keresaspa: (Cartman)
Hell, even I think I've been away too often recently. The joys of growing up in a warzone, I suppose. And let it be known too that the following load of old rambling nonsense should have been published yesterday but my internet provider decided to give me a day of no service just to remind me who the boss is. Thanks as ever Virgin Media, I would denounce you as vermin but recent events have drawn me closer to that class of creature. Intrigued? Didn't think so but read on anyway, it's good for chilblains.

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keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
Sunday was not only the hottest day of the year so far but it also saw me finish phase one of operation back garden. Given that even in Arctic conditions I sweat more than a cow's hooter choosing that day on which to tackle the miss was ill-advised at best but nevertheless I soldiered on. At this point I think it is expedient to break in order to illustrate the task I've undertaken.



I should point out at this juncture that the path up the middle was cemented into place and out of view there was an old aluminium bin filled to bursting point with unused bricks. Well, systematically these last lot of weekends all of that has changed. Paving slabs, bricks, stones, roof tiles, breeze blocks and (most bastardly of all) those big heavy things on the edge of pavements cemented to breeze blocks have all been cleared, the latter being so heavy (and pointless) that carrying them over to the rubble pile saw that red veil descend over my field of vision, a sensation one only ever gets when carrying something just that little bit too weighty for comfort. Alongside that all the green crap had to come up from the roots all the while making sure that a specific bush and a tree had to remain untouched. Going under a tree when you are bald means only one thing - one's sunburnt head being torn to shreds by low lying branches. As you can imagine the tree is now on my enemies list and the bush and me aren't exactly on speaking terms either. Bloody nuisance things.

With all that done odd black carpet stuff had to be laid down in order to cover the entirety of the bare soil with the intention of stopping regrowth. It remains to be seen whether or not it will work but that bit has been done as well now:



Yesterday saw the odyssey come to an end (in between filling in gaps in my gaff due to yet another invasion by the bastard bastard bees) and now all that remains to be done is to arrange delivery of a ton/tonne of small stones and to spread them all over the blackened land. This being me I'm sure there are plenty of things that can go tits up between now and then but for now I'm rather pleased that the weeding, stoning and carpet-laying are all done and the final bit can wait until I return from London. Inevitably my back and shoulders are aching like the man who pushed the cart and the horses but at least it's done. For now anyway.
keresaspa: (Tijuana toad)
Good Lord but it was hotter than Haifa Wehbe herself today. Monday was hot enough to begin with, yesterday I was able to shelter from the worst of it by decamping to the frozen north and ensconcing myself in the frigid environs of Ballymena but today? Sheesh. This is still supposed to be March, isn't it? Already I've heard the quip "this is our summer", said with a slight sense of bitter regret. Well, I hope they're right as if this is only the beginning and we still have about four months of rising temperatures I rather suspect it will be a race to see whether a heart attack or skin cancer claims me first. Given that the buzzy flying things are already gathering around that nuisance tree at the back of my house the dread at hot weather and infestation is inevitably rising in me. Jack Frost get back here now, your work is not done yet. "Good" weather - you can bloody well keep it.
keresaspa: (Harry Cross)
To whomever it was that left the cosmic heat on could you turn it off now please? It's mid November I really don't want to still have to endure double figure temperatures, especially when it is combined with this weird Stygian darkness that we are now getting. Given the geographical positioning of Ireland as an island parts of the country should actually be an hour behind the GMT that British cultural imperialism has forced upon us. As a consequence places here tend to get dark a little bit later than in Great Britain but these last few days I swear twilight has been starting about half three. Half three! I wouldn't mind but the solstice is a full month away so by the time it rolls around what can we expect, sunset at lunchtime? Loose Women in the dark? The mind boggles.

