Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 133 – October 2011

So Kimber’s Men are to host monthly concerts at The Works in Sowerby Bridge commencing in October, but I’m going to prison in October! Well at the time of going to print I’m actually visiting four prisons to talk about The Life and Times of Paul Robeson. I don’t suppose they will keep me there. Included in the list is HMP Grendon an experimental prison started in the 1960’s as a means to give men with long sentences the chance to get out earlier than they might have expected. Noel Razor Smith (an ex attendee and bank robber) has written a wonderful book called ‘A Rusty Gun’ and having read the book I’m very much looking forward to giving the talk; although my excitement is mixed with a large degree of apprehension. Grendon is special because it houses men that range from bank robbers, down the chain of inmate authority to the murderers and rapists, and down further to pedophiles and those seen by inmates as the scum. In regular prisons the rapists and pedophiles are kept away from other prisoners for their own safety. At Grendon (where prisoners apply to be sent) they have to attend daily therapy sessions where they all sit down in groups to discuss the misdemeanors which sent them to prison in the first place. If the convicts want an early release they must all put aside outward feelings of disgust and simply get on with each other. If there is minor trouble the prisoners themselves decide whether the offending person should stay at the prison. For major trouble they are simply sent back to the joint they came from. Thus I will see sat before me all aspects of prison personnel; the bank robbers, the fraudsters, the rapists and the pedophiles will all be sat there in front of me in one large audience. A bunch of men all doing their upmost to eventually win early release. The normal length for a prisoner to be detained at Grendon is about 5 years; but after a lot of meetings with psychiatrists prison governors etc, having been given a half day out with supervision some of them will eventually see the light of a proper day before they might have expected.

Do you know before last month I had never had shower in a wardrobe before! But I discovered the smallest bathroom I had ever encountered in Room 7 in the Weatherdene Guest House, Great Yarmouth during September. It was an experience I will probably never forget. When I sat on the toilet I had the toilet roll under my left armpit and my knees tucked gently under the wash basin. My right shoulder touched one wall my left touched the other. Bottom cleaning necessitated opening the bathroom door; which was a problem when Gareth my room mate was in the bedroom. But I did manage to alleviate that problem on the one occasion my toiletries coincided with his presence by standing in the shower tray and tossing the used paper the full length of the bathroom into the toilet bowl. This was not as difficult as it sounds because as you can imagine the toilet was very close to the shower. In between was the wash hand basin, so small it was completely covered by the soap tray; thus you cleaned your teeth and spat what was left over back into the shower tray. Or at least that is what I did. But the landlady was a gas, cooked everything in olive oil and refused blankly to cook fried bread for David’s breakfast. I have to confess for many reasons it was a fun stay and I would happily go back there again, even to Room 7.

I’m delighted to tell you that Neil Kimber is making a slow recovery back to health. It will be a few more weeks maybe months before he will be able to sing again, but providing he doesn’t overdo things he will regain recovery from the pneumonia that nearly killed him in mid-August.

Now I want to tell you about a company called ‘Global PC Solutions’. They nearly duped me. They are linked to Microsoft insofar as their web site says ‘Microsoft Registered Refurbisher’. They telephoned me telling me they were Microsoft (which I immediately found suspicious) and they were telephoning as many clients as possible to warn them of a super virus that was eluding such anti-virus programmes as Norton, or Avast, or whichever anti-virus firm I might be using. Apparently if I had been attacked my computer could crash at any moment. I could hear many voices on telephones behind the lady who called me so perhaps this really was Microsoft. Foolishly I decided it might be prudent, if I had become the victim of an attack, to let this kind Microsoft lady give me a clue as to the situation my computer was in. Now I’m not that clever with computers so she told me what to do, and yes my computer was in great danger of crashing. Would I like to right click the clock in the bottom right hand corner of the screen? The CPU usage file showed 0%; this I was told was highly dangerous, and not only that the Page File Usage History graph had a yellow line going along the bottom that nearly reached the other side of the graph. Yes my computer could crash at any moment would they like me to fix it while I was talking to them? Well yes I would; I was starting to panic, my computer (like yours) now has a lot of important information on it. Before I knew it they had control of my computer and yes suddenly a red circle appeared in some hidden coding page. Well it would only cost me £59 and I would have a seven year warranty with that. I suddenly realized I was not talking to Microsoft at all and apparently I’m now told that 0% in the CPU usage file is good and it’s 99% which isn’t. So don’t let Global PC Solutions fool you. I’m an easy target and I nearly succumbed. As it is I cancelled all my credit cards just in case, which has of course caused me much inconvenience. When you think about it in the cold light of day you realize that Microsoft are never going to phone round private homes with dire warnings of computers crashing, but these people have such slick tongues the easily lead, are indeed easily lead. They must be making a fortune. I suppose their operatives are on commission and they use whatever ploy they can to sell you the product. Be warned; the bastards are out there.

