Friday, 25 February 2011

Karma can be such a female dog...

I popped over to another blog a few days ago and happened to come across a bewildering assessment of Lady Gaga’s greatest frock ups….Not knowing much about fashion but never one to be left out, I leapt in with both feet*. I fear it is possibly a bit of a family trait....

* This reminds me of the time my father took my mother to a property auction (Please don’t judge my father for what sounds like a strange choice of leisure activity. You have to remember, this would have been in the 1970’s, when entertainment wasn’t as refined as it is today. If someone started painting their house**, half the road would turn up to watch, while the other half would be constantly popping out for regular updates on progress and to supply tea and sarnies). The last item for sale was a dilapidated cottage….. just as the unenthusiastic bidding started to peter out altogether my mother raised her hand and put in a bid.

 My poor father almost had kittens – jumping up and screaming “No!!!!”

Fortunately the auctioneer took pity on my father and agreed that he would disregard my mother's bid – I have a feeling that if the gavel had come down then it would have formed a legal and binding contract and my parents would have had to sell their house, all their possessions, my sister, probably me and still have been in debt for the next thousand years. All for a wreck with a tarpaulin roof.

When my father interrogated my mother later, she admitted that she had not wanted to miss out on the opportunity of making at least one bid and panicked as the bidding stalled,  ….My father never took her to another auction...

** I remember one year my father put a special undercoat on our house, which was an odd silver colour. One of the neighbours complained bitterly about my father's choice of colour, so he left it on for six months, pretending that it was the actual colour he had chosen. He got the last laugh though, as the top coat he chose was a horrific purple colour (So bad, even Prince would have had second thoughts about adopting it) ….

After more complaints from other neighbours he eventually relented and repainted the house a sort of shit brown colour.  If the same appalling colour was still available today it would probably be branded with some exotic name like “Nutmeg brown with a hint of bovine effluence” and thus become instantly acceptable and copied by all around but it wasn’t.  At this point the neighbours stopped complaining and the "For Sale" boards came out quicker than British Leyland staff who could be relied on in the 70's to strike over almost any matter, including:-

  • No custard creams left during a crucial tea break…. The inhumanity of it all, better get in touch with the court of human rights
  • Substandard pillows being supplied for the night shift….hardly fair when the day shift got comfy chairs and a state of the art computer system to ensure they did not get bored in between tea breaks....
  • One of the union member's neighbour had painted their house a horrible colour….I don’t think my dad was responsible for this one, but you never know?
  • The only courtesy cars provided for staff being ones off the BL production Line…Talk about insulting your work force
  • Falling sales leading to bankruptcy of the company – “Right lads all out…” You have to ask yourself if British Airways staff have attended the same “How to live your life like a Lemming” seminar.  This is not to be confused with the "How to live your life like a lemon” seminar, which is similar except instead of throwing yourself off a cliff and dashing your brains out on the rocks, you throw yourself into a large G&T on the rocks and let the strong alcoholic content dash your brains out for you….
  • Dastardly rival car manufacturers producing better cars.... (including Corgi and Matchbox)- Little wonder they were constantly on strike.
Sorry I digress.... where was I?  Oh yes trying to come up with a vaguely relevant comment on a Lady Gaga blog.   The discussion was going way out of my comfort zone, with all the talk about the notorious meat dress (could have been worse she might have gone with the vegetarian option.....) and some strange number that made her look like the constipated lovechild, born of a Batman and my little pony roll in the hay...... If you don't believe me go check it out at Injaynesworld... Jayne has promised you a warm welcome, as long as you don't steal her toilet seat and remember not to leave her beer down - I think I got that the right way around….
I was getting to the point of abandoning any thoughts on commenting (what can I say I like to comment) when I came across a bit about how hot Lady Gaga had looked at the 2009 MT awards, in a little pink number. This got me thinking about the pink dress being cruel like wearing  fur…..  

She (Lady Gaga) may have looked hot, but what you don’t seem to appreciate is the thousands of innocent little “Pinks”*** that Sacrificed  their meaningless lives just for that one dress.  
*** Pinks – Small amoeba like creatures that come in many shades. They can generally be found clustered together in great numbers in :-
  • girly girl rooms, wardrobes, cars, even particularly girly blogs and categorically on anything associated with either Barbie or Barbara Cartland. You have to wonder if Barbie will morph into Barbara once the boob jobs (no way are those real, they are so plastic it's embarrassing, they haven’t even put the nipples back on…) and Botox (the fixed expression is a dead giveaway) start to fail….
  • They can certainly be found congregating around the more sensitive type of male.
  • The more insensitive man can sometimes get away with a sudden infestation….especially if Mrs B insists they look good and can get away with it…

    but never, I repeat never, Day-Glo Pink….

