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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Islington and Wimbledon

Vhs mess continues and this time Virtualdub is playing nicely with all the sound synced up ready to go.  Tried a few more programs before coming back to Virtualdub.  Its spat out a 4gb file for about 4 mins of footage, after encoding we've got it down to 400mb as a MP4 file.  Anyway on with the show.

Two trips to places I've been but once before.  First one was to Wimbledon home of the tennis and more importantly terminus of both the District line and the tram. Bit of a weird thing going on here as I seemed to pick up a lot of  DJ Sneak stuff including his Fabric live mix and a few albums, ended up with about 5 albums and mixes by the end which was cool.

The second is more important  than that. We were lured back to Angel, with the promise of free stuff out the front of Flashback Records. Of course it wasn't free, but was reasonably priced and got a few more good things, including Black Devil. Kid606 CDs and a few funk / Nitzer Ebb singles. 

Islington itself still is a  massive lefty ponce hole, we spotted one cunt with a man bun and assorted pricks in a pub so its come as a shock to find that we found a new arcade.

Opposite Angel tube station.
Almost walked past this, only seeing the words Tekken out the corner of my eye forced me to stop and then seeing a pool table almost made me walk on.  Persevere though and you'll come to the good stuff.  A warning there is no shmups at present but there is a few good things there to tempt you.

They have a list here for the impatient but I can say it leans heavily on the dancing genre with only a SF4 for the beat em up crowd. 

The interesting stuff is of course the visual Pinball cab they have displaying some sort of Frankenstein pin table. Looking around there were a few more cabs to choose from but I hope they were better quality than that.

Which brings us to the two puzzle games, Puzzle Bobble which is always a blast, and Tetris Grandmaster the Terror Instinct. 

Yeah that one,  even easy is no picnic, and this guy's playing on master.  Not pictured, but definitely included is a Sakura mode where you clear glowing gems by making lines.  I wonder if the Homebrew DS version is still around.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

VHS Mess

Been messing around with a new TV grabber from Lidl's of all places.  It comes with a few things such as all the plugs you'll need to connect it.  It should, if we get it to output sound correctly, be a good alternative to me sticking the phone in front of the screen and hoping that the footage grabbed comes out clear and not shaky. 

You get Power DVD with this too and its a bit rubbish, thinking that the home taped Benny Hill special is copyright (I guess it is but we want ad breaks and trails for the channel including the terrible one of Rory Bremmer and Richard Whiteley).  Virtual Dub is the best I have with the sound screwed up but the oddest is capturing through VLC. 

We have a weird sine wave feedback tone and some echo too, given the credits for  this is strange enough. Here's a reversed clip to give you an idea what to expect.

I'll play around with it some more and give a few direct clip uploads to Youtube if I  remember.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Pirate Material.

Looks like the BBC has finally woken up to the fact that not every Pirate radio broadcasted from a fucking ship in the channel, back in the 60's.  Because its the Beeb there's quite a bit of grim from the streets perspective and the Tories are cunts too for good measure (it's the 80's so bonus Thatcher too). 

For some reason its a rather Soul orientated affair, rather than focus on house and drum and bass, so if that's your bag its pretty good.   It focuses on LWR and the Pirate era of Kiss FM (Think Norman J, Trevor Nelson and Judge Jules you'll not go far wrong) and if you listened in the 90's well fuck you  there's a token bit of Jungle and Rinse FM at the end. If you think I'm being dismissive, its because I feel  that my music is often overlooked.  Its why I liked the Agony and The Ecstasy, if  you manage to view that then think of this as a companion piece, filling the gaps and some backstory as well.

The elephant in the room is the Conservative government, and watching this, you get the feeling  that  had Labour got in, it would have turned out differently.  Michael Foot and his government of 83, you kinda get the feeling that the whole greed culture and entrepreneur mentality would have just died on the vine.  With nothing to kick back against, you would have seen a very different 80's.

To me pirate was essential growing up, can remember listening to Fantasy FM and Pulse back in  the day.  A memory of me playing Gauntlet 2 on NES while Hardfloor played on the radio.  Steve Jackson playing disco on a Saturday Morning at Kiss and the 2 Colin's Faver and Dale playing techno late at night driving back from somewhere (Index The Sign still cool).  To recap there's clip from Trevor Nelson in the show saying that Kiss FM died for him back when it became a legal station, for me that's 1997 and its all down hill from  there.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Have been looking through the list of subjects for this years Bradleya yearbook in this quarters journal.  There is a few new things there that are quite interesting to me as well as a few things that are obscure enough for this blog of sorts.

For one a brief bit of history about Bradleya, its our cactus yearbook as I've already said, but also is much, much more technical than regular issue of Cactus world and for one about 4 times as thick.

If you like taxonomy and have the requisite smarts to work out the obtuse botanical language used (seriously, there's quite a few technical papers here detailing new discoveries) then its for you.  For the most of you, its not gonna be worth it to be honest.

