Tuesday, August 23, 2016

the return of the other special one


i know, i know. i know that, look you see, the biggest story of the day has turned out to be the man who would establish a new politburo rather shamelessly faking being on an overcrowded train in order to strengthen the case for the renationalisation of the railways. quite strange, since the case is strong already, and even stranger that no one is asking why the oh so "right on" Guardian newspaper decided to run the story without checking facts. but before that there was another big story of the day.

the moment that Sam Allardyce, lovingly known a Big Fat Sam, was crowned England manager, there was something of a sense of resignation that this would be all "jobs for the boys", and that future England squads would be made up of players favoured by the press. what not many expected, though, would be that this approach would extend to that class act who has the peerless record of being stripped of the England captaincy in disgrace twice; a status unlikely to be challenged any time soon.

yes, folks, there is speculation that Sam will recall the ambassador himself, Mr Chelsea in personification, the legend that is John Terry. rather surprisingly, quite a few people are very upset at the idea of this rare talent being selected as one of the best eleven what England has to offer.

but of course that all relates to his "minor racism" case. an but of course apologists, particularly in the press and media who seem to love that special JT magic, have rushed to say that it was only the FA who found him guilty of racism, and say that he was "completely cleared in a court of law". yes, quite.

this idea that John Terry was "completely cleared" by a court of law is a magnificent piece of PR gush which Terry and his PR people have regurgitated so frequently that it is widely accepted as true. it is not. John Terry was found not guilty by default, for some doubt existed in the case. by any standard, being found "not guilty due to an element of doubt" does not equal "completely cleared".

if you are bored, or wish to check the veracity of my words, the official judgement can be found right here by clicking these words. few, if any, of the journalists and radio presenters so excited to see JT back in an England shirt have read it, so don't feel bad if you don't.

do i think John Terry should be back in the England squad? not really. he was a fantastic player in his day, but came with some remarkable, breathtaking baggage. in a very real sense, though, it's all academic. the Sam model of England football will see Joe Hart (or similar) hoofing the ball towards the heads of Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch, or any other talented England player who happens to be really, really tall. the other eight players on the pitch are entirely superfluous to the way we shall "play", so in theory any eight could be picked.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

the Adam Clayton condition

hello there

the unexpected ways of life events can, look you see, be quite interesting and peculiar. often, at the least, this all happens in something akin to a good way. there are also some bad ones, it's true, and there are one or two incidents that you simply don't know how to take. it is the latter, i suspect, which is relevant here, as we have a look at the proclivity of people what are called Adam Clayton to show off their wares, or if you like their genitals.

had someone in, let's say the 80s, come up to me and said "how many different sets of male genitalia belonging to people called Adam Clayton do you expect to see in your lifetime", my answer would have been that i would hope none, but allowed for the margin that an (ahem) actor in the more adult orientated section of movie making might have that name. as things have turned out i can say, proudly perhaps, that i have now seen two such instances, and neither within the realm of erotica.

let's start with the present, or if you like the most recent, pedantic fans. over the course of the weekend it just so happened that trophy winning Middlesbrough absolutely spannered relegation threatened (their manager's words, not mine) Sunderland. whilst i appreciate that beating Sunderland at football is rather akin to shooting a one legged dog that has heart problems, you can only spanner the team put in front of you, and so the glorious, worshipped and celebrated Boro team posed for a celebratory picture.

the above is courtesy of the Mirror newspaper; a tabloid that i believe it is marginally socially acceptable to quote from. yes, indeed that is the current Adam Clayton censored, and indeed the Mirror has the uncensored pictured. i am not sharing it here, but i can give you this link if you are that interested.

this all happened a mere 25 (!) or so years after the other, previously better known Adam Clayton elected to show off his, so to speak, wares to the world via the conduit of the cover of the Acthung Baby album by his merry band U2.

as it happens, the 20th anniversary edition of the album features a censored version of the picture, which you can find below. the original issue, which is fairly easy to find online and in shops, does feature the full other Adam Clayton, if you are interested.

just how likely it is that i shall see the proverbial meat and two veg of a third Adam Clayton is something that i would really not wish to speculate on. i mean, i thought one was more than enough, with now two making me certain that this is enough. but, well, who knows what will come along next.

should you be called Adam Clayton and not be either a professional bass player or a loosely dressed footballer of quality (Boro only sign the best) and happen to be wondering "is there any global interest in seeing what i've got in me pants", the answer would seem to be decidedly yes. good luck to you, and i hope that career move works out.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

a world hardwired to not buy or sell music with ease

howdy folks

depending entirely on how you look at it and what you dig, the strangeness of 2016 being the best of times and the worst of times for vibes continues. joining the deaths, the tragedies, the arrests and the amazing music which have all happened this year comes, look you see, the return of Metallica. they caught the world somewhat off guard yesterday by releasing, or if you like "dropping" a new single in the form of Hardwired. this is ahead of a similarly titled double album, but we shall get to it.

actually, we will get to that now. i suspect you would rather all hear of this single and record, should you not be aware of it, than you would rather hear my groans and moans about how inexplicably difficult the world seems to have made it to buy music in an era when so many channels to sell exist.

i first heard the new single - and saw the video - off of a link on one of them facebook things. my initial reaction was "did not disappoint", and my second reaction was "this is smart, this is". and so, with virtually no alternate path to take, i managed to work out how to buy it off of iTunes

yes, that is the scary looking cover for the album, Hardwired.....To Self Destruct you can see, made all the more scary, i believe you will find, by my use of Commodore 64 mode to take the picture with.

speaking of scary, the video is quite terrifying, really. it's back to them doing the best kind of videos for their stuff, which is simplistic and, to use the word again, scary. here's some of it, and indeed here is some of it as it looks when a VHS camcorder is used to film it.


