Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Brain Teasers...

1. 'I saw my father's daughter's daughter's only cousin's father this afternoon,' remarked Gary. 'Delightful fellow, very intelligent, and jolly looking too.' Who was this remarkable relative, and where did Gary see him?

2. Which is the only whole number which, when written out as a word, has its letters in alphabetical order?

i-Mate JASJAR...

Another new toy to add to my collection.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Pam Ann...

On Friday the lovely Ian, his equally lovely boyfriend Paul, haven't-I-met-you-somewhere-before David, Charles-Charlie-Charles, Ivor, Gary K, Gary S and I all found ourselves at the Bloomsbury Theatre watching Pam Ann's The Sky's The Limit show.

I've seen Pam Ann a number of times over the years working the gay clubs and it never ceases to raise a titter, a chortle and sometimes even a gut-wrenching laugh. The humour is broad (well, broad within the confines of stand-up comedy) and generally well aimed. She is the creation of Caroline Reid; the first Aussie air stewardess of comedy who works for the world's most experienced airline...rest assured 'we don't make the same mistake more than three times!'

We all had a great time. Not least because we weren't one of the twenty (!) or so people who were dragged up on stage during the show.

If you want to see the sort of thing Pam Ann does with her day - here's a short movie.

Jamie Gregory...

A friend of mine Jamie Gregory (not his real name) has recently started a blog. So why not check out his psychogeography blog called unsurprisingly Jamie Gregory.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Colouring In...

Feeling bored? Do some colouring in.

Floating dog...

Two pilots are looping a small plane - in the background their dog floats to the ceiling, ears flapping and tail wagging. It's the dog's utter failure to be amazed that makes this video clip so good.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Friend Indeed...

Thank you Ian for the chats last night. Always good to catch up. And sorry if I was brain-sluicing a bit after pint number three! As I sauntered back from the George and Dragon (incidentally bumping into Stuart who was just returning from seeing Jarhead with Andrew in Camden) I was reminded, perhaps rather oddly, of a piece of embroidery hung up in my parents downstairs cloakroom. It reads:

Make New Friends
Keep The Old
One Is Silver
The Other Gold

Nikon Coolpix S1...

My new toy (actual size!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


"I was eight years old before I realised that Diamond Lil was not a woman but a man called Harry". Oh dear.

Last night Andy treated Kevin, David, Pano and I to a bit of fringe theatre. We went to see Diamond at the Kings Head Theatre in Upper Street. The story of a couple of trannies down Columbia Road during the war.

And it was the biggest pile of poo-poo ka-ka I've seen in a very long time. 'Good' isn't the word. My toes curled so far up my legs I thought I was going to have to crawl home on my stumps.

That said we did have a laugh; mainly 'at' rather than 'with' though. In fact David and I got the giggles at one point it was so cringingly bad.

And David put it very well afterwards: The comedy was tragic, the tragedy comic. Actually, the play would be salvageable if they cut some of the songs; ok, all of them. And some of the characters; ok, all of them. And some of the dialogue...

But Andy perhaps put it best as he struggled to say something positive and ended up damning them with faint praise: the lighting was good.

The Green Pub Quiz Answers...

The quiz answers from last week:
01. Mongooses
02. Five pairs
03. 1981
04. Mammals
05. A hen
06. Ungulate
07. Northern
08. Vatican City
09. George Bernard Shaw
10. A sow's ear
11. Tuba
12. Fah
13. Anita Kerr Singers
14. New Orleans
15. In the film: Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl. In real life: Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, Martina, Rosemarie, Eleonore and Johannes Georg.
16. Michael Keaton
17. Liberace
18. Titanic
19. Bridget Jones's Diary
20. 12 days
21. 206
22. 100,000
23. Rubela
24. Two and a half quarts
25. Painkiller
26. 80%
27. True
28. Computer
29. Rust
30. Birds and sea creatures
31. Femme Fatale
32. 16
33. Lust (fornication), Gluttony, Greed (covetousness, avarice), Sloth (accidie, acedia), Wrath (anger, hate), Envy (jealousy) and Pride (vanity)
34. Spinach
35. Philosopher
36. Pnenomia
37. Beards
38. Friday 13th
39. China
40. The young

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kid Creole and the Coconuts...

