Monday, 31 January 2011

5 more in a few days

It's almost time for the next "5 on the fifth".  As usual, everyone is welcome to take part. You can either take 5 random pictures of something that happens to you on the 5th of February (or the days leading up to it) or perhaps go for my suggested theme. This month, the theme is Reflections.

I hope that you will be inspired take part - please tell your friends too!  Don't forget to add a comment on my blog on the 5th with your name, location and link where the pictures can be found. Remember to mention my blog on your own blog so that your visitors get to see the other contributions.

You can join the 5 on the fifth Facebook page here.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Wise words

This posting is for all gay guys out there, here is a fun take on safe sex with gorgeous porn star Brent Corrigan.

You can see the "unedited" version here.

If you search for some nice pictures of Brent on Google, just remember that they are likely not to be safe for work!

He comes across as surprisingly normal in interviews despite being a porn 'actor' and I wonder if he could have been a 'proper' actor if his life hadn't followed a different course. He got into a lot of trouble (and got a lot of people into trouble) by lying about his age and appearing in a porno when he was only 17. He's definitely a rebel and at 24 is considered to be a sex veteran!

Friday, 28 January 2011

True blood?

This is how I spent my lunchtime - working at home.  The truth is that vampires are everywhere...

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Offside?! You sexist fools

In the news here in the UK, there is plenty of coverage about two football presenters on Sky Sports who have been reprimanded for making comments about a female assistant referee. The sexist views of Richard Keys (resigned) and Andy Gray (sacked) were caught off-air but were sufficiently offensive to upset the lady in question and most of the nation.  

I personally don't think that some playful sarcasm was the problem, it was more to do with their view that a female assistant referee wasn't up to the job.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

The idiots have been mentioned widely on the net and here are some of the funniest tweets (and I appreciate that some are sexist, but are mainly taking the mickey out of the presenters)...

Breaking News: Mel Gibson and Ron Atkinson to replace Andy Gray and Richard Keys for Chelsea v Bolton game tonight.
Keys and Gray suspended for tonight's game. How ironic that they should be suspended for spouting inane, cliched, ill-informed nonsense.
I heard a female Assistant Referee is going to explain the Equality Act to Andy Gray and Richard keys using condiments on the kitchen table.
Disappointed in Richard Keys and Andy Gray. In this day and age women in football should be given more respect, especially the attractive ones.
Richard Keys and Andy Gray suspended by Sky - will be spending tonight explaining the "caught offmic" rule to their wives.
Oh the irony of Richard Keys and Andy Gray getting done by The Mail on Sunday for moaning about political correctness gone mad.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Coming soon to Thursday night, Channel 5.
Who's standing in for keys and gray? Lots of choice at sky. There's him him him him him him him him him him and him. And claire tomlinson.
Now available to download: a new game in which Richard Keys and Andy Gray fend off furious women. It's called Angry Birds.
Bigotry: Noun. The tree Richard Keys and Andy Gray climbed down from.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Wish 143

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film, this amazing movie by Ian Barnes is well worth watching - full film below embedded from the BBC site.  It's about a 15 year old guy, suffering from cancer who wants to lose his virginity. More information here.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

It's not Saturn's rings

Here is a picture that I took this week.  Can you guess what it is?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

I take this man...

"I take this man"??!?  No, not me... this weekend was the re-arranged vow renewal ceremony for my mum and dad. Fifty years married and bickering their way into the future.

The service was originally planned for December, but had to be postponed due to the snow.  Yesterday was a lovely day and the small village church was full of family and friends.  I am not religious, but I am in awe at our little church that has stood at the highest part of the village in its current form for hundreds of year.

I had arranged some music, chosen by my parents and they walked into the church to Barbra Streisand's 'Evergreen'.  The Bose system I had borrowed filled the church perfectly and as they reached the alter, arm in arm, the track ended.  I couldn't do that again!  The service was excellent and the vicar was very witty giving my Dad to "admit Mum is always right" which raised a laugh and that "love is more than sharing your last Rolo".

Pete and his mum came along and it was great to see a friend of mine and his family, who I don't see enough of.  After the service, we had a party at the local pub and I managed to drink for about 6 hours while chatting from people, some of whom I hadn't seen for many years.  I love talking to my cousins, not just about growing up and the time we spent together, but also about their lives today.  I think we all turned out OK.  And they all like Pete, which makes it easier!

Home now and just a little exhausted.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Could it happen?

