Sunday, March 31, 2013

selling Skyfall

hi there

there's a rather strange and peculiar thing going on with the release of the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, on DVD here. for some reason, and a reason i shall have a bash at speculating on, it seems all and sundry are trying to sell it as cheap as possible.

online, one can find it here on loot, takealot and kalahari for a mere R89 at the time of writing, although if you use kalahari then be prepared to experience their interesting and unusual interpretation of what exactly "next day delivery" means. not what you think, if you are asking. theoretically Musica are selling it for R89 too, but you have to bear in mind the Bowie The Next Day debacle, in which they just had their album in their warehouse / 'distribution hub' for two weeks after the release date instead of letting people buy it.

top marks, though, to Look & Listen, who have gone one or if you will ten better and are selling it for R79 at the moment. guess, then, where i bought it.

yep, that's my copy of the DVD sat on the advert, looking oddly like part of the advert.

for those of you not from these parts, a shiny new DVD usually costs between R99 (if there's a promo) and R159, with the higher number being the norm. within 6 - 12 months the price usually drops anyway, but it's rather strange to see this one start off on a low figure. Skyfall was a much bigger and better celebrated film than the last Bond, Quantum Of Solace, as much as i quite liked that one. why the need to sell so cheap, then? not that i am complaining, mind - although it would have been even nicer if the blu-ray had the same arrangement, alas R199 it was and thus not bought.

it could be as straightforward as a "loss leader", with the stores colluding to a degree to get people in to buy this and then buy other things since this is better priced. i suspect, however, it's more to do with giving the retail side of DVDs a boost. you may recall a post from last year where i noted that The Amazing Spider-Man, a just about average at best film, went to half price very quickly. i note as i go around huge piles of the film for sale, piles that do not seem to get smaller. if it fell to R50 i would consider it purely as Martin Sheen and Denis Leary in it, but that's about it.

between pirate discs, illegal downloads, legal downloads via pretending you are in a different country, the fact that you could have ordered this off amazon and had it delivered a month before the release here (if there was no postal stike) and DSTV's weird "video on demand" rental system, the people making and selling DVDs all of a sudden seem aware that there is a choice in not paying silly money for a film if you want it. a few years late to "fight back", but better late than never.

it's rather strange that they targeted Skyfall as the one to do this kind of thing with. i suspect it would have sold rather well at the usual price anyway, so if this is a huge sales hit because of the lower cost it's somewhat dubious research. still, far be it from me to complain, it meant that we got to watch the film last night.

a review? for what reason would i give one? i suspect all who wish to see it have done so, but for what it's worth yes, very good indeed and well worth the praise heaped on it so far. i look at Ralph Feinnes in it and wonder why on earth couldn't they have given him the proper job of Bond 20 years ago instead of that squeaky voiced chap. if you like Bond films and for some reason you haven't seen this one then go and get it and watch with confidence. roll on the next one.

as for the pricing thing, well, fingers crossed it lasts, really. i much prefer having the proper discs to play rather than resorting to wonky illicit copies, and there's no way i am trusting DSTV with any more money than i have to with their third rate equipment. i quite like a library, so i have no wish to just rent the things anyway.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

trying out the fake Double Down

hi there

well, despite my valid complaints earlier in the week about how we have been f***** over here with a fake version of the excellent Double Down from KFC, i did mention it would be inevitable that i would try one. that is exactly what happened today. Trigger and i felt an obligation to give it a go, as you would expect, and so we did give it a go.

first impression? wow, that looks very small compared to how they sell it in the rest of the world.

and indeed rather on the small side of things it is, really, as the next picture reveals. the rest of the world have this massive thing, we seem to have ended up with something just over half the size. 

taste-wise, it's actually rather good. the "chicken slice" (and not tomato as i originally thought it was) stuck in to replace the bacon is not bad, but with the cheese all over, all you really do is imagine just what a crowning moment of excellence this would be with bacon in it. a very bad, nay stupid, decision of KFC to sell it here without bacon. i can only guess they think we are all stupid and don't know how to use the internet to see how this looks in the rest of the world.

would i have another one again?well, i would like to, even this poor inferior fake one. however, it is unlikely i will purchase again. the reason is cost - it costs more than a 3 piece chicken dinner from them, and just marginally less than an awesome 5 piece chicken dinner. cost wouldn't be a factor if it were the genuine, correct size, proper ingredient Double Down, but this is a lazy, poor fake as i think you have heard me say more than once.

the sad thing is that if this was the proper thing, with bacon in it, i would probably instruct Trigger that we were having this every day right up until our arteries said "no more". perhaps for our health not an entirely bad thing that they've decided to unleash an expensive fake version of the Double Down at KFC South Africa, then, but disappointing that KFC think so little of their rather loyal customers.

hey ho.

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jonathan Granville vs U2

hi there

well, right now you should be reading some mystical, fanciful story about Jonathan Granville and something to do with Phil Collins in respect of another cover version. the truth, alas, is a good deal more harsh, and instead i have had to make up a story about Larry Mullen Junior and his Jazz Band. it is of course possible that U2 have a lawyer on their books called Phil Collins, but i am not aware of such an employee.

as you are aware, the multi-talented Jonathan Granville is presently embarking on an ambitious project to re-imagine classic songs in his own style. thus far he has decided that "classic" means "must involve Phil Collins in some capacity", but never mind that.

 his latest effort was a go at Who's Going To Ride Your Wild Horses? by that celebrated 75% Irish, 25% cockney super band U2. i had absolutely no idea that it had any sort of Phil Collins to it, but i guess it must have somewhere. anyway, the rather more enthusiastic reader will have notice the italics thing on the 'was' in the opening sentence.

i could give you a link to the cover version, but sadly this is all you will see.

yes, that's right. it has been removed, ladies and gentlemen. why? well, Jonathan is trying to cover for the more vain elements of U2 by saying he is at fault and that he "only" uploaded the piano track by mistake. i think we know the truth.

artists are, of course, quite entitled, indeed encouraged, to protect their work. however, the idea of Larry Mullen Jnr (or whoever, that Adam Clayton one i suppose) getting instant legal action and having a cover of a song removed just because Jonathan's piano is better than the bit of snare or whatever he did on the record is just plain silly. childish, even.

