Monday, June 18, 2018

memories of green


not much, really. i just know that a few of you really, really like using me as your source for calendar information each month. with that being the case i thought i had best add it now, so it may be of some practical use, look you see.

yes, i am still sticking with that Minecraft one what cost me 12p off of Tesco a little while into this year. some 25% in, if i remember right, was when they sold this to me for that price.

what does the image on the calendar for this month show off? some sort of warrior type dude off to challenge someone or other. possibly, i mean i have no idea, i know the basics of what the game is supposed to be but i would not profess or confess to any great amount of knowledge.

a fair few of you were quite upset when i stopped using the Babes calendar off of Poundland, which cost £1. well, sorry, but the quality of paper used was poor, so it kept on tearing and falling down. as i have not thrown it out or otherwise discarded it, however, the above image is for you.

how about a picture of the calendar in non-Commodore 64 mode? i can see no reason at all why someone would wish for this, but no problem.

well, that's that really. not a lot i can think of to say or add, and besides, if you are here looking at it you probably just want some date related calendar information. hope this helped with that.

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

selfies do not lie


all of us, i would think or be bold enough to presume, had some ideas of things to be taken as a given when we got older. older, yes, look you see, and perhaps even maybe a semblance of grown up, or at the least to have responsibilities.

what of such assumptions, aspirations and ideas did i hold? quite difficult to speak of. perhaps this was the innocence or ignorance of the folly of youth, but i really did take it as a given that i would as a minimum be happy or content, for there was never a reason to suspect an alternate. with that so obviously failed, maybe the rest does not matter.

if we, to be sure, bundle "being a useful / contributing / appreciated / wanted member of society" in with the above, it enables us to move one. there is certainly always one constant that i thought would be true, but has turned out not to be. for some reason i believed that i would never, ever be all precious about my hair.

quite early on, i think, i was resigned to the fact that i would never ever be able to have a decent haircut. my features did not lend themselves to such, so for me there was to be no boss style as sported by the likes of Adam Ant, virtually all of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, aspects of Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry or even David Bowie. but i was fine with this. when, in the late 80s, Jason Donovan done that early morning kids TV interview, it really did shape and influence the rest of my life. for some reason, perhaps it was just that moment, when i heard him say that he washed his hair with shampoo what had lemon in it, something clicked in me. i thought if i pledged, in a solemn way to always do the same, then everything else could or would fall into place, and that nothing could bring me too down, for i always had solace in the fact that i was washing my hair (when possible, lemon infused shampoo is not always easy to find) the way what Jason Donovan did.

recent selfies have challenged this. whereas i am quite ok with the fact that i am going grey, what seems to irk me is the receding hairline. strange, for when i look in the mirror it doesn't seem that it is receding, but as the titles say, selfies do not like. as in, the vast majority of people in this world who see me only do so through whatever selfies i post and share here, and in them - no matter how i angle the camera - i clearly have what can only be described as a receding hairline.

my biggest issue is that i disgrace myself in the eyes of Denis Leary, a man i respect, admire, appreciate and worship. in the early 90s he pointed out that Bruce Willis had a receding hairline. the manner in which Denis Leary said this left no doubt that Denis Leary considered this to be a very, very bad thing. and so now i am worried that i cannot be a fan, or admirer, of Denis Leary any more, because i have a feature what he did not like at all when the otherwise generally mostly popular Bruce Willis had. if so, and i am legally forced to give up things like my No Cure For Cancer CD, i will be rather upset.

we can never truly fully understand whatever that drive is that makes us live, that primordial instinct to carry on, to continue, to survive. it's so far rooted in our subconscious that we cannot touch it. moments, from time to time, get near it, yet some distance away. that's why i like to shout and scream along to Beautiful Day off of U2, but only a specific part. yes, for the most part the song is just Bono shouting new words over The Sun Always Shines On TV, with the rest of the band (with affection, for i am a staunch U2 fan) acting as some sort of (i am being generous here) second rate a-Ha tribute act. but when it comes to the line "i know i'm not a helpless case", well, it just touches something in me. no, no idea what, or why, it does though.

but, anyway, you are probably just here on the promise of yet more, or if you like further, insights into what i have been bothering my hair with of late. to do so would indeed be to pull us all back from the brink of a downer that this post has inexplicably felt like, would it not? so, to be sure, let us do it.

the last two or three years has, for some reason, seen me take more interest in how my hair appears than i had done for decades. perhaps a sign that i was considering myself in a kinder light, but then again one cannot mistake the signs that maybe my receding hairline is punishment for such vanity. and a fitting punishment too.

anyway, in keeping with the "brush top", or spiky, or slick hairstyle that makes me go "yeah, i actually don't look too bad at all", i invest in different types of gel and that. in this instance, as you can see in pictures thus far, the latest thing to take my fancy for doing this is some Toni & Guy "texturising glue androgynous hold".

for those what don't know, Toni & Guy are the top name in London barbers, and have been for decades. it was them what probably done all the top pop stars hair back in the 60s, but who i cannot name for i do not know for certain that they did. but i like to think of it from time to time.

it is with this in mind that i of course bought the product. also, it was marked down to 50p a tube in Poundland, so i bought two of them.

with most, or the majority, of shampoo manufacturers being right pr!cks and no longer putting lemon in their products, i need to explore options. one i have found is this mandarin and papaya infused shampoo, also off of Poundland, but costing £1 a bottle so i only bought the one.

something i only became aware of recently was that blackbirds are prolific fighters, or maybe survivors. a pleasure i extract from the world is feeding birds, or placing food out in the garden for whatever birds choose to come and feast. recently, a blackbird with a flustered, somewhat bleeding leg landed and ate. i am unsure if it escaped the clutches of a cat, or engaged in combat with a fellow bird. in either instance, well done. also, there is a bird - and i am unsure if it is a blackbird or the one i discussed just now or another species - which regularly comes by and has a whistle what is unmistakably the opening of Day Tripper, that song off of The Beatles. sometimes i do wonder, worry perhaps, of what would become of such moments if i failed to record them here.

does mandarin or papaya have citrus inside, or are they recognised as citrus? in truth i have no idea. the limitations on shampoo with lemon in them means that from time to time i have got ones what have lime in, figuring Jason Donovan would let it slide if he ever found out.

yes, perhaps i do spend too much time, which is to say any, concerned about how Jason Donovan and Denis Leary might react should they stumble upon me and my world and examine what goes on with my hair. but, in this world, clutch and cling to what you can, and know that most of it shall escape your grasp anyhow.

