Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bloatermog Standing At The Gates: It looked almost like Dante and Beatrice gazing at the Highest Heaven in one of Gustave Dore's illustrations for The Divine Comedy. An almost identical tunnel of white light that we are told to expect and are being drawn towards upon death; except it is a moving circle of thousands upon thousands of Angels; and the shimmering white light is that of their gowns and feathered wings. Gliding through them, they smile a silent welcome, and then The Gates appear.
St. Peter, wearing a white suit, waistcoat, shirt and tie, sits before The Gates upon a highly decorative Throne of gold; Seraphim and Cherubim and All the Company of Heaven are surrounding him. There is no queue, and as I am drawn closer, a large open book becomes apparent resting across his knees. He looks at it, and runs a finger across the page.
"Alan Charles Burridge."
"Yes," I reply, shaking my head, "but I don't think I'm supposed to be here quite yet."
"Oh yes," he smiled, looking at the entry on the page again. "There's no mistake, and I think you have done more than enough in your life."
"But I saved a lot of time whilst I was living it," I protested, "and by my reckoning, I've got at least another three years left!"
His brow furrowed. "What do you mean, you 'saved a lot of time'?"
"Yes, it's something we try and do; I thought you would know all about it?" I said, losing my patience a bit now. "You see, inventor's invented machines to wash our clothes, before we had them it would have taken half a day; now it takes an hour, or perhaps ninety minutes; and all we do is press a button. And then there's the vacuum cleaner to save time cleaning our homes, too, and the Internet to save us time going shopping; and there are hundreds more. They were invented as labour and time saving devices, and by my estimate I saved about three years; so I shouldn't be here with you yet."
"But it doesn't work like that!" St. Peter protested, as the Seraphim and Cherumbim and All the Company of Heaven fidgeted as if to back up his words.
"Well, that's what I thought it meant," I replied, "but I didn't waste any of the time I saved, so I must go back, I haven't finished doing what I need to do down there yet!"
"No! Sorry! You've got the wrong end of the stick!" he protested again.
"Look!" I said, pointing at him, "I've seen the film with Warren Beatty, what was it called...'Heaven Can Wait'? He was taken too early, and they brought him up here, but it wasn't his time. You made a mistake then, and you're doing much the same now; it's not my time, either, because I saved so much of it down there!"
"No, no, no," he smiled, his head slowly shaking from side to side, "it doesn't work like that!"
"So, how is it supposed to work, then?"

Indeed, with so many labour and time saving devices at our disposal, what do we do with the Time and Energy they save for us?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bloatermog The Annual Dread: Other than road tax, which we can buy stamps for, the only 'horrible' bill which we never put some money aside for in this world of Standing Orders and Direct Debits; is the MOT. It's something of a lottery, too, never knowing what the cost will be until the dreaded day when they go through the car from stem to stern with a hammer and a screwdriver, and then phone to give us the not so bad, the bad, or the absolutely awful news of what it's going to cost for another year's motoring. These days, no one except the DIY mechanic with his Haynes manual can do it for under three figures, and including an annual service, it can, depending on what's wrong, be a cripling £500 or so, (unless you've got a fairly new car, of course). That's plus petrol, naturally, and a couple of tyres which passed the MOT on the day, but are 'getting close' and will need renewing in the next 3 months.
So, with the convenience of travelling when and where we want and doing so fairly quickly, those prices aren't too bad. And we love our car because it beats waiting for a bus, and spending an eternity travelling to places we don't want to go because they can't deviate from their set routes. The car is more direct, more comfortable, less aggrevation, (like any public transport, there's always someone on a bus who annoys you, isn't there!), and if I knew the price of fares these days, probably quite expensive, too.
And we do it quite strictly now, either on or just before the day the MOT is due, because with police cars being as alive with technology as they are today, they can just tap in our registration number and immediately find out if we are a) taxed, b) MOT'd, and c) insured; and if we're not, we are pulled over.