Last night the delectable David, seductive Stuart, delicious Darren, cute Chris, rapturous Rachael and little old me all went to see the king of self-assured, self-centredness that is Kid Creole and the Coconuts at the London Jazz Cafe.

Kid Creole is the alias of the America singer / songwriter / producer / guitarist / showman August Darnell. Backed with eight talented musicians (brass, rhythm, keyboards and bongos), three glamorous (and let's not forget nubile) Coconuts and a unequalled stage persona The Kid put on a great show. Complete with three, yes three, gratuitous hat changes. Think Cab Calloway. Think Hollywood films of the 30s and 40s. Think Jim Carrey in The Mask. He was smmmmokin'.

All the hits were there. Well almost: Stool Pigeon, I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby, Annie I'm Not Your Daddy, Don't Take My Coconuts, (No More) Casual Sex and the sex of it (as David pointed out, written by Prince). Sadly no Me No Popeye though.

Funny. Sexy. Cool. We laughed and danced like loons. It was a great night.

Tom Cruise Threatened To Sue South Park...

I can't imagine why? Tee hee.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mr Hoist 2006...

I had a date set for Saturday night. But wasn't sure whether he'd show. I'd been in town with Ian, Paul and Ali at a concert earlier and we'd followed that with a few whiskeys in Trafalgar Square. Turns out this was the Dutch courage I needed. I decided I was definitely going to go to meet him in that most romantic of places - the Hoist. Loins girded I headed down to Vauxhall where Ian and Paul plyed me with more whiskey and helped me on with my chaps. Suitably zipped in I was all set.

Little did I know the place was going to be so packed - with Mr Hoist 2006 contestants (d'oh!), well-wishers and the usual leather clad crowd.

And did my date show? No. I looked for hours. D'oh! Giving up on him I though I might as well have some fun anyway. And boy did I! Time flew. They swept me out with the rubbish at 4am!

A friend asked me the next day, "Did you actually enter Mr Hoist 2006?" The answer I gave was, "either 'yes', 'no' or 'twice'. On current form, you decide!"

Baroque Festival...

On Saturday night Ian took his new beau Paul, Ali and myself to St Martin-in-the-Fields to see New London Soloists Orchestra perform a Baroque Festival.

The progamme was:
Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No 3
Vivaldi - Spring from Four Seasons
Bach - Air 'on the G String'
Vivaldi - Concerto for four Violins
Vivaldi - Winter from Four Seasons
Handel - Concerto Grosso from op 6
Bach - Concerto for two Violins in D minor

All very easy on the ear but great fun and in such a wonderful setting. A sort of light and fluffy and non-taxing way to kick off a Saturday night.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

When Musical Giants Collide...

Just saw Howard from Take That & Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream in Budgens in Upper St having a chin-wag. Howard can't be on Atkins - non-organic potatoes, white bread & custard creams in his basket. Bobby was mainly low-fat but rather let himself down with a generic pre-made chicken pie and squeezable Helmans. Bless.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Duckie at the Tate...

Duckie are performing at the Tate Britain in a Keep the Faith show on Friday 3rd February 2006, 18.00–22.00 as part of the Late at Tate Britain. It says here: Taking the Tate collection as inspiration, Duckie join the faithful and delve into the world of art and belief. Join the congregation for righteous provocative performance, soulful tunes, virtuous visuals and real live vicars!

Crucifixion slapstick...

Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ is a notoriously hard-hitting version of the Jesus story. But what happens when you dub the Benny Hill show music over the top? Comedy gold, that's what. Oh, and eternal damnation. Click here to watch this and you will surely go to Hell.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Quiet Night In...

I decided to have a night in last night (had to happen one day I suppose) and watched two of the worst films I think I've seen in a very long time on the big screen I've setup in my good room: The Village (I'd rather have watched the other Village People, I think) and Charlotte Gray with Cate Blanchett doing her wee accent ('oui', geddit?). Both a pile of cack. Thanks goodness Celebrity Big Brother and Desperate Housewives followed on so the evening picked up.

No Habla Espanol...

I was given one of these on Saturday night 'Never Say No' only it was filled in. Can anyone translate it for me? (If you do I'll tell you which boxes were ticked!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Green Pub Quiz...

