Wednesday, September 30, 2009

this is amusing

I can't help wondering if this is of any practical use. I usually know when I'm drunk. Maybe if I'm planning how much I need to get drunk in a certain time?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September Song

September is nearly over and I haven't even put a "September Song" compilation onto my MP3 player yet! But I have attempted to kick start my cycling again. I've had a poor month - I'm not even going to reach 400 miles this month. However, still managed 4 days last week, and intend to do the same this week. I'm going to aim for 600 miles in October.

This is my last full week in work till the last week in October - the next two weeks will be taken up by studying for the IEMA exam I'll be taking in Windsor soon.

Had a good cycle ride on Sunday with two ladies, and we cycled from Bexleyheath Train Station, via Dartford Heath, close to Hextable and Darenth, through Eynsford and back to Bexley along the south eastern boundary of Bromely Borough.

Weather was superb, if anything it got a little hot after 1.00. We stopped for tea and cake at Lullingstone, got slightly lost soon after, but not for long.

Back in Bexley at 2.00 pm. Saying goodbye to my cycling companions, I took off into Belvedere, down into Plumstead and Woolwich. I intended to take some photos of the old Thames Poly buildings which have been empty for some years now. The old halls of residence have been demolished too.

Then a quick beer and back to Welling for 5 pm.

Over the weekend I downloaded plenty of podcasts - I now have a mountain of them to listen to - 20 XFM Adam and Joe podcasts; In Our Times; 6Music Adam and Joe; three Collings and Herrin; two Perfect Tens by Phil and Phil; some guardian podcasts; Jon Richardson; Mark Kermode; Danny Baker; Science in Action; Thinking Allowed; Dr Karl.

man with asperger syndrome
men wearing tights
man with alzheimer's

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Changes In Woolwich

Spent an hour looking around woolwich and checking out my old student day haunts.
The now defunct Thames Polytechnic logo still etched on the doors.

Not the main entrance to the Poly - but this was where I usually went in and out. New (ish) flats above the shops.

The Woolwich Centre is a-coming:
And then as it was such a lovely day - I went up to Shooters Hill / Oxleas Wood to have a look around:

The tower is not in great shape these days - cracks run from top to bottom:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wake Up!! It's Yer Booyaka Booyaka...

SchNEWS Issue 692, Friday 25th September 2009

Read this issue online (from noon Saturday):

We encourage you to print, copy and distribute the SchNEWS
wherever you can...



Upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 Optimised for MSN. Download Now

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Daily hate Mail (with correct links)

The Daily Mail has been keeping up it's anti-cyclist campaign all week.



Rachel Sugden is a dangerous and abusive driver - read article

make sure you read the comments underneath - they are brilliant.

Here Is The News

Water on the Moon
Really odd dream. I remember a prisoner being held by the police with hundreds of people around to ensure this prisoner didn't escape - the hundreds came from the police, the armed forces, various uniformed youth organisations, such as ATC.

The army chap in charge was a spy - i knew but nobody else did. It was all set on an island that had ruined buidlings gradually returning to the wild (orford ness?) a massive thunder and lightning storm going on aorund us, but no rain.

The army chap in charge took the policewoman with the prisoner and put a gun to her head. His intent was to free the prisoner without letting anyone know he was a spy for the enemy. He took everyone prisoner and made us all stand where he could control us. I was getting worried now.

I scanned the faces of the poeple - many of whom were kids who didn't know their lives were in serious danger. Then - looking through a gap in some trees we saw two spacheships landing. I was talking to someone nearby, does this mean aliens are landing? Now I was scared. What if they decided to kill us all? Would we be able to run away?

The aliens turned out to be friendly - and the rest of the dream involved their exporations of the planet. They were given a plane to explore in and chose to drive it into a tunnel - it got seriously damaged but amazingly turned into a large mchanical dog and ran everywhere with the aliens sitting inside.

All this turned out to be a John Walters movie I was watching with a couple of friends. I was tearful at the end and the girl sitting next to me asked me what i thought and i gave it four out of ten, which she didn't believe, although the guy on the other side of her gave it five.

Something else about pushing a shopping trolley - heavy and boring - somehow i couldn't do it - too tired - approached a large square with loads of people waiting for buses, etc.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hooray! It's Autumn.

I love this time of year - despite the fact that winter is fast approaching, there is something about the light at this time of year.

And I'm back on the bike. managed to get home in just over an hour today - may be my fastest time yet - an average of 15 mph - not bad for an old git like me.

I've got a full day of meetings tomorrow - not even time for lunch - barely time to travel between meetings. The one in the afternoon is quite likely to be stressful as well; union reps will be in attendance; these meetings tend to be quite confrontational, and i don;t get paid enough....

