the proportion of people who know the difference between stationery (paperclips and stuff) and stationary (not moving) is about 5% these days I reckon.

Mind you, I can't work out 'practice' and 'practise' so that's me telt.

The 'Academy'

If my eyes are not deceiving me Leeds City Council call the place where they train call centre staff their ‘Contact Centre Academy’. I wonder if the academitions have to walk about with a pile of books on their heads while not showing their legs and climb in a mini or something?

As usual, someone is having a laugh…

…but they made up for it with the fireworks display at Roundhay Park. Always a pleasure to be frisked by security while listening to some goon from Magic 828 playing the Nolans too loud on an inadequate sound system.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Grooming Products

As you might imagine (and as I have undoubtedly said before) the world of ‘grooming products’ for men is a foreign one to me. So when we got a free sample of Nivea ‘for men’ (‘it’s just what you do’ apparently') I decided to give it a go. It was aftershave moisturiser or something. Well, I used it. It didn’t even small nice and now I have a greasy shiny face. Feel like I need a wash (I do use soap by the way). I suppose there’ll be some kind of exfoliating mouthwash I should buy to floss my follicles with.

I once spoke to someone who asked me if I ‘moisturised’. I kind of hope that the combined look of exasperation, despair and withering contempt means they won’t venture such a question ever again, but you never know. There’s a whole industry devoted to selling these ‘grooming products’ and a raft of magazines trying to make it respectable, even desirable. And some of the users aren’t even gay. I’ve seen articles that allege that women like men to use these grooming products. It’s a lie.

Them Ads

Seems I've done enough now to paste the ads in. I don't think I'm allowed to follow them myself, nor am I allowed to suggest that you click on them as a favour to me. I suspect that there's 100th of a cent or something (for me) for every million people who click on the ads.

I really hope that the ads pick up on the content of the blog - you'll be able to follow ads to 'New Labour', goldfish, BAE 'systems' and all kinds of stuff.

I need money and in this very limited sense I am prepared to be a hypocrite. Hurrah for me! My ultimate ambition is of course to be a Champagne Socialist...

Monday, October 01, 2007

What a shit evening

What a shit evening. The bus home was stopped by the police so they could arrest some kid (of about 12) on the back seat. Then the bus was stoned in Harehills (which quite often happens) and the windscreen broken so we had to get off the bus.

I walked home to find the goldfish had died. It was always a bad idea and I don't believe in pets. It was forced on us, we bought medicine and equipment and it wasn't enough.

Then there’s the news of the military crackdown in Burma. For some reason the media are allowed to call oppression by the military oppression by the military in this case. In most cases they don’t call it that – it depends entirely on who’s doing it it seems.

Meanwhile in the free West all our phone call details are being kept for at least a year by the phone companies so the government and ‘other agencies’ can spy on us for the purposes of ‘combating terrorism and serious crime’. My phone call details can be demanded by Leeds City Council apparently, among all the other agencies. You couldn't make that up could you, come on now, be honest.

I suppose it’s a good thing that people are questioning why an innocent man was lured into a trap, pinned to the ground and executed by several pumped up young men none of whom have been sacked let alone prosecuted. Someone also allowed the story to get out that their victim was a) a terrorist suspect - a lie b) running – a lie c) wearing a padded jacket – a lie d) that he jumped over the ticket barrier – another lie.

Tht was the next news story. The investigation is under health and safety legislation. You really couldn't make that up either could you. We’re supposed to have forgotten all this by now and gone shopping. We're supposed to let it go because the police are trying to protect us. If the aim is to preserve life every member of the 'security services' should be re-deployed as lolly pop men, road safety advisors and traffic police. This would save lives. Loads more than the most successful anti-terrorist operation. A more civilised foreign policy and most of the terrorism would melt away too.

In some ways all you can do is look on with contempt and horror. There’s simply nothing much you can do. However, when they want me to do something like signing up to be spied on at my own expense I draw the line. Yup, its back to the ol' ID database again.

The last set of freaks that tried taking away basic freedoms were hung or committed suicide after a massive war. We'll see...

Goodnight everybody!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Highway definitions

I thought I'd begin a new dictionary of road use. I thought we'd start with car parking...

Footpath - car parking area
Grass verge - car parking area
Yellow hatched area at junction - car parking area
Area in front of any shop - car parking area
Bus lane - car parking area
Pedestrian crossing - car parking area
Any part of Harehills - car parking area.

Tip: If you kind of know that you're not really supposed to park there, leave 2 wheels on the road. That way no-one will mind.

- Apart from the Militant Pedestrians of course! We will cheerfully tear your wing mirrors off and shove them up your arse!

Happy motoring.

I think this is what's called 'parochial'

As I say, I think this is what's called 'parochial' or even 'very parochial' but it says something about our local press and our local Council. This is my email to the person at the paper...

We received the Leeds Weekly News (North Leeds edition) and the Roundhay Local Pages through our door today.

The front page of the Weekly News explains that a decision in due on the Mansion in Roundhay Park on October 17th - it says that six options are being looked at and that the City Council are looking for a building company to carry out the renovation. The front page of the Roundhay Local Pages (arriving the same day) says that the Mansion 'looks set to open in the middle of next month' (around 17th October presumably) and quotes Councillor John Proctor as saying 'It's a fantastic amenity and well worth the wait....its great to see the plans coming to fruition'

Could someone tell me whether Councillor Proctor and the Local Pages are correct or the Executive Board and the Leeds Weekly News? Is the Mansion renovated and opening or not? We should go up and have a look I suppose but clear information would be helpful.

I'd be grateful for your comments. Have I missed something?

Yours sincerely etc

I was soo tempted to be generally more sarky / arsey but that gives them an excuse to ignore you. I'm so looking forward to a reply (if I get one) - 'Dear Mr Parkes, as you will no doubt be aware neither the paper nor the City Council knows its arse from its elbow, you got us bang to rights, we all resign...'

Maybe someday eh?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Chewing Gum Action Group

This is my new progressive rock band. No it isn't....

There are posters on the bus sponsored by something called the ‘Chewing Gum Action Group’. They tell you to put your chewing gum in the bin – and that’s it! I Googled ‘Chewing Gum Action group’ to check that it wasn’t someone just taking the piss (well, they are of course, but you know what I mean). This ‘group’ appears to be chaired by an MP – a Mr Ben Bradshaw. This of course means that its not a proper ‘group’ but something that’s probably called an ‘initiative’. They’re ‘responsible for a new system of on-the-spot fines for gum-dropping and for gum-educational initiatives’ apparently.

Oh good. I’m glad that the world doesn’t have any more important problems to worry about. Mr Bradshaw is ‘Minister for Local Environment Quality’. I fear that this isn’t made up and he really does have that title. Perhaps he'd like to bring me a nice cup of tea (and a spitoon if he insists).

Car sales abortionists

Last Saturday I saw a small band of anti-abortion campaigners apparently picketing the Minster Jaguar garage on Barrack Road. I’ve always wondered why anti-abortion campaigners don’t give out free condoms and stuff. I've never actually met anyone who thinks abortion is ‘a good thing’ and despite being a liberal leftie type I don’t hanker for the chance to try one - but I don’t see why the anti-abortion campaigners don’t approve of the solution. Much better to display a graven image of a weird looking medieval white woman with a ring over her head to motorists. That'll fix the problem.

I wonder what Jaguar have done specifically? Stealing from hospital incinerator bins for baby skins to cover car seats I expect. Beats the unborn foalskin waistcoat...

Incidentally they could have got some condoms from the Marie Stopes clinic a few doors down if they’d genuinely wanted to cut down on abortions. I'll suggest it next time.

The changing face of the HIV client

Saw an advert for a conference - 'The changing face of the HIV client'. Presumably this goes from 'nervous', on though 'devastated' to 'depressed' until it gets to 'ill'. Who needs a conference.

In fact who ever needed a work conference except the evil wonks from 'HR'? Keep payroll, a couple of people on recruitment and sack the rest of 'HR' - and you can put it in writing because not being in 'HR' you might care about something else other than covering your own arse.

National Emergency Telly

I’m not usually offended by what’s on the telly but I recently saw 10 minutes of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I think I mentioned this as one of the nightmare programmes of my childhood. It’s a kind of Christian Nazi rally with all the mumbo, jumbo, hushed funereal tones and militaristic shite that it entails – you know all that ‘glorious dead’ stuff. With a bit of ‘royalty’ thrown in. If I could prove my ancestors were homicidal sociopaths would they treat me like royalty? I guess it’s the scale that’s important. You have to be a homicidal maniac on a MASSIVE scale and that makes you ‘great’ rather than just a grubby tea-leaf.

I think its the REMT that accounts for a few naval fingers every year (not navel, that's a different thing). The field-gun team leave their fingers in the sawdust apparently. Mind you, its worth it for the Queen. 'You want to give a finger to the queen lad?' Have a shilling (though that'd be the King's Shilling - I guess it must be the Queen's 5p piece these days).

On the other channel was The Proms. I assumed that the balloon had gone up and the army had taken over in a coup (to restore civil liberties maybe?) Could have been a time slip to the 1950s but it was in colour.

Today’s spelling mistrakes

‘The Bank of America’ inform me that my on-line account has been ‘bloked’. Yeah, I know this is junk mail. I gave them all my bank details on the condition that they explained what happens when one's bank account is bloked. Turns out it can now put up shelves, not notice dust in the house and go clothes shopping once every 4 years. My kind of bloke then.

