Saturday, 21 January 2006

Tikka Masala

Damn! I thought that curry was a bit hot.


The heating is on full but still I feel cold. Maybe the warfarin is beginning to kick in.
I want to get back nearer the fire so I'll settle for something profound

I don't want to be a genius - I have enough problems just trying to be a man.

Friday, 20 January 2006

Silver hairs amongst the grey

Back when I was around seventeen (years of age not stones), I had a fairly wide circle of friends and a busy-ish social life. There were people at two athletics clubs, older people at a rowing club, the college rugby club and a mix of ages from a cycling club. I was in continuing education so there were fellow students.
We’d socialise in groups of a dozen or so. Mainly drinking really although we went to the cinema and live variety shows. We all mixed together as male and female although this was no big thing. Couples did pair up but then tended to drift out of the circle and do things on their own.
I was reminded of this life style when listening to some of my George Melly music. He figured large in our concert going. Louche in a black track suit singing old jazz tracks or stuff along the lines of ‘My canary’s got circles under it’s eyes’. My memory was drawn back to recent photographs of George and what a sad and declining figure he now presents.
I tried to visualise friends from the 50s as they might be today. I really tried. And totally failed. Not one single image presented itself. I could remember them as they were in their prime but taking hair away, adding a bit of weight, stooping them over was just a waste of time. I suppose it must be some kind of protection – age shall not weary them as……. sort of thing.


When she was small, my daughter was called Tatty. This because she was generally scruffy and got her Christian name to sound something like Tatty.
However, she scrubs up quite well.

Thursday, 19 January 2006

Cheer me up please

I'm feeling a bit miserable as you can see.

Bin Laden pantomime

This is typical of a number of reports about the probable fate of Bin Laden
Bin Laden 'dead' evidence mounts
January 16, 2006 - 9:30AM
A terrorism expert says he has seen evidence showing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is either seriously ill or dead.
Dr Clive Williams, director of terrorism studies at the Australian National University, says documents provided by an Indian colleague suggested bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April last year.
"It does seem reasonably convincing based on the evidence that I've been provided with that he's certainly either severely incapacitated or dead at this stage," Dr Williams told ABC radio.
Dr Williams said Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's deputy who was the target of a US air strike in Pakistan last week, has been making all statements on behalf of the terror network for the past year.
Dr Williams said proving whether the terrorist leader was still alive might be impossible.
"It's hard to prove or disprove these things because there hasn't really been anything that allows you to make a judgment one way or the other," Dr Williams said.
"But it does seem strange that Dr Zawahiri has been making all of the statements since then, and nothing's been heard from bin Laden since, I think, the December of the year before."
Dr Williams said even if bin Laden was dead, those who upheld the same philosophies would continue to fight for their cause.
And then, as if magic, 4 days later, we get this:
By Yara Bayoumy
DUBAI (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden warned that al Qaeda was preparing new attacks inside the United States, but said the group was open to a conditional truce with Americans, according to an audio tape attributed to him on Thursday.
Al Jazeera television, which aired the tape, said it was recorded in the Muslim month that corresponded to December.
"The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your houses as soon as they are complete, God willing," said the speaker on the audio tape, who sounded like bin Laden.
In the tape, bin Laden said al Qaeda was willing to respond to U.S. public opinion supporting an American troop pullout from Iraq. He did not specify conditions for the truce, but indicated it was linked to U.S. troops quitting Iraq.
"We have no objection to responding to this with a long term truce based on fair conditions."

Wolfenden Report.

With all the debate on homesexuality still not finished (I was going to say not 'put to bed') it is interesting (to me) to go back to the report that made such conduct a little less abomidable. The bit that I find most relevant is the committee recommended that
"homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence". All but one of the committee were in favour of this and, contrary to medical and psychiatric witnesses' evidence, found that "homosexuality cannot legitimately be regarded as a disease, because in many cases it is the only symptom and is compatible with full mental health in other respects". The report added, "The law's function is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others ... It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour."
The interference in private life attitude has certainly blown right out of the closet.

Oh! God!


