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


So, farewell then, 2010

I really can’t believe that today is New Years Eve. It seems only five minutes ago that I woke up hungover and unsavoury on January 1st and now, boom, I’m writing this. 2010 was a milestone year for me as I turned 50, my birthday party being one of the many highlights of the year. Especially when Number One Son played ‘500 Miles’ with the now sadly defunct The Marketing-Tings, Virgin Money’s all-star band (of whom I was the humble bass player) who were providing the live music for the night.

2010 has been a comparatively laid back year, which has made a nice change, allowing me to have more quality time with Team K. And what times we’ve had – a trip to Amsterdam, seeing our family in Vancouver, many great visits to London and seeing Diversity in Birmingham. Number One Son and I have also had our own adventures; two shows at Wembley Stadium (Green Day, Muse) and a great camping weekend in North Norfolk. Of course, I’ve not negelected my inner geek, which is why I’ve also spent quality time learning jQuery, HTML5, CSS3 and development for mobile. My inner geek was also sated by my purchase of an iPad and the new iPhone 4 – both of which have improved my (digital) life.

I am so looking forward to next year – 2011 will be a much busier affair – the Virgin Money Studio is gearing up for the many large projects we have looming and I have many personal projects I want to complete (I’ve signed up to 43 Things to keep me on track). I expect it to be a challenging 12 months, with great progress made personally and professionally. Whatever you are dreaming of or planning in 2011, may I wish you the best of success and the greatest of happiness. Happy new year!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas (new stylee)

Cartoon of Joe Kirkendall surrounded by things his tru love brought him during the twelve days of Christmas

Number One Son wrote this updated version of the traditional Christmas song. Bursting with laughter and parental pride, I decided to illustrate it and share with it you (for the sake of brevity, however, I have just included the last verse).

On the twelfth day of Christmas, 

My true love sent to me 

Twelve Top Gear box sets, 

Eleven football boots, 

Ten Televisions, 

Nine guitars, 

Eight great books, 

Seven Halo figures, 

Six DVDs, 

Five PSPs, 

Four controllers, 

Three cheat codes, 

Two Xbox games, 

And a Nintendo and a PS3!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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The ’bot from Brum

Last weekend Team K went to Birmingham to see Diversity, winners of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. They were brilliant, putting on an unbelievably energetic dance show, whizzing around the stage for two and a half hours. Mrs K and the young K’s really loved it and so did I.

In the morning before the show, we decided to go shopping. Fortunately for us, the Frankfurt Christmas Market, the largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK, was also visiting Birmingham. The Germans certainly know how to do Christmas – our mouths were watering as we wandered around the stalls selling fabulous candied nuts, stollen, gingerbread, crepes, chocolates, marzipan sweets, grilled sausages, pretzels, Gluhwein (mulled wine) and German beer. Other stalls were selling a beautiful selection of handmade toys, Christmas decorations and craft goods.

Tin Robot bought from Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market.

One stall sold tin toys, including some really cool robots. I love toy robots, especially tin ones, so it wasn’t long before I was waving my credit card around like a lightsabre and nabbed this fantastic robot pictured above. Made by Ha Ha Toy in China for the German company Alexander Blechspielwaren, this robot was a real blast from the past, reminding me of the great tin robots I used to own as a child. I also really loved the box graphics with it’s pastel colours and the brilliant little Ha Ha Toy logo, which reminded me of those bonkers little logos Barney Bubbles used to decorate his work with.

Ha Ha Toy logo on the box of the tin robot I bought from Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market runs until the 23rd December, and I recommend you visit if you can. And if you get to the tin toys stall early (like I did) maybe you will also get a free little wind-up toy tin chicken for being the first customer of the day!

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All I want for Christmas...

Taschen’s 75 Years of DC Comics by Paul Levitz.

…is Taschen’s new super-sized tome 75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by ex-DC President and Publisher, Paul Levitz. This is the ultimate comics coffee table book, super-sized at 46.8cm tall by 32.6cm wide and nine centimetres thick, even Superman might think twice before leaping over it with a single bound. Covering every character from The Atom to The Watchman, Paul Levitz traces DC’s pulp origins right up to the digital iPhone/iPad editions of today. Lavishly illustrated with over 2000 covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills and collectables, it also boasts foldout timelines and an in-depth appendix including biographies of the artists, writers, editors, publishers, and actors who have helped create this uniquely American mythology.

So Santa, if you’re listening…

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