quite, as hopefully you can see in the above, a throwback to their two arguably greatest pop music videos, One and Enter Sandman.

so, the new album comes out in November, and is called Hardwired....To Self Destruct. also, it's a double album no less. this is something which many will be asking questions about, as in why there are not two double albums; i.e Hardwired....To Self Destruct I and Hardwired....To Self Destruct II. again, i say, if someone at Geffen had the balls to say to Axl "let's release all this stuff as four single albums, with one release every two years, rather than two double albums at once", the 90s - and Guns N Roses - would have all been so very different.

whiny bit coming up, folks, so you may want to opt out now.

whilst i have no doubt i will be off to HMV on the day of release to pick up this album, i in the mean time was suitably impressed with what i heard of what has been released to wish to buy it. understanding that there is no physical release of this, or many other, single(s) any more, i went to the online retailers to go and throw 99p at Lars, James and them other two, as if to say "bravo". this was tougher than it should have been.

in the end, as you can see above, i bought it off them twats at Apple, via their iTunes thing. it was by no means an easy thing to do. the only thing they wish for you to do is to pre-order the album in order to get Hardwired downloaded to your account. it takes some searching and digging to find the place on their ludicrous system where you can simply by the song along for 99p.

the official Metallica website? no interest in selling the song alone, alas, and no interest in selling things which are not priced in US$. that's weird, as if nothing else in your eyes then Metallica are probably the number one USA band for knowing, understanding and treating very well the fact that they have a huge fan base outside of North America.

surely, you say, the Google has the single for sale on their Play store? no. i wasn't really confident of finding it there, since they didn't have the songs off of The Stone Roses available at first, but i went and had a look anyway.

as of this morning, then, all Google, the self-anointed kings of the internet, know and care for about a new Metallica release is that someone has shoved some sort of app out there into the universe related to it.

Amazon? Amazon. it's quite depressing to see what Amazon has become. whereas once they were the ones who pioneered better deals for consumers using the power of the internet, now all they champion is higher prices and poor service. still, it was worth a look......

so at this stage as far as Amazon are concerned there are absolutely zero products known to exist or due to be released by Metallica which feature the word, term or name "hardwired". oh. and this is the lot, rather depressingly, who will have exclusive distribution rights to the new Amy Lee album next month. not a good sign that they know or understand music.

i, as regular readers will be aware, really don't care for this "download" stuff over actually holding the vibes you want to play, but so be it, that is the way of the world now. with this being the case, i am truly baffled as to why they make it so bloody difficult to actually buy music released in this way.

the simpler, cheaper and faster way to have obtained the song would have been to either "rip" the audio as an mp3 off the video on You Tube, or otherwise do a direct, less than legal if not quite illegal download of the song off of someone who had "shared" it online. i'd like to believe that there are many like me who would prefer to pay artists for their efforts, but everything about the way the record industry does online sales says "rather just go and get it unofficially please, we really don't want your money".

anyway, Hardwired is a smart, three or so minute splendid exercise in thrash aggression off of Metallica, and is well worth your time hearing via whichever way seems easiest to you.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

thieves in the temple


one of them semi-serious, semi-not so serious, mostly hopefully interesting types of posts for you, look you see. it's all just one of them random incidents which happens to me like it would happen to anyone else, yet i have a tendency to think a bit too much about it. well, maybe it's that i like to think of things in terms of whether or not any interest would exist in them for anyone else.

earlier this week, as opposed to late next week, i engaged in a transaction in a retailer, with my part of course being the patron. i forget which shop exactly, but as a key part of the transaction i was given change, in coins of money, from the amount i tendered to purchase something or other. one of these coins was a 2p piece.

indeed that is the "heads" side of the coin, displaying a respectful likeness of our monarch, Her Majesty The Queen. for those who dislike the monarchy and this system of Head of State, by the way, i suggest you go live under a Presidency, with very particular emphasis on the Presidency of Jacob Zuma. go right ahead, taste the true waste of money, corruption, instability and ruin you for some reason crave.

our friends in America, by the way, say that we here in England have too many coins. they may be right. whereas they have the nickel, the dime and the quarter (a 50c coin theoretically exists but apparently they are seldom seen), we have the 1p, the 2p, the 5p, the 10p, the 20p, the 50p, the £1 and the £2 coins. the first three probably cost more to produce or if you like mint than their actual face value. 

anyway, the above isn't the issue. if, indeed, there is any sort of "issue" here. the thing which caught my attention was that the other side - the "tails" side, flip fans - had a sticker on it, placed there apparently by a monetary loan brokerage firm called The Money Shop.

if i am thinking of the right people, my one and only encounter with The Money Shop was that they used to have some adverts which featured David Dickinson, that orange shaded chap who was at best a second rate and at worst a poor man's version of Rodney Bewes.

my issue or quarrel with this desecration of what is, ostensibly, my 2p coin? well, firstly i would suggest the approach what The Money Shop has taken with this in terms of the advert is, frankly, stupid. to suggest or imply that gold in the shape of that 2p coin would equate to £70 in value is a peculiar and risky interpretation on the margins by which the value of gold fluctuates. the other, perhaps more interesting query is that surely it's illegal to either deface money, or use it as a conduit for advertising?

some research says that the law in this respect is confused and unclear. the closest i could find to an answer was reference to some sort of Coin Act of 1978, which basically answers the question of whether or not defacing money in the UK is illegal with the statement "yes, no, maybe".

