Friday, October 27, 2006

this weeks top ten on my MP3 player

1. Johnny Cash
that Sun stuff is still doing it for me - and I've started loading up his American Series stuff now - so Cash might stay at number one for some time.
2. Elvis Costello
Can't see EC disapearing from this list in the near future either
3. David Bowie
Now I've got Laughing Gnome and some other of his 60s stuff on the MP3 player...
4. Wilco
5. Talking Heads
I loaded up a few live tracks at the weekend - from The Name of This Band and Stop Making Sense
6. Steve Earle
The man is a God. I saw him at Glastonbury don;t you know...
7. Morrissey
The man is a God, I saw him at Glastonbury don;t you know...
8. Kate Bush
I just bought Wuthering Heights - no room to put it on the MP3 player yet though.
9. Can
Getting a bit fed up with this at the moment.
9. Flaming Lips
9. Polyphonic Spree

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I went to the other end of Leyton High street on Wednesday to find a bike shop - I'd got a puncture in Stratford and needed to buy a pump as I'd left mine round S's flat.

I noticed a plaque on number 544 on the high road. The names on the plaque were:

sir Fisher Tench c1700

Thomas oliver 1750 - 1803

It wasn't the exisiting building they lived in, but one that predated the current terraced house on this site.

I'm not absloutely sure about the spelling - so that means i have to go back and check. Could find nothing on Fisher Tench - except lots of site about tench fishing came up :-).

Thomas Oliver though - one name came up on Wikipedia, and this may well be the one:

Thomas Oliver (Lieutenant Governor)

Thomas Oliver (January 5, 1733 - November 29, 1815) was the last Royal Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts.

"He was graduated from Harvard in 1753, and resided at 33 Elmwood Avenue, Cambridge. He took little part in public affairs until, upon the death of Andrew Oliver, he was appointed by the King at the suggestion of Thomas Hutchinson, who believed him to be a brother of Oliver.

A mob of five thousand angry citizens forced him to resign on September 2, 1774. He fled to Boston, remaining there for a year. When the British troops sailed to Halifax in March of 1776, Oliver went with them, going on to England. He was proscribed under the Massachusetts Banishment Act in 1778, and his estate confiscated."

Unfortunately the dates don;t quite match up - he'd have been too young to have lived there in 1850. First off - I'd better check the dates and spelling.


I got to look at a copy of this at the Anarchist Book Fair in London last week. It looked interesting - quite academic - something i might need to be reading to be honest, but at £3 a copy I wasn;t prepared to buy on the spot. Turns out its online, so I can peruse for free.

White van drivers

Some people say you shouldn�t criticise white van drivers, they�re just doing their job, why should driving a white van make you a bad driver. It�s just prejudice.

As I cyclist I�m on the sharp end. It may not be scientific, but I feel that my perceptions are important.

The other day I had two incidents on the same day. A vehicle cut across the front of me to take left bend, causing me to brake sharply; and another driver opened his door right in front of me. Luckily I ride slowly and fasr enough away from parked vehicles these days that I didn�t hit it. Guess what � both vehicles were white vans.

There was a study carried out by an academic, called Dr Ian Walker, recently that showed objectively that white van drivers drove closer to cyclists than any other drivers.

"Previously reported research from the project showed that drivers of white vans overtake cyclists an average 10 centimetres (4 inches) closer than car drivers."

So it's not just my perception then - cunts drive white vans - or white vans turn drivers into cunts.

"To test another theory, Dr Walker donned a long wig to see whether there was any difference in passing distance when drivers thought they were overtaking what appeared to be a female cyclist.

Whilst wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) more space when passing."

With my long hair - I may well be benefitting from this phenomena!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I came off my bike yesterday. It was really wet, I was going through Silver town - just by the railway, and the Tate and Lyle plant. There's a couple of tram tracks running across the road diagonally, which I've never considered to be much of a problem before, but yesterday my wheel slipped into the rail and I was catapulted across the road.

Luckily nothing was coming along behind me - there's quite a lot of traffic along there including massive lorries. I wasn;t able to move at first, but slowly my body realised I wasn;t hurt and let me get up. I cut my wrist, bruised quite a few bits; still hurts today. My bad hand was wacked too, so that's hurting now.

The bell on the bike is a write off. I nearly lost my speedometer, found it in a puddle. My light was scratched. The panniers had come off - my laptop was in one, but it was OK. My saddle was torn - the fluff's sticking out now.

