29 November 2010


Every day is a journey and the journey itself is home.


  1. morning all

    having just listened to alan rusbridger on the today prog, can't decide if he's a liability or a nationaal treasure.

    he's like one of those lecturers at uni who never takes the most direct route to answer a question, and occasionally gets totally lost and has to stop and ask a passer-by for directions.

    i mean, it's how most of us think, but it's not really the 'done thing' in this multi-media age. now, that's probably a good thing, in general...but it can make him very easy to have at...


    highest scoring day in the PL since 1993 on Saturday.

  2. Morning Phillipa

    Blizzarding here this morning. I didn't think Meyer's attempt to tone things down a bit was very successful.

  3. hey sheff - f-ing freezing here. heating is fighting a losing battle with the lack of insulation. fingers are fighting a losing battle against borderline frostbite. there could be typos today...

  4. Wooh...


    bish bash bosh!

  5. @Phil

    Some snow remaining on the ground in Paris. The mate who ended up sleeping the night on my sofa complained about how hot it was (a steady 22° in the living room/my office, which I thought was quite normal). Is double glazing considered surplus to requirements in Mount P?

  6. damnit, mouse dying.

    (don't worry - not a feline-caused souricide, or anything)

    had already lost left-click function to reset it for a 'lefty' to get over that. now 'drag' seems to have gone completely.

    query for the IT wonks amongst us. i have a 'drag mat' on the puter but always use an external mouse - reaction on a drag mat is usually worse than an external mouse, yes?

    if not, think whole puter is giving up on me...

  7. @Phil

    Yes. Try buying a new one. In the right place, you can find one from about 8 euros.

  8. will try that now. ability to waste time play

  9. @Philippa

    The tracking rate on a computer trackpad can be adjusted - it's often set too low by default, to suit beginners. You can change it in the Mouse or Trackpad section of the Control Panel (for Windows) or in the Trackpad section of System Preferences (Mac OS X).

    Mice can wear out in different ways, depending on type. Mechanical ones can lose traction due to wear on the axis wheels, or gunge picked up from the desk, or problems in the cable due to repeated flexion. Optical ones have problems of their own, and wireless ones different problems again, that develop over time. But mechanical ones go wrong more often.

    Hope you get it sorted out, as a stammering Philippa is hard to bear. :)

  10. Woot! I won £48 on the euro lottery! Right, more snow shoveling, the yew tree might be beyond help...

  11. Not going to use any tags for this, as it seems to make Google think you must be a spammer or graffiti artist.


    The mainstream media in the UK are serial offenders. Newspapers that have no compunction about invasions of privacy or about shrill comment devote precious little time or energy to challenging authority through rigorous investigative journalism. Most political "scoops" are merely stories planted by politicians on pliant lobby hacks. Editors and senior journalists are habitually invited into MI5 and MI6 for briefings. These are affable occasions, often over lunch. There is no harm in that. What tends to happen, however, is that journalists are tickled pink by the attention. They love being invited to the "D-notice" committee to discuss how they can all behave "responsibly". It makes them feel important. Many suspend their critical faculties as a result.

    Far from being "feral beasts", to use Tony Blair's phrase, the British media are overly respectful of authority. Newspapers and broadcasters tend to be suspicious of those who do not play the game, people like Mr Assange who are awkward outsiders. Some editors are quite happy to help the authorities in their denunciations of him, partly out of revenge for not being in his inner circle. [...]

    Once this latest flurry is over, prepare for the backlash. Mr Assange's industrial-scale leaking may lead to legislation in a number of countries that makes whistle-blowing harder than it already is... newspapers should be asking themselves why they did not have the wherewithal to hold truth to power.


    allenn007 commenting BTL says:

    When you have a national media outlet presented by small-minded and unquestionning Governmental spokesmen disguised as 'journalists' such as Andrew Marr and Nick Robinson, it is no wonder that most of the populace remain ignorant about the real workings of the world.

    There are only a handful of journalists and perhaps one or two newspapers that dare to question the prevailing system in this country. Most are heavily controlled and censored which revel in creating an ignorant 'readership'. Probably even truer in America.

    Result of that is that we have a country largely apathetic, easily manipulated, easy to govern and full of innocent 'Yes' people who are unable and unwilling to read between the lines.


    Perhaps those Dribblies who feel the need to praise the wonderfulness of CiF because it so readily exploits the resource of their opinions, even if they know it also censors them when the mood takes it, should wonder whether that particular media channel really does have access to the whorled ears of those in power or if it is just the rat-sized-dog-in-a-Gucci-bag accessory to those in charge.

  12. turminder


    Spend it on something useful - like drugs.


    I like your comments spilling from one area to the next.

    It reminds me of a spider-plant.

  13. @AB, already did...

    RIP Leslie Nielsen : (

  14. hmm, have new mouse, not sure i like it. weedy.

    and the tracking (or whatever it's called) seems as slow and disconnected as before (although thankfully not zipping off and clicking things of its own volition.

    would finally buying a mousemat actually help?

  15. Did it have any software with it, Philippa? If so, install it if you haven't already and fiddle with the settings. If not, check the settings in Control Panel or System Prefs.

  16. nah - have tried it on solitaire and it's all over the place. can click, but dragging is, well, a drag.

    is this likely to be just because i bought the cheapest one in the shop (again), or could this be the beginning of the end for 'puter as a whole? i mean, if the tracking starts to go, is the whole thing slowing up?

    nasty thought. now, where's that external hard-drive...