‘Log on toady’ they said. 'Hop in froggy, babe' say I (sycophantically of course).

Penguin Liars

Some Penguin bars include an ‘interesting fact’ on the wrapper. One of these is that it is impossible to lick ones own elbow (incidentally, I know a related fact which I’ve proved satisfactorily to myself; but let’s not go there now…)

Thing is that I know a certain 7-year old who can indeed lick her own elbow. So much for your so called ‘facts’, Mister Penguin…


Our household is suffering from what appears to be a depressed goldfish. None of the goldfish related websites we’ve visited offers a solution for ‘sitting on the bottom of the tank looking miserable’. It may be constipated as well apparently. How did it come to this? Never asked for a goldfish of course. I don’t believe in pets. I reckon the odd dog can have a good life (a dog’s good life? - if its an odd dog...) and maybe even the odd cat if not too stressed by neighbouring cats giving it a hard territorial time; but generally? Nah.

Let me know if you have a solution though. I'll be here siphoning up the fish pooh. Yup, I reckon it's got an H on the end.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Quest

There's a free copy of my CD and a bar of chocolate to anyone who can convince me that they've got scratchcards in a magazine and not won the 'gold prize' or top prize or whatever its called. I always scratch them and have never not won - on the second of two or third of three.

So, my quest is - find me a losing series! I'll then contact the company in great distress pleading with them to let me have a 'holiday voucher' despite the fact that I haven't won.

I only ever phoned up about a 'prize' I'd 'won' once. This was years ago. I'd won a 'free cruise' no less. The company were as good as their word - they explained how I could collect my free foot passenger ticket on the Dover Calais ferry - worth £7 at the time I think. I thought it worth the price of the call to find out. This was before the £1.50 a minute call I should say. Duty (free) calls...


Kind of half in jest I followed a link about putting adverts on the blog. I thought I'd baled out before anything happened but I've just received an acknowledgement email. The idea is that I become a corporate scum sucker and monumental hypocrite! You see adverts and I get money (a small amount I bet). There might be some amusement value in seeing what the 'targetted advertisements' would be - I hope June Whitfield pops up.

However, the email says 'We look forward to reviewing your site so you can start displaying targeted Google ads' which means I assume they'll say that this blog is not suitable. We'll see. If the blog disappears completely it'll be the dark forces of the net police (I wonder if they employ 'civilians' on the desk?) what'll have done it.

I'll probably be below the payment threshold too - you know, not enough visits. Not even a successful corporate whore I bet....More later - and possibly with ads!

Sandwich bag

Last Friday I bought a sandwich from the shop near work. Strangely, these days I find the 'old fashioned' type of sandwich shop a bit annoying. You know, the sort that look at you like you're mad should you want a sandwich at 1.45pm when its clearly too late and they're closing. I wouldn't dream of trying that one on, I went in at 12.15. At 12.15 they occasionally have exotic stuff like 'brown bread'. They seem to order half a dozen brown breadcakes for the local sandal wearers (a group in which I'm included, though I don't wear sandals).

Anyway, my sandwich came in a bag with one of those loathsome life-styley matey advert things printed on it, designed to connect with your 'lifestyle' and sell you stuff. So - please just fuck off. I now hate you and will curse you with my dying breath. Why? Because you print up sandwich bags with this kind of stuff on:

....'I'd sauntered out of the house that morning with'.... No, I'm sorry I just can't do it. It's this story where a woman gets invited out but she looks such a mess and has to find a waxing salon a hairdressers and a nail bar before she can say yes to the 'gorgeous temp from reception'. Oh God - hey, a male temp, that's just like so modern and zeitgeisty and like coool? Or just twattish and annoying. If I were paid to write this kind of thing I would drown in a pool of my own self loathing slime. have trademarked 'Results for real life'. I have copyrighted 'twats for the furnace. Enough!

Junk Mail

I got an advert the other day. Junk mail from ‘Magic Loans Limited’. ‘Make it a summer to remember’ they say (just after they’ve just said ‘spring into action’ - I nearly split my sides but I was too busy admiring their cleverness). They suggest a ‘dreamed of makeover’ (something to do with bathrooms it would appear) or ‘the holiday of a lifetime’. They don’t say ‘get into debt – we’ll take all your money’. Perhaps they forgot that bit. However, they do include a first class pre-paid envelope.

With that in mind, here’s my advice:

Always take action on your junk mail – if you don’t how will they ever learn? Don’t just bin it or it’ll keep coming.

If you’re lazy, simply return to sender. However, when you’re writing on the envelope, remember to be as foul mouthed and offensive as your imagination will let you. They need to know that you’re psychotic and not to be trifled with. Try to write in something that looks like blood or excrement.

If you’ve got a bit more righteous energy, then make sure you use the return envelope – it will cost them money! They will pay for your revenge! So, write them a personal note. Suggest they’re all terrorist paedophiles who bum dogs, something really offensive that they might genuinely get concerned about – or simply threaten them with violence.

Finally, remember to include your contact details!

Having said all that, I find that an old fashioned Viz ‘Rude Kid’ statement works well. I suggest ‘piss up a rope fuckstick!’ I also asked them not to send me any more of their shite (another good word). I like the Viz phrase because it’s kind of difficult to work out precisely what it means. Adds to the fun I find. They’re loan companies. They should be on the dole not doing any harm to anyone.

Even more cars!

I’m so disappointed that the Bill Plant School of Motoring is an organisation and not just a bloke with a car in Leeds. I thought it was Mr Plant himself surfing the red light while chatting on his mobile the other morning. I’ve seen him before. I kind of assume that the bloke driving was a driving instructor. Not for long if I have anything to do with it.

Police Reception

I wonder what happens if you present the police with a list of details of dangerous motoring offenses with number plates, dates, times etc. Somehow I think they’ll have an ‘official position’ and reality will be somewhat different. Have you ever waited at the desk at a police station? Rude, impatient and arrogant? Never! They get ‘civilians’ to do this these days – and on not much more than minimum wage. There was enough scum to deal with in, pay them more and make them be polite - OK?

More vehicles

Next person who makes an illegal left turn from Roundhay round through the pedestrian crossing (with green man showing) is either going to get their car / other vehicle vandalised or I’m going to take their number and report them to someone. Annoyingly, the last twat who did this while I was on the crossing was in a well marked van. If I’d have thought I could have got the number and phoned his company – it was something like ‘Ideal Heating Solutions’ (a white transit and one of those stupid ‘modern’ names!). Instead I shouted a loud but not particularly eloquent ‘Oy, what do you think you’re doing?!’ You will find if you do this that what comes out is not what you would necessarily have wished to say had you had time to think.

I think attacking the vehicle physically probably has the primal energy needed for ‘closure’ though you won’t get thrown out of Militant Pedestrians if you just shout. It’s the not doing anything at all but seething that one should avoid. Just in case I need to remind anyone, there are several no left turn signs, an arrow in the road and the angle of the turn also makes it bleedin’ obvious. Then there’s the people crossing and the presence of the green man. He looked like a smug twat too, shades and all (that's the van 'driver' not the green man).

Fairweather Friends

I’m a ‘named driver’ on insurance for an old Ford Escort. The name of the company that supplies the insurance? - ‘Fairweather Insurance’. Our fair weather friends indeed.

It's the only way to live - in cars

There’s a white Porsche for sale near my house – £4,000 or Mrs Lennon (Ono – ho ho!). It’s been parked on the ‘grass’ verge (i.e. the off road parking facility) for a couple of weeks now. Today 2 new angry signs appeared stuck to the underside of the windscreen – ‘NO TIMEWASTERS’ they say in big red letters.

I’m not entirely sure that the timewasters will know that it refers to them….’well, I’m a timewaster I guess so I’d better not ring…’ At least it shows that Mr Porsche owner wants people to know he’s pissed off. I approve of this. It also shows that he’s pissed off – I approve of this too! A win-win for me with the added pleasure of knowing that the timewasters won’t recognise themselves so he’s almost certainly wasting his time – hurrah!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Announcing my death

I’m planning to eat myself to death.

The good news is that I don’t actually need to do anything very different to what I do now. I plan to be checking out / popping clogs in the Autumn of 2017 (I'd say October or November -see I told you it would be Autumn). This give me 10 years. This, I think, should be more than enough. This isn’t an exact prediction but there are a number of things that make this desirable.

1. By then I should have done enough music to work out what it is I do, don’t do or can't do and to get really fed up with it.

2. By then I will have deteriorated physically to the point of well, apart from death itself, the point of everything really being a pain, literally and metaphorically.

3. By then I’ll be so bad tempered, twisted, bitter and generally grouchy that everyone will be really fed up of me (including me).

I'm reasonably confident on this one having taken into account the various factors involved. This is of course assuming 'the hand 0f fate' doesn't intervene to cock up the plan. I'm not currently planning to make this happen but it just seems to be about right.

Don't say you weren't told - just speed me on my way with Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I went to the bank the other day. There was a sign up on one part of the counter saying ‘cashier balancing’. I hung around for a while to watch - It wasn’t much of a show.

There was more of a show outside - a picket of the bank no less – excellent! Anti-globalisation protesters? Environmentalists? Anarchists? No, no, not at all; it was representatives of a firm that makes leather cleaning products in Rodley. I spoke to their Marketing Director and asked what it was all about. I didn’t understand a word (though he did put me on to a good quality leather cleaner). He gave me a flyer. I didn’t understand a word. Among the things Natwest have apparently been doing are:

Giving cover on customers, then taking it away when the customer doesn’t pay the bill, being rude to customers (with proof from ‘blue-chip’ companies) and losing credibility with existing and new customers.

