Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!


Sunday, February 29, 2004

BLUE SKIES

Lovely day today. Good to be alive. I hope it lasts (the weather, not my life) for a few more of them. I can almost sense tomorrow already... the Guinness, the lunch, the sunshine. God is in his garden.



Talking of gardens, I've at last got cooking completely sussed. You simply move vegetables (any vegetables) from the freezer to the microwave, and turn the knob to six. Maybe seven, if there's a lot. Then you pour off the water, put a couple of slices of cooked meat (any meat) on top of the veg, and micro for another minute or two.

Result? Delicious, cheap and slimming meat and veg meal.

So it's bye bye biryani and fuck off fish and chips from now on. Soon I'll be that skinny I'll just disappear sideways. Maybe I'll get a husband then. Like zed.



Actually I've been proposed to once this year already - by a lady at my bingo. Sweet. I had to let her down very gently. "Ladies Request" is all very well for a dance, but marriage is talking it a bit far. "Betty," I said to her, as she leant on her walking stick looking up at me cheekily, "Betty - I'm very, very honoured - but what would my wife say about it?"

We laughed, and she hobbled off to her widow's flat across the street. "I had the finest man in the world - for forty years," she declaimed in a cigarette-wreck of a voice. Lots of my bingo ladies are widows.

We're having loads of festivities today for February 29th. Quizzes, scratchcards, marathon bingo sessions to wear out your dabber... should be great fun.

Have a happy 29th - wherever you are. (And especially of course if it's your birthday!)


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Saturday, February 28, 2004

WINTERTON OF DISCONTENT

Staying with politicians for a moment, I was astonished to find that the foul, racist, Tory Ann Winterton has something of a track record in getting into trouble for after-dinner jokes.
"In May 2002, she was sacked as shadow rural affairs minister by Iain Duncan Smith after telling a joke at a rugby club dinner about throwing Pakistanis off a train."
Some people never learn!

Her blustering technique of desperately trying to blame the objector is weirdly reminiscent of something that happened in these quarters some time back.

Those who were here at the time will remember. And those who weren't needn't bother their pretty heads. Done. Dusted. The moving cursor blinks.

Cathode Rays - Sex, Lies and Michael Aspel

There was the strangest programme on TV last night - after midnight when you're most receptive to fantasy and falsehood. The show purported to be an expose of Michael Aspel and his many lovers and illegitimate children. Yet so skilfully made was it that you got no hint it was all a big spoof. In fact - I'm still not convinced either way. Really bizarre. You had to be there. BBC page.


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Friday, February 27, 2004

SHORT SHRIFT

Well - there's Clare Short blowing the whistle again. BBC and Guardian. Should members of the UN - including Blix and Annan - have their phone calls and faxes intercepted?

And should Scary Clary have opened her gob about it? Aren't you glad you never told her about that wee affair with the plumber you had back in '73!

Telegraph Road

An American court has blocked the sale of Hollinger International, the company which owns the Daily Telegraph and other titles. Me, I couldn't care less, as it's a cheap, Tory, fascist manifesto, and the Sunday version even more so. The odd time I do glance at it, I never know whether I'm reading a Sunday paper or a hymn book. Everyone's white and straight and Britannia rules the waves. Emetic. I wouldn't wipe my bottom on the Thatcher-loving rag.

However, we can't escape the fact that there's a market for that tripe, especially in England, and the Torygraph is the biggest-selling broadsheet by far.

So it's essential that it doesn't fall into Murdoch hands.



Now that my holidays are all used up, I can't believe I have to go to work every week now, possibly for months. It's an outrage. An affront against decency, I tell you.

And if this weekend doesn't pan out considerably more smoothly than last, then I'll be forced to start considering my position, as they call it. But I've no real fears. I think last week it was just the shock of going back.

In other news, Babs the chef is now the proud owner of a sparkling PC, and is busy planning her own blog. She's thinking of calling it Time Of The Month Blog, but I'm not totally sure what that means.

Me, I'm currently playing Simpsons Hit and Run, but not making desperately good progress. You have to beat Principal Skinner's car to school, but so far it's a one-horse race. The steering is the culprit. The cars are just too slack on the corners. So I have to practise handbrake skids.

And now I have to practise ironing skills. Ho hum. Just got to get on with it. Nothing else for it. Have a great weekend!

But finally....

I was tickled to read about a 93 y/o retired vicar getting a PhD. "The Soul in Relationship to God." I could do that. Been thinking for some time that Naked Blog doesn't stretch me enough intellectually. Now, what should I be doctor of?


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Thursday, February 26, 2004

WILD THING

Had a new gastronomic experience yesterday. Pigeon breast. It was part of Babs' charcuterie et tapenade* Made me feel all cave-mannish and natural. Like I needed a wife.

"In The Village we serve only wood pigeon," chirped Alastair the owner. "Not the city sort - they're a bit merde." "I know - " I said, " - and all those petrol fumes in their little lungs."

Actually we don't get pigeons here in Leith. The gulls chase them away. Only so much food to go round, you see.

Bit like real life, actually.



*tapenade, for those of less-refined tastes, is a rough chop of anchovy and black olive. Nicely sets off mixed meats, esp when served with crisp leaves. Now - if all that hasn't set your mouth watering, then I'm losing my touch!


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TICKLE ME PINK

Just when you're sitting with not a thing in the world to blog about, what should come to your attention but the return of diva. (Why did it take until yesterday for someone to alert NB readers? And who is the mysterious "Robert" in my comment box?)

Anyway - clearly with mike nothing can be so simple as simply starting to blog again, so in a fit of post-modern, camp irony he's devised the mother of all tests. There are one hundred and twenty questions, of which 55 currently remain unanswered. I've looked at all of them, and haven't a clue - but then I'm almost a hundred.

So - get yourselves along there, and get answering. Unless all 120 are correctly answered, mike will never blog again. And you'll have only yourselves to blame. It would be the tragedy of all tragedies if only 119 got done. Would mike be able to resist the urge to answer the last one himself?

Seriously. Just do it. Blogworld needs the diva.

[Hint: To my fellow bloggers. When someone does something like this you are supposed to publicise it. That's how blogs work.]


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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

CROWNED

Off to the dentist in just over an hour for my new crown. Yummie. Let's hope this one lasts longer than its predecessor, which would be lucky if it saw two years. Toffees are the secret. Avoid them at all costs - unless you've got nothing but nature in your gob.

