Farty's Fortunes

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Obsolete Technical Skills

This popped up on Slashdot recently. Mine include:

  • Making a pot of tea without using teabags.
  • I'd almost forgotten that you could still get loose tea. Always remember to warm the pot first. Can you still buy teapots?
  • Sucking eggs.
  • Yes, really. It's not just an expression. A good April Fool (if you're twelve) is to suck an egg, then serve the empty shell in an eggcup, as if boiled.
  • Using a darkroom to develop photos.
  • Ah, the great smell of develooping fluid!
  • Making a roach out of an IBM punched card (whatever that is).

  • Using a "dictionary" to check spelling.

And you?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Flakes On A Plane

Who will ever forget the terrifying events of 25/2?

At precisely 9:45am, a crack team of tree-huggers shambled across the Heathrow tarmac and climbed the steps of an empty A320 Airbus.

The only impediment to their attack on the Boeing 777 came when one of them briefly stopped to retie his natural fibre organic spaghetti shoelaces before rejoining his fellow vegetarians.

On reaching their target, the hippies strung a banner whinging about saving the whale across the tailfin of the Cessna 172.

One eco-terrorist described the hijack as "an act of defiance against the industrial-military complex ... neo-fascists ... police state ... line in the sand ... God I feel so weak ..." before being led away by men in white coats.

Police were said to be force-feeding the dangerous criminals on
cheeseburgers and fries in order that they could stand up unassisted.

The closing date for consultation on Heathrow's proposed new runway is 27 February 2008.

No nutters please.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Farty's Marketing Tips #1

Full MoonThis was inspired by Jacki's post: How to Make Money on Craigslist. Her dad managed to sell a telescope for a tidy profit just before a total lunar eclipse. In a way, I'm glad I didn't buy it, since it was cloudy over here. Of course tonight would have been a different matter...

I digress. As usual. The trick is, of course, to know your target audience, or "mark". If you're selling an astronomical telescope, simply post a picture of the instrument with a human beside it to give an idea of scale. Shortly before a major astronomical event.

* $150. That's only £75. Weeps *

If you're selling a small car, make it seem larger by getting a small person to pose beside it, or better still, inside it.

And if you're selling a generator: again, put someone in the picture near it, so that the buyer knows just how big they are. It is.
Generator for sale
Is it just me or is it hot in here?

Merkan-English Dictionary #8

Crikey! It's been a while since I wrote anything for this, innit?

Two themes this time: words that sound the same but are spelt differently and words that sond different but are spelt the same. Depending on whether you're British or Foreign. (Note: British people are never foreign, even when they're abroad. Conversely, abroad is full of foreigners.)

Firstly, Merkans hate the combination of the vowels "o" and "u". Hence their insistence on writing words like "color" or "neighbor" instead of the correct form: "colour" and "neighbour". Maybe they're just lazy? Anyway, it's now got to the stage that predictive texting on my British-boght moby tries to deliberately mis-spell words for me. Grr!

Secondly, there's "centre" versus "center". Do Merkans hate ending a word on a vowel or what?

And what's the story on "z"? The last letter in the alphabet is obviously pronounced "Zed". Just ask Zed. This "Zee" nonsense should just stop.

Or neighbors have a car the same color as their hose. They've just gone on holiday to New Zedland in the Sothern Hemisfear and left their Afghan Hond at or place. We'd like to walk her in Centeral Park, but it's too rogh. So we stay at home and listen to Zed Zed Top and that.

My brain hurts now. I'm oph phour a lye doune.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Next Survivor Series...

The following article arrived 'as is' in my mailbox. From a woman. Who uses that crazy kind of markup? I mean apart from Bossy?

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Apparently Survivor is some kind of reality TV series based on the popular song by Beyoncé and that.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Tagged by Cat, just long enough ago that I've managed to forget what she picked. Although I'm sure she made some excellent choices. Anyway.

Seven Things I Approve Of

  1. Cleavage.

  2. Chocolate.

  3. Music.

  4. Science Fiction.

  5. Holding Hands in Public.

  6. Blogging.

  7. Silliness.

That was easy. Your turn.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Holly's Wallabies

Holly and FearneLarge-breasted TV presenter and lesbian match-maker Holly Willoughby had an exciting job in front of the cameras, but her private life was no less busy. For every summer, she would travel to the Australian outback to work in her Aunt Sheila's marsupial captive breeding centre.

a wallaby yesterdayThere she would labour tirelessly, tending to little possums, wombats and that, fattening them up for Europe's top restaurants.

