Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tagged: Simple Pleasures

Tara tagged me with this one: list your top ten simplest pleasures. I haven't thought too much about this, so here goes with a list that will probably be different in, oh, about another hour...

1. Playing air guitar to a favourite song
2. When a photo you took turns out to be a lot better than you remember
3. Waking up thinking about work and realising it's a Saturday, so you don't have to go in
4. Sharing a joke with someone you never met before
5. Winning something from a competition you once entered and instantly forgot
6. Finding a great bargain when shopping (something you've been held back from buying because of cost)
7. Waking up early feeling really refreshed
8. Returning to your own bed after several nights away
9. A nice warm relaxing bath early in the morning before anyone else is up
10. The feeling of completion after painting a room, bringing the furniture back in and realising it looks just great

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In the News

Well, it's been an interesting few days for news for me - several things have caught my eye.

  • Brad/Jolie baby is being called Shiloh Nouvel, which apparently means New Messiah - if this is true for fuck's sake! What kind of state of mind are they in??
  • There was a nurse, I think in her fifties, who decided to walk to the bottom of her garden for a spot of sunbathing - IN THE NUDE: shock/horror. Her male neighbour (who was decorating his house) saw her walking down the garden and took photographic evidence and took the woman to court for indecent exposure. She was found not guilty - but for fuck's sake shouldn't the guy have been arrested for taking the photographs? What a fucking hostile way to treat your neighbour!
  • Derren Brown and Derek Acorah have had a fight in a hotel apparently - they both have these TV shows that are creepy but Derren tries to de-mystify a lot of the psychic stuff Derek tries to lay on people. I prefer Derren, in a show I saw recently he hypnotised Robbie Williams and put skewers through his arms - boy I'd have loved to do that!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekend Away

We travelled North and stayed with friends this weekend. They live a few miles away from a lovely little village called Knaresborough. It is home to Mother Shipton's Cave, as well as the cave there is a petrifying well that turns stuff hanging underneath it to stone as the minerals are deposited. There are hats, teddy bears, practically anything you care to name hanging under the well. You can see some of the stuff from the shot below, there was also an old iron kettle hanging up too! The website gives more details.
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We also visited the Lightwater Valley themepark. I am not the world's best theme park attendee, you see I am absolutely no good at all with rollercoasters or any other ride that spins round or propels you high into the air. I did have a go at the go-karts though and the orange kart in the picture is me pulling into the pits at the end of my 5 laps. I didn't win but I had a lot of fun. A good weekend away, all in all.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

Payback Time

Imagine you paid a lot of money for a laptop on eBay. What if the seller took months to get it to you, despite quick payment? And what if it was actually broken when you finally received it? What could you do to get your own back?

Curious? See here. How awesome is this as a way to pay the scumsucker out? Cool!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Week Over (nearly!)

I'm pleased that the last two days are over with, I've had to get up at 5.30am for the last two days to catch early trains and I'm exhausted. My itchy eye problem is back, I'm very conscious that it waters as well. I think I'll have to get some ointment tomorrow from the pharmacy.
The weather turned out to be quite warm this afternoon, except in the train carriage where the aircon made it so cold!
On Monday it is a public holiday, so we're going away to friends for the weekend in the North of the country. I'm taking some extra holiday next week, so we're hoping to take the kids to a country park on Tuesday. One thing that is unsettling is that there have been two burglaries in the neighbourhood recently. I'm a bit worried about leaving the house even for a few days. We have nieghbours who can keep an eye but it doesn't stop us being concerned about it.
I've been playing videogames again recently, I cooled off on them since January, my interest is picking up again. Although, I don't think I'll be getting a PS3 when they are released looking at the cost. I would rather spend a lot of money on a tablet PC, I could draw larger digital pictures with one of those and I love the way the screen turns around. I like this one, I think just the name Lifebook sounds great doesn't it?
Also, this week I've met some really nice people at work. They happen to be from Europe but their English is perfect. It has made me feel quite ignorant that I don't speak in their languages.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shahbaz Leaves

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Big Brother contestant Shahbaz has decided to leave the house. He was actually an entertaining housemate to watch and I'm disappointed he has gone. The other housemates turned on him and hunted him like a pack of wolves. It really is interesting psychology to see how the will of the pack is stronger than people as individuals - in the diary room we see people expressing some regret at the departure of a fellow housemate. But outside of that intimate personal reflective space, the pack is hunting and nobody intervenes to defend him. It does have to be said that Shahbaz was emotionally unstable and obviously has a lot of issues that cannot be resolved by a TV gameshow. I wonder how his departure - particularly the nature of it - will affect the other relationships in the house?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Is it really just Monday?

