The statues

There are two statues in a park; one of a nude man and one of a nude woman. They had been facing each other across a pathway for a hundred years, when one day an angel comes down from the sky and, with a single gesture, brings the two to life.

The angel tells them, “As a reward for being so patient through a hundred blazing summers and dismal winters, you have been given life for thirty minutes to do what you’ve wished to do the most.”

He looks at her, she looks at him, and they go running off together behind the shrubbery.

The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and giggling ensues. After fifteen minutes, the two return, out of breath and laughing.

The angel tells them, “Um, you have fifteen minutes left.”

The male statue asks the woman statue, “Would you like to do it again?”

“Oh ,yes let’s,” she replies! “But let’s change positions. This time, I’ll hold the pigeon down, and you shit on its head.”

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Jolly nice weather we’re having




The Beach

Originally uploaded by rutty.

The British love nothing better than commenting on the weather. It’s what we do best, other than lose at football and drink beer. We have a spectacularly mediocre weather cycle – in the summer it’s usually cloudy, perhaps some drizzle. Usually the same in the winter but with extra drizzle.

In fact, the UK has three types of weather: it’s either raining, just rained or about to rain.

However, this summer has been very different. We’ve seen the sort of weather to make this green and pleasant land more like our close Mediterranean neighbours – it’s been sunny. And bloody hot!

We are not used to such scorching temperatures, unless we’re a regular visitor to Florida. People are having to water their weeds in their gardens to maintain that wild-flower look that is so popular. Cardigans and mittens have been put in storage. People are showing their knees in public – I’m even wearing shorts to work along with sock-less sandals. There’s not a cloud in the sky for us to bemoan.

I’m not sure if this is the best summer we’ve had since the oft-remembered 1977, but it must be getting near to it. Our summer is usually relegated to a weekend in June but this year has seen some of the best, uninterrupted sunshine that I can ever remember in this country.

Sod the hosepipe bans and threats of a drought – get out there and enjoy it. And don’t forget your suntan lotion.

(Note, the picture is actually of the beach in Toronto – I couldn’t be arsed actually venturing out and taking another one of the local weather. Article originally written on Newsvine).

Movable Type 3.31

I’ve just updated this site’s backend with the latest version of Movable Type – version 3.31. The upgrade process was very, very easy and seems to have gone rather well. Not much has changed, although I gather that there are some new features in this release:

Tags: Describe your entries with tags so readers can easily find any content and subscribe to custom feeds.

Widgets: Arrange and manage your page just by dragging and dropping. Widgets can include your own content or content from other web services and feeds.

Activity Feeds: Reduce the burden of managing your blog by getting all the updates on comments and feedback on your blog, along with your blog’s activity, delivered via a secure custom feed.

New Blog Styles: Customize the look of your site with just a few clicks, without editing any HTML. Choose from dozens of unique designs and layouts.

Powerful Templating Language: Movable Type’s industry-leading template language is more powerful than ever, letting you choose exactly which content you want to display on your pages, as well as how it’s presented. Customize your entire site without having to do any programming.

I’ve noticed a couple of differences so far but I have no idea as of yet as to their purpose. There’s this one button that says “bigger” and another one says “smaller”. Hmmm, I need to read the new user manual.

If you get any issues then please let me know in the comments and I’ll try and get it sorted out.

Do not talk to the parrot

Mary’s dishwasher stopped working so she called the repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, “I’ll leave the key under the doormat. Fix the dishwasher, please, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll post the cheque to you as soon as I come home.”

After thinking for a moment, she added, “By the way, don’t worry about my bulldog. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances whatsoever, talk to my parrot. I REPEAT, DO NOT TALK TO MY PARROT!!!”

When the repairman arrived at Mary’s house the next day, he discovered the largest, meanest-looking bulldog he had ever seen. But, just as Mary had told him, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work.

The parrot, however, drove him completely nuts the whole time with his incessant screeching, cursing and name-calling. Finally, the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!”

To which the parrot replied, “GO GET HIM, SPIKE!”

I am a winner!




Lovely flowers

Originally uploaded by rutty.

OK, so “runner-up” would be more accurate, but I’ve attained a respectable almost-best position in a photo-competition at work.

There were three themes for this competition: nature, tranquility and motion. I entered four photos into each of the first two and failed miserably to find any motion photos.

