Thursday, June 30, 2011

the Frankie Forum has moved

hi everyone

just a public service announcement for my fellow Frankie fans. the Alternate ZTT board, aka the Frankie Forum, has moved to this new address.

the login details and password from the "old site" will work on this "new" site.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

a fashion statement of note

hi everyone

well, great news for you if you are a fan of Fulham, Egyptian businessmen and the late, great Michael Jackson! at last, a t-shirt has been produced which incorporates all three of your interests!

you can purchase this rather interesting looking item by clicking here. i am not at all sure i know of anyone who falls into the target market for this item, but if you do then happy shopping. you may wish to consider spending an extra 30 (thirty!) pounds on the official Fulham FC Michael Jackson tribute umbrella whilst you are there.

i do recall some Fulham fans saying "why is this happening to us?" when the statue was erected outside their home ground. in the mean time, the combination shown on this shirt just simply reminds me of one of the most excellent bits of product advertising Viz did :

now, it has to be said, i was a fan of MJ, have nothing against Fulham and have no view either way on Mr Al Fayed. i am pretty sure, however, that nature did not want the three combined in quite this manner.

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

William's new sleepwear

hi everyone

well, i managed to get a few pictures today of William in his most excellent new sleeping outfit - i think "babygro" is the proper term for them. then again, "jumpsuit" would also be a good name for it.

Auntie Gillian, Uncle Grant and cousins Katie and Daniel very kindly sent three new such outfits on to us all the way from New Zealand, for we are unable to find similar ones to this here for some odd reason.

the Post Office very kindly put a huge import tax on the parcel too, but apparently i am not allowed to grumble, complain or comment about that. although it is worth mentioning that the tax on my Bowie package was less than 10% of the tax on these outfits. moving on, then.....

here's William, showing Auntie Gillian that it does indeed fit just fine!

i must say the labels on the outfit are quite class. they state that they were all designed in New Zealand, made in China, and that you should keep them at least 1 (one) meter away from any heat or fire source. this is a partial bonus for William, really - he rather likes seeing what the Chinese do with other people's designs. as far as i am aware he has not had any desire to do fire dancing or walking on hot coals, so presumably he shall comply with the heat guidance aspect of the label.

now this next picture is quite class.....

you will note a scratch on his head. that, apparently, is the result of a "disagreement" with another baby at creche today over whose turn it was to play with a particular toy. one toy of about a thousand that they have to choose from. sorry, i have no clue who ended up with the toy, but the evidence suggests that William has earned the right to play with it!

this next picture is somewhat misleading, as William looks a bit concerned or troubled in it.

well, he was concerned and troubled i suppose, but only to the extent that Daddy was stood with his camera in front of the television whilst Teletubbies was on!

apologies for the lack of pictures of James in this post. at present he is trying to rid the world of Rice Krispies single-handedly, to be honest. they have some sort of "create a play" thing going on with the boxes, and he just wants to eat and eat them to get the empty boxes and cut out the characters on the inside. no doubt he will feature on this blog in the near future!

many thanks again, New Zealand, for the ace outfits!

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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Golden Years and a big plus.....

hey everyone

well, you may recall from a recent post (this one) that David Bowie had, a mere year after the re-issue of Station To Station, decided to issue a single from it. that single was Golden Years, and i duly bought it from those excellent people at record store.

i was a bit hesitant at ordering at first, as it worked out to be rather pricey for the CD and the 12", and i couldn't see me having one without the other. however, the desire to have yet more Bowie records was too strong, and thus an order was placed.

i am rather glad that i did, really!

very, very, very glad that i did, as it happens! why? because the song is so great, you ask? well, of course, but it's not like i am not swamped with it already on discs, tapes and records. because the remixes are so excellent, perhaps? well, they are rather good, yes - not the "rave" nonsense i was expecting, instead each one places emphasis on a particular part of the lavish instrumentation for the song. not sure how often they will get played, but they are rather good.

so why so glad? well, that would be because of what else was in the parcel. the shot of the records above are sat on it, so here's the full picture!

