Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

March 2006

1st March 2006

Posted by at 6.58pm | Uncategorised | No responses

You’ve worked so hard and done your best,
Your work we have enjoyed,
But now it’s time for you to rest
Because you’re unemployed

…is how Hallmark should have dealt with this event, but didn’t. Shame.

2nd March 2006

The tide is high but I’m holding on
Posted by at 2.20pm | Uncategorised | No responses

The Mersey Ferry landing stage at the Pier Head has gone! The Daily Post has a picture of the partly-sunken stage as it looked first thing this morning, but now, there’s practically nothing left.

I went down around 1.30pm to have a nose. The tide was very high; the water was just a couple of inches below the top of the riverside wall. A small area around the Ferry Terminal was cordoned off, with security staff and the Inshore Rescue team keeping an eye on things. A couple of Mersey Ferry staff were milling around, looking understandably dejected at the sight of their workplace slowly slipping into the river.

Read the rest of this post »

3rd March 2006

Thank you ferry ferry ferry much
Posted by at 12.41pm | Uncategorised | No responses

The BBC Liverpool website has an eyewitness account and loads of spectacular pictures of the sunken landing stage.

6th March 2006

Dirty Mac brigade
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Robert wants a Mac Mini.

8th March 2006

Baby Blues
Posted by at 9.26pm | Uncategorised | No responses

I’m an uncle again, that’s pretty cool.

This is the 4th nephew to come along, and I’ve realised why being an uncle is much better than being an actual parent: you can play with the kid, spend time with him, entertain him as much as you want, but the minute he starts crying, it’s straight back to mummy while I go out for a latté. Hurrah!

10th March 2006

Insert soap in shower joke here
Posted by at 11.39pm | Uncategorised | No responses

An extra-rare treat for you all now: a work-related rant! Part of my job involves calling prisons to arrange for solicitors from the firm I work for to go and visit — yes that’s the type of work I’m in: lovely, isn’t it?

Anyway, I had cause to phone two separate prisons today. The switchboard operator at the first managed to keep me on hold for an inordinate length of time before cutting me off. This happened not once, not twice, but thrice! The second prison informed me that they had no visiting slots for next week, but were not yet taking bookings for the week after, so if I wanted to arrange a visit — tough.

Suffice to say, by the time I finished dealing with them I felt like killing someone. I resisted the urge, however — mainly because I’d end up in prison and, judging from my experience today, I’d never get any visitors.

I hate my job. On the plus side, on Monday we have an off-site meeting which will be a complete waste of time and provide ample opportunities for me to practise my “I’m paying attention to what you’re saying and not daydreaming of adventures in far-off lands, honest” face.

The title of this post could do with a bit of extra punctuation for clarity. Oh well.

11th March 2006

Adventures in Public Transport, part XXI
Posted by at 3.15pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Let’s rewind to Thursday night, where once more, a drunk man zeroed in on me on the train. “Where’s this train going?” “Hunts Cross” “Oh shit, I’m on the wrong train, I want to go to Southport.” “Yes, you’re going the wrong way.” “Where are we going?” “Hunts Cross. But if you get off at Brunswick…” “I’m going the wrong way.” “Yes, get off at Brunswick and cross over and get the train back to Central.”

Seems that I’m a magnet for drunk men, and not in a good way. I hope he got home OK; it was 11.15pm and we were on the penultimate southbound train of the night, which was due to pass the final northbound train at Brunswick. There’s something deeply disconcerting about arriving at Liverpool Central and seeing that the “next 3 trains” indicator is only showing two trains on it… BECAUSE THERE ARE NO MORE TRAINS AFTER THAT!

On the subject of trains, I’ve noticed that crap but free newspaper Metro is now available to Merseyrail punters. The end result being that trains are now littered with discarded Metros in addition to the crisp packets and lager cans that were there previously. However, it was worth it for the amusing celebrity lookalike they printed. Well, I thought it was funny, anyway.

12th March 2006

There’s snow business like snow business
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My sister and her boyfriend built the snowman, so please address all derogatory comments to Jenny and Carl. Thank you.

