Avatar A song for Morten

Hello there. Chris here, from the chart-topping band The Papples. Thanks for joining me.

Years ago, when we were hard at work writing and recording songs for our third album, Pop Squared, we made a start on a song about the lead singer of Norwegian pop sensation A-Ha that never saw the light of day.

Well, lucky for you, every dog has his day, and every tired old half-baked Papples idea has its day too. I can now present to you the finished lyrics to a lost classic: “Everybody Fancies Morten Harket”.

Read More: A song for Morten »

Avatar Podcast names

Years ago, when Kev and Ian started the podcast, they tried to come up with a name for it. That was, I think, what the whole first episode was about, though they only succeeded in naming the episode “Your Mum Loves a Sexy Pony”, and since then the podcast itself has always just gone by the decidedly provisional name “Episodes”.

I decided, therefore, to take it upon myself to fix this, and have consulted the internet for advice.

The website Business Name Generator has a helpful tool where you can type in some words to do with your podcast and it suggests great podcast names you could use. Here are some of the ideas it came up with.

  • Beans Millennium
  • Beans Battleborn (what?)
  • Beansgenix
  • Beans Pros Only
  • Beansque

That website is self-evidently awful, so I looked elsewhere. Another website, called CopyWritingCourse, has a different generator that asks what your podcast is about and then what your name is. I told it our name is Beans and the podcast is about Pouring. Here are some much better ideas.

  • Horsing Around with Beans
  • The Beans Taco
  • True Pouring Stories
  • Real Time With Beans
  • A Breath of Fresh Pouring
  • Generation Beans
  • The Pouring Dream
  • The Beans Perspective

That website is better, but still leaves something to be desired. Finally, in desperation, I turned to WorthStart, who have just posted a list of several hundred podcast name ideas. I scrolled past “Girl Podcast Names” and “Football Podcast Names” to see what they suggested for funny podcasts. Here’s the pick of their suggestions.

  • True Story Bro
  • Young Billionaire
  • Berry Blue Beauty
  • D’Artagnan
  • Defiant Princess
  • Deluxe Dream

All of this is a long way around to tell you that, having investigated all the available options, “Episodes” appears to be the least terrible name for our podcast. So, unless you particularly like the name “Deluxe Dream”, that’s settled. Thank you.

Avatar The Pouring Beans intellectual property portfolio

It occurred to me the other day, when Kev trademarked the name “Metal Horse™”, that we’ve trademarked quite a few terms over the years, and the terms that make up our intellectual property must now be quite substantial.

I have, therefore, conducted several exhausting days* of research to discover just how wide-ranging our various trademarks are, and I can present the results to you now for the first time. So here are all of the Pouring Beans trademarked terms, every last one, in chronological order.

Read More: The Pouring Beans intellectual property portfolio »

Avatar Investment opportunity

For a while now I’ve been looking for my next big business idea that will expand my already substantial entrepreneurial portfolio and take me to the next level. I’m ready to be the next Jeff Bezos and I think I’ve come up with the product that’s going to get me there.

Now, excitingly for you, I’m offering you the once in a lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor with the biggest idea of the century. Throw your cold, hard cash my way and reap the benefits. No more work for you. Once this idea takes off the hardest you’ll ever have to work is when you decide which of your tropical beachfront homes you’ll visit next week. Will it be Bermuda or the Seychelles? Goa or Bridlington? The choice, and the gold-plated superyacht, will be yours.

Here’s the pitch. Brace yourself.

What’s big right now? What is everyone into? The internet.

Where are people spending their money? What’s right on the fashions? Internet-enabled objects.

But everything’s on the internet now. Cars, fridges, electric toothbrushes. What part of your life hasn’t been connected to the internet yet?

Easy. Grass.

Grass: worthless without Bluetooth connectivity

Introducing iGrass™, the internet-enabled lawn.

  • Webcams are embedded in your lawn, equipped for 4K video streaming and with nightvision capabilities
  • Microphones at soil level capture every glorious rustle and every growing blade
  • IntelliPoke™ probes infiltrate the underlying strata of leafmould, mulch and root systems to provide real-time feedback on moisture levels, nutrient balance and worm density

These key technologies connect to the iGrass HD app (available for iOS and Android) via Bluetooth, allowing you to monitor your lawn in real time, from wherever you are, and receive automatic push notifications whenever an unwanted weed takes root or a cat has a wee nearby. You can also share pictures, beautiful data infographics and animated GIFs of your digital grass on social media straight out of the app.

Everything is better once it’s connected to the internet and if your frankly mediocre lawn is ever going to turn into something you can be proud of you need to get it online pronto. iGrass™ is the product to help you do it.

