Sunday, August 31, 2014

things you probably do not wish to see

hello there

well, i cannot imagine that the majority of you here wish to see some of this. however, one or two seem really excited, so here you go for them, and to an extent sincere an actually genuine apologies for most rational, normal people.

first off, though, is happy news  for all enthusiasts of Commodore 64 mode pictures, which i would imagine is everyone reading this. the whole world loves Commodore 64, as this mode makes the awesome even more awesome.

look, for example, at how even more excellent Boba Fett is in Commodore 64 mode.

it is with two reasons that i have the iPod hooked up to take pictures. firstly, i needed to update it with all them smart vibes i picked up last week, ones that you can see a few posts or so ago. secondly is that one or two have expressed what can only be described as an expression of interest in the new pouch(es) i got for my blueberry, with a particular emphasis on the one that causes the blue-purple curved tint on pictures.

as i cannot take pictures of the blueberry in the pouch(es), another form of photographic device was required. as nearly everything gets a camera welded on to it these days, i opted to use the iPod thingie to allow for C64 mode.

hence this picture of the new pouch / case thing that does that funny thing to the corner of pictures.

yeah, it's one of them flip / "book" sort of case things for it. pretty smart too it is, really, except for that thing it does to the pictures.

i tend to get asked all sorts of questions about this sort of thing, so to answer in advance as best i can - yeah, it closes via a magnet, not a clip. no, the magnet does not put the phone in "sleep" mode to save the battery life. yes the phone fits fine - snug and perfect, in fact. just that thing with the pictures as the lens cover part seems not to be properly aligned.

snug and perfect are not, perhaps, words that one would naturally select to use when asked what they thought of this picture. i must say i am highly reluctant to have it here, but here you go to slay the curiosity of one or two.

these are indeed them new Rocky Balboa out of Rocky boxer shorts, or if you like briefs, or even trunks, that i picked up recently. yeah, this is a shot of me wearing them.

they are, as it happens, exceptionally comfortable and of a quite class quality. i am very happy with them, and they are pretty much worth the what feels still like a high price of £6 that i spent on them.

is the image of me in them priceless? well, that's for you to decide, really. no, there will not be too many more pictures of me like this featuring here, thank you very much. and yes, i do very much appreciate that this image serves, in certain ways, to undermine my argument a great deal about everything looking awesome in Commodore 64 mode. oh look, if i put a picture of the phone in the pouch here in non-Commodore 64 mode, that might help you with the mental scrubbing of this image right here. doubt it, but let us give it a try. also, you cannot prove that is me, unless you take my word for it, and only the foolish and the brave tend to do that.

as you can sort of see, for the Apple camera is not too much better than the BlackBerry one, in truth, the pouch is purple in colour.

what are them lines there? you may think they are some sort of ventilation shafts or slants, but you would be greatly mistaken to think that. they are in fact slots for one to put credit cards, or things that are credit card sizes. something that i shall not be doing.

i am not sure if it remains true, but i was always told that phones were ace at erasing both 'smart' cards and cards that have magnetic tape on them. i have no idea at all if that is true or if it ever was, but it is no trouble at all to keep the things apart, to be safe.

for someone who does not really like Apple products, as in moi, i do seem to have quite a few of them at my disposal at present. which makes it fun to update the vibes.

the old classic one in the middle can hold twice as much as the other two combined, i will have you know. also, it does not do WiFi, does not do pictures and does not allow you to smack pigs with birds. that is, then, the one that i use most frequently, for it is dedicated to the vibes.

also it has a sort of a button thing, in terms of that cog or dial on it. none of this touchscreen nonsense, thank you very much indeed.

did i take any non-Rocky pics of myself in Commodore 64 mode? of course.

quite smart that one is, i may make it my profile picture for assorted social concerns. that's the image, i believe, i would like to project about.

anyway, i have given some subtle hints that i had more than one new pouch for my blueberry, which is because i did. i needed a new pouch, and i really wasn't sure how i would take to all that case business. to cover, then, i bought one of those traditional, conventional back casing things, one that described itself as "gel", although i am not convinced it is something one would wish to put in or on their hair.

i appreciate that the BlackBerry phone is not too popular these days, which baffles me. they are, after all, the only phone on the market which offers any sort of semblance of privacy, with just how easy it is to hack and intercept messages and things off of Apple and Android devices being all too well documented. it's almost as if someone somewhere helped drive a campaign to make it "trendy" to rather own an iTwat or a Galaxy, so more would and thus more would be able to be hacked, traced and what have you. hey ho, all i know is that the blueberry has buttons, and i really like buttons.

