Sunday, January 31

Swedish to English translator

Is IKEA some kind of Swedish acronym for 'fuck me with a hammer'?

We just bought 2 really simple items to fill some space around the house.

This little doo-dad only required 4 nuts and bolts, but they were the type that you have to use a wrench to tighten. The whole fucking point of a nut and bolt is that they screw together to form a bond. Why make it more difficult?

Dowels in place, all this chair required was 6 screws aligned with a drop in nut. So that's why it took an hour.

Knulla ... as I think they say in Sweden

Saturday, January 30

Stuff done this week.

Check, check and double check.

Meal 2 of 12 from the Julia Child book. Made a beef dish with beer. Anne loved it, and my brother-in-law did not die. Result.

The light I ordered in October is here!

Fixed the flappy noise in the first floor bathroom. Stripped the extraction fan apart, found the offending flap, ripped it out, and even managed to put the whole thing back together without any spare parts leftover.

No more cable. Box is returned. Savings of ... $70 a month.

Picked up Anne's new glasses. They are Twizzler red.

Got the plumber to fix our washing machine.

Monday, January 25

Art is Anal

They have this sign in the bakery at my local Whole Foods. And every time I see it I laugh.

Just go with Artisan.

It's up there with writing FLICK in a condensed typeface.


Not content with being an editor and project manager supreme, Anne is starting her own side business this year.

Cool logo! Who designed that?

Sunday, January 24

Sweet Holy Moly

I cannot work out if this is genius, lazy, stereotyping, empowering, or maybe it's just silly.

The Staircase

Try and get your hands on this documentary about a murder case.

I watched the film over the last few days, and managed to avoid checking Wikipedia to give away the ending. (which I usually do with historical docs.)

Over two discs, and eight 45 minute episodes you will flip flop between, "He's guilty", and "He's innocent".

Friday, January 22

Thanks celebrities ....

Hope for Haiti. I've made a donation. Now please stop.

Keys - Stop screaming Angel.

Clooney - Nice Jacket. If Mel Gibson answers the phone I will not donate.

Coldplay - Never thought I'd write this, but play Yellow. Miserable strumalong. Also take off your hat, you will sweat less.

Berry - Tears? Never thought I'd write this either. Great Actress. More tears.

Springsteen - Has he had work done? I think so. We shall overcome. We sang this at school. Fucking hated it then. Still do.

Di Caprio - He's a good kid.

Wonder - I'm guessing this will build into a Gospel finale. Oh Fuck! I hope Paul Simon joins in on Bridge Over ... He didn't. Bummer.

Jean - Are air miles taxable? Not when you get them through your foundation. Nice 3rd person reference also.

Shakira (no last name) - There's a guy wearing a Sousaphone to her right. Christ why couldn't Chrissie Hynde do this one? Dreadful.

Witherspoon - It's a front. "Are you screwing that Jake guy?"

Legend - Toshiba just invented a robot with more soul. Whitest black guy in the world.

Stewart - Did John Oliver write this speech? I never laugh at his stuff.

Blige - This is more like it. Gravitas! Bags of it! Best thing so far. Great lashes too. Oh, and the crazy Sousaphone guy is still here.

Jackson - Is that a Black Panthers cardigan? Is their merch available on Zazzle?

Swift - When's Beyoncé on?

Kidman - Please make this an ad for Scientology.

Aguilera - She's the new Cyndi Lauper. I just OD'd on sincerity.

Roberts - 1,000 Watt smile. It's not going to be fixed overnight. Can we presume you'll be working on this for the next year Julia?

Twilight kid? - Not famous enough for this gig.

Sting - Bad Jazz. Self indulgent. Righteous. Oh why bother? It's fucking Sting isn't it? The Ramones are dead but Sting and Phil Collins are still alive?

Eastwood & Damon - Dirty Harry and Jason Bourne

Beyoncé - She can see your halo, which given the length of her bangs is quite surprising. Coldplay guy on piano ...

Speilberg - Solar powered flashlights? How about bikes with aliens?

Freeman - Renta-gravitas. Also the name of a mail-order catalog in the UK.

Crow/Rock/Urban - Hey people in mobile homes can donate too. They all have center partings. And guitars. And a misguided sense of pitch.

CNN Guy - Complete lack of vertigo when it comes to grabbing the moral high ground. Anne just outed him. Cannot verify this.

Clinton - Ever since Hilary and I honeymooned in Haiti, I've been wanting to bang a dark skinned French chick. Nice tie Bill.

Madonna - I so want to like this. "Look kids I still fit in my 80's gloves." The gospel choir cannot arrive soon enough.

Stiller - Like a button on my alarm clock. Snooze.

Timberlake and another guy - Aren't those Sony ads funny?

Ali - Thanks Champ.

Hudson - Luckily Jennifer not Kate. Massive earrings. This chick could sing the phone book. Nice work. Sousaphone guy still rocking out.

Hey just in case you didn't get my name the previous 7 times I said it .. I'm Anderson Cooper.

Pitt - You have something on your chin.

