Friday, August 29, 2003

Sage herb 'can boost memory'

Sage herb 'can boost memory' Right, sage and onion for dinner I think. Reports show sage is a great natural memory booster and may even be good for Alzheimer's patients. we have a sage bush growing in the garden and I must confess to having no idea how to use it. So maybe I will resort to eating handfuls of the leaves each day as a memory tonic.

FRIDAY!

Thank God (or whoever/whatever you believe in) that it is Friday. This week has really dragged, I have got loads on at work but it seems that everyone else is away so you cannot get that much done. I was looking forward to a quiet evening, but there are so many tedious chores that I have put off all week, so a couple of hours of frantic cleaning, ironing, sanding etc should be enough before I can get the lager out!

Also, finally feels like summer has left us, last couple of days have been rainy and now the leaves are dropping. We have had a better summer than for years, but I have realised that it doesn't really matter that much, unless you are a student. Most of us are at work for most of the summer and miss the few rays that shine down. If you are a student reading this – make the most of your long breaks – very few of you will see them again!!

North east Blog

Just come a cross this blog from a guy in Bradford. Good to finally find another British blogger. Most of the ones on Blogspot seem to be from America. Nothing against that, but good to have a UK perspective. Also interested in the blog as the guy is obviously renovating his bathroom. As we are trying to decide what to do with our house at the moment I am ravenously consuming DIY stories! East Coast Thoughts

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Bones on the tip

I heard about this story yesterday that has an interest for me as I am originally from the northwest. A cemetery in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester was dug up as part of the development of a car park and the bodies reburied at a cemetery in Bury. Unfortunately, the contractors missed some bones that have turned up on a land fill site. I think it is pretty shoddy on the part of the contractors. They might not think it is a big deal - but if members of their own family were buried there i am sure it would be a different matter.

Not much else to report - very busy at work and very envious that everyone is coming back from their holidays. We till haven't had a break yet, with buying the house this year. We have got a few days in Paris in September and I am really looking forward to that though. I have been to Paris quite a few times and don't feel the pressure to look at a 101 tourist sites, so I am looking forward to a relaxing time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Sanders elbow

No surprise that DIY retailers are predicting record profits. me and my partner were at B&Q a couple of times this weekend buying tools etc for DIY. We sanded and painted window frames, filled floorboards, tried paint colours (actually my partner did most of it!). I woke up this morning with tennis elbow from all the chiselling, sanding and hammering. It is satisfying to see the improvements and know you have achieved them yourself, but it is tiring and time consuming. I think people are more ambitious about what they can achieve themselves rather than calling then professionals in, but it is a tricky balance between enjoying your free time and getting the work done. I think we will have a few more hours of work to do this week before the jobs are complete. Then it is onto planning the next batch of jobs!

Friday, August 22, 2003

Found a great site for whiling away friday afternoons! Boners

Fun site to vote in the Governor of California - Am I Governor or not - I scored the combined team of david Hasselhof and Gary Coleman as 9/10. Who would you vote in?

Thank god it is Friday, it seems like it has been a very long week. The roads were half empty today; I assume everyone is making a long weekend of it. Great for them, but not for us poor suckers left at work. My partner is off today, no doubt lounging around with a leisurely breakfast before having a relaxing day. Good for him really, I am just jealous!

I watched a fascinating programme last night about Alice in Wonderland and some of the history behind the author, Alice and the way the book has quickly become a classic and commands such high prices at auction. Brief overview of Carroll at the BBC

Also read an article in the Guardian online section yesterday about blogging. The premise was that it represented uncensored amateur journalism form a clique of writers who just link to themselves. I appreciate that the Guardian is one of the few mainstream papers that even comments on blogs let alone publishes regular articles about them. I feel that blogs are a way of documenting some of your reactions to current events, they provide an outlet for a view that may not be offered in the mainstream media and they allow you to point people towards information that they may not otherwise come across.