what appealed about this case, in all honesty, was how the back of it looks. i just think it is quite funky.

it feels really smart too - one can have a good firm grip on it. exceptionally good fit, it is - lightweight too.

will i be using it, then? alas no, not so much. i quite like the casing one, as it is now less frequent that buttons and that get pressed by accident when the device is in the pocket of my strides.

pockets are, of course, something seriously lacking in my new Rocky Balboa out of Rocky boxer shorts. i suppose if i were of a mind to do so i could just carry it around in the elastic of the boxers, but i do not see any sort of circumstances where that would be an obligatory requirement.

i have a feeling that putting these images here is far, far removed from being the wisest thing that i have ever done. i truly do hope that the people who wished to see these Rocky Balboa out of Rocky boxer shorts in, as it were, action do appreciate this.

would i consider getting boxer shorts of other Sylvester Stallone motion pictures? almost certainly. i would love, for a start, a pair that celebrated Demolition Man. they would be class, them. maybe not so much one of the Rambo films, but you never know, someone might make them in a very tasteful, pleasant looking way. i am not too fussed about this whole Expendables thing. actually, i think Rocky will do for Stallone related underwear. although some classic Schwarzenegger, like a Commando pair, or even maybe a Conan one, would be quite smart.

i can fully understand you wanting to do that whole mental scrubbing thing again, so here to help is a somewhat larger image of Boba Fett in Commodore 64 mode, to help you think happy thoughts and ignore the above image.

so, the pouches i got for the blueberry are quite smart. both will be in use from time to time, especially as i suspect that the "book" like case one for it, or if you like purse thing, probably won't survive for all that long.

right, that will do, see you some time in September.

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

further car review

hi there

right, so i took the car for a drive today. to answer the most obvious and pressing question you have in that respect, the car is perfectly fine, it is not damaged and has no wear and tear beyond some 10 or so miles added to the odometer; an odometer that Sharpy or someone can probably rewind anyway.

my initial car review was, of course, focused on my experience of being a passenger. i thought, then, that in the interests of balance and what have you, i should probably do a review based on my experiences of driving it, and answer some pertinent, if not valid, questions.

a major question would be one of if i look sufficiently menacing or sinister in the rear view mirror. i am unaware of any practical use for mirrors in car, and thus assume they exist so that one can look menacing in them. i didn't think to take my sunglasses with, alas, but here you go, here's how i look in the mirror.

does that look menacing or sinister? not for me to say, really. you can have a look and decide, i suppose. i think it looks ok, i guess.

on to the practicalities of driving, then. operating the controls and all of that. for the most part it operates, runs even, pretty much as one would expect a conventional car to. is it pleasant to drive? well, yes, i guess - it takes one from where they are to where they wish to be.

there are, however, one or two little issues. not problems, as such, but issues. idiosyncrasies of the car, if you like, or things that i shall have to get used to with frequent driving. the first issue, if we can just use that term for ease of reference please, is with this.

no, not the vibes unit right now, the gear thing.

the gear stick, or lever, or whatever it is, in this car operates - to my mind, and not from any experience that i am prepared to discuss - very much like one would imagine a sexually dysfunctional midget leper would at some sort of bunga bunga party. in my drive i found at sometimes you had to "go long" to change the gear, at other times you had to "go short". also, there's no real natural sense one gets of which gear you are in.

but that could be just because this is the first time i drove it, i suppose. maybe i will get used to it.

another important consideration about the car is, of course, how do i appear driving it to oncoming traffic, in particular at times when i have opted to take a decidedly French stance on which side of the road i should be on. here is my best effort to address that consideration.

i think i look, at once, calm and relaxed and convey a sense to the other motorists that i will be f***** if i am moving, and if they do not wish to collide then they should get out of the way. in, of course, a non-aggressive and exceptionally friendly way.

are there any other issues with the car? well, yes, as it happens. here are two of them. the first, and obviously the most disconcerting, is that the cigarette lighter thing seems to be missing. actually, that's not so bad, that just makes it like the Blues Brothers car out of The Blues Brothers.

the other thing is not quite so easily explained away with a simple reference to a film starring the somewhat more celebrated of the Belushi clan.

if you are looking at the above and asking "what the hell is that handle", then congratulations, you have just done what i did when i was confronted with it. i am reliably informed that this in fact, ladies and gentlemen, the handbrake on this particular car.

