Seriously Silly

This area is dedicated to silly behaviour, from the life-threatening to the simply divine.

Bandits at 3 O'clock skipper - shit! Too late!

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, August 15, 2009 19:05:16

Oh The seagulls have a white house, In Mobil;
Oh The seagulls have a white house, In Mobil,
Oh The seagulls have a white house, and they use it as a shitehouse;
Oh The seagulls have a white house, In Mobil.

Oh The seagulls they fly high, In Mobil;
Oh The seagulls they fly high, In Mobil,
Oh The seagulls they fly high, and they shite in your eye;
It's a good job cows don't fly, In Mobil.

This one extends 2ft high, by about 1ft across. Maybe Cullercoats seagulls have been cavorting with cattle?


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Struck down in my prime

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, August 12, 2009 21:13:37

Obviously jealous of all you sweet young things and your piggy 'flu, my frail old frame has decided to come up with an alternative. Since Sunday I've been trying to put a name to what I've got but can't. I've got a slightly-runny nose, a dry ticklish cough, itchy eyes and each day since the weekend starts OK but by lunch-time I have a blinding headache, a temperature and nausea.

This couldn't have happened in a worse week, as today I had to MOT the car, so had to give it a good talking-to on both Monday and Tuesday mornings, because every afternoon has been spent half-dozing in bed. It passed thankfully.

I've been up an hour simply because I ache, but I'm now off back to bed. Sorry, no rants this week - I haven't got the energy.

Oh, BTW, a letter from NHS informs me of an 'up to 18 weeks' wait for surgery on my left knee - no hurry there then!


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When Terror Strikes

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, August 10, 2009 10:50:50

In conversation with a friend yesterday, I had touched briefly on the subject of risky behaviour, and with the benefit of insight how the most dangerous aspects of mania can be avoided by simply staying in the house and keeping your blue cape and red knickers locked in a closet, as an antidote for when, in your worst moments you feel like superman.

The conversation had triggered recollections of the most bizarre and downright foolhardiness of some of the things I’ve done in the past - a lot of which I cringe to think about, and which would not bear scrutiny even in these enlightened times, however I dressed them up. I couldn’t bear knowing that when face to face with friends, they might be thinking ‘this man did that‘, and questioning themselves as to why they still talk to me.

The world is well aware of the risk-taking propensity of young men, and despite the rate of attrition, it has been accepted that this behaviour is as necessary for the survival of our species as taking breath. Those young men that do survive tend to act more sensibly as they mature or ‘mellow’ - making way for the ‘young bucks’ to have their time too. However, my experience has been that manic behaviour manifests itself ‘out of the blue’, and worse than that, triggers pleasure receptors that should be long dormant given my mature years. Then there can be terrible moments of reality - when for a brief (and thankful) second I realise that I am acting out a scene purely because of the ‘high’, and I’m left attempting to extricate myself from the very sticky stuff I’ve willingly jumped into. The tendency to panic in such a situation is very strong, and it’s probably only my pig-headed stubbornness to admit defeat, that has allowed me to exit left, with at least a little dignity remaining.

Knowing what to look for has enabled me to recognise the same behaviour in other people - who it might be said of that they should know better. As a result, I tend to be more tolerant of aberrant behaviour than I might have done in the past. I also sympathise when I see another’s actions go terribly wrong, and would unhesitatingly give assistance should it be required.

The worst case of ‘lost bottle’ I have witnessed first-hand, took place just up the road from here, at the Whitley Bay Ice Rink and Bowling Alley. I was a young man at the time and was employed as a steel erector involved in building the Bowling Alley above the existing Ice Rink. Steel erectors are notorious risk-takers and I admit to pushing myself to the point of silliness, in an effort to be like my other, more mature, workmates.

There was one man, in his middle-forties who although heavily built, could shin up a stanchion, and walk along 3 inch horizontal ties as if he was a wire-walking monkey. It came as a great shock then, one afternoon, to hear him calling for help, which set everyone running. Barry (name changed) was sat on a cross beam arms clinging to a large stanchion about 45ft above the ground. I joined the others below him whilst the foreman tried to coax him down, and I’ve never witnessed such terror in anyones eyes either before or since. His face was contorted with fear, tears streaming down his face, and he didn’t reply to any of the foreman’s coaxing - just sat there, visibly shaking and paralysed with fear.

When it was realised that he wasn’t going to be talked down, the foreman and another workmate shinned up the stanchion to just below where he sat, and another man climbed up another stanchion and worked his way along the cross beam until he could sit beside Barry. The presence of these brave souls both beside and below him seemed to calm Barry enough for him to loosen his grip and be persuaded to move out and onto the stanchion - his feet guided into place. Thus it was that two men - one behind him, the other to one side shuffled and shinned Barry and themselves painfully slowly to the ground.

Barry was plied with hot, sugary tea, and when he had calmed down sufficiently, was taken home by one of his mates, and I never saw him again. I had asked the foreman (my father) why it had happened and he had simply shrugged: ‘Who knows - it just happens’. I had suspected that this wasn’t the first case he had ever witnessed, and like so many of the other awful events he had seen, he simply accepted it and probably considered trying to analyse or evaluate it a waste of time. What he also obviously accepted without question, was a responsibility to help his workmate, despite a very real threat to his own life.

JWBD4 Monday 10th August 2009

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Through The Keyhole - of my Knees

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, August 06, 2009 11:30:40

The visit to the Consultant this morning confirmed suspicions about the damage to both knees. Keyhole surgery is to be used to both examine and attempt a repair to the medial meniscus in both knees - starting with the left, because of it's greater damage.

I'm assured that 'only as much cartilage will be removed as is necessary', and recovery 'will depend on actual damage found'. Also initial weight-bearing will need assistance from a stick.

Both Ops will involve attendances to a day clinic, but a general anaesthetic, so escort from Hospital is assumed.