After years of suffering, which continues to this day supporting the Eagles, could Crystal Palace be moving to a new stadium in a few years time?

Is there to be a place to love watching football in Southeast London?  The plan is to move to Crystal Palace Park, replacing the run-down Athletics stadium.  I would imagine that there will be a great deal of local  opposition and there is the additional complication of Spurs bidding for the Olympic stadium and rebuilding Crystal Palace athletics stadium as part of the deal.  For the record, I think that spending £500million on the Olympic stadium and then allowing Spurs (who are not from East London anyway) to pull it down to build another stadium, is simply idiotic.

Anyway, the Eagles have released some interesting graphics.  We have owners with some great ideas and a shiny stadium and winning some games would be very nice as well.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Since Tuesday evening I have been in Edinburgh. Yesterday was a conference for 350 people and today was a team meeting for 30ish. I am currently at the airport on the way home and thoroughly exhausted after 2 late nights and not enough sleep.

On Tuesday when we arrived, 3 of us went for dinner at a restaurant above Victoria Street. I say above as Victoria Street as it was built on a hill and the top of the buildings became a path - strange, but clever. See below...

The conference was the usual big company thing: very high level concepts but the presentations were slick and well produced with animations and music (lots of Kings Of Leon and Snow Patrol which great). It was a typical sales event with lots of overly positive announcements and an interview with Polar explorer Alan Chambers, talking about leadership - really interesting stuff.

The big news... within 6 months, we are all getting work iPads (though I was intending to start looking elsewhere in the Spring and they will be highly restricted I'm sure). Also a new logo was announced. I love a good logo and branding!

Last night was excellent with a dinner for the 350 and some surprisingly entertaining speeches from our bosses followed by a brilliant show by a Derren Brown type mind control guy called Drew McAdam. It blows my mind to see this kind of thing up close. The extremely cute guy on my table (who had committed crimes in knitwear) thought he knew how one trick was done and was called up to the stage - only to be made to look foolish.

A few people on my table mentioned a TV programme only shown in Scotland called "Gary: Tank Commander" that is meant to be so bad, it's funny. I have been advised to check it out on the BBC iplayer. I will report back!

I am looking forward to my bed.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Nigeria's biggest export after oil

If someone is going to try and con me out of money, they should at least try to use proper English and punctuation. My latest 'con email' from Nigeria (probably) is one of the worst I have received. I was tempted to reply with the English corrected with red marks!  I particularly like that his approach is not "mere imagination"...

I have A Good Business Investment Money $25.7 Millions U.S. And Gold 850kg Gold dust, Proposition for you I know by the special Grace of God will be beneficial to you. Firstly before proceed, I assure that this letter is neither Illusion nor Mere Imagination, But practically achievable if given your maximum support and Co-operation. It’s all bout you assisting me for a transaction and after we could use this money by expanding better things in future or business. I am waiting for positive response if you are capable of handling things like this. You can reach me with number call me {00971 509476455 ).
Mike Adom

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A large cock

For those that don't know, on the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square in London, sits an empty plinth. Unlike the other 3, this plinth did not have a statue placed when the other statues were decided upon.

The fourth plinth in the northwest corner was originally intended for a statue of William IV but the funds for the statue were never raised in part due to the latter's lack of popularity. Since then the plinth has been put to a variety of uses, including live art with people standing for an hour and doing "something". It currently contains a 1:30 scale replica of HMS Victory in a giant glass bottle.

Although plans have been discussed for a permanent statue, including Princess Diana, for the foreseeable future there will be a change each year. In 2012 there will be a boy on a rocking horse and in 2013, a 14 foot high blue cockerel...

I personally think that this is a great idea and like the current "ship in a bottle".  There is a great 360 picture of Trafalgar Square here.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sex sells

Having been in touch with a few bloggers, I understand that reader numbers are higher for some blogs (obviously) and for various reasons. When it comes to gay guys, it seems that sex sells and therefore blogs that are explicit or at least revealing, are popular.  No, I'm not going to start telling the world more personal details, I just wanted to share my view.  Perhaps an anonymous blog elsewhere may yield lots of readers!  Don't watch this space!

Saturday was spent on more DIY.  We have found that the garden is a mess, with the previous owner concreting everything he could and old tree trunks in the ground, enlarging the vegetable plot is a greater job than we expected.  In the afternoon I worked on the garage conversion (pictures to follow) and I know appreciate that my workmanship is poor and this job would have been finished long ago by someone who knew what they were doing!

