Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Yet another nutter harrassing MPs

Today, as a result of this pledge, I wrote to Andy Burnham MP. Apparently Mr Burnham does not believe anyone objects to ID cards. I, along with the other signatories of the pledge, intend to disabuse him of this notion. The full text of my letter (which, I fear, is somewhat long), is available to anyone who wants it. I will blog his reply, if any.

Hat tips: JB, who helped edit my letter, and the Hamster.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An epic tale of drunkenness

From a friend of mine, concerning a mutual acquaintance of ours.

At a recent corporate party out in the countryside, D:

- necked three pints
- drank another three pints a little bit slower (bear in mind he doesn’t drink)
- did some interesting dancing (basically we would go up to an attractive girl and mime spanking her)
- started smoking again
- told [nameless colleague] to “shut the f*ck up”
- popped all the balloons with one of his cigarettes
- went home on the early bus – and when that bus was announced he did not say goodbye to anyone – he sprinted across the dancefloor and out of the hall like rabid dogs were chasing him
- spent the bus ride home shaking and sweating – desperate not to throw up
got off the bus at the Strand and puked everywhere (puke that Comedy Dave later walked through before walking into a wall – another story)
- had to be walked to Charing Cross by one of the receptionists, apparently telling her all the way how he was not really like this and how he hoped she wasn’t judging him
- walked past one of his girlfriend’s best mates with the receptionist on his arm – she was supporting him, but as far as the mates was concerned he was at the station with a gorgeous blonde
- struggled to stay awake on the train
- puked all over his home station
- stripped on his way upstairs and passed out in bed
- spent most of the next day puking and texting me to tell me how horrible he felt.

All in all, a classic, old-school performance.

The gentleman in question is formerly of Her Majesty's Armed Forces and is about the join the police.

This is quite bizarre. The bit about “impregnated by her father” is a jaw dropper to say the least. The existence of the law implies that they had to think about that exception and be prepared for it.
'You can't abort that child! It is my child/grandchild simultaneously!'

Hardhat, apparently


You are an atheist, a rationalist, a believer in the triumph of science and of reason over libido. You can’t stand mumbo jumbo, ritual, spiritual nonsense of any kind, and you refuse to allow for these longings in others.

Astrologers, Scientologists and new–age crystal ball creeps are no different in your view from priests, rabbis and imams. They’re all just weak–minded pilgrims on the road to easy answers. Nature as revealed by science is awesome enough for you, but it’s a nature that needs curbing and taming by us on our evolutionary journey to perfection.

Your heros are Einstein, Darwin, Marx and — these days — Gould, Blakemore, Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin. Could you be hiding a little behind those absolutist views, worried that, if you let in a few doubts and contradictory ideas, the whole edifice might crumble? Loosen up a bit and try to enjoy the amazing variety of human belief systems. Don’t worry — it’s unlikely you’ll end up chanting your days away in some distant mountain cult.
What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Because-we-can engineering

BWC engineering is engineering without any regards for cost, done purely to see if it can be done. Or more usually, by some messianic loony with a bottomless budget who has an unshakeable conviction it will be done, and woe betide anyone who thinks otherwise. Rameses' Great Pyramid is a good ancient example. A good modern example here.

Girls' names etc.

Over the weekend I speak briefly to an old mate who told me he'd met a girl recently called Candy. After my derisive snorting and questions as to how much she charges per dance he affirmed that Candy *is* apparently her real name. It is short for Candida. Which sounds nice until one realises that Candida is the genus of yeast that causes thrush. Which leads me to think of other 'orrible words that would make nice names. Anathema, for example, as in (I believe, it's been a while) Pratchett & Gaiman's Good Omens. Chylamidia. Syphilis. Tsunami. All lovely names for a girl, I think. Suggestions?

Justin ChickYog is on fire again. Really, how does he do it? At least he is doing something positive with his rage at the state of things. Th ever-vitriolic Charlie Brooker posits another way to vent your anger; a two minute howl.

