Thursday, June 15, 2006

Time for a reality check

Having decided that all current reality TV is utter rubbish, I am making a request to my kind readers to suggest some better options. To get the ball rolling, what about the following:

Big mortgage - where a bunch of cash constrained folk vie to develop a credible family budget that doesn't go into the red each month yet keeps the mortgage payments rolling into the bank.

Toddler taming - where a sane person is put into a room with a bunch of toddlers who have been deprived of snacks, their normal afternoon sleep and Thomas the tank engine - and comes out feeling like they would really like to have a large family.

You get the picture. What more edifying television options can you suggest ?

Run for cover - mummy is foaming at the mouth

Colleagues have learnt to run for cover when mummified gets that glint in her eye and says warningly - "I feel a blog coming on..."

This morning's offering relates to the absolute moo c*w on my train to work. Shouting into her mobile phone, she was busy telling some poor soul at the other end that he had to move to the other company or accept a redundancy.

She laughed at his objections, ridiculed his obvious anxiety and clearly thought she was role modelling a "tough but fair" management style.

On what planet does someone have a conversation with their staff in such an environment ? On what planet does someone act with such a lack of respect for another human being ? What is the name of that planet and when can she move there ? And can we all chip in to pay the fare ?

After recounting the tale to my mate "D", he said that what I should have said when she hung up the phone was - "Great work, what's your next plan ? Invade Poland ?"

Anyone else heard any particularly vile, hilarious, annoying, frantically cute conversations yelled into a mobile phone lately ? Please share as you see fit

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

To mash-up, smoosh etc etc...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you are expecting a cute piece on mashed potatoes, little fella with stuff liberally smeared across face, torso, hair blah, blah, blah.

Indeed, this is a regular occurance in our house but I have just come across this: A mashup is a website or web application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service. I had no idea.

Apparently, content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API. Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom) and JavaScript.
Much the way blogs revolutionised online publishing, mashups are revolutionizing web development by allowing anyone to combine existing data from sources like eBay,, Google, Windows Live and Yahoo! in innovative ways.

Geez, you live and learn... If anyone knows of any particularly good examples of this, I would be most interested to hear. An obvious opportunity exists for Seb and Schnubelhopper to create one for Seb's bid for Prime Ministership of England but I am keen to hear of others.

Chile vs Gold extraction - which would you prefer ?

Dear friends who care about our earth. Judge for yourself if you want
To take action.

In the Valle de San Felix, the purest water in Chile runs from 2
rivers, fed by 2 glaciers.

Water is a most precious resource, and wars will be fought for it.

Indigenous farmers use the water, there is no unemployment, and they
Provide the second largest source of income for the area.

Under the glaciers has been found a huge deposit of gold, silver and
other minerals. To get at these, it would be necessary to break, to
destroy The glaciers - something never conceived of in the history of
the world - and to make 2 huge holes, each as big as a whole mountain,
one for extraction and one for the mine's rubbish tip.

The project is called PASCUA LAMA. The company is called Barrick Gold.

The operation is planned by a multi-national company, one of whose
members is George Bush Senior.

The Chilean Government has approved the project to start this year,

The only reason it hasn't started yet is because the farmers have got a
temporary stay of execution.

If they destroy the glaciers, they will not just destroy the source of
especially pure water, but they will permanently contaminate the 2
rivers so they will never again be fit for human or animal consumption
because of the use of cyanide and sulphuric acid in the extraction process.

Every last gram of gold will go abroad to the multinational company and
Not one will be left with the people whose land it is. They will only
be left with the poisoned water and the resulting illnesses.

The farmers have been fighting a long time for their land, but have
been forbidden to make a TV appeal by a ban from the Ministry of the

Their only hope now of putting brakes on this project is to get help
From international justice.

The world must know what is happening in Chile. The only place to start
changing the world is from here.

We ask you to circulate this message amongst your friends in the
following way.

Please copy this text, paste it into a new email adding your signature
And send it to everyone in your address book. Please, will the 100th
person To receive and sign the petition, send it to to be forwarded to the Chilean Government.

No to Pascua Lama Open-cast mine in the Andean Cordillera on the
Chilean-Argentine frontier.

We ask the Chilean Government not to authorize the Pascua Lama project
To protect the whole of 3 glaciers, the purity of the water of the San
FelixValley and El Transito, the quality of the agricultural land of
the region of Atacama, the quality of life of the Diaguita people and
of the whole population of the region.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oooh, that Nigella Lawson, she is handy with a spatula

Gotta love the roast vegetables. Perfect for that "too exhausted, want to blob in front of brainless television - but not reality TV, never reality TV" night.
Take, several potatoes, some carrots, a bit of pumpkin, anything else in the fridge of a veggie nature that hasn't already got its own micro universe of mould. Go to the garden, cut off some rosemary. Chop rosemary and veggies roughly, toss into baking dish, slick it up with a really good olive oil and whack into the oven at 180 degrees centigrade (sorry, no idea what this is in farenheit) for about 30 minutes.
Take tongs and turn veggies over at about the 20 minute mark. A bit of sea salt, a few twists of the pepper grinder and Bob's your uncle.
Too easy - now I can go watch Grand Designs