Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm a nice bloke - Vote for me

Two things happened to me this week that I thought I would share with you (alright, I appreciate that obviously more than two things happened to me, but these are the two that I thought worth mentioning, unless you want to hear about bowel movements of course?)  Firstly @Trampy_joe  over at tagged me in a ’10 things we don’t know about you’ post, and secondly I was nominated, then chosen as one of the five finalists, in the Gurgle 2011 Awards for Best Daddy Blog.  I have no idea who nominated me, although I rather suspect it was my Mum, but whoever you are, thanking you most kindly.
You can vote for me (or one of the others I guess, it’s a free country and of course you are allowed to trample all over my feelings) at .  I’m not going to beg but please, please, please vote for me because I would quite like to meet Mylene Klass (the host) and talk to her about her classical music.
So here are 10 things you didn’t know about me and please don’t let anything you read here influence your voting decision in any way, shape, or form.
1.       Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I wander the streets of South Woodford helping little old ladies cross the roads.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons I spend helping confused old ladies who are inexplicably stuck on the wrong side of busy roads.

2.       I operate a butterfly hospital from my back garden where I repair wings and landing feet of injured butterflies.  I also run a self esteem course for the plain white ones where I hand paint bright patterns on their otherwise dull wings.

3.       On Tuesdays and Thursdays I put on my ‘You are not the weaker sex and I’m not mistaking plumpness for pregnancy’ T-shirt, then I ride the trains - giving up my seat for women young and old.

4.       I always, always, let cars out of the side streets when I’m driving down a main road.  Who cares that it then means that I have to start the school run at 3am?  If I can save a bit of your impatience then I’m a happy man.

5.       I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.  I also believe teachers are worth their weight in gold (even in today’s over inflated markets) and children make for excellent guide dogs. Win, win.

6.       When I live up north I vote Labour.  When I live down south I vote Tory.  When I’m temporarily hospitalised for my own protection, I vote Lib Dem.

7.       I do not believe Women are tetchy and illogical one week in every four, it is purely a coincidence.  An even if you are, it’s our fault anyway and we deserve whatever abuse comes our way.

8.       At the weekends I enjoy taking my children to different gardens in the South East of England.  Granted, they are Beer gardens, but they do enjoy a glass of lemonade and a packet of crisps whilst running between the tables.

9.       I think all babies are beautiful, even the ginger ones, or the mono-browed ones, or the non-identical twin ones.  There’s even a place in society for the ones that permanently look like they’re taking a dump, even when eating.

10.   At award ceremonies I would always dedicate my undeserved win to all the hard-working and underrated Mums and Dads of the world, they are so much more deserving than me and I’m just thankful to be a parent.
So with tongue firmly in cheek, I ask you again to do the right thing and VOTE FOR ME at .  A vote for me will not only let me continue some of the good works listed above, but it will also make you feel like the good minded citizen you obviously are.  Plus, as the vote is anonymous, you will be doing a completely unselfish act and it’s not often you can say that.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crime and Punishment

So we're half way into the summer hols and all normal punishments for the heinous crimes the monsters I call children commit on a daily basis, have started to lose their effectiveness.
Sending them to a corner has stopped working as they have taken to hiding toys there, safe in the knowledge I'm a crap cleaner, so they will happily sit there for hours playing.
Threatening to turn off the TV doesn't work, as they have realised that I still have to do my usual work-from-home type work and if I want any peace and quiet then the goggle box is my only chance of that.
They're on a sweet embargo anyway, as it took three months to finally finish the Easter egg mountain, so the sweets are on a sabbatical and can’t be used as a threat.
I can't smack them because now that it's summer they're wearing short sleeves and shorts, so the marks will show.  Only kidding - it's because they've leant to duck and weave.
So I'm now in a quandary, either I start to feed us all Vodka and Valium and we spend the rest of the summer in a fog like void, or I start thinking up some new cruel and unusual punishments.
Here are some that have been meted out so far:
Nate (Male, 4) Constantly yelling into the microphone on his battery powered shopping till.
PUNISHMENT: Me accidentally dropping a full suitcase on to the offending toy.  Twice
Kaede (Female, 6) Singing along to a Justin Bieber advert in a non-ironic way.
PUNISHMENT: Spending an afternoon listening to John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davies and Sarah Vaughan.  Then discussing the merits of removing the voice box of annoying, pre-pubescent, talentless, crap magnets.
Storm (Female, 17) Leaving her hair straighteners on all day, resulting in a perfect V shape being burnt into her bedroom carpet.
PUNISHMENT: Fuse removed from said straighteners (and hairdryer for good measure.)  Offender not informed about fuse removal, leaving her to replace 'unrepairable' items.
Nate (Male, 4)  Picking a fistful of flowers that I had spent six months growing, then scattering the petals throughout the house like Cleopatra's man servant.
PUNISHMENT: I mowed the lawn without the collection box attached and made him pick up all the grass cuttings.
Kaede (Female, 6) Showing guests at a recent party we threw, the secret room where we had, last minute, hid all our crap.
PUNISHMENT: Have compiled and saved an assortment of truly hideous and embarrassing photos of her on a CD marked 'Kaede's Wedding Day'.
Storm (Female, 17)  Failing to get to a safe place to let me respawn during an online Halo game, resulting in the relentless taunting of me by a 12 year old American gob-shite.
PUNISHMENT: Making her go back to basics with a Space Invader marathon.
Trish (Female, 40) Only bringing home one bottle of wine for Saturday consumption, leaving me with the 'Daytime or Evening?' drinking dilemma.
PUNISHMENT: My accidental dropping of sanitary products into sink, blaming kids and my parting comment of "You may as well pick up another bottle of wine as you're going back to the shops anyway."
There were more I could mention but time, space and the social services have prevented me from listing them.  If anyone else has some bright ideas, then I'm more than happy to hear them

