Friday, August 31, 2007

5 things i hate about asda

1. Rubbish products. It's all very well battling to have the lowest prices in town, but if those low-priced products are awful quality, I don't care. And it happens too often in Asda's case: Jam Doughnuts with the tiniest amount of jam in their centre, fruit loafs with about 7 sultanas spread miserly throughout, trainers which you only discover two days later are cripplingly uncomfortable...

2. Reducing Choice. In the never-ending rush to sell as many different ranges of products as possible, they save space by reducing - say - how many different sizes of baked beans cans they sell. Sometimes this is okay. But sometimes it is bloody annoying. When I pop in to buy some deodorant, I want to have the choice between the big 250ml can and the smaller 150ml one, not be forced to buy the 150ml one, that you are then going to charge me over the odds for, thanks.

3. The new food labelling guidelines. Now, I was upset when Tesco ignored the Government's wishes to introduce the new traffic light system for food, in favour of their own stupid system, but hey: at least Tesco have done something. I may be wrong, but Asda haven't introduced any system to their own brand products have they? This is shameful.

4. Opening Hours. My local one (Asda West Bridgford, supermarket location fans) is no longer open 24 hours a day. I mean, even if they were making a loss by opening 24 hours, you'd think they'd absorb that loss for the sake of having that perception that they're always there for when their customers need them.

5. The Self-Service checkouts. God they are strict. They moan at me if I put a scanned item anywhere else but the bagging area, like, I don't know, in my own bag or something. And God forbid I should place that bag of mine in the bagging area while I pack it instead. That's against the rules that is, and the machine will scream UNEXPLAINED OBJECT IN BAGGING AREA at you, before setting off a big red flashing light above the till accusing you of being a thief, and then notifying some spotty member of staff to come over and encourage bystanders to point, laugh, and pull down your trousers*.

These, it should be noted, are in addition to my generic gripes about the supermarkets, such as screwing suppliers, using loss-leader and predatory pricing tactics, and destroying competition in the sector.

But of course, I still shop there don't I? So feel free to call me Jimmy Hypocrite.

*may not have actually happened

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

listen to this

Please click this link: and listen to the resulting song.

It's by a chap called Sonny Jim, and since hearing it for the first time last Wednesday, I can't stop playing it now.

Take the following ingredients: The Avalanches, The Go! Team and Lemonjelly, mix, then shake, and serve over ice on a hot summer day. Loooooovely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

bad toilet habits

Like many young people, I've spent a fair few cash-strapped evenings in Wetherspoons pubs, enjoying their reliable mix of dirt cheap drinks, quiet distraction free atmosphere, fiercely brand loyal staff, and secret lapdancing rooms*.

One other thing you could always be assured of from Wetherspoons pubs though was very well kept toilet facilities. Always clean, well maintained and smelling oddly like a packet of Refreshers.

Except, I haven't been to a Wetherspoons in ages now, so when I briefly popped in to one last night (Nottingham's Roebuck Inn, pub chain fans), I was reminded of how they have introduced one tiny new thing, and completely ruined their long-standing super-toilet reputation.

Right: urinals. Not the most pleasant subject in the world, but has anybody else noticed the stupid plastic things Wetherspoons have in their urinals now? That look like giant white slices of swiss cheese, or something?

And if so, can anybody else testify that it is utterly impossible to pee on the things without getting at least some form of, well, splashback?

It's bloody annoying, Wetherspoons. Every time I'm drinking in one of your pubs girls think I have the world's most reliable incontinence problem. Sort it out please, mmm?

*may be a lie

Monday, August 20, 2007

knife crime on the up

So the big news story today is that knife crime cases are on the up, and are currently double what they were last year.

Which all looks very nice and panic-inducing on the front page of the Mirror, or whatever newspaper you choose to rub over your nipples on a daily basis.

I wonder how many of the news articles covering this story though, also include this related statistic: that knife crime is lower now then it was 6 years ago.

I'm going to assume not many.

Also: I'm going to further assume that those that do have the balls to include this, or any similarly vital quantifying statistic will have it buried towards the back end of the article, which only a few people will actually read, thanks to the fact that they had to turn to page 9 to get the full story because the huge headline THE WORLD IS GOING TO END dominates the front page.

Indeed, it seems you can't move these days without some foaming 47 year old bemoaning how society has broken down over the last couple of years, and that 'it's not safe to walk the streets anymore'.