U2 are a band that can not only sell out stadiums anywhere in the world, but can also prop up the entire Norwegian banking system via "tax management" and arrange, as it were, for a new Pope to be installed as and when the incumbent one displeases Bono. and now they are running scared of a cover version of one of their songs by a mate of mine? it is not Jonathan Granville's fault that No Line On The Horizon was rubbish and didn't sell well, it's just petty for them to pick on him.

to Bono, Larry, Adam and the cockney, i say grow up. stop it with your "unauthorized cover" nonsense and stop holding Jonathan responsible for your albums being bad; he didn't make you twat around with a Spider Man stage play when you should have been writing proper songs, you just got all excited when he mentioned in passing that he "might" go and see a play based on a comic "if the tickets were cheap".

oh, right. it turns out that Jonathan had taken it down himself to put the proper version on the internet. just ignore most of the above and click on these words right here to hear his magnificent cover of the song.

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

the best of times; the worst of times

hi there

today is truly a sad day, dear reader. very sad indeed. i can barely believe that such excellent news has turned out to be the worst news ever. i am having to do something that i never thought possible, which is to be critical of and indeed slam the chosen food of The King, Elvis Presley. yes, i am really rather angry with KFC when i should be at my happiest with them.

for a couple of years now we have looked to the rest of the world and watched as they feasted on the magnificent Double Down burger, that most magnificent of food items that makes a burger out of fried chicken rather than a conventional bread bun. i can tell you how brilliant it looked, but why do that when i can just show you a picture.

beautiful, is it not? i have held dreams of having one of these as it just looks amazing. it's the pure personification of what The King, Elvis Presley loves about KFC. basically nothing whatsoever that your average tree hugger would consider a good part of a diet is in it. yes, i want some of this.

to that extent, today should have been the greatest day ever, then. why? because KFC announced that, at last, they were selling the Double Down burger here, as of Tuesday 25 March 2013. so why is not the greatest day ever? have a look at the poster for it.

notice anything missing? yes, that's right, a key ingredient, and one that The King, Elvis Presley would be just as angry about as i am. 

they have decided to try and pass off a double down burger here as one that DOES NOT HAVE BACON IN IT. if that is not bad enough, they have replaced the bacon with A SLICE OF F****** TOMATO, as if we would not notice the difference.

i have put up with much from KFC without complaint. the bad service at some stores (hello, Sandton drive thru) and the silly nonsense about selling "grilled" chicken, whatever the hell that is, were always insignificant compared to the excellence of a bucket. but this crosses a line.

they have all these campaigns telling people not to buy fake goods like pirate DVDs, and yet it is fine for KFC South Africa to sell a fake version of the double down? there's something wrong with the world.

yes, i will probably have one of these fake ones, but it's disappointing to say the least.

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

lawyers, beach hops, Billy Gibbons, dolphins, mid-life crises and birds

hi there

a fair few of you, i know, rather like tales of the seemingly perpetual mid-life 'crisis' my Dad is presently embarked upon. i am not sure that 'crisis' is the right word, really, as it seems to be a spectacular success thus far. when did it all start for him? as far as we, his humble children, can work out, it was around about the time that at one stage all of us were living in our own places. bereft of people to moan and whine at about a variety of things we did in good faith, he appeared to fill the free time on his hands with all sorts of interesting things. for a start, as soon as the last of the three of us were out of the door, in came the satellite tv we asked for. then of course came along the idea of "building things", the details of which you will find in the last 5 or so years of posts here.

recently i had reason to speak to a professional that could not sign the praises of my father enough. knowing how this professional's encounter with my Dad went from my Dad's point of view i was rather suprised to learn this. apparently, my Dad had handed him "tens of thousands" in any currency you like worth of market research and data. the chap i spoke to said that there was no way on earth or any other planet he could have hoped to get the information provided by my Dad. as it happens, my Dad just produced all of it just to argue and shout at people with. or "discuss", if you like.

in the present day, of course, he does his oddities in the tranquil setting of New Zealand, where the fine people seem to really like his multicoloured shoes and for the most part take his abrupt and rather direct way of speaking to people as being rather quaint. his being to all intents and purposes embraced by the people of New Zealand saw him go to something called a "beach hop" recently. as far as i can work out, that involves some classic (mostly American) cars and some rock and roll music.

to that end, Billy Gibbons out of ZZ Top was there. that's quite smart that is, me and my chum Spiros saw ZZ Top a few years ago and it was an ace gig. sadly Dad was not all that impressed by Billy Gibbons, or at least i assume he was not, for i have not been sent a picture of him. instead i have been sent one of this anonymous chap, and even then not sent it because of him. have a look and see if you can spot what impressed my Dad with the below image, and a bonus point if you can guess what he did next.

spot it? yes, that's right, it's a sign for a business called "Gay Lawyers" in the background that caught my Dad's fancy. full worthy of a boyish, childish giggle, i shall give it that, but full marks for what my Dad has done with this picture.

what has he done? well, he's forwarded to several of his "legal representatives" around the world, asking if they have ever considered such a specialist market and suggested that they change their name to something similar. now, whereas i have a limited legal knowledge, as far as i am aware lawyers are not usually celebrated for their sense of humour or witty ways. except that one that did the thing with the gloves at the OJ Simpson trial, i suppose. anyway, i am fully expecting him to be complaining soon that his "legal representatives" have billed him for taking the time to look at his picture and read his comments.

