Sunday, February 28, 2010

T's becomes PC's.

Erith Police Office  959

The photo above shows the newly completed Police safer neighbourhood office in Erith Town Centre; the place is sandwiched between FarmFoods (Erith's prime purveyor of "chip shop style" microwaveable Chav fuel) and underneath what used to be the notorious T's Nightclub, later renamed Club Extreme - a place guaranteed to be the heart of any casual violence and anti social behaviour. Since the place closed down a couple of years ago after having its' licence rescinded, the area has been bereft of a focus for lager induced mayhem.  The Police office is not yet occupied; I hope to give it some coverage when it becomes operational in the very near future. Click on the photo for a larger view.

I recently purchased an upgrade to my copy of Aperture for my iMac - it is a semi professional photo editing application I use in preference to PhotoShop as it is much easier for a casual user to master. The new version 3 has many more features and tighter integration with online photo sharing services such as Flickr and Facebook. Unusually for Apple, the initial release had some serious bugs, one of which would cause the program to show the spinning beach ball of Hell, then to run for the hills, tail between its' legs. Apple software is usually very reliable indeed, so this was more than a bit of a surprise. Mid week a patch was released which has improved the reliability of the software, but  in my experience it is still not rock solid as one would expect for a premium semi pro level product. You can see a screen shot of the patched Aperture 3.0.1 - showing Shirley gadding about on the banks of the River Medway at Gillingham. Click for a larger view.


Have you noticed that the current television advert for Auto Trader magazine features the theme tune to 70's children's show The Flumps? I wonder how that came about? Answers on a post card please.

Talking of television, am I the only person who finds High Definition television a bit of a swizz? I don't actually think the picture quality as that much noticeably better on most programmes - it is only the demonstration Blu - Ray disks showing tropical fish and similar that really look any better than standard definition. I will be sticking with my venerable 36" Toshiba CRT beast until such time as it dies on me. Incidentally, I feel it is my place to mention that the Maggot Sandwich is made from 100% recycled pixels.

I think the video clip below could end up turning viral. It was put together by those nice chaps at - premium vendors of clothing and apparel to the I.T industry. I have several geeky T shirts purchased online from them; their kit is reasonably priced and delivered speedily. What they have done is use some of the novelty wear that they sell, such as a T Shirt with an applique electronic, playable drum kit, a stylophone another T shirt with a playable electric guitar logo on the front, and mini analogue sequencer to recreate the classic Who track Baba O'Reilly - watch and see what you think.

I read in the papers that the BBC are contemplating closing both the DAB stations BBC 6 and the Asian Network; this does not come as a surprise to me. I have heard the controller of the Asian Network say that it would be cheaper for him to record each show onto CD and courier it to each of their listeners than it was to transmit it on DAB.  With the closure of 6 Music, which has an average listener age of 35, and an undertaking to bring more documentaries and comedy to Radio 2, the BBC will also pledge to allow commercial stations to be the main providers of popular music to listeners aged 30 to 50. There will be complaints about the decision to cull 6 Music, which has a small but fervent fan base. Music industry tastemakers revere it as a credible outlet for “real music” but a review last month showed that only 20 per cent of adults knew that the station existed. Personally I find 6 virtually unlistenable; if he had still been alive, I like to think that John Peel would have found it his logical home as controller, and brought some direction to the station. As it is, it will almost certainly be a victim of the now inevitable reorganisation. Ironically, the most successful station on DAB in the UK is Planet Rock - a station which almost disappeared in 2008, until saved by a management buy out.

When I visit the cinema, I don't further inflate the pockets of the conglomerates that own the place; personally I don't like popcorn, and would rather not miss any of the film by visiting the gents every few minutes after having drunk nearly half a gallon of sugar infused fizzy water costing more pro rata than a pint pf premium real ale. After research, I have discovered that when Coke started out in America it was sold in a 5oz bottle, and now you can get it in a 64oz bucket. There are 20 fluid ounces in a pint, so that is a three and a bit pints. There can be nothing materially sensible about that, and no one needs that amount of soft drink do they?

I was on the train back to Euston from Watford on Monday afternoon; two young women got on and sat directly behind me. They were talking quite loudly in fairly posh accents; from their conversation it turned out that they were both actresses, and one had just been to a casting session at Elstree for St.Trinians 3. She was talking about work and filming in the USA - from the details I got, and from a quick look as I got off the train, I was able to Google her, and it was Talulah Riley (copyright free photo below from Wikipedia) - she was the lead in the first two St. Trinians films, and she played Marianne (the love interest) in the Boat that Rocked. She was telling her friend that her best platonic male friend is the Twighlight actor Robert Pattinson - and he apparently is becoming more and more like the vampire character in real life - he's got really dark and moody. As previously mentioned, I don't have much contact with show biz, so this was an interesting interlude.

I seem to have picked up a few more new readers in the last week or so. Apologies to my regulars, but here is a little bit of background for novice visitors to the Maggot Sandwich:

If this is the first time you have read my Blog, then I should explain; I chronicle events in and around Erith and the local area, and cast my wry opinion on issues such as petty crime and social injustice; my views and comments are often made in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, and whilst everything I report on the trusty Maggot Sandwich has occurred exactly as I write, any opinions expressed are to be taken lightly. When in petty local crime fighting mode, I have an alter ego - the suitably monickered Captain Tweed. You can read about one case I cracked by clicking here to go to the story. I have been posting weekly articles here for well over three years now - there are now in excess of 260 posts; updates are published regularly on Sunday afternoons / early evenings, and an Email is sent out to inform veteran readers. The ten most recent postings are on the front page, older postings are automatically archived, and can be read by clicking on the "Blog Archive" drop down menu button to the right of the editorial. Also on the right are a series of links to other websites you may find of interest. The list updates whenever one of the linked sites posts any new content, so the links at the top of the list are those with the most recent updates - the lower on the list, the older the content - all clever stuff. Links to other websites are shown as underlined words or phrases - click on any of these to learn more about the subject in question. I think that is just about that as far as navigation is concerned.