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

millions denied


quite a few of you, to be sure, seem to rather like my occasional comments regarding the unnecessary plight i face in trying to secure a pension. just like many of you, look you see, i have elected to invest in the "National Lottery" pension, for it seems to offer the greatest rewards for the smallest of investments. although increasingly it seems the catch to that "sounds too good to be true" scenario is that they never actually pay out to more than a small select group of investors.

no matter, in respect of the latter. i press on, then, in the hope that this rather exciting sounding pension fund eventually pays out so that i may enjoy whatever old age, or older i suppose, years i get. indeed, yes, my passion for cigarettes probably means not so many of those years, but i will take what i get given.

one of the few things more frustrating that the National Lottery Pension Fund never ever seeming to pay out is when you can't obtain suitable confirmation that they are not going to pay you out. normally one wishes to check these things as soon as possible, early in the morning the day after they have determined who is and who is not to retire.

checking the results later on has all sorts of problems. firstly, you can end up daydreaming that you might have actually won. also, if you go and do a full day's verk (or close enough) and then discover you're actually now a millionaire, you are going to feel very silly and it will tarnish the payout. not tarnish a great deal, i suppose, but cast shadows all the same.

but no. as you can see, on one fine morning when i went on to check that i probably was off to verk that day, i got no confirmation. instead, just a message from the pension fund administrators, saying that they had broken their internet thing and that.

about the only good thing of these mid-week lottery draws is that they offer a chance for one to retire before a Friday. this enables one to skip a lot of silly bother with regards to matters such as drinks, farewell speeches and the presentation of golden clocks.

surprisingly,  as it happens, it turns out that when they had fixed their internet and what have you, lo and behold i had not secure the correct pension fund numbers enabling me to retire. this i had presumed somewhere in advance, but it is always nice to know for sure.

yes, i shall press on with all of this, until someone can show me a better approach that does not cost any more than this one.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

jurassic world fallen kingdom

hey there

and so another cinema trip, look you see. this would be the second time in two months that we, as a collective or if you like family, have been. quite improbably, for it is Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom we went to see this time after Avengers Infinity War last time, my current streak of seeing at least one Chris Pratt movie at the cinema per month has now stretched to two.

for some reason our friends in America, and indeed beyond, get this movie - the dinosaur one mentioned above, and not the super hero one - a week or two later than us here in England, or the UK if you will. i am not entirely certain that a spoiler warning is warranted, but if you do then this is it.

why were we off to see this one? well, the boys both love these Jurassic Shed films. as, for that matter, does my (considerably) better half. me? really, really big fan of the first three, the first two of which i saw at the cinema, but i was not overtly dazzled by the fourth one.

a picture of the boys stood outside the cinema? why not.

for those of you in a rush, then yes indeed Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is very much worth a gander. much better than Jurassic World No Subtitle for me. but honestly it's not got some great, grand or original plot to it - rather more a collection of awesome, excellent and quite exciting set pieces assembled in a relatively coherent enough way to tell a story.

and just what is the story? well, leaving aside the metaphors and parallels of human life so as to get to the business end, basically it starts off with the exciting bits of Jurassic Park III, which was way better than some seem to say, with the final aspects of Jurassic Park The Lost World stapled on the end. with Jeff Goldblum as quasi human bookends to the film. yes, he is in it, yes he is only on screen for some 10 or so minutes to say profound stuff and yes, he probably did get paid somewhere north of US$10million for his time, for he is worth it.

something which was most pleasing for me in terms of casting was Ted Levine, perhaps better known as Jame Gumb out of the silence of the lambs. to that end, i am certain there is an easter egg of sorts in this movie referencing that. erm, mindful of spoilers, there's a late on scene featuring Mr Levine's character where the cinematography and action appears to mimic the infamous "elevator escape" scene in that cinema classic.

what of the stars of the show? well, the dinosaurs are as smart as ever in terms of effect. no, for my generation i suppose, nothing they do will be as mind blowing as our first encounter with Jurassic Park, but standards do not slip. yes, yet again the T-Rex seems forced to take a back seat, as he/she/it has done since the first two. oh well.

the human leads? well, Chris Pratt. yes he is good and that, but wisely the producers of films, unlike, say, the BBC and Graham Norton, understand there is such a thing as a saturation point, where over exposure can see an audience drift away. so he is rather nicely restrained in this one, letting the action stand to the fore.

you kind of wish that them what made Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom has been allowed a crack at these new Star Wars films. they, on the basis of this film, understand that what an audience of a much loved film wants really is more of the same. whereas Star Wars has been allowed to descend into farcical space cow milking with The Last Jedi, the makers of this film know that when an audience pays to watch a Jurassic film, what they want is people running away from dinosaurs, screaming.

my understanding is that, for this year, Avengers Infinity War currently owns around about 40% of all money which exists in the world. to this end, then, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom shall not end up as being the biggest box office success of the year. but, i wager, it will end as a pretty close second. if, you know, one uses money as a measurement of success. which, in fairness, much of the world actually does do.

right, well, that's probably all of that. i somehow doubt any sort of Jurassic Shed film requires my endorsement in order for people to go and watch it, but if required then there it is.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

wanders with an old friend


it has, look you see, been a fair bit of time since i mentioned the still relatively recently discovered passion my Dad has for dogging. this silence is because my posts on what my Dad understands the term "dogging" to mean attracted all sorts of unsavoury posts and unsolicited invitations to that other understanding of the word.

no, sorry to disappoint you apparently many fans of what has become the traditional form of dogging; my Dad considers it to refer to when him and his mates take their beloved pet dogs for a stroll over aspects of the many beauties of New Zealand.

when one gets a message from their Dad saying "hey son, how about some pictures of me out dogging", generally caution is best observed when consenting to such. in my instance, i had little or no hesitation, for it meant the chance to see dear old Marmite wandering around.

