Wednesday, August 30, 2017

more better bubbles

hello there

once again it's time to give you all what you want, to be sure. that is, look you see, on the basis of readership figures. i am unsure as to why this would be so, but let me roll with it. many of you seem to like it when the bubbles generated off of my washing machine feature here, so here they are once more.

this might be amiss of me to confess but i truly have no idea what the attraction is. yes, i do throw things up at this blog in the hope that they are read and entertain someone somewhere. i just have no idea what will and what will not find favour. with these posts about the bubbles that are made within my washing machine i do seem to have inadvertently struck SEO gold. perhaps i should clock how to distil it, so that i may bottle and sell it.

above then is a quite recent (July, i think) run at making bubbles with my washing machine. those of you who have avidly followed this interest of mine have no need for me to recap. for the sake of clarity, or for "newbies" to this passion, let me go on.

much of the modern technology embraced by present day washing machines and the detergents used ostensibly in them seems to seek a limitation on the lovely, foamy bubbles generated. this is probably quite good for the machines, the garments being washed and the environment, but i do so sorely miss them. driven by this missing, then, i seek ways in cheating the modern world so that i may see splendid bubbles produced.

that there is the vanish platinum, for that is how it is branded, from the last post. in the last post i detailed, somewhat, how disappointed i was in how this stuff does not create loads and loads of foamy bubbles in seeking to give "the ultimate clean" to clothing and other such items which one may reasonably place in a washing machine.

i remain unconvinced that vanish platinum does any better at stain removal than any of the other vanish branding products, be it regular, gold or any other such precious metal. the end product, or if you like result, is what i would call the personification of satisfactory. satisfactory and not really worth he high cost, in particular as it does not produce many bubbles.

although actually you can make vanish platinum make loads of bubbles. as shown in the pictures on this post, this time around i have got more bubbles on the go than ever before when using the stuff. observe below, if you will.

exactly how was i able to weave such magic? in precise details i simply disregarded all instructions and bunged what i considered to be a fair measure of stuff directly in the drum. to my thinking i had absolutely nothing to lose, and doing this may well enable me to extract some satisfaction from the fee paid. all win, then.

my (considerably) better half disagreed somewhat. whilst she was enthusiastic to see me outside of my usual melancholy self and dancing with joy for a rare change, she questioned the long term approach of what i had done. to her mind it was probably with good reason that you were not advised to just shove a good fistful of vanish platinum in the drum, for it might corrode it or block the pipes in the long run. so my joy faced some limitation, or end, since i have been informed that i am not to do it again.

some video footage of these brave new bubbles for those able to playback such here? sure.

where does my love of making bubbles within a washing machine come from? not sure, really. i suppose it's just one of those things one pays attention to when looking for a distraction from boredom.also, bubbles are cool.

how about we finish off with a look at the bubbles through the means of my other, other Commodore 64 camera mode. the one that seldom gets used, yet offers a quite exciting dithering effect. 

and that would be that for this post, and perhaps for this month too. September is almost here, dear reader. no doubt further writings shall follow in or across that month.

thanks as ever for reading, and i trust the bubbles have brought you much satisfaction.

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

if the stores are all closed


something that's more peculiar than a complaint, i think, look you see.

the NME has, to be sure, attracted a reputation for being less than interested in the realities or if you like facts of a story. an example, to be sure, was posted here not so long ago, when they claimed that Mani's "megaband" FreeBass never released an album whilst i am sat with it.

in the most recent episode of such they have not so much got something wrong as they have taken a bizarre editorial decision. it's all to do with Robert Plant doing a solo record that references something from one of the bands he used to be in.

erm, yes, right. ok. the article is not wrong. as in Stairway To Heaven is indeed a classic. and it can indeed be found on the soundtrack album The Song Remains The Same, initially released in 1976.

for me, and this is nitpicking perhaps, i would say that you would most commonly direct people to find it on the 1971 album which it was originally released on. called, well, no one is sure. IV most go with, or Untitled or Four Symbols. it just would seem to make more sense, no? 

want to see a screenshot of the story, which i will happily link here, with an image of Robert Plant included? as you wish.

no, i've not heard the new single. i have some level of interest in hearing it, but right now i am too distracted by the reference elected on in this article.

