A quick tour of China

I’ve been taking a quick tour of China-related blogs using my special web-resource called China blog list.
I found a very funny home-made video by a student at Cornell uni.
I also drifted in on a Chinese Calendar. (I love the web. This Chinese calendar, as you can see from the top-left corner of the site, is a Scotland On-line production!!). I was born in the Year of the Snake, so apparently I am

…romantic and deep-thinking, wise and charming, although they tend to dismiss others too quickly and are a bit stingy with money. Ideal jobs include teaching or psychiatry.

Amongst other famous people born this year are Val Doonican and Sir Roger Banister. Sorry, WHO??
Apart from taking insult at that “stingy with money” bit, I also wonder how does it work out that one year everybody has the same characteristics?? I am reminded of a killer scene from Life of Brian, where Brian is born a Capricorn.

Brian’s mother: What star sign is he?
Wise Man #2: Capricorn.
Brian’s mother: Capricorn, eh? What are they like?
Wise Man #2: He is the son of God, our Messiah.
Wise Man #1: King of the Jews.
Brian’s mother: And that’s Capricorn, is it?
Wise Man #3: No, no, that’s just him.
Brian’s mother: Oh, I was going to say, otherwise there’d be a lot of them.

Creature Comforts

I mentioned this to Karen in an email right now. She’s a big Wallace and Gromit fan, and was really surprised when I told her, oh-so-many years ago, that I wasn’t that well acquainted with them.
But I’ve grown to love the short animation clips that Aardman Animations produces and are shown on ITV. British viewers will be most familiar with this clip they produced for a government campaign about how to behave in the countryside. The ITV website has absolutely nothing on this lovely series, because not every website can be as good as the BBC. Luckily though, the series has its own site, creaturecomforts.tv where you can get a taste of this clever entertainment.
The premise is simple but genius. They record people on the streets giving their opinion about a number of subjects, and then put animal characters to the voices. The result is hilarious!

Attack!!

Okay Rachey attacked me, so heads down, HERE I GO

And to spread the mayhem, I’ve also attacked

Ioannis

and

Jessy

My weekend in prose

Highlight of the weekend was, of course, the double victory: England beating Argentina in a most unbelievable cliff-hanger of a ride (Rooney scored, Owen twice, so why again do we have Crouch on the pitch??) as well as The Lions beating the Kiwis 38-12, which gives them a chance in the Tri-Nation finals.

Was listening to Jonathan Ross over the radio this weekend, he played a Benny Hill song which had a line that goes something like this
“You were whispering sweet nothings,
She was whispering nothing-doings”
which really cracked me up. I couldn’t find that song on t’Net, so I cannae guarantee the accuracy of the lyrics because it were right early int morning an’ all.

I watched T’ Last Samurai (again), and if you happened to peep into my bedroom late that night you would chance upon a nekkid Robinson Crusoe-esque character swirling and cavorting about with an Ikea cupboard rod in poses that would embarass the most stalwart of Japanese sword-instructors. Ah, but I do tend to get carried away with that film. And the beauty of Japan is breathtaking in that film, especially as one is constantly reminded of the ever-present duality of modernism and traditionalism in that country.

Also obtained a most delectable little book called ‘Driving over lemons: An optimist in Andalucia’ which is quite a pleasant, feel-good read.

It’s here to stay!

Yep, nazmania is set to break all forecasts for revolutionary use of technology in the 21st (am I right?) century! Prediction Pundits, admit you never saw this coming! Through the use of ultra-lightweight space-age materials such as carbon-fibre composites, this sleek new design is guaranteed to break all previous records!! Sit back and watch the unfolding of a new saga in supreme technological acheivements!!

You never hear me complain

Went down to Manchester’s famous Curry Mile yesterday to dine with Mom and Paul. Here’s an incident that will help you familiarise yourself with Mother Dear. The waiter brings her (second) pint of Kingfisher and absent-mindedly places it on the neighbouring table (his heart just wasn’t in the job that day. But then, it never has been so perhaps it’s foolish of me to expect anything otherwise). At which my mother almost leaps up and ‘says’ (shouts) “That’s mine, that’s MINE!”. Waiter Person, not really on the same frequency as his customers, nor indeed the rest of normally-functioning humanity, casually strolls by. Neighbouring-Table Person then hands me the pint which was in front of his companion, at which His Companion Person goes to Mom “You really wanted that, didn’t you? Imagine if I’d taken a sip!” Not much, you might say. But it’s one of those you-had-to-have-been-there kind of moments. The Embarassment.
Oh, and I put her up as my champion against anybody in the Let’s See How Many Foreign Places I Can Casually Mention I’ve Been To On Holiday To Impress Total Strangers During The Course Of A Meal tournament.

This site is changing with the times, nazmania.co.uk is up and partially running. I will soon be closing down this site, but don’t worry, I’ll keep everyone posted. I have become aware that my earlier presentation was making it difficult for people to read, and therefore admire, my elegant prose, so although I liked the colours, I might stick with the Crop Circles theme. Of course, it goes without saying that I sincerely hope this minor unsettlement in your otherwise dull, routine and monotonous lives will not cause you much discomfort.

Oh, and Dad woke me up with a phone call at ten a.m., yes, that’s TEN a.m., today and belaboured my partially-booted brain for half-an-hour with interest-rates, external-surveyors and the advantages of semi-detatched properties over flats while I hopped around in excrutiatingly embarassing poses trying to restrain my body from giving in to its first-thing-in-the-morning urges. I only hope the Neighbour Folk weren’t looking out their windows!

