Author Archive: stevielounicks

Shuffle off with Buffalo

Back when the NFL first hit the TV screens over here, in the mid 80’s, it seemed that everyone had to choose a team to support, if you cared for the game at all, and fine, I got hooked on it. However, being perverse, and awkward as I was, and indeed still am, I decided not to pick one of the popular, highly successful teams. Oh no, I decided to attach my limited fandom to a team who were pretty awful, named the Buffalo Bills. As any NFL historian will tell you, that was pretty handy timing. One season after that, the rival USFL league collapsed, the modern day irony relating to that being, that one of the men whose greed brought it down into bankruptcy, was a certain Donald Trump! Definitely not the last time the words, Trump, and bankruptcy have gone together lol!

What that meant was, that a quarterback named Jim Kelly finally signed with the NFL team that had drafted him, the Buffalo Bills. So, all of a sudden, I was supporting a successful team, who went to 4 Superbowls in rapid time, even if they didnt win any! Of course, eventually father time caught up with him, he retired, and Buffalo rapidly slipped back into anonymity again. They are in fact, currently the team who has gone longest since making the play offs. But this year…

There is 3 weeks to go in the season, and they are in a playoff position! In fact, in theory they could still win the division, but they would have to win their last 3 games, the Patriots lose their last 3 games, so not going to happen! But yes, this late in the season, and still in with a chance of making a playoff place, great stuff.

Oh fine, if you believe some of the Forum idiots, they wouldnt be happy until Buffalo had won 25 Superbowls in a row, and might even complain then…Yes, some people are just crazy. And sadly, from what I’ve read from some of them, some are very racist too, ah well…rolls eyes…I’m not!

No, they arent yet guaranteed a playoff place, but its closer than its been in a while. Well…?

Oh, and before anyone says anything about me, and underdogs, and mentions the Dodgers, they are the one exception to the rule. And thats because of the locality, nothing more! 😛

Right, video time. Big clue in the title, as is so often the case with me. This is the 30’s film version, and I do wonder if one of the ladies you briefly see the face of, could be Clara Johnson? Short of trying to stop the film on every shot, compare pictures, and…the likelihood is probably no, anyway!

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Turning Marion Davies

Oh fine, I suspect that with the exception of maybe a small handful of people, if that many, the title is lost on my readers. Dont worry, I will explain, and even the video has a clever connection too!

I trust by now that all my readers know I’ve got osteoporosis related back issues, which leads me to take painkillers (of a decent level), and use a gel on my back, to help keep the pain down. Fine, they are also aided by a back brace corset, that I might use as much for the corset like effects, as the back pain effects, but fine, it helps with both, OK?

Anyway, today was the day to visit the surgery, discuss the situation, and see where we go from here. Basically, just as I thought things were getting a little better, and that maybe I could ease up slightly on the meds, winter struck! No, not Alaskan style, but cold enough for the temperatures to get down to the low 20’s, which did my back no good whatsoever, even with the brace! Outcome of that, for the winter at least, some more tablets to take, not less! Still, if it helps with my condition, no complaints from me! Well, fine, the cost of 2 prescriptions, instead of 1 isnt great when you’ve cut back on your working week, but anyway…

Oh fine, why Marion Davies, I hear you asking!

On a truthful, but none too serious basis, my nurse suggested that I move somewhere a lot warmer for the winter than Yorkshire! Actually, if practical, would make a lot of sense, given the heat would obviously do my very sore joints the world of good. Yes, true, as I discovered in September, when I was away. Benidorm was her suggestion, mine unsurprisingly was California, though in truth, neither are going to happen in my current financial position, unless…?

Back in the 1920’s, a certain young film star, and a wealthy newspaper magnate got together, though they never got married. Why, because said newspaper magnate was already married, and his catholic wife wouldnt divorce him. So arrangements were agreed, and William Randolph Hearst, took Marion Davies as his partner, and courtesan. Yes, wife in every sense but one. To be honest, he didnt do her movie career any favors, she was a great comic actress, he wanted her to play more serious roles, and given he had the money, and the power…Seriously, consider checking out one of her silent, comedic roles, and enjoy. ‘The Patsy’ is my personal favorite, for the impersonations she does, but any available will be a treat.

I know, I’m not a film star, and I doubt any newspaper magnate would ever be attracted to me, but besides all that…If there is some wealthy person who wants me as their courtesan (I’m bi, if that helps?) somewhere warm/hot, ideally with connections to movie/theater roles, or who has a robot fetish, who wants to help heal my back with some heat, let me know. But put it this way, I wont die waiting, no expectations on that front, lol! But fine, anyone prepared to pamper, and look after a lady, in need of some heat in her joints, anywhere would be fine! No, again, I dont expect to get crushed with offers!