Haitian Singer - It's Peter Fenn with another 'Instant Sale'. You'll only get that reference if you watched Sale of the Century on Anglia TV in the late 1970's. That's niche for ya! By the way, just because she is from Haiti does not make this good.

Hanks - Thanks T Hanks.

U2, Jay-Z, and Mark Almond look-a-like Rihanna -
Devil "I think the temperature just dipped below 32°F".
iTunes just called. Really we have to sell this?

Roberts (again) - Don't forget to plug your Valentine's Day movie.

Matthews & Young (not Meatloaf) - Can someone just drop a bucket of shit on these guys? This is utterly wank.

Washington - A body like Arnold with a Denzel Face ™ Salt n Pepa.

Jean (again) - Really? Lauryn Hill was booked tonight?

Adios Cable?

Well I just plugged in an antennae and ran the channel search on our TV.

Digital channels without cable. Plus we've got a bunch of content ripped and streaming throughout the house, some video on demand, so I think we are ready to make the call to the cable company.

I'll miss the pause/rewind facility on the DVR, but is it really worth $70 a month? No RedZone will suck next Football season, but maybe by then there will be an on-line version? We can only hope.

Wednesday, January 20

Splish Splash

Our washing machine is leaking. Luckily our finished basement is set up for aquatic activities so no harm done, but it raises an intriguing possibility.

We twice used a plumber at our last house. On both occasions he fixed the problem.

And on both occasions he took a shit in our bathroom.

We'll give them a call tomorrow, and then we'll see if they can pull off the hat trick.

Tuesday, January 19

Indecision 2010

I'll be 40 in August. I've decided I want to be overseas (with Anne) on the big day.

We'd planned to go to Australia. But so many people have diverse opinions of what we should see. There's the big tourist checklist, then the 'real' Australia. Islands, inlands, resorts, mountains, outback, cities. So many places to see in what was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime.

I'd also decided I wanted to tag on a trip to New Zealand. More manageable, and again, there's a bunch of stuff to see.

Next problem. Logistically to squeeze in as much as possible, we are looking at a tour. This creates a paradox. I'm actually rather shy, and find it exhausting to meet new people. But once I do .. it creates so many great stories and memories. I'm a good observer, and I'll go blog crazy if I'm holed up with a group of strangers for 3 weeks.

I want to fly business. If you're going to fly for that long then do it in comfort. But it's wicked expensive. So why not break it up?

Tahiti is only 8 hours from LA. And since I saw Couples Retreat (shit movie, great locale) I want to stay in one of those bungalow on the water places. Then again, a friend who honeymooned there told me to go to Thailand instead. Same great views, at only a quarter of the cost.

So my latest idea is to do Tahiti/Bora Bora and New Zealand, and save Australia for another time. Then again, I'm not a lover of fruit or fish, so Polynesia might not be for me.

Really need to decide soon!

Picture the Scene

Candlelight .. a single flickering flame. Intimate shadows cast.

Body Heat. Breathlessness. Perspiration.

Nervous laughter at the situation. The promise of an exhilarating shower afterwards.

Sadly, this was what went down at the gym this morning, after National Grid turned off the power for regulation maintenance during my personal training session.

Cold water shower followed.

Saturday, January 16


Perhaps I'm still scarred by Mad Cow Disease, but it seems weird to place the word madness on a meat product.

Particularly surprising is that this is Whole Foods, every chin strokers' favorite purveyor of all things natural.

But hey! $2.59 per LB is probably the lowest per LB cost Whole Foods have ever sold at.

Place it on the same list as "I can't believe it's not Butter", and "Fuck me, no way are these Pineapple Chunks"

Coming next. Insane Pork.

Friday, January 15

Russian Fan

I received my first Russian blog reply today.

реально огромные сиськи
секс порно фото минет
ищу секс спб
порно семейных оргий
порно 30 лет

A quick copy and paste to the online translator reveals the following.

Really huge сиськи
Sex of a porno of a photo минет
I search for sex спб
Porno of family orgies
Porno of 30 years

So that's nice.

Wednesday, January 13

Worth it for the articles ....

So I love magazines, and like in Office Space I once subscribed to Vibe out of middle class white guilt when some ghetto kid knocked on my door.

I've also seen a bunch of magazines go out of business, which caused the publisher to switch my subscription to one of their 'sister' publications.

This is why I now get Architectural Digest, Maxim, Men's Fitness and the criminally poor Star Magazine.

It also leads to a frenzy of mailings offering me once in a lifetime deals. Like this one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not prude. If you're going to enjoy a pair of tits, then have the courage to subscribe to proper porn instead of Maxim etc.

I just dread the day that Anne hosts her book club friends and they get to see all the targeted mailings for her perverted husband.

Finally, they should have switched First Class Mail to First Class Male. I hate it when people miss a pun opportunity.

Sunday, January 10

Anne just said ....

What the Fuck is Going On?

Jets win.

Patriots lose.

And Ellen Page is doing Cisco commercials?

Saturday, January 9


How did I get on the mailing list of the Tina Fey lookalike?

