30 June 2009

Disadvantage Slippymark

I hate tennis.

It's boring and it's shit.

There - I just came straight out with it. I just served you a literary ace. No returning that one.

15- 'love' to Slippymark.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh. It's a popular enough sport, so I'll settle for I find it boring and shit.

Every year I dread Wimbledon coming round, with it's monopolising of the TV schedules, and the countries obsession with strawberries and cream, and the next British (not English anymore) superstars gallant, yet inevitable failure to lift whatever trophy they give out there.

I just don't get it. I'm sure there must be some pleasure in playing it - I know I never found it - but to actually watch it? I just find it tedious.

I like my sport to have a preordained end time. True, some football matched end up going to extra time, but you know it's going to be 30 minutes, plus possibly a few more for penalties, but never hours and hours and hours of 2 men hitting a ball back and forth.

It's played all year, at tournaments all over the World and the majority of the country doesn't bat an eyelid, yet once we're hosting it, it's stop everything (except 'breaking news' of a man who's already been dead for 4 days - how it can break any further I'll never know), because Tiger Tim or Morose Murray is on.

Be honest Wimbledon fans. When, other than now do you take the slightest bit of interest in tennis? Who did Murray lose to in the quarter final in this years Dubai Championship?

If you guessed nobody, because he withdrew through illness, please carry on enjoying your sport, but please don't try to explain it's finer points to me because I really can't be arsed.

If you guessed it was a trick question, and he wasn't knocked out in the quarters, or named another player -BOOOOOOOO! Shame on you! You know fuck all!

Now stop cluttering up my ears with tales of how 'exciting' last nights match was. The only time my pulse raced was when I thought Mrsslippy screaming from the living room was some kind of emergency, only to discover it was her reaction that 'Super Sizers go Medieval' had been cancelled as Murray was dragging his heels finishing off some fella I've never even heard of.

So not an emergency, but certainly a fucking tragedy.

There was probably a time when I would have heard of his opponent, back in the day when there were characters like Conners and Nastase. I couldn't care for the games, but the post match interviews were a bit more amusing.

Now we just have homogeneous serving machines who make Gordon Brown look like the life and soul of the party. Commentators bemoan the lack of British talent, and implore the Government to invest more in getting youngsters playing, but if Murray is the product of intensive training, then there's no way I'd let a kid of mine even look at a tennis racket, let alone pick one up.

If kids are interested in a sport, they'll play it themselves. They just need a role model. Look at the influence Beckham has had on getting girls and boys worldwide to play football. Every boy in India wants to play cricket like Murali Vijay. Who wants to be Henman or Murray? A posh boy from Oxford, or a miserable Scot?

You can force them to train and play, and you might get a result. China had unprecedented results at the Bejing Olympics, largely due to it's 'interesting' coaching techniques. Is this what we want of our children? An army of miserable automatons? Not me.

We may not win Wimbledon this year, next year, or for 100 years, but what does it matter? We don't have to be the best at everything. And even if we win, how much credit can you take for it?

None. It matters not a jot where the player comes from. It's a solo effort. They take the glory, not just whatever piece of the globe their mother happened to pushed them out onto.

So last night we had nearly 4 hours of Murray blocking up BBC1. It wasn't exciting and atmospheric. It was disruptive, and had all the atmosphere of a fart in a spacesuit.

Now center court has a roof, they can play for ever, long into the evenings TV. I thought the roof would be a good thing, as it would stop Wimbledon dragging on for weeks, and Sir Cliffaroke whenever the brollies come up. Now I'm not so sure....

I guess I should be grateful that the BBC, and 'tennis fans' up and down the country forget all about it as quickly as the strawberries turn and the Pimms goes flat. Two weeks and it's all over for another year.

Game, set and match.

Where as golf.....

26 June 2009

Death of a nonce

Everywhere I look on the TV or internet I'm deluged with hype about the death of Mr Michael 'Wacko Jacko' Jackson; Prince of Pop, misunderstood genius, and all round nonce.

So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

With his special talents, he touched us all. He touched men and women, black and white. He touched the elderly, and he definitely touched children.

I won't say I'm pleased he's dead. I'm not that heartless. There are a few people upon I do wish a slow and painful death; Robert Mugabe, Nick Griffin, Kim Jong-il, John Barrowman could all shuffle off this mortal coil right now as far as I'm concerned and the world would be a better place without them.

But I shan't mourn his loss either. For every person in the country who's glad he's gone, there's another wailing down a tv camera lens at some mass gathering, spangly glove and spangled brain. Inconsolable, and happy to share that fact with any news network that likes a loony.

"He was beautiful- just beautiful" they'll squeal, mascara running down their puffy tear stained faces. And that's just the men.

Er........no - he wasn't beautiful. Not emotionally nor physically. He was just a fruit loop who (ably assisted by Quincy Jones) knew how to knock out a tune.

