Sunday, 31 March 2013

But Before I Forget

We touched down slightly early last night and were told by the captain that the temperature outside at just before midnight was 31 C.

When we got to the Imm, the guys told us that they had peaked at 41 C that day.

What snow?

OK, Time to Get With It

We're going to have to cut it short there as we have to pick up our luggage and begin the enormous unpack.  Time to get our room ready with all the mod cons.  See you later.


The average person swallows 295 times during a meal.

Europa Cup Coming Up

Quarter-final draw for the Europa League:

Chelsea v Rubin Kazan

Tottenham v Basle

Fenerbahce v Lazio

Benfica v Newcastle

First-leg ties to be played on 4th April 4, second-leg ties to be played on 11th April.

Whodunnit Heroes

Click on the thumbnail to expand and see SL's top thirty classic 'tectives.

  • Philip Marlowe – Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep and Others)
  • Sam Spade - Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon)
  • Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford – Ruth Rendell (From Doon With Death and others)
  • Detective Mike Hoolihan - Martin Amis (Night Train)
  • Inspector Bucket – Charles Dickens – (Bleak House)
  • Miss Marple – Agatha Christie
  • Arkady Renko – Martin Cruz Smith (Gorky Park and others)
  • Smilla Qaaviqaaq Jaspersen - Peter Hoeg (Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow)
  • Inspector Morse – Colin Dexter (Last Bus To Woodstock and others)
  • John Rebus – Ian Rankin (Knots and Crosses and others)
  • William of Baskerville – Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose)
  • Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh – P.D. James (Cover Her Face and others)
  • Detective Chen Cao – Qiu Xiaolong (Death of a Red Heroine and others)
  • Perry Mason – Erle Stanley Gardner (The Case of the Velvet Claws and others)
  • Harry Hole - Jo Nesbø (The Bat and others)
  • C Auguste Dupin – Edgar Allan Poe (The Murders in the Rue Morgue and others)
  • Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton (The Penguin Complete Father Brown)
  • Maigret – Georges Simenon (The Yellow Dog)
  • The Continental Op - Dashiell Hammett (Red Harvest and others)
  • Meyer Landsman - Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union)
  • Kurt Wallander – Henning Mankell (Faceless Killers and others)
  • Hercule Poirot – Agatha Christie
  • Lew Archer – Ross Macdonald (The Moving Target and others)
  • Victoria Iphigenia
  • Jack Reacher – Lee Child (Killing Floor and others)
  • Dirk Gently – Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency)
  • Nick Stefanos - George Pelecanos (A Firing Offense and others)
  • Chief Inspector Heat – Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent)
  • Mike Hammer – Mickey Spillane (I, the Jury and others)
  • Letters of Note

    [Warning: Extremely Colourful Language Ahead]

    This incredible memo, purportedly issued to all Major League Baseball teams in 1898 as part of a documented campaign — spearheaded by John Brush — to rid the sport of filthy language, was discovered in 2007 amongst the belongings of the late baseball historian Al Kermish, also a respected collector of memorabilia. Essentially an on-field code of conduct, most amusing is that the memo was in fact so expletive-laden and obscene as to be "unmailable" to its intended audience via the postal service, and so was delivered by hand to each of the League's 12 clubs and their foul-mouthed players.

    A fascinating document.

    (It's worth noting that experts are somewhat divided about the document, with some believing it to be a satirical memo, circulated amongst players at the time in response to what was a very real campaign within the organisation. Either way, very notable. Discussion can be found herehere, and here.)

    Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Robert Edward Auctions. Enormous thanks to Jaime Stearns.


    In a contest between two leading clubs during the championship season of 1897, the stands being crowded with patrons of the game, a gentleman occupying a seat in the front row near the players' bench, asked one of the visiting players who was going to pitch for them. The player made no reply. He then asked a second time. The gentleman, his wife who sat with him, and others of both sexes, within hearing distance, were outraged upon hearing the player reply in a loud, brutal tone, "Oh, go fuck yourself."

    On being remonstrated with by his fellow-players, who told him there were ladies present, he retorted he didn't give a damn, that they had no business there anyhow.

    This shocking indecency was brought to the attention of the League at the Philadelphia meeting in November, 1897, and a committee was appointed to report upon this baseball crime, define and suggest for it a remedy.

    In response to nearly one hundred communications addressed to umpires, managers and club officials, soliciting definite, positive and personal knowledge of obscene and indecent language upon the ball field, the committee received a deluge of information that was so appalling as to be almost beyond belief, showing conclusively and beyond contradiction that there was urgent need for legislative action on the part of the League.