this, you would hardly need me to point out, all looks lovely. gorgeous, as point of fact. as much as i love roaming around the beauty of Yorkshire, i can certainly understand the appeal of one of the more appreciative members of the Empire, or if you like Commonwealth.

of the numerous islands that form New Zealand, which one is this on? a larger one. traditionally one speaks of New Zealand in terms of islands "north" and "south". however, what they understand to be those points on a compass are not always, strictly speaking, what we believe them to be.

so, it would be somewhat disrespectful for me to go and say a particular island when the people who live on it might call it something else.

it is good to see Marmite strolling out and about. she'll be quite old now, by my reckoning, in particular when one applies the principal of "dog years".

but still, she has roamed in her time a good deal more of the lands that are south of our equator than many, many other living beings. and, so far as i am aware, all of the world agrees on what is south of the equator and what is north of the equator, so no risk of upsetting anyone with that. i think.

other than pictures, my Dad has worked out how to send and receive videos off of his phone. also, how to forward on videos what his mates have sent. so, in this instance, no video that he took whilst out doing what he considers to be dogging, but a rather witty video clip he shared.

i think that might well be Leon Schuster, but it has been a while since i last saw him. well, if it is, well remembered me. should it not be, my apologies to all concerned and nice one whoever did it.

another image of Marmite on that smart looking bridge to wrap this up? sure, why not.

yes, a bit minimalist on words, this post has been. i thought the lovely pictures off of Dad would. however, be of far more interest than much of what i could add on.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

translations of the right stuff


it was, with some sadness, look you see, that i saw one of my most favourite shops close down. That's Entertainment, where i was able to obtain many splendid discs - some of them for as little as 49p - is no more. well, kind of. from what i can ascertain the stores were owned by that "Music Magpie" website, what is also splendid. it appears that they are to be strictly online as of now.

my sadness at the closure of the nearest store did not, however, prevent me from taking advantage of their splendid clearance sale. i picked up several discs at bargain prices. whereas some were in "proper" DVD cases, their range of boxless ones what were normally 49p a go were reduced to 10p a shot.

whereas i did not go too wild, carefully selecting titles, it must be noted that i got a few which i probably already own, but alas still have all boxed up. one which would certainly be in this category is this one, presented for pure effect in Commodore 64 mode.

yes, The Right Stuff, that mostly celebrated mid-80s film with an ensemble or if you like group of talented actors cast, telling the story of how America "won" the space race and that, bypassing any trivial distractions such as stealing research and giving amnesty and shelter to Nazi criminal scientists.

to be honest, i am certain i have this in a proper box somewhere in my collection. but, as you might expect, when i saw this i immediately thought of my brother, Richard, and happily paid 10p for another copy, for it is what he would have done.

we will look at that in more detail later, but for now the exciting part of this disc. that would be the title variations, or if you like translations. clearly this disc was made in bulk to be foisted onto the European market entire. hence the title being in English, German and for minority interests French on the disc.

if we start off with the German, because let's face it few are going to be interested in the French, it's quite interesting, exciting and wonderful to see that they know the film as Der Stoff Aus Dem Die Helden Sind. now then, thanks to David Bowie, we in the rest of the world know that Helden translates as Heroes.

according to Google translate, the German title for The Right Stuff translates back as The Stuff Of Which The Heroes Are, which is a most splendid name for this or any other film. in fact, or as point of fact, i think the film should be re-released with this title.

how much of a fan of The Right Stuff is my brother? he ranks it up there with ConvoyCannonball Run and The Sword And The Sorcerer, which is to say one of the greatest films of all time. whilst i don't disagree, my recollections are that it was a bit slow and drawn out in places, but ultimately not bad.

oh, praire sh!t, why not. in French, or France, this film got called L'Etoffe Des Heros, which according to Google Translate is The Stuff Of Heroes. not bad i suppose, but lacking the authority, clarity and excellence of the retranslated German name. i quite like how they drew a little aeroplane next to the French title, so as the French may know what it is about.

did The Right Stuff inspire my brother to want to be a pilot or astronaut? very much so, yes. he would have been successful too, only that nice Jimmy Savile off of Jim'll Fix It never fixed it for him.

my brother was never what you would call a prolific correspondent with people via letters. but, credit where it is due, he wrote many letters to Jimmy, asking him to please fix  it for him to ride a motorbike out of a plane as in Cannonball Run, please to have a three bladed sword where two of the blades are missiles, a la Sword & The Sorcerer, please to drive a truck off of a bridge and make a policeman wet himself, which was basically the plot of Convoy, and indeed to please fix it for him to fly a plane faster than the speed of sound, crash it, but survive, as was the case in the film this post is ostensibly about.

no, Jimmy didn't fix any of them. for many years Richard harboured dreams of "what if", and how even more class his life would have been if only that nice Jimmy Savile had said yes to any of his humble, reasonable requests.

knowing what we do now, of course, different story. mostly Richard believes he dodged a bullet in not being accepted onto Jim'll Fix It, for there was, it would seem, an unspoken price. but this relief is always tempered with another what if, of course. sometimes Richard thinks "maybe i should have written PS, yes, Uncle Jimmy, i would love to sit on your knee, and i know how to keep a secret". such might have secured him, at the least, the chance to ride a motorbike out of the back of a plane, then parachute into a car.

anyway, perhaps i will watch The Right Stuff again. if i am honest i am fairly sure i've only seen the film once or twice at the most. Richard has watched it far more often; let me consider the film to see what beyond dreams of speed he considered to be so amazing of it.