"Strewth, that's a lovely pair of bandicoots you've got there, young Holly," said a grizzled old billabong as he loaded another batch of koalas into the back of a waiting truck with a pitchfork.

Holly smiled and blushed at the compliment, until she realised he was referring to the twin marsupials nestled in the top of her bra for warmth.

Holly and her bandicoots

Milky milky bukkakeOf course, it wasn't all fun and games down on the farm. If the young wallabies took a dislike to the milk she was feeding them, she'd get it right back in her face. (That is milk, isn't it?)

Then one day, disaster struck. I ran out of ideas for this story. The end.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Birthday Boy

It was LMF's fiancé's birthday yesterday and we'd organised a Helicopter Trip for him. Yay!

Videocam fully charged and tested? Check.
Wrapped up warm? Check.
Clear skies? Check.
Phoned two hours ahead of time to reconfirm - cancelled due to a Technical Problem.

So we switched to Plan B.

You should always have a Plan B.

This was more of a Plan Z, but beggars can't be choosers.

Small vs Far Away

Holding a Helicopter

Sometimes you just have to make your own entertainment.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Get Lost

GoWhen he's not surfing the interweb for animal porn busy blogging, Mr Farty likes to check out the latest interactive gaming experiences. And he couldn't help but notice this inovva innover clever design fresh out of Japan. It's just jam-packed with features!

  1. Saves on cpu cycles by moving all of the processing into the players' own heads.

  2. Motherboard created using state-of-the-art etching - with a Samurai sword.

  3. Silicon/carbon materials - slate, shell and wood.

  4. Display equally visible in strong daylight and indoors.

  5. Recyclable components - you can eat any Minstrels/Mint Imperials that you capture.

The rules of Go are pretty simple: surround territory and/or capture prisoners to gain points. Highest score wins. Easy as piss. (e.g. I've been playing for twenty-nine years and I'm just starting to get the hang of it.)

Bad LoserOh. It's considered good form to always lose to heavily-armed Samurai warriors. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Spot The Retard

Clue: It's not the one lying face down on the floor.


Update: Some background to this video can be found here.

It's like Big Brother for real.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Putting The Fun Back Into Fundamentalism

That bloke in the skirt - no, the other one, the Archbishop of Canterbury - has gone completely bananas (no offence intended, GB!) and demanded 1 that the UK should immediately adopt Sharia Law. Because Britain is an Islamist state and the British people demand the right to have innocent rape victims jailed and given a taste of the lash.

Of course that could never really happen here. Can you imagine the uproar if someone in the UK, say Aberdeen, was arrested and thrown behind bars simply for having a bad dream? Oh. Right. What do you want to bet she's a Muslim?

Some good news from Iraq. It appears that "Sunni Arabs of the central and western part of the country may submit to Shia dominance". Who would have thought Sunni and Shia could ever reunite after all this time? I thought he'd died...

Anyways, if Islamic law is to be given equal footing with our own laws, then there is every reason why FSMism should also be given legal status. I demand the right to wear Full Pirate Regalia to work every Friday. Arrr!

1 In the sense that he didn't really. But it sells newspapers.

Update: John reckons that the pirate wench above looks like Heather Mills McCartney. Admittedly they're both gold-diggers with big boobs and wooden legs, but really?Heathaaarrr!!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Competition Results

So how did it go?

All in google.co.uk with safesearch off:

Diesel with 'Monkeyhands chicken' - 1/68.

Zoe with 'girlfriend daughter' - probly somewhere in the top 100,000/1,080,000.

Sewmouse with 'Schroeder Trundle' - 1/14,400.

wtf is a trundle anyway? Oh.

Laurie with 'zebra elucidation' - 1/41,600.

Cat with 'Lorraine Kelly' - nowhere to be seen in the first several hundred out of 322,000.

...despite six hits on her own site - bi-curious?

Brom with 'nhadau topographic' - 1/37.

