Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bish Bosh

Watched the first series of Bosch and loved it.  Then I found the books by Michael Connelly and can't put them down.  If you haven't come across Harry Bosch yet, see the blurb below- I am already on the 4th book in as many weeks.

Harry Bosch Series:
Harry Bosch Background: Born in 1950 in Los Angeles to Marjorie Phillips Lowe. He was named Hieronymus Bosch after the 15th century Dutch artist and nicknamed “Harry.” He became an orphan at 11 when his mother, a prostitute, was murdered. He grew up living in a youth hall and foster homes. He joined the army and did two tours in Vietnam. Harry returned to Los Angeles and joined the LAPD in 1972. He became a detective after five years in patrol.
Books in published order:
The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004) (sequel to The Poet)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook  (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008) (mostly Mickey Haller)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010) (mostly Mickey Haller)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013)  (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (2015)
The Wrong Side Of Goodbye (2016)
Two Kinds Of Truth (coming out in October 2017)

Viz Bits

Well Said

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Hubert H Humphrey
US politician (1911 - 1978)

News Thump

Toys R Us
Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy in the US and everybody is pretending to be sad about that.
The toy giant made the announcement this week, in another sign of the fact that everyone now shops online to save having to mingle with the public.
“Oh, that’s a real shame,” said a half-hearted 31-year-old, Simon Williams.
“I think my parents took me there once or twice as a kid, y’know, before Amazon came along and sold the same products for a lot less money.
“I’m sad about this in the same way I was sad about Woolworths, who I also never bought anything from once the Internet happened.”
“It’s not so much I’m sad about a shop potentially closing down, it’s more that another part of my childhood has died and I struggle to cope with that due to the constant voluntary infantilisation of my generation.”
Toys R Us employee, Jay Cooper, said, “you can all fuck off.
“I’m actually sad as I might lose my job because not enough of you nostalgia-bastards spent any money in our stores this year.
“Although maybe you will pop in for our inevitable closing-down sale. I hope your kids choke on the parts.”

Bionic Rossi

Footballers hang your fairy heads in shame.  Valentino Rossi, who suffered a double leg fracture just 18 days ago climbed onto his bike for a test ride.  Who's going to bet against him from racing at next week's race in Spain (Aragon, 24th September)?

Rossi is currently 4th on the championship, 42 points behind with 5 races to go.  Top, rock hard dude.

1Marc MARQUEZHondaSPA199
2Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiITA199
3Maverick VIÑALESYamahaSPA183
4Valentino ROSSIYamahaITA157
5Dani PEDROSAHondaSPA150
6Johann ZARCOYamahaFRA110
7Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiITA95
9Jorge LORENZODucatiSPA90
10Jonas FOLGERYamahaGER84

For each race, Championship points will be awarded on the following scale:

1st place=25 points
2nd place=20 points
3rd place=16 points
4th place=13 points
5th place=11 points
6th place=10 points
7th place=9 points
8th place=8 points
9th place=7 points
10th place=6 points
11th place=5 points
12th place=4 points
13th place=3 points
14th place=2 points
15th place=1 points

Nerf Nonsense

The BBC reports doctors are advising that Nerf darts can cause eye-injury.  Big wow, who'd have thought that?  Kids will be kids and accidents will happen, that's life.  But why make a mountain out of a molehill?  Especially with such horrifying consequences:

"All the patients were examined and treated with eye drops and check-ups after a few weeks showed that their sight had returned to normal."

We have a couple of guns back in Bangkok and while we don't shoot at each other (honest, guv) we find them brilliant for launching a trail of bullets at the TV screen every time you get wound up.  It's a great stress reliever, trust me.

No Bull

Too Much Food

We sadly leave the comfort and laid back ease of Izola next week, yet looking through the cupboards we have enough stocks to last us until the end of the month, at least.  I suspect this is due to us going out far more than expected with our guests over the past fortnight which has left us with a stock pile and the delicious proposition of having to wade through all the goodies or let them go to waist*.

Operation calorie overload to commence immediately, I can't abide letting anything go to waste*.

*[sic]- was a pun for the sharp-eyed.


