Friday, December 30, 2005
My ears are blocked up at the moment. I can hardly hear. I keeping pouring dewaxer down my ear and rubbing vigoursly. It is not so bad, I am kind of arrogant so I am not always intesrted in other peoples conversations, so not being to hear is not so bad. It makes me feel decoupled from the world. Anyway in a couple of days, I will be able to hear again. It is just a matter of waiting and feeling sorry for myself. What hurts the most is that Raymond Carver wrote an entire story about not being able to hear because his ears were bunged up with wax. The hero just lay on his bed and drank champagne, complained that he was getting divorced. He drank champagne to show that he wasn't an alcolhlic. After he open the second bottle, I had my doubts. That is why I am a loser. I just sit and complain about my losso of hearing rather than write a 4 page short story about it.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
One of my cousins gave me a collection of beers from around the world. There were 5 beers from: India, Italy, Spain and Belguim. Tasty. Trouble is I drank most of them while watching a program about Hancock with my mum. I really like Hancock's timing. He doesn't rush things. Howver in the end of Hancock's life the drinking took over and he stopped being funny. There is a famous performance at the Albert Hall where he does his old musical hall set rather than any new stuff. This was becasue he hadn't reheased his new material. It did look as though Hancock had gone as far as he could go. Perhaps with out the drinking he could have moved to a different level. Anyway it is always sort of depressing to see someone disapear into alcholism. Not even the beer I was drinking can mask that sadness.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Another thing I noticed in spam kings was that one of the worst spammers liked his chess. I have long thought that playing chess is good traing for the criminal mind. It is a game of stratergy, but very abstract. Wasn't Moraity some kind of chess player? True you are unlikely to get mugged by a chess player, but it is likely that the person who the orders (via a muffled) phone call is sitting down in front of a board of 64 squares. Bishop takes knight, umm, I think get one of the lads to give Craig a kicking. At least when you kill someone in a playstation game, you know there will be consequnces. Someone may come around the corner with a gun and blast you. Or some little kid will come out and cry. Not so with chess. The bishop is cooly taken off the board and then the stratergy begins. I can the man with his finger on the big red buttom of numclear war, sitting there, thinking of the wisdom of his first chess teacher.
I have just finished reading a book called "Spam KIngs" by Brian Mcwilliams. The book is about the people who send spam and the efforts of another bunch of people who try to stop it. This was a jolly good read, but what amazes me is that people actually do buy penis enlargment pills. Now I would like to claim that I don't buy the penis enlargment pills advertised in all those spam emails, because I am well hung, but the real reason is that I would never enter my credir card details in any random site. People did make a good living out of sending spam. so people were quite happy to get their pills that way. Because people want penis enlargement pills then there will be some nerd with a bulk emailer ready to sell them. So we need to stiffle demand. I think it is obvious what to do. Amazon needs to sell penis enlargment pills (and a bit of porn too), then no one will need to buy from dodgy spammers.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I have to admit I am not a good person to give presents to. I am not very good at saying the right things, even when I get something I like. My sister gave me a leather wrist band with some metal stuff on it. Normally, I don't wear jewlry because I don't view it as functional. What I said to my sister was thar "this is great because, I was thinking of getting one of those wrist tatoos and this looks just as good." OK, perhap I simple "thanks this looks good" would have been better. Actually what I was thinking was that "this will be really useful to protect my arm in a knife fight". As I get older I find that it is best not to always speak your mind.
I was so sad to hear of Richard Pryor's death a couple of weeks ago. When I was growing up (in the 80s) I watched a number of early Pryor films on TV. He\was the man. Channel 4 showed one of his stand up sets. I was not impressed -- not like the films at all. In the Guardian, one comedian noted that that he had seen this Pryor set on channel 4, and it had made him want to be a stand up comedian. If I could travel back in time, I would go back and ask my useful younger self to watch the entire concert on TV and not go to bed like some wimp ased BoB Hope fan. At least with the magic of DVDs I can repair this terrible sin. Pryor's set was astounding. I can see that he influenced Bill Hicks a lot. There is an intensity about his set that I like that is mixed with a warm sense of char. Yes you can charm an audience, even when you are telling a story about setting yourself one fire while doing cocaine. If I had only watched that program on TV in the 80s. Who konws I might have my own game show on TV.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
There is never enough time to do want I to do. I was walking home two nights ago after staying late at wrok. A women on the street asked me for the correct time. When I got home I realised that the dark wet night and my feeble overworked brain had forced me to tell her the wrong time. I suddenly thought that perhaps she will miss an appointment to see her sick child, because I told he the wrong time. Last night the same women asked for the time again. This time I am pretty sure I told her the right time. This makes me suspect that "asking the time" is the new "are you looking for business". Or perhaps, her mind has been unhinged by missing the dying moments of her child because a stranger on the street can not read his watch correctly. Perhaps, this is a subtle marketing ploy by the BBC to promote the new Dr WHO series. People could be payed to mess with people in the streets sense of time. This would remind them of "time lord" and hence boost the viewing figures. All a bit sneaky really. This is the kind of trick I would expact of SKY.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I am looking forward to seeing some quality films this week. I was ready to go and see transporter II last week, but I had to stay late at work. The first film (transporter) was pretty dumb, but enjoyable. I was amused to see that transporter II had done well at the US box office. This was a big deal, because of the flops of such films as "the terminal". The other filem I want to see is "doom". Look I like these kind of films. Sorry that is just the way I am.
Two weeks ago, I went for a steak slice from one of quality food sellers we have in Liverpool called sayers. I took the pastry outside the department store TJ hughs and sat on a lonely loser bench. All these pigeons suddenly flew in. They agressively started going after the crumbs from steakslice. I am a pacifist, and grankly women tend to freak out when you kick a pigeon in the head. So I decided to be a man and beat a hasty retreat. They followed me for a while, but I have long legs. Perhaps, this is the effect of genetically enginered food. Super pigeons who are going to eat me. I have seen the film "the birds" by Hitchcock. THis freaked me out when I first saw it. The film has birds attacking a couple. But at the end of the film. It just sort of ends. This freeaked me out. I had videoed it. So the first time I saw it, I assume I had blacked out. But in the sober light of morning, it had the same ending. I can't even enjoy a steak slice without getticg hassled by killer pigeons.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I have eaten some very good food during this trip to California. I particularly enjoyed the Sushi we ate today. I had a rainbow roll and a beef and asbargus wrap. Asbaragus is a speciallity of Stockton. Yummy. Last night I deviated from tandori chicken to try tandori fish at a local indian restaurant. Anyway there are a lot of balloons around Stockton. Everywhere we went, there was at least one balloon. It must have been the ballon seller shedding his wares.
