Archive for the entertainment Category

Patience

Posted in canon, canon g10, Canon G12, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, Humour, internet shopping, life, media, photography, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 28, 2011 by norvenmunky

Well every now and then we all have to say ‘stop the world I want to get off’. Well the ‘Berg’ has decided to do just that. He’s taken a leaf from the book of life and headed out on his ‘road trip’. Nowadays its fashionable for yoof to have a ‘Gap’ year after leaving skool, when they run around in grey clothing to the sounds of popular beat combo’s. Berg being an experienced member of the school of life has departed these shores and like NM a good few years before, slung the backpack on, (a double berger then) to circumnavigate the world. Whether he takes the full NM life experience trip and returns with tales of derring do, being woken by cops with guns, smiling sweetly to avoid subsequent arrest, tearing up parking lots in Z28’s, winding up border guards, getting on local radio stations for having a ‘cute accent’, and laying out in the fields drinking beer and shouting ‘shooting star’ remains to be seen, but I hope he does, he deserves it. The good stuff that is, not the cops, guns, arrest, thing, though to be fair that has a certain ‘cred’ factor so long as you don’t tell the wife/kids. Before he left, he sampled the true delights of camera shop customer service, so he’d remember what he was missing.

Nuff said, over to the ”Berg” …

I have a copy of the G12. However therein lies the usual tale of gash service etc. You may recall a few years ago the lens purchasing saga. I knew the risk of engaging Bristol Cameras to supply the said device. Any way a week previously I had phoned and they said the camera would be there but the housing might be a day or two later. I went ahead with it.

Then last Wednesday, as per the verbal agreement, Berg shuffled into their city centre premises next door to the site of the previous debacle. Armed with a copy of the order number hastily scribed on a small piece of paper I quoted the digits to the staff: or at least I tried. I had entered a shop some ten feet square; not the largest retail space on the planet. Three staff members were distributed about the shop and not one acknowledged my existence for at least a minute. It eventually dawned on one of these creatures that the idiot stood there expectantly was that rarest of beasts; a fecking analogue customer!!
The code was quoted, not exactly Davinci, just a few integers and characters, the sort of things commonly found on digital devices. The expression became pained, and that was just the ‘assistant’.
“Oh! But we call or e-mail to say the stock is in.” The Berg doesn’t remember this and is sure he would not have graced their doorstep before checking had he known this was required. He remained calm; recalling the saga of the 50mm lens.
A scintilla of service crept into the proceedings.
“Let me check if we have any stock”. The staffer began his search at one end of a shelf affixed near the ceiling. Berg glanced up and spotted the distinctive group of Canon boxes at the opposite end of the shelf to the staffer’s search. The products were distressingly arranged by manufacturer; Canon, Sigma, Nikon etc. Now; call me a bluff old traditionalist, but if I had a ten foot square shop and I worked in it all the time and a customer walked in asking for a Canon camera I’m not too sure I would begin my search at the other end of the shelf. Indeed I’d like to think I would derive some professional satisfaction from knowing what the feck I was doing and having a reasonable grip on what was stored where. We are not talking about some Amazonian warehouse of football pitch dimensions.
“Let me just check again” this time he disappeared to the back room. Berg had already decided he was going to bin this pantomime but remained waiting patiently. The assistant returned and continued to fidget with his ear; a near constant companion of proceedings so far. No joy.
He then picked up the phone and displayed yet more incompetence as he checked the whereabouts of the accessory Berg had also ordered. Remember Berg was told it would be available maybe a day or so later.
“No; we won’t have that until mid March at the earliest”
As a result of residing at her majesty’s pleasure some years ago Berg has been left with, shall we say, an arcane skill set. He repressed all of them and departed the fix; leaving the staff with the ability to walk and talk; and their premises intact.
Time was of the essence so being in a city centre shopping area, Berg trudged off in search of other camera emporia. He found one and walked in. A brief recce revealed a copy of the desired model on the shelf. The tried and tested point and grunt mode of communication succeeded. Moments later he emerged onto the high street with a brand new G12, twenty beer tokens cheaper, so the resultant saving could be spent on beer, wimin and guns, (this is Bristol after all).

