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Monday, 26 December 2016

Music Round up of the year.

It's been quite a year for music, largely because everyone keeps dying and that.  It started off this time last year with Guru Josh, Lemmy and David Bowie and progressed through the year with Andreas Gehm and Spanky finallly killing off Greg Lake, Rick Parfitt and George Michael.  Which means its finally safe enough to walk by Snappy Snaps again. 

Its also been the year popular music has rediscovered the vocal breakdown from Old Chicago House.  From Calvin Harris to Rihanna to a thousand sound a likes everyone is screwing with the pitch and making what was once cool, shite.

On with the good bits of the year. First up Commercial junk.

Sigala Sweet Lovin' 

A nice mid 90's throw back house and piano break make this bearable much more so than a lot of stuff this year, which has gone out of the way to make things bastard annoying.

Neiked Sexual.

This isn't that bad, rather spicy lyrics and the sort of R+B throwback that you can easily get behind.  Plus if you managed to grab the homemade acapellla from youtube you can drop it with Renegade Soundwaves the Phantom for an excellent mash up.

Beyonce. Sorry.

One of those half tracks that really should have the vocals splinter into a million pieces to match the juke / footwork track this lumbered with, but its alright I suppose.

Calvin Harris. My Way
You are the best thing in my life, you are the best thing in my life.  Is adequate. That is all.

Drake, 3 Tracks.
I like Drake even though he's A. Canadian and B. a rapper.  You know the tracks by now.  Too Pure Kontrolla and One Dance they aren't bad but at the same time could be improved.  Heavily inspired by funky music and by that a rip off of Krazy Kousinz, but still not bad.
Now the bad.

Martin Gollocks In the name of love.
 Big room music where you pitch shift everything to fuck and then some.  Annoying and shit can really hope someone bootlegs a really good happy hardcore version of this.

Beyonce Hold up
 If you have to have one shit reggae track its this.  I really don't love you like I love you.

Calvin Harris. This is what you came for
No it isn't. Now fuck off.

Little Tits Shout out to my Ex
They still sound like a demented kids party coupled with the fact that none of them are all that.  Shout out to my ass its really poisonous.

Arse Bandit Rockabye.  Fucking clean bandit and another thing I hate this year, the rise of dance hall again.  Never liked patois, never liked Sean Paul and think they are a bunch of fucking chancers.  Its this year's Christmas Number one no Lewisham Choir this year to keep the wolf from the door.  Even the Jo Cox single is better than that.

Non commercial tracks.

A few good things from the underground not all released this year but still a good amount of stuff.

Roachford I Know You Don't Love Me Steelie and Cleevie mixes. This is cool and really good dub reggae, the original is deep and moody and well worth tracking down.  I suspect a really good re edit would catapult this into the stratosphere but for now this rocks.

Greg Beato Who's the Licho in charge ovaa here?
Some boss acid here that is all you need to know.

Boston 168 Terror Acid.
See above but in an even more similar vein.

Identified Patient Female medical college of Pennsylvania
Dark techno with just a hint of acid.  These last three tracks are a tribute to us losing Andreas Gehm and Spanky, I can think of no finer tribute to two acid masters.

Apart from that not such a good year, but I suspect there is more I've forgotten about.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Its the most wonderful time of the year.

Welcome to what is now our well trodden xmas review of the year.  Today we'll be looking at television and our annual Miranda awards for TV trash.  But first we have to big something up.

The Durrells ITV

This could have sucked hard, but for some reason this Sunday evening drama of Gerald Durrell's like in Corfu, was the best thing actually.  Mainly because of Keeley Hawes as his mum, but also a sex mad Laurence Durrell, and his useless friends, including captain Creech a pissed up version of the Simpsons Sea Captain.  Also quite accurate to the original Birds Beasts and Relatives, although with sadly less beasts in it.


Dara O Brien goes 8 Bit.

I only really saw this on Xmas eve but its everything a show about video games should be, funny, heartwarming and above all about beating your mates senseless in video challenges.  Josie Long played Sega's Frogger and there were challenges for Pac Man and Pong and they even had an outing from the old Namco Arcade Font. Got a lot of old GamesMaster in this, which is no bad thing.


The Undiscovered Peter Cook.

Didn't realise how strange this was until I saw his wife's obituary in Private Eye.  She kept his house like a time capsule and allowed no one to enter at all after his death.  Victor Lewis Smith presents this look back through the incredible archive of unseen Pete and Dud sketches and material.  I've still got a way to go through this but trust me its gold.

Harry Hill's Teatime.

A joy and the only good reason to watch Sky One in absolutely ages. Like a cooking based TV Burp, its a wonderful mix of the insane, the crazy and Joey Essex being bemused by things which is why its on the list.  Release the Sausage its teatime.

The X Files Season 10.

So a bit hit and miss and its only a short run but the episode with the lizard man is the only reason to watch.  i know I'm biased but I can't put the X files into the Miranda awards as even at its worst its still watchable.

Britain's Treasure Islands.

Three part series about whats left of the empire.  Various bits and pieces of the Caribbean and the South Atlantic along with Pitcairn Island in the Pacific and a few Strategic bits and pieces of the Med.  Including Gibraltar and Cyprus these are the only bits of the British Overseas Territories that I've visited.  Reading through the link above, the guy who did it seems a really interesting chap and an expert on Carnivorous Plants to boot.  I'll put up some shots of  photos from my trips to the British Overseas Territories below.  I will add it was a fucker to leave Gibraltar due to Spanish Practices.

Cyprus. A church at Oroklimi.
Old digital shot of Gibraltar. Appalling quality sadly.
Miranda Awards for Televisual Garbage.

Avoiding the usual reality show suspects which would take the crown every year
 its mainly two things that make this a shock fest and sadly its the BBC who takes the crown for this.

Remakes of old sitcoms.

We did a whole take down of the Keeping up Appearances which was truly a vile, vile piece of television,  and this comes from some one who didn't care for the original.  Porridge wasn't bad per se but Are You Being Served was fuck awful.  Sherrie Lewis as Mrs Slocombe just no, please back away. 

Eastenders.

Is still awful only this time its on a different level than last year.  They have a new Michelle Fowler who looks like Sharon Marsh from South Park, and Phil Mitchell has become Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air thanks to liver poisoning due to alcoholism.  I wish I had the fortitude to drink so this whole thing becomes comprehensible. 

Walliams and Friend.

A really bad idea featuring the camp one from Little Britain which has none of the class of the latter.
Its not funny and the episode I saw wasted Harry Enfield in a series of unfunny sketches.

Have I got News For You.

Sad this is on here but its largely unfunny now.  A news quiz satire that gets deader by the year.  Maybe its the Post Truth era but all these left wing comics are appalling grouches and grumps when the right are in ascendant. Salt merchants and whingers the lot of 'em.  You have cheap shots at Brexit and Donald Trump and none really on deathly dull old socialists such as The Corbs and Diane James Brown Abbott, the result is its unbalanced, unfunny junk.  They had a parody of this on  Harry Enfield (see above) where it completely smashed it.  In short not even a dolphin in a bath tub could save this now.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Nestalgia

Here starts 3 days of posting for me. Includes the round up of the year (always hotly awaited), Miranda awards and the ever growing music round up of the year.

But first its gaming and a few bits and pieces on the NES mini. before game of the year.

Looks like the NES has finally gotten popular here as the £50 mini console can be had for up to £150 second hand.  That's £5 per game, and you had better really like either the small form fitting or a good two thirds of the games on here to get it for that price.  Granted it has NES Bubble Bobble which is worth the price alone, and a few Mario games which are also worth it.  But to be honest there was never the nostalgia value here for the original NES,  and I'll explain why.