It's been a funny sort of day, I'm glad it's nearly over. The weather has been odd too: one minute it's chucking it down with rain and the next it's bright and sunny. It's a few degrees colder and it makes all the difference, it's just got a little too cold for me. I like to be able to wear a T shirt indoors without any heating on and without ever feeling it's too hot. Today a few times I had to find my fleece to wear. I did have to take it off again when I got too warm at least. But wearing a fleece in May isn't good is it?
I hope tomorrow is a better day than the one I've had today. Don't ask, I just need to tell you: kids and cars (have caused their separate headaches).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Eurovision 2006: Results

Finland's Lordi
The contest is over and Finland are the winners, with a group that were dressed as monsters and who had a song titled Hard Rock Halleluah. It's sort of the right result for the Eurovision - for me at least, in the tradition of the winner being totally unpredictable (and a bit crap).

The final placings were (my placings for them in brackets):

1) Finland (8th)
2) Russia (7th)
3) Bosnia & Herzegovina (12th)
4) Romania (joint 2nd)
5) Sweden (joint 4th)

My winners didn't really make it in the running (actual placings in brackets):

1) Norway or Croatia (a very disappointing 14th and 13th respectively)
2) Romania, Turkey, Ukraine or Lithuania (4th, 11th, 7th, and 6th respectively)
3) Spain (again, a very disappointing 21st)
4) Moldova, FYR Macedonia or Sweden (20th, 12th and 5th respectively)
5) Armenia (8th)

So, I'm disappointed that some good songs aren't going to get airtime and that poorer songs are, especially the winning entry. Last year's entry was at least a worthy winner, My Number One sung by the beautiful Elena Paparizou. She performed an even better song this evening, that I would have made into the winner if it had been entered in the competition.

I got something almost bang on though, as I had the UK entry 5th from bottom and it was actually marginally better at 6th from bottom. It was just not good enough in every department from song, performance, dance routine or outfit.

Eurovision 2006

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The day I've been looking forward to for months has finally arrived. Yay! Countries who made it to the final showdown are:

Switzerland, Moldova, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Spain, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Russia, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lithuania, United Kingdom (Yay!), Greece, Finland, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Iceland, Sweden, Turkey and Armenia.

The BBC Eurovision website has all of the entrants videos and a final scoresheet (that I've downloaded!) for marking the acts based on:

  • Song
  • Performance
  • Dance Routine
  • Outfit

I think this is a fair way of scoring because, being quite frank, all the songs sound the same and tend to merge together in my head. At least scoring on performance and outfit allows me to score acts on the total effort they put in. Am I being too anal about this??? Anyway, in previous years I've been close to predicting who would win.

You can watch it online, it's on the web from 8pm GMT tonight. Blog posts that contain Eurovision 2006 per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

My wife will probably be playing The Sims while I'm watching it in the other room. We have never bought or played The Sims before, but for a present this week I bought her The Sims Triple Deluxe which I thought was a bargain because it includes The Sims, The Sims House Party and The Sims On Holiday. I heard her playing it this morning - actually she was complaining that her characters were all too depressed to do anything, so I don't think it's going well. Early days though!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Feeling

I've got the feeling I usually get on a Friday: Great, it's the weekend! A whole weekend infront of me! A weekend without work. Without having to get up to catch a train. Without having to deal with people who just complain all the time. It's a nice feeling.

Unfortunately, it won't be long before I get that Saturday-Over-Sunday-Coming feeling, which is not so good. Then, worse is the Sunday-Evening feeling and the knowledge that once again I'll have to do battle with the idiots.

The point of this post is just to say weekends are too short :-(

Thursday, May 18, 2006

BB7 Begins

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Well they're in the house now. For the next 13 weeks I'll be keeping an eye on them, deciding which ones I like and who I really can't stand. I think it's going to be fun. There is a ticket hidden in a chocolate bar, the finder gets a free ticket into the house. Personally I would auction it to the highest bidder, I wonder how much a tabloid newspaper would be willing to pay for one? It could mint you for life!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One of those times

It's one of those evenings when I can't think of anything I particularly want to blog about and haven't come across anything all that exciting.

I like my weather pixie on the right nav, I added it last weekend. It's funny that I can hear it's raining outside yet I still check my weather pixie for the weather and I feel a curious sense of satisfaction that it's raining on the weather pixie pic too.

