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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The New Mode...

Recycling is the big thing these days and so many people get so mad about the stupidest issues that sometimes you wonder if it's all worthwhile. Take the supermarket collection points for instance, they have these massive big skips for putting different materials in which in theory is good. However, in practice it is all such a pointless exercise - you see, you save up all those juice and milk cartons and dutifully take them round to the collection point and then you find that you have to post each carton individually, through a mail slot size opening! How mad is that?
Last week I had a bit of a mad rant about the state of the traffic coming into Manchester in the morning rush hour and a nice person in India sent me a picture of a real traffic jam! You can check it out by clinking the link in last weeks comments. On my Grande Tour of the web earlier in the year I came across a site called Car Free Tokyo! I seem to remember that I read on his blog that although there is massive congestion/pollution etc. in Tokyo only a small percentage of commuters actually drive. Maybe you should check this out for yourself I'll put the link HERE.
There are some great stories and pictures on this site, including one of a Chinese bicycle wedding!
I told you about the lyrics competition and that I got 2nd place - the winner was Moxy Casimir who wrote a wonderful song Raspberry Space Cadet Cap that was 'out of this world' it had ufo references in it and everything - a very well crafted piece and a worthy winner - congratulations to Moxy! You can check her out at which is a great site for performance poets - you can put your own profile on their showcase if you like!
Well, getting back to the new mode and 2nd place I will now post my lyrics :

You can do The Sugar Shake Beat.
When you kiss my lips, sweet sweet.
You can shake your hips – like this…
When you’re dancing down the street
To the Sugar Beet Suite, that’s bliss,
Sublime, sweetness – little sweet Miss.
Yeah, that’s neat! Up outta yer seat!
Now you can do, The Sugar Shake Beat!

Go do The Sugar Shake Beat
Down at - The Sugar Beet Suite.
Yeah, you can dance, that’s neat,
Go do The Sugar Shake Beat.

If you wanna look cool, sweet chic.
Make me look a fool, sweet sweet.
You can shake your hips – like this…
This time really move your feet
At the Sugar Beet Suite, sweet bliss,
Red wine, sweet lips - little sweet Miss.
Hey, that’s cool! Who you gonna meet?
That’s what I call, The Sugar Shake Beat!


The Stones were rolling out the beat.
Made Brown Sugar neat, sweet sweet.
You can shake your hips – like this…
When you’re groovin’ to the beat
Down The Sugar Beet Suite, sweet bliss,
One step, two feet. Little sweet Miss.
You’re really dancing at the Suite!
All stand up for, The Sugar Shake Beat!
Danny Wise DW161007

Don't forget you can visit my really bad pub-poetry page SweetTalkingGuy... clink-the-link

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Out and About...

I used to love driving but these days it can be so depressing. Everybody is in so much of a hurry to reach their destination. But, you know the worst thing I hate about driving in Manchester is that there are so many traffic jams that don't need to be traffic jams. What do I mean by this? Well, I've said it before and the powers that be didn't listen to me then, however, I will let you know that a lot of the 'No Left Turn' signs need tearing down to allow the traffic to flow!
I had to drive home along the Mancunian Way in the rush hour this evening and I nearly couldn't get off at my exit - thankfully, the nice driver behind me let me into the exit lane so I could go down the ramp onto Cambridge Street. Which was really lucky 'cos the vehicles on the flyover had come to a complete standstill.
Enough of this madness, just thinking about driving around this city at certain times of the day is starting to hurt my head! If the local government wants to know how to solve the traffic problems in Manchester all they need do is ask me. I'm not saying I have all the answers but there are some very simple cost effective measures that have been seriously overlooked.
The other pet-hate of mine is the amount of dis-used and dis-mantled railway lines in Manchester. I have written at length on this subject in the past, again my opinions fall on deaf ears. Today, I've been in Eccles, in Salford, in Newton Heath and in Ancoats and all the driving between. In all of these places there are amazing railway links under-used, dis-used or dis-mantled. What is going on? If, the powers that be can't afford to replace the track and the stations and invest in the trains, then surely they can tarmac over the former railways and run buses!
With all the private investment from firms like Stagecoach they could make it part of the contract to run X amount of services on these Dedicated Busways! The successful routes could then be upgraded to Metrolink or Rail although, I think that with a few bendy buses on these forgotten routes the operators would be reluctant to let them go. Imagine, travelling from Eccles to the city centre on a bendy bus in the rush hour along a Dedicated Busway - how long would that take? About ten minutes! How long does it take now? Well, it takes about twenty minutes to clear Eccles, then you have to negotiate the Salford traffic, then you need to join the lengthy queues of traffic coming off the M602 then...
Okay, what about the Metrolink? Well, now you're talking, the tramway was built following the line of the pre-existing railway track, about fifty yards to the right of it, if you're coming out of Eccles. Let me explain it the way I see it - Coming out of Eccles towards Manchester city centre there are two big A roads, Eccles Old Road and Eccles New Road. One Urban Motorway (M602) A railway line (under-used) which runs alongside the Motorway. And the Metrolink which shares space on Eccles New Road for part of its route, and also runs parallel with the pre-existing railway track and the motorway and Eccles Old Road.
Well, now that you mention it there are a couple of other alternatives. You see, also running parallel to the five above mentioned conventional routes there are at least another three alternative routes you can take - two of which are definitely quicker than any of the available road, rail or tram routes. The easiest of these would be to cross over the Centenary bridge into Trafford Park and follow the city centre signs. Travelling this way in the morning rush hour we did it in under fifteen minutes from Eccles Library to the Hilton Beetham Tower on Deansgate. Of course if you want to be really radical and not even have to worry about a parking space then you could take a waterbus straight along The Manchester Ship Canal, which is probably the most direct route to central Manchester and these days definitely the least congested.
So, which route should I take? Well, the Metrolink takes the longest time about ten to fifteen minutes longer than the bus and all the road routes are congested because they all lead to other traffic streams, for example Eccles Old Road runs into the A6 which is a very busy road in its own right, however, at this point it has just swallowed up all the traffic coming in from Liverpool off the A580 East Lancs Road and all the traffic exiting the M60 Manchester Orbital Motorway and all the traffic coming in from Preston, Blackpool and beyond off the M61 Motorway and all the traffic coming in from Bolton on the A666 (hell of a route!) So, I can't recommend Eccles Old Road!
Eccles New Road? No chance, because when you get to Trafford Road roundabout, you need to join Regent Road which is the dreaded A57 which is the link road through Salford from the M602 Motorway and it is mega busy at all times of the day. So, no I'm sorry I can't recommend Eccles New Road.
Well, yes there are one or two Jibs you could try. When I lived at Fitzwarren, near Salford Precinct, I used to use Liverpool Street - that was a good Spare Rib in those days, it is still possible to go that way but the route runs out near Salford Rugby Club and you need to Jib over to Eccles New or Eccles Old Road to complete the journey. Of course heading for the city centre you would need to do this in reverse (not gear) if you get my drift. However, I must tell you that you need to really know where you're going when you reach the Oldfield Road area as there is so much new development there - you are likely to end up back on the A57 or the A6. - So, Jibbers only for the Spare Rib!
Hey, this is getting a bit MAD! So, to reach a speedy conclusion I will have to nominate the Trafford Park Route as the winner - But I must warn you that even this route can have serious tailbacks on the Bridgewater Way section of the A56 which you would use as the most direct link to the centre. Phew!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I can feel it in the wind...