UK wise there was never a video game crash so there's no UK equivalent of Atari landfill full of ET carts, though thanks to Guru Larry uncovering it there's a clone for Spectrum. Which brings us neatly to the UK scene then.  Largely dominated by Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum and its main rival, the Commodore 64, latterly joined by Amstrad's CPC 464 and rich kids / school computer the BBC Model B, this was the entire computer scene here in the UK.  Games retailed around the £3 mark for budget releases and £10 for a full price game back then.  16 bit computers such as the ST and Amiga cost a bit more as  their games cost around £25 for a full price game but nowhere near as pricey as the NES as most full priced games clocked in at £40, I know as I had one back then.  Forget £50 for every game back then as lazy reviewers would say,  only Star Wars and Maniac Mansion ever retailed for that back then.

Maybe its a London thing but I did know a few people who had one, but it sure was lonely then as budget games were around £20 -30 depending on where you shopped.  There was nowhere official such as Game back then so Dixons, Boots the Chemist and WH Smiths would sell games.  Hell Boots would set up a Sega Megadrive back then so you could play a bit of Sonic over the Xmas period.  But apart from that it was the big electronic retailers and little indie shops that sold NES games as well as dubious mail order places.  I always wanted to send off for the American version of Rainbow Islands before Ocean did their version, but dad always stopped me, good thing too as the US version is shite.

Apart from that everyone I knew had some sort of 8 bit computer and you could get stuff on tapes in fact I spent most of the mid 90's just grabbing C64 tapes and any weird import NES games that came up.  This and the fact that the Sega Master System totally dominated here with euro releases coming out well into 1993 to take advantage of the installed user base.

Also anyone who ever had a yearning for an actual NES back then in the UK would have downloaded enough emulators to PC / Android / Smart TV to play them and relive their youth that way, and that discounts Nintendo's own E shop virtual console re releases of classic titles.

Game of the year is the excellent Dragon Quest 7 Fragments Of The Forgotten.  Even though its has bastard accents in it, (L'arqa is a real chore thanks to this) its dominated what I've played on 3DS this year.  One final thing the old hermit guy in Estard's funbag obsession has been cut along with his porn stash in the bookshelf.  I also don't know if the line he'll sell you his own piss in a bottle has survived but (probably not as its a retranslation) but those were stand out moments for me in the PS1 original, (as were the bastard constantly crashing in PSeven what I used to emulate back then).  That's it back tomorrow for an Xmas TV round up.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Marè Video

Here is a odd thing we've had this video in our collection for absolutely ages, and possibly longer as it came from my Grandad's place, who had it originally. 

Fuchsia's to give it its full title is a VHS tape with a selection of 300 or so Fuchsia varieties set to classical music.  That's it, no cheesy presenter, or over the top graphics, just the familiar video title font and various clips of Fuchsia.

I know full well why we have it as my Grandad grew them as well as Pelargonium's and some cacti left over from an old aunt's collection, which is how I got my bug for them.

Apart from that Google has drawn a blank special e included.  Here's a few shots of the outer sleeve and video, if anyone knows who they were or if they are still going please comment. 

I think they are Dutch.

I'll get a proper scan of this after xmas if I remember.
As per the caption they're Dutch from the town of Ede and that's it as far as I can tell.  If you have an interest in Fuchsia's and the like there is a massive database here.  Its the sort of thing Grandad would have loved.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Back to Hackney.

At a loss to do with myself and thanks to wireless am now getting some pretty hefty drop outs due to speed and connectivity, web mail is hit and miss, though Gmail works for the time being.

Anyway none of that is as grim as Hackney, and looking through I haven't been back in nine months or so, time was ripe enough to go for a return visit.  The good news is that I have a Mormon card which is like my official good luck charm and rather set the tone for the whole day.

First of all got quite a good deal from the coinstar machine cashing out my old change and further luck came from a dropped oyster card that basically bank rolled me through the entire day😊.

The Crash converters had a few good things in stock such as Up Bustle & Out for 20p but no Somali Reggae this time.  The other good thing was that they had a few Scientist Dub albums on CD in the Sense shop.  Even though they were in a terrible state, I found that they go for insane amounts online.  This was Scientist and Jammy Strike Back and Scientist Fights The Vampires, both excellent albums.

The Salvation's Barmy shop had a lot for sale that I probably have but Gentle People, Super_Collider and a weird thing that is supposed to be part of an installation, part noise and part spoken word thing not really sure how it ended up in Hackney but there you go.  Its not in Discogs yet but will have to add it when I have more time.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Debunking The Mail's Christmas Cactus Tree

Its this bastard article here if you are interested and as its the Fail there is so much wrong with the whole thing its unbelievable.   Its bad enough the weekend magazine had a pre Linnaean name added (horror of horrors) to an excellent 17th C print of what looks like a Selenicereus in all its glory.  In the Fail on Sunday we have this horror of churnalism.

Forget that elegant Norway spruce – a cactus grown in Africa is set to become the latest must-have Christmas tree.
With their long, spiky stems, they may look more at home in the Wild West than a British sitting room.
But their fork-like branches are ideal for decorating with baubles and tinsel, and they don't drop their needles like traditional festive trees.

First of all cacti do not come from Africa, they are new world species which means the Americas and Caribbean (but especially Mexico).  I'm going to have to explain Convergent Evolution to you in simple terms.  
There are a times in evolution where you get different species coming up with the same ways to combat problems in their environments.  In this case harsh desert sun and combating water loss, means reducing leaves down to spines and having a water storing trunk with many ribs to see you through the harsh times.

A cactus, this is Acanthocalycium.
Some Euphorbias

Pro Tip: if you want to know the difference between a cactus and a Euphorbia and its not in flower, look at the spines, the cactus will have a cushion like arrangement called an areole that the spines arise out of whereas the Euphorbia will just send them straight out the stem.

In flower its pretty much obvious. 

Red bit Leaves Yellow bit Flowers.
Actual flower, This.

The photo in this is horrible, it looks like they've had some idiot assault a Euphorbia with load of paint and cover it in baubles, its bastard awful.  Tree Euphorbia's  never look good and worst of all they have poisonous latex like sap so any cuts to the stem will have it bleed toxic milk around. Hardly elegant and potentially hazardous not if you've got kids around.

Oh and looking on the site there is no mention of a cactus christmas tree, though they do sell Euphorbia Ingens for a price.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Necrolog Castro Gtx.

Fidel Castro is dead, the communist cunt who looked like a tramp has finally gone.  His brother runs Cuba now but let that sink in the monster is dead.  I never liked him or Guevara that you saw so much on T shirts and the like (personally I wanted Guevara's head on a pike), truly the only good communist is a dead communist. 

He killed dissidents and made the gays work in the plantations and worst of all kept Cuba in some 50's hellhole due to ideology.   The left will moan on about him supporting anti apartheid and the like but many people of all political sides of the spectrum did that, its not just virtue signalling wankers in CND shirts and sandals. 

Its a weird thing to see especially on Twitter and the like where such virtue signalling is de rigeur. The amount of salty rage that came out thanks to stuff like Brexit or Trumps Election is immense. Add in pub bore Nigel Farage to mix and its the perfect storm of outrage and stupidity. No other opinion is entertained as they are all deemed correct and if you contradict this you are a racist little Englander or too stupid to understand, and therefore vote "correctly".

Anyway back to Castro dead, there are parallels when Thatch died although some were in grief there were a lot of cheering from the more undesirable unwashed members of public.

