03 November 2009

Daily Chat 03/11/09

Columbus sighted Dominica in 1493.  The Times of India was founded in 1838 and in 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik II with Laika, the first mammal in outer space aboard.

Born today:  Thomas Kyd (1558-1594), Karl Baedeker (1801-1859), Jeremy Brett (1933-1995), Lulu (1948) and Adam Ant (1954).

It is Independence Day in Panama.


  1. I went to school with a lad who claimed to be Adam Ant's cousin: I didn't realise he was that old (Adam Ant, not the lad at my school, obviously)

  2. With the birthday of Jeremy Brett and that picture, somewhat's forming in my mind ...

    "I would like to draw your attention to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time ... in outer space!"

  3. Morning all. Quick DIY question. I've got one of those toilets with the push-button flush in the lid of the cistern. After flushing, the water keeps going through. Because of the push-button, I can't get the lid off the cistern to fiddle with the balloon thingy and stop it from over-filling.

    How do I get the lid off? Have tried wiggling the button but it won't budge. At the moment I'm turning the tap off between flushes to stop the water completely...

  4. Philippa,

    I think some of them you need to unscrew the ring around the button?

    But what would I know, most of my DIY jobs start with a phone call to my Dad...........

  5. ring around the button

    One of those things that sounds rude, but isn't.

  6. Thanks Dotterel! That worked. Limescale gumming up the lever thingy. Have chiselled the worst of it off with a screwdriver and poured vinegar on it.

    (my DIY jobs usually start with a call to my mother - she's the one who can remember which wire mean which in a plug...)

  7. Frustrating PhilippaB.

    It's all part of the violence inherent in the cistern...

    Different types:
    1) push down one button and grip the other one and pull it up and off. The other button then lifts off. Undo the exposed screw...
    2) Push down both and there are some clips, or
    3) As others commented, on some there is an outer ring around the flush button, unscrew this & you can then take the lid off


  8. It's all part of the violence inherent in the cistern...


  9. Damn you Bitterweed I wanted to get that one in. Apparently Martin Rowson was first to say 'the cistern is corrupt' - thought it went back further but apparently not.

    Dot that made me laugh, but at my age it gets weird when you meet someone you used to know at school and it turns out to be the CHILD of the person you were at school with.

    Adam Ant: mind when he turned up for court in that beret and raincoat, and someone said 'How did Adam Ant turn into Benny Hill? Who saw that coming?'

  10. Comment just in from flatmate:
    "Why the fuck is there a bottle of red wine vinegar in the toilet? The place smells like a fish and chip shop"
    Ho hum...

  11. Philippa

    Flat mates, don't ya love em? Is yours capable of washing up without leaving half the dirt still on the pots? Want to swap?

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Hmm - perhaps shared too much in that last one! Anyway...

    Dotterel - we have a system. I cook, she cleans. I occasionally have to rewash things, but at least I get the food prep to myself (am a bit fussy). Last flatmate was a nightmare. Who mixes minced beef, chickpeas, beansprouts and coconut milk and calls it a 'stir fry'? I used to have to pretend I'd just eaten...

    And as new flatmate's a vegetarian, shopping is cheaper, as we splash out of fish once a week but the rest of the time we're veggie. This does however mean that whenever I go out to a restaurant it's the steak for me, please...

    Mmmm...steak and chips...

  14. Mmmmm...minced beef, chickpeas, beansprouts and coconut milk ...

    You don't have the exact recipe, by any chance?

  15. Ah to be fair we normally have a system too: I clean the kitchen (including the washing up), she cleans the rest of the flat. It's just that I've just got back from holiday, while I was away she did her own washing up. I keep finding dirty pots put away (she's away at the mo, luckily for her.......)

  16. elementary - the last time that guy used a recipe book it was to prop the back door open after he set fire to a quiche.

    I am not kidding...

  17. Philippa,

    He didn't also by any chance make instant mash in a glass with sweetcorn and minced beef mixed in? I may have lived with him once.............

  18. That would have involved measuring things...

    Damnit, it's lunchtime but for some reason I'm not hungry...

  19. not the way he did it.............

    Oddly I am, lunchtime methinks!

