Girls, travel, rockets, transport, hotels, films, Martinis, wine, music, food and ranting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trolley trauma

A piece of past its sell by date meat realises that the approaching gap between two trolleys is too narrow

We have complained before about old people shopping at supermarkets during the weekend and clogging the aisles as they stop and chat about whatever old people chat about (gardening, lumbago, the retirement of Terry Wogan, the cost of Sherry). Having, unusually, visited a supermarket during a weekday yesterday we have realised that the problem is indeed worse outside the weekend but it is not, to be fair, just the fault of old people.

What is lacking is any sort of supermarket trolley discipline. The South East of England, and, in particular, Surrey, is now so overcrowded with Islamic fundamentalists, Russian oligarchs, Eastern European builders, Korean chaebol executives, refugees from France, Continental footballers and even a few locals that manoeuvering around a supermarket during the week is rather akin to taking part in a chariot race at the Circus Maximus or driving a taxi in Cairo.

What is needed is a supermarket trolley equivalent of the cycling proficiency test which all children in Britain have to take at school (with the exception of Agent Triple P, of course, who didn't learn to ride a bicyle until he was 34). Anyone who hasn't passed this test will not be allowed to push a trolley around a supermarket at all. This will be designed to prevent behaviour such as: parking your trolley at an angle across the aisle, parking your trolley right in front of a popular section, like meat, whilst you wander off to look for some lemongrass, letting horrid little children ride on the side of the trolley so that they crash into everyone else, stopping next to another trolley whilst you chat to your ghastly friend, moving down the aisle and then stopping dead whilst you take a mobile phone call and parking your trolley right next to a supermarket unloading cart which is already blocking more than half of the aisle. These are just parking offences and are nothing to the people who actually crash their trolleys into you or your trolley as they fight their way across the fruit and vegetable section under the impression that they are commanding a T34 at the Battle of Kursk. Non-compliance with the new Supermarket Trolley Proficiency code will be enforced by people carrying electrified cattle prods who just need to touch an errant trolley to ensure a healthy dose of volts for the miscreant.

Supermarkets. Grrr!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calendar Girl February: Kara Tointon

Kara's Calendar picture


February's calendar girl is Kara Tointon, someone, we have to say, who we have never heard of. She is an actress from Essex and has recently appeared in EastEnders; a quite ghastly TV programme which Agent Triple P has never watched and seems to consist entirely of horrible people shouting at each other. Her presence in his, does, however, illustrate an interesting development in British TV.



Back in the seventies and eighties there was a fundamental difference between female actresses in British TV drama and American TV drama. Quite simply, British shows featured normal looking women (or, in EastEnders' case, rather ugly women) whilst US TV was populated by women who all looked like models; and why not?


In the last fifteen years this has changed, with British TV drama and, especially, soaps, (which were the last bastion of the uglies) featuring many more attractive actors and, especially actresses.


Kara, who is 26, has benefitted from this although her time on EastEnders has now finished so we will have to see if she can maintain a career after her soap stint has finished.

Kara is quite cute in a sort of girl next door (if you happen to live in the more ghastly parts of Essex) way. Given that Agent Triple P has "experience" of a young lady from Essex he can't be too dismissive of Miss Tointon's origins we suppose!



Last August she was announced as the, er, "face" of Michelle for George underwear at poor people's Northern supermarket Asda; now owned by Evil Empire Wal-Mart. Not exactly La Perla, then.



Cheap frills. Kara for Asda.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Classic FM Grr!

Classic FM's Myleene Klass. Sort of pointless on radio


Whilst driving around at the weekend Agent Triple P invariably listens to Classic FM on the radio but we have to admit that it is starting to annoy us.

Now, Agent Triple P hates the radio. Ever since he was a small boy he has had the radio inflicted upon him. The Light programme, Radio 2, Radio 4, LBC and Capital Radio. Worse still, with all the proliferations of stations, are the endless news stations. If there was one sole saving grace of radio it is music. So radio with no music is particularly pointless. Why do people want to be talked at all the time with no control over the content?

Triple P wants to choose what he listens to and what he watches. He does not watch much TV live; possibly an hour a week. He listens to CDs he watches DVDs. He has control over what he watches and listens to. If he wants news he reads a newspaper then he can choose what he reads about. Radio, in contrast, means having to listen to tedious minutes of stuff you are not not interested in in the vague hope that there will be something you are. As news and entertainment delivery become increasingly interactive radio remains a prehistoric relic; largely spouting out uneditable, unstoppable and unedifying drivel.

