Monday, 30 August 2010

An executive decision

Today's plan was simple, some might say idiot prof. Mrs D trudged off to our annual C.A fun/family day with a box of face paints in tow. I would get Jack ready and meet her in an hour or two, how hard could it be? At first things went well, so with the boy in a jolly mood I made an executive decision and set off to our local shopping centre. I had worked out that I could simply "pop" in to clarks, grab a new pair of shoes for the little fellow and be with Mrs D within the hour.

As I strolled into the shop I should has sensed my cunning plan may have been a tad on the optimistic side. Screaming children and frustrated parents covered every inch of the place with staff running round and round in a state of heightened confusion. Head down I plunged through and grabbed a ticket  marked 86. I think by this time Jack must have sensed my inexperience because he decided his nice guy phase was over, this was exactly the same time I heard a faint voice cry 62, next customer, 62.

Almost thirty minutes latter, and with a heavy heart I handed a carefully chosen shoe to one of Clarks finest and whimpered "six and a half F please". Five minutes latter I found myself listening to an in-depth explanation that translated to, we ain't got em in that size. OK, I mumbled through my now tightly clenched teeth, what about these? Eventually a shoe was found to fit the boy, but by this time my mind had started to wonder. I'll leave them here for now and be back shortly, I found myself saying.

As my most cunning of plans developed I found myself heading for one of the sports shops. In fact I trudged through another two shoe emporiums taking both Jack, and myself to the edge of reason and sanity. On three separate occasions I found shoes I really liked, only to be told we don't have em in that size. Finally beaten, I headed back to Clarks safe and secure in the knowledge I could simply "nip" in and grab the pair from behind the counter.

By the time I got back, things had clearly taken a turn for the worse, but the shoes were still there. All I needed to do was double check the size. No problem, the lady behind the counter said, just grab a ticket. Twenty five minutes latter, torn and tattered, with Jack screaming, we left the shop with a new pair of shoes. Of course, but this time any ideas about fun and or family days had long since passed. My only hope was to get the boy home and let him have a nap.

Within seconds the boy was sleeping. I however, have been left to consider the error of my ways. It seems to me that Mums make this whole looking after Children thing appear a little to easy. My experience is this is simply not the case. To every parent who has braved the bank holiday shops to by a pair of shoes, I salute you, I truly salute you.                      

Friday, 27 August 2010

Thats why.

Talking to someone yesterday about why people end up alcoholic, if it was mum, dad, the gold fish etc, etc. Truth is I don't know. However, I like the explanation given in the AA Big Book by Dr Silkworth (below). Seems all most to simple eh?

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks, drinks which they see others taking with impunity."

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Once in a great while

It seems to me that all to often the actions of us so called grown ups can have knock on affects far and beyond what our tiny little selfish minds care to acknowledge. We seem to hold on to a grudge for years up to the point that we can actually forget why we were so pissed off in the first place. But once in a great while, someone stands up and says enough is enough.

Today Jack got to spend a whole heap of time with family he had never met before and I wept with pure joy. Although at work all day, I kept in touch with Mrs D for regular updates and I'm reliably informed they had a great time.

I wonder if the day will ever come when as so called adults, we are able to once again recapture the simple moment by moment innocence we see in the eyes of our children. You see, Jack couldn't care less about family feuds and things long since passed, nor could Eddie and Ronnie. What they care about is here and now and for them, that's all that matters. The end result is indeed a truly life changing realisation, should we choose to pay attention.      

A bit good.

I'm not generally one for loading this blog up with loads of photos, but I really do like this one. I remember spending hours when I was younger with my old Zenith SLR trying to get something a bit good with long exposures. This I think is a bit good.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

From the mind of Homer

When will I learn? The answers to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle - they're on TV!

Bingo! I love that game, but I can't remember what to say when you win.

Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life's problems.

What's the point of going out? We're just going to wind up back here anyway.

Lisa, vampires are make believe, like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos.

Save me, Jeebus!

Facts are meaningless - you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!

I'm not impressed easily. Wow! A blue car!

Well, crying isn't gona bring him back, unless your tears smell like dog food.

I don't hate your mother, I just won't be sad when she dies.

How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain - remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

Who are you? Why am I here? I want answers now or I want them eventually!

Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You/re making a scene'.

