23 December 2010


Obstacle Jump - Eadweard Muybridge

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
-Helen Keller


  1. I haven't read all of yesterday's thread yet -- I have seen a few random comments/concerns about the possible move. Here are my thoughts right now:

    There is a part of me that is really reluctant to move. It's mostly emotional and probably rather silly, but this is "home" -- it's comfortable. I'm even almost over being angry about the name change. :-)

    Issues as I see them right now:

    Readability. This is an exceptionally readable theme and I haven't yet found one on Wordpress that is as good. The primary issue is font size -- all of the Wordpress themes seem to have much smaller font sizes and I can't figure out any way of making them larger.

    I did find a few themes with clearer definition between comments. The one I've got up right now puts a subtle beige background behind every other post. Downside of the theme is that the font in the sidebar is painfully small. Those of us who don't have the best eyes in the world will have trouble with that.

    Comments The fact that only administrators can delete comments on Wordpress is both a plus and a minus. Most of the time, I would think it would be a minus, as I think most people delete a comment because of a typo or something similarly innocuous. However, I can think of a few instances when I would have been happy about someone not being able to erase the evidence of their hypocrisy or cuntishness.

    The bells and whistles I know that Mishari said that it shouldn't, but all of the embedded videos and animations in the current "Welcome" thread cause the page to be extremely slow for me. I know it's the videos & animations causing it, because I get a little pop-up telling me that the flash plug-in is unresponsive and asking if I want to stop it. If it's doing that for me, it will surely do it for others.

    When the UTers who like to do a lot of YouTubing really get going, it will make things unbearably slow for me & I just won't read the thread. The only way I can see of getting around that would be to have a separate page for the YouTubing & having a courtesy policy of limiting embeds on the main thread to a minimum.

    One big plus to commenting over there is nested replies. I know I often end up trying to scroll up-thread to make sense of something someone has said.

    I'll address a few other things in a separate comment, coming up in just a minute.

  2. Morning. Agree with Montana's points think - font-size would be an issue for me, and I kind of like that youtube linkies here are for opening in a separate window - I do that and then keep reading with the music in the background. And nested replies actually aggravate me a bit - you'd have to keep looking in two (or more) places on the thread to keep up. people are usually pretty good at reffing back when they make a direct response.

    i will endeavour not to change my mind again, but can't promise anything...

  3. Dammit, Janet! I had a fairly lengthy comment going about free speech & democracy on the UT and I somehow managed to delete the first ¾ of it!

    Nutshell version:

    Agree whole-heartedly with Mishari about comments containing the word "quack" repeated ad nauseam and don't feel the slightest bit of compunction at having deleted pretty much all of them. I'm a bit squidgier about anything else, though. As I said above, I haven't read all of yesterday's thread yet, so I don't know the exact nature of the discussion.

    As for how I'll make the final decision: the last time I took the results of one of those polls as an official result, I ended up being the administrator of a blog with a name I absofuckinglutely despise, so the poll is just to give me a sense of the overall mood. Opinions of people who actually comment & contribute matter more to me than those of lurkers who click a button, so do make your feelings known, especially if they're strong one way or another. You can e-mail me if you have anything to say about it that you don't want to say publicly.

    If we do move, everyone who is currently an administrator here will be an administrator over there, unless they no longer want to be for some reason.

  4. @Philippa:

    Take a look at the current theme there and let me know what you think of the font size.

  5. montana - FWiW, agree completely that there's a difference between the 'quack' posts and posts that contain some actual contribution (whatever the merits of it). single word posts, fine - single word repeated 50 times, pointless. and that (as somebody said a day or so ago) the key thing is what is easiest for you to maintain, so agree that the poll should be used to gauge 'mood' rather than being a definitive 'result'.

    on another point - was listening to the football ramble yesterday and they had a youtube of Gourcuff's best bits, soundtracked by Bittersweet Symphony. perfect choice, really - unlike many songs with an 'up down' rhythm (verse choruse verse etc), it has a riff that just keeps going, while being a proper song (unlike the looped riffs used by the TV highlights, for example).

    struggled to think of another song that would have the same success - any suggestions?

  6. @MW:

    Cowpat Junction.

    There you go, I’ve solved your “what the hell do I call it?” conundrum. “The regulars over at Cowpat Junction” has a certain ring to it, I think.


    Thank you young ‘un, I’ve calmed down now – that nice nurse came in and changed the bedsheets. I still think my daughter’s conspiring with the Chinese to take my house off me, but hey! the perils of old age, eh?

  7. Hi Chekhov, have to concur with Montana. There are often great posts here, it would be a shame if people end up not read them at all because of lousy response times - due the amount of tunes vandals like me had stuck on while in full party mode !

    If these embedded objects (videos)have such a negative impact on how it functions, as Montana says, then we may as well stick with this old coal fired approach. Busy with work and all the other stuf, so won't be able to get back into this debate today, so that's my pennys worth.

  8. cheers montana - that font size ok, actually - but, while I like the 'inserts' (heheheheheheh), they do slow the load, and (more annoyingly) make scrolling rather jerky. my 'puter may not have the best resolution in the world but everything started to judder rather a lot.

    the font density in the post comment box is a bit weak - but it's nested replies that would be the biggest prob, think - you could be tracking the end of the thread and not notice that someone was sitting, duming, in a nested reply near the top, waiting to argue with you (hehehehehehe).

  9. Hmm... that is small font. Not sure about the embedded videos, makes threads look a bit funny.

  10. Can you not opt to switch inserts and embedded video off? I know you can on php boards, so would have thought it would be possible on a blog?

  11. odd - font size appears to me to be about the same as here - might I have inadvertently rejiggged settings?

