Thursday, 29 November 2007

My Hobby

My hobby if I have one at all is learning and forgetting Russian.

I am in a forgetting phase at the moment so it is a delight to find this at Neeka's Backlog - her two year old daughter called Marta who speaks Russian rather less well than I do. Only just, though.

Marta, what day is your birthday?
Right! And how many years old will you be?

The correct answer here is "dva", two. She gets there on the third try.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007




Beauty is slowness.

Computer Dating

: Hello! Tell me about yourself, your hobbies and your likes and dislikes. How many friends do you have? How much money do you earn? What car do you drive. I hate cruelty to animals and people.


Real Me: Naaaaaaaaaah.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

My Project Management Tips For Today #4077

Here is my 4077th Project Management Tip from me. It is today's Tip.

Q: How do I do a Work Breakdown Structure?

A: Here is the answer to your question.

1) List all the products of your project, their components and sub-components. Be merciless.

2) List even more sub-sub-components. Smaller the better. Atoms.

3) Late on in the Project, sit with a glass of chilled Chablis in one paw, and an optional cigarette in the other, with the list.

4) "Check off" all of the tiny particles of Work which are Broken.

That is a Work Breakdown Structure.

Acolytes: What is the point of it?

Self: It is reassuring to know that one will not be saying "ohhhhhhhhhhhh Chrrrrrrrrist" every five minutes for very much longer: everything that can possibly have gone wrong, already has almost finished going wrong. Some sub-sub-components will come around for another go: shun them.


Which puts me in mind of the training course I did in Project Management many years ago. The dullard running it had a peculiar way of pausing reverendly before speaking the word "Work", and of finishing the word with a dry-sticky "K" like it was one of those Deglet Noor dates you only ever get at Xmas.

As if Work were as fundamental as Sex or Death.

Well, maybe it is, but it isn't half as much fun.


Certainly not half as much fun as Carmen Miranda.

Monday, 26 November 2007

The Last Hiding Place

Wretched invention, the mobile phone. I only bought one very reluctantly for work, and then I was careful to get one that would only do phone calls - who wants a third-rate camera, postage-stamp sized internet etcetera?

In answer to David McMahon's question this week, have you ever answered or made a call on a cellphone while you were in a toilet? (Or even wanted to and thought better of it!) the answer is a firm NO. Switched off, every time.

If you can't even hide away in the loo when your Project goes Pear-Shaped any more... what is the world coming to?

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Cheer Up

happy happy happy

happy happy happy



Disco Disco

Here for anyone who is in love, or has been, or may be one day, or hasn't read this blog, or who has stopped reading it (you know who you are) or who failed to JOY in гитар (you know who you are) and for anyone else who is unfortunate enough to be mooching about down range...

now how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land and

and really it serves you right, mon semblable, mon frere...

Do I care any more? No.


Beauty, Truth, Truth, Beauty - whatis? Presented in order of increasingly hopeless miming. Bit like Life Itself.

jum to my yiguaroooooooooooooooooooooooooohhh

Thursday, 22 November 2007


There used to be a program on the Telly called "That's Life" which was very popular and starred Ester Ranzen and Cyril Connolly and

was immensely popular because it featured dogs who could say "Sausages!"

So in a bid to increase the amount of time anyone anywhere spends reading m'blog above 17 seconds a day - hey, I can do sex faster than that - here is

a dog that says "sausages".

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


Your "e-book-reader", sir madam, and a snip at $399 it is, here. Fancy reading a "book", any more.

A massively infectious disease that kills the Stupid the world over is ever more acceptable. Will it be spread at first from Africa by gerbils, like the Black Death?

I don't know, I am not an epidemiologist.

What will we do when the Stupid are dead? Will the side-effects be as profound as that of the Black Death, which saw clocks take on a sudden significance in the Western mind as labour costs rose steeply and had to be regulated?

Who will drive all the motor cars, play all the golf, make all the television and radio programs, when the Stupid are no more? Will the Olympics 2012 flame gutter? Will there still be Government as we understand it? Will anyone study war?

Bit sad about so many people dying, and so forth, but shit happens.

Cruel Frederick

I used as a child to have this edition of Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman (click on the pic to unensmallen).

It is that kind of early influence that has made me the man I am today: an unreliable, shunned and slightly insane alcoholic.

But I am not ever cruel, at least not wittingly. So clearly it has been a good influence.

Monday, 19 November 2007


Thank you to Zenobia for this (the full story is on her blog here)...

But Pliny didn't know much about tigers. On the contrary, he passed on this tall tale:

The tiger ... can run with terrific speed. To take the tiger's cubs, the hunter prepares a fast horse and steals the tiger's entire litter, and rides away, changing to fresh horses as necessary. The tiger, seeing that her cubs are gone, tracks them by scent and chases the hunter. When the hunter sees the tiger catching up, he drops one cub. The tiger stops to pick up the cub before resuming the chase. The hunter repeats this ruse until he reaches his ship; in this way he escapes with at least one of the cubs, leaving the tiger to rage impotently on the shore.