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

barry and the amazing jacket of sheer awesomeness


from time to time i, look you see, make reference or comment on the greatest of sexualists in the rock and roll world. occasionally this overt, sometimes covert, but never i trust spoken of in a way which could be taken as to subvert.

David Lee Roth off of Van Halen remains the supreme emperor or sexualist endeavour, of course. no one can reach his prolific standards or quality of performance. close contenders, however, include Brett Anderson out of Suede, Errol Brown off of Hot Chocolate and of course the Grecian gift that is Demis Roussos. the latter is of some relevance here, for i have partially been taken to task for not numbering he who many see as "the American Grecian" in such lists; Barry White.

yes, as you can see ever so clearly in Commodore 64 mode above, Barry White came to my thinking when Vintage TV elected to show a smart video of him. the smartness of the video relied predominantly yet not exclusively on the absolute boss jacket Barry had on as he performed.

it dazzled me, it did, to be sure. normally in terms of the branding associated with Barry one only ever saw him perform in a shiny white suit. although for some reason i suspect once or twice he was pictured in a dapper light blue yet still shiny suit too.

should Barry have worn this jacket a good deal more often then there is every chance that his position on the prolific sexualists of rock and roll chart would have been significantly higher. as in, yes, possibly top five. his ranking, which is within the business end of the top twenty, is perfectly respectable. it is just a shame to see that he had the capability, power and indeed potential to be even more upwards of the business end.

Barry White was very heavily marketed as, and i know this because i said it above, "the American Grecian". the idea was to wrestle back some of the Demis Roussos market from Greece with their own spectacular modern day adonis. the venture was a partial success, but at cost to Barry's ranking as a prolific sexualist in terms of individuality.

quite like Demis, Barry's approach was always positive, happy and clearly uplifting in focus. this is of course fantastic, but only so far. some of the ladies quite like the moody, sombre, arty side of gents. with that being absent, Barry lost important ranking positions to the gentlemen of rock who capitalised on this moody posing. examples are Dave Gahan out of Depeche Mode, Jim Morrison out of The Doors and Michael Hutchence out of INXS.

but what of the Spiros view on Barry White, you ask? well, it's interesting. many, many people over the years have assumed that my chum Spiros is a right massive Barry White fan, based purely on him having a hairstyle normally perceived as being based on the Barry White style.

this is not the case at all, i am rather reluctant to say. whereas Spiros acknowledges that Barry White existed, he has always been sort of on the fence with him. so far as i know Spiros does not own any recordings of Barry White, unless Barry White had an uncredited guest performance on certain albums off of REO Speedwagon.

no, that is not Barry White out of his jacket, that is indeed actually Spiros getting ready to sing. whilst dancing is the chosen method by which Spiros shows his love of music from time to time he likes to sing too.

and just what does he sing? in most instances he will give a lucky audience his own personal interpretation of Strangers In The Night, as in the song made so popular and famous by Mr Sinatra.  he has a tendency, however, to change the lyrics to pay tribute to those no longer with us, very much in a Candle In The Wind style. usually just more thoughtful, however.

man, i would love to own a jacket like that. in my dreams i would wear such a jacket with a shirt like the one what Mani wore in the celebrated Primal Scream Riot City Blues dvd.

what's holding me back, or otherwise restraining, me from such a splendid jacket? as with virtually every instance of someone being held back from something, money. i can ill afford such a jacket. the trick is, of course, that each of us complains about how we would do something if only we had the money, and yet when we get it we get distracted and do something else instead.

also, frankly, it is not like me or my name are consider bywords or even metaphors for sartorial elegance, now, is it? someone such as i wearing such a splendid jacket as this would be seen, i suspect, as a great waste.

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

and so back to Heaton Park

who is and who isn't

another post based on our recent trip to Manchester, then, to be sure. we were only there a couple of days, look you see, but we certainly filled in the time with doing all that we could do.

in my earlier posts, or if you like updates, i showed off our going to a Manchester located HMV in order that i may fulfil a dream, and the visit we made to the ostensible theatre of dreams that is Old Trafford. this one, then, might be considered the biggie.

