Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Microwave plan for colossal squid

From the BBC:

An industrial-scale microwave oven may have to be used to defrost a colossal squid caught in the Antarctic last month, scientists say.

Surely this would be a far better idea

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So true

From Never Trust a Hippy, who in turn republished this from Dave's Part.

"Gordon Brown is not - whatever Lord Turnbull would have you believe - a Stalinist. Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili at least advocated socialism in one country. That's one country more than Mr Brown."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!

Now this is bad news.

Classic TV

Intro from last night's Life on Mars.

They'll be showing this for years.

Classic stuff.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Complete joy

6 (six!) CD's of absolute heaven in one box, what more could you ask for ?

The Wedding Present - Complete John Peel Sessions:- Includes all the Ukranian session tracks, Softly Softly (a far better version of Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah) and a cover of Altered Image's Happy Birthday.


Forest 1:0 Gillingham's goalkeeper

Never mind the quality, just look at the result, or so the quote says and if the quality was poor, boy was this result good.

A nil nil was looking likely as Gillingham's goalkeeper played out of his skin, probably deserving a point for his performance alone, although he was criminally let down by the rest of his team. Ian Breckin was solid in the Forest defence, while Jack Lester ran his legs off. But, I'll give my man of the match to Kris 'almost as big as me but not quite' Commons.

Now, if you were at the game on Saturday, this may seem a bit of a controversial choice, but let me explain. He doesn't get it for missing an open goal from six yards, or for missing the ball completely from the same distance, both in the first 15 minutes, and he won't win any awards for hitting the Upper Trent End when clean through with just the keeper to beat.

Oh no, he gets my man of the match nod for a piece of individual brilliance late in the game. Free kick on the edge of the area, 25 yards out, Kris Commons produces his best piece of football in months by .....

..... letting Lewis McGugan take the free-kick. A belter which topped off a solid performance from the young lad.

Well done Kris, please collect your prize, a months supplies of pukka pies.

Or lunch, as it's known in the Commons household.

Friday, March 16, 2007

That Friday afternoon feeling

If you're stuck in that period between the Friday pub lunch and the earliest time you can sneak off without REALLY taking the p**s, try listening to these, it might cheer you up for 15 minutes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rock and a hard place

Question currently on the BBC Entertainment website.

My brain read it as follows:



I'm now going to do something I don't usually do, I'm going to post something that isn't my work at all and something ridiculously long.

The Big Red Train is a creation of the Stress and Pie Forest supporters web page, invented following the resignation of Gary Megson last season as Charlie & Frank took us on an almost unstoppable journey from a possible flirtation with releagtion to gatecrashing the top six.

Forest's progress this season has seen us 8 points clear in November to struggling to a play-off place now, with the Big Red Train analogy going strong.

This post is from just after the Scunthorpe game, a creditable draw under the circumstances, and I'm posting the whole thing for two reasons:

1, They usually clear the site after each game and I have known it for the archive links not to work,

2, It's indescribably f***ing brilliant




"A journey?"

The word worried him. It conjured up the idea of adventures-along-the-way, which usually meant hardship and pain and dirt and biscuits as hard as brick.

"No thankyou," he said. "I've tried journeys, and they stink."

"Not this one," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "This one, I can assure you, contains no biscuits, hard or otherwise. And anyway, you don't really have a choice."

"Oh really?" he said. "And who says I don't have a choice?"

"The arrow up your arse says so," replied the Rather Large Gentleman. "Now, shall we go?"


The Rather Large Gentleman led Strum to the edge of town, to an area which had formerly been an eight-platform railway station but which had fallen into such disrepair that it was now known locally as Crap End. Crap End was nothing more that a few decrepit buildings, a few bits of rusty track, and an awful lot of collateral rubbish. Hopping over bricks, broken bottles, plastic bags and an occasional sheep's skull, the Rather Large Gentleman guided Strum to the mouth of a high shed, where they stopped.

"Can you hear it?" asked the Rather Large Gentleman.

Strum strained his ears, but could hear nothing, except for a silvery tinkle in the darkness.

"I hear a silvery tinkle in the darkness," said Strum.

"That's just a rat peeing in a milk bottle," replied the Rather Large Gentleman with just a touch of impatience. "No, what you should be listening for is the sound of caged thunder."

Strum had no idea what caged thunder sounded like. He imagined it might be like a black bull trying to kick its way out of a skip. But he could hear nothing like that. He couldn't hear anything at all.

Then he could hear everything. The noise of the whole world suddenly jumped out of the darkness and tried to fit inside his head.

"What the hell was that?" cried Strum. Alarmingly, his own shout sounded no louder than a tinny whistle, as did the Rather Large Gentleman's reply.