On another topic, last night Pete and I watched a new film called Catfish. Even though it's in cinemas, for some reason it's also out on DVD and it arrived as part of our Lovefilm subscription. I am not going to give anything away as I could easily spoil the whole film - all I can say is that it's a documentary with a Facebook theme and it is highly entertaining and keeps you engaged throughout.  Thankfully there was a great interview with the filmmakers on the DVD.  I recommend this original award winning movie.  The main guy in the film is Yaniv Schulman who is pretty cute (though hairy) as well as intelligent and assertive.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Crazy quotes

I had a review with my manager today.  You know the kind of thing... I say what he wants to hear.  We were talking about potential training as the company I work for has access to a large number of online training tools.  I said that I was unsure what was available, what I could learn that was new and what could be achieved with that knowledge.  I used one of my favourite quotes:

"You don't know what you don't know"

i.e. there could be things that I should learn about, but I don't know they exist.  We then decided that my training needs were "known unknowns" which led to a discussion about that famous mad quote by Donald Rumsfeld:

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

Got it?  I am not sure we came to any conclusion other than I need to do some investigations.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Top tracks - Peter Gabriel

I was first aware of Peter Gabriel when 'Games Without Frontiers' was a hit when I was young.  It wasn't until the album 'So' was released in 1986 that I took serious notice of his talent.  That album and the videos produced, made Peter into an international star after a decade of solo releases that had provided success in Europe mainly.

There are a couple of things about Peter that are consistent: firstly, he is an musical innovator and secondly, he is a slow worker!  The long gaps between releases appear to partly be due to other work as well as his slow writing style.

As you may know, Peter was the original vocalist in Genesis and apart from his solo work, he has promoted world music, set up WOMAD, carried out humanitarian work, operated a successful studio complex and ran a record company.  His work on internet projects has also been highly successful and influential.  His website was one of the first artist sites and his software called 'Filter' that gave music recommendations based on an existing music collections has been copied many times.

Here are my favourite tracks - as his first 4 solo albums were all called 'Peter Gabriel', I have numbered them:
  1. Solsbury Hill  (Peter Gabriel 1)
  2. Games Without Frontiers    (Peter Gabriel 3)
  3. Mother Of Violence    (Peter Gabriel 2)
  4. Sledgehammer    (So)
  5. Sky Blue    (Up)
  6. Steam    (Us)
  7. Big Time    (So)
  8. In Your Eyes    (So)
  9. Digging In The Dirt    (Us)
  10. Red Rain    (So)
  11. Downside-Up [Live]   (Hits)
  12. Growing Up    (Up)
  13. No Way Out    (Up)
  14. Don't Give Up    (So)
  15. More Than This    (Up)
  16. I Grieve    (Up)
  17. Shock The Monkey    (Peter Gabriel 4)
  18. Come Talk To Me    (Us)
  19. I Don't Remember   (Peter Gabriel 3)
  20. Blood Of Eden    (Us)
  21. Father, Son    (Ovo)
  22. Kiss That Frog    (Us)
  23. Flume    (Scratch My Back)
  24. Shaking The Tree (Shaking the Tree: 16 Golden Greats)
  25. The Barry Williams Show    (Up)

You can see this list on iTunes and listen to clips here.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Matthew Mitcham - it's been a while

It's been ages since I have posted any pictures of the cute Australian diver Matthew Mitcham.  'Mattie' to his friends is out and proud and sometimes this has not been to his advantage in the straight sporting world.  He's super confident and obviously very fit and supple :-)   He has a lovely boyfriend too.  He will have some serious competition from our own Tom Daley in London in 2012.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Going underground

The iconic map of the London Underground, still based on the original layout idea of Harry Beck has long fascinated me.  His design has influenced map makers for decades.

I am a little bit of a geek (but not too much), but I am not sure that side of me influences my interest in maps and this map in particular.  There is something amazing about the design, especially if you ignore the fact that real distances are not shown - it is deceptively simple, but so effective.  The colours, the names, the interchanges - they all interest me.

The 'proper' map is constantly being altered and updated, but there are many many alternatives.  Some change the design, some change the names, some use the map as a basis for other objectives (such as the best place to stand on a train to get out of the station quickly), I have even produced my own art using the Underground map.

Here are four examples of the map - you will need to click on the image to view larger.

The first map is a bit of fun, changing all of the London names in German ones.  The second one is very useful, especially for tourists - it shows when walking between stations is quicker than making a tube journey.  The third is the map as it should be based on actual distances and routes of the lines - it proves that you should never use the 'stylised' map to find your way around London.  The final one is silly but fun - all of the place names as anagrams! Yesterday I went to Pistoleer Revolt (Liverpool Street).

