Sunday, October 31, 2010

More metal from around the world

Who says vegans have to be fluffy?

Bela Lugosi's Dead

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An apocryphal tale for Halloween

    From the About Urban Legends newsletter. Utter pish of course but still funny!

    Police arrested Patrick Lawrence, a 22-year-old white male, resident of Dacula, GA, in a pumpkin patch at 11:38 p.m. Friday. Lawrence will be charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, public indecency, and public intoxication at the Gwinnett County courthouse on Monday.

    The suspect allegedly stated that as he was passing a pumpkin patch, he decided to stop. "You know, a pumpkin is soft and squishy inside, and there was no one around here for miles. At least I thought there wasn't," he stated in a phone interview from the jail.

    Lawrence went on to state that he pulled over to the side of the road, picked out a pumpkin that he felt was appropriate to his purposes, cut a hole in it, and proceeded to satisfy his alleged "need." "I guess I was just really into it, you know?" he commented with evident embarrassment.

    In the process, Lawrence apparently failed to notice the Gwinnett County police car approaching and was unaware of his audience until officer Brenda Taylor approached him. "It was an unusual situation, that's for sure," said officer Taylor. "I walked up to (Lawrence) and he's...just working away at this pumpkin."

    Taylor went on to describe what happened when she approached Lawrence. "I just went up and said, 'Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?' He got real surprised, as you'd expect, and then looked me straight in the face and said, "A pumpkin? it midnight already?"

    Source URL:
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The sacred heart chicken nugget simulacrum

Duchess of Cornwall unhurt by kitten

    catsA few days ago the Telegraph ran a story with the headline Duchess of Cornwall Mauled by Kitten. Okay the mauled was in inverted commas but still I thought I would read of some hideous injury meted out by a spitting bundle of feline aggression

    Sadly it appears that all that happened was Lucy, an eight-week-old tabby, dug its claws into Camilla's jacket and refused to let go.

    The incident took place during a visit to the Battersea Dog’s Home.
    When the royal walked into a socialising area for the cats and saw four kittens she said ''Ah sweet, is this the whole family here?'' and began mothering them and picked them up.

    The playful kitten was held against the Duchess' chest then began disappearing behind her neck and as Camilla tried to prise Lucy free she dug her claws in prompting the royal to say ''I think she's attached to my collar''.

    Gah! No screams and not a drop of blood to be had. Damn I feel cheated! Ah well If a cat can look at a king it can surely stick its claws into a duchess!Source URL:
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo Hunt - Dark

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday giveaway!

Two pretty things

Van Gogh tilt-shift

FTSE 100 Bosses say “Fuck austerity”

    Britain has a shaky economy (okay the last stats were better than expected but let’s see what happens as the State contracts massively) high levels of unemployment with far more to come, an economy) and all around belt tightening. After all the Government are saying we are all in it together.

    But perhaps someone should tell that to the heads and directors of the FTSE 100 companies who act as if austerity is just for little people. Yesterday’s Guardian reported on research undertaken by Income Data Services which indicated that boardroom pay rose by 55% over the last year when bonuses and share options are taken into account.

    Incomes Data Services, who conducted the research, said bonuses paid to directors of FTSE 100 companies increased by 34%, while basic pay rose by 3.6%. The amount of money waiting to be disgorged from long-term incentive schemes soared by 73%, to a total of £259m, and share option gains leapt by 90%.

    Steve Tatton of IDS said the report suggested that companies returned to "business as usual" once the recession ended. "It seems the days of earnings restraint were short-lived. It is as though the recession never happened," Tatton warned. "This time last year a number of companies actually reduced their bonus ceilings. Twelve months later it appears as if these measures have been reversed, with around 40 companies reporting higher bonus scheme maxima," he added.

    The average FTSE 100 chief executive now earns £4.9m a year.

    Now how many of these august men and women have backed the Government’s assault on the poorest and most vulnerable.