I suppose they are really a move towards a personal newspaper/journal. I find it interesting to look at my archives to see how a particular event affected me or remind me of things I intended to do. As for whether anyone reads them let me know at silver.boy(AT)virgin.net

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Sleep and the horrors of reality TV

Watched a programme on BBC2 last night about sleeping, snoring and other sleep disorders. I was particularly interested in this as I worry that my snoring may interfere with my health. Unfortunately the programme Sleeping Together wasn't what I would have expected from the BBC. Pretty low grade script with very little scientific or medical analysis of any of the symptoms that were worrying people. Watching a programme like this may reassure people that they are not alone, but it could have gone a lot further to offer solutions. I fear that the whole reality TV thing is now extending to documentaries.

Speaking of reality TV I am concerned that more and more airtime is taken up with this rubbish. The new programme "Masters and Servants" on Channel 4 looks horrendous and there is anew one coming on E4 "Lap dance Island". I find it the lowest common denominator on TV and have no truck with the argument that the public want this. It may pull high viewing figures, but not all programming should be on the basis of audience share. What is wrong with more documentary, science, history, nature etc programmes that may not pull in 10 million, but provide educational entertainment. There will be no links from this blog to reality TV, so give Google a try if you are interested!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Nice to see the BBC have finally caught up with my blog! Book swap hits streets gives more info about the Urbis led book swap. I know many commentators are critical of blogs, but you do get a personal insight into the news with many items being on blogs first. I tend to look at the main news media sites for my news, or research stories I have heard on the radio. The TV news isn't something I tend to follow regularly, preferring Radio 4 news.

I watched the Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen last night. Missed it first time around and, as you can see elsewhere on the blog, he isn’t my favourite person. It is true though that his mission to start a not for profit kitchen staffed by previously unemployed young people is a great idea. Looks like he could have a few problems before it all comes together. This is a repeat showing so it will be interesting to see the final outcome – I have no idea if the restaurant is still running?

My partner also noted the Metro newspaper yesterday had an article about House Gymnastics. If you haven’t yet noticed this site you must check it out. It is set for a major publicity drive with a book out early next year and more interest form mainstream media. Be part of it now!


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Forgot to mention - I never managed to make it into Manchester for the Urbis book release. The website has a link though to print your own ID stickers for books. You can then happily release your own books into the world and track them across the globe.

Not had a lot of time for blogging this week. Had a great weekend in Manchester for my mum's birthday. We had great warm evenings for sitting out late and it was really relaxing without any means of doing those undone tasks at home.

Came back to a hectic week at work, with an overflowing inbox and too many telephone messages. The paperless office may be around the corner but digital hell is very quickly replacing it. It is time to make better use of the filter features on outlook to automatically prioritise and delete emails. I spend too much time tracking down old messages, but cannot afford to delete them as they provide an essential audit trail. Perhaps the Luddites were onto something?


Friday, August 15, 2003

I was telling my partner last night that 3000 people had died in the heatwaves hitting France. I think he was sceptical - so just for him! - French heat deaths 'up to 3,000'

I am off to Manchester this evening for my mother's birthday. I fancy popping into the Urbis Centre tomorrow. They are having a 'Bookcrossing' event. The idea is that on 16 August Urbis will release hundreds of books into Manchester for others to find, read and pass on again. Each book has an ID code and you can log onto the net to follow the journey the book has taken to reach you, before passing it on again. More info at Urbis. I have heard of this happening in other countries before with some books apparently going all over the world. Unfortunately I fear that lots of people would ignore the books or throw them away thinking they are rubbish. I may have to raid my parent's bookshelves for a book to donate as I forgot to bring one from home today.

I don't think I can ever remember a blackout, apart from during the seventies with the 3 day weeks. It must have been weird for the Americans Blackouts cause North America chaos I am not surprised that some people wondered if it was a terrorist attack. Bringing down a country's power grid is an effective way to cause disruption. It seems bizarre that a lightning strike at one power plant can cascade across half of America and Canada. It is probably the new worm virus and we should hold Bill Gates responsible.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Been looking at the new popbitch newsletter. References to Terry Nutkins being well-endowed and a link for a picture of Rob Halford's dick. But who the hell is Rob Halford?

Not had time for blogging much this week. I have had a really busy week at work. There is always loads of bobbins in the press about the huge numbers of managers in the NHS, but the reality is that you need them to manage the huge number of targtes and business plans required at a local level. Most of this week has beenb spent managing waiting times for different doctors, who (perhaps understandably) want to control their own waiting lists. All well and good when they know there is a shortage of doctors and that they can say what they want to who they want. Spare a thought then for the poor manager who is expected to take their abuse with a smile and still ensure targtes are delivered. Thinking of a career in health management? - think again!

