Sunday, October 25, 2009

Typos and Whoppers.

The photos above come from an advertising flyer that came through my door earlier this week. The church in question has patently spent a small fortune on pre and post production of the leaflet; it is on heavy, glossy high quality card, and it would appear that both time and care have been lavished on the design. It is a pity that this is shot down by a woeful disregard for the rules of spelling and typography. If you click on either image for a much larger view, you will see what I mean. I have no axe to grind with the organisation whatsoever; it does seem that they are shooting themselves in the foot though; they would in my opinion be better served by getting their publicity material proof read by someone who had a clue about such things. Talking of leaflets and other publicity materials, I got a pizza delivery leaflet from the far flung outpost of civilisation that is Greenhithe. Greenhithe - even as the (stolen) welly flies, that has got to be at least eight miles distant. Who in their right mind would order a bread based snack meal from so far away? And what deranged scooterist would relish such an arduous journey to deliver what would be a soggy and cold repast by the time it eventually reached the hungry customer? Utter madness. I have been running an informal competition to see from how far away fast food companies will leaflet me, and currently this one is by far the leader.

I have just found out some disappointing, but not totally unexpected news. The Robin Hood and Little John will not be competing in the 2010 Bexley Pub of the Year competition. Bexley CAMRA have changed their rules, preventing a pub that has won competition the previous year from entering on the subsequent year; bearing in mind that the Robin  Hood and Little John has won hands down every single time for the last ten years, it is hardly surprising – until now the competition has really been about who was going to come second to them anyway. Secretly, I think landlord Ray is quite relieved; the relentless back to back wins were becoming a tad embarrassing.

This weekend marks a number of notable anniversaries; it is the 594th anniversary of the English victory at the Battle of Agincourt, and it is also the 40th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin 2. The album that brought us Thank You, the Lemon Song, and the seminal Whole Lotta Love. I have a private theory about the vinyl version of the album, that side two was actually pressed with a scratch already on it – I have never encountered the record without a scratch somewhere on it, even when purchased new. BBC 4 broadcast an interesting concert last night – Kraftwerk live, recorded in 2004 – probably the single most influential electronic group ever. You can watch the concert on BBC iPlayer here.

Burger King Windows 7 special.

There have been a number of developments in the field of computer operating systems this week; We have had the much publicised launch of Windows 7 from Microsoft, The photo above is of a genuine  seven patty promotional burger on limited edition sale in Japan by Burger King to mark the launch of Windows 7 – vulgar and distasteful are words that immediately spring to my mind; in a world contrasted by the obese, overfed minority and the starving masses, it strikes me as being a very poorly thought out publicity tool. This commercial product from Microsoft is contrasted by the release of the free and open source Ubuntu 9.10 Linux operating system which has been published to the world. Windows 7 is meant to be a great improvement on the previous horrendous abomination that was Vista, even though Windows 7  is really not that much more than a glorified service pack to what was Vista. Most feedback has been encouraging; it would seem that the monster from Redmond has for once listened to users, and acted upon the hugely negative Vista feedback. Canonical,  producers of the leading Ubuntu Linux distribution, aim to produce a release every six months, the first in April and the second in the October of each year. Bearing in mind I am writing the blog content on my Ubuntu 9.04 netbook using Open Office 3.1, then uploading onto the cloud, where I further edit and polish with the additions of photos and multi media content on my Apple iMac 24” running OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard. Apple have not been shy of the update bandwagon either – they have launched a new range of astonishing upgrades to their hardware – you can see more here.

I was surfing around the web, looking at various suppliers of amateur radio equipment, when I stumbled upon the website of Continental Electronics. This American company have been in business for years; they are arguably the premier supplier of analogue broadcast transmitters in the world. You can visit their Wikipedia page here. If you have to ask how much this kind of kit costs, as the old saying goes, you could not afford it.

We are coming up to Halloween – that detestable American influenced pagan festival; the whole idea of “Trick or Treat” was imported in the 1980's after the release of the film “ET” in which dressing up to go trick or treating was an integral part of the plot; prior to this, Halloween was a relatively low level festival, in which most activities were based around the home, rather than involving kids traipsing around the neighbourhood, effectively demanding money with menaces. Pewty Acres is now remarkably well equipped to deal with such things.

Some years ago I had a nasty problem with my left knee; it became swollen and incredibly painful; I could not bend my leg for over six weeks, and ended up walking with a stick for around three months. I went to the doctor, who originally diagnosed gout, but after  being referred privately to the Blackheath Hospital and going through a battery of tests, I was told by my specialist that my uric acid levels were near normal - apparently raised uric acid in the blood is a  strong indicator of gout. Anyway, the orthopaedic surgeon wrote it off as "one of those things" and I never actually found out what the malaise really was. I have a slight touch of it again, though nothing like as severe as before; I reckon it is a combination of the darker, damper days of Autumn, mixed with old age and decrepitude.

I notice that there are currently a large number of TV adverts for an online dating service called E-Harmony; it all looks very fine and well meaning, but it has come to my attention that it is actually a front for an American evangelical Christian organisation seeking to make inroads to the UK - they have covertly held beliefs that do not concur with the image they portray in their TV commercials; I don't know if the Advertising Standards Authority are aware of this yet – the whole thing smacks of underhand conduct and misrepresentation, whichever way one looks at it.

Another thing that strikes me as being wrong on so many levels is the continued existence of the Chuckle Brothers – they are creepy in exactly the same way as circus clowns, with none of the wit or charm. Quite what small children find funny about two elderly, moustachioed, gurning Northerners prat falling around entirely passes me by – they look like two borderline sex cases out on licence. Be very afraid.

James May has come up with an interesting theory relating to the purchase of used cars; one should aim to outlay no more than £1 per cc of engine capacity for a general purpose run - around, or what he calls "an old biffer". For example, if you purchase an old car with a 2 litre engine, he postulates you should expect to pay no more than £2,000 for it. This is an interesting and somewhat thought provoking concept - your thoughts and comments below if you will.

I think we have now truly got to the point when absolutely everything conceivable is now online; to give an example, there is now even a website called pop that zit – I really could not make it up.

YouTube remains a quality repository of classic television adverts; who could forget the Secret Lemonade Drinker? Did you know that the music for the commercial was composed and performed by Elvis Costello's Dad, and that Costello junior featured on backing vocals? You learn something new every day.

Steel Panther are currently touring the UK in support of ZZ Top; personally I am looking forward to seeing them in their own show. They have been a massive success -  here in the embedded video below, they are in Japan, playing a live version of "Party All Day". This is about as politically incorrect as it gets around here. Warning - strong language featured in this clip.


  1. I'm confused Hugh - you like Steel Panther's 'party all day (F*ck all night)' and yet you don't like the chavs who are following the band's exhortations!!

  2. I never professed to being consistent!

    You do make a valid point though. I suppose the point with Steel Panther is that they are a comedy band like Spinal Tap - they are parodying 80's hair metal (and very good they are at it too). They are sending up the whole selfish "Me" attitude of the late 1980's. If they were being serious I would entirely agree with your assertion though.