World of Bile

Thoughts, pics and links from me to you.. Read on...

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Location: London, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy writing it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big.... DOG!!!???

Afternoon,

First of all, please check out Ann's blog on the link to the top left of my page. I reckon she's pretty cool...

Quite frankly, this scares the sh*t out of me.

This is the 'Big Dog' - made by some hi-tec company called Boston Dynamics. It is designed to be the army's pack horse of the future and has a payload of 350lbs, or something like that.

As you can probably see, the youtube page has received over 5 million hits in the last two months, with comments alternating between amusement and downright worry. I myself fall
very much in the 'worry' faction - this is the thin end of the wedge in my mind.

This 'thing' doesnt look like a dog first of all, it looks like a spider - add the sound of a mighty pissed off wasp to complete the overall disconcerting affect. Add into the mix that you can't kick the bugger over and its pretty sure footed means you've got something difficult to deal with. Is it just me, or can anyone else see crowds of these mounted with water cannons to quell 'civilian disturbance' within a couple of years?

Or maybe Im just paranoid..

On a more amusing note: the 'Big Dog' doesnt seem to have a head. Here are some of my suggestions to give it a slightly more appealing look.

Mr Blobby, Tinky Winky, Fern Britton: they all give you that warm feeling inside!

What do you reckon?

Alex

Friday, May 23, 2008

.. And that'll do nicely..

Afternoon,

Remember my bet?


Well... with Celtic's 1-0 victory last night, they claimed the Scottish Premier League title and the final leg of my season long accumulator came storming in!


When I placed my £10 bet, reckoned Id get odds of 6 to 1, be lucky to get 8 to 1.. tops..


On my walk into work this morning I did the math to deduce my exact winnings. The thing was, the cumulative totals kept on running into the hundreds so I figured my working out just couldn't be right. During a break mid morning, I went down to my local Coral bookmakers to claim my booty and find out exactly how much would be waiting.


It turned out to be.... £469.11! That's odds of 47 to 1! A sum so prodigious I could barely close my wallet! (see below)

Ching! Ching!

After plenty of fruitless punts over the years, a big one has finally come in! In spite of my friends' amusing suggestions for profligate expenditure (Amsterdam/Cocaine/ £470 on black), I intend to spend my loot sensibly.

Not a bad start to the Bank Holiday weekend, huh?

Have a Good One,

Alex

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Last of The Cricket..

The game was a draw, just in case you were interested..
I've got the day off work and to be quite honest - I need it.

Standing around for 5 consecutive days for 10 hours a time really is the most gruelling experiences I have ever had. Two new personal firsts for me this week:

* Getting cramp when just standing up!
* Going straight to bed after coming home - without alcohol being involved!

The fourth day was just painful - and it really didn't help that both teams were trundling along pretty sedately throughout. I've always been a cricket fan, but let's be honest - watching 35 hours of the game without alcohol whilst standing drains the enthusiasm a little. The paying punters seemed equally non-plussed if the Mexican wave on day five was any indicator. Boredom and delirium can do some funny things to you: on Day 4 (?)I posed the following question to my Australian buddy Brendan whilst the esteemed punditry triumvirate of Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and David Gower were doing their daily pitch inspection (google the names if you've got no idea who they are):

How much money would you want to be paid to run onto the Lords pitch [an act prosecutable in law], rugby tackle (i) Botham, (ii) Hussain, (iii) Gower - then grab them in a headlock and rub your knuckles affectionately over the top of their heads?

Don't ask me where that one came from! A combo of tiredness, ennui and general bemusement is what I reckon. For the record, Brendan said.


(l to r) Botham £20,000, Hussain £8,000, Gower £5,000

Most people who read WoB will be scratching their heads in bemusement after reading this last bit. For those in the know: what are your thoughts? Any follow up scenarios you'd like to pose?

Anywaay.. besides being a physically gruelling and mentally challenging experience, I had a fantastic time. I have signed up for the Test Match versus South Africa in July and will bring my comfy slippers next time ;)

May need them...

