Sunday, October 29, 2006

19th September 2002

Before I move on to the picture of the two handsome men above I just
wanted to tell you about the chat sessions. There is a fault on the chat
page at the moment and I have decided to suspend the chat until further
notice. When it is reinstated it will probably be on a Sunday at some time
which I think would be better for all concerned and stop me from keeping
you up late. I will let you know via this page when it is all back on.
Also I have to mention something about e-mail. During the month or so I
was having problems with my site I think I may have lost some e-mail so if
you have mailed me in the last month then you can presume that I haven't
received it. If there are matters of pressing importance that need my
attention then dig the mail out of your sent box and send it again and I
will get it now that my mail is sorted.
I am not certain but I think this may be the only picture most of you have
seen of Mr O since the late eighties and as you can see he has not changed
very much. He can still like like a fucking horse without an inch going on
his waist. We managed to hook up while he was visiting friends in Orlando
and his wife, Laura, and baby Cairo came over to join my clan and two of
our cousins from San Francisco for Sunday roast. He was playing a guitar
for Cairo who had us all in stitches singing kiddie songs and doing all
the actions. I think Mark was sorry he picked the guitar up because every
time he finished he would hear "Again! Again!". It was great to see him
and I hope it won't be the best part of ten years before I see him again.
I don't think he has any intention of coming to live in England again and
with the shitty weather we have here I can't say I blame him.
Next on the agenda is "Designer Clothes for Fat People". Why is it in this
country that fat people cannot buy designer clobber? If you went into any
shop on Bond Street and asked for a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans with a 36"
waist you would get laughed out the door becasue they don't stock sizes
that big. So you can imagine how stunned I was when I walked into a Ralph
shop over there and saw jeans that would fit a weeble!! I picked up a pair
of jeans that were 44" waist and 32" inside leg. If they have sizes that
big over there why don't we have them??? It is because they don't want
lard buckets trolling down Oxford Street wearing their clobber and making
it look bad. Over there a fat persons money is just as good as Callista
Flockhart's. I think that the next brave step would be to have only size
16 and upwards on the womens catwalk and 36" waisted geezers with beer
bellies done up in Alexander McQueen and Versace!!! I am off to Wales
tomorrow for Timbo and Sue's wedding. All of the family are going and we
are going by train which should be an adventure. All of the Welsh Posse
will be there and I should imagine most of them have been sketched in to
provide the nights entertainment, myself included, so I will be back
Sunday with tales of Bouquets and Buckley's Dark.
15th September.
Where was I?? Oh I remember, we had landed at Charlotte and had an hour to
kill and the first thing we see as we walk into the main part of the
airport is "Starbucks". Indulge me one minute while I talk about
Starbuck's and how they have got their advertising and marketing all
wrong. I don't think it is a coincidence that we now have lots of coffee
shops in the UK and I wonder if this is due to the popularity of
"Friends"? Groovy, funny, attractive people (not in my opinion) sitting in
coffee shops drinking coffee and being attractive and funny? Looks like
the sort of lifestyle that your thirty-somethings would buy into as they
are the only people with enough disposable income to be able to spend it
on a £3 coffee. Personally I don't mind getting a big cup of "jolt" from
the Starbucks near my studio but I take-out and don't want to be sitting
with a big mug and a big paper in a big armchair in front of a big window
on my local High St. Can anyone else verify this for me but I have seen
"big" newspapers lying around in there but no "red tops". Does this mean
they want "Guardian" and "Indepent" readers drinking their coffee but not
"Sun" and "Star" readers?? I can guarantee that the cast of "Friends"
ain't eating the calorie loaded cakes they sell in these coffee shops,
Chocolate Fudge Heart Attack and Carrot Cake with Cholesterol Chunks. But
anyway, I digress. My kids ain't been to Starbucks and they want to go and
I don't know why. I can only think that it is because it sounds groovy. We
eventually took them to one in Universal Studios and they had hot
chocolate (despite being 90 degrees outside) and then the next time a
Frappacino (more sensible). So I reckon they should be aiming Starbucks at
kids. It could become the new McDonalds couldn't it. "Mum, Mum, can I have
a Caramel Macchiato, pleeeeease???" The bonus of this is that they are
selling a drug (caffeine) in very large doses and they could get all their
future caffeine addicts at a very early age and get them emptying out
their money boxes for their Grande Caffe Latte with an extra shot!?!?!