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Taking on the world

The latest 5 on the fifth had some great photographs on show, but low numbers of contributors.  I'm not sure whether it's my topics, the day of the week or something else.  Maybe I will never know.

I had visions of my little monthly challenge taking over the world, with it's own website and hundreds of people taking part and growing every month.  And one day, I would set it free and the let other people look after the concept.  Dumb huh?!

Anyway... I ended up going to the doctors today as the cold wont budge.  I have anti-biotics as the doc thinks my head is infected. It's been a strange week at work - I have struggled to find things to do, but today was a nightmare with plenty going wrong, all out of my control. I will try and not let it get to me, but it's not easy. Next week is nice and busy though, so I will have other things to moan about.

Courtesy of, here are some pictures of the partial eclipse from yesterday morning that I thought I would pass on.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Five on the fifth #19

Welcome to 5 on the fifth, a monthly posting that benefits from audience participation. You take 5 photographs on the 5th of the month (or the days leading up to the 5th) - post a comment here with your name, location and link to the site containing your photos and I will update the blog entry with your information. Remember to mention my blog on your own blog, so that your visitors get to see the other contributions. You can take 5 random pictures or follow my suggested theme - this month it is: Fun and Games.  

You can join the
5 on the fifth Facebook page

My own pictures are below the links of those who kindly contributed:

I am Witness, Washington
New Leaf, Arizona
Adam, Berlin
Howard, Delaware
Scousewemboy, Shrewsbury
Cubby, Ohio

Daniel, Up and About
Pookie Pie, London
Pete, Herts
Andrew, Bristol

Mr Urs, Zurich
Erik, San Diego
Dennis, UK

I have been liberal with the topic (as always)...

1.  In a suit shop in London I saw this man, Pete loves trying on suits - the visit was fun for him anyway.
2.  Not fun, as the football was poor, but it's a game.
3.  This made me laugh - some people see graffiti as fun... it's vandalism of course.
4.  Kung Fu Panda dumped in a garden!  Again, it made me laugh.
5.  Some strange people regard queuing at Abercrombie and Fitch to overpay for clothes as fun.

Monday, 3 January 2011

David versus Posh

Last night, Pete and I went into town with our young neighbours, Tom and Mandy.  They are the ones that refer to Pete and I as the gaybours.  They are such a great couple and are now engaged.  The problem is that they can drink like fish, so I had to pace myself.

Despite being a straight male, Tom admitted that he would rather have sex with David Beckham rather than Posh.  Let's face it, I think most gay and straight guys would avoid Smiler Posh Beckham and opt for her husband.  Why doesn't she ever smile?  What has she got to scowl about all the time?

Today was going to be about cleaning and buying some new fish for the pond.  However, I went to see Crystal Palace play Preston instead, partly to give Pete some peace and quiet.  I met my Dad, one Nephew, my Brother and his best mate Rick.  Since I was about 7 years old, I have thought that Rick is far too good looking for his own good.  Read into that what you want.  It's quite a trek to south London, so I don't do this often - it's also very expensive.

The game itself was awful.  You can see why these teams are at the foot of the table.  Palace had signed Stefan Inversen in time for the game and it was great that he scored on his debut.

Back to work tomorrow - how depressing eh?!

The next 5 on the fifth is coming...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy new year

Doesn't time fly?!  I cant believe we have made it to 2011.  

Last night was a bit sad.  I felt so ill and tired, I went to bed at 10pm and missed any New Years Eve fun.  I don't think the pills have helped and the man flu is now sitting in my head and also on my chest.  I will book the doctors on Tuesday I think.  To try and clear some crap from my head, today Pete and I went for a nice long walk in the rain across some beautiful countryside.  We are now back home in the warm and he's playing Mario on the Wii and pulling some faces as he plays.  I'm sure that Mario was designed by guys on hard drugs - it's a mad world.

I am not going to make lots of resolutions like last year as I get depressed at looking at them, so here are a few general items to consider over the coming year...

- I am not going to bother with people who aren't bothered with me.
- I am going to invite more people to our home for meals and local nights out too.
- The garage conversion will get finished... in time.
- In April, I will consider my career options (there are good reasons to wait until then)
- I will stop making lists.  Doh!

The next 5 on the fifth is coming soon, so get snapping.

And finally, happy birthday Robin Betts.