Holiday in Mancunia

OK, last chance to see me in the UK for a while now. Here is current final absolute provisional schedule:

Mon 27 Maidstone
Tue 28 Maidstone
Wed 29 Dorking
Thu 30 Maidstone - London - Manchester (stop me and buy one)
Fri 31 Manchester
Sat 01 Manchester
Sun 02 Manchester - London - Maidstone
Mon 03 Maidstone
Tue 04 Maidstone - London - Dorking
Wed 05 Dorking - Heathrow - Newark - Summit

So, if you want to catch me in any of those locales, holler on the usual email address. But, hurry, opportunities are selling fast.



Rather disconcertingly, the americans have been shockingly efficient. After rolling up at the embassy in the early hours of last friday morning, to be kept waiting in the cold and rain for just long enough to give me a cold, they were done with me before lunch time. I don't think I'm violating any great secrets if I reveal that the "interview" of probing questions to ensure that I was a reasonable person to let into the country consisted of asking me "What do you do" and "where did you go to school". Which I proceeded to tell them, until they begged me to stop. I went away, expecting to receive my passport back within a fortnight or so. But I was awoken at the break of noon on monday by the delivery man waving my passport with visa stamped in it. Really quite worrying, as if they're not spending enough time doing the necessary background checks on me.

There are many, many more things for me to mention, some of which I may actually get as far as writing down, but in the meantime to keep you occupied, here is my quiz of the year. As usual, I'm too lazy to deal with grading these things myself, so please, post your answers using the comments facility, and then when the time is up, swap with your neighbour and mark their answers.


1. Would you rather:
a) Blunkett or Cook
b) Bush or Blair
c) Cheney or Rumsfeld
d) Fiona from Shrek or Barbara Bush

2. Apparently, 51% of voters in America chose George W. Bush over anyone else. How did they get away with this?

3. For what personal reason did Blair almost quit this year?

4. Who really won the Ukraine election?
a) Victor Y.
b) Victor Y.
c) Victory

5. Why did America go to war with Iraq? (tick all that apply)
a) Weapons of Mass Destruction
b) Oil
c) Money
d) Stupidity
e) Greed
f) To bring stability to the region
g) Democracy
h) Score-settling
i) Saddam Hussein
j) With the army they had, not the army they wanted
k) Spelling mistake
l) Pressed wrong button
m) Thought they were voting for Al Gore
n) Just felt like it
o) Depends who you ask
p) Depends when you ask
q) Confused Saddam with Bin Laden
r) Confused Iraq with Al-Quaeda
s) To distract attention from the real issues
t) The Illuminati ordered it
u) Guns
v) Butter
w) Plowshares
x) Sponsored by Halliburton
y) Sponsored by Halle Berry
z) The voices, the voices.


1. How many people did Britney Spears marry this year?
a) 0
b) 1
c) 2
d) 3

For 2 bonus points, name them both.

2. What is "Joss Stone"?
a) A heavy lump of rock that, when burnt, emits an aromatic odor to mask the smell of marijuana.
b) An ancient carving of cavorting young women in Devon.
c) Part of the Highland games: the aim is to toss, or "joss" the stone for as great a distance as possible
d) An ancient artifact allowing the translation of soul and RnB standards into those of a teenage girl.

3. In "The Ultimate Matrix DVD collection" there are 10 DVD discs. There are three Matrix films. What is on the other seven discs?

4. Complete the following : "With great power comes great..."
a) Profitability
b) Sequel opportunity
c) Alfred Molinarity

5. At what temperature does Michael Moore spontaneously combust?


1. What was hidden in the DaVinci Code?
a) Painfully bad writing and characterization
b) Lame recycled and stolen conspiracy theories
c) Ill-judged attacks on Catholicism
d) Tedious misdirection not worthy of J.K. Rowling
e) Stupidly implausibly plotting and dialogue

2. Which of these is correct?
a) Eats, Shoots and Leaves
b) Eat's, Shoot's and Leave's
c) Eates, Shootes and Leaveses
d) Awfully smug book about misplaced apostrophes by harridan who can barely write herself.

3. The new Harry Potter book will be called
a) Harry Potter and the half-cut prince
b) Harry Potter and the adjective noun
c) Harry Potter and the something of thingummy
d) Harry Potter and the diminishing returns


1. Blogs are a revolutionary new publishing sensation which show that the internet is not solely a venue for dirty old men to titillate themselves with pornography and cheap thrills. The most read blog of the year was:
a) Belle De Jour
b) Washingtonienne
c) Fleshbot
d) WillWheaton.net

2. Now that suprnova is gone, where is the best place to get good .torrent links? (NB this is not part of the quiz, I'm just curious).

3. The Google IPO made a lot of smug people very rich. Give three other examples of how Google violated their Prime Directive of "Don't Be Evil" this year.


1. Do I give a shit about any sport?

2. How many times did popbitch rip off Offensive Mango's joke about Paula Radcliffe?
a) 0
b) 1
c) 2
d) WTF?


1. Little Britain is
a) Repetitive
b) Over-rated
c) Repetitive
d) Funny the first time
e) Repetitive
f) Yeah, I know

2. Reality Television is
a) Not Real
b) Not Television
c) All of the above

3. Why is "Strictly Come Dancing" strict?

4. This year, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
a) Passed its prime
b) Jumped the shark
c) Missed the mark
d) Was still the only news worth watching

5. The controvery over Janet Jackson at the Superbowl highlighted how many things that are deeply, deeply wrong with American culture? List as many as you can, and attach extra sheets as necessary.

