Monday, October 31, 2016



it may well, look you see, be the case that i am home and, so far as i am concerned, here i will stay. that does not mean i don't remember all that i missed when off on my travels, sojourns, adventures and certain exploits around this world of ours. it's also that i remember being asked, when away, all of what which i missed the most when far from home.

quite a few people have assumed or suggested that, considering the warmer climes i inevitably ended up in, snow would be the one thing that i missed the most. they would be "in the vicinity" of being correct, but not spot bang on the money, so to speak. those of you who have lived through some weeks if not months of being snowed in would, i imagine, join me in assuring those never to have experienced it that it's not quite as all awesome and picturesque as you may think.

the autumn leaves, which fall around us now in this present day, are what i missed the most.

as our little island on this planet moves into a rotation or orbit which sees our closes star seeming drop down low in the sky, it's quite remarkable how what embers of the sun sift through and strike these fallen leaves, giving their closing brown shade a magical, perhaps mystical glow. the touch and feel of them, so dry and so crisp (hello, Faye), is like nothing else i've ever encountered on my travels.

although we live in a time of theoretical around the globe, across the year every year agriculture, the time of the leaves falling would also usually represent the end to a harvest season. many are those who cultivate the lands, encouraging the earth to grow so that we may take from it and live.

i was lucky enough, as were so many others, to know one such gentleman who did this. and today was the day on which we laid him to rest. a day on which beauty gave us an echo of the summer past, providing us with a clearer sun that we should have had at this time, so as if to show off how much the nature we love loves us.

my Gramps. a man who wanted to make all more better. the lives of his family more better, the world a more better place. i shall miss him dearly; we shall all very much miss him dearly. 

everywhere he went in the world - and he was so kind as to follow on and visit virtually everywhere me and my family ended up - was a place where he met and made new friends. when he was not using his hands to grow crops, tend to animals or cultivate gardens, they were seemingly forever held out to shake hands or hug. 

for the benefit of those many around the world who knew him but did not see the notice in the regional press here, here it is. 

over the years there's been dozens of stories and appearances by this wonderful, gentle and caring man here. there's been hundreds of stories told, thousands of stories untold yet lived. it is quite selfish to wish that it were that more would come to be, but still i do. 

this next picture is, i think, the last or one of the last i had taken with him. or, to be more correct, took with him, as he was most curious to know what all this "selfie" business was that he heard referenced on the news.

there's not too much more i can think of to write right now. except, importantly, thank you, friends around the world, for the love, compassion, support, care and help you have provided. know that it has been felt. 


make it all more better.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

bizarre burger claim

hello there

this post is, look you see, somewhat later than i had planned to do it. whilst it's the case that all posts i do here are read after i've done them, this one was nearly lost. it features the last images what i took with my blackberry phone before that phone elected to be one that no longer worked.

a couple of weeks ago i was out as part of a family sojourn sort of thing. it was to stock up on all things Halloween costume. no, we didn't get any of them wigs off of Pound Land that are apparently a fire risk, but thank you for asking.

during this adventure, hunger took a hold of us around about lunch time, as one would reasonably expect it to. we were in quite, if not reasonable, proximity to a branch of McDonald's, and so off we went there to eat. as we noted that their "world burger of the week" was the South African, or if like Serth Efrijen, one, James and i ordered it. well, one each.

that is indeed an image of the box, or if you like packaging, that the burger came in. it does indeed show off all three of the many different "burgers of the world" what they are doing, or did, as part of their promotion.

those of, from or have been to South Africa will have probably immediately identified the major problem - fault, even - with what they have done. it's also something which i suspect i have mentioned here in the past when they have had this promo on before. we shall get to that later, but if you want to have a guess without scrolling down feel free to.

in the mean time, then, if you will allow it, behold - the last ever picture what i took with my Blackberry.

indeed it is one of them selfie things, and indeed i am stood in Morrisons. i got confused between my (considerably) better half and a dear friend in South Africa, with the latter being most confused by a message informing her that i had made it to Morrisons OK. this led to an impromptu conversation and i figured why not send a picture showing off where i was. and yes i did inform my (considerably) better half where i was, eventually.