  12. "Agree whole-heartedly with Mishari about comments containing the word "quack" repeated ad nauseam"

    Quack. Quack.

  13. There are obviously pluses and minuses with both formats. Lack of a preview is a pain on WordPress, but I genuinely think that once people have got used to the bells and whistles, they'll be used sparingly. I actually like the embedded YouTube videos and even on a relatively bog-standard broadband connection, it doesn't hold me up too much.

    If MW or Mishari want to open the occasional UT WP page over Xmas, we can get the animation mania out of our systems, the layout and font sizes can be tweaked. As Chekov said, keep this one running and take UT WP for a test drive.

  14. Oh dear. Joseph Harker once again takes a long run up and nukes the shark. Comments are disabled, for some reason. Wonder why that could be?

  15. comments now enabled, peter

    thing is, i can see his point, about the absurdity of over-reaction and stereotyping, but...

    not sure that a cheery swiftian knock-off is quite appropriate in this case.

  16. @PhilippaB:

    “…not sure that a cheery swiftian knock-off is quite appropriate in this case…”

    Thanks for making me aware. I’ve instructed my legal representative Bobby “The Hammer” McCardle to “’ave a word”.

  17. Philippa, he starts with a completely broken premise; that the important thing about the white jihadis is their whiteness rather than their jihadiness. If the security forces and everybody else is suspicious of jihadis whatever their colour, then there seems nothing wrong with that to me.

    Of course, thinking every brown person is a jihadi is obnoxious. But is that really what is happening?

    The rest of his clumsy argument collapses if his premise is wrong.

  18. Mornin' all.
    Has anybody been watching Ian Hislop's programme about Victorian do-gooders? What a bunch of sanctimonious, patronising bastards I thought.

    Turned on radio 4 this morning and there's a woman from A4E talking about helping to "turn families around so that they are fit for work." Apparently some of them have "misused drugs and alcohol".

    I have yet to discover a way of misusing drugs and alcohol, other than by not taking them in large quantities. Anyway, if your gonna work for the man, you need bucket loads of the stuff.

  19. There's a general air of Will-This-Do? amongst the articles on CiF today.

    So no change there then.

  20. "There's a general air of Will-This-Do? "

    You're not wrong, Eddie, been like that a while...

  21. heheh swifty - you know what i meant. incidentally, bru was bemoaning your absence on cif on the last waddya thread. just thought i'd pass that one.

    peterj - it's one of those with a kernel of truth in it (because, as one poster has pointed out, racial profiling is f-ing problematic, and there is a lot of 'tarring with the same brush' in some parts of the media) but it's so slathered in over-extension that it does indeed fall over. bit like when bid writes about ve patriarchy or summat. the whole kills the (one possibly valid) part...

  22. @Philippa

    Yeah, there's a tiny point there. But bloody Harker with his universal black-v-white schtick always annoys me. At least he couldn't make child benefit racist.

  23. I think you got it right first time, philibee.

  24. @RapidEddie:

    I‘m not surprised – the great Gastarbeiter Christmas/New Year exodus has begun, so how’s a poor Graun hack supposed to write meaningful, insightful articles and do that perfect Nigella Christmas we all aspire to, without Slobdova/Gronka/Spotiana/wossername to do the “heavy lifting”? I work on Buckingham Palace Road, in the vicinity of Victoria Coach Station, and every time I nip out for a fag, all I hear is pinched-looking and clearly discontented East European “help” grumbling as they pass through, heading for the ZW197 back to Poznan or Wroclaw, or wherever.

    It’s all “bloody stuck up writing bitch, I rather go home to pick potato…” this, and “stupid dozy big shit bastard with pinchy fingers…” that.

    I’m assuming they’re talking about the fragrant middle-class denizens of North London’s cosier enclaves, and I’d take a sizeable wager that the beautiful basement kitchens of Islington have never been so quiet…

  25. Ooh I like the Harker article, piss taking.

  26. peterj - again reffing bid's colummns, the fact that this article has been written by someone with 'previous' does perhaps have an effect in how it has been received. the difference between reading an article with an open mind (as I do when I don't know of the writer, for example) and having an unconquerable suspicion that this might just be bollocks (viz, McShane, Bid, Glover etc).

    I mean - when I clicked on the Bindel cookery article, I was expecting it to be shite.

    it was only on the second time of reading that i realised i agreed with her.

    (plus, she's come BTL to make jokes about women cooking being an example of the patriarchy - it's like that april fools thread, she actually seems to have a sense of humour. this bewilders me)

    anyway - cheers habib - have again done a 'second read' and yes, not sure of the style, but i do agree with his basic point. there is a racial element to the fear - finding a balance between security and stereotyping / targetting is never going to be easy, course, but the public view, rather than specifically the police action, perhaps, has that element, and pointing that up is worth doing...

    BB often posts news of white extremists (BNP-connected / EDF shitehawks etc) that haven't got press, maybe she has a better developed argument on this one than I can manage...

  27. ...a propos of not very much, did like marcus b's crack on the news quiz last week - "EDF members are so thick that a large number of them thought they were signing up to change their energy supplier"

    childish, but made i laugh...

  28. There is a valid point to be made in the Harker article.Trouble is he didn't go about making it as well as he might.Nothing new there!

  29. Think that's 'EDL' Philippa - might be a tiny petard moment for you there?


  30. Woo hoo, last day of w*rk for 2 weeks!

    Re change to Wordpress: obviously it's Montana's decision, but let me mention that I fucking hate threaded discussions.

    Also Wordpress is available in China, apparently, so that is another big downside.

