One-armed Freddy's internet website

Full of magic, fun and swearing

Two Star Podcast

Two Star Podcast

I’ve only gone and bloody started a podcast with Spad, innit. We talk about nothing and try to be funny but largely fail.

It should be no surprise that’s it’s not very good, but it will amaze you to learn that it’s not totally shit.

Go to our lovely website and have an listen. It’ll be in iTunes in a couple of days when them Apple hipsters stop fingering eachother’s soya lattes long enough to click Approve.

Trolling Yahoo News

I have decided that posting trolling comments on Yahoo News is a good use of my time and considerable resources. I will screenshot them and post them on my Tumblr from time to time, which will make it feel loved and purposeful for the first time since I set it up.

I will use my semi-literate alter ego Jumpboy789.

Here are my first forays into this noble art form:

Kate Middleton Pregnant? OMG WTF LOL!

14-02-21 - Kate Middleton Pregnant

Disabled tenants lose tax challenge or summat

14-02-21 - Disabled tenants lose bedroom tax legal challenge

Regular Features

Many years ago I used to read words written by a man called Log into a website called Disappointment. It was funny and I liked it. You should read it, you’ll like it too, unless you’re a dick. You’re not a dick are you?

I recently discovered that Log is on the Twitter. I followed him to see what funny things he might have to say and discovered that he and some other gentlemen record a podcast called Regular Features.

It is one of the funniest things I have ever heard with my ears. I came into it around episode 34 then worked my way backwards through the rest. It took a couple of weeks during which time I laughed out loud in Tesco, on the train and at work, and was looked at as if I were a sex offender.

I liked it so much that I left a 5 star review on the iTunes. This is what I wrote:

I was listening to this podcast in the bath and it was funny and made my willy go all big, but my mother saw and said “argh! Dirty boy!” and swung at it with the long handled scrubbing brush, but she missed and hit my left nut and it bloody hurt, then she refused to finish bathing me and I had to do it myself and I didn’t wash properly in the downstairs department and got an horrific fungal infection around my C & Bs.

When I went to the Doctor I recounted this tale and he said “rubbish, no podcast could be that funny” so I played it to him and he laughed and both of our willies went all big, but the surgery was having an inspection that day and the man from the Ministry of Health saw us standing there giggling with our giant bonk-ons and wrote an unfavourable report and Doctor Piddleton got struck off and committed suicide by smothering himself under a bouncy castle at the Church fete.

It was on the local news, they didn’t mention Regular Features by name though. Shame really, it would have been good publicity.

The “Steve” character is my favourite. Then the Welsh.

On the Subject of my Keyboard

On weekdays I go to an office a few miles west of Lincoln where I do “work” in exchange for “pay”. My job involves using a computer, so I use a keyboard. I do not think this is unreasonable.

Recently my keyboard had started to become displeasing to use. The return key worked around 85% of the time which, it turns out, is the precise point at which it becomes extremely frustrating to use, but is still not faulty enough to warrant complaining about it to other people in the office. In addition to this, the space bar (which sounds far more exotic than it really is) had become disappointingly wonky.

Here is a photograph of my keyboard:

It was made by a company called “Kensington”. I know this because their name is printed at the top-right of the keyboard:

According to their website “Kensington computer accessories bring practicality, creativity and inspiration together in a comprehensive line of products that delight users and create lifelong customers.”

Frankly, this just adds insult to injury. Anyone “delighted” with a wonky space bar needs their head examining.

I decided to swap my keyboard with another. I looked around the office and settled on this little beauty:

This keyboard was made by Dell. It is 44cm wide, a whole 2cm shorter than its Kensington predecessor. That’s almost 5%! Just think what I could do with that extra space!

Unfortunately, it is also 16cm deep, to the Kensington’s 15cm, which only results in a 2% reduction in surface area.

But there must be a good reason for this increase in depth, right? Well, no. My investigations show that the only thing they seem to have done with the extra space is have their logo at the bottom – not the top! The bottom! Look!

I mean, yeah, it’s nice to have it recessed into the plastic like that, but why there? They could have put it at the top. Look, there’s a perfect space for it by the Num- / Caps- / Scroll-lock indicator LEDs:

Here’s a Photoshop of how that might look:

Pretty sweet, huh?