blimey! a Station To Station t-shirt!!!!! a very unexpected inclusion! there was no reference to it, or even the chance of one being included, on the site when i ordered, and still there is no reference! i could barely believe my eyes when i opened up the pack and saw it!

the downside, if there is one, is that the shirt, alas, is apparently intended for a much slimmer gent than your humble narrator. oh well, i could sort of lose weight to fit into it, but then again there's very little chance of me wishing to wear it and risk it getting damaged! yes, it is sat safe in a nice bag right now, and shall probably stay that way!

i am not sure if any or all other orders come with the t-shirt too, but never mind that at the moment - an important note for any vinyl enthusiasts reading this is the superb quality of the 12" pressing. it has been done on ultra, uber heavyweight vinyl, and thus is well worth your time considering for your collection. needless to say, i suggest that if you wish to buy, you consider using the excellent services of record store.

right, one more play of the mixes for me tonight and then off to bed!

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

one of one thousand

hey everyone

well, this post is a little late, sorry! i received this a couple of weeks ago, thank you very much to Richard, Mr Sculpture Of A Bloke himself!

the Manic Street Preachers, bless them, do have some funny ideas about releasing things. the three singles off their last album, Postcards From A Young Man, didn't do very well at all in the charts. bass player and lyric king Nicky Wire had expressed a wish to be successful with the singles selected from the album, and in fairness they were not bad songs. however, promoting them weeks (!) before their release, doing nothing in regards of promotion for them in the week they first went on sale (and would have charted the best) and making it very difficult to find where to buy them kind of counted against them.

even more interesting than this was the bizarre approach they have taken with their first "single proper", Motown Junk, and the decision to re-release it, for the first time ever as a 7", to mark the 20th anniversary of the original release.

cool idea, bad implementation. for some reason they limited it to one thousand copies, and first made them available from only two venues at two very specific times.

thankfully, my mate mentioned above was at one of the venues and grabbed me one!

nice one! very much appreciated!

the approach taken is peculiar because the band seems to want some chart success at the moment. no bad thing. add to this the fact that Motown Junk only ever got to 92 in the charts on its first release, yet became a firm fan favourite over the lats two decades, and you have all the ingredients for a proper re-release to give the song proper exposure and a much better chart position.

issuing only one thousand non-chart eligible copies (no bar code) doesn't strike me as a way of charting. as us Manics fans like buying pretty/ugly things just because they have "Manic Street Preachers" written on them, i am very surprised at the lack of interest the band and the label had with this release.

alas, all official copies have now sold out, so you can just admire my pictures and listen to the a side and b side here if you so wish. otherwise, if you are an obsessive and want to buy it, the most famous auction site on the whole interwebnet has copies, but at a price.

in regards of the latter, i would really warn you against buying. as glad as i am to have this record, it has been made as cheaply as possible. it is a very lightweight piece of vinyl indeed - audio enthusiasts beware!

right, off to listen to my other new record, post to follow shortly...

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

Friday, June 24, 2011


hey everyone

well, the June Solstice has passed this week, which means that it is time for the most excellent festival ever, Glastonbury, this weekend. if i were going to it, i would be a bit stuck with who to go and see this evening - U2 and Primal Scream are playing at the same time on (obviously) different stages. yes, Glastonbury is that excellent.

i was somewhat reluctant to post the recent "uproar" (ahem) about the inclusion of The Wombles on the bill for Sunday because, for reasons i shall go into, i am convinced that the whole incident is a not particularly intelligent nor elaborate publicity stunt.

Michael Eavis, the Glastonbury founder, supremo, overlord and organizer, has apparently expressed criticism and regret at booking The Wombles to play at this years' festival. yes, you read that right - the man responsible, at the end of the day, for who does and does not get booked to perform, is having a go at someone booked to perform.

the fact that he is bring critical of an act he must be responsible for booking, an eyebrow must surely be raised at the act he targeted. The Wombles are, after all, much loved from their days on childrens TV. further, the general message of The Wombles was to keep places tidy and care for the environment - causes very close to the heart of the Glasto organizers. this would be why i suspect Mr Eavis' comments were little more than a ruse to garner yet more column inches in newspapers and magazines for his festival. strange considering the saturation coverage the event gets, but i suppose there is no such thing as too much publicity.

inevitably the comments have snowballed, with all sorts of groups being formed and comments being posted in defence of The Wombles. the defence of The Wombles at Glastonbury reached an astonishing height this week when none other than Primal Scream "popped by" where The Wombles were rehearsing to show solidarity and support!