Heaton Park. i am not sure i need bore anyone with the links yet again, but anyway. that was the place just north of five years ago that i, my (considerably) better half, two very dear friends and thousands of others saw the then considered impossible to ever happen return of The Stone Roses. for more of all that, you can click here, here and indeed here.

but, the past was yours, the future's mine, etc etc etc. setting aside the why, let's go with it's not where you're from it's where you're at and look at our recent visit to Heaton Park.

oh goodness yes, that is a "selfie" featuring moi and my (considerably) better half. there are a few of them coming up, so be warned. although i would imagine you can all tolerate a few pictures of me being here for a change. yes, again, i know my hair and beard are going all sort of wild. no i very much doubt i will neaten them any time soon.

i don't believe this is the very same entrance we used when we came to Heaton Park to see The Stone Roses. and yes, there will be references as we go. as it happens, as per the earlier post, i am indeed listening to the Remixes album off of The Stone Roses, bought in Manchester, as i write. presently playing is a remix of I Am The Resurrection; one which pays particularly deep respect to the bass off of that magnificent song.

as much as this was our second trip to Heaton Park this was the first for the boys. and, for very different reasons, they love the place as much as we, as in me and my (considerably) better half, do.

it is a beautiful place, man. i remember being wary when i first heard of the place, which was when The Stone Roses announced they would play there. that was because people said "when Oasis played there it was full of lager louts". but, when you think about it, everywhere Oasis played was populated by lager louts, for that was the nature of the bulk of the fans they attracted. as good, no great, as the band was. The Stone Roses attracted a different vibe, the one which spoke of one generation under the same groove, man.

another selfie of my (considerably) better half and i walking through the grounds of Heaton Park? i should think so, yes. that's mostly what this blog post is for, really. so family and friends may see the pictures and, if they are of a mind to, read the stories.

the above picture reflects the mostly lovely clear blue sky that blessed us on our travels across Heaton Park, and indeed for the most part Manchester. tradition says that one always gets rain when in Manchester, but not really too much of it for us as we were there. nice one.

how big is Heaton Park? bloody massive, man. it felt like one long massive walk when we went to go and see that band, the name of which escapes me. at a steadier pace, and without 50,000 or so fellow excited acolytes walking with us, it felt just as big. and just as beautiful.

indeed it would, to be sure, have been boss or amazing to have just so happened to bump into one or more of The Stone Roses as we wandered Heaton Park. alas, no. we did find lots and lots of lovely trees that the boys tried to climb, though.

often those unposed, accidental, "in action" pictures are quite the best. i do so dearly love the one above of my family in this mode.

we headed upwards in a northerly direction within Heaton Park, then. up towards what was billed as the "northern play area". on the way we passed people strolling, jogging, running, walking their dogs, eating ice cream, and so on. basically all were splendidly mellow and chilled, and just digging it.

the northern play park area has a "space" theme on the go. pivotal, or if you like central, to this is an absolutely massive, magnificent slide. sadly the grey clouds formed as i tried to take a picture of it, so you can't really tell how wonderfully shiny it is from this picture.

boss, it was and indeed presumably still is, for i fancy it did not just come into existence briefly for the duration of our stay alone.

more of that magnificent slide in a moment, but first i know you want another selfie of my (considerably) better half and i, so here you go. and yes, that is me wearing my beloved, well travelled, bucket or if you like Reni hat. the same i wore on that first visit to Heaton Park.

we look perhaps contemplative or reflective in the above. i don't recall the specifics, but maybe we were considering a great moment from the concert. which would in fairness be "all of it".

and so back to the slide, then. whilst James had no interest in having a go on it one would find it all but impossible to prevent William from having a go. and that was no matter how much of a challenge they made it for him to get on it.

yes, that's some rope netting climbing frame one must mount and cross to get to the stairs for the slide. looks somewhat tricky and i doubt i would get across it without harming myself. then again, i do tend to be clumsy and quite ill in the ways of co-ordination, so many people are impressed when i manage to take just a few steps with no damage.

