25 August 2009

Daily Chat 25/08/09

The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment of the British Army was formed in 1537. Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers in 1609 and Paris was liberated by the Allies in 1944.

Celebrating birthdays today: Sean Connery, Martin Amis, Rob Halford, Elvis Costello and Tim Burton. It is Independence Day in Uruguay.

106 comments:

  1. I checked out The Fellowship of the Ring from the school library today. We'll see how it goes.

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  2. Montana: glad to see the US education system provides a grounding in the classics.

    If you’re hoping to discuss LOTR with some others here (Jay and thauma at least), reading won’t be enough, you’re going to need to deconstruct in the approved feminist manner.

    Does the library stock any Kristeva? If not, I think MsChin might have a few almost as-new books she might let you have at a reduced rate.

    Bitterweed: amused to see your reference to Tree Fellers.

    A friend and I took and passed our chainsaw assessments yesterday, so as I pointed out to her afterwards, we are now qualified Tree Fellers, even though there’s only two of us (and she’s not actually a fella)...

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  3. I expect you all know that the pidgin English for Prince Phillip is 'feller-belong-queen'

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  4. I've heard so much about this Tolkien stuff, very big childrens' books yeah?
    Bit late in the day for me to start one but if I'm reincarnated as a middle class teenager I'll certainly give it a go.

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  5. Chap who painted 'The Fairy Feller' was born here.

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  6. Thanks for the Entwife & fem stuff yesterday; coincidentally, I've just got to the bit where Treebeard asks the hobbits if they've ever seen any Entwives.

    Montana - glad to see you are completing your feminist credentials. A word of advice: skip the introduction and go straight into the story!

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  7. Is Frank around? Has he seen the article on CiF which challenges the latest govt initiative to look at safer alternatives to beer glasses??

    I'd like to see the rant motivated by that....

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  8. Vari
    It's a belter of an idea ! Good article though...

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  9. I find myself in a rare agreement with Toynbee today...

    "... I would go further and make all income tax returns public documents. ...."

    Don't think we have a lot of chance of it coming to pass though.

    I was given a copy of LOTR way back in the late 1960's by a girl I was engaged to. I married a different girl.

    Andy - working with chainsaws on a regular basis is a demanding job. You need so much safety gear on that it can dull the senses so take care my friend.

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  10. The phrase 'lucky escape' springs to mind for some reason.

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  11. Some people would appear to have problems with real feminists....

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  12. I married the real feminist of the two - she gave me the Aussie tart's Female Eunuch to read. I changed my bank account to a joint account, it remained so after we stopped living together nine years ago. The account is still joint today after 40 years.

    Some of us just don't get it do we?

    Dear Thaum I don't think Kerouac was a misogynist I just think he was a nut. Best W. deano

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  13. Has he seen the article on CiF which challenges the latest govt initiative to look at safer alternatives to beer glasses??

    Even worse than the proposal by the college of surgeons (I think) to ban pointy knives. But this has been festering for a while - it's as one with the ban on hanguns and the hysteria about "knife crime" "gun crime", as if these inanimate objects did the injury. But when you think about it, the left consider that we are all inanimate objects - no free will - so it's hardly suprising that they treat object and individual equally. They *cannot* seperate tool from user - more, they cannot conceive that if you remove one potential weapon, the criminal will simply choose another - while the decent man will be left with a progressively diminished realm of freedom. Labour want us all sitting in a cave eating gravel. Maybe that's where Gordon is?

    Goes without saying that it is impossible to drink a decent pint from plastic - no drinker could posibly support such a law. I doubt it will happen, but who knows. Prick Cameron will probably adopt it too...

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  14. My wife was not a feminist when we married but I was so she followed my lead, as is fitting.

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  15. Is it me or does the pint glass thing feel like a distraction we're supposed to get wound up about while they quietly slip something else past us?

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  16. I can't think of anything much worse than being expected to drink beer out of a plastic glass so if that's the case my guess is that must involve dropping a nuclear bomb on someone.