This could be a good game. I've ended up as a Prime Minister which is
quite satisfying until one thinks of that utter bag of seminal deposit we
have doing the job now. And those who might take over or replace him
are little better options.


any years ago there was a period of time that is often casually

called "Medieval." It was a time, so the story tellers tell us, of tiny

kingdoms, brave knights and ferocious dragons.

ransportation and travel were both crude and difficult, usually

necessitating that each kingdom be as self sufficient and self reliant

as possible. So it was very important that within each kingdom all

the major crafts and professions of the day were ably represented

to insure the survival of the kingdom. In the English language we still

see remnants of some occupations in the familiar surnames such as

Carpenter, Miller and Baker.

nterestingly enough, beyond the specific title the vocation also

took on its own greater personality. This personality preference

can also give a broader understanding of the basic complementary

style and types necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any

organization's success. Although the specific vocation influenced

the name, it was no accident that certain personality types and styles

gravitated to certain occupations. The personality of these jobs suited

the inclinations of the job holders, and the predecessor to modern day

job descriptions was born. The successful matching of a job-holder's

personality to the personality and unique requirements of the job was

necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any organization's

success. The successful kingdoms more than likely were able to blend

the differences into a powerful and formidable entity. With today's

diverse workforce, the corporate kingdom that acknowledges and

nurtures these personality preferences could become an organization

as successful as the Camelot of old.

ven though we now appear to have the freedom to explore

many different career alternatives, we still have a medieval vocational

personality within each of us. This personality, properly identified and

understood, can motivate our success but, if ignored, may set the stage

for our ultimate failure. Since times appeared to be simpler then, let

us return to the kingdoms of medieval Europe and see what we

would have done then, regardless of what our names are now.

our distinct personality, The Prime Minister might
be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time.
You are a strategist who pursues the most efficient and
logical path toward the realization of the goal that you
perceive or visualize. You will often only associate with
e people who can assist you in the implementation
of your plan. Inept assistants may be immediately
discarded as excess baggage. To do otherwise could be
seen as inefficient and illogical. On the positive side,
you can be rationally idealistic and analytically
ideological. You can be a bold decision maker and risk
taker who can move society ahead by years instead of
minutes. On the negative side, you may be unmerciful,
impatient, impetuous and impulsive. Interestingly,
your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate

The End of The Day

Well, here it is. Three o'clock in the afternoon and I have run out of things to do. I've used time with a first-thing shower and then an after-lunch bath. I can state quite positively that there are no Old Mans' Hairs in my nostrils or ears. All my shoes and boots are polished and lined up as for any inspection. Norma has the car today so pointynose and I were reduced to a walk round the park. Gossip with the parky-man. Bit of training with the dog. Papers read from front to back and back again. Soduko sodded. Got my lunch - mackerel. Ate it and washed up. Cruised far and yon on the magic p.c. Hot-synch'd the pda.
I could go on with this much longer. When looked at in cold type, one might think that I have been run off my feet. Back in the days, I would have been proud of a "To Do" list of this length with every little box neatly ticked. Nothing deemed too difficult and pushed to tomorrow either. And yet - I just know that I have really done san fairy anne.
I know what is missing. Meetings; all that fun getting agenda sorted and fitting our appointments together. Well, if it was all so good why did I give the work to my secretary and tell her it was enpowerment for her? Business lunches. They had gone under the new morality that swept through the corporate hostility world in the early 80s. Instead of the three and four hour sessions with fine digestif wines and cigars we were having meetings with crudities on the side. What else did the world of commerce give me? Travel. Yes that was nice so I can add that to the Lost World of John Wood. Scheming and politicking? Ah yes. That is a cert for something no longer present in my life. I now decide quite unilaterally what 'company' car I will have.
So - this is retirement. Old stagers told me that I would be so busy that I would not be able to fit in everything I chose to do. That is patently rubbish. I could work a one day week and do more in real terms. The phrase God's Waiting Room is often associated with this semester of our life - no, strike life and insert existence. I should have made an appointment, organised a meeting, invited the Guy for lunch so as to escape the Waiting Room.
I'm seeing that sign "No reps seen except by Appointment"

Suits you sir!