yeah, i agree, a handbrake is usually, and should be, a big massive throbbing shaft with a knob on the end of it. this has some sort of "spaceship" or perhaps even yacht feel to it. i am not particularly a fan of it, and have instructed my (considerably) better half to get rid of it and, if she thinks that for some reason we really need a handbrake, to get a proper one put in.

actually, it's not that bad to use, once you get used to it, but it's a bit unusual and unorthodox at first. unorthodox as in i could not, for the life of me work out how to put it down at first. my (considerably) better half, however, came to the rescue. it was a pleasure to watch her take the shaft in a firm grip, rigidly wiggle it and sensuously but firmly squeeze the knob until it did its business.

hopefully none of the above gives the impression that i dislike the car, for that is not the case at all. it's rather smart, it is, and once again i have to say well done, indeed hats off, to my (considerably) better half and, indeed, very much so for Uncle Colin in finding it.

i like it so much, as point of fact, that as you can see i have bought a "book of the road", or if you like a map. i can use this to carefully plot and plan journeys to take in it.

no, i didn't actually spend £6.99 on it, that would be foolish. it was in fact merely £1 in the shop i went to. which is remarkably cheap for what seems to be a fairly accurate map. so cheap, indeed, that i may well buy several copies of it and dispense it as a gift around Christmas or other such gift giving times.

an issue with it, of sorts, is that of course it could soon be a very out of date map. should the people of Scotland decide they no longer wish to be part of Great Britain, it would of course be incorrect for their nation to appear in the map. unless it was listed as "and Scotland", as indeed is the case with Ireland, as you can sort of make out. i suppose if Scotland does vote for independence then i can simply take a crayon, or perhaps even a marker pen, to the map and make it more compliant with the new geography.

back to the review of the car, and a matter of some annoyance came with the most essential, important area of the car - the vibes dispensing unit. as per the original review, it works all right, but alas it does not work quite how the book with it suggests. observe.


that is, ladies and gentlemen, the vibes unit having nothing to do with an mp3 disc. this is frustrating as the book thing with the car gave every indication that it does indeed do mp3. but it does not. oh dear. i guess i shall just have to construct "normal" CDs to play in it then. having a disc full of mp3 files is rather convenient, but no matter, i will give the stereo what it wants, then.

not that there is anything wrong with normal CDs, or the players for them. it's just a bit of a nuisance that it says it does mp3 and then it turns out it does not. hey ho.

how do i look from the side when in the driver's seat of the car? here you go.

actually i don't think that i will drive around much of Great Britain in the car. it strikes me as far easier for Sharpy to drive us wherever in his car. he can do his class trick with the odometer, anyway, so it will be like we never went anywhere.

i imagine we will go and have a bit of a gander at that Ireland place, anyway, assuming that we can find a ferry capable of providing safe passage across the sea.

anyway, i trust that this has in some way or another given you further insights into how the car operates and that. in short, to recap, those of you of a generation with no attention retention skills, that would be pretty well, except for the issues raises.

more on the car as and when i would out how to do them class, stylish handbrake turn things with this exciting new handbrake system. other nonsense shall, no doubt, be posted here as usual soon.

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

90s nostalgia

hi there

yes, more shopping.

as our new set of wheels (no, i have not been permitted to drive it yet) has a stag that makes vibes, or if you like it has a stereo fitted which is armed and fully operational, i thought i would call in at one of my most favourite stores and have a look for some tunes to play in it, or on it, depending on how you have read this sentence thus far. i found some, as i think you have clocked, hence this post.

a look at them? sure, why not.

yeah, you will have to have a look at the previous post i made for an explanation as to what's going on with the corners of the pictures i post here. or not, if you are not all that bothered about it.

and yes indeed, 3 for £5 is what i paid to own these. as it turns out, if you follow the links, you will see how i could have got them even cheaper, but then i would not have had the fun of looking for them and finding them, and i would not have had the immediacy of buying them and having them to play straight away. 

the one i have the least interest in is most likely the one that many will be more interested in. that will be the soundtrack for The Crow, which my (considerably) better half was delighted that i picked up, look you see.

for all you kids out there that think downloads are so great and keep hearing how you are missing out on classic elements of music, such as artwork and attention to detail, here you go, have a look at how stunning the actual CD is.

as nice as it looks, i cannot say i am all that bothered about this disc. the soundtrack was all right, i suppose, but the film really was, to me, mediocre bordering on ghastly. my view is that if Brandon Lee had not, and yes indeed this was sadly, died during the filming, this movie would have drifted away to direct-to-video obscurity and been mostly forgotten about. and we probably would not have had to endure the far more horrid sequels that they keep churning out.

