Dreamer, You Know You Are a Dreamer27 May 2021Dreamer, You Know You Are a Dreamer Is it just me?Two things happened recently, on the same day, and I was definitely more bewildered at the end of that day than I had been at the beginning of that same day.First thing: I went to M & S to buy some food (actually, it was mainly beer). At the checkout, M & S have installed these new display cabinets. Each cabinet was made of plastic, plugged in to the mains electricity, and bore the big health message: "You are 60% water. Make sure you are topped up" (I paraphrase, for I was in shock.) Each cabinet contained a hundred plastic bottles, each full of chilled water, each bottle transported over God knows how many motorway miles, each bottle made from plastic which may end up buried in a Greek field.Later, I recounted my experience to a friend, and I surprised myself about how angry I was.Second thing: I went to a Greenpeace thing. It was to draw our attention to many Bad Things happening in the world, and how we can all do our bit. I have no problem with this. We most certainly can do more, every one of us. Not leaving the tap running; walking instead of driving; eating less meat. Great, all good ideas. And then, some woman comes round with a big box of newly printed booklets and asks if we would like one. Freshly made, from trees and ink. One of my friends waved her away in a friendly manner, and said "No thanks, I've downloaded it on PDF". I, on the other hand, was bereft of words, and managed only to say "No, sorry, I can't". If she had stayed to ask me why, I may well have said "Because it seems deeply ironic to me that you have decided to create yet more printed matter from arguably unsustainable resources to spread the message to us about sustainability. Why didn't you just ask us to go to your website?"Perhaps I need to go somewhere and detox.Mac, recyclable editorImage: recycled Supertramp single
My Little Runaway21 May 2021My Little Runaway Have you ever had a conversation where someone said to you: "Oh no. How awful for you"?I have. Actually, I've had a few. And, as someone who likes to make other people laugh - even at my own expense - I have decided to share some hugely embarrassing moments with you, when I have wished that the ground below would have swallowed me whole. Because you understand. Because you're you: you love to laugh at stupid things, performed by the editor of a national UK gig guide. And because, during these awful COVID lockdowns, we have realised that we are all human and vulnerable, and that laughter is more important than ever.1. VAT, what VAT?- At the age of 19, I had responsibility as the Supplies Officer for the Audio Society at Durham University. After realising that we had been selling TDK cassettes at a loss, I resigned, and ran away.2. Testing, 1-2-3- Whilst at Durham, I took on the role of Soundman at our college for a visiting band's gig. "Everything OK, Mac?" asked the promoter (several times), concerned that the sound of the band wasn't quite right. "Yes", I said. (I know, I know, I should have asked more questions.) Anyway, that was my last job as a Soundman. The sound was awful, and I was the person who made that happen. I had no idea what I was doing. Amps, knobs, faders... nope, sorry.3. Quitting your secure job- Snow, winter, and I was sporting a terrible first beard. Very fed up with my first real-world job; financially secure, but unfulfilling. A hand-written CV (no home computers then) impressed the owners of a hi-fi shop in Islington, who offered me a salesman job. I ran away. 18 months later, I quit my 'secure' job to become a lecturer in electronics, at a lower salary.4. Rejecting an amazing new job- Once, I went to an interview, and I did really badly; I didn't know very much. But they liked me and offered me £3,000 more than my current job, doing something I didn't understand. I had no confidence, and I ran away.5. Being different- I'm aware that we've just had Mental Health Awareness Week. At the age of 6, I was the new kid in town. With a different accent, I became the subject of bullying, for many years. Yes, I sort of ran away, but I am now willing to run back right now and slay certain offenders, verbally or otherwise. Don't be embarrassed if you are still angry after 20, 30 or 40 years, because other people were mean to you. Message for today: Please Be Kind To People Who Are Different.Your loving editor, Mac