  31. Jay, I think that, as MF suggested, that there's a sense of identity politics fatigue that's set in. Everyone knows what's likely to pass muster and they're writing to an increasingly dull formula. That a precocious sixth former, Simone Webb, can readily identify the standard elements for CiF success - gender politics, anti-hero, contentious premise - shows just how identikit it's become. As I said before, the younger Ciffers - Biddy, Webb, Penny etc - have it down to a cynical fine art. The right CV, the right noises (patriarchy, er, heteronormative, er, misogynistic) and you have your foot on that first rung of the media ladder.

    Harker's in danger of occupying the old Tanya Gold Purveyor of Ludicrous Tosh slot. He might care to note that Gold's bumptious trilling got so embarrassing that she was eventually locked under the stairs, hidden from polite company. Some fates not even an Oxbridge connection can save you from.

  32. Scene, interior. Lou and Andy are surrounded by lots of big computer servers with flashing lights.

    Lou: “So Andy, are you sure you want embeddable music videos”
    Andy: “Yeah”
    Lou: “And do you really want animated text with Fuck Off Bitey in it?”
    Andy: “Yeah”
    Lou: “What about better HTML rendering, though?”
    Andy: “Yeah”
    Lou: “OK but do you really really really want to get rid of the spamosaur?”
    Andy: “Yeah”
    Lou: “OK then… ta da! Here’s your new Wordpress blog site!”

    Andy: “Don’t like it”

    Merry Christmas everyone, and a peaceful 2011 to one and all.

  33. Threaded discussions ? No thanks - I agree with thauma.

  34. peterj - aye, am totally hoist by that one

    [head desk]

    it was funny, though. really.


  35. Thirded on the anti-thread business.

  36. I've lost the thread many a time.

  37. ...and i regularly tie myself in knots with just the one.

    could try crocheting my arguments, suppose...

  38. Morning all!


    Big thanks for putting my TPT linky up, very much appreciated!!

  39. Re threaded comments,

    They're ok, at first anyways, but if it's like The Indy, there's a maximum amount of threading allowed, before it locks you out.

    I've lost count of the times I've been sat, watching for a comeback, muttering 'Yeah, you've got no answer to that, have you!?', only to see later that they've demolished by argument at the top of the thread.

    Also, on a personal note, for people like me, the system as it is here, at least gives the illusion that I'm a part of any ongoing discussion, and making valuable contributions, whereas 'threading' would probably mean that it's fairly obvious that I'm that annoying 'challenged' kid who stands around at the periphery praying for the ball to accidentally be kicked in his direction so he can join in with the big boys!!

  40. Aw, lets just stay here. I mean, occasionally there really are some posts I'm glad to have the choice to delete.


  41. *demolished my argument*

    (point proven though, I feel.....)

  42. Hang in there JD, I get your drift.

  43. Harker is a clown by the way. His articles are all more or less the same - confused weak argument re single issue (skin colour) clouded even further by poor writing and editing.

    Hence he bacame CiF Deputy Comments Editor I suppose. Perfect man for the job.

  44. Harker is indeed a clown, of that there can be no doubt. I liked this article, though; it was like throwing a dud hand grenade into a room full of eejuts. The ensuing chaos has been fun to read.

  45. Leni/Princess

    Thought you both might be interested in THIS REPORT concerning the way cancer patients-including the terminally ill-are being failed by the Work Capability Assessments.It's content shouldn't surprise either of you but it's stark reading nevertheless.People for instance who've been told they have less than 6 months to live still not being fast tracked into the Support Group.Shameful!

  46. Has anyone heard from Jen recently, btw?

    (give us a wave if you're lurking, please..)

  47. Could someone please rescue my post from the spam folder.Thanks.

  48. On the migration subject, agreed with the first posts from Montana and Philippa. Those of us who don't have the best eyes in the world will have trouble with that. Hehe. Being literally at the end of the line I even have to buffer some Youtubes for listening later, while on 'threading' as long as people reference the time of the ancient post they're answering, anyone else can join in. Also valuable links are not lost down some side-alley.

    Now I've got 48 hours to do the housework before the next generations come to see me. XX

  49. And Bonjour everybody, forgetting my manners!

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Remeber the Wootton Basset outrage a few months back ? No-one with a brain ever thought the proposed "islamist march" was anything other than a rather pointless publicity stunt. It seems from the response, however, that EDL are considerably thicker than Islam4UK. This takes some doing....

  52. moshi moshi, Japanese lurker!!!

  53. The EDL and Islam4UK feed off each other. If one marches and the other doesn't hold a counter-march (or at least threaten to), there's not much of a story. They're the Basil and Sybil of cock-waving politics.

  54. I think I had better offer my wishes of Happy Winterval, congratulations, commiserations, astonishment, shock, awe, stunned silence, sympathies and concerned if slightly distracted noddings of the head before it is too late.

    I expect to be unplugged from reality at some time today and I will have to cope with whatever it is that normally happens behind my back and beyond the peripheries of the screen for a couple of days.

    I am going to be sent into exile in LumpyVerse.

    Just an idle thought:

    1. We complain about A4E and the other commercial operations which pilfer from the public coffers and abuse the poor and unemployed.

    2. Dave wants to offload the responsibilities of the state onto the charity sector and abandon the poor and sick to the helping hand of Lady Bountiful LLC of the Cayman Islands.

    Why don't we set up a charity to rescue the poor and sick from the grasping clutches of Emma Harrison and A4E and all the other exploitative and incompetent ersatz businesses which only exist to pilfer taxpayers' money from the state?


    PS According to The Telegraph, most LibDems think Dave 1 is a lying cunt and Osborne is a little shitbag.

    Not quite enough to feel too soiled to want to get into bed with them, though, apparently.

    Nice people to do business with, obviously.

  55. Atoms,

    "Why don't we set up a charity to rescue the poor and sick from the grasping clutches of Emma Harrison and A4E and all the other exploitative and incompetent ersatz businesses which only exist to pilfer taxpayers' money from the state?"

