Friday, September 29, 2006
Are all things going wrong?
Wipe away that frown,
And listen to my song....
Raindrops on noses and whiskers all soggy,
Clothes ripped by roses on days dull and foggy
Soft wormy apples gone mouldy and bad
These are the things that make me sad.
Grumpy old beggars with snotty moustaches
Snowstorms that freeze up my hair and eyelashes
Brown paper envelopes, each with a bill
These are the things that make me ill.
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When the sailors curse
I simply remember that life is no good
And that makes me feel much worse.
Rickety wardrobes with pull-away handles
Slippery sand that seeps into my sandals
Motor-car engines that splutter and choke
These are the things that gie me the boak.
Clouds grey and sleeting on snip-snappy poodles
Pies with no meat in and green soggy noodles
School-dinner custard that's lumpy and thick
These are the things that make me sick.
When the toast falls
On the jam side
And the fat lady sings
I rattle my fist and I write out a list
Of my least favourite things.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Oh dear, it's a sad time for astrologers everywhere. They had managed to incorporate the subtle guidance of Pluto into their comprehensive system, and now it's all been taken away from them - woe, woe, thrice woe!
Do you think part of the reason the IAU decided to demote Pluto was to seriously piss off the astrologers? Sadly, probably not, but it must feel oh so good even so. Astronomers probably loathe the trine and square brigade as much as I do iridologists.
I've not seen any astrologers on TV recently talking about this. Maybe they're hoping for it to be forgotten quickly, so that they can go back to bilking the public with one less planet to work with.
Fat chance! Do you want to know how to wind up an astrologer now?
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I'm having an interesting discussion over on Beep beep it's me, on two threads. One about the Exodus, and another about the Resurrection. Why not get over there now, and join in before she moves onto another topic. The comments section for both is getting quite long, people seem to be posting screeds (myself included), as opposed to the normal short pithy paragraphs.
How I wish I could get a comment thread this long on this blog. I'm sure it'll happen one day. I've only been going four months. It takes time to build up a readership, and I know I have you, my band of regulars. Knowing that there is an audience, gives me the strength to persevere.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Still, can't complain, I prefer doing it this way. I'm used to the long days now. The hours after teatime are invaluable for getting loose ends tied up. And I love all those days off.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
What about Britons being forced to spell things the American way? And Americans having to play rugby and cricket instead of football and baseball?
The purpose of nuclear weapons is to dissuade attack. If America tries to invade Iran, it would be a disaster of biblical proportions. What's needed is another Cold War in the Middle East, just to keep a lid on tensions until a new generation comes to power and diplomatic solutions have time to be worked towards.
Monday, September 18, 2006
The political set-ups of the new millennium are evolving. The Country as a unit of administration is slowly moving towards the Continental Region as a political/economic structure. China is the oldest by far, followed by Russia, India and the USA. Europe is coalescing fast. Pan-Islamiyya - the uniting of all the countries of the crescent - is as yet a far off dream, but is feasible, given the common languages and religion. A unified Latin America is even more feasible, given the dominance of Spanish (except in Brazil**)
Which brings us back to these two leaders. Imagine the strength of a Pan-Islamiyya/Pan-Latina alliance compared to the present Europe/USA alliance. Serious competition I think.
Anyway, in the wake of the Pope's verbal gaffe, these two leaders at least, are showing that it is possible for Muslims and Catholics to overcome the religious divide and work together. This can only be a good thing, right?
*We may have the beginnings of a Monty Python sketch here.
**But Portuguese is easily translated. Just change all the -cion suffixes to -cao***
***I haven't worked out how to put a squiggle**** over the o. Just pretend it's there.
****The squiggle probably has a name. I can't think of it at the moment.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
There are a lot of fine fantasy novels, but we had to wait for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, before we had a truly epic fantasy film. It wasn't the special effects that were the problem - they were good for the era - the actual plots were all a bit weak.
(Warning - plot spoilers ahead)
In Dragonslayer, Ralph Richardson plays a wizard who dies in the first act, returns to life in the final act only to do a suicide bombing on the dragon. In Willow, it is prophesied that the baby will bring about the destruction of the villianess, in fact it's Willow that does it. The baby is irrelevant. In fantasy fiction, prophesies should be iron-clad. They may not unfold as the characters expect, but the prophecy must be fulfilled to the letter. George Lucas has redeemed himself by incorporating the best example of a fictional prophecy - Anakin Skywalker bringing balance to the Force - in the Star Wars epic.
Which of these films is your favourite? My vote goes to Dragonslayer.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
The only thing is, these two worlds have been Xena and Gabrielle for three years, and names have a habit of sticking. Who's to say that a planet can't have a proper name and a nickname? People do, objects do, why not worlds. There is a precedent: Arrakis and Dune!
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Not that it makes any difference to his Prime Ministerial ambitions. Barring any cock-ups of biblical proportions between now and when Mr Blair finally goes, Mr Brown will be our next Prime Minister. Whether he can win a fourth term for Labour is another matter entirely.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Congratulations to Sapient Fridge who was first with the answer.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
If you said Mauna Kea, you're getting higher. Everest is 8.848km above sea level, but Mauna Kea is over 9km from sea floor to summit. But it's still not the answer I'm looking for.
There is, in fact a mountain, who's summit is 2.1km higher than Everest's. And that mountain is...?
Tune in tomorrow to find out.
(Man, I love cliffhangers)
Monday, September 11, 2006
I didn't watch it again tonight. Instead I finally caught LA Confidential. Cool movie.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
The climactic scene at the end of the first part - where the NSA boss slams the phone down on his agent, ensuring that Bin Laden goes free - didn't happen. Bill Clinton being too distracted by Monica Lewinsky to hunt down Bin Laden - didn't happen.
The film is a deliberate attempt to smear the Clinton administration before the November elections, and the BBC are party to this. All I ask is that you spread the word.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Guess what? We get to see the film before the Americans. It's being shown tonight (the 10th) on BBC 2, the day before they see it. I hope the BBC realise that they're opening themselves to some serious legal sanctions. The film is defamatory, and there are laws against that sort of thing.
Friday, September 08, 2006
All I hope is, that this is the last time they restructure the NHS wage structure, until after I retire, anyway, and that's a couple of decades away. It's been a major hassle. I don't think anyone foresaw how complicated an operation it was going to be. I feel the problem is one of trust. We have none! We feel the Government is out to shaft us with weasel words. Unless we nail them down with cast-iron guarantees, they'll wriggle out of any commitment, and sell us down the river. (How many mixed metaphors in that?) Last year's heckling of the Health Secretary, what's-her-face, at the RCN conference was merely a public manifestation of our mood.
How good a deal is AfC, if the doctors and senior managers don't want to be involved, anyway?
Thursday, September 07, 2006
We went to the Historic Docks at Portsmouth, and saw the Mary Rose, the Warrior and Victory. It was interesting seeing the development of naval warships from Tudor times to the Victorian era.
If you were in Cambridge last weekend and saw or heard fireworks, we were right there, celebrating a family birthday.
I am now returned, refreshed and respirited (12-year old malt whisky) and ready to blog!