I suggest you clarify this by getting in touch with

I guess they were unhappy with the bank. Funny kind of protest though when they don't tell you what it is they're actually protesting about.

The Digital Revolution

And on the subject of fab modern technology, we have two types of telly in our house. One works. The other works but will sometimes not change channels. Sometimes it freezes for a while and nothing comes out of it at all but a single slightly juddering still picture. It goes off once in a while or ‘is being worked on and some services may not be available’. The picture on this same one is very often so far out of synch with the sound that it looks like a 1970’s children’s programme badly dubbed from Hungarian.

So, one type works fine and the other is frankly a bit crap.

Guess which is the cool modern one and which is going to be turned off soon because its old fashioned and apparently not very good?

Got it in one.

That Gate and a thermometer

Remember the gate? – The one at the WSM rehearsal room that didn’t work? – It’s now disconnected. Nothing left but an apparently permanently open gate and some cables sticking out of the ground covered with a cone.

Seems for once victory is mine. All we need now is a gate that closes and can be locked. This is something that has been possible for hundreds of years in much of the world. Only now have we lost the ability to perform simple mechanical tasks. My latest encounter with inappropriate digital technology was a thermometer in hospital – did it work? – did it buggery. They had to toddle off for a new battery and fiddle with it. I nearly produced my Dunlop tyre pressure gauge, stuck it under the nurse’s nose and said ‘see – analogue – works – inappropriate technology’. They’d have locked me away I suppose.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Older Hip-hop guys?

One phenomenon (or is it phenomena? - Do do do-do-do to you anyway) I’d not been aware of until today was ‘older hip-hop guys’. Now years ago there were Teddy Boys pushing prams. I’ve also seen old punks, Goths, skins and indie kids (hello!) but not ‘older hip-hop guys’. So there you go, mid 30’s and still hanging round on street corners talking about whatever it is 'older hip-hop guys' talk about. Just goes to show dunnit? – And it seems that Hull was destroyed by a bomb and no-one noticed for weeks. Something like that anyway.

Shafted by Virgin

Cheap title I email from ‘Virgin Media’ It says that their broadband helpline number is changing and from then on it’ll cost 25p per minute to call from a Virgin home phone, plus 10p to connect. Mobiles and other networks may vary.

Am I to understand from this that if they don’t provide what I pay for and I ring them it will cost 25p a minute? Plus a 10p connection charge! You’d think a phone company would have access to cheap phone lines wouldn’t you? – or perhaps they just like to make a profit out of screwing up. I was quite measured in my reply though I did point this out to them.

Of course, as soon as I sent this off it I find they’ve helped themselves to 2 payments this month – so I may be calling them after all.

This, by the way, was my reply:

Dear Virgin Media

As it happens I haven't had any particular problems with my broadband. If I do however I'd appreciate it if you'd charge a reasonable rate (how about free? - or the same amount it would cost me to phone locally, or even across the country for example) and I'd expect to have my call answered immediately. I charge 10p to reply to emails by the way - call it a 'connection charge'.

I'm afraid this message just makes me wonder if I'd end up being charged a lot of money to wait to get through.

Just thought you should know!


John Parkes

Opera is not posh - But Oprah be?

An email arrives from Opera North. It says that “Opera is seen as an art-form which is for the few and not the many; it has many perceived barriers which stop people from all backgrounds attending the opera; therefore we would like to invite people who are seen as gate keepers of the community to be on our new consultative panel”.

They obviously want to get ordinary people to go to t’Opera.

The message comes from Community Development Officer Portia Forbes-Rawlins….

Now point made there of course - but is it? It was pointed out to me that our Porsh might be black thus potentially not porsh at all (maybe Porche though?) Can one be posh and black? Well I think so but it did take the wind out of my sails a little. But of course it doesn't matter as, in opera (to quote my Mum on 'pop music') 'you can't hear any of the words' and 'they put on such silly voices'.

The gate keepers of the community are presumably something akin to Orks in Lord of the Rings - that would be the film, stupid, don't accuse me of having read the book; I haven't read anything by Roger Dean.

"Do Everday Things"

A leaflet arrives. It's from Leeds City Council. They advice that one should "Do everday things." Cracking advice for the sort of people interested in doing everyday things of course and a sensible counter to the advertising that says "do something amazing" (that one is from the government and is about blood). As an international rock icon I have very little to do with 'everyday things' obviously and I wonder what kind of thing they advise that one does - everyday, presumably. Luckily they provide a list.

This includes:

1. Sweeping the floor
2. Walking
3. Carrying shopping
4. Climbing steps or the stairs
5. Standing up and sitting down

The standing up and sitting down they advise is done 'several times'

So, what is this strange leaflet? - It's advice for 'older people' and is considered necessary apparently. If you'e not careful you see they end up sitting down and getting other people to carry the shopping and only going up and down the stairs when they need to and vacuuming the floor and all sorts of generally wrong behaviour. The they become a burden and the people at the Council have to send them to be starved to death in private care homes.

This is one of a series of leaflets. They have one suggesting that you eat when hungry and to wrap up warm when its cold. I propose a new one - ‘Being Patronised - How we waste Your Money Treating You Like an Idiot’

Saturday, July 07, 2007

More Harehills!

….and in a rare musical reference the Whole Sky Monitor single Harehills Chapeltown got played on proper national radio by Steve Lamacq – ‘a huge hulking anti-pop song’! A chink of light in an otherwise dark world of demographics, marketing and paid record pluggers. We just posted a copy, simple as that. Almost like having the man Peel back. You post record, person on the radio who actually seems to like music plays it, you feel good and stick two fingers up to the marketing sleaze! I should of course remind you that the definition of ‘Radio DJ’ is ‘someone who is not very interested in music’. Couple of honorable exceptions I have to say…

Con Leche

And on the leering pervert front…top singer / songwriter Charlie Barker (see for friends...) gets a few strange messages via her myspace page apparently . I should explain she is 22 years old, blonde and pretty. Her Dad answers them! I kind of hope he talks underwear and masturbation but I suspect not. She described some bloke who had been in touch as ‘an old lech’. I wanted to ask her the simple question ‘have you never met a man then’? There are, I’m afraid she still has to discover, leches who are a bit obvious and leches who cover it up a bit better....and gay men I suppose. Ah well….

Smirking Ban

There's been lots of publicity about a 'smoking ban'. The top deck of the bus is still full of smoke, the venue is still full of smoke and, most gratifying of all obviously, is the line of cancer patients in wheelchairs and heavily pregnant teenagers from Seacroft slouching at the hospital door dragging away. Who knows what would happen if smoking weren't banned on the whole hospital grounds? Not sure which side I'm on on this one...

Now entering Harehills Chapeltown...

Only in Harehills (OK, maybe a few other places in the world) could one stand next to a woman with 2-inch long square nails, foot-long diamond earrings and a pink corduroy trilby - at a bus stop. She was beautiful too as it ‘appens. See, I’m an old softie at heart – or a leering pervert. I prefer leering pervert if you’re wondering. Hardly worth noting that the three times an hour buses came in a line within 2 minutes. Saw two mini-cabs. One barreled through the pedestrian crossing as the green man bleeped and the other did an illegal U-turn in front of me. It really is mad watching the traffic in Harehills. Watch for 10 minutes and you just won’t believe you haven’t seen a crash. There’s a ‘Leading multi-cultural supermarket’ opening soon too!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Excellent! - The local key cutting shop not only sells Blakey's segs (or 'shoe protectors') but also string vests. There's a Union Jack on the seg packet. I expect that means a firm in Britain imports them from China but you never know...Is the Union Jack a logo? 'spect so. I didn't inspect the string vests, I'm not that nostalgic.

...and let's hope that the bloke from the DIY shop who delivers gas cylinders in a small flatback isn't obviously a Muslim or he'll probably be getting shot this morning.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A 2 Pin Affair

This is just my latest 'newsletter'. They're usually more involved than this. Email me via the contact thingie on the JP website and I'll put you on the list. Or don't.

Dear All

No messing about in this message. I've been told that my fab 'updates' are sometimes 'difficult to understand what you're on about mate', so this time I'm simply plugging the next JP gig - but they are like a perfect lettuce in a bucket of slugs (i.e. rare and to be treasurered)

The Atrium, Grand Parade Leeds LS1 6PG 5th July 2007 (next Thursday) with Corleone and the Launderette Poets (check them out via my myspace friends at

JP onstage 8pm I think (so get there early!) I'll be doing some songs you probably haven't heard.

Hope to see some of you there.


PS If you go dressed as a cat you get in free - I am not making this up. Tiny Cat promotions yer see (see my myspace friends again)

PPS - Whole Sky Monitor are getting played on the radio and me old (very old) band the Sinister Cleaners are appearing in national publications. At this rate I'll be refusing to talk to any of you lot by Christmas.

PPPS - I've worked out that I get more visitors to the website ( - your homepage I assume) when I update the blog. June 2007 has the largest number of vistiors since the site was set up - so thanks to you both! (very old joke, and not true either - though 2/3 are from the USA, so there you go)

Fish in a Barrel

As you know, the world of 'work' is often the work of timewasters having meetings with other timewasters. Well, when I'm not writing hits for the stars (or songs for me anyway) I work for a 'dynamic, fast paced organisation' that is about to have a conference / get-together event near Wolverhampton (aren't they always). I present, without comment, some of the 'contents' of this top dynamic, fast paced event.