    I've asked Pater Festivus for a crossbow this year!

    Watch this space....

  56. James

    Oi! Be careful with that! You'll have someone's eye out!

    [In loco parentis]

  57. Rescued Paul's post and one from Shiloh.

  58. They're the Basil and Sybil of cock-waving politics.

    Thanks, very colourful

  59. But what's most likely to have someone's eye out, crossbowing or cock-waving.

    There's only way to find out.....

  60. James

    ....or cock-waving.

    Cock waving?....At Christmas?...Whatever next?...Fanny Flashing no doubt! We are becoming a truly godless society!


  61. www.theoi.com/Gallery/F11.1.html

    For James

  62. Paul,

    is it not a Christmas tradition in everyone else's house, then??



    Haha - I am gobsmacked!! From you Leni, of all people.......


  63. Julie Bindel could have a regular thread each day on CiF, about 11.00 am. Could call it Woman Sour.

  64. She could start off by evaluating Leni's painting.

    Jesus, he'll have the buffet over !

  65. Agree with Thauma about threads, I'd be sure to miss something.

    Also small font size really is an issue for those of us with poor eyesight.

    I have to use magnifier on here, but that would make the embedded videos a problem,

    Also as someone who has only just upgraded to new laptop, I can remember the probs I had with long threads on Cif with my old PC. Would hate anyone on here with an older/less powerful machine to suffer any disadvantage. Be good if you could opt not to display embedded vids (like you can opt not to see pictures on some sites)

    OTOH, if wordpress is easier for Montana...

    She is the one who does pretty much all of the work.

  66. Benitez is out on his arse from Inter. Still, it was a bold ploy. Get a team that's just won Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Champions League, take them to 7th in the table and then demand tens of millions for new players. So the problem's not that you're just a bit shite then, Rafa?

  67. James

    there seems to be a concensus here which sees ma as some sort of latterday Welsh chapel hugging prissy little woman who faints at the thought of sex, booze, drugs or other naughtiness.

    I shall sulk for the rest of the day - and light a candle to pray for the betterment of your soul- or whatever it is we miserable sods do.

  68. Easy now Eddie, look what he acheived for Liverpool...

  69. Well, Leni, I don't think that's true, per se.

    That said, however, I didn't expect to see that when I opened the link!!!


  70. MF, PeterJ, which pub did we say again?

  71. Apologies if anyone's mentioned this - but it seems that justice may have been done with regard to the police officer filmed dragging a woman across the floor and throwing her into a cell. Although cleared of criminal charges, he's been sacked by Wiltshire police.

  72. Had a chuckle with that BW, and I don't follow footie (much)

    Anyway - this song just popped into my head

    Sorry Habib - I know it's early, but got to have a christmassy track !!!! NOT !!

    9 mins to put on in the background - Marvin Gaye "What's Going On / What's Happening Brother"

  73. Hi all. Am feeling slightly less crap so I'm going to do some shopping while I can and perhaps drive back to Paris tomorrow if all's well. I miss central heating and the big sofa.

    On the WordPress business, when we had "I see things that never were", I had to be invited to join. Was that a deliberate choice? Would people be able to just turn up on the new blog, lurk and post one-off comments?

    The only thing that's really a problem here AFAIC is the spam monster guzzling posts.


    As you've covered the cock waving, this caused quite a scandal when first shown.

  74. @Jay

    The last I saw it was the Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Street. Sorry I won't be with you.

  75. Thats the one...

  76. Leni

    I,ve certainly never viewed you as being the Mary Whitehouse of the UT. However even if people did see you that way you could still use that to your advantage.For instance if you told someone to fuck off if would have a lot more impact coming from you than it would from someone who says it all the time.

    Right you'll have to excuse me cos it's time for afternoon prayers.


  77. Who's the regular lurker from Brazil? Can't be Ronnie Biggs. If it's Pele, sorry to hear about your erectile dysfunction, mate. Every striker goes through a dry spell.

  78. A touch better, thanks, Shaz. I'm just about to venture out to the supermarket to get some food for Christmas. And something nice to drink. I don't think I'll be eating and drinking much, so it might as well be quality.

  79. One more thing!


    Here's an early contribution to your Music Hour

  80. Eddie James is our Brazilian correspondent.

  81. Yeah, Eddie, it's me.

    I'll pass on your joke to Pele next time I'm up the clinic though.....

  82. A42 & UT's with poor eyesight - Internet Explorer and Chrome have in the tools facility a magnifier to increase font readability/size. I imagine the others will have one too if you can locate it

    You can increase in increments up to 300-400%...... you obviously have to do more scrolling but hey.... finger exercise is no bad thing at our time of life

  83. Hello people.

    Now released from work for the rest of the holiday - yay!


    I'm not fussed about migrating to Wordpress - agree with you & others that font size is a problem, and anne has a point about operating speed for people with older puters.

    And I don't like the current name (UT) either!

  84. I like both the UT name and the current system - which is why I voted against the move.

    Glad your finished for the break Chin hope it is fun.

  85. deano

    Cheers, m'dear, but it will more likely just be boring!

  86. hurrah! no more office until the new year (unless something breaks). mild email checking only. thank fuck for that.

    anyway - due to complex complications, i will be entertaining meself tomorrow night so if anyone else is around for a christmas eve special...we could wear hats.

    think jen's with her sister and kids at the minute? if she's lurking...[waves]

    I usually manage to inadvertently change font size on IE by scrolling up while holding down the ctrl key. if that helps anyone else troubled by eyes.

  87. I'm troubled by eyes!!

    They just seem to stare at you, innit!?

  88. Well, that's just brilliant!!

    done the ctrl scroll thing, you know, just to have a go like, and now I can't see anything!!

