30 April 2009

Mistake: practic(s)e makes perfect

Here's a common error: practice v practise.
The former is a noun; the latter a verb.
(If you get stuck, think about advice and advise - because of the way you say these out loud [adv-ICE and adv-EYES], you never get them mixed up, do you?)

The lovely folk at I Bike Mcr need some practice. But we still love 'em.

Further to I Bike Mcr mention, go to this link for a vid from last week's Critical Mass. http://qik.com/video/1538744
Celia in front of mobile soundsystem; rider (me) has purple bag.

29 April 2009

Mis-shape: fat Ts

Was perusing @technicalfault's Twitpics, and came across this beauty:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

I was also tickled by the "sex, drugs and sausage rolls" one I saw in town the other day. I'm just hoping I don't see them on fat lads all summer, as that would be a chronic case of negative irony (if such a thing exists).

28 April 2009

Fixture: alphabet city

Google Maps' very first A-Z.

This rocks:


And here's the number 250 disguised as a lake:

27 April 2009

Words: do the math

Words & Fixtures doesn't often crunch numbers (I have dyscalculia -
good word; just learnt it), but today we celebrate the last of the three Rs: reading, riting and rithmatic. (Huh?)

For more algebra fun, go figure at: www.morenewmath.com

24 April 2009

Mis-shape: New York Herald Tribune

My favourite film.
A Bout de Souffle by Jean-Luc Godard (1960).

Translates as "at the end of breath".
Or "I've run out of that nice fluffy dessert stuff".

Featured in the Media Guardian this week; discussing the ever-expanding Herald Tribune banner. See more at http://tinyurl.com/dh4mqh (sorry, can't get my links to work).

23 April 2009

Mistake: may cause drowsiness

Back in January, in the early days when this blog was taking its first tentative steps in the world, I mentioned a local Indian restaurant's fabulous menu (if you cast your mind back, you will remember that the food is "testy" - yikes!).

Well, the same dining establishment has kindly popped another flyer through my letterbox, and while I was perusing and pondering the Wednesday-night-free-pint-with-a-starter-and-main-deal, I noticed the list of sundries (a great word in itself).

I'll certainly be ordering some "pillow rice" with my main, just in case I get sleepy what with the free pint of Cobra and all.

22 April 2009

Life on Earth Day

Here's Manchester waking up on Earth Day.

The fog from the temperature inversion (geography A-level, dontcha know) has now burned away and it's wonderfully sunny and hot, I don't doubt.

Misfit: global problem

Happy Earth Day to you, happy Earth Day to you, happy Earth Day dear everyone... Happy Earth Day to you.

Yes folks, it's Earth Day, an international celebration of looking after the planet. On this day in 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets and parks to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Since then, countries all over the world have used April 22nd as a day to recognise and heighten awareness of issues relating to climate change. Hurrah - what a nice idea! See www.earthday.net for more.

This year, The Flaming Lips are joining in the campaigning in the States, so I've been trawling the web to see what's going on in Manchester and there's loads - if you live in Manchester, Virginia (which looks pretty groovy; I might swing by).

In Manchester, England, you can go and celebrate Earth Day at the Disney Store in the Traffo. God, can life get any more depressing?

21 April 2009

Fixture: revolutionary idea

Planning on joining the Earth Day bike ride tomorrow night with I Bike Mcr.
"Wear green and cycle the roads and green cycleways of Manchester, celebrating an environmental form of transport".
See www.ibikemcr.org.uk for more.

Here's a pic from my last I Bike Mcr outing - blue skies, green fields, bushy trees, winding river, lots of lovely beer.

20 April 2009

Word: weird as fish

Logged on to the home computer and everything's new and odd and totally, like, bizarre thanks to a certain person in the household deciding Ubuntu rocks and Microsoft sucks (which, of course, it does, but I'm used to it, goddammit)...
...anyways, a message came up and informed me that I was now connected to the wired server.
I thought wired said weird.
Man, sometimes I do think I'm connected to the weird server, but how does the computer know this?

