Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Boxed set

That old Dad rock nostalgia thing is a real problem. I complain about 'old rock' and in theory I'm against the whole 'boxed set' thing - but who finally bought the Beatles re-masters? Yup, bloody me, that's right. My excuses - you'll know them I guess - and it wasn't expensive (see, I wasn't going to spell out my excuses and now here I am with an excuse)

Problem is that as ever 99% is shit (as the man said) - somebody help me to todays 1% before I go mad.

If you don't at this rate i'll be checking out Genesis...(OK, OK, don't worry, I'm not that far gone yet)

Five Years - That's all we got

Blimey! I just realised I've been writing a blog for nearly 5 years. None of the publishing companies that have offered me 6-figure sums to publish it on paper mentioned that to me.

Five years left to cry in.

I may have made a bit of that up...

Nostalgia - for a world yet to come

I bought a monthly music mag this week – Uncut as it happens. There’s usually a lot of ‘classic’ Dad rock in most of the monthies (it seems to me as an 'irregular' reader) and I’m as up for articles on Neil Young and John Lennon as anyone else – and yup, I’ll go for the stuff on Talking Heads and Dylan and the rest (not so bothered about Eric Clapton though...) too. However, what surprised me was looking at the adverts for gigs in the back. Who are all the thrusting young whipper snappers on tour this Autumn?’s a sample...

Wilko Johnson, Barclay James Harvest, John Cooper Clarke, Mudhoney, the Human League, Eric Clapton, Paul Weller, Van Morrison, the Waterboys, Nils Lofgren, Tom Paxton, Edwyn Collins, Lloyd Cole, The Wedding Present, the Selector, the Psychedelic Furs, Ian Hunter, the Bluetones, the Stranglers, Skunk Anansie, Marc Almond, Cast, Echo & the Bunnymen, Squeeze, Madness, James, The Pogues, The Charlatans, Primal Scream and Suede.

It’s not that all of these are rubbish – some are great. But can it really be that rock music (and ‘proper’ pop music come to that) is now almost exclusively played by and for the over 40s? Is it really dead on it's arse? Is there really no point in being in a badn trying to do something slightly new?

Maybe I'm just reading the wrong magazines but if one thing rock and roll isn't about it's nostalgia.

I'm depressed now...

Sandwich Bored

I note from my lunch this week that the Co-op was awarded the “Sandwich convenience retailer of the year” award from the British Sandwich Association. A quick question, what is a sandwich convenience? Is it bread that soaks up piss?

Anyway, there’s a ‘sandwich designer of the year’ award too - and a “Cheese Cellar Leerdammer Lightlife Cheese Sandwich Designer of the Year” Very much like getting a Nobel prize I imagine...

So there you go...and you thought you were wasting your life on the dole...Actually, I wonder what would happen if you told the dole off ice you were a sandwich designer?

I just had a look and downloaded an entry form for the sandwich awards – these are the categories:
- English Provender Ploughmans Plum Chutney Sandwich
- The Cheese Cellar Leerdammer Lightlife Sandwich
- Moy Park Corned Beef Sandwich
- Bernard Matthews Turkey Sandwich

Please note – I am not making this up...Perhaps these are winners and not categories? Could one invent a new version of these?

Mind you, the marketing industry is totally barking and out of control as you'll have noticed so who knows...

Baader news

Who’d have thought the Baader Meinhof group (no, they’re not a band...) would be in the news again? Seems that a member of said group Verena Becker is being tried for murder after new DNA evidence emerged connecting her with the killing of 3 people in 1977 (it says 'ere...)

This in interesting to me as the Whole Sky Monitor song ‘Drone (Revolution)' from the new album makes a couple of references to members of the group (specifically Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin). Erm, that’s it really. Best to read up on them if you have some time. It all looks a bit mad and un-heroic from here – despite Joe Strummer wearing the t-shirt...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DON'T READ THIS!!! - Distraction Devastates

When driving one should always concentrate on the road - right? Right. No watching people or adverts or whatever no matter how eye catching eh? So you'd think road safety people would be against distractions such as billboards wouldn't you? - Distraction can be dangerous.

So imagine the irony of a massive distracting poster BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING that says 'Oi, eyes on the road, what's so important?' and 'Concentrate on the Road' (though they seem to have missed out the word 'on'...) I saw this on Roundhay Road in Leeds - my mouth hit the floor and I nearly hit the car in front...

So what tossing numpty sort of organisation would try to get away with such a moronic no sense of irony or responsibility wheeze? It seems to be something calling itself the 'West Yorkshire Safer Roads Group' - presumably making the roads safer by getting everyone driving onto the pavements in disbelief.

What hope is there when a whole process of design and discussion and whatever is gone through (presumably) for someone to let through such a transparently and massively stupid and counter-productive advert? It's like jumping in front of someone dresed as a clown on a goat screaming 'DON'T LOOK AT ME, I MIGHT PUT YOU OFF!!!

