Every year, the Kent & Sussex Courier are audited by the ABC for their circulation figures. Coincidentally, around this time, they run their 'Baby of the Year' competition. First prize is a bronze casting of the toddler's foot.
Anyway, as I, in my humbly ways, consider that the beautiful toddlers are being exploited merely to bump up circulation figures, I have decided to Photoshop a 'designer baby' for inclusion. His name is Juanzo (pronounced 'hwahn zo'). And here the diminutive sweetheart is.
I love the instant bumps!
Just got back from a flying visit to the Big Apple to see Brazier, who's working over there for a year. Despite missing my original flight (see below) my luck changed for the better as the day wore on, so much that Claire and I managed to hitch a ride with Hannah (Mark's fiancée) from JFK into the city, saving $50. Woo hoo! The late arrival meant the planned evening shenanigans had to be cancelled, though (as it should be in any world class city - London take note) we headed out for some late night beers to welcome in the weekend. Brazier lives in Battery Park, near the Wall St. and the World Trade Center, which is like living in the City of London - great during the week but has the atmosphere of a morgue at the weekends. Saturday was packed full of action: paying respect at the WTC, a forage around Century 21, brunch at Extra Virgin in Tribeca, a trip up the Rockefeller Center, shopping on 5th Avenue, a look at the UN Building, dinner in Bread then out until the early hours drinking and lookin' good in the hip bars of the City.
After brunch at home on Sunday, we headed up to see the awe-inspiring Frick Collection, which overwhelms you with so many unbelievable paintings all under one roof. Once the culture was out the way, it was on to the flagship Abercrombie and Fitch, where I spent an hour browsing the shop feeling horribly uncool amongst the good looking kids of Manhattan. It was a quick Chinese take away before heading back to JFK (extra early to ensure no wookie like on the way out) for the brief six hour flight back to the Green and Pleasant and work. Great days.
Click here for a selection of photos.
Like the movie it accompanies, the soundtrack to Rocky III is a pure '80s throwback, and that's not necessarily a compliment. At only ten tracks, the album still manages to seem padded. Let's face it, once you've heard the pop chestnut "Eye of the Tiger," which has aged surprisingly well (that opening guitar sting remains potent after all these years), there's really no reason to keep listening. If you do, however, you'll be treated to the unique sound of not just one, but three songs from Sly Stallone's lesser-known brother Frank.
An actor as well as a crooner, Frankie contributes two versions of a little ditty called "Take You Back" and the truly hilarious (unintentionally so, of course) disco/pop number "Pushin." Chock-full of howlers like "Keep on pushin/don't give up the fight," the song sounds like a long-lost collaboration between the Bee Gees and the Village People. Considerably less amusing are the album's instrumental tunes, composed by Bill Conti; with the exception of the requisite rendition of Rocky's theme song "Gonna Fly Now, each of these tracks is painfully generic. Conti could have just recorded white noise in place of songs like "Decision" and the pointlessly long "Conquest," and no one would have known the difference.
It's difficult to imagine anyone actually wanting to purchase Rocky III, but the CD does make a good gag gift if you have a friend who finds this kind of thing amusing. Just make sure you have a real present waiting in the wings.
When I'm back I'll be closing my competition on Top 10 Songs to Listen to in the Gym (prize is pint of beer or cash equivalent if you are not a subject of HM Queen). I'll also change the poll, so vote now! Ideas on the next poll are welcome...
My Pa sent me this photo today of Pop (my grandfather) firing up his first injection moulding machine back in December 1947. It was the start of great things in the Edmondson family. Quite rightly, there will be family celebrations this December to remember how Pop became so successful from nothing fifty years ago.
Wild Haggis are ... said to be native to the Scottish Highlands. It is generally held that the haggis is a three-legged bird with vestigial wings like an ostrich or an emu. Each leg is believed to be different length, a short leg and two long legs - although the Great Highland Haggis has one long and two short - allowing it to run rapidly round the mountains and hillsides which make up its natural habitat. It is also believed that male haggis run only clockwise and female haggis run only in a counter-clockwise direction. However, this only occurs when it is disturbed from its normal routine of sleeping on the heather which covers the hills and mountains of Scotland. Folklore tells us that during Haggis Season, Wild Haggis are hunted, and their meat served up as a local delicacy, the well-known Scottish food, haggis. Scotch eggs are this creature's eggs.
