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A long time ago I announced in a Blog Post here that Japanese was the best language in the world for  having a single word ‘Tsujigiri’ meaning to stab a passer by with a sword.

 

Recent trip to Finland has revealed a second contender:

‘Kalsarikannit’ – Being at home, in your underwear, getting drunk

 

I almost set up an online poll here to vote in the Japanese vs Finnish language competition but was no more able to do that via my phone than I was to increase the sodding font size here from about 2.

In any case, much like the Brexit vote in the UK, the answer probably says more about the character of the voter than of the language.

In both cases, one selection is clearly that of someone you wouldn’t want to come round for tea

 

 

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Well, I’ll get onto OMOH presently, but let me first say that recessions are self fulfilling prophecies – if you talk about them, people believe it, stop spending and so on.
Regarding previous News From Russia Post, I’d just like to say things will be fine and all the UK shenanigans will be over by Christmas.
Farage is still a loathsome, slug-like creature though.
OMOH news is that the trucks pictured here were deployed yesterday outside St Isaacs Church, a church similar to St Paul’s Cathedral, in central St Petersburg.
They were there along with other paramilitary types to police an end of school party that’s a tradition for all 17 year olds to attend here.
We were laughing quietly at the irony of the backward spelling of that, given Putin’s evident lack of enthusiasm for gay people.
They looked back at us with such disdain (the guy at the back in particular) that Anna took a photo, using the camera lens on the back of the iPhone whilst appearing to film us at an angle from the front.
A cunning plan, with the side benefit that if they turned nasty, she was more expendable really. We’d taken all the Roubles off her too, just to be on the safe side.
A quick browse on the web shows the OMOH are a kind of paramilitary riot police established by Putin.
Now I went to a few slight rowdy VIth Form parties, but paramilitary riot police is surely going a bit far.
They also have a reputation for violence against gay people apparently, so using Anna also evidenced Emma’s/my generally heterosexual nature.
Outwitted them there as well I think.
Other News from Russia is that we had meringues cooked at a restaurant table in Liquid Nitrogen, that was dispensed from a metal container, with a level of flamboyance that’s common in chemistry labs, Will tells us.
Greater care is appropriate in catering circles though I would have thought.
The waiter did wear safety clothing though, so he was fine.
OMOH
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Condom machine in Finland hotel privy appeared to sell just one brand, called After Nine.
Not mint flavoured as far as I could see but packet did have similar colouring of black with gold lettering.
Could lead to embarrassing mistakes at dinner parties I guess
News from Russia today is not about Russia.
It is that, whilst we slept on an overnight ferry from Helsinki to St Petersburg last night (having voted by post before we came),  the bulk of our country voted to leave our glorious European motherland, thus plunging us into certain economic downturn and pestilence.
What made it worse is that I decided to check the results on my phone at the ferry port. Such was my enthusiasm, I ignored the text welcoming me to Russia and advising that data would cost as much as a small car to make use of.
The first item of news I got was a sequence of close ups of that gibbering fool Farage using the  grotesque gurning face he uses when he can’t pull off a normal smile.
Not only did I receive news that we’ll all be on the streets by Christmas, but I paid £40 in data charges to get it.
I’m now sitting at what seems to be a Russian biker themed bar, having separated from my family part way through sightseeing. I actually came in just to use their toilet on the way back to the hotel, but having come in, they all looked too hard for me just to walk in and straight back out again.
I therefore opted for an Americano coffee, after my suggestion of a cappuccino was just met with blank looks.
Not hard enough for their biker image I reasoned, so I held off also attempting to explain caramel syrup in a mixture if pigeon Russian and sign language.
Without the Russian
Or the Pigeon.
Having veered too close to the edge of soft Western shite, I was careful to order Hot milk in my Americano to redress the balance.
That did the trick I think.
However, things aren’t as bad as the referendisaster might suggest.
Points of a glass half full nature are as follows:
1. Now the UK is independent, Farage presumably will have nothing to do any more, once the first few weeks of gloating are over, so he can just piss off somewhere
2. We have a number of Roubles with us. As the Pound has already begun the inevitable crash, I could make a tidy profit by not spending it here and converting it when we get home.
A unique chance to use the Rouble as a stable base to hedge against Sterling.
3. St Petersburg seems a really fantastic city and Russians all seem lovely.
4. That’s it. Everything else is bad
5. Apart from the view from my window
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6. That’s son’s window in fact. We don’t have a balcony
7. Even the result of our room bookings was a hotelisaster

There has been another hiatus in writing this Blog, but I am back in the saddle today as I’m waiting for delivery of nearly a ton of bark chippings for the long term beautification of my garden.