At no stage (presumably) did anybody say 'no, come on, this is mad, people will assume we're taking the piss, let's not waste money on making laughing stocks of ourselves'

I was hoping to tell them what tossing numpties they were directly but I can't find much on-line about them - I bet they're a consortium or 'partnership' of some kind and I bet local government is involved. Blimey though guvnor!


Add McAfee to Firstbus as a company which deserves to die - I downloaded Firefox t'other day and I wasn't watching - so I ended up with this tossing McAfee bloody virus that gets in your computer and you can't get rid of. Actually, you can get rid of it but you have to work out how. Forcing your software involuntarily onto someone's computer should be illegal - either that or it's OK for me to find the head of McAfee and force my cock in his ear. How dare they bloody invade my computer! I should point out that this isn't the first time this has happened either.

I bet they say it's voluntary because if I'd read everything I could have read I could have worked out a way to say no - not bloody good enough. So...I will never buy a McAfee product and I will advise everyone I know not to buy a McAfee product and if anyone suggests burning their offices to the ground I'll buy the petrol! - Hey this is the sort of stuff that supposed to go on blogs - real hate!

Calm down dear

Well darn it - that stone ear is actuaLly from a mould - not a mold (I used to go to school with a Tony Mold) - BUT IT'S STILL DEAD COOL!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Anna Parker's stone ear

Well! Someone in my house got a present today - what? I hear you ask -


The Sunday Telegraph probably have a section in their magazine for people with more money than sense on 'original Christmas gifts' round about this time of year - all made in crofts in the Hebrides by Southerners who got tired of 'the rat race' and making squillions of squid in the city - who moved up there to make sure that the locals had to move out.

But I bet none of them have a 10 year old daughter who's just been given an EAR CARVED OUT OF SOLID STONE.

Anna Parker is the artiste - and before long she'll be up on the scaffolding re- carving the Lincoln Imp. 'Kin BRILLIANT present!

And bizarrely just what was asked for!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tiny children are coming to burgle my house

By visiting Argos (yuk!)I managed to buy a cat flap (the old one just broke into pieces, this isn't some keep up with the Whiskers upgrade)...

The maximum dimension of the new flap is about 16cm and it says that it’s suitable for cats up to 7kg with 162mm shoulder width – All fairly acceptable you'd think - but with this being the mad world it is the box has a sticker on the top explaining ‘WARNING – This product will not prevent unwanted animals or people including small children from passing through the pet door’.

So there you go, if you have access to a tiny kleptomaniac child with shoulders less than 6 ½ inches wide send them round to my house, the cat flap is wide open – though has none of the magnetic collars and whatnot it goes on about in the instructions. They can escape up the balnaced flue.

And on the subject of instructions – I got bought a Black and Decker Workmate. I couldn't work out for bloody ages how to put it together! Diagramatic instructions y'see...


I recently went shopping in town. I don’t do shopping as I’ve previously said. I now find that shops just don’t make any sense to me. For example I went in HMV - which I still see as a ‘record shop’. Thought I’d have a look at some of the CDs I might be buying off ebay. But they don’t have any CDs – or hardly any CDs anyway. It was like a cross between a DVD shop, Dixons and WH Smiths – with a few racks of CDs. Lush sell puddings that smell strongly of soap (or possibly they sell soap that looks like puddings) and Body shop sell soaps that sound like drinks – and puddings. I noticed another place called a ‘lifestyle salon and spa’. Now you can perhaps take a poodle to a salon – but a lifestyle? Supermarkets sell ‘spreads’ and ‘solutions’ but half the stuff in the shop (which they call a ‘store’ of course) - lottery tickets for example - they stop selling at 9pm when the shop is open 24 hours a day (except for the days it’s not of course…) Wilkinson’s in Leeds centre have stopped selling cat flaps – but think their Armley branch still does. Dixons host hundreds of people swarming round having opinions on tiny bubble packs. How does it all work? Why is it so difficult to just get stuff? Like I say, I don’t do shopping. Or store-ing…

Friday, July 16, 2010

The worst bus company in the world?

I set off to meet Ian our UK press person in town this evening. Went for a bus. Stood at a bus stop, watched the satellite tracking count 'em down, the 'out of service' bus cruise past, the bus times come and go and finally spoke to the driver of the bus that did arrive (far too late to get to the meeting - this was an hour later) and told him it wasn't good enough. Wandered off home. Spent the rest of the evening writing a letter to Firstbus. Measured and reasonable I was - like I was to the driver. 1 out of 4 buses (to be fair it could have been 3) is not good enough. What if passengers decide to pay one in three fares?

I wrote to Firtbus and I wrote to Metro. I may pass it on to others for all the good it'll do. I like to think the below proves my measured tone. I urge other bus travellers (if you actually find one to travel on of course) to do the same.

Here's most of the letter to Metro. I'm tired now...

...Please find enclosed copy of a letter I’ve just sent to Firstbus. I’m really fed up with their buses not turning up, the satellite tracking system counting down the minutes to ‘due’ with no bus actually arriving and the fact that they keep putting the fares up by multiples of the rate of inflation – that particular one has been going on for years. And this is not to mention the lateness and ‘going round in threes’ which I concede is probably more to do with traffic etc than the company.

