Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2009 Blueprint

Plans for 2009...

  • Get Some Frickin' Direction In Life!
  • Do 'Cult' Book Stall At Custard Factory Flea Market y' Keep Bangin' On About.
  • Move Blog Over To Self Hosted Site.
  • Do At Least One Festival...
  • ... And At Least One Holiday.
  • Buy Camera That Actually Focuses.
  • Be More Awesome.
  • Be More Assertive.
  • Be More Creative.
  • Socialise More (with people!).
  • Get Bike Out More.
  • See If You Can Get Facebook To Actually 'Work'.
List to be edited up to Midnight December 31st, attempted till May, Ignored and deleted by June

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Hmm, Is Google a U or an R18 ?

Through the fog of a post Boxing day hangover i've just read of the Culture Secratary Andy Burnham's proposal to classify Websites. Frickin' ridiculous idea which blatantly seems to overlook how the Internet works and how 'net savvy 'the kids' are!. The recurring theme of legislation like this is simple...

Smoke and mirrors!!. A tactic which just gives the illusion that Governments are tackling a 'problem' when it maybe could of been dealt with by existing legislation (but never is).

Now expecting M. Byers and his Mediawatch bland of the few to jump on bandwagon and totally miss the fact that...

The internet is not a Fancy TV, Big library, or expansive Gallery, it's the Internet pure and simple, equally useful & dangerous place as a Motorway, you quite simply wouldn't let unsupervised children anywhere near it.

{Edit} A frickin' culture secratary that knows nowt about the Internet, give me a break

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Wagon Spiel

After the demise of the Royal George donkeys years back and the sad loss of the Market Tavern last year i didn't think there'd be much small venue Punk style noise to be had northside of the City Centre*. But lo and behold  this 'Summer' i stumbled across The Wagon and Horses pub in Digbeth (Adderley St ), perfect sized venue then for 'The Brum Punx Picnic 2008'. An old style boozer with ~100 capacity upstairs function room complemented by a decent sized beer garden (covered in a stroke of genius by a large army surplus tent), staffed by efficient friendly bar staff and stocking some half decent beer. With a regular roster of faces and some great gigs reminscent of The Tavern's best (including a packed Drongo's suprise show at the Picnic) it's one of those places you'd like to see better publicised but then bitch when it gets too popular. Hopefully it can survive the upcoming redevelopments which are threatening to put the kybosh on other (well established) Digbeth music venues and i'll get to see a few more 'Picnics' and take a few more snaps before 'Eastside' rolls right over it (oh, and there's a really cute resident scruffy pooch to).

 Should mention that it also puts on 'straight', discos, Ska nights and such so there's a bit of something for everyone plus it's conveniently close to the Coventry Road bus stops so getting home is relatively hassle free.


I'm A Mess at the Vegan Prisoners Benefit gig

*(special mention for the GO! Club at The Old Wharf, mainly indie stuff but they do put on some good 'heavier' nights)

(NB: Midge D does not work for the brewery!)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Just A Peasant In The Big City (Plan)...

...see what i did there*.

Still haven't had time to digest Birmingham's Big City Plan consultation document yet so instead i've decided to amalgamate the brief Tweets i did yesterday drop in a couple of quick comments and then probably clarify them later if i can be arsed...
  • Big City Plan? neck out, overall good thing but BIG, Reinventing Birmingham is gonna be a long and costly job,not sure council has cahuna's
    Speaks for itself really, the problem is this plan is BIG, i'm not sure if this (or any Council) can actually pull this ambitious project off.

  • The whole thing needs some HUGE P.R to get Joe Public involved (y' know, those people not on 'net and Twitter)
    In Councils defence a pullout appeared in Thursdays Evening Mail which is a good start, i'd hate to see something like this just thrashed out by I.T literate keyboard jockeys.

