Wednesday, February 23, 2005

There’s a limit, presumably to how much salad one can profitably eat. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument that Pan’s intake today has been 1 low fat yogurt, 1 cup tomato soup and about ½ kilo of mixed raw vegetables, specifically onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce and turnips. And I now have a blistering headache. It can only be junk withdrawal, provided that is one ignores the two mega gulp buckets of coffee I’ve consumed today.

BTW, when someone tells you that they have given up drinking and smoking and are de-toxing, do not say ‘ah-ha, but you haven’t given up the old caffeine I see have you?’ because that makes you a pedantic hyper-zealot wanker. Giving up drinking coffee is not going to help you one iota, toss pot. Don’t believe me? From the British Heart Foundation :-

“Conclusions that were made are that drinking a moderate amount of caffeine does not influence coronary heart disease.”

“If you have an abnormal heart rhythm, limiting your caffeine intake is not likely to help.”

“Studies to date suggest that coffee does not cause high blood pressure.”

However there is a possibility that coffee may increase cholesterol.

But by and large there really seems to be no problem with slugging the stuff back. So why are all these macrobiotic Nazis getting on my back about it. I can only assume it’s because they are having no fun and don’t want anyone else to either. Grrrrrrrrr.

By the way the exercise freaks were correct. I do have more energy, every last drop of which I feel can be confidently and profitable challenged into aggression, anger and grizzling. YAY! HA HA HA HA AHA AHAH HHAHHAHA.

Maybe I should cut down on the coffee after all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This guy is just brilliant :

I particularly enjoyed his comments about the Challenger disaster . . .

In case you want to keep your blood pressure at a normal level the thrust of his argument seems to be that God destroyed Challenger as just punishment for Hilary Clinton having appointed a woman to be Commander of Columbia : 1 Tim. 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.She must be quiet.

Never mind that Challenger was years before Hillary turned up on the scene, I guess God already knew what she was going to do and thought he'd get in first.

Plus of course, ladies, in case you were wondering why you’re having relationship difficulties, it’s probably because you don’t have brushed hair, a clean face and a quiet and modest demeanour. Or an arranged marriage. Because remember – the thing that God dislikes the most is “haughty eyes”. I’m assuming that Fr Trosch is referring only unto womankind there, but perhaps I’m doing him an injustice. But I doubt it.

The really scary thing is that this guy seems to be a genuine Catholic priest - though it's hard to tell of course . . .

Now while it’s fun to laugh at these people it shouldn’t be forgotten that people like him are genuinely dangerous, not necessarily because of his extreme religious views, but because he is obviously unbalanced to the extent that he not only believes the voices in his head but is willing, and indeed happy to act upon them as well. Again that’s normally OK, but when those voices are saying things like the murder of an abortionist is a justifiable and legal killing you have to start to wonder . . .

Actually is that in fact an illegal act – to have a web site that is, to all intents and purposes, endorsing, or at the very least sanctioning murder? I’m fairly sure that the right to free expression doesn’t include the right to promote violent criminal acts – even on the internet – even in Mobile, AL.

So in the interests of tolerance and community amongst women and men (NB – that’s a particular Trosch bug bear – mentioning women before men), please do not give Trosch the kicking he so richly deserves, but instead send him a fair and balance email outlining any disagreements you might have with his socio-eclesiastical position. I have.

However should you actually be in Mobile, AL please don’t worry that I’ll be offended should you in fact choose to lock Father Trosch in a coffin full of broken glass, set it on fire and then kick it over a cliff.

I know I shouldn’t let whack jobs like him get to me but I can’t help myself. To use a phrase I’m sure is close to his own heart : “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” and ‘rising above’ or ‘refusing to pander’ to psychos like Trosch can sometimes look pretty much like doing nothing. Ignoring people like him won’t make them go away, it just encourages them to believe that their spewing boiling hatred of their fellow human beings is acceptable. I’m somewhat reminded of the scene from Manhattan (and I paraphrase) :-

Party Guest 1: Did you read that piece about Nazis in the New Yorker Magazine
Party Guest 2 : Yes – there’s nothing like really biting satire to get through to these people
Allen : ReallY? I find with Nazis that nothing gets through like a baseball bet

Regular readers (if there are such things) will know me to be a generally peaceable live-and-let-live sort of guy, if a trifle vocular (not to say opinionated) on occasion, but this guy has really got me ticked off.

