Monday, 23 April 2018

It's Rather Good

With Brighton always getting the limelight, many people forget about Southend but it does get a mention at TInd (full listing) as one of the top ten seaside resorts in the UK:


Traditional beach huts at Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea (Getty Images/iStock)
With an increasing number of routes going out of Southend Airport, it’s easy to forget that there’s no need to fly out – the Essex town is an ideal seaside destination on sunny days.
Adventure Island is popular with families for its rides, golf and go karting, while Cliffs Pavilion shows musicals, ballets and concerts should the English weather let you down.
Home to the longest pleasure pier in the world, Southend-on-Sea is also known for its traditional seafront arcades.

Note:  Old Leigh/Leigh Broadway a few miles away is far better...

Old Dog/New Tricks

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) have approved some changes to the organisation's remit, extending the group's work beyond real ale for the first time.
Proposals calling for the organisation to provide information, education and training to those with an interest in beer, cider and perry "of any type" were passed at Camra's annual general meeting on Saturday.
A more general suggestion for Camra to act as the voice of "all pub-goers" was rejected. It followed the largest consultation Camra had ever carried out, gathering views from more than 25,000 members, who filled in online surveys and attended consultation meetings across the country.

Good Gag

people share their go to never fail bad jokes 20 photos 8 People share their go to never fail bad jokes (20 Photos)

More Fine Names

The Argentinian burger patties called Barfy, the Asian hot pepper sauce known as Shitto or the Macedonian beer called Vergina.

Lad Bible

Not Fake News*

‘Shyte’ chocolate bar mocked because of its crap sounding name

Why would a Canadian company brand its chocolate protein bar as "Shyte"?

No idea, but it will either be a masterstroke of publicity or the biggest own goal since King Cnut (Canute) lost his argument with the tide.

*If you don't believe me, go here...

Well Said

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Greek slave & fable author (620 BC - 560 BC)

Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink

With anti-piracy outfits and dubious law-firms policing BitTorrent swarms at an increasing rate, many Bittorrent users are looking for ways to hide their identities from the outside world. To accommodate this demand we'll give an overview of 5 widely used privacy services.
With an increasing number of BitTorrent users seeking solutions to hide their identities from the outside world, privacy services have seen a spike in customers recently. Below we’ve listed some of the most-used services that allow BitTorrent users to hide their IP-addresses from the public.
The services discussed in this post range from totally free to costing several dollars a month. The general rule is that free services are generally slower or have other restrictions, while paid ones can get you the same speeds as your regular connection would.


Update: This article is outdated, a 2017 review of VPN providers is available here.
Hundreds and thousands of BitTorrent users have already discovered that a VPN is a good way to ensure privacy while using BitTorrent. For a few dollars a month VPNs route all your traffic through their servers, hiding your IP address from the public. Some VPNs also offer a free plan, but these are significantly slower and not really suited for more demanding BitTorrent users.
Unlike the other services listed in this article, VPNs are not limited to just BitTorrent traffic, they will also conceal the source of all the other traffic on your connection too. , TorguardSlickVPN and PrivateInternetAccess are popular among BitTorrent users, but a Google search should find dozens more. It is recommended to ask beforehand if BitTorrent traffic is permitted on the service of your choice.


Torrentprivacy is another proxy service for BitTorrent users, very similar to that of BTGuard. It offers a modified uTorrent client that has all the necessary settings pre-configured. The downside to this approach is that it is limited to users on Windows platforms. TorrentPrivacy is operated by the team and has been in business for more than two years.


“Anomos is a pseudonymous, encrypted multi-peer-to-peer file distribution protocol. It is based on the peer/tracker concept of BitTorrent in combination with an onion routing anonymization layer, with the added benefit of end-to-end encryption,” is how the Anomos team describes its project.
Anomos is one of the few free multi-platform solutions for BitTorrent users to hide their IP-addresses. The downside is that it’s not fully compatible with regular torrent files as Anomos uses its own atorrent format. Another drawback is that the download speeds are generally lower than regular BitTorrent transfers.
On the uTorrent Idea Bank, more than 1,600 people have asked for the Anomos protocol to be built in to a future uTorrent build, making it the second most-popular suggestion overall.