Key Objectives
Organisational Development
Strategic context
Our tools in practice?
Key market opportunities
Budget Builder
Enterprise Awareness
Box Clever
Accredited Learning Options
Potential partners
Gaps analysis and key priorities
Key products carousel workshop
Where next?
Open Business Model planning
Key Events
Network sign ups - An opportunity to sign up to ‘virtual’ and physical networks of mutual support groups based around our key services offered

See, no comment necessary!

Behind the settee

Wht should pop up from behind the settee but a tube of 'Glucosamine & Emu Oil Joint Cream'

Left there by a visitor....Anyway, apparently its known for its deeply soothing properties (the cream not 'the visitor'). "With continued research and testimonials Emu Oil remains one of the most exciting alternative therapies available today".

You can also feed it to your pets and it prevents hair loss apparently (though perhaps you get feathers?)

Wikipedia says helpfully that its an oil "made from the Emu". I like to think that it is The Emu rather than just an emu or a flock (insert collective noun) of emus. though lets not get into health remedy catalogues - or giant birds ruling over magic health kingdoms.

But while we're on, here's just a word of comtempt for people who prefer the word 'magick' or 'Afrikan'. Different sorts of types I know but both worthy of a word of contempt one feels - choose your own word though, I'm trying not to swear so much.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Breaking a Confidence

One of the strange things with blogs is that they work backwards - I write things to be read forwards generally. The stuff below is from emails that I get at work (which, as I explain below I try to keep seperate from real life). Anyway...sometimes, lurking at the bottom of this kind of stuff is a 'confidentiality clause' designed by spineless corporate types as a get-out clause, you know, to 'cover themselves' from whatever it is spineless corporate types are afraid of.

I'd like to say here and now that I take great pride in breaking this particular clause:

"This message is confidential. It may also be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the stated addressee (s) and access to it by anyone else is unauthorised. If you have received this message in error, you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use or rely on the information contained in this message. Such unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please delete it immediate (sic) and notify the sender".

So, I've made it freely available 'on the net' and good thing too. Mind you, it is free of information so it'd be difficult to use it really...

Anyway, read on for news of middle class people getting paid to waste your money...

By the way, one of the very few advantages in working in a low paid job (like I do) is that if push comes to shove you can always give them the push and shove off to stack shelves in MacDonalds. So if you take the piss 'on the net' you can feel HAPPY about it! There's been some shit about this week as well as the piss but let's not get personal - I'll be sacked at a time of my own chosing thankyou!

The Regional Infrastructure Consortium

More work shite...

The Regional Infrastructure Consortium will have open membership for any Third Sector Organisation (TSO) with a region-wide remit, whose primary focus is in providing infrastructure services to other TSOs. The Infrastructure Forum will:

Oh, stop it, just stop it. However...before you get too bored one of the things the Infrastructure Forum will do is "Meet in standing congress at least once per year"

The dirty dogs...

From the "Change-Up Development Officer"

More on the stuff that arrives at my work....this could go on for a while.

They’re having the first meeting of the 'Regional Infrastructure Consortium for Yorkshire and the Humber' (oh joy say all of us...) Now your interest has been piqued, here's more...

"Through the Capacitybuilders Consortium Development Fund we are bringing together generic and specialist infrastructure organisations and networks operating at the regional level, to develop and enhance the quality and reach of regional infrastructure.

The meeting will be followed by a networking lunch - talking sandwiches?

It goes on...

"The aim of ChangeUp investment is to catalyse the modernisation of infrastructure provision in order to improve its sustainability, quality and reach to front line organisations....ChangeUp describes the basic architecture of support which frontline organisations need as agreed with the voluntary and community sector (VCS)....Meanwhile Capacitybuilders works with local, sub-regional and regional consortia throughout the country to support infrastructure organisations deliver services to help frontline organisations be more effective".

And it goes on...

"Capacitybuilders is currently consulting on its proposed priorities and strategic objectives in its draft strategic framework, “Destination 2014”, as well as responding to recommendations in recent commissioned reports on the work of the national Hubs and an analysis of consortia Infrastructure Investment Plans....Building on the four sub-regional plans in the region it recommended that a number of bold, short-term investments were made through a number of short-term projects at the regional level. In addition to the Bold Short Term Investments, 9 networks were supported to enable significant proportions of the VCS that were suffering from “engagement exclusion” to participate at a regional level. Five of these nine networks and a further three new networks have also received support through the regional Capacitybuilders allocation through to March 2008....These regional ChangeUp investments through the RIDP had to contribute to improving infrastructure services available to frontline organisations in the region through at least one of four priority themes:

Number 2 in this list of 'priority themes' is "Better communications"

OK, let's plunge back in...

"The regional ChangeUp and Capacitybuilders allocations have also supported work through the Regional Forum to integrate the work of national hubs in the region, particularly the ICT Hub, Performance Improvement Hub and the Governance Hub. Some work has also been undertaken with the Workforce Development Hub. Links to Capacitybuilders have been developed including good working relationships with regional co-ordinators and with the Capacitybuilders Board....The consortium seeks to bring together the range of generic and specialist interests operating at the regional level, to develop and enhance the quality and reach of regional infrastructure as well as add value to the activities of the sub-regional consortia. The Regional Consortium may wish to fill gaps in service provision or to pilot new infrastructure activity. The Regional Consortium is not in competition with the sub-regional consortia either for resources or clients....The Regional Consortium is on a par with the individual sub-regional consortia. The sub-regional consortia and the Regional Consortium will sit with representatives of the equalities networks and organisations in the region as part of SubNet which is the strategic infrastructure grouping for the Yorkshire and Humber Region.

Someone got paid for writing this stuff. The same kind of people will talk about 'empowering' people while sponging off their tax. Sack them and sack them now - give the money to the 'dole cheats' who at least do little harm. Well, they don't waste so much of my time for a start.

My suspicion is that you suffer from this kind of stuff too - compulsory English language lessons for WANKERS I say.

Do you get stuff like this?

I try not to mix work (which is generally a bizarre Kafkaesque world full of irrational wasting) with real life (hey, tell me what that is!) However, sometimes the bizarre is amusing; at least it is if you're fond of black comedy. At my work we get bizarre emails from people who don't speak English. Now you're probably thinking that I've having a pop whose 'first language is not English'. Well, I guess I am but they're not foreign, no, they're middle class white English types. They have lost the ability to communicate. Here's an example of something that possibly thinks it contains information:

"The Governance Hub has launched the next round of its Partnership Programme. The Hub is looking to work with umbrella organisations and federated charities to fund initiatives that catalyse a significant improvement in the quality of governance within the sector"

Perhaps I'm being harsh and not all of this is gibberish...

So, I’m off to catalyse a significant improvement in the quality of beverage fabrication in the appliance hub*

*i.e. I’m going to make a nice cup of tea

Sat Nav

Last weekend I saved £127 on a sat-nav – and made the car more secure. There was a special offer - ‘Sat-nav £129.99’.

I bought a map book for £2.99 instead – and no-one will want to break into the car to steal it - Result!

Always on the lookout for a bargain…

The Flowers? - They're spittin' Feathers

You may have noticed that there’s been the odd drop of rain recently. In Leeds, Council buildings have been opened as rescue centres for those flooded out. There have no doubt been lots of other calls on Council resources.

So we’ve had days of heavy rain. This morning it stopped for a while. Then it started again. Then we had about 40 minutes of bright sunny weather before it started again. I nipped out to the shop from work in that gap.

Out on the road were some Council workers with a flatbed truck. It had a big tank on and hoses and such like – what were they doing? Pumping out? Clearing blocked drains? Helping flood victims move furniture to a drier area?

No, of course not, they were watering the hanging baskets hanging from the lamp posts.

It rained again a few minutes after they’d gone. I rang to complain. I pointed out that it had been raining recently. Obviously news to the Council. I guess they don't do irony...

Monday, June 25, 2007


The streets of Leeds looked like someone had been downing huge crows with an air rifle today - dozens of splayed black flapping bodies littering the streets. Either that or people were abandoning their umbrellas.

I had plenty of time to look when the bus didn't turn up. Like I say, I want my money back. They will of course have a get out clause like all businesses do when they cock up and don't want to pay.

They Run and Hide Their Heads

So the transport system now closes down due to:
  1. Snow
  2. Ice
  3. Sun
  4. Fog
  5. Leaves
  6. Wind

and now


Why not design a transport system that can't cope with 'mild with a few showers' and 'drizzle but brightening up in some areas later'? and we could all stay at home all the time and download our personalities onto the internet like we're supposed to be doing 'in the future'.

Why are the British surprised by weather? Actually they're not. The transport companies can simply make more money by not bothering to run when the the weather is 'extreme' or 'freak'. Thing is that the weather is 'extreme' or 'freak' once every couple of months. I had to abandon the bus to walk today. I want my money back.

Mind you. we could also blame the people who design the roads and railways and the people who won't walk anywhere.

Junior Showtime

No, not Junior Showtime, let's not go there; but let's go straight to Junior Hookah.

That's right, Junior Hookah. You can buy these at our local shop. It's OK though, they're nothing to do with underage sex. No, silly; its OK, they're merely smoking devices. One has to presume they're for kids though maybe its just a size thing.

And please note the possibly not entirely correct uses of the semi-colon. I read the book by that Truss woman. It amused me at first then I got bored.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More fun from those marketing wasters - with sex!

