Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Searching Can Be Dangerous

The 'net is a weird place. I never cease to be amazed by what turns up. There is a disease in cattle called Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis, IBR for short. I needed some pictures and thought I would see what I could turn up. I ran an image search for IBR. What turned up was pictures from the Iron Butt Rally and pictures from the International Bear Rendezvous. Even more surprising is that the Iron Butt Rally is actually less dodgy than it sounds while the International Bear Rendezvous is significantly more dodgy than it sounds.

{I am now going to get some very strange hits on my blog}

OK Go Epidemic

There's something about OK Go that makes everyone want to try their dance moves.

I especially like those that haven't noticed that there are FOUR people in the Group

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ow Ow Ow

Agony. Absolute agony. My neck has gone into spasm. It hasn't been this bad for years. However I don't think that the horses can be blamed. No, the blame lies firmly at the doors of London and a certain hotel. I had a meeting in London today so went down last night to stay there. The longest check in process I have ever experienced (although I am getting quite used to being bumped from hotels in that diabolical hell hole of a city). Anyway, up and down the lift 4 times before I could get into my room and not putting my rucksack on properly (at one point I got in a very full lift, about 8 different floor buttons had been pressed, leant back to hear a ping as my rucksack cancelled all the aforementioned buttons, the sighs as people had to each press their respective floor again were deafening) as I was getting so fed up probably put too much pressure on my neck.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


So they didn't give me the most difficult horse. I got Wolfie, otherwise known as the BFG.

I had forgotten how much hard work riding is. I mean, all you do is sit on top of a horse, it can't be that hard can it. Within 10 minutes I had to take off my fleece. By the end of my lesson I was seriously sweating (sorry, possibly more detail than you need). It was fun though. I was pleased that it all came back, more or less. I thought after 15-20 years I might have forgotten it all. But I managed to steer, to go faster, to slow down, basically all the important things. The only thing I had forgotten was how to get off, which was a minor problem when we got back to the stables and there were loads of children and mothers around.

But boy, do I ache today. Not too surprised about my back and neck (I need to talk to my osteo, either I am going to do some serious damage or it will help strengthen everything and it is worth getting through the pain) but didn't expect the inside of my thighs to be so sore.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whoops, Not Me

So tonight Gordon Brown has said that this should be an end to the age of irresponsibility. Can you Labour supporters just confirm something to me? This age of irresponsibility would be the same period as the end to boom and bust wouldn't it? This age of irresponsibility would be the decade that Labour, and especially Brown, have precided over wouldn't it? This age of irresponsibility comes from a political irresponsibility that leaves us all wondering what tomorrow may bring.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's In The Timing

So I have taken "A" riding every weekend for the last 6 months or so (barr 2 I believe). I have watched her riding. I have remembered the days when I used to ride. And gradually I have thought I might quite enjoy doing it again. Not a light decision, it is probably about 15 years since I last sat on a horse. Today I booked yself a lesson next week. And then about 15 minutes later stuck my nose in where it probably wasn't wanted. Up until now I have kept quiet about being a vet. Really didn't want anyone to know. Today I saw soemthing that concerned me, you don't need to know what, just it presented a risk to the horses and I have had to treat horses for this problem, and it really isn't nice. So I told them. And explained I was a vet and hence concerned.

So, what is the betting that next week I get the most cantakerous, difficult and downright nasty horse they can find?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director how do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.
'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.'
'Oh, I understand,' said the visitor. 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup.'
'No.' said the Director, 'A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?'

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Was That?

Yesterday they announced that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking or smoking cannabis. I view this as good news. If I stop texting then I can have a can of lager with me when I pop down the shops.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Too shocked to post anything profound. The guy who lead HBOS to disaster, who is responsible for thousands of people losing their jobs, is getting £2 million worth of shares. Somehow that just doesn't seem right.

I have to say I am also concerned about the competition commission ignoring this deal. I already have some major doubts about the competition commission anyway after their handling of vets, but this seems ludicrous. In normal times we wouldn't let this go through but now it's OK! Lloyds must be laughing. Because in a few years the dust will have settled, the credit crunch will be over, and then Lloyds can use their massive share of the market however they want. They say it's an ill wind that blows no-one any good. Lloyds and Barclays are making sure they reap the benefits, and I somehow doubt they willl ever reap the whirlwind.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Question

On the drive home from work I was able to catch a bit of the comedy slot on Radio 4. Recently I have been too late to get it, but today was a nice change. So I was listening to "Mark Watson Makes the World Better" (or something like that). Anyways, he was talking about humility. He commented on having been on "Mock the Week" and for about two weeks afterwards people look at him as thought they recognise him. Then someone actually comes up and asks "Are you famous?". He followed this up by saying "the answers in the question really isn't it, I mean, if you have to ask, it's a bit like asking are you a horse?"

