Brexit

by Purple Wyrm on June 24, 2016

Well, it was a nice global economy we had there once.

Thanks Mr Farage!

The Austrian Govmint’s Pleen Pickaging Loh Ex Spearmint

by Purple Wyrm on June 9, 2016

Oh, this is something special!

That could possibly be an Australian, if they had a smoking induced stroke.

You have to wonder, if Plain Packaging is such a failure then why is the tobacco industry spending millions of dollars funding lobby groups like the “Property Rights Alliance” to stop it?

An Open Letter to Vodafone

by Purple Wyrm on June 7, 2016

You know, when you say that your Subiaco store opens at 9:00am it would be nice for those of your customers who work for a living if it actually did open at 9:00am and not at 9:11am, by which point said customers have had to leave and catch a bus.

It would so be nice if your goddam website worked properly so your customers could do something as simple as updating their credit card details without having to go into one of your poxy storefronts in the first place.

Thank you.

Music Music Music Music (The fourth ‘Music’ is a typo)

by Purple Wyrm on June 5, 2016

I’m busy planning and stressing out about my upcoming Europe holiday, but in the meantime here’s a quick round up of the music that’s been “rocking my casbah” of late, as I believe all the cool young folks say nowadays.

First up, Grimes. I’ve already mentioned how obsessed I am with the scintillating Flesh Without Blood, but her follow ups are just as strong. Kill vs Maim is downright savage (You gave up being good when you declared a state of WAAAAAAAR!!) and get a load of the video version of California (which I think I actually prefer to the album version).

Secondly, Source by Fever the Ghost. The song is pretty good, but the real draw for me is the fantastic video clip, animated by Australia’s own Felix Colgrave. The dragon (named Long Morrison as it happens) and those two dancing… things…. are so cute!

And finally I was watching Rockwiz last night and when the “Million Dollar Riffs” section came up the band struck up a riff that absolutely paralyzed me. It was like when something reminds you of a dream that you’d forgotten, and it come slamming back into your brain with full force. It turned out to (of all things) be the intro to You Little Thief by Feargal Sharkey which is a song that I loved as a kid, but somehow completely forgot about. Not only is it a great song (a diss track about Maria McKee as it happens), but the video clip is daggily fantastic! I’m quite convinced that the KLF borrowed elements of it for Justified and Ancient and the Stadium House Trilogy.

Right, I’m off to do the washing up before it develops sentience and attacks me…

Clerihews

by Purple Wyrm on May 28, 2016

Dr Johnathan Dee,
Spy and alchemist was he,
Who kept his life merry,
By swapping wives with Edward Kelley,

Nicholas Culpeper,
Was a herbal prepper,
A demon he did see,
In a gem from Dr Dee,

General Erich Ludendorff,
When young, probably couldn’t of,
Foreseen that the National Socialists
Would end up his political associates,

Battery Bear Hustle

by Purple Wyrm on May 20, 2016

Battery Bear Hustle: Instructions for Play

It’s 1972 and your bears have been making a killing selling illegal car batteries. But now the IRS is on your case! Your only option is to evacuate the parking structure and fly away, but can you get enough bears to your UFO before President Nixon catches you?

SETUP
1: Place your bears at the top of the parking structure.
2: Place the IRS agents on their Vans
3: Randomly distribute the Skateboards, Flamethrowers and Peerages by rolling two dice for each, and placing them on the corresponding parking space
4: Place President Nixon and the Lame Duck beside the board
5: Each player rolls a dice. The highest roll goes first

RULES
1: Each turn you may move your bears up to five places within the parking structure. You may move one bear five spaces, five bears one space, or any combination between.
2: Two bears may not occupy the same space without Fighting
3: You may not fight your own bears
4: A bear may move through another bear as long as the owner of the bear allows it. Otherwise a fight starts
5: When bears fight, each player rolls a die. The highest die roll wins the fight. In a draw, the attacking bear wins.
6: The losing bear is sent back to the top of the parking structure.
7: If a bear enters a space with a Skateboard, Flamethrower or Peerage they take the item and their movement ends.
8: A bear with a flamethrower rolls 2 dice when fighting
9: A bear with a skateboard may make one free move down the parking structure each turn
10: A bear with a peerage counts as two bears when entering the UFO.
11: If a bear enters a space with a disco ball, the player may roll one die and move an IRS agent up to that many spaces.
12: If an IRS agent enters a space with a bear, the bear must surrender a Flamethrower, Skateboard or Peerage. If they cannot, they are sent back to the top of the parking structure. The item they have surrendered is placed randomly on the board as during Setup.
13: If a player rolls two sixes and President Nixon is not on the board, they may replace an IRS agent of their choice with President Nixon
14: If a player rolls two sixes and President Nixon is already on the board, they may swap President Nixon’s position with that of any IRS agent
15: President Nixon is treated the same as an IRS agent, but two dice are rolled for his movement
16: If a player rolls two ones and President Nixon is on the board, replace President Nixon with the Lame Duck.
17: If a player rolls two ones and the Lame Duck is on the board, replace the Lame Duck with President Nixon.
18: The Lame Duck never moves
19: The first player to move ten bears into their UFO wins the game.