    Anyway, what's up with CiF and the Mods? There are instances of the c-word going totally un-moderated on some threads. Have they all gone on holiday and not told Matt?

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  17. Trouble with governments is they always have to be doing something.

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  18. LordS,

    That's the point: whatever it is won't be as bad, so once they've got it past us they'll concede defeat on the pint glass thing. Then we'll all think "Oh well, at least we still get our beer out of glasses" rather than "how dare they do this to us?!"!

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  19. You beat me to it LordS, there is nothing I can think of, in terms of public reaction, which would be worse received than getting rid of the traditional pint glass.

    Maybe taking out Cheryl Cole...but I still think most people would still rather have their glasses....

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  20. Lord S asks
    'Anyway, what's up with CiF and the Mods? There are instances of the c-word going totally un-moderated on some threads. Have they all gone on holiday and not told Matt?'

    I looked at Cif yesterday for the first time for ages and thought there was some odd non-modding going on (or not going on I suppose).

    The Mods are quite well paid I believe - is it possible they are being cut back for cost reasons? Given the huge amounts the Guardian is losing (see Private Eye) it would seem daft to focus on the mods, but who knows.

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  21. Got ya, Dotterel. I thought you were suggesting this was misdirection, something to keep us busy while they get on with the nasty stuff.

    It's true that the 'bad news followed by the not so bad news' trick is more in their line.

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  22. annetan42,
    What can you mean?

    I've always thought that the mods are unpaid interns, it would explain the petulance.

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  23. I've always thought that the mods are unpaid interns, it would explain the petulance.

    I thought they were the spawn of Seaton - would also explain the petulance.

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  24. thauma, since you've read LOTR a few times, it might be beneficial to get a bit more 'backstory' on this wonderful feminist epic. Here's John Crace's take on JRR's son's attempt to finish one of his dad's works:
    Children of Hurin

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  25. Stoaty - I meant to say re potatoes in sacks there might be an issue in the surface area at the top of the sack available to collect the rainwater. The foliage tends to shade the earth from the rain when growing in black plastic sacks with drain holes.

    Tats need a fair bit of water to do well so I made sure that mine were on a watering schedule irrespective of rain.

    (If I'm spared) I'm down for a few experiments with them next year.

    My daughter bought me some of those potatoe grow kits advertised in the Guard (Unwins). Expensive and arrived far too late to make sense with the first early tubers that were in the kit - they turned out to be waste of time for me too.

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  26. Scherfig - thanks for that - love John Crace's digested reads.

    The Son sounds like every other crap Tolkien imitator.

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  27. And just to up the ante, LOTR feminism-wise. The orcs represent violence, greed, hatred, and pure evil - but there are no FEMALE orcs! They are all male, and they have no mums!
    Btw, where are all the dwarfwomen?

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  28. Scherfig - good point. Obviously orc society is broken because of all the single parents.

    They probably drank out of glasses, too.

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  29. What about Tolkien's mum Scherfig?

    We'd best not leave her out of the equation.

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  30. Anon - that was an interesting question so I've looked up his Wiki entry.

    Tolkien's father died when JRR was three, leaving JRR and his brother to be brought up by Mum (Mabel), who tutored the boys in botany and the classics. Mabel died when Tolkien was 12.

    Make of that what you will....

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  31. deano,
    I'm going to have another crack at it myself.
    I remember thinking 'what are we going to do with all the potatoes?' 'kin 'ell what an optimist.

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  32. 'the spawn of Seaton' - brilliant vari.

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  33. Anonymous, how dare you attempt to involve Tolkien's mum? She was a single parent and a saint! And died very young.

    Tolkien's feminism was forged in the white-hot cauldron of Exeter College, Oxford (no women allowed) in the 1910's. And then he married an older woman.

    This was not first- or second-wave feminism - this was pre-wave feminism! Although this background is peripheral in the purest literary criticism sense, it explains quite a lot both in Freudian terms and semiotically - one only has to deconstruct certain crucial parts of the text rigorously to uncover the true extent of LOTR's progressive, ground-breaking feminist audacity.

