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Take That China!
The Continuous Descent Into Madness
You've Been Cancelled
Sort Yourself Out eBayers
The Art of Not Writing
Give Me Your Voice
Not Another Virtual Choir
Demented Reality
My Way of Losing My Mind is Quite Constructive
I'm A Cilla Black Fan On Bike

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Friday, May 30

Phew, I'm only 14% a geek. That's a relief.

Thursday, May 29

Oh boy. A funny site of Engrish.

Wednesday, May 28

This site is going to scare me a lot.

Mirth Control Cancelled

They say pride comes before a fall. I was chuffed by the Blackpool gig... now I'm considerably less pleased that it has been called off. Never mind. There'll be other gigs ;)

Now I've seen everything. I just filled in a survey and it would not let me proceed without claiming to be interested in at least one sport...

Tuesday, May 27

The search strings that I find on my webstats frequently worry me. Who on earth has searched for the phrase"is it normal to like the smell of your ball sweat"?

Monday, May 26

My need to comment on this year's Eurovision has been expunged, care of the comments section of Frownland's article on the subject.

It's one thing to achieve 3 hits on CNPS in one day, but an even more enjoyable thing to do it just before reading that my friend Steve thinks he's well ahead of me... Sorry!

Steve did beat me to seeing The Matrix : Reloaded, but I have just returned from watching said film, so I now know what I was missing out on. A lot of fun, action, terrible dialogue and silly incomprehensible plotting... BRILLIANT!

Sunday, May 25

Life is a funny thing. It has its patterns and its circuits. There can be a certain completeness about how things turn out, or there can be completely mystifying apparent non-sequiturs in the sequence of events. It doesn't matter. It's all good stuff!

Today, having arrived at the airport earlier than expected, on the way home from my weekend trip, I found that my book was not going to last the combination of my airport reading time and the plane journey - possibly not even the airport time itself. Luckily, two circumstances arose to sort this out. Firstly a nice lady decided to survey me on a local tourist attraction that I'd not visited this trip - she occupied me for a few minutes and, although she asked some silly questions like "which airline are you flying" - "er, the one whose gate I'm sitting at!", they passed pleasantly. Now I have two tickets to go and see this attraction... perhaps I'll use them one day. Then, with perhaps 5 minutes of reading left to fill a 50 minute flight, a voice behind me asked if they could fit in the seat next to me... a voice addressing me by name. Neither myself nor my fellow passenger knew the other was on the flight or even away for the weekend, but we managed to provide company to the other for the flight and metro journey... nice one!

I'll have 5 minutes' reading before I go to sleep tonight.

Friday, May 23

First Mirth Control Booking

Just arranged a gig (which hasn't reached the gigs list yet) in Blackpool on 30th May. Nice one!

The overture to My Fair Lady is a fantastic arrangement. It starts with a lovely urgent series of string hits - almost a morse code message saying "listen up", and then off it rockets into something of a rollercoaster journey through the lavish signature touches of composer Frederick Loewe. Such a shame that he's another idol I'd never get the chance to meet and congratulate (he and co-writer/co-idol/lyricist-extraodinaire Alan Lerner are no longer around).

I want to transfer a huge amount of money into your bank account... no really I do - it's not a hoax... right!
From: Kissoon Soobaste
1st Floor Britam Building,
25 Pope Hennessy Street,
Port Louis, Mauritius.