Rents in central Manchester are 40 per cent higher than in central Manhattan. [Centre for Cities]
Adjusting for inflation, the most expensive film ever made is the 1963 Cleopatra, which cost almost $300m in 2006 dollars. [New Yorker, 8th January 2007]
Neither the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post has an Australian correspondent. [Down Under by Bill Bryson]
In India, unlike most advanced democracies, electoral participation is positively correlated with poverty. [Maximum City by Suketu Mehta]
The Life of Brian was marketed in Sweden with the slogan, “The film that is so funny, it was banned in Norway.” [Internet Movie Database]
Donald Rumsfeld, who served in both the Nixon and George W Bush cabinets, is the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history. [BBC News Online, 28th December 2006]
47 per cent of under-fives in India are malnourished— more than in sub-Saharan Africa. [The Economist, 6th January 2007]
The law allows you to kill or give away a bullfinch— but not to sell or barter it. [How to Label a Goat, by Ross Clark]
35 per cent of Turks say they believe their country is “governed according to the will of the people,” more than Britain (30 per cent), France (26) or Germany (18). [“Voice of the People survey,” 2006]
Only 0.4 per cent of households in Lagos have a toilet connected to a sewage system. [New Yorker, 13th November 2006]
Since decentralising its energy in 1992, Woking has cut its CO2 emissions by 77 per cent. [The Times, 2nd November 2006]
"I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world."
The woman replies, "I'll miss you..."
"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, "honey, what do you think the neighbours would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"
"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.
Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You did not hold the pillow down long enough.
My bestest friend Will (5'9", 17stone, 40" waist) was down from Swansea today so I met up with him and my internationally published pal Rick for dinner in Kensington at Maggie Jones. The order for dinner was copious amounts of wine accompanied by duck liver pate followed by stuffed saddle of lamb. Somehow I managed to fit in a pint of Guinness at the end of the evening, but am now entering a world of pain.
Please note the pose in the photo - both gentlemen were jealous of my journey to the multiplex last night to see Rocky Balboa.
The Italian Stallion is back and I went to meet him last night. After filling our boots at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, we headed in for the sixth outing of the boxing saga. After a slow start, with a lot of flashbacks and revisits to gyms / streets / homes long past, the "training montage" steps up a gear and delivers the goods. This leads onto the main event, with fantastic cinematography, though the match feels a little limp. Overall, a good finale to the series, though for action not a patch on Rocky III or IV. I'd give it a solid 6 out of 10.
The Lego Group produces over 300 million miniature tyres each year - more than any other tyre manufacturer in the world
Six eight-stud Lego bricks of the same color can be put together in 915,103,765 ways, and just three bricks of the same color offer 1,560 combinations
On average, everyone in the world has 52 Lego bricks each
From the Metro:
Inventors have designed the ultimate answer for sufferers of flatulence – pants with an in-built filter that cuts out nasty odours.
The only way gases can escape is through the multi-layered, replaceable filter, which is made of felt, activated carbon and fibreglass wool.
To further save the wearer's embarrassment, the undies, called Under-Ease, are made from air-tight fabric and completely sealed with elastic around the waistband and legs.
Useful during the day; not so useful at night if you're planning the old "Hungarian Sauna"
day and you'll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him
concerning guns and children. This is one of the best comeback lines
of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview
between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who
was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to
teach these young boys when they visit your base?
GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing,
archery, and shooting.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on
the rifle range.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous
activity to be teaching children?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper
rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.
GENERAL REINWALD: Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but
you're not one, are you?
The radio went silent and the interview ended.
Things get really crazy at 2:00
To which she replies "I think you're the father of one of my kids"
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I laid on the pool table with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery and then stuck a carrot up my butt???"
She looks into his eyes and calmly says, "No, I'm your son's maths teacher."
Just got back from a very amusing evening with Graham, Rebecca and Pierre at the East India Club. After an extra large portion of fish and chips at the Regency for lunch today, I still managed to fit down terrine of fois gras followed by sea bass with fois gras for dinner. The meal was naturally completed with a glass of port and some supremely mature cheese. I haven't been to the East India since I gave up my membership five years ago. I've got to say my memories of the "Chinese takeaway" food has been replaced by some very good fare.
Oh, I decided to pull out the stops by wearing the Del Monte suit and bow tie. Somehow I pull it off...
