Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

November 2008

GeneralWednesday, November 26th, 2008, (7:14 pm)

Over the last few months my blog (and indeed all my websites) has been notoriously slow to load and often not working at all. However, that should no longer be the case because I’ve moved to a much faster and far more reliable web service.

I know this isn’t exactly interesting, but a number of people have mentioned in the past that my blog was very slow and unreliable, so I thought I would just make a quick announcement to say that those problems should now be a thing of the past.

My previous web hosting company was WeaverWeb, run by my rather charmless friend, Darryl. His web hosting business has been failing for some time and he recently decided to give up on it, and in the process leave many customers without services or any way to reach him.

My new web hosting provider has been extremely helpful in assisting me to move the 60+ websites from my old host to theirs. Dan from EZPZ web hosting (I know, it’s a terrible name) has gone to some lengths to ensure the move was as smooth as possible. His diligent attention to detail and friendly manner has been a refreshing change, believe me!

As silly as it seems, I have to say using this new web host and enjoying the speed and reliability is akin to driving a new car, it’s great, and hopefully, you’ll notice a difference too.

Found on the webTuesday, November 18th, 2008, (11:58 pm)

My travel agent recently told me that he couldn’t see my blog from work because it was blocked by some kind of porn filter or something. I was like, “What the fug’s that about?”

Massive melons and a tiny ass

Cartoon blatantly stolen from ‘See Mike Draw’
Urf, a grave new world
The Noped

GeneralFriday, November 14th, 2008, (8:15 am)

Yesterday I was walking with a friend on Crosby Beach, Liverpool, when I came upon a sealed plastic bottle lying on the sand with a piece of paper in it. I picked it up and saw that the paper inside was rolled and had been neatly bound with a thread complete with a bow. It was a message in a bottle!

As I undid the plastic bottle-top I wondered what might be written on the lined paper within. A confession perhaps, maybe a note to a lost love, or a dream set free. This being Crosby Beach on the mouth of the River Mersey that opens into the ice cold waters of the Irish Sea I hardly imagined it would be a note from Robinson Crusoe.

What I found inside was perplexing, and I’ll confess, somewhat disappointing. A neatly handwritten list of accidents, incident, events and deaths that the author apparently felt were suspect.

Among the items listed were “Koncordesky Accident? Paris” and “12/8/00 The Kursk Accident? DMDNT” along with “31/8/89 Princess Anne” and “The Umbrella Man 1/2/05 Wm Gray Heysham LA3 The Radioactive Man”. But the note offered nothing more, no questions, no suppositions, nothing.

The note, which I was disappointed wasn’t an SOS from an undiscovered desert island somewhere in the Irish sea, was dated 28th of October 2008. My friend and I both looked at it and could make no sense of it, nonetheless I put the note in my pocket so I could Google it when I got back home.

As it happens, it turns out I am not the first person to find a note like this. Others have reported finding similar messages in bottles on several beaches not far from where we were.


If the mysterious messenger was hoping their bottles would find far off places then they didn’t consider the currents of the Irish Sea which would be unlikely to carry any such message very far.

The furthest reported finding thus far seems to be from someone who found a bottle on Magheramore Beach in County Wickow, Ireland, at the beginning of summer 2008.

So it would seem that the author of the bizarre little notes lives somewhere around Liverpool bay area, and judging from the handwriting I doubt they’re a kid playing a prank. So what is this strange message then, what do these events have in common?

Maybe I’m supposed to become intensely interested and begin my own journey of discovery, but it’s been years since The X Files held my interest and frankly I’ve got better things to do with my time. So if the author finds this blog post (and I suspect they will in time) then I would suggest that they cast their bottles further from home, and that they write something a little less cryptic in future. Ask a question, write a web link, entice us to join the dots. Because as fun as it was finding this message in a bottle, if the message doesn’t make sense then I’m afraid you’re just a litterbug.

Other similar messages found
Question posted on Yahoo about one of these messages
Also found at the beach : “I will bring my homework in”
Found Magazine
Messages in bottles uncork a mystery
Bizarre Tale of the Message in a Bottle (Link added Aug 18th, 09)

Found on the webTuesday, November 11th, 2008, (12:16 am)

Someone call the style police – there’s been a fashion violation!

This is a little thing, but take a close look at the picture of Barack Obama at the top of his website. Is it just me or does he look like a scruffy binge drinking broker to you too?

It’s probably something only I would notice, but someone working on the Obama website has clearly photoshopped a red tie to the President Elect – but why?

Does wearing a tie make him appear more honest, serious, or trustworthy? If so then why not just use a picture of him wearing a tie rather than some fumbled photoshop job that makes him look like he gets style tips from London’s mayor, Boris Johnson.

In fact, the closer I look at this picture the more I’m thinking that he wasn’t even wearing a jacket in the original either! If you look at the website you’ll even see that the bottom right part of his suit is missing and what’s going on with his shirt.

I did a quick Google to see if I was the only nerd in the world who has mentioned this, and it would appear that I am. However, perhaps unsurprisingly there is an entire website out there devoted to such gaffs. ‘Photoshop Disasters’ features some funny and truly head scratching Photoshop gaffs. I’ll submit the Obama photoshop disaster, which I suppose isn’t so much a disaster as it is an Obamanation… groan.

Photoshop Disasters
Marie Claire board and the ugly table
Victoria’s Secret severed hand
70 Beauty-Retouching Photoshop Tutorials
[Video] Making a chubby chick thin and sexy

PoliticalSaturday, November 8th, 2008, (11:22 pm)

Shortly after Barack Obama was declared the winner of Tuesday’s US Presidential elections I was reminded of something Winston Churchill once said. “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Never before have I seen so much interest in a US Presidential election here in the UK. The day after Obama’s win the national press went positively Obamy, carrying full front-page pictures of Obama with coverage of the US election going several pages deep into the newspapers. If you were judging by press coverage alone, you might have been forgiven for thinking that the UK had at some point become the 51st state.

Here, and I suspect across much of the world, there is something of a sense of relief that the Bush years will soon be behind us. After a local firework display celebrating ‘Guy Fawkes night,’ one of my neighbors spoke to me about Obama’s win with a broad smile. “I stayed up late to watch the election. Wasn’t it wonderful that he won.” She told me.

People who perhaps wouldn’t ordinarily be keen followers of American politics, all seemed to have an opinion. I stayed up until 7am to watch the coverage with friends, and across the UK others were holding their own US election night parties!

The President of the United States is undeniably one of the most influential people on the planet and after 8 years of the most inept and downright embarrassing President in modern times, Barack Obama will surely bring to an end the air of Presiduncy that seems to currently define the office for which he has fought so hard to gain.

Addressing the vast crowd gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park to listen to his victory speech Obama delivered a rousing yet sobering message. “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.”

America has elected its first ever black President, and for the first time in my life, I think I might actually believe the words of a politician.

Obama’s victory speech

PoliticalWednesday, November 5th, 2008, (6:10 am)

I have no words.

Obama claims historic U.S. presidential win
World celebrates Obama’s landslide
Obama’s victory speech

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