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  34. Stoaty - my second early crop turned in a rate of return of about 10:1 (10 average to - large new spuds to each tuber planted) I thought that was promising from a first attempt especially since I was bit late getting them planted too.

    I had read that potatoes didn't do too well when grown in barrels cos they were deprived of the air oxygen/air added to the soil when earthing up.

    Didn't make a lot of sense to me so I pressed on with sacks reasoning that I was still adding air when I added the earth as the foilage grew! I also punched a few extra holes in the sides of the bags (just in case!)

    I'll let you know how my main crop does in the black sacks when I lift em.

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  35. I think that Tolkien was just writing a story for kids and would have been horrified at the way you girls read things into his work.

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  36. Scherfig - ah the older woman in the background!

    Frederick Furnivall married a lady of mature years with large hands. It set him on the road, I should really say water, to an appreciation of the feminine too.

    Oh for a late Victorian childhood.

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  37. Scherfig, the dwarfwomen are probably right there in front of you. Did Terry Pratchett (PBUH) not say that from outward appearances there isn't a lot to distinguish male and female dwarves?

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  38. Spawn of Seaton ... yes, love it!

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  39. Dear Colin,

    Us fems would never expect a mere bloke to understand anything beyond the childish.

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  40. LordS:

    Didn't Tolkien's mate C.S. Lewis say the same thing about dwarves?

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  41. LordS - yes, you are right about that!

    Obviously, the English translation "son of" from the Dwarfish is incorrect, and it should have been "child of". Perhaps even just "daughter of".

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  42. In future perhaps extra threads should eb made for LOTR talk, i sense the lifeblood draining out of some of our heathen peers who arent men (and women) of the book.

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  43. Nothing a few crumbs of lembas wouldn't put right.

    Besides, Montana started it today....

    Oh, OK, probably you are right.

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  44. LordS, Dot, it is important not to attribute second-hand dwarf-lore to the likes of Pratchett and C.S. Lewis. The similarity between male and female dwarves, and the scarcity of female dwarves (less than a third of the dwarf population according to Gimli) can be found in the books. In the movie it was Gimli who mentioned this to the top feminist Eowynn. Dwarf women very rarely venture out into the world and are therefore often mistaken for dwarf men.

    I'll leave you both to draw the obvious feminist conclusion from the fact that these women are almost permanently confined to their homes and only allowed out on sufferance.

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  45. OMG, Scherf, are they practising sex-selective abortion on the female dwarf foetuses?

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  46. Oh dear. What do a male dwarf and a female dwarf have in common.

    Very little.

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  47. Thauma - this is not known. Tolkien (being a Baptist convert to Catholicism) may have found the issue too controversial, although I suspect this is not actually the case, as the lack of dwarf women is a great cause of concern to the dwarf men. An interesting comparison could perhaps be made between the total disappearance of the entwives and the ever-dwindling female population of the dwarves. Is this a comment on how non-caring patriarchies eventually alienate and finally lose their female counterparts to the greater detriment of the society as a whole?

    I'd like to think that that is what is Tolkien is trying to say. I'd be interested in your feminist reading of the works when you've finished them this time around. Perhaps an article, and subsequent thread for nerds? Jay, you're in, right?

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  48. Hey, considering that Tolkien and Lewis used to sit around the Eagle and Child discussing story ideas it's hardly second hand!

    But I too would like to know how, from and evolutionary perspective, there are more males than females..........

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  49. Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas go into the pub and each has a pint of beer with a fly in it.

    Legolas declines the pint.

    Aragorn picks the fly out, drinks the beer.

    Gimli grabs the fly and shouts 'Give me my beer back!'

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  50. Scherfig, I think that is an excellent theory and I intend to steal it for my PhD dissertation.

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  51. C S LEWIS (in an Oxford bar to Tolkien): 'You really must stop making up these bloody stories"

    TOLKIEN: 'I try, but it's become hobbitual.

