Monday, 28 September 2015

A Guide to this Week's American Football Contest in London

Hello again folks, Jeremy Crow here to export some American values to my friend Thoggy Mike’s blog. Mondays are an awful thing to wish on a human being so I like to lighten my day by taking a bit of a world tour, dropping mental notes here and there in any location that the restraining orders have expired. In this case there hasn’t been any restraining order, I just think Mike forgets that I have access to his blog (shhh it’s a secret) but in the interest of spreading American values I want to talk a little bit about a great sport that we export to Britain once or twice a year, FOOTBALL.

Yes I realize that everyone over on the Anglican isle has another thing that they call football, and they probably think of what we play as American Football, but I am speaking from this side of the Atlantic so it will just be called football. Ner ner. Now I’m sure there are plenty of people over there who seem to have a grasp on what the rules of football are, but I want to share the nuances of what Americans really enjoy about the game. It isn’t just rugby with pads; it is more along the lines of Spartans Vs Persians. A game that was glorified in a movie called 500. Two warring armies face off in a gorge 50 yards across, and smash into each other with as much force as possible until someone either breaks through the lines or gets broken. Now THAT’S a sport!

Well seriously folks, if you have learned anything from this off season, football over here actually has more in common with a typical soccer (yeah that’s what we call your football and I am after all writing from over here ner ner and all that) hooligan. Cheating is frowned upon but secretly admired. There are those that can handle the beating and those that can’t. There are people who transcend the game, and there are of course those that show up like they are going to a KISS concert (we call those Raiders fans, stay with me here) but most importantly there is real honest to goodness hate that goes on in the sport. I know the English fans can relate to this.

I of course am a Patriots fan, so to put this into context my second favorite team on any given Sunday is “Anyone playing the Jets” and MVP of the league should be anyone that takes out Peyton Manning, but I will settle for anyone who can get some good shots in on that bitch Phillip Rivers. We study the other teams so we know exactly how to taunt them and their fans. This week the Pittsburgh Rapists became the Pittsburgh Dog Killers for example. The Minnesota Child Abusers beat up on the San Diego Crybabies, and the Filthydelfia Eagles were my second favorite team this week. Unfortunately my third and forth favorite teams (anyone playing the Dolphins and anyone playing the Bills) played each other so I took part in another American football tradition. I rooted for injuries.

Friday, 25 September 2015

LinkedIn, would you mind if I bought them dinner first?

So, this came into my inbox the other day...

Um.. thanks LinkedIn... but I think I'll give it a miss.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Guest Post - Boys Day Out

As I'm recovering from a fairly epic pummelling otherwise known as the latest transatlantic debate, my dad guest posts today, talking about the last time was went to Pave, one of our favourite bars.  Think I might pop over later...


My dad thinking in Pave.


Mike, my favourite son, took me out for an afternoon's beer sampling at the last Easter weekend. What better way is there to idle away a pleasant afternoon with good company, a bite to eat, a friendly atmosphere and something wet to wash it all down with?

'PAVE' is a friendly pub in the nearby city of Hull, with good food and an extensive selection of excellent beers - it fitted the bill perfectly!

Whist visiting the gentlemen's facilities, which is occasionally required whilst sampling beer, I could not help but notice a poster advertising an 'Unplugged female singer' whose performance was said to be 'Intimate, Raw Emotional and Eclectic'. I have to admit the words caught my attention, being as I was somewhat unsure as to their meanings. Interestingly I have seen the self same terms describing other performers at Pave - Pave tends to feature Jazz musicians and vocalists, who are very good, but not necessarily intimate, raw, or indeed overly emotional!

Together we mused whilst sampling various beverages what 'Intimate, Raw Emotional and Eclectic' could mean in real terms, clearly it was something that performers at Pave specialised in. Well, I admit, we were feeling 'refreshed' at the time and random, lateral thoughts were coming easily to us. Maybe some of our suggestions were a bit silly, involving choir boys, scalded cats and electrical kitchen equipment .... but as I am currently cold stone sober, I can't possibly repeat some of them, but really, the poster blurb promised that a certain female singer would satisfy all my musical eclectic needs and I don't know how it is, perchance the foreign named killer pint of lager (my second sampling) prompted a strange state of mind, but I was quite unaware of ever having eclectic musical needs!

A stunning vision of me riding a unicycle whilst balancing a music box on the end of my nose, playing the Star Spangled Banner, appeared, and then vanished before my eyes.

Apparently anyway, the singer and her friends travel across the UK every week, possibly to avoid angry mobs of music lovers.

I blame the lager. Erm, I think I'll have a coffee next please.

PS If you suffer from 'Raw Emotional' I highly recommend either earplugs or Premium strength lager - they work wonders for me!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The case for the UK's political system #DebateDay

Original photo courtesy of

Well, the big day is here at last.  It's been a rollercoaster of a ride here, there's been some interesting comments on the internet...

"Meow" - Colin the Cat, UK

And some mud slung around...