  17. peterj - am trying, which isn't helped by bad mouse reaction.

    it wants me to 'select file' for download - do i want 'set point 32-bit' or '64-bit'?

  18. this is getting f-ing annoying.

    now have a typing lag as well.

  19. Philippa, it depends on your Windows version. But 32-bit will work in all cases, so try that; it's most likely correct anyway.

  20. aye, 32-bit, said on opsys.

    i hate being illITerate. but i hate the thought of puter needing replacement more...

  21. Philippa, after having half a dozen high-end wifi mouses? Mice? Meeces?...die on me, I bought a cheap (£5 or 6) Argos own-brand wifi mouse, figuring, what the hell, if it's crap, I'm only out a fiver. 6 months on and it's still going strong. Highly recommended (and I don't bother with a mouse-mat).

  22. Wouldn't worry about the computer, Philippa. If it was slowing down enough to affect mouse movement, it'd have been obvious in everything else long before.

  23. installed - tried upping the pointer speed but then spent three minutes trying to get the pointer where i wanted it.

  24. coolio, thanks for the reassurance. looks like my ability to spend time playing games will be limited, but that's probably a good thing. but this draggy dragging is going to get on my wick.

  25. Yeah, setting the speed to its highest setting tends to make it jitter like a speedfreak's eyebrows. About two-thirds up is usually a good compromise to start with.

  26. nope, scramble is now off-limits. mouse went mental, no words forthcoming.

    damnit. will have to use puter to work now...

  27. ok - moving it down to about 1/3 speed seems to have helped. it's accuracy rather than velocity that is the main requirement (in mousing, if in nothing else)

  28. Best quote I have seen today from a Leslie Neilsen film.

    "Who are you and how did you get in here?"

    "I'm a locksmith and I'm a locksmith."

    Don't know why but that has really tickled me.

  29. Philippa

    Would suggest that a slightly squashy, dull, non-reflective, matt, er, mat may also help. (As opposed to one which might be harder, more resilient or more reflective.

    This is really only from some experience a long time ago, as I am now as clumsy with moosies (I think this is the internationally recognised term) as I am with writing with what god obviously thought of as typing-fingers, since I always use the laptop pad-area-thingy.

    Good luck.

    As a last resort, show the mouse the pigs.

  30. Good luck Philippa, hope the PCs not dead. My tip, if it is, get a Mac, my laptop cost £220 second hand, and it's the biz. Free software updates, v small chance of Malware...

    Have put up mates photo, it's not Yetholm, but just down the road, same amount of snow, maybe more here. I just re-cleared what I'd done yesterday, and it's started again!

  31. cheers all - things seem to be ok, now. work beckons. later!


  32. Hooray! waddya is open again! And they come streaming in after many tortured hours of withdrawal.

    JohnYardDog, Invisible Dirigible (with 5 comments each already), and bru and kiz and MIE and unexceptional and pen and killing time etc etc. are back to brighten up our day.

    It was tough for a while, but now all is right with the world again. The 'non-existent' clique who monopolize the luvvie thread (but who claim that they don't actually exist) have got their playground back.

  33. Hi there people.


    I can recommend the Mac + a magic mouse. The mouse is a bit frisky at times (possibly because I'm also illITerate) but soooooo much better to use.

  34. anon

    Ah yes, it's reopened and we have this earth-shattering suggestion:

    29 November 2010 11:35AM

    Did anyone else attend Erotica 2010 in London last week?

    Might make for a good article or peoples panel!

  35. anon

    Yes, the importance of Dribbly was underlined by the fact that nobody bothered to kick the weekend off with a "clean" thread but just left it with a couple of hundred existing comments to grow so big it toppled over.

    Does anyone know why the little gate was padlocked, so the children could reach through the bars with grasping, outstretched fingers but not actually gain access to their marshmallow sanctum sanctorum?

  36. Ms Superficiality spills her brainz regarding labels and the clothing industry and we are back on track with regard to why the world is so fucked up and without hope.

    Meerkatjie is going to be in for an uphill struggle on this one if it not going to descend into a list of what the chic elite wear to what lavish occasions and which bijou designer house is up and coming in the gossip of the Aero Rocher set.

  37. The pavements are really bad outside.
    If you have got elderly neighbours, give them a knock and ask them to go the shop for you. Don't go yourself. It's dangerous.

  38. Atoms thanks for sticking up Kampfner, was going to but late up today... I see that the Bank Risk Manager WhistleblowerIRL from CiF is subject of today's GolemXIV post. That is a big story, my fiends.

    Minus 5 this am, and since I let my stove go out last night, exactly half Spike's temperature in my kitchen/workspace. Wandered outside in just a teeshirt for obvious purposes, and it felt quite warm back inside!

    Coffee percolating on the stove, a roll-up, it's the good life . ( calling u later spike ;) )

  39. BW

    I just tried yelling through the window at one of mine - 'Oy, Marge, can you fetch us some fags please?' - but to no effect.

    Perhaps I should have opened the window first?

  40. On upmarket clothing, did anyone re-post Tybo's lastpost on the weekend Dribbly?

    Twas a horrible story, but Swedish Citizens Boycott changed things.

    Similarly, the Tory postponement of HB Cuts gives time for organising counter-measures. Reduce rent paid proportionally was my first idea, any others ?

  41. frog2

    Thanks for the Golem link:


    I think it is worth quoting the last bit here:

    Do we have the power to regulate our banks or have they now the power to regulate us? Do they now have the power, thanks to the corruption of our politicians, our system of law and even our press, to regulate what we can say, which laws get enforced, which do not and even who is subject to the law and who is not.