It's Not Safe (part I)14 May 2021It's Not Safe (part I) The apostrophes safe was a highly secure safe, where scared apostrophes could go and hide, away from the cruel light that cast a shadow on their tiny slivery bodies. No apostrophe worth its weight in ink would shun the safe. The life of an apostrophe was longer there. After all, there were no silly Ess characters to bother them. Stupid Esses, always wanting to get close to other letters but just not close enough. Always wanting to separate things, commitaphobic Esses, everywhere. Needy Esses in need of apostrophes.But then, once upon a time, a very different apostrophe was born. It was not afraid. It wanted to get to know the Esses better, even if it meant not being completely together. So, the bold apostrophe went out in search of any word that needed it. As it jumped down the street, an Ess on the chalk board outside the supermarket called out: "Hey, little bold apostrophe, jump up here!"And with a flick of its tail, using a discarded lolly stick, the bold apostrophe pole-vaulted onto the chalk board and made potatoes into potatoe's, and everyone in the market was happy and started using the bold apostrophe in lot's of other word's that they did'nt know how to spell before, and they rejoiced. And then the frightened apostrophe's in the apostrophe's safe started jumping out of the safe and finding Esse's to cuddle up with, and soon, all the Esse's had their own apostrophe's and it was'nt a crime to put apostrophe's before a Ess, even if the Ess didnt really want one. And some apostrophe's even started to jump in between other letter's of the word's, and due to all the sentence's in the world needing apostrophe's, the stock market price's soared in many country's and for a while nobody knew if there would be enough. Luckily, some scientist's invented 3D printing so apostrophe's could be made over the Internet and deployed in supermarket's, shop's and office's in any country's that had electric pylon's.Your's truly,Lemonrocks Editor, Apostrophe Ambassador, Grammar Grumbler and Wordplay Wunderluster--Time on your hands? This is a good explanation:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My6oGvkHnfY
Jokers10 May 2021Jokers Recently, I ordered some new business cards and flyers for Lemonrock. I re-design these every year or so, to match the style of the website.Up until now, I have used Vistaprint. Heard of them? You must have, if you've ever searched for business cards online. Vistaprint come at the top of your search results. This isn't because Vistaprint are any good, but because they pay Google handsomely to achieve first place in your search results.There's nothing wrong with this practice - good business sense says that this is an effective way to blot out your competitors.You wouldn't think that getting simple flyers printed could be so challenging.What could go wrong?1. The colours could be wrong2. The cut could be squint3. The image could be incorrectly placed on the card4. The image could be incorrectly sized on the cardWith my newly-found printing company, Banana Print, none of these things went wrong. I am now the proud owner of perfectly printed cards and flyers from Banana Print.I am also the somewhat embarrassed owner of two sets of incorrectly printed Vistaprint products. Two sets: not only did Vistaprint get my order wrong, their replacement was even worse. Vistaprint's quality control has broken. And that happens sometimes in business, even in big businesses.However, all is not forgiven. In addition to Vistaprint's inability to avoid all 4 errors (they got 2 out of 4 in each print run), their customer support was absolutely atrocious. First, they tell me that they have no policy in place for returns. Then, when I press them harder, they give me a return address and £20 to cover postage. The two parcels (two, remember, because Vistaprint just can't get these things printed correctly) weigh 38kg. I scour the web for the cheapest delivery from the UK to the Netherlands, and it's £44.05. I explain that sending their product back to Vistaprint will result in me being out of pocket, and, guess what? Vistaprint change their minds and say that due to COVID, they can't accept returns. After they had already given me a return address and some (but not all) of the return postage. And, all through this email dialogue, they are wishing me a nice day and telling me to ask if there is anything at all they can do to help. What a load of useless hot air. Vistaprint really don't care about their customers, their customers' peace of mind, their customers' satisfaction, or their own product quality. I'm glad they let me down, really I am, or I would never have discovered Banana Print, who are cheaper than Vistaprint, better quality than Vistaprint, have a better website than Vistaprint, and, unlike Vistaprint, actually know how to print things correctly.Want a good pack of cards? Take out the Jokers first.Mac, Editor--Ace of Diamonds: https://www.banana-print.co.ukJokers: https://www.vistaprint.co.uk
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