still, i am aware that most actually really liked the film and that, hence the above picture, and indeed a few more to follow. onwards, then, to the one i am really excited about. it is a CD set that i had the tape version of, but oddly it did not feature in the blog post i just linked to. hopefully i do still have the tapes somewhere.

yeah, i know that it's not really easy to read the tracklisting there, so here's the obligatory link to amazon, a place where i note you can buy this set yourself for 1p, plus a pound or so in postage. well worth it.

i bought the tapes of this on a trip to England, i think 97. the tapes were promptly played on the flight back to South Africa, and then in the car for about a year or so, solid. it's a note perfect mix of top tunes, it is, with only one or two dud numbers on it.

yes, OK, you want to see more of the soundtrack for The Crow. very well, here is the back of the booklet, with Brandon Lee doing whatever the hell it is he does in the film.

the third set i picked up? that would be something called the Best Of British, a 2 CD set which looked like it had a pretty good mix on it. not every song on it is one that i would want, but for the most part it looked like it would do the job. the point of the purchases was, lest we forget, to have a mix of vibes in the car. so it does that job.

from what i can work out that set was put together off of votes from the public, and in some way related to the celebrations of the Queen's Jubilee. the one from 2002, i think, not 2012. it is interesting to see that no one, or few, voted for Kate Bush to be on it, yet Atomic Kitten got the nod.

i think it was the 2012 celebrations which saw Grace Jones do that thing with the hula hoop, so no, in answer to any question you might have in relation to that. also i don't think she qualifies for a best of British, as absolutely ace as she is.

another picture of me in my anchor shirt, then, wandering around, listening to some vibes.

what was i listening to? oddly, Tommy by The Who. i suppose, really, i should have had Six Months In A Leaky Boat on the go, but i did not think of it.

has my anchor shirt in any way thus far been some sort of magnet for salty sea dogs? not really. it has not attracted anyone to me, thus far, who would not be drawn anyway, or at the least had some sort of requirement or obligation to speak to me. in fairness i did not go anywhere near any docks with it. actually i was close to some docks, but not exactly at them.

do i particularly want to attract the attention of a salty sea dog? not really. on the bus every now and then there are some gents that look like they might have been salty sea dogs, or are in the stages of meeting their aspirations to be just that. for the most part, other than the classical sailor look of beard and weather worn skin, they tend to smell of an anything but subtle blend of whiskey and wee. if that is the sort of chap i wished to be in the company of, i could simply go and live with Spiros, really.

i really am rather thrilled to have found that 'The Best....Ever' set on CD. i believe it is volume 5 of the series of releases. i have looked at the other volumes, and then seem OK, just not as sensational and brilliant as that one. if some of the others are halfway decent looking at 1p or so a go, i might have a pop at a purchase. but i am happy with what i have for now.

even that Your Woman song, which does the annoying, Moog-like sample of the 'Jedi Theme' from Star Trek or whatever, does not sound so bad in the overall mix of the tape / CD. 

another look at the CD of the soundtrack of the film of The Crow? go on then.

yeah, that soundtrack mix is, no matter what reservations i have of the film, pretty darned good.

i had no idea at all that there could ever be such a thing as nostalgia for the nineties, but i suppose, for the most part with these discs, this is what i have delved into. hey ho.

if you decide to pick any of these up, or dig out your own copies, happy listening!

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

building a better helicopter

hello there

yeah, i know what you are thinking. oh no, not another avionics type of blog post. well, i am sorry, but as many of you know, aviation and all that is a great, great passion of mine, especially all the design stuff and that which make the big metal birds of the skies - as opposed to the big metal birds of the seas - work. well, not work so much as do their thing i suppose, stay in the skies and all that.

a long standing dream of mine, and we are talking in terms of months here, not just weeks,  has been to unleash an environmentally friendly helicopter on the skies, see what the clouds make of that. today, as it happens, thanks to the kindness of a random gift, was the day that i decided to carry out some work on the prototype model.

the first thing that you might notice about this prototype is that it is metal and plastic, which is not a combination traditionally associated with an eco-friendly thing. well, to that i say you will just have to go back and redefine what you think of as being eco-friendly. anyway, the first thing you should have noticed is the name of the helicopter. that's right, Tiger. because nothing says "of the skies" like a tiger does. and there is no reason for it not to have a super sexy name, just because it is environmentally sound.

many of you, i will appreciate, will have no interest in this post beyond seeing the finished helicopter. how lucky for you, then, that blogger has decided to rearrange the order of the pictures, and in fact they have put the image of the completed picture up next. i cannot be bothered to change the order of them, so here you go.