Apart from that - nothing. It took me a while to work that out though - checked everything after I got to the ferry. It was getting on for 7.30 so I didn;t want to miss the last one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

read this

Turns out that Jon Ronson used to play keyboards for Frank Sidebottom:
And Mrs Merton was invented by Caroline Ahern as a character on a Frank Sidebottom record.

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Frank Sidebottom

After sticking Frank's firm Favourites on my MP3 player last week, I've decided to have a quick google for Frank Sidebottom on the net. I came up with the following:

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Anarchist Bookfair

I've never been to the Anarchist bookfair before. I came away with enough literature to fill a medium sized rucksack, including a book on the Angry Brigade, a copy of the Lobster Magazine, and an enormous number of back issues of various Anarchist newsletters.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

top ten artists on my MP3 player - by number of tracks

1.   The Monkees
2.   Johnny Cash
3.   Elvis Costello
4.   David Bowie
5.   Wilco
6.   Polyphonic Spree
7.   Flaming Lips
8.   Steve Earle
9.   Gary Numan
10. Kate Bush

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

FW: See Tickets New Tours and Events

So where do all the moral and right-thinking people of this country go when they want a good knees-up?
Judging by the most recent See Tickets email I received - I've got a feeling I now know.
In between supporting "our boys in Iraq" and demonising muslims, I guess they might be going to see LIONEL RICHIE in Birmingham or Manchester. Or even 10CC.
If you have a rockin' Granny or your Dad's a vicar, you could pack them off to see CLIFF RICHARD
"We are giving you the amazing chance to buy half price seats for some of his fast selling November dates. Buy now to avoid disappointment!" They've hads to knock the price down so pensioners can afford it!

If you're still under 30 you might fancy bland, FM friendly, pointless, wannabe, and soon will be, stadium rockers SNOW PATROL at Manchester's G-Mex. I saw them at Glastonbury a couple of years ago, and as well as wishing I hadn't, instantly foresaw that they'd be huge in just a few years. U2 for our grandchildren I reckon.

Or you could see the tabloid-friendly spectacle that is BABYSHAMBLES

I had to put this in quotes just cos I don;t want anyone thinking I could write the following words: "Catch the hilarious comedian when he performs at Manchester's Apollo later this month" -  JIMMY CARR. Or you could pay less and see womeone who's funny.

And I expect the quote marks I put in were turned into little squares. It always happens!

I like the bit at the end of the email where it says "ALSO NEW THIS WEEK..."

and there follows a list of bands, many of whom are quite good and well worth seeing. But probably considered a bit weird by the fine upstanding major party-voting c**ts who seem to own this country.

the list of weirdos included

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Cat's Playlist

1. Johnny Cash ~ San Quentin
One of his prison albums from the late 60s. I bought this recently along with the Folsom Prison CD.
2. Johnny Cash ~ The Sun Years
Surprisingly good, and at �5 for 50 songs, a bargain. I've been deleting the syrupy sounding tracks from my MP3 player, but the other 30 songs are strong enough to make this set of recordings a classic.
3. Morrissey ~ Ringleader of the Tormenters
It's a grower. As good as any of Mozza's other solo efforts, and better than most.
4. David Bowie ~ Buddha of suburbia
It's a soundtrack album from the television series of the same name, and also its a proper Bowie album, and a good one at that. I just won it on an ebay auction - for 20 squid.
5. Colorblind James Experience ~ John Peel Session
Another ebay win. I should have bought this years ago, but didn;t. Anyway - now I have it on vinyl. Four tracks on the record, each one great in its own way. I'm bidding for the first album now. I saw the (late) Colorblind James back in the late 80s. Twice. Once performing the first album, then back again for the second album (which I do have).
6.  Sheffield Shanty ~ Monkey Swallows The Universe
A song brimming with wist.
7. Complete Monkees
Another bargain. It contains everything the Monkees ever recorded, it says here. Hardly a duff track on it.
8. Beyond Nashville
This is a compilation album containing country and country inspired tracks that accentuate the dark side of existence.
9. Elvis Costello ~ Delivery Man
I can't get enough of this album. Listened to it again this morning. It might be Costello's best album.
10. Gary numan ~ Telekon
The album Numan made at the peak of his powers. I have the expanded version which includes I Die: You Die and We are Glass. I'll be seeing this performed live in December.