I sit in the Radison hotel in Stockton California. I am attending an interview at the University of Pacific. I just went out this morning for a little stroll. There is a little canel close to here that is a bit like Venice. THis is very California. There are a couple of nice coffee shops around the hotel. They open late (12:00 am) and have free wireless. I had a quick stoll to some local Malls. Things seem more interesting than Utah because there is a lote more ethnic shops. I can't say I am so keen on the Mall culture, but I found a place to train in Taekwondo and an indian market. There are too many balloons aroud here for my taste. There was a sad big red ballon tethered outside a half empty shoppig mall close to the hotel. A bit further on, I saw a Mexican woman forlornly standing outside a big piza restaurant holding a cluster of balloons. I am reading Maul by Tricia Sullivan. This is some subtle pun on Mall. The book has some strange gun battle between some young girls in a dseigner shopping Mall
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I went to see the band "half man half biscuit" play at the Carling academy on the 13th. This band appeared in the mid 80s. They play sharp funny songs backed by a roaring guitar sound. I don't remember seeing them advertised to play before in the last 6 years, I have been in Liverpool. The place was packed. This was the big venue as well. I only drank one beer, because I didn't feel the long journey to the bar. People started singing-a-long at the first number. The band have put out a huge number of records. People even cheered when they did a recent song about buying a packet of pringles at a late night garage. Apart from the clever songe, I liked the guitar sound.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I went to see Serenity last week. This film has been featured on slashdot for some time. The guy behinf Buffy the vampire slayer was the director. From some early posts, it was described as a melting pot of the wild west and science fiction. I was not encouraged by this. However the film was just fine. There was good action and character development. It doesn't seem to have lasted long in the UK. Perhaps we still miss Blake's Seven. It was not a film, where you come out knowing more about yourself, but I didn't feel the need to torch the director's house, as I sometimes do with some films. I hear rumours that George Clooney is making a film of "a scanner darkly". The book is by Philip H. Dick and is probably one of the best books about drugs. Anyway it will be bad if he screws this up. The connection to serenity is science fiction.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I watched a good animation DVD called "blood the last vampire" last night. The animation was very scary. I was a bit confused what the plot was about, as it ended with dead vampires and bombers taking off to liberate Vietnam. This is the thir vampire film I have watched this week. I am not obsessed or anything like that. There are sad types who pretend to be vampires. Or people who hope to be turned for the importtality and beauty. Not men, my thoughts of eternal life tend to move to silicon. The one vampire film I have not watched has Nicholas Cage in it. He thinks he is turning into a vampire, but isn't sure. This is more mental illnes than the occult. In the film he eats a live cockroach for some reason.
I used to watch way too many cheap martial arts and actions DVD and videos. But now I am much more sophisticated, as I regularly browse the world cinema section of HMV. I now do like a bit of sophisticated asian cinema. I watched the film "versus" this week. This was a classy criminals versus vampires and wirdo type movie fro Japan. I was in HMC today, and some woman was asking about some horror film with "ichi" in the title. I helpfully said that must be "Ichi the killer". The she wanted to know the director. On my list of things to do is to read my book on Japanese films. The film "Ichi the killer" is perhaps the bloodest insane filem I have ever seen. It looked like somone getting a present for their som. Very much like when I sent my into Manchester one to buy a dead kennedys record, only to find that it had be banned. Anyway it just seems very wrong to have a girlfriend who want to watch Ichi the killer with you. When it is time for holidays, it would be let's go to the Moors around Manchester, and bring a spade. Too much commitment for me. I hear the call of Manga......
Friday, October 07, 2005
I have been walking into work, because I have started hating getting the bus. This evening, I had to listen to a buch of kids talk about some fight one of them had gotten into. It all seemed a bit confusing, but involved cousins, pit bull dogs and busies (Liverpool slang for police). On Thursday night I went see the film "history of violence". What a great film! I just liked the way the guys face changed. At one point his face was the family man, honest and maybe tough. The next he was this killer. I liked the crazy killer face the best. As a famous London gangster once said, "treat kindness with kindness, and violence with extreme violence."
I have just been out to see the film "Night watch" at the Liverpool FACT center. This a vampire like take of "good" versus "evil" set in modern Moscow. I made the mistake of reading the Guardian review of the film. Ok, so perhaps there wasn't much of a plot. I liked the style of the film. Perhaps, it was the Russian subway that did it for me.I can still remeber going down those long escalators...
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Being a busy chap, I tend to get a lot of my junk food at the Spar shop close to my work. The spar chain has its own radio show that plays on as I shop for such essentials as microwave burgers. On Tursday gthe exciting new story was about the minimuim wage. The presenter was saying do "can companys afford to pay the minimum wage. Everyone want more money, but is it really possible to pay the minimum wage to 18 year olds". I bet the people working at the spar probably don't enjoy the spar channel. Anyway I had my a pound microwave burger in my grotty hand, as I walked out of the store. I had listened to the spar channel and I will obey.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Ok, I am bored of reading "the game". I need to get laid like everyone else, but I am not sure I need to sleep with people I don't want to talk to. There looks like another 400 pages of chating up techniques. While I was waiting for the bus, I saw a group of anti-abortion activists march by. Perhaps there is a clinic near by. As I watched a bus to he Alder Hey hospital passed by. The peple marching did not shake their fists at the bus, perhaps this would have been bad for the explosives. I have started reading "freakomomics". This is a book by a Harvard economist and a journalist. It is sort of microeconomics of the street. I think I thought it was going to be a Hunter S. Thompson rant type of book. It is meant to tell me why drug dealers live with their parents. (The book may not tell me why I need to know this). Anyway, you don't get to be a fellow at Harvard with left leanings, it seems very "insentive" based. Anyway one of the observations in the book is that crime in the US didn't explode in the US, becaused of the effect of legalisation of abortion in the US. Perhaps, I should have told the marchers about that.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The sad fact is that I have already drafted in my head the end of my review of the book "the game". Thie is quite impressive as I am upto page 24 out of 448. This is what the guardian thinks. http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1579127,00.html Reality, who needs it..........
Ok, just before I went to bed one night this week, I saw the start of "dawn of the dead". What a great film! I first saw it in Salt Lake City. I didn't watch it all this week, because I had to get up early. The beginning of the film is so great. The brother teasing the sister and then getting eaten by a zombie. The xombies moved fast as well. When the zombie needed to get into the car it picked up a rock. They are not so stupid. After seeing that, I do think that latest film "the land of the dead" is bit weak. I don't follow these things in such greate detail, but another classic zombie movie had the line "if you really loved me you would let me eat your brains".
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I went out to see Laura Cantrell play at the Liverpool academy last Thursday. Laura is a new country singer who actually lives in New York. Her first album was "not the trembling kind" that was new country sung with old country heart. I played that CD a lot. It was a big favourite CD of John Peel. She has a fantastic sweet and sad voice. The audience was mostly star struck blokes. There was a very strange sing a long part to a song that goes like "the whisky makes you sweeter". I was at the bar getting a round at the time. I managed to restraing myself from buying two shots of whisky, mostly because spending ten quid on a round for two people seemed a bit excesive, even for someone with my hedonistic tastes. The singers in the audience belted out the song with a kind of embarrased enthusiam that made the experience somewhat wierd. Laura did "Lee Harvey Oswald was a friend of mine" because some heckler had requested it at an earlier show. Wow hecklers are a force for good. I liked the mandolin playing. This is some kind of neat picking thing. I am not very good with this musianship thing, so perhaps it was something else. I need the third Cantrell CD for some serious lonesome time. Support was by Holly Williams who was a neat singersong writer. I got her CD. The sad thing is, I will never brush her blond hair, because she ended her set with a cover of a Hank Williams song. That is thing I remember about her set. There is no escape from granddady, but a song is a song and these thingts have lives of their own. I have played here CD a lot, so perhaps a happy ending after all.
