Got this yisty

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The Secret Battleplane by Percy F Westerman

It’s “A Westerman”, there was actually two Westerman’s (Westermen?) who I think were father and son. I’ve read one other story by them which was wicked, so I’m looking forward to starting this one.

The cover, though… A fish-shaped aeroplane with flapping wings? It’s derived from the plate inside:

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Flapping wings I tells yer! And isn’t that rear gun rather badly positioned?

Of course, this was published in the 1890’s or early 1900’s right? Before aeroplanes were invented? Surely we can forgive them a slip like that?

Well, no, because the story was actually first published in 1916! And this edition is from 1932. The 1932 edition apparently had “minor alterations”, but apparently the elephant in the room was overlooked. What where these minor alterations, why it appears to have been a “remember this book is a product of it’s time and contains language you may find offensive” disclaimer. In 1932!

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It’s political correctness gone mad!

Also today I took delivery of 11 issues of the 1970’s girl’s comic Jinty.

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 because that’s how I roll.

Some of the stories have great writing, featuring a mysterious family moving next door to a girl and keeping their daughter prisoner to experiment on her, for instance. Also a down-to-earth skater girl from Australia moving in with her snooty English cousin. “Daddy’s got a new S-registration car! How wonderful!” XD

It’s just a shame that such stories were segregated into “girls” and “boys” comics back then. (Also the girl’s comics seem to have got the worst of the artists, there’s a general “can’t be arsed” air running through most of the stories). Of course in these enlightened times such things have moved on from that Victorian mentality… oh wait, actually it’s not a Victorian mentality because in the 1890’s papers such as Halfpenny Marvel and Union Jack were intended to be read by both sexes (though to be fair the “girlyness” often went no further than a love interest who is seen at the start of the story, gets totally ignored and then pops up at the end to marry the hero). Also the heroines of girl’s story papers of the 20’s and 30’s could kick the asses of the characters of the 60’s and 70’s… whilst hanging off the running board of a speeding car and shooting a Tommy gun.

Not that you’ll hear about any of that in revisionist “the further back you go the worse it was” articles written about these sorts of papers in The Guardian by somebody who has never actually read one.

Lezz textzz

On Friday my girlfriend asked me not to text her so often (IE once a day). Earlier I was looking at our old chats on Myspace messages (back when Myspace, well, worked) and she was complaining that we “didn’t talk enough”.

This is not the end, it is not the beginning of the end

But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

At least it will be easier to sell a British-style comic to it’s target audience if I’m still in the same country.

In other bad news I know/fancy a couple who live in Oslo who don’t appear to have updated their facebook/twitter etc pages since the bomb. o.o

A video everybody must see

So some blokes who run a custom car parts company are out testing their in-car camera when they see some dozy tart driving like an idiot, and decide to follow her to see if she does anything stupid. And then…

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ex6dHzcgOE

Unfortunately it wasn’t a life ban, but I’d like to see the insurer that will touch anybody who’s been inside for hit and run!

Dubs At The Hall 2011

On Saturday I went to a car show called Dubs At The Hall, at Holt Hall in Norfolk. Unfortunately I missed the actual “car show” part as that was on Sunday, and I had something way cooler to do that day (pics tomorrow, hopefully). But there was still a few things to see, and the village of Holt itself was very nice.

But before that…

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Asahi Beer? Now I like superdry as much as the next vomiting salaryman on a train, but I’m pretty sure the last time I had it was, er, the last time I was in Japan!

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What’s the date on it? Eh? Today??

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What I’d actually bought. Fail.

Anyway after waking myself up I started off on the drive to Holt. Encountering around Ely bypass a black van with Ely Folk Festival advertised on it in chalk(!). The driver of the van thought that it was the correct procedure to slam the brakes on when exiting a roundabout, and to suddenly brake heavily, lurch around a corner and then indicate. I will not, of course, be going to Ely Folk Festival after a display like that.

Anyway, my planned route to Holt had been two roads, but my dad suggested a more “diagonal” route. Knowing my own amazing abilities to get lost even on straight roads I wasn’t expecting much, but amazingly I found my way to Holt ok! I’d not written any directions for where to go when I reached the village, because “the show’s bound to be signposted”.

NOT ONE SINGLE SIGN.