    Certainly not after that incident in Ibiza that you promised would never be mentioned again…..

    I’m warning you if you say one more word about Ibiza, I’m taking these tight black leather trousers, ribbed white T-shirt and I’m flouncing out of here….
OK, not the most earth-shattering of comments, certainly not going to win any Pulitzer prizes for services to blog commenting but harmless enough and it amused me (regular readers will know it doesn't take much...)

I thought nothing much more about it until a few hours later when I went to Yoga.  Zilch wrong with that, except when I got out my Yoga blocks (I need all the help I can get....) instead of my nice set of masculine black blocks out flopped four bright pink ones. Either my blocks had come down with a sudden pinkfestation or I had accidently picked up Mrs B’s yoga bag ....

Hmm, it got worse, instead of my normal Yogress, who knows me well, we had a substitute teacher.  Pink blocks and screaming like a girl (I can’t help it that’s my yoga thing. Cursed with a high pain threshold but with an inbuilt early warning system.............incredibly early)  I fear she thought I was light on my loafers. I’m not sure I should be insulted or relieved that I didn’t get invited to be Yogress2’s new GBF….

As I said Karma can be a bitch and for pink Thursday she totally owned me….

Energy Watch

Monitoring our way to a fortune (or not) with our Solar Panels

This has earned us approximately – £97 so far

KW generated in the week - 22

Record of the week

Instant Karma by John Lennon

Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones - In memory of my father, this was as close as I could get to Paint it Nutmeg brown with a hint of bovine effluence...

Lily the Pink by The Scaffold

Photo finish
More cat pictures and finally some bird action at our "no expense spared, all you can eat bird buffet"....

McG not bad for 16, which is around
80 and small change in cat years. He
could probably do with a hearing aid
and some glasses but not bad all the

The Yoga Session with Mischief was going
so well, until she suddenly went into a complete huff...

Note to oneself - Don't use the term "Downward
facing dog" when practicing yoga with your cats.   

"Hey, these aren't my black blocks...."

"Please don't make me use the pink yoga blocks, I
might have been neutered but I'm still all boy...."

After weeks of no action suddenly we
are awash with starlings...

I think the word has got around....

Fingers crossed next week for
golden eagles, humming birds, emus
ostriches and if we are really lucky
a  dodo...

That's it for another week, tune in next time for some shocking crime news

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Valentine’s day massacre

Looking around the bloggerverse over the last couple of days, I’ve been reading the pro and anti Valentine’s camps…Not wanting to be left out I thought I should add the "romantic" BlackLOG spin on the day. As usual for my entrance, the party is so well underway that the DJ is packing up and everyone is trooping out….

I'm afraid I'm in the “hate it” camp when it comes to Valentine’s Day, on the basis that it is pure commercialism….

Mrs B and I stopped going out to restaurants for VD years ago. We object to being squeezed into a production line of Valentine specials menu (sub-standard food at exorbitant prices) , additional tables - generally so rickety that they would not pass basic health and safety checks and are prevented from collapsing only because there is no room for them to topple anywhere….

Any attempt at intimate conversation with your loved one is shared amongst 16 of the closest people in your lives….. not close in terms of family and relationships but close in terms of geography. You are very unlikely to get closer unless you choose to travel on the Tokyo underground…..

If it’s that bad on a normal commute day, you have to wonder
what is it like on bring your child to work days….
It certainly does not inspire me to book a restaurant
table in Japan on February the 14th....

Heaven forbid that anyone attempts to get down on one knee and tries to propose in this rugby scrum …Only after the uproar and general excitement has died down would our intrepid suitor discover if he/or she has managed to get engaged to his or her intended. In the worst possible case, if in their excitement our romantic suitor sways around during the proposal, they might well find themselves engaged to a number of people…..

When it comes to extracting your now compressed body from the death trap of (insert the name of any restaurant that you happen to frequent on the 14th February) you should be extremely grateful that the food served up was not in any way edible, as putting on even an ounce in weight would have severely hampered any chances of getting out of the restaurant at all.

