<< November 2002 January 2003 >>

Tuesday 31 December, 2002
# So anyway, I got this new mug
anonymous said ETC........ETCETERA [added 22nd Jan 2007]

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#[linkfarm] Build Your Own Fusion Reactor
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Monday 30 December, 2002
# There is far too much Tweenies on CBeebies at the moment. I am utterly sick of their childish enthusiasms and petulances. That's what I have the Bean for. (Except for Milo. Milo rocks!)
Marc said We made the mistake of buying the Tweenies 'Song Time' video. It was way too popular with the little'n. Moving to a country with a different video system was a small price to pay to be rid of it. [added 31st Dec 2002]
ahmed [e] [w] said cbeemag [added 10th May 2005]
bla [e] said wot u on bout tweenies is ace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [added 22nd Jul 2005]
wendy hutchinson [e] said our 2 daughters really love tweenies there is far more rubbish co cbbc channel [added 1st Sep 2005]
Dean said griefers tweenies rocks, as does 90% of the cbeebies shows, very educational and like wendy says much more mature programming than cbbc channel. [added 17th Sep 2006]
maryam [e] said cbeebies is cool ace as everyone says it is the best thing on earth which is fun, educationally for your kids.

GO CBEEBIES AND TWEENIES!!!!!! [added 30th Mar 2009]

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#[linkfarm] Fight DVD Religion Coding!
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Sunday 29 December, 2002
# Bearded chum Frazer rang yesterday to tell us of the birth of he and Jacqui's debut nipper on the 27th. Just think about the present fatigue they'll have to deal with.
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Friday 27 December, 2002
# Almost forgot - we sat for 10 minutes at our bedroom window watching a sparrowhawk in the garden. Nat spotted it first and called me up to ask what it was. It was a real shock - you expect to see songbirds and finches up close your back window, not raptors with a beak full of pigeon. Quite amazing really - I never knew we had them round here. I guess the local bird population must be healthier than it sometimes appears.

It was pretty big, long square tail and very pale underneath, so I'm assuming it was a female sparrowhawk, and not some massively lost Goshawk. It did seem to know its way around as it moved off, and I eventually lost site of it as it flew directly toward the setting sun.

peteychap said Ten minutes and you didn't get a photo? Did it really have a beak full of pigeon? Kewl... [added 28th Dec 2002]
It really did, and no, no photo. It was too far away for the digital camera to have got anything useful, and the film camera, whose telephoto magic would have got quite a good picture, was between films. [added 28th Dec 2002]
Andrew [e] said Just saw a Sparrowhawk bring down a Collared Dove only about 5 metres from my office window, it just stood on top of the dove for about 2 minutes before picking it up with some difficulty with it's tallons and flew low level in to the hedge bottom, then finally took it out of sight.

Fantastic to see such a madgestic creature up close.

Wish I had a camera with me. [added 28th Sep 2007]

shirley hughes [e] said my husband and i were sitting on a swing in the back yard next to our pomogrante tree and there was about 15 sparrows then out of no where a sparrowhawk flew in front of us after all the sparrows which scattered, so we got a quick glance of him and it was gone. I to wish i had a camera he was so beautiful and so quick. i went inside to look him up now i hope to find another one. [added 27th Dec 2007]
Ian [e] said Had sparrowhawk in my back garden yesterday. sat on the fence behind a bush that sparrows frequent. every unsuspecting sparrow that flew into the bush had to run the gauntlet of the hawk, who went away emptyhanded (or would that be talon) on this occasion. awaiting his next visit [added 18th Jan 2008]
anonymous said I could not belive my eyes.I was outside in my garden leant against my wall just looking around the garden.Suddenly as I turned my head into another direction something swooped right past my left eye.I had this instant shock "what was that"!! I turned right round to see what this was.To my amazement I looked and was focuslly stunded.It was a female Sparrow Hawk.The Hawk had majestically swooped right past me and pin point accuratlly landed on a pigeon.The pigeon was pinned to the ground by this Hawk.The Hawk did nothing but stare at me as he seemed I may be of a threat to her.This hawk was only 6 feet behind me as was a beautiful sight to see as I have never seen one so close.I really had a good look at her as she was watching me to see if I was a threat to her.She obviously was not bothered about my person to swoop right past my eye.However I took pity for the Pigeon and hissed loudly at the Hawk.The hawk took flight as flew towards the allotoments across the way and as did the Pigeon in the other direction.I guess I interfered with nature,but could not see such a creature has its throat ripped out.I have heard talk on the allotoment that a kyte has been seen over the allotoments.I thought Kytes were a highland bird not a southern one,as I live in Andover hants. [added 2nd Jun 2010]

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# The Bean is, as we anticipated, suffering from severe present fatigue. Christmas morning, he came through with his little stockingfull and sat in bed with us to open them. He was very excited, despite going to bed the previous insisting that he didn't want Father Christmas to come and visit him. The stocking stuff was all quite small, but he was very taken by a toy car we'd got him.