But enough of such nonsense. On Sunday I was very, very happy for no particular reason which is not particularly like me but nice all the same. Went to a fun party on Saturday night – total strangers, but pleasant all the same. I feel my mojo may be returning. Not in any obvious way, but somehow, something . . .

Anyway felt a bit rough on Sunday, unsurprisingly, but had to get going as we were having lunch at Angela Hartnett at The Connaught. OK, by the time you’ve added on wine, water & coffee it might seem a bit steep, but actually this was money very well spent indeed, and I’m not the only one who thinks this. Given that it’s almost impossible to pay any less than half what we paid for an entirely average and forgettable experience I can’t recommend strongly enough going out less, but going somewhere good. The food may be modern French but it was, make no mistake, an immensely superior, formal and grown up experience.

The sheer pleasure of immaculate service can’t be underestimated either – the sight of a phalanx of waiters approaching with laden trays almost made me swoon like a girl. It took six of them to serve each course – 3 to carry the trays and 3 to dish out the grub. As I said it doesn’t come cheap but still – 8 people, 3/4 courses (+ an amuse bouche), 4 bottles of wine, 6 bottles of mineral water, coffee, petit fours : £500 inc 12.5% service. Bargaineous. IMHO

Cauliflower puree, truffle oil, pheasant ravioli, calves liver, just FANTASTC.

So I was feeling very amiable by the time we finally wheeled ourselves out of the dining room at 4.30 and into the pub for a couple and then off to Notting Hill to meet Phil. But that’s another story.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Mmmm – ate the best soft shell crab last night at Au Lac. Looks a bit like a canteen straight from the People’s Republic, but really great food. As ever starters are better than main course – prawns in a coconut and lemon grass sauce were just amazing – really good. Did drink 4 beers and smoke about 10 fags though, so that wasn’t good, but I guess you can’t win them all – was caught up in the moment.


On the serendipity front though I left my iPod running all through the meal by accident, but it still had enough juice to get me home and into work this morning – gave up the ghost just as I was stepping into the lift . . . perfect timing really. Plus got a seat on the tube as well – fairly unheard of on the Piccadilly line. Why is the Piccadilly line always so crowded. I mean there must be reasons, but what are they? I suppose it is the main artery of tourists running out to Heathrow, but even that doesn’t account for it. It’s a pity you can’t just put an extra lane on the outside. Now that would be weird – multi track tube lines. Actually it wouldn’t be weird, after all they have them in NY. And Paris as I recall, but it’s been so long since I was there I can hardly remember. Je ne reviens pas.


It’s cool being European. I just got a CD in the post of Belgian trance that I ordered from Germany. Technically you could do the same thing from America, you just wouldn’t. It wouldn’t occur to most people to order something not available at Which means that you can’t buy a multi region DVD player which means you can only play region 1 (North America) DVDs. But then why would you want to . . . if it’s not available in Region 1 NTSC can it actually be worth anything anyway?

As you can see still feeling grumpy despite a relatively painless day. Got three different social engagements this evening. Oh what it is to be popular ;-)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Ah the joys of Jin Kichi – gross consumption as usual

Miso soup
Mixed sashimi
O-toro sashimi
Tempura scampi
Chicken gizzards
Green beans with black bean sauce & sesame
Boiled fish roe
Chicken liver skewers
Pork with shiso leaf skewers
Asparagus with pork skewers

And now I feel very, very, guilty.

Having said that, the alcohol notwithstanding it’s all pretty healthy stuff, which I’ve totally undone today. Was planning a healthy meal day and then some psycho went and screwed it up. OK – we know that left over meeting food gets left out and you can help yourself, and that’s fair enough, but leaving out over 100 overstuffed bacon sandwiches and an entire tray of Danish pastries is NOT FAIR. You’d have to have a will of iron not to crumble slightly at the sight of all that delicious *FREE* food.