14th March 2006

Posted by at 4.31pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Isaac Hayes has quit South Park because it features “inappropriate ridicule” of religion. Earlier this year the show did an episode satirising Scientology, having previously “done” Catholicism and other religions.

Leaving aside this specific case, I did start thinking more generally about the whole religious mockery issue. From South Park to Jerry Springer: The Opera to the Danish cartoon controversy, it seems that whenever religious types campaign for religion to be respected, what they really want is for their religion to be respected.

We’d all be better off without religion. (controversial!)

16th March 2006

It’s a culinary adventure
Posted by at 8.27pm | Uncategorised | No responses

I was hugely saddened when Points of View-baiting Saturday morning show Dick and Dom in da Bungalow drew to a close at the weekend, so I was thrilled to come across a fan site offering music and video clips.

Highly recommended is the Stoke-on-Trent song. (“It’s a vibrant mix of the great and the good / Like Reginald ‘Spitfire’ Mitchell and Josiah Wedgwood“) but I suggest you spend at least a few minutes clicking through the links to remember one of the greats of kids telly.

Seemingly loathed by just about everyone over the age of 13, hopefully it will be remembered by people who actually watched it as a show which was freewheeling, funny and inventive right up to the end. Love it or hate it, we shall surely never see its like again.

20th March 2006

The things Metro readers say!
Posted by at 9.00am | Uncategorised | No responses

Whenever I am down, I just have to look at Will [Young], see that hat on at a jaunty angle and I can’t help but feel reassured that everything is going to be all right. Cheers Will.

No, cheers to you, Anthony Woodfield from Birmingham.

21st March 2006

I promised myself I’d never do these
Posted by at 10.56pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Zero for “Love”? ZERO?!

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 5.6
Mind: 6
Body: 6.7
Spirit: 6
Friends/Family: 3
Love: 0
Finance: 6.5
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

I feel like Birmingham City. 🙁

22nd March 2006

Should that say “most stupid”?
Posted by at 6.34pm | Uncategorised | No responses

I’ve just realised that this all happened nearly three years ago; it really doesn’t seem that long. And at the risk of sounding like an especially preachy Saved by the Bell episode, dropping out like that was, hands down, the stupidest thing that I ever did.

Well, it’s now nearly six years ago, and as we “celebrate” the 3rd anniversary of this humble blog, I think it’s time to revisit the first post and re-examine things with the benefit of hindsight. More hindsight.

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24th March 2006

Misery Tunnels Ha Ha Ha!
Posted by at 6.45pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Life could get interesting for Wirral commuters this Tuesday:-

Merseytravel regret that due to industrial action it will be necessary to close both the Kingsway and Queensway Tunnels to all traffic from 11.30pm on Monday evening until 12.30am on Wednesday morning.

Similarly the Mersey Ferries will not operate for the duration of the stoppage and commuter traffic will be catered for by Merseyrail Electrics who will honour cross-river tickets.

Merseyrail will also increase the number of carriages operating on the Wirral Line to help cope with the increased demand.

…so if you want to drive from Birkenhead to Liverpool, you’ll have to go via Runcorn. 🙂

25th March 2006

Oh, what the hell; let’s say it’s Adventures in Public Transport, part XXII
Posted by at 9.26pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Here’s something I’ve been pondering for a while: the perennial problem of people putting feet on seats on public transport. Let’s leave aside the fact that they’re depositing accumulated dog turds, chewing gum and miscellaneous street dirt on a seat which someone else may want to sit on, and concentrate on the main issue; namely, why do they do it at all?

I ask this because I have, in my weaker moments, tried slouching with my feet on the opposite seat, and I can’t find a position where I can get comfortable — within moments I get a pain in my back.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Merseyrail should junk that poster featuring a hilariously caricatured cartoon of a scally and replace it with a big warning: “Don’t you care about your posture?! THINK OF YOUR LUMBAR REGION!!!”

And this is why I don’t work in advertising. Or in any other noteworthy career.