Something else to be avoided is Sex Lives of The Potato Men. "Fancy nipping along to see it?" I said to Alastair, owner of the Village, where we were sitting drinking. "OK," he said, and off we trotted.

To Terence Conran's Zinc Grill first, for a couple of restorative Mountgays, when who should come over to join us but Mary Moriarty, landlady of the Port o Leith Bar, and her sister Liz Morrow, just over from the States for a week. Their brother had just died. I didn't know they had one. Lovely to see Liz again. She was over for a year in the early nineties, during the recreational period. Happy memories.



But no happy memoires of SLOTPM. My own thought was that if the reviews are so uniformly bad that it even makes Guardian Weblog, then it must be one cool movie. Must have some quality that the reviewers just haven't picked up on.

Well, in that case, neither did I.

Oh, after several drinkies, and a bucket load of drugs, it might raise a titter or two - in a packed house. But with the single-figure audience that we were part of there was nary a giggle to be heard.

Why was it so awful? I'm trying to think. And the answer just has to be the script, which had barely enough material for a half hour show, far less stretched out to feature length. The film-maker has done very well to get his paws on so much public money for this venture, but please Andy - find another job. We're desperate for staff at my bingo.

IN VITRO VERITAS

The government are restricting tax-payer funded IVF treatments to one. Good. But this is still one too many. In a world heaving with over-population it is the height of obscenity to take extreme and unusual measures to create even more.

Oh but it's a woman's right to have children, I hear you mutter. Stuff and nonsense. Not only did "nature" deny me children, but made a wife impossible also. The very fabric of society, cruelly snatched away at such a young age. But you never hear me moaning on about it or demanding public money which could be otherwise used to treat the ill and dying. Go forth and be barren, I say.

Heartless or what?

OK then, maybe just one treatment.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

END OF MY WORLD FOR ME

At last I've conquered my Theme Park World habit - by the simple expedient of completing it. Strange little game - once you've built one park, you've built them all. Oh, you're supposed to score gold tickets for theme park excellence before you can move on to the next one, but the discerning gamer, even of my senility seniority, has no problem finding a few tasty cheats. (Beware downloads and pop-ups on that link.)

So now it'll have to be back to Vice City, and see how Tommy Vercetti, my alter ego, has been getting on. Nice guy. Fanciable. I've always found the criminal element alluring - so much so that my mother once threatened to tear up my library tickets if I didn't stop getting out books about "juvenile delinquents" as they were called back then!



God knows what she would have thought about "Skinhead" - but by then I was well into my thirties. (Few, if any of you, will have a clue what I'm talking about. Skinhead, by Richard Allen, was a smasheroo, runaway best-selling book way back whenever. Late seventies, early eighties I'm guessing. It spawned a whole literary genre of "Brit-thug". I see Amazon are still offering Skinhead Farewell and Skinhead Escapes, but not the Meisterwerk.)

Talking of British genres, I'm really tempted to Sex Lives of the Potato Men today. It's had so many turkey reviews they'll be queuing round the block to get in. Plus all tickets are three quid at my local Ster Century today. Maybe, just maybe.


And finally...

Thanks to all for your kind remarks about the NB absence over the weekend. As I explained yesterday, work was being a bit of a bitch, and I had nothing remotely cheerful to say. But should you really let work get in the way of your blogging?

The piece below is a bagatelle that came to me from a comment Caitlin made yesterday. You'll see which one. It's aimed right at blorgy. Forgive me.


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DRUGS TEST FOR LEITH

Her Majesty's Government, in its latest desperate attempt to divert attention from Weapons of Mass Destruction, has decided to implement drug testing for school pupils. If it's good enough for the United States, that absolute paragon of enlightened law enforcement, then it's surely good enough for us.

This weblog comes to you from Leith, that absolute paragon of drug-taking as featured in the book, play and movie Trainspotting.

Here is a suggested Drugs Test for our pupils.


You Have Thirty Minutes To Complete This Test

Question 1 What is your favourite drug?

Question 2 Why?

Question 3 Who is the author and patron saint of drugtaking in Leith? Is it
(a) Irvine Welsh
(b) Irvine Scotch
(c) Irvine Bailey's Irish Cream
Question 4 You return home late from a party, stoned ootae yer heid as usual, and find your parents giggling on the couch, smoking the biggest joint you've ever seen and listening to Bananarama's Greatest Hits. Do you
(a) Sneak upstairs to bed and pretend nothing had happened
(b) Say "After you with that one, Paw"
(c) Offer to get them some decent shit next time you're down the docks?
Question 5 What does the expression "Camberwell Carrot" mean to you? (If anything.)

Question 6 They say ecstasy has dropped to one pound fifty a tab. Do you think this is still too much?

Question 7 Name a famous literary work about sex and drugs. Is it
(a) Naked Lunch
(b) Naked Civil Servant
(c) Naked Blog
(d) Naked Chef
Question 8 Can you remember anything at all?

Question 9 Do you care?

That completes the test. Don't forget to piss in a paper cup on your way out. Have fun kids, but remember - more than twenty quid a quarter is a ripoff.


(Indirectly inspired by Caitlin in a comment box.)


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Monday, February 23, 2004

SOMEWHAT UNBALANCED

I shouldn't be sitting here, writing to you like this. It's half past eleven, and I've just surfaced after a quite delicious slumber, in which I'm sure I made love to an entire... [That's enough of that. It's nowhere near the watershed.... Ed]

Well - I hear there's been no Naked Blog for an entire weekend. Did the earth stop spinning? Did Tony Blair call crisis meetings? Did the dollar plunge to its lowest level since levels began?

Doubt it, somehow.



It was work, you see, darlings. That'll learn me to go spouting on about "I'm now able to enjoy a stress-free, low paid, part-time job....blah, blah di blah"

Stress-free? I would rather stand naked in front of lions, my personality my only shield. By Sunday morning I was all for resigning, either quietly or catastrophically, but by the time-honoured process of "getting back on your bike", this was completely reversed by that very evening.

Some people like quiet jobs, putting paper in drawers, or the modern equivalent. Others walk the walk and do the biz. Occasionally then you fall off - sometimes through no fault of your own. It's only sad if you never get back on again.

