Sunday, 29 January 2012

Watering other people gardens

I was minding my own business - which i do on a regular basis - when i heard what sounded like, well actually it was, high screeches, laughter and hysterical screeches from outside.  The entertainment venue was having another do and people were either queuing or walking towards the entrance.

After five minutes of this continual screeching i decided to investigate.  On the one side there was nothing but the passing of cars and people walking down, but i could still hear the hysterics, so popped into the other room and opened the curtain.

I'm not sure who was surprised, the one girl who was taking a picture of another girl who was posing, or after a quick shout from the blond-haired girl taking the picture on her mobile, their other female friend who scurried from the gap still pulling up her skirt - no doubt relieving herself underneath windows before entering the venue.

Before you say i'm being preposterous, let me re-assure you, i really wish i was.  There is no security from the venue checking, and i don't often feel in the mood to sit or stand by the window to take make note.  But this wasn't the first time.  On another occasion a whole group (five if memory serves me correctly) had popped over the wall and only done a runner when i tapped by the window with camera in hand, or another time in broad daylight when two guys peed by the neighbours window. 

Of course my thoughts turn to electrified panels, or fences.  I'm sure they would neither like nor enjoy someone peeing by their windows on a regular or any basis. Can't even hibernate in peace.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I have the power

I'm not sure quite how i came across hard creations - i have the power clip on youtube.  But it's a curious combination, the daleks & the beloved leader - yes ms margaret thatcher, to the beat of... i'm not really sure.  Listen at least twice to let it wash over you.

With lines like: "You turn if you want to, the lady's not for turning... I move by psycho-kinetic power... there is no-such thing as society.."  Why wouldn't you want to listen to all those memorable words all over again - even if it was from a few years ago.  

And for those who weren't able to participate the first time round, just wait until the current crop finish!

Well it was monday, and a very happy chinese new year.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gripping noise

I was gripped, focused like a slightly wavering laser on lisa jardines point of view: volume control, the other day broadcast on bbc radio 4.


As she spell-blindingly weaved the horror (my interpretation) people are subjected to in growing urban islands by the incessant ever-increasing noise, which is taking place on a daily basis.  Wonder what she'd make of this particular noise hole and tfls & lambeth councils recalcitrance (from empirical evidence) in reducing it?


Until the end.  When she basically said things will only get worse, so we'll all "have to develop our own personal self protective strategies for dealing with it.  Like improving our powers of concentration!"


I quickly filed through my back catalogue of half-penned, on the wobbly drawing-board need more angst before they'll ever see the light of day finishing ideas pile, and alighted on the personal emp portable generated user field - otherwise known as pepguf TM - simply gathering dust, whilst managing to glare back at me seethingly.

Yes, that would bring a brief respite of quiet noise crashing down on the area.  Might even create one more day (however briefly) in the year, when silence, or a suitable simulacrum thereof, can once again reign supreme.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Left, right...

I heard the following from the glorious "talk geek to me" podcast, and then read the original on "the angry blog":
"Lately the argument between the Left and the Right has gotten way out of control.  They are all trying to out do each other for being more religious, more in touch with unemployment and more in touch with the poor."
The Angry Blog 

Thank you oh angry blog.  Pop in your own country and see how relevant it is to you.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The lovely people - III

Someone queried the other day, "how are the lovely people?"

"A little less dreadful, but it was christmas and they spent it away," I said.  Then i realised i'd actually perked up over the period - in hindsight.  The only oddity, perhaps even a downside, was the increasing amount of pollution seemingly hanging in the air, or over the air here, during the past couple of weeks.  Either that or my body's starting to produce it's own over-powering brand of incense!

As the gaseous porosity of the structure continues to make itself known, with flows rolling from one part of the block to another, so the smells of burnt toast, eggs, farts, and roast dinners follows the paths of ease accessing willing, or otherwise, nostrils through the papier-mâché construction.

I believe one reason why there appears to be an increase in pollution levels, can be aimed squarely towards the main gate of the courtyard undergoing its transformation.  It was, apparently, "too heavy."  The fact people used to push it open with cars or vans appears to have been moot; so its frame - a former shadow of itself if you will - now swings pitifully open or closed, nary a bang let alone shudder, announcing its presence.
The top bit of the ex-solid-gate, looks sullenly out as the naked bottom bit allows anything smaller than a rugby ball to sail straight through completely unhindered, and as the other end of the estate is ringed by structures, any odd molecule heavy enough and not too disturbed by breeze has the ability to slowly gather.  As the amount of breeze over the past week has been less  than minimal, so the noticeable increase in pollution levels, for those duffers inhabiting the first level or two.