I'm assuming that because of normal Hospital delays, a date for the 1st Op will be well after my Grand Tour in the last week of this month.

That's all for now, I'm going to have a cook-out to celebrate. As Mr. Craddock allegedly said:- May all your Doughnuts turn out like Fannies!


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Rant of the day - The Lies We are Told

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, August 06, 2009 11:13:30

1. Kneel before God every Sunday on a f**cking hard stool in Church and He will love you and take care of you.

2. Hard work never did anyone any harm, so when you've finished your homework, get that floor scrubbed.

3. Exercise is good for you, get out there and have a game of football.

4. Climbing stairs is good for you because it gives your body an all-over workout.

5. Get on your bike and do a 100 miles each weekend, to make up for all the sitting-around you do at school.

Yes, there are more, but I've said enough. The fact is sadly, that all of this shite was drummed into me as a schoolboy, and I'm now paying the price for nearly 12 years of abuse to my young skeleton as a result of these no-doubt well-meaning exhortations from parents.

But what the Hell? The sun's shining, get out there and have a game of football...


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Ankles, Photos and Tunnelling

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, August 01, 2009 01:40:27

Visit to Physiotherapy Dept. today.

The lovely Nicola was delighted to find that my right ankle muscles have improved, due to the exercises and extra support I've given both feet by disposing of flimsy slippers and wearing shoes full time with thicker socks. She agrees that full mobility is still compromised by the serious damage to both knees, but she intimated that she expects the consultant will offer surgery for both knees. We'll find out more on the 6th.

TripAdvisor have accepted and published three of the photos of Cullercoats I took recently, these are here:

I intend going tunnelling this weekend - through the original pedestrian/cyclists tunnel under the Tyne - a short hop from the much (newer) road tunnel.

I remember my old man taking us kids on our bikes back in the early fifties, and standing on what was at the time the longest escalator (made of wood!!) in the world, as at the time the lifts never worked. The journey started at home in the centre of Gateshead following the old coast road through Pelaw to Jarrow, under the Tyne, then back home via the north side of the river. At that time of course, it was a very different river scene than it is today, with industrial activity all the way up both banks.

Info on the tunnel is here:


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Massive Parallelism - or something a little more spooky?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, July 27, 2009 11:01:53

Another example of co-incidence in our massively parallel world.

I had included a photo of the Mendocino coast on the 1st page of MTHYTOB (Music To Have Your Teeth Out By), and had written to the photo owner (sbelli) in USA to thank her for permission to use it - it turns out she is a Dental Assistant!!

Wot a way to start the day.


RE: Your lovely photo From: sbelli Status: You replied to this message at today, 5:41

I'm happy you could use it! By the way, I happen to work for a DENTIST! I am a dental assistant........ pretty funny...............

On Jul 24, 2009, at 09:21 PM connectable wrote:
I thought you would like to know I've retained your lovely photo on the new MTHYTOB (Music To Have Your Teeth Out By ) page on my site at:

Thanks once again
Joe Brown

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Photos of Whitley Bay & Seaton Sluice taken this morning

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, July 25, 2009 12:52:51

I thought my friends in the south would like a look at the other bits of local coastline up here in the north , so took these of Whitley Bay & Seaton Sluice earlier this morning. Maybe later next week I'll take a trip further up and grab the turbines at Blyth, plus Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Cresswell etc. I know, you can't wait - patience please! The photos have been added to the cullercoats gallery at:



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Save Money! Save Hassle! Take my Rhodes Old Town Virtual Tour - Free!!

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, July 24, 2009 19:37:07

Sometimes it's good to take the slow lane for a while. So I wandered out earlier today and as well as taking some local photos, had a sugar-cone 99 and later a half of Bass. I've uploaded the photos, but started browsing amongst stuff I'd taken over the last couple of years and came across my shots of Rhodes (old town) - Yes that's Rhodes in Greece - not USA.

To save everyone the hassle of crowds, and sore feet I've uploaded my scenic wander through the old town for your benefit. Mind you, if you do find yourself in Marmaris (Turkey) and fancy a jaunt on the (very fast) hydro to Rhodes - do it. There are a lot of very lovely eating places and the people ('specially the girls) are smashing.

The photos I've uploaded today are in a gallery called 'cullercoats' on, and there are currently 3 albums I've uploaded this afternoon.

Gallery URL:

Rhodes Old Town Album:

Tall Ships Race on Tyne 1986

Snaps of Cullercoats today:


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DISH - Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sun, July 19, 2009 13:56:01

I've just completed a 1st draft of an essay on DISH-associated Dysphagia, plus an introductory web page on DISH.

The Dysphagia page address is:

and the DISH introductory is here:


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Fresh-faced but brimming with talent

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, July 17, 2009 17:19:12

How refreshing! A visit to the Hospital to consult someone that not only knows what she's talking about, but enthusiastic about her job as well.

1:00pm saw me ushered into the Physio Dept. at Rake Lane to meet Nicola. After many searching questions and a thorough examination of my legs and feet, she demonstrated that it's a muscle under the ankle that is dodgy - not any of the ligaments. She talked me through the principles and I'm convinced - to my great relief, that it isn't more serious - i.e. another manifestation of the dreaded DISH.

This is just another confirmation that 'consultants' look no bloody further than the 'likliest' candidate, rather than taking a holistic view. It is also apparent that it's probably best to see a proficient physiotherpaist BEFORE waiting months to see a consultant, not to mention of course, that she's a lot prettier!

I've been given some strengthening exercises to do and another visit in 2 weeks time. As a BTW, that means that once again a whole month is eaten into by hospital visits - now 3 before the end of the month.

Any possibility of a 'Grand Tour' now moves to August.

More later.


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The Word.