space is the theme of this northern play area within Heaton Park, so a map to the planets is particularly useful. in a very thoughtful move the planners and designers of Heaton Park have placed such a map in the play area.

yes, a map of the planets and Pluto, for all them pedantic types. so far as i know or care Pluto is a planet, but some say no it is not and get quite cross when you say so. all them clever types who derive their intelligence from their declaration of atheism say that science is always superior to religion as science is always "true" and "fact". how come, then, science can't seem to agree on what does and does not constitute as a planet?

that is a conversation for another time, perhaps. for now, though, the greyer day before we went to Heaton Park, and a display of my dedication to taking selfies in front of things what have Heaton Park written on them. in this instance, the hidden away entrance to a Beefeater establishment sort of branch thing.

staying in Manchester was not, as it happens, my idea. i suggested to my (considerably) better half that we might quite like to plan a stop off on the way to a different locale. she was having none of it, and was all over the chance to return to Manchester. my fondness for Heaton Park is matched by hers, and so she kindly booked us into a hotel very near Heaton Park. a blog on that to follow eventually; probably soon.

back to the slide, then. and a look at William's triumph as he absolutely bombed down it.

a lucky catch with the picture. William assures us that the slide is indeed as much fun as it looks. to prove this he went down it again. and once more, i think.

can i engage in some sentimental hygiene? more broader than just me and the bloody Stone Roses at Heaton Park. yes i can, as it is my blog. on our travels around Manchester we did indeed drive past the Manchester Arena, the scene of that terrible, cowardly attack earlier this year.

i know quoting Bono is about the most unfashionable thing in the world right now, but i recall a gig some 10, 15 or maybe 20 years ago. a U2 gig. there was some sort of war on, there always is. i think it was the "war on terror", so maybe 15 years. before the band played Miss Sarajevo, Bono said that we must, in chasing and defeating a monster, make sure that we don't become the monster.

there is absolutely no chance of Manchester becoming the monster. these cowards they hurt the city, but they didn't change it. Manchester is all about the love, man. the city wants and needs justice for the atrocity committed there, but it has no need of barbaric blood letting or outright vengeance. there's just too much of a good vibe in the city for that. never more are you aware of that when you sit in any part of Heaton Park and find yourself in the company of every single walk of life you can imagine, and then some. one generation under the same groove, man.

yes, that is one of the information maps for Heaton Park. no idea why, but i thought for some reason someone somewhere might have a use for an image of it, or the emergency telephone number for Heaton Park, which is 01612238985, so there you go.

one of the most peculiar aspects of the English way of doing things is them parks around the land where you can't do anything. across the country there are parks where walking on the grass of the park is prohibited, along with anything fun, such as ball games.

not so Heaton Park. the paths are splendid, but walking across the fields of grass is encouraged. and this is Manchester, so bloody well of course ball games are permitted. with particular passionate emphasis on football.

that there is William taking a run up to give a right good wellie at a football. he was on a bank, or if you like embankment, on one side of a path, with James on the other. what better place to play pass the ball to each other, i ask? none.

one more selfie of my (considerably) better half and i? sure. and yes, i am aware that by using the front facing camera things like my smart oversize Nevada t-shirt look backwards, but hey, the picture seems to make more sense this way around. it is what the camera wanted.

so no, we didn't bump into any of The Stone Roses, or any of the other many luminaries what form the band of Manchester musicians what have entertained the world for years. and years. even if sometimes they take massive gaps from entertaining.

would i have approached any of them if i saw them? doubtful, but maybe if Bez. should i, for example, have seen Mani, then i wouldn't really have been seeing Mani would i? my Mani, the one i worship, is the Mani on the stage and on record with The Stone Roses and Primal Scream. Mani walking around the park is a chap hanging around with his mates or family. it would be, i think, disrespectful to disturb that.

a picture of the boys showing off their pleasure at being at Heaton Park? most decidedly.

so, that's a gap of five years and roughly a couple of months between visits to Heaton Park. if i am lucky and we are fortunate, the next gap will not be quite so large. it is a magnificent place, and that's coming from someone who has the North Yorkshire Moors as a back garden and the Yorkshire Dales within a theoretical walking distance.

