Saturday, July 31

So far so good

Well were still in the US, but so far so good. Chirpy taxi driver whisked us to Logan and a swift check in guy suggested we try the Admirals Lounge! I knew my sailor outfit would come in handy on this trip.

Free cookies and wi-fi should be the central tenet of all societies.

Upon boarding the woman in front of us said Matt Damon was on her flight last week. No Damon on this flight, not even an Affleck.

For First Class the food was still airline food, but I had a Sundae and I swear there was a pint of ice cream in there.

Oh, a woman brought a 53" wind chime on as her hand luggage.

And now in LA I'm enjoying their equally free goodie laden facilities. It's close to 2am Boston time and our 14 hours to Brisbane begins soon. Time for a glass of wine and a sleeping tablet ...

Friday, July 30

Let's go to Australia

We're off! Stay tuned ...

Filthy Maggots

Our wonderful garbage men left one of the bags in the trash can yesterday. Bake 10 hours at 90°F, and your bag attracts flies.

Wait until the morning to deal with it (like I did) and you get a can full of maggots.

So this morning armed with a jet hose and some rubber gloves I had to blast away the wriggly little fuckers. I got most of them, but Anne said she'd finish them off.

Bleach and bug spray didn't quite do the job. So she boiled some water and scolded the twats.

I'm trusting that nobody goes all PETA on our ass. Maggots are gross. I hope we can all agree on that.

Monday, July 26


A wonderful scenario played out at work the other day.

With the Beach Boys tight harmonies playing on our server I reminisced about the UK kids TV show Jim'll Fix it.

The shows theme tune included a Beach Boys pastiche.

When pushed to explain the show Jim'll Fix It, I finally said,

"A make-a-wish concept presented by a white haired, cigar smoking, jewelry laden paedo sat on a magic chair presenting cheap ribboned badges to unsuspecting kiddies."

There was an air of disbelief in my apparent hyperbole until I played this.

A further look at the comments section of the first clip reveals an insight of high clarity.

Sunday, July 25

Normal service will resume shortly

So my love of all things Apple is well documented, but I had a terrific run-in with the Apple Store last week.

My new iPhone arrived. As a side note: Fuck the 'death grip' douches. It works just fine.

But I noticed that when I held the phone, the back clicked, suggesting a small air pocket inside the phone.

So I went in to the store, to get a Genius appointment ...

... they have iPad clad meeters and greeters at the Genius bar. Your usual expectation - failed Computer Science grad, who thinks the blue t-shirt is a green light to act like a bi-polar emoticon. Happy face ... douchebag ... helpful ... passive aggressive tool ...

So. I kick off with, "Hi, I'd like to make an appointment with a Genius".

The 2nd syllable of appointment was still coming out, when the Genius Gatekeeper began walking towards the bank of iMacs, "You need to log into doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot apple dot com forwardslash cambridgeside ....

My reason for writing this out somewhat phonetically is to demonstrate how fucking asinine it is to speak a full blown URL while walking through a store, while you are holding a device primarily invented to bring the internet to your fingertips.

"I know the URL, and I know I can register myself, but I though I'd come in and interact with a human", I said, rather twattishly.

"Yeah, but it's just easier to do it over here"

"You cannot do it on your little iPad?". Yes I know that inserting little was demeaning.

"It's harder"

"Really? It's harder for you to use your scheduling iPad, than for me to log into a public iMac in the middle of an Apple Store?"

Through gritted teeth he understood where I was going, and walked back to me, and used his iPad to make me an appointment.

In a humorous yet probably annoying fashion I held my iPhone to his ear and repeatedly clicked the back. "Hear that? Can you make it go away?"

"We can fix anything", he rather blithely replied.

Later a Genius did indeed cure the clicking ...

... for 24 hours until it came back again.

I'm learning to like the click. It reveals me to be an expensive version of a nervous pen clicker.

Saturday, July 24


Growing up I was vaguely aware of a recurring documentary in England that tracked 14 kids/people every 7 years.