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, July 15, 2009 17:43:34

Spread the word and you'll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way
It's the word I'm thinking of
And the only word is love

(Lennon & McCartney)

Never in modern man's 60,000 years of history, has there been so many individuals documenting events, both important and/or trivial/ephemoral, on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps it will be the literal capture of ephemera that will prove most fascinating by future history students, as it is these events that in the past were not documented and prove to be of most interest to us today.

The almost insatiable appetite of some for the most insignificant thoughts/actions of 'celebrities' is demonstrated by the huge numbers who follow these folks on sites like Twitter. Individuals (myself included) simply tell anyone/everyone 'out there' what they are thinking/doing and this is captured for posterity on digital media.

Engines such as Google constantly scrutinise and tag the whole WWW so that it forms a coherent, easily accessed medium, storing the collective thoughts/actions of a billion blog/website scribblers. A recent comment by a Google analyst when questioned about 'privacy' said: 'Forget it - it's too late to do anything about it.'

My thoughts go back to prognosis made in the sixties, both by authors and scientists, about what life would be like now. Worries at the time about Big Brother 1984, and conversely, the happy prospects of non-stop leisure as autonomous robots did all of our work. All of the forecasts were not just wrong, they didn't contain one grain of the reality that has been brought about by the inexorable rise in power of - the written word.

Yeah, I know, you probably thought I was going to say 'computer'. But without the words forming the instructions to the machine from us, a computer is simply a useless aggregation of expensive bits and pieces. That the primary role of most computers today is the acquisition and distribution of words fully completes the circle.


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Now I know how Lot's wife felt...

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, July 15, 2009 16:49:06

The dying embers of the night a fire that slowly fades till dawn
Still glow upon the wall so bright burning burning burning
The tired streets that hide away from here to everywhere they go
Roll past my door into the day in my blue world

I turn to stone when you are gone, I turn to stone.
Turn to stone when you comin home, I cant go on.
Turn to stone when you are gone, I turn to stone.

(Jeff Lynne)

It's just as well that I don't believe that I'm being punished for past sins by being turned to stone - surely I didn't commit that many! - just that coping with the process is punishing in itself.

Recent visits to wise consultants results in opinions that are now ludicrously easy to forecast - because these learned individuals inevitably all come to the same conclusion - they have no strategy for dealing with this condition.

I append the pertinent part of a letter I received this morning wrt a visit a few weeks ago.

The scary part is in the last paragraph: 'Unless his investigations show any particular cause for concern I have not arranged a further follow up but I would be happy to see him in the future'

'Cause for concern'? It's my humble opinion that losing completely the use of my legs is something I would regard as 'Cause for concern'.

Note that as yet there is no mention of results from the blood tests and X-rays taken at the same time.


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Too many Joes

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Tue, July 14, 2009 05:20:09

Whilst lying awake this morning, I was going over one or two coincidences that have occurred lately, and my mind drifted back to the short lecture I gave the development team at ICL Fujitsu back in 2000AD. This lecture was on the subject of coincidence, and was mostly an admonishment by me to all and sundry that rather than be the exception, coincidence is the norm - simply because we live in a massively-parallel world. I was surprised by the number of otherwise-gifted engineers who when asked to think about it in that way, obviously had their opinions altered somewhat.

Now a question. In a small community on the north-east coast - a place in which there are two pubs, when probably that's one-too-many - what is the chance of three men, all of which are roughly the same age, build and intelligence, all drink bitter and all three are called Joe?

You think I'm making this up don't you? Well I'm not. Back in the late-eighties, two of my regular drinking pals were also called Joe - to the delight of some of the other locals who would tease strangers into making silly bets.

What was even stranger, was that neither of the other Joes like football, but both liked a game of pool, neither was married, but both had a live-in partner.

A lot of our early conversations were questions about just how similar we were - apart from the name that is, and we all obviously enjoyed each-other's company.

Strange? Not really, when you consider how popular the name 'Joe' was to parents of baby-boomer male children. Yes, it's as simple as that.

What sparked this off? Well I've been trying to dream up a scheme to knock Joe Brown out of 1st place on a Google search, and having done that, another scheme to ensure that the other Joe Brown dosn't replace Joe Brown, in 1st place but both of them to be 2nd and 3rd to my 1st, not to mention the 3rd Joe Brown that sells clothes.

Bloody pop singer, mountain climber and tailor!!


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Wide-awake Cullercoats Man Discovers Triffid!

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Tue, July 14, 2009 04:49:25

Having been up and down all night, at 4:15am I decided I'd had enough, so got up, made a pot of coffee and started making shopping list. Last place I checked was Veg cupboard and guess what sprang out to greet me? Yes, it sprung out as I opened the door, and I must admit to taking two steps backward. This sort of thing ain't good for anybody in a state of raised awareness to start with!

Just shows how long it is since I had potatoes.

Sleep well you lucky, lucky people.


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You'll enjoy it - just suspend your belief systems?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, July 08, 2009 06:17:49

On Monday we were informed that Yolande (who is now apparently an executive for the chain of mini-marts) has insisted that everyone should pay 5p for a plastic bag in the Eastenders mini-mart, and that this is to help with global warning.

But it's a lie! She's actually in hospital and the charge for the bags is to pay her medical fees. The cat was let out of the bag when 3 million viewers saw her lying in a ward at Holby hospital last night.

Also seen last night - Always, the feminine towel manufacturers, have discovered they can turn their products into pin-ball machines! I saw it! On the telly! Last night! Just add two ball-bearings!


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The Synth Is Dead - Long Live the Synth

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, May 30, 2009 14:14:01

As an avid consumer of pop music for over 50 years, it would be easy for me to say that I think I’ve heard it all, but I’m glad I don’t because being wrong isn’t something I enjoy. Every now and again, an act comes along which is refreshingly different - yet familar enough to remind of pleasures past. If, like me you have been following the decidedly tongue-firmly-in-cheek series The Guardian, on Five, the catchy song In For the Kill is one of those damned tunes that you can’t get out of your head. Even after hearing it for the first time when the current series started, I found myself humming, then latterly singing, the first lines of the chorus.