in conclusion, then, a picture that my (considerably) better half said was "the one i want to be taking", as the boys strolled off together, leaving Heaton Park.

another post or maybe two on our time in Manchester to follow. in the mean time, thank you, you bloody massive beautiful city, for once again giving us wonderful hospitality and an amazing time.

until the next time, then,

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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

of robots and such

greetings citizens of earth

phew. i have, look you see, some 40 pictures here that i am going to share. be patient with my writing, then. although i would imagine the pictures will be of interest just on their own.

to Kirkleatham Museum, we went, then. well, me and the boys did. it's school holidays time here in England (and other corners of the UK), so one needs to fill the time. i believed that a visit to a museum near us would be educational and informative for them.

and it just so happened that they had a boss, smart, totes excellent exhibition of robots on the go.

for those in a rush, the Kirkleatham Museum robots exhibition is on the go until September 10 of this very year, 2017. admission is £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for under 16s and i think a family ticket was £8.50 if there's 2 adults and 2 kids. it is well worth going to, should you be in the area and quite like space robots and such, mostly from movies.

if you are unable to get to it, or simply have no need to travel around yet wish to see some of the exhibits at the exhibition, then here you go. a stack of pictures, put together in categories as best i can, for your viewing pleasure. yes, i feature in one, so you have been warned.

here we go then....


yes, as in "proper" Battlestar Galactica off of the 1970s, and not that remake / re-imagined version. which i am sure is good, going on the reviews, but i could just not get into it and elected to keep my childhood memories.

this was a surprise to me, really. in the promotional stuff i had seen no mention of any Battlestar Galactica stuff it was then a delight to see the main ship from the show on the go!

in the past i have, somewhat infamously, been accused of "not being a proper fan" of the proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 1970s. one can but hope that my inclusion of two images of Battlestar Galactica out of Battlestar Galactica here does something to serve a final dismissal of such base claims.


of if you like the The Terminator section. indeed, the T2 : Judgement Day section, for the two items on display were off of this rather popular sequel to the original.

indeed that is Arnold Schwarzenegger, or rather a cast or mask or oh hang on it says below bust of him.

whilst i have every confidence in your ability to use the internet - you had the skill to get here to this page, after all - for those who need advice, click on the below. it should make it somewhat larger, and thus easier to read what this bust is all about. after reading, click the "x" what appears near it, or otherwise press the "Esc" key on your keyboard (if using a computer) and you should be whisked back here.

to be honest i was never much of a fan of T2. make no mistake, i love the original film, also, i think the third is far better than many make out. the second one is, however, a fan favourite, and i've never been at all sure why.

other than a couple of outstanding set pieces, there's not much. Edward Furlong is whiny and annoying in his part. politics and the cultivation of an image, rather than a sensible plot, meant that Arnold had to play a "good guy Terminator". i appreciate that i am in the minority, but for me T2 was a pretty good action film, an outstanding display of special effects but not a proper Terminator film.

anyway, let me distract you from the above disappointment in me with something shiny.

yes, the skull off of a T-800 endoskeleton for you. and if you are disappointed in the distance shot above, relax, for you will love the next image, which is far closer.

no, absolutely not, i did not care for Salvation at all, and Genesys was just rubbish. perhaps it is high time they left Terminator well alone at the cinema. either that, or just do what they do with all other "franchises" and reboot it. the insistence on including Arnold in each film might just be the factor what is holding them back.


oh yes, dear reader. it was the fact that i saw that they had one of them there proper RoboCop outfits on display that inspired me to decide to take the boys to see the exhibition. i love RoboCop, to be sure. well, the first film and just about all of the second.

and there's the classic outfit. the one which is iconic and brilliant, and the one which those fools who did the recent remake discarded entirely.

the provenance of this is below in one of them clickable to make bigger images. in short, though, this is an official reproduction, made to stand at a cinema holding a premiere screening of this most magnificent of films. on one school trip down to London a cinema was holding such a premiere and we went and looked at the displays with interest. it was an 18 and there was no way we could get in to watch it. but, who knows, perhaps this is the 2nd time in 30 years that i have seen this very same statue type RoboCop structure.