There are brilliant scenes of people in South Miami cheering his death, who genuinely remember what a total shit he was.  Latin communities who were devastated through his policies and had to escape illegally to the US (remember Elian Gonzalez) a lot of those escaping never made it.  You can mourn him but for me he'll always be the one person who ruined Cuba.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Films and such

Christ all fucking mighty there is a lot of spam here, my last five comments have been flogging sex services like my blog is some kind of demented Newsagents window  My thoughts about internet advertising and such can be found here and below paraphrased.

Anyway our main post is not about the evils of advertising or Money Supermarket and House of Fraser would be swinging from the digital lamp post but on some films I've seen recently.

Haven't been to the cinema in ages so these where under duress in my own home on Sky Movies.  First up is the back half of Dads Army a much loved sitcom from Jimmy Lloyd and David Croft where only Ian Lavender survives from the main cast.  This one I can confidently say is total bobbins and arse and that's with me missing a good hour watching Harry Hill's Teatime and Food Unwrapped instead.

Its still the same bungling home guard that you know and love except that they've all been replaced by terrible emulations from the present and because its 2016 there's some wimmin in it too.  Its not dreadful per se, its still competently filmed and that but the script is arse.. There's a lot of Catherine Zeta Jones as a German Spy and worse of all you got to see Captain Mainwaring's wife which you never saw on the show (subs please check). 

Its a middling film hamstrung by a worthless script, 4/10.

The last film I saw was the Charlie Brown Movie aka the Peanuts Movie.  A wonderfully written tale of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and pals going through the school year and with a side story of Snoopy fighting the Red Baron in his kennel.  Its a pretty good hold up to the much loved original comic strips that used to play out in the Mail before being shunted off for Garfield.  Charlie Brown still plays baseball, flies kites badly and the Red Haired Girl returns as a major plot point in all this.  Oh and the adults still talk in trumpets which made my day. There are a few niggles that I may have overlooked such as Marcie not serving Snoopy root beer and there is no Spike and Olaf for the fans. 

Worse there are a few horrible Meghan Trainor and Flo Rida tracks stuffed in, at the school dance and on the the credits, its just as well that the original Vince Guaraldi tracks are still present to provide the Tamoxifen for that particular cancer.

As a side note its got about 4 directors, two are from Charles Schulz's family, the other is Paul Feig who directed this years Ghostbusters abortion, though this is definitely the film to see.

There are a few other films that used to come up on Premiere including one at a spelling bee and a series on Sky One on the 90's  including an episode on gaming where Lucy was the Wumpus for some colossal cave rip off.
Overall an excellent 9/10

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance and Election 16

Rather ill today, a roaming migraine that I normally get from jet lag has occurred, and worst of it all I've been nowhere.  Up in time to observe a minutes silence for breakfast and Theresa May and the Royals lay poppy wreaths at the cenotaph.  Oddly enough (and if you know this blog, we like oddities here) there is a wreath made of native flora from what is left of our glorious empire, the overseas territories.  It was a bit manhandled by Boris Johnson as it was set down but I thought it was a nice touch from what are still very loyal and dedicated communites.

Presidential election.

OK who had Donald Duck Trump down as the next president, because it certainly wasn't me.  I was fully expecting a sick liar and notorious crook to be the first female US president not some overbearing thin skinned oaf.  Of course Trump isn't the worst of it, people overlook his VP Pence or I kept seeing when it was on TV Vote Tuppence.  He's the worse kind of narrow minded Christian, who thinks queers can be cured, abortion is wrong and evolution is just a theory.  In other words he's a cock.  A cock with the finger on the nuke button and who gets to make policy.

I really wished it had been between Bernie Winters and Marco Rubio but Hilary knifed poor old Bernie and Marco didn't stand a chance against Ted Cruz.

Also with Trump as president I've got my yearly dose of salt simply by logging into twitter.  The amount of tweets I've seen, either really, really outraged or just downright mean have made me question peoples sanity.  We even have a rent a mob of pricks outside the US Embassy here protesting about racism and riots in the US (Quelle Suprise) since Trump came to power.  I think its fucking funny, watching the crybullies saying its like another 9/11 (it was here thanks to UK dating) and overshadowing a genuine tragedy in the process.

Personally I'll see how bad it gets, like Brexit I'm not going to lose sleep over it and see what this brave new world brings.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Knowing the score and that.

We've updated the roll call of heroes at the side with a link to the Conservation Volunteers blog, they look at invertebrates among other things so if you like bugs is worth a look.  Now with actual link.

Apart from that we have a lot of new stuff in thanks to a trip to an old haunt of mine.  A trip to Walthamstow provided me with a massive haul of old hardcore and breaks tracks from 1992.  All your old favourites are there including Hurt You So by Jonny L, tracks by Manix, Shades Of Rhythm and an LP by The Goodies (sample track Spanking the Goldfish) also a nice 7" from Cabaret Voltaire Here to Go, from the late 80's and such been ages since I've got anything worth a damn on a 7" so will be worth listening to.

CD wise I have albums from Moby (Ambient the track Dog is definitely the stand out there.) Vitalic and Smash TV on BPitch Control.

Finally we have a few things for your consideration if you're at a loose end with articles on  Vegetable Lambs at Shukernature.

Or some piss poor chinese electronic tat via Xjets youtube channel. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Uptown Junk.

There's been a big update to what I wrote 2 weeks back regarding professional owl model Jenni Murray.  She's the "bird" who thinks its feasible to show porn in class to 15 year old's as part of a wider sex ed discussion.  I'm largely for this, if only to say this is the shit we don't do in life in general.  Although oral and anal does sound awesome to be honest.  Anyway, here is an article on the worlds worst website the Graun explaining it, the comments for once aren't totally vile either.

Also in other news we have a twitter account now, as a way of aggregating all the pages I used to follow separately and now like the loan company says, consolidate them in one feed.  Its @bear_or_bust if you want to follow or just read along and that.


London Junk Trip.

Haven't been up town in a while, so decided to have a look around and do some touristy things.  In the end I just went round the shops instead.  Not losing my shirt at the arcade place on Wardour Street, though I'm still £1.70 down from the Deal or No Deal slots.  Incidentally there's always a deal or no deal slot, go into any pub or club or arcade and there will be a deal or no deal there, complete with Noel Edmonds bastard face peering out.  Mostly though its looking at the record shops such as Phonica and Sounds of the Underground which are awesome.  I got a few of the more recent Fabric live cds including Ryan Elliot and Scuba. 

Didn't really do an awful lot of junk shopping but did check out the Salvation's Barmy charity shop off of Regent's street. Got a few nice things there including  for once some noise,  Satanstornade by Russell Haswell and Masami Akita better known as Veteran Japanoise artist Merzbow.  Sounds a lot like drilling into a derelict space hulk with a low background hum to add texture, not as unlistenable as I feared.  Also got Liberation by Jackie O Motherfucker a nice free improv multi instrumentalist band that sounds pretty 60's in tone, and a few unknowns that turned out to be a punk comp (terrible can't stand much guitar) and a Lemon Jelly single with samples from the same guy from AFX 14 Make a Baby and  an old Cassetteboy track too. 


Sunday, 23 October 2016

New / old PC.

