31 March 2009

Happy Hour

I'm at a bit of a loose end this evening as Mrsslippy is on nights (her last shift until April 27th - nice...), and ever the sophisticate, I intend to spend the evening watching shitty horror films and boozing.

Not quite sure what to drink because;
  • I've got no red wine
  • Tinned beer is for emergencies - not to quaff and enjoy
  • Running too low on tonic for G&T
I've decided to see if there's anything in the 'special cupboard' that needs a bit of a seeing to.

Ladies and gentleman, with absolutely no due consideration for my health and safety, welcome to Slippymark's Horror Cocktail Night.

First up's a long refreshing one.
Orange juice + grenadine + tequila = Tequila Sunrise.
Very pretty, and tastes lovely....

Served with pickled onion monster munch and Alien vs Predator: Requiem
Face huggers - love 'em. They make very affectionate pets so I hear.

Next, another long one.
Cherry brandy + gin + Benedictine + fresh lemon juice + soda water + a cherry = Singapore Sling

Some poor buggers just been found skinned up a tree. I blame the Predator. That's just how they roll. Not content with just predating, they have to go and defile the body. Sick fucks. I need a stiff drink

Cream liqueur + Grand Marnier = B52
I couldn't get it to settle properly, so just necked it straight down - as you're supposed to do anyway.

I need to get back to the film!
Scotch + Red Vermouth + Angastora Bitters + a cherry = Rob Roy

I really like this one. Possibly because I'm drinking it from my fancy cocktail glass, possibly it's bitters, or most likely, it's the warm fuzzy feeling I'm getting from the sudden rush of many spirits, and watching 2 alien creatures batter 7 shades of shit out of each other.

Are there 7 shades of shit? I suppose Dulux would tell us there are several hundred, but when it comes to the push (or not if you've been eating your fibre), is there really much variation on pale, light brown, mid brown, dark brown, and the Guinness shit? If you reckon there are discernible differences between these bog standards, then you're either ill, or scatalogically fixated of the Gillian McKeith variety.

Oh oh! Alien in the house! It's after Michelle Dessler from 24/Amy from Lost. Run Michelle/Amy! Call for Jack/Jack!

Phew she's safe (who'd have guessed). And that Alien punching into that guys head with his ramrod minimouth reminds me somewhat of my tales of eating Creme Eggs. Maybe I'm not concentrating, but isn't this film a bit shit?

And not 'so shit it's good shit', like Basketcase or Leprechaun. Just plain awful.

I think I need another drink, and another film.....

Dark rum + fresh lime juice + Angastora bitters + grenadine = Planters Punch

And lets see what Zone Horror has to offer...

Severed - now that's more like it..

A multi-national forestry company engages in genetic experimentation to increase logging yield in a remote section of forest. But the experimentation goes disastrously wrong, transforming a disparate group of loggers and environmental activists into the "infected" -- ravenous, zombie-like creatures who prey upon the few terrified survivors while they attempt to understand and control the disaster....
I think I might go and watch this somewhere a bit more comfortable, as otherwise I might end up asleep on the sofa.

Night all, me and Busta are off to bed to drink Baileys out of a shoe.

30 March 2009

Small is beautiful

I was alerted today to a video that I found just so cool, I just had to find out more, and share, so thanks scaryduck for the tip off.

Have you ever seen really great Macro photography? You know, pictures of really small stuff. You can tell it's small because the depth of field is short, so only part of the picture is in focus.

Kind of like what I've done below. Not the best examples, but they're mine so I can put them up without having to credit someone else.

Your brain knows these are small things because of the blurring in the foreground and background.

But can you trick your brain into thinking big things are small if what you're looking at is only focused centrally? Normal cameras don't do this. The last thing you would want if taking a nice scenery or crowd scene would be most of it being a blur.

You can get special lenses that will do this, or a bit of jiggery pokery in Photoshop can achieve the same effect with a bit of layer masking and lens blur.

I had a go myself with a picture I took in Venice looking down on St. Marks Square.

Not perfect, but a first attempt, and hopefully you get the impression that it could actually be a miniature model, not life sized. Probably turning up the colour saturation a bit might make the people look 'hand painted'. I'll tinker with some other pictures.

Now hold that thought, and have a look at some of the amazing pictures online that others have done.

And finally, check out Keith Loutits videos. He's taken the same principle and used time lapse photography to create some scenes that look like a Cravendale advert, but are real people, frame by frame by frame...

Mardi Gras from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Then check out his other stuff.

Fancy a go yourself but can't afford Photoshop?

Neither can I, so I use GIMP - it's free and does everything Potatoshop does.

You gotta love open access software developers

29 March 2009

How do you eat yours?

Creme egg fans have only got a fortnight left to stock up before they disappear off the shelves for another year, and I for one will be glad to see the back of them.

I've not got the sweetest tooth in the world, as regular readers will attest, I much prefer crisps. I'll eat chocolate if it's put in front of me, unless of course, it is one of those ovoid goo fests.

Far too sickly.

Hot cross buns are a seasonal delight that I'd quite happily eat all year round, but if someone brings a box of Creme Eggs into work, then thanks, but no thanks.

I used to, and my earliest memory of one is also a bit of a confession.

When I was 7 or 8, I shared a room with my older brother, and one year we must have been given a Creme Egg each by someone.

Not wanting to eat my own yet, but curious as to what that yolky stuff in the middle actually tasted like, I decided the easiest way to find out was to poke a hole in big brothers, and drink out the yolk like some sugar crazed mongoose.

I peeled away a tiny corner of foil, and tried to pierce that chocolate chunklet with a paper straw.

No good.

Needed something firmer.

Pencil - too thick. Safety pin - too narrow.

Then I spotted it. On the floor, our recently finished game of Cluedo. There was a little metal dagger...

Only this looked a little weedy too...but the... what's that? The lead piping! Perfect diameter, and if I held the tip against the radiator for a couple of minutes I could heat it up enough to melt a hole in the chocolate, snaffle the innards, then melt the hole back up again.

Hole successfully made, I was back with the straw, but that gunk was just to thick to suck out. I'd have to use my poisonous board game accessory as a soldier.

So there I was. Dipping a piece of real lead (this was pre Health & Safety Law), into a Creme Egg and sucking off the goo like a chimp poking a stick in an ants nest.

So do you want to know why you once had an almost empty Creme Egg Simon?

You want to know who killed it before it had a chance at life?

It was your little brother, in the bedroom, with the lead piping.

Maybe that's why I don't like them now. Not the fact that the first one I remember probably gave me lead poisoning, but that not since have matched up in taste department without that heavy metal tang.

28 March 2009

Cheryl clocked my fat balls

Something I never expected to be doing on a Saturday morning was discussing my fat balls with one of the Infectious Diseases nurses from work.

Mrsslippy has gone away for the day to Mrs Ethicons baby shower, with Katieluv, Horledge, and Littleginger/Ginger Warrior (who due to an argument with some snow is taking some time out from warmongering, and is Timmied up in a sling).

I wasn't embarrassed to show Cheryl my balls, she's probably seen loads in her time, although I think she was a little surprised to see mine, particularly at 9.30 on a Saturday morning.

My neighbours have seen them, as they're often proudly hanging out in the back garden. In fact the first thing I did when I got home was go round the back and get them out.

Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I spilt my seed everywhere.

For this morning I was caught at our local garden centre stocking up on bird food. A jumbo tub of fat balls, and a 3kg bag each of peanuts, mixed seeds, and sunflower seeds. If they'd got any mealworms I'd have had them too, but today wasn't to be.

I also invested in a new pole to hang feeders off, as the one we have with a big tray on it has been claimed by pigeons, and the starlings seem to think the other pole is for them, and them alone. This brings the total of feeders to 8 or 9 or something, plus loose balls.

I know it's not cool, but being as I am not either, then I shall come clean.

I am a birder. A card carrying member of the RSPB.

Not a Twitcher - they are just list making completists, who will travel the length and breath of the country just so they can say 'seen it'.