It would not surprise me if the phrase “having a crush on somebody” came about through the thoughtfulness of restaurants to get their patrons ‘up-close and personal’ on Valentines night…

Proof that we truly live in a mad world
Just been hearing on the UK news, the story of the business owner who caught one of his staff with their hand in the till. He put a sign around the thief’s neck saying “I stole £825 and I am being taken to the police station.”

The result.....

The thief got a cautions for the theft and received £5,000 compensation from the employer for infringements of his human rights…WTF…

The employer not only had to pay this once “trusted employee” £5,000 for stealing from him but I believe an additional £10,000 lawyer costs. He ended up settling out of court because the costs were spiralling out of control….Talk about protecting the criminals…

I love the irony that our scum bag thief was paid £5,000 for the embarrassment of being seen by around 20 people, as he was paraded down to the local police station.  Thanks to the payment he receievd his face has been plastered over the national news bulletins, advertising his crime to millions of people and exponentially increasing his embarrassment.  It begs the question should he now receive even more compensation for the additional humiliation? It does make you question the old saying “Crime doesn’t pay”….

It's not much better in the States :-

Don't even get me started on the verdict that a magazine had not been malicious in publishing an article claiming that Beckham had paid a prostitute Nici $5,000 for a threesome.  Despite the L.A.Galaxy player proving beyond doubt that he was elsewhere at the time that the alleged liason (or in this case a three-iason) took place, a US district judge, threw out Beckham's case, deciding that the magazine's publishers had not acted with malice when they published the story, and upholding Nici's "right to free speech".

The judge said that the magazine's failure to check their facts properly "doesn't establish malice" - a key component of US libel law.

The only glimmer of hope from this story is since the BlackLOG has a strict policy to never check facts it should be free to say whatever it likes .... So I shall start with the US district judge “In my opinion..hmmm…hmmmm…..hmmmm”

Mrs B apologies for the interruption to this week’s BlackLOG but has put a gagging order on the remainder of this section

Film review - Black Swan
The review of the film suffers a bit from our local cinema’s incompetence. It is not the film’s fault that our cinema advertised the film but were incapable of playing it on C.A.C.T.U.S night * . What made it worse was for once Mrs B had finished early (well early for her) raced through the traffic and actually made it in good time for once, while our friend Mala had driven across from Hertford….

* Cheap As Chips TUeSday – all films £2.99 – well any that they actually manage to show….

We finally got to see the film on Saturday night where the fact that we got to pay full price seemed to have had the magic effect on the cinema who miraculously worked out how to play the film….

From my point of view there was far too much ballet, which is a little unfair considering this is a review of a thriller based around a ballet (please note I never claimed this was going to be a fair review). All that foot bending, toe crunching and spinning with each separate movement conveying a purity of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….sorry where was I….? Oh yeah, in short, ballet does nothing for me….

Still, once I looked beyond the ballet part it was a pretty decent thriller. Even so I still had a couple of other issues with the film. Natalie Portman playing the lead role was so intense, so miserable and so in distress that if she had been playing an actual swan she would have been put down to prevent further suffering (mine certainly if not her own….). Then there was the fact that the lead dancer in a ballet company did not have a dresser…. We live in an age that the lead in the most amateur of productions gets a dresser, even if it happens to be their Mum with some spit on a bit of tissue….

Word of the week
Thanks to “laughing my abs off” for inspiring my idea of a dating site for the terminally flatulent. During the battle of the Blogs (currently suspended through family illness, so you will have to wait a little while longer for my entry), LMAO had been allocated the task of “being a fart advocate”. Her entry included an idea for Speed dating based around selecting your mate based on health & vitality. One sure sign of this is the high quality & large quantity of toots….. With this in mind I bring you:

Inflatulations” - for people that pass “wind” in the night….

I had thought that I had created a new word but yet again I discovered (via a google search) I was cast as Scott of the Antarctic and yet again Amundsen had got their first….In this case the part of Amundsen is played by the Urban Dictionary who’s definition is -

“The act of loving someone or something to such
 an extent that it causes one to pass gas.”

Energy watch

Monitoring our way to a fortune (or not) with our Solar Panels

KW Produced so far - 201

This has earned us approximately – £85.70 so far

KW generated in the week - 21

Record of the week

St. Valentine's Day Massacre by Cocktail Slippers Diary - I had hoped to bring you the song “Please take your elbow out of my soup” by the fabulously talentless group “The Guys on the next table” but since they don’t exist and won’t ever write this never-green classic, I had to fall back on St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Don't Stand So Close To Me by The Police - This is pure genius at work, as it not only covers both the Valentine restaurant section, with the title, but also the group name covers  "being paid to be a thief part" ….I thank you

Mad World by Gary Jules

Black Swan by Thom Yorke – Almost as intense as Natalie Portman…..

