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Nick himself

The Lord of the Fires…

When I was a kid in the early ’80s we were terrified by the possibility of nuclear war.

So me and the “Bash Street kids” built a nuclear shelter. We dug an enormous hole and lined it with the cardboard from my parents’ new bedroom set. Obviously if a 100kt Soviet nuke went off over the Vickers-Armstrong tank plant just down the road we’d be fine – due to the cardboard.

Nah! We weren’t even that thick back then. So we used it as a fire pit. I recall burning a cooker in it. I cannot recall (this was a while back) how that came to pass. I fail to remember but we ate off it. On one occasion S ate a pigeon off it. To say it was underdone… Well, a dose of jollop and a pair of AA batteries and it would have been flying again. He’d lost a bet so he had to eat it. Yup, a dead pigeon cooked on the remains of cooker in a fire-pit in Gateshead. John and Greg my friends cooking doesn’t get much worse than that.

Then I had an idea. A neighbour was renovating and had a shed-load (literally) of tarred roofing and asbestos to get rid off. So we got it. Now I made an innovation. If you mix roofing tar, asbestos and a serious fire (do try this at home kids!) it goes off like it’s 8:15. So given this we took to chucking this on and leaping over the pit.

Enormous fun was had by all until the aforementioned S, legs fully akimbo, received a blast to the technical area. On this occasion enormous fun was had by all but one. The rest of us were all laughing like drains whilst S was rolling on the grass making noises like the last wails of Chewbacca.

I think he now has kids so all is well that ends well.

There is no moral to this story.

The Daily Fail.

I have a life-long interest in aviation. The Daily Mail does not it would appear.

It has a story about an American pilot trying to fly around the World. The headline is…

“Around the world in a VERY private jet! Pilot begins solo flight across the globe on a journey completed by just 113 people”,

This is the picture…

Now you don’t exactly have to be Biggles to spot that is not a jet.

There a few things I know quite a lot about. Aircraft are one. there are many things I don’t know about. How much does the MSM sneak under my radar?

And in case you think it’s just The Mail… The BBC had Prince William flying solo in a Tucano within days of joining the RAF and with the pictures clearly showing an instructor getting in the second cockpit. Prince Harry was an Apache gunner and not pilot. It goes on and on.

I can cope with media bias in terms of op-ed. But when it is raw, obvious facts then I do wonder. I said it earlier and make no apology for repeating it. If you can’t get the facts right – the basic facts – I don’t care as to your opinion on anything.

It’s like the football scores. I may or may not agree with you as to how well a player did but I expect you to get the final score right. Unless you are Chris Kamara, obviously. Classic Kamara is, “Someone’s just scored Bob! Not sure at what end!”.

Infinity & the Mind

That is a book by the US SF writer and mathematician Rudy Rucker (extremely recommended).

I shall quote my former flatmate S and Woody Allen in good time.

But first the Russian oligarch…

A Russian millionaire is turning to cutting-edge science to try to unlock the secret of living forever.
Dmitry Itskov has brought together some of the world’s leading neuroscientists, robot builders and consciousness researchers to try to devise a system that will allow him to escape his biological destiny – by uploading the human mind to a computer.

Well that’s just dandy! What a date! A Russian robot. Doesn’t the word “robot” have Slavic origins and “Slavic” is somewhat linguistically linked to “slave”? Just saying. Having said that some of us poor souls are NUFC fans.

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.

Well, quite Woody. Quite.

I have no idea what S said. It was witty in 1996.

What was it?

God knows.

And I am not in a position to ponder much because I just spent 45 minutes with an Irish woman doing an under-gum cleaning on me. Quite frankly I would have much more happily gone over the top at The Somme. She was very nice but the procedure is about as grim as it sounds.

112 – not out.

Yisrael Kristal was born in Zarnow, Poland on September 15, 1903

That is remarkable. He was born three months before a couple of brothers from Ohio thought railways were a bit passé.

He survived WWI, WWII and was also was put in Auschwitz. I have been there though in happier times. The birds do sing. There is a myth that they don’t. What isn’t a myth is the pond with the mortal remains of 600,000 people. More of course were gassed and then burned.

