Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Battley-Tapley Christmas Letter 2008

Well, what a year 2008's been in the Battley-Tapley household! There have been tears, joy, and laughter for us, unlike for those of you from whom we haven't received a Christmas letter: whose lives we can only assume have been utterly eventless.

The big news, of course, this year, is that it looks like Natt's alcoholism is finally under control. In the past few months we have been able to visit bars, restaurants, and zoos with relative confidence. Not since August has he jumped onto a dessert trolley and started smearing himself with Black Forest Gateau, or improperly fondled a koala. We pray that his progress continues through 2009, and the courts agree to remove his tag at his hearing in April!

Zoe's ongoing course of botox and regenerative gene therapy has really kicked her career up a few notches, and she is now appearing as 'a human statue' in Covent Garden, no less! She isn't enjoying the commute, and her ongoing feud with one of the fire jugglers has caused some problems, but she struggles on, and hopes to be promoted to the South Bank soon!

2008 also saw the birth of our fourth child, Enrique, who was taken away by bailiffs because of the credit crunch.

Still, let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's nothing worse than a Christmas letter that is anything but completely thorough, so here we go...

JANUARY saw the slaughter of Amanda, our pig. We hated to have to do it, but she was looking very old and tasty. Seeing Eleanor playing in the warm entrails of the sow that had once suckled her (during Zoe's post-natal depression) was really special, and emphasised how lucky we are to have a daughter and some delicious sausages.

FEBRUARY was a difficult month, that saw Zoe convicted of a 'road rage'. To clarify, because there have been a lot of falsehoods disseminated about this incident in the press, Zoe was not naked at the time. She was wearing a hat, and a bandolier full of ammunition.

MARCH was a very proud month, as Eleanor won the Nobel Prize for Physics for her work on the Planck scale, and quantum fluctuations in space-time. She also got her Grade 3 Oboe (no distinction this time), and a 25 metre swimming badge.

APRIL saw our annual hibernation. It was perhaps our most successful hibernation since 1996.

MAY was the month in which Natt's one-man show, an adaptation of Hamlet,with Natt doing all of the voices took to the stage - or should we say, the pavement! Eschewing fusty traditional venues, One Man Hamlet was an exciting experiment in open air theatre: a performance without the gaudy appurtenances of lighting, costumes, or an audience. In a rave review, Westminster Council called it 'a public nuisance'.

JUNE saw Eleanor complete the first leg of her around-the-world tricycle ride. Unfortunately, her record-breaking attempt had to be cut short when she was accosted by a group of road-pirates in the Urals, and was sold into white slavery. She smuggled her way back into Britain in a Somalian's stomach.

JULY failed to produce any notable events for our family. We think that this is probably July's fault, and have decided not to participate in July in 2009.

AUGUST was the month in which the Olympic fever gripped the country. Zoe's stalwart efforts in the pole vault won her a nomination as BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and a ruptured vagina. The heroic way in which she limped from the field, and gamely applied ice and bandages to her crotch won the nation's hearts.

SEPTEMBER, as ever, was an exciting time, as Zoe's birthday party loomed. Once again, the party guests were treated to a torrent of personal abuse, watered-down alcohol, and the sight of Zoe staring drink-sodden into a mirror, clawing at her face and weeping: 'Where did it all go so very wrong.' Great fun!

OCTOBER was the month in which Eleanor finally made us very proud grandparents. After 15 long months, she provided us with a grandson, Patrice. Her boyfriend, Malcolm, works at an abattoir, sweeping up blood, but this will only be true whilst he is on remand, after which he plans to train as a teacher. We would have preferred it if they were married, but Malcolm already has a wife and four children, so we understand why they thought that it would be both inappropriate and illegal.

NOVEMBER saw Natt back in prison, the victim, yet again, of mistaken identity. Once again, we would appeal for anyone who has seen the violent, drunken groper of women and animals who just happens to share Natt's name and face and DNA to come forward. Your evidence could be vital.

DECEMBER isn't even finished yet, and already we know it's going to be the best Christmas ever. The family portraits in the attic grow ever more demented and hideous, which can only augur well for the new year!

Natt and Zoe and Eleanor and Patrice wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy 2009. Have a wonderfully festive period.


N, Z & E

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Now, then. Here's something with which I'm tangentially involved. It's in a competition of some sort, so please do watch and rate it, if you're at all inclined. If not, don't.