To return to the original point however the heat has been rather stifling recently. However it's not even good heat as once you go indoors it still feels freezing so heating has to be burnt despite the fact that externally you can't take two steps without sodden oxters (well, a sweatie like me can't anyway). Such is the contrast between warmth and lack thereof that Katy Perry is almost bound to have a song about it. Worst of all however is that the flying things that by rights should be in the cold ground by now are still around which, for me at least, means a return to the daily eyefuls. During the summer I am a martyr to kamikaze flying insects who seem to feel that my eyes are the very place to make a beeline for. Never any other part of my face for these suicidal maniacs, but rather always the eyes at a rate of up to five a day in the heat of July. Small wonder I'm not blind as a bat given the amount of bug guts swooshing about inside my eyelids but at least the winter gives relief. Not today it doesn't as some enormous green thing blinded my right eye later followed by a daddy longlegs in the left eye. So the next time some hand waving weather forecaster tells me that we're enjoying the unseasonable heat I'll be telling them to sod off as there is nothing to enjoy about miniature homing pigeons treating your baby blues as their very own version of Bridgend. Now if you'll excuse me I must go find the eyewash.
keresaspa: (Evil Timbo)
Very inconsiderate of the organisers to begin the early kick-offs on a Saturday but needs must as there can be nothing more important than seeing the mighty Greece against the titanic South Korea. In truth it was difficult to get terribly excited about this game. There is no rivalry between the two countries and neither of them have a hope in Hell of winning. There were plenty of empty seats and it is little surprise as who outside of the two competing countries could really care about this game (even if there were some nifty Korean sorts in the front rows to enjoy)? Indeed it is due to the determination of both Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter to expand the World Cup constantly that we end up with a number of these filler games. Still in Otto Rehhagel Greece did at least boast the oldest manager in World Cup, although Jon Champion's attempt to balance that factoid with a dreadful attempt at rehashing the awful "who's on first" routine as a pun on Huh Jung-Moo's name was ill-advised to say the least. As to the game itself there was equally little to get excited about. The Koreans (except the keeper who looked a flapper on the screen) were nippy, although I still find them distasteful after the naked cheating of 2002, whilst Greece were just awful and were epitomised by their defenders lining up like statues for the opening goal. The Greeks only method of attack seemed to be from corners but as a weapon the corner has been pretty much decommissioned these days as everybody knows how to defend them. Hard to believe that this awful Greece side qualified and even harder to believe that it is only six years from their fluke European Championship.

With that done and dusted it was quick as a flash over to the Beeb now that the games are coming thick and fast. BBC cuts seem to be biting in the coverage of this tournament as, every time Lineker queues a piece up, you just know it is going to go wrong. Gabby Logan's bit on England yesterday went tits-up whilst today an interview with Kanu saw his voice altered to incorporate nails on a blackboard. Pleasant! During the handshakes for the actual game the first thing I noticed was how much the Nigerians were dwarfing their opposite numbers. Some of those chaps seemed absolutely huge and you suspect, had an upset been on the cards, that the Argentineans would not have reacted the way they did against Germany in 2006. Nice to see Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez going from the Championship to the Argentina starting line-up, even if he was in the odd position of right back. Howay the lad! Of course, following my earlier musings Argentina went and scored from a corner but, like the game yesterday, they will wonder how they managed only one goal. Obviously much of the credit has to go to Vincent Enyeama, who was a colossus between the sticks and will surely be playing at a bigger club than Hapoel Tel Aviv next season. Mind you, he needed to on top form as the Nigerian defence was a bit poor, although it was great to see them resurrect the foul throw, something I assumed players grew out of at about seven. Messi gave flashes of what he is capable of but you have to hope that there is better to come from him. The game also confirmed one of my other long-held beliefs about football i.e. whenever a free kick is delayed for a long time it is always a huge anti-climax when taken, as demonstrated by the otherwise nifty Veron in this game. As for how the group will play out comparison between South Korea and Nigeria is difficult on the basis of these games (assuming Argentina will win the group and Greece will finish bottom). The Koreans handily beat a rotten team whilst Nigeria avoided disgrace against a better team so it's hard to know how they will match up with each other. One thing is sure however - Maradona needs to sack his tailor and his hairdresser as both his shiny grey suit and his less shiny grey mullet were far too big for him. Not sure that the beard is quite him either.

Finally apparently England were in action, although you wouldn't have known from the quiet understatement adopted by the media. The build-up coverage provided by ITV had me switching over in disgust at the xenophobia, no mean feat considering my own distaste for much of the American way. What way was that to go on about your masters?! As for the game itself what I saw of it was a decent encounter between an overconfident side that had some of their weaknesses exposed and a half-decent outfit who will definitely fancy a second round spot. My own view of the game was curtailed somewhat by being dragged into attempts to fight the latest infestation to hit my house, this time a slew of bees or wasps (still to be determined) flying into a gap above the kitchen door. In my attempts to kill them by hand one of the bastards decided to fight back and stung me full force in the foot, unleashing a world of hurt for a good few hours afterwards. As a result I was hardly fully focused on Jay DeMerit and the like but still, it was good to see the smug look wiped off Adrian Chiles' arse/face, even if Green was unlucky. That being said I still expect England to win the group as the USA are a pretty good side and they were always going to be a bit of a challenge.