    That such brutal language as "You cock-sucking son of a bitch!" "You prick-eating bastard!" "You cunt-lapping dog!" "Kiss my ass, you son of a bitch!" "A dog must have fucked your mother when she made you!" "I fucked your mother, you sister, your wife!" "I'll make you suck my ass!" "You cock-sucker!" and many other revolting terms are used by a limited number of players to intimidate umpires and opposing players, and are promiscuously used upon the ball field, is vouched for by the almost unanimous assertion of those invited to speak, and who are competent to speak from personal knowledge. Whether it be the language quoted above, or some other indecent and infamous invention of depravity, the League is pledged to remove it from the ball field, whether it necessitates the removal of the offender for a day or for all time. Any indecent or obscene word, sentence, or expression, unfit for print or the human ear, whether mentioned in these instructions or not, is contemplated under the law and within its intent and meaning, and will be dealt with without fear or favor when the fact is established by conclusive proof.

    By Order of the Committee.

    [UNMAILABLE. Must be forwarded by Express]

    Letters of Note

    Happy Easter

    From your pals at ktelontour.  :o)

    Say What?

    Introducing the Bread Cheese Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

    The two outside buns are 100% cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, composed of two Brunkow Cheese smoked bacon bread cheese slices with "normal" cheese as the filling.  The middle bun is the same, but using Carr Valley Cheese Company bread cheese slices instead.  To finish, two 1/3 pound ground beef patties (topped with cheese, naturally) and six slices of bacon.

    The burger is from DudeFoods, who has previous form in the world of experimental food and totals a whopping 4 300 calories.

    What's worse is that I am even considering that as my last meal ever...



    "Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision."

    -- Blake Clark

    3rd You Say?

    But not for long, we are a game down:

    No movement1Man Utd303977
    No movement2Man City302962
    No movement3Tottenham311557
    No movement4Chelsea302755
    No movement5Arsenal302653
    No movement6Everton301251
    No movement7Liverpool301845
    No movement8West Brom31044
    No movement9Swansea31140
    No movement10Fulham29-436
    No movement11West Ham30-936
    Moving up12Southampton31-934
    Moving down13Stoke31-934
    No movement14Norwich31-1934
    No movement15Newcastle31-1533
    No movement16Sunderland31-1031
    No movement17Wigan30-2030
    No movement18Aston Villa30-2530
    No movement19QPR30-2223
    No movement20Reading31-2523


    Sound travels fifteen times faster through steel than air.

    Match Report

    Tottenham moved up to third in the Premier League after an impressive win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

    After two successive league defeats, Spurs went ahead when Jan Vertonghen played a neat one-two with Gareth Bale and slotted home from close range.

    Vertonghen then found Bale who fired a 20-yard shot into the top corner.

    Nathan Dyer headed against the bar and, as the home side applied more pressure after the break Michu headed in off the post, but Spurs held on for a key win.

    A lacklustre defeat in a seemingly routine home fixture against mid-table Fulham two weeks ago led some critics to speculate on whether Spurs might suffer the kind of malaise that resulted in only one win from nine at a similar stage last term. That sequence, combined with Chelsea's Champions League success, cost them a place in Europe's elite club competition.

    But after the international break they were bright and purposeful in possession from the outset against a Swansea side that had also lost their last two league games.

    The first goal was beautifully started and finished by the composed defender Vertonghen, Tottenham's summer signing from Ajax.

    He collected the ball on the halfway line, found Bale and continued his run as the Welsh attacker lifted the ball delicately over the defenders. The Belgian controlled it superbly before poking under the advancing Michel Vorm to register his fourth goal in his last five matches for the Lilywhites.

    Spurs should have doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Mousa Dembele freed Emmanuel Adebayor, but the Togolese international, who has scored only two league goals this term, shot tamely at the goalkeeper.

    However, star player Bale soon put them in command with another classic strike to add to his burgeoning collection.

    Vertonghen played a cleverly disguised pass to his team-mate, playing just behind lone striker Adebayor, and after controlling the ball masterfully with his first touch, Bale fizzed it into the corner with his second, his 22nd goal of the season and his 12th away from home.

    Swansea were struggling to provide suitable service for their leading scorer Michu but the skilful Spaniard eluded his markers to meet a corner, although he sent his header the wrong side of the woodwork.