This isn’t the only part of the design they’ve had to change though. If we refer back to the decrease in width (44cm down from the Kensington’s 46cm), we now have to start asking questions about how they have achieved this reduction. You can’t just magically zap 2cm into thin air. I know; I’ve tried.

As far as I can tell with my layman’s eyes, Dell’s designers have made two adjustments to traditional keyboard design. The first is to rotate the cluster of navigation keys (you know; “Home”, “Pg Up” (technical speak for “Page Up”; literally “move up the page”), “Insert” and that). This is how they look on my colleague’s keyboard made by Microsoft (who know a thing or two about keyboards):

This is how they look on the Dell:

Weird, eh? Initially I was sceptical – how would my fingers cope with this change? – but having used the keyboard for a while, I have concluded that this arrangement is perfectly serviceable. I occasionally have to look down to check if I’m pressing Home or End, but to be honest I used to have to do that anyway. I don’t have a degree in typing.

The next concession Dell have made in their quest for narrower peripherals is to make the left – but not the right – Alt & Windows keys narrower than they would normally be. On the Microsoft keyboard they are around 20% wider than a standard letter key:

On the Dell, they are the same width as those above them:

I know, what the fuck, right?!

The effect of this is that if I try to casually Alt+Tab between two windows using my left hand, I frequently press the space bar with my thumb instead of the Alt key. I cannot begin to tell you how infuriating this is. Not only do I not switch to the other window, but now I put a big bloody gap in the text I’m writing in the current window. Like this:          . It’s a nightmare!

The worst compromise they’ve made though, is that as a result of the reduced width, they’ve had to move the arrow keys.

On my colleague’s Microsoft keyboard the arrow keys sit in line with the groups of keys to the left, right and above:

On the Dell, they have shifted them out of line. On the left of the arrow keys, this looks good:

But on the right it leaves a gaping chasm:

Let’s take a closer look:

This is nothing short of an aesthetic disaster. What were they thinking?! They may as well have printed a picture of a turd on the keyboard and been done with it. Unbelievable.

The gap is large enough to fit another key onto the arrow key cluster. That key could literally be anything. It could be an extra Esc key, or a backup ] key in case the usual one broke. But no, they thought they’d leave the gap. It’s a slap in the face to the user, is what it is.

Despite this catastrophe, there are things to like about the keyboard. The keys are all shorter than on a traditional keyboard and the function keys are flat with the PrtScn / SysRq, Scroll Lock & Pause / Break keys shifted to the top right which looks fucking amazing:

After a lot of thought I’ve decided I’m going to keep using this keyboard, not least of all because swapping it again would involve going upstairs.

After using the Kensington with its dodgy return key and wonky space bar, the Dell is functionally acceptable. But that gap by the arrow keys drives a dagger into my eye every time I glance at it. The Dell design department should hang their heads in shame.

La Bamba en Inglés

The Bamba

I like the song “La Bamba” (Eng. “the Bamba”*) by “Ritchie Valens” (Eng. “Ritchie Valens”), but it’s difficult to sing along due to the Spanish nature of the words. I wondered what the lyrics meant when translated into English and found them on an Internet.

Here they are:

In order to dance La Bamba
In order to dance La Bamba a little bit of grace is needed
A little bit of grace and something else
Ah! Up and up
And up and up and up I’ll go

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor but I’ll become one for you
I’ll become one for you, I’ll become one for you

Bamba, bamba, bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba

In order to dance La Bamba
In order to dance La Bamba one needs a little bit of grace
A little bit of grace and something else
Ah! Up and up
And up and up and up I’ll go

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain
I’m a captain, I’m a captain

Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor
I’m a captain, I’m a captain, I’m a captain

Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba

In order to go up and reach the sky
In order to go up and reach the sky
A long ladder is needed
A long ladder and a short ladder

Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor
I’m a captain, I’m a captain, I’m a captain

Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba

* “Bamba” doesn’t have an Inglés translation. It’s just a name for a dance, like Macarena or YMCA.

Facebook Granny

Facebook Granny

My wife’s 82 year old Granny bought an iPad to go on the Facebook.

Here are some of her posts.