"You just didn't know the real Michael" they howl.

No, I'll concede them that. But then neither did they. We based all our perceptions on the man on what the media has told us, rightly or wrongly. Those who did get close to the man either won't, or in the case of Jordy Chandler, can't talk about their 'special private moments'. The latter following a reputed $20m out of court settlement to 11 year old Jordys family.

"Think of those three poor children he's left alone" they cry.

Just three that he left alone? That's showing great restraint Mikey.....
But I am thinking of his children. True, they might miss their father - if they really even know who he is. Who knows what kind of relationship they had with him. I'm not suggesting any impropriety, just that it wasn't a 'normal family'.

A lot of his supporters have explained away his random behaviour with the fucked up relationship he had with his own father, and a childhood in the media spotlight. What on earth are we to expect Prince Michael, Paris Michael, and Prince Michael II (aka Blanket) to turn out like?

So while the camp that swears he's the victim of media hysteria and never done anything wrong in his life, and those that despise him rub their hands together with glee, the rest of us email and text the countless amusing jokes that cropped up within minutes of the news breaking.

Neither happy nor sad, just a bit indifferent. And bothered by which of their favourite TV shows are going to get bumped in order to show documentaries, homages, and biopics of the once great weirdo.

Some fucker will probably even show 'The Wiz'....

And it won't be long before the conspiracy theorists all come out the woodwork too.

I'm already curious as to what will happen to the revenue from the ticket sales from a sold out 50 date residency at the O2. If you bought one, good luck getting your money back, although I suspect a lot of people will hang on to theirs as a ghoulish piece of memorabilia, or flog it for even more on ebay.

The promoters probably have it covered by insurance anyway, so they get quids in whether people return their tickets or not. There's a big pile of cash sitting around somewhere, and a lot of people wanting their slice of it.

And amongst all the furore, the rest of the todays news has been pushed to one side, so sadly, in Michaels chemically bleached shadow, Farrah Fawcett has also died.

Charlie, somewhere in Heaven there's a real angel with big 70's hair.

R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett. February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009

22 June 2009

I see lead people....

I saw a glimpse of my past today. I ghost of my adolescence.
A phantom. Dead flesh and empty eye sockets glimpsed out the corner of my eye.

And about 4cm tall....

Mrsslippy has just booked us a lovely cottage in Cornwall for a week in September. I've not been that way since I was 3 years old (apparently), and it'll make a nice change from the usual yearly jaunt to The Lake District.

Excited about the prospect of visiting somewhere new, I skipped out of work early to nip into town and buy some OS maps and guide books. Given my new found enthusiasm for walking everywhere, I took a leisurely stroll into town, taking time to soak up the surroundings that usually fly straight past me in the car.

I was ambling down Regent Street when I saw it. I knew the shop was there, but was always in a vehicle. I tried to walk past without a second look, but was hypnotically drawn to the window display.....

Citadel Miniatures.

Or as the Cringleford Lads would say, 'Toy Soldiers'.

Exquisitely painted little figurines from the Games Workshop range of fantasy role playing games.

From the Tolkienesque/Dungeons and Dragons style orcs and goblins, to the full on sci-fi Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000, I used to love that shit.

I wasn't a gamer, I'm not that geeky, but I loved to paint those little things. It sort of started out of necessity....ie I needed a job.

Unable to pay for the fortnightly trip to Carrow Road, and general day to day expenses of a boy growing up on my pitiful paperboy's wages, I had to get a Saturday job.

There was a games shop in town that specialised in board games (not toys!), and as we've always been a bit of a cards and board games kind of family, it seemed like a cool place to apply.

They took me on, and I discovered that there were many more games than just Chess, Triv and Scrabble. There were dozens of D&D style roleplaying games, and the ones from Games Workshop had little lead miniatures to play them with. We also sold the paints, and the brushes - the whole kit and caboodle.

There was (and still is) a magazine called White Dwarf that was packed full of pictures of readers paint jobs, and I just had to try....

As it turned out, I was pretty good, and found that there was a ready market for pre painted figures for the younger kids that came in. The owner of the shop used to have us split the multipacks of figures, so they could be sold individually to kids who couldn't afford £2.99 for three. But he'd have us sell them for £1.20 each to allow for the fact that there would be some single figures that nobody would want.

Lying cock.

It was just a way of fleecing the kids, just like a bent newsagent selling a single ciggy and a match for 20p (but probably more these days).

As a way of redressing the balance, I had no qualms about lifting the stray figure, painting it in the shop while it was quiet, and selling it for my own gains. He still made more than enough from the split packets, and given that he took 20% commission on figures painted by others and sold in his shop, I could leave a few there at the end of the working day, and come back to the shop the following week to find them sold. He got the same as he would have got if we'd sold it unpainted, and I got a nice little supplement to my meagre wages.

