“Abuse!”

bike

One hot, genuinely steamy June night, in 1976, the early hours of the morning found me outside a take-away ‘hole in the wall’ type place, in the middle of Boscombe, Bournemouth.

My motorcycle was parked (as ever) sideways-on, back wheel to the gutter, side-stand out – and as for all of us those days, your bike was so individual – it would serve as an early marker as to your presence anywhere, inside or out.

It must have been around 2.30am, I was the only customer – no other traffic.

A single vehicle approached along the otherwise deserted Christchurch Road and as it neared the takeaway it started to slow.

The windows of the car were all down (hot night) –and as the car drew level with the takeaway the driver leaned out.

A single word rang-out across the deserted scene, echoing back and forth between the shop fronts.

“ABUSE!”

The vehicle never stopped, and soon was out of sight, and out of ear-shot.

Dave Shead was on his way home, and thought he’d hurl good-natured abuse at me.

Magic.

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Autobahn!

autobahnIn excess of 800km driven across four countries, three days.
European roads: clear, lane discipline – faultless, litter free verges, signs that inform, but only when necessary, clean loos, and services that serve (instead of just pummeling you senseless with junk, and then ripping you off for anything and everything).

My God! you had to adjust every inch of your thinking back in the UK!  Almost immediately we had emergency braking for turn-offs (signed-up miles ago), swerving around, lane-hopping and hard braking for signs warning of speed restrictions obviously not turned-off as no hazard existed, lane jumpers, tail-gaters (a criminal offence in Germany) fast-lane hoggers,  snappily front-LED’d  fashion wagons pelting along beyond their or their driver’s capabilities (it’s shiney – the TV advert was cool – surely this was the life promised to me?)

I swear, in Germany – at 180kph you can calculate a driver’s need to change lane, 1/4 of a mile ahead, calculate what your action might do to the black dot in your mirror, a 1/4 of mile behind you – and smooth yours, and everyone else’s way ahead, without changing speed, or stressing at all, whilst everyone else on the same Autobahn does the identical thing for you, all without thinking.  Back on a UK road you’re working 10 times as hard, just to keep from having some utter Gibbon cause mayhem for you and everyone else.

What a bunch of complete Tossers.

Eurovision 2015

eurovision 2015

Watching the Eurovision last night, Mel Giedroyc and Scott Mills started out with the usual (and plentiful) sarcastic remarks about anything vaguely ‘European’ .

Getting hot under the collar at home, I dialled-up the Eurovision 2015 semi-final Facebook riot and was thoroughly heartened to see many, many similar thoughts aired. “Shut them up! it’s embarrassing!” stormed one, “For god’s sake stop those two with their stupid remarks” was another – good stuff. Favourites of mine: Rumania (Voltaj – De La Capat/ All Over Again) and Hungary (Boggie – Wars For Nothing).

Tescos, rip-offs and market crash? Together?

tesco_blogger
Steve Evans raves

I’ve been banging-on about supermarket practices for some years now (February 2013, to be precise), and it seems the media is catching up with me finally.
Guardian – 21/04  –  Supermarkets dupe shoppers out of hundreds of millions
BBC News 21/04  – ‘Which?’ on supermarkets misleading pricing claims

The big leaguers still don’t GET IT, do they?
I’m not sure anyone seriously wants a deal on Eggs or Milk for christsakes (TV adverts this week), if only they gave it a little thought.

misleading pricing claims
Half what price?

And because they don’t get it,  I don’t give a jot about Tesco’s 6.4 BILLION LOSS – though the numbers are incredible aren’t they?

Especially since it seems to have been such an astoundingly speedy decline, from what seemed an unassailable dominance until now.
Just HOW do you lose that amount of money so quickly?
Foodstuffs need to be the cheapest they absolutely can be, having paid growers, suppliers, transport, and staffing.
If I can’t buy a flat-screen coffee machine at the same shop I chose apples, then so be it.

tesco lose money hand-over-fist
Oh dear, Tesco FT drop

Maybe I’ve never given the average shopper as much credit as they deserved?  Maybe “Every little helps” paraded across our TV screens for so long, as the company charged us TWICE as MUCH for some goods as their competitors was a step too far – or, more likely, real Britain needed to look to their wallets – discovered a couple of German supermarkets, and walked.