As I mentioned last week we found a new PC, a Lenovo Thinkcentre from circa 2007 or so.  Looking at the specs online before grabbing it, ours is a little weaker that what I initially saw possibly down to them all looking alike.  Its only running on Core 2 Duo (conroe architecture), 1GB of DDR2 RAM and an 80GB HD with limited space for expansion due to small form fitting.   Of course its running Windows XP and I've gotten Lubuntu running as an acceptable substitute for the venerable OS.
 We have an old Samsung LCD TV as a monitor substitute that works as well but will need tuning in to be used as my new tv and to replace the Goodmans CRT block that I currently don't use.

Turning it on I could see it was used to run a tyre company in the next town over from us, and was infested with an awful lot of shit.  Wajam, Conduit, Bubble dock and thanks to Avast a few nastier trojans as well on there too.  One of the start up things was win a free iPad and I decided to at least get medieval on its ass by putting together my standard care package of anti malware and uninstallers along with a few hardware snoop / file recovery progs for your delectation. 

Whoever it was had kids and there were countless photos of his little ones, enough to regret my life in general and make me feel like a closet nonce for looking in the first place.  Luckily there were a few pics of his Mrs in a bikini and a clip of an Ginger tom cat attacking xmas decs to negate this.
Also I decided to have a look at his browsing history which is largely pornhub and a facebook pages from people I've come to know via them throwing out stuff before.  They had a weird aversion to updating stuff also as Chrome was on version 33 and Firefox at Version 19 which meant every web page is probably going to be broken if I took it online.


Merry Fucking Xmas
I did find a few things worth salvaging, the screen and the case is nice the way it comes apart and that.  Also there are a few nice non kid pictures from Planet Earth and a peeping cat, as well as shed load of photos about tyres and shit.  I have an idea of putting my old system in there, just porting it across and see if it will work lock stock.  Its a big step up so far but failing that bump up the RAM and put in a salvaged HD from the sky boxes which you always seem to find.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

The worst website in the world.

Been wanting to tell you about the "brand new computer" I found this week but instead will have to deal with some idiocy instead.

The worst website in the world.

According to Sarah Vine in the Mail its pornhub.com and I quote in full so that you don't have to visit.

"Days after Kim Kardashian was relieved of her jewels in Paris, the vice-president of PornHub, one of the most depraved pornography websites on the planet, offered £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the thieves. 

To be fair I've never really visited as I'm more an xhamster man myself but, let that sink in.  I've seen much worse around, I've had a few sites that have opened pop ups that have forced me to CTRL ALT Delete Chrome because they hijacked me, all the while telling me I had a "Virus" or my HD would be deleted if I closed all without running a single process, and all I had to do was call their bogus team support.  Pornhub seems like a puppy compared to them, just because they show adult vids, that doesn't mean they don't have a heart.

Also its nice to know that just because you are famous for being famous you can have any compassion omitted for you, because you starred in amateur porn.  There is a warped logic here that I can't fathom, that a person has been through a tragic event, and even I, a robot autard who struggles with feelings, will concede that she deserves some sympathy for once.  The main story is that pornhub has proved to be more of a moral guardian rather than the Mail, that the adult industry has stuck up for her rather than the mainstream media.   And yeah, I can't believe I'm sticking up for Kim Cardassian, and Kanye Gayfish, people I actively despise, but it goes deeper than that.  There's been a real spate of these stories this week.

First up is Pamela Anderson, 90's playbore model and star of Baywatch and V.I.P coming out to say we should have more sensuality and that porn should be banned.   I kinda wished she'd crawl back under her rock for fading stars and shut up.  This is most of my relationship there, I find it difficult enough without her criminalising me as a pron user.  I'm not much of a viewer though its part of my daily routine, maybe 20 minutes tops, its to get me off and keep me sweet, I can go without and its not an addiction.  In fact the best thing about porn I ever read is Sex Myths by Brooke Magnatti, and googling her on it brought me back to a post on the Mail's website with her showing an old photo of her as an escort, nipples pixellated, and with scathing comments beneath.

Finally we have Women's hour host and professional owl look a like, Jenni Murray saying that we should have a discussion about porn in schools and that some filth should be shown there.  I say bring it on, we need a discussion on pron, that it isn't real life, its made up and fake total Tom and Jerry stuff, that no one does half and a quarter of the things here in real life and kids need to understand this.  Show them more badly lit amateur stuff of people fucking with the TV on  and washing piled up around them being bothered by the dog rather than the glossy made up, big studio stuff.  But most of all tell them shit's not real. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Look daddy, Its a scary round up.

Yes indeed a scary round up of some interesting, well I never facts and articles for your pleasure.

Programmer rants take a turn for the dark NSFW.

You may be aware of the penchant for old games developers to put in full on rants and stuff hidden in the code of old games.  There is an excellent video on Guru Larry's channel of western programmers doing just that and I will give you a link to it here as its well worth a look.  He does say in  the vid you don't want to know what Japanese developers hid in their games for good reason.

That reason is  Hisou Kihei XSERD an obscure strategy game for PC Engine.  There was a posting up on RHDN by some guys that they had found something pretty dark inside the files whilst working on this series of games (they fan translated the sequel Vixen 357 on Megadrive and had picked this up as its a prequel of sorts).   They are lyrics for a song about a serial killer and paedophile Tsutomu Miyazaki.  

Its understandably freaked out the people who found this, who posted it up on the boards.  The full text can be found here.  To be honest it reminds me of power electronics band Whitehouse and their fascination for killers and stuff, though I doubt William Bennet covered this and such.

You'll of course be wanting something to cheer you up after that so here is a few stories I've been reading today about Pineapple's setting fruit in,... Huddersfield.  That well known tropical town up north.  Also in the Sun on Sunday, that sparked this all off, a man also getting a fruit on his pineapple in that well know haven of the tropics... Cirencester.

In true imbecile fashion though the Sun proudly claims that its grown into a "3ft tree" despite the fact that Pineapple's aren't trees.  At best they are smallish shrubs, that need a fair bit of heat to produce fruit.  Can remember this from Victorian garden programme on TV ages ago where the rich Victorians would grow them in special glass houses with rotting manure so they would generate the heat needed to grow. 

Finally how about an obscure list of TV characters from Tim Worthington, its got the Animated Laurel and Hardy from when I was little, and Firestar from that Spiderman cartoon..

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Hampstead Junk Tour

First time I've ever been to the land of the chattering classes.  Hampstead is known for the Hampstead heath set of wittering lefties who are far removed from the day to day running of the country, case in point they have a small branch of Waitrose, the most upmarket of all supermarkets on their quite nice high street.  Its also known quite unfavourably from Richard Littlejohn's columns in the Mail for banging on about the gays on Hampstead Heath, I didn't go as it rained like a bastard and confined myself to charity shopping down on the high street.

So what did I get.  Quite a few good things actually, a nice double pack of obscure house from Stylophonic complete with note (see below), and a few good acid tracks (Biochip C, Influx) on vinyl.  Picked up a few good things on CD from Warp.  Kwes. (From Lewisham :0) and Ghostly International on CD and a compilation on Mute (Paroxysm 1 complete with U R track on this) but its the little things that come with stuff that cheer me up.

This note written verbatim below is quite heartwarming and I'll guess never know who they are.

My Little Ravey.

I totally forgot I (went) to a charity / second hand / vintage / who knows what sort of shop while you were away and saw a whole bunch of records.  I didn't recognise any of the titles.. so I ran my fingers along the top, closed my eyes and after 2/3 seconds stopped  and my finger landed upon this record so I bought it for you!  The lady at the shop was so sweet (possibly autistic!) and gave me another copy of the same one.  So these are for you.. I hope they are cool.

OK much love and happy vibes
Claudi Claud.

It made my day.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A round up of sorts.

