Thursday, June 29, 2006

Out of touch

There was a news report on TV last week that said a lot of expensive artwork and property in the high class parts of London were being bought up by wealthy Russians. Excuse me! What happened to property is theft? Sheesh, I'm out of touch. I didn't think there were any wealthy Russians. Actually I've never met a Russian person in my life as far as I know. I've met Poles and Hungarians and that's probably as Eastern block as I've ever got. My geography is so bad, I can't even draw where Hungary is on a map! What am I babbling on about?
I met a talkative American guy on the bus in London today, he's on vacation to Britain and Ireland. He was last here 38 years ago. That's longer than I've been alive, just! We had a nice chat but I had to get off, so I hope he has a nice trip and safe journey back to San Francisco. I'd actually love to visit San Francisco. It does set me to thinking about how large the world is and how only a minority of us ever get to really become well travelled. That's a great shame because I'm sure there would be less war, death and destruction if we just concentrated on being friendly world neighbours. Everyone's lives would be so much improved, we'd get educated about other cultures and there would be less prejudice. If I was World Leader I would make it mandatory for all world citizens to have to visit every continent in their own lifetime (I drew back from every country because that would just take too long!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Room Lighting

Describe your preferred (compared to your actual) lighting in your rooms:

1. Sitting/TV room:
My preference would be for mood lighting, changeable depending on the weather and the music I play. When watching TV, I prefer just soft lighting.
In reality, we have soft alcove lighting behind frosted glass and a central lightbulb behind a big paper globe shade

2. Kitchen:
I prefer a 100 Watt tungsten uplighter, with lights in cupboards and lights under units illuminating work surfaces.
We have an uplighter but it's 40 Watt and we have a spotlight in the ceiling but it's position is not great. I like a really bright clean feel to a kitchen but we don't have.

3. Bathroom:
I love naturally light bathrooms where the sunshine pours in during the morning. At night, I like bright but warm colours.
Our bathroom is quite big and does get the morning sunshine, we painted it yellow so it has a warm feel. There is a bulb behind a white glass ball in the centre of the ceiling. It's quite bright but is an energy saving bulb, like most of the others in our house, and takes a few minutes to reach its brightest.

Again, do this if you feel like it.

5 Things

Five things I can see nearest to me as I type this are:

1. Two bottles of PVA glue
2. A sheet of smiley face stickers
3. My Sony camcorder
4. An old filofax I only use to look up old addresses I haven't transferred
5. My daughter's Star Wars drawings in a plastic wallet

It's not compulsory to do this, but if you want to, go ahead.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend with the folks

My folks came down this weekend and we've been out and about. It was exhausting, lots of walking and the kids love seeing their grandparents. The weather was Tip Top too. It's funny what little nuggets you learn about your past from time to time from your folks. Like their version of your history being slightly different to how you've come to see things: my God that's a clunky way of saying they have a different perspective! Where have my writing skills gone this evening?

I've been watching lots of World Cup, England got through to the last 16 - FAN BLOODY TASTIC! David Beckham truly has a golden foot, apparently he puked after scoring because he was so dehydrated from running so hard in 30 plus temperatures. USA got knocked out, I think they had a very grueling game against Italy - I don't think the scoreline reflected the effort they put into the game though. Netherlands also got knocked out by England's next opponents, I hope their supporters cheer England on rather than Portugal. It sounded like the referee completely lost it with handing out two red cards and sixteen yellows, or something stupid like that.

Wimbledon started today, I don't know how much tennis was actually played. I don't really watch much tennis on TV. If I do it tends to be the finals. I find the scoring a bit odd, like nil being called love and it going up in 15s. It took me a few years as a kid before I finally got the hang of it. I don't know how much tennis was actually played today, it was a bit of a wet day here.

Big Brother starts to get more interesting this week. Apparently, they're bringing in 5 brand new housemates who are going to live in a house right next door to the existing lot. The two groups will be in isolation except the public vote for a current housemate to enter the new house. I can't wait to find out who it is. The house has had a few horrible bitchy people in it this year, I'm glad to say the public have booted them out. The worst offenders were Grace, Seezer and Lisa who have gone but I'd also like to get rid of Imogen, Lea and Nikki.

