Tuesday, 30 June 2009


I'm not dead or anything, just jetted over to the states to stand outside a hospital and cry about someone I never met, was never going to meet and had no relevance to my life apart from singing songs and slowing changing colour over the decades.

I mean, just jetted over to the states to visit my girlfriend. Honest.....

Monday, 22 June 2009

Just because...

I'm off to New York again tomorrow to see Mrs. RS for a week, but I'm taking my laptop with me and will check in now and then (survive without the internet? Not likely!). I hope everyone has a lovely week :)

I shall leave you with this, courtesy of Sweet Cheeks!

Too true. Too true.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Um, was that you???


The area in which I work is an 'urban regeneration zone'. It used to be factories and breweries and tobacco warehouses - and now, with a huge injection of EU money, it's being rebuilt as offices and flats for people who want to spend £400,000 on a one bedroomed box simply because the outside of the building is old and it looks over a canal.

About a year ago the huge pile drivers digging foundations for some buildings managed to rupture a gas main. They evacuated a good chunk of the centre of Bristol, but because they did so in the same road as the main fire station, it was all resolved without much fuss.

Or so we thought.

For the last 6 months, the gas company has been digging up and replacing ALL the gas mains in the area. It turned out that when they went to fix the leak they discovered that the pipe appeared to have been constructed of Ryvita. We've all got used to walking past a big hole in the road, in the middle of which is a pipe join something like this:

Every few weeks they replace the old Victorian pipes with yellow plastic ones, fill the hole in, and move 75 yards down the road and dig another hole. That is, until they reached the end of their project.

The final gas main lay under the exit of one of the main bridges in the centre of town. It's always smelt slightly of gas over the last 18 months - in fact the gas engineers had brilliantly just run a open vented pipe through the pavement to let the gas escape rather than build up. An open gas pipe in the middle of the pavement as smokers walk by. I can see no flaw in this plan.

Anyway, last month they closed half the bridge and dug it up to expose the pipe join. On my way into work that morning I passed about 12 senior looking men in hard hats standing around a big hole, all shaking their heads slowly. It really looked like someone had died, so I wandered over to have a look.

(I'm nosey, so what? :) )

In the middle of the hole was a pipe join. Except it didn't look like the above picture, no no no. It was two pipes, one about 30% wider than the other that been *taped* together with yellow sticky tape.

This was the major gas junction for a square mile and someone had decided the best way to join two pipes was to splash out on three rolls of yellow gaffer tape.

I'm surprised they didn't try welding it....

Potentially explosive situations aside, does anyone own a Nokia N85 phone? I got one last week and it's ace.

A small tip though, if you use it as a MP3 player (and why not, with its 8GB memory card as standard) with headphones plugged in, do not have it on silent mode.

For if you receive a message or phone call while the phone is in SILENT mode, it decides that seeing as the phone is in SILENT mode - and you have headphones plugged in - that actually what it will do is switch to loudspeaker mode and blast your music out at 100% volume until you frantically hit any button to shut it up.

A nice touch that - the world's first 'ironic' silent mode.

My office especially enjoyed my phone blaring out 'Sweet MOTHERFUCKING country acid house music ALL NIGHT LONG!!!' for no apparent reason while I beat it with my keyboard.

Cringe factor ten.

Monday, 15 June 2009

There's hope for us all

The company I work for hosts a regular series of 'webinars' on various scientific topics (I'd like, at this point, to morally object to such an abortion of a word).

Last week they held one at 9am.

At 8:45am, a gentleman entered the reception of our London office and asked which room the 'webinar' was in.

So it just goes to show - you can be a Professor of Physics at a world-renowned University and still be as thick as pig shit.

There is indeed hope for us all.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


What I should be doing right now is re-potting more seedlings (because I like growing things - especially yummy tapas things). I can't really be arsed though, plus my living room floor already looks like this:

I'm going to be eating a lot of pimientos in the Autumn!

Anyway, this post wasn't about food, it was going to be about what I did the other week.

Do you know what I did the other week? No, of course you don't - I haven't told you yet.

I went to see the filming of
QI in Londinium :)

Living (as I do) on the other side of the country, it meant that I had to take an afternoon off work to get to the filming by 6:45pm. So - obviously - I spent a two hour lunch in the pub, a short break in the pub at the train station, a two hour train journey with beers and a couple of beers in a pub opposite the studios while waiting for everyone else to turn up. I even managed to squeeze in a quick pint with my Dad who was in the vicinity at the time.

