Archive for May, 2006
For anyone who’s just spent fifteen quid on a DVD, and been sick to the back teeth of that stupid advert at the start, which you can’t skip, telling you that downloading movies is baaaaaad; this is for you: Piracy is a crime. (Quicktime, 4.3MB)
Friday, and it’s been a poor week of blogging. Actually the whole month has been poor. My heart’s not in it at the moment. But that’s another story.
Here’s something that might interest you, though: the Beach Boys song that gave my website its name, Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Aeroplane).
Originally recorded in 1969, I think; due to be included on the aborted Landlocked album; eventually officially released nearly 30 years later (with contemporary overdubs) on the Endless Harmony Soundtrack album. It’s not particularly one of their best songs, it’s just a song that I was listening to seven years ago when I was trying to think of a name for this new-fangled website thingy I wanted to make.
This version is the one from a bootleg of Landlocked. I hope you like it.
And should this inspire you to go to the shops and buy a Beach Boys album this weekend, these are the ones I’d recommend: The Beach Boys Today! (1965), Pet Sounds (1966), Friends (1968), 20/20 (1969), Sunflower (1970), Surf’s Up (1971), and the compilation Classics selected by Brian Wilson (2002). (And if you stumble across a bootleg of Smile, that’s well worth shelling out for, cos it’s far better than the – admittedly very good – re-recorded version Brian Wilson did in 2004.)
There’s only four dates I can remember that aren’t birthdays of family, friends or ex-girlfriends.
8 December 1980 – John Lennon died (also my Mum’s birthday).
15 April 1989 – Hillsborough.
11 September 2001 – err, 11 September (also an ex-girlfriend’s birthday).
25 May 2005 – Liverpool won the Champions League for the fifth time. Hard to believe it was a year ago, cos every single moment of that day is still fresh in my mind. You too can re-live the wonder if you want.
… do birds urinate?
This weekend I went waterskiing in Hawaii.
One day that sentence might be true, but today it’s just a lie. In fact I spent a chunk of the weekend hoping for the people of Montenegro to vote to stay within their union with Serbia. Then I spent another chunk cursing those same damn people who voted to split from the union which will force me to re-write my Flip Flop Flyin’ Pictorial Atlas of the World entry for Serbia and Montenegro as two seperate entries, as their seperation destroys the ‘joke’ within said Pictorial Atlas. Don’t those fuckers realise I’ve still got over 200 countries to write about without selfishly adding to my workload?
This weekend I also laughed hard as Leeds United were beaten in the play-off final by Watford. Ha ha ha ha ha, you’re still not in the Premier League!
This weekend I contemplated blogging about all the things I hate. But I changed my mind. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.
One of my favourite web sites is John Kricfalusi’s blog. Even if you don’t know his name, you know his work: he created Ren & Stimpy. Recently on his blog, he’s been doing some animation lessons, talking his readers through a wonderful old book by a bloke called Preston Blair.
Doing (computer) animation is something that I don’t really enjoy so much these days; but as part of my desire to spend more time with a pencil in my hand, it seemed to me to be a perfect opportunity to have some fun.
Here’s my first effort at trying to get my hand back in shape for drawing: Billy running.
I’ve not done much stuff on the FFF Pictorial Atlas lately, but today I’ve rectified that with twelve new entries. Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands I’d already done; I’ve now added all the other South American nations: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Not done any drawings for them yet, but they’ll be along soon enough.
This is the view from my office window. Nothing out of the ordinary. But, c’mere, look closer:
See that there window, looks like a pug lying on the window ledge? It’s always there. Always looking out of the window. I’m not sure if it’s a real dog, a porcelain dog or a taxidermified dog.
This is officially the most boring thing I’ve ever blogged about. Sorry.
Good FA Cup Final, eh?
Billy hates me watching football on telly, though. There he is, sat next to my feet trying to get my attention focused on the ball he wants to play with; and I’m watching a ball being played with on the telly. And then, when Steven Gerrard equalised to make it 2-2, and equalised again in the 90th minute – with one the best goals I’ve ever seen – to make it 3-3; well, Billy was off then, scampering into the other room to hide. He doesn’t enjoy me jumping up and down and screaming. I had to apologise and give him a biscuit after the penalty shoot out, as he looked thoroughly miserable, hiding underneath my desk wondering what had happened to me.
“We won the Cup, Billy!” I explained.