Dear Friend,

Subject: Account No.: 20100001050 in my bank belonging to
Frederick Morris

I want to transfer to you the total sum of Twenty-One Million, Four Hundred and Fifty-five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ten United States Dollars (US$21,455,910.00) from here in Mauritius. I hope you will be reliable and honest and will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new bank account immediately to receive this money. I sincerely wish you would remain honest to me till the end of this important business trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in time to come. I am Kissoon Soobaste, the Financial Officer of a Bank and my International Passport attached to this mail identifies me more. During the course of my duty, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in 1996 but since April 2000 nobody has operated on this account again. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that the owner of the account had died. I also found out that the heir to the funds were his wife.
Further investigations privately done by me proved that the owner of this account who is a foreigner and a sailor, died on the 15th of June 2000, together with his wife and their little daughter in a ghastly car accident along Guy Seaport Road, Souillac, Mauritius. All occupants of the vehicle including their driver unfortunately lost their lives. The wife was the heir to this account and my findings lead me to know that no other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it since the account
has no other beneficiary as next of kin except the wife (heir) who died along with him. Since April 2000 therefore, the money has been floating which means that if nobody puts up a claim soon, and the allowed/permitted funds floating period elapses, the money will be confiscated by the bank, and be referred to as unclaimed bills. Thus it will be forfeited for nothing to nobody’s advantage except to the bank. This is the usual case in similar situations in which account holders’ die without any specific beneficiary (heir or next of kin specified in their account opening form). Cons equently, I want to present you as the next of kin and ensure this money is remitted out urgently to you into the account you will provide. While the total amount involved is US$21,455,910.00 only, if you are interested in this business I will start the first money transfer with US $ 7,151,970.00 upon successful transaction without any disappointment from you. We shall also re-apply for the payment of the remaining amount similarly to your account.
I am only contacting you as a foreigner because the former owner of the account is a foreigner and it is logical that the next of kin (that I will present you as) who applies to claim the money be a foreigner with foreign credentials and foreign account since this sum is in U.S. dollars and could only be approved into a foreign account. Meanwhile it is necessary you know that my attempts to contact or locate any relations/family members proved unsuccessful hence I decided to contact you. I want us to meet face to face to build confidence and to sign a binding agreement that will bind us together before transferring the money to any account of your choice where the fund will be safe. I need your strong assurance that you will never let me down because I am ready to ensure that all necessary documents and steps needed to get the money transferred into your account are perfected legitimately. I will apply for annual leave immediately the funds are secured in your custody. Once more, I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries, foreign exchange departments, embassy and Board of Internal Revenue Services here in Mauritius. I will inform you the next step to take immediately you reply me positively and give me full assurance that you will cooperate and work with me with honesty. At the conclusion of this business, you will have 35% of the total amount. I look forward to your earliest reply to my private e- mail Yours truly, Kissoon Soobaste.

Thursday, May 22

From now on, my Ninja name shall be Awesome Bear.

Wednesday, May 21

This is where the web, Blogger (good old blogger) and the power of the consumer come together. I've never been a big fan of Dixons, though I've chosen to give them my money for various things over the years. Now, however, there's a good reason to steer clear - support this unhappy consumer who has not had her TV fixed, under the Dixons warranty, despite months of effort on her part.

I have not had the time to read much of this surreal chronicle but it looks like there's plenty on there to read. Or what about this entertaining page of the Framley Examiner?

Any aspiring songwriter should make the most of all the advice available. So, BBC Radio 2's Sold On Song project should be a good read.

Tuesday, May 20

Make that 11. Plus a brief weigh-in, some 12 months after I started the whole being weighed thing, puts me at a total of -56 - not bad for a year. Still plenty to go - my original target was 100, 44 pounds could be lost if I worked at it! Perhaps my exertions during My Fair Lady with Durham Amateur Operatic Society from now until the show closes on 28th June will buy me some more weightloss.

Aha... it looks like Padge over at BuyMeAPint is hooked. Steve is hooked. Mal is playing, but I'm not sure how hooked he is. Ladies and gentlemen CNPS rules! I've reached 10!

Monday, May 19

I try so hard for grace and elegance... what I actually get is "disgraceful elephant" D'oh!

