Monthly Archives: October, 2012

This could be a Greasy moment

Hah, for once I’ve fooled you with the title, or at least I hope I have? Well unless you think laterally about one of the lead characters, and then…ah well, it was fun while it lasted lol.

Yes, you guessed it, this is about Hurricane Sandy.

As someone who has walked the boardwalk at Atlantic City in her time (well, technically I was a he back then, but anyway…), its quite something to hear about much of it having been washed away, indeed the whole of Atlantic City seems pretty badly hit. Its one of those landmarks for me, the culmination of the cross America by train trip, even if it did take a few years to do the last bit from Philly, but hey, who’s counting? ūüėČ

I have also been to New York City, even longer ago, nearly 25 years ago, when I suspect I knew something wasnt right with me, but had no idea what it was. Do now though, but again, anyway…The weird one for me there though will always be the World Trade Centre, going up there to the observation desk, and then 13 years later… Still incredible for me to think about the bustling subway being shut totally, and sad to hear about the flooding at Ground Zero too.

As for my dear friend in Albany, thankfully Sandy was relatively gentle there, so glad to hear it. Still would like to hear from someone further up in Vermont, but hopefully she is fine, maybe just without power.

No, I’ve never been near a hurricane, and I wouldnt mind keeping it that way, sounds terrifying. Of course, this is someone going to Kansas next year, and might just meet up with a tornado, though hopefully not.

Just to say my sympathies and best wishes go out to all who have suffered because of Sandy, and to those who have lost loved ones, even more so.

Right, two related videos tonight, one the obvious song, but with a video focussing on the hurricane

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLRFkmUkq2Q

The other, well lets say its slightly more light hearted, and leave it at that

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=3u8RKrt5T8Y

 

A New Challenge In Travelling To Work

Yes, for 9 days from Saturday, travelling to and from work will become even more of a challenge than normal, or maybe not? Why, because the line between Huddersfield and Manchester will be closed, while dramatic work goes on to improve Stalybridge Station.

According to talk, and until the government change their minds, and decide we cant afford it, by the end of this decade (allegedly by about 2016, but…) the line between Manchester and York is going to be electrified, bringing faster, and more reliable trains to the cross pennine link. Also more trains an hour, though I dont see how they do that with the stopping trains serving stations both sides of Huddersfield to be honest, thrown into the mix.

Also, given the trains on our line go on to serve Liverpool and Manchester Airport at one end (neither electrified as far as I know), and Hull, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Newcastle at the other (only Newcastle on a fully electrified line), I’m not sure how they are planning the timetables for all this? Unless TPE serve them as 2 limbs, with diesel trains, well I dont know? Seems unlikely, so… you tell me! The big snag as I see it, is currently while diesel¬†trains can be diverted on to other local lines, electric trains wont be able to do so. So given that will mean buses, instead of slightly longer diversion routes, well that isnt going to speed things up!

Anyway, back to the issue in hand. Despite all these question marks, they’ve decided that Stalybridge Station needs an upgrade in advance of all this. Maybe it does, I’ve only ever passed through the station, so I have no idea. Seems OK for the amount of trains stopping there, but anyway… The snag is, to finish these works, they need no trains passing through for a while, so this is why chaos will rule for 9 days. Basically no trains will run through Stalybridge, so of the 4 trains an hour (daytime service) that wend between Manchester Picadilly¬†and Leeds, 2 will run via the Calderdale loop from Manchester Victoria, and 2 will only run to Huddersfield. So yes, thats half my train service gone for a week¬†lol. Mind, Manchester suffers the same fate, so…

The worst bit for me though, is going to be reliability. You see, there is 1 of those 4 Eastern links, to and from which train punctuality is a joke, Hull. And guess which one of the services we are stuck with, yes, thats one of them! The other snag for me, is that my main trains are the ones at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour, and guess what, they are the 2 that are vanishing for the week! Equally, coming home, its the 25 and 55, and yes, you’ve worked it out already lol. So journeys are going to take longer, probably be less reliable, so all in all, aargh! Also, in the evening, I tend to have fine margins for getting buses home, which dont run all that often at that time of night. Because these trains will use the island platform at Huddersfield, I’m going to have long hang around times, wonderful. Its why Thursday night when I’ll be late, after swooning at Louise Brooks in the cinema, I’ll be sweating on the last bus home if it takes a while getting out the cinema! Its why I’ve got Friday off, just in case of ‘entertainment’ in the form of trying to find a taxi after 11.00 at night!