I enjoy the simple pleasure of just sitting and watching our feathered friends going about their daily business.

Not to say if I did see something rare or unusual I wouldn't be excited, but I'm just as happy watching the starlings munching on my balls.

We've got a pair of binoculars each, and even a couple of spare pairs. I'm sure the people who live over the back will report me to the police one day for spying on them due to me often hanging out the window with a pair of bins glued to my face.

If it wasn't for the fact it's pissing it down I'd be there now, seeing who fancies a go on my new treats.

While I wait for it to subside, I'll share a few pictures of some of the little feathery things that have brought me some joy over the years. There are dozens more on my website, and just you wait until we get back from Brazil. I'm gonna have Toucans, and Hummingbirds, and Parrots.....

Stork Billed Kingfisher - Borneo

Oriental Pied Hornbill - Borneo. Noisiest bird I've ever heard.

Heron - Regents Park. The place is swarming with them. I wouldn't call them tame, but they're certainly approachable.

Some type of Hawk - I can't tell from the silhouette. Any ideas?

A Falcon from a display team at Banham Zoo.

A pissed off looking thrush - somewhere in Norfolk

Red legged Partridge sat on our back fence. It really shouldn't be there.

Oyster Catcher on North Norfolk Coast.

Barn Owl at Brancaster

I think this Robin was in Norfolk somewhere....

Avocet at Titchwell RSPB reserve in Norfolk. Beautiful birds.

Saw this little fella cleaning himself at Derwent Water ooop North

I have no idea where I interrupted this Blackbird having his dinner - somewhere in the Lake District.

Cormorant on Lake Windermere. We hired a row boat, and Mrsslippy's careful oarsmanship got us really close to it.

And me feeding dirty pigeons, again, Lake Windermere.

Rain's stopped. I'm off to inspect my balls.

27 March 2009

Dreadlock Holiday

"I say,
I don't like cricket - oh no,
I love it,
I don't like cricket - no no,
I love it,
Don't you walk thru my words,
You got to show some respect,
Don't you walk thru my words,
'Cause you ain't heard me out yet."

Or so said 10cc back in 1978.

Once wise words, but tonight, I'm pretty sure if I don't like it, in fact I'm rather disgruntled with the whole sorry affair.

Home from work with a couple of brews on board I fancy watching a bit of the second One Day International between the proud inventors of the game, and the Windies.

And what do I find? England all out for 117, and Windies sailing on 91-0

When did we get quite so shit? (Australians need not answer, it was a rhetorical question - however you may need to look up 'rhetorical' in a dictionary)

I know we did very poorly in the Test series, but I blame the pitches (or lack of). When we could bat, so could they. The only reason we won the first one dayer was because their coach (an Aussie), failed to understand the Duckworth-Lewis system (something to do with how many Coronation Street/Inspector Morse DVD's the opposing team can get through whilst it's either pissing it down, or too dark to be able to see which part of he seam to rub grit into), and pulled the Windies off (stop sniggering at the back) before they'd seen all the directors commentaries and making of featurettes.

WICKET!!!......oh fuck, what does it matter.....98-1.....

Mrsslippy has cunningly managed to procure tickets for an England v Australia one dayer, and I am already very afraid of the potential humiliation that we will be able to witness first hand.

A quick look at the BBC website informs me that Freddie was C&B for a duck on his return from injury, and KP only made 3. If memory serves, that's 17 in the first ODI and 12 in the second. If plotted on a graph, I reckon next time he'll score -1. Good luck with that Kev.

WICKET!!!...last chance recovery! They've only got 27 overs and 8 wickets spare to beat us...

Or not. All over before I could even be arsed to look back at he keyboard.

I don't like cricket - oh no

I despise it to the very core of my blackened, disillusioned heart.

26 March 2009

Geek Nirvana

My old mucker Stevo recommended a book to me this week.

I quote;

I read good book. The Gone-Away World.

Read. Enjoy.

(P.S. It's a nerd book which is why I am only recommending it to you.)
So £5.53 including VAT and delivery from Amazon has procured me said novel, saving me £12.46 from it's cover price of £17.99, which in turn I may put towards purchasing a new catflat, since the fuckwit of a postman has buggered ours by ramming the book through it.

The cover boasts a promise of 'Part adventure, part comic odyssey, part geek nirvana..'

Hmm...geek nirvana...tell me more....

The cover also heralds some artwork by my favourite painter, Hieronymus Bosch, fabled for his grotesque images of Hell.

Poor Hell, getting bad press again, due to some stupid typo or translation error. What Bosch was really painting were images of Hull. If you look carefully you can clearly see the Humber Bridge in the background of this one.

No wonder he hung up his paint brushes and concentrated on making power tools.

But I digress. This geek nirvana. What is it? Where is it? Have I already found it?

Buddah described nirvana as the perfect peace of the state of mind that is free from craving, anger and other afflictive states. The subject is at peace with the world, has compassion for all and gives up obsessions and fixations. But is that me?

What brings peace to my world? And more's the point, is it geeky?

Busta does. Never more content than when sat in a plastic bag. I blame his real dad for encouraging this as a kitten.
Nirvana level high, geek level low.

Lego Batman keyring. You're never alone when you've got a little Lego man for company, and what better company than this. Pinocchio had Jiminy Cricket, I've got the Dark Knight. What would you rather have as your conscious? A talking insect, or a psychotic vigilante?

Ray Harryhausen posable skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts. Mrsslippy bought me this in L.A., so not only is it way cool and geeky, it's sentimental and instrumental to my inner peace. I also own a Harryhausen box set containing a dozen of his films. Heaven.As is my Hammer Horror box set of 25 cult classics.

Transforming Han Solo/Chewbacca. These robot babies transform into the Millenium Falcon, but are currently taking some downtime from smuggling, and doing the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.

Just about the coolest toy ever, and a birthday present to me, from me, at the age of 34.

And if anyone dispute the whole '12 parsecs thing', what with a parsec being a unit of distance, not time, it means she's fast enough to get within 12 parsecs of the black holes in the notorious 'Maws Black Hole Cluster', so Han can get from the Off licence to Kessel quicker than anyone. Jeez, do they teach you kids nothing at school these days...

Some books and shit. Key to inner peace is inner knowledge, and I like to make sure I have this by reading up on the important things in life, such as The Marvel Encyclopedia, or an Anthology of Zombie Comics. I think there's a collection of Star Wars postcards from Empire magazine in that little blue box, that I keep promising to myself that I'll mount and display someday. And that Chuck Palahnuik book is worth a butchers Stevo, if you've not read it.

Mrsslippy got me the bear things - they are also tres cool, I've got a Boba Fett one on another shelf that I bought in Borneo in perhaps the coolest geeky retro stylee shop I've ever been in, but due to luggage restrictions, had to make do with just a token souvenir. Mrsslippy got herself a way cool bag from the same shop. We should go back.

So I think I'm well on the way to geek nirvana, I'm certainly a fully fledged geek.

So I will set forth on your recommended book Stevo, seeking enlightenment, ninjas, pirates, and Matahuxee Mime Combine.

And oh look Stevo, it appears that despite only paying a fiver for it, I somehow seem to have ended up with a hardback, first edition, signed by the author.

Now how uber nerd is that?

25 March 2009

I'm not greedy


I called into the boozer on the way home from work for a swifty, and that was absolutely fine.

But my downfall has come through the cockney gabble of Terry the Fossil.

Show off bastard had got some slowly roasted ribs in the oven, which he'd marinated and cooked using mine own special recipe.

I'd already received dinner instructions from mrsslippy, who had texted me to ask for some sausages, but due to some weird predictive text nonsense, she would like me to 'cool them'. They are mrsslippys 'special sausages', so I'd need to sort myself out anywho, and right now, I would kill my own mother (sorry Mum - the blood lust will pass!) for some Chinese Ribs.