The left over cash he’d waste.

Another 20 tons of rubber dog shit leaves Nam,
One day Berg, all this will be yours, with your luck that is ...

Paradise City

Posted in canon, canon g10, entertainment, environment, exhibition, Humour, internet shopping, life, London, london underground, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, rail, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by norvenmunky

Albert Square 2010

Albert Square

We’ve all got our idea of a Paradise City, places we’ve been, lived, worked, read about, well this is mine, unashamedly, London. Where it all started was Lambeff, Albert Square to be precise, not that crappy beeb London one, but the real, sahf of the riva, see above. I never really thought about why I felt such an affinity with the Kings Cross area when I worked there, but re-visiting pictures it seems that the similar architecture of Georgian three storey architecture with basements and Portland stone probably made an impact on the two year old NM prior to heading out of town, a relief then to realise it wasn’t just the drink, prostitutes and drugs that captivated me on my return. Sometimes I wasted my money on toy trains.

MRM Kings Cross London

That led me to working at the Model Railway Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of York Way. The building has survived the recent development of the area and is now a restaurant. That will be somewhat ironic for the previous staff members who worked there, in that you can now order food to be eaten in the building, rather than using our shop intercom from three buildings away. That could be used, (allegedly), to order food in a cafe, Renzo’s, (three doors away), much to the dissapointment of the proprietor whom on opening an unsummoned dumb waiter, was to see ‘Dooamaneg’ glaring balefully at him on a grease laden sloppy plate…

The friendships built up there still last to this day, some of the antics still bring a wry smile to the face. As youngsters into ‘London’ it was important to find out the area, so we had a street map on the wall, theoretically, for customers who pre googlespace/mytube/facetwatter, wanted to know how to get from place to place. Well there was only one way to find out. Research.

St Pauls

There wasn’t a reseach budget as such, just an unerring faith in our ability to leave the shop at 13:01pm (without a map), ‘RLF’ for twenty to twenty five minutes, and then deliberately find a different route back to be through the door at 13:59pm. The result then being plotted on the map using the shop as the centre and a radius/range being drawn in with a compass. Therefore if a customer asked how long it took to walk to X, you could theoretically give an answer …

Thames from the 'right' side of the river ...

Now, Nm’s regular readers will already be seeing ‘potential’ for interesting and frank, free flowing discussion with ‘management’ on return to the shop, and to be fair there were a few occasisions when such discussion took place. I can recall one particular return trip that went ‘a bit wrong’. We’d headed south to Holborn, via Bloomsbury on a beautiful spring day, but had headed back to route up Grays Inn road. We’d been a bit too long and it wasn’t the first time we’d been bollocked for being late, so the pressure was on. The lack of map bit us here and we were actually lost but continued ducking and diving up side streets to head north. We came across a small playing field and thought we could see a way out at the far end, so we were ‘safe’ and stated to walk. At the end of the field we came to a brick wall, literally, about 8ft high, too high to see over. Doing the old schoolboy run at it and jump, scrabble up and sit on the top worked. The only problem there was, was a concrete yard the other side but with a bigger drop, and expensive cars, probably a law firms parking area. A shout and we simultaneously took our chance and dropped into the yard, splitting in opposite directions, just like the filums. We exited through two different gates running, followed by shouts of very rude words, from an old boy presumably in charge of ‘security’ having served on the Russian Convoys, and used to chasing cabin boys all over the decks. We got back to the shop in time for a summary bollocking, and every siren that sounded that afternoon had us on tenterhooks.

What it did do was to provide a better than ‘the knowledge’ knowledge of the part of North London around the Kings Cross area, including all the street life that entailed.