This Blog

Lastly, to test how much attention you've been paying, some questions based on the contents of this web page blog thingy:

1. Complete this lolly stick joke: "Why..."

2. What does my milkshake bring, and why?

3. What brought the largest number of hits to this weblog this year?
a) Explanation of the Milkshake song
b) People looking for dirty pictures of (variously) Barbara Bush, Fiona from Shrek, Jessie from Undergrads, Dervla Kerwin (sp.), Clemence Posey (sp.), etc. etc.
c) Reference to academic paper about Lemmings
d) Reference from Oblomovka about number of hits due to NTK reference to academic paper about Lemmings

4. What's my name, bitch?
a) Fred
b) Hugh
c) Graham
d) Simon Quinlank


Thought I'd something more to say

All blogs are rubbish. You start reading them, and then at some point you find that the writer is progressively running out of things to say, and the updates become less frequent and more sporadic (and contain more redundant phrases).

But never mind, eh? Do you really want to know every last tedious domestic detail of the author (+ their cat)? Oh? You do?

Well, this weekend was mostly characterized by people asking me to move my car, which was irritating, since I don't have a car. But, given their interest, from this point on I will re-purpose this web page, and turn it into a continual discussion of cars, driving, route planning, and discussions of how bad a driver everyone who isn't me is, because that apparently is what people want to hear about.

I'll go offline in a few days time, which if tradition is anything to go by means that there will be a brief spurt of postings whenever I find myself connected to the net while I wasn't expecting it.


Time Travel Trains

Hadn't noticed this till today, but look at this:

-- Trains from New York leave Summit before they arrive! Sometimes by up to 10 minutes! Since I get off at Summit, I haven't really noticed this before, but I'll watch more carefully next time...


Top Drawer

Ive just been scanning the referrer logs and I think I've noticed a subtle new trend. Can you spot it too?

01 Dec, Wed, 05:53:36 MSN Search: paris hilton nude
01 Dec, Wed, 07:28:46 Yahoo: paris hilton doing the dirty
01 Dec, Wed, 08:41:06 Yahoo: clerihew of celebrities
01 Dec, Wed, 15:02:01 Yahoo: Paris Hilton not voting
01 Dec, Wed, 15:33:39 Yahoo: milkshake means sexuality
01 Dec, Wed, 16:40:27 Yahoo: Kelis Milkshake (Radio Mix) lyrics
01 Dec, Wed, 19:22:16 MSN Search: paris hilton nude
02 Dec, Thu, 06:27:43 Yahoo: diggerworld uk
02 Dec, Thu, 12:17:45 MSN Search: crazy moment of paris hilton
02 Dec, Thu, 15:01:55 Yahoo: Kelis Milkshake (Radio Mix) lyrics
02 Dec, Thu, 15:13:49 Yahoo: Paris Hilton legs
02 Dec, Thu, 18:09:32 MSN Search: paris hilton nude
02 Dec, Thu, 18:30:34 MSN Search: PARIS HILTON NUDE BLOG
03 Dec, Fri, 01:42:27 Yahoo: harvey birdman theme song habeus corpus
03 Dec, Fri, 12:00:52 Yahoo: Kelis Milkshake (Radio Mix) lyrics
03 Dec, Fri, 13:53:44 MSN Search: fiona getting fucked by shrek
03 Dec, Fri, 23:51:18 Yahoo: paris hilton guess photos
04 Dec, Sat, 05:17:42 MSN Search: nude photos of paris hilton
04 Dec, Sat, 05:19:05 MSN Search: nude photos of paris hilton
04 Dec, Sat, 05:30:32 MSN Search: nude photos of paris hilton

Hmm. So this gave me an idea: let's do Hugh Anchor's top people, based on the number of queries received. A little bit like FHM's girls of the year, only without the gratuitous cleavage shots and more egalitarian, since it's just based on the people that people have searched for. So, here it is:

1. Kelis (863) [her milkshake brings all the hits to the blog]
2. Fred Bloggs (255)
3. Dervla Kerwin (102) [forever mispelt]
4. Paris Hilton (81) [she's coming up the ranks fast]
5. Shrek (67) [mostly in conjunction with 'nude', worryingly]
6. Fiona (51) [mostly in conjunction with shrek]
7. Celemence Posey (38) [another misspelling...]
8. Halcali (31) [they rock. I'll be in Tokyo next year, hopefully I can pick up the second album there]
9= George Bush (22)
George Formby (22) [You know, this rather pleases me]
10. Hugh (20) [Hey! You forgot Anchor!]
Bringing up the rear, we have:

Miss Piggy, Boogie Pimps, Scissor Sistors, Juemelia, Alf, Barbara Bush, Harvey Birdman, Nitz, MacGyver, Alf Poier, Jesse, Simon Quinlank, Britney, Ivor Biggun, Arnie, Pink, Peaches, Baldrick, Bucky O'Hare, Sergei Brin, Tru Calling, David Brents, Tony [Blairs], [John] Kerry, Fleur Delacour, Pete Shelley, Shaggy, Kobe Bryant, Lena Headey, Janet Jackson, Chris Sievey, Vincent, Michael Howard, Simpsons, and Kimmy. They all had at least two hits. Isn't that enough?

What you give away will come back to you ten times over...

I know it's crass, but I couldn't help but be amused by this:
just desserts?.

Updates on travel plans: I'm flying back to blighty on the 15th. Plans are starting to shape up for the tail end of my trip (30th december onwards), but I'm still at somewhat of a loose end between 19th and 24th, so let me know if you want to attract my attention. In particular, I hope to make a trip to see the Trachtenberg Family Slide Show Players in London at some point.