The person who'd invited me was an old friend and colleague whom I'd not seen in quite a while - mainly because he lives hundreds of miles away and has bad aids (or 'kids' as they're also known) and we had a lovely catch-up (over a pint) while waiting for his two other friends to turn up - the last of which did at 6:30pm, and then promptly got a round in.

None of us had ever been to a TV recording before, so we made sure we left the pub at 6:45pm and walked over the road to the studios, clutching our printed tickets.

There were two queues. One with a hundred people in, one with a thousand.

We had tickets, so sidled up to the back of the smaller queue. It was for Have I Got News For You.


We slunk back around the side of the building to join the back of the huge queue, only to hear a TV bod (possibly a 'runner' or a 'fluffer' or something) proclaim that from 'this point on' (200 people in front of us), the show was full.

Thank you very much. Please come again.

Double arse. It seems our ticket was on a first-come, first-served basis. Ah, how naive we were...

We contemplated the pub, but then made a split-second decision to join the back of the HIGNFY queue again and try and blag our way in. Genius plan - I'm like that when I wasted.

This worked brilliantly and we were soon past security who glanced at our 'tickets' without noticing they were from the wrong show, though we nearly tried to sneak onto the back of the QI queue as they filed past us into their theatre. Then, disaster, we saw another fluffer counting down the HIGNFY queue and we could see that we were going to miss out again. Quick as a flash we took a show of hands and voted that the dutch guy in our group should go and pretend to be 'foreign' to a nearby security guard and say that we joined the wrong queue and should be in the QI lot.

Bizarrely he agreed, only to be rebuffed by the security guard who placed him in a 'standby' queue outside the main gate. We waved, and waited to put our names down for 'guaranteed' HIGNFY tickets for the next season.

We resigned ourselves to more beers in the pub, when suddenly the security guard came rushing past into the street and brought the dutch guy back past security (even though he was about 20th in the standby queue), grabbed us on the way through and rushed us into the QI theatre. It turned out that 4 VIP guests had failed to turn up, and so we got their seats.

Awesome seats too. :)

I won't say much about the filming, beyond that Stephen Fry is very funny, it takes two hours to make a thirty minute show, and that we're in the one with the question about 'Who had the first driving licence?' The drunken guy laughing loudly is probably me!

We barely had time to get another pint in the pub before I had to dash across London to get a train that was then cancelled, before getting into Bristol at 1:30am on the only other train westwards which unfortunately stopped at the station on the outskirts of Bristol. I had no cash on me to get a taxi so had to stop at the cash machine to stock up and promptly missed every single taxi.

Triple arse.

So, there I am, standing in a freezing cold car park at 1:45am with a banging headache kicking in - and I had to be at work in 7 hours - when a entirely random posh couple came *back* in their taxi and offered myself (and the other stranded person, a completely wasted oldster in a bow tie) a lift. They were on their way to their 'club' in Posh Bristol (at 2am, wtf?) so were going near my house.

I then had a very interesting conversation all the way back with this seriously minted couple (the bow tie wearer, when asked what sort of day he'd had, had replied in a bemused tone "I honestly couldn't tell you" and then fell asleep) who'd been in London to see the opera and 'spend some money at Harvey Nicks'.

I got to sleep at 2:15am. Top day :)

Friday, 5 June 2009

Please correct me, but...

...a pub should not give you bronchitis.

Should it?

I stopped being ill last week. I've had no cough. At all.

I spent this lunchtime in the pub (no cough) because of a leaving do. I spent from 4pm until 9pm in a pub (no cough) because of a leaving do.

I spent 3 minutes in a bar down the road from the above-mentioned-pub before I start coughing.

Not just a cough, a hacking cough.

*cough* *cough* *Cough* *cough* *cough* *Cough* *COUGH* *Cough* *COUGH* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *COUGH* *Cough* *Cough* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *HACK* *COUGH* *Cough*

Me: "What the fuck is going on?"

Other people: "Die heretic sinner!"

After 45 minutes of almost non-stop coughing I left to go home. Within a hundred yards I'd stopped coughing.

How can one pub give someone bronchitis? Answers on a comment, please...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The truth will out...

Yay! Everyone party like it's, um, 2009 because it's time for the annual humiliationfest called...

Red Squirrel's Football Prediction Results!