Sublime to Ridiculous...

...is what the producers of Michael Parkinson must have thought when they billed Sir Ian McKellen and Johnny Vegas on Saturday's show. (Or was it Friday? Total blur, I tell you.) There was also Rhona Cameron who isn't sure if she is a lesbian, but wants to "develop as a person". By that I can only presume she wants to try some cock. (My advice: go on, hen - you'll love it. Eh, girls?)

McKellen was dopey, as actors often are without a script. Normally they fall back on a handful of "Dear Larry" stories, but at least he avoided that one. Sir Ian likes being gay, as without that he would have had nothing to overcome.

Awesome logic that, Ian baby. Oh, and Vegas and Cameron both are/were drunkards to some degree. How fascinating. They should start their own blogs, and I'll avoid them with bated breath.

Right now. It's lunch time and I must away out to somewhere life-enhancing. Have fun. But - before I go...

Random drug tests for pupils

This is nothing less than a society in its death-throes, and it reeks of the vile Blunkett. As you sow, so shall you reap. Mark my words.
Overheard in any school playground one year from now...
"What you got this afternoon, Natasha?"
"Oh - the usual. Maths test, history test, drugs test..."
You couldn't make it up.
I wonder what my Tory candidate is like?


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Friday, February 20, 2004

IN THE BALANCE

Hi Ho...
which - as regular readers know (and if not regular, why not?) - means getting back to graft. The end of vacation; the return of meagre toil.

Who am I trying to kid? It's the 20th February today, and I estimate I've worked 15 days - this year. Ah well - this is certainly richness in time if not quite yet in money.



It's called the work/time balance. Some - typically unemployed people - have loads of time but very little money to enjoy it. Others work far too hard at jobs, occasionally squeezing in expensive, high-stress holidays which simply move the tranquillisers and heavy drinking overseas for a couple of weeks.

Both unattractive, for opposite reasons. Me, I'm now able to enjoy a stress-free, low paid, part-time job simply because for many years I lived the second option above.

Fortunately I "saw the light" in time to stop and repair my body and soul, and can now easily forgo the latest Dixons gadgets for the sheer joy of being (almost) my own man.



Some of you are lucky to have found jobs which are both enjoyable and well paid, and here's to continued happiness. Others I know have to struggle for every penny, so I won't insult you with platitudes.

Waxing philosophical before ten in the morning! Time for another mug of delicious, steaming Nescafe Gold Blend.

What thing or things would improve your practical life?


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Thursday, February 19, 2004

ISHOOS

OK then - yesterday was fun about tits and knickers, but today we got issues to discuss.

Issue 1

A fat bald guy called Craig Brown told Bill and Natasha this Breakfast that he was in fact Guardian columnist Bel Littlejohn. I'm very annoyed at this misrepresentation.

Not only did "Bel Littlejohn" have a fake photo atop her newspaper column, but it often generated feedback in the letters pages, where The Grauny singularly failed to inform correspondents that the feature was a spoof, to use Mr Brown's term.

Is The Guardian correct in deceiving and misleading its punters in that way? Personally I feel cheated and lied to. What next? Julie Burchill really John Prescott all along? I think we should be told. None out of ten to the Guardian for that, I'm afraid.

Issue 2

Do you enjoy popping into your local chemist and seeing a choice of (non-prescribed) remedies? Well, enjoy it while you can, because the EU is about to ban the lot. Even Vitamin C, apparently.

This is due to pressure from Big Pharmy, who are worried that too many people are getting better on their own. That they're failing to consume enough Prozac and Temazepam, to name just two fabulous, life-enhancing products.

Information and action here and here.

Big Issue

Staying with Big Money, the Royal Bank of Scotland today announces profits of more than seven billion pounds. Obscene. Jesus had the right idea - throwing the moneylenders out of the temple. A proper labour government would tax them down to their last Rolls Royce and private island. Usurers.

Not An Issue

Really looking forward to that Potato film with Johnny Vegas, Mackenzie Crook, Mark Gatiss and Lucy Davis. Can hardly go wrong.

More tit stuff

OK then, if you insist. "Search of the day" today is nipple reduction workouts on Yahoo, where we clock in at number fifteen.

Now - I've sat here for at least an hour, scratching my head and wondering what on earth workout will make your nips smaller.

Bigger is easy. Simply apply someone's lips and tell them to get sucking. But reduced? Beats me, guv. Let me know what you come up with, as - frankly - the Naked Nips could do with shrinking a bit. [Too much information, sweetie...Ed]

And finally...

Today is the last day of my February holiday. It was OK, but the weather's been a bit dreich and I've drunk too much. Ah well. Three days' sobriety every week sorts that one out. (That's the only reason I work, btw. It's not the money. Loaded. You know that... :)


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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

PECKING ORDER

Went into the Port yesterday, for a wee change, and it was nice to see them all. Wee Robert, Robin (don't call me bisexual, I'm a screaming queen now) and Gerry Not Guilty, QC, who gave me a hug. "I'm not doing very well, Peter," he said, "not well at all." "That's a shame, Gerry," I soothed. "But your hair's nice." What else could I reasonably say?

Lynsey was my maitre d, resplendent in her trademark top and pants that don't quite meet in the middle. Her thong was riding higher at the back than the pants, as is the present mode for the young, but as a confirmed bachelor this gave me no frisson.



Enter Babs the chef, shoving aside all who got in the way. "I'm not interested in anybody's fucking problems," she declared to the bar in general, " - except yours, Peter," turning to me. How sweet is that?

Then she caught sight of Lynsey's rear lingerie situation. "Woman - everybody can see your knickers!" she pronounced to the hapless girl. "What are you like?" Well, would you know it, quarter of an hour later Lynsey snuck off to the loo, and came back visibly thongless.

"Look what you've done now!" I snorted to Babs. "She was quite happy the way she was, and now she's got jean seam in her slit. You're just like her in Snowwhite... the one that ate the apple... " "Wicked witch!" Babs finished for me. "Gie's another brandy and coke."

WOMAN'S OWN

Staying with ladies' themes today, I was quite tickled with this one on stunned mullet's site. I know the reference is over a week old, but who cares?




Another desperate attempt to revive a flagging career.



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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

GAME, SET AND MATCH

Games can be very addictive. Last week's Guardian TV guide had a feature on Tetris, but there are many more.