The Scream, perhaps indicating that certain substances are alive and well in the world of the Primals, expressed their regret that they were unable to join The Wombles on stage on Sunday, but wished them every bit of success and luck they could. nice of them to do!

for those of us not able to attend Glastonbury, no doubt the event shall once again be pretty much covered across the media - the BBC, for a start, send many trucks full of many people with recording gear to cover it all.

do try to remember that you are a Womble!

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiji fun.....

hey everyone

well, wouldn't you know, i am the recipient of just over one hundred and twenty photographs from my sister! not all of the pictures show off splendid New Zealand, though - in fact i think only one or two of them do, and even then it is of the airport region. she has instead sent on some images of a place known as, and indeed called, Fiji, for this is where she and the gang went for, i think, a week.

i cannot profess to know much of Fiji, except that it is a mere vowel change away from being Fuji, who make class camera stuff and i think, once upon a time, video tapes. this lack of knowledge should not be seen as a barrier to understanding the pictures Gillian has sent on, though, so let's have a look at them. erm, when i say "them", i mean several selected pictures, and not all hundred or so of them!

and let's start off with a picture which might not be in Fiji. i mean, it could in theory be somewhere near Fiji (Fijian?) airspace, i suppose, but then again it also might very well not be.

it strikes me as being that airlines going to and from NZ are rather classy. i am assuming of course that Daniel and Katie are in this picture watching something on a TV screen in front of them, or i suppose they could be just staring at the headrest. i mean, and this is one of the theoretical facts which shall be presented here, the distance in terms of air travel between NZ and Fiji is, i am told, only 4 hours. that's not all that much time to spend staring at a headrest. this would be particularly true if it was a most class headrest. Gillian did not, alas, take a picture of the headrest (or TV if that is what is there and thus what they are looking at), so your guess is as good as mine at this stage. unless you have been on the plane in the picture and are aware of what it is they might be looking at.

erm, the above feels like something of a large detour away from the point of this post. let us move on.

now then, not knowing much about Fiji means i have absolutely no idea what one grows there, if one is in the business of growing. this picture suggests that they grow coconuts.

or at least they did grow coconuts, if that's what they are. Daniel looks like he has tried to rid the country of them, does he not? and what better way to get rid of a massive stash of coconuts (or unspecified fruit) than by asking Daddy and Katie to eat them all?

i am not convinced that they did manage to eat all of the coconuts, though, as Daniel's backpack in this next picture looks like he may very well have one or two (or three or four) hidden away for a later, unspecified use.

nice of you to pop up in one picture, by the way, Gillian!

speaking of Gillian, and indeed eating in Fiji, i made one simple, presumed to be easy enough request from them when they headed off to Fiji. that request was to take a picture, preferably with Grant in it, of a KFC in the place. it would have been quite splendid to see an image of where The King, Elvis Presley might have gone to eat should he ever have decided to pop over to Fiji for a bit.

apparently this was a bit too much to ask as the only picture i got that was close to being a KFC was this one.

yeah, OK, Hard Rock Cafe is pretty smart and that, but it is not KFC, is it? i have done some research and it turns out that there are branches of KFC in Fiji, and furthermore their website shows you how to get to them easily enough. oh well, i suppose i shall just have to go there myself one day to see the magic of KFC as interpreted by the people of Fiji.

as for what there is to do for entertainment and that in Fiji, well, with the emphasis on the "and that" part of the sentence it would be fair to suggest that they have fewer sheep than they do in New Zealand. that would explain why Grant decided to take the kids off in a canoe to look at "neighbouring islands" on the off chance that they might have sheep who were willing to [TEXT REMOVED ON LEGAL ADVICE], like they presumably do in New Zealand with some enthusiasm.