But at least i still have the option to do things and move my carcase.  RIP for those poor souls caught in the costa concordia event.  I wonder when the expression, "you damned schett you, get back to your post!" will become the berating phrase of choice?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Looking through the wise words and expert opinions regarding all things financial, i'm oft reminded of a driver going in reverse at high speed along a mountainous road, with one eye firmly on the precipice.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Eating our own?

My first read of this particular throwaway, from one of london's freebie papers, had me wondering over the precise whereabouts of the great knee-jerk outcry, or admonishments by those berating scientists for wasting time in researching areas that would bring about the end of humanity or at the very least the downfall of civilisation.  Perhaps there has been and i've simply missed it.  

It might, however, give a whole new meaning to the term: grow your own, whilst also keeping up with the time honoured genre engendered by every friday the 13th.

metro uk, 13th January 2012

Space for nothing

Always room for it

When was the last time you made space for nothing?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Where's europa station?

I, for one, am extremely disappointed there is still no moon base, whilst the opportunity of winning a global lottery to spend 24 hours basking in the weak (compared to our relative goldilocked position)  sunlight, streaming through slightly thickened windows in a station circling one of jupiters moon (europa), is as distant now as when science fiction first came up with the idea.

Sadly, the publics eye doesn't seem to care that much for space and its exploration any more.  It appears to engender even less excitement than that of elusive particles flying around a ring.  However, focus our  fluttering attention  around the tangibles of the next whizzy mobile ultra-spec'd anything, or whether the winner of the latest reality show really deserved to win - or did they simply make that story of a death defying plunge to save a bus load from the jaws of certain doom all up - and we're easily reeled.

I suppose the immediacy of watching a winner go through their paces showing similar (to a portion of  watchers at least) emotions, stresses and joys, comes across on a far more personal and meaningful level, than would a floating can filled with people they didn't really know about.  Who, from day to day, hadn't really done much, except travel a few more thousand kilometres since the last time they checked, with the most excitement coming from the crew managing to loose some contents from their freeze-dried gourmet desert as the ships slowly dodged a grain of sand that was heading their way.

It would be nice to think that in 20 years time as we begin to realise the plight of the planet we're continuing to ravenously chomp through, like a nest of ants discovering a very large pot of honey, that maybe our current choices really aren't that sustainable.  And if we're only going to do exactly the same  on other planets out there, but with far more efficiency, then really, why are we going out there for?  Or are we going to go out there to experience the marvels, spectacles and who knows actually find stuff whilst recognising we're part of something wonderful all around us.

All those trillons spent on wars, could have being spent insuring everyone has something to eat.  That everyone has water that's clean to drink.  Who knows, maybe all that money might have stretched to include a bit of tarpaulin over their heads; with enough left over for missions a plenty.

Maybe one day someone will indeed be the lucky winner of a 24 hour ticket to a station floating around europa, and the whole world (well the human bit at any rate, and since i'll probably be dead, i'm excluding myself from that equation) might just zoom in, to watch a bit of reality that despite been in their immediate spatial vicinity, is well and truly beyond their navel.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Wasteful profligacy

I'm sure there are many who have profligate friends or know people who are profligate or who are themselves wantonly excessive.  Indeed there is nothing of the environment they wouldn't sacrifice, if that meant they could enjoy whatever succinct last it was that would make that one moment of their life forever memorable.

Living somewhere i can only describe as having more in common with a salami sliced papyrus sandcastle (which i shall refer to as s2ps), over time you eventually begin to differentiate between the multifarious spectres of annoying noises which are generated on a second by second basis.  Most people living in one of these never-sleeping gun-tooting, knife pointing, "i really liked my phone" urbanonments, understands and generally plods through doing their best navigating the treacherous rapids

In the s2ps's, you get to know the footsteps: those who enter and leave and, over time, even which time of the day.  You then become suspicious when a footstep enters, slowly and quietly tip-toes around, before attempting to inch its way up the hallway stairs where the wood's so warped woodworm would tie themselves in knots believing they're on the break of a lifetime.  The creaking of boards becomes an existential soundscape creating a distribution distinctiveness that, by abstraction, moulds you as-one with the: heavy walkers, quiet walkers and the great big lumberers - who cause the entire stairwell to shake!

When neighbours also pop on washing machines - and here admittedly it doesn't take much in the way of deductive reasoning to work out exactly where in the block the machines are operated from - you get to sense the timing, the rhythm, the vibrations.

