Published 20 JAN 1996 ♦ Updated 11 JUN 2014 21 JUL 2015

Modern dysanthology of quotations heard unawares

“Literally recommended by those who recommend literally”

“Brick-shatting, thought-stopping stuff since 1996”

The Naked Listener’s Weblog is a collection of random bits and pieces of overheard conversations and blacked-out insights — not of famous people, but of disarmingly ordinary folks in breathtakingly ordinary settings. Famous people sometimes make it in — only because they were heard speaking as ordinary people who just happened to be well known.

This blog has an unbroken online existence since 1996. Before then, it started out as a series of pocket notebooks, entirely handwritten, and finally weighing 30¼ lbs (13.72 kg). The web version continues the work of the paper volumes. (See ‘Blog history’ section below for the full story.)

The About Blog Name page has the skinny on the origins of the blog name.


I’ll level with you 99% upfront — I don’t sell rechargeable batteries that fit your model of “wonk.”

The name of the game here is everyday stuff — stuff that run-of-the-mill, every-other-day, centre-of-middle people say or do (or say they do) — that somehow reveal the logic and nonsequiturs of that craptastic perishable commodity we call Life (or something mislabelled as such).


Here (as in Life, for that matter), nothing is right or wrong, messy or orderly, truthful or deceptive.

It’s merely one train of thought that’s more (or less) realistic or maybe interrobanged-up than the previous train as time goes by.

Train service may be late or even suspended, of course.

If things turn out well, then all’s well that ends well. Simple is as complicated as that.

If you don’t ‘get’ the idea behind what’s going on here, you’re not the only one — but we won’t hold that against you. Ever.

Other than that, the background image changes once a month.


I have set up this blog for my own use and benefit. My plan is to set the ideas and conversations from other people that I find useful or interesting into an easy permanent form. I may repost information from various people (with credit and link to the extent possible or suitable) and sometimes add my own comments. If anyone else finds this interesting or useful, okay — and if not, that’s okay too. I’m not benefiting in any way other than the retention of this information, and have no intention of benefiting other than this way.

This blogging thing is a lark for me and chiefly to entertain — myself mainly, but others too if they like it. I do my level best to be accurate (and cynical) — again, mainly for my own benefit more than for others. If I have a choice between factual accuracy and a cheapskate gag, the gag wins out hands down every time.

Blind idolisation sought and appreciated. Feel free to quote my words and reuse my stuff. You know the attribution routine already. Linkbacks desirable but not absolutely necessary. (The Policy page has details.)

QUESTIONS? Requests? Suggestions? Send all offers and donations of blind idol worship to or use the Contact Form.


Public Jealousy

awards vba viba

The blog received The Versatile Blogger Award on 26 May 2011 and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award on 1 April 2012.

The BBC and the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post have written about the blog. Previously in 1988, the (then) Hong Kong Standard newspaper wrote a public-figure piece about me.

See Awards page for details.


Your mum didn’t warn you about people like me

« Un inglese in un corpo cinese
che pensa come un europeo
in stivali da cowboy »

Know more about me HERE.

Robert Lee is The Naked Listener.

He spent his formative years in 13 different countries around the world because of the antics professional obligations of his parents. He didn’t realise the places were all different countries, so it didn’t matter.

He once played polo for the county of Hertfordshire in England. He is also a globally ranked competitive motorcyclist who bizarrely is a total nobody in his own country and on the Internet.

He used to wear nicely tailored three-piece suits but have stopped that because the drycleaning has become overbearingly expensive. Which leads him to have this ultimate philosophy on Life:—

« Non sprecare mio tempo se il prezzo à un crimine. »

(“If the price is a crime, don’t waste my time.”)


When not involved in the profitless enterprise that is this blog, Robert is a ponytailed, cowboy boot-wearing, five-meals-a-day financial printer and printbroker. He also moonlights as a ghostwriter and once did a short stint (stunt?) as a political fundraiser in the United Kingdom.

He also represents authors in Law, Tax and Finance to publishers worldwide — an undertaking that’s soul-destroying and profit-challenged even at the best of times.