The Doors were all LA or San Francisco based, man. west coast America if you like. if they weren't, and were instead off of somewhere like Plymouth or Devon here in the UK, firstly they probably wouldn't have been as cool and secondly they probably would have done the cover for that one album in a branch of Morrisons rather than in the Morrison Hotel. maybe.

anyway, back to the burger. did you spot what the fault or folly was? yes, well done. no matter what McDonald's UK thinks, for neither love nor money would one be able to actually buy this particular burger in McDonald's SA, for it has bacon in it. 

in South Africa, to be sure, McDonald's, along with KFC and the i believe recently launched Burger King, are owned by Muslim or if you like Islamic investors or other such consortium. this means that there are no bacon, or pork for that matter, items on any of the respective menus. when i left South Africa the only two places one could order bacon related items in a burger form were Steers, Bimbos (if that still even exists) and Wimpy, which yes still runs there with that name. so, effectively, McDonald's UK are advertising their SA rivals, although my (considerably) better half disputes that the cheese used in this burger could even be found in the land.

some people of course get all worked up about the amended menu offered by McDonald's in SA. i did exactly this with KFC, when the proper "double down" was not available due to the absence of bacon on the menu. but hey, the owners bought the rights and the companies sold them without question.

until the next random observation, then,

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

edge of tomorrow / live die repeat / all you need is kill


a little while, or if you like about 18 months ago, i read a novel called All You Need is Kill. it was actually more of a novella as we called short novels once, but it seems that the term "light novel" is used to describe such now, look you see.

should for some reason you wish to read my review of that novel you may well do so simply by clicking here, as it were. this post is, however, more concerned with the film adaptation of it. with reports of a "sequel that might be a prequel" due for this adaptation, my (considerably) better half and i elected to watch it, at last, last night.

indeed that is the DVD cover for the film, not that you can see the title (we shall get to that) in the glory and majesty of VIC 20 mode. well, i have that option open to me for images now, so i figure why not.

plot? as you would expect, Edge Of Tomorrow, for that is the name of the film adaptation of All You Need Is Kill, deviates some from the book mostly as a result of, try as he might, Tom Cruise not being able to convincingly play a Japanese teenager.

anyway, Cruise plays Major Cage, basically a PR expert for the military who has inspired many millions to sign up for the global battle against alien invaders. he ends up railroaded into actual service, and is dropped in to the middle of a huge (very impressively made) battle. a battle in which he dies fairly quickly. and then he wakes up and lives the same sequence again.......

Cage works out that he is stuck in a time loop, then, with the day resetting when he dies. in order to break the loop he must work out why it's happening and how to defeat the alien invaders. to do both he must find and work with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a "super soldier" who has, up to now, been the only one to have defeated these aliens in battle.

a quick, spoiler free summary would be that if the film sounds like it is "Groundhog Day but with guns, violence and aliens", it is. it's also as superb, entertaining, occasionally funny and overall as excellent as that film. and so anything after this point might have spoilers in it, so you've been warned.

a look at the cover above gives every indication as to why this film was not, although successful, a huge hit. never have i seen such poor marketing. actually good marketing gone bad. quite a few people, and they are not at fault, think that the film is in fact called Live Die Repeat, since the advertising slogan seems to dominate the artwork more than the actual Edge Of Tomorrow title. most confusing when you are looking to purchase a copy in a shop.

the film seems to have been a success if not a box office smash. the available financial figures all say that it made double what it cost to make, which is quite an achievement. the whole "time loop" concept can be somewhat brain taxing, so i suppose there was never much intention or hope of it being a huge hit along the lines of simpler, more linear science fiction films. it should, however, i feel be a film that is seen by a wider audience than it perhaps has thus far.

in terms of time loop films, this one "gets it right" like Groundhog Day did and so many other ones did not. with regards to a fail, i recently watched that ARQ on the Net Flix thing. the danger of time loop films is losing your audience by having them watch the same thing again and again, but with just slight variations. ARQ gets boring after 40 minutes; Edge Of Tomorrow most decidedly does not.

other than the gaudy artwork with the hidden title, a curious decision made with marketing this film was to leave Bill Paxton out of the promotion. i had no idea he was in it until he turned up, and turned up in a prominent, non-hidden and not cameo role. Bill "game over, man" Paxton is a huge fan favourite; it makes no sense not to have shown off the fact that he was in it.

Tom Cruise? to borrow a way of describing him from an American, Cruise "always brings his A game" to every film he is in. this one is no exception. his performance is superb, both in respect of the physical demands of the part and the psychology of it. he is a character who, after all, gets to know, understand and form relationships with a whole lot of people - people who will have no idea of who he is when they next see him. and, in acting as a foil to this, Emily Blunt it outstanding.

and there you have it. if for some reason you've been interested in Edge Of Tomorrow but just "haven't gotten around" to watching it as such as yet, then go for it. it's brilliant.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

the wind will crack in wintertime

hello there

not too much, look you see. i've just dabbled with some sort of "app" for this fancy new phone of mine and so felt a need to show it off here.

