Posts from July 2006

Jul 06

Windows Live Local

FT + Proven By Science2 comments • 2,352 views

… remember that afternoon when we first found Google Earth? Gasping in glee, our work suffered for the rest of the afternoon as we scrambled to remember old postcodes and called our co-workers round to look at our blurry roof… good days! Now there’s another satellite mapper on the act, Windows Live Local! Your London based author is amazed at the clarity of detail in the zoom up to 20 metres, however…

 1/ From identifying trees near old houses, one can note that the pictures are 3+ years old…

2/ As soon as you move away from the Watford gap, you can only zoom in to 50m and the pictures are notably less clear (FY and PR postcodes applicable)

3/ Bad luck if you’re from Fermanagh – 1.5km zoom in is all you can expect! I BLAME THE LONDON MEDIA SET, of which surely I should be part?? I’m blogging and everything!

Whilst being undeniably nifty, the only place where Windows Live Local doesn’t really match up to Google Earth is the fact that you don’t “fly” from one postcode to another, which is undeniably the most rockin’ thing EVER.

Extra Special Bonus Link: Satellite map of the location of THIS SATURDAY’S POPTIMISM!! :) YAY! You can also obtain a sad nostalgia pan from scrolling around trying to find passing Routemasters (RIP).

IHM Title Watch: Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie

FT + I Hate Music9 comments • 8,056 views

“Shakira! Shakira!” Wyclef Jean shouts all over this record, like a half blind old man stumbling around in the dark looking for his missing grand-daughter. Perhaps he got lost in the studios during the recording of Oral Fixation? Funny Shakira should call her album that as I have an oral fixation with Shakira herself. Mainly to punch her in the gob. 


Fancyapint Re-evaluates…

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 557 views

The Old Nick - naughty devilOf course you are allowed to change your mind. And of course good things go rotten. But the sad tale of The Old Nick is one worth considering for all the pub trade. Back in the mists of time (2004) The Old Nick opened: a refurb of a smaller, single fronted pub opened out and sympathetically decorated. Badger beers and Hoffbrau made it an occasional favourite of ours too, it was the final pub in the Holborn Hexagon at Christmas. The team at Fancyapint were so impressed they gave it a pub of the year award in 2004.

But time rolls on, and they went back in April. And things were a bit different. All the beers off, doors wedged open and cold, and frankly unfriendly bar staff. In discussing this yesterday the fact it was a weekend, and pubs round here are either dead or closed at the weekend, was brought up. But on further reflection this is no excuse. As mentioned half the pubs in the area are closed at the weekend. And I would rather be closed that do a bad job, if the custom barely pays the wages of the staff – shut. Surely, bored staff are a big pub no-no. So well done Fancyapint slapping them on the wrists. Even if it isn’t the average Old Nick week night experience (which still seems fine).

Unfortunately planning applications have also been re-evaluated and the Oakdale Arms in the middle of “Seven Sister’s no-mans-land” days are unfortunately numbered. Planning permission has been granted to knock it down and build flats. Not sure when that will happen, but hopefully a few pints of Milton will be sunk before it goes. Though on Beer-In-The-Evening, a message from almost two months ago suggesting there may be a temporary reprieve…

Jul 06

MANFRED MANN – “Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”

FT + Popular38 comments • 9,404 views

#244, 17th February 1968

Beginning a hot streak for mentalist bubblegum hits: I always think of this one as a children’s song, because I heard it when I was 7 or 8 and thought it was enchanting, mysterious and funny. As a grown-up I was surprised to learn it was a Bob Dylan number – of course Dylan’s own version isn’t so surprising, as the man always did a roaring trade in shaggy-dog stories. I shouldn’t be surprised either that it makes the transition to pop so well – the Basement Tape songs strike me as an attempt to make aspects of folk (tradition, allusion, intimacy) and pop (hooks, disposability, surface impact) fold into one another in a more interesting way than just doing shiny covers of old tunes. (They’re also an attempt to have some fun on holiday, of course).

