Thursday, December 07, 2006

One, Last "Rage Machine" Of The Year. Here's To 2007....


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Coming back just in time to go away again for the Christmas break, The Rage Machine makes a triumphant return with just minor technical difficulties.

On the show, can someone be both victim and perp? Is Mary Cheney – daugher of Vice President Dick – a big, gay sell-out? All that and the biggest, most important, scandalous news of the day.

There’s an important interview with Jonathan Ochre of government department FMAW and Smack Torquelson makes a triumphant one-time return with the interview of the century.

Oh – and SKYPE WORKS! So we’ll take a few calls.

Keep in touch!

http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/TheRageMachine

TheRageMachine@gmail.com

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Talker's Tale...

Once upon a time, a young man by the name of Paul decided to take internet talk radio a rest. And lo, his ex-sidekick decided to do something he hadn't done in ten years or so; go it alone. With disasterous results.

Here are those results.


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In this exciting episode of THE SPIKE NESMITH RAGE MACHINE, our hero – apparently hyped up on something – excitedly discusses his unpopular love for mid 80s depress-o-matic band The Smiths, he talks about Michael J Fox’s recent political support ad and Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments about it and makes a few of his own all whilst auditioning his new and imaginary political campaign in which he reveals exclusive proof that his imaginary opponent is a douchebag.

He yaks a (brief) storm about Iraq, about a man who (gulp) raped a dead dog (no, really!) and about prostitution. Sounds like someone has something on the mind!

But it all starts with a short, but relaxing, meditation and prayer. Aaahh.

All in all, what a show. Best one he did in at least a week. Don’t be afraid to email or leave an Odeo comment. That would, in fact, be rather nice of you.

http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/TheRageMachine

TheRageMachine@gmail.com

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Paul And Spike Cast, episode 2


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A few technical difficulties (including P&S’s sprawling studio complex being plunged into darkness thanks to a passing storm) but otherwise our heroes discuss the ongoing war on terror and some privacy issues raised by a story about a Seattle feller’s collation and posting of perverts’ private parts. Oh, and “American Idol”. Spike seriously considers getting rid of his PC and upgrading to a Commodore 64, whilst Paul grieves over his lost Atari.

Smack Torquelson’s “Newsmakers” team have exclusive access to Osama bin Laden’s chilling new message and cover the closure of 880 WKKK, Ham County Kentucky’s white supremacist radio station. Meanwhile, Paul gets some homework from Spike and has until the next broadcast to watch and review a full episode of the classic “Tiswas”.

As always, you are more than welcome to comment on the stories we cover or the show itself at PaulAndSpike@gmail.com – if you have any suggestions for other shows for Paul to review, we’d love to hear them at the same address.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We Did It. We Podcasted. And Here It Is.

Enjoy it. We were hella rusty, but we had a great time. =D


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reality TV Show Haikus

Oh sure, we could spend pages and pages reviewing the various reality TV shows. But why bother, when we can do it Japanese-stylee?

Survivor
Starvation island!!
Dump jerks somewhere that's nowhere.
Best place for 'em, right?

The Amazing Race
CBS tells teams,
"have a worldwide vacation!"
Watch from the ghetto.

Big Brother
"Houseguests" all locked in.
Watch them fight and go crazy.
Ikea paid well...

The Surreal Life
Oh look, it's has-beens!
I'd forgot about them all,
and will again soon.

Treasure Hunters
NBC were stuck.
They saw 'The Amazing Race'.
"Let's just copy this."

American Idol
It's a talent show.
Simon Cowell is the best.
and wins the most cash.

America's Got Talent
NBC were stuck
They once saw "Idol".
"Let's just copy this."

The Apprentice
Overachievers,
Vying for a job with Trump.
Fire them all, I say!

Last Comic Standing
See them perform now!
Chances are, you won't again!
"last" for a reason.

Hell's Kitchen
More British yelling.
This time, a restaurant's the set.
Good luck getting served!

So You Think You Can Dance
Stroke-faced female host.
Epileptic contestants.
But still, it's good fun.

The Real World
MTV's baby.
Slack Jawed teenagers.
all oxygen thieves.

