Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pac Man and the Cyber Khazi.

Erith - May 2010  976

There would seem to be a council master plan in respect of the public toilet policy in Erith. After several months of faffing about with the Cyber Khazi (you can read my original posting about the place here). The local authorities have now closed the free public toilets adjacent to the medical centre; I don't  think there was actually any problem with vandalism, it is just an excuse to close the toilets to save money - after all Erith does not count for anything as far as Bexley Council are concerned. The worst that ever seemed to happen in the loos was that a junkie would use a cubicle to have a kip after taking their dose of Methadone sourced from the chemists shop around the corner. I think the reasoning behind this is that they have outsourced toilet cleaning and maintenance to an external company, thus saving a few bob. Most bog related activity in the town is now chargeable - even if it is only 10p. Having said that, the loos in Morrison's and McDonalds are still free, if you can get to them during opening hours, that is. The local winos will no doubt continue to use the waste bins for a poo.

I see that there are plans to start an AM / FM radio scrappage scheme ahead of the switch to digital DAB only radio. It is not going to happen. The out dated and inefficient DAB encoding algorithm used in the UK is incompatible with most of the rest of the world (manufacturers will not want to tool up just to produce radios for the UK) and both the reception coverage and sound quality is far worse than currently experienced. DAB radios use far more electricity than analogue radios, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.  The main reason for the proposed change is to allow a greater number of stations on the radio spectrum - and mean that the government will be able to charge more for commercial licences. The harsh economic reality is that fewer stations will be on air as the revenue stream for advertising dries up. In reality only a handful of commercial stations on DAB make a profit - Planet Rock being one of them. Most are propped up by parent companies or venture capital groups whose pockets are only so deep.

I see that Ronnie James Dio died this week; the hard rocker had voice that sounded like a rabid hoover and an air raid siren on full chat; certainly tracks like Stargazer by Rainbow would not have been the same without him. Planet Rock announced the following: Ronnie James Dio, frontman of Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, has passed away aged 67. Ronnie had been battling stomach cancer for the best part of six months, and it had been hoped that he would be able to beat the disease. However, it seems that the fight was just too much and he has passed away. The announcement was made yesterday on Ronnie's official website by his wife Wendy: "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

The Stewdog did me a real favour this week; he was in passing through SW1; whilst engaging in his usual international man of mystery activities, he stopped to photograph this shot of an extremely dignified classic Bristol 411 Series 4 bespoke gentleman's conveyance. Entirely civilised, and far more tasteful and understated than a Rolls Royce.

I got a copy of Thompson's Local Directory flung through my letter box this week; why they continue to produce this pointless and environmentally wasteful publication is entirely beyond me. The whole thing strikes me as a business that is on the point of death. Who uses these directories? It is far easier and more convenient to look things up online.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of seminal video game Pac Man. I for one can hardly credit the passage of time - it does not seem anything like 30 years since the classic title first appeared.Here is a playable version of the game embedded for the first time in the Maggot Sandwich. Click to play; do let me know what you think.

Another anniversary hits us this week; it is the fifth birthday of video sharing site YouTube. Where else would one go to watch clips of kittens playing, or kids messing about? Truly one of the master strokes of the broad band age.

I have decided not to feature my work over the last few months; suffice to say if you wish to see some photos of the building the team I work with have been concentrating on for what seems like an age, please feel free to click here for a look.

Friday night heralded the final episode of Ashes to Ashes, and the last appearance of DCI Gene Hunt. The ending was no surprise to me (I had roughly worked out what was going on by the second episode of Life on Mars, the predecessor to Ashes to Ashes), but it was supremely handled and very well acted. I won't spoil the ending for those who have yet to see it, instead, here is a clip from Children in Need, where Top Gears' Richard Hammond test drives Gene Hunts' Audi Quattro.

1 comment:

    Hmmm…I suspect most people think Erith IS a toilet!
    Seriously though Bexley Council do seem to treat Erith as Bexley's toilet.
    Got to say though the area has improved almost beyond recognition the past 10/15 years. I have to say, hand on heart "they've done a good job". Whoever "they" are!
    Against the trend I have to say Erith's quite alright now (um…YEP! That's about the highest praise I can muster!) but a hell of a lot better than when I was a kid! I do think to kick start things we need a regular market though…

    The Analogue radio scrappage scheme is a swiz.
    I looked into it and you can only bring in a portable/battery powered radio (not much use as the only portable I have IS a DAB! I want to update my CAR radio and I'm not paying £70 for something I have to plug into my stereo) as their going to be recycled and sent to Africa.
    Your TOTALLY right the only reason the Government want us to change to DAB is so they can cram as many stations as they can in the band.
    Hey once BBC/Commercial radio switch off think how many car radios will be itching for something to listen to…BWHAHAHA! I hope it's a long way off though, cut me in half and I say "AM FM" all the way through!

    To be honest not my type of singer at all, in fact he epitomises the style of singing I actively dislike (hates to strong a word) but I have great respect for the man and the stuff he recorded.
    He does a brilliant turn in the sadly lame Tenacious D movie, absolutely hysterical. I'm supporting a Metallica Tribute act this coming weekend and have changed the words in ACDC's Let There Be Rock to mention Dio, seems fitting.

    Oh WOW! An actual real life photo of a Bristol! Got to say though that model does have the look of an brutish version of the Hillman Avenger , it looks terribly…old fashioned. I know the spec's for Bristol are breath-taking but the look of that model is sooo typical industrial 70's. No lines, no…pizzazz.
    Tell you what I saw on the road yesterday belching out blue smoke, something I've not seen for YEARS, an Austin Montego to me the UGLIEST car of the last 30 years. To me even as a kid it looked horrible I remember the adverts on TV where they "swooped" round a banked track and I thought they looked crap and clunky compared to say the Golf or Japanese cars of the time. In fact they looked as dated as a hard copy of the Thompson Local does now! HAHA!
    Actually me and Mrs ReV' argue on the Thompson Local and the like, I keep trying to throw them away but she keeps bringing them back in from the Paper re-cycling bin. WHY? We can just look it up on-line!

    I LOVED Pac-Man as a kid.
    Never really got to play it at the arcade much but hammered it on the Atari 2600. I even went as far as watching the Pac-man cartoon that was on during the summer holidays at the time and that is TERRIBLE! I still love the theme tune/incidental music though.
    I've played most of the Pac games over the years my fav being a Pac-Man/pinball hybrid which was very confusing as when you went off screen the pinball started which meant changing the type of reactions you used. I remember a 3D version as well that was almost impossible to play as you had to move up steps THAT YOU COULDN'T SEE WHEN YOUR CHARCTER WAS STANDING ON THEM!
    But that wasn't as annoying as Dragon Lair or the other annimated video game that name escapes me! Something to do with a muscle bound spaceman.