Perversely, I now had enough money to go to the football every week, but not the free time...

Thank god I discovered that it was pretty easy to get served alcohol at the age of 15, or I'd have nothing to look forward to an a Saturday (or Tuesday) anymore. The friends that mocked me for painting also mocked my involvement in Venture Scouts, but Scouts with cars (who took it in turns - so no designated driver night for me.), genuine ID's, and a knowledge of all the decent taverns in Norwich was a happy part of my growing up.

So I wandered into Games Workshop this afternoon, and looked at the wares on display. All nostalgic for a youth spent fiddling the boss, or sitting in my bedroom with paint and brushes everywhere.

I had a habit of sucking the tip of the paint brush to get a fine tip on it, and after an hours painting would end up with a some kind of weird emo stripey acrylic lip gloss.

Or sitting on my bed all hunched over with my legs stretched out in such a fashion that I'd cut off the blood supply, and would only notice when I went to stand up and both legs would give way, leaving me laying prostate, frantically trying to rub away the pins and needles that had taken hold of both legs, right to the top of my thighs.

Happy days......

But it appears the figures are now made of some type of plastic, and lack the comforting weight of the old metal ones.

What's more they're around £8 for a single figure! Or you can buy a box of 10 build 'em yourself Space Marines for £20. I remember when you could get 30 plastic ones for a tenner, but they were just for pikey cheapskates. They had to be metal!

And the paint that used to -'ahem'- cost me a quid is now in a pot half the size and twice the price. I'm definitely best out of it, and happy to report I left the shop empty handed.

Because if at the age of 15, painting toy soldiers got me involved in petty theft and underage drinking, if I did it today I doubt I'd get away with anything less than gun crime and a nasty crack habit.

20 June 2009

Step on...

You're twistin' my melons man...

And bruising my plums....

Another Saturday morning means another trip to Tesco with its incumbent undead, but this morning I have all the more reason to stay out of their way, and as Jay from 5ive would say, 'just keep on moving'.

For now all my movements are tracked by a little device clipped to my trousers, and it is very much a case of, you snooze, you lose.

Last week I purchased a little widgety game thing for the Nintendo DS called 'Walk with me'.

I say game, but it's not really. It's a little pedometer that counts how many steps you make during the day.

The little key fob sized dongle has a nifty little accelerometer inside it, so every step from the moment you get dressed in the morning until you put everything on the floordrobe for the night is duly logged.

The clever bit is, it will only log them if you make 10 in a row, ie you're properly walking.

So if you're sat down watching tv and roll over to let out a fart or scratch you're arse - nil points.

At the end of the day, you bank all these steps by pointing the dongle at the DS, which then tells you exactly what you've been up to.

It's displayed minute by minute, in little blue bars. If you manage to walk more than 10 minutes of continuous walking, it's classed as 'Active Walking', and the little bars are red. Little red bars are better than little blue ones, as they gain you more points for some of the mini-games that can also be played on the DS.

You can set a target that you have to reach every day, and your dongle flashes red until you reach that target, at which point it turns green.

Suffice to say, that is not a screenshot of me - you can import your avatar from your Wii, or make one up on the DS.

It may puzzle some of you as to why on earth I should even care how much I walk, but as of late I have taken to walking into work everyday, where upon I sit on my arse for the rest of the day.

Since starting regular walking, I appear to inadvertently gone down a couple of holes on my belt, which can only be a good thing, so I thought it might be useful to know how much I'm doing, and how I can sustain it if I'm not at work.

Mrsslippy on the other hand drives to work and back, and is then mostly on her feet. So who does more? Early research based on distance of known trips (I plotted my route around Manchester looking for drugs on Google Earth) suggests that even if I walk the (over an hour) round trip, Mrsslippy still walks further in a day.

And yesterday, even though I spent over an hour in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, it didn't count a single step of it, as it was constant start/stopping in the much less that 10 steps at a time from oven to sink to worktop...

So today I decided I would have to get off to a flying start. My ear is much better, so with a target of 7,000 steps, I headed off to Tesco, on foot, and taking a very circuitous detour to ensure a good 30 mins of active walking before I arrived.

The problem then was, the usual blocked aisles and dawdling duffers that threatened to make my step count so sporadic that I would not be able to get 10 in a row, and 20 minutes of aisle trawling would count for nothing.

So I was forced to hurtle up and down, doubling back on myself whenever one of the grey ghosts approached me in the other direction like some kind of deranged Pac-Man collecting fruit rather than power pills.

Even so, I was pleased to note that as I arrived home, the little flashing LED on the dongle had changed from red to green. Mrsslippy has yet to move any further than from bedroom to living room, so unless she pulls off some major movement later, today will be WIN for me.