"That, my friend," he said, "is the Big Red Train. Isn't he beautiful?"


Beautiful wasn't the word. Big, yes, red, yes, but beautiful - no. The train was all menace and edges, massively engineered like a plate-iron bridge on wheels. It was also filthy. It didn't look as if it had been cleaned since the iron was cast.

The noise was still deafening as the monster rolled out of the shed on gently buckling tracks, then subsided to a vibrating hiss as it slowed to a halt.

"Beautiful," said the Rather Large Gentleman proudly. "Okay, so he's seen hard times, but that's the joy of it. You couldn't see one of those electric toothpaste tubes lasting this long, could you? No stamina, no dignity. No impact resistance."

"Impact resistance?" repeated Strum, trying not to sound too disturbed.

"Oh yes, you've got to have impact resistance in this business," declared the Rather Large Gentleman. "Now hop on, Mister Strum, for we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep."

The cab was dreadfully cramped. Strum couldn't turn around without catching his elbows on a collection of strategically positioned knobs, wheels and levers. The Rather Large Gentleman, despite his bulk, had no such trouble. He simply wedged himself onto a small metal seat, and grinned contentedly.

"So we're the drivers, are we?" asked Strum.

"Drivers?" said the Rather Large Gentleman, a look of perplexed amusement on his face. "Oh no, there are no drivers. There used to be, in the old days, until it was discovered that they were redundant."


"Yes. Unnecessary. Surplus to requirements."

"So what you're saying is, this thing drives itself?"

The Rather Large Gentleman frowned. "There are two schools of thought," he said. "The Drivers' Guild are of the opinion that engines need managing. Everybody else knows that they have, well, a mind of their own. Oh, and by the way, never refer to the Big Red Train as a thing. We don't want to upset it, do we?"

Strum inwardly agreed that upsetting this thing would be a bad idea. He had an uncomfortable vision of being turned on by inch-thick plates of scalding metal.

"Right," said the Rather Large Gentleman, to no-one in particular, "time to go, I think."

Nothing happened for two minutes. Then, with an explosive roar of steam, the Big Red Train started hauling itself forward, crawling precariously across points and various bits and pieces of groaning track until it reached the main line.

"So where's our first stop?" asked Strum.

"No stops," chuckled the Rather Large Gentleman. "Lots of arrivals, but no stops."

"Okay then," said Strum, "so where's our first arrival?"

"Chesteringtonfield," said the Rather Large Gentleman, at which point the Big Red Train let out a whistle which all but imploded Strum's brain, and began to shoulder its way down the gleaming rails.


It was not until they had travelled five miles down the track that Strum discovered they were not alone. The locomotive had settled into a steady rhythm, rattling through countryside which had seen better times. With difficulty, Strum stretched his neck to peer out of the cab, and saw the carriages, lots and lots of them, snaking their faded red livery back into the misty distance.

"We're pulling carriages," he said.

"Well we are a train," said the Rather Large Gentleman.

"Are there people in them?"

"Oh yes," said the Rather Large Gentleman, "lots of them."

"So why are we up here? Why don't we ride with them? Wouldn't it be more comfortable? Wouldn't it be safer?"

The Rather Large Gentleman sighed, as if four questions at once were four questions too many.

"You wouldn't want to be back there," he explained patiently. "Those carriages are full of lunatics arguing with each other. Most of them are terminally depressed. Some of them aren't there any more."

"What do you mean?"

"They were there, but they're not any more. They left."


Another sigh. "Yes, they left. They disembarked. They stepped off at high speed, because they'd had enough. It's an option."

Strum could do nothing but stare.

"In case you were wondering," continued the Rather Large Gentleman, "it's an option open to all. If things become insupportable, you may step out of the cab at any time. Of course, you will almost certainly end up dead, but that, as they say, is life. Now if you don't mind, we should brace ourselves. We've almost arrived."


Strum would never forget Chesteringtonfield, but especially he would never forget the lump on his head. At one point he became aware that the train had increased speed, not gradually, but in a sudden and frightening surge. Just as he was getting used to the idea that his stomach might be migrating into his lungs, the world stopped just long enough for him to crack his head against a metal knob, then started again. As he sank to the floor he saw, through a gluey haze, what appeared to be half a field fly past the cab. He also thought he saw a face, but he might have been mistaken, because by then his stomach had found its way inside his head.

When he woke up, the Big Red Train was careering along faster than before.

"I told you to brace yourself," said the Rather Large Gentleman unsympathetically. "Perhaps next time you'll be ready."

