Monthly Archives: October 2011

3 Years Blogging

by Jake McMillan

Wow, this blog has now been going for three years. October 2008 seems like such a long time ago, but 150-odd (and I mean odd) posts later and its still going strong.

A big thank you to all those who stumbled upon this site and even larger thanks to those who have commented and added their views (particularly those who have shared their IM Nail experiences as this has been really appreciated by others).

I haven’t followed the rules of successful blogging. They say you should have a niche and write about a very particular area, but I have blogged about many different aspects of life from dating, films (including an increasingly out-dated obsession with James Bond), social etiquette as well as the irreverent, silly and just plain dumb.

It all started with the controversial post ‘Let’s Face it Ladies, You are Rubbish’ which was published in the now defunct (nothing to do with me) free newspaper ‘The London Paper’.

For a reason I really do not understand, ‘How to be a Sock Genius’ has been one of the most popular posts on this blog? I think some are curious and others may just be looking for photos of socks.

I was pleased to learn that people enjoyed ‘The Relationship Evaluation Sketch’ which is meant to be a humourous sketch about a couple who use a spreadsheet to assess how their relationship is going.

Several of the dating posts have included some of the rather stupid things I have said on dates with ‘A New Low in Ridiculous Things to Say on a First Date’ being the worst. It is completely true, I’m ashamed to say. You may like to know that the Period Worm Girl is actually now a friend on Facebook.

Not all the posts are silly and the ‘Jack the Ripper Murder Sites’ is a serious and useful post outlining the current locations of where the murders took place and what they are like now (it includes Google Street View links).

My idea of ‘The Ultimate Dream Island’ seems to polarise opinion, with those who say it would be amazing and others who say it would not be possible to achieve. Dreamers Vs Realists.

One of my personal favourite posts of recent times is ‘Silly Ideas for Children’s Books’ which was actually a practical joke I played on my friend Hayley who is an Author’s Agent. I submitted to her, using a pseudonym, 10 increasingly silly and inappropriate ideas for children’s books.

Another favourite is ‘The Trauma of Stool Samples’ which is a practical but also fun guide to the rather humiliating and disgusting process of having to give a stool sample for a Doctor.

Top 10 Search Terms

The following are the most searched terms to have reached this site:

1 – Socks
As mentioned above, ‘How to be Sock Genius’ is a very popular post. Why, I don’t know?

2 – Nicole Scherzinger
A lot of people stumbled to my site searching for Nicole, so I made a special page about her just so they were not disappointed.

3 – Sophie Marceau
She appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

4 – Pussy
I am sure people are looking for a different sort of pussy, but the only one on my site is Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman who appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

5 – Eva Green
Another popular lady who appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

6 – James Bond
There are number of posts relating to 007.

7 – Indiana Jones
He appears in the Top 10 Movie Characters list.

8 – Nikita Verevki
This is a post about the visually impressive video for Verevki, a song by Ukranian group NikitA (Dasha Astafieva  and Julia Kavtaradze).

9. Beard
2009 was the year for the Pogonophile. That sounds rude/wrong, but is just someone who likes beards.

10. Cushions
Many women I know have OCD – Obsessed by Cushions Disorder.

A Genius Way to Dump Someone?

by Jake McMillan
The following story is absolutely true. Cross my heart and hope to die.

I was at a good friend’s house and her flatmate was telling us how this guy had ended things with her after about 3-4 weeks of dating. He had found this most amazing, if somewhat ridiculous, way of dumping her without making her think she had done anything wrong or that he didn’t fancy her anymore.
“It’s not you, it’s me”, is a line that is often used and although it is meant to be a kind way of breaking up, the person hearing it will always think they are actually saying is, “it’s not me, it’s you”. This chap, however, found of way saying, “it’s not you and it’s not me”.
About a week before he ended things he confided in her that he has a ghost following him around all the time. He doesn’t like to talk to people about it, so he said to her, and mostly life is okay but sometimes the ghost is unhappy with what it is going on and makes his life difficult by talking to him or physically touching him. Nuts huh?
Well, when he ended things with this girl he said that he really liked her but that the ghost didn’t like him seeing her and he would have to end things as his life would be made really difficult by his spiritual companion.

I never met the guy so I don’t know if he really is haunted by a ghost,or is mad or is just using a line to enable him to finish things nicely with women he dates. Whichever it is, the end result was that he was able to dump her without it being a big emotional deal.