    How do I reset?

  89. Merry Christmas to jen and others who are absent from here over the holiday.


  90. I just use ctrl + to increase the size of the text. Or cmd + on a Mac.

  91. Oh. My. God.

    Have just been to Sainsbury's.

    The experience has made me take 2 Solpadeine Max and start on the wine.

  92. I'm just off to brave the supermarket in a minute.

    Don't have a good feeling about it!!

  93. Oh dear. Sheridan convicted of perjury. Shouldn't that be pervery ?

  94. James - don't do it. Just fucking don't. It ain't worth it!

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. I agree Thaum, but if I don't, it's going to be a Christmas feast of gherkins and whatever that limp thing at the very back of the vegetable draw is.....

  97. James - whatever it is, it isn't Leni's. ;-)

    Perhaps it won't be as mad in Brazil?

    Think part of the problem was that the shelves were practically empty due to delivery problems, so there was hysteria.

    Am calming down now - drugs are very effective!

  98. thauma

    Listening to Radio 4 @ John Lewis on Oxford Street, they say that 5.15pm on the day before Xmas is the peak shopping minute.

    Far better to be at home ...

  99. As a general rule, Thaum, Brazil operates at a madness factor of about 14.67 times that of the UK.

    And whereas normally the lack of snow here might mitigate, we've had flooding issues in Sao Paulo instead, so that'll probably equal it all out!!

  100. Oh god - have to go into town tomorrow to do more. Must try to get out early!

  101. Shucks, Waddya has closed until Monday.

    What will we do for entertainment without it?

  102. James - my sympathies!

    I'm just a simple country girl. I don't like madness.

  103. Waddya has closed until Monday.

    Stand by for invasion! Man the womanboats!

  104. OK, can't procrastinate any longer.....gotta do this shit!!

    If, for any reason, I don't make it back, you all have yourselves a merry little Christmas!!

  105. erm, that seems a bit 'barky' in bold!!

    Apologies for that!!

  106. Shucks, Waddya has closed until Monday.

    Yes, isn't there a danger that the world will wobble from its axis and life as we know it will come to an end if the Dribbly fix is withdrawn for this amount of time?

    JezzaBella says:

    Sorry if I have missed any e-mails, I have been quite sick - but I'll reply to you when I get back.

    That's MacaroniInEmbolism well and truly fucked over Winterval, then.

  107. @MsChin

    Might be an opportunity for the various factions to sort out their differences if certain waddya stalwarts come over here.'Tis the season of goodwill to all wo/men after all.I'm happy to supply the mulled wine,mince pies and spliffs if someone else can rustle up some festive sarnies.

  108. what? shut waddya with not notice? i was waiting for the commenter groupings to descend to judean people's front level and we were all back to being individuals again.


  109. Fret not, people, there will be an open thread substituting for Waddya.

    Not sure how that works - why not just keep Waddya open?

  110. Back from Auchan with provisions for the weekend. Auchan was extremely horrible with hundred-trolley tailbacks. I took my neighbour who was happy to get a lift. She and her son have invited me round for a drink in a while and being sociable, I've accepted, although what I actually want to do is slump on the disappointingly cramped sofa here with a blanket over me and drink something numbing in front of the telly.

    You're on your own, Phil? That makes two of us. If I have an appetite, I've decided to have a lamb madras. Christmassy, eh? I also have 12 crackers to pull with myself. Still, perhaps some mates will come and bring me grapes on the 25th.

  111. Son turned up unexpectedly on doorstep this morning, having nabbed himself a standby flight last night - none the worse for having been put up in the Long Island Hilton at BA's expense for four days... he may be sorry when he remembers how bad my cooking is, but it's good to have him home!

  112. hurrah for shaz and shaz's offspring!

    ooh, that's a christmas moment right there.

    spike - mmmmmmm. am additionally narked that won't taste proper curry for another three weeks. had things gone according to plan, would have managed that and fishnchips already. i imagine i will be having a christmas picnic made up of stores in fridge.

  113. @Shaz

    Brilliant! That must be a relief.

  114. Great news Shaz - have a very happy family Christmas. Spoil him and he will overlook your cooking.

  115. @Shaz

    The thing to do is give your son a few drinks before you eat.Then everything will taste fine no matter how bad a cook you are.

  116. Thanks, guys - good wishes much appreciated. Christmas tree now up and decorated, house resembling bombsite (some work to do there tomorrow!) both children off down the pub (separately) - situation normal! :o)

  117. Shaz - that's great!

    Spike - are you back at home, or stuck somewhere en route?

  118. This was left on the WP blog:

    Holly Daze
    23/12/2010 at 6:10 PM

    Just to say that Eddie Gilfoyle was released from prison on Wednesday night but has been gagged from talking to the press about the case.

    It is worrying the courts make this sort of decision. Maybe not as wide ranging as a ‘super injunction’ but still as damaging to the right to freedom of speech.

    Blogger does not allow me to post and Wtfdywtta is closed for Xmas so am parking this here in the hope someone picks up on it.

  119. Well, that was relatively painless.

    Only had to poke one fucker in the eye too!!

    Wahey for Shaz's son!!

    It's a goddam Christmas miracle!!

    God bless us, every one!!

  120. I'm still in Dieppe, thaum. I have a fairly basic house here which I'm slowly doing up for my dotage. If I and the weather are up to it tomorrow, I'll head back to Paris, where I have luxuries like central heating, which is nice when you're ill.

    As I've suggested before, when the weather gets finer, perhaps some of you would like to come over for a weekend in Dieppe. I only have 2 bedrooms and a living room, but there's plenty of space for putting out mattresses on floors if people don't mind roughing it a bit. For those with the cash, there are plenty of local gites. Lovely countryside in the area.