Right. I have an Airfix to make. It is a P-51D-25 with Invasion Stripes. 6x’.50s is the sound of freedom. I am peering now over this Lenovo lappy at me (me!) in the forward ‘pit of a DH Tiger Moth. Irvin jacket and goggles and all that. That was at IWM Duxford and exit via the gift shop and all that. I quite fancied an Irvin jacket to own yet they were GBP 700! That is more than my wife’s Vauxhall Corsa is worth on the open market. I bought a mug instead. “We sweep the skies”. I alas (RG colour-blindness) am a Quaker warden so rather than sweeping the skies I mop the toilets. But then I am taller then Tom Cruise and not a twat. And Tom Cruise is a twat. And I can handle an F-14 better than him.

But anyway- I ramble – getting to 112 is a feat. Best of luck sir! I guess if you can survive a NAZI death camp you can take on anything.

PS He might also recall Newcastle winning the league. The last time they did that was 1927. I was born in 1973.

The Daily Fail falls to new heights.

The Daily Mail has uncovered the staggering fact that being in love with who you have sex with increases sexual satisfaction. I really dunno what to say. I will say it anyway.

On the 14th of October this year I will be celebrating my tenth wedding anniversary. Read into that what you will. But I shall tell you what I feel. I do not consider myself heterosexual anymore. You’re married to a woman so what nonce is this! Yeah, a women – singular. Not the three and a half billion or so on this planet. Sex if done well is not about whatever organs. How can it be? I have been to the site of Troy. Wars have been fought over a specific woman. I have flown over the Atlantic for a woman and that is a hilarity if you smoke and can’t for nine hours. I have several boxes of screws. They are replaceable parts and my wife isn’t. That is why she is my wife. Sex without love is a dismal thing (I did it – I know – not rape or anything just essentially a vaginally assisted wank – to quote my brother). This is partly why our societies view rape so harshly whereas we view consensual sex as perhaps the highest form of love despite it being essentially the same physical act. It is partly because loving sex is so gorgeous rape is so vile.

Now I am not arguing here (I know I have gone off message a bit) that casual sex is wrong and should be banned but that it just doesn’t do it for me. I am arguing that a large-scale university study that essentially discovered that sex with someone you love is better is a statement of the bleeding obvious. I know you can prove anything with “studies” but Gods help me! I do hope that someone who is looking at getting their funding extended is going to be told to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

Otherwise I will re-enter academia with my double whammy of what bears do in the woods and the possible religious feelings of the Pope.

Germans Own Themselves (Or Not).

A notorious German cannibal has described in shockingly graphic detail how he killed and ate his gay lover ‘with his permission’.

Armin Meiwes became one of the most infamous cannibals in history after killing and consuming 43-year-old computer technician Bernd Brandes in 2001.

Is any cannibal not infamous?

‘I decorated the table with nice candles,’ he said. ‘I took out my best dinner service, and fried and [sic - it is from the Mail] piece of rump steak – a piece from his back – made what I call princess potatoes, and sprouts,’ he said, in an unprecedented interview for new documentary ‘Docs: Interview with a Cannibal’.

‘After I prepared my meal, I ate it.

‘The first bite was, of course, very strange. It was a feeling I can’t really describe. I’d spent over 40 years longing for it, dreaming about it.

‘And now I was getting the feeling that I was actually achieving this perfect inner connection through his flesh. The flesh tastes like pork but stronger.

So at least it was civilized cannibalism. I mean a well-set table and all.

Brandes then swallowed 20 sleeping tablets with half a bottle of schnapps before Meiwes cut off his penis ‘with his agreement’, and fried it for them both to eat.
Meiwes later ran a bath for Brandes, and read a Star Trek novel while checking on him every 15 minutes.

He eventually killed Brandes in the early hours of the morning, by stabbing him in the neck and then chopping him into pieces.

It is the Star Trek novel that really gets me.

He put parts of him in the freezer, and buried his head in his garden.

Well that’s OK then. Now there is an issue here. I understand homosexuality but this isn’t it by any ordinary definition so the “eating of the gay lover” is an odd way of putting it? So what is going on? The obvious is to say that both were utterly nucking futz. But why not? I mean if this was with consent then as a libertarian then OK but what is the limit of consent? Anyone who wishes to be eaten (starting with their penis) is by most definitions mental. Now, as a libertarian, this puts me in a quandry. I mean how far does self-ownership go?

I had girlfriend who I didn’t eat (odd that) and she is now a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Lancaster. Her subject is basically philosophy of mental health. We had an argument once (we had a few – I implied she was an ex) over self-ownership and mental illness. I am still not sure. I am seriously conflicted. I mean if you own yourself then like whatever but wanting to be eaten is breathtakingly odd. Is that just wrong?