Tomorrow might be a bit harder. Mrsslippy is working a long day, and I....well clearly, I won't be. I will be mostly eating a bacon sandwich at around 10am, and then depending on the weather, either watching the cricket on TV, or listening on a radio in the garden.

I'm wondering if I'd be able to get away with attaching the dongle to my wrist. With Mrsslippy out for 12 hours, just imagine how many 'steps' I'd be able to pack into the day.

Because I'll also be catching up on emails from being away from work all week, and I'm sure typing will set the thing off.

What on earth were you thinking I meant?

18 June 2009


If M.P.s are going to come clean and have their expenses published on the internet, than I believe it is only fair that I do the same.

In order for me to function properly at work, which is most definitely in my employers best interest, I require a strong cup of coffee on arrival, and another to get me through the mid afternoon.

I would not be as dodgy as to claim for days that I am not there, so we'll say that it's five days a week, 44 weeks of the year. At £2.45 a cup that's..

Coffee - £1,078

I can't just drink coffee. It's not enough fluids. I should top it off with a bottle of diet coke, and at £1.09 a bottle that's....

Coke - £239.80

And food! How am I going to work on an empty stomach? I vary my lunch, but I think £5 a day is reasonable for anyone....

Food - £1,100

I know, I know...if I brought my own food in it would be cheaper, and Mrsslippy and I have thought about this, and have spent a lot of time setting up various raised beds and pots in the garden to grow our own produce. We also spent a lot of money - just an initial outlay on materials and seeds etc...., but think of the money that can be saved in the future! So please can I have...

Garden equipment - £200

I often have to work from home, so when my laptop died in March, I think I know who should foot the bill....

Laptop - £350

And how am I going to connect to my desktop PC at work without....

Internet (and phone package etc..)- £540

Our washing machine also broke down this year, and unless I was to be expected to come in wearing dirty clothes and meet important visitors looking like a tramp, then I think I should also ask for.....

Washing Machine - £260

Although I sometimes have to do work at home, I'm still expected to come into the office, so I expect to claim that travel expenditure back...

Bus - £726

And just in case I'm running late, or it's raining, or I have to attend meetings elsewhere, replacing the Mondeo that died in December with a much cheaper to run and insure Micra, will cost (including purchase price)....

Car - £1,380

I need the car to get me from home and back again. In fact, if I didn't have to go home from work, or work from home once in a while, then technically I wouldn't need a home. Nor to ensure the contents, heat it, and pump it full of electricity. And have Sky. Cough up.....

Home - £13,860

But this is all work at home, or work at work. I surely deserve some down time? Petty cash of around £300 a month should keep me in trips to the pub, getting a takeaway once in a while, or new video games to help keep me stress free an productive when I am in?

Petty cash - £3,600

What if I'm in the pub and work try to get hold of me. My mobile isn't for personal use....

Mobile contract - £600

And I'm no use to them dead. Imagine how much it would cost to try and replace me...?

Life insurance - £1,200

Last but not least, I'm probably most productive and refreshed after a Holiday. Borneo and Brazil were lovely, but this year all we have planned so far are weeks in Cornwall and Norfolk. How responsible is that for next years expenses? But for now, there's the small matter of.....

Rain Forest Holidays - £6,000

All totted up, that comes to..

Expenses 2008-09 .....£30,933.80

I've brought this to the attention of our finance department.

They say they've already given it to be.

Apparently that's my salary, and I'm supposed to live within that.

Maybe that's what we should do with MP's? Instead of paying them a basic £64,776 (with more for Cabinet Ministers - £144,520), with unlimited travel expenses, and £22,193 for 'incidentals', just give them a round £100,000, a frequent traveller rail card and a list of Travelodges near Westminster and let them get on with it?

And if they still can't manage on that, I'm happy enough to pass on any advice on how to live just as frugally as I do on a third of the salary.


17 June 2009

Scoring Drugs in Manchester

I'm ill.


This time it's not my manky hand, which has cleared up nicely - thanks for asking.

Now I have an ear infection, which feels not too dissimilar to earwigs crawling around inside my head while being prodded with a red hot poker.


I wouldn't say I was prone to the,, but have had a nasty one before, around 3 years ago. I ignored it for a couple of days, then went to the GP for some antibiotics. He gave me flucloxacillin, which didn't touch it, so 36 hours later Mrsslippy was driving me to A&E to get a second opinion as to why half my head was red and swollen, and my ear sticking out at a right angle.

It was only her promise to bring me straight back in if my head started to split open that prevented admission and IV antibiotics.

Instead, I was allowed to leave with some oral Ciprofloxacin, and a wick inserted into my ear canal to allow the transit of drops in one direction, and pus in the other.

Removal of pus from a manky ear is a tricky one. You can't lie on the affected side to allow it to drain at it's own rate, so instead sleep with it facing upwards as the goo slowly creeps up and up like an overfilled bath.