They waste my time, they waste my work’s time, they cost too much and I’m sick of it.

I’d just like to register this with you. My particular complaint is specific to tonight and I have posted it direct to Firstbus but similar things have happened far too often – and there were going to be trams from the bottom of our road starting in 2007 – though that’s a separate issue it adds to the general rubbishness of it all.

If you have anyone who gets to meet the people from Firstbus I’d be grateful if you’d pass this to them.

As I mentioned in my letter to Firstbus, I work as a project manager for a local charity in Leeds. We have staffing, transport and other problems but we keep our service working – why can’t they?

Yours sincerely

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The healthy drink rock and roll people

I got an email t’other day from the nice people at Pepsi Max. It’s another of those competition things. In short you can upload a video of your band where you get your mates to vote for it online. A person called ‘strings’ tells you to ‘rock on’! (I am not making this up!) The prize is apparently ‘legendary’

I even considered doing it. Obviously there are no issues around sugar or caffeine or selling sugary water to those who can’t afford it around the world with Pepsi…

But here is a list of what they say is “unacceptable video content”:

Anything which contains any works (such as musical, artistic or literary works) in which the intellectual property rights are owned by a third party, and which you do not have written permission to use
Any depiction of alcohol consumption
Any depiction of smoking
Anything which could bring the Pepsi Max brand into disrepute
Anything which could cause offence generally or which could be considered discriminatory behaviour in particular in relation to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and disability
Anything which could cause fear or distress
Anything which involves children under 16
Anything which depicts or encourages unsafe practices, such as drink driving and drug taking
Anything which depicts or encourages violence or anti-social behaviour
Anything which portrays or refers to people in an adverse or offensive way
Anything which refers to or portrays members of the public without their permission
Anything which refers to or portrays people with a public profile without their permission
Anything which refers to or portrays members of the royal family
Anything that refers to or promotes religious, political or racial views
Anything that contains or promotes cruelty to animals
Anything which contains nude scenes or sexual interaction

Well crikey Moses!

I spent a few seconds on my response. I did a pitch for the video - or possibly a synopsis for the story. If you saw the full thing you'd be massively offended. Particularly if you're both PC and stupid. So some self censoring went on - I removed a couple of words. It now reads like this...

"The Q***n is a *****r ***g who ****s Cheryl C***'s drug taking ****** one legged ****** with a ******* shouting 'die *** priest die'! And if anyone doesn’t believe it we will demontrate via our **** tatoos that we have their addresses and me and David Cam**** are taking our clothes off and coming round in the unlicensed peado-mobile singing Mull of Kintyre to kill them by poisoning them with disgusting P*psi M*x (the well known child ********* b**** water) in the name of baby **** and ******ism"

Not particularly elegant I grant you, but I think it gets the point across.

But I won’t countenance smoking.

If anyone needs this explaining I’d like to say that I’m in a rock and roll band and we say what the fuck we like - or perhaps we don't...Tell 'strings' that working for an advertising company is neither big nor clever.

Perhaps this competition is not for us...

Single Mom in the Mancunian clutch

Yeah, I know, internet scam thingies are just a tax that criminals put on the terminally stupid but despite some amusement this one annoyed me:

The link said ‘you can get a grant from the British government’ so I was intrigued having been involved in grants. Basically it says to send them an admin fee and collect your ‘check’. The thing that annoyed me is that the ‘blog’ mentions several times that ‘Jane Jones’, the supposed writer is from Leeds. This is annoying because their computer knows I’m in Leeds. It’s a 'blog' complete with comments saying things like

“Hi, single mom here, Took me a bit longer than you said to receive my grant-- 44 days. But in the end it was worth it, I receive $14,300. I cannot explain how much this has bettered my life, especially in these exceedingly tough times. Here is a picture of it!”


“Laid off and living in manchester. Need some income, and this came through in the clutch. This will give me atleast another month of job searching. $3765!”

They have a funny way of talking (and paying for things in dollars) those Mancunians eh?

I suppose one shouldn't really get annoyed.

Self Serving Bastards

I am really sick of either being ripped off or people trying to rip me off.

First up we have those who rip you off and there’s not much you can do – Firstbus, printer ink companies, insurance companies and the like. All of them can just take your money and there’s little you can do about it. Self serving bastards all.

There are also the second lot are those people who help themselves around misfortune. So, for example, our driver at work had a 5mph bump about a year ago. Definitely some damage to the van. Needed a new radiator for one thing, and a couple of panels. We reckoned that at a proper professional rate it’d be about £2,000 to fix it. That’s quite a lot of money – if you won it on a scratch card you’d be happy. The insurance brokers told me quite recently that the claim was now about £15,000 and liable to rise. Everybody piled in – the people who fixed the van helped themselves and it seems everyone had whiplash injuries that weren’t mentioned at the time and no doubt lawyers and insurance people took their cut. Selfish self serving trough snouting ambulance chasing bastards all. Have I already told you about this? Probably...

