Farty's Fortunes

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Winter Draws On

The nights, as they say, are fair drawing in, and Scotchmen and Scotchwomen across, er, Scotchland have taken to wandering around with their heads tilted back and mouths hanging eagerly open. Aye, there's a nip in the air...
Cat Deeley. Hot or Cold?

In the run-up to Halloween, police have been warning ordinary folks that "young people" are evil monsters and will be arrested if found in possession of flour or eggs. "We do not want to be seen as killjoys", said a killjoy yesterday, "but would you like it if some young-un were to bake you a sponge cake? Why, the chloresterol could kill you in twenty or thirty years!"
A cake yesterday.

If they can avoid getting arrested while they're at the shops getting kitted up for trickle-treating, the kids will of course be buying the usual bag of nuts - "and no' too many coconuts!" I still love that one.

Good news for nerds this week. Apparently, boffins have declared that love and sex with robots are inevitable. Given the choice, which of these would you rather have? Pervy dwarfSexy Robot

Happy Halloween! WWFSMD?

Monday, 29 October 2007

Five Things

This meme came from Misssy over at The Misssy M Misssives. Looks like a lot more than five to me, but I never was too good at sums and that, so here goes...

What were you doing ten years ago?

  1. 1997 was the first time, except for a very brief trip to Glenshee, that I went skiing on proper snow. There was a works outing to Andorra, so I took Little Miss Farty along for the ride. It's the first - and last - time I skiied on a black run. I know it was 1997, cos I saw observed comet Hale-Bopp at its closest approach from the top of the Pyrenees. With binoculars wot my bruvva had gave me.

  2. I met the girl who broke my heart for the very.last.time. She was up in Scotchland to pick up a fridge, as you do, and stopped off in Embra for a visit. We just sat and chatted, in a bar, for an hour, about nothing in particular, but by the time she left, the empty place inside of me, which had been aching for ever so long, had been healed. Which was nice.

  3. I discovered the Slippery Nipple, which despite what it says in the Urban Dictionary is Baileys and Sambuca, in the same glass but not mixed.

  4. I learned something about flash photography. Take a glass of Sambuca, set light to it, then dip your middle finger in the glass and hold your flaming finger up while someone photographs it. Try it, that's all I'm saying.

  5. And didn't Princess What's-her-face decide to drop out of public view that year? Mrs Farty and I left flowers at the Scotch Monument, since everybody else was doing it. And had a wee greet. Shut up.

What were you doing one year ago?

  1. Working my butt off on a certain merger. 12-hour shifts, sometimes 7 days a week, hence not much else.

  2. I got sick with that winter vomiting bug, probly related to the above, and took a week off work. I would have been climbing the walls with boredom, except that...

  3. I found that my new works laptop had full internet access.

  4. So I spent my time off work reading Non-Working Monkey's blog from Day One to present day. Is that what they call cyber-stalking?

  5. But back in January, I spent the New Year drinking Amarula beside the braai while the kids splashed in the outdoor swimming pool. Guess where? Not Embra, oddly enough.

Five Songs you know the lyrics to:

Oh, now that's hard, I just like to hum along...

  1. American Pie by Don McLean. My sister-in-law brought the album (vinyl!!!) back from the USA for me in, feck, a while ago. 1974?

  2. Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary. Long before I ever heard of John Denver.

  3. Even In The Quietest Moments by Supertramp. (You might want to fast-forward the first couple of minutes.) A good friend of mine was in a band that played a superb instrumental version of this, but they had trouble memorising the lyrics. So I bought it, learned it and, er, oh yes, I forgot that I can't sing. Bummer.

  4. Mr Blue Sky by ELO. Trivia note - the girl with the magic smile in this video is the late, great Rosie Vela.

  5. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani. What? A bloke can't be hep with the modern groove? Man.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

  1. Give a big chunk to Greenpeace.

  2. Emigrate. Abroad, probly. Somewhere warm. Like. You know. SA or NZ.

  3. But not before buying a walk-on part in Doctor Who. How cool would that be? Way cool.

  4. Take up blogging full time.

  5. You think I'm kidding with 4. I'm not.

Five bad habits:

Only five?

