Things I’ve learned this week (updated)

  1. Taliban, my “new” bike* has got a sticker on it, proudly announcing that it’s made from “Ferrocarbon”. Wow! That’s some super space-age high-tech stuff, surely? Oh, hang on. “Ferro” = iron? Iron and carbon… oh yes, that’s steel. So it’s got a steel frame. Wow. That’s great. So much better than manky old aluminium or carbon fibre.
  2. Riding in the blazing heat makes you hot, sweaty and stinky.  If you are already hot and stinky from a 3 mile cycle ride home in the blazing heat, a large dollop of baby sick, applied down your bare back does not improve your aroma.
  3. If a co-worker cycles to the pub and back, parking his bike next to yours on his return, don’t be totally surprised if you find that he’s accidentally locked your bike up instead of his.
  4. Cheap bike locks that look butch can be removed in 3 minutes with a hammer and a hacksaw. If you know what you are doing you can have the bugger off in 20 seconds.
  5. If you stop your bike to ask a white van driver why he carved you up and he responds by shouting “fuck you” through the closed window, pointing and laughing at him will make him so cross he will actually try to run you over. So this one is best attempted while he’s stuck in traffic that you can get past easily. It is very funny though.
  6. The only remotely interesting things to happen to me always seem to involve bicycles in some way.

* “New” as in “given to me by a friend because he hated riding it so much”. It might be slow, heavy and a bit crap but… er… um… Anyway, Taliban puts the “fun” into “fundamental”. And the “mental”.  And, presumably, the “da” too, but I’ve no idea what that means.

Lobster nipples

When it comes to the search engine words that bring people here, the chunky carrot floodgates have opened and I’m up to my metaphorical knees in digital puke. Let’s get the technicolour yawns out of the way first:

  • “does cocaine make you vomit”, “dog symptom white frothy vomit”, “toddler yellow vomit”, “dog coughing and vomiting white frothy” etc. etc... I don’t know if it’s all this vomit talk, but I feel sick. I would look up my symptoms on Google, but it seems I’d just end up back here.
  • “how to get used to vomit”. Look after a baby for a few weeks and you will become old friends with the entire rainbow of bodily fluids the little chap can fire in your direction.

Now we’ve got that out of our system (and in a steaming puddle on the floor), let’s get down to… well, more bodily functions.

  • “zoe ball farts”. She probably does. I’ll bet Gandhi and Mussolini farted too, but I don’t see why I’d need to look it up on Google to confirm it. Anyone got any ideas why her rectal emissions keep cropping up?
  • “anal celery”. YES!!!! It’s been a few months since I seeded those words, but it had to bring someone in eventually. Someone who likes poking celery up their bottom. Now I’ve had success with that, I’ll try something a bit more obscure. Let’s see if “lobster nipples” hooks anyone in. This is a bit like reverse googlewhacking, but a fraction of the fun.
  • “naich in nails”. I think you meant “Naich is nails”, and why yes, I am hard as fucking nails. Thank you. Either that or you were typing “nine inch nails” with fingers the size of cucumbers.
  • “naked nibbl”. Sounds like fun. But if you are doing it in the kitchen, don’t get into a squabl about dribbl on the tabl.
  • “prius bumper whiskers”. The latest fashion accessory for your faux green vehicle. Make your car look like Stalin with a huge bushy bumper moustache.
  • “i-strut crimping”. Now, this could just be the way my mind works, but this conjures up an image of John Travolta in a white suit, dancing on a flashing disco floor in the style of someone who is desperately trying to hold in a large pooh whilst franticly searching his pockets for 10p for the public bogs. But that could just be me.
  • “medised doesn’t work”. It just makes you worse. But I know I’ll see your face again.

That’ll do for now. Don’t forget those lobster nipples. You never know when you’ll need them.

Screwing in skirting

Tape Measure

With the words “screwing” and “skirting” in the title, this post will no doubt produce some interesting search terms in the logs but sadly, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. I am, of course, referring to the stuff that goes round the bottom of your walls and the best way of attaching said stuff. Don’t worry sir, the next link down will probably about transvestite sex – just hit the “Back” button on your browser. Bye!

Right, those that are left are now either interested in DIY or twisted enough to become sexually excited at the thought of wooden planks. If it’s the latter then I am seriously impressed and I take my hat off to you for developing a truly original perversion. You must spend a lot of time in the B&Q toilets.