After realising i was hearing a washing machine going off twice a day every day, in a flat generally occupied by two sometimes three people - without mewling infants - , cogs began whirring over energy use and from observations our profligate use of; those who can afford and those who suddenly find themselves in the laps of the fuel impoverishing rub two sticks together gods - otherwise known as the energy utility companies.

Even if the machine is an energy efficient a+++ ultra deluxe monster, using it twice a day?  Every day?  Even growing up in a family of many there was two at the most washing days.  Surely if you live with another flat sharer then you pop dark/white etc., clothes into the machine, wash, hang (or dry) then sort.  After all, if your indoors and not behind portable hermetically sealed filtration units, then you're breathing in and splattering one another with each others molecules on a fairly regular basis.  Your clothes once washed will be far cleaner.

The whole thing started my wee cells wheeling uncontrollably into the arenas of profligacy and environmental affordability.  Imagine how things will be once the entire world's household population have washing machines and are happily using them twice a day?  I know that's stretching an already tenuous point, but hopefully the point is somewhat now taken.

In our age of obscure thinking maybe we should be thinking more along the lines of: the least you consume and waste the less you pay, the more you consume and waste the more you wrack up and over a certain level it wracks up exponentially.  The way the body reacts against too much alcohol, or drugs, where (generally) more really isn't better.  But in our consume all we can world the opposite is the case.  Why buy one, when you can buy three for two and have an extra six thrown in, then throw twelve of them in the landfill  anyway.

Which brought another stray faint remembered thought hovering into mind when at a friends flat and looking out of the window, as a blazing crystal-blue sky looked back in, to notice the room light was on, as well as a side light.  

"Why?" i queried.  

"Because," he said. With earnest seriousness.  "I want to!"

Images taken from the now mothballed space shuttle fleet, and other satellites, during night time flyovers on the planet, shows built up urban areas are the worst for trying to illuminate the openness of space.

With talk (yes this was started a while back) about lighting up stonehenge to make it look pretty, or so that trucks can navigate the single-lane bends, there are millions in urban centres who believe the stars are just those few they can see on a clear night from their sparkling towers of chrome, glass and concrete; as  the true light show is rubbed into obscurity by our profligate wasting of unnecessary light.

urbanonments - urban environments

Lighter notes: i do believe i might have to eat my words over the buses, as it sounds as though tonight, more drivers have indeed switched their engines off.  But as with all my utterings, i'm more than happy to say when things have changed, or when i'm proved wrong, and eat my own pie.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Serendipitous oyster-bus

According to m. k. stoskopf "it should be recognised that serendipitous discoveries are of significant value in the advancement of science and often present the foundation for important intellectual leaps of understanding". (wikiepeadia, 2011).

So when i checked on the value of my oysteringcard, for the first time in an age, and then clicked on getting around, i was most surprised to see...

Switch off your engine - from tfl

My initial thoughts envisioned dns spoofing and this, pretend site, was lurking on the web with the express purpose of catching the unwary virtual traveller, as they presented  oystercard logins, to hear the distant laughter of arch criminal minds pressing their newly minted cards into the paying distribution arms of penny-pinching economic tourists.

But no, it seemed this was the correct site.

Requesting that car users switch off their engines, whilst their own bus drivers (a noticeable night-time minority - a feral hardcore bunch at this particular bus stand), appear incapable of finding the off switch, let alone switching it off*.  These particular drivers have residentialhyperopia: the inability to notice there are residential dwellings or people in their immediate vicinity. 

For those keeping up with the underwhelming developments, you might (idly when you have nothing else better to do) have wondered at my silence on this topic.  Well as we live in an age where everything needs to be recorded and written down or at the very least evidenced in some manner or form, time has been spent on capturing those bits of information to show just how nonsensical, meaningless and downright absurd, tfl's assertions to "good neighbourliness" appears to be.  I know it's a large monolithic organisation, but with the modern state of communications i'm still surprised the left toe's blithely unaware the right one's being stamped on.

Of course with the olympics only a few months away, and the influx of people probably outpacing the outflow, it's good public relations window dressing, looking for all the world as though you're earnestly actually doing something, instead of getting boots on the  ground to monitor exactly what's going on, or  checking cab drivers tachographs - to see when they were motionless, at the stand and so should have their engines off. But that would be "oh just so tedious."  I wonder if they they realise doing that would soon pay for itself by the amount of fuel saved?

Perhaps i'm missing the point entirely and things are indeed changing, all it simply requires is a bit more time, and more people in the vicinity of these bus stands (not bus stops, but bus stands, there's a profound difference despite their similarity) to prod.  I'll believe something is happening when the levels of pollution start noticeably falling on roads and streets where people live, and not just by edges of busy shopping streets where the nearest homes are a long, long, long, way away.

