Machines in a bad mood

Posted July 30, 2016 by theroyalist
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Nostalgia- from the Greek “nostos” return home and “algos” pain. An ache for the past.

(The following to be read as swiftly as possible and in a big shouty, excitable voice)

Cheer up Draper-Man, there’s no need to ache for the past. The big wheel has come round again. Yes Roboteers, Robot Wars is back on the small screen and available to watch on Sundays. Or on catch up or your hard drive or a pod cast or your mate’s phone or I don’t know…other places. So many choices nowadays. Last shown in 2004 when I heard Robot Wars was making a comeback I partied like it was 2001: a Space Odyssey.

This technological battle of the bots leaves Formula One trailing in its wake. No overtaking just Carnage, pure and simple. The destruction in this combat of Robots makes Rollerball look like a sugar plum fairy ballet. It makes the Terminator look like John Inman. Jack Bauer would take the day off if he thought it was going to be like this. Falconetti would…oh OK, you get the picture.

The main point is its back and all the old features are still there. The house robots still patrol their spots and attack any intruders, the arena has its areas of danger and the booming vocal cords of Jonathan Pearce are behind the microphone commentating on the Cyborgian catastrophe prevailing in the pit.

The bespoke robots entered in the contests all have their own mechanical monikers. episode one of the new series saw such gems as  Behemoth, Kill-E-Crank-E, Nuts, Razer  and Terrorhurtz. It is a show that even watching the credits is exciting. With lots of old electrical appliances and some junk bicycles stagnating in the loft, all I need is a soldering iron and I’m in the game. And lucky me, I get to give my robot a name.

 

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Webbing Day

Posted July 17, 2016 by theroyalist
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It was with great anxiety that I entered the hall of Starbucks. This was my first time in the venue and I scanned the clientele to see if there were any insect haters. My spider-sense said no but you can never be too careful so I tippy-toed a rat-a-tat on my claws along the floor to the counter. Just call me the arachnid Fred Astaire.

The Starbuckian staff seemed professional and courteous. The rumours of this being a controversial coffeehouse were unfounded. The only controversy was the price of the scones. I chicaned round these lumps of pastry as it was only fluid I was after. Without fluid I can’t make a web. You can’t imagine a world without a web. Can you?

This didn’t seem the right place for a Tetley so I forgoed my tea jenny long legs addiction and descended into a cup of coffee, my first cup of coffee.  It shivered me timbers as my Urticating hairs meerkated into the air. It carouseled my carapace and sent my spinnerets to Detroit and back. I slurped some more. In an instant I was hooked.

Then I surveyed the scene more closely. They had more exotic drinks than coffee on offer. My eyes could see the names of frappuccino, cappuccino, macchiatos and mochas on the team sheet. I noticed that Balotelli had been dropped again.

It was really warm for July and my  opisthosoma was sweating. I needed something cool and I saw the very thing- An Iced Shaken Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade which consists of a layered blend of green tea, juicy blackberry, mint, and a splash of lemonade—shaken not stirred with ice. I wouldn’t be the spider I was today if I wasn’t always prepared. I pulled out a pair of Speedo Spider Shorts from my back pack and budgie smuggled into them.

I’m not a Beatle but couldn’t resist singing a wee tune before plunging into the pool. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, Little darling.

I was having the whale of a time. My Pedipalps were getting good exercise doing alternate kicks and I could do a bit of surfing using an ice cube. Then the place was drying up. The tea was being dredged by a tube submerged in the glass. A vortex was being created and slowly I was being sucked into the whirlpool. Don’t tell me these humans are going to eat spiders during the day as well as the night.

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Famous firsts and infamous worsts

Posted July 9, 2016 by theroyalist
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First time in a pub: was 15, was smuggled in by older boys, had three vodkas and orange, was stretchered out.

Son’s first cup of coffee: I don’t drink the stuff and neither do the offspring, though my younger son decided to take the plunge into the unknown for experimental reasons. He said “JW Jnr’s first cup of coffee”. After much gurning and vomiting he said “JW Jnr’s last cup of coffee!”

First ever video recorder owned: Betamax!!!! The boffins at school claimed it was the superior technological weapon in the VCR wars. Wonder if I still have time to make a claim for Betamax mis-sold information. In the end the hegemony of VHS was ended by DVD. In hindsight, maybe the makers of Betamax should have abbreviated their product: BTX.

First time ever I saw your face: First heard this on the underrated Clint Eastwood film, Play Misty for Me, sung by Roberta Flack. Multitude of singers have covered this song. One of the best is the haunting version by Johnny Cash.

First blog ever written: Was on Bebo ( who remembers Bebo?). It was a strange tale of me in the waiting room at the doctor’s sitting beside some famous figures. I asked Darth Vader if his sore throat was getting better. As debuts go, it was a precocious start. It’s been downhill ever since.