I am not a well man.

I have sinus Barnabas Rubble. I haven’t had that for years. It is most unamusing. I also did a good deed and we all know those never go unpunished. I was walking to the corner shop for fags and a Coke (and Sinutab). I spotted by the entry to the Church a couple of discarded 500ml bottles of soft drinks (one contained a piss-coloured fluid). So I reached-up to bag ‘em (I had my Coop bag for life and it was blowing a storm). I dunno why I performed this good deed because that is the besainted Rev. Margaret’s patch and therefore her call – she is approximately the least Christian soul I have ever met BTW. Anyway, the council had swept the junk of our extended Autumn to the side of the road and I slipped on the rotting veg and landed full-square on my right shoulder which is subsequently, to use a medical term, embuggerated – I am down on the dexter – I am now a practicing sinisterist because my right wanking spaniel has spent a night in the cells with the Harris most Rolfulent.

I managed to right myself, dispose of the trash and place my shopping in my bag and get home. Saeed offered me a lift. But then he isn’t CofE so possibly believes unlike the vicar who is the second most irreligious person I have ever met – the other was also a CofE vicar*. I politely declined because (as I explained) I felt the need of a walk. It was nice of him though.

Oh, and BTW, any of you know how to get spray-paint out of sandstone because some despicable cunt has sprayed one of our parking bays with the CND symbol and the slogan “Be Happy” in lime green. I would like to explain to said miscreant in colourful terms (as they scrubbed) the fact that the Quakers are a Peace Church already. As I may have mentioned I am not currently empowered to deliver the full-tilt Geordie Hoicking up the bracket and indeed elsewise.

*I don’t normally use full names but the de-frocked Rev. Fred Blackburn was something else. He had his hands in the tip-jar (and the choir) and ran off with a man who was not his wife. His wife also ran off with a woman (yes he was homosexual and so was the Mrs Rev). He once said to me “It must be wonderful to have faith”. That is “back of the net” atheism. I didn’t know quite where to put myself.

Well what are you?

I’m third tier. Oddly enough I don’t fit any of the criteria, really. “Culturally apathetic”. Well, when the Manchester Camarata got the loan of a Strad I had my wife on the phone quicker than Jackie Robinson. What did I get from my mother for my birthday? A very nice set of the Lord of the Rings. I had a single volume paperback since I was 10 (I am now 42) and read it to death. That ook died from love, not hate. How very dare Prof. Mike Savage call me a barbarian. Oddly enough he ranks the Elite, the top tier as having been to Oxbridge or the LSE. He is a professor at the LSE. Odd that isn’t it. Well, I’m a Nottingham and Queen Mary College graduate. I was taught QMech by a guy who won the Nobel (Physiology and Medicine – he essentially invented the MRI scanner) so Prof Savage can profoundly fuck off. My personal tutor at Queen Mary had been a PhD student of Hawking and you will probs have seen Carl Murray on the TV who taught solar system dynamics there. Now, he had a strong interest in Gaelic poetry (he was Irish).

I hate this. The idea that a facility at maths and science makes you uncultured is outrageous. The fact I can code-up some HTML5 don’t mean I don’t do it listening to Bach or Sibelius. I once shared a house with a Bellendius maximus. He was a history student. He was also a twat. He was of the opinion that whilst science and engineering might be difficult (right, Mr Wix, you’ve studied ergodic theory?) it wasn’t creative. He wrote a thesis on “Domestic Service in C19th Nottingham) like anyone gives a toss. I am not criticising arts grads but I am criticising the arts and social science graduates who routinely mock the grads of the physical sciences. Why? Because they assume (a lot of them do) we is all dull. I go to the theatre and art galleries and stuff. I am well-read and I take these nasturiums badly. Frankly, I don’t care. But Chris Wix really was a twat and almost certainly still is a twat. If you can’t see science as creative (and it is) then you are a twat. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it…

Let G be a compact abelian group, μ the normalized Haar measure, and T a group automorphism of G. Let G* be the Pontryagin dual group, consisting of the continuous characters of G, and T* be the corresponding adjoint automorphism of G*. The automorphism T is ergodic if and only if the equality (T*)n(χ)=χ is possible only when n = 0 or χ is the trivial character of G. In particular, if G is the n-dimensional torus and the automorphism T is represented by a unimodular matrix A then T is ergodic if and only if no eigenvalue of A is a root of unity.

… from Wikipedia.

