See Alaska by dog sled!

Yes, its that time of year again, when mushers and dogs set off from Anchorage (ceremonial only, Willow now the true start point) for Nome, covering about 1000 miles of Alaska in the process. You’ve got it, its Iditarod time! Starts Saturday folks, though the real long haul starts on Sunday of course.

Seriously, people enjoy covering 1000 miles of tracks, frozen rivers, and indeed at one point frozen sea, for the delights of winning a long distance dog race, you bet they do! Me, I think they’re crazy, but do I admire them for doing so, you bet I do! This year is my favourite route, the southerly one, purely because that means they actually pass through the ghost town of Iditarod, that the race is named after. Well, technically its named after the trail to there, but you get the point?

And finally, having endured temperatures that could easily drop to minus 40 and beyond, especially in the Yukon wilderness area, they finally roll into Nome, where they are quite rightly treated like heroes. It used to be easy to say that Lance Mackey would be amongst the front runners, but for the last couple of years, that hasnt been the case. I’m not sure if the Mackey era is over just yet, but it might be. But what he did, winning as many consecutive races as he did, amazing stuff. And such a nice guy too, from all I read and hear of him. No, I’m never likely to meet him myself, but have read too many people saying nice things about him not to believe it.

Fortunately, my holiday split means I should be able to follow most of the first week quite well, unfortunately the finish is likely to run into Cheltenham, but fingers crossed I can still keep an eye on things. One day I dream of getting to Nome, but given my age, the state of my knees for really long distance flying, and everything else, it probably wont happen, and will always be one of my regrets in life. Even Anchorage is pretty tough from here, but maybe, just maybe…I hope, even if its not at Iditarod time.

The video, what can I say, I dedicate it to all those brave dogs, who will do just this for 10 days or more, allowing for rest breaks of course, and thankfully there are plenty of them. The song, a true one hit wonder from 42 years ago!

There might be some snow!

Yes, as I suspect many of my readers will know, I have a soft spot for the state of Kansas. Yes, it is for the obvious reason, as until September at least, I have never been to this mid plains state, in the heart of the US. But looking forward to getting there then, all the same.

Nor have I ever experienced what the Americans term a winter storm. I’ve seen plenty of snow passing through the Rockies in February, but that was already on the ground, I never saw it falling. And alright, as my dear friends in New England would tell me, a foot is nothing really! Talk 2 – 2.5 feet over there I gather, before they regard it as a winter storm lol! And yes, I saw a lot of snow falling in Rochester last April (yes, the same week I will be there this year), but that was only on TV, from the relative warmth of Seattle.

But even so, for us Brits, the 14 inches dumped on Wichita only a few days ago, is a mind blower for us. It breaks down totally over here when its more than 2 inches, let alone over a foot in one go. And now, apparently, only a few days later, Kansas has had another massive snow dump yet again. This video is actualy more of a warning for Kansas City (not even in Kansas), but he does mention the state, so…

And yes, I’m linked (like/friend, whatever at Facebook) to Cherryvale Council, in Kansas, and yes, I gather things have been pretty bad there, and I suspect Wichita is much of the same. Irony is, by the time I go in September, the temperature may be hitting 100! I think that might melt the snow lol! So alright, though living there might be a form of heaven for me, I’m not sure I’m entirely missing the current weather there, all the same.

Needless to say, all my best thoughts go out to the people of Kansas at present.

The video, well some might say its apt, some might not, so…

That David and Goliath moment

Or it could also be called, the beauty of British sport.

Over in the US, all the big 4 sports are franchised, no one else gets a look in. So yes, in theory in baseball they talk of little teams like the Baltimore Orioles making the playoffs, but in all honesty, any MLB team is pretty much a money making juggernaut by most standards, but agreed, compared to the Yankees, or the Dodgers, well maybe they are a minnow, but in a true sense, no.

You could say some sports over here are pretty much franchised, Cricket has its 18 first class counties, Rugby League has its Super League, and they are the giants. But in the old days of cricket, and even now in Rugby, the minnows get a chance to bloody the nose of the big boys. It may not happen often, but it does. Of course for me, talking International Cricket, that wonderful moment when Ireland beat both Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007, and even more so, England in 2011 were truly precious.

