Thursday, 27 January 2011

27/01/11 - Not much of a gamer...

My wife and I were playing Tomb Raider Underworld the other day and we did something naughty: we cheated. I just don’t have the sort of brain that can solve the complex, esoteric challenges that Lara Croft faces, and the missus was getting a bit frustrated by aimlessly swimming around and getting bitten by sharks, so I Googled a walkthrough and we played it as a strategic team – her controlling, me telling her where to go. That’s an unusual way to play a game, isn’t it? But it baffles me how anyone could actually work out that you need to go here, then swim there, pick that up, go back there, fit that in there, go over there and press that… there’s just too much to do and it’s hard to know in which order to do it. Some people are better at these kind of games than others, I think.
I’m a racing man, really. Playing a bit of Gran Turismo 5 afterwards, I was driving an LP400 Countach (y’know, the original ’76 model with the signature Gandini archline) around the Trial Mountain circuit when a thought struck me: as I set the car up for the chicane into the start/finish straight I thought ‘I know this road better than most of the roads around where I live’. Which is hardly surprising… I’ve been driving Trial Mountain for thirteen years. And the Autumn Ring. And Grand Valley. I know them like the back of my hand. Throughout all of the changes that have happened in my life since I was sixteen (which, obviously, is quite a few), Gran Turismo has always been a constant. A safe and happy place, where malice, crime, danger and sadness simply do not exist: it’s just you and the car, driving as fast as you can. Freedom. Power. Noise. Awesomeness.

I’ve never really considered myself to be a gamer. I’ve never played a MMOG, never been interested in big strategic games - I did used to own Medal of Honour: European Assault, but only played it once; how the fuck are you supposed to co-ordinate the Normandy landings single-handedly?! - I don’t own a geeky headset and I never play online. (Well, I used to play Mario Kart Wii online, but those damn American teenagers are just unbeatable.)
But looking back through my personal gaming history, maybe I’m an even bigger geek than I thought. And it all began when I was just eight years old…

Sinclair ZX Spectrum
My dad bought this for us when we were wee small. He got it second-hand, and it came with a shoebox full of games. The only one I can really remember playing was Horace Goes Skiing, which I was addicted to: you had to ski Horace down a slope, avoiding trees and other obstacles, then negotiate him Frogger-style across a busy road at the bottom. It was the coolest thing my young eyes had ever seen, although the experience was always marginally hindered by the fact that the games were on audio cassettes; they took about twenty minutes of cacophonic screeching to load. Hey-ho.

Acorn Archimedes
The RISC-OS system in these was way better than anything else available in the nineties – they could have dominated the market if they could only have got their act together.
My dad brought home an Archimedes one day in about 1991 because, as a headteacher, he’d got sick of making kids use shitty BBC Micros and insisted that the school use Acorns. So we got one too. It was really good for gaming!
His tech chum, Khaled, gave him a free game which I quickly became obsessed with: E-Type. It was a racing game where you drove an E-Type Jag (obviously) and could run over policemen, neatly beating the Grand Theft Auto franchise by nearly a decade. Games such as Mad Professor Mariarti and Son of Gyrinus aped Mario-style games but with much slicker graphics. I was hooked.

Nintendo Game Boy
It was around this time that I began hankering after the big names. It’s all very well telling your classmates that your computer is better than a Nintendo, but they’ll never believe you. And also I was very excited about the idea of having games that you could carry around with you, so I started pestering my parents for a Game Boy. I was an annoying little shit, and they eventually caved in and bought one just to shut me up. It made me spectacularly happy to be able to whip out SuperMarioLand in the back of the car and what-have-you. My parents quickly regretted their decision. I’m pretty sure they can still sing you the music from that game on demand. That and the Tetris music. Remember that? Hum it to yourself, it’ll stay with you all day.

Sega Master System
Getting to secondary school was a whole different ball game. The Game Boy was considered old hat by then, and my constant insistence that the Acorn was the bestest just wasn’t cutting the mustard. What I needed was a big-name console. But how could I afford one…? Well, the Mega Drive had been out since 1990 but I couldn’t really stretch to that… but a Master System was just about do-able. Not the rounded Master System II, but the big triangular orange original from 1987, which my local Tandy was randomly still selling for about thirty quid. Bingo. I had a platform on which I could play Sonic the Hedgehog!
But this was really only a stopgap until I could move into the big league: the SNES.