Apparently a nhadau is a type of short giraffe, native to the mountains of Norfolk.

Step forward Laurie and collect your prize. Erm. Send a suitable snail-mail address to mrfarty at blueyonder dot co dot uk and I'll stick it in the post. You like spaghetti, right?

The Circle Game

Little Miss Farty is moving back in with us.

She first moved out when she decided to move to the Big Sprawl at the tender age of sixteen, to live with her SMS boyfriend. I still vividly remember her wee arm waving out the window of the removal van as they drove away. But after a year or so spent in 'Nam (Tottenham), working as a checkout girl, she was back. London didn't suit her, so she waved goodbye to bf and caught the train back to the Burgh.

Then there was a brief stint in her best friend's flat. Sleeping on the floor suited her a lot less than a bed, so back she came - after just a couple of weeks this time.

That was followed by a council flat. She had to claim that we'd thrown her out so that the council would move her to the top of the housing list. I think it was a council employee who let her in on that trick. She stuck it out for a year in what my Dad would have called a "multiplied flat", better know to the rest of us a a multi-story tower block: full of druggies and their dealers, schemies, neds (non-educated delinquents) and assorted riff-raff, so that she really wanted to leave, but the council had promised that they would knock it down and rehouse the tenants in some really nice new houses.

So she held on there for a second year, suffering a burglary in the process, but still there was no sign of the promised demolition. Occasionally a girlfriend would move in for a while, but they always fell out with each other eventually.

Then came the terrified phone call - a drunk/nutter was trying to batter down the door, looking for his girlfriend Suzie, who LMF had never heard of. We arrived just as the police were dragging him away, but it was scary enough that she decided to go. Not back to us this time, but close by, to a private landlord. And then the council confirmed thay're pulling down those flats after all.

Sure enough, within a few months she'd fallen out with yet another flatmate and decided to move to the Kingdom of Fife, north of the river Forth, because it would be more convenient for her job in, er, Embra - south of the river. Go figure.

Still, by this time she'd decided to become a nurse and started training, so at least she was/is making something of her life. And then she met D.

D is mental. D is a drummer in a band. D is divorced. D is nearly five years older than LMF. D is bald. D is not afraid to wear his girlfriend's clothes. D is quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to LMF. From the very moment they met, they just clicked. Within a week, she introduced him to us and we just clicked.

They hunted together for a place they could call their own. And found it. It was perfect. It was near both her work and his. It didn't need to be redecorated right away. It had rooms and that. But their mortgage provider, unusually for someone in his profession, told them that they couldn't afford it. He didn't want them to get thrown out into the street when the bank foreclosed. Three days later came that sub-prime mortgage collapse. Whew! That was close.

So they moved in with bf's mum and dad to save on the rent. Then they got engaged. Then they started getting on each others' tits. And now, this week, LMF is coming home again.

Except this time she's not alone.

Blonde On Blonde


Sunday, 10 February 2008

Moving Upmarket

Mrs Farty decided that she was fed up with our old, hand-operated black-and-white steam telly, so we splashed out on a brand spanking new large, flat-screen, colour effort. It's flush with the sitting-room wall, there are no obtrusive wires visible, visitors say it's really smart, and yet she's still not happy. You just can't please some folk.

What? What?

There's A Rat In Me Kitchen (What Amma Gonna Do?)

The Chinese Year of the Rat began on February 7th this year. And what better way to celebrate than to let the feckers loose in the National Museum of Scotchland? I'll take this story with a pinch of salt 'cos it's from the Scottish Sun, but: "Screaming primary school children fled in terror after being plagued by rats...at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh after spotting the rodents as they ate their packed lunches."

Rats take packed lunches to the museum? We obviously have a better class of rat than most. So refayned, don'choo know?

Keeping with the Chinese theme, I remembered this story today. Allegedly true. *cough*

The British Ambassador's wife was wondering what to wear to one of them posh parties what they're always having at the Hong Kong embassy. She eventually picked out a suitable dress and then remembered a lovely brooch she'd purchased at a local market. It had nice Chinese characters on it and that. Like this, probly.

She knew she'd picked just the right attire by all the admiring glances she attracted from the men and the dagger looks from the ladies. Until she went to powder her nose and another girl accosted her, asking if she knew what the inscription meant.