Bear wrestling matches are prohibited.
Bogies may not be flicked into the wind.
Incestuous marriages are legal.
It is illegal to stab yourself to gain someone's pity.
It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
It's against the law for a man to seduce "a chaste woman by means of temptation, deception, arts, flattery or a promise of marriage."
It is illegal for a husband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his thumb.
Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.
You cannot chain your alligator to a fire hydrant.
You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.
Other hilarious laws from each State here.
If any of my enlightened readers have good ideas what a crazy kid like me should be getting up to with their 48 hours in the Big Apple, please leave a comment and let me know.
I'm not sure what I like the most here: the competition being on ESPN (US version of Sky Sports) or the "helmet-cam".
Girl is dumped live on air. Oh dear.
Hat tip: Nicol
1. The A Team 38%
2. Beadle's About 35%
3. Manimal 9%
4=. MacGuyver 6%
4=. Knight Rider 6%
6=. The Six Million Dollar Man 3%
6=. Street Hawk 3%
8=. The incredible Hulk 0%
8=. Airwolf 0%
8=. CHiPs 0%
I'm a little embarrassed that I added Beadle's About as a gag and it gave the A Team a run for its money. Where are everyone's standards?
A new poll is up and running. Please vote
Having had dinner with Al Humphreys in Saturday night, I checked out his website where he's recorded his four year, 46000 mile journey around the world. Check out this video of highlights he's uploaded to YouTube. Unbelievable!
Well done to Martin Adams, who tonight, for the first time, won the BDO World Darts Championship. I did have tickets to see the quarter-finals but unfortunately had to pull out.
This is an absolutely fascinating story of a Boeing 767 aeroplane that, on 23 July 1983, ran out of fuel at 40,000 feet halfway through its flight from Montreal to Edmonton due to a miscalculation in the amount of fuel they needed, which resulted in both engines shutting down and all power being lost. Somehow, the crew was able to glide the aircraft safely to a forced landing at Gimli Industrial Park Airport, a former airbase at Gimli, Manitoba.
Click on the title for the story.
Following an afternoon session with school friends, it was on to the Ship in Wandsworth to see Horrocks off before he heads back to Iraq to protect Queen and Country. As always, an amusing night, though tinged with emotion. After multiple beers, we all headed up to Il Pagliaccio (my second visit in two days!) for a few bottles of wine and a pizza.
Click here for the photos.
Spent Saturday afternoon partaking in a outrageously boozy lunch with old West Acrians at the Cross Key's Pub in Chelsea. Howard, Rick, Charlie and myself (joined by the always-glorious Catalina) kicked off a session with a light lunch of fois gras, a whole chicken, multiple bottles of red wine and plates of cheese before moving onto to the Phoenix to carry on the afternoon.
I spent Friday night with Hadleigh and his band of characters at Il Pagliaccio on Wandsworth Bridge Road. Amusing evening, though I put too much chilli oil on my pizza which caused problems later on. Didn't know many of the boys and girls there, which have me a chance to bring out the old gags.
Hilarious fake scene from Richard and Judy's "You Say, We Pay". It took me a while to realise it wasn't real.
The most amusing part of an average film.
Click here to find out how to claim your money back!
Hat tip: Botty
By the early 1970s ... Eileen had met the Virgin Mary at a healing centre outside Glastonbury: "Come and embody my spirit in joy, for this is the New Age," Mary had told her. Eileen soon came to believe that, in this New Age, children would no longer be conceived through sex but through the power of enlightened thought and spirit, a belief that led to her insisting that her relationship with her husband should move to a "higher spiritual level". In consequence, Peter Caddy [her husband] began to seek comfort elsewhere.
Bonkers. But there's a postscript: Eileen received an MBE in 2004 for services to "spiritual enquiry".
Click here to read the full obituary in The Telegraph.
Hat tip: Roly
When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, he noted to himself of the various "VIP Lounges" made as a novelty for the corporate elite. This gave him the idea that culminated in Club 33, originally designed for the use of Disneyland's Corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs. When the design of New Orleans Square was planned, this special area for corporate sponsors and VIPs was included in it. After Disney's death, Club 33 was opened up to individual members also.
Click on the title for more information.
While waiting the little boy gets bored and just when his Mom comes walking out, she sees her son sliding his hand up a mannequin's skirt.