We have had a flight cancelled and one of the options is to re-book with Ryanair.  Trouble is, they are pulling upwards of 50 flights a day due to their ham-fisted scheduling of pilots' holidays (allegedly) so do we take the chance and get stiffed again, or do we pay double and lessen the odds of disappointment?

Yeah, Ryanair can fuck off.


Cashews are always sold without their shells because the shell contains an oil that can cause a rash similar to poison ivy.

Money for old Rope

You may recall we had a potentially major water problem at our flat and our agents sent a plumber round to check into the issue.  It turned out the concern was outside the property with the mains feed, covered by the water board, which apparently is what the plumber reported.

We just received a bill for £78 for his "services".  All he did was turn up, check a few places and then told the tenant to contact the water board.  That wisdom cost us nigh on £80.

And people wonder why we are so happy we no longer live in the UK?

Aeronautical Roullette

It's bad enough having to get to airports hours before departure to get through hostile security checks and survive being treated as second class citizens without the added grief of not even knowing if your flight will be available.

I find Ryanair's approach to their mess up appalling and their lame excuses even less palatable.  They quote minimal disturbance of just 2% for a better timekeeping record or some such nonsense but that equates to hundreds of thousands of passengers who get stiffed.

The worst of it though is that Ryanair do not have to compensate you for additional bookings that get cancelled such as accommodation, car hire, connecting flights and so on.

I bet if they had to cough for that it would make them reconsider.

By the way, it's not just Ryanair that have contempt for their customers it's pretty much all the airlines that have disregard for their passengers and it needs to stop.

Gentle Night Out

As it was Shaz and Dave's last night with us I dragged myself off my sick bed and we headed out for a spot of dinner, ending up in a very nice place that offered huge portions of calamari and Ćevapčići for not a great deal of money.

The food did me good, the Radlar beer ditto, but it was the company that was the real tonic.  The guys get picked up shortly and we'll be there to wave them off and keep fingers crossed that their flights back to the UK will be on time and stress free.

Looking forward to seeing them again after Christmas in Thailand.

C & H

Monday, 18 September 2017

Viz Bits

This is Delightful

Unique German words that should be available in all languages.  Big ta to The Local for this, had me chuckling throughout the piece:

1. Verabredet
A woman writes in her caldendar. Photo: DPA
Germans don't just agree to meet up at 2pm, and then rely on their mobile phones to explain why they're late. They make utterly clear, unambiguous appointments. And then they describe themselves as "verabredet."
"You are late. We were verabredet. I am simply not understanding this." It's an adjective that defines a whole culture.

2. Fahne
A man takes a nap after a few too many beers in Cologne. Photo: DPA
This does not just mean flag. It's also the special type of flag that flutters in your face and stings your eyes when a drunkard tells you he always loved her, you know, honestly, really loved her, despite how it looks. "Please wave that Fahne somewhere else."

3. Drachenfutter
Roses. Photo: DPA
You've stayed out late and you weren't supposed to. Your wife has put the kids to bed, made your dinner, and given it to the dog. What you need is Drachenfutter - a gift that will, literally, feed the dragon, outmoded sexist interpretations of gender roles notwithstanding.
"Oh no, I hope the late-night shop is open. I'm absolutely off my face and I need some Drachenfutter."

4. Kummerspeck
Photo: DPA
The English have "comfort food," but the ever-thorough Germans have taken that concept to its obvious biological conclusion. Kummerspeck, literally "sorrow bacon," is the extra bulges that develop once you've consumed too much comfort.
"Is that Kummerspeck, or are you just pleased to see me?"

5. Fremdschämen
PFile photo: DPA
This is a truly vital word, missing from English, and indeed every language in the world (probably) - except German. It means to be ashamed FOR someone else. How often have you wanted to express that feeling in one neat, perfect word?
"Yes, I was very fremdgeschämt when Donald Trump got the date of the US election wrong."

6. Rabenmutter
A T.V. show depicting a mother who pushes her children into show-business. Photo: DPA/ARTE
In keeping with their 19th century image of family roles, Germans have a special word for a bad mum. It literally means "raven mother". Apparently baby ravens in the wild eat nothing but ketchup and are allowed to play with scissors.
"Look, that child has not got a hat on and it's below 20 degrees Celsius. What a Rabenmutter."