After a spot of breakfast we started on the larger pressies. We'd discussed the possibility of fatigue with the Bean's grandparents, explaining that we felt he could probably only manage to open four, maybe five, before it was all a bit much. Obviously this had fallen on conveniently deaf ears in certain quarters. He was quite excited by the new train track - I expect that's a grower. The toy hospital was initally rejected, although he later spent some time dropping all the people off the roof so they could be X-rayed. There was a load of other stuff - new pyjamas, a pack of cards for playing snap, some colouring pens, a colouring book, and I forget what else. The new Pingu video we strategically opened before lunch was also a hit, as was the new Bob the Builder plate we served it on. Currently though, the car still seems to be favourite.

Good fun, but hard work.

There are still five presents unopened. Today he refused to open any - I don't want presents. It's only two months till his birthday. Ug.
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Wednesday 25 December, 2002
# Happy Christmas!
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Monday 23 December, 2002
#[linkfarm] Clash star Strummer dies
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# In the attic on the last day of the Cardiff job, bar a trip down there to take their kit back. So much code to rip out, so little time.
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Friday 20 December, 2002
#[linkfarm] Centrefold models getting more androgynous
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# Nat's off to London for her PhD viva this afternoon. It'll be Mr and Dr Higgins when she gets back home.
prashton said Welcome home, Doctor! In 1970 I had my viva with Dr. Robin Bathurst, Reader in Geology at Liverpool and the world figure in limestone geology. He had a terrible stutter. After four hours and only 79 pages (out of 300) he closed my thesis, looked at me and said "Well, D-d-d-d-octor Ashton, I think we'll stop there." The penny dropped a few seconds later. Six years went by before I ran into him in Jakarta when he said "I wondered if I had made a mistake, but you seem to have deserved your doctorate." [added 21st Dec 2002]
Sound like no viva I've ever heard about ...

Nat's thesis was "approved with minor changes", those changes being the addition of a couple of pages in the introduction about her methodology (how she found her interviewees, how the interviews were conducted, etc), and a page in the conclusion about how Hull and Birmingham turned out to be similar after all. The were no changes at all to the main body of the text, not even spelling or grammer corrections.

Both her examiners were really excited about it, and seemed to think it was quite an important piece of work. There have been oral history studies of marriage and domestic life before, but they were all conducted in a single town or area. No one has ever conducted research across different locations before, and so it looks like her findings could be quite significant. Yay!

I'm really proud of the way she stuck to it - it's been a long old time coming what with the various enforced interruptions she's had (renovating the house, the Bean, etc) - but I never doubted she'd do it. Nat herself seems to be slightly underwhelmed, but I guess that's to be expected. If it wasn't Christmas, she'd probably have done the additions already. As it is, she'll get the sorted in the new year.

We'll be moving house at the end of January, and knocking the new place into shape will keep her busy for a little while. Question is, what's after that? [added 23rd Dec 2002]

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Wednesday 18 December, 2002
# One-In, One-Out Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?
Vote early, vote often! P-Y Gerbeau - in! Simon Heffer - out!

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Wednesday 11 December, 2002
#[linkfarm] Boys Tamper With Kylie's Bum
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Tuesday 10 December, 2002
# Crimbo will shortly be upon us, and one of my few consessions to the season is making a Christmas pudding. It's really pretty satisfying to serve up your pud at the end of a large festive feed, and it's really pretty easy so why not have a go.

A Christmas pudding is basically a big ball of dried fruit and a bit of binding. The fruit can be pretty much anything you like, and the stuff to bind is normally flour and breadcrumbs with maybe some ground almonds or something like that. A lot of recipes uses eggs as the glue, and sweeten the whole thing with a ton of sugar. All that dried fruit is pretty sweet anyway so I leave the sugar out, and I glue it all together with a mixture of dates, milk and treacle. Sounds ghastly, but it isn't.

Anyway, here's my recipe. It makes enough to fill a 1 litre basin. Feel free to substitute anything you don't like. This pudding comes out pretty dense, so throw in a bit of grated carrot or apple to lighten it up. Like I said, it's got no eggs so if you use oat milk and vegetable marg then it's vegan.