    To rephrase a quote misattributed to Marie Antoinette their attitude is clearly a case of” Let them eat shit”

    Source URL:
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tidy this sofa, slovenly scum

My new career will not be plumbing

    As luck would have it the toilet stopped wanting to flush just as I have the time actually to attend to it promptly (and not in a few weeks or months as is my usual timescale). The diagnosis was quite simple thanks to the internet. The diaphragm on the siphon was damaged

    So off I trot to B&Q for a new siphon. I manage to find the plumbing aisle withing 15 minutes of looking and I manage to pay for it using one of those satanic self check out things, even though it initially rejected every single note I had on me.

    After much swearing and wd40, the cistern was detached, the old siphon removed, the new one hammered into place and the cistern replaced )Note to self. Hell will freeze over if I ever use one of those blue blocks again. They form a vile sludge at the bottom of the cistern and it will be ages before I can remove the bloody stains off my hands!).

    Surprisingly the not-wife is pleased that I at least tried and stuck wit it...

    All would have been well had I not forgotten to replace the big rubber uberwasher thingy that seals the gap between the cistern and the business part of the toilet so off it all came again. This time I had the bright Idea of emptying the cistern more speedily if I undid the overflow pipe. This would have worked I hadn't damaged the seal creating a nice steady leak around the pipe....

    So back to B&Q and a new overflow pipe set was purchased which I managed to re fit with some cursing and after three goes I have a toilet that flushes and doesn't spill water onto the bathroom floor .

    Somehow I think I can put plumbing on to the list of new career path along with gigolo (except for short sigted women or bears how have lost all self respect), proffesional footballer, prima ballerina and Secretary General of the UN....Source URL:
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Toby in a swing


Paris versus New York

More Pics of Cliff and his SB-1000

sunne in splendour again

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another autumn day in the garden

Wednesday giveaway!

Missing phone?

El Fansafetee

    The Telegraph carries a story regarding the Spanish police’s genuine concern for the safety of prostitutes who tout for customers on a rural highway outside Els Alamus near Lleida in Catalonia.

    The girls have been told to don the yellow fluorescent bibs or pay fines of 40 euros (£36) under road traffic laws.

    Police claim the sex workers on the LL-11 road are not being specifically targeted because of what they do but because they posed a danger to drivers. The women are in breach of 2004 law which states pedestrians on major highways and hard shoulders must wear the high visibility garments.

    A spokesman for the regional police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra said: "In the past couple of months the prostitutes have been fined for two reasons: for not wearing the reflective jacket and for creating danger on the public highway."

    Well there you have it….. Personally I think it is utterly commendable to consider the safety, not only of the girls but of other road users too.Source URL:
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Birthday dinner

    Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes for Alex! Last night, to celebrate, we went to Recette, an amazing little West Village restaurant. We had a lovely table right next to an open window, so we could feel the crisp fall breeze as we ate. We toasted with Champagne and then shared lots of small plates, including sunchoke soup, beef carpaccio with burrata cheese, and salt cod fritters with lamb ragu (they had such cool combinations of ingredients). It felt so magical to dress up and go out on the town, just the two of us. xoxoSource URL:
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Ghost Poppy III

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Smiths

Cleggawber says to councils “Please don’t sack people so fast – something will turn up”

    Nick Clegg on walkabout

    Despite the fact that councils are to face huge spending cuts over the next few years, the Government is advising local authorites not to be too hasty in making compulsory redundancies over fears that local authorities are moving prematurely to sack staff.

    According to the Guardian the Local Government Association said this week that around 100,000 local government jobs would be lost as a result of the comprehensive spending review.

    Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said: "How local authorities are anticipating these cuts is wildly different from one place to the next. Sheffield City Council is making massive efforts to deal with a very tight settlement and minimise enforced redundancies. Go to other places and you get a reaction that 'it's all the government's fault and I'm going to reach for the redundancy notice'.

    "What we need to do is to play our part in central government, to try and show local authorities and others that they shouldn't immediately start issuing redundancy notices for savings that they can phase in over four years and where, through voluntary redundancies, natural wastage and so on, maybe the pressure isn't quite as great as they initially think it to be."

    Maybe the pressure is not as great as it could be? It sounds as if Clegg is emulating Mr Micawber with the view that something will turn up,. Local councils facing huge cuts have little option but to shed staff and in huge numbers.

    Perhaps Cleggawber was thinking of another quote form the same character:

    Welcome poverty!..Welcome misery, welcome houselessness, welcome hunger, rags, tempest, and beggary! Mutual confidence will sustain us to the end!