Eurovision 2016

by Purple Wyrm on May 15, 2016

I decided not to get up and watch the Eurovision final live this year. I was at a semi-final party until late last night, so I slept in. We all know who won but I’m still going to do my review thing, because why not?

I’ll be adding some commentary on the on the acts that didn’t get through the second  semi-final when I have a minute, but here we go!

What has Julia done with her hair?

Right, a woman dressed in platonic solids, that makes sense.

And an octopus man.

And an elephant man.

And a semi-naked Finn the Human.

Apparently they’re all made of paper, that’s clever, but no excuse!

They must have a bunch of spare battery packs for Bulgaria. She’s lit up like a lighthouse in every single shot.

Belgium: Well they’re certainly enthusiastic. And very 90s. Not a great song, but the presentation is very Eurovision. Not hardcore Eurovision, I mean they don’t have any piano-centaurs or holographic wolves, but there’s plenty of cheese. 3/5, mostly for enthusiasm.

Czech Republic: All white costume! Drink! Competent, yet dull, so far. Hmmm, it’s growing on me a bit. Hair change! Drink! Not bad overall. 3/5

Netherlands: A protest song against modern life apparently. With ten seconds of silence for people to do whatever they want. Giant clock! Oo! He’s playing an instrument! And they’ve actually got a band on stage. Inoffensive, middle of the road pop-country. Looking dead into the camera and mouthing “I love you” – extremely creepy, you lose points for that! 2.5/5

Azerbaijan: Golden microphone and body stocking and lots of fire. I presume the song will kick it up a notch in a second. Ah, there we go! Extras from Buck Rogers dancing against a background of flying Zome. OK, but nothing amazing. 2.5/5

Hungary: There’s whistling apparently. Big drum! Drink! Those eyebrows are quite something aren’t they? Ah, backup whistlers. That’s an unusual choice. And now they’re doing aerobics. Musically it just sounds like a not particularly good Live cover band. Drum guy’s lost his mind. Seriously, what’s the deal with asymmetric shirts? 2/5

Ad break! Time for a semi-final review!

Switzerland: All I can remember is that she had a transparent skirt and was bobbing up and down in a fashion that may have been intended to look like she was skiing, but actually just made her look constipated. Not great, not great at all…

Belarus: This act was everything Eurovision should be! Weird face paint, nudity, holographic wolves, performing with multiple holographic versions of yourself. It’s a crime that this didn’t get through!

And we’re back!

Italy: From what I’ve seen this is just weird. Hey! It’s in Italian! The staging is strange, but the song’s not bad. Could do with a bit more tune. Are sparkly overalls the next fashion trend, or is it a tie in to the agricultural theme? Best so far I think! 3.5/5

Israel: Ah, the Robert Smith/Boy George hybrid. A giant sparkly Zome face! And here comes the hula hoop! The hula hoop is silly, but it’s a pretty good song – even if it is cribbing from… can’t quite place it, but there’s another song it’s grabbing a bit from. Something 80’s I think. 4/5!

Bulgaria: Ah yes! the girl with the light up suit and wobbly knees! I actually snorted with laughter when she started dancing the first time. It’s a passable dance song, but it needs a better chorus. Nonetheless she’s singing bits in Bulgarian, she’s wearing a cape and her costume lights up, so 3.5/5!

Another ad break…

Ireland: Was this guy in Boyzone, or does he just like look like he was in Boyzone? Anyway it was an adequate song sung by a guy in a weird jacket, but nothing much to write home about.

Macedonia: Dona Dona Dona. Dona. Dona Dona. A great voice, but the song was sub par. And that costume wasn’t doing her any favours.

Back to it!

Sweden: The local boy. Well this is a whole load o’ nuthin. Ah! here we go. His muttering is easier to put up with with some musical backing, but still not great. Relying a bit too heavily on the teen hearthrob factor I think. 2.5/5 and I’m not sorry.