The Yorkshire Post reports that the Baby Belly - as conceived by friends Charlie Ratcliffe and Katrina Lumb - allows women to remember the exciting transformation of the body (YP's words, not mine) and to capture it in the form of a plaster, bronze or aluminium cast. Medical plaster bandages are placed on the tummy and removed after 20 minutes. The plaster is used as a mould, or is sanded and painted to produce a lifelong keepsake. Having the baby is evidently not a sufficient reminder of your nine-month gestation period, nor does he/she count as a "special and unique souvenir". Prices start at £300. But for the shy mum - or the damn busy mum - you can get a DIY kit for £50.

I just add this to my 'what are we coming to' binder. I have to say though, that had my beloved tried to din me for £300 +, I would have captured her baby belly for posterity in the manner illustrated.


Is this the way we may end up? Infinite brain power for instant decisions on shoot or no shoot, programmable to deal with inherent racism, no sick days or limitations on shift lengths. Doubtless, could also have attachments to deal with instant banking reference fines, ID card production on the spot and summary execution. Plus - a major advantage - they can be any colour or gender one may wish!!

Wednesday, 18 January 2006


Pope discusses sex

Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, expected in the next few days, warns believers not to confuse love with lust or degrade it "to mere sex".
It is Pope Benedict's first encyclical

The encyclical, a papal letter to bishops that sets out Roman Catholic policy, discusses the relationship between "eros", or erotic love, and "agape", a Greek word referring to unconditional, spiritual and selfless love.

"It is not totally negative on eros," a Vatican source said. "It argues that eros under the right circumstances is OK."

What's that line from My Fair Lady - By God, I think she's got it?

River stay away from my door

Given the bits and pieces of my life in the past weeks or so in my campaign to not emulate Sharon or Banks, I think I could do without the sort of detail about Mikey that is available.
What it does do is make me even more determined to get everything prophylactic in place. Going well so far with the warfarin and getting the blood values up to the desired level.

10pm - do you know where your sperm is?

These are extracts from US legislation connected with paternity issues. I offer them not as a comment on the American legal system but rather as examples of just where the hell this world might be going. We have here in UK already had admissions by a mother that she recovered the condom after sex with her boy-friend and impregnated herself.

Either intent to have sexual intercourse or an intent to impregnate a woman will result in child support liability. Can a man escape this liability if he has neither the intent to have sexual intercourse nor the intent to make a baby? The answer is no. So long as a man engages in an intimate sexual act resulting in his depositing of his sperm with a woman who then becomes pregnant, he is liable for child support.

In State of Louisiana v. Frisard, 694 So. 2d 1032 (La. Ct. App. 1997), the mother and father of the child for whom support was sought met in a hospital while the father was visiting an ill relative. The mother was a nurse's aid who has access to a variety of medical equipment. The mother offered to perform oral sex on the father, and, in the words of the father, "as ... any male would, I did not refuse[.]" The mother had the father wear a condom. The mother then removed the condom from the father, and unknown to the father, she inseminated herself with the father's sperm using a syringe.

The Louisiana court, noting that the probability of paternity was 99.9994%, held the father's testimony that he "had some sort of sexual contact with the plaintiff around the time frame of alleged conception, although he denied that they had sexual intercourse" was sufficient to prove paternity. 694 So. 2d at 1036. This fact of paternity obliges a father to support his child. 694 So. 2d at 1034. In essence, because the father intentionally engaged in a sexual act resulting in his deposit of sperm with the mother, he is liable for child support.

Another case reaching the same result on facts that are, quite frankly, bizarre is S.F. v. Alabama ex rel. T.M. In that case, the father testified that he went to a party at the mother's house. He had been drinking for several hours before he arrived, and had in fact gotten sick on the way to her house. At the mother's house, the father continued to drink, and the last think he remembered was getting sick again and his brother putting him in bed at the mother's house. The next morning, the father awoke in that same bed with only his shirt on. The father did not remember having sex with the mother, and he did not knowingly and purposely have sex with her.