In the morning, you sit upright and


Half a pint of putrefied skin cells and blood running down your shoulder.

So when I was woken up yesterday morning at 4am with a burning sensation that I recognised all too well, I though I ought to act promptly.

Biggest problem - I wasn't at home with access to my GP, but away at a Conference in Manchester.

I watched the clock until the hotel started serving breakfast at 7am, and after a coffee and fruit juice (being all I could manage as moving my jaw was very uncomfortable due to swelling), headed out to find the nearest pharmacy.

As luck would have it, there was one just opening at 7.30 not far from the hotel.

Now in fairness, I probably wasn't looking my best. I'd got my most comfortable (read 'tatty') jeans on, a vintage/distressed T-shirt, my comfy (again read 'fucked') Adidas, had managed very little sleep, and hadn't shaved in 5-6 days.

Yet in I ambled. Looking like shit, in a pharmacy that was miles from any actual residential areas, and clearly not looking like I was on my way to work in the City.

And my opening gambit?

A not very well thought out 'I..er...don't come from round here...but I'm going to be here for a few days...and er... I think I need some antibiotics and strong painkillers.....so I can't see my GP....cos he's not in Manchester...'

I got a pitying, patronising look from the pharmacist, and directions to the nearest free health clinic for 'People with no GP"

Great. She thinks I'm a homeless....

Unperturbed, I thanked her for her assistance, and walked a bit further down the road to the local Boots, and bought some Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, and asked for any topical drops or sprays for treating the symptoms of external otisis.

Bought and paid for, back to the hotel for shower and shave, and on with the conference.

Somehow I managed to get through my presentation, which by all accounts was excellent (if by all accounts you count the evaluation forms that I read, which would have been just mine, on which I wrote 'I thought I was great!)

Job done, a quick Google, and assisted by Latitude I managed to find an NHS walk in centre at Piccadilly Station, and saw a very nice nurse who prescribed me some anti-biotics and topical steroids.

Unfortunately, they weren't overly receptive to my suggestion that Fluclox did fuck all last time, and I'd probably be better off with Cipro, he thought I should still probably try the Fluclox first.

So a fortnight after finishing the last course of it, I'm back on it again.....

I even managed to see the pharmacist I'd first approached that very morning.

'Good afternoon' said I.

'I've come back for some antibiotics with a prescription this time'

I watched her preparing it, giving me puzzled glances every few seconds.

She might have just thought I was being a bit random, or maybe she was just trying to work out when she'd seen me earlier.

I like to think she was thinking 'Who the hell did that fucking tramp nick a suit off?'

16 June 2009


Mamma Mia!

Work conference in Manchester + post dinner live ABBA tribute band = Hell on Earth.

Voulez vous?

No I fucking would not!

The fun police are after me to try to make me dance, but just as sure as Charlie don't surf, and White men can't jump, Slippy don't disco.

I'm hiding in my room under the pretense of taking more anti-biotics - long story, I'll fill you in tomorrow when I can blog from a proper computer rather than the itty bitty touch screen on my phone.

Suffice to say it is not my hand this time, but an ear that is threatening to turn my head a bit Merricky.

The biggest problem is that I demand more booze, but the fun police are patrolling the bar.

I'm just going to have to take a chance, take a chance, take a take a chance chance .......

13 June 2009

The Lunatics are playing at the Asylum

This morning I was alerted via Facebook that Stoxie had been incarcerated in the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

As my fuzzy Saturday morning brain, (poisoned by a post work pub crawl with Chinny culminating in meeting up with respective birds and friends at the Green Dragon) tried to process what I was reading, it finally made sense.

Kasabians new album has been out since 5th June. Stoxie has bought it and enjoyed it, and I had forgotten all about it.


A quick trip to iTunes, and balance in the universe has been restored, but is it any good?

1) Underdog - Good, steady opener. Trippy beats and Serges guitar reminiscent of the first excellent album. So far so good.

2) Where Did All the Love Go? - ooh er - it's all gone a bit Cock-er-ney for Leicesters finest. What's going on Tom? I still like it, it just sounds a bit odd. Sing us a-nov-ahhh one boys.

3) Swarfiga - An homage to the green gelatinous industrial hand cleanser? Nope just 2:18 of an urgent baseline, and no lyrics. I wash my hands of it!

4) Fast Fuse - Now this is good. Great riff. I'm nodding my head to it as hard and fast as it's swollen contents will allow. Feels a little bit psychedelic 60's at time, but it fucking rocks. I'm gonna have this riff in my head all day, and I ain't complaining.

5) Take Aim - The strings are out, and Tom sounds a bit pissed and confused. It's all layered electonica, fuzzy guitars and horns. Not a dancer, but certainly a come downer. Come home off your tits and wind down to it.

