The End

If you weren’t there, the following probably won’t make sense-

As UMIST merges with Manchester University, so do the students Unions. Ladies and gentlemen, lower your heads and pray silence for the memory of UMIST Students Association (nee Union). No flowers please, but you can make a donation to the beer fund.

I was Welfare Officer (93-94 HAck), Tim was Education(?) (9?-9?, I can’t presume to know his hack status), Daz worked for Grip and was on Council (again,no presumption on hack status), most of us were involved with Rag and/or Events. And that’s before we spread the net to include FoS.

Oh yes, and congratulations to Ian B

It was agreed to make the Peter MacKay award to the only nomination submitted, that of Ian Beningfield of Rag who had worked tirelessly for the organisation during his time as a UMIST student.

Doctors Evil

The Academy of Medical Sciences has published a report suggesting that the price of alcohol be doubled in an attempt to curb booze related health problems. All I can do is to get all Harry Enfield and go OI! AMS!! NO!!! Let’s face it, the rise in depression, and the damage to the economy, would be more harmful and in more ways than the problem they’re trying to solve.

Edit: What is it about the female physiology that means they have a lower weekly limit (2/3rds the male amounts on the graphs accompanying the report) for recommended alcohol consumption? I can see that the laydeez are on average smaller than blokes, but does this affect liver function? Or is it just a male doctor thing that they have to protect the pretty little things from themselves?

Reefer Madness

Oh no! Someone has finally died from cannabis poisoning! And it only took him 11 years of smoking six blunts a day! This means that cannabis is nearly almost a tiny fraction as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco! Ban it! Ban it now! None of this hippy re-classification nonsense! It’s evil! I mean, we don’t even collect tax on it!

PS Can someone send around samples of the experimental stronger strains so we can test them please?

PPS I’m probably so square that no-one has ever referred to them as blunts in the whole history of toking have they.

Christmas in Baghdad

More tense than an average day. When do they get to have some proper peace?

Kids in Iraq also believe in Santa Claus, but people here call him ‘Baba Noel’ which means, “Father Noel”. I asked the children what he looked like and they generally agreed that he was fat, cheerful, decked in red and had white hair. (Their impertinent 11-year-old explains that he’s fat because of the dates, cheerful because of the alcohol and wears red because he’s a communist!) He doesn’t drop into Iraqi homes through the chimney, though, because very few Iraqi homes actually have chimneys. He also doesn’t drop in unexpectedly in the middle of the night because that’s just rude. He acts as more of an inspiration to parents when they are out buying Christmas gifts for the kids; a holiday muse, if you will. The reindeer are a foreign concept here.

For those embarrassing moments:

I see that Spinneyhead has been on a bit of a geek love fest this week, so the thought occurred as to what happens when one needs to hide the geekiness for a while?

Thanks to BBSpot, now you have ten ways to clean up the image a bit.

Here’s one of them:

10. Calculating their blood alcohol level at the bar while alone in the bathroom.


I guess I’m a bit of a fair weather patriot when it comes to sporting events. I actually watched (well, sort of, I was playing Gran turismo at the same time) the Rugby final, and have to admit, it was a nail biter. Yay for our boys!

Though I wouldn’t be even this interested if it had been football. The sports minister was on telly last week saying that we had lots of world class athletes, just not in sports the public is interested in. I take issue with this. I’d like to see more mountain biking, a sport we have a couple of world class downhillers in. Instead of Ski Sunday (or whatever it is nowadays) during the winter months we could have Downhill Sunday almost every week. Duals and BikerCross would make for good short attention span telly. It might have something to do with sponsorship. At the moment, the main people funding fun sports are Red Bull. Perhaps they’re not big or swish enough to get attention often.

Not so extreme, more of a long slog. I rode the Northern loop of the Bogle route yesterday. I felt better at the end of the 27 miles than I did after the first 2. Only got one picture, of the war memorial at Clifton, because I didn’t want to risk my muscles siezing up by stopping too often.

At least I’m not the only one confused by the start and end of Ramadan. It seems Eid starts today not, as I had thought, on Thursday (though I may still stay off the beer until Saturday). And yesterday I was told that the Sunni and Shia ramadans are different lengths. All too confusing, but at least I also found I wasn’t the only one off alcohol for the duration.

Beery pictures

Another year, another Beer Fest. There are a few traditions for Fests-

Stupid Girl by Garbage must be played at least once. If I don’t have to pay for it that’s just a bonus.

There are a few people I only meet at these annual events. I really should be more sociable.

The outgoing Beer Monster must strip at the staff party.

I always say I’m going to give up the booze for a month afterwards. Not because of the pain of hangover, just to detox before Christmas.

I’ve promised to test ride the revised Bogle Roll route, so I’ll have to find out what it is before the days get too short and wet. Someone’s looking into sorting out a Rag PayPal account so I can have a “Sponsor Me” button on the website and the money will go straight to them (but recorded as coming from me so I can get the kudos.)

Oh yes, anyone who’s in the pictures whose name I have forgotten, please introduce yourselves in the Comments under the image. And accept my apologies for being so crap with names.


Yes. It’s almost that time of year again. More embarassing red faced (from the booze) pictures of the webmaster, who will no doubt mention sheep too often and fail to pull that cute blonde/brunette/redhead* he has his eye on.

And, with luck, Oldhacks will have a different picture for its caption competition.

(*Delete as applicable, but probably brunette based upon previous experience.)

Victoria's Pub

Victoria Baths may have won Restoration and got �3.5million towards refurbishment, but that isn’t enough to get the whole job done, and there may have to be compromises, maybe even partial conversion to a pub, before the other �20million or so can be raised. I hope it doesn’t have to go the full on alcohol and late licence route, but I’d be happy to see a compromise that turned the Mens Second Class pool (it’s already been filled in) into a coffee shop (not Starbucks, of course) with seating in front of the building and light meals.

Soundtrack- Fatboy Slim, Better Living Through Chemistry; Status Quo, Twelve Gold Bars; Into The Eighties


Beer is cheapest in the Northwest, with real ale as cheap as a quid 75.

Despite this, the cheapest pub I’ve been in the last few years was down in Croydon. The first round was a pint of Guinness, guest ale and one of those Smirnoff Ice thinigies. When my change from a tenner included a five pound note I stared dumbly at the cash and tried to work out which drink they hadn’t charged me for.

We spent the rest of the afternoon, and a bit of the evening, in that pub.

Kwak is good

But Kwak is bad,

but Kwak is good.

It’s very, very hard to find information on line about this damn fine beer, probably because of the effect excessive consumption has on the brain cells. I remember, sort of, many fine nights involving its consumption.

Oh, okay, I don’t really remember, but I have filled in the blanks with witty repartee and tales of gallantry.


Available from Bar Fringe. (Do I get my free bottle now?)