I'll be looking to my boss to stand up for me, as it is his strategic plan which i have been following for the past two months - i'm not disagreeing with it - he's been correct all down the line - it's just that he's in a better place to defend himself than i am.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Before The Cat

My early diaries - leaving school....Thames Poly.....Eurorailing....two journeys across North America....starting protests

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Week's Chosen Albums

I've been to the central library again - Bexleyheath is very well stocked with cds.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wake Up!! It's Yer Special 'Double B-Side' Issue...

SchNEWS Issue 691, Friday 18th September 2009

Read this issue online (from noon Saturday):

We encourage you to print, copy and distribute the SchNEWS
wherever you can...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Top riders have hit out at TV chef James Martin after he proclaimed his hatred of cyclists and described how he caused a group to crash after sneaking up behind them in an electric sportscar.

In his column in Saturday's Daily Mail, Martin, star of the BBC's Saturday Kitchen, complained about London cyclists who have a holier-than-thou attitude, saying: "God, I hate those cyclists. Every last herbal tea-drinking, Harriet Harman-voting one of them.
"That's one of the reasons I live in the countryside, where birds tweet, horses roam, pigs grunt and Lycra-clad buttocks are miles away."
He went on to review the Tesla Roadstar, an all-electric supercar, but soon returned to the anti-cycling theme, saying: "Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong – and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists.
"Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed.
"The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror. I think this could be the car for me."
Professional cyclists were quick to respond, with Bradley Wiggins and Robbie McEwen posting (unprintable) comments on their Twitter pages.
Meanwhile, Cycling Plus editor Rob Spedding accused him of "third-rate, me-too Clarksonism". A Facebook page called "I hate James Martin" has been set up and his Wikipedia page was sabotaged.

Shoe Thrower Tortured

The World of Philip K Dick Comes ever Closer

Keith Floyd Dies

He became well known in 1985, but I knew about him slightly earlier thanks to his spots on the BBC in the westcountry. I've always felt inspired by him in my cooking, however, I've never actually tried one of his recipes. I'm more inspired by turning the act of cooking into a social event, and knocking back a fair amount of booze too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feck off!!!!!

Ok - I've been in a foul mood all day. I only got to sleep at about 3.30 this morning and when I'm tired I get ratty. I am really ratty right now.

I'm getting annoyed about things that I can normally tolerate. Effing drinks machine has run out of milk. It's always effing running out of milk!! And yet it's always being serviced, so what's the problem? Now I'm drinking black coffee and I've already got a headache.

The Zen Mozaic keeps playing the same sodding songs when i put it on random. That's NOT random!!!!

Too tired to ride today _ I would have crashed, ridden into a lorry, or just blown up and had massive road rage at every other vehicle ont he road.

It was the sodding television that kept me up last night - with the volume right up till 3 in the morning. I blanked it out by listening to music on my noise reducing headphones, but I still didn;t sleep!!!!

I did get to listen to Prefab Sprout, Lightning Seeds and Gillan Welch albums whilst lying on my back in the dark, occasionally dropping off, but always waking again, until finally at 3.30 I heard the noises of my co-habitant going to bed, and all was quiet, as long I could drop off before the sodding birds started up.

I dreamt I was in a muslim theme park - part of Afghanistan that had been cleared and declared safe. Camels slept on little shelves half way up cliff faces. I had three women with me - and I loved them all. We were travelling back to England, on foot/ by bus depending which bit of the dream you believe. As we entered Blighty we passed a man in a fez and then an Anglican priest blessing each and everyone of us, to help remove the taint of islam from us. I thought "ha! He doesn;t know but he's just blessed a pagan".

I joined the Greenwich University website today as an alumni - I didn;t know such a service was available. Will sign up for the Facebook site too.

Added Beggars Banquet by the Stones, March To Fuzz by Mudhoney, Doolittle - The Pixies, Parallel Lines, Blondie, Indiscreet by sparks, Drums and Wires - XTC, Led Zep Box set disc 1, a concert by Tom Lehrer, American IV by Johnny Cash, Countdown - Pulp, to my Zen MP3 player yesterday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Evolutionary Theory: Is this all there is?

A Humanist Philosophers day conference
Venue Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Starting at / on 31st October 2009

Start time 10:00 to 16:00

A day conference by the Humanist Philosophers, supported by the British Humanist Association and South Place Ethical Society.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Before The Cat

Before I became the cat in 2004 I kept a diary on paper and floppy disc.

I am embarking on a project of retrieving editing and publishing this diary, along with relevant photos, and accounts of events, gigs, protest actions, etc. that I was involved with, either as a participant, organiser or audience member.