Well OK there was a banner advertising the show itself on a roundabout, which gave the dates, which was really fackin helpful. After a lot of circling about the lanes of the village…

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Which is very pretty

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No matter where I turned I kept ending up back here. It was like something from The Prisoner!

I finally, by PURE LUCK and a lot of turnings down winding residential streets that weren’t on maps, found my way to the show! After parking I walked into the show proper, through a nice path in a pretty forest.

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The sound of cover bands and aircooled fours lures me on!

 I was finally there. And discovered that it was in fact tiny. I was kind of expecting several large fields of row after row of custom bugs, Golfs and vans! Oh well. Let’s make the best of it.

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A rat Polo. There’s two kinds of “rat”, the proper kind – as in that evil Viva/Firenza in PPC several years back, and “Chav rat”, which is one rusty panel and a load of stickers. This car manages to be in the middle!

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Those were the various VW’s in the “show area”. However the show was actually stolen by a mighty Buick! It looked like the villain’s car from a comic!

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I took a turn around the rest of the interesting things at the show, and had some food. Then it was time to leave.

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The campsite and car park also had some interesting vehicles in them, I took pictures of a few as a substitute for the small showing at the, er, show!

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Why yes people were camping in the shed caravan!

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After leaving I decided to have a look around Holt itself. The village is beautiful! Very clean and well-maintained, it also has good roads, lots of parking and a load of small, non-chain shops. It was like stepping back in time 60 years! Except of course the people weren’t as well dressed and all the cars were modern ugly bloaters.

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Well, most of them.

I found a book shop that was full of crammed, haphazard rooms – just the way I like it! I went to the children’s section and got a few good ‘uns. I realised later that I ought to have looked for a crime section, and the attendant (maybe) Blakiana within. Oh well. I also got a 1984 Eagle Annual from another shop.

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The green book is by Charles Hamilton (aka Frank Richards) – the 20th century’s Shakespeare!

In all a pretty profitable trip :3

What’s the best TV show ever?

It’s a difficult question isn’t it? There’s a few candidates…

The Lock, Stock… TV Series

For: Hilarious and violent, some great characters.

Against: No fucker’s seen it.

 

The Fast Show

For: Putting up a tent is… very much like making love to a beautiful woman. You unzip the door, put up your pole and slip in to the old bag.

Against: It ended.

 

Doctor Who

For: When it’s good it’s very very good.

Against: When it’s bad it makes you taste sick at the back of your mouth.

 

Bonekickers

For: Great mysterious conspiracies, and friggin’ Excalibur!

Against: Not many cars

 

Top Gear

For: Lots of cars.

Against: Not a great deal of crashes or fireballs.

 

So then, on balance what’s the best show ever? Why it’s one I can’t understand and have never seen a complete episode of!

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Look upon it, ye mighty, and weep!

So why is this show the best thing ever? Well just look at the sort of thing that happens in EVERY episode.

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An SD1, man? That ain’t cool. Why can’t you pick on cars nobody cares about?

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That’s better.

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This scene is on Youtube. “Neeeein!” doesn’t have the same impact as  “Nooo!” somehow XD

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This scene is also on Youtube in an extended form, the heroes battle two VW vans and then this!

The main character who has been in all the episodes (except the first two, ahem) is called Semir and various other sidekicks have been rotated over the years. The current one is rather tasty.

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But anyway I suppose you want to see more crashes and exploding shit…

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The rules about hazardous material markings in Germany are apparently not very strict.

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This scene is also on Youtube and is utterly hilarious!

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They get through as many caravans as Top Gear, mind.

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Unfortunately this series doesn’t appear to be available in English. There’s a big fan-site (where I nicked all the pics from, they’re probably the copyright of RTL or some shit like that) here: http://www.afc11.nl/EN/ 

That site also has some videos including a “re cap” of the series from 1995 – 2009 (with plenty of crashes!) and also a video with the various languages the series has been translated into. These include Japanese, where it’s apparently known as “Aotobaan Supeedo”. Though when I was there once I did see a huge box set with the name translated into “English” as “Alarm For Cobra 11” (though of course a better English translation would be something like “Call For Cobra 11”). Of course the actual shows would be in Japanese though. If the video on that site is anything to go by one of the voice actors actually has a go at putting on a German accent XD