And I blame the media. Safe in the knowledge that bad news sells more papers than good, somebody has latched on to the fact that if you can make people fearful, they will continue to relentlessly consume your newspaper/program/whatever.

And the only way the problem will ever be rectified? If people stop consuming the offending media. Likely? No.

Depressing stuff.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

RIP newsnight video podcast

Oh man, sorry about this blog post, but I haven't been as upset about losing a TV program since Channel 4 decided to axe Hollyoaks In The City. And some of you will remember what a traumatic blog post THAT was.

But yes: Newsnight had for the past few months been doing a video podcast consisting of some of the weekly highlights of their TV show. And last night I discovered they had stopped doing them, presumably due to the lack of take up, or something.

This is upsetting. You see: I would never bother to actually sit down in front of the TV and watch an edition of Newsnight. But it was a brilliant service having bits of it downloaded to my ipod without even having to think about it, for me to flick through on my regular commutes. I could be on a bus travelling through the Nottingham countryside at 3am, whilst learning about Egypt's police state, or a debate on the conflicts within Islam, or something.

But they're no longer podcasting the thing. Despite the fact that the same highlights show goes out on BBC News 24 every week anyway. Upsetting. If nobody was using the service, it's probably because nobody outside of Newsnight's regular audience knew of it's existence. And at a guess, maybe there isn't much overlap between the group of people that watch Newsnight and the ever-busy group of people that own Video iPods?

Right, this is all getting a bit too highbrow for me. I'm going to go read Nuts magazine, drink some Carling, and discuss the merits of breasts. Whilst watching some football. In the nearest branch of Yates's.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the south park film is possibly my favourite

...despite this, I only realised tonight that the full title of it is a rather blatant penis joke.

I've watched the damn film around ten times.

Point and laugh if you must.

Friday, August 10, 2007

pre-wedding videoblog

So it's my brother's wedding tomorrow. I was down at the reception venue this afternoon helping with all the preparations. Couldn't resist doing a little video blog as well though.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

audio of us on radio 1 six weeks ago

This will probably be of no interest to anybody else but us four, but 6 weeks late, I've got round to editing together the audio of our week on Radio 1 for Glastonbury.

Basically, me, Fraser, Harriet and Lucy were on Edith Bowman's show for four days as we prepared, travelled to, and messed around at, this years Glastonbury Festival.

You can listen to and download it here:

Listen, as I talk of the stag weekend I'd just been on!
Marvel, as Fraser extols the merits of Aqua's Doctor Jones single to 4 million people!
Gape, as Harriet orcastrates the playing of the legendary Divine Comedy's National Express on Radio 1!
Cower, as we sing "The Wheels on The Bus" live on air!
Ponder, as Lucy gets confused as to why Edith sounds like as 26 year old Asian bloke, forgets the name of the song she's supposed to be requesting and then perpetuates discussion of Glastonbury's non-existent sausage obsession!

At 33 minutes it makes for it's own little radio show. Maybe for you to download and listen to on your daily commute, mmm?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

southern discomfort

So it happened for the first time last night. It was bound to eventually.

I was serving somebody behind the bar, and they asked me for a 'SoCo and lemonade'.

NO. It is called 'Southern Comfort' damn it. So Co is a dreadful name from a dreadful marketing campaign.

To be honest I'm surprised it's taken this long for somebody to use the name born from this steaming pile of contrived guff. I thought most Southern Comfort drinkers would've been asking for it by now.

Which is a relief at least. Please nobody else use it. It's rubbish and sounds silly. Thank you.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

i thoroughly enjoyed the simpsons movie

No, really.
Saw it this afternoon.
Thought it was great.
Why are you staring at me like that?
Stop it.
And stop trying to pull my trousers off as well, damn it.

I can only assume that it's been panned because of the stupid amount of hype that was built up around it (I'm partly looking at YOU, 20th Century Fox), meaning that the first critics to see it were expecting not so much a film, but the second coming of Christ, or something.

It's not the second coming. It's an 90 minute long Simpsons episode. After everybody said it was rubbish I didn't go into the cinema expecting much, which might have been a factor. I even hardly ever watch the TV show.

But yeah, blame the makers and promoters for hyping the thing out of all proportion, and then blame the critics for being po-faced in wanting anything more than an extended lighthearted comedy romp through Springfield. And then blame me. Because I am still talking to you despite having lost my trousers.