You will not be surprised to know that Isidore of Seville swallowed this story almost whole ... and then went one better: instead of dropping cub after cub, the hunter throws down a mirror or a glass sphere, whereupon the tiger, seeing its own reflection in the sphere and thinking it is her stolen cub, stops to nurse the supposed cub. This gives the robber time to escape.

Sunday, 18 November 2007


A curse upon Mr. Pikey Scum for daring to cross the beloved and respected Mr. Xoggoth.

We have put him in his Box with a penny (of Domitian's time) over each eye.

Properly he should only need one, to pay the ferryman, and in his mouth where the pocketless Ancients carried their small change, but autres temps autres moeurs, he will have a penny spare for a mud pie when he gets there.


Dis Pater

Asphodels need sun and dry soil; the fields of yellow flowers must be in Elysium.

Hades is clammy and cold. The shades weave baskets from reeds or make water cups from the sticky river mud.

Pour them a blood offering and they speak of their lives in that world, and of their time in this. Mind continues: the afterlife is not a dream.

Gore Vidal said about regret, "Never turn down an offer of money or sex". From now on, I won't.

Gift of the Gods

The lucky thrupny bit goes to Mr. MadDog.

Put this in your piggy bank and you will find more money arrives there every day as if by magic (provided you don't poke around in it overnight, or try to break it open with a hammer).

Alas, it will be in the old money, so you will have to wait for a 1933 penny to appear before you have anything of worldly value.

But it puts the tooth fairy to shame. Sixpence a tooth? Pshaw.

Also it completely protects the traveller against all known Foreign diseases. A medicinal gin (btl) and bitters may be a necessary specific before breakfast, but by lunchtime no more than a modest intake of Whisky Sours can be recommended.

One's intestinal flora are English, or at worst British. Whatever happens we have got the Gatling gun and they have not.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


I've posted far too many music clips this weekend - but give this one a try, it is pure joy...

i put on my pyjamas
and gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo to baghamas
baby no possibility
play it with me

Peter Nalich, "Gitar Rulik", and the critics are going wild


Peter Nalitch Жжот!

болшое спасибо to Neeka's Backlog for the link.

Stop This Right Now

Readers: Just because your computer is working again doesn't mean you can go and spray half of YouTube in our general direction.

Self: Oh but...

Love in vain. Yodeling in vain. Yodeling in a van. Poltergeists like giant black bin liners. Do they? No, they are, mine anyway.


Well, why not?

Pat Halcox (tp), Monty Sunshine (cl), Chris Barber (tb)... me (tdtf).

I shall be checking SiteMeter to see if anyone went the full four minutes. Lucky threepenny bit to those who do.

I might end up all of sixpence down, and one of those was me.

No, I don't know what the pictures are about either. I would have settled for playing the trumpet as well as Pat Halcox, but you can't have everything.

Too Drunk To Fuck

Not that anyone's offering. Might as well get drunk then.

Lonnie Donegan made a few awful "Hit" singles (remember David Jacobs?) but when nobody was looking or listening he recorded a half dozen great songs...

... here is Railroad Bill

and here is the Midnight Special

The best were made around 1958, when I was made too. A rose red alkie half as old as some.

Saturday, 10 November 2007


A song from another and innocent age here. Goodbye-ee!

More here.

The Gods Are Angry

Still no computer..!

All I want is the LCD screen fixed.

When I phoned the shop at 10:30 this morning and they said "good afternoon" my confidence was not increased.

Last week my laundry lost all my socks, this week they tell me that their ironing service went on holiday for two weeks, so I will have to iron my shirts, for the first time in twenty years.

Ploppy. That's what Life is at the moment. Thx, gods.


Molio: See! Miranda yon, tis shee I loue

Polio: Oh fie!
Shee is a plopsome mayde, scarce worthe
The trouble of the plunging.

[They fight together, with others, with each other, severally and against themselves]

Molio: Alas run through, I dye.

Polio: I too, alas.
Some poyson was there in my pint of sack.

Bolio: Twas I! Though dead, I haue reuenge at laste
Mu ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Thomas Whatfor, "The Tragedian's Tragedy", 1603.

Whatfor, known to his contemporaries as "the Ploppye Playwright", was snarked to death at Wapping Steps before he could complete the manuscript.


I feel a kiddies' TV series coming on... starring Ploppy the Lop-Eared Puppy and Miranda the Magic Lamppost.

As when in autumn the plane trees drop their broad leaves to lie in drifts along the pavement, and the traveller hears the sharpening wind begin to stir them, so I hear the sussuration of banknotes.