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

how do i avoid getting punched in the face off of Roger Daltrey?


sssssssh. be quite quiet. silence.

can you hear it? that, look you see, is the sound of Roger Daltrey rolling up his sleeves. he tried to be nice and kind and civil to you people, but you have rejected this. well, some of you have.

when Roger Daltrey records and releases something, in particular quality music, there is a tacit expectation or agreement that you people will buy it, or otherwise "stream" it. certain, more cultured and refined ones of you, have done this. several of you have not, and so have put yourself at risk of being punched in the face by Roger Daltrey for the disrespect. this is disrespect you have shown to him and, looking at the dire state of the chart somehow above his splendid new record, British rock in general.

just look at that desecration above. actually, look at it briefly and, unless you like me purchased As Long As I Have You by Roger Daltrey, go ahead and hang your head in shame. what a bloody sorry state the world, or specifically the counting nations of the UK album chart, are in if those seven records can somehow sell or be "streamed" more than Roger Daltrey.

i suppose i should say that certain Scottish readers are exempt from shame. this would be those that bought or streamed the most recent incoherent, nonsensical mumbles over the music of other, vastly more talented musicians to be released by that Mr Kim Kardassian twat. i have every confidence that at some stage, purely for marketing, Mr Kim Kardassian either professed Scottish heritage, or otherwise "gender identified" as Scottish, and so he tends to sell a lot of records there, most probably. also, Daltrey might just be a "bit too London" for certain corners of Scotland.

for everyone else, however, there is an expectation of knowing better. a lot better. this business of buying songs about a circus, or the flat refusal to accept Snow Patrol were meant to be (barely) one hit wonders, simply will not do. reckoning is coming. if you were to meet Roger Daltrey in the street and haven't bought his record, he will know, and will be exempt from any legal recourse if he punches you in the face. this punch will hurt you, a lot, for he is a hard man.

you are probably feeling very guilty and quite sorry for yourself. undoubtedly you now are seeking ways to urgently avoid being punched in the face, although it has to be said there is some honour in being punched in the face by the hardest man ever to work in rock and roll. but really, you do not want a taste of what he has.

how do you avoid this? well, the most obvious course open to you is to go out, right now, and purchase this album. it is exceptional, and a decision you will not regret. further, as an apology for not doing it sooner, Roger would no doubt accept you making a donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust as a means of apology.

in terms of how you find out if you are, colloquially, "off the hook", well, you are going to have to write to Roger Daltrey and explain yourself. the address is Roger Daltrey - The Hardest Man In Rock & Roll, c/o Polydor Records, 364-366 Kensington High Street, London, W14 8NS. as you did not have enough sense to buy the record you probably don't know how to write a letter, so here is a template -

Dear Mr Daltrey

I am writing to you to apologise for not purchasing your new record during the first seven days it was possible to do so. My failure to do so, I know, makes me a sh!t and quite liable to be punched in the face by you, the hardest man in Rock & Roll.

Everything I have been told about your skill and prowess in regards of punching people in the face tells me that I do not want to have a taste of it. In the hope of avoiding this, I have subsequently bought at least one copy of your record, and further have made a respectable donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Whilst I know the above does not in itself give you sufficient reason not to punch me in the face, I do hope that it is taken as a clear message of how truly sorry I am. But, if you could forgive me this one transgression - as serious as it was - then it would underline your status as a caring, compassionate and gentleman Rock God; with of course it being the case that this status was never ever questioned.

of course, you are entirely welcome to disregard this advice and offer of help. that's up to you, really. but if you do, well, don't come crying to me as you hold your broken and bloody nose back together.

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

Saturday, June 09, 2018

some vinyl

howdy pop pickers

you know i really should, to be sure, unpack one of my record playing devices, or if you like turntables, and get it set up. this would be, look you see, because i seem to be picking up those elements of vinyl which one would ostensibly use such decks to hear the music of them on. 

well, hey ho, no, as i have not set up a deck or if you like stag yet, the least i can do is share, show off or maybe flaunt some records what i have picked up of late, here within this very blog post. for all i know someone reading this might have an interest. 

indeed, each record shall have a closer look below. also, to keep it interesting, i will give all of the provenance that i am able to, and throw some trivia in too. the latter is the one and only reason i suspect people keep coming back to this blog, and very welcome all are.

let us commence, then, with the "no brainer" of my recent acquisitions. as a matter of some interest, the first here was also the most expensive, and bar one surprise inclusion probably has the shortest running length of them all.

yes, one of three David Bowie releases put out for Record Store Day 2018. the other two were, i think Welcome To The Blackout, a rudimentary live recording, and i think Bowie Now, which appeared to be a sort of "best of" overview from roughly 76/77 to 79. both of those lavish sets were priced north of £30, however. this one, the "full" demo for the song Let's Dance, was a good deal more modest in cost, coming in at just or an eye watering 1p south of £15.

provenance of my copy of this? Rough Trade store in Nottingham. when i was stood holding it, i was about 2% "do i really want to spend so much on something i am not that interested in"; 98% "if i do not buy this then i am just going to regret it at a later stage". so, as should be the case, majority rule won.

no, i have not opened it up yet. but, i will. perhaps to play it when i have my stag set up, or just to look. yes, i know opening it will "devalue" it, with many or most of Record Store Day releases being bought purely to sell for profit on that ebay thing. i have no intention of ever willingly parting with this, or any of my Bowie collection, though.

next up is a compilation of The Rat Pack, then, imaginatively called The Rat Pack. despite the price sticker saying £7.99 i got this for £1, for the store what sold it was selling all their records off for this fee. per item, of course. frankly, i paid that for the gorgeous image of Dean, Glass Eye and Mr Sinatra. an image that i had, as you can see in the above, in a much smaller form, over the expansive 3CD set of the same name.

does the record seem any good? yes. whereas the 3CD set has some 74 songs, this lp has 14. 5 by Mr Sinatra, 4 by Glass Eye and a respectable 5 off of Dean. it is highly likely that the royalties due to the Estate of Mr Dean Martin off this record are being paid directly to the Estate of Mr Sinatra in respect of debts racked up for all the broken and busted Betamax video machines Mr Martin was encouraged to purchase from Mr Sinatra. you can read more on that by clicking here, if you so wished.

whilst we possibly have just as good singers about today, no, we will not see the likes of The Rat Pack again. it is just impossible. there was always an air of mystery around celebrities back then, and it was like they were doing the world a great favour whenever they appeared and shared their talents. now any sort of singer or celebrity is granted blanket 24/7 coverage due to social media, and there's no mystery or intrigue. quite sad, but so it goes.

conspiracy theory fans will love the above, and no not because for some reason the above has uploaded sideways. i am sure you spotted this in the first picture, but if not, there you go. the version of the picture used for the vinyl version has been doctored, airbrushed or "photoshopped", removing the jacket behind Mr Martin.