And then we come to football, or should I say soccer, for my American friends. I know that the Premier League gets shown on TV over there, I’ve seen it myself, so I know. Thing is, thats probably all that most of them know, and in all honesty, interest is probably limited to a few of those teams. But, we have 3 leagues below them, and in 2 cups every year, the minnows get the chance to bloody a few noses, before letting one of the big boys win the cup. Except…

This year that plan hasnt played out. On Sunday, we have the final of the League Cup, and not one of the giants will be sighted. Yes, there will be a Premier League side there, but its Swansea, not any of the big names. Lets face it, unless you’re a UK footy fan reading this, how many of their players could you name? But thats not the high point of this story, far from it, and what makes this so precious to me, is the other team. 3 Leagues, and a different financial world below them, sit Bradford City in what is called League 2. Actually its the 4th level of football, but technicalities like that dont really matter in the big money world of sport, lets face it. After all, Baseball claims it holds the World Series, but only 2 Countries (barely, with Canada) get the chance to win it.

Yes, incredibly the ‘might’ of Bradford City have knocked out 3 Premier League sides on the way to the final, and on Sunday, they head to Wembley for the final. No, I dont expect them to win it, but then again, no one expected them to beat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa either! I cant say that I follow them faithfully, but when I was growing up, they were my ‘local team’ so I suppose I’ve always had a soft spot for them, even if I have no interest in the game. But yes, I have an old Bradford City shirt (circa last century, end of), and will be wearing it on Sunday at work, for all the good it will probably do them. But, you never know… More importantly for the club, the money this has all brought in will help the club finances dramatically, and that has to be a good thing.

Good luck Bradford, have a great day, win or lose.

The video, well it will probably play Sunday for one team or the other, and it should be Swansea. But you just never know… 😉

Go West!

Yes, I know, I will be, in just under 9 weeks time, but thats not the point of this blog, before anyone assumes it is. Oh, and word of warning, if anyone was in any doubt, and is homophobic, this post is very much LGBT related.

What some people today dont realise, is that back in the 60’s and 70’s, we may have had free love, and all that, but it was supposed to be strictly one man, and one woman, and nothing more. Sadly, even if some of us didnt realise it back then (I was still only 21 at the end of the 70’s), life isnt as simple as that for everyone. Back before 1967 it was even illegal in the UK, and even after that, it really wasnt for many years before it gained even reasonable acceptance amongst the general public. Indeed some today still vociferously oppose it, and indeed some ‘so called’ religious groups claim they can cure gays, a sad thing for these groups to suggest, let alone try to change.

And yes, I suspect that my sexual confusion, combined with my mothers stance on the matter is probably the reason I got turned off to sex in the first place, and havent missed it in the slightest over the last 12 years.

Right, back to the story. Before the end of the 70’s, there had been gay pop stars, of both genders, though few, if any had admitted it by then. One of those earlier famous ones appeared in a blog video only a little while ago, Dusty Springfield. But yes, it was certainly not known in the 60’s that she was a lesbian by the public, even if close friends did. But then, towards the end of the 70’s appeared a group who seemingly were proud of being gay men, and stood up for the fact. Yes, the Village People, as some might have guessed. Of course the irony there in time was that it came out that several of the group werent gay after all lol. But they stood up for gay rights and all that, so really, who cares? Video one…

Of course, though strictly not mentioned as being their target, even back then San Francisco had an openly gay population block, and everyone was pretty laid back about the matter. And yes, it was very much west from New York, where the Village People came from. Though did I realise at the time strictly the significance of the song in that sense, no, of course I didnt. I did a few short years later, but…

I have visited SF a couple of times in more recent years, and yes, its a wonderfully laid back city. I swear I could have gone downtown, dressed in a full metallic robot suit, and hardly anyone would blink. If it was tight enough, my boobs might have got checked out, but otherwise…Yes, I love the place, hardly surprising really.

