Monday, 31 May 2010

Late night music - John Martyn

A brand new find, I don't even know this track! Wonderful new JM keeps surfacing on YouTube which I have never heard before. Duncan, do you know this?

John Martyn with Eddi Reader - He Got All The Whiskey
Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Thoughts on gardening

After a not bothering much for a few years, my old love of gardening has surfaced again and, since retirement, I now have the time. I won’t be too ambitious this year though, I want to get things cleared out and tamed for next; that’s when the fun starts. Question is what to grow?

Years ago I used to like big garish ornamentals like dahlias and gladioli but they don’t excite me any more, and you can’t eat them. Gradually I began to grow more and more veg until one year I was so sick of courgettes and runner beans I never want to see either again!

It’s not a very big garden but it’s enough for a small greenhouse, five plots of about 1 by 6 or 7m, a couple of smaller 2m plots, a little pond (which needs dredging) and a patio to enjoy it from. There are a couple of trees against the back fence with a buddleia, a blackcurrant bush and a honeysuckle underplanted with cyclamen, grape hyacinth, crocus and suchlike (I will be careful here till I work out what’s what).

At the moment I’m still clearing out grass and nettles but I have one plot planted with onions (looking good) and I hope to have another ready this week for French beans (I have lots of seedlings in pots in the greenhouse alongside the tomatoes and peppers). After that, planting slows down a bit this year. I want some herbs: thyme, sage, basil, oregano etc, I’ve got some mint and will plant garlic later on, but I’m really planning for next year.

Potatoes, carrots and parsnips are on the menu, and some broccoli. Strawberries and raspberries sure, but what else? I don’t just want to grow vegetables but flowers have to earn their place. I’ll throw in some nasturtiums and pot marigolds, because the yellow petals stand out in a salad, and borage, because the little blue flowers look so cool frozen in ice cubes in a summer drink, but then I’m running out of ideas.

I’m in an adventurous mood, I’ve even thought about having an asparagus bed.

Has anyone got any ideas for unusual, unexpected, tasty and productive fruit, veg or flowers? I would love some suggestions. Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young".

Henry Ford (1863 – 1947) Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 29 May 2010


2 years, 876 posts, about 42,000 visits from 20,000 different people. Over 140,000 page views - Wow, that's almost 200 views per day on average.

Where does everyone come from? Mainly the US (17,744 visits) and the UK (11,376), then surprisingly Pakistan (1,526) followed by Canada (1,351) and India (916). Close behind are New Zealand, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and South Africa, with substantial numbers (over 200 visits) from Sweden, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Brazil, Argentina, Romania and Singapore.

133 different countries in total - I welcome you all and can't express my thanks enough.

I still have a lot of work to do for world domination though. The notable gaps are: Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in Africa. Afghanistan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Yemen in the Middle East. Burma and North Korea in Asia. Guyana, French Guiana and Surinam in South America. Papua New Guinea in Oceania and Greenland.

The top 5 posts?
Of course the homepage is top with 91,700 hits but I would never have predicted the rest:

1) Red Dwarf: Series 3 -Episode 1 (1,420 views - now pulled by YouTube)
2) Why do some people never think things through? (1,230)
3) Clement Freud dies at 84 (1,181)
4) Another version of Sundance (1,080 - pulled)
5) Red Dwarf: Series 5 -Episode 1 (981 - pulled)

Damn the entertainment police, but at least I still have my theme tune.

Madness - Baggy Trousers

Does all this make me a Bottom Dwelling Blogger? If so I'm among the best of great company and proud to be a part of this community.

Stats from Google Analytics. Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Science fiction comes one step closer

A vertical take off rocket engine which can hover, but then it shuts down and re-ignites the engine in flight! Truly awesome engineering to maintain control and attitude. I can't get over how important this is. Conserving fuel in the decent phase of a spacecraft lander is, well, crucial. Especially if you need to be able to lift off again.

Xombie flying rocket shuts down and restarts in mid-air

It's akin to one of these little babies:

Masten Space Lunar Lander Challenge Flight 2

I am impressed. Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

If you ever feel you're sick of your job

Spare a thought for Stevie Starr who's job is regurgitation! How does he do it?

Stevie the professional regurgitator...

Via GrrlScientist. Grow into these trousers... >>

Monday, 24 May 2010

Late night music - John Martyn

Steve, this is for you...

How would you feel, like, if you and me had a bash at one of your favourite JM songs? Big Muff of course, do you think we could do this version?

John Martyn "Big Muff"

Erm, maybe leave Big Muff for another time. Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a SundayMonday*

"A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep".

Salman Rushdie (b. 1947)

*It was too gloriously warm and sunny yesterday to do anything but sit in the shade and drink cold beer! Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Music for a hot sunny afternoon

I don't know why but this just suits my mood. Best played loud!