SNES
The Super Nintendo had been out since’92, so it was a couple of years mature when I got one. But it was awesome. Street Fighter II Turbo was (and still is) the best, most addictive fighting game ever. Cool Spot was a platform game that involved a bit of strategy and took you to weird and wonderful surroundings. The Blues Brothers was basically Mario, but your little Ray Ban-clad avatar flung records at his foes. And obviously, Mario Kart rocked. I never thought gaming could get better than that – the colours, the graphics, the interactivity… but in 1995, I was proved wrong.

PlayStation
This represented a whole new world of gaming. For one thing, the games weren’t on cartridges – they were on shiny CDs! That’s the future right there. My PSOne came with Porsche Challenge (quite a shit racing game that, interestingly, Porsche licensed – they still haven’t let Gran Turismo use their cars), but what I really wanted was Crash Bandicoot. My uncle had it and I was blown away by the graphics, all deep and 3D. Of all the platform games I’ve ever had, Crash Bandicoot is probably the one I played the most. It was just giant steps ahead of anything you could get on the SNES.
And then, in 1998, Gran Turismo was released, and my life changed forever.
It was (for the time) ultra-accurate, and it wasn’t ridiculous like every other racing game: you could drive real cars like you see in Sainsbury’s car park and thrash the hell out of them on realistic circuits. The way you worked through the licences and earned money to buy and tune better and better cars made perfect sense. I was beguiled, enraptured, and have been ever since. And the graphics took a giant leap forward in 2000 with the release of Gran Turismo 2 (which, weirdly, came on a scratch’n’sniff disc that was supposed to smell like tyresmoke. There’s a good idea – make people deliberately scratch the disc so they have to buy another one. Cunning).

N64
This may sound like a step backward, but bear with me. Anyone who’s ever played Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 will tell you that it is the BEST game you can possibly play with three mates while drunk. Hunting each other down through Russian military facilities with a variety of weapons is so, so cool.

PlayStation 2
This wasn’t mine. It belonged to my housemate at uni. Given that I was studying English Literature (which is university speak for ‘barely doing anything at all’), I spent pretty much all of the daylight hours of my university career either racing in Gran Turismo 3 or killing hookers in Grand Theft Auto III. I don’t regret any of that, it was time well spent.

PlayStation 2 Slim
Having graduated and got a grown-up job, I found myself temporarily living with my grandmother while I found somewhere to live. Hanging out with a slightly batty woman in her eighties has limited entertainment appeal over a period of weeks, so it was time to buy the PS2 Slim. Thankfully, Gran Turismo 4 had just come out. She really didn’t see much of me at all.
In more recent times, it’s proved to be a handy console in a variety of situations; GTA Vice City combined with a couple of bottles of wine is a good way for the wife and I to kill a Sunday, SingStar is essential for boozy evenings when you’ve got mates round, Buzz is good for a festive family quiz night. Winner all round.

DS Lite
My wife bought me a Nintendo DS as a present, and it was a bloody good idea. The Brain Training is like crack. Admittedly I haven’t done it much recently, but I was obsessed for a time with doing it every day so I could get my little daily check-in stamp. Nice work, Nintendo. You know how we like to be patted on the head.

Wii
I first played one of these when we had one in reception in the office, and it’s really addictive to leap and crouch and thrust as you thwack imaginary balls about the place.
The brilliance of the Wii is that it excels with both simple and complex games. The basic stuff like doing your Wii age (a physical version of DS Brain Training, in a way) and bowling is really good fun when you compete against other people. Mario Kart Wii is fantastic as the graphics are nicely old-school and N64ish, and again great with mates. But the game that really makes it for me is Guitar Hero. I don’t know about you, but I have no musical talent whatsoever, so the ability to play a ‘guitar’ and rock out successfully is the only way I can ever fulfil my rock star dreams. It makes me tremendously happy. (But I can’t do the level that involves all of the fingers, I just don’t have the co-ordination.)

PS3
My unicorn. Having waited five years for Gran Turismo 5 to be released, it looked like I’d never actually get to play it, as the PlayStation 3 is so damned expensive. But fortunately we were given some play.com vouchers for Christmas and we decided to take the plunge. I’ll be honest, it’s kind of all-consuming. We bought Tomb Raider and a set of classic Sega games (Sonic, Streets of Rage, Alex Kidd and about 40 others) so that it was fair on my wife and she’d have something to play too – and, inevitably, we’ll be buying SingStar at some point – but for the moment, my universe centres around Gran Turismo 5. I don’t give a toss about work, I don’t feel the need to sleep, I’m not that bothered about eating or washing, I just want to be playing GT5 all the time. My old friend has been updated and improved in ways I could never dream of.