Now, I’m not going to cover the nitty gritty of getting your skirting to line up nicely with lovely mitred corners; I can’t even do that myself so there’s no point trying to teach others. Being useless at getting bits of wood to line up is why decorator’s caulk was invented. This is purely about the mechanics of getting it attached to the walls. “No More Nails” I can hear you thinking (no, of course I can’t really), and to some extent you are correct. If you’ve got lovely flat walls and if you’ve got lovely flat wood and if you don’t ever want to take it off again. On the other hand, if you live in a Victorian house there won’t be a flat wall in sight and the plaster will consist of sand and pebbles, bound with dried-out spit. You will probably also find that your skirting is slightly warped or, if you’ve bought it from B&Q or Homebase, bent like a fucking corkscrew. By screwing it into the wall, you can fit the wibbly wobbly line of the walls and unbend the wood as you go. You can also take it off easily, should you want to fit extra sockets, paint neatly under the skirting board line or if you get a sudden urge to dress it up in a negligee and sleep with it, you sick, sick person. So here is my method to get those screws wanged in at exactly the right position and at a phenomenal rate.

You will need:

  • Three cordless drills. Well, you don’t need three but you will be using 2 drill bits and a screwdriver, so the more drills you have the quicker it’ll be because you won’t be swapping bits all the time.
  • Red rawlplugs. Probably red. I’ve found the ones for size 8-10 screws always are.
  • Screws – Size 8, 2″ long. Or longer if you’ve got nasty plaster. Size 10 if you need more force to unbend the wood.
  • A 6mm wood drill bit and a 6mm masonry drill bit. Check the rawlplug to make sure you have the correct masonry drill bit. Use the same wood drill bit size as this one.
  • A hammer (Oh yes!)


  1. Put the skirting on the wall, where you want it fixed.
  2. Drill through the skirting with the wood drill.
  3. Make sure the skirting is in exactly the right place and then drill into the wall with the masonry drill, through the hole you just made in the skirting.
  4. Put the rawlplug into the hole in the skirting. Screw a screw into the rawlplug by a 1/2 a turn or so – just enough to hold it in place.
  5. Tap the screw with the hammer to bosh it and the rawlplug through the skirting and into the wall. There should be about a rawlplug’s length of screw sticking out when the screw/plug combination hits the bottom of the hole.
  6. Screw the screw in.

The depth of hole you drill in the wall depends on the length of your screws, but you can estimate it to start with by holding a screw up to a bit of skirting, seeing how far it sticks out the back and seeing how far up the drill bit you need to go to go that deep.

If you find that the screw stops going in before the board is tight to the wall, and just spins round in a pathetic way (“pathetic” is an accurate description – you wait until it happens to you), your hole might not be deep enough causing the screw to bottom out. That last phrase should get a few more perverts here. Or it could be that you aren’t inserting the rawlplug deep enough into the wall for it to reach anything solid to grip in. Try using a longer screw and drilling further into the wall – until you drill into the brick.

With three drills and a mouthful of screws and rawlplugs, you can get your badly-cut, wrongly sized bits of skirting screwed cock-eyed onto a wall before your wife can say “christ, look at the state of that – why the hell couldn’t we have got in a proper carpenter, you tightwad?” Good luck!

Virgin on the ridiculous

I got an email from Virgin today. I’ve got a pay-as-you-go thing on my mobile phone where there’s no contract but it’s paid by direct debit.

“Lately, we’ve been thinking about the way you use your phone.”

Ahh that’s nice. They have been thinking about little old me. And here was I thinking they were a bland, faceless reseller of T-Mobile airtime. I feel all warm and cuddly now.

“Some people mostly make calls to friends and family on the same network and other people make calls to all sorts of networks. So we thought our tariffs should reflect just that.”

Translation: There were some people who used their phone in a manner that meant we weren’t milking them sufficiently. We’ve changed our tariffs so everyone gets screwed properly.

“That’s why we’re introducing some changes. They’ll make it easier for you to choose the tariff that’s right for you.”

Ahh, that’s lovely. Thank you for making it easier for me to choose. But how are you going to do that?

Ooh, I know. How about putting up the prices on my tariff and then offering me an alternative that’s even more expensive? You will? Oh gosh! Thank you Virgin! You really are the company that cares about making choices easy for me. That choice might cost me and arm and a leg, but it’s worth it because it’s easy and you’ve been thinking about me. Aaaahhhhh. The warmth and fuzziness is overwhelming me.

Excuse me while I vomit up a kidney.

