Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunday 05/04/09

Nothing remotely funny in today’s post.

Here’s a neat device for motorbike owners for opening garage doors automatically.

Was watching The League of Gentlemen yesterday afternoon – the 60s film with Jack Hawkins, not the TV series I mentioned yesterday (synchronicity?). One scene made me laugh. Jack Hawkins is going up the stairs in his house with a colleague standing at the foot. As he walks up he passes a portrait of a woman. His colleague asks, “Is that your wife?” to which Hawkins replies in the affirmative. The colleague than asks whether she’s dead, to which Hawkins responds, “No – I regret to say the bitch is still going strong.” Priceless!

Here are some photos Hay sent me yesterday of Shanghai:

The temple I mentioned yesterday.

The smog.

Hay went on a walk around the city in the evening and said it reminded her of scenes from Blade Runner – a post-Apocalyptic hell.

Today she traveled by train to Nanjing – all slums between new developments. During the whole train journey she didn't see a single patch of undeveloped land. The smog is just as bad as Shanghai. Tomorrow is Beijing. She reported that lunch was duck’s tongue with pigeon and jellyfish; not sure whether she’s having me on or not.

It seems Geoff Hoon is now guilty of not breaking the rules on MP’s expenses. I think ‘not breaking the rules’ is going to go down in history as a euphemism for being a rapacious bastard. I guess ex RBS boss, Sir Fred Goodwin (he of the £700k p.a. pension), also didn’t break the rules, yet MPs were quick to jump on his back. Pot, kettle and black? I wonder whether the 3 trillion dollars allocated to the IMF will be used to buy politicians a bigger trough?

I’m not sure about you, but as I understand it, the 3 trillion is being given to the IMF to lend to 3rd world countries whose economies are basket cases. How that’s going to help jobs and a recovery here, or anywhere except the 3rd world, is beyond my ken. Have I got it wrong?

Piggy-banks are really appropriate icons for banks, don't you think?

A couple of days ago a gunman in New York killed 13 people. Yesterday another killed 3 police officers. However, I guess the US gun lobby think must all this carnage is worth it if they can retain their right to bear arms. After all, if anyone can bear arms, then they can at least protect themselves from gunmen who go on the rampage as a result of anyone being able to get hold of a gun. The latest gunman had lost his job and was worried that Barack Obama was about to ban guns. Come on America – get your act together. It’s like the bloody wild west.

I read today that lie detectors are to be trialed for 3 years on sex offenders released from prison in parts of England as part of their probation conditions. This is similar to what happens in Texas – that paragon of forward thinking and rationality in the USA (remember the Texas Board of Education?).

I wonder what the Ministry of Justice hopes to achieve. Lie detectors, or polygraphs, are very controversial in that their success rate at detecting deception is something like 61%, which is little better than chance, and they do not enjoy general acceptance within the scientific community. What if a probationer fails a test? Would he or she (although usually a he) be sent back to prison on the basis of what amounts to the flip of a coin? I feel very uneasy about this, however, they don’t in Texas.

Have you heard the tripe that passes for music in Happy Clappy churches? Was just listening to Radio 4 and they went to some church in God-knows-where and my ears were assaulted by a repeptitive cacophony of sound, totally unhindered by tune, harmony or musical accomplishment. It's painful. Give me old fashioned hymns any day. Attempts to make worship more modern and contemporary have left it banal and vacuous.


  1. I daren't tick the unfunny box after what you said about Bridgend yesterday.
    Is it Hay's absence ? Is it the generally piss poor state of the world ? Is it something we said ?
    In an effort to cheer you up here's a little something and as you watch the link just think how sending a box of 150 of these little fellers to Afghanistan might be a lot more helpful than gendarmes !

  2. Your friend Charlton was the most adament in his right to bear arms. Truly a Man for all the Wrong Reasons. Priceless! Hay's experiencing the best of China's cuisine, jellyfish. Yum.

  3. Belle: Didn't they pluck his gun from his cold, dead hands?

  4. After all the recent kerfuffle with the recession I asked my credit card companies if we could just let bygones be bygones and forget about the debt.

    They said no.

  5. Oh I love Jack Hawkin's films. Haven't seen one for ages!

    What lovely images.

    No, really uncomfortable in one of those evangelical places! Especially when they shout out prayers xxxx

  6. As a motorcyclist of many years, I shouldn't have to ask if you have considered the cost of the automatic garage opener you link to! I think, should you carry out even the minimum of research, that the general concensus of opinion will be that the model shown is probably the most expensive type in existance!

    I myself obtained one of those nearly 35 years ago now, and whilst it worked fine for the first couple of weeks, they do have a very high failure rate. To the extent that I now find myself running round after mine when I hear the horn on her wheelchair calling. (And the scars on my shins and ankles bear witness to the fact that they are also terribly intolerant of delays.)

    On another note - I haven't been on your site for a few days, and am really missing the authentication "word". It was a highlight of the day trying to work out a meaning for the random letters. I'm also slightly concerned to learn that I am now (apparently) in Poole. Previously my sign-in had me down as Salisbury. All well and good, except for the fact that I am just to the south of Oxford!

    Enjoy the freedom (and the cheese) whilst Hay is away, as the feeling of being single won't last.

    The Spiv


    Having read your comments over the last few days, guffaw has duly been ticked.

  7. Was it a movie myth that Jack Hawkins had his larynx removed owing to throat cancer, so his voice in films was never his, always over-dubbed? My mum, the film buff and a great fan of his, always said that, but I seem to remember reading something later that rebuffed it... There isn't a modern day equivalent actor of the stature and authenticity of Jack Hawkins, is there? What do you say, Sir?

    Love the pics of Shanghai - What we can see around the smog, that is - Hope Hay is coping with the air quality...

  8. I like the hymns too. We've left the contemporary service and are now attending the traditional.