Blah

Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence Has A Lot To Answer For

The Hunger Games.  Very popular, those books, those movies. Made it very cool for girls to wield a bow and arrow. And now NERF (as in, "it's NERF or nothin'"), whose commercials have always been full of boys waging styrofoam battle with each other in various locations - parks, back gardens, woods etc. - have recognised the need for young ladies to run around all Jennifer Lawrencelike shooting their pals with soft missiles. But you've got to be able to distinguish a BOY'S bow-and-arrow NERF weapon from a GIRL'S bow-and-arrow NERF weapon. How to do that? First, give it a girly (but still tough) name. REBELLE.  Ooooh, sounds cool, huh? Rebellious, even. But just in case you were still unsure as to which gender the REBELLE was aimed at, let's give it some girl type colours. Purple, eh? Yeah. Almost pink.




Definitely for girls.

Not cool, NERF. Not at all enlightened.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Podcast Of Jeff!: Festive Gems

Well folks, it's the 23rd of December, or as some complete idiots like to refer to it, "Christmas Eve Eve."



I know full well you are all running around like chickens (or turkeys) with their heads cut off, trying to fit present-wrapping, food purchasing, booze-stocking-up, card-writing and all that other good stuff into your busy schedule, and I know there is a TON of good stuff to watch on TV, but do me a favour if you will, and listen to my holiday podcast. That's right - book yourself an hour's winter vacation in a high-backed leather armchair by a roaring log fire, glass of mulled wine/Drambuie/eggnog/whatever in hand, bowl of festive nibbles at your side, PC speakers cranked up to smooth, click the link below, and wallow in festive frivolity and Yuletide yarns. You've earned it.





The Podcast Of Jeff!: Festive Gems

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Take A Break? Gimme A Break!

On every newsagent's and convenience store's magazine rack, in every hospital waiting room and doctor's office they sit, shouting their banal and inane messages.

SURVIVING THE TSUNAMI MADE ME PSYCHIC!

THE TACKIEST TART IN TOWN!

BREASTFEEDING LEFT ME INFERTILE!

FAMILY HATED MY 'UGLY' BABY!

They go by such names as Chat, That's Life!, Bella and Take A Break. They are basically what bored housewives are supposed to be reading inbetween playing bingo and watching Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women.


The headlines draw the reader in, and a naturally curious person such as myself cannot help but pick up a copy and idly leaf through the pages, mainly to find out what the front page items actually mean. Oftentimes they bear only a passing resemblance to what you have conjured in your mind's eye based on what you read on the cover. But the headlines only truly become gems in their own right when you see the Christmas issues. Then do you heartily guffaw or groan in semi-appreciation at a well-written pun. Examples, I hear you cry? Get a load of these from last week:

WHAT A TURKEY! My fella brought his secret mistress to Xmas dinner

SPECIAL DELIVERY - I gave birth as I cooked the sprouts!

NIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS - My tot went up in flames

MRS GRINCH - My pal stole my poorly girl's presents

WE'RE SINGLE AND READY TO JINGLE!

TORN APART - like wrapping paper (I see what you did there...)

CARVED UP AT XMAS by big bro

STOCKING THRILLER - Dad burst in on my Xmas striptease for fella

40 STONE because I eat six Xmas dinners a day

MERRY EX-MAS My fiance ran off with my SISTER on Xmas Day

SURPRISE, MUM! I wasn't the Xmas sprouts

WHO GOT STUFFED when Paxo met Cranberry? (A story about two turkeys falling in lurrrve. Awwwww.)

OUCH! I was gored by Rudolph! (Oh deer!)*

JINGLE HELL - Slayed by their crazed Santa Dad

TOO FAT for an Xmas cuddle!

So there you are. If you really want to read any of the stories that these headlines pertain to, just book a doctor's or dentist's appointment for a couple months from now and you can read to your heart's content.


*NB: Oh deer! was part of the actual headline, not a comment from me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

English As She Is Spoke

I regard myself as a reasonably intelligent man, and I hope that others do also. However, once in a while I come across some things that make me scratch my head. Many of those things are things that I have talked about on this very blog. And just recently I happened upon another one.


My job currently is that of shop assistant in a small neighbourhood store. As such I get there early each day and open the joint up ready to welcome customers at 7 a.m. We try to cram as much as we can into the shop, small as it is, to provide essentials for the neighbourhood. We have a very small section for newspapers and magazines, and attempt to keep a varied selection. Some of them just don't sell, and this is because we just don't have the clientele for that sort of magazine. One that has been sitting for a while is The Field, a mag for the huntin' shootin' fishin' set, with the accent on the huntin' and shootin'.

As it's been sitting for a while and as the magazine rack is directly opposite the counter where I man the till and provide excellent customer service* for all and sundry, I get to see the cover of that magazine every day.

Now, to hasten to my point, which is about things that perplex a person, cause utter confusion and generally make you say "What the...?", there is a headline on that magazine's cover which reads as follows.

Best Drive of the Day?
Aga queens name the guns'
favourite lunches
Now, then...

It has something to do with food... but guns are inanimate objects... so how do they eat, or even express any feelings about lunch...and what's it got to do with driving? An Aga is an oven so I suppose an Aga queen would be a great female cook, but... uh...

Anyone translate? I can't speak Rich Twit. Or better still, someone come and buy that sodding magazine so I don't have to look at it anymore.



