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After (and probably thanks to) a concerted effort by hundreds of bloggers, Felicity Lowde has been found, arrested, and remanded in custody until June 28 while pre-sentencing reports are prepared.

For more details see The Register, the Oxford Mail, the East London Advertiser, or Rachel's blog.

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Help Catch Felicity Jane Lowde


For all the details see here.

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Following on from Wordplay... Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace (and elsewhere). Source unknown.

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. BUTTMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

8. SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

12. IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example - Michael Jackson another.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15. 404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message"404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.

16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

17. OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.(Like after hitting Send on an email by mistake).

18. WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.

19. CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube Farm.

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Last year I was besieged by trick or treaters. A never-ending procession of them trooping up the path to the front door. Not that I really minded, but it would have been good to be able to put my feet up for an hour and chill. At one stage it was so busy that it seemed that they were working in relays. I'm sure I saw the same masks and costumes more than once. Were they popping round the corner and swapping outfits with their mates so they could work in relays?

So this year I was prepared. The fruit bowl was full of sweets (candies to our linguistically-challenged friends from across the pond who were, I believe, responsible for the trick or treat palaver in the first place) and strategically placed. And what happened? Almost nothing. One visit from two very sheepish looking ghouls, who seemed surprised when I told them to take another handful if they wanted.

So the chocolate supply was barely touched. Quality Street anyone? And what happened to Penny for the Guy?

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While clearing out my inbox I came across this. It dates back to last year, if not before and I think it may have originated (in part at least) from the Washington Post's Style Invitational. I thought it was good enough to save somewhere:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

12. Karmageddon: Its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer man.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

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I suspect this has already done the rounds of people's inboxes, but even though I'm not religious it made me smile...

In the year 2006, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in England and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.

"Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the CAD drawings, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard but no Ark.

"Noah!" he roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed building regulations approval. I've been arguing with the fire brigade about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I should have obtained planning permission for building the Ark in my garden because it is development of the site even though in my view it is a temporary structure. We had to go to appeal to the Secretary of State for a decision.

"Then the Department of Transport demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

"Getting the wood was another problem. All the decent trees have tree preservation orders on them and we live in a Site Of Special Scientific Interest set up in order to protect the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

"When I started gathering the animals, the RSPCA sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

"Then the county council, the Environment Agency and the Rivers Authority ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

"I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission on how many BMEs I'm supposed to mire for my building team. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only CSCS accredited workers with Ark-building experience.

"To make matters worse, Customs and Excise seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

"So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked: "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."

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I'm not, on the whole, a great fan of e-mail meme's (for why see the links in Q 20). But this one caught my fancy for some reason. Whether you send it anywhere is entrirely up to you...

1. WHAT TIME DID YOU GET UP THIS MORNING?

Far too early.

2. DIAMONDS OR PEARLS?

Diamonds. But subtle. No bling please.

3. WHAT WAS THE LAST FILM YOU SAW AT THE CINEMA?

Pride and Prejudice.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW?

Don't really have one. But I think Mayo is showing some promise

5. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?

Orange juice. Several cups of tea (loose-leaf Assam, though I confess to sullying it with sugar). Toast (oatmeal bread).

6. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME(S)?

Peter

7. FAVORITE CUISINE?

Ooh. Tricky one that. Depends on mood. Indian sub-continent. Chinese. Thai. Spanish. Italian. Anything southern Med. Tex-Mex. Cajun. Fish. Seafood. Game.

It doesn't have to be complicated. In fact simple is often good. Just let it be cooked well and with care. I like food.

8. WHAT FOODS DO YOU DISLIKE?

Raw celery. Strong blue cheeses. Not over-keen on sushi.

Loath nouvelle cuisine with a vengeance. Food is there to be eaten, not farted around with. Give me simple peasant cooking any day.

9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CRISP FLAVOUR?

Cheese and onion. Though I'd rather have plain hula-hoops.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CD AT THE MOMENT?

Buena Vista Social Club presents Omara Portuondo.

11. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE?

Vauxhall Carlton. But I'm not into cars (either as penis extensions or generally).

12. FAVORITE SANDWICH?

So many tricky questions... Ploughmans, BLT, steak... depends on the moment or the mood.

13. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU DESPISE?

Bunny boilers. Game players. Posers. Egotists.

14. FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING?

Anything I feel comfortable in.

A good pair of boots.

15. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

How long a list am I allowed?

If I limit myself to three then, in no particular order:

The Rockies, Antarctica, Australia.

16. FAVOURITE BRAND OF CLOTHING?

See 14.

17. TO WHERE WOULD YOU RETIRE?

Spain.

Andalucia (Alpujarras, Sierra Cazorla, Granada), Barcelona, Galicia. Mallorca maybe.

Anywhere providing it wasn't the Costa del Lager Lout.

Or anywhere laid back in southern Europe with someone who wanted to be there with me.

18. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY?

