Wednesday, May 30

Food Safety

Like most people I give myself a few breaks during an arduous work day. Today I was chatting with my co-worker Kim about the awful cannibal attack in Miami.

Admittedly, we were highlighting the naked and high as a kite part, so the conversation wasn't exactly sombre.

I was about to jump into an obtuse thought about homeless people, psychedelic drugs and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine when Kim hit me with an angle I had not thought of,

"The guy* will get sick from eating meat that has not been previously heated to a safe temperature."

* Had he not been shot to death my the Miami Police.

2 items of note here.

1. Her Dad is a Food & Health Safety Inspector.
2. Use of a meat thermometer was not mentioned in any news article.

Also, is it just me or did this grisly photo get put through Instagram?

Sunday, May 27

Get 'em on fucking side

Today was a rugby marathon!

The magic weekend of rugby league showcases 7 matches over 2 days. We got to see 4 games (well 3.5, because we left early).

It was a trip down memory lane to be surrounded by odious Wigan fans and their high pitched, lyrically gifted chant of "Wigan, Wigan, Wigan".

When not chanting, they could be heard saying words like book and cook, but with the pursed lips "oo" pronunciation like the word goon.

There also appears to be an epidemic of shitty tattoos in the UK. It's not the tattoo I mind, just the lack of imagination.

One young lady correctly shouted to the referee on 5 separate occasions, to get the defending team 'on-side', when they were obviously less than 10 yards back.

It took a burly expletive filled shout from a fat northern man for the ref to finally penalize. Some things never change.

Here's my mum and dad before the first game kicked off. The loudspeaker system was turned up to 11, so that we could hear a Manc teenager do his karaoke version of an Arctic Monkeys song.

Friday, May 25

Old friends and another sly jab at Miró

Tonight I visited my old friend Adrian and his lovely wife Elizabeth.

As a pair of pharmacists I'm sure they found my in depth knowledge of pain medications amusing.

We recalled old vacations and memories over a cracking curry, and even had time to flick through some old photos. 25 years on, and Adrian still looks the same to me.

He pulled out this photo of me from 1990. I think I still have the hat, although the tie looks like something Miró might have drawn.

Wednesday, May 23

Sheep and Sculpture

Today we headed for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Breton, by far the poshest part of Wakefield.

It's the 2nd time I've been here, but the first time in daylight. Also the 1st time I've not been drunk during a visit.

YSP as we hipsters call it, is a world class collection of sculptures surrounded by adorable lambs. The gift shop/gallery building is an angular architectural masterpiece worthy of comparison to the Getty in LA.

Sadly they had a Miró exhibit showing. It appears to me that Crayola cracked the Catalan market early on, but limited their users to a pack of only 6 crayons.

I find Miró's work moribund, a word I wish to reclaim from Alan Partridge.

Far more entertaining was this poor sheep stuck in a pub table and bench combo.

And like all quality cultural entities they have a cracking gift shop.

Monday, May 21

3 Strikes

I was stood in line at the American Airlines desk practising my upgrade speech. I'd just dismissed the idea of singing like Beyoncé in her Direct TV commercial, when I got a whiff of Axe/Lynx bodyspray.

I turned round to see a guy a few years older than me, accompanied by, and I'm guessing here, his wife and 3 daughters. It could have been 4 women from a combination yoga pants and bleached hair convention, but we'll stick with family for now.

"You've got to let me in before you, my flight is about to take off", he said. I did notice no "please" in the sentence, but I also figured my seasoned traveler and magnanimous human being pretence would only score me more upgrade points.

The check-in lady took their bags and printed out their boarding passes and said, "Your plane is boarding, you should hurry".

As they left I checked in (no upgrade), I walked to the security line. I've got Priority Access so I entered the short line before security. And once more the stupid 5 pushed in front of me. Christ knows how I got ahead of them. It's pretty hard to get lost walking in a straight line.

As you fan out to the various security machines, you make a choice based on several criteria ... shortest line; lack of children (hey let's try to fit the stroller on the conveyor belt); presence of Asians (very quick in my experience); and I usually aim for the butch TSA agent in the tight pants, because she just pushes everyone on through.

Choice made, and like some kind of modern day St Peter, the blond family jumped lines again, and pushed in front of me. As you'd expect 80% of them failed to take off all of their metallic objects.

Finally, through the body scanner, and re-attached to my shoes I looked up to see the idiots had missed their plane. Shame, shame, shame.

I headed for the gate but not before I spotted the Admiral's Lounge.

Armed with a boarding pass, an AA Gold card and an AA credit card I sauntered up to the desk and said, "Can any of these get me in here?" No, definitely no, and yes was the reply and so for an hour I was able to relax in air conditioned/free coffee/quiet zone.

I still didn't get the upgrade though.

Monday, May 14

20 years ago today ...

 ... The Yardbirds. But no. For once this is not the start of another post about the white haired, marathon running, paedo, dead DJ, Jimmy Saville.