Convinced? Of course you are. Quick, chuck me your life savings. You won’t regret it.

Avatar A lesson from the Commodores

I recently got a new computer to play games on, and filled it with all the games I like to play. The games I most like to play are the ones I used to play when I was about 15. This includes one of my all-time favourites, SimCity 3000.

SimCity 3000 is full of silly jokes and unexpected references, and when I was 15 I didn’t get all of them. Coming back to the game in the last month or two, having not really touched it for perhaps the best part of a decade, a joke popped up that made sense to me for the first time, and it made sense thanks to one Kevindo F. Menendez and one Ian “Hotter Otter” McIver, who had kindly introduced me to a song the teenage Chris had never heard, and my life was all the better for it.

Avatar How to park in London

I’ve been driving my car into London a lot since all this nonsense started (the global crisis, that is, not the Beans) and I’ve had cause to ditch my ride in a lot of pay and display parking bays.

Most of the time I’m parking in them when they’re free, but sometimes I need to pay for half an hour here or there if my stay overlaps with the premium parking hours.

The best way to do this is not to stand by the road, like a mug, pushing buttons on your phone to pay for something. No, the best way to do it is to park up, take a photo of the sign for reference, and then stride away like the important London man-about-town that you are, dealing with the parking admin later, perhaps while sipping an organic cappucino in a hipster café, or even better, delegating the whole problem to your PA when you arrive in your 93rd floor corner office.

I suppose what I’m saying to you is that I went back through my camera roll and, even though I usually delete them at the end of the day, I discovered that I am building up quite a collection of parking information for the streets of the West End. And, lucky for you, I am willing to share this for your entertainment and enjoyment.

You’re welcome.

Avatar A new thing: photos!

This is something I thought about a while ago, and may also have mentioned, but also may not have. Anyway, whether I mentioned it or not, it has now changed from “a thing I was thinking about” to “a thing I did”.

We’ve all got lots of photos from all the times we’ve met up and done stupid things. All mine are just sitting around on my phone or in folders somewhere on my laptop. That’s useless, when they should really be here on the Beans, in our shrine to three lifetimes misspent doing pointless things that nobody but us find funny.

So I’ve done a bit of faffing and made a photo gallery thing. You can find it by clicking Photos in the menu, or by clicking on these words here.

If you’re like me, and you have photos, then you should also add them, and together we will have lots of photos, which we can look at occasionally, and the rest of the time we will ignore them, just like everything else on this website.

How do I add photos to the things?

Good question.

  1. In the admin interface, go to FooGallery > Galleries, and either create a new one or edit an existing one. If you’re making a new one, give it a name.
  2. Click “add media”. This opens the same interface you use to add photos to blog posts. You can upload pictures or select them from the media library here. Select all the pictures you want to include.
  3. In the sidebar, select how you want them sorted. You can try it by date or by title, depending what works best. You don’t need to change any other settings.
  4. Click publish (if it’s new) or update (if it’s not).

If you made a new gallery, you now need to add it to the album list so it turns up on the photos page. This is easy.

  1. Go to FooGallery > Albums.
  2. Click “edit” on the album “Photos”.
  3. Click the new gallery you created, so it gets a blue tick on it like all the others. You can drag it to another place if the galleries are in the wrong order.
  4. Click update.

You now know as much about this as I do. Hurrah!

Avatar English Wine

What do dogs know that we don’t?

Spend any time with a dog, as I sometimes am privileged to do, and it’s immediately clear that there is some deeper mystery behind their eyes. There’s something else going on that you just can’t quite name.

Kev used to say the same, I’m sure: after a long day grooming one poodle after another, looking into those glassy eyes at the ever-present enigma of the dog conspiracy would wear him down, piece by piece, paw manicure by paw manicure, and he’d return home a shadow of himself to drink himself to sleep.

I think I’ve found a clue. A few days ago I met Digby while I was heading to the shops. Digby is a small dog. Digby was friendly enough, and he was also wearing a striking fluorescent waistcoat that said “follow me for English Wine”.

I feel like Digby’s indiscreet attire might give us all a clue about what exactly dogs are up to.

Are they operating vineyards? Do they press grapes when nobody is looking? Are they all perhaps members of elite wine clubs, secretly laughing at the unbelievable tastelessness of their owners who they see pairing a Beaujolais with fish? Or perhaps they are ruthless sales hounds, hustling for money here and there, tirelessly shifting units to make a secret doggy living?

Digby went in to a sort of shed, and I didn’t want any English Wine, so I didn’t follow him. I suppose that means we’ll never know.