* "Providing excellent customer service" is a phrase that should be henceforth banned from any workplace. The number of corporate suck-ups I have heard in my lifetime uttering this ridiculous mantra would make your head spin. Worst of all are the bozo trainers from Head Office that would like it if you would greet a customer (or 'guest') with the sentence, "Welcome to (wherever you are), my name is (insert your name here), how may I provide you with excellent customer service today?".

I actually did go to a store once and get greeted in that manner. My response SHOULD have been, "You can provide me with excellent customer service today by getting the fudge outta my face, Shmendrick", but instead all I said was, "Uh, I'm just browsing."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Scent Of Doom

Over the years, ever since the idea of 'celebs' came about, celebs have been called upon to advertise products in return for a hefty paycheck. Whether it be Lucille Ball shilling cigarettes or Ted Williams hawking Moxie soda, the idea is not a new one. But the recent sharp rise in the amount of heavyweight actors plugging perfume is to me an abhorrent trend. Why is this, I hear you cry?

Because perfume ads have long been the most pretentious piles of unwatchable garbage, that's why. Little mini-movies that make no sense apparently is the best way to advertise things that have little or no intrinsic value other than that they smell nice (mostly). Blame Armani for that. Chuck in a Cate Blanchett, Ryan Reynolds or a Gerard Butler and suddenly the whole thing now has gravitas.







Chanel even have the cojones to refer to their Coco Mademoiselle ad as a 'film' purely because the damn thing is six times as long as a normal commercial and stars Keira Knightley. Still pretentious crap, though. And seriously? Keira does not ride a frickin' Segway, let alone a motorbike.




But the ads that annoy the shit out of me are the ones for J'adore by Dior starring Charlize Theron.

Charlize is a talented actress, famous for MONSTER  in which she looked nothing like herself playing serial murderer Aileen Wuornos.


Monster is a great movie in which Charlize gives a powerhouse performance. So I find it really hard to reconcile this...




with this...




and now, this....




In short, I've had enough of celebs endorsing perfume. I wish we could go back to the time when you didn't need an Armani/Herb Ritts mindset to make a fragrance ad. Let's go back to the good old days.


Cannot Be Unseen





The hell did I just watch?! I feel violated.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The End Of Movember


It's gone!

Yes folks, I successfully completed the #Movember challenge and grew a fairly respectable 'tache for the entire thirty days of November. And last night, shortly before midnight, I got rid of it. It itched and irritated. Laura didn't care for its rather prickly quality, not to mention its random sticky-out-in-all-directions growth pattern. It bothered me while eating and drinking - I'm not the most dainty of eaters or drinkers at the best of times and the mo' just compounded the issue.  But I raised a little cash for charity and got my phizzog in the paper (again!). So that's good. But it had to go. Removing it took about ten years off me, so I'm told. So there ya go.

Plus! If you didn't donate to my cause, fret not. You still can, by going to https://www.movember.com/uk/donate/payment/member_id/10788349/

Cheers all, and a big thanks to my Mum and my Sis who were my main contributors!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Obviousness

Sometimes you read a headline (on your Interwebs news source, for example) and it encapsulates the story so well that reading the story becomes superfluous. You just look at it and go, "Well, that about sums it up. I don't even need to click on that one to know what it's all about."

For example...

You don't need to know where this happened, or even how long ago. All you can do is nod your head in agreement. He sure sounds insane. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Podcast Of Jeff!: A Conversation With Vile Electrodes

The Podcast Of Jeff!: A Conversation With Vile Electrodes














The Podcast Of Jeff - A Conversation with Alan Castle

The Podcast Of Jeff - A Conversation with Alan Castle






A Tale Of Two Testes

Recently the big C - Cancer - has been on my mind. Earlier this year I gave up alcoholic beverages for an entire month in order to raise funds (and awareness) for Cancer research UK (I raised £205).

In mid-April (I think - I'm not sure, it's all a bit of a blur, but then, life is a bit of a blur. Not a bit of Blur, like Graham Coxon, but just a tad blurry.).... where was I? Ah yes, I went to the doc after discovering a lump about the size of a garden pea just under the skin in my groin area. Not on the naughty bits - just next to the naughty bits. It had actually been there for a few months but I felt it had increased in size, so I went to deal with it, and the doc put me at ease after reassuring me that it was only a sebaceous cyst.

"Nothing to worry about, Mr. Hickmott," he intoned, "but if it gets bigger, we can remove it if necessary."

OK. So... no worries.

Then a short while after that, my friend Marissa, a single mom with a teenage son who lives in Illinois (I mean, a mom in Illinois with a teenage son, not the mother of a teenager who has fled to Illinois for some reason or other, although that does sound like the start of a Gus Van Sant movie) went for a mammogram after finding a lump in her sideboob (her word, not mine) and was told it was cancerous and had to undergo a charming-sounding procedure called lumpectomy. (Who came up with that name? It surely has to have a more technical, unpronounceable word for a name? Let's see what Wikipedia has to say... tylectomy. Well then, whoever decided on lumpectomy was simply dumbing it down for the average Joe Schmoe. Condescending medical bastards. It's like going to the barber and asking for a hairectomy, or going to the Apple store for a bankaccountectomy.) In a tylectomy, a small portion or, ahem, "lump" is removed, the idea being that the boob can be saved rather than removed completely. Aaaanyway. 

