Sunday, December 21, 2008

A head full of socks - Revisited.

Above is a photo of the cover of the latest edition of "Out" Magazine. Any reason for this? Well massive Doctor Who fan and very talented graphic designer Damien did it! It is his first big commission - only the first of many, I am sure. Personally I refer it to the Christmas edition of the Radio Times. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Last week was a first - a non appearance of the weekly Maggot Sandwich update. I feel that I should explain. Last Saturday I was feeling a little under the weather, but not that bad, all things considered. I went by bus over to Forest Hill to visit a friend whilst he refurbished his flat. As you may recall, the weather last Saturday was abysmal - endless freezing rain. I ended up having to use a total of five buses on my journey there - it should have been three, but two broke down and I ended up walking for quite some distance in the torrential rain. On the way back, I managed to get just three buses, but I did a fair amount of waiting around in the freezing cold. The end result of all this trudging around was that the dormant flu virus I had been harbouring for around a week previously decided it was time to run rampant around my body. By the time I got home on Saturday evening, I was feeling seriously rough. I went to bed, and effectively stayed there until Wednesday afternoon. Suffice to say that I am now on the road to recovery, but it has been a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

The fight against GC's Night Club appears to be entering a new round; I went past the place in a taxi at about 11.15 on Saturday night. The venue was empty, locked and dark. I have been in close contact with Bexley Council's planning enforcement team, with the local Police safer neighbourhood group, and with The News Shopper local paper to raise awareness of the activities and aspirations of the people behind GC's Night Club. You can read more on the local story here.

As a child, I was a great fan of Tandy - the European name for the U.S Electronics company Radio Shack. Each year I would wait in anticipation for their catalogue to be released; I would spend hours poring over its' contents - most of which seemed impossibly exotic and nothing like anything I had seen before. It was a small slice of America pasted into drab early 80's South East London. I was fascinated by CB radio, scanners and the Tandy TRS 80 computer range. All far too complicated and expensive for a scrawny thirteen year old to afford. Some nice person has put most of the company's catalogues online in a virtual museum that you can see here.

I was in Bexleyheath Broadway yesterday morning, doing some pre Christmas shopping; right next to the clock tower, there were a group of purported Native Americans, in full tribal gear, playing pan pipes to a backing track which sounded like it had been put together from out takes from the sound track to Top Gun. The new age hippy pan pipes were gradually overpowered by the pre - recorded backing, complete with sub AC/DC bass and squealing guitar solo. Very weird and I could not quite work out who they were trying to appeal to - the pan pipe stuff sounded just the same as the South American pipe players you see in shopping centres and malls up and down the UK - it did even strike me that it could be the same crowd, just dressed differently. I think the only people who really got off on this pseudo mystical new age fluff are those individuals who habitually wear saggy T-shirts with air brushed wolves, dolphins and native Americans in front of a star field or rainbow. For some reason the New Agers I tend to encounter tend to have rather poor personal hygiene and social skills. Dream catcher anyone?

My own take on a moral compass is quite simple. If I am undecided on a choice of action, I merely ask myself - "What would Clarkson do?"

Talking of expensive wastes of time, I am increasingly frustrated by the forthcoming Olympic Games in East London in 2012. Why, in such straightened times we should be wasting such huge quantities of tax payers money on what is little more than an international school sports day for adults is completely beyond me. The countries that can employ the best drug technology are invariably the ones that win.

Local radio station WNKR have a full programme of Christmas shows. You can pick them up now on 1476kHz AM or via their online web stream here. If you are perhaps interested in listening around for unusual radio stations over the festive break, and have access to an H.F receiver (any old shortwave radio should do for a start), then keeping an eye on this Shortwave DX blog is a good idea.

This weeks' video clip comes from seminal bluegrass musicians - Hayseed Dixie. This is their take on the classic AC/DC track "Hells' Bells".

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