So we go to Disneyland. I have been on more than a dozen occassions and it
hasn't changed much since I was last there 15 years ago. The picture above
is Cinderella's Castle (not a bad pad for a cartoon!). My mother-in-law
Joan was with us and we decided to take her around Disneyland in a
wheelchair which turned out to be a smart move because most of the rides
have a seperate disabled queue so we didn't have to queue in all the
regular queues. We did it all in one twelve hour day which is something I
have never been able to do on all of my previous visits. We went to
Universal Studios which was well cool. I think the best thing about these
places are the 3-D rides. I love 3-D and I can't understand why they don't
have it in cinemas. I went on this Spiderman ride in Universal which was
truly excellent. Wicked 3-D that I cannot begin to describe but it was
realistic to the point that some kid sitting behind me was screaming as
the baddies came and shoved their various weapons right in his face. We
saw the Terminator 3-D presentation which was a mixture of live action and
3-D film which was also excellent. The only thing that pisses me off is
that every single ride exits throught the souvenir shop and I cannot
imagine how much cash these places must take in one day. There were too
many good rides to go into depth about them all but The Hulk roller
coaster in Universal got done about four times and Duelling Dragons gone
done five times. I thought the best roller coaster was Kraken in Sea
World. I managed to persuade my wife to take a ride on it with me which is
something she didn't enjoy. My eldest daughter loves the coasters like me
but the other two are not keen and despite massive persuasion they kept
their feet on the ground. My duaghter and I had a coaster total of 21
which I think was quite good going.
While I am filling in the "wise words" for the holiday I will try to slip
in little entertaining bits about my visit, the first of which is this.
Hats; I have never been somewhere that is extremely hot for exteneded
periods of time. Since I have had thinning hair I have never taken
precautions against being burnt and have only ever been found out once
which was during a visit to Wimbledon when I got my head burnt standing
out watching the tennis all day. I couldn't really wear hats with the mop
head I used to have so now my hair is really short I can start wearing
hats. I like baseball caps but not the ones with the plastic straps to
make them fit your head so I thought I would fill up on fitted baseball
caps while on holiday because if you can find them in a sports shop here
then you will probably only be able to get a New York Yankees one. So I
went cap mad and bought six, all of which I wouldn't get over here so I
was well pleased. I didn't get my head burnt and managed to stay out of
the sun wherever possible so when I came home I had brown arms and face
and looked like I'd been on holiday so that is good enough for me. I guess
that if I am going to enjoy holidays in foreign climes then hats have
become a necessity rather than an accessory.
I will close with another quick observation, dubbed movies. I was sitting
there one evening watching telly and started watching "Goodfellas" (for
the 20th time probably) and was amazed that it was dubbed and all the
"fuckin"'s had been changed to "freakin". It was so weird watching Joe
Pesci "freakin" all over the place. I find it odd that they can showed a
guy getting his head squashed, and eventually popped, in a vice but they
can't have a few "fucks" flying about. Very strange??
9th September.
Did you miss me? I apologise for the lack of "wise words" since I returned
from my holiday nearly two weeks ago but I have been experiencing a few
problems with my web hosting and have now switched to somewhere else. I
had been paying for my web space with the hosts taking their monthly fee
from my debit card. This was all going well until the card expired and
they pulled my site down without a phone call or an e-mail, nice eh?? You
may remember this because I got a lot of mail telling me my site had
disappeared. So I call them up and give them my new card details and tell
them I only want it up for one more month and then I will be switching
hosts. So while I am away the month runs out and they take it down again
and tell me that before it goes up again I have to pay for my webhosting
for the next year and my e-mail because I have two invoices outstanding
etc. I told them I was moving and they would not re-direct the site until
I paid them, in advance, for a years webspace that I am not going to use.