Strum dragged himself to his feet. He brushed his forehead tenderly, and found an egg the size of ... an egg.

"What happened?" he said.

"We arrived."


"At Chesteringtonfield. Or, more precisely, we hit Chesteringtonfield."

Strum tried to make sense of things. Things seemed resolutely determined not to be made sense of.

"I thought I saw ... stuff, flying past," he said.

"Yes," said the Rather Large Gentleman matter-of-factly, "that would be Chesteringtonfield. We made rather a mess of it, I'm afraid."

"But I thought I saw a face," said Strum. "Please tell me I didn't see a face."

"If you'd stayed awake, you'd have seen more than one," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "It's unfortunate, but it saves on paint."

Strum froze. The roar of the train dwindled into an icy background as he worked out the implications of the Rather Large Gentleman's words.

"The good news is," went on the Rather Large Gentleman, "the train's relatively undamaged, and nobody jumped off. Count your blessings, Mister Strum, that's what I say. Only count them quickly, because we're not far from Uddersfield."

Strum groaned. Outside, the countryside flashed past at murderous speed. Jumping was always an option, but perhaps not yet.


Uddersfield, surprisingly, was a piece of cake. Strum had prepared himself well by hunching into a tight ball and virtually welding his hands onto the nearest metal bar. But when it came, the impact was negligible. The Big Red Train had gathered such momentum that friction no longer seemed to be part of the equation. It was, almost literally, flying. Uddersfield was destroyed with casual grace, disintegrating into bits of dirt, brick, wood, grass and body parts which flicked off the front of the engine and blew into the distance like confetti. The last thing that flew past was the piece of cake.

No, not the last thing. The last thing was truly disturbing. As Strum unravelled himself from his crouch, he realised to his horror that a man was clinging to the outside of the cab. He could see his fingers gripping the cab window, as white as bone. He could see a head, hair plastered back, eyes wide with terror, mouth blown wide open by the furious wind. Then he was gone.

"Who was that?" breathed Strum.

"Peter Jackson," said the Rather Large Gentleman, and then, mostly to himself, he muttered, "It's a dirty business sometimes."


Buoyed by the comparative ease of dispatching Uddersfield, the mood in the Big Red Train lightened. The Rather Large Gentleman hummed a tune, and Strum could just make out the sound of raucous singing coming from the nearer carriages. According to the Rather Large Gentleman, Dungcaster was next, and if Strum thought Uddersfield was easy, then Dungcaster was going to be a walk in the park.

"I'm hungry," said Strum. "Have we got anything to eat?"

"I'm not quite sure," answered the Rather Large Gentleman. "There may be some food in the tender behind."

The tender behind was reached by a small metal door in the back of the cab which Strum had not noticed before. He pulled the door open and peered inside. As his eyes accustomed themselves to the gloom, he could see that there was no food. There were, however, three gentlemen hunched on the floor. They were gazing at him dolefully. "Hello," said Strum, but they did not reply. He shut the door and returned to the cab.

"I don't know whether you know this," he said, "but there are three blokes in the tender behind."

"Oh them," replied the Rather Large Gentleman. "I'd quite forgotten about them."

"Who are they?" asked Strum.

"Members of the Drivers' Guild," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "They used to pretend they were in control, but they proved to be, how shall I put it, inadequate. All we ever got from them was broken promises and relentless decay. It makes me angry just to think about it. They're better off where they are. Out of sight, out of mind, if you don't mind."

The train roared ahead, and Dungcaster drew close.

"Come on, Mister Strum," said the Rather Large Gentleman, "prepare yourself for a joy ride. The old bugger's on a roll now!" He laughed out loud, and Strum found himself laughing along with him.

There was one hell of a bang. Both of them were sent crashing against metal. There were sounds Strum had never heard before, sounds from a nightmare, screeching and squealing and a series of rapid, juddering thuds which made their bones rattle. It went on for ages. The force of the impact seemed to warp the surrounding plates. Outside, rivets flew past the cab window, glowing red like tracer bullets.

When it was over, it was obvious that all was not well. The train had slowed considerably, and was rocking from side to side in the most ominous fashion.

"Jesus," said the Rather Large Gentleman, "that wasn't supposed to happen. That wasn't supposed to happen at all."

The train's rocking motion had now developed into a curious rock-thump, like a drunken man wearing a surgical boot.

"What's wrong?" asked Strum.

"We appear to have lost a wheel," replied the Rather Large Gentleman.

"Is that bad?"

"It's not good. But it's not as bad as it could have been. It wasn't a key wheel."

"What's a key wheel?"

"They key wheel is always the next one," explained the Rather Large Gentleman. "One wheel is never terminal. Two, I'm afraid, is."