Right, the video. There is actually a Marion Davies connection in this. Kirsten Dunst actually played her in a movie, ‘The Cat’s Meow’ about an incident that happened on Hearst’s luxury yacht in the early 20’s. This video is a fine example of the strangeness of life in Japan, I guess?

Not bothered if I win

Well, finally, as we get close to the end of the year, Christmas and all that, things start happening for the last time in 2017.

I’m due to take the final one of those 3 exams I needed to take tomorrow, and having passed the first two comfortably enough (in my opinion, only get told passed, or presumably failed, no actual score), I’m definitely hoping that will be it for the year. In theory I’ve got a couple of practice tests I need to do by mid January, but with luck I can leave them for now. We will see how busy Saturday is, I guess, though as of yesterday, I couldnt sign in to said website, so definitely cant do them at present. No, I’m not missing them in the slightest lol!

I am guilty of doing far too many sports related competitions for my own good. Horse Racing, Golf, and American Football are the main ones, though I do (shock horror) do a soccer one, but primarily because its very stats based, and seemingly, given I’m currently 55th out of about 460,000, a knowledge, or care for the sport clearly isnt needed! Number crunching, yes, caring about anything else, no! But do I care if I’m 55th, or 55,000th, beyond pride, no, I’m not.

Given the Golf is the only calendar based one, this is the last week of the competition. No, there arent thousands in this, more like 50! But yes, somehow or other, I’m 2nd! Yes, stats are a wonderful weapon, seemingly. Mind, I need a winner this week to have any chance of success, but beyond the thrill of beating all those men, not going to cry either way. Well, there is 1 prize, which might be nice, but otherwise…

Oh, and getting back to work matters. Some people take competition way too seriously for me! As in the judging of the work team Christmas displays. No, I’m not going to mention names, though some might guess, but someone takes defeat way too seriously for little old non competitive me! In related matters, given the ‘lovely’ weather we’re having over here at present, today’s required shopping ended up being done online, instead of in town! Still, Secret Santa gift is sorted out, and on its way now. The elf costume is no longer on its way, its arrived! Put it this way, unless they move me, and the office to somewhere very warm (or tropically hot), I will only be wearing it in the office! Not that I think First Buses, Huddersfield, and Bradford would be ready for me in an elf outfit, but anyway…lol!

OK, video time. Something apt for this blog, though with me, just the opposite is the truth. Main reason for this song, and the blog title, is to pay respect to Keith Chegwin, who died earlier this week at 60. Yes, I’m 3 months away from 60! Ah well, been nice knowing you…lol?

Christmas Time (Dont let the Elves loose)

Well, if that title has got you totally confused, its a play on what, in my opinion at least, was the last decent Christmas record made. Oh fine, its totally over the top, reminds me of the glam rock era, so thats probably why I love it, but anyway…

So fine, given I havent got a lot of material to work with tonight (suggestions would be wonderful), lets run with the entertainment of the weekend. Yes, this does include serious work, but a lot of other things as well.

As I’ve mentioned before, the office is a serious (well, relatively), hard working place for 5 days of the week. Then, along comes Saturday! Now, because a good percentage of our work involves dealing with Solicitors, and other legal people, who dont work on Saturday’s, the last day of the week tends to be relatively quiet. It means we get more admin work done, as even with less of us in, the phone call numbers are definitely less. And while work is still done with dutiful care, the atmosphere of the office tends to be lighter, especially if Madi is in.

It also means that meetings can be held, tests can be taken, and lots of other useful things. Yes, I did both yesterday. What also happened yesterday, was preparations for the Christmas Display checks, which will be done tomorrow. One item in our teams display, is one of those singing animal things (reindeer), singing Jingle Bell Rock. Yes, it might have got played yesterday at some point, when all was quiet lol! And it was singing away again as I left the office yesterday too.

The other related piece of Christmas craziness, is that well known office tradition, the Secret Santa presents. Yes, I’m involved, though I have no idea why I do it, given I never know what to buy for people I know, let alone those I dont! But anyway, Wednesday week (20th), at the last team meetings before Christmas, said presents will be given out. Given diversity, we have a Miss Claus this year, yes, Madi. She will also be having an assistant elf, yes, me! Much to the disappointment of someone (who shall remain nameless), my outfit at least is relatively tame, material wise at least, but as I was buying, I cant afford leather lol!