Aren't the police ruddy annoying, though.
Why must they always use the plural?
"Have WE forgotten to tax OUR car then, sir?"
"Have WE forgotten to insure it?"
"Have WE forgotten our MOT?"
"No, WE haven't, but I have, because I pay for yours within my community charge!"
After passing my driving test at about 17 years and four months of age, my license has remained unblemished for every one of those 41 years. Never a pip has it seen, and I have only been stopped the once on the way back from a Motorhead gig at Hammersmith Odeon when Mrs. B and I went to see the 'May-hem-Day' gig on May 7th, 1984. The motorway was all over the place with cones and suchlike, and somehow we ended up in Reading! Some time later and back on track and puttering through St. Ives, near Ringwood, we noticed the police car on one of those little roadside hummocks, where they sit with their lights off...watching and waiting.
So they saw this (then) long-haired chap in a biker jacket with his biker chick drive past in a Mini, and at something like 2am decided to, as we were the only car on the road, find out what was going on? The night was completely black out there in the wilds of Ringwood, and suddenly in the rear view mirror it seemed as if we had the spaceship from 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' behind us, when the whole area lit up like the proverbial 4th of July. But no, we were not about to be abducted by aliens, it was just the police car from the roadside hummock.
And despite the fact that we had been to a Motorhead gig, I have been blessed with the life-long sensibility, (well, not in my younger day before some buffoon invented 'the breathaliser'), that if I'm driving, I simply don't drink anything alcohlic whatsoever. It pays off, because when Mr. Plod walked along to my side window and I wound it down, I could give him a silent 'up yours' because I knew, even if he did ask me to "blow in the bag," that I would be absolutely bullet-proof; because all I had imbibed was a can of Cola.
Much to our surprise, though, he wasn't the grandson of an SS officer like most of them like to think they are, but instead he was courtesy itself, and when told about our unintentional diversion around the streets and town centre of Reading, asked if we had enough petrol to get home, as "we've got a can full in the boot you're welcome to, if you're getting a bit low?"
How good was that?
But I always fill up at Hammersmith regardless, and in all honesty we probably had enough to get us to Land's End; but I often kick myself at missing the chance of those free couple of gallons courtesy of Lora Norder. But taken by surprise at the kindness of their offer, I didn't. Never mind, eh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bloatermog An Indian Summer: Most of the UK are enjoying this great weather at the moment, which we call 'An Indian Summer,' and according to the oracle, Wiki, is described as 'an informal expression given to a spell of sunny and warm weather in the autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, typically in October or early November.' Our 'proper' summer was puttering along quite nicely during May, June and July; and then this drop from High to Low pressure drifted in and cocked it all up. But now it's back we are enjoying, nay, even revelling in it, despite its slightly early appearance.
As a small child, I always marvelled at how aircraft, vehicles on the road, people's voices, the waves crashing on the shore etcetera, always sounded so much brighter and fresher during the summer months. Yet in the autumn and winter, those same sounds are dull, dreary, and not very inspiring. And it seems to be due to these changes in pressure, and we even feel so much brighter and alert when it's High than we do when it's Low. It probably has a lot to do with our mood, too, and those dismal, dark evenings with less daylight hours which we will be plunging into again next month, aren't going to help.
It's an ideal time to go abroad, I reckon, and Mrs. B and I did so from our 25th Wedding Anniversary onwards; when she said "We've never flown, so for our 25th anniversary, we will." Married in early December 1973, we enjoyed the subsequent occasions abroad around that time of year, spending several of them in Fuertevetura, one in Gran Canaria, a couple more in Fuerteventura, then two in Thailand and the final one in Kenya in 2005.
By this time, Mrs. B had developed tinitus, and on the final two or three of those flights it was agony for her when the plane took off and landed. This was due to the change in cabin pressure, although not quite the same as those we were talking about above, these were a bit more instant, drastic and severe. When the aircraft levelled out it wasn't too bad, but the agony of it brought an end to flying anywhere for a holiday.