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Anyone but Alonso - Hungary

Anyone but Alonso – the slightly warped world of the anti-fan – Hungary GP 2011
For the first time in God knows when, Massa has out-qualified his ‘team-mate’ Alonso and starts in 4th spot, one place ahead of the eyebrowed one.  This could mark the resurgence of Massa and the end of team orders at Ferrari.  I’m sorry, I take that back, I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and will instead bet the house on Massa letting Teflonso past at some point in the first ten laps.
It’s a Bon Jovi start today (Slippery when Wet for all you youngsters) and everybody seems to be starting on the intermediate tyres today.  It’s a terrible start for the Teflon Don as he slips to 6th, but after a battle with Schuey he retakes 5th place.  Massa seems like he’s given up already, what a surprise.  Maybe he and Webber can have a ‘battle of the test drivers’ race?
Lap 5 sees Hamilton take Vettel as he loses grip on the turn.  Again Massa blatantly lets Alonso past after Alonso had left the track, again.  Seriously, is there any point to Massa at all?  I guess that’s why we always get a gutless display from him.  I was actually ashamed to be Brazilian watching that display, then I realised that I’m actually English so I stopped worrying about it.  After Hamilton pits, Grandfather Schuey gets to lead a GP for the first time in God also only knows when, but then he pits and everything returns to normal.
At some stage I really should address my feeling on the whole Sky/BBC job-share debacle, but at the moment all I can see is an opportunity to pay half my licence fee if I promise to only use one eye when watching the coverage.
Massa is now stuck behind Schuey and perhaps remembering the team orders from when they were both at Ferrari, respectfully holds position behind him.  The Brazilian is now driving like the part of the body the ladies have a Brazilian.
Lap 25 sees the Lotus of Heidfeld turn into a BBQ and then explode like the sausages I have forgotten about on my own BBQ in the garden.  Heidfeld seems to have escaped unscathed, but I’m sure there will be a heated exchange once he gets back to the team bus.  Schuey retires, but unfortunately, only from the race.
Come Lap 37 Alonso can afford to pit and still come out in front of Massa, such is the patheticness of Massa’s driving.  Vettel then pits and Alonso gains track position from him.  The commentary is full of talk about tyres – primes vs super-softs.  I have to admit that all this tyre talk detracts from the excitement of the race for me and makes me super-soft.  The crying shame is that Hamilton has put the wrong tyres on and will probably lose the race because of it.
As if to prove my point, Hamilton does a doughnut, nearly taking out Di Resta, leaving Button free to move into the lead.  Then with rain starting to fall again, Hamilton starts harassing Button and manages to get his lead back as Button goes wide into the turn.  The lead goes back and forth between them as they show Ferrari how a team should be run.  Team orders – Pah.  We then watch d’Ambrosio try a hand break turn into his pit stop, I’m not sure he saved himself any time though.
Lap 53 sees Hamilton pit and rejoin in third, he is also now under investigation for the earlier spin – and unsurprisingly he gets given a drive through penalty.  Plus he then has to change his tyres again as the rain didn’t hold, so he may as well just give up and go home.  He then rejoins the race behind the two number 2 drivers, Massa and Webber.  Both Webber and Hamilton breeze past the pedestrian Massa, again making we wonder WHAT IS THE POINT OF HIM?  Especially when you see all those in places 7 to 11 fighting for the remaining points behind him.  It’s a disgrace Ferrari operate like this.
Hamilton manages to get past Webber on Lap 64 as they are both making their way through the back markers.  As I watch Webber give up his place, I can’t help but think that it’s no coincidence that if your team treats you as second class driver then you end up driving that way.
This could be McLarens fourth win today, two for each of the drivers.  This shows that the ‘whoever is winning the race gets first choice’ tactic, whilst not working out for Hamilton this time, is a good tactic for the team as a whole.
The race finished then, with a win for Button, followed by Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Webber, with Massa a distant sixth.  The HRT team finishes 22nd and 23rd - again proving they’re only good once a month.  We’re treated to a hilarious moment before the podium when Button asks Alonso “What happened to you, you kept going off?”  The speeding Gypsy remained tight lipped, but his immense eyebrows furrowed in protest at the cheek of the question.
So we now head into the enforced four week break.  The teams are not allowed to do anything for two of those weeks, so it will be interesting to see how long Teflonso's eyebrows will be by the time we get back.  Without having the use of the team’s angle grinders to trim them, I’m betting on at least an inch.
On a final note, during the whole of this GP my thoughts seem to have been dominated by Ferrari and Red Bull team orders.  When they see the excitement of the two McLaren drivers racing wheel to wheel against each other, they should hang their heads in shame.  Hopefully next season Sky will get the races where Red Bull and Ferrari cheat a win and the BBC will get the honest races, like the one we had today.