    Mutual confidence that Clegg has the Ministerial car and the trappings of office until his party faces meltdown in a few years timeSource URL:
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Happy birthday, Alex!

A small indication of ministerial attitudes

    Not long after the current shower took power the new ministers issued new guidelines on submissions in my former department.

    One of the things that struck me about their attitude to public servants was to require that submissions sent to them should not be addressed to them in person but to their titles. This was a change from the previous administration.

    Clearly being elevated to the position of a Secretary, Minister or Parliamentary Under Secretary of Stater meant that they were now among the exalted; far too (self) important to be adressed by something as mundane as their real names.

    Arrogant pricksSource URL:
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Monday, October 25, 2010

A second poppy ghost

The Ghost of a poppy

40 years of TVP2 gala

Iain Duncan-Smith is a ……

    It says something about Cameron that he wishes to prune what he sees as dead wood from the public sector. And yet he finds it in his heart to provide comfortable employment for two particularly useless Tpry party leaders in his cabinet. One is William Hague who was so effective at leader that he managed to advance the party’s standing by just one whole seat in the 2001 election. He is now Foreign Secretary

    The other former leader, Iain Duncan-Smith, was so useless that the tories did not dare even let him lead the party into a general election - so bad that even the odious Michael Howard was seen as preferable.

    Cameron has rewarded Duncan-Smith’s utter uselessness by making him Work and Pensions secretary. Last week he decided to emulate a previous Chingford MP by sounding macho abut the unemployed…

    Last week he said last week that Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales was an example of a place where people had become "static" and did not know that if they got on the bus they would be in Cardiff an hour later, and could look for work there. "We need to recognise the jobs often don't come to you. Sometimes you need to go to the jobs,"

    Today’s Guardian states that Research by the Public and Commercial Services union while there were 1,670 unemployed people and 39 job vacancies in Merthyr, all temporary and part-time. The equates to 42.8 unemployed persons per Mcjob. In Cardiff the position is better but with 15,000 people in Cardiff chasing 1,700 jobs (8.8 persons per job).

    The vast majority of vacancies in Cardiff were temporary and part-time, mainly unskilled labouring, for just one or three weeks' duration.

    Among the permanent jobs was work in a casino or bars. Neither offered help with journeys home afterwards and the last bus out of Cardiff leaves at 11.06pm, the union pointed out. "Workers from outside the city might be able to get the bus to work, but they would not be able to get home," said a spokesman.
    "These figures prove it is not a question of people not being willing to work, there simply are not enough jobs for them to do – and there are unlikely to be any time soon because of the government's plans to cut public spending, including cutting 15,000 more jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions."

    Duncan Smith said on Friday after the union criticism of his comments: "The unions are showing themselves to be totally out of touch with reality with these pathetic remarks. They seem to be suggesting that anyone who commutes to work is somehow doing the wrong thing.

    "I would suggest they apologise and recognise that ordinary, decent people want to improve their lives and do the right thing for their families and so value work and get on the bus."

    It’s one thing to go out and look for work but if there are no jobs (or the jobs are impractical like the casino ones) The PCS also noted that there are fewer jobs available in the whole of Wales than there are unemployed persons in Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent. Some may be able to get out to other parts of the country but many, for a variety of perfectly good reasons, simply cannot do that.

    If there is a dearth of jobs now I shudder to think what the situation will be like as the public sector sheds staff

    But back to Duncan-Smith. It did not matter to him that his comment was crass given the dearth of work in Cardiff. But why should he give a damn? I doubt the man has any real concern for the people who rely on welfare through no fault of their own. Far more important to be seen to be hard on the vulnerableSource URL:
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Choppy haircuts

    Want to hear a weird secret? When you're pregnant, your hair gets thick and glossy, but a few months after your baby is born, it starts to fall out! It's crazy; I'm officially balding with a full-on receding hairline. Apparently it does grow back, but in the meantime, I'm thinking of getting a choppy haircut to make it look thicker.

    Anyway, aren't these two pretty? Perfectly easy and messy.

    (Photos from J. Crew and Elle Canada, via Kate Arends)Source URL:
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