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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Bye aunty.

The toughest thing I have to write is the passing of my Aunty Jean last week.  I have posted photos of stuff when we moved her to her new place back in the summer (the CBM calculator post).  Unlike me she had a wide circle of friends and such to call on to help, so can have them do stuff and take things, but mostly its clearing out things and my parents organising various bits and pieces.

Worse that, and this is quite oddly paranormal I had the prescience that she would not make it for the past to weeks after talking to another friend of hers on Facebook.  It's a constant she's not coming back, and you can't tell anyone in case you're wrong, you're making it up and stuff.  Its just a one off and that, though I love FT and that I have fuck all psychic gifts, in fact I'm pretty sure I'm aparanormal, if that is even a thing, a total obliviousness to the supernatural world.

Apart from that though no one really had a bad word to say about her, if you ever want to know what she was like, think of the show Call the Midwife.  She was a nurse in the same sort of era in the same sort of locations too.  I'll miss her but won't be sad for her.  I have great memories of her and such, still she will be missed.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Rebirth and The Littlest Hobo.

The weirdest thing happened this week. a workmate posting on Facebook of all places has sparked off something I'd long forgotten.  Its not TCC related but its to do with the Littlest Hobo who's show was serialised on the BBC in the mid 80's.  The thing is I barely remember it, I know that there was a kid in it and a dog and maybe a van.  But the most striking thing I can remember is that they had a tyre shaped gold UFO / robot. You want to know how sketchy my memory of this is, I originally thought it had the head of Crow from MST3K, but probably didn't.  I do know that the kid and the dog had to keep it safe and had to keep moving hence the title. bout the same era as Mysterious Cities of Gold and the Anime Belle and Sebastian so 85 -86 then.

Found it is Benji, Zax and the Alien prince. and yes the robot is both a mix of crow and floating yellow tyre.  Also that theme tune is rad as hell.

In other news it seems that Roland the bastards have forced the take down of Rebirth 303, one of the first ever 303 emulation software and such.  Only reminded me of it as I have a  copy and an old laptop and wondered if I could install it and make the bassline from Drake's Passionfruit in it. 

It seems that the new Roland Rental thing and re issue of its classic line of hardware drum machines was the catalyst for its  take down.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Still VHS Mess

Still working out how to grab stuff here. Virtualdub has as sync problem where audio plays naturally but all visuals are sped up like in old Benny Hill.  Ironic seeing that I'm trying grab some bits from the end of Benny, specifically some bits from channel 4's new years line up.  Eurotrash, Adam and Joe show and TFI Friday with Chris Evans before it goes into Mel Brooks Robin Hood Men in Tights.

We have old Vegas here cracked and patched for it and will try again to see if it will grab stuff from the dongle as well.

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.