Last night Guy and I went out for some beers in The Green in Islington's glitzy Upper Street. We had a right old laugh - ended up staying all night, drinking lots, ordering some food and joining in the pub quiz. Great fun. We only got 22 out of 40 but then we were rather trashed by the end. See how you get on (no cheating and Googling it!)

01. What is the plural of mongoose?
02. How many pairs of legs does a crab have?
03. When was Shergar kidnapped? 1979, 1981 or 1983?
04. Are turtles reptiles or mammals?
05. What is a Rhode Island Red?
06. What are animals with hooves called? Cloven, ungulate or bovine?
07. Which hemisphere has most of Africa's land mass?
08. Two principalities in Europe are smaller than New York's Central Park. Monaco is one. What's the other?
09. Who said British and Americans are two nations divided by a common language?
10. What can't you make a silk purse out of?
11. What is a sousaphone?
12. What note comes after 'me'?
13. Who won Best Performance by a Vocal Group at the 1966 Grammy Awards? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or the Anita Kerr Singers?
14. Where is the House Of The Rising Sun?
15. Name three of the Von Trapp children
16. When a certain Michael Douglas went to Hollywood he had to change his name because there was already a Michael Douglas there. What did he change it to?
17. Who said after a bad review, "I cried all the way to the bank"?
18. All About Eve was nominated for fourteen Oscars. Which other film equaled that feat?
19. Which films tag line was "All Women Keep Score... Only The Great Ones Put It In Writing"?
20. How long did it takes the three Wise Men to get to Jesus? 6 days, 12 days or 14 days?
21. How many bones are there in the human body? 206 or 260?
22. How many hairs are there on the average human head? 100,000, 500,000 or 1,000,000?
23. What is another name for German Measles?
24. How much does the average man sweat in a day? Two and a half ounces, two and a half pints or two and a half quarts?
25. What does analgesic mean?
26. What percentage of the human brain is water? 75%, 80% or 85%?
27. The largest four planets in our solar system all have rings. True or false?
28. What was Babbage the 'father' of?
29. What do you get when you mix Fe, H2O and O2?
30. In Genesis what was blessed first by God; the birds and sea creatures, cattle and creeping things or man?
31. What is the French phrase for "deadly woman"?
32. How many balls are there on a pool table at start of play? 10, 15 or 16?
33. Name three of the Seven Deadly Sins?
34. What is an essential ingredient of a Florentine dish?
35. Immanuel Kant... doctor, philosopher or architect?
36. How do you spell it... pnenomia or phenomia?
37. What is pogonophobia a fear of: hair-dressers, beards or shampoo?
38. What does every month have if the first day falls on a Sunday?
39. Where was ice-cream invented: Greece, Italy or China?
40. According to George Bernard Shaw what is youth wasted on?

Yeah! Right!...

So you work for the BBC and you've been dispatched to CES in Vegas to check out the latest gadget and gismo when, suddenly, you find youself strangely drawn toward a bar, outside of which the porn industry's finest are parading along a red carpet on their way to the annual Adult Entertainment Expo next door. Your mobile rings. It's your editor demanding to know why you haven't filed that earth-shaking exclusive on the very cutting-edge of domestic media servers. What's your excuse?

Well, if you're the BBC's Gareth Mitchell and producer Julian Siddle, it's pretty simple: "We tried to get out of the bar for two hours, but the bouncers wouldn't let us cross the red carpet, so we had to get legless while loads of top-quality, pneumatic totty and horse-endowed stallions strutted their stuff before our eyes."

Or words to that effect.

Rather puts 'the dog ate my homework' into the shade, huh?

Monday, January 16, 2006

More Kate Bush's King Of The Mountain Remixes...

There are at least SIX other King Of The Mountain remixes: King Of The Mountain (Mountain Mix), King Of The Mountain (12" Remix), King Of The Mountain (Grand Canyon Remix), King Of The Mountain (That Kick Inside Remix), King Of The Mountain (This Cloudbusting Dub Mix). Sample the sort of thing here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kate Bush's King Of The Mountain (Radioslave Mix)...

Radio One's Blue Room is broadcast on Saturdays at 5am-7am hosted by DJ Rob Da Bank. He plays some great tracks (recent tracklisting here) including a remix of Kate Bush's King Of The Mountain done by Radioslave. It's a white label 6m 48s track but not commercial available (yet).