7. Pechvogel/Glückspilz
Mushrooms Photo: DPA
In the Germans' skewed image of the universe, the bird, soaring free through the sky, is an unlucky beast, but to be a mushroom is a fate associated with good fortune. It's fun to be a fungi.
"Oh no, my fungi has ceased to grow. I am such a Pechvogel." 
Pech means bad luck and Glück is good luck. See if you can work the rest out yourselves.

8. Quergebäude
Photo: DPA
Germans, it turns out, have specific names for different parts of a building, largely because of the structure of blocks of flats in Germany. There's a Vorderhaus (front bit), a Seitenflügel (side bit), a Hinterhof (back bit) and something called a Quergebäude, which is, erm, the across bit. Quer means across, and can also be used as in the wonderfully literal term querlegen - to obstruct.

9. Handschuhschneeballwerfer
A glove-wearing snowball thrower in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA
Everyone hates the coward willing to criticize and abuse from a safe distance. The Germans equate that person with the lowest of the low: the one who wears gloves when throwing snowballs. As far as they're concerned, a snowball fight is not a snowball fight until someone gets frostbite.

10. Treppenwitz
Stairs in the foyer of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. Photo: DPA
Another wonderful German word, for a bittersweet situation familiar to everyone on the planet. The Treppenwitz, literally "stair-joke," is the brilliant comeback you think of when you're already out of the door and halfway down the stairs.
"And you, sir, are a prick! Ach! If only I'd thought of that at the time!"

11. Verschlimmbessern
Photo: DPA
There's being ham-fisted, or putting your foot in it, or there's just plain clumsiness, but in German there's the very specific act of verschlimmbessern, which is when you make something worse in the very act of trying to improve it.
"Oh no, that extra piece of cheesecake, far from being nutritious, has just verschlimmbessert my digestive tract."

12. Radfahrer
Cyclists in Göttingen, Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA
This is a deceptively simple word that weirdly hints at Germans' darkest perversion. It just means cyclist, but in some German circles it refers to an employee who sucks up to his superiors while treading on his inferiors, thus imitating the posture of a cyclist. Not literally. That would be truly horrid.

Well Said

Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas JeffersonLetter to Nathaniel Macon, January 12, 1819
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

Southend News Network

A prominent gay rights campaigner from Southend in Essex has started a petition demanding that the government bans the sale of Minstrels chocolates because the name includes the word ‘mince’ – a ‘derogatory term for the manner in which a homosexual male may walk.’
Alan Smith-Adams, 34, told Southend News Network that he was ‘astounded beyond all possible levels of belief’ that somebody else hadn’t already complained about the name since they were launched more than thirty years ago.
He added: ‘How can it be acceptable for a mass market chocolate product that is available literally everywhere to have a name that includes the word ‘mince’ when it is pronounced correctly.’
‘One of Britain’s most popular homophobic insults is ‘stop mincing along,’ and I have also heard evidence that people like to use ‘I bet he will be mincing down to the shops later on.’
‘Although I am not homosexual myself or have any friends that or homosexual, or indeed vaguely know anyone who is homosexual, I feel incredibly passionately about this – I won’t stop until all of them are withdrawn from sale.’
‘Imagine a child in a school playground saying this word and then stumbling between the two syllables – they could cause a huge amount of distress.’
This will be Alan’s second major campaign against the confectionery industry, after he launched legal action against the manufacturers of Smarties in 2015.
According to his legal team’s spokesperson, the name discriminated against people with a lower than average level of intelligence in society, with official court papers saying: ‘Chocolate should be inclusive of all sectors of society and walks of life, and it is our carefully considered opinion that the name ‘Smarties’ is both elitist and somehow racist as well.’

Next Week


  • West Ham United12:30Tottenham Hotspur
  • Burnley15:00Huddersfield Town
  • Everton15:00AFC Bournemouth
  • Manchester City15:00Crystal Palace
  • Southampton15:00Manchester United
  • Stoke City15:00Chelsea
  • Swansea City15:00Watford
  • Leicester City17:30Liverpool