Doobie Brothers - China Grove (HIGH QUALITY BEST VERSION)
Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 21 May 2010

Quick, Quick, Quick

Go to Google for a quick game.

Note: Use the arrow keys. Grow into these trousers... >>

I missed this yesterday

Sure, I knew it was Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. You could hardly miss the promotion all over the tubes, notably: Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr. Which inevitably lead to the sites being banned in Pakistan; the 21st century equivalent of book burning.

To me, childish cartoons based on an ancient fable hardly warrant attention, though I uphold people's freedom to draw whatever they wish. I do not uphold the 'freedom' to issue threats of death or violence against such artists, or indeed anyone else.

I decided not to comment and thought it too trivial... That was until I saw the contribution from a true master:

Game, set and match to JC. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Trust your car's computer system?

Then get ready to be hacked.
The Center for Automotive Embedded Systems Security will present a study at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy tomorrow to show vulnerabilities in the electronic control units which drive modern cars.

Says the BBC:
"The researchers showed how to kill a car engine remotely, turn off the brakes so the car would not stop and make instruments give false readings".
Currently such attacks need direct access to the car's communications ports which could be by a mechanic or a deliberate break-in. But as cars become increasingly internet connected, remote access will be a looming threat.

Firewalls and AV software for your car, whatever next? Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 16 May 2010

A thought for a Sunday

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible".

T. E. Lawrence (1888 - 1935) Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 15 May 2010

My thoughts are all contorted about this

I was sent this as an email attachment (thanks Mark) and it has to be seen to be believed. Subject: America Got Talent 1944....wait till you see the end!

Yes, watch it and give your opinion. I could lean either way but I always stand on my own feet. Some people do handstands to get on in the world but I'd just end up with my head up my arse. Not these girls though:

Ross sisters - Solid Potato Salad (VHS quality)
Grow into these trousers... >>


That pesky volcano on Iceland is still throwing up a plume of ash and now you can watch it via webcam. Click the images...

There's a thermal camera from the same viewpoint:

And a second camera:

Given that further disruptions are predicted I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 14 May 2010

This tickled me...

The word banana is so easy to forget isn't it? Oh, and I'll have six of the round, orange coloured fruits too. What are they called?
Via Failblog.
Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 13 May 2010

James Randi at TED

This was recorded in 2007 but not released by TED 'till last month (why?). Anyway, it's a great takedown of psychics and homeopaths. Enjoy:

James Randi's fiery takedown of psychic fraud [17:50]

via Unreasonable Faith. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Pagan Police get holiday time

"Police officers have been given the right to take days off to dance naked on the solstices, celebrate fertility rituals and burn Yule logs if they profess pagan beliefs".
Reports the Times.

This is a good thing and I heartily approve. The old festivals need to remembered and celebrated. Helpfully, The Freethinker has a list of the main Pagan festivals which include:
Beltane — on April 30/May 1, pagan and Wicca worshippers celebrate the Sun god. In Celtic times it was an opportunity for unabashed sexuality and promiscuity
and also
Litha — or summer solstice. Members drink mead and dance naked to celebrate the harvest
It's good to know what our Police officers do on their days off! Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Before the Internet !?!

Fresh back from holiday, Dave HAMBO Hambidge asked “What did we do before the internet explosion?

Well Dave, I played ‘Space Invaders’. Click the image if you really want a game now.

Then, a few years later, there was Elite which had groundbreaking 3D graphics. We found 3 people were optimal to play Elite. One pilot, one gunner and the other taking a break before the next shift rotation. And so we would play for 12 or 18 hours (or more sometimes) all one game. Click the image for a download (crappy colour version though).

And there were these things called books which I understand are still popular.

Medieval helpdesk with English subtitles
Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

"Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be".

Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883 – 1955) Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 6 May 2010

See this post? Live in the UK?

So fuck off up/down/across the road and vote. I'm putting my coat on and going now (well actually I fancy a bacon sandwich from the cafe on the way back).

It's 8 o-clock in the morning... Arghhh! Since I retired I usually sleep till 10, or 9 at least, but now I'm on my second coffee already. I must get moving --- I'm in gardening frenzy! I was potting up some tomatoes t'other day and 3 of them had flower buds already. My (tiny) greenhouse is nowhere near ready, I've a sack of horse manure to dig in yet. And the bathroom overflow is dripping. And I still have to weed-kill the drive...

I've got it sorted now:
Vote bacon, manure bathroom, kill greenhouse. Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

I want one of these...

This has got to be the best T-shirt ever!

From Poorly Dressed. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

How many times have YOU done this?

From Comixed. Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A thought for a Sunday

"You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it".

Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) Grow into these trousers... >>