Claire in the Village was telling me about her Solitaire habit. (Windows Solitaire.) "I was going out with Paul at the time, and he would go to bed about midnight and I would say, 'I'll just be five minutes'. But I'd still be playing it at five in the morning." Claire's heavily into Tetris now.

I nodded agreement, having done many an all-nighter on Solitaire myself. Freecell too has wasted weeks on end. And minesweeper I played so much I got tendonitis in my right arm, just below the elbow joint. That was when I was forced to go ambidextrous, and I remain a left-hand mouser to this day.

More recently, Mah Jonng solitaire has come into my life, and taken it over, and I've played it till my upper spine is screaming in the pain of immobility. Sat fixed in front of the screen, clicking on pretty tiles, watching out the window as the sun crosses the heavens and another day off goes to waste.

And now of course Theme Park World, my first sim, but I sense by no means the last.

What's to become of us all? Any games you wish you'd never heard of?

Thought for the day

Isn't it fucking infuriating when someone is desperately rude to you in a pub (or anywhere else for that matter), and a well-meaning third party says, "Don't you think you might be being over-sensitive?"

Over-sensitive? Moi? The very idea.

DVD Corner

It's difficult to convey just how much delight I'm getting from League of Gentlemen, Series 1 (10.99 at HMV for six episodes). It's a masterpiece of invention and performance, and seeing it at your own speed, rather than having to wait a week each time, makes it easier to follow the intricacies.

Similarly South Park Series 1, at 29.99 for thirteen episodes. Marvel as episode by episode your favourite characters appear. Specially featuring Big Gay Al and the Gay Animal Sanctuary. (The character who gave Big Straight Al his name.)

Screen Gems

Breaking The Waves, by Lars von Trier. Last night at an unearthly hour. Hope you taped it. One of my bestest movies. Ever. Beggars belief.


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Monday, February 16, 2004

MONDAY, MONDAY

I shouldn't be sitting here, writing to you like this. It's 10am and already I've showered and shaved (don't always happen on a day off, I confess), and attended the dentist for a fitting for my new crown. (Stop laughing. Just stop.) And I'm feeling decidedly dizzy. Much too early for a lady of leisure.

Today it's imperative that I do something. Anything. Anything rather than Playstation, which is seriously damaging my health. Even my face is getting dry and red, and I don't want to start looking like an old jaikie already.

So far I've tried Skin Therapy, by Boots, but it's a bit budgety. Maybe I should look in Harvey Nicks for something. (It's my own fault, I know. Bragging here just last year about how healthy and naturally moisturised my puss is. Pride comes before skinflakes.) I thought when you stopped smoking, things were supposed to get better, not worse.



Yesterday was madness in The Village. They'd been Valentine partying for 24 hours solid, and what hadn't gone down throats and up noses wasn't worth mentioning. It was Pimps and Tarts. Ian the owner had his hair bright yellow with a combination of genuine dye and yellow powder paint. I think he was a pimp. Gwen was definitely a tart, with a one pound fifty curly wig. I adore her.

She's making a record soon with Wayne Paycheck. They're gonna call it Wayne Paycheck featuring Gwen Dolan, drummer Stevie Sticks told me last week. She's a fab singer. Just needs that all-important lucky break. Or Trevor Horn. When it comes out I'll tell you how to order it.

I think Gwen has to write her own lyric. I offered to do it, but don't think anyone heard in the commotion.
"Its only a matter of time until somebody picks up on Wayne Paycheck and offers them the record deal they richly deserve. They are the kind of band producers would love to get a hold of with their sweet harmonies, edgy hip hop, and a rocking rhythm section." Schoolhouse Management


A schemie came in, maybe looking for Garry from the Fort. One of Gwen's group started chatting to him and tried to buy him a drink. McEwan's Export. How butch is that?

"Sorry - I'm not serving you," Alastair the other owner said. "What for?" the youth asked. "I don't have to give a reason, and I'm not convinced you're over eighteen anyway. Good night."

The hapless youth left at that, excluded from the good times once again. Some times it's hard to be a young man. Maybe they can put him on that Queer Eye programme for a makeover. (A concept I find repellent, btw.)

Second Debut

Someone has kindly popped the story below onto Blorgy. Very sweet. But the Blorgy man (or person) has somewhat hilariously changed the title round, robbing it of any meaning. (What was the meaning, incidentally?)


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Sunday, February 15, 2004

YOU ARE MY NIGHT AND DAY...

It's 8.45 am, and there's a choice of activities...
  • one is to watch Breakfast With Frost, in the hope of gleaning some fascinating content for Naked Blog
  • and the other is to sink back into Theme Park World, which I've now been playing for two and a half days, almost solid. (Or maybe it's three and a half. Time flies.)
  • Almost solid means spending all your available time, but continuing to eat and sleep. Unlike completely solid which means non-prescribed medication and going at it really non-stop.



    I've done that, of course. Oh yes. Never let it be said that grampa is ready for wooden packaging just yet. It was when chatrooms first got going. Compuserve was the company. So blown away was I - a decade ago? - that I stayed up for seven nights on the trot chatting my heart (and other parts) into the ground. Until my feet swelled up so much I couldn't get my shoes on.

    In slight defence, there was virtually no internet activity in this country, so you had to wait till the North Americans came online, which clearly wasn't until the small hours. And by daybreak you'd taken so much speed that you just started "coming to" again. I learned a lot about the night sky that week also.



    Another time I did 39 hours non-stop on the undernet, dotting from chat to chat, although the last eight hours were just trying to come down. After 12 hours you can "hear" them speaking. After 20 the chatrooms become real, and the lists of names are actual physical presences, having a party that you've just walked into. And after 30 they're there in your home with you, just out of the corners of your eyes, whispering, and not always nicely.

    Drugs and computers go really well together. Because the games (or chats) aren't yet quite realistic, it helps to take something to remove that barrier, to suspend your disbelief. Theme Park World has another feature I haven't yet mentioned. When you've built your park (or at any time you want), you can enter camcorder mode which makes you as small as the depicted characters. Wandering about in a Tellytubby fairy-tale world, going on the rollercoaster rides that the "adult you" has designed.

    It's seriously weird, and a stoner's delight, I'm sure. More immersive than even Vice City. The Matrix is everywhere.



