Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bed Peace - All I am Saying is give.....

According to the history books, a long long time ago, two famous people John Lemmon and Yoko Bono lay in bed in order to promote an end to War, Poverty, Disease, Plague, Pestilence and Jade Goody.

What they did was find a very posh and expensive hotel in Montreal and booked a room. They lay in their bed and invited all their friends and the world press around for a good time and a bit of a sing song, they had made some posters too so it was all a bit of an event and everybody was thrilled and thought that this was the end to War, Hunger, Plague etc. Obviously it was not all that successful as we still have Jade Goody.

What I wonder though is when all the sycophants, friends and press had left the room would Yoko have nudged John sharply in the ribs with her elbow making him move out of ‘her side of the bed’. I say this because I seem to spend my sleeping hours perched on the precipice of the edge of my bed well within my ‘allowed zone’. While this is good training for sleeping on one of those hammocky things half way up the Eiger, it is not conducive to a good nights sleep!

We, my wife and I, are not pretentious, we haven’t got a king size or queen size bed such as John and Yoko might have enjoyed in Montreal, no ours is just a common or garden double. Perfectly adequate some might say for a good nights sleep for the loving couple, as I am sure many of you would contest. And yet as I stumble downstairs every night to bed (yes you read it rightly) a simple tune echoes around my upper cortex, its ‘This bed ain’t big enough for the both of us’ and someone has to move….’

Unfortunately the mover is always me. No please do not infer from this post that my wife is in any way challenged in the pie department, no she is not, she is pretty normal and in most circumstances takes up her allotted amount of space. But something happens once she gets in bed. Not only does all her body heat drain away she also seems to fill larger areas of the bed than is scientifically possible, a bit like an expanding super nova. (Perhaps Dr Steven Hawking after you’ve finished reading my blog you can pop me an explanation by email – I promise not to turn it into a best selling book).

Actually I might not need Dr Hawking after all as I have just had a brilliant flash of brilliance. Maybe there is a connection between losing body heat and expanding into spaces where you are not wanted. Think about it. Apparently Water when it freezes expands by about 9%. So therefore, when my wife gets into bed and starts to lose body heat she must (it’s a scientific fact remember, I am not being sexist here) start to expand and take up more of the bed and ipso facto the quilt as well.

Then of course as she gets colder she starts to seek heat, a bit like an Exocet missile, homing in on my warm bottom. I obviously take counter measures but as I do not have pyrotechnic chaff in bed with me (which is a sensible security precaution) I cannot ward her off and recently I have gone off curry too.

It seems then that in the war of attrition that must go on in beds in bedrooms across the country night after night it is us men who are losing. Night after night after night of staring into the abyss takes its toll. We lose our confidence, for even after making love, fulfilling our conjugal roles, we are still pushed to the boundaries of our beds, the female snug in her nest of pillows, quilt, polar bears (yes the final ignominy is that I also have to share a bed with a polar bear, a Posted by Picasa
polar bear called ‘pussy number two’ for what ever reasons, please don’t ask). And of course the polar bear gets the best of it, wedged between the two of us, never having to doze out there on ‘the edge’ like I have to.

I’m thinking of bunk beds and bagsy the top one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Remember Guy Fawkes 400 years this year!

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Here’s a contemporary image of Guy Fawkes

Gunpowder plot Posted by Picasa

A Handsome dude when all is said and done. And here’s a modern likeness.

skeletor Guy Posted by Picasa

Not quite up to it is it?

These is how the local lads and ladesses from the local estate are traditionally using our contempt (400 years this year – wot no celebrations like Trafalgar???) of one Guido Fawkes and his mates who thought it would be a good idea to blow up Parliament, to raise a couple of quid for fireworks, sweets, a litre of White Lightening or a wrap of cocaine. (They were Roman Catholics as well maybe that had something to do with it too!)

It is a popular idea, (blowing up Parliaments) and one that is being kept alive by that other ‘bogey man’ Osama Bin Laden (I probably have to watch what I say here because the words ‘blow up’, ‘Parliament’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ have probably got some machine deep in the depths of MI5 beeping madly.) Perhaps we might see effigies of Osama burning this November?

So this skeletor creation is the first ‘Guy’ of the season, I hope to see some more and take their pics to continue the theme.

If you see any locally, take a picture and post them, lets see who can get the worst/best Guy Fawkes.

All Is Well


Apart from being busy with work, you know that stuff I do between 8:30 and 5 (ish), I sorted out the blog, I don't know why it messed up my template but there you go, how many of us technoidiots are out there?