  121. Well done, James!

    Spike - sounds great. Note to self - renew passport!

  122. Spike - You should have soldier'd on and crossed la Manche. At worst you would have received an invite up to the Midlands for Xmas day, and been content within the folds of fellow swine flu sufferers.

    News reported 27 have died so far from swine flu. I think I may be the 28th.. if this hacking cough doesn't abate soon.... Coughing me bloody lungs up...

  123. Right - off to sing carols in rain in Market Square. Back later...

  124. Oooooh carols!!


    Have fun!!

  125. Spike - a few days in Dieppe sounds fantastic! You may regret that offer....

  126. tascia/spike

    If you've got a chest cough a couple of glasses of port can help sort it out.Or at least make you feel better.Seriously!

  127. Fuck it!!

    I'm putting this one out there!!

    (You lot might be sick of Christmas Songs, but I've hardly heard any....)

  128. The overall mood that I'm sensing today is that most of the regulars who have strong feeling feelings one way or another prefer to stay here.

    On the "whatever's easiest for Montana" front -- staying is probably easiest, simply because I've been using Blogger for nearly two years now, so I pretty much know the ins and outs, but I don't think it would take me too long to feel like I knew my way around Wordpress, either.

    The only real sources of irritation for me on Blogger are the spam folder & posting problems that others have had. I fear that we have lost Moonwave from frustration with the Spam folder.

    I know that Monkeyfish had problems for quite awhile with simply not having a comment box. I can't, for the life of me, understand why/how that happens for one person for an extended period of time and others never at all. That would almost seem to be an issue with that person's settings rather than Blogger, but I'm not exactly a tech expert, so who am I to say?

    The only technical issue I have with any frequency is getting a page from Google that says the requested URL was too large after I've hit the "Post Comment" button. Hit the "back" button on your browser, refresh the page and voila! comment has actually posted, so no big deal with that one, really.

  129. Oh, and I'm really happy to know that I'm not the only person who hates the fucking name. I just might take up Swifty's suggestion and change it to Cowpat Junction. Or the Cowpat Junction Herald-Tribune or Clarion or Gazette or some other typical small-town USA newspaper name.

    Bitter -- moi?

  130. Montana

    (Thanks for linky on t'right for TPT))

    I sometimes lose the comment box, but I think that's probably because my ISP's a big robbing bastard, and because high-speed internet's a thing of the very distant future here.

    Sometimes if you turn javascript off by accident, it does the same thing too, at least on mac based stuff anyway!

  131. Nice one Paul!!

    *wipes tear from eye*

  132. And while Montana's about....

    This had me WTFing away when I was searching Xmassy stuff on youtube......

    Have a Neo-con Christmas, Y'all.....


  133. Right, I'm done!!

    You can all come out again now....

  134. EL&P always seemed a tad pretentious for my taste, but if Greg Lake wasn't getting laid multiple times a day back in those days, it could only have been because he was actively turning them away.

  135. But who was hotter, Greg Lake in his younger days, or James Taylor!?

    Or is that just me??

  136. montana - it took me ages to work out that I could get round that 'error message' thing with the back button! that's my main problem - i don't think i've ever been spamboxed (tempts fate) - i sign in using a yahoo email, could that make a difference?

    spike - the news is showing chaos on autoroute 4, people stuck for hours, emergency services all over the place...if you travel tomorrow, be careful, pet.

  137. @Montana

    Obviously up to you but if you do change the name of this place could a reference to your home town in the new name have possible security/privacy implications?

  138. Shit like that "12 Days of Winter" thing make me want to rip a new one for the arseholes who come up with it.

    The notion that Christians are in any way, shape or form "persecuted" or discriminated against in this country is fucking laughable. They're just a bunch of whiney-arsed, hate-filled, hypocritical bullies.

  139. "The notion that Christians are in any way, shape or form "persecuted" or discriminated against in this country is fucking laughable. They're just a bunch of whiney-arsed, hate-filled, hypocritical bullies."

    Amen to that!!


  140. Ha,James beat me to it with the bestest Christmas song ever if only for the genius of slotting this line slap in the middle:

    "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, happy Christmas your arse I pray God it's our last"


  141. Consequences rather than implications.

  142. Greg Lake, James. Definitely Greg Lake.

    Cowpat Junction isn't the actual name of my town, Paul. Perhaps Cowpat is too much of an Americanism? Meadow muffin? Pasture pie? I guess I always assumed people knew what it was.

  143. I absolutely love the song, Chekhov, and it shouldn't work, what with it being so bitter and angry, but it just does!!

  144. Evening, chaps (and chappesses...and others).

    Swifty, I understand, honest. You might want to consider the route I took, vis., having regular injections of gorilla-hormonal extract.

    It's made me a new man, albeit a rather sweatier, hairier and, it has to be said, smellier man. You should see me swinging through the trees in pursuit of the fruity young woman from the agency...care in the community, indeed.

    As for the wordpress/blogspot thing, I would have thought it was worth it to be shot of the spamosaur alone. And you can turn off embedding (although, I don't get it--I experience no real lag in page-loading on my standard broadband connection). Threading can be turned on or off or tweaked to taste.

    EL&P were a bit over-the-top but at least they had a bit of imagination. Beat the fuck out of bands like Foghat, Edgar Broughton and such-like guitar-wallopers trying to squeeze just one more nano-particle of juice out of yer standard 3-chord, 12-bar boogie-shuffle-blues...

    ...but whateva...duh...like I care...they said my mustard wasn't English...snigger...I don't expect you to understand because you're so dim and I'm so clever...going shopping..maybe later.

  145. Fair enough, Montana, I appreciate that James T is probably a niche market!!

    But, you've got to say this about him, the man sure as shit knows how to choose knitwear........

