Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Daily Teaser: 30-6-11

Hmmm …

You know, I think I’ve really got to have a word with my GP’s practise nurse, tomorrow.

Bless her, I’m now officially on the 15 milligram version of the nicotine patches: a step down from the 25mg ones I’d started with.

Saying that … ?

I think I might just be having a reaction to these ones, though: I’ver been getting weird aches, whatever alm I’ve put them on.

What’s kind of got me thinking … ?

Is the simple fact I’m watching Victoria Pharmacy, on Yesterday at the moment. The show’s just done a fascinating thing about hand-made, Victorian suppositories*.

Yeah …

Not necessarily the first thing you want to see in the morning.

Although — thankfully — they’ve not shown us how to use them.

Lets get moving on, shall we?

BEFORE they get it mixed up with the fireworks or custard powder they’re also producing …

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Debbi and Aussie, Tim — @madcom, over on Twitter — putting in their answers. With Tim bagging three out of six, and Debbi scoring 6, I think we can see Debbi’s definitely in the lead, there … !

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, Licenseª and video

Q1) 30th June, 1969, saw Nigeria ban Red Cross aid trips to where … ?

Q2) 30th June, 1805, saw the US Congress formally organize what was then the Michigan Territory: name any of the modern US States that had land in that territory …

Q3) 30th June, 1960, saw which African nation gain its independence from Belgium … ?

Q4) 30th June, 1936, saw Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia appeal for help from the League of Nations, in combatting the invasion of his country: which country had invaded Ethiopia … ?

Q5) Finally … 30th June is the feast day of Saint Martial: Saint Martial was the first bishop of which French diocese … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 29th June, 1960, saw the BBC open the BBC Television Centre shepard’s Bush, London: in which London borough is Shepard’s Bush … ?
A1) Hammersmith and Fulham.

Q2) 29th June, 1880, saw France annex which small island … ?
Q2) Tahiti.

Q3) 29th June, 2003, saw the death of actress and icon, Katherine Hepburn: in which film did she famously play Rose Sayer, opposite Humphrey Bogart as Charlie Allnut … ?
A3) The African Queen.

Q4) 29th June, 1613, saw which famous theatre burn down … ?
A4) The Globe.

Q5) More to the point, what play was being staged at the time … ?
A5) The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight, or, All Is True. (Apparently, a cannon misfired. At least, that’s what the Globe’s owners told the insurance investigators … )

Q6) And finally … 29th June, 1974, saw which ballet dancer defect to Canada … ?
A6) Mikhail Baryshnikov. (Or Михаил Николаевич Барышников, if you’re feeling Russian.)
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.












* Oh, dear … One of the team’s forgot the LUBRICANT … ! How the hell are they going to get the things out of the moulds … ?

ª There’s a fascinating little article on the BBC News website … Here

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Fifth Element: Blood, Guts, and Art Deco Decoration …


That was fun … !!


No, seriously … !

That was fun … !

Hmmm …

That’s a lot of exclamation marks, isn’t it … ?

Just a touch … !

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, I think I should, shouldn’t I … ?

At any rate, you’re probably aware by now that — usually on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but occasionally on other days, as well — I’ll have some friends over to catch a film.



Which is something that happened, last night.

Bless ’em, I had both Kevin D and his wife, Tootles Sarah over.

And the film we were watching … ?

Was something Kevin was keen to share: the Franco-US funded, Luc Besson directed, The Fifth Element.

And I’ve got to admit, I’m thinking The Fifth Element isn’t exactly serious hard core sci-fi.

But I don’t think it’s supposed to be.

Let me explain, if I can …

»»·««

The Daily Teaser: 29-6-11

Blimey …

You know, I’ve got to admit, I was watching The Fifth Element, last night.

I’ll try and post more on that, later, but, my word, that was fun … !

Madder than a box of frogs, to quote Kevin D, but definitely fun … !

I’m not sure if it’s more fun than an episode of Pinky and the Brain, but I think I’ll let you know …

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — all on her ownsome — putting in her answers. Along with scoring 6 out 7, she also managed to leave a comment about how convincing Pinky’s accent is/was*.

Lets see how she — and you — do with today’s questions shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 29th June, 1960, saw the BBC open the BBC Television Centre shepard’s Bush, London: in which London borough is Shepard’s Bush … ?

Q2) 29th June, 1880, saw France annex which small island … ?

Q3) 29th June, 2003, saw the death of actress and icon, Katherine Hepburn: in which film did she famously play Rose Sayer, opposite Humphrey Bogart as Charlie Allnut … ?

Q4) 29th June, 1613, saw which famous theatre burn down … ?