Still, its quite cute, I think…? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360685383755

So, if anyone has roles for an elf in the near future, just let me know, OK? 😉

Right, the video. I think its fair to say that The Darkness felt like Glam Rock revived, and their Christmas hit most definitely has that feel. Enjoy, folks. And I promise, if anyone wants to risk their camera/phone, by taking a picture of me in that elf outfit, and sends me a copy, I will post it as a Christmas, err, treat for you!

We’ll take less care of you, don’t fly the flag!

I remember the days when British Airways were supposedly a top class airline, for every one of their passengers. In truth, I havent flown with them now for many years. Certainly to some degree, thats because I tend to be on a budget, and they have never been cheap, but the service was good, so I’m told.

Nowadays, they still arent cheap, the service is generally at the quality of budget airlines (and I dont mean the good ones), unless you are flying first class, or maybe business class, though I’ve heard comments that suggest the service is going downhill there in the latter as well?

The snag is, any publicity they get of late is not of the good type. The seemingly more regular failures of baggage delivery at their terminal in Heathrow, the reduction of services in economy class to budget airline levels, while tickets cost premium prices, and then of course, of late, their strange decision to go with the walk of shame for passengers paying the cheapest prices for tickets, in making them board last, regardless of where they are sat. So, when one of their premium customers is flying for free, on his saved miles, therefore having paid nothing, I’m sure they’ll break the rules! Or heaven forbid, would they really care about losing more passengers nowadays?

Seemingly their latest faux pas shows that maybe they’re a little bit (or more) racist too? This week, on one of their subsidiary feeder airlines, in South Africa, they moved 2 black musicians out of their expensively paid for business class seats, so that a white woman in economy class, who complained that her seat was broken, could be moved into business class. When they objected to this, they were put off the plane, and that they were seen as terrorists by the staff on board! They did get a later plane, but surely if anyone should have been made to wait, its the woman who was flying in economy class, not them? But no, colonial racism got the better of good sense!

So seriously, please, take my advice, dont ‘fly the flag’ with British Airways, unless by some miracle their customer service improves dramatically, but I cant see that happening, as their bosses ideas seem to relate to flying the wealthy, and putting up with the rest, even if they pay business class fares, at their inflated prices.

Rant over!

Video time. A spoof take off of the ‘Fly The Flag’ advert, wonderfully done by Nicola Keen, and Jan Hartley. Having them as the stewardesses is about the only way I’d ever fly with British Airways again! If you’re not at the age of consent in your country, I wouldnt play it!

Of All The Gin Joints In The World…

Today is one of those landmark anniversaries that people probably dont tend to remember. But in the US at least, its one of those major landmarks in civilization. What, I hear you ask, no doubt? Darlings, as a good flapper would explain it, it was the end of Prohibition. Yes, on the 5th December, 1933, that period of so called temperance came to an end! Given that it had started on the 17th January, 1920, thats quite a period that the US was supposedly dry.

Of course, in truth, the only thing that changed 84 years ago, was that drinking suddenly became legal again. I have no idea if those first few years, whether the imbibing of alcohol did stop, or not. What is clear though, is that by the mid 20’s, speak easy’s and gin joints, all illicit, had appeared in most major cities, and probably most other places as well.

Its definitely fair to say, that by the late 20’s, any young flapper worth her bobbed hair, and short dress knew where to get a drink when she wanted one. And lets face it, many people were far too happy to provide them for her! And yes, I’m pretty sure that alcohol touched Clara Johnson’s, and most other young actresses, and dancers lips long before the end of 1933! In fact, I’d be disappointed in her if she didnt! However I suspect they had to watch how much they drank if they were performing the next day. Well, maybe…?

Its said, and I have no definite proof of the fact, that the night prohibition ended, Jean Harlow was in a warehouse in Los Angeles, err, celebrating, as the lorries drove off, laden with beer for the bars, joining in the celebrations. Let me say, I wouldnt be at all surprised, knowing her, if that was true! But as far as I know, its only hearsay, so lets leave it there, OK?

Of course, the irony for me, is that at the moment at least, I’m one of the temperance brigade. No, not willingly, just being sensible, as the medications I’m on arent meant to be mixed with alcohol, so being a good girl… So yes, I’ve had one day of drinking alcohol in nearly 6 months! For that, I laid off the painkillers for 3 days, as instructed, and all was fine. Well, yes, I did feel slightly sleepy, but that was as far as it got. Since then, none has passed my lips…angelic look…

Do I miss it? No, not really, but then again, I’ve never been a big drinker anyway, so not a lot to miss. There have been a couple of times when it would have been nice to have a glass of wine, but I’ve stayed on the pledge lol! PS If anyone knows of a no alcohol, or low alcohol wine I could probably get away with drinking at Christmas, please let me know!