Cheers

Alex

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 3: England Vs New Zealand

England 89 for 0 - Cook 53*

First Day: 208 runs scored
Second Day: 138 runs scored
Today: 20 (!!!) runs scored

Rain today. Alternating between light drizzle and full on downpours. Still, I put a 20 quid bet down for the draw at 4/5 so it wasnt all for nothing...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 2: England Vs New Zealand

NZ 277 all out - McCullum 97, Vettori 48 - Sidebottom 4-55, Anderson 3-66
England 68 for 0 - Cook 41*

Evening,

An American friend of mine texted me to say my last blog entry made absolutely no sense to her...I guess its about as understandable (and interesting) as an American trying to explain a
game of baseball to an English person really, dear!!
Anyway, it was another obscenely early start. Today I was in the debenture stand: in English, that means I sat in with the City Boys and the MCC members. And most of 'em got absolutely wasted! What happens is this: the top City Boys (and girls) gather at the Test Match to schmooze and network. The grist to their mill is alcohol, namely bottle after bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a rather cheeky Shiraz they were serving up with the food today.
And how this other half live! Glossy and well fed, they remind me of sea lions you might catch sight jumping through hoops at Sea World. Previously skinny boys who have graduated from the right schools onto Oxbridge and then good firms in the financial sector. Their faces become round and red tinted from all the rich food whilst they adopt the clothing an mannerisms of their seniors. Dress code seems to be beige trousers, a garish flourish of pastel colours and the de rigeur blue blazer. Think of it as the man from Del Monte meets Laura Ashley interiors and you'd not be far off..

The alpha monkey of the whole troop is ex cricketer, now newspaper journalist, Derek Pringle (above left) . A tall guy during his playing days, he has metamorphosed into a true giant among men. The top of his huge, pear shaped body was visible amongst the broiling masses and he sailed me serenely with the expression of a king Elephant Seal attempting to digest a prodigious, fishy dinner..
Onto the cricket. There wasn't much play today. I had a horrible feeling that the Kiwis would linger and their lower order batsmen would take root like the rhodedendron bush you just can't kill off. They did not. 208 for 6 became 277 all out and during an interrupted afternoon England reached 68 without loss. Alistair Cook found his feet late on after a sluggish start including 3 boundaries off an over from Kyle Mills. The weather is forecast to be more of the same today, if we can't post get a sizeable lead by stumps tomorrow I see a draw on the cards.
Until tomorrow,
Alex.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

DAY 1: ENGLAND Vs NEW ZEALAND @ Lords

New Zealand: 203 for 6 - McCullum 97 Anderson 3-42.
To any overseas readers, that last sentence probably made little sense. The description of the action will probably confuse and bore you too. If so, my apologies...
Today I was working at Lords cricket ground for the first Test Match of the season against the Kiwis and enjoyed a cracking, if somewhat lengthy day.
For once my alarm clock had me springing out of bed, all the more remarkable that it was sent for 5.15 am. After dragging a razor sleepily across my face I got dressed and made my way down to Surbiton railway station to catch my train. It felt like an important day as I trudged down in the half light, the vibe was underlined by the finale of the 1812 overture blaring out of the front door of the nearby Lloyds Bank: cleaners maybe? I dunno...
The commute was in full swing by the time I reached Waterloo, and St Johns Wood was a bustling centre of activity by just gone 7 when I queued up to sign in for work. The morning briefing was held by our head steward, an Australian guy called John - as he gave us the chat from the top of the Mound Stand I cast my eyes over the ground below. Lords holds a tad under 30,000 and even when empty has an aura of tradition and importance to it. Only the weather put a spanner in the works, some see the first day of a Lords Test match as the beginning of summer and this morning held the usual steel grey skies, blustery winds and gentle rain. More like a mild day in November than an English summer...
Anyway to the action: from my position on the East end of the stand I could only see a narrow sliver of the game. Sidebottom was bowling his usual stingy fare and Anderson proceeded to fluster the NZ top order with some bounce and movement. As Geoffrey Boycott would be happy to tell you: the latter either takes a few wickets or gets a spanking - on this occasion he was the one handling out the punishment. The top order crumbled pretty quick - Redmond (whooo?), How (wtf?) et al were sent packing sharpish by the quicks, and at 104 for 5 it looked like England would clear up things fast. However, the Black Caps were offered some respite through Brendan McCullum - the bloke who got 150 in about 70 balls in the first game of the IPL. With some lusty blows and excellent timing he made 97 from 97 balls before Panesar did for him, bowled off his pads shortly before close of play. Queue much jubilation and relief from England fans as the Kiwi number 5 had been starting to tuck into the England bowling with some contempt.
Bad light stopped play about 6.20, we coaxed the final malingerers out of the stand about an hour later before signing out and buggering off home.
A postscript. I found an umbrella on the stands and took it down to lost property before I left. Their haul of umbrellas for the day (or so I was told) was 32!! If you need a spare one, given 'em a call!
Im off to bed now. Im shagged out and have an early start tomorrow for Day Two.
Cheers,
Alex