Stephen Ladyman, minister for speed cameras, very bravely appeared on Top Gear last night. He got savaged by Clarkson. I maintain that Top Gear is the funniest comedy on TV at the moment. I am reliably informed that thousands of people with no interest in cars watch it, for the sheer entertainment value of watching three grown men bicker over shiny cars that they clearly love with a childish, innocent glee. They also visited the sublime Millau Bridge, the world's tallest, and surely a contender for a modern wonder of the world.

Friday, November 25, 2005

'I never actually saw him live....

... but I am fatuous media-obsessed arsehead who desperately craves to be seen as a man of the people so I am saying the first thing that enters my head.'

Christopher Marlowe gets edited.

Bless the Beeb/state school braindrain

Un-PC but sometimes true here.

At last, statistical proof of what I observed at Oxford; bright kids at state schools get worse grades than bright kids at private schools, all esle being equal. Quite simply, this proves exams tell you very little about actual intelligence; children are largely the products of their environment. The converse of this, is that halfwits at private schools can get straight A grades.


A spam avalanche has hit my inbox. Among the learned ladies and gents who are kindly offering me 'v1agra', 'replicas your woman wants', and 'ultimate luv pharmaseutical' are
Squeezing T. Fortitude,
De Loterie Romande, and (best of all)
Hampshire B. Smelting.

I blame the parents.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Expenses/Bush/Betting on DD

From: [nameless accountant in our finance dept]
Sent: 24 November 2005 16:51
To: [company]
Subject: Expenses

Please remember that if you want your expenses paid before Christmas, all expenses must be returned to me no later that Friday 2nd December.


[nameless accountant]

From: The Moai
Sent: 24 November 2005 16:53
To: [nameless accountant]
Subject: FW: Expenses

But, please, Miss Scrooge, if I don't get my three shillings and ninepence expenses afore the blessed day of our lord's birth, Tiny Tim won't eat... and he's been sorely ill, Miss Scrooge.... gawd bless yer, Miss Scrooge, I'll get back ter counting yer gold now, Miss Scrooge [cough cough]


More bitterness by the bloke who is funnier than me:

“President utters “racist jibe” - Mis-quoted according to senior aides.

“The President of the United States appeared to misspeak at a press conference on the issue of capital punishment, causing considerable consternation in Washington and beyond. Fortunately there were stern administration press spokesmen on hand to correct the wayward White House press corp.

“The problem occurred shortly after noon, when the President rose to begin the day’s work. He met with the press and commented on the tragic murder of UK policewoman Sharon Beshenivsky, saying that he fully supported Blair’s pledge to bring back the death penalty in the UK. Saying it was “time to give something back to old Tone” he went on to ignore a comment from a reporter that Downing Street had said Blair was against re-instating capital punishment. President Bush went on to warm to his subject saying he would “back Blair all the way to the Rodeo” before going on to say that he looked forward to “standing shoulder to shoulder with Blair when he fries himself his first n*gger!”

“At this point the Press corp broke into uproar and the Secret Service decided their questions were a clear and present threat to the security of the President and consequently rushed him from the room to a top secret bunker known as “Junior’s Bedroom”. Confusion ensued until a White House press spokesman arrived and told the press that “in no way” had the President used “that terrible racial profanity.” In fact the President said he would stand shoulder to shoulder with Blair “when they try that terrible cop-killer.” There were some criticism of this explanation, not least when several video tapes of the were played of the incident, but the spokesman asked whether they were going to take the word of a flawed and “easily fabricated” video tape or rather listen to the “gospel truth” of President Bush. He went on to say that the explanation was now set in stone and anyone who disagreed was “not only contradicting the word of the President but also probably in league with the towel heads and hurricanes that this administration has worked so hard to fight.”

“It has been confirmed that a number of TV stations and newspapers who had reporters present at the meeting have contacted the President offering their sincere apologies for doubting him and also assuring him that it would never happen again.”

Cheney code name revealed

“A leaked report from the US Secret Service has revealed Vice-President Cheney’s code name as “Goblin Prince.” The report stresses that this codename was not an insult to the pug faced Vice-President, but rather a request from the man itself.

