Well! What can I say? Here is the first Lavender Pillow newsletter since November 2009....
All I can say in our defence is that 2010 was an absolutely horrid year for us which started with multiple catastrophic computer hardware and software failures, (Error code 666. Your Hard Drive has been possessed by the Devil), a major downturn in the retail sector ...... and ended up with major flooding in Mevagissey which meant that the The Lavender Pillow was closed for 5 months for rebuilding work. We just won't go into the nightmares we had in between. Suffice it to say that we were at one point expecting the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to come crashing through the front door. We now feel that Karma probably owes us one. However.... We are back, bigger, brighter and better than ever before...... Well actually we are the same size and a bit darker if anything, but definitely better). We have also had to completely rebuild the Lavender Pillow website from Scratch! The good news is that it is much improved from the previous version. However we have had to lose a few pages here and there and sadly the customer gallery is no more. There is so much new stuff on the site that we have decided to abandon the what's new page as every page on the site is new, so click on the button below and go check it out if you have a spare hour or three. If any of you have sent us pictures or suggestions for the Goth Pets/Goth Motors/Goth Babes/Goth Geezers pages that have not made it onto the site, please resend them as we have probably lost them in one of the many disasters of the past few months.
The flooding was pretty horrendous in Mevagissey and just about every business was affected in one way or another. But the good news is many of the shops are now open again and many more will be opening again very soon. so, if you were thinking of visiting this summer, please do so, as the shops in the village need all the help they can get.
So what else is new appart from a whole new website and a whole new back end of the shop...... Well since our last newsletter, Bazz has released a new Double CD called Dark Angel. This is a little different from Bazz's usual material as it is relaxing, uplifting, and inspiring music with dirty electric guitars... It's not so much New Age as New Rage.... A sort of Prog Rock Meditation CD.... It's hard to describe so the best thing to do is to go to the Planet La La website (click the button below) and have a listen to some sample tracks. It is a double CD containing over 2 hours of excellent instrumental music for only £12.99. It has proved to be Bazz's best selling CD yet!
While you are there, there is also a New Pirates of St. Piran CD available called Three Sheets To The Wind. It only costs £7.99 and £2 from each sale goes to the Precious Lives appeal and helps to build a childrens hospice here in Cornwall. The CD is quite brilliant and has been selling like hotcakes.
Pirates of St. Piran fans will also be pleased to hear that we are currently working on our 3rd album which should be released in time for Yule/Christmas 2011.
People have been telling us for the past 18 months, how much they have been missing the newsletters and in particular Bazz's rant of the month..... well after 18 months off the air there just seems so much to rant about so lets get straight on with it .
What is the computer and mobile phone industry doing to us...... We kid ourselves that we have hundreds of friends when in fact we have a bunch of casual aquaintances on Facebook, most of whom we have never met and don't give a damn about. We watch all the latest films..... well we watch an animated postage stamp flickering on a tiny screen on our mobile phones. We listen to all the latest music.... well we listen to crap quality MP3s on tiny ear buds which doesn't exactly count as HiFi. We get exercise on our Wii Fit..... well actually we sit on a sofa waving a bit of plastic about in the air. We don't need to go out and see the world as there are thousands of apps that will show it to us from the comfort of our own sofa. Anyway who needs reality when we can spend our lives exploring virtual worlds and having fullfilling lives as cartoon characters in Second Life..... And of course we all have to have the latest android phone or we feel we are being left behind and we are getting old.... so we get sucked deeper and deeper into this pathetic half life and spend all our leisure time trapped in our own sad little artificial bubble where we never actually interact with anything or anyone real ever again. If only kids invested the same effort into learning to play a real guitar as they do in learning to pretend to play one in guitar hero.
My hatred for bankers is not new..... In fact my first full time job was as a trainee computer programmer working for Lloyds Bank, way back in 1975 when £20 a week was a really good wage and a computer with less processing power and memory than a pocket calculator filled a large room. However I digress.... It was during the 2 years I worked for them that I developed a deep and abiding loathing of anything to do with the banking industry. I have always thought that the collective noun for Bankers was a Wunch.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at the bank cashiers and office staff. You are all just doing a job and earning a crust like the rest of us and you don't get multi million pound bonuses for outstanding performance in the areas of failure, incompetance and negligence like your bosses do.
These guys say that they don't understand why we are so angry with them.
So how did we ever get into this parasitic relationship with the banks....... Lets look a little deeper into the relationship I have with my bank.... What do they do for their money?
We will pause the ranting briefly here for the Planet La La award.
For those of you who want the latest iPod gadgets..... there is now the iBuzz. This is a device which connects to your iPod and vibrates in time with the music you are listening to..... I will not get too graphic here but I'm sure you know what it's for..... So all of those ladies who used to get turned on by Robbie Williams crooning a slow ballad..... forget it... you will from now on be more likely to be turned on by Lemmy and Motorhead blasting through "The Ace of Spades".... heaven forbid..... I feel "The flight of the bumble Bee" may make a sudden surge up the download charts. Then there is "the 1812 overture" you just gotta love those cannons.... I would personally recommend The Dark Angel CD by Bazz Cooper.... the track called Nightlife has a fast piano triplet running through it that some may find quite tittilating.... and there are some huge kettledrums on some of the other tracks which should make the earth move for you.... After all Bazz has always worked hard to ensure complete customer satisfaction......
