The ways of the Jedi

Got Wibs Star Wars Lego for the PS2 and we had a 2 player game before one
of the controllers broke.

Wibs: “Daddy – why did you kill Jar Jar Binks?”
Me: “Sorry, it was an accident”
Wibs: “Daddy – don’t kill Jar Jar Binks”
Me: “Sorry Wibs, I mistook him for someone else”
Wibs: “Daddy – stop killing Jar Jar Binks”
Me: “Sorry Wibs, my finger slipped”
Me: “Oh go on.  Just once more”

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a dustbin?

It’s my new bike.  Behold:

My faithless steed
My faithless steed

She is a mixture of Taliban (wheels, front brakes, gears), Jedward (seat, pedals, mudguard, handlebars) and the skip-rescue bike, which I called Black Death.  In order to commemorate the unholy union of 3 shitty bikes, her name is Jelideath.  Let her name ring down through the ages whenever a shit bicycle is mentioned.

A bike called Jedward

Sorry, I don’t really have anything much to say about curry at the moment.  It’s been ages since I had one and I think I’m beginning to forget what they taste like.  Tragic.

But on to Ebay – I just put this advert on there, for Jedward my faithful steed:

A bike called Jedward

He’s called Jedward because he’s crap.  When I bought him he was crap.  The brakes didn’t really work in the wet – as I hurtled to my doom they made a distant mooing sound, like a cow in the next field.  The tyres were falling to bits and both the back and front wheels were buckled.  But then I found another bike that was going to be chucked in a skip and, using bits from another junker and Jedward, I managed to cobble together something that was rubbish but wouldn’t actually kill me the next time there was a bit of drizzle in the air.  Which leaves Jedward, who was crap at the best of times, and now even crapper than when I bought him because he’s had all the 1/4 decent bits taken off and replaced with the 1/8th decent bits from the skip-rescued one.

So what are you bidding on?  All the bits that make up a bike are there.  All you need to do is tighten everything up and you’ve got yourself a death-trap that no-one in their right mind would ride without the legally-binding promise, signed by at least 4 gods, of 200 virgins waiting for him (or her) on the other side.  Seriously, you don’t want to ride this one home and I purposely left everything loose so he’s un-rideable.  What’s good about him?  Well, the frame and forks aren’t too bad and the dust covers on the tyre valves are in tip top condition.  Other than that, he’s crap.

No panic bidding please.

What now?

I feel I should write something but I lack inspiration. The first person to reply with a suggestion gets a blog entry written about it.

Changes to

Due to the ever increasing costs of hosting my web sites, I’m afraid I am going to have to start charging for the content on This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but it is necessary in order to allow the continued production of the high qaulity articles you have come to expect.

So, from May 1st, a week’s subscription will cost £1.00, a month subscription £3.00 and £55.00 for a full year. I think you will agree that this is a small price to pay for my informed comments and unique perspective on the important matters.

Thank you.

A quick rant

My phone is a Samsung D900i and sometimes it annoys the fuck out of me.

If I want to change the display background, it pops up an “Are you sure?” box. Why? Oh no! If I get it wrong, I might have to change it again. On the other hand, when composing a text, if I hold down the button used for deleting single characters for 1 second, it wipes out everything I’ve written. No warning box, no “Are you sure?” – just splat and my carefully composed message is gone for ever. This happens to me a lot, usually near the end of a long text that has been difficult to compose, and I’m thinking hard about it and not noticing that I’m holding the button down while deleting the last word of my heart-felt… *pop* there it goes. Start again. Argh.

And then, once I’ve written and re-written my text, if I’m trying to send it from a dodgy reception area it gives me a prompt to try again or cancel.  Fair enough.  If I click cancel, it asks if I want to save it.  The soft button that was “Cancel” then becomes the “No” button for “Save?”.  Because when I can’t send a message due to poor reception I usually want to delete the fucker, rather than save it to send later, don’t I?  That one was easier to remember the 10th time it deleted my message with no fucking warning.

Still, at least it makes sure that I don’t accidentally change my background by mistake because that would be REALLY bad.

The unkindest cut of all

Now I’ve failed my third sperm test, it looks like the vasectomy I had last year didn’t make a vas deferens to my fertility.  Of course, the good thing about having a failed vasectomy is that I can crack that joke.   And I suppose it’ll be nice to have another chinwag with the doctor about work and the dreadful state of the roads around Cambridge, but all things considered, I’d prefer not have to make idle chit-chat with a man who is wiggling a knife around in my goolies.

Apparently 1 in 2000 vasectomies don’t work.  I don’t really see what can go wrong – you chop a couple of pipes and seal the ends up.  I could do that myself with a penknife and a soldering iron.  Unless the doctor has trouble counting past 1, in order to fail, the little wriggly buggers must have repaired the pipes.  I’ve got millions of Bob the Builders living in my scrotum.  Can they fix it?  Yes, the little fuckers can.  I wonder if I could get them to fix the toaster?  I might chuck a few in there to see what happens.

Oh, and hello Ross.  Sorry for damaging your property.

Update: The doctor gave it some extra cauterising this time.  As the room echoed to the crackling of searing flesh, I heard a voice from behind the veil of smoke say “I’d like to see them get past THAT…”

Beer Hutch!

Young William and James were the luckiest boys in Cambridge.  Their father, a brilliant inventor, had built them their very own beer hutch! Fun and adventure was never far away, thanks to their thermostatically heated shelter which was large enough to hold a pressure keg and lots of bottles.  Actually, fun and adventure were some considerable distance away, and not getting any closer, thanks to their father not giving it to them and putting his beer in it instead.  They would only have used it to have zany adventures with an ironic twist at the end anyway, and I’d rather drink beer thanks.

But why a beer hutch?  Home brew needs to be stored at the correct temperature, which is less than the inside temperature of a house, but more than the bloody freezing temperature it currently is outside; I don’t want to suck it like a lolly.  An outside cupboard or garage would normally be fine but unfortunately, at some point in its life, our Victorian terraced house had had its outside toilet and coal bunker knocked down and turned into a big kitchen.  With no thought as to how future residents would store their homebrew at the correct temperature – not very forward-thinking, eh?  For a while my beer lived outside, wrapped in a heated underblanket (found in a skip – very few stains on it but a broken switch), with its temperature controlled by a home-made (mainly from scrapped parts) thermostat:

There she is, huddled under her green blanket.  Just above is the control electronics and hanging on the fence is the temperature readout:

10.5 Degrees – just right.

This is all very well and good, but it’s a right pain actually getting the beer out – you have to lift up all the layers to get to the tap and take everything off to give her a puff of CO2.  Also, what do I do when I’ve got 40 bottles of beer as well as the keg?  So I needed a little beer hutch to keep the precious liquid at the optimum temperature.  Luckily, they were chucking out a load of under-bench cupboards from one of the labs at work:

Pretty tatty, but it’s built like a brick shithouse and it just needs a top, door, stronger back, insulation (walls and door are a chopped up Tesco Value duvet with skip-found insulated board top and bottom) and the heater blanket.  A couple of nights later…

Lots of insulation and the heated blanket installed.  What does it look like from the outside?  In a word – tasty.

The sharp-eyed might notice that the door is a) the wrong colour, b) the wrong size, c) hung wonky and d) upside down, but when you are hanging upside down by your feet from the edge of a skip, you can’t be choosy about the colour, type or which side door it is.  It shuts.  It opens.  It fulfills its purpose.

And now my beer is in her lovely new, hand-crafted home.  The end result:

Night night precious beer.