So she, being a single mom, with a teenage son, without adequate Obamacare, was faced with the prospect of a long recovery period, undergoing chemotherapy which apparently knocks seven bells out of a person, not able to work for an indeterminate stretch, and being broke, as broke as a really broke person who's really really broke. On top of that her car was going kablooey.

Her friends and family have done online fundraisers and local businesses are involved helping out with charity auctions and benefit gigs etc, and I have done as much as a friend on the other side of the planet can do by sharing all the links, mentioning TeamRissa all the time and wearing the bright fuchsia T-shirt when out and about on my travels.



Then just a few weeks ago I was taking my shower in the evening when I felt something odd.

Just considering how to say this without running the risk of having you all switch to a funny cat video on YooT Oob.

We men, you know, we're... we, uh...

A year or five ago there was a big to-do in the press and online media because This Morning, a daytime TV magazine-style show presented by two former Children's TV presenters did a live in-the-studio segment with a live bloke, clad in merely a bathrobe. Demonstrating how to check one's balls for lumps etc. He was there standing for all intents and purposes practically nekkid in the TV studio knowing that waiting millions were agog with prurient interest, staring in wonderment and awe as he moved his dicky-doo-dah to one side and proceeded to fondle his nutsack. There was a similar flurry of shock and awe when they repeated the process in 2011.


I wrote at the time something to the effect that I did not think that men needed to be encouraged to touch their junk. We do it all the time. We are men. Not only do we do it because it might feel quite nice, but also because, well, ladies, just imagine having all that extra flesh knocking around in your knickers all day, and how many times you'd have to adjust, straighten, rearrange, scratch, etc. Yeah. We do it out of sheer necessity.

So it was that before I took my shower, I had cause to redistribute said dangly particles. And that's when it happened. I felt something that I had not noticed before. A lump.

Now, to illustrate for you, let's say that the shape of the average male testicle is roughly akin to the shape of a kiwi fruit - without the fur, of course. Now imagine that you have owned a kiwi fruit-shaped object for a very long time, say, your entire life - and one day it feels like someone has taken a lump of Blu-Tack and slapped it onto the side of your kiwi-fruit-shaped-object. Yeah, that's what it felt (sorry, feels, for it is still there) like.

Naturally I was alarmed, and what with all the hoo-ha in the press about cancer, celebs dying of cancer, having treatment for cancer, and of course Marissa, one of my best friends, having it and undergoing horrible treatment to get rid of it, cancer was a word looming large in my mind's eye when I first felt this lump.

Naturally, because I don't believe in losing my cool or having secrets, I told Laura straight away, and the following morning booked an appointment with the doctor.

Fast forward a couple days and I'm in the doctor's office with Dr. Okeke (a very nice man, I can recommend him highly) examining my male area and telling me that it was probably nothing to worry about. Most likely a cyst.

Well, I asked, what's the deal with cysts? Apparently way back when, they would drain cysts of this nature to reduce the swelling. But sadly they discovered this used to do more harm than good, because the cysts would come back with a vengeance. Not only that, the entry wounds would get infected and/or sore and this was deemed to be a bad thing. So it was wisely reckoned that leaving things that caused no obvious pain or harm alone was a good idea.

Nonetheless, he booked me in for an ultrasound which would determine what was what. Now you know me, I'm always one to find humour in situations most would find grim. So he's on his computer filling in the form to order an ultrasound exam. The abbreviation for 'UltraSound Scan' is of course USS. So there he is, typing the words "USS SCROTUM" and all I can think is "God Bless Her and all who sail in her!"

So a few days go by during which I am still chuckling at the above joke.

Then last Saturday I arrive at the doctor's office to see the diagnostic radiographer for a scan. When I get to the door of the room I see his name.

Marc Manzano.

A guy I went to school with and hadn't seen for approximately, I dunno, thirty years maybe? Unbelievable. What a reunion. If someone had told me when we were at school together that one day in the future Marc Manzano would be applying warm gel to my testes and scanning them for lumps....

Well, scan them he did, and he actually found two lumps. Both cysts. One on Righty, approx 17mm in size, and another on Lefty, 5mm in size. Both benign, nothing to worry about. Thankfully.

But it makes you think, doesn't it? So guys - check regularly, or else you could be having an impromptu school reunion sometime soon.

Oh, and let me finish by reposting a sentiment aired by Marissa on her FB feed today.

During this month of Breast Cancer Awareness, I want to say this: while the term "save the tatas" is cute and cheeky, it is also dehumanizing for someone going through chemo to save her life. I'm not alone in this as I read many similar remarks on the Breast Cancer page when they posted the phrase painted on a pumpkin.
I'm so much more than my breasts. I've lost my hair and struggle daily to maintain my sense of dignity, humility, humor, and self esteem. Most days I feel like shit, but forge ahead in an attempt to maintain a sense of normalcy for Spenser. I'm gaining weight due to the meds despite my inability to eat much.
I'm going through treatments to save my life. Thank you. Feel free to share this if you feel similarly.
Please check the links below to read more about breast cancer, cancer in general and the people supporting Marissa while she fights the big C.


www.facebook.com/groups/TeamRissa

http://www.polyvore.com/wear_pink_for_marissa/set?id=136339241

http://teamrissa.artseesdiner.com/

http://sueanneshirzay.indiemade.com/product/marissa-cluster-earrings-plum-quartz-and-sapphire?tid=31

www.booster.com/teamrissa1

Marissa (before the hair loss) and her son Spenser. 
http://checkemlads.com/

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/

http://www.yourprivates.org.uk/

http://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/

http://www.abcf.org/


#TeamRissa

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Adventures With Skype (There's Something About Jeff and Mary's Conversation)

Since 2007 I have been a Facebook friend of my former colleague, blogger and general fun person Marissa Rapier, who authors Rapier's Wit (Love, Life and the Pursuit of the Perfect Bra). Recently she discovered a lump in her sideboob (her words, not mine) and got it checked out. It was cancer and she underwent lumpectomy and is now undergoing chemo. 