  20. I've got a feeling that maybe I shared an apartment with either Dotterel or Philippa or both (though not at the same time) ...

  21. elementary, a test to see if you have:

    Can one boil an egg by microwaving it, sans water?

  22. Ah, I never had a microwave ...

    I guess you can't "boil" it this way in the traditional sense, but it still could taste interesting. Did he eat it afterwards and try to convince you to have a bit of it, too?

  23. Erm the answer is no, you can't: the results are somewhat messy, he found this out by experimentation.........

  24. All right, I know this is terribly shallow of me and all that, but am I the only person who finds Elizabeth Pisani's photo absolutely cringe-making?

  25. But at no point did he do any of the following...

    "Simply crack open the egg in the Micro Egg; discard the egg shell; poke a hole in the egg yolk; snap on the lid; then put the Micro Egg in the microwave at top heat"

    It was messy, and funny!

  26. scherf,

    Strangely even he wouldn't lick out the microwave...........

    (and you don't want to know what he will do....)

  27. Thauma - oh my god, you're right...

    For some reason I'm thinking of the beginning of Pleasantville. Or possibly Stepford Wives.

    I get the feeling someone is telling me something for my own good...

  28. ... yes, telling you in a high, squeaky voice ....

  29. ""Second, it is outrageous that the taxpayer is expected to stump up another £5.7bn simply to enable Lloyds Banking Group to avoid having to pay the insurance fee for the asset protection scheme, when as everyone knows the state would still have to bail out Lloyds if it collapsed in future.""

    This banking heist is becoming really quite surreal. If you had explained examples like this to someone 5 years ago, and told them this is what was going to happen, they would first laugh at you, then tell you no government would dream of even attempting this, and then tell you that if they did they would be dragged out of parliament and lynched in the street.

    We are now giving them £5billion so that they dont have to pay us a premium for the fact that we are effectively underwriting their profit making. Im baffled, i really dont know how this can possibly be got away with.

  30. Afternoon all.

    Plumbing - bloody nightmare. French cisterns are well dodge as well, Pip.

  31. BB - cistern now working. French wiring, on the other hand, is a matter of taking your life in your mains, quite literally...

  32. Jay:
    'Im baffled, i really dont know how this can possibly be got away with.'

    Best current example: Lloyds now control Glasgow Rangers and have their own man on the board who has instructed the club to live within its means! It's kind of like an Edwardian cavalry officer giving advice on trench warfare.

  33. All we need now is for RBS to buy the controlling interest in Celtic.

  34. And Mts Goggins to buy out Partick Thistle - I hear Pat has time on his wee hands these days.

  35. I don't even think I can bring myself to read about the banks anymore.

    I was shouting so loud at the radio this morning that the neighbours must have heard me.


  36. The banksters and the government, not the neighbours. They are actually very nice...

  37. BB, surely you mean that auld firm of Fuggers not Fuckers.

  38. BB - Law in Action on R4 very interesting (Ken McDonald)

    Favourite quote so far, about the number of new anti-terror laws now on the books - "I didn't know what all of them were and I was DPP"...

  39. How I feel about banks, by the sixth form 13thDuke:

    Come friendly bombs and rain on banks,
    make sure you include that shower of wanks,
    That have taken our money and pocketed the lot
    Swarm over, Death.

    Come bombs and blow to smithereens,
    Those air conditioned fat cat office scenes,
    Ferraris, Claridges, Cristal, Prada jeans,
    Greedy minds, Greedy breath.

    Mess up the mess they call a country,
    An economy for trillions down,
    Every week with our money
    For Thirty years.

    And get that man with double chin
    Who'll always cheat and always win,
    Who washes his repulsive skin
    with society's wealth.

    And smash his desk of polished oak
    And smash his hands so used to stroke
    And stop his boring dirty joke
    And make him yell.

    Come, friendly bombs and rain on the City
    If only to make us feel less shitty,
    The reckoning is coming now
    As the Earth expires.

    With deepest apologies to John Betjeman

  40. Fuggers is too soft a word for em, Edwin.

    Pip - missed it! Got a lot of time for Ken MacDonald in general though. I have to buy a new book every year that costs about 600 quid to try and keep up with all the new legislation.