Anyway the post (Weekend Omnibus) that was causing all the trouble is below the error message, because I saved it as a draft and it seems to publish in time sequence, so you just have to scroll down a bit to see it.

Thank you Mike Da Hat and Simply Clair for your impatience, its nice to be wanted.

Monday, October 24, 2005

error message

for some reason my last post was destroying my template I need to work it out.

Have a cup of tea and chat amongst yoourselves I'll be right back

Weekend Omnibus - Reprise

Like most of us, Simply Clare included, weekends are busy times. Mine are always busy and the time goes so quickly. It's not like when one was young and the weekends spread out forever - Sunday, one long dozy day, reading the papers and drinking coffee. Now they seem to speed past at the blink of an eye, so much to do, no time just to smell the roses. And when Matilda, my six year old daughter comes, time leaps into over drive.

Matilda was in Sunny Plymouth this weekend and she wrote her first story, well the first one I have seen anyhow. First she wrote it on paper, then she tap tapped it into my laptop. So here is Matildas story:


She also drew a fish (Vitriolica will like this)

Matildas Fish Posted by Picasa

We went out later in the day and I had occasion to use the loo in Tesco's. I thought the sign on the condom machince was worth a picture!

machine Posted by Picasa

message Posted by Picasa

It is such an inconvinence, when the condom machine in the convinence is inconvienienced, I mean what do you do if you want a shag in the carpark after spending an hour doi

'Every Little Helps' eh? thats comforting to know.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Say hello people - put yourself on my map

Please go here and put yourself on my map, lets see where in the world you are... Click here

Thank you

Taken from Lost's blog - thank you lost.

Its not the getting there its the travelling.....

So, I went to Birmingahm. The train was delayed. Because a goods train had overturned. It added an hour to the journey. It took me 4 and a half hours to get there. I was an hour late. The meeting finished at 1 o'clock.

So I was only there 2 hours. (and it wasn't really relevant)

Then the train was half an hour late. It was over packed (really really full). Fortunatly I had a booked seat. I had to turf someone out of it. They were not pleased. The train was delayed by an hour. (over turned goods train etc). It took 4 and a half hours to get home. Not many of the toilets were working.

But the girl sitting next to me had big breasts

Thats all OK then!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stupid O'clock in the morning

Look at this, its 5:30 the morning and 1. I'm blogging (which is sad) and 2. I have to go to Birmingham for a seminar which is even sadder. Birmingham is the place of my birth, my Alma Mater if this use of latin is correct, but I'll only see the bit between New St Station and where I going 10 minutes walk away.

The reason, however that I am blogging at 5:30 is that organisers of these things always forgets that Birmingham and London for that matter are closer to the North Pole than Plymouth. Thus I always have to get up at stupid o clock in the morning to get the train.

Anyway, close yoour eyes now as I have to shower, now the waters hot!

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Novel - A response

So I got the rejection email from the publisher:

This is what it said:

'Many thanks indeed for your submission of "A King's Country". Unfortunately we won't be publishing your title as although I found the plot interesting and highly original, it does not fit well with Snowbooks' future lists.

However, I do wish you all the best in finding a more suitable publisher for your work'.

Is there anybody who can deconstruct that and read between the lines?

Does ' found the plot interesting and highly original' bode well, or is it just a stock phrase to stop me from cutting my wrists.

You advice would be appreciated!

Thank you
dr rob

My DIY Hell

DIY seems to have become the watchword at our house. It seems that from now on I will not have a weekend to myself as the house starts to crumble around our ears and I am doomed to perpetual DIY.

Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy DIY, especially when its on the TV and I can spend a satisfying half an hour or so tut tutting at all the silly mistakes these people make and then have to call in the gurning idiots they call ‘experts’ on these shows.

Look I know we all make mistakes, and I have made a few, the Heath Robinson maze of copper pipe I put together when fixing a shower to the wall comes to mind. But the point was, it worked and I didn’t have to call a local plumber who would have tut-tutted and then charged me a fortune to fix it, I think I would have preferred the gurning idiots and the national humiliation.

Does it make sense to you, after making your house look like a warzone, because of your own incompetence, to call up a TV station and say ‘hey come to my house to show the world what an idiot I am once you put a hammer in my hands’. But then again if the only other option is to have to spend the rest of your life having your wife moan at you and then leave, taking the kids and the dog, then being humiliated on national TV is a small price to pay!

So my DIY life has been this. If you remember it all started with the drains, which I very professionally unblocked. Then it was the bedroom window cills. (our bedroom is on the ground floor, we have an upside down house).