At first I thought the singer was a youngish man doing an impressive counter-tenor, or falsetto if you prefer, a la Communards, but the voice is subtly different, and when I looked up the artists that comprise La Roux, and realised the singer was a girl, it started to make sense. The delicious difference here is that the androgenous sound that usually emanates from a male throat - is this time coming from a female one. Learning that Elly Jackson was bullied at school because of her ‘androgenous style’ ( completes the picture.

This strangely lovely voice is coupled with a lo-fi synthesizer sound, and an instantly recognizable story in the lyrics, to make one of the freshest performances for a long while. A little bit of Déja Vu here is the use of the 123 123 12 rythm pattern I talked about in another post: Anatomy of a Pop Classic at the start of May, which makes the song a hit with dance addicts. In fact the song may well end up as ‘classic’ as Duel did for the synth band Propaganda. So, another synth band, another hit - who said synth music was dead?

I won’t post the song here, but prompt you to have a listen to it on Spotify where there are two other mixes as well, including a rather good exclusive Spotify ‘live session’.

We can fight our desires;
Oooh but when we start making fires,
We get ever so hot.
Oooh whether we like it or not

They say we can love who we trust;
Oooh but what is love without lust?
Two hearts with accurate devotions;
Oooh but what are feelings without emotions?

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I hang my hopes out on the line;
Oooh will they be ready for you in time,
If you leave them out too long
Oooh they’ll be withered by the sun

Full stops and exclamation marks
Oooh my words stumble before I start
How far can you send emotions?
Oooh can this bridge cross the ocean?

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

Let’s go to wars to make peace
Let’s be cold to create heat
I hope in darkness we can see
And you’re not blinded by the light from me

Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Ooooooooooh

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand
And not let go of my hand

First published on

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Forlorn spindly plant actually flowers

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Tue, May 26, 2009 17:26:41

And I thought this was dead! Bought last year and faded as soon as in my possession, this clematis has 3 lovely blooms.

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NLP Practitioners - 21st Century Snake-Oil?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, May 23, 2009 13:38:53

I'm always very interested in techniques that promise better self-understanding and harmony, and naturally I'm not alone. Anyone attempting to better themselves certainly needs to open their minds, or will probably never reach 1st base, but needs to be very aware that in doing so, we leave ourselves slightly vulnerable to the attention of charlatans. The rise and rise of the internet has seen the reach of these parasites extend to every part of the globe. Occasionally though, I come across stuff that is very, very funny - because it is blatantly obvious in it's intent. I tried to demonstrate what I mean here on this blog, but unfortunately some of my articles are not shown as I would like. The article is published in full here.


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Yet More Girls

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, May 11, 2009 17:45:52

I've added more girls to the 'Remedies For Troubled Souls' and there's an embedded album here.


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Knitted Kitten?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, May 11, 2009 17:40:19

She dosn't look pleased with her Christmas present.


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Abuse - Fact or Fad?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, May 06, 2009 19:44:37

There was a loosely-structured but interesting debate on Radio 5 live last night on the subject of 'Misery' books. Apparently The World & his Wife are all attempting to milk the cash-cow of auto-biographies about child-abuse, sexual and physical, real or imagined. Several high-profile law-suits have come about as a result of some of the 'revelations' that apparently don't bear even the most minimal of examination.

It was mentioned on the programme that there were 'shelves and shelves' of this pap in bookshops, and I felt that was going a little too far. No, it's the truth. This afternoon whilst in Newcastle buying 'Comte' cheese, I called in at Waterstones and checked the statement. The 'Biographies' section of six shelves was mostly taken up with auto-biographies, (time to change the section notice) and most of these were of the 'misery' type described above. I hesitate to say it here, but the majority of Authors names were female.

It is an accepted fact now that adults suffering personality disorders due to abuse carried out when they were children, fare better after properly 'externalising' their experiences. For most of us, this will probably mean an series of open and honest discussions in a controlled environment, with a psychologist who has only one interest - yours. Sadly, more and more of us seem to think that either the problems get better quicker, the more people there are in their audience, or use the exposure of their problems to make money, or both.

With this in mind, I wonder how much of this stuff is true, or if true, really is abuse. Further I'm going to stick my head right up above the parapet here and say that the definition of abuse - as it is used to describe a criminal act, is far too general. Now I know that there are sub-classifications of this term, but even with the mildest form of the so-called abuse - sometimes referred to as 'inappropriate behaviour' - it is still a criminal act.

The Wiki definition of Child Abuse is: The physical or psychological/emotional mistreatment of children.

This definition is further qualified as: 'Most child abuse happens in a child's home, with a smaller amount occurring in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.

The clue to resolution of the above I believe is in the formal definition with the word 'mistreatment'. I understand this word (in the context of children) to mean treatment that will engender fear, treatment that will corrupt, treatment that causes physical pain or wounding, and the last catch-all: treatment that interrupts in any other way, the natural and proper growth of the child, both mentally and physically. Note that this covers maintenance of a proper loving relationship between the child, its parents and siblings. (note I'm not a Doctor - this is just my humble opinion)

One of the problems with 'externalising' is that it's a bit like taking a perception-altering drug. You really don't know what's going to happen until you do it. Moreover, like the effects of altered-perception, you may handle it badly, or in your stride. Either way - it will affect you, to a greater or lesser degree.

From personal experience I can say that stuff floods back into the foreground, things and events long-forgotten become both real and vividly fresh. The real up-side to this is that all of the memories can be re-evaluated with the benefit of maturity, and the perception of these events altered to reflect reality - shorn of the lies and mixed-emotions surrounding the original event. There is a down-side. The protagonists of the original acts are seen in a very different light by their 'victim'. This may lead to catastrophic breakdown of relationships within a family, and worse. Exposing such material wider than the immediate family leads to problems of libel etc., mentioned above.