Marissa's recent before and after shots.


Her supporters are many, not least because of the fact that she has a boatload of siblings, and other relatives. Her niece Megan started the ball rolling with an online fundraiser with Booster.com where you could either donate directly or buy a specially designed T-shirt in a fetching shade of fuchsia. 

Then her sister Mary E LaLuna kept the ball up in the air by mentioning Marissa all over the Interwebs and just plain being supportive in any way imaginable. 

Local establishments joined in, such as a wine bar holding a benefit night.

I bought a shirt and reposted anything and everything to do with Marissa's fundraiser. I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and dedicated it in part to TeamRissa.






My buddies Clark and Michael followed suit.  Both wearing the pink shirts.







During all of this I had a lot of interaction with both Marissa and her sister Mary. Mary hosts a radio show on BlogTalkRadio called ArtSees Diner. She interviews all kinds of cool people, and she replied to a tweet (or an FB status, I can't recall really) that she'd like it if I was a guest on her show sometime. I replied that I'd be flattered and honoured to do it and so we set about making a date for the show.

As the days, hours and minutes ticked down, I grew steadily more nervous (even though there was nothing to be concerned about after all - but still, I always get nervous in these situations).

My main worry was the Skype connection - I always use Skype for recording my podcasts and so generally one uses Skype addresses, right? But Mary assured me this was not necessary and that when the show started a Skype button would pop up, and with a simple click I'd be on the air.

I gave it a trial run with a different computer and a different show the previous evening. It seemed to work. So, fine. All is well, oui?

Non.

Even though my laptop, which is fairly new, and runs Windows 8.1, and the version of Skype I have is the latest, it had to mess up for me, didn't it?

The show began. The Skype button popped up. I clicked it. 

A popup window informed me that it would be closing the show's window to avoid some sort of feedback issue, and I figured that was cool. Another window then opened and this had a button in it saying Click To Talk.

I clicked it.

Immediately it changed to a window in the Skype colours and patterns, doubting that I even had Skype installed. "Do you have Skype installed?" it asked, a little aggressively, I thought. There were two buttons available to then click. Either "Download Skype" or "I Already Have Skype".

Well, as I said, I already have Skype. The latest version. I could not be more up-to-date.

Click. 

Nothing.

So I tried again. And again. And again once more.

For ten minutes I struggled with this damn stupid piece of uncooperative software.

This is all happening while Mary is talking and trying to keep the audience interested by playing music and promising that I would be on the air momentarily. I can't hear any of this, of course. All I hear is the sound of doom as the buttons tell me time and again that I don't have Skype and I really ought to think about installing it.

So finally, after coming up against the same brick wall of silence time and again, I decide to do what it says. Logic is telling me that I have Skype and that there is no earthly reason why the stupid thing shouldn't just work like a dream, but this is no time for logic. this is an emergency. my interview on live radio is about to go down the tubes. Let's install the piggin' thing.

Of course, installing anything, even with a shit-hot computer, the fastest broadband connection and the best will in the world, is gonna take some time.

Finally after I have sweat out five buckets of pure adrenaline, the old creaky version of Skype that the machine insisted I install is available for use. I fire it up, struggle to remember my user name and password, and go back and click the dreaded button again. "Click To Talk".

Finally I hear the ringtone and the reassuring message that I am but a hair's breadth away from being live on the air with Mary. Then I hear her voice introducing me. Phew.

17 minutes had ticked by while Mary played three tunes and bigged me up to the skies.

As it turned out, the finished show sounded so good you wouldn't have guessed I been this close to throwing my laptop out the window just minutes before.

Here is the link to it.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artseesdiner/2014/09/14/from-the-world-of-jeff-social-media-extraordinaire-jeff-hickmott

And all the links to Marissa's fundraiser are here -  facebook.com/groups/TeamRissa/

There are 11 days left to get one of those beautiful pink shirts too ... 
www.booster.com/teamrissa1

Not only that, but in listening back to the show, I have become a fan of DC Rapier. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

From The World of Jeff, Social Media Extraordinaire, Jeff Hickmott! 09/14 by ArtSees Diner Radio | Blogs Podcasts

From The World of Jeff, Social Media Extraordinaire, Jeff Hickmott! 09/14 by ArtSees Diner Radio | Blogs Podcasts



By clicking the above link tonight at 7pm  UK time, that's 1pm Central Time, 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific, you will hear yours truly being interviewed LIVE on BlogTalkRadio. Lord only knows what we are going to talk about and I only hope I don't end up sounding like a stammering doofus.



"I, um, err, well, y'know, it's like, um...."