Time check - 18:45. Mrsslippy E.T.A. - 20:30. Plenty of time to sup up, nip to Chinky, and be home with evidence disposed of, and sausages in the oven for her return home.


Only problem was, that I kind of go into autopilot mode when I get to the Chinese, so out came the usual spiel that will procure enough deep fried/stir fried/special fried goodness to feed us both, and the cats for supper, breakfast and dinner, and still have enough left over to feed the birds.

Ribs, sweet and sour chicken balls, sticky shredded chili beef, pork fried rice, chicken and cashews, crispy seaweed etc..... I may have over ordered.....

I think the first clue was the fact that she gave me two bags. One with my free bottle of coke and a bag of prawn crackers for spending shitloads, the other containing my food.

The bag with the food weighed considerably more than the 2 litre bottle of drink, which by my estimation means I've bought 2.5-3kg of the very best Chinese takeaway Chinton can offer.

Second clue was that there's not enough space on the kitchen worktop to open everything. I think I may struggle to consume this and hide the remains before mrsslippy gets home.

So I best crack on. First helping gone, it's back into the kitchen for seconds.

And pop mrsslippys sausages in the freezer. I'm sure that's what she meant.

24 March 2009


Heston's back, and he's gone all Romanesque. I'm hoping he serves hors d'oeuvres a la Monty Python's Life of Brian snack seller at the Colosseum.

He's promising a feast fit for Caligula. That'll be feasting on a horses cock then...


..and still attached...

..and twitching and throbbing...


Tonight's guests include;
Danny Wallace(presumably still in 'Yes Man' mode, Greta Scatchi, and the posh(er) one from Armstrong and Miller - you know - the one that flogs Pimms, and rent-a-loon in loons, The Marquis of Bath.

Well the hors d'oeuvres aren't a kick in the arse from larks' tongues, wrens' livers, chaffinch brains, jaguars' earlobes and wolf nipple chips.

Nipples are on the menu. Pigs nipple scratchings. You dirty bastard. You're at it again ruining a perfectly good pub snack. I like pork scratchings, even when they're still bristly, but if the nipples were hairy, then that'd be just wrong.

Starter, calves brain custard, which at the moment he's mixing with Thai fish sauce. The one that really stinks (but I like). Strangely every unsuspecting member of the public that he cons into tasting it immediately bokes it back. Can't imagine why...

Under the belief that it's the fish sauce that's ruining the tasty brains, as it's not 'proper bo' , he's off in search of some mackerels guts to ferment, as this would be 'authentic'. We're also reliably informed that Worcester Sauce is made from fermented anchovies. No it's not, they drill for it round the back of the Cathedral, just like there's a HP Sauce well just behind the Houses of Parliament.

As if we'd put rotten fish on a nice bit of cheese on toast!

Main course is a Trojan Hog with sausages for intestines. Could be safe to eat, but who knows how he plans to defile it yet...

Just so we can be sure that the 'intestines' look realistic, we're treated to the sight of a real pig being gutted. Unnecessary. Thank god I've already eaten.

And how do you boil a whole pig? Why 24 hours in a hot tub of course! I think he's taking the whole Roman Bath thing to extremes. Danny Wallace just said on Twitter that he believes he's one of the few people in the world to have eaten a pig cooked in a Jacuzzi. I'm sure there are several people out there who've had a gobble on Michael Winner...

Then with the aid of an endoscope he's stuffing a hollowed out spit roasted pig with the rankest sausages you've ever seen, all lubricated with some yellow/brown fluid that looks suspiciously like faecal fluid to me. I really don't want to see them slop out onto the table.

OH MY GOD...that is gross.

Dessert will be ejaculating cakes. The Romans had some kind of phallic pudding that jizzes fruit juice and saffron custard, but what he says he really wants is a 'bubbling' effect, rather than a grand spurt.

Heston, you've spent too long standing in front of an industrial microwave if your spunk gun doesn't so much shoot, as bubble out a frothy love custard. There's something seriously wrong with you.

A center piece of a statue with a gigantic cock is brought out followed by....

Chocolate sponge bell end!


Danny Wallace is well out of his comfort zone, and who can blame him with the batty Marquis of Bath marvelling at the tables centre piece, and contemplating what he would do if he had a 2 foot cock.

'Pour your juices into the hole' says the maitre d with no sense of irony whatsoever.

And what do they like most about it? It's got space dust in it. You can't take credit for that, you can buy it in the corner shop for 10p.

Yep, Roman Heston is just as bonkers and sex obsessed as he has been in other time periods, and is a master of showmanship, but that food had better taste good, because once again, the ingredients are just plain wrong.

22 March 2009

I love Street View

Have you found your house on Street View yet?

Mine's not on there as I live too far out of town, but yours is, and I've zoomed in to see just how untidy you are, whether you've got anything worth nicking, and if you're getting dressed in front of the window.

Or at least that's what some of the more hysterical tabloid journalists and commentators would have you believe.

Launched a few days ago in the UK as part of Googles plan to Map the entire planet, and the visible universe, there are now 25 cities in the UK where you can place yourself on a computer street and have a 360 degree view of the world around you.

Don't believe me? Here's where I went to school.

I can pan the camera round to the right and head up to the bus stop to wait for a ride home..

...or pan round to the left and head up the road for a lunchtime pint, for old times sake....

That's no bus stop......fond memories of hiding from the teachers at lunchtime, who were probably doing the same.

You can even see the old man sat outside, and nearly even the confused look on his face as the Google car with multiple mounted cameras drives past. The reason you can't quite see it is those clever people at Google have used face recognising technology to blur individuals, so there is no way of proving just who this is who sat down outside a pub for long enough for a car to drive past on an uncertain date in history (although no doubt Google know when the picture was taken, but it's not displayed anywhere).

But this isn't enough for self appointed saviours of privacy protection in the UK. Already Google have taken down pictures of a man walking out of a sex shop, and another blowing chunks outside a pub, following complaints of 'intrusion'. Another man has complained because there is a photo of him,taken from behind, with a sweaty back! He claims that hehad just returned from the gym (how did he know when it was taken?). As it's the drive of his house, it's clearly him, and now the rest of the world thinks he's a sweaty fucker?

Well guess what? Only your neighbours know it's you - we have no idea who you are. And if the sweaty cap fits, wear it. If you're really quite a fragrant, hygienic soul, then I'm sure all your mates will know that you've just been buffing up (but next time, please get washed and changed before you drive home Mr Stinky).

All acts occurred in public places, and probably weren't the first or last episodes for any of the gentleman. I could photograph them and stick them on my website - quite within my rights. But if people with blurred out faces can refuse to have their image displayed, are we walking down a slippery slope of censorship? With so many of us using digital cameras, and posting our pictures onto the web for all to see, what is to stop your genuine tourist snaps being censored simply because a complete stranger has spotted themselves in the background, scratching their bollocks?

And it doesn't stop there! The Daily Mail would have us believe that paedophiles are trawling Google Maps looking for houses with toys in the front garden so they know where to find children! Now I don't know any paedos, but I'm guessing they'd have to be either very fucking lazy, or very fucking stupid if their most effective way of stalking and plotting is to look at gardens street by street. America's version of Streetview has been available for a couple of years - plenty of time for kids to grow up or move house.

So I'm sure as time goes on, more and more images will be removed, and more and more will the average person no longer be allowed to point their camera where they damn well please in a public place for fear of offending anyone in the background having a bad hair day.

Google Street view is a fantastic application, either to just poke around at the haunts of your childhood, or to get your bearings of what a strange place looks like before you visit there. I had a virtual poke around Washington before I went last October - it really helped.

Don't let the self righteous right wing press ruin everyone else's fun. Go and have a play on it before your neighbour takes down your street because that's their mistresses car parked in their drive.

And for gods sake put some clothes on, I can see your arse.

21 March 2009

Lesbian Vampire Killers

Lesbian Vampire Killers.