More Cillit Bang. Drum and Bass stylee..

The final Barry Scott link, I promise.

If this got dropped in a club, I reckon Id dance to it.. Class...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another spike?!

Looks like I've received a few more visitors in the last couple of days: 63 views yesterday and 21 today (so far) 1,150 since November 24th of last year. Visitors include my good mate Jim from Edinburgh - I see you there mate! Also someone from a place called Mountain View in California - Id really like to hear from this person so if you are they, don't be shy. Leave me a message as Id like to hear from you..

Also my friend Ann from Portland, Oregon. Her blog is here - so please read it and leave messages for her amusement.
Moving on.. I start working at the Lords on Thursday - the First Test against New Zealand. Headquarters just oozes tradition, respectability and class.. to say Im looking forward to checking out the place is a major understatement. Update of my experiences to come.. but then you'd expect that, wouldn't you?
Last Sunday we were out at Newlands Corner again. Come sunshine or showers, local bikers come to chat, pose in front of their bikes and seemingly eat large fried breakfasts with their families and friends. All the colour and polished chrome shines vibrantly if the sun is out and you'll always see something eye catching of the 2 (or 3) wheeled variety. Here is a pic I had to snap, a bloke with his eye-catching 3 wheeler. It not too clear, but there is a Gothic theme throughout: the front headlight shines out of a skull's eye sockets, the left and the right indicators blink out of smaller ones over the back bumper. Features also include the disembodied hand giving passers-by the finger (its the orange coloured thing you can just about see in front of the handlebars) and there is a number plate on the reverse which says 'SLUT'. Not something you tend to see every day, is it?


Superb. The Grim Reaper himself would feel very happy riding this to keep his next appointment, I reckon!
Alex

Cillit Bang - Hardcore Mix

'Ave it!!!!!

If Barry Scott running on repeat in your mind isnt enough...

Hi there,

If you haven't checked the Cillit Bang hardcore remix yet, please do. This is a techno remix by the same guy, some kid who was 18 at the time. There is some right old crap on the internet, but I gotta say - this guy is VERY talented..

Banging tune too...

Cheers,

Alex

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Out with The Stag

Afternoon,

Another nice sunny day today. Off out in a minute - with hat, sunnies and cold bottle of water in hand, but here are some pictures taken from last night

James Staley (above) is getting married to his fiance Charlotte in a couple of weeks. Have known them both for years and am very chuffed. I joined the Stag party at about 7.30pm, the boys had been boozing and gambling at Ascot since about midday and were suprisingly coherent when I joined them.

Simon, Mark, Steve and Me



Jacob looks positively radiant.

Nighttime beers at The Kings Head. As you can see, things are starting to take their toll.

The Stag and Yours Truly. He held himself together admirably throughout the evening.

