December 6th, 2005



  • Some of you might like to be reminded that there's a Friends-locked post with my address and phone number in. There's a link to it in the userinfo if ever you lose it.

  • The UK's Top Ten Williamses List, December 2005

    10) Danny Williams. British heavyweight boxer famous for beating a fading-really-badly Mike Tyson. Unsuccessful in a European title challenge against an unheralded Turk and a WBC world title challenge against Vitali Klitschko. Fighting against Audley Harrison on Saturday and not expected to do too well.
    9) Montel Williams. His talk show was broadcast on Channel 4 over here for a while, but it failed to have the impact of even Ricki Lake, let alone Oprah Winfrey. Probably less impact than Ireland's Gay Byrne on "The Late Late Show", even.
    8) My mate Phil Williams. Phil is huge, about three inches taller than the bloke we used to call Big Gordon (who himself is 6'5") and built like a brick external closet. Really nice guy, though, and very kindly gave me a lift from the games convention I went to last summer. Phil won the first English Settlers of Catan Championship in 2002, but second-placed Tanya Fox took our slot at that year's world championship. I'd pick Phil in a fight against Danny at #10.
    7) Mark Williams. Habitually glum Welsh snooker player who nevertheless won the World Championship in 2000 and 2003. He was awarded the MBE in June 2004 and has been off his game ever since. Yet another snooker player who has since turned to poker with some success.
    6) Sir Frank Williams. Has run a highly successful Formula One motor racing team since 1977, winning the constructors' championship nine times, despite being confined to a wheelchair since a car accident in 1986. Would be ranked higher if his team hadn't been a little off the pace for the last few years.
    5) Shirley Williams. One of the "Gang of Four" politicians who founded New Labour in 1981, but made the mistake of calling it the Social Democratic Party. Has been vindicated in much of her political views, but the SDP never had much success.
    4) King Williams. A mixed bag here. William I was the king with whom school history starts; accordingly terribly influential. William II, non-event drunkard. William III managed to unify his title as Prince of Orange with the crown of King of England (and Ireland) and later the King of Scotland, making him far more successful at accumulting titles than Danny Williams at #10 above. Oversaw quite a good revolution. William IV lost quite a few points today for being distantly and illegitimately related to the new leader of the Conservative Party, but King Williams could yet climb the charts again should William V yet win the big belt.
    3) John Williams. Composer of film scores and other works. Wins Oscars for fun. Has only produced two different scores in the last 20 years, though, Schindler's List and All The Rest Of Them.
    2) Robbie Williams. Singer, formerly of boy band Take That. Spends considerable time and effort getting people to speculate about his sexuality, then sues newspapers who suggest he might be gay. And wins. You can't have it both ways, Robbie, and I can't afford to suggest that you've demonstrated that, in fact, you can.
    1) David Walliams. One half of the hottest comedy act in the UK at the moment, Little Britain, which is winning awards left, right and centre as a more up-to-date version of The Fast Show. Has been working with Matt Lucas, who might these days somehow have eclipsed Reeves and Mortimer who gave him his big break, all his career, but highly regarded for his solo work as well.

    Oh. Walliams. Still, though.

    The UK's Bottom One Williamses List: Bill Jillians.

  • The Docklands Light Railway's extension to London City Airport and beyond is now open, hurrah! The London Underground sometimes bills itself as the first internal rail system to take passengers directly to an airport, having extended itself to Heathrow in 1977. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I'd be curious to know whether there are comparable systems in the world which link two or more airports.

    Of course, many people will be wondering how the new line affects Mornington Crescent strategy, and the answer is delightfully simple. Tell someone that you're playing the London City Airport extension ruleset, as you would be, and open with the wonderful Pontoon Dock. The following exchange then becomes legal under all rulesets:

    Our Hero: Pontoon Dock
    Chump: (thinks: if we're playing the London City Airport extension ruleset, er...) London City Airport
    Our Hero: Mornington Crescent. Legal in this situation under all variants.

    But nobody's going to be silly enough to fall for that, are they?
  • Current Music
    "Last Train to Trancentral", KLF
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