I went out to see the film "Land of the dead" on Friday. This was the latest film by the Zombie supremo George Remero. I have to admit I go to zombie movies to see zombies chase and eat people. I am usually less interested in seeing a political message in a zombie film. Although I thought that the film "dawn of the dead" was fantastic. It was a good blend of zombies and social realism. The land of the dead film was a good zombie movie, but the political stuff did not work so well, although you could see that Remero had made an effort. After the remake of the film the day of the dead, I do like my zombies to run rather than just amble along.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
I have just started reading the book "the game" by Neil Strauss. Amazon in their infinite understanding of my life recommended it to me. To show my independence I payed the extra money to get it from Watersons, but I had to brave the attractive female book seller. The book is te story of a journalist working with "pick up artists". Anyway the front of the book has the after picture and the back of the book has the before picture. I was about to complain that "pulling" invlved wearing a shirt and using cologne. I f**king hate wearing a shirt. Does this really mean said that I have to live alone. I had to wear a shirt when I was at school. I could just spemd the three quid and get a shirt ast TJ Hughs, but .. However, I already like some of the tricks of trade. The "neg" concept sounds cool. We shall see, how things work out......
Sunday, September 18, 2005
I am not very happy with the quality of my gig reviews. When I read stuff like "I liked their sound", I cringe. I should start reading the reviews on the NME site. I need a more flowery imaginative writing style. So, perhaps: The screeching guitars cured my lust for the vapid beauty of the lead singer. Or. The drummers assault on my shattered ears finnally finished all hope of tomorrow's work. Or. The tangled orgy of the mosh pit whipped itself into the final frenzy as the next song ripped out. Ummm, a bit better. Perhaps I will continue the practice when I see a real band.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
The regular reader will have noticed that I have been mostly been posting gig reviews, rather than book reviews. Perhaps, you may thing that there is dust gathering on my books. I see a half read copy of "the female eunuch" on my desk. I am back in major deadline mode, so I don't always have a lot of energy for reading. I also need to get some new glasses, as my eyesight seems to have got worse. I have been putting off a trip to specsavers. When I can't read to the end of the chart, I feel I have failed the test.
I went out last night to see Hayssed Dixie play at Liverpool student union. This band plays some ACDC songs in a bluegrass style. I can't honestly say that I am a big fan of ACDC. ACDC always seemed a wimpy compared against Motorhead. The hair and that guy with the school uniform on. Luckily it looked like an audience of ex-ACDC fans. Unfortunately, I think if I looked at google, I would not find that ACDC got what they deserved, which is some kind of plane accident. Perhaps they are still on tour. Anyway, I was a bit worried it would be a bluegrass crowd. They would all be swigging that moonshine whisky and standing around with shotguns, while whittling a statue of young Bush with a 12 inch Bowie knife. The floor would be covered in cheap whisky flavoured puke. Dungerees and checked shirts. All my bile would go on the BLOG, where a man can write in piece without the fear of a drunken shot gun shell. It was a ACDC crowd, with blokes remebering theior rabble rousing past. "I once stood two rows from a man who was smoking a joint." "Do you remember the time we got drunk a liter bottle of distilled shandy?". It was a good set. Everyone had a good time. I disappered before the encore. The bouncers at the venue have told people to leavs as soon as the set ends. So you are not even allowed to go for a piss. Naturally, some people urinate in the bushes outside (me too). This would be OK, but I work in the building across from the venue, so I don't want to go to work and smell last nights urine.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I went out to see the The Suffrajets play at the Liverpool Barfly last night. I would like to point out that I am getting my bands in before the start of term. The first band up was a pleasant shouting girl band. Unfortunately I can't remember their name, but I liked their sound. A bit like L7. At some stage they did a slow power ballard type of song. I have nothing against a singer singing a power ballard, as long as the rest of the people in the band cut their head off with a samuri sword and hang it in the venue with sign hanging on their neck "power ballards suck". I did enjoy the set. That is the great thing about blogging. I can stand at the back of the venue, hidding in the drunken blogging backround. Then the next day, I can unleash the review. I publically talk behind people's back. The power of technology-- it enhances all the best parts of my personality. The next band was a girl rock/punk band. I enjoyed the set. When the singer asked the audience to move forward and then they did. She had a London accent, probably resulting from living in London. The weird thing was that I believe that this band was the Suffrajets, but there was one more band to go. This is a new way to gig, put the headliners on second. Of course I could be wrong and the next band were The Suffrajets. What do I know, I am just a humble blogger not a journalist. Most of the last band were men-- this suggests to me that the second band were The Suffrajets not the third band. Anyway I liked the third band the least. The audience thinned out as well.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
I am looking forward to a number of gigs coming to Liverpool. I have got a ticket to see Laura Cantrell, who is playing. This is a new country singer who is based in New York. She looks like the kind of person who make me paint her wooden fence white, and perhaps carry lots of boxes in and out of houses. Perhaps, I am turning into a handyman stalker with weird need to fix stars houses. Lady Tron are playing next month. I am looking forward to this techno treat. I have seen flyers for them playing DJ sets around a lot, but I want to see the band. Another important "local" band are playing next month. Half man half biscuit are playing the Carling accademy. A nice evening of comedy and pathos from some boys from the Wirral.
I have just been to see the band "shout out louds" play at the Liverpool Barfly. I know that this blog is typo ridden, but the band's name really does end in "s". They reminded me a lot of the cure, but there were a lot more guitars (ok 3). One might have been a bass, but I am never really sure about these things. (I just can't understand why the NME will not consider hiring me. Does it really matter than I can't tell if the baqnd has a bass play. If I knew that I would be in the band.) Anyway I enjoyed the set. The first band up played 60's garage band type music. I think they were called the "The Silhouettes". They were a bit too happy for my taste. I was more in the mood for listening about violence and depression. I can't really blame the band for mental mood of the audience members. I was happy to not be lifted. Anyway next week I get to see Laura Cantrell.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I have been feeling very guilty about my last New Orleans post. Too much hedonism and not enough humanity. When I watch the people on TV, I can see why they didn't leave when warned. When I lived in Lexington, I used to go to Macdonalds (or was it Burger King) before the evening shift. Some of the people in the same fast food restaurant seemed poor and crazy. The same as here really, but unless you have lived in the states you will never know that not everyone has a convertable and a pristine big house.
I wnt out to see "we are scientists" at the barfly last Friday. The set was OK, but I think I prefered the support. They had someone from Shefield introduce them. I rarely see bands have someone intruduce them. The person who introduced them seemed more rambly and incoherent than the singer in the band. I want that job! I have a dream of introducing one of my cousin's son at a school magic show. I could give a fantastic introduction to his skills learnt under the swirling sands of the Egyptian pyramaids, while I begged for mercy from the dark lord demons that he had summoned to kiss his innocent hand. The kid could come out and then do tricks from a kit got from W.H Smiths. I also like the idea of Peter Kaye doing a much mote unimaginative introduction to his own sone's show. Peter would the set me up with my own TV show. The trouble is, this competetion is set in Burnley. Peter Kaye probably just has to say "this is a magic show and it will be great", and people will talk about it for years to come. I guess I will have to suffer the indignity of obscurity...