Not a shred of truth

According to an item by GAVIN ESLER on the Newsnight BLOG yesterday that survey which said most of us �fail to shred documents we put in our dustbins, leaving us open to identity fraud�was carried out for ... a company making shredding machines.�
�Why is it so few of the newspapers - or the BBC for that matter - have seen fit to mention that the survey might result in a sales boost for the people who paid for it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm an Extremist

In this age of bland "centre" politics anyone on the left is an extremist. If you read Chomsky and reject permitted politics (which is basically support for the status quo in various different forms) then you're an extremist.
I'm an extremist, Blair and all the snivelling little cunts who run around carrying out your twisted little plan to bring about a new age of darkness, fear and superstition.
Now the government want us to spy on muslims and report extremism to the authorities. Muslims today - the rest of us tomorrow - if we don't stand up and reject this now. How long before a new Gestapo is created? How long before we all live in fear of a new labour SS? How long before the muslims, the gays and the "extremists" are shipped off and never seen again?
I reject the status quo. I reject this new plunge into fascism. I reject all political parties.
So I repeat - I'm an extremist - go on - report me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

wing NUT brigade

Alright. Well I was going to let this go, but a little research has made me change my mind.

Someone who call him/herself Pliny the younger wrote this comment on my Blog,

"That comes to 600 people a day. Think someone might have noticed all those bodies piling up in the street if these numbers were accurate?
Another example of nonsense being accepted as fact

in reply to yesterday's entry about the death figures for Iraq. So I put my reply - and you can see it as a comment under yesterday's entry. Then I checked out Pliny's website.

wing NUT brigade

"I am Pliny the Younger, and I own this web page. I teach Humanities in Kansas, and consider myself to be slightly to the right of Ronald Reagan. As the days go on, I and the other members of the Brigade will add to these pages, and will hopefully enlighten all that come across these pages to the truth that exists."
"This web page is dedicated to exposing the hypocrisy of the Left. Whether they are in the media, government, politics, or in the blogosphere, the The Wing Nut Brigade will shine the light of truth and understanding upon their nefarious words and deeds.
"We hope to be a clarion of truth in the heart of “red” America, as we battle the forces of evil in “blue” America. We shall not stop until we become the Wing Nut Division. All hail!"

That's some mission! Only trouble is if you go and look at the website - it appears that the NUTS have failed "to shine the light of truth and understanding upon" anything. Apart from the bits I quote above, there's nothing on the website. "As the days go on, I and the other members of the Brigade will add to these pages". Yeah? Go on then. I can;t wait to see what right wing idiot toss passes for "humanities" in Kansas.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Iraqi Dead

655,000 dead.
Of course Bush denies it, but on what basis? I have no idea.
The Independent is very good today, with a long article about the reality of living in Baghdad, by Patrick Cockburn. I'm particularly shocked by the manner that US troops have been wacking Iraqis just on the offchance that they may be suicide bombers.
The Iraqi police general in charge of the serious crimes squad was shot throught the head by an American soldier who mistook him for a suicide bomber.
President Jalal Talabani's head of protocol was in hospital with broken limbs after his car was rammed by a US Humvee.
These are just the high-ranking vicitms. I suspect that thousands have been shot in this casual manner by US troops since the war ended and the occupation began.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


BBC London just ran a trail for its Q&A program with Peter Hendy, head of Transport for London. And prominent in the trail is the sound of a bicycle bell and a woman shouting "hey! That's a red light". So we can see how that program is going to go then? Some cunt's gonna phone up and compain about cyclists jumping red lights and then no cyclist will be able to make a valid point at any point during this program.
I've written to Hendy - he had to apologise for insensitive remarks he made about cyclists the day he started his job!
I might phone up and ask what he's going to do about buses and motorists who run red lights, ignore rights of way, break the speed limit and park on the pavement; especially the ones who seem to target cyclists in some sort of personal vendetta.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea

Why do all the news reports keep saying that North Korea "claims" to have tested a nuclear weapon. Don;t we know? Considering all the seismolgy equipment round the globe, I'm surprised we can't confirm whether a nuclear weapon was exploded in North Korea, or not.
Lurid diagrams in the Independent today showing the potential range of NK's new weapon. It's a bit irrelevent discussing this isn;t it? NK know that if they use it it'll be reciprocated a hundred times over, and NK will cease to exist. But it sertainly gives them some security against being attacked by their neighbours.
Or by America.
I'm not sure how much more unsafe this makes the world, if at all. After all Israel and Pakistan have nukes, as do many of the former Soviet Union nations, some of which are incredibly unstable or corrupt.
Our politicians are talking of taking action - but what action can we take? I believe we should do exactly what we did when France let one off in the South Pacific a few years back. Absolutely sweet fuck all. France went against international opinion when they carried out their last series of tests in the south Pacific. But our governments did not issue sanctions or threaten "action".
I laughed incredulously listening to the radio last night. Some toffee nosed twat representing the UK government said he couldn;t understand why NK needed nuclear power as South Korea had offered to supply all NK's energy needs. Ah - so that's why the war in the Middle East isn;t about oil then. We were perfectly happy to have our energy supplied by Arab countries weren't we? We're OK about buying gas from China and allowing Russia to own its own energy sources aren;t we? Beacause at no point do we think that our enemies (rivals?) might use their advantage as leverage to make us do things they want us to do.
No the US, europe, Russia and China are enganged in a huge game of chess to gain control of the global energy network at the moment. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were just a small part of this. The gradual corruption, underming democracy and supporting tyrants, in the former USSR is another.
We wouldn;t accept the position we demand that NK put themselves in, so why should they? We have nuclear weapons, so why shouldn;t they? We are autonomous and run our countries our own way without external interference, so why shouldn;t they?
It's a flaw of the nuclear proliferation treaty that the so-called recognised nuclear powers seem not to have any intention of disarming. We cling onto our nuclear capability while lecturing others about why it would be so dangerous if they had the bomb. I wouldn;t listen to such hypocracy, why should North Korea, or Iran?  

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jack Straw is a Tosser

We already knew this of course. But now he's said something so astoundingly stupid and insensitive that this fact must be beyond dispute.
But was it stupid or was it timed to further stoke up tension?
I can;t answer this question. But either this government are incompentent blundering fools, or there's a  secret agenda here. Not that secret in my opinion either. It's a bit like the 70s and 80s when authorities seemed determined to stoke up racial hatred for their own political agenda.
Over a day later Straw still hasn;t backed down or apologised.

No Ball Games

Wreck of the Old 97

The weather!
It's bollox and has been most of the week. I don;t mind rain, but I do when its the sort that makes you sodden through in about a minute.
S makes a flying visit today, so I'm going to Camberwell to meet her later. And I guess I'd better clear the fridge of all the perishables from over a week ago, that have definitely gone off by now.
Watched Sopranos last night. Last night's was the best yet. Vito is fleeing for his life after it became generally known that he is gay. Tony's all for forgiveness, but his weakness may not be acceptable to the captains. The general view is Vito needs whacking.
I haven't been getting any mail this week. I stopped to ask the postman about it this morning - he said they've lost the fob that opens the communal door, and that means they can't get in to deliver. Bloody hell. I'm short of two Screen Select DVDs, a Colourblind James Experience LP, a David Bowie CD, and other stuff too!
It'll mean an early trip to Bromley tomorrow morning. I can probably fit in a visit to Waitrose, and photograph a stink-pipe too.
I updated the stink-pipe web site earlier today - see link on right hand panel. I also updated a document me and S are working from so we can identify stink pipes and connect them with their locations.
Tony Blair appeared on Blue Peter the other day. Even the kids were giving him a hard time! Wanker! I read the other day that Blair wants to bring in a law that forces cyclists to ring their bell whenever they see a pedestrian. In London that'll be all the time. My finger will be knackered. I'll have to design a device that rings the bell using an electric motor driven by a dynamo.
My cactus has gone wierd and grown multiple rabbit ears. I have no idea why, or if it's in any way normal for this to happen:



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Warsaw "seems to breed melancholy"

S took me to task the other day for writing here that she described Warsaw as a shit-hole. Actually she expressed herself far more eloquently than that, although she did say "shithole".

"Warsaw is the worst place that I have ever visited; it is populated by humourless sour faced tossers, the town is a shithole - I reckon the Germans did them a favour when they levelled it - fuck knows why anyone bothered reconstructing the place.

No wonder anyone with a spark fucks off out of it asap."

"Anyway, with luck I'll be getting a train out of here v. early tomrrow morning."

"The place has a sense of, let's not say faded glory, rather decaying dogshit; it's riddled with concrete cancer architecture, dissatified political graffitto and a level of drunkeness that I find depressing (looking into one of the wall to wall bars* today I saw someone geniunely smashing their head on the table while the other solitary drinkers continued to gaze morosely at their pints poured from cheap cans**

*read flyblown shithole playing dire 80's eastern european electronica while pasty faced acned men & boys drink themselves to death in their own personal hell bubble - I least when I'm hellbound I invite everyone else to come along for the ride/spectacle.

**Yup, go in the wrong sort of bar and ask for a beer and you're given a lukewarm can and a glass - pour it yourself - even the hostesses on the hellsville express can't be bothered."

I hope that puts the record straight.

Jimmie Dale Gilmour and Flatlanders

the collaboration with Mudhoney looks intriguing

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

...and they pissed on your rug!

