VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...
All text is copyright the Viper Squad Ten blog team 2003-2006 unless otherwise quoted or credited. If we've not credited you properly, please let me know. Throw us a link if you're desperate enough to use this guff...
A couple of years ago I became slightly obsessed about one of the inventions pitched on Dragons' Den - the Racker Stacker.
By day Stefano Matheou was a seemingly ordinary taxi driver, but by night he became Rackerstacker Man, intent on solving the world's beer and wine bottle stacking problems.
By moulding a simple strip of plastic, Rackerstacker Man can "defy gravity with the world's premier bottle stacking system for your refrigerator"
Agreed by the Dragons to be a brilliant idea, Rackerstacker Man refused their offer of investment, hoping to make it big on his own.
I've been getting on with my life since this televisual experience, but occasionally can't stop myself breaking into song, singing "He's the RackerStacker Man, the Rackerstacker Man, he stacks everything a Rackerstacker can". Much to my wife's amusement.
I couldn't fine anything on the internet about the Racker Stacker at the time, and even rather desperately blogged it onto my Christmas wishlist last year.
Last night, much to my joy, Rackerstacker Man was on the Where Are They Now? edition of DD (the general answer: "Nowhere much"), and I finally realised - I'd only gorn and been misspelling Racker Stacker all this time! It's a bleedin' RakaStaka (or if you prefer, a Raka Staka)! And RakaStakaMan has a website, where you can buy your very own RakaStaka!!!
Correct pronunciation of the Nintendo Wii
Amongst all of the recent coverage of the Nintendo Wii, I've not once heard the correct pronunciation of Nintendo's new games console.
It all stems from the word "wifi", the Wii being very much of the wireless persuasion. Its Wi-fi with no "f" in it (cue rubbish jokes about there being "no f'in wi-fi", or maybe not, cos that's lame).
Pronounce "wi-fi" without the f, and you naturally adopt the Geordie dialect - "Why ay". Canny.
The reason: Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is a big fan of Jimmy Nail.
Its good to talk
 After 8 years of pure steadfast loyalty to my first mobile telephone, I've only gone and upgraded my handset.
And I must say, its nice having a phone that you can use as a phone as opposed to just a pager/alarm clock (it was beginning to struggle with the art of transmitting telephone calls...)
But huzzah, 'cos thanks to the upgrade cycle written into Mrs Powersurge's mobile contract I've now taken on her unwanted cast-off Sony-Ericsson, and very nice it is too. Its even got a camera and everything - fancy! The drawback - it doesn't have Snake on it, which is well rrrrubish.
So if anyone wants a Nokia nk402 handset, complete with its original battery (they were made to last back then), plus Snake, alarm clock and SMS capabilities, then its yours.
Going for the bargain collectors-price of £40.00, undepreciated since the day it was bought (and which will be split with sometime-VSX-co-editor DJ Tim, who kindly brought it for me on pay-as-you-go all those years ago...)
The best film that never was
When I woke up I knew exactly what I wanted to write about today.
It was a film that I'd seen on the TV late last night, and it went by the elusive title of "LM" (nothing to do with Crash magazine's Lloyd Mangran, idol of ZX Spectrum fans everywhere, or Newsfield's pre-Loaded "young men's lifestyle magazine" that he inspired; nor Living Marxism for that matter).
It was a Gilliamesque hi-sci-fi fantasy set in a dystopian near future Britain, and it starred Shane Richie being suprisingly adept and charismatic (as in I didn't want to punch him in the face).
It came across like a future-Funland, not suprising since it was cowritten and directed by Mark Gatiss, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
It was one of those things that you watch and you wonder why you'd never heard of it before.
And then I realised that I'd watched it within my dreams. Bugger.
Business Tips: How Starbuck got to where he is today
The two secrets behind my success are:
Always walk briskly with a fully erect stance; no slouching
Always greet anyone that you might have ever met before as if seeing them is the greatest thing that's happened to you that day, even if you'd rather ignore them right at that moment.
Always walk around with a miserable frown across your face by default, to maximise the contrast as your background expression breaks into a wide smile. The effect of the most miserable possible expression transforming into a shit-eating grin will make them feel like a million dollars, and will help you on your way to earning a million dollars (or 531763 GBP / 389318 EUR at the current exchange rate).
"I didn't get to where I am today by not walking briskly and smiling stupidly at people I'd rather avoid."
Marking one's toilet territory
 More eloquent people than I have discussed humanity and human instinct on their blogwebs; what marks a society as civilised is the ability of the people to overcome their evolution-borne raw instincts and to sit and ponder what humane course of action is for the common good.
To this wealth of thought and knowledge I must add the following: that this also applies to toilet usage.
When the motions of civilised people result in faecal residue being left on the toilet bowl, they must overcome the urge to mark their territory like common animals, and instead use the brush of enlightenment to remove these primitive tools of their most basal instincts.
Especially if they've had a muck-spreader effect above the rim.
I bit down on a foreign body buried within my lunchtime halal Shami kebab today; having picked it out of the mulch in my mouth it looked like a chunk of glass or hardened plastic or something.