Instead this marks the 20th Anniversary of when I first met my darling wife Anne.

In the bar of the Vagabond Inn on Van Ness in San Francisco she waxed lyrical about her disappointment in The Cure's recent movement towards pop sensibility with Friday I'm in Love. She much preferred their 'jump off a bridge' stylings on Disintegration.

She didn't find it odd that I'd chosen to sing a cover of Terence Trent D'Arby's 'Sign Your Name' onto a cassette. My version lacked soul, pitch, timing and rhythm, and mindful of our location, there were probably 8 guys with waxed chests down the road in a bath-house saying "Dude, that sounds gay".

It would be another year before I met her again, and her unusually (for her) organized CD collection.

Back then she wore shorts because she was a tough girl who knew what 'really cold' meant having grown up in Ohio.

20 years later she warms her feet on me in bed every night, even when it's a 100° outside.

I still cannot say I've known her for half of my life, but she's already given me a lifetime of happiness.

Thursday, May 10

No. Do you have any pies?

My racquetball court was double booked today. Some pesky kids playing volleyball.

The manager of the gym said she felt terrible and by way of an apology asked,

"Would you like a smoothie?"

Tuesday, May 8

Political Correctness Gone Crazy!!!! Again!!!!

I was creating a pdf form this morning, and got to the part where you state gender. Without thinking I added a transgender box.

Only this is a form for cats*.

I appreciate there may be such a thing as a transgender cat, but I don't think they are as politicized as the human based LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.

Of course you may be a cat 'trapped inside' a human's body.

* The cat doesn't fill in the form, their human does it for them. Everyone knows cats hate Adobe products.

Monday, May 7

Happy Birthday Dad

It's my D.A.D's birthday today.

Here's one of my favorite photos of the 2 of us from 2002.

Dad will hate it because he's about 50 lbs lighter now.

I look the same as 10 years ago. Must be my fanatical exercise and skincare regime.

And black's very flattering isn't it?

For all you football fans that is not the real Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell in the background.

Sunday, May 6

Old Joke

Growing up in Wonderful West Yorkshire™ there was a joke that went.

Q. What do you do if a bird shits on your car?

A. Don't go out on another date with her.

Well I think this bird did a whole scat routine on my windscreen.

I couldn't tell if it was vomit or crap, but either way I used up my wash fluid trying to get rid of this piece of art, so I had to drive home with it 'in my face'.

Also. Yes. It's May and this overcast.

Saturday, May 5

Saturday Night at the Movies

Two Tribes by Frankie Goes to Hollywood popped up on a Spotify mix the other month. This was the song after the one when they told you not to come.

In Two Tribes they mixed in footage of a British newscaster telling you what to do in case of a nuclear attack.

It reminded me of the movie Threads, produced by the BBC in 84. I think a year earlier there had been a US movie The Day After starring Jason Robards. Threads made The Day After look like a Disney flick.

I watched Threads again today. A nuclear attack on Sheffield and it's aftermath. Why the hell was I allowed to watch this as a 14 year old? It's horrifying.

Disease, death, amputations, eating rats (not rats eating), radiation poisoning and for a finale a mutated baby.

What an absolute bummer. But that's Sheffield for ya.

Friday, May 4

Ace of Base

She saw the sign and it opened up her eyes.

Our local liquor store are a bunch of jokesters.

But I wonder how many people see this sign and don't realize the gag?

Wednesday, May 2

Biggest ... Areola

Last year I worked on a project that kept me late at work most nights. On Tuesday's I would arrive home after 9 to find Anne watching Biggest Loser.

At first I scoffed, but I noticed week on week I started paying more attention to the big losers and their migration into 12 step program speak eg. "my incredible journey".

Now I'm addicted.

The show is well produced except for the finale, which is a live clusterfuck of the highest order.

Last night's winner Jeremy dropped 199 lbs over the course of 'his journey', but more profound to me were/are his revolting aerolae. It looks like he has glued pepperoni to his chest.

It's almost enough to put me off pizza. But in the end there is something comforting about ploughing down junk food during Biggest Loser.

I've no idea if Jeremy's chorizo slices have decreased with weight loss. I suspect not.

Also that suit he wore was dreadful.

Tuesday, May 1

Black Olives. Not Black.

Stop the press!

I've been asked to color adjust an image of Black Olives, which happen to be brown.

Tomorrow I'm changing the green ones. Not for color, but because everyone knows they're really square in shape.

Also on my desk? A 24oz can of mashed pumpkin, or as I've been asked to call it "100% Pure Pumpkin", because God forbid there's some non-pumpkin stuff in there.

Finally I have 2 huge bags of Cheese Puffs and Cheese Curls. I need to make sure they're the correct orange, and judging by the residue on my fingers I think I got it just right.

God hates neighbors (not the Aussie soap opera)

I wish I hadn't, but I heard the God hates poofs argument this past weekend.

Christians ... so loving.

Here's a great response that appears to be going viral at the moment.

It will also push my Klout Score up to 1.