Showing posts from August, 2007


On the way to work this morning, I was driving behind a cab that had a "Nixon/Agnew" bumper sticker.

I have no idea what to make of that.


I wrote this post this past Sunday, but didn't post it. Not sure why. That how it goes sometimes.

Here's what I wrote:
After having my blog rejected by iTunes I have sought out an alternative, and have now signed up for eMusic. So now, anytime I refer to some music that is available on eMusic, I'll be adding the link.

In the meantime, I'm still going to be downloading all of the free items from iTunes. Just to show them.iTunes responds by putting up free songs not by the usual obscure up and comers, but by Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen.

Shows me.

Hello, seekers of knowledge!

Why is everyone suddenly interested in "fainting goats?"

Breaking Down the Nervous Detectives - a quick bitch

For a while now, I've been wishing that there was some sort of licensing board that arbitrates what constitutes a DVD extra.

Subtitles are not DVD Extras.

Interactive Menus are not DVD Extras.

Listed on the Jason King box: "Jason King is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio"

Frequent visitors to this site will know that I tend to veer away from hyperbole, and I hope that readers will take that into account when they read the next sentence. The person who thought it was necessary to put "Jason King is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio" on the box as a selling point deserves to be shot in the head.

Breaking Down the Nervous Detectives - An opportunity arises!

About a month ago, I was skimming a message board someplace when I saw someone mention a new release of Jason King on DVD. Part of the message was a "pity I'm in the wrong region, I can't get this" lament, so I figured that it was out in the UK, and with the dollar the way the dollar is, it would likely be way too expensive for me.

I should have looked closer - turns out it's an American release.

It arrived today. I have just watched the first seven minutes of episode one. I think I'm going to have a lot to say about this.

Goodbye Beasthouse

I only just added Lawrence Miles' "The Beasthouse" to my list of links (I'd thought I'd done it ages ago but just noticed last week that I really had not), so naturally he decided to put a note up saying he was going to take the site down.

The last couple of posts have been humongous affairs, alternately bitingly funny and majestically thought-provoking. I'm going to miss the thing while it's gone (I suspect that it or something like it will pop up sooner or later). Here's a sample to entice you into having a quick (or not so quick) look:
I'm told that Sir Richard Francis Burton, nineteenth-century explorer and sexual experimentalist of repute, spoke twenty-nine languages. How good at a language do you have to be before you're said to "speak" it, I wonder? For example, I wouldn't truthfully say that much of the population of Feltham actually speaks English, even though they're capable of understanding some of it. The ability …

a little more about truth

Here is a site dedicated to scans of inscriptions found in books. It's sort of a cross between Post-secret and Found.

As I was poking my way through the site, I was particularly struck by an inscription from an old copy of Watership Down (US,UK) split up into twoparts. A letter from a father to a daughter after three months of bedtime readings.

At first, I found this extraordinarily depressing. As the letter was dated in 2004, I had assumed that the book and the letter in it was found somewhere - a used book store or garage sale or something. Because of that, I had presumed that something particularly awful had happened, and the daughter would never see this note.

Then I read the caption to the first part a little closer, and realized that it was submitted by the father and that everything seems to be alright. Which makes me feel better. The idea that there are still children out there who are being raised to love books this much gives me more hope than I've had in quite a …


The Estate of Robert E Howard takes a moment to clarify things

I post this in its entirety. It is impossible to summarize without losing the joy:


Clarification regarding the character Red Sonya

To All Conan and Robert E. Howard Fans and Licensees:

It has come to our attention that there may be some Conan and Robert E. Howard fans or licensees who could be confused about the origins and ownership of Red Sonya (with a “y”) and Red Sonja (with a “j”) and their relationship to Hyboria. We don’t believe that there should be any such confusion and would like to do all that we can to clear up any that might exist.

The Red Sonya (with a “y”) character was created in 1934 by Robert E. Howard. Howard’s Red Sonya of Rogatino first appeared in the Howard story The Shadow of the Vulture. She was a 16th century Russian woman fighter who participated in the battle against the Turks in Vienna. She had absolutely nothing to do with Conan, or the Conan world of Hyboria.

The Red Sonja (with a “j”) character was created by Roy Thomas…

Breaking Down the Nervous Detectives - Next Time Won't You Play With Me?

Z-Cars - "Happy Families" March 18, 1964

I'll Get the the meat of the episode in a moment, but first I have to tackle a question. And before I can do that, I have to tackle a different question.

Why do Americans say "zee" and Brits say "zed?"

Good question.

It turns out that long ago, as written English was being put into rules, the letter "Z" was one of the last ones to be recognised as a separate letter. The prevailing theory seems to be that the symbols were invented to correspond to the sound, and the actual names of the symbols came later. For "Z" there seems to have once been three popular possibilities: "zee," "zed" and "izzard."

