EDitorial ± 29-Jan-2003

Channel No 5

In the beginning, 1936, there was one and one alone, the BBC. Number two, ITV, arrived on 22-Sep-1955 bringing, shock horror, adverts!, including one for SR toothpaste. Two became three on 20-Apr-1964 with BBC2, though a power failure wiped out that evening's programmes. It wasn't until 2-Nov-1982 that Channel 4 came along, complete with the eternally young Richard Whiteley. Finally, on 30-Mar-1997, five joined the throng.

In sleepy East Anglia, Channel 5 didn't arrive until that much later, so I missed the opening celebrations that featured a where-are-they-now girl band called The Spice Girls. I'd sometimes look enviously at the 9pm movie slot in the listings, but not too often. Even when the retuning men had been & gone, the picture was still snowy and the programmes didn't appeal.

Then a couple of years back, with precious little elsewhere on the box, I found myself watching the pilot episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, with that bloke from that Manhunter film, William Petersen. It was fast, loud, gruesome and had some smart dialogue: I was in!

Five alive

Plus points:

  • set in Las Vegas: opening LV-at-night credits are always glam
  • crime scene reconstruction: chase the blood splatters
  • lead characters: all v. cool and all with great sunglasses
  • post mortems: an education in anatomy and poisons
  • William Petersen: a class act

Third series opened yesterday, Tuesday. Stacks of red herrings, some grisly scenes on the slab, and a totally unpredictable cause of death for The Candyman. What's more, the spin-off series, CSI Miami, starring David Caruso (ex of NYPD Blue), starts on Saturday. Videoplus heaven!

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Other C5 highlights:

  1. Suggs' karaoke show, the name of which escapes me
  2. the odd top film: Saving Private Ryan, Con Air, Long Kiss Goodnight
  3. Powerpuff Girls: bring 'em back on Saturday morning!
  4. friend Sarah down the road is revelling in the current run of Colombo TV movies of an afternoon

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 22-Jan-2003

Footy, Filing & Feedback

Veering down memory lane again, there was once an ad on telly for Treets, those choccy covered sweets that were, I think, a bit like Revels (both brand names are RIP, I suspect). A holidaymaker was sneaking a bag of Treets into a foreign country, and the swarthy looking customs fella held up the pack and said "Ees what? Trees?" - you have to pronounce this in a thick Iberian accent.

Playing squash years later with an old friend, we'd always refer to a score of 3-3 as "Trees", with that same dodgy pronuncation. Pathetic, I know. To cut to the chase, and not before time, there are "Tree" diverse items this time around.

--- Footy ---

Attended my first ITFC game of 2002/2003 on Saturday against the once-mighty Preston North End, name-checked stars of Wallace & Gromit's Soccamatic short. Wasn't even my idea: father-in-law was a PNE fan from birth, back in the days of Tom Finney. Who was indisputably a better player than Stanley Matthews, apparently.

Fab view from the new Greene King stand

F.I.L. hadn't seen PNE play for years. As it happens, The Lillywhites last visited Portman Road in 1968, said the local paper. And as then, Ipswich came out on top, though 3-0 was a tad flattering, although the Northerners were beset by injuries & suspensions. Thankfully.

Good to be in the vertiginous Churchmans / South / Greene King stand, and in the top tier too. A snip at £24 per ticket, not. Come on you blue boys!

--- Filing ---

Regular readers, ahem, will know that I'm currently resting, i.e. between employers. One consequence of this is that I've got Time On My Hands (TM).

And I've not been (that) idle. Things are getting seriously sorted. First one kid's bedroom, then another, and now putting stuff away. Invested in a pair of small-ish filing cabinets pre-Christmas. Spent a not unpleasant day earlier this week trawling through the overstuffed "To Be Filed" box, ending up with piles galore. But I was sitting down for hours, boom-boom!

I hang suspended on your words
Yeah, you leave me
I hang suspended on your words
— The Boo Radleys, I Hang Suspended

Those lyrics come to mind due to the large number of A4 suspension files now usefully employed. Unlike me.

--- Feedback ---

Had to mention this last item, even though I've used the word "pathetic" once already.

A tiny moment of triumph was mine last week when I hit a feedback rating of 100 on top web site ebay. This means that I've had bought or sold items from 100 unique users on ebay, and they've been good enough to leave me a positive message (usually along the lines of "Smooth transaction - cheers!").

Tricky to convey this sense of achievement to a non-ebayer, but after a while you tend to be driven by the little number that always appears after your user id. And as you do more business, that number should increase. Get enough feedback, and you get a little star!

EDitorial ± 14-Jan-2003

Mother Of Invention

You know that famous Beatles song - possibly by McCartney & Lennon - about getting older, doing the garden and digging the weeds? Well, my mum, lawd bless 'er, is nowhere near that particular age. Heavens no. Today, in fact, she became exactly a quadrennium short of that figure. So it's Happy Birthday Mum!

Well, the telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?
— The Police, Mother

This is the same mother who, on reaching 50, roped us in to doing a parachute jump (as a pilot friend of mine used to say, there's two kinds of people: those who fly in aeroplanes, and those who jump out of them). Me and little sis ended up descending solo from 2000 feet: one of us sustained serious injuries, but hey! Mum went five times better and was roped to an instructor for a tandem jump from 10,000 feet. Show off.

On the stones at Thorpe Ness

Abseiling down Ipswich Hospital

Official opening of the summer house

Hopefully she/we is/are steering clear of any similar foolishness a decade later. And if she's reading this, I'm still sorry about that incident on Felixstowe beach years ago when a stone I was throwing, which should have sailed mightily into the sea, didn't. Sorry 'bout that.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 6-Jan-2003

Sweet Nothings

Out for a constitutional yesterday arvo in the bloomin' bleak midwinter, having managed to shoe-horn the protesting kiddies into the motor. Brought to mind an old management (for I was once one of that elite band) adage:

Never teach a pig to sing.
It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

On reaching the pay & display at the vaguely-Portmeirion-like Thorpe Ness, fumbled in pockets for change and found diddly-squat. So into the caff to break into a crisp fiver. Rather than go for the News Of The World with free Soap Studs / Soap Dishes calendar, opted instead for a packet of Love Hearts from good ol' Swizzels Matlow.

Sugar, acidity regulator, sodium bicarbonate, stearic acid, etc.

My pack contained these cardioid messages:

  1. For Keeps - oh well, you can but hope
  2. My Boy (x2) - undertones of Fagin here
  3. Don't Cry - breaking up is oh so hard to do
  4. True Lips - you what?
  5. Love You - honey I'm leaving
  6. Just Say No (x2) - Zammo would be proud
  7. Be Good - and if you can't be good...
  8. True Love - I look just like Buddy Holly
  9. My Pal - you're my mate
  10. Guess Who - take your hands off my eyes
  11. Kiss Me - mwah!
  12. Trust Me - bit sinister; dump him now
  13. My Woman - for the more mature sweet lover?
  14. Miss Me - question or order?
  15. All Mine - never learned to share
  16. I Love You - three little words

Was kind of hoping that they might have moved on to say "text me" or "broadband now", but no. You'd appear to be covered, though, for most eventualities.

Be seeing you!