  1. Picking my nose. I love a good root around. Surely it's no coincidence that the human nostril is exactly the same size as the Pinky?

  2. Snoring, apparently. Mrs Farty accuses me of it, but I've stayed awake all night to check and never once heard myself snore.

  3. Hitting the snooze button too many times, then being in a mad dash to get up for work.

  4. Speaking before I think.

  5. Spending way too much time busy blogging.

Five things you like to do:

  1. Blogging. Well, that's a given, innit?

  2. Playing Go.

  3. Reading Science Fiction. The Good Stuff, like this.

  4. Take nice photographs. Not many people know this, but I now have a Flikr(sp?) account. I promise I'll put some more pix up real soon now.

  5. Make banoffee pie. Gosh, I haven't done that since, erm, Sunday.

Five things you will never wear again:

  1. My cowboy boots. I bought them on my first trip to Merka. Oh yeah, I visit Merka all the time. Four times in fifty years, if you count that weekend in June. Anyway, they were too tight on my poor toes even then. But I do still sometimes wear the cowboy hat (when I think nobody's looking). Gen. You. Wine. Leather.

  2. Old Spice. wtf was I thinking?

  3. Ribbons in my hair. *sob*

  4. A bungee harness. It's like this. One year, Mrs Farty and I went to Blackpool with her siblings, spouses (spice?) and that. We went on nearly every ride. We nearly went on the dodgems (bumper cars); we nearly went on the water slide; we nearly went on the roller-coaster; we never actually went on anything. Everyone was like, "oh, yes, I'll go on if you do". Yeah, right. So the next time we went, I decided to have a go anyway. Not one of those scaredy-cats would go on with me, so it was just me. I went on the Slingshot ride. Gosh, it was such fun! I had to go on the Pepsi Max Rollercoaster just to calm my nerves afterwards.

  5. Any kind of leather jacket. No reason, I just don't like them very much.

Five favourite toys:

  1. My wee moby.

  2. My hand blender. See banoffee pie. Whipped cream in 30 seconds flat.

  3. Wumpy, my toy rabbit from when I was, like, wee. Long since disintegrated, but I still remember when he had two eyes. And one ear. And a tail.

  4. My Sonic Screwdriver. Really.

  5. My blog. Does that count? I play with it enough.

Five things you hate to do:

  1. Stop to change batteries. I was thinking of my camera, but you can read what you like into this one, eh girls?

  2. Say goodbye to friends.

  3. Get up on cold, dark mornings. Boo!

  4. Work night shift. Thought I'd gotten away from that one 16 years ago, but I still get roped into it now and then.

  5. Diet? Exercise? Hmmm...I'll go for a long walk quite happily. Diet, then. I couldn't forego chocolate.

I'm not tagging anyone in particular, but if you do decide to pick this one up, drop me a line. Ta.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A Novel Idea

I think it's fair to say that everyone has a great novel inside them - it's just that, if they're anything like me, they're probly far to lazy busy to write more than one chapter before giving up.

Fear not, for the solution is now at hand!

I give you...(rat te-tat-tat-tat ta-TAH!)

The All-New Twenty-First-Century Online Collaborative Internet Novel!!!

I don't think I've ever used three exclamation marks before, I may have to go and have a little lie down...

I'm quite sure no-one in the history of mankind has ever had such a brilliant, original idea. And anyone who uses Google to verify that fact will be tracked down and shot for insubordination. La-la-la can't hear you anyway.

The Rules

  • Prospective authors can join by emailing me. Only the crème de la crème1 will be accepted, of course.

  • Each chapter should end on a cliff-hanger and solve acknowledge the previous chapter ending.

  • There will be a weekly vote for the style in which the next chapter should be written.

    • Tabloid: Cat in Mat-Sitting Shock – House Prices set to Crash

    • Sci-fi: The space-cat wrapped its tentacles around the mat and snarled, “What are mew looking at?”