Yup, it's more matey stuff from the back of the 'Fitnesse' packet. This time its 'Fit-tips'

“We all know the importance of eating healthily and getting enough exercise [no, I don’t, please explain, I’ve never heard of this concept] but neither should have to be a chore. Instead of getting stuck in a boring gym groove [I can get you out of that with a tyre lever] try some alternative forms of exercise and put a bit of fun back into fitness [anyone remember doctor Blakoe?*]

Oh, stop stop now….it goes on to suggest dog walking (with a borrowed dog if necessary), using stairs and joining a Salsa class (it says with friends but possibly means with one of those big bags of Dorritos that rips down the side so you have to eat them all or throw some away).

There’s also a piece on not being a ‘slave to the scales’. It really wasn’t worth the effort of typing it out in the end.

Remember though kids ‘Eat fab, be delicious’. This is a registered trade mark! I really am not making this up! Ha Ha! I hope the manufacturers of Fabs sue them too...

*Note: based upon two potency-enhancing thermo-electro couples that are inset in a polymer, which is then fitted snugly over the penis and testicles. The very latest model is light, comfortable and will last you a lifetime.

Explanatory note: There was a time when having sex was promoted as good for keeping fit, ‘healthy and normal’ etc. They don’t say that so much now we’re all paedophiles and sexual harassers and everyone's got that STD with no symptoms - a disease with no symptoms and they're complaining! I'll swap you for mine anyday...

And finally - did they really say 'getting stuck in a boring gym groove'? Yes they did! They might as well turn up at your house ring the doorbell and hold up a big plaque saying 'I am a total wanker and it's OK to hate me!'

The stupid and the future

I happened upon a website called ‘’ the other day. They had a story about the new Olympic Swastika logo thing and it was quite funny. However, it says on every page “The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious”.

I expect someone requires them to do this. Why is there so much mollycoddling of stupid people? All my stories are 100% true guaranteed or 10 times your money back and virtual reality sex with Elvis.

Remember virtual reality anyone? By the end of the century (the 20th Century mind), because the rate of progess in IT is so fast and 'accelerating all the time' we would all be slipping on an all over body suit and having sex with Elvis (or whaddever, but you know what I mean).

What happened to the future eh? And why do people still talk about progress? - why is making electrical gadgets too small for a marmoset to use seen as big and clever? - and spending your life 'on-line' too. Go, go away and do something useful!

I know what I want from a job

I've decided I know what I want from a job. It's not to be made incandescent with rage all the time. I don't want to deal with idiots and I don't want to do things I'm not paid to do or clear up other people's mess (the ones that are paid much more than I am) or watch other people getting away with stuff I wouldn't do or wouldn't get away with. I don't want to watch other people doing 'the wrong thing', particularly putting up with stuff that is 'just wrong' without telling idiots where to get off.

I have never ever had a job like this of course. I'd work for myself but my boss would be such a miserable twat I'd get fed up.

And why are jobs that pay £12,000 a year so much more difficult and responsible than managerial jobs at at least twice as much? I had one of those jobs for a short while. I went to meetings and let other people do the work. I felt like a fraud.

My final point is that most of the world of work appears to be some vast job creation scheme to give middle class types the illusion that they do useful work when they just talk and go to meetings getting paid for driving cars and sitting on trains and writing down good intentions.

The people that do actual work get treated like idiots, get paid bugger all and generally have to try to keep more senior people from cocking everything up. Here's to the revolution!

Fraud monitoring is on

I did some shopping in Tescos the other day. I put a few things I needed in a basket and headed for the till. Just before I reached the till a member of staff slipped a couple of extra items in my basket without telling me (obviously) and without me noticing. The bill was a few quid more than I expected. I had to tell them to take the extra items out, explain I didn’t know anything about them, that I didn’t want them, that I wasn't paying for them and get them to add up the bill again. Most people just sighed and paid up - or didn't notice at all.

Of course, this didn’t actually happen. If members of staff at Tesco’s actually did this people would be absolutely livid and garrotte them with coat hangers.

My question is – why do firms who do this on-line get away with doing this? I bought anti-virus software for £40, put in all my details, got to ‘the checkout’ and they’d added some wanky re-install for 6 months thing I hadn’t asked for. Had they nicely suggested it was a good thing I might even have considered buying it. Now I hate Norton and would like to burn down their offices.

At work I order stationery and they add a couple of quid to insure the sodding envelopes for whatever misfortune may befall them between their warehouse and Leeds – without asking, without telling and with an unspoken arrogance that says’ you’d be such a fool not to buy this we’ve put it on your bill anyway in case you were going to forget'. The only thing you can do is take it out of the basket and then complain hoping that it’s a company with less contempt for their customers than they appear to have (some hope).

Let’s not even get started on those ink buying reminders that tell you your computer will be ‘damaged’ if you pay £20 for a cartridge that they charge £45 for (and is worth about £2 at most). No, really, don't get me started.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Your 'avin' a larf aintcha?

It seems that BAE Systems are setting up an ‘Ethics Committee’ to assess how they conduct their arms deals.

Similarly the International Torturers Association are looking into using greener electricity to apply to the genitals of their victims.

Meanwhile the Paedophile Promotion Trust of the UK will be running a second hand school uniform sale and hoop-la, all profits to the NSPCC.

...and the Cannibal Club will be demonstrating the art of bottling plums for the WI in Harrogate (hey, this is like the pissed off ironic post modern Two Ronnies!)

I know that as individuals and as a nation we’re mainly against paedophiles. I’m against torturers but I guess as a nation we’re not. Remember the H Blocks anyone? - and those ‘interrogation centres’ (or ‘centers’ I suppose, I’d have to check the sign, or Czech the sign?)

Similarly I think arms dealers are a bad thing. The workers in the arms industry would be much better employed sat at home watching daytime TV and drinking tea. But one man’s death is another’s profit so the ‘Labour’ government (a “Labour Government” as Neil Kinnock once nearly said) supports them. As a nation it seems we think they're kind of OK. Not squandering resources on the means of death is considered naïve apparently. Go figure as the Americans say…

The fact still remains that you couldn't make it up - arms dealers set up ethics committee indeed, it's all a bit pointless taking the piss really isn't it?

More Shows

Did the Gang Show really used to be on telly? You probably don’t even know to what I am referring do you? The Scouts? Ah well, never mind. I have no idea what was in it I'd like to add. All very unsavoury I'll wager.

I am absolutely sure that the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Horse of the Year Show and Crufts have been on prime time proper telly though. Best not to have one. You can get your lottery results on line. My mate Stan nearly lost a finger in Edinburgh you know, dismantling a field gun or something. Dunno if they get disability pensions for losing a finger to entertain royalty.

100 Years Blog

No, but over 100 pages - I copied my blog so far into Word - 104 pages! I could send it to everyone for Christmas. Hurrah!

This reminds me of the trailer I saw being towed by a tractor today - 'Equine Waste Managment' - a truck load of horse shit. For Christmas.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More from Our Friends in Marketing

If anyone needed further proof of the utter waste that is the advertising industry then I give you the following from the back of a packet of cereal....It’s just like having a real mate talking to you (from out of the back of a cereal packet). No, honestly...

In my world of course, cereal is something you eat for breakfast. It does not have a ‘personality’. In any half rational view of the world breakfast cereal simply does not have a personality - got that? - and it can be eaten by anyone who buys it.

There’s a long stretch of quote coming up here. If this doesn’t make you want to shoot yourself, or more likely the poor deluded sap who wrote it (and got paid to do it I assume) then go away and never come back, you will never ever have anything at all in common with me, ever.

This is from a packet of ‘Fitnesse’ which I suspect does, in the eyes of its producers, have a ‘personality’. Bet your life it’ll have been focus-grouped until it squeaked and demographic-ed to a crisp (or delicious virtually fat free cereal anyway).

“So, you bend the rules a bit from time to time. Who’s really going to know that you didn’t have one chocolate biscuit during the meeting, you had three? Or that you bought those take-me-now shoes a week before pay day? And who cares if what you do will never be understood by men: like going to IKEA for a bread bin and coming back with three bags of tealights, two duvet sets and a sofa – or writing up a to-do list of things you have already done, just for the pleasure of crossing them off”.

“It’s your life – live it your way. We say three cheers for spontaneity, self indulgence & self expression. It just feels so good!”

There you go! Self expression through sofa buying! And hey, I spontaneously visited IKEA and bought five bags of tealights to indulge myself. They just know me so well. Us girls together! This is definitely the cereal for me.

But wait, there’s more….

“The Women’s Code of Honour: Always letting your best friend have first try of that last little black dress that’s on sale…Never keeping secret addresses – such as the best hairdresser in town – to yourself…Always coming to the rescue in a man emergency with a glass of wine, DVD and box of tissues…Never being afraid to receive a compliment from your friends on how good you’re looking – or give one right back…”

Hey, right back at you Fitnesse you big old sisterly box of cereal you. Last time I had a man emergency it was the nose to nose with the driving nutter, though, hey, I have to admit to keeping the address of my hairdresser secret when I'm letting me mates try on that pair of jeans in Matalan....oh sorry, it was 'the best hairdresser in town' wasn't it! You know, the one with only one customer...

It’s those ‘girls about town’ again isn’t it – you know, the ones who ordered £4 salads in McDonalds a while back. Personally, I don’t want to be mates with Nestle or breakfast cereal and my feet hurt through curling.

