The other day I got my first message sent to me via stumbleupon. Stumbleupon, for those of you who don't know, is a service for sharing things on the interweb that you've stumbled upon, hence the name, and for stumbling upon things that other people have stumbled upon, also hence the name. It's stumbling upon in the vernacular, you don't nearly trip up or anything. As no-one had ever sent a message to me from there before it was quite exciting. Who could it be?

Hi..dear....nice to see you .

What's this? Who is this? My mother? My mother doesn't really talk like that. My sweetheart? I don't think I have one. Maybe I do and I forgot? I hope not, that would be quite shameful. Perhaps it's just someone who talks like that. I know, here's a brilliant idea - why don't I just read on and find out?

i really wonderful to got your address and so sorry to bothered you.

Well, whoever you are, perhaps you are wonderful, but you haven't got my address, as far as I know, or surely you wouldn't have sent me a message from stumbleupon, a very unusual choice of means to get in touch with me. There are plenty of others, easy to find. But don't worry, you didn't bothered me.

My name's Heaven_Ou.I am a Chinese,and i have been do foreign trade business several years ago.

Oh really? I hope that was a good time for you.

I work at Chinese government,lead a super-work-team all around the world.

That sounds fantastic, you must love it!

I have a beautiful dream,

That's wonderful, what is it? World peace? An end to hunger? No more reality TV?

I want make our website more and more reputation.

Let me stop you there a moment, Heaven_Ou. I have to say the phrase 'paucity of ambition' cannot help but leap forth from whatever part of my mind it hangs out in when it's not needed. Your beautiful dream is that you want to make your website more and more reputation? Well, what is it? Maybe I can help if it's my kind of thing.

Maybe you can help me to make noted in your business relationship.

Well, maybe, come on, tell me what it is.

China is the biggest manufacturer in the world,everything is better quality and better price.

Really? I'm not so sure. As for quality, well... I've been eating a lot of noodles from various Asian countries recently, and none of them have been from China, but if they had, I'd have been thinking, as I ate them, "I hope these aren't full of lead or cyanide or something!" Now, that may be a little unfair - but it's not entirely unfair, is it? And as for price, isn't India cheaper? I'm sorry, I don't want to burst your bubble, carry on.

and this time more and more the original manufacturer come together and cooperate to government make this website. So we have so many kinds of products for exports. And I think you can just do it with us,and we will be all benefit.

Well, it's possible, but I don't really do sales-type stuff, I think it's unlikely, but let's see what you've got.

Our Products :Diamond powder,LED lights,Drilling machine,Medical instruments,New material,Electronic components... etc.

Whoah whoah whoah there, Heaven_Ou! I really think it's sounding like you have incompetently in your task contacted, in a random manner, a random person who has no particular suitability to your needs at all, in fact I think I'm probably less useful for what you have in mind than the average person! Diamond powder? I don't know anyone in the mining business, and if I did I don't think they'd want to buy crucial materials in such a strange way. LED lights? I don't know anyone that needs a lot of those. I could give you the number of the bike shop across the road, but I'd have to look it up, and you could do that. Drilling machine? See diamond powder. Medical instruments? Good grief, no! If I ever have to undergo surgery again I very much do not want the surgeon to say "I'm going to be using a scalpel I bought from some bloke on the other side of the world who randomly contacted someone I know on stumbleupon." I'd leg it! Unless I was unable to leg it and that's why I needed surgery. Then I'd drag myself out of there on my elbows or something. New material? Well, you have given me some new material for It Is What It Is! Do you see what I did there? No, probably not. I have no idea what you meant by 'New material' but I'm fairly confident that it's not that. Electronic components? If I know anyone that needs electronic components I'm sure they like to do their own research online and find the best price and quality for their needs and means. I have to admit that I might be able to sell some etc., it's hard to refute it if you're not more specific.

China is the best development and beautiful place in the world!

Possibly true! But I don't see what that has got to do with anything.

Cooperate with us and make yourself more important in the life!

Is that a threat? Like 'cooperate with us and make yourself more important in the life, but resist and I think that you will find things not quite so agreeable'?

sincerely hope to got your response through our gmail account and best wishes to u.

Thank you for your best wishes, but I don't think I'll be responding directly. Best wishes to you as well.