on a night it looks like you can do things that are even better than things one might do with sheep, really, although i can proclaim no expert wisdom in what may or may not be better than anything involving wool. i just happen to think it is excellent that in Fiji on a night you can send your kids off to the beach to watch some dude eat fire, presumably before or after a game of volleyball, going on the net.

all of those kids, in particular the lad with the red shirt and cap on, look well impressed with that. i wonder how many headed home and tried it?

if watching some fella play volleyball before or after eating fire or attempting to recreate Papillon in the quest for sheep are not your thing, i am led to believe that there are other excellent things to do in Fiji. one of them would be to have a go on a most excellent water slide; something i am told Katie and Daniel did on a frequent basis. here they are going down the slide (i think it's them, at least).

note the look on the face of the child waiting to go down. it's like with his eyes he is saying "once our country was blessed with many coconuts (or similar looking splendid yet unspecifed fruits) and hardly anyone ate fire. look at us now".

failing any of the mentioned forms of entertainment (if you can call [TEXT REMOVED ON LEGAL ADVICE] to some poor sheep "entertainment"), Fiji does appear to offer one the opportunity to stand around and just look really, really cool. like Katie does here.

one can never really judge how beautiful a country is until one sees how they love and respect any branch of KFC that The Colonel has allowed them to open within their borders. we have been denied the chance to do that, of course, but all the same i must say that Fiji looks like an amazing, beautiful place.

indeed, at the time of the sun drifting towards the area below the horizon, it really does look like a place you could just lay down, relax and chill in. that's not a bad way to spend time, really, not at all.

well, there you have it. i believe they only spent a week there, but it must have been tempting to stay on for even longer. well, it would be tempting if it were not for the lack of KFC and somewhat relaxed lifestyle sheep, i suppose - bearing that in mind, it is a wonder that Grant stayed a full week, even.

many thanks, despite not sending the one i asked for, for sending on these excellent pictures, sis! looks like a truly amazing place, hope you all had a stack of fun!

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

Elvis Impersonator

hey everyone

"it's OK, i will go around impersonating him, see how he likes it.".

those are the words attributed to the late, great Stanley Kubrick when he was informed that a con man called Alan Conway was running around London (innit) posing as him. it is a wonderful, if slightly disturbing, story and has been made into a wonderful if little seen film, the details of which you can find here.

it remains to be seen if my Dad's latest class idea gets as much attention or even a film version as per the Conway/Kubrick incident, but you never know. for reasons which are as best known to himself as they are not exactly surprising Richard decided to get Dad a class set of sunglasses and sideburns in the image of those worn by The King, Elvis Presley on a frequent basis.

needless to say, my Dad thinks they are excellent.

i simply cannot wait to see him wearing these at the same time as his beloved red shoes, driving the Jag about town!

i am not sure if The King, Elvis Presley reads my blog (never forget my conclusive proof that he is in China, details available here), but if he does and sees this i can only hope he takes this all as a compliment.

it does look like Dad is having exceptional fun with his new look!

i opted to get Dad the excellent looking Ladies & Gentlemen The Rolling Stones! DVD, but i would imagine that it goes without saying that had i seen this set i would probably have got it for him too, which would have been interesting as Richard and i somehow managed to get Dad identical Fathers' Day cards!

hopefully there will be many more incidents of him wearing this class outfit in the near future. we can only hope that he gets the bejewelled jumpsuit to go with it!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Friday, June 17, 2011 - idiots

hey everyone

well, i have seen some stupid marketing decisions before, but this one really takes the cake. we keep hearing of how the "economic climate" is tough and how everyone is scrambling for business. odd, then, that a company would willingly make it impossible to do business with them, no?

i tried to log on to kalahari at verk today and got this annoying screen :

how stupid can you get? i have heard of some websites being incompatible with newer browsers, but not once have i seen any website say "sorry, your browser is too old, you cannot give us any money".

when i called them and asked about this and why they took such a stupid decision all they could say was that they were unaware of this being the case. brilliant.