    • Horror: With its stainless steel claws, the cat slashed John’s guts open before it lost interest and fell asleep on the mat.

    • Western: A mean, old, scarred tom-cat curled up on the rush mat outside the saloon.

    • Romance: “Oh, Tiddles,” exclaimed Betsy, as the pampered puss lolled on the mat, “do you think he even knows I’m alive?”

    • Chaucer: Ye catte satte upon ye matte. For sooth.

    • Technical Manual: Attach cat to mouse-mat using bonding resin #3b before applying sticking plasters to exposed skin.

    • Agony Aunt: Er...

    • Legal Document: Um...

    • Manga Comic: Well...

    • Fantasy: You get the idea.

Who's up for it?

1 Anyone who can spell "novel" using nine letters or less.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Flying Killer Monkeys From Hell

I've had to put my first movie script on hold for the moment, as Orlando Bloom has been too busy to return any of my 200 phone calls. Never mind; I've already had an idea for a sequel, and eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that this time I've come up with the title first!

We rejoin the tale one year after the first film ends. In a devastated Earth, the tattered remnants of humanity try to rebuild civilisation, but there are too few
survivors left after the mayhem caused by those pesky brain-eating zombies.

Working feverishly in a lab based in Hawaii (to get away from the zombies), with sweat from the tropical heat (and global warming, obv.) dripping down her front, Doctor Salma Hayek has genetically engineered a troop of flying monkeys1.

These airborne anthropods (so I used a thesaurus, so sue me) have been trained to perform all the menial tasks so that the scientists can get on with the real work of destroying the zombies and putting the world to rights; simple-minded jobs like fruit-pickers, street-sweepers, taxi-drivers, database programmers, drummers and England rugby players (*ducks*).

At first, the results look promising - the new working class is literally prepared to work for peanuts. But then disaster strikes! El Nino brings an early monsoon, the world peanut harvest is decimated and starving monkeys run fly amok.

In a desperate effort to save the world, bigger, more ferocious langurs are trained to attack the original, smaller macaques and keep them under control...

Nah, come on, who would swallow a story as far-fetched as killer monkeys? That's just preposterous!

1 You may ask why they need to be flying monkeys - the reason is, of course, that the title would make no sense otherwise. It's too late to change it now: deal with it.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Mr Farty's Sci-Fi Script Idea

Let me try this on you before I take it to Hollywood. See what you think and no blabbing to Warner Bros!

The world is going to hell in a handcart - too many people, not enough resources, rampant Tinned Whalemeatpollution, global warming, people eating endangered animals out of house and home, people eating endangered animals, period. (Did I mention it's set in the present day?) Something Must Be Done.

Then a young, brilliant scientist, who looksEye candy remarkably like Orlando Bloom, has an ingenious idea. He does some preparatory work, then takes his proposal to a team of venture capitalists and they are, for a change, wildly enthusiastic.
Dragon's Den
Here's his pitch:

Everyone knows that computers are doubling in capacity every 18 months. At some time in the not-too-distant future, they will have the equivalent processing power of a human brain. Well, that time has now arrived!


You too can live forever!

Captain John GreenwoodAre you feeling old, decrepit, dying from some terrible disease or simply tired of living in this godforsaken hell-hole? (Earth, you dummy! Do try to keep up!)

Sign up now and have your thoughts, your memories, even your feelings stored in cyberspace - for all of eternity!

Free from all shortcomings of the flesh, your mind can race around the world at the speed of light itself!

Green skinGive yourself virtual organs that you could never have in "real life". You want a lizard tail? You've got it! Green skin? No problem! Gills? Patrick DuffySure, why not?

All we need to do is scan the contents of your brain and upload your personality into our mainframe - for free*!

*Small print: The scanning process is irreversible and destructive. Clients' brains become the property of New Life, Inc.


Some customers have already joined up. Their worn-out bodies have been recycled as bio-diesel, but their minds are out there on the super-information highway. Friends and families are able to "talk" with their loved ones simply by logging into chat-rooms and typing away. Two-way webcam links are just around the corner, after a few teething troubles have been ironed out.