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I went to see the latest Jet Li film called "unleashed". It was a strange mix of a film. One part of the film was martial arts fighting. The other part was Jet Li being adopted by a piano tuner and his daughter. Jet Li was treated as a dog by a Glasgow gangster, played ny Bob Hoskins (a famous Londener). It was a mismash of different films. There was a standard cage fighting scene, where the tofs pay money to see fights. The middle bit of the film was about the power of music to heal someone with emotional problems. All a bit boring really.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I went out to the Mathew Street festival in Liverpool on Sunday. This is a free music festival close to the Mersey. I wanted to see the stranglers play. Like many people, I liked the early punk stuff produced by the stranglers better than the later more mellow (ok bland stuff). When I was about 17, we actually liked the first mellow album, perhaps called "the men in black". At that time, everyone was getting into using synths. The set was OK, I did get to here "No more heroes". I saw a bit of Tony Christie, but it wasn't lound enough for my taste. I know the guy is not heavy metal and I was right at the back. The place was packed. Nexy year I am tacking cans of beer, after about 2pm, there was a huge queue at the beer tent. Later on that day I dragged my sorry drunken ass down to the Zanzibar to see the Mighty Wah play. This was an excellent set and I enjoyed it much more than the bands at the festival. The Mighty Wah have a very rich creamy full sound. In the 80s, Pete Wylie had a couple of hits witn this band. The last album, which was out a couple of years ago was really fantastic. There was a lot of banter between the singer and the audience.
I hope that NEW ORLEANS survies the terrible weather that is hitting it. I have always fancied the idea of spending some rest and relaxation time in New Orleans. The trouble is I can see myself starting a cocktail fueled evening out on the town, ending with me getting arrested for shouting "I want vampire sex" while clutching a big jug of gin. Perhaps, it would be better if the town was cleansed. They could put a nice concrete hotel and I could watch inoccent cable TV.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
A group of us went out to see a band called "speakeasy" at the Zanzibar club in Liverpool. We hurried our dinner (no pudding) to get to the venue by 8:15 when the band were going to start playing. They were the opening act for a number of established local Liverpool bands. When we go to the club we found we had to wait in a qeueue. The club was packed full. Local bands bring in their friends, family, and various hangerons. I don't usually get to a venue so early. When the doors open at 7:30, I get there at 9:30 to hear the first band play. The band souned excellent. The singer was pleasantly anguished. The singer was a lot better than the one in the earlier incarnation of this band. They got appreciative applause. The audience did the traditional thing of talking very loudly during one slow part of a song. The singer tried to sell three song CD for a pound. Being a cheap person, I thought that it would have been better to give out free CDs for promotional reasons. Perhaps, I am just following in the grand tradition of the music business of ripping off the band. I saw 3 other bands play, but to my shame I can't remember their names. It is always fun listening to a band and try to work out what music theyr grew up with. As I wasn't living in the UK during the britpop years, so I am not very good at guessing. The instruments were all played very well. The singers may have let down some of the bands. Perhaps, I should sing out my code as I hacl. I too want to be a rock and roll star!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I have just finished reading the book "Al Qaeda and what it means to be modern" by John Gray. The book didn't contains that much about Al Qaeda, but was full of a lot of criticism of being modern. Gray claims that being modern involves that being modern involves believing in progress driven by technology. Also progress is moving towards a single unique fixed point. Now that all the commies are now more gainfully exployed in the Russian mafia, the fixed point is American style market economy. I do believe that technology does mostly improve things, but I doubt that we are approaching some unique single state. Society is pretty complicated, but you have to try to understand it. What else can we do? Even with modern inventions such as cheap easy jet flights to Rome, I don't see myself popping over to talk to the Pope about the future of the western world.
Wow Hunter S. Thompson went out in style. The picture of that huge gun that shot his ashes over a local forest was an inspiration to all of us who worry about death. It looked fanatastic. I am almost happy to live in a world, where people like Johnny Depp fund huge cannons to fire someone's ashes into the air. Thompson commited sucide, but it is up to the people left here to celibrate his life as they feel fit. I don't see that anyone is going to pay for a cannon to shoot my ashes anyhwere. I would like my ashes molded into bullets. Then the bullets could be used for acts of justice. Perhaps, I shouldn't have said that in this age of MI5 screen watchers. It would make a godd angle for a book. The hard man hero could revenge his girl friends death by firing bullets with her ashes into the people who killed her. It is all a bit cheesy and unbelievable of course, so it is much more appropriate for a hollywood blockbuster. Now all I need is Steve Segal's phone number and I will get enough money for my own cannon.
Monday, August 22, 2005
I have just been watching a program on TV about supermodels. This was a countdown of the top supermodels. I spent most of the program hoping that Jerry Hall wuld not win. I am not sure why I felt so mean to her. I had to turn over after I saw one particulary attractive skelton.
I have just finished reading the book "No Logo" by Naomi Klein. This book explained "the brand idea" very well. I now understand why the Beckhams wanted to become a global brand. This is the triumph of marketing over manafacturing. I am not sure that I needed to understand what the Beckham thing was about, but now things are cleraer now. The trouble with this type of book is that it can be used for both good and evil. A younger version of myself would be appalled by the brand idea. I am still depressed by the whol.e thing. But the evil part of me thinks "umm, maybe I can use this too". Perhaps a physics collaboration could be viewed as a "brand". The senior people could just market the results. The computing and research could be outsourced to other counteries and people on temporary contracts. On reflection, some senior people already treat a collaboratiion as a brand, so as usually my good (but evil) idea has been scooped already. During my holiday I read William Gibson's book called "pattern recognition". This is now my favourite Gibson book. It has a heroine who is allergic to brands. On amaazon, it would make a natural partner to "No logo". (Poor old Naomi, I can see start to write the email now: dear craig, I think there are a couple of things you didn't understand about my book, let us start on page 1..) I think I have some of the same allergies. Certainly, I my evild black heart starts to beat to the tune of physical horror, when I get close to a Laura Ashly shop. I believe the closest shop is in Chester -- this is just about tolerable. Anyway the book is all about modern marketing techniques. They even have people who job it is to tell strangers about new products, such as a recent film, in bars or cafes. I do this for free. What a rip off.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I am back in Liverpool again. No more days of riding around pyramids or starting at the blackened faces of mummies. I think I will study more about pyramids. Although a quick look on Amazon tells me that there are a number of new age books about pyramids. I don't think I need to know about Egyptian pyramids and death stars. Bloody hippies!
Friday, August 19, 2005
I am leaving the hotel at 12:00 to get a 3:30 flight to Amsterdam. I have enyoyed my stay in Cairo. Has this holiday made me grow as an individual? I would say no. I now realise that I don't know enough about pyramids. This is strange as I usually try to incorporate them into chat up lines. "Did you know there is a pyramid buried beneath the Wirral?" I have one last taxi drive to take. Will I be able to break the driver will and pay what I want? Ummmmm. We shall see.