    No need to apologise to Betjeman, Your Grace. I am sure he would be right behind you on that one.

  41. Iplayer, BB, well worth a listen, I think - very interesting (and he moved on to minor crimes at the end, coming across as *gasp* balanced and *shock* concerned with the accused's rights)

    PS - will have a copy of Picarda Law up on Amazon in December if any wants to knock £50 off the RRP, know what I mean, I'll throw in a tea towel, you can't say fairer than that, know what I mean?


    And hats off to his grace, v good.

  42. Oh God. PM covering the case of the baby where the mother agrees with the doctors that he should be allowed to die, and the father wants to keep him alive. Consultant says he can't be sure how much pain the baby is in. That, and the current interview with a mother who went through the same thing, is about the saddest thing I've heard in a while (and I've been on the Dorothy Rowe thread. Which has actually been pretty good).

  43. That story about the baby is really sad. I can't even begin to imagine what those parents are going through.

  44. Quite. Gives me the sudden urge to hug my parents.

  45. ManMadeGlobaLying79 just knocked a few nails squarely on the head.

    Well done that cynic

    posed the ...er..."undecided on the climatechange/ global warming/ inconvenient cooling - agnostic" or 'denier /denialist' as some would have it.

    Think of the polar bears

  46. Right, I've had it with politics and internecine fights and banks and all that for tonight. Cannot be doing with it.

    What I'd like to talk about is ... back-up singers.

    Following on from the track I posted above, I thought about the Shaken 'n' Stirred album, which never seems to get a lot of attention but which I really liked. So far have only been able to find a vid of Pink and Black.

    The album is dominated by Toni Halliday, who is given a much more prominent role than back-up singers usually get: it's more like a collaboration. She has a voice that simultaneously broadcasts a sort of postmodern ennui and soul. (I've just googled her and those of you who are more current than I am will probably know who she is.)

    Eric Clapton has also collaborated closely with, amongst others, Marcy Levy: viz The Core.

    Gimme Shelter is another fine example, chilling female vocal by Merry Clayton.

    Is it my ignorance, or don't these great moments occur any more?

  47. Clare Torry, Great Gig in the Sky. Stunning.

  48. Yes, BW, I thought of that too! From the Wikipedia entry, it seems that she had to sue to get a credit on the song which just seems wrong.

    Hm, perhaps it's all about the patriarchy suppressing women after all....

  49. Really ?!!
    Shit. Bad Gilmour. Bad Waters.

    Also, the marvelous, fabulous Eddi Reader Eveyone should see her live, she's terrific. One-time backing singer to the Eurythmics, The Waterboys, Billy MacKenzie and Alison Moyet among others.

    Her first gig ?

    Gang of Four.

    I shit ye not !

  50. Merry Clayton's own version of Gimme Shelter is damn good. She made some fine albums in the 70s.

  51. Got any links to that?

    Mind you, off to bed now ... but can listen tomorrow!

  52. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCyTqnizcvI

    Rushed, so not proper linkage...

  53. She also did a version of Southern Man which rocks bells.

  54. I am a huge fan of Tracy Thorn - half of Everything But the Girl. I first heard her on Paris Match from the album Cafe Bleu by the Style Council in the 80s.

    She has come a long way since then and is worshipped in dance music circles.

    Especially for you Bitterweed - a snakes-arse-car-alarm remix of a song she did with Tiefschwarz called Damage

  55. Bitterweed - saw Gang of Four reformed at ATP in May. Crivens. It was quite interesting for about ten minutes but then you realised that this was all they had and people started to amble away. Pity really, but if you're going to try being a proto-marxist post-punk outfit for nearly thirty years, looning around like a gibbon while the guitarist auditions for the musical of spinal tap just isn't going to cut it

  56. "Pity really, but if you're going to try being a proto-marxist post-punk outfit for nearly thirty years, looning around like a gibbon while the guitarist auditions for the musical of spinal tap just isn't going to cut it"

    Nice summary, thanks ;-)

    Oh, and 'thanks' for that link BB, lol...

    Most of all, thanks Fencewalker, great link - who knew ?? That's a good one all right..

    Night all.