Mark with beer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hi,
The bright, warm sunshine and crisp blue skies outside today are reflecting my mood. I'm keeping busy at the moment and life is good.
However there is something I wanted to write about (and so share with my valued readers). Went to visit The Claw at the weekend , he's buried at a cemetery in Walton on Thames, just a few miles south of where I live.
If you don't know about The Claw and want to, just ask me - seems disrespectful to go into the full story here.
Haven't seen him for about 6 months now. Always put it off with justifications of 'I'm too busy' or 'I'll go next month'. Finally this Sunday I forced myself to go down see him, to pay my respects.
In the time since he left us, his Mum (who was also getting frail in her old age) passed away too. Just four months after he did.
The right words have escaped me as I've been thinking about this. A good friend of mine passed away many years before he was due, and his elderly mother soon followed. 'Tragedy' is not strong enough in my mind.
At least they're together again now.
Alex

Monday, May 05, 2008

Schwarzenegger Alinamin V Energy Drink

Did this commercial used to go out on primetime TV? Would've scared the living sh*t out of me!!!

'You pay me enough, I'll tout anything' Part 2

Whereas Arnie just comes across as being mental...

'You pay me enough, I'll tout anything' Part 1

Another celeb who is willing to sacrifice credibility for cold, hard cash. You expect the Spice Girls to do it, being the amoral, soulless, talentless individuals that they are - but Jackie Chan mugging away as face of Woolies???! Does the man have any integrity?


Now I don't have a telly, so this is all shockingly new to me - but it's probably common knowledge to you lot though. Guess is just another indicator of the 'pay me enough and Ill do anything' mentality.
Still, you'd probably get me to make a bigger tit out of myself for alot less money than Jackie Chan received...
And I am open to offers..

Alex

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Alex meets the Yummy Mummies, and sees a streaker for good measure.

Evening,

Wanted to share my thoughts on this for a little while. Other things have cropped up to divert me, both mundane and pleasurable.

I had my gym instructor workshop the other weekend. Three days of hands on equipment instruction taking us round one of London's swankier gyms. I've had enough of working in an office, the glare of the PC screen, caffeine so abundant it may as well be on a drip and chatting away to the morons I have to deal with (both internal and internal ones).

Anyway, our instructor of the weekend was a really nice black guy called Patrick ('Call me Patch' he said). Chiseled and with an easy smile, he hit it off immediately with the Yummy Mummies on our course. I swear there's somewhere in Wimbledon Village that clones 'em: all blond, slim, 5 foot 10, superb dental work and wielding the contents of a South African diamond mine on their fingers. It seemed they were pre-programmed to flirt with Patch - they just couldn't help themselves! He took it all in his stride with an unflappable manner and wonderful toothy smile that has probably melted many MILF hearts, past and present.

I won't bore you with the finer details, but the weekend put a real spring in my step. I was walking like John Wayne the following Monday morning after just a few too many barbell squats, but I am well and truly hooked. My instructor assessment is on Sunday June 1st, so I have alot to cram in the next four weeks. However it seems my diary is becoming increasingly full in recent weeks, and will continue to be. There..is..just..not..enough..hours..in..the..day!

I guess it beats being bored though, doesn't it?

Today I was working at Twickenham for the Army vs Navy rugby match. A whole load of fun, but very tiring- my feet are baying like the tired dogs that they are. The game was pretty tedious (Army won 22-11). The crowning moment was a second half streaker who got a resounding roar of approval from the 50,000 present. I'm sure when security finally got to said offender & dragged him off, they probably made short work of 'im

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I certainly intend to.

Alex

Friday, May 02, 2008

Our New Mayor?!

Couldnt find one with sound, my apologies.

The new London mayor showing real bulldog spirit by spearing a German during a 'Legends' football match.

They dont like it up 'em, do they???

A quickie: Courtesy of my spanking new Nokia N95

Afternoon,
Doesnt seem enough hours in the day at the moment. So, here's a very quick one before I have to fly back out the door again.
Jock with ballet style collar on (to stop him gnawing his recently operated upon foot)

His 'food' face. How could you NOT fall for it?

First proper day of warm weather, taken end of April. Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey

The thicket was kept back in very innovative ways. Yeah, they're lamas.


One of the most stunning rainbows I have ever seen. Had to run inside, get my camera to capture it.

Have a good weekend & till next time,

Alex