Thursday, January 24, 2008

Swedish v British Nightclubs

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Poor People

The floor just rocked. Dylan had gone to bed, but there was a banging. Kim went to investigate.

"Mummy, can you get all my money from my tin, and give it to the poor people?"

"why, Dylan?"

"to make them happy, too"

What can I say...........

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mumbles RNLI lifeboat crew are Wales’ busiest rescuers

21 January 2008 West 006 2008

Strictly embargoed until 00.01am Tuesday 22 January 2008

Mumbles RNLI lifeboat crew are Wales’ busiest rescuers

The latest figures, reveal the Mumbles has rescued more people than any other of the 31 RNLI lifeboat stations in Wales. Whilst Rhyl is the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Wales in terms of lifeboat launches, the volunteer RNLI crew at the Mumbles have assisted the greatest number of people – rescuing 85 people in 2007.

Despite the wet summer, the RNLI’s crews were consistently busy throughout the year. RNLI volunteers in Wales spent more than 1,490 hours at sea in 2007, rescuing 1,007 people and launching to 1,125 emergency call-outs*.

Of the 31 lifeboat stations in Wales, 12 have seen their rescue figures rise, including Burry Port and Penarth. The Barry Dock all-weather RNLI lifeboat was the busiest offshore lifeboat in Wales, with 31 emergency call-outs in 2007.

Rhyl retained its position as the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Wales with 115 launches and 65 people rescued. The volunteer crew spent over 113 hours at sea, more than any other RNLI lifeboat station in Wales.

The rescuers are now issuing an SOS of their own and are calling members of the public to support RNLI SOS day the charity’s national fundraising day this Friday. RNLI SOS day fundraising events will be happening across Wales from a ‘Stroke Our Snakes and Spiders’ challenge in Swansea to a ‘Sip Our Soup’ lunch at the Novotel in Cardiff. South Wales Police have already arrested RNLI mascot Stormy Stan at Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat station and are urging the public to visit to help them raise enough ‘bail’ to secure his release in time for SOS day.

Andy Hurley, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector for Wales says:

‘Despite fewer visitors to the coast during the early summer months, RNLI volunteers around the coast have experienced another busy year, which has required a great deal of time and commitment from our lifeboat crews. It seems the unseasonable weather didn’t deter most people from visiting the coast and with the increasing popularity of leisure pursuits on the water, the RNLI in Wales remains as busy as ever.

‘Lifeboat launches and equipping our volunteer crews with the skills they need to save lives costs money, which is why we are urging the public to get involved in RNLI SOS day by logging on to’

Most RNLI lifeboat launches in 2007 in Wales were to power pleasure craft, with 285 call-outs to vessels in difficulty. Machinery failure remains the biggest cause of rescue in Wales, and the charity is encouraging people to ensure they are well equipped and take heed of the RNLI’s sea safety advice before taking to the water.

Mr Hurley adds:

‘RNLI inshore lifeboats have once again been far busier than our all-weather RNLI lifeboats, accounting for 77 per cent of all call-outs. This demonstrates that most of our work is done close to the shore as more people spend their leisure time on the sea. Our sea safety education initiatives continue to raise awareness of potential dangers and help prevent incidents from occurring.

‘Thanks to the ongoing support of the public, we will be introducing RNLI lifeguards on to 12 beaches in Pembrokeshire this summer, which will enable us to provide a seamless rescue services from the beach to the open sea.’

The wet summer meant that the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and volunteer lifeboat crew, including many volunteers from North Wales, were particularly active inland rescuing over 200 people in flood hit areas across the UK during the summer months.

Nationally, the RNLI experienced one of its busiest years on record, with 8,052 launches for the charity’s 233 lifeboat stations around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

To take part in RNLI SOS day and for inspiring fundraising ideas or to simply make donation log on to or call 02920 456999.


The media are invited to World of Aquatics, Samlet Road, Swansea at 10am on 24 January for the ‘Stroke Our Snakes and Spiders’ fundraiser. A news release on this specific fundraiser is available by contacting Tamsin Davies on 02920 456999.

Notes to editors:

*Finalised RNLI annual lifeboat launch statistics will be available in February 2008; the provisional statistics available today are very close to the expected final figures.

  1. For individual RNLI lifeboat station statistics or to find out more about SOS events in your area, please contact Danielle Rush.

  1. The RNLI is a registered charity that continues to rely on voluntary contributions, corporate donations and legacies for income and receives no UK Government funding.

  1. The RNLI’s annual running costs are over £122M – approximately £335,000 per day.

  1. There are over 230 RNLI lifeboat stations across the UK and Ireland, which are operated by 4,800 RNLI lifeboat crew members, of which 95 per cent are volunteers.