Wikipeadiea, 2012,, online, accessed 7th january 2012.

*  Of course if the weather's really bad, hovering around minus 25 say, then yes, of course engines should be switched on to keep them warm. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Forgetting to be a fool.

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
Confucius (551 - 479 bc)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Whatever next

I was wondering why the air quality in the area suddenly descended, even taking into consideration people returning from their hols. This little clipping explains all, although i must admit i know as our civilisation tentatively improves - despite a nastily vitriolic bunch more than willing to push the rights genie back into its closeted and close quartered bottle - that more and more sections of society are having their existence recognised and deemed as valued members of our world.  But, really!  Rights for bridges? 

Whatever next, rights for a molecule... oh wait, i temporarily forgot about the you've thought about progeniting so you can't kill it brigade.

Friday, 6 January 2012

For a paper-display ceiling

It's looking at pictures from the, or nasa, or the esa/eso websites, that i hanker after the day when flexible wallpaper type displays are finally a reality, or i'm somewhere where the only stars i see are by cricking my neck and not through oxygen deficient traffic fume poisoning..  

As an inner-city urbanite with 100 or so stars (if i'm lucky) visible with my naked eye in my particular location, it would be nice to wander into a room, look up and see realtime video from a satellite feed of a patch of the universe more or less covering the same patch i'm goggling at.  And when they position a satellite on the other side of the sun -at the opposite end of earth's orbit- pointing outwards, we'll all either continue watching when dawn breaks regardless of the glare of the sun or, if we wish to, simply look at images of the sun - minus all that pesky cloud stuff, or lasering of eyeballs. 

The following is the smoky light pink heart of the omega nebula captured by eso's very large telescope (vlt), from

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Intolerant abuse

Many will have seen the video of the woman on a london, uk tram shouting abuse at people who have come to the country; as far as she was concerned that comprised of: black, polish and brown people.  But if you look in her eyes, they are strangely devoid of that piercing blueness of, i presume, what she would classify as purity, meaning that she too (if someone took the time to trace her genealogy) might not be viewed as real true stock - either that or i wasn't squinting hard enough.

The world is getting smaller.  Many will blame what happens to them on the influx of people who are different.  Tensions will increase, as more people are thrown on various scrap-heaps due to increasing and ever cheaper automation and more companies with a surplus of want-ins vastly outnumbering the number of vacancies so why not drop the amount they pay and make the people who make it through the beauty pageant work harder - it's a cost saving exercise after all and next years new jet wont buy itself. 

With wards, famines, more disasters and commodity speculation on the rise, people will do what millions have done before -given half a chance- and migrate to places where, if they are unable to truly prosper, at least allow them to survive.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wittering drumness

Wittering for the sake of wittering's quite exhaustive, especially if you don't have the natural ability to endlessly gab or truly gush.  Yet every now and then, i find there's nothing more refreshing than lifting my head from the sand-bucket of my existence, to view the ever-revolving kaleidoscope which passes before my life.  An existence that causes inner wonderment as to when, if ever, it will grow beyond the realms of simple humdrumness.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

This is indeed a year of change, but there's a 2011 backlog of semi-angst that i never quite managed to get out in 2011.  Oddly with the two days already gone, i'm feeling a buzz of energy whooshing through me.  Could be the extra strength vitamin d3 i've taking, making up for rarely setting foot outside, which is kicking in, or that i managed to get a true good nights sleep. 

No doubt all of that energy will be over and done in no time.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Best tools for that hunting

In this day and age, there really is no excuse not to have your smartphone be your lifeline when going to look at new property.  But which ones?  What sorts?

Well in no particular order or whether they exist yet, here's my app wishlist for this new year!

1. Eye app - to poke you in the eye should you be sighted but walking around with your eyes closed.

2. Sound meter app - to check sound levels indoors and out, during your six different visits at varying times of day and night, to the delightful area.

3. The humidity app - to point into various corners providing you with an indication whether you need to up your kagool purchase to one container load.

4. The infra-red app - to check for those areas leaking most energy.  Especially when you have your own mouth closed.

5. The avoid the screaming children and parents, who think its okay for their little dears to kick a ball against your windows app.  The paid for version has the teenager, grumpy pensioner and dangerous dog alert add-on included for free!

6.  The particulate matter collector app (air-borne and side sampling) - showing an interactive snapshot of your lungs and timeline of just how long it will take before your lungs pack in, by displaying pollution levels in the area is, despite any attempts at sprucing and spraying with pledge or that lovely fresh covering smell of a baked oaf.

