Pish!

18 12 2012

No idea where “pish” comes from, but it was often used as a euphemism for “shit” or somesuch when I was a kid. It predates Shakespeare, as Othello attests:

“Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is ’t possible? Confess!”

Today I learnt something and I thought I’d share.

I came across an ad site. Not this one actually, but I can’t find the original. Anyway, this one will do: Rashers: Pish | Ads of the World™.

It displays the work of Illustrator Steven Hall for Ad Agency Ogilvy & Mather on their campaign for Rashers. Who are they, thinks I? Rashers.ca tells me a little more, but not much… they’re not up and running yet. Oo goody – I’m in at the start of something big! Of course it’s going to be big! (i) It’s Canadian (deduced from the .ca Sherlock, keep up) and (ii) it involves bacon!

rashers

But wait! Though I now have my suspicions from the “948 Queen Street East” on the pish, there are many cities of the world with Queen Streets. And there’s this Hogtown thing on the website. Abracawikipedia, via google, and the answer is some Canadiana history…

“Hogtown”, related to the livestock that was processed in Toronto, largely by the city’s largest pork processor and packer, the William Davies Company

The ad below is a pish, but follow the links or click on the picture to see my favourite – the picken. This is for those advocates of Agile software processes who can’t decide if they’re a chicken or a pig. If you’re fortunate enough to have not been exposed to agile methods (the software equivalent of having JWs beating on your door every weekend) just enjoy the art of Mr Hall and think yourself very lucky indeed…

Source: Ads of the World. “Pish” for Rashers

When all’s said and done, you can’t beat a good ol’ bacon buttie!





Age is just a number

16 12 2012

So one of my Scouty contacts is 27 today.

He is bemoaning his new-found “crispiness” as he puts it. Actually, 27 is a big thing in Scouts Canada… he can no longer be a Rover Scout, so I was a little more sensitive than his youthful whine would normally have solicited.

Source: World of Technology. 111 year old Cuban Man

Indeed, I even tried to cheer him up with the well established adage that “You’re only as old as the woman you feel”. OK, so it is a tiny incy wincy bit sexist, but I think ultimately the fact that I said it proves my point – you don’t HAVE to grow up, just because you get old. Plainly I’m a case in point! Being aware of sexist remarks comes with age and experience, ergo sexism is childish. Ergo men are doomed to remain sexist, since we struggle to grow up.

Of course, I look for excuses outside myself (also a childish behaviour). Personally, I favour evolution. Men would have been regularly trampled by mammoths or fall off cliffs trying to collect eggs well before they needed to stop having fun and take on any real responsibilities. Evolution never needed to select for responsibility, since that developed AFTER you’ve mated and subsequently fallen off a cliff due to shoddy placement of your protection, and trying to summit before dark. (Climbing joke, just smile and carry on).

Women of course needed to develop stability and thoughtful consideration in order to safely bring up the offspring. Even if their better sense told them to drown the ones with boy-bits. Men – no they were all about showing off, hunting and getting laid. So nothing really changes, does it? Except maybe the addition of  options since the discovery of the brewing process. Civilisation (as we’ll laughingly call it) has bypassed the whole evolutionary thing and left us men ill-equipped to deal with today’s reality. Our minds have cheated and side-stepped the whole genetic adaptation game totally, leaving us with a mental attitude that had a life expectancy of say 20-30 now living into our 70s… and the tools to do way more damage!

So here we are, with the male of the species genetically unprepared to live beyond youthful playfulness, yet now typically living well into old age. And look at the harm that causes! Old men are in positions of power both economically and politically (in the few countries it’s not actually the same thing). The women have the skills, but the men make the rules. Perhaps politicians and CEOs should have to collect eggs from a cliff freestyle before they’re sworn in.

Where was I going before that surprisingly pro-feminist rant?

Oh yes – Lego. I love Lego. Because I’m male and therefore childish.  :o)

Actually, I do seriously believe that play is an important part of how we learn – at any age – and Lego is a great engineering and design tool as well as a toy for younger fingers to learn dexterity and problem solving in the physical world. And so I wanted to make you aware, dear, patient reader (and I am truly grateful you choose to spend your limited time on this spinning rock reading my random irrelevancies) of a web page I found that really pushed the boundaries of Lego. Enjoy, if you will Funky Lego Gift Bags on Design Soak.

Source: Design Soak

Source: Design Soak





Nora Batty’s seriously wrinkled stockings

15 12 2012

So if you’ve no idea who Nora Batty is, firstly check out a few classic episodes of Last of the Summer Wine. It’s based in Holmfirth, a lovely little place in West Yorkshire.

Kathy Staff as Nora Batty. Source Jane, over on Noisy Shoes

Anyway, apart from the inherent value attributed to it simply because it’s a mention of Yorkshire, the reference is entirely irrelevant. If you’ve already been and checked out Last Of the Summer Wine – I apologise. It’s not very funny, is it? But the scenery is worth it. I have no idea how they found so many non-raining days to film the series!! I can attest that a great way of upsetting your spousal partner is to frequently interject with “I’ve been there”. It works wonders at whittling away marital stability it seems.

