...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town


Lardwatch #47 (pedalling off the pounds)

Fantastic news, calorie-killers! Both my new diet and cycling to work all last week means that I have now lost a staggering one pound!! Can you see the light glinting off my ‘Mediocre Slimmer of the Week’ award? I am now twelve stones and one pound (twelve-one, sounds like a result from a North Korea game, doesn’t it?) and hopefully I will have broken into eleven stone territory next week. However, I am at Ubiq today and tomorrow, (the London training facility with home-cooked food so good, I’m still not sure if it’s a training facility or a restaurant) so I will have to be extra careful on my return to Norwichshire. Gulp!

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iCame, iSaw, iPurchased

After failing to be the first person on my block to get an iPad, I was determined to get the new iPhone 4 as soon as it arrived from Chi…, er, Apple. I couldn’t order one online as I received an Apple gift Card with a rather generous amount on it for my 50th birthday (courtesy of Mrs K) and you can’t redeem Apple gift cards online. So, to the Apple Store Chapelfield I ran, one sweaty lunchtime, to reserve my new handset from heaven. It was a really nice experience, as the girl who reserved my phone also got me an iPad then and there, by cancelling my when-is-it-ever-going-to-arrive iPad order (I hadn’t pre-ordered and the expected arrival times for the next delivery was quite a way off). Leaving the store, my instant gratification box ticked, I floated back to work on a Mac high (iHigh?).

The following week, and another sweaty lunch hour, I hot foot it back to Apple Store Chapelfield to collect my new iPhone. The queue for the reserved phones seemed a lot bigger than I expected, but I thought as long as I can collect it pretty soon and not be late back for work, all will be well. I had cannily sorted out my micro sim with O2 the day before, transferring my number to it and placing it into my existing phone, where it was waiting to be popped out and placed into the new handset.

However, it’s then I suddenly realised with a Hitchcockian zoom-in/dolly-back that I had left my furshlugginer Apple gift card at home and therefore wouldn’t be able to collect my phone after all. Worse still, my reservation email clearly states that the reserved phone will only be held until the end of the day. My shoulders drooping, I approached a member of the Apple staff (iStaff?), tears welling up in my eyes, and asked in a voice now cracking with emotion, if my reservation will still be honoured the next day. The very nice Appleman tells me that all reservations will be held until close of business Sunday, so don’t worry, there, there, did you want a tissue sir, OK please let me go, this is embarrassing, SECURITY!!

And so, you’ve guessed it, the following sweaty lunchtime finds me cycling back to Apple Store Chapelfield at warp factor 11, only to find no queue (although after I explained what I was there for, they asked me to wait at the head of the empty ‘reserved iPhone line’ ?!?) – I was then given my brand spanking new iPhone, where it was activated immediately, micro sim popped in and hey presto, suddenly I am a fully paid up member of the 21st century. Having spent a small fortune with Apple over the last two weeks (helped by Mrs K and some lovely people in my village who also got me an Apple gift card) I think now it’s time to cool it. After all, I can’t keep spending all my comics money on technology.

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Fri-llustrator-day #41

'Les Musiciens' – illustration by Lionel Koechlin.

For this week’s Fri-llustrator-day we stay in France. And why not? The weather’s lovely here, I’ve just opened a nice bottle of red, and I find my thoughts drifting to another of my favourtite illustrators, Paris-based Lionel Koechlin, who I first discovered when he illustrated the sleeve of Genesis’ tenth album Duke way back in 1980.

Cover of 'Argenteuil En Seine' by Lionel Koechlin.

For over 30 years he’s been making beautiful, quirky drawings since his work first appeared in Rock & Folk and Le Monde. Other publications who have come knocking at his drawing board include National Geographic France, Libération, Les Echos, Enjeux, Eltern and The New Yorker. He is equally well known for his children’s books, clocking up over 80 titles, some of which have been translated into Japanese, Spanish and German.

'Nouvelle Sexualité' – illustration by Lionel Koechlin.

He has also entered the world of animation as his Entre chien et chat has been turned into a cartoon series by Canal+ and another of his books ‘Le Père Noêl est sans rancune’ has been animated by TF1 France. Monsieur K doesn’t have his own web site, but take a look at the Lionel Koechlin portfolio on Le Crayon if you want to see more.

