Friday, 23 September 2011

Idling TFL

A neighbour, in the battle against bus drivers utilising the bus stand outside who consistently refuse to switch off their engines, called me yesterday querying whether i'd seen that days' edition of the evening standard, and specifically page 25.

I said i hadn't.  Then launched myself at the site only to have them request all my details.  Which is odd, as i fail to recall being required to fill out personal details when picking up the evening standard in the real world, so i'm not sure i wish to be on the end of more unsolicited crap of the type that already litters my tray.  But the grand headline "turn off your engine: idling cabs targeted by eco-marshals", sounded just too good.

So it proved.  Reading the headline first-hand caused an immediate flurry of neurons to simultaneously explode whilst downing a glass of something chilled, either that or a small gathering of serotonin decided to begin kicking me innards.

Tucked away in the 6th paragraph of the article, they said "tfl is writing to coach, bus and freight operators asking them to encourage their drivers to switch off their engines while parked."

Asking them?

I suppose it's a start.

But, asking them?

Surely there's enough data now available, for example the 4,000+ people who die every year in the capital from pollution, that should make tfl not simply ask but demand that it happens; otherwise sub-contractors (and all their drivers) will have their licenses revoked and new companies brought in to operate services without killing the capitals populace, instead.

The cabbies response was to be expected as quintessential squeaking.  If tfl took the attitude of fining them and taking away their licenses - by getting residents on their side, perhaps drivers would soon find the off switch.

Naturally only time will tell whether this is more than a flash in tfl's long line of eco-virtual-pans.  If in six month's time pollution levels have improved, then i will  truly begin to remotely consider the hint of a possibility, they might finally have a success on their hands. 

Updated: 11:08

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Oh dear, i've come across all happy

It's being one of those serendipitous starts to my day, which began by not been woken up by neighbours stomping around, or dropping things on the floor; which led me to peaceful thoughts of listening to a podcast podnutzatnight, where they all laughed uproariously and giggled furiously over a video they were watching during the making of the episode, about cone-ing; which i watched but didn't find that funny.  However, the slight smile i could feel twitching to escape from its box will no doubt mean that i'll have succumbed to similar bouts of hilarity by the third viewing.  But after that video had finished, one of those little video icons (which usually pop up underneath the replay button and which i usually ignore) had the machina logo which i hadn't seen before - or at least at this moment simply can't ever recall seeing, which for someone with a gnat like memory could have been any time from the start of the sentence to forever.  Firmly intrigued i clicked and popped over to the channel, where today they had the first outing of an exclusive new online series called rcvr.

The premise is-, well it's only on for 11 minutes and worth every second - in my opinion.  So instead of spoilers watch below or pop over there and watch.

It's good.  Especially at the end if you let the music wash all over you, very reminiscent of game of thrones.

Of course this is only the first episode and everything could go horribly downhill from here.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, as all my favourite terrestrial shows are now well and truly dead.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The dreadful people

Someone enquired the other day how the neighbours are, after my scribblings on the subject appeared to peter out after the firm, but fair, letter i delivered a few months ago.

Well, on the music and knowing their favourite tv series front, they're generally well behaved, apart from the odd friday evenings pre-going out getting into the mood spin-ups.  They have instead increased the number of gatherings, dinner-do's and having friends over, who have taken if not to heavy foot-falling, then stomping around to such an extent that it's now possible to draw a sound-map of their abode and where they are, any time they're home.  I periodically pinch myself to see if i'm awake, in the hope that i'm stuck in some ground-hog experience and i'll remember the pain next time around.

Then there's the door slamming - which appears to be a popular pastime, regardless of whether it's 6.30am or 11.25pm.  If it can close, it can slam shut!  The same goes for drawers, kitchen cupboards and bathroom cupboards.  And why bother taking off heels (and I'm talking of the tenants here and not guests) when indoors, as you can galumph around for 45 minutes before realising you still have them on.

I did chat with with them, after I hadn't heard anything in relation to my missive, enquiring whether they'd actually received it or not.  I was looked at straight in the eye and told "yes, but we don't think we're making that much noise," and so by extension your tome, which we find rather amusing and show to friends with great hilarity, obviously isn't worth replying to.

Luckily everyone who pops in to my own abode, and experiences the levels of noise coming from upstairs, wonders why I put up with it.  Perhaps i'm not striking the right tone, and so my ministrations aren't taken seriously enough.  Or perhaps it's a mixture of all the above.  I rarely tend to the rottweiler type, preferring instead to let things slide over getting my teeth into screeching bone.  Whacking up the volume of the headphones until my ears complain before thinking "fuck it" time to turn on the speakers.