More recently we took a hire van back to the company we got it from. After 6 months of use it has some minor scraping to the paint on one side – and a tiny dent about ¼ of an inch long. We guess this was pretty much gradual wear coupled with rubbish paint. Fair enough though, there was a bit of a paint scrape and the tiny dent. Bit of touching up and smoothing over perhaps? I’m sure there are clever ways of doing this kind of thing these days. £50? £100? £200 even? The company have 2 quotes for us - £750 or £1,000! Nowt we can do, it’s business, we’ll have signed the blank cheque when we hired the van. More SSBs

This sort of thing genuinely makes me feel ill - even when it's not my money

Oh no - It's Facebook

Is it just me or is Facebook a bit rubbish? I don't mean the concept of it all (let's not go there) but the fact that when you write people a message it all goes wrong and you can't see what your typing and the cursor won't hold if you type more than about 4 lines. Then you go to 'friend requests' or various other pages (oh yes, friends, I do get 'em) and it says 'done' at the bottom left but the page is just blank - so technical glitches is what I mean.

I thought these sites were worth millions and were supposed to work?

There are things in the modern world that work. Just not car clocks, digital gizmos with batteries, oh batteries of course, Satnav, buses and well...there are some things that work in the modern world. Honest

By the way, please please please let me know what you're up to in Farmville (is that what it's called?), I couldn't bear it if you kept it to yourself

And I still can't track down me old mate Gordon Duffy from school!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

More politics

Question - according to the new (ish) government the current economic problems are a result of 'the previous government's mismanagement'. My question is, how much money that New Labour gave away to banks would they not have given to the banks?

I also want to know when we get it back - was it a loan or a gift? And what was the interest rate?

Blimey, sounds like I've been listening to 'Any Questions'

World turned upside down

Tory Home Secretary (or Justice Sec or whatever) accuses the previous 'Labour' government of making up prisons policy with "a chequebook in one hand and the Daily Mail in the other". Did that really happen? He's absolutely right of course (if he did say it).

But how did this happen? Labour are friends of the rich, crack down on the poor, everything in 'the private sector' is brilliant, pay all our taxes to their mates in 'the city' and blah blah blah. If only I could believe that the Tories were somehow more 'on the left'.

But what do us pinko Commie liberal bed wetters do now?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Gibbon Time - WSM are back

No, not Gibbon time, advert time.

Whole Sky Monitor would like you to (pay to) download their new single and watch the video of 'Sold' on youtube.

Buy the single / ep at
(other supplieers are available)


After that 'rock 'n' roll' related telly programme I'm prepared to say that we're very very rock and roll

Hey Dudes, Rock 'n' Roll

Despite lazy (and mostly inaccurate) generalisations like ‘drummers are always a bit crazy’ (illustrated by guess who…yes, Keith Moon of course and erm, not really anybody else) and ‘singers always have massive egos’ and all that sort of tosh I’ve quite enjoyed the bits of the telly programme ‘I’m in a Rock ‘n’ Roll band’ that I’ve seen over the past few weeks. Evan that bloke with the hat (Slash?, or is he Axel, I dunno who cares – metal is fantasy nonsense for 13 year old American boys anyway…) standing in a big field miming in screaming Spinal Tap fashion at least made me laugh.

This week though, I realised that they were having some kind of vote – the kind of competition that asks is pizza ’better’ than roast beef or are cars ‘better’ than helicopters or is green ‘better’ than blue. Pointless comparing of people from different genres of music I mean. Anyway, leaving that aside, I chanced across a bit of the final programme this week - hosted by Jonathan Ross (for fuxxsakes) and a load of people some of whom should know better (come on Mark Radcliffe – I’m sure he at least looked rather embarrassed to be there) were on some sort of panel arguing the case for their favourite – ‘Hendrix is jazz, vote for Page’, that kind of thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing in theory against pointless comparisons – WSM for example argued for hours about which decade of music was ‘best’ (it was clearly the 60s followed by the 70s, and the 80s - with the 90s and 50s in a poor 4th place) and there’s much fun to be had. But there were 2 things that pushed me over the edge and literally made me turn off before I became any more sullied through having to watch any more.

1 – Loyd fucking Grossman came on to go on about how great Keith Moon was – Mr fucking Masterchef pasta sauce ‘who cares who would live in a house like this’ tossing Grossman. I mean fair enough if it had been Liam Gallagher or someone at least a leedle tiny bit rock and roll but no, Loyd Grossman’s agent had bagged the gig. Alan Titchmarsh was clearly busy or his agent wasn’t quick enough on the draw. But that wasn’t the really offensive bit. The really offensive bit was when they introduced a Led Zeppelin TRIBUTE BAND. A TRIBUTE BAND! How more un rock and roll can you get than a tribute band? The answer is NO MORE. Paul McCartney singing about having a cup of English Tea or Mary had a Little Lamb is a million times more rock and roll than any tribute band. Tribute bands are less rock and roll than any crooner, wedding DJ or clown at a kid’s party – at least kiddies entertainers don’t pretend to be rock and roll.