when not on the hop at the beach, Dad took himself off on a 10 hour "dolphin, shark and whale" cruise. well, presumably Mum sent him off on it, but you know what i mean. i would speculate that the idea of a "dolphin, shark and whale" cruise would be for one to see dolphins, sharks and the odd whale. here's a look at what Dad thought would be the best kind of picture to send from such a cruise.

yes, that is indeed an albatross, the kind of which - albatross flavour - that one can buy at Monty Python shows. the kind which Fleetwood Mac once wrote a song about. the kind of albatross which, no matter how hard it tries, is not a shark, dolphin or a whale. it does not, so far as i know, even live underwater. imagine if they built a real life Jurassic Park and someone brought you back a picture of a goldfish they saw there. how impressed would you be?

there is not a great deal else i can say except many, many thanks indeed Dad for sending these on and, for everyone else, do not worry - no doubt yet more pictures of this sort of thing will be sent my way in the near future. i will do my best to post them here!

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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

burying Batman

hi there

as we move into the last few days of summer over here William is certainly making the most of time in the garden as and when he can. usually his activities in the garden lean towards trying to climb from one side to the other without touching the ground, but every now and then he likes to do something somewhat more ground based.

two of his favourite things are messing about with trowels and forks (we do encourage him not to stab himself) and indeed making adventures for all the super hero toys; adventures that usually seem them all being tied up. we will have to keep an eye on him as he gets older.

anyway, today, in a moment reminiscent of when the ape absolutely batters that skeleton with a bone, William had a realization that the trowel things and the superheroes could be used together.

yes, that's William and James burying superheroes in the garden, or if you will the flower bed, or even perhaps where flowers are supposed to be going. James really wasn't interested in playing outside, but when he heard what William was doing, and indeed clocked that he wasn't being told not to do it, he was soon out there helping. 

the boys, alas, did not have any particular plan or sense of order in burying Batman, Superman and all the other characters. they also had less than perfect recollections of exactly how many were buried out in the garden, never mind where.

i think i managed to dig out and rescue all of them, so far they have not complained about any being missing as such. 

sorry if these pictures look a bit weird, by the way. i pressed that "auto correct" button on whatever software it is i open them with and it seems to have given them a kind of "tranquil tinge".

right, time to get back to some top level The Next Day listening, especially as it's now way too dark to go and see if i need to dig up Wonder Woman or someone.

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

The Next Day (after the next day after the next day (repeat).....)

hi there

what can i say, a pleasant surprise that should not have been a surprise that was laced with some memories of disappointment in the music store today. yes, a mere 13 days late in regards of the official release date given by the artist, one can now actually buy David Bowie's The Next Day here.

yes, i avoided the obvious temptation of a new Dido album, whatever the hell that is, and purchased David's one. sit back and enjoy a bit of a complaint for the next paragraph or two, or skip ahead and read the rest, up to you.

considering the music industry in general and retail stores in particular bemoan the falling sales, blaming "downloads" of any legal variation for their plight, it is by any standard a disgrace that stores here simply sat on one of the biggest releases in years (Bowie, not Dido). i called Sony SA (alas David signed a distribution deal with them) and, in a rare moment of not being anti-consumer, they confirmed that all stores here took delivery of The Next Day on 11 March.

why then was it that i could only purchase this on 24 March? because the Einsteins that run the stores here, oblivious to the worldwide attention and billboards down the highways, decided to leave the things in their "distribution hubs" (i.e. warehouses) for a couple of weeks for no given reason. i really, really hope they don't have the audacity and nerve to whine and moan about "people not buying CDs" ever again - for close to two weeks i have been trying to throw money at them for this.

moving on, then, and here's the splendid looking CD sat on my desk. well, sort of splendid looking.

i still cannot but help think that this "artwork" is less 'post-modernist statement', more 'complete pisstake', to be honest. i refer you to my February posts where you can have a look at the Valentine's card i made for my (considerably) better half. no one seems in a rush to celebrate that as they have the cover for The Next Day, any yet they are the same sort of thing.

i am just a simpleton, plodding along, of course, whereas David Bowie is one of the world's greatest artists. that is perhaps why he gets praised for "subverting his past" with this packaging and i get told i am being lazy for just shoving a bunch of Star Wars and Peanuts stickers on a birthday card.

so far as i can see, no other review or blog has picked up on that "heroes" was at the least a very clever album to "bastardize" for the artwork for an album called The Next Day. has everyone else forgotten that one of the more prominent lyrics on "heroes" was "just for one day"?

as you should be able to make out from the above pics, this is the "special edition" version of the album. it is the only version you seem to be able to buy here, which is a pleasant change. a moan moment again - usually here they only release "standard" versions of albums, meaning efforts to make buying albums more attractive in the UK - bonus CD or DVD included - never got released here. every now and then someone imported them, but sold them at twice the price you would pay to have them shipped in from the UK. 

not that i would have bought the "standard" version as well as this, oh no. not with Breaking Dawn Part II on sale at the same time, that had to be bought for my (considerably) better half and thus the budget was gone anyway.  if i see the "standard" edition anywhere on my travels, and the packaging is different and the price is correct, yes of course i will purchase for the colletion.

although i did a review for your pleasure on the basis of the "streamed" version, it is nice to be listening to the album properly on CD. it does, if you care to recall my review, sound much better indeed. the vocals are at the correct level on the disc, something that was a big concern on the online version. David's vocals are simply amazing on this - Valentine's Day is on now, for instance, and just wow, really. even the weakest track on the album, Dirty Boys, all of a sudden sounds rather good.

i suppose, for the sake of a complete picture for those of you who for some bizarre reason wait for my comments before deciding to buy, i should skip ahead and listen to these extra tracks and give a review. OK, cool, let me go and fiddle with the knob.

right, found the extra tracks. here we go......