The expression "caught by the short and curlies" described the predicament
I was in. As you can imagine I was fucking livid, being blackmailed by
some little fucking computer geek who I could not bollock on the phone
because he has you people in his hands and it is up to him when he gives
it back. So I had a lot of teeth marks in my tongue due to the extreme
biting required to stop me from screaming at this prick. Well he probably
thought he had heard the last of me but I plan to pay him a visit in the
next week or two to "discuss" me getting my money back. You may notice
that the guestbook is very old because we uploaded the last version we had
of the site and it will shortly be replaced by a forum which should happen
towards the end of the week. So by the beginning of next week we should
all be back to normal. I have a lot of topics to cover and catch up on so
I will be updating the "wise words" every couple of days for the next week
or two and changing the picture as well so keep yourself tuned if you want
to get all the gory details. Our first installment is below.
There are lots of things to fill you in on that have happened in recent
weeks but I will begin at the beginning of the adventure. It is about
7.30am and I am at Gatwick Airport waiting in the departure lounge. Why do
you have to be at the airport three hours before your flight? Is it
because we are all simple and the checking in process may tax us too much
and we may need a little lie down. this three hour thing is even more
bizarre when you think about how many flights are delayed to
"circumstances out of our control". I have never managed to be on a plane
for longer than ten minutes before take off so why DO I HAVE TO GET UP AT
conspiracy between the airlines and McDonald's, Burger King, WHSmith and
all of the outlets at the airport. If you are there for three hours you
are going to buy something aren't you? Whether it is a book for the plane
or a poxy rubbery breakfast from McD's. So I was strolling through the
airport on my way to WHSmith to buy a book for my hols (told ya). As I am
about to enter the shop I hear someone shout "Nasher!!" and turn round to
be confronted by this Northern chap who I did not know. I presumed he was
a FGTH fan and I was amazed that he had "spotted" me, considering I look
completely different to how I did then, but it turns out he is a Nasher
fan and he tells me he was on my site last week and that he has a copy of
"Ripe" in his car. I told him that I wished my kids had witnessed this
"spotting" as they would then believe that I was once famous and that I am
not making it all up. We had a breif chat and I told him I would mention
it on the site as soon as I got back so I have. If you are reading, Steve
from Middlesbrough, I hope you enjoyed the two weeks at Gatwick as much as
the two weeks I had in Florida. By the way, the book I bought was called
"A Time To Die" by Robert Moore which was the events leading up to, and
following, the Kursk submarine disaster in Russia a few years back. It was
a very interesting but tragic tale and a criminal loss of life due to
imcompetence and financial cutbacks in the Russian Navy. The first picture
of the "Nashnal Lampoons Vacation" series is this lovely pic of the sky
over the Atlantic. It has been a long time since I flew long haul and a
lot has changed in the entertainment department. I was flying with US
Airways (they filed for bankrupty the day before I left but were still
flying which was a stroke of luck) and they had these mini monitors on the
back of the headrest in front of you which gives you a nice selection of
the latest flix to watch. This may not be that amazing to most of you who
have seen these but last time I was on a long haul flight I was wearing a
pair of headphones that looked like they had come from a Lancaster bomber
and the picture quality on the screen was total pants. I watched
Spiderman, A Beautiful Mind and The Shipping News all of which made the
flight go very quickly. The only drawback was for my wife and daughter who
were sitting in the only two seats on this airbus that didn't have a
television working. We arrived late in Orlando going via Charlotte in
North Carolina. I think that's enough for today so I will give you the
next installment before the end of the week. Keep it here.
12th August.
I am off on my holidays very early tomorrow morning so there will be no
wise words updates until 28th when I will be regaling you with tales of
Mickey Mouse. I hope the sun is shining in your part of the world because
it will certainly be shining where I am. Next wise words pic will probably
feature myself and Mr O'Toole as he has promised to visit so that is
something to look forward to. See ya with a tan.


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