"You have been taking a lot of liberties with cats lately" - Mr T Clark, USA

And even some outright craziness...

"I prefer the government of Belize" - Mr J Crow, USA

But enough is enough now, and today we shall put forward our cases as to why our political system is better.

The case for the UK

Well, our system was here first.  The UK has not been conquered or occupied for over a thousand years, and over that time we have been able to develop our system, from the Magna Carta (signed 800 years ago this year) giving power to the lords of the country, to the extension of power to commoners, to the current Westminster system (called this because it's from Westminster in the UK) which is replicated around the world, including in such outposts as the USA.

The UK does not have a president, instead opting for a system where even our Prime Minster can be held to account by Parliament.  This gives confidence in that the rule of the head of government must be just, or face removal from office.  In the US however, the President is separated from the Senate, so they only address the Senate once a year, and they can find themselves in the difficult position of the Senate having a majority of members allied to a different party than the President, hamstringing the President.

And of course, the UK is a constitutional monarchy, and executive rule is held by Her Majesty the Queen.  Monarchs are increasingly rare in today's world, and I can understand the argument for republics - but consider this.  The UK is one of the few (if not the only) countries that became a republic, and then invited the King back to allow the return of the country to a monarchy.  That means that our monarchs are clearly the best.

This briefly adds up to the UK's political system being superior than the US.

But don't let this be enough reason for you - this video is where all the action is, with the full discussion -  watch it below:

And now - go see Tim's blog (and video) for the case for the US that he is putting forward today.  And when you're done, make sure to leave us a comment on what side you're on!

Friday, 18 September 2015

The worst is feared

Drawing by: Jules-Descartes Férat (1819-1898?); engraving: François Pannemaker (1822-1900) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the war room things are heating up.  Field Marshal Anstruther is not pleased.
 "I say, Carruthers, those damn Yanks are really being quite annoying."
 "Yes, sir, they seem to be really doing rather well, if I may say so."
 "What on earth is going on over there now?"
 "Um, they appear to be drinking, sir.  The one named Robert has just taken a pounding from Michelle."
 "And what about that mascot of theirs?  Why is it sat in a chair giving instructions to the rest of them?"
 "I believe the dog holds some sort of Doctorate, sir.  There is every chance that it will be President of the United States in the near future."
 "Well I won't stand for it! Get me our mascot, at once!"
 "Yes, sir."

 A few minutes went by while Carruthers rounded up Colin, who was busy sleeping off a heavy meal - a pigeon, even after seeing Colin, had not taken flight in time.

 "Cat!  Yes you there!  What do you have to say for yourself?"
 "Meow" Colin said, falling back asleep in Carruthers arms.
 "And what is that supposed to mean?"
 "Well sir, I think it meant that he recorded a video promoting the UK's political system the other day, and that's really all he was planning to do."
 "Was it really? Well, tell Mister Colin here that if he wants any kitty chunks for supper he'll have to pull his socks up!"

Hopes are not great for the British side as they appear to have retired to the lounge for cups of tea with tiffin, but we hope that we may yet turn the side against the army of Life, Explained tomorrow.  Stay tuned for tomorrows explosion, it's going to make your eyes water.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Trying something new

Let's be honest, part of the reason for blogging is the audience. I started blogging because I wanted to essentially force myself to regularly write something, and I need an audience to keep me going.

And I wouldn't be surprised if, at least a portion of us bloggers, do dream about going viral and suddenly rolling around in advertising income and power.  And offers of free cruises in return for giving a review on our blog.

(For the sake of clarity - to any cruise lines reading - I will be happy to review your cruise ships on my blog in return for a cruise)

Anyway, one blog that I read - although not as often as I should - is the Hootsuite Social Blog.  Hootsuite, if you're not familiar, offer a service for social media folk to schedule tweets, manage social media searches, and lots of other stuff.  I've used Hootsuite for scheduling tweets for absolutely years, and it's a handy tool, mainly let down by my erratic tweet scheduling.

But on their blog they give great advice in the form of interesting blogs for anyone wanting to boost their social media presence.

One of their blogs which I recently read talked about lessons from 15 of their best performing tweets, which gives some examples of good tweets they've done.  And one of the key things is including photos in tweets, so that they stand out better in Twitter timelines.

So with the latest set of scheduled tweets I've included photos, and it'll be interesting to see how (if) it makes any difference to how much the tweets are noticed.

And of course, you need a good photo on any blog.

So here's one.

It's a pig with the ability to vibrate lurking within the pyramid of mystery. Let the memes begin.

Thanks for reading!

Don't forget the transatlantic debate on Saturday - US vs UK, which has the better political system?  Stay tuned!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Colin says hi

This is Colin.

Colin is a British shorthair cat, and he's decided to have his say ahead of the big debate next Saturday, UK versus the US of A, about who has the better political system.

