Sunday, August 20, 2017

dream reached

who is and who isn't


so the short version, if you're in a rush, is that i bought a record. ostensibly two, but one record of vinyl and one a disc of the compact nature, look you see. and then technically one, as my (considerably) better half was so kind, to be sure, to buy the more grown up priced one for me.

if you are not in quite so much of a rush and can tolerate a couple of pictures featuring me, well then do stick around and read on. i shall try ever so hard to make it of interest as i write away.

we went off to Manchester for a couple of days, then. quite a few pictures were taken of quite a few things done whilst there. this shall, so far as i have planned, be the first of a few posts showcasing some of the better images. but for now, a story.

i wouldn't really say that i have a "bucket list" as such in the sense of wanting to tick things off before time calls it quits on me. to me it makes more sense to look at it as the things you want to live to do. anyway, whatever you wish to call that (reach for a dream, going on my title), one thing i have long since wished to do is to visit a HMV in Manchester.



yes that is a HMV in Manchester - the rather impressive Trafford centre, fact fans - but no that is not me, or if you like moi, going in. that's my (considerably) better half, of course, and yes i can only wish that i looked quite so good or was quite so readily liked and accepted into a wider society as she. but that's not why we are here right now.

right, so going to a branch of HMV is hardly a difficult dream to achieve. indeed, it's something i've done on a frequent basis. going to one in Manchester, however, is something that i have not had the chance to do before. i wished to do so for a very, if not quite, specific reason. 

simply put, i wished to buy a record of The Stone Roses in Manchester. no more, no less.



why? well, why not. it's just something that has always struck me as "right" in terms of a conceptual idea. fitting and apt, perhaps. yes, i know that the exact same records pressed are sold everywhere, and there's nothing overtly special about a copy purchased in Manchester compared to one i purchased anywhere else. but still, something felt quite right about it, as if in some way i was buying into a mythology i was long since sold to.

but of course this dream was reached, hence the blog post existing. the question was simply one of which recording by the band to get, and in which format. advance warning for you now, as i feature in a couple of the pictures coming up next and i know many of you do not particularly care to see me as such.

thanks to a nifty sale late last year (indeed at HMV) i already had the debut album on vinyl, coming as it did in the form of a Christmas gift. and yes, i still hold hope that a third record proper will be released by the band and if it is called Christmas With The Stone Roses then so much the better. Second Coming or Turns Into Stone would be suitable purchases if i went with vinyl. but no, instead it was to be this one you can see me holding.



yes, the vinyl edition of The Very Best Of The Stone Roses. i've had the CD since it came out in the early 2000s (2002 at a guess), but had not seen nor had reason to get the vinyl. and now, thanks to the generosity of my (considerably) better half, i have it, for she purchased it for me. to quote the other famous Manchester one, she was aware that, in a nice way, such a little thing makes such a big difference in my life.

on that note, why The Stone Roses and not, say, The Smiths or a Morrissey solo? or an Oasis for that matter? Happy Mondays or Black Grape, even. perhaps Joy Division or New Order, tricky to answer. all are of course inherently Manchester, but my overall compelling sense was that The Stone Roses were, to me, the top most excellent band of Manchester that i love above all the others that i so dearly love. compounded, of course, by the fact that we saw The Stone Roses in Manchester.

cost of The Very Best Of The Stone Roses on vinyl? just a penny south of £20, or if you like £19.99. for the record they did not appear to have Turns Into Stone on vinyl, and Second Coming was £20.99. whilst i have no quarrel with Second Coming, the one i picked seemed like the by far better deal.



my own wallet of funding was able to make a second Stone Roses purchase whilst in a HMV in Manchester, using coins of money that were my own. for some reason the CD The Remixes was one of the very few - perhaps only - official releases that i'd not bought. for £5.99 that was then quickly resolved and made not to be the case.

as an aside i was delighted to see that the debut solo single off of Liam Gallagher, Wall Of Glass, was available as a single sided 7". it was somewhat less delightful to see that the price on that particular record was £12.99, so no i did not purchase it. to put it mildly, no i would not have purchased it at half of that price. it having "second pressing" stuck on the back kind of says to you don't even think about it as some sort of investment.

back to what i did get, then, and here you go, the last picture in this particular post to feature me. and yes i am aware that my beard and hair are getting quite long and unkempt. i am seeing how long my patience lasts with both before making any fashion decisions.



how accurate is it to say that The Very Best Of The Stone Roses does what it says on the box? not far off, really. the only disappointment of sorts on it is a bizarre edit of Breaking Into Heaven. the original 15 minute of an opening to Second Coming is cut down to just under 7. it doesn't work. had they instead elected to drop this edit and put on, say, Where Angels Play and Your Star Will Shine or a personal favourite in the form of Tightrope then you'd had the perfect compilation. otherwise, it does the job and anyway what one should do is simply listen to absolutely everything the band has ever done again and again for it is all good.

like many of my age, and those indeed older and younger, i do wonder how it is that a generation is coming through that has never ever thought of music as a physical thing. all this "download" and "streaming" stuff is brilliant for convenience and access. but, as i have said before, touching, feeling, holding and owning a record is how you form a much deeper bond with it.

a look within the gatefold of the packaging of the double vinyl record of The Very Best Of The Stone Roses? of course.



the big picture is perhaps the "classic" pose of the band. i'm not sure if it was commissioned specifically for NME, but NME is where most of us would have first seen this "paint picture". done not long after the four members of the band (i don't believe Cressa was an official member, although he is treasured as "the fifth Stone Rose". making Robbie the sixth, i suppose) were detained by the constabulary and put on trial for a "misunderstanding" between them, a former record label and some tins of paint. on the other side them 16 details you can see are highlights from artwork for singles. so far as i am aware all artwork by John Squire, although i would hesitate to attribute the classic David statue to him. perhaps he took the picture used.

yes there was another dream in Manchester, but it was an "either / or" thing. time permitted for me either to take the family off to HMV to get a Stone Roses record or to go through Salford so as to find the doorway of Salford Lads Club and have my picture taken, a la The Smiths for the artwork for The Queen Is Dead. decision made, as you by this stage are aware. this simply means that we, or in a worst case i, must make another trip to Manchester to reach that dream too.