Fear Factor
This show makes me puke.
It used to be exciting!
Now it's all chewed bugs.

America's Next Top Model
Anorexic cows.
All trying to be hangers.
Binge and purge, repeat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Click And Comment

This is a bit groovy. Click and Comment mondays, pioneered by blogger Cat, encouraging folks to leave comments on other people's blogs by way of promoting their own. Since no-one has commented on any of my posts since the late 19th century, I thought it was appropriate. Call it guilt. Guilt and loneliness.

I don't have a Blogroll (is that reference even understood by Americans?) and for some reason, any time I've tried to add links to my page, Blogger chokes on the code and never shows it. So this is the best I can do to share the love.

http://www.aspenleafhosting.com/clickandcomment.html

Fame At Last (25 Peeps like me, 25 more than liked me yesterday)

Look who made it to 25Peeps! THIS GUY! ME! w00t, as they say. So hello to everyone who came from there. I wonder if this means I'll get more than half a dozen hits a day...

I don't, for one minute, expect for my masked fizzog to last any more than a day up there, particularly since my picture doesn't feature tits (fake or otherwise). It's a hard life on the internets - what does a man like me have to draw people to his blog? Dazzling wit? Insight? Tits? Nope, none of the above. One of my first posts ever touched on this; people like me, people with no life, no real take on anything and a bust of less than a C-cup are doomed to obscurity in this blogged life. There's no scandal, no sex, no politics (or, at least, very little politics - unusual for a former talk radio guy, huh?) and little more than infrequently updated jabbering that means nothing, solves nothing and does nothing. Hmph.

Oh well, ho-hum. The attention whoring must go on, so if you clicked through 25Peeps, welcome! If you clicked through from any of the other quality blogs that link to me (but, mysteriously, I can't link to - thanks Blogger!) you're also welcome! If you found this blog, as most people seem to, by Googling for "Lazytown" ...well, you're welcome too. You're odd, but you're welcome.

Oh gawd, I wonder if I should start updating this every day. If I fall off 25Peeps' radar, I'd feel nothing but complete irrelevance!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bwa haa haa haa!

Did you know that Stephen Hawking liked my blog...?



No comments: Links to this post

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ring The Bell, I Am Ivan's Bitch.

This would be a very interesting experiment. [Football + Person Who Misses Watching Football Regularly] divided by [two solid months of football + Thirst] = more beer in a weekend than I've drunk in two years. Yep, old sousy Spikey downed quite a few in celebration of the World Cup this weekend. The beautiful game brings out my inner hooligan. Perhaps we should be thankful I don't live close to any MLS teams.

Scotland didn't qualify (although we do have a representative) which means country adoption is fair game. Yesterday, in the confines of an extremely nice Mexican restaurant, la famille Nez were Mexicans. Although if you ask four year old Spikette, we were supporting "Amexica". (Not too vague a description for the twangy-accented white bloke serving our tacos.) Awesome game - when we arrived at the restaurant, the game was 20 minutes in and even the Mexican staff were less than interested at the nil-all score. "It's a slow game" one of them told me. There was, surprisingly, little celebration when Mexico slid one in the 27th minute. Perhaps because victory was expected. When Iran equalised (IRAN for Gawd's sakes!) eight minutes later, the atmosphere tightened up. It's the first game, it's less important to win because there's catch-up time, but still... Iran. This must be how Brazil felt when they were one nil down against Scotland in the 98 opener. (¡Escocia, para el amor de Dios!) The funny thing about the first half was that it wasn't a very entertaining game. It was high school football grade. Midfield scrapping, shots at goal from the halfway line, off-target shots when they did get close. It was amateur stuff. Perhaps Mexico were complacent because of the perceived skill of their opponents. Perhaps Iran kicked it up a notch because of the actual skill of their opponents. Perhaps both. Whatever the reason, Iran was playing a much tougher game than anyone predicted. Graham Taylor said it best; "we mustn't underestimate the Estonians"...

The second half played out far better. Something happened in the Mexico dressing room - whatever it was, the players for Amexica were playing far better and managed to hammer in two more goals, making the final score a healthy 3-1, and making sure that Amexica were top of group D with a healthy goal difference. And there was much rejoycing at the Amexican restuarant.