Robert is a published author (or ‘had been,’ depending on your perspective): his first book at 18 and his second at 22. Both books promptly (and properly) went ‘OP’ (out of print) and pulped a year after publication — which officially makes Robert a pulp author. The cognoscenti had him doped for a world-class artsy-fartsy photographer, then they discovered to their disappointment that his two books were crap. He thinks the readers were douchebags anyway, so there’s no love lost.


A late developer, Robert only started school at the age of 12 but ‘finished’ all his formal education by 17. That episode lasted only five years. His edjumacation lasted considerably longer than that, unfortunately. He went on to waste time, money and effort to receive legal training in English and Hong Kong Law but is not a practising lawyer/solicitor (thankfully).

Apart from that, Robert is not a late developer in all the other things of life (geddit?).


He speaks (and sometimes even genuflects in) incredibly fluent and flawless just “incredible” @_@ English and Chinese (Cantonese dialect, although he’s not Cantonese) but analogously dismal French and German — and even more pathetic Italian.

Yet it takes him only a fortnight to pick up Farsi (Iranian), but that’s mainly in the company of Iranian female friends.

His only saving grace is that he can handle his booze and tolerate durians, that foul-smelling sonofabitch fruit. Ultimately, durian tolerance is what counts in life.

He also ‘signs’ — knows sign language — badly, of course, but seriously useful when he’s seriously fuelled up on contraband booze and in imminent danger of eating durians for reasons therefrom.

Much more importantly, Robert totally concurs with the German proverb:—

In wine you will find wisdom,
strength in beer,
and in water,
you will find bacteria.

Even more importantly in the overall scheme of Life, Robert has a particularly mewling penchant for East End London Cockney girls, who can rob him blind.


But what actually makes The Naked Listener tick, click and dick?

Be astonished at the Random facts about me.

Check out the Awards page.

(Why do you even care?)


Blog design theme: Ambiru

Ever since day one on WordPress, this blog uses a free theme called Ambiru designed by London-based developer Phu Ly.

Funny that a substantially London-raised person like me nearly always comes back to stuff from Londoners.

Like Phy Ly, I also find —

“… anything and everything is interesting to me in one way or another. You may be surprised to know what I know and enjoy talking/hearing about.”

I chose Ambiru specifically for its narrower, centred one-column format, an aspect that gives good readability and provides no-nonsense clarity of purpose.

Coincidentally, my choice has turned out to be rather prescient, since Ambiru’s general design has proven very well suited to viewing on mobile devices.

Background image

wall 2015-03mar highrises j8hyVBm resized

‘Highrises’ by unknown, via Imgur.

The wallpaper used to change once a month. No longer. WordPress in mid-2015 made wallpapering a Premium Feature for my theme. It’s been fun while it lasted.

See the Gallery for previous wallpapers.


Blog events

tnl header riders 560x436 2012 0925The Naked Listener’s Weblog organises a yearly fan meeting (called a “Drench”) — a public event anyone can come to (and beat up The Naked Listener).

Join the blog’s official Facebook page and receive news of upcoming events and wild sex parties.

(Image: ‘Couch Riders’ by the author using the Mix Poetry toy at


Blog name

See About blog name for how my ‘handle’ became the name for the blog.


Blog history

See Blog history about this blog’s continuous online existence since 1996.


Blog’s worth

The Technorati rating was from back in 2009. Hoped that the value has appreciated even marginally since then.

On the other hand, 30¼ lbs (13.72 kg) worth of handwritten notebooks means this blog could be priced US$740,179 as spot gold at the COMEX.

Yer pays yer price, yer picks yer goods.





My Blogger Code v2.0

Anyone who’s been blogging for any length of time ought to have this world-famous Blogger Code by Travis Kroh. It’s legacy stuff now — therefore quite valuable now — because it can’t be had, not for love nor money.

B9 D+++ T- K+ S F I O++ X++ E+ L C Y1 R+ W- P+ M5 N H

Alternative version: B9 d- t- k+ s+ u– f i o++ x++ e l c-

Decode them manually [HERE] yourself. [deadlink]


My Geek Code v3.12

Geeks are distinct from nerds or nolife*. I’m none of them. When you’re a blogger, however, it is morally unethical not to include Robert Hayden’s The Code of the Geeks (Version 3.12) regardless:—

GAT$ d++(-) s-:-(- – – : – – -) a14 C+ U- – – P L E@ W++@ N+++(+) o K w+ O+ M(+) V+ PS+ PE Y+ PGP t+(-) 5+(5) X+ R* tv+ b+ DI++ D+(D) G e++ h* r+% y+++++**

Eminently decoded [IN THIS POST].

