Planarchy Archive - January 2003

Friday 31st January 2003

OK, here's the obligatory weather related feature.  Zee's brother, EssTee, was planning to fly to Ireland yesterday to visit his girlfriend.  As you may have heard, Stanstead airport was closed as a result of the snow. 

So he came home. 

This afternoon they sent him away again as they'd run out of staff (yeah, new one on me too).
"Serves him right," I said, "Should get a girlfriend closer to home, it's not that hard... I found mine next door." 
This is true but young Dee was concerned,
"No, Dad, his next door neighbour is over 70 and really miserable, she wouldn't do for him at all," she said.


Thursday 30th January 2003

This picture of the latest political Russian dolls (from today's Grauniad) caught my attention.  I too have a very nice political Russian Doll that Zee brought back a few years ago.  The largest (30cm) doll is Yeltsin.  Inside him is Gorbachev. Inside him Brezhnev.  And so on until we get to Peter the Great (a tiny 2cm doll, oh the irony!).

I wonder who is inside the Osama and Sadam dolls? 

Nah, too obvious.





Tuesday 28th Janaury 2003

A blast from the past today.  Well, my past anyway, maybe nor yours.

I was nearly home when I saw this guy running along the pavement with a "30 Something" tea shirt on.  "30 Something", you'll be aware, was the excellent second album from those latter day punksters Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.  And I feel Carter USM sit well within the pages of a Blog as I recall Fruitbat (one half of the USM) used to keep an online tour diary, updated after every night's show.  And a very amusing e-correspondent he was.  Nice chap too.  Even if he did forget to put me on the list for the after show party that time.

Three cheers to Carter USM, here's their greatest hit as MP3 (boy does it sound older than 11!).

Monday 27th January 2003

When one's wife's mother buys the house on the corner (but isn't going to move in just yet) and the back door won't open without force. 

Just leave it. 

Don't force it, OK!

Because if you force it, and it doesn't close again you have to go and get a plane and plane down the edge of the door in near darkness.

Why hadn't someone else posted this useful information before!

Which reminds me, "Near Dark", that was a good film wasn't it?  I'm not sure I've seen it since it came out, but I have fond memories...

Saturday 25th January 2003

I t'ink my garden looks a bit Jurassic in this picture.  The fence is bit of a giveaway and the velociraptor moved too quickly but otherwise...

What is it about Velociraptors anyway?  They didn't have them when I was a lad.....  T.rex and Brontosauri was all we had.  Dinosaurs were big,  slow and stoopid whereas Velociraptors are cool, swift and smart.


Friday 24th January 2003

One of the many t'ings that Dee and Kay have brought back into my life is Top of the Pops on a Friday night (though I'm sure it was on Thursdays in my youth).  Where else would the latest boy bands (pretend punks?) and this weeks manufactured pap (inferior Elton John clone this week) get to sit alongside the introspective indy exuberance of Feeder; the perfect punk posing of the Libertines; and the wonderful weirdness of the Flaming Lips.


Thanks girls.

And apologies to overseas readers who have no idea what I'm talking about.

Thursday 23rd January 2003

I'm resorting to the ole Grauni again for my starting point today.  They were celebrating the near demise of magazine adverts for cigarettes in the UK with a trawl through some notable ones.  These two shocked me the most.... and in 50 years which one of today's harmless diversions will be known to be fatal?


On the other side of the coin we have the story in which a cigarette has been airbrushed from Paul McCartney's hand on the Abbey Road posters in the US. 

Excellent, revisionist tactic there from the anti-tobac brigade.

Tuesday 21st January 2003

Today's blog should have been beamed to you via my new NTL broadband connection.  But, of course they cocked it up.  Has anyone ever had decent service from this company on a first attempt?  I was booked for 5pm and an upgrade of our cable TV from analogue to digital with broadband installation at the same time. 

But they turned up six and a half hours early with the wrong kit.  So, normal NTL service really.

Still, the house is still standing.  But if the sun doesn't rise tomorrow I know who I'll blame.

Meanwhile, at work I was being fitted up for my new work clothes.  Rather worrying to learn that we're changing colour from our current QuikFit blue to a sandy fatigue like colour.  Hmmm, and all this on the day they announce more troops than originally expected are off to the gulf.  I fink I smell a rat.


Monday 20th January 2003


Back again.

Full ski-blog should be available by the weekend (no, really I will try).  In the meantime here's my favourite picture (à çe moment) from the weekend's excursion.