Monday, August 11, 2003

Interesting article in the guardian today about the mainstreaming of gay Tv shows. Seems they have a lot more over there than we do, and it is beginning to challenge some of the stereotypes (marginally) and address the homophobia in the US that seems widespread. Not sure all the programmes sound great - read more here Gay team flings TV closet door wide open

Had a pretty full weekend again, there never seems to be enough time before it is Monday again.

Friday night was another curry night. We went to Solomon's which has great food and even better prices. Back in time to see what TiVohad recorded. It has saved Sex in the City, which was particularly good as Miranda has Tivo. Tivo geeks love seeing their early-adopter status confirmed on TV. Not quite as good as 'My Tivo thinks I'm gay', but still entertaining.

Saturday was really hot, and spent most of the afternoon lazing in the sun, before a quiet night in. Really good do with a whole week of that, especially with everyone else seeming to be off on their holidays or just going. We are away to Paris in September, but that seems ages away. Having bought the house this summer means that a proper holiday in the sun is off the agena this year. I don't mind too much as it is great to be in the house, but can't help feeling a bit envious of friends who are off to lie on the beach!

Friday, August 08, 2003

Nintendo stops GameCube production. looks like Nintendo may be admitting defeat for the gamecube. They have stopped production until the autumn to get rid of the backlog of consoles in their warhouses. They are also talking about reducing the number of complex games that take ages to develop in favour of simpler games. Expect Donkey Konk to show up again and probably more games from the mario and Zelda frnachises.

Interesting article in the Guardian about Flashmobbing - Flashmob phenomenon reaches UK. The aim is to secretly arrange a group (or mob) to descend a specific location at the same time and perform a similar function, whether that be speaking, acting out etc. This is the first (reported) one to hit the UK, but expect an upsurge over the next few months.

I had a busy day yesterday rushing from one meeting to another. Got a call in the afternoon from some friends who were travelling back from Edinburgh and planning to stop over on route. Had a lovely evening catching up with them and enjoying watermelon vodkas. The link gives you a good recipe for this drink. I make it a bit differently myself, but the fun is adding what you want. My friend who was staying last night likes to add mint and lemon juice; I sometimes add redcurrants for a stronger colour. Have a go; I think most soft fruits can be used in this way.

If you have the basics prepared before guests arrive it is quick to prepare and looks really impressive. Haven't yet tried it veg, don't think that would work too well. Another recipe I have come across is:

Louise F.

4/5 vodka
1/5 Bitter Campari
1 dash orange syrup
1/2 btl bitter lemon
lemon slice
cocktail cherry

Pour first three ingredients in the glass and stir quickly.
Add 2-3 ice cubes.
Top with Bitter Lemon and decorate with lemon and cherry.

Sounds great if you like the bitter taste of campari.




Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I have felt very rebellious today! On the (expected) hottest day of the year I decided to leave the house without my tie on! What a shock - now this may not seem very radical to most people, but in my line of work it is comparable to coming to work naked (which I may try tomorrow).

I expected some comments and jibes, but actually no-one has said a word - whether this is because I am so insignificant that no-one notices me to begin with, or because I am so important that no-one dare challenge me I haven't yet decided!

It just goes to show that actually no one gives a damn! I must admit I will be wearing a tie tomorrow as I am in a meeting with the Health Authority and I am just not brave enough to flout convention with them!

So if you are reading this from your office and feeling a bit hot under the collar TAKE YOUR TIE OFF!! – Go on – no one will even notice.

Right - this is my last blog on the subject of the church and homosexuality. the daily twists and turns on this one are getting ridiculous. Now the charges brought against Gene Robinson have been dismissed he has been elected as Bishop. No doubt there will be lots of debate in America about the lowering of standards and the horror of promoting an inclusive church. The Archbishop of Canterbury will have to be clear about the direction of the Anglican church, the developing countries who comprise two thirds of the Anglican church have sent a clear message that they may split following this appointment - Anglicans warned over gay bishop

I think the comment yesterday "I am an Episcopalian and a gay man. I chose to be gay in exactly the same manner that the Archbishop of Nigeria chose to be black." from Doug Blanchard in the USA, sums the whole argument up for me. If we accept (and many don't) that you cannot choose to be gay and it must, therefore, be defined by God (assuming you believe in him), then how can some ancient old scribblings (the bible) that have been interpreted and translated in many ways define how we decide who is allowed (or not) in the church.