This is Manfred Mann’s best number one, free of the overplayed sneering of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” – maybe this nonsense struck more of a chord with them than that nonsense did, or they were suckered into thinking that this nonsense wasn’t, but they sound like they’re enjoying the party at least. What makes the record good though are the flute breaks and the rolling, staggering rhythm, which well suits the freewheeling invention of the lyric.

Match Fixing? Just a bit of fun (click thru for duck action)

FT + TMFD5 comments • 919 views

So while Italian clubs get their punishment reduced for the heinous crime of match fixing, the BBC treat something which is clearly as suspicious with the lightest of comic touches. An entire village cricket team get out for ten ducks and a man stranded on 0 not out*. This almost unthinkable result is treated as a bit of a gag, without anyone going around the local bookies to see if a bet had been laid on the lowest score in a village cricket match. You could blame a dodgy wicket, and indeed they do, but even so one has to think it was the dodgiest, one sided wicket in cricket history. Luckily the opposition Dishforth also smelt a rat, so gifted them a few extras to leave them on 5 at the end.


The Antz Bully

Do You See + FT1 comment • 6,827 views

A shot from AntZAnt Bully with very similar looking Ant DesignsNotice any similarities in the ant character designs between Woody Allen voiced Antz and all new ant based CG animated film The Ant Bully coming out next week? The colours, texturres and angularity in the animation design all seems a bit familiar. And this is not a sequel to the previous film.

Actually I am all for this. Why waste the money inventing a totally new set of rules and designs for anthropomorphasizing ants, when you’ve already done it once. Do people complain that the people in films always look like the same type of people? There is more than one story to be told about ants after all. And Antz was one of the few times (if not the only time) Dreamworks beat Pixar – as I prefer Antz to A Bug’s Life. Still, here’s a review of The Ant Bully which seems to suggest that it runs like the communist manifesto for kids. Americans eh – McCarthism ain’t dead. 

Jul 06

I WAS A GOBLIN: Encyclopaedia Goblinica

FT/18 comments • 2,522 views

TORG!Or: Games I Have Known. For the sake of my patience and yours, I have mostly restricted this to games I either owned or played – ones where I read a friends’ rulebooks and only dimly remember have been ignored, with a couple of notable exceptions. If you want to know more about any of these, you have but to ask. Games listed in order of my encountering them:

Dungeons And Dragons: The original in its simpler and frankly more elegant form. If you’ve ever played a computer RPG, you’ve played this, pretty much.

Advanced Dungeons And Dragons: Sprawling Gormenghast-like monster with 20 rulebooks that somehow became the most popular RPG in the universe. The default setting for most “I Was A Goblin” posts.



FT + I Hate Music2 comments • 1,542 views

If you’re one of the millions who bought Sandi Thom’s “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Tanya’s Gob In my Face)” then you’ll surely be on the lookout for something else that combines half-baked sentiment, trite generalisation and tuneless howling in exactly those addictive measures.

Step forward…Sandi Thom! Who now brings us “When Horsepower Meant What It Said”.


Nintendo DS: Wired for Silence

FT + TMFD11 comments • 988 views

DSI think we’re all agreed by now that the DS is GRATE, are we not? Despite all fears of RSI, styluses going missing all over the shop (*fingers xed) and a redundant second screen – it’s worked! We love it! We love washing the Nintendogs in front of Big Brother, mining down in Mr Driller: Drill Spirits on the train, ignoring our holiday companions by playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (translate more Gyakuuten Saiban games NOW pls Capcom) and even though we’re stuck on like the 4th operation in Trauma Centre: Under the Knife, we’re SURE we’ll get those aneurisms operated on one day.

But what’s missing? Nowhere in these games have I made any mention of what’s supposed to be Nintendos fabulous biggie – WI-FI! WHERE ARE YOU??


Love Don’t See No Time Zone

Do You See + FT7 comments • 667 views

In Primer (nonsense “clever” time-travel movie last year), the chappies accidentally invent a time machine that goes back two weeks and manage to fuck their lives up with it. In The Lake House Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock discover a mail box which does exactly the same thing – but with a two year gap. In Primer the chaps spent ages fiddling with money and getting paranoid that they might get found out. Sandy and Kenny write love letters to each other.