Sunday, September 30, 2007

Interesting Dream Last Night

smoking kills
Originally uploaded by engintepe
Interesting Dream Last Night

I was smoking last night. In fact I had been smoking for a period of months - about 4-5 a day for a period of months whilst making out on this blog with the Quit-o-meter that I was completely clean.

I was enjoying my smoke, feeling a bit disappointed that I had relapsed but at the same time confident I would be able to go back to being a non-smoker. I was unsure how I was going to adjust the Quit-o-meter if I was to confess via the blog that I had had relapses. I was totally confused by all this when I was waking up. It took a bit of time for the relief to kick with the realisation it was just a dream.

Its just short of a year and a half since I gave up.

(PS No thanks to either Flickr or Blogger or both for having such a flimsy blogging set-up. I hate re-writing posts).

It's quite simple..

We were hunting round the reclamation yards of South East London yesterday and popped into the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre. The Elly Centre is not what you'd call state of the art and the range of shops is limited to say the least. But I have enjoyed those few trips I have made. There's a definite ambience about the place on a weekend morning. When R and I lived nearby we saw one of those editorial pieces promoting nearby shops and there was an article about the centre and it was what originally inspired us to go along. When we got there I found it chimed with some positive reports from a friend about interesting goings-on on the top floor.

So we were desperate for a nice coffee yesterday and there was nothing decent until we got to Waterloo-unless we stopped at the Elephant of course. We ended going to both the "it's quite simple: brilliant Coffee" outlet and the Colombian La Bodeguita cafe bar. Our first coffees had been so good, really good, but we had finished them before getting back in the car so needed another. It meant we could do a direct comparison between the two stalls.

Although it had the advantage of meeting a desperate need the first round of coffees, from "Brilliant Coffee" were a clear winner in my opinion. Mine was a medium caramel cappuchino -the froth must have been made from full cream Jersey milk and had a solidity to it that made taste like an impossibly delicate meringue. The chocolate topping was spot on.

La Bodeguita beats the Brilliant Coffee hands down on charm - the service point is like walking into Santa's grotto. You are immediately transported away from the grot that is Elephant. This is the place to come and chill out for a while - there's even a library if your Spanish is up to it. It's also about 50 pence cheaper for a similar round. The coffee is good - they do are decaff though R found the authentic bitter cocoa a bit of a surprise. The take-aways were served extremely hot so we were far away from shop before we finished them. The extra shot I had ordered seemed to be missing from my cappo (and from the price) and the two sugars were hiding down the bottom somewhere. The flavour was there, if a bit subtle, but the froth was half-hearted. A decent enough coffee though and probably not their speciality. I'll try the hot chocolate next time. But still a lovely place and definitely worth a visit if for some unknown reason you find yourself in the Elly. But if you're just after simply brilliant coffee to take away just read the sign.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Smokers and non-smokers agree: Bans are okay in public places

Ok. I'm feeling lazy. And I told you I'm obsessed. So what?
clipped from
Smokers and non-smokers agree: Bans are okay in public places
Smokers also willing to pay price for tobacco-friendly flights

As smoking bans continue to make headlines in Germany, Australia and the UK, findings from international market research firm Synovate's latest survey show that 80% of respondents in 15 countries across the globe are in favour of such bans, primarily because of the positive influence these are perceived to have upon public health.

Smoking bans win global support

More than 70% of people believe that smoking in public is fine as long as there is adequate ventilation or designated smoking spaces, according to the Synovate study.

Read more
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Clipmarks-My Latest Obsession

You can only fully use this with IE6 + or Firefox or Flock browsers. I had it for yonks on FF but had given up on it- now all of a sudden it makes sense. Its now on my IE7 too (though the toolbar doesn't integrate so well). It is there to help me waste even more time. Also the printing snippets thing in this article sounds like its actually useful - it hadn't occurred to me until I came across this article- using Clipmarks of course.
clipped from
Computing in the real world
COMPANY: Clipmarks
The extension reviewed here is one of the ones that we simply couldn't live without.

That's where Clipmarks comes in. Whether you want to save to a file, to a shared clipping website with a Digg-alike rating system, or to print. All you do is click on a toolbar button and move your mouse around the screen as various page elements get boxed in - one click and they're all clipped. Best yet, you can compile multiple clips from multiple pages and save them when you're ready. We find it works best when you want to print information from multiple pages or sites, but only that which is pertinent. If you save clips to, there's a pitiful character count limit; on the positive side, you can quickly build a searchable database of your own preferred web content.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wass den fecken?

And now Bloggers inviting me to anfahren nach meinen Bloggeposten or something -aaaaAAArrRGGHH. And I've got to enter some poncey little word verification again and it will reject it again...and it did reject me again I was only joking. Sob sob snarl snarl. And agin - right the next one is nycdaeva there is no way I will get that wrong anymore than I got the others wrong. And it did reject me. The torture must STOP.

Flickring out

That is the last time I use that blog option on Flickr. It may not be Flickr's fault but if you change one character from the original post you lose the title and link beneath the picture. I am sure an html wizard can fix it but my various "messings-with" have never worked. It is something to do with the total amount of characters in the post. Anyway I have had to let the typos go in the post below. There's always going to be one or two and I'm not always that concerned about accuracy but I can lose the will to live adding a single apostrophe sometimes.It involves re-acquiring two URLS and creating two links to credit the photo and I think sod copyright and sod Lynne Truss and sod blogging and sod life and sod mice.

