Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Oatmeal

Honest Truths 19

Well Said

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Samuel Johnson
English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

1 123

Is the colossal number of people to be "honoured" in the New Year's list.  I have no inclination to peruse it to see who wins what or why, but one of the headlines stated it included Darcey Bussell*.

I have no idea who this is, perhaps someone from a Jane Austen period drama but with my curiosity piqued, it turns out she is a judge on "Strictly Come Dancing", a popular (to many ,no doubt but not me) BBC TV programme.

Seriously?  A fucking judge on a panel show gets to become a Dame?  What next?  Sir Ringo Fucking Starr?

Shoot me now.

*I have nowt against her personally and she is, I am sure, a more than pleasant and nice person.

One Short

Murder/mystery Sue Grafton has died yesterday aged 77, after a two year battle with cancer.

Not many will have heard of her or read her books but she had quite a unique approach with her lady detective Kinsey Millhone, as she based each one of her books on the alphabet, beginning with her first, "A is for Alibi".

Sadly she only reached the letter "Y" in August of this year.  As she was opposed to allowing her books to be translated to film or TV and stated she would never allow a ghost writer, it seems that is now where the series ends.

And "why" not?

For Real

Nail Biting

Live darts via the internet?  It's happening as we speak and now all square at 5 - 5.  Who will win to face Taylor in the final?  Van Gerwen or Cross?  We go to sudden death now:


11th set: Van Gerwen 5-6 Cross (5-6)
Rob Cross has knocked out reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen.
He will take on Phil Taylor in the final.

11th set: Van Gerwen 5-5 Cross (5-5)
Oh dear, the crowd are booing MVG. That is not acceptable behaviour.
Both players looking nervy in this set, but Cross needs 140 for a place in the world final.

It Always Seems Like a Good Idea at the Time

At the beginning of the year an inebriated man, drinking in a pub in Lincoln decided to walk home after a night out – a distance of 45 miles.

After celebrating a friend’s birthday in Lincoln, a pissed up chap decided to call it a night and decided he would walk home.  He lived in Grimsby, which happens to be some 45 miles away.

About a third of the way into his epic journey, he sensibly figured on taking a break and promptly fell asleep in a handy garden nearby.  When the owner found him, instead of calling the Rozzers they gave him a cup of tea and pointed him in the direction of the nearest bus stop, before sending him on his merry way.

The man’s mother has since been trying to find the Samaritan in order to thank them for helping her son.  She wrote:

“My son went drinking in Lincoln last night and at some point decided he would walk home…. we are in Grimsby!  After a fair walk he decided in his drunken wisdom to have a little sleep in someone’s garden.

He was found by the owners of the property and rather than call the police or take matters into their own hands, they actually gave him a cup of tea and help to get home.

He has no knowledge of who they were but thinks Faldingworth was the area he was in. I would just like to pass on my sincere gratitude to these people for their care for my son.

Hopefully he realises how stupid he has been and how the night could have ended up so differently, as it has for many others.  Hopefully someone will know this family and pass on my thanks.”


Still Not Enough

Once more England fall at the final hurdle and lose a good opportunity to win the 4th Test.  Instead, it ends in a draw, which I suppose is a minor consolation after the first three losses.  And they avoided the whitewash too.

Big whoop.

Speaking of Darts

Sixteen time world champion Phil Taylor beat Jamie Lewis 6 - 1 to reach the final. He will next face Dutchman Michael van Gerwen or fellow Englishman Rob Cross in his 21st World Championship final.

I think perhaps this will be one step too far but to make the finals is still a great way to bow out after decades in the sport.


Top Burds of the Year- 4

Lisa Carne – environment
Lisa Carne was only a young biologist and coral researcher when she witnessed the effects of 2001 Hurricane Iris on the Central American country of Belize. In particular, she was struck by how vulnerable the southern Belize marine ecosystem was to climate change like rising sea temperatures.
So, in 2006, Carne founded Fragments of Hope, a community-based organisation that, with the help of a coral nursery, aims to restore an endangered species of Belize’s Barrier Reef, a Unesco World Heritage site. The project has been hailed as a huge success, significantly increased the coral population in Belize.
Carne herself was southern Belize’s first female diving instructor, and trains women to restore coral reef habitats while advocating for sustainable management. In 2014, Carne received the prestigious Ocean Hero Award from Oceana, Belize, for her work with endangered Acropora Corals and her activism in helping protect the marine environment for future generations.
Carne’s strides in research, eco-monitoring and science – traditionally male-dominated areas in the country – have provided access to training in the tourism and conservation sectors, allowing local women to earn higher daily wages. In a country where around half the population depend on tourism from diving, snorkelling and fishing, the ripples of Carne’s activism have spread further than the reef.

Viz Bits

Roger’s Profanisaurus – parcel force

Best S-i-L Ever

Now that Soi 93 is taking off and the dart board is getting used, I am really looking forward to going out for a few games with Khun Noi.  He has taken to the sport and practises all the time, getting better every day.