a really nice bonus was the presence, on display, of a model of an ED-209. sadly it is one off of that ghastly remake they did, but there's no such thing as a bad ED-209. no, that doesn't sound right. all ED-209 robots would appear to be bad, or at the least grumpy. certainly trigger happy.

yes, they did have the outfit (if you can call it that) from the RoboCop remake, but no i decided not to lower the tone by showing off such folly here.

moving on, then, here's that click to make bigger section for you, giving the provenance of the statue on display.

whereas there were lots of politely worded signs requesting that you refrain from touching the items on display there are a good many photo opportunities. applause, then, for the organizers who have spaced everything nicely, allowing for pictures such as this one.

no, the boys have not seen RoboCop as their Mum, or if you like my (considerably) better half, does not consider it a suitable film for family viewing. yes, they are aware that Dad really, really likes whatever a RoboCop is, and so agreed to pose for this picture.

as and when they are of an age where they are allowed to watch that most magnificent film, well, who knows, perhaps they shall give retrospective thanks for having me take the above picture. 

yes, of course i took a selfie of moi, with RoboCop, for you to have a look at if you so wish.

i would indeed have considered being able to take the above picture as a matter that made the entrance fee worthwhile in itself. there were, however, many other fine things to see.

such as, or if you like for instance,


yes! nice one! a quite pleasant surprise, this. behold, a scale model of V.I.N.Cent off of a film that i am an avid fan of, and i suspect others are. it has something of a cult following, i believe.

no, i know that this is not the right colours for the smart flying robots off of The Black Hole. in the film they were a smart silver and red. i think somewhere in passing it was determined that these models should be Tron inspired. decided, presumably, by someone down at marketing at Disney.

a most splendid offshoot of this display was that all of a sudden my children were interested in seeing the film, something which i had been trying to convince them of. well, 50%. William and i watched it on the very next day after we had been to the exhibition. in truth he found it a little boring, but never mind that i enjoyed watching it again.

no, that's the end of this section. on the one side you could say "disappointing" that but just one thing off of The Black Hole and then not the right colours. i, however, was as mentioned just happy to see something at all when i expected nowt.


again, no i was unaware that they would have stuff off of Doctor Who there, but also yes, this was a most pleasant surprise. and a quite interesting one, for the one clear robot off of Doctor Who that i would have thought would be there was, alas, not.

but let us for now worry about what was there. like, for instance, this smart Davros model, along with a shiny gold model of a Dalek.

yes they did indeed have what must be quite close to "life size" versions of the Daleks too, as you can see in the below. sort of. the focus, for me, i think, was trying to get a picture of the boys together.

what's that they boys are holding? clipboards. the type? red. with it being school holidays and all, and as this exhibition was aimed mostly at children if not families entire, the hosts at Kirkleatham had put together ten questions about the exhibition to answer. well, nine and then a last one about what your favourite robot is.

quite good it is too, the quiz. both boys enjoyed doing it, and all the other kids running around, or if you like strolling about at an accelerated pace, were seemingly having fun too. but hey, you want some more Doctor Who stuff, i will wager.

yes, indeed, they had a TARDIS. well done William, the lover of all things Doctor Who, on respecting the red rope barrier at the door of it. sure he was tempted to go into it, but every now and then he can follow the rules set out.

TARDIS is one of them acronym things, with the letters standing for Time something something Dimension/s something Space. i think.

indeed, the sleek, black and yet still quite shiny Dalek from the exhibition is what you can see above. quite smart, it is.

should that TV show Family Fortunes, which i believe is rather aggressively called Family Feuds in America, had a survey question of "name a robot out of Doctor Who" i would wager that the top answer would be the smart RoboDog, K-9. alas, no, no sign of K-9 at the exhibition. strange, but then again they can only show off what they have access to.

to finish off this section, then, with what they have, there's William before the uber shiny gold Dalek. i think he's casting a worried look in the general direction of the black one.


yes, this probably should be called The Omnibot Section, but all will be clear after this first picture. should, for some reason, you not be a Frankie Fan and thus are unaware of the reference.