I also hope I can live up to the hype because as you can see by clicking on the link, host Mary E. LaLuna (sister of my good friend, ex-boss and fellow blogger Marissa Rapier)has bigged me up something fierce!



Of course, if you can't catch the show live, clicking the link will lead you to the recording of the show and you can listen to my inane ramblings at your leisure.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Foodcast Of Jeff! Cooking Live!

The Foodcast Of Jeff! Cooking Live!

The Doctor's Daughter

Sorry if I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but I've just found out that the actress who played Jenny in "The Doctor's Daughter" episode of Doctor Who in 2008 (Georgina Moffett) is now married to David Tennant, whom everyone knows as The Tenth Doctor. Not only that, but they have a baby daughter. But the bit that blows my frickin' mind is that her dad is Peter Davison (real name Peter Moffett), aka The Fifth Doctor. Anyone else realise that?






In other words... the Doctor's daughter who played The Doctor's Daughter in "The Doctor's Daughter" gave birth to The Doctor's Daughter.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Signs Of The Times

It's not an unfamiliar sight. Little wooden or metal signs hung on walls in people's homes, with an uplifting saying, phrase, verse of Scripture, poem or song lyric on it. Either handpainted or mass-produced, trying to look perhaps a little 'retro' or 'shabby chic'. We've all seen them, we probably can name at least three friends who own something like this or the names of at least three local shops that sell these kind of things.

By and large, they're quite inoffensive, some would say charming or quirky, designed to make the owner seem perhaps a little nicer, cooler or more intelligent. This is the sort of thing I am talking about.



But just recently, things have taken a turn. For some reason, that bloody overplayed overhyped song 'Chasing Cars' by the equally overhyped Snow Patrol that has been a staple for the last few years on every radio station known to man has become one of these signs. I've seen it several times recently in different locations and it's making me crazy. As if it didn't make me crazy enough when it was in the charts being played 24/7.



So I'm basically going to just join in and do a few of my own. Except I'm going to create these 'inspirational' signs using lyrics of songs that everyone thinks are love songs, but actually aren't. Here's a few I put together earlier. See what you think.





But why stop there? Why not put these inspiring lyrics on other things too? Plates, for example.


Or dumpsters.



How's about a dustbin lid?



Somehow I can't help but feel that Ms. Patsy Cline would be proud.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Defiant Language

The way I see it, there are two types of people in the world. Those who speak English, and those who don't.

Hang on. Allow me to rephrase that slightly.

There are those that use the English Language as their primary method of communication, whether by writing, speaking, or sign language.

And there are those that use a different language. We have no use for these people at the current time. I am only interested in the English Language users.

We can divide the remaining group up into the three categories I previously mentioned. Those that speak English, those that sign English, and those that write English.

I'm only interested in the ones that write.

Of the English Language writers, we can then divide this group into two sub-groups. Those that can spell...

...and those that cannot.

The good spellers, we have no use for at the current time.

The bad or non-spellers, we can further divide into sub-groups.


  • Those that cannot spell no matter what, and have given up trying, finally accepting the fact that spelling is completely beyond their scope. We have no use for these people at the moment. (NB: I am not in any way dissing these people - there are many people out there who, while extremely smart, have simply no room left in their ginormous brains for something as trivial and unimportant as spelling a word correctly. I have at least two friends who fall into this category and are successful, clever guys, despite the fact that they can't spell for toffee. They're also both left-handed and their handwriting is atrocious, so maybe that's the issue. I remember one of them writing the word masochism and spelling it as if it were the name of a New England town. Y'know - Narragansett, Naugatuck, and Massakissum.)
  • Those that can kinda spell most of the time but make obvious mistakes like tommorow, embarassment, accidently etc. We have no use for these people. (again, not a put-down, just that we aren't dealing with you guys right now.)
  • Those that cannot spell but think they can. These are the people we are concerned with.
The people that think they can spell but actually have no business trying to are all over the interwebs. I'm not talking about the deliberate misspellings like teh or pwned, or the shortening of words like - those I can live with.

I'm talking about confidently launching into a word like definitely and putting an A in it instead of the second I.

Definately.

 Even that I can sort of cope with.

But then there's another sub-group. The people who believe that definately  doesn't need that second E.

So then it becomes DEFINATLY.

Ugh.

However, there is a moment when sometimes, just sometimes, this word gets mistyped.

We've all done it. Your mind is running so fast that your fingers can't keep up, and you accidentally forget which order the letters come in, or your brain doesn't send the message to your fingers fast enough, and you end up transposing two of the letters.

In this instance, sometimes the word DEFINATLY becomes DEFIANTLY.

Hurray! You've managed to spell a word correctly! The wrong word, but...

This in turn can lead to some interesting Facebook status updates.

For example, say you are definitely angry with someone (let's call him Bob for the sake of argument) and wish to express this sentiment on your Facebook wall.

"I am defiantly mad at Bob."

Wow. Strong words. You're not only angry, but defiantly so. Good stuff, get it off your chest.

But say you have been coveting that pretty blue dress in the window of M & Co. for a while and have been waiting for payday to roll around so you can go in and make a purchase...

"Woo Hoo! Payday tomoz! I am defiantly gunna buy that blue dress at M&Co.!"

Paints an interesting picture.

*Strides forcefully up to counter, dress in hand*

"I'm buying this dress! Don't even try not to sell it to me! I'm defiantly buying it!"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Forget Sharknado... this is AerobiCide!