Of course nowadays, we have civil unions, will soon have same sex marriage over here, and everything, it has changed so much, all for the better of course. Hopefully one day the whole of the US will catch up, or at least a greater percentage of it will at least. A few states are ahead of us on same sex marriage, but sadly only a few.

So now, back to the song. And a fine case of how a cover version of a song can bring a whole different meaning to it. Fast forward to 1993, shortly after the fall of the iron Curtain, and the Soviet Empire, and enter the Pet Shop Boys, to give the song a whole different meaning. Given that the Soviet rule of iron had just ended just adds to the irony of this video

Oh, and for anyone interested, the whole history of the song can be found at

And I’m getting old…

I guess I am actually, I’ll be 55 in just under 4 weeks time, and when I look back I do wonder at just how little I’ve done with my life, but I guess that feels the same for so many? Anyway, I hope I’ve got a few years left before old age, illness, or something else takes me from this world. Its funny, because there was a while back when thats what I wanted to happen, without getting old. But enough of that anyway, those days seem to thankfully have passed.

No, the reason why I’m feeling old today, is the sad news I read this morning of one of my favourite sitcom actors, Richard Briers, who died overnight at the age of 79. Emphysema, brought on by smoking too many cigarettes, something he openly admitted. Funny, isnt it, same thing which killed Louise Brooks, a few months short of reaching 79 herself.

Funny thing here is, given that many of my readers here are American, if I mention the name of his most famous series, The Good Life, it would mean nothing. Some of you may have heard of the series, Good Neighbors though, and yes, its the same thing. He did appear in several of the Branagh series of films based on Shakespeare plays, so some might know him from that.

But in the mid to late 70’s, he was a real sitcom comedy star. it helped he worked with many great foils to his talent, but in all truth, he was the leader of the pack. And as a late teen, I would watch most things he appeared in. Or indeed narrated, but I will save you the delights of Roobarb (aka Roobarb and Custard, which some might declare an acquired taste lol), though if you want to find it, there seems to be a few episodes on You Tube.

RIP Richard, you will be missed by me.

The video. No, its not got Richard Briers in it, but the shrewdies amongst you might have worked it out from the title. And its not a studio performance, its actually a live one, all the way from the state of Kansas, what more could I ask? Just proves that 40 years on, Neil Young still performs this song so well

Getting your kicks, clickety click style

And yes, the very obvious number involved here has more significance than it might this year.

Firstly, 66 days from today, I wont be typing up this blog in England. Allowing for time zone changes, I’ll be at JFK Airport, waiting for the plane to Rochester, NY. Without time zone changes, I’m at the hotel, catching up on events on the internet. Yes, even I find it hard to believe its getting that close now, and even more so, as I’ve still got 4 other days of holiday before then, at the beginning of March, the remnants of this years holiday allowance. Yes, our holiday year is April to March, for those who might be confused by that comment.

To be honest, I’ll be playing most of it ‘as it goes’, I have a few things planned, but thats about it at present. A day trip to Buffalo, a visit to a certain graveside, which I’m sure you can all work out who that is. Alright, for any newbie who doesnt know, its Louise Brooks, who is buried there. Hopefully a sporting event, though they are only very loosely pencilled in at present, as one requires the Ice Hockey team to make the play offs (fair chance at this moment), and the other requires the Indoor Football venue being reachable by public transport relatively easily on a Sunday. Beyond that, its very much just taking it as it comes.

Any suggestions, beyond the obvious ones would be appreciated, though please remember I only have public transport to get me around, so no, I cant do a day trip around the Finger Lakes area lol!

Clothes packing for the trip might be entertaining, could get almost anything in Rochester in April, including snow! And yes, I know that, the Weather Channel was showing pictures of it on the Sunday as I arrived in Seattle last April!

But as some may realise, its not the only significance of the number 66 this year. The famous Route 66 (more shortly) briefly runs through Kansas, though not a part I shall probably visit. Yes, thats my holiday for September, even if it is still very much TBA for exact details at present. And indeed will remain so, for at least a couple of months or so. And yes, you’re right, the other end of Louise Brooks life, what sensational news lol!