the Omnibot was an early to mid 80s toy. one with what looks like a cassette deck built into it, as you can surely see above and/or below. you could program it to do some rudimentary stuff - things that seem quite basic now but were a revelation back then.

i never had much interest in the toy, truth be told. the selling point was that it walked around and had a tape deck in it. for this kind of entertainment we had a cat and i had a most excellent stag of a stereo to play vibes on.

but Peter Gill out of Frankie Goes To Hollywood wanted one. on the b-side of the 12" single of The Power Of Love, the song that undoubtedly would have been Christmas Number 1 1984 had it not been for Band Aid (although maybe Last Christmas off of Wham! might have been), select members of the band give their Christmas wishes. Ped, as was his want and as is his way, gave a list of presents that "true Frankie fans" would get him. an Omnibot featured quite prominently on that list.

a solemn vow that i took and intend to honour was that should i ever actually get an awful lot of money then i would buy the Frankies the things they asked for on that Christmas message. the bill will be quite steep as Paul Rutherford at one stage mentions they all want Jaguar XJ6s, whatever they are. some sort of car, i imagine. but still, one day when i grow up maybe i will have enough money to buy Ped his Omnibot, his paddling pool and indeed his Action Man. or Girl.

yes, of course i listen to that Christmas message every Christmas. perhaps a perpetual will to live in the past with such things prevents me from going forward, but it's tradition now.


quite a surprise that Kirkleatham has not attracted a whole gang of them rabid "fanboy" types to protest the fact that stuff off of Star Wars has been included with "robots" when, according to the mythology and the folklore of the force, they are "droids". perhaps they have all learned to chill and relax somewhat, or maybe they're just taking to the internet to comment.

for the sake of ease of reference, then, let us just call them "robots" here if i make any such reference, but yes, Star Wars loyalists and acolytes, they are of course "droids".

that there would be the most famous of the Star Wars robots in the form of R2-D2 (the small blue and dirty white one) and C3PO (the homosexualist tall shiny gild one). if i remember right they are the only two characters to have appeared in all eight "official" or if you like "canon" Star Wars films thus far. but so far as i am aware they did not appear in the two "official" films that fans tend to overlook, being them two with kids on the Ewok planet.

speaking of films that fans tend to overlook....

yes, a "battle droid" or "roger roger robot" as we call them in our house, taken from the hugely celebrated and greatly enjoyed prequel trilogy.

many people of my age got all worked up and upset about the prequels for the Star Wars films. several, as point of fact, couldn't understand just why George Lucas couldn't have dropped by their Momma's basement to see the scripts they had been working on for them for, oh, 30 years. i get why some fans from my generation didn't like them, but they missed the point of the films. the target audience was another generation. hence my boys, and millions of other children around the world, discovering and loving Star Wars as a direct result of the prequel films.

not a robot as such, but here's a glance at a model of the Millennium Falcon on display, just one one picture, so as not to imply i am giving it equal footing to Battlestar Galactica, so as i may enjoy a life free of further accusations of not being a "proper fan".

you can't really see in the above, but it is a super smart model. there's a little Leia and Han in the cockpit too, assuming that's the right word for the flight control deck of the Falcon. if i had made the model, yes, of course, it would have been Lando at the controls.

family and friends around the world reading this are quite possibly getting bored with my memories and the general sci-fi robot stuff. to this end, then, here are some pics of the boys with the robots or if you will droids out of Star Wars.

indeed yes, as per the above, both of them do love all this Star Wars stuff. they tend to prefer the prequels over the original trilogy, but were most enthusiastic about Episode VII : Mission To Moscow and Renegade 10. i imagine this means that we will be off to the cinema in four or so months to see the latest adventure.

oh yes, the robot you think you can see in the background of the above picture is that robot. fear not, relax, we will get to him just now.

no, i did not prompt, teach or otherwise encourage James to make the classic "Spock" sign out of Star Trek before the Star Wars section. he came up with it himself, or possibly saw it on one of them "you tube" video things. i am sure fans of both franchises will appreciate the subtle attempt at unification between the two here.

speaking of Star Trek, on to the next section. care to guess what it is?


yes, in the interests of balance and keeping peace between the more extreme wings of fans, they had some Star Trek stuff on the go.