Since you ask, I shall, despite my non-ideal state of health be moving that whole lot from front to back of my house and spreading it around.

That is of little interest so I thought I’d add a few recent snippets of news I’ve come across recently.

i) The annual number of mass shooting events in the US has run at an average of around 400 for several years now – slightly over 1 per day. That’s mass shooting events, not just 400 deaths That’s a statistic the National Rifle Association attributes, no doubt, to infiltration from high spirited middle Eastern types.

The problem is selling guns to anyone for the price of pear drops* and expecting people to treat them in an adult kind of way

*For the benefit of readers outside the UK, pear drops are splendid sweets, shaped like pears which, for reasons I never understood smell of Acetone.

ii)Donald Trump, the high earning enthusiast for the NRA and would-be US President questioned why the recent Paris terrorist shootings happened in a country with strict gun controls. Firstly, the terrorists and the guns came from outside France and, secondly this hardly ever happens.

It would be just a normal day in the US, halfwit.

The vast majority of US shootings are not terrorists but just children, NRA members or general killing enthusiast getting some sport in during the off-season from blowing the heads of deer or parrots or whatever their thing is.

 

iii) While I’m on that subject, Trump is in the habit of citing his spectacular success in building an $8 Billion business empire as demonstrating that he has a good deal of the skills needed to build a successful economy.

A fair point on the face of it but, on further investigation, turns out he inherited nearly $3 Billion from his father many years ago.

If he had just popped down to a Bank and written a cheque to put it all in a normal stock market tracking investment account, he would now be worth $26 Billion

He has effectively lost around $20 Billion by getting up and existing every day – as well as making life miserable for everyone else of course.

 

iv)I have just read ‘In Order To Live’ by Yeonmi Park – a book about a girl’s escape from North Korea.

North Korea is evidently a much, much worse place than I’d realised. So much so that even the entertaining hairdo of Kim Jong Un does not make amends.

One snippet in there is the official state mathematics syllabus in North Korean elementary schools uses Americans as units for basic arithmetic.

A typical question starts ‘If one comrade stabs two American Bastards and another stabs three Yankee Devils ….

Amazing

Trump’s latest mocking impression of a disabled reporter in a press conference did sway me further against him, but even for him, this is going a bit far.

American Bastard, Yes, but stabbing, No.

 

 

I have recently learned that entire musical genres from my youth passed me by completely – thus making me think I wasted the best years of my life. I write this in the hope that other people will comment to say they don’t remember them either and, hence that I was a normal well balanced teenager, if that term’s not too much of an oxymoron.

Firstly in the 80s there was a type of music called Loutish Grebo. That information came to me from the Reverend Richard Coles on BBC Radio 4.

I say again the Reverend Richard Coles is more in touch with music than me, Admittedly he was in a band called the Communards then but he’s still a man of God

It’s his bloody job just to maintain a look of benign confusion when music is discussed and mine to sigh, pat him on the head and explain it all to him

Second case is music called Gabba which, it turns out is that high frequency pounding dance music from the 90s. By then, I was no longer a teenager but nevertheless, I should surely have been on at least nodding terms with matters musical.

And now the final one, which, at least was originally from 100 years before I was born but I also had never heard of this.

I went with my lovely bride to see a performance of Art Song at the Wigmore Hall in London last night which, it turns out , is a genre in which just a solo singer and a pianist perform songs, the lyrics of which are famous poems. Actually quite entertaining, and improved by the pianist taking a break from tickling the ivories to explain the poem:music linkages each time.

Having said that, I think I had a head start from being a heavy rock aficionado in the late 20th century.
The haunting beauty of the Art Song ‘Chemin d’Amour’ (Pathway to love) has many similarities to the poetry in a number of rock songs.

Ian Gillan in particular broke new poetic ground early in his career by rhyming ‘Ultrasonic’ with ‘Gin & Tonic’ before moving onto the seminal classic ‘Disturbing the Priest’, which featured the  lyric

‘Do we mind disturbing the priest? No, no not in the least’

The greatest achievement of all though was David Saint Hubbins’ interweaving poetic themes and metaphors of

‘My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo, I like to sink her with my pink torpedo’

The bulk of the audience without my grounding in poetic music of that kind stood no chance of understanding Art Song.

