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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Return To Urban Outfitters with advice

Its been a year to the day that I wrote about them having cacti in Urban Outfitters.  Decided to head back to Bluewater and see if they still do them and such.

First up was a look in M&S who seem  to have a nice display on convergent evolution with their one cactus and one Euphorbia in a nice white china pot.  We decided to head upstairs to Urban Outfitters and have a look to see if they were still selling cacti. 

Guess I should say that they still were but everything was on sale.  Everything on sale was on its last legs. Plants that had desiccated away to nothing, Chlorophyll less Gymno mutants whose grafting stock was just a mass of rot and stuff, thus dooming them to a early demise, and worse of all the little pots of seedlings were nearly all gone the same way.  

Taking a closer look at the stuff they were growing in, it seems that the bigger £6 plants were growing in peat with a horrible glued on layer of dyed gravel.  The thimble pots were seemingly just glue and dyed gravel, which accounts for the high casualty list I saw.

My advice for anyone buying of the cacti in the sale is get something healthy, that isn't leggy and if its one of those colour mutations that the graft its on is green, because that is the only way its getting any goodness to it.

When you get it home take it out of its pot and replace the peat its in with some soil based compost.
In the UK we have John Innes No3. as a good compost base, you'll want to add some grit to this (fish tank gravel is ideal although any small stone is good) about 3 handfuls of soil to one of gravel.

You can keep the clay pot if you will, unless its one of those thimble pots then you can put it in a 2" plastic pot which will be fine. 

Put it in a south facing window or whatever place gets the most light and water weekly from Fools Day (April 1st) to the end of September (if you have central heating then pull this forward a few weeks if not this is fine).  (Though this is dependent on where you live and climate too)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Digitiser 25

This year sees the 25th anniversary of the birth of Teletext. I've written before on how I came about this, or at least sure I have anyway.  For the uninitiated Teletext was kinda like a text based internet on your TV, supplying you with information and even rudimentary games and stuff. 
It had a comic strip Turner the Worm which I liked, a music page, a sci fi page and best of all Digitiser a gaming page. 

Coming off from writing a terrible school zine and finding someone doing it with similar tastes in humour on the TV(though mine was more non PC and such) was a revelation.  We only really found out about it due to Super Play magazine championing it along with Fast Show quotes and such. 

Used to watch it while having lunch, which meant channel 4 and having to put up with Channel 4 schools programmes (no hardship, would like to know if any of them survived, specifically the Northern Irish one which went on about the little Whammy) and Friends which is fuck awful.

The best of all was one day they had the Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, to date the only opera I can stomach.

If you want to relive the first four or so days and such, here are the links to each day.

Monday New years day.
Tuesday.
Wednesday.
Thursday final Day.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

End of year missed flipped and skipped edition.

This is our customary missed pile of stuff, stuff I'd forgotten existed until now and with the dance stuff, possibly not my final favourite thing of the year.

TV.

X Company.

Impressive WW2 drama showing for the first time in the UK.  A select team of commandos work behind enemy lines as a resistance cell, to  conduct sabotage or just to kill off Nazis which is always cool.  They have a memory / savant style dude who can memorise data taken in the field and overcomes his reluctance to fight to become a productive member of the team.  Sadly the only drawbacks are they are all Canucks and not based at Bletchley or Whitehall, apparently there was a real Camp X in Ontario, where this was based.

Red Dwarf.

Series ten or so of the space sitcom and its long past its prime.  Not sure why Dave keeps it going now, as this season is the worst its been in ages.  I slept through most of the shows mind which isn't cool but what I was awake for was merely average.

Dr Who.

This has also dragged this season and its not due to the new doctor being a woman.  To be honest my Mum is the only person pissed off that the new Dr is a bird.  Me I couldn't care less, its already nosediving into the ground thanks to a political slant to most of the shows.  I don't need a fucking lecture on social inequality in Regency Britain, or badly shoehorned in gay characters (Bill Stickers), but rather wished the doc had Nardole as his companion.  Best episode was Poirot as a creepy landlord, to a place overrun with space bugs, some real nice audio stuff there.