the inner bags for the records, plus one vinyl record size sheet, does an admirable job in replicating what was always a lavish and generous booklet with the original CD version. many of the pictures and memorabilia shots are gone, but one still gets the lyrics (not printed for either of the albums or other compilations) and comments from all four of the band about the songs. many of them being, but of course, "historical" comments, since at the time this set was originally released the band were not talking to each other across the board. and few thought that they would again.

so was this experience and that i would have hoped for? yes, indeed. the staff at HMV were as friendly and chatty in Manchester as every branch i have visited, bar London where of course everyone is simply too busy and important to speak to anyone else. i have a great and beautiful to behold vinyl record by The Stone Roses bought in their home town. also, a not at all too bad to listen to CD of remixes of their work (when the originals are just fine) to round out the complete collection.



well, that picture of one of four sides of the vinyl seems like the best one to end off with. just look at the groove, man. beautiful.

so, then, a dream reached. splendidly and most happily so. onwards i go to the next one, then. and yes, as suggested above, further posts about the magnificence of Manchester to follow.



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




Friday, August 18, 2017

morality would frown upon, decency look down upon

hello fellow walkers


yes, i did indeed check that i struck the "l" key in the above and had no accidents with the "n" one, to be sure. the fallout from the last such instance was, look you see, rather muted and perhaps not worth repeating as such.

so anyway. as the title and introduction says loud and clear, this is all about shoes. well, mostly. predominantly i suppose. indeed i am milking this, for all i have to say really is that i have some new shoes and i thought i might as well share the news here. if not quite show off.



yes, that's them. presented in what my phone app reckons is ZX Spectrum mode, just to mix things up, but i suggest with no respect at all that the above image is far too clear and good a quality to be identified as ZX Spectrum.

fear not for the price you can (sort of) see there. no, i certainly did not pay £59.99 for these. about half that, or a penny or so north or south of half, depending on the present exchange rate.

the provenance of these new shoes? Sports Direct. whilst this famous store is most heavily associated, for some obscure reason, with playing cards, they also sell many other sporting related items. well, several i suppose is more accurate. let me not get your hopes all built up.



you might think i spend an awful lot, or if you like considerable, amount of my time in Sports Direct. the truth, alas, is not. it just so happens that on the rare instances i visit the premises i would normally make a purchase so exciting that i simply must take up valuable internet space with details of it.

indeed that is a more "regular" image of the shoes. Karrimor is the brand. they would seem to be British, going on the flag and that, but that's quite an Australian sounding name. i would dearly love to tell you that it was such that attracted me, but no it was the price. i nearly bought a pair of almsot fitting Nike shoes (which is from Nike out of Japan and not that god thingie), but these ones trumped the price by a couple of quid.

for what reason did i purchase new shoes? well, what i would do is ask you to look internally for a moment and request of yourself for what reason you purchase shoes. walking, dear reader, walking. and yes, again i am mindful of that "l" and "n" mix up, although i suppose in reference to my good self they are all really rather interchangeable.



oh yes that is me, walking around on a rare sunny day, listening to some smart vibes on my ipod stick thing; the one which it transpired was as point of fact waterproof.  what was i listening to? my current mix on it, all 512MB (less Apple OS software) features Bowie, Split Enz, Neil Diamond, U2, Aphrodite's Child and The Kinks. with some Roy Orbison and Joe Cocker. and, but of course, The Blues Brothers. no, no Beastie Boys.

a simple pleasure of mine is to walk around and enjoy some vibes. it was, once, a delight to cycle and listen to vibes, but i doubt i am quite so fit as to do that any further and anyway the constabulary probably twat you one if you have vibes on as you ride a bike.

for certain reasons i have of late been doing even more walking than usual. no, there is no quarrel or issue with my motor, it's just that what needed to be done had to be done on foot, and anyway the weather is splendid and allows for strolls.



the above picture is indeed for those of you who are confessed enthusiasts of images of shoes in the mode of 8bit technology camera emulation stuff. whilst it might be true that there are not so many of you, each and all of us are important, and our tastes must be touched. so long as the boundaries of law are respected.

when out purchasing these shoes did i, in association with my family, by any chance take leave briefly of the daunting task of selecting quality footwear to eat? indeed yes i, and they, did such. very much so, as point of fact.

as it is a preference for the younger members of my family, or if you like clan, we went to that McDonalds, or if you like McDonald's, place. nothing but intrigue and controversy were to greet us in doing so. what? well, here, to start with look at this fragmented, or rather folded, receipt from our venture, or maybe excursion.



people with a passion for imaginary space stuff hardly need me to tell them this, but anyway. Order 66 is significant for them what enjoy Star Wars, for that is the term used by the emperor, or the baddie, to tell some imaginary soldiers to kill some imaginary religious types. to wit, it is the order what saw them clones turn and attack their jedi masters.

dining at McDonald's, to use the variation spellcheck appears to approve of, has become an all together different experience to what it once was. i am unconvinced it is better, whereas others are very much so convinced.

they have changed things. now instead of counters and staff one goes and uses a touchscreen to select their order. whereas once the food preparation area was on open, nothing to hide display it is all hidden away behind sleek fittings, as if to celebrate the more sinister side of something like Soylent Green.

whilst i have heard one commentator say that the changes are good, for in their view "the less interaction i have to have with McDonald's staff the better", in the long term i believe this to be a mistake. going to McDonald's is now a dehumanized experience; something that seeks to enforce ideas of isolation and lack of contact as being a good thing.


yes, they are my new shoes in situ, as it were. they are a most comfortable fit, and do all that i have requested from or required them to do.

some of you may well think my thoughts on the new order, the brave new world, of how McDonald's now operates is an exaggeration. maybe, perhaps, but i genuinely think not. this whole internet business, where friendships are formed with people you don't even know for certain if they are who they say they are, has already eroded the importance we place on social interaction, as well as increasing our acceptance level of trusting what we are presented ipso facto anonymously. between the rise of the presence of "self service checkouts" in shops and this new way of ordering food, i cannot escape the sense that those who would seek to dictate and rule society flex this in a way that is tacitly telling us all not to communicate with each other.

