Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ping Pong, Matrix Style

those dastardly cunning orientals have now developed a version of ping pong, fashioned in the style of the popular film, "The Matrix" starring kevin reeves. you can watch a sequence here :- matrix pong

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Swansea's finest son

You can hear a lovely tale written by the bard of cwmdonkin here: a story

We heard this whilst in the car on sunday night, and I am amazed that you can click & re-listen at your leasure, by the power of t'internet. Thanks BBC.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tired of auto attached messages?

If your firm has a policy of attaching annoying little disclaimers at the bottom of your emails, (you know who I mean, jc ;) ), here's the antidote.

Feel free to use as you like. limited royalties to be paid in beer and/or curry to yours truly.

(I can't remember where I found it, sorry)

IMPORTANT: This email is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the next door Labrador is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft. However, by pouring complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Measure For Measure

We're off to The Globe again, on wednesday, to see Measure For Measure . Initially produced last season, it now returns for a limited run of thirteen performances at the Globe, before departing on a coast-to-coast tour of the USA.

The all-male cast will be largely drawn from the original company, including Mark Rylance as Duke Vincentio. This time it's an original practices effort, and is Mark Rylance's final performance as artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe.

During the times we have visited the Globe, He has been a shining star in the firmanent of good supporting companies. We plan to watch his career with interest in the future.

swords & sorcery

I have a terrible confession, & one I feel that I can now share, as I have a sword.

I sometimes read “Sword & Sorcery” books.

There. I’ve said it.

I find that after reading a weighty tome, or a “Good Novel”, there is a simple pleasure to be had from reading trash.

That said, I have just finished a Magnum Opus in the genre. The Banned & the Banished series by James Clemens runs over 5 books, and has taken up a fair bit of my spare time recently. It is a measure of the author that he managed to keep my attention for 5 books, and, in fact, they seemed to improve with the unfolding of the whole story.

Wit'ch Fire

It is set in the usual “land far off in time & space” where magic rules the land, and the regions are inhabited by dwarves, shape-shifters, ogres, mer-people, pirates, elves, nymphs, and of course the kind of rugged, good-looking humans that you often find in these books. They are of course opposed by the obligatory mages, demons, the possessed, evil creatures, all orchestrated by “the Dark One” (although “he is known by many names" :) )

The tale unfolds with the heroine Elena, & her pal Er’ril (there are lots of apostrophes here, & I never did find out why), gathering a posse of representatives of the above mentioned peoples, and doing battle with he who walks backwards. Sound’s a bit clichéd? Well, at one level it is, but at another level it remains fresh, and interesting, the author uses many unconventional story lines, and is never charry about killing off a much loved character when you least expect it. Because of this, he manages to maintain a tension that kept my interest right to the end.
Speaking of the end, that was well worth the wait, too. The author’s final twist was a good one, and tied all the threads together well.

So, overall, a good review. I would give the series 8/10 for the genre.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Shakespeare's globe in London is applying for lottery funding this year. COULD YOU ALL DO ME A BIG FAVOUR, and VOTE HERE FOR THE GLOBE :-
vote for the globe

if you want to do an even bigger favour, please post this link to your friends & get them to vote, too.



Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Four Candles?

Following on from the last post, here is the sketch I mentioned.