Generate your own automatically: [Joe Reiss’ The Code of the Geeks v3.1 Generator].

French and English generator for v3.20 available [HERE].

Recommended decoders: [The Geek Code Decoder Page] and [Joe Reiss’ Geek Decoder].

* Believe it or not, French Wikipedia actually has an entry on ‘nolife’ (in French). English translation is here.


My OmniCode!

patient doll gaumardGreg Webster’s OmniCode! v0.1.7 is a suggested (but overly complex) replacement for the Geek Code:—

sxy cm173 kg56 skf5deb3.wheat ha311c1d ey794448 esO&es# sp= Ag1999.variable an!=.giraffe.gecko hdd Lo22.25,114.1667 GM+8N ZoQ&Zoc Zo*.giraffe! rlh&?.C.B.D.F.M.b LAEN.british&LAZH.cantonese&DE.FR.IT Cr?(8) Ed?(6) HbEngravings&Photography&Tormenting_my_peers PlT.M MvW&MvD.Car.Jaguar_XJ6&M.Honda_Steed_450&B&H Rl+.?.$! Kd?.accidental PeO.hamster FHg.2011 BAS.{R} UF? IN12.cable Pr!

See what I mean?

Expertly decoded [IN THIS POST].


My Hacker Key

I’m not a hacker, but my Hacker Key (v5) is:—


Decoding-wise, thoroughly unfurled in [THIS POST].



This crap is now on a dedicated page: Legal & Policy. See the Notice below too.


Haters: A standing offer

Please see the Hate Mail FAQ for details.



Sign my guestbook [here]. (Deactivated for the moment for reconstruction.)

Update: Deactivated, period.

Just leave your comments/complaints below.



Blog and site © The Naked Listener’s Weblog, [1996–2008], 2008–2015. ♦ The Author of this blog is Robert Lee (thenakedlistener@ for the purpose of copyright and other legal considerations. ♦ This blog is non-profit and non-commercial, and is not an editorial product released to the public on a regular basis. ♦ Rights not expressed herein are reserved. ♦ Nothing herein licensed under Creative Commons. ♦ Some content governed by third-party rights. ♦ Excerpts and links freely permitted without notice to The Author, provided that byline is given with hyperlink back to original content herein. ♦ Commercial reproduction strictly at The Author’s discretion. ♦ No representation made for any reasonable expectation of content accuracy or timeliness. ♦ No endorsement made for any links contained in the posts. ♦ User’s comments left on posts are non-removable after publication. ♦ Use of this blog and site is strictly at your own risk. ♦ See POLICY & LEGAL page for information.


Right about now … a comment from you would be nice.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, [1996–2008], 2008–2015, except otherwise given below.

Images by the author:— Couch Riders using Mix Poetry toy at (image archived here)‘Weeow’ sign • Profile pictures and artwork of the author. © thenakedlistener.

Images by third parties:— Pocket notebook image © Beth Skwarecki • Abba’s “The Name of The Game” EP (1977–78) via • The Listener magazine cover of 18 Aug 1983 via eBid • GeoCities logo via All Things SD • Windows Live Spaces logo via Wikipedia • WordPress logo screencap via • The Versatile Blogger Award logo via Word Nymph • The Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo via The Dissemination of Thought • Blogger Code 2.0 logo via • Binary code bracelet via GadgetSin • My OmniCode! image via Gaumard

Created 18 Aug 2008 (based on an original released on 20 Jan 1996)
Published 19 Aug 2008 on this blog site
Updated 3 times in 2011 (Jun 14, Aug 07, Sep 16)

Updated 25 times in 2012:— Jan 01, 04, 10, 11 (link updates/fixes, amendments, reformatting, additional & amended disclaimer clauses) • Mar 07, 12, 14, 15, 21 (link fixes, minor amendments, released as front page during furlough) • Apr 19 (old rant text removed) • May 26 (minor amendments, reformatting, reinstatements, new links) • Jun 21, 25, 28 (link reinstatements, photo updates, minor amendments, further link reinstatements, additional minor text, reformatting) • Jul 01, 03, 04 (reinstated to default page position, amendments, minor edits to ‘Previous incarnations’, minor fixes, minor additions) • Aug 24 (minor typo fixes) • Sep 17, 29 (minor layout amendments, link updates) • Oct 08, 11 (copyright, amendments) • Nov 08, 11 (revisions, updates, OmniCode, Hacker Key, missing subhead added) • Dec 08 (formatting fixes).