    David Frost and a bunch of boring politicians? Or more escapist fantasy? The decision is mine to make. Thanks for your many comments over the last few days, which I'll be addressing at some stage. Hope you had a nice Valentine thingy. Me, I've never understood human relations. When they're head over heels in lurve you never see them, because they're on their backs 24/7 getting their fannies pounded raw - and when it's all washed up you're supposed to listen to what a complete bastard he is.

    As the late, great Quentin Crisp once said, "If you find you're actually stuck with someone, then you might as well get on with it."


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    Saturday, February 14, 2004

    A LITTLE SOMETHING, SIR?

    ...was how the guy greeted me in a corner shop in Ferry Road yesterday teatime. Or - more accurately - "something for your loved one, sir?"

    What the fuck? I'd just spend in excess of 24 hours, solidly (almost), playing Theme Park World. Concepts such as Friday 13, Valentine and the like had long subsumed to the only true reality, the bottom line.

    Or rather it's at the top, clocking up or down as you manage your Theme Park. A realtime reminder of exactly how much dosh you got. Great for the kids! Show em what really matters.

    Do you know? I'm so soft-hearted I actually held back from firing inefficient staff - until it sank in that it was only a game! Shades of Johnny Vegas to Paul Merton, talking about chatrooms... "I've even been on a virtual picnic with a woman. She complimented me on me sandwiches."

    Cabin fever. All gamers get it. I knew I had to escape to The Village, where there'd be fellow sufferers.



    But first I needed handkerchiefs. Nobody loves you when your nose is running - except your mother, and even her only in your first 10 years. And that's how it all came about. There I was congratulating myself that the hankies cost only 30 pence, unlike the five or ten pounds in the cigarette-smoking days, when he drops that bombshell on me. Fuck Playstation for a minute - who loves ya, baby?"

    "No thank you," I said in reply. "I haven't got a loved one."

    He looked at me blankly. Had he blown a gaffe? What were these gringo, limey Christians really like about Valentine's?

    "But it goes both ways," I added, putting him at some ease. He laughed then - a social rescue. "It's all commercialised anyway," he explained, young enough to be my grandson. I like Sikhism. Saves a fortune on hair products. And it's friendly to women.



    It goes both ways. Still, after more than half a century aboard mother earth, I haven't the slightest grasp of mature love. It's a loss, but not one I dwell on. Others lose limbs and lungs and stuff.

    And now, if you'll excuse me, it's back to my Theme Park. I've completed Dinosaur World, and am ready for my next, more taxing assignment. I even got an award for a roller-coaster. It had a triple loop.
    "Real life is so dull and boring after the Gamesphere." South Park character.
    PS: Normally I would have shared this with you last night, after the restorative Guinness and real life company. But in I walked to a biggish traffic spike, strangely unexplained. It's all in the post and comment box below, where I wax all statswhorish. Google and I grew up together, you know.


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    Friday, February 13, 2004

    TRAFFIC NEWS

    Right.

    It's 8pm and what the fuck's happening to my site today?

    990 estimated means a high traffic mention. Even for Naked Blog.

    I've told you all... there's only so much a boy can take.

    Right then - fortunately I've got a "paid for" service, WSTR, so let's see what's really going on.

    Eh...

    Update

    Now it's 1001 and rising. Seriously - this is not to brag or in any way act like a giggling adolescent. I've had figures bigger than this many a time. But always - always - from a high traffic mention, and for this number it's not even gonna be a weblog.

    My Website Traffic Report tells me nothing.

    Curiouser and curiouser. (I did actually have some nice content for you this evening.)


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    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    NEVER A DULL MOMENT

    If you are reading this then you need take no further action. Alles klar.

    Yesterday someone hacked into ednet my ISP, inserting a 1 pixel I*F*R*A*M*E calling up a malicious download disguised as a porn toolbar. They did that to Naked Blog and many other sites, and I hope no-one was daft enough to click the Yes box for that download. This problem is now resolved, and NB is back to full, wholesome, family goodness.

    What an exciting week! New fridge, Guardian Weblog, loss of domain, malicious frames... there's never a dull moment. To think most men of my age get no further than the bowling club.

    SPAMMED TO DEATH

    But that's not all! Yesterday the Mailwasher program sank beneath the weight of what had grown to 3000 messages, and plopped the lot onto my computer. I had no choice but to delete them all en masse, as they say in parts of Belgium.

    If you've emailed me in the last week, then I won't have got it. Sorry.

    Not only does the paper stuff fuck me up, but the electronic equivalent as well.

    NO COMMENT

    Thanks to Stuart of Hydragenic for his comment alerting me to yesterday's hack. (Good name for me, if you think about it - yesterday's hack.) Unfortunately, due to a technicality, that comment box then got deleted by my ISP's anti-hacking script. Sorry bout that, also. Can't see it happening again, though, so do keep those comments coming. You know how much everyone enjoys them.

    ABOVE MY STATION

    Tell me this, and tell me no more, as they say in Ireland. Are you supposed to complete Playstation games, or just abandon them about five percent through?

    At the moment I'm...
  • stuck on three missions in Vice City,
  • shot by Nazis in Wolfenstein,
  • pooped by a Scud missile in Desert Storm,
  • squashed by a red hot spider in Devil May Cry
  • unable to climb the wall in Prince of Persia
  • eaten by a radiation mutant in Half Life
  • All this hostility is getting me down.

    The only one I actually enjoy is Crazy Taxi, and stupidly I lent that to Dean. Last night in desperation I attempted Theme Park World, but couldn't get the end of my roller coaster to join on to the beginning, thus sending the customers screaming to certain death as they plummeted off the unfinished end.

    This is the reverse of cool.

    Any ideas? Bearing in mind my age and condition, and that most men my age get no further than the bowling club.

    PALMOLIVE

    The ever-inventive zed starts a serial drama today starring her blogroll. We're in it from the beginning, it appears, in bed with Robin Preene. Eeek! What happened to family values? This invokes memories of truth being stranger than fiction, but we'll keep that for the X-Rated version. And not with RP, I hasten to add.)

    Zed can be quite a cheeky wee minx when she gets going, n'est-ce pas?


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    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    HACKED TO BUGGERY

    Apologies for the new - temporary - feature inviting you to download some porn toolbar. Do NOT do this. The site is hacked, and due to its shocking nature should not be viewed by anyone.