you might think that this was done to move Mr Martin closer to Mr Glass Eye on the vinyl cover, making for a much better square image. but there's also a compelling case to suggest that maybe the jacket had to be removed on legal grounds. perhaps the owner of the jacket is influential, powerful and infamously notorious. it could be that when the image showing his jacket was used on the CD, those responsible found that they had their noses, legs and so forth busted, and the people doing the lp version had no wish to endure the same or worse.

if you have absolutely nothing else better to do, then why not sit and think about this, and create your own conspiracy theory about why the jacket was removed? this can be quite a fun activity to do, and something of an outlet. for example, you could think of such things and create a blog or similar web presence to share them on. who knows, perhaps one day i will do something like that.

many - mostly my brother Richard, and Spiros, but in a room of three that would be many - would consider the above to be something of a "holy grail" in terms of post-Rocky II musical releases. that's because it is a song off of top(ish) group Survivor that was in a Rocky film but was not Eye Of The Tiger. instead, it is Burning Heart, a song in which Survivor reflect on the then present state of the Cold War, and explored how it could be won by a bout of fisticuffs.

Rocky IV was a most smart film when it came out, and if anything it has aged surprisingly well. at the time we were perhaps prone to considering many of Stallone's films in the 80s were driven by Stallone's vanity and ego. in retrospect, he was a master of pacing and of creating truly exceptional action sequences.

as for Burning Heart, well, it is no Eye Of The Tiger but it is still smart. probably my second favourite tune off of the film soundtrack, right after Living In America by Mr James Brown. oddly, it is not like Eye Of The Tiger was ever supposed to be all that it now is. the only reason, giving you some of that trivia i suggested, that it even featured in Rocky III was because Queen refused to give permission for Another One Bites The Dust to be used, which was Stallone's first and only choice.

oh yes, the cover of the single - like the film poster - is one massive spoiler for the motion picture Rocky IV. but, bar a few simpletons and maybe some senior members of the poliburo of the Soviet Union, nobody really went to see the film with any expectations of a surprise ending.

above is another record i got for £1, despite it being priced far north of that. yes, same place as the Rat Pack one, cheers. this one is a live recording of Bruce Springsteen, from back in 1988, in Argentina of all places. i know it is a live recording because it says so on the front, and on the reverse each and every song has [Live] written next to it, just to make sure you know.

this is, i think since i have not played it, the widely circulated "not official" recorded release from The Boss of a concert gone done for human rights / amnesty international, etc. well, 9 of the songs of it, if i remember right most bootleg CDs and tapes of the same had 14 or 15 tunes on. but this has a decent enough selection.

do i like The Boss? yes. what's not to like?

finally, then, the no brainer. provenance was once again Rough Trade in Nottingham, and this is the double lp vinyl of the soundtrack for The Man Who Fell To Earth, for £9.99 or if you like 1p south of ten quid.

there really was not much chance of me passing up on the opportunity to purchase a 12" sized image of David Bowie at his most beautiful for such a fee. it helps, of course, that the soundtrack for this, ostensibly one of his most celebrated film roles, is lavish and superb. although of course no, Bowie did not do the soundtrack.

one of the greatest rock legends or myths ever surrounds the David Bowie soundtrack for The Man Who Fell To Earth. for years the story was that Bowie recorded one, but it was "so bad" that it had to be binned, and an entirely new one composed and rushed in straight away. supposedly the Bowie recordings are locked away in a vault, never to be seen or heard.

that had never sat well with me. for a start, if you look at Bowie, say 74 - 76, it was clearly impossible for him to have recorded anything bad. the linear notes, in both the CD and the smart 40th (ish) anniversary Blu Ray of the film, tell the truth. Bowie simply rushed off to record a soundtrack without the film being finished, and thus the music's pacing and timing were so far off the action on screen it could not be used.

in my view, the music Bowie innocently recorded for The Man Who Fell To Earth has been heard. most likely on Station To Station, Low or even much later releases. as my "Random Bowie" series of posts has explored, Bowie didn't ever let material go to waste.

of course, now that i have gone and stated that, watch his in fact hidden away all unheard recordings go and get released at some point. if so, well that's all win from what i can see.

no, i have no problem with the fact that in at least two instances above i have bought vinyl of something i have in CD form. should a tape be available i'd buy that too. back in the mid to late 80s, and to an extent early 90s, it was a "thing" to own the same album on all different formats. no particular reason for it, this was just what we did. or i did.

and that would be all that it can be for this post, then. once again, to be sure, and as ever, look you see, hopefully this was all of some interest to someone somewhere. well, if not all, then at the least bits or pieces of it. 

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

Thursday, June 07, 2018

macho greek fags

geia sou skýles

and so why not, look you see. the title of this post probably tells you all that you need to know, but for the sake of clarity, yes. this post is, or will indeed be, a jolly adventure into the world of fancy, posh international cigarettes, with such a journey made possible by the generosity of Spiros.

once more, then, Spiros, as the greatest legal mind of his generation, has been on his travels. well, his very costly services are in ever greater demand, what with the right royal mess we have made of our world. during the course of such travels he is most kind in getting me some cigarettes, or if you like fags, on the cheap. whereas he is not a smoker himself as such he knows that the cost of them here in England is crippling, and so he likes to help his amigo out when he can.

in this instance, it's a rather posh and fancy sounding brand he has found me off of Greece. cigarettes which, he assures me, are usually smoked only by Greek hard men, hence their name, Eva.

regular readers familiar with the exploits of Spiros as documented here will need no clarification. for those all quite new to this, however, as well as being the greatest legal mind of his generation, Spiros is also quite the hard man. he routinely fights London black cab drivers, and is also proficient in all that smart martial arts and kung fu business what looks boss in films.

in terms of this, Spiros assures me that "Eva" does indeed translate as "hard man" in Greece. another thing he is famous for is, of course, making short term but mutually beneficial friendships with gentlemen, be it in public lavatories, YCMA establishments or similar. anyway, recently he made a sort of multi variant of that. some gentlemen called Kristo, Demetrius, Nicos and most interestingly Belen kept calling Spiros "beautiful Eva", "pretty Eva" and so forth during a recent short term gang friendship, presumably in a rather spacious public convenience. from this Spiros has concluded that "Eva" must translate as "hard man", for at the time of calling him this they were admiring his muscles, and physical skills.