I managed to upload all of S's photos from her East European jaunt, onto the internet. It took a while - the computer crashed after 5 hours, and still about 30 pictures remained stubbornly on the laptop's C drive.
So I tried again last night and succeeded. Had to do housework, those cats don't half make a mess. They will spread grains of cat-litter all over the house if left alone for a few days. They carry it clenched in their little paws. The bastards!
Bromley council can;t be arsed collecting my recycling, and I have no nearby facilities. I tend to keep it till there's a massive pile, and when I've got the car, I stick it in the boot ready for whenever I happen to drive by some facilities. There's a recycling bin at S's place - so I usually dump it there. Right now though, the car's in Oxford, and I took S's recycling at the weekend, which added to what I had already is now quite a pile. There's no way I can carry it on my bike - or even walk with it to the nearest facilities. I could however post it to the council - each item individually, with postage to be paid on receipt by the council. They must have a freepost address for something - I'll could use that.
The Thames was a fantastic colour this morning - a deep sea-green blue. But I couldn't be arsed taking pictures.

These pictures were taken by S in Lithuania, in a place nicknamed Stalin Land. They've bought up loads of Soviet era statues and placed them around a park.

And as always - click on the picture for a larger version:

Elvis Costello

I've just been listening to "The Scarlet Tide" by EC, from the 'Delivery man' CD. It never fails to move me.
It must be over a year since I bought this CD; since I put it on my MP3 in its entirety earlier this year, I haven;t got fed up with a single track. There are those who say EC has lost it, and doesn;t make records like he used to. These people obviously haven;t listened to Delivery Man. It's a superb album, as good as anything he's ever done, and better than most of it.
That said - I've had "North" for nearly two years, and apart from a couple of tracks, feel completely intimidated by it. It's a difficult album, but by no means poor. It marks EC's incredible growth as a musician since he first emerged in the mid 70s.
Phil Jupitus on 6Music this morning said he'd put his entire EC collection on his MP3 player - and I'm sorely tempted - it amounts to 760 songs - 36 hours worth played back to back. What a 36 hours that would be. Hmmmm...I've got a day off work on Thursday.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Birthday to this Blog

I've been doing this Blog for two years now.


A drive back to London on Sunday - same intermittent rain all the way - meaning I couldn;t relax on the wipers front.
We had a family outing in the afternoon - to a Wetherspoons pub in Petts Wood. We thought it would be reasonable food and quite cheap.
Unfortunately this was without factoring in the shit, lazy Chav staff working there. They got the order wrong - mixing up my double burger with S.'s cheese and bacon burger, so she got a double cheese and bacon, and I got a normal one. K. got a chicken salad instead of the veggie salad I ordered. We'd already noticed no salt in condiments available, and really dirty cutlery. So we complained about all this.
They failed to apologise for any of this, made excuses. Then we got the food back, they'd just scraped the food off the plate and gave us back the same shit with the extra burger swapped round and the chips now cold. Still no apology.
The burgers didn;t look cooked - the buns weren't toasted - the chips were white and cold.
We asked for our money back and walked out.
It was only when we went to Orpington and ordered the same meal that I saw how my dinner was supposed to look - and taste. It was compeltely different. The burgers looked like they'd been grilled - they were a pleasing dark colour. So were the chips. and we got the relish that was supposed to come with the meal.
And K got her veggie salad this time.
So we'll have to send in a complaint about this. Those lazy bastards need to be told to start doing their job - or get sacked.
On the way into work this morning I saw a Recumbent tandem being ridden by a couple. That'll sort out the balancing problems me and S. had the other week riding a trad tandem.


I slept on the floor - and it was quite comfortable. In the morning it was sunny, theny it pissed down, then it was sunny.
This went on all morning till the afternoon - after we'd left for the city centre on our bikes - and then it pissed down permanently.
We managed to get to a pub for a cheap lunch, a bit of charity shop shopping, and a tour ropund S.s Central Oxford campus.
It was impossible to do anything very interesting cos of the weather, so we opted for an eveing in the local noodle bar, and drinks back at home. Both of slept early that night.


Long stressful drive to Oxford on friday. Long because of gridlocked traffic in Camberwell, Kennington, Vauxhall, Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch.
And I nearly lost our bikes on the way...the cycle carrier straps came loose, and I was lucky to discover it in time.
And it rained. Not proper rain, but on-off-on-off heavy bloody rain, which required full on wipers, then nothing - then full-on wipers again.
And S. was extremely annoyed at my lateness.