    My ISP informs me the web farm has been compromised, but they're fixing it pronto.

    Naked Blog brings you only the best in family entertainment.

    "More Disney than Mickey Mouse!" (The Guardian)


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    COMMERCIAL BREAK

    One feature of not opening mail is missing things. Last February it was my father's deceasement. This Feb I almost lost my pretty domain. Yesterday.

    You may decide for yourselves which was more startling.

    And congratulate me that I've started washing up again. And yesterday also I even cleaned the microwave.

    "To every thing, turn, turn, turn..."

    Happy chappie. Some day I'll tell you about this decade of despair, that now at last seems over. Or sell it to you.



    Because selling it seems the way to go. (And no - we're not talking about prostitute blogs.) You see - no sooner have we mentioned The Nub, both here and in Guardian Weblog, then what should pop into my comment box but this from thekolonel...
    "The Nub is a blatant stylistic ripoff of The Gawker. I'm not opposed to blogs making money (any more than I'm opposed to an author getting paid to publish a book), but there seems to be a stunning lack of originality among the commercial blogging ventures."
    And thanks for that. Glancing at the Gawker, I noticed a few familiar names, Nick Denton, Jason Kottke, Choire Sicha (wasn't he the one from EastWest.nu ?)

    This also from Jane Perrone of Guardian Weblog...
    "Whether the cosy world of established blogs likes it or not, blogs are inevitably widening their appeal and, like any new media phenomenon, being colonised by commercial interests. That doesn't mean, of course, that personal weblogs will cease to exist: just look at the enduringly popular worlds of slash fiction and zines."
    Clearly commercial blogs (aka lifestyle magazines) are the new sex, and soon there'll be no more room at the table for us amateurs. We're an irrelevance. Or have I got it wrong?

    PS Thanks to the gorgeous zed for inviting me to join orkut. The jury seems to be out on that one. But you can read Biz Stone on why you don't need networking.


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    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    PEACEFUL, QUIET DAY

    Grey skies, but sun is forecast tomorrow.

    Full belly, warm house, loving friends, good health.

    What more could a man ask for?
    Except that someone would find the 200 people responsible for nearly all the world's spam.

    And stuff every single message they've polluted my life with. Into each of their orifices, in any random order.
    The universe loves balance.

    Today I had 2532 spams, taking more than an hour of my life to wade through.

    Balance that, assholes. Rot in hell.

    Out and about...

    Dooce. A new mother writes about, well... poop. Via Blorgy.


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    Monday, February 09, 2004

    IN PRINT

    Few people take their media more seriously than Robin of Speaking As A Parent. Today he's getting tore into The Guardian and Julie Bindel's Saturday piece on parenting.

    Ms Bindel's article struck no great chord with me. I would have loved to have been a parent, but nature decided otherwise. And I'm of the generation which tended to accept nature, rather than futilely fight it.



    Nature also came into play in her January 31 piece , where she waxed at length on transgender issues. I particularly liked the sentence...
    "I don't have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man."
    Her article clearly upset the TG community and their sympathisers, as you can see from the letters column.

    Oh - shades of memory! Some time back I wrote a TG piece here, politely asking whether cutting your family allowance off was necessarily the best or only "way to go" for men who suffered these feelings. However, there was such an instant rush of poisonous verbal abuse, shocking hatred, both here and on message boards, that I quite quickly took the article down. It was getting to Rushdie levels.

    So - don't even question a man's inalienable right to get his willy docked. You'd be safer working for that joint in Huntingdon.

    In fact I often used to wonder about Julie Burchill's physical safety, as she regularly infuriated whole nations and religions. It can't have been that hard to find her in Brighton.

    Second Debut

    Also starring in today's Naked Blog is mike of the (not-quite-closed) Troubled Diva, now inducted into my Hall of Fame. His latest piece is proudly showing off his article in the Nottingham Evening Post. I confidently predict he'll be the next big thing in national lifestyle before the summer - but we had him first.



    So - what do you think of Julie Bindel? Is she the poor man's Julie Burchill, or is she her own woman? I already mentioned the lady briefly in yesterday's comment box, but now that Robin's brought her out into the open she's fair game. Remember, these days in showbiz you're nothing until you've hit the blogs, so Robin has possibly done her the greatest favour.

    Now, it's sunny and I'm on holiday for almost a fortnight. Bye-bye, screens. I'm going out for some real reality.


    And you say? (11)   Link to this


    Sunday, February 08, 2004

    A TIDE IN THE AFFAIRS (Or summat.)

    Today I should write something which will attract and retain new visitors from the Guardian Weblog but I can't be bothered. It's typical that on the weekend we feature there, Naked Blog should be packed to the gunwales with domestic distress - of interest only to myself and perhaps my three greatest fans readers. Ah well. Free at point of use.

    Golden Handshake

    On October 12 last year we remarked on Sir David Frost's rather odd handshaking protocols. It was in a Breakfast With Frost interview with footballer Sol Campbell.
    [I immediately noticed...] Frostie extending his white hand to grasp the equally black one of his interviewee. Only rarely does Sir David do this... certainly not to any of his other guests this morning nor indeed most other mornings. So we have to ask, was this very prominent handshake because Mr Campbell was
    (a) black, or
    (b) a footballer?
    Well, surprise, surprise... he was at it again this morning with Lennox Lewis. Handy, Andy, Pandy. Whereas Christopher Frayling, new chairman of the Arts Council of England who followed Mr Lewis, got no more than a cursory nod. I really don't know whether it's racism or "sportism". I just wish I were black myself so I could go on his show and snub the silly man.



    Frayling naturally interested me more than Lewis, and he seems from this at least a fit ambassador for the subsidised arts. He said that in theatre, opera and visual arts we (I assume he meant England) lead/s the world. I hadn't realised that, and sense some other countries might have a complementary opinion...

    But let's see if he succeeds in his ambition to make arts as big as sport. Then he can come to Scotland and try the same stunt. (If it isn't Premier League football, Snooker or shite TV then nobody here gives a toss.)

    Am I the only person in the country who hasn't seen "I'm a Celebrity" thing? Who needs Reality TV when you've got a Reality Blog!

    Thanks to Charlene of Just Pop It In Then for today's strapline.