It’s not the price increase that bothers me – you can charge what you want and I’ll take it or leave it, but don’t increase prices and then try to convince me that you have my best interests at heart and are doing it for my benefit.   Oh, and the “we’re a groovy friendly company” wankspeak doesn’t make you appear as anything other than a bunch of money-grabbing faceless corporate tossers who are desperately trying to cover up the fact that you are a bunch of money-grabbing faceless corporate tossers.

How about some more beans, Mr Taggart?

It’s 4.20am and young Nibbles is thrashing around and crying in the corner of our bedroom, suffering from some nasty wind. When you are only 18 inches long, a bubble of gas going through your digestive tract is a big deal and it’s understandable that he gets upset. I’m comforting him, giving him little pats and ssshhhs and popping a dummy in when he wants it. Then –


“That was him” I hasten to tell Jen, lest she think I’m some sort of flatulent oaf that just stands there, venting gas while his son is in pain.

Pbbbffffpphhhhb! “Oh, actually that one was me”

Phhhhhuurrrt! “That was him again”

Pppbbbbbbbt! “Sorry – me that time”

Phhhhhbbpppbb! “That was him, honestly”…

And so on, much in the vein of the beans scene from Blazing Saddles. “Like father, like son” Jen observed in a sleep-deprived sort of way. I must say that the little guy makes me proud.

What is it when dog gags up white frothy phlem?

What is it? It’s a trip to the vets and a bill that will get you hurking up white frothy phlegm too.

In the same way Victorian asylum owners would allow honoured guests to poke their unfortunate inmates with sharp sticks, here for your amusement are the search phrases that have brought people to my blog. People who were desperately searching for answers to real problems, only to find themselves here, having the piss taken out of them. Piss and yellow poo. Hee hee, snurk.

  • prius car bandsaw – is that one shaped like the other or the best way to use one on the other?
  • toddler cough symptom weasel sound – Has your toddler gotten a lot more hairy recently? Grown a bushy tail, a pointy nose and whiskers? You remember when you went for that picnic in the woods and you put your toddler down on the ground while you did up your shoelace? There’s a possibility you might have picked up something other than your child.
  • toddler gets constant colds – Tell me about it. And any other disease that comes within 10 feet of them. Nibbles treated us to some fairly serious constipation recently and didn’t poo for a couple of days. He decided to let go just as I was running a belt-full of shopping through the till at Tescos. The nappy he was in didn’t stand a chance of containing the explosion and he almost blew a hole in the trolley seat. That was a fun drive home. Oh, and he’s got another cold now.
  • blinking light in my bmw x3 – Yeah it’s supposed to do that. It’s called an indicator light and it shows other people what you are about to do with your fuck-ugly tank. You know that sticky out thing on the side of the steering column that you hang your handbag on? Try moving it up and down. See? That makes those orange lights blink. Now, believe it or not, there ARE other people on the road, and telling them where you are about to turn means they can take steps to avoid being crushed to death under the wheels of your Panzer.
  • vomit blog kids – Now that’s a catchy name for a group of perky Web 2.0 teenagers with a video camera and a desperate lust for pointless fame on YouTube. It’s the Vomit Blog Kids! *dah de dah de dah* “Dudes! This week it’s vinegar! *Blooaargh*” etc. etc. Who am I kidding? It’s probably been done so much it’s passée. It’s probably happy stabbing or something equally revolting that’s in vogue now.


Just a quick post to make up for the lack of blathering recently. I’d like to say that the reason for this is that I’ve been occupied with our latest wibbler, James, but that doesn’t really wash because I’ve had time to not only sort out his website with the novelty “” domain, but also another one of “”. So there we go – I’m a big fat liar of a weasel with two absolutely hilarious new domains. Mind the ribs. Oh yes, “” is for sale, if you want it. Just don’t tell me what you intend to put on it. I’ve seen things that… well, just don’t tell me, OK?

But the important thing is that James is doing fine. He’s got the nickname “Nibbles” because he’s always hungry; if he’s not attached to a boob, he’s not happy. Insert obvious joke here. The reason becomes clear when you realise that his weight has increased from 7lbs 1oz to 9lbs in two weeks. So he’s putting on a pound every week – that’s 14% of his body weight. No wonder he’s hungry all the time – that’s like me putting on almost 2 stones in a week. That’s some serious porking.

That’s it for now. I’ll be getting back to the normal codswallop, vague unfocussed rantings all too soon.