another image of me walking around in my new shoes, although once again a picture in which you can't actually see the new shoes as such? to finish off why not. this is from a different, yet equally sunny, day. you are not mistaken, that is my smart or if you like boss oversized Nevada celebration shirt what i have on.



maybe, who knows, it might be best to just give in, really. whatever sense of dystopia i have about the dehumanisation of the world - where we are actively encouraged not to speak or share thoughts with each other - might be all simpler and better. to not think is, after all, to not worry so much or be concerned about anything.

would i give my recommendation or endorsement to these quasi Australian but apparently decidedly British shoes that i purchased? yes, but i appreciate such endorsing from me is of little value. the larger than standard size of my feet means that the footwear i select seldom has anything to do with preference or selection and everything to do with simply what is available and what will fit.

and so off i go, then, perhaps to do more walking. with, as many of you may well have observed if you seek hypocrisy in my words, my vibes on that tend to close out much interaction with the world around me.



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




Thursday, August 17, 2017

it's confusing these days

hello


there are many, many wonderful people out there who would, look you see, suggest that i would be of cheek in highlighting the typing errors of others. actually pretty brazen and explicit in the accusation of me doing so being cheeky.

editing, or if you like proof-reading, this blog has never been a strong point of mine. i, to be sure, get an idea, hammer it out, then post it. that said, as this is all free and easy access, i suppose you could write that off as one getting what they paid for.

in matters of professional writing i am, but of course, far more concentrated in my efforts. i even re-read that which i am paid to write, and edit too. so it is unlikely, if we assume that nothing is impossible, that i would allow an email of this nature to be sent out by my fair hand of flair.



ok Zavvi, i give up. is it 3 discs for £30, which sounds so-so, or is it in fact 5 discs for £30, which is not at all bad a deal and very much in accordance with what the HMV would offer me.

was it not within the much quoted Monty Python And The Holy Grail where the one monk or similar got confused between 3 and 5? when reading the scripture in respect of how the most righteous Holy Handgrenade worked? if so, class in film, but a bit impractical to work with as a business venture.

i waited a few days before posting this and.....no, no follow-up email came off of our out of Zavvi, saying sorry for the mistake and giving details of the correct detail. as such i assumed the worse for consumer deal, as in 3 for £30, was the one they were sticking with. so no i did not click further.

should something be important, and few things are seldom as important as coins of money related matters, then you may wish to take the time to check it all over.



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


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the chalice and the bracelet of immortality

hello there


well, if you have stumbled upon or actively sought this post out it is probably the case, look you see, that you have some form of interest in attaining immortality. everyone must have some goal or dream to seek, to be sure, and it is not for me to cast a sense of doubt over such of others. i would, however, suggest you think carefully about obtaining this. all and everyone would want more time, but to have all might be problematic.

on this day of all days, then, we look at ways which might grant such to you. and do please note the emphasis via italics on the "might" aspect, for there is no comprehensive, conclusive or even slight evidence that either, both or a combination of these thereof would attain it. but, you never know what's hanging until it drops.

as good a conduit as any for seeking immortality in the form of a chalice and/or a bracelet is The King, Elvis Presley. and so this is precisely what i shall do, if you are still reading and have not pressed on the links for that most revered name of The King, Elvis Presley.



the above is the chalice i speak of, although it has incorrectly been referred to as a "mug" on the packaging. as if The King, Elvis Presley would appear on something so common as a mug that a brickie or labourer or educational book editor in America would use.

as you can undoubtedly see in the glory of Commodore 64 mode, this special presentation set features the chalice and a saucer / coaster thing upon which it would be right and proper to place the chalice.

would using this chalice and saucer in the correct combination grant one the generosity of The King, Elvis Presley and cede to them the gifts of immortality? i know not. thus far i have not been brave enough to contemplate an attempt to do so, let alone actually try.

bracelet? bracelet. i have edited this advert some, for if you wish to order it at the expense which it is listed that is on you and for you to find out, i do not recommend or endorse that you do. and this is irrespective of whether or not it has any powers of immortality which are certainly not listed, advertised or even suggested.



did i forward the above on to Spiros? why, yes, i did. i casually asked him how many of these bracelets he proposed to purchase and he said "all of them". so it is probably for the best that i have removed contact details, as you would just be disappointed.

am i giving consideration to purchasing one of these bracelets? not at all. beyond the fact that i really do not do jewellery, even if it does feature The King, Elvis Presley, the cost involved is a bit rich for my blood. at £149.95 plus postage, or if you like north of £149, it's just not meant to be worn by a simple commoner such as i.

once more shall we look at the image which blesses the chalice of The King, Elvis Presley? since we are all here i see no reason why not.



as wonderfully reflected in Commodore 64 mode the chalice (and the coaster / saucer aspect) feature(s) a depiction of the four known stages of His excellency The King, Elvis Presley. lovely.

well, undoubtedly you have other matters to attend to presently. let me waste no further of your time now, as such, then.


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





be excellent to each other!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

mug impossible

hey there


virtually every post on this subject, to be sure, starts off with these words. but hey, look you see, it's my blog so i guess i can do as i jolly well please.

few, if any, of the posts i do prove to be quite so popular as those featuring mugs. mugs as in the drinking chalice sense of the word, and not some colloquial use of the phrase. normally the subject of a mug would be breached here as and when i have obtained a new one. this isn't quite the case this time around. no, i procured this one a fair amount of time ago. now, however, is the time when i have come to be brave enough to use it.

brave, i say? brave, you ask? why yes. this, as you can see, is one of the more complex mugs ever to have been made or if you like forged. courage was required to attempt use.



yes. as in no, you are not mistaken, yes the above is in Commodore 64 mode. and further yes, this chalice of a mug is indeed styled on the character of Mr Strong out of the celebrated Mr Men books.

