Friday, October 31, 2014

obligatory Halloween thing

hi there

well, and why not, look you see.

as the day today, or more specifically the evening i suppose, was/is Halloween, we did indeed engage in the celebration shenanigans that are part and parcel of this most interesting of days on the standard calendar.

this Halloween business was never really all that big in South Africa. the lifestyle and the ultra high security layout of most homes pretty much precludes children going from door to door. even with Stumpie safely in prison, there are many people with guns that are likely to shoot first, second, third and ask questions only when it is clear they can't hide the body. and, indeed, people - animals, if you like - who would do a good deal worse than shoot.

in some of the safer areas - like, for instance, where athletes who have a random approach to just how disabled they are do not live - the kids can go around and do it in safety. James and William never had the chance, really, and nor did for that matter my (considerably) better half. so off they went.

i am hearing a lot of people here, of my age, are going around saying this like Halloween "was not a big deal" when we were kids. this is nonsense. OK, here in England now it might be a lot more along the lines of American styles of decorations, parties and pumpkin carving than it was back in time, but i assure you Halloween was very much a thing. as kids we did indeed all go off trick or treating.

we always got smart sweets too, as it happens. proper sweets, not them American "candy" things. anyway, the point is, all these people saying that as kids in the 70s and 80s we never "did" Halloween, stop it, for we most decidedly did.

modern technology, of course, allows me to send these images around the world within moments of them being taken. this meant that i could send them to the whole family. thus far Richard has replied, and his response came in the form of a most smart picture.

no, that's not the most smart picture he sent, that's another smart one, one that i thought the Richard enthusiasts would appreciate. Richard enthusiasts and Grant enthusiasts have probably been very disappointed with the lack of pictures of either of them of late, so there you go! the really smart picture he sent is one that is too naughty to feature here, but i did pass it on to Spiros.

back to Halloween business, and the three who had not experienced it before, who happen to be the three from my family that you all actually like the most, went off out and about to trick or treat.

quite an impressive haul they got, too. there are many generous people living around here. if any of them are reading this for some reason, thank you!

a big well done, too, to all the kids who came knocking on our door. i hope the sweets were as good as their costumes were; some truly very impressive outfits on display!

speaking of impressive outfits, my (considerably) better half. there are all sorts of comments i could make here along the lines of "what's the difference for her dressing as a witch on Halloween and dressing every day" that would prompt the humorous, yet bitter-sweet truth of an answer "nothing", but that would be entirely inappropriate for me to do and i would probably get battered for doing so.

i won't do that then, and nor shall i say something childish about how she is quite nicely evolving into my beloved mother-in-law either. instead, marvel away at her outrageous, class outfit.

nice work! very smart, and the purple broom is a nice touch. as are the purple gloves, hat and all bits that are not the standard black.

anyway, i can only hope and trust that your Friday - whether a Halloween one or just a doing nothing special one, was a splendid, ace, wonderful one!

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

book review time

hello there

well, a bit of a cheat this, really. usually i would only do a book review thing when i had read three on the bus. this one comes to you after reading only two. however, three books shall feature at least. bear with me, look you see, please don't stop bearing with me.

a look at what i have read, then? sure, why not. although one is just the cover of my ebook thingie, as that's where the third book was read.

as usual, there is most likely one or two spoilers ahead, so you have been warned. also, links are not endorsed by me as such, just making it easier for you to order if for some reason you are inspired to do so.

that said, i would be pretty interested to learn of someone being inspired to read the first one.

ahem. i would be pretty sure that you, the discerning reader, could work out all you need to know of this book from the title. The Loch Ness Legacy is exactly what you think it might be about.

this is that Tyler Locke (sp) fellow again. he featured in one really bad book that i read, Noah's Ark Quest, and one that was surprisingly good in the form of Roswell Conspiracy or something like that. this one is far closer to Noah than it is to aliens.

plot? really? OK. some sort of white supremacists have discovered an old Nazi chemical weapon. the only antidote for it is made from.....tissue or cells off of the Loch Ness Monster. as the weapon has been released, Tyler Locke and his gang have about a week to find the Loch Ness Monster, obtain a tissue sample and refine it into some sort of medicine. does that sound at all ridiculous? well, it is, really. and that's without me even mentioning the presence of Charles Darwin in the plot. Charles Darwin or his chum, an emancipated slave that took to life in 19th Century Scotland with some enthusiasm, becoming a taxidermist or something.

