Thursday, 16 April 2009

Typewriter

I finally went and did it today. After years of fantasising about it I finally plucked up the courage and bought a typewriter on eBay. It looks like a real beauty too, in a faux-leather carry case and everything. I kept a close eye on the situation for a few days, checking out the opposition and looking out for any signs of foul play, and then I pounced. With a mere 22 seconds left in the auction, I waded in there with my carefully considered bid of £9 and blew the place wide open.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Number 23

I watched The Number 23 yesterday. I'm a big fan of Jim Carrey when he's not in rubber-face mode so, regardless of its universal reputation as being one of the worst films ever made, I was intrigued by it when my brother waved it in front of me along with a couple of others, saying that he had some films that I might be interested in watching. I should really point out that David steadfastly refuses to watch any film that doesn't feature either Jason Statham or some kind of gratuitous car racing nonsense, so you can imagine my surprise when he actually did produce something that I was interested in. So, yeah, I watched it and I thought it was a jolly good romp - and absolutely nowhere near as bad as people would have you believe. In fact I'd even push the boat out and say it was a thoroughly enjoyable romp. A real cinematic romp. No, that's not right... it was a thoroughly enjoyable & thrilling cinematic romp with a twist or two. Or three. Or it could have been four. It was a twisty romp.

In all seriousness I don't get why the film was so badly received... I mean, at worst Carrey puts in a solid performance and it's nothing if not visually accomplished. The whole concept's pretty cool too: Suicide, murder, madness, a dog, a character called 'Fingerling' - Jesus, it's all there! The pieces are in place. My only guess is that it's maybe just a teeny bit bloated, or just way too fiddly & far fetched for most people to deal with... but I'm coming right out and saying it: I dig The Number 23. I think it's a stylish thriller, well written, well executed, and the kind of film that will be treated kindly by the passage of time. So there we are. That's my Jonathan Ross moment over and done with.

Been watching season one of Moving Wallpaper. Brilliant... Great cast, great writing... Shame nobody watched it really. And a shame ITV will probably axe it in favour of another show about Katie Price's huge greasy tit. And her breasts.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

"Three presets - all crap."

Me & dad went to a boot sale today. It was glorious. Although I desperately want to offload loads of my unused electrical and musical bits and bobs - four tracks, mixers, amps, keyboards, guitars, pedals etc - I always find myself drawn towards these type of items. There's something about seeing them sat amongst old paperback books and Shakin' Stevens LP's in a field that I just can't resist. They are like cow pie to my Desperate Dan. I also find myself getting annoyed when I see other people walking around with these kind of items under their arm, having just bought them. For example, today I clocked an old Yamaha four track cassette recorder that I already own (and never use) and then, when I saw a guy later on with it under his arm, it wound me up. I can't explain this type of thing. I guess you either understand or you don't.

I'm also drawn towards typewriters. I want a typewriter but it's got to be right. Maybe I can elaborate on this at a later date. I have my reasons. Back to today... I saw this old electric piano/organ and knew I had to take a gamble on it. It was a clunky thing of a certain age. It was heavenly. The guy wanted £25 for it, which kind of surprised me as I'd just heard him tell somebody he wanted £15 for this awful little Yamaha 10 watt practice amp... and that was one of the shittiest little things you've ever seen. So, based on one of the shittiest little things I'd ever seen, I assumed the keyboard would be around 50 or 60 quid, so I was pretty happy with 25. I would quite happily have taken the gamble on it for 25, but I felt the call inside of me and I knew the time had once again come to haggle. I didn't really think about it, instead I surprised myself by just launching straight into it. I went in with an offer of 15. He came back with an 18. Maybe I should have taken the 18 - after all, that is a whopping 7 pounds haggled - but I held my ground and said "Look, if you'll take fifteen I'll take it off your hands right now". I don't know why I added the "right now" at the end but, as I said, I wasn't thinking. I was in the zone. The haggle zone. This was about me and him. Sure, we were still in the middle of the Dunton boot sale, but we'd been elevated to a new level. Another Level. Some kind of hyper-reality? Maybe. It must have been the inherent threat of violence. I think he looked at me, recognised the loose cannon that I am, and thought "Man, this hard bastard is a tough nut to crack. I don't think he's messing around." So I got it for £15 and managed to get the stand off him as well. Not that I wanted it... but, you know, you might as well.


It's a Crumar roadracer and, by all accounts, it's a terrible piece of kit. Here's a fair selection of comments that I found online:

  1. "Sounds were based on one very gritty clavi type sound but to call it a piano is an insult to anybody who'd ever been near a real piano - I ain't gonna mince my words here - it sounded B*LL*CKS!"
  2. "I can honestly say it never packed up on me - every key sounded that awful dirgey mess without fail."
  3. "I got a better tune banging a pot against a wall than I did out of this thing. There should be clinics with specialist counsellors for people who owned one of these."
  4. "Three presets - all crap."

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Boot Sale Season

I realise I haven't been writing titles for these things since I started again. I've been missing a trick there, as titles are one of life's more pleasant things, and have always been good to me in the past. And so I've made the decision to pull my socks up, pull my finger out, get on up, and get back to adding them.

Boot sale season must nearly be upon us. I'm not sure whether there's an official start date or whether it's just kinda when enough people start to feel a bit broody for them and turning up in fields on weekend mornings that they start to happen. Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about the boot sale recently, so hopefully others will have too and, when the magic number is reached, we can all get out there and get browsing through other people's unwanted shit again. I've always had a penchant for boot sales... I suspect it's a hereditary condition passed down from my grandad, who was never happier than when he was strolling through a field with cash in pocket, the aroma of hot dog drifting on the breeze, inspecting old Cluedo boxes and various bits and pieces that I can only describe as 'shed things' - as they often took the form of small bags of metal hooks or nails, or pocket-sized tool kits, and would always end up finding their place in his shed. It's slightly off-topic but I remember being given a small leather-bound toolkit for Christmas on more than one occasion. Small spanners, a screwdriver and a little socket set. I still use one of them now. Heh, his philosophy seemed so simple to me: If it was an object that had absolutely no right to be in this world, and certainly no use for him whatsoever, he'd buy it. And not only would he buy it, oh no... he'd haggle. He would make a point of haggling. He was a great haggler.