styled as in an exact replica, i suppose you could say. whereas most mugs are, by tradition if not convention, round or otherwise cylindrical in shape and dimension, this is not. no, far from it, as far as one shape can be far from another. in true devotion to the likeness of Mr Strong, this mug is indeed square. well, square except for the slightly rounded corners and edges. and the handle. and the feet.



what's that what i have inside this Mr Strong mug? tea. in this world there are only two types of acceptable tea. they are Yorkshire Tea and Fortnum & Mason tea. well, ok, a third would be Rooibos, to be sure, but some kick off and say that isn't really a "real tea".

one really cannot imagine circumstances in which you would wish to know exactly the type of tea from the above i enjoyed from this mug. should you not want to know read no further in terms of this paragraph. for those who must know, however, it was Yorkshire Tea.

so for what reason do i say that bravery and courage were required to use this mug? well, the challenge is in the shape. it's square, you see. which means it is not the most conventional type of mug one is used to drinking from. caution and care were required, then, to avoid spillage.



no, spillage was not avoided. the tea tends to flash flood over the top of the square nature of the mug. whilst from time to time i have been accused (indeed correctly) of having a big mouth, it is not literally so. anyone who has a mouth the size of which would be required to get the entirety of the mug into it so to avoid spillage is probably employed in the mature cinema adult film industry. that, or a donkey or other such beast of the field.

true, guilty as charged. i tend to be, at the very best of times, a sloppy, messy and clumsy eater. this kind of spillage, or accident or other such disgrace, routinely follows whenever i endeavour to consume something. so the mug can as point of fact take only partial blame. but yes, the shape of this splendid Mr Men mug does make spillage all the more difficult to avoid or otherwise limit.

provenance of my smart Mr Strong mug? i am uncertain. i think it was Tesco or similar, as point of fact perhaps it was Morrisons. what i can assure you of, however, was that it was cheap. cheap enough for me to insist on purchasing, despite already owning more mugs that i could use in this lifetime or the next. looking smart and irresistible pricing is a combination i simply cannot neglect.



why did i elect to all of a sudden make use of this mug? mostly felt like it. perhaps a sense of courage and bravery were with me, or maybe i just noticed it, remembered that i had it and opted to test drive.

shall i make continued use of this Mr Strong mug? i see no reason not to. as a chalice or other such vessel for tea it performs wonderfully, containing or being able to handle as it does much more in volume in terms of tea within it. i doubt that i would use it for coffee, though, as that would be insane.

anyway, onwards and off i shall go on my merry way, then, for further adventures. yes, sure, any of interest (even if that interest is to me alone) shall surely and most decidedly be covered here.



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




Saturday, August 12, 2017

how Spiros got his groove back

heya


to be as honest as i can so far as be aware of being honest about it i am uncertain the tittle for this post is either legitimate or apt. from what i can recall there was a film with a title not too dissimilar to those words, to be sure. i just thought it might make for a catchy title, look you see.

adventures of Spiros, then. from the past and past. just that some of them are from a further past than the more recent one. it would be impossible to state what his future ones shall be, but all the same it is, i feel, safe to speculate that they will end up being magnificent.

my association with Spiros, as many of you i appreciate will know, goes back for several years. many, as point of fact. decades, should you prefer such measurement. consequentially if not evidentially several photographs of me with him, normally celebrating our relationship, exist. ones which are thematic to the title from a further past are then presented here to go with the related ones of the more recent past.



like, for instance or example, the one above. sure, a highlight of the above is the fact that i am wearing a t-shirt which celebrates The Stone Roses. that doesn't date it i suppose as that could be from any time since whence there has been a Stone Roses to celebrate, but i would speculate this is all from some 20 or so years ago.

it would indeed appear that we, which is Spiros and i, are engaging in some form of dance. as dance is inevitably associated with groove, it seemed fair to put this here. not that the dance we were conducting seems to be one related to The Stone Roses. no, this all looks like a fusion of the Village People, the Bee Gees and maybe Kiss, to cite the three biggest bands of the disco era.

something of a more recent image of Spiros, since you would presumably be more interested in seeing further of him and lesser of me? i don't see why not. here, then, if it pleases, is what at time of writing is the most recent image what i have of him.



all that i can do is assume that you will observe with some interest the intensity across the face of Spiros as he extracts the pleasures from the pink flamingo. as far as i am aware it is a sculpture of a pink flamingo rather than a real one. he assures me that this is all part of a custom and tradition in the society where he was at somewhere in Eastern Europe when this was taken. with some pride he also mentioned to me that the erstwhile custodians of the flamingo were so thrilled and impressed with the intensity that Spiros had as he extracted the pleasures of it that they have vowed to retain it for his future personal use.

when you think of pink flamingos you naturally consider Miami Vice, as in the smart class 80s TV show and not the horrible film with the same name. i would say that Spiros and i are equally firm fans of (proper) Miami Vice, only he could probably take it or leave it whilst i remain besotted. once, right, we were at some party - i think might have been New Year or something - when some dude turned up looking exactly like Don Crockett out of Miami Vice, only taller, and not as handsome. well, he had a white suit on. our exuberance and what have you got all carried away at this, which led to us very nearly getting our f*****g heads kicked in as we caused a minor, city wide power outage in our enthusiasm.

has my association with Spiros ever been of a marked professional nature? why yes, albeit or indeed since i seem to use the word a lot perhaps briefly in the grand scheme of things. Spiros is, as has been noted before, the greatest legal mind of his generation. my stature is far lower and nowhere close, so i simply could not keep up with his abilities. i stood aside so as not to hold him back.



that's us hard at work contemplating or considering some top level matter. indeed yes, that is Dan with us, who is brilliant and a genius.

what matter was it that Spiros and i were considering? well, when i asked him he just mentioned something about not being at all fond of recalling that hairstyle, that watch or that tie, even going as far as mentioning a preference for the picture not being published. in all likelihood we were simply doing what clients paid us an awful lot of money to do, which is consider a matter. maybe it relates to some form of indemnity, or it is possible that it has something to do with participant resolution documentation. in any eventuality, you can be assured that our top abilities were applied to it. or whatever we could get away with.