I am having trouble with my image loading program Hello. It just stopped working on my sibling blog Dinkums and Doodles. I've used it previously just because it was the first thing I came to but I have found it not very intuitive and blog-friendly. So I've decided to change but I can't decide which service to use. Photobucket looks good, I've heard of Imageshack and Flickr too. I can't make up my mind. Does anyone have any advice?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It all kicks off this week

I'm looking forward to Saturday when the Eurovision Song Contest is finally on. I'm also looking forward to Thursday when Big Brother 7 starts. Apparently there are talks going on with Noel Edmonds (infamous TV presenter) to host a Deal Or No Deal task. To be perfectly honest, I've seen Deal Or No Deal and I just can't work out that game show. It seems to have no logical thread to it at all. It has brought Noel back to our TV screens again though, I'm not sure that's a good thing though myself.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Funicular Fun

This weekend we visited a town with a working funicular railway, apparently the last surviving inland one in England. My dear departed grandfather was born not far from here and Sunday would have been his birthday. It was fitting the we celebrated by visiting a place dear to him and travelling on the railway - I loved this as a kid and wanted to share it with my children. I'm not sure what they thought of it really, I suspect it is a lot less exciting for them than a theme park like Legoland but as a kid, for me, it was exciting.

On the way up from Low Town.

The view from High Town.

I wanted to make a fake model out of this view but halfway through I realised I only had Photoshop 7 and not CS. I wonder if any another blur filter would work instead?

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I borrowed the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica out of the library today. I say new but it's probably on season 5 now or something. We don't have satellite TV, so don't get to see the Sci Fi channel. I'm looking forward to watching it, I've been hoping to see it for a while. The photos of the show look great though, if its half as good as it looks I'm in for a treat.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Knock knock

Person 1: Knock, Knock

Person 2: Who's there?

Person 1: Cows go.

Person 2: Cows go who?

Person 1: No, silly! Cows go moo!

My daughter will love this joke when I deliver it to her in the morning!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


The skin around my eyes has been very sore and itchy lately. We live in a town but all around the town are fields of rapeseed. It looks pretty when the sun is on it but it has a very pungent smell that I don't like and I wonder if it has an impact on hayfever sufferers. Now, it's quite a leap of imagination to draw a causal link between my eyes and the rapeseed, so I won't.

It's been nice and sunny and warm the last two days. The street bars and cafe's are thriving with people and everybody has cheered up. The only downside is that the air conditioning is starting to kick in, I like to be warm but not hot. I sat in my train carriage today wearing a shirt, it was pleasant outside so I had taken my jacket off. However, inside the train it was like a fridge! Eventually, I even had to put my jacket on. I for one don't think the sudden changes of temperature are good for us humans, air con should be subtle up until the really hot and humid days start hitting us - then it can be cranked up. I've had some really bad times in my car, because it has no air con, and on days like that I am really envious of people with their posh new motors.

A short one

Quick post. Have to travel today to do a presentation. Worked on it last night. Not very good, I was so tired and my eyes are all itchy because of hay fever. I had to get up at 4.30am but really was up at 3.30am because I was sorting my son out who wet the bed. It's going to be so tiring. At least my presentation is done, even if its not my best work. Catch you laters.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Need a superhero?

I came across this story tonight:

SPIDER-MAN creator Stan Lee is searching for a superhero to feature in a new comic book strip.

Stan, 83, is behind new US TV show Who Wants To Be A Superhero in which 200 contenders will be whittled down to a final 11. It begins on the Sci-Fi Channel in July.

He said: "I’ve never lived in a world of reality so this seemed like the perfect way to find a new superhero."

Stan has been working in comics since 1941 and created Spider-Man, The Hulk and The Fantastic Four for Marvel Comics.

It made me remember my often-dreamt superhero powers: invisibility and a knock-out punch.

Real superheros don't have super powers though, the first British servicewoman was killed in a helicopter attack in Basra on Saturday. What I can't get my head around is that the people the soldiers were supposed to be protecting cheered when the chopper was brought down. How fucking whacked is that? She was 32.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Japanese TV

I've watched those TV shows that show clips from other countries, some of them are funny. I especially enjoy watching adverts from other countries. Perhaps the weirdest of the bunch are the clips of game shows from Japan. They are so extreme in terms of what they put the show contestants through that they make me laugh the most, part of me says it's wrong but another part of me just finds it incredibly funny and despite myself I end up laughing until I cry.