no, despite the pressure and encouragement to do so, no i have not installed one of them "social" apps. no tinder, twerker, grinder or that sort of thing for me, thank you very much. instead i have installed one of them camera application things that takes the camera mode back to the golden age of computer technology.

the rather smart Commodore 64 ones i have on Apple products have been showcased extensively on this blog. the new one i got - Bitzah it says it is called - allows one to take pictures in the style of other, somewhat lesser, systems. well, not all of them are lesser......

if the above looks like four pre-Joshua Tree albums off of U2 with a smart Lager of Lamot bar towel in the background taken in Commodore VIC 20 mode, then that would be right, for it is.

man, i absolutely loved my VIC 20. there was a boss Dracula adventure game i had on it and all sorts. top machine, it was, and served me very well indeed.

a selfie in VIC 20 mode? sure, why not.

yeah, i think maybe i could have done with a bit better light source placement, or something.

any drawbacks or problems with Bitzah? sure. you can't rotate the camera view, so you are unable to use the one that faces you at the top of the screen. old school selfie time then.

but hey, you don't want me, you want more looks at U2 in 80s and early 90s computer form.

that's the same scenario as above, then, only this is, it says, Sinclair ZX Spectrum mode. it must have been some special, secret, no one ever got to use version of the Spectrum as i do not recall ever seeing anything this cool on the one my brother had.

can this app do the much loved Nintendo Gameboy, it being pretty much the first portable / handheld game device that you could change games on? it surely can.

yeah, first generation Gameboy it can do - the one that was, as you can pretty much see here, all green all of the time. still, smart machine it was. mine's actually still a going concern, the boys quite like having a go with it every now and then.

more Japanese based vintage computer and game system imagery featuring U2? absolutely. here is what the Bitzah reckons is a likeness of the NES

quite smart that is, and a mode i might use on a fairly frequent basis. if i remember that i have the app on my phone.

from what i remember, NES stood for Nintendo Entertainment System. funky it was, what with all them Super Amazing Mario World games.

OK yes, the Bitzah app thing does indeed do Commodore 64 mode, or at the least what it claims is. the thing would not, after all, have been downloaded and installed if it didn't.

yes, quite. i will be honest and say that i much prefer how the Commodore 64 mode works on the Apple thing i have rather than this. but hey, still, it's Commodore 64 so it must be cool.

the U2 albums once more, but in superior Commodore 64 mode? but of course.

that would, i believe, you all be bang up to date with what U2 albums i have been listening to of late, and indeed you all having as many selfies of moi, for one would not take a selfie of anyone else, as you could possibly require in some sort of emergency.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

David Bowie's linear notes for The Buddha Of Suburbia


it's not often, look you see, that i do two blog posts in a row relating to the same subject. i would normally quite deliberately avoid it, just to make this interesting for you and interesting for me. every now and then, however, something comes along that plays my hand in this regard. like, for instance, when you find a six page, somewhat autobiographical essay by David Bowie.

famously, or if you prefer infamously, David Bowie never wrote an autobiography. legend has it that when he was asked he said something along the lines of "just pick up whichever of the many biographies out there which you think is the most interesting, assume it's the truth and get on with your own life", which is a fair enough response.

mindful of the above, whilst Bowie was anything but reticent or shy in interviews, one never really got to hear him say anything of his own volition - at least outside of letting the music speak for itself. album notes and comments were normally sparse, which makes the six page essay he wrote for the booklet for the original release of The Buddha Of Suburbia soundtrack CD rare if not unique.

here are the six pages, then, with minimal further intrusion from me. hopefully if you click on the pages they come up large and clear enough to read. if not, leave a message and i will scan as a PDF or something i suppose.


oh go on then, for a bit of a break, here's a snippet from the album itself. here's a few seconds, for those able to play video from this blog (very much browser dependent), of Dead Against It.

if you are unfamiliar with the album i would suggest that you, even if just a passing Bowie fan, seek it out. it's amazing, man. other than the title track, things like Dead Against It, Sex And The Church, Bleed Like A Craze Dad and, in particular, the original version of Strangers When We Meet (later re-recorded for the Outside album) stand among his finest work.

anyway, back to the linear notes of the booklet.

i don't know how many times i read and re-read this when it first came out. to me it has always felt like how it would have read if Bowie had been interested enough to produce an autobiography. but hey, in terms of capturing the time, his state of mind, and his feelings on certain things, it works just perfectly as it is in its own right.

no, sorry, i don't have any permission or that to share this here. hopefully anyone with a vested interest, or simply a heart, will respect that i am plugging the album for them and know that i am sharing some seldom seen words from someone that we all so very dearly miss.

i know that the soundtrack album, eventually, got reissued with an image of Bowie on the cover, rather than the first edition one i have which focuses on the TV show. as i didn't pick up the reissue just for the cover (was tempting) i have no idea if this essay is in it or not. i do know that when Nirvana's Incesticide compilation was reissued the rather controversial essay by Kurt Cobain which appeared in the first run was gone. perhaps the same happened here.

anyway, i hope, trust and have a wish that fellow Bowie fans who may not have seen this before have found this quite interesting.