In this age of hysteria I feel that I can justly pontificate on the possibility that this was part of an anti-Islamic attack, the factory production line being sabotaged by a rascist extremist, someone who hates their standards, their basic values, their very principles.
Kasabian - Empire - Disappointing to mine own ears, admitedly after a scant few listens. I don't want Kasabian to be doing acoustic ballads or Oasisalike anthems. I want them to be the sound of a cybernetic thrill-seeker, jacked into the AI-hijacked mains, with its adrenal glands narcotically jammed open. Psychedelics,
Lily Allen - OK, I don't have her album, but I can't deny that what I've heard has been good. There's just one thing bugging me... surely she's the Louise Wener for the post-Britpop age?
I'm With Stupid (BBC3) - I must admit that I'm a massive fan of actor Mark Benton, who plays Sheldon the "entrapped tramp" in this new sitcom set within a Sheltered Accommodation facility. The man can do no wrong... even those Nationwide adverts make me smile. Throw in Paul Henshall from Holby being somewhat over-mischievous, as well as the lovely Ruth Jones from Saxondale and Nighty Night as the warden, and a good supporting cast of residents. A sitcom with a differerent "situation" to most, and its good to see disabled characters being treated as real people... erm... real characters, rather than (and I use this word from a distance) "special".
The Charlotte Church Show (C4) - Words cannot describe just how bad most of this is. Worst still, I'm warming to it! Charlotte seems very likeable and charismatic enough when she's chatting and interviewing her guests, the trouble is that so far this is only takes up a small fraction of the show. The rest is scripted by idiots.
Wildlife and washing
My old amphibious friend Mr Froad (frog or toad, they're all the same to me...) was back in the garage this morning, looking miserable as anything. Well, YOU would look miserable if you lived your entire existence covered in dirt and engine oil. Just look at Gary from EastEnders.
My webbed and tailless friend look direly in need of a wash.
Much like my car, after nature got its own back yesterday, when a fat dopey pigeon flew into my windscreen. To be fair it must've flown sideways, that or I might have driven into it mid-flight. That said, hadn't it seen Catch The Pigeon? It's perfectly possible for birds of the Columbidae family to fly forwards whilst having their heads turned sideways, towards a TV viewer or incoming car, for example...
Anyway, I've now got a nasty grey smear of greasy dust from the disease harbourer splattered across my windscreen.
And whilst I'm chronicling the chorinically mundane, my car has started letting in floods of water around the accelarator pedal when I put it through the car wash. Is that supposed to happen...?
Starbuck Powersurge back in business
With a little gentle persuasion I've wrested control of my Blogger Profile back from Durm Chamine, my old AI pal and Viper Squad colleague.
Le informazioni sulla mia posizione recente possono essere stampate a tempo debito.
So with Starbuck back online its business as usual, with a little bit of politics and a little bit of humour cleverly wrapped up within a tidy parcel of pop culture. i.e. a very pooer Arnold Schwarzenegger joke.
Q: In his role as Governor of California, why has Arnie been urging the Western Governor's Association to take regional action against global warming?
A: Because he's concerned about RED state HEAT.
[Reader's voice: Come back Durm, all is forgiven!]
Map of the Lost Island
Hello again chums, Durm Chamine here, Viper Squad Ten's anagramatically-challenged sentient provider of AI beats, logging on in a different styley in lieu of Mr Powersurge.
Reckon it's a good job that Starbuck's on blogging hiatus at the moment, or he'd be doing your nut right now, banging on about the TV show Lost.
And I know that he'd be wetting himself if he saw this, the map of the island, as revealed in glorious luminosity on the hatch wall during shutdown.
Just as well he's not here, then, or he'd be theorising a-plenty, all the way up to the meaning of the question mark.
It's bad enough when he gets drunk. He starts rabbiting about his theories on to anyone too polite to tell him to shut the fruck up. "Well, I've purposefully not been participating in the Lost Experience on the web, blah blah blah, but I just happened to have read this and that about Dharma and Hanso and seen all these fake interviews on YouTube and could you get me an Apollo Candy bar from Forbidden Planet..."
And then he starts going on about nanobots and nanomachines, about how its the only possible explanation which could truly explain everything, from the black cloud security system, the healing, the hallucinations, the mental reprogramming, and its what he's been saying since the first episode of Season 2...
And all this relayed to me via his Knight Industries-style watch.
Durm Chamine on computer game characters
Man, that Starbuck Powersurge is such a loser, I tell ya.
I'd wifi hacked in on his Nintendo DS and taken a stroll round his Animal Crossing: Wild World game, and what do I find? He's only gone and named his character "Starbuck" and called his town "Powerton". Jeez, that's lame.
Couldn't resist having a go on New Super Mario Brothers whilst I was in there. Whaddagame. But however good it is, let's face it, Mario & Luigi are about as cool as The Chuckle Brothers. Come to think of it, they're eerily similar in style and appearance as well...
Coolest game character ever?
Don't say Sonic. 'Spesh since he went the way of John Merrick.
Reckon it gotta be Sweevo from Sweevo's World.
Or Head out of Head Over Heels. Definitely not Heels.