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Lardwatch #46 (polishing off the pounds)

Steve Kirkendall lifting broom as dumbells wearing leotard saying 'Domesticathon 2010'

After celebrating the return of Lardwatch last week (with alcohol-free, low-fat products of course) I can reveal that this week’s installment brings more reasons to celebrate. By being a bit economical with the food intake and going on a week-long chore-a-thon, I have managed to remove two pounds from my bouncy body. Even though I have just had a challenging weekend on the diet front with Number One Son in London, I’m cycling to work every day this week, so fingers-crossed, I will be able to report more weight loss next week.

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We saw Green fxxxing Day

Last Saturday I took Number One Son to London for an amazing day buying comics, eating burgers (and later pretzels, snack fans) before ending up at Wembley Stadium to see Green Day. It was his first rock concert and it couldn’t have got any better or bigger as he was seeing his favorite band in a venue twice the size of our village. Green Day were brilliant – whipping through their hits old and new – all the while entertaining the crowd with the usual audience participation, (including recruiting three lucky members of the audience up on stage to perform with them) playing silly cover versions and being really great fun. One thing I wasn’t prepared for (and this is where I’m showing my age) was the amount of effing and geoffing coming from the mouth of singer Billie Joe Armstrong. As Number One Son said later “I learnt some new words tonight, Dad” and he weren’t f@!!?$% wrong!

The Green Day souvenir t-shirt range

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Fri-llustrator-day #40

Illustration by Philippe Petit-Roulet.

This week’s Fri-llustrator is someone I’ve been meaning to feature for some time. Say bonjour, mes amis, to the Paris-born illustrator and comic author Philippe Petit-Roulet. He began his career in the early seventies as a comic artist for Zinc, later drawing for magazines like La Gueule Ouverte and L‘Écho des Savanes. A decade later found him contributing to my favourite French bande dessinée magazines such as À Suivre, Pilote and Metal Hurlant.

Illustration by Philippe Petit-Roulet.

With his beautifully simple, elegant style it’s no wonder he joined the sophisticated elite who draw for the The New Yorker – that same elegance has also made him an illustrator of choice for advertising, a field where he has worked extensively. However, if you were to promenade over to the Philippe Petit-Roulet website you’ll see he’s worked in many areas covering book publishing, magazines, TV advertising, animation and even ceramics – all served up by a beautiful interface created in Flash (so don’t please try to view it with your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch).

Illustration by Philippe Petit-Roulet.

For more information read the Philippe Petit-Roulet page at lambiek. Appréciez, des amoureux d’illustration!!

All images © 2010 Philippe Petit-Roulet.

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Lardwatch #45 (The Next Generation)

Steve Kirkendall as Captain Kirk

These are the voyages of the USS Lardwatch. Its life-long mission: to ignore strange new beers; to cast out new cakes and new confections; to boldly go where no greedy pig has gone before… ta dah, dah dah dah da daaaaahhhh…..

You may have noticed that it has been an incredible two and a half months since I last posted anything about my weight watching. This, dear readers, in due to many factors – but mainly ’cos I have taken my eye well and truly off the ball. I am currently 12 stone four pounds and try as I might, I never quite manage to get south of 12 stone. Well, after discussions with Lieutenant Uhura (Mrs K) I have decided to resurrect Lardwatch as a regular feature and with it, proper weight watching.

So, less Jim Kirk and more gym work. Kirkendall out.

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Fri-llustrator-day #39

Illustration by Thomas Wellmann.

I discovered today’s Fri-llustrator while looking at past Fri-llustrator Jonathan Edwards’ brilliant side project Draw Serge. Navigating through the many fantastic illo’s of Serge, I nearly fell off my seat as I saw the contribution by Thomas Wellmann.

Illustration by Thomas Wellmann.

Drawing away from his secret HQ in Cologne, Germany, Mr Wellman is turning out animations, comics, character designs and game design/concepts. I absolutely adore his quick, scratchy, drawings – it’s been ages since an illustrator has fired me up as much as he has.

Illustration by Thomas Wellmann.

As usual with an illustrator who’s work I’m crazy about, I really didn’t know what to show you and what to leave out, therefore I beg, plead, nay, beseech you to visit the Thomas Wellmann website where your eyes will receive such a rich visual feast they may well burp afterwards.

All images © 2010 Thomas Wellmann.

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