    It is also whether we, the people, have any allies in this fight or not. If we do not, neither in government nor in the press, nor in law then we must assume a revolution has taken place, a putsch and we must look to ourselves and to our children. We must defend ourselves and our nations as best we an with what means we have.

    If the law will not protect us then we must consider the law to be a tool of our enemies. That does not mean we should set the law aside. That would make us no better than those we fight. But we should not look to the law for help. We must speak truth to each other and be prepared to speak it to power.

    We must be willing to stand up for Free speech, free assembly, the free flow of information, despite the proclamation of D notices tonight in the UK.

    That such a notice has been issued even as I type this over the republication of the most recent wikileaks documents bodes ill for us all. How much further is it till we are all deemed to be the enemy within?


    Perhaps I should have opened the window first?

    Nah, you'll let all the heat out doing that.

    Just bang on it and get the lazy old fucker to come close and then either shout or hold a note to the glass.

  42. OK - Call the old fogies back from their shopping errands and their experience of the slippery slope of exploitation.

    There is no such thing as slavery or bonded labour or exploitation.

    SpecialBrut has cracked the conundrum and we can now all buy whatever we like because it is, actually, all ethical.

    Stupidly - and this is incredible that none of us had managed to see this massive flaw before now - we had forgotten that in the sand and mud countries, wages are lower because living costs are lower. This means that when Philip Green sub-contracts manufacturing to some johnnie-foreigner land, the workers are not exploited because being paid 12 new pennies an hour or a day or whatever is actually a princely sum at local rates.

    This means that a twelve-year old girl working eighteen hour shifts and then strip-searched in front of everyone in case she is stealing a reel of cotton then leaves the factory to drive down to the beach in her Bentley and sun herself while attentive waiters bring her cocktails and she chats amongst the Martini set.

    It's not slavery - it's a wonderland.

    The factory owners, of course, would never pay below market rates because...because...er...because fashion is just so simply lovely.

    There are no sweatshops in Turkey, apparently, so everything is tickety-boo.

    As Tybo says, there are a fucking lot of them in the UK, but that must simply be one of the penalties of being in the third world.

    Still, treble Belgian chocolates for African babies all round.

  43. Hi all! This lazy ol' fucker won't even go to shops for herself!

    Living on the store cupboard at the mo as Sainsbury's cancelled my order this weekend!

    Store cupboards are not very tasty, even when curried!

    WE haven't had any more snow here in Cardiff. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Its still VV cold though. Just put my waste out - glad to get in again brrrrr!

    Wonder if I'll get extra heating allowance this year! I know, I know! fecking greedy babyboomers etc :-D

  44. Further to what Atomboy and dave said,

    I came across this article from the erm communist "accountancy age" which has been swept under the carpet.

    The 4 big auditors- PWC, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG gave British banks a clean bill of health in the run up to the crisis after being told the banks would be bailed out with taxpayers money.

    All four signed off the banks based on prior knowledge the banks would be propped up by you.

    We've reached the stage of crony, gangster capitalism when it is Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's economic gauleiter that calls the auditors out over it:

    "I find that absolutely astonishing, absolutely astonishing. It seems to me that you are saying that you noticed they were on very thin ice but you were completely relaxed about it because you knew there would be support, in other words, the taxpayer would support them".

    These institutions, both the banks and their "watchdogs" are in league with each other to ransack national economies.

  45. Feeling a bit guilty. It's a balmy 6° here. You seem to be having our weather.

    Bru's a fucking idiot.

    (I think I might start putting that at the end of every comment -- just so no one forgets.)

  46. What the hell is the world coming to when Nigel Lawson sounds less dickish than Barack Obama?

  47. Just a quickie as I am at work and posting here means signing out of my work google mail.

    I had a quick google when I posted that about Guatamala and Coca Cola as it was from memory of 25 years or so ago. Apparantly Coca-Cola or their franchisee are up to something similar in Columbia.

    Plenty of companies do plenty of evil things but it takes a very special form of unpleasantness to kill and cut the tongues out of union organisers only shortly after flooding the world with an advert that involved people of all colours and nations singing:

    "I'd like to teach the World to sing, in perfect harmony."

    A real Eloi and Morlock moment.

  48. Montana,

    What the hell is the world coming to when Nigel Lawson sounds less dickish than Barack Obama?

    I know what you mean. This famous drawing from the English Civil War keeps popping into my head.

  49. Dearie me, Duke, by the look of things, my current attire is simply not fashionable enough.

  50. @MsChin

    Of course, the other solution is to dial 999 and ask the paramedics to get your fags. They're trained to deal with emergencies.

  51. MsChin, see if you were a member of our scheme I would get a fresh faced volunteer to go and get your fags.

    You would have to be old enough to qualify though. And live in NW5, come to think of it.

  52. Spencer

    That sounds good to me.

    I need some fags now, but the idea of having a willing helper on tap makes me think that moving to NW5 and waiting forty years still represents a valid proposition.

    I'll get my people to knock up some contracts and pop them round.

  53. See, this is why you lot don't belong over at Graun towers, to them a "fag" is someone who fetches what you want ;-)

  54. Brrr....just in from trekking back from sorting out the auld bugger's shopping - that'll be at least 3 brownie points for me please. Hot toddie and a couple of paracetemol coming up.

    Yr Grace

    It does feel like the 'world turned upside down' these days - although I suppose it always has been that way and we are just getting our worst fears confirmed for us. Still, these are fairly boggling times to be living through.