But as i write this on the 20th, 23rd, 26th August, 9th, 12th, 16th, 18th September 2011, it sounds like another gathering is in the offing, with associated  reverberating footsteps, and a litany of cries penetrating through the ceiling at an alarming deja vu rate and naturally there's never the whiff of a note or a quick tap saying "we're going to, or are, having a do.  You're not invited, it may be a bit noisy.  Hope you don't mind!"

Now, remember the only thing between their feet and my ears are their bare floorboards, joists, and my ceiling plasterboard with a sliver of painted wallpaper.  So when they have a gathering (as young socialites around town are prone to), which take place on regular intervals, just imagine the sounds from a cacophony of staccato heel & shoe wearers.

Over the past week I stopped indulging in those extra few seconds that it takes me to close a door, or lower a lid (as nothing in this place has a soft close option), i even stopped taking the time to gently place a magazine on the side, or close the lid to a small wooden box.  After all, why bother, when it's far easier simply allowing gravity or momentum to take their course and bring what ever is moving to a complete stop or halt, just like my erstwhile neighbours.

I must admit that it was quite an ear opener listening to the generated bangs and slams.  However the sound emanating from my abode appeared to stir up a hornets nest of excitement;  as they slammed and staccato stomped around with even greater energy than before.  So i too slammed and dropped, which despite being exceptionally childish in the extreme, actually relieved some of the pent-up angst, you can find yourself subsumed in when on the receiving end of inconsiderate neighbours.  Eventually they went out.

At least it's progress of a sort, they know that i can hear that they don't care.

Which means that before this childish puerile nonsense gets completely out of hand, it's time the management company did their job and actually enforced those bits of the lease which deal with this kind of nonsense.  Namely the fact that flats should have suitable covering, i.e., not bare floorboards.  Sadly they can't yet do anything about the dreadful people, that will have to run its course.  But i'm sure once covering does go down, there'll be even more banging, slamming, clanging, shouting, screaming and do's; but, maybe they might finally realise.

Oh joy.

I know that in the scheme of things this is naught but a boil in need of lancing; but that's the problem with boils (i've been led to believe), if they're handled incorrectly they can reach the stage of life-threatening septicaemia.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Satellite dingers

It was fun reading about the probability of being struck by bits of a falling satellite around the 24th September.  Apparently there's a greater chance of one of us being struck by some leftover non-burnt nor destroyed bits of the upper atmosphere research satellite, than there is of ever winning the uk lottery.

Risk of being struck by satellite: 1 in 3,000.

Chance of winning the euromillions lottery: 1 in  116,531,800.

Of course this comparison wasn't rigged.   Anyway, it's time for me to pop on the tin-hat, as with my current run of luck i'll strike out with a bolt.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


I was cheerfully informed the other day, that my usual sour pessimistic disposition seems to be lightening.  Of course it is, winter's coming. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Stuff about nothing

It's always difficult knowing what to write: whether it's stuff straight from the heart (please, just call me a lump of lead) which generally grabs me, or stuff that's popular, quaint and in which i have as much interest as a bear mating with a chipmunk - not to say it's lacking, just that it's not for me.

Lets take the tv-series game of thrones.  I say series as the whole phenomenon took me by surprise having never read any of the books.  I used to enjoy reading fantasy novels and watching the travesties that passed for book-to-tv adaptations.  Then I stopped reading fantasy novels and stopped watching the adaptations, or even looking out for them.  Instead i  stuck to the one remaining leg of the "why am i paying for satellite?" stool, which was at the time the sci-fi channel.  Well that was the case, until si-fi decided to become anything but, by cancelling everything sci-fi-ish it could get its hands on.  This took place so often, that eventually i hurled my now worthless subscription (for that is what i viewed it as - for me you understand) out the window and onto the polluted hedge outside.

But those voices refused to shut up.  Week in, week out, people who knew i had forsworn broadcasts and all their poisonous ilk, kept on going on about it.

My natural reaction was to pooh-pooh the whole thing as the deluded ramblings of non-genre-ites, probably clambering aboard a relatively okay cgi produced bandwagon.  This lasted for about a month, until more people kept on mentioning this game of thrones, and just how good it was.

Eventually my curiosity was piqued and sturdy fortitude gave way to  "well, what's the harm in watching an episode?"

So i did.

And i was hooked.

The foaming of the "whatdaymeanitsfinished!!!!" kind of hooked, that has you thinking up decidely suitable punishments for tv executives everywhere, for either cancelling or making you wait a year before the next season starts - if you're lucky.  The last time a show had that slight effect was on hearing stargate universe had been cancelled, again by sigh-fi!  Not that g.o.t has anything to do with sy-fy, but the general tenet regarding execs remains.

But g.o.t had sweep, plot, acting, brilliant casting and bloody good cgi - apart from the dragons at the end.  A world which, if you allowed yourself to fully immerse into it's winter is coming mantra, had you hooked in its bleak, yet gorgeous, portrayals, wonderfully reminiscent of the superb lord of the rings (peter jackson version).