Meanwhile in America, and to a certain extent in Great Britain, Sarah Palin continues to grab the headlines. Joe McGinniss (a democrat?) has written a biography on her that claims she’s slept with a black American basketball player, had an affair with her husband’s best friend and dallied frequently with cocaine. In short she’s an awful parent an adulterous wife, a hypocrite, a racist and a terrible cook. For my part I’ve never fancied any black American basketball players although I have to admit the colour black has, and many black ladies over many years have been added to the wank bank, but in reality I’m a black virgin. Thankfully wives of best friends have remained completely out of reach and cocaine has also remained a complete mystery to me although I was once offered a line way back in 1980 something at the Philadelphia Folk Festival which for reasons I have completely forgotten and cannot now explain, I turned down at the time. However McGinnis has sensibly written a complete book about her life, because millions of Americans fancy her, and even more, for reasons I’ve explained in earlier Ramblings, think she would make a good president. In reality McGinnis could have shortened his book to three words. “Unreliable lying idiot”. But three word books don’t arouse much interest with publishers and can be read on the stands very quickly by perspective buyers and consequently don’t sell that well. But there is no denying the 47 year old grandmother has a knack of igniting media bonfires including this column of mine. American President? Possibly. Destroyer of peace and world tranquility? Certainly. The Taliban/Al-Qaida must be praying to Allah that she gets the job.

Are you looking for a smile before getting to the ‘Funnies’?
Listen to the wonderfully unfettered and emotional testimony by a citizen of Kansas City, who shared with her local TV news station her story of being caught in a convenience-store robbery. She was forced down and waited with her head low while events unfolded, doing her best to remove herself from the action by... well, you'll hear how. What eventually happened was, the clerk pulled a gun and chased the miscreants out the door, shooting at them and winging one of them.

Now, listen to the extended version of what the autotune-the-news guys were able to make of this. TURN IT UP. Listen in STEREO, either with good speakers or headphones.
Believe me; it’s wonderful

Try and guess what this commercial is for … BEFORE it ends …

Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead

Sep 30th (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 1st (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 2nd (Joe) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 5th (Joe) HMP Wealstun - Life and times of Paul Robeson – special invite only!
Oct 10th (Joe) HMP North Sea Camp – Life and Times Paul Robeson–special invite only!
Oct 12th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge; with Vin Garbutt.
Oct 15th (KM) Oxenhope Primary School, Oxenhope. West Yorkshire.
Oct 22nd (KM) Yeomanry Ball, Ellesmere College, Salop
Oct 24th (Joe) HMP Grendon – Life and times of Paul Robeson – special invite only!
Nov 9th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Martin Simpson
Dec 13 (Joe) The Victoria Hotel, Great George Street, Leeds. 2pm (Valparaiso)
Dec 14th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge, Amazing Mr Smith

Jan 11th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Martin Carthy
Jan 13th (KM) Sixmilebridge Folk Festival, County Clare, Ireland.
Jan 14th (KM) Sixmilebridge Folk Festival, County Clare, Ireland.
Jan 15th (KM) Sixmilebridge Folk Festival, County Clare, Ireland.
Feb 4th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax.
Feb 7th (Joe) Brighouse Third Age Forum, Waring Green Centre, Brighouse. Robeson.
Feb 8th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Steve Knightley
Feb 11th (KM) The Rose Youth Theatre, Ormskirk, Lancashire.
Apr 20th (KM) Clee St Margaret Village Hall, Near Ludlow, Shropshire.
Apr 21st (KM) Perranporth Shanty Fest 2012 - Cornwall
Apr 22nd (KM) Perranporth Shanty Fest 2012 – Cornwall
May 4th (KM) Sheepscombe Village Hall, Gloucestershire.
May 5th (KM) Minstead Village Hall, Hampshire.
Jun 16th (KM) Music on the Marr, Town Foot Farm, Castle Carrock, Cumbria.
Jun 22nd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 23rd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 24th (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Aug 17th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 18th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 19th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival

Sep 6th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival


Obituary printed in the London Times:
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; - Life isn't always fair; - and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.