But I’ve been good, as good as I can be, and only eaten 1 Danish. I have unfortunately also eaten (count them) 8 bacon sandwiches. And washed them down with a full fat coke. Did have a low fat yogurt for breakfast though, so that’s OK.

In theory going to the gym should help you stop eating all that crap – the thought of the effort required for each delicious mouthful would be enough to stop the most dedicated gastronaught dead in his tracks, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work that way. Instead I’m carrying on as usual but each mouthful is now accompanied by a feeling of horror at the effort I’ve just undone, an appreciation of the sweating and grunting that now needs to happen to undo the bad, and a feeling of despair at the unending cycle of it all : eat food to quell hunger and love cravings : feel guilty at potassium laden saturated fat intake, quail at thought of hardening arteries, suffer torture of gym, feel hungry and *STILL* unloved, crave food as compensation, etc, etc, etc, and we’re off to the races again.

Congratulations, Pan. You are well on your way to your own little home grown eating disorder.

The only solution is to go to the gym *AND* give up eating. Which when you add to the low alcohol / low fags regimen makes you wonder why you’re even alive at all. Let’s face it my 3 big loves are fags, booze and gluttony and I can’t have any of them any more. And the tragedy is that after all this inner torment and self flagellation I’m still not going to get laid because I have become a crashing exercise/carbo loading/‘ugh that cigarette smells vile’ bore of the worst kind. To quote The Guardian “a great big galloping fartbag”

Having said that all I need to add is utter shit to my current personality mix of health nazi and thundering yawn inducer and I would seem to have the right mix for sex success, after all, the worst people seem to get the most action.

But stop, young grasshopper, you are in danger of making a grave error of cause and effect. None of the above about personality really matters because these prancing shitrugs aren’t getting laid because they are charm bypass areas, but because their superior physical presence simply make such considerations irrelevant.

IMHO ‘action’ is largely unrelated to personality, despite what your friends / relatives / women’s mags / psychiatrists / ‘they’ say. It’s all about looks, baby. If your face fits it doesn’t really matter that you have the character and charm of a Milanese racing spittoon, people are still going to want to shag you.

Don’t believe me?? Look around you – who’s getting laid? It’s the unpleasant shallow good looking people isn’t it? Who’s sitting at home with a packet of Furosemide and Everybody Loves Raymond? Thaaaats right! It’s all those witty, charming, kind and genuinely charming people who aren’t as good looking.

Rats. There’s really only one solution. Ferocious dieting, frenzied body sculpting, plastic surgery and above all : EARN MORE MONEY!

Alternatively I could just give up and happily sink into the wheelbarrow of shite tv and ghee based ready meals, handily lined with my own body fat and the crumpled Kleenexes of despair.

At this moment, both options seem equally appealing. I.e. not at all. It comes down to this : resign myself to spending the rest of a rapidly decreasing lifespan building an exclusive relationship with my right hand or become a monster.

It’s a tough one – it really could go either way.

I’m not saying that a bad personality is a turn on, I’m just saying that by and large it’s irrelevant in the machinations of shag. I suppose in the ideal world you might get picked in an otherwise dead heat because of your oh so witty anecdotes about the similarity of Tony Blair speeches to The Ballad of Reading Goal, but it’s always going to be pretty much a tie breaker. Whereas, and let’s face facts here, no-one was ever been passed over because they were better looking than their mate were they?

You know what all this self loathing and bitterness is really about don’t you? Yes, it’s about the 8 bacon sandwiches.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Last night I made a muchroom rissotto from the ground up.

First - make a vegeatable stock :

(all very roughly chopped)
2 x carrots
1 x bunch of celery
1 x parsnip
1 x baby turnip
1 x clump fresh thyme
3 x bay leaves
1 x large leak
1 x bunch green beans
1 x red onion
3 x litres water

reduce down to 1 litre over 2 hours simmering - add more water when needed

for the rissotto :

2 x chalottes, finely chopped
2 x celery stalks finely chopped
12 closed cap muchrooms
mustard seed
red pepercorns
3 x bay leaves
1 x bouquet garni
best olive oil

soften all together and then add 250g risotto rice. Add 200 ml stock and stir. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes stirring continuously. When the rice is perfectly cooked add 50-100g finely grated parmedan and stir in.