This incongruously titled Post brought to you today from my preferred creative venue of Costa Coffee in East Grinstead. A fine British owned organisation I believe, that seems to be staffed entirely by Eastern Europeans, all of whom seem to be helpful, cheerful and prepared to spend their entire day squirting steam into coffee, in a way that local UK nationals, like me really couldn’t be arsed with

The rest of the economic migrants seem to prop up the NHS and care systems by doing the low paid jobs no-one else wants to do or, more importantly, washing the cars of bone idle people like me while they’re doing their shopping.

As you’ll understand, the complete demise of the NHS that would happen without them would be a bit of a blow, but dirt on my car would be just plain intolerable.

Now, down to business with key NFTD items:

i) The political cretin award previously held by the great George W Bush for his inspired ‘the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur’ has now passed to the carpet haired Donald Trump for ‘my grandparents didn’t come all the way from Germany to see this country overrun by immigrants’

In both cases you just wish they were being ironic, but I just don’t think so somehow

 

ii) Lemmy, the strangely warty head growler of Motorhead is getting on for the same age as my dad and occasionally now having to stop his shows after just a few songs due to illness. He has recently switched from his preferred tipple of whisky to vodka. This act, apparently for health reasons. Lemmy’s miracle cure means we may have a few more years of delight from them.

That remark not as sarcastic as it sounds incidentally. Everything about Motorhead is so wrong that it’s right somehow.I still quite like Ace of Spades and Bomber and never saw them in my youth. I suppose I just look to middle aged and middle class now really, so that opportunity may have gone forever.

I still have a leather jacket in the loft though I think…

 

iii) I learn from the QI Elves Twitter feed that every inch of people’s height above 5 feet equates to 1.3 years lower life expectancy. Sounds like nonsense to me, but quite few NFTD items come from the Elves so can’t just disregard things like this or NFTD would grind to a halt. I’m 6 foot 2inches which means I’ll live 18 years less than your radical shortster.

Surely this can’t be right. Who’d be left to write this kind of crap when I’m gone?

 

iv) If anyone wants to be taken off the distribution list for this Blog , let me know, by the way. Notice how I put that right at the end, in a similar way that, right at the end of Google’s T&Cs they say they reserve the right to harvest every detail of your life and use it to market at you until you’re the age of Lemmy or dead or both.

The correct order of the sequence Paper, Scissors, Stone is just that – but not everyone realises, so thought I’d better lay any confusion to rest.

It was established in the 19th century and became law in the UK in 1842 as a  legally binding way of reaching an agreement.

UK laws seems to removed a lot less frequently than they’re added so it’s quite possible it’s still there.

All this knowledge, seems to have been lost over the years

Americans seem to say Rock Paper Scissors but this is wrong. At that stage they were still spending their time eliminating the natives of their country and were presumably too busy to keep up with proper legal matters.

They were independent by then I suppose, but nevertheless, this is something that should really have been an International standard from day

By 1842 British residents had long ago moved on to tormenting or eliminating the natives of other parts of the world and left a crack legal team behind to establish legal rules like Paper, Scissors, Stone.

On the positive side, both nations were consistent in renaming bits of the world to sound like bits of England.

Most of the British Empire was just changed to be spelled and pronounced to sound English whereas America just used English names and put New in front of them to give New York, New England and so on.

Not all of them of course – Wolverhampton, for example remains one of a kind

On another bit of lost knowledge, I discover, there was a musical genre in the 80s called Loutish Grebo.

My teenage years fell mostly into that decade and yet, I’d never even heard of this.

Just feel I wasted the best years of my life now.

In fact, my only significant achievement in that decade was winning the competition for fastest speed ever recorded on a motorcycle over speed bumps on Nottingham University campus. That was 80mph, since you ask and was independently witnessed by my passenger, the lovely Emma, who is now my wife.

Aside from that record, I think I just wasted the 80s really

Summary of a few NFTDs sent last week cataloguing my left optic nerve, which is being eaten by my immune system in an annoying – but efficient fashion

i) I have just had drops put into my eyes to dilate my pupils so my optic nerves can be inspected when I go back in half an hour.
I recall that larger pupils make people more attractive so I wandered round town looking at women to see if anyone swooned.

No evident improvement here but I didn’t start from a high base point I suppose.
One old-ish woman did smile, but I think in a call an end to your staring kind of way rather than a contented smile whilst musing about my trouserage kind of way.
My focus in both eyes temporarily knackered up by large pupils, so I suppose I might have known her.

ii) Eye drop effect getting more now. Can’t read anything I’m writing so will have to stop

iii) After the optic nerve review, I looked at myself in a mirror. The eyes have huge pupils which, coupled with me not having shaved for a few days, made me look more Jack Nicholson in The Shining than Brad Pitt

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I also said hello to a blurry teenage girl in Costa who, I think was a friend of my daughter.

