31 May, 2006
...how did I forget to post this litho from Laughton...! It's hilarious...did a double take when I saw it...! You can give it a click for a bigger version, but it reads -
"Your number 2 business
Is our number 1 business
You make UM
We break UM
Who U gonna call
..."Always in the shit, Only the depth varies"
30 May, 2006
Sum it up in one word? MUD...
Sloshing around before the public arrives gives you an interesting perspective on the scale of the preparations that take place, here you see the "Super Swirl" undergoing maintainance before it is powered up and released on an unsuspecting public (who thought they would be able to keep their cider and home make cakes inside their stomach until they got home)...
This one was taken quite early on the Friday, when the posh 4x4's could still move around... ;)
- and a couple of shots of the tanks that really started the mud manufacturing process, this one was dubbed "HMS Unfloatable" which seemed fitting -
- "If in doubt - Brew up" stencil on the side -
Tracks certainly seemed to be the best way to get around the site this time -
- anything without them, or tractor-shaped seemed to get rather bogged down (ironically this lot were from the "POWER PULLING ASSOCIATION" (the "Motor Sport for Mad Men") who, inside the stuck truck, had huge tractors capable of pulling in excess of 20 tons...
This is the vehicle that holds the "Undertaker", which is the funny looking contraption they try and pull along (looks a bit like a metal coffin on a ramp made out of an old JCB)...
Meaty little things, one of them sports a 1400hp engine! Regardless, they are *all* extremely loud, and we were pitched right next door...bah...
On to the beer tent, where for the first time at Laughton we had a festival of ale (on a fairly small scale (if you have ever been to Ardingly then you would laugh your head off), but it was popular, so I guess it will be bigger next time)
(and some of the Barrels, macro style)...
An owl from the raptor display being shown off at close range to the crowd...
...and not far away we found Chilli Pepper Pete...I told the guy on the stall that he nearly killed me with the stuff I bought from him last time...and then promptly bought a load more... ;)
The Battle Cider folks...who didn't seem to really know what barrel contained which cider...not very impressive... ;) Great stuff again this year though (once they got their act together)...
The "Wall of Death"...!
No kidding, this was probably the best £3 I ever spent...Look mum, no hands!
...Look mum, no feet either...!!
The hail, after the storm...
And, joy of joys, we watched traction engines towing modern trucks out of the mud...cos they still seemed to be able to cope...awesome thing to see... ;)
The 4x4 playpen where the not-so-posh four wheel drive vehicles showed that the predominantly road car-style vehicles can basically forget it...brilliant stuff... ;)
The full Flickr stream is here (if you like this kind of thing)...
29 May, 2006
(I'm trying to think of something funny involving the words "dirty weekend" and coming unstuck, so I must be tired... ;)
We have had Pizza hut pizza for tea (being a bit too tired to cook), Veggie Supreme for Flyingpops and a regular Supreme for me...but I *have* managed to find the energy to upload the high res pics, you can find the flickr stream here...I'll post a few of them on here later with some comments for those of a more patient disposition... ;)
Hope I can make it into work tomorrow with my ankle...No POWERGELl! Meep...! :(
Well, not suprisingly that wasn't the only severe downpour of the day, the other re-soaked our tent just as we were about to pack it up and got rid of the last few visitors...so we gave up and went to have some chips and a pint in the beer tent...ironically the sun is blazing now, we are pretty much packed and are watching the tractors pulling the trucks back through the mud to the entrance. Wonder if we will require similar assistance? ;)
Oh well, guess that's the end of the show then! A massive hail storm (about half an inch!) preceded and followed by heavy rain, thunder and lightning...and the soundtrack to it all - the massive fairground organ in the background blaring out 'Blue Moon' followed, ironically, by 'Oh dear, what can the matter be'...
