BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, February 08, 2013

Comic Cuts - 8 February 2013

I'm not sure if the following story is amusing or makes me sound like I'm a bit senile. But what the hell, I'll tell it anyway. So, on Saturday I went into town and arrived at the cash dispenser that I usually use only to have my credit card rejected. It was out of date ... I had forgotten to change it in my wallet for the new card that had been sitting at home on my desk for the past month or so.

Thankfully I had some cash in my pocket, or I would have had to go through the rigmarole of explaining my lapse of memory to the bank. It would have involved a few wry smiles and a bit of embarrassment, but nothing more. I'm not sure they would have been so understanding about the next incident.

On Wednesday, I was trying to chase down an illustration that I remembered from a book. Finally I found the book and the illustration. Presumably the last time I had used the book was June 2008, because that's the month the credit card I had used as a bookmark ran out. Perhaps not quite up to the standards of people who have used bacon as a bookmark, but a sure sign that my absent-mindedness isn't a new thing. I do recall, many years ago, searching frantically for a cheque that I needed to pay into the bank that I later tracked down to a reference book I had been using during the week.

My favoured form of bookmark is the bus ticket. I probably have thousands of them littering books, some of them quite ancient. I stumbled across one the other day that must date back to the 1970s, travelling to and from school in Chelmsford.

While I'm in the process of putting together the next couple of books for Bear Alley, there isn't a great deal of news. I'm still working on both Ranger and Boys' World books so I've had a week that has involved a little bit of writing, some scanning and cleaning up of artwork and some photography. My Mum, bless her, gave me her camera, which is a bit of an improvement on my old digital camera (10.2 megapixels compared to 6.2, but also a far better zoom). So I'm hoping that Nature Corner might return to Bear Alley one day. Something for you all to look forward to. :-)

Because I'm switching cameras, I have finally cleared some photos off the card on my old camera, so for those of you who have been following the exploits of our boiler and attempts to get some insulation into the house, that's a pic. of the new boiler at the top of our column. Above is my photographic studio, along with some very flakey copies of Boys' World that I'm photographing. Yes, it's a table. Yes, I know that's not a studio ... I'm being ironic.

The only negative I've found so far about the Samsung s1065 is that it doesn't have a "delete all images" option. To delete an image you have to press a button (delete), press another to move the option to "yes" and a third to confirm "OK". That's three moves to delete one picture. I have just deleted 270. It would have been the work of a couple of seconds on my old FinePix F-30, but this felt like it took forever.

Today's random scans are a selection of books that I've picked up in the last couple of weeks. There's a real paucity of good books around at the moment ... and by good I mean the kind of thing I like to collect (pre-decimal paperbacks). I've found only one (the Penguin). Headhunters I picked up because I liked the film, Restless I picked up because I liked the TV show and it was recommended by Nick Jones on his Existential Ennui website. The Brooker ... well, I already had the hardback, but I had his other two books in paperback so I picked this one up as it was in good enough condition. I gave the hardback to a friend who is off to Liverpool this week and will be spending nine hours on a train for an utterly pointless one-hour meeting. Brooker's Weekly Wipe is on BBC2 at the moment and the new Black Mirror series is imminent. We all need a healthy dose of cynicism and Brooker always delivers.

We will be seeing more of Lesley Shane over the next few days, plus I'll have at least one extra feature over the weekend reviewing a book about Eaglewall models.

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