Haven't really had the time for one of these in ages, its basically when I'm out of ideas but have had a few things to pick up on for awhile now and they make excellent reading.

Vita stuff.

If you've been living under a rock you'll know that there's a brand new exploit out for the Vita called Henkaku, that allows you to run unsigned code and homebrew programs such as emulation and Doom.  Of course its been out a while and there is of course a firmware update that invalidates this but if you don't update then it should be OK its only some stupid on line functions anyway.  There are also a few things in the works such as rom dumpers and the like which is going to be interesting especially from a preservation perspective or emulation.  Also with a temporary way in it'll be fun to see what anyone comes up with. 

Private Magazine.

Been reading up about the history of Private, the long running Swedish Porno mag / film empire.  They are along with Color Climax some of the oldest porn merchants in Europe and yes I've been reading 70's porn again.

The article in question is actually a good read although there's no nudity possibly not one you'll want to read at work.  Largely it started by Berth Milton taking nude photos of models and then taking them to the justice ministry in the mid 60's and asking if they were permissible or not.  The answer they said is they didn't know, effectively publish and be damned, I won't spoil any more as its a cracking read.

Shit Film X Hess.

Finally found something to edit film for free.  Its a bastard hassle to get including liking on Facebook to get your download and a sign up to register but once you are in and registered its not so bad at all.

Its called Hitfilm 4 Express, and yes it renders out quite nicely with no watermarking or anything other shenanigans free stuff normally adds.  Its adequate for normal stuff and has a compositing strip so you can do ytp stuff and on screen graphics.  Its a bastard to like and register, but the program itself isn't disappointing, true you can't do time stretch stuff like in Vegas or pitch shifting to make YTPMV but you can use an audio editor for that.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Paignton

Spent a nice week down at Paignton in Devon.  We had good weather for a change as its normally changeable here in September, no record heatwave but it wasn't cold either and no storm on the friday as predicted which is a bonus. 

Its part of the south Devon coast and has some stunning sandy beaches along with rock pools when the tide goes out.  I'll warn you that the sea fair races in here, case in point we were gone about 20 minutes and what was a large pool with a sandbar became almost entirely under water and this was just yards from the sea front.  Also another good thing is that dogs were allowed on the beach in certain areas, so if you want to watch dogs chasing balls, digging in the sand and racing around then your needs are accommodated for.  

Hot digging dog
Also there were a load of gulls here, including the bully gull or Herring Gull as its more usually known.  We get them on the river at home along with Black Headed Gull and Greater or Lesser Black Backed Gulls, but here its just the Herring gull.  Mostly 1st season chicks, with a few adults getting their winter plumage which threw me for a bit as I've only ever seen them with pure white heads.

Gull second winter?
There's a great guide telling you what the various stages in a Herring Gull's life is here.  Apart from the gulls there were crows who seemed to be moulting as they looked ratty and dull. 

We did a few trips out down to a few places including Torquay, Paignton itself and Brixham.   First of all Brixham.  A lovely place where I stayed 30 years or so ago, can remember the all saints church and its impressive clock and that it played abide with me.  Turns out that it didn't but the vicar who wrote it lived there instead.  I ain't Christian no more, but its still one impressive building and the clock was as I remember it, black and imposing, and plays the half and quarter hours, sadly didn't hear it on the hour as I was back in the car then.

Another warning you'll get no phone signal in the town itself, just a heads up if you have a life and that.  Also they have a proper mental flogging the big issue which is worth the price of admission alone.

Torquay.

If its known for anything its the English Riviera and Fawlty Towers, we didn't find Basil's famous guest house although there was a Corbyn hotel presumably full of lefty scum.  Torquay itself is not bad but full of what can only be described as future Jeremy Kyle contestants, and tramps, its got a lot going for it including an impressive array of charity shops, but like I said tramp central.

Paignton.

Finally Paignton.  Rather reminds me of Salou in a way, both have rail lines that cut through the town and both have an impressive sea front.  Though Paignton reminds me more of Lowestoft here. We also have a few arcades though none have any classic coin ops and its all penny falls and slots.  I did however find 2 new pachislots to add to the list of places that have them displayed in the windows.

Neo Planett

Neo Pulsar
Both are by Yamasa and both are stuck in the window, apart from that they did the usual suspects, rainbow riches and Deal or No Deal so if being stared at by a bank of Noel Edmonds is your thing go for it.
 All in all though an excellent holiday. I'll leave you with the train.
Choo choo.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Holiday rock

This is the first time I've live blogged on a vacation, as mostly I like an actual keyboard to type with.  I'm in Devon at the moment and on break so here are a few things to keep you ticking over, it's further thoughts from the free video blog I did.

Shotcut

We gave this another go and you can cut stuff with it, but it's a horrible faff to do involving zooming in and worse it never rendered anything out for me.  We downloaded Magic movie studio 13 (the new name for Vegas) and it's like putting on a old shoe that's how comfortable it feels.

Any Video Converter

Steer well clear of this, as the free version is full of bundles are aids. Unskippable Aids at that. If you don't want Chromium or so dodgy malware scanner steer clear. It also changes everything to Yahoo (it's always Yahoo, and I know no one who uses or likes it even) you can rid yourself of it with Malware bytes and Adwcleaner two of my main standby's.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sitcom Remakes

We've had a wave of remakes of beloved old sitcoms recently, Are you being served?, Porridge and a few origin stories for Keeping Up Appearances and Goodnight Sweetheart.  As well as a lost sitcom on BBC 4. 

Bear in mind that I love some of these shows, and the latter two were a part of me growing up even if I can't stand them now.  So I'm looking at these remakes with a certain eye.  This is going to be a review of sorts. although I missed the Goodnight Sweetheart reboot so wont cover it.

Are You Being Served?

They've shunted this to the late 80's and somehow drafted Mr Grainger back in even though he retired in the series a long time ago.  To be fair he reminds me of Mickey's Grandpa from the Mickeys Miniature grandpa comic strip in Viz though that would liven the show up if he was convinced he was 4 inches tall whenever anyone asked him to do anything, but I digress.  To be honest that's the least of their worries as its patchy as fuck, they have a black guy as a Mr Lucas replacement who works really well despite reigning in all borderline sexual harassment scenes with the Milflike Miss Brahms, but it took me almost the whole episode to work out what else was wrong with it.  Mr Humphries.

You may remember him as the slender, camp, purveyour of men's fashions, but he's much dumpier in the reboot, its jarring and worse reminds me of the excellent Suit You sketch from the Fast Show.
Boycey (Michael Challis) is spot on as Captain Peacock, and Sherrie Hewson is boss as Mrs Slocombe, notably excellent is Mr Rumbold complete with dolly bird secretary.  Like I say it doesn't come off and the humour is a bit too crude, pussy jokes aside.  For extra Viz references this feels like a Finbarr Saunders strip made flesh, all innuendo and no climax.  For bonus points they really do have a young Mr Grace in this, a Gordon Gecko grandson of the original but as I kept thinking it was Stephen Mulhern throughout  I can ignore him and say its good but not the original.

Porridge

Even though I love Ronnie Barker, I've never really watched the originals, I know Godber was his cellmate and Mchaie was the Scots jailer who caused him mischief, but that's that.  I largely got my Ronnie Barker fix through Open All Hours, or the much forgotten Clarence.   This updates the original with Fletch's grandson in jail for hacking, it reigns in the jock bashing of the original even though the screw is still Scottish (a Mr Meekie).  Weirdly I kept thinking they had teleported Harry Enfield from the 80's turns out its Kevin Bishop as Fletch instead.  The plot is some nonsense about changing the parole records of an old lag due out soon, with some heath robinson junk involving a pringles can and a smart phone.  Its not bad and as its an all new cast could easily be made to a full series.