A seedbox is BitTorrent jargon for a dedicated high-speed server, used exclusively for torrent transfers. With a seedbox users generally get very high download speeds while their IP-addresses are not shared with the public. Once a download is finished users can download the files to their PC through a fast http connection.


And then there’s Usenet.
Feel free to drop us a comment if you think we left something out, or if you have experiences or recommendations you want to share.

Bye Bye Arsene

The Arse "supporters" finally get their way to see the back of Wenger.

Being a Tottenham fan I was not his biggest fan but I did respect his success, if not his devout myopic ability to miss faults with his team yet retain 20/20 vision if someone transgressed against them.

I wish him luck in the future and hope our rivals really rue the way they have hounded him out of his job.  With luck they will have to spend many years trying to plug the gap.

Viz Bits

Top Tip

FA Cup Final

Man U vs Chelsea.  *yawn*

I'll be in the blue corner as most of mates follow Chelsea and their manager is no longer Moaning Maureen.

And they didn't knock us out this weekend...

While the Cat's Away

We have our annual owners meeting where they have an opportunity to discuss matters for the forthcoming year with the current condo management team.

It's been fun watching all the staff scurrying around smartening up the place and making it look far better than it is.  Freshly painted lines, walls scrubbed, the pool is getting daily treatment (and thereby denying us the opportunity to use it) and plenty more.

Wifey spotted the Agenda posted up somewhere and it seems that they are proposing to take away of free golf buggy service (very hand for shopping), they have a new maintenance supervisor and they want to raise their fees.

Good luck to them trying to push that past the owners.

I am not overly impressed with this current company, much preferring the last lot but we are merely tenants and as long as they leave us be, we don't care.

Plug for Cameron

Man Box: Poems by [Conaway, Cameron]

Man Box: Poems Kindle Edition

And Obviously YouTube Too

Shame about the quality but that's good old VHS for you...


49. Humphreys

Related image

I have no idea why this has suddenly popped into my head but I remember trying to convince the in-laws that back in the 1970s Unigate milk had an advertising campaign that featured red and white striped straws belonging to "Humphreys" who would sneak about trying to nick your milk.  Their catch phrase was "watch out, watch out, there's a Humphrey about".

The guys swore blind they had never heard of it and decided it was Chang talking or perhaps yet another example of the north/south divide.

The real reason we love Google- ta to Campaign:

Four decades after they first appeared, the remaining memorabilia from one of the most memorable ad campaigns in the UK are still sought-after collectors’ items.
Mugs, T-shirts, badges, aprons, straws and even sneakers complete with pom-poms regularly turn up on eBay. All bear distinctive red-and-white stripes – and all carry a warning to beware of Humphreys.
The odd thing was that Humphreys never existed outside John Webster’s creatively fertile mind. They were never seen, but their milk-thieving activities prompted the Boase Massimi Pollitt creative chief’s advice to "watch out, watch out – there’s a Humphrey about".
It is a slogan that has hung around long after BMP produced a series of TV commercials in the 70s for Unigate. But it was the merchandising that has led Dave Trott, a contemporary of Webster at BMP, to call it "a viral phenomenon before the internet even existed".
Humphreys, supposedly shy and elusive characters whose presence was indicated only by a red-and-white straw with which to suck up the milk, were yet another testament to Webster’s ability to file things he saw and heard at the back of his mind for possible future use.
What’s more, the Unigate campaign encouraging more children to drink milk was a perfect example of how he was happy to change course creatively if research suggested an idea would not work.
Webster’s original plan had been to introduce characters based on his wartime memories of the "squander bugs", swastika-sporting, insect-like characters who encouraged people to help Hitler by wasting things such as food and electricity.
They were to be his inspiration for another set of characters with bad skin, no hair and missing teeth who were weak and small because they hated milk.
Jim Williams, the account planner, said it was the worst idea he had ever researched – focus groups found the characters a complete turn-off. However, he suggested that if Webster turned them into cuddly figures who loved milk, he could have the makings of a powerful campaign.
The result was Humphreys, whom Webster chose to make shy and retiring because he thought making them cute would be boring. He introduced them with a line he adapted from a police campaign of the time that warned: "Watch out, there’s a thief about."
The result was an all-round win. Children all over the country sang the Humphrey song, decorated their school bags with Humphrey stickers and were invited to join the Humphrey Club. Milk sales soared and Webster won a D&AD award for his work.