yes, when i saw these Eva fags, i was very much of a "Spiros, are you sure, bru" mind.  i am, for my sins, quite well versed and knowledgeable about cigarettes, and to my mind these ones do look quite feminine and intended for the ladies.

but, no. Spiros reckons the appearance is misleading, and they really are smart. in his view i should go out and about as much as possible smoking these, as he reckons people will all of a sudden look at me with a sense of awe and wonder.

you know, looking at that picture above, the little, quaint and cute purple heart they've made out of the "v" in Eva is  lovely touch. nothing about it, however, to my mind suggests "butch" or "macho" or "this is intended for men to smoke".

any recent pictures of Spiros, you ask? why, yes. he did have momentary reason to send one on to me. here, have a look as he, whilst presumably taking a break from being the greatest legal mind of his generation, extracts the pleasures of the turtle.

no, i have absolutely no idea who took that picture for him. i would like to think, from his recent batch of short term friendships, that it was Demetrius, as he sounds like a lens man. but, the Spiros entourage is understandably large.

how do these Eva perform as cigarettes? well, quite like all them other long, thin Greek fags what Spiros has picked me up over the years. there's a hint of musk to them, and very little hint of things like tar, nicotine and all that other class stuff one would normally expect to encounter with a cigarette.

but, you know, cheap or gifted fags are always welcome. and when you add to that the fact that Spiros says i will look most smart walking around smoking these, it is all win.

indeed, yes, i thought to get into the spirit of things i would pick up some baklava to eat as i enjoyed smoking these macho greek fags. should you have never ever tasted the baklava, i would encourage you to do so. once you've had some, you can kind of understand why the Greek economy keeps tanking, and why so little gets done in Greece. it's absolutely awesome, and if it were your national dish, you would also just sit around by the coast of the Aegean eating it rather than work or other such nonsense.

right, well, anyway. hopefully, as ever, this has all been of some use for some reason to someone, anyone out there reading this. if not cigarette or Spiros fans, well then maybe economics students.

να είναι εξαιρετική μεταξύ τους !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

bullseye blackout

hello there

every now and then - not often, look you see, but all the same once in a while - i write a piece here that proves to be popular. maybe not phenomenally popular, but well liked all the same. of such instances, a recent one was when i investigated whether or not one could comfortably and suitably watch repeat screenings of Bullseye if for some reason they found themselves in Nottingham.

should you be of a mind to read that particular article, here is a link to it. kindly note, though, that the article was written and published whilst his greatness, his excellency Jim Bowen was still alive and with us.

due to the popularity of that article, and as a fitting tribute to the eternal memory of Jim Bowen, i thought it would be a jolly good idea to venture towards Nottingham again. ostensibly i did so for unrelated reasons, but whilst there it made a great deal of sense to investigate whether one can still watch such repeats.

the answer, alas, is no. i see no need to prolong the giving of this answer. as you can see in the above image, i trust, i tuned in the television provided to me by the hotel at the time Bullseye was bring broadcast and was greeted with no such broadcast.

i have no further information on why the people of Nottingham, or specifically why i when in Nottingham, came to be denied the lessons and sermons of Jim Bowen from days of future passed. no, it did not seem wise or appropriate to ask anyone, lest it be a legal issue behind it all and i ended up getting arrested by the Nottingham constabulary for breaching the subject, or if you like topic.

a guess - purely speculative, of course - would be that Nottingham has chosen to blackout the entire channel what screens Bullseye as a tribute to Jim Bowen. this would be a rather misguided tribute if so, for surely the best way to honour him would be to watch his work.

yes, that is indeed a selfie thing of moi, either on my way to or from Nottingham as i made my way to ascertain this rather upsetting development. there are a few more below. to my thinking it's been a while since i posted some selfies, and for some reason one or two of you like to see how i am progressing. quite well, really. although i must confess the beard has been trimmed since the above was taken.

aside from the important business of checking if one could or, as it turns out, could not witness broadcasts of Jim Bowen, did i do other things of interest in Nottingham? yes, but there are only so many of them which i can disclose. perhaps i shall do so in another post.

for now, though, this. i observed the below en route to Nottingham, at a service station somewhere near York but not actually in York.

that is indeed a sticker placed on a bin. yes, you are seeing it right, or if you will correct, it was placed by someone or other proclaiming that they were "Hartlepool United On Tour". i found this particularly fascinating as the only means of getting to there to place this sticker was by car, or bus or truck or similar. as highlighted here, and in several posts since, Hartlepool has taken a very stern anti-car stance of late. how very interesting that people from such an anti-car place would openly flaunt they are using that which their home would seek to eliminate.

oh, yes. i think until the end of time i shall mention that particular incident in Hartlepool. as awesome and excellent as their approach to things suspected of French may well be, i do consider myself quite hard done by.

which leads us to another selfie. one taken at another coastal place, but one which, unlike Hartlepool, values people visiting and does not make it at all impossible to park a car in a fair and reasonable way.

no, that image was not taken on the way to or from Nottingham in respect of this investigation. for some reason i had added it to the same folder of images, though. anyway, it is here now, and what a lovely day it was when i took that.

anyway, back to the issue of the Bullseye blackout, or as many of you may prefer to say it, the Bowen blackout. it is entirely possible that darker, more unpleasant motivations are at work. perhaps the good people of Nottingham always remained jealous that his excellency, the great Jim Bowen was not one of them, and have now blanked him out purely to be spiteful. if so, this would be a great shame.

yes, i suppose it could just be the hotel what i was in. maybe they were just cheap, or not technically gifted enough, to fit and connect an aerial powerful enough to receive the almighty transmissions of the Challenge channel. i am rather doubtful of this, as it was one of the poshest and finest hotels Nottingham has to offer that i stayed in.

as things stand, then, no, on the basis of my experiences of late, one can no longer watch Bullseye repeats in Nottingham. hopefully this is just temporary. for i would hate to think of a city denied the greatness of them. who knows, perhaps i shall make another trip that way and find that one can freely and easily see them again.

one last selfie, then. yes, this was heading to or from Nottingham. most likely at a service station, but not one where people off of Hartlepool and placed stickers on bins; or at least not that i recall.

it used to be that service stations were once the best part of road trips across the country. you could buy tapes and things, and have a Little Chef. however, it's all franchises and chain stores now. quite a pity.

well, that would be about that for this post, then.