“According to the report Cheney sulked when he was told that his codename would be “Trucker-man” owing to his shady and probably corrupt links to the Halliburton Group. The only way the Secret Service could get him to stop sulking and spitting at them was to ask him what name he would prefer. He instantly said “Goblin Prince.” The report reveals that he chose “Prince” because “one day a prince becomes king” and “Goblin” for family reasons.

“However his request initially met with conflict from others in the White House, with Senior Presidential aide Karl Rove also requesting the very same code name. When asked why, pudgy faced baldy Mr Rove apparently replied “well, look at me.” There were some strong disagreements between Vice-President Cheney and Deputy Chief of Staff Rove until the Secret Service decided to give the name to Mr Cheney, arguing that “that useless fat b*stard doesn’t need a codename because we ain’t giving him protection. Someone shoots that c*nt, well, they’d be doing the world a favour.”

“On hearing that he has got his chosen name Mr Cheney apparently did what the report calls “a goblin dance”, cackling and jerking his rotund body around his office until his heart started to give way and he had to be returned to the iron lung which he spends most of his time in.

“The White House was unavailable for comment. Seriously, all of it. “

I have put money on David Davis to win the Tory leadership. Seriously, the media may love Cameron but the media aren't voting on this, Tory members are, and word in the camp is that this is a two horse race. Besides, it is DC's to lose and DD's to win, and I have a horrible feeling that coming hustings and potential sordid allegations may unseat DC before the last post. The odds available as I type are incredible (I got 17:1!) so why not?

This may be the first time ever a Welshman stands to profit from Conservatism.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Support the Hamster

Anti-ID? NuLabour claim they know of *hardly anyone* who is. Get over the BSSC, read the post and sign the pledge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Courtesy of a friend who is funnier than me:

'I wonder if Jeb Bush wins the presidency whether the name Bush will become an honorary title in future for Presidents. It would make a weird sort of sense after all –

“The conclave of Senior Republican Officials has finally reached its decision. A smog of oil based smoke rose from the chimney of the Republican National Committee in Washington DC and moments later the head of the RNC announced from the purpose built TV studio “we have a President.” Richard Ronald Cheney was duly proclaimed President, and announced he would be taking the title of President George W. Bush XVI, and would continue the Holy Fifteenth Crusade against the dirty Muslims.

“The world has been waiting for the announcement of the new President since the death of President Ronald Reagan XXII last week. Reagan died aged 108 from a mixture of Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and a dicky tummy. His papacy – sorry, Presidency – was one of the longest in recent times, lasting for just over 42 years. He was clinically dead for just under 12 years of that period.”'

ID cards

Take a look at the picture about halfway down. You'll know the one when you see it.

The Express out-Mails the Mail

Just perfect in every way, from Diana and Christmas and asylum seekers and gyppos, right down to the picture of the photogenic girl murdered by a foreigner.
Hat-tip to the Magistrate.

A certain spin doctor

Can anyone substantiate if the below is true about a certain well-known spin doctor?

'I read an excellent biography that told that story in detail. I think (person I work with) has read it as well. Basically he was a drunk working in a senior position for the failing Today newspaper and went to the Labour conference when Kinnock was in charge. He was so drunk that Kinnock had him thrown out and after that he went on the rampage. If memory serves he was arrested naked on a motorway slip road and was hospitalised with a massive nervous breakdown. “You couldn’t make it up”. Apparently he was in the process of falling apart again prior to his resignation over the David Kelly affair/state sponsored suicide.'

Our clear desk policy has been questioned by some people. The reasons given for it are repeated below:

1. It shows the right image when our customers visit the Company. (Most of them have messy desks too)

2. It reduces the threat of security as confidential information gets filed away. (The threat of security? Eh? Very Freudian)

3. It can, according to scientific studies help reduce stress. (citations please...)

4. It reduces workplace accidents and spills. ('Eeeh, I remember the grest Desk Landslip of 1997... old Jimbo, he got buried up to 'is neck in invoices, 'e did... never did find his faithgful old stapler, Lucky.... we had to take Jimbo's leg off to get 'im out...')

