28 November 2006

Posh End Of The Street

I was once told that I live at the "Posh End" of the street. Seeing as a few weeks before I was first told this I had stopped a fight between a drug addict and the pusher who lived a few doors away from me, a fight that had started across the road from me at about 8:30 in the morning, I guffawed mightily, then wondered what it was like down the other end.

Actually it's not that bad down this end, not now the local pub has really convinced the local alkies that "They. Are. No. Longer. Welcome." The people who live round here seem to be mostly quiet, nice, ordinary people. The drug pusher, he was an aberration, and more than a little thick. He had chosen possibly the most public place to push his drugs from and the half the buildings that did over look it were public ones including the best hotel here in Fenlandshire.

It must have been a dream for the police to stake it out.

A few months after I had stopped that fight, I came home one evening to find a police man standing on the road near my house moving on loiterers and stopping people passing. I explained that I lived "just there" so he let me through. I rushed upstairs, got myself a cup of tea and watched as the police went to and thro from the pusher's house to their cars carrying bags of evidence and with huge grins on their faces.

The pusher didn't come back, his house was used as digs for ambulance crews for a while before it was finally sold. It's been sold and sold again since.

Yep I live at the posh end of road at least I don't live next to a brothel like a boss of mine did. What got her was she never realised that it was a house of ill repute until it was raided by the police. Oh how we laughed.

27 November 2006

Does Anyone Know Any Poems About Conservation Officers?

Cos I got a hit from someone who needs to know.

"poem describing what a conservation officers does"

Although I did recently invest in some English Poetry I don't know of any such poems. But being the helpful sort I thought I could write some so channelling the spirit of McGonagall I did this

I am a conservation officer,
I like to save the bees,
They are very important,
as they fertilise the trees

Then I realised that the searcher was probably thinking of the buildings sort of conservation officer but I can't think of anything that rhymes with cornice at the mo.

26 November 2006

Techno Linkage - Don't Believe The Hype

Well the first and only one so far has a technological slant to it, the others may be of "oooh look, kittens" variety.

Don't buy a Zune - That's the advice from the Chicago Sun-Times (via Bad Astronomy), of course it isn't available in Britain yet but that hasn't stopped it being news here too. Mostly on how much it sucks and when it comes to suckage apparently the Zune has that in spades. I have an iPod Nano which I'm very happy with, it's intuitive to use, I like the look of iTunes, especially now that 7 is out and the iTunes store is bearable.

Maybe not kittens but the CS Monitor had an interesting take on Borat's origins.

24 November 2006


This film shows the distribution of Cesium 137 bearing clouds over Europe in the days after of the Chernobyl disaster. I was living in the states at the time, in the senior year at high school. I had class mates who had relatives in Ukraine. This being the bad old days before the perestroika, fall of the soviet communist regime and the breakup of the soviet union so their families were desperately trying to contact their relatives only to find when they finally got through that their families that they didn't know anything about the explosion.

One of the subjects I was doing at high school was physics, the teacher immediately changed tack so that we could study the causes of the explosion and rigged up the school's Geiger counter so that it was measuring the radiation of the air. Of course being so far away there was no perceptible change over the time that he monitored it. It was quite a scary time mostly because of the lack of information coming out of the Soviet Union, not knowing what was true and what wasn't or whether there were more reactors ready to go off like this.

Nuclear power is back in news as it is being touted as the only way to provide all our power requirements if we are to reduce carbon emissions. But it is so expensive, has a huge footprint in terms of time and when it goes wrong it contaminates land for centuries. Maybe the electric windmills and other renewable sources can't replace oil, gas and coal yet so we do need to have a nuclear power station building programme but we will need to be so so cautious in order to avoid future 3 Mile Islands, Windscales and Chernobyls.

23 November 2006

Sons Of Fun

Sons Of Fun, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Is it only my family (well my mum) who refers the army as 'the sons of fun'?

22 November 2006


Ady, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Who helped organise the day and wanted his picture blogged


Soggi, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

It rained all afternoon i am soaked, cold, tired and ready to go home.


Karts, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

These are great


Gothicly, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

I am team building in the cold

21 November 2006

I Bought Some Books Today

Tis true, I succumbed, I am supposed to be thinning out the number of books I have, as I have "too many."