So She - woah, psychedelia! super cool opening, a touch like something the other David Jones may have turned out for The Monkees if he had taken the correct amount of acid. soon dips into being a somewhat more normal, certainly 60s feel pop tune. probably out of touch with the tone of the rest of the album would be the answer as to why this is a "bonus track". nice one. sounds a bit like Dancing Out In Space, which is a decent enough song to rip off.

Plan - heavy guitar and drum time. an instrumental dabble, with a bit of a twangy guitar or keyboard almost hiding someone going "oooooooooooo" towards the end. two minutes long, "disposable".

I'll Take You There - sounds a little bit like the title track to start, then goes on to do its own thing. ah, almost, when it his the chorus it's clear that this was probably an earlier incarnation of the song The Next Day. not that this is a bad thing at all, not going on the vocal delivery around the 1:40 mark, rather amazing to be honest that is.

so, the 'special edition' adds about 7 minutes to the album, 5 of which are very good indeed. as far as i am aware in places where both versions are for sale the 'special edition' is only a Pound or two more, rather but that one then. unless it's a limited edition thing and you can't get it any more. under those circumstances, there's nothing at all wrong with the 14 track album in its own right.

thank you very much indeed for taking the time to read a review of an album that has already sold so well it has gone to number one in about 40 countries.

and that's it for this post. oh, go on then.........

 ...sorry, i felt an obligation to do the above, as i am pretty sure Bowie fans worldwide have! well, i suppose some will have made the effort to wear a Bowie jacket, do their hair and all that. i didn't.

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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forklift Truck Simulator

hi there

a friend of mine (cheers Dan) recently posted a pic up over on that book of faces. it was a picture of some games he found in one of them sales bins at a shop where they do the computers and that.i must say he discovered quite an interesting range of games!

Forklift Simulator looks like the best of the lot. i have often found myself, in the quieter moments of an evening, wishing that i was able to just switch on a machine and live the dream of moving boxes around in a forklift. at 97p i hope that someone bought it, as looking at this link over here it usually costs £24.99. for that kind of money i wonder if it wouldn't be better to just go and get a job as a forklift driver and be paid for it, to be honest.

Oil Platform Simulator, which also seems to usually cost £24.99 (Traffic Manager for people on a budget would usually cost you a mere £9.99), could be quite class, only the description seems to suggest that you can't go around starting fires on oil rigs for the hell of it.

just how it is that a company can have a name as class as Excalibur Publishing and yet release games involving directing traffic in many respects illustrates what's wrong with the modern world.

you all have lots of fun if you buy any of the above!

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

watching the wild virtual frankie reunion live......

hi there

many people, i know, have an aversion to this whole social network business, apparently fearful of "sharing personal information". that has kind of a strange logic to it, symptomaic perhaps of the global dumbing down of people, for the only info it has it what you choose to share. for those of us happy enough to be on, and be aware of the fact that it is in our hands what is on there, there are many little bonuses to experience likely to cause a smile.

like, for instance, sitting down with a cup of tea on a Saturday morning and watching a mini or if you will quasi Frankie Goes To Hollywood reunion take shape!

and no is the answer. as far as i am aware, there is no intention from anyone in the band to get together and perform again, ever. all five would appear to have happy, comfortable lives and thus have no wish to make music together. sorry for that if that's why you are reading this, but it's just ace that at least some of them can remain on friendly terms!

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

Nunthorpe School

hi there

well, there's not a great deal left for me to say beyond posting this most excellent newspaper article my Uncle Trevor scanned and sent to me! happy reading!

i rather like being able to post things like this up here. not everyone on the plant has or wants one of them facebook things, so it's splendid to be able to share something that may interest others from home without them having to sign on to the grand social network!

hopefully this has been of some interest to some of you!

thanks Trev for sending it on!

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

Friday, March 22, 2013


hi there

there is no greater thing to do in the world, surely, than be at verk on a Friday when the Thursday before it was a public holiday.

the schools and daycare things are all sort of a bit closed, wisely, today, so i have some extra help in the office with me.

as you can see, they really like the idea of filing!

hope you are all having a most outstanding day!

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Phil Collins and the Riddle of the Flux Capacitor

hi there

you perhaps do not need me to tell you that one of the greatest fears shared by most of the population of Earth in the present day is that Phil Collins may one day resolve the riddle of the flux capacitor and engage in time travel. it is, however, something i feel obliged to remind you of - all too many people seem to hope that if we just pretend it can't happen then it won't happen.

exactly what would happen to us all if Phil added the power of flux capacitor ability to his already worringly large list of skills? lots and lots of scary things. for a start, Phil's journey through the waves of time would leave a worrying imprint on the minds of every living being, carving scars across their souls that will never heal or fade with time, since Phil will control time.

i can give you a glimpse of how this imprint will look, thanks to the magic of MS Paint, a blueberry camera phone and VH1 Classic's bizarre decision to show Phil Collins videos. here is my artists impression, but be warned, you cannot unsee what you will see.

really scary, isn't it? in all likelihood, Phil Collins will not just use the power of flux capacitation to witness the growth of his beard once again; there can be little or no doubt that he shall rethread the fabric of time and displace the order of events as we have come to accept them.

the most worrying change he will make is, according to my good friend Jonathan Granville, most likely to visit inter-war Germany and ensure that Cliff Richard in the altered universe of Phil Collins is in fact German.

for what good reason and to what end Phil Collins might do this is open to speculation. all i know is that the Cliff we know and love today shall cease to exist. the champion of Eurovision and virginial tennis will be no more, instead we shall only know in passing of a Dortmund based singer who every now and then challenges the supremacy of David Hasselhoff and Scooter in the German pop market.

some of you may think there's no problem whatsoever if Phil Collins decides to do this. that would be an unwise path of ignorant thinking to follow. with a much more liberal, encouraging approach to sexual shenaningans than he experience in Britain, Cliff Richard may be encouraged to reproduce. an heir to the Cliff Richard dynasty may not be all that bad a thing, but what if Phil Collins fiddles with time to the extent that he makes it that Cliff Richard becomes the father of Boris Becker?

to underline the great danger in that scenario, Jonathan Granville has made available to me a picture of how Boris Becker would look if Phil Collins messed with a flux capacitor and made Cliff Richard his dad. i am now making this picture available to you.

