Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Updated Genesis

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?"
Thank's to Chaos Manor

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."
And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.
And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.
And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."
And God said, " I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."
And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."
And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.
And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.
And Adam and Eve learned humility.
And they were greatly improved.
And God was pleased
And Dog was happy.
And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Do They Think They Are?

So why would you want a silly name, maybe you had no choice and your parents foisted upon you a name that you positively hate. There is a tendency to name your kid after the current celebrity (Kylie and Jason in the 1980's), and there are a few, like Bob geldof's kids called Peaches Honeyblossom, or Nicholas Cage who gave his son the moniker of Kal-El (superman).
So 30 minutes of thumb twiddling at my non-job gave me the chance to search cencus and other records to find the following people.
James Bond villians were alive and kicking well before Ian Flemming thought them up, apparently one of the best villians was born in Middlesex in 1832!"No Mister Bond I expect you to die!"

Although Bond's main nemesis could be still alive and kicking in Massachusets;

It's is good to know however that to balance the evil villains there is a chance that there are some heroes to be found, for example the man who unravelled the mystery of the "39 steps" was alive and living in Grimsby in 1901:

Or that the worlds foremost consulting detective could be located in his Welsh holiday home;
Of course the ultimate good guy could always be contacted by phone, but he'd moved from Metropolis by 1934 and had decided that London was more fitting to a caped crusader;
And we all know that the Earl of Loxley was born in Nottingham don't we, but I really did think it was earlier than 1856.

It came as a great shock to me that the reports of a timelords marriage were totally overlooked in the media. The guest list must have been interesting, and was The Master the best man or was it Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart? did the daleks attend the disco in the reception afterwards?

Another space-faring heroe seems to prefer living in the "good-old" US of A however, with this selection:

But it is sad to say that who will now save the Earth from the clutches of Emporer Ming?

It appears that one of the world greatest travellers hails from the land of Peter Kaye, so did Passportout come from Oldham?

Just to finish off, we now know where young Oliver came from;

Monday, July 16, 2007

Drowned World

The rain is relentless. Is it ever going to stop? Friday was again a continual downpour, which led to large gatherings of water on the local roads. Unfortunately on my way back from the snooker club on Friday night I drove through a largish puddle, which unfortunately seems to have invaded the electrical systems on my car.
When I parked up on my drive on Friday night around 11:30pm I noticed that the cooling fan on the radiator was still valiantly going. now normally this will turn itself off after 30 seconds or so of parking, this time however it valiantly kept on going for a good 30 minutes, so I lifted the bonnet and pretended to look at the stuff connected to the engine. I wiggled a few wires and other stuff to no avail. So I decided I'd go to bed and see what things were like Saturday morning. Eleanor was due to go to one of her church do's in Sheffield Saturday morning and I'd promised to give her and some of her friends a lift, then I was going to travel down to Grantham to visit my Aunt who has just moved into a nursing home there. However on Saturday morning the act of turning the ignition key had the unusual effect of instead of starting the car it opened the boot and put the hazard warning lights on accompanied by a clicking noise. I managed to borrow a friends car to transport Ellie and friends to Sheffield, and I returned home to try and sort out the car. Unfortunately my normal garage man doesn't work Saturdays, and the three other places I tried weren't interested in any weekend work, so as it stands now I'm still without transport. Even after a good 40 minutes of playing a hair dryer on the fuse box and the computer brain of the car hasn't improved things and it was still refusing to start on the ignition this morning and proudly opening the boot and putting the hazard lights on. I think the electrics are knackered, could be expensive. O joy!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Let's hear it for Gustave Stinkpoo!

There's a tradition in most countries for thumbing your nose at authority. So it should come as no surprise that the inhabitants of a boarding house during the taking of the 1881 census were less than forthcoming about their true identity and occupations.
So we have ;

G. O'LEARY Peacock Feather Trimmer
John REGAN, Dolls Eye Weaver
Mouse REGAN, Ratcatcher
Charles HORSEFLESH, Dog Fancier
Pancho FLIPBACK, Grave Digger
Gustave STINKPOO, Turpentine Boiler
Charles BIGTOP, Tiger Slayer
Joseph BROWN, Urinal Attendant
Henry DANDELION, Horse Hair Platter

The image of the actual census returns can be found here

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Life is Bollocks

So I'm still in employment limbo. It's strange really I seem to be having a shadowy existence at work, more like an observer than a participant. About two weeks ago it was suggested that I set down some proposals for the reorganisation of the whole of the IT support for the Faculty prior to the relocation of Psalter Lane campus to City. Now this will involve the changing (in some cases minor, in other cases major) the roles of the three other line managers involved in the totality of the IT support. As you can imagine I'm not getting an awful lot of committed cooperation from the others.
Most of the time I'm sat twiddling my thumbs, wondering what the heck is going on, and my "Big Boss" has now buggered off for three weeks holibobs, so I haven't got a lot of support there.
To pass the time I've done a survey of the current state of printer provision within the faculty (we have some 379 different printers), and am trying to rationalise this (yes a totally exciting task - but at least it gives me something to do). The other task that I was originally brought down to do, that is the relocation of staff during the building works, is now stalled as we are now into the academic summer break and there wont be any moves until September,
I now have on my desk some information from the Human Resources Department about the possibility of me taking early retirement, to be honest at present the figures don't look good. I'd be far better off waiting until I'm 60 (another 3 years!). So that seems to be one avenue closed off at present.
I'm due to have a meeting (which I suspect may turn into more of an argument if I'm not careful) with the "Big Boss's" stand in and my direct line manager. I'm not expecting miracles. What is more worrying is they keep giving me a "vote of confidence" without actually giving me a clear indication of what role they expect me to fulfil and talk gibberish about "fluid evolution of roles".
So on the whole life is bollocks at the moment!