    The home side gradually began to play their way back into the contest and Dyer headed against the bar; the ball then trickled narrowly wide after rebounding back off the winger.

    A quickly taken free-kick on the edge of the area soon after the interval could have given them a lifeline but Brad Friedel, starting his first league game since November in the absence of the injured Hugo Lloris, raced off his line to smother Michu's shot.

    Michu then headed a chance wide following another accurate cross from the marauding Dwight Tiendalli but the striker was not to be denied his first goal since scoring in the League Cup victory at Wembley a month ago, glancing his header from a right-wing corner powerfully into the net.

    Having surrendered a 2-1 lead to lose at Liverpool, fresh questions returned about Tottenham in tense situations.

    Bale hit the outside of the post after a trademark surging run on the break but was then required at the other end to make a vital block in his own penalty area as Spurs held on to tighten their grip on securing a Champions League spot.

    Coming Home

    And the first thing I asked at 01:30 this morning after checking in?  Did Spurs win?

    Yes.  :o)

    Shame the Toon laid down at Man City, they got stuffed 0 - 4 but thanks to Southampton, who beat Chelsea, we go back to third.

    Japanese Fairness

    Name me one airport that stops you from taking in fluids but charges the same for a Zero on both sides of security?  All food, snacks and beverages cost the same no matter where you are in Narita Airport and I don't believe I have ever seen that before.  Outstanding effort and a wonderful airport- they even had an origami museum.


    Not the team but the airline company.  Rubbish.

    Not enough luggage space, officious American cabin crew and dated plane.  Worst space allowance, leg room and food yet and the only thing it had which was better, were the king sized bathrooms.

    I'd rather avoid them next time.


    We took the Narita Express directly to Terminal 1 in less stops than on the way in, in under one hour and twenty minutes.  Comfortable, swift and clean with the most leg room we'd be having for the rest of the day.

    Checking in with United Airways, our carrier home was different- it was part machine and part staff but it worked well and was far quicker than all manual.  We didn't have to show proof of onward departure from Thailand as some airlines insist on (always annoys me that but luckily it's rarely required) and after a dead easy passage through Security and Immigration, we waited for our flight.

    Stone the Crows

    Outside of the Tower of London, the next biggest murder of crows is Tokyo.  Evil black bastards everywhere, giving it their caw, caw all the time.  Noisy and a little foreboding seeing them take to the skies and then landing like some fighter pilot into the trees.

    Leaving the E

    Checking out of the E Hotel in Tokyo was easy as because we'd already paid and we just signed off by leaving our bags with Reception for a couple of hours as we took lunch.

    We picked up our crap, hit the street and hailed a cab to the station.

    The taxi driver was efficient, punctual and professional (he even white wore gloves) and what was excellent was that the back door and boot all opened automatically.  We got in and inside of ten minutes were at our destination for YEN 800.

    It's YEN &10 for minimum fare and then it's YEN 90 per distance thereafter.

    Well Hello, Stranger

    Landed back in the Imm late last night and were greeted by Khun Mark and Khun Tar who were on the night shift and greeted us like long lost friends- which is exactly what we are.

    The hotel looks just like it should, everything looks familiar and so wonderful and it's just a real pleasure being back.  The only problem now is getting back into a pattern of sleep.  I'm up, feel like a zombie and it's not even 07:00.

    Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

    Sharm Murugiah has re-imagined them all as vintage Penguin book covers.  You can see more of his excellent work here.


    C & H Too


    Happy Easter- Easter Sunday

    8. The card that shows you how to turn the Easter bunny into a hard worker.

    The card that shows you how to turn the Easter bunny into a hard worker.

    9. The card that's like a Satyr, except half-bunny, half-creepy girl.

    The card that's like a Satyr, except half-bunny, half-creepy girl.

    10. Is that blood in the bunny's eyes?

    Is that blood in the bunny's eyes?

    11. The card that makes your half-chicken half-umbrella wielding woman nightmares a reality.

    The card that makes your half-chicken half-umbrella wielding woman nightmares a reality.

    12. Dear Easter bunny, why are you bleeding and should we call the police?!

    Dear Easter bunny, why are you bleeding and should we call the police?!

    13. The card that reveals what you don't want to see as part of your Easter egg hunt.

    The card that reveals what you don't want to see as part of your Easter egg hunt.

    14. The card that serves as a PSA for why we need stricter gun laws.

    The card that serves as a PSA for why we need stricter gun laws.

    Buzz Feed