Monday, 8 February 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Superbowl and Super Elections

Why are we getting this as daily headlines?  I couldn't give a stuff and suspect I am not in the minority, yet we are bombarded by this fluff- constantly.  Leave it in America where they might lap it up, we don't want it.

At all.

Long Live Sexism

British Airways has ruled that women and men in their cabin crew are now allowed to cover their legs - i.e. wear trousers - while at work.

The decision comes after a protracted legal battle with the cabin crew's union Unite, ending a dress code that forced some female employees to wear skirts - unless exempted on religious or medical grounds.

Staff who had been working for the airline for longer had the option of covering the legs if they wished, but new recruits in the "mixed fleet" had been subjected to different rules since 2010.

A British Airways spokesperson told the Guardian:

Our mixed fleet team wear the ‘ambassador’ British Airways uniform. While trousers are not a standard part of this uniform, colleagues wishing to wear them can request this through their manager.

Unite, meanwhile, heralded the decision and said BA was joining the 21st century.

It was ridiculous that 46 years after the ‘Made in Dagenham’ women won the right to equal pay that companies like British Airways were still employing old fashioned views and treating women differently.

British Airways’ stance was unbefitting of a modern airline in the modern age.

Stopped

For the past 40 years, "Weird Al" Yankovic has been churning out hit songs by putting his own, spoofy twist on other chart-toppers to come up with tunes like “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon,” “White & Nerdy,” and “Amish Paradise.” While the First Amendment and fair use copyright laws mean that Yankovic doesn’t have to get permission from the original recording artists to record a parody song, out of courtesy and respect he always does. Which means that he has gotten the occasional “no,” as these nine artists prove.

1. PAUL MCCARTNEY

Weird Al wanted to parody the Wings song “Live and Let Die,” but Paul McCartney turned him down. “I wanted to do ‘Chicken Pot Pie,’ and Paul was a good sport,” Yankovic explained. “He said, ‘I would love for you to do this, but could you not make it about chicken because I’m a vegetarian. I don’t want to condone the eating of animal flesh.’” But “It wouldn’t work with ‘Tofu Pot Pie.’"
Weird Al still plays bits and pieces of the parody song during his live performances, but he has yet to get permission from McCartney to record it.

2. EMINEM

In 2003, Weird Al intended "Couch Potato" to be the first single off his then-new album, “Poodle Hat.” The song was a parody of Eminem’s Academy Award-winning song “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile. While Eminem gave Weird Al permission to parody the song, the rapper denied him permission to use it as a single and be the center of a music video.
“Eminem was fine with me having the parody on my album but said he was afraid that a Weird Al video might detract from his legacy, that it would somehow make people take him less seriously as an important hip-hop artist,” Yankovic said in an interview.
In response, Interscope Records spokesman Dennis Dennehy said on Eminem’s behalf, “It’s an important personal piece of music for him, a piece of art. He doesn’t mind him doing the song, but he didn’t want to change kids’ visual perception on what that image was. He wanted to make sure the image would remain intact.”

3. PRINCE

Over the many decades of Weird Al’s career, Prince has been the one recording artist who has never let him parody one of his songs. It’s not for lacking of trying. He’s tried to do spoofs of “Kiss” and “1999” since the 1980s without success. “The only person who’s consistently said no has been Prince. I haven’t approached him in 20 years,” Yankovic told Access Hollywood in 2014. “He just wasn’t into the parody.”

4. JIMMY PAGE

While he’s a big fan of Weird Al’s music, guitarist Jimmy Page declined Yankovic permission to turn Led Zeppelin songs into a polka medley. However, Page did allow Weird Al to do an interpolation of “Black Dog” in Yankovic’s “Trapped in the Drive-Thru,” which is a parody of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet.”
Yankovic told the Toronto Sun, “It’s actually quite a coup that I was able to get Led Zeppelin to let me and my band do that little bit of ‘Black Dog’ in ‘Trapped In The Drive-Thru. They’re famous for not letting people do anything with their music.”