Thanks to John Browne for sending me this gem

In a hardware shop. Ronnie Corbett is behind the counter, wearing a warehouse jacket. He has just finished serving a customer.
CORBETT (muttering): There you are. Mind how you go.
(Ronnie Barker enters the shop, wearing a scruffy tank-top and beanie)
BARKER: Four Candles!
CORBETT: Four Candles?
BARKER: Four Candles.
(Ronnie Corbett makes for a box, and gets out four candles. He places them on the counter)
BARKER: No, four candles!
CORBETT (confused): Well there you are, four candles!
BARKER: No, fork 'andles! 'Andles for forks!
(Ronnie Corbett puts the candles away, and goes to get a fork handle. He places it onto the counter)CORBETT (muttering): Fork handles. Thought you said 'four candles!' (more clearly) Next?
BARKER: Got any plugs?
CORBETT: Plugs. What kind of plugs?
BARKER: A rubber one, bathroom.
(Ronnie Corbett gets out a box of bath plugs, and places it on the counter)
CORBETT (pulling out two different sized plugs): What size?
BARKER: Thirteen amp!
CORBETT (muttering): It's electric bathroom plugs, we call them, in the trade. Electric bathroom plugs!
(He puts the box away, gets out another box, and places on the counter an electric plug, then puts the box away)
BARKER: Saw tips!
CORBETT: Saw tips? (he doesn't know what he means) What d'you want? Ointment, or something like that?
BARKER: No, saw tips for covering saws.
CORBETT: Oh, haven't got any, haven't got any. (he mutters) Comin' in, but we haven' got any. Next?
(He goes to get a hoe, and places it on the counter)
BARKER: No, 'O's!
CORBETT: 'O's! I thought you said 'O! (he takes the hose back, and gets a hose, whilst muttering) When you said 'O's, I thought you said 'O! 'O's!
(He places the hose onto the counter)
BARKER: No, 'O's!
CORBETT (confused for a moment): O's? Oh, you mean panty 'o's, panty 'o's! (he picks up a pair of tights from beside him)
BARKER: No, no, 'O's! 'O's for the gate. Mon repose! 'O's! Letter O's!
CORBETT (finally realising): Letter O's! (muttering) You had me going there!
(He climbs up a stepladder, gets a box down, puts the ladder away, and takes the box to the counter, and searches through it for letter O's)
CORBETT: How many d'you want?
(Ronnie Corbett leaves two letter O's on the counter, then takes the box back, gets the ladder out again, puts the box away, climbs down the ladder, and puts the ladder away, then returns to the counter)
CORBETT: Yes, next?
BARKER: Got any P's?
CORBETT (fed up): For Gawd' sake, why didn' you bleedin' tell me that while I was up there then? I'm up and down the shop already, it's up and down the bleedin' shop all the time. (He gets the ladder out, climbs up and gets the box of letters down, then puts the ladder away) Honestly, I've got all this shop, I ain't got any help, it's worth it we plan things. (He puts the box on the counter, and gets out some letter P's) How many d'you want?
BARKER: No! Tins of peas. Three tins of peas!
CORBETT: You're 'avin' me on, ain't ya, yer 'avin' me on?
BARKER: I'm not!
(Ronnie Corbett dumps the box under the counter, and gets three tins of peas)
CORBETT (placing the tins on the counter): Next?
BARKER: Got any pumps?
CORBETT (getting really fed up): 'And pumps, foot pumps? Come on!
BARKER (surprised he has to ask): Foot pumps!
CORBETT (muttering, as he goes down the shop): Foot pumps. See a foot pump? (He sees one, and picks it up) Tidy up in 'ere.
(He puts the pump down on the counter)
BARKER: No, pumps fer ya feet! Brown pump, size nine!
CORBETT (almost at breaking point): You are 'avin' me on, you are definitely 'avin' me on!
BARKER (not taking much notice of Corbett's mood): I'm not!
CORBETT: You are 'avin' me on! (He takes back the pump, and gets a pair of brown foot pumps out of a drawer, and places them on the counter) Next?
BARKER: Washers!
CORBETT (really close to breaking point): What, dishwashers, floor washers, car washers, windscreen washers, back scrubbers, lavatory cleaners? Floor washers?
BARKER: 'Alf inch washers!
CORBETT: Oh, tap washers, tap washers? (He finally breaks, and makes to confiscate his list) Look, I've had just about enough of this, give us that list. (He mutters) I'll get it all myself! (Reading through the list) What's this? What's that? Oh that does it! That just about does it! I have just about had it! (calling through to the back) Mr. Jones! You come out and serve this customer please, I have just about had enough of 'im. (Mr. Jones comes out, and Ronnie Corbett shows him the list) Look what 'e's got on there! Look what 'e's got on there!
JONES (who goes to a drawer with a towel hanging out of it, and opens it): Right! How many would ya like? One or two?
(He removes the towel to reveal the label on the drawer - 'Bill hooks'!)

Who was Gerald Wiley?

I was saddened to read of the demise of the great Ronnie Barker, who died this week. One of the most touching stories I have found to the great man came from the BBC, who asked Who was Gerald Wiley?

It seems that a mystery writer used to submit scripts to the BBC under this name, some of which were rejected by the two ronnies. His work even included the great "fork handles, four candles" sketch later voted the best ever in a television poll. In it, Corbett plays a shop assistant trying to understand what Barker's customer wants. This sketch is forever burned into my memory, and is dusted off, misquoted, and abused by myself regularly, years on from when it was broadcast.

It was typical of the man that this was in fact, Ronnie Barker himself, too modest to claim the credit for himself. A fitting tribute to a true comedy great, and a very humble man.