Young Hyacinth.

Sounds like I missed a cracker with the Goodnight Sweetheart as I slept through an extended Gardener's World instead.  Sadly I was up and at 'em for this unfortunately.  Its cancer, fucking cancer, just her irritating voice was enough to keep me awake, the upper class twats she worked for and her daft bint sisters kept me shivering.  Clock watching, her dad's a pisshead on a bike and they live in a lock keepers cottage.  Fuck.  Hey Rose is still a tart, is that the joke, the whole joke, jesus fuck no. 

I kept wanting it to end, to put me out of my misery,  I got out 5 minutes before the end, but not before losing my will to live and sanity.

Alf Garnett Reboot.

This isn't part of Sitcom season as its a recreation of a wiped show from the archive using the original script, next Thursday they'll be doing a Hancocks Half Hour, which promises to be good. 

Johnny Speight was another genius in my book, you looked at Alf not as a role model but as a joke.  He had no power, not at home, not at anytime, he was a parody of the kind of bigots on the terrace and in the streets.You weren't there to agree with his views they were a piss take pure and simple.

This is a remake with Simon Day as Alf Garnett who is mainly spot on, and the script revolves him not having his dinner due to Else his wife burning it due to her going off to the Pictures with Rita and the Scouse Git.  Who ever it was playing Else got her spot on, close your eyes and its her, dead on.  Mike's chinese in this but that hardly matters as weirdly it works too.  The best thing about this is that though it's dated, it works.  They've got a script with bugger all racism in it which is a miracle, and only mildly sexist to boot, largely the phone box scene (told you its dated) where Alf has to phone up Rita in the chippy to order, and there is some young bird in there on the phone to her fella.

Won't spoil it for you but, this is the best thing of the current remakes, its filmed in front of a studio audience and best of all no canned laughter.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Free Video Editors a top something or other

Been on the look out for some free video editors and stuff and thought I would give you a heads up on some things I've found. Everything is fucking shit and I'll explain.

I use quite a bit of free software to replace useless or inadequate stuff Windows does.   We use Recuva to snaffle pictures from old SD cards and Audacity and GIMP (not an actual gimp) for audio work and picture editing as well as a bought life subscription to Goldwave (they're Canadian, its cheap).  So would like to think they would have a nice free video botherer for YTP and the like something to rival Vegas for ease of use and integration.  What I've found is far, far worse.

Lightworks  
This could easily be from some cartoon tie in on the GBA


This is probably the best of the bunch as its remotely accessible to any newbies but still does things weirdly.  Overall it looks like it should be an old XP program from 2005 such is its design, you import stuff from a folder and arrange things in bins and then click on a bank of panels at the side to create you own timeline.  Even installing you'll need to register even for a free version, and the upshot is this unless you have a Vimeo or Youtube account you can't export it to popular formats such as WMV or AVI. Its a bastard headache to use and the shark logo kept reminding me of an old GBA game. 

It does have a great video tutorial that is narrated by a Brooklyn gangster.  Also if you are running linux, then versions are available for that as well, they'll still be opaque and obtuse though.

Blender.

Strictly speaking not a video editor as its a 3D renderer with some video editing added in, its on a par with Lightworks for complexity though, relying on drop down menus for everything.  You'll see when you start it up, you'll need to use a drop down menu to even reach the editor and then faff around with a few more menus to add a video clip, which needs a few unexplained keyboard short cuts to cut.  If you put in the hours you'll be able to do some great things with this, I am sure of this, its just like hitting a brick wall at 400mph and expecting to survive.

One really good thing is that it has the best tutorial videos ever with it, a seminar going through main functions and stuff split into a variety of videos.   On the strength of these vids, I've not uninstalled Blender yet, that's how good they are. If they simplified the video interface or split it off into a standalone product it would be genius.

Tencoder.

This isn't really an editor as such but a video converter and a decentish Youtube downloader. 
Its junk free unlike Freemake and you can update it painlessly in App to the current version.  Its not that hard to do just choose your output files from the drop down menu and it'll convert it.  A few caveats though some stuff will not get downloaded from Youtube, I've used this for a while now and it won't grab everything especially vevo stuff. 

You can use Keepvid or another site to download them for keeps, or if you want a program to do it then AVC Ultimate is pretty good, just keep ignoring the register nag box and it should download with no worries.

Honourable mentions go to WinFF which I've used in the past and Handbrake which I've never gotten on with.

Adobe Premiere CS2.

I haven't even tested this yet on PC, and its really old now so not sure if it'll work on Win 10 but this part of the discontinued Adobe creative suite.  Reading up on the comments, I see there are some formats it doesn't load but you can use Tencoder to switch them into something it recognises.

I've used and disliked Audition and a Legit version of Photoshop which I had to crack on an old PC to make it work.  I may actually download this if all else fails and use it on my old desktop (CS188 poops were done in Premiere and after effects) so I know its a good pedigree.

Shotcut.

I haven't talked about Windows Movie Maker here which isn't available for Windows 10, it doesn't matter as this is the nearest equivalent out there.  It didn't run in Vista when I tried but when I opened it in Win 10 bingo it loaded.  It feels like movie maker although its a bit of  a bastard about cutting stuff saying I should install Virtual Dub to do this which only imports AVI files. 

I like WMV as a video format and this was a deal breaker for me, if they add a way to cut and past in shotcut then I'm sold as Movie maker is a terrible program. I may give it a second chance if its rectified in the future but so far then its a no from me.

Conclusion.  They are either complex or missing features and stuff if you can live with this then good luck, blender seems the most capable but I would say learn 3D stuff rather then video editing.

Also Blackmagic Davinci, looks great but needs more HD space and RAM than God to get working, so its an automatic no from me.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A letter from the past

Been clearing out some junk from the room downstairs and finally managed to get into my desk after shifting a mountains worth of magazines from the front of it.  I fully admit I'm a packrat but there comes a time that even I feel the need to get rid of stuff and downsize.

The real reason was to see if there was any trace of my old Sony Movies studio 10 serial to see if I can get Vegas working, but to no avail.  Incidentally don't bother with a crack as they are all stuffed  with trojan's, had to clear a nasty dwm. Virus that spammed windows messages at the rate of knots. Will still need to see if Vista is clean on the old machine I loaded it in (of course its not coming within an inch of my new laptop). It comes to something you have to pirate something you legitimately own to get running.

To be honest It's still not found and am considering looking at Free equivalents including Davinci Resolve a pro product for free.  Incidentally if you want something to test that new graphics card to the fullest and have room to install it (its 512 GB unpacked, no seriously) then have a look at the specs here

Anyway stuff found includes several old instruction manuals for old games including Parodius from Palcom*, various bits and bobs, empty CD cases and stuff and a set of old snooker balls that were kept at my nan's.  I did blog about this before as I was quite the snooker nut as a kid, indeed I turned up a signed photo of Steve Davis circa 1981. Anyway we still have the actual balls for this and forgot what an actual patchwork of misshapen lumps they were.

One or two of these were beads.
That's no moon
We never did have a full set and had to make them up from several other things, worse the dog would grab them up whenever they would fly off the table and would need to be bribed with Bonio's to drop them. As you can see the were appalling, cratered and of various sizes, the original blue was a small bead at one point before we got another version.