Just finished making and eating my fry up for breakfast (yum) after a thoroughly enjoyable but rather late night session with Flyingpops' folks and the foot saviour who wishes to be known as 'Vodqueen', which ended up in the seating section of our tent in the early hours of the morning... ;)
The weather today really can't seem to make up it's mind, awoke to rain first thing, and now it's really sunny, just hoping we can pack up dry later on...anyway, on with the show! ;)
28 May, 2006
Yep, the lead singer of tonight's tribute band looks rather spookily like the Hillbilly-Horror from LOST...They didn't dare come on until we were at least a little drunk though...so not too sure of their skills... ;) Oh, and we saw the 'Wall of Death' - Best three quid I ever spent...pics later! Sorry I can't reply to ANY comments in the field, it just mucks up on my phone, will post intelligently when i'm home...perhaps... ;)
No mucking about - an hour after I put this stuff on my foot I hopped up and walked between the camper vans (without even realising I had done so) forgetting the walking stick (to astonished comments from companions)...! It's like a new ankle in a tube..! Admittedly it's prescription only (and admittedly not exactly *my* prescription), but you can take it from me - ketoprofen 0wnz ibroprofen... ;)
Well got my cider (and some mead), a home made steak pie and a whole load of stuff from 'Chilli Pepper Pete' (peri peri oil and seasoning, some jamaican jerk, mexican oregano and a really tasty chipotle bbq sauce), watched the F1, which was awesome, and now lazing in the sun doing some sodoko and eating olives...nice, this is how it should be...loads of visitors today, car park is completely full! ;)
...*and* my ankle is much improved! Might even make it on a little walk today, the decidedly evil, but somehow irresistable 'Chilli Pepper Pete' is here by all accounts, as is 'Battle Cider'...can't wait! How cruel to be so near and not be able to see it all!
27 May, 2006
Foot doing much better with sufficient meds, watched the F1 qualifying and Doctor Who on the tiny TV while I rested my ankle and then, with Flyingpops' help managed to get up here for the live band and beer festival, drinking a beer with the slightly odd name of 'Butcome Bitter' but it tastes rather good...new attraction this year - Wall of Death - in the fairground! Will check that out, definitely! ;)
Sprained my ankle, pretty badly, was so painful I had real trouble sleeping and can't stagger more than about two meters without total agony...mud and wellington boots are completely out of the question, so i'm stranded in the tent... :( Still, there's been no further rain at least, thank heaven for small mercies...oh and Flyingpops' mum found me some neurofen on one of the stalls, so fingers crossed I might be able to hobble up to the beer tent later... :(
26 May, 2006
Whoops, mucked up that last posting and I can't fix it from here without a wifi hotspot...nah...I don't think so either... ;)
(Update - fixed now!)
Anyway, got the beer in the fridge, which is chilling nicely, and - oh my goodness(!!) - the sun has just this *very* second come out!!! :) Woo hoo!!
Found the culprit... ;) Things are getting seriously busy now, there is a constant stream of large vehicles pouring onto the site and getting stuck in the mud, the new road is only half finished so tractors (being quite immune) are being recruited from all over to slide (literally in some cases) or drag person, exhibit/vehicle and caravan into place through the quagmire...still, on the bright side we have now been totally rain-free for about two hours...we may yet see some visitors! ;)
Just after we finished lunch (tomato soup for Flyingpops and a Tiger Tiger Spicy Thai noodles for me) a load of tanks arrived, but not via the nice new road - they led them in over the grass...! As you can imagine that has really helped the ground conditions! Doh...