it seems that it is indeed illegal to deface or alter coins of money if the intention is to do so for profit or gain. mostly, however, this law relates to punishing those who alter coins so that they may be passed off as a higher value than issue. i don't think any lawmaker considered that someone would place stickers on coins for marketing purposes. people who quite like making Her Majesty The Queen look like Amy Winehouse on £5 notes are probably OK, then, but i am not so sure about this sticker.

this is something i should probably get Spiros to look into. my view, though, would be that it's just a plain dumb marketing exercise, whether it is illegal or not, and it spoils my smart collection of shiny 2p coins.

hopefully this has been of interest to someone, or maybe i should just stop thinking about stuff like this so much.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

poundland paddling pool

hello there

i do, and perhaps this goes without saying, do so dearly love my children. as an aspect of this i take it upon myself, look you see, to help enable them to reach whatever wish, dream or aspiration they have. with this in mind, when my (considerably) better half advised me that what they presently wished for was a swimming pool, i wasted not a single calorie of energy in making sure i met this wish, four or five days later, when i was next near a Poundland.

the climate of England, quite unlike Australia, South Africa or elements of the United States, is not one which is conducive to making it practical for homes to feature swimming pools as something of a default. there's also the fact that, i think, in England you are never any further than 70 miles (about 112km, metric fans) away from the coast or sea, so there's really no need to have a pool in your garden.

so, anyway, as you can see, off to Poundland i went, and obtained a quality guarantee mini paddling pool as i was somewhat requested, instructed and indeed reminded to do. i felt mini was appropriate, as for the most part children do tend to be smallish on the small side.

the measurements published on the packaging of the pool indicated that the dimensions of it, presumably inflated, were or are 55cm in diameter and 15cm in height. i didn't really pay attention to this in the shop, for i simply saw "quality", "pool" and most importantly "£1" and assumed that would do. had i noticed, however, i would have continued to purchase with confidence, for everything about those measurements says, to me, Olympic standards. it is not, after all, outside of the realms of reason or likelihood that some sort of Olympiad has stood in a pool of these dimensions - an action which i think you will find makes those very same measurements Olympic standard by default.

the quality which has so far ebbed and flowed from this product became all the more apparent - gushing, if you like - when i turned my inspective eyes towards the matter of just how one would inflate this most splendid of pools.

yes, that's right - it features a dual inflation mechanism, and not the sort which that b'stard George Osborne would have forced on the country had he been allowed to remain in power. having two inflation points on anything is a hallmark of prestige. an example of this would be the bike what Sir Bradley Wiggins rode to win, well, win lots of things. my understanding is that they don't let them ride around France or on smart Olympic rings on unicycles, so his bike must have had two wheels. two wheels on a bike means two inflation points.

these are also anything but standard inflation points. they are those specialist, CERN engineered ones, where one has to bite on the inflation tube, or if you like nipple, in order to allow for the free flow of air in an inwards or if you like inbound direction. that's in excess of £1 in technology there alone.

the boys were, perhaps needless to say, very excited that their Daddy had, eventually, remembered to go and get them some sort of swimming pool. their excitement, and indeed my insistence that they do so for the purpose of pictures to use here, meant that they didn't even wait for water to be placed in the pool before attempting to use it.

the above is indeed William, the youngest or if you will the most miniest of our children, endeavouring to be in the pool as a whole concern. it is, i will concede, something of a snug fit for him, although i would suggest in my defence that he is somewhat big for his age.

that said, the amount of the luxury mini paddling pool which William took up on his own meant that it was highly unlikely he would be able to swim or dive in it at the same time as his brother did. they shall have to learn to share and take turns, then. and in this respect James showed magnificent maturity, for he seemed prepared not only to wait for his go, but also to simply not have a go at all.

no, no way was i allowing his chivalrous action to go unrewarded, and at my insistence he did indeed get into the five star, stellar, by default Olympic standard mini paddling pool.

the boys, i should in fairness point out, have suggested if not requested that i stop referring to the mini paddling pool as being either "luxury", "prestige", "class" or "what they wanted". whilst i am always delighted to sort of half listen to anything they have to tell me, they are of course wrong and don't know what's best for them. i, as someone who owns a "best Dad in the world" t-shirt, of course do.

how does the award winning, quality guaranteed mini paddling pool look with water in it? pretty good, actually. both minutes that it took to fill went past in a very pleasant way, allowing me ample time to contemplate just how brilliant and excellent i am in being able to find such affordable luxuries.

indeed that is an NFL American Football ball in the pool, along with a proper football that looks like the kind of thing they use at World Cups and other such arranged tournaments. both were purchased as one concern, with Poundland generously charging only £1 for the pair.

right, i am off to grab both of my children and throw them into this mini paddling pool, instructing - with force if required, but let us hope not - them to remain within it and to have fun until such a time has passed that i believe i have extracted value in terms of entertainment from my £1 investment.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

indulging Mad Max


i would be the first to confess that my magpie eyes get hungry for the prize. when the mood takes i can, look you see, be quite the impulsive shopper, in particular as and when something of a passion of mine has items for sale which seem to be a most splendid price. this accounts for today, when a very financially viable set of things was thrown my way related to my long-standing love of all things Mad Max.

oh, yes. the original, or if you like "classic", Mad Max trilogy, starring the shall we say fallen from grace Mel Gibson in the titular role. these are the versions of film, in their DVD form, that were re-released, or if you like re-re-re-re-released last year, as in 2015, ahead of the release of Mad Max Fury Road, which of course featured the as yet not to have fallen from grace Tom Hardy in the lead.