"Izzard" seems to have gone out of fashion entirely. (Fans of Harry Stephen Keeler will recognise it - he likes to use the phrase "A to Izzard" most likely due to the oddness and the obscurity of it.) (I also like to think that there's an alter…

Now you have the song virus

Careful with this, it might stick in your head forever.

Coming in just a bit

I'm still slowly writing up the Police concert.

I've put all the photos that aren't rubbish on flickr.

It's all crowd shots (Damn those Police and their insistence on moving around). It was my first non-ballgame at Fenway, so I was struck by how other-worldly it all seemed.

More later

OK. So what *is* Plan B?

Frequent readers will have noticed that I sometimes attempt to add value to my posts by putting links to my Amazon stores in my posts (USUK).

I noticed that some other folks had links to iTunes as well, so if I were to mention a song or an album that was sold on iTunes, I could add a link that way and get some iTunes store credit.

So I went through the process of setting this up.

In response I get an e-mail that starts:
We regret to inform you that Apple iTunes has chosen not to accept
you into their affiliate program.And goes nowhere from there.

I unpacked my first Apple Computer in the summer of 1979, and (apart from work where I've had little choice) have used nothing else up to the present day.

Thanks Guys. Tell me when I'm good enough for you.

Here's a fun game

Originally uploaded by Frappet Play along with the Name That Film flickr pool.

Helpful hints

Here are two of the new channel ID's that have started running on BBCAmerica:

Listening to the World - Angola

The pattern that has emerged in the process of doing these posts is this:
I start looking at my next country.I find some radio stations on the internet.I fail to connect to the radio stations.I write a draft of the post explaining how I was unable to listen to the radio station in question.Just before posting, I double check the links.In the process of double checking, I find a way to connect to the radio station.I chuck the post and start over.This is the link to Angola's Radio Luanda, which seems to be Radio Angola's music station. The live feed will not load for me, but you can click on the link labeled "Oiça as músicas que estão no top" (Angola's "official" language is Portuguese) to get a nifty mp3 of excerpts of all the songs in their top ten countdown. I venture a guess that all the songs are from local artists. Which makes my inability to log in all the more frustrating.

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 43

The Westin Peachtree Plaza is now the 11th tallest hotel in the world. (The tallest is the Rose Rotana Suites/Rose Tower in Dubai)

It was the tallest in 1976, the year it was built. In 1977 it was surpassed by the Detroit Marriott, which was one meter taller.

It must have been nice while it lasted.

Technology works for you.

Let us suppose that you are attending a rock concert.

The band is rocking and you want to give them positive reinforcement and perhaps request them to play "Freebird."

Unfortunately, this being the twenty-first century, smoking is banned, so you do not have your handy concert-modified Bic Lighter.

Well, if you have an iPhone, just bookmark this link. When the time is right, click it and wave your iPhone aloft. Problem solved.

I suppose I ought to mention

Today is my two-year bloggaversary!

I suppose that's what one calls it.

Listening to the World - Andorra

Before I commence with the latest installment, a question.

What is the word for those goofy sound effects that seem to be present on every single music radio station on the planet? The things that go:
Important Voice: "You are listening to Radio Example" Neeeeeeeee-- Yooooowwwwww Clud Clud Clud Clud "All Hit Radio."Or:
Stern Female Voice: "It it two minutes past the hour." Bink-dink-a-dink diddly dink "Time for News Update." Bink-dink-a-dink diddly dink "With Chet Example." Bink-dink-a-dink diddly dink.I'm curious about how these things have come to be so ubiquitous and so similar.

Anyway, to business.

The Principality of Andorra is a small pseudo-independent country (While it is an independent nation, the title of "Co-Prince" is given simultaneously to the current Prime Minister of France and the current Bishop of Urgell. I love crap like this! I want to go there now!) occupying a hunk of the Pyrenees between France and …

Breaking Down the Nervous Detectives - Two for the road

The Persuaders! - "The Old, the New, and the Deadly" - November 12, 1971

Ages ago, when people discovered that I had a hobby of accumulating British television, I always seemed to have the same reaction from males born between about 1957 and 1962.

"Do you have The Persuaders!? I loved that show!"

My response: "No."

I came to learn that The Persuaders! were Tony Curtis and Roger Moore as millionaire playboys who fight crime. It sounded like a jolly romp, but not anything I wanted to work terribly hard at getting a copy of, no matter how many party acquaintances were interested in a nostalgia trip.

So when my Tivo informed me that The Persuaders! was on BBCAmerica, I hit the little thumbs up button and waited. The episode that came my way was one that the Tivo likely picked out because I have Doctor Who thumbed up - the villain is played by Patrick Troughton.

I am now going to say something awful that I realized as I watched this episode. Something that I th…

My dreams have come true.

Yep, someone mashed together "Zeppelin vs. Pterodactyls."

A quick bit of coolness..