4.2 The Chinese take away

Posted June 21, 2016 by theroyalist
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If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

(old Chinese proverb)

“We’re going to be rich beyond our wildest dreams” Enthused Jeff to Ralph. Ralph had his doubts and he expressed them.

“These things never  work out the way they’re supposed to.”

“This is a home run, a slam dunk, a bull’s eye, as sure-fire as a Kung Fu chop.” Jeff mimicked a David Carradine downward slice. It wasn’t pretty and truthfully, it wouldn’t have cut butter.

“The Chinese take away is situated on the outskirts of town but it’s the best take away in town. If you know what I mean. The majority of customers phone their orders in. Very few customers actually enter the premises. All you’ve got to do is answer the phone and all I have to do is deliver the goods. It’s easy money. So we in, Liondance.” Ralph agreed.

The take away opened at six o’clock and immediately the phone rang.

“Told you Ralph, the phone lines will be busy but it is an easy job.”

“You could be right, Jeff” Ralph, with great sunny delight, picked up the phone and took the order. He wrote it down together with the address. He punched the air before putting the phone down. “That’ll be the first of many and the more we sell the more we make.  With tips and all that.” Ralph picked up a flotilla sized toy dragon’s head costume that was behind the counter and danced a Chinese dance. it was like New Year all over again.

A half hour passed without any further calls. Jeff had been sent to deliver the solitary order. The chef and owner weren’t in a rising sun mood and the mandarins scowled a grasshopper of a scowl at Ralph.

Jeff returns and sits with Ralph. Two hours pass without any more orders. Ralph is afraid to look at the phone which is the white elephant in the room. The air is filled with tension. The proprietors were holding their fire-breathing breaths. Ralph breaks the silence.

“A waiting kettle never boils. That’s an old British proverb.”

Just then an irate customer walks into the shop. I’d rate him about negative ten. He shouts.

“I’ve walked three miles to get here. What’s going on? I’ve tried to phone since you opened. The phone is constantly engaged.”

Ralph and Jeff  look at the phone. It is slightly off the hook but off the hook nevertheless. The chef picks up his meat cleaver and the owner falls into a Bruce Lee pose. Ralph checks the writing on the wall and utters.

“Hey, don’t forget your old proverb,” he replaces the handset and it begins to ring. “See, we’re back in business.” he speaks into the phone “Good evening, can I take your order”.

The waiting customer is furious and screams at Jeff “I was here first.”

Jeff, in self-survival mood answers “I’m just the driver.”

 

Take your pick

Posted June 20, 2016 by theroyalist
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One of the wonders of playing the guitar is learning a new chord. Just the other day I added the Cadd9 chord to my repertoire. After adding them all up, this takes me to five chords I can “master”. The Cadd9 has a lovely sound. It makes a sweet “rinnggg” noise. After I strum it, forgetting myself sometimes, I answer the door but I digress. The Cadd9 means I can now hammer out a wicked version of Bad Moon Rising (G, Cadd9, D). A busking career is definitely in the offing.

Another offshoot I have found since becoming a “musician” is the wonderful world of plectrum collecting. These small pieces of plastic that aid the player are seductively charming. There’s billions of them out there and these picks are as cheap as chips. Just as I said I clean the guitar more often than I play it I also look at the plectrums rather than use them.

I could have filled this page with pleccy pics but I see trouble on the way.

Here’s the professional version of my song.

Escaping the Triumphant stunt man

Posted June 6, 2016 by theroyalist
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British superbike maker Triumph Motorcycles Ltd is expecting to clock 20-25% sales growth in India in 2017. Triumph sells 15 global models in the country through its many dealerships and more are planned. Well played, Triumph. You can’t keep a good old British Brand down.

The Triumph motorcycle is famous for being Steve McQueen’s two-wheeler of choice. He didn’t just drive his dream machine in The Great Escape he also regularly raced his biking buddies with a Triumph. But it was the film that made him. After it, he went stratospheric and became the biggest star in Hollywood.

Steve did have his moments and I hate to rain on his parade but I have just found out it as not him that did the daring jump over the wire in the film. It was the unknown stuntman, the Fall guy as they’re known. In my universe Steve’s star has waned a tad. Clearly, he wasn’t no Evel Knievel.

There are some actors that do their own stunts but I’m sure the insurance will be through the roof. The stuntmans union would complain as well. There are a number of thrill-seeking part-time stunt man that walk the walk then talk the talk. Listen to this one.

A friend of mine recently did a sky dive for charity. Nicely done, good cause, let’s move on. Nope, not a chance. He told me it was the most amazing feeling ever doing a free fall. He was cajoling others to take the plunge.

Good for you, Daredevil, but I’m not biting the bullet. I’ll escape his clutches by playing it like Steve and sticking myself in the cooler. There’s nothing better than bouncing a ball off the wall.

Spot the Difference

Posted June 6, 2016 by theroyalist
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None that I can see. Both these groups are having fun.