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  52. "I'd be interested in your feminist reading of the works when you've finished them this time around. Perhaps an article, and subsequent thread for nerds? Jay, you're in, right?"

    Of course I'm in Scherf, Swifty too im sure. Im pretty disappointed neither the F Word nor the Guardian took to my suggestion for this to be explored. Poor show.

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  53. Im pretty disappointed neither the F Word nor the Guardian took to my suggestion for this to be explored.

    Can't speak for the F Word, but I am fairly sure that the Guardian has its hands full with issues such as Lockerbie, Afghanistan and climate control......

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  54. 'the Guardian has its hands full with issues such as Lockerbie, Afghanistan and climate control......'

    and meerkats too - 'most commented on' at the moment. That is, until Tanya Gold's next piece hits the ether, of course.

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  55. Don't be silly, Vari, today it's yer favourtie SatNav voice and banning pint glasses.

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  56. I remember Collins taking over Unwin in 1990 and I occasionally wonder what happened to all the old artwork. Author proofs tended to be stored well enough, for several good reasons, but in those days (how long ago it seems) many publishers still chucked out artwork and variant proofs. Oh the horror. . .

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  57. ... are they practising sex-selective abortion on the female dwarf foetuses?

    I doubt it. It's hard enough to tell 'em apart outside of the uterus, let alone inside.

    May I second that groan for Edwin?

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  58. Evenin' all

    see the LOTR is getting it's second wind - really must make the effort to dig the books out and read them as haven't a clue what an entwife is.

    Dragging us down into the cif swamp - charliepolecat made very good point on the beer glass thread which I recommend to all.

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  59. thaumaturge,
    At least I know enough to call the little fuckers 'persons of restricted growth'

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  60. "An interesting comparison could perhaps be made between the total disappearance of the entwives and the ever-dwindling female population of the dwarves."

    It's been a long, long time since I've read the books.

    Does it actually state that the female dwarf population was dwindling?

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  61. anonymous - 'For not all the women take husbands: some desire none;'

    Population in decline - fewer children, losses to orcs etc. Work it out yourself.

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  62. @scherfig

    I knew the overall Dwarf population was declining but what you said was that the *female* dwarf population was declining. That implies that the female population was declining as a proportion of the total.

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  63. can someone else try the comments on the cif beer glass thread - I can only get the first page of comments up - don't know whether its my end or theirs.

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  64. Very pedantic, anonymous, almost anal. Whatever happened to having a laugh? This is not Cif.

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  65. 'I knew the overall Dwarf population was declining but what you said was that the *female* dwarf population was declining.'

    GIMLI: 'Oh darling, I've brought you some flowering turnips'

    MRS GIMLI: Not tonight dear, I'm in a declining mood'.

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  66. @scherfig

    I was curious about something. I asked a question. I got a curt answer to a different question.

    Sorry I spoke.

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  67. Edwin - it's jewels, gold and mithril that the dwarf ladies like. Flowering turnips simply won't do.


    anon - sorry I answered.

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  68. sheff,
    What do you want to say on glass? I'll do it for you. I've shot me bolt on that one. (cries of oh no!)

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  69. The CiF hamster was taking a rest, Sheffpixie. All the threads were 'page 1 only' for a while but he's back in his wheel now.

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  70. Anon a n other.25 August, 2009 19:29

    " it's jewels, gold and mithril that the dwarf ladies like."

    What feminist and non dwarf lady doesn't?

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  71. Sheffpixie

    "Where are our bloody balls? It's about time we stopped moaning and started to actively resist - in our communities and in the political process."

    Not sure how many warriors you'll find around here.

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  72. I think I just copped a CIF ban. I might be a drunken reactionary, contrarian fuckpig, generally disagreeable lowlife, but I shall miss this monicker over there.

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  73. stoaty

    I don't know why i feel so het up about it - it just feels like the last effingstraw...can't we even be allowed a quiet pint in a proper glass anymore.

    Think it'll soon be time to take to the hills.