However this months winner of the Planet La La award is the Hamster powered shredder below. This is just pure genius.
Right then... it's back to the ranting.....
Then at last we come back to modern technology..... Is it just me or do you feel like your computer no longer belongs to you anymore. I recently purchased a top of the range Acer laptop which I use for the business. It was purchased to make my life easier and make the business run smoother by doing what I want it to. However what I seem to have now is a very expensive battleground which is used by various major corporations to slug it out for supremacy and I no longer get any say in it. I try not to restart my computer anymore as when I do a dozen bits of software start themselves up and I have to spend 10 minutes killing them all off. Google desktop asks me if I want to install it.... It however gives two options. I can either install it which I don't want to do, or I can cancell the installation. which just puts it on hold until I restart again and then up it pops again. Why is there not an option to tell it to go away and leave me alone.. Adobe PDF reader then tells me there is new version available and do I want to install it now or do I want to install later.... Where is the option to say that I don't want to install it ever... I didn't want bloody Adobe software on my PC in the 1st place. If I wanted to run Adobe I would have bought a MAC. If I dare let Adobe update the PDF reader software, it will pop up and say "we see that Adobe is not the default musc/video/everything else player on your machine. Do you want us to change that for you?" You look for the button that says "If you do that I will Kill you" but reluctantly select the no thank you button..... Then it changes everything anyway. You then have to spend 20 minutes resetting everything back the way you want it. Then the various web browsers start fighting for supremacy.... Google Chrome IE8.... no sorry you need IE9 which gives you nothing new but just moves everything around so you can't find it anymore.... Safari. etc. I know I can go into the startup menu and turn all this stuff off but Microsoft seem to have hidden the startup menu from me and I can't get to it anymore.Then windows tells you it has installed updates and is shutting down whether you are ready or not. There are 93 processess running in the background and I don't know what any of them are doing......Just leave me alone it's my bloody computer..... Oh well I guess it isn't then... I'll just get by on the few meagre scraps of processing power you lot have left me. But the sad thing is 20 years ago I had a PC which had a tiny fraction of the power and memory that this one has..... and it did everthing I do today just as well only with a lot less fuss and agravation...... And the computer companies say that it's all about empowering people. I personally have never felt quite so disempowered in my life.
So we can now pause for breath and another brief interlude in the ranting....
It is very very big... very very fast.... very very black indeed...... and it is also heartbreakingly beautiful. Bazz has dreamed of owning a big Jag since he was about 5 years old and after 50 years of dreaming, it was time to make that particular dream come true.
But seriously the big environmental issue at the moment is the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan. Was it just me who noticed that on the day that Japan raised the severity of the nuclear disaster from 5 to the maximum rating of 7, The BBC had what seemed to be a total news blackout on the subject and Lady Gaga falling off a piano ranked as more newsworthy. We checked around the internet and found that even Reuters had pulled a lot of news items from their website in a hurry. Hardly a trace of this momentous anouncement made it onto any news service. We found only one reference to it on Orange news. Far be it from me to suggest that the government put a news blackout on this item as they "don't want us to panic" or more likely they don't want us to worry about the fact that their current energy strategy is based almost entirely on Coal and Nuclear power...... Over the years I have had many arguments with supporters of Nuclear power who keep telling me it is completely safe and it can't blow up and radiation can't escape, and there is nothing to worry about. All I can say to these people is take a look at the pictures coming out of Japen. a row of smoking ruins, radioactive water being continuously pumped into the sea ..... people being evacuated in an 80 kilometer radius..... radioactive Ceasium turning up all over the world. I'm sorry guys but you have just lost the arguement.
They tell us it's OK to pump water into the sea with 2500 times the recommended safe levels of radiation. I'm sorry run that by me again. If 2500 times the recommended safe limit is still safe, why did you bother setting a limit in the first place. And as for trying to tell us this will not adversely affect the marine environment is just pure and simple buffalo excrement.
So how about a bit of honesty on this subject at long last. Nuclear energy isn't clean, it isn't safe, It isn't cheap (just ask Japan how much the clean up operation is going to cost them) and it isn't wanted by most of this countries population. It's not about any of these issues, it's certainly not about people's lives and health. It's all about expediency and money in the end. So pardon me if I respectfully suggest for the thousandth time in 30 years.... Isn't it time the government made some real and significant investment in alternative energy sources, rather than putting it's people in very real and constant danger.. How about this for an offer..... If the government announces that it is changing it's energy policy and starts replacing Nuclear and coal fired power stations with other safer cleaner alternatives, I'll not only stop leaving my TV on standby, but I will also sell the Jag.
So I'd better give up on the ranting for this month and say good bye for now. See you all in the next Newsletter from Hell.
Love N Stuff from Bazz & Rose and all the team at the Lavender Pillow
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Do not under any circumstances click on the button below..... No, really... We mean it...... You may think we are just saying that to get you to press it anyway.... but we are not joking here..... Just don't go there....... And if you do, don't come running to us for help..... and don't expect us to clean up the mess either.
If you have managed to read this far.... The rantings and ramblings of a grumpy old shopkeeper are obviously of some interest to you... So you will be pleased to know that we have started archieving old newsletters and previous rants on the Newsletter Page. Go check them out.