Anyway, give it a few weeks, and I’ll let you know if I can see any difference at Stalybridge, as I fully intend to go to Manchester on my week off, 4 weeks from now. Money is currently on no, lol!

Finally, in tribute to dear old Stalybridge Station, here is a video showing the talent of a folk group from the past, Fivepenny Piece. Just to add, to avoid confusion, back then Stalybridge Town station was the end of a line. In the 1980’s they realigned the line between Leeds and Manchester, and it was promoted to the main line. Which is why its no longer neglected, and definitely not waiting to die. After next week, even more so after its makeover,¬†I guess?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZcQWnjXEHo

Now Those Days Are Gone

Hey, a rare treat for you, a blog not about me. I know, I know, thats the idea of these things, but as regular readers know, I like to pick out landmarks, and blog about them accordingly. Yes, I would have blogged this tomorrow, but I already know what I’m doing then, and posting 2 on the same day just seems a bit silly.

A couple of days ago, I heard about one of those little landmarks on the news, that the last Battle of Britain pilot surviving, had died at the age of 99. Considering that so many who fought back then didnt even get to reach 25, thats probably quite a landmark to reach, but still a shame he couldnt make the century. Its funny, it doesnt seem that long ago that we lost the last WW1 veteran, but I know he was far older.

So many died for us in that battle, that we might be free today, and its something that should never be forgotten. I know, it wont be, its only about 3 weeks to Remembrance Sunday after all, and the ceremony never seems to lose its special touch. Sadly we still add to the numbers who died back then, but thankfully not in the huge numbers lost in the 2 World Wars.

Its funny to think, give it another 15-20 years or so, and we will have no survivors who fought in a World War, well, at least I hope thats the case in one sense at least.

So as he departs this world, I’d just like to say thanks, for making the place I live a so much better place.

Its possibly almost trite to include a pop video on something like this, but given the title, and the style of the video, I think it fits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1FaP_c9H1w

The End of Summertime

Yes, I know, summer actually officially ended about a month ago, but as this weekend marks the time when the clocks go back, you could say this truly marks the end of summertime. And yes, James, before you say it, I know, the US is a week later than us changing back, but as I’m currently living over here…

I’m not sure whether summer actually ever arrived over here lol!

The other thing that marks the end of summer for me at least, being¬†a baseball fan, is the start of the World Series, the end of the very long season. And yes, that starts tomorrow, though it will actually be Thursday morning over here when it starts, but all the same. For a while, it looked like we might have some new teams there this year, but all got turned over in what I will term the quarter finals, I think the official name is the divisional series, but anyway…so San Francisco and Detroit get to return again to the final stage. As 5 of the 6 series so far have gone to the last game, we might be going for a while yet. But given the other was a 4-0 for Detroit, maybe not!

I’ve been to San Francisco, twice in fact, and both times ended up in a wonderful baseball park during my stay. Sadly once was a day game, so didnt get to see the sun set over the Bay, while watching the game, because believe me, thats really something! No, never been to Detroit, nor likely to do so, I suspect.

Actually, this was the first year for some time that I didnt get to a live game while over there. I should have done in April, but if you look back through the blog, well, you’ll see I had fun with American Airlines back then, and Sunday was the only Seattle game at home, so… Strangely enough, I wont next year either, unless either Wichita, or Rochester suddenly get a franchise over the winter lol! Thankfully, care of ESPN America over here, I have seen some live baseball this year anyway, including the Mariners once. But yes, its not quite the same thing as seeing it live in the flesh.

November starts a ‘social whirl’ for me, at least by my standards. As already mentioned, I’m off to see a movie on the 1st, something starring Louise Brooks, whoever she may be lol! ūüėõ Seriously, really looking forward to that. Then later in the month, off to see the musical, Oliver as a birthday treat for someone close to me. Then at the¬†beginning of December, the Works Christmas Dinner. Ah, the busy life of a ‘flapper’, darlings lol! Thats probably it though for a while, unless someone knows something I dont!

Next week actually will bring even more travelling ‘entertainment’ for 9 days, though of course I’ll only be travelling 7 of them. More on that on Thursday’s blog though.

For now, the song is nearly 50 years old, the performance clearly isnt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCNingQlFV0&feature=related

My favourite addiction

Oh darlings, if you’re expecting anything sensational here, disappointment will abound. After all, by now you should all know that sex holds zero interest for me.

Never smoked, never done drugs (other than those prescribed by doctors), and though I have the very occasional sip of alcohol, its certainly not an addiction. There are some that might say chocolate, but to be honest, I eat a lot less of it than I used to, definitely proving its no addiction lol! So whats my wicked vice, I’m sure you’re wondering, its coffee!