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

Sunday, June 03, 2018

daltrey day of release

howdy pop pickers

and so another day of release, look you see. one what i was able, to be sure, to actually purchase on the day of release. well, to not have done would have risked the artist what released it finding out and punching me in the face; presumably quite hard. yes, that means the recording featured on this day of release account is of course rock and roll's one true, genuine, bona fide hard man - Mr Roger Daltrey.

you get the feeling it will always be Mr Roger Daltrey, really. one cannot see him accepting any sort of honour without being allowed to earn it via combat. undoubtedly the palace has contacted him, saying we would like to make you Sir Roger or Lord Daltrey on top of his CBE thing, but he would probably say "only if i earn it via a duel with a senior member of the Royal family". or, knowing his other passions, only if as Sir Roger or Lord Daltrey he was granted the power to pardon Reggie, Ronnie or any of the other East End ganglords what he admires as they "only ever killed their own sort".

i digress some. so, anyway, Roger Daltrey has released a solo album, his first for many, many years. this album is called As Long As I Have You, and, for those what are in a rush and feel you need to know this up front, it's rather good. and i am saying that because it is, not just out of fear of Roger seeking me out and punching me in the face, quite hard.

provenance of my copy? HMV, totes obvs. as and when i can go to HMV to buy my vibes, in particular on day of release (or close enough), i do. yes, this is me clutching to my youth, recalling when buying music was a thing and music was an actual social not social media thing, but if not me, then who. and, as you can see above, for Roger Daltrey one pays £1 north of the accepted 1p south of £10 for a new CD release, but we will get to that.

the provenance of the actual recording that is As Long As I Have You? somewhat more complex. by all accounts to hand this has taken some 2 - 3 years to produce. it was recorded, should i remember the interviews and articles correctly, either side of Roger having to battle a bout of meningitis. one can so easily see Roger demanding that the beaten illness be placed in a bottle or similar such receptacle, so that he may punch it in the face to teach it a lesson, then buy it a pint to say no hard feelings and further invite it to watch on in awe as Roger downed a bottle of brandy.

and even then, on the basis of interviews, Roger did not want to release this. he has made no secret of the fact that he dislikes his own voice, and it took quite a lot of encouragement to get him to put this out. the biggest push came from he who one would argue is Roger's biggest hero that is not an East End ganglord, Mr Pete Townshend. Pete stepping up and playing guitar on a substantial number of songs (7 of the 11, i think) was what swayed it.

yes, that there above is HMV on the day of release of the new Roger Daltrey recording. no, but of course there is no mention that one may buy Roger Daltrey music on display in the window. quite disrespectful i agree, and no doubt Roger shall come along and punch someone in the face, quite hard, about this. and no one shall complain and all shall apologise to Roger for their actions or lack thereof.

so, anyway. if it's got Roger Daltrey on all of it and Pete Townshend on some of it, why not release it as a recording by The Who? because it's not a Who album, not at all. whereas The Who did some celebrated live covers, it was rare to record them dans le studio. of the 11 tracks here, i think it's that 9 are covers, with the other 2 being Daltrey compositions or collaborations. other than the standard pressure of releasing anything by The Who, when one gets something saying The Who then one expects to find Townshend as the principal, chief or dominating songwriter. that is how it is.

the album starts off well, with the titular track that Roger has played a bit on TV shows and some radio gigs. but there is also an issue with it. for some inexplicable reason the song, As Long As I Have You for the purposes of clarity, has an alarming, sharp, erratic and jolting fade out. one can only assume that the record producer, credited as Dave Eringa, got punched in the face, quite hard, for this.

an interesting thing happens on I've Got Your Love, unless it was on Into My Arms. from a music / melody perspective, one feels like they are hearing Angie off of the Stones with different words. a curious nod.

how does Daltrey sound? really good. the affront, the confidence, the aggression, the arrogance and all that stuff is alive and well in those vocal cords he does not like. every now and then, and this is perhaps in light of the nature of the songs what he does, it sounds like Roger Daltrey now has a 2018 voice which sounds more than a bit like a late 60s / early 70s Joe Cocker. this is no bad thing at all, and not intended to sound as one.

indeed, wisely - and this might be what stopped HMV getting punched in the face, quite hard, off of Roger Daltrey, As Long As I Have You has, at the least, prime position for their releases of the week, or "trending" section. yes, i am reluctant to say the last bit, because i have every confidence that if someone went up to Mr Daltrey and said "hey, Roger, you are trending", they would get punched in the face, quite hard.

the vocals of Roger Daltrey have always been fascinating. yes, always brilliant, but fascinating. here is a challenge you can do at home, for surely you are resplendent in recordings to do so. play some Daltrey singing in The Who, then play his solo and / or covers stuff. it's the same voice, but decidedly different. being the engine what drives the words and music of Townshend has always seemed to elevate Daltrey's voice to levels few ever achieve.

but, that makes sense. Daltrey, and Freddie Mercury, are in a peerless bracket in that their voice is just as powerful and as important as any instrument in their respective bands. so, it's good to hear Roger flexing his, and a very good thing that he was persuaded to release this.

what can i tell you of the appearance of Mick Talbot, from the less communist / socialist aspect of The Style Council, being on this record? not a great deal. just the one track so far as i am aware, and he does what is asked of him. again, and this is me as a Style Council fan, good to hear him about.

any highlights on the record? it's all good. basically, if in doubt, give the first three songs a spin - As Long As I Have You How Far and Where Is A Man To Go. that's the sound of the album for you. either you like it, and will appreciate owning it, or you won't, and should be punched in the face, quite hard.

as mentioned earlier, Roger costs £1 more than a standard new CD release. above is Morrisons, where i happened to be the day after day of release, and saw that they are charging 1p more than HMV for it. why? if the stores are doing it, perhaps "because they can". they know there is a demographic, and i am part of it, who will hand over money without looking at how much for any or all items with "Roger Daltrey" written on it.

