Don’t EVER buy these!

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In Japan, they have big, lovely pot noodles you can buy. Some of them even have big chunks of dried beef in sauce in them, and taste lovely. Missing them, I got this “beef flavour” one from Tesco. Except it’s not beef, it’s “spicy beef”. And by “spicy” I do of course mean “APOCALYPTIC”. My lips were going numb from merely touching it! No dried beef either.

The seafood and chicken flavours the same company do are nice, though. But I think I’ll have to troll up Mil Road and see if I can vada any decent Japanese ones.

Had the Mini out the other weekend

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Fucking hell, ever since booking my holiday to Japan all I’ve done is stare at the internet, looking at places to visit in Kyoto (in all of the two days I’ll be there), for weeks on end. Anyway, when I wasn’t doing that, me and dad had my Mini out, as we had to move it from the drive to the side of the house. It’s needed the waxoyl on the underside “topping up” since 2006, and we kept saying we’d do it “in the summer”. Also since finishing Uni I decided I’d get it out “in the summer”, but that never happened either.

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xx

Anyway, we got the cover off, for the first time since possibly 2009, and discovered that it was still pretty shiny and had not rusted away, woohoo. A few insects had also got under there and long since perished. We then attempted to start it, using a knackered old battery. After several tries I remembered that it was built as a racer, and so has an electrical cut off. With the key put in that it still refused to start, though did make clicking noises.

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Less than no frills. Also using the heater pumps carbon monoxide into the cabin, which isn’t good.

After jump-starts, and a lot of faffing about, it finally ran… sort of. The engine was running at very high revs, but would still cut out if I didn’t keep my foot slightly down. Dad adjusted the carbs, and then it ran at high revs even when I wasn’t touching the pedal. Oh well, we can fix it properly next summer, when I’ll really drive it (or will have moved to Japan and need to sell it).

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Anyway, at one stage in the adjustments it conked out completely and wouldn’t start. I suggested it may have run out of petrol, as it was running at such high revs. Dad put some more in, and that did the trick. After moving it, though, we found some animal had made a nest of leaves (with a small entrance, and burrow into the gravel) under the sump guard. This was empty, but damp. We moved the leaves and discovered the burrow was filled with petrol, there was also a trail halfway around the side of the house. So basically i’d been sitting in a bare metal container, on top of a huge fireball waiting to happen, starting and re-starting electrical ignition systems.

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Those lights do actually work, though I preferred covering them up, but one of the covers has now perished 🙁

Anyway, whichever weekend this was (can’t even remember now) was at the start of one of the few sunny periods of this summer, so for a week or two afterwards we got a strong whiff of petrol whenever we opened the front door. But it was finally washed away by the recent rain. A match might have got rid of it sooner, mind you.

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Also the exhaust was a bit sooty.

The new year

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Last sunset of 2011

I was magnificently lazy over the Christmas holidays, I just sat about eating chocolate and writing short half-arsed reviews of a bunch of small press comics for a magazine. Oh wait, that’s bad! I meant to do a heap of comic drawing, including finishing off my ill-fated manga for a competition the Japanese embassy was running. I’d failed to get it even near finished before that closed, but I hoped to get it finished by tomorrow for inclusion in the next “issue of” (it’s no longer a ‘regular’ comic) Non Repro. But won’t finish it in time for that either now.

The reason? Sherlock! Yes the BBC finally got off their arses and made another three (three! When are we getting a proper series?) episodes of this. And BY GOD are they awesome. The first one was shown on New Year’s day and the second last night. The second was based on the Hound of the Baskervilles… except now “Baskerville” is a secret bio-weapons research facility. You can see where this is going… except it doesn’t go there, actually XD.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes the latest Hollywood film is incredible too. It’s 2 and a half hours long mind you. But actually there’s only 8 minutes of story and the rest is filled up by slow motion (troof). Still it’s incredible, even if some anachronisms annoyed me… no, his car is not one of them! But the fact there’s nobody walking in front of it with a red flag is. Mind you though, Sir Conan Doyle never liked Sherlock Holmes using motor vehicles, and still had his hero riding around in horse-drawn cabs even after he’d bought a motorcycle. Of course Sexton Blake’s writers had no such qualms, and a motor-car featured in those stories as early as 1898. Later he was thundering around in a Mors car at thirty miles in the hour!