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Every now and again, Hazel Blears does something to remind me why I hate her more than any other MP. Most are just misguided, venal, cowardly idiots. She, however, is something special, a ball of uncorrupted evil, deserving of nothing more than vivisection so that we can find out how a creature with neither a brain nor a heart can display all of the outward symptoms of life.

This time, she done give a speech. In which she says the following:

"And in recent years commentary has taken over from investigation or news reporting, to the point where commentators are viewed by some as every bit as important as elected politicians, with views as valid as cabinet ministers."
Because no one has views as 'valid' as those of cabinet ministers. It's an impossibility.

She doesn't stop at suggesting that cabinet ministers might be better-informed on certain issues, she asserts (and she elaborates in her next sentence) that unless you are an MP, or, more properly, a member of the ruling party so spineless that you have a cabinet position, your opinions aren't even valid. She goes on:
"You fucking idiots. How dare you presume to be able to give anything like the appropriate quality of thought to issues that might affect your life? Do you have a badge that makes you an approved thinker? Has anyone ever voted for you in the misguided belief that you were going to represent their views? Are you one of the 646 people in this country with valid opinions? No? Then shut up. Pricks. You people make me sick."
She then lowered her pastel-coloured trousers and shat on the grateful face of one of her enraptured constituents. Said the constituent: "I'll never wash this face again. It's an honour and a privilege to have been used as a turd-basket by an illiberal harridan who came last in the first round of Labour's last deputy leadership election. The faeces that currently clogs my nostrils represents, in a very real sense, the views of the 11% of the Labour party who supported her."

In fact, as Hazel goes on to talk about how only thought sanctioned by having won an election is appropriate, valid, or useful, she must have as thoroughly rejected all of her own views as the Labour Party did last year.
She seems, as usual, to fundamentally not have any understanding of her job as an MP. Her job is to represent the views of her constituents in Parliament, not to have better ones (like her idea to 'rebrand' ethnic minorities) because the people in her constituency were too feckless and idle to have valid thoughts.

She doesn't even have the modicum of intelligence necessary to realise that - gasp! - you don't need to have been elected by anyone to be a cabinet member. Like Peter Mandelson. What, exactly, made the views of the never-elected Andrew Adonis more valid than anyone else's when it came to schools? The fact that he was in the cabinet. And thus, according to Hazel, we should all shut up.

She makes me physically ill, and Unity does a great job on her over at Ministry of Truth. I'm going to go and try to scrub the stench of Blears from my typing fingers...

It took me - what? - half an hour to get bored with this...

23:25 – Matt Frei is a pasty toad, and wrong about everything. Here he goes again, croaking out another flatulent litany of nonsense.

23:31 – Come on, Kentucky, get on with it! Your fried chicken might well be unfeasibly delicious but your laxness in vote-counting is really, really irritating...

23:33 – Even Rupert Murdoch trembles when Barack Obama smites things with his mighty protectionist fist. Obama is the scariest entity in the known universe: God and dark matter quake before him.

23:36 – Virginia forgot to get provide any way for people to vote. If they're black.

23:40 – Dimbleby is boring me rigid. I'm going to get some booze.

23:41 – John Simpson has just liberated Chicago! And he's not going to take any shit from Dimbleby.

23:45 – Some evil Republican woman is reminding us all that we thought we were going to win four years ago, and that our hearts were slowly shredded over the course of an evening then. For bringing that up she will be made to suffer in a deep, hot corner of hell.

23:48 – Apparently, the exit poll says that 61% of people believe John McCain will raise taxes, because he, too, is a filthy socialist, and he needs the money to pay for more houses. For him.

23:53 - “Well, this is getting, erm *sigh* tense.” Yawn.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Did anyone else see the pictures of the Christians praying to the bronze bull for a return to better economic times:
and think of this?

I'm guessing that if you want God's help, it's probably best not to use a ceremony that there's a specific injunction against in the first of his ten commandments. And really, really, don't do exactly the thing that made Moses so cross he smashed up those commandments, and had to go and copy them out again. Really.

(Exodus 32:4, for those of you who are interested)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pat Buchanan is obviously just making an observation, not a threat...

"Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming."

On a lighter note, does anyone else think that he looks an awful lot like Rachel Maddow in the picture at the top of the page?

Friday, October 10, 2008

They've managed to spell my name wrong on the graphic - but here are two aging slices of half-baked satire just in time for conference seaso... oh.