Trafalgar Square

Street life occaisionally came into the shop, where it was the job of whoever wasn’t ‘busy’ to remove them. Nm had a absolute pearler of a case where he very quickly learnt one of lifes lessons, this was re-inforced by ones colleagues ‘QFO’ing as soon as they realised the Quatermass pit sized whole Nm had dug himself. A lady came into the shop, looking a little distressed, but nothing un-usual to raise alarm bells. (Even at that time Nm was pretty streetwise, being able to identify a pimp/pro/ned/alchy/smackhead at twenty paces). It was a lunchtime, ‘may I use your toilet she asked?’, seemed reasonable, didn’t smell odd, she looked alright, ‘clean’, if you know what I mean, if you don’t … Well, yep Nm says and showed her the way (to the bog).

After about five mins she hadn’t re-appeared. Helpfull comments and queries such as ‘is she still in there?’ from my colleagues rapidly followed, countered with ‘Yeh, she’s probably reading a paper or summat’ from an increasingly intrigued worried Nm. Well a good half an hour passed, questioned through the door, ‘are you alright luv?’ from Nm, his colleagues helpfully asking ‘how are you going to get her out then?’ When on Top Gear one of the guys gets left by the others whilst taking the piss as they leave is just so true, it’s almost a right of passage, and when it happens to you with the right bunch of mates it almost makes it alright. Now the crapper was on the stairs and Nm had to hovver near it to appear like he was just going for one whenever the bosses appreared, to prevent them asking any awkward questions, like ‘WTF is the smackhead doing in the crapper?’

After a good hour or so Nm was thinking I’m going to
a/ have to go in, but the door is locked from the inside …
b/ tell the boss the smell isn’t in fact one of Bri’s unholy ones
c/ just run away

There was a dreadful groaning from the crapper, which was peculiar for Nm. It at least meant that the tart wasn’t dead, but filled him with the dread of getting the aforementioned ‘trollied’ bint out of the shop, negotiating her past a counter full of customers, ‘interested’ colleagues and a security camera attached to a CCTV. The thought of dragging or firemans lifting an unconscious bird through the shop and being caught on camera (again) just filled him with ‘bowell water’ making fear. It is at these times that you realise why adrenaline is brown and leads to real moments of fear inspired brilliance. There were two front doors to the shop, No14 and No12, No12 rarely used. If the bint could be steered through the rear stock room, past the phone and map to No12, there was a real chance she could be released into the wild relatively discretely. So Nm managed to lift the latch of the door at No12, easing it shut so the boss couldn’t see it was open, and as soon as the bint opened the door to the karzi, at about the hour + fifteen mark, he very quickly shoved, escorted her to the other door where on leaving she belched a projectile stream of the foulest smelling puke Nm’s ever had the displeasure to encounter. Well you’ve read the blog, you can easily imagine…
Nm slammed the door behind her and turned to see the boss who had come down the other stairs looking at him very oddly. ‘Whats up’ he said?, ‘Oh just some drunken tart who’s puked in 12’s doorway’ Nm straightface replied. Seemed to work. There were a few comments re the whiff from No14’s crapper though, it stank as though someone had emptied the entire waste contents of Smithfield, Covent Garden and Billingsgate and a bit of soggy cardboard into the smallest room. Nm gave it a quick clean, and declared it clear of sharps and fit for use, (the tart that is, not the bog).

In true team spirit the smell was blamed on Bri.
It’s what mates are for.

Millenium Bridge

Albert Sq piccies from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sczscz/

It’s All Over Now …

Posted in entertainment, film, Humour, life, media, Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by norvenmunky

Let’s Get It Up

Posted in canon g10, entertainment, Humour, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 16, 2010 by norvenmunky

These past weeks I have mostly been decorating. This means one is ‘supervised’ as one cannot clearly be trusted to

A/ Not paint nob shaped murals on the wall
B/ Do any work

You don't have to paint one on the wall ....

Whilst under supervision in the big room a set of aloominum ladders was in use. The big room has some big windows in it and said ladders were in the vicinity of the big windows. The ladders were in use for painting the ceiling, and NM had descended from height to replenish the bucket of ‘Pure, Brilliant, Shite’. Having stepped off the ladder and now turning his attention to not spilling the paint on the floor, Mrs NM, (Supervisor, Nob Mural Prevention Section), shouts out NM’s name. Now needless to say NM looks at ‘Supervisor’ and asks ‘What?’ Supervisor is shouting, and she’s nearly as loud as Mr Rukin when he’s frightening the bog into the corner, by kneeling on the floor, and shouting at it.