by any chance, you wonder, has Spiros been able to observe further toilets abandoned to the streets as he has toured the world deploying his deft legal skills? yes.



once again he sent me on this picture, and i was not sure what to do with it so i elected to place it here. many such similar pictures have been sent to me before and i generally end up adding them here. as he has not raised an objection, or at the least an objection that i can recall or paid attention to, here we are again.

it would be far from being a connoisseur or  expert in respect of toilets that i would describe myself. this one, so far as i can see, seems in decent condition. perhaps it has simply been removed as part of some refurbishment or redecoration rather than discarded due to damage. the internet provides a harbour or home to all; i am sure someone with an interest in such things will see the above and be delighted.

now then, this groove of Spiros thing. those of you who are friends or otherwise associated with me on that whole facebook thing will have seen a video what i shared. that video did indeed show off Spiros in the groove, as in it was him electing to bust a move, as it was him dancing. the video will be below, but first for those of you unable to appreciate video on this blog here is a still frame from it.



i fiddled with the brightness a bit as the video is rather dark. still quite possible to watch, however, which means you can enjoy watching Spiros bust a move as he gets his groove back, should he have lost it or otherwise previously displaced it.

oh, yes, that is a yacht that Spiros is on as he busts a move. a very expensive, exclusive yacht, but i am not permitted to say anything more on the subject. weirdly Spiros spends a lot of time on yachts. in professional terms many of the clients who can afford his services hold meetings on yachts to secure privacy. for more personal concerns, well, Spiros finds that yachts are an excellent place to meet sailors, with which he likes to form short term but mutually beneficial friendships.

so anyway, for those who can play back the video footage i load up here from time to time, watch and enjoy as Spiros does indeed bust a move.


video

certain matters must remain confidential. that said, if you so happen to think that singer is a certain someone, then it probably is. and no they most decidedly are not cheap with their appearance fee, but one gets what one pays for.

although it would be nice, of course, if you thought that some of the stuff i write on here is worth considerably more than the free, or if you like gratis fee it has.

music, dance and the ability to bust a move are not the limitations or confines of art expression which Spiros and i can be from time to time be found guilty of engaging in. far from it. both of us quite like, indeed appreciate, motion pictures. mostly we like the same films, but there are some forms of cinematic joy that Spiros really likes more than i.

here we are, several or a few years ago, recreating the very famous promotional poster image for a film that Spiros assures me is one of the most iconic and celebrated to ever have been made.



i doubt, if what Spiros says is true, that i need to explain what it is. should that be incorrect, then what we are in fact doing is recreating the cover of a film, from either the late 80s or early 90s, called The Cherry. should you be unfamiliar with it, well first and foremost i would caution against doing a Google search. from what i recall of the three or so seconds i saw of it, it was a military based film. other than that, it appeared to be a film made by men, for men, starring only men for an audience of men who like men.

a further abiding memory would be that the attention to detail for the uniforms the all male cast wore was exceptional and impressive, considering that for much of the film they appeared not to actually wear them.

to finish off with, then, a picture of Spiros and i looking relaxed, happy, merry, bright and thoroughly enjoying life. which is, you know, how it all was always supposed to be.



right, then, until there are more examples of Spiros and his groove, or there's something else of interest to add here, i shall progress forwards not backwards with things of stuff to do.





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




Thursday, August 10, 2017

everything's gone green

bonjour, mon amis


yes, quite. if i am starting with the surrendered language of the Frenchies it can surely only mean, look you see, that this blog post is of one of two things. either, then, i shall speak of my unconditional surrender because someone happened to drop something slightly loud or partially threatening at my doorstep, or it is all food. for the interests of clarification it will be the latter not the former, to be sure, assuming that means the last potential i raised.

with respect to reasons i would not wish to divulge here it was that, in recent times, i frequented the branches of Subway more than necessarily necessary. on the one side the solemn purpose of such trips was a failure, but also a victory of sorts came from it.

this victory - and it is indeed something what i am prepared to argue is a victory - was taken in the form of witnessing the brand transition.



whilst green has always had a place in the branding of Subway it seems that they have now decided, perhaps elected, maybe, to go full tilt green. this is, as you can so gloriously see in the above, most prominent in their straws. patrons who elect to use a straw in Subway for their drink must now suck upon a green one. this is as opposed to, well, whatever colour they were before. plain white or maybe black, i think.or possibly them ones what are mostly white but have a colour line down them.

just why the change? well, no idea. should the straws, once, have been black, then it would make sense from an environmental point of view. did you know, cultivated dear reader, that black plastic cannot be recycled? i am unsure as to why for certain, but an educated stab at a guess would be that the colourants or things they do to make it black preclude it being used again.

thus, if that was the case and this is a reason for the change, then it makes sense from a PR perspective, and for the continuance of the world, to change.



in Commodore 64 mode there is their, with them being Subway, new logo. or emblem if you like, maybe livery. whatever. before they were happy to just have the name on the go, but i suppose now in this enlightened era of simplicity it does make some sense to keep it all simple for your target market.

earlier on i am quite certain that i mentioned i was witnessing rebranding very much in a transitional phase. to this end, it is far from the case that the rebranding is complete. whereas inside their various outlets - and they are indeed popular and widespread - the new look can be found, the outside stands still somewhat, apparently oblivious to the changes which are to come.



oh, quite, yes. that is a store on a particularly wet, windy and rainy (hence the wet) day. and yet the staff of this branch has elected to place outside seating for patrons. whilst common sense would dictate that surely no such patron or guest would wish to eat a sandwich, salad or nachos (or combo thereafter) in the rain for the fear of it getting soggy, we must not rush to judge. bravo, then, to those oh so bold and brave ones who sat in the rain to dine. i did not, so contextually i suppose this makes me rather the coward.

whilst that last part will remind you that interestingly i did start all of this off with some deft Frenchie speak, perhaps you would like to look at the smart new green straws in non-Commodore 64 mode. here you go, then, with just a hint of the new logo thingie beneath.



certainly other motivating factors could be behind the ambitious colour change to the straws. i have probably mentioned the psychology of colour in passing here before, and there is every chance that you are aware of it anyway. if not, or and indeed maybe why not, here we go, possibly again.