it was reasonably interesting and enjoyable enough reading. i think, however, i have just read far, far too many of these "if you liked Da Vinci Code" type of books, in truth. if you cannot get enough of these thrillers, ones in which a centuries old mystery has to be, and invariably is, solved in a handful of days, then this is average in that regard, at the least.

a somewhat different style of novel for me to read was Don't Tell, it being the first novel by Karen Rose.  for those of you who don't know, i decided to have a go at reading one of her books after her appearance at the celebrated Old Grumpy's Gallery in New Zealand.

plot? a woman escapes with her young son from a highly abusive husband. she is presumed kidnapped or dead. events happen, however, that lead the husband to believe that the two are still alive, and off he goes to pursue them. violently. this is all as the woman in question is falling in love for, arguably, the first time.

this would not be the sort of thing i would normally read. however, i felt obliged to read it all. i do not regret reading it, but also i am not going to pretend that this was, like, you know, the greatest book what i have ever read. i found the mix of passages that would not look out of place in a Mills & Boon book with ones that would certainly fit very well into American Psycho somewhat disturbing. i found myself wanting the bad person dead and the good people to be happy, so yeah, i suppose i did get somewhat involved with the characters, then.

would i read another Karen Rose book? most certainly. i have a mountain of novels to get through first before i obtain any more, however, but i will get one or two at some stage. actually, might get them, give them to Aunty Susan to read and then get her comments on which ones i should have a go at.

on to the e-reader, then, and on to I Am Pilgrim. this is, in short, quite frankly one of the best books that i have ever read, and you should really stop reading this and go and buy it if you have not done so already.

when i started reading it, i am ashamed to say, i had no idea at all that the author was the dude who helped write and create Mad Max 2 many years ago. makes sense that i liked it, then. loved it, actually.

plot? the history and story of one of them "deep under cover" agent, CIA type dudes. that's all i am prepared to say. there is a substantial amount more it it, as you would expect with a novel that clocks in somewhere north of 700 pages.

this novel is sheer genius. it's engaging, gripping, involving and just about everything positive in the world that you can think of. and this is this dude's first novel? wow, it's like Tom Wolfe with Bonfire Of The Vanities, then - writing in other forms for years / decades has somehow taught him how to craft and create the perfect novel.

if you haven't read I Am Pilgrim and you are still reading this, look, basically, stop and go and get it, look you see. it's an amazing novel.

the backs of the novels i read on the bus? sure, if you insist.

tradition would dictate that i give you a sneak preview of what i am reading next. however, i cannot do that at this stage as i have not picked out the next one to read.

here's a look at the ones i have to choose from.

which one do i fancy? i have no idea at all i am afraid. if anyone wants to comment on something i should give a try, feel free. otherwise, well, you and i will find out as and when i have read enough books to warrant some more reviews!

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ed Kowalczyk - Throwing Copper 20th Anniversary Celebration

hi there

well, let me break the bad news to google, bing and yahoo enthusiasts - no, there is no download, illegal or otherwise, of this set here. sorry for that. happy hunting if you are looking - perhaps, oddly justifiably so - to get your hands on it.

i recently, at the behest of my (considerably) better half, ordered the CD set of Ed Kowalczyk's concert in Sydney earlier (as opposed to later) this year, look you see. this 20th anniversary celebration of the album Throwing Copper is, distinctly alas, only available via ordering off his site in the USA. being in England now, with a fully functioning postal system, means that we could at least do so safely.

this, i imagine, is a major bummer for the many, many fans of the Throwing Copper album - and Live fans in general for that matter - in South Africa. that band and this album are, and were, bloody massive down there, man. a huge fan base exists, and they did two amazing, sell out tours before Ed left the band in, shall we say, somewhat unpleasant circumstances, going on the stories he has told since.

with the SA Post Office at the best of times mildly occasionally reliable, but right now still in the middle of a strike which has seen them burning mail rather than deliver it, i wish i could tell you of some constructive, legal way to get the album down there. i am sorry, i can't. i hope, perhaps Rodriguez style, that somehow at least one copy of it makes its way to the country, and fan sharing does its thing.

should the SA Post Office all of a sudden condescend to just deliver mail like they are paid to do, then go ahead and order. it is very much well worth it.

some of my more English friends, in England-land, might be a bit baffled by all of this. the band Live are kind of known here, but do not seem to have had any huge success. a bit of a shame, but with so many talented English bands on the go - in particular in the 90s - it was a tough market to crack, England, for wandering American minstrels.