The tinitus is also the reason why she is unable to go to gigs any more, but not the reason she has it. Really, with the hunderds of gigs attended in my lifetime, and quite a few dozen of them being Motorhead concerts, it ought to be me who's suffering tinitus. But there's nothing which can be done about it, despite Mrs. B searching for a cure from seeing the village Doctor right the way through to the final NHS tests when she was told nothing could be done.
Such a great pity, but unlike me she seems to have passed through the desire to rock until she drops, and although I miss her by my side at the gigs; she wasn't really enjoying it anyway.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bloatermog A Gardener's Lot: In September 2007, Mrs. B decided to go all 'Tom and Barbara' and enjoy 'The Good Life' by digging up part of the back lawn, and planting it with veg. Well, not Mrs. B digging it up you understand, so who else is there? Right, Joe Muggins. And it took a while, the stamina is lousy after the heart op, I get puffed out easily and lifting too much / too heavy causes the solar-plexus to crack; but it fuses together again after a while, doesn't it.
By early November a patch big enough to fit 48 broad bean seeds was ready. Local wisdom decrees that the broad bean should be planted during the week Poole Fair takes place. There are two reasons for this: 1) The plants are advanced enough in the Spring so that the shoots are no longer tender, and therefore don't attract the dreaded black fly aphid, and 2) Local custom has proven that it usually persists with rain during Poole Fair week, and more often than not it has been a complete washout. When we were kids we would go and enjoy splashing in the puddles and wading around in the mud in our Wellies; much to Mum and Dad's annoyance.
As time went on, the area was gradually extended with occasional bouts of slow digging, and it ended up being planted with: a wigwam of Sweet Peas, three rows of spuds, a wigwam of runner beans, three tomato plants a friend at work gave her, and a row each of carrots, beetroot and spring onions grown from seed. And of course, with human nature being as it is, when the stuff is ready to be harvested, it's cheap and plentiful in the shops, there's oodles more than a small family needs so you start giving it away, and you get fed up with eating it meal after meal.
So, if this stab at 'The Good Life' was going to be continued, owning a chest freezer would be a good idea, thus enabling ones own crops to be enjoyed with Sunday lunch throughout the Winter months, and even as a family treat for Christmas dinner.
But it was unanimously decided that we were no Tom and Barbara.
And although it was common practice to provide almost everything for the table when we were growing up, times have changed; and in recent years we had rarely eaten broad and runner beans, anyway; and there we were with an absolute glut of them.
So by now the plot has become overgrown with weeds, and Mrs. B has mentioned from time to time how scruffy it looks; which, in the telepathic language couples seem to share after a few years together, translated into "when are you going to dig it over again and put it back to lawn?" "But last year you wanted a 'wild garden' for all the ladybirds and moths and wildlife to nest and have babies in!"
But that phase has also passed, and that excuse didn't work, so I'm forking out the weeds rather than digging it again, and it'll be going back to that marvelous green sward, (with intermittant buttercups, dandelions and daisies, of course), very shortly.
There are allotments in the village and locals spend hours there doing their thing, winning prizes in The Lytchett Minster & Upton Gardening Club fruit and veg contests, and enjoying the fruits (and veg's) of their labours. But after our little toe-dipping experience into The Good Life, it was far too much hard work for much too little in return; so we're leaving it to those who have the will, the stamina, and the chest freezer to do a proper job.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bloatermog oN gnikomS Just Aint Rock 'n' Roll: Last evening was spent at Mr. Kyps in nearby Parkstone seeing the Jimi Hendrix / ZZ Top tribute band, The Hamsters. They are a favourite, of course, and as far as Jimi is concerned, the closest we can get to the real thing in the live auditorium. We can, of course, enjoy watching ZZ Top 'in the flesh' should a tour be there to do so; but for Jimi, it's the records and DVD's, or The Hamsters.