Germany: This girl appears to be a big fan of Japan. And insane. Let’s see… Big moon! Apparently she’s the Queen of Mirkwood. A good dose of Eurovision weirdness, but the song isn’t doing much for me. Great voice though. 3/5

France: What’s the bet that this will be entirely in French? Apparently he’s a former dental surgeon. A former dental surgeon flying through space. Sacré bleu! There’s English bits! Somewhat catchy dance track. 3/5

Poland: Jon Snow in Michael Jackson’s jacket asking the same question that the Scatman asked much better 20 years ago (you know nothing Michał Szpak). That said, it’s a better song than some of the others we’ve seen tonight. 2.5/5

Australia: Hooray! Our first proper Eurovision contestant! And she’s sitting on a box, manipulating holograms. The songwriters really went for epic with this one didn’t they? She’s pulling it off though. You can call me biased, but I honestly think it’s one of the best songs of the night, and an excellent performance of it. 4/5

(Don’t worry, I have no doubt we’ll send something awful next year)

Cyprus: It’s a band! Holy crap, that’s an opening. Are they in cages for stealing their riff from Midnight Oil? Decent performance, but it’s not a great song. Ahh! Demon wolves! And now the lead singer’s possessed! Is that even legal? 2/5

Serbia: An issues song, which makes me feel kind of guilty for trying to mock it. Very gothy. Are the backup singers dressed in shredded garbage bags? And what’s with that hair? Key change! Drink! OK song, great voice! 3/5

Lithuania: Oh yeah, this guy. I wasn’t impressed in the semi-final. His singing seems out of synch with the music. And is he meant to be some kind of ice-bender? Or a snow golem? That spin was kind of cool mind you. Costume change! Drink! You know, this is actually a bit better than I remebered – his enthusiasm is carrying it. 3/5

Croatia: Woah. That is one crazy dress! Ow, she seems a bit flat. Costume change! Drink! She really does seem off key. 2.5/5 (would have been 3 if she was on tune).

Russia: The favourite! Shame they invaded Ukraine isn’t it? Wings! Woah! Big on effects. Tempo change? Magic stairs. Gravity defiance! Oh now this is just getting silly! Not a bad song, but I think everyone has been dazzled by the effects. 3/5

Ad break…

Slovenia: I can’t actually recall anything about Slovenia. To the YouTubes! Oh yeah! Her! If YouTube ever bloody loads I might be able to remember something about the song.

I guess not. Back again.

Spain: Silver sports dress? A bit sparse so far. OK, kicking in a bit now. More crazy knee dancing, guess that must be in at the moment. There’s a decent dance track in there, but it’s all a bit too busy for it to gel. There’s two of them now, like I said, too busy. 2.5/5

Latvia: Sounds a bit off key. OK, he seems to have recovered. A bit dull isn’t it? Strong voice, but not a lot going on. Singer falls to knees! Drink! 2.5/5

Ukraine: The song Russia didn’t want them to play! Another issues song really. Musically not my cup of tea, although the traditional bit in the middle is great. 3/5

Malta: Are we back in the club in 1994? Ah! Giant face! Psychotic gymnast! Drink! Not much to write home about here I have to say. 2/5

Another ad break, let’s try again…

Slovenia: Oh yeah, I really liked this! Uptempo banjos and prolonged la-las. The guy swinging around on the pole is a bit much, but it’s a real shame this didn’t get through to the final.

Back to the show!

Georgia: It’s good to see another actual band participating, but their song really isn’t very good is it? And someone should tell that guitarist that Oasis broke up years ago. Does dropping to your knees to fiddle with the effects peddles count for a drink? 2/5

Austria: In French. Sweet and inoffensive. Frank L. Baum may want to have a word with them about the effects. Wind machine! Drink! 3/5

United Kingdom: Oh, this is always a gamble. The UK tries so hard that they often kick an own goal, but let’s see. Is that guitar making the sound of a piano? Now, you see this is decent. No gimmicks, no trying to game the system, just some guys singing a halfway decent song. They’ll probably still get voted to oblivion, but at least the UK can hold their heads up this year. 3.5/5

Armenia: Oh dear, talking. Swimsuit and a cape, OK, there’s gonna be a wind machine in this isn’t there? Oh this is not good at all is it? Even the holograms can’t save it. Is she singing a completely different song to the music? 2/5

And that’s it! Time for the interval, featuring Justin Timberlake for some reason. But back to the semi-final…

Denmark: Actually pretty good for a boy band song. Quite catchy. Although what’s with the sleeves on the guy on the left?