5. COOLIO

Although Weird Al received permission from Interscope Records to parody “Gangsta’s Paradise,” rapper Coolio didn’t give Yankovic consent to write the parody “Amish Paradise.” After the Grammy Awards in 1995, Coolio spoke out against the parody, “[I] ain’t with that … I think that my song was too serious … I really … don’t appreciate him desecrating the song like that … his record company asked for my permission, and I said no. But they did it anyway.”
According to Yankovic, it was all a misunderstanding: “Two separate people from my label told me that they had personally talked to Coolio … and that he told them that he was okay with the whole parody idea … Halfway into production, my record label told me that Coolio’s management had a problem with the parody, even though Coolio personally was okay with it. My label told me … they would iron things out—so I proceeded with the recording and finished the album.”
Since parody falls under fair use, “Amish Paradise” was recorded and became a smash hit in 1996. Years later, Coolio apologized to Weird Al about the misunderstanding surrounding the spoof. “I’ve since apologized to him,” the rapper said. “That was a stupid thing for me to do. That was one of the dumbest things I did in my career.”

6. MICHAEL JACKSON

Although Michael Jackson gave Weird Al permission to spoof “Bad” and “Beat It” into the parody songs “Fat” and “Eat It,” respectively, the King of Pop denied Yankovic consent to parody his 1991 song “Black or White.” “Michael wasn’t quite so into it, because he thought ‘Black or White’ was more of a message song, and he didn’t feel as comfortable with a parody of that one, which I completely understood,” Yankovic wrote in Rolling Stone. Though he never recorded the spoof “Snack All Night,” he does perform it live from time to time.
Fun Fact: Michael Jackson shares a co-writing credit with Yankovic on “Eat It.”

7. WEEZER

In 1996, Weird Al included a number of popular alternative rock songs into one polka medley called “The Alternative Polka.” He originally included a snippet of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” but then the band reconsidered. “‘Buddy Holly’ by Weezer was originally in ‘The Alternative Polka,’” says Yankovic on his website. “In fact, it was completely recorded, and we were about to do the final mix when we got a call from Weezer’s management—apparently the song’s writer, Rivers Cuomo, decided for whatever reason that he didn’t want his song in my medley after all, so at the very last minute (after the ‘special thanks’ had already been printed on the CD and cassette booklets) we had to physically cut the song out of the medley. I’m still kind of bummed about it—it sounded really cool.”
Yankovic later released an unmixed and unmastered version of the 23-second section online for free.

8. DANIEL POWTER

In 2006, Weird Al wanted to spoof Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” with the parody “You Had a Bad Date,” but the recording artist denied Yankovic permission to record it. At least at first. “And then literally the day before we went into the studio to record ‘White & Nerdy,’ we got a call saying he changed his mind and he wanted to do it after all,” Yankovic told the Toronto Sun. “And I had to inform him that the train had left the station.”

9. ATLANTIC RECORDS

After receiving James Blunt’s blessing to parody his hit song “You’re Beautiful,” Weird Al recorded and planned to release the spoof “You’re Pitiful” as the first single from his “Straight Outta Lynwood” album in 2006. However, Blunt’s record label Atlantic Records stepped in and denied Yankovic any use of the parody because they felt it might hurt James Blunt’s brand and public image. Weird Al later released “White & Nerdy,” a spoof of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin,’” as the first single instead and then released “You’re Pitiful” online for free.
“I have a long-standing history of respecting artists’ wishes,” Yankovic wrote to NPR. “So if James Blunt himself were objecting, I wouldn’t even offer my parody for free on my website. But since it’s a bunch of suits—who are actually going against their own artist’s wishes—I have absolutely no problem with it.”
MF

Well Said


I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.
Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

Fucking Useless

If this isn't one of the most wishy-washiest headlines coming from the UN, I don't know what is.  In fact, I don't even know why we have the UN.  America ignores it when it wants to invade other countries, other nations also couldn't careless and all we get are bloated politicians posturing and making idle threats which never work anyway.  All the while by trousering huge amounts of money for personal gain.  A bit like Fifa, but nowhere near as powerful.

Disband the UN and try something else, if only to save billions.  North Korea must be shitting themselves.
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.
After an urgent meeting in New York, the council said it would soon adopt a new sanctions resolution in response.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said Washington would now "ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences" on Pyongyang.
"There can be no business as usual," she said, adding that "we'll come up with something tough".