    You always look lovely dear heart - remember how much Princess coveted your Biba scarf? I bet Bru doesn't have a Biba original! As for waddya - excruciating tedium doesn't describe it this morning.

  55. Hey all. Well what a fucker of a day! Car still wouldn't start so ended up paying Green Flag nearly two hundred quid to come out - that was for years cover - and call out today and roadside repairs today - which we had to pay out on top as we didn't have breakdown cover (if we had we could have had the whole thing for just fifty quid a year!).

    So him indoors treks home at lunch in my mothers car to meet mechanic - sits in our car and turns key - and it starts! Oh joy - that was money we don't have well spent.

    On a lighter note - bitterweed that made me laugh - I will be banging on my neighbours door demanding she get out immediately and fetch me some chocolate to cheer me up.

    Msc - I second what Sheff said. You always look lovely and yes I do covet that scarf indeed!

  56. Afternoon all

    "As a last resort, show the mouse the pigs. "

    I wonder what the pigs' reaction to a mouse would be? Would it be like an apocraphal elephant's? :o)

    Your Grace

    "The 4 big auditors- PWC, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG gave British banks a clean bill of health in the run up to the crisis after being told the banks would be bailed out with taxpayers money.

    All four signed off the banks based on prior knowledge the banks would be propped up by you.

    We've reached the stage of crony, gangster capitalism when it is Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's economic gauleiter that calls the auditors out over it:

    "I find that absolutely astonishing, absolutely astonishing. It seems to me that you are saying that you noticed they were on very thin ice but you were completely relaxed about it because you knew there would be support, in other words, the taxpayer would support them".

    These institutions, both the banks and their "watchdogs" are in league with each other to ransack national economies. "

    What the fuck?!! The trouble is, these boys are too big to take down. Even Arthur Andersen had the common sense to rebrand as Accenture before their name was mud over the Enron fiasco. But how the hell can the Top 4 have their practice certificates removed? Ain't gonna happen, is it.

    Thinking about keeping pigs in the garden myself now...

  57. dave from france said...

    hevers -- It's far worse than a few hundred billion worldwide of miss-sold dodgy loans etc.

    True. The Libertarians quite often try and characterise it all as your typical boom-and-bust, asset inflation followed by a readjustment, because they want to blame it on the State and their handling of the money supply and inflation, rather than on the banks, because the banks are in the private sector and Libertarians can see no wrong in the private sector.

    It's one great exercise in passing the parcel of blame, away from where it really belongs. And it's a bit abstract and removed, but whenever they get away with it, much tangible injustice can be visited on others on the back of it...

  58. Where's all this sodding snow then ??

  59. Don't know BW, all I've got is a heavy frost!

  60. Me too Dot.

    To quote McCloud, I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet.

  61. Bitters

    More snow this week so you may get your share. We've had snow followed by heavy frost so are now living in a crunchy world.

  62. They are threatening light snow at Gatwick tomorrow, apparently. So far I have seen a tiny smattering of miniscule flakes one day last week and that was that.

  63. Think we had some Friday night, but I might have dreamt that (looked out the window at 8.30am Saturday but then went back to sleep!)

  64. @Leni
    "Crunchy World". Sounds good.

  65. We've gone from solid ice covered in snow to slightly slushy. More heavy snow forecast for Sheffield though.


    The reason I got my present car is because 2 years ago at Christmas, both our cars packed in during cold weather. It cost us well over a grand on the overdraft to sort 'em out so we could both get to work ... I don't think we ever recovered from the shock, never mind the cost!

    And thanks for the kind words about my apparel (*blushes*) but I'm still in PJs & fleecy dressing gown. No hairnet & curlers, mind.

  66. Leni

    Can I put chicken fat mixed with bread out for the birds? seem to remember dean warning us not to use turkey fat during the big freeze earlier this year & wondered whether the same applies to chicken fat from the roasting tin?

  67. Atomboy, I pretty much gave up on that conversation before it started...

  68. I took Atomgirl about three miles up the road on Sunday and - after negotiating around the aftermath of a minor accident (just flashing hazard lights and people exchanging documents in clouds of frosted breath) on one of the back roads - we hit the damp but clear main roads and it was plain sailing or, more prosaically but accurately, easy driving.

    Within the few minutes it took me to turn round and start heading back, everything had turned into a small blizzard and the roads which had been clear just minutes before were completely white.

    Perhaps at this point I should, er, point out that we live in Alaska and I can throw paper aeroplanes into the Kremlin from the upstairs windows.

  69. MsChin

    I tend to avoid bread - unless soaked first otherwise it swells up in avian tummies.

    The general advice is use only beef or bacon fat. Garden birds cannot digest other fats - unless they are vultures or animal carcass eating birds.

  70. Atoms

    All very well and interesting but I see no evidence of unzipped landscapes.

  71. Meerkatjie

    Very wise.

    Unless, of course, you think you might enjoy the business of shoving lighted bamboos underneath your fingernails and want to try it out with only virtual blood.

  72. Leni

    I think that is because I am unable to seduce the landscape in quite the same way...

  73. Thanks, Dot. I have seeds, fat ball etc + some left over seedy bread to scatter.

    The bird food has to be dual purpose - I noticed last night that the little mice are also partaking, as they did during the freeze earlier this year. Which means I have to go out with more fresh water last thing at night!

  74. @philippa

    You might just need a new battery for your mouse.Mine tends to go a bit apeshit before stopping functioning altogether as the existing battery breathes it's last.