If I can follow that (and I can) I think Shakespeare is easy. God help me! The greatest playwright ever wrote for people who were drinking and whoring and indulging in “country pleasures”. I am not saying the Arts are easy. They are not but the likes of Wix slagging science for just being learning a load of facts is risible. By my third year at Nottingham I entered the exam hall bearing only a pencil. A Rotring. That was it. Me against the universe with only a mechanical pencil. There are few better feelings.

So, allegedly, I’m not into high culture because I can do sums. Ye\h, right Mr Wix. I might not know as much as you about domestic servants in C19th Nottingham but baby I don’t care…

Nigella’s liquorice box.

That sounds utterly filthy. Except, whilst not having one myself I do have a sweetie jar. Yes, I do. I keep sweeties in it and the gods help me! Some of those involve liquorice. I love the stuff. Saeed down the road is my dealer. My Gran got me onto the black stuff. I do appreciate that studies (yeah, I know) have shown that pregnancy cravings can pass down the maternal line. My Mum craved the black gold when pregnant with me. And that was in Zambia. I have no idea if that has any relevance to whatever vague point I am trying to make.

I would love a rummage in Nigella’s liquorice box. Possibly next Wednesday though I am flexible. Unlike that ineffably hard, utterly black Spanish liquorice that Saaed doesn’t usually stock. He normally has liquorice pipes (with the twinkles on the end) which are probs illegal because they encourage smoking. Seeing as I generally buy fags at that shop – and a Coke as well, whatever…

But who wouldn’t want a liquorice box. I would. Wouldn’t you?

I am annoyed.

Today I became cognizant of a fact. According to Cheshire East Cuntcil (Note not East Cheshire – it sounds more dynamic or something) I am no longer (on pain of Crucifixion or something) allowed to dispose of bin-liners in the recycling bin. So, I have to pour my (pre-sorted) trash into Mr Silver without the bag which I then chucked in the black bin (destined for land-fill in China). It well bites my pizzle. It does.

At the same time I got a flyer from Cheshire Cuntstabulary which I could put in my window to say I wasn’t at home to Halloween “Trick or Treaters”. Now apart from the abysmal lack of basic psychology this displays (is there anything more likely to get your gaff sprayed in milk products?) in the grand scheme of things this assumes the Cheshire fuzz don’t have any burglaries, rapes or murders on their books. I mean like real crimes and not eight year old kids asking for a fucking lollipop. I don’t mind that. Some crackhead beats me up and makes off with my Thinkpad (I love this Thinkpad) then I want the rozzers to have them hung, drawn and quartered. Screw the coppers! I want to see my IS community support officer. “We provide a full range of services…” “Can I request the removal of the privy member?” “All part of the service but why not go for the deluxe package sir? It’ll only cost an extra twenty pounds sir and this month we include a complementary disemboweling”*.

*I am of largely of Irish and Norwegian ancestry. Way back. Anyway one of my ancestors did a very unpleasant thing to another of my ancestors outside of Dublin. The Viking chief was captured, his belly slit (pay attention IS!) and made to walk round a tree slowly unwinding his bowels round it. They loved the craic back then. I am of course (regardless of the DNA) English so I don’t do that sort of thing. Much.

Can you guess?

The best team sport I was good at at school?

And (maybe) why?

The Cross I Bear.

I was born at the RVI, Newcastle in 1973. I am a life-long fan of Newcastle United.

Newcastle United started in the C19th as a Catholic club (this is long forgotten – there is no Rangers/Celtic antiquities in England) I only point it out because of the Catholic tradition of the mortification of the flesh. The last time the Magpies won the league was in 1927. My late Granddad was 4. The last time we won anything was in 1969. I was minus 4. It’s like I have been continually drinking warm monkey piss for 42 years. A few years back… Well… I moved to Manchester. I suppose I could have shifted my allegiance but no! Once a Geordie… There is something almost Biblical about this and I am thinking Job here.

From here. Read the whole thing. I was born smart, have a loving family and wife (and cat). I have been lucky in most stuff. Not in my team. It is existential… This amused me most…

“Aye, I was there when we won the Fairs Cup in ’69,” says Colin, recalling Newcastle’s last major triumph, in the predecessor to the Uefa Cup. A month later, Colin witnessed another miracle, when man first set foot on the moon.

Quite frankly, the next time Newcastle win anything forget the moon! I’ll be by the methane seas of Titan.

Newcastle are currently bottom of the Premiership. We are going down with the Mackems. To call it a disgrace is like calling Islamic State a paradigm of religious tolerance.