Norway: Seemed a bit off key, and full of weird tempo changes. Interesting, but not smart.

Albania: Finally Albania, who looked like she’d fallen into a vat of molten copper. Seriously guys, cut back on the bronzer! But not a bad song overall.

You know, it’s already 10:00pm, we know who won and I have to go to work tomorrow. I think I’ll give the whole voting rigmarole a miss this year (I can always check it out on YouTube tomorrow).

Well done Ukraine! Next year in Kiev!

Dalek Doomsday

by Purple Wyrm on May 8, 2016

I’ve been so busy and so stressed of late that I haven’t felt up to blogging about anything. But I’m going to make a bit of an effort, even if the results are entirely random.

So, at the start of April I went down south for Ryan and Jackie’s wedding. This was a lot of fun, but rather than talk about the ceremony, or the reception, or how nice it is down there, or how nice Justin and Marika were for giving a lift down there and back I’m going to talk about television.

On the Saturday morning I had some time to kill. I was staying in Margaret River and after a walk into the town center for breakfast and a look around I found myself back at my hotel, so turned on the TV to see what passes for rural entertainment these days. I was quite shocked to find myself watching the tail end of Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150AD, the second of the Peter Cushing Dalek movies from the 60s.

You see, back in the 60’s, just after Doctor Who began, there was an absolute craze for the Daleks. They were huge. So the powers that be decided to cash in by taking the first two Dalek stories from the series and turn them into big budget movies staring respected actor Peter Cushing (who lived in Whitstable) as the Doctor.

For a number of reasons (including the fact that the Doctor is portrayed as a human inventor actually surnamed “Who”) they don’t form part of the official Whovian cannon. I’ve always heard that they’re awful, but actually what I saw wasn’t too bad – especially judged by the standards of mid 60’s British film making. And the sets, costuming and effects were a lot better than anything the series could manage at that stage.

I was also surprised to see that the young Bernard Cribbins (who of course went on to appear in the revived TV series as Wilfred Mott) bears an occasionally startling resemblance to Alan Brough.

Excuse me for a second…

Peter Cushing went to Dunstable,
Had a run in with a Constable,
All involved were most uncomfortable,
Peter Cushing went to Dunstable,

Sorry about that.

After the Dalek’s horrible plans were defeated and some ads for tractors and the local agricultural show, a program came on called Doomsday Castle. It was – frankly – astonishing.

It was an observational series about a family whom it is tempting to describe as hillbillies constructing a ‘castle’ on top of a mountain in North Carolina to protect themselves from “marauders” when the “end times” come. The episode in question involved various family members constructing metal shutters for the ground floor windows and clearing land to construct a survival garden. The highlight of the show was when they decided to use explosives to remove a tree stump.

The entire thing left me gobsmacked.

If you’re concerned about protecting your family from “marauders” why the hell would you build a big, conspicuous castle on top of a mountain where it’ll be visible for miles around? And then why would you put it on TV? And most important of all, why in the name of all that’s sane and holy would you build a defensive structure with GODDAMN GROUND FLOOR WINDOWS?!?! Where did these rednecks study castle architecture?!? Disneyland??

And their explosives discipline was insane. The son tasked with clearing the land – right next, by the way, to the castle where the rest of the family were working – decided to use some sticks of dynamite to remove the stump. He didn’t see fit to inform anyone else about this, and wired up three sticks because “he didn’t know what three sticks would do”. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT AN EXPLOSIVE WILL DO, DON’T MESS WITH IT!! He then set it off without any kind of warning – or at least tried to set it off because he screwed up the wiring, creating a highly dangerous UXO situation, which he solved by creeping up slowly to the stump behind a detached car hood and fiddling with it. It did blow up successfully on the second try, but again he gave no warning to anyone else.

Now I know these shows are for entertainment and they probably only pretended that he set the explosives off without warning, but it’s a terrible example to set for the viewing audience – particularly given that the kind of person who’d tune Doomsday Castle on a regular basis is probably not the sharpest tool in the bunker.

OK, that’s your lot. Tune in next time for some Frente or something.

Party over, whoops, out of time

by Purple Wyrm on April 22, 2016

This year is really trying my patience.

Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Words I Really Like

by Purple Wyrm on April 21, 2016

Number 1 in an exciting new series!

  • Lagash
  • Ninurta
  • Lapidiary
  • Melchizedek
  • Zadok
  • Khuzdul