If you happened to have missed it you can listen to it again for the next seven days at the BBC's listen again site. The Kate song is about 35 minutes into the show so you can jump by 15 mins twice and then 5 mins to be in about the right spot. Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Valencia I'll Be Bound...

It was a very bumping Ryanair flight yesterday out of Stansted so I drank lots and talked to strangers. No change there then! I did finally arrive in one piece here in Valencia old town and very nice it is too; ye olde entrance gate, massive turrets, 10m thick city wall - the lot. Really very charming. Simon and Paul live near a square called Placa Del Tossal (yeah, I know). Being central this is where all the town halls, markets, shops and nightlife are: the 'happening' part of town. So we did some exploring last night and took in some of the local colour eventually finding ourselves in a bar called Nuncadigono which apparently, and perhaps rather aptly, means 'never say no'. Ahem. I can see this going to be a fun few days.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lost (In Translation)...

Er... what exactly was that nonsense all about then? Twenty-five weeks I watched that show and that's how they repay me! Last night's two hour Lost finale was simply a ramshackle of over-long and over-frequent advert breaks and very slow moving plotless action. Sure the bit with the geography teacher was funny but the whole thing smacked of Oh-goody-they've-commissioned-a-second-series-so-let's-not-give-too-much-away-and-change-what-we-were-going-to-do-and-throw-in-a-couple-of-cliff-hangers. And how redundant is that French woman? Grrrr. I'm never going to watch a Disney show ever again! Grrrr.

SkinCFC's Male Erotic Gallery (SMEG)...

I'm off to Valencia later on today to go and stay with the rather rather lovely and gorgeous (and let's not forget talented) Simon. Paul is joining us tomorrow.

Simon has a web site where you can browse and indeed buy his rather wonderful artwork. Go take a look see at SkinCFC's Male Erotic Gallery (SMEG). "Warning! This website may contain nuts."

Brain Teasers Answers...

One tricky one and one obvious one this time around.

1. Write the alphabet in a 3-row grid with the following values: A, J, S = 1; B, K, T = 2; C, L, U = 3; D, M, V = 4; E, N, W = 5; F, O, X = 6; G, P, Y = 7; H, Q, Z = 8; I, R = 9. Thus Raphael = 9 + 1 + 7 + 8 + 1 + 5 + 3 = 34

2. 72. It is the only non-square number.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Brain teasers...

1. If Picasso is worth 28 and Monet is worth 22, how much is Raphael worth?

2. Which is the odd one out: Thirty-six, Sixty-four, Seventy-two, Twenty-five, Eighty-one?

The Singing Dictionary...

The dictionary meets karaoke at Dictionaraoke. I particularly like Take On Me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2005 Was Extended By One Second...

You know that awkward moment on New Year's Eve just towards twelve when no one is quite sure exactly when midnight hits? Everyone's looking at their watch nervously and then someone starts loudly counting down from ten and you think, "well it's not quite right by my watch but let's join in anyway". Well, this new year just gone you had slightly more reason to be skeptical of these gun jumpers than normal.

Scientists extended 2005 by one second.

For the first time in seven years the Earth's rotation has necessitated a "leap second". The extra snippet was added to atomic clocks at midnight Coordinated Universal Time - the same as UK winter time. Said clocks read 23:59:60 before rolling over to 00:00:00.

Although leap seconds could, if required, be deducted (a "negative leap second"), they have always been added "reflecting the Earth's general slowing trend due to tidal braking". The decision as to whether a leap second is needed - and the criterion is that universal timekeeping should be within 0.9 seconds of the Earth's rotation - is decided by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Did you notice a bit of extra drinking time this New Year just gone? No, me neither.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Who knew burbing would take so long?...

I spent a lovely afternoon with the triplets yesterday. Blimey, they've grown! Great fun feeding and burping them. But who knew burbing would take so long?

I can't decide which is my favourite because they are all so sweet. I shouldn't have a favourite, you say? No, I guess not. But then again it'll give then something to fight over later in life. Tee hee.

De Battre Mon Coeur s'est Arrêté...