Cliff would, in all likelihood, still make music. for a taste of how Cliff Reichhart Und Das Shadows Verboten would sound, Jonathan Granville has produced what he believes to be an accurate interpretation of how the Phil Collins via flux capacitor created German Cliff Richard would sound. do please, with some caution, click here to hear how Wired For Sound would sound if it was a weird German record.

if you are by any chance a resident of the grand social network, you may quite like to head over to Jonathan's facebook page thingie and click "like".

happy listening!

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


hi there

well, as i prefer to be in the business of honesty here, yes this is sort of a promotional post, be it one that was neither requested, solicited or paid for. yep, when you see the name of the proprietor, it is someone who is in all likelihood distantly related to me. and no, as this product is available in America only (at this stage), i have no first hand experience of it.

with that cleared up, if you are offended for some reason by a blog post of this nature, please move along, hopefully in the direction of my usual ramblings. i do hope, however, that you carry on reading.

i have no wish to give a sense of the theatrical about this, but it has to be said that the people of North America do tend to experience a number of major disasters, either by the whim of nature or the hand of man. far too many people suffer injuries that go untreated, or even sadly die, when these things happen, all for the want of some basic and straightforward emergency equipment. if disaster cannot always be avoided then suffering too much in such a case can, which is where Mombies comes in to the picture. i am looking at the web page, which you can also look at by clicking these words, and i am seeing all you could need to help in a time of distress loaded into one very easy to grab bag.

as the name implies, this kit is aimed at women, but in a sensible way. no one is saying "the fairer sex can't look after themselves, they need men to do it". it's just that women and children frequently find themselves alone and without equipment that could present them with much needed help.down here where we are this would be a fantastic thing to have in the car - i know i would be happy if my (considerably) better half had one in her boot.

the web page, and here's the link again, will give you a much better idea of what is in the bag, and importantly guides on how to use it, than i could give you here, but here's a look at the bag itself.

i wish the team behind Mombies the very best of luck - it's the kind of thing you want to own and never need, rather than need and never own.

thank you for taking the time to read this and, if you are in an area where one can buy it, i do hope you consider purchasing.

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

David Bowie - no press conference, no concerts announced but.....

......David has posted a lovely bit of PR about The Next Day and a truly excellent picture taken by the clearly talented Jimmy King.

details of the PR, basically listing how the world has embraced the album, can be found by clicking these words.

maybe they meant next Wednesday, maybe there's no press conference at all, who knows? enjoy this picture and enjoy the album!

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

Siphokazi sucking some saucy sexy sausage

hi there

well, i am not sure there is too much that i can say beyond the title, really. Siphokazi had commented, or if you will mentioned in passing, that she had not been on my blog recently. what a happy day it is that i can rectify that with this quality picture.

i must say i truly am delighted with the quality of the pictures off this new blueberry phone thingie with a camera in it.

yes, if you must ask, Siphokazi did indeed swallow every single drop of this most magnificent sausage.

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

David Bowie to play concerts in April 2013?

hi there

the surprise return of David Bowie to the world of music this year has delivered an above average, really good album in the shape of The Next Day. this in itself, however, seems to be not enough for a number of fans. a lot have been hoping for a return of the great one to the stage, too.

given the major health scare he experienced toward the end of the Reality tour, i always thought David returning to the stage, at least for a tour or series of appearances, was unlikely. then again, i also thought that it was unlikely we would hear any new music for him, save perhaps a soundtrack for a Duncan Jones film at some point.

it would seem that those wishing to see David live may well be about to have their wish granted. as far as i can work out from a post on the David Bowie Wonderworld forum, some sort of press conference is planned for today, 20 March 2013, where a series of concerts will be announced.

here is the information posted in full, you can decide how credible it is.

Bowie is pre-booked to play a series of shows between the 15th and 20th April 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Also, there seems to be some kind of Press Conference scheduled for this coming Wednesday, possibly to announce the shows.

Now as I say, these are JUST RUMOURS at the moment, but if you check the Royal Albert Hall page for April, it's booked solid except for these five nights. Tony Visconti is in London the following week. It looks to me like there's a pattern forming here.

I've got the feelers out in NYC but won't get any official Yay or Ney until Wednesday which is when the press conference is supposed to be scheduled for but if this is true, then people will know about it before I do!

Finally, I'll let the cat out the bag. I was told over two weeks ago that Bowie and the band were currently rehearsing for a 'few select European shows'.

That bit ISN'T a rumour, that's dead gen. That's why I was emphasising no tour in my replies to people.

do i think the above is legit? i would be highly surprised if he didn't pop up at a festival or two if he is of a mind to perform live, so the last part i would say yes. it's a bit of a no-brainer, really, playing a festival - get paid lots to perform, minimal costs to the artist as the festival organizers set it up, a stack of exposure.

playing the Royal Albert Hall for 5 nights would be interesting. considering a full blown tour is "unlikely", 5 nights in a row seems rather daunting too. if he were to do that kind of show, strange that he's not doing that O2 place, which he could sell out with ease with a much bigger capacity.

as a London (innit) boy it's an obvious place for him to perform, but as he's been more or less at home in New York for a decade and then some, strange that he hasn't - as far as rumours go - set up a concert date closer to home.

if all of this is true, then fantastic, and i hope the venue or venues are filled mostly with people who have not had the chance to see him before. we will see as and when this press conference happens, i guess!