This is the umpteenth gig I have attended since the smoking ban, and although a reluctant non-smoker myself since the heart op in '06; a gig just isn't the same without that fag smoke in the air. Yes, it's all fine and dandy, and we go home and our clothes and hair don't smell like an ash tray, but a lot of people, including me, share the same equation: heat + sweat + beer + cigarettes = a good gig.
Now, due to our Government and their smoking ban, (how did this get through as a Law? We weren't asked what we thought, were we!), a gig just aint a gig any more in the old sense of the word. It's just far too sterile. Rock 'n' roll has never been sterile; until now. Rock 'n' roll was having one hell of a good night out, drinking too much, smoking too much, possibly throwing up; and having a quick knee trembler with some bird you'd never seen before and would probably never see again around the back amongst the beer crates; and not remembering very much about it the morning after. Now, it's just about the beer, having the back of your hand stamped with an inky smudge so that you can get back in, and a quick fag under an outdoor lean-to which isn't that far away from the school bike sheds where it all started for most of us.
And in the days before the ban when I did still smoke, on a couple of occasions people approached and asked to buy just ONE ciggie, (offering 50 pence for it), because they had given it up but needed "just the one to make the gig a proper gig." Now there are no more 'proper' gigs, and outdoor summer festivals can't be counted because it really doesn't matter whether you smoke there or not.
And after being a smoker for 38 years and a gig-goer for 43, I must say I really miss that wonderful 'smog' which permeated the venues when a band was up there on stage giving it their all. And even they can't have a quick drag on stage any more, but they've probably got their own private bike shed outside the dressing rooms.
But the Law is now the Law, and with the smokers of the UK not bothering to rally around together and protest en-masse in Trafalgar Square and chaining themselves to the railings in protest; it went through and was passed as quickly as eating the proverbial tin of prunes. So, now we must put up and shut up and be content with the adrenaline rush we enjoy from the music, which, when all is said and done is the best drug in the world.
Perhaps we reluctant non-smokers are looking for a bit of passive whenever we can get it, but even the opportunities of that are dwindling by the day.

Hi to Barb Vowles who's company I enjoyed at The Hamster's gig.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bloatermog Now They've Changed Our OXO: For me, there's nothing like a Sunday lunch with the roast spuds cut up and soaking in an ocean of strong OXO gravy. But our humble OXO cube has been changed, so we're not getting quite as much as we used to.
And the 'X Factor' TV show is to blame!
OXO are no longer the friendly little cubes which mother, grandmother, and great grandmother crumbled into the hotpot, stew, or the gravy jug; oh no! OXO have taken it upon themselves, (probably after consulting some spin doctor's who cost them thousands of £'s to come up with the idea), to re-shape it similarly to the 'X' on the show. It looks quite fancy, I'll grant you, and it now has a sort of 3D effect; but we are being cheated out of the slivers of cube they have shaved off to make it look so trendy and 'cool'!
But it tastes the same, and I can tell you that from personal experience last Sunday when my tatties were submerged in that succulent ocean of OXO gravy which I couldn't eat a Sunday lunch without.
Wife, Jane, likes the thick 'Bisto' stuff which sets on your plate like a piece of chocolate coloured tarmac, so she makes us seperate gravies, knowing what a big baby I will be if I don't get my OXO gravy.
So it's changed, but not drastically. And it has been that friendly little cube for so long we can't remember* when, but often see the enamled metal railway station adverts for it in most episodes of 'Poirot.'
*HISTORY: The OXO cube was 'invented' in 1840 by Justus Leibig, and started out as a liquid. In 1899 it became commercially available, and was trademarked 'OXO' because the meat extract in the cubes came from an Ox; which is mixed with seasoning, herbs, spices and salt. In the UK it is now manufactured by the Premier Foods group, and in South Africa, by the Mars Group.