I know it’s not worth getting annoyed about this. Tribute bands surely have their own circle of rock and roll hell where they will be pitied by Chuckles the Clown as he jams with Kurt and Jimi and the rest. Don’t hate them, PITY them. £20 a night each and a couple of beers and they're happy to put their bollocks in a blender and have their sense of shame removed or left to gnaw away in their conscience until death claims them (or they get booked to play at the New Roscoe in Leeds I suppose).

Some bright spark at the BBC with a degree is TOTALLY MISSING THE FUCKING POINT and some PhD in NOT HAVING ANY SENSE OF IRONY clearly decided that a Led Zep TRIBUTE BAND had something to contribute. Probably the same one that got Paul McCartney on to the X-Factor – where our Paul sang 2 great great songs thereby illustrating the crushingly obvious point that not one of the bastards was anything other than a shit karaoke turn with an 18 month career at Butlins and 6 weeks in panto at Skegness as their best shot at contributing to the musical landscape.

This incidentally reminds me of Gareth Gates (or one of the other ones?) singing a version of ‘Light My Fire’ – to be honest another contender in the all time all comers contest for spectacularly missing the point.

It's tiring being angry and even more tiring to check for a high neat phrase count and low bad grammar count so that'll do.

I emailed Mark Radcliffe asking what on earth was he thinking. I signed it 'John from Whole Sky Monitor - an actual rock and roll band' - and I wasn't kidding

I'm off to give Simon Cowell his special award for contribution to whatever it was - the death of irony?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The triumph of Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut once again define the term ‘a waste of time’. This is how it goes:
1. Design and print a glossy ‘Pizza Hut Delivery’ leaflet advertising one of your take away shops
2. Put it through my letter box
3. Make sure that the shop you’re advertising doesn’t actually deliver to this address
4. Do this time after time, year after year
5. Bob is, as they say, you uncle – paper wasted; ink wasted; time wasted for potential customer; time wasted for leaflet delivery person; time wasted for sap at shop who turns down any orders; customer annoyed – ‘good jaarb’!

Gimme a Break

Dunno if you've seen it but there's a kids’ TV programme on the BBC called ‘Gimme a Break’. Kids get to choose what kind of holiday they’d like to go on. The parents then have to go and the kids are 'in charge' (I'm sure you get the picture).

One day last week the kids were offered a ‘beaver safari in Sweden’. They turned it down. The following day they were offered a ‘water sports experience’.

Someone’s having a laugh I think…

The war on the car

Seems the transport bod from the 'coalition' government thinks there's been a 'war' on the car. Surely everyone knows by now that no bastard can afford public transport these days so a car is often the only option.

You want to get one person and a child 3 miles into Leeds on a bus these days - about a fiver. In a car - about £2.50 if you allow for depreciation and all that lot. If you pay for parking it's a bit more - but still cheaper.

We were promised a tram at the end of our road by the end of 2007. Half the time there isn't even a bus.

What happened to lefty politics - the sort that believed in public transport for the good of all. It's fucking depressing...


I visited 'Staples' recently. I'm doing a mailout of the new Whole Sky Monitor single and getting ready for the album (oh yes!) I couldn't easily get envelopes from my usual source so I signed up with Staples as FR Records. All I needed was 2 or 3 boxes of 100 padded envelopes. I had of course forgotten that this might involve having to visit a shopping centre but no matter, this is about Staples.


I was clearly mistaken. The biggest pack of padded envelopes they had was 10. Ten! What kind of business wants to buy 10 envelopes? I even asked. No, the biggest amount was 10 - at 35p per envelope. I ended up buying some off ebay at just under 9p each.

The weird thing is that you do still have to be, at least in theory, a business to buy from Staples. So they sell nothing but individual pens and stuff.

I wonder if I'll be back?


I visited a shopping centre today – on a Saturday! A drive in one, full of shit chain shops, cars and ‘shoppers’. This must be the 4th time I’ve done this in as many years – why will I not learn? It is just so damn depressing. It kind of makes me feel like it must do giving blow jobs to strangers in public toilets to feed a drug habit. Please remind me to just not do this stuff. The world cannot surely be as bad as this?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Not long ago my ex boss was talking about using our meeting room at work as a temporary mortuary! Yes, she was joking but at the time all the people we worked with who worked for the NHS were being taken off their normal jobs to work on the major threat that was swine flu.

We had piles of leaflets, national publicity, '2 people taken ill in Leicester after holiday abroad' headlines and all that stuff. At our work we were going to be asked to volunteer to deliver food to old people when the infrastructure collapsed and all that. And when the 'first wave' turned out to be fuck all they told us that the second wave was going to lay millions low. Millions of doses of vaccine that shortened the symptoms by 24 hours in return for making you really ill were ordered and...oh well, you might remember the rest. All panic, all bollocks, all expensive, all paranoid, all nonsense.

So where the fuck is our apology? Who's been sacked, who's had to pay back the money they wasted?