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JG went to Rome to see the Pope......

hi there

here is a picture of my (at least until he has got about half way through this) good friend Jonathan Granville, looking somewhat contemplative upon a beach. hang on, i've got that wrong in the world of grammar, have i not? he's stood on a beach, or a beach like place, looking contemplative. is that a better way of saying it?

if not, never mind, here's the picture.

why is he doing whatever it is he is doing wherever he happens to be stood? not really for the reasons that i am going to say here, but ignore that part and read on to find out, please.

Jonathan and religion are not natural bedfellows. despite some obvious and perhaps understandable frustration at seemingly being the number one target for bothering by Jehova's Witnesses in his particular dialling code, Jonathan is not one of those "woooohooo wooweee, let's go and burn everything and dismantle all systems" type of chaps. he's more a sort of live and let live, just let others get on with it and do not bother me sort of bloke.

this equilibrium of sorts has, alas, come to an end with the, if this is the right term, election of Pope Frankie Say I recently. well, Pope Frankie or whatever he is. him off Argentina. Jonathan, you see, is convinced that he is neither an Argentine nor Frankie. Jonathan is convinced, in my opinion if not in any sort of fact or comment from the lad, that he is on the whole rather more Heswallian and a good deal more Jim.

you can sort of see  what his entirely fabricated point is, looking at the artist formerly known as a pontiff above. there's no way that i am actually going to put a picture of the Jim Bowen up here, as it will simply serve to distract Jonathan and his legal squad from any of the quite possibly slanderous comments i attribute to him here. google away.

the problem that this is causing for the slightly older than me but all the same still young Jonathan is that of all the religions he has considered joining, the Catholic church has sadly not featured. why not? Jonathan believes that if he were to join an organized religion, it would certainly be one that has a number in its name, as numbers are cool. and yet, as cool as a church or religion with a number in the name is, there's the Catholics tempting Jonathan with the idea of Pope Bullseye.

for those of you unaware of what Bullseye is, google away. for most it was bizarre compulsive viewing despite clearly being a load of complete and utter sh!t, but for Jonathan it was like one of them epiphany things. the show regularly featured two men who lived in a caravan in Hull (or similar) showing off their deft skill with darts and knowledge of tea time soap opera characters in the hope that they would be rewarded with someone like Eric Bristow throwing enough darts in the correct order to win them a speedboat or a trouser press. "yes", said Jonathan when he regularly watched caravan dwellers narrowly miss out on a speedboat but get a statue of a bull instead, "this is the life i want to live".

there is a point to all of this, dear reader, do bear with me. by making the host of Bullseye, a man who Jonathan considers a god already if only in a quasi-fashionista sense, the head of the Catholic church, Jim Bowen is now technically a "double god". that, you would think, would be good enough for Jonathan to sign up straight away and head to choir practice. this has not been the case so far, for Jonathan still has some serious reservations about the Vatican, or the "Twatican" as he calls it.

exactly what are the issues he has with the, as we shall call it here for now, Vatican? two, really, as there are only two bits of fact that i have on the place on hand that i can blatantly imply Jonathan has an issue with. the first issue is that, statistically, the Vatican is the crime capital of the world. the population of the Vatican is 800, and yet some 600 crimes are reported there every year. Jonathan suspects that certain crimes go on that are not reported too, making it a true hotbed of naughty naughty.

the second reason, and the most damning in regards of Jonathan calling the place the "Twatican", is the small matter of the ATM facilities there offering instructions in latin. first off, exactly what need does the Pope or a member of the Swiss Guard have for an ATM? secondly, well, you have to say that using latin in general is a bit of a twat-like show off thing to do, so fair enough.

does Jonathan follow his heart, sign the registration papers for the Catholic Church, hang a picture of that Camilla Parker Bowles woman on his wall and profess his total devotion to Pope Bullseye, or does he listen to his head and just spend his days quietly reminiscing about the heyday of Jim Bowen, when all homoerotic overtones about two men living in a caravan near where sailors hang out flew over his head as he tried desperately to give them a statue of a bull?

to help him decide, and here's where the sort of point of this blog post comes in, Jonathan has turned to Genesis for guidance, assistance, and direction. no, not that Genesis, this Genesis.

yes, once again Jonathan Granville has decided to unleash an interpretation of a piece of music involving Phil Collins on the world. he has done a cover of that awesome Genesis hit, Jesus He Knows Me or whatever Phil and Mike Rutherford called it. you can either stream it or download it by clicking these words here. go on, give it a go. and yes, he has called it Jebus as he could not recall exactly what it was called either.

if for some reason you are wrestling with the notion of changing your faith or belief system due to the head of a particular church resembling the host of a mostly forgotten early Sunday evening TV show, Jonathan Granville hopes that the song has some resonance for you. for everyone else, simply enjoy.

there are another eight cover versions being produced by the very talented and hopefully not too astute in the realms of what does and does not constitute legal libel or defamation Jonathan Granville. i will be doing my best, cease and desist letters pending, to bring you the details of all of them.

dig the vibes!