when it comes to advertising or general psychological manipulation / reinforcement, colour is a most splendid weapon. green is generally used to convey a sense of intelligence, with it being noted that those with a natural affinity for green tending to be more intelligent than the norm. red is associated with passion, desire and/or hunger, whilst certain shades of blue (generally light) are employed to convey trust, confidence and safety.

many financial institutions, then, rely on blue and green for their branding, so as to have the psychological edge over their competitors. them what use a mix of the two - turquoise if you like - are trying too hard and should be viewed with caution.



generally yes, showing off a photo of your food or a meal what you are going to eat is the preserve, indeed reserve, of stuff like Twitter and that other one, Instantgrammage or something. i really do not like showing off that which i shall eat here, as i believe it to be crass. however, in this rare instance it seems on the whole appropriate to do so.

to wrap up a post which has perhaps laboured on for far too long, how about the straw in action? well, a still image representing the straw of green being deployed as intended. as a nice bonus, the new logo what Subway are using features.



yes, that is indeed one of the disposable type of chalice which Subway imbues to patrons that select a drink to go with their meal. well, a cold or if you like non-hot drink, since the tea and coffee comes in some far more reinforced style of grail vessel.

no, i have had a little think on the matter and there really is not much more i could say on this subject. if they are for some reason looking for recognition, best of luck with the new look Subway.




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



Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Kyō okotta koto wa nani mo okoranakatta

Nakama no aisatsu


today, assuming you are reading it on what day i published, look you see, is a day of major significance and consequence. one of the most significant anniversaries is marked. it celebrates a day, to be sure, that changed the world of many.

i have every confidence in reason to suspect that i do not need to tell you this, but just for the sake of completeness today is of course the 14th anniversary of the 10th anniversary of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (not to be confused with the Japanese Democratic Liberal Party) losing an election after some 38 years in power.



much of the 10th anniversary commemoration was, at the time (obviously) overshadowed by the passing of Gregory Hines. he was an actor and boss dancer who many in Japan harboured hopes of taking over the Sammy Davis jnr mantle of making extremely expensive adverts for Japanese whisky. both events, you would think, are thought about in Japan today.



what can i, someone who has not been to Japan, tell you about this most momentous, if not indeed key, anniversary? not a great deal, i suppose. surely i could speculate, but it is perhaps better or more fitting to let the Japanese text just flow.

いいえ、私は日本の政治や自由党のことをあまり知らない。

私はこのすべてを意義の個人的な記念日を参照するために使用しています。

だから、幸せな記念日のマンチカン、私の(かなり)良い半分



those fine, fine words are, i trust you will agree, ones we can all understand, appreciate and perhaps reflect upon.

and with that i shall take my leave of you for now, and press on with things. quite possibly things that involve a hammer, but not in an overtly euphemistic or symbolic way.


Otagai ni yūshū!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Tuesday, August 08, 2017

fett ish

greetings


i find myself in something of a bind, to be sure. for each month of this year i have, look you see, shared some sort of info about Star Wars in order to show off the relevant month as it is shown on that "concept art" calendar i picked up on the cheap.

whilst that calendar has not run out of months i would appear to have run out of anything new, different or of consequence to speak about of Star Wars. perhaps we have all just reached a saturation, if not breaking, point with it.

one would assume that i could simply post the calendar as it is and in itself, but for the sake of variation here's some of my smart Boba Fett collection things.



for those who are somewhat new to this sort of post i do, well, you perhaps need no reminder that Boba Fett is the 3rd best character out of Star Wars, just behind Lando and Lobot. as a result of this Boba Fett is my 3rd favourite character from the series, indeed franchise, just behind Lando and Lobot.

although most marketing around Star Wars is quite subdued and restrained, for some reason is this all the more so for the two best characters. one can seldom, if ever, get any sort of merchandise which celebrates Lando or Lobot. so instead i gather the bronze medal of it all, which is Boba.

so, then, what concept art is on the go for August? alas, more Hoth space and snow battles from The Empire Strikes Back; the fifth film in the series and so in respect of the law of diminishing returns the fifth best film of Star Wars.



two words come to mind with the selection of the images above, in particular the bottom one. boring and predictable would be them. not for what they represent, for it is quite an exciting scene. it's just that the bottom one, with minor character Luke or someone in the slight shadow of a space tank, has been peddled and used loads and loads of times before over the last 30+ years. that said, i don't think i had seen the top image before.

hang on a minute. in that Star Wars film thing, right, the technology to fly is widespread, with even peasant fake orphan farm boys being able to have flying cars. why, then, do they bother making land based forms of transportation?

you are probably here, if you are still here, just for the calendar image, so as you may know what the date is. for those wanting more, here's a controversial non-Commodore 64 mode image of a partial glance at some of my Boba Fett items.



right, let me have a little think as to what i might place here in September for the inevitable and presumably welcome by some look at the calendar for that month.

as ever, it is just splendid if some of you have found this interesting.




live long and prosper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Monday, August 07, 2017

it's not like years ago, the fear of getting caught

hello there



ostensibly i suppose this post shall, look you see, be one of them "nostalgia" ones. a whole lot of sentimental hygiene, lament, self-wallowing too perhaps. the intention, to be sure, would be to punctuate all this with the odd element of general interest, so hopefully you stick around. which is an odd thing to say as i feel like sometimes more often than not i suggest departure for another corner of the internet.

so, then, once more i have been retrieving items from all the boxed up packaging and that many of my possessions, or if you like worldly goods, remain. indeed, yes, surely i should have unpacked all of it by now, for it has been some time since we crossed the seas. true, yes, quite. but also there is little sense in unpacking things one is not going to use when they are safe and rather out of the way when stored.

every now and then, however, one gets an itch that you simply must scratch to satisfaction. it would seem though i have been affected by such a sensation more than once of late, for reasons i am either unsure of or simply do not wish to delve into.