So far I've stuck up my very earliest diaries written in 1989, an account of my last summer within the orbit of Thames Polytechnic, photos from my holidays 1988 - 1993; an account of my first trip to the US, and press clippings of some of the protests I was involved with.
I was back to a 5 day week this week, and it was pretty hard-going. for a start I was back on the bike, and my fitness has taken a backward step, so I just about managed 4 days...building up now for next year's ambitious plan for completing between 8,000 and 10,000 is settling down now though it won't go back to how it boss...changes are definitely afoot. It's now time to make the local managers take responsibilty in their own areas, and I get more involved in top level stuff, strategic planning, policing the lines, procedures and guidance, etc...
So I was pushing it - working late on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...still in the office at eight....then cycling home (catching Maconie and Radcliffe walking Adrian's Wall, and brilliant Richard Hawley session on thursday), getting in about ten, cooking and eating, watching a DVD (Bang!Bang! Reeves and Mortimore's 1999 series), washing, tidying up a bit, logging onto the internet, all before getting into bed around one.

Booked a ticket to see the new independent sci-fi film, "Moon", with a Q&A session by the director, Duncan Jones....and what an unassuming down to earth bloke he is...I'd have expected a spoilt brat at the very least...but not at all. Jones has worked his way up from assisting a director, through the advertising industry, eventually working for Ridley Scott's company, and now into movies...I think he may just end up being as culturally important as his dad, maybe more so.

The film was written for Sam Rockwell, the character's called Sam, and Rockwell is just about the only actor in it, and what a great performance from him! It's about loneliness, as well as personal identity....the film didn't go where i expected it to the film for was low budget with no obvious CGI effects...if you love British sci-fi but always wish that it was done with a bit of loving care and attention, and involving actors who understand that projecting to the audience is not always appropriate, then this film is for you. References to Bladerunner, Outland, Alien...all films I loved as a child...and earlier films, Solaris and Silent Running.

Anyway - I'm not into spoilers - go and see it - it's out now; in London you can see it at the Prince Charles in Soho.
Unfortunately missed Nick Cave talkign about his new book in London on Wednesday, and was too tired to go to the SELFs meeting in London Bridge on Thursday...but I'm really glad I pulled it together for Friday!
Left the Prince Charles at 11.30, and immediately found myself transported into the Land of The Drunk, Leicester Square has become an alien space for me, especially as I'm sober, most people about half my age or therabouts: doesn't anyone my age go out any more?
The woman who sat opposite me on the train in a nice, elegant, jacquard shift dress, her knees banging against mine as she dropped into place on her seat, then sat slumped, mouth open with distressed expression on her face....her phone rang and she declared that she felt sick...clearly very drunk....i spent the rest of the journey with gritted teeth, trying to hide in my copy of the Fortean times, but keeping an eye on the potential vomit machine slumped in front of me.
Luckily she fell asleep, and did not vomit, though she did miss her stop at Eltham and followed me off at Welling after some guy woke her up.
I had to push my way off the train past more slumped drunks who wouldn't or couldn't move out of the way...into the refreshingly cool Welling air, to join in with the Zombie walk towards Welling High Street. I was probably the only one not completely shit-faced, but so tired it hardly made any difference.

David Van DePitte

Timely that I should have acquired my first ever copy of "What's Going On?", the Marvin Gaye classic just two weeks before the passing of David Van Depitte, the arranger of this recognised masterpiece, and composer in his own right.....more to come

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wow - the Times goes pro-cycling

"In an age of urban congestion and fears over CO2, we want more people on bikes. If most manage not to get knocked off them, all the better. London has a bicycling mayor and soon Britain may have a bicycling prime minister. And yet, throughout our cities, provision for cyclists remains perfunctory at best, and lunatic at worst. If we are to have cycle lanes, they must be wider. Where possible, they should also have curbs. Painting boxes is no better than ticking them".

Maybe we should be looking to Denmark as a role model...

In an effort to double the number of cyclists nationwide by 2014, the government is planning to put 2 billion kroner into a new pool created to improve conditions for cyclists.

And with city councils getting up to 50 percent of their bicycle-related expenses reimbursed through the proposal, the government expects the total funding going into cycling improvements over the next five years to reach almost 3 billion kroner.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A day off! Hadn't realised how hard I was working. The audit's been over 2 weeks now, I'm still feeling worn out. Applying for my own job, & having no boss or support at all through the audit process has really taken it out of me. ...Now I have to study for the IEMA exam in October, & will shortly be taking over responsibilty for the EMS of our manufacturing division, the Engineering division, and depot stores! Phew!
So today all I'm doing is messing about on the internet, fixing my bike, playing music and later, will watch the third part of the Children of Dune mini series. I might just end up reviewing our new legal compliance document his afternoon though....(I didn't).
I was invited to the launch of the 10:10 campaign - annoyed now that I didn't go, however I was so tired I could barley stay upright. I haven't even been to the Climate Camp on Blackheath yet. Where's that old fire gone!?!
I'll tell you where that old fire's gone - ground down in endless paperwork. Being a poacher turned gamekeeper, I still keep feeling that the best approach is confontation: climbing fences, occupying sites, putting up banners & doing pr...ess interviews. Now I'm on the other's hard work to get a large company to change its culture from 'don't care' to world class. I'd say I'm about half way there now though.

Drax protesters:
these men and women have already done their community service as far as I'm concerned