The part of Heaven_Ou in the audio version of this was read by brendadhill off of the twitter.

see you around

First Pop Song Of The Day - Stumble by Emily

Second Pop Song Of The Day - PONPONPON by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


Reversing Lorry Syndrome

Do you like your shoes? I hope you give credit where credit's due - gravity. If it weren't for gravity being how it is your feet wouldn't be how they are, and your shoes wouldn't be how they are if you had feet like a chicken or a sensorite or a donkey or what have you. They wouldn't fit. They would be different. Perhaps, had alternate footage led you to be wearing shoes that had developed in an other way you would like that too, possibly even more, but my point still stands it was about whether you like them as they are now, in their own right, whether they be the best of all possible feet is neither here nor there.

The other day I was briefly tempted by what I soon realised to be a revolting houndstooth jacket. It was not a close shave, I saw it for what it was before I'd even touched it, let alone picked it up. This was a jacket which even in whatever part of the twentieth century it originated would have been the province of those utterly without hope. Some might feel that I should have bought it, and worn it to show that I am wounded, but there's no need to rub people's face in the full horror, is there? It's not decent.

On Tuesday on the train I was surprised to hear a jaunty tune. Not just any jaunty tune. A very particular jaunty tune. It's one that my phone plays, but only in one very specific circumstance. It plays that tune when it's telling me that it's gonig to shut down in thirty seconds because the battery's low. As such, the jaunty tone seems completely misplaced, and rather insensitive. The jauntiness seems somewhat mocking, as if to say 'you can't use your me anymore, that amuses me!' Or perhaps it's smug, as if to say 'that'll teach you to let me run down!' I think my old phone was a little like that, but not to the same extent. If we recklessly extrapolate, based on this sample size which is too tiny to infer anything at all from, in a few years time when my next phone bails out on me it will say 'ah-ha-ha, fuck you!' in Jack Nicholson's voice while doing so. But I'll deal with that when it comes, I'm not going to worry about it too much in the meantime.

Some people have been asking me to explain It Is What It Is titles more often. Reversing Lorry Syndrome is, of course, a reference to Reversing Lorry Syndrome, which is when a lorry reverses.

See you around


Just One Of Those Night Things

2011-06-13 16.43.16

 This is a thing I just wrote spontaneously last night on twitter, in fifteen tweets.

Balloon manimal still causing accumulation of envisaged excursions for every time antecedents proceed to process present past sediment through arches into tunnels over bridges an expression of something that didn't matter to the grapefruit man any more than it did to me nevertheless something was undoubtedly occuring after all something always was but at any one time most books are not being read and most says are not being said a pragmatic convenience to refine the ambience first there was then that and then you know the rest all the bricks in all the buildings in all the towns and in the country the midnight collieries and dawn refineries are all just there cooling towers chimneys postboxes payphones bandstands pavilions gates and fences this is a field you remember dimly those are the trees you walked past that is the grass you lay upon there is the bench where you thought about something unbearable now forgotten and still the shops open and close and the deciduous shed and blossom and a new television show will be good and a team will do well after languishing long the river is not particularly high or low tonight it may be more or less cold than we'd expect but none of us are going to check it's darker than it is in the day it carries your footsteps away I don't want to hear that banjo right now I'd rather be lost in a book when I was younger or doing whatever it is I do when I'm older cruising the space lanes with Kemlo showing them all coming back as a hero waking and forgetting what no longer happened sailing down the neural pathways of the owl or the pussycat either will do and you may change the quince if you prefer I spoke to the man about the thing and he said to tell you it won't be a problem a breakdown in communication the articles weren't stolen nor were the prepositions and suddenly we heard a crash I think I heard it first you saw my face and turned round but soon it was gone and everything carried on. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this thing you should maybe do something or not it depends.

Pop Song Of The Day: Talaagh (Googoosh)


Batchelors Boy

X2011-02-25 09.20.09

You only get a hug, arooga-rooga, from a Batchelors mug. That's how the tune in the advert went. Oh, how I hate that arooga-rooga, even though it's been decades since it was taken off the telly for cruelty. What were they thinking of? What were they taking us for? The sort of people who would think "ooh, listen to that, arooga-rooga, I must buy some of that cup-a-soup". Who the hell would think like that? I've never ever heard of anyone being like that. It beggars the belief of beggars with beliefs. Arooga-rooga, oh, get lost, and take your arooga-rooga with you. And bury it, in twenty metres of concrete, and have a big barbed wire fence, and signs saying WARNING - CONTAMINATED WITH AROOGA-ROOGA.