but surely, you say, i have these films already? why yes, several times over. whilst i no longer have the video tapes (and i wish i had held onto the pre-certification version of the UK VHS of Mad Max 2, but there you go), i do have the films on DVD from when they were issued in them card and plastic clip boxes, one of the main reasons we moved to Blu Ray was because you could only get Mad Max 2 uncut on that format and so I bought it, and I have two blu ray box sets of the film; one version with these three and one version with what to do date is now all four.

why, then, the re-investment, or if you like re-re-re-re-investment, in yet another set? to be honest, they nearly got bought last year at £5 a go purely for the new artwork. as they were presented to me today for £1 each, well, it was a no-brainer, in particular as my (considerably) better half bought them.

whilst those covers are amazing, in my opinion etc, i figured it was worth seeing if these DVDs were any better than the dreadful quality first issue versions of them. the answer is yes, no, maybe.

yeah, i was not so confident when i opened up the boxes. as you can see above, or at least you can if you are a fellow Mad Max obsessive, the disc faces say that these are the original issue discs which have just been slammed into fancy new boxes.

why my love for Mad Max? lots of reasons. being in Australia when Mad Max 2 came out would be a big one. everyone spoke of it like it was the best thing ever, as it was i suppose. it elevated action films - in particular ones involving cars - to a whole new level, not one that America had yet to reach. examples, for instance, of the ostensible hero of a film being beaten senseless during the course of the story were far and few between.

with me having next to no interest in cars other than a frequently necessary means to an end i suppose my adulation is all the stranger. perhaps it's because i have scant interest for cars that these films are what they are to me. i mean, the car work is so audacious that people with no interest had to pay attention to just what was achieved across the films.

placing the DVDs into my computer, for i insist on keeping machines what have optical drives as part of them, revealed that all discs were indeed single layer ones. each disc clocks in at about 4GB. i thought this was somewhat strange, as i could recall the original issue ones being well south of this; closer to 3.39GB in size which for some reason was the default for first gen Warner discs.

as you can see, the very welcome feature off of the original release Mad Max DVD is here and accounted for, which is to say you can watch the film and hear the original Australian soundtrack. home video versions prior to the first DVD meant you were subjected to the horrid dubbed version, the pure Australian considered "a bit much" for most (i.e. American) audiences in the rest of the world.

what happened when i put Mad Max 2 in to press play? well, rather predictably but all the same sadly, this horrendous version of the credits cropped up.....


yeah, it says The Road Warrior is the name, whereas it should say Mad Max 2. i am sure you know the story, but if not - marketing people were convinced that no one in America saw Mad Max and thus releasing a film called Mad Max 2 would confuse them, so they changed it to Road Warrior. it is, alas, only on the Blu Ray version of the film does the proper name come up.

what's in a name? well, up until now, when you saw a copy which started with the title given as The Road Warrior it meant that you were about to watch the cut to ribbons version. other than changing the name, the violence was considered too barbaric and brutal for audiences in America, and so it was heavy handedly censored. somehow Warner managed to end up reissuing this version of the film at random, around the world, until the Blu Ray release.

this DVD, however, despite having the "censored version" name, has the running length of the uncut version. i flicked through, and to my eyes it would seem that it is indeed, at last, an uncut version of this cinematic classic on DVD, albeit with the wrong title.

yeah, that's the spines of the three re-re-re-re-re-issued DVDs, spelling out Mad Max in a most smart way, made all the smarter by my use of Commodore 64 mode. you have that instead of a still or video off of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

anything of consequence on the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome re-issue DVD? nothing that you wouldn't be aware of - some text based info on some actors, and the trailer for the film which features footage not used in the final movie. no sign, then, of a release for the boss two music videos what Tina Turner did for the film; videos which also feature unreleased footage.

the lack of extras are the problem with all releases of the original Mad Max films. at least with the four film Blu Ray box set there was a DVD documentary about the first film, but still. there are loads of known (and probably unknown) documentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes and alternate scenes for all three films which have yet to get an official release.

yes, i do indeed understand that the name Mel Gibson has become probably irrevocably tarnished by his antics. this is more so in America (and you'd think Israel) than anywhere else in the world, but that's where the money is, and that means his career is over. oh sure, there are people who have said and actually done worse than Mel, but that's how it goes - his disgrace is very much in the public forum where others have been perhaps more careful about what they say where.

over here, in terms of the English way of doing things, there's some shock and horror at all the things he said. it would be fair to say, though, that for many of us we found it interesting that he was praised and awarded for making anti-English films, yet it was only when he started getting abusive towards blacks, Jews and women that it was a problem. perhaps if everyone hadn't rushed to say how great it was for him to express his hate for the English then he wouldn't have assumed all of his prejudice would be embraced and rewarded, but there you go.

earlier on i didn't mention that i only really gravitated towards Frankie Goes To Hollywood when i clocked that Two Tribes had nothing to do with the nuclear war it got beautified with for a video and a remix and had everything to do with being a cheeky rewrite of the opening monologue of Mad Max 2. now that i have written that, i guess this post is done.

well, there you go - if anyone's been wondering if these versions of the DVDs are worth getting for reasons beyond the ace artwork, hopefully this has helped!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


greetings viewer

not too much, look you see. i wanted to share some smart music here, but in order to do that i am obliged to create a video to go with it. to do that, then, i went to the source material from where i first heard the music to extract images for you.

yes, as you will have worked out from the above screenshot, this is a return to one of my most dearly loved films of all time, Body Double. those of you in the know will, of course, have worked that out from the title of this post, for what else could telescope refer to other than the signature piece of music from this fine, fine motion picture?

telescope is the official and original name for the wonderful piece of music which plays as the ostensible protagonist of the film first gazes across the view afforded to him by the device of the title. as the years have gone by, however, it's become more common to simply refer to it as body double, for most just assume it's the title music.