Ian Fleming’s Secret Cameo in From Russia with Love

by Jake McMillan

Some James Bond fans believe that 007 creator, Ian Fleming, made a secret cameo appearance in the second Bond film, From Russia with Love (1963). The suggestion is that Fleming’s one and only cameo takes place during the Orient Express sequence, after James Bond (Sean Connery) and Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) flee Istanbul with the stolen Russian Lektor decoder machine. Eagle-eyed fans believe that a man standing to the right of the train, seen shortly after Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz) has been found dead, is in fact Ian Fleming.

Bryan Krofchok submitted the following for issue #3c of the Ian Fleming Foundation’s “Shaken, Not Stirred” newsletter in March 1995:

“The curious notion of Fleming’s cameo is mentioned in Roger Ryan and Martin Sterling’s book of Bond trivia, ‘Keeping The British End Up‘, under the heading ‘Brief Encounter’. The scene in question pops up when the Orient Express must stop for a truck that has stalled across the tracks (originally, part of Grant’s escape route). Watch for an oddly placed gentleman wearing a white top and dark pants, who seems to be holding some sort of walking stick.

“… I say that the man is oddly placed, because he seems to have no part in the plot, and cannot simply be brushed off as someone merely out for a casual stroll due to the apparent desolation of the surrounding area. I also find it quite odd that although the train is passing fairly close to him, the man has his back to it and is looking the other way. “

It is not clear to see from the photo, but have a closer look for yourself in the video below:

At first glance, the man on the side of the rail tracks does not appear to be Ian Fleming and the shadow on his face from his cap makes him seem like a man with a darker-skinned ethnicity. However, the more you compare the man in the film with other photos of Ian Fleming, you realise you cannot rule it out. Both men have large ears and the nose and cheeks ‘seem’ to be similar.  Ian Fleming was 6ft tall and the man in the film appears to be shorter than this but it is very hard to judge as he not standing close enough to another something we are sure of the height of to gain a proper perspective.

Also consider the fact the film-makers have never disclosed this (Never say Never!) and that is hard to believe or understand why? The film-makers know that fans would love to know if it were true and surely it would help sales of the film on DVD and Blu-Ray. But no, they have not said anything which suggests that it is probably not true.

It is also odd that his cameo would be in that remote scene, presumably shot on a day when most of the main cast were not around and in the middle of the European countryside somewhere? However! There are publicity stills of Fleming on location during the filming of From Russia with Love wearing a white top(!) in front of and by the Orient Express train. See below, do these images match the man appearing in the film?

These pictures add much further weight to the notion that the man in the film was actually Ian Fleming. In the photos you can clearly see he is wearing a white top with a white shirt collar coming through. Look at the film again. The man by the side of the railway tracks is wearing a white top with a white collar.

My gut feeling is that it is not Ian Fleming as there is no evidence to confirm that it is was him and I am almost (!) certain there would be if it were true.  My heart, though, believes it would be great if it was actually him and that he got to play a tiny part in the film of his famous story. At the very least he has created a genuine Ian Fleming mystery.

Okay, some Nicole Scherzinger Photos

Although this isn’t a blog about beautiful ladies (except for Top 10 Bond Girls), a recent post, ‘The Ultimate Male Fantasy‘ about having a partner who is a shapeshifter and the options this gives, has led to lots of people finding the site who are searching for Nicole Scherzinger who is currently appearing on the US version of X Factor.

So, just to appease and hopefully not disappoint some of the people who stumble onto this site, here are some hot photos (45 in fact) of Nicole. For the record, I am more interested in her boyfriend Lewis Hamilton, not in a gay way, but due to my strong interest in Formula 1. See my F1 Banter, Musings and Gossip blog.

Nicole Scherzinger is currently 33 years old (b. 1978) and according to Wikipedia her full name is Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger. Her star sign is Cancer and she was born in Hawaii. Before finding fame as lead singer of Pussycat Dolls, she appeared on reality TV show Popstars and was selected to be part of the group Eden’s Crush. See her audition here on YouTube.

VOTE: The Best James Bond Film

Since 1962 twenty-two ‘official’ James Bond films have been made, with the 23rd due out next year.

But which one is your favourite? VOTE below. Need help deciding, click here to read  my favourite James Bond films >>>

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My 5 Favourite James Bond Films

I wanted to pick just one, but I couldn’t … so I have picked 5 instead. My game, my rules. However, you can vote for your favourite(s) here.

In no discernible order, here are my favourite 5 James Bond films:

1. From Russia with Love (1963)
 Although it seems a little old fashioned now, this classic bond flick always seems like a true  spy adventure rather than some of the more fantastical stories that came later on. Set during the cold war, the evil group SPECTRE plays Russian and British intelligence forces off each other by luring 007 to Istanbul to meet a Russian girl, Tatiana Romanova, who claims she has fallen in love with his photograph. It seems an obvious trap but there is a chance to get hold of the Russian Lektor decoding machine. Bond gets the girl and the Lektor and makes his get away, but before he is free he has a brutal train encounter with Donald ‘Red’ Grant as well as the infamous Rosa Klebb with her poisoned-tipped shoe.

2. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
 This story is elevated to the higher ranks as the three-titted baddie Francisco Scaramanga is so elegantly played by Christopher Lee and provides a true test for Roger Moore’s James Bond. They are both at the top of their field but on opposite sides of the law. Nick Nack is great as Scaramanga’s henchmen and Maud Adams (who would later play Octopussy) and Britt Ekland make good Bond girls, not to mention a flying car and an amazing spinning car jump over a river. Perhaps not the overall best bond movie, but has all the right elements to be a great bond film: great locations, great stunts, great baddie and great bond girls.

3. Goldfinger (1964)
 Probably the most famous James Bond film of all time and is the film that set the tone for the James Bond films that followed. It is an obvious choice for the best Bond film as it has a great villain, Auric Goldfinger, a great henchman, Oddjob, arguably the best Bond girl in Pussy Galore and features the Aston Martin DB5 full of cool gadgets (e.g. passenger ejector seat). Starting with the unforgettable scene featuring a dead Shirley Eaton covered in gold paint, the story crosses from Europe to the US and has a finale involving a break in to Fort Knox. It even contains some memorable dialogue such as Bond asking Goldfinger if he expects him to talk whilst having a laser beam directed at him and Goldfinger replying, “No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die!”.

4. A View to a Kill (1985)
 In some ways this should be a terrible Bond film as Roger Moore is almost 60, but in fact it is a truly entertaining 007 adventure. Oscar winner Christopher Walken sizzles as the baddie Max Zorin who wants to destroy California’s Silicon Valley and Grace Jones is gloriously outrageous as Zorin’s henchlady May Day. Tanya Roberts is quite sexy but not much else as Bond girl Stacey Sutton. There are some great stunt sequences in Paris including the car chopped in half racing around and a dangerous finale at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Duran Duran‘s title song is also one of the best, if not the best Bond song.

5. Live and Let Die (1973)
 The James Bond franchise was completely re-invigorated by Roger Moore’s first outing as 007 who superbly took on the role and made it his own. Live and Let Die is a great Bond adventure that has lots of fantastic moments and elements to the film: A good baddie, well two good baddies both played by Yaphet Kotto (Kananga/Mr Big), the beautiful Solitaire (Jane Seymour), a great henchmen in Tee Hee who has a metal prosthetic arm and the weird but wonderful Geoffrey Holder as the mysterious Baron Samedi. The movie has great moments such as the Alligator Farm and the boat chase as well as comic relief from Sherrif J W Pepper. Add to all this a cracking title song from Paul and Linda McCartney.

Agree? Disagree? Vote for your favourite James Bond films here.

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Who’s the 2nd Most Popular James Bond?
Ian Fleming’s Secret Cameo in From Russia with Love

Coal Respond to my Complaint

by Jake McMillan

My ever so slightly sarcastic complaint to Coal Grill and Bar in Wimbledon triggered 2 responses from them.

The first response, later that day, was a polite but generic response from the Wimbledon branch of Coal:

They did misspell my name, but it was a quick response and I appreciated the acknowledgement of my complaint. However, there was no effort to get my custom back again?

The following day, 9th September 2011, I got an email from John Gater the Founder and CEO of the Coal Grill and Bar Group:

I was actually quite impressed that I got a personal email from the CEO stating that they were looking into it and would get back to me in a few days. I thought fair enough, every company dips in service now and again, has a bad day and/or makes a mistake. They deserve the chance to rectify it and show that it was not their normal standard.

John Gater

Over 3 weeks later, however, and I have heard nothing from John Gater or the rest of his staff. Coal staff in the restaurant were slow to actually respond but once they did, they actually did something. Whereas John was quick to respond but has been slow to do something.

I found this article written by John Gater in December 2007 regarding the difference in service between USA and the UK following a recent visit to the US:

It’s a bit frustrating on returning to the UK to find that the word “service” in the hospitality business here doesn’t seem to have the same meaning. …

Perhaps the answer is to ship loyal crews to the USA to give them first-hand experience in the art of meaningful service. If it weren’t for the cost, we’d probably start tomorrow.

On second thoughts, maybe the cost would be justified after all. I’ll see you at the airport.

Fast forward four years and perhaps John should take his own advice?

I get the feeling that John genuinely does care about good quality service for Coal customers and for whatever reason this is not being carried out well at the Wimbledon outlet.  If things are improved or I just happened to go on bad nights, then I would be very happy to hear back from him.

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