Archive for January, 2004

incubus schmincubus

Me, yesterday, apparently
Me, yesterday, apparently

Some friends of mine watched Top Of The Pops with their five year daughter old last night. Included in the show was a performance by popular alt-metal combo Incubus, whose singer Brandon Boyd is something of a renaissance man – artist, author and hero to legions of female fans across the globe. At the culmination of what must have been a very charismatic performance indeed, the girl (extremely bright for her age, obviously) turned around wide-eyed and asked, “Is that Fraser?”

Ladies, you know where I am.

horse kebab adventure

The weirdest thing that ever happened to me (apart from that other thing):

Many moons ago I spent a couple of post-college years on the dole. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, or so it would appear judging by the number of friends making the same career choice. I lived in Hackney, coveniently located right opposite a string of fine restaurants – a kebab shop, a chippie, and a Starburger. Sadly, the ?27 per week I received from being a sponge on the State didn’t stretch to such gourmet pleasures, so for the most part it was baked beans on toast, day after day after day. The only other things I spent money on were cigarettes (Lambert & Butler, because they were cheap) and a weekly jaunt to the Syndrome Club on Oxford Street, possible birthplace of Britpop, home to ‘the scene that celebrated itself’ (Lush, Moose, Swervedriver etc), where no-one paid to get in and where members of The Wonderstuff and Carter USM would frug around the dancefloor to Mudhoney and The Stone Roses. Glorious times.

Each week I stumbled drunkenly out into the darkness at closing time to catch the N97 nightbus home, where a bedtime snack of beans on toast was waiting. Around noon the following day I’d get up and have more beans for brunch… I think you get the idea.

Sadly, man cannot live on beans alone. Apart from the monotony of the diet, there’s health implications to consider, alongside the obvious, more pungent side effects. One Monday evening, I’d had enough. There was a choice to be made. I could pop into the corner shop for enough beans to last me through till Wednesday, or I could buy a kebab and not eat at all for the best part of 48 hours. I chose the latter.

a lovely kebabIt was a thing of rare beauty indeed. I hurried home, greasy goodness seeping through the wrapping paper, and unveiled a feast fit for a King on the kitchen table. After admiring this one man banquet for several moments, I lifted the fat-saturated bread to my mouth, ready to gorge on delicious month-old lamb and wilted vegetables.

And then the bell rang.

I pottered off downstairs, untouched kebab in hand, opened up the door, and standing there was a horse. No rider, just a horse. No-one else in the immediate vicinity. On the aptly named Mare St, main thoroughfare through one of urban Britain’s bleakest neighbourhoods (don’t get upset if you’re a resident, I hear it’s much nicer these days). The horse looked at me, I looked back at the horse, both of us looked down at the dripping kebab in my hand, and before I knew it a giant set of teeth had clamped down on my dinner and wrestled away the lettuce and tomato. I panicked, dropping the rest on the floor, while the horse promptly turned and wandered off in the direction of Hackney Downs, chewing contentedly. I stared at the mess on the pavement, decided not to resuscitate the damn thing, and went back indoors.

I have never been able to come up with a rational explanation as to what happened that evening. And I’ve never trusted horses since.

northampton town manchester united

Cobblers stroll down memory lane

This entry is brought to you by the letters C, O, B, B, L, E, R and S.

The fields are green, the skies are blue
the river Nene goes winding through
The market square is cobblestoned
it shakes the old dears to their bones
A finer town you’ll never see
a finer town there’ll never be
Big city lights don’t bother me
Northampton Town I’m proud to be.

NORTH-AMP-TON (ClapClapClap)
NORTH-AMP-TON (ClapClapClap)

To the tune of “The Red Flag“.

california beef

Possibly the best splash page in the World, ever. You can almost imagine the designer spitting coffee into his keyboard as he received the good news… What? You mean they actually approved it? Genius.

blogjam stats

Here’s some blogjam statistics, up to and including the previous entry:

1033 – Number of entries
3253 – Number of comments
81391 – Number of words in total
474214 – Number of characters
127009 – Number of syllables
11555 – Number of unique words featured
22 – Number of occurances of the word “kitten”
16 – Number of occurances of “penguin”
18 – Number of occurances of “porn”
5675 – Number of sentences in total
1014 – Number of paragraphs
14.34 – Average words per sentence
1.56 – Average syllables per word
10.64 – “Fog” readability index
60.26 – “Flesch” readability index
8.42 – “Kincaid” reability index

Readability Measures:
(These descriptions are taken from the documentation accompanying the Lingua::EN::Fathom perl module).

The Fog index, developed by Robert Gunning, is a well known and simple
formula for measuring readability. The index indicates the number of
years of formal education a reader of average intelligence would need to
read the text once and understand that piece of writing with its word
sentence workload:

18 – unreadable
14 – difficult
12 – ideal
10 – acceptable
8 – childish

This score rates text on a 100 point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the text. A score of 60 to 70 is considered to be optimal.

This score rates text on U.S. grade school level. So a score of 8.0
means that the document can be understood by an eighth grader. A score
of 7.0 to 8.0 is considered to be optimal.

So there you go. Christ, I must be bored.

Stats courtesy of the MTWordStats plugin for Movable Type.

sugarless cancer

I love this weblog. It’s got everything… the music, the characters trailing from the rather spiffy Sonic the Hedgehog cursor, the marvellous choice of font (viner hand itc, anyone?), the animated background. Genius. I think I may redesign.

blogjam rentaquote


Me, from the Independent on Saturday magazine, in a feature where people ‘in the know’ are asked to tip a musical act to succeed in 2004. Oh, how silly I’ll probably look in a year’s time.