“Yeh, whatever,” he replied.
It’s the atomic number of nitrogen, the name of an album by James, the number of inches in diameter of the first piece of recorded music I ever bought, the number of colours in a rainbow, the number that Kenny Dalglish wore on his shirt, and if I had to choose a lucky number, it’d be it.
Flip Flop Flyin’ is seven years old today.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to have a look at the web site and go through my favourite things, kinda like a sitcom that does a clip show.
Pete & Bob episode 5
Not sure why I like this one more than the others. Perhaps it’s cos I enjoyed chopping together the music, but it’s probably the tear at the end that does it.
I’m Feeling Fine Now
Another one where I had fun making the music. It’s Motörhead’s guitars, Toni Basil’s drums and Jon Spencer’s scream if you’re interested.
Ghost of Hawdin’s Wood
A reminder that pretty things are good, and that being a grumpy bastard wasn’t always the case.
This was unexpectedly popular when I first put it online. Totally caught me off guard, that. Still nowhere near closer to getting a statue, mind.
Ghosts are Rubbish at Squash
Perhaps the earliest thing I’m proud of. I think I did this in FFF’s first year. Not sure where the idea came from, just one of those sentences that popped into my head.
It’s a good sign that something I made recently is one of my favourite things.
W&W;’s Trophiest Trophy
Technically, the best drawing I’ve ever done.
My favourite blog moment. A bored Saturday and a love of The Boss come together.
Cheap Space Documentary
I wish I’d recorded the sound better. One day I’ll go all George Lucas and re-do it so you can actually hear what’s being said properly.
Fun Fun Fun
And finally, this was kinda the moment when I realised that my little hobby was taking on a life of its own.
Have a good weekend.
And the winner of the lamest name for a product goes to…
It’s a cappuccino in a cup!
Yes, because most of the cappuccinos I drink come in a plastic bag like a fish from the fairground, and it’s so hot and difficult to hold and drink without spillng all over my t-shirt. That’s why this one is special: it comes in a paper cup. Brilliant. Starbucks must be shitting their pants…
Whenever something similar happened for the third time, my Mum always used to say something about things ‘coming in threes.’ Well, for me, the third of those things has just happened. After the end of Pete and Bob, and the end of Valley of the Cnuties: the end of David with One Long Arm.
I think I’m cleansing my palette with all this finishing-things-off stuff. I’m not sure what is next, but I do think that, in my head at least, I’m leaving a part of FFF behind. There have to be some changes in what I do if I don’t want it to become stale, with the smiley, happy characters and nowt else. Not that things have been altogether smiley of late, but you know what I mean. I’ve been banging away at this kind of stuff for what on the 12th May will be seven years. I have no real idea of how I want to do stuff or what stuff I want to do in the future, but by finishing these things off, I’m feeling a weight lifting off my shoulders. Maybe what is next will be a load of one-off hit and miss things until I have some greater ‘plan.’
I hope you enjoy this last episode. Apologies for not translating it like the last two episodes, but I just wanted to get it done and on the site as quickly as possible.
There’s this bloke, right, called John. He used to be a soldier, and one day he goes to see a mate of his, and when he gets there he finds out his mate’s not there; he died of cancer. So he’s walking through a nearby town, feeling a bit glum, and gets hassled by this sheriff, who’s like, we dont want your sort round here, and he takes him to the other end of town in his police car. But John’s a bit miffed by this, cos he just wants something to eat, so after the sheriff has turned back, so does he, then the sheriff sees him in his mirror and he stops and pulls his gun out and tells him to put his hands on the car, and arrests him and takes him to the police station. There’s another policeman there and he’s a bit nasty to John, and they’re treating him rough ‘n all. John sees the bars of the cell they want to put him in and has a bit of flashback of being in ‘Nam, and he loses it and beats up three or four policemen and escapes.
He runs into the street and pulls a guy off a motorbike and speeds off into the hills. The cops are all after him in their cars. He dumps the bike and sets off up into the hills on foot, and the cops have got dogs out after him. John climbs across this cliff face, and the nasty cop is in a helicopter, hanging out the window and shooting at him. The pilot can’t keep the chopper still, and the cop threatens him. Just as his shots are getting closer to John, he jumps off the cliff into some trees which break his fall. The helicopter pilot can’t keep it still cos of the swirling air and the nasty cop falls out and lands on the rocks and dies.