No Fags Please

The real-life fight club is fine with you talking about it but would rather you didn’t smoke.
Simon Williams, 32, started the club out of an abandoned warehouse after finally seeing the film just 15 years after its initial release.
“It was brilliant, and I totally got the point of it, which was that fighting is brilliant,” explained Williams, “so I started my own Fight Club.”
“At first I had the old ‘you cannot talk about fight club’ rule in place but then it ended up just me and my cousin thumping each other, so we ditched that and got some leaflets printed.
“However, it is really quite hard-going having a fight while choking on cigarette smoke, so now we just don’t allow it.
“Anyway, we meet up at Johnson’s Warehouse once all the lights have gone out, so do come along, and tell your friends.
“But please smoke in the designated areas, well away from the fighting.”
NT

Origins

Short shrift


Meaning

To make short work of - to give little consideration to.

Origin

Shrift? Not a word you hear every day. In fact, apart from in this expression, it is now so rarely used that it's hard to think of a shrift that isn't short. The verb form, shrive, is also now an almost forgotten antique. A shrift is a penance (a prescribed penalty) imposed by a priest in a confession in order to provide absolution, often when the confessor was near to death. In the 17th century, criminals were sent to the scaffold immediately after sentencing and only had time for a 'short shrift' before being hanged.
Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareShakespeare was the first to write it down, inRichard III, 1594.
RATCLIFF:
Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
It doesn't appear again in print until 1814, Scott's Lord of the Isles:
"Short were his shrift in that debate. If Lorn encounter'd Bruce!"
That seems an uncommonly long time to wait for a phrase that is in regular use. We can assume that, given the gap, the phrase wasn't part of the language in Shakespeare's day, or for some time afterwards, and that he coined it himself. Some sources cite it as '14th century', but neglect to offer any evidence to support that.
confessionalIt didn't migrate across the Atlantic quickly either. The first citation there is from the Adams Sentinel, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, August 1841:
"The negroes were to be tried on Wednesday, and it was believed that a short shrift and a speedy doom would be awarded to the guilty."

TPF

The Perfect Afternoon

I watched my pre-corded Football Focus which ran a treat and then saw the repeat of the MotD directly afterwards.

Spurs played remarkably well and did everything bar score more.  It could and should have been far more then the 1 - 0 win.  Talk of us winning the league is nonsense and judging by the way Leicester destroyed Man City, it could be their title.

It will be interesting to see (nail biting for me) how we fare against City when we play them next week.  If we get a draw I will be exceptionally happy but even that my be beyond us.

I do feel we are worthy of a top four spot but we are not title contenders yet.  That will not happen just yet but if we carry on as we're going now, maybe in a few year's time?  Let's hope so.

Mais Oui

DYK?

The Brothers Grimm didn't write much of Grimm's Fairy Tales.  They simply recorded the stories they were told by locals and gathered them into a collection.

90 Day Sign On

As a retiree living in Thailand I have the duty to report to immigration every three months to comply with the law.  I fill in a form (TM 47) toddle off across town and wait in queue until I get my stamp.

It's time consuming, boring but necessary and I am due to visit before the end of the month, up to 15 days before my date.

They tried to implement an on-line process but as with most things designed to speed things up, it usually ends up going the opposite way and even a year down the line, the website is full of holes.

I can't be arsed so I will do it in person and be done with it.  I get up early anyway so should be out by the afternoon, with luck.

Wild Life

It never ceases to impress me how many different kinds of animals, insects and birds we have surrounding us in Asia.  We still get all the usual European stuff (except much bigger) but also so many things you'd rarely see unless at a zoo or deep in the country.

Yesterday we saw a pair of monitor lizards helping themselves to the dog food left out in bowls for the strays and they barely gave us a second look as we approached.  One was quite a size, reaching about 2 metres in length, including his/her tail.

We also see beautifully coloured butterflies, squirrels, snakes, mice, rats, cockroaches (unfortunately), far too many mosquitoes and far too much more to list if I want to finish in good time on the Blog today.

It really brings it home to you that we are living in a real exotic place.