Hampstead Heath expands to Woolwich

Originally uploaded by Arthur Pewty
I know what all the Gormley talk has been about Woolwich now. Actually they are by Peter Burke - though finding that out was a harder google than I imagined. Flickrs direct blogging tool is such a pain as I have to give the full link to the page that gave the answer and I won't be able to edit it without messing up the photographers credit. The link is the Cass Sculpture Foundation site. Such a pain Flickr/Blogger/Whoever!

edit - yes I did edit this anyway as it was totally incomprehensible and though I can see the links under the photo as I write I bet they will be gone if I click PublishPost. So here they are, painstakingly recreated. The picture is enigmaticallyentitled HPN_0037.JPG and the artist is Arthur Pewty.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The trap shuts

Last night we were disturbed by some loud frantic rattling. R was convinced it was coming from inside our bedroom. I surmised quickly (not bad for 3am at any rate) that the noise was from the next door room and that the mouse had got caught in the humane trap . They work on a pivot system - they smell the peanut butter at the far end of the tube - he then enters the tube, the weight tilts the tube forward and the door shuts behind him.

The noise was almost disturbing. He went quiet suddenly. I thought he might have died from a heart attack. We heard some more noise -less desperate- later on and managed to go back to sleep.

I got up and checked it this morning. The trap had indeed closed shut. Victory at last. My earlier dismissive comments about the trap's usefulness were instantly retracted and I did a "huntsman returning in glory" dance up and down the stairs. I had to go to work and didn't have time to release him straight away. I got home and thought I better not delay any further - he might suffocate or something. I got my gloves on placed the trap in a bag and armed with a camera set off to the nearest open ground. I think I understand the warning on the label a bit better now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Forward to the Past

I'm just slightly worried that when I went to hospital on Monday they didn't discuss my latest blood test but instead pronounced me dead. England has just won again with Owen and Heskey as frontmen. This can't be true can it?

I have also come back home after the match and seen the builders are still here working away.

Forget it. I'm dead. I'm definitely dead. Ate a bad prawn or something.

Life was good whilst it lasted but not as amusing as it is now. If you are still alive and receiving this post via a seance or something then "hello and fear not - the afterlife is serene and witty. Especially the Emile Heskey bits. Love to mum and dad. Bad to Wayne and John- but don't kill 'em or they'll end up here."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 crash bang wallop

If you click on this image you will see how my plans to displace YouTube and Facebook are coming along. According to Google-Analytics even I don't visit this site any more. Sigh.

Meanwhile John and Wayne have got themselves ear-muffs and this time it's personal. I need to get tooled up for round two though - I was far too lily-livered in the first round. The humane trap actually says on its packaging something like "due to the difficulty of capturing live mice this product might not work". Can you imagine that with a CD player - "due to the difficulty of digitalising music this product might just transmit a dull whirring noise".

And as for the Sonic Devices - pah! At least the veggie-traps tell you they don't work. I am going down to a bog standard fancy goods shop and buying a shed-load of conventional traps which I am going to manically lay around every corner of the house à la Tom & Jerry, then I am going to sit me down in a comfy chair with a beer and wait till I hear that sound...then it's bye bye guys - eat trap!

Thanks to for the pic

Monday, September 10, 2007

Liberal Fags

You often hear it said in the blogosphere that the BBC is not entirely free of truth destroying tendencies. Well you probably don't hear it expressed like that exactly - usually its getting flack for its liberal slant or words to that effect. Today it decided to address the imbalance with a solid piece of social authoritarian propaganda.

Apparently since the smoking ban in Scotland was introduced death has been cured. Well almost - there have been dramatic decreases in admissions to hospital for heart attacks. The kids at the Beeb who run the show seemed to have loved this and gave it carte blanche in their usual fashion- slip in one probing question to show impartiality then lay on the "truth" with a trowel.

The people's reaction up in Scotland, or something else, must really be worrying the anti-smoking establishment up there for them to come up with this poor stuff. Where are all the passive smoking type diseases that everyone was going on about? All of sudden it's about reduced heart attacks not preserving the lungs of Christian trumpeters.

There's obviously something that doesn't add up here - we'll see if any blogs pick up on it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Disturbance Works

working mouse
Originally uploaded by Flecto
We've got visitors at the house. The builders are in and the house seems to be disappearing before our eyes. Will a new house emerge or is the whole frail structure just going to vanish?

Alongside the builders John and Wayne have decided to up their profile. These are the names I have given the mouse infestation that has appeared over the last few days.

I couldn't decide on the best approach to controlling them - we found a dead mouse who had evidently been poisoned when we stripped out the kitchen. Its facial expression was a bit like something out of the Ring. I decided against poison. So the bedrooms are equipped with sonic mouse repellents and both humane and chopper mouse traps. I figure giving the little blighters half a chance is better than none at all. If either Wayne or John is daft enough to walk into the humane trap I will take him far away and he can starve there. As for the sonic blasters devices they are just a classic method of displacing anti-social behaviour rather than stopping it.

I heard one of them (perhaps there only is one) gnawing away at bag the other night so put a sonic device there - the next night he appeared in the neighbouring room. So another one was added to that room. Today I saw him in the garden. Perhaps the nasty noise from all corners has finally driven him out. As there is one in the garden as well perhaps he's run out of options and is slowly being driven insane, Avengers-fashion, by the unrelenting psychedelic torture sounds all around him.

Its not easy on your conscience this extermination lark.

Thanks to Flecto at Flickr for "Working Mouse"