anyway, here's a video with some (very carefully) selected stills off of the film, with some fancy special effects thrown in every now and then.


it's just a piece of music i have always loved and, so long as i have either ears or the ability to dream music in some form of deafness, one that i shall always love. it's just quite enchanting, mesmerizing, seductive and just a trifle saucy in implication.

it would probably be fair to say that what i am, all who i be, was somewhat influenced by (repeat) exposure to Body Double at a young and impressionable age. exposure very much of free will, let it be said. it's not a film for all tastes, but it does the job for me.

anyway, if nothing else, hope you enjoy the music. should, of course, you be watching this on a device which allows for music to be played. video, not music, but you know what i mean.

go on, you like to watch.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

further painty doodles


a pleasant update for those who are enamoured with the artistic, painty doodles ways of my (considerably) better half, then. she has, look you see, been inspired once more to produce a painting on behalf of someone. this is a painting that, as far as i am concerned, i am allowed to show off here. in particular as i partially helped with its creation.....

tadaah, so to speak. one can only hope that you quite like it as much as we do, and indeed the recipient. as it's a painting which my (considerably) better half has worked on for quite some time, we've both gotten used to it being around the house. now that it has gone, we do somewhat miss it......

as with previous painty doodle exploits, my (considerably) better half has kept a step by step series of pictures of the development of this picture. to this extent, then, here's an early one, in which you can, so to speak, see the wood for the trees indeed.

as regular readers will know, i have virtually no talent whatsoever, artistic or otherwise, but i trust these stage images give those of you with some plenty of interest. should these pictures be the sort of thing you like to look at, i would encourage you to go have a gander at the stage by stage images of the magnificent Bowie portrait which my (considerably) better half created for me.

if, as i so rightly state, i have no talent whatsoever, then just what is it that i think i did which in some way contributed to this painting? other than buying the canvas, i bought the paint. or paints.

quite specifically, i bought several shades of blue paint at the behest, if not request, of my (considerably) better half, as she sought get the absolute right one to use, both in itself and as part of some magnificent created of blended purple.

yes, indeed i would have just gone right ahead and bought a purple paint rather than faff on and try to make a specific shade. that's probably why few, if any, of my paintings are on display around the world.

the benefit of the approach of my (considerably) better half? well, other than the picture looking precisely as she wished, there's something if not magical then quite wonderful of it. as a different level of light strikes the picture throughout a day, the colours seem to change as one looks as it.

from my side, once again bravo to my (considerably) better half for a triumph of a painting. we trust that the shiny new owner of it loves it as much as we do.

more as and when it happens, dear reader!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2016

crazy Cartesian coordinates

hello there

this possibly doesn't happen all that often, let me be clear, but when someone comes up to me and ask me what my favourite type of coordinates are, i have no hesitation at all in saying that the answer is Cartesian coordinates. they are just awesome, man, and have many uses what are both valuable and practical.

it is, look you see, only a matter of time before all other forms of "what's your favourite" are exhausted, and so social media will be flooded with people sharing, or if you will excuse the cheeky play on words expressing, their totes bestest, like ever, form of coordinates.

and yes, i am very much a coordinates man. none of this co-ordinates nonsense, thank you very much, you can keep your hyphen.

any particular favourite Cartesian coordinates? all of them are just awesome, but i suppose i have always liked the dualism of the negative-positive combination, such as (-2.5, 5) and (4, -3). but just any, really, as and when coordinates are required.

well, there you go.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


who is and who isn't

actually, other than a not as obscure as you might think Stone Roses reference as a greeting, that statement is pretty much a valid question for any number of 4,999 specific people out there. it all relates to an email i got today, look you see.....

so an email pops up in my account with the title Your recent order for The Stone Roses - Beautiful Thing Vinyl Single. attention grabbed somewhat. what could it be? a survey? a warning that there's been some sort of misprint? a polite but ultimately likely to be declined request to send it back? weirdly, the last two form part of the answer. but have a gander......

as i said up there in the title, seriously? someone has gone to the trouble of complaining that more copies of a song off of The Stone Roses was made? what sort of twat would do that?

it's admirable that the distributor has 'fessed up to all of this, but quite baffling that they have gone right ahead and offered a refund to anyone disappointed by the situation. as in, no, they are not getting my copy back for love nor money, whether they made 5000 copies of it, 6000 copies of it or a million. if life pans out the way i want it to, i'll be getting buried with my copy, thanks.

why would you return it on the basis that 1000 extra copies, presumably not numbered like ours in the UK, were made and sold to fellow fans around the world? if anything, if you're all that upset about it, i would have thought there's a significant market out there of people who will buy it for somewhere north of the face value price.

i'd not advocate taking away the right of people to complain, ever, about anything they feel has brought them displeasure, but it's got me stumped, this one has.

anyway, dig what you dig................................

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

the simple pleasure of ransom demands


i suppose it would be prudent, and somewhat wise if that's not the same thing, to clarify that i do not, mostly, either endorse or encourage any action which is deemed to be less than legal. whilst frequent readers would, look you see, know that this blog is in many respects a mere imitation of life and not a guide to it as such, the more passing of reader might be misled, and perish the thought of that happening.