Naked vomit poo driver

Oh good lord, it’s that time when I look at the website stats and see what searches have brought people here. Despite my valiant attempts to improve the class of searches by deliberately planting the words “celery”, “anal” and “leech” a few posts back, it’s more of the same really with the familiar theme of vomit/poo/BMWs.

Let’s start off with

  • naked bmw driver – Scary
  • adjectives beginning with s – that’s seriously and stupidly shit.
  • my motorbike seems wobbly when i go fast – That’s a speed wobble caused by the resonant frequency of the steering system. The trick is to go faster and then it’ll stop. Or get a steering damper, but that’s not so fun. There you go – some genuinely helpful advice. Who says this blog is just full of useless crap?
  • naked woman road rage – was this person a victim of it? I don’t know whether to be jealous or not.
  • things your mum used to sayto you when you were a kid – “bloody hell, what are you doing in that bathroom day and night? Come on – other people need to use it too”.
  • bmw wanker a bicycle – Naich confuser by search term.
  • that’ll never happen no more tablature – yeah, but you always think that and then BAM – some more tablature comes along and you have to degrease your elk costume again.
  • zoe ball farting – well, we’ve all wanted to find information on Zoe Ball’s rectal emissions at one time or another, haven’t we? Come on – admit it. You have.

So there we have it for another month. Celery anal leech, for the third and last time. Come on.


w4nkaOne of the best ever letters to Viz Magazine has to be the one from a Mr. KWZ 625V of Hull, who suggested “rather than buy an expensive personalised number plate, simply change your name to match your existing one”.

It makes sense, especially as the UK numberplate system is that much more inflexible than the Yanks (unless you want to have “OPECFU”, in which case the DMV, their version of our DVLA, will send you a nice letter saying “fuck you“), forcing many people to use numbers as 73tter5. So unless you already have numbers in your name then you are going to end up with something a bit crap, like “K3VIN” or “TRA6Y” (in an weird font to try and make the “6” look a bit more like a “C”).

Not that the incoherence stops people shelling out large sums of money for a crass symbol of someone with bad taste and too much money. Looking at the DVLA’s site, they start off at £600 for ones that are utterly meaningless. You want one that actually resembles a word? That’ll cost you the price of a small hatchback. Furthermore, they usually require weird letter spacing and black screw heads to actually make any sense at all and besides, all the good ones have been bought already.

But surely the most pitiful sight I’ve seen recently was on the back of a BMW X3 penguin killer. It read thus:


It was so crap it required an explanation underneath. I’m not joking; underneath the jumble of alphanumerics was written, in brackets, what it was supposed to say. That’s pretty piss poor by anyone’s standards but why have the explanation at all? Did she (I assume it was a she) think that anyone following her would be seriously wowed? “So the 4 is A and the 1 and 3 run together to make B, which leaves 7 which is a bit like an L… Holy shit! that car is being driven by mabel!” For those who already know her name, the need for an aid to decipher her personalised plate is less than impressive and I could be going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that the people who don’t already know her couldn’t give a diseased rat’s arse what her name is. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I felt cheated that I’d used a percentage of my brain’s power to decipher a useless, pathetic piece of information that I never wanted to know anyway.

In case you are thinking to yourself “well, it must be worth it to Mabel because she’s now got her own blog entry”, I’d like to point out that the name has been changed. Not to protect her identity, but because I really can’t remember what it was. Her name has gone and all that remains is the memory that her car’s personalised plate was so appallingly convoluted that it needed an explanation under it.

Well done, whoever you are. That’s money well spent.

I collect internets

EU ParliamentThis is the story of how I almost got two copies of the World Wide Web stored on my web server. Yes, the entire World Wide Web. 2 Copies. Now, I’m a geek so I’m not sure how much of this “normal” people (like yourself) will be able to follow, so if you find yourself getting bored, please skip to another blog entry which will almost certainly have nothing more than ranting and swearing in it. For the rest of you, read on…

I had an email waiting for me this morning. Nothing unusual there – despite Spamassassin doing its best, I usually have the opportunity to enralge my mebmer, claim money from lotteries I’ve never entered or help wealthy Nigerian businessmen get rid of colossal quantities of money every morning. This one however, was telling me that the disk space on my server had just run out. So no enormous genitals or wads of cash for me this morning then.

