Long weekend [12]

63.  The Christmas Programme

Was thinking about it all today, the last day of this series of posts and the last day of flu.  The days dovetail nicely.

This week is a new series but still in this current format, to be called Pre-Election, finishing in the wee hours of December 13th with live election blogging, at which point, a daily format starts, culminating each evening from December 13th to 24th inclusive.

Haven’t named this series yet but it will probably be ‘Christmas’.  Headers will be all Christmassy during that series too.  Don’t want to call it Advent because the carols will be called that – 1, 2, 3 etc.

Twelve carols, some from last year, some new. Definitely in there are Boar’s Head, Merry Gentlemen, the one I call Agreeable Odour, my mother’s Drummer Boy and Adeste Fideles on the 24th, to usher in Christmas Day

Other than that, your suggestions for carols would be welcome, the programme to be posted during December 12th.

From Christmas Day to Epiphany inclusive will be another set of daily posts called The First Day of Christmas, The Second Day of Christmas etc., not necessarily musical.

Nothing visible planned after that but there will be blog changes kicking off after Orthodox Christmas [6th/7th], hopefully non-visible.

62. Three vocals and an instrumental

Long weekend [11]

61. An oldy but a goody, via Rossa’s mother

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, he leaned out the window and asked the cowboy:

“If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Bud looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany …

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored.

He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud.

He watches the man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government”, says Bud.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy.

“You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked.

You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. Because this is a herd of sheep!

Now give me back my dog.”

Long weekend [10]

60.  Quite a few people I know are coming up to the big Six-Oh this year – it just has that touch of … well, finality to it, don’t you think? 🙂 Days of chasing the fillies are over, life is over … I’m sure if I ever got to 60, that’s how I’d feel.

And are you now slipper-slobby and taking no more care?  Fie – here’s a guide to help you get back up:

Here are some Z-listers turning or having turned 60 this year:


59.  The Pocklington shield:


The shield was part of an impressive ‘warrior grave’ find uncovered at a Persimmon Homes ‘The Mile’ development last year and now a preservation project has revealed its full glory.

The remarkably preserved bronze shield was found laid face down in the cart of an upright chariot, which had been drawn by two ponies.

The skeleton of a post 46-year-old male was laid upon the shield and is considered to be the shield’s owner.

Conservation has revealed a swirling La Tène style architecture on the owners shield, typical of early Celtic high art.

The repousse design, made by hammering the bronze sheet from the underside, features evidence of organic forms, such as spiralling mollusc shells creating a three-legged triskele motif, and the highly decorative asymmetrical design draws the eye to a central raised boss.

58.  It’s all in the url:


57.  What else would you expect in  Muslim country?


56. General Election

Over at OoL

[H/T Chuckles and haiku]

Long weekend [9]

55.  We never know what will happen and when

Felt good enough to go downstairs with binbags of rubbish, check mail etc. and a neighbour went past, asked about gas bill.  He and two people from non-existent addresses [we know this] have had demands from Scottish Power for £1200 apiece.

He is on a payment scheme, as many of you are, in order to get a cheaper tariff, I got out of that years ago, it’s a scam and i use pay as you go. Costs more but they can’t diddle you.  Also, never ever let utilities companies do direct debit.

Problem was he is with SP himself so it’s much more difficult for him. I had a bill from a different company some years back and I told them I pay, say, Superpower and am NOT going to pay them for any reason.  Then I contacted my own Superpower and said fix it.  They said no I must resolve it.

No way, your error, you fix it or it’s ombudsman. They fixed it.

This chap seems to have no recourse, so I suggested ombudsman but maybe you have a better solution. Be careful if you reply, don’t give away private details of course. It would be nice though to give him something helpful.

54.  Sensitive art

53.  The Special One returns

Chelsea doctor

Chelsea bye bye

Man U bye bye

Spurs hi hi:

There’s a song about that Eva Carnal at Chelsea – you just have to change the word lady for Chelsea and call it the *v*n*v*c song:

While we’re on sport, R.I.P. Bob Willis.

52. Crimbo carols

Not sure what I’ll do this year, because of the GE, would like to get that out of the way first, then think Christmas. What would be nice from you is if there’s a special carol [not being silly now] you’d like included and any you’re sick to death of.

The one I’m sure you never wanted to hear again – I promise I shan’t play it during the Christmas carol fiesta, promise!  We’ll have it now instead. 🙂

Health, by the way, is as projected – shall be more or less out of the dreaded by tomorrow, get the house in order, go out Monday to face the world. To Distant Relative and any other poor sod dear reader – commiserations and take it easy. Andy still alive?

51. Rules for tagliatelle bolognese

a. Shave own moosh, real baby’s bottom stuff;
b. Cook it all up and add grated cheese;
c. Have twirl-fork and under-scissors at the ready;
d. Wash mess off face, hope no one saw the disgraceful exhibition.


Afraid I just hit the coffee, whisky and shortbread. Your culinary fayre today or yesterday? Or indeed – tomorrow?

50. Bridges and tolls

Mark Wadsworth:

All those journeys mean more economic activity and so on. Tolls mean income for the bridge owner and and equal and opposite cost to motorists, so that is just a transfer of wealth and cancels out. Tolls also depress economic activity, so scrapping them is a clear win overall. Which is why I don’t like tolls.

The bad news is, the value of that extra economic activity in south Wales and Bristol largely goes into higher land values, so the total rent collected i.e. land rent + tolls, stays the same.

49. This is no joke

The few people who have visited my place would not find a great difference between this below and my more nautical motif:

48. Boris versus Brexit

Over at OoL

[H/T Chuckles and haiku]

Long weekend [8]

47.  More than luvvy loggerheads

I’m not remotely interested in the morning tele tiff but am most interested in the dynamics in one male surrounded by females.

Reason is that most of my work situations have been as the lone male surrounded by wimmin and one saving factor is that the women themselves do not want you buying into their squabbles. There’s a little bit of ‘stay out of it, you’re a man, you know nothing’ but there’s also a bit of embarrassment for them as they wish to present their best faces to anyone in fact.

So thank goodness I was spared these but when I got back over here, I found myself in a work situation which was peculiar. There were three women regulars, inc. the boss, and one was quite close to me, there was immense goodwill for a long time but the third was the issue.

Long weekend [7]

46.  The first step to turning it round

Emily Segal says not being taught many life skills made her feel she’d been “reborn as stupid” after leaving school.

The presenter told 5 Live’s Sarah Brett she wishes she’d been taught formal email etiquette, financial literacy and how to work storage heaters at school.

I’ve seen a pejorative comment on her stupidity but beg to differ in one sense – she has recognised it, in the same way The Who did in 905.

Like an addict [see 37], that first step ending denial and recognising that there is work to do is so vast a step it can scarce be exaggerated.  Huge step forward and upward.

Now, step two is going to be everything. In bad company or with only the guardian, CNN or modern songs and film, chances are slim of ever climbing out of the abyss. She must learn alternative search methods, start educating herself.

There is also that other method I keep obliquely referring to and then not pursuing.

So I wish her well but the culpability of academia methinks is worthy of a special ring in hell – methinks that’s where these professors et al are headed for doing this to those minds.

45.  Momentum and other communist crazies