No smoking

Can you ever imagine a hat, that can prevent smoking. The answer lies in this weird invention called anti-smoking hat, which makes it impossible for a person to smoke, while wearing that hat. The mechanism behind the working of this hat is as follows. A small pressurized container with dense and non-toxic foam is attached to the inner side of the hat. The brim of the hat has a spray nozzle, which is connected to the container and a sensor that can detect heat or smoke. Whenever, the person who is wearing hat, starts smoking, the sensor detects it and sends signal to release the foam. The foam inside the cylinder gets sprayed on the cigarette, thereby extinguishing it. Even though, one of the weird inventions, this anti-smoking hat is unique.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Air show time

The last three days in this town have been utter madness. Bournemouth gets like that in the summer and its well expected, but at air show time thousands of people descend on the town for whats normally a great few days. But not this year, no sir, not in any way. For this year the heavens opened and the clouds dropped making it all but impossible to carry on safely.

Memories of the 1910 Bournemouth air show and the sad demise of Charles Rolls, the co-founder of Rolls Royce could well have been in the minds of our local council, or not. He was killed in a plane crash at the International Aviation Meeting. Charles has the dubious pleasure of being what is believed to be the first British airman to die in an air crash. Can't help thinking that's a little on the ironic side when you consider the affect Rolls Royce has had on aviation. 

To be honest, its probably a blessing in disguise. We took Jack to see an F16 on Friday and the poor little chap screamed his head off all the time it was in the air. Still you have to feel a little sorry for the droves who came here for a weekend of flight filled joy and left soggy and bereft of joy. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge no one crashed and no one died. Clearly we must have progressed at least a little since  Charles Rolls took to the sky with that devil may care indestructible attitude. Daft sod. Lets hope we do better next year eh?    


Friday, 20 August 2010


So, the iphone 4 arrived a couple of days ago and up till now I've been able to minimize my absolute glee at what is a truly amazing bit of tec. As some of you know, Mrs D is mighty perturbed about not having one for herself. This perturbation has led me to very much play down my heart felt joy, mainly dew to the massive nut kick risk involved should I choose to rub my new toy in her nose. I think we can all agree this would be unwise.

So I guess the question is, where to go from here. I know for a fact Mrs D hardly ever reads this blog, however, the law according to sod dictates she will this time. So to my dear wife, the phone is a bit crap. To everyone else, Its amazing, go get one now and enjoy. 

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Very cool Chalk

The chalk guy is back.!!!!!!!!!!!
Positively astounding
This guy continues to amaze people with his side-walk 3D chalk drawings.
























Monday, 16 August 2010

The way of the once great shoe

So after holding back a couple of months, I find myself waiting for postie plod to deliver my nice new shiny iphone 4. Mrs D is at the moment less then pleased about this, mostly due to the fact I've ordered one and it's not for her. The atmosphere in the Dobbo household is a tad on the frosty side. I have of course tried to ease her pain with a new pair of shoes but I suspect the glee they provided will be short lived.

It's an odd thing how the once reliable new shoe ploy seems to have lost it's kick. Mrs D tells me that diamonds work far better, lots of diamonds. Problem is I fear the diamond would go the way of the once great shoe, then what. Perhaps the head of an enemy on a silver plate.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

School - 1970 vs 2010

Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

 Crowd gathers. Johnny wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best mates for life.

2010 - Police called, arrests Johnny and Mark.. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Mark started it. Both children go to anger management programs for 3 months. School board hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programs

Robbie won't Keep still in class, disrupts other students.

1970 -
 Robbie sent to office and given 6 of the best by the Headmaster. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2010 - Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. Robbie's parents get fortnightly disability payments and School gets extra funding from state because Robbie has a disability.

Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1970 -
 Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

20010 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Goverment psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. 

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1970 -
 Mark gets glass of water from Teacher to take aspirin with.

2010 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons. 

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from Guy Fawkes, puts them in a model airfix paint bottle, blows up an ant’s nest.

1970 -
 Ants die.

2010-  Police, Armed Forces,  & Anti-terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, MI5 investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Johnny falls while running during break and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary . Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1970 -
 In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2010 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy

The times my friend are in the words of Mr Robert Allen Zimmerman, changing. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Talking shit

A Swiss museum is counting the cost of having crap art, after a giant inflatable dog turd the size of a house broke free from its moorings in high winds. 

The massive poo, an artwork by American Paul McCarthy, left a trail of destruction in its wake as it blew away, bringing down a power line before eventually landing on a nearby children’s home, where it broke a window.