But like I say, I don’t really think of myself as a gamer.

Tower of London - Yeoman Warder

This guy gives an excellent tour.



You can see the other parts here, here and here. (The one I've embedded above is part 2, just to confuse...)

Drowning Beautiful

At some point in the future this is going to confuse the hell out of some archaeologists. Click here to find out what's going on.





Glove, Actually

A comprehensive history of cinema's greatest slaps. Weirdly compelling.

Monsieur EKLIPS

A history of hip-hop in four minutes, via the medium of beatbox. This guy is amazing. AMAZING.

Quotes from the Street

An amusing lil' thing from m'colleague The Steeeed. Click here.



Lurpak man-butter

I really love this ad - the cinematography is just exquisite. Makes me want to be showered with grated cheddar.

Space Planes

Nice little thing for Samsung.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pop Stasi

1) This is an excellent version of Tainted Love.
2) X Factor/Pop Idol/etc should be more like this.

Found

Found Magazine collects together all kinds of randomly foraged scribblings: 'love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles-- anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life'. Click here to see.





PSP2 unboxing

Really, honest.



That guy really needs to clean his room.

Abandoned Russian space shuttle project

This kind of thing fascinates me - the amount of work and development that goes into such a project, only for it to be abandoned. Click here.







Superfast wordsmithery

This guy's larynx works really, really quickly.

Art on drugs

This chap is drawing self-portraits under the influence of various drugs - click here to see. (Charmingly, he says 'I only take drugs that are given to me.')
For example, the following three are under the respective influences of cocaine, crystal meth and valium:





Vader's downtime

Sweary Penguin

Simple but brilliant.

Salesman Pete

Pete is a nice and clumsy salesman. But he's also a deadly super secret agent with a microprocessor implanted into his brain by some mad scientists from the government! He has to secretly stop a bunch of badguys who stole a magic stone that can change anything into seafood!

Salesman Pete from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

Gervais at the Globes

The man has no shame. This is a good thing.

History of Gaming

Very nicely done.

History of Gaming from Florian Smolka on Vimeo.

21/01/11 - The Home Delivery Grocery Shopping Experiment

I used to think that people who had their groceries delivered were unforgiveably lazy. I mean come on, how hard is it to go to the shops and buy food?
In recent years, however, I’ve found myself doing it more and more. It started when my wife and I had an MX-5 which, although a brilliant car in most respects, is in no way practical for squeezing a couple of weeks’ shopping into; if you want to do it properly, one of you needs to stay at home.
We replaced that car with a big sensible BMW with a proper boot, although that turned out to be a temperamental piece of crap that was in the garage more often than it wasn’t, thereby making it even less practical than the Mazda for carrying out the grocery run. So it became necessary to get the food delivered.

It’s actually quite a sensible way of doing your shopping. I don’t know about you, but I’m shite at sticking to lists. I’ll diligently craft a list of all the things we need, take it to the supermarket and immediately become sidetracked by special offers. I’m so suggestible. I’ll fill the trolley to bursting point, suddenly remember that there’s a list in my pocket, and find that I’ve only fulfilled about a third of it. You don’t get any of that with online shopping – search, click, pay, done. Even though it costs a fiver to get it delivered, you’re saving money because you’re not absent-mindedly thumbing the king prawns and muttering to yourself ‘well, I wasn’t planning to buy any, but they’re buy-one-get-one-free…’

Recently I decided to apply a bit of methodical thinking to the process. After all, if one is resigned to the status of home shopper, one should really investigate the marketplace a little. So, let us begin the experiment…