And…there is, would you believe, more of this stuff! It’s worth typing out – but only just so more later…

PS what is a tealight for foxxsakes? - and are 'take me now' shoes the same as 'fuck me' shoes?


I re-read some of my blog recently. Rather a lot of swearing in it. I will try to cut down. It may be big and clever but I find it cheapening. On the other hand bollocks to 'em all.

So this entry has some interest, the local cats are conducting commando raids on each other and the crows are banding together. Man next door says there was a bird of prey two feet tall in his garden. I had to tell him that Klingons are much taller...

A what? Really?

The other week, for the first time ever in my whole life, I saw someone actually use one of those old fashioned weighing machines at the swimming baths – 20p to find out how much you weigh! I thought they were strange antiques that no-one could be bothered to do away with. I thought only women and strange bodybuilding types weighed themselves (and then at home) but it seems I was wrong – though, actually, the man who used it looked like he might ‘work out’ so perhaps so shouldn't have been so surprised. Never thought I’d see it though and come to think 0f it I can't think of a time when anyone would...

Even stranger, the following week I saw another man spend 20p to weigh himself on the same machine – then he stepped off, put another 20p in and let his daughter weigh herself! Not content to be mad as a train set he didn’t even try to put her on while he was on to avoid paying twice.

If only it was a ‘speak you weight’ machine I could have been transported back in time – assuming they ever existed of course. Time and its perception is a strange thing….I remember the ‘winter of discontent’ even though I was only little – It simply didn’t happen where I was but all the documentaries talk about it as fact. Fact in a part of London maybe but fact across the country? No. You’re being lied to.

Jihad anyone?

I went to the local shop for milk for work. 89p. I had a £10 note. The bloke serving was shelf stacking or something so I had a few seconds at the counter. I noticed a group of around 6 charity boxes clustered together just next to the till. This being Harehills the charities were various Muslim foundations and education whatnots. I found myself wondering whether anyone put any money in them and if they did how they chose which charity.

Being a white liberal type I began an argument with myself – of course these are legitimate charities, how dare it even cross your mind that they’re probably funding some fruitcake fundamentalist sexually knotted sad acts in rural Pakistan? Before I knew it the man was back behind the counter and took my £10 note. I asked for a receipt. He handed it to me with my change…."9 11 sir" he said handing me my change…an icy wind swept round my neck….

Just in case I need to explain, the milk was 89p and I paid with a £10 note. So, that’d be £9.11 in change then. How could it even have crossed my mind that he was referring to anything else. Or was he the angel of terrorist death come to warn the infidel bloke buying milk?

This has just reminded me. When I was in Greenhouse (the fine indie rock outfit beloved of Peel etc.) we played a gig in a pub in Beeston supported by a band of Asian lads calling themselves ‘Jihad’. These days their feet wouldn’t touch presumably. Rum old world eh?

Getting a Job - Or not getting close

Like any sensible person I don’t want a job. But I am half looking for one like you do. I had an email from an agency inviting me to upload my latest CV - That would mean writing one so that isn’t going to happen. The e-mail came from someone who is a ‘Candidate Resourcer’.

Can you imagine the self-loathing that would be produced in any half sentient being by having to deal with a 'Candidate Resourcer'?

This kind of thing depresses me more than you can imagine. Is this the world our children will inherit?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Walking to Dundee...

When I did leave the house I tried to cash in a scratchcard at the Co-op. They can’t open the till until somebody buys something. I was in a queue of people clutching scratchcards they couldn’t cash in. There was a carpet shop (I still use the word ‘shop’ though ‘store’ seems compulsory these days) selling ‘useful rugs £1’. They didn’t say how much it was for a useless rug – 50p I guess.

There were the remains of a dead and very decayed rat in the middle of the footpath. One of those fancy coloured paving stones the Council were ripped off on a few years back filled my shoe with water and at work they can’t pay me the money they owe me, the computer insists on spelling everything the American way and the IT people are improving systems by making them not work any more.

Perhaps its just the rain.

Thinking of Driving to Dundee - Seriously

I often say I live in a hole. I really do. I’ve spent weeks in melancholy peevishness and not left the house. (This is not literally true of course…)

…its strange that as far as freedom of speech and what you are allowed to see or hear goes I always thought there should be no limits – and now I’m not so sure.

My mate Andrew was a photographer in Belfast at the height of ‘the troubles’. He had a book full of images of corpses that until a bomb went off had been people. I wish he hadn’t let me see it. I wish I hadn’t seen the pictures of small dead children in the Lebannon and I wished I hadn’t overheard someone talking about some of the stuff going on in the Congo. I'm not even going to tell you what I heard because it haunted me for days. Makes ordinary rape and murder sound like a picnic.

I’m really pleased that when a ‘bandmate’ had one of those ‘westerner beheaded by Muslim radicals’ videos the rest of us said ‘no thanks’. Sometimes you don’t need to see stuff or hear the details – so long as you know what’s going on. It all shows how close to total depravity the human race is.

I think it’s called Liberal guilt and some people sneer at it. That’s one of the reasons I never really went for extreme left wing groups – they all have that cold hardness that makes them much closer to Nazis than they’d possibly like to think. Maybe they don’t care. Whatever…..They seem to use the word ‘Liberal’ as an insult in the USA sometimes. Mind you, they’re fighting for democracy and freedom for us all – or was it torturing and killing civilians for oil? Can’t remember which. Does anyone remember the days when they even admitted that our Osama had no connections with Iraq?

See, this is what happens when you don’t leave the house…the worst of the world seeps in through the walls.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It’s not often that your uncle John recommends music. The Shins new album is, however, a veritable box of delights - and popular in the US too apparently which is strange really...

An office that deals with post you might think...

Made a bit of a mistake today. Call me a naïve crazy fool if you like. I must just be out of touch – I carried a parcel to the post office and attempted to post it. Mad eh? I thought that even these days they might be able to handle that sort of thing. Obviously I was mistaken.

Thing is ‘Standard Parcels’ go up to 11kg. This one weighed 17kg. This means that though I can carry it ¼ of a mile to the post office the poor lamb who collects it won’t be able to carry it 10ft from the post office counter to his van. You’re supposed to ring them and they collect it. Do they turn up exactly when you want do you think or would I have to wait in all day? Any chance that it could all go wrong? Do I take a day off work so I can post a parcel I could walk down to the post office? I’VE BROUGHT IT IN TO THE POST OFFICE - JUST TAKE THE FUCKING PARCEL YOU MORONS.

Anyway, I explained briefly what I thought and the bloke took it off me and promised he’d try to persuade the pick-up driver to take it….then he told me the address was wrong. I told him his database was wrong. I’ve used the post office database before – it’s shit. In fact the Big Lottery Fund (who I used to work for) decided to trust the post office database rather than its staff as they kept adding (correct) addresses that weren’t on the database. In the end we had to use incorrect addresses that were in the database and hope that the neighbours would re-direct. Always nice to do a job right and be told by your employer that you’re not allowed to do that and they want it fucking up.

I did check the address with the company website and funnily enough they know their own address. It’s the same address they had last time I sent them a parcel – no, not Blue Sky Publications post office datashite idiots.

What a fucking shambles. I hate these people.

PS – that figure I was talking about earlier was just short of £10K. See you in court dudes.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Not April 1st then?

It wasn’t was it? The story that they’re spying on people in city centres via CCTV and then shouting at them to pick up their litter or stop their ‘anti-social behaviour’ – also via the CCTV. It really wasn’t on April 1st was it? Please tell me it’s a wind up.

Big rant coming!....maybe not as clearly argued as it could be because I’m apocalyptic with rage! (yes, I did say apocalyptic – it’s a joke, moron)

Amusing as it will be to see someone being shouted at for not binning an apple core, has anyone really thought this through? Do people really not mind being watched and told off by little Hitlers on the minimum wage for tiny social transgressions? People objecting to this will be criticised for being paranoid but didn’t millions of people die so we didn’t have to be spied on by the government and reported to ‘the authorities’ for petty ‘offences’? If I was to ask ‘how long will it be before you get hauled in for saying the wrong thing in the street’? you might think I was overreacting.

Thing is that no-one comes along and says ‘freedom will be abolished tomorrow’ so you can get angry about it – and the next group that get scape-goated won’t necessarily be those who have been used as an excuse before. It’ll start with an easy target. Maybe not even ‘hoodies’ or young hooligans. It’ll start with people you don’t like so you won’t care. Everyone can agree that racism is a bad thing for example so people will be prosecuted for making racist comments to a mate. Or for swearing too much. Or being sexist. Or Islamaphobic - or for dropping litter. It’ll ‘serve ‘em right’ you’ll say. Until the day that a minority Tory government needs the help of a few BNP MPs to hang onto power and a crack-down on 'anti-social elements' is ordered….or the owners of the precinct tell you that you can’t walk on their expensive bit of pavement unless you buy something because its only fair; or because there’s been a terrorist atrocity and all swarthy looking young men are rounded up or….

The thing is it doesn’t matter who is being targeted (just hope it isn’t you! – but you won’t know it is until its too late) The point is that once the structure of the totalitarian state is in place it only needs a government under pressure of one sort or another (crime, recession, strike, war on terror, whatever) and suddenly BANG! It’s all gone.

Do you want to be constantly watched and listened to? Do you want to be fingerprinted and scanned and barcoded and have your life tracked by the government? Do you want to have to prove you’re not a ‘criminal’ every day, do you want to have to prove you’re ‘entitled’ to those ‘public services’ they keep going on about? Well, you cunts have already voted for this – it’s the ID card and its coming your way NOW not in some book you did at school once with pigs in.