Connectivity – Blessing or Blight?

disconnect

 

 

 

 

 

I moved a few weeks ago – I can see the sea now, if I stand on a stool, and the stool itself is balanced on a stack n’ store box – with the lid on – coz the lid adds that critical 2cm you understand.

Thing is . . . . I have no internet, which at first seemed horrible.
Disconnected, unable to converse, comment, catch-up.

After 10 days or so, I had lost that ‘must check the ‘phone ‘pull‘ that sits continuously in an already over-cluttered mind; then I noticed that the Nokia was starting to be left in my work coat pocket, along with the car keys, and anything else that wouldn’t be needed for evening life.

The next day I go to work – allegedly  there is WiFi there – (actually the WiFi is stunningly speedy out on the pavement – and next-to-useless in the building, where I teach just about everything ‘tech’ – a surreal dichotomy.)

At some point in the day I’ll see if I’ve missed anything . . . . . .  you know what?   I haven’t – I really, seriously haven’t.

I might become connected at home in the next 2 weeks, so doubtless I’ll revert back to the drudgery – but feeling the move from ‘must‘ to ‘it doesn’t matter, really‘ was so, so interesting.

Charlie Hebdo – So this is free speech is it?

Je suis Charlie
Je suis bloody sick of this propoganda

It was the same with Sony and kim jong un – the chattering wotnots up-in-arms, social mediocrites (my term) hurling themselves brain-first onto the latest wagon of crap to trundle past their bloated monitors.

This is free speech is it?  Make some godawful mess of a movie portraying a country’s leader as some some sort of half-wit (even if he is) or worse, dig and dig and dig and twist and twist at a whole religion’s prophet?  Sheer obvious bloody common-sense has to tell you this is plainly wrong.

Can you imagine if some unfriendly state had a magazine with cartoon imagery about Jesus Christ?   What do you reckon eh?   Street riots?  Questions in Parliament,  F15’s screeching their hell-fire across the desert as the President deplores this disgusting propaganda?

Because that’s what the Sony is doing, that’s what Charlie Hebdo is doing –  pure Propaganda, and it’s “OK” because it’s “our side” doing it.

No-one can defend the violence of course, but equally no-one can defend the West’s right to keep pedaling this muck at the expense of other people’s religions.

Social media & Business – a view

meme05/09/14
A young colleague of mine got me thinking today.
She asked if I was looking forward to teaching our new C & G Digital Marketing course.

I said “Wellllll ……….…yes and no, really” or some other such  reply, and she asked why the “No”.

After a few awkward seconds of silence, in which I realised I had never asked myself the question she asked, let alone explored the answer – I came to the truth, at least for me.

I cannot bloody stand the idea of Social Media for Marketing.  (Just in case some dark suit reads this, this is not a problem – my units revolve around SEO, keywords, Web-building, and the like, the technical stuff, and not social media.)

I don’t think it’s very ‘social’ for one thing.

I think it only works for those under 40ish, and therefore predominantly personal image brands.
Just read that back again – personal image brands.

I think it only works if you have a certain ‘mind state’ or ‘life view’ – or are utterly clueless about advertising twaddle.
If you don’t actually notice that a business is chatting with you as if you’re bestest buddies ever.

I mean, like . . . since ever.

I feel a bit peeved, cheated really,  that some web-based software purporting to be an enabler for friends chatting, sharing . . . blah . . . is also a sales machine.

The sites, the words – my god what am I saying?  The sheer ‘assume with me that you too belong in this state of mind about X, or Y’ is simply breathtaking.
Chock-full of some of the worst excesses of matey ad’ speak, of drowning a reader in a puerile soft-focus nothingness – where a product’s purported x-factor is hyped, eulogised even, to such an extent that – well, what do we say?   Ideas such as value, quality, relevance, even? – god dammit, are never less than a billion light-years away.

I mean – do I really have to be ‘Friends’ with a Cream Cracker in order to enjoy cheese and wine?