Asda
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that you shop at Asda. (For the record, I very rarely do.) My local branch is the misleadingly-titled Asda Clapham - which is actually in Battersea - and it’s a hell-hole. Yes, it’s clean enough and it’s sufficiently huge to accommodate a bewildering array of produce, but everyone in there (customers and staff alike) act as if they hate you. It’s thoroughly depressing. But, on the credit side of Asda’s ledger, they have a good bakery and a lot of their stuff is quite cheap. So we gave their home delivery a try – after all, removing the heartache of actually having to go to Asda should make for a reasonably positive retail experience, right?
Wrong. Asda are fucking shit at home delivery.
They managed to miss our 6-8pm slot by some considerable margin. At 9pm they acknowledged that it was late, but assured us that it was on its way. At 10:30pm they called to say that actually our delivery wasn’t coming after all. So, obviously, we’d been waiting all evening, leaping to the window every time we heard something that might be a van, and we hadn’t had any dinner. They offered no apology, but said we could have five pounds off our next order. That five pounds is purely ethereal, as there’s no way I’ll ever bother with Asda again – the one thing that could have redeemed their reputation turned out to be the thing that they’re worst at. I don’t care how tasty their tiger bread is, they’ve lost my custom forever. Berks.

Tesco
I’ve had home delivery from Tesco quite a few times in the past, so theoretically they should have fared pretty well in The Home Delivery Grocery Shopping Experiment. But unfortunately their performance on this one occasion was only so-so.
First time round they didn’t manage to turn up at all. I called their customer service line and was informed that it was because of the snow. (It was late December.) I pointed out that we hadn’t had any snow in Wandsworth for the better part of a week, but I was told that it must have been a snow issue at the depot, which was apparently miles away. They offered me twenty quid off my shopping, which I happily accepted and rebooked for a couple of days later.
They almost managed to turn up on time (delivery booked for 7-8pm; they arrived a little after 8:30), but there were quite a few substitutions – there generally are with Tesco; your heart sinks a little when you see how many blue carrier bags there are mixed in with the wholesome white ones. If I’ve ordered lamb mince, then lamb chops won’t really do – the bones make the spag bol spiky. Pilau rice and risotto rice are entirely different things. And Diet Coke is very much an unsatisfactory alternative to full-fat Coca Cola. But hey, these are petty quibbles in the grand scheme of things.
The thing I really have to mark Tesco down for is their relentless persistence in trying to give you a free copy of the Daily Mail with your shopping. On this occasion I gave it back to the driver and said ‘thanks, but I don’t want that in my house’. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘no-one ever does’.

Ocado
I love Ocado. I’d never tried them before, for much the same reason that I never shop in Waitrose: I don’t earn that much, I’m not interested in rugby and I haven’t got a massive house in Surrey.
However, I recently received a voucher from play.com (randomly, in with a DVD I’d ordered) giving me £15 off an Ocado order over £75. As chance would have it, I needed to do a big expensive shop: our fridge had broken on Christmas day and, since the cretins at Hotpoint didn’t bother to replace it until last week, we had absolutely no food in the house whatsoever.
So I had a look on the Ocado website. Y’know, just to check it out. Did you know they price-match Tesco? It didn’t cost us any more to do our shopping there, with the added bonuses that the quality of the food is better, the van driver was a pleasant, conversational chap, the receipt is listed in order of expiry date so you don’t have to give any thought to how you stack it in your fridge, they arrive on time and there aren’t any substitutions. Having tried Ocado, I can’t see why anyone would shop anywhere else.

So that’s where the experiment ends. I was planning to try Sainsbury’s; after all, I feel a certain loyalty to them having worked for them for so many years in my youth, and we always used to do our shopping there in the driving-to-the-shops days. But there’s just no point, is there? Ocado wins. By miles.

This week's JuicyPips sponsored by Ocado: Quality groceries that won't cost the earth.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Things real people don't say about advertising

Take that, adland.





Wiinanism

This may not be an official Nintendo production.

To the gridiron, with you eat the French

The greatest translation that the world has ever seen. Click here.



Vivian Maier

An incredible discovery, this - a truly world-class photographer, who hid her light under a massive bushel. Worth watching all the way through, trust me.

Your editing lacks continuity

The Hover Hand™

Scared of girls? Not sure if you're allowed to touch them or not? You, sir, use the Hover Hand.





somegreybloke: Pharaoh

somegreybloke's gone up in the world. Or back in time. Or something.

Unexpected luggage

Quite a sweet little festive stunt by Spanair.

Magic rappers

Rappers sometimes like to look like magicians. That's just a fact. Clicky.





European top quality for a Romanian bargain

This almost makes me want a Dacia.

Awkward Ed Miliband Moments

Whatever your opinion of Ed Miliband, you could never really describe him as cool. Click here.





Product placement in movies

...a brief history. Shameless.

Homeless Droids

They're our faithful servants, but we callously discard them when we tire of them. Click here.