If she was, she’ll think I’m an attentive parent who knows all his offspring’s friends.

If not, she’ll think I’m a predatory psychopath and will be warning the school about me as we speak.

News for the Day here was news from the day of the UK general election:

At the time of going to press, there seems to be a recount for Nigel Farrage’s attempt to win the new South Thanet Fascist constituency so, to ease the tension – and move back to my non-political agenda, I bring you bits of unrelated trivia I learned whilst trying to avoid the election on TV/radio last night

i) The Gavel – the hammer used by judges to call order in court is not used in English courts.

This has appeared in TV crime/legal programmes for my whole life which are just a fraud

 

ii) First use of OMG for Oh My God was by the First Sea Lord during the First World War – thus beating Hannah Montana by nearly a century.

And is that her real name by the way –  and if so, what were Mr and Mrs Montana senior thinking of?

 

iii) There is a woman who works for the American arm of a company a friend of mine works at called Ginger Bitz.

This begs the same question of her parents or, alternatively whether she actually married a Mr Bitz and it is self inflicted. In the latter case, Mr Bitz must be quite something for marrying him to be worth a lifetime of that name

I didn’t learn this last night – just seemed to follow on from point (ii) *

 

iv) Seems there is an increasingly long list of celebrities who are 1 year younger than me. Clearly this suggests I’m becoming paranoid about my age and noticing more.

The latest is Matt LeBlanc who plays Joey in Friends.

I think I can cling on to the fact that he appears to have greyer hair than me, and set aside the fact that his hair is not falling out and that he is rich and famous and women all love him.

I could go on here….

 

* I don’t think this is sexist– a vaguely similar line could have worked just as well for a man.

Nevertheless, if you’re reading this on a work computer, I urge you not to Google Ginger Bitz. God knows what results that would come up with

I have taken to sending a News for the Day email out at work for the benefit of my department, since I can’t talk at them while I’m typing it. I decided to send them out here as well so I can inflict them on readers of this. You have, after all,  at least tacitly agreed to get this

I have subtly edited it to take out anything offensive.

Probably seems a bit perverse that I have to edit something before I send to the Net, that I’ve already been prepared to send out at work. I’m supposed to be well behaved there, whereas on the Net it seems to be culturally acceptable to send out anything up to, and including pictures of your own gentleman’s/lady’s areas.

I’m told

News items:

  1. The number of people telling me I should write a book is now well into 3 figures – most of which, I believe have been to attempts stop me sending this stuff at work.

Some offers to manage distribution for it as well.

Curiously, the site stats on this Blog show the most consistent viewers are from Bolivia and a few other South American countries, which does suggest distributing actual paper books may be a non-starter.

2. I did include a note in an earlier Post asking the Bolivians to make themselves known to me, but they never replied.

A beautiful country, but mostly heavy users of mind-expanding drugs or gangsters I believe so they have bigger things on their mind than replying to me.

That sentence probably a bit high risk – might upset El Padrino*

  1. I have a slate house sign outside my house which, from time to time you have to rub with cooking oil to make the slate go black and hence the silver lettering** visible.

I was caught by my neighbours yesterday doing this using a bottle of extra virgin olive oil – that being the most offensively middle class act they’d ever seen apparently. They ridiculed me and committed to keep ridiculing me indefinitely.

Fortunately, I was able to point out the 10 year old bright green Chevrolet Matiz hatchback on my drive.

If you ever need evidence that you’re just a regular guy, not horribly middle class*** I can recommend a few £ hundred worth of Chevvy hatchback.

I could rent it out if anyone asks via response to this.

Ah…I seem to be setting up my own  business, leasing prestige vehicles here.

Sounds a bit middle class really

 

* Silver paint – not actual silver gilt or anything. That would have crossed the boundary from middle class to aristocracy

** The Godfather – despite being a fluent Spanish speaker, I confess I had to look that one up. The Bolivians would understand that word, at two different levels

*** There are US readers of this Blog as well, none of whom understand this remark. I believe middle class in the US means somewhere between pauper and average, whereas in the UK it means somewhere between average and Royalty

The Japanese are a nation I associate with economising – minimising cost of fish cookery, by not cooking it, cost of dining furniture by just not having it and so on
Language, though is not an area in which I think of them as being particularly frugal. However, word has reached me that they have a single word, Tsujigiri which means ‘to try out a new samurai sword on a passer by’.