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

Sunday, October 23, 2016

a speck of dust has settled in my eye


yes, or if you like oh dear, this is another post relating to the band that very much was tin machine, look you see. it's also probably a repeat of stuff what i have had on here before, but i recently stumbled upon these items in an obtain stuff out of boxes adventure, so here we go again.

fear not, it's not another impassioned defence or argument in favour of this band. for that, you are welcome to join the 3000 or so people who have read my post The Tin Machine Myth, which was written after just one too many lazy articles appearing that dismissed the band. i am led to believe that some 50% of the actual band are "aware" of that post, and are very much aware of the fact that the music fans love stuff regardless of what so-call journalists might spew forth.

anyway, my rediscoveries of a month or so ago.......

yes, that's right, the two "special edition" CD singles off of Tin Machine from their most splendid and strangely presently unavailable Tin Machine II album. in regards of the latter comment, i suspect some sort of "rights" issue is involved, although i suspect you can get second hand copies easy enough.

to start where the band did, then, and in the reverse order of how the picture above shows them, You Belong in Rock N Roll, although the "n" is a very distinctive, done as only he could "and" by Bowie on the actual record. 

this was one of two CD singles issued for the song, and yes but of course i have both. this "in a tin" version of it differs from the other one by the inclusion of Shakin All Over, which is indeed a cover. 

effectively, it's a CD version of the 12" single that was released. as far as i know, and i stand to be corrected by a fellow fan, this single represents the only appearance of this cover in a digital format.

You Belong In Rock N Roll was the most successful single ever off of Tin Machine, climbing to the dazzling heights of 33 or so on release. do bear in mind that back then you had to actually sell a single for it to chart (there was no such thing as "streaming") and furthermore the fans had to go to an actual shop to purchase it. had you, in 1991, phoned HMV and asked them to deliver something to you at home, for free, they would have told you to f*** off.

if You Belong In Rock N Roll was the first single off of the band's second album and the best performing one, arguably the second, Baby Universal, was the better song. it's a more, how shall we say, accessible tune - quite mainstream as point of fact. if i recall right this one, along with I Can't Read off of the first album, were two songs that Bowie included in solo tours throughout the late 90s.

the somewhat thinner (as in same circumference) tin for Baby Universal holds a disc with the "single edit" of the song on it, along with three of the four or five songs they did for a Radio One session.

and yes, i do, somewhere, have the tape of the whole Radio One session which i sat and taped all by myself off of the radio. i am not sure what the extra songs were to what's included here, but i suspect one was in fact Baby Universal itself. my abiding memory of that Radio One session is that, for the most part, interview and spokesperson duties resided with the magnificent Hunt Sales.

here's a snippet of Heaven's In Here from the CD and indeed the session. one of the most explicitly sexual, graphic, sultry and downright dirty tunes what Bowie was ever involved with. depending, of course, on just how you all interpreted The Laughing Gnome, you strange people.

i'd say of all the things lost to a wider audience when Tin Machine was no more are the brothers Sales. Bowie of course carried on doing his thing. Reeves Gabrels stuck with him for a while, and most recently could be seen with The Cure. Hunt and Tony, however, seemed only ever to be available to an American audience.

is there much in the way to benefit to these "tin shaped" (for i suspect that was the idea) Tin Machine singles? well, as you can see in the below image, you got a sort of fold out kind of poster thing of the band with the You Belong In Rock N Roll one, and you got a free bonus circular sponge with the Baby Universal one.

not the most gimmicky of inclusions, then, but stuff all the same. i think the issue my generation and all those before me have with this "digital" music business is that with downloads you simply don't get products like this any more. stuff designed and made by people who had to think about what they were doing, and invested both time and talent into doing so.

should, in this day and age of memorabilia, these items be worth much? not so much as you might think. i did a bit of spot research and it seems you can pick up the Baby Universal tin for around £4, which is probably what i paid for it some 25 years ago. You Belong In Rock N Roll seems to command a price of around £12, which is likely to be 3 times what i paid for it. HMV, you see, charged - from what i remember - £3.99 for CD singles for the most part.

and no, of course not, no i would not part with them no matter what the value is.

this has, in all likelihood, all been stuff that i've written here before. well, if so, never mind, it's always splendid to look at some most smart Tin Machine stuff again.

i believe there was in fact a third single off of the second album, in the form of One Shot. never saw that one and never got it. one day, perhaps.

it remains to be seen if, or when, a Tin Machine retrospective set gets put out. as per the above link in yellow, the band delivered two really smart albums - ones worth investigating or revisiting, depending on which is true for you.