17 April 2009

Fixture: ready for your close-up?

Lovely Sam Fairbrother, who was the official photographer for Chorlton's Big Green Festival recently, has a new project in hand.
She is setting up a street studio in Chorlton, taking portraits of people out and about. The studio will be in Chorlton Precinct, and Sam will be there tomorrow between 11am and 4pm. Sam says:

"The aim of the project is to capture
two hundred faces of Chorlton
and upload them to a web
gallery to view collectively. A total
of sixty faces has already been
captured and another one hundred
and forty are needed this coming
Saturday, 18th April."

Sneak a peek for more:

16 April 2009

Fixture: power to the people

Does anyone else feel this is something of a mixed message?

14 April 2009

Fixture: season's greetings

Saw my first swallowyswiftmartins yesterday. They must've got the early flight from South Africa (they were right next to the airport - I was sat at the wonderfully named Romper pub). Them and beautiful blooming magnolias all in one week - spring has definitely sprung.

13 April 2009

Bank holiday

This blog is closed for the bank holiday.
Please come back during normal working hours.
Thanks for your interest in Words & Fixtures - we look forward to serving you soon!

10 April 2009

Misfit: hey Mr Camouflage man

Saw Mr Camouflage again (see entry 13 March).
It's a high probability, to be honest - he lives down our street in The Big House With The Russian Hat Cat And The Two Matching Alfa Romeos.
Anyway, he was wearing the camo pants, but on the top half he had on one of those Topman hoodies 14-year-old boys wear: grey with printed-on black stars.
Does he know what he looks like? Do they not have mirrors in TBHWTRHCATTMAR?
The man's knocking on 50, for gawd's sake!

09 April 2009

Mistake: dirty food

Usually, dirty food is just wrong. A no-no. A big mistake.

Sometimes, however, dirty food has its place. Like when you have a hangover. In times like that, it's amazing how great a Greggs sausage roll can make you feel, in all it's greasy saturated fat-laden glory.

Helen gave me a new phrase for a specific item of dirty food one weekend when she was over and I was making us bacon butties. She called the loaf I was using "slag bread". I like this term for cheap white sliced and, while Warburtons is a bit too classy for it, I would certainly apply it to Sunblest (which I was brought up on when we were poor and lived on the Wirral).

Slag bread makes great fishfinger sandwiches. Here's the recipe:

For the best fishfinger sandwiches, lightly toast two rounds of slag bread. On one piece, daub mayo; on the other, apply tomato sauce (or ketchup, if you're posh). Insert three fingers (I buy the pollock ones these days for environmentally astute dirty eating). Enjoy.

08 April 2009

Mis-shape: loopiness

Postmen are bad. They have littered our streets and the red weed is creeping, creeping. I am of course talking about the elastic bands. Yes, THE elastic bands, as you all know the bands of elastic of which I talk. They're everywhere, and Keep Britain Tidy aren't happy. Good thing too - as KBT say, postmen are looked up to, so they should set an example by not dropping litter, as that is what the laccy bands essentially are. Of course, we can help too. My mother has pockets filled with the little red fellas, and until Celia went joyriding in deepest darkest Trafford on Friday night, she also had quite a fine collection adorning her handlebars. I use them to tie up my baggy sailor pants when riding, y'see. It's quite the fashion statement...

07 April 2009

Fixture: Celia

Celia is my bike. She is a Raleigh Shopper. The man in the local bike shop showed me that the month and year a Raleigh was made is stamped on the back hub. Celia was born in May 1980. That means she's 30 next year, which is a damn good excuse for a party. Anyway, Celia was discovered discarded in a skip, bless her. I am something of a skip monkey so I liberated her and have been using her to get round Manchester on ever since. She is more than a bike; she represents freedom. She is called Celia because Helen used to have a ladies' bike called Delia, and I thought it was pretty appropriate for a ladies' shopper. My last shopper was a green Puch painted with daisies. She was called Fleur. If anyone knows of her whereabouts, let me know. I wish I'd kept her; she and Celia might get on quite well. Oh well. That's an aside.