I recently had cause to be researching terrible slasher movies (don't ask) and stumbled across this gem from 1987, full of hotties working out to Flashdance-style tunes and then being gruesomely killed for no apparent reason. Check it.



The Podcast Of Jeff! A Conversation With Clark Brooks

Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm Gonna Get Some Flak For This One

I was just thinking to myself I needed to have a damn good rant about all this Israel stuff. And the main thought that revolved around my head concerning all of the atrocities and shelling and emotive heart-string-tugging on the media channels was this: How can people be so goddamned stupid?
I know I'm severely undereducated when it comes to this topic, but it is one of those subjects where I think knowing too much about the underlying history behind the conflict actually clouds the issue and makes it more difficult to deal with.

From where I sit it seems very simple. Israel, having been moaning for centuries about how the Holy Land is rightfully theirs, finally got what they saw as a break after World War 2 when the UN said here's the plan, you have this bit and the Palestinians, who have been living here for bloody ages, can have these bits. Alright, says Israel, fine. A little while later Israel says nah, actually, we want more than that. Since then, they've been fighting on and off for nigh on 70 years. Now Israel have stepped up the anti-Palestinian stance and seem content in bombing the living shit out of everything until all the Palestinians either get fed up and leave or just expire. It's like a landlord that tries to kick its tenants out (OK, I know, Israel isn't the 'landlord' of the Palestinian territories, but bear with me and let's see where this ends up, shall we? Patience, people, patience.) by sustained and constant attack on the property they live in. It's ridiculous and untenable. It would be crazy for a landlord to systematically destroy bits of their rental properties in order to get rid of the people that lived there, because he's ending up with a property in disrepair and it would be worthless. Similarly, Israel seem to think that the best way of regaining control of Gaza is to shoot fucking huge rockets at it until the Palestinians either up and die, or up and leave. What they seem to not understand is that Gaza will not be worth a tinker's toilet pan if they have levelled the bejeezus out of it.

"Hey guys? Guess what? Good news, the Palestinians are all gone / dead. Brilliant!"

"Cool! Now we can go back in there and... oh. Umm... looks like shit, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, well... nothing to do with us, surely?"

What is the point of trying to explain this to anyone? I mean, I know I'm gonna get some comments from people. I'm gonna be unfriended by several, I guess. But here's the thing.

I'm not anti-Semitic, I'm not anti-Palestinian, I'm not anti-Jew, anti-Muslim, anti-anything.

Except war. I'm anti-war. Anti-pain. Anti-violence.

I'm pro-people. Pro-peace.

Right now in the good ole U S of A, the thinking seems to be - stand behind Israel. Israel is right, Israel is the victim here, and if you are a Jew you need to be standing with them. If you are American you need to stand behind Israel because Israel is our buddy. So what if they blew the holy crap out of a UN school in Gaza? There must have been Hamas terrorists in that school because they wouldn't have destroyed it and all its contents (including children) unless there was some serious terrorist-type stuff happening there, would they? So let's all give Israel more weapons with which to protect themselves from those terrible terrorist Palestinian kiddies. Yeah. Good idea. (Sarcasm alert!)

Understand that I am only a simple Englishman who is pro-peace, pro-people, and not anti-Semitic. I am, however, anti-religion, because as I see it, every war that can be thought of has had some kind of 'religious' motive behind it, as if it was an excuse when all other excuses failed, and the fighting in the Middle East has always had some kind of territorial or religious reason behind it.

"Well, we're Israel and we deserve to live in Holy Land without any of those infidel Muslims cluttering the place up, because well, we're the children of Israel, and we have been very poorly treated throughout history, so be nice to us or else."

"Oh sure, poor Israel, let'em live there and boot everyone else out, because it's such a fucking attractive place to live, innit? The Negev Desert is so gorgeous this time of year."

Seriously, you're fighting over a hot dry piece of shit strip of sand, and you want to make sure you get control of it by bombing the shit out of it? Why, so you can build a frigging hotel and form a beach club? Well, sign me up, Israel, I always look for an arid area to vacation in. Pass me my Sandy Colada served in a spent grenade, I wanna work on my goddamn tan.

I realise this all sounds like hot air and ill-informed bull crap, but to me it's all very simple. Israel wants to bully Palestine out of its homeland - yes, homeland, they've been living there for fuckin' centuries. Why can they not get along? Why can't they be like these guys?



Why'd everybody clown Rodney King/

When he said that "why can't we all get along?" thing?/

Well it makes perfect sense to me/

But history tells us it just wasn't meant to be.

 -Wax , "It's All Love"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Har De Har Harr




There is a clothing shop in town that is part of a chain of stores, named White Stuff. We went in the other day to have a bit of a mooch around and see what bargains could be found. While Laura went off in search of ladies' clothing, I went and had a chat with the nice lady behind the counter. (Actually, I was trying to schmooze a little because I would really love to do a podcast from inside that store. It's a very eclectic shop - it's in an old building that for many years was the town library, and dates from 1780. White Stuff has been in there for a couple of years now, and they have managed to keep it from looking too much like one of their high street stores. In the central area of the shop, along with the old floorboards and well-worn rugs, are a couple of beat-up old leather armchairs in front of an old fireplace. Would that not be a cool place to do a show? However, the lady said that (a) they don't have wi-fi and (b) I'd have to run the idea by their head office to get approval. Believe me, it's on my to-do list.)