Try again

September 12th

Help

September 14th

Thanks Brian

September 15th

Thought for today If there were no criminals think how many people would be out of work

September 16th

Police Lawyers Jail Staff
r. Flipping. Ross Kemp

September 17th

Bat man& Robin
Guard dogs

September 18th

Had my first proper hair cut for eight years
Expected to look chic
I don’t

September 22nd

You can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear

September 24th

Yes. It’s keeping me happy
Can add comments and google
Haven’t Sussed how you and
Duncan got on this page

September 25th

Things that are not sports

I like darts. It requires skill and co-ordination and it’s fun. I like to play it in the pub. Like anything that requires skill and co-ordination, I’m not very good at it, so I admire anyone who is. Thanks to the wonders of Modern Technology I am able to watch men playing darts on the television.

This is great, but it bothers me that it is always televised under the banner of “sport”. It is not a sport. You would have to be mental to consider it so. It consists of standing in one spot, throwing sharp sticks at a circle of cork. It can be played in a pub. The men who play it professionally until very recently did so whilst completely battered. It is not a sport. It is a game.

I’m not trying to devalue darts or in any way suggest that professional darters are not worthy of praise or acclaim. I just dislike the way the word “sport” is thrown around. There are many things that are not sports. Throwing stones at ducks is not a sport. Shredding paper is not a sport. Fishing is not a sport.

I believe the majority of activities currently accepted as sports can be moved into one of three categories:

1. Games – anything requiring skill and having a competitive element in which the participants do not run or otherwise cause themselves (or others) to sweat
2. Hobbies – anything that passes time and is generally undertaken alone (no, not that)
3. Racing – anything that involves getting from one point to another quicker than other people whilst in or on a vehicle or animal (humans racing each other whilst running or swimming is obviously sport)

These definitions are not absolute and allow some room for movement, but on the whole they should cover everything. Below is a list of things that are not sports, divided into the above categories. This list is not exhaustive and nor could it be – it would have to include every activity a human could possibly undertake and would take hundreds of years to compile.

I will add to this list from time to time. If you have any suggestions or require classification on an activity then please Tweet me. I had to turn off comments on the blog because of all the spam. (Creating spambots is definitely not a sport.)

 Games
  • Darts
  • Snooker
  • Pool
  • Bowling
  • Bowls
  • Golf
  • Archery
  • Table tennis (ping pong)
  • Table football (foosball)
  • Air hockey
  • Billiards
  • Curling
Hobbies
  • Fishing
  • Dressage
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Shooting
  • Weightlifting / body building
  • Diving
  • Synchronised Swimming
  • Figure skating
  • Hunting (including fox hunting)
  • Skateboarding
  • Surfing
Racing
  • Formula 1 (and all other forms of car racing)
  • Moto GP (and all other forms of motorbike racing)
  • Horse racing
  • Greyhound racing

Olimpics is for benders

Before the long awaited end of the Mayan civilisation, 2012 is first going to jizz the spectacle of the Modern Olympic Games into our faces. And this time it’s in BLOODY LONDON!

This is exciting because London is where we all live. Well, I don’t. And you possibly don’t either. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited at the prospect of this international sports day.

With the Olympics comes a lot of ridiculous abuses of power and attempts to control behaviour. Not for nefarious purposes (unless you bloody love chips), but mostly to ensure multi-million dollar enterprises such as McDonald’s or Coca-Cola aren’t exposed for the twatbastards they undoubtedly are.

I was recently directed to this post on the free speech blog which highlights the Olympics organisers’ attempts to control how people link to their website. That’s right, how people link to the Olympics website from their own sites.

In particular:

You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted.

Well I say EFF THAT and EFF YOU, LONDON 2012. I ain’t gonna play by your rules!

olimpics is for benders

How do you like them apples?

Isabel Rowan Kett

I am now a father.

I thought about writing a blog post explaining how it feels, but there’s no way I could put it into words. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

All I can tell you is that anything that has ever got me down or made me unhappy in the past now seems completely unimportant. The only thing that matters is Izzy and knowing that she’s here makes everything OK.

Here is a quote I found in the book The Narrows by Michael Connelly. It’s the weakest in the otherwise excellent Harry Bosch series, but I love these lines and have been saving them up.

You can become unhinged and cut loose from the world. You can believe you are a permanent outsider. But the innocence of a child will bring you back and give you the shield of joy with which to protect yourself.

Here’s a picture of my angel:

There are more on my Facebook profile. If you deserve to see them then you’ll be my friend. Otherwise why are you trying to look at photos of strangers’ babies, you weirdo?