Heinz Automato

It's not so much the machine itself I love, but the gung-ho delivery and almost-but-not-quite accuracy.

14/01/11 - Public speaking

Performing in public is something that comes naturally to some people. Others not so much. I’d put myself firmly in the latter category. You know why I enjoy sending out these ridiculously overblown missives? Because I hate talking to people face-to-face. Seriously, it freaks the shit out of me. Anyone who’s attended one of our Knowledge Centre induction sessions will have seen me stumbling over my words and going all beetroot-faced, and that’s just in a room of five or six people. Imagine what it’s like when I have to speak in front of an audience. Horrifying. Public speaking is my own personal hell.

But why should this be? If I’m talking about something that I’m fairly confident in my knowledge of, and speaking in front of a roomful of people I know, why the terror? Why the cold sweats and clammy palms? Well, I’ve been having a little think about that and I’ve identified a number of key moments in my past that go some way to explaining it all…

Age eight: Invicta FM
Invicta FM is an iffy local radio station based in Whitstable. They had a morning phone-in one day that, if I remember correctly, involved naming a song that had just been played in order to win some kind of family day out. I was certain that I knew the answer. I phoned up and got on air pretty much straight away (I imagine some sort of vetting process takes place on proper radio stations) and found myself confronted with the world’s most cretinous DJ. He asked me what my name was. ‘It’s Daniel’, I said. ‘Darryl?’, he asked. ‘No,’ I replied, ‘DANIEL’. ‘Darryl…?’
This went on for some time. The guy was an idiot. After a while I think I just said ‘yeah, OK, Darryl’, but by that time I’d forgotten what the answer was. I got it wrong. He ridiculed me for it. He ridiculed an eight year-old child.
I hope he still works there, it’s all the bastard deserves.

Age ten: Being Mrs Noah
When I was at primary school, my class staged a little play for the rest of the school. It was a montage of bible stories and suchlike, and I somehow ended up being assigned the part of Noah’s wife. I have no idea how this happened, but I ended up making Pythonesque squawking noises and brandishing a rolling pin in front of the whole school… whilst wearing a gingham dress. I never heard the fucking end of it.

Age fifteen: Being some kind of twat
Secondary school, and my history teacher was a violent lecherous arse named Mr Majzlik. (Always staring up the girls' skirts, once picked me clean off the ground by my ear, total scumbag. But I digress…)
I was paired up with a guy named Kris to come up with a segment for a ‘look how great history is’ thing for morning assembly. For reasons that are now lost in the mists of time, we wrote up a set of ten commandments for people living in the mid-1660s. I would read these out in a posh, booming voice, then Kris would sort of translate them into modern parlance in a menacing East End gangster voice: ‘thou shalt not eateth cats and dogseth’; ‘DON’T EAT CATS AND DOGS!’, that kind of thing. It made absolutely no sense, and we came across as right chumps. Kris, who was obsessed with The Blues Brothers at the time, suggested that at the end we both put on sunglasses and fold our arms. And then just stand there staring at the audience.
The whole thing was a car crash, obviously, we looked like absolute wankers.

Age eighteen: Pantomime

By the upper sixth, the nerves had started to kick in. When the time came to write the annual pantomime – traditionally written, directed and acted by year thirteen – I immediately volunteered to write a scene, thereby giving myself the leverage not to appear on stage in any way at all. I have no idea how the scene went as I spent much of the production drinking cheap Tesco vodka in the changing rooms behind the stage. This has very much been my M.O. ever since. Public speaking? No, put a drink in my hand instead. Let me be a haphazard puppetmaster.

Friday, 7 January 2011

New Year in photographs

The Boston Globe continues to be your one-stop shop for exquisite photography, and once again JuicyPips is shamelessly appropriating their snaps. Click here to see their full 'A New Year rolls in' gallery in all its technicolour glory.







Talking to your kids about Star Wars

C'mon, seriously, you're going to have to do it sooner or later.

ZOMGScience

Everything you could ever want to know about the profane world of science is contained herein. Click the image to see.

Ice Cream taunting

An oldie but a goodie.

Eagleman - 1993

Everything about this advert is spot-on.

The Last Knit

...when knitting turns to obsession.

07/01/11 - New Year Shitlist

So, how was your Christmas? Did Santa bring you everything you’ve ever wished for?
I’ll tell you what he brought us: confusion, inconvenience, frustration and unnecessary expenditure.