C & H

December 14, 1986

Sunday, 22 April 2018


Hold Up

Christmas and Easter forever getting closer together...

That "Special" Relationship

Supposedly what America and Britain share, but Tango Trumpet has yet to set foot in Great Britain since he managed to become the Prez of the US of A.  That was well over a year ago, back in November 2016.

However, the wait may now come to an end as the Trumpet is due to land this (late?) summer to cosy up to his BFF May at Downing Street.  But not before he has been to (alphabetically):

  • Belgium
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Italy (x 2)
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam
  • the West Bank.

Surely that perfectly demonstrates how highly he regards the UK and May?  Or perhaps it is because he is chicken shit scared of the response that awaits his landing from the British public?

Or maybe it's both?

News Thump

Arsenal fans
Arsenal football clubs is rumoured to be planning to pick three managers now, to save time next autumn.
The North London football team are understood to be in crisis meetings all day, after Arsene Wenger’s departure left them with a vacancy in the critical ‘team scapegoat’ role.
Fans are excited at the prospect of a new face at which they can guide their vitriol, and the club is keen to ensure if provides the fans with the level scapegoat they have come to expect.
Club management has called for suggestions for who they can pin their next failure to qualify for the Champions League on, so long as the finger does not end up pointing at them in any way whatsoever.
“Top of the list of scapegoats is Arsene Wenger’s failure to spend more in the 1998 season, followed by Piers Morgan being an insufferable arsehole, and then in third place is the ‘wrong sort of grass on the pitch’,” said club Chairman Simon Williams.
“With a bit of luck and a fair wind, by Christmas we’ll be blaming the poor results on ‘morale and unreasonable refereeing decisions’ before everything just peters out into general grumbling by next March.”
“However, we want fans to go into the next season confident that our staggering run of underperformance and disappointment will continue unabated under, whoever is unfortunate enough to pick up the reins in the summer.
“To our loyal followers I’d like to say we won’t disappoint you. Well, we will, but you know what I mean.”

Well Said

I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from.
Eddie Izzard


Even the most ardent of Sunderland fans (b-i-l) had steeled themselves for the inevitable and yesterday their worst fears came true.  The Black Cats lost at home to Burton Albion (the winner was a penalty in the 93rd minute) and have been relegated for the second successive year on the trot.

Ironically, it means Sunderland will now be in the same division as Southend who are just as shit but it will be fun to see who's home town team will be best.

Got to be worth a pint or two on that one, Dave?

Good Gag

people share their go to never fail bad jokes 20 photos 12 People share their go to never fail bad jokes (20 Photos)

For the Record

Bangkok, Thailand is 4 hours ahead of Moscow, Russia so if games kick off at 20:00 local time, we will get it at midnight... not too bad if we're out on the pop and it's a later start than normal.

Afternoon games will be fine though.


At the time of announcing we would be switching to fibre optic cabling, the condo management team also said they would be rectifying our terrestrial TV signal; something that had been absent for many months as there was a dispute as to who was responsible for paying to have it rectified.

Clearly the owners/tenants didn't bother as the TV screens have been blank for well over half a year or more (how would we know, we sadly can't follow Thai TV) but out of curiosity, I re-scanned our TV and found all the usual channels in attendance.

As said, most of the channels are of little use to us as we can't speak Thai but there are a couple that show English speaking films later in the day and they will also show the Russian World Cup later this year.

That is kinda handy due to the time zone difference; no way will I be getting up at stupid o'clock to find a bar showing the games, but if we now have it at our finger tips, that is much easier.  😎

Viz Bits

Letterbocks – Pope in a dress

Some Improvement?

We're now well into April and it has just occurred to me that the overhaul for our internet cabling should now be complete- we went to fibre optic and the work was due to be finished at the end of March.

I can't say I have noticed any difference in speed but we have always had good service there, however it does seem to be as stable as it was before.  We did have a few weeks of intermittent signal drop our slow loading of web pages, but fingers crossed, all seems well now.

Obviously that has now been given the kiss of death so I expect us to be off air for a while to teach me a lesson for saying things are really quite good.