Radio, because of its geological-length time slots, panders to egomaniac presenters like no other medium. You wouldn’t have anyone on TV being given two and a half hours to blather on about nothing. This delusion that you are some sort of master of the universe means that these ghastly radio people would be thrown into utter panic if they were unable to inflict hour after hour of endless drivel on the rest of the population, often for hours at a time, five days a week. Who on TV has that sort of footprint?

So, back to Classic FM, brainchild of Muslim, South African sanctions busting cook/presenter Michael Bukht (or Barry as he prefers to be known). Having been listening to this regularly (if not for very long at a time) for a month or so we have decided that it drives us mad! Now, Agent DVD's issue with Classic FM is that it only plays "bleeding chunks" of longer pieces. This, however, is not an issue for someone with the attention span of Triple P! No, the real reason we can't stand it is that it should offer a great opportunity to discover pieces of music that we haven't heard before (as we did the other weekend). Unfortunately, we had to leave the car before the name of the piece was given. No problem. The idea is that you can go to the Classic FM website and see exactly what was being played at any given time. Except you can't! When we looked at the playlist of the programme in question there was a twenty minute gap (that is about three pieces) with no programme information given. Very helpful!

Even worse is the fact that we are getting sick of the same music all the time! In theory, Classic FM is supposed to have a playlist of about 50,000 pieces (originally compiled by Robin Ray)which are randomly selected by computer to avoid any bias for presenter. Why then do we keep hearing the same music over and over again? Classic FM seems to be fixated on certain composers and pieces: Grieg's Peer Gynt, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky (lots and lots of Tchaikovsky), a disproportionate amount of Max Bruch, slushy Italian new age composer Einaudi, Verdi arias... Also, there seems to be a lot of film music. Now Agent Triple P likes a lot of film music but it isn't really classical. 50,000 pieces sounds like a lot but is that compositions or tracks? Triple P owns about three hundred classical CD and there must be an average of at least five tracks on each. So that is 1,500 pieces already. Thirty-three times that isn't that much. For example Haydn wrote 104 symphonies. That's nearly 1% of your total already. With all the composers it always seems to be the same half dozen pieces played. If it's Sibelius it's always the Karelia Suite. What about a movement from the 3rd Symphony for a change? There was once an episode of the comedy programme The Goodies where they set up a pirate radio station but only had the one record to play (A Walk in the Black Forest), which they played over and over again. It's not quite that bad on Classic FM but the music is towards the Walk in the Black Forest end of the classical spectrum

Anyway all of this is nothing compared with the appalling commercials. They only ever seem to have three at any one time. I am completely sick of the governmnet one about not leaving things in your car that thieves might spot. Why is the government wasting tax-payers money on radio commercials anyway?

Why not listen to Radio 3, you may say? The thing is that although Classic FM came on the scene to plug a gap the gap between it and Radio 3 is still too large (even if Radio 3 has been accused of going downmarket to compete with Classic FM -BBC chasing pointless ratings again),

Radio 3 is like a particularly austere claret, an old Giscours, perhaps. Classic FM is a Mateus Rose. Somewhere in between there must be room for a nice £5.99 Argentinian Malbec.

Oh well, I suppose I will continue to give it a chance on the basis that I might discover something worthwhile but if any more Tchaikovsky comes on I am switching off...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Most Searched Item: January 2010

Number 1 at last!

January's searches aren't particularly radical although it's first time at number one for Sophie Howard.

1 (3) Sophie Howard. Hits number one for the first time.
2 (1) Margaret Nolan. Only 5 searches behind Sophie.
3 (4) Brande Roderick.First time in the top 3 for grape-treading Playmate and Baywatch girl.
4 (6) Emily Blunt. Highest position for super-hot British actress.
5 (9) Cheryl Cole. Back up the list despite dreadful singles.
6 (3) Kelly Brook. A drop for Miss Brook.
7 (10) Tori Praver. Up again for Sports Illustrated girl.
8 (8) Gabrielle Drake. Holding steady for UFO babe.
9 (11) Pirate girls. Who knew that this was such a popular fetish?
10 (7) Linda Lusardi. Still regulary in the top 10.
11 (12) Irena Shayk. One up for supermodel.
12 (-) Holly Willoughby. Dancing on Ice returns and so, therefore, does Holly.
13 (16) Jarah Mariano. South Seas swimsuit babe.
14 (18) Luci Victoria. Up four places for British Playmate.
15 (-) Daniela Sarahyba. First time entry for Daniela.
16 (-) Keeley Hazell. Return of busty model.
17 (13) Sarah Harding. Girls Aloud girl's second consecutive entry.
18 (19) Ayshea Brough. UFO girl hangs on in.
19 (-) Patricia Velasquez. Back in for The Mummy star.
20 (-) Kayleigh Pearson. Re-entry for another busty British model.