Oh well...

Singing the Blues - West side Tory

Brown Alert - It ain't easy being Gordon...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"He didn't appear to have any intention at all of... eating the moose."

Steamboats Are Ruining Everything: Did Sarah Palin eat the moose?
Adultery. The Tasering of a child. A disputed moose carcass. A family feud that may have led to the inappropriate firing of a government official. John McCain's new running mate Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, comes with a vivid and colorful back-story, well worth the attention of America's journalistic community.
Of all the stories about Sarah Palin that have drifted across the blogosphere in the last 12-ish hours, this has been my favourite...

Friday, August 29, 2008 - Gremlins Fan Film - Gremlins Fan Film

This truly is a thing of Gremlins wonder, and a labour of mad, French love. The 'making of' is almost better than the Gremlins bit itself...

Monday, August 04, 2008

I'll be in the Channel 4 show, Tonightly, from August 1st to 22nd. If you'd like to watch, it's on after Big Brother.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Insubordinate clauses

BBC NEWS | England | Devon | Blast suspect was 'radicalised'
Devon and Cornwall Police Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville said: "Our investigation so far indicates Reilly, who had a history of mental illness, had adopted the Islamic faith.

Witness the magic of the well-placed subordinate clause...

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Chortle Review

Laughing Horse New Act Final 2008' review : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide
Nathaniel Tapley is an actorly character turn very much similar in style to Al Murray’s loud, declamatory performance – not to mention his ill-thought-out right-wing opinions derived from his many psychological, emotional and social failings. In fact, this rabid Tory boy would probably see the Pub Landlord as some sort of namby-pamby liberal.

His veins throb and his eyes bulge as he harrumphs his way through his personal manifesto against political correctness. He’s imperialistic, homophobic and sexist – and very, very funny. The comically exaggerated opinions crystalise into wonderful one-liners, including a gag about his ‘handicapped boy’ that was the best single joke of the night. There are a couple of formulaic lines in the mix, but they are done with such panache that it matters little. A powerhouse performance, and funny with it.

The Beppisode

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It makes you wonder why, for example, speed cameras - designed specifically and solely to capture images of speeding cars - are taking pictures of any and all cars, and why our money is then being spent on analysing those photos.

Particularly predictable is the suggestion that a public order offence has been committed, the overreaction to any challenge of police 'over-zealousness', and the plea for someone to, please, think of the children.

I, personally, want my children to find all incidences of bums in their daily lives to be funny. Any child who actually finds a man sticking his naked bottom out of a moving car to be 'distasteful and offensive' should have their their child's license revoked, and all sweet-eating privileges removed.

Passenger moons speed camera - Boing Boing

Friday, May 02, 2008

Election nights are wonderful. There are swings, exit polls, and reminders that these graphics are based on projected vote-shares. For about 15 years, I've sat up into the too, too early morning breathlessly awaiting results at every opportunity. I even sat up for the results of the referendums on Scottish and Welsh devolution. But not tonight. Tonight I realised that I actually don't care.

I don't care if the Tories take a council in the north. I don't care if Labour can hold Reading. I don't care what Worcester woman does. Unless it's porn. I might stay up if it's porn.

As the early results came in I settled in front of Dimbleby's massive face, surrounded myself with booze, and waited. And waited. And it never happened. The tingle, the odd squeeze of the gut as the Tories take a seat in Wyre Forest, the infintesimal thrill as they lose one somewhere else. It never happened. I just don't care any more.

It's taken a long time for me not to care. I've adopted a position of haughty indifference in public for as long as I can remember. "They're all the same," was a mantra to live by. I knew this. I'd go on at tedious length about it. They're all the same. But, of course, they aren't. Some of them are Blues and are thus hateful gutter-vermin, a black crust around the rim of humanity's toilet bowl, whose every misfortune makes the world a happier place.

And the others have been swaggering disappointment-hounds, urinating in the face of all that was good and decent, with Richard Branson holding their collective penis. From Clause IV to tuition fees, from the Terrorism Acts to Iraq, to the 10p rate of tax, to all my adult life they've... No. It doesn't matter. I don't care any more. And, nominally, I never have - but there was always a little smile of satisfaction when they won something. Because if they won, the others lost. And the only thing worse than them was the others.