You really don't want to be out canal walking at this time of year, not in Manchester anyway. For starters it's freezing cold then there's all the idiots who lay in wait for any opportunity to rob you. Yes, it's true, there are a small number of hoodlums who prey on those that walk the ancient banks of this city's canals.
On a lighter note I was reading about some of the proposed re-development in the city centre. There was one article in the Manchester Evening News about the new design proposal for The Cheethams Hospital School, winning an award. Talk about a self congratulatory society - it hasn't even been granted planning permission yet!
Don't you just love blogs and blogging? I do, although with the commitments I have here I have to limit myself to certain times on different days. What I try to do is to post something on each blog every tuesday - I don't always succeed but that's what I try to do!
Don't you just hate winter? I do, mostly but I must admit I like some things like Christmas and New Year. I used to like bonfire night and building a big bonfire and all those fireworks especially the catherine wheels. However, since Jack decided that he didn't want any fireworks last year or to have or go to a bonfire, I kind of lost interest. Apart from making what had become our traditional November 5th. meal we didn't celebrate Guy Fawkes Night this year.
Don't you just love cooking, don't you just love food? Don't you just love eating - when you're in the mood! I do, and we had hot dogs and bubble+squeak to eat and hot chocolate to drink and for pudding we had Parkin+chocolate custard! We also had treacle toffee and baked apples and oh yes! mustard and onions on the hot dogs. We didn't have any fireworks but Nic asked for a sparkler!
Don't you know that you can read my really bad poetry blog HERE!!!
Anyhow, thanks for visiting Proper Joe's - guess what? I'm going out to fish-in some Inland Driftwood tonight from one of the good people on Manchester Freecycle.
%%% *** +++ £££ $$$

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Proper Joe's

I'll be saying a thing or two when I get back later tonight!
Get back?
Yeah, that's right I'm off to collect my prize!
Prize! what prize?
Didn't I say? I've won a prize for writing song lyrics!
First prize? you?
Well I don't know if it's the first prize or the tenth prize,
it may well be the booby prize - anyway, I'll tell you all about it later!
Okay, I'm back! I got 2nd place and a parking ticket! But, we had a good night! Nicola went with me to the Phoenix Theatre in Bolton and a whole set of singer/songwriters strutted their stuff. I think my favorite was... hell! I loved them all!
We were over in Liverpool today to see Nic's Homeopathy lady, Ruth went in with Nic while I went to the Tesco store next door. I was talking to the nice lady on the chocolate counter about this new wonder chocolate that makes you lose weight -
Something to do with the anti-oxidents - she told me.
'Go on then,' I said. 'I'll give it a try!'
Oh, we don't sell it! The nice lady replied.
'Well where do I get it from then?' I asked.
You have to go to the health and beauty counter. She whispered.
'Right, thank-you!' I mouthed and headed for the car park.