Back to Celia, who is more than just a bike; she's like an extension of my personality. On Friday, I went to The Lowry at Salford Quays to watch a puppet show (see Twitter feed for more on that). I was going to scoot over as it's in the middle of nowhere, but I couldn't get the scooter off its rusty old stand. Anyway, that's another aside... basically, I ended up pegging over on Celia, but when I came out of the theatre, she was gone! I texted Mr C: "Bad bad news. Celia is no more." I got a taxi back home, pretty upset but focused on my mission: to go out in Mr C's car and look for my girl.

Do you know what? After an hour or so, I found her. She was being ridden around by a teenage hoody in Gorse Hill. He'd lowered the seat right down to appear more rad. Well, she has been known to enjoy a BMX track near Southern Cemetary; he must've known. Thankfully the lad seemed to like her bell and was a-ding-dingling away, grabbing my attention. I sped off to park the car and approached him and his gang o' mates, said "Wow, you found my bike!", and he gave her back. Just like that. No problem. No knives pulled. No guns. Not even a fuck off. I even got a bunch of Manc hoodies into the whole personification thing, them saying, "What did you say she was called?" SHE!!! Anyway, I went back to the car, bundled Celia in while quietly panicking because the yoofs had followed me up the back street, and made a getaway.

Poor Celia was slightly damaged in the incident (mentally, I guess, as well as physically) and was relieved of her front wire and back tartan baskets (not cool enough, presumably - because like a Shopper is way cool for a teenage boy to be pulling wheelies on, right?), but at least she didn't end up in a watery grave at the bottom of the Quays, which was apparently what she had been threatened with earlier in the evening.

I am so happy to have Celia back. She even got to go on the Big Green Bike Parade.

Long live Celia!

06 April 2009

Words: dictionary fun

Just came across this great site: www.urbandictionary.com

I like "fucktard". Noun: A contraction of "fucking retard".

I called one of the blokes in The Bar "dunderfuck" once. It really really works for him. He's a blundering idiot with a great sense of self-importance, and the look of someone who reads Harry Potter and asks for "A pint of your finest ale, sire" in country pubs. Now you know about him, see if you can spot which bloke I mean.

Of course, it wasn't to his face, so don't go up to him and say, "Hey! Are you Dunderfuck?" or anything.

02 April 2009

Misfit: my name in lights

Well, sort of. Actually, no, not at all.
However, my byline is on the web, in an internet article.
I'm so modern these days, I'm telling ya!
Go to www.manchesterconfidential.com and check out the Chorlton and the Big Green Festival piece.
Then come to the festival!
It's on Saturday, it's free, it's going to be brilliant.

These pics are for the Chorlton & the Wheelie Bins art project, which forms part of the festival. They were taken by the lovely Sam Fairbrother (see www.samfairbrother.com).

Mistake: the end of sub-editors is nigh

Oh dear. The Independent, a half decent paper (well, at least it takes green issues seriously), is going down the sub-free route. I know money needs saving across the board but did anyone (apart from City AM and grumpy Greenslade) really believe this would happen? And is it sustainable? I suppose only time will tell.

Anyway, here's a snippet from tut Media Guardian:
"Reporters have been told to cap up the first two words of stories and to run their own spellchecks on all stories."

Hahahahaha, because, of course, that's all subs do, innit?

See for more:

01 April 2009

Mis-shape: putting the boot in

The outlaws came round and brought a gift. They left it on the front step, proudly, for all the world to see. I thought it was apt to show you a picture for April Fool's Day, as surely it has to be some kind of joke...

Isn't it just the most hideous thing you've ever seen? It's about as big as a medium-sized dog, to boot.