  1. RNLI Lifeguards operate on 71 beaches in the south and east of England.

  1. The RNLI’s 2007 inland flood response was carried out by volunteer lifeboat crews from around the coast and members of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team* (which is on 24-hour standby to respond to flooding emergencies both at home and abroad).

*Volunteers at the RNLI's lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, were asked if they wished to volunteer for the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team, which the charity set up following its involvement with flood relief in Mozambique in March 2000. Those selected were trained in swift water and survival techniques, and other specialist skills.

For further information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager for Wales on 07786 668829 or 01745 585162.

The RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit or News releases and other media resources are available at

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dylan's fave site (updated)


Perhaps somewhere for a NNB to explore?

Or even Sam? (honorary Celts)


Friday, January 18, 2008

the real deal

Embedded Video

Blogged with Flock

The Definitive Mentos + xxx experiment

Embedded Video

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Breaking a duck

I broke a duck today and paid for a music download :-0.

As I imagined, the nasty nasty copyright software then stopped me doing what I wanted with MY download, i.e., committing the mortal sin of putting it on my mp3 player AND saving a backup copy to the p.c.!

I also had a noodle around napster, who seemed to be even worse, and wanted to charge me 79p every time I did anything with the file. So much for the '30 days free trial' - my advice is don't bother.

This sort of crass nonsense is why people persist in illegal file sharing. Gosh, wouldn't it be terrible if I had 2 copies for my 69p!


Friday, January 11, 2008

WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM brought to you by Margaret Thrush

A Mumbles legend,
A piece of my youth,
A fantastic charity worker
Hats off to Margaret Thrush MBE

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pass me my brown trousers

I dont usually forward ejokes, but this one made me chuckle:-

Hat tip: Kim & Maggie

Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."
Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."!
: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"
Hardy: "Sorry sir?"
(reading aloud): "'England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.' - What gobbledegook is this?"
Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."
: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments."
: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle."
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking.
: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."
Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."
: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle In history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."
: "What?"
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."
: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."
: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."
: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to mear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."
Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."
: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"
: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."
: "What? This is mutiny!"
Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."
: "We're not?"
Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."
: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-coordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary report."
Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of Your King."
Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now
put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life"
Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment."
Nelson: "What about sodomy?"
Hardy: "I believe that is now legal, sir."
Nelson: "In that case............................... kiss me, Hardy."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


hello kim

Blogged with Flock



Blogged with Flock

Flocking to a new web browser

After years of being wedded to M$ I.E.x, I migrated some months ago to Mozilla Firefox. This natty little browser allows me to have tabs, remember passwords, and install some cracking plug-ins like Download helper, which rips You Tube videos to disk.

HOwever, I have now been lured away by the promise of bright shiny things by the Welsh Born Icon himself, to dip my toes into Flock, which promises the moon on a stick. I'll let you know if it delivers

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pandora Shuts the box :-(

One of my favorite web apps sent me an email today. It seems that the fat cats in the recording industry won't allow web streaming radio outside the USA. Shame on their houses & may all their cats lay barren

Here's the gist:-

hi, it's Tim,

This is an email I hoped I would never have to send.

As you probably know, in July of 2007 we had to block usage of Pandora outside the U.S. because of the lack of a viable license structure for Internet radio streaming in other countries. It was a terrible day. We did however hold out some hope that a solution might exist for the UK, so we left it unblocked as we worked diligently with the rights organizations to negotiate an economically workable license fee. After over a year of trying, this has proved impossible. Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US.

Based upon the IP address from which you recently visited Pandora, it appears that you are listening from the UK. If you are, in fact, listening from the US, and are denied access from Pandora on or after January 15th please contact Pandora Support:

It continues to astound me and the rest of the team here that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music. I don't often say such things, but the course being charted by the labels and publishers and their representative organizations is nothing short of disastrous for artists whom they purport to represent - and by that I mean both well known and indie artists. The only consequence of failing to support companies like Pandora that are attempting to build a sustainable radio business for the future will be the continued explosion of piracy, the continued constriction of opportunities for working musicians, and a worsening drought of new music for fans. As a former working musician myself, I find it very troubling.

We have been told to sign these totally unworkable license rates or switch off, that is what we are doing. Streaming illegally is just not in our DNA, and we have to take the threats of legal action seriously. Lest you think this is solely an international problem, you should know that we are also fighting for our survival here in the US, in the face of a crushing increase in web radio royalty rates, which if left unchanged, would mean the end of Pandora.

We know what an epicenter of musical creativity and fan support the UK has always been, which makes the prospect of not being able to launch there and having to block our first listeners all the more upsetting for us.

We know there is a lot of support from listeners and artists in the UK for Pandora and remain hopeful that at some point we'll get beyond this. We're going to keep fighting for a fair and workable rate structure that will allow us to bring Pandora back to you. We'll be sure to let you know if Pandora becomes available in the UK. There may well come a day when we need to make a direct appeal for your support to move for governmental intervention as we have in the US. In the meantime, we have no choice but to turn off service to the UK.