But Colin's a cat.  So come back on Saturday to read my blog (and while you're at it go see Tim's US-based one as well) and decide.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Computer Dreaming

I don't know if I've already posted about this, but I had a go with, a website that uses Google Deep Dream to generate dream images from pictures you provide.  For example, it changed this:
A picture of me somewhere up Mount Dalsnibba in Norway

Something with loads of birds and spidery things?!?

And in honour of the upcoming debate behind me and Tim about our respective political systems (get involved - Saturday 19th of September 2015! He's getting a lot of US supporters lined up, and I need more bloggers to put forward the case for the UK!) here is a UK flag all dreamed up.

Google likes eyes.

Have you had a go with any of the websites running Google Deep Dream?  Or have you tried running the Deep Dream software on your own PC?  I'd love to hear what you created!

In other news - my latest Random Wikipedia Article is up

And if you like it stay tuned to my channel - more rock-wallabies to be featured in the future!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

PM vs President - the showdown is coming!

And so, the latest transatlantic debate is announced.  Earlier today the one and only Mr Tim Clark of Life, Explained, and a fellow blogger on The Whacko, declared war upon not just our political process, but ultimately our very way of life* from the land of America, upon the home of all that is true, good, and mighty, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

And so, in two weeks, we will be extolling the virtues of our political processes, and the way that our democracy is operated, in the UK by a Prime Minister, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords, and in the US by.... well, I've no idea, but from watching NCIS I think there's a chap that goes by the nickname of "POTUS" and a lot of hard faced people in dark suits with sunglasses listening to ear-pieces (the kind that I've seen used to protect sandwiches)

So, stay tuned to my blog, and Tim's blog, and The Whacko, not to mention my YouTube channel (but don't watch Tim's videos because it'll have some sort of dog giving instructions on it) as we work up to the big day.

In the mean time, your comments and letters of support are welcomed, if you have a view that you think helps my argument as to why the UK's system is the best, drop me a comment or tweet me or do something, it'll make you feel all warm inside, kind of like how my liqueur coffee is making me feel right now.

(And if you think you might need a liqueur coffee, check out the decision tree.)

If you're a blogger, maybe you could do a blog giving your point of view on Saturday the 19th of September 2015 too - we could link up and all that kind of awesomeness.

For Democracy!

*Tim didn't actually declare war on either our political process or our way of life. But let's not let the truth get in the way of a good statement.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Refugee Crisis - how to get involved

I'm driven to blog today due to the recent events covered in the media regarding refugees, primarily from Syria, due to the events taking place in the Middle East.

I'm not going to discuss the rights and wrongs of the situation (even though I do have some fairly clear views about it all), but there is a great deal of people wanting to get involved in some way, and I thought that it might be worth briefly summarising some of the online petitions that you can sign.

If you are a UK resident, you can sign this petition on the official UK Parliament website to "Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK"

For US residents, there is a petition on the White House website. has a petition to the UK Home Secretary, titled "No more drownings. Immediate sanctuary for those fleeing from war" and another to the Prime Minister, titled "David Cameron: Britain must accept its fair share of refugees seeking safety in Europe"

Avaaz has petitions also, "EU: Stop the drownings", and an equivalent for the UK as well as a page for those willing to volunteer to support refugees in various ways

For those in the UK, you can also contact your MP, send them a letter or an email - find them at

For more ways to help, you may want to take a look at the Independent's "Five practical ways you can help refugees trying to find safety in Europe" article - a number of charities are involved supporting refugees.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Body Chat

Me: I can do anything!
Body: Okayyy, let's see where you're going this with...

Me: I have a Masters Degree in Construction Project Management!
Brain: Yes, we did get that, and we didn't even cheat.  Keep going.

Me: I can run a hundred metres in twenty seconds!
Legs: Well - yes, we did do that once, a few years ago...

Me; I can leap onto the top of a brick wall!
Knees: As long as it's one brick high, yes...

Me: I can slightly lean forward in my chair!

After heroically walking about three or four miles on Tuesday, my back has decided to say no to such challenging feats such as standing up, moving, sitting down, getting in/out of a car, laying down, sitting up right, or basically doing anything.  I'm treating it with a combination of painkillers and alcohol (no, I'm not telling you to mix alcohol and painkillers, it's a bad idea) plus a heat pack and I'm feeling a little better.  I should be setting up my PS2 in the computer room tomorrow night but it depends on my range of movement before I take the plunge to try something involving that amount of physical effort (for clarity, I do actually need to build a stand for the PS2 and TV, not just plug it in!).

I find back pain really annoying because most of the time my back is absolutely fine, but when it does go it takes quite a while to sort itself out.  I have a similar issue with my ankle - 99% of the time it's fine, then once in a blue moon when doing something outlandish like walking on it it'll suddenly decide "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to go sideways instead of keeping to the normal up-down motion" and I find myself yelling obscenities as I head for the ground at a rate of knots.

Do you ever suffer with your body? Drop me a comment about what you suffer with, because... well why not? :)

And go and look at my liqueur coffee flowchart too!
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