for those curious, but unlikely to throw $$$ at America for something they are unsure of, i would suggest a worthwhile gamble is the studio recording of Throwing Copper, which you can get new or used at a very reasonable price indeed. just click on the album name there and go see for yourself.

of all the albums Live did, this one was what you would call the "most complete". there is no filler on it, every track is superb, and it flows really, really well. the standout tracks are two of the best tracks the band ever did, which would be I Alone and, in particular, Lightning Crashes. and Iris.

i shall not forget where i bought the studio version of this album for my (considerably) better half. it was at Sun City, no less, and we were in the presence of the legendary Alex Brown when we did. not an easy thing to forget, not even after a decade or so of therapy.

disc one, as many of you will have clocked, is the entire Throwing Copper album, in order and from start to finish. it has become incredibly trendy for artists to do gigs like this, and for me it's a very good thing indeed. disc two features 6 classic Live tracks, and surprisingly only one Ed solo song, Grace.  Ed has done two great solo albums thus far, and a few more numbers from them would have been nice. that said, mostly the gig seems to have been a celebration of the amazing songs he wrote and did with Live, so fair enough.

a worthwhile investment? yes, going on how my (considerably) better half likes it, and how much i have enjoyed it. be warned, though - the US$20 price for the CD set is joined on purchase by a US$14.60 shipping fee, which for me pushed the price somewhat slightly north of twenty of them English pounds.

it would have been quite nice to get the DVD of this gig too. however, the US$25 price on that would have translated as £15.61. that .61, or if you like 61p, look you see, would have been an expensive problem. importing things to the UK is fine, so long as the value is below £15. if it goes so much as 1p over, you get hit with customs tax, import tax and "admin fees" which total about £15. crazy, really, and sadly it means we won't be getting the video of it. hey ho. 

if you are a fan and were wondering if this CD set is worth getting, or had no idea it was an actual thing, well the answer is very much yes. it's an outstanding quality recording of an amazing performance. 

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

frosty cows

hi there

today, as i waited for the bus, i was treated to a number of things. one of them was certainly the bitter, somewhat crisp and most certainly frosty chill in the air. quite cold it was. i am thinking that i need to wear something more substantial than a short sleeved shirt, really. however, i then remember that i am of Yorkshire, and if anything a short sleeved shirt in this weather is excessive, nancy boy over dressing.

other than that, i got to see some cows in the field over from where the bus stop is. that is, of course, as a consequence of them not placing the bus stop in the middle of a field.

yes, those are indeed fallen autumn leaves beautifying the road. i know my blueberry does not do the best pictures in the world, but i trust that the above shows off both the cows and the frosty nature of the weather that had touched the grass.

indeed i did for some reason think that some of you would probably have an interest, vested or otherwise, in watching a video of these cows, look you see. here, then, is the video.

did any of the bulls, as it were, "get it on" with the cows? i know you want to know and i know that is what you are asking. one certainly tried their luck, but the cow was having absolutely none of it, since you ask. i imagine that other than it being cold, this was all around 7am, and so the cow probably had not even had any coffee yet.

i cannot think of many, if any, reasons why any of this would be of interest to someone, but if it was, well then so much the better, and i am glad that i could bring this to you.

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


hello there

well, then, that's ten months of the current adventure, turn in life, interlude or whatever you like, look you see. did i take a selfie as a consequence? yes of course i did.

i am not sure i captured all of the rain and the wind that was on the go as i struggled from verk to the bus station, but i suspect enough of it. yes, indeed i was, look you see, thinking what a good idea this was, coming home, deciding how much i loved the bus and that to get to and from the places i wished and needed to be. especially when it gets depressingly dark at around 3pm.

yes, indeed i am truly loving it. the lack of needing to drive everywhere is a major plus, and i was never really built for sun anyway. but enough of this, onwards to a bit earlier today and a tramp or similar vagrant staggering into the bookies at around 8am this morning.

i took this picture for the benefit of Spiros, who has an interest in such things. he was most pleased to get this picture sent to him. he was, however, disappointed that i did not approach him and make an effort to befriend him. Spiros for some reason thought that this chap would be an excellent source of inside information for laying down some bets, in particular on the Rugby World Cup next year.

it just did not, frankly, seem appropriate to approach the chap. not whilst i was having breakfast; a breakfast less intoxicating (somewhat) than this chap had apparently had.

i must say i seem still rather disorientated by this whole clock thing. let me retire for the evening, see if some sleep helps.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

more threads and same trees

hi there

just a follow up to this post over here now that the clocks have changed once more. it's probably, to make this more relevant, a good idea to click the above and watch the video. if you can, it being all dark and what have you.