    Like AB i also like the way your posts often go off on tangents developing a life of their own.Makes me laugh-in a nice way:-)

    @No snow here in London but its freezing cold and depressingly grey.A lot of people aroiund here have already put up their Xmas trees-probably to offset all the gloom'n' doom around.Still too bloody early IMO.

  75. BB -- Shareholders who bought bank shares after these whitewashing audits, and then lost out, would surely have a case for a class action?

    Or shall we call them all together for a meeting , and then intern them in the IOM?

    Your Grace--- thankyou very much for the AA link, many years ago I read it regularly, and I still have my Positive Economics by (the now Lord) Richard Lipsey. I can feel a demand to Jessica for a Prem Sikka article coming on, will you do the honours ?

  76. Paul

    We are suffering from an outbreak of early christmasophilia here too.
    I am expecting carol singers any day soon.

    I spotted a lumbering figure on the mountain last night - not sure if it was himself or a yeti.

  77. Afternoon, all.

    Is that the irony of having to pay for breakdown cover, when you can't a afford a more reliable car? (A bit like "buy 3 get 1 free" - "I can only afford one, can I have the free one?") Or is it yet another indictment of the capitalist way?

  78. Leni

    I spotted a lumbering figure on the mountain last night - not sure if it was himself or a yeti.

    No that was MIE trying to rediscover his celtic/jewish/catholic roots.:-)

  79. Leni -- bacon fat lotsa salt ? Tks for advice on soaking bread.

    Hevers-- gotcha, Libertarians and cif trolls equally uneducated on 'higher' finance structure... deserve pithy answers only.

    Paul -- saw your replies, thanks mate!

    Atoms -- you live in Alaska and can see Russia, hmmm, reminds me of someone ...

  80. Soak stale bread in water or milk, you avian dieticians ?

  81. frog2

    ...you live in Alaska and can see Russia, hmmm, reminds me of someone

    Ooh, I think I know this one!

    Is it Sarah Jessica Parker?

  82. Blue Peter to the rescue for bird cake!

    I remember watching Val Singleton, Peter Perves and John Noakes doing a version of this, only without the fancy bit of twine in the middle of it.

    Remember to ask a grown up to help you melting the fat, though, cos it gets hot! :o)


    I don't know whether they could do a group action or not. Strikes me that the accountants were treading a very dangerous line in signing off those accounts, though, on the basis of something they imagined would be likely to happen...

  83. Water Dave, never milk for the birdies.

  84. dave from france said...

    Hevers-- gotcha, Libertarians and cif trolls equally uneducated on 'higher' finance structure... deserve pithy answers only.

    Wouldn't say all are uneducated, but that each group of culprits and their fanbois tends to try and sell a story that suits who else they would rather like to pin the blame on instead. Tories want to blame NuLab, Libertarians the State, Bankers the defaulters or other bankers, etc. etc.

    So yeah, one can be pithy, but if you spot their agenda, usually given away by where they try and pin the blame, then it affords the opportunity to mess with it...

  85. Starlings are fond of bacon rind and great tits like coconuts.

    Which is an actual quote from Radio 4, if I remember, many years ago.

  86. Atoms -who ????????????? I had to google Paris Hilton to find she wasn't a hotel !

    BB -- itsa thought tho, the damages might have to be paid in Food Stamps... back to basics.

    Jenni-- good thing I waited, tksvm! Soaking now.

    Hevers -- time management... but can be fun occasionally, as a treat.

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. Spike

    "and great tits like coconuts"

    If I had a pound for every Parus major joke I'd ever heard...

    Mind you, I thought I had it bad studying birds, until I met the guy who studies Castor fiber....

  89. Aha! You see, I didn't have to google the Castor fiber, Dot, because they are called "Castors" in French!

    I actually knew something without having to look it up!! \o/

    Good one, though.

  90. PhilippaB
    "having just listened to alan rusbridger on the today prog, can't decide if he's a liability or a nationaal treasure."

    I was in a car listening to him, this morning. I thought he was a self-serving twat, just like the others in the discussion. His stumbling revealed that his editorship is more interested in attracating sales and sucking up than journalism.

    "the Guardian can redact sources and give some kind of context", he says. Nice word, redact.

    Regarding moderating the behaviour of wikileaks:

    "My personal view is it would be harmful to dump all this stuff completely UNREDACTED"
    "We had five people between us able to do REDACTION"

    But this gives away everything about Mr Bridger:

    (begin paraphrase)"I think there are two points to bare in mind about this; wikileaks would have published this anyway and what newspapers have managed to do is (end paraphrase)
    a) to REDACT sources
    b) to give some kind of context
    And I think the White House itself has acknowledged that newspapers actually play a helpful role in this."

  91. I can hear him say "Somebody broke into my toilet!"

  92. Has anybody heard of Laura Fairrie before? Or is it just me that found a new interest in the entire world ending upon listening to her?

  93. Scary habib


    Try this....


  94. Information and Governance Professionals - Why not alleviated the extra stress, and long hours dealing with those thankless Freedom of Information requests by putting all your organisation's data on Wikileaks ?

  95. Narrow it down, BW, do you mean
    scary habib
    scary rusbidger, or
    scary Farrie?

    I don't mean to prejudice your opinion, but mwah ha ha ha!

  96. Bitterweed - that was disturbing maaan !!

    To put you in a (hopefully) better frame of mind:

    Ian Siegal & Ben Prestage

    Featuring Ian's Dobro !