"Too many" is a concept that I don't really understand, how can anyone have too many books? Surely it is not possible, even the most trashy sci fi, romance, police actioner or spy novel will bring delight to someone. Books contain knowledge and imagination, easily portable by the smallest toddler, they do not need electricity to work, notes can be made in the margin and a well made book can be a thing of beauty in itself. Nope, the concept of too many books does not make sense. I will admit that the concepts of "Not Enough Space" and "And You've Said Yourself, That Book's Rubbish" do have some validity so I have been slowly weeding out some of books I've no intention of reading again. In the registry we have a permanent book sale and Di the lady who runs it, always welcomes contributions.

Today she did a swap of books that hadn't shifted with another section who have a permanent book sale, because my office are her best customers she gave us first dibs. I've got poetry, 1970's cook book, what could be rubbish chick lit or something better and two murder stories, they may be fun.

I don't normally do poetry but for 50p how could I resist "The Penguin Book Of English Verse", it's got examples of the work of almost every major English language poet of the last 450 years. No McGonagall though, so it isn't perfect.

I found this by Sir Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586) So beautiful.

"Just Exchange"

My true love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for another geven:
I holde his deare, and mine he cannot misse,
There never was a better bargaine driven.
My true love hath my heart and I have his.
My heart in me keepes him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and sences guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his owne,
I cherish his because in me it bides.
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

19 November 2006

Eggshell Soup

I love seafood, there is not a fish, cephalopod, mollusc or marine crustacean that I haven't liked when presented on a plate with some buttered brown bread and a wedge of lemon. From cod, splendidly battered with chips, mushy peas, wedge of lemon, cup of tea and buttered brown bread to make chip butties with to oysters on ice with little dishes of chopped shallots, Tabasco sauce, wedge of lemon, glass of champagne and buttered brown bread. I've never had a complaint. I even have a special knife in my knife draw for shucking oysters on the off chance that Waitrose ever have them reduced.

But now, I have no one to eat oysters with. My nearest and dearest don't like them. Simon doesn't really do seafood and went pale when I once asked him if he like oysters. My mother doesn't like shellfish nor do my brother or sister in law. My niece might do but she will only be six tomorrow and would probably want them with chips.

I suppose it goes to show that people's taste in food are not hereditary I don't know where I got my liking for seafood from because I seem to be the only one in the family.

Where I am not the only one is celery. Now with celery both my brother and I like the stuff, but my father didn't like it and my mother loathes the stuff so much she was gobsmacked when she saw me happily chewing on a stick or six at my father's staff and families Christmas party when I was little. She tells me that she had thought that her dislike of celery was so strong that somehow I would have inherited it. She said that it taught her that children were not just chips off the old block and we did have our own quirks and tastes. That or I was a changeling, so she made me eggshell soup* until I pointed out that it wouldn't work as I had already learnt to talk.

*Eggshell Soup

I road tested this story on Simon and he had never heard of eggshell soup, so I googled on it and there seems to be no reference to the folklore on the net either. Now I'm sure I haven't made it up I even have images in my mind of illustrated pages of the story, so I'll recount the story to you, I was told it is Scottish folklore.

If you suspect that the fairies have swapped your baby for one of theirs, to prove your suspicion you must make eggshell soup making sure the baby is in the room watching you. The fairy bairn will be so curious about this that it will forget human babies can't talk and ask "Why are you making eggshell soup mother?" What you have then got to do is to stick the red hot poker, that you had prepared earlier just in case, down its throat. Miraculously the changeling will disappear and the human baby will reappear in the cot unharmed.

18 November 2006

Capt Simon

Capt Simon, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Torchwood - Fenlandshire Branch.

17 November 2006

Sodding Fire Alarm

The building's fire alarm went off at "far too early" o'clock this morning, waking me up. So, after checking that the front door wasn't warm to the touch, I padded out into the hallway in warm cardie and jimjams (I know how to dress up in an emergency) The fire alarm control panel was flashing away but only the fault warning lights were flickering, the fire zone lights were resolutely dark. So I reset the alarm, the flashing stopped. The noise didn't. I reset it again and again. I tried the mute sound button, nada. I held it down and counted to ten hippopotamus I was still being deafened by the shrieking.