Poundland, or if you like Pound Land, is a place which has yet to cease providing me with items of pleasure and enjoyment, normally for the nominal fee of £1. this week was no different, and a most casual of browse availed me of the opportunity to purchase some most splendid adornments to any or all of our refrigeration units, or if you like fridges. some four hundred adornments in total, no less.

yes, away from the Scooby Doo and Secret Saturdays and, i think, Justice League magnets, you can see approximately 200 magnets in the form of letters and numbers what have been cut out of both newspapers and publications which are printed on paper, such as The Sun.

should that strike you as being the sort of thing that, from a traditional or classical perspective, was employed to craft smart ransom letters of demand with, you are not wrong and the packets of magnets are branded in a way that directly appeals to this.

making ransom demands has been an action we, as humans, have engaged in since, well, since there were at least two of us, for in order for a ransom to work there has to be at least two involved. whilst it's only been in the last 100 or so years that newspaper cuttings have been crafted in a way to allow demands to be known, withholding someone or something from someone who cares about or for the person or object in order to sway their actions or cause them to give you something has been a fairly standard practice.

the theory or thinking behind using newspaper cuttings is that it makes a demand loud and clear, yet is intended to be virtually impossible for any sort of authority to trace or prove was created by the ransom demander. simple, yet effective. 

let's take a quick break from all of this to appreciate the most splendid idea that they boys had recently with one of them inflatable hoop things.

i do know and appreciate that a significant number of family and friends around the world only really come here to hopefully see how the members of my family they like more than they like me are getting along, so it's fair do's for me to do an update to that extent from time to time. 

it might well be the case that you think holding actual physical things, such as people or objects, to ransom is a thing of the past. you may have come to this conclusion on the basis of the fact that it's all "computer ransom" these days, and of course that there hasn't been a decent, juicy ransom story for a good while, what with Bernie Ecclestone's Mum in Law (or similar) being held in such a way recently being the first widely reported kidnapping and ransom in ages. not to be.

as is the case with coercing people to do what you want them to by arranging for pictures to be taken of them as they sleep and sent to them, kidnapping, temporary theft and subsequent ransom demands happen a lot more than you think.  for every one ransom demand what gets reported to the constabulary, there is at least a dozen which are not. they just end with the ransom being paid and everyone getting along with whatever the terms were of that.

by this do i mean to imply that there are roaming, if not roving, gangs of ransom enthusiasts out there opportunistically crafting a living from this age old practice? partially. mostly its something which happens in the corporate, financial, political and media controllers sectors. if you ever see a decision made in such an area that strikes you as being somewhat retarded, if not simply completely arse-headed in nature, bear in mind that the decision taken which caused such a reaction might have been coerced from the maker rather than it being proffered up of their own free will.

what shall i be doing with my smart ransom note magnets? little, i suspect. i rather fancy i will arrange the letters to make obscene statements about certain friends, photograph it and post it to them. other than that, perhaps for fun i shall arrange messages for my family. otherwise, i suspect no, i shall not be using them to make any direct or overt ransom demands; at least not ones which i would care to confess to here.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

13; blur

hello there

every now and then, be it frequent or on occasions, something or someone happens just at the time you appear ready, yet ill-prepared for it or them or both. that i know makes little sense but, look you see, i would wager some coins that you know precisely the kind of thing i am speak of.

in recent times, a chance 75p purchase of Automatic For The People led me to discover, to the surprise of many who knew me at the time no doubt, that i really rather like REM. now, at the least - the music says something to me in the present which it most decidedly did not in the past.

and, looking back to the past, as opposed to looking back at the future, Blur. their album 13, to be precise, hence the title of this blog posting i write.

a personal perspective / history / opinion of Blur? surely. There's No Other Way came out, and Blur proudly proclaimed themselves with it to be a semi-decent Inspiral Carpets tribute band, or if you like some sort of precursor to The Bluetones. The notoriously tricky second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, came along, and it wasn't so much "difficult" as it was "just plain sh!t". then they went away, Oasis came along, London-centric journalists were determined to champion virtually any London band as being a "better lads band than what them Northerners have", Parklife released to a huge cheer of mock-cockney banter, dire music that was packaged well sold tres well.

i had zero interest, bar a couple of songs, then. and then the 13 album came along, or rather specifically the (i think lead) single Tender. at the time, it was precisely what i wanted and needed to hear, and i could not care less that the band who did it was one that i would not normally give coins of money to.

there was none of this download nonsense back then, and so a dear friend - one that i have only actually spoken to on the phone once and have not ever met - sent me the CD single. Danna, if you by any chance read this, thank you once again and yes of course i still have it.

what's the above picture of moi with my (considerably) better half got to do with things being a Blur, the ngle Tender or anything 13 related? everything and nothing i suppose; i just thought i'd put it in just in case, and who knows it might be of some relevance.

are Blur still going? hard to say. no band or artist seems to officially retire or quit and stay that way (except, weirdly, REM) any more, unless death pretty much makes it conclusive. i have no doubt that the Blur will reconvene as and when the circumstances say that it is appropriate to do so, be those circumstances entirely monetary or otherwise.

other than Tender, is 13 any good? why, yes. there's some smart songs on there, if not ones quite so good as that. on the whole, though, 13 has had more better patches than poor ones.

right, that shall do for now, then.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

the cost and the flavour

good day, dear reader

i suppose the absolute best, if not ideal, place to start this post off with is an apology for the title. in part, i suppose, it was intended to evoke images of William Faulkner, look you see, who himself was invoking Shakespeare in his use of the [principal a] and the [principal b] in the title of arguably his most famous work. this post neither pretends nor claims to hold such grandeur iof quality.

if in doubt, London, the saying goes. well, i am sure someone has said that. with little or nothing that i would care to compose here of the current, i've elected to go back and do one of them posts that i always intended to but never did. in this instance, we shall - if you stick with me - go back and look at how all of those splendid provisions i purchased from Fortnum & Mason worked out. well, no, not all.

the above, with the perfect clarity many of you shall associate with my blueberry camera phone thing, is one of three tins of Fortnum & Mason ground coffee which i purchased as a collective concern. of the three this is, quite specifically, the Guatemalan blend, with the other two being Colombian and Kenyan. if you can deduce why i would associate Guatemala directly with Fortnum & Mason, you are either a fan of something which i am, or have outstanding deductive skills.