That is honestly true – look it up yourself

You’d think that for something that, even for your regular Samurai, presumably only happens once in a while, they could treat themselves to a blow out and use all 10 words above or- if that really seems self indulgent, just say ‘stab a stranger’.

This set me to thinking about other language quirks I’ve come across. Germany, as you’d expect is first target here.

My own son, a splendid and yet deceitful youth convinced me that a common insult in German is Kartoffelkopf – literally ‘potato head’. He led me sufficiently far up that garden path that I tried it in a meeting with 15 Germans in Munich, who just looked at me blankly.

After a short dispute, I looked it up on Googletranslate to prove I had the greater knowledge of their language.

Which I had – but also hadn’t.

Turns out it is literally correct, it’s just that no-one ever says it. Before I broke off diplomatic relations, they explained, in a teutonic kind of way that lettuce head and condom head are both literally correct, you just wouldn’t use them.

Other things I do like about Germany is their use of language though. When you say could I have a beer or whatever in a bar, they just say yes. This all seems right to me whereas, increasingly in the UK people say ‘no problem’

If I ask for a pizza in Pizza Express, I don’t expect it to be a problem really – that is their bloody job and I’m going to pay and everything, so it shouln’t feel like too much of a favour

I once had a language confusion outside a French bar – where they normally have waiter service to your table. Being kind of proud of my French ability, each time they came back I asked for ‘une autre biere’ – literally ‘another beer’.

They came back each time and I asked for the same thing but they seemed to become more and more irritated. I was trying to be nice – speaking their language, not laughing at their nation’s stripy shirts and everything.

After a long lunch they moved into English and just said ‘that is all’. It seemed we had drunk their entire bar out of beer, which explained their grumpy manner.

We were very proud.

However, the French Onion sellers on bikes with strings of onions round the neck would no doubt be there soon and they don’t take kindly to the English at the best of times. Another diplomatic incident was bound to follow.

Turms out that ‘une autre biere’, literally ‘another beer’ is used to mean ‘a different beer’

‘Encore une biere’, literally a ‘another beer’ is used to mean ‘another beer’

They thought we just didn’t like any of their beer and they were moving further and further out of ‘no problem’ territory.

If the Japanese can muddle through with a single word for ‘kill a stranger with a traditional sword’ Jeany Francais could surely manage with just one word for ‘another’.

There has been a bit of a hiatus on Posts to this blog but, I have been prompted to spend $17 or something renewing the davedawsonhaswaytoomuchtimeonhishands.com domain name

Realising that name must be a valuable asset, I have renewed it and, as such thought I ought to write something again.

In my more enthusiastic Blog period I used to write 1,000 words of shite in each Post, but I realise now that less is more for all concerned here.

So I offer just a short confession this time:

I bought my wife a birthday card recently and wrote a touching message on there, completing ‘Love Dave’.

Absent mindedly, I underlined it twice, but then realised it looked all a bit unromantic and business-like

As I didn’t have a second card available I then wrote ‘XXXX’ under the ‘Love Dave’

When viewed through the less understanding eyes of a woman, this apparently looks like me having written 4 kisses, then thought better of it and crossed them out.

I passed to my daughter to get a bit of understanding for an innocent error of judgement.

When viewed through the even less understanding eyes of a daughter, it apparently looks like someone who wrote ‘Love Dave’, then drew some barbed wire underneath

Oh Shit

 

The death of Great Train  Robber Ronnie Biggs this week led to lots of historical footage likening him to a modern day Robin Hood. In fact he was just an East End thug who robbed from the rich and kept if for him-bloody-self.

A dead git now, but still a git

This has brought to mind other bits of crime related trivia

US FACT 1

The total US deaths from all wars since the Declaration of Independence – WWII, Vietnam, Korea – Everything, is fewer than the total killed by gun crime since 1950.

And yet the National Rifle Association still claim the right to bear weapons based on a mis-quote of an amendment to the US constitution.

Simple sods

US FACT 2

The US has 5% of the global population but has 25% of the global prison population

There’s clearly something very wrong with the US legal system here and things must surely be changed.

Conversely, let’s focus on a few UK legal points

UK FACT 1

As a 17 year old, some friends and I mounted a night time raid – approaching at night with car headlights turned out, and stole a 3 foot high Frog Crossing road sign. One of only two signs in the country marking the site of an annual frog crossing between two streams

We featured as Cruel Thieves in a local newspaper but were never apprehended. The Statute of Limitations now applies so I will never be charged, but I’d now quite like to be.

