I don’t want anyone to be alarmed by what is about to happen.
Several terrible things have happened lately, you see. One is that I haven’t been able to review the album Funky Dory by Rachel Stevens because the only CD player in the house is a portable drive that connects to my laptop by USB, and my laptop is from the future so its USB ports are all the wrong shape, and I have somehow managed to lose all the adapters I ever owned. Some new adapters arrived yesterday.
Another terrible thing was waking up this morning, looking at the calendar, and realising that February only has 28 days. I thought it was probably around the 22nd anyway, which it isn’t, but the shortness of the month leaves me with only today to make another three posts if I’m going to maintain my years-long streak of full bean counts.
Anyway, this post is here to give you fair warning that it’s going to be a bumpy ride today, with new posts landing on a very tight schedule as I try to hit the full four posts for this month. (This post is also here to count as one of the four.) Good luck everybody.
Good afternoon, everybody. Please leave the donkeys alone for a moment. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, QC (Junior). Thank you for joining me here in the stables at the Temple Newsam petting farm for the ninth annual State of the Beans Address.
A couple of years ago I conducted a little experiment in what we hi-tech wireless abbab professionals call “Search Engine Optimisation”, or “SEO” for short. Some people in Silicon Valley just call it “S” now to be even more efficient, but I find that arrogant.
Anyway, the issue was that our very own Pouring Beans – arguably the place that people around the world should turn first when seeking information about beans, pouring or the decanting of legumes – was only third in Google’s search results when searching for the words “pouring beans”.
Standing in our way were a whole shady cabal of sly, underhand people whose nefarious aim was to educate young children, broaden their minds, focus their concentration and hone their hand-eye coordination. Under the cover of running Montessori nurseries, they had posted all sorts of web pages about an activity for little kids called “pouring beans”. Clearly those people were up to no good and had to be stopped.
In summer 2019 I made a post here on Pouring Beans, titled “Pouring beans”, at the unbeatable web address www.pouringbeans.com/pouring-beans, which was about the Montessori activity called “pouring beans”, using the same phrase we are all now tired of reading several more times in the text.
Three and a half years have passed and I am delighted to report that we are now, and have remained for some years, the top search result for “pouring beans”. Congratulations, everyone. We are a step closer to conquering the internet.
Our robot overlords are coming, its only a matter of time, but they will come. For now though AI is still either used to sort through spreadsheets faster than a human, help robot dogs open a door or for titting about making pictures from text commands.
With that last option in mind, I headed over to a text-to-image AI tool and typed in our usernames, and I think you can see that the AI mind has synthesised us perfectly.
A request for images of “Chris5156” gives us the all familiar images of Chris going about his business as some sort of train, or as we often see him, adorning the cover of some sort of sports magazine.
Searching for dear old “Ian ‘Mac Mac Mac Mac’ McIver” brings us similarly familiar results. We all know Ian is a keen lover of football, ominous framed symbols and his ginger hair is the envy of many.
“Kevil” meanwhile returns results of bizarre bird creatures and bald businessmen… spot on!
Just to round-out the set, I checked in on what the computer brains had to show in its databanks for “Pouring Beans“. I wasn’t disappointed. It nailed the pouring rooms at the back of the beans perfectly, right down to the floating sieve and the denim uniforms…
I was given some free coffee so I bought a cafetiere to brew it up and enjoy the fresh taste of morning brown. The coffee was strong and rich so my taste buds, what little I had left, were in a joyful mood. Reuben tried some and instantly dismissed it. Now whenever he sees the cafetiere in the cupboard he refers to it as “middle class bullshit.”
There is a time for instant coffee and there’s a time to whip out the cafetiere. There’s also a time when you need to take a 600 million pound bag of tea and brew up some dirty black tea for you to enjoy, possibly whilst rocking back and forth in the corner of the room, but thankfully I haven’t quite reached that point yet.
Whilst musing on the wonders of life I came up with this playful little ditty. You can sing it or you can recite it like a spoken word poem:
Cafetiere, cafetiere, Long of taste and long of flair. Cafetiere, your juice is fair, Pour some for your closest frere. Pour some for Jim, Danny or Claire. Hint of peach or hint of pear, Think there’s nothing going on in there? Au contraire, my cafetiere, The savoir faire of cafetiere, The savoir vivre of cafetiere.
Yeah you’re right, I made it up on the spot and that’s what makes life so great. Next time you’re brewing some coffee perhaps you’ll come up with your own song.
When the New Beans started back in 2014, we all set up Gravatars of our cartoon heads in orange circles so that our comments would have our own special Beans graphics next to them. Kev would always be Kev, I would always be me and Ian would always be Ian. This was Very Important.
Then, last year, Ian changed his email address and picked a strange pencil drawing of a fat bloke to be his new Gravatar. Since that day, Kev has still been Kev and I’ve still been me, but Ian has been a pencil drawing of a fat bloke. This is obviously unacceptable.
Several months have now gone by, and Ian has failed to remedy this distressing situation, so I have taken matters into my own hands. I have rewritten the code that runs the site to specifically find and rewrite the avatar that appears next to comments he posts. Ian is now Ian again, by brute force. He no longer has a say in the matter. This is justice in action.
If you find any comments anywhere on the site that still show the wrong avatar, please let me know so I can make this ridiculous and oppressive intervention even more thorough.
Hello, and thank you, once again, for joining me. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, QC, and I am delighted to welcome you to the refurbished Great Hall for the eighth annual State of the Beans Address.
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.