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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Up in the air.

Like you, I don't have much time for TV these days, so the last thing anybody would want is Internet TV! Or is it, you see there are advantages to watching TV on the blog rather than on the box. The main thing in my mind is interaction, if the image on the screen is lacking you can quickly move on to something else. And I'm not talking about more TV, 'cos you can already do that on the box, can't you?
channel m TV for Manchester
Okay, this channel, channel m TV for Manchester is not strictly an Online thingy although you can watch clips at the Manchester Evening News site and at their web page as linked in my sidebar. The funny thing about channel m is that I used to be able to watch it on my old portable telly without an ariel and now with my digi-box I can't get it and I can't get it on terrestrial TV 'cos my remote control is broken and it's cheaper to replace the set than the handset if you get my drift, and I don't need to!
This one seems like a good little project. They're based just up the road from us in Old Trafford and my son Jack used to go along to some of the things they organised. He used to be really excited about going 'cos he loves making films and writing plays and performing in his band and I always thought that he would be able to do something really good with an opportunity like that. But no, his mates stopped going for one reason or another so he doesn't go (Lets Go Global) anymore.
Manchester-Live TV
This is a new one to me, but I like it. Manchester-live.TV are starting their own Online Soap Spinning Jenny and are actively looking for people to audition. So, if you fancy being an Online actor or actress, I suggest you clink-the-link. There are some good video clips on this site. If, for example, you want to find out what the restoration of the John Rylands Library on Deansgate looks like - this website is a good place to start. I'm waiting for someone to do one on canal walking, I'd love to do it myself of course but... Well, they won't ask me, will they?
Then of course I've got all these dead good ideas for a traffic movie, set on the Mancunian Way. And there's that other thing I want to do about cycling and green machines and Ziggy Bikes and my-home-made-extra-cycle! Dream on!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February, sick and tired...

We hardly ever watch TV these days, apart from football, Coronation Street and East Enders, only joking! Don't you just hate TV, all those adverts, and guess what? People actually watch the shopping channels  There are some good things on it, so they tell me. Anyway, we actually sat down the other day, which is quite hard to do in our front room with all Jack's musical instruments. He's got two drum kits now and an electric guitar and a massive electronic keyboard which he calls a piano! On top of that there's the full size slate-bed ex-pub pool table, a leather sofa and chair and a wall size TV and we've only got a little house. But that's what it's like in this little bit of bohemia! On my calendar I've got things written down that I have to go out of the house for. There's the Dentist, The Doctor, The supermarket and Jack's band practice!
One thing I hate more than TV is Jelly Fish! Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful creatures and they play an important part in the eco-system of the sea, don't they? Anyway, I don't like them 'cos I stood on one once and yes, they do sting! So, we managed to find the sofa underneath a pile of books and magazines and we sat down to watch the dreaded box! And, guess what? It was a documentary about Jelly Fish. Dirty big, massive flipping Killer Jelly Fish! One sting and you're brown bread! No anti-dote, no second chance! So, the Japanese government had sent out some fishing boats to kill the killers before the killers could kill them. We sat, watching the wholesale slaughter of thousands of these poor creatures .
First off, they trawled the Jelly Fish in big nets from two fishing boats. Then they pulled the nets to the surface of the water between the two boats and then the fishermen leant over the side and hit the Jellies with sharp rakes and hooks till they died. The idea was to wipe out the Killer Jelly Fish population - but the plan backfired! You see what actually happened was that after so many Jellies dieing, nature took over and instead of each Jelly Fish laying say 100 eggs. Now each one was laying 1,000 eggs to re-populate the waters. If Jellies can do that, what about Cod? Or any other fish, or living creature for that matter! Just a thought..
I suppose that everybody knows by now that the best team in England, Arsenal (at present) were hammered by Uni-ted in the FA Cup at Gold Trafford the other day. Everybody also, probably knows that my team Manchester City annihilated Uni-ted in the Premiership 2-1 at the same venue, not only that, but City have got the double over Uni-ted as they also beat them earlier in the season at Eastlands. So, that must make City the best team in the land. But, where does that leave Barnsley? I hear you scream! Barnsley having knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup 2-1 at Anfield last week could well be named the best team in Europe, if Liverpool go on to win the European Cup! Barnsley? The little Tykes!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Here we go again!