In Soviet Russia they didn’t have political prisoners. Some people were ‘anti-social’ or ‘mentally disturbed’ because they didn’t believe in what the Party told them to.
In Nazi Germany they were only looking after the interests of ‘real’ Germans. Funnily enough, ‘anti-social elements’ were blamed for anything that went wrong.
In modern Western democracies people don’t get put into secret prisons without trail and of course we don’t torture anyone. People will only be watched for legitimate reasons like protecting us from the marauding bands of paedophiles or terrorists that kill hundreds of us every day (unlike car drivers say).

And freedom is safe.

Well, it’s not. Thin end of wedge…country going to dogs…too late before you know it etc. etc. Yes I know what this sounds like…

I am not paranoid but I will be a citizen and not a subject. I will not register for an ID card and I will not be fingerprinted and iris scanned and turned into a criminal (though of course, I will. It'll be just that the laws will be criminal!). I’ve drawn a line in the sand – so there.

If you read my rant about the twat in the car park you may realise that I’d have rather abandoned the car and set fire to it than paid a tenner. Watching people all the time is out of order. Big Brother (or Community Support Big Brother as he is now called) ordering you to bin your apple core is fucking madness. Why is no-one angry about this?

Well, I’m getting tired out by all of this stuff. Line in sand drawn. If you or I end up in jail it’s them not us. Bastards.

A police state that started with 'good intentions' is still a police state. Remember Satanic Ritual Abuse anyone? It can happen here. It does happen here. Say no!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Net Ninnies

Today I was talking to an 'ex-colleague' about 'Net Nannies' - the things organisations have to prevent their staff being subjected to 'the language of the snooker hall'. He'd asked the IT department if they employ some some spotty oik to plough through the e-mails deciding whether it's OK to pass them on or that they must be censored. It turns out that they do!

I have a simple question - how can you be expected to contact the Council without using the word TWAT!?

Gas! Gas! Gas!

“British Gas have the lowest CO2 emissions of any major supplier.” I’m so glad they’re spending my money on telling us all. Presumably the hole in the ground they buy from has cleaner gas than the hole in the ground the others use. Either that or it’s a marketing stunt designed to sell us more gas or to tell us it’s OK to use gas because their gas is cuddly non polluting gas. Or maybe they just want to feel good about themselves or for us to love them.

Either that or they’re bunch of twats!

The only good marketing twat is a DEAD marketing twat. I say gas ‘em all. Since the gas is so clean and friendly it could take ‘em ages to die! Sad.

Friday, March 23, 2007

On the Amazon

For reasons too boring to go into I recently wanted to buy some 'Pen Drives' / 'Memory sticks' / 'whatever silly name they haves'.

Co-incidentally, I got an advert from Amazon. I followed the link. They had some 2 Gigabyte ones at £6.34. I decided to buy three of them. This comes to £19.02 with free postage (I thought).

I was wrong. The postage they wanted was £17.86. Really! I weighed the 'Flash Drive' I already have. It weighed 15 grams. So three would weigh 45 grams. I thought it was a mistake and queried it. I was told that it was OK because they were selling them on behalf of another company (like they make their own books in the cellar?) though they did admit that they set the postal rate. So, instead of charging me the postage at 84p (which would get me double the weight posted) they wanted to steal another £17 from me.

Anyway, I try not to do business with shysters and crooks so I'm not using our Amazonian friends any more. I feel strangely 'empowered', though I'm getting sick of being wound up by these kind of people. I'm quite relaxed when not being wankered by badgers (or is it badgered by wankers? whatever).

I sent them the message below (no swearing now, that makes them slime onto high horses where they clearly have no right to be. In fact they hardly have a right to be mucking out the high horses. They should in fact be helping the advertising guys eat the high horses pooh - or poo if you prefer, never been sure about the spelling here).

anyway, here's my heroic message for which I'd like some credit please...

Hello. I just made a query about your postal prices. I got an answer quickly so that was quite good. It didn't however explain why you were charging £17.86 for a weight that Royal Mail would send for 84p (3 flash drives that weigh approximately 15g each - small packet rate) This is comically outrageous and I will tell everyone I can about it as quickly as I can, principally via my blog but also in person. Sorry but I don't have 'mug punter' tatoo-ed on my forehead just yet! Yours a quite angry but also amused John Parkes

MY MY MY Passport

Did you know that your passport is supposed to be the 'property' of 'the Crown' or the state or somesuch. Seems they can take it back if they want like it was some special favour being allowed out. Those of us who refuse to sign up for a snoop card (the ID card containing all your microchipped private details which the government 'will never abuse') will no doubt have theirs confiscated.

Well, I say it's my passport and you're not having it! The arrogance of the bastards! I've had this 'privilege' attitude before from some arsehole at Dover years ago who thought he was doing me a big favour letting me off a boat into Dover (of all places).

I think I'm turning into an anarchist Anarchism incidentally is, in my experience, just an excuse posh kids use so as not to have to pay their share of the gas bill - but that's another story. You write a nice letter to their parents and get a cheque by return of post - remember to exaggerate the amount...

Come on then Yerfuckkkurs!

It's about time I broke a proper legal agreement I think. It was signed by myself, my former employer and a solicitor. The solicitor incidentally charged £400 for a 10 minute phone call during which they read out the agreement (which I'd read).

Anyway, I got made redundant last year. I got a redundancy payment the details of (and probably the existence of) I am legally obliged to keep secret. The agreement didn't say who I could tell, if anyone but I'm sure it must have said not to mention the Big Lottery Fund or the fact that they stole money from the pension fund to pay redundancy money to the staff they'd shafted when they centralised operations.

It may not be very exciting to you but LIVE LAW BREAKING HERE ON-LINE NOW is quite exciting.

By the way 'BIG' (as they like to be called) - I'm not giving you the money back because I spent it on guitars! - On whihc I write songs slagging the likes of you off!


Too Late for International Rescue

You may have been wondering what’s been happening on 'the swimming pool front' recently. The answer is ‘not a lot, really’. However, I did go to the ‘International Pool’ in Leeds again recently. With it being convenient for buses and city-centre workers to use in their dinner hour and with swimming being good for the ‘obesity agenda’ or whatever they call it, and with fitness generally being a good thing, and with drowning in muddy ponds a bad thing, what do you think they should do with it?

I know….close the fucker down and build a new one - in Middleton! The office workers can do a brisk 15 minutes walk to the bus stop, wait ten minutes for a bus, spend 40 minutes on the bus to Middleton, go swimming and be back in Leeds in time to go home. Brilliant! Or maybe the new pool will be mainly patronised by the teenage Mums of Middleton? – course it will! No more fat kids in Middleton then. Victory for the Council.

I’d just like to make a quick prediction here – that the financial worries about the new place will start in about 18 months to 2 years time. I’d just like to say ‘I told you so’ here and now. Let’s hope a big slum-of-the-future office block with a really stupid name is built on the site of the International Pool instead. A place where no-one really lives or a place where people do pretend jobs in ‘finance’ or something. There’ll be lots of security though so that’s good.

Go Harehills!

The Leeds minicab drivers’ competition is really hotting up. It’s all been a bit low-key and secretive so far but it’s obviously about to 'break big’. I’m afraid I can’t tell you exactly how it’s organised or how it’s scored but it’s pretty clear that it follows one of two main themes:


1. Breaking as many traffic regulations as possible


2. Breaking as many rules in the Highway Code as possible

I guess you earn points for breaking as many rules / regulations as possible in the shortest possible time. Or perhaps it’s the total over a set period? The Holy Grail would be breaking a huge number in a single manoeuvre. It looks like there’s a weighted scoring system in operation so most drivers are going for a combination of approaches.

Tell you one thing though, the mini-cab drivers of Harehills PISS over the opposition. They are going to WIN, no contest.

Wonder what the prize is?

For whoooom are you sorry!?

Before she dies I thought I'd admit that on occasion I feel sorry for Margaret Thatcher.

I mean, you put in all that effort and end up with two comedy children...

...and I'm thinking of her real children here not the 'New Labour' Millipede brothers and the rest.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Small Victories

Turns out the staff in Sound Control don’t think I’m mad. This cheered me up (see previous) They sounded like they agreed that the parking attendant at the Aireside Shopping Centre shouldn't be allowed to prevent me from leaving the carpark on foot after him and his mate have spied on me, 'warned' me and demanded £10. Too many bad memories to repeat this.

Anyway, after visiting Sound Control I had to walk across the crossing at the notorious ‘steaming through the red light like an arsehole’ junction. There was a women waiting to cross on the same side as me and 4 people on the other side. The lights changed, the cars carried on, the green man came on and 6 people stepped onto the crossing – the arseholes in cars were forced to stop! – Victory! People power, no violence necessary and arseholes who drive like arseholes forced to back down!

Incidentally, these are my favourite phrases to shout at drivers driving across pedestrian crossings when you've got the right of way. They both avoid use of the word 'fucking' or 'cunt'.

They are
  1. 'Am I getting in your way?'
  2. 'Is it the wrong shade of red for you?'

I also recommend walking in the middle of the road when some twat has parked their car in the middle of the footpath. Fair swap I reckon. Bit dangerous but hey, doing the right thing can be!

Toot toot.

Have I said this before?

I might have done this one. But....if you want an excellent definition of a 'deprived' area its anywhere you see an adult riding a kid's bike.