    Anon
    Perhaps you'd like to volunteer - that'd make two of us - its a start..

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  74. Anon

    I'm pretty certain we could rely on stoaty and deano too...:-))

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  75. Staybryte - word on the block is that Mods are suddenly showing indifference to the "C" word your post below was still in your profile so perhaps you'll be forgived - this once.


    Boycott Scotland? Bring on the rammy

    staybryte's comment 25 Aug 09, 9:17pm (41 minutes ago)

    doricloon

    on this one is such that I can't help feeling that they are getting what they deserve.

    You, sir/madam, are a cunt. Tell it to the families of the dead. And then fuck off and die.

    Recommended (3)

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  76. Sheff - well that could be four of us. We could at least have a game of cards whilst we waited for the rest.

    Perhaps a liitle home brew from a glass too - bring it on!

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  77. Good contributions from you all on this! the answer fellas is to start a fashion for carrying bags - for hiding your own glass in!

    A glass is - as its name suggests - made of glass ffs!

    I don't know a single local Labour party member around here who would be seen dead drinking beer out of a 'plastic' glass - should we stat asking for a 'plastic' of beer? Bizzarre!

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  78. The glass thing was pretty stupid but at least the Graun wasn't endorsing it like the meercat nonsense.

    Deano,
    hope you aren't lying about your potatoes. I bought a bloody great sack of compost too. No bullshit I got 2 pounds per bag.

    Think the Scotch compassion thing was complicated by the suspicion that the bloke was a fall guy.
    There's money to be made in Libya and the sort of people making it don't give a shit about a couple of hundred people dying in terror.

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  79. Deano - count me in! Sadly will have to refuse the homebrew on medical grounds!

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  80. You are probably right Anonymous. Thank you. I have calmed down now.

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  81. ...waited for the rest ... to return their library books.

    In passing Scherfig - I thought you were unfairly harsh on what may have been a newcomer/anon at 18.40 above. You are usually gentler in your dismissals.

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  82. anne,
    Are there Labour party members where you are? I used to be one but no longer.
    I think it's time I checked the whisky, make sure it hasn't gone off.

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  83. Stoaty - no fibs about the spuds.

    I was a bit slow to latch onto the potential water problem. And I added a 3:5:7 organic special potatoe fertiliser. (7% potassium to only 3% nitrogen) but only in light quantity.

    Will be more careful in my experiments next year.

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  84. Remember the hedgehog? I once told how he drank the beer I put out to catch the slugs because he wouldn't do it? I traduced the poor little sod, there was a hole in the tin. I feel better getting that of my chest.

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  85. deano,
    Yup, I'd heard that the answer is potassium, can't wait to try it, I like that sort of stuff.

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  86. Anntetan - it would be pleasure to be at the barricades with you.

    After being an active Labour member all my adult life I left the Party when Blair assumed the leadership and Clause IV went.

    I came to dislike the bastards so much that it was easy to finally stop smoking after 50 years cos I knew I would be cutting back on the tax I paid to the tossers.

    When the Tories get back I think I will stop buying booze and go back to home brew to even things up.

    When I was younger I could brew a fine elder flower white wine. Even if you can no longer sip it my dear, you would enjoy the aroma as we waited at the barricades. I used to find the mere suggestion of glass quite intoxicating - but that was a while ago now. Then I always did have a fine imagination...

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  87. deano30 - the 'anonymous' comment was pedantic nitpicking on a light-hearted LOTR riff, and basically killed it. I make no apologies for my reaction. The problem with anon posts is that you don't know whether they are well-meaning newcomers or not. And anonymous can be 20 different people. You post frequently as anonymous, do you not? My reaction may well have been 'gentler' if there had been a name to the comments. I suspect that this particular anonymous is someone I know, but that's the thing with anonymous posts, isn't it? You never know. Honesty, transparency not required.

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  88. andysays
    So how did you find out about my secret passion for abjection, then?

    stoaty
    No beer after all, eh. Poor Dave lost out then.