Put up your hand if you’re disappointed by that revelation lol! To be honest, I dont quite know when it started to become a serious thing, because I used to be mainly a tea drinker, but somewhere along the line I almost stopped drinking tea, and drank coffee all the time. My suspicion lays that it was around the late 80’s, when I first travelled abroad, and found out the old saying about other countries not knowing how to make a decent cup of tea came true, especially in Eastern Europe. So as I drank coffee, I switched over to it while away, and never switched back. Not strictly true, I do very occasionally have a cup of tea, usually when no milk is available, as I can drink tea black, but cant abide black coffee!

Not that I’m a coffee snob, it should be said, most of the time I drink instant, of various qualities. I do sometimes treat myself to a nice cup of coffee, usually a latte, usually when work has run out of milk, and I’m gasping¬†for coffee, after a burst of black tea, which I can drink, but really enjoy, might be another matter lol! So yes, guilty,¬†its all about the caffeine I guess?¬†But then, late at night, I drink decaffeinated, so that blows that theory lol! But yes, that first cup in the morning, pure pleasure. No prizes for guessing¬†what I’ll be doing when I’ve finished this blog¬†either!

And no, if you did a blindfold test of Starbucks, Costa and a couple of others, I couldnt tell the difference. Yes, I can tell the difference between them and instant, especially the lower quality ones though, believe me!

So sorry, darlings, if you were expecting something risque, or exciting here, look away. If you wanted to know my secret vice, well you do now! x

The video, well again you get a double delight, or in this case, should that be a double shot? The first, the modern(ish) version from Manhattan Transfer, a group from my music buying years,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pULXnVTRynY

The other, much older, call this the Brooksie era version from the King Sisters. And beyond what Wikipedia tells me, no, I know nothing more about them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=EE69jBxZuXg&feature=fvwp

Whats Going On?

And no, this isnt just an excuse of a title for a video, genuinely, I want to know.

Normally this blog plods along nicely, with a general viewing rate of 5-6 a day, which is nothing sensational, but then again, hey, neither is the blog really, I suspect lol?

Yesterday looked another day of ‘much of the same’, the count was actually at 2 when I posted the blog last night. Fair enough, I hadnt posted for days, so…I checked back about half an hour later, to see if anyone had picked up on the new posting, and to see if I might get up to average for the day.

80, yes 80 viewings when I went back! What the heck? Last thing before bed, about 20 minutes later, I thought I’d see if the rush had died down at that point. Nope, 133 views at that point lol! That was it though, the last hour before midnight didnt add to the score. Has it died down today, well sort of. Last time I looked, it was still on 65 views for the day! The stats page is in such shock at this that its frozen after 53 postings everywhere except the daily total! And yes, 133 was a new daily¬†record by some distance.

I had no idea that me posting about threatening to wear a dress to the works christmas dinner would be so popular! I suspect someone new saw it, took a look around, and post views exploderated! All I know is all yesterdays looks were from the UK, today on the basis of limited info, the viewers are a better country spread. Still, no offers of a dress, or bribes to wear a dress at the dinner though lol!

So, as 4 Non Blondes (the group), and 1 Blonde (me) have to say, Whats Going On? The video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXnxTNIWkc

Putting On The Ritz

And as a special treat tonight, two very different versions of said song. But first, the blog! Sorry, but… ūüėõ

Apparently that time of year is fast approaching again when modern business thinks of a special day in December, and turns it into a spending spree! Yes, Christmas is coming, even if officially its still just over 2 months off. And yes, they’ve started putting the lights up in Leeds already, though thankfully not switched them on…yet!

What it also means, as far as I’m concerned at least, is the announcement of the date for the Firms Christmas Dinner. December 6th, if anyone cares. There may be readers who already know, there may be others who need to know, but otherwise…probably not!

I had to smile, I’ve seen one or two already at work looking at dresses, presumably for said big event, but not me. No, seriously, I dont mind going a bit more femme for this, but a party dress, no, I think thats far too much of a step, even now lol! Plus, lets face it, most of those dresses are designed to show a bit of cleavage, and lets face it, much of mine is slightly less than natural, shall we say? Yes, I have got some nowadays, but lets face it, I cheat a bit at work, all the same. Makes me feel good, but anything that shows cleavage is bound to¬†give away my little secret! Alright, this might do to one or two, but anyway…lol! ūüėČ Just a shame there is no way ‘my little boosters’ could¬†go internally for one night lol. Well alright, permanent would be great, but one night would be a start lol!¬†Either that, or an overdose of ‘natural’¬†female hormones¬†giving me a major boost on the boob front? No, not going to happen, fairy godmothers dont exist in real life, giggle!