While waiting for Laura, I noticed that the strategically placed men's underwear display was nearby, and that they were on sale (£9 instead of £17.50 - I don't mind if I do). First thing I must say about these is the packaging, which made me chuckle.


Now, as you can see, the waistband says WHITE STUFF on these. Much like you might get ones that say CALVIN KLEIN
or LONSDALE
or JOE BOXER
or FRED ARKWRIGHT'S WONDERPANTS UNDERPANTS or whatever.

When, later that evening, we'd got home, had food, put Rosie to bed and everyone had had their bath or shower, I showered myself and decided to recline in the crisp fresh sheets of the bed in my brand new undies. My opinion - they are nice undies. Very comfy. So I lay there on the mattress wearing nothing but. (Please, try to control yourselves, ladies). Laura walks in and says,


 "You've got White Stuff on your pants."


And I looked.


Everyone wants to be a comedian.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Movie Quote of the Week

Peter: The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care. 



Bob: Don't... don't care? 


Peter: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now. 


Bob: I beg your pardon? 


Peter: Eight bosses. 


Bob: Eight? 


Peter: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.


--from "Office Space" (1999)

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Podcast Of Jeff! Tentertainment 2014 Special Episode

Not So Fast, Nick O'Teen!

I've been working recently as a cleaner at a school. This really has nothing to do with what I want to talk about other than the fact that it indirectly led me to be inspired to write this blog post, something that I am afraid I don't take the time to do much anymore since I seem to have so much other stuff happening in my life right now, some of it pleasurable, some of it mind-numbingly, soul-destroyingly badly awful, but all of it time-consuming.

In the area I am tasked to clean are the kitchens that are used to teach catering. (Yeah, that's right. Back when I attended the same school we were taught Home Economics, and basically taught to cook. Now they are taught how to become sous chefs and work in restaurants. The teacher is referred to as 'Chef' rather than 'Sir' and they all wear chef whites. Surely teaching them to cook and instill a love of cookery is the first step, and then train to be a chef at catering college? Maybe it's just me, but the preponderance of chefs on TV speaks volumes. Being a cook in a restaurant, much like every other job in a restaurant, is a thankless and sometimes god-awful job. Why is everyone trying to be Gordon bloody Ramsay instead of Justin Wilson?)

Full sized restaurant-type kitchens, along with a classroom area known as the 'restaurant' and a hallway with three restrooms - one boys, one girls, and one disabled persons. They are all fairly small as this isn't an enormous area and is essentially just one big classroom. In the boys' toilets, the toilet stall is located next to a window, and was obviously designed to be somewhere else, as you can open the latch to open the window but you cannot open the window itself as it opens inwards and there is a supporting pillar of the toilet's cubicle halfway along the window, thereby preventing anyone from using the window for its intended purpose. Make sense? Following me? Good.

So what do the boys use the window's expansive windowsill for?

Rolling ciggies.

Frequently when I go in there to clean, I am confronted with a few stray strands of baccy, or a filter, or a plastic sleeve from a pack of filters, or a discarded empty Rizla pack.

Several things about this disturb me. First, you have the nuts to roll your much-needed smokes at school? You are that gasping for a fag you have to roll'em in the loos so you can instantly light up as soon as you are outside the gates? Gimme a break, you barely have hairs sprouting from your nether regions. You don't need a smoke that bad.

Secondly, I recall when I started smoking in the early to mid-80s, a pack of 20 was around the £1 mark, and I thought that was pricey then. Rolling baccy was cheaper than that, but I still preferred ready-made ones to rolling my own. Nowadays a pack of 20 cigs is around £8, which to me seems astronomical. To put it into perspective, from the local Chinese takeaway you can get Kung Pao Chicken and a generous serving of Egg Fried Rice  for almost the same money. I know people who regularly go down to the Duty-Free shop at the Port of Dover to stock up on cheap tobacco, as it is so cost-prohibitive.

Where are schoolkids getting the money to finance such a ridiculously expensive pastime? Notice I don't say 'habit' or 'addiction' because as I say, they are schoolchildren and hence haven't been doing it for long enough to be addicted. I'll tell ya where. Parents. Parents either give the kids too much money as pocket money (well, to be honest, living as I do in a house with teens in it, it's likely the kids more or less extort the money out of the parents who are either too tired to say no or who want a quiet life), or the kids have weekend jobs as paperboys or shop assistants, but this seems unlikely.



Thirdly, for as long as I can remember, cigarette packs and tobacco pouches have had health warnings on them. When I was young it was just a side panel of the box that said that cigarettes MAY be harmful to your health. Nowadays, it makes you wonder why cigarette manufacturers even bother with pack design, logos, fancy colours etc. because there's a dirty great sticker on every pack, covering almost the entire front surface, boldly proclaiming SMOKING KILLS and SMOKE THIS AND DIE or EMPHYSEMA - THAT'S A VERY LONG WORD, ISN'T IT?

The long and the short of it all is that for decades now (at least since the '50s) we have known that smoking is perhaps not the best idea in the world if you want to stay healthy. Only recently, however, has the government decided to stop pussyfooting around and call a spade a spade with SMOKING KILLS. But they still won't stop selling the stuff, because it's profitable. The reason your pack of 20 Mayfairs is so expensive is because of all the lovely taxes that the government slaps on top of it. So as long as people are prepared to pay outlandish prices for their dangerous addiction, the Government will not do the sensible thing and outright ban the stuff. If there ever comes a day when people just quit buying ciggies because they're too pricey, the Govt. will just scale back the prices to keep you dumbasses buying.