I may have expressed my distaste for the arooga-rooga before. It clouded my vision to such an extent that I was unable to see the big picture. That simple, hideous line, which someone was presumably paid to write, has other things wrong with it. Firstly, the mug. There are TWO things wrong with the mug alone! Both connected with the compulsion to rhyme something with hug, however poorly! Why that should have been a non-negotiable I don't know, but we'll come on to that. Firstly, the product is called Batchelors CUP-a-soup, not MUG-a-soup! They thought it was worth diluting the brand like that for that rhyme. Do you? No, of course not. Secondly, they're selling what you put IN the mug - why neglect it in favour of bigging up the vessel? Do you get adverts saying things like "Buy a McDonalds hamburger, it comes with a bit of paper round it?" or "Ragu pasta sauce - it's in a jar? No, you do not. Because it would be bloody stupid!

To permit such atrocities they must have been pretty hung up on keeping the hug bit. But why? Neither soup nor a mug ever give you a hug, not even if you're on drugs or psychotic or something, you would just be thinking that that was happening. And I've never even heard one report of anyone thinking such a thing was happening. Not for any reason. So, to say 'you get a hug from a Batchelors mug' would be complete rubbish. So why would they say that? It's a cliché, but one has to wonder - what were they on? I've not heard of what drugs would lead to that. Charlie Sheen wouldn't come up with that. But they said ONLY. You ONLY get a hug from a Batchelors mug. WHAT? There's only one possible explaination. They developed, or came into possession of, a very bad computer program that was supposed to write adverts, and were somehow committed to use the results, however unsuitable they were, perhaps because of a Faustian pact, or trouble with the unions. I cannot think of anything else that would have led to such a risible advertisement appearing on our screens.

It makes "Nobody makes soup in a cup like Batchelors Cup-a-soup" seem like genius, even though I could pick holes in that too.

That's all from me for now

See you around

Pop Song Of The Day: Trembling Blue Stars - Cold Colours


Sushi Scoop


Why do people scoop awards? I don't mean that, what I mean is, they don't scoop them, so why do people say that they do? They say that all the time, don't they? But it doesn't happen. Anyway, I read that that David Sushi scooped an award for best acting on a film with acting or on a telly programme with acting, I forget which. But I bet there was no scooping involved. He probably got up there and did a little speech, thanking his mother and his agent, and all his fans who make sure people don't get his name wrong: it's not David Suchard, like the chocolate, it's not David Sachet, like a little paper bag of salt, it's David Sushi, as in rice. Anyway, no scooping. Why do they say that? Perhaps originally they used it when someone won a lot of awards, trying to paint a picture of them putting their arm around five awards they've won, all lined up on the rostrum, and scooping them into a carrier bag, to take home on the tube, if it's in London, or the limo, if it's Hollywood. I don't think you get awards anywhere else, do you? Unless it's like... do they speak of people 'scooping' concrete industry awards and the like? They probably do, in the trade rags. Anyway, it wouldn't happen, they don't get given awards for different categories at the same time. They'd be getting up to get each one separately, doing a little speech, and then taking them back to their tables - because that's what they do, don't they? They sit at round tables. The actor, or whatever, and about five henchmen. Maybe including the producer or something. Anyway, they'd take each one back to their tables, leave it there or pop it in their bag. Then sit there until they get called up for another. They can't stay up the first time and say "I'll just hang about here in case I get another one, save me going back to my table". What if they all did that? Imagine the crowd up there! What they might do, is, because there's all this talk of scooping awards, that might make them leave them all on the table, just so at the end they can scoop them into their bag, thinking 'heh, I'm scooping my awards'. But the talk came first, it's nonsense. And anyway - my point was, is, you don't scoop a single award.

Libya, Yemen, Bahrain... with all that distraction, thank goodness the BBC still has space to report the really important stories. This story is so humbling that I'm just going to read it out without comment and leave it there. It almost redefines what news is:

Tesco garage petrol sign targeted by pranksters

Eagle-eyed motorists were in for a surprise when pranksters tampered with a petrol station price sign.

The 24-hour Tesco garage in Fleetsbridge, Poole, Dorset, was targeted on Sunday morning.

The unleaded petrol price was changed to 25.9 pence per litre and the letters LOL - which normally stand for Laugh Out Loud - were written below it.

The normal price of unleaded petrol at the station is 125.9 pence per litre. Tesco said it had corrected the sign.

A spokesman said: "Staff corrected the sign as soon as they were alerted to the prank."

The spokesman said it was spotted on Sunday morning and no permanent damage had been caused.