Anyway, now we’re safely back from that cul-de-sac (Literally “bag’s bum” in French), on to the real tale…

I often have lunch at Murchie’s in Richmond, near my office. It’s actually their distribution centre, but they have a little café on the side which sells lovely salads and of course their luxuriant range of tea. The lovely serving wenches there (I jest – no comments thank-you. I wouldn’t DARE call them wenches to their faces. Or bottoms, for that matter) are very friendly and pleasant. To the extent that the whole point of having a salad at lunch seems lost on them. I often have a serving so large that it cascades apologetically over the tub (designed to standardise the portions!) and onto the paper plate added to the ensemble for the purpose. I always have Russian Caravan to drink. I am reportedly the only person to have it, yet am teased frequently with questions of whether I’m having “my usual green tea” or the Earl Grey.

Anyway, where was I? Holmfirth, Murchie’s, tea, ah yes…

So Murchie’s often have the radio going just to add a little ambiance to the otherwise rather stark room. They’ve done their best with the addition of a (non-functional) pot-bellied stove and some half-hearted Welsh dresser thing as a display cabinet, but when all’s said and done… it’s an industrial unit. And it looks like it!

But the music helps. I’m normally trying to read some book or other, and the music helps set the mood. Usually it’s Sirius satellite radio (why do North Americans pronounce it “serious”?!) The time of day I’m there, it’s some acoustic programme, and they often have classic songs being re-imagined either by the original artist or someone covering it. There’s no commentary (cheap radio production), but thanks to Shazam, I can usually figure out who is singing any songs I like, and I can acquire a version when I get home.

There was one tune on pretty frequent rotation, and it really hooked me. I used Shazam, and it turned out to be Norah Jones – Say Goodbye, from her brand new album Little Broken Hearts.

Bring me back the good old days,
When you let me misbehave.
Always knew, it wouldn’t last,
But if you ask, I’d go again.
Yeah, I’d go again.

Here she is performing it live

So anyway, I duly ended up getting the whole album, which is moody and opulent. There’s some boppy yet thoughtful tunes like Happy Pills

And the downright creepy Miriam. Ms Jones is plainly not someone to cross in matters of love!

Anyway, I now listen to this album on rotation in my car, alongside Regina Spektor, Coldplay, Mother Mother, Lloyd Cole (who was VERY cool and personally messaged me the other day!) and a bunch of other equally eclectic tunesmiths. And then I hear the other day that Ravi Shankar has died.

Wikipedia: Ravi Shankar

I confess that I was only vaguely aware of his work, and that was strictly in the orbit of George Harrison and the Beatles. A tiny fraction of his work and influence. And those two threads might have stayed forever blowing independently in the breeze until this evening. This evening (after watching Life of Pi), Mrs E casually mentioned that Norah Jones was his daughter! Turns out her full name is Geethali Norah Jones Shankar. Her half-sister Anoushka Shankar took after their dad and is an accomplished sitar player too.

Music it seems really does flow through your blood!





It’s irrational

15 12 2012

Just got back from watching Life of Pi.

It’s all backwards. I was aware the film had been released and remembered I’d always meant to read the book (which came out in 2001 I believe). Saw the book at Costco on Wednesday and bought it for a song. It’s still unread, but now I’ve seen the film which is by all accounts is very close to the book.

I liked it. Clever. I liked the twist (don’t we all?!)

I liked the little piscine jokes.

I liked that Gérard Depardieu was in it, contenting himself with a very minor part, but playing it with wit.

I liked the idea that we need to come to terms with multiple sides of ourselves to get through this thing we call life.

I like the idea that Martel, the author, is Canadian (I didn’t know that) from back East.

Richard Parker, it seems, is the name of several real people involved in documented shipwrecks and cannibalisation events. Just sayin’…

If I was to rate it out of 5, I’d obviously have to give it
3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303598253490428755468731159562863882353787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909216420198938095257201 065485863278865936153381827968230301952035301852968995773622599413891249721775 283479…

Or more rationally, maybe 3.5.

It’s got some stunning effects, thanks to Ang Lee. “You can’t see the join” as they say, when it comes to the CGI. And at the end, having enjoyed the visual spectacle, you have to rewind and think about it. Excellent.





Ford Escape

14 12 2012

I had a ride in a new Ford Escape the other day. Pretty nice actually. Larger than I expected. Anyway, all that just to say that while visiting Craig Hill’s blog entry about Hawaiian Kings, I came across a new Ford Escape ad that had a pretty funny zombie theme. They were obviously pleased with it because they did a short “echo piece” too. Made by Canadian film-maker Patrick Boivin.

If you like Shaun of the Dead or The Walking Dead, perhaps this is the car for you.