On a more positive note, laying bare the experiences of the past also allows a re-living of the more pleasant events of your young life. (I hope you had some!) Again from experience I can say that it is as if a very heavy blanket has been removed - a blanket that had muffled and made insignificant some events in my life that had given me great joy in the past, and ones that I can now celebrate again.

Here's the 'sticky' bit. There were at least two experiences in my young life that I would have put in the latter, 'pleasant' category, but had the acts been brought to the attention of the authorities, would have been classed as abuse - of the sexual kind, and the protagonists would have been charged as appropriate under the law. No amount of protest by me, that I had neither been hurt, upset etc., would have made a blind bit of difference - as legally a child, I could not be deemed mature enough to know right from wrong.

Of the two relationships, one would have probably been classed as 'wholly inappropriate' behaviour, as the mature woman involved only took matters so far, her sexual overtures stopped, probably by her conscience, despite my all-too-apparent wishes that she continued.

Of the second relationship, this was very different. I was just a boy. I'd had no sexual experiences whatsoever, and yet became a willing partner of a sexually-active young woman.

I terminated this very illicit relationship because she had a boyfriend, who although much older than me, I liked very much, but I couldn't tolerate the way I felt whenever we chanced to meet. Nevertheless, this young woman and I remained firm friends for a very long while after.

I have to say here that I did not feel in the least abused - I felt loved and wanted, and I'm glad to this day that she unlocked my sexuality in such a loving and gentle way, irrespective of whether it was legal or not.


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Rare Moments Of Clarity

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Tue, May 05, 2009 12:49:40

There is a perception in my mind, that one of my weaknesses is that I fail to see what should be glaringly obvious. Another is to be a creature of habit, carrying out some tasks/operations without giving them a second thought. Now the latter is a very natural state to fall into, given the way in which we master a successful progression through some of the tasks in life - in other words the 4 stages of cognition, which you are probably aware of:

1. Unconscious Incompetence.

2. Conscious Incompetence.

3. Conscious Competence.

4. Unconscious Competence.

However, there is a (mostly ignored) caveat in the last stage, that some argue the model should show iteration in stage 4. i.e. the need for long-standing unconscious competence to be checked periodically against new standards/requirements - in other words on-going re-evaluation.

During the latter years of my career, one of my roles was mentoring other team members in the use of techniques to build brick-outhouse-safe software. This could be argued as the stage 5 in the cognition matrix above, and is sometimes given the awful name: 'Conscious competence of unconscious competence'. Put more descriptively , this is an ability to recognise immature cognition in others and help them to develop individual unconscious incompetence in the chosen complex tasks.

When I'm busy upstairs in front of the computer I'm using to script this, I occasionally break off, and take a leak, or go downstairs and make (yet) another cup of coffee. During these periods of mental activity I tend to use coffee pods, so each cup has to be made individually - I've discounted bringing a full coffee percolator upstairs - it would be a dangerous hazard given the nature of my workshop. I also don't like coffee that has been standing with heat applied constantly to it for any length of time.

Yesterday in Wilkinsons I came across a shelf containing Thermos Flasks, and it was as if someone had taken my head in both hands and said: 'Look at this!'

I chose a 1 litre stainless-steel model after some deliberation - reflecting that the last time I had held one of these contraptions in my hand was as a kid on a family outing. This morning I made a big jug of my favourite blend, warmed the inside of the flask with hot water, filled it with the coffee, and brought it upstairs. Since then I've drunk the lot. It was on the second cup that I pondered: 'Why the Hell, did I not think of this before?'

Where was my Coffee-Drinking Mentor? As Alan Heslop (a previous business partner) used to say: 'Nobody's perfect - not even Joe Brown!'


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Create Yourself a Beautiful Partner?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, April 25, 2009 20:11:14

This startlingly beautiful image is actually an average of 5 different girls faces I chose at random. (The clue is in the wavy perimeter stuff) Try creating your own perfect imaginary partner from a selection of images, or even upload some of your own to average at this quirky site:


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Benjamin & Dorcas sum it all up.

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, April 25, 2009 18:41:21

All the hen-folk are hatchin'
While their men-folk are scratchin'
To ensure the survival of each brand new arrival.

Each nest is twitterin',
They're all baby-sitterin',
Spring, Spring, Spring

(Photo taken in my back garden with Samsung SGH-J700 Cellphone this afternoon)


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Sometimes prose is not enough

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, April 20, 2009 14:30:14

Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there mister blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Ev'rybody smiles at you

(Jeff Lynne)

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Last Chance to be Cheerfull This Week!

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, April 18, 2009 18:58:27

I was rooting around on the Web this afternoon for some photos to go with the Sophie Ellis-Bextor tracks I have and I went to her personal website. I was also listening to 'Today The Suns on Us'. Most spookily, that's the very track that auto-plays when you enter her site. Access to the full video can be gained by registering. There is also a photo gallery with some stunning pictures of this hauntingly beautiful young woman with the dark, dark voice. I've thumb-nailed a couple of these below.


Trip The Light Fantastic

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That Was The Week I Wish Wasn't

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sat, April 18, 2009 12:23:23

Thankfully it's nearly over - the week that is. Despite trying to keep busy, in an effort to bring my sleeping patterns back into 'normal' time, all I've succeeded in doing is bringing on a weariness which couldn't be allayed other than by lying down and dozing - through the day that is. A pattern has emerged where I am now taking 2 naps in the afternoon, one after lunch and another around tea-time, going to bed 'as normal' at around midnight, but lying awake until around 3am, taking another dose of paracetamol and reading until about 4am and finally drifting off around 4:20 or so, only to wake again at around 7:30am. A look at the clock, I then moan and whinge a bit and try to dose 'til around 9:00am when I drag myself out of bed to start the whole weary process over again.

