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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

About Time Too!

It's gone really quiet on our street all of a sudden. Not before time , I might add. It can get pretty hectic in Moss Side especially in the summer time. We've had a few good days weatherwise lately and yes, everybodies been out on the streets enjoying the sunshine. Then, about the middle of last week - it all went quiet! Yes, there was a bit of a lull in the weather and we even got the odd April shower. But all of a sudden about Thursday last, people started to disappear from the streets. I'm not kidding you, there must be about one hundred regulars from Claremont Road alone, gone missing. Where have they all gone and more importantly why? Well, the only explanation I can offer is that last Wednesday, the local powers that be installed CCTV camera's in strategic places along the street. I went out this morning and had a look round - everywhere was still quiet. Then I saw one of the drug sellers, just out of camera alongside the wall of the pub. The shady (unlicensed) taxi's were there too. And the snide goods dealers, tucked just out of sight of the CCTV. I walked past the end of the side street and guess what? More of the usual suspects, were huddled together, leaning on some poor sod's car. Yes Ms Politician lady! You've managed to cut the CRIME figures - but only by moving the criminals into the side streets! And, only for NOW! 'Cos by the time that the local elections are over, everybody will have realised that there is no film in the camera's and everything will be back to normal!
I don't want to get too political - even though the local elections are just around the proverbial corner... But I must have a dig at the 2/8 (state) of the roads round here. In the fifteen years or so that we have lived here the road and pavements have never been recovered. They have been meddled with, for instance some idiot has planted little propergander sign-posts at the end of some of the side-streets - the problem is the place they have installed the scaffolding tube style signs is on the slopey bit where the pavements have been lowered for wheelchair access. How mad is that? And those speed bumps? They are the worst things! The traffic round here is MAD! But putting speed bumps on the street is Madder! Why? Because the Mad drivers actually speed up to go over the stupid things, resulting in more chaos. If any of the local candidates actually knock on my door this year, I'll guarantee my vote to the first one that promises to remove the blooming SPEED BUMPS!
We've got all sorts of green issues hounding us at the moment. We have a re-cycling collection man who comes every fortnight but most people don't leave anything out for him. We also have a wheelie bin collection every week, which is also a bit of a disaster. Most people don't take their bins back into their yards, they leave them out in the alley and then the kids come along and set fire to them or turn them over. They then become a health risk as rats and mice are attracted to the mess. Green Gilbert says: Wheelie bins in this area don't work! a) nobody wants them in their back yard because robers use them as scaffolding to break into their homes. b)The kids saw the wheels off them. So, what is the answer? Those skip type wheeled bins are beter than individual wheelie bins - what we need is a communal skip at the end of every alleyway.
Think Wilco, think Jeff Tweedy! The sometimes controversial lead singer of Wilco, Jeff Tweedy is our featured celebrity this week who just happens to have been born on my birthday. You can clink the link HERE to the Wikipedia site about him. I have looked at quite a few other sites including the Wilco site, but in the end I think this link will give you a clearer image of who Jeff Twedy is! Talking about birthdays it was Shakespeares birthday yesterday and also the aniversary of his death. Yesterday was of course also Saint George's day. The Patron saint of England.
My really bad poetry blogs! What's happening is this! For some stupid reason, it looks like I'm going to lose StraightTalkingStreetTalkingSweet... so I set up SweetTalkingGuy... to continue my really daft/bad/some people say rubbish poetry. The thing is in the meantime I now have two poetry blogs, so each tuesday I now post my new poem/lyric to both! This weeks posting is a song called Canaletto, you can sing it yourself - any tune will do! I started off thinking sucu-sucu but it ended up a bit Beatleyish! Some of my fave canals in the world get a mention, so please do check it out!
Where do I get these names from? Anyway, Gobsplot is my Doktir Nairobi blog. Gobsplot is an anagram of Blogspot! And the blog is pretty much me blogging on about Nairobics! Nairobics? Some people say I invented it and that Doktir Nairobi is my alter ego! I really don't know where these people get their ideas from. I must say that I have been writing about Doktir Nairobi for a long time. I first tried writing Nairobics as a novel in the 1970's, I wrote over 30,000 words and ripped the manuscript up. I had met some christians in Jersey and they told me that Nairobics was from the devil and I was scared that I would lose my soul, so I destroyed it. In the 1980's I re-wrote it for a funzine publication. It recieved a lot of attention at the time, but I was never able to keep the momentum going. So, with more info than ever about Nairobics and Doktir Nairobi, I'm going to give it a final whirl as a web publication. You can clink the link HERE.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Madder + madder...