Thursday 16th January 2003

My brother gave me this for a combined birthday and Christmas present. 

So I've gone. 

See you Monday.

Wednesday 15th January 2003

We had someone auditing our computers in the lab today ready for a big upgrade. I was someone proud to learn (I knew sub-consciously, I suppose) that we had a positive tapestry of Windows.  We had Windows 3.11 (x2), Win 95 (x1), Win 98SE (x1) and Windows NT4 (x4).

But the number of PCs got me thinking.  When I started working there 14 years ago there were nine of us sharing two Amstrad IBM clones.  Now there are two of us humans and nine PCs. 

Who says they're not taking over?

Tuesday 14th January 2003

I'm all in favour of the odd bit of deception, but even so was a little bit taken back by this note that Dee brought home from school...

"Dear Parent/Carer,
As part of the Year 7 History Coursework, all of Year 7 will be watching a presentation by a Roman General during periods 2 & 3 on January....."

Right, a Roman General.  Of course they will.  Let's hope he's up on East End slang as I happen to know their Latin is really limited.

Never had Roman Generals when I was at school.  A few Nazi's maybe but nothing from ancient history.

The note ends.... " If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to contact us."

Well, maybe just the one....


Monday 13th January 2003

So this weekend Rock'n'Roll said goodbye to yet another of it's stars.  Nowhere near the same league as Joe Strummer, but still a foot-note in rocks great history for Micky Finn.  T-Rex's bongo player, as if you didn't know.  The Beeb and XFm say he was 55 whilst Sky say 56. There also appears to be some confusion over the spelling of the poor chaps name.

I know you're thinking, "Bongos? I don't remember Bongos featuring heavily in T-Rex."  Well no, I could never really place them in the mix either, but there you go.  He was with Marc from the start and in any footage of Bolan, there was Finn bongoing at his side. 
So, whatever, RIP Mick(e)y, I'm remembering you with a fond smile. 

And who can ask for more than that?



Sunday 12th Janaury 2003

On the left Dee's school bag and on the right young Kay's.  Now whilst it's true that Dee, having just started secondary school has to carry more books, I still feel there's something of an imbalance here.  Dee's bag carries everthing that she might need not only in a week of school but also for a polar expedition.  For  Dee is always prepared for everything... when you go out with her it's a bit like having your granny along, she always has paper hankies and the like.  Very practical but not very twelve.  Kay, on the other hand appears to be living by the "Let us be elegant or die!" motto that Zee tells me is originally from "Little Women".  And what is in Kay's liitle sequined bag?  Her reading glasses, a pencil and a screwed up bit of paper which is supposed to be this week's homework.

We had to carry all our books around when I was at school as well.  But that was because we'd been denied a classroom.  This wasn't down to school overcrowding or anything, no, it was down to mice.  There were some mice living under the floor in our classroom. 

They put down posion. 

We flushed it away and put sandwhiches there instead. 

Which the mice much preferred.  But, as punishment, we lost our class room.  I think we were the only class to have this punishment visited upon us.  It's not much of an achievement I know, but it's better than nothing.

Saturday 11th January 2003

SI units. 

That's what we at DKNZ towers are moving into for 2003.  It's not a New Years Resolution, as they are for woosses and wimps.  It's just a statement of intent.  At work I use them all the time, though this is somewhat complicated by an American boss.  They have problems with SI units and the metric system and when to use that don't they?

Anyway, enough of the Yank bashing, as I said, I happily use SI units and the metric system at work but at home there are still a few vestiges of imperial.....  Temperature has taken a few years and I have to admit we're going to cop out here a bit and used a derived unit, we're not going to use Kelvins until the weather forecasters do.  I hope they start soon, 273 K won't sound nearly as cold.  But at least I have laid Fahrenheit to rest. 

Units of mass still seem to give me a little bit of trouble.  At work I can guess the weight in of something in grams with great accuracy.  But how much do I weigh in kilograms?  Well, 74, but I had to convert it. And cooking is funny, i'll happily use grams in a recipe but when it comes to how much dried pasta I need for 2, 3 or 4 people I'm stuck on ounces.  I've started to change this week though, on Tuesday we were left very hungry and on thursday we couldn't sleep due to over-eating.  But we will get there.

Then there's length (or even height).  I much prefer being 1.82m than "just under six foot".  Not reaching six foot was a big thing in my life, a bit of a let down, as it were.  But not reaching 1.83 metres would have meant nout. I mean nobody would have ever told me I was going to reach 2 metres would they?