After an afternoon spent waltzing (well, attempting to at least) without causing too much injury to anyone (except perhaps the muse of waltzes), I came home, walked the dog (next door's at least), had something to eat, watched another unwatched DVD, did my ironing, watching a video that I'd seen before (so I didn't miss too much while I was looking at the shirts) and then came upstairs and wrote a song. The interesting thing is that it's taken me a good 30 minutes to realise that the song I've just written is, essentially, in 3/4 time (maybe it's 6/8, I'm not sure - let's not worry too much). Yes, I've written a song you can waltz to... without realising it... I'm all waltzed up! And the various things I've done in the 6 hours since I made my last waltz step, appear not to have purged the 3/4 rhythm from my head. Now I see what this sort of thing can do to you!

Every blog entry should have some sort of link, so check out the men in ties link to Steve's site (ooh, that's two links). What you'll get is a picture of six people in shirts and ties. I'm the one in the middle at the back, looking decidedly different to here, and wearing the ultimate "screw with the digital camera" type patterns. Lindsay (front left) looks a bit peeved, and Mal and Grant (top right and front right respectively) appear to have contracted the cheerful bug from somewhere. We were supposed to be doing "serious".

Sunday, May 18

Watched one of my unwatched DVDs last night! Wow! This was How To Irritate People. By the way, it's definitely worth reading the review on the page I've just linked to; the amusement in the review comes from the misspelling of "Definitely" as "Defiantly". The DVD of How To Irritate People is itself intended to be irritating. Its back and front covers are the wrong way around, its initial menu takes the piss out of you before you're allowed to watch the feature, and the only "extras" consist of a credits roll for the DVD production (yawn) and a 4 minute interview with the producer of the original show - Sir David Frost - who must have been told to drone on for four minutes and make it sound as dull as possible.

It's an entertaining DVD nonetheless. Taken in context - i.e. post-satire pre-python anarchic comedy of 1968 - it's priceless. If that doesn't help, then just be thankful to have the opportunity of enjoying watching Connie Booth in the prime of her youth.

As I promised myself earlier, I'm now trying to shift some spare DVDs. Check out my ebay auction.

Not only does Padge run the somehow-it's-not-begging, he also has his own site - In particular, his video of his attempts to disassemble his wardrobes left me giggling like a schoolgirl. Check it out. Nice grin Padge!

Friday, May 16

First Gig For Mac Star

Enjoyable trip to Edinburgh this evening. As a performer it was the first time I'd heard the line - "You're on second, after the magicians." - it sounded so showbiz. In truth, the gig was more an educational than a glitzy experience. A comedy night in a separate room in a pub or a comedy club is one thing, performing in an area of a bar that's also being used for general drinking and has a jukebox playing... well, that's something else - a challenge to rise to. In particular, there was no comedy warm up - the first act did table magic and the comperes did not do a warm-up spot. Essentially, my first joke was the first of the evening (apart from bits of banter that preceded it). Am I complaining? No! I had to raise my game, I had to learn how to work a crowd and ignore the distractions. I think I managed to get a lot of laughs during my 9 minutes on stage.

Tonight was also my first paid gig! A landmark!

Sadly the recording quality and the response to the material is such that this is another gig I'm not going to post a clip from. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm having fun with this comdey lark. It's a lot of travelling and I am getting quite tired with the demands of all of my various performing roles, but I am enjoying myself and I'm meeting some interesting people. Perhaps after the fringe festival I'll never want to see a stage again... perhaps the opposite. Either way, I'd like to find out!

Looks like Steve has finally got off the mark on the CNPS. I reached 8 this evening, one of the many benefits of my visit to Edinburgh. Check out my site for more info about that.

Thursday, May 15

When done well, ethnic comedy can be a fantastic thing. Shazia Mirza is a comic who has been able to achieve greatness in this field. However, some people have slated her. I recommend making your own mind up - go and see her if you get the chance.

Wednesday, May 14

Royalty Gig

Well, the Royalty gig - the penultimate show there for this season. I had an audience's attention for nearly 8 minutes, and they pretty much stayed with me the whole way. I don't think I managed to raise them into raucous guffaws, but I made them smile and giggle and had fun doing it. I tried some new material which also seemed to work reasonably well, so good stuff.

