There Was No Uncle Joe!

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As regular followers of Jammy Toast will know, we are great fans of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls. We even awarded the sweets a Bear Paw Seal of Approval back in 2016. Well it turns out the makers of the boiled sweets have been undertaking an investigation into the true identity of their Uncle Joe mascot only to discover that he didn’t actually exist. The traditional mints first made in the kitchen of a Victorian terraced house 125 years ago, features a friendly faced man dressed in a top hat and tails on their tin. Originally it was believed the man was a relative of the Santus family who first made the mints for miners in Lancashire. Now, after years of research, managing directors John Winnard, 62, and his brother Antony, 60, have discovered that there was no Joseph in the Santus family.

Elmer J McCurdy

Posted by Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc on
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This is an amazing story that I discovered while playing on the internet and I just had to share it with you all. Those of you old enough may well remember an American television series back in the 1970s called The Six Million Dollar Man. It was about an astronaut who crash landed and badly mutilated himself losing his legs, an arm and an eye. They rebuilt him as a bionic man replacing his limbs with much stronger bionic legs and an arm and an amazing eye. He could run at about 60mph, was extremely strong using his bionic arm and could see great distances using his new eye. He worked for the American Government as a kind of spy using his new powers. So the story goes.

My First Computer

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Iwas throwing some old computer magazines out the other day and I couldn’t help but have a little nose inside before committing them to landfill. At article inside caught my eye which consisted of the journalists who work for the magazine reminiscing about their very first computers. It started me thinking about my first computer, or more to the point, the first computer that I loved and would argue with other computer owners over whose was best. That computer was the Atari 500ST. I had owned other computers before that one but this was the first computer that I would have gone out to bat for.

Davidd’s Doodles #5

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It’s currently 4:30am in the morning as I write this. I am writing it to distract myself from the fact that I cannot get to sleep. When this happens and I can’t get to sleep, I always remember an elderly man I met briefly a few years ago. It all started one weekend when I ended up in Arrowe Park Hospital with an irregular heart-beat. This was discovered when I went to the hospital with a chest infection that just wasn’t clearing up. While I was seeing the doctor, she said that my heart was beating erratically and that I needed to go through to a ward to be put on an ECG. I complained that it was tea-time and that I hadn’t had any grub and asked how long would it take. I was assured it would only take a couple of hours at the most.

A Sense Of Wonder

Posted by Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc on
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Ihave tried to write this post a few times previously but I just can’t get it to make sense even to myself; so I’m not really sure how anyone else is meant to be make head nor tail of it – but here goes anyway. Back in the mid-1980s I heard a song on the radio called “A Sense of Wonder”. I had no idea who sang it – and there was no internet in those days – but I instantly fell in love with the song. I asked around Birkenhead’s few record shops but no one had heard of it. The next time I was over in Liverpool, I went into HMV and they informed me it was a song and album by Van Morrison. I searched amongst the racks and found the album with a cover picture of some dude hidden amongst autumn leaves – all rich, red browny, half burnt orange and green. There was indeed a track on the album called “A Sense of Wonder”. Was this the song?

Davidd’s Doodles #4

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During some recent maintenance work on Jammy Toast, I discovered an old post called Davidd’s Doodles. It was from way back in 2011 but I had no memory of ever posting it or why I called it Davidd’s Doodles – although I can imagine it was so I could just waffle away about anything I choose. However, I never posted another one and seeing as everyone else around here has a column named after them, then I don’t see why I shouldn’t doodle away too. So Davidd’s Doodles will appear every now and again and allow me the chance to just pass on information, waffle away to my heart’s content (don’t I anyway?) or undertake any other task I so desire. Read on

Exxon Valdez

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Thirty years ago today, I woke up to the news that some oil tanker had run aground in Alaska. I can’t remember my initial response but I probably didn’t pay it much attention at the time. It was a common occurrence in those days, there had been many similar accidents around that time. Oil tanker captains seemed to enjoy getting drunk and playing slalom with ice bergs or – as in this case – perfectly well mapped reefs. However, during the following days I began to realise just how serious this incident near Cordova, Alaska was as events began to unfold. Forty-five miles away from the Alaskan fishing town, the giant oil tanker Exxon Valdez had run aground on the well-marked Bligh Reef. Her captain, Joseph Hazelwood, who was not on the bridge at the time of the collision, alerted coast guards just after midnight local time and said the ship was “evidently leaking some oil”. That quote – allegedly delivered using slurred words – has to go down as the understatement of the last century.