Seeing as this blog is less than a year old, I'm referring to the predictions I posted on my last blog - they can be found here

So, let's see how I did:

1) Manure will win the league IF they buy Dimitar Berbatov (the moody, sulking wanker) from Tottenham.

They did buy him from us, and they did win the league. Score one for Mr. Squirrel :)

If they don't then I feel they will come a very close second to....2) Chelski yet again, though Big Phil will take enough time to adjust to club football again that a small towel will cover Manure, Chelski and...

Well, I did say it would be close! Surprisingly, Liverpool improved more than I was expecting and just pipped Chelski into second place. I was close but I don't think I can claim a point here. Maybe half a point ;-)

3) The Gooner Scum, sadly. Despite having a tiny squad and no defensive depth at all I get the horrible feeling they will come close to winning the league - falling short like an american swimmer only because of a spring injury to one of Fabregas, Gallas or Adebayor.

Arsenal (The Gooner Scum) did much worse than I expected and came a distant 4th, 11 points behind Chelski. Fantastically, Arsenal doing badly makes me happy so I'll joyfully not get a point for this prediction! How many seasons with a trophy is it now? 4? Ouch, that must huuuuuurt :-P

4) Liverpool will cement their traditional 4th and will be some way off 3rd as they learn the hard way that Keane is not the creative striker they need alongside Torres.

Well, as I just wrote, Liverpool finished second and not 4th - but I'm claiming a half point for my Robbie Keane prediction. Not only did it not work out but they sold him back to us a mere six months later - and lost £8m on the deal in the process.

5) I've done it before but I cannot help myself this year either - Spurs to finish 5th, narrowly heading Villa and Everton in 6th and 7th respectively.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. I support Spurs - how can I not make a rash prediction? :)

6) Villa to finish 6th then :)

Spot on! I probably deserve double for that.

7) And amazingly, out of the blue like a diving Messerchmitt hiding in some clouds, Everton to finish 7th.

Uuuuuum, no. But they were battling Villa for the 'best-of-the-rest' award which was what I predicted *clutches straws*

8) Mark Hughes of Manchester City to be the first manager to leave a Premiership club (resigning I feel).

Had Manchester City not been bought by the richest sovereign wealth fund in the world then he might have been. Like, possibly.

9) Stoke, Hull and West Brom all to go straight back down.

I'm not giving myself any points for that. Only one out of three correct! :(

10) No team will set a new record for lowest points ever.

I'll take a point for that though! West Brom finished bottom with a respectable 32 points.

11) Spurs to win the UEFA Cup (aim for the stars and no-one will complain if you reach the moon).

I reached for the stars and barely got above the trees. I think we got knocked out in the last 32 after our new manager decided he didn't like visiting 'foreign places'.

12) The Champion's League will NOT be won by a Premiership team.

Ding! Un point.

13) Alan Curbishley to first complain about injuries in November.

He resigned after a mere three games after expressing concern about the size of his squad. Not sure I can claim anything here.

14) Fat Sam Allardyce to be managing a Premiership club by the end of the season.

Woot woot! He was back at Blackburn before Christmas :)

15) The top scorer in the Premiership will be Darren Bent.

Wow, I got some stick for this one! Darren Bent was not the top scorer in the Premiership - he did however finish a creditable 6th (with 12 goals) despite only starting 21 out of 38 games. I wasn't *that* far off.

16) England will lose at least one World Cup Qualifier before Christmas.

Surprisingly not. Capello turned out to be really quite good at getting slightly dim people to kick a ball in the right direction.

17) I will convert someone with no interest in football into a Spurs fan. It will probably take a lot of bribery but will be worth it in the long run ;-)

I'm claiming a point for Mrs. RS :)

18) An unnamed (at this time) Chelsea player will be - at some point in the season - involved in a major newspaper story involving a teenage lady, a £150,000 car and a family size tub of Banana yoghurt *taps nose knowingly*

The press suppressed this one after legal threats. Honest.

19) Kieron Dyer will last a maximum of 3 games before being injured again.

And indeed he was - in pre-season training. He finally returned to action at the end of the season and made one start. Points galore on this one :)

20) Ledley King will start no more than 12 Premiership games :(

I've not been happier to be wrong! Despite having no knees, Ledley managed a creditable 24 starts in the Premiership. Our win ratio with him in the side = 41%, without him in the side = 24%

I hope someone buys him some new knees before next season.

So, all in all I scored 8 out of 20 this year. Better than normal :)