this is no doubt the work of some complete and utter tool who think it's "cool" to have the very latest of everything on the go and does not appreciate that some, if not many, people cannot change their browser or simply do not wish to do so. those brilliant people at the Post Office had a similar problem a couple of years ago, where some genius changed the website so that you had to be one of about 3 people with a specific browser to access it.

and just what sort of idiot uses MC Hammer with a nonsensical message to say there is a problem with a webpage?

there are many other online stores, i am sure they will appreciate my business.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


hey everyone

well, a tricky review to write is one for a film that has a "twist" or two (or three) in the plot, really. it's really unfair to give anything away, but there's the inevitable chance that one will give something away. i shall do my best to reveal too much about this film, but shall add a warning just now!

in short, Unknown is a film that is well worth seeing. if you do not wish to risk learning more than that at this stage, then be warned, for as careful as i shall try to be there are *** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD ***

Unknown centres on a doctor and his wife (Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger) arriving in Berlin for some sort of bio-chemical (i think) seminar at which Neeson's character is expected to speak. on getting to their hotel, however, Neeson notes that his briefcase appears to have been left at the airport. he hails the next passing taxi intent on going to collect it.
on the journey to the airport he is unable to get a signal on his phone to alert his wife as to what's going on. then, in a quite random incident, an accident involving the taxi happens and Liam is left unconscious. he awakens in a hospital four days later (we are told) and finds his life has more or less "gone". he has no means of identifying himself, no one recognizes him and, most curiously of all, his wife not only denies ever seeing him, but introduces her husband, who has the same name, to him.

and i can't really say more than the remainder of the film is him working out who he is and what has happened, really. there are enough red herrings and plot turns to keep you guessing - it's nowhere near as simple to work out as something like the very disappointing Shutter Island, for instance, which is why it is well worth watching.

the film is another great role for Liam Neeson, who with this, The A Team and Taken seems to have decided being an action star is for him at the moment. no bad thing, as he's a decent actor and one you can believe that would be able to "handle" himself in most situations. for nearly 20 years now i have commented that it was surprising that they didn't consider him for the role of James Bond when Timothy Dalton quit; i believe he would be excellent in the part. he would certainly, at the least, have been much better than that complete and utter nancy boy they cast for GoldenEye.

right, there you go - a film very much to find and watch!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises (in Croydon)

hey everyone

well, i suppose i could put a splendid ** SPOILER ** warning here for your amusement, but what exactly is the point? the huge level of anticipation, and indeed excitement, about The Dark Knight Rises means that every other web page on the whole of the interest is going to be publishing stories or images relating to it. and, on that note, welcome to what must be by default the other page you have clicked on.

after the less than revealing images from india a little while ago the production for this film seems to have moved to the glamour of Croydon, an area i am led to believe is somewhere in or around London (innit). a rather class looking, clearly Spinal Tap influenced website called This Is Croydon have published a few pictures - nothing too revealing, but interesting all the same.

first up and here's an NY looking taxi looking like it has been done up to be a Gotham City.

whether it's an NY or Gotham taxi, you would imagine that it is somewhat out of place in Croydon, as cosmopolitain as the place no doubt is. actually, i think my dear sister either lived there or rather close to it once upon a time.

for all the "spy" or "leaked" set photographs that have come out thus far, none of the cast have actually featured in them - bar one official image of Bane, and i wish you much fun in finding it. it is possible that the below picture is a significant charatcer, however, although no one seems to have seen any well known actor or actress on the set.

and which building is it that someone is either entering in an interesting way or exiting in quite a hurry? well, it would appear to be a hopsital; presumably not the one that The Joker blew up in The Dark Knight.

on the note of blowing stuff up, apparently the makers of this film sought permission to blow up an entire stadium for one scene. this was declined, but oddly they have got permission to set off loads and loads of explosions inside a stadium anyway. interesting......

no doubt over the next few months even more pictures will pop up across the whole of the internet. if they are of interest, i shall be doing my best to re-post them here!