Right, the video. Yes, I think you’ve worked out what the song is by now, and if you havent, I’ll send out the bimbo certificate to you! Different version though, and one I hadnt heard before, and not sure how purists will react? But for the men at least, and some women, there is another attraction while watching this video. And no, its not a car driving down a road lol!

What have I done to deserve this?

Yes, for once of late, the clue to the video really is in the title lol!

No, its not someone taking me out to Valentines Day dinner, or anything like that, before anyone jumps to that conclusion, no one is that crazy! And as is stated, as mind control is purely fiction, I cant make someone do that, ah well…! Would be pretty hard on any guy, or girl anyway, lets face it, given my views on sex, romance and the like, but hey, I can dream, cant I?

But if anyone wants to at least send an e-card, it might be nice. Havent had an actual card this century, though there is someone at work saying he was going to get me one this year, but lets just wait and see, shall we? The late Sara C did send me one once by email, but thats it since then. But no, as I havent got a love, I guess I shouldnt expect one, but…

No, this is a far more entertaining tale than that in all honesty. Over at the MC Garden, we have lots of nice picture threads, on a board called Entrancing Murals. One of those is called the Latex Yumminess thread, and no prizes for working out that it might relate to latex clothing, is there? The thing is, every once in a while, people bemoan tha lack of pictures of members (even though you have to be a member to see in, its still the internet, so…), and of late there have been one or two dares of female members being bought items of latex clothing, if they would get a picture done, and post it. Now, I always suspected I wasnt a main target, I assumed they were trying to tempt the younger members into taking up the offer, and of course they dont. And occasionally they would bemoan the fact that this offer never got taken up.

Anyway, one evening, when I was in my best ‘wind-up bitch’ mode, something I’m sure Brooksie would be proud of, I threw down the gauntlet, and said, fine, get me something suitable for a woman of my age, and I’ll wear it. Lets face it, I could wear a latex catsuit, but at my age, it wouldnt be right. Well, it might be in some eyes, but I wouldnt have thought so. But dress, or skirt, then fine, I’ll do it.

There was a gentle silence, presumably while they hoped someone younger, and prettier might rise to the bait, but they didnt. Then someone who makes me look retiring, Rosie, started wonding them up too. So now, after all this, in the next few weeks, a silver latex skirt will be heading my way, which should be fun. How much it gets worn beyond the pictures, I have no idea, lets just wait and see. But hey, in my collection will be one item of latex, something I never imagined in my wildest dreams.

So I’d like to say a big thank you to one special guy at the Garden, no names here, but if he sees this, he’ll know who I mean. Hey, if you’re lucky, I might even post a picture here, as well as at the Garden! It will be a few weeks though, so you need to be patient for now, but…

Yes, now for the video. Perfect combination for sexual tension, a gay guy, and a lesbian woman. And yes, they are lip synching, but anything more would be hard to find! Just enjoy, without me having to use mind control on you…

Six Nations Rugby – A passion for Ireland

Yes, its that time of year again, indeed it all actually started last week, which is where this funny story comes from.

Last year, for all 5 Ireland games, at work, I wore a green top, and to be honest, most of the season, they were awful. So last Saturday, they were away to Wales, and I wasnt expecting much, after ladt year, and indeed the autumn games. So, I dint wear green, I wore a random pink top, probably a t-shirt, but with the shifts I’ve been doing of late, a week back is a long time to try and remember lol! Unsurprisingly, in our place, on a Saturday, before the soccer kicked off, we were manic! So though the TV was on the game on the row in front of me, I wasnt really following it. A sudden breather, I glance at the score, and cant believe my eyes, 20-0 to Ireland! Double check, and yes, its true. Next time I look, its 23-3. That was it, the rest of the game was pretty much lost in a blur of phone calls, so whether they eased off, or just hung on, the final score was 30-22. Wow!

