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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Flying Bomb - Secret Weapon


It was always a big thing for me when the clocks went forward. Then you could 'play outside' for a spell after school, visit friends, wander the streets and generally enjoy the novelty of going outside after your tea.

So what better thing to do then, way back in the late 1960s and early 70s, than to excitedly remember and rediscover those treasured toys you'd had for Christmas, what seemed like an age ago. Perhaps something like the Space Explorer, pictured above, yes?

OK then, let's see how the Space Explorer does on the nearly-lunar landscape of your back garden, or, why not play with it in the street for a while, to see how it copes with climbing up and down the kerb?

Why not? I'll tell you why not.

Because of these:


By the end of March, in those far off years, these bulging, bursting, running-sore Zinc-Carbon swine would have deteriorated, leaked, and discharged acidic zinc chloride all over the inside of the battery compartment of your prized possession, rotting the contacts and rendering the toy useless. Unless you were lucky and managed to clean the stuff out. Always a tricky business though, no guarantees of success there - they'd had a three month head start on their sticky sabotage mission.

I remain convinced that the Hong Kong battery manufacturers, probably owned by the toy makers, made the battery casings out of the thinnest possible metal, in order to ensure a steady sale of replacement toys. Not that we needed any encouragement to pester for something new, to be honest.

Ever Ready were a bit better, but not immune to leakage and ruination either - so no smirking at the back.


Even though batteries these days don't leak, at least not very often - not unless you buy 20 for a pound batteries in order to visit your own disappointment of years gone by on others - and why would you - it's still an automatic reaction in my head to say, "Don't leave the batteries in, they'll leak!".

It's a traditional mantra handed down through the generations, and I usually say it out loud, before I've thought about what I'm saying. If I'm lucky I get the chance to explain. Now and again though, I'm proven right. Ha.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Technical Help Please


Out of curiosity I've been looking into what it means when people say they are downloading films or TV using 'torrent'. I've never done it.

Along the way I've also been advised about or have read of various horror stories that befall torrent users. These generally fall under the categories of:

Legal penalties
Technical (equipment) ruin
Security breaches (theft of data)
Virus infestation
Identity theft enabled by collection of personal data, leading to fraud - or worse...

and, to top it off,

A generous frosting of SPAM.

I am just wondering if any of these disasters are common, or are we talking about the odd few events that have caught out the unwary, which have then been blown out of all proportion?

Are there good ways to download, and preferred sites to go to?
Do you need better or new software?
Is setting up for the whole process really like wearing 15 condoms for safety's sake, so that it's not really worth bothering to go through with it?

I'd be grateful if any regular torrent-eers could offer me some sage advice.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

WATCHMEN? Well, not exactly...


I haven't seen this film yet, but I'm already a fan. In fact I'm so enthusiastic about seeing it that I may actually go to the cinema.

It's been a long time since I went to the pictures. Not as long a time as it's been since I could be bothered to go to London for instance. And certainly not as long as it's been since I gave up reading the newspapers. But, quite a long time, nonetheless.

I couldn't understand why I've suddenly become so taken with the idea of seeing this movie projected on to a 40 foot high screen; but then I found this easy to read, cut out 'n keep guide, which I think helps me to answer my question:


Saturday, 14 March 2009

A Nice Hunk of Cod

Whilst the intrepid BT engineers attempt to mend the internet, here's a commercial break featuring persuasive pitches for consumer shite of the 70s.

Observe the first green shoots of the vines and tendrils that now embrace our necks.

I also commend this to you from David Hepworth. It's excellent.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Switch Bitch


Here we bloody go. The bloody internet's playing up again. Sometimes it's bloody dropping out after ten bloody minutes or less, sometimes it can be up for nearly a bloody hour, before bloody dropping out in the middle of something bloody important.
There's no bloody telling.

As regular bloody readers will bloody well know, and be bloody bored of bloody hearing, the bloody culprit is bloody BT. I'm bloody sorry to be bloody posting on this again, but I need to get it out of my bloody system.

BT's bloody wires are bloody old, and bloody soldered every ten bloody yards. Their bloody rural exchanges are bloody Edwardian and the bloody switches are all bloody dirty.

So now I bloody well have to go through the whole bloody process of reporting the bloody fault every bloody day until someone gets the bloody arse enough to go to the bloody exchange to rattle the bloody connections until the ADSL goes out bloody properly. Until the next bloody time.

Alternatively the bloody fault could bloody well be any-bloody-where on the bloody lamentable string of bloody wires from my house to the bloody exchange. So every bloody half baked bloody joint needs to be bloody tested to see if it is bloody OK. Will this be bloody done? No it bloody won't.

Do I bloody well feel like attaching a bloody grappling hook to the bloody wires and pulling the whole bloody lot down, before bloody ram-raiding the bloody exchange, just to make bloody BT replace the whole bloody circus set-up with new bloody kit?

You bet your sweet ass I do.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I Am Come to Rule Over You, Earthlings


This Crazy Cat made me look more than twice.

I'm sure he's an escaped ship's cat from a crashed alien spacecraft. Or possibly a highly ranking envoy from a planet staffed entirely with felines.

Whichever, as you will see in the film below, he seems quite happy living here on Earth .....whilst he draws his plans against us!