Wednesday, 23 December 2009


OK! One n' all have a good festive session(hic)..................
All the best madbad',Lovely Lynne, The Little 'un n' Charlie Bucket (the efn' dog) xxxxxxxxx


Wahey,its snowing!...It never snows up here in the North West , something to do with the sea air(?) ,probably more due to the fact that up here we manufacture and produce smoke and pollution something we lead the world in, Britain should be proud of the area around the Mersey, Widnes, Runcorn, Warrington. But for some reason we've got snow, maybe the smoke makers have been made redundant like everybody else, or output has been reduced to make Gordon Brown look good during that debacle on climate change. But the skies are a mucky grey and the ground is crunchy and white and theres more snow on the way. The good ol' uk has ground to a halt ,i couldn't give a shit and my daughter is crying with joy, cos its snowing.
I took the dog out, put my cissy warm furry gloves on and my treaded caterpillar boots and crunched out into the blizzard. When we reached the local woods i was striding through the drifts like ROBERT REDFORD in the wilds of the North West frontier in JEREMIAH JOHNSON. But that wild pioneering spirit came to a sudden end once i returned to the icey roads and pavements. Then i was walking more like JOHN INMAN, as my legs were squeezed tightly together and my step didnt exceed more than 6 inches, or so. The dog was all over the place sniffing, snow covered clumps of grass (n' stuff?), and like an old string spinning top, the ones were you wrapped the string around and pulled ,thus causing the top to spin. The bloody dog understood the concept, ran around me with his lead then bolted to a bush to have a sniff, leaving me in a ice dancing -type spin, leading into a technically difficult arse over tit manoeuvre resulting in me lying spread eagled on the ground, cursing all that is canine. As i walked and my feet were slipping , i thought ,"I know i'll have a slide, like when i was a kid."So, i had a short run up, stopped dead and fell flat on my face!....On the main road in my John Inman guise, and getting worse as the muscles on the insides of my legs were pulling and as tight as guitar strings. There wasn't a soul about, not even on the road, until i got to the post office and there was a queue of about 70 people.Eventually went out again,and not a living soul to be seen.

A bin wagon came flying around the corner and went into a slight skid, i just happened to be in the line of skid and i nearly fell asleep as my life was flashing before my eyes. I was kept awake fighting to get my gloves off so i could get a pen out of my pocket to will all my lack of belongings and debts to the Lovely Lynne. But fate and good fortune(well i thought it was good) took a hand and the trucks skid was arrested and he chugged off. Almost killed by a bin wagon, hmmmm!....Yes i know!
The dog didnt seem to slip or slide, so i put it down to its doggy pads on its paws. I know,thinks i," i'll do it the natural way and go barefoot", the clumps of dead skin on my feet will be like the dogs paw pads. So i tried it. The ambulance brought me home after being found 30 yards from home unconcious suffering from extreme exposure; extreme hyperthermia;pneumonia,with a dash of pleurisy. Its been 2 days and i can't feel below my knees, an area of a faint bluish colour. The doctor said if it goes green ,get the kitchen knife out and give him a call anytime after boxing day.


Now that the X FACTOR has finally finished for the fortnight or so before it starts all over again as 'Britains got talent on ice, get me outta here,' or whatever.But what becomes of the would be pop stars. These people sweated ,slaved, shrieked n' warbled their way to the finals of the show. Until, a wee 16 year old cute, smiley little lad from the North- east who, that pain in the arse collection of skin bone n' hair, SHERYL COLE kept ,endlessly announcing, how" she really loved him, like a little brother and was sooo proud of him, etc, etc,, and on n' on" , (in a geordie accent,of course.) finally won and his single normally the x mas no 1 was out before he left the stage. But evil scheming was afoot....Some facebook petition or something put foreward an old song by an American rock/rap, or rap/rock band called 'AGAINST THE MACHINE', maybe that was a dig at Simon C's hold over the xmas no1, But a yank band with an old odd rocker made the top spot(what would Simon Bates say?)...That was the big news. So our little Geordie pop star, after his 3 month apprenticeship to become a pop star can only make no 2, shame on him. They should take his certificate of pop star proficiency away from him, he's failed his first big job.
Now whats a cute sugary little pop star to do? There must be work for cute young pop stars with nice teeth. Put an add in the Johnsons directory or the Yellow Pages. He would have to decide wether to go under 'P' for pop star ,or 'C' for cute. But in an in depth conversation with my daughter, i mentioned we'd have to look up the number of a not necessarily cute plumber to do some jobs around Leatherbarrow towers. We dont need a cute pop star, but she thought we should ring a cute pop star to come around maybe to seranade the plumber as he unblocks the sink. So if theres workmen about or noise ,nothing on the telly ,look up and compare prices of cute qualified (ex-X-Factor finalists) pop stars in the phone book.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


