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


Santa senta me...

Steve Kirkendall holding ’The World Of Steve Ditko’ by Blake Bell.

Did you all have a lovely Christmas? We certainly did at Kirkendall Towers. Of course, being a certain age, I didn’t get the truckload of presents that Number One Son and The Daughter received, but what I did get was wonderful. Three presents in particular had me grinning from ear to ear with joy. The first came from Mrs K and ’twas ‘The World Of Steve Ditko’, the brilliant retrospective of Mr Ditko’s work by Blake Bell, featuring page after page of fabulous Ditko artwork.

Batman bag

The other, also from Mrs K, was this unbelievably fab Batman bag – not only was it just like the Adidas and Puma sports bags we used to use for school in the seventies, it also pushed the nostalgia level to the very top by smelling strongly of pvc (this is a good thing), exactly like those bags did back in the day. Plus it features a seventies design of Batman (possibly a Dick Giordano illustration) with the seventies Bat-logo too.

Zipper detail of Batman bag

The bag also has some amazing little details – like the Bat-logo used for both the label and the zipper. Nice!

Label detail of Batman bag

And last, but not least, is this amazing recycling bin from my brother-in-law. He said as soon as he saw it he thought of me. It’s called Ovetto (little egg in Italian) and from a distance it actually does look like me (put my spectacles on it, and the likeness is uncanny). It really is a thing of beauty, looking like it has been beamed from a seventies sci-fi movie (again with the seventies, oy!). It now has pride of place in the kitchen and Team Kirkendall has taken to eating our food wearing space helmets in it’s honour.

Ovetto by Gianluca Soldi

So, what did you get for Christmas?

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Happy Holidays, Y’all!

Steve Kirkendall as snowman contemplating a hamburger

Well, today is my last day at work until the new year and I’m really looking forward to going home, relaxing, eating a bit more than usual (ahem), drinking same and like that. So dear readers, whatever you do, wherever you are, may I wish you all the bestest of Christmases and a fantastic new year!



Lardwatch #36 (miracle weight loss)

The Market-Ting-Tings playing at the Virgin Money Marketing Christmas bash.

Blimey! I’ve lost a pound! How this has happened is beyond me – but I think it may have something to do with the hectic few days I had at the end of last week, including some on-the-double roadying for the Marketing-tings gig at the Virgin Money Marketing department Christmas bash (that’s me, extreme right, pioneering the technique of playing the bass without actually touching it). Plus, a speaker landed on my left index finger, rendering it numb for a few days and I can’t eat so much with an injured hand (I always hold my food with both hands like so).

This is the last Lardwatch until the new year, folks. I wonder – how will my first post of 2010 find me – pound-less or porker-face?

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Lardwatch #35 (the weight remains the same)

Steve Kirkendall as fat Christmas goose

It’s a funny one this week – I weighed myself on Saturday and eek alors! I’d gained a pound. It may have been because I was still stuffed with food from Friday night’s blow-out. Same story for Sunday – again, I put this down to being full of burger after celebrating Number One Son’s successful Karate grading on Saturday night. But then I weighed myself on Monday, and the pendulum of poundage had finally swung into action, shedding that extra pound I was hoping I wouldn’t have to tell you about. Hooray! So even though I have (finally) lost weight this week, my weight remains the same.

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat and unfortunately, it’s not alone…

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Fri-llustrator-day #32

State of California by Frank Chimero.

This weeks Fri-llustrator-day takes us back to the US of A, to Missouri specifically, to the office of Frank Chimero. When not teaching design and typography at the Missouri State University, Mr Chimero spends his time illustrating, dividing his time between personal and paid jobs. A recently completed personal project was ‘The States’ – a series of witty illustrations featuring every American state. My favourite is California (above) – a beautiful image, powered by an great idea, as befits someone who cites the late Alan Fletcher as a major influence.

Illustration for ‘Food Futures’ by Frank Chimero.

Check out Frank Chimero’s web site, which is as beautiful and elegant as you’d expect from someone who teaches design and typography and also features a terrific illustration on the homepage (see below). And for more insight into Mr Chimero’s work, visit Frank Chimero’s profile page which lists several interviews with sites like Grain Edit, Fisk, Diskur Disco and Art Culture.

Illustration from the home page of Frank Chimero.

All images © 2009 Frank Chimero.

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Lardwatch #34 (a pound pops up from poppadoms)

Cartoon of Steve Kirkendall wearing turban with small weight scales.

I have gained a pound. Well, I have to report weight gain this week, don’t I – after all, I did lose weight last week. And I will probably lose weight again by next Lardwatch if my now famous pendulum-pound-plan is still working. It’s the usual thing – the calorie intake isn’t especially high, but my exercise is extremely low. I did go for a power walk one lunchtime though and even cycled into work last Friday after my part in the protest meeting to promote the creation of a cycle path from Little Melton to Hethersett – MP Richard Bacon was there, as was Newsround and Radio Norfolk – oh yeah, we were making waves, baby! But I’m afraid I haven’t done myself any favours in the sympathy stakes with my friends after ordering not one, but two starters at a curry house on Saturday night while celebrating Paul R’s 40th birthday. There was a lot of laughter and comments along the lines of “Oh yeah, watching the weight are we, Steve” and “Lardwatch will be interesting this week!” and “Do you have to burp like that?” (that last one was from Mrs. K).


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Bye Bye Borders

Exterior of Borders, Norwich, covered with 'STORE CLOSING' signs.

Borders is closing down. Jeremy Leslie of magculture blogged a month ago that about 20 branches would be left open, and I had hoped that one of them would be the Norwich branch, but as you can see from my snap above, that won’t be the case. Saying this is a shame is a massive understatement. When Borders arrived in Norwich, taking one of the larger units in our new Chapelfield shopping mall, it was a very happy day for me. Not only did they have a better and bigger range of titles than other book sellers in the city like Waterstone’s, WH Smith and Ottakar’s (before they were bought by Waterstone’s) but also, and best of all, they had a fantastic range of magazines. This meant I didn’t have to schlepp all the way to London to get any decent design mags. Plus they had lots of my other favourite magazine titles, again that I only used to be able to pick up in London (Fast Company, Clutter, Real Simple etc). For a book fiend like myself, my local Borders was a home from home. I have spent many hours and sterling in the Norwich branch – even my daughter is crestfallen they’re closing as she’ll lose the Paperchase concession inside (although there is another in the House of Fraser, but she saw me sobbing uncontrollably and wanted to join in).

But please spare a thought for Border’s staff. In Norwich, they apparently don’t know exactly when the store is closing, but whenever it is, they will all be unemployed pretty soon. Also, and I don’t know if this is true of other branches, but the Norwich staff (allegedly) didn’t even know they were closing down until after they put up the ‘STORE CLOSING’ signs. Happy new year, eh?

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