An even more annoying anachronism (to me), though, is the fact that they got the German flag wrong! Germany wasn’t using that flag in 1891 (though had used it earlier), they were using a Black-White-Red tricolour up to 1918. Mind you though, “The First World War in Colour” managed to get it wrong too. As did an old docudrama about the early days of Albert Einstein.

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My 2011 Calendar, from Sweatdrop Studios. It kind of sums up the person I was in 2011, very interested in Japan to the point of considering moving there and even becoming a naturalised citizen (eventually). I was working diligently on learning the language and spending hours reading blogs by foreigners who had gone to live there.

I was also giving vague thought to converting myself to drawing manga style, in the vague hopes of “doing a Bakuman” once I was naturalised. But then my girlfriend dumped me in November, and in December I found myself constantly saying “Nanaji” for Seven O Clock, when it ought to be “Shichiji”. Also I read a load of Debito (though a lot of it “through the filter” of Tepido). I still think he’s bonkers and his followers a bunch of commie shitstabbers. But you can’t argue with clear cases of shitty policing, insane working hours with no recognition and GIANT FUCKIN’ INSECTS. If I never set foot in neon hell again, it’ll be too soon!

On to the 2012 Calendar, then…

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Yep, that sums up the kind of person I want to be in 2012, the same person I was in 2006! I’m getting the Mini on the road no matter what and waking the echoes of a July afternoon out in the fens (without going over 50 XD). I’m also doing Download and as many local rock/metal/blues/ska gigs as I can cram in. Oh I’ll be collecting more antique comics rather than horror movies though. (Bring back Silverscreen! Those shops were great). Starting with this…

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It’s 6 months worth of The Boys’ Friend (aka the best British comic ever) from mid 1904. I got lucky on this one, nobody else bid and It went for £50! I was expecting to pay over £100. Maybe the low price was because it’s January. Anybody else out there wanting to sell bound volumes of the Boys’ Friend/Realm/Herald, Union Jack, (Halfpenny) Marvel or Skipper please do it right now or wait until Jan ’13 eh?

Boys Friend Price fluctuations…

Complete year 1903 – 04 – £49.99 (Was “pickup only” and BIN, I cheekily offered to pay extra postage and the seller agreed, bargain!)

Complete year 1902 – 03 – £170 (! And I had to drive down to Enfield to get it. Well worth it though! they look great on the shelf)

Half year Jan-Jun 1910 – £110 (great condition)

Half year May – Nov 1904 – £49.99 (woohoo)

Plus loads of individual issues at about a fiver each. Anybody out there got any they want to unload?

 

Other crap I can’t be bothered to write at length about…

– Helicopter crash! I saw it fly over my work, it seemed to be ‘skidding’ in the air and the wind was really strong that day. It exploded near Ely and crashed into a field

– The strong wind! Part of our fence blew down. A panel of fence at work somehow not only blew down but ‘jumped over’ a big wheelie bin.

– The Pheonix, and it’s dire distribution: http://blog.crystal-knights.co.uk/2012/01/09/the-post-formerly-known-as-wheres-your-pheonix/

–  Despite the lazy last days of 2011 work is going ‘decently’ on comic for 2012. I hope to do at least 6 issues of the Red, White & Blue, 3 of the The Trident, 2 of The Sentinel (a ‘red top’ for comic collectors) and 1 of the Small Press Digest (encouragement-filled magazine with yellow covers). I’ve got a table at Camcon in May, seemingly the first nerdy convention in Cambridge for many a year (possibly since the Old Boys’ Book Club met there!). Gonna be great! Also got a ‘premeet’ in April.

 

Fire on our street

Earlier I was making a post on my “Things Japanese” blog, mentioning how some guy who lives in Japan takes photos of everything to put on his blog,  and I thought “My Everything Else blog ought to be like that”. But then I thought “Nothing much interesting happens for me to take pictures of”. Then my mum came in and said “AYAYAYAYAFAIAH”, so I got the camera and went snappin’.

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It’s a garage that burned down, leaving three walls standing. The heat must have been tremendous, every time it looked like it had gone out another part would flare up on it’s own. Even the beams over the doors!

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