This started very well as you can see. The weather was good and I ripped the old rotten cill and frame out pretty damn quick, I can tell you. But then it started to rain. The option was of course, to down tools, rush off to the Hyper Value, buy a big piece of tarpaulin and cover the huge open space in our front wall. But I knew deep down that my wife would not stand for sleeping in a room with only plastic covering the hole, no it had to be glass or nothing.

The window hole Posted by Picasa

So for the rest of the day I DIY’ed in the pouring rain – no wonder I got a virus last week! I was soaking, but the frame was up and by 5:00 in the evening I even had the glass in, not puttied but in! What a hero. If this was the Soviet Union they would have given me a medal!

You've been framed Posted by Picasa

glazed Posted by Picasa

THIS weekend, I was up for a bit of light puttying, but it was DIY hell in my house once again. Not only had the dripping bath tap got progressively worse until the flow had become a danger to World fresh water reserves and my bank balance, but the shower pipe, the bit with the curly chrome metal around it, exploded and sprayed water everywhere.

Now a dripping tap doesn’t faze me one bit (Did you see rogue traders this week?) and it just gives me the opportunity to take a few pounds of the plumbers of this world. But isn’t it always the case, that while one tap body will unscrew nicely, the other (the hot tap and main culprit) was jammed in there tight! It took me all my strength and a pair of mole grips (a wonderful invention) to unscrew the bugger. But I did it and now our bath is drip free and showering to perfection.

So this weekend was spent puttying and tap wrenching, I wonder what next weekend will bring?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Dr Robs 10 ideas to become rich

While I’ve been lying in bed, skiving, according to Simply Clare, but obviously to everyone else suffering from a very rare form of Avian flu, or St Vitus Dance or something that plainly strikes down extremely healthy men like me to such an extent that they are too weak to even make themselves a cup a soup, I’ve been considering my lot.

It came to me in a blinding flash, probably having overdosed on Lemsip, the ensuing hallucinations forced me into an alternative reality where all life’s’ truths were laid bare before me on a glittering yellow road, the breeze aromatic with the scent of lemons.

Yes as I coughed and wheezed it became apparent to me that I had been swapped at birth! Cleary some drunken nurse on night duty in Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital on the Hagley Road in Birmingham, put me back into the wrong cot, instead of the cot of the child of the rich and posh people where I should have been put. Now some oik with my name is living the life of riley while here I am worrying about the size of my overdraft and how I’m going to pay the next instalment on my mobile phone!

Yes I need to be rich or even a little richer would do. So I need a plan. Here’s what I have come up with:

Dr Robs 10 ideas to become rich. (I don’t need famous)

  • Find my original birth parents and make them adopt me turning them against my usurper.
  • Find a rich dowager, beguile her with my love making and get her to endow me with expensive gifts that can go straight onto ebay
  • Jump on a tramp steamer to Ameriky I hear that there’s gold in them thar hills
  • Write an extremely best selling novel about my hilarious life in poverty and sell the TV and Film rights. (Still waiting to hear back guys…)
  • Sell this blog, apparently its worth $31,546.60, it’s not a fortune, but it’s a start, any offers?
  • Start selling expensive coats to gullible women, especially those on large academic salaries
  • Invent something – any ideas you mad scientists reading this
  • Become famous (I know I’m a hypocrite but if Jade Goody can make a million…)
  • Use the colour printer here at work to print my own money
  • Beg

    The Make Rob Rich Fund
  • Your donations are welcome....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Virus warning

This is a recording - Dr Rob is currently suffering from a severe virus attack. His hard drive is currently floppy, he has no ram and his rom is somewhere deep under the duvet.

Error message: sniffle.101

Please call back later


Friday, October 07, 2005

Boobs, Building and Blogging Boobiethon!!! Posted by Picasa

(Lifted from A Beer Sort of Girl)

Its a short day at work for me today, windows to make, tools to get and nails and screws to ponder over. So I will be spending the days of the weekend in those huge sheds full of tools and stuff mulling over the finer points of tenon saws, thinking 'do I really need another electric screwdriver?' ( I do have one but its a bit like having a mobile phone from ten years ago, its big, its clumsy, the batteries don't last long - I want a modern trendy one - a bit like Simply Clare and her coats, bags etc!). Standing staring at the work done so far with a pencil behind my ear and a mug of tea in my hand. Ah the simple pleasures of manual labour. Banging away, nailing, screwing, thats what a real man likes to do, and when I get my tools on the job, theres no stopping me. I hope to have the old frames out by tomorrow lunch time and the window frames built and glazed sometime tomorrow evening before it gets dark. My wife refuses to sleep in a bedroom with no windows - women eh!)