There has been a study in America of the neurological processes that go awry caused by Jet Lag. These also appertain to those amongst us who can't sleep properly and/or become partially/totally nocturnal. Using rats, (mental picture of rats flying1st class from Paris to New York!) the study concludes that we have two internal clocks, rather than one, and that when these become out-of-sync, that's when the problems start. It's early days yet, but the research team hope to develop drugs to overcome the worst affects of sleep disorder. I can't wait.

Thursday afternoon seen me lying with just my head sticking out of a great big superconducting electromagnet for nearly an hour, as each knee had all the Hydrogen protons jiggled around, in an effort to ascertain the extent of the calcification of ligaments in each. I watched the progress of the program on an LED display above my head, as the racket caused by the various stepping sequences of coils nearly deafened me, despite wearing ear defenders. Now another wait whilst the consultant ruminates over the results before calling me in to hear the worst.

It's back to Winter again. Grey skies, cold and generally uncomfortable. Writing this I've been racking my brains to think of anything good that's happened this week, but I can't, so I'll shut up.


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My Spring Break - Up In the Clouds Above Cuckoo-Land

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sun, April 12, 2009 15:16:29

After almost a whole lifetime of experiencing euphoria followed by a descent into despondency, one would imagine that in my 62nd year I would have by now been able to curb the most reckless thoughts and desires that I'm seized with.

Apparently not, because a couple of days ago, after having had one decent nights' sleep of just over 5 hours, I thought: “I know – although I can't go away for a couple of weeks, I'll attempt to fit in 2 days in-between hospital visits.” I considered some destinations reasonably close to home, and finally plumped for a visit to the North York Moors.

You may not be familiar with this area of the country, but it is incredibly pretty, and despite close proximity to 'Chemical City' (Middlesborough aka 'The Armpit Of The Universe'), is very peaceful and not too well known that it's crowded with visitors – at least not at this time of year. It is also an area I spent some considerable time in so long ago as a teenager, with some very strong and happy memories.

I'm still a member of the YHA, so first of all considered staying at the YHA hostel in Osmotherly. This lovely little village is on the North-West margin of the moors, with easy access from the A19 – and most importantly – it has 3 pubs! Why the YHA? - because it's cheap – these days I try to conserve cash, saving it for more 'essential' items – such as electronics hardware for example.

Now although the YHA hostels are cheap to stay in, they do lack an important aspect – privacy, and whilst I have no problem sharing a dorm with other males – I have to say that with my restlessness accompanied by groans and moans when turning over in bed, my stay might not be as popular as I would like for my dorm-mates. So with privacy in mind I looked at camping – there is a campsite, set in a pleasant spot only a half-mile or so from Osmotherly, so I sent them an email and they quoted me £12.50 per night for the 2 nights stay. This is good, so I spent a large part of the afternoon planning my itinerary.

The next day brought a sideways shift back to reality. After spending a large part of the night tossing and turning, I eventually decided to get up – that was 3:30 am, and naturally the rest of the day was something of a hodge-podge of activity and weariness. The thought of spending a comfortable night in a sleeping-bag , with only an air bed between me and the hard ground, is so far from reality as to be hilariously funny, and as my father would have said: 'You just don't think, do you?”

As my life has gone on, when I have had more time to do some introspection, his words, that were a hurtful barb at the time, together with what I now know, have demonstrated to me, that to him, I must have appeared to behave like an alien being – but one not placed on Earth to conquer, but simply to self-destruct. The fact is that whilst in this state-of-mind, normal reality is suspended, and my behaviour, although making perfect sense to me at the time, may appear to be almost insane to anyone else. The urge to act there and then is very powerful, and in the past has created a trail of destruction. Nowadays, despite the moods, there is a little voice that says to me: “wait until tomorrow before you do this”, and insistingly the next day says the same thing, so that the worst excesses are avoided as the euphoria subsides – sometimes.

No I haven't given up the idea, I have a secluded back-garden and I'm tempted to try a night in the tent there, just to see how I cope – with the respite of the kitchen door a matter of a few yards away, what can go wrong? Well, that's todays thoughts anyway – perhaps tomorrow it may appear differently?

I hope everyone is having a happy Easter break.


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My Plans For Spring - Aborted, Once again

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, April 09, 2009 16:55:09

I've received two letters from the hospital, one of which confirms an MRI scan of both knees on Thursday 16th April, the other from the Consultant saying that he will be seeing me again shortly after the results of the scans are known. This means that yet another Spring is to be spent unable to make any firm arrangements for visits, because of the uncertainty of Hospital appointments. For this I apologise to everyone who has been expecting to see me this Spring. I will post any further developments here.


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Latest kneews from Wounded Knee

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, April 02, 2009 11:13:28

I've just returned from the hospital after seeing Mr. Asaad for a 'review' of my knee problems after his treatment of the left knee last month. Mr. Asaad was clearly disappointed to learn that the beneficial effects of the cortisone injection in the left knee has only lasted for the following day. So, before he proceeds further, he wishes to arrange an MRI scan of both knees - for which I'll have to wait another 2 weeks. (at least)

I'm getting an impression here - in which the words 'grasping' and 'straws' figure largely.

Ah well! The sun is shining this morning, and it's a lovely day - if a little cool. The blossom will be appearing on my Cherry trees shortly and it's nearly time to break out the grass cutter from it's 4 month hibernation, and also get stuck into sawing bits of wood and stuff.


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No Bowel Cancer Here Thankyou!

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, April 01, 2009 12:33:28

This letter from The Bowel Cancer Screening Unit arrived this morning, and says that my recent Occult Blood tests are 'normal', and that I'll be invited to take part in another test in 2 years time. Hats off to this new unit for their alacrity - I only posted the test samples on Saturday. It's good news - I wasn't relishing the prospect of another colonoscopy - I still wince thinking about the last one 5 years ago!