There is a blog called TV in Japan that is a treasure trove of weird and hilarious Japanese clips. I found this particularly weird example. The contestants have to try not to laugh out. Nothing unusual there. But they sit in a classroom which has a TV at the front and on the TV is a language student reading an English magazine. He's bad. Watch as they grimace and hold their faces to keep in their laughter. It's painfully funny. When they do laugh men in masks come in and cane their backsides, big backswings on those canes too, ouch!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Smelly Time

I have a selection of fragrances I like but I'm running low on all of them. I am not sure whether to try a different fragrance or stick to just replacing one. It's an important decision, a bottle lasts me a long time. I wear fragrance depending on what I'm doing or my mood, for work I usually wear Cerutti 1881 and when I'm on holiday I like to wear Boss by Hugo Boss as I bought it while at a duty free shop at an airport. If I'm feeling sporty I try Cool Water. I wear XS probably the least and I wear Lacoste for a change. They each have their place, I don't know if my fragrance wearing habits are typical or not. It feels like I have a lot of fragrances but I have no idea how what I has compares to other men. Is five fragrances typical? Are men usually concerned with this kind of stuff? I have no idea.

Is it better for people to stick to one fragrance they wear all the time? My wife for example, only ever wears Chanel. I do like CK One, I think that might be my next choice but I also like a new Hugo Boss fragrance - I can't remember the name now though. Hmm, these are things I ponder.

This is the smell I wear for work. It's fresh, a little spicy and strong without being overpowering.

This is theonly fragrance here that I didn't choose myself, it was bought for me as a present. I don't normally like receiving smells as presents because I think a fragrance is such a personal choice, this one I liked - I got given Joop one year and hated it. Maybe I'm just ungrateful. This fragrance is fresh, aquatic and good when I'm feeling energetic.

I like Hugo Boss fragrances. This one is a nice gentle, sweet smelling favourite of mine and my wife like me wearing it. I bought it in on the way to Spain and I associate the Meditteranean with it - lazy mornings, afternoon siestas and late night shopping and drinking!

I bought this in France, it has a nice clean, fresh and sweet smell. It's not as strong as the others and is very subtle come the end of the day.

This is probably closest to the borderline of not being my taste. I think it's just over the line on my side. It has a strong, tangy smell, I find it has a quality like a ladies perfume that I'm not so keen on when I first put it on (it can b a bit overpowering) but after a few minutes it settles down. At the end of the day it still lasts well.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Don't pop that spot! a cartoon by FW

A few weeks ago I posted a cartoon called Tainted Milk, I loved Ashburnite's comment "very good story...wierd, but good." I thought it just about summed it up. Well whaddayouknow I've gone and done it again. Here's another tale that'll make you think, make you ponder, make you rub your chin, make you scratch your nose, make you....yeah whatever you get the picture!

I've used speech bubbles but I'm not sure how the text will come out so I've typed the text below each cell of the cartoon. Oh yeah, should I say that any likeness to real people is completely incidental? Nah, that's bleedin' obvious!

Title: Don't pop that spot! A Cartoon by FW

Hey honey! I'm home. I have a little spot on my back, can you take a look?

Sure honey, I'm in the kitchen.

(wife dances around in knock-kneed terror) What honey? What's wrong?

(Wife pulls hair out in anxious panic) Oh nothin', it's just a small pimple, nothin' to worry about.

(body bag)

Sorry lady, it was a spot gone berserk. We did what we could.

The End.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Not feeling very creative tonight, here are a couple of links:

Came across this Photoshop competitions site today. There are some good photos here of hybrid sports - combining two photos of relatively ordinary sports and coming up with a new exciting sport.

Computer Stupidities - this has some really good funnies that had me cracking up today. For example:
  • Tech Support: "What seems to be the problem?"
  • Customer: "When I change my font sizes, the letters change size."
There are plenty more here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sad Stuff

I came across a site this evening called the Saddest Thing I Own. People submit photos of objects that remind them of sad memories. I warn you that there are some heartwrenching stories. Everyone must have something they own that reminds them of a sad time, we've all got sad stories to tell.
I have a framed photo of Wonder Woman, there's stripey fake fur around the frame, it was given to me by a friend who died of ovarian cancer. I think about her nearly every day even still.
Sorry to bring the mood down folks but you have to know what sad is in order to appreciate being happy I think.

The Famous Faces Game

My wife and I have a chuckle after I try and draw a celebrity's face. There is usually something not quite right or different about them that makes it hard to sometimes guess who they are. I quite like this quality about my celebrity faces and so I thought I'd share them.

Guess who these famous people are:


Top picture: I've mentioned this guy before
Middle picture: This woman is an emancipated lady
Bottom picture: He's very concerned about wild animal welfare but that's a side project

If you liked this game or just liked the pictures, you can check out more of my famous faces at Dinkums and Doodles. It would be fun for me if you want to suggest some famous people you would like to see drawn in my style, I won't promise anything but if I like the suggestions I'll give it a go.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Free Sex Contestants

This made me laugh today:

Two men drove to a gas station for a fill-up because they heard about a contest being offered by the station to patrons who purchase a full tank of gas. When they went inside to pay, the men asked the attendant about the contest.