It seems to be lacking some punctuation somewhere. I know from the trailer what this is supposed to be about, but is it;

a) Lesbians, who kill vampires.
b) Lesbians, who are vampires and kill people.
c) Killers of lesbians, who are vampires.
d) People tho kill vampire lesbians.

If you guessed 'd' then you are correct! And have no doubt seen the aforementioned trailer that gives me some concerns that Messers. Cordon and Horne have pushed their popularity a little to far, as it looks like an absolute stinker.

The words 'lesbian', 'vampire', and 'killer' when thrown into any film title increase the chances of 'their demographic' (of which I am one) watching it, but is this a case of the law of diminishing returns?

Call a film 'Ichi', and I probably won't give it a second look, but 'Ichi the Killer' - now that's a hook that's worth a look. Featuring the Yakuza, martial arts, and a psychotic hitman with a Chelsea Smile held together with rings at the corners of his mouth. He can blow smoke through the unhealed slits in his cheeks. It's seriously fucked up bit of surreal Japanese fare, and I have a copy if you want to borrow it.

I film about a D.I.Y? Not interested. But 'Driller Killer'? Another from my personal collection. Before his more commercial love letters to the rotten to the core under belly of the Big Apple, King of New York with Christopher Walken, or 'Bad Lieutenant' with Harvey Kietel, Abel Ferrera directed himself in this low budget shocker of an artist losing his mind, who spends his nights killing time, and homeless people with a power drill. A nice family Christmas film.Check it out.

'Regarding Henry' -schmaltzy nonsense with Harrison Ford. 'Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer' - seriously challenging film making, with a protagonist who makes Dexter look like Ned Flanders.

Yep, throwing a bit of Killer into the mix generally increases my interest.

But what about some Vampire action? I grew up on Hammer Horror, and there's no doubt that the Vampire genre is both massive, and slightly dubious in some of it's fare. Yes Eddie Murphy, I'm talking to you for your absolutely risible 'Vampire in Brooklyn'.

And the number of Lesbian films is probably even greater. Even discounting the straight to DVD 'special interest films', according to IMDB there are over 50 'proper films' with lesbian in the title ('Song of the Lesbian Pirates' being possibly my favourite). I'm sure that there are an exponentially larger number than that available, but you'll have to Google them yourself.

So Vampire on it's own is unreliable. Lesbian even more so. What if we mix them together?

Several years ago I saw an 'art horror' film called 'Vampyros Lesbos', probably on late at night onChannel 4. More in the style of a mildly erotic Hammer film, and badly dubbed, IMDBb informs me that its English title is 'The Vampire Women'.


'Lesbos' does not translate as 'women', and even if it does, these women just happened to prefer to drink their blood from a furry cup.

IMDb also informs me of another Vampire Lesbian film that I was not aware of, 'Vampire Lesbian Kickboxers'. There's not much to go on in the IMDb description, but as it's suggestive of a softcore porn meets Jean Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer), then I'll probably want to give it a miss.

Combine Vampire and Killers then you get the charming and funny 'The Fearless Vampire Killers' aka 'Dance of the Vampires. Made by and starring Roman Polanski in happier times ie before he made Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby. Featuring his wife Sharon Tate (later killed by the Mansun family), and pre shagging 13 year olds shenanigans that put him so out of favour with Hollywood, he's now been re accepted, largely thanks to 'The Pianist', for which he won an Oscar in 2002. Dig out this 1967 parody on Hammer Horror. It's a little gem.


Lesbian = highly dubious
Vampire = unreliable
Killer = good

Lesbian + Vampire = arty/soft porn
Lesbian + Killer = Jean Claude Van Damme danger
Vampire + Killer = good

If only Matt and James followed this little rule, they could have avoided pissing away their popularity on a one joke film that will no doubt please the Nuts and Zoo readers, who once they've finished wanking at a pair of false tits and laughing because someone said 'cock' will be left wondering what they're going to do for the rest of the film.

Putting 3 of your favourite words together does not necessarily make for a good film. Who'd like to watch..

Alcoholic Hillwalking Footballers?
Musical Jedi Cats?
Ninja Cooking Cricketers?

Ok, maybe I would, but that's not the point. The point is that I like James Cordon & Matt Horne. I like Gavin & Stacey. Their sketch show's ok. What I don't like is them cashing in on their popularity by pumping out puerile dross when we know they're so much better than this. Right now, if James Cordon offered to shit in peoples mouths for money, people would pay him to do it. But if you feed people shit, after a while they aren't going to want to look at the menu anymore.

You know you can do better this boys. Stop taking the piss.

Although, true, I haven't even seen the film, and probably won't even when it eventually comes to Sky (give it 3 months..). It might be really good....

If you have seen it, and disagree, let me know.

I'll set my Gay Werewolf on you.

19 March 2009


Go away, I'm pissed.

I really can't be bothered to talk to you, because I've had a teensy bit too much ale, and quite frankly, I'm disappointed with myself.

I made myself a promise (not a resolution!), that I would refrain from heavy boozing on school nights, and up until this point, have managed this.

But today I went to the pub straight from work, and stayed there until chucking out time. A couple turned into a few, and then to some, until I finally hit several.

I blame nobody but myself. At any pint/point I could have just walked away, but never said no (actually I think I did, but pints kept appearing, so it would have been rude not to drink them).

The sad thing is what I drunk tonight would have been a walk in the park this time last year, but I am so not match fit that the mere sniff of a barmaids apron seems to send me a bit squiffy these days.

So I go to bed, pissed, but happy that I am now a cheap date. The only time I've come close to hitting 21 units in a week this year was at Matt's stag do. I'm an overweight lightweight. A 16 stone 2 pot screamer. The naysayer on a Leo Sayer. I can not just no longer hold the booze, I can't even pick it up any more.

Probably a good thing, I really can't tell. All I know is I want crisps, and my bed.

Now fuck off and leave me alone, I'm off to bed , and I know I'm going to feel like shit tomorrow.

18 March 2009

Phone rage

God I hate phones.

I can tolerate my own one a little bit, because it’s not really a phone, it’s a little computer that I can talk to people on if I want to, search the interweb, take photo's to upload to Twitter, or find my way to the nearest pub in a strange town– but God forbid you should want to talk to me, because I probably won’t answer it.

Just to be on the safe side, I prefer to leave it on silent in case it goes off during a meeting at work. And just to be doubly safe, I leave it on silent on the way home, as I probably wouldn’t hear it with my head phones in.

I might turn it on during the evening – but what if someone dialled a wrong number overnight and woke me up because I forgot to silence it again? I had a call last night at 1am from ‘Jonny’ looking for ‘Eddie’ about a job. Fortunately the ringer was off, so I slept through it.

No, best to just leave it on silent all the time.

I wonder if Jonny found Eddie? Any ‘job’ that needs doing at 1 in the morning is probably highly suspect. I don’t know if Jonny sounded like an East End gangster, as I didn’t listen to the message, I read it, thanks to a nifty but of software called Spinvox, that takes your voicemail, and turns it into a text message. Not just another handy method of call evasion – it’s far easier in a meeting to check your voicemail if you can read it under the desk rather than quite obviously holding your phone to your ear. That’s my excuse anyway.

It actually works very well. The punctuation and grammar are generally correct, and you’d suspect it was just some guy in a call centre somewhere manually typing it out if it wasn’t for the odd wildly inappropriate guess at words. ‘Myleene from Autoglass’ turned into ‘my Informotor Glass’, but other than that, job done.

Call me old fashioned, but I liked the good old days where if I was down the pub, you’d have to wait for me to get home to speak to me, and I can control that. What I can’t control is other people using their phones to crowbar into a conversation that you were already having.

How many times have you been speaking to someone, only for their phone to go off, and suddenly you’re the second class citizen?

Yeah don’t mind me, I only dragged myself out of the house to see you, bought you a pint, and was halfway through an amusing anecdote, and now some fuckwit’s pushed me out the way, and you’re going to let them? Cheers.