Anyway that ends today's late communication as I must go and nurse my upset foot. Until tomorrow pop-pickers.
keresaspa: (Salma Hayek)
Today it seems that we are being told to worry about ants as a new breed of "super ant" is winging1 its way here as we speak. Personally I think the experts are getting in a fuss over nothing as usual. OK, so the thought of super ants might fill some with dread but, as every Hanna-Barbera fan knows, super ants have a tendency to be a force for good in the world.



So be not afraid of the super ants but rather be prepared for random acts of villain snaring and car accident stopping.

And speaking of little men with an inflated sense of their own power2 I notice that Royston Keane has departed Sunderland. Keane deserved credit for taking over a woeful Sunderland side under the temporary mismanagement of Niall Quinn and turning them into champions but there comes a point where you have to admit defeat when you have thrown millions upon millions at mediocre players (£7 million plus £2 million in add-ons for Craig Gordon?!) and your team are still preparing for the big nose dive. It's hardly a new thing to come across a manager who can turn a club into great stuff in the old second division but fails to cut the mustard with them in the top flight. Gary Megson's spell at Albion was defined by just that paradigm and by the looks of it the same will be true of Tony Mowbray's increasingly desperate reign. So farewell Maurice, you were never the player you thought you were3 and as a manager you are yet another in a long line of "too good for the Championship, not good enough for the Premiership".

1 Well, not "winging" as such as, unless I was off that week in GCSE Single Award Science, ants can't fly. There again "slowly trundling whilst carrying 1000 times its own body weight" doesn't have the same ring to it.

2 A cruel injustice to Atom Ant I know as he was easily as powerful as he thought he was but I needed a linking device and the 1930s crooner thing doesn't work in print.

3 In fairness, not even Yahweh of the Old Testament could not have been as good and hard as Keane thought that he was.
keresaspa: (Ben Turpin)
It's an absolute pisser of a day in weather terms today and it's the middle of October. So how is that in the space of two minutes two separate wasps decided that they liked the cut of my jib and fancied flying into my face? Were it not for the fact that I had a feg on at the time I suspect I would now have two big plukes from where the little buggers planted their arse-needles. In all, I think that I have had more than enough of little buzzy things after the swarm of bees that blighted the summer by moving in with me but wasps in October?! What next, elephants in Royal Avenue?

Still, weather be buggered as a series of recent e-bay purchases are finally starting to roll in now that my bank has finally got its arse in gear and paid the e-cheques (or whatever it is that makes my payments take so long). Yesterday, a fine German lad came up trumps with some rare slices of shouty Japanese ladies with big guitars that are so much ambrosia to my ears. Included in the melee was an outfit called the Kokeshi Dolls and, rather oddly, today I took delivery of an example of the thing that actually bears that name:



Yes, that goes well with my hairy-backed image but it really is delightful. Feel free to throw things at me for that!

Meanwhile, away from my little world well done to Jeremy Paxman for saying what needed to be said. The BBC's coverage of all things royal is by and large sickening with the hushed tones and the five year old descriptions of what we can plainly see on screen. "Her Majesty the Queen walks slowly past the adoring public. A child places flowers into her regal hand". The funeral of the Queen Mother was indeed a joke as well as David Dimbleby was practically foaming at the mouth in his unsuccessful attempts to land himself a knighthood for services to brown-nosing. It said it all for me when he praised Ian Paisley for giving the best speech on how great Bowes-Lyon - politicised bum-sucking of the first water! The sooner the beeb realises that the royal family are just a bunch of parasites who sometimes do things of interest but whose every bowel movement is not news the better.

Anyway I must go off and read something terribly important now as Gordon Strachan's wee lad has a blog on the BBC site. I swear they really are just giving them to anybody now. Until next time, livejournalland.
keresaspa: (Eric Campbell)
An odd weekend all round. I did very little as I intended to put to bed all the remaining work that could be completed at home before the trip to the British Library next week. By and large I just about managed to complete the necessary stuff, although shoehorning it into the thesis looks like it might prove more complicated than I would have wanted. The bees also seem to have been taken care of as I noticed a hole that they could still get into and so I plugged it up with an oily rag, something that apparently puts them to the sword. Touch wood I have heard not a peep since doing that so sleep was back on the agenda, although, this being me, I failed to take full advantage of that opportunity and so I'm still wrecked.