  • 'CREATE LOCAL' good idea (but you can have too many paintings)

  • 'LIVE LOCAL' as family city, would these be developments for 'Locals'
    a personal bugbear, rejuvination certainly, redevelopment which includes bulldozing over present communities certainly not. As regards to bringing families into the Centre i'll just Cut n' Paste the response i left on Birmingham It's Not Shits forum
    There’s enough issues to be discussed re: The Big City Plan to keep people talking to at least Feb 6th (end of consultation period). I’d just like to touch on the ‘FAMILY CITY’ subsection. Birmingham has a recent history of redevelopments who bring in an influx of people who then object to the ‘vibrant’ centre hubub that was sold to them in the first place. At least one Pub has been closed via this scenario and now some of Digbeth’s entertainment centre’s are facing a similar threat. I’m not sure how attracting families to a City Centre squares with also providing entertainment to the cross section of Brums nightlife?, can a ‘living’ modern City Centre really be family friendly?.

  • 'AUDACITY' a good idea, i.e had some success in past of attracting big events

  • 'BUY LOCAL' is a middle class pipe dream, waste of money, especially if it still supoports Supermarket planning appl' in city centre.
    this tweet was a bit glib and simplistic on my part, buy local is a good idea, trouble is B.C council has continually stiffed small independent retailers. maybe some reparation could be done here.

  • 'FAMILY CITY' How would these families impact on the vibrancy of City Centre entertainment (fiddle & bone, spotted dog as ex')
    as above

  • 'FAMILY CITY' would these families include the Birmingham families it's displaced during previous 'redevelopments'
    as above

  • Consultation period now till Feb 6th, Is that long enough to get 'real' people involved and sort out finer details?,

    As someone has already stated this is an all too brief period especially as it covers the Christmas and New Year holidays, is it long enough to physically get people involved?

Finally comes the obvious crass question, Where is the money coming from giving that we're supposed to be entering a recession?. I think a lot of people in Brum would say they'd rather see the little problems fixed short term before cash is diverted into huge projects long term.

Looking back over this post i can see it looks cynical but i really would like to see this thing work BUT Councils have a rich history of screwing things up and alienating Joe Public, if they can just get the first bit right maybe people will really get behind it and we'll see some actual factual results!.

*(post title is a play on an old Stranglers track from 'No More Heroes' album if you hain't got it go get it!)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Scotch Egg for Dummies

I was a bit dismayed a couple of weeks back to read a dismissive blog remark
about the humble Scotch Egg (retro indeed).Now being a Scottish savoury snack fan i can only imagine this attitude comes from either a bad experience or maybe a traumatic incident with one in childhood.So i thought i'd set the record straight and present the secret to preparing a successful Scotch Egg...

First take one Scotch Egg, any
brand will usually do, this one is a Tesco's home brand.

Cut egg in half, unfortunately this is one thing that only comes with experience as it's not always easy to see how the egg lies beneath the pork.

Take out egg and drop a dollop of QUALITY Salad Cream into cavity.

Squish egg back into the Pork.

Eat egg

trust me,if you've followed these instructions properly you'll NEVER go back to Pork Pies!.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Some Twitter Enlightenment

I was suprised (shocked even) last night at the amount of Social Media types who weren't familiar with Twitters basic SMS commands so plagiarised for your perusal....

follow or f username Follow a user's tweets - you will receive all their updates (on your PC).
leave or l username Stop updates from the user .
delete username Drop the user from your friend list.
d username message Send the message as a private message to the given user. This message will not appear in any public time line and is usually delivered via email.

If update by text becomes available again in the UK here's a raft of others.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Dem Bones Dem Bones

I'll leave it to someone else to review the Punk alldayer @ Flapper & Firkin Saturday 6th suffice to say that Bones (Broken Bones) played, the guitarist that came up with a sound and song structure that said 'Yep, that's a Discharge song'

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Christmas Top Five Songs

Can't believe no one else has done this yet...
  1. The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping Yes, that's right, The Waitresses
  2. The Pogues Fairytale Of New York (natch)
  3. Jethro Tull Ring Out Solstice Bells Pagan festive fun
  4. The Damned There ain't No Sanity Clause
  5. The Business Step Into Christmas Yuletide shouty frolix (can't find Youtube link)
Closely followed by that Greg Lake song that starts 'they said there'd be snow at Christmas' and has that festive little hook in the middle.

(oh, and Jona Lewies 'Stop the Cavalry')

Hmmmm, Might expand this into a top 10 later