"If you win, you're entitled to free sex," said the attendant.

"How do we enter?" asked the first man.

"Well, I'm thinking of a number between 1-10, if you guess right, you win free sex."

"O.K. I guess 7, " said the first man.

"Sorry, I was thinking of 8," replied the attendant. "Come back soon and try again"

The next week, the two men returned to the same station to get gas. When they went inside to pay, the second man asked the attendant if the contest was still going on.

"Sure," replied the attendant. "I'm thinking of a number between 1-10, if you guess right. You win free sex."

"2" said the second man

"Sorry, I was thinking of 3," replied the attendant. "Come back soon and try again."

As they walked back to the car, the first man said to the second man,"You know, I'm beginning to think this contest is rigged."

"No way," said the second man. "My wife won twice last week."

More jokes here.


Someone was telling me today that towards the end of the week it will get hot and muggy, with a big thunderstorm at the end of the week. I like the way a good thunderstorm clears the air. I love the freshness of the first few minutes after a damn good storm.

Later this month, in 18 days time infact, it will be The Eurovision Song Contest. An event I love, I mentioned it a few weeks ago but now it draws nearer and I can't wait. My wife thinks I'm crazy but I actually keep my own scoresheet during the show. It's part of the fun for me.

But even before Eurovision, it's Big Brother 7! Apparently, this starts on the 18 May. There is going to be a full length pool and 15 beds at the start. I'm looking forward to meeting a new bunch of people and getting to know and loathe them. I am surprised at the number of couples these shows produce. Well, scratch that, actually with the income that can be generated from the publicity behind these apparent love-matches I'm not completely surprised. It's hard for the people on the outside who were romantically linked before the show to people who develop relationships with other contestants: I mean, how can they compete and they'll never be able to share the experience with their loved one. It must be hard as hell.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Collectormania 9

Every year we seem to find ourselves drawn to this event. It's interesting to see some of these people in the flesh, it's strange to see the ones who are more famous for being children in films as adults. The boy Damien from The Omen was there, for example - but there was no way I would go near! Call me chicken but I don't care, I'm staying clear of the son of the devil.

The closest stars we got to were Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber, stars of 80s cop show Dempsey and Makepeace. At the time the original series aired my wife had a bit of a crush on Michael Brandon, I knew and fancied Glynis as the character Soolin from the British low-budget sci-fi series Blake's 7. Amazingly, both looked pretty good considering it seems like a long time since seeing them on the TV.

There were some strange folk walking around though. Lots of people who look like they watch way too much sci-fi/fantasy and don't get enough daylight - and wearing cloaks! Correct me if I seem out of date but the cloak has not been an item of everyday attire for many decades. Seeing 30 somethings wearing cloaks like it was normal just freaked me out a bit. I know I should live and let live and I have seen worse sights but just not all congregated in one place. Imagine being an actor and having to be nice to people who have queued up for hours, people who are "a bit odd" (obsessive even), people who have paid 15 pounds for a photo just for you to sign your name on - the feeling of being stared at and photographed. I'm not sure it would suit me very well.

Anyways, you'll want to see some photos I expect and here they are:

A Dalek from the series Doctor Who, being pushed past me into the market area where you can spend loads of money on very little.

Davros, I think he invented the Daleks, again from Doctor Who. He's ugly as fuck, used to scare the pants off me as a child. My daughter didn't want to have her photograph taken with him, I don't blame her really. My son was up for playing with his switches but one thing you don't want to do is piss off someone who has ambition to be the master of the universe.

The Liberator spaceship from Blake's 7 the first series. The crew (Blake and his six fellow escapees) eventually have to abandon this fine craft. The effects in Blake's 7 are really naff but the stories are quite good fun.

The origins of the Liberator were unknown to Blake and his crew, the ship was equipped with these weapons. They were in two parts, the blaster that looked like a little glass sword and the battery pack in a leather case.

Orac the super computer from Blake's 7 built by a character called Avon, who was played by Paul Darrow in such a great way that you were never sure he whose side he was really on. Orac had a witty line or two for a computer in a perspex box, the lights weren't on today though - a shame because without the lights it just looks like a transparent box with lots of wires.

And Robocop, now I loved the first Robocop film, I still enjoy it today. I still hate to see the bit where he gets shot up as the ordinary human cop. Unfortunately, the other versions of it I've seen are not as darkly humourous as the first. The car was painted a matt black but it wasn't an American car as in the film.