In between work I took some time off to get reacquainted with my old friend television and found him to be just as unsatisfactory as always. The varying joys of Virgin Media's on demand service continue to provide a somewhat frustrating way to kill a few hours. The music section is still overpopulated by too many carbon copy American "r'n'b" singers and whiny indie bands with the same Cockerney/ecky thump/Jamaican patois hybrid accents for my liking, although it did throw up a few gems that I would otherwise have missed, notably A Fine Frenzy and Terra Naomi, both of whom I shall investigate further, as well as old friends who you never see such as the Wonder Stuff. Access to episodes of Karen Taylor when you want them are also a plus - the show is about as funny as trodding on a rusty nail whilst wearing tabi but the buxom lass fronting the show is a holiday for the eyes.

Meanwhile normal TV continued to throw up its share of oddness, not all necessarily good. A Frasier weekend on Paramount was the perfect excuse to avoid work (just what I didn't need really) as it is the sort of show that you can easily dip in and out of out. 3 in the morning repeats of 3-2-1 were also hard to ignore, largely because it is surely one of the worst shows ever committed to film. Where else can you be met with a woefully bumbling presenter, that old school trick of turning contestants' microphones down much lower than that of mien host, Nigel Lythgoe shaking his non-existent thang and Sinitta belting out covers of popular American hits of the time in a "we couldn't afford Whitney Houston but she's a bit like her" sort of way. However the greatest horror show of all was reserved for the sudden appearance of Duncan Norvelle. We often hear people lamenting the death of variety and I have been known to spout about how comedy in the past was much better. Mr. Norvelle, however, proves that such a theory is not universal in its application. His act seemed to consist of laughing at nothing whatsoever and giving a flower to a male patsy in the audience who proceeded to follow him to the edge of the stage and make fist gestures in what was one of the most cringeworthy moments of TV I have ever witnessed. Norvelle then proceeded to mumble a load of gibberish which I assumed was a sudden stroke but then realised was actually an impression of Sylvester Stallone as the maestro said "Sylvester Stallone". Oh Lord! In despair I turned over and chanced upon Jerry Springer where a man calling himself Gary Spivey was doing the old psychic routine. I will pass no comment on the man - sometimes a picture says it all. 100,000 sperm and he was the fastest?!

Well anyway, enough from me. I have been avoiding work more than enough these last few days so I think it is time that I got something constructive done. Cheerio now.

Bee-gone!

Jul. 16th, 2008 02:12 pm
keresaspa: (Helen Willetts)
Well, the bees that plagued me a few weeks ago, only to be expelled by noxious substances, have made a return of sorts. I'll not bore you all with the details but the nest still seems to be inactive but they have been crowding around a tree at the back of my place and appear to be getting in from time to time in holes behind the guttering, despite me having thought that all the holes had been sealed up. A guy I know came round yesterday and he and myself removed a lot of the branches from the tree which hopefully will put them off but sleep has been a complete stranger over the holidays and I got very little last night as I was on tenterhooks waiting for the noises to come back. Is it any wonder I hate summer?! Just a quick one today folks as I need to make up some work missed because of those bloody idiots marching up and down roads, although God knows how that will turn out given my zombified state. Serenity now!
keresaspa: (Seagull)
Apparently the latest big deal is seagulls in cities. Or is that just conclusive proof that the silly season is upon us? We hear from time to time about seagulls making nuisances of themselves but for me they are good bunch of lads who have just been given a bad reputation. Compared to the feathered rats that are pigeons we hardly see any seagulls and all they really do is eat the odd bit of food, crap from time to time and make that nice squawking sound of theirs. Hands off the seagulls!

Besides there are much worse pests around than seagulls, notably the bees who have been troubling me in recent weeks. I haven't mentioned that particular problem in a while because I didn't want to jinx it but the problem appears to have been fixed. The offending bees were removed last Thursday (I'm not saying how as this is a bit of a legal grey area) and a mate came round and filled in the holes in my garage house (which were actually in a much greater quantity than I had first thought) with that stuff you spray that expands and hardens to fill in gaps. I briefly heard them again the next day but for the last four nights or so not a peep has been heard. Which is nice. I get little enough sleep as it is due to my rampant insomnia, the last thing I needed was little buzzers robbing me of what little I get.