Q5) More to the point, what play was being staged at the time … ?

Q6) And finally … 29th June, 1974, saw which ballet dancer defect to Canada … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th June, 1914, saw the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that kick-started World War 1: where was he an archduke of … ?
A1) Austria.

Q2) In which city WAS the Archduke, when he was shot … ?
Q2) Sarajevo.

Q3) In which modern country is that city … ?
A3) Bosnia and Herzegovina: or Bosnia-Herzegovina, or just Bosnia, if you’re that way inclined.

Q4) 28th June, 1919, saw the formal end of World War One, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles: name any of the main allied powers who were signatories to the treaty.
A4) British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

Q5) Moving on … 28th June, 1948, saw the Cominform expel Yugoslavia from the Eastern Bloc communist nations: what was COMINFORM short for … ?
A5) The Communist Information Bureau: or Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties.

Q6) 28th June, 1935, saw the birth of the extremely camp English actor, John Inman: in which sitcom did he famously find fame … ?
A6) Are You Being Served?

Q7) And finally … 28th June, 1991, saw Margaret Thatcher announce she was to step down as an MP, at the next general election: what was the constituency she represented at the time … ?
A7) Finchley, abolished in 1997.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch after I’ve left you in the capable hands of a pair of genetically spliced mice. Genetically spliced mice who are doing the Hippy Trail, in this episodeª.









* Trust me, it’s convincing, Debbi. No, really. Actually, no, you’re right, Debbi, Dick van Dyke’s in Mary was better: I mean, you can hear what it’s supposed to be.

ª Funny how synchronicity works, isn’t it, Debbi? First Pinky and the Brain episode to turn up in a YouTube search … ? Sees them meeting some musicians …

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Daily Teaser: 28-6-11

You know, I’ve got to admit, I got bored, yesterday.

I do, occasionally.

Part of that’s the job situation, I think. Once I’ve got the job-hunting out of the way, I really have little to do of a day.

So admitting I get bored … ?

Is par for the course, really.

I will happily admit, though, that I actually got bored enough, yesterday, to move some of the furniture around.

Including the Performa in The Bedroom.

Which is now the Performa in the Front Room.

You know …

I think I might just put up a post about that …

Later …

Definitely later …

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

»»^««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Debbi and Suzie putting in their answers: with both scoring 5 out 5, it also saw Suzie admitting she had a thing about the Teletubbies*, and Debbi admitting her Peter Falk post had people saying it was a fitting tribute.

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 28th June, 1914, saw the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that kick-started World War 1: where was he an archduke of … ?

Q2) In which city WAS the Archduke, when he was shot … ?

Q3) In which modern country is that city … ?

Q4) 28th June, 1919, saw the formal end of World War One, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles: name any of the main allied powers who were signatories to the treaty.

Q5) Moving on … 28th June, 1948, saw the Cominform expel Yugoslavia from the Eastern Bloc communist nations: what was COMINFORM short for … ?

Q6) 28th June, 1935, saw the birth of the extremely camp English actor, John Inman: in which sitcom did he famously find fame … ?

Q7) And finally … 28th June, 1991, saw Margaret Thatcher announce she was to step down as an MP, at the next general election: what was the constituency she represented at the time … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th June, 1991, saw Yugoslavian troops march into which newly independent small nation … ?
A1) Slovenia.

Q2) 27th June, 1957, saw the publication of a report by the UK’s Medical Research Council: this report showed a connection between smoking … and what … ?
Q2) Lung Cancer.

Q3) 27th June, 1899, saw thirteen year-old schoolboy cricketer, A. E. J. Collins score the worlds highest ever recorded cricket score: what was it … ?
A3) 628, not-out.

Q4) 27th June, 1880, saw the birth of which noted deaf-blind activist … ?
A4) Hellen Keller.

Q5) And finally … 27th June, 1898, saw who complete the first solo circumnavigation of the globe … ?
A5) Joshua Slocum, of Nova Scotia.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.







* Hmmm … Suzie, I think me, Debbi and the rest of the gang are going to have to sit you down with sensible cartoons. Like Pinkie and the Brain. (Apparently, Pinkie’s supposed to be a cockney. US tv can put out some good stuff: but does hit a bum note, occasionally … )



Monday, 27 June 2011

The Daily Teaser: 27-6-11

You know, I’ve got to admit, I was actually up nice and — comparatively — early, today.

Or, at least, early for me.

Strangely … ?

Strangely enough with a song going through my head: I think most of us get that, at some point.

Here’s the really weird bit, though.

I woke up with the Teletubbies theme tune bouncing around my head.