    Totally breaking rule 48 S.23, as I've just got in so not read the CiF thread, but on the beer glasses thing, I think you'll find that the NHS is driving this one up the govt agenda.
    It's all based on injuries needing treatment in A&E depts, intensive care, specialist surgery like jaw & facial repair, etc, which are very expensive to provide. Not to mention NHS staff getting thumped by drunks, so knock on costs of treatment / sickness absence etc.

    As you can see, I have some sympathy with the rationale for plastic glasses, but agree that beer drunk from them tastes crap. Nothing worse than getting your drink in the plastic glass which tastes of the pernod it once held.

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  89. On the NHS - first it was the smokers, then the 'fat people' and now it's the turn of the drinkers ...

    We are all lepers together. And to some extent, we can blame the doctors for destroying life's pleasures and failing to recognise that as a species, we're all bloody different shapes & sizes & that that is not a problem.

    *decends from soapbox and retires to bed*

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  90. Has anyone else noticed that you get a hell of a buzz if you whack 5 fingers of Whyte and Mackay into a harmless pint of IPA?

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  91. @ Scherfig - glad you called back and made the comments you did about the problems of the annon poster. Your not alone in the view I know Andy feels much the same.

    I hope also that our ruffled anon will take the points made and not be offended and remain an anon forever. I too much prefer to have at least a moniker to hang the comment on - it helps the narrative which I so much like about this place.

    You are quite right I often post as anon myself - often because of the insecurity of my "dongle" connection which frequently (but not always) disconnects if I attempt a google sign in.

    I wish I could see when a signal will bounce from a cloud and when it will not. If I remember I always try to add at least the leter "d" when I post as anon.

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  92. stoaty
    Only buzz round here is that low-flying pork chopper which has just hovered over me house. Apocalypse now syndrome, it it is.

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  93. Ms Chin,
    I know how you feel my dear, the answer is yes.

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  94. Chin - I think your comment to stoaty above is just about the most outrageously ambiguous one I have ever read on UT.

    There must be something in the water in the Sheffield area which found its way into your cocoa. ;-)

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  95. deano baby, you just come second.

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  96. Stoaty - on a second reading it was beyond ambiguity and plainly suggestive digestive. Still we could do with a little light relief after another day with the trolls of middle earth.

    Make sure you don't make the reverse calculation - to add five fingers of IPA to a pint of Whyte's is a sin.

    Good night all.

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  97. Blimey the mods were slow to delete this; after being a pro islamic attack on the world in general for no apparent reason, I posted this:

    +++++
    Lockerbie case: When mercy is messy
    My comment 25 Aug 09, 1:00am (about 23 hours ago)

    freeUSA123
    Did you actually ask me a question among all that ? Just curious. It's just that, while I don't think Libya had anything to do with it, I'm pretty sure some other middle Eastern states did, and would love to impart some new, useful knowledge on you. But I'm not sure if you can get your massive dildo-shaped bible out of your ear long enough to hear what I'm saying.
    +++++

    I think the mods are definitely on a go slow. Low moralle may be an issue then.

    Bless em.

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  98. stoaty - Yes there are Labour Party members down here but this is Wales. We have Rhodri's clear red water (ahem!). Well at least we ALL get our medication free on the NHS and we don't have sats and league tables.

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  99. Regards the glass, I must confess to having my own pewter tankard (well, I am a life member of CAMRA) though I don't used it very much because I prefer glass.

    Should Labour pass a law banning glases from pubs I shall have it engraved with the words "Fuck Da Government" and use it at every opportunity which, considering their consolidated attack on the pub, may be fewer than I'd like in the future.

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  100. Bitterweed just going through the mercy is messy thread.

    freeUSA123 is a piece of work isn't he! Your comment was well deserved!

    "dildo shaped bible"!!!!! Love it!

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  101. Why do I do it? get into a bible quoting fest with christian fundies its a effing waste of time!

    Intrepideagle hasn't even heard of Malachi! (last book of the old testament!)

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