Archive for December, 2006

LL928 – Exploring the Galaxy at Christmas

So I’m home at my mum’s house for the first time in ages. And what’s Christmas for if not deciding at 11.30 at night after a few beers that you really should listen to your inner geek child and get your old Lego out, download the instructions off the internet using only your mobile as an (expensive) connection and see if you’ve still got… ‘the knack’.

Me: Mum where’s my Lego?
Mum: Upstairs in your sister’s old room.
Me: runs upstairs Where abouts?
Mum: In the wardrobe.
Me: Errr, No, that’s quite clearly her ‘Earth’ Lego, where’s mine?
Mum: I don’t know, I think you gave it away?
Me: Never! It must be up the loft.
Mum: (sigh) Be careful!

So there I was, ladders out the garage, banging around up the loft nearly putting my foot through the ceiling, and right in the corner.. there it was. found it! Ahhh, nothing on Earth sounds quite like the sound of Lego being tipped out of a box…

I had a couple of Lego sets, mainly space including the Star Fleet Voyager, and one of the Base ones, as well as some of the first castle Lego, but my pride and joy was LL928, aka the Galaxy Explorer . Widely regarded as the finest Space Lego set ever, a classic piece of Lego design; when sets still allowed for customisation and play. I think I got it for Christmas in either ’81 or ’82, and 24 years is along time, would I still have all the pieces, or had the ‘Great Hoover’ taken them forever? So, with pixellated plans downloaded (from here) I set off.

LL 928 Galaxy Explorer - 14
I get most of the super structure built before hitting a problem. I’ve lost or broken the hinge to the ramp at the back. I can find one bit, but not the smooth bit. Ah well, a bit of modification is needed. It was nice to see all the old stained pieces again, some broken or stained, some with teeth marks in, or play dough squashed into them.

LL 928 Galaxy Explorer - 10
By this time I’m missing some of the black and yellow wing markings as well as the top window piece an a grey rocket thruster thingy. I decide to go for the ‘battle damaged’ look, with heavy modification.

1am ish – Finished! Blimey that took longer than I thought! I’m sure I used to be able to build this in about 20 minutes?
LL 928 Galaxy Explorer - 7

Not too bad as it goes. I was missing a grey wing, which I replaced with a white one from the Star Fleet Voyaget set, and some other bits had to be grey not the original blue, but all told I think I used to look after my toys as a child rather well. Anyway, I went to bed content and happy.

More pics on Flickr for you real brickheads. It’s on eBay for ¬£120 boxed in mint condition!. And here’s the T-Shirt.

Good and bad other product placement

Bad product placement (Morrisons РGrimsby) Surface protectors and Curry??!?!!the most bizzaar product placement. Good product placement (Tesco extra РGrimsby) Ahhh, Anadin and high tannin wines.good product placement

I quit… Leaving the BBC

NEWSFLASH! Yesterday I handed in my resignation to my dept manager and officially resigned as Picture Editor for BBC Future Media & Technology (!) Tonight was the office Christmas do and so I took the opportunity to tell all my team and fellow members of staff…. Most replies were ‘I’m happy for you, but gutted for the rest of us’ which was nice.

So what will I be doing? Well, I’m off to Channel4 for more money, a better commute, a better working location and more interesting projects. As some of you may know I’ve spent the past 12 months trying to get a pan media project commissioned, I got it right to the top, after months of meetings, talking, thinking, writing, research and hard work, but it’s stalled somewhat due, not to the quality of the idea, but to the internal political flux that comes from being in the BBC. More on the history and fall out of this idea later, but as for now, I can’t wait another 12 months so me and my head full of other ideas are off to Channel4 where hopefully they can come to fruition.

About the internet, sadly not on the internet…

This arrived in my inbox this afternoon. So we’ve go to the trouble of registering and in a stunning peice of web1.0 cyberwebby interactivitiness pointed it to…. the TV listings page. wow,

Try ? nowt, because there isn’t a page to support this programme strand, Maybe Al’s biffed all the production cash, maybe because it’s ‘arts’ it’s not a priority… but it does look a little bit shit. If anything highlights the BBC’s Telly vs Internet relationship issues, it’s stuff like this.

Is it a bird… is it a plane…

Super Yenti! No it’s a flying virtual Alan Yentob! Flying around in second life.. He also looks taller and skinnier… hmmm.

Talking off super heroes I’m really enjoying, um, Heroes (by flying to the US everyweek obviously) which I’m glad to say has been bought by BBC Two to be shown next year, after everyone’s seen it off the internet, bit torrent, the Sci-Fi channel and god knows what else.

Sue Deeks, head of series programme acquisition at BBC Television, called Heroes an “an intriguing, intelligent and irresistible drama.” persumably muttering “….that we’d never dare to make?” Come on, it crushes puny Torchwood as Lee points out in depth.

In other news, the Schedules for week 52 came out today… let’s say nostalgia is going to be a theme.

I’m back! Good news and bad news

Fact: All ‘not blogged for a while’ posts on the blog-o-sphere start with excuses and apologies, well not this one, I’ve been on holiday!

A week away form the smoke in Suffolk was just what, um, I ordered off the internet. Ooh where to start.

Good news!

great holiday. Lots of pics on Flickr of it all, a fantastic eco cottage in Stoke by Nayland called the Pumphouse, a reconditioned 1930s pumping station.

I’m slowly working out what I want to do with the rest of my life…..

My mate Chris had a baby Boy, Jacob Riley Martin came into the world weighing in 7lb 13oz – hurrah!

Crystal Palace Park had a great firework display to comemorate the 70 years since the original burnt down.

Pheasant evisceration.
I plucked, skinned and gutted two pheasants. From this to this in 20 mins. There’s a video coming to YouTube soon, oh yes.

I saw the moon through a large telescope. It moves very fast.

Bad news

Doug at work died.
It’s the saddest thing… Martin summed up his work exploits, which were legendary. Here was a guy that actually cared about actual users, spoke to them on POV, explained things, and ultimately got stuff done. And they’re a rarity in this day and age.

The Ballard of Darren and Viv came to an end when the phone rang early one morning and I answered it.
me: Er, hello
Viv: Is Darren there?
me: No, you’ve rang before, I think you’ve got the wrong number, you’re Viv right?
Viv: Vivian, yes. Oh, he must have moved then.
Me: Er, yeah, I’ve had this number for two years, is it possible he gave you…
Viv: Goodbye…Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Me: …the wrong number, hello? Hello?

BBC launch even shitter digital marketing campaign.
Oh for the love of God where to begin on this one. Fallon are responsible. The ‘wife swapping’ one is the worst.
Here’s my round up of bad BBC Digital marketing campaigns… and there have been plenty more I can’t find images for.

And finally, Christmas heaves into view.. All hands on deck!

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
December 2006