5. It allows the cleaners to do their job effectively and actually polish our desks. (We have cleaners?)

6. It is generally accepted that a tidy desk is a sign of efficiency and effectiveness. (Serial killers usually have very neat handwriting. I believe there is an analogy here.)

Things you can't do in the army: very funny!

News from Wales

I love this story:
....Matthew Wilson, 18, said he had come to see Charlotte Church, because she was "a good role model".... - yeah, right. A role model. Nothing to do with her writhing around in a basque in her last video, then, Matt?

And best of all:...And the Treorchy Male Voice Choir helped comedian Joe Pasquale sing 'I Know a Song That'll Get on Your Nerves'...
And I thought my choir had sunk low.

Last night's pub discussion included the controversial hypothesis that terminal illness is worse for teenagers and young adults than it is for children, as the former group have glimpsed and understood the future they will never have.

HH the Dalai Lama is in Edinburgh.

I remain clueless as to what to get my two ickle nieces for Christmas, suggestions appreciated. Preferable something that cannot be swallowed as the smaller of the two is in that stage characteristic of *all* small mammals, ie. 'what does everything taste like? let's find out.'

In praise of a design icon: the wonderful 2CV. Apparently, seeing a blue one is considered to be lucky in France.

Winter cricket: at the time of writing England are 343-6 (here). No doubt Oscar is keeping an eye on this one, as well as tearing into tabloid science, a favourite target of my own. The doyen of scientific savagery remains the indefatigable (why is there a double negative in this word?) Ben Goldacre.

Our HR manager, who earns more than me and does precisely jack-all to make this company any money, is currently enforcing a clear desk policy. Well, that's a useful way to use resource. Nearly everyonme in this company who actually does anything useful commercially has a legal or scientific background, and I have have *never* seen a scientist or lawyer with a clean desk. We just do not think that way. So, this Friday, when the policy will be 'implemented with sanctions' (scarily dictatorial language) should be interesting.

And, now, I'm rambling.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Coal still profitable

Laban shows coal is still profitable here.

Hollow laughter can be heard from the Welsh valleys, from the run-down pub, the shabby bookies, the dole office, and the hospital ward. Hollow, bitter laughter, from men with only half a dust-corrupted lung left.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Panchen et al

I had occasion to discuss the disputed status of the current Panchen Lama last night. A pretty well balanced dissection of what the actual controversy is, can be found here, with more here and here.

Google is driven by pigeons, apparently. Maybe the sale of all the guano explains their stock value. After all, you can base whole economies on bird poo.

Good for a giggle. Sense of humour and certain theological robustness required.

And, finally, another update from the trenches of recruitment. What follows is an ecerpt from an email conversation I had from an old mate who is still in the rec business:

From: nameless recruiter mate of mine

I am recruiting a couple of roles for organisations linked to the Royal family. I have just had a very sheepish call from one of my contacts saying they like the candidates but traditionally they take on people with “English names”.

Right, thanks for

1. Making my job even more difficult (sorry, Sukhdev, you have the right skill set and could do the job easily but your name is just not Anglo-Saxon enough)

2. diminishing even further my respect for the royals.

Reply from me:

Really? Bloody hell. That still goes on? What do you do? I'd just tell them those are the best candidates and sod them. Be selectively deaf. The House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is not exactly of Home Counties origin anyway (Saxon but certainly NOT Anglo....) Phil the Greek was an asylum seeker, for Vishnu's sake.

I remember hearing once that the Queen Mum was a raging racist who just was not allowed by her handlers to meet any black people on her not-all-planned-and-totally-spontaneous 'impromptu walkabouts' for fear of what she might say.

Without the amount of graduates of Oriental/sub-continental origin entering the finance profession, no-one will have the luxury of discrimination if they want an FD in ten years time anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


There a great article on blogging over on the Guardian site here. It's a good read and I personally cannot believe it has taken me so long to find Norm's blog, which I hereby link.

In other news, more madness in Turkmenistan, first confirmed bird flu death, a bank robber who can't leave her mobile alone, and a drugs bust in Bhutan*. Also, more on the Denmark affair here:
"Some Muslims are asking for an apology pointing to a lack of respect. They're not asking for respect; they're asking for subordination - for us as non-Muslims to follow Muslim taboos in the public domain."

There is also a very good article on the shocking mission creep of taser use here. What started out as a last resort for cases where violence was a serious threat has now become a routinely used tool of extraordinary brutality. This is what happens when the police get draconian powers. They get used to them.

One day I am going to get busted for blogging at work but until that day the Lighthouse lamp is on.

* - there are probably more drugs in Soho than there are in the entire country, in all fairness

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It will not have evaded the dwindling band of regular visitors to the Lighthouse that I am running slightly short of inspiration for the sort of witty, lenghty blog posts that will keep people coming back. So, I have been seeking inspiration elsewhere. I am not sure I have a sufficiently filthy mind (well without intoxicants anyway) to write stories like ScaryDuck and I don't have Greenfairy's writing style. I am also not going to engage in political blogging to the extent that Devil's Kitchen, NoseMonkey and Oscar Wildebeest do, as they are better at it than me. The rugby season is still warming up so that's not much of a source of material. So, I thought Misty's more personal, diary-style of blog could be worth a bash. So, in that spirit, fifty thirty twenty seven things you couldn't care less about me. I shall add the first ten now, and come up with more as the day goes on.

1. I'm a vegetarian. I increasingly wonder why.
2. .... but I do get terrible fried chicken cravings when I'm hammered.
3. I was born in a small village in Wales...
4. ... but I now live in north west London.
5. I work for a major London university in a job which involves trying to organise academics. Which is a bit like herding cats.
6. I was in New York the first time Osama tried to blow it up. He failed, which is why you're reading this.
7. I do not tell people my 'star-sign' as I maintain that any interest in astrology is a sure sign that you are a credulous halfwit whom the Renaissance has passed by.
8. I once stood behind Jude Law at a cash machine. He's taller than you'd think.
9. I brew my own beer in a rather Hammer-horror-esque pipes and pumps assembly. I have yet to blind anyone with it.
10. I have wanted to go to Bhutan for the past three years and still have not saved up enough to do so as life keeps getting in the way. If anyone would like to take me I'd be very grateful.
11. I can speak backwards without effort. I have always been able to do it. The secret is to reverse the syllables, not the letters.
12. I'm a Buddhist. But not a very good one.
13. I am not sure if I am an only child as I have a step-brother I was raised with. Does that count?
14. I suffer apocalyptically bad hayfever.
15. I attended one of the Oxbridge universities. I went to a comprehensive. It depresses me that this is becoming a rarer combination.
16. I hate over-boiled vegetables. Especially boiled carrots. Ackhgh...
17. The best job I have ever had is the one I have now. The worst was working in Mister Pound in Merthyr Tydfil. ''Ow much is this?' Ohohoho.
18. I try to be non-materialistic, but I badly want a Marlin
19. My favourite books are Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, Frank Herbert's Dune, Collapse by Jared Diamond, Charriere's Papillon, and Whisper of the Blade by Erik Durschmied.
20. I get horrible Tourette's-like urges to say inappropriate things in pressurised situations. Is it just me who has the urge to shout ARSE! in the middle of exams?
Oh. It is.
21. I love Father Ted, Scrapheap Challenge and Malcolm In The Middle.
22. I will brook no debate on the assertion that Mint Aeros are the best chocolate bars ever.
23. Similarly, my crisps world is bestrode by the Colossus of Worcester Sauce.
24. I play Civilization 2 on Emperor level.
25. I can swim, drive and keep a plane in level flight but I cannot ride a bike.
26. I am long-sighted to the point of medical curiosity.
27. I was labelled a 'dangerous anarchist' by my headmaster. I am still proud of that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Monday, November 14, 2005

Blair abolishes elections

Worryingly believeable.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Desk Candy Update

This morning;

The Moai: Could I have room four at 1pm please?
Desk Candy: OK, hold on.... yep, that's fine. Room one at 4pm.
TM: Erm, no, room four.
DC: That's booked at 4pm. You could have it earlier.
TM: OK.... can I have it at 1?
DC: That's fine.
TM : [sigh]

Later this afternoon;
TM: All the files are stored in ascending number order, OK?
DC: Does that mean they start from big numbers going down?

Stay tuned for more Desk Candy Stories next week!
If I bother to turn up for work.

Stuff to do

Over at, there's a great list of stuff we can still do if we haven't yet saved up enough cash to emigrate to Bhutan. WriteToThem is a good way to get in touch with your elected representative. It has proved very effective for me; my MP, Glenda Jackson, as responded on both the occasions I have
used it to contact her.

A glimmer of hope? The parents of a dead Palestinian child, shot by the Israeli army, leave his organs for transplant, and 5 Jewish children receive them. Please let this story be true.
UPDATE: seems it is. More on the story of Ahmed Khatib here.

Hell in a handcart, etc.

I'm off to the home of one of my alma maters (can you have more than one?) this weekend, Canterbury, to meet up with some old mates and take in a game. And I am hoping this one doesn't go too badly either.

At 11am today, please take a minute to remember the fallen.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This is the perfect, perfect example of biased questioning here.

'Nasty brown men want to shove lighted bangers up your bum. Do you like this idea? Yes - No - Not sure.'

Hu Jintao (Hu he? hoho) is in London. Let him know how you feel. The Tibetans need to take a leaf from the Palestinian/French Muslim school of protest - if you want international attention, set a disabled woman on fire or murder some children. Vajrayana Buddhism isn't getting them anywhere.

UPDATE: A warm welcome!

'I would will him on as he sank lower and lower in his chair and talked faster and faster. During the Kosovo campaign he got into a terrible tangle with a senator to whom he talked about war in the 'Balklands' and 'Kovosa'. The senator, who knew something about military matters, was surprised to hear from the deputy prime minister that British Harriers were bombing from 15ft.'
No wonder the Yanks don't take us seriously.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Freedom of speech

I envy the Danes their prime minister, ours hasn't got the balls to say this. As a Buddhist with a Jewish girlfriend I get very, very aerated about the freedom to both practice and criticise religion.


'If you are facing a short prison sentence, try to get sent down for seven days on Maundy Thursday. You see, remission is one half, and three-and-a-half days is rounded down to three. Good Friday is a Bank Holiday when prisons do not release people, just as they do not at the weekend. So you will be out on the street when the court finishes for the day, having 'served' your seven days in a few hours.'
Facinating, and I hereby link thereto.

Word of the day: desk candy. A dimwitted receptionist employed purely for her pulchritude. We now have some desk candy at work, a new temp. While she is indeed attractive she is quite thick and has already buggered up two meetings of mine, getting my name wrong in the process. I think we are in a for a trying few weeks. Some men like an office filled with totty. Not me. Give me homely middle-aged ladies any day, they get things right first time.

It's sunny, it's Friday, David Blunkett's resigned, the editrix of the Sun has beaten up Grant Mitchell, and my girlfriend is happier than I've seen her in months (she has resigned from a hellish job). Here's to the weekend.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


'When I first saw the Internet I was impressed. There was information on any subject you could think of except, it seemed, Michael Barrymore....'

I think this is for real. Well, maybe.

I am told by a friend that the Manic Street Preachers had these lyrics taped to their monitors on a recent tour. Thought I'd share them:

“All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted.
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah,
Your honesty.
One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A new take on Last Of the Summer Wine

'...Surrounded by homosexual pensioners enjoying innocent outdoor larks in relentless Northern drizzle, the whole thing feels like a transplantation of Last of the Summer Wine to Royston Vasey.'

Hooray! Blunkett's resigned! No-one can shove their nose deeper in the trough than an ex-councillor ('The two front trotters, too', to quote the sublime Yes, Minister.) And you have to love the way a man who has illegitimate kids was brought down over a directorship at a DNA testing firm.

I'm taking bets on the length of time till he takes a Euro commissioner's job.