Life on Mars

Having seen the back of some classic TV, wifey wondered what could possible keep us occupied and out of the bars.  We have the box sets of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, both of which we know are massive and will keep us out of trouble.  But we are really into retro UK stuff at the moment and so I pulled open my "rainy day" drawer.

We watched the first episode of Life on Mars and are already hooked.  Quite honestly we could have watched the entire series back to back but as there are only sixteen episodes (eight in each series) and it was getting late we forced ourselves to stop and eke them out.

This is far too good to rush through and I am hoping Ashes to Ashes will be equally as good as we have that too.

Match Report

Once again Manchester United have the chance to end an unconvincing season with a flash of the finest silver. Winners of this competition under Louis van Gaal in 2016, and of the Europa League and League Cup under José Mourinho last year, they secured a place in another final after condemning Tottenham and their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, to yet another campaign without a crowning achievement.
Given their history in this competition and others Tottenham came into the game with not so much a monkey on their back as an entire posse of primates. Their run of FA Cup semi-final failures has now been extended to eight, no significant trophies for a decade and just the two League Cups since they last snuck into the final and won this title, against Nottingham Forest in 1991. It represents a lengthy period if not quite in the wilderness then at least in a chilly hinterland.
But in a heated atmosphere it was Spurs who warmed up most swiftly, Harry Kane having their first shot within 30 seconds and Son Heung-min’s clever turn putting the United defence in real trouble for the first time in the second minute. From the start United struggled to cope with the pace and intensity of their game, and when they found a path back into the contest it was only after Tottenham had themselves pointed the way. Mousa Dembélé, one of several key players who ultimately disappointed for Spurs, gave the ball away deep inside his own half, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sánchez combined to impose brutal, beautiful punishment and from there the pattern of the game changed.
There could have been another twist had Antonio Valencia been more harshly punished for a two-footed lunge on Dele Alli three minutes later, but Anthony Taylor considered the offence worthy only of a caution.
That was after Spurs, having dominated the early exchanges, had taken the lead with a goal of humiliating simplicity. Ashley Young committed himself to pressing the ball deep inside the Tottenham half and Davinson Sánchez hit it long into the space the United left-back should have been covering. It was space Christian Eriksen had all to himself and with Pogba trailing behind him he had time to measure his cross, which Alli turned in.
There could, in the minutes that followed, have been more. Son’s looping cross was just too long for Kane, and a low ball by the South Korean seemed destined to be converted by Alli until Phil Jones hooked it clear. Kane set up Eriksen for a shot that bounced across goal and wide, and Son’s effort hit Valencia.
Michel Vorm, who has kept goal for Spurs throughout their cup run, had been woefully underemployed until Kieran Trippier, with the ball on the right flank, turned down the chance to clear and instead passed to Dembélé, who might have turned the ball into touch but tried to jink past Pogba and failed. The Frenchman spun and delivered a delicious centre that dipped on to Sánchez’s head for the equaliser.
That moment gave United the encouragement to match their rivals’ intensity and the remainder of the first half was considerably more even, ending with fine long-range shots from both sides. Pogba’s curler in the final minute was tipped wide and Eric Dier’s drive in stoppage time deflected off Chris Smalling and thumped the base of David de Gea’s right-hand post.
Smalling also got himself in the way of Tottenham’s first notable shot of the second half, deflecting Kane’s effort wide. That this took place nearly 14 minutes after the interval reflects a period of diminished pace and precision. But now it was United who were more often winning second balls and coming first in marginal races, Spurs being pressured into errors. Ander Herrera epitomised their improved work ethic in scoring their second goal, sprinting the length of the field and arriving on the edge of Tottenham’s penalty area with perfect timing. Sánchez’s pass from the left flicked off Romelu Lukaku’s studs, was left by Jesse Lingard and the Spaniard’s low drive flashed past Vorm.
Having survived their poor start, United flourished to eventually give a display of authority. Pogba impressed again, claiming an assist and hitting a couple of delicious long passes to Lukaku. Sánchez displayed the effervescence that marked his finer performances for Arsenal. Spurs, increasingly frustrated, played at times as if their primary target was not United’s goal but Lingard’s ankles. With Kane peripheral for long periods there was only one significant chance as they chased the game, when Victor Wanyama headed Érik Lamela’s free-kick harmlessly high in the 89th minute.
Instead United, having taken a comical amount of time over a couple of substitutions, might have extended their advantage in the resulting stoppage time. First Lukaku released Marcus Rashford only for Dier to dispossess him inside the penalty area, and then Vorm raced out of his area to block a pass to Lukaku – with his back rather than, as many United fans suspected, his hands. But if this victory was never destined to be comfortable, it was in the end convincing.