The most awesome thing actually was the most unexpected, a letter from my granddad from 1987, tucked in among my folders.  A few lines about sending a cheque down to my mum and how my plants are doing.  That was enough to get me tearing up, and I'm man enough to admit that my granddad was cool. 

*Incidentally from what I could see there's a repro manual online with Ultra games stamped on it but this is strictly a Japanese / European release so that's a mystery. I'll leave you with a shot of all the bosses including a few sub bosses too.
Ghost Madam of Yotsuya Q is a mystery.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Emulation Round Up of sorts

Been working through what works emulation wise on Windows 10.  So far Snes and Nes stuff has caused no problems as both FCEUX and Higan work perfectly.

Both Yabause and SSF are working perfectly for Sega Saturn stuff and if I cared about Megadrive or lower then I suspect that it would work as well.

I finally managed to get both Playstation 2 and Gamecube and Wii emulation working at full speed so PCSX2 and Dolphin are working well.  Tested with a disc version of Final Fantasy 12 and Bubble Bobble Plus and as an aside found that Wii games cannot be played directly from disc unless you have a specific drive to play them on (thanks a bunch Nintendo).

Hand held wise BGB works for Gameboy and WScamp for Wonderswan does OK as well.

I haven't tested either arcade or old computer things yet although I do have copies of MAME, FBA and Raine on an old drive that I can test out and a Sharp X68OOO emulator that hasn't been updated in years. 

In fact the only problems I can find is Playstation emulation.  EPSXE crashes "everytiem" and has never gone in game despite multiple plug ins and configurations.  PCSX is massively fast when we tested it with Front Mission 3 and eventually ends up with a blast of noise that would make Masami Akita proud.  In fact its only PSX which works despite it being abandoned now.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Legolas's Cock


They can see my what!!!!!

The world's seemingly going crazy for Legolas cock, or at least Orlando Voorn's Bloom's as he was papped paddle boarding with Katy Perry.  If you haven't seen it yet, its everywhere and everyone is commenting on this, giving a sort of insight into the kind of minds that if it were a women would easily be called a sexist misogynist at worst. 

Decided to dive in and have a butchers at the first link there was and as its that fucking rag the Daily Mirror decided to keep some booze at handy to blot out any socialism that appears. 
As I'm A, a straight white male it did fuck all for me to be honest and clicked to the comments to see what kind of hell I'd fallen into.

Turns out there were pretty few that thought like me.

I'm curious, did this publication directly make the nude pictures of Kate Middleton and
Jennifer Lawrence available as Orlando's are right now?

Because its believed men don't deserve any privacy

Are just some of the quotes that aren't from jealous guys having their own online dick size contest.

(also pro tip if you want to quote from a page that does not let you copy and paste quoted pages from  it first hand just copy and paste it to notepad, and then copy and paste that direct to text)

Its weird that there should be such double standards when it comes to male celebrities where as for women (unlike the hideous break the internet, non paparazzi plastinated Kim Cardassian pics)
 with similar images its all a little seedy.  Either stuff like this and the fappening releases is  acceptable or its not there is no middle ground.


I'm curious, did this publication directly make the nude pictures of Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lawrence available as Orlando's are right now?

I'm curious, did this publication directly make the nude pictures of Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lawrence available as Orlando's are right now?
I'm curious, did this publication directly make the nude pictures of Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lawrence available as Orlando's are right now?
I'm curious, did this publication directly make the nude pictures of Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lawrence available as Orlando's are right now?

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Power Up!

Yesterday I took a trip down to the Science Museum in South Kensington for a long awaited poke around the Power Up! exhibition.  Its a celebration of gaming and game culture through the last 40 years or so of gaming.  Imagine if you will, a bank of old consoles and computers hooked up to televisions, showing off some of their best games and all ready to be played.  This is power up.

Its a brief exhibition for the summer holidays only on for two whole weeks and occurring in 90 minute blocks.  So if you come early, be prepared to kill some time looking around the museum at some of the exhibits, my tip make your way through rocketry to the Imax bit at the back and then upstairs into the memory and humanities bit. There's a tonne of interactive stuff there and some genuinely interesting stuff on the state of who you are, failing that big fuck off rockets.

The Black Arrow the only rocket we built
So what can I see?

As everything is playable, you can make your way down to the back area where all the retro stuff is you'll notice that the first half is mostly themed around genres.  There is a timeline of sorts for Mario, Sonic, Batman and Streetfighter series although in Sonic's case that is mostly a nose dive to mediocracy.  You can relieve being at Boots the Chemist in the early 1990's with a limited play on the original Megadrive Sonic. You can hear grown kids marvelling at how shit the original FIFA was and play the updated versions too.

Me, I got a few retro kicks with some obscure stuff and relieve an old memory of my first ever encounter with Mario in the Index bit of Littlewoods Department store.  Or rather Luigi, as that's what it was (and what I thought it was called) this was the arcade version though with the extra lives dummied out and a re arranged layout pretty sure there's a romhack of this.  Edit yup.

The MAME cabs where the most interesting, with an obscure line up of platformers and puzzlers including Choko from Mitchell Corp, a Shanghai clone against the clock where you have to match pairs before the sides close in and Saboten Bombers a single screen action game like Tumble pop in which you have to clear the screen of enemies without being killed.  Oh and its the only game I know with both cactus as a hero and Huernia flowers as an enemy among other stuff.

The back area was pretty nice, they a load of old consoles with a few playable games in each cases, the Amiga contingent was brought up by James Pond on an Amiga 600, speccy fans were treated to Bombjack form Tekhan and C64 fans could play Toki running from cart.  Amstrad fans had a non playable version of Cybernoid for the 464 which was a shame but still better than the BBC which had basic up and running inviting kids to "code" something.  Atarians of course had a playable ST and the Jaguar with Jeff Minter's Tempest 2000 running (and yes the pad was still a nightmare to play with) in fact it reminds me a lot  of what TXK would become 2 decades later.

Played a load of Super Star Soldier for the PC engine before moving on to what I'd missed on the other side.  Didn't get a go on Taiko no Tatsujin or the rhythm action games sections and passed over the big lan party bits for Bomberman, Worms and Minecraft.  Did have a poke at Mickey Mouse for Master System and a ropey Batman game for PS2.  But spent the remainder playing Mario games for the Wii and Wii U.  Still not convinced the world needed motion controls or a big fuck off tablet to play either on or off screen but am convinced that Yoshi's Woolly World is a thing of loveliness.

Look everything is made of wool, you can collect yarn and unpick the landscape and push things around, its excellent and feels just like a Yoshi game should.  There is no 3DS version sadly but it what there is looks and plays ace so there.

Poking around Mario Galaxy with my first grab at the Wii motion controls, I suspect you'll get used to them  but it didn't grab me like Woolly world did.  We also played New SMB Wii which is more like the DS Mario games, they had (cliche alert) a slippy slidey ice world with a Hammer bro lobbing snowballs and various icicles to dodge.  Did briefly get a penguin suit but then it was time up and had to leave.
Let the games begin.

Final thoughts is this, if there are a family and one or more of you are a gamer you can show your youngsters what you were playing then and how stuff has changed.  Also give them a go on a few old consoles to see how far we have come even play multiplayer I see Mario Kart and Bomberman for some old school fun.

Power up 22nd July - 7th August. £8 to get in Adult and Child tickets available on line and on the door from here.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Disaster Report.

Thanks to some stuff and nonsense in the week I lost my PC to a massive crash the kind where you have to unplug because ctrl alt del doesn't work.  Thanks to that, it corrupted my hard drive so the only thing I could do was boot up in linux and see what could be salvaged.  Thanks to a partial back up, I didn't lose much just videos, documents and a music folder I haven't added to in ages, most  will be on back ups on removable drives from when I did it a few months ago.