Yeah …

Definitely odd.

Saying that … ?

Saying that, I think it could have been worse.

No, really.

It could’ve been the theme to In the Night Garden.

Which is seriously strange

Lets move on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — bless her — putting in her answers. And, along with bagging 5 out of 5, she also managed to say a few words about the late Peter Falk*.

Lets see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 27th June, 1991, saw Yugoslavian troops march into which newly independent small nation … ?

Q2) 27th June, 1957, saw the publication of a report by the UK’s Medical Research Council: this report showed a connection between smoking … and what … ?

Q3) 27th June, 1899, saw thirteen year-old schoolboy cricketer, A. E. J. Collins score the worlds highest ever recorded cricket score: what was it … ?

Q4) 27th June, 1880, saw the birth of which noted deaf-blind activist … ?

Q5) And finally … 27th June, 1898, saw who complete the first solo circumnavigation of the globe … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 26th June saw the signing of the original United Nations Charter: in which year … ?
A1) 1945.

Q2) More to the point, in which US state … ?
Q2) California. San Francisco, to be exact.

Q3) In the opening line of the Charter, it says that the peoples of the UN will try and save succeeding generations from the scourge of what … ?
A3) War … ! (I’m going to AVOID singing the Edwin Starr song. But can I put in a cynical “That seemed to work …” ?)

Q4) 26th June, 1948, saw the Western Allies begin an airlift to which German city … ?
A4) Berlin.

Q5) Who — apocryphally — claimed to be a doughnut, on a visit to that city on 26th June, 1963.
A5) President John F. Kennedy.

Q6) And finally … 26th June, 1960, saw which island nation gain independence from France … ?
A6) Madagascar.
Enjoy those, everyone: time for tubby bye-byes.







* Far better than mine, I think … !

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Well, FINALLY: The TAX form … !

Ok, Ok, it’s another funny picture of my nephew, Jude.

I make no apology.

Well … He’s me nephew, what CAN I tell you … ?

Apart from “Lets get moving on with the post” … ?

Yes …

Lets …

»»·««

Now, you probably remember me complaining, a few weeks ago, now, that I’d not received either a final payslip, or a P45 from my previous employers.

Well, there was one bit of good news, last Monday.

CeX finally managed to get a replacement final payslip to me.

Which I promptly took down to the local benefits office, complete with an explanation of what was going on, that CeX Brentwood hadn’t supplied me with a P45, and that I didn’t think they would.

The benefits people … ?

Told me to phone back on Friday: they’d be able to let me know what was going on.

Which is exactly what I did.

Thankfully … ?

I’ve been put on full benefits: which, while it’s not much, it does — with careful budgeting* — mean I can survive more easily.

Not only that, but I’m also due some backdated benefits: something I’m grateful for as it means I can settle some outstanding bills and arrears.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but finances have been getting seriously tough: I’m just grateful for the help I’ve had from both friends and family.

»»·««

There’s just one irony, though …

Just one.

You see, not long AFTER making the initial phone call to the Department of Work and Pensionsº about whether or not I’d be getting anything from them, I got a call from Brentwood CeX.

Guess what … ?

A week after I’d got the final payslip, and some three months after I’d been given the boot … ?

The P45 had turned up.

You know, there’s possibly a lot of very cynical — and very vernacular — comments I could make, here.

ESPECIALLY in light of two facts.

Firstly … ?

It had turned up after a HELL of a lot of badgering, on my part.

Secondly … ?

It was a photocopy

»»·««

Wouldn’t you know it … ?

Actually, you possibly would: or at least, you’d be taking a good guess … !

But, at ANY rate, I headed BACK to the local benefits office, after heading into town to pick the form up.

AND visit Brentwood Library to scan the various parts into digital formª: just to make sure I’ve got a copy …

And just when I got to the benefit office in Brentwood, to see whether it was still worth my while, sending it in … ?

Is when I got the phone-call from their Basildon branch, to tell me the benefit — and the backlog — had gone through.

Wouldn’t you bloody well know it … ?









* Something I’m sure most of my ex-girlfriends will tell you I’m not good at …

º The government department that handle pensions and the various benefits here in the UK.

ª My multi-function printer/scanner/copier bit the dust a long time ago: although I MAY just dig it out of the attic‡ to see if the scanner functions still work.

OK, I live in a flat. It’s a metaphorical attic, that’s physically located in the same place as my fuse box. In the airing cupboard.

The Daily Teaser: 26-6-11

There we go …

I’ve got to admit, Jude’s got this bad habit of looking good, first thing in the morning, he really does!

