A little light work

I'm a little late with my literary efforts today.

I have been having a busy day between one thing and another.

The main part of the afternoon was taken up with a little light hedge cutting.

Now there are those of you who will conjure up images of a genteel old gentleman lightly clipping his topiary aiming for that nice perfect cut.

The reality is somewhat different.  Mine isn't one of those neatly manicured straight edged box hedges.  No.  Mine is more of a PrepareToDieYouMotherfuckingHedge type of hedge.  My tools are less of the gentle clippers and more of the slashhook, chainsaw and saw variety.  On occasions I have been known to use a flame-thrower.

The problem is that the hedge is 99% brambles, with a soupçon of nettles and other stingy, thorny things.  It's about ten foot high and even with power tools I can't react the top, so I wait for gravity to take over and when the whole hedge starts to lean, then that's when I attack.  I can't leave it as when it leans, it blocks my view when I'm trying to drive out of the lane onto the road.

It's done now.  I even tidied up most of the cuttings which took about six barrow-loads of vicious stuff that did its damndest to cling to everything I passed.  Not bad for about twenty feet of hedge?

I'm fucked and sweating now.  The sweat is pouring off me and is nicely diluting the blood from the countless tears, rips, scratches and cuts in my arms [and I was wearing industrial strength leather gauntlets].

Time for a pint, methinks…….

The Wrinkler

Those lovely people in ASH have come up with an absolute whiz of an idea.

They are all giggly and slapping each other on the back and hugging each other and saying how excited they are and this is a cracker of an idea and it is sooooo funny.

They are going to launch their new campaign called "The Wrinkler" and they cannot wait until the big day.

They are going to advertise cigarettes and tell us all how those cigarettes will give us wrinkles!

Now I thought advertising cigarettes for any reason was banned, but if they can do it, then so can I –

OK, so this is more of an advertisement for Photoshop than cigarettes so maybe that's how they get around the law, but is there a grain of truth in their presentation?  Do cigarettes in fact cause wrinkles?

I decided to have a look.

Now it's not easy finding photographs of people who do or do not smoke as they tend not to advertise that aspect of themselves either way, but I persevered.


James Reilly

OMG!!  Would you just look at the poor wretch!  Look at those ghastly wrinkles and the blotchy skin.  Look at the nicotine stained hair!  The poor man.  He looks as if he's in his seventies but hard though it is to believe, he is only 59!  The ravages of his smoking addiction have certainly left their mark there,


David Bowie

Good heavens, just look at the difference!  The smooth blemish free skin with just a few laughter wrinkles around the eyes.  The difference is incredible!  Now you will not believe this but this chap is 68!!  Yes – he is a full nine years older than our poor smoking wretch above, but just look at the difference between the complexion and hair!  He's maybe nine years older but he looks twenty years younger.  Who would think that those evil cigarettes could make such a difference?  He was very wise to stay off those disgusting cigarettes, wasn't he?

So maybe The Wrinkler works after all?

Whoda thunk it?

Not a joke about rubbers

I confess I get a laugh out of the drivel that comes from Academia.

Yesterdays example of noise making people obese for example, or yet another tedious announcement from the EU – that four cups of espresso can "damage your health".  I treat them all to to the same reply – "so fucking what?" or even "who fucking cares?".

I came across a piece today though that is a little outside the norm of these "studies" and pieces of crap "research" as this is merely the opinion of an "expert".

Erasers are an ‘instrument of the devil' which should be banned, says academic.

OK, so he's an "academic" [am I supposed to tug the forelock?] but is he serious, or just trying to get his name in the papers? 

I fully agree with him on one point – the best way to learn is from our mistakes.  Stick your finger in a flame, and you won't do it again.  It is the way all knowledge has advanced through the ages, and the wisdom of those who have made errors is passed on to new generations.

Where our friend goes wrong though is there are two types of mistake.  I'll call them the Conscious and the Unconscious.  For example, when I type my shit out on these pages, I make mistakes by the ton – spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.  I read over my stuff and [with the help of the little squiggly red line] I try to correct those errors.  These are Conscious errors because I am well aware that they are mistakes.  I correct them, otherwise my ramblings would be even more difficult to read than normal.  However, an expert in grammar or punctuation would find hundreds of Unconscious errors that I am unaware of because I simply don't care and have never learned the strict rules.

What this "scientist" seem to be advocating though is that errors are there to be praised and glorified.  What a steaming pile of horseshit!  I write 2 + 2 = 5 and leave it so that my teacher can have the opportunity to pat me on the head and say I'm wrong, or do I erase the 5 and replace it with a 4?  If the former, then I may as well stick with my 2 + 2 = 5 as I'll still get a pat on the head, because otherwise I would be "competitive", and anyway mistakes are my "friend".