Enjoy!

UPDATE (later on the 14th December 2012): Curiouser, and curiouser! The links above are now dead. Or perhaps undead. They are gone from the Ford site and everywhere else I’ve looked. The odd other blog that referenced them has the same “this video is private” message now when you click on their links. Sorry about that. Just take it from me – they were witty. Perhaps someone up high in Ford thought the tragic shootings in the US today could somehow be linked to a car commercial. Tenuous at best.

In other news today: The NRA twitter site continues to tweet it’s followers about its rising popularity on Facebook and remind them of its free giveaways. No mention of Newton, Connecticut. Or Ford Escapes.

NRA on Twitter, 14th Dec. 2012





Tinkerbell, I mean “brick”

11 12 2012

What do you get when you take a timeless toy and an iconic personal device? Untold possibilities, that’s what!

New LEGO Cover Turns Your iPod Touch Into A LEGO Brick – DesignTAXI.com.





2 for 2 – a weekend outside

9 12 2012

Well, I had a mighty fine weekend thank-you. Oh – you weren’t asking? Well I did anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Just go with it, OK?

Still here? Good! Where was I? Oh yes…

I became aware of an opportunity to go snow-shoeing on Saturday, so I added my name to what I felt would be a long list of hyper-fit 20-something year olds and awaited developments. In the end it was just myself and one Rover Scout. We opted for “Dog Mountain“, just off of Seymour Mountain, one of Vancouver’s “North Shore” ski resorts. In the end it was a great day, with around 3 hours on the hill. We were in low cloud, so the usual spectacular views of Vancouver and Stanley Park eluded us. However, we were treated to the cheeky Whiskey-jacks (see their January escapades on the same mountains here) once we reached the peak.

Today I had to go into town to pick up a Craigslist purchase – some Ilford Multigrade filters for my recently acquired B&W enlarger, and took the opportunity to check out the recent snow fall on Grouse Mountain – the middle of the three North Shore Mountains – with another snow shoe trip. During summer, the Grouse has “The Grouse Grind“, and they’ve tried to keep people coming by introducing a winter snow shoeing trail – “The Snow Show Grind”. I didn’t get to the top as I had to get back home for a promised trip to the REI outfitters in Bellingham. Coming down was – how shall I say? – interesting! It was fast and undignified. Let’s leave it at that.

So – I might not have been running of late, but I did get out and about and hiked around 2 of the 3 local peaks. I feel glad for that – we have such lovely scenery here in BC, and it really is a joy to be out there sharing it. You really do feel you’re in excellent company – there are like minded folks around, you’re breathing fresh air, and sharing very special moments in space and time.

There may well be no “meaning to life” beyond propagating our Selfish Genes, but hey – if I get to share those moments on the hills: “Frankly my dear… I don’t give a damn!”





Mmmm: Port Ice Cream – DesignTAXI.com

8 12 2012

Up to 5% alcohol content, depending on variety.

Saves on washing-up too: dessert and wine in one easy-to-lick bowl!!

Alcohol Lovers, Behold: Wine Ice Cream – DesignTAXI.com.





The power of the written word

8 12 2012

Regular visitors to these environs will perhaps recall me bemoaning my rough handling of my Parker 25, resulting in fatal injury to its aged body. Others may recall me mentioning my visit to a marketing summit in Vancouver of late. Particularly the story of “awesome marketing”. Actually – I don’t think I blogged that! Check it out here.

Huffington Post: Joshie getting a massage at the spa…

Anyway, today I got a comment to the old blog entry about the outrageous price of spare Parker pen parts in North America. It was small, unassuming, and AWESOME! From “frightfulbish” – who seems to be of a similar vintage to myself and lives in the UK Riviera (OK – Brighton!). Simply pointing me at a UK website, amusingly called The Battersea Pen Home. It’s amusing (if you’re British) because it’s a play on Battersea Dogs Home, where one traditionally leaves your estate if you don’t have offspring. Where old dogs go to die…

They’re smart enough to not charge tax if you’re overseas, and charge only the very reasonable Royal Mail postage (cheaper than shipping a similarly  small parcel across town in Canada!)

If you like fountain pens… check ’em out.

Battersea Pens Home

 





How To Kill A Mustache – DesignTAXI.com

8 12 2012

OK, so let’s forget that the creators can’t spell moustache for a second. (Even WordPress is trying to tell me I’ve spelt it wrong (and doesn’t recognise spelt as the past participle of spell either, it seems! (Or “recognise” as a legitimate spelling. Jeez – I feel like I’m in Inception, I’ve recursed that deep!)), but I’m used to ignoring its insistent Websterisms). [Being an ex-programmer helps me keep track of all the brackets! 🙂 ]

Instead, enjoy this witty video piece on how to deal with the end of Movember 2012!

How To Kill A Mustache – DesignTAXI.com.

DesignTAXI: Valhalla awaits