Trouble is that if there ever is a real emergency I for one will die due to not believing a word of it - but the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MSN top info on inventions

Referring to Nikoli Tesla the MSN homepage today says 'he invented electricity yet died broke'. Further illumination is provided by following the link to more information. Here it says he 'contributed to the birth of electricity'.

Gosh! I wish I'd have invented electricity - or soil, or animals perhaps. But maybe I'd have been happy just to have contributed to the birth in some small way -boiling towels or something. Mind you, would have to have used gas to heat the water I suppose. I wonder who invented gas? Bet he didn't die broke...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I just don't understand! Aaarghhh!

These are quotes from real work email from real people who would be upset and appalled if they knew I was blogging them off. So, no names, no organisations but a couple of direct quotes:

“I hope you will be able to use the review as an important driver and lever to help to make the case for a community and workplace champion approach in your locality”


Someone else was explaining what they are ‘passionate’ about – Football? Food? Injustice? Nope, they announced via email that they’re passionate about...

“community based learning and the dissemination of health and well-being messages to improve local health aspirations and increase positive well-being outcomes”

Go them!

Decent human beings, nice people, good at their jobs - no doubt.

Unfortunately though, thoughtful intelligent people are training themselves to speak like this, or at least write like this. After my current job comes to an end I expect to be able to 'concentrate on my music career' because I just can't play this game.

Hang on...that might be a good thing. Trouble is you can get paid for talking like this.

Oh dear...

Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys’ is a DVD for kids – labelled as approved for family viewing by some American evangelical organisation. It has a picture of chimps on the front (i.e. not monkeys – not a good start). However, I digress...

Now we all know that this, like Christian Rock will be awful. Thing is though that I keep giving this sort of stuff the benefit of the doubt. For example, someone at a previous job had some CDs plugging (‘teaching about’ I suppose they’d call it) the Muslim religion. The weird thing was its massive similarity to similar Christian stuff. Half an ounce of logic makes one react with ‘erm, hang on...’ after almost every sentence. The overall impression is that it’s purely for people of a religious bent who may be looking for an alternative to the irrational mediaeval belief system to the one they currently follow. I’ve also given time to tapes and books all purporting to put the case for religion – they all just spectacularly (and worryingly) defy all logic and end up saying ‘it must be true, it’s in the Bible’ or the equivalent.

The thing about ‘Summer of the Monkeys’, potential creationist claptrap aside, is that it went to the cheriddy shop still in its wrapper. I actually have got to the stage that I have had so much experience of this sort of stuff that I for the first time have not taken the trouble to even let it annoy me by watching it – just its existence and my experience is now sufficient. I know many others have sensibly reached this conclusion much quicker. Actually I think with me it was lack of time. In 5 years I’ll be searching the internet desperate for a copy of ‘Summer of the Monkeys’ so I can watch it and hate it properly.

I suppose the positive is that as soon as you stop listening because you just 'know' your mind is closed. So there. it's because I'm open minded see...

If I could be bothered I'd make the prose above a bit neater by the way. I'm not a natural writer('you don't say' says everyone!, it's kind of speech written down - which isn't always good reading.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

More on the enfolding drama that is cup-a-soup

I just bought some cup a soup – you got a problem with that? Well, actually, fair play if you have, pretty crappy stuff – but that’s not the point.

I was in a little Tescos and the only cheap type they had was some very weird flavour. So I went for the Batchelors – it’s ‘slim a soup’ too which isn’t a good start obviously. Losing weight via the consumption of salty floury gunk doesn't sound ideal to me. Anwyay, the strange thing is that it had the phrase “My boyfriend’s just found my granny-pants-a-soup” printed on the packet. There it was, on the front of the packet in big curly letters like it was all done on purpose and everything. Surealism in action - corporate sales surrealism showing that these people really are out of control. WTF!? Etc.

Further research (i.e. turning the packet round) reveals an invitation to tell them ‘what makes you reach for a cup-a-soup’ and they’ll print the best reasons on the packet (or ‘pack’ as they call it). So there you go, a full explanation. Why it didn't say 'I wanted summat to go with me sandwich, I know they're crap but it's a change once in a while' they didn't explain.

So, someone bought a cup a soup and it seems their boyfriend has found their ‘granny-pants-a-soup’ I'm not even going to start going into what this can possibly be about. Stealing elderly relatives underwear is just not on frankly - and making soup from such items is even worse. And as for talking about it on soup packets...
Presumably the marketing people didn’t feel they needed to add anything to this.

Actually, to be fair, the sheer madness of advertising (sorry, ‘marketing’) has always been a wonder to behold.

But there's more. I had a trawl around the interweb and found the following:


Batchelors, the Premier Foods-owned soup brand, has handed its roster agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy a brief to rename and rebrand its entire Cup-a-Soup range.
The agency, which works on Premier Foods brands including Hovis and Oxo as well as on ad projects for Cup-a-Soup, has renamed the 42 instant soup products to fit with the demographic that each is targeting.