The father's brother testified as to the same facts. A friend of both the mother testified as to the same facts, plus the fact that about two months after the party, the mother said she had sex with the father while he was "passed out" and that it saved her a trip to the sperm bank. Another friend testified that the mother had said she had sex with the father, "and he wasn't even aware of it."

A physician testified that it is possible for a man who is intoxicated to the point of losing consciousness may nevertheless have an erection and ejaculate; they are not conscious, voluntary activities.

The father argued that because he did not have sex voluntarily with the mother, he was not liable for child support. The court disposed of the argument, comparing it to the arguments made in L. Pamela P. v. Frank S.: the wrongful conduct of the mother in causing conception did not obviate the father's support obligation. The court also compared the father's argument to the arguments put forth in the statutory rape cases, concluding that the "rape" of the father could not preclude a finding of liability for support.

The dissent would have held the father liable for child support, but would have deviated from the presumptive child support guidelines because "the mother's sexual conduct was reprehensible and is a misdemeanor. Because of the mother's inappropriate conduct, the trial court should have deviated from the guidelines."

Evening all

Because of what I used to be, I read a lot of police blogs. Written by police officers here in UK and some overseas countries. There is a common trend amongst the UK writings. Very little police work is being done out on the front line, where Dr Martin size 12s are the latest gear. Yes, there are plenty of police officers but their numbers are diluted by those who are in admin, planning, training, this, that, the other. Such work as does occur is done in a manner that does not inspire confidence and must be less than motivating for the officer concerned. The Gov'mint persists on loading new initiatives with little thought as to practical matters. Courtroom-less justice is one of the latest comedies of errors that will involved police staff and time already in short supply.
The overseas contributers do not seem to have the same concerns. What one sees there are positive attempts to do what, surely, we expect of our crime control organisations.
It's all going to end in tears before bedtime if our police, in a language they invented, throw Teddy into the corner.

Garnett man

I've just been watching some Sickness & Health DVDs on my little portable player. (hey - it's really good and I can recommend the idea of having such a gadget).
I am amazed all over again that Alf was allowed to put his head over the parapet. I knew quite a lot of Alfs as I was growing up and when I was earning my pocket money working for my father. To me, what he said was nothing terrible - like some of the Little Britain characters are - but was the everyday attitude of a lot of people expressed in a humourous way.
However, just to see what his status is now, have a look at the Wiki entry:
Alf Garnett was a fictional character on the BBC television sitcom Til Death Us Do Part and later In Sickness and in Health.

The character, played by actor Warren Mitchell, was reactionary, mean-spirited, selfish, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic, despite allegedly being Jewish himself. Generally he blamed his problems on everybody else. His family was the usual target of his anger and frustration. On the show, Garnett was regularly ridiculed for his illogical views and hypocrisy by his family, but he stubbornly refused to admit he was wrong.

To add entertainment to the show, Alf was outraged when his daughter, Rita (played by Una Stubbs), decided to marry Michael, her long-haired, unemployed boyfriend (played by Anthony Booth) from Liverpool, a Catholic of Irish descent; precisely the type of person Alf most hated.

Alf was generally a staunch supporter of the Conservative Party (though not Margaret Thatcher) and he supported West Ham United as well as being an admirer of the Queen and the Royal Family.

The British public loved Alf Garnett, although the television show was heavily criticised for the character's prejudices. Writer Johnny Speight often commented that the character was supposed to be a figure of ridicule, but admits that not all viewers saw the satiric elements of the character.

It is perhaps not a complete coincidence that Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett looks very similar to Sir Rudyard Kipling, who has also been perceived as paternalistic racist; however, Mitchell was not the first choice of producer Dennis Main Wilson for the part. It was initially offered to Peter Sellers, Leo McKern and Lionel Jeffries, but they all turned it down or were unavailable.

Alf Garnett was the direct inspiration for Archie Bunker in the American sitcom All in the Family.

Full of Life

This is Keira Knightley. Brit. Actress. 20 years or so old. Appeared last night at a show business thing where she had been nominated for an award. She did not win but it does not seem to have rained on her parade. There are some excellent photographs of her in today's Daily Telegraph where she is wearing a super dress and some very rich-looking diamonds. She obviously went on the giggle-juice and quite clearly thoroughly enjoyed herself. Good to see happy pictures of a fresh young talent having a night out. Long may she enjoy her life.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Stop that!