If they’re the sort of person that will drop anything for a phone call, ring them while they’re still talking to the other person. They’ll probably apologise to them, saying there’s another call coming through (which is more than you got), and when they answer you, just call them an ignorant cock and hang up.

And if it’s not the phone of the person your with, it’s every other fucker in the pub. Why do some people find the need to have some shite polyphonic imitation of some risible Garage/Soul/ R&B bollocks that they insist on listening to all the way through before answering so everyone can see how cool they are?

You are not cool.

You are a cunt.

Please fuck off.

And the phone that I hate the most in the whole world? It’s the one that sits on my desk at work.

If I sat in an office on my own I would happily ignore it to my hearts content, but because other people can see me, every once in a while I feel obliged to pick it up. It's not because I'm lazy, but for a multitude of other very valid reasons.

Firstly, the whole rudeness thing. I have email. People email me in an orderly fashion. Lots of people. I can look through them, prioritise them, and make sure that every thing that is still what I consider low priority gets dealt with in a reasonable time scale. Stop trying to butt in.

I've got an answerphone. Leave me a message, and if I think it's so important that I have to drop what I'm currently doing, I'll ring you straight back.

Hell, if I recognise your voice and I like you, I might even pick the phone up. But do not expect to jump the queue just because you managed to mash 5 keys on a phone, rather than several on a keyboard.

Secondly, how can I prove how busy I am if I have no proof of what I'm being asked to do? Mail me, and I can log it. I'm certainly not going to write down every phone call I get, and even if I make notes, I probably won't be able to read them, or they'll end up buried under more notes from the next call.

And most important, and most likely – I have no idea who you are. There is no caller ID, no screening, and there's a very strong possibility that you just might be as thick as shit. I can spend 20 minutes explaining to someone how to type their name into an application, and still they don't get it.

I have spent the same amount of time trying to explain how to open Task Manager to someone who swore there was no ctrl key on the bottom left of their keyboard. Apparently all it said there was Start. That'll be your monitor then love. Keyboards the thing with the keys on it.

When your password no longer works, I haven't changed it you numpty. I have better things to do than deliberately generate calls from fuckwits who cannot remember their own name.

And no, you can't log in with your NI number as a password, because that's not what I asked you to do. Read the fucking email properly before you ring me.

And yes, If I sound like I'm being patronising when I speak to you, it's because I still have the 4 previous emails I've sent you when you've forgotten your password. If you go through life with the apparent IQ of a brain damaged donkey, then I will speak to you as such.

So please don't phone me. I won't answer it. Email me so I can pull stupid faces at the monitor to express through the power of performance art just how stupid I think you are.

Unless it's you dear reader. I'll always pick up for you.

That is as long as you haven't forgotten your password.

Then you can fuck off.

17 March 2009

Heston Bloominmad

Tonight sees the latest instalment of Heston Blumenthals series of bonkers food as the culinary clown prince goes all Tudor.

The Christmas special he did was incredible, but edible gold frankincense and myrrh not too easy to replicate in the home kitchen.

The Victorians gave us absinthe and dildo jelly, Medieval England had edible tableware. What can the Tudors give us?

Bring it on!

He’s promising extravagant, flamboyant an spectacular, but can he deliver?

I’m already a little put off my own dinner by what’s on the screen, but at least we won’t be eating Cilla Black, or at least I hope not. There’s some imagery I don’t want to get into, especially not with the equally unsavoury Kelvin MacKenzie.

First off, he’s making Butter Beer in St Albans. It reminds me of the warm cider you get at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Warm, sweet and acidic, with lumps in it. Vomit in a glass. Bleugh. Pint of Broadside please landlord.

Starter - more wobbly food, frog blancmange. You dirty bastard. He’s in a Chinese kitchen in New York learning how to prepare them. I don’t think we really needed to see them get their heads cut off while still alive. As anyone who knows me will confirm I’ll eat anything, but I’m not convinced that I really want frog blancmange, although it does look very pretty with the deep fried frogs legs on lily pads.

Next, Cockentrice. A mythical creature of half pig, half capon. Easily confused these Tudors. You’d think you’d notice it just two animals sewn together. Think manbearpig from South Park, or The Beast of Royston Vasey.

“Isn’t that just a cock with the head of a pig?”. “Yes - It’s Kelvin Mackenzie. He used to edit the Sun”, I thank you…

Unhappy with the simplicity of this, he’s gone to a taxidermists to experiment with proper animashes, but is just fucking about with soft toys, which mrsslippy finds most disturbing. There’s fluff everywhere….

Cockentrice finally on the table, and as great as to looks, there ain’t a lot of meat in it, and as mrsslippy quite correctly points out - it looks like spam. Even Kelvin is finally happy. Fuckwit.

Dessert is a pudding. Rice pudding. I don’t like the stuff at the best of times, so what crazy twist is he going to put on it? If he’s using ‘special milk’ ie anything that doesn’t come from a teat, or the teats of a person, then I’m turning it off.

Nooooo - he’s defiling a sausage skin by stuffing it with rice pudding! If you gave me a sausage filled with that muck I’d punch your face in.

Fuck me it gets worse. He’s decided the sausage skin is too difficult to peel to get the goodness out. He needs something sausage shaped that is waterproof and lubricated…..

You guessed it.

You filthy fucker. He’s cooking rice pudding in condoms then trying to pass it off as a sausage. No wonder everyone in his restaurant got ill. The man is sick. Seriously sick.

All in all it’s all done with smoke and mirrors. Looks impressive, but is it style over content? Probably.

I’m off to dig the pistachio ice cream out the freezer. I might roll it into little balls and smother it in chocolate sauce so I can pretend it’s peas and gravy, but then again, I’ll probably just eat it out the tub.

16 March 2009

Busy doing nothing

No doubt if you work in any industry that likes you to be industrious, you can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of social notworking.
social notworking - verb. The act of titting about on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, etc when you should be doing some "proper work".

But while the super-conscientious are filling their bags with books and files in order to work from home, for the prevaricating work-shy waster, there is still plenty of potential to home from work.
home from work - verb. To spend the time you are paid to be doing stuff for the greater good, to do the stuff you should be doing in your own time. Example usage - "There just aren’t enough hours in the day - I think I'll be homing from work again"

Just try saying it to someone - they’ll look slightly bemused and nod in agreement, whereas you have just told them “Basically, I’m going to do nothing productive today”

The first, and most basic way of wasting time at work is the deja-poo
deja-poo - verb. To go off for a shit even though you’ve only just got back from the toilet.

The deja-poo can be used to avoid pieces of shit, putting off a tedious job with a make believe jobbie, or laying fake bricks as the bricks and mortar ground work for pulling off a whole sick day.

Email can be a right bloody chore. To appear to be actually doing more than you are, try re-mailing.
remail - verb. To read, forward to yourself, read again, and re-forward ad infinitum.

It’s fucking tedious, but you can mash the keys in a busy looking fashion, then stare and the bollocks that you’ve just received and try and make sense of it. Still not clear, why not forward it to yourself again and see if you can make head or tail of it?

When you’re done with your email, time for a bit of research, or re-searching.
research - verb. To trawl through Google trying to find the website you found so amusing at home, but forgot to email a link to your work pc.
As in “I’m doing some research for Matt”, translates as “I saw a video last night of a chimp sucking itself off, but I can’t remember where, and daren’t type ‘self blow job’ into Google in case IT log it, so I’m looking at every video of a monkey on the internet”.

I like to keep my desk as untidy as possible. Nothing says busy like paper strewn everywhere. And biscuits. Probably some coffee cups too. The reason for this is two fold, firstly, camouflage for the ‘busy’ man, and secondly, you can waste hours looking for stuff, pretending to look for stuff, or hiding stuff so you can look for it later, filed under T.

file under tea - verb, to keep all your important papers in a pile on your desk under empty mugs. Usage - “You have no idea where that report is do you Mark?”. “Um - I think I must have filed it under tea by mistake” - thus giving the appearance that you do have some degree of organisation, and not just an untidy twat.