here you go, a most magnificent likeness of Jean Luc Picard, who is way cooler than the Frenchie name suggests he should be, when he got all done up as one of them "borg" things off of Star Trek The Next Generation.

indeed i am a fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars. on the whole, though, i would say that for me Star Trek is Shatner. he's awesome, man. he is the name to be trusted for computer advice, and he is a musical genius. smart and amazing that he took the time to dabble in acting, too.

that said, i really did rather enjoy that whole The Next Generation series, even if they films they made of them were somewhat poor. so, it was splendid to see this.

much like Doctor Who, i would speculate that the most famous robot out of Star Trek was absent. unless someone can tell me different, i would have thought that Data was the most readily named robot from the series.

the lack of Data is amply made up for with the above. i had absolutely no idea at all who this character was before reading the sign you can see below. let me have a look at this Voyager series, then, to see if it is any good.

yes, i know that i put more pictures off of Star Wars than i did Star Trek, but who is counting? if you are, deal with it. had they put on a Shatner exhibition then i promise you that you'd be looking at thousands of Star Trek pictures. but, they didn't.


yay! as you got a sneak preview of, there was much merriment on my side when i saw that they had a Robby The Robot there. and no, the boys had no idea why Daddy was so excited and interested in what, by current standards, is a crap looking robot.

the most famous appearance of Robby The Robot was in the film Forbidden Planet, which is now the name of a shop selling cult film and tv merchandise. it starred a certain Leslie Nielsen in the days when he was not a comedy actor.

Robby turned up in an episode of Lost In Space and fought the more regular robot in the show. that robot was called, and this signifies the heights which 60s creativity reached, Robot.


no, me neither. but anyway, here's what they had on display.

Species is a film i really, really enjoyed. so did a lot of people. it's got "b-movie" written all over it, but it is superb entertainment. quality like Alfred Molina, Michael Madsen and (now Sir) Ben Kingsley are in it for a start.

from what i recall of the film, though, it was about a half alien, half human creation, and the problem with her / it getting out into the world. i have absolutely no memory of any robots or such being involved in the film.


with, yes, a look at Jean Luc Picard and Robby The Robot behind Iron Man.

i would agree that Iron Man is more "man in robotic suit" than robot, android or cyborg sort of thing. but, you know, so what? Iron Man is most smart, and this is a most excellent statue of him.

so excellent, as point of fact, that here you go with another two pictures of him / it. yes, patient family and friends, one each with the boys.

perhaps i am mistaken, but from what i remember William was, in the above picture, staring at that most excellent Terminator skull as this picture was taken. i would be pretty sure he was thinking that looks smart, and further was wondering if Mummy & Daddy would let him watch it. the answer to that, from the controlling 50% of his parenting team which is to say not me, is no.

James tends not to be as bothered about the many Marvel superheroes as his brother is, preferring instead Batman and, generally, sports. but still, who could resist a picture with the smart Iron Man statue? me, apparently, as i did not think to take one.


my main recollection of the film Mars Attacks! was that it was a load of confusing, monotonous rubbish which could have been a great, entertaining "b-movie" in the hands of someone else. but no, Tim Burton made it and decidedly Tim Burtoned it out of entertainment.

whereas i cannot recall the film in all that much detail beyond the above, i don't really remember anything "robot" in it, least of all the invading, or if you like attacking, skeletal massive brained ones out of Mars. perhaps it is that their invader / attacking space suits are all robotic, hence them being on display.

anyway, the boys weren't all that interested, but agreed to a picture anyway.

wahey, we are at the end!

in the above the boys are sat - in some posh, splendid cinema style seats - watching a nice little montage of suitable for family scenes of robots in famous films. the montage included some of my favourites, in particular 2001, Blade Runner and WALL E. another favourite of mine was on display in the form of Weird Science. i recall many things about Kelly LeBrock in the film, but not her being a robot as such. also, the Femme Bots (Fembots?) out of Austin Powers were shown too, but not that bit when Austin strips down to his ultra sexy Union Jack / Flag undies.

and so that's that. as ever many thanks for reading, and hopefully some if not all of the above has been of interest to those who have dropped by!

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