    And you say? (11)   Link to this


    Friday, February 06, 2004

    HEATED DEBATE

    Heavens to Betsy! As if this week wasn't exciting enough already, we're all over the Guardian Weblog today. And here's me not got me hair cut yet...

    Welcome to Naked Blog! The one you could probably do yourself. (Just not quite as well...)

    Here's the featured article...
    When is a blog

    Today the Guardian Weblog is recommending this as their Blog Pick. All very well, except the thing resembles what I understand by "blog" about as much as a banana resembles a migrating flock of starlings. Quid pro quo.

    Por qua? Well, whoever heard of a blog having a publisher and an editor? And openly touting for advertising business like that? Next we'll be getting BDJ's effing price list! Yes, it has dated entries, and yes there's a list of links to like-minded, similar businesses. But make no mistake - this is not a blog - it's a commercial venture.

    Surely there's a difference? Does a blog have to be amateur (ish)? Or am I living in the last century? You know, sometimes I think we would have got on just fine without the Grauny seeming to take over our little hobby.
    We sure know how to stick the knife in! (If I'd thought there was the remotest chance of anyone from The Guardian seeing that, I'd have reminded readers that The Guardian has been very good to Naked Blog.)


    And you say? (13)   Link to this



    IT'S A WRAP

    Darlings you were wonderful yesterday, keeping me calm while bit by bit I chipped away at the dismay that is my home. Thank you. Now I can do anything. But probably won't :)

    My tidy (ish) kitchen was not to be such for long, however, and now houses enough fridge packaging to cover a space shuttle. But that too will pass. I'll slip it into the communal bins in the street, incrementally.

    And the new fridge freezer? Glad you asked. Last night after the pub I got tore (literally) into it, levelling, washing and so on. You have to wash it with sodium carbonate and warm water. Do not use ABRASIVE or DETERGENT!!! So I didn't. But wtf is sodium carbonate? I haven't done chemistry since school last century.

    So I washed it with a sponge and warm water. That will have to do.

    In only 20 minutes the top and bottom parts were magically lowered to their correct temperatures, and now my LCD strip thermometer is showing 3 DEGREES. IDEAL. It was worth it all for that one little word.

    TIFFIN

    What a downpour yesterday teatime, eh? Princes Street, where I was shopping for clothes, was running like a river. Literally. The pavement (sidewalk) had a great gushing flood in the middle of it, which youngsters were jumping into and splashing and generally loving every minute. Me, I sheltered in Marks and Spencers doorway with the older folk. There was thunder and lightning, buses throwing up Atlantic rollers as they passed... oh, you name it, and it was there. Gorgeous. I bought an umbrella, but it stopped then. Typical.

    HAUTE COIFFURE

    Right then. That's all you're getting today. Must - absolutely must - get me riah shushed* before work this weekend. It's the last thing in a whole list of to-do's... all of them successfully to-done. What a change from December, eh?

    Have great weekends, all. I feel I will.

    *hair cut

    PS And the company which provides all this excellent and reliable service? Well, they're called COMET. Credit where credit's due. (But I paid cash. Much more economical.)


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    Thursday, February 05, 2004

    TE DEUM

    Gordon the famous Sci-Fi writer was in the pub tonight, and he was gently teasing me about the post below. He said it goes on far too much, and of course he's right.

    But what is a blog, if not gone and forgotten even before the ink is dry?

    Gordon the famous Sci-Fi writer does it for money. On paper.

    Here we do no such thing. Nor would we ever. So enjoy the (rather lengthy) story beneath this. It's been a testing couple of days! But at least I've now got a fridge freezer...


    And you say? (4)   Link to this



    ABOUT NOTHING...

    ...which is roughly what I achieved yesterday. Oh, apart from the radio meeting. And several hours of Return To Castle Wolfenstein. (Yummy - by far the best one yet!) Our little radio station is about to be taken over by the "not yet fully formed" from the local Scumbag College.

    Ricky Templeman, Tony my Producer and I, who amongst us provided 50 percent of last year's programming, sat mute whilst this chicklet declared that she was a writer, actor, director, singer, producer, publicist and film-maker. She had a DVD there of her two latest films. She had access to all the "actors" at her college. Plus photographers and leaflet people.

    "That's fabulous, darling," I said, not knowing the ambitious young thing's name. "What are you like in bed?" would have been the natural follow-up, but discretion ruled. Meetings are not my strongest point. You can see why nobody likes me.

    So that's about it, then - for me at least. Proposals for programmes have to be submitted, not sure to whom, and this year's presenters will be selected. It's time to hand over. Time not to hold back these pushing, eager young things from their career boost. Heaven only knows what Gwen will think. I was pretty crap at it anyway. But at least I turned up every day. Gwen was fab.



    KITCHEN SINK

    Now - it's almost seven am, dark, cold and windy. I really must do something with my seventies kitchen before these men get here with the new fridge freezer in oh-so-stylish brushed grey metal. (Which I've just realised will match nothing else in the room. You can see why I never made it as a queen.)

    "Just tell them to leave it outside the door," said Tony my radio producer. (He's been here once, many years ago, when it wasn't nearly so bad.) Never thought of that.

    Maybe see you later...



    9 am update: Four industrial-sized bags of rubbish taken out from the kitchen. Amazingly there's space in the communal bins in the street. Note on door telling the men that my buzzer doesn't work. (For almost a decade. You don't need one once you make that decision never to have visitors.)

    About to tackle almost two years of washing up. But it's only two casserole dishes and half a dozen cutleries. Shouldn't take long. Purple Herbal. Kerry put them to soak when she was here in September 2002.



    10.30 update: One huge bag of unopened letters and one of assorted menus lifted from the floor behind the door. Several kilogrammes. Plus election material (which election?), special offers and competitions I'm about to win, some even including a free plastic pen. Thank you.

    Thanks also to Rex for his Christmas card (not sure which year), and to the lovely Zed for her December postcard, both of which I've just found. Sorry I didn't thank either of you sooner. Most thoughtful.

    Well, "What way to live is that?" I hear you asking, and you have a point. But letters are such awful things. If they're not bills then they're just bad news. Like the card I got last February which told me my father was dead and buried and I'd missed it. Who needs letters when they're like that, eh?