The installation, entitled Complex Shit, was supposed to have a safety system that deflated it in bad weather. However, a sudden gust appears to have caught it by surprise.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

That's all

Three years ago today my now long suffering wife Mrs D said "I do". I'm not going to get all sentimental, I just simply wanted to say thank you. I've become something I never dreamed I could, a happy husband. That's all.


Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The money shot

Finishing work on Friday afternoon last week was the same as most weeks, I had very little idea how the weekend would pan out, and I am fairly happy to keep it that way. More often then not, when I make idiot proof  plans, I end up getting involved  with the inevitable results. So I trudge my  way through what ever comes up and mostly things work out OK, although not always. This weekend has been one of the mostly, in fact this weekend has been a good one.

Yesterday was spent indulging in one of the loves of my life. At 7.15 I left home with Mr D and we set off to spend the day sat in committee meetings serving the fellowship we both love so very much. To the people reading this that don't understand, trust me when I say it's an absolute privilege to do some of the stuff I'm able to do both for fun, and for free. By the time we got home it was close to ten and I happily plodded to bed completely knackered.

Then came Sunday and the chance to spend the day with Jack, and what a great day it's been. Loading Mr D and the little Jack man in the car we headed to Moors Valley to meet up with a couple of our closest friends and their two most wonderful children. Every time I see Jack and Millie together my heart melts, It's an amazing thing to see them growing up together.
In a life where I do my best to live in the moment of each day, this really is the money shot.

Then tonight after a journey to Argos for a child gate, we took the side from Jacks cot and converted it in to a bed. In my usual way I pestered Mrs D with the absolute necessity for a safety bar in case he fell out. And in her usual way, she ignored me and put him to bed. We just went to have a peek and sure enough he's sound asleep and looking so grown up it makes me shudder.

I don't blog about my other two children firstly because I don't think it's right and secondly because I don't know how they would feel about it, after all this is a blog about me, not them. What I will say though, is that I have in the past proved myself to be woefully lacking on the parental front. So often I feel I've been given another chance to be a great Father, not good, not OK, great. I don't know if I ever will be, but I know I'll keep doing my best. It seems the result of doing my best is weekends like the one I just had. I like that, I like that a lot.    

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Left in the lurch

Left in the lurch
Abandoned in a difficult position without help.
This has nothing to do with lurches in the sense of sudden unsteady movements.
There are suggestions that lurch is a noun that originated from lich - the Old English word for corpse. Lych-gates are roofed churchyard entrances that adjoin many old English churches and are the appointed place for coffins to be left when waiting for the clergyman to arrive to conduct a funeral service. To be 'left in the lych/lurch' was to be in dire straits indeed.
Another theory goes that jilted brides would be 'left in the lych' when the errant bridegroom failed to appear for a wedding. Both theories are plausible but there's no evidence to support either and, despite the superficial appeal of those explanations, 'lych' and 'lurch' aren't related.
In fact, the phrase originates from the French board game of lourche or lurch, which was similar to backgammon and was last played in the 17th century (the rules having now been lost). Players suffered a lurch if they were left in a hopeless position from which they couldn't win the game. The card game of cribbage, or crib, also has a 'lurch' position which players may be left in if they don't progress half way round the peg board before the winner finishes.
The figurative usage of the phrase had certainly entered the language by the 16th century as this line from Nashe's Saffron Walden, 1596, shows:
"Whom he also procured to be equally bound with him for his new cousens apparence to the law, which he neuer did, but left both of them in the lurtch for him."
The game came to England from continental Europe and its name derives from the word 'left', which is 'lurtsch' in dialect German and 'loyrtz' in Middle Dutch. Why call a game 'left'? The most plausible explanation (and regular readers will know that, in etymology, plausibility isn't everything) is that it relates to the bad feeling against the left hand that was then commonplace in many cultures. In English we have held on to this with the word 'sinister', which of course just means 'left-handed'.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

littered with folk

I wonder who the bright spark was that pointed out lifeboats are not needed on an unsinkable ship? Or the young feller me lad who highlighted the safety factors linked to giant airships filled with hydrogen, possibly followed by the "what can possibly go wrong" line. History has for sure been littered with folk of this ilk, the people who simply can not see the obvious. I mean, hydrogen, come on, did no one notice it's burn like a bastard side? 