Like the fact that the whole thing is a scam.

Evil Scientist. Boo!The "uploaded" are in fact nothing but sophisticated chat-bots, set up to tempt the unwary into putting themselves into the clutches of a ruthless cabal, an unholy alliance of mad scientists and businessmen, intent on subjecting as many humans as possible to voluntary euthanasia.

Massive worldwide advertising campaigns show willing victims queuing up to enter the conversion booths, where their brains are extracted, "scanned" and uploaded onto supercomputers (dressed-up PSPs). The corpses are shown being fed into recycling plants (but actually used as landfill), while the brains are secretly puréed and marketed as tasty, nutritious soup. Mmmm, rich in omega-three fatty acids!
Fresh Brains!
It all starts to go horribly wrong when the consumers who drink the soup start turning into brain-eating zombies and run amok...
Some zombies yesterdayRhydian off the X-FactorI'll probly have to throw in a few aliens and that to keep the special effects bods happy, obv. But I think my totally original and not at all stolen from anyone else idea is a winner.


Update: WTF am I thinking? I need a title, guys! Help! I'll cut you in on the profits...

Thursday, 18 October 2007

I See Stupid People

According to author Arthur C. Clarke, "If a scientist tells you that something can be done, he is probably right. If a scientist tells you that something can't be done, he is probably wrong."

I have an addendum to that one: If he tells you that people with dark skin are not as bright as Caucasians, he can expect to get blasted in the media.

Dr James Watson, who shared the Nobel Prize for his work on revealing the secret of DNA, has made the rather startling pronouncement that black people are less intelligent than white people.

This is on a par with claiming that women are more temperamental than men, or that old fools are more likely to make sweeping generalisations than young post-graduates making grant applications.

All in all, it just doesn't sound like the kind of thing I'd expect a proper scientist to say. Usually any scientific statement is tempered with a heavy dose of "ifs" and "buts". In fact, the most reliable way to tell if someone is a scientist is to ask for a straight answer to a straight question.

The genuine scientist will always reply: "It depends. We need more funding - I mean we need to do more research."

Other Nobel laureates include:

  • Kofi Annan (Ghana)

  • Derek Walcott (Jamaica)

  • Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)

  • Albert Lutuli (South Africa)

  • Nelson Mandela (South Africa)

  • Desmond Tutu (South Africa)

  • V. S. Naipaul (Trinidad and Tobago)

You may not need to be a rocket scientist to win a Nobel Prize, but neither do you have to have white skin.

And that's a scientific fact.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Good News

Yes, yes, I know I said I wouldn't post about my family again, but that was then and this is now.

Today is Little Miss Farty's birthday. And BF waited up until after midnight so that he could propose.

How romantic is that?

btw, she said yes.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Nowt As Queer As Folk

People come here for the oddest reasons...

  • Full frontal Paris Hilton

  • What is better Huggies or Pampers

  • England and 0-36 and rugby jersey

  • Random fact about Schrodinger

  • Dilbert cellular flushable

  • Look under Scotchmans kilt

  • I thumb my nose at you. I fart in your general direction!

  • Good seeing to

  • Dubai underground skiing

  • Rickie Lee Jones - Years May Go By lyrics

  • Farty

  • Senile dimension

Hope you found what you were looking for.

Predictive Textioh

There must be a name for it - that doubly lazy phenomenon of switching on predictive texting on your moby, then not bothering to check that it correctly predicted what you wanted to say before hitting "send".

Can you imagine if the entertainment pages of the papers did that? I can.

  • Lose of the Rings

  • Pridesman

  • Good With the Wind

  • Laws

  • Close Encounters of the Third Line

  • Got Fuzz

  • Run, Eat Any, Run

  • Citizen Land

  • Bridget Loner's Diary

  • The Heartbreak Lie

  • Lackasp the Movie

  • Happy Routes and the Philosopher's Stood

These are just the ones that - almost - make proper words. Not as easy as it looks - it's amazing how many words the wee thing predicts correctly.