Now even with a few pints ‘in the bank’, I know, who I am, and, my name. So, whilst sober, the thought occurs that the supervisor has now engaged in some sort of bizzare charades game, where she doesn’t even bother with a mime, merely points at the object in question (me), and shouts it’s name. ‘Do I need to be bigger than a dog?’ I’m thinking, and ‘this is a bit easy’, when the silence is broken by a metallic crash as the ladders just miss the big window, and end up on the big floor. At the subsequent somewhat ‘public’ enquiry, the idea of shouting was allegedly to gain my attention to the falling ladder. This is obviously a ‘wimin’ thing.

Now, there’s two distinct, and different, approaches here. Blokes would shout ‘ladder’ at the very least, thus drawing attention to the problem area, the ladder. Wimin think the same way, but rather than the ladder being the ID’ed problem, it’s the bloke that’s ID’ed as the ‘problem area’, hence being shouted at. The ladder clearly having been relegated to ‘bit player’ in the ensuing chaos.

Still I’m going to get my own back. New year resolutions mean that one is being herded at gunpoint towards an evening ‘Polaris’ class, or something that sounds like that, I wasn’t paying that much attention to be honest. I imagine that means loads of wimin stretching, grunting and rolling around on the floor pretending to be submarines. It’ll only be a matter of time before I’m sent home in disgrace having demonstrated the ‘up periscope’ position …

Brown Sugar

Posted in entertainment, Humour, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by norvenmunky

IMG_2530

This week we have mostly been training. It’s that time of year that the HR department realises they’ve persuaded enough skilled, really useful people to leave, and they now have to cover the shortfall in ‘skills’. Unfortunately those that leave aren’t the bright sparks (in a transport company), that determine to commemorate the Kings Cross Underground fire, the best way is to have two minutes of silence. The commencement of which, is the sounding of the fire alarm…

Mostly the skills shortages are covered by existing staff, but when your elfin safety, environment, and first aiders leave you have to ‘replace’ them. The replacement of these ‘key personnel’ is a selection process assisted by shift work. You simply allocate someone who’s on a day off, as the nominated ‘volunteer’. Sorted.

Thus when they return from days off they open the HR email cordially inviting them to their ‘First Aiders’ course, and as everyone else is busy they have to attend. This means six hours of ‘Death by Powerpoint’ and WWF status wrestling matches with life sized dummies. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Instructors’. Needless to say the idea here is to get to the pub at dinnertime and sink as many ‘Vitamin T’s’ into the instructor as you can.
1266

After several coma inducing lectures in the afternoon there’s the bonus 15 minutes of ‘Any Questions’. This is where you get to ask questions on the subject at hand. Now we all know how to play ‘Bullshit Bingo’, but the ideal here is to get the instructor to cover a subject matter that could plausibly occur, in extremis. So, roll the dice on diabetic recovery.

Now the instructor will cover the normal scenarios, not unreasonably. Seeing as you’ve been down the pub, and its a Friday, when they’ve finished, roll the dice again and ask about Rectal Infusion. At this point you’ll hear all the chairs scraping the floor, as everyone positions themselves to be fastest on the draw for pointing at someone else, anyone else frankly, to ‘volunteer’ for the demo.

Now this would be a highly unusual procedure at the best of times, but remember this is work, in extremis, and you’ll be left with a minimum of equipment and choices, especially at 02:00am in the morning. Fortunately we’re next to the engineers section, so it was determined the MEL (Minimum Equipment List), would comprise, 3ft of garden hose, a pair of rubber gloves, a funnel, and a can of Vimto from the drinks machine, for the sugar hit.

Now anyone with a engineering background or an ounce of practical common sense can see how they would fit together, and where. Now the problem with the demo was that in the sniggering at the back of class, a vital part of the MEL was missed. That element was the ‘to’ of Vimto. So, unfortunately, as it turned out, they supplied …

A simple mistake under the ‘five pints’ rule.