I don't care what is in the back of your mind or what demon-inspired list you may have of Things To Do Today. Put them aside and read what this guy is saying. Go beyond his point of literature and think just what the cock-eyed plans and plots of our maniac politicians is leading towards. Not just destroying the chance to debate dolci et decorem est but so much more that is of value and essential to leading a full and rounded life.

Straw Dogs

If today's lone reader can remember, Straw Dogs was about the treatment rendered to incomers. I have to admit I fell asleep but woke just in time to see really wicked things being done to Susan George. It all seemed a bit far fetched. But, now after, what, 30+ years I read what is happening to what appears to be a nice village and start to wonder. Still, at least the dreamy Susan George will be safe.

Monday, 16 January 2006


As a bigot, it is necessary for me to keep track of stereotypes. Thankfully, someone has published just such a thing that will save me much referencing.

Shameless commercialism

As the regular reader will know, I do not often have good words to say about many or much. However, I’ve now had occasion to use a supplier more than once and each time they have come up trumps in price and service. Their name suggests watch batteries only but they do much more. Far better than waiting for some spotty oik at Dixons to cease his gossip and do his impersonation of ‘Computer says NO’, So, this is who you want – in plain sight, no link

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Hail! That man there

I think I might include a Quote For The Day somewhere in this stuff. However, I doubt that I could find one as apposite as this:

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government."
  • Variant: "The more corrupt the state, the more laws."

  • Original Quote: "And now bills were passed, not only for national objects but for individual cases, and laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt." -- Annals 3.27”
The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus.

Not only a Quote For The Day but also a Quote Of The Day

Again - EXCLUSIVE - End of the World

Mark Steyn is a contributor to the New Criterion but publishes widely in both the printed and electronic media. In his almost-current article he provokes us with this:

Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands— probably—just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the west.
One obstacle to doing that is the fact that, in the typical election campaign in your advanced industrial democracy, the political platforms of at least one party in the United States and pretty much all parties in the rest of the west are largely about what one would call the secondary impulses of society—government health care, government day care (which Canada’s thinking of introducing), government paternity leave (which Britain’s just introduced). We’ve prioritized the secondary impulse over the primary ones: national defense, family, faith, and, most basic of all, reproductive activity—“Go forth and multiply,” because if you don’t you won’t be able to afford all those secondary-impulse issues, like cradle-to-grave welfare. Americans sometimes don’t understand how far gone most of the rest of the developed world is down this path: In the Canadian and most Continental cabinets, the defense ministry is somewhere an ambitious politician passes through on his way up to important jobs like the health department. I don’t think Don Rumsfeld would regard it as a promotion if he were moved to Health & Human Services.
Further along in his argument he gets nearer to what he sees as the threat
….. if we are at war—and half the American people and significantly higher percentages in Britain, Canada, and Europe don’t accept that proposition—than what exactly is the war about?
We know it’s not really a “war on terror.” Nor is it, at heart, a war against Islam, or even “radical Islam.” The Muslim faith, whatever its merits for the believers, is a problematic business for the rest of us. There are many trouble spots around the world, but as a general rule, it’s easy to make an educated guess at one of the participants: Muslims vs. Jews in “Palestine,” Muslims vs. Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs. Christians in Africa, Muslims vs. Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs. Russians in the Caucasus, Muslims vs. backpacking tourists in Bali. Like the environmentalists, these guys think globally but act locally.
Yet while Islamism is the enemy, it’s not what this thing’s about. Radical Islam is an opportunist infection, like AIDS: it’s not the HIV that kills you, it’s the pneumonia you get when your body’s too weak to fight it off. When the jihadists engage with the U.S. military, they lose—as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. If this were like World War I with those fellows in one trench and us in ours facing them over some boggy piece of terrain, it would be over very quickly. Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there’s an excellent chance they can drag things out until western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.
Not a cheering future is it? However, my chosen path of assimilating this harsh prediction is that these type of struggles have been around for a long time. This world will last me out my lifetime.