If you really get stuck for something to do, there are a myriad of websites that give helpful advice on how waste time.

Me, I don’t need them, I’m far too busy doing fuck all.

15 March 2009

Get Tweeting

As you can probably tell from the column at the side of my blog, I am part of the joyous community of Twitterers, Tweeters, or Twats, whatever you prefer to go by.

I've always been sad enough to join whatever the latest fad is, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoy reading the minutiae of minor celebrities day to day business.

For those that don't know, and fuck knows how not, it's been all over the media since the New Year, Twitter is very akin to a Facebook profile update, in 140 characters or less.

Whereas with Facebook you have to be friends with someone to see what they're up to, the default setting on Twitter is that anyone can read your updates - they just find your profile, then click on 'Follow'. Then whenever they have a poo, or put the kettle on, they'll let you know.
Or they'll post links to photo's of what they've just eaten, or other minor celebrities they've just seen in the pub.

So how do you know who to follow? Start with the Kings of Twitter - Jonathon Ross, Stephen Fry, and Philip Schofield. You'll start to see who they follow, and if they are a minor celebrity who interests you, click 'Follow' on them. Or see who I stalk, and see if any of them take your fancy.

Some are witty and insightful, some surprisingly normal (who would have guessed that Mike Skinner of The Streets spends his Saturday evenings sat in watching reruns of Jonathon Creek while eating Haribo Tangfastics - which he keeps in the fridge as they improve the flavour).

Some use it as a forum for raising awareness of social injustice, others to shamelessly whore out their latest tv show/book.

And some just talk bollocks.

If you're not on it yet, here's a selection of top Twitterers, and the sort of stuff you're missing!

Stephen Fry
King of Twitter. Tweets several times a day, often with a picture attachment. He's just been whale watching in America. Often replies to his followers, but with around 300,000 of us, don't expect to be chatting to him any time soon.

Adam Woodyatt
Ian Beale like's Liverpool F.C., cinnamon lattes and Amir Khan. Failed to assemble a twin heater for his greenhouse last week because all the holes were drilled wrong.

Graham Linehan
The man behind Father Ted and The IT Crowd got quite rightly right pissed off with the Sunday Express for their shameful story on the Dunblane survivors. Usually pretty cheery, and likes a game of cards.

Tim Lovejoy
Appears to have no thoughts or opinions of his own, instead just posting links to his own website, or asking what 'other celebrities' are having for lunch.

Richard Bacon
Never eats at home, but will always post a photo of what he is eating at whatever restaurant he is at. Quite like to get pissed on a Friday night with...

Danny Wallace
Mr Yes Man is funny and charming. Funny links and wry observations abound.

Philip Schofield
Crown Prince of Twitter. Too many updates on the Ice Dancing for me, but a funny man, and very fond of the wine. Drinks like a fucking fish by the look of it.

Charlie Brooker
TV's Mr Nice doesn't post very often - probably because he couldn't contain his vitriol within 140 characters, but will send links to the columns he writes for the papers, which are always hilarious, as are the blogs of...

Richard Herring
Of Fist of Fun fame. Has been blogging every day for 5 years. Some are just diaries, some are wildly offensive (ie fucking hilarious), but if you want the really mucky/offensive stuff, download his podcasts with Andrew Collins.

Jonathon Ross and Jane Goldman
Wossy and ferretprincess (their twitter names) will even Twitter to each other when they're in the same house. Feels like listening in on a private conversation, but as you know, with JR nothing is private.

OK, so it's a bit sad to do it in the same house. Mrsslippy and I would never do that, and the only reason we were Skyping each other in the same room earlier was to check if we could, not just because it was silly fun.

So get Tweeting, you never know what you're missing - this just in! Chris Moyles is off to eat apple pie and ice cream

14 March 2009

Crispy Chinese Duck

I've been experimenting with various recipes, and through bastardising and amalgamating them, I have managed to create a fantastic recipe for authentic Chinese crispy duck. If you've ever wanted to create this dish in your own home, but thought it impossible, here's how in 24 easy steps.

1) Go to Tesco's and buy some duck legs, don't bother with with a whole duck, they're really expensive, and legs are on offer at the moment. You'll also need some star anise, cinnamon sticks, spring onions, cloves, root ginger, szechaun peppercorns and shaoxing rice wine, the latter of which can be substituted for dry sherry. If you have no Peking Duck Sauce at home, buy some now also. I already have some at home, it being part of my Valentines Day hamper from mrsslippy.

2) Forget to put the sherry in the trolley so you can dash back through the supermarket to get some, and bump into a work colleague, who will ask why you are in such a rush to get home with a bottle of 'own brand sherry'.

3) Once home put the duck, a couple of cinnamon sicks, 4 star anise, a teaspoon each of the peppercorns and cloves, a few slices of ginger, and a couple of spring onions in a dish, then pour a couple of glugs of sherry over the top.

4) Take a big swig of the sherry 'for luck', and remember why you never drink the stuff normally.

5) Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.

6) A couple of hours later return to the fridge and get out a lemon, a bottle of quality gin (Bombay Sapphire works best, but Plymouth or Gordons will do in an emergency), and a bottle of tonic water. Make yourself a large G&T and go and watch TV.

7) Once consumed, repeat stage 6 until you are either bored of TV, or G&T. I have a strong tolerance for both, so suggest around 2am. If you're not confident in the kitchen, or in a hurry, you may prefer to stop this stage earlier. This is ok, and will not affect the quality of the duck.

8) Go to bed.

9) First thing in the morning (or around 10.30, whichever is more convenient), return to the fridge and give the duck a curious look. Leave it where it is and make some fresh coffee, then return to bed to watch the remaining hour and a half of Soccer a.m. If you want to follow the recipe to the letter, I suggest rewinding it to the beginning on Sky+, and then just fast forward through the adverts and shit bits - you should find you've synchronised by the time it finishes.

10) Go to your local Chinese supermarket to procure some of those little pancake things you use to wrap duck in that Tesco's doesn't seem to stock. Whilst there, don't forget to pick up a few packets of weird shit to experiment with at a later date ( I have some frozen purple yam, and tamarind amongst other things). Also remember to peer bemused into the freezers at some of the frozen/dried fishy things that you definitely won't be buying.

11) Once back home again take the duck, still in it's marinade and put the whole thing in a steamer.

12) Next, add a healthy portion of live Premiership football. I recommend using Man U 1 -4 Liverpool. It's very sweet - possibly too sweet for some tastes, and it is very difficult to get hold of, but well worth it if you can find some. If you find it bitter, get over it. A little bitter seasoning to your season isn't going to ruin the overall result.

13) Remove yourself from the sofa, and remove the duck from the steamer. A football match + interviews + highlights should be long enough, but if you don't have a game to hand, you can always use any of the Star Wars films, or a couple of Star Trek TNG episodes. If you cannot find any of these, you could try watching a clock for 2 hours, but it will be fucking tedious.
You may also find a large portion of battered sausage and chips from a van parked outside your house may help with the preparation process, although seasonal and regional availability may vary enormously.

14) Allow the duck to cool for long enough to realise your laptop is broken. It needs to be completely cooled, and dry (the duck that is, not the laptop). It may help if you cannot even get the laptop to boot in Safe Mode, instead just cycling though a loop of 'A disk error has occurred. Press ctrl-alt-del to restart'. This will allow you plenty of time to try and Google the error on the tiny screen on your smartphone, finally coming to conclusion that your hard drive is completely fucked.

15) Go and buy a new laptop. If you can pick a day when your local team is playing at home this will really help the ducks cooling/drying time. If you can't achieve this, just make sure that the sales assistant in PC World is first not interested in speaking to you, then once he's realised you want to buy something, will not stop trying to flog you extra's that you do not need.

16) Plug in and set up new laptop. Get frustrated by the helpful user guides that it insists on showing you.
"Stop it new computer - I know what I'm doing, just give me my internets back!"