Except it wasn't. Finally, my gut appears to have accepted what my brain claimed to know. They are no better than the others. That half-hope that it was all Tony Blair, and that once he was gone they might rediscover the principles you always hoped they had? The pipe-dream of a twatbasket. Nothing more. A towering, imaginary palace, constructed of dandelion seeds and fairy guff.

And tonight, watching the heads bray and bleat about what this means for who, finally, I truly did not care. And I shall go to bed and not care. I shan't care. It's over, at long last. I do not care.

Until tomorrow, when they count the votes for London Mayor...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Meeting: Episode 5 - Brendan

This is my episode of my ComedyBox thing. Please watch it, if you'd like, and let me know what you think...

The Meeting, Episode 5 Brendan | The Meeting | Video

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Meeting

Comedybox Comic | The Meeting | Biography

I've been terribly remiss in not telling you all to go and watch Dirty Blondes' new thing: The Meeting. It's got that Beppe off of Eastenders in it. It's also got Katherine Jakeways, Justin Gayner, and the Dirty Blondes (Zoe S Battley, Sally Chattaway, Darren Strange, and Nathaniel Tapley). Watch the first four episodes now...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Meeting: Episode 4 - Dee

Here's the latest episode of our thing what has Michael Greco off of Eastenders in. It also has many other people in it (Darren Strange - The Armando Iannucci Show, John Voce - The Comedy Store Players, Sally Chattaway - The Omid Djalili Show, Zoe S. Battley - Blessed, Katherine Jakeways - The Armstrong and Miller Show, and me - er, Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow...)

We think it's quite funny.

Maybe you will, too.

The Meeting, episode 4 Dee | The Meeting | Video

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Meeting: Episode 2 - Hilary

My new thing's up at ComedyBox (link below). I think it's very funny, and I'm very proud of it. Please follow the link, and watch it. Any feedback in the comments would be greatly appreciated...

The Meeting: Episode 2 - Hilary
Starring: Zoe S Battley, Sally Chattaway., Justin Gayner, Michael Greco, Katherine Jakeways, Darren Strange, Nathaniel Tapley and John Voce

Comedybox - Get a decent laugh any time of the day (or night)!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kremlin Orders 3,200 Mice. No One Knows Why : Environmental News Blog | Environmental Graffiti
3,200 white mice have been ordered by the Kremlin guard: the elite troops who protect President Putin.

OK - I'm stumped. Answers on a postcard...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Bloggerheads (UK) - Animals
Short version

Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that "the bearskin hats worn by the five guards regiments have no military significance and involve unnecessary cruelty": 207

Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that "the Prime Minister [should] meet the UK's moral obligations by offering resettlement to all Iraqis who are threatened with death for the "crime" of helping British troops and diplomats": 79

Friday, March 14, 2008

My entry to the LOLBlair meme that seems to be drifting around the interwebs today...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Phormidable Reasons To Change ISP?

Political Penguin
Or how about this. How would you feel if your ISP did a deal with a company whose director has form for creating one of the most repugnant systems of Spyware ever to hit the net and has all their company URL’s from an anonymising provider so that they can’t be traced?

As a TalkTalk customer, I can't help but feel that I might have to pay attention to this. Which annoys me. I've been perfectly happy with the service I've received from them over the last three years, so having to change ISPs would be mightily irksome.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Martian Avalanches

Martian avalanches - Boing Boing
"The full image reveals features as small as a desk in a strip of terrain 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) wide and more than 10 times that long, at 84 degrees north latitude. Reddish layers known to be rich in water ice make up the face of a steep slope more than 700 meters (2,300 feet) tall, running the length of the image."

Is it just me that wonders what a desk is doing on Mars, anyway?

Surely we should be looking into this. If there are desks, maybe there are desktop computers. Can we Skype Martians?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For what it's worth...

OK - Not that Google have asked me or anything, but here's what I think they should do...

(Incidentally, why do I think they should do this? Because it would make my life easier. That's it. That's the reason. I am a selfish reprobate, whose only serious thoughts centre around his own comfort.)

Currently, I'm a Google-whore. They own me. Google's got my emails, my documents, my calendar, and my photos. They're even hosting this blog. And for as long as they'll continuing offering good products to me for free, I'll continue to be their whore. Their filthy whore.

However, the last couple of years have seen very few really exciting developments in Google's products outside Google Maps. Earlier this year, I was approaching the point where I was reaching my storage limit in GMail - I was seriously going to have to consider *shudder* a different webmail account.

