Monday, 31 March 2008

Smart Boy Wanted

Michael-PC is me, and there's the expected BT Home Hub bits - but how do I find out what the THOMSON is and kill it dead?

Vista and the interwebs have a lot of useful stuff about adding network devices, but not a lot about search-and-destroy them.

Just don't like them varmints snufflin' around outside the perimeter fence, is all.

Bass Riffs

MadDog has a Top Twenty Bass Riffs - still listening to them, but heading to the top of the charts with a bullet has to be the Allegretto from Beethoven's 7th...

Two things you would never forgive your ex-wife for doing either:
1) Taking all the photographs, all of them
2) Taking your set of Beethoven's symphonies conducted by Gardiner
while you are at work and she's "just taking away my last few things".

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Armchair Strategy

Mindful of US unease over Basra, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, will signal this week that there will be no withdrawal of UK troops from Iraq this spring. He will tell the Commons that "all options remain under review", but government sources said it was accepted within the military that any troop withdrawal at this time would be "presentationally unacceptable". (Telegraph 30 March)

Presentationally unacceptable.

Ohhh, armchair marketing strategy. Got it. Penny drops. Clunk.

Friday, 28 March 2008


пошлость - poshlost' - deeply more nightmarish than mere vulgarity or philistinism.

V. Nabokov in his brilliant little book on Gogol...

Various aspects of the idea which Russians concisely express by the term poshlost (the stress-accent is on the puff-ball of the first syllable, and the final "t" has a moist softness that is hardly equaled the French "t" in such words as "restiez" or "émoustillant") are split among several English words and thus do not form a definite whole. On second thought, I find it preferable to transcribe that fat brute of a word thus: poshlust—which renders in a somewhat more adequate inner the dull sound of the second, neutral "o." Inversely the first "o" is as big as the plop of an elephant falling into a muddy pond and as round as the bosom of a bathing beauty on a German picture postcard.

This Olympic 'ceremony' was first ceremoned in 1936. Guess who. We salute our herosportspersons.
Achewood gets it totally right yet again.

Technical hint : poke to invoke.

Next post I am going to be totally right about the Lympix Torch Ceremony. Or maybe about something else.

Or maybe just (dammit) plain wrong about something. Like I care.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Tango Tango Tango

WickedRed gets only a 99/100 for Exquisite from me since here is Astor Piazzolla...

Love lust passion sadness elegance immortality... disgusting, beautiful, loss.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Carbon Footstomp

I have been patrolling Brighton Beach this Easter weekend, shouting at anything and anyone with a touch of the old carbon about them.

I carry a hammer in my jacket pocket in case there are any arguments - I can tell you, I deal with backsliders pretty sharpish. There have been a few 'scenes' outside the entirely bogus "Harry Ramsden" fish'n'chip shop opposite the pier, but now that the police have taped off the area all is quiet.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

World Markets

: The World Markets are gone all uncontrollable bumps-a-daisy again. Who knows where it will end?

Blogista: Yep. "Bear Stearns" all round. Yock.

Readers: What should we dooooooooooooooo?

Blogista: Maybe it is time to big up on norks.

Readers: You have a strategy?

Blogista: Short out on sugar, spice and all things nice. Fill y'boots with norks.
Readers: Woooooow. So you're walking away with...

Blogista: Only one bootful of norks. Have to admit, I'm getting old and slow. And now I'm listing helplessly to port.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Memories are Made of Lead

Rode a tank
Held a General's rank
When the bodies raged
And the Blitzkrieg stank

That's how we used to do it in them olden days of yore.

Taaaaaake a pair of ragged claws
Scuuuuu - ttling across the floors of silent seas


Sing along:
Sweet sweet memories you gave-a me
You can't beat the memories you gave-a me
I was a rover
But now it's over
It was a happy day
When you came my way to tell me

Do you give people memories?

Thursday, 13 March 2008


The good instructor spake: "Now seest thou, son!
The souls of those, whom anger overcame.
This too for certain know, that underneath
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs
Into these bubbles make the surface heave,
As thine eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turn.
Fix'd in the slime, they say: 'Sad once were we,
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun,
Carrying a foul and lazy mist within:
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.'
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats,
But word distinct can utter none."
Dante, Inferno, Canto VII in Henry Cary's
1888 translation: I would quote you in the
original, if there were not a circlet of hell
reserved for the incompetent pretentious.

Why a cockroach? Why not? Mr X will appreciate
it, I hope. I saw one in a British Rail buffet
once, eating my sammich (that was before I
purchased the aforesaid sammich). It was making
away with the Warm Chicken filling, so you bet
I purchased that sammich quick so I got some

Hope you all enjoying this Blogs. And all the other
Blogs which complain about Budget and Politicians
but I am not so clever for that!

I give Mr H Cary his "murky settlings", n1ce 1 dood.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are to arrive today.

Why such inaction in the Senate?
Why do the Senators sit and pass no laws?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
What laws can the Senators pass any more?
When the barbarians come they will make the laws.

Why did our emperor wake up so early,
and sits at the greatest gate of the city,
on the throne, solemn, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
And the emperor waits to receive
their chief. Indeed he has prepared
to give him a scroll. Therein he inscribed
many titles and names of honor.

Why have our two consuls and the praetors come out
today in their red, embroidered togas;
why do they wear amethyst-studded bracelets,
and rings with brilliant, glittering emeralds;
why are they carrying costly canes today,
wonderfully carved with silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today,
and such things dazzle the barbarians.

Why don't the worthy orators come as always
to make their speeches, to have their say?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today;
and they get bored with eloquence and orations.

Why all of a sudden this unrest
and confusion. (How solemn the faces have become).
Why are the streets and squares clearing quickly,
and all return to their homes, so deep in thought?

Because night is here but the barbarians have not come.
And some people arrived from the borders,
and said that there are no longer any barbarians.

And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?
Those people were some kind of solution.

Cavafy, 1904, translated by the possibly very wonderful George Barbanis.

Monday, 3 March 2008


Democracy? Димакратия, Dimakratiya, from Dmitriy (Dima) Medvedev. Geddit!?

Doesn't work as well with Gordocracy, somehow. Is there anything to be made of José Barroso and democracia? My many Portuguese readers will no doubt be telling me.

Saturday, 1 March 2008