Jack wanted a new basketball vest this week and I remember the palaver last time he bought one about three years or so ago. Well, the bottom line is that nothing much has changed. You go in the sports shop and you ask the assistant where the basketball shirts/vests are and he/she looks at you as if you're daft. In the third high street shop/chain we tried we actually found that they had one. The one they had was an extra large size and really should have been tagged FM as it was flaming massive to put it politely. Back home we checked the weired web for basketball vests, yes they existed - but at a big price. The one Jack wanted cost over £100.00 So, it was back to the high street we went. We eventually found and purchased two different vests, one at JD SPORTS and one at SOCCER SPORTS they were both reasonably priced and marked down in the sales.
I was reading about some mad security guards in some daft supermarket somewhere the other day and they (the security guards) had taken to wearing stab proof jackets for some reason best known to themselves. Then the very next day at Nantwich Cheshire I stopped for a lottery ticket at the Morrisons store and there were these crazy little security men with daft prison style uniforms on. I bought my lottery ticket as fast as I could and left the store - Mr Morrison, I'm sorry I won't be shopping at your store no more, the prison guards are the final straw, just one more reason not to shop at Morrison's no more!
The big story this week is the news that the fat gene has been discovered! Apparently if you have two copies of the gene you are twice as likely to be overweight as people who only have one copy! Of course if you're really slim you probably don't possess a copy of the gene anyway. The logic behind this research project is phat and it gets even phatter. How can you tell how many copies of the gene you might possess? Answer: Take a look at your parents, if one parent is overweight, then you're 40% likely to get fat yourself, as you will more than likely only have one copy of the fat gene. If however, both of your parents are overweight, then you stand an 80% chance of following them, as you will almost definately have two copies of the fat gene. Me? I just looked in my wardrobe and dug out two pairs of fat jeans, the first was 36inch waist + the second 34inch waist. I slung them in the freecycle skip, I never want to be THAT FAT again! In fact, if I go above 32inch waist, I'll just eat less + do more exercise. Fat gene or not!
How's the non-diet doing? Fine thanks, it's not doing anymore though, it's done! I'm now on the real diet, where I have to watch what I eat and when I eat. The problem I have found this last week is that temptation is everywhere! Cakes and biscuits, smelly cheeses, high-calorie sauces, junk food, processed foods, ready meals, pizza, pasta + potatoes. The list goes on into infinity. The trick is, eat less! Exercise more! Many fat people myself included, don't realise that exercise gives you the same buzz as comfort eating but has the opposite effect. One great diet guru said: It's not the fat that makes you fat - it's eating it! Anyhow, temptation aside, I'm enjoying eating salads and fruit and vegetables, brown bread and hi-fibre cereals. Tomorrow I'm going to make lentils - you can cook them in a pressure cooker in just 12 minutes. The other tip, I'll share with you today is humus, you can make it yourself with very little olive oil + leave out the tahini for a low calorie version. The raw garlic is good for you too!
Stay away from him! At your peril! SweetTalkingGuy is the name of my all new pub-poetry blog and you can clink the link HERE. The thing is, it's not really any different to my old very bad poetry blog STSTS and the two of them are up and running now alongside each other for the time being. So, why the new blog? Well, the stupid thing about STSTS is its URL, It's going to be taken off me sooner or later for legal reasons that I can't reveal on these pages. So, SweetTalkingGuy is really just a way of moving all my archive poetry before the balloon goes up! D'yer get it?
Don't forget if your birthday is on 25/8 you are one of a select few - in fact I'd go as far as to say you are one of the greats - and that's without even meeting you! Seriously now though, if your birthday does fall on the twenty fifth day of August please write in and let me know. And if you want, I'll give you a BIG write-up on this blog. By the way my e-mail address is in my full profile and you can clink the link to it in the right hand sidebar. Anyway, this tuesday we're going for a very different kind of person to the usual rock/pop/country/actor/writer types. Yes on 25/8 this week, I present Allan Pinkerton! You know, Allan Pinkerton of the Pinkerton agency! Everybody's heard of him! Haven't they? So, Allan Pinkerton 1819 clink the link.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter tour..