While some of you will wonder why I bothered with this post, I can promise that any member of the Support Team is now rolling on the floor laughing. I nearly crashed the car.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All For One

To me it seems one of lifes no brainers. The Gurkhas, these brave men who would lay down their life for a friend, and many of whom have laid down their lives for Britain, should be allowed a home here. I can think of no reason to deny them. And yet we continue to deny them anyway. We should be ashamed. And the reason put forward is that they have no strong links to the country. A country that their friends and compatriots died for. My respect goes to Joanna Lumley for fighting their cause. It seems so incongruous, these wizzened old men along side this tall blond woman, but she knows her father would have died had it not been for these men.

I hope they win, they deserve it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Days it's Best To Live To The Max

A Challenge

I suspect my comments about Liverpool have insulted at least two readers, Nearly Time and Rainbow Dreams. I can't apologise for not liking Liverpool but I feel that they are perfectly entitled to their opinions. Therefore I need to extend an olive branch. So, I lay down this offer to you both, take me to Liverpool and show me what I was missing.


I remember at university how the lecturers always used to complain about us sitting near the back. They always demanded we moved forward. One of the first conferences I went to once I moved into industry was the the Association of Lecturers and Researchers annual congress. I was amazed how many of my old lecturers I met when I was there. Imagine my surprise when I went in to the first lecture of the day. All the people I had known complain about the students were, in fact, sitting at the back of the lecture hall, with plenty of space at the front. I so wanted to tell them to move up!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ferry Cross The Mersey

I could be accussed of prejudging Liverpool, I would accept the criticism. I may not have had open eyes and therefore only seen what I wanted. However.....

On the last night everyone else was going to a posh dinner. For reasons too long to mention (but mainly due to the fact that I had cried off at the last minute for the last 4 years so my mate wouldn't buy me a ticket) I was not going. I decided to go for a wander to find something to eat. It took me longer than I expected. I was really looking for a pub meal. A pie and a pint would have hit the spot. But it seemed I had one of two options as far as pubs went. One option was to take part in kareoke, the other was to be surrounded by old wrinklies. There seemed no nice pub where I wasn't either going to be deafened by out of tune singing or to have my pint ruined by a pair of false teeth dropping in it. I finally resorted to what considered itself to be a restaurant and grill with home cooked food. Afterwards I decided to wander a bit more. This isn't unusual for me, I often decide to wander around cities I don't know, not knowing where I am going. I have to say the last time I felt this certain I was going to be stabbed was when I had been led into the depths of Marrakesh and hadn't seen a white face for two hours.

I found my way to the Cavern Quarter. It sounded the right place to go. Well, there must be over 15 clubs all with the windows open, side by side. The noise is deafening, and the company dubious. I went into one club, drank one drink and hastily left. I wandered further. I finally decided that a retreat was a good idea when I came across two ladies standing in a doorway only wearing dressing gowns. Now I'm generally fairly naive but even I realised what they were up to. I returned to the hotel with no desire to come back.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


A few days away with little time for TV or papers and I get back to fnd rebellion in the wings. Having to sack people for saying there needs to be a leadership election doesn't strike as a position of strength. Whenever Gordon feels that things must be at there lowest then more bad news seems to come along.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Indigo Girls - Power of Two

Scouting For Girls - The Airplane Song

She's a strawberry Milkshake
She's as sweet as a peach
But she's ice cold
She never told me, she was leaving
She left on a Friday
I went out for the day
She left for the year
She never told me she was leaving

So get yourself on an airplane cos it's been far long since you went away
Get yourself on an airplne cos it's been far long since you went away

She's so extradinary
She left last Janurary
And that's the reason I miss you so

She's a messy creation
She hit the road but the road hit back
Nobody told me your an Island
I would wait for a life time
I've been counting the days since you left away
Nobody reaches her Island

So get yourself on an airplane cos it's been far long since you been away
Get yourself on an airplane cos it's been far long since you been away

She's no extradinary
She left last Janurary
And that's the reason I miss you so

So give me a chance
I want you to know
I wont love you and leave you
And then wont let you go

I'll either sort myself out
Or somebody show me the way

And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows

You gotta give me a chance
And say you'll come home
I won't love you and leave you
And then let u go
Your always hard on your self

And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way
And nobody knows the way