further, we are quite close to Father's Day, at least here in England. everything about this release screams "that will do" Father's Day gift, and i have no doubt this will push sales. a tried and tested model, make no mistake. it was a couple of years ago, i think, when the Stones clocked an unexpected number one album with the (superb, and by Stones standards not too different from this album in terms of style) Blue & Lonesome, released just in time for Christmas. Adele, for a "modern" artist of sorts, has also clocked that releasing an album close to gift season is a shrewd move.

but no, goodness no, this album is not some sort of well timed cash in. Daltrey is old school. he would only record something if it was destined to be listened to, and to be permanent. casual stars of today, in particular that omnipresence that is Ed Sheeran, may well be happy or content with fleeting fame (and riches) off of songs that shall not be remembered far beyond the last few years of the decade in which they were released. that is not what Daltrey is about.

as the record has Roger Daltrey quite clearly written on it there is no need for me or anyone else to tell you that it is well worth getting. but, should for some reason you require such assurance, yes indeed it is. one of the finest records to be released thus far this year, and probably in contention for the best of the year.

what lies ahead in terms of day of release adventures? in recent days both James and Suede have announced new records on the way, which could make this the best vibes year since 2016. alas, 2017 was mostly forgettable. and you never know, someone else might come along and cause a surprise.

spending time reading this is taking up part of the life that you have when you could be listening to Roger Daltrey. off you go, then. now.

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

Friday, June 01, 2018

bespoke, boutique, designer laces

hello there

blimey, how did that happen. we are, look you see, into the central part of another year. whilst i get a sense of distance travelled, one saying does ring true - the older you get, the faster time feels like it just goes away. oh, to be sure, well. there is little of anything else but nothing one can do.

in the time that i have had, a quite common questions posed to me is whether or not i am a "hard man", in the prone to victory in bouts of physical violence sense. this has no doubt come to be a question due to that fabled old saying or understanding; you can judge or take the measure of a man by the company he keeps.

generally, my answer is no, not really. i am quite of that "can't we all just get along" frame of mind, although this is of course not always possible. but, that said, i do seem prone to brutal, unspeakable violence when confronted with shoelaces, going on how often i am required to purchase new ones.

either i end up snapping the laces on my boots clean in two, or otherwise that plastic bit on either end of the lace, the "aglet", gets all mangled and loose and unusable. when either, or in some instances both, happen, there is little i can do but curse my apparent violent leanings and arrange to purchase more.

in this instance, as you can possibly see quite clearly above, i selected or otherwise elected to purchase some from Sports Direct, that well known emporium for a range of garments and related accessories, such as shoelaces. yes, i happened to be in a branch or if you will chapter of this much cherished brand, spotted them and remembered, or recalled, that i required some.

as for the company i keep, well, yes, there are quite a few gents of the "hard man" status that i consider friends. for a start, there is "One Punch Perumal", who is a formidable opponent for anyone who dares cross him. if his name were on a box, i assure you he does exactly what it says on the box. also Fraser, who implements prison style punishment on anyone who he considers as being transgressors of any unwritten laws or rules he happens to think of. and then there is Spiros.

when the question is posed "are there any pictures of [me] and Spiros looking like a right pair of twats", the answer is as straightforward as yes, surely, any image of the two of us would fit that criteria. for a change of pace, then, here above is an image of us looking as such in suits, just to make it all sophisticated and classy and all that. a bit Bryan Ferry, i suppose.

many of you, i know, only read this blog from time to time so as you may be briefed on the latest adventures of Spiros. with this in mind, i suppose i do not need to go into much detail regarding his hard man credentials. an overview would be that, as well as being the greatest legal mind of his generation, he is also a truly gifted gladiator. usually he is most comfortable when wrestling men, naked, but he is also fluent in the language of kung fu. further, he will fight any and all London cabbies in whatever format of combat they so choose. he does not care, he knows they will lose.

interestingly enough, Spiros no longer wears shoes that require laces. he is strictly a slip on sort of gent now, although he is not above wearing flip flops and similar. this, predictably maybe, goes back to an unfortunate misunderstanding with one of the gentlemen who he had a short term yet mutually beneficial friendship with. some sort of jape or foolery the two of them got up to, as it were, involved one saying to the other that their shoelaces were undone. i say unfortunate, but it is with interest that i have noted over the years he does not speak of any regret when mentioning the matter.

no, the above is not some sort of mistake or "photoshop" concern. these new laces did indeed cost me £2.99, or if you like 1p south of £3. and to confirm, yes i did really, genuinely purchase these at Sports Direct, despite what seems like an extravagant cost for what is effectively two one hundred and twenty centimetre lengths of string.

as has featured on this blog before, Sports Direct is a name which is almost a term in itself, and further one that has come to be used as a colloquialism or similar for "cheap, cheapest, none more cheap". with this not just being in respect of their approach to staff. to pay so much as i did for one single item in Sports Direct is unheard of. what can i say; i assume Sports Direct are branching out a bit, so as they may also attract a higher class shopping demographic.

do i dream of being wardrobed exclusively in the clothing and wares of Sports Direct? partially. it all looks like an idyllic life for one to aspire to. those who dress only in Sports Direct clothing seem to have a perfect, care free life, in which they do not concern themselves with work or any other such meaningful contribution to society. and yet they are able to live in a property, watch expensive TV channels, swill white cider and energy drinks and smoke. yes, i suppose i would like to have a go at that lifestyle.

there's one of the laces, showcasing the aglet or whatever it is, in situ, so to speak, or if you will in place on one of my boots.

how are these laces working out? well, despite reservations and concerns on the price of them, i must say rather well. thus far they have done a magnificent job of keeping my boots securely on my feet, enabling me to stroll and so forth. and, to this point, any primordial hard man instincts of mine when it comes to laces has met with tacit resistance, apparently, for no damage or harm has visibly befallen them.

would i recommend or otherwise endorse these "Mr Lacy" shoe and boot laces off of Sports Direct? not easily, or without qualification. it would trouble me greatly if i said "yes, they are smart", and then someone went and took a high interest loan so as they may afford them. these laces are working, yes, but if they are working in a manner which is really 300% better or more effective than a pair you could get off of Poundland is highly debatable.

no, i am not certain or sure that there is anything else i could say about shoe or boot laces at this stage. with that being the case, well, that would be that for this post.

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