It was reported today that the Department of Transport had admitted that a tunnel linking Manchester's Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations was one possibility being considered. I remember similar plans in the 1970's that came to nothing and the reason then will be the same reason why they won't come to fruition now. You can sum the whole thing up in one word COST! It would simply cost too much. In 1970 the cost would have been five million pounds, which was much too expensive then. Today it would cost five hundred million pounds, which would be much too expensive now. There are a number of alternatives to the Picc-Vic link and if you scrawl through the archives of this blog you'll come across some of them.
I intended to tell you about the Piccadilly tower a couple of weeks ago, as work has recently started on what will become Manchester's tallest building. I am, however, more exited about another tower in Piccadilly which has not been started as yet. I am of course talking about the site of the former Aytoun Street Unemployment exchange building which has been empty for several years now. I heard/read that the building, which is still standing (just about) has been sold for five million quid to a developer who is going to demolish it and build a sixty storey tower. I'm interested in this project because of the location. The site is bordered by The Rochdale Canal, Aytoun Street tramway and I think it's Roby street where the Waldorf Hotel is, anyway it'll be a tight squeeze!
I see that the sun shone for the Manchester Derby this weekend, in fact the weather here was better than Rome or Athens. It was a sad affair, it being the fiftieth aniversary of the Munich Air disaster in which so many young players lost their lives. I am talking about football, in case you hadn't realised. I don't want to say too much about this fixture apart from Nice one Sven! Oh yeah, my team Man City beat Uni-ted 2-1 there were seventy six thousand people in the ground including the British Prime Minister, the Irish Premier, the ex president of Thailand and the King of Sweden and everybodys favorite ex Uni-ted and England player Sir Bobby Charlton who of course was a surviver of the Munich air crash.
There was a tacky picture in the local newspaper the other day of a dozen or so high rise towers clustered around the Beetham/Hilton Hotel skyscraper at the Castlefield end of Manchester's Deansgate. The report said, and I paraphrase here, that this artist's impression of a Manhatten like skyline could be on the drawing board for Manchester. Really? I for one wasn't taken by the design of these mediocre boxes. If we're talking Manhatten, what about some of those iconic buildings like the Flat Iron and the Chrysler building? We really don't need another local authority style tower block in Manchester. Do we?
As I already mentioned above, 76,000 people turned out for the Uni-ted v City match on Sunday and at the same time a couple of miles up the road in Manchester's Chinatown another 60,000 people spilled out onto the streets to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We went down to George street and Faulkner street in Chinatown and had a look at the Chinese arch, I've seen it many times before over the years but this time I took a really good look at it. When it was first built it was one of only two authentic Chinese arches in the western world, the other one being in San Fransisco. The red paint on the arch is reputed to be made from pigs blood. And two or three years ago the arch was restored at a cost of £300,000.
Okay, I'm sorry, I apologise to all of those nice, nice people who have paid a visit to my Online Novel Space Invaders! For one reason or another I haven't been able to do very much work on the project so far. However, this is going to change. I really really want to write this novel/novella call it what you will and I want to do it Online, for you, with you, if you like. Comments, advice critique etc. are all welcomed and any comments on the blog version of Space Invaders! may very well end up in the final publication! So, what are you waiting for? Me? Duh!
Don't forget you can visit my really bad pub-poetry blog at: SweetTalkingGuy...
The February Issue of Nicola's Newsletter Raw Meat is now Online at:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super What?

Welcome back to Proper Joe's blog the home of Inland Driftwood (how green's that?). Anyway, it's Tuesday and it's update time on this page so here we go...
In the US they're branding today as Super Tuesday as so many Americans go to the polling stations to choose a candidate for Presidential nomination. Here (in England) it's plain and simple Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake day.
Don't you just lurve pancakes, we do, and we've been making them and eating them all day! We started off this morning with some sweet American style pancakes served with maple syrup and soon graduated onto fruit pancakes, Welsh drop-scones and sticky Scotch pancakes. For lunch we made cheese and lime gallettes followed by Gran Marnier crepes with Chantilly cream. This evening we made a special thick batter with four different types of flour and cooked it in a large tortilla pan, when both sides were set we transfered the pancake onto a round pizza tray, coated the base with a home-made tomato sauce and sprinkled grated cheese and mushrooms on top and bunged it into a pre-heated oven for a few minutes before serving with a green mixed leaf salad. Delicious!
I was going to mention the new towers that are being built as I type and tell you about the ones that escaped and the one that got refused planning permission but, I've been distracted by a picture of a Ziggy Bike. A Ziggy what? I can almost hear your thoughts! A Ziggy Bike! What's a Ziggy Bike when it's at home? Okay, good point. Ziggy is what Nicola calls her wheelchair and therefore a Ziggy Bike is pretty much the back end of a bike attached to a wheelchair, or a bike with the front wheel taken off and the front forks bolted to the back of a wheelchair or imagine an ice-cream bike without the freezer box and then put a wheelchair in its place! Phew! That's what a Ziggy Bike is.
Well, I'm only telling you all this because we want one. We've looked on the web and found a couple of likely candidates, the only stumbling block now is the big price. It's not that we can't raise the dosh, we probably can. Also, if I have to give up driving and everybody (well lots of people) is telling me that I should, for one reason or another, then three thousand pounds or so to purchase a Ziggy Bike doesn't seem very much. Until you look at one, that is. And then you realise how un-green it would be to pay so much for something that you could buy all the bits for for about 10% of the price. Don't you just hate all this Niche Market ripoffski . I do!