First up is Cremnocereus a cliff dwelling cactus from Bolivia.  Quite odd flowering on this one, reminds me of some of the other short flowered Cereus types (believe its bat pollinated too). It does look quite impressive growing on a cliff face as well.

 I've read a little bit of the article via issu and its quite good.  Mostly its stuff on Crassulaceae with a few parts on Kalanchoe and some more on the taxonomy of the money plant (Crassula Argentea and Ovata). And some stuff on Tylecodon too including a new species.

As a mesemb man myself, there are a few articles to kickstart the old almonds.  Leaf structure in Conophytums, a treatise on the hypothesis of the evolutionary origin and polymorphism of Lithops (you see why we keep these in Bradleya now). 

But mostly what I'm interested in is a new genus from the Western Cape called Roosia.  There's no information on line about it.  It sounds like it was part of the super group Ruschia (if you were a pink flowered and shrubby mesemb, chances are you were placed there) and split off when it was given a taxonomic revision.  As I don't have access to it I'll just have to troll around the net to see if anything is posted about it.  Ironically the only Bradleya I do have is the big taxonomic revision of Ruschia itself done by Heidi Hartmann.  If I ever get to read this I will post an update.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

R.I.P Spider

We have some sad news here. My cat passed away on Thursday. He was 17 or so, though getting an accurate age is problematic due to him being adopted from neighbours one dead and one now in sheltered housing.  He was a contemporary of my old cat Ginger, now passed and used to clean up his food that he left.  They never really fought or fell out though, even if they were neighbours and that.

I don't know how he died but could sense his decline and such, as being an out cat he spent most of his time indoors over the past week and slept most of the time by the front doors (both main and basement, where sadly he finally passed on).

Spider in better days.
The weird thing is that shortly after his passing, there was a rainbow outside and new agers always go on about pets crossing the Rainbow Bridge, whenever they die.

If you squint a bit, it looks like the central TV logo.
I don't believe in all that shit mind, so in my eyes its more like Bifrost and he's being welcomed into Valhalla, with the chosen and such.  Besides where there is food there is always cats and such, it makes sense. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Superplay Returns

It may have escaped your attention but Future publishing have brought back a classic magazine for one final special issue.  Superplay is or rather was the best Snes magazine in existence for those that didn't know.  A mix of fair, well written reviews, encylcopaedic knowledge, and Anime aesthetics helped immensely too. 

Our first issue was the Pop N Twinbee cover of Issue 8 (with the tagline Pop 'em Twinbee on the spine) and over time I've managed to collect the whole set.  They've survived my school bag and most of my formative years laying up on the shelf, I'll never part with them.

I know its mainly to promote the Snes Mini as it has re reviews of all the releases as well as a preview look of the non prototype version of Starfox 2 which is bundled with it, but damn its exactly how I remember it.  The art style is exactly the same with full colour box outs of all the games, up for review.  There are some import reviews of the games for the Super Famicom Mini as there were import reviews back in the day, but more importantly it has all the characters you remember.  Though the original Neko, who asked you to sub back in the day died in 2004.  His son Neko Jr takes up the mantle.

Helen McCarthy's Anime World returns for a look back at the scene's origins back in the early 90's and what cart looks at some essential Snes games for you and marks the official acknowledgement of Terranigma and Streetfighter Alpha 2 for Snes, both were released after it had folded and not reviewed.   Also you get a great Wil Overton cover as well (its Starfox 2)

You don't get a letters page (Obviously) and Mode 7 tips are scattered over each of the reviews now.  There's no Fantasy Quest so I won't have to update the FAQ nor Final Fantasy Forum but you didn't get them at the end either so its no great loss.

In all its a great throwback to the golden age of Gaming, glad I have my copy.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

3 years of Gamergate.

Apparently this milestone passed me by, its not if our side has been keeping score and such but its been 3 years.  Zoe Quinn has a book out called Crash Override How Gamergate Nearly Destroyed my life and that, unbiased reviews here. Its £19 or about $25 bucks or so, it peddles her victim narrative and shills her online advocacy the Crash Override Network. 

If you are broke or don't wish to donate £19 in victim bucks here is an alternative a free ebook explaining what it is and that. I haven't read it or such but works from the other side of the debate are few and far between.  If Sargon could write about it I'd snap it up in a heartbeat, but all we have are the official sources from the Guardian which are hardly impartial and fair. 

Can remember the old Internet Aristocrat videos about the whole affair and such, it was a cluster fuck with paid shilling of games and such and the hassling of the fine young capitalists was perhaps the final straw for me. Maybe one day we'll have the authoritative book on the subject.  Which explores each side but as anyone who has dealt with these people know anything that goes against there narrative is of course "harassment" and trolling.

That the wicked "MRA broflake army" and such keeping women down and out of gaming, is nothing we would love you to come over and play games and such.  We won't judge you, we won't troll you all we wanna do is game.