Whose a naughty boy, then?...That angelic beloved all American home-loving ' mom's apple pie- loving 'Family man ,TIGER WOODS. Thats who! His scorecard is getting bigger by the day as cocktail waitresses ;porn queens and various lavicious ladies pop their bleached blonde heads over the publicity parapet to tell their heart rending story of life as one of the 'Tiger babes'. All, sobbing and blubbering with heartfelt American 'Oprah' emotion, how, as the old joke says "He's been unfaithful to all of us!". Now they are telling his wife , as his scorecard goes up towards the low 20's, that it would be worse for her if he just had one lover, rather than 26.Which i'm sure will put it all in perspective and cheer her up no end. I'm not sure she'll be convinced by the logic of this argument. I'm damn sure i wouldn't like to be the one to argue this aspect of Tigers defence with a woman scorned(x26), esspecially with so many top quality golf clubs lying about the house within reach of her manicured hands. I mean did you see what she did to his car. I remember when this whole wonderfully sordid and sleezy affair was just a threesome,a car, a tree and a water hydrant. After the crash Tiger was supposed to have been saved by his wife smashing the windscreen to save him. Whereas we now know she was probably trying to get into the car to stop her husband ever getting out ,ever again.
I seem to remember Woods being off the golf circuit for a while with a back injury. No need to think too hard about how that possibly came about. Then the worlds greatest swinger with the worlds greatest swing had to undergo intensive coaching for his swing. They must've been interesting sessions. Woods, irons, holes ,bunkers, slices, holes in one, etc, etc, suddenly have a host of different meanings, just count the number of Tiger Woods jokes you n' your friends got texted to see what i mean.

What amazes me is the advertisers pulling out of using Tiger Woods to front their products. How blind and stupid can they be. Golf is a big earner ,but nowhere as big as sex! Yeah, ok, he was an outstanding sportsman and many people respected his skill and talent and wholesome persona. But now with all this 'stuff' going on, Tiger Woods is the 'Daddy!'.... Every teenager and man in the world will look at him with his protein drinks; after shaves; various 'stinky stuffs'; ranges of clothes. And now the whole sex aids market is open for 'the king'. And all these people will say "yeah i'll have some of that!" .And Tiger Woods is the hero for every horny male on the planet,of which there are more than a few, even those who didn't know he used to play golf.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


These two drawings are my entries for the wonderful SHREWSBURY CARTOON FESTIVAL. The GORGON drawing was inspired by that great old film ,JASON AND THE ARGONAUGHTS. And i noticed that over the festive period they're showing that other ol' classic 1000000 MILLION YEARS B.C. These are two model- based animated films by that wonderful RAY HARRYHAUSEN. All the monsters, gorgons, giants, etc, in the Argonauts epic and the dinosaurs fighting RAQUEL WELSH...As far as i know she wasn't animated by Harryhausen and is all real, but that could be a matter of opinion. Then model animation has in its corner the WALLACE AND GROMIT stuff, made from plasticene, all great stuff. Lest we forget , not so much animation ,but definitly model-based is all the GERRY ANDERSON stuff and still looking good after all these years since i started watching SUPERCAR and FIREBALL XL5, as a wee lad in me short pants (Don't wear them so much now, just for special occassions). The other day i was watching a couple of old DISNEY films on the box, THE JUNGLE BOOK, and THE ARISTOCATS. And i loved them, the characters , some were hilarious, especially two dogs in the ARISTOCATS. The other thing was that the voice and characters were studio personnel, not 'Superstars', Brad Pitts, EDDIE MURPHYS, ETC, ETC and all that stuff, just character actors voicing the cartoons, a lot funnier and a lot cheaper. Then, of course, the WARNER BROS cartoons. I still wet myself laughing at the relatively simple drawn stuff, and characterised by the voice of one man the astounding MEL BLANC. Bugs Bunny; Daffy Duck; Foghorn Leghorn; Sylvester n' Tweety, etc,etc all done by one man.
I've been to CGI and PIXAR films and although some are very clever ,there just doesnt seem to be any soul there, no spirit, i smile, but dont laugh, theres the difference for me between the old and the new. Yes, i know, as i've been constantly reminded i'm a miserable old fart.
All the CGI is making all the live action films go and look totally over the top and busting a gut to cram as much chaos and graphic activity into the screen as ic digitally possible and to my mind makes them all look very similar. The actors dont need to go to locations, etc just go into a blue or green room and pretend they're in space or somewhere weird talking to a martian or monster, or even at the head of a 10000000000 soldiers. Watch one of these films ike TROY then watch some of the epics like BEN HUR, or SPARTACUS, or WATERLOO, or the KURASAWA epics where they had millions of extras and it shows, even if some of your Roman Leigions are wearing watches, or theres a bus passing in the distance, all part of the fun. Has anybody actually seen the car in the background of the chariot race in Ben Hur?