There’d be something slightly cool about a criminal record for frog related crimes

UK FACT 2

For centuries, there was a crime in the UK of ‘Being an Incorrigible Rogue’

That would also be a remarkably cool criminal record to have. However, without anyone even telling me it was there, that crime was quietly removed from the Statute Book earlier this year so I can no longer commit it.

Clearly, there’s something right about UK Law and it just shouldn’t be messed  with

I feel sure someone out there can suggest a harmless and, yet entertaining item for a criminal record that I can aim for now

In the light of a charity event I am planning, I have been reviewing a long sequence of previous stupid acts I’ve completed despite having minimal ability and being unencumbered with the common sense to realise it.
I’ll just mention a few for context. May have mentioned some of this in previous posts a long time ago, but go straight to the bottom if you don’t want to read all that.

It’s no better than normal really

  1. I raced motorcycles for a number of years, during which I never won anything, or even came close. In fact were it not for my bike being the fastest one in most races, I would have been getting the last place sympathy claps normally reserved for England cricketers.
    My finest hour was inexplicably becoming separated from my motorcycle 10 seconds into a race and before even reaching the first bend. A disappointing event as I’d already become pretty fond of staying on the bike and a painful one as that bike could reach a remarkable speed in 10 seconds .

No other riders were involved in the incident- other than politely swerving to avoid me, so I didn’t even have my normal opportunity to blame someone else

2. I also spent some time learning to fly Microlights, despite – even before more recent decay of brain function – having minimal sense of direction.

On one occasion, flying solo a few thousand feet up near a flying school in Portugal I realised I had lost focus a little and had no idea where I was. I was unfamiliar with the area and it had a rocky terrain unsuitable for a flying cretin to land.

I did find the landing site before I ran out of fuel, but only just. I would otherwise now just be yet another monument to British stupidity – a mangled metal monument in this case –  inserted without asking into the ground of someone else’s country.

Now, this brings me to my latest plan. As a charity event, I will be walking across 20 feet of hot coals in return for generous sponsorship from everyone I know. This is effectively a way of part exchanging the skin on the soles of my feet for other people’s money in the account of the MS Society.

The organisers tell me the coal is at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit which I make 650 degrees temperature. It is surprisingly relatively cool on the surface. You do have to walk in a brisk, but calm way which may not be easy though. If you try to run, you tend to sink down into the coals where the Summery warm glow moves on to being actively Toasty.

In the event of my survival, I may post photos on this Blog but, in the meantime, sponsor me via this link.

If I do this and don’t even raise much money, I will just look a cock

http://www.justgiving.com/DaveDawson3.

Or send text message   DAWS66 £xx to number 70070

And put figures  in the xx bit, obviously, halfwit.

There has been something of a hiatus on Posts on this Blog since my last one – which took the form of ridiculing the nonsense that is Homeopathy.

I was firmly of the view that the whole thing was normally believed only by people who had just barely moved on from believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and in the musical merits of Jedward.

However, my confidence took a bit of a hit as several friends whose views I otherwise had considerable respect for, turned out to believe in it. Those people are able to walk and talk and operate successfully in the modern World – and yet believe in Homeopathy.

Recently though I read an article about the UK Independence Party – the well known and now strangely successful Party made up of deeply confused closet racists and foreigner-phobes.

The article focussed on their leader Nigel Farage, a man with an uncanny resemblance to a newt and a child like inability to add up the simple calculations in their policies without using a crayon – which evidently he could not put his hands on when he produced their manifesto.

Their policies include a long list of barking mad ideas. They start with, recession or not, increasing defence spending by 40%, lest we are threatened by garlic wielding forces from the continent.

Then, they move on to removing the legal ban on smoking in pubs and then – and this is the big one – belief that Homeopathy is efficacious and should be enshrined in our legal system and provided on the NHS.

That settles it – Homeopathy is just an illusion made up by people with as much medical knowledge as an amphibian

I’m not the first person to write down their tedious New Year’s Resolutions on a Blog, but I’ve used this to write a lot of tedious shite for the last year so might as well continue

Resolution 1 – to learn more languages.
My two new languages from 2012 were German and Hindi, with first phrases being:

German: ‘Quick, quick Potato Head’.

Hindi: ‘Not in front of the Chickens’.   The only Hindi speakers I know are at work and it’s a hard one to use seamlessly in a business context.

It would really only be useful for people planning a depraved act and with access to easily embarrassed Hens – which is an unusual condition in the Avian world.