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

Saturday, October 22, 2016


hello there

every now and then, look you see, one is obliged to adopt the ways of the times. it would however be incorrect to assume that the current is a progression, for what is popular or the norm now could in fact be more of a regression than it is an advanced development.

this, to me, is true of all this "touch screen" portable wireless telephone business, or if you like mobile phones. for some reason the world has been, at large at the least, convinced that "touchscreen" devices are better than ones with buttons. they are not, and have only come in as a consequence of the erratic mind of one Steve Jobs not liking buttons. if touch screens really were all that brilliant, then everyone would have had a touchscreen monitor for their PC and embraced Windows 8.

anyway, the purpose of that rant was very much down to the fact that i required a new phone and, due to the widespread adoption of this "touchscreen" nonsense, i've had little choice but to get a button free one.

indeed that is my shiny (ish) new touchscreen phone next to my very much loved but now no longer possible to keep going blackberry phone. that's blackberry with buttons, of course.

what sort of phone have i got? an LG one which runs on something called "Android". the model number is the K8 i believe, at least that's what it says on the box. the price was rather good, and the reviews of it suggested it would do what i want it to. which is not much, but more than what my blackberry will be able to as of the end of this year.

the main thing that i want and need a phone to do is use that "WhatsApp" or however you say it messaging function. as it relies on data to send messages it is the cheapest and easiest way to stay in touch with friends and family around the world. that bloke who owns WhatsApp, him off of the face book thing, has however decided to terminate - with extreme prejudice - the ability to use it on blackberry devices as of New Year's Eve this very year. 

on top of this, my blackberry had somewhat come to an end of its natural lifespan. all too often it was cutting out and resetting when i was making calls or writing (as in properly typing) messages. time for a change, then, and so this LG K8 seemed to be the win. especially as the nice people at the shop gave me an unrequested but all the same very welcome 20% or so discount on what was already a reasonable fee.

beyond the keyboard one thing that i shall miss off of my blackberry was the wallpaper i had. here it is, then, preserved on this blog for however long blogs are allowed to exist on the internet. and considering this one has been going for some 11 or so years i would get quite upset if there was some sort of shelf life.

that is indeed the boys on a summer day in a field during a fine African summer. when? i would suggest late 2012. that's an Emirates blanket which young William has fashioned into a cape, and so it must be after we used that airline to come to England for a holiday so that my (considerably) better half and i could bear witness to The Stone Roses at Heaton Park.

rather than whining about all this touchscreen business and lamenting the loss of my blackberry i suppose i should try and post some helpful comments about the LG K8. this would be on the off chance of someone, for some reason, determining moi to be a valid source of such information.

will do, then, but first this.......

that's 5 blu ray discs i got off of HMV for a grand total of £30. something of an "accidental" investment. we, as a family, were in HMV for an entirely unrelated to blu ray reason when i spotted Videodrome as part of their offering for that number of discs at the price paid. i had a look around and, as you can see fairly clearly, i soon found four smart titles to buy with the one which caught my eye.

so, the LG K8. most splendid,.i have to say. whereas i have not used it for much beyond messaging, one impressive feature is the battery. not only can you take it out and change it for another one, it seems to last a fair while. i know Apple devices and i believe Samsung ones tend to need charging once a day as a minimum. i've not let it run down all the way, but so far it seems it will retain a charge for well over a day, possibly two.

what's the camera like? quite smart, i suppose. i think one side is a 5MP camera and the other side is a 3MP, but also one might be 8MP and the other 5MP. in either instance, the quality is quite smart, as you can hopefully sort of see in this, the very first picture what i took with it.

indeed, that is my (considerably) better half and i, and this was taken with the "face" camera, as in the one which is on the side of the phone where the display screen is. a 720p (or whatever) HD screen, which is 5" or five inch if you prefer in side.

the second picture what i took with it was with the back camera, or if you like the one on the outer, normally facing away from you side of the phone. it's the camera with the more MP on it, and the picture i took is this one, so that it may serve as a new wallpaper or background on my phone.

yes, indeed, a closer look at the magnificent Bowie portrait what my (considerably) better half did, to mention her for a third time in this post, for my birthday is the "lock" screen background wallpaper on my shiny new phone.

