Slick as all hell

….but can I play Candy Crush on it??

All joking aside this is a seriously impressive camera, but with the one baffling caveat that puts me off Sony phones now – their utterly bizarre decision to stop bothering to make their own Gallery tool, so you’re forced to use fucking shitty Google Photos – something I simply do NOT WANT TO DO. If I wanted to use Google Photos I’d buy a fucking Pixel phone. If I wanted to run out of space I’d buy a 15gb Micro SD card.

YES of course you can choose a different app to save your photos too – and sure, SOME of those are even free, and some have a decent amount of storage. But first of all I don’t want that level of faff. I want to set up my phone, take a photo and boom, it’s saved to the phone’s Gallery, NOT to Google Photos. Secondly, and I am talking from direct experience here, because I bought the Xperia 1 III last year, if you then deny Google access to your photos, it triggers an error message every single fucking time you take a photo. So you have NO REAL CHOICE than to revert to Google Photos.

It makes absolutely no sense when your whole selling point (very, very clearly here), is the photos. So who are you aiming a camera centric phone at that is going to be happy with 15gb of Google Photos storage?? Not least when you then still include an SD card slot!! Sony have really dropped the ball on this one.

Dad who’s spent over 1,200 hours on ink journey ditches top to show off tattoos – Daily Star

Good for you.

I mean you look like an utter fool and are going to look like a total idiot when you’re 80 with all that tacky shit, but good for you.

Triple Threat

I’ve done the deed. I’ve pre-ordered my Zenfone 9!!!!! I’ve done a pay in 3 on PayPal for it.

Delivery is “Est end of August” – whatever that means. The site (ASUS’ own) also says “In stock”, which is a little baffling as to how they can’t just send me it then, if it really is sat there in stock.

I’ve ignored every single ‘review’ and every single YouTube “hands on” and “Zenfone 9 after 1 week”. I couldn’t give a fucking shit what your experience is after a week, pal. One thing I did notice was that these YouTube videos are getting MASSIVE views – 92,000 here, 42,000 there. Clearly the interest is there. It’s just such a pity this never translates into big sales for ASUS. Well it can’t, when the media only use their phone releases for filler stories while the Samsung/Apple bungs have dried up for the year.

If you think that’s me being ASUS fanboy here, or my imagination, just look at how they build up to the next Samsung/Apple release, how hard they get over it when it launches, and how doe-eyed they get once it’s out, and run follow ups as well. Just doesn’t happen with Zenfones.

And yes you could say “well that’s because they know what sells”. But a phone as underwhelming as an iPhone or a Samsung does not sell on its own technical merits – because they don’t have many to shout about. The batteries are frequently absolute shite and all they’re releasing now are incremental upgrades, plus the odd massive megapixel jump every 5 years. That is no innovation. It isn’t even trying. It’s knowing that the “tech journalists” you’ve paid have already done most of the selling legwork for you in advance, so you can just coast. Coupled with the fact that if you look carefully at the way they word reviews, if it’s a Zenfone with a bigger battery than a Samsung (usually the case) they’ll say “big battery, but the screen isn’t as good as a Samsung”. But if it’s a Samsung with a weak battery they’ll say “the battery is less than some but the rest of the hardware and solid build quality more than make up for this”. The whole “this Samsung has a lesser this but it’s still a Samsung”, versus “Yes this other phone is good but it isn’t a Samsung” ethos means any other phone is already trampled on in advance – and it really doesn’t matter what they do.

I really do not want to live in a world where all we have to choose from is Apple, Samsung or Chinese Government phones with pre-installed spyware.


Neighbours Finale : a review…sort of

I did my last ever Neighbours catch up all night last night. It was a marathon in many different ways, but especially emotionally.

I started watching Neighbours in 1986. I was 12. To see it taken away from me, being such a massive part of my life and most formative years of my life, is gut-wrenching.