  97. Perfect, then, BW. Just trying to understand what she means, over that soundtrack, I think I do.

  98. ok, technical query #2 - anyone know how to make a complaint of a breach of the data protection act? because some cock-wad recruitment consultant has forgotten to 'bcc' his email about a vat job in chelmsford...

    also - paul - mice have batteries? really?

    thought they got power magically through the usb port. feel silly now.

  99. habib
    I can hear him say "Somebody broke into my toilet!"

  100. @Philippa

    Only wireless mice have batteries, wired ones use USB power.

    Recruitment consultants? Useless scum, to a man and a woman.

  101. Philippa - plugged-in (ie mouse or USB port) mice don't have batteries. Optical mice do.

    No idea about your other query.

  102. For those getting increasingly tired of the moronic comments BTL on CiF, here's an absolute pearler from Freemanmoxy from a couple of days ago:

    Ironically, posts that start with one of the most beloved reactionary internet clichés:

    Typical Leftist bollocks...

    Invariably turn out to be typical Rightist bollocks, as the post in question amply proves.

    Here's some other reactionary internet clichés which instantly render the poster a boring, unoriginal, parroting fool, and which make their words all the more easy to ignore.

    See how many you can spot, day in and bloody day out, on CiF:

    "What part of [x] don't you understand?"

    "Blah blah the magic money tree blah blah"


    "Grow up!"


    "blah blah 'workers paradises' blah blah"

    and of course, any reference to the Richard Littlejohn neologism:

    "Guardianistas" (ho ho fucking ho)

    So in hock to the tedious stylistic tics of the right wing tabloids are these stroppy wannabe Littlejohns, that their posts eventually all end up sounding like they were written by the same person.

    Right wing groupthink in action: They "think" alike, they hate alike, they even sound alike.

  103. ok, feel better about the mouse now. not so silly after all (watch this space).

    the rec.con. thing has pissed me off because my personal email has just been circulated to all and sundry, but really - i'm not employed, i don't have to worry about HR picking it up from somewhere and doing me. because i know about four people on the list - and if i knew they were job hunting, then good luck to 'em. but not everyone might think that...

    it's the ciot flogging email lists, again, of course.

    which i have just realised is displaying said email address, which i don't remember agreeing to.



    [runs off to try to change settings on membership entry]

  104. The magic money tree thing really puzzles me. I thought there was a magic money tree. Actually a whole forest of them growing under glass in Canary Wharf and some more in The City of London.

    Surely that was what the right was saying for the last couple of decades at least? And by the right, I do of course include New Labour.

    But now it is the right who they say that there aren't any and it is somehow a fantasy of the left, and we are mad for believing in magic money trees.

    It's al very confusing.

  105. Sheff

    You've probably already picked up on it but tonight's Dispatches(C4 8.00pm) is looking at how the Britsh asylum system treats young people.Will be interesting to see whether the programme accurately portrays whats going on in the eyes of yourself and others who work within the system.

  106. I am hoping that DivesandLazarus is going to get back to me on the Open Door thread about the royal wedding and republicanism because he used "guardianstas."

    I asked why anyone would care what he said. Because, after all that is a thread about asking Guardian readers what they think about Guardian coverage and anyone who says "you Guardianistas" is obviously not including themselves in the set of people that it is relevant too.

    Bugger has not replied yet though.

  107. Phillipa, cannot recall exactly but I had to do a data protection policy at work a while back and did look at the legislation.

    And there is a public official (in the UK) who you can report it too. If you want to pursue it let me know and I will look it up when I get to work tomorrow.

  108. Bloody hell a snowstorm has set off a lightning storm here, I don't think I've ever seen that before.

  109. I heard a weatherman talking about that on the radio the other night, Jen. Apparently it's very unusual, but caused by really cold wet air coming onto land over relatively warmer seas. It seems that the result is snow showers combined with lightning.

    It was something like that, anyway. Not likely to happen again any time soon, so enjoy it while you can!

  110. spencer - ah, feel a bit daft after realising that it was openly up there on the ciot site anyway. have written sternly worded email, notified ciot, and hope that sorts that out.

    thank you anyway...

  111. There's even a Wiki article about it.


  112. philippa

    Don't feel daft.I'm pretty much a technophobe meself and today was the first and probably last time i'll offer a possible solution to someone's IT ptoblems.Bit like the blind leading the blind:-)

  113. Thanks for that Peter, it was very short lived but violent, I now know why the thunder was so loud, learning through the UT. :)

  114. paul - heheh. after the day i've had, i think it's safest to just move to the sofa to be near the wine and the football.

    'Thundersnow' sounds like the X-man who didn't make the film, to me...

  115. Haha Philippa

    I was thinking of the littlest know member of the Thundercats clan.

  116. Hmmm... wine... I don't usually drink on Sundays and Mondays but it is almost December during which rules may be relaxed...

  117. I just want to boast about my morning. I introduced a new volunteer to a lady who is 90 and has always (I mean from childhood) been a bit wonky. E, had a younger friend who used to help her get about but she went back to live in Ireland.

    And her best friend got dementia some years ago and had to move to residential long since. She can get around with a stick but after a nasty fall last year (on one of our trips) she doesn't like to venture far on her own.

    Anyway, I introduced her to an Ethiopian woman who is free sometimes in weekdays. We took E to a dental appointment and then I left them to it.

    I don't want to jinx it but when I left they were getting on great.

    So I have been feeling quite pleased with myself all day.