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

Monday, March 18, 2013


hi there

whoops, this is a week or two old, but i suppose as this blog could be read several years from now it does not really matter. anyone coming here for fresh, hot off the press (or internet equivalent of "press") seriously needs to take a google training course anyway. not that you are not all very welcome, you are.

a little while ago, as i suspect you established from the opening comment, we noticed some water running with the freedom of, erm, water. not all that unusual, except it was running freely from the joint of a pipe, if you will with the pipe being the prison that curtails the freedom of water. not that the water had engaged in any criminal activity, at least not that i am aware of. this is going off track somewhat.

we arranged for one of them plumber chaps (no, alas, not Robin Askwith) to come and have a look, and he was none too pleased with what he saw. apparently our boiler (or geyzer, as they seem to be called down here) was on the brink of going "boom". thankfully, on the brink meant that it had not, and thus no damage was done to our property as such. nice one.

no damage, perhaps, but no way that the boiler could be left as it was. this mean that the old one had to be taken out and a new one installed. here's the really interesting part. the only way to get the old boiler out properly was to literally (and please do note the correct use of the word literally) throw it off the roof. the plumber and his chaps thus took our roof apart and threw the old one down into the garden. here it is, for your viewing pleasure. actually, i can think of someone who really does like "looking" at old boilers and, despite my comment earlier, i must say Mr Wayne Rooney is most decidedly not welcome on this corner of the internet.

impressive, isn't it? no, actually, i do not suppose that it is. why bother telling you all about it, even going to the extent of showing a picture of it? well, that would be because of William.

William was very excited indeed to learn that a big massive metal thing was going to be thrown off the roof. to him, this was Scooby Doo at last made real. he had a vision, that he carefully mapped out with me with his ever expanding vocabulary, of him being allowed to stand in the garden where they were going to throw it down, and then run away (presumably really quickly) when the thing came towards him.

whereas i am happy to confess this would have indeed looked very cool, or "awesome" as William is prone to saying, from a parenting point of view i could not let him do this. he was not at all happy with this denial, to say the least, and did some considerable kicking, punching, pleading and shouting towards your humble narrator as i held on to him whilst the plumbing crew did their thing.

he seems to have let go of his resentment towards me in regards of not letting him risk getting twatted off a massive metal machine, but i dare say over the years he will remind me that i did not let him do it as and when it suits his cause in the pursuit of a lost argument.

as for the new boiler, well, if you are particularly interested it seems to be serving its purpose, although i note at a distinctly lower temperature than the old one did. presumably we now have one of them "energy saving" boilers in place (i would not know one from the other by sight), which is fair dos i suppose.

oh, and if you are wondering, James spent just about the whole duration of the boiler incident inside, playing some sort of Pirates game on the TV, being rather glad whatever it was that everyone was doing meant to him no bath that night.

if you have a boiler or geyzer or "thing that makes the hot water work" issue and you have found this whilst looking for practical assistance with an issue i presume that this have been of little help, but many thanks indeed for reading anyway!

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

zombie golf riot

hi there

well, a lovely afternoon visit to Richard, Erika and their ever expanding collection of children introduced me to a most excellent new game. that game would be Zombie Golf Riot, in which you play golf via taking a chainsaw to the head of a zombie. what's not to like?

when we got home i of course looked to get it on my PC to continue playing it, and indeed to see if i could beat Richard's high score of around 1950. Richard, yes the below does say my top score is 2128!

i have no doubt that Richard will top that score soon, as he is better at games and golf than i am.

in the mean time, if you want to have a go at Zombie Golf Riot yourself, you can either play it online or download the reasonably small (4mb of data thingies) file by clicking here.

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

deeplomatik immunite

hello again

well, my first go at uploading has been a spectacular success. as a consequence, that "not posting video very often" comment is left in tatters, here is another.

my good friend Jonathan Granville has a most peculiar fetish. it would concern the line spoken in the picture below.

for non-Lethal Weapon 2 enthusiasts, at the request and indeed behest of Jonathan, here's my quick go at delivering the line spoken in the picture above. kindly note that clicking play takes 4 seconds of your life that you shall never get back.

well, there you go Jonathan! i suspect you've asked me to do this so it will feature on one of your "Transvaal" remixes.that is no bad thing.

yes, i did this purely because he pointed out that he'd done a cover of Phil Collins and posted it on the internet. i did not, however, "witness" anything a la Jonathan or Phil!

hope you enjoyed this!

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

messing about with the video option

hi there

not much, really, beyond what it says as the title for this post.

if for some reason you wish to see and hear me say hello or something like that, then by all means click the play button on the 7 second video below!

if that works, splendid. i am not likely to do many video posts here, but it splendid to know if i can or not!

viddy well!

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

that Phil Collins thing about In The Air Tonight

hi there

i would expect the majority of you know the (ludicrous) urban legend surrounding the song In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins. if you are unaware of it, well, here's a rundown.

there are a number of variations on the story, but they always arrive at the same conclusion. legend has it that Phil Collins, as you have to assume he is prone to doing, was driving along when all of a sudden he noticed a commotion near a river. he stopped and saw someone drowning someone. the drowner (as opposed to the drownee) then got in his car and drove off. Phil then took down the details of the car he was driving. he "arranged" for the owner of the vehicle to be given a "VIP" package to one of his concerts.

At this concert, Phil "debuted" the song In The Air Tonight, with a spotlight moving from Phil across the audience. at the end of the song, the spotlight had moved to the owner of the vehicle. the police then pounced on the man, arrested him and took him away.

here, with a reason that is both good and will be given later, is a picture of my talented friend Jonathan Granville.

all will become clear on the picture soon. well, soon-ish.

the urban legend mentioned in one of its variations above is, of course, just that. plain bullshit. if we suppose for the moment that Phil had witnessed a murder and contacted the police, it is highly unlikely, would you not agree, that the constabulary would allow the murderer to walk around for a bit, wait for Phil to compose a suitable song about it all and then arrest the chap when he turned up to hear the song live? it is, however, one of the more endearing slices of rock mythology, and probably makes Phil Collins seem a good deal cooler than he actually is.

now then, why is a blog post on a 30+ year old slice of rock urban legend stuff illustrated with pictures of my friend Jonathan Granville? well, i say friend for now, as he is, but he hasn't actually read this yet. let me give you all the details that i have, as well as one or two i shall make up as i write.