Photo finish

For tonights performace of the Black Swan the
lead role will be played by Mischief...

While she has the black part down to a tee, she
still needs to ruffle her feathers a bit more and
work on that beak….

McG happy to extract himself from the Tokyo tube system,
vowing to never join in the bring a cat to work day again.

As an experiment he rated it almost as badly as
his starring role as “Schrödinger's cat 

McG working on his intense pose, during his auditions
 for the often overlooked role of the Ginger Swan....

Well done for surviving yet another BlackLOG, I hope you did not find it the experience too bad and will tune in next week for another adventure into the mundane....

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Fiddling while Rome burns

Sorry for the late running of this week’s BlackLOG I put it down to my inability to create more than one blog a week (how on earth do people manage to create lengthy daily blogs…?). I have entered a little blog competition over at “It’s an average life” and got so over-excited about the prospect I created my entry a week before it was due.

The concept behind the competition is that you are pitted against another blogger, given a subject and instructed that one of you is “for” the subject while the other is “against”. You then blog the hell out of the issue in a witty if not informative way and hope you take the audience with you. The voters appear to be mostly American and since even I don't get half of my jokes (yes dear readers if you have been under the misapprehension that this was a factual blog which tells life as it is you have been mislead and should sue the bejeevers out of the creator of the BlackLOG) I fear for my chances. If only the competition was decided on meandering away from the subject and baffling the readers I would feel a lot more comfortable….

I think poor Average Girl is already regretting accepting me as a contestant – it started off so well, I got my entry in early and was prepared to sit back, not touching it, while waiting patiently for my blog battle to be published. Now for me this was more tricky than having a loose tooth and an inquisitive tongue or having a chew in my mouth and not chewing….If you ask Mrs B she will confirm that I am a natural born tinkerer….

It was going so well until Average Girl confirmed my entry had been received but mentioned that it looked a bit complicated to publish. Other than being emotionally drained after each publication I also find myself physically exhausted from all the fiddling with HTML code to get the post as close to my original vision as is possible (more often than not it does not end up in the same universe, my imagination is far better than my ability). A little knowledge of HTML can be a dangerous thing and often ends up tripling the time taken to publish.

I decided to do the honourable thing and try and simplify it for Average Girl….only….Once I went back in to the Blog it was like I had been transported back to Rome in AD 64 - the city was ablaze. I had a stringed instrument in one hand, a spent match in the other and a name badge that said “Nero – access all areas”. I was left with no option* but to fiddle….. So tune in next week to find out how all that fiddling went,  how the BlackLOG copes with the confines of a subject and will the Time Travle Police catch up with me and charge me for burning down Rome.....???

* Talking of no option, I  read the following review of the film The Fallen - "I was forced to watch this film** the other night only because on the cover it stated in big bold letters Saving Private Ryan but better" ......Hmmm, this person obviously has a real strength of character and isn't  easily swayed by other people's opinion. I can imagine  the following  quote from the inquest into their death  

Pathologist - “They  didn’t  really like peanuts, (in fact they had a severe nut allergy)
but thought as everyone else liked them it would be alright”  

** Proof that the keyboard is mightier than the machine gun or at least in this case the remote control

OK that’s the excuses out of the way. In other BlackLOG news:

Last weekend we co-hosted a Ski pre-union for our ski holiday at the end of March – with 9 diaries*** to co-ordinate it proved harder to arrange the pre-union than the actual holiday itself.

*** incidentally we do have a spare space if anyone is interested. Preferably female as it would involve sharing with Lisa and her extensive collection of wigs and all things glittery……..

Kirsty and Joe (OK Joe) did the starter and dessert, the starter being a Nigella Lawson dish – Scallops in a pea puree. Thumbs up for the scallops but in my anti-vegetable opinion, the pea puree was like an extra from the Exorcist and there was so much of it. I’m not sure if it was Nigella or Joe who decided there should be bucket loads of the vile substance in case the head-spinning scene needed a couple of takes….

Dessert was a lemon and meringue mousse which went down very nicely. Unfortunately though, this lemony dessert prompted calls for Limoncello which ultimately resulted in Mrs B writing-off the whole of Sunday. (Mrs B may not have managed the head-spinning part of the Exorcist but she certainly seemed to make good use of the spare pea puree.) She missed the inaugural Hertford Barnstormers Comedy night on Sunday evening, leaving Mala, Craig and I to face the wrath of the comedians as a threesome. Fortunately we managed to avoid being in the front row, which predictably became the focus of the comedic attention…..