It's also very nice crumbled into a glass with hot water as a drink.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bloatermog Facebook: Several friends and MHB's have tried to encourage me to sign up for this Facebook thing, but I have never been keen. There was trouble from the off with a situation arising at my wife's workplace when one of the lads made a comment on Facebook about the female boss; and her husband took exception to it and was going to find him and "give him a good hiding!"
Another friend and his wife joined, but seem to spend most of their evenings and weekends answering the hundreds of emails connected to the darned thing, which in my busy life there is no time for.
They've got a PC each with a web-cam perched on the top, and one of her male contacts, after seeing her face on numerous occasions, asked if she could "stand up and give us a twirl?" She did so, and when she looked again he had taken his old chap out and was waving it around at her on the PC screen: charming I'm sure. And then that same bloke, or perhaps another one, asked if they would like a threesome? They said they didn't, but he added; "Well, if you ever change your minds..."
Is it all really worth it?
Is Facebook really just another disguise for dogging?
And what's 'Twitter'?
Presumably an up-dated version of the Blog?
But on the rare times we visit any of the numerous bursting-at-the-seams pub's around here, plainly the clientele are obviously not Facebook or Twitter fans; otherwise they wouldn't have time to eat out for the mountains of emails they ought to be replying to.
There's my web site which Sarmad makes a champion job of keeping up to date and looking good, and my own emails via which I correspond with quite a few and I can contend with, and that'll do very nicely, thank you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bloatermog March Or Die: There was an 'Earth Summit' or whatever yesterday on the News where all the countries of the world got together to talk about how they are cutting down on pollution to save our planet.
The President of The Maldives said that things are not happening fast enough, as his islands are fast disappearing as the volume of water on Earth increases due to global warming.
Even here in the suburbs of a town like Poole in Dorset, the traffic, gridlock and congestion between 08.30 and 09.00 is ridiculous due to parents having to 'Taxi' their offspring to school rather than use the transport provided.
What are they so scared of?
Some wierdo snatching their kids?
Getting cold?
Getting wet?
Those same awful threats and the inclement weather still applied when I went to school, but most parents couldn't afford a car so it was the bus, a push-bike, or walk - which were far more Ozone friendly, even though such words did not exist at the time.
But Lemmy Kilmister's poignant and biting lyrics to the 'March Or Die' song are still ringing true, and every day we're getting all the more closer to seeing them happen.
The President of the Maldives was right in what he said, but at this point in time no one but he and his people give a flying fig.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bloatermog Organised Woman: Have you ever noticed on the X-Files how organised Scully seems to be? She dashes around as she does but we never see her with a handbag. Is she, perhaps, the most organised woman in the world? My wife is much better lately, probably as she has seen me on the brink of despair when she's 'lost' - the car keys - her purse - her lighter - her make-up etcetera. And often they can be found in what I call 'The Tardis' - her handbag. On one occasion the cat dipped her head inside it, and had to be pulled back, because things go into it, but some are never seen again. It's like a black hole. One one occasion there was a Coronation mug, a 1921 edition of the 'Radio Times' and a Japanese POW from the Korean war in there. But Dana Scully seems to manage without that cumbersome black bag which we trip over a dozen times a week, and often 'disappears' as a complete item and gets 'lost,' presumably in a time-slip which only the male of our species can see. Well done, Scully, but I bet you always have one with you in the 'real world.'

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bloatermog We Mustn't Forget: Wittering on about brain-numbing commercial break adverts; those which are a joy to sit through must not go unsung.
The No: 1 Advert accolade, I reckon, must got to the 'Hovis' bread advert.
It's extremely well thought out, expertly filmed, and it cleverly takes the young lad through every major event since the 'Titanic' sinking. There's a Mk 1 Cortina in there as well, and local MHB / friend, Eddie Evans, and a photographer by the name of Ric Saunders, motored around a few dates on the 1980 'Ace Of Spades' tour in mine. It was in 'Goodwood Green,' and I loved it and cherished it, but it still let me down.