6) Thick as Thieves -We're stuck in the Sixties for this beautiful one. I can hear Ray Davis doing this, and it works for, as long as I don't get Bernard Cribbins sing about digging holes stuck in my head, because at times, it is just a teensy bit similar...or People are Strange by The Doors. Definitely wearing their influences on their sleeves, and rightly so.

7) West Ryder Silver Bullet - "Then I went down into the basement where my friend the maniac busies himself with his electronic graffiti. Finally his language touches me, because he talks to that part of us which insists on drawing profiles on prison walls. In that moment, poetry will be made by everyone, and there will be emus in the zone.."
As an opening poem read by a clearly unhinged women, it's not a typical song start. Man alive this is a weird one. Roll yourselves a big fat scooby and chill out to tripped out fucked up duet with American actress Rosario Dawson

8) Vlad the Impaler - Stub out that fat one and gobble down some disco bisuits. More killer riffs and dirty electronics....Get loose, get loose...You dancin'? I'm askin'.

9) Ladies and Gentlemen (Roll the Dice) - Another chill out. Sorry boys, but I can't really be arsed with this one. It's alright, just nothing special...

10) Secret Alphabets - More psychedelic. If the first album was to go clubbing with your mates to, then this is the one for when you come home mashed, and lie in a darkened room wondering whether you should roll one, or go raid the liqueur cabinet.

11) Fire - The first single off the album (bet Fast Fuse is next), and it's a stomper.Love it, love it, love it.

12) Happiness - The album ends on much the same vein it has tapped throughout. Chilled and whimsical. Sloppy dub breakbeats that you can tap along to, but not necessarily get up and dance.

All in all a fine album. Some great guitar hooks, and plenty of time for some downtime to ponder on the important hings in life.

Thanks for the reminder Stoxie, I think I shall spend the rest of the day incarcerated with you.

08 June 2009


As people who read their newspaper from the back page will be very much aware, the country is currently gripped in the excitement of the ICC World Twenty20.

For those who take their sport only when forced upon them like sprouts at Christmas, the World Twenty20 is a cricket tournament where the games aren't longer than the lifespan of a small rodent, you don't have to stop for tea, and there is a definite winner at the end of it all.

Twenty overs (that's 120 balls) for each team, to either bowl the other team out, or score as many runs as possible by smacking the ball out of the ground at every opportunity, rather than just tapping it to the ground and wondering if the cucumber sandwiches have got the crusts cut off them.

No white flannel shirts and woolly jumpers, its all snazzy colours and floodlights.

They've even tried to make the name more exciting by shortening it to T20, possibly so it's not confused with 'Mad Dog 20/20', a drink so rough it will turn you blind, not give you the 20/20 vision you need to play this lightening fast game.

They could have shortened it even further to TT, but that's already been taken, and the last thing you want tearing up and down the wicket is a hoard of touring bikers, or some cock in an Audi.

Now I love a Test Match, but anyone who watched Chris Gayle batter the Australian attack out of the ground (and I'm talking to you weaselly faced Brett Lee), could not help but delight in how good a game it is to watch, especially as now they can't take the piss out of us too much for our woeful display against the Netherlands.

But is this enough to entice the casual viewer, and will it be enough to contain my rapidly depleting attention span?

Fear not, for I have a solution.


With it's increasing global domination, SkyNews/SkySports is clearly a front for bigger things to come.


And with Skynet, comes Terminators, most importantly the T-2000 - a shape shifting metal motherfucker with the ability to turn into anyone it has sampled the DNA of.

Given the number of cricketers who've had hair transplants, there must be mountains of DNA floating around the worlds changing rooms and pavilions.

Imagine the terror seeing an amorphous silver silhouette bounding down the pitch towards you, suddenly to morph into Shoaib Akhtar and nearly take your head off. Next ball you're ready for him, only now it's Shane Warne - out of retirement with a deadly leg break.

Metal Billy Bowden stood near the wicket, just waiting to extend that crooked finger..... and extend....and extend....imagine what he'd do with a six?

I'd love to see it, and shall pen a missive to Rupert Murdoch as soon as I'm done here.

And if you think it might all be a bit easy on the bowlers in my thrilling upgrade of the game, don't worry, I've got a little plan up my sleeve for the batsmen.

He'll be back......

06 June 2009

Dawn of the (nearly) Dead

Mrsslippy worked a night shift last night, meaning our usual exciting Friday evening jaunt to the shops had to be postponed.

Her parting words were 'I'll do the shopping in the morning before I go to bed'.

'Grand' thought I. 'Add some bacon to the list and I can be woken by the sound of it gently frying',

However, since my now structured life has vanquished my ability to lay in at the weekend, when she came home to change out of her uniform, I leaped out of bed with gay abandon and offered to join her.