Even without the ‘good girl’ thing, of not wearing a dress on that basis, I’d¬† be looking for something nice, that doesnt reveal cleavage, and needs to be below knee length (well below ideally), or ankle length (even better). And please, dont get me started on wearing¬†heels at all! I’m too tall already, and unless they’re block, or wedge heels, I couldnt walk in them, so… And no, with my job, I’m not spending a fortune on the outfit either!

Yes, going by all that,¬†blouse, trousers, and nice flat shoes I’m sure! ūüėČ But alright, it would be fun to really dress up, but its a case of us transgendered folk respecting others, I guess? So as I said, blouse and trousers, because I guess finding a ‘posh skirt’ is a trick too far, at budget prices?

Yes, I said last year, I wouldnt go back to the Queens Hotel, but I wont have to, as we are going somewhere different this year, the Royal Armouries have a place for celebrations of this kind, and we’re going there. So I’ll give it a try…and be a good girl, honest I will! Or as some would say, if I cant be good, I’ll be careful! Not sure Brooksie ever said that, but I can imagine those words echoing from her lips somehow.

Havent yet decided if I will stay overnight in town, as I’ve done before, it makes things easier, especially for changing, but it is quite an expense. But it does save on ‘Cinders’ having to get the last train home, and then a taxi out here. Swings and roundabouts etc, especially given the distance I will be from the station this year. I suspect my shifts that day, and the next will also play a part in my call on the matter.

If however someone, or a group of people want to bribe me to wear a dress and posh shoes with a (large) charitable¬†donation, and/or a suitable dress for me to wear, well, try me lol!¬†Even more so, if posh and 20’s/30’s style lol. Still nothing showing cleavage unless you’re also paying for the cosmetic¬†surgery lol¬†¬†No, almost certainly not lol!

Right, finally the videos. Firstly the version most probably think of, the Fred Astaire one. Not the original lyrics, but some amazing dancing. Be warned, though the pictures are of Astaire, the music is a modern remix, interesting enough to win the vote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpJoJv2-Nmg

If you prefer the original, its not hard to find.

But now, the real delight for me, a very grainy 1930 version of the song, with original lyrics, by Harry Richman, who starred in the film of the song title name. This however is seemingly a live version, not sure if its the film or not?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQxLMWhb_Ww

Of course, Louise Brook’s most famous character was a Lulu, which is another reason for selecting this. Me, biased, oh surely not, darlings? ūüėČ

Someone fetch the oxygen bottle!

Yes, the title is facetious, nothing for anyone to really be concerned about lol.

So lets talk about what is supposedly one thing girls can never have enough of, shoes.

Yes, alright, I’ve got a pair or 3, I’m not going to deny it. Especially if you include a few pairs of high heels/stilletos that I’ve been presented with over the years, that I’m never going to wear beyond that one fun, and often wobbly moment. I have got things against high heels, I’ve got a pair of less than perfect knee joints, and so wearing heels would just be tempting fate, and just asking to destroy a knee joint or something. Also, there is the fact that I’m nearly 6ft tall, so I dont exactly have the need to wear heels, as a height aid,¬†anyway.

Having said that, most of my recent shoes (apart from my winter boots, very flat) have got a very slight wedge heel, its almost impossible to buy womens shoes without them in all honesty. But 4″ heels, or anything like that, you’ll be waiting a long time to see me wobbling in anything like that.

So, getting to the point. As formerly being a guy, I’m used to wearing socks with my shoes. And yes, I know, most women dont wear socks unless they are wearing trainers and boots (and even then, some dont), and if in shoes, its bare feet, or stockings/tights. So I know, I shouldnt, but still do, probably out of habit, and nothing more. But then you get a day like today, when I’m a good girl, wear shoes, and no socks. Snag is, thats when I discover that the size I need with socks, is a bit large for when I havent got socks on. So being curious, I went in a shop in Dewsbury this afternoon to hunt down a pair a size smaller, and try them on. Guess what, they fitted perfectly! So now, the next time I buy a pair of shoes, I need to decide in advance, socks or no socks lol! Should be no socks, but with winter coming, am I that brave? I guess if its that cold, I’ll be in my winter boots, so yes, smaller size, I guess? ūüėČ Until then I’ll have an excuse for keeping wearing socks, my shoes slip off otherwise!