On Friday Stuart treated me to a film as thank you for doing some taping for him. Not only did he treat me to the film but he bought me a copy of his favourite book too - Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson. Nice lad.

De Battre Mon Coeur s'est Arrêté (aka The Beat That My Heart Skipped) is a gritty psychological drama set in the dark, dank streets of Paris. The film is based on the cult favourite Fingers with Harvey Keitel. In this remake, the very cute Romain Duris stars as Tom, a ne-'er-do-well who works with two scheming real estate men, Fabrice (Jonathan Zaccai) and Sami (Gilles Cohen), who have little or no morals. When Tom sees his mother's old agent, he decides to return to the piano, practicing Bach's Toccata in E Minor for an important audition that he envisions could be a life-changing event. He hires a Vietnamese woman, Miao-Lin (Linh-Dan Pham), as his teacher, even though they speak different languages. While struggling to regain his mastery of the piano - which he gave up after his virtuoso mother's tragic death - he is called upon by his partners to participate in more and more shady deals and even help one of them cheat on his wife (Aure Atika). He also has a troublesome relationship with his father (Niels Arestrup), who asks Tom to collect money he is owed, putting him in many dangerous and violent situations. The Beat That My Heart Skipped is an intelligent, involving film, told in long takes with a handheld camera - and that really gives the film a strong impact. Recommended.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Get back to work, George...

Georgeous George Galloway, obviously not quite as popular with his constituents as he would like...

As Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow, George Galloway MP earns an annual basic salary of £61,708. Paid by you, the British taxpayer. So what’s he doing as a contestant in Celebrity Big Brother? This is how much Gorgeous George's Respect for his constituents has cost you so far. Get back to work, George.

Brokeback Mountain...

Matt and I went to see Brokeback Mountain last night while still on it's exclusive presentation at the Vue West End. It's nationwide from today.

It was moving film (well, the two women next to me were in tears pretty much throughout) of two gay cowboys from filmmaker Ang Lee - based on the short story by Annie Proulx. Set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, the film is the story of a ranch-hand Ennis del Mar (played by the gorgeous Heath Ledger) and a rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (played by the equally gorgeous Jake Gyllenhaal)who meet in the summer of 1963. The pair unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection while spending the summer together working the sheep on Brokeback Mountain. There are of course complications (they both get married), joys (they meet again regularly for 'fishing trips') and tragedies (worry not, I'll not give the game away) along the way but on the whole I'd say the film is a testament to the endurance and power of love.

And of course the joke goes it should have been called not Brokeback Mountain but Bareback Mountain. Better title might have been Spit and Shove Mountain. Tee hee.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

BBC News Opens Archives to Public...

The fall of the Berlin Wall and footage of the 1966 England World Cup team are among items released from the BBC News archives for the first time. I particularly like the Poll Tax Riot clip.

EastEnders' Mitchell Brothers Full Monty Kung-Fu Fighting...

It's all a bit depressing being back at work after the Christmas and New Year's breaks. It's cold and dark and damp outside and that inbox ain't getting any smaller... so why not let Grant and Phil Mitchell cheer you up with a striptease? I guess the title says it all: EastEnders' Mitchell Brothers Full Monty Kung-Fu Fighting clip.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

From Russia With Love...

Hi! I have found your structure and I have liked you I with hope shall wait your letter on my email or write to me the email - I shall write to you Ilya. Several years ago steel it is pleasant to me of the man. And I not that that hesitate of they be to eat any awkwardness.... I have friends but they do not know about it. And I do not want to tell him it.... Can be to me men like because I grew in family where there was no man? I do not know it. My father has died for a long time when I was small. There was only my mum and my senior sister. I do not know what reaction will be at them on that that like me guys instead of girls.... Therefore I would like to understand the feelings.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Duckie New Year's Eve...

Duckie was great fun. The tube strike didn't really materialize so I was good to go. Now if only I had (UPDATE: of course I mean 'hadn't' - paging Dr Freud!) left my ticket on my bedside table... d'oh! Matt, Aaron and I met up at Vauxhall Station though and we three had fun running round South Central chatting to the boys and chundering pints comme des poissons. Just after midnight we had a three-man conga round the pub in a let's-see-how-many-people-we-can-snog game. It was roaring success. Tie for first place seemed the only sensible outcome though.