17) Get pissed off because although you're not the best touch typist in the world, someones moved the fucking Shift key so you keep hitting \, and where's 'delete' gone? Also, be pleased that it now has a numeric pad to the right of the letter keys rather than just along the top row (always missed having one when playing Warcraft, maybe I should reinstall it on this machine? Maybe not...), but again a bit pissed because it means all the letters have moved slightly to the left to accommodate this.

18) Install Firefox, and be saddened that all your favourite add-ons are now missing. Fix the ones that you can remember, and restart the laptop.

19) Go back to the kitchen and fill a saucepan with oil, and set the gas ring on full. *SAFETY FIRST*- ensure your significant other is out of town on a hen/stag do so they cannot;
  • Question why you are deep frying food when you've been moaning about your weight.
  • Ask whether it should be bubbling/spitting so ferociously.
20) Carefully drop in the duck, then stand well back. Meanwhile, finely slice some cucumber, spring onions, and get the Peking Sauce out the cupboard.

21) Wrap your hand/arm in a damp teatowel so you can safely approach the saucepan, and fish out the duck. If it's been in for 5-6 minutes it should now be a chocolate brown colour, with crispy skin.

22) Smear the sauce on the pancakes, and roll up the filling. Be pleased with the result - it truly is fucking lush, and tastes just like the real thing.

23) After you've sorted yourself out, and shared some with your cats, remember to save some for your significant other, who may sulk if you've made duck and not left them any.

24) Return to your new laptop, and consider the prospect of having to reinstall everything that you either enjoy or rely on. All those passwords, all those applications, all those bookmarks, all gone. Have a quick blog to get it out your system, then go and make a G&T, you're going to need one.

But at least you had a nice dinner.

13 March 2009

Bloody Yorkshire

I've finally got round to watching the first episode of Channel 4's 'challenging' drama, Red Riding, and good as it was, fuck me it was bleak.

Not so much of a 'who done it?' as a 'how was it?', and if it's gritty realism is true, then living oop North the 70's was pretty shit. Born in Grimsby in 1972, I was over in Hull when the programme was set (1974), and moved to Chesterfield in 1976, before moving to the safety of the South a couple of years later, where I have been exiled ever since.

Whereas the 70' s of Sam Tyler in Life on Mars were rose tinted, with flared trousers, cartoon coppers, and perpetual blue skys, the spectacles worn by Red Riding were nicotine stained and smeared in stale chip fat. Brick dust and concrete blended into a murky grey sky where rain was always imminent, or already here. Policemen didn't call you a nonce and give you a slap, you were stripped, bound, gagged, tortured and tormented, and that's for trying to catch a child murderer, not being one. Tough times indeed.

I'm sure I've got some photos of me back in the day where the sun is shining, but the ones that are close to hand were all taken indoors. Probably because it was pissing down outside.

Nostalgia can play nasty tricks on you. I've probably got skewed memories of really good times in the 70's. I've already found due to the power of the internet that one of my favourite shows, Animal Kwackers, had really ropey opening titles, but I thought they were great.

And were politicians as corrupt as TV drama would have us believe? The only politician I was aware of as a Northern child was that lovely lady who stopped us from having to drink tiny bottles of milk with tiny blue straws before we were allowed to go out to play. It was always warm from being left out in a crate in the playground all morning, and absolutely rank. Such a nice, sweet lady for saving us from that. I wonder what ever happened to her? 'Thatcher' I think her name was.....

And the food was great, although I wasn't too keen on the beefy Findus Crispy Pancakes (mrsslippy still eats them! Dirty girl!!), and you couldn't get any sun dried tomatoes or ciabatta.

I used to love the Cherryade that the milkman left. I vaguely remember it being in a cool (to me ) advert, but I can't find it on Google or YouTube.

And those toys! I had a Six Million Dollar Man with a bionic eye and a bit of plastic circuitry hidden under a rubbery layer of skin on his arm that I honestly believed if I tucked it up my sleeve it would make me stronger. And an Evil Knievel that would drive for at least 2 feet before careering off to the side and falling over.

No, the 70's were ok. Sure, they weren't a patch on the 80's, but not quite as depressing as the little patch of Yorkshire I've just spent the last 2 hours watching

Tomorrow I'm going to watch part 2. Two hours of light entertainment around the hunting of the Yorkshire Ripper. How can that not be a good thing?

12 March 2009

itunes is rubbish

Today I was teaching offsite, and due to mrsslippy being on an early, and me needing the car, the most sensible thing to do meant dropping her off, and going to Magog Court at 7am to catch up on some work in peace rather than come home again and fight the traffic later.

Teaching wasn't due to start until 9.30, so that meant some quality headphones in, sing-a-long time in an empty, isolated building.

But this morning, nothing seemed to please me musically. My ipod is set with multiple playlists. I have things hand picked to suit certain moods. I have rated everything in my library to make smart playlists such as 80's Gold (all 5 stars, 167 songs), 90's gold (all 5 stars, 396 songs), best of certain years, anything above 4 stars for certain years, decades etc..., or just anything 5 stars (966 songs).

You'd think if something was 5 stars that would mean it never got skipped, but skippy I was. And I don't think it's because my scoring is off, for these are all
great songs. The good songs are just 4 stars. There are 3 star songs that I will listen to in the right frame of mind, or in the context of an Album. Bad songs are 2 stars, and I reserve 1 stars for audiobooks, soundclips etc.. so they never end up being played on random.

But there are some songs that never get skipped, no matter what mood I'm in. Unfortunately the ipod couldn't tell me what they were on it's own - I've had to wait to get home and have it talk to itunes to see what I play the most.

There is some debate on t'internet as how a song gets 'counted'. Some say you have to listen to it in it's entirity, others say its the last 5 seconds that matter, so in theory you can fast forward through a song, listen to the end, it it registers, but if you loved a song so much you skipback to the beginning before the last notes are played, it won't.

Being as I never do the former, and only occasionally do the latter, my play count should tell me what my favourite songs are. True, there is a large element of randomness due to the way the ipod shuffles what it wants to play you, and my predisposition for smart playlists means something will be at an unfair advantage.

But if I take this top 40, will it create me the ultimate playlist, or just a big pile of random shite that will be self perpetuating as the most played tunes.

Deep breath - here goes pop pickers, its my top 40....


40) All of my heart - ABC. Cracking start! I love this song. Just read those 80's lyrics, and remember Martin Frys gold lame suit.
39)The sun always shines on TV - a-ha. Another top tune. I was only thinking last year that it needed revisiting for a film soundtrack. Danny Boyle, you are spot on.
38)Empire - Kasabian. I honestly though this would be higher. At least it made the cut, if only just. Everybody now...la la la lahh, la la la lahhh,la la la lahhh.....
37) Standing in the way of control - The Gossip. Go girl. Beth Ditto - not too easy on the eye, but what a voice. Welcome to my top 40 Beth, now just budge over a bit and make room for.....
36)Times like these - Foo Fighters. Every chart should have some Foos. Dave Grohl is officially the nicest man in Rock, but still knows how to Roll.
35) Red Hill mining town -U2. I used to really like U2, and get a bit nostalgic about this one. Not their most pompous, and not even a single. I find it quite uplifting. It can stay.
34)Running to stand still - U2. Oh shit. More U2. Despite my protestations am I going to be revealed (or reviled) as a middle age MOR fanboy? I've also just noticed that the second last line
isn't 'suffer unto me little children' - it's 'suffer the needle chill'. How odd. I prefer my version.
33)Wonderboy - Tenacious D. Pure, unadulterated, juvenile delight. "How 'bout the power to kill a yak, from 200 yards away... with mind bullets! That's telekinesis, Kyle" . Lyrically fantastic, and tuneful too, Jack Black is so much more than a gurning fool. I dare you to listen to it without singing along.
32)Crash -Primitives. Proper old school. I wonder what Tracy Tracy looks like now? She was mighty fine when I was an adolescent...
31)Lost Weekend - Lloyd Cole. More old school! I really am a child of the 80's aren't I? And yet still quite sophisticated. What will the rest of the countdown hold?