Roll on Trinidad and Tobago versus England.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Internet Surveys; Pointless But Addictive.

And, of course, I know you all live to read the results. So check this one out:










Your Political Profile



Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal




I hate to peg myself one way or the other, but I'm not really very surprised at this.

OK, try this one:

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 8 out of 10 correct!


This one I *am* surpised at. See, I'm not planning on becoming an American citizen (I'm happy being a resident) and I'm not big on history, so I thought I'd fail miserably at this. I'm genuinely shocked. Seems like I learned more than I thought I did these past 7 or so years I've been here. Imagine.

...and finally:

Your Porn Star Name Is...

Magic Johnson


I'll take that. =D

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Opinions In Turmoil, Opinions Out Of Balance, A Way Of Viewing That Calls For Another Way Of Thinking...


On a whim earlier today, I decided that I hadn't broken out "Koyaanisqatsi" in quite a while and had a hankerin' to see it again. I hadn't seen it at least since I finally broke down and bought a subwoofer. "Koyaanisqatsi", along with "Citizen Kane", was always one of my 'how come "Cannonball Run 2" is on DVD but this isn't' gripes. Both are now out in beautiful transfers, but I'm still waiting for "The Magnificent Ambersons". It's hard to mention "Koyaanisqatsi" in conversation without sounding like one of those insufferable, self-obsessed, film snobs who thinks anything made in colour, English or past 1950 is rubbish. But hey, it's the internet. And I'm writing a blog. In many ways it would be unethical to not sound like that, if just for a moment.

Make no bones about it, "Koyaanisqatsi" is a masterpiece, a genuine, bona fide work of art that stands, hyperbole aside, shoulder to shoulder with any painting from the old masters. Only a few people know it and even less love it. Oh sure, you'll never be short of pretentious beardy-weirdys who will talk all sorts of lavendar and lace about it whilst not actually saying anything of substance, trying to impress some skinny pale chick with thick-rimmed glasses, in between taking sips of their $8 cups of latte, but people who truly appreciate the film for what it is are few and far between. Most Americans, I've found, first experienced the film on PBS sometime in the 80s. Some were drunk, some were high, others were just burned out on 2am repeats of "Hill Street Blues" and got hooked out of sheer WTFyness. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, let me give you a quick description. The movie opens just as Steven Segal and a swimwear model have had hot, steamy sex. The bodies of Sylvester and Frank Stallone (in a rare double cameo) lie on the floor in pools of their own blood, still clutching a calling card from a mysterious "Mr Crandalucci". Then the Japanese army come looking for Segal, but he beats them all to a pulp for being filthy commies, dashes off a quick one-liner ("I control the means of producing an asswhooping, you red bastards") and goes back to making sweet, sweet love to the swimwear model. Fade, credits.

OK, not quite. There's no dialogue in the movie, it's a series of images; some fast, some slow, some regular, some distorted, some unfathomable. All set to an arpeggiated Philip Glass soundtrack. (Be honest, is there any other kind?) Sounds pretty awesome so far, huh? What was that? What do you mean you want me to go back to describing the Steven Segal movie? Bloody phillistines! It's a terribly difficult movie to describe, especially if you don't want to make it sound like it's a pile of old pish. What you need to do is see it, and then come back.

I'll wait.

Seen it? Good. Despite what director Godfrey Reggio says about individual interpritation, the tone of the movie is undeniably environmentalist. In the first five minutes alone, the jump cut between nature's beauty and a big, bad, mean piece of heavy machinery is enough to stamp a big "HUMANS ARE EARTH-RAPING SCUM" on the picture - and Philip Glass' soundtrack slipping into low, minor key notes certainly helps. Seriously. All that's missing is a guy in a top hat and cape, twiddling his wax moustache and going "mwaaa-ha-ha-haaa!" But I'm apparently weird. I find a significant amount of beauty in industry, so the footage of water pipes and electricity pylons against red rocks and blue skies is, I think, just as pleasing to the eye as the natrual rock formations were on their own. So drop into 'theatrical bad guy' tone all you like, Glass! I like tractors! =p thbtbthbthtbthbt!!