There was going to be a point, and something in this rambling bit of nonsense about lord of the rings - apart from fantastic - but this will have to do.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Etchings of a mental tide

"I was harbouring under the mistaken belief that my utterings splurged, rather than dribbled; more skittered than gushed.  Like a redolent faucet of misanthropic toilet paper, that wrapped my sub-consciousness in the latest bucket-load of crap exorcising the minds of news editors for the day, i realised - too late - that none of it really mattered. 
That, crystallised thought brought tears of hysteria jetting through dammed ducts; as the realisation all those smoky nights spent wringing an iota of meaning from writhing mountains of data, was for nought."

Monday, 12 September 2011

Losing the zone

Another peek into the arena people classify as humour. 

Puerile humour to boot, but still humour.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The future

A better future for us all, on this most poignant of days.

I finally found a clip which sums up my thoughts on not only the events that took place a decade ago, but all the other wars and atrocities that have been and sadly will be.


I don't like the new torchwood season (number four), i absolutely love it; more gritty, less campy, a few more pennies spent on its production, a nice fusion of actors and for those people saying its just "way tooo gay" (watch the previous seasons and realise what it is you decided to jump onto, and grow a pair.
I'd go so far as to say, if you don't like what someone else has done with their imaginary sci-fi worlds, then don't watch, you're not being forced to you can vote with your feet and build your bloody own!

One reason i believe this season's proved an enjoyable wheeze (despite more contriveness than a banker trying to explain why he's worth it), stems from the improved production quality, an increase in the depth and feel of scenes (probably more space for the sets) and the one area that absolutely ruins (for me at any rate) a show, that tosses me out of the zone of escapism more than anything else, the unruly extras.  

This season they appear to have reined in the unruly mob.  Done away with extras laughing when they're supposedly running away in fear of their lives, or extras seemingly been told one of the funniest jokes ever while their supposedly  milling in stunned groups at the end of everything they know. 

Not that i claim the season is 100% perfect.  At the end of episode one, the helicopter chase shoot-down scene, although good, sadly missed the spot and fell (no pun) wide of the mark.  After gwen hoists and fires the rocket launcher (bringing the chopper down) the proportions of the approaching machine to the jeep, in those brief few frames, appeared a tad out.  That said, i still managed to enjoyably watch the whole episode three more times before finally feeling satiated.

A very good, you could almost say, re-birth of the series.  Despite finding the harkness tone-down slightly niggling, when compared to other seasons - as by the second batting of an eye-lid jack would have flirted with all the staff and the extras to boot. Which makes those whiners complaining about the odd peek is gob-smacking.
I can safely say that i look forward to torchwood far more than the candy flossed dr who - may that too live for-ever, as it provides a slightly more darker outing than most (if not all other) sci-fi shows currently doing the rounds - well the ones that i've seen so far that is.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Making the cross

"Homos are more dangerous than terrorists," claims the oklahoma house of  representative, sally kern.
Let me roll that around my tongue for a bit.  Homos, are more dangerous, than terrorists.

No doubt that is the case in her universe.  In this one she appears to have skidded past those natural same-sex pairings which do take place in the rest of the animal kingdom, thinking they're probably nothing more than demon animals brought forth from the bowels of lucifers darkest nether regions, to bring down the remaining members of the good flocks.

I don't think i've heard ms kern wax lyrically about how many americans (or even earthers) guns have killed, or bombs, or weapons in general, or even the two nuclear bombs dropped on japan, or the wars in europe, or the wars in afghanisatian, iraq, the genocide in darfur, the crap manufacturers fill our food with, or the crap food they sell, or how many people have being killed from pollution, killed by cars, cigarettes, drink or by her big palls in the pharma industry.  Nothing about them, it's just the homos who are the bug-bears in the eye of this lunatic.

She goes on to say, "it (queerness) will tear down the moral fibre of this nation. We were founded as a nation upon the principles of religion and morality, if we take those out from under our society we will lose what has made us a great nation..."   Perhaps the dear lady has being living under a rock for the past few decades and missed her history lessons.  But being founded via committing genocide and built using enslaved labour is hardly a base to trumpet a claim for great morality. 

This has as much to do with morality as my big spreading backside has to do with eating a green salad.  It smacks of nothing more than a vacuous hole, used as a short cut by any passing breeze - no offence dear, this is only a biased myopic opinion on some of the stuff i've read that you've uttered.

The one thing i do get from this, after taking another cursory glance through the book and noting references, is that if jesus were around now he'd rather be a down and out bum than mix with this shower of crap shooters; people who do more harm in his or any other religious deity's name she may be using (taking the 2000+ years they've been at it), than anything other than death itself.