Blog censorship

On a more serious note, I am becoming more and more aware, during the course of my daily trawl through the Interweb place “looking for jobs”, that there are more bans on blogging than I thought. Of course, we all know of harsh, dictatorial regimes where, unlike our Free West, the very routine bodily functions of Joe Public are censored. But John Dale got me thinking about the scale of the censorship phenomenon.

And here’s a selection of opinions on blog censorship.

  • One teacher’s rant against the blogging ban
  • The International Olympic Comittee bans all blogging
  • A very interesting online debate covering the major arguments
  • Sarcastic/funny not-really-bothered-by-facts opinion
  • One Non-Western country for good measure
  • Admittedly, I have done the journalistic thing and gone for the sensationalist headlines, rather than attempt to balance the sources of opinion. But those other websites were politically correct and BORING!! And of course I haven’t read them all (I barely glanced through them to glean enough information to be able to write the introductory lines to them above. Sometimes all I had to do was rephrase the headings. You can tell I’ve spent a lot of time at university). I only post this topic so you guys can feel that your opinion on this matter is priceless, thereby flooding my blog with your inane remarks and upping my popularity. Muahahaha!!

    Praise the heavens!!

    Hallelujah!! Say it after me now!! Haaaal-lllllleeeee-lujah!! I checked my bank accounts today, (because I got some love-mail in the post from my water supplier on red stationery charging me to the tune of 160 smackeroonies) and Lo and behold! I saw with mine own eyes a Miracle!! Yes unbelievers! Repent now, before the Wrath of the Lord be upon thee!! A Miracle!! My bank has actually paid ME some money into my debit account. The princely sum of 0.01 p has been paid in as ‘net interest’!! Praise be the Lord, and all his people. I shall now settle all my earthly accounts promptly and devote the rest of my corporeal existence to the service of the Lord and his Earthly Minion, the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation.

    On another note, apparently women enjoy cartoons more than men. More specifically, New Scientist informs us it’s because initially women’s “expectation of being amused was lower”. I have often observed that men are more prepared to laugh at the absurd. But the question I ask is: What is the reason behind women having low expectations, and is it a trend that encompasses everything in a woman’s life?

    I am also informed that Europe’s first Venus probe (that’s a spacecraft, not a sex toy), the Venus Express (how original!!) has been launched today.

    Oh, and Jazz lovers, check out Bill Evans (if you haven’t already): Piano, with bass and drums. Simple, pero elegante! I’m ripping myself a huge collection of music gracias to the Manchester Central Library. Also got Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’; and although I prefer the live ‘Mystery White Boy’, you can see how he developed some of his songs as Grace is the earlier album.

    Like a pig to mud

    Going swimming again at 7. The girls have pulled out. So they’re saved the trouble of having to pretend like they’re not with Mr. Bozo who’s flapping around like a puppy on acid. I just had a Joey-tribute sandwich, Italian meatballs (as opposed to the original Fijian ones, I suppose) in a rich tomato sauce with ‘mozarella’ (processed ordinary) cheese. After washing it down with a thick chocolate milkshake, I fear I have only added to my bone-density problems, especially around my midriff (I know there are no bones there except for the lumbar bones) which is why, I presume, I don’t float so well. Or at all.

    Things they gonna be different round here

    As some of you may know, this weblog will soon be shifting to another site. What this means is that:-
    1) I will no longer be piggy-backing on our isom site, as I have been deemed old enough to stop suckling and go foraging for myself.
    2) Errr, that’s about it.
    Of course, you junkies will have to type in a new URL (that be the wwwww thingy you type in the browser), it’s going to be http://www.xxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk. (I can’t type the real add here untill I’ve got it in case some jealous nobody buys it and then tries to sell it to me at an exhorbitant price that may or may not include the sale of mine grandmother dear)

    Jill and I heard some real blasts-from-the-past at Ioannie’s yesterday. We went ASDA shopping, and bought 3 pizzas for dinner, as well as a gorgeous pesto’n’cheese ciabatta. Which we sat down to eat while having a moan about life, washed down with Bud. Then we went through I’s music files. Songs like

    ‘Mr Vain’ by Culture Beat,
    ‘Viva forever’ by Spice girls with Pavarotti,
    ‘Rhythm is a dancer’ by Snap, ‘It’s a rainy day’ by Ice MC ,
    ‘Reach for the stars’ by S Club 7,
    ‘No limit’ by 2Unlimited,
    ‘That’s why (you go away)’ by Michael Learns To Rock or MLTR as I’m told they are currently known.

    It were a right riot, I tell thee!!!
    (As a sidenote, I see on the official MLTR page that they’ve just had 50, 000 fans come to their concert in India this October).

    I watched Shrek yesterday after I got home, didn’t find it much funny apart from a few classic Eddie Murphy moments (like when Donkey’s twitching before waking up he goes “Yeah baby, you know I like that” in his dream!). I could see in my mindseye little children roaring outrageously at the karate stunts of Princess Fiona (if that is indeed her real name) for example, but it just looked too manufactured to me.

    By the way, if you look to the left of this blog, you will see my new tagline (in the little puke-yellow box). This is what I used to get threatened with as a kid. Rather counter-intuitive, dontchathink? Another Indian proverb = “Agree, don’t agree, I’m your guest” which is about those sticky guests that invite themselves to stay. And for balance, a Russian one = “Without rest, and a horse doesn’t skip” (I’m laughing as I write this) which means ‘all work and no play…’