You will need

  1. Put all the dry ingredients, bar the dates, into a big bowl. Give it a jolly good mix. The flour and ground almonds will stick to the fruit, so keep going until it's all evenly distributed.
  2. Roughly chop the dates. Put them in a saucepan with the milk. Heat gently, stirring now and again, until the dates breakdown and it goes all mushy. Stick in the marg. Carry on stirring until it's all melted. Add the treacle, and give it another good stir.
  3. Pour the date mixture onto the dry ingredients. Stir it thoughly until it's all really well mixed - everything will look brown and puddingy
  4. Pack the mixture into a buttered pudding basin. Put a layer of greaseproof paper and then a layer of foil on the top. If you're feeling keen, put a bit of a pleat in it. Tie the paper and foil tightly round the basin with string (you could get away with a rubber band, so long as it's really tight). Trim any excess off.
  5. Steam the pudding for about four or five hours. A steamer is, obviously, ideal, but if you don't have one then just stand the basin in a saucepan which is half full of water and simmer it as gently as you can.
  6. Stash the pudding away in a cool cupboard until you want to eat it. It'll keep for weeks.
  7. When you're ready, steam it again for a couple of hours. Remove the paper and foil, put a plate over the top and then turn the whole thing over. The pudding will (should anyway, and I've never had one stick) drop out with a rather nice little sucking noise. Eat.

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Wednesday 04 December, 2002
# Lord of the lap dance - John Gray runs his eyes over the gyrating dancer - naked save for a tiny thong - as if he were a farmer eyeing prize livestock ... Gray takes a sip on his Red Bull and then says proudly: 'My wife's a world-class porn star: she really understands what I do.' ... 'We believe a dance should be for the individual consumer. We don't want people to feel embarrassed. It's about getting value. It's a one-to-one experience. There's nothing seedy in it.' ... the dancers are trained to flatter. They are taught to remember a name and to use it three times within the first minute. The sentence 'We don't get many guys as good looking as you in the club' is also a regular fixture ...
... and undoubtedly a lie.
terrance [e] said http://www.brianholt.co.uk

check out a certain property in kensington road up for sale

thats inflation for you! [added 6th Dec 2002]

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# Delighted to discover that Google rates this page number 2 for spearmint rhino uk, two places higher then spearmintrhino.com. Ha ha.
billabong [e] said Jez man, let this lapdancing obsession go.... think of the

wife and kiddy. [added 5th Dec 2002]

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Sunday 01 December, 2002
# Sex Sells: An Audience with a Private Dancer - Private Dancer is being pushed as one of the raunchiest videogames ever made, featuring gambling, lapdancing, motion capture sessions with professional exotic dancers and an endorsement from the infamous Spearmint Rhino chain of clubs.
Turn your front room into an exclusive gentlemens club with a CD-ROM and a laptop (ho fucking ho!) computer.
ajbattrick said I notice a trend in your recent posts J. Is the time away taking its toll ? ;P [added 1st Dec 2002]
No, I've just got a bit of a Spearmint Rhino bee in my bonnet at the moment. I was sat with the Bean having breakfast, when a bus goes passed with its oh-so-funny advert, and I just it is was massively inappropriate, and hypocritical and all the rest. My friend John informs me that one of the poster sites taken by SR is opposite the central mosque. How culturally sensistive can you get? [added 1st Dec 2002]
prashton said Observations from across the pond. Houston passed a law a couple of years ago that forbids lap dancing in nightclubs. There has to be space between dancer and customer. Dallas has a club called the Million Dollar Saloon which I was taken to about 10 years ago by a fellow geologist. As we discussed topics like plate tectonics and such, the girls would gyrate ever lower, motioning us to "spend" dollars. Although some of them were quite gorgeous, they somehow didn't seem worth the tips!

A friend who has lived many years in Asia said he wanted to go to one of these clubs "to see the pneumatic women of Texas". That's an accurate description indeed.

And then there is Rick's, an upscale strip joint in Houston. Many years ago they went public and listed on the NASDAQ, starting a franchise. Never been there so I couldn't say if it would be a good investment.

Most strip clubs are pretty depressing places, particularly if the girls take all their clothes off. And it's just as well most clubs are dark, gloomy caves!

Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous New Orleans stripper never stripped completely, apparently she was a true burlesque artist who knew how to tease her clientele.

Which brings me to my point: today we have strip clubs; then they had striptease clubs. Big difference in my opinion. [added 3rd Dec 2002]

stab said lapdancing is sex. the only difference is a little bit of cloth in between the dry hump. Everything else is done. Yes its prostitution and even though people get rich from it , it ultimately degrades a society. The johns are hurt by how this effects there personal lives and how they see and ojectify women and the girls are hurt by ultimately being sex workers and the lack of opportunity and callousness of that life [added 24th Dec 2004]

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