I guess you could make this a more sophisticated 'modelling tool' (in some people's lives this is nothing to do with a hobby shop or knives of any kind by the way). You could add...

  1. Are they standing up?
  2. Do they have a dirty white jacket?
  3. and baseball cap?
  4. Apparently moving as far sideways as forwards?
  5. Are they riding diagonally across a dual carriageway?

Well, I haven't got time to develop the idea but if it's all the above its a very deprived area. Incidentally, what you do with a deprived area is this...

  1. Take out a million pounds in tax and lottery tickets
  2. Give 5% of it to a variety of 'regeneration initiatives' and organisations to spend on having meetings with each other.
  3. Make the residents jump through hoops and fill in forms to get tiny grants they must account for.
  4. Make the representatives of the regeneration initiatives write reports to ensure they're 'accountable to the public'. This must say either a) We've done something useful, honestly; or b) 'Gosh its complicated, its not all that easy to fix' is it?
  5. Continue to redistribute wealth to the rich.
  6. Wring hands and / or crack down on the poor scum you've just shafted once again.
  7. Remember to make the poor people account for that £5,000!

Something Informative to Try

Here's an idea....

  1. Buy a MacDonald’s
  2. Take it home
  3. Put it on a plate
Ridiculous isn’t it?

Just looks wrong. Doesn’t even pretend to look like food.

...and wasn't their advertising from a few months back fantastic? - all those happening chicks chatting cappuccino salad. I went in and asked after them as is my wont. Enough said...

'Stealth Taxes' A History

Na then....

Long ago the Tories (as well as dealing with Apartheid, housing foreign powers' WMD, using the police as their private army, putting everyone on the dole for a crackpot economic theory and the rest) decided that 'indirect taxes' like VAT were 'a good thing' because we had 'the choice' whether we paid them or not. This of course only worked for people who could choose whether or not to spend their money (i.e. those with a lot of it); the rest of us just paid more tax to give to rich people as an incentive to 'invest' (in the Cayman Islands). Indirect taxes are 'regressive' i.e. they distribute money from the poor to the rich (New Labour didn't invent it you know). That's why they liked them.

This was in the days of course when there were politicians (even parties) who seemed to disagree with shafting the poor and even mentioned 'equality' once in a while (it's still in the dictionary, just don't look in the New Labour dictionary). Anyway, what I want to know is when did the indirect taxes they love become 'stealth taxes' and something that was 'bad'. Funny bunch politicians really aren't they?

Sorry, it's more of a history question really isn't it?

More Buses

Having accused 'Firstbus' of racking up fares by 10% a year, someone at work reminded me that it was less than 2 years ago when the fare into town was 80p. It's now £1.40 (hey, could be £1.50!) What's that then, about 45% a year worth of fare 'changes'? It's now loads cheaper to drive 2 (never mind more) people into town than it is to go on the bus.

Why do the government talk about 'green issues' when their transport policy is very clear - 'Buy a car, stand in traffic' It is their fault because they didn't do anything to reverse the 'free market' (i.e. private monopoly) in buses when the bus companies were going to be racing each other into town cutting fares all the while with that lovely Tory logic that we'e all now supposed to believe in.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

First Bus

I think I've worked out the fare increases (or 'changes' as they like to call them) that First Bus use. They put the fares up on ordinary tickets by about 10% every 18 months. They also put up the cost of passes and pay in advance fares about 10% every 18 months but not , of course, at the same time. So, in a couple of weeks the 'First Seven' ticket goes up to £14. It was £10 in 2003 if I remember rightly. That's 40% in 4 years. Remind me what inflation was over the same period? Oh 2 and a bit percent eh?

Either they're providing us with a service thats worth half as much again as it was less than 4 years ago or they're a bunch of rip-off bandits. Not only that, but the head of First Bus is an anti-gay campaigner and one of those business types that New Labour want to 'influence the curriculum' in 'city academies.

Sometimes I really hope there is a Hell.

The Green Man

No, not a pub. that traffic light thing....again.

I was in Leeds the other day with a small child who is just learning how to cross the road properly. We crossed the road at pedestrian crossings several times during the course of the afternoon. Not once, thats NOT FUCKING ONCE were there less than two cars driving through the crossing after the green man came on. So, how do you teach that to a small child?

Teach the child that people in cars are cretins I guess and you should put bricks through their windows as part of the 'Respect Agenda'. Why do pedestrians not retaliate. I decided not to use my best Doc Welly foot due to the presence of said small child.

On the way home I watched the cars making illegal left turns off Roundhay Road into Harehills Lane. I was on the bus or I would have tried to stop them. I'd have asked them in a quiet, determined and hopefully malevolent way whether it was the arrows painted on the road, the multiple 'no left turn' signs or the pedestrian crossing with the green man showing that they felt least comfortable ignoring. Then I'd have crushed their car by dropping a house on it.

They really believe in recycling you know

Leeds City Council really believe in waste recycling you know. Why, we've even got a green bin.

They left a leaflet the other day saying that among other items it was OK to use the bin for paper and plastics number 1,2 + 4.

Within a week they put a big sticker on the top of the green bin saying that as far as paper and plastic were concerned it was only OK to put 'newspapers and magazines' and 'plastic bottles' in.

Simple question really - can you put paper and plastics 1,2 + 4 in or not? - Stupid fuckers.

I presume that the Council is relatively free of sleaze and corruption (except for 'HR' of course) if only because they CAN'T GET THEIR STORIES STRAIGHT!

A Word on Net Nannies

I may have mentioned this before but did you know that people who work for Councils never swear. Nor have they ever heard swearing. Either that or they've heard too much.

Whatever, someone chooses a list of words they aren't allowed to read and sets up an email system to block them. Someone who is being paid at your expense chooses a list of rude words that must be blocked. I say someone, I assume its actually a series of meetings. The Profanity Working Group or somesuch. Do they have seperate agenda items for 'cunt' and fuck' - or maybe they need the discussion time for 'stupid arseholes wasting their lives and our money on shite wastes of time - and money'?

Still, Council employees can spend hours helping you work out which rude words will get through. Scunthorpe anyone? (Hint, there's a 'cunt' in it!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

You were caught on camera leaving the car-park...

Hey, I admit it. I did a very bad thing the other day - I left a car park. I was seen by a man with a camera who is employed, presumably, to watch for people erm, leaving the car park – which is just not allowed!

The Aireside ‘shopping centre’ in Leeds is having a crackdown. The deal is that you get free parking for an hour if you use the shops in the centre. Well, strangely I don’t have a particular problem with that. However, should you wish to combine a visit to the shops with the act of ‘leaving the car park’ then you’re in trouble. £10 to pay if you 'leave the car park'. So….if you have a look in Sound Control and they don’t have what you want and you decide to nip off to the bank, or if you decide to buy a £2,000 suite from MFI and need to nip to the building society to sort out the money or if you decide just to have a quick walk round then no way!

The man with the camera takes your registration number. If he sees you 'leave the car park' he calls the man at the barrier and the man at the barrier won’t let you out of the car park until you pay £10. They’re giving final warnings at the moment, keeping registration numbers on file. They’ll certainly be watching me if I go back.

Here’s my plan – this is a serious one not involving flame throwers or undue violence of any kind. I’m going to walk out of the car park. Then I’m going to come back in and buy something from Sound Control. That way I’ll have fulfilled my side of the bargain in that I’ll have used the shops in exchange for free parking. So, if they want to charge me £10 it’ll be purely for ‘leaving the car park’. I shall wave my receipt at Corporal Snicklegruber in the booth. If he doesn’t let me out then I really do turn into Michael Douglas in ‘Falling Down’ and the flamethrower comes out.

Sad fact is that men with security cameras who watch you and then tell you where you can and can’t go isn’t a surprising thing ‘these days’. Too many people will not be outraged but just go ‘ho-hum, yeah, that’s what it’s like these days.’ So, human rights, freedom of movement or ‘revenue protection’. Do I need to tell you which way modern society has chosen?

I’m reading Winston Churchill’s History of the Second World War at the moment. The man is currently revolving in his grave. He was Prime Minister you know. Involved in a big war for a concept called 'freedom', a world where you wouldn't be pushed around by idiots for no good reason, where you wouldn't be watched 24 hours a day. No-one gives a toss about it now of course, all quaintly old fashioned when there's moisturiser to buy (though not in the Airside shopping centre, one of its few advantages). "Never in the car park of human bureaucratic pettiness were so many pissed off so much by so few" - if only they were pissed off! Maybe that's unduly pessimistic, maybe a riot is brewing and the camera will be torn up and shoved up the arse of the person whose great idea this is.

Thing is that I'm going to be abandoning the car at the barrier and people are going to get pissed off with ME! I'm incoherent with rage and it hasn't happened yet!

Shopping List

Shoe polish, a pant whirler and bird fat...

Very occasionally I enjoy a shopping list (so long as it only involves visiting a maximum of 2 shops)

I also bought a copy of the ‘Christmas Books’ by Charles Dickens for £1.99. So I guess there is another side of the Chinese tat story….hate to admit it though.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crazy Pants Day

I was sworn to secrecy but I'm afraid I'm going to let 'the cat' out of 'the bag' early.

You see, for a small part of the world, tomorrow is 'Crazy Pants Day'! One has to wear (over one's normal clothes) one's 'favourite or most interesting pants'.

I'll be getting my current (and particularly ex) colleagues to do this.

The world, one feels, should do this kind of thing more often and perhaps lay off bribing Arabs to buy guns.