The car park looked pretty empty on arrival, and there was the promise of freshly stocked shelves, rather than the 'East Berlin bakers circa 1985' appearance that Tesco sometimes has on a Friday evening.

It was only upon entering the sliding doors that the true horror of what lay in store hit me.



Shuffling, mumbling, or just staring into space. It was like a scene from George A Romero's most excellent 'Dawn of the Dead', where a band of survivors from the undead outbreak that kicked off in 'Night of the Living Dead' shore themselves up in a shopping mall, while the undead denizens go about their business, unaware that their life has been snuffed out.


Viewed as a satirical observation on commercialism and the impersonalisation of sprawling shopping centers and massive globalisation, it was now a harsh reality.

Aisle upon aisle of grey faced automatons. Clutching shopping lists that they may as well have had laminated 15 years ago; purchasing habits not changed since they first drew their pensions and faced the realisation that a tin of spam, a tin of corned beef, a tin of pilchards and a loaf of thinly sliced white bread was about as exciting as food was going to get for the rest of their lives.

Yet with nothing else to do until pension day, this was their big outing for the week, so no rush. They've got all day......

I treat the supermarket aisles as motorways, or busy A roads. There are three lanes; the ones at the edges next to the produce are the 'slow lanes', and have double yellow lines. The central third lane is for cruising at speed, or overtaking. It can only be used as a car park by the shelf stackers, as they know to only close off the lane in a position where the other two lanes are clear.

You can move up and down the outside lanes at a reasonably leisurely pace, and can even pull over, provided your engine is still running.

By this I mean that you know what you want from the shelf, and are either trying to locate the best 'best before date', or weighing up the options on a couple of new varieties of a product. It is not a place to stop for a chat about how your prostate is now so large that it hangs out your arse, and when pissing it takes you so long to get started that you now paradoxically have to get up to the toilet two hours before you've actually gone to bed.

And you should only be allowed to stop for a maximum of 30 seconds. Any longer than that and you should be barred from the store. I waited an unfeasibly long period this morning because an elderly couple (with a trolley each no less!), had both parked blocking the entire bacon shelf whilst they inspected every single packet. I ended up having to drive round the block, because I was then causing a jam in the middle lane whilst waiting for an opportunity to pull in.

Curiously enough, of the handful of items that they had in each trolley, the fella, who was bald, had got a tub of Brylcreme (he'd been parked in front of the hair products earlier when I was trying to get some wax).

See - so stuck in his sad shambling grey life, he'd not even noticed he'd lost all his fucking hair.

And if parking in the outside lane is a social faux pas, it can be circumnavigated provided the overtaking lane is clear - which this morning was generally filled with all manner of road blocks.

Firstly, the idiots who park in it the central lane to stop for a chat with some other twat who has parked next to the produce. This creates a bottle neck as traffic has to move in both directions in the remaining lane. It can often happen on any day of the week, but what I saw this morning was people parking side on to talk, effectively blocking the entire carriageway.

Then there are the ones that abandon their vehicle. As you then go to move it to either get through, or access a shelf, you may be met by the returning shopper, who gives you a dirty look for touching their stuff, even if they haven't paid for it yet, so technically incorrect.

Sometimes there is no sign of who the trolley belongs to, and there's a creeping suspicion that they owner has forgotten all about it and has long gone home. Either that or they're now merrily filling another trolley. They've probably been there for hours and have dozens dotted all over the store.

Lastly, it's not a trolley hazard, but human.

The recently retired gentleman.

You know the sort - no longer able to rest on his laurels after being the bread winner all his life, he's never had to assist with bread buyingBut now he's been told in no uncertain terms that he is expected to help with the shopping on a Saturday morning.

And he hasn't got a fucking clue.

Still dressed in shirt, tie and blazer, because he's never learned to dress down, he follows the wife and her trolley around, always a couple of feet behind and to the side, like some bewildered slip fielder, waiting for a tickle - but she's such a pro she's knocking everything straight into the trolley. The only time he's going to see any action is when the scorecard comes out.

So there he stands, blissfully unaware that he's standing in the middle of the fast lane. Ask him to politely move, and he gets all flustered and starts looking to his wife for help, as if he steps out of position without the captains permission he may well drop a wicket taking catch.

I know they can't help it. But they get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, can't they just do their shopping then?

Just like the Zombies in the films, they don't know they're doing it, but I know what the kindest option would be.

It's what they do in the films, and if ever show signs of becoming one of the living dead it's what I'd want - please - just fucking shoot me.

05 June 2009

Big Bang Theory

Much as Mrsslippy and I enjoy watching enormously funny Big Bang Theory, I sometimes worry that she sees a little too much of me in some of the characters, particularly Sheldon.

Fair enough, I may have a few nerdy tendencies, but have conclusive proof that I am nothing like the caricatures of geekdom that grace the screen...