8 for 8

I have no idea why I though it would be any different this year, but once again we lose in the FA Cup semi final.  Our 8th such loss in a row. WE did go 0 - 1 up but Man U fought back and reach the final with a 2 - 1 win.

I expect we shall also be pipped to the post by Chelsea for 4th spot now...

Where's the Fuss?

View from the common lift area- we're further down the corridor

Neat and tidy as you like

In Reply

20th April, 2018

To The Management - in reply to your letter of 18th April (copy enclosed).

Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to write to us in English, we are grateful.  Please accept our apologies for replying in English as we are unfortunately unable to communicate well in Thai.

It seems that you are concerned that we are making the condo “untidy” and causing an “inconvenience” by leaving our shoes on our own doorstep.  We simply do not understand why you feel this is so as we have a shoe rack that ensures our footwear is stacked neatly off the floor.  It is not visible from the common areas (such as the lifts/elevators) and only noticeable if standing directly in front of our door.  Nor, as the rack is not in the corridor but on our doorstep do we see how this “inconveniences” anyone else. 

Prior to your company taking over the management of this building we, and many other tenants/owners, left their footwear on their doorsteps.  This is in keeping with Thai/Buddhist etiquette that believes that such footwear is dirty and should not be permitted into your home.  This custom is widely practised throughout the Kingdom of Thailand from temples to shops to private residences and public areas.

There has never been a problem with this in the past but for some reason, since you have taken over, you feel you have a right to challenge this convention.  Yet you yourselves insist footwear is removed when using the toilets next to your main office or when using the swimming pool.  Indeed, why do your own maintenance personnel always remove their footwear when entering our premises? 

We have been living here peacefully and respectfully for three years now and we take pride in looking after our apartment.  We employ a local lady to come and clean every week and she does a first class job keeping the floors spotless.  Given the state of the corridors we do not wish to bring in dust, grime and dirt from outside leaving footprints or mess on our polished floors.

For the record, we never leave garbage in the corridor at any time.

We trust that you now understand our viewpoint and disinclination to comply with your request, and unless you can provide a valid and legitimate reason otherwise, we hope this is now an end to the matter. 

Yours respectfully

As we Were Saying

Taken from the letter received in our mail box on 18th this month (copied exactly, bar the Thai script):


The Management ask for cooperation.  Do not put anything in front of the room.  For the tidy in the condo.  Now have have shoes And the garbage in front of the room on *th floor.  Zone ** together several rooms.  The management thank you to co-owners and residents  Other rooms that cooperate well and apologize for the inconvenience.


Our response next...

* & ** withheld as we have no wish to involve our neighbours. 

C & H

December 14, 1987

Friday, 20 April 2018

Well Said

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves.
J B Priestley
English critic, dramatist, & novelist (1894 - 1984)