My voice is barely audible today, I'm so hoarse after coughing hard all weekend. It's progressively getting worse. I hate coughs and colds - if I had three wishes, one would be to rid the world of the cold/flu. Have a good week folks.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Festivals Galore

I bought a copy of NME on Tuesday, it had a free CD of live tracks by some new bands. Going through the pages I was amazed to see how many music festivals there are during the summer in the UK. It makes me nostalgic: I remember the excitement of watching bands all day and night, returning to my tent but not falling asleep until the dawn breaks, camp fires burning all night, distant drumming going on constantly, people being chilled out, friendly, wearing almost nothing except crusty old Doc Martin boots, the tattoos and piercings. Quite a different world to my existence then but a world away to my life now. Festivals are exciting but can also be a little bit scary, you've no idea who you'll meet and sleep a few feet away from. It's all pot luck. I used to go to festivals on my own, I don't know whether I am strong enough to do that now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Loss & Recovery

Ah, it feels good to back. My internet provider were screwing around trying to do the prep work for rolling out an 8MB service this coming August and it did soething to stop me connecting. It's funny how we've had almost 100% service levels for quite some time and had grown used to it. We rely on the internet like we do a utility service like a water or power company. We can do so many things from home because of the internet: from doing our banking to deciding what we're doing this evening. I'm just relieved that it was just down for a day and a half, any longer and I'm not sure what I would have done.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday Moan

It's been a hectic few days at Fort Wangler. Car trouble, summer fetes, birthday parties and friends staying over have all played their part. The weather has been hot and I've still got my cough, which has turned into a reverberating bark that makes my neck and head hurt, it also keeps me awake at night. The weather is a little fresher today, the breeze is quite cool and pleasant. Inside though it is warm and humid, we've had some summer rain this evening.
Our main car is in the garage again, second time in a week and it's annoying that whatever the problem is wasn't fixed first time.
It was Father's Day on Sunday and I received nice cards from the kids. I didn't get the day to myself though, which was what I was hoping for. Apparently, I get a day sometime in July - we'll see if that ever happens. I did have a couple of hours to myself though. The funny thing is, before I was married I lived alone and I had exactly the same problem as I had for those two hours: plenty of time but indecision on how best to use it. It used to drive me to despair sometimes that I didn't have anyone to share my time with and I always had the feeling that I could be doing something better if only I knew what it was. I think the answer is to make as many friends as you can, be a social butterfly and someone will always invite you to do something with them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Music Groups A to Z

List your favourite groups from A to Z. No solo artists but groups beginning with a "The" are allowed in my rules. Here's my list:

  1. Air
  2. Black Eyed Peas
  3. Coldplay
  4. Datsuns (The)
  5. Elbow
  6. Foo Fighters
  7. Goldfrapp
  8. Happy Mondays
  9. Iron Maiden
  10. Jane's Addiction
  11. Killers (The)
  12. Limp Bizkit
  13. Mudhoney
  14. Nirvana
  15. Oasis
  16. Pink Floyd
  17. Queens of the Stone Age
  18. R.E.M.
  19. Soul Asylum
  20. Thrills (The)
  21. U2
  22. Von Bondies (The)
  23. Wishbone Ash
  24. Wonder Stuff (The)
  25. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  26. Zero 7

England play later today! En-ger-land! En-ger-land!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Film Meme

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
A rough guess that the number of films I've personally acquired, excluding ones my wife has bought, probably totals about 45.

2) The last film I bought:
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

3) The last film I watched:
Elektra (I didn't finish it, thought it sucked).

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
The Big Lebowski
The Transporter

If you feel like doing this, give it a go, but I won't hold you to it ;-)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

You've got to laugh

When stuff gets you down, you've got to find something to pick you up. The Simpsons has been making me laugh for years. Here are a few quotes, while I go watch the World Cup highlights!

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

Marge: This is the worst thing you've ever done.
Homer: You say that so often that it lost its meaning.

Homer: [Meeting Aliens] Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them!

Homer: Lisa, Vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos.

Homer: I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around a city, keeping its speed over fifty and if its speed dropped, it would explode! I think it was called ... "The Bus That Couldnt Slow Down."