Nic, Jack + I went down to the beautiful city of Plymouth for the Easter weekend. Nic's cousin Karen got married to Shane. It was a beautiful sunny day and the picture postcard view from the hotel was magnificent. I really like being by the sea and the view across the bay of Plymouth Sound must be one of the most beautiful in Britain. The only thing I don't like about Plymouth is the steep hills. Pushing Ziggy can be murder, especially when the streets are cobbled as well. Fortunately for us, on this trip, the going was easy. We stayed at a hotel on Plymouth Hoe which was quite close to the one where the wedding was being held. In the morning before the wedding we went for a little walk around the Barbican - we saw the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgram Fathers boarded the Mayflower to set sail for America all those years ago. I spoke to a guy, who was driving a touristy tuk-tuk sightseeing thing. I asked him if it had an electric motor? No, he replied, It's got a 350 something or other! Get an electric one! I said.
It looks like City are staying put in the Premiership, after reaching the magical 40 point mark yesterday. They beat the London side Fulham 3-1 in the capital, with a goal each from Barton, Beasley and Vassell. Of course forty points may not be enough to stave off relegation but most people I've spoken to today think that it'll be enough. That red across the road didn't say anything though - I mean he couldn't say much - could he! Uni-ted having been beaten by lowly Portsmouth very recently. The title race is wide open again, Chelsea being only three points adrift now and having played the same number of games as the reds.
This is week ten and I've blown-it! Well, not quite! Although, I took the week-end off to go the wedding and I'm still eating vegetables and cereal and other food apart from MEAT, EGGS + FISH, I must tell you that I'm not over-eating, or feeling hungry and I'm not going mad! What I am doing though, is monitoring the situation and if I feel it is neccessary, then I will go back on the rapid reduction technique for a further two weeks - but not going beyond my target finish date of May Day. Come what may, May Day is when the real diet starts. By that, I mean that from the first of May 2007 I will have to be very careful about what I eat and what I don't eat. One thing I intend to continue to do is to keep on drinking the water! Each day I need at least 4 pints of the nectar, just to stay alive! But it's not just me - Everybody needs to drink this amount of water, every day + the 4 pint amount is just for starters, what we really ought to be drinking in addition is a like for like amount for every cup of tea + coffee and for each glass of juice, cola, alchol etc. Dream On!
Proper Joe or what? Billy Ray Cyrus, famous for his mullett hair style and for his big hit Achy breaky heart, has a new album out I'm told called Wanna be your Joe! Do you? Well, alright then, I guess thats ok! Sounds more like a Lou Reed kind of title than a Country thing to me. But you can't help liking Achy breaky, can you? I know that I can't. What I didn't know at the time was that Billy Ray shared my birthday - but that didn't stop me buying the tune. I was just reading on the weird web that Achy breaky was voted the worst song ever by one pop magazine in 2004 - there's no accounting for tastes is there! Anyhow, what do I know? You can check out Billy Ray Cyrus HERE.
In my really bad poetry and even worse song lyric blog STSTS last week, I posted the daft lyrics to a song I said was called Cricket Bat! Well, guess what? It's not! Called Cricket Bat! It's not even about a cricket bat and I don't even know why I told you it was, apart from the fact that I didn't have a written down version of the song and had to re-create it from memory. Well, my memory came back to me half way through the week and I now remember that it was called Tennis bat! Not only did I get the title completely wrong, I also missed out a crucial part of the lyric - I see you've got yerself a one string thing! It makes a racket + it cost a packet! But if yer wanna make that rot-box swing! So, to cut a long story short I'm gonna change it today! What I don't know though is what will be on offer this week! Well, I guess you'll just have to check it out for yourself! HERE.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mark my words...

I've got some new people to add to the 25/8 list this week. As you'll know by now, if you've been reading this blog recently, that I'm doing a thing about people who share my birthday - August 25th. Anyway, the latest recruits are as follows: John Badham 1939 Film Director Saturday Night Fever. Ludwig II 1845 mad king of Bavaria. Shock G 1963 Rapper. Ivan the Terrible 1530 Russian Tsar. Jeff Tweedy 1967 singer/songwriter Lead singer of Wilco. Tom Skerrit 1933 Actor. Allan Pinkerton 1819 North Western Police Agency Founder (US). Walt Kelly 1913 cartoonist (US). And Rob Halford who was born in Birmingham, Rob is of course that man from Judas Priest, if you want to find out more about him and his evergreen career you can clink the link HERE.
And don't forget! If you share the same birthday as the above mentioned - Please write to me and I'll post your story on this blog!!!
If you can't play football -
just pick up the ball + run!