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

Thursday, June 09, 2011

a double double down on the double

hey everyone

i do, it has to be said, have a concern that every now and then my blog might be seen as some sort of conduit for odd ramblings about KFC. i believe there are frequent posts on this fine supplier of chicken, although frequently justified in relation to the whereabouts of The King, Elvis Presley. ho hum, i suppose if people do not like it then they are not obliged to read!

here, then, with that moral dilemma out of the way, is more news of KFC in New Zealand. the double down, as you will recall from earlier posts (unless you are one of those people who skips over these posts on the subject), is now up for sale in the land of the Kiwi. at the least, however, it is on sale there for now. apparently Gillian heard something on the radio there that suggested they would not be available for much longer.

this threw Grant into something of a panic, and thus off he went to get his hands on another one as soon as he could.

i have no clue to the validity of the claim that the double down burger shall soon be removed from the menu in New Zealand. i do know, however, that they made very similar claims in the USA and Australia, and then soon after announced "actually we are going to just keep on selling it". i am not implying that The Colonel is engaging in underhand or dishonest advertising, but then again i would not be surprised if they just carried on selling these until the end of time.

either way, Grant was delighted to get his hands on another one, whatever the excuse for doing so!

now this next picture is quite excellent. Gillian did not send it to me at first, and Grant was quite upset with her for not doing so. have a look at it, and you can see why.

magnificent, isn't it? look at how, from his place on a throne in heaven, Colonel Saunders has cast the most radiant and beautiful stream of sunlight towards the proud consumer of one of the finest items out of many fine items produced in his name. this picture is nothing short of proof of a divine act of nature giving approval and a sign of sheer delight to the phenomenon known as the double down burger.

with some luck Gillian shall remember to take pictures of Grant at a KFC not in New Zealand in the not too distant future.......

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

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

what a day that was / somebody up there likes me

hey everyone

well, what should have been a straightforward day, albeit one with another parenting milestone at the centre, has turned into quite a disaster of note! well, perhaps not really - i am sat here writing about it, after all.

today was the day that William needed to go for, believe it or not, his 18 month injections. blimey, how time has flown! anyway, i arranged for a half day at verk so that i could take him along for them. no problem thus far with planning, then. it was just that implementation was somewhat more complicated.

it is our winter now, and winter here is usually marked with very cold, dry weather. it was unseasonal, to say the least, for us to have had one of the biggest storms in the history of the place today, then. and i do mean a ferocious rainstorm, coupled with some outrageous sized hailstones.

the fact that it was so incredibly wet today makes one of the major problems of the day all the more interesting. somehow, despite enough rain to bring Noah out of retirement, a truck carrying new cars managed to catch on fire and thus brought about the closure of not only one of the busiest highways on the whole contient, but also the one that i needed to take to get William and take him to the clinic. bugger.

by mid-day, when i needed to go, it looked like it had cleared up a bit and the road was open. so off i went. i must admit the drive was going very well indeed, right until i got to the entry point for the highway and discovered that the police had re-closed the onramp to the highway. they were nonetheless helpful in directing me as i reversed, oh, half a mile or so down one highway and then guided me on to another one!

the highway i was directed on to was one that in theory could get me where i needed to be. in practice, however, it is one that i had seldom travelled on and certainly not one that i had been on alone. mindful of my need to get the boys and my concern about not being quite sure where i was going, i was somewhat nervous.

the nerves were, however, replaced with the need to stop somewhere not far into my journey on this unfamiliar road and replace a tyre! as far as i can work out, for it was still wedged in that bit where the tyres are on a car, i had hit a chunk of wood with several nails exposed on it.

here, for your viewing pleasure, is the daage done to the tyre

and, for your further viewing pleasure, here is a close up (of sorts) of the damage

doesn't look particularly good, does it?

it is rather handy that i have no problem with changing a car tyre, really. i managed to get to the side of the road, and just about far enough away from the highway itself to not get smacked by trucks speeding by, although one very nearly did clip me. "oh dear" i said (or something close to that) as it came by, but fortunately it turned away and went past me.