that was then, this is now. we had the clocks go back an hour over the weekend. the reasons for this were all to do with harvest this, world war that - basically, a means to boost productivity. they have left it alone, for the most part, to allow people to go to work and - most importantly - children to go to school with the skies being light.

here, this video was taken of the same trees at the same time as the video above.

quite a difference, no? long may this remain, then.

there is a case for certain countries to do the same thing for similar reasons, or just put in different time zones to allow people to travel in the morning in safety. South Africa is one in particular, with the region known as the Western Cape (where that Cape Town and that is, look you see) geographically suited to be on a different time zone to the rest of the country.

a two time zone system will not, of course, happen in South Africa. the Government dismissed the idea as "not economically viable" and "logistically impossible". as in, it is far cheaper to just say sorry about how all them schoolkids and people on their way to work got killed because it was dark than it is to do something about it. this of course is fitting in with the logic of his excellency Thabo Mbeki, who clocked that it was far more economically viable to claim that Aids was a made up illuminati conspiracy than it was to do anything about it.

anyway, here's a glimpse of my class new shirt, yes with them trees in the background that you saw in the video just now. if you played the video.

another new shirt? sure, why not. it was £9 in one of them sale things. yeah, i do pretty much - usually - base my clothing purchases on the price. that it looks smart (i think) is a very happy accident. at the same time, and also for £9, i got some new strides too. the web page assured me that they are plum colour, but my eyes say they are brown. a picture of them will follow eventually, i suppose, if for some reason you were wanting to see my strides.

actually that's unfair - i paid nothing for them. no, i did not go shoplifting; my (considerably) better half got them for me. best i point that out before she has a wobbler or something.

speaking of which, you have had far too many pictures of me of late, and not enough of the members of my family that you actually all like. let me fix that, then.

this was taken but a moment ago, assuming you see a moment as relative and being about two or so hours. we were off on a pleasant stroll around the village, embracing and enjoying the tropical ways of the climate.

i am still feeling somewhat disorientated by this clock business. i shall take myself off to bed, then.

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

something interesting i noticed on bank notes

hi there

i was just tending, or if you prefer attending, to some mild financial affairs when i noticed something most peculiar. i have no idea why i spotted this, it just caught my eye, so to speak.

on three different notes - all of which, so far as i know, are legit - three different chief cashiers have signed them. here, have a look for yourself. well, OK, the detail is not that great, but you can still work out that it's three different people, even if you can't work out the different names.

either these bank notes last an awful long time, or the job of chief cashier is so absolutely mental that people quit the post after a very short amount of time. i am not surprised if the latter is true. fancy having to sign all them bank notes, in particular with such a crap choice of colour pen and so small.

actually, no, that wasn't too interesting was it, sorry. here, have another fancy picture done up all nice by my (considerably) better half of me in my class new t-shirt.

i hope that in some small way makes up, an apology if you like, look you see, for the disappointment about the thing about bank notes not being as interesting as i may have made it out to be.

that will do for today, methinks.

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

Bristow on Bullseye

hi there

well, i am sorry to say that certain people i know are not as excited about this as i am, but i am sure some of you will be.

yet again i am blessed enough to be watching some class episodes of Bullseye on TV. last night was pretty good, with Jimmy Greaves being brought on to throw some darts for some charity or other such sh!t, but tonight was even better.

oh yes, that is indeed exactly who you think it is. that's Eric Bristow, MBE, the self-styled crafty cockney.

if you have no idea who or what that is, imagine Jim Davidson, only with talent, an obvious skill, a definite purpose for living and considerably less interest being invoked by members of the constabulary.

he has a book out, too - Eric Bristow MBE on Eric Bristow MBE by Eric Bristow MBE, or something like that it's called.  i might well pick it up. could be good reading, that, especially if he gives over a chapter - or perhaps two - to his appearance on Bullseye.

that is indeed Eric Bristow MBE stood by the legendary Jim Bowen. note how unassuming and casual Eric Bristow MBE is as he flat refuses to upstage Jim Bowen who is bravely having a go at pulling off wearing three shades of blue.

i hope you appreciate the excellence of this as much as i did, or at least more than certain people i could mention did.

UPDATE!!!! and in the very next episode, look!!!!!!!!!!!!!

someone actually won the class speedboat that they keep offering as a prize. nice one!