Sandwiched in-between the scallops and lemon mousse, Mrs B created a rather wonderful main course: pork tenderloin with a spinach and ham stuffing, complimented with potato boulangere and veggie bits.

An excellent night was had by all but I wish someone had told the cats that getting to bed at 4am means you really don’t need a cat call at 7am….

If it was not so sad it would be hilarious
I caught the end of some Australian animal rescue program the other day, a call had come in that some scumbag redneck, or whatever the Australian equivalent is, was holding two possums (possi, Possies, who knows what the plural is?) hostage. The Australian animal rescue team explained that it was illegal to maintain a possum in a built up area as people had no idea how to feed and look after them. (Personally I thought you hung them upside down in a tree and waited for autumn.) They managed to catch one of the possums (while the redneck and the other possum managed to evade capture) and dragged it screeching and wailing like a banshee (so much for fainting and playing dead) to a vet. The vet gave it a thorough workover and declared that it was fit and healthy, well fed and relatively well adjusted. The head animal rescue officer then somehow managed to keep a straight face while he explained that the possums would need to be euthanized for their own protection…What the…?

The scumbag redneck turned out not to be so rednecked or much of a scumbag. Other than having a grey pony tail, he was a perfectly normal, or what passes for normal, Australian. He had rescued the two possums when they had been orphaned as babies and were on a one-way ticket out of this life. Non-redneck had hand-reared these possums, saving their lives but in the process making them so tame that the animal rescue team wanted to waste them……

Sense prevailed and they put the redneck down while the possums were let off with a warning …


They gave non-redneck a possum licence.

So after all that emotional roller coaster of, would we get to watch? 'two little possum funerals and the live shooting of a redneck on the run',  it was just a typical effort of TV program makers to inject  excitement into a fairly dull run of the mill event.   

Who am I to criticise?  It is not unlike an episode of the BlackLOG, except I manage to eradicate any vestige of excitement and significance from our otherwise vaguely lived lives…. 

Energy watch
Monitoring our way to a fortune (or not) with our Solar Panels

KW Produced so far - 180

This has earned us approximately – £76.75 so far

KW generated in the week - 30

Record of the week

Fiddle About by the The Who - 

Photo finish
Ski pre-union party pictures

Breakfast negotiations

Me - "McG you can attempt to blend in with the floor all you like, but
it's 7am in the morning  and I’m not happy that I only got 3 hours sleep ."

Joe looks on in splendid anticipation as the
full horror of his food colouring experiment
starts to come to fruition . I wondered
why I was not the only one sampling 
Joe's Pee pea puree

Kirsty, along with other guests, take on a rather fetching
green hue after sampling Joe's starter ....

Christian felt a bit guilty that he failed to mention
that Mrs B was gradually getting more and more out
of focus as the evening progressed.....

Although Shonagh and Phil look as if they
may  also have noticed....

While Mrs B's attempts at wrenching her head around 360
degrees were pitiful,  she gained much kudos however
for winning the prize for the evenings most
creative use of pea puree....

I would have liked to Photoshop the effects but believe
it or  not I do value my marriage and my life....

Eat your heart out Barbie -Lisa comes
with lots of wigs and shiny accessories,
just no Ken yet...

As a new addition to the ski group Richard looks increasingly
  uncomfortable as lurid tales of last year’s broken legs
and wig wearing debauchery came to light. Even a promise
that this year’s trip would be more abstemious* did not
reassure him…

*Yes Phil,  just for you I’ve included Mrs B's word of the week  

Mischief practicing playing possum….
Just as well she is not in Australia
they would probably have her
euthanized for her own safety....

Hair of the dog

This was taken the following morning when we popped around
to see Joe and Kirsty and their puppy Alfie.  We got more than we 
bargained for as Kirsty’s mum (my Yogress for regular followers of
the blog) had just dropped off her two dogs….

I would like to point out that it was Rocco (Kirsty's mums
dog) who initiated the tongue action (one might even say
he took the lead…). I just felt it would be rude not
to reciprocate the favour.

Have to go I think I just caught a glimpse of the Time Travel Police and they don't look in a good mood, I do hope McG and Mischief have not been depriving them of sleep...catch you next week or possibly some time in your past.....