an essential, and indeed excellent part of changing a tyre is a jack, and here is mine

and here is a close up of the bit where the windy handle thing goes to allow you to jack the car up and then lower it down.

and for the life of me i could not find the windy handle thing. oh dear. i had assumed that it was in the nifty bag thing that the spanners for the wheels are kept it, but alas the bag was bereft of anything but spanners.

i then had to improvise somewhat, and to turn the windy thing around on the jack i used, with some brute force and with some damage caused to my hands, the screw on the thingy that keeps the spare tyre in place in the boot.

it took a good deal of time to do it, and if you look carefully i dare say you shall observe remnants of blood from my fingers on it, but the wheel got changed, by jove, and i shall wager it looks as smart and as class as any fitted spare wheel you have ever seen

by some miracle, and really someone up there clearly does like me, i managed to drive away and more or less get to the clinic with William and James on time for the all important injections. William, to bring in the most important part of this adventure, is fine and well - he is progressing nicely and they are very happy with him. he also did not cry or flinch when he had the injections, which is most impressive of the young man.

James was rather impressed, as well as a little bit scared, when he heard the tale of how i managed to get to him. the fear went away as he was clearly aware that i was OK, and he was rather impressed with the excellent way the damage on the tyre looks.

he was even more impressed when Mummy came home and showed Daddy exactly where the windy bit for the jack is kept.

oh, it's underneath the tyre cover. i did not think to look there, honestly and obviously.

well, hopefully there is not a next time, but if there is, then at least i have a rough idea where all the bits for the jack are!

i shall be off in the morning, then, to get a new tyre to replace the pictured rather badly damaged one. as for the remainder of this day, i believe i shall simply count several blessings and be very glad indeed that, for all that went wrong, everything turned out ok in the end.

i really hope your day has been somewhat better than mine!

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

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

more pictures of the last Saturday before last Saturday...

hey everyone

as promised, more pictures have turned up from "about a week ago", to cut down on confusion (mostly in the mind of your humble narrator) in regards of which Saturday i speak of.

moving swiftly on, and here is a picture of my lovely youngest niece Ruby-Lee Valentine, a picture i managed to get before she clocked that it was Uncle Lee and thus started crying.

we're not quite sure why exactly Ruby-Lee is not at all keen on her Uncle Lee, but it is not without precedent in our family. many years ago, in a time when Adam remained with his Ants and Frankie had yet to go to Hollywood, Gillian burst out into tears at the sight of the one they know as Uncle Colin. oddly, she changed her mind and got rather attached to him, just before we moved to the other side of the (then) known world.

more recently, William was not at all keen on this Grandad chap, also being reluctant to be held by him. i suspect that this might be because James had told him tales of how Grandad makes you do lots of work in the garden and then offers you a thrashing via slipper as means of reward, to be honest. however, William has had a change of heart of late, and really loves his Grandad!

i do quite like the dapper, debonair, look at me i am a playboy pose that Dad has struck in that picture!

in the mean time, though, despite several comments in the last post about this particular day suggesting that Grandad might be prone to being just a bit grumpy every now and then (if you take "now and then" as meaning those times in which he is awake), he is still the number one playground of choice for all his grandchildren!

righty-ho, that will do for updates for a while, have to go and do some verk anyway!

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

more joy trying to actually buy music.....

hey everyone

well, in his customary leisurely style David Bowie has chosen to release a single off Station To Station to mark, celebrate or if you will "promote" the re-release of this magnificent album, oh, a year or so ago. not that i am complaining - any David Bowie release is a welcome David Bowie release, so long as it is not a re-release of Never Let Me Down.

this being 2011, however, it still remains the case that actually buying music, something that those poor record companies cry that we do not do frequently enough, is made as tricky as possible by the very same record companies.