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

Eat Sleep Rave Repeat

yo dudes

yeah, i am down with what the kids are grooving to and that, hence the slightly different from usual introduction there. bangin', man.

when i am not laying down some vibes, or raving, i am of course off modelling my new threads that profess my love for all things rave. that's why the chaps down the race club call me Mr Rave, look you see.

to that extent, here i am striding around the village earlier today (as opposed to later) in my new shirt.

indeed, as the above picture reveals, it was a trifle windy today, hence me looking a good deal more windswept that usual. i know, usually my hair has a lot more effort put into it, but not today. and yes, i trust a few of you recognize that rather famous establishment right there behind me.

also yes, i know, you cannot see too much of my class new Eat Sleep Rave Repeat t-shirt in the above.  hang on, we are getting there.

you can see a bit more of the t-shirt in this picture, i suppose. i wasn't going to use this one due to the lack of visibility of the t-shirt in it, but as it looks rather smart (compared to the usual standard of pictures of me) i thought i had best leave it. well, not so much as leave it as use it here.

the skies this weekend have indeed been the somewhat interesting blend you see before you, or if you prefer to the side of this text. when dark clouds have not covered as far as the eye can see, moments of brightness have pervaded. we have also had a spot of drizzle every now and then, as unusual as that is for England during the month of October.

what i think i like most about this picture is that you can see what it says without seeing what it says, as it were. and yes, oh yes, this whole post, if you have not yet worked it out, is all going to be pictures of me. if for some reason you have not, or had not, worked this one out, well now you know, and feel free to skip the rest of this post if that idea offends you. you would, however, miss out on some reasonably class pictures of my smart new t-shirt; pictures in which my face is not as visible as it usually would be.

like, for instance, this one

yes, that is indeed one of them there hockey masks i have on in the picture. many thanks to my (considerably) better half for taking that one, as she in fact did with the rest of them. also added some art effects to the images, as you can see, look you see.

except for the ones, like the next one, which were taken with my iPod with Commodore 64 mode on.

yes, that is indeed a welcome return for scan lines of Commodore 64 mode in pictures on this blog.

i think i am going to look pretty bloody smart down the rave with this mask and this t-shirt on. well, smart up to a point, and that point would be when i start to dance. if i do start.

another artsy type of picture? sure.

that's movie quality, that one. it would be boss, in an absolute sense, if they did one of them Friday 13th films with Jason looking like i do above. yeah, i am thinking of getting a machete, or indeed even a harpoon gun, to perfect the look. well, it's Halloween and what have you soon, i suppose. that would certainly explain why i was all of a sudden able to get an ice hockey mask with my regular groceries.

another one? sure.

that's with the other Commodore 64 mode camera thingie on the iPod. that one is perhaps not as scary as the other pictures, but i think it looks rather smart anyway.

i would imagine you are all getting a bit bored of these pictures by now, so go on then, one more.

oh i like that one, i do. weird, though, as they do not look like how i think my eyes look at all.

right, that's quite enough pictures of me for one blog post, i think. do sleep well.

wow, this clock change thing is disorientating. it feels earlier than it should, but also later than it should. most peculiar.

more as and when something of interest happens! hope you've all had a boss weekend!

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

more helicopter fun

hi there

well, this is probably a bit late at night to be starting this, but i am led to believe there are some clock shenanigans tomorrow morning, which gifts me an extra hour. wahey, indeed. Spiros, please note that it is clock shenanigans i said. yes, i know you prefer what you thought it said, but not on my blog, look you see.

so anyway, today we built another helicopter. this one was one that fulfilled, to a satisfactory degree, a long term ambition of mine, which is to build one from wood. many thanks to the persons of interest reading this that sent it along for me.

yes, that's the packaging for it right there above. looks really smart, does it not? i quite like how, in it's flat and thin packaging, it felt the need to point out that it is, as point of fact, very much a "do it yourself" helicopter. good and useful clarification, that.

i am not sure one should be allowed to purchase anything but a do it yourself helicopter. if you are going to be all big and clever, right, pratting about flying in one of them, then i think it is reasonable for you to have built it before you do go ahead with that. James Bond did it, after all, in that film where the baddies were all in the converted volcano.

so anyway, on to building, i guess.

the packaging, flat as it is, promised - in an impressive amount of languages, highlighting the ambition of the manufacturer - instructions as to how to build the helicopter were held within the packaging.

here are the two panels of wood, then, containing the parts one needs to make a helicopter, and the promised instructions.

no, i am not hiding something from you, this sheet is it in respect of instructions. and it is all in loads of different languages, with that top corner being the only gesture, or if you like concession, to English as such.