quite impressive, isn't it? i am very happy indeed with how it has come out. it looks exactly how i imagined it would look, except entirely different from what i had in mind. that is a minor point, however, and should not detract from how wonderful it is.

right, let me say farewell to those who have seen all the want to of this post. for those of you interested in the construction, however, do read on, i will share my insights and experiences of how i built it.

having a look at the parts, and indeed the tools, that one uses to construct a helicopter from is as good a starting place as any. here you go then, in a picture that i forgot to rotate. just tilt your neck to have a look, if you like. or just look at it as it is.

yes, there we go, all of the metal and plastic parts one needs to make an environmentally sensitive helicopter out of.

my initial plan, and still my driving ambition, is to construct a helicopter from wood. why? i would have thought that obvious. wood is all natural, and so far more environmentally friendly. if we just cut down all the trees and particularly ambitious blades of grass in the world, right, and used the wood off of them instead of making things out of microchips, plastic and what have you, we would have no carbon footprint nonsense to deal with.

for now, though, whilst i am still in the early design stages, metal and plastic will meet the requirements of me building a better helicopter. how much better? think Airwolf, but only with a far cooler sense of it, especially as the pilot is unlikely to have such a confusing sequence of names.

what do the boys think of my plans, or if you like ambitions, in respect of constructing a helicopter? they were very eager to give it a flight.

a very, very handy thing to have when designing a prototype from square one, or indeed from scratch, is having a set of instructions in place.

here are the instructions, although it seems that they were intended more for a car than they were for a helicopter as such.

you should all, with a slight level of respect, pay attention to the text up there. it says "intelligent Diy" for a reason. i know many of you will be tempted to re-enact what you see here, but for your own sanity i urge you not to. many of you reading this simply do not operate on the same level of intellectual capacity as i do, and thus you are unlikely to achieve what i do with this.

that's not me boasting, by the way, it's just me trying to help you avoid disappointment, heartbreak and a degree of bewilderment. i do this sort of thing, after all, so you don't have to.

anyway, assembly. here we go, here's the front bit of the helicopter starting to take shape.

i think the technical name for this front part of the helicopter is, as point of fact, the hull. but also it might be the nose. but for me it is just the front bit. using obscure terms is an aloof, silly thing to do, really. it is like when salty sea dogs go on about "starboard" and "port" on ships and boats, to be honest. there's nothing wrong with front, back, left and right as terms. salty sea dogs just make up those terms to confuse young people they have lured on their ship, usually so they can make them feel dizzy and confused, leaving them more prone to not noticing when they do peculiar things to their bum.

oh look, blogger has decided to put the second image i had of the completed helicopter up next. here you go then, have a look.

if you are wondering about the shaded corner things on these images, that's not some sort of artistic statement from me, dear reader. that is, alas, the limitations and affect of my new pouch on the lens of the blueberry. yes, i will do a blog post on the new pouch - indeed pouches - soon.

some of you might, out of interest, want to see the reverse engineered parts of my helicopter, so you can observe and understand how it all goes together. to this want, i say certainly. here you go.

that is, from left to right or indeed from right to left depending on your culture, your angle of observance and your proclivity towards being a salty sea dog, the body, the twirly bit (propeller or something), the legs and, of high importance, the seat. and some sort of joining screw, as it were, with a bolt for good measure. not screw, bolt.

speaking of salty sea dogs, i for some reason thought that some of you might want to see a glimpse, possibly even a hint, of me out and about in my sensational new anchor shirt. well here you go then, with me listening to some vibes as i walk around in it.

in what way do i hope that my class helicopter will be embraced as being an environmentally friendly one? in a number of ways, really, assuming you accept that a number of ways means more than one.

firstly, you will note there is no fuselage. that's because there is no requirement for such a set up, either intricate or basic, due to the absence of any form of petrol or fuel tank. in not burning any sort of fossil or synthetic fuel this helicopter is thus far more environmentally friendly than ones you find in the skies and in garages right now. granted, the price for this is not flying quite so much as the ones we have now, but early days and all that.

secondly, well, secondly i have forgotten the other benefits. it is smaller, for a smart, and things that are economical are invariably always smaller. oh yes - the other benefit was a lower level of moving parts. less moving parts means lower friction, or whatever, and that means less vibration, causing waves that cause bad karma to wildlife and that. the only moving parts on it are the ones where i couldn't really get in to tighten the bolts and nuts so good. and the back propeller, or if you like the twirly bit on the arse of it, because William likes watching it spin around.

another mid-construction image? to finish off, look you see, why not.

how do i feel, in the end, about this project? pretty good really. i am expecting Boeing, or whoever it is that made Airwolf and Blue Thunder, to get in touch with me, offering to finance a slightly larger scale one. one that probably flies around a bit too. i will listen to what they have to offer before i commit to any sort of long term project, don't you worry.

if you are also interested in designing and building helicopters i would say i hope this has helped. i cannot, however, as i am certain that it has.

many thanks, as ever, for reading. or for just having a quick gander at the pictures.