I waited for the guide and driver to take me to Alexandra to show up at the hotel for over an hour yesterday. The guide has given me a lecture about how expensive it was for him to rent a car, and for people not to show up. (Later on I got a phone message to say that he had been in an accident). So I decided to get the train to Alexandra instead. The hotel is very close to the main railway station so this was easy. I bourght my ticket from a window. A policeman then checked the ticket to make sure I was not going anywhere dangerous. Then of course he helpfully told me the wrong platform number for the train. I always thought that the Arabs had invented 0, but I didn't realise they had their own symbols for numbers. By some miracle, I got to the correct platform. A porter put me in the correct carrage. The train took 2 and 1/2 hours. A the end of the line, I didn't see Alexandra written anywhere, but everyone else got off the train so I did too. I was epecting a bigger station with perhaps, some tourist information. THe curse of the lack-of-rough-guide had struck again, because I had no idea what I should be visiting. There were helpful taxi drivers sround, but experience has told me that I needed to have some idea of where I wanted to go. Eventually, I found a big map. I told a taxi driver, to take me to the Alexandra library, partly because of my deep love of literature, but mostly because it was near the sea. This library is a modern version of the ancient library that was burnt down by a christian mob around 600 AD. It is a very cool modern building. After the late start and longer journey I only has about 3 hours in Alexandra. So I just walked up by the cost. Needless to say there was a manic 6 lane road right at the sea front. I stopped off at a cafe for some cofee before getting a taxi back to the railway station. I could have a drunk a beer at the cafe as well, but the extrimists do occasionally sttack places where this goes on. I felt it better to drink some portest beers back in my hotel, where there are three armed policemen outside. There are no metal shields though. I bet the 4* Hilton has lead shielding for gun battles. So that was my trip to Alexndra. It was my dream to visit Alexandra, after reading the Alexandra quartet. As I didn't get to see any cool ancient stuff, perhaps I have been cheated. As I can't rememeber what I liked about the books anyway, I don't see how I can complain. Tourism after all is about ticking the box for some experience or another
After getting fairly frustrtade with getting ripped off my taxi drivers, I decided that I would try my luck with the metro. The guide book said there is a very good underground subway system in Cairo. I wanted to go to Medivial Cairo. The start of the area is called the citadel (it is a castle). The guide book told me what station to get off at. The station that the guide book mentions was not eactly the same name as any of the names on the subway map in the same book. I decided to risk going somewhere close. Subways are the same whereever you go. So I got my ticket to the Seyada Zeinab station. Everything went well, until I got to the station where I found it was not close to the citadel (or anything interesting at all). After looking around it looked like another area of Cairo stress. After 5 minutes I got back on the train again and want back to the central station. I think that the gods of tourism were mad at me for not studying the holy bibles of the rough guide or lonely planet guide. What was I thinking when I studied another unknow guide? That seemed like enough tourism for me for one day. So I went back to my hotel room to do some more readng.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I keep getting hassled by people for not taking photographs. There is a very good reason for not taking photographs. In a old TV series called "Sapphir and Steel", a monster moved into photographs. So I try not to get caight on film. This was in the era of negatives and film. Now that digital photography is an option, I should get one of those. I would like to say that my blog postings are like vivid word pictures of my experiences on holiday, but ......
Today I went to old Cairo by taxi. I could have gone there by metro, but I was weak. Orginally I wanted to go to the Coptic musuesm, but this was closed when I went there. I did get a quick tour of some churches in old Cairo. One of the churches was built over the place where Jeseus, Mary, and Joseph hid for a while. I was told this was where holy water started. Although I can walk around in the sun, I am always a bit nervous about holy water. I don't want to start burning. Another church was to celibrate St. George. I know that technically, I am English, and so should have some idea about our patrion saint, but .... One time I was in Macdonalds, where one of the servers said "so if this St Georges day, why don't we get the day off". THe guide told me that the dragon that he slew was actually Rome. My recollection of dates is a bit confused, but I think he meant the Rome before the Catholic church improved it. I have read an abridged version of "the decline and fall of the roman empire" by Gibbon. In the book St George was a crook and a swindler, although he held some position of power in the church. He provided bad meats to the troops. This so enraged the local people that he was lynched. The church being the church instigated a cover up and made him a saint. Both the churchs are hardly used now. One was just used for funerals and American tourists(if they could pluck up the courage to visit Cairo).
I hoping to go to Alexandra tomorrow. THis is going to be via a private car, so no doubt I could have done it more cheaply by rail. It takes about two hours to get to Alexandra by car. Before I left home many of my friens werevery imprressed with the Alexandra quartet by Lawrence Durrel. There are 4 books telling the same story from different perspectives. I was trying to explain why these books were so important to me, but since I last read them nearly twenty years ago, I didn't explain myself so well. Various affairs happened and maybe soneone comitted suicide. Someone's sister was blind. I thonk the copies at my mum's house were lost after they were borrowed by family memebers. Just in case anything goes wrong. The person who is arranging this is Yasser Magdi, a guide in St George's church in Old Cairo.
Outside on streets of Cairo it is hot and packed with people. Inside this hotel is almost empty. I just ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. There is seating for 100, but I was the only one there. I ate traditional Egyptian food of shish kebabs! (No chilli source, but you can't have everything). I feel like a colonial. Outside are the masses. Inside the prviledged few. The waiters are now ready at 4pm for my bottle of stella. This may be one of the few things they do all afternoon. I did try to find somewhere outside the hotel to eat. I am not so fussy as to what I eat, but some of the places close to the hotel did look as though they would produce major bowel movement afterwards. The hotel food is not so special. THe Egyptian tea and coffee I have had has been excellent, but I am too much of coward to sit down in one of the local coffee houses. I didn't bing a good guide book with me, such as a rough guide. These are good for telling about where to eat and drink. I like the idea of tryig to smoke through one of the big water pipes. The person who drove me around the pyamids smoked one of these while we reasted. This seems like a cool bad habit to pick up from the middle east. There is an Egyptian cafe close to campus at Liverpool, so smoking one of these there would be a good way to improress seminar speakers.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The power cut has destroyed any hope of a linear naritive for this trip. Yesterday I went to the Egyptian museum. This houses many important treasures from ancient times. Some tourists weregunned down there a few years ago, so the security is very intense. Guns, guns, and metal shields. I payed the extra money to go into the Royal Mummies room. Thie room contains a number of mummies of Pharoes taken from pyramids. These were leaders of huge acient empires. Now their blackened distorted faces are gawked at by 8 year old children. Part of me things these people are dead and should be given some kind of respect. The other half of me thinks that these people were leaders and slave owners who deserve what ever humilation that fate throws their way (come the revolution). Another part of me thinks of hammer horror movies and how I can raise them from the dead for some kind of personal advantage (suchas world domination).