it's not really what one would call "step by step" instructions. pictured are the two panels of wood containing the bits you need, with the slots all numbered. this is most useful, as the instructions are pretty much limited to saying "try" to put it together by matching the numbers on the slots on each part, and it should go together easy enough. it also mentions that, overall, you should pretty much know what a helicopter looks like and how to build one, so just do whatever it is you think is right.

a close up of those instructions so you can inspect this textual outrage for yourself? not really possible with my blueberry, but here you go.

i of course know how a helicopter goes together. down at the helicopter club, after all, i am not called "Mr Airwolf" for nothing. i also get called "Mr Blue Thunder" too, and "Mr That One That Her That Used To Be Married To Prince Andrew Wrote About A Helicopter". i could probably build a helicopter in my sleep, i am that proficient.  i dare say i have, and just forgot where i put it.

a close look at all the parts, slots and their numbers? sure, since for some reason i took a picture of that and put them here. well, it's not the parts of course, it's the picture off of the lavish instructions.

what would have worked better, for the amateur do it yourself helicopter enthusiast,  is if this diagram looked rather more like the actual panels and parts. that would make it a bit too easy, i suppose, and attract the wrong sort of person to building helicopters out of wood. one would not, after all, go up to a group of trainspotters and suggest that they have a go at car number plates instead. actually, you would not go up to a group of trainspotters.

did i get on just fine with the trials of inferior, incomplete instructions and diagrams? of course i did, do not be so foolish as to think otherwise. here's a picture of it mid-construction, since i do indeed know what a helicopter looks like; down the helicopter club they call me "Mr Airwolf", etc, etc.

and then, in next to no time, the helicopter was complete. despite my proud name and reputation for nothing short of perfection when i undertake a project like this, it was of course important to get an objective, qualified and unbiased opinion. it was very fortunate that William was there to give exactly this.

he was, as you can sort of work out from the above, somewhat impressed with it.

and why would he not be? it is, after all, magnificent. far more fuel efficient than them metal ones they send to rescue people off of hills, mountains and ski slopes, at the least.

a look at the finished helicopter from a different angle? sure, why not.

i say finished, but of course it isn't. it still required its livery to be attached; which is to say that it needed a spot of paint to be applied for it to be complete.

i tend not to paint things myself due to the insurance implications. they do, after all, down the painters club call me "Mr Van Gough", or sometimes even "Mr Monet". my painting something leads to it gaining a very high value, which causes all sorts of problems getting it insured.

it was better, then, to let William have a go at painting. oh, his painting carries a high value too, of course, but a value that tends to slide right past; indeed below, insurance brokers.

indeed we did have a jolly splendid afternoon building and painting it, as you can no doubt tell from these pictures. William was having a blast painting it. so much so, in fact, that he decided to stop before the whole thing was done, allowing him to return to it tomorrow to do some more.

here is as far as his painting work got, then.

i certainly hope that he returns to finish the job tomorrow. i suspect he will - he has already weighed and measured up the helicopter to see if it would accommodate his Doctor Who action figures, and indeed they will fit in. that means he will be wanting the helicopter to stay.

we were going to build a bear too, but from what i could work out that needs some special bear glue. oddly i have been called Yogi Bear more than once, but not down at the bear club, because i don't go there. rather low class it is, the sort of place Spiros would think "rules".

anyway, let me see what else i should do with this extra hour business.

if this has inspired you to create, indeed craft, your own helicopter, happy days. my great thanks again to the parties who made this all possible.

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

threads and trees

hi there

yes, that's right, not much of interest and little time of late. hey ho, have something now, so here we go!

i have got (yet another) new t-shirt. a really smart set of threads it is, man. here, have a look.

that does indeed say Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat on it. it is my new philosophy, look you see. the lad that does the music and that at verk - someone we have the forms downloaded for to nominate for an MBE, as point of fact - keeps playing this one, hour long track where them four magic words are the only lyrics.

the people who do all that sort of rave thing at verk, most of them younger than half my present age, said it would be "dead smart" if i "sorted" myself out with this t-shirt, and said that i would "probably" be allowed to go to a rave with them towards the end of the year. nice one, sorted.

is this the likely onset of my mid-life crisis? quite possibly, yes it is. no bad thing so far, if you are asking.

anyway, video. if for some reason you were wondering what the trees look like on one October morning, at around 7:15am, with the arse end of a hurricane battering them, well then here you go.

yeah, i know the quality of the video - or the picture for that matter - is not too great, but there you go. i think to get a better quality of picture or video i would need to get one of them touch screen phones, and that's a big no thank you on that.

with some good fortune things of (pleasant) interest will, as it were, happen, and i shall post the details of them here. if they don't, well, i won't.

many thanks for stopping by.