 

Resolution  2 – limit length of Posts

These tend to be around 1,000 words each and I’ve conducted a straw poll on ideal length for them. Quite a few people read these and consensus was that less would be more here.

Votes tended to be either that they should be reduced by around 500 words or by around 1000, although the number of people in those two opinion groups was not even

 

Resolution 3 – Blatantly Capitalise on Famous Friends

I mentioned on a previous Post that my wife’s best friend from school, Lizzie Price had morphed into Elisabeth Price the artist

She has now actually won the Turner Prize for Art, a prize won by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst for pickling sharks and so on.  

When Elisabeth was nominated for the Prize, I left Emma up in the loft searching for some of Lizzie’s school artwork that she thought was still up there. Could have been worth money in future, in the same way that uncovering an early Hirst pickled flipper might be.

The deal I reached was that she could not come down until she either found the art, or agreed to the depraved act of my choice.   Not much of a choice for her but an unlosable deal for me.

Having said that, the amount of time she was prepared to spend up there in the circumstances was kind of disappointing.

I have however, remembered that Elisabeth came to our wedding and we still have her Wedding present of a box of plates (still unopened as we got a lot of plates) in a small cupboard under the stairs.

Could be that she signed them and, hence they could also be valuable in future.   Even if not directly valuable, a small financial contribution for dinner served on plates from a Turner prize winning artist wouldn’t be an unreasonable thing to ask from friends.

 

Sadly, the apparently no-lose agreement I reached on the loft search means I hurt my back and can no longer get in the cupboard.

Not a problem I’d foreseen, but I am at least suffering for my art

I’m writing this on a plane and experiencing my normal involuntarily action on flights, of looking out of the window and humming ‘Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong.

I’ve no idea why it happens – and nor does the person sitting beside me who seems to be shuffling nervously. I guess anyone would if they have found themselves settling into a 9 hour flight beside an unstable, easy listening enthusiast.

I thought writing might reassure him that I’m at least partly stable, although this Blog doesn’t have a perfect history of demonstrating sanity.

Now, to the point – I have read in a magazine on the plane that Sri Lanka has just advertised for and recruited two new state hangmen.

I could blither on about capital punishment indefinitely but just let me say that if you think killing bad people is OK, you’re just stupid or wrong or both.  

Even if we did accept the premise that capital punishment is a just a neat way of tidying things up, consider that a number of capital killings were subsequently found to have been mistakes, and innocent people were killed.   

The US, which seems to maintain an enthusiasm for the death penalty that is almost childlike, spends more on the legalities and process of killing people than it would just to keep people on full life sentences in prison.   You can’t even justify it on the grounds of generally thriftiness.

Not sure what to call mistakenly killing innocent people, but since Republicans seem to be keener than Democrats they should do the spade work here and come up with a name. They also seem to combine a fondness for slaughtering with a tendency to elect startlingly stupid presidents, from Nixon onwards. I can hear the great George Bush, the younger/stupider coming up with Errornasia or something.

You can probably think of much better terms for it than that but I’m not presidential material you understand.   Mind you, using the term spade work in that context would have made George W proud.

Anyway, the Sri Lanka hang men news came across at first glance as bad news. However, it turns out they are just replacing the two current hang men who have been in office for decades.  One retired and the other was promoted.

Sri Lanka though has not executed a single person in the last 30 years. This is a good thing, but it does beg the question of how you justify a promotion – and what they were promoted to.

Having a position of senior hang man would seem a bit unnecessary in the circumstances. My Corporate experience does tell me that promotion isn’t universally based on results – but just having spent a few decades doing nothing apart from sorting your syringes and polishing your electrode does seem an easy ride by anyone’s standards.

I just re-read this before publishing and you must believe that I honestly didn’t plan any double entendre in the line about polishing your electrode.

It was all just part of the charming naivety that readers of this have mentioned in the past.

In fact the phase they used was just bloody stupidity, but that was a double entendre I think.

I haven’t updated this Blog for quite a while now, due to a sequence of holidays and general Summer happiness.

I need an underlying level of misery as a trigger to write this stuff. That way I reach a decent state of empathy with anyone that reads it.

I could move to Slough I suppose to artificially trigger my creative juices but decided just to wait until the dark nights arrive to do my work for me.

In any case, I was  lured out of retirement by two things:

i)                    I have received a notification that the domain name this Blog uses will automatically be renewed at a cost of $26 for the next year.  In fact it calls it an ‘upgrade’ and says it will happen unless I advise otherwise. The upgrade being, it seems from a domain that is disappearing to one that isn’t, but with all the same features as the $16 one I paid for last year.