But so it begins, and so the tone is set. More images follow, buildings being pulled down, stock film of bombs going off, the Hoover Dam. And guess what? They all look awesome! Ron Fricke's slo-mo photography and his eye for colour along with Glass' unusual soundtrack MAKES it beautiful. I don't care that I'm being preached to about how destructive these so-called monstrosities are. I think they're gorgeous.

Well, OK. The mushroom cloud in the desert is a bit creepy. I'll give you that point.

But the highlight of the film for me, is once we reach the human sequences. Time lapse footage of a setting sun over millions of car lights and flickering office blocks, the high-speed bustle of (I assume) New York as cars and people alternate on the roads, industry hard at work making jeans, cars and twinkies. The people browse malls, they play Pac-Man, they eat fast food; all at high speed, looking for all the world like clothed ants. But what's being said here? That we are living our lives too fast and too repetitively? That humanity has worked itself into a rut? In many ways, it's like Romero's "Dawn Of The Dead", and I mean that above and beyond the mall connection. You can take it as a social commentary, or you can enjoy the ride. Personally, I enjoy the ride on both. I'm sure there's a message buried in there, but - and you film fans can scoff and roll your eyes as much as you like on this one - the pretty pictures please me. If I wanted a sermon, I'd go to a bloody church. The soundtrack takes a frantic turn at this stage, repeating and repeating and repeating, just as the people in the footage do. It's hypnotic, beautiful and sad all at the same time.

Something that nobody else has seemed to pick up on in reviews, which leads me to believe I'm either a visionary or a nutcase, is that the film is not only an artistic triumph, but an historically relevant bubble in time that gets more and more relevant as time goes on. Bear with me on this. What we have in "Koyaanisqatsi" is 80-odd minutes of American history. The orangey rock formations which have been unchanged (and will remain unchanged) for millions of years versus the sequences of technology and culture which are, just 20 years into the future, now almost completely irrelevant. It's the ultimate juxtaposition of the movie, and it may well be entirely unintentional. The silver-and-woodgrain TV sets, the sideburns, the orange decor and real live humans in industry now seem hilariously dated. Imagine what our kids and grandkids will think when they see that. "Daddy? What's Betamax?" "Daddy? What are those people doing in the car factories? Were they fixing the robots?". "Koyaanisqatsi", whether intentional or nor, serves as a perfect time capsule, a bubble of early 1980s American life that just doesn't exist anymore.

So what have we learned here today, other than that I'm a terrible writer, an even worse movie reviewer and that I'm going to receive a slew of hate mail from pseudo-intellectual environmentalists who will try to convince me that I've missed the point and that I'm an Earth-raping scumbag who is going to burn in hell because I "dug precious things from the land"? (Whatever. Go take a bath.) We've learned that art can move, that three people with different skills working together can create something truly astonishing and that people used to work in car factories. We've also learned that six notes repeated does, indeed, a soundtrack make.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tell Me, Where Is Slicey Bread?

I just thought of something, and I can't be the first person to have this thought because it seems too obvious. People sometimes say that something is "the best thing since sliced bread". You've heard that, right? So, there are a few pressing questions to ask about this.

1) What's so bloody great about sliced bread? Why not the wheel? Or fire? Or "Grand Theft Auto"? Was the slicing of bread so amazingly revolutionary that it can really be considered the greatest invention ever? It's nice, sure, but I think I'd rank air conditioning above cutting a loaf into a bunch of pieces.

2) Why sliced bread, specifically? Why not just regular bread? Bread is awesome and, whilst I'll concede that slicing it certainly makes things easier in the grand scheme of things, it's the actual thing you enjoy, not the way it's served to you. I like raw carrots more than I like them cooked, but I don't spout hyperbole like, "Holy humping crap! That sliced bread is the best thing since raw carrots! But not those crappy cooked carrots. They suck! Get those filthy cooked carrots away from me!" In fact, when you think about it, it would actually be better to have the whole loaf rather than just a tenth of it. (Of course, that might be because I'm fat and greedy.)