Logging on, it became apparent that about 3 Gigs of hard drive space was being eaten up by something and heading over to the log files showed that the MySQL database had written 3GB of logs over the past couple of weeks. What was puzzling was that the database seemed to be filling up with copies of the European Parliament web site. In Slovakian. Argh! Rooted! Someone with a grudge has got control of my server and is using it to DOS attack the Slovakian language version of the European Parliament web site. Quick! Who is connected to the server? Hmm… Googlebot is getting a page and now there are a load of connections to other web servers. Hang on, what page is Google getting? Ah. It’s charredbadger.php from the site… Ding. Is that the sound of a light bulb appearing over my head? No, actually it wasn’t – it was a coworker stirring his tea. I guess that light bulb thing only happens in cartoons.

But what is charredbadger.php?, I imagine you asking in a manner that makes me look clever and you look stupid. Well, the short answer is that it’s a browser within a browser, designed to let the user pick an image from another web page – the “foreign” page. This is done by showing the foreign page in a frame with all the images extracted and shown underneath. The user can either click on an image to use it for nefarious deeds or click on a link in the foreign page to follow it. Click on that link up there to see what I mean. Try one of the 3 links on that page – you’ll get the idea.

Of course it’s not as simple as it first looks. Any links clicked on the foreign page have to point back to sodwork or the user would simply be navigated away from sodwork completely. So when a link is clicked on, rather than your browser fetching the page, what actually happens is that the sodwork server (disguising itself as an ordinary web browser) fetches the page from the foreign site. It then looks through the code in the page and replaces all the links in it. The links, which would normally look like “”, are edited to point back to sodwork in the form:


So although it looks as if you are using the foreign site normally, everything goes through the sodwork server before it appears on your screen.

OK, so what has all this got to do with 3GB of log files and multiple copies of the whole web? Well, calm down and I’ll tell you. Now then. The foreign page is stored in a database on the server so the scripts that produce both the frame with the foreign page and the outer page can extract what they need. The frame gets the links and the outer page extracts the images. This is a temporary database entry that gets cleaned up after it’s used.

Except it doesn’t. Mr. Lazy here (that’s me) didn’t get round to doing the clean-up code. And the logs that MySQL produce don’t get cleaned up between reboots either. So every page that charredbadger fetches is permanently stored in the database and the command that stores it (which includes the entire code of the page) is stored in the database logs. So every page loaded by charredbadger is stored twice on my server. This isn’t normally a problem. charredbadger is not used that much so the database doesn’t get that big and the log files are erased before they start taking up any space.

Until Googlebot comes along, that is. Hello Googlebot. Googlebot is a program used by Google. Googlebot gets a page from a server, stores it (“indexes” it) so that the words in it can be found by the Google search engine and then follows any links in that page to index those pages as well. It uses this method to index entire sites and hop from one site to the next, following the internal and external links, until it’s done the whole World Wide Web.

Now, unlike us dumb humans, when Googlebot looks at the frame within charredbadger, it is smart enough to see that the all links in the foreign site web page, as shown in the frame, are actually links to the sodwork website. Every link on the foreign site appears to Googlebot as an internal link on and following them leads to other pages with even more links which also look like internal links on

So it follows them. All of them. They lead to other pages which have more links on them to other pages with even more links on them to other pages… You get the idea. Googlebot thinks it’s indexing my site because all these links start with “”, but thanks to the way my server fetches the foreign web pages and adds that “” on the front, it’s actually indexing whatever foreign site happens to be loaded into charredbadger. Remember that this could be any site on the whole WWW.

So where does it stop? It doesn’t. There are supposedly 6 degrees of separation between any two web sites; i.e. 6 links will get from any one site to any other site on the internet. So in theory, Googlebot will keep following links in charredbadger until the whole of the World Wide Web is indexed. Again. Via my web server. Which, if you remember, is storing 2 copies of every page.

So Google gets another copy of the entire internet (well, the WWW bit of it), except with “” in front of it, and I get two copies of every web page in existence stored on my server – one in a database and one in the logs for that database. It’s handy to have a backup I suppose. Except what happens when the sub-internet indexing that Googlebot is doing gets round to charredbadger on sodwork again? Oh yes, it’s going to start indexing a sub-sub internet copy, with me getting 4 copies of the World Wide Web on my server. And on an on it goes in an endless loop until either Google or I run out of hard drive space.

So it turns out we can get up to the Slovakian language version of the European Parliament website before I run out of hard drive space to store my internets in. I wonder how much further Googlebot and I would have got if I had a bit more space available? I’ll never know – I’ve started tidying up the logs automatically and I’ve told Googlebot not to index anything starting in

Like I should have done to start with. That’ll teach me.