No body knows the right way

And Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away
Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away
Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away
Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away
Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away
Get yourself on that airplane cos it's been far since you went away

She's no extradinary
She left last Janurary
And that's the reason I miss you so

An Experience

So Liverpool has never been high on my list of places to go. I have always thought it likely to be rough (and this is someone who went to uni in Glasgow). After 4 days here for a congress I would have to say all my preconceptions have been fulfilled. At its most basic, a hotel that requires three bouncers (not doormen, obvious bouncers) does not shout "class".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Once, Then

I remember her,
And though always there,
It is the moments
Between a dream
And the day
When my hands
Are tracing shapes
In the air,
Stroking her body,
A form
Carved of nothing,
In a simple response
Of where her legs lay,
To the beat
Of her heart,
To the gentle
To caress
A beauty
Lost to a memory

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Some days the little things just add up so much that you feel like breaking something!

Alligator Brought Down By Dogs

Dog Pack Attacks Gator In Florida

Don't look at the picture if you are squeamish or recently had lunch

At times nature can be cruel, but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty. The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the 'apex predator', can still fall victim to implemented 'team work' strategy, made possible due to the tight knit social structure and 'survival of the pack mentality' bred into the canines. See the remarkable photograph below courtesy of Nature Magazine. Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the gator preventing it from breathing, while another dog has a hold on the tail to keep it from thrashing. The third dog attacks the soft underbelly of the gator.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My Boy Lollipop

This isn't my favourite photo in the world but, to be honest, most of my pride has gone long ago. What you see here is me, ready to go on shift, with a MLDU (or Mobile Lolly Dispensing Unit). Traditionally "D" has done a wonderful job of making sure our team get some sweets while they are on duty. It is a fantastic job and involves trying to find them throughout the night. However there was an evening when "D" wasn't going to be able to do this. Rather than let the team down she provided Zippie and myself with these rather fetching devices which are zip up lolly holders, mine a pink dragon (that goes so well with my top) and Zippies a white cow with big pink lips. And in the true spirit of the evening we did wear them all night and use them to provide sweets.
However, on the last night we were supposed to wear them again. Now, I must admit, when I thought we were going to deal with some rather out of hand youths we did take the MLDUs off. I really did not feel that it would have exuded the level of authority we were aiming for. Sadly, once the issue was dealt with, we forgot to put them back on, I don't know how that happened.


The idea of weekends for me is to be able to do things with "A". It makes up for some very late nights at work. When the weather is wet and miserable it is harder though. Yesterday afternoon we were a bit devoid fof ideas. I knew "J" wanted to see Mamma Mia so I suggested they went together. While I didn't like the idea of not being a part of it, at the same time I recognised it is a complete chick flick, and it in no way makes me want to see it. At the last minute I almost changed my mind and went with them, but I really couldn't face it. From the reports I think I made the right choice.

So today "A" wanted "J" to take her swimming. She is trying to learn how to dive to the bottom of the pool. I was invited. Now, I have to admit, this did not fill me with enthusiasm. I enjoy swimming, but I really mean swimming, not playng in the water. I thought of not going, but I didn't like the idea of two things this weekend I wasn't in on, so I went. And had so much fun. "A" really didn't do a lot of learning, she was too excited having me there ("J" distracts her at riding, I seem to distract her at swimming). But we played around, I swam with her on my back, I swam with her on my front, she leapt in and splashed us, she got cold water to pour on us. All in all a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

And The Lyrics

Going back to the corner where I first saw you,
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag. I'm not gonna move,
Got some words on cardboard got your picture in my hand,
Saying if you see this girl can you tell her where I am,
Some try to hand me money they don't understand,
I'm not... broke I'm just a broken hearted man,
I know it makes no sense, but what else can I do,
How can I move on when I've been in love with you...

Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me,
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be,
Thinking maybe you'd come back here to the place that we'd meet,
And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.

So I'm not moving...
I'm not moving.

Policeman says son you can't stay here,
I said there's someone I'm waiting for if it's a day, a month, a year,
Gotta stand my ground even if it rains or snows,
If she changes her mind this is the first place she will go.

Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me,
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be,
Thinking maybe you'd come back here to the place that we'd meet,
And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.

So I'm not moving...
I'm not moving.

I'm not moving...
I'm not moving.

People talk about the guy
Whos waiting on a girl...
There are no holes in his shoes
But a big hole in his world...

Maybe I'll get famous as man who can't be moved,
And maybe you won't mean to but you'll see me on the news,
And you'll come running to the corner...
Cos you'll know it's just for you

I'm the man who can't be moved
I'm the man who can't be moved...

Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me,
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be,
Thinking maybe you'd come back here to the place that we'd meet,
And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.
[Repeat in background]

So I'm not moving...
I'm not moving.

I'm not moving...
I'm not moving.

Going back to the corner where I first saw you,
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag not I'm not gonna move.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved

A friend on Facebook sent this song to me. I hadn't heard of The Script before but have gone and bought their album immediately.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Baby Boom

I'm going to be voting Bartlet when it comes to the US elections but I am still following the current goings on with a degree of interest. I am mystified by the media response to Sarah Palin though. She seems to have been vilified by the press. I was trying to work out why. As far as I can tell it comes done to the fact that she has a 17 year old daughter who is not married but is pregnant. There are times I want to scream "none of your g.d d..n business". This is not an issue that the media should be dragging up. What, is it supposed to show that Palin did a bad job raising her family? Supposed to show she has no morals? Well, I can't see how it makes any difference to her ability to hold the position of Vice President. In one respect it shows that there are a normal family, faced with the same challenges that face every other family. Not everything goes perfectly, that's life. I am much more worried about a President who supports war mongering than I would be a President who has an unmarried mother in the family.

Couldn't vote for Sarah Palin though, her voice is so screachy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sweet Calm

Tonight could be
About snatching
A glimpse of ecstasy
Of leaving the world
To fend
For itself
While I rest
In someone elses arms
Silence the mobile
Switch off the pager
Ignore the email
And for a time
Reduce it all
To a pleasure

And yet
So rarely
Could be's happen

Rags to Riches

I don't understand football, never have. Rugby, cricket, even ice hockey all great. But football never interested me. So I don't understand everything behind it. But I have recently heard the numbers being thrown around for the transfer season. How is this justified? Something like £104 million changed hands yesterday, with a single player being bought for around £35 million. These seem like truly obscene amounts of money to me. I cannot get my head around it. I think about what that money could do if it was put into society and it makes me sad. I firmly believe that there should be a capping system to keep the price down. Down and to a respectable level.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tall, So Tall

It was "A"s last day of the school holidays. "J" had to go to work so I took a day off. What to do though? Hmm, dilemma. Well, after much soul searching I decided on Drayton Manor Theme Park. The only thing was, would "A" be big enough to go on the rides she would most enjoy. Some were definite no's, but would she pass the 1.2 metre height limit.

I don't think she could have been any closer to the limit, it must have been milimetres, but, to my relief, she passed. Well, when I say relief, that may not be quite the right phrase. This meant that we could go on the "Apocalypse". Let me quote from their description on the site: "Takes riders to a height of 54 metres and tilts them forward at an agonising 15 degree angle as they are hoisted skyward on a half ton launch shuttle. Then they drop at the mercy of gravity at over 4Gs." My daughter of 6 thought this was a good idea. Not once, not twice, but three times she made me do it. Strangely the first time was the easiest, it got worse the more I knew what was coming. To go on the ride three times she had to be measured five times, because looking at her they couldn't believe that she was tall enough but, despite my silent pleading, they let her through in the end each time.
And she made me go on the log flume thing twice. Description: "With a 180 degree platform that sends boats backwards down an amazing 9 metre drop! Launched in association with the RNLI, it recreates a lifeboat rescue and features three spectacular drops at 3Gs and a speed of 35 knots. " I have never known a flume so wet. I was absolutely drenched. "A" was OK because she basically used me as an umbrella. I have to admit I bought one of those plastic poncho things but, in my defence I simply wrapped the camera in it, I wasn't going to wimp out and try to protect myself!
The picture is "A" on the teacup type things that spin around and around. She also discovered the Waltzer (which we had to go back on immediately).

Monday, September 01, 2008

By Name

So a visit to my osteo today. It's a regular thing, I generally need to go about every 8 weeks or things become very painful (as opposed to a fairly constant low discomfort) (although sleeping in a tent on the ground actually seems to have helped). Anyway, sometimes I have loads to say, sometimes my mind is blank. Today was a blank day. Until I mentioned that she hadn't accepted my friend invite on Facebook (for which I don't blame her, who wants to bring work home with them!).

Anyway, she said she didn't remeber seeing an invite from me. I explained that the name on Facebook would be Merlin. This then lead to having to explain why. Followed by a very happy twenty minutes explaining the names of all my Greeneblt friends. Which seemed to keep her amused and took my mind off the crunching sounds in my back. And having explained many names (Zippie, Guilty, Squeak etc) I thought, you know what, we really are a weird lot.