User avatar Four Word Reviews: Double Wide

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to just read these reviews, never having heard the music I’m reviewing. Sometimes I wonder if a casual reader would believe that I actually do listen to the whole album in its entirety before writing one. But I do, and that is why I have very mixed feelings when another CD-shaped package mysteriously arrives in my postbox. Sometimes the contents of that package are familiar to me and maybe even borderline palatable, like when Sade emerged from her Jiffy bag. Other times I find myself facing up to an album like Double Wide by Uncle Kracker.

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User avatar Monty Don – Petition Update

Hi Guys

So, I believe that we are all in receipt of the petition, and when I say “the petition” you know fine well which petition I mean. Yes, it’s the one to get my main man Monty Don back up onstage with a microphone in his hand to rip the world in two with some phat beats.

The only way we are going to get this up and running is with the backing of the people. I know that all of his fans have been crying out for this for years and it was only recently that some brainiac had the right idea to start a petition, and get the ball rolling. We need to roll that ball quick and hard, like the effort needed to stretch a weasel. We have to put that weasel right in there, no pre-stretching or pre-preparation at all, and get it stretched like there’s no tomorrow. If that weasel is going, it’s going and there’s no going back. If that ball rolls back then we need to smash it into next week, whether using the weasel or not.

So, like the weasel, and maybe the ball, we need to get the word out to everyone. I want to see Twitters, people, I want to see a rip curl of emotion driving this down the throats of every single name in your list of followers. I want to see Facebook posts, Instagram instas, Linked-In sausage link notifications and postcards sent to a PO Box address that doesn’t exist.

I have never felt so strongly about anything in my entire life. I feel as though I was put on this earth to make this happen, and the only way it can happen is with the support of people like you. Without you there would be no you, so keep you-ing and I will keep me-ing, and with any luck by the end of the summer we will have achieved our goal.

All of my eyes, and I do mean all of them, are on you to sort this mother out. Bless you and all your tiny hand socks of joy (what?).

User avatar Stationary Harassment – Part 2

Following the harrowing experience I encountered in Asda car park last year HERE, there is another dog looming on the horizon who clearly has something against me.

The kind of job that I do involves a lot of checking windows. I mean I love windows me, even if it wasn’t part of the job I would happily peruse lists and lists of properties with the same postcodes of the people I know to see who has got the correct certification and who hasn’t. Some people have hobbies, some people spend hours looking at double glazing; that is my life and I am sticking to it. What greets you though as you load up the lovely FENSA website is this (apologies for the poor quality photo):

What is his problem?

The woman is happily discussing getting new windows, possibly for her semi-detached house that desperately needs refurbishment work because the rest of the street has already done it and it she had to wait for her aunt’s inheritance to come through before she could pay for everything, and hiding above her shoulder is this grouch, this Grinch, this menace. The prospect of double glazing means that the house will be adequately insulated against the bad weather types so the dog should be actively encouraging this behaviour. Instead he squints and grimaces his way each time you come to the website.

He looks as though instead of serving him doggy kibbles and sweet cheeks for breakfast (I’m not quite sure what dogs eat) he received a massive turd garnished with dandruff. He looks as though he’s been waiting for his PPI refund cheque for over four weeks and the company isn’t responding to his emails. He looks like Eamonn Holmes gave him a right good telling off for not observing the strict kitchen rules, carefully printed on a wooden plaque, hanging over the doorway.

I am doomed to repeat this each and every single time. If you want to have a peek with your peeking eyes, and have the stomach for it, you can witness his face HERE

 

User avatar Smidge on Science: Rain

Seventeen days have gone by since Smidge Manly’s last video, and as seventeen is the number most associated with the Bard of Barnsley, it must be time for his next outing into the world of science.

Rain: you probably think you understand it, because it’s just water and you see it all the time. Well, you’re wrong. Smidge is about to show you just how little you know, and how little he knows too.

User avatar Trekkin’ Abroad: Norman D.

So many posts in so few days. It’s almost like it’s the end of the month and people have one eye on the Bean Counter.

No matter. This isn’t just any post, this is important. Listen carefully.

I am posting to the Beans from a foreign location. I am, literally, Trekkin’ Abroad at this exact moment. I am within a country apparently called Norman D., though as yet I have been unable to ascertain its surname. However, armed only with this rudimentary information, I’ve narrowed down some likely suspects.

Norman Dodgin

An English footballer, who mainly played defensive positions, Norman Dodgin’s professional career lasted from the late 1940s to the early 1950s and he died in 2000.

Norman Douglas

An author, most famous for his 1915 book South Wind, Norman Douglas died in 1952 – interestingly, at a time when Norman Dodgin was at the height of his professional football career. A coincidence? Unlikely.

Norman Dyhrenfurth

Confusingly born in Breslau, a German city that no longer exists because it’s now called Wroclaw and in Poland, Norman Dyhrenfurth was a cinematographer who produced movies for National Geographic in the 1960s and is apparently also known for a film released in 2007, which is two years after his death. He was born on May 7th, the same as me. Another coincidence? Unlikely.

Clearly these are the three most eminent Norman D.’s in the world, and so logically if I am in a place called Norman D. then I must be in one of them. All three are dead, which brings the unsettling but inevitable conclusion that I have gone on holiday to a corpse. However, it seems to be a reasonably nice corpse, with a pleasant apartment that has a balcony and a short walk to shops and bars around an attractive harbour front setting, so if this is life inside a dead body it’s not all bad.

I am due to leave this place on Sunday and if any further information about the location or identity of Norman D. comes to light, I will share it here.

User avatar Ducks in Hats

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And know that there are ducks out there wearing hats….

Continue reading Ducks in Hats

User avatar May Review – a review of May

Well, wasn’t that a nice May? It may (huh huh) have passed rather quickly but it’s fair to say that we all had a smashing time regardless. What did we learn?

We learned a lot about automobiles thanks to the super brain of ocular octogenarian Smidge Manly. Chris finally learned that he isn’t actually any relation to Kelly Jones and is in fact somehow part of the wind family. What kind of crazy reunion will he have later on this year? Can I manage to get past this section without a wind-based pun?

Kevin learned that continually not posting on the beans will leave him with a shameful string of dried-up peas. This kind of legacy is not a good legacy for loved ones, and the gif of the Changlet shaking his head in despair will remain at the back of his mind for decades to come.

I did not learn a thing. What I did was set myself umpteen challenges without properly considering the words that were coming out my mouth and through the tiny letters on my phone. It does mean that I have a full list, chocked full of nonsense, to keep me occupied during those warm summer nights.

Reuben learned that being hit with a cricket bat really sodding hurts. Audrey learned not to leave Reuben and I in charge of her flat when she goes on holiday, for fear of returning to pickle-based games with no clear end to them (which she did, for when she went away the second time this month she got her brother to keep an eye on it). At least one of us is learning.

Take a deep breath. By the time you let it out its already be June.

User avatar Smidge on Science: Cars

In this confusing and ever-changing world, we can all welcome a bit of guidance; an expert voice who can make things clear and brush away our doubts. Nowhere is the need for that clarity and wisdom more necessary than in the realm of science.

Thankfully, Smidge Manly is here and, over four episodes, he’s going to explain all there is to know about the “big four” scientific disciplines: time, wind, rain, and cars.

Obviously, he’s going to start with cars.

The next episode will arrive in precisely seventeen days, by order of Kev.