I have had enough of this whole debate and just hope it can be resolved without huge displays of bigotry and prejudice.

Just off to have a cup of green tea now that new research shows there is an even greater health benefit than previously thought. Also seems that white tea has even more anti-oxidants than green tea.
White tea is harvested only a few days of the year form the unripened buds of the tea plant. My mother bought me some earlier in the year and it is a very delicately flavoured tea. Ok for me as i don't take milk or sugar, but maybe a little insipid if you are used to a strong cup of Tetley’s!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

More news on the gay bishop row in the US. Now some allegations have come forward (what a convenient time), that the bishop has links to a gay and bisexual website and a man has emailed other bishops to say he was inappropriately touched some time ago. All smacks of a last ditch attempt to overturn the vote.

Some interesting comments about the row here:

I am an Episcopalian and a gay man. I chose to be gay in exactly the same manner that the Archbishop of Nigeria chose to be black. It is what God gave to me. I will not let fear and ignorance take the Gospel from me. I will not hide my light under a bushel basket. I will not go away, and I will not be quiet. I refuse to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life would consent to be shackled to a single passage in Leviticus and a few passages in Paul's letters. My kind has borne persecution from the Nazis to Joe McCarthy. For us, the Way of the Cross is not a pious metaphor. Christ will live and work in us and through us despite our detractors no matter who is or is not ordained.
Doug Blanchard, USA

or

The thought occurs that perhaps a third testament is needed. If the Christian church can cast the amusing episode of Leviticus away, then perhaps they should look to bringing some of their other dogma into line with the real world. Enough with the hate, already!
James Shiell, New Zealand

There is no such thing as being naturally gay. It is a sinful and wrong choice. The unrepentant homosexual is under the judgment of God, called a pervert by God and is under a death sentence declared by God. How can the dead serve as bishop? He should first repent and receive life. To agree that hell is his destination is to render him no service.
R.W. Nelson, Finland

There are certainly some varied views out there!

looks like the BBC has been duped about the Cherie Blair sinfgle Mystery of Cherie's Ibiza 'hit' None of their radio 1 DJs in Ibiza have heard the alleged dance hit by Cherie, neither has the Ministry of Sound. Good to see that the BBC always checks its facts before running with a story!

Monday, August 04, 2003

Cherie braced for pop success Yes it is true. Cherie Blair has been sampled singing 'When I'm 64' and remixed into a dance track that is, apparently, big in Ibiza. Assume it will be storming the UK charts soon!

I have a had a pretty relaxing weekend, spent most of saturday morning in bed - relaxing, rerading, having sex and eating breakfast. A long time since I have actually relaxed - so used to jumping out of bed and getting on with the jobs for the day. Caught up with a few friends which was nice, but I am not committing to any more social engagements for the next few weeks. More time at home is what I need!

I am surprised (but pleased) that the Americans have confirmed that Reverend Canon Gene Robinson of New Hampshire can serve as a bishop'US Church approves gay bishop' is not a headline I would have expected to have seen for a good few years, especially given Bush's comments and the recent announcements by the Vatican. A reassuring move towards less aggressive and political posturing by the church? Lets hope so.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Now the Scots are opposing gay unions. Scotland Reject gay rights move Glasgow's archbishop Rev Conti said MSPs should reject the proposed legislation. He said: "The only privileged legal union in society is the family. Attempts to give equivalent rights and legal recognition to other unions would be subversive of the right order - it is not for the law to reconstruct humanity."

What a ridiculous concept. Recogninsing the reights of same sex couples is not about the 'reconstructing' of humanity any more than recognising the equal status of women, or the rights black and asian communities.

Has the bishop foirgotten that marriage was originally constructed as a means of securing the rights of property through families, and as a means of controlling the sexuality of women. That was the initial reconstruction of humanity, perhaps it is time to redress the balance.