above isn't so much the point of this post as it is. the mighty fine penknives you see (for there are two if you look closely) are ones my Dad bought me on his travels, both i believe coming off of Switzerland. so they are them "Swiss army knives", i suppose. my understanding would be that i am not permitted to walk the streets of England with these, for if you are caught carrying a blade by the constabulary then a custodial spell and criminal sentence, if not in that order, shall be yours.

normally i would not draw attention to CDs in the background, but the soundtrack for Something Wild is of interest. on the down side the version of Ever Fallen In Love by the Fine Young Cannibals is the standard one and not the boss, accelerated mix they used in the film. conversely this CD features a mix of Temptation by New Order that i've not found anywhere else.

ultimately the point of the picture above is the new plug. strangely i am finding few stores here in England now sell plugs off the shelf. i was, however - at what i feel to be a rather exorbitant £1.99 - able to find this splendid, orange "heavy duty" one. 



some optimism was central to the purchase of this most splendid plug. the purchase was made with every intention of attaching, for reasons we will surely see and look at out of interest, it to the item in this rather large (CD boxes for scale and because i did not tidy them up), brown covered box like thing.

what precisely, or even generally if you are not too interested i suppose, is in this box like packaging? accepting that we are all not supposed to be materialistic and that in this world, defiantly i say it is one of my most beloved, treasured and indeed prized possessions.



yes, indeed, a typewriter. my typewriter if you so wish. to be specific, although i would think you can make this out by yourself, it is an Olivetti ET 1250 MD typewriter, proudly showcased as a compact professional typewriter.

the ever important provenance of this typewriter, before we look at it in more detail? a very thoughtful, inspired and forever greatly appreciated gift on the occasion of my 21st birthday from my parents, or if you like my Mum & Dad. bought mostly, you would think, from their knowledge of my love of writing, but partially of course from the fact that my handwriting was, is and always shall be, absolutely terrible.

indeed yes, then, that means that this typewriter is, in the words of Brett Anderson out of Suede in the song Animal Nitrate, over 21 itself. does this make it vintage? well, probably not, but a quick Google search suggests you could not buy one of these in the here and now with any ease. not that everything in this world lives or dies by its presence on the internet.



if for some reason you are here looking for the specifications of an Olivetti ET 1250 MD typewriter, there is what is on the side of the box. a box, and as shall be noted shortly packaging, i have kept and preserved reasonably well. i had to, really. other than wishing to look after it, this typewriter moved with me from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back, and has since moved with me home back to England land.

the main question, relating to the latter part in some sense, is would this typewriter still work? yes i had looked after it and yes it had survived shipping by sea, where it deftly avoided being attacked by Somali pirates or sharks. but it hadn't been plugged in for some 15 or so years; resigned to being safely stored away when i got one of them printer things for a computer.

should for some reason you wish to see the packaging, and we might as well since i have added the picture now anyway, here you go.



yes, true, a good part or aspect of the reason for me keeping the typewriter packaging is that i am something of a hoarder. well, as with all hoarders i suppose i retain stuff for you "never know" when you might need it. in this instance it would seem i was proved correct, though, no?

a pressing question in taking out the typewriter would be whether or not it would still work. would she power up? would the ink i have be not dried out and able to use? one way to find out. although leaving it in storage would have allowed for the blessed relief, delight and satisfaction of a Schrödinger's cat like scenario. should i have left it in packaging, then surely depending on my mood i could have simply assumed it was in working order or it was not to be no more.

of course, in this step by step thing, we now get to have a look at the typewriter taken out of the packaging. and indeed placed on a rudimentary table of sorts to see.



there was indeed a most splendid smile and audible laugh as i took it out. i had forgotten that i had beautified my typewriter with stickers. perhaps it is unlikely that any clarification is required, but yes, indeed they are stickers promoting in a visual sense three great things - Teletubbies, Jurassic Shed (i know Park but when you think about it all of the interesting stuff in the film happened in a shed) and South Park. thankfully i had retained the instruction book for the typewriter, for i needed some refresher memory in how to operate key features.

what did i write (or type) on this typewriter? all sorts, really. my first (and only) novel (i don't recall the name, i am not sure where a copy of it is and no it didn't get published as i was very lazy with the redrafting, to the disappointment of an interested publisher), essays, correspondence to several embassies, inner cards for tapes, labels for video cassettes, poems, etc. mostly, however, i guess i wrote (typed) letters.

i was, once, a prolific letter writer and sender. friends and family all around the world. my evenings, by and large, were all about the stereo or radio on and typing. yes, i bitterly and certainly regret that this is no more. sure, in part life has got in the way, but mostly few if any read or write letters any more. electronic means of communications means that we all suffer or are enslaved by quick, simple disposable messages.



that there above was one wall which stood above where my typewriter was. Cape Town, i think, but perhaps i am mistaken. images and sources of inspiration, i suppose. yes, a lot of The Stone Roses, an attempt at domination by Scarface, and the inevitable nod towards Middlesbrough Football Club. pretty much like every wall above every typewriter in the world, once, maybe.

my view would be that the "me" in the letters i typed out was always a far more better, more interesting and considerably superior someone  to know than me in real life. not that i ever pretended to be anything that i was not in letters; i was simply able to convey it all better, i guess. a general amnesty, then, to see if it in part slowly puts my soul to peace. i am sorry, truly, to virtually everyone that i ever typed a letter to who knew or met me in the real world and they were most disappointed and frustrated that the person behind the letters could not always be the person of the letters.

and so anyway, progression in seeing if this typewriter still worked. in order to do so it was necessary to change the plug on it. this was referenced earlier, right at the start as point of fact, but a reminder may well be appropriate if not apt. i knew, look you see, that a South African plug would be on it and that i would need to (and please note i did not explicitly state superior) replace it with an English one.




why do plugs have a different size, shape and layout around the world? few, if any, countries share the exact same style. the answer is a relatively simple one of practicality. when electricity was being discovered or invented, and plugs were developed to enable the use of it there was no quick, fast and easy way to share drawings and diagrams.  the international leccy boffins could share important safety information via telegrams and what have you, but the nature of the plug and the requisite three pins (earth, live and ground i think) was left to each country alone to come up with. people around the world weren't going to wait for the boat to come in with drawings when they could just knock up prototype plugs themselves based on the knowledge they had.