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NHS FOB test rollout catches me up

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, March 12, 2009 17:27:54

"Mr. Brown, we would like you to wipe your bum on a piece of paper and post it to us."

The NHS FOB (Faecal Occult Blood) test rollout in the North-east started in February 2008, and now it's my turn. Today I received a letter explaining the test and it's implications. There's a website which explains everything, but you basically do what I've put at the top of this missive.

It's encouraging that the NHS is taking on more proactive practises - especially where there's a possibility of cancer.


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More Knee Stuff

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, March 05, 2009 16:31:57

Any more of this, and it will probably be worth creating a special domain for knees. (unfortunately & are already taken)

I've received a copy of Mr. Asaads letter to my GP (given below - click on the page to view readable scan)

Despite my unfailing optimism, and the time spent by myself as well as that of the consultant, the left knee is no better. I had complete relief until very late on thursday evening (1 whole day), and back to 'normal' on Friday, with both knees just sore in the morning, and progressively worsening as the day proceeded, so that by 6:00pm I was back to dragging myself upstairs by my arms, because putting any strain on the left knee caused unbearable pain.

In recent conversation regarding the problem, a suggestion to put a lift into the second stairwell of my house - meant as a joke - is becoming a strong possibility.

For those unfamiliar with the layout of my house, when I took up residency it had a completely self-contained granny-flat, including a separate stairwell. I ripped out these stairs (along with the kitchen, shower and extra loo) and created more rooms, the lower of which is used as a small workshop. I will lose this space if I install a stair-lift there.


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Wii Bad for your Knee?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, March 05, 2009 16:27:26

Have you seen this?

Now I don't have a Wii - but do have bad knees, so it seems a bit like smoking, there are those of us (not me) who have developed Lung Cancer even though they never smoked, whilst others (including me) have a completely clear set of lungs - to date, anyway - and smoked for a large part of their life . It dosn't seem fair that I've been deprived of all of the fun and enjoyment that Wii can bring, yet I'm still afflicted with knee problems. Mind you, I'm an inveterate shaker of Tuna tins - which looks a bit like using the Wii, so maybe that's the cause.

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Is Northumbria Water taking The Piss?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, March 04, 2009 17:38:23

'Well, er.. yes' I hear you say, "and hopefully the other stuff as well."

My water bill dropped onto the mat yesterday, and it's the same story every year - an eye-watering increase far above inflation. This year it's £455.63. Now that's £8.75 per week, (according to my 57p calculator) and I really can't see any justification for it - especially as 'The Newcastle & Gateshead Water Co. Ltd.' used to be owned by Newcastle and Gateshead ratepayers and was mugged from us by Thatcher and her cronies.

This is another 'utility' where it's CEO - (a euphemism for Parasite) pays himself enormous sums of money for doing absolutely SFA., and will retire on a Kings Ransom - they really are taking the piss.


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Breaking News From Broken Knee

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, February 25, 2009 19:25:47

From our not-so-badly-limping reporter:

It's about an hour now, since I left the consultants' room at NTGH. There's bad news and er... good news. First the bad news - my spinal condition is now manifesting itself (as per prognosis) in other parts of my body. This time it's the ligaments of the knees - particularly the one at the very front of the knee, connected to the main front muscle of the thigh. Although the pain and disability is worse in the left, perversely, the amount of ligament converted to bone is worse on the right - which I could plainly see on the X-rays shown to me. The good news: The knees themselves are 'beautiful' according to Mr. Asaad - well I'll have to take his word for it, but it's a great relief to know that there will be no need for replacements, not yet anyway.

Mr. Asaad gave me an injection of cortisone and local anaesthetic into the offending ligament, and as a result, I was able to walk up my stairs without having to drag myself up by the arms. The right one, although sensitive has been left as-is, and I'm seeing the consultant again in 4 weeks for review.

Although the news is not all good - and confirms my own suspicions, I came away from the Hospital with a general sense of relief.


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What's in a name?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, February 19, 2009 11:52:51

I've been asked (again) about the moniker I use on this site, so I'm putting the story up here to satisfy the curious - some of my friends will know the story already so I beg their indulgence.

A long, long, time ago, in a Galaxy... Sorry! It was a while ago - back in the early eighties, and at the time I had a close relationship with Jim Golightly & Alan Heslop of HCCS Associates. (in Low Fell, Gateshead) We got to market first with a Forth Compiler for the BBC Microcomputer, and this evidently annoyed Acorn, but more so, the high chief of Forth at the time, a guy called Richard de Grandis Harrison - don't laugh, that really was his name. Well, to cut a long story short, Mr. De Grandis Harrison accused me of copying his implementation of Forth on the Acorn Atom, and implementing same on the BBC Machine. Now this was simply untrue, I'd used the standard 1979 Fig Forth for the 6502 and whilst it was true I'd used an Acorn Atom, this was because I wanted to put the Forth at 0x8000 in the Acorn Atom memory-map, which happened to be the sideways ROM space in the BBC Machine. Moreover, I'd used my own assembler to implement the Forth.

Well, copyright lawyers were consulted and the whole thing eventually went quiet - except for Alan Heslops' sense-of-humour. One Friday afternoon in the pub, after a few drinks, Al, before buying the next round came out with: 'Well, what does El Grande de Joe Brown de Forth want to drink?" - at which everyone broke up in howls of laughter. The joke lasted for weeks, and thereafter, Al used to mark any correspondence he wanted me to look at with 'JWBD4'.

So now you know. A lot of time has passed, but I still regard Jim & Alan as two of the best guys I've ever known, and remember both of them with fondness.


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Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones...