  118. "Bloody hell a snowstorm has set off a lightning storm here, I don't think I've ever seen that before"
    Don't be fooled, Jenni, it's a terminator arriving - you should let any Sarah Conner you know.

  119. Don't mind me, I just really don't appreciate the unbiased validity of this woman:

    BBC R4 Today Programme, from Laura Fairrie:

    A clip from her film - Michelle from Barking, saying that immigrants get easier access to benefits, backed up by Oprah style piano music.

    "This film isn't about Barking, it's about the state of the country"
    oh, okay, I guess she'd know all about that.

    "I was walking around on my own carrying my camera in my ruck sack and the bnp were constantly under the threat of a lot of hatred"

  120. habib

    I'm not getting involved in any terminator stuff, that never ends well for bystanders. ;)

  121. Jenni, come with me, if you want to live!

    Just kidding, no fighting, just angry with another Guardian writer who knows only the polite side of life.

  122. Spencer, hate to break it to ya but DivesandLazarus is a bit of a tosser.

  123. habib

    I had a quick look at Cif this morning and saw all the usual tripe, just how many people are they going to get to write about how jolly nice snow is?

    Did I miss something particularly heinous?

  124. Bitterweed, no, you don't say?

    I know, it is sad, I was just hoping he would take the bait so I could tell him to fuck off.

  125. Jenni, I'll try my best to keep you from it, but I will not look into that cold, empty abyss again.

  126. unless someone ses 'ought interestin', 'course. :-)

  127. Whahey! 47 on UC! Don't think I'll be improving on that in a hurry.

  128. The rozzer that killed* Ian Tomlinson is up on a gross misconduct charge. Bless. He might even lose his pension...


  129. Hmmm. Fuck "right" off surely ? Just to convey the requisit trucculence ?


    PS The Wire still rules, so ner. Spence.

    PPS Off for dinner now, so no nonsense. OK ???

  130. "charge"?

    What am I saying? Wishful bloody thinking - gross misconduct disciplinary action

  131. I'm sorry to introduce a little seriousness into this thread but -

    Black cab rapist John Worboys is being sued by some of his victims for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    Worboys, 53, is said to have assets, including four homes, one of them a £650,000 townhouse on the Thames in Rotherhithe, and risks losing everything if the claims are successful.

    More here

  132. Spike, it's a point for a correct answer.

  133. Thanks for the heads up Bitey. That bastard is a proper bastards. I'm not sure I'd approach his assets the way others seem to.

    Back laters people !

  134. I know, habib. 47 correct answers. Up from 30 last week if I remember. I was lucky with the questions.

    That "black cab rapist" needs a hyphen. At least.

  135. A (finally) respectable 35 for me!!

  136. Evening Spencer. Well guess what... the train from Inverness got cancelled, line snowed under etc. So I am staying in a youth hostel right now, a very nice one actually, I always use this same one.

    Missed a day's worth of pieces on Cif, and the news in general. This Wikileaks is really stirring up a lot of shit :)

  137. Oh Shit, all these numbers people are firing off... I missed the Monday night UC. NOOOOOO!

  138. @Charles

    Can't you do it on iPlayer?

  139. I forgot about UC too and I saw a bit of it so I can't even take part on iPlayer.

  140. Nice one, Spike, I won't get anywhere near that, but I'll try anyway in a bit - from i-player - maybe tomorrow if I revise :-)

  141. I was watching Panorama about how corrupt FIFA is, so missed UC.

  142. Charles. Don't want to say I told you so.

    But I told you so.

  143. @dave from france

    Hevers -- time management... but can be fun occasionally, as a treat."

    It can be quite efficient to mess, a lot of the time, especially when there's a little avalanche of the buggers...


    I had a quick look at Cif this morning and saw all the usual tripe, just how many people are they going to get to write about how jolly nice snow is?

    If last year is any guide, give it a while and they'll be complaining that the schools aren't open.

  144. Spike, UC = 14, your 47 is most impressive, nice one!

  145. habib

    Do you think Spike is one of the people who set the UC questions?

  146. Bitey

    Warbuoys' victims certainly deserve compensation, so going after his assets strikes me as the right thing to do.

    Meanwhile, The Daily Mash has got the Wikileaks story nailed.

  147. MsChin, I think I should learn more.
    We don't talk much, do we? I remember you from ages ago.

  148. @habib

    Cheers, I was surprised myself.


    Yep. I spend all the time teaching Paxo to ask questions. I may have overdone it before that Howard interview.

  149. Spike just has a brain the size of a planet. :o)

  150. "Spike just has a brain the size of a planet"
    Make the tea, spike.

  151. habib

    That's 'cos you used to work nights & I work days, so you post after I've tottered off to bed.

    btw, you let me get the 1000th post on a thread some time ago and I have been indebted to you ever since for your chivalry. x


    Is the post from BTH re: Warboys from 'the real BTH'? We seem to have had several incarnations lately, rather confusing.

  152. Open that door Spike. Pick up that piece of paper Spike.

    God I'm depressed.

  153. He can't make the tea, Habib... he's got a terrible pain in the diodes all down his left side...

  154. Prince Andrew rude and cocky? Whoever would have thought it.

  155. Make mine a coffee, please .. I don't do tea.

  156. MsChin, would you like a Double Ristretto Venti Nonfat Organic Chocolate Brownie Frappuccino Extra Hot with Foam and Whipped Cream Upside Down Double

    A tetley tea bag for you, spike?