A Blast from the Past

1026:  Bed bugs reproduce via the male bed bug literally stabbing the female in the abdomen with his hypodermic genitalia rather than using the female’s reproductive tract.  Once he’s stabbed the female, he then releases his sperm insider her body cavity. The sperm ultimately travel via the female’s blood to sperm storage structures in her body.  The males also are perfectly happy to do the same to other males, with their sexual attraction to one another primarily based on the size of the bed bug.  So if you’re a pleasantly plump bed bug, male or female, expect to have males trying to stab you with their genitalia.
1027: Surprisingly for a product made up almost solely of pure sugar, a typical serving size of cotton candy only contains about 30 grams of sugar (about 115 calories). This is actually about 9 grams less sugar than a 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola (39 grams of sugar / 140 calories).
1028: Jim Carrey was initially offered $350,000 (about $600,000 today) for the role of Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber, but turned it down, asking for $400,000 (about $690,000 today). The studio said no… But then Ace Ventura came out and was an unexpected hit. About a week after the film debuted, the studio agreed to the $400,000 price tag, but Carrey turned it down, wanting $500,000. The studio said no…  But then Ace Ventura continued to rake in the money at the box office week after week. Round and round they went until a deal was struck for $7 million (about $12 million today), which comprised about 44% of the entire $16 million budget of the film. Dumb and Dumber ultimately went on to gross around $250 million (about $430 million today).
1029: In contrast to Jim Carrey’s $7 million payday for Dumb and Dumber, Jeff Daniels was only paid about $50,000 (about $86,000 today) according to co-director Bobby Farrelly.  The reason for such a low salary, despite Daniels’ being a much more successful actor up to that point than Carrey, was the studio was dead-set against casting Daniels for the role owing to his lack of experience in the comedy genre. However, both the Farrelly brothers and Carrey wanted Daniels thanks in large part to his straight-faced ability to play off whatever Carrey was doing in a scene. As Bobby Farrelly stated, “Jeff was pushing him in places that no other actors were pushing him.  Jeff’s real.  He plays things straight and he reacts to whatever you’re doing… Jeff gets up there and he does not know what he’s going to do until he sees what you’re doing and then he plays off that.  He’s a genius at doing that.” The studio finally gave in, but only offered Daniels $50K thinking he’d surely pass the role up at that price. Daniels’ own agents also attempted something of an intervention when they heard he wanted to accept the role, stating, according to Daniels, “We’re going to stop this. You’re not going to do this movie, and we’re going to keep you on the Oscar trail.” He ignored them all and took the part. (In truth, Daniels later said his agents had been correct and “I think easily for 10 years… because of the success of Dumb and Dumber – I was no longer taken seriously…”) Even after shooting on Dumb and Dumber had already started, the studio still attempted to find an excuse to fire Daniels, but ultimately backed off efforts to get rid of him after seeing the first week’s worth of footage.
1030: According to a 2009 study by Mark Hoekstra et al from the University of Pittsburgh, The Financial Consequences of Winning the Lottery, covering 1,900 Florida lottery winners who won $50,000 to $150,000, these winners were significantly more likely to go bankrupt within five years than small time lotto winners (under $10,000), and about twice as likely to go bankrupt over the normal population.  Just as significant, before winning, these $50,000-$150,000 lotto winners were no more or less likely to go bankrupt than the general populace.  The act of winning $50,000-$150,000 itself doubled their chances of going bankrupt.  Further, according to wealth counselor Szifra Birke, approximately 1/3 of all big ticket lotto winners and others who suddenly come into wealth will file for bankruptcy within 5 years of receiving the massive cash influx. Equally surprising is that it didn’t seem to matter in these bankruptcy outcomes whether people spent the money on hookers and blow or used it to start a business. As for the reason, Birke hypothesized, “…if they have not acquired good money skills prior to this windfall, often they struggle and make poor choices” including when starting a business where they generally approach fixing problems by throwing money at it instead of developing sound business skills and a business that can be self-sustaining.
1031:  Ever wonder what the “PEZ” in PEZ candy stands for? Well, wonder no more- “PEZ” derives from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz.”  PEZ started out as a peppermint breath mint company in Vienna, Austria in 1927, originally sold in tins, and later, starting in the late 1940s, in the now iconic PEZ dispensers. These dispensers were originally in the form of a cigarette lighters, which the company states was to market their bricks as “anti-smoking” mints.
1032: Lloyd Christmas’ chipped tooth on Dumb and Dumber was not the result of some prosthetic, but rather that Jim Carrey genuinely has a chipped tooth. As to how he chipped it, Carrey stated in a 1995 interview this happened when, “Clark La Prairie jumped on my head in grade school detention.” He had long had it capped, but decided to have the cap removed for the movie to give the character a bit of a goofy grin.
1033: Ever wonder who the Cliff from Cliff’s Notes was?  Cliff Keith Hillegass dropped out of a Master’s program studying physics and geology at the University of Nebraska in 1939, got married, and took a job working for the Nebraska Book Company. 19 years later and still working for the same company, Cliff struck a a deal with book store owner and maker of the famed Cole’s Notes, Jack Cole, to launch CliffsNotes in the United States. The first run published in 1958 comprised 16 of Cole’s Notes’ Shakespeare study guides, all funded via a $4,000 loan (about $35,000 today).  The study guides were a hit, selling a reported 58,000 copies in the early going allowing Cliff to expand his enterprise from there.  41 years later at the age of 81 and having sold a reported 50 million guides, Cliff retired from CliffsNotes, selling the company to IDG Books for $14 million (about $21 million today).  He died about two years later in 2001 after suffering a stroke.
1034: Mr. T’s path to stardom largely began because of his reputation as a bouncer, which landed him very lucrative offers as a body guard, protecting everyone from prostitutes to politicians and even the likes of Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson.  By 1980, this all led to him appearing on NBC’s “America’s Toughest Bouncer” where he was spotted by Sylvester Stallone, with Stallone intending to use him in a minor role in Rocky III.  However, this role was quickly expanded, with Mr. T being given the main part of Clubber Lang, launching his acting career.
1035: The first person to use the “temporary insanity” defense in the United States, onetime U.S. Senator, Union General, and Congressman Daniel Sickles, did so after murdering district attorney Phillip Barton Key II, son of the author of the Star Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key.  Despite that Sickles cheated on his wife, Teresa Bagioli, countless times (including bringing famed prostitute Fanny White, instead of his wife, with him on one diplomatic trip in which he even introduced White to Queen Victoria), he didn’t take kindly to his wife mimicking his behavior. So when he found out his wife was having an affair with Key, he forced her to write a detailed confession and took her wedding ring from her.  The next day when Key attempted to set up another liaison with Mrs. Sickles by signaling her when walking by her house, Mr. Sickles grabbed three guns and promptly murdered Key in front of about a dozen witnesses. The public (at least during the trial) was largely on Daniel Sickles’ side and he was ultimately acquitted on the novel grounds of “temporary” insanity.  (The public would soon largely turn against him, however, not because of the hypocrisy demonstrated in his own rampant infidelity, but rather because he forgave his wife and didn’t divorce her.)