Homer: When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun.

Homer: Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you'd step over your own mother just to get one! But you can't stop at one. You wanna drink another woman!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

78.8 Degrees

This is about as hot as I like it, which is why I'm careful about when I travel on holidays and where I go. I'm probably more comfortable in the lower 70s but high 70s are OK in short bursts. People look much better in summer clothes than all wrapped up in big coats.

England's first match of the World Cup is later today, I don't think Paraguay are a walk in the park. Everyone seems to predict an England win but football is not so predictable. I just hope that England can break Paraguay's defence down without being exposed on the counter-attack.

All the talking is over now guys, let's just DO IT! Go England!

Here's Michael Owen like you've never seen him before!

Posts that contain "world Cup" per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Handy Google Hint

This week I was pleasantly surprised to discover something else I think is great about Google. I knew it could do math but it also makes conversions the simplest thing ever. Want to know what something in degrees celsius is in farenheit? Just type: 75f in c in Google's normal search box and you'll get the answer.

Other examples are:

11 stones in pounds
20usd in euros
10oz in cups
5 teaspoons in fl oz

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup 2006 Begins

The action begins later this afternoon - lovely jubbly! Here's my own motif for the competition.I'll post other World Cup drawings over the next few weeks on the sister blog to this one, Dinkums and Doodles. My first World Cup drawing of England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was a bit a of a disaster (I hope that isn't predictive of how the competition is going to go for us), you can view it here.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Stuff 'n' Stuff

Hello apparently are paying out 4M for the first exclusive pictures of the Bradgelina baby, I find that obscene. Maybe it's my imagination playing tricks but did I also read though that the couple of giving it to charity? If they are, fair play to them.

The World Cup starts on the 9th June, I can't wait! England's first match is on the 10th against Paraguay, that will be interesting. I was listening to the radio yesterday and a marriage counsellor was advising female partners to be understanding and try to join in rather than making it stressful for all. I happen to agree, life is about give and take - as long as male partners try to enjoy stuff the girls like too.

Free digital TV is going to be getting better with FilmFour starting soon. They usually have some good films on show. Also, Channel 5 are going to offer two more channels - one for kids and women and another for US shows. Cool, I like to watch US shows too. On our More 4 channel I like to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I'm back at work but my cold is still shitty, I wish it would just go. My wife asked if I had an unsettled night last night, I didn't wake up but I think I had some strange dreams - I just can't remember them now!

The other annoying thing is that we've had about 2 weeks of pretty nice weather and they have imposed a hose pipe ban. If the hot weather continues, I wonder if we'll all have to use standpipes in the street - that would be awful! Shortages of anything are horrible but when something as taken for granted as water is being restricted it is getting really serious.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

X Factor - Dismal TV

Last night I watched a bit of X Factor with my wife (inbetween Big Brother) and I have to say it was bloody dismal. The performers singing were all "celebrities", a mixture of ex-soap opera stars, DJs and sports people. The standard of singing was very poor. The judges were sucking up to the acts and using excuses like the personalities were "entertaining" - but it's a singing competition! I'm so glad that I haven't watched any of the shows so far. Part of the final was enough for me. I wanted to put my foot through the TV after just a couple of minutes, it's really the worst TV anybody could make. Bad bad bad!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Krispy Kreme - coming soon!

Tara posted several weeks ago with a Krispy Kreme Appreciaion Day. I didn't think they had made it to the UK but they have! It turns out that my nearest store will open on the 4th July! I just think that is so weird, you couldn't predict that sort of coincidence, it must be predetermined surely?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

72 Degrees

It's been a beautiful weekend, today has been exceptionally lovely with fine weather. Last night I went out to a pub to watch the coolest band called Bootstrap play. Very good indeed, lots of people were dancing. I've been going to this particular pub for years now and I heard last night that they are going to knock it down to build a car park! It would be such a great shame to lose somewhere that's been a big part of my life. Especially so to a fucking car park!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jedi Name

I'm suffering with cold at mo, here's something unoriginal...

Cast off your old name! Your Jedi name is

WANFU WILON of the planet Ventalin!

Find your Jedi Name!