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

the South African Post Office is a f****** disgrace

hi there

here we go again folks, usual rant that you have - sadly - seen here time and again.

i have been wondering why exactly post i sent to my dear, beloved mother-in-law over a month ago had yet to turn up. was it, i pondered, the case of usual incompetence? was it theft? or was there, by any chance, another strike on the go? which do you think.

yes, that's right. the lazy, arrogant, incompetent b@stards that are the theoretical employees of the Post Office are indeed on strike once again.

what are they on strike about this time? who cares, really. they never say or announce anything. if it's not being all upset because their greed has got them caught up in a massive and obvious con (see posts from early 2013), it's usually because someone somewhere has the audacity, temerity and outright nerve to expect them to actually do the work they are employed to do and paid for. shame, poor things.

one can only hope the mail i sent does indeed turn up at some point. it would be nice if they could just employ people who accept that getting a job means actually doing the job. if you scour the news and look at how often the SA Post Office is brought to a standstill because of a strike, i would wager you will find close to 6 out of every 12 months over the last 3 years has seen things come to a stop.

and of course all the clowns that go on strike don't lose their jobs. one really does wish they would simply rather p!ss off, get a job they like, and let someone competent get meaningful employment instead.

hey ho.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

attempting to extract some use off of an Alcatel 1010 or whatever it is called

hi there

i was having a look for something, right, and in the course of finding it (whatever it was) i stumbled merrily upon this Alcatel phone thing that my "network service provider" of (ahem) choice for (little) service were quite keen for me to purchase. i see over on amazon and that they sell it for £11.99 or thereabouts, i am pretty sure they flogged it to me for about £2, hence the purchase.

i never got around to plugging it in, or opening it much, at the time, for i had no use at all for it. i still, as it happens, do not, but figured hey, blog post material.

Alcatel is French, isn't it? that is something which did not occur to me as i happily handed over £2 or whatever it was to be the proud owner of it. next it will be a beret, i suppose. and it would not at all surprise me if the people who do my phone and that started selling berets; they are of little use with phone network things so who knows maybe quality, surrendering head attire might be a big massive success for them.

i know a lot of the kids out there really like this whole "unboxing" thing, so just for you here is a picture of it, as in the Alcatel, un, as it were, boxed.

yeah. pretty crap looking by the standards of phones you can get today, i will give you that. it might, however, be OK in an emergency or something, if i really needed a phone due to my regular one being knacked or something. also it seems to have a radio on it, which is nice.

i could not, to be honest, be arsed to take the SIM card thing out of my current, or if you like incumbent, phone. this lack of arsed quality would, you would suspect, make it difficult to give an armed, fully operational and comprehensive test of this Alcatel thing, but this is not the case.

yes, as you can sort of make out there, i still have my SIM card thing from SA. as far as i am aware it remains active, and should still have a few coins of money on it. i figured what the heck, shove that SIM in, fire off a few random text messages to people to run down the balance, and that would be that.

oh i quite agree, that result was reasonably, indeed mildly, amusing, so let's have a look at the screen off of Sky or whatever for the final result.

that's not an "unlucky" defeat, that, that's a hammering, indeed a battering. off of a 3rd division team that didn't exist not so long ago.

so, anyway, i shoved that SIM thing in the phone, put the phone all together and did this, dear reader, whilst taking the decision not to take step by step images, or if you like photographs, of me assembling it. there will be some assembly pictures soon(ish), thanks to the child of the condiment phoenix, but more on that at a later stage.

right, all plugged in, charged, a very homoerotic French song played as i switched it on, asked for the PIN thing for my SA SIM thing, typed it in, accepted, then this.

it is asking for something called a network key. ah, yes, network locked. i had forgotten such a thing existed as a concept. in SA it was considered anti-consumer to lock a phone onto a network and they stopped making them do it. so the SA SIM will not work on it.

quite frankly, i am flabbergasted, indeed amazed, that the people of the UK (for Scotland are with us still at the moment), indeed the EU, stand for this "network locked" business. considering how keen the EU are to knack people for anti-competitive behaviour, be it Microsoft or football transfers, it is strange that they have let this one slide.

