Robert Hampton

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December 2008

2nd December 2008

Filed under “Music”, but I’m not sure it should be
Posted by at 1.29pm | Music | 1 response

John Sergeant bids for Christmas Number 1:-

Let’s Not Fight This Christmas will be released on December 8. Written by Squeeze’s Chris Difford, it is a collaboration between Sergeant, 64, and Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley of The One Show.

Still, I’d prefer him over the X-Factor winner.

10th December 2008

Round Up – Kills the Roots, Guaranteed!

I know, I haven’t blogged for over a week. I’M BAD AT THE INTERNET. But now I’m back, ready to post items which may be of interest. Or not.

  • One of the main roads into Liverpool City Centre has been closed after a sewer collapsed underneath it — normally this would be of no interest to me whatsover, but the same sewer passes directly under the railway line I use to travel to work on a daily basis. Despite the heroic efforts of United Utilities, St Michaels station floods every time there’s a light drizzle and yours truly has ended up on an Arriva bus in a traffic jam on two separate occasions.

  • John Barrowman apologises for exposing himself on a Radio 1 show, following a complaint by a person who clearly doesn’t understand the concept of radio.

  • Remember RISC OS, the computer operating system which was great when first released in 1988, but struggled to keep up with Windows and was eventually left in the dust? It’s now available to download for a fiver. Sadly in today’s market it’s still overpriced by about £4.50, but the nostalgic may relish the opportunity to have a legal copy to plug into an emulator.

  • Steve Coogan says his Liverpool show got bad reviews, not because it was a half-arsed performance, but (of COURSE!) because the Scouse audience hated Mancunians. The reaction locally was… predictable (although to be fair, for once Paddy Shennan has a point).

  • Many people have suspected as much for some time, but now it’s official: The Simpsons is over as an icon of subversive pop culture. How do I know? The Daily Mail has run an article praising the show.

  • Staying on the same subject, the Mail on Sunday has decided to launch its own music label, or as Paul McInnes puts it on the Guardian music blog: “As if belonging to one industry with a death wish wasn’t enough, now the Mail wants to get into another!”

    The new label will be called Mail On Sunday Sounds (MOSS) and launched with a free giveaway of a CD by a Gospel choir. Contrary to rumours, they won’t have any recordings featuring Mick Jagger or Keith Richards, because MOSS gathers no Rolling Stones.

14th December 2008

The Most Advanced Passenger Train
Posted by at 5.20pm | Trains | No responses

So, how did day 1 of the Super duper new West Coast Main Line timetable go? I have no first hand experience, but over on uk.railway one person reported that his train from Lime Street to London this morning was cancelled due to… overrunning engineering works. Hm.

Elsewhere it was a happier story, with Stone station in Staffordshire getting its first train in five years, after its services were “bustituted” in 2003 to allow the upgrade work to take place.

Network Rail can’t quite shake the engineering work bug though, as there’s one last hurrah the weekend after Christmas.

15th December 2008

A Sad Clown? How profound
Posted by at 7.30pm | In the News, Trains | No responses

Normally, when you see a headline like “Clown brings chaos to Merseyrail” in the Echo, you can safely assume it’s a bit of tabloid hyberbole. On Sunday night, however, the operating difficulties in the Hillside area were caused by an actual clown.

Must-see picture on the Southport Forums site.

16th December 2008

Posted by at 1.36pm | In the News | No responses

Throw away the key.

17th December 2008

Things to slow down your web browser
Posted by at 1.05pm | Music | No responses

Christmas cheer, courtesy of the Wombats (featuring Les Dennis) and Geraldine McQueen. In my dreams, one of these will beat the X-Factor woman to Christmas number one.

Honourable mention to The Feeling, whose download-only track Feels Like Christmas can be heard on their MySpace. In a shocking development, people are still using MySpace.

18th December 2008

Where do you want to go about twelve years ago?

This Daily Mail report of an Internet Explorer security vulnerability is notable only for the hilariously out-of-date picture (Netscape Communicator!) they’ve used to illustrate it.

22nd December 2008

Public Service Announcement
Posted by at 7.40pm | Television | No responses

If you have access to FX UK, be sure to check out A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, tonight at 11.30pm. I saw it on its first broadcast last night, and I promise you will enjoy every minute (well, not the ad breaks, unless you derive unusual satisfaction from getting up to go to the toilet).

23rd December 2008

On the 23rd day of December, the Daily Mail reported to me…
Posted by at 1.12pm | Fun, In the News | 1 response

It’s probably wrong to make light of the impending mass unemployment that is going to descend on our nation (especially as your humble webmaster could end up being part of it), but the modified Christmas song written by staff at a Birkenhead Jobcentre is entertaining enough to be recorded for posterity:-

On the twelfth day at Brunswick,
Gary gave to me
Twelve hunting rifles,
Eleven spotty youths,
Ten fleas a-leaping
Nine screaming babies,
Eight P45s,
Seven recovering alcoholics,
Six DMAs,
Five Direct Payments,
Four Fresh Starts,
Three Crisis Loans,
Two missed evs
And a scally in a hoodie.

24th December 2008

But will it cause a drop in house prices?
Posted by at 12.41pm | In the News | No responses

There are millions dying in Zimbabwe thanks to the misrule of a brutal tyrant; the global economy is heading for meltdown thanks to the selfish actions of greedy bankers; scores of Mumbai residents have been murdered by terrorists.

So who has Pope Benedict singled out for criticism? You’ll never guess.

Speaking on Monday, Pope Benedict said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the environment.

The good news is that the Vatican is finally making a serious effort to forgive Galileo Galilei, 375 years after he was tried as a heretic. So look for gay Catholics to be welcomed into the fold sometime around 2383 — for Star Trek fans, that’s about five years after the USS Voyager returns to the Alpha Quadrant.

Posted by at 8.02pm | In the News | No responses


29th December 2008

Mistletoe & Whine

I told people not to buy me chocolate for Christmas, but what was under the tree on December 25th? A Toblerone selection box and Cadbury Heroes as far as the eye could see. Of course, I could just not eat them, but if you think that’s an option for me, you clearly don’t know me very well.

Today was my first visit to the gym in 6 days (it’s been closed since Christmas Eve) and I could feel every miniature Dairy Milk bouncing around as I jogged on the treadmill.

Christmas itself was uneventful, just the way I like it. Excellently, I received the Rail Simulator Official Expansion Pack, giving me access to the Class 08 Shunter. I spent a happy Boxing Day rearranging virtual HST trailers at Old Oak Common depot, only to be told that my performance was terrible and I must do better next time. Well, if they will insist on parking Class 47s where I’m going to crash into them…

Read the rest of this post »

31st December 2008

Posted by at 4.50pm | It's My Life | No responses

I always take the odd days between Christmas and New Year off work; frankly I couldn’t bear going into work straight after a 48-hour chocolate binge.

One consequence of this extended absence is my body clock gets all out of whack and starts thinking every day is a Saturday. I’ve been staying in bed until 11am, which doesn’t bode well for Friday when I have to drag my sorry (Dairy Milk-enlarged) arse back to work.

So I set my alarm for 8.30 this morning to try and ease myself back in. However, I couldn’t sleep at all (I was still awake to hear the clink of milk bottles on doorstep) and so when my alarm did go off, I was so completely zonked out (MEDICAL TERM) that I immediately switched it off and ended up falling out of bed at… 11am. Ho-hum.

Happy New Year, anyway. I’ll probably be back tomorrow with some sort of review of the year type thing. Unless I forget.