Avatar How doo dey doo dat?

It’s incredible, isn’t it? How does he manage to write four different pieces of something every single month? Each time it’s something fresh and interesting, like a butterfly made of marzipan. He’s clearly some kind of journalistic genius and the world is better off for having him.

All of those things about me are completely correct but don’t be fooled, writing is a serious game and one that takes a lot of effort. You think I’m pulling off (wa-hey!) and pulling out (WA-HEY!) these ideas from thin air like they were biscuits on a plate? You don’t think they take their toil on this mortal body? For sure back in the day I was tossing out so many posts that the Big Men had to put a cap on it to keep me at four whereas these days it’s a complicated and messy process.

Let me walk you through an average month:

1st – thank god a new month, thirty odd days with which to play with.
2nd – I should get organised and write one now but there’s still plenty of time left.
3rd – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
4th – there’s probably a weekend coming up so I’ll post something next week.
7th – that was a crap weekend, oh dear, best knock out some nonsense for the website.
8th – ah, another podcast. Let me type my ‘I’ll listen to it tonight’ comment and get back to doing nothing.
9th – I love corn because it goes with everything.
10th – if I run fast enough could I burst through a brick wall?
11th – nobody else remembers ‘Ovide’ the cartoon and that makes me sad.
12th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
21st – blimey where did the last 9 days go? I’ve not done anything yet. Find a photo, ooo look it’s funny. First post done.
22nd – scan through previous month’s posts and ride the back of something else someone else wrote.
23rd – two in the can, it’s plain sailing now. Time to knock out a ‘Newsboost’ or something tragic that happened to me. Ha ha, hilarious.
24th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
25th – is Kev going to reach his quota this month? Could that be the basis of one of my posts? Keep it as a back-up for dire times.
26th – DIRE TIMES ARE NOW! Post that mother.
27th – damn, Kev posted again. My post is superfluous. I’m no good at this anymore, even though young me was an arsehole he was so good at doing this.
28th – here’s a random thought, ‘if cakes were alive, would they try to eat themselves?’ Good enough.
29th – sod it, another photo will have to do.
30th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.

So as you can see, it’s not easy doing this month in and also month out. For all those secret readers out there who don’t make their presences known, you are most definitely welcome.

Avatar 2021 State of the Beans Address

Hello, and to a certain extent, welcome. Thank you for coming. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, and it is with great pleasure and moderate smugness that I return again this year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address.

It is a very different address this year, of course. For social distancing reasons, I am speaking to you from the top of the ornate clock tower that adorns the Beans, with my voice amplified using all the many shouters attached to the corners of the tower. And for you, the audience, this is a drive-in event. I must ask you to please remain within your cars, and choose between either opening your windows slightly for ventilation, or breathing. You cannot do both.

Read More: 2021 State of the Beans Address »

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 Episode 20: The Face of…

In this, the final episode of Series 2, we talk about the things we’d be the face of. In the process we discuss:

  • Cushions
  • Crossing the Road
  • Glitter
  • Cigars
A Breath of Fresh Beans
A Breath of Fresh Beans
Episode 20: The Face of...
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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 Calendar Conversion

Way back at the start of the year, when we all excitedly built our, now legendary, lego pouring beans calendars, we all deiscovered the small but important flaw that not all the pages actually fit inside.

At the time I shoved in all those that fit, and the rest went in the luxurious golden box it was delivered in. (Which incidentally, still smells of whatever magic they put into laser printers to make colours stick to paper).

Well at the start of the month, the time came when that initial tranche of pages ran out. Giddy, I opened the gold box and wanged in the rest of the year, only to discover it was too baggy and they all fell out every time I moved the thing.

Modifications were needed, and modifications were made…

The holey-bit was trimmed down by removing two layers of the thin bits, and thus a perfect fit was once again achieved.

Don’t worry though, this being Lego, all the spare bits are safely stored on the back.

They’re all ready to be re-fitted when next years calendar refill-block duly arrives from Chris at Christmas.

Avatar Bad planning

Here we are, then. The end of June. I moved out of my home, the penthouse apartment above the exploding mattress shop, on 24 March, meaning I’ve now been Of No Fixed Abode for over three months.

Packing is tricky when you don’t know how long you’re packing for. Thankfully, some of the decisions I took when I moved out were good ones. I didn’t bring my coat, for example. It would have used up space and it wasn’t cold for long after I left. I brought what felt like too many books, but in hindsight was enough to keep me going even now.

Other things I could have done with more of, but there wasn’t much room. The same three work shirts in rotation are feeling a bit dull now. The same ten pairs of socks are getting pretty worn. I wish I’d packed at least one more pair of jeans.

Here’s the decision I regret the most, though. When I picked up some treasured sentimental objects, I chose a photograph of my sisters and my Pouring Beans 2020 Calendar. Then I looked at the envelope containing the calendar pages for July to December and I thought… no, surely not. I’ll be back before July. July is forever away.

Now my calendar is running out, and while you will simply turn the page tomorrow morning, I will have nothing. Nothing but regret, and a need to look at my phone to see what day it is.