The Neighbours direction was heading was cringingly woke. They’d recently crowbarred in another Asian family, the mother of which could not act for shit, and would have been utterly unbearable long-term. They also had a heffalump of an actress with Down’s Syndrome. Now I’m 100% behind inclusion like that, but for fuck sake you can actually find Down’s Syndrome people who CAN act. You couldn’t even tell what this actress was saying half the time. When you’re going to do inclusion like that: make sure it’s not painful to watch. It was also jarring to to hear the gay characters saying “queer” – especially when the exact same character had previously used the word “gay”. It just smacked of Twitter trend influence. And Twitter is definitely something you don’t want to be influenced by, as it has no basis in reality.

We got a final wedding, which was really underwhelming. The character of Melanie did indeed used to be ‘fun and whacky’. But it was like all the energy had been sucked out of her, and no not just because she was about 30 years older – she could have just been anyone. There was no substance and no uniqueness to her at all. No real storyline ever got off the ground. We all wanted Toadie to be with Sonya anyway.

My mind was blown by the sheer number of characters who came back – whether physically or over some Zoom call or other that another character would have with them.

The scenes with Mike and Jane were just beautiful, and beautifully played by Guy Pearce and Annie Jones. We had some incredible flashbacks.

Harold was on top form and Ian Smith managed to get pretty much ALL of the Harold moments and traits we saw spread over decades into just 5 or so episodes which was incredibly well played.

Lots of loose ends were tied up, lots of flashbacks happened. But in the end, what would have actually been a really nice ending, of everyone except Karl and Susan selling up and leaving the street, so we would then be left to imagine their new life overseas or in another state, was all overturned in the end and they all just changed their minds.

The (narrated) speech by Susan Kennedy right at the end was incredible too and really poignant.

Scot and Charlene’s return was muted and a wasted opportunity.

And then just like that it was all over. Credits flashed up at the speed of light over a load of vintage photos of the ensemble cast.

The memories that show created for cast and crew and millions of viewers over 37 years just can’t be overstated. I feel quite empty when I think that I’ll never see it again, and just gutted that its main rival, Home & Away (which last time I happened to stumble on looked like a bad school play), is still going, when the always superior Neighbours has ended.

There really is no justice in this life….

Money pleeeeeeease

No I’m not asking my lovely followers for coins. I’m getting my Prince vinyl together to sell to There are other places that also want to buy your unwanted vinyl and memorabilia but I discovered EIL first and for fuck sake I think I’d be here all day trying to decide which one would be best to sell to.

A massive Prince fan I am and anyone who knows me knows this about me already. “So why are you selling your Prince vinyl if you’re such a so-called FAN, Stephen?!!”. Basically, they’re sat inside 2 wooden doors of my dad’s record cabinet, which I’ve yet to shift from my flat (another thing I should have done 20 years ago). I LOVED collecting them at the time, but that was when he was still alive and it was pretty much him that decided on everything about every release. That really can’t be said of any of the picture discs coming out now. I don’t display them, and I’ve never even PLAYED most of them. I just wanted to have them for the collector’s item sake. I guess it’s like those dreadful YouTubers who in order to appear the most geeky feel like they have to have a few of those fucking awful Funko Pop models out on the shelf behind them. The reason I never played most of the 12″ vinyl was not because I was afraid of damaging them, it was because I was just biding my time until I could get hold of the CD version. I’m not displaying them, and nor have I ever. So what really is the point in keeping them now? I have all the CD versions of them now (all of which I am keeping).

This one alone they’re selling for £65. I own it – I bought it at the time of release. Even if they were only paying £40 for it, that, added to all my other Prince picture discs, could hopefully add up to quite a fair bit. They also buy promo displays and posters, of which I do have a few of. Not all of these are ones that I cannot bear to part with. This may just end up off-setting the cost of my Zenfone 9 by a significant amount – providing these people aren’t cunts determined to pay almost nothing and sell on for an 80% profit.

Only some of this is correct

Don’t you just love people born in the same year as you recalling stuff that doesn’t actually ring any bells.

I had a TV in my room as a boy – no my family was certainly not “absolutely minted”.

Never witnessed any bars of soap being shoved down anyone’s mouths in front of anybody.

No, there were more options of tea available than that. Clearly those 2 were all she remembers. A lapse of memory doesn’t equal facts.