This weekend I will mainly be Dr. Rob the builder - can I fix it? You'll have to wait till monday to find out!!!

But to get the weekend off to a schwiiiiiing! I've posted the link above, its for a breast charity (in the usa I think) and people send in pictures of their breasts and you have to give a donation to look at them. (But there are some free ones!) Isn't that a great idea? And to think I thought that was called pornography, I was wrong all along!

I'll bra seeing ya!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Novel - an offer

If anyone would like to have a copy of the synopisis and the first three chapters to read and come back to me with constructive criticism please contact me by email and I'll ping you a copy forthwith.

National Poetry Day - Liminal Lives

Posted by Picasa A Liminal Life in Lvov photographed by me this summer. Posted by Picasa

Its National Poetry Day here in the UK so I thought I would write a poem. My inspiration came from Dr Joolz's Blog. and what she wrote yesterday about liminal spaces.

Liminal Lives

How ordinary is ordinary?
Not special underlined
When standing on the threshold
See how our lives entwine

The mundane bought into focus
Comminalities are sought
Aesthetic functionality
Is found but never bought

The habitually ritual
That dessicates our lives
That routinised mundanaity
Of the me, not me derives

A liminal perspective
A way of seeing not
The places and the phases
That's generally forgot

Then out there on the margins
When we are in-between
The O so falsly obvious
Is O so clearly seen

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Novel

Hello dear readers, like many of us blogging away here in the blogoshere, I have quietly over the past few weeks, months, years been writing a novel. Sometimes I write, some times I don't I guess that might be the experience of others. Unlike people like Mike Da Hat who is writing his online, mine often lays gently steaming on my hard disk.

I guess the problem with this, if nobody sees it then it might turn out to be the biggest pile of wasted time and energy on the planet, and I guess there are probably zillions of those out there. All those millions of words and sentences nobody ever got to see because the writer was too shy or afraid or whatever.

Well someone just got to see mine.

I have just submitted it to snowbooks, you can do it electronically, send a synopisis and the first three chapters.

Now I wait, fortunatly they don't seem to send out big rejection letters they have one already on their website which you can read before you're even rejected officialy, so the shock isn't too great.

I'll let you know.

Oh and by the way, I told them I had a blog, so they might come and have a look here, so lots of supportive comments about how witty, erudite and readable I am please.

Simply Clare say nothing about my spelling.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Serious Sewage Situation

It seems that my blogger was down for most of yesterday but other were not; I suppose its something to do with servers and so on something technical that us mere mortals would not understand.

Anyway I had a wonderful Sunday, yes we had a:

Severe Sunday Seriously Smelly Shitty Sewage Stoppage Situation

Ok enough alliteration, it gets boringly bad after a bit.

It all started with my wife wondering why the water in the toilet wasn’t disappearing when she flushed it. My heart sank as I had been in this situation before. I checked just in case she was hallucinating, it’s a man thing; I blame Doubting Thomas the patron Saint of all Husbands.

Yes she was right, the next thing was to find the manhole cover over the drain and check that out, it wasn’t hard as its right outside the back door, this I did with a sinking heart as I pretty much knew what to expect – yes there was the manhole cover, still outside the back door and yes water was seeping out from under it, which was a definite clue that the drain was blocked.

Of course these things are never easy; the manhole cover had rusted into position. I needed specialist tools. First I tried the piece of aluminium strip that holds the carpet down in a doorway – too flimsy for this type of job, I shudda known. Next it was the ubiquitous screw drivers; how many times do screwdrivers come to the rescue, who invented these things, brilliant! I had three of them all in different sizes. This seemed to work. I removed the lid after a few minutes struggling and swearing by jamming the screwdriver under the lid and heaving.

Reader if you are of a nervous disposition please surf away now – I cannot be held responsible for any psychological damage reading onwards might cause – you have been warned.

The first thing I saw was a – Toad. No this isn’t a spelling mistake but a real life toad (Mike Da Hat, eminent biologist and bird scarer O and rock-n-roller) please explain why a toad was in my sewer) was sitting on the concrete inches above the murky water that filled the drain. O there were plenty of turds too as this is a shared drain.

Now I don’t know about you, but when dealing with drains and sewers, my family’s turds are acceptable, but man you just don’t want to be dealing with other peoples, that’s just so gross.

Anyway I was lucky my wife was acting as foreman, I say acting as she had little idea of what to do and was hiding behind the door peeping out of the net curtain, I don’t know what she was more scared of the toad or the turds and she gave me loads of useless advice I didn’t need just at that moment when contemplating the shitty mess before me.

