Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Fighting Temeraire...

On my trip to London yesterday I saw this painting in the National Gallery and was frankly astonished to read that it had been voted the best painting in England. Frankly it wasn't even the best painting in that room as far as I was concerned and this Holbein was in the same gallery and is so much better.

I guess this isn't really a rant so much as just a declaration of incredulity at how plain wrong so many people can be!!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Alarm clocks (why is everything so shit part 973).

After the saga of the kettle, now it's alarm clocks that are pissing me off.
We've had a projecting alarm clock for about ten years now, which means the time is always visible on the ceiling all through the night. It's brilliant, but the lead broke yesterday and the projection only works when it's connected to the mains. So the obvious thing is to go buy a new one.
Except that's not as easy as it sounds and the ones we could find looked a bit shit.
So I managed to modify the clock to accept a generic lead but for reasons that are too boring to go into I needed to get a new simple, cheap alarm clock to use just for the alarm, leaving that clock to do just the projecting.
So the first one I bought was a really simple, dirt cheap clock with a simple on/off button on the top. Perfect. Except that it ticks really fucking loudly. Who the fuck wants a ticking bedside clock?
So I took that back and got a digital one, smart move I thought.
This one comes with a blue label over the display showing black letters on a blue background. Slightly strange but okay.... what this actually indicates is that when you press the snooze button the blue light comes on and you can see the time. Except you don't need to because when it's dark the the numbers are really bright, in a kind of phosphorescent way.... and in our particular case I don't need to see the numbers at night cos my other clock is projecting the time on the ceiling.
What I actually need, is a clock I can read when it's light and I'm gauging how many more minutes I can stay in bed before I really have to get up (cos when it's light you can't see the numbers on the ceiling).
The thing is, when it's light the display looks black and that's when you have to press the button to light up the display. I mean what the fuck is the point of that exactly? Who wants a fucking clock you need to light up in the day to see? I really do wonder who signed this piece of shit off, I really do.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


It's Mother's Day next Sunday and I've just been to buy a card. So far, so good... I don't have a problem with that, my mum is okay, we're not super best buddies or anything but I don't have a problem with her or anything. What I do have a problem with is the fucking cards on display in the shop.
Firstly, I don't want a card with 'To Mummy' on it, nor one that's clearly supposed to come from a pain in the arse teenager. I also don't want one that eulogises endlessly about how wonderful my mother is, cos, like I said, she's okay, we get on and we have the same sense of humour but really, I'm a grown man, and I've been a pretty much perfect child. So I really don't have an awful lot to be grateful for, over and above the normal stuff. You know, giving birth, feeding me, clothing me, putting a roof over my head etc etc....
What I mean is, I haven't been any kind of drain on them for a good twenty years, I never trashed my mum's car, or got into massive debts and needed bailing out, etc etc....
Anyway, I'm getting off topic here. The point is the shops can only stock a finite number of cards and as I said, excluding the nauseating, eulogising cards and the ones that are clearly meant for people still living at home, that usually leaves me with a choice of one or two at best.
This unacceptable situation is only made worse by the ridiculous number of bullshit cards doing the rounds. I'm sure you've noticed this when you go to buy a birthday card, and indeed, I may have mentioned this before on this blog. Bullshit cards are cards that are so fucking specific as to be ridiculous. Time was if you had some kind of unorthodox relationship you got a non-specific card and you wrote in it. Then they developed the 'from both of us' card to help you out, so that divorced people in new relationships could send cards without offending anybody.
Over the years more and more bullshit cards have appeared, Happy Birthday from the dog / cat / rabbit / iguana / pterodactyl.... you get the picture. So today I wasn't particularly surprised to see Mother's Day cards for Nan and Grannie, even though it's rather missing the point. It's Mother's Day, so you send your mother a card and she sends her mother a card and (if her mother is still alive) she sends her mother a card. It's not down to you to send your mother's mother a card, or your mother's mother's mother a card. It's fucking Mothers Day, not Nannies Day or Grannies Day for fucks sake.
But today, I saw a card which pushed me to the brink of sanity, a card so fucking ridiculous that I almost grabbed it right off the shelf, ripped it into tiny pieces and pissed on it, right there in the store. Happy Mother's Day to the Mother to Be!
The fucking Mother to Be!
What the fuck is that?
Plenty of time for this shit when she's a mother, not before. And when pray, is it acceptable to send this fucking card? When the baby's due at any time? When the baby's kicking? When the baby's first diagnosed (yes, diagnosed... it's a disease that will make you tired, poor, irritable, uncomfortable, and could even kill you). Perhaps when you're just trying for a baby? God this makes me angry. Perhaps it would be a good card to send a woman you're hoping to get lucky with, kind of a statement of intent?
No this card is bullshit of the worst kind, and how are you going to sign it? From the foetus?
And what if the baby miscarries? Is this bullshit card going to be clung to like some bullshit message from beyond the grave?
No, I think it would be best all round if these cards were boycotted altogether, because somewhere some poor bastard is going to get it in the neck come next Sunday because his wife has a tiny bump and her didn't get her a fucking stupid 'Mum-to-be' card. The poor schmuck didn't realise he had to start that until the baby was actually born, the ill advised buffoon.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Nestle, just leave it alone!

Once upon a time there was a Kit Kit, it wasn't anyone's favourite biscuit, but it was better than a Penguin, a Breakaway or (God help us) a Viscount (minty but kind of soft as if it was out of date). Back in the day Kit Kat came in two styles, four finger and two finger (though why anyone would buy a two finger Kit Kat is beyond me).
In relatively recent years, probably since good old Rowntree was bought out by the evil Nestle corporation, Kit Kat as expanded as a brand, with mixed results. On the one hand, a positive development was the invention of the Chunky Kit Kat, which was in every way superior to the original, while still being only moderately exciting.
Spurred on by the success of this bigger, chunkier biscuit, Nestle started fucking around, there was a white chocolate version (one which periodically reappears and disappears, it's rank) an orange version (very short lived but rather tasty, resurrected in the two finger format with very limited success) and of course the almost inedible King Size. King Size anything is good, but the King Size Kit Kat was just too big, even for a chocoholics like me.
In even more recent years we had the Caramel Kit Kat. Finally here was a Kit Kat we could believe in, the caramel lifted the product to heights no Kit Kat had ever dreamed of, never mind attained. And it's not hard to see why, caramel is the X-factor which lifts all chocolate to a higher level and makes it desirable.
Except Twix of course, Twix is shit. How anyone can combine biscuit, caramel and chocolate and come up with something as tedious as Twix is beyond me.
Anyway, so far so good. We have the Chunky Kit Kat for emergencies, the old two/four finger style Kit Kat for the old school Kit Kat eaters and the Caramel for the cognoscenti. Then they started making special editions with nuts in, trying to manufacture a Kit Kat/Snicker hybrid (why anyone thought was a good idea I don't know...) and then came the big competition. Four new flavours were produced, but there could be only one winner.
The winner was peanut butter, which I thought might be nice until I tried it. But what really sucked was that the peanut butter REPLACED the Caramel Kit Kat. What madness was this?
I mean fuck you Nestle, fuck you in your stupid ass.
Now there's a new breed of Kit Kat's, including Fudge, Mint and some others, all of which won't be as good as the Caramel one. I suppose the fudge one might be okay, but then if it is the bastards will only discontinue it. It's like all those poor saps who sat through the first two series of Lost on terrestrial TV only for it to be transferred to Sky. So I say fuck you Nestle, I won't even try another Kit Kat until you bring back the caramel one.