The most important part of a holidayis trying to out smart the locals who are trying to rip you off. Before we can get to the pyramids we first stop off at the "papyrus museum". I though I was being really smart is agreeing to this. A taxi driver yesterday had offered to take me to this museum. I thought, well why not combine the trips. The museum was very spacious and clean. For 5 minutes the guy explained the basics of using papyrus into writing paper. There was even a test about how long you need to soak the papyrus in water. I got the answer right by saying five days. He had told me that 5 minutes before, but at least he could tell I was paying attention. Then I was asked to look around the room and decide what papyrus pictures I was interested in. Note I was also told that genuine hand painted papyrus paintings were good, but nasty people would try to sell me pictues on banana leaf parchment. Anyway I did end up buying two pieces. In my defence, I did get a free cup of coffee (that was real Egyptian coffee, rather than the sachet of nescafe I get at breakfast). Look these pictures are guaranteed for a thousand years! I did tell the owner (sorry curator) that I would see him in the after life tocomplain if there was a problem before 3005. After the camel trip around the pyramids, I did slightly better. As I got down from the camel, it was suggested that I should was my hands in a shop. After washing my hands and getting a free coke, I spent a pleasant 15 minutes telling the shop owner that I didn't need any egyptian oil. Anyway I didn't buy anything, so I was a bottle of coke ahead. At the end of my trip around the pyramids, the guide asked (very politely) for his tip. ON my list of things to do day, I had not planned to take a camel ride, but this is apparently the only way to see the pyramids. Camels are pretty tall beats, and I didn't feel so stable. Getting on and off the camel was a bit stressfull. Since I was actually on the camel when the guide asked for his tip, I might have been more generous than I would have been if my feet had been stuck firmly on the ground. In my guide book it was noted that these pyramids are some of glories of the ancient world, but a lot of trivial stuff goes on at their feet, such as the selling of postcards and trinkets by toothless hawkers. Perhaps, I too am focussing on the trivial and missing the power of these ancient symbols. I was vey impressed to see one of the huge pyramids suddenly appear, as we were driving down some street.
Today I did the pyramid thing. There is "taxi" driver outside the hotel who offered to take me to the pyramids and sphinx. In fact every taxi driver who has driven anywhere has offered to do this for me (as well as take me on a tour of Egypt). The car I actually chose was totally knackered. The sea belt didn't have a metal thing, to slot in. A seatbelt in Cairo is a pretty important thing given that the cars weave in and out of each other. It is sometimes not very clear how many lanes there are on a road. There are very few traffic lights. Cars just barge in from either side. Some cars ring their horm once every minute to warn other driver of some "mistake". People jump out of buses in the middle of the road. Vans stop for no reason. Driving in cairo is totally crazy. On the way back from the trip, the front wheel blew out. We were out of town then it was not sucha big deal. Luckily the guy had a spare. Some of the other taxis I was offired trips in were a lot nicer, with air conditioning (and seat belts). The starting point of a good tourist day trip is safety.
While I was writing my second post last night there was a power cut. Half my sun fueled prose was lost. It was not a proper power cut as the lights came back up in about 15 minutes. In a proper country like England, the power cuts would have lasted fora day. The tabloid press would have been on the war path. When I was in Cuba last year, there was also a power cut, but candles came out and you could still order beer.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Here I am in Egypt. The magic of online travel agents and work burn out have led me to spend some time in Cairo. I am staying in the Victoria Hotel in Cairo. The hotel is essentially empty. There are a few guests but not many. This hotel is amimed at Westner and it is too hot for many of them. It is too hot for me, but I didn't think about this when I booked the holiday. I woul describe this as a hotel much like the Liverpool Adelphi, but not as big. The people here are very friendly. THis is not the same a cuba where everyone was essentially trying to get dollar bills. I was helped out a couple of times today, bypeople just being friendly. It is very hot. For some tourist reason, I was trying to getto the Cairo tower. THis involved walking across a huge long bridge full of cars. I could see grass and stuff at the end of the bridge, but it was impossible to get to the nie little park. Mad dogs and englishmen go out in the noon day sun. I was armed with a sun hat, a liter of water, and was covered with sun protection stuff. I think I need to sweat some toxins off anyway.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Is it really true that I have not posted for two months. This is the busist time of the year for me. I am just exhausted and can barely get through the day. I don't think that the alien abductions are helping much. My dreams are fairly twisted, witb figures with hidden faces and white robes standing over me with swirling knifes. If people want to perform experiments on me while I am asleep that is fine, but I would like to feel refreshed in the morning. It would aslo be OK, if the experiemnets gave me special poweres. I like the idea of being able to detach one of hands and for it to have a life of its own. This would be really useful for sneaking things through airport security (my nails grow very quikly, I do need them cut on long airline trips). A more mundane application would be for my hand to go and get a beer from the fridge while I am watching DVDs. Then I just need to find a way to go to the toilet as well, and I would neever need to leave the flickering screen. I would be fully compotosed.
Last Saturday I went to see the film "the devil rejects". Why I am not sure. The reviews said it was an unpleasant film. It did just seem to be pointless violence and torture. The actors were committed to the evil insanity of it all. Perhaps, I am just not such a hard core horror fan as I thought.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
I just finished off "the Rum Diaries" by Hunter S. Thompson. I had a massive hangover on Saturday, but I managed to end the book. I had started reading it at the start of the year. I really enjoyed the book, but the main message I got from it was that if you drink a huge quantity of rum, then bad things will happen. Some very interesting things happened to him, but what the was the point ot it all. I read a review somewhere that clamed his writing had been saved by the drug culture. I think that it was the search for the American dream that made the hedonism of his drug fueled works more interesting. I am also finishing off "the female eunuch" by Germaine Greer. She was a lot less annoying in the early 70s. Some of the comments are almost insightfull. A book written in dark dusty libraries and then evenings of plentiful sex with partners who could stand her constant chattering. Perhaps this reading experience will make more a more sensitive man?
Monday, May 23, 2005
I have been getting more sleep lately, but that means I have been dreaming more. I had one dream where I was hugging someone I really like. This would have been fine, except that their face was all burnt and scared under a plastic pale mask, so I could not kiss her. Two nights ago, I dreamt that a woman cam into my bedroom with some books that I lent her. She then lent me a copy of the bible. We stood very close, and she asked what was I doing on the 9th. I asked what day the 9th was, and then I woke up. Thw woman was wearing sensibe clothes. What is my unconcious trying to tell me? There is the fairly obvious point that perhaps I would be happier if I had a girlfriend. I was very worried about the bible reference. Was God trying to tell me something? On reflection there is a long history in the McNeile family of becoming a priest when the need for sexual love becomes overwhelming. Freud was perhaps right afterall, sex explains everything. Anyway I very disapointed in my unconcious. What is the point is telling me what I already know dressed up in transparant fake imagary? Too much beer and cut price DVDs has brought me to this. I expect I just need to read more. Freedom to the imagination!
Sunday, May 22, 2005
There is a weef growing in my living room. There must be a hole in the wall where it can get through. I didn't notice it until it was about 2 foot tall. This is pretty impressive, because the weed is growingv behind the TV. I don't remember buying any magic beans, but I am not so sure that I am totally concious all the time. I will let it grow for a while. It might get bigger and bigger. I will be able to climb up it and steal some giant's gold. I could use the gold to help reduce third world debt, or I could blow the lot on cars, guns and women. I do like the idea of going into the royal bank of scotland branch on Dale street with a big bag of gold bars. The trouble is, I would get arrested and thown in a dark jail. If you have real money these days you are a terrorist or a drug dealer. The giant would then break me out of prison to get his gold back and because he wants to eat me. I save myself my showing the giant how to give himself pleasure using the tunnel under the Mersey. Umm, this is all gettin a bit stressful. Pderhaps I will just cut the weed down. I don't want people thinking I am a freak.