  146. I guess I always assumed people knew what it was.

    Why so Montana?Nothing especially American about Cowpat etc.Now if you'd mentioned Blueberry Brownies you might have been on to something!

  147. The hands-down winner of 70s scrumptiousness has to be Roger, however.

  148. He was in a CSI I watched the other day, which was, I guess, sort of meta, what with him doing the theme tune and that!!

  149. Brr. Cold and soggy here.

    70s (or general) scrumptiousness? Brian- gorgeous hands...

    + 1 on Cowpat Junction, btw.

  150. Ah, well, if it's looking good in knitwear that you want, James -- Tezza does it for me.

  151. Hahah - Pan's people.

    (According to my Mum, they were the only reason my Grandad let her watch TOTP when she was young!!

  152. Holy shit Montana,

    That's like a greatest hits parade of all the Christmas presents (87-93) from my Great Aunt Nellie!!

  153. Clegg is convinced that the public will respect the coalition less if Lib Dem ministers are either moaning, highlighting friction or lording it over their partners.--The Groan, today

    Respect the coalition less? Remind me--what's less than nothing?

  154. Mods

    Well, obviously, for those of us living in reality-land, that seems ludicrous, but from Nick Clegg's office on the seven and a half floor of Tory HQ, not so much!

  155. My dear young friends

    I am happy to tell you that I am full recovered from my fall and am now well-placed to take full advantage of the "festive season". As is traditional we will be having Turkey for the main meal (Mrs Selfmade thought about Albania but older - it is not for me to say wiser - counsels prevailed). Regrettably, Christmas lunch will have to be taken in the company of the fruit of my over-active loins. Miss selfmade has threatened to bring her "partner" (I assume this means she has abandoned her artistic pretensions in favour of a career in the legal profession), whilst Master selfmade will no doubt sieze upon the seasonal weather to reprise the ice-skating act which so nearly won him a runner-up slot at the Commonwealth Games, now more years ago than I care to remember. He is an unappealing fellow (favouring his mother, I'm told), spending most of his time sewing sequins onto his disco pumps. I don't think I need spell out what this presages.

    As I hang out the Christams stockings I cannot help but recall Miss Meerkat and Mrs BB whose stockings have figured so largely (yet daintily) in my life this year. Of my life coach, the man Bracken, I will say nothing, surely the best policy since, unexpectedly, the fellow has turned out to be an egomaniac of the worst sort.

    Whilst it is not in my nature to be boastful, I imagine that it has been a revelation for you to receive my instruction (the fruit of long service in hard stations in the import-export game) and I would like to assure you that come the New Year I will be writing you more letters from my Weston-super-Mare fastness.

    Of course you are all welcome to visit should you be in the area. Mrs Selfmade can be prevailed upon to heat up some mince pies (and even a few sprouts) whilst I stand ready to regale you with stories from my business career, so there would be something for everyone, even the most intellectual. Best, though, to drop me a line first. I wouldn't want you to have to endure one of Master selfmade's 'guitar solos'; and Mrs selfmade always appreciates some warning before taking an unexpected guest into her most intimate regions. Otherwise, it's 'open house' chez nous!

    Season's Greetings!


  156. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmbT5XC-q0
    If she'd played her cards right, Karen Carpenter could have had me for a bag of mintoes!

  157. @Shaz

    Yes, Brian was lovely. Roger has aged better, though.


    That's too effing funny! I'd rather dance to this. It's almost 70s. (I will resist making any jokes about wanting Louis to slap my base...)

  158. Hello peeps... sorry for being a misanthropic miserabalist of late...... looks like I;ve been missing some F.U.N on the UT.

    See that fucking dipstick quacker still thinks he's funny (saw one of his Turd Launching pathetic posts on CiF yesterday or the day beBORE..... yaaaaaaaawwwnnnnnn)

    Montana.... I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't 'move' the UT.... only 'cos if it ain't that broke, no need to fix it (too much) and knowing me and my pitiful inability to change to new fings.... I'd lose you all and never get you all back or something along those lines - it would make me sad :(

  159. Suzi Q anyone?


  160. Starting the 70s? Here's Roger for the ladies and Madeline for the gentlemen.

    Madeline fuelled my teenage dreams in endless Hammer horror films.

    The Roger's more Rapid than Montana, though.

  161. Recently, the National Pork Board issued a "cease and desist" warning to ThinkGeek, a Geeknet company and the premier retailer for the global geek community, regarding its April 1 product launch of canned unicorn meat.

    "It was never our intention to cause a national crisis and misguide American citizens regarding the differences between the pig and the unicorn," said Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet. "In fact, ThinkGeek's canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red, and not approved by any government entity."

    "Ironically, other than the Pork Board, we do more than anybody else to promote pig consumption among geeks," Kauffman said. Constantly working to encourage a "passion for pork", ThinkGeek offers more than 15 different pork-inspired products including: Bacon Soap, Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Mints, MMMMVelopes (bacon-flavored envelopes) and BaconPop Flavored Popcorn.

    Read the full story HERE. Lawyers...dontcha love 'em?

  162. Get in - The Snowman's on youtube!!

    That's my evening sorted!

    Evening LaRit!!


  163. @Montana

    Classy track that but my favourite from the Brothers Johnson is THIS.


  164. Right, off to open a bottle of Côtes du Rhône and microwave my individual cottage pie (to be drowned in HP sauce).

  165. Evenin' Mr Dixon! ;) *waves*

    In the words of that wonderful Australian film.... Strictly Ballroom... "a life lived in fear is a life half-lived"......the fear got the better of me for a wee while but am back in the room!