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


hello there

many, many thanks indeed to the one they call Gayreth Manford for this magnificent picture.

did you know that i have not had KFC once since i came home? strange, really. i have not deliberately given it up, and i have not really had a craving for it. it's really as simple as being the case of there not being a KFC close to me, or convenient to get to. yes, i am betraying The Colonel, i suppose, and no doubt Spiros shall take me to task about this.

it could be different, i suppose. if, for instance, i was paid by the State and i was given transport by the State, and i could do whatever i liked - to whatever levels of incompetence and neglect i saw fit - then i suppose i would just drive to a KFC every day. i would probably invite a load of my mates along, too.

yes, that thing about general incompetence the world saw in Stumpie's case, like for instance taking a shot to ribbons bathroom door home to show some mates, makes a bit more sense now, does it not?

nice work, or paid for work at least, if you can get it!

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

random return

hello there

well, with not all that much of interest for you i figured if you were checking in here to see what's new i had better do something. time for some more random images, then.

what years this time? entirely at random, i have gone for 1972, 1983 and 1991. well, when i say entirely at random, a quick check suggested i had not done these years before. so, well, and why not i guess, here we go.

and what better place could there be to start off than 1983? if you were for some reason wondering what the average college girl looked like in that year, well, here you go.

yeah, i am not sure that this is precisely what the average college girl looked like, but this magazine that i grabbed the above from assured me that it was. close enough, probably.

moving on to 1991, then, and someone called Admiral AIDS was to be found giving a speech to all of his suspiciously named generals and, as it were, privates, look you see. it seems that the military was at war with someone called Captain Condom. that's not as unusual a surname as you might think.

i get why it was important at the time of 1991 - as it is now - to encourage the use of condoms. i am just not entirely convinced that likening AIDS and other nookie related diseases to the military was all that bright an idea. well, i suppose it could be if you really hate the military, look you see.

it would be fair to say that many of you have only read this far in the hope that of the things from 1972 i have included something that is astrology related. let it not be me that disappoints you, then, with this outrageous image. 

am i big on all this astrology stuff? not really. i mean, i don't have anything against telescopes and all that, good luck to those who use them. i just can't see me getting one and using it any time soon, let alone read the details of it in them columns they have in fancy magazines.

where is it, you might ask, that a gent went for a seductive and colourful Italian atmosphere if he found himself in Fulham or Kensington, two of the more refined areas of London, in the year 1983. as it turns out, one went to the appropriate, relevant and nearest of Barbarella Restaurants. as long as it was before 1am.

ace that they were both fully air-conditioned; it is terrible to arrive at a restaurant named after a Jane Fonda film and discover that it is only partially air-conditioned i guess.

i speak of the place in the past tense, which is amiss of me. for all i know these places are still on the go, seducing those seeking Italian atmosphere of colour. i shall have speaks with Spiros, see if he can't take a stroll past these places to see if either or both are still open.

1972 must have been an amazing time, man. look, you see, they allowed us to have adverts for cigarettes, giving people the choice as to whether or not they should be stupid enough to be lured into smoking.

yes, indeed i remain one of the stupid ones, as i in spectacular style still manage to gloriously fail at that whole quit / cut down considerably thing. sorry. and oh yes, Camel fags are boss.

the kids of today, for some reason. believe that "mobile gaming" is something invented for their generation, and all began with that Angry Birds thing. this is nonsense. here, from the glory of 1983, are some of the class handheld games we had for entertainment.

much better than the rubbish today, that lot. for a start, they were their own, purpose built devices. today it is cheap and nasty, where you just keep putting different games on the same device. what a con!

computer technology, and computer technology prices, from the past are always interesting. let's have a gander, then, at the specials on offer from Computer Junction back in 1983.

yeah, its' not too clear, but as far as i can work out that is indeed $1995 that they want you to pay for a 5MB "cartridge drive". blimey, best the one mp3 track you store on it be worth it. and, presumably, either short or simply ripped at a low quality.

now, apart from the obvious, i am not too sure what's going on in this next picture. actually, i am, as the article had the headline "John & Yoko". crazy times, it seems at Lennon & Ono gigs in 1972.

the above, i believe, actually explains a lot about why Spiros is a big Plastic Ono Band fan, to the extent that he will not have a word said against Ringo on the off chance that someone on one of his albums once played on a Plastic Ono Band record.