On the day of the Portsmouth tour date, the battery died, or so I thought. Bought a new one, not easy money to find with daughter, Natalie, then aged 3, and son, Steven, about 2 months. Fitted it and it still wouldn't start, even by trying to bump start it. Called the RAC, told them we HAD to get to Pompey. The RAC man on the other end of the phone must have cupped his hand around the mouthpiece to laugh with his mate: "Here, there's this c**t on the phone who thinks we're gonna go around to his house and get him started!"
When he began speaking again, I said: "Look, mate, this c**t here heard what you just said, so if you don't get my car fixed within the hour, you will be reported! I've paid you for 3 years and never called you out, and now I need you, you can't help! I'm stranded, and we MUST get to Portsmouth. If I was in Portsmouth and wanted to get home, you would do it, I'm at home and I have to get to Portsmouth; what's the difference?"
My, Oh, My, didn't he change his tune!
My sphyncter shone like a diamond!
A recovery van arrived within 45 minutes, the car was fixed, and off we went to Pompey.
Sometimes, I think that call must have started the 'Home Recovery' service!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bloatermog It seems: Yesterdays comment about 'Waking The Dead' has created some interest in that observant MHB, Stephen, noticed Motorhead's 'Dead Men Tell No Tales' track was played either in whole or part during one of the earlier episodes. Yet now, 30 years on, with forensics having advanced in leaps and bounds, Lemmy's wonderful song-title now holds little water. However, it is, was and always will be an excellent song, and we can do no more than to continue enjoying it as part of Motorhead history, because the title had become something of a quip among us all; and back then, they couldn't tell the tales they are now able to.

America, according to the local 'Daily Echo' here, will soon be banning smoking in ALL public places; but, the newspaper quickly adds, the UK won't be following suit; but, certain sections of Bournemouth and other local beaches ALREADY carry a 'No Smoking' policy. This 'ban' was brought into play presumably because people were fed up with getting dog ends caught between their toes, and having wafts of smoke running underneath their noses like latter-day 'Bisto' kids. I suppose, if someone was thoughtless enough not to put their cigarette end out, it could also cause a burnt foot, or if sitting down, a burnt bum cheek. Yet again this stretches the point about how Orwellian society is becoming, yet someone drunk and rolling around the streets picking a fight / shooting people/ throwing up / damaging vehicles / whatever seems to be acceptable? People do not go out on cigarette and smoking binges, nor do they become 'nicotine louts;' what will this planet be like in 100 years' time?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bloatermog And The Answer Is: Right, the answer to my TV commercial break madness is to Sky+ everything and fast-forward through the adverts and miss them completely. This happens with the Trevor Eve detective series called 'Waking The Dead' which is a bit of a favourite. When the programme is first shown on BBC1 it's on for 2 hours, when it's repeated on Alibi, it's 2.5 hours, so we suffer 30 mintes of adverts for every 2 hours of good TV.

As a point of interest, Tara Fitzgerald, who plays Dr. Eve Lockhart in 'Waking The Dead,' took a break to play the lead role as a stalking victim in a TV film titled 'U Be Dead.' It's about a woman who stalked a couple, and threatened them so violently they put off their wedding and eventually split up. The story was also the subject of a documentary called 'Stalkers' which was shown, and sometimes repeated on the Crime channel; and this particular case happened mainly around the Poole area, and the female subject is a friend of the family. The female stalker went to incredible and previously unimaginable lengths to break the couple up, and as the title suggests, sent text messages threatening the lives of the couple and their families. Nasty, but it will make an interesting yet poignant film.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bloatermog Grumpy Old Man: And whilst on the subject of TV adverts, why must they advertise tampons and pads? "Have a happy period" they say, well, I've never met a woman yet who has or does. These things don't need to be advertised on TV, leave them for the women's magazines. Do we men care that the applicator has been improved for easy insertion? Do we want to see something resembling a pin-ball rattling around the wings and flute-shute of a panty pad? The answer is a resounding "No!"