It's utterly moronic to me, knowing as I do about the health warnings, and the number of TV documentaries I've watched over the years, that anyone still thinks about taking up smoking. I know that a lot of smokers are hooked and have been for years, and their need is just that - a need. Their brain tells them that it needs the nicotine one way or another and they are powerless to stop. But kids - why? I cannot get my head round that one.  What is so attractive about smoking?

When I was a kid I spent my money on snacks and magazines and records, cigarettes came later and was just a passing phase. I never really smoked hardcore and gave up when in my early 20s.

So what is the point I am trying to make in this mess of incoherent and disjointed thoughts? That that evil fiend Nick O'Teen is still out there trying to sell kids on the demon baccy. Superman, you're slacking.





Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Lawn Again, Naturally

I don't know about you guys, but I am fundamentally opposed to lawns. I fail to see the attraction of a huge area of grass that you have to go out and cut once a week. To me it's a complete waste of space - you could be growing your own veggies, or building a summer house or shed or greenhouse or a play fort on the same area.

It's also a total waste of time in that you go out there and mow it (which, let's face facts, is if not the most dull activity known to man, then at least in the top ten). Then you have to repeat the entire process a few days later.

Not only that, but I have a hard time seeing a beautiful patch of grass covered in buttercups and daisies and clover etc. and having to then cut them all down. I mean, what have they done to deserve that?

If I have to mow, I'd prefer to just mow a path from the back door to the shed and the washing line, and let the rest become a meadow humming with bees, butterflies and dragonflies.

Yeah, I think that'd be nice.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

#TEAMRISSA

Very little to add to this, just need to direct you folks over to the #TeamRissa page and encourage you to do whatever you can to help my old boss and good friend Marissa Rapier in her fight against breast cancer...

Here's the link...

https://www.booster.com/teamrissa


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's a Funny Old Game

I'm not what you would call a 'gamer'. Living as I do in a house where reside three teenage boys, all gamers of varying degrees, one gets exposed to things that make one scratch the ol' noggin.

Now, I have played video games, but I am afraid that I have not progressed past Wii Sports, but my favourite video games are Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 and 2005 on the GameCube, and Mario 64 on the N64. 

Xbox games like Call Of Duty, Borderlands, Minecraft etc., just leave me cold. Similarly, not being a football fan, games like FIFA 14 do nothing for me. But that is what the favourite ones seem to be, at least in our house.

Sometimes, if there is no decent TV on, we have been subjected to watching one of these games being played on the big TV in the living room. And even though I'm a fairly tolerant chap, I am afraid that even more dull than playing a game I hate and would never in a million years sign up for, is watching someone else do it.

But wait! It gets worse.

There are on the Interwebs a whole bunch of videos on various sites showing people's games that they have played on Xbox Live or whatever with their inane running commentary and stupid jokes. And to me, that's just the same as watching your children play a game you wouldn't play. Here's an example of what I am talking about.




Now I dunno about you, but to me, that is almost as stimulating as a Dionne Warwick CD.

Also there is a site called twitch which seems to specialise in lots of live streams of these ultra-nerdy-geeky type things. I just don't know how anyone can sit through these for more than about a minute.

But sit through them they do. Our lot watch them on the iPad while chatting with a friend or two on Xbox Live and playing a game. For hours and hours.

Don't get me wrong. I know that there are plenty of people out there that totally get off on these. They would probably find blogging, cooking, photography etc., i.e. all the things I find interesting, a total bore. I am mature enough to admit that this is purely my opinion, no more or less, and there is no right or wrong here.

So what is my point? I don't know. I suppose I'm just letting you all know that there are two sorts of people in the world. Gamers... and the rest of us.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Give It A Rest, Jimmy

As a fairly average fat dude, I would just like to say to James Franco - OK man. We all get it. You're a handsome guy. Women lust after you all the time. There are even T-Shirts available proclaiming such.


That pic is from his own Facebook page. He knows he's attractive. He is fully aware of the fact that he is a sex object. So why all the selfies, Jimmy?

Mr. Franco, the award-winning highly respected actor and director, has for some time now been posting selfies on Instagram and WhoSay pretty much daily. Most of the time they are like this.






Fair enough. But just recently things have taken a turn. Every evening I'll be sitting there on the sofa, feeding my baby daughter a bottle or sipping a coffee while watching the latest shenanigans on Hollyoaks or EastEnders (yes, you are right - I do have that whole 'rock & roll lifestyle' thing down to a fine art, don't I?) and Laura will be checking her Facebook on the home PC when suddenly she'll make one of those 'lustful female' type noises and say something along the lines of "James Franco, what are you doing to all us women?". Because just recently the piccies have been like this.




Dear God, man! What are you doing to us men, never mind the women!? Eh? I'll tell ya what - making us all look bad, that's what! Knock it off already! We're already insecure enough about our bodies and our attractiveness without Mr. Studly Buffkins flashing the flesh and looking like he's been up to no good all night long! Although the latest picture, I do have to say, makes me at least feel a bit less insecure about ONE thing.


Not much to worry about there.
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