But the other cops are still after John, but he’s tough and he beats up some more. Then this colonel who used to be John’s boss comes along and warns the sheriff that John’s really tough, and the sheriff is like, yeh whatever, and calls the National Guard in, and they think they’ve trapped him in a disused mine, and they’re like, you got ten seconds to come out with your hands up. John doesn’t come out and they send explosives into the mine, and everyone’s like woo! cos they think they’ve killed John.
But the colonel knows John’s a tough cookie and reckons he might still be alive. And he is. He’s going deeper into the mine and it’s like totally full of water and rats and all disgusting, but he gets out, and he sees some soldiers in a load of trucks and he jumps onto the roof of the last truck and overpowers the driver and chucks him out. The driver runs and tells everyone that John’s still alive and they’re like, oh no!
But John’s going back to the town, and he drives the truck into a petrol station and it totally explodes, then he goes to a gun shop and makes that explode too. The police are going mental with all the bad stuff, but the sheriff is alone back at the station and he knows something’s gonna happen, and goes up to the roof, then he sees John inside through the skylight and John sees him and is shooting into the roof and the sheriff falls through the skylight and is all, oh no, I’m gonna die. Just then the colonel comes in and says, no John, don’t kill him.
By now the cops have surrounded the place and there’s no way out and John starts crying and telling the colonel that all his buddies from ‘Nam are dead and he’s pretty down about it. Then he gets arrested.
Then it’s like a few years later and John is a prisoner and he’s breaking rocks in the hot sun thinking, I fought the law and the law won, when a guard comes up and says there’s a bloke here to see you, and John goes to the fence and it’s the colonel who tells him he’s got a mission he’d like him to work on, and if he helps out he might get a pardon from the president.
So they go to Vietnam, and there’s this guy who wants John to go in and check out if there’s still and POWs left from the war. He wants him to take photos and come back then they’ll go in, mob-handed, and break ‘em free. So John’s dropped off in the jungle where he meets this Vietnamese lass who’s dead pretty and she leads him to the camp, and at first they think it’s empty, then they see it isn’t. So John goes in to check stuff out, and lo and behold, he finds a load of knackered looking POWs. He breaks free with one of them, and they’re just about to be air-lifted to safety when the guy in charge off the mission tells the pilot to abort! abort! and they fly off leaving John and the POW right in the middle of nowhere with loads of soldiers pointing guns at them.
They’re brought back and the Russians, who are helping out the Vietnamese soldiers, are torturing John but he’s still tough. Then the pretty girl gets in to the camp by pretending to be a lady of the night all ooh la la like. She helps break John free and starts killing loads of people with his big bow and arrow and his big knife. Then the pretty lady gets killed just after John had kissed her and it was sad.
So he makes a headband from a bit of her dress and gets really angry and kills loads more soldiers, nearly a whole army. He eventually gets a helicopter and goes back and picks up all the POWs, and flies them back to safety, then goes and shoots up the bad army guys office and threatens to kill him, but doesn’t. Then he walks off and is a hero.
Then it’s like another three years later and John’s fighting wth sticks for money in Thailand. The colonel is watching him and he follows him to a monastery, where he lives and helps the monks out with building stuff and carrying heavy stuff. The colonel’s with this other guy who wants John to and help out the Mujahideen who are are fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. John’s like, no, I’ve done my time. But the colonel goes anyway and is caught.
When John finds out, he’s like, OK, I’m going in. So he goes to the border with Pakistan and gets tooled up. He meets some Afghan rebels and they’re all like dead friendly, and there’s a young lad who’s cool that John likes. He joins in with a game they’re playing on horseback where they throw a dead sheep around, then the Russian helicopters come in and – kaboom! – kill loads of people.
So he makes a plan to go into the place where they’re holding the colonel. He goes with his Afghan mate, but the kid tags along, and they’re like, you must go back, and he’s like, no I won’t. John kills loads of Russians and rescues the colonel and the kid gets shot and he helps them out, but just when they think they are free, some more Russians find John and the colonel and they’re trapped in a cave, but John kills them all and they’re walking back to the border and suddenly there’s loads of tanks and helicopters and it seems like John’s for it now, but no, the Afghan rebels join in and there’s an almighty fight and loads of people die, but John and the colonel get out alive!
I dunno about you, but I reckon they could make a good trilogy of films about this John guy.