The only unfortunate thing is his choice in darts.  He has none. Instead has to use the rubbish, cheap ones that come with the board.  It's not ideal but there is very little option on where to get others, as there is nowhere that we have found that sell darts or accessories, which is a real shame.

So we did what we had to do and import them.  I found my darts I had left on Izola and brought them over and we sent out an SOS to Shaz to buy some decent, heavier ones.  Yesterday she said she had managed to do just that and now we can't wait to pass them on.  He will be so chuffed and as an added bonus, she also managed to get an accessory pack which will give K Noi options on dart shafts and flights.  He will be so chuffed.

Cheers to Shaz, best s-i-l ever.  Again.

Ta to Ross

For bringing us a load of goodies over from Britland.  And the latest bike mags to keep me going.  Now if Shaz could possibly pick up any mag with February on the cover, that would be just as brilliant.

Oh, and an MCN.

A a Viz.

As well as all the rest of the stuff I asked Santi for.

Love this Time of Year

With everyone full of festive joy and out getting pissed celebrating, it means no one has the time to email and so my in box has been blissfully empty of late.  Please keep it this way for the next week, at least.

Seconds Thoughts

Upon reflection, yesterday's post Funniest Gag of the Day may have been missing something.  Like an explanation for all you non-footie fans or for any of you perhaps not thinking with a Geordie accent.

The gag centres around Alan Shearer, OK?

And while I am at it, there's no chance of me making it to 50% through on Tomb Raider.  While I am at 44% complete, the baddies are well miffed and more than keen to shoot the snot out of me as quickly as possible.  I am making progress though and reached the next level, so I am currently on 44.2%...

C & H

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Top Burds of the Year- 3

Professor Mary Beard – academia
Professor Mary Beard is hardly your average scholar, having achieved a cultural niche of bringing classics to the masses via popular television, as well as her academic work and role as a promoter of women. She has been University of Cambridge professor of classics since 2004, and is also classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, for which she writes a regular column.
In 2012, she wrote and presented the three-part television series, Meet the Romans with Mary Beard, presenting ancient life as relevant to a modern audience. As she achieved national fame – unusual for an academic – she had to contend with the backlash: critic AA Gill judged her “too ugly for television” in a review that mostly concerned her looks. Beard hit back, calling him part of “the blokeish culture that loves to decry clever women”.
She uses her high profile on Twitter to respond to sexist and misogynistic trolling, seeing this as part of her role as a public academic. This summer, she was embroiled in “something of a Twitter storm” when she defended the BBC for producing a schools video about Roman Britain featuring a black soldier. Beard was subjected to a torrent of online abuse, but argued her case based on academic sourcing.
Beard has also presented a lecture entitled “Women in Power, from Medusa to Merkel”, considering the extent of culturally embedded gender and arguing that “we don’t have a model or a template for what a powerful woman looks like. We only have templates that make them men.” She has spent this year proving otherwise.

Well Said

Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
Mark TwainNotebooks (1935)
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

News Thump

Manchester City’s dominance is now so complete that not only are they expected to win the Premier League, but also this year’s World Cup, any snap elections called, and the game of monopoly that’s been going on around your brother-in-law’s since Boxing Day.
Whilst they have been favourites to take the Premiership title since the start of the season, no one could have realised how complete their dominance would become, and even a man who got a little confused in Ladbrokes and bet on them to win Wimbledon may find his five pounds wasn’t wasted.
“This really is the complete football team,” said football pundit Simon Williams.
“So, yes, I think the Premiership is a given, the Champions League and World Cup are likely and given Real Madrid’s disappointing form, they’re probably the only team who could challenge Barcelona in La Liga.
“I can’t imagine that Theresa May will have another snap general election this year, but if she does then I think that the potent attacking force of Sterling and Aguero should prove more than a match for May or Corbyn.
“Kevin de Bruyne’s tactical intelligence will see them crush all-comers at Monopoly, even your brother-in-law, regardless of his A-level in economics. To be fair, with such a strong bench, they could probably beat your brother-in-law’s kids at Mario Kart at the same time as well.”
Manchester City’s next fixture is against Crystal Palace, where City are expected to win so comprehensively that the entire Palace team quits football and takes up chartered surveying instead.

Today's Fixtures

For some reason Spurs have been drawn to play on Tuesday, thus giving Harry Kane one final chance to score even more in 2017.  Here're the rest of the games later today:


Spectacularly Wrong

My prediction of England going all out for under 250 was woefully incorrect and from heading to a whitewash, they may even win the 4th Test. 

With the Aussies 327 all out in the first innings and on 178  for 4 (76.0 overs), England replied with 491 all out and at lunch need just 6 more wickets, with the home side 14 runs ahead.

Please avoid the humiliation of a whitewash and start 2018 on a brighter note.