26th March 2006

Arr Aitch Me You Kay
Posted by at 12.16pm | Uncategorised | No responses

Right, so this web site isn’t exactly great right now. Most of the pages are half-finished or not done at all, and the design itself now looks fairly icky. I do in fact have a new design for the web site more or less worked out, but I’m not quite ready to roll it out. In any case, I want to get some content (like the mythical about and links pages) done first.

On the good side, the site still looks better than it did during my brief, ill-advised flirtation with Comic Sans MS. Actually the look of the site almost mirrors my life at the moment — not particularly awful, but nothing great either.

But expect things to look different in the near future — on the site anyway. As for my life, well… I should probably get around to sorting that out too. 😐

27th March 2006

Going bananas
Posted by at 7.40pm | Uncategorised | No responses

I’ve been hunting for this clip for ages, and now, thanks to the good people at YouTube, we can all sit back and watch Stephen Colbert reporting on Prince Charles, from a couple of years ago.

29th March 2006

First Church of James Street
Posted by at 10.57am | Uncategorised | No responses

So, massive strike yesterday, and the only ways to cross the River Mersey were by taking a 30-mile detour via Runcorn, or use Merseyrail. Massive disruption for a lot of people, but there may be at least one convert:-

Andrew Cornes, 42, a graphic designer who normally drives from New Brighton to Liverpool, said: “There were no problems catching the train and it has actually made me think twice about whether this might not be the best way for me to travel to work. The strike could be very good for Merseyrail as it will make people realise there’s a viable alternative to the tunnels, which a lot of people think are a bit of a rip-off.”

Testify! Welcome to the congregation, brother! The above article is from this morning’s Daily Post, who are certainly reporting this better than the Liverpool Echo, whose angle on yesterday’s strike was, unbelievably, “the trains are a bit crap”.

30th March 2006

Memory lapse
Posted by at 12.22am | Uncategorised | No responses

Had what’s known as a heart-stopping moment earlier today, after installing a new memory module in my computer, which then proceeded to crash randomly every time I tried to use it. My attempts to rectify the problem resulted in the random crashes ending, however the crashes were now entirely predictable, occurring as soon as the computer booted into Windows.

So the memory module is out and I’m back to only-just-enough 256Mb for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless this whole experience has further pushed me towards junking the PC and getting a Mac. Of course, I’m not foolish enough to believe that a Mac would never suffer from a hardware problem, but at least with a Mac I wouldn’t have to worry about all the other crap that comes with a PC.

I’m not going to leap headfirst into getting the Mac, though. I’m going to do some research first. I saw The Mac Mini Guidebook, which has loads of info for PC users wanting to switch to the Mac Mini, in Waterstone’s. There’s also that rather nice Apple Centre in the Albert Dock.

There’s also the issue of money, which I don’t have a whole lot of at the moment. I might have to start selling some of my old stuff. I was in the loft yesterday and was amazed how much junk I’ve accumulated. I may even [insert dramatic music sting here] have to get rid of the Acorn stuff. 😮

This blog entry is a lot longer than I thought it would be. And I’ve just realised I’ve missed Desperate Housewives. Damn.

Damn you Paparazzo!
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This is hilarious — Joseph Gordon-Levitt (one of my favourite actors) turns the tables on some photographers who try and snap him in the street.

31st March 2006

Posted by at 12.38pm | Uncategorised | No responses

So the other day I went into the Liverpool branch of well-known clothing provider Next, not really looking for anything in particular, but just browsing. My eyes fell upon an attractive pair of black jeans… with belt included! At the princely sum of £36.99, there was no need for any further hesitation. I was straight to the checkout with my Visa debit card at the ready.

I got home, feeling pleased with myself at making such a good purchase. I fling open my wardrobe to put them away. Inside the wardrobe there’s an attractive pair of black jeans… with belt included! Turns out I’d bought a pair a couple of months ago and forgotten about them.

Ho-hum. So it was back to the shop yesterday to return them, while at the same time considering the precariousness of my grip on reality. There’s probably some deep-seated psychological reason for this, but really I don’t want to think about such things right now.