Bowie's current label is nowhere near as bad as the one of the Manic Street Preachers, the enemy of consumers that is Sony, who make it virtually impossible for fans outside of the UK to buy anything. his people are also not as bad as Liam and Beady Eye, who produce very few copies of the singles and then rather bewilderingly cry that the single hasn't made the charts. that said, Mr Bowie could have done "a little" easier for us fans to throw money at him.

the official David Bowie sites will direct you to either a rubbish "app" and compressed download for one of them Apple things, or off to amazon to buy the CD single and/or 12". amazon, or at least the UK version of amazon, however, appear to not actually have the 12", and thus you have to chance your arm purchasing from the excellent-but-ships-to-UK-only experience that is amazon marketplace. ho hum.
happily, though, the most excellent website store thingie that is recordstore are to have both in stock for "regular" sale, if somewhat annoyingly as seperate packages rather than as their usual "single bundles". i have taken the liberty of ordering both anyway, and thus a rather considerable portion of the limited funds that would make up my current estate is sat with them for my order. if you are interested in purchasing this, and i hope you are, then this is the site to get it from, especially as they seem to have the CD single version for considerably less than the "official" amazon site.

so what exactly is this single? who gives a flying one, really, is how i answer that. for those keen on more detail, however, it seems to be the original version of Golden Years, "digitally remastered" and all that, along with four mixes or if you will remixes by DJs who call themselves, presumably as a collective, KCRW.

the only problem i can see with this release, outside of the battle to find somewhere which will actually sell it to you, is the rather lacking cover artwork. a shame they did not simply just revive the excellent mid-70s single artwork, really.

hopefully my set shall land before the month is out, at which point i shall certainly do my best to remember to update this jolly site with my musings on the content. happy shopping if you set yourself up with a copy!

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

Monday, June 06, 2011

the two cousins who were not at South Fork....

hey everyone

well, following on from the last post, alas not all six cousins could be at South Fork that last weekend. we of course really wish that they could be, if for no reason other than to see how long Grandad lasts with all 6 running about before he buggers off to potter about in his shed.

the absent two, Katie and Daniel, were of course in their sort of native New Zealand. i think these pictures are from the most recent last weekend rather than the one before it, by the way - sorry, but as shall be discussed shortly, a certain sister of mine gets unrealistically cross when i get names wrong, or simply make them up.

as it is the occasion of Daniel's birthday this week (tomorrow, i believe), Daniel announced that he really did not wish for a birthday party. instead, he wanted to go along, with his dear sister and two friends, to a place called Lollipops. i put some emphasis on this as this is the "proper" name for the place after the fallout from the last time. i could not for the life of me remember what it was called, and thus just took the decision to assume it was called "Dominoes" as that sounded like a good name. Gillian disagreed somewhat, and demanded to know of me what was wrong with just using the right names for places. so there you go.

anyway, it looks like they had great fun!

i assume at this stage that Daniel wanting to go there and Murphy's Irish Stout being freely available are unrelated, but you never know.

unless i am very much mistaken, it looks like Gillian got busy in the kitchen before they all headed off to Dominoes or whatever it is called and produced some of her legendary cup cakes!

nice one! it would be an even nicer nice one if i could blame Gillian's cup cakes for Katie losing a tooth, but i dare say this is not the case, and Katie has by sheer co-incidence lost one of her baby / milk teeth like James has recently.

if i am, once more, not mistaken, Katie has lost the tooth that is next to the one, from a dental perspective, that James dispensed with. "lost" is also a loose term here, i dare say that Katie, like James, made absolutely sure that the tooth was preserved for collection by and payment from the tooth fairy!

oh look, this next picture has the proper name of the place, albeit with an entirely incorrect and inappropriate apostrophe placed between the final p and the ending s, in the background.

in the foreground, though, it looks like Katie is having a very splendid time, and certainly does not have any incorrect apostrophe thingies bothering her!

Daniel must be king of smooth talkers, for whereas one can understand having birthday celebrations a touch early, being allowed to open cards and presents before your actual birthday is quite a bonus!

i am somewhat surprised that Gillian let him do that, but nice one for him!

now, i think this next picture is not so much from the Ice Cream playpark they were at as it was from Grant's celebratory birthday dinner (for it was recently his birthday too), but i dare say he looked not too different from this after a hard day playing at Lollipops!

many thanks for the pictures, Gillian! more from New Zealand on the way rather soon, i have some most excellent images of Grant to post!

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