now then, the "biggie" in terms of my problems with all this touchscreen stuff. the ability to write messages without being able to actually type. the bigger screen area and the better "virtual keyboard" on this device means that i can do it a lot easier than on the Apple phone what Spiros gave me. this is splendid, but it's still not as easy to type a proper message on it as was the case with a proper keyboard.

hey ho, the world is not going back to actual keyboards on phones any time soon, i suppose, so i'd better just keep practising and get used to it all.

a, for scale, look at the new phone next to 20% of the blu ray discs i got off of HMV? sure.

yeah, that probably is my second favourite of the blu ray discs i got, just ever so slightly behind the magnificence of Videodrome.

well, there you have it. win if anyone out there was looking for info on the LG K8. i've had it going for a week or so now, and no regrets. just the obvious sadness at not being able to type properly.

anyway, more as and when it happens, as it were.

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

choke on the cotton clouds

howdy pop pickers

well, well, look you see, a "locked in" sure win for the great Glastonbury guessing game proved to be incorrect. The Stone Roses, despite my comments earlier, are not playing Sunday or any day. someone off of the Eavis family has taken a time out to say neither they nor them theoretical Frenchies in helmets will appear in 2017.

saying it was an incorrect guess, however, seems to be not entirely accurate.......

word has it that The Stone Roses very much were lined up, and a verbal agreement in principle was all in place. and then along comes Isle of Wight festival, waving an offer of double the money and control over broadcast rights if The Stone Roses would be so kind as to make their appearance at their shindig done so on an exclusive basis.

money talks, ladies and gentlemen. whereas not all artists and musicians are as blatant as it as is the case with, say, Noel Gallagher, it's the reason they do it. when a musician - any musician - claims they are doing it "for the fans", it's on the tacit understanding that the fans will pay for it.

an interesting part of all of this is that, i think, the Eavis family have now issued as many denials of The Stone Roses playing the festival in the 2010s as John Squire issued denials that the band were to get back together in the 2000s. who knows what the 2020s will bring, then, other than perfect vision.

not having The Stone Roses simply robs Glastonbury of being the festival it thinks it is and likes to project itself as being. it shall remain all one big commercial corporate venture, then, with some nice, with it window dressing in the form of token gestures towards Amnesty International, Greenpeace, etc.

hey ho, nice one for whoever gets booked then, and hopefully it's someone that all them what have bought tickets will like.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the good man who walked amongst us

dear friends and family around the world

whilst i'm always happy to share fun and interesting times had by my family and i (when they let me tag along) the general rule is, look you see, that i shy away from any more serious matters.

with this post i am torn between wishing to want a respect for privacy and having a sense of duty to let those who know me around the world know of our sad news. there are not too many words for me to add as such, just relaying the formal announcement in the press today.....

i shall miss my Gramps very much indeed. all of us shall. we are coping with what's happened and coming to terms with it, but now is not the time for much in the way of words from me.

thank you Dad for the wonderful picture sent along.

more words one day, maybe, but for now i just wanted to let those who had the pleasure of knowing this quite remarkable gentleman know the sad news.


be excellent to each other.

is there a time to walk for cover

greetings folks

well, it's that time again, look you see. now that the fuss and the furore about how it was "impossible" to get tickets, how the system crashed, etc has died down, we can all get on with every music fan's favourite game - guessing the Glastonbury headliners.

the great Glastonbury guessing game did, of course, only start after 2008, when the disastrous decision to book Jay Z as a headliner saw the event fail to sell out. after that, it was decided to keep the details of who was appearing a secret until l tickets were sold, so as to maintain the pretence that it was "really all about the event". this has been a master-stroke of marketing, as for some reason people now believe that they never revealed headliners before the ticket sales.

up to now the speculation about headliners for 2017 - the last Glastonbury until 2019 and quite likely the last at the current site - has been quite depressing. it's mostly been American acts suggested, with Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga and the Foo Fighters touted. all huge music acts, for sure, but it is supposed to be the pinnacle of English or if you like British music festivals.

one potential British act mentioned is Radiohead, and i would say that's a given. Depeche Mode have been mentioned, which would be awesome. otherwise, one strongly rumoured Sunday night headliner would be a surprise but also makes perfect sense......

yeah, that's how my passport was for ten years. you are not allowed to have cool pictures like that any more, it has to be all dull and formal.

so, word has it that The Stone Roses are a lock in for the Sunday night headline slot at Glastonbury 2017.