New names developed by MCBD for the range include one for the brand's 99 per cent fat-free minestrone soup, which is aimed at calorie-conscious young women. The soup will now be called: "My boyfriend's just found my granny-pants-a-Soup."
Cup-a-Soup's chicken and mushroom variety will now be called "His new girlfriend is fatter than me-a-Soup" and others include "Still no signs of bingo wings-a-Soup" and "I thought he winked at me but it was a twitch-a-Soup".

So there you go – and you thought your job was a bit pointless eh?

I think it's too late for suggestions but I'm sending in
I thought they wanked at me but it was twats a soup

What can you say though really?

Would you like pointlessness with that?

We all know that thing – you say ‘just a burger please’ in the burger shop and you get asked ‘would you like fries with that and you say “Hey what?! You do fries?! – Yes of course I’ll have fries. I mean, if you’re sure you do them, wow, I never fail to be impressed by the choice you have available and your tip top customer service, in fact I’d like to ‘go large’ too please”.

Mm, well, maybe not. But today I bought a cup of coffee from Greggs. This is the first time I’ve done so and it’s one of the maybe half dozen occasions in the past 10 years that I’ve bought take away coffee. Anyway, I asked for a coffee and they responded by saying ‘would you like breakfast with that?’

If this happens to you I suggest the following possible replies:

Breakfast? Never heard of it, what kind of thing is that?

Damn it, I knew I’d forgotten something; that’s brilliant, thanks for reminding me – breakfast, breakfast, breakfast! YEEESSSS!

Excuse me, but what kind of person decides to buy breakfast on a whim? Surely of all the things you can buy a meal is one of the things that you know in advance that you want, what the toss is wrong with you Mrs Greggs? If this is training you must fight it! I will try to give you the strength - you must join me on a sacred quest.

Or you could just look slightly confused, wonder what on earth they asked that for and say ‘no thank you’.

You can guess which one I did…


It was International Women’s Day earlier this week – I wonder if they have a Domestic Women’s Day where we all get made a nice cup of tea? ‘spect not…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Your store

Both Currys and PC World tell me today (with big signs in the shop) that they're working to 'make your store even better'. I didn't realise I had a 'store' (the modern shit word for shop) at all until today, let alone two. Then when I decide to go in and take some of the stuff home for safe keeping while the building work is going on they get all arsey about it and threaten me with criminal proceedings.

Some people!

The signs of a cold and damp home

And today at work the ‘Hot News’ newsletter arrives courtesy of npower 'Health Through Warmth' – the December edition (with this being 15th February...) It includes a page entitled ‘Do you know the signs of a cold damp home?’

It then tells you how to spot a cold damp home...

Point 1 is ‘The room feels cold’
Point 5 is ‘the house smells damp and musty’
Point 2 is ‘there are no visible sources of heat – e.g. radiators or heaters’ and point 6 is ‘someone is wearing lots of layers, maybe gloves and a scarf indoors’

So there you go – if you go into a house that feels cold and smells damp and a little old lady is wearing scarves and gloves inside – they may be living in a cold damp house. It took a 2 and a half month late glossy brochure to tell me but now I know.

It’s good to have a little technical knowledge

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Money saving Valentine's

I just saved £3.99 on a box of chocolates! Them chocolate sea-shells. I was in Tesco's (normally I send a runner obviously but today I thought hang the autograph hunters, I'll go mesen).

I picked up the box vaguely aware of a nice reddish coloured pattern on the front. I was about to put it in the trolley when I realised that it had a red heart on the front - Pigging Valentine's day special box! I froze...then I put it back and moved swiftly on - £3.99 saved!

My one regret is that I'm unlikely to be around in town tomorrow to laugh at the poor saps who 'do' valentine's day miserably shaming themselves with shit bunches of flowers, over-priced crowded meals and the rest.

No one actually believes that I (and 'we' as it happens) don't do Valentine's day - people seem to think you're joking - either that or it's a bit like announcing that you collect photos of 8 year old boys.

People who you thought were OK turn out to be stupid and mad after all.

Happy Valentine's - IDIOTS!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Go Max!

I definitely heard (OK, I'm fairly sure I heard) Sir Max Moseley on the Today programme on Radio 4 today use the phrase 'that was a private matter between me and the 5 young ladies involved...'

Fantastic! How many people get to use a phrase like that? He may be the son of a nasty Fascist but he's definitely my kind of guy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Go Quo!

Got a letter today - a reminder about a 'voluntary contribution' (I'll tell you about the Lord Mayor's Fund in Leeds at some point...). £2.50 needed - why? BECAUSE STATUS QUO'S DRUMMER IS DOING A DRUM WORKSHOP AT MY DAUGHTER'S SCHOOL!!!

It would seem that the junior school kids are gunna learn how to drum like you do when you're in THE QUO!!! Staus Quo!

You may not think this is cool and the world has gorn mad. I think it's cool! THE STATUS QUO!!!


These cyber types - crazy! They're either telling me off or grooming me for sex - sometimes at the same time.

I've been posing as a 57 year old man 'on the net' using a pseudonym and chatting with my mates about gout and halitosis in chat rooms and putting photos of myself on Facebook and the like.