Ming The Jobless

Monday, 15 October 2007

Those Pesky Pests!

"Eeeeek!" screamed Mrs Farty, "a spider!" Yet again, Mr Farty was obliged to interrupt his life's work (ok, his blogging) in order to dispatch the eight-legged freak.

"That does it!" she exclaimed. "I have had it with these flipping spiders in this flipping house!"1 Picking up the paper, she riffled through to the small ads.

"Here it is! PestXitTM. We need it. Right now! Besides, the Joneses already have it, and I'm not about to be outdone by those snooty snobs."

<clickety click> "Have you seen how much these things cost?" asked Mr Farty, one eye always on his wallet.

"I don't care, it'll be worth it to get rid of the little monsters once and for all." And it was settled. The order was duly placed.

A few days later, the box arrived and the decision came, which room to put it in? "The range appears to be wide enough to cover the whole house, let's plug it in the bedroom for maximum effect."

And sure enough, for a few weeks the house seemed remarkably clear, not just of spiders, but also flies, bees, wasps, bluebottles2, sparrows, lions, elephants and whales...although we were still plagued by giraffes.

But then evolution must have kicked in, because before you could say Shelob, nature had filled the vacuum with the biggest, hairiest spider Mr Farty had ever seen. And guess where it had spun its web?

Yep, right on top of the PestXitTM. The bastarding critter was right in the middle, basking in the glow of the "operational" light. It was almost as if it was laughing at the irony of the situation.

Wonder if Mr Farty can get his money back?

1 Or words to that effect.
2 In the UK, these are like big, noisy flies, not to be confused with the nasty stinging jellyfish.

Friday, 12 October 2007

A Commission!

Mr Farty has had a request to "work some magic" on a ladyfriend's photo so that she can pull the blokes in one of them online dating sites. Let's call her Hamster, to protect her anonymity1.

Ladies, I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you want to catch a man, just show up naked with beer. Laced with Rohypnol.

Anyways, down to business. Fire up PaintShopPro and load Hamster's original photo.

One thing that strikes me right away is the hairstyle. That bowl cut is soooo last week, girl! Let's get out the clone brush and bring it down to your shoulders.

Now for those skin tones. Honey, I'm surprised you don't have rickets, living in perpetual darkness wherever it is you live (*ahem*). Do you have to take vitamin D tablets? Click on the Suntan tool and spread around the face. Use the right mouse button and Alt to adjust the brush size, and zoom in to work around the eyes and that. Or take a trip to a tanning booth.

Hmmm. Now your lips look too pale. Maybe a touch of red lippy, nothing too ostentatious. Use the Lighten tool to add highlights.

You know, that lipstick gives me an idea. How about we make you a redhead? Draw around the hair with the Freehand tool, so that we don't get blood everywhere, then apply an appropriate shade of red paint hair colouring liberally. Don't worry too much about going over the edges, as you can use the clone tool to smooth things out later.

Now pick the Toothbrush tool to bring up those really pearly whites. And maybe just a smidgen of mascara. Remember, less is more.

Finally, we need to pour you into into a killer outfit, something to show off your figure. I've got just the thing in my own wardrobe...hang on...

Et voila! Go knock 'em dead!

Don't thank me. Really.

1 Actually, it's Cat.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Click on image to find out.


I'm practising with PaintShopPro. Think I might buy it.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Huggies or Pampers?

That's the question facing Britney Spears this week. Not for her kids, whom she seems to have lost in a Wildean manner, but for herself. For in the latest twist to this modern saga, it looks as if Ms Spears is fighting to retain control of her Chihuahua.

That's a euphemism for ladygarden, right? After my gran lost control of hers, she had to wear a nappy for the rest of her life. I blame the drink and drugs; gran always was a bit of a wild one.

As long as it means we don't have to put up with pictures of her shaven bits. Who wants to see someone's unmentionables?

Oh, you do? Ok.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Gone Phishin' Part 3

Please read all of this post, you know it makes sense.