so, then, this phone is of use to me if i (a) buy a SIM for the network in question, or (b) my phone somehow gets knacked beyond use and yet the SIM survives, presumably slotting into this phone and working with relative ease. neither of those are likely.

still, i thought, u have a snazzy USB charger from this, at the least. except i do not.

yes, in typical French fashion, it is one of those totally and utterly spaz USB connectors that misses the "universal" of the U of the name USB. as far as i have been able to work out, indeed ascertain, this USB thing will not connect to any other device we have around the home that relies on the magic of a standard, indeed universal, USB thing to charge it. cheers for that.

what to do with the phone, then? i have given thought to giving it away. Spiros really, really likes French things, for a start. i might even buy him the relevant SIM for it, and draw a little French flag or something on it. also Sharpy gave me his address, and he looks like the sort of chap who would be delighted to get useless rubbish in the post.

another look at the not universal, quite possibly as a consequence xenophobic USB connector? i cannot think how looking at it from a different angle would assist at all, but here you go.

and yes, i am quite aware, as it happens, that there is quite a nice little cottage industry on the go here in the UK around unlocking phones for the people. they key here, however, is surely in the word industry. they charge for it, and i see no reason at all for me to be firing my financials across the net to spend 50% of the £2 cost of the phone, just to unlock it for no apparent use or reason.

that said, typing in how to get an unlock key gratis, or if you prefer free, into that google thing gets some pretty interesting results.

yeah, either people will give you the key "free" so long as you hand over banking details, or otherwise they will give you free instructions if you pay for the key. cheers for that.

so, the Alcatel thing is back in the box. my apologies now, then, if i stumble upon it around November and basically do a repeat exercise of the above.

i appreciate that the above will have been of little use to anyone at all, but thanks for reading anyway.

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

Monday, August 25, 2014


hi there

sometimes it really does feel like this blog is becoming rather far too top heavy in respect of it being just all of shiny things what i have bought. i suspect i should, with what little time i get spare, go out and do some far more interesting things if, for no other reason, to put something different here. snow shall come soon enough, mind, so i would imagine that a bit of variety will kick in.

anyway, one or two of you have a passing interest in what i purchase, in particular with respect to bought stuff that is done with the intention of wearing, so what the heck, why not.

first off, as some of you will recall from earlier posts, i had hoped to get some new pan...strides over the weekend. this is something that ended in failure, or at least a partial one. i did, however, at the least find some new shirts. these are shirts that, as my Gramps pointed out when i told him what i had bought over the weekend, i probably did not need, but they had that double whammy quality of being smart looking and of a reasonable price.

like, for instance, this one.

yes, that is indeed a bit of a "cheeky" and in no way officially endorsed image of the Jimi of Hendrix right there, on a guitar. or it might be Prince. or him off of that band The Time. not Jerome, the other one. Morris Day, i think. no, there was not much chance at all of me not picking that one up.

a new t-shirt is all well and good, or good and well, but what of my baking requirements? i do not have all that many, in truth, but what ones i do have seem to have been met quite well indeed by these cupcake mix sets i spotted in a store.

cupcakes are smart anyway, and i can only presume to assume that making them with minions off of Despicable Me represented on them will make them even smarter. not that i will be making them as such, of course, my (considerably) better half and the boys can attend to that more practical side of it.

strides? strides. having found none of consequence in stores, i had a look online. i might have found some, but on my browsing adventure i also found this confronting me.

what is it with everyone and polyester? it's not that good a substance that everyone out there looking for something to put over their legs wants such items made 100% out of the stuff. there is an election next year, right, and basically whichever party makes it clear that they intend to "limit, if not remove" polyester from trouser production is getting my vote.

there might be other socio-economic factors that i should introduce into my thinking when i vote, i suppose, but none of them seem as pressing to me as the need for new strides. i would imagine, to be honest, that society as a whole would benefit from me wearing pants too.

my (considerably) better half had no such problems in seeking out some fine new threads, as you can see. she is not entirely unsympathetic to my plight in respect of stride, let it be said, but also she is content, indeed happy, with her finds.

that's a smart jumper, jersey or whatever sort of thing it is. cardie, i suppose. really all purple and fluffy and warm. which, going on the temperatures we are having whilst still in summer, will be very handy indeed when all this winter business kicks off.

would i be happy if i found a pair of strides not too different from this garment? probably, to be honest. one of the first things i noticed about it, as i am sure you did, was that there is very little polyester in it, as point of fact i think none at all.