The gig schedule has been updated - I have a couple more dates over Manchester way. Sadly, it looks like the Newcastle scene is going on ice for the summer, so I'll have to be prepared to travel if I want to get gigs in June/July.

Roll on Edinburgh in a few hours!

More gig news over in the zone!

A childhood taunt explained... Joey Deacon in all his glory!

Tuesday, May 13

Make my CNPS rating 5 - I might have reached seven, but I only got a partial look at my 6 and I'm not going to start calling it a spot when I'm uncertain. Damn these rules!

I am registered at are you?

I have been playing CNPS since this morning. I got 1 at 13:10 and I've already reached 4! Gerrin'! I have many journeys ahead of me, which may be in my favour!

To quote Katy, I've put my "post match report" online from my gig tonight. Information to be found on the Ashley Frieze site.

Monday, May 12

New site from John.

Following a ticking off from the nice man at (any better?), I've capitulated and bought him a pint... the cheeky chappie! Here's my note to him.

Jesus! If I'd have known you'd get all shirty about it... Mind you, this is the start of a round system, I fully expect to swap further pints with you later on.

Enjoy. I expect to see a photo of you drinking the guinness with the word "incredible" somewhere in shot. Good luck in your quest.

Ashley (

Went to see Men In Coats a few hours ago. Excellent! Remarkably straightforward and almost childlike humour, reminiscent of the gags in cartoons, but good clean entertainment nonetheless. These chaps utter not a single word, choosing instead to execute a series of visual gags, some based around silly things happening on stage, some based around cheap conjuring tricks - that you can see right through - and the remainder based on good old slapstick. A lot of this has been done before, but not quite this way. These guys are creative and entertaining and well worth watching. Good show!

Friday, May 9

The world's most insincere luncheon invitation - "You're not coming out to lunch with us are you?" - actually, I wasn't. I was just headed to the sandwich shop, still it was nice of him to ask!

I think it's about time I fell in love. Any offers for a slightly-soiled 29-year-old overweight chap with a moderate amount of hair-loss, reasonable sense of humour, GCH and VISA?

Thursday, May 8

I like this page on spam, not to be confused with the original, trademarked SPAM... not a bit confusing!

Going back a year (to the days when I wrote articles on this site), I notice my article on Charver Parenting which could probably easily turn itself into a stand-up routine.

Wednesday, May 7

By the way, visit Peter Buckley Hill's website. Buy his CDs too. I can heartily recommend the process of buying them all and listening to "Buckets within buckets" - I'm sure I'll be just as hearty about his other recordings once I've listened to them too.

Sometimes people just don't get it. Read this review on a guitarists' website. The idea of the guitar review is to say what the guitar is like to play and own, so others could buy a similar one. This imbecile has pointed out that his guitar is good, but has a chip out of it (surely that's not part of the design). He's also pointed out how durable the guitar is since he's still on his first set of strings! Still, given his choice of music...

Tuesday, May 6

BBC news have an article about how to win at Millionaire (using probability statistics). I quite like the name on the by-line (if you think to the Ingrams affair).

Ladies and gentleman. There is one Eurovision song which must not be forgotten - it is excellent. I sat down and worked out the chords last night and I'm impressed all the more. I present - Ding Dinge Dong! Do not confuse it with Boom Banga Bang, which was very poor!

Friday, May 2

And then someone stole my adjective for their phonebox webcam. However, what's really incredible is what happens when someone gets hold of a video of a large guy pretending to be a jedi. Of particular note is the "remix" of the original footage, though both are worth watching.

I had this great idea for a site, but this guy got there first!

Thursday, May 1

You could waste time reading this article on seduction or you could marvel at the most weird foodstuff I've ever bought. Vanilla Ice Cream flavoured crisps - Monster Munch!


They tasted quite good actually!

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