From: Natwest Online Security Service

To: MrFarty@BlueYonder.co.uk [really]

Subject: Natwest Online Alert : Online Access Suspended

Dear Value [sic] Customer,

Due to concerns for safety [whose?],Your account has been randomly flagged in our system as a part of our latest security measures against online fishing [sic]. This happens to ensure that only you have access to your natwest account [what account is that then?] and to ensure a safe Banking experience against online fraud. We require all flagged accounts as yours, to verify their information on file with us. To Speed up the Verification Process,We urge you [to?] verify your account now to avoid your online access disabled.

To Begin the verification process of your natwest records,Please click on the reference link below:
[looks like natwest dot com but actually medisave dot co dot uk]

Thank You.

Smith [no forename]
Customer Advisor
Natwest Direct.
Natwest. another way.


Accounts Management As outlined in our User Agreement, nationwide [um, I thought this was Gnatwest?] will periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements.


Now for the science bit:

National ID Fraud Week

National ID Fraud Week takes place across the UK from 8 to 12 October 2007. This annual industry initiative provides a range educational and prevention advice on identity fraud.

Appearances can be deceiving. ID theft affects more than 100,000 people every year in the UK and the Home Office estimates that it currently costs the UK economy £1.7 billion per annum.

We all have a part to play in fighting financial crime and this campaign provides an excellent opportunity for us to help customers who have any concerns or queries around ID Fraud.

In addition to recognising and reporting anything that doesn't look or feel right, employees should use this opportunity to signpost customers to the various sources of information available to our customers on identity theft. These include:

Home Office ID Theft leaflet "Don't Become a Victim Of Crime" (held in all our branches)
Security advice held on RBS.com and NatWest.com

External sources of information:



...and according to the real NatWest website:

At NatWest we will never ask our customers for any personal information by e-mail. If you receive such an email, before deleting it, please attach it to a new email and send it to phishing@natwest.com


Thursday, 4 October 2007

My 1,000 Favourite Cheeses

  1. Emmental

  2. This traditional, fruity cheese has lots of holes where people have poked it with their fingers to see if it's ready yet. At least I hope it's their fingers. Do you like my burnt-edge effect? No expense spent at Farty's.

  3. Cheddar

  4. Surprisingly adaptable, this cheese is frequently pumped full of chemicals to make it turn bright orange.

    Or indeed any other colour you fancy.

  5. Wensleydale

  6. A bit crumbly, this one, but its slightly bitter taste makes a good contrast on hot, buttered toast.

  7. Gruyere

  8. Two words: Foreign muck.

Ok, what's the most boring thing you've ever been tagged with? (Apart from this one, John.)

Don't Tag Me, Bro. Unless it's a goody.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Only In Merka

A pair of rednecks are fighting a custody battle over an amputated leg. As you do. Who would want an amputated leg? A wooden one would be much better, aarrrr!

In Percy Julian Middle School, Illinois, group hugging has been outlawed so that ugly kids don't feel left out. Aw, bless!

In the UK, they only throw pensioners out on the street for heckling political party bigwigs.

As Walter Wolfgang, 82, said after his ordeal in 2005, "You cannot stifle debate by hiring heavies. A party has got to be open to the world."

But last week in South Carolina, a student was Tasered by four uniformed thugs for asking Merkan politician John Kerry a question at, er, a question-and-answer session.

Were the police being too heavy-handed? Watch this and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Nothing To See Here

I decided on the title to this post at lunchtime today, as I was planning to stick some photos over there on Flicker ===>

And also mention an update to Celebrity Litigation here.

But then I saw this article in New Scientist. After least year's less than sensational news about a shed of invisibility, boffins have only gone and created an actual, working invisibility cloak using gold rings. Blimey! Where did they get that idea?

Frodo One tiny catch. You have to be about 500 nanometres in size for it to work. So even Frodo would be a smidgen on the chubby side...

In fact I can't imagine any human being who'd be thin enough to pull it off.Posh Can you?