actually that might be a bit too fluffy and faffing for a pair of strides, now that i think. although them buttons would look really smart on a pair. maybe. if they were buttonfly strides with them all the way down, right, i would imagine it would make things somewhat tricky. or maybe not, really. i have not, in my life, done a great deal of clothes design, so i am not as adept or expert in the subject as to say for certain.

away from clothes, then, and towards a non-clothing item. a new novel to read, no less. one that i had no intention of getting, know pretty much nothing about and was not all that fussed about.

why did i get it, then? to reduce the overall cost of the two items i did want. the WH Smith business model is, look you see, an interesting one.

earlier in the week, or perhaps it was last week, they gave me one of them voucher things, right. it was one that said "get £5 off all books when you spend £15". the two books i selected came to £14. in grabbing this one i pushed the bill over their £15 and as a consequence brought my own bill down to £12. go figure.

why did i grab this one in particular? that it is called Eeny Meeny gives you a bit of a clue as to how it was selected. i just looked at the pile of new releases, or recommended or whatever, and decided i would grab the first one i saw that was not clearly or evidently "book number xyz" in a series of novels. this seems to be one of those rarities these days, namely a "stand alone" novel. it could turn out that the characters in it were in another book, but neither the front nor back suggested that was the case.

a cursory glance inside says that it has short chapters and a decent size font in the print, so it's a win for the bus. also, the Daily Mail seem to like it, so how far wrong can i have gone?

ah, whoops. i was meant to report back to my Aunty (no, the other one) about some sort of antiques fair on the go. i took a picture of it to show her so she could decide if it was worth going. i forgot to send it on, but never mind, here it is, so she can see what either she missed, or what she went to.

i hope, dear Aunty, you either enjoyed it, or you are gratified by what you see above and are of the opinion that you were wise not to have gone.

another shirt? sure. one of them "smart" ones, in as far as it has a collar and buttons, that i really rather like to wear to verk. this one marks something of a departure from the norm for me, or if you like a directional change, for it has anchors on it. a lot of anchors.

actually, looking at that image, it looks like it is a really, really busy shirt. the semi-wooden looking buttons, which might be all real wood for all i know, help give it that rustic, salty sea dog look, i suppose.

have i always wanted a shirt with loads of anchors on it? not really, to be honest. it is not something i have ever thought about, really. the shirt just happened to be really cheap, and looked like it would be a comfortable, good fit, so i just went with it. i, at this stage and as things stand, have every intention of wearing this tomorrow. we can but hope it all works out fine, then. well, i can. and will.

this, ladies and gentlemen, is the scope of the problem i have with the wiles and the ways of WH Smith insisting i purchase more books in order to pay less than the listed price for the ones i wanted.

these are the books that i have either been kindly given or have picked up on my travels to read on the bus. as you can see, there are a fair few.

add to this there are one or two (dozen) on the e-reader to read, in particular this lion or tiger business that Sharpy, when not impersonating celebrated 80s musicians from Australia, is so enthusiastic about me reading.

as i, on average, and as people who follow my reviews here will have clocked, usually do a book a week on the bus. actually, closer to 3 or 4 days, i think. i would seem, i suspect, sorted out for quite some time. although some go quite fast - them Mariani books, for instance, are usually 3 day things; in one case i think one was finished in 2 days, which is 4 bus trips.

i should probably stop picking up books for a few weeks, then. however, others may well feel that they are of a mind to send me more, which is always a very welcome thing, and i might well pick up others too. especially as W H Smith have decided to get rid of vouchers and instead have given me a "20% off of everything" card for pretty much the whole of September. i bet i end up there and i bet i end up with further novels to "get around" to reading on the bus. which i shall.

and that's pretty much that, or at least that's all i could be pestered to take pictures of from whatever i purchased. i am sure there were a couple of other things, but never mind, here, here's another selfie attempt of me in that smart new Heath as the Joker t-shirt. something, if you like, of an apology for the poor quality image of the t-shirt that featured on the recent ice bucket challenge post. not that this one is much better.

well, then, that's that for this post, and possibly for posts for the remainder of the week. back to verk tomorrow, which means long days, little in the way of adventure type stuff to post here and somewhat less time to actually post here anyway. also, i suspect someone else out there is kind of expecting, rather hoping, that i spend more time on their site than mine (hello, Dad, yes we are working on it).

not a lot to add, then, except to say that i trust those of you who for some reason like my shopping and acquisition adventures enjoyed what you saw here, and no doubt more of them will follow over the course of time!

thanks for reading!

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