18th. My godmother handed me what was, at the time, a sizeable cheque and insisted I spent the money on something I wanted. I bought my first "real" camera (a Pentax Spotmatic F).

19. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?

Again, it depends on mood.

But if I had to pick one it would have to be American (gridiron) football. Once you undestand the game you'll realise it's a lot more subtle than lots of padded hulks crashing into each other.

Or maybe a really good climber on one of the big mountain stages of the Tour de France.

20. FURTHEST PLACE YOU ARE SENDING THIS?

Nowhere. I don't do the chain-mail thing. I wrote this just for me. So the next two questions don't apply.

If you want to know why I don't do the "meme" thing then have a look at this:

http://www.memecentral.com/antidote.htm

or this:

http://www.memecentral.com/email.htm

Did I say I don't do timewasters

21. WHO DO YOU LEAST EXPECT TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?

22. PERSON YOU EXPECT TO SEND IT BACK FIRST?

23. WHAT GOAL(S) DO YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF?

To be what I want to be. Whatever that is. I need to work it out first though.

24. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?

A few days ago.

25. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT PERSON?

Nights. Mornings aren't quite a hard limit but...

26.WHAT IS YOUR SHOE SIZE?

Used to be 8. Middle-aged spread means its getting nearer 9. But still quite small by "manly" sizes.

27. PETS?

Fish (shubunkins mainly) in the pond in the back garden. But I'm not sure they count as pets.

Generally animal-friendly. But much more a dog person than a cat lover.

Would love to have a lifestyle that let me have a dog and devote time to it (dogs, like subs, nead attention and cherishing). Not one of those whiney snappy rugrats though. A long-haired retriever or a German short-haired pointer? A working walking dog...

28. WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE?

I never knew.

29. WHAT ARE YOU NOW?

Professionally: a geek.

Personally: still growing and learning.

30. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY

I have a sweet tooth. Why do these questions always seem to want you to have to pick just one thing.

Fudge just edges out chocolate.

31. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FLOWER?

Crocuses. For the first sign of spring. And for saffron.

32. WHAT IS A DATE ON THE CALENDAR YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO?

My next holiday. Date and place still to be decided.

33.WHERE IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE EVER BEEN FROM HOME?

Physically: Tijuana.

Mentally: One fateful night. On the last train back to London. She will never know how much she threw away. It took me a long time to learn it was her loss, not mine.

34. WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?

Docklands.

Reasonably content with my life.

So by the standards of much of the world I don't have too many grounds for complaint...

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A German woman destroyed her family home as she tried to kill spiders in the garage with a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter.

Police in Zuelpich said that when the aerosol failed to kill the spiders the woman tried to burn them with the lighter. But this set the area she had just sprayed on fire and the blaze spread to a hedge. “She tried to put the fire out with a garden hose, but couldn’t," the police said.

"Instead, her semi-detached house next to the hedge caught fire. It’s now uninhabitable. The family have had to look for somewhere else to stay. The spiders are gone though; that problem was solved.”

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A pensioner who kept detailed records for more than 20 years on how many times he cut the grass has had them used as part of a major study on climate change.

David Grisenthwaite has made a note of every time he used his mower at his home in Kirkcaldy since 1984. He began recording the time and date of every occasion he cut the grass simply for the fun of it. “It all started when the Woodland Trust were looking for people to take part in a little ecological study," he said. "I just kept on going. I would make a note of when I’d cut the lawn and, of course, when you do it once you have to do it again. And once you’ve done it for a year you have to do another year to make a comparison with the last one. It only takes a second and it would be unforgivable to forget."

He also records how much garden waste he shreds and has memorised the bus timetables for Cumbria from the present day (not a lot of use when you are living in Scotland!) going back to 1920. Mr Grisenthwaite, who mowed the lawn this morning for the 32nd time this year said his long-suffering wife of 39 ears, Elspeth, 69, thought he was mad. “Elspeth is also a keen gardener and I just provide the labour really. She thinks I’m a nutter."

In case anyone thinks this is just too daft to be true, Mr Grisenthwaite’s data has been published in volume 60 of the Royal Meteorological Society Journal, titled: The Grass is Greener - For Longer".

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Browsing a blog, as you do. And that led me on to another blog. Where the author said they had recently been here.

Since, up until then, the writer had had some interesting things to say, I thought I'd take a peek at the site.

OMG. I don't think another blogger has gone downhill in my estimation quite so quickly. Now I know that Mercuns are a bit strange at the best of time. And there really isn't much to do in Little Town, Hicksville. And I suppose it's not quite as scary as my previous Sad Site Of The Day but even so…

They cannot be serious, as J McEnroe used to say. A "Plunger Lunger" competition?! With prizes donated by the local hardware store??!! AND an "Uuug-lee Hawaiian Shirt Contest???!!!

And the really scary thing is that more than 130,000 people went to last year's event. The fact that they have a "Parade of Fools" event does seem rather apt.

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