The last video clip this week was brought to my attention by Ian. It shows some extremely clever software engineers who have used the Microsoft Surface as a virtual Dungeons and Dragons environment. I would love to have one of these...


  1. The Blog man commith!
    So Eriff's going to get a P/T Cop-Shop?
    Well I'm not exactly reassured.
    I really don't see the point of these things, yes it's a visible presence in the community but then so is having a Bobby on the beat, something I think is far more useful. Also at the risk of seeming nit-picky according to the sign Erith town centre is in the Northumberland Heath Ward...Eh?
    Why isn't there an Erith Ward?
    Erith up until the mid 60's was a Borough in the same way Bexley is, so it's hardly a "New Town" but I digress.
    Nice to have a "Tin toy station" but I really struggle to see how useful it's going to be to the local area...
    On the subject of it's placement I'm on record of saying I have a secret enjoyment of Farm Foods stuff and it reminds me of what supermarkets were like when I was a kid. Bland beige over lit and all the charm of a morgue...
    As for T's, I think half of Erith's relationships (and break up's) were formed there! I was a semi-regular go-er "back in the day" (late 80's/early 90's) and although the music sucked (this was my spiritual home clubbing wise: and the beer was bottled pap I have fond memories of the place. Two off the top of my head was getting off with some bird 3 weeks running but only at the last dance and never knowing her name and "dancing" to Queen's Innuendo. By myself. While very drunk. And trying to do flamenco at the Spanish bit at the end...Oh God....moving on!

    I've noticed that Auto Trader is using The Flumps music. I can see where they're coming from it's to foster a warm comfortable nostalgic feeling but seems as odds with the actual product. I mean a second hand car sales mag? It needs guitars and ROCK! LOL!

  2. So the BBC are thinking of closing two "radio" stations?
    Have to say I listen to neither (BBC6 is full of bands I've never heard of and tracks I've not heard enough of to get into and the Asian Network doesn't interest me) but it's sad/shocking that their going. Still these things aren't actually confirmed yet but it does seem part of the larger media and Governments scheme to hamstring the Beeb.
    Now I'll nail my colours to the mast, I love the BBC.
    I support the idea of it 100%, I'm happy to pay the licence fee and I rely on it for most of the programmes I enjoy or even have enjoyed over the years. I went through a phase where I didn't watch ITV AT ALL for almost 7 YEARS.
    Not once.
    Not one program.
    We all know that the DG is being forced to make cuts to appease readers of the Daily Tory, sorry: Mail and the Tory government-in-waiting, who think that the £3.6 billion annual licence fee is being wasted on consonants and lefty bias. The bashing of the BBC has long been a national sport among the media conglomerates who control the "Rest Of The Media" corporations with fingers in multiple pies but because of what they used to call "the unique way in which the BBC is funded" the private sector want the BBC to be cheaper and have the means to lobby for this outcome as they own all the bloody newspapers! Any medium that is reliant on advertising income is suffering in the recession that's a cold hard fact so they're bound to be pissed off that one of their major competitors doesn't have to rustle up ads and is independent.
    Except the likes of the profit-making wing, BBC Worldwide a wholly commercial venture (blurring of the public/private lines that started under the previous Tory government you'll note). It's since come under fire to making too much money and strangling the competition so is being downsized. A lose-lose situation!
    Cinema snacks are a bugbear of mine.
    I used to always hit Woolies to buy sweets but as I get older I just can't be bothered anymore.
    I do like to chow down on something as I watch a film (especially as films are now 2hrs+, Avatar is buttock bum numbing in length!) but really can't see the justification of 3 pints of coke for anybody! I rarely drink fizzy anyway. It's took cumbersome to pass backwards and forwards (and in the dark). As Phil Linnot said "(at the)... Pictures I always get chocolate stains on my pants".

    Tallulah Riley?
    Have her washed, prepared and sent to my chambers!
    Well when she's got dark hair anyway.
    I do like her in the most basic "sense" although I hated her in the Boat That Rocked as she seemed flat acting wise and I had no sympathy for the character as basically she was a sl*t! Liked her in Doctor Who and some other stuff I've seen her in. Want to see St.Trinians.

    If the Maggot Sandwich has picked up some more readers please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste...#AHEM!# I mean I'm the ReVerend, compardre of Mr.Pewty.
    Long-time fiend of 20+ years I'm the Yin to his Yan so to speak.
    We're quite opposite's but firm friends, I tend to Comment semi-regularly and my job is to be the "unofficial" almost DVD commentary of the Blog.

    I do feel like it's the Emperor's New Clothes, yeah there is an improvement obviously but not what I'd call any more that the jump between normal CRT and Triniton/Flatscreen tubes in the late 80's. I have to get a new TV due to the old one going kaput but...I dunno there new looking TV's just don' the same? By that I mean the TV has a certain place in our homes but the LED screen is so much bigger it's usually put "center stage" and in most hoses dominates the room. I have a mate who has a 52" screen but due to the size of his living room your sitting about 7 foot away from it so you don't get the full effect and I find most people make that mistake. It's like going to the cinema, you don't sit right at the front, most people want to sit halfway or at the back. Same goes for a big TV.
    Now 3D TV on the other hand...

    It must be Baba O'Reliey week or something as my favourite mash-up DJ Mark Vidler (Go Home Productions) has done an mash up of Madonna's vocal for Like A Virgin and the music for Babba O'Reiely.
    Wrong on so many levels have to admit it's bloody clever!