The Up series (7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up etc.) began in 1963 with a bunch of 7 year olds from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Every 7 years the Director (Michael Apted) tracks down the 14 'specimens', and catches up with their lives, covering the bases such as aspirations, regrets, relationships, kids, death, and the central tenet of the show, which is that our lives may be utterly predictable by the time we are 7 (Give me a child until he is 7, and I'll show you the man).

Part uplifting, part tragic, we're glued to this show. We've watched 7 thru' 35 in the past week. Thanks to Netflix we'll hopefully get thru' 42 and 49 this week.

56 Up is due to be made in 2011/12.

Thursday, July 22

Calling all Nerds!

I've smashed the 1500 rating barrier on Facebook Scrabble. This is significant to me. Just me. Nobody else.

Tuesday, July 20

Stop! Hammer time.

News from the BBC website ...

Friday, July 16

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

A picture tells a story, and looking at this group shot of the new season of Project Runway there's the Usual Suspects.

Androgynous Asian, No chance of winning older Mom, Jason Mraz hat guy, Wacky gay, Former model, Overly urban woman, Guy who shows too much chest hair, Hippy chick.

I'm also guessing there's someone from the flyover states who wants to move to NYC.

The only two stereotypes we seem to be missing are modern day Bettie Page, and chubby guy in media-wanker glasses.

A quick check of their bios, and they all love John Galliano of course.

I may actually be done with this show. Last season we ended up watching the first 5 minutes and then sped thru' to the runway/judging. I've had an assful of watching sociopaths not get along in a house/studio.

Add kitchen to that list too, because I'm tempted to do the same thing on Top Chef. It's much more fun watching the judges react, while Anne swoons over the silver haired fox that is Eric Ripert.

Sunday, July 11

World Cup Final

World Cup Final Day!! I've enjoyed this tournament much more than the one 4 years ago.

In 2006 I was recovering from back surgery, so I watched most of the games under the spell of Morphine!

Once again England went out on penalties. Ronaldo the winker got Rooney sent off.

In the final, Zidane killed his legacy with the crazy head-butt and Italy took the cup.

The final was weird in that we watched it with a couple who we had only recently become friends with. It seemed like such a big event to share with relative strangers.

Back to today. I have Spain in my work pool, and my father-in-law put $20 on them for me last year. Add to the mix a pathological hatred for Robben. Come on Spain!

Monday, July 5

Colombian Washing Machine Repair Man

The 2002 World Cup was in Japan and South Korea. Living in the US meant most of the games were on at breakfast time.

England vs Argentina - the rematch. A chance for redemption. A few days before the game our washing machine went on the fritz. On the morning of the game, the guy from Sears showed up. A Colombian, he let me know just how much he hated Argentina. We watched the game together. Me in my pyjamas, him in his Sears repairman outfit. All very strange.

England won 1-0. Beckham penalty. Owen dived.

Later Brazil beat England, because of this.

Seaman you oaf.

Sunday, July 4


Anne shouted me onto the deck as she tended to her tomatoes this afternoon.

Up in the air a small plane was sculpturing this advertising gem.

Not Racist!

Some black squirrels have moved into our neighborhood, and they're driving the other squirrels away.

And they're feisty little buggers. I was jumping around and rattling my keys, and they just stood there watching.

Saturday, July 3

Look what we made

Goddammit. We only made a coffee table!!!

It's a fashionably low, brushed steel legged, upholstered table.

And I managed to use a staple gun without puncturing any bodily part.

Success on all counts.

Friday, July 2

Pavane in an orange room

98 was the first World Cup I watched with Anne.

BBC opened their transmissions with Pavane by Fauré - which sucks because I always wanted that played at my funeral.

This was the tournament that Beckham managed to get himself sent off against Argentina. We lost to them. On penalties. People burned effigies of Beckham. So only a mild response then?

Ronaldo had a fit, and France won the final. And I watched the final with Anne and my parents in our orange living room in Crouch End