and so to the business end, one which you may well have already scrolled down and had a look at. perhaps after you have done so you exited this web section and are not reading this, which makes it a shame that i am taking the time to write it.

questions, then. had i put the plug on correctly? would she fire up? were any or all or none of the ink cartridges i had going to still be functional? had the 31,000 character memory survived? answers all, if you are in a rush, all point towards yes. yes, i am delighted to say.



woo hoo, working! there was indeed a thrill, maybe more reminiscent than anything, when i saw she lit up in what seemed to be perfect working order. it was, in the understatement sense of the word, good to see and hear something that was all once what i experienced on virtually a daily basis.made very well, durable and to last, then, these Olivetti typewriters. if i may be so bold, storing them and looking after them proper helps too, somewhat.

right, ok, yes, so the arguably most important aspect was established, possibly in defiance of the theoretical pleasures to be drawn from that whole Schrödinger's cat frame of reference made above. in a worst case, then, i had a working typewriter upon which i may once again arrange to scribe if i was so inclined. the best case would be that the ink worked and that the memory remained, although the latter sounds like a quasi correct Metallica quote.

the fastest test of both was to simply load the paper up into the typewriter, "refresh" my memory on how one got stuff out of the memory, press print and see what happened. this photo of a list of things that i had stored in the memory showed that i was not to be too disappointed, then. well not so much.



goodness me yes, there was and is some reluctance in showing the above. it feels like i am revealing more than i would care to. but, that's awfully presumptuous of me to assume that anyone would care or be so nosey as to look at my personal things, and anyway they are just file names. as interesting as some of the file names are i guess. if lurking around in my past trying to find things makes your future more interesting, knock yourself out i suppose.

it was, overall, thrilling to see that the ink worked and the memory had been retained. sadness, too, however. there are certain things gone, probably deleted by me. well, that 31,000 character memory is finite, and in real terms is probably only about 4KB - just about the size memory you found in an Atari 2600 cartridge. i think at least. sadly, then, one of the things deleted was a play - more of a Rock Opera, i suppose - i once composed about David Lee Roth being declared emperor, and grand high priest, of metal. Spiros said it was the greatest ever play what was ever written and that he would "bust the ass" in court of anyone who dared disagree.

rather strangely, for someone with precisely zero musical talent or ability (although i would like to think taste at the least), that was the second Rock Opera i was involved in writing. the first, some time before the typewriter, was a boss one i did with my mate Woodsie. the name of it and much of the content escapes me, but it was all about a bloke that worked in one of them railway station signal box things, and his efforts to extract money whilst pretending to be on the sick with a bad back. we based this on a real life case of someone in that role saying they were doing this, when me and Woodsie approach the signal box to use the telephone due to a distressed (as in not working) car. there was not really such a thing as mobile phones then.  



yes, that there is a picture of me at my typewriter, all before the beard and whilst wearing a most splendid Reservoir Dogs t-shirt. all my ones of The Stone Roses must have been in the wash or something. a rare picture, perhaps, as so far as i am aware this is the only picture of me what i have that shows me at my typewriter. every day i look at the world through my window, etc. this could be me just naturally assuming, expecting and seeing the worst of me, but i don't seem to appear all too thrilled to be disturbed from my scribe. i never really was open to the idea of being interrupted as i typed, and am still not. unless it is disturbance of furtherance of cigarettes, coffee and/or a change of vibes.

sadly my vibes unit does not seem to be too visible here, although the eagle eyed or studious will have clocked the aerial. it was a boss JVC tape and CD deck; one that my sister got for me one Christmas towards the business end of the 90s. if the business end is the middle to late part. normally any new stereo equipment i get has something very specific played on it first. to honour and remember a very dear friend that would be Waltzinblack by The Stranglers. with this stereo, no. at the same time, and this will probably tell you what Christmas or year this was, i got the debut album off of Black Grape, It's Great When You're Straight....Yeah, so that got played first. the first music it played, then, was the intro to Reverend Black Grape, as i am certain that's the first track on the album.

for those of you using a device and/or browser which allows you to play video off of this blog, here you go, a treat of sorts - a few seconds of video of the typewriter printing something from memory. after a few experiments and reading the book to see how to do that.


video

what's printing? a rewrite i did of Candle In The Wind in honour of Falco, Austria's second best ever pop star, who sadly passed away in an accident in 1998. many of you will, i speculate, recall that rewriting Candle In The Wind was the fashionable way to honour the noted deceased in the latter 90s. the equivalent today is, i suppose, mumbling something on that Twitter thing.

i did indeed write to the Austrian ambassador of the country i was in at that time, expressing sadness and sorrow that Falco had passed away. an image of that letter being printed from memory is in the last image for this particular blog post, coming up shortly.

so, the typewriter is out, it works, it functions and can be used. now what. i am not sure. ostensibly i wanted it out for a specific purpose; a project i am undertaking for which i thought some photographs of this would be quite nice for.

after i have done that, i remain uncertain. perhaps i should write on it once more? who knows. it could be done for a laugh, for old time's sake. maybe it will remind me of all good that some might say i once was, could let me be that person once again. the medium which you communicate through does much to dictate your mood. well, it does for me.



earlier i mentioned that i had conducted some preliminary investigation across the web via the conduit of Google. whereas it seems one cannot purchase this typewriter the ink cartridges are accessible. certain places would seek to charge south of £4 for them, whereas others look towards a cost north of £17 for the same. were i to resume using this typewriter on a regular basis, then, should the whole device hold out then it is sustainable in the least in terms of getting the requisite ink.

why do this? i mean why go to all the effort of writing this, with pretty pictures et all, and share it when it could all be described as private? not sure. for some reason many, many of you come and read all that i put here, and so instinct carried me through to write this. perhaps it all comes from that hit and hope, shot in the dark sense that someone who once knew me sees it and is kind when they recall me. or maybe it's just interesting.

let me not worry so much about that last aspect and simply press on. on with things to do, etc.

for whatever reason you did so, know that you have my thanks for stopping by and reading.




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