up to know i've always said this is unlikely. the reunited band have been reluctant to allow any of their performances be broadcast, and a "biggie" in signing up for Glastonbury is that you have to let the BBC broadcast some, if not all, of your set. i've always been of a view, then, that the band would only do Glastonbury if they felt the resurrected ways had run their course and they were content to call it a day, finally, once and for all.

perhaps that day has come, then. perhaps an awful lot more money than usual has been put on the table to secure them. there's nothing at all wrong with that if so. perhaps the report that their debut album proper, The Stone Roses, is to get another re-re-re-re-release the week after Glasto has prompted them to do some marketing. or perhaps the idea of being the last band ever to play the Pyramid stage as we now know it, signing off with I Am The Resurrection, was simply an opportunity not to be missed.

fantastic if it happens, then.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

21 / 210


as one gets older it really is the case, i have discovered, that the quite simple things in life make everything seem all better. this proved to be the case when, look you see, a dear friend brought me a most kind gift. an irresponsible, "bad for you", etc sort of gift, i confess, but the one thing in this world that i covet the most and yet find too costly to get for myself.

oh yes, Marlboro Red. the pinnacle of all that a cigarette can be, dear reader, for there is no finer one in this world. yes, sure, they are all bad, it's irresponsible to smoke, very bad for you, etc. these are not matters i shy away from and deny. everyone, however, has that one thing (at the least) which is bad for them, and this be mine.

throughout the years thus far i have had the delight of having some, of course, thanks to the kindness of Spiros. on the instances i have seen him in London he has made certain that i have not been able to move for them, which is wonderful.  and now another friend, sympathetic to my plight in not being able to have them on a frequent basis, has brought along these.

which friend?  well, it's not for me to reveal too much of their identity, for they work in quite a secretive emissary role. yes, i do know quite a few people whose specifics and movements can't be revealed, but please don't think my life is all that interesting; it's just the way it is from time to time. they know who they are, i know who they are, and they know how very grateful indeed what i am for these.

and these are, as you've probably ascertained yourself by looking at the pictures rather than my horrid writing, more than usual. whereas a "standard" carton of cigarettes would feature 200 (20 across 10 packets) here we have 210, which is 21 in each packet. so that's ten more than i would have optimistically hoped for a best, making this all the more a happy event.

for those unaware of the way it is in England - and presumably the whole of the UK - it's rare to get a traditional pack of 20 cigarettes any more. they sell them in packs of 17, 18 or 19. i suppose i could look the reason for this up, but speculation is more fin. i suspect, then, that it's to avoid a higher tax charge and thus keep the price as low as possible for us smokers.

this is borne out by how much Marlboro cost on the shelves here, for a pack of twenty of them these days is just slightly south of £10, as in you would only get pennies in coins of money as change off of a tenner.

how do they get 21 into a packet designed ostensibly to hold 20 as an optimum? good question. my suspicion was that the Marlboro in the packet would be smaller than standard. this proved not to be, as you can more or less see clearly in the comparison with a Sky Blue Benson & Hedges above. 

them B & H come in a pack of 17. that all changes next May, of course, unless the British government decides to abandon the change in light of that whole Brexit thing. as of next May, i think, cigarettes must be sold in a minimum packet of 20, have plain packaging, etc.

anyway, for those interested, here we go inside the pack of 21, so that you may see how they are organized and packaged. in a quite uniform way, i suppose.

you know what, up until now my feelings on Scottish Independence have been that it is for Scotland to decide what's best for them in the face of for and against arguments. Should the SNP get their wish, however - which is independence and membership of the EU - i say then go for it. the Scottish border is just slightly south of 120 miles away from me. boss if on the border they set up one of them "fags and booze" warehouse things, like what they have in Belgium. i'd take a monthly or fortnightly drive up to stock up at about half the price what they are here.

unless, of course, the Scottish government doesn't play ball and keeps the tax high. hope not, as my understanding is that Marlboro Red are as good as half price in Belgium; less in even more progressive nations across Europe.

another look at the 21 Marlboro Red packaging in Commodore 64 mode? absolutely. 

i'd like to think that this has been covered here, but just in case - yes, smoking is bad for you, no i do not wish to encourage anyone to do it and quite right i probably should be considering all this stopping / cutting down considerably business. i have every reason to suspect that will happen as and when all them changes come in. well, the "when" part would seem to be May 2017.

now that i think on, yesterday as i was enjoying a cigarette someone waved a pamphlet at me, suggesting i try one of them vaping / e-cigarette things. i just looked at them with a kindly "please go away" look about me, but i suppose i shall have to accept the next time.

for the here and now, then, a recent image of me enjoying one of those most splendid Marlboro Red. there are some of you who actually don't mind me - tolerate me, even - and so you will i trust be happy to see me happy.

indeed i am doing some interesting things with my hair at the moment. the hair care products and styling gels tend to gravitate towards a styling of their own choice rather than what i want. it seems that by the middle of any day my hair looks like how one of them off of a boss 70s band would have their hair. i am thinking of the likes of Boston, Chicago and of course Detective. might get some flares to go with the hair look.

anyway, let me go and cut into the Marlboro Red supply what i have. thank you very much indeed again, emissary like friend who brought them.