i am not, ladies and gentlemen, saying that Jonathan has had a similar experience to the one that Mr Collins had in terms of the legend. he, interestingly, is not saying for certain that he hasn't. i think you can draw your own conclusions from that.

it just so happens that Jonathan lives reasonably close to a significant body of water, one that your average sort of drowning enthusiast might consider suitable for indulging their whims in with no fear of being collared by Phil Collins as he lives nowhere near it. such a person, however, would have overlooked that Jonathan is a fantastic musician and, consequentially, could easily knock up a cover of In The Air Tonight if he felt compelled to do so due to something he saw.

if one considers that the drowning enthusiast might have had a passing resemblance to Kevin Rowland, or simply brought to mind the sound and the vibe of Dexy's Midnight Runners, then the cover that Jonathan would feel a need to produce would probably sound like what you will hear if you click these words.

oh. there's a fair amount of speculation and sheer fabrication there for you, but do not let it distract you from the fact that this cover version of In The Air Tonight is a work of genius. you have to hear it to believe it, and i really do hope you click the link and give it a spin!

Jonathan is embarking on an ambitious set of cover versions, this just being the first of ten in total. i am not sure i will be posting the details for all of them here quite like this, but as and when they become available i will give it a go!

happy listening!

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

all of the books in New Zealand

hi there

blimey, i seem to have done quite a few updtes this month compared to last, etc, etc........

the rather more avid readers of this blog shall be only all too aware of my Dad's rather ambitious plan to ensure that each and every book in New Zealand passes through the doors of his most magnificent Old Grumpy's Gallery. it seems that the acquisition phase of this has gone rather well indeed, so now it is time for the second phase, in which the books all find new homes.

that would be why, you would guess (and i can only guess for Dad did not give any clarity or info on if this advert has appeared anywhere as such as yet) that this advert has been created!

i am uncertain of just how many people from, around, near or going to Mount Maunganui in the hope of obtaining some books actually read this blog, but this advert is here for their benefit!

if you are in or are heading to Mount Maunganui, please do make the time to call in at Old Grumpy's. if not for the books, there are plenty of other things there, including coffee. coffee is always good.

meanwhile, i am wondering just how many books my Dad has "borrowed" over the years and did not return form a part of his plans. one or two, i suspect.

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

Monday, March 11, 2013

excrement, death, The Stone Roses and Azealia Banks...

hi there

it is always quite class when someone of limited talent goes out and grabs some thoroughly undeserved attention to their "art". to that extent, then, full on applause to the exceptionally limited in regards of talent to Ms Azealia Banks in respect of making headlines out of a "vendetta" that no less than The Stone Roses currently have against her.

for some peculiar reason, possibly simply to just make up the numbers, Ms Banks found herself on the bill for the festivals that The Stone Roses are doing in Australia. quite a lucky break for her, and one you would think she'd be a touch grateful for and make the most of. i have no idea how grateful Ms Banks was or is, but i do know she took a rather unusual approach to "making the most" of an opportunity.

Ms Banks, as an artist with a selective fanbase and of little general interest, appeared rather low on the set list and early on in the day. she claims, and please note that this claim has not been verified, that The Stone Roses decided to "warm up" as her set was underway and this in some way interfered with her performance.

if such a thing did happen, i very much doubt that The Stone Roses would have done anything to affect another performer in any sort of deliberate way. they are rather well known for supporting and raising the profile of any and all other artists as and when they can. Ms Banks, however, seems to have got it into her head that they were coerced into a "pact" with a manager that she had fired to make sure her set was sabotaged. heaven forbid the idea that Ms Banks just isn't very good.

the tirade that Ms Banks has unleashed on twatter or whatever it is called is, to say the least, special. whereas i have censored her comments below, it's still pretty strong stuff, so proceed with caution.

F*** those old saggy white n***** stone roses. I wish them nothing but excrement and death — YUNG RAPUNXEL (@AZEALIABANKS) March 9, 2013

Wow! I must really f****** be a superstar... You've got an established band trying to sabotage my lil rap bitch shine. — YUNG RAPUNXEL (@AZEALIABANKS) March 9, 2013

Wow a bunch of old white men trying to bully a young black girl.... What the f*** else is new in this world ??? — YUNG RAPUNXEL (@AZEALIABANKS) March 9, 2013

my, what a charming, rational, well balanced and in no-way ignorant person Ms Banks is. hard to believe that there isn't a much bigger fanbase following her with this kind of approach. i have no doubt whatsoever that it is a fanbase that, ahem, changed in size considerably after she cancelled the remainder of her dates in Australia a mere one hour after she was supposed to be on stage for the first of the cancelled shows.

as for what the fans see in Azealia Banks, that's beyond me i am afraid. so far any success she has had has been from covers of songs by The Prodigy and The Strokes, bands you would have thought she spoke of in the same terms as she does The Stone Roses in that first twatter quote. her incredible originality and creativity does not end there, of course. have a look at the name of this album / ep / "statement" she released.

yes, she's named it after the year she was born. what an amazing, high-end and original concept. i am sure no one else has thought of it before and it is in no way related to the success Adele has had from albums named after the age she was when she recorded them.

Ms Banks did also write "Big apologies on behalf of the stone roses to my fans at the festival today" before her tirade. you can imagine that, if they were aware of accidentally disrupting someone else, they would send apologies without question. that they could be manipulated of convinced to do something by someone not up to the job of managing Ms Banks, however, is something i would dispute.

there are many around the world, my sister in particular, who would no doubt agree with Ms Banks for not liking The Stone Roses, although i doubt too many would use her language to express it. that's up to them, really, but the only reason Ms Banks presently features here or indeed in any sort of music news reports is because of The Stone Roses. here's hoping she, sooner rather than later, makes some music that a few people have an interest in hearing. that would allow her to get some attention without riding on the back of people she clearly does not like.

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