The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.

– Henry Kissinger

6 out of 10 ain’t bad

I got 6 out of 10 in a quiz by The Economist called Infrequently Asked Questions. People who know me will know also that I believe 60% in a quiz to be for losers who then whinge about the unfairness of the quiz and how they weren’t prepared and were misled and so on. So I shall explain why the low score is not my fault..

The four questions I got wrong (but damn fricking close anyway) were about

1. What New York’s mayor said
2. What Montana’s governor is frequently given
3. What the US federal minimum wage has changed to
4. What a politician in Timor-Leste said

I mean, the Timor Leste one I concede, (which would still give me a 90% score) but Montana’s governor? I mean, Montana? Where the heck is Montana?

My name is Orhan

Orhan Pamuk. He is an acclaimed Turkish writer whose book “My name is Red” I am reading at the moment, recommended by a member of Team Biz Dev. A very introspective writer with a lot of Milan Kundera about him. Unfortunately the library has demanded the book back.

There is a line in the chapter “My name is Tree” which reminded me of something a famous English painter (I think it was David Hockney) said on telly t’other day. In the book the painting of a tree was saying “I don’t want to be a tree. I want to be the meaning of a tree.” Hockney similarly said of a particular painting that he followed the Chinese discipline of not drawing a tree, but drawing a tree-ness

Sardinia / Review


This was a note-to-self last night to remember what today’s post would be about.

My holidays to Sardinia with my wonderful friends (and Rob) are booked. 4-7th August is when the sun is in the sky, and the ladies walking by, and I roll up in my car, and light up a cigar and say hey!
We have a whole palazzo to ourselves so it will be three days of sunshaaaiiiiyyyyn and eyeing up Sardines (not the tinned sort).

I had a review yesterday at work, something about feedback and performance and deliverables. I nodded and hummed and hawwed. But it ended with me getting a raise, so I guess I can just carry on as before, don’t fix what’s not broken and all that.

And Paris. More specifically Sandrine Voillet in Paris. She presents this BBC programme that’s been going on about Paris and was absolutely great to watch. And the city wasn’t half bad either!! Ahh, these charming French women!!

Terrorist websites

No, I don’t mean these bomb-making websites that are apparently all the rage and getting untold amounts of free publicity and due to the nature of these things making every curious person think “Hmmm.. so how does one go about making a bomb?”
I mean the websites that profligate after a terrorist event so that people can come and display “solidarity” whatever that means.

I’m referring to the London Underground “We shall not fear” website, and the likes of it. Seems to me there’s a bunch of web-designers just waiting to cash in on the next event. Ok, maybe there’s not much cash exchanging hands (although I’m sure money can be made) but just getting a large number of hits and a reputation is every web-designers wet dream.

I read about an employee at Glasgow airport who helped apprehend the, ahem, terrible-ists (I bet the bumbling fools rank pretty low in the hierarchy. I imagine the conversation in jail going – “So what you in fer?” “I drove a jeep into a wall, and set myself on fire”). Guess what. There’s a website up already where you can donate money to buy him a pint via PayPal.

Fab Cafe / But he’s gay!

Ok, haven’t blogged about being in the Fab Cafe last Saturday, might as well.
It started out as a couple of quiet pints in the Northern Quarter with Ali and Paulo, and soon we were off looking for other venues, ending up stumbling into the Fab Cafe.

Paulo left after a while, and Ali and I were contemplating our next move when we recognised Gerard Kearns, the actor who plays the gay kid Ian Gallagher from the Channel Four show Shameless had walked in with a young lady friend in tow.

At which point I might mention Robert Benchley- “Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony.”

Of course we (Ali) started chatting to them, which ended up with Ali politely asking the actor if he didn’t mind scooting off because his lady friend appeared quite interested in him. I pulled Ali aside and told him to leave the couple alone, at which point he says “But he’s gay!” Priceless.
I also met Kat there, who’d bought a house, and batted her eyelashes and “loved my glasses” and lives in Chorlton. She hasn’t called yet.