Clearly the world wouldn't be at the point it is today without the mad little buggers who said "It'll be fine, don't worry" but where do we stop? At what point is it OK for someone to say "your nut's, piss off" And if we did, would they listen? Whoever they are.
I blame the yes men, the folk who surround the folk with the stupid ideas and call them geniuses. When Hitler said I fancy invading Poland next Thursday, who was his knob of a mate who said good plan dude. All the while shuffling away muttering how he always thought poundland was shit anyway. So to all the yes men out there, how about once in a while saying no, just for a change. Maybe you'll be surprised.  


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The law is the law.

Its an odd thing, the law of the land. Below are a few that kind of highlight this oddness.

In Texas, it's against the law for anyone to have a pair of pliers in his or her possession.

In Philadelphia, you can't put pretzels in bags based on an Act of 1760.

Alaska law says that you can't look at a moose from an air-plane.

In Corpus Christie, Texas, it is illegal to raise alligators in your home.

In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal.

It is against the law to mispronounce the name of the State of Arkansas in that State.

In Illinois, the law is that a car must be driven with the steering wheel.

California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman is not to drive a car unless a man warns approaching motorists or pedestrians by walking in front of the car that is being driven.

In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.

In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an auto mobile.

In West Virginia, only babies can ride in a baby carriage.

In Georgia, it is against the law to slap a man on the back or front.

A barber is not to advertise prices in the State of Georgia.

In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents.

In Oklahoma, no baseball team can hit the ball over the fence or out of a ballpark.

New shoes?

In the 1920s to 1940s, a popular device in shoes stores was the shoe-fitting fluoroscope. Stores used their machines to draw in customers with slogans such as "Shoes of Quality, X-Ray Fitted" and "Kiddies love it!" One 1940's advertisement boasted, "Whether the shoe clerk is an “old timer” with 20 or more years of fitting experience or a “Saturday extra” who has been on the job only a few weeks, ADRIAN X-Ray Machines help him give your child the most accurate fitting possible."

The machines showed the image of the foot inside the shoe when a person stood over the x-ray tube. [One source says the x-ray tube was lead-shielded while another says it was shielded with 1 mm of aluminum.-most likely varied b model and year]. "Some units allowed the operator to select one of three different intensities: the highest intensity for men, the middle one for women and the lowest for children. "

Some models had three viewing slots, where both the child, parent and clerk could view the image. "Fortunately, the X-rays did not continue directly through to the viewers' eyes, but were reflected by mirrors to the viewing ports. With repeated use of the fluoroscope with different pairs of shoes, an enterprising clerk could entice customers to find the perfect fit."

While potential dangers of radiation were known before the shoe-fitting fluoroscope was patented, 10,000 shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were being used in the 1940s. In 1951, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists formed safety standards. The standard required that customers could not use the device more than 20 times a year or 5 times a fitting, and that "customers should have shoes on BOTH feet at the time of a fluoroscopic examination." 1960, the device was banned in 34 states.

The Museum of Quackery claims their fluoroscope on display was found in Madison, West Virginia in 1981 where it was still being used.

Monday, 2 August 2010

50 useless facts.

1 - Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
2 - Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
3 - There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
4 - The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
5 - A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
6 - There are more chickens than people in the world.
7 - The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
8 - On a Canadian two-dollar bill, the flag flying over then Parliament building is an American flag.
9 - All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20.
10 - No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
11 - "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
12 - Almonds are a member of the peach family.
13 - There are only 4 words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
14 - A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
15 - An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
16 - Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
17 - In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
18 - Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
19 - The characters Bert & Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life."
20 - A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
21 - A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds.
22 - It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
23 - The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
24 - In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
25 - The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
26 - The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
27 - There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
28 - The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.
29 - A cockroach can live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
30 - A polar bears skin is black. Its fur is not white, but actually clear.
31 - Elvis had a twin brother named Aaron, who died at birth, which is why Elvis' middle name was spelled Aron: in honor of his brother. It is also misspelled on his tomb stone.
32 - Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
33 - More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
34 - Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
35 - Shakespeare invented the words "assassination" and "bump."
36 - Marilyn Monroe had 6 toes on one foot.
37 - If you keep a goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white.
38 - Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
39 - Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.
40 - The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.
41 - The names of the continents all end with the same letter with which they start.
42 - TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.
43 - The word race car and kayak are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.
44 - A snail can sleep for 3 years.
45 - American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.
46 - The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
47 - Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with a population of 1,000 and a size of 108.7 acres.
48 - "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
49 - No president of the United states was an only child.
And last and definitely most important:
50 - The average chocolate bar has 8 insects' legs in it.