OK, I’m over-dramatising a little. On the whole, Christmas was brilliant for us. It couldn’t not be really – sitting at home for a couple of weeks with loads of good telly and naughty Christmas food and drink? What else could you possibly need for a good time? The Top Gear specials were good, there was a Chocolate Orange in my stocking, my wife bought me a record player (if anyone has any records they want to give me, that’d be super, cheers) and I rediscovered the joys of drinking tea with Baileys in it. Times were good.
However, a number of candidates presented themselves for the New Year Shitlist. Details follow:

The ID fraud was a bit of a pisser. Without going into tedious detail, some swine has been pretending to be my wife and claiming benefits in her name. HM Revenue & Customs were kind enough to send her a letter on Christmas Eve saying ‘Hello, you owe us £2200’. Which was nice. They told us to call the police; on doing so we were informed that HMRC were the victims and not us, so this was merely an ‘incident’ rather than a crime. (I’m pretty fucking sure ID fraud is a crime, actually.) So HMRC have made the list. And so have the 5-0.

Also incredibly annoying was the fridge-freezer breaking down on Christmas day. The lights are on and it definitely sounds like a functioning appliance, but the freezer no longer freezes and the fridge no longer refrigerates. It’s basically just a big white cupboard with a light in it. Most annoying of all, it was only three weeks old when it broke. And if a brand new appliance breaks on December 25th, when would you say was a reasonable time to send an engineer round? Would you say January 7th was taking the fucking piss? I would. (They came first thing this morning, identified that it was indeed broken, then buggered off again. Helpful.) We had to throw away about £150-worth of Christmas food. Hotpoint are pricks. They’re very much on the list.

Similarly cretinous were the workmen employed by our property management people to fix our plumbing.
Here’s a little background for context: our flat has two bathrooms, both with showers. The downstairs one has been leaking into the (empty) flat below for about a year. The upstairs one hasn’t worked at all for about eighteen months. Our landlords sent people round to fix both before Christmas; a plumber for the upstairs one, a tiling person for the downstairs one. So both were fixed in time for Christmas. Brilliant.
Except that, no, they weren’t bloody fixed at all. The tiles in the downstairs one started to fall out almost immediately, and the upstairs one is now extravagantly leaking into our living room. A couple of unfortunate one-offs? No, these are respectively the third and fifth visits to solve these issues. Another company on the New Year shitlist: T********* C**, our perennially inept property management berks (who refuse to operate on weekends, so you have to take another day off work every time they fail to fix something). And their contractors too – they couldn’t organise a nun-shoot in a nunnery.

I appreciate that Christmas is a busy time for the Royal Mail, but they employ extra people for exactly that reason… so how come none of my subscription magazines that were due to arrive before Christmas turned up? Octane, Evo and Wired arrived (extremely late) yesterday, and there was still no sign of Classic Ford until this morning. It’s nearly time for the next issue now…
In fact, how come we had literally no post delivered between December 23rd and January 4th? What on earth was our postman up to? He’s very much on the list, the workshy bastard. I might take a morning off next week so I can jab him through the letterbox with something pointy. (Except that there’s no way of knowing whether he’ll turn up at 9am or 6pm, or anywhere in between. Honestly.)

Next on the list: BMW.
You wouldn’t think the simple act of driving over a speedbump at something under 20mph would be too vexing for a solid German motor car, would you? Well, apparently the 3-series doesn’t like that kind of thing. You end up with knackered suspension, an acrid cloud of rubber vapour and a three-hour wait in fucking Costa for the AA to turn up. And then BMW charge you £272.40 for one shock absorber. Unbelievable. And thanks to the Tories, the VAT on the job was spectacular.
You then find that your planned two-hour drive (which would have cost about £30 to get there and then return a couple of days later) turns into a four-hour public transport extravaganza, at a cost of £50 there and back. Seriously, what’s the point of buses and trains if they take twice as long as driving and cost nearly twice as much? TfL and Southeastern Railway, you’re on the list too. Tossers.

I must have been really naughty last year. Santa clearly hates me.

Inconsiderate towing

Some genuinely astounding idiocy by NYC's sanitation workers.



(Brilliantly, the YouTube user who posted this up states that 'Republishers are in jeaparody of having their YouTube account(s) terminted'. Nice.)

You need to get off Facebook

Twishite tattoos

Genuinely unbelievable how stupid some people are.

Click image to enlarge.