Daniela: First time entry


Highest new entry is Holly Willoughby who is back on peak hour TV with Dancing on Ice and looking bigger than ever (but just as lovely) following her baby last year. Highest climbers are Cheryl Cole and Luci Victoria. Biggest drop is for Strictly Come Dancing star Ola Jordan who crashes out of the top 20 from number five last month. Daniela Sarahyba is the only first timer this month.
Looking at the top non girlie searches we have:
1 The Adventures of Triple P
2 Venus Observations
3 UFO
4 Fontainebleau Hotel
5 When Dinosaurs ruled the Earth
6 The Big Country Soundtrack
7 How to Murder your Wife Soundtrack
8 Mark Cavendish bike
9 Errol Flynn
10 Pan Am Clipper

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Best of British...?

Wolf Blass. Scrum-my


Apparently there is some sort of rugby competition taking place at present. Agent Triple P has noticed that Waterloo station is plastered with advertisements for the England Rugby squad's official sponsor...Wolf Blass wines! Aprt from the whole issue of associating alcohol with sporting stars we are sorry but what is happening when an Australain wine is sponsoring the England team? We are all in favour of the global economy and, indeed, we like Mr Blass's wines a great deal but this seems wrong!



The world's biggest model aircraft, it seems (not the little one the girls are holding the 27 metre wingspan monstrosity at the back!).

It is rather like the "Welcome to Heathrow" plane model now being an Emirates plane instead of a British Airways Concorde. Wrong! Even worse the blooming model was made in California and brought here on a Russian aircraft.




At least the Australians play Rugby. A few years ago Coca-Cola sponsored the Tour de France. What do a bunch of American sugar-water executives know about that quintessentially European sport, cycling. Wrong!

Can you imagine this sort of thing happening in France, or Spain, or Italy or Germany or America come to that.

Find a British sponsor, even if it means less money you greedy pigs. I am sure it is all an Australian plot to get our team drunk so that they then have to play with hangovers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Calendar Girl January 2010: Diora Bird

Diora in January's calendar pose


Well, we are at least six days late with our calendar girl, but actually she was late going up on the wall anyway. Other things have rather filled Agent Triple P's time last month, including an unusually high proportion of dinners out with young (some really quite young!) ladies.




Here, then, is the statuesque (5'8") Diora Baird, originally from Miami. Diora, like her mother, started as a model and took up acting at school as a way to get over her shyness. This appears to have worked, judging by her photos.



Her first proper job was folding shirts at The Gap. Agent Triple P has always needed someone who can make a good go of this during his travels, so Diora might be very useful to have about the place (so to speak)!





Her first TV appearance was in 2004 and since then she has had 30 TV or film credits to her name. However, given that some of the titles of these include: Batchelor Party Vegas (2006), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Brain Blockers (2007) and Porn Star (2009) we suspect that she is unliklely to be the next Glenn Close.

Triumphantly passes Agent Triple P's "does she look good in a vest?" test!


Her two most famous films are Wedding Crashers (2005) which, of course, we have not seen, and Star Trek (2009) which we have. In the latter she was cast as one of Star Trek's most iconic aliens: a green-skinned girl from Orion. Famously, in Gene Roddenberry's original pilot for Star Trek every time they sent film of the Orion dancing girl to be developed the laboratory corrected her skin tone to get rid of the green colour, assuming it was a mistake. Sadly, poor Diora's scene was cut and Rachel Nichols went on to portray the only Orion girl in the film.


It's not all about her bust...


Fortunately for us, Diora's career had a boost when she appeared in Playboy in August 2005, on the back of some adverts for Guess, where she revealed more than just her 32DD assets (real, too, it seems).




Given her extraordinarily well developed bust it is not surprising that Playboy labelled her the best Guess girl ever.  We have to say, however, that the Guess girls, like the Victoria's Secret girls do not have the profile in the UK as they do in the US so we were not aware of Diora until she appeared in our calendar.

Unlike many American actresss and models she doesn't seem at all concerned about taking her clothes off for the cameras but does then seem surprised that she always gets cast as strippers.

So, a very good start to 2010 (especially for Agent DVD, we would surmise) and a change from all those rather stringy girls Sports Illustrated was starting to use in their calendars.