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, February 19, 2009 11:21:12

On Jan 16, I posted WRT a visit to the Doc's, about my knees. (post #22) Today I received an appointment notification for an Orthopaedic Consultant on the 25th Feb. (next week) This must be something of a record - just over a month wait - and a very welcome improvement in waiting times at my local hospital. Mind you, they never were as bad as some other parts of the country. I know to my cost how long things can take in the South-east, even for a Doctors' visit. I remember my landlady in Sunbury having to wait 2 weeks to see her GP - I was quite shocked.

I'll let everyone know how things go next week.


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So you think it's cold here?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, February 12, 2009 12:29:44

The Cremation of Sam McGee

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

by Robert W. Service

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Knee body knows the trouble I've had...

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, January 16, 2009 20:43:39

Two more 'serial failures'. For quite a number of years, I've had periodic problems with my knees - particularly the left. This offending article was giving me problems way back when I had my big toe joints replaced. Well is seems to be 'crunch' time, (groan) both are bad - the left is very bad, so much so that on occaisions in the last 3 weeks I've been using a stick. Getting up/down stairs is a particular problem, and also attempting to kneel to access low cupboards or the fridge.

I saw the Doc. this week and he sent me for X-rays and wrote to a consultant at North Tyneside General Hospital. Smiling, he had first of all asked me if I wanted to visit the Freeman (in Newcastle) rather than NTGH. (A quiet reference to recent problems - see post#0) He also printed off a rather gruesome set of web pages demonstrating current practise in full knee replacement - I can't wait!!

More on this when I have further news.


P.S. On the subject of surgery:

Five Surgeons were in a pub swapping experiences.

The first, a Manchester surgeon, says: 'I like to see accountants on my
operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is

The second, a Liverpool surgeon, responds: 'Yeah, but you should try
electricians! Everything inside them is colour coded.'

The third, a Newcastle surgeon, says: 'No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'

The fourth, a Birmingham surgeon, chimes in: 'You know, I like
construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few
parts left over.

But the fifth, a London surgeon, shuts them all up when he observed:
You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no
guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the
arse are interchangeable.

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.....Knowing me?

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, January 15, 2009 20:37:33

I took the trouble to answer 120 questions on an online dating site today. It was one of those 'limited multiple-choice' affairs in which you are not really allowed to express exactly the answer you feel fits yourself. I'll be honest - the resulting analysis is uncomfortably close to the truth. (no NOT in a Derren Brown way!)

Well here it is - warts and all. What do you think?




Main character features:

Dynamic, uneasy, desires to surpass others.

Positive features:

Ambitious, determined, dislikes laziness.

Acceptable disadvantages:

Sensitive to provocation, inefficient, deceptive, impatient, irritable.

General Characteristics

Social (‘How do they act’ i.e. Attitude towards others in social situations)

Performers are self-confident and unstoppable go-getters – they know what they want and remain active even when others are passive. They do not hide their feelings – indeed, they are proud of them and their mood is reflected in both their words and actions. They certainly do not shy away from love – getting it both physically and mentally as required, even if only in the short term. They know what they need from a partner and they dictate, rather than adjust. They are optimistic and will attempt to solve a problem however complicated it might appear.

The Performer gains satisfaction from their effect on people – it is natural for them to be the centre of attention, and they will defend this position from competition. They do not worry about obviously manipulating those around them to gain dominance. It is more normal for them to criticize than to compliment.

They are never satisfied with ‘no’, or the fact that someone does not like them or their close friends. Hostility from those around will stimulate, rather than depress, and if you show a Performer you do not like them, they will look for the reasons and take measures to change this. If you show disrespect you will find an irreconcilable enemy. Usually they have an innate sense of good taste and will dress well and expect the same of work colleagues and their partner. The Performer is extremely communicative; making contacts and winning sympathy is very easy for them. They are capable of social manipulation, such as playing a ‘cute little lamb’ role, if it will benefit them.

(BTW The test is the 'SoulMate' one on

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The Spoons, The Boxes & The Rubbish Bin

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 15:50:55

45 years ago, I was working in Haydock, Lancashire as a steel erector on a petroleum storage plant. I was staying in digs, and it was customary (and cheaper) at the time to share a bedroom with another workmate. Now my room partner was a pleasant man, probably in his early fifties, who snored a lot. One night the snoring stopped. I saw him get out of his bed, cross the room, open the wardrobe door, then to my horror, proceed to pee into the wardrobe! He then got back into bed, and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I was glad to get back to the site, so that I could change into my ‘Tuf’ boots and dry out the ones that had been in the bottom of the wardrobe. That evening, over a drink in the pub, I quietly told him what I’d witnessed the night before – he apologised profusely, and presumably in mitigation, admitted that he ‘sometimes did silly things’ after drinking too much.

Now fast forward to the present.

I had to go out a few weeks ago and buy some more teaspoons. I can’t properly explain where their predecessors had gone, but did notice on at least one occasion, that an empty yoghurt pot had mysteriously installed itself in amongst the dirty dishes waiting to be washed. Then there was the guitar-stand boxes. I bought two more guitar stands recently, and after picking up and opening one end of the box, took out the stand, put the empty box on a chair and assembled the stand. I then cut along the box bottom and opened it only to find the box empty, and the other end inexplicably open!

I do quite a bit of engineering in my garage which involves getting my hands covered in mucky oil. I needed a pee, and made up my mind to have that, and then make a cup of coffee. I’m meticulous about touching myself with dirty hands, so went into the kitchen and washed off the muck at the kitchen sink, turned around and the next thing I noticed was that I was half-way through having a pee in the kitchen rubbish bin. At that point, I found it difficult to cut off the stream, I was laughing so much.

Can I explain the above behaviour? Well, I have been doing a project which I have found to be intellectually challenging, and I do take mind-altering medication that changes my perception.

I wonder what your excuse will be?


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