Ed Stafford Left For Dead.

Final TV pick is this, Survivalist Ed Stafford is dropped with a drone, sat phone and cameras but no survival gear into the most inhospitable places in the world.  He has to make it to a pre proposed rendezvous point within 10 days or he's toast.  Its good stuff, see him eat yams in Madagascar, catch fish with llama sinew line in the Andes and barely make it out alive from a dark cave in Laos.

There is a trailer here if it plays in your country, but will say this check it out, he only has to call to be rescued once the whole time and I'll leave it for you to find out where that is.


Music.

Ed Sheeran Galway Girl / Shape of you.

This is the year, he went from annoying but bearable on Drunk to full on terrible.  Some would say that it has been that way for ages and ages but I did actually enjoy drunk, especially the version Kiss played.  Galway Girl is terrible, Irish pub cod Emerald isle levels of bad, I've taken  to changing the lyrics  to say he fiddles kids in a transit van to get any pleasure out of it.

Advertising.

Nationwide Adverts.

So farewell then Nationwide Adverts

With you awkwardly espoused prose

And ill timed slice of life observations.

On matters family and financial

We never banked with you
And Judging by the ads never want to. 

 E J Thribb. 17 1/2 p overdrawn.


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

2017 Music Round Up

Been a weird old year for music and that, seen the rise of reggaeton, with the near unstoppable despa(ra)cito.  We also didn't lose as many people this year apart from Cheggers playing pop and Mika Vainio from Pan Sonic, next year I make a note of all the stuff I've heard thats rocked and sucked but for now have these incomplete memories.

Commercial. Good.

Lotto Boyzz No  Don.

Defeat from the jaws of victory  time here, year its grime, yeah you can't really find an acapella for this out there, but you want to play it like I hear it, get some old school gabber and just drop it when they have the no don chorus.  Perfect.

Swae Unforgettable.

You are unforgettable, Got enough combos for 24 owls.  Its that track and there is an acapella so you won't have to hear the shuffling beat on this.  Its still boss as an instrumental mind, and the best track of the year.

Drake Passion Fruit.

Ripping off Moodymann should get you shot,  but his part in this doesn't get played in the standard radio mix so its  included here in the good pile.  Another thing that is better played with another track, this time its. Its Me from Club MCM though its a bugger to beat match via Youtube.  Wonder if the original passion fruit theme is doable on a real 303?.

 Commercial Bad

Katy Perry Swish Swish

Old euro style house circa 1990 as a backing track good,  getting Katy Perry to sing on it not so good.  Adding Nicki Minaj, what the fuck.

Despacito / Little Tits With CaNCerO / Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul.

Trust me, reggaeton fucking sucks.  Had a lot of this is Spain  this year and it gets no better Little Tits track can be changed to say Pendejo which at least is one bonus point.  All together now, when i look in your eyes Pendejo.

Underground. Once again not all from this year.

Aphex Twin.

Field day EP was the bomb (though disliked Mt Fuji). Currently looking through the track list for the set he did and remembering the in the beginning bit from  the trailer.   There is a whole track listing here of the entire set.   Me I'm curious how that Rihanna Acapella fits in with the whole.

DKMTL 10 years.

So many good things here but, Levon Vincent, Matrixxman and Legowelt putting up tracks for the 10th anniversary of this legendary label.

DJ Stingray Kern Vol 4.

Possibly the only Electro mix you'll need this year.  Quite a few tracks on this and some ace mixing too. 

Minecraft ost.

Don't laugh, but this is good, just coz its ubiquitous and that doesn't mean its bad.  A mix of chiptune and IDM and all of it's so good.  Its out on Ghostly International and was a random charity shop pickup, my favourite thing this year.




Monday, 25 December 2017

So here it is (Merry Christmas)

Merry Christmas if you're here it means only one thing. A round up of television and the annual Miranda's for television hell.