"Frankly, I've no idea. It's just something I picked up. Why?"

"It says: "City of Hong Kong Registered prostitute #371."

Friday, 8 February 2008

Observation Test

A test to see if your brain is working as it should.

Which one do you think is the blonde?

Click on the picture to reveal all.

TIP: Normally blondes have a lighter skin.

Hover your pointer here for an explanation

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Science Spurt

So what amazing facts can I amaze you with today? Amazingly, not a few. Prepare to be amazed.

Things ain't what they used to be

Boffins (God, I love that word!) have decided that the Astronomical Unit (AU), which is used to measure distances within our solar system, isn't as constant as they'd hoped. As any fule kno, variables don't and constants aren't.

An AU to you and me is the distance from the Earth to the Sun (or is it vice-versa?), but to slapheads it's "the radius of an unperturbed circular orbit that a massless body would revolve about the Sun in 2π/k days (essentially, one year), where k is a constant derived from a fixed estimate of the Sun's mass." And since the Sun is losing mass like nobody's business (about 16 Empire State buildings-worth per second), the AU is slowly growing.

The answer seems clear enough to me: switch to an alternative, much more familiar standard unit of measurement - the London Bus. Everybody knows what size they are, they don't shrink or grow unexpectedly...it just seems that way during the rush hour. If you're on the outside, say driving, they seem to get bigger while if you're a passenger on the inside they get smaller. Like an inverse Tardis.

Things can only get better

Over at CERN (should that be pronounced sern or kern? Meh.) eggheads are about to switch on the world's first time machine. (Did you see what I did there?)

According to Einstein's equations of blah, any time machine built in the future can only come back in time as far as the creation of the first one, and the Large Hadron Collider (which is either a large collider for hadrons or a collider for large hadrons, or possibly both) could be used to create "closed timelike curves" - wormholes, mini-black holes and shit - which will allow our psychotic grandchildren to come back and murder us. Um. And that's good because?

You've goat to be kid-ding

The British Navy is to finally stop acting the goat and terminate its experiments on goats in submarines.

*Checks calendar. Nope, definitely not April.*

I can follow that the animals were used to help submarine crews judge whether it would be safer to abandon a stricken vessel or wait to be rescued, but why this particular animal?

Because they're escape goats. B'dum tsh!

And finally, a double-whammy

Newton's First Law of Motion states that an object in motion tends to remain in motion. Darwin's Law of Evolution states that only the fittest will survive. Add these together...

A 55-year-old Romanian train driver chased down his own runaway train after leaving the handbrake off. Finally catching up with it after six kilometres, he tried to stop it. Not being Superman, he wasn't stronger than a locomotive. The train trundled over him and kept going for a further 26 kilometres.

The funeral will be held in Bucharest, Urziceni, Buzau, Focsani, Garoafa...

Blogoversary Competition

Jings, has it been a year already? I suppose I'd better come up with some witty and erudite blogoversary post...hmmm...here's one. Can I remember, without going back to check, who my first ten commenters were? No.
(OK - How many did you get? That's not the comp. Read on.)

Pierre L - Because he was the first. Didn't seem to have his own blog at the time. Still doesn't, apparently, but still seen lurking in the blogosphere this week. I have my ways.

Pat - The first blogger to comment here. Also John G's second mum. I still dip in from time to time, but that comment moderation thing is a regular PITA. Grr!

Monkey Mother - Another non-blogger, although I'd love to read her musings. Best known for her non-working daughter...


That's it. I drew a blank after that.

I was quite surprised to be reminded who the other seven were:

Anxious - An anonymous blogger; I had just figured out after about a year's detective work where she lived, when she pulled up sticks and moved. Boo! Now I'll have to start all over...oh. That was easy. Anxious is still recovering from Total Kidney Failure. The drug therapy sounds familiar.

Zoe whose boyfriend is a twat - Her blog took its one millionth hit the same day that I started blogging. Popular or what? Hmmm, I see that The Twat is blog-sitting for her as I write - and we all know what that means! (Sheds, in case you didn't.)