Finally, for today at least, I notice that the SI unit for luminous intensity is the cd. 

Well they are shiny aren't they?


Thursday 9th January 2003

"So which countries do you need your travel insurance for?" he asked.

"Well we're flying to Geneva, then driving across the border into France for the skiing," I replied.

"Hmm, I know I'm in Travel Insurance, but which country is Geneva in?" he enquired.

And they say standards aren't dropping.

Heh, heh.  I'll be writing those Daily Mail editorials yet guys.


Meanwhile, over in the Grauni, I found this link to the Blog grand-daddy himself... Samuel Pepys.
I haven't yet decided whether it's a nice way to view Pepys diary or too cutesy to turn it into a blog. 

Finally a plug for an old mate of mine, who must become known to planarchy as DeeJayLPQueue.  Tonight at 10pm GMT "Lloyd Cole knew my father" can be heard on BBC Radio 2.  It's based on the Edinburgh Festival show he did with Stuart Maconie and Andrew Collins.  Go on, give it a try.

Wednesday 8th January 2003

Snow en Londres!  The first time it's settled for many a long year young glasshoppers.  Certainly the first time for the girls down here.  But enough, you don't want to hear their tales of snowball fights and who put snow down who's trizers, do you? 


Instead, you must pity poor me.  No snow when I left DKNZ towers at six and a half of the a.m.  But within nano-seconds of my arrival at the place we shall call work, it started.  And it all looked so pretty, pretty, pretty.  And I was stuck there, unable to take any images of it other than through the window.  Pah!  I was discussing this lamentable state of affairs with the recently paternal (congratulations!) Dr.Cee, commenting that to really make good pix we also needed a blue sky.  But I quite like these two as they are.  Though you'll need to enlarge them to get the full ethereal feel I think.

Monday 6th January 2003

OK, now this panto genie is out of the bottle I feel we might as well milk it for all it's worth.  Let us start at the beginning of the performance.....

From stage left walks a tall man dressed in black denims, tee-shirt, studded leather jacket, quiff with white/green face make-up.  My musical educayshun would put such a figure in pretty high esteem (imagine Robert Smith/Dave Vanian/Nick Cave/The Jesus & Mary Chain /or even Marilyn Manson).  But what happens when this guy walks on?

Everyone boos him!

"He might be the hero, he certainly looks pretty cool to me," I said to Zee.

"My name is FleshCreep," he says.

Well, he still could be the hero, couldn't he?

"And I'm here as the servant of my evil master, the giant Blunderbore," he continued.

OK, so they were right and I was wrong.  It happens once a year, I'm glad we've got it over with for 2003.

Still think he looked cool though.


Sunday 5th January 2003

Well, first the bad news.

I rather enjoyed the panto yesterday afternoon.

Shocking isn't it?  Zee, who'e seen (and indeed been involved in) a lot more pantos than me said, and this in my defence, that it was one of the best ever.  But maybe I'm just getting soft in my middle age (Oh, no you're not).

Then we were nearly home ( 50 yards away) there was a police road block...
"You'll have to go round the other way," they said to us.

So we drive in a big circle only to be confrontd by more police tape.  But when we told them exactly where we lived they lifted the tape and let us drive through.  Then I went out again for a takeaway.  The journey back home is when the good thing nearly happenned.  For when I reached the tape and they asked me where I was going I was all ready to say (even I wouldn't sing it):

"I've a little money and a take-away curry,
I'm on my way home to my wife,
She'll be lining up the cutlery,
You know she's expecting me
Polishing the glasses and pulling out the cork"

But the police had gone.


Saturday 4th January 2003

We're going to t'Panto this afternoon.

(Oh yes we are!).

Medium term readers possessing even a nano-gram of nouse will suspect that Panto isn't really my scene.

(Oh no it isn't!)

I'll get back to you later.

(Oh yes I.... I'm bored of this already.)


Thursday 2nd January 2003

Isn't it great to be back at work?

I realised today that my Xmas break was the longest one I had last year.  Need to sort out some proper two week holidays for this year.

Twenty six would be good.


Wednesday 1st January 2003

"January, sick and tired you've been hanging on me,
You make me sad with your eyes, you're telling me lies,
Don't go, don't go."  sang Pilot

What was that all about, eh?

Apparently the song was released on the 1/17/1975.  For there were seventeen months in a year back then.  Oh, yes.  Which is why, presumably, the seventies was such a great decade for music (oh, yes it was).




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