Friday, June 29, 2007

More Rain to Come

It looks like the deluge will continue as more heavy rain is forecast for this weekend. We finally got the roads working out of Bolton-Upon-Dearne on Wednesday night, and there was a limited train service running between Leeds and Sheffield, but it is bypassing Rotherham completely.
I was planning on going to visit my Aunt in Grantham this weekend but I have given up on those plans as if the predicted rain happens I probably won't be able to get back home again.
I think that one of the worrying aspects was the lack of information from the official transport sources, and the shock! horror! approach by the TV companies to the reporting of the flooding.
This morning waiting at the local rail stop, one of my fellow commuters rang the national Rail help Line (probably in Bangalore), and was informed that no trains would be running today on our route, at that moment the train came around the corner and we all got on it. The distant operative still was insisting that our train wasn't running and that our particular stretch of track was closed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

When You Thought it Couldn't Get Worse

More heavy rain, the journey home on Monday was horrendous. I decided to pack up work early Monday on account there were no trains running from Sheffield. I managed to get a tram to Hillsborough, where my brother has his shop and blagged a lift from him to Bolton upon Dearne. I got home around 7pm, and my brother thankfully made it back to Grenoside by 8.30pm. Tuesday was a day off, as Bolton was completely cut off from the outside world by flood water (Am I glad our house is on the high spot!). Here's some pictures of the locality.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

BBCC Summer Night Out

Last night was the annual BBCC (Blades Beer & Curry Club) night out, originally dubbed the "Relegation Celebration Night" the events of the still pending arbitration have somewhat labelled the relegation premature but probably just as certain.
Anyway we started the evening off in the Cask and Cutler, and my first pint of the evening was a pale ale, "Light Oak" from
Woodlands brewery. This was then followed by a pint of "Baby Git" from the Millstone Brewery. By this time the evening was getting, not unsurprising, quite merry, so I thought I'd move on and try one of the wheat beers, "Beowolf Weissbier" a cloudy smooth beer at 5.3%. The session was finished off by two pints of a beer called "Jaywalker", I have no idea who the brewery was, or do I care at this stage.
So it was then on to
Butler's Balti House, where I fully enjoyed a mixed kebab starter followed by the Balti Lamb Special.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

When The Rains Came Down

After all the rain this weekend, the local river at the bottom of the hill (fortunately for us we are up the hill!), burst it's banks. This is a photograph looking over the local playing fields at the top of the goalposts. Water Football anyone?

The main route through to Wath was flooded out so we had to use the Adwick and Mexborough road to cross over the Dearne river. That nearly became flooded out too. The weather is still forecast to be unsettled with more rain to come - let's hope we don't have another months supply in a single night, like Friday.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Recollections of a Cake

I have been having some memories of my life-changing visit to Brazil recalled in a short conversation with the owner of "notamissionary" blog site listed on my sidebar. As usual it was about one of mans basic instincts - food, and the preponderance of the Brazil cuisine for red meat in any of it's guises. I believe vegetarian restaurants are illegal in most states in Brazil, and it is even a capital offence in some states to visit one.
However the tale I have to tell today involved my wife's birthday in May 1991. We had gone to Brazil for a mere 30 days at the begining of February 1991, in order to adopt those two wonderful lads who are now our two sons, Paulo and Leo, but unfortunately we got stuck in a sort of legal nightmare and we ended up being "trapped" for 6 months. Anyway, in the hotel were another British couple, from Harrogate, and about 4 American couples all doing the adoption thing, and on my wife's birthday, May 27th, we decided to spring a surprise birthday party for her to cheer her up at the local meatery (Buffalo Bill's or some such name) - basically a steak house. Now Fortaleza is basically a nadge south of the equator and it's seasons range from very hot, to extremely hot, to phew it's hot again, so dairy products and stuff like cream cakes don't keep very well. So the only cakes we observed were basic sponges or variants on little biscuits called "brigadeiros", also the only fruit we actually saw were melons, mango's and some things that they give to the celebrities in the "get me out of here TV program". So having got to the restaurant we were all taken aback somewhat by the site of a display case showing of what looked to be a large strawberry gateaux, absolutely laced with cream and strawberries. We have to have it, can you imagine 4 Brits, and 8 Americans positively drooling at the thought of a strawberry gateaux after weeks, nay months of bland sponge cake and melon.
So we point, we wave our hands in the air, we point again. our Portuguese is not enough, even one of the American couples who can speak Spanish are having difficulty, but slowly the head waiter gets the message that is for a birthday celebration and we want "that" cake, we will pay - a price is arranged, quite reasonable too.
So we all enjoy our half a cow steaks, with the usual rice, manioc flour, and afterthought of salad accompaniments, and then the waiter brings over the gateaux and places it carefully on the centre of the table. He thoughtfully places a carving knife alongside. We all gaze in anticipation at the cake. We gaily sing "happy Birthday to my wife". She picks up the knife, looks at the cake and stops. We all look at the cake. I gingerly prod it with my finger. It is stiff. It is very stiff. It is plastic.
We lift the very realistic cake cover designed like a strawberry gateaux to reveal a plain sponge cake! O what shattered dreams!
We went back to Fortaleza in 1998, and in my view, more unfortunately the city had now opened up to a more international market, with package holidays from most "Western Countries" due to the building of a fully international airport. So not only could you now get proper cakes and a wider range af fruits, but some of the more traditional eateries had closed down, including one of my favourites from 1991, which had been, horror's of horror's, replaced by a Macdonalds! Such is the march of international cuisine.