Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chemistwy Wesults

I am doing a translation at the moment which is part of a book on the basics of chemistry for engineers. All these expressions like chemical compounds, hydrocarbons, periodic tables, acids, bases, alkalis are bringing back all sorts of memories of school: double-lesson on Friday afternoons (zzzzzzzzz) in the Chemistry Lab (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) with Mr Stark (ZZZZZZZZZZZZ).

Bleedin' hell, he was a useless teacher. Ok, there were deficiencies he couldn't do anything about like his penetrant whiny voice and his pwoblem with pwonouncing 'Rs'. But he also had the ability to make any and every aspect of chemistwy TOTALLY BORING.

He was a disaster, a dwag, a sleeping tablet of a teacher.

So much so that as a survival tactic we developed the 'Fwiday Chemistwy Footy Game'.

Mr Stark's favoured words - and the words we mimicked most - were 'pwecisely' and 'valency' and so, before each Friday lesson, we would split the class up into two 'teams' and the one team would get a 'goal' every time Mr Stark said, 'pwecisely' and the other team would score with each 'valency' he uttered.

This was great except that you would have Mr Stark at the front writing some gobbledeegook on the board and he would say, "...and this is pwecisely what we would expect..." and half the class would whisper "YES!" and punch the air... which made Starky look round and give us a puzzled beady look. Then he would say '...and the valency is..." and there would be an exhaled "GERRIN' THERE!" from the other half of the class.

And whenever he said, "...the pwecise result..." there would be a hit-the-post-I-don't-believe-it "OOooooh!"

No wonder our chemistwy wesults were so cwap.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bad Joke No. 632

(... look, I can't help it... in another age people would have hailed me as a genius.)

Person 1: I say old chap, these nuts make me sneeze!

Person 2 (who fortunately asks just the right question): Well, well! Why's that, Neutron me old mate?

Person 1 (...yeah, ok... me): Because they're C-ashoo nuts!

... oh, please yourselves...


Ok, so I have been tagged...and twice for the same taggy task: "Write 6 random things about yourself...".

Hmm, so, if I have been tagged twice does that mean I have to write 12 taggy things? Oh, bugger that - it's going to take long enough to do 6. I mean the moment I think of something, it's not random any more, is it?? It's like saying, "don't think of an elephant!"

Why couldn't I have been tagged with "Write 6 things which start with x..." or "What's your favourite beer to drink when watching someone putting up wallpaper?"

Why does it have to be random things!!??

Ok... ok... step by step... random things about me... ok, r a n d o m . . . . t h i n g s . . .erm

... ok... here's one:

The Greek Minister of Defence once trod on my foot in a café in Athens...

That's enough for now I think...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Help! I have been Attagged!

Anji and Jay have both attagged me... and I have no idea what I am supposed to do!

How does one satisfy one's attaggers???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back but...

...buried under 10 squidrillion translations.

There is more to come on Liverpool soon though - meanwhile here's a wey-hey-hey picture...

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ante Refridgeratum

I have, over the years, been looked at askance by various members of my immediate family with regard to my creative ideas on house repair and maintenance. The latest example was last summer when I was intending to slop some paint on the window frames of the house in Liverpool. The frames (and windows) basically need replacing but I am not ready to do that just yet so I thought "slap some paint over the sills and frames just to keep them waterproof".

After delays due to rain and cold - I mean it was August - and urgent translation jobs, I finally got outside in the front... paintbrush in hand, tin of paint about to be levered open. When I looked more closely at the window sills... and gently prodded them I found that, under the buckled layers of old paint, the wood was all crumbly and rotten - eminently not paintable...

So I returned to the kitchen, amidst comments such as, "that was quick"..."another world record", to have a think. And having thunk I came up with a a solution, a temporary solution...
t e m p o r a r y ...!!

Packing tape!

Ok, it's brown and it doesn't look like paint... but it is water resistant and will (should/could/might just about) keep the rain out.

So I stuck strips of packing tape over the window sills... working from under to over... clinker style. Downstairs was ok... upstairs I had to throw the roll from one window and catch it at the other and then somehow stretch out the tape and stick it on.

This was intended to be a temporary solution, remember? Until I could get over again in November, say.

As it turned out I didn't get back until this week... and the packing tape is absolutely fine! It has majestically withstood a Liverpool winter of wind, rain, frost and snow!

I rest my case.

Anyway, I came back from ASDA on Monday with a few meagre supplies of milk, bacon, sausage etc for me on my own, bunged them in the fridge and switched it on. It was bloody freezing in the kitchen and I was sitting there looking at my breath condense as I breathed out and I said out loud, "it's like a bloody fridge in here!"

I remember when we got our first fridge back in the early seventies. For days previously I had been dreaming that we would be able to make ice cream!!

My dad and I were here on the morning it was delivered. We were both totally excited - like two schoolboys - well, I was a schoolboy and my dad was 64 but a schoolboy at heart. We put it in the kitchen, plugged it in, switched in on..."whirr, whirr", "oooooh!" And then we looked around for things to put in it. My mother went nuts when she came in cos we had put everything in it... milk and stuff, ok, but also flour and tins and rice and packets of custard powder... everything, all jammed in.

Anyway, back to the kitchen where a little light - not unlike that little light in a fridge door - was just going on in my head. "It's like a bloody fridge in here... so why have I got the fridge on in a fridge?"

Before we had a fridge we used to keep everything in the pantry, which I must admit has been quite forlorn since the early 70s, so I put all my supplies in there and it has been great.

Eat my carbon footprint, suckers!

Monday, April 14, 2008

If You Want to Scream and Shout, Press 6

After a hard day phoning British Gas, TV Licensing, Electoral Registry, HM Pensions etc etc and getting increasingly close to apoplexy when being told for the 50th time how important my call is and how I will be connected as soon as one of the incredibly busy operators is free, I am going to go here for a walk.

Presumably these companies installed the unbelievably irritating recorded menu systems to save time... so why does it take something like forever to get through?

Anyway, The Beach!

Formby Point to be more exact.

Some photographer or other said, "you can't have too many pictures of the beach," and he probably never spoke a truer word.

And as an added extra the salty air by the sea makes you... thirsty - and so it is not unknown for one to follow a brisk walk along the dunes with a refreshing pint or two...ahhh...
Posted by Picasa

Right Hand etc

...but this stuff is a complement for your right hand!

Cains Bitter!

Yes, I am in Liverpool again... thanks to Ryan Air and a 1 euro-cent ticket. Yes, 0.01€ - HA!!

I think I will do some one-photo-a-day sort of things...

But first... time to quaff... right-handedly.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's What Your Right Hand's For...

Ok - so, what's wrong with this picture?
Posted by Picasa

Ok, apart from the fact that the mug is empty, what's wrong with the picture??!!

Ok, apart from the mug being empty and it being my left hand - oh, hang on a mo...that's what it's about...

What's not right about the picture is that it's my left hand. I realised the other night sitting in the living room, with the table to my left, that the beer does not taste right if I use my left hand to hold the mug. When I pulled up a chair to my right and used my right hand the beer tasted right again.

I have since tried this with red wine and would have tried with my Xmas whiskey but that has sadly disappeared; and the information about which hand I used to drink it with has been lost to the hazy Scotch mists of the past.

Anyway, try it... see if left or right is right or wrong.

And even if you don't notice any difference, it's a great excuse for getting pissed...