He rightly states that "Out in the big wide world nobody is going to be following you around, marking your work, organising your time for you, in the 21st century you are going to be the designer, the architect, the curator of your own learning."  Is he however willing to live in a tower block designed by one of his students?  Will he drive a car or cross a bridge that's the brainchild of his philosophy?  The architect designs two inch deep foundations for the tower block, because sure aren't mistakes all right?  Or the motor engineer uses string to operate the brake because teacher said that it's OK to make mistakes.

The "scientist" seems to be advocating the philosophy that we shouldn't be competitive.  We are all equal.  We are individuals who shouldn't be judged on our achievements.  Character is more important than education.

Fuck that.  I only want to deal with people who are experts in their field and if they have left a trail of bloodied non-achievers in their wake then all the better.

Maybe Professor Claxton should be erased?

Why Heavy Metal is called heavy

Well, you could knock me down with a feather.

I always thought that obesity was caused by overeating, lack of exercise or even genetics.  It just goes to show how wrong I can be.

Apparently the real cause of obesity is noise.

Noise, I hear you say?  Yes, noise.  [I can’t say it any louder as I don’t want to make you fat].

You see, those incredibly intelligent and highly educated scientists have discovered that living near a road, railway or aircraft flightpath leads to obesity.

Who'd a thunk it?

Could it possibly be that people don't like living near railways, roads or airports because of the noise and therefore houses tend to be a lot cheaper, meaning that the poorer members of society tend to live in these areas?  There is a supposed connection between lower income and obesity, but surely those wise erudite scientists would have copped that one?  Nah!  I'm a mere mortal by comparison so how could I possibly know anything about it?

Anyhows, they reckon that somehow noise leads to sleepless nights which in turn leads to something else which in turn causes something which eventually ends up on your waistline.  Incredible!  How these scientists do it is beyond me.  Here was I thinking that it was my fondness for Mars bars that was broadening me out a bit, and it is really that fucker up the valley who zaps past the Manor on his fucking motorbike with no silencer on it.  Time to string a cable across the road at neck height as he could be causing all sorts of future health problems for me.

I'll have to stop listening to Steppenwolf, Deep Purple and Status Quo too.  Can't be too careful?  I always thought that Heavy Metal meant loud, not realising it meant weight.

Presumably our Illustrious Gubmint will be issuing us all with earplugs soon?



Flight FR9399 Palma to Prestwick has just flown over.

I'd better loosen my belt another notch?

H/T John at Forest Eireann

Calling them black

I have a problem with kettles.

Or rather, I think they have a major problem with me.

When I first set up house we got ourselves a Russell Hobbs.  It was a fine yoke and did it's job well but after a while it sprang a leak.  It was where the spout joined the body and was impossible to repair.  I dumped it and bought a new one.

The next one just died.  Something blew in the element or something but whatever it was I dumped it and bought a new one.

Over the years this has continued with renewals on a regular basis.  Finally about six years ago I bought one that was all plastic.  Whatever about the element blowing, this one wasn't going to leak.

That one boiled water beautifully and it's element seemed capable of heating a swimming pool.  The fucking thing dribbled!  The fuckers had chosen design over function and no matter how I tried to pour it, it dribbled all over the place.  It had to go.

The daughter has a Tefal which she has had for years.  I bought one of them.  It had the right shape to pour and obviously was long lasting.  After a while the fucking element blew up.  I went to replace it with the same model but couldn't find it.  I made my choice out of the dozens on offer [most of them with that damned straight-up spout that dribbles] and brought it home.  That was a year ago.

Yesterday I realised there was a large pool on the counter-top and rivulets running down the cupboards to a lake on the floor.  The fucking thing was leaking.

By this stage, whenever I buy a kettle I keep everything – the box, the packaging and even the silly little condom that slips over the plug pins.  Naturally the receipt goes into the box too.

I'm just back from Skobievlle with a new kettle.  Yer Man in the shop said I was the first person ever to bring back an eleven month old kettle in its original packaging.  To quote him – most of 'em don't even have a fuckin' receipt.

The new kettle has no joints.  It's a stainless steel pot inside a plastic casing, and the steel pot is leak proof.  It's a Tefal so hopefully it will last as long as the daughter's which must be at least ten years old.  I read the manual [after making myself a grand mug of tea] and it warns me not to use it if I'm not experienced.  I have a driving licence so that will have to do.  I also mustn't use it at any altitude above 4,000 meters so the trip to Everest is off.  I got all that from their 101 page instruction manual, which to put it mildly is quite comprehensive.

Hopefully my troubles are over.

I'm still keeping the box and packaging though.