3) What was the best thing before bread was sliced? Did people say "that's the best thing since fist-sized chunks of bread"? Or maybe nobody thought that much of bread until it came in handy flat slices. Sort of in the same way nobody paid attention to the band Cornershop's ponderous song "Brimful Of Asha" until Fatboy Slim's remix made it listenable. Was bread an ignored commodoty until some cleverclogs said, "you know how to make this work? Cut it into handy bite-sized chunks!" Since bread's been about for centuries, it was probably "Wow! This is the best thing since not catching the plague!" Perhaps someone actually said that about sliced bread, until it's perceived greatness was recognised.

4) Who decided that sliced bread was the go-to for awesomeness? I think I've made my case here that whilst sliced bread is nice, it's not the be-all to end all, so did I miss the election to decide that when it comes to measuring greatness, sliced bread is the meter stick? What was it up against? What was the result of that election? Sliced Bread: 16, 456, 378, 927 - Free Money: 16, 456, 378, 926 - Pat Buchanan: 5,789. (Assuming that Florida had a say back then.) Surely, even back in ye olden times, there were a million things better than sliced bread. How about the toilet, for one? Is sliced bread really better than being able to take a dump in privacy? Oooohh, I don't think so. I think it's time for a recount, or at least a new election - and let's hope that Diebold aren't big donators to the baking industry.

Sliced bread, indeed. The idea!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Paul And Spike Gold

Well, after a fairly crappy time with G-cast, which was one customer service email short of being a great service, I've decided to move the podcast to a new service called Ode0; from the makers of Blogger!




The interface is less pretty, but it seems to work really well. Please let me know your comments on whether we should do more, what you'd like to hear in it and if you found it easy enough to cope with.

Here's the link to the channel, where there's more audio: http://www.odeo.com/channel/80568/view

Friday, February 17, 2006

I Did A Man Thing!

So far there have never been fully-fledged rumours - at least none that have ever filtered back to me - but some have been mistakenly under the impression that I... how can I put this delicately? Bat for the other team. Swim up a downward flowing river. That I'm good with colours.

You know - gay.

Despite saying the dreaded sentence, "not that I have anything against 'em", I'm really not. I'm a big fighter for gay rights and equality and am horrified at anyone who genuinely thinks that they don't deserve equal treatment, but I've just never looked at another man and got the familiar trouser tingle that I get with, say, Tyra Banks or Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ye-e-e-e-essss.

That said, I'm not what you could call a "man's man" in the traditional sense. I don't go hunting, I don't chew tobacco, I own "Ultimate Kylie", I can't recite sports results (I'm not even really all that interested in sports outwith of British soccer), guns don't interest me... an ex-co-worker of mine was perplexed at my raging heterosexuality after I replicated the dance from the Village People's "In The Navy". Another ex-co-worker took my perceived homosexuality as read after we had a conversation extolling the virtues of a campy Australian soap opera that was a favourite in the gay community. But, and this may be the bone of contention for some, I don't know or care anything about cars. (not that gay people don't know about them, but you know fiercely straight men... if you're not grunting at power tools or excited about attending some sort of car show, you're automatically a lisping, chiffon-wearing queer) I get in, turn on the ignition and it goes - that's the extent of my technical knowledge. That's all I want to know. I couldn't give a tinker's cuss about what 'torque' is, what a car's horsepower is, whether it has a hemmy, a homey or some honey or how fast it can go from nothing to sixty. If it wasn't for the fact that my car dings and switches on a light, I probably wouldn't even remember to put gas in. That's how much I don't care about them. The little "oil change" sticker that the last garage I went to helpfully attached to the windshield is so old, it's printed on parchment and says "Prithee - thou art next scheduled for thy oile change on ye eighteenth daye of Julye in ye year of our Lord, fixteen hundrede upon fixety feven", and it's from "Pepys Road Motors". (oh man, that's the obscurest joke I think I've ever told! Intrigued? Scroll down to the end for ye explanation.)

Whenever something goes wrong with a car of mine, there are usually people smarter than I around to lend a hand. From diagnosing problems to jump-starts, I rely on the kindness of strangers and friends and relatives to keep me from blowing myself up/electrocuting myself/getting my hair caught in the spinny parts of the engine, so imagine my surprise and horror when I found out that the battery on the car Mrs Spike had been driving had gone flat and that it was up to me and me alone to jump it. In the dark. By myself. Oh crikey.