Now I’m informed, I hesitate to say reliably, that 330ml of carbonated beverage up your chuff will get your attention, regardless of sugar levels. So, the application of ‘several’ ml, (well it looked about right after five lunchtime pints, you know how it is), of concentrated cleaning solution would also appear to ‘revive’ the recipient. You could tell immediately after application that the reaction, and reduction to 0.5mm diameter accompanied by small children covering their ears, rats and mice running in all directions, and dogs barking was unusual. ‘Do they always whistle like that?’ the instructor was asked, as we all looked away from what appeared to be a full stop in the centre of a very muddy roundabout.
Well, its fair to say that the description of ‘raging homicidal maniac’ seemed somewhat lacklustre to describe the quite rapid personality transformation that occurred within the volunteer. Not only was there a very high pitched whistle accompanying the somewhat vitriolic outburst, he was now belching like a navvy in between the shouting, the gasses having now found the path of least resistance.

Next week, environment, and how to get stubborn monkey stains off your ceiling. I can’t wait …

I Can Hear Your Heartbeat

Posted in entertainment, Humour, life, photography, Stage school, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by norvenmunky

camel

Well its been a while since NM broke cover, fortuitously since the slug incident, things have been quiet. Ever so sportingly arranging to be out of the drum when Mr Hoovers finest was fired up in anger again probably helped. I’m led to believe ‘dried’ slug is a bit wiffy too. Mrs NM commented ‘the Hoovers making a really odd smell’, ‘Is it?’ NM replied, taking an inordinate amount of interest in assorted paint color swaiths the boss had brought in. One wonders sometimes if you can ‘over egg’ the pudding.

Anyhow in the intervening period ‘The Berg’, reminded by the GCM’s hoofing and footlight performances, has related the story of his mixing with the luvvies 43rd Light Artillery Dance, and Mime Field Regiment. Picture the scene as proud parents in ball-less strapgowns, Dj’s, cummerbunds, (Berg, jeans T-shirt), etc assemble to view their offsprings finest endeavours, in the field of unarmed, hand to hand, dance and mime. ‘The Berg’ continues …

Berg is godfather to the twin daughters of his good friend Dr S; a man with more letters after his name than in it. ( I’ve counted). Now eight years old, the gruesome twosome attend dancing lessons run by an ex leading light in tripping the light. When comfirming the date of his most recent visit to the Dr S household, Berg was informed he was to attend the forthcoming prize-giving. Along he went, expecting a few kids and parents and a quick finish. He was thus surpised to arrive amid some 400 parents and kiddies ranging from 5 to 15 yrs old. Recorded music was playing and the children were dancing the routines they had learned. Photography was allowed so your scribe was locked in combat with low light and high ISO. After a while everyone sat down around the dancefloor and out came the guest, professional dancers. They proceeded to give several demonstrations of how it should be done properly. Between numbers, the male partner spoke a few words to the audience. He asked who was everyone’s favourite dancer on Strictly Come Dancing. Looking back, Berg has to admit that given the dance-enthusiast audience, John Sargent probably wasn’t the most apposite name to loudly call out.

However, the highlight was still to come. For the next number the female partner wore a rather fetching dress with skirt split all the way to her waist. During the dance she was held by her partner horizontally at his shoulder height as he spun round. Sir Isaac Newton be blessed, gravity had its way and the skirt fell to the side. This revealed, how shall we put it, a ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ !! However this was to make Janet Jackson’s threppenies wafting around the Superbowl look a bit tame.

This was much more of a Super Bowel type thing, for the geographers among you we are talking the amazonian basin. For the Zooologists a Dromadarian Pedicure Exhibition. There was nervous laughter from the mums. There was a hushed, some say almost reverential, ripple of applause. In the silence that followed you could indeed hear peoples hearts beating, mixed with the faint aroma of a distant canning factory.

The dads and ‘The Berg’ sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the view.