Robert Hampton

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May 2008

2nd May 2008

I’d think of a clever title relating to apathy, but I can’t be bothered

Amidst the news that Labour were pushed into 3rd place in yesterday’s elections, another depressing statistic emerged: that Liverpool Central ward had the lowest turnout in the country, with less than 12% of people voting.

This is a city whose local paper’s letters page is routinely filled with people whinging about roadworks, litter collection, derelict buildings, regeneration, crime, public transport — all of which are the responsibility of the city council to a greater or lesser extent. So when they have an opportunity to do anything about it, do they take advantage? No.

Anyway, in honour of the man who could be the next Mayor of London, here’s some classic Boris.

3rd May 2008

Read it out, Boris
Posted by at 10.40am | In the News, Politics | No responses

I live 2½ hours away from London (4½ hours at weekends – thanks Network Rail!) but have taken a keen interest in the mayoral election.

It’s clearly a good time to be a removal firm in London, judging by all the comments on the Guardian blogs saying that they’d leave the city for ever if Johnson got elected.

Lots of Boris-haters are whinging about the result, but really, it’s a decisive victory: he was clear of Ken Livingstone by over 100,000 votes. So I suggest you either live with it, or move to Liverpool where we don’t bother with elections and such.

4th May 2008

I’m a celebrity, get me out of here… and onto a map
Posted by at 4.25pm | Liverpool, Trains | No responses

Oh YES! I must have one of those!

More information here.

5th May 2008

Snot funny if it happens to you

I plonked myself down on the train this morning, and saw that opposite me was a large lump of… well, snot. Part on the seat itself, with the rest dangling below, refusing to break off.

Weird thing on Merseyrail train seat

What this picture cannot convey is the way the dangling thing bounced and swayed around in line with the motion of the train. I was transfixed.

Then some woman got on and sat down on it before I had a chance to warn her. She wasn’t pleased.

6th May 2008

Posted by at 6.11pm | In the News | No responses

The Guardian, taking time out from slagging off Boris Johnson, has helpfully listed some donation points for the Burmese cyclone victims.

9th May 2008

Posted by at 1.27pm | In the News | No responses

The World Food Programme has halted aid shipments to Burma after the contents of its first delivery were impounded on arrival in the military-ruled country.

Clearly a well thought out set of priorities there. Well done!

I want my donation back. 🙁

15th May 2008

The Beautiful Game
Posted by at 10.59pm | In the News, Trains | No responses

Extracts from Network Rail’s log from Manchester Piccadilly station last night (reposted from here):-

14/05 2200 NR Call received from the TPE station staff at Manchester Piccadilly advising that football supporters are walking on the track on platforms 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, train running stopped, BTP are in attendance, but the large volume of passengers is growing.
14/05 2242 NR Station Manager at Manchester Piccadilly advises Platform 13 & 14 are now closed due to disorder, Station staff have withdrawn from the platform.
14/05 2245 NR BT Police Control Sergeant informed of events and that the station staff are afraid to leave their office, will arrange for officers to accompany the station staff to despatch trains they also reported that GM Police are sending a Tactical Support Group to the station to assist BT Police in gaining control.
14/05 2304 NR Northern Trains Station Manager contacted and informs that the BT Poice have just arrived to accompany the station staff on their duties, also reported that several members of Northern Trains station staff have been assaulted. TPE Control Manager also reports that they have had their Operations Manager assaulted on the platform. Network Rail station manager informs no reported injuries to Network Rail employee’s.
15/05 0015 NR 1N71 2247 Manchester Airport – Blackpool North has been stood at Manchester Oxford Road station as the guard is unable to leave his cab and passengers are holding the doors open, passengers have attempted to drag the driver out of the window he is now secure and no injuries have been reported. Six BT Police officers are on the station but can not make their way through to the train.
15/05 0021 NR Northern Trains inform that 2D48 2309 Manchester Picc – Chester is cancelled after the passengers started vandalising units 142061 & 142026, the guard has left the train and the driver alighted via the window as passengers would not let him leave by the door. Train cancelled.
15/05 0045 NR Northern Trains inform 323235 has had a door badly damaged by passengers at Manchester Piccadilly (working additional service 2T11 2340 Manchester Picc – Manchester Airport), unit taken out of service. 142014 various windows smashed at Manchester Piccadilly station – taken out of service.

And there’s nobody to blame but pissed up football “fans” and a culture that indulges them.

21st May 2008

I feel good!
Posted by at 8.49pm | It's My Life, Work | No responses

Someone at work told me they think I am “doughy”.

Well, thanks a lot. That does wonders for my self-esteem. Wonderful. 🙁

27th May 2008

Posted by at 5.51pm | Music, Television | No responses

Say it ain’t so! Terry Wogan is thinking of quitting as Eurovision commentator after claims that the regional bias in the voting has become excessive.

Cyprus voting for Greece has been a running joke for years. However, the new claim is that the former Soviet and Balkan states, who have joined the contest relatively recently, are unfairly advantaged by the voting system. Both Italy and Austria have pulled out of the contest in recent years in protest at this state of affairs.

But is it true? I took the Results table at Wikipedia, pasted it into Excel (and you would not believe how problematic that simple task was) and did some playing around.

Read the rest of this post »

28th May 2008

The One to Watch
Posted by at 8.09pm | Liverpool | 1 response

The residents of Liverpool have had to endure months of roadworks and disruption in the city centre, but our long nightmare is nearly at an end — Liverpool One Phase One opens tomorrow!

And judging by the BBC’s pictures at the page linked above, the wait will have been worth it!

29th May 2008

Liverpool One II
Posted by at 7.49pm | Liverpool | No responses

Only had time for a brief look round during my lunch hour, but… It really is great.

And look! We’re getting an Apple store! Truly, I can now believe that Liverpool is a major player.

Apple store opening soon!

More crap mobile phone pictures, “after the jump”, as they say.

Read the rest of this post »

30th May 2008

Ground Control to Major Yum!
Posted by at 6.32pm | Television | No responses

With all the excitement(?) recently, I haven’t even had time to expound on the excellence The Colbert Report, which has been running on FX UK since the beginning of May.

I could explain about the incredibly clever humour, the smart satire or Colbert himself — who has taken what could have been a gimmicky concept and created a complex, three-dimensional character. But I’m lazy, so here’s some clips:-

You could check out this clip, one of the first episodes that FX broadcast here, and containing a joke about Donkey Kong which won me over instantly.

Or this one, where Colbert manages to successfully spoof something which is already completely ridiculous.

Weekdays at 11pm, FX. Watch it!