  1. They all own padded dressing up costumes based on DC Superhero 'The Flash'. My padded Superhero Costume is Batman, who is also from DC comics.
  2. They spend a lot of time playing video games, and are obsessed with playing Halo. I am not. It makes me motion sick. I much prefer to play Resident Evil, Doom, any of the Lego themed stuff, Super Bros. Smash Brawl, or anything based in the Star Wars Universe.
  3. They think Captain Kirk walks on water. He doesn't. Jean Luc Picard does.
  4. They are such creatures of habit that they have a Chinese meal every Thursday. We don't. We have fajitas every Friday. And fish and chips every Saturday lunchtime
  5. They play Boggle in Klingon, which I wouldn't be able to do. Well not win it anyway, as the only Klingon I know is HIja (yes), ghobe' (no), and Ka'Pla!
  6. They have stacks of comics kept in plastic bags to protect them. Only my Fantastic Fours and V for Vendettas are in plastic bags. The rest are well thumbed, as are my graphic novels.
  7. They've got a couple of telescopes in their flat. I only have one.
  8. They have several laptops dotted around their flat, I only have three, and one is pretty dead , and another pretty unreliable (but if I need to get on the internet and Mrsslippy is on the good one, I can still use my phone, my Wii, or my DS )
  9. They play World of Warcraft, which I haven't played for nearly a year (after nearly 1500 hours of game play)
  10. Sheldon refuses to accept Loop Quantum Gravity theory as a method of unifying quantum mechanics, insisting on String Theory, whereas I am happy to consider both of them as possible concepts.
  11. None of them have the coordination to play any team sports, whereas I am great at.......oh fuck it.....you've got me bang to rights on that one.
Yes Mrsslippy, as if the other 11 reasons (ok, 10 because of the sport one) weren't reason enough, you are the living, breathing proof that I am not a lonely sad geek.

I'm a happily attached sad geek.

04 June 2009

Follow me...

Those clever, clever people at Google have done it again.

Just as I was becoming afraid I was turning into some kind of gibbering Luddite with a penchant for sandals and horticulture, they update a gadget on my phone, and I'm back in the land of the techno geeks.

My phone has GPS on it, which is doubly handy for using it for Satnav,which I rarely do, because being a bloke I was born knowing how to get from anywhere to anywhere by merely glancing at a map. However most maps don't tell you where the nearest boozer is, which the Satnav on the phone does, and doesn't need to be attached to a car, so I can always find a pub in a strange town.

Secondly, teh interwebs. Dial up WAP costs a fortune and is painfully slow. GPRS data connection is fast, and unlimited with my (generous) contract.

What the phone also has is Google Maps. A little version of Google Earth for your pocket, that does pretty much the same as the Satnav, only no boozer searching, and the satellite view is a bit busy for finding your directions. Only really useful if you're say, wandering around in fields on the a convoluted walk home from work and you want to check if you're likely to hit a proper path anytime soon.

But as I did that last Friday, I was prompted to install the latest version of Google Maps, and like a geek, the first thing I did was check what the new features were.

The application now has something called 'Latitude' bundled into it. What this has essentially done is turn the GPS into a 2 way street. Not only can I see my location, I can share it....

This can only be shared with people you approve, and if they have Google Maps on their phone, you can see where they are and vice versa. It doesn't matter if you don't have GPS, it will use phone masts to triangulate your position, but the accuracy is to within a few hundred, rather than a few meters.

With privacy in mind, you can set it to just show what town you are in, or to let people follow you like a hawk.

You can even add it as a widget/gadget to your iGoogle page, and follow your friends around from the comfort of your settee.

*Geeks only* - It's only set to work as a gadget in in America, but you can make your browser think that's where you are by amending the address bar to http://www.google.com/ig?gl=us

I thought this would be handy for Mrsslippy to be able to track if I was still at work, or had been sucked into the pub on the way home. Now she can see I'm enjoying a pint without having to ring me and disturb my supping.

Right now, if she's not busy rushing her arse of at work she can log in and check if I'm still home

Yep, looks like it.

In fact it looks like I'm in the living room....

Yesterday as I travelled back from Birmingham on the train, she was able to watch me chugging my way through Melton Mowbray, Nuneaton, Peterborough......, and had she been watching as I walked home this evening she would have seen me apparently trashing my way through neighbours houses and hedges due to a couple of metres error in where the satellites thought I was.

Probably like the scene in Aliens where the scanners show them all in the room, but there's no sign, Mrsslippy expected me to come crashing through the ceiling "they're coming out of the fucking walls man!"

So there's no hiding now. But don't think that means you can come and rob my house when I'm not here - Mrssplippy still might be.

And don't assume that just because my icon says I'm at home that I am. That's just where my phone is, and why would I take it to the pub with me anyway?

You know I never answer the fucking thing.