All these under age girls keep trying to cop off with me - perverts. String 'em up, that's what I say

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now there's posh

Ainsley Harriot the chef bod has his fizzog on a range of - cupasoups.

Sometimes one has to remind oneself that one could not make it up.

Cupasoup. By a celebriddy chef. Yeah, I know. Don't bother telling me it'll have knob all to do with him apart from the picture.

Cupasoup. Chef related. Cupasoup...

Mistrakes like yer grammar used to make

My grammar has been corrected. I said 'no less than' rather than 'no fewer than'. A big harrumph from me - I'd call the corrector a pedant but they'd probably have their windows put through. I'm not that great at grammar I admit - but on the grounds of popular usage changing the language I nearly decided to argue the point. I decided not to...

Thirty four squid ink

My friends at Epson have been in touch again - they sent me an email saying 'John, are you running low on ink?'

It goes on - 'Ha, we know you fucking are because we give you fuck all when you buy the printer - but if you want more it'll cost you £34.30! No, we mean it! Not only do we mean it but we're going to call it a special offer and pretend that other people's ink is dangerous and rubbish - so screw you! You bought one of our printers and now we're going to bleed you dry! We own you and you owe us a living! What are you gonna do to us? - We're Epson and we don't care if you hate us!'

Actually, they didn't say all that. They did want £34.30 for a set of inks though. I'd rather never print anything ever again and melt their printer over a brazier than pay that though. Come on people, let's start stringing them up. Special offer - for £34.30 I'll do a bunch of 'em.

And don't forget to keep the hate flow aimed at Firstbus - they'll be putting up fares by an inflation busting amount again in the spring like they do, you mark my words

It's capitalist profiteering gorn mad!

If you buy a car it costs maybe about £7,000. That nails my demographic...Anyway, the petrol so you can use it for about a month costs about £40. So the stuff that runs it costs about 0.57% of the purchase price.

An Epson Stylus printer (for example) costs £59.98 (down by a penny from the advert they sent last week). A set of inks so you can use it for about a month costs £33.57The stuff that runs it therefore costs about 56% of the purchase price.

So, yes, a set of printer inks costs well over half the cost of buying a new printer. It’s capitalist profiteering gone mad!

Everyone knows that it's rip off but no one dies. I suppose I've gone on about this before. Drag them out of their offices and beat them to a pulp!

Why, Mr Tesco, you are surely spoiling us...

Call me a useless consumer but I had a Tesco’s ready meal the other day. It contained an item or items they call ‘bacon lardons’.

Well, I’ve been looking at stuff on the internet. I’ve got a big fat steaming bacon lardon now. I’m going to stalk Mr Tesco and I’m going to stick it right in his profit bloated face!

Stay in your homes!

It’s odd to think that perhaps we did quite well with salt on the roads – until recently of course. Since the Council have bailed out and left us to our fate the roads are really really icy! Main roads are clear but you can’t get to ‘em. And don’t start me on the paths. But like I say, it does look like whatever it was they did before was better than I thought!

Funny how these once in a generation freak weather things happen every year though. It wasn’t long ago that I travelled to Warrington on the train and everything was cancelled because it was too hot and the rails were buckling. And then there’s that one off from last Feb. I think the list goes on.

The buses pretty much stopped for hours this week in Leeds too. I wonder how much I get back on me annual pass?

And the price of Council swimming went up by a double figure amount from 1st Jan. The cost of making the toilets stink must've gone up. And why can't I find a postbox anymore? Whine, whinge, moan. Off to hell in a handcart etc.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sage and onion and 'erb

Soemtimes a pun coms along that it would be difficult to make up. Just before Christmas for example, a colleague of mine was apparently asking all visitors if they'd like 'some Baileys'. Sounds natural enough in the run-up to Christmas you might think (though I didn't run up to it - or jump when I got there...) - but we are a healthy living organisation and part of the brief is encouraging people not to drink too much...

Turns out that in fact the invitation was to 'some bay leaves' - and there in his office was a basket of fresh bay leaves.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Celebrity time

The modern definition of 'celebrity' I find most accurate is simply 'someone who you haven't heard of'.

Imagine my disappointment therefore to discover on reading about the new series of Celebrity Big Brother that I'd heard of no less than 2 of the contestants. Vinnie Jones - who was a thug footballer and went on to be in a film and Stephanie Beacham who was in a US soap and no doubt did 'some other stuff'. The rest are all made up.

This shouldn't bother me of course it's just TVs way of getting people to do something more interesting, but a small part of me wants 'celebrities' to be people 'celebrated' for something. Must be getting old.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I hope Sir Alex is OK

I do hope Sir Alex is alright - I hope he didn't stumble or anything on his way to tell ITV how his team had been outclassed (and dumped out of the FA cup) by a team from the third division. I presume he would have made every effort to give credit to the Leeds lads - and he'd probably have wanted to compare the prices of the 2 teams I guess.

I'll wait for the news to see how he is - must've been something serious though to keep him away from the cameras...