30) A new England - Kirsty MacColl. Better than Billy Braggs version (which is also 5 stars!), Kirsty is sadly missed. If you watched the video for Fairytale of New York with her and Shane McGowan in front of The Twin Towers back in the 80's and had to put a bet on which would be the only one still standing today, who'd have put money on Shane?
29)Town called Malice - The Jam. Joyous, and guaranteed to put a swagger in your step. I'm a bit dubious of Pauls hair at his age, but the modfather really knows how to lay down some lyrics.
28)Brilliant mind - Furniture. How odd for this to slip in? How avant guard. I certainly like it, but do I never skip it, or does the ipod just squirt it into my ears at every opportunity? Who knows? I wonder what didn't make the cut because of this?
27)This song - The Enemy. Yeah , they may look about 12, but this is great. Great song from a great album. It might be a more than a little derivative of Mr Wellers early stuff. I just hope they keep the under produced sound for their new album and don't go all polished and poncy.
26)Hungry like the wolf - Duran Duran. I'd have rather bathed in pus than admit to liking these nancy boys when I was at school, but ..shhhh...the singles were actually rather catchy and good. Ridiculous lyrics! I suspect (hope!) this isn't the only entry for them, just don't tell the cool kids.
25)Rock the Casbah - The Clash. Of course it's here! If it's not in your top 40, what ever are you doing? You shouldn't even own an mp3 player, as you are clearly deaf.
24)Never Never - The Assembly. Hmmm. It's ok. Ok enough for 5 stars, but as I've already established there are nearly 1000 5 star songs on my ipod, and I can think of several more that I'd rather listen to than Feargals nasally whinging.
23)Flourescent adolescent - Arctic Monkeys. Finest wordsmith of our generation. Except he's not my generation. Alex is only 23. Jammy git. Fantastic tune though, and well worthy of the top 40.
22)Step on - Happy Mondays. Shaun Ryder -Scoundrel, poet, God. Get baggy and twist your melons man. For every time I catch myself walking like Bez when I'm out in public, Madchesters finest, I salute you.
21)Stronger - 30 seconds to Mars. The Kanye West song covered as you've never heard it before, unless you already have, then go and listen to it again. The link is a YouTube jobby. Beautiful and haunting - didn't Jared Leto just use to be a shit actor?


20) With every heartbeat - Robyn. Bear with me! OK, the single is a bit dancy for my usual tastes, but this is acoustic for Radio 1's Live Lounge and it is another beautiful, haunting track. I'm a sensitive soul, OK?
19)Tribute- Tenacious D. See, sensitive....More bombastic sing-a-long from the D. Go on. Sing along, or at least do Dave Grohls devil bits while sticking your nose up like
Tubbs and Edward Tattsyrup.
18)Fans - Kings of Leon. The latest album is winning awards left right and centre, but this earlier effort is a real doozy. Particularly the Live Lounge version, which is the one that made my top 20.
17) Pretty in pink - The Psychedelic Furs. One hit wonders from a shit film, but a timeless classic. Personally, I thought she was prettier, and a damn sight more interesting, in black.
16) Knights of Cydonia - Muse. Huzzah! Yet it still should be higher. Maybe it's because it's so long I can be nearly at work before the lyrics even kick in. But it's
that riff that makes it just so god damn kick ass. I swear one day my head will fall off on the bus when I just have to headbang along.
15)Life on your own - Human League. What the fuck? Did I even give this 5 stars? Apparently I did (amends itunes). And yet somehow it
still managed to get itself played more times than Knights of Cydonia??? I am befuddled. itunes is fucking with me.
14)Take a bow - Muse. More good stuff from Mat and the boys. I fairness, this is one album that I return to time and again and listen to in it's entirety.
13)Supermassive blackhole - Muse. Lordy there's even more of it! I should either remove them from some playlists, or stop listening to the album. They're making me look like a stalker.
12)Learn to fly - Foo Fighters. Yay for more Foos. I think I love this song because when I hear it it makes me think of Dave G dressed as a school girl. That's not how I get my kicks, it's just the video is a hoot, and it's a look that kinda suits him.
11)Heavyweight champion of the World - Reverend and the Makers. Great stuff, and highly deserving of a top 20 spot, even if John has gone a bit weird, as has his hair. The 3rd Sheffield band to hit my chart (name the other two for a bonus point!). Is it a mecca for great music, or are my northern roots just showing. There are still 10 spots to go, and so there may be room for more, with Pulp and the Thompson Twins noticeably absent. But then so are Def Leppard......


10)Martha's Harbour - All About Eve. I make no apologies for this winsome, pseudo-goth pop lullaby. I like her voice, and I stand by it's appearance.
9)Umbrella - Biffy Clyro. Another fantastic cover version from Radio One's Live Lounge. Stripped down to it's basics, it's a welcome alternative to the Rhianna version that was so inescapable for so long.
8)F.E.A.R - Ian Brown. Fantastic enigmatic artist reigns. Fabulously entertaining alliterative record. Do you see what I did there? But I'm not worthy to wipe Ian Browns arse for this clever word play over a strings and beats trip out. If the Planet of the Apes really is the future of mankind, then this ex Stone Rose is king of the monkey men.
7)Steady as she goes - The Raconteurs. Starts out reminiscent of Joe Jacksons 'Is she really going out with him', then turns into a thrashy killer track, from a stand out album of 2006, but where is the rest of it?
6)Starlight - Muse. Even more from Black Holes & Revelations. I am a sad fanboy....
5)Rio - Duran Duran. I knew there'd be more. And so high! Great song, great video, more ridiculous lyrics. The top 10 is looking pretty good so far.
4)Oblivious - Aztec Camera. Now we've gone weird. It's a catchy little tune, but surely not number 4. Something is going pear shaped.
3)Don't tell me - Blancmange. Even more from the world of wrong. Yes it's a good song, but no, it's not number 3. It's not even their best song, which for me will always be their electro synth cover of Abba's 'Day before you came'
2)L.S.F. - Kasabian. Thank god for that, we're back on track with more swagger than you can wave a shitty stick at. The dance/rock cross over with psychedelic lyrics and a shout along chorus rules supreme.

So we're nearly there. What is the track that itunes chooses to throw at me more times than anything else, and in return I say, why thank you itunes, I thank I'll have a little listen to that.

There's so much good music, so many good bands that haven't even had a mention yet.

Where are you White Stripes, Nirvana, Green Day, Jamie T? Jarvis? Where have you hidden Pulp?

You guilty pleasures of my youth - yes Wonderstuff, NEDs, Carter USM, I'm talking to you, I know you're about somewhere.

Come on you clever sensitive boys, I know I sometimes knock you, and you're terribly shy, but you can shuffle forwards Radiohead, Coldplay, Keane, Snow Patrol.

The Cure, Pixies, Gorillaz, Embrace, Blur, Blink-182, Supergrass, Ash, Oasis...Girls Aloud... I could go on...one of you must be my top played song.

So I can reveal that the proud number one spot goes to...

Slippys Number 1

Mirror Man - The Human League.

itunes has fucked me over big time. Not even their best song, which for the record would be 'Together in Electric Dreams', not 'Don't you want me.

I believe my favourite song to be Life on Mars by David Bowie. I've loved it long before the TV show of he same name raised it's public awareness again, but I wouldn't use it's popularity to wilfully snub it, but it would appear itunes would. Not only not in the Top 40, it actually comes in at a woeful 127th!!

itunes claims to have Genius software that predicts what I should be listening due to my playcounts and whats in my library. And being as it has already stitched me up with what it thinks I should listen to, what does it now think I should buy to complement this?

Albums by Bucks Fizz, The Offspring, and Northside.

Well thanks, but no thanks itunes. You can fuck off. Tomorrow, I'm just going to listen to Chris Moyles.