Model Family

Maddie Dashton wasn't prepared to be photographed, so we found a picture of another family to make you all hate people with lots of kids.
A 23-year-old mum from Southend has declared herself to be Britain’s greatest money saver in response to the recent media stories about extreme couponing and general thriftyness. She has now set up her own blog, Five Finger Discounting, and she is set to take her workshop on tour around the UK.
Maddie Dashton started on the long journey to becoming Britain’s greatest money saver in 2013 after reading the ‘Top Thrifty Tips’ in Take A Break magazine. She said: ‘All of these little whingebags were banging on about hanging their tea bags out on the washing line, and I just thought that it would be easier to just nick a box of PG Tips from Tesco. Since then, I have managed to shoplift everything I need to keep our family well-fed, and every now and then I’ll hold up a food bank or something like that.’
She has some very strong words for Jordan Cox – the student who recently hit the headlines after saving money by travelling from Sheffield to Essex by plane via Berlin. ‘What sort of idiot travels halfway across Europe to save a few quid. I would have just got on a train and hidden in the bogs until Euston. A quick ride in a black cab to Liverpool St before doing a runner and I would be back in Shenfield before you know it. I’ve been test driving an S-Max from Essex Ford for over three weeks now anyway so I would probably just drive.’
We asked her if she would ever consider going straight and just cutting vouchers out of newspapers and magazines, but she wasn’t prepared to consider it. ‘Extreme couponing is just dumb when you can stuff a box of Maltesers in your Kappa bag or stick everything under a Burka – nobody questions you in one of those as it would be well racist.’
Maddie Dashton couldn’t be photographed for legal reasons, so we just found some random picture off the Internet.
SNN

IotD

Are you kidding?  We're getting a free night in a four star hotel.  What's to be irritated about?

And Spurs are second  ;-)

The Eagle Has Landed

Word has reached us that Karen has landed safely in New Zealand yesterday.  Dean will be following her out later this month to join her for her birthday.

I bet he makes the most of his "me" time...

Happy New Year

To all our Chinese friends.  Hope the Year of the Monkey brings you joy, happiness and wealth.

Mid-Week Gettaway

Here's where we will be getting pampered the day after tomorrow:

Hotel Clover Asoke is located in Central Downtown Bangkok on Sukhumvit 16, close to many of Bangkok’s upscale shopping malls and within walking distance both BTS Asoke Station (Skytrain), MRT Sukhumvit Station (Subway) the hotel is also one stop away from the Airport Link (Makkasan Station) by the MRT. Transfer time to the hotel from the Airport via limousine, meter taxi or private car is around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
HOTEL CLOVER ASOKE
9/1 Sukhumvit 16 (Sammit), Klongtoey, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66-2258-8555
+66-2258-8554
reservation@hotelclover-th.com
www.hotelclover-th.com









Executive Room

A unique interior design in luxury material by Jim Thompson decorate for headboard and daybed, room size is same, but more than valuable with comfortable bed, cleanliness and tidy. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning and working desk. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room. Especially to entitled the executive club lounge benefits.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided ...
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Rates from฿3,645Cost for 1 night

Standard Room

A luxury simple 22 sq.m. with comfortable bed, tidy and cleanliness. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning, working desk and unique daybed. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided | Cable/Satellite TV | Daily Room Service | Cots Available | Hairdryer | King / 2 single beds | Lift/Elevator Access | Linen and Towels Provided | Non-Smoking | Room Service | Shower - separate | Sofa Bed | Telephone | Television | Tea/Coffee Making | Wireless Internet | Desk | Mini Bar | Mini Fridge | Room Safe
Show Less
Rates from฿2,916Cost for 1 night

Lady Room

Particularly designed for ladies in luxury and cool chic style, room is 22 sq.m. with comfortable bed, colorful and cleanliness. Each room decoration is under different style both headboard and matching daybed. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning, working desk and unique daybed. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided ...
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Rates from฿3,281Cost for 1 night

Standard Corner

A luxury simple 32 sq.m. with comfortable bed, tidy and cleanliness. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning, working desk and unique daybed. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided ...
Show More
Rates from฿3,281Cost for 1 night

Lady Corner

Particularly designed for ladies in luxury and cool chic style, room is 32 sq.m. with comfortable bed, colorful and cleanliness. Each room decoration is under different style both headboard and matching daybed. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning, working desk and unique daybed. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided ...
Show More
Rates from฿3,645Cost for 1 night

Executive Corner

A unique interior design in luxury material by Jim Thompson decorate for headboard and daybed, room size is 32 sq.m. with comfortable bed, cleanliness and tidy. In room facilities come with 40 inches smart TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning and working desk. Enjoy with minibar, daily replenished tea and coffee for espresso machine in room. Especially to entitled the executive club lounge benefits.
Air conditioned | Bath | Bathrobes Provided ...
Show More

Hotel Clover