Market forces would suggest I could just make them a lower offer for it, as demand for www.davedawsonhaswaytoomuchtimeonhishands.com must surely be pretty bloody small.

That’s not how it works though apparently.

I’ve paid now and my attempts to change this Blog into a subscription service have been something of a disappointment, so I thought I might as well write something.

Inexplicably, the stats I get for my current $16 suggest a lot of people read it (in addition to those that just get it automatically Emailed to them whether they like it or not).

They don’t tell me whether they are the same people coming back repeatedly, or a larger number who stumble on it once, then click the Never, Ever, Ever Again button – and run away making the same high pitched whimpering noise that dogs make if you kick them as they keep snuffling around your legs every time you walk across the bloody park

Apparently

Maybe my extra $10 from next month will tell me that.

ii)                   This is the big one.

As you may recall, I have an ongoing campaign to re-establish the name Dave in common usage. Offers to impregnate someone so that I have a realistic vote about the baby’s name have been like pearls before swine

Which I admit is an unfortunate metaphor in the circumstances

Anyway, I went past a milkshake shop called Shakeaway recently where you choose the ingredients and they grind up your selected fruit, biscuits, car hub caps or whatever into a milk shake.

On their selected list is a Milkshake called DAVE.    Not Dave Banana milkshake or something, just DAVE.

I reached a level of excitement normally only experienced by Welsh people coming across a vowel

A good sign for Dave enthusiasts you might think but I worry this will leave a whole generation who are no more likely to call their babies Dave than they are to call them Mivvi or Raspberry Finger.

I toyed with buying a DAVE but discovered it contains ground up Ferrero Rocher and I couldn’t order without a reference to the ‘ Ambassador you’re really spoiling us’ line. The  staff wouldn’t have laughed as it’s not funny and also as they were all teenagers and hence too full of hormones and self loathing for even a titter.

So there you have it – no Dave Milkshake, no Dave baby, no daylight after 7pm. I think there could be a flood of Blog Posts coming up.

I  am from time to time subjected to a fascinating range of medical diagnostic tools and am treated using drugs prescribed by learned medical people following a huge amount of research. This seems a good thing and, in general gives me a warm contented feeling.

However, I might also be prepared to consider alternative medicine on the basis that it could be worth trying some unconventional things occasionally, as long as they’re not actively harmful .  Even though often developed by a pointless hippy in a Kaftan with no medical training, I wouldn’t automatically rule them out

I have just read yet another explanation of Homeopathy though and that’s a very different thing.  I could write a long and reasoned explanation of the many obvious flaws in the whole thing.

Instead though, just  refer to my simple mantra

Homeopathy : Bollocks

OK – maybe a bit of  reasoned explanation. The whole idea revolves around the thought that by taking infinitesimal amounts of chemicals, some poisonous,  it will cause any general peakiness to disappear.
I have just returned from the garden, having spread around a small amount of weedkiller. Water companies advise that we have a drought at the minute, partly as heavy rain, like that which has just started tends just to end up in rivers. From the South of England it flows out to the channel and onwards to France.  Against all my better instincts, I may therefore have contributed to the well being of the French.

I like France – lovely country, fantastic food and natives with a level of grumpiness matched only by the British. Nevertheless, I’m not about to give away a few femto grams (look it up homeopaths) of my weedkiller to perk them up.

That may seem an exaggeration, but it’s not. The dilution of ‘health giving agents’ in some homeopathic remedies is literally at that level. In this example, there will be a point somewhere around the South coast beaches at which point my John Innes Death Treatment morphs into John Innes Miracle Cure.

I was once given a homeopathic hangover cure by the bride-to-be after a stag night. I was made carefully to tip a tablet directly from the bottle into my mouth, to avoid corrupting it with bacteria from my hands. Now, mouths contain vastly more bacteria than hands at the best of times, and mine was far from its best that morning.  She seemed very nice though and hopefully they are still living a happy life together, albeit presumably with an infinitesimal amount of corrupting going on.

The one thing I will accept though is the powerful force generated by mixing a small measure of placebo with a larger volume of half wit.

It may well be that any of those halfwits reading this are consumed with rage right now and there will be comments to this Post  from people that had untreatable diseases cured, had amputated limbs grow back and so on.

At least I’m not the one selling made up stuff to innocent passers by.
That does give me an idea though – if this has made any of you feel even a bit better, add a comment to say that.

I may set up an on line payment arrangement