Strum leaned out of the cab window. Far behind, bodies were flinging themselves from open carriage doors.

"Don't tell me," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "They're abandoning ship. I can't blame them, I suppose."

He turned to face Strum. There was a watery smile on his face.

"Listen, young man," he said, "if you're thinking of joining them, now would be a good time. We're not travelling very fast, you have soft bones, you'll survive."

"But we're still going," said Strum.

"Barely," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "Listen, I won't lie to you. This old train's getting a bit ... tired. Too many hits, too much unrepaired damage. It's probably not got long left. One more disaster like Dungcaster and the whole thing's probably shot to hell. And worse, the next arrival is Scumthorpe."


"The biggest barrier of them all. We've had dealings with Scumthorpe before, and we didn't fare too well. If anybody is going to stop this train dead in its tracks, it's Scumthorpe. So, as I say, if you want to leave, now is the time to do it."

Strum pondered on the Rather Large Gentleman's words.

"If it's as bad as you say," he said, "why don't you get off?"

The Rather Large Gentleman smiled. "Me?" he said. "I've been here too long. I'm in it for the duration, as they used to say."

"Then I'm staying too," said Strum, and immediately wished he hadn't.


Scumthorpe was crazy, from beginning to end. For a start, it took ages to get there, and they had far too much time to think. The Rather Large Gentleman resumed his humming, but his previously tuneful melody had lapsed into a determined but monotonous drone. It got on Strum's nerves. Behind him, he could hear the occasional scream as one more passenger leapt blindly into the unknown. The peculiar thumping limp of the engine drummed its own tune inside Strum's head: "This is not good, this is not good," until he felt it would drive him mad. They were not going fast enough. They were going to die.

"We're close now," said the Rather Large Gentleman. He faced Strum wearing the expression of a doctor with very bad news. "Whatever happens," he said, "look after your teeth. Dentists are expensive butchers. Good luck, my boy."

Strum prepared himself as best he could, which meant he closed his eyes. It seemed a reasonable thing to do, in the circumstances. Five seconds later he opened them again.

Oddly, it began to grow dark. The inside of the cab glimmered. The face of the Rather Large Gentleman had faded into a pallid mask. Strum suddenly needed the toilet very badly.

"Now!" roared the Rather Large Gentleman.

There was one huge thump, that was all. Strum was thrown upwards and hit the roof, where he stayed, surprisingly, for several seconds before gravity tumbled him back down again. The Rather Large Gentleman was catapulted the short distance into the wall of knobs and wheels, and bounced back off them like a stringless puppet. Something flew past the cab. It could have been a kitchen sink, but Strum wouldn't swear to it.

There was a terrible moment of listening and waiting - listening for a change in the train's rhythm, waiting for the grinding smash that was sure to come. But nothing happened. The train limped along as before, its key wheels still intact. The Rather Large Gentleman had resumed his seat, looking a little shaken but otherwise okay. Strum's head ached like the devil, but his teeth seemed fine. The only real change seemed to be that the temperature had risen quite steeply.

"Well, that wasn't too bad, was it?" said Strum.

The Rather Large Gentleman continued to stare straight ahead. "We're still going," he whispered. "But.."

"But what?" asked Strum, wishing that the Rather Large Gentleman would actually turn his head and look at him.

"Two things," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "Firstly, I appear to have broken my neck. Secondly, the train is on fire."

And sure enough, a tongue of bright blue flame licked past the cab window on Strum's side.

"But, as you say, we're still going," said the Rather Large Gentleman. "And that's the important thing. Perhaps we'll make it after all. Stranger things have happened."

Not in my life they haven't, thought Strum.


Top six after matches played on Sunday March 11th. We are becoming more and more convinced that managers have precious little to do with the performance of their teams, a belief reinforced by ex-physio Adkin's talk of "envisioning success" and "managing our controllables", which dwindles into bollocks when you see that without Billy Sharp, they are an averagely dirty little league one side who depend a bit too much on stupid referees.

Borstal, too, are nothing special. Beating Bentford has become little more than a day out for most clubs, and Borstal had a bit of a job beating them one nil. Don't give them too much respect - they don't really deserve it.

Meanwhile, Dungcaster do nobody a favour by losing heavily to Oldham Arthritic. The temptation is to say 'If Dungcaster beat us at the City Ground, and Oldham beat them by a cricket score, how much better than Forest must Oldham be?' The answer, of course, is 'Get a life.' Thinking like that leads to paranoia. I once knew somebody who thought paranoia was in South America. No, it wasn't me.

