Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Our saviour is called Jeff

My American friend with the most American name in the world, Jeff Canzona, has set up a blog site about how everyone in the ad industry over 30 does the least amount of work yet earns the most money. Check it out:


Sunday, 15 June 2008

Proud to be Villa

It's not often I get to say this out loud, but I am proud to be an Aston Villa fan. Even prouder than normal right now because...

A week or so ago, Villa announced that this season that we are to fore-go having a big name multi-million pound earning sponsor, and are instead to have the name of a local children's charity, 'Acorns', proudly emblazoned across each of our great players sweaty chests. Fantastic. What a truly amazing gesture in this day and age where football has become all about making bucket loads of money.

We may have an American owner, but don't for one second put him in the same bracket as Gillett & Hicks at Liverpool or the Glazers at Manure, those who see the clubs they have bought as purely money-making machines. Randy Lerner is a great man who goes about his business with decorum and sensibility, and who displays a real love and respect for the club and its fans. We are very lucky. Now all we need is for Martin O'Neill to stop wasting time with the BBC at the Euros and start signing the players that are going to help us break into the top 4 this season...

Let's hope fellow Villa fans Prince William and Tom Hanks are as happy as I am.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Skate tough or go home

I was having a chat with my good friend Ollie the other day about our favourite brands, brands that we're attached to. We know about me and Nintendo, but I also have fond memories for, amongst others, Pez, Fighting Fantasy books and Powell Peralta. Eh? Powell Peralta, what's that you may ask? Well, it was a skateboarding company in the 80s/early 90s (still around now but known just as Powell).

And it was amazing. A trend setter and manufacturer of some of the coolest boards, wheels, t-shirts, videos of the era (sorry for weird sizes, click on them to make bigger).

Skateboarding, in my humble opinion, is the most under-appreciated sport ever. Skill-wise it's hardcore - the fact you're riding a board that you're unattached to, usually on concrete. It's also attracted so so much creativity - like many things, the people who do it express themselves through their own styles, the art-work, the clothing, everything. I sadly stopped skating when I was 16ish. Nowadays though, I just love looking back at all the awesome graphics and logos from those good old days. This was the first pro board I owned, not a Powell Peralta actually, but a Santa Cruz Jeff Grosso:

It was undoubtedly one of my older brother Henry's hand-me-downs. Henry is 34 and still skates. He's actually set up a Facebook application called 'Retro Skateboard Stickers' which allows you to send various old skool stickers to your friends. Check it out here:

Henry's 'Retro Skateboard Stickers' Facebook application

Also, speaking of Ollie earlier, he's a good skater and all-round good egg (also a good fingerboarder, which is a whole different story). We actually went for a cruise together around Central Park a few weeks back which was great fun, although I admit I did eat some serious NYC slab at one point!

Ollie's skate video, 1.21 Gigawatts, from a few years back is also well worth a view. The intro is a beautiful thing:

Ollie's skate vid

Realise this post has jumped about a bit, but hey it's late, and well isn't that the nature of these things? Anyway, an interesting thing to end on is possibly the greatest Powell Peralta creation of all: Animal Chin. Say no more.