Dear Joe,
A pome what I writted. What triggered it was the lies and self adulation that emerged over the 9/11 commemorative activities. Blair in an interview with John Humphrys showed not the slightest sign of remorse for the deaths that he was responsible for. I wanted to spew. The poem just flowed out over about ten minutes. It was as if it was in me just wanting to get out.
Best aye,

A Blair in the Hand was worth two for the Bush.
With apologies to Eskimo Nell

When Tony Blair and George W. Bush went out in the World for fun
It was Tony Blair who shot the line and Bush who fired the gun.
This loony pair stood side by side in cowboy posing style
And ordered their militia to bomb Saddam’s palatial pile.

And as their lies were seen through, on the news and on TV
This inglorious pair changed their story to bamboozle you and me.
Weapons to destroy us all were found to be invented myth.
And soon we knew that Bush and Blair were just taking the pith.

The innocent dead piled up as the weapons thundered and roared.
And into the chaos Bush and Blair more lies on the world outpoured.
“Mission accomplished” boasted Bush when the conflict had just begun
And Blair just went along with this and yet more lies were spun.

And years on we still see the chaos that these ruthless men imposed
On all the military and the innocents who were uselessly exposed
Oh the soldiers, sailors, airmen and the innocents who died.
Because two self styled heroes, lied and lied and lied.


Dear Joe
In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy. Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several
years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story.. but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill.. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar...placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs.. sure enough it happened just like that.. the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note.

Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu's and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.
I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise.. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.

Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.

Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe. "It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but
it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick. Ed says that! when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!) Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.


Mary Brooker.


Short Joke of the Month
A man goes into a Barnes and Noble and asks the young female clerk, "Do you
have the new book out for men with short penises? I can't remember the title. "
She replies, "I'm not sure if it's in yet."
The man said, "That's the one. I'll take a copy."


New Discovery

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York archeologists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: "California archaeologists, finding traces of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."

One week later, The Sun Journal, a local newspaper in New Bern , NC, reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 feet in his back yard, 'Bubba' Yancey, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, North Carolina had already gone wireless."


Some of the finest double entendres on British TV & and Radio...
A few classics that are still as funny as ever........
Michael Buerk watching Phillipa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked:
"They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts."

Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open
"Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself."

Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports:
"Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets."

Jack Burnicle was talking about Colin Edwards' tyre choice on World Superbike racing:
"Colin had a hard on in practice earlier, and I bet he wished he had a hard on now."

Chris Tarrant discussing the first Millionaire winner Judith Keppel on This Morning:
"She was practicing fastest finger first by herself in bed last night."

Winning Post's Stewart Machin commentating on jockey Tony McCoy's formidable lead:
"Tony has a quick look between his legs and likes what he sees."

Ross King discussing relays with champion runner Phil Redmond:
"Well Phil, tell us about your amazing third leg."

Cricketer Neil Fairbrother hit a single during a Durham v Lancashire match, inspiring Bobby Simpson to observe:
"With his lovely soft hands he just tossed it off."

Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said:
"There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this."

James Allen interviewing Ralf Schumacher at a Grand Prix, asked:
"What does it feel like being rammed up the backside by Barrichello?"

Willie Carson was telling Claire Balding how jockeys prepare for a big race when he said:
"They usually have four or five dreams a night about coming from different positions."

Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on Time Team live said:
"You'd eat beaver if you could get it."

A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked,
"So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?"
Not only did he have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard...

PGA Commentator
"One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them .... Oh my god!!!!! What have I just said?!!!!"

Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977:
"Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew."

Ted Walsh- Horse Racing Commentator:
"This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother."

New Zealand Rugby Commentator:
"Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him."

Pat Glenn- Weightlifting commentator:
"And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!"

Well they could be true!

Keep smiling, keep singing.