Anyway, I've got a little sidetracked there... getting all nostalgic for my grandad... and that's not really why I sat down to write this. I guess I just wanted to share the somewhat irrational excitement that I feel towards the impending boot sale season. As I was saying, I've always enjoyed them (and for some reason they are embedded in my childhood memories) but I can't recall ever feeling quite so excited by them. Certainly not boot sales of the future. Maybe it's another sign of my advancing age. It'll be heart disease next.

I think it's part to do with an idea I have of setting up a strange stall where I will be selling only mirrors. I've got an abundance of mirrors now. Mirrors have become my work. Admittedly it's terrible work, but it's work all the same. So, yeah, err, the plan is to set up stall and flog them to the masses. Churn them out. I can see a gap in the market... you know, if people want shit, I can give them shit. I'll need to buy a megaphone first though. Gotta go the full distance... 'cause halfway there is never enough*. Heh.

* Hilarious in-joke for the benefit of myself and nobody else. But, hey! they all count...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Things it's impossible to do (Numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4)

1. Listen to The Gash by the Flaming Lips and not be floored by the line "will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives?" - the line itself, the delivery, the music... everything.

2. Not be blown away by Waitin' for a Superman.

3. Think of The Soft Bulletin as anything other than a work of absolute genius.

4. Lick your elbow.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Threw a frisbee around today. Fell over. Broke every bone in my body.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sadly this post will be the last mention of my accelerator pedal for the time being. I know, I know. It's because it's finally been fixed... with whatever was lurking inside the cable casing having been flushed out with plenty of oil and a good old fashioned bout of thrusting. I was debating whether or not I should write about this... as I know that this particular issue been a real goldmine as far as my blog writing goes. Of course, I can't speak on behalf of anybody else, but I've been absolutely captivated by the whole affair. Riveted even. I've been glued to the screen wondering what I'm going to write next. It's been explosive stuff. Maybe I could have stretched it out for a few more days, really mined that shit for all it's worth. But, hey, I've got to stay true to myself. I've got to keep things real... gotta keep these feet firmly on the ground... and, as they say, all good things must come to an end. So, yeah, I'm sorry to say goodbye to this one. But the upshot is that it's like driving a different car; i.e. really fun. I don't want to keep going on about it, but it really was bugging me and making driving a hassle, so it's great to have it back to its best. Also I don't remember it ever being quite as smooth as it is now, but I could be wrong. Blah blah blah...

I've also sorted out the radio problem. It was a productive morning. We had an old Rover cassette player in the garage that has somehow managed to withstand about five years worth of damp. It's perfect for the job really, and looks so much better than the token CD player that I had hanging there doing nothing. So, all in all, I'm pleased with the car again... I can drive without having to think about the act of driving and I can listen to music of my own choosing. I didn't think that life could be this good. Unfortunately it can only go downhill from here. That's a shame. I guess all I need to do now is get the exhaust sorted and that might just halt my inevitable slide into depression, alcoholism, and, eventually, my premature death at the hands of a pair of giant hands. Hold on a minute. That's it... Maybe the exhaust saga can fill the gaping void that will be left by the accelerator pedal. It's going to be great: It will hit the kind of heights the accelerator pedal affair could never even dream of. Brace yourself.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Two weeks off work now. It's holiday, not disease. Not sure what I'm gonna do for most of it, although I suspect I'll probably waste it. I've come to realise that I'm good at doing that. I've armed myself with a couple of books to keep me going, as well as two mirrors (with the possibility of a further three for free!) and some Cat Stevens. It's going to be wild.

On the 18th I'm going to a wedding reception with some people from work. It's for a guy named Surinder and I'm actually quite looking forward to it. I'm going to be driving, provided the mini can rise to the occasion. At the moment it's causing me grief. The accelerator pedal is still playing up and it's starting to get to me. This afternoon I was almost moved to tears. The car's also in dire need of a stereo... I mean, it has one, but it's just a radio/cd player and it tends to jump every few seconds whenever you put a cd in. This is due to mini's having virtually no suspension, and isn't helped by the fact that it's mounted in an area that's most affected by this lack of suspension. It skips even on the smoothest of road surfaces and it's starting to get to me now. It's such a small thing, listening to music in a car, but it's so essential... and after 8 months of silence I'm becoming desperate. I went through a phase of listening to radio but, other than Chris Evans, it's not very interesting. I prefer to listen to the engine. I find myself being overly critical of everything when I drive now. Changing gears, braking, whatever... I've become too aware of it all. My journey into town this morning was soured by the very first change from 1st into 2nd. There was a slight grind, although it could have been loud enough to be a crunch. I'm not 100%. My plan is to put in a simple cassette player and that will be the end of it. I need music again... I'm fed up of driving with a running commentary. I don't know why I'm writing this. Maybe this is a new low. Well done on reading it though.

I feel I should include some contemporary news, maybe some current affairs, as these entries of mine are always so mundane and generally pointless. If anything, they're becoming more so with each one. So, yeah, that Michelle Obama... saw her on the tv. And this credit crunch... oh man, when will it end? And what about this premier league? It's just so premier at the moment.

Well that's put things into context.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Maj for The Apprentice...
not entirely sure why.