Crisis averted ... New Governor Sean Parnell wants to send me a FREE travel guide to Alaska. Well ain't that nice?

Sunday, January 3

Mummy, Mummy, can we ....?

So we made it back home! We left a chilly snow-filled Wakefield early this morning, and despite arriving late at Amsterdam, the extra security meant we made the flight and so did our bags. Great to be home. The heating is on, and we'll be sleeping in our own bed for the first time in 10 days.

Of course the local Leeds Bradford Airport was a delight.

I noticed the place was filled with modern parents and their Tarquin and Guinevere kids. They were all going skiing. Because after 2 weeks off for Christmas why wouldn't you go for another week?

Offsetting the posh little kids and their continuos requests for designer cereals and waters were the hardcore rugby shirt clad nut-jobs getting pissed on lager and cider at 9am in the morning. One guy who looked younger than me had a shirt that said No. 1 Granddad on it. And I don't think he was expressing irony.

I got 2 cups of coffee. Did some quick conversion math and it worked out to be just shy of $9. Most dreadful coffee we ever tasted. Ah well, as we say in Yorkshire, mustn't grumble ... but then we do.

The long and winding post

It's becoming apparent that my blog has an audience. That's nice.

Sorry I'm not a great writer. It's really a collection of rambling rants dotted with the odd expletive.

Speaking of which. I've realised that I censor myself. I don't write the 'c' word.

English people use it much more than Americans. I'm not suggesting the Queen says it, or that in Prime Minister's Question Time the opposition says, "The Right Honourable gentleman from Toehampton is a slimy righteous c***"

It's certainly frowned upon in England, but it can be used in a friendly sort of way too.

I also remember my old British boss, telling one of my early American business partners, "The difference between you and me Nick, is that Richard can call me a c*** and I wouldn't be offended." With that he ordered his 8th Gin and Tonic and went back to telling amusingly offensive stories. We never really did talk about work when we went out to dinner.

I also know my mum reads this blog, and quite frankly I don't need her reading that word either.

Behind closed doors I do use the word from time to time. Most recently I used it to describe Paul Simon.

I'll start by giving the guy his props. Thanks to him we don't have to listen to Edie Brickell anymore. She went from leading the New Bohemians to doing Paul's ironing. Feminist irony aside, I think he did the world a service there.

But as usual I digress. The reason why I started shouting at Paul Simon was that I was watching one of those back-slapping concerts on HBO where old men get up on stage and sing songs that made them famous more than 25 years ago.

Now most of these guys can no longer sing in the same key, but I did notice that Art Garfunkel does NOT fall into that category.

I'm no fan of Art (I know what I like ...), but he still had the same fragile delicate voice he had in the 70's.

So the intro to Bridge Over Troubled Water begins ... and Art starts singing. I'll stop for a moment.

I know that Paul Simon wrote it. I acknowledge it is a majestic song, crescendoing into an orchestral climax with somewhat uplifting lyrics. Yes. Again. I know that Paul Simon wrote it.


So why as I watch this stupid concert do I have to listen to Paul Simon sing a verse of it?

I'll tell you why, because he's a vain twat. And he has to let you know how awesome he is. "Hey, look at me, I'm the writer. My singing is off-key, but I wrote the song, so fuck you, because I get to do what I want". And that's why I called him a c***.

Finally, if I've missed the boat with the 'c' word stuff, and people actually like it, then I recommend this blog. If you don't like the word then don't click on the link.

Saturday, January 2

In a South Easterly Direction

Pulled over at the dreadfully grim Woolly Edge Service Stop on the M1 south of Wakefield today.

A usual grey overcast England January day, filled with drizzle. We were pepping up the day buying magazines and chocolate.

From the comfort of our tiny little Peugeot I looked to my right and saw a Muslim family going through their (multi?) daily ritual of praying towards Mecca (which also happens to be the name of a chain of Bingo Halls in the UK ... but I digress).

Of course, when you are next to the M1 which runs north - south, it's fairly easy to work out where Mecca is. What made this quite sad, was that they chose a vaguely protected little patch of spare land by this 1960's built eyesore. And still ended up praying directly into a damp dirt-lined wall only 3 feet away.

I'm sure will be delighted to note their ad points approximately in the direction of the holiest Islamic site. Nice ad placement ... and who doesn't love cheaper car insurance?

5,000 today

That's how many days Anne and I have been married. Well done me.

And to think, I've NEVER made her angry in all that time ....

Alternate title for this post was (5,000) Days of Bummer. Stay tuned for more Zooey Deschanel humor throughout the year.

Friday, January 1


Anne and I went-a-driving around Wakefield today.

Just our usual appreciation of the rolling hills, super green grass, and non-sexual love of sheep. And as we rolled into the village of West Breton we saw this.

Bison is not an animal you generally expect to see in England.

Obviously I pushed Anne out of the car so she could get a closer look. She even managed to coax the beast to look her square in the eye.


Here's my mum and my wife demonstrating their linguistic skills. They can do the YMCA dance in different languages.