Thank goodness us blokes don't need anything for our private parts, I dread to think what the adverts for would be like. Agreed, the human body is the most complex chemistry factory on the planet, and the female more complex than the male; but women don't have any option but to buy the tampons or pads they need; and they'll decide which at the chemists or supermarket; they don't need advertising on the telly.
MHB Paddy Campbell tells me Rick Wakeman will be taking me on for his 'Grumpy Old Men' series following my observations, but the reason Mr. Wakeman originated the programme was due to stuff like this, which is pretty distasteful in my book; or am I being a bit of an old fashioned c**t?
One of the funniest adverts, I reckon, is for 'Mikado' biscuits; which look like those 'sparklers' on bonfire night. You must know the one, where the Japanese / Chinese chap eats one whilst doing his photocopying. The Japanese / Chinese young lady wants one, but they're on a shelf which she can't reach. So she climbs on the photocopier to get one, and slips. The man, apparently, has left something in the photocopy room, and returns to find her with her knees straddling the copier screen. He looks at her as if she's weird, and she looks at him with a guilty expression, as the machine is making photocopies of her gusset / crotch; and all she wanted was a 'Mikado' biscuit! Whoever thought that one up needs an award.
Bloatermog Commercial Breaks: My wife says I'm cracking up. MHB Jimmy McCarthy agrees some of the TV ads are on much too often and the can get on your pip. But the thing I have noticed about this 'advertisement overkill' is that so many of the damned things are for car insurance. As if it wasn't bad enough having that idiot in the blue jumper hopping around on the icons like a fool on the 'Go Compare dot com' ad, but now he has been superceeded by an even more nauseating twit of an opera singer. Luckily, he's not on as often as Mr. Blue jumper, but nevertheless the 'mute' button gets a swift hit. I detest opera, you gather.
Yesterday, though, was a prime example of car insurance overkill. Babysitting my youngest granddaughter, Amy, as my wife is on Jury Service and no one else was available, (and yes, I did my bit nappy changing for my kids, so a grandchild is no different), I had one of the 'Kids' TV Channels on for 5 hours. Yes, we went in the garden for a while, and yes we played 'stickle bricks,' too, but she was a bit under the weather with a tummy bug, so we watched perhaps four-and-a-half-hours TV.
Every advert break without exception had those two red telephones dancing around for the 'Direct Line' advert. Yes, they KNOW grown up relations are there with the kids watching this channel, but Direct Line are probably on EVERY channel during EVERY commercial break!
OK, I am not a Direct Line customer so it's not my money they're spending, but with the absolute landslide of car insurance ads we get in the commercial breaks, it's easy to see that we are PAYING FAR TOO MUCH for our Insurance, otherwise these firms wouldn't be able to afford SO MANY adverts.
Wouldn't t be great if they stopped advertising and dropped the price to Insure our cars, homes and contents.
But they won't, because that's too sensible!
It's much the same with these Loyalty Cards, too. If I had every loyalty card offered, I'd need 3 or 4 wallets to keep them in. Why not just make the products cheaper? It costs money to make the plastic cards and the associated paperwork and postage telling you how much you have 'earned' this month (eg Tesco); so why not do away with it and cut the price of the food?
But they won't, because it's too sensible!
Think I'll become a dedicated BBC viewer where there are NO ADVERTS!
Or switch the effing thing off and read a book!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bloatermog A new Mick Farren Book: titled 'Zones Of Chaos' will be published on November 2nd, for more information see Mick's Blog entry for September 20th.