But they fixed it. Suddenly, I, and everyone else, has lots of storage, and I don't wake up in a cold sweat, worrying about how to archive everything in a .CSV file.

Unfortunately, I'm now most definitely at that point with Picasa. Picasa is a good product, and the storage it offered along with the application made me use it for as long as I could, over Flickr, or any Adobe product. However, even storing photos in a web-ised state, at nowhere near their full resolution, it's full. No room at the inn.

I've now got six times as much storage for my emails as for my photographs. Which sucks. I need it for the photographs. However, I'm not an unreasonable man, I just don't want to pay for storage which might, even then prove inadequate in the near future.

Yes, I'm aware of the free storage available from other people, but I liked being able to get photographs off a camera, manipulate and organise them, and then store and email them all using the same free application. I'm not going to be able to do that any more.

So here's what i think Google should do:

Give you the option to make photos in your Picasa account returnable as search items in Google Picture Search, and give you free storage for them if you do that, geotag them, and add meaningful tags. Google thus gets to add to the value of its core search proposition (Picasa could even include a CC license so that people could reproduce photos from Picture search safely) in exchange for hosting a file.

And that, because I really like storing my photos for free, is what I think should happen. Any photo which you tag, geotag and open to public search should be stored for free, as Google then use it to drive their search engine. I could keep adding photos. Google's search could keep getting more useful, more tied to geographical data, and more meaningful.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Mr Google, are you listening?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I very much enjoyed this. You might, too...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I sing this better now. This is back in October, when I wrote it for the Conservative Party Conference...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Occasionally, and with a heavy heart, I read Craigslist's adverts for writing jobs. Maybe, somewhere in amongst the 'great opportunities' to write free stuff for desolate websites there's the one. The big one. The perfect job.

Often these are pleas for 'writing partners', in which some witless talent-vacuum is looking for someone with discernible skills to take their half-baked pub thoughts and craft them into 'writing'. One that's there at the moment says: "I may have some good ideas but i need someone professional to wrap it out and make a good story." Yes, rather than a 'writing partner' you need a 'writer' to 'write' a story. Ideally whilst you look over their shoulder and mutter 'Brilliant!' in an astounded fashion, before pointing out that Howard shouldn't die until the next bit because you thought he should do something good with Marjorie, although you haven't quite worked out what.

The same advert I quoted earlier, however, also stopped me dead in my tracks. It contains the following sentence: "I am convinced if we are on the same frequency and share the same sense for humor we can change the shape of the earth forever!"

The shape of the Earth? The SHAPE of the Earth?

"I am convinced that if I get you to do my homework for me Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics will be suspended, and we can stop the universe drifting to a cold, entropic end!"

Not any of its more malleable qualities, but the actual shape of the actual Earth. Forever. We shall ignore the plaintive cries of those who preferred the Earth in its old shape, as its new, highly irregular gravitational pull lets them drift further off into space each time they sneeze!

I couldn't email him a response fast enough, quite frankly...

(PS - It's here)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's the point in the evening where a real and palpable sense of self-loathing begins to hover behind you. You should, of course, be in bed. Any human should.

It's sad enough that's I'll sit up until absurd o'clock, working my way through bottles of red wine and swearing at the television for local British elections. I'm now watching returns for elections that are happening in another country. Except I'm not even doing that.

I'm watching primary results come in. Not Super Tuesday primaries, not primaries of a state that has a huge number of electoral college votes. New Hampshire primary results. Ones in which I do not care who wins.

Unfortunately, I'm addicted to those little bits of news showing that Hillary has an early lead with most of Manchester having reported, but that those districts yet to report the results of their counts were more likely to lean towards Obama. I don't find either candidate to my taste, but I love watching the numbers change, and seeing if her lead will hold. What will it mean if it does? What will it mean if it doesn't?

Right. That's it. I'm going to bed now.

(I will right after they hit 60% of districts reporting...)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Chicken Yoghurt » You can take the boy out of the Hitler Youth, but…

Chicken Yoghurt » You can take the boy out of the Hitler Youth, but…

Chicken Yoghurt delightfully tears the Pope into millions of tiny pieces and stamps the remains into the ground. Sublime.

Friday, January 04, 2008

OK - this is very silly, but the more you visit my city, here, the more imaginary people come to live in it. If you have either the time or inclination do click and see what happens...