Relevant fixtures this week:

Tuesday March 13 - Borstal City v Drabford - Proof, if it were needed, that there's something stinky about Borstal's fixture list. How come they get two home games in a row against possibly the worst sides in the history of English football? All we can hope is that Drabford actually put up some kind of fight.

Saturday March 17 - Brighton v Scumthorpe - You never know. Brighton are a plucky little side, and Scumthorpe might be beginning to doubt their own hype. This one is not a foregone conclusion.

Yevoli v Blackpoo - Bugger off, both of you. You're the footballing equivalent of horseflies. Stick to the dung, and leave the thoroughbreds alone.

Leyton Ornament v Oldham Arthritic - Ornament will win this, as sure as eggs is eggs.


Forest may be missing a wheel and burning, but if they can't beat the team from nowhere, then God's got some explaining to do.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday afternoon lull

Got a spare half hour ?

If you have, then cock an ear at some of these:

Shady Bard

The Kid

Little Me

The Xcerts

Plans & Apologies

The Pigeon Detectives

Explosions in the Sky


O' Lovely Lie

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Some cool images from the days when TV was there purely for entertainment, and not as a medium for taking money off the gullible.

Hat tip: Never Trust a Hippy

If you only have time to do one thing today

Keep Your Eye On The Ball is a campaign run by The Professional Footballers' Association and The Football Association, and Everyman to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancers within the football community.

This year's Keep Your Eye On The Ball Focus Fortnight will run from 4th-18th March.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Forest 0:1 Donnie Rovers

How do you explain that, then ? Were Huddersfield really THAT bad on Saturday, or did Forest simply return to the inept January performances.

I can offer an explanation:

You know what it's like on a Sunday morning, struggling with a hang-over, you grab yourself a bacon cob, mars bar & Lucozade on the way to some waste land in the middle of a war-zone style housing estate. The food peps you up, your striker turns up in the suit he went out in the night before with lipstick on his shirt telling tall tales to lift the mood and suddenly everyone's up, there's an extra yard in your stride, every 50:50 goes your way and you turn on the style safe in the knowledge that the guy with the dog on the touchline was noticing your no-nonsense defending and ability to link up to attack when needs be. You'll be expecting a call from Sir Alex any day now.

However, on the other side of this, the following Sunday, you miss your alarm and end up with no time to grab breakfast. You arrive late, so have to rush getting changed before realising that the oaf whose turn it was to wash the kit after last week forgot, and is now handing round still damp, smelly shirts from a large bin-liner. It's cold outside and you've got to play in wet dirty kit.

This is exactly what happened to Forest last night. Someone forgot to wash the kit after Saturday and left it until the last minute.

My evidence?

The picture below showing Grant 'bigger than me' Holt's shirt still drying in the centre circle just before kick-off.

Flexible spot light robbery

And this is why I avoid dentists like the plag(q)ue

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

You wouldn't, would you ?

They used to say that to go into space, you needed the "right stuff".

Certainly, after 2 seperate shuttle disasters, anyone deciding to travel using this mode of transport would have the proverbial steel testicles.

But I wouldn't ride a bike that needed fixing after a spot of rain, let alone something straddled to umpteen tonnes of recket fuel. (From the BBC).

Monday, March 05, 2007


.... Tribute to Mark E Smith.


This picture has been banned by the BBC. Apparently. Another one of those hush hush it's not really banned, but we're not going to show it again type arrangements.

Wouldn't want that stopping people seeing the real heritage of the pot smoking, Eton educated, restaurant trashing, ride his bike to work in front of his chauffeur driven car, band wagon jumping excuse for a wannabee prime minister, would we ?

Forest 5:1 Huddersfield

Most teams who have Forest watched come to the conclusion that the best way to defend against them at the City Ground is to defend deep and to defend in numbers. Huddersfield decided that they weren't going to do that, they were going to defend on the half-way line and in a kind of rough zig-zag formation. It was Christmas coming early, 3:0 up in 20 minutes, thank-you and good-night.

The offside trap, such as it was, was beaten as early as the 6 minute, and roughly every 30 seconds from then on. Junior Agogo benefiting from it twice, while Grant 'bigger than me' Holt's turning circle got him caught too far forward on more than one occasion.

Gary Holt took a John Terry-esque kick to the head in the first half, and then proceeded to play his best game in a Forest shirt. Admittedly, there isn't a great deal of competition for that, but credit where it's due.

Lewis McGugan & Bryan Hughes showed that there is still life in the academy, while Luke Chambers looks a no-nonsense kind of defender.

All in all, a good result all round.

A quick mention of the Huddersfield fans, who clearly don't understand the meaning of irony. "You're Not Famous Any More" they sang. Quite.