...and umbrella, army poncho and wellington boots are standing by, the site is a muddy bog but the staff are trying to remedy this by hastily building new roads by noisily crushing tonnes of hardcore with a digger, a little late I think...forecast is for brighter weather later on this afternoon...fingers crossed! ;)
25 May, 2006
Hilariously, the little sign erected by the Southern Housing Group reads "PLAY AREA CLOSED DUE TO HEALTH AND SAFETY", yes, it's terribly healthy and safe... ;) I think we needed the word "concerns" or perhaps "breach" in there somewhere... ;)
Oh and just a quick update on the weekend,- bad weather or not, we have decided to definitely go camping at Laughton...this could prove to be a terrible error but I'll let you know when we get there (no doubt)! So we will bravely set off at about half seven tomorrow morning into forecast inclement conditions (gulp)..."Fraggle" from the office offered up the helpful suggestion that one could "make friends with the rain", but if that idea doesn't grab you, and you are planning to come to the show, Sunday looks like the best bet to not get completely drenched...I'm not too bothered personally though, it doesn't rain in the beer tent... ;)
24 May, 2006
It's still 16 days to go, but it's now almost impossible to leave the house without passing at least one car sporting not one England flag (like we saw become popular during Euro 2004), but *two*...I think Tesco are partly to blame for stocking a "Value" range of England supporter accutrement (still not sure that is entirely appropriate) meaning it is possible to bedeck your vehicle with the double St. George for the princely sum of £1.98 *and* throw in a large silk-style England flag, to be worn batman's-cloak-when-you-were-a-kid fashion with an otherwise naked torso (prefarably sporting some nice celtic tattoos) while yelling "IN GA LUND", for only another 99p (I didn't spot red and white face paint, but I'm sure it was there somewhere)...
Anyway, all this means that there really isn't very much excuse not to sport some sort of England supporters kit, especially if begging small children are in any way involved during the trip around the supermarket (as I saw happen the other day)...the tired resignation to the fact that you are going to have to drive around everywhere looking like a bit of a prat just to keep the kids happy, and the quiet hope that we get knocked out early so things can just get back to normal were all evident in the look just before the flags went in the trolley (joining the crates of beer) and the kids started jumping up and down cheering (as dad may have secretly done later)... ;)
I, for one, will be watching as many of the England matches as I can (mais sans drapeau, as I think wishing your contries team well is sufficiently implied by your continued residence) I'm not normally much of a football fan (preferring motorsports) but the World Cup is something a little bit different...I am, however, wondering how the company that I work for at the moment is going to handle it...when I worked for GE (during the last major football occurence) they universally resigned themselves to the fact that a number of people are quite fanatical about their sport and would probably fall mysteriously ill/take lots of holiday/vanish for periods of time during the working day or a combination of the above *regardless* and so basically decided to turn over several of the meeting rooms to be TV rooms and every member of staff was free to go and watch during any match featuring their home team no matter what time it was on...the result? People were coming in *early* to catch the start of their matches, no-one went off sick or vanished or took any time off and the office continued pretty much as normal...clever lot at GE... ;) Certainly in the opening rounds this time though we have got off pretty lightly, there's only one England match that looks like it's going to impact on the working day, and that is at 5pm on Thursday 15th June when we play Trinidad and Tobago...
23 May, 2006
So, in an effort to get in really early (got some stuff I need to sort out at the bank in Redhill later on today which will necessitate an early departure), I got the early train into London Bridge, trotted to the bus stop (was 2 people from the front of the queue) and was able to pay my £1.50, zoom up the stairs and claim my favorite seat (right at the front on the right)...the majority of the journey passed uneventfully - that is, until we got to St Paul's Cathedral -
- at which point my casual reading of Metro and occasional photography was interrupted by a scruffy looking black guy who was sat in my second favorite seat (right at the front on the left) making a phone call (he spoke in an odd hybrid Jamacian/South London accent, and at an extremely high volume, immediately attracting the attention of everyone on the upper floor of the bus) -
"Yeh Man, yalrite? I'm just look in me cigarette packet and..." (pause)
"WELL WHAT D'YE TINK I'M CALLIN YEE ABART...!??" (pause)
"WHY D'YE TINK ME RING YOU TWICE TODAY??" (tinny sounds of shouting coming from his handset)
"NO Man! NO!! It was Marsha! She teld me when she was tidy'n up LAST NIGHT to put it safe! I'm SEERIUS MAN!" (more tinny yelling)
"LOOK MAN! I'm ON DE BUS!" (pause)
"NO, I JUST LOOK IN ME PACKET AND IT STILL THERE..." (louder tinny yelling for about 10 seconds while the man holds the handset away from his head looking exasperated)
"LAST NIGHT!! I TELL YOU!!!" (pause)
"NO MAN! IT STILL IN DE WRAP! I WASN'T NICKING NUFFIN!" (pause)
"LOOK MAN! I'M ON DE BUS! I CAN'T TALK" (pause)
"Look, I'm nearly home...I'll call ye from dare..." (yelling in full flow gets cut off as the suspect hangs up)...