Blue Planet 2 Eelectric Boogaloo.

The bits I didn't fall asleep through were magic,worth an hour of your time.  Trans Wrasses, Donald Tuskfish that crack clams, Octopodes that hide in Coconuts and Galapagos sea lions corralling tuna in the shallows, totally living up to their names, you can read all about it, here.

Eastenders.

Still not good mind, but its better this year.  Max and Wilmott Brown and their "evil capitalist" scheme to bulldoze the square and kill poor people.  If it was true to life all the white folk would have moved to Essex ten years back, leaving a legacy of Polski skleps, hen cabins, and corner shops, the Vic would have totally become a pentecostal church, having said that though Dot would still be there.

The Orville.

Seth Macfarlane's parody of  Star Trek, and I can't shake the fact its a live action version of American Dad but so far it seems pretty good.  Massively overshadowed in the UK by Keith Harris and Orville, who star posthumously as engineers in episode 3, look out for Cuddles the Monkey as the Duck hating badguy.

Harry Hills Alien Fun Capsule.

Not the best concept, but worth it just to see him rip into guests and youtube footage of pranks and stuff.

Mr Biffos Found Footage.

Not strictly a TV show, but putting to shame many shows this year if only for the shoestring budget its filmed on.  The last episode is the best, being a totally straight sci fi film rather than the absurdist comedy of the previous episodes.  Although if you are into absurdist comedies then the whole "brownaround" episode is the best of the bunch.  TEEEEEEEEEEEEA

Miranda awards 2017.

I should make a note of these just to give you a warning for the hell I go through each year.

Mrs Browns Boys.

We sat through 10 minutes of this shit, while clearing out my aunts place in the summer.  The remote mysteriously locked up and we tried in vain to find new batteries while listening to her schtick.  It felt like an hour.

Michael Macintyre.

Hate him, anything he's in makes the list.  Another place where we were stuck for something to watch and failed.  He isn't funny, and much as I hate political comedy, this seems far worse.

 Len Goodmans Partners In Rhyme.

There is a tenth layer of hell just for this alone.  Len Goodman, Dartfords very own, nice old guy with a horrible rhyming concept. Survived 5 shows before being cancelled.  That says it all.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

This time of year.

You all know what time it is, its that time of year here where we take stock over xmas and round up the good and bad. 

First of all lets sit back with a traditional pantomime from ITV circa 2000.

Comedy royalty here with Julian Clary and Julie Walters and Morwenna Banks, who of course is better known for being the voice of Red the Pirate from DQ8.

We'll put on some  classic songs maybe some Mariah Carey or Paul McCartney having a wonderful Christmas time.  You do know that All I want for Xmas is the cut off point for good Christmas music, nothing new compares to the oldies.  Me personally I still lament the passing of Marc Lamarrs Christmas show on Radio 2, if only to hear Santa Claus Is Smoking Reefer.

We, of course, will leave a carrot out for Santa and a mice pie for his reindeer.  Maybe there will be a Christmas TV special, is it Morecambe and Wise, or the Two Ronnies or if we really hate ourselves a Mrs Browns Boys.  No its much better, the latest Christmas Wrapping by Matthew Harris with his traditional look at the odd idents from the BBC and such.  A shame that it contains Clean Bandit but we can't have everything. 

We settle down with a glass of nig nog and hang up our stockings for Old Saint Nick to fill (he's such a perv) before turning in.  All in all its been an excellent Christmas Eve.


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Still Clearing Out

We have some new drawers coming in the week so this means we have to clean out my bookshelf.  Found a few things I hadn't seen in a while, a few mystery novels and such and a lot of  Retro Gamer magazines.  I love Retro Gamer its about the only mag I get everytime, along with Fortean Times.

Keeping a few select ones such as all the ones Stuart Campbell penned an article for as well as some of the more obscure system articles and milestone issues.   Will have to find a home for all the other bits and pieces I've collected before Tuesday before I can stick it all back.