So I gave up to retreat to the living room and snooze. But couldn't and it has totally thrown my system out too add to that a largish lunch and a couple of glasses of wine all in celebration of a job well done, I was about ready for my beddy byes by the time Si got here from his big adventure in Milton Keynes.

I don't know what we are going to do this weekend, well I do know some of it, it's my niece's 6th birthday on Monday, I need to get her a light postable present, the card has gone ahead so that will definitely arrive on time but this week I've just not had a chance to get to the shops to look for a suitable present.

I was thinking about getting her a cheap and user friendly digital camera for her Christmas present, but I was wondering is 6 a bit too young to be able to manage a digital camera? Does anyone with experience of youngsters have views about this. She's an intelligent child but will she have the manual dexterity and patience?


Gothically, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Now That's What I Call Real Classy

Suffolk man tries to sue his former partner - BBC News

Seems very mean spirited and arseholey to me, I'm amazed any solicitor would take this on.

The Royal Mail have a useful address and post code finder, you are limited in the number of searches you can do per day but for most peeps that isn't going to matter.

14 November 2006

The Saint

The Saint, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Someone at work went round drawing little pictures of The Saint, all in different poses, on white boards a wee while ago. We don't know who did it, one of the cleaners? Or someone bored on the duty shift? Nothing was proven but then it wasn't deeply investigated after all was whimsical not destructive. Most of the stick figures have gone now but this one remains.

13 November 2006

You Can't Say That About Valerie Singleton!

Joy of Joys
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is back for its all too brief 6 week run up to Christmas. After what feels like several decades of "Quote Unquote", the funny stuff has returned to Radio4 on Monday nights at 6:30pm.

'Clue as its devotees have been known to call it, is probably very familiar to most of the Brits reading this but for the colonial types the basic premise is:- four comedians being given silly things to do by Humphrey Lyttleton, an octogenarian jazz trumpeter, comedian and Magpie's stalkee. Starring the best and cheapest (this is a programme for the BBC after all) that British Comedy can cough up, it's silly, stupidly funny, very often a bit norty and has Jeremy Hardy not singing.

Whereas "Quote Unquote" is unfunny in such an exquisitely awful way, smug, lame, scripted, and just shite. Nigel Rees must have some very interesting negatives to have been able to keep the programme away from the scheduler's axe all this time.

Quick Poll?
I'm going to go for fish and chips for dinner tonight I think, I really fancy some chip butties. Chip Butties are the nectar of the gods in my humble opinion. Simon is not so convinced and my Dad thought that they were a dreadful northern invention. I think I'm right, but what does everyone else think?

11 November 2006

American Election Roundup.

George W Bush is finally a Lame Duck

Round up of some American bloggers views on Tuesday's elections.

The Lazy Iguana said good bye and good riddance to Kathrene Harris

Candace was smug

Pop's was poorly

The Bad Astronomer was pleased for science as was the New Scientist Blog

Herman got upset*

*This is satire.

10 November 2006

Now We Are 60

Now We Are 60, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Levelled tonight!

Just Stuff

Let me delight you with

A joke that I saw and put on the other blog Rabbits

Saturnian Noises from the University of Iowa via Bad Astronomy Blog

The place where I work has always had a flaky power supply, the mains electricity seems to go with remarkable frequency considering that it shouldn't happen at all, and the emergency generators aren't beefy enough to take the strain. They've been upgraded, supplemented and the site's works services manager is rumoured to have sacrificed voles to the great gods of diesel power generators so that they will work when called upon.

I think he may be graduating up to rabbits.

Something blew on Tuesday evening, the building that houses most of the sites servers has been on/off/on/off/on emergency power ever since. We had to do a "power down" for this evening so that more work could be done over the weekend. The power was going off at 4pm the servers were going to be taken off line from 3.20pm, so our IT people were switching off our computers from 2pm and forbidding them being turned back on.


I took the afternoon off, I did my deep cleanse of my in tray and desk draws last time the network went down 6 months ago.

So I got to see the Christmas lights in daylight for the first time. When I say for the first time I mean this year, the same strings of lights have been hung up ever since I moved here.

It's Still Early November!

It's not impressive.