just what costing do Fortnum & Mason place on this coffee? to be honest, i do not rightly recall. this might have been the item on my bill which was just slightly south of £18, making each tin some £6 each. which means each pot of coffee produced was some £6, for there was scant left after in the tin once the correct amount had been measured out.

but still, the platinum gold seal on the tin added to the value some, so let us not grumble.

what one must also bear in mind when purchasing luxury items from Fortnum & Mason is that you are very much getting precisely what you pay for. other than being allowed to buy into the famous brand, you are in effect purchasing items of the highest quality possible.

just look, for example, at these magnificent coffee grinds, prepped and ready for warmed Yorkshire water to make them into fine Guatemalan coffee.

i would very much like to think it is the case that the pure Guatemalan coffee beads are ground upon gold and titanium grinding equipment, which such splendid machinery being operated by gentlemen who have more degrees than i do, and earn within one day what i earn with a month, if not year. it's possible that the same machinery and the same staff who produce lesser coffee for sale in lower class retail ventures are the reality, but let us not dabble with my illusion or imagination.

a break from coffee, albeit momentarily? for certain, dear reader. let's have a look at the splendour and magnificence of the tin of chocolate dipped digestive biscuits. although, be warned, there is what i suspect is a cup of coffee present and visible in the next image.

why did i select the digestives dipped in milk chocolate from Fortnum & Mason? simples, really - that's the type of biscuit which Fortnum & Mason sell in a purple tin, and my (considerably) better half quite likes purple. ergo, if i wave things at her which are purple, less questions are asked about the bill of payment which i generate within Fortnum & Mason.

the cost of these biscuits, since the matter of money has been brought up? £7.95 for the tin; a tin which contained precisely 11 (eleven) digestive biscuits dipped in milk chocolate.  yes, indeed, that's approximately 72p in coins of new money per biscuit, compared to, say, £1 for a whole packet of McVities biscuits with a similar, although lesser, chocolate on them.

but look, these ones that the Fortnum & Mason logo on them, making them worth the price paid.

there is partial bravery on the part of Forttnum & Mason in calling these biscuits "digestives", but mostly i suppose it would be fair to say there is a lot of "we are Fortnum & Mason and we are going to disregard fashionable conventions which we do not care for". this is something i put forward on the basis of there being a call to stop manufacturers referring to certain biscuits as "digestives", for they do nothing whatsoever for the digestive system of one who dines upon them.

a similar approach is taken with respect to this thoroughly modern miniature trend of expecting shoppers to either purchase bags for their wares, or otherwise bring them with them in advance of requiring a means to transport provisions home. Fortnum & Mason have a prominent sign of display, advising patrons that they have no interest in this charge business, and shall give away as many bags as they jolly well like. this is, of course, pure branding. whilst Fortnum & Mason are legally unable to bar or otherwise deny entry to either the proletariat or (thankfully) tourist filth, they can ensure that such lower classes do not arrive expecting to take away their fine produce in Aldi bags, or similar.

a look at the skyline through the window of my elevated shed? if you wish.

shall we, dear reader, return to the splendour of Guatemalan coffee being made in our rather fancy, feature laden coffee machine?

here we are at an early phase of the coffee being prepared. this picture shows, with relative clarity, the first droplets of Guatemalan infused water trickling into the serving pot, with the shade of the coffee being distinct, distinguished and, i tell myself, far superior to the stuff i would normally use what costs less than half of this per pot.

moving away from the coffee again, so as to create the illusion of you waiting for it to be brewed, so to speak, let us look again at those milk chocolate dipped digestive biscuits.

despite the high cost for a decidedly Nigel Tufnel number of biscuits, i did of course permit my beloved family, which is to say the 75% of my family who you like a good deal more than you like me, to have one (1) each. well, allowed on the basis that they paid me the 72p in value which each was worth.

yes, charging my family per biscuit eaten is something of a new approach. it might be a controversial thing to do, but it is also a successful and richly rewarding action. i may impose it on all other matters going forward, see if i cannot hit some sort of retirement target.

the above picture does indeed show James appreciating all 72p he paid for one of the Fortnum & Mason biscuits. no, he did not take off his headphones to eat it. i did instruct him that if the proprietors of Fortnum & Mason were to catch him in an act of such gross disrespect they would insist he be flogged, but he simply gave a shrug and got on with his life.

how is the coffee progressing, you ask? well, if you will excuse the play on words, those of you with a progressive browser and device who can actually play video here may watch and hear as the coffee machine weaves its magic with the Guatemalan ground coffee.


i do hope that many of you are in fact able to watch the above, as it is a most splendid thing to see and hear. that's the sight and sound of superior coffee being made.

for those unable to watch the above video - and i am led to believe that it would mostly be those who were led to believe that some sort of Apple device was the best one to own and use for internet concerns who fail to be able to view - here's a picture of the near complete pot. 

and just how did the coffee turn out? in all honestly superb. for the most part one can only obtain Colombian, French, Italian or "unspecified" coffee from the more common retailers. i will, in the absence of frequent access to Fortnum & Mason, be actively seeking ways in which i may obtain further Guatemalan coffee, as it really was exceptional. or, you know, perhaps it was just that the touch of Fortnum & Mason made it be such high quality.

finally, then, a final look at the milk chocolate dipped digestives of Fortnum & Mason. here is William, proudly holding his 1 (one), somewhat unsure as to why money had to be removed from his pocket money tin in order that he may have it.