Updated 21 times in 2013:— Jan 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 23 (minor textual & image amendments, new/additional images, added facetious comment to Twitter section) • Feb 04, 07, 09,10 (revised copyright notice, added para re reproduction, added para on background image, minor updates) • Mar 01, 13, 14 (wallpaper para amendment, para reordering & amendments, blog history para reordering & amendments) • Apr 02, 17, 18 (background description, gallery shortcodes, Twitter panel, new story links) • May 04 (wallpaper update) • Jun 09, 17 (wallpaper update, realignments) • Jul 08 (new sub-tagline) • Sep 21 (paragraph overhauls, blog history updates, link updates, revised notice)

Updated twice in 2014:— Jan 24 (fixed deadlinks, strikeout Twitter panel); Jun 11 JUN 2014 (revised ‘Further Excuses’ section to ‘Why Must I Blog?’)

Updated Jul 21, 2015 (removed blog history & duplicated social network items)

13 Responses to “About”

  1. Guus said

    Hey Rob, do take care. Your updates will be sorely missed!


  2. Corbeti said

    Wait! Don’t go! Especially don’t let things like this get to you!

    It’s been an absolute pleasure strolling through your posts, I’m sort of really surprised they’re not more popular here, amazing.

    I couldn’t say how much I’ve learnt but I’m sure there’s a shit-load of subconscious this-that-andtheothers that I’ve taken in. It’s one of my favourite writing-centric (sorry for all the dashes) blogs out there, one which you can read over and leave with a fresh feeling, I should probably read them through more slowly but at least there are still plenty to go through.

    Erm, basically I just wanted to type that your blog is probably more respected than you realise, have a gander at the visitor counter if you need reminding.

    Much love maestro. Hope you come back soon!


    • Thank you for strolling here. I’m sorry it’s come to this, but I should say the furlough is temporary – just don’t know how long it’ll last. It isn’t the blog-crappers that’s causing me to go on leave of absence – the crappers were the tipping point. Please, subscribe/follow my blog and you will get notification of its reactivation/re-animation. Thanks for the very kind words.


  3. NiubiCowboy said

    With your bad-ass cowboy boots, you’re more than welcome to take a load off in Texas! An appropriate response to your critics, from Tennessean by birth and Texan in death, Davy Crockett: “I also told them of the manner in which I had been knocked down and dragged out, and that I didn’t consider it a fair fight any how they could fix it. I put the ingredients in the cup pretty strong I tell you, and I concluded my speech by telling them that I was done with politics for the present, and they might all go to hell, and I would go to Texas.”


    • I think Davy Crockett had he been alive would deeply appreciate the Alamo siege feeling that I have holding out against all the crap swirling in my life (and also for the blog). But then again, Crockett was much better educated than I could ever hope to be, so his remark would be ‘too constructive.’ Yes, I would like to go to Texas, but you can appreciate it that I much prefer the bastards go to hell and don’t come back. Right this moment, I need a cup of something pretty strong myself. *Glurg glurg glurg*


  4. mrchopstik said

    I certainly hope to find that you are reactivating this soon. I have to admit that it took me a little while to get used to your blog but I have learned to enjoy and appreciate it – even if I didn’t ever really comment on it. Not enough of your observational skills out there so please don’t give it up.

    And yes, I am a subscriber and will continue to be until you decide to give it up for good (hopefully someday far into the future). :-)


  5. Because I have been inspired by your blog I would have chosen to nominate you for the Inspired Blogger Award but as you are on furlough I will join your protest and resist the temptation. You can see my award post at:
    Come back- cyberspace is getting dull.


  6. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 said

    Come back soon, please! And I am also missing your always interesting responses over on SeingRedInChina. Not enough folk like you in the world. Best Wishes from me who has learned an awful lot from you.


  7. lawmrh said

    Glad you are back from your furlough and that things are better this time out. Best wishes and good luck!



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