08 November 2006

Metablogging again.

The thing about blogging is sometimes I only have a pertinent sentence or two about one subject then some waffle then another short paragraph of interest on another subject and so on. Probably not enough for a worthwhile post alone but together all the interesting sentences together I would get a bitty, but hopefully worthwhile post. But the feeling that blog posts must have a coherent theme is a difficult one to overthrow. I would love to be able to jump from subject to subject like Siobhan does, without feeling self conscious.

Writing prose of any form doesn't come easily to me, I tend to trip up over the words. The seamless bit of prose I had conjured up in my head turns into poo as my fingers type it out. I have this problem at work as well, I agonise over writing letters to customers and contractors how words are used is very important in what I do, so care has to be taken by everyone. But again I can't turn the carefully crafted phrase I thought about in my head into the writing on the the page because the words seem to run away from me when I start committing them to hard disc.

My old boss would stare at the screen with a pensive gaze for about 5 minutes as she thought about the letter at hand, then her fingers would be a blur as she tapped out her thoughts on the page, apart from perhaps the tweaking of a comma or the double check of the specific meaning of a word it would all be there as she wanted it, making sense, in not much more than half an hour. Me, I know what to say, I understand the problem but I can't get it onto paper without a struggle.

And I blog.

For fun.

I must be an idiot.

05 November 2006

I'm At Risk Of Developing A YouTube Habit

At the risk of sounding like the idiot teenager from the fast show

Isn't YouTube Brilliant, it hosts loads and loads of content from original stuff like the smiley bit above to the wee films I took on holiday recently to copyright infringement stuff like the fast show bit to the bits the beeb is actually pushing like the BBC2 idents in the last post.

Of course as most of its users seem to be semi literate 14 year boys the comments on most of the films are shite. I've decided that I'm all for free speech but only if the person taking advantage of this right, can prove to the satisfaction of an independent authority they can write in their native language without resorting to text speak.

Apart from them idiots, YouTube rocks

I love it.

BBC2 Idents We Have Loved

Not likely to be pulled this one seeing at the bbc2 website is plugging it.

Set to moving music allegedly may make you weep, unless you are a hard hearted sod like what I am.

Other cool things I have seen today:- Waitrose have started selling eggs in boxes of 4s which is rather cool, I don't eat eggs enough to justify a six box

Er that's it.

04 November 2006

Alcoholic Marinade

We are having fajitas tonight, I've just made a marinade for the chicken strips. Rum, honey, lime juice, chilli flakes, coriander cumin and of course garlic, the whole lot is now in the fridge I'll give it an hour or so before cooking it. I would have made a salsa tonight to go it the fajitas but I forgot to get the tomatoes and Si wasn't feeling brilliant so we finished the shopping fastish in order to get home.

He is looking a lot perkier now, working out how to use Aperture 1.5 on his laptop, So hopefully he'll be strong enough to pour us both a drink come yardarm time, I've still got some of the rum left or there is some Pimms from summer and there is coke and lemonade cooling in the fridge. Si has a very sensible attitude to drink; he is most abstemious compared to past boyfriends and I like that. I've reached the point where the night before doesn't justify the hangover the next day. Thankfully I think I've found my groove where I can have a sociable drink or five but not get lairy or maudlin Si not being a huge drinker is nice because he encourages me in this sensibleness.

Having said all that though - Charm and Poise has the perfect book in her vintage collection.

Testing the phone

So far I've tried out the radio on the phone that was fun listening to the presenter panic as the Morse code went on and on and on. After wailing and gnashing of teeth from me Si finally got the phone's email to work. I've tested sending to flickr, to the blog via flickr and now to the blog directly using the email address, then that will be the last of the tests hopefully.

03 November 2006


Originally uploaded by Jane Goth.
I am testing mobile photo blogging

01 November 2006

New Toy

New Toy


Missed It

At some point yesterday evening, the 30,000th visitor arrived on my blog, had a look around then buggered off. Well that's what I think they did, I don't know as I missed it completely and my stat counters only cover the details of the last 100 visitors and by the time I looked the counter was at 30,103. I will never know. But still a big thanks to you all for the support you have given me over the last 17 months, in the words of the immortal Goons: "I will wear it always!"