However, there are, even now, what they term ‘dry counties’ spread across the US, mainly in the ‘bible belt’ zone, but I suspect not all of them are. Then again, I remember when I was younger, that there were parts of Wales, and Scotland especially that were dry on Sundays! Not sure if that still is the case, mind.

The only other thing I wonder, is what happened to those illicit drinking places? I suspect many became legal bars, though I’m equally sure a good number shut down when all the fun went away.

Right, video time. Well, you could say all those wicked young flapper girls were this, prior to 5th December, 1933, I guess? Not that they cared, I’m sure, but… This is a one hit wonder, in every sense of the word, not hard to see why!

Its A Sin?

As I’m sure everyone reading this surely knows, I’m a supporter of LGBT issues. I add that I dont support all issues generated by those people, especially, sadly, of the Trans kind, because some of them dont just expect equality, they want special treatment, over and beyond that point, and no, I dont feel that way.

The other thing relevant to tonights piece, is that I’m not a Royalist. I might not wish for as dramatic result as there was in France, a few centuries ago, but one of these people who fawn over every move they make, no. Which makes tonights post more ironic than normal lol.

A religious minister, and gay rights campaigner, in his, err, wisdom, decided to ask people to pray that Prince George is gay. Even ignoring the Christians who (incorrectly) think being gay is a sin, and who are therefore not going to support this, most staunch Royalists arent going to approve of this anyway. And yes, you’ve guessed it, this LGBT supporter, and Royalist non lover doesnt approve of this either! Yes, when I start feeling sorry for a member of the Royal family, something’s wrong!

But no, my sympathies for the Royal Family are still limited enough that I’m definitely hoping that Prince Harry’s wedding next May is while I’m out of the country! I know, the US will probably overkill the event, but it might (hopefully) be easier to avoid it over there.

But no, seriously, I hope Prince George is straight, gay, or even bisexual, whichever makes his life at peace in the future. Mind, by the time he knows, I’ll probably be dead, so I wont care anyway! But please, LGBT activists, keep things sane!

Right, video time. Yes, big clue in the blog title, shock horror. This however is not the video version, this is a live version (pretty sure, singing only) that is so over the top, its crazy! Be warned!

I am the Tiger!

Well, seeing as the main topic that raised my ire this morning was political, I was trying to work a way of getting round to it, given the idiot was American (yes, guess who?), but given it involved at least a couple of British figures, I decided to pass. But lets just say, Donald, if you are going to throw an insult tweet at someone, make sure its the right person, OK?

In other news, by skill, fluke, or miracle, I passed that exam yesterday. No, I dont know how well, all it told me was that I passed, which means I scored somewhere between 70%, and 100%, and no idea where in between. 2 more on the next 2 Wednesday’s, lets hope I fluke them equally well!

So I was thinking, what else can I talk about tonight? And yes, maybe the title gives it away, golf.

I must admit, when he burst on the scene, and dominated events, I wanted just about anyone to win except Tiger Woods. Probably because I’ve always been a fan of the under dog (fine, Dodgers, I know…lol), so someone as dominant as him wasnt my thing. But then things started to change, for various reasons, a lot of it ‘rich person’ stuff, but equally, his body began to give up on him. Yes, I now know the feeling, but hey, I am nearly 60, so what do I expect?

And yes, as his injuries, and personal life woes started to catch up with him, something strange happened, I started feeling sorry for him. Probably because he stopped winning everything, and his golf became a whole lot more human. Thats my excuse, anyway.

So yes, I’m posting this tonight for the very obvious reason, his latest comeback starts today, in his own tournament in the Bahamas. Yes, I’m watching it, and he’s doing fine, and I’m glad about that. Yes, it helps that the crazy fist pumping days seem behind him, a much more measured acknowledgement of the good moments now, unlike before. Oh fine, also helps that its not hard to realize that he’s never going to dominate golf like he used to, so who knows, I’ll probably be delighted for him if, and maybe when he wins again. I know, crazy stuff!

No, in case anyone was thinking otherwise, I have no plans to make a golf comeback, I’m way past that point. Even at my best, in my late teens/early twenties, I only ever reached the semi respectable range of a 12 or 13 handicap, no better. Now I’d be lucky if I could hit a golf ball 13 yards! Well, fine, that might be a slight exaggeration of my body pains, but you get my drift?