So, pop quiz (based on the evidence gleaned from our side of the (oh so) subtle exchange witnessed) - Name an item that -
- Requires a "wrap"
- Would fit into and might logically end up being stored in a cigarette packet overnight for "safe" keeping
- Cannot be spoken of while travelling on a bus
- Might conceivably be considered worth stealing
- When accidentally(?) ferried away, even for a *temporary* removal, generate what sounded like a great deal of stress and anxiety on the part of both original owner and present carrier...?
I've got my theory... ;)
22 May, 2006
- These guys have written a PC emulator (complete with the legal roms) for all of the "Mercenary" games
- These guys have made a beautiful remake of "Total Eclipse" (very early 3D game) and are also working on "Driller" (cool!)
- The Speccie scene has come on a *lot* since I last looked, most of the emulators now support .RZX archives, which basically means you can pause, rewind and retry games during play, all the while recording your keystrokes...the brilliant result? You can download and watch people finishing old speccie games (right to the end sequences! Admittedly they are usually a bit underwhelming considering the amount of effort involved)...I watched someone finish "Skool Daze" and "Bak 2 Skool" (no wonder I never managed them myself)...there is also this archive of "Speccie Spoilers" to enjoy which cut right to the chase...
- Found this site which has a nice archive of remakes (check out this remake of "Sir Fred"...it's still impossible though!), the forum is the best bit to check out for more (and play hints, maps etc)...
Anyway, it's a good way to while away a few pleasant hours in memory lane without having to get the ladders out and dust off the *real* speccies from the loft...(and the games load quicker too)... ;)
The rest of the weekend was spent trying to catch as much of the rain as I could (filled the top half of the water barrel, a bucket (from the overflow on the barrel) and an 8 gallon watering can (from the tap on the bottom) during Saturday alone!) playing the new "Da Vinci Code" XBOX game (suprisingly good, it's almost like "Farenheight" but with better puzzles) and trying to finish "Rogue Trooper" (but the sniper enemy in the later levels is a right pain in the cranium!), and lastly getting the camping stuff ready for Laughton, which is next weekend, but if the weather doesn't improve, well, put it this way - I'm not going to sit in a muddy field in the rain for 3 days...
I also really must try and get out to take some pictures this week, my camera is gathering dust during all these pesky rainshowers and my shooting finger is decidedly itchy...
20 May, 2006
Hare Krishna dalek - Well, I've blogged about Daleks, and I've blogged about the Krishnas, but not at the same time! Turns out (with a little investigation) that this search term isn't as weird as it might seem at first glance (thanks again Wiki!) - I quote - "An early 2000s British Kit Kat advertisement featured a squad of Daleks who have joined a group of Hare Krishna devotees, rolling through a shopping centre while repeatedly chanting "Peace and love!" in their distinctive voices. However, their use in this advert was brought to an end by the estate of Terry Nation, who had not been aware of the usage, the advertising agency having mistakenly believed the creatures were in the public domain".
Awesome angel pictures - Thanks..! Not quite what they were after though I guess...Hehe... ;)
pictures of nanobots - Not here I'm afraid! And the producers of LOST said the monster isn't a nanobot cloud...debunked... ;)
free 2006 womens calendars - *shrug* when did I ever talk about that??
Mush room pictures - Not going to get far spelling it like that... ;)
huge blister lancing video - Eh???? This also begs the question...WHY would you want one???
is there a reason to why the moon look like it does - Okay, I can see that one, but how vague a query?
(sticking with the moon theme, which is odd again as I'm pretty sure I only mentioned it the once!)
what does the moon do? - What, on the weekend? For a living? ;)
Woman latex gloved - urm?
Mean mr mustard beetles - Who?
holborn power steering pump - A what?
Anyway, more later... ;) Previous entries here and here...