John Greenwood - Crivvens, I knew I'd been reading his blog for a while, but had forgotten that he'd been reading mine since day one! That reminds me, today is Joke Tuesday - <clicky> - chortle!

Cat - A Scotch blogger from even further north than Embra. Also a big fan of Morrissey, just like me:

Kissme - I used to read her blog a lot before I started my own. Oops, haven't visited in months...then again, she doesn't post all that often nowadays. That's still no excuse, my bad.

- Bossy? Bossy Who? Name rings a bell...Canadian, apparently. Has a small horse called Stella. And a big heart. Still, that's what Inderal is for.

Bossy is planning a Road Trip across the USA. Here's an idea for financing it: How To Pay For Bossy's Road Trip. Okay, that's a stupid idea; here's a better one: Send money now.

Cheerful One - My favourite little red-headed schoolteacher. No horse, but - get this - the number one Google search result for 'ukulele knitting' (unless you count eBay). I've always wanted a knitted uke.

I see I'm no. 1 for 'farty banoffee', but that doesn't really count, cos Farty is my blogger name. And Non-Working Monkey is no. 6 even though she hates banoffee pie.

Thinks...here's the competition idea.

'banoffee fuckers' - Yayyy, I'm top out of 227!!! Not that I would ever fuck a pie, banoffee or otherwise. That would just be wrong. What a waste of pie.

Your challenge: Pick exactly two words, not in your name or your blog's name, that score you as no. 1 hit in Google. Out of how many? The more the better. I shall award a prize to the best, or the funniest. Or both. Competition closes on Feb 10th, for reasons.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008


Pol·i·tics, n. pl.: The science or art of political government.
From the Greek poly, meaning many and tics, or blood-sucking parasites.

Scotchland's fourth First Minister Alex Salmond today won approval for his budget proposals by the narrowest of margins (64 to one, and even the one was a mistake) after threatening to resign if he was blocked.

He's no daft, is he? The Scotch still hate the Tories after Thatcher road-tested the Poll Tax on us a year before unleashing it on her own country, and Labour are on the ropes with their own glorious leader Wendy Alexander up before the Procurator Fiscal after "neglecting" to declare political donations.

So if he did keep his word (some politician!) and resign, the ruling SNP could easily win a snap election by a comfortable margin. Very comfortable, with Big Fat Al out of the picture. So naturally, they all caved in and either supported him or kept schtum.

How I wish our politicians had some principles, like the Merkans! No, wait...

Monday, 4 February 2008


They played Fields of Gold on the radio today, just as the wreath arrived.

That's the same tune they played in church on the day we buried M.

It's four years today since this happened.

We took the wreath up to Livingston, tidied the grave, cleaned the little ornaments and the headstone.

Just as I was wondering whether it would be the right thing to take a photo to send to his big sister, who had never seen it, L said: "I'm just going to take a photo to email to his sister."

I would post it here. But some things are too personal.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Super Tuesday But Were Afraid To Ask

I've been conducting some serious, in-depth, extensive research1 on the American Presidential Primaries and have decided to share my knowledge for the benefit of mankind. Er. And womankind and that.

Super Tuesday is when all the hopefuls still in the race to be The Most Powerful Man2 In The Universe (aka the stooge for Big Oil, Big Business and Big Guns) get to dress up as their favourite superheroes/superheroines and prance around trying to grab as many nominations as possible. And here's a sneak preview, especially for you...

GoddamHillary Goddam Clinton has chosen this snappy little Wonder Woman outfit. Very fetching, I think you'll agree. And stain-resistant, as Bill will no doubt attest.

Barack He-ManBarack O'Bama has decided to renounce his Irish roots and pose as his boytime hero, He-Man. "I Have The Power!" Or will have, soon enough.

Jor-ElSenator Jor-El McCain says he is prepared to lead the Republicans into defeat in November. With a Super inside-out roll-neck like that, he gets my vote!

Bringing up the rear, but gaining fast, we have Six-Million Dollar Man Mickey Rooney Mitt Romney. He says he believes in evolution, and who can blame him when we have the evidence in his own party?

1 I fell asleep during the cartoons and woke up half-way through the news.
2 Or woman. But let's face it, it'll be a man. There's more chance of the Merkans electing a black president than a - oh. Riiiight.