Daily Mash

LEAVING Facebook is harder than putting down the family dog for incontinence.
Here is our handy guide to leaving the devious social media platform:
Instead of endlessly browsing your friend’s pictures, enjoy the candid thrill of peering into their windows at night.
Wear a t-shirt that tells everyone how much you raised for charity and a badge that says ‘Tell me you like me’.
Strap your cutest child to your back and take them to work to staple documents and answer your phone. That real life cuteness will beat any post of them on a donkey.
When a friend tells you something annoying that everyone one already knows is annoying, make a face like an angry toddler and stamp the ground.
Attach a public address system to your car so you can broadcast to everyone passing that your are SO PROUD OF YOUR MUM.
Go to a party and when a friend tells you about their problems just say ‘this is not worthy of my validation’ and walk away.

Viz Bits

Letterbocks – teachers

MotoGP Round Three

The next race is this weekend from America and is scheduled to start at 20:00 (UK time).  That makes it a 02:00 kick off local time and there is no way I will be staying up for that.  Looks we'll have to watch a repeat of the race on Monday evening at a local sports bar.

I have to admit I have been looking forward to this since the last race ended up in almost all out war between Rossi and Marquez.  I wonder how they will react on the track?

All at an End

We've finished Scott and Bailey (UK cop drama), Frasier 10 (penultimate series), DCI Banks (UK cop drama) , Gravity Falls (first series) and Fresh Off the Boat (penultimate series).

All worth watching if you haven't already and they will be difficult to replace with alternative shows.

Up Close and Personal

We've been having an ongoing dispute with the management group who now look after the running of our condo block.  They seem to think that putting up notices forbidding owners and tenants from doing all manner of things that are quite reasonable is part of their remit.

Some of these "reminders" include not putting out laundry on the balcony, not having plants in the provided flower beds, using the extractor fan when cooking and not leaving shoes on your doorstep.

They are all nonsense of course but the one they really seem to want to stamp out is the footwear one.

There was never a problem in the past but they have been putting up more and more public notices on the subject to the point where we, and our neighbours were photographed contravening their request and having the pictures put on display.

We felt the easiest way was to ignore it but we did relent and buy a dedicated shoe rack to leave on our doorstep, meaning our sandals were now neatly stacked (not that they weren't previously) and off the ground.

Yesterday, they finally wrote to us directly repeating they want us to remove our footwear as it makes the condo look "untidy".  We are now in the process of replying and will post up our response in due course.