Bloatermog Do We Really Care?: Son, Steve brings home 'The Sun' and 'The Star' from work. Fellow workers buy them but don't take them home as some wives don't like their husband's looking, or perhaps even drooling over other womens boobs. The fact that those boobs are just dots on a piece of paper making up the picture doesn't seem to matter, if she caught hubby at the local lap-dance club then I'd understand; but a picture in a newspaper? Obviously it must be a class thing - "Oh, we don't read newspaper's like those!"
So I see the newspapers when Steve brings them home, and I rarely see anything beyond the front page headlines because at my age I have become bored with the 'who's screwing who?' revelations these paper's provide their readership with; (are we supposed to give a s**t? Will it change our lives?) And unlike Steve, I am not a sports fan, (other than darts and a bit of snooker), so the football results or which team has bought whom doesn't mean much, either.
I also see those same front page headlines when I buy the local Bournemouth Daily Echo at the Co-Op, as like every other newsagent across the world, the daily rags are on display. And just lately there have been a great many days when my heart has been lifted when the front page headlines are about Katie 'Jordan' Price and her relationaship with Peter Andre; because if THEY are on that front page, that means everything else in the world must be OK. There can't have been any soldier's killed in Afghanistan, there can't have been any earthquakes or tsunami, there can't have been any famous celebrities murdered etcetera.
And I mentioned this to the lady, who is also in my age group, who takes my 40 pence for the Bournemouth Daily Echo. "The world must be good today, it's only Jordan on the front page again!"
"Yes," she smiles sweetly back at me, "and we don't care about what she's doing, do we!"
And the truth is, no, we don't; but obviously she sells newspaper's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bloatermog We Meet Again: The main reason wife Jane and I travelled to Motorhead's West Runton Pavilion gig in March 1980 was not only to add another fine and trusty Motorhead concert to our list, but also to meet Brian 'Hawkfan' Tawn.
Brian lives in Wisbech, and the West Runton Pavilion venue at Cromer, almost adjacent to The Wash, was a favourite for Motorhead during their very early days, and even when they achieved greater fame, they would play the venue as a 'warm-up' gig preceeding a UK or European tour.
On March 15th, 1980, the date at Runton was sandwiched between Bremen's Aladdin on the 10th, and Aalst's Zaal Okapi on the 20th. Jane, 3 months pregnant with our son, Steven, played map-reader on this madcap drive, which we had noticed in very tiny print in the 'What's On!' gig listings in Sounds music paper, and had decided to go at the all-too cliched drop of a hat. Brian was the main instigator in bringing my wish to print a fanzine about Motorhead into the reality it has been since early 1980, when he arranged through then manager, Douglas Smith, for a friend and I to meet the band over 4 dates on The Bomber tour of 1979.
It was great meeting Brian and his wife, Anne, at The Pavillion, and they were most kind in providing us with, at extremely short notice as it was indeed a 'surprise' visit in that we hadn't told them we were going to be there, a camp bed and a sofa for the night in their front room.
The rest, as they say, is history. Of course, we have regularly kept in touch ever since, but only the week before last, Brian emailed to say "We're holidaying near Weymouth, can we drop in to see you one evening?" Of course they could! And that evening was September 9th 2009 - only a mere 29 years later, with us being just another 29 years older, and our kids had long grown up and made us grandparents, yet inside we are just as enthusiastic about our music as we were then, with only the outer shells showing signs of wrinkles and crumbling - but in our Hearts we are always will be aged between 18 and 21!
So we had an excellent couple of hours together, and reminisced and Anne took a couple of photos, which are or will be uploaded onto at an opportune moment by Sarmad, and placed in the 'Scrapbook' category.
So it was a jolly fine day indeed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motorblog Wanna Hear Matt Sorum?
Sept 8th at The 9:30 Club Washington DC.
Bomber, Ace Of Spades and Overkill are now on You Tube.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Motorblog The Stage Is For The Band:
I hope the Link works now?
This was sent on by MHB Tim Shockley.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bloatermog Huw Lloyd-Langton Charity Single Download: