This friend of mine is a defence contractor.  Don’t actually know what he does (because it’s all secret stuff), but he was up in Hamburg the other week working on the electronics of the one of new Bundesmarine frigates and he came back with this story.

In a neighbouring dry-dock, there’s another military vessel undergoing a re-fit. He wasn’t sure whether it was Swedish or Norwegian – somewhere further north anyway – and it had these unusual markings on the superstructure.

He reckoned they looked like those newfangled QR barcodes, but figured it had to be some sort of stealth camouflage.

He got chatting to one of the guys working on it and mentioned the unusual patterns and said he’d not seen anything like that in the way of camouflage before.

“Oh, it’s not camouflage” this other guy said ‘They really ARE barcodes – it’s all to do with logistics”

Logistics?!” says my mate “I thought I’d seen everything, but LOGISTICS?! Seriously?

“Yep” said the engineer ” It’s so that they can Scandinavian….”




[Edited to accommodate eponymous geriatric cousins who are a bit slow]

“Scandinavian?’ says my mate.

“Bloody hell” says the engineer ” When the vessel returns to port, they scan the barcode – scan the navy in. Get it now….?”

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Henry. Or Henri…?

Henry's playlist.png

Some young friends (who I like heaps, btw) had a baby a while back, named him Henry.

Bought him a little something (as one does) but thought that – seeing that everyone deserves their own playlist – I could perhaps dig up some appropriate tracks.

As in:  the above.

Got a lovely note the other day from the proud Mum and Dad and I was chatting to Paul about how playlists are engraved in metaphorical tablets of stones in the brain.

Get to the end of one song and you know EXACTLY what comes next.

Except with Martin Quittenton’s “Link Music – Henry’s Time”, it automatically segues into “Maggie May”, also written by Martin Quittenton (with a little help from Sir Roderick David Stewart).

Blank look from Paul.

“Every picture tells a story?”


“Best album on the planet?”


OK, so he was born in 1987 which means that we can perhaps forgive him this appalling gap in musical knowledge, but it’s about time he was exposed to what Rolling Stone described thus:

Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story is the greatest rock & roll recording of the last ten years. It is a mature tale of adolescence, full of revelatory detail (Rod combing his hair a thousand different ways in front of the mirror), and it contains the only reference to the Dreyfus case in the history of rock. It is also hilarious, and one of the friendliest pieces of music ever recorded. It is rock & roll of utterly unbelievable power, and for most of its five minutes and fifty-eight seconds that power is supplied by nothing more than drums, bass, acoustic guitar and Rod’s voice. Mick Waller should have received the Nobel Prize — in physics, of course — for his demolition work at the end of the first verse; Martin Quittenton’s acoustic guitar playing is well beyond any human award — for that matter, it is beyond human ken. John Lennon once said he wanted to make a record as good as “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”; Rod Stewart did it.

Every Picture Tells a Story
Seems Like a Long Time
That’s All Right
Amazing Grace
Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time
Link Music – Henry’s Time
Maggie May
Mandolin Wind
(I Know) I’m Losing You
Reason to Believe

And if I’d known that the spelling was “Henri”, I would have popped in something from Leon Russell and Marc Benno’s “Asylum Choir II” album


Posted in Mixtape, Music, Too cool, Too good to miss | 2 Comments

Catch 22 or – “A day in the life of a refugee”

In Joseph Heller’s novel, people who were crazy were not obliged to fly missions; but anyone who applied to stop flying was showing a rational concern for his safety and, therefore, was sane.

Catch 22, a type of unsolvable logic puzzle sometimes called a double bind.

We have a number of Syrian refugees in our village.

This is the story of one of them, a Kurdish girl, aged 10

The German she’s learned in her time at various reception centres before arriving here with her family  is very basic, but good enough to translate at the German lesson classes and clothing exchange that volunteers run and at the refugee coffee afternoons.

It’s good enough for her to attend school, but the local one can’t fit her in, so she catches the train every morning to a town 25km distant.

Of course, the refugee welfare people won’t pay her fare, because she’s supposed to attend the closest school.

Which can’t take her.

Catch 22

So she takes the train.

Volunteers took her down there on her first 2 days, showing her how to operate the machine and the way to the school and then back again.

Paid for everything themselves

Yesterday, the ticket machine (we don’t have a station, let alone a ticket counter) didn’t accept coins and didn’t make change for notes (which she didn’t have) and she sure doesn’t have a credit card.

So – seeing that getting to school was important – she got on the train with her money to pay the conductor.

No conductor, but a guy checking tickets to whom she tries to explain the situation, but he’s not having a bar of it.

That’ll be a €60 fine for not having a ticket.

Catch 22

Which our neighbour – one of the volunteers  – is paying for her.

These are the nuts and bolts of being a refugee in Germany

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Running out of heroes….

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A bet

From Clement Freud

“The Inland Revenue decide to audit Cyril, summon him to their office for an appointment with their most thorough auditor, who is not surprised when Cyril arrives with his solicitor. The auditor says: ‘Sir, you cannot deny that you have an extravagant lifestyle, no full-time employment, and pay no taxes on the grounds of your contention that you win money gambling. I have to tell you that Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise finds that explanation difficult to believe.’

“‘I am a great gambler and can prove it,’ says Cyril. ‘Would you like a demonstration?’

“The auditor considers this for a moment and agrees. Cyril says: ‘I bet you a thousand pounds I can bite my own eye.’ The auditor thinks for a while, finally says: ‘It’s a bet.’

“Cyril removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor looks sick.

“‘I’ll bet you two thousand pounds that I can bite my other eye,’ says Cyril. The auditor can tell Cyril isn’t blind, so he accepts the bet. Cyril removes his false teeth and bites the good eye.

“The stunned auditor now realises he has bet and lost £3,000, with Cyril’s solicitor as a witness; he gets very nervous. ‘Double or nothing?’ Cyril says. ‘I’ll bet you six thousand pounds that I can stand on the righthand side of your desk and piss into the bin on the far side without getting one drop anywhere between.’

“The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now but examines the proposal carefully. Cyril is not a tall man, the desk is eight foot wide; he decides there is simply no way Cyril could do that, so he agrees again.

“Cyril stands at the side of the desk, unzips his trousers, strains for all he is worth but cannot make the stream reach the bin on the far side, and finishes up having urinated pretty well all over the auditor’s desk. The auditor leaps with joy, realising that he has just turned a major loss into a sizeable win, then notices that Cyril’s solicitor is moaning, with his head in his hands. ‘Are you okay?’ asks the auditor.

“‘Not really,’ says the solicitor. ‘This morning, when Cyril told me he had been summoned to this audit, he bet me £20,000 that he could come in here, piss all over your desk and you would be happy about it . . . and I took the bet.'”


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Reasons people pulled the trigger in April 2016

• I had been carrying a concealed gun all day (for which I have a permit), but then when I got home and picked up a toddler the gun was uncomfortable in my waistband, so I tried to remove it. That’s when I unintentionally shot the 3-year-old through both legs.
• I was unhappy with my taco, so I opened fire on the taco truck that sold it to me.
• After I got robbed, I went and bought a gun for self-defence. Then I was showing it to my buddy two weeks later and as we were passing it back and forth it went off and killed him.
• I hired a band to play in my bar for two hours, but they finished in one hour and tried to leave, so I shot the lead singer.
• Some teenagers were vandalising my neighbour’s house with toilet paper, so I came out and shot one of them as they fled.
• A parishioner sat in a reserved pew at my church. People told him to move and he argued, so I ordered him to move and flashed my concealed carry badge at him (a vanity badge not issued by any law enforcement agency). He punched me, so I shot him dead.
• At a fast food restaurant, where guns are welcome, I unintentionally shot myself in the leg when I tried to pull up my pants in the bathroom.
(From the Parents Against Gun Violence Facebook page.)

Posted in This is America, WTF | 1 Comment

Wait until 3:29




Posted in Too good to miss | 1 Comment