But yes, message to Tiger. Stay a nice, reasonably respectful guy, and if you win again, I’ll be so pleased for you. If you told me 10 years ago that I would say that, I would have laughed. Ah well, times change…

OK, the video. A little bit of vintage Abba live. I’m sure the song was about a certain feline animal (given it was recorded in the 70’s), not a golfer, but besides that…

Is there something I should know?

I must admit, when I reached my late fifties, I thought it was safe to assume that my exam taking career was over. Like most schoolchildren, I have sat more than a few exams in my time, and its fair to say, with mixed results. A long time ago (over 40 years ago, for the youngsters here), I took a series of O Level exams, and came away with 6 successes, and 3 failures. A reasonable set of results, you might say, and I guess you’d be right. I wasnt surprised to fail Latin, or Science, as I was not great at either. Geography, I failed twice, but most remarkably, they were the only 2 geography exams I ever failed to pass! Yes, that annoyed me, though in truth, it didnt matter, because I knew I wasnt going to University, due to being in a single parent family. Yes, it was out to work at 16 I went! Funnily enough, because of the increase in the retirement age, I will only miss on working for 50 years by about 7 months! Not that I will have worked for 50 years, quite, but the vast majority of it, yes. Well, all of that is body permitting at present, of course. At the moment, who knows?

But seemingly no, its not the end of my exam taking career, it starts up again tomorrow. Yes, the apprenticeship at work sees me facing my first exam tomorrow, and though I suspect all will be fine, I cant say I’m looking forward to it. Not that I might add, that beyond pride, I’m going to let me worry about the result, regardless. I guess thats the big difference to 40 years ago? Lets face it, as mentioned before, even if the old, creaking body lasts that long, I have just over 6 years to go to retirement. So in terms of improving myself, to boost my career chances, well…? So why am I letting it get to me? As I said, pride. I know, I’m not defending a perfect record, or anything like that, but all the same…

Actually, strictly, in one sense, I am defending a perfect record, I’m 0 for 0. How, you ask? As a woman, of course! I know, strictly, if I could trace the board, and trace the certificate, I could get the name changed, and everything, and then they would be as a woman, but unless I really need to? Not even sure if the Board I took them with would still exist anyway?

So yes, if you want to think of me, about 3.30 pm UK time, tomorrow afternoon, feel free to do so, because thats when it starts! I know, it will hopefully be fine, and if it isnt, its not the end of the world, but its the principle of it, thats all. And yes, thats why I’m not looking forward to it.

Oh, and to add to the delight, the 2 following Wednesday’s, 2 more exams, eek! Ah well, fingers crossed…

Video time. A witty retort about me, and sitting my exams, I guess?

Stepping Into Christmas Outfits

(Major tongue in cheek warning here)

Did you know there are some people that think all Civil Servants are pompous, presumptuous, and controlling, a bit like Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister TV series? Maybe they were back in the 70’s, and 80’s, but now, seriously…we’re almost as human as the rest of you! 😛

Dont get me wrong, we take our jobs very seriously (quite rightly), but anyone who thinks every man comes into the office dressed in suit, and tie, and women dressed in business dress, and high heels, well, you’re going to be disappointed, all the same!

For those of you keeping an eye on the calendar, you might have noticed that December, and Christmas is just around the corner? So yes, that means that ‘annual delight’, the buying of gifts for a work colleague, better known to some as ‘Secret Santa’. Yes, even Civil Servants do these things. I know, shocking! Well, our office does, anyway.

So fine, we all buy one present, hand it to one of the team leaders, and then all presents are handed out dutifully, right? Wrong, seems there is a demand for a Miss, or Mrs Claus to hand out the gifts. Which might seem a little ott, except that we have a team leader, and an actress who quite fancy that idea! Now whether this is a dull, practical outfit, or something slightly more fun, well…lets wait and see! But, if you fancy a few pennies on the latter, you might be on a winner! Given I’m nearly 60, I suspect not too wild (plus it is a working office), but something a little fun, absolutely.

I do believe that many years ago, and I do mean many years ago, I dressed up as a helper for Santa. No, I cant remember why, it would be around 40 years ago, and my memory isnt that good! So it wont be a first, but definitely will be fun if it happens.

Yes, as I say, we Civil Servants really are a dull, boring bunch! Honest! Well, maybe…?

Right, 2 videos for the price of 1 tonight, you are honored. Firstly, a harking back to my teens, a tribute band. No, most would never have heard of the bands we covered, so lets leave it there. This is decent, and the guy is clearly a Dodgers fan (Excellent taste), so lets run with this. No, I know nothing more about him, before you ask.

Secondly, some very suitable female outfits for Christmas. Also, its from Boston, a wonderful city in New England. I suspect what I might be wearing might not be a million miles from this, just warning you.