Luckily for me I was presented with a runners-up prize for one of my nature entries – the one opposite, which shows some sort of tree or shrub branch from my “Spring” collection. Some lovely blossom there.

I won a framed version of my photo (nice and large!) plus a company t-shirt and cap. Oh yeah baby. I look great in this stuff.

In other news I’ve finally finished moving house and got my internet connected (at bloody last!) once I belatedly received my NTL broadband installation disk. This wireless connection is really solid too, so no cables for me!

The house is great – expect some photos soon.

Wiberwy

Ah, the FIFA World Cup 2006. A proper world sport, beloved by the majority of the globe and enjoyed on TV by hundreds of millions.

So, what’s the final verdict?

The winners

Italy are deserved winners – not because they were necessarily the best team at the tournament but because they were one of only a few teams to play like a team rather than a bunch of skilled individuals. The semi-final against Germany was one of the best World Cup games I’d ever seen with both sides playing attractive, adventurous football. It’s a real shame that this game wasn’t the final.

The runners-up

France pretty much summed up most of the tournament for me. Some days they were awful, some days brilliant. Sometimes both in the same game. I thought that they were dreadful against Portugal and yet still managed to progress to the final. There are some fantastic players in their team but it was often watching eleven individuals on the same pitch – some great skills but no end product.

The less said about Zidane’s moment of madness the better I think.

Germany

Amazing hosts and a very unlucky team. This World Cup will be mostly remembered for the incredible atmosphere generated by the German people. You could sense the excitement over the TV and most reporters at the games were saying how good the whole atmosphere was at the various stadia.

Nobody fancied Germany’s team to do much before the tournament started but they certainly proved a few critics wrong. They were one of the most exciting teams to watch for me and deserved their place in the semi-final. Any deficiencies in their team were rubbed out by good team spirit and the ability to play together. I was cheering for Germany once England were knocked out – I really hoped that they would win.

England

England didn’t properly turn up. They played 45 minutes of decent football against Sweden and that was pretty much it. So many talented players, but like some other team here no ability to play together. Yet another disappointing tournament for England and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last.

At least England flag suppliers made a killing.

The rest

Some really good teams lost out earlier than expected. Spain and Argentina must have been favourites to do well but neither did well against good opposition. Argentina looked fantastic against Serbia and Montenegro but looked like a very ordinary team against Germany. Spain once again flattered to deceive after showing so much promise in the group stages.

Some of the “lesser” teams provided some excellent entertainment. Ghana, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, among others, scared some of the bigger teams and provided the football neutrals with some excellent viewing. Australia were very unlucky against Italy and the USA could also claim the same thing.

All-in-all it turned out to be an excellent World Cup. As usual there’s a sense of anti-climax once it’s all finished – unless you’re Italian of course – but Germany proved to be excellent hosts and there were some very exciting games. The final was pretty decent too, even though it was spoiled somewhat by the Zidane foolishness.

Wiberwy

So, why the title?

Well, you’re going to think that I’m a little odd. For some reason, every time France played and the commentator said the name of the talented French winger Ribery my brain automatically relied with the Jonathon Ross-esque version. I then started to repeat this every single time “Ribery” was spoken on TV. This poor guy will always be a part of a Monty Python’s Life of Brian for me now.

Roll on Euro 2008.

Ireland v France

Jacques Chirac, the French President, is sitting in his office when his telephone rings.

“Hallo, Mr. Chirac!” a heavily accented voice said. “This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!”

“Well, Paddy,” Chirac replied, “Theez eez indeed important news! How big is your army?”

“Right now,” says Paddy, after a moment’s calculation, “there’s meself, me cousin Sean, me next-door neighbour Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eight!”

Chirac paused. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command.”

“Begorrah!” says Paddy. “I’ll have to ring you back.”

Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. “Mr. Chirac, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!”

“And what equipment would zat be, Paddy?” asks Chirac.

“Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy’s farm tractor.”

Chirac sighs, amused. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke.”

“Saints preserve us!” exclaims Paddy. “I’ll have to get back to you.”

Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. “Mr. Chirac, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin’s ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!”

Chirac was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” says Paddy, “I will have to ring you back.”

Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. “Top o’ the mornin’, Mr.Chirac! I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.”

“Really? I am sorry to hear that,” says Chirac. “Why the sudden change of heart?”

“Well,” says Paddy, “we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness, and decided there is no fookin’ way we can feed 200,000 prisoners”.