7.  The, is there a communal garden and why is it rarely used app.

8.  The, for such a small location there's sure a load of for sale/rent signs around app.  See the previous 7 apps.

9. The check how many emergency services are stationed in your locale, for as handy as they are should your place burn down, or you end up struck by a falling goose, when there's nothing wrong with you, you might not enjoy listening to the sirens at all hours of day or night app. 

10. A measuring app to check the area for subsidance then work out the possible causes for the large cracks in the flats you visited in the area.

There it is.  10 apps to make your experience a delightful and enjoyable one.  Remember.  With a sound meter app installed when looking at potentials, anything regularly averaging of over 58 decibels, forget it.  Run.  Run hard and fast and far away.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

End of everything

Tsk, what a year 2011 turned out to be.  Luckily with the end of everything just around the corner come the 22nd december 2012, there really isn't anything to worry about; we should face-palm reality, cuddle up to schadenfreude, and bodge any attempt to be nice to one another - if we're all doomed anyway.

Papers, pundits and busybodies from here to there have been picking the bones of the vicious roller-coaster year that affected (and still does) many parts of the world. Going from one calamity to overthrown dictators, chattering mouths fell over themselves to splatter shocked disbelief, pressing, surprising and outrageous stories before our stapled-open eyes, with such an ever increasing fervour that for brief deja vu moments i truly thought i was watching marcus attilius go at it with nero's gladiatorial champion, hilarus.

Not that they needed much help, with nature also piling in with her own particular brand of devastation helped along by lots of our cities being placed exactly where they shouldn't be really.  But hey, it's not only easier that way, it's far more profitable.

In a decade or twos time when our appetites are sated on the cusp of disasters-brew, i'm sure the only thing that will cause us to gasp in true surprising astonishment will be nothing less than watching entire galaxies being subsumed by ginormous black holes and knowing that hundreds of civilisations are going through their death spasms, whilst dialling into our hyper-dimensional instant service provider to complain about the lack of a rewind function.

Nowhere is particularly stable -if we consider the long term instead of our brief gadfly existence- on the rump of this lovely rotating ball.  Although we should -as a species- be deemed a failure, if in a million years hence we're still fighting over the same bit of land in the middle-east (a land with more claims than a lost national-lottery bumper millionaire ticket) that will, by then and due to the actions of planetary motions, probably have moved to siberia, with the inhabitants fighting over who makes the best ice-cubes.  Yes, i know just how impossible that particular scenario seems to be.  Moving to siberia indeed.

By all reckoning, especially the financial one, 2011 -outside of the great depression in the 30's or the wastelands of the 70's- was our nadir for disasters.  Taking into account the entire species' is pumping more of the warming stuff up  into a slightly less pristine blue yonder, it'll be interesting to see how the following few years stack up.  Who knows, perhaps an event will take place around the globe so huge in its manifestations, that anyone with more than half a functional brain cell will simply go "blimey", by which time it'll be far too late for anything else except for saying, "oh well, i never", and by then i doubt whether anyone will give a fig for the latest great carbon offsetting wheeze.

My other abiding somewhat dystopic fantasy, after listening to screaming children running around in the communal garden breaking things (as they and their parents have discovered that management's of the "oh dear what can we do" persuasion as deck-chairs burn all around them and despite it all been in leases, is that their parents are indeed tasered.  Perhaps twice weekly with an additional tasering as a bonus.  Unlike last years record cold snap, this years measly average temperatures are nowhere near cold enough for the little monsters fingers to fall off.  Followed by the rest of them.  And before anyone bleats on about how horrid, some parts of capital life (oddly, like here) have more in common with the lawless antics of the old wild west than professed trappings of touted civilisation.  I could list, but that would bore even me.

Did someone say sidetracked?

As i look back over the year which was 2011, the only things (excluding my immediate orbit) that seem to stick in mind outside of the usual: wars, weather, starvation, greed, corruption, increasing unemployment, rich richer, poor poorer; which really skewers my pre-frontal cortex and still refuses to budge, are the the triple whammy which befell japan, and princess beatrice's hat!

What can i say, that's how it works.

And as our orbit around the sun is replaced by yet another one, and we've moved up or down a bit in space, there's all that heap of other space bits out there calling, waiting, where it's at.  Or should be, if we ever get our heads out of our bottoms.

Oh, nearly forgot.  Happy 2012.  In case you're unable to have a good 2012, at least try for a memorable one.