And now its Christmas time again, the repeats are running even more regulary then normal and in between everything theres the celebrity cooking programmes. Where our culinary hero whizz through a variety of 'simple but effective' xmas recipes"that anyone can make"...Sprinkling and splashing all kinds of liquids and powders and diced stuff "Bish, bas bosh!"..There y'go ! A sooper x mas dinner or variation, thereoff . I think the only people who come out on top after christmas are these bloody celebrity chefs

Monday, 7 December 2009


As everybody knows theres two things KARATE is famous for, one is the never failing to knock 'em out Karate chop beloved of every spy and war film ever made, and ,of course the "hiyaa!" karate yell that was almost, not so much a fighting yell, but a magical incantation to ensure the bad guys would go down and stay down. But where once the martial arts were secret techniques, 'one touch n' yer dead', etc, nowadays training isn't done in a monestary atop a snowcapped mountain in the middle of a mysterious mountain range where the students train 24/7 on a bowl of rice a year, until their master slings 'em out to batter the baddies, or goodies on the outside untrained world.
No, today, clubs are visited by the students a couple of times a week after a day at the office, at a church hall or local leisure centre as part of their membership package. And the training is mainly for competition and is kicks and punches and' gettin' em in' before your opponent does. But although the mysticism and traditionality of the martial arts may well be neglected in these modern days. The training has to be a lot less harsh as ,well, they'd loose members. But one thing thats thriving is the 'KIAI', or to the unenlightened out there the shout.
The basis of most martial arts is internal energy and in Karate the base of the energy ,or CHI, if you want to get technical is the lower part of the stomach, about where the knot of the belt is located and this area is known as the HARA. So when you throw a punch, f'rinstance ,strange as it may seem the muscles in the arms aren't the main motivating areas of force,and should be totally relaxed. The power comes from the lower body, legs and trunk. The breath is exhaled powerfully from the hara by the muscles of the stomach, and the DIAPHGRAM. The big floor of muscle under the lungs.
The KIAII, is an art in itself. If you sit in on a class theres all kinds of shouts ,screams, grunts,snorts, blowing and hissing. Funnily enough some actually say the word as if they were reading it, "kiaii,"or "Hiyaa!"... The idea is to inhale through the nose and use the mouth to exhale, but a combination of respiratory entries and exits seem to take place, depending on how people feel themselves or purely because they're knackered and trying to get the air in and still get the draining power out of their flagging body.
Breathing in through the nose and out through the nose( THE SNORT) can leave you with globules of snot down your face and on the chest of your suit(GI)...Out through the mouth(THE GRUNT) can project spit n' snot globules into your partners face which can complicate things on occassions. There is also when inhaling and exhaling takes place through the mouth(THE GASP), Which can result in much spit and mucus, as exhaustion rears its ugly oxygen starved head, this is often combined with stomach turning wafts of bad breath from deep down in the lower stomach of your opponent. It is one way of spoiling the fight, if you were spoiling for a fight. But the sudden tensioning of the diaphgram and the explosive discharge of the air in your lungs can have a humiliating side effect. While the majority of the stomach tension drives the exhalation up , there is occasions when the explosive tension can drive down and as you go in for the kill with your terrifying "KIAIIIII!!!"....This is accompanied by an equally frightening thunderous "PHARRRTTT!!!!".....But the accomplished martial artist can turn this humiliation to their advantage ,by giving them a smack while they're still laughing.