protection against fire is, to my mind, always a pretty good idea. if you can have it in place, well then have it would be my approach to it. if you were to do such a thing in 1991, this is probably what you had.

yeah, the quality of these random images are perhaps not as great as previous editions are they? oh well, i am trying, and maybe someone really likes fire stuff and finds that one interesting. me? no.

at this moment in time it is, for some reason, incredibly trendy to say how much you have always loved the band Genesis, and to pretend that they have always been treasured, worshipped and appreciated. the same is true of Led Zeppelin as and when one or two of the surviving members stick their heads up, i suppose.

anyway, a newspaper appearance, no less, from 1972. yes, an appearance by Genesis. in an actual newspaper.

remember this was from a time when newspapers were important - no internet, no 24 hour news channels, nothing like that. what was in newspapers was supposed to be of exceptional importance and great relevance. was Genesis? apparently.

also in 1972, Les Dawson. he is a chap that, no doubt, has as many fans as Phil Collins out of Genesis does, due to the incredible number of similarities between the two.

here is some sort of cartoon thing he was in during 1972. except this is not of the cartoon itself, but rather the photograph which indicated that the cartoon was to follow.

now then, actual proper nostalgia time.

this one is from 1983, but i am convinced this was available before that year.

i can't quite place it, or say for certain, but i am convinced that my sister had one of them Major Morgan ones, and that we all used to play on it. it was that as being the case, or otherwise someone we knew had one and we borrowed it.

was it any good? i am guessing yes. i cannot remember all that much, except the strong sense that i have seen it before. i probably broke it too. sorry, i could have, and should have, been a much better brother.

what toy cars were available in 1991? ones driven by white dudes, it seems.

i was never all that fussed about toy cars, to tell the truth. well, of course cool ones, like Batman ones. and tracks for toy cars, where you could do class ramps with them. so yeah, i probably was fussed about them, now that i think a bit.

a panda from 1983? why not.

sure, it looks cute, but have you seen one tackle a bamboo tree in the wild? f***** vicious things, panda bears are. people seem to forget the "bear" part of their name when discussing how cute they are. the legendary skit off of Who Dares Wins about pandas was closer to the truth than heavily edited wildlife shows, believe me. same is true of koala bears, but with eucalyptus. as far as i know they do not even know what bamboo is in Australia, let alone have it. the mind boggles as to what a koala would do to it.

sorry for the amount of Spiros references here, but my abiding memory of Spiros throughout the 90s was his love of ski outfits as a fashion statement. i only met him in 1993, but here is what presumably he would have been wearing in 1991.

why is it that ski outfits are most commonly white? does that not make it all the more difficult to find errant skiing types who have fallen in the snow? perhaps it is deliberate, as in "if you can't ski and you fall then you deserve not to be found and the slow death that follows". i would make ski outfits black or pink or something, so it's easier to spot people. also, the trees that keep jumping out and hitting celebrities would notice with more ease and, presumably, jump out of the way. since, for some reason, celebrities appear to expect the trees to move.

back to London in 1983 and oh look, another club for Spiros to go and see if it is still a going concern. he will like this one, as he is big on total nightclub scene things, and very much a man that appreciates excellent cuisine.

if it is still going and they allow Spiros to have the private use of the club, that will be amazing, man. handy that they accept all major credit cards too, since Spiros refuses to use a minor one.

is Spiros particularly a nightclub man? he was, once. weren't we all? these days he is more at home with a bit of greco-roman wrestling, i suppose, to keep fit, and he does do all that kung fu stuff. his ideal evening these days, i suppose, is either spent in a Turkish bath with gents who would otherwise be in uniform, or it is spent under a bush, intoxicated, with soiled pants and mostly spent engaged in an argument with himself.

still in 1983 then, and the wild enthusiasm that anticipated the release of a game based on the film ET meant that it featured on the front of Italian magazines.

the game turned out, as it happens, to be not quite as good as the film was. this was a great pity. i believe some sort of film or documentary is on the way about that particular fiasco, so let me not steal too much of their thunder by telling you what happened exactly. but it is something that did not end at all well for Atari.

finally (hooray!) for your viewing pleasure, what wood accessories would have set you back in 1991.

them cordless driver drill things look pretty smart. i have a class one that Lance got me, still going strong. and, of course, my "mega" drill set.

no, i have had a think, and i cannot think of anything else to say of wood, so there you go. we are done here.

right, until something else of interest crops up, that's it!

hope one or two of these images have been of some use to someone, even if on a cursory, curious level.

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