    The place is notionally ready for my delivery men now. Ready for my close-up, Mr de Mille. Now dare I tackle the microwave? (Or should I start opening letters? No - that requires alcohol.)



    12.30 update: He's just phoned. Sounds very nice. West Coast working class respectable. (For my US readers I should explain that like your own country, Scotland has essentially two coasts. But they're somewhat closer together... roughly forty minutes on the train.) "I have a fridge freezer for you," he announced. "It'll be there in just under half an hour." "Oh yes... that thing... almost slipped my mind," I reposted, hamming it up a bit.

    Typically these delivery duos feature an alpha male of about thirty, and his apprentice of roughly 19. The apprentice gets the dirty jobs, and is expected to queue up for the breakfast rolls, provide (homo)sexual services on demand, and so on... [That's enough of that, Ed.]

    And finally...

    It's here. Fucked if I'm even taking it out of the box right now, after all I've been through these last two days. Instead we'll have lunch, Babs, haircut, clothes... in some sort of order.

    Oh, and the guys were exactly as just predicted, except for maybe the porno part, which I didn't enquire about. I gave them a tenner for a drink. Magnanimous or what. (Well, it is up three floors, and they had two fridges to take away also.) Thank you for reading this far about Peter's great fridge freezer adventure :)

    PS: I'm just imagining the conversation in the cab right now: "Ya reckon that auld guy was bent?" "Nah... cannae be. Poofs aye have immaculate fucking houses."


    And you say? (16)   Link to this


    Wednesday, February 04, 2004

    MUCH ADO

    Welcome to visitors from Guardian Weblog. The referenced piece is a couple of screens down... When is a blog

    You have no idea how many things I have to do today. And why are "to do" and "today" so superficially similar, when they mean such different things?

    Because tomorrow (there's another one!) two strapping young men will be in my house delivering a new fridge freezer, the first for at least a decade (men, not appliances), so I have to give the place the appearance of cleanliness. For the bits they will see, at least. But I absolutely draw the line at the bathroom hand basin, resplendent with its seasonal blend of green moss and yellow lichen. Why be white when you can be pretty instead? And healthy - all those enzymes! Daft people pay fortunes for products with plant essence... I'm washing my face in the real thing. For nowt.

    However, I'm assuming they won't need to wash their hands. (Would make them too soft.) And I'm praying they won't need a toilet, although one glance will remove the urge entirely I'm sure.



    That's tomorrow. Oh and tonight there's a meeting of Leith FM 87.7 staff. Then on Saturday the most important boss since bingo was invented is visiting my work, and guess whose turn it is to be caller? Yes, that's right. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds of future investment will depend on his impression of the joint - a fair proportion of which will be moi. People judge by what they see. And hear. So I also have to get a haircut and a complete new outfit. Hints have been dropped that the depressed look might best be kept for my private life.

    Now, any competent housewife and mother would have all that done by ten thirty am, and be drumming her fingers wondering what to do with the rest of the day. Wondering whether a little extra-marital nookie with the delivery men would go unnoticed or not. But competent is not my thing. Nor is employing anyone to "housekeep". I simply can't pay a person to do what I should do myself.

    Seven - yes, seven - things I've identified as needing to be done. Today. From a man who normally does one thing a month, if that. I even forgo holidays because that would mean doing things to get there.

    So - what sort of start have I made already? You guessed it... sitting here writing to you. Cathode rays will be the death of me.

    More Inquiries

    If it weren't that so many are dead, and another country bombed back into the stone age, then this Iraq fiasco would seem quite farcical. It is the function of the United States to bomb places, much as the function of a cat is to be either catching creatures or licking its genitals. Because they (both) can. But why do we have to follow? So far as I can recall, the only place we've ever bombed is Germany, and most people agree they deserved it. At the time.

    Stick to licking your genitals, Tony. Much more peaceful.

    Where is thy sting?

    Asking questions about mortality and our understanding of it is a good thing to do - now and again. Lest we forget. But not all the time. Lest we get depressed, and fail to enjoy what time we do have left. In fact there's a whole industry dedicated to helping us forget. Well, several. Brewers. TV companies. Hollywood. Playstation. You will doubtless know more.

    At the end of the day, there really is nothing more to do than just get on with it. Until the day you don't. End of story. "Nothing else for it," as my (wise old) bingo ladies say.

    Oh how these cliches do spin my story for me! (I've got a huge urge to do none of my to-dos and just get pissed with Babs.) See noodle for some lovely thoughts on blogs and life and writing.

    You come and go...

    Blogorrhoea also welcomes back pogo, who is above link politics.

    When is a blog

    Today the Guardian Weblog is recommending this as their Blog Pick. All very well, except the thing resembles what I understand by "blog" about as much as a banana resembles a migrating flock of starlings. Quid pro quo.

    Por qua? Well, whoever heard of a blog having a publisher and an editor? And openly touting for advertising business like that? Next we'll be getting BDJ's effing price list! Yes, it has dated entries, and yes there's a list of links to like-minded, similar businesses. But make no mistake - this is not a blog - it's a commercial venture.

    Surely there's a difference? Does a blog have to be amateur (ish)? Or am I living in the last century? You know, sometimes I think we would have got on just fine without the Grauny seeming to take over our little hobby.


    And you say? (26)   Link to this


    Tuesday, February 03, 2004

    42

    Surely there's more to do than sit in front of screens all day.

    Cathode rays will be the death of me.

    If ever a person didn't need a PS2 and a DVD it's me.

    What I need is a life.

    But where do you get one?

    And surely I'm a bit late now.
    "Once you realise you will die, then you become the living dead." George Romero
    Well said.


    And you say? (12)   Link to this


    Monday, February 02, 2004

    SWALLOWED CROWN AFFAIR

    Work was somewhat all-consuming, and not in a totally pleasant way. Nor totally unpleasant... just a writing-displacing mix of both.

    Dentist in just over an hour, for the beginnings of the replacement of my swallowed dental crown, which has consumed so much of the last two months.

    Hope to see you later! Have a happy Monday!

    Coming up after the break...

    The truth about that Purple Haze cannabis cafe just along the road from me! (Why is Tommy Sheridan such a wanker?) Plus more goodies on the bootylicious Franz Ferdinand.

    PLUS: This week's lucky lottery numbers. Exclusively for you from Mystic Smeg.

    Laterz...


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