So guess what, I wont be wearing green for any irish game this year now, if thats what wearing pink does for them. Its the big game Sunday, against the ‘old enemy’ of England in Dublin. Given the results last weekend, whoever wins it, is in pole position to win the title, so go Ireland!

Just my luck though, I was on the Escalated Desk on Sunday, which while being a more high pressure job, you do get gaps between things, so might have got chance to see some of the game. Now, as they are training someone up, I’m on standard calls, aargh! Hope I get to see some of it at least, and even more importantly, hope I see an Irish win.

The video, enough said lol!

Well, the stage show should be something!

So alright, it probably wont be, just the 4 guys on stage, but if they ever go in for a stage show as a backdrop, what a sight it could be. Yes, OMD, who else did you think I was talking about? I have hopes of the latter in May, but suspect that it might just be the former somehow.

Well yes, along with brainwashing (History of Modern), and robot related one (Kissing the machine), and distinctly interesting pieces (Tesla Girls, to name but one), and besides all that, we all know that ‘Electricity’ is used to create robots, dont we? 😉

Well this year, in conjunction with the tour, we get a new album, called ‘English Electric’, released in early April. And Andy McCluskey, to give him his due, has given us a couple of sample videos for tracks from the album. Decimal is the other one, should be easily found on You Tube if you so desire. Word of warning, if you expect the type of music you are used to from OMD, this might be different! Nearly 30 years ago, they released an album called Dazzle Ships, which was a bit, err, different. The samplers so far from EE, suggest we have a bit more of the same here. For example

This is a remix, not the original, but its neat, and yes, the original is on You Tube as well, if you want to find it

Yes, its not hard to work out which line in here amused me no end! Well, if thats what you want Andy, then just robotise me lol! The video actually has a few clever touches for long term fans, but I suspect otherwise, you might not get them. It looks more like he’s seeking the Stepford type robot wife, than the mindless chrome one, but hey, that wouldnt be too bad a life, lets face it.

Seriously, can you imagine the stage set for this? Take a girl, put her in a brainwashing chair, then pulse some electricity through her, Tesla Coil or otherwise. And thereby create the perfect robot wife, and then you get to ‘kiss the machine’ afterwards. Yes, so alright, the brainwashing wouldnt really happen, and the electricity would have to be a light show, but…Oh come on Andy, this could be fun, and yes, I’m volunteering to be transformed this way. I know, I’m old, but I’m only just over a year older than him, so… 🙂

Sadly, it will just be the 4 guys on stage I guess, but no harm in suggesting, is there? 😉 And yes, I have mentioned the concept of this on their Facebook page, but no one has come back to me lol!

The game of brotherly love

Yes, I know, hardly surprising tonight, the subject matter is the Superbowl, a little over 2 hours away at the time of posting at least. One thing is for certain, the winning coaches surname will be Harbaugh lol! Which brother, whole different matter though.

Given my love of San Francisco, combined with the fact that as of yet, I’ve never been to Baltimore, its not hard to work out where my support lies. Mind, given my tipping record in the play offs so far, they might as well give the trophy to Baltimore now, I’ve been awful!

The most ‘entertaining’ thing I’ve noticed so far this week, has been that wonderful ‘foot in mouth’ moment from one SF player, saying some not very nice things about gay and transgender people. And seriously, he lives and plays in San Francisco, given the nature of that city in the LGBT field, oh dear lol! Ah well, such is life I guess?

In the old days, I used to stay up and watch the first half of the Superbowl, but then working hours changed, I tended to be working early on Monday, so I stopped doing so. Tomorrow, I’m not working, so yes, I’m thinking about staying up for the first half at least. Stamina might come into it, I’d done 9 days out of 10 prior to today at work, and its definitely all caught up with me. So by 11, or indeed 11.30 when the game starts, I might only be ready for bed! But we will see…

Right, the video, 2 for the price of 1 tonight, though really you only need to select one, its the same song. If you want to see the group lip synching to it back in 1967, select this version

Yes, its that man of many groups, Tony Burrows again singing lead.

If you want the song, with visual shots of a wonderful city, select this one

And that silver robot that briefly appears. No it isnt me lol!