  166. I love that one, too, Paul. Wouldn't mind having some of whatever the guy was on when he wrote that song.

  167. Spike:

    Sounds like an evening of comfort... go easy on the HP though.... you'll find one too many toffs with dinner jackets on in the mix ;)

  168. Right, off to start my own mammoth* cooking session.

    Have a good evening folks!!

    *as in relatively large, not an actual mammoth, obviously!!

  169. OK - I know it's selfish, but am parking my comment on 'ere because the Mods will delete me again before too long...


    I knew it... calling Dame Shirl deef,domb,bloind and schtoopid all in one sentence was just too much for the Mods!

    It's clear most of the media misunderstands the nature of coalition.

    One sentence, Shirley Williams, is all it takes to reveal you for who you really are. If most of the media misunderstands the nature of the coalition then you are, by default, implying that we, the great unwashed, unenlightened masses, are fucking morons.

    I get deleted and yet Dame Shirley, in one sentence calls the entire electorate and media thick and stupid because we 'don't understand' the Coalition Coup d'Etat?

    It really isn't on if you ask me

  170. I had this pegged in the 70's but it's actually 1969!
    Anyway it's worth a watch if only 'coz it was banned!


  171. How dare you say nasty things about Dame Shirley. I suspect you're a lower-class person and you simply don't appreciate Dame Shirley's flexibility. Honestly, that woman is a marvel.

    Anyone who saw her on Question Time blaming Salman Rushdie for instigating the Khomeini fatwa (quite right, too) will appreciate Dame Shirley's ability to think outside the box...or is it 'think with her box'?

    I don't know--these vulgar expressions all sound the same to me but as the charming Nick Clegg told me over drinks, "Mods, old boy, one simply has to play at being a common person if one is to be elected. Nobody expects you to believe any of that 'fair and equal' guff'.

    You just hate Dame 'Don't Call Me' Shirley because she's wise and kind and clever and beautiful and has a perfectly charming house in Tuscany.

  172. MRYW:

    Awwww.. spoilsport... is Dame Shirley the same as Dame Shirley PORTER? One does wonder......

    Shirley Williams and Clegg:
    One stinking hypocrite defending one two-faced liar

    Thanks and hats off to GraGraGra ;)

    Nice eh? It'll get deleted too.

  173. Thank you Paul - Have acquired a bottle of DOW's Trademark. (cheapeast I could find).

    I would to hear like Mr SelfMade's view on this as both a cough remedy, and the quality of the port, as I do respect his opinion on such matters.

    Anyway coughing is reducing in intensity. I do fear I may get a little inebriated though !

  174. I think after "I would to hear like" the inebriation has already taken affect !!!

  175. Hi LaRit *Waves*

    U trying to intentionally get banned before the New Year.. HeHe .

  176. Tascia *waves back - loudly!*

    I'm skirting around the bounds of decency! With a Cheryl Kehl *twinkle* hehehehehe...

    Hope you feeling better.... you finally got the evil lurgy eh?

  177. Seasons Greetings from Yorkshire to Mr. Selfmade.

    I shall look forward to reading your correspondence on here, your intellectual stimulation will be most welcome in the dark times ahead.

  178. From a noobs point of view... I really don't mind here at all, and WP has some good points but.... I am only here for the quality of the posts - they make damn good reading. So while I don't think I've yet earned a vote, mine would go with whatever is easiest to manage!

    We've been doing small person centric things all day, so to come home this evening and find WADDYA being shut had me and Meerkatjie in stiches! At least nobody has a meltdown over the hols on WADDYA, yet there was a part of me seeing that as a potential present, am I such a bad person for that?

  179. It's shit LaRit - Just when you think you've got over it, you either get subjected to another infection from another source - or it re-manifest's itself. Loads of people coughin and splutterin in work last week... Bastardos !!

    Mind you this port is doing wonders.. nearly as cheap as night nurse..

    Which reminds me.. Gregory RIP

  180. Ah Tim - Methinks MarvinInEurasia was heading for one, and it was only his first day back !!

    Damn shame we gonna miss that. It was almost like a Xmas special in the making !

  181. Tim

    There'll be meltdowns & drunken spats round here, no doubt.


    This self-medicating with port thing is effective then?

  182. Bought one of these for a small person. Big hit with the grownups when we erm, tested it, like ...

  183. MsChin - It was Paul's idea. I relinquish all blame. But it is working.. I can even smoke without it bothering me too much.

    Talking about that... Bob - Easy Skanking

  184. Hello "timboktutu"; I can't speak for everyone else but I don't see any reason why yourself and "Meerkatjie" shouldn't have a vote.
    Anyway I don't think the vote will decide it.

    It's "Montana's" site so she gets to make the ultimate decision as far as I'm concerned.

  185. For everyone.. a pome I discovered today... (I'm sure Dott will like this too)

    My Wolf

    tells me that he's a little bit of the wild,
    imperfectly tamed. Also, he reminds me,
    there's more to life than cooking and safe poems.

    In the supermarket he pad-pads the aisles
    beside me, tongue lolling out, panting
    gently. Suppose the old biddies could see him?
    There'd be panic, chaos, police, guns,
    headlines in the local press. Hell, we might even make
    the nationals! WOLF SHOT IN SAFEWAY:
    WOMAN ARRESTED. My wolf growls.

    The reek of storms rides on his pelt.
    This is what I need, I think, his dangerous
    north. Together we snuff pines and snow,
    peer for the grey shapes slinking in the white.
    Sometimes he howls, and then I remember
    not to be predictable. Yes, now, he says:
    astonish the children; frighten your husband;
    surprise yourself most of all.
    Write poems with teeth.

    by Joanna Boulter.

    (I love this pome!)

  186. MsChin - awesome bit of kit. Will it... er...make it to the small person? :o)