Mind you …

I’ve ALSO got to admit, I’ve got a bit more hair than he does.

To the point where’s it almost to the small of me back.

I like it like that, meself.

Although it does mean I look like an explosion in a Bananarama factory, first thing in the morning.

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Mr Strict and Debbi putting in their answers: and saw Mr S scoring 4 out of 5, and Debbi bagging 5.

Let’s see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 26th June saw the signing of the original United Nations Charter: in which year … ?

Q2) More to the point, in which US state … ?

Q3) In the opening line of the Charter, it says that the peoples of the UN will try and save succeeding generations from the scourge of what … ?

Q4) 26th June, 1948, saw the Western Allies begin an airlift to which German city … ?

Q5) Who — apocryphally — claimed to be a doughnut, on a visit to that city on 26th June, 1963.

Q6) And finally … 26th June, 1960, saw which island nation gain independence from France … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 25th June, 1876 was the date of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or the Battle of the Greasy Grass, as it’s known to Native Americans: who was the Lakota Sioux holy man and tribal chief whose visions were pivotal in it … ?
A1) Sitting Bull: or Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake, in Lakota.

Q2) More to the point, the Little Bighorn flows through which two US states … ?
Q2) Wyoming and Montana.

Q3) 25th June, 1947, saw the first publication of The Dairy of A Young Girl: how is this book better known … ?
A3) The Diary Of Anne Frank: or Het Achterhuis, in the original Dutch.

Q4) 25th June, 1938, saw who named as the first President of Ireland … ?
A4) Dr Douglas Hyde.

Q5) 25th June, 1975, saw a State of Emergency declared: in which commonwealth country … ?
A5) India.

Q6) And finally … 25th June, 1903, saw the birth of writer, George Orwell: what was the name of his first published book … ?
A6) Down and Out in Paris and London.
Enjoy those, everyone: as I’ve got A Good Man Goes To War playing in the background … ? I’ll leave you with a few words from the late Commander Strax …



Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Daily Teaser: 25-6-11

Hmmm …

He says …

There’s a reason for that …

You probably now — by now — that I’m trying to give up smoking.

And I’m using both patches and nicotine replacement gum to do so.

I’m thinking today’s going to be a bad day, for some reason.

Mostly off the back of the fact I’ve been up for an hour, already, and I’ve got through two bits of the gum and I’m getting urges to have another as we speak.

Which is weird, because I’ve actually had a comparatively good week: not only have I managed to cut down on the amount of gum I’ve used, but I’ve actually managed to reduce the amount I’ve been prescribed by quite a lot.

Oh, and had something of a result: apparently, my blood pressure, yesterday, was rather good when I did get checked out, yesterday: 110 over 81.

Hmmm …

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Before I turn into my grandma, and start telling you about my operation …

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Debbi and a welcomed back @Alexandrafunfit putting in their answers: with Debbi bagging five out of five, and Alexandra bagging 1 and a half — ‘aliens’ is almost close … !

Yesterday ALSO saw Debbi leaving a comment — here — about the death of Peter Falk.

Lets move on, and see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, Creative Commons License and video

Q1) 25th June, 1876 was the date of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or the Battle of the Greasy Grass, as it’s known to Native Americans: who was the Lakota Sioux holy man and tribal chief whose visions were pivotal in it … ?

Q2) More to the point, the Little Bighorn flows through which two US states … ?

Q3) 25th June, 1947, saw the first publication of The Dairy of A Young Girl: how is this book better known … ?

Q4) 25th June, 1938, saw who named as the first President of Ireland … ?

Q5) 25th June, 1975, saw a State of Emergency declared: in which commonwealth country … ?

Q6) And finally … 25th June, 1903, saw the birth of writer, George Orwell: what was the name of his first published book … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 24th June, 1902, saw whose coronation delayed, due to a bout of appendicitis … ?
A1) Edward 7th’s.

Q2) One year earlier, 24th June, 1901, saw the first exhibition of the work of Pablo Picasso: in which city … ?
Q2) Paris.

Q3) 24th June, 1880, saw the first performance of Canada’s national anthem: what’s it called … ?
A3) O, Canada.

Q4) 24th June, 1997, saw the US Air force officially close it’s book on what … ?
A4) The Roswell UFO incident. (Which was — curiously enough — 50 years to the day after Keith Arnold’s first report of a UFO, in Washington. Is it me, or is that suspicious … ? Isn’t it … ? It IS, isn’t … ? Someone’s UP to something.)

Q5) And finally … 24th June, 1968, saw the death — by suicide — of actor and comedian, Tony Hancock: in which city was he, when he died … ?
A5) Sydney, Australia.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with this