19 May, 2006
Another "Housmans" gem - Apparently once a year a load of people strip off and cycle around in order to protest against societies dependency on oil...quite why one's clothing needs to removed in order to achieve this objective isn't made terribly clear on their website, which makes me suspect it's just a bunch of nudists fishing for an excuse to flaunt public decency legislation... ;)
The first ones to take place in England were in 2004, the event is now spread over several locations with varying numbers (between 2 and 250) participating in each place, from the looks of things some police forces in rural areas try to get the participants to cover up their naughty bits, but the MET have a history of just leaving the London group to get on with it, for once effectively demonstrating that they *do* have more important things to be worrying about than a few people in their birthday suits cycling in a "leasurely" fashion around Hyde Park...perhaps Londoners are just more jaded than most...
Takes all sorts I suppose, although I do wonder why they have "World Naked Bike Ride" T-shirts on sale...it's a bit of a contradiction if you ask me to celebrate/commemorate a naked bike ride by buying items of clothing... ;)
18 May, 2006
17 May, 2006
...wifi too! This morning saw a lot of excellent speakers, you probably wouldn't be interested in the details, and an absolute hammer blow approach to getting the message home about how good social, web 2.0 style interactions can be for the proliferation of knowledge...I had a nice lunch of Irish meat pie and a pint, met some of the other guys from work and now back to the action...I'm going to champion putting our docs on a Wiki when I get back to the office...so obvious! ;)
At the Hilton in Edgeware Road today for the Blogs and social media forum, wasn't sure I was going to make it, been really quite ill the last couple of days, but despite everything public transport could throw at me, here I am, have registered already, just having a cup of earl grey in the local greasy spoon (as I got here about half an hour early) more later perhaps, but maybe not as the conference facilities are four stories underground! Could be a signal issue! ;)
13 May, 2006
- the water garden is coming along nicely, those clay blobs do make the water murky though (i'll keep flooding it with rainwater, we'll get there), and the tiny basil seedlings are really thriving (so my experiment may be successful...) -
- (anyway, back to the racing now!)... ;)
12 May, 2006
Bit worse for wear today, went out for a few drinks last night with some chaps from the office...it *was* going to be karaoke in Soho, but that was all booked up, then it was going to be pool at the "Elbow Room" in Islington, but then there weren't enough of us, so we ended up in the Lincoln Lounge, which is a very small, normally smoke filled and packed out (ages to get served) bar (with interesting decor) -
- just across from the office...the choice of beer has improved since my last visit (about a year ago), and thanks to the decidedly clement weather most people were standing on the pavement outside -
- so it was largely smoke-free and actually very easy to get served...! We whiled away a pleasant few hours chatting, and then (as blood sugar levels began to plunge) sought food in the form of Chinese at the perfectly named "Chop Chop!" -
- which is basically the "McDonalds" of the Chinese food world, in fact, and sorry for not taking a picture of it, but it's worse(better?) than McDonalds because you actually have to fill out a form to make your order, it looks a bit like a national lottery slip...everything has a number on the menu and you just put a tick next to what you want, and specify a quantity...so I had hot and sour soup for my starter (which was very tasty indeed, but spilt all over the saucer by the hasty waiter) -
- the others had a selection of other classic dishes, which arrived within about 90 seconds of ordering (looking pristine) -
- the nice thing was, despite the conveyor belt-style rapid service, they were still able to knock me up a sweet and sour pork (hong kong style) that wasn't on the menu (why?) for my main, and the *really* nice thing is nothing on the menu is more than about £3.90 (and the portions are extremely generous... ;)
Anyway, my last train home was at 21:55, so I had to dash from the table (before paying my bill, so I owe someone some cash), but missed my connection at East Croydon and had to sit around for 25 minutes, ran from the train when I got to Redhil to the bus stop (as there was a bus sitting there) but unfortunately it was going the wrong way, the driver said he would be back round "in ten mintues" - so I wandered around Redhill a little bit to waste some time -
- but twenty minutes later the 100 turned up, so I got on that, but the 100 stops at the hospital, so I had to walk the balance, suppose I finally got in at about half twelve... :(