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

Saturday, October 15, 2016

bad headlines


soon, i fear, i might well have to give up on the idea of decent journalism once again being either a given or indeed a thing. alarm bells seem to continuously ring when i glance at the news, look you see, as clearly articles are getting "out there" which are written in an ill-informed way and apparently not edited or checked at all.

i don't think any of this stems from a particularly high standard that i may hold. it's more the case that, once, being a journalist was quite an achievement; a career reserved for the very best of best writers. care for quality of writing seems to have just fallen away.

it is with dismay i advise that the above, as you can probably make out, comes off of the BBC. whereas once the BBC was considered the pinnacle of broadcasting excellence, now they seem to be very much of a "this will do" mind.

my quarrel with the above? well, look at that first headline. whilst i confess i am not at all sure who Mark Gatiss is, i would suspect that several others - the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in particular - might take issue with the notion of him being declared the "creator" of Sherlock, as in Sherlock Holmes.

should that one be me being somewhat pedantic, alas the second is not. it is also a very serious and disturbing news article, and certainly not one which i would wish to make light of. which would make it all the more baffling why such poor journalism came into reporting.

the implication of the above headline is that Ched Evans was placed on trial and judged to be not guilty for an assault which occurred during another trial. i would suspect that what Metro (and yes i know they are not really a proper newspaper) was trying to report was that his retrial ended in a not guilty verdict being returned.

i do understand that the priority for newspapers in this day and age is to be "media outlets" which generate "revenue streams" rather than to report the actual news, but i find it hard to believe that the standards of writing and editing really don't matter that much any more.

or perhaps i should just stop reading the news. anyhow, rant over. for now.

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

this is a functional item


i was out shopping earlier today, as i am so prone to do from time to time. well, don't we all?

if you're assuming that this post is to focus on something that i found whilst out shopping, you would indeed be correct in that assumption, look you see. i would, however, like to think that my most splendid find of the day today is of interest to a wider audience than usual.

oh yes indeed. if they look like Justin Bieber branded emery boards, that would be because they are as such and ha ha, nice one Blogger and Google - whereas Brexit flies through their spell checker thingie it assures me that there is no such word as Bieber.

am i one of them sort of people that gets called a, and let me check the spelling here myself, "Belieber"? kind of, in the sense of aren't we all? with One Direction apparently on an extended hiatus and all that Bros business only happening next year, one does need some sort of teen pop idol in their world, if only to reference in passing so that they may show themselves to be hip, with it and trendy.

what's that picture of? some fish that Spiros found to be quite exciting. he sent it on to me and i am not at all sure why, so i thought i had best put it here. he does like to use musings on my blog as a random code or means of contact for certain parties from time to time.

actually, looking at it, i think it's all do to the rainbow. from what i remember of a conversation he had with me, or at least attempted to as i wasn't really paying attention, from time to time when he wishes to meet a fellow gent for a short term yet mutually beneficial friendship, a rainbow is a sort of sign that chaps may use to indicate their willingness to do likewise. it all sounds like a forerunner to this current "tube chat" badge endeavour, which i gather has been a spectacular success.

back to the emery boards then, or if you prefer and you will indulge a little joke, back to Bieber. ha ha ha ha.indeed, see what i did with the literation or whatever there.

the branding of the emery boards themselves, as you can pretty much see above, gives every suggestion of indication that this product, or if you will products, are aimed all but exclusively at the lady type of girl customer. phrases such as "Bieber's Girl" and "Future Mrs Bieber" all suggest a lady is intended to use these, and is at odds with the current drive for absolutely nothing to be sexist or gender specific any more.

as you can see, the packaging makes it clear that these are very much real emery boards, in as far as it states that this is a functional item and not a toy.

will i, despite not being a lady of the girl variety (and f*** off Spiros before you say i am), be making use of these smart emery boards? yes, i suppose so, as and when i feel the need to emery my nails a bit.

it is quite peculiar that not more musicians endorse or otherwise licence their likeness to nail care products, i think. the whole think looks like a perfectly natural and valid marketing area to exploit. bravo to young Justin for grabbing this opportunity, i say.

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