So, I started watching Rugby Union. I don’t have much luck do I?


I once saw XH558. She (all ‘planes are “hers”) at Southport Airshow.

This is how it happened. I was sitting on the beach and this thing came in stage right. It was fucking utterly awesome. I have seen many flying machines but this was something else. At the left end of the beach it stood on it’s tail and lit the fires and went vertical. I can still feel the heat of the four Rolls Royce Olympus Turbojets. The very fire of the Gods. It is on my top ten list along with Angel Falls in Georgia, USA, the Caldera of Santorini, Greece, at dawn, the Tennessee River in er… Tennessee, the birth place of Aphrodite in Cyprus, The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, this Thinkpad, a pair of Phantoms supersonic over Bamburgh Beach, the buses of Malta and some other things. Most recently the Glasgow Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. I have seen things on three continents. Wondrous things. But that ‘plane…

It was emotional. I have seen flying things. I have seen Enola Gay (static display and surrounded by plexiglass to prevent numpties damaging it – I had to go to Virginia for that). The Vulcan was something else mind. So low, so fast, so agile.

It made a tour of the North West on Saturday. A goodbye tour. I shall never see it fly again and nor shall you. For shame! It was built just up the road from me in Stockport. AVRO no longer exists. Oh, Hell as a kid I got onto, in Newcastle, my town of birth, HMS Illustrious which was on a courtesy visit to it’s home port on the Tyne. Now that was at Swan Hunter. I think the Neptune Yard. All gone so many years ago.

So very sad.

But what is sadder is this…

I have a thing. I am good at maths. Very good. This means I am good at physics and not bad with computers. But I am smart enough to know my limits. I am utterly pantage with languages. My wife doesn’t (shame!) know dy/dx of sin(x) = cos(x) but she does know what a gerund is. What the fuck is a gerund anyway? And how come people get interested in the human and not the universal? Maths is the universal. It is so true it is scary.

Now you either see the beauty or you don’t. Of course there are also Maxwell’s Equations. And the equations of Thermo-D. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!” Do you have any idea how many accessible microstates exist for a can of Coke at 300K? It’s a lot. And this is all true.

So, I know about this stuff. Yes, but as I hinted, there are shed-loads I know nothing about. I also know about flight. Why? Well I know aerodynamics and things. I also love ‘planes. I have loved them since before I could read. I know ‘planes. Lads my age had posters of Kylie. I had an F-15 on the wall. I’d love to fly the F-15. What I’d like to do with Ms Minogue is a matter between her me and the wallpaper.

So, there are things I know about and things I couldn’t pretend to (though I do understand Kylie – I just can’ get her out of my head – not in that frock anyway). So when XH558 got stricken from the list I was annoyed. And then I was mental when I read this…

This is from the Daily Fail…

Britons given a final chance to see an icon of the skies as the Vulcan fighter jet begins its farewell tour of the nation.

I do know about aircraft and that ain’t a “fighter”. That was designed to slam nuclear weapons at Moscow. Yes, it was that awesome. And it still was when I saw it. It was awesome when a Vulcan did Operation Blackbuck. At the time the longest bombing raid ever. Subsequently the USAF has beaten that with B-1s, B-2s and the very old soldier the B-52 (I read an interview in The Times with a B-52 pilot whose Grand-father was also a B-52 pilot – when it finally quits the youngest airframes will be 80 years old. It has generally been used against goat-molestering Qu’ran botherers recently (Commies before). Odd thing about the 2 billion dollar B-2 is that nobody at the USAF or Northrop-Grumman thought to include a bed. So, for 36 hour missions, the aircrew installed a chaise longue for a bit of a kip. And this was to bomb the utter wrecks who couldn’t even conceive of a stealth bomber. I mean these were folks who banned the flying of kites.

You see I know my limits. I know a lot about various stuff. I also know there are many things I know little about. So the retirement really narks.

And calling the ‘plane a fighter just adds pignorence to injury. Thanks Daily Fail.


My wife and I are up to Glasgow on Thursday. We’ll be getting there at Glasgow Central Station at 4-30pm and Leaving Glasgow 3-ish on the Monday. My wife is doing the Glasgow half marathon on Sunday. Anybody have any cool or interesting ideas for things to see and do?


Bob Dylan of course ripped that off from the instruction manual for a sex-doll. What he did with Dylan the Rabbit is a matter between you, me and The Yewtree.

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