Shouting Uni-ted! round here is akin to swearing, perhaps worse, maybe these days you can actually be arrested/locked up for mouthing the offensive words. In Manchester, where I live and the city of my birth, there are two great football teams! City and City reserves! We are the Mancunians, The Blues! We play at The City of Manchester Stadium. There are other football clubs around the area including Stockport County, Bury FC, Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic, Altrincham Town, Timperley Bigshorts, Stalybridge Celtic and Bolton Wanderers. For the most part they are in walking distance of this keyboard, the rest I can cycle to if I had to. Then, there are the Destination Football grounds like Wembley Stadium 180 miles south of here and of course our near neighbour, situated just outside the city of Manchester boundary at Old Trafford is the Theatre of Dreams - Gold Trafford, where Manchester Uni-ted play to capacity crowds on a regular basis. However, I have only ever been there a handful of times, when my team City have been playing there. I am certainly not a supporter. However, a certain red rag blog has listed me as a new member, apparently because I mentioned that City had been knocked out of the FA cup a couple of weeks back. Well, thanks anyway, Manchester United Unofficial Supporters Thingy, for giving Properjoe's a link - but, please rescind my membership forthwith as it is a teeny-weeny-itsy-bitsy-diddy-bit EMBARRASSING!
This week on my really bad poetry and even worse song lyrics blog STSTS.. I have posted the words to my daft performance piece entitled My Two String Violin! If you really want to sing along to it you just need to think Cliff Richard! Go and take a butchers and don't laugh at the mad photo on the previous posting. Anyway, I actually performed this piece at a community centre in Levenshulme, a few years ago. I've been looking at all the venues that Performance Poets can go to these days and it's pretty impressive. I really need to get out a bit more often myself, I'd love to do some of my newer stuff, someplace soon! I'll keep you posted. On the publishing front, I have news of two new publications for you. Suzanne Batty - twin sister to my Nicola, has her new Poetry Collection title listed on Amazon, you can order a copy! It's called The Barking Thing. Nicola herself, also has a new publication out this week, 50 Bites! which is a compilation of the first fifty editorials from her monthly Newsletter Raw Meat..
Week nine and all is going well. I had hoped that eight weeks would be enough of this mad non-diet but unfortunately it's NOT! It looks like I'll have to go the full twelve weeks that I set aside, to reach my target weight. So, week nine and this crazy eating plan is getting easier by the day. Sometimes I really have to force myself to eat. Most mornings, I completely forget about food and find myself distracted by the jobs I am obliged to do. It is often noon or one pm when I have my first bite of the day. Othertimes I do feel peckish, mainly in the evenings after everybody else has eaten. The nature of this non-diet, allows me to eat when I like. It truely is an eat-on-demand-program! One thing I always make sure that I do, is to drink my four pints (min) of water every day. If I even miss one pint, I usually wake up in the night feeling really dehydrated. Water, really is, it seems, the kill or cure all commodity, in this life.
I still want to build/buy a proper Ziggy bike so I/we can take Nic out cycling with us. Nic is confined to a wheelchair and she calls her wheelchair Ziggy. Hence the name Ziggy bike! I have figured out a basic design and now just need a donor mountain bike and a spare front wheel and a couple of lengths of threaded steel to attach the front forks of the mountain bike to the back of a Ziggy. Oh yes, that's the other thing I need a basic wheelchair that I can convert for the purpose. I am hopeful of finding most/all of the bike bits and the Ziggy on my local FreeCycle. However, if anybody does have a spare Ziggy bike for sale, I would certainly consider buying it!
I used to do a column called Consumer Girl! Where I used to beef about the price of cheese and complain about the state of the nations chip shops and stuff. Well Mystery Shopper is a bit more of the same old tripe, if you get my drift? I get really mad sometimes when illogical/irrational things occur in retail premises. For example, I was in my local Asda supermarket today and I needed a new strap for my watch. I went to the jewelery counter where I had previously purchased my watch from and asked the nice lady if I could see the watch straps Please? Sorry, said the nice lady, we don't sell watch straps! But you sell watches! I said. Oh yes, she replied, but we don't sell watch straps. That's crazy, I said, What do you do if you break your watch strap? You have to buy a new watch, said the nice lady. But the watch is fine, I just need a new strap for it! I told her again, but it was like talking to someone who couldn't hear. How mad is that? Surely if the jewelery section was a stand alone business it would be bankrupt by now! You can't treat paying customers like idiots! Wake up! Asda! You've just been blogged by The Mystery Shopper!