Anyway that's today's lot. Hurry up semi-finals!
keresaspa: (Edwige Fenech)
I think I have described my living arrangements here before but for those who are unaware my bedroom in my house was formerly the garage but it was converted in around 2001 for me. All in all a good solution to my own night owl tendencies without disrupting the rest of the house. In order to make the garage more liveable a ceiling was added during the conversion so as the heat didn't escape through the high roof. Until now that has been a good thing. Until now that is. In the last week or so I have been annoyed by a strange short buzz or quack that came along every half hour or so, one which I christened "the duck". Our back garden, where the garage is situated, is somewhat overgrown and so attracts a load of birds, especially at this time of year when the dawn chorus seems to start about half two in the morning. However the duck was different as it seemed to be in the garage itself and so sparked mad panics on my part to find the source, all without success. As I went to bed on Saturday morning the duck was joined by incessant buzzing, the sort associated with a wasp’s nest or a load of flies. Sleep was not had but I decided that the following day I would explore the very narrow, overgrown bits behind the garage as I surmised there must be a nest somewhere. No dice! So come the early hours of Sunday morning, the duck going quackers as usual, I hit upon the idea that the two might be related. I began to bang on the ceiling and when I did this on a particular spot the buzzing went mad. I soon deduced that the space between ceiling and roof had become infested with some sort of flying insect and that the so-called duck was in fact one of the little buzzers flying low in an attempt to escape their prison. Pain in the proverbial. I am still unsure of how to get rid of them as there does not appear to be any holes in either the roof or the ceiling but at least I have a vague idea of what it is. I even brought the rest of them in to let them hear for themselves as I suspect my family were beginning to question my sanity. In the meantime it's just a case of grinning and bearing the little blighters, whatever they are. Both the roof and ceiling are in good order and so I am loathe to see either of them tampered with, although it might have to come to that. Bloody little buzzers!

Meanwhile, what of the old Euros, which have rather come to life recently. I only paid half an eye to the early match on Friday as I have already made clear my opinions of Romania in this tournament. The Dutch continued to play excellent football whilst France, for whom I have already declared, looked poor once again. I really can't see them making the next round now as a weakened Holland will probably be beaten 1-0 by a turgid Romania. Whilst I'm at it I am now starting to think that Romania might win the whole tournament. It seems to be the way in this day and age that boring teams win things and they don't come much more boring than that bunch of gits! Still, at least Greece were eliminated the following day - I really couldn’t have taken their ultra-defensive rubbish paying off again. The whole lot was topped by yesterday's match however between Turkey and the Czech Republic. I became engrossed in this match fairly quickly, possibly because I declared for Turkey before kick-off whilst [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina had been backing the Czech since the start. At 2-0 down I was thinking "why do I bother supporting teams in these things" but before I knew it they clawed their way back into it with a real howler from the so-called best goalkeeper in the world. Add in a late winner and an even later red card for the hapless Volkan (to be 6'8" or whatever he is Jan Koller didn't half go down easy) and I was on the edge of my seat. Great stuff! Given that France now look certainties to go out I believe I will be transferring my loyalties to Turkey once the second round gets underway, particularly as they will be playing a Croatia team that I have found very difficult to like.
keresaspa: (Albert Tatlock)
It might rain today, the TV weather told me yesterday. "Screw it" thinks I "it's far too warm for a coat and I'll be indoors all day". Not the best decision I've ever made, folks. Not so much rain as every cloud in Christendom bursting open at the same time and me forgetting that, whilst I am indoors most of the day, tobacco cravings necessitate stepping outside from time to time. Talk about soaked - I'm tempted to dig the hammer and nails out and start knocking up an ark. Thunder and lightning too - positively apocalyptic.

On the plus side the rain may well do something about the plague that is currently upon my house. Last night I noticed that our back window sill was a mass of tiny little red spiders and some more investigation revealed that the same was the case for the rest of the window sills as well as the back fence. Attempts to remove them proved futile as no sooner had it been done than another load of the little mountebanks would reappear as bold as you like. Although my own annex is a mass of spiders and I have long since learned to live alongside them in comfort the rest of the house has something of a vendetta against the things and so these little gobshites were about as welcome Maisy Mouse at a vipers brunch-meet. With any luck the rain will have sent them scurrying back to wherever they came from and mini-crisis number 87,523,094 can come to an end.

Anyway, that's all for today. This place shuts at half four until August and I face a brief trek over abysmally tarmaced roads to get to the bus stop in a pair of shoes with holes in the soles. Ah good old rain, we missed you so much.

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