The upshot is that I now have a new PC, a nice I7 laptop from Asus (incidentally does anyone else pronounce it ace us instead of ah Zeus) and a nice Numark Recording turntable from Maplin.
(you can skip the next two paragraphs if you want to know how to set that up my impressions).

PC is a laptop (which is new for me) and currently has a few custom additions by myself namely an external keyboard and mouse because a touch pad is an awful fucking contraption, leaving you cramped up like a zombie hunched over the screen.  Also added a external USB hub so it doesn't clog up what USB ports I have left and of course banished most of Windows 10 with Classic Shell and unpinned Cortana from the start bar.  The only thing left to do is to comb through the back shell bits and turn off all the ads and tracking bollocks though if you use free software you'll be used to that in some degree or other.

Relegated the old rig upstairs and put Linux Mint Sarah on it which was easy enough (ironically my cousin was called Sarah and yeah she was easy enough too ;). It looks fucking lush and sort of apes win 10 in its interface, finally added a network adaptor to the USB hub upstairs and added the address of my new VM  super hub. Result all devices are playing ball, which is a novelty for me as it was an absolute bastard to add the old PC to.

The Numark is the Numark TT USB turntable (on offer for £100) a lightweight plastic deck with a few pro parts and pieces.  It came with a link for EZ tape and vinyl recovery software for Vista and XP, but I've snubbed this for my legit Goldwave and Audacity combo that has stood the test of time for me.

Watch out when unboxing as there are several parts hidden in the polystyrene that are easy to over look, such as the stylus head and counterweight.  These are easily added and once the stylus cover is removed and weight calibrated you are all set up to go.  This is currently running from the separate system through the RCA ports at the back and the switch to line in. So far I cannot vouch for the USB connectivity but I'm happy with everything else.

Like Depeche Mode says, its important to "get the balance" right.  You must screw the counterweight in until you get it to balance perfectly and when its set right you're all set to go.
So far I've tried it out with UB40 in dub and its been good (though a brand new stylus helps) just need a few other things to add and I'll be set.

Pro's are: easy to set up and quite lightweight.  +/-8 slider for true DJ speed control.

Minuses: Plastic finish makes it look quite ugly.  Can be fiddly for those not used to a pro set up.
Easily over looked parts in packaging (seriously we found the counterweight when throwing away the polystyrene).

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Crossley Cruiser

I'm currently without a record player, I don't know how you feel about this but I'm kinda lost without something to play records with.  My old deck is part of a really old Sharp separate system that comprises of a base receiver and radio, a tape deck and a record player.  We picked it up at a bootsale for the princely sum of £5 a good ten years back and everything still works (except the record deck).
Most of what you see here has gone to the great graveyard in the sky, including Man Ginger.
So its with a heavy heart that I'm looking around for a replacement deck that fits in with what I have via the AUX port and isn't some cheapo Crossley derivative in a suitcase.

The thing is, records mean a lot to me, I grew up with the first wave of dance music where nothing came on CD and you either bought records or a compilation on tape for the car or walkman, latter stuff would come on CD and over the years I've come to enjoy the mix CD (now supplanted by Soundcloud) and Pirate radio which is more legit now thanks to streaming digital stations.  I am not one of those people who are amazed that "Vinyl exists" and re buy all their Beatles albums on 180gram vinyl, I am an techno head and its either records or go without (or option B Youtube).

Which brings me to the split between the two extremes the Crossley Cruiser in a suitcase and the £1000 audiophile set up.  My dad has the former of the two, and offered for me to borrow it to try it out.  I took it up and instantly regretted it, the play back was tinny and cheap and the MP3's I did get from it weren't very good.  Worse is that everywhere I look in shops (HMV and "Chas" Ohlson especially) have these modern spam tin atrocities.  I am actually considering looking in Crash Converters for discontinued Stantons or Technics that's how bad it is.

The other end is Hi-Fi magazines which blind you with science and favour the grossly overpriced "audiophile" decks that are available nowhere and cost upwards of a grand.  I know you get what you pay for but something around the £200 mark should be the limit and get you something decent. I know there are good decks out there, that will fit my set up, but its finding them and the confidence to buy them, something I lack and that.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

TCC Watch.

Finally have a few new bits and pieces on The Children's Channel.  This time its a shot from the Stories Without Words segment that I've mentioned before.  The cliff notes explanation is that it was a programme that showed Eastern European cartoons, but without giving any credit of what they were called originally. 

Its an excuse to show stuff like Hungary's Bunny With the Chequered Ears, Polish fare such as Teddy Drop Ear and the Magic Pencil and German bits like the Plastinots (here called the Plonsters, told you we never had proper names).  As well as having stuff like Hennapippa (cartoon chicken chroma keyed onto a live screen background) that is an enduring myth to me unto this very day.

Top down, English, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch.
This is from the opening titles to the show, the words would scroll about the screen pulling off all sorts of tricks while a classical theme played.  I can't quite place who its by and where its from although it is reprised in all places, in Little Kings Story for Wii and PS Vita.  I can play it on keyboard but I tend to go into the theme tune to Brum which sounds similar. 

The hardest thing is writing why I remember this obscure stuff from way back when.  I lost my nan on my mums side around that time I think I was about 8 or so and can remember just thinking it was all my fault and that.  We had cable due to poor quality TV reception so I was home for two weeks so I could get over it.  As kids programming was in its infancy I watched a lot of TV and feeling like hell.  As BBC used to go to teletext in the afternoon,  so I'd turn to cable, this would be stuff like Voltron or Rambo on Superchannel, and The Children's Channel which had Toybox with Carol Chell and the stories without words in the morning.

I can remember asking my uncle who spoke German what the bottom bit meant as I tried to memorise it, but he couldn't help (not surprising as its Dutch).  So scrolling around the Internet I found that someone had a few screen shots of the opening titles on a forum thread and hit save and here they are I wonder if it would be worth typing in the words on the list + TCC to see if they give you any hits (Tried it with the Danish and no joy).

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Holiday 16: Fiesta de Santa Tecla and Mulassa

You'll be pleased to know that this is the end of my holiday round up, but I have left the best till last. This last trip is probably better explained by someone into mystery beasts like the excellent Karl Shuker, but on one of our trips to Tarragona we found round by the Cathedral steps, were people setting up for some sort of parade.

There were two giants (Gegantes Catalan or Gigantes in Spanish) a man and a woman in medieval dress.
Los Gigantes
Also a mule known in the Catalan bestiary as Mulassa (bottom Photo).
Donkey one.
Mulassa with band.

The strangely priapic Castell.
Mulassa sort of operates like a panto horse with a person in the front as the head end and another person at the back providing the back legs so to speak.  I have seen Youtube clips of it dancing around in a circle to music but when we saw it, it had to move out the way of a truck so it could pass which was quite funny in itself.   The main obstacle to what was going on is that there is precious little in a language I can understand, its Catalan folklore and as they seem to be fiercely protective of  their language and customs, nothing is bilingual not even in regular Spanish, which I can at least have a fighting chance at.  Its maybe part of the Santa Tecla Festival (St Thecla?), or it may not, I would welcome some comments as to what its all about. What I do know is that this was on behalf of a sick kid in hospital and they sold shirts for 5 Euro.  They had an inflatable human tower and a band playing music which was quite nice.  We sat for a good half hour watching them set up and play a few songs and stuff before moving on.  It was an unexpected find on a good day out.