Monday, May 16, 2005
I am about half way through the book "fight club" by Chuck Palahniuk. I really like the way the words fall on the page. I suppose literary types would call this prose style. The trouble is I am constantly comparing the book to the film. I don't want this to happen. It just happens at a subconcious level. I guess if I was a real man, who wasn't thnking about buying a washing machine and wide screen TV, then I could block these images out. Concentrate on the book. Buy the anarchist cookbook. Smell the morning glory of the case of supermarket soap sitting in the bath.
I can't say I am so excited by the new starwars movie. The last one was OK, but the young darth vader needed a good slapping. Still, I will no doubt go and see it. I think I read a review in maybe the online guardian that claimed that yoda was one of the better actors. What a droll wit. I have read the book "a hero with a thousand faces" that was meant to be very influencial to the plot of starwars. This was one of those books I didn't understand much of. The idea seemed to be that the myth of a hero going on adventure was symbolic of a persons growth as an individual. I hate books were the only thing I remember is the summary on amazon. Perhaps that is what I need is a quest. A mighty adventure, where I would come back with a kingdom, somebody to share my lonely bed with, and some arcane occult knowledge that I could impress the lads down the pub with. After my adventure I would grow to be dignified and old. Yes, but first I need a washing machine as the one I have is broken. I need clean clothes if I am to meet the Elf queen in all her snowy glory.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I am back in Liverpool. The train ride from London fromr Liverpool to London was pleasant. I spent most of the time reading "High LOrd" by Trudi Canavan. I enjoye the book, though it was a bit bloated. Part of the plot involved black magic, where a magician could take power from someone by cutting their flesh. This was considered bad by most people. I supppose it is like some kind of vampire analog. Someone told me of a fim, where a man's mother tried to interest him in "life" by inviting a young lady to tea. She was talkiing about pink dresses, flowers, and stuff so he attempts to hack off his hand with a meat cleaver. This is the kind of film, I don't need to see. So I will start on reading my copy of "fight club" instead. A lucky excape.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
OK it is VE day today. As I walked to the hotel, I walked past a plaque that said Winston lived their around 1910. I have the biography of Churchill by Roy Jenkins, I wil get around to reading it one day. I have read that Churcill did a lot of reading. I know the guy was a war leader, but he did try to shut down the national health service. Down with all leaders! Different leaders for different times.
This terminal also records some of the titles peopel use on their blogs. What kind of title is barperson. What did this barperson do to the blogger. Did someone spill beer on somebodys clothes. Perhaps there was some kind of digital photograph incident, where a digital photo of a memebr of the bar staff went astray. Perhaps the barstaff was a long lost friend who had faked sucide to avoid telling their girlfriend of various diseases he had given them. Perhaps the barstaff was not human and bit of the head of a cat when the blogger ordered a bloody mary. Or, maybe theblogger had a nicechat how wonderfull LOndon was with a jolly barman in a green pin striped suit. There is a whisky /cocktail bar around the corner. Perhaps, I should investigate. I think it is a piano bar as well. Sounds a bit posh, butI didn't see no doorstaff. I though this was the information age, I don't have much to go with just the phrase barperson. I suppose I could type the phrase into google, but can I really be bothered? Why can't bloggers use more interesting titles?
I have never been that keen on football, but I was pretty excited to see Everton make 4th in the premiership this season. I have no high asperations fro football, but now it does represent the ultimate capatalist dream. If you have enough money and a control freak of a manager then you can win. So it is all about big bucks. Everton where the undogs this season, everyone expected them to go down. But they came 4th behind the big money teams. The trouble with this age of internet acess at work is that it so tempting to read the match reportson line. I am finding this very streesful.
I sitting ina cyber cafe across the raod from Victoria station. Thisused to be an easy jet cafe, but has been taken over by someone else. There are many fewer terminals and the building has the look of a place with its guts ripped out. The IE cokkies that record which users have accessed this google blog gave me alist of user nameswho have made blog enteris here. I am sitting at the same terminal where Howard Hughs wrote a blog. I thought he was dead. Oh well, at least I know the terminal is clean.
I am going to London tomorrow for a meeting. Yeah, London is a big place, but I always end up going to the same places. Rather than have a northen parlimant, I think they rotate the house of commons so that it occasionally sits in Manchester. With the power of wireless, the MPs could sit in the Machester Arena for two weeks a year. Perhaps, this wouls teach the MPs that there is England outside London.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
The best thing I ever read in the New Scientist magazine was that Guy Faulkes was the only honest person to go into parliament. Today is another election. I have the choice of voting either for a tory tory or a labour tory. I am so happy to have such choice. I don't see exactly what the point is. Both big parties agreed that the UK should fight in the Gulf war. There was very little effective opposition in the house. This did not reflect popular opinion. Even now labour is saying that you can't cast a vote of complaint about Iraq. My main analysis of the election swings on Blair buying chips in a chip shop. Did he eat the chips. I bet not. Note eat means eat at least half of the packet. I expect he gave them to a suited intern, saying "I know we don't pay you any money, so a hot meal will do you good." I just don't see a posh git like Blair eating chips. So if he didn't eat them, why did he but them. This is a waste of valuable rescoures. It is people like Blair that help cause the Irish potato famine. I think there should be some kind of investigation. Perhaps, this chipgate scandal will get me a job writing for the Guardian. Before anybdy whines at me about the importance of democracy. It looks as though my voting card is missing. So it may be that I will be voting afterall, I just don't who for.
Monday, May 02, 2005
One problem I have with writers stuck in English Lit. departments is that their books tend to be about writers stuck in Universities. This tends to amke the writing a tad dull. The technique is fantastic, but nothing seems to happen to people of no consequence. When I used to read such books, I felt my prejiduce that people who could spell were boring and anal retentive was a fairly accurate. Looking at my blog enteries, I don't really see that I so different (apart from the spelling and grammer stuff). It is all very self centered. OK, if you view a BLOG entry as like a diary then perhaps this may not be totally unreasonable. As my imagination has been a bit sickley lately, I think that desperate measures are called for. Perhaps, I should start an alternative BLOG, where my adventures in a alternative Universe are recoreded. As I write this, I start to think of living in a burnt out pub and eating dogs, while alien beaast roam the streets. Umm, it will be all about me, but in a different place. Perhaps an improvement. I can see that this will end in tears, deportation, or a prison sentence. Still it sounds like fun/
Although I obviously am not effectedby late nighyt TV adverts, I went out and got a playstation yesterday. They are now at the price that I consider getting one. There are a number of new models coming out, so prices are falling. I played a bit of prince of persia last night. I seemed to die a lot, until I found the button for blocking (then it just got boring, as I kept getting hit on the ground and I blocked but couldn't get up). Anyway I now feel that I am a fully complete member of society. Anyway I think it is more useful than watching 2 pounds action DVDs. Anyway there are issues about reality and the interface between the author and the text. Plus I get to hbit monsters with a swords, something that I am not allowed to do in real life. There was a famous case in the 60s where a politician got caught in a scandal involving whores and heavy drinking. His excuse was that he couldn't read anymore, so had to fill his time in other ways. This seems a perfectly reasonable execuse to me. Rebellion through confirmity!