I wonder what they will try next?

C & H

December 14, 1988

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Good Gag

people share their go to never fail bad jokes 20 photos 6 People share their go to never fail bad jokes (20 Photos)

So, So Close

Having already qualified for the Ladies World Cup next year, Thailand Ladies met with their Australians counterparts in the semi-final of this year's Asian Cup.

With the game entering into injury time, our Thai heroines were leading 2 - 1 and looking to reach the final, but the cruellest of equalisers saw them go into penalties and eventually lose out 3 - 1.

What a shame, but they should be very proud of themselves.

More at TG

Take That

Modern day German insults as per The Local:


Who would think that calling a man someone who likes to take warm showers is an insult? Apparently people in Germany, where myth has it that taking a cold shower is considered masculine. Nowadays it’s applied to people who may be a bit on the cowardly side; you can also call them a Weichei (soft egg), or a wimp.


If you know about the do-it-yourself-mentality of Germans, who pride themselves as skilled handymen who'd never even think about hiring a professional to do something they could do themselves for free, this is a severe insult. The guy who translates to “thin plank driller” is not the most popular guy around. Something like a deadbeat, a Dünnbrettbohrer is a rather unintelligent and unambitious fellow, someone who might get the job done but would never bother to go the extra mile.


You don’t think too highly of someone’s intelligence, or lack there of, if you refer to them as this word, literally meaning someone who puts the breaks on evolution due to their very existence, which embodies so much stupidity that it slows the advancement of the species down.


Little is known about the definite origins of “Honk”, but the term refers to a total idiot. While this word has no underlying meaning and no German etymology, rumour has it that Honk stepped on the scene when the famous German comedian Otto Waalkes introduced a baby cartoon character who had a teddy bear named Honk. Other etymologists suggest that Honk really is an acronym for either “Hirn ohne nennenswerte Kapazität” (brain without noteworthy capacities) or “Hirnloser ohne nennenswerte Kenntnisse” (brainless without noteworthy knowledge).

If the old adage “You are what you eat” applied in Germany, a great bulk of Germans would be “asparagus Tarzans” from April through to June during the beloved Spargelzeit. Yet this word does not refer to a veggie-eating behemoth, but rather an especially skinny and gangly person.


This word sounds as annoying as what it implies: a complete brat, or “Bratze.” It’s a particular favourite of the Berlin comedian Kurt Krömer, who frequently uses the phrase "Na, du alte Kackbratze!" in order to say hi to someone. Such a person can also be called a Rotzlöffel, or a snot spoon.


This one is reserved for someone you find to be a complete idiot. Or a person could say “Ich habe mich zum Vollhorst gemacht” if they feel they have made a fool out of themselves.
In German, the very common male first name “Horst” somehow became synonymous with “fool”. The prefix “voll” means “total” so that a “Vollhorst” is the ultimate idiot. As of late, the equally common male first name “Otto” is following a similar career that “Horst” pioneered. Both these names work as surnames as well, so if you happen to be named “Horst Otto” or “Otto Horst” you will be a Spaßbremse (killjoy, or literally 'fun brake') in no time!


Literally a “pea counter”, this is reserved for someone who focuses on insignificant details rather than the big picture. This pedant is also known (and hated) as Paragraphenreiter, someone who sticks to the script no matter what. It’s about the principle!


Literally a hot air gun, this refers to a chatterbox (also dubbed a Labertasche, or babble bag) who talks all the time but just about hot air, or nothing.


If you call someone a “piss carnation”, you are not dubbing them an ugly flower but rather a nerd. Yet if you are picknicking in the German countryside and hear someone point out that they see a bunch of Pissnelke, you are not being followed by a scholarly group, but rather amongst dandelions, the flowers’ colloquial name (normally they are known as Löwenzahn).


This species talks only in a flattering way since he wants something from you. A sweet-talker, he literally is someone who is grating licorice in order to persuade you. More often than not, a Süßholzraspler also happens to be a Schürzenjäger, a womanizer (or more precisely translated, an apron hunter).


Literally a “guzzling woodpecker” this is the German equivalent of a Boozer. If you switch a few letters, “Schluckspecht” becomes “Speckschlucht”, or a “canyon of bacon”. Okay, the later isn’t an actual German insult, but it sounds like it should be one.