I tried poking around with the aluminium door rod but that just seem to mix it up a bit more, then I noticed that as I watched the water level was dropping a little, then it rose again, then dropped, what was going on?. O, the guy upstairs had gone out and left his washing maching on, and it was now on the empty cycle so more water was gushing into the blocked drain. Then my wife helpfully flushed the toilet again!! Why, I don’t even know, she says she thought it would be helpful.

More specialist tools were needed, I found a piece of two by two upstairs by the neighbours door (he’s renovating) it was a good 5 feet long, so would keep me well away from that augean pool (see Hercules’ fifth labour). With this I managed to fish out something that looked suspiciously like kitchen roll. Ah ha! A clue, we are not so poor or as uncouth as to use kitchen roll in the loo, no we pamper our bottoms with the softest, quiltiest, puppy freshest toilet roll we can afford. So it must be HIM upstairs.

So not only am I having to swirl about amongst his shit, he is the culprit too. But the drains still blocked, I will have to swallow my anger and the contents of my stomach that’s just about reaching my tonsils to deal with this. I capitulate and go for even more specialist tools, as there is no way I am calling out Mr. Rooter or what ever he’s called on a Sunday as well, can you imaging the bill?

I call around friends to borrow their drain rods. A quick poke and its all done. Not with my friends you understand as I am married, but down in the drain with the rods, one quick poke was all it took. See, what am I always saying is, Y’need the proper tools to do a proper job.

When I mentioned this to our friendly neighbour, he flatly denied using kitchen roll down the loo, even after I showed him the sopping evidence. Perhaps he was too embarrassed to admit that he needed the extra absorption of something like Bounty the favoured kitchen roll of all cross dressers.

So yet again I have proved my manly existence, if you remember a while back, I tamed the washing machine and replaced a belt all by myself, bringing the washing machine repairmen of Plymouth to near bankruptcy, as I have now done to the Mr. Rooters of this world. On Saturday, now that the red mist is upon me I am going to replace our bedroom window, yes me, all by myself, ha the window makers of this world will quake before me. Mind you I am taking the car to be MOT’d next week so all the money I have saved above will be in mortal jeopardy.

Pray for me dear reader, pray for me.

No toads were harmed in the unblocking of the sewer or the writing of this blog - this is a toad friendly zone

Birthday Present to my blog

As it was this blogs birthday last week (not that anyone noticed Hurrumph) I though that the blog needed a birthday present. But to do that I need your help dear readers. Its very simple.

Gemmak is a blogger and also a blog designer. She will give my blog a birthday present of a free makeover if only two of you, just two of you go to her and pay her to makeover your blog, I think it is very reasonable, $25 which in real money is about £15 (I don't know why they are using dollars as shes in Scotland) so here's the link - the link was high jacked by a porno site so I deleted it!
So thats the viral marketing done, go on you know it makes sense....

and I want a makeover for my blogs birthday

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Blog - The Wibble is One

Just a note to mark the passing of time etc etc, but the 29th September was the birthdate of this blog, so its a whole year old, how time flys when you're enjoying yourself.

And I have really enjoyed it and I guess the highlight of the year was being involved in the Big Blogger house where my real talent for wibble really came to the for, some people hated it some people loved it I guess, well they didn't vote for me to be out of the house.

Thanks to everyone who comments, (especially the regular ones, you know who you are) there have been a few blogs recently from other bloggers bemoaning the lack of comments on blogs, but I guess we also know there's a legion of lurkers out there too who read but don't comment and I admit that I read more blogs than I comment on too! I mean its a real surprise that there have been over 15,000 viewings of this blog over the last year, I know BB inflated that and until I learnt to switch the counter cookie off I was counting myself a bit too, but nevertheless I feel that is quite an achievement.

Since finishing my Phd which was about 100,000 words there has been a bit of a writing hole in my life, and this has helped fix that, plus I have, like zillions of us bloggers re-incarneted My Novel which has been fermenting on various hard drives, disks and A4 paper (an ancient writing medium) so I hope to pusue that in parallel with my blog.

We all know blogging isn't great literature (although I would be interested to hear what my academic readers who are interested in digital lives etc would say about that), but is a sort of 'Mcwriting' is disposable, quick and easy and I really really enjoy it.

So if any newbies are readiing this go for it, enjoy it, join the blog revolution and explore the blogosphere, its fun, but don't forget to comment!

So to all my Mcreaders thank you again and I hope I don't give you Mcindigestion!

Have a nice day