Pandora will stop streaming to the UK as of January 15th, 2008.

Again, on behalf of all of us at Pandora, I'm very, very sorry.


-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Why Judy Garland is a Gay Icon

I always wandered why friends of Dorothy held La Garland in such high esteem. Today Wiki helped me out a little Here


Time then attempted to explain Garland's appeal to the homosexual, consulting psychiatrists who opined that "the attraction [to Garland] might be made considerably stronger by the fact that she has survived so many problems; homosexuals identify with that kind of hysteria." and that "Judy was beaten up by life, embattled, and ultimately had to become more masculine. Writer William Goldman, in a piece for Esquire magazine advances the tragic figure theory. After first suggesting that "if [homosexuals] have an enemy, it is age. And Garland is youth, perennially, over the rainbow," he writes:
Homosexuals tend to identify with suffering. They are a persecuted group and they understand suffering. And so does Garland. She's been through the fire and lived - all the drinking and divorcing, all the pills and all the men, all the poundage come and gone - brothers and sisters, she knows.[7]

Openly gay comedian Bob Smith offers a comic take on the tragic figure theory, imagining an "Elvis queen" and a "Judy queen" debating their idols:

"Elvis had a drinking problem."
"Judy could drink Elvis under the table."
"Elvis gained more weight."
"Judy lost more weight."
"Elvis was addicted to painkillers."
"No pill could stop Judy's pain!"[8]

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Matthew Parris "Misjudged"?

I always thought Matthew Parris was a burk (Tory MP, political journo, etc), but It has now been confirmed beyond all possible doubt. This beggars belief. Not even Clarkson would go this far. (surely?)

from the Beeb:-

Cycling fury at beheading 'joke'
Matthew Parris
Matthew Parris was a Derbyshire Conservative MP for seven years
Hundreds of people have complained to the press watchdog about a newspaper column which they claimed encouraged the beheading of cyclists.

The Press Complaints Commission has had 200 objections to comments by The Times columnist and former MP Matthew Parris.

Rhyl Cycling Club in Denbighshire, which lost four members in a crash two years ago, accused him of being vicious and ignorant.

Mr Parris has now apologised for an article he said was meant to be funny.

In his column on 27 December, he wrote: "A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists".

Accident scene
Parris and The Times editor must be held to account - if necessary, through due process of law
Roy Spilsbury, CTC Cymru

Under the headline "What's smug and deserves to be decapitated?" he wrote of cyclists' "brutish disregard for all other road users".

He also said that "the lynching of a cyclist by a mob of mothers with pushchairs would be a joy to witness".

A Press Complaints Commission (PCC) spokesman said: "We have probably had about 200 complaints about it and we are currently in the process of considering whether there are any issues under the code."

He said that, based on last year's figures, 200 protests would place the article among the commission's three most complained-about stories.

The column prompted outrage at Rhyl Cycling Club, which lost four members when a car skidded out of control in icy conditions near Abergele on 8 January, 2006.

Pictured clockwise: Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent, Dave Horrocks
The four cyclists were killed almost two years ago

Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42, died while on a practice ride.

Club president Bill Twigg said: "From a club that lost four cyclists, anything that brings more conflict between cyclists and motorists is a bad thing.

"If it wasn't for the first sentence, I could have dismissed the article as bad journalism."

Mr Twigg accused Mr Parris of "vicious pig ignorance".

Roy Spilsbury, vice chair of CTC Cymru - the Welsh arm of the Cyclists' Touring Club - said he was "closely associated" with the deaths of the four Rhyl cyclists, and had written to the PCC to complain.

In his complaint, he wrote: "Less than two years ago four members of Rhyl Cycling Club, ages ranging over three generations, were killed on a public highway.

Matthew Parris's apology in The Times
Matthew Parris has now used his Times column to apologise

"Messages of sympathy arrived from the four corners of the world - and the world's press reported the personal tragedies involved with appropriate sensitivity.

"That Parris believes that such people should be beheaded beggars belief."

He added: "Parris and The Times editor must be held to account. If necessary, through due process of law."

The article prompted dozen of complaints from Times readers, and the newspaper has printed a response by triathlete Alison Steed, who said she knew of fishing line being stretched across roads at head height.

She wrote: "What may seem a joke could end up killing someone - and for what, because you don't like cyclists, or cycling?"

A spokeswoman for The Times said Mr Parris was out of the country.

But in his latest column, Mr Parris, who was a Conservative MP from 1979 - 86, wrote: "I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists.

"It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


The christmas bugs that have been pestering us over the last few weeks finally built into a crescendo yesterday with Kim running a temperature of 102, & yours truly 101.

So, New Year's Day has been spent in bed. :(