whilst William doesn't quite grasp all this money business - how one obtains it, why it's a good idea to have it and so forth - he does know enough to be aware of the fact that if something cost money then it should be appreciated, valued and looked after. that is why it took some coercing to get him to actually eat the biscuit for which he had handsomely paid 72p.

well, there we go. i believe that this is that for my most recent Fortnum & Mason exploits, except it is not. i have thus far not had any of my Sir Nigel's Marmalade, nor have i tasted my Royal Sovereign strawberry jam. also, i am uncertain that my (considerably) better half has yet to crack the seal on her honey. potentially expect more, then.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

glass eye

hello there

every now and then it can, look you see, be quite the challenge to throw something together here that if isn't quite interesting then at least doesn't upset too many people. mostly something happens that i feel is worth writing about; at times, though, one finds themselves with absolutely nothing better to do that post images of obscure footage of Sammy Davis jnr from the early 70s.

that's Sammy accepting, both wisely and as many other noted people have done, many, many dollars in coins of money to promote whisky in Japan. the full video will be below, but if you are in a rush you can have a watch of it over on that you tube thing by clicking here, enjoy.

is this going to all be some sort of tribute post to Sammy, some 26 years and a few months after he passed away? not really, i just happened to stumble on some video footage of him and, well, here we are.

that there above is a still image of Sammy doing one of his smart faces in something called Poor Devil. it was one of them "pilot" shows that never got made into a full series. that's something which happens to a lot of pilots, alas. what was this one about? a situation comedy about the comical topic of satanism, i believe. him off of Dracula, Christopher thingie, was in it too. but i didn't find any whisky adverts off of Japan from the 70s with him in.

speaking of which, here you go, for those of you that don't trust that you tube stuff, here's the Japanese whisky video.


will i be uploading the video of that Poor Devil show? no. it's about an hour long, and so would be irritating or distracting to have here for most of my readership. actually, as far as i know, most of my readership can't actually view video here, as their browser on their chosen device simply doesn't support it.

you will, then, simply have to go to that you tube thing to see Poor Devil, and clicking these words right here will take you to the video of it.

is it worth having a look? yes, if you are a fan of Sammy, Christopher Lee, the non-Batman roles of Adam West, the comic side of satanism or sensational clothes. here, in respect of the latter, look, you see.....

i'm not expert in fashion but, well, actually now that i think about it i am, so i will say quite categorically that the suit Sammy has on there is a shade known as "impossible red". it's a shade what only existed for suits made for Sammy, and no one else is allowed to wear the same shade of red, ever. except i think that one shirt i have looks more or less the same. boss medallion and jacket the bloke next to him has on.

would i consider myself as a big Sammy fan? not really. i mean, he was boss in both Cannonball Run films, and that song Candy Man what they used in Madagascar was smart. other than that, all i know is that he was good makes / drinking buddies with Dean Martin and Mr Sinatra. he's ok in my books, mind, but i wouldn't claim to be a fan as i don't know all that much about him.

anyway, if you happen to be a fan of Sammy, be it in a casual passing capacity or an avid one or somewhere in between, and this has all been of some interest to you, well then that's just great, man.

right, then, more at a later stage.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 05, 2016

it's tea, look you see

hey there

for reasons that i'm not particularly inclined to discuss or delve into, i have of late been spending considerably more time within hospitals than i normally would. any time could, look you see, be the amount of time that i would not normally spend, but so it goes, you can only play the hand you are dealt.

despite my preference or wish not to discuss the finer details much, i over the last few days came across a tale from that place which was, to me, comedy gold. i could not, then, let it slide to the oblivion like nature of my memory, and thus am recording it here.

i was on a ward where the residents, or if you insist patients, are rather close to going home. in order to be satisfactorily judged to be able to cope at home, however, they must first pass a test.

what sort of test, you ask? ah, yes, quite, here's where my beloved the English way of doing things comes to the fore. in order to prove that they may go home, they must make.....a cup of tea.

no, that's note one that i or any sort of patient made to pass this test; it's a Fortnum & Mason one which was made last month. the image is being used purely for illustrative purposes. as, you know, pictures usually are.

oh, there's more to this than that which you have read. i became aware of this testing in part from overhearing a conversation whilst there, but at most from an account of an impressive effort to get a patient to take the test.

here is the conversation as relayed to me, followed by a random picture of me, just to keep quiet all of those who moan when there's too much text and not enough visual. the first voice, so to speak, is that of a nurse, whilst the second is the, as it were, patient. this is all, by the way, around 8pm at night.

"come one, wake up, it's time to make a cup of tea!"

"but I don't want a cup of tea?"

"that doesn't matter, you just need to make one, now"

"but why would I make a cup of tea if I don't want one now?"

"you just need to come with us and make one please"

"I don't want a cup of tea"

"please come with us and make a cup of tea"

"no, I don't want a cup of tea"

apparently this conversation went on for a little bit along these lines. the conclusion, lest i leave you in any sort of suspense, was that the patient most decidedly did not make a cup of tea, and thus was not discharged or returned home.

yes, Richard enthusiasts, that is indeed Richard at the forefront upon the couch, whilst i stand towards the back, looking most stylish with some vibes on the go. it is my way.

i'm trying to work out if, going back to the tale told, i've ever heard a more incredibly English situation than this one. from all around the world i've been quizzed about just what is it with the English and our tea, so it all makes sense. why wouldn't you use making a cup of tea as an astute means of determining the well being of someone, and why would you release someone who was not prepared to make tea?

whilst i shall continue to report on episodes and incidents of the English way of doing things here, i think it's fair to say that - short of a war declaration inspired by tea - we're reached some form of zenith or zeitgeist in terms of the subject.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!