Saturday, December 06, 2008

19 days?

Wow, Christmas sort of sneaks up on you, doesn't it? I was wondering whether I should put some decorations up in my flat - I don't normally bother, seeing as I live on my own and don't generally drag people in off the streets and force them to look at my walls, but seeing as it's a new flat and it's big enough to accommodate quite a lot of sparkly tinselly things, maybe I should.

On the other hand, I am extremely lazy. Maybe I won't bother.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Zoomy Clarifies Your Confusions Regarding British Weirdnesses

This week's blog entries, and the comments readers have appended to them, made it clear that I need to explain a few things here.

1) Mince pies are made with mincemeat. Mincemeat, despite the name, doesn't contain any meat, and I'll have to get back to you about how much mincing is involved. Probably none. It's made with raisins, apples, sugar and things.

2) Black pudding is not, as Americans might think, an unusually-coloured variety of a sort of gooey dessert. It's made with (and I worked in a factory that made them for six and a half years, so I know what I'm talking about) dried blood powder, leftover fat from butchering legs of pork, bread rusk, seasoning and whatever other ingredients are left lying around the factory.

3) BBC TV, rather than being funded by commercials advertising products viewers might like to buy, is funded by money from everybody in the country, who are required to buy a TV licence. The TV Licence people are famous for pretending that they are able to detect whether somebody has a television in their house by means of fantastic radar devices, and sending out threatening letters to every address without a licence claiming that they have an army of inspectors who might come round to your house at any moment and catch you watching TV, whereas in fact they don't do any of these things, ever.

The good thing about the licence is that you can watch BBC channels without having your favourite shows interrupted by commercial breaks. The bad thing is that you have to give the BBC money for the privilege, and many viewers feel that it's not worth it considering that the BBC no longer show anything worth watching.

A few years ago, the BBC had a big advertising campaign stressing that the licence fee is great, because it enables the corporation to experiment with unusual and innovative TV programming rather than being desperate to deliver viewers to its advertisers. They've stopped doing that now, acknowledging that everything they show these days is a desperate attempt to attract as many viewers as possible.

Any more questions?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's happy hour again...

Sorry for the late (and very brief) blog tonight - I've been out for an early Christmas meal with the people from work. Night-night!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lost things

Isn't it great when you're looking for something and find something else you'd forgotten about? I was looking for my TV licence tonight (they keep sending letters to The Occupier of this flat, implying that they're going to do something about it if I turn out not to have a licence) and came across a consent letter from the BBC that I never got round to signing and sending to them. You'd think they would have chased me up for it, it's been quite a while now. Maybe they just forged my signature.

Didn't find my TV licence, but then remembered that I don't need it, because I pay by direct debit and I could look up the number via internet banking. It's great being hi-tech. Just to celebrate that, I logged onto the TV licence website and offically changed my name from "Mr G Bridmore" too.

Also re-found my transcript sheet from Saturday's othello. I'm also surprised that Geoff hasn't chased me up for that, come to think of it. I get the feeling everybody's given up hope of getting stuff from me. This is going to make my Christmas shopping a lot easier.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


It's at this time of year, what with the mince pies and everything, that I remember how much I really do like mincemeat. My preferred method of eating mince pies (when nobody's watching) is to nibble away at all the pastry and then eat the mincemeat bit last. Yummy. Eventually, I'm sure I'll move on to the next step and just buy a jar of mincemeat and a big spoon.

I wonder if the Co-op's still open?

Monday, December 01, 2008

You ask, I answer

Thank you all for your responses to my 'what should I blog about' post the other day. Let's see what I can come up with...

Mike said...

What is the best curry house in Derby, based on your experience?
I went to one once near a big round-about and I found it adequate.

Actually, I don't think I've ever eaten at a curry house in Derby. I don't go out for curry very much. There's a place called the Siam Corner where I would guess you can get a Thai curry, I recommend there. Never been there, but I walked or cycled past it plenty of times on the way into town.

Boris said...
Memory!!! :)

Oh, but I always talk about memory! And nothing much is happening in the memory world lately. I did another three speed cards practice runs tonight, all under 30 seconds, and got them all recalled perfectly. Need to expand my training routine, though. I must get round to taking part in more Online Memory Challenges. Also, I need to buy 36 new packs of cards - my old ones are getting tatty and sticky.

Anonymous said...
Tell us about your mother, and your relationship with her.

Good grief, what kind of blog do you think this is? Go and watch EastEnders if you want to see people's relationships with their mothers. There's probably a lot of that kind of thing in there nowadays. I hear Bianca's back and has lots of children.

Chris said...
All of the above, one at a time. (Not at once; that would be silly.) Start at the end of the list and work backwards...

Hmm, that's more than I can fit into one blog post. Maybe I'll make a series out of it...

Anonymous said...
Memory :-)


I refer the right honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago.

Anonymous said...
snooker. always worth it....

Yep, but I don't know very much about that, either. The first Bahrain Snooker Championship happened a couple of weeks ago - Neil Robertson won it, and the headline "Robertson Stays Cool In Bahrain Heat" suggests that if the World Memory Championship does end up taking place there in November next year, it'll still be baking hot, which is nice.

There doesn't seem to be an easily-googled Bahraini royal family tree available on the internet, so I can't check what relation Shaikh Abdulla bin Abdulrahman al Khalifa, president of the Bahrain Snooker Association is to Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed al Khalifa, patron of the World Memory Championship. Get on the internet, al Khalifas! It's the 21st century, for crying out loud!

Casdok said...
The history of bubblegum sounds interesting!

It does, doesn't it! If only I knew the first thing about it. I'm guessing it was invented by an American, probably called Hiram Bubblegum or something like that, in the early thirties and was intended as a building material to replace wood in the event that trees were all destroyed by socialism.

Anonymous said...
It would not be that silly to talk about them all at once Chris.

One may easily imagine a man made of chewing gum playing othello with Ben who in turn, is moving his pieces with a snooker cue which is also made of chewing gum and becoming stuck to said pieces. Then sudddenly a cartoon Tony Buzan comes along and cuts the othello board in half with a cartoon samuri sword and also decapitates Ben's head. As Ben's yellow hat falls on to the othello board it sticks to the chewing gum pieces making it impossible for Ben to ever forget it again.

Events here are based on a true story and peoples identities have been changed to protect the innocent from Cartoon Tony Buzan.

See, this is how memory people's minds work. All the time. Be afraid.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Funny names

Watching Histon beat Leeds today, all I could think was "He can't really be called Daniel Knight-Percival, can he? There surely can't have been a person called Knight and another person called Percival who thought it might be cool to join their names together like that? Hey, darling, let's saddle our offspring with the name 'Knight-Percival' and then make Holy Grail jokes as soon as they're old enough to understand them!"

I know I probably shouldn't devote an entire blog to poking fun at the surname of someone whom I'm just envious of because he's a semi-professional footballer and I'm not, but hey, little things please little minds. Remind me to regale you some time with the tale of how I met a guy called Rudolf Reinders once. I can get half an hour's stand-up comedy out of that one.