Oh, if anyone wants to know my shoe size, ask!

Now, the moment of hilarity you’ve been waiting for, I tried on a pair of heels. No, not the lethal kind, these were what I would term as raised wedges, generally I guess 2 or 3 inches off the ground, but the heels were a couple of inches more. Now, I didnt quite reach the ceiling, but…I was so tall! Funny thing was, I tried a few steps, and yes, walked in them fine, but of course its a flat base, so no reason I shouldnt. But the heel was raised more than I’ve done in a while, and it felt fine. Of course, the difference between a few minutes, and several hours (or all day) is quite a big one.

But no, I’m sticking to flats, just because of the height thing, but otherwise, well, I might have got them if I was 4-6 inches shorter, they were super! Anyone know how to shrink me a little lol?

Did do some other shopping, found 4 nice new tops in a couple of charity shops, along with a pair of trousers, and a pair of leggings. Oh, and a couple of padded seamless¬†bras. I know I’m not flat chested, but I’m not Dolly Parton either lol, so a little help… I love the seamless ones since discovering them, it really doesnt feel like I’m wearing a bra, but I can feel the weight of the boobs, so best of both worlds lol.

The music, no, I know nothing about her beyond the name. I just typed ‘too tall’ into You Tube, and this was high up the picks. But its quite pleasant on the ears, is quite fun, so…enjoy if you want to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9gwjSYStA

College Football (not soccer!)

When it comes to American Football, like most brits, I grew up on the NFL. For me, that goes right back to the early days of C4, not just the Sky coverage nowadays. Hey, I was a Buffalo fan the year before Jim Kelly signed woth them, thats how long I’ve been following the game!

I still enjoy the NFL, indeed I’m watching it on Sky as I type this. 2 so-so quarterbacks (tongue in cheek, its Brady and Manning) playing against each other. But to some degree last season, and far more so this season, care of ESPN, I’ve got hooked¬†on another brand of football, the college kind. Clearly, in a strict sense, I dont really have a college to faithfully follow, as I never went to¬†one, let alone one in the US. So I basically picked a few for fun reasons otherwise.

So its Washington Huskies (love Seattle) that I started off keeping an eye on, and still follow them to some degree. The other one (far less so in all honesty) is Yale, because the only “proper season” game of American Football was there, against Colombia in 1988. Only NFL game I’ve seen, a pre season one at Wembley, some point in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

This year, with excellent timing, I’ve also been following Kansas State, and yes, purely because thats the state where Louise Brooks was born. Actually, neither they, or Kansas are that close to Cherryvale, so I just picked one at random, seemingly the right one. Wichita State, which would be the most obvious connection dont have a football team due to a sad plane crash¬†accident incident some years ago, or they would probably have been the ones.

Oh, they are unbeaten this year, 5-0 at the time of writing this. And no, not all against softies either, Oklahoma were ranked way above them until the Wildcats rolled into town, and beat them. Given a good friend is an Oklahoma State fan, we both enjoyed that.

The other thing I like about college football over the NFL, is what I call the enjoyment factor, its a game, not a living, even if it must feel like it at times. Yes, its fun to watch.

No, I’m not planning to give up on the NFL, I’m just saying that maybe I’m beginning to take more interest in college results than NFL ones. Well alright, maybe I still check them for fantasy game reasons, but…

Anyway, as a treat, feel free to enjoy some highlights of the Wildcats beating the Sooners, and remember what they say at the start, ranked teams dont go into Oklahoma and win. Well, they didnt used to lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNUdAY-iSDI

Go Wildcats!

50 years ago this week.

We had what they term the start of a pop revolution, the first single by a new group called the Beatles. Yes, that moment passed me by pretty much, I was only 4 at the time lol. But for a few years, this group totally dominated the pop scene.

And before anyone asks, no, I wouldnt know about this anniversary but for the BBC news broadcasts.

The funny thing was, my mother wouldnt let me “buy” any of their records, not quite sure why. Especially as buying stuff by the Kinks, and other “subversive” groups seemed to be absolutely fine by her! But anyway, I will never know why now, thats for sure. Funny thing was, even when I grew older, and bought my own music, I still never bought a single Beatles single or LP. Cant have been totally influenced though, as Wings, and solo Paul McCartney stuff entered my collection.

But you know, when you hear things like this, and you remember the group in its hey day, albeit as a child, you start to feel old lol!

The video, no, its not Love Me Do, that first single, I suspect many are tired of hearing that this week. So lets go with one of my favourite Beatles tracks instead

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj8d6MD9NMY