From what I had seen when I needed the help, there is some sort of order to putting the clips on. I'm familiar with electronics enough to work out that red is positive, black is negative and never the twain should meet unless you want to look like Don King, but there were still too many questions that needed answering before I was even going to attempt to try it. Does the working car need to be running when you attach the clips? Do you do it red to red then black to black? Should I be wearing rubber gloves and rubber shoes? How long should either car run before it all takes effect? So, one quick phone call to my infinitely smarter father in law who - used to my cartoonish stupidity when it comes to practical matters - explained it to me like a three year old, which I need, and I was armed with the knowledge. All that I needed was to shed the fear of actually doing it. See, I know a bit about electronics. I know that the shock you could get off of a battery required to run a car is significantly larger than the warm tingle one experiences when a 9-volt battery is pressed to the tongue, so I was apprehensive about it all and spent a good five minutes trying to figure out how I was going to connect the clips to the battery without letting the other ends touch. It certainly didn't help matters that my moral cheeleader, Mrs Spike, stayed indoors to take care of the kids whilst I hummed and hawed about how it should work. If something did happen, it might be ten minutes before she peeked out to see that I was charbroiled.

But I did it. I placed the unconnected ends down on the ground, one on the road, one on the grass with the curb keeping them apart, and set about clipping the clips to the battery. Now I've got bony girl arms and weak hands (see also: rumours, first paragraph), so this was difficult to achieve... but I did it. Then, newly paranoid about the now-live ends of the cables setting fire to my lawn, I gingerly picked them up and connected them to the dead battery, wincing the whole time and bracing myself for sparks, explosions and my entire life flashing before my eyes. Instead, the lights in the dead car came on and it started first time, sounding as healthy as it has ever been. Huzzah! Happy with my success, I stared proudly at the two cars working together and basked in the glory that I had actually done something to fix them! I FIXED A CAR!

After a time, another niggling question came to mind. What order should the damn things come off? See - this is now a worse situation than before, because now there were two live batteries I had to deal with. How do I deal with the live ends not touching when I have to disconnect the other side? And do I need rubber gloves now? So it was back on the phone with my father-in-law who confirmed that there was no cryptic order for the clips to come off, but just to make sure they don't touch. Somehow, I managed it.

20 minutes in the car listening to the radio later and the car was back to its former glory. I triumphantly strode back into the house, took off my shoes and waited for the wave of testosterone to wash over me - prepared for the fact that now I was a guy who fixed cars, I could fully expect to transition into a camo-wearing Nascar fan who pops a woody anytime someone mentions firearms. Instead, I put on a Barbara Streisand album and watched the Style network. Hey - change never comes overnight.



Pepys Road Motors: As those of you who enjoy olde English literature will be aware, Samuel Pepys was a wank-happy, 17th century diarist who provided first-hand accounts of several important historical events in his private diaries. 'Peat Road Motors' is where my dad bought at least one Lada in the early 80s; a tank-like Eastern European car that cost half nothing new. They've all gone now. Lada became a successful brand in Russia and Peat Road Motors has long since gone. You can watch a tv commercial for them by clicking the name, though.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Update.

Happy New Year!

It's been quiet around here, huh? Yeah, sorry about that. It's not that I don't care or that I don't love you, there's just been a lot going on. No, I haven't been cheating on you with another blog.

Thanks for the continued enquiries about the Podcast. Let me set your minds at rest; it IS going ahead. Possibly TWO of them will be going ahead. John Collins is keen to get going and Paul and I are forming ideas, too. With a baby on the way and work continuing at a 'when-I-can-get-round-to-it' pace on Taskerlands, the studio it will all happen from, in addition to other responsibilities including the usual work-to-spare-time ratio, other broadcasting commitments and various time-consuming responsibilities (wives, for example), it won't be tomorrow. But it WILL happen. This year. Promise. We're all eager to experiment in the medium and, all of us perfectionists, we won't be doing or releasing anything until we're all happy. 35+ years of combined broadcasting experience will do that...