Result : Fucking boring. Tasted vaguely of celery and turnips.

Tonight I'm going out for Japanese, lager and fags instead.

And a loud hussah for that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Keeerist! I just spent 4 (count them - FOUR) hours in a meeting room with the following people :-

1 x Marketing Boss Man
1 x IT Boss Man
1 x Web metrics manager
1 x Web project manager
1 x Web editor
1 x Software architect
1 x Information architect (SUICIDAL WITH BOREDOM)
1 x Business administrator
1 x Market researcher
1 x Web developer
2 x Useabilty consultants

Actually Pan is one of the 12. Can you guess which one?? Trust me by the end of it I was so keen to get out of there I was actually happy to go to the gym. Ghhaahhhhhh! Ackk. Thrrppptttt! Ick ick ick.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


This is a new one for me. Explosive diarrhoea. Seriously it’s like a never ending Niagra of running to the loo. Which when you’re supposed to be in a 3 hour planning meeting can be a bit annoying.


I think I caught it off some whipper-snapper skiing last week. Excellent week though – great snow, cold, sunny, beautiful and still quiet. But then Switzerland *is* the master of all things alpine. If you’re wondering it was Verbier and I can thoroughly recommend it. Not what you would call cheap though, but that too is one of Switzerland’s specialities. I could have had 2 weeks all inclusive in The Bahamas for less but that’s not the point.

I suppose I could summarise my skiing style as ‘the art of being out of control whilst remaining upright’ though I shite is also a reasonable description. I know most people count falls in holidays/fall rather than falls/holiday but where’s the fun in that?

Especially when you can combine the Pock and Fly† with the Car Boot Sale‡ whilst your friends are travelling overhead in a chair lift with (almost literally) a grandstand view of the entire event. Suffice it to say that over exuberance, showing off, not paying attention, and just going too fast ended up with me creating a cartoon-like Pan shaped hole in a (handily located) snow bank while poles, skis, hat, sunglasses and one glove exploded down the hill in a 360° bid for freedom. I got everything back in the end though apart from part of one pole. Don’t ask me, I have no idea.

What’s amazing about skiing is the intense pain it inflicts above and beyond financial and physical injury ie the dead toes, ulcerated shins, crushed insteps, trapped nerves, aching muscles, exhaustion, cold, wet, sunburn, windburn, indigestion, chafing and total humiliation falling over standing still into a big pile of slush.

Having said that Hairy Richard fell 150 yards down Tortin, so I guess it snows on the just and the unjust alike. Arf.

So you add all that up, throw in a subsequent dose of E-Coli 0157 (or similar) and balance it against a couple of drinks and a rather flirtatious snowboard instructor (albeit a very cute one of the hearty, fresh-faced, blond haired blue eyed, public schoolgirl variety). Hardly seems to add up does it, so why is Pan desperate to go back already? Who can say, but a few pointers might be :-

  1. The Immodium is kicking in
  2. It’s still the most action I’ve had in eons.
  3. I’m one of nature’s natural skiers – ain’t no mountain high enough etc
  4. Toe’s overrated
  5. Japan equally expensive
Actually I’m not really one of nature’s natural skiers but I do have certain advantages – an ability to hurl myself over the precipice without really considering the consequences and a personal credo of "faster is better and easier" being amongst them.

Pock and Fly : Pock – noise your ski makes when it hits a rock/patch of grass/chewing gum wrapper and stops dead. Fly – that’s you that is.

Car Boot Sale : Everything everywhere.


If anybody wants I have about a gallon of stupid pancake batter sitting in my fridge. I ate 2 last night and went to bed at 9 o’clock.

No-one else came home at all.

The tragedy of a thirty something bloke eating pancakes and watching Becker on his own.