Saturday, April 30, 2005
They have finally taken down the scafolding around the front of my house. This has been up for a year. I have raged and complained about it, as the kids around here have played on the scaffolding and indulged their passion for rock throwing. Now it is down. Perhaps, my life will improve. I doubt it somehow. I have plucked up courage to bring my computer home at least, so perhaps I can work at home again. Hopefully they will increase the size of the fence around the building, I feel exposed at the moment. I will probably only be happy when I live in a fortified bunker deep in the country. Books and CDs from Amazon and food via the internet as well.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
As I walked into the center of Liverpool, I noticed how happy people seemed to be. It was a nice sunny day, so peolple were just happy to hang out. I grumply was on my way to see the film "downfall". This is a German film about the last days in Hitler's bunker. What is so great about the film, is that Hitler is both shown as a madman and a kind man. It is a mistake to thing that a person is evil 100 % of the time. It reminds me of a scene in the film "Brazil" where a man cleans the blood from torture from his hands and then plays with his little children. Evil is a part time job. There did seem a great deal of insanity around Hitler. These people should have got out more.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
For the last ten years or so I have felt that I have been living in an emotional vacuum. The hand on my emotional clock only staggere between grumpy and mild depression. As for love, I have heard that it exists of course and yet I still remain alone. Clearly, I am suffering some kind of truma. After much medidation on the walk into work and some fairly astute web browsing, I think I have made a breakthrough. Just before I left Edinburgh I was listening to a play on the radio. The play was adapted from a book and it was spread over a week. A man and woman were exchanging letters about suducing various people. The novel was set in the eighteen century. There was a problem with the radio so I missed some part of the last episode. One of the female characters was disgraced got TB and her eye fell out (for some reason). It sort of matters which character has problems. Was it the female seducer or a victim of the male seducer. It really matters, azs this makes a difference to the way I live my life. I think I have tracked down the book to: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (English Translation) - Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Once I have read this book, everything will become clear. Perhaps, I will start a life of depravity, or I might just develop a wry smile. On reflection the only thing I learnt from reading Sade was the importance of being able to cook, if I am imprisioned in a French Gateau. All I can do is use the microwave.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
I have just spent a couple of days in Stockholm. I don't think I ever wanted to go to Sweden, but Ryan Air persuaded me wit ha cheap flight. I had a great time. Water surounds the city. The people are friendly and I didn't get hassle by beggers (a problem when I ma trying to read n the open). There was enough snow on the ground to make stuff look Nordic, but with out much chance of me falling on my backside. It did seem a bit expensive, but once I found the coffe and muffn deal at the 7-11, my food bills went straight down. I will post my experiences at the Nobel museum at a later date. It is time for some nice Sake. I read Norwegian Wood while on holiday. What a great book. I don't normally like love stories but this one was very moving. OK, there were three suicides, plenty of heavy drinking, and pointless sex. But what do you expectf a Love story set in the laste 60's.
Iam just killing time before I get on a flight to Shannon. I was waitig for some Japanese food. Everything seems to open at 12:30. I can't even get a beer. I can get coffee, so that is not o bad. This must be one of those Scottish things. I am reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Although O like he book, the science in it is just terrible. I like the idea of CERN having a jet that can travel at MACH 15. This explain how JOhne Ellis gives some many talks. Using anti-matter as a energy sorce has a minr flaw. I don't see how they gain energy from colliding the two beams. The iae is that they store anti-matter agter a collision at the LHC. Does Dab know that this has not actullay switched on yt. Also, what does hs have to do with the big bang. The creation of anti-matter happens all the time at accelerators. After reading Anges and Demons, I have lost faith in Dan Brown. Could it be that Jesus was not married (as it says in the the book the Da Vinci code). I can turn water into beer, as last night I said to the barman "take away that nasty glass of water, and bring me a beer. There is stll life in me."
Monday, February 21, 2005
So the great man finally shot himself. What I liked the best in the books of Dr. Thompson was the insight. When I read "fear and loathing on the campaign trail", he did have many interesting things to say about American politics in the early 70s. After a while he seemed to get a bad reputation, so he wasn't allowed to get close to people in power. The book "better than sex" was much less effective, because he stayed in his ranch, and just spent his time sending faxes to CNN. (Many of the reviewers on Amazon seem to like this book for some reason). He meets Bill Clinton, just once, and then all he talks about is the French fries that the big man stuffed his face with. I liked the stories about the guns and drugs as well of course, but that was only part of what Dr. Thompson was about. Many of the commentators seemed to be only interested in his excesses. When he was on a TV documentary, they put subtitles on, because they must have felt that he was difficult to understand. Here is story in the independent newspaper
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Good news fellow martial art DVD viewers. The street figher DVD's are now available again. These are famous martial arts films from the early 70's. They star Sonny Chiba as good/bad karate expert. I have seen all three of the films, when I lived in the US. Dor some reason, the local blockbuster had all three films. I could have imported the US DVDs into the UK, but that also involved a lot of hassle with multi-region DVD players. I do warn you though that there is another street fighter film with Claude Van Damme or Kylie Minogue in it.. Yep, it sucks.
My energy level is so low at the moment. I can't wait until term ends. I can than have a holiday. There are books in the stores that claim to help improve energy levels. Of course they are all full of new age nonsense. But I just feel that I need to do something. I have always felt, that somehow all problems can be solved, by just getting the right book. As a result I have a reasonable large book collections. You never can tell when a certain volume will be needed. What if I am attacked by a demon? Good question, I don't have any books on dark magic. I will not survive on my vague memories of stories by Aleister Crowley. Umm, I don't have anything suitable close by. I must go to Amazon (now) and get some written protection against the dark forces. I have been amused top see how the Blackwells on the Liverpool compus is trying to stay in business. They now sell CDs and videos. It is a fairly small store, but they now have an entire bookshelf on Manga comics. Well that works for me.
I am living in a cheap, but nor particularly nice neighborhood decided to renovate the house I am living in. This has taken almost 10 months. There has been a lot of scaffolding at the front of the building, so the local kids of thrown rocks through the windows a couple of times. Also there have been a number of break ins. A couple of years ago, I had my computer and a sword stolen. About six months ago, somebody stole a breadmaker. There is clearly some deep religious significance between people stealing swords and breadmakers. Perhaps, a new Jesus like figure, with crusty rolls and a semi-sharp sword. After I got broken into again, they stole a DVD player. This seemed to break the pattern, but in the DVD player was a DVD called "Sword for justice". This was a Japanese manga animation. So freaky, or what. I know I should just move......
Sunday, February 06, 2005
I wanted to go amd see the film 2046 this evening, but I was behind on the course I am teaching. This just sucks f course. I can't stand another late night at work, so perhaps I will go and see the film "assault on precinct 13" tomorrow. I think I need the sound of gunshots from the cinema screen at least. The bloggers on the quantum diary site say things like " I forgot to sleep last night". I can't keep up with that kind of pace...