  157. Funny, how just when you think life can't possibly get any worse it suddenly does.

  158. bloody 'live'box. cut out with 2 minutes to go before half time, then went completely with about 15 minutes to go (about 45 minutes ago) and has only just come back on. this is happening more and more. mice i can cope with, but if i can't listen to radio 4 in the morning (and shoot the breeze with all you nice people), i may crack completely...

    am probably not going to last long on the current connection, so night all! will send a pigeon over if things don't improve...

  159. Life! Loathe it or ignore it, you can't actually like it...

  160. OK, nuff of Spike the Paranoid Android already.

  161. Sorry, did I say something wrong? Pardon me for breathing which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it. Oh God, I'm so depressed.

  162. MsChin said...

    Is the post from BTH re: Warboys from 'the real BTH'? We seem to have had several incarnations lately, rather confusing.

    Only if you don't read my posts carefully, rather than merely trying to impress.

  163. Ha ha ha! I love being around silly people.

  164. PS Shazz, don't feel sorry for him, he's just putting it on.

  165. habib

    "...silly people"

    It's the pompous arses that get me laughing though. :o)

    Bitey, old boy. MsChin neither tries to impress nor needs to. She is normal. And we like her.

  166. It's all right, Habib... my sympathy circuits have all been temporarily disconnected...

  167. habib

    Nah, too posh for me, thanks. I've been polishing my Yorkshire credentials elsewhere, so instant will do nicely.


    Only had time for a quick skim, I'm afraid, rather than an in depth analysis.

  168. Phil

    I feel your pain!

    Only just got round to buying a TNT decoder last August because I kept getting the "upgrade to digital now or your telly will implode and suck half the universe into a black hole" messages scrolling across the middle of the tv screen for two minutes at a time in the middle of anything worth watching. It's good to have more than 4 channels in France now though. Except most of them seem to have american shows on them...

  169. Would you like me to go and stick my head in a bucket of water?

  170. Spike

    No one mentioned waterboarding to my knowledge ... or was it apple bobbing?

  171. hmmm, still here, this can't last.

    only missed one goal though (the fifth) so had a fun evening. ickle pwetty was not a happy man. heheheheheheh.

  172. I'm not getting you down at all, am I?

  173. Nah, MsChin - he just got in touch to wash his head at us...

  174. Right

    Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire for me. Early start tomorrow, and the first 15 minutes of it looks likely to involve de-icing the car...

    NN xx

  175. The first million years, they were the worst.
    The second million years, they were the worst too.
    After that, I went into a decline.

    G'night BB!

  176. Night, guys. And any manically depressed robots. Sleep well.

  177. Shallcross said...

    I know, habib. 47 correct answers. Up from 30 last week if I remember. I was lucky with the questions.

    So how come someone with such a towering intellect ever joined yet alone remained in the PCF for so long? Or could it be that he's been falsifying history for so long he now can't tell the difference between truth and falsehood?

  178. Oh, that's the real BTH. It's hard to tell, they're ten a penny these days. Anyway...

    Fuck off, bitey.

    Night-night, Shaz!

  179. Spike, I will always stand by you. Not just by the words you have said, but the deeds you have done. Good health to you, Sir and a big fuck off to that cunt!

  180. Spike

    One wonders, does one not, why someone with such a towering intellect invests so much time in pointless mind games when they could be playing UT on-line UC?

  181. That's 2 inches of snow fallen in less than half an hour here. The traffic will be murderous getting to work tomorrow, so I'd best be away to me bed.

    NN all.

  182. Cheers habib, MsC!

    Sweet dreams!

  183. G'night all who are to bed,
    You have been fine company
    And well it can be said
    If we were to meet again
    It would be well


  184. Oh and by the way, bitey...

    In English, we say "let alone".

  185. UC 26. Nuff res 2 the Spike massif! (score)

    Knacked from digging snow, more on the way, hurrah!

    Is it the real bitey who planted his old man, contra to his wishes, or a pseudo bitey? I want an air burial, so the birds can pick at my bones. Don't think the council would countenance such a thing...

    NN all.

  186. turm - just sell it as your final contribution to the 'big society'. saves on birdseed. every little counts.

  187. To quote McCloud, I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet.

    Why does it sound so dirty when BW says it? Never sounded dirty when McCloud did.

  188. Was shocked by tonight's C4 Dispatches programme on the treatmnet young asylum seekers get in this country.I know its a contentious issue but it's quite clear that the Home Office is making some unforgiveable mistakes. And the treatment some asylum seekers are getting whilst here falls far short of what is acceptable.

    I've always argued that any cap on immigration to this country must exclude asylum seekers.And that if just one failed asylum seeker is sent back to their own country and suffers as a result then the system has failed. On tonights programmed one of the cases featured was a young Ugandan woman whose asylum claim was turned down and who was returned home .She was subsequently imprisoned and horribly tortured and had the evidence to prove it.She managed to get help to leave Uganda again and get to the UK where she made a new asylum claim.And guess what?The Home Office turned her claim down again despite acknowledging the fact she had been torutred when she had been returned to Uganda before.What the fuck do they think will happen to her if she's returned again?

    It seems that all the young people featured in the programme were suffering from PTSD but the Home Office were determined to send them home.And in most cases these poor people were booked onto flights to be deported only to have the date postponed at the last minute by the intervention of sympathetic solicitors.

    How can anyone let alone youngsters be put through that in this day and age?.Although come to think of it the treatment the very old,very young and very sick receive in this country should be enough to alert us to the underlying inhumanity that exists here.