Jimmy Skillings, who spotted the prank and took a photograph, said: "I know petrol prices are a joke but this is funny

"Whoever did it sure has a sense of humour."

that's all from me for now

see you around

Game Of The Day: Othello

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A lot of people say to me, Larry, where do you get your ideas from? And I say 'my names not Larry. It's Keir. You've never called me Larry before, you've always called me Keir.' And they say 'never mind that Larry, you don't mind if I call you Larry, do you? I feel I have to call you Larry, because, well, you smell like a Larry.' And I say 'I'm going now, because you're kind of freaking me out a bit.' I don't really. That would be rude. So I lie and say I've got to go and catch a bus. So if you're ever talking to me and I say I've got to go and catch a bus, that's just me lying to try and get away, so grab my collar and don't let go. If I really did have to get a bus and you make me miss it I'm sure I'll be understanding. After all, it will have been my fault for writing this.

Why should people sing for their supper anyway? That's stupid. If you want to have a sing, that's fair enough, as long as you're not annoying anyone. Or, if you are, it's because they have poor taste and they'd enjoy it if you were less ace. Anyway, sing, fine, unless I'm trying to play Operation or something any you're distracting me - but if you want some supper, you can probably get a loaf of bread for twenty-nine pence or something, and have some toast. It seems like a bit of a convoluted system, to sing for your supper. And would the people who are providing you with supper, or the means thereof to buy it, be completely willing, or would they be feeling that they ought to, or that there was social pressure on them to do so, but actually, on some level at least, resenting it? It's a very bad system. The only way it works is if they really want you to sing and you'd happily do it for nothing but you wouldn't mind a bit of supper, but they wouldn't feel comfortable having you sing for them and giving you nothing in return, but by giving you a bit of supper they feel okay about it, even though they should be paying you properly. And even though no-one involved in that setup in unhappy with it I am unhappy with it, as the audience are fooling themselves.

that's all from me for now
see you around

Intoxicant Of The Day: Removal Of Painfully Uncomfortable Shoes




Romans! You know the Romans, eh? Not people that live in Rome, now. The olden days Romans. With their centurions and their sandals and their throwing the Christians to the lions, oh yeah, gladiators, but not like Mel Gibson, he's a knob and anything he believes is automatically wrong. Yeah, the Romans, we did them at school. Did they have baths? I rather think they did. I don't want to say too much about them or I'll start getting them mixed up with the Greeks. Anyway, we learned all kinds of exciting stuff, but it seems that that wasn't the half of it. I saw a headline that said "Headless Romans in England Came From "Exotic" Locales?" Wow! Never mind where they came from! Headless Romans? We never heard about those! Why am I imagining one of them going about swinging a sword? I wouldn't think that that goes with the territory of being headless. I wouldn't think that if I had no head I'd automatically start swinging a sword around, and I don't think it's because I'm not a Roman. I'm glad I'm not headless. I like having a head. I wonder why the word 'exotic' in the headline is in scare quotes in the headline? Perhaps it's because of the idea the the concept of exoticness is in itself a bit racist, dusky maidens and all that. I don't get the impression that these headless Romans were dusky maidens. It says that some of them 'likely' came from as far away as Eastern Europe. Is Eastern Europe exotic? Why don't Lilt adverts feature scenes from Gdansk then?

According to an infuriating story Emotion Processing In Brain Is Influenced by Color of Ambient Light, Study Suggests. Why is it infuriating? Apparently they listened to angry voices or neutral voices while being exposed to blue or green light. With the blue light some responses were increased in the brain and some interactions were too. But - was this a good thing or a bad thing? Was it "hey, I'm all together about this angry voice and it's not going to get me down" or was it "waah, this neutral voice makes me so sad?" I would have bought a blue light bulb when I was out if I'd known, but I couldn't take the risk, maybe I'd have been better off with a green one.

And finally, the leader of Harrogate Borough Council has defended his decision to go to a fancy dress party as Adolf Hitler. It was a bit of fun. He is cross that the images were taken from his Facebook page. He said that was a total violation of his privacy. That's an interesting use of the word 'privacy' there. Personally I like to keep the things that I publish and things that are private separate, I find it similar that way. If I take some private candid photographs of myself and publish them, on my Facebook page, or on billboards, or in a full page ad in Take A Break, people might ger the wrong idea and think they weren't private.

It Is What It Is is a well-kept secret, but it's not private. You can tell who you like. But it's your responsibility. Perhaps show it to someone you want rid of? If you want rid of them they must be rubbish, and probably wouldn't appreciate it and would think it was strange, so it might work. Anyway, I must get on - wine night!

that's all from me for now

see you around

Opening Sequence Of The Day: JOLH-TV
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