"Get your hand out of there!" she shouts. "Don't you know that women have teeth down there?"
The little boy quickly snatches his hand away and thanks his lucky stars he didn't get bitten.
For the next ten years, this little boy grows up believing all women have teeth between their legs.
When he's 16, he gets a girlfriend. One night, while her parents are out of town, she invites him over for a little action.
After an hour of making out and grinding on the sofa, she says, "You know, you could go a little further if you want."
"What do you mean?" he asks.
"Well, why don't you put your hand down there?" she says, pointing to her crotch.
"HELL NO!" he cries, "you've got teeth down there !"
"Don't be ridiculous," she responds, "there's no teeth down there."
"Yes there are," he says, "my Mom told me so."
"No there aren't," she insists.
"Here, look for yourself."
With that, she pulls down her pants and gives him a little peek.
"No I'm sorry" he says, "But my Mom told me that ALL women have teeth down there."
"Oh for crying out loud !" she cries.
She whips off her panties, throws her legs behind her head and says, "LOOK, I DON'T have any teeth down there."
The boy takes a good long look and replies, "Well, after seeing the condition of those gums, I'm not surprised.
Been up in Cambridge for the weekend for Greany and Ben's wedding. One of the all time greats. After a superb service it was all off to the guildhall for dinner and dancing. I managed to comprehensively split my trousers which put and end to my dance floor moves prematurely. After, it was all back to the hotel for a nightcap, where my generosity left me with a 62 pound bar bill.
As with all big nights out, this morning we headed out for a walk around Cambridge followed by a pub lunch washed down with a spicy Bloody Mary. How Sunday's should be...
Click here for all my photos on Flickr.
I was expecting a quiet night on the beers with Hepburn. It ended up being quite a serious session with three other girls ending in Brady's for our daily intake of vitamins and minerals thanks to a healthy portion of fish and chips. We've got myself, Hepburn, Mel, Caroline and Louise all about to tuck into the ultimate dish of cod and chips. What better way to round off the evening...
Actually we rounded it off with a game of Fives (each person shows either five fingers or none; people take it in turns to guess how many fingers there will be shown; guess right, you're out; the last person in does a forfeit). Louise ended up drinking a mix of wine and vinegar from my navel. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more...
I was walking through Wandsworth Town earlier this evening and spotted this old skool form of transport. Ah, the good old days...
This is the original show was made by Carson Williams, whose home lighting display set to music became an Internet sensation last year and wound up in a Miller Lite beer commercial. Williams was forced to turn it off early in 2005 after a gawking motorist wound up in an accident in front of his home.
Mason flipped the switch for its Christmas in Lights festival on Saturday, with 80,000 twinkling lights!!
At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:
If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason at all, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally, executing a manoeuver such as a left-turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.
4. When your car died on the freeway for no reason, you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought 'Car95' or 'CarNT', and then added more seats.
6. Apple would make a car powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five per cent of the roads.
7. Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single 'general car default' warning light.
8. New seats would force every-one to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag would say 'Are you sure?' before going off.
10. Occasionally, for no reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed the radio antenna.
11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of road maps from Rand-McNally (a subsidiary of GM), even though they neither need them nor want them. Trying to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by
50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
12. Every time GM introduced a new model, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
13. You would press the 'start' button to shut off the engine.
Apparently, water vapor easily attaches to methane molecules by the
chlorine atom, or the sulfur released from bacteria, making the foul
smell more readily attach to the nostril lining, subsequently
sustaining the odor longer than in a dry climate. In addition, warm
vapors will cause any crusted mucus to soften and disengage, providing
more surface area within the sinuses.
Anyone have any other ideas?
2006 was a time of change in my life, which I see stabilising in 2007. It was an action packed year, which passed in a flash. There was so much that happened, both around and to me; a real whirlwind of activity, much of which I was swept up in. I might do a review of the year, if I find the time. Though it would be highly edited, naturally...
Congrats to my good friends Hovis and Jenny who have just got engaged. About bloody time too! The photo is of Hovis tucking into a scorpion at my 30th birthday dinner.
Saw new year in at Charlie's house, combined with a celebration of his 30th birthday. Big session, managing to keep the doggery going until 7am. I thought my body couldn't do that any more. Click here for more photos, including some of us testing out the hot sauce my bro bought me for Christmas.
And Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for making my blog worthwhile! I don't know why you do...