News, views, moans, comments and music stuff from singer / songwriter John Parkes.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
A 2 Pin Affair
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 www.myspace.com/johnparkesmusic
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 (www.johnparkes.com - 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
Our tools in practice?
Key market opportunities
Accredited Learning Options
Gaps analysis and key priorities
Key products carousel workshop
Open Business Model planning
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
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
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
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"
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?
"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
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
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
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
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.
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!
“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 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 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
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?
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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.
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
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...
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
…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.