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Having seen a rave review of this system in What HiFi magazine (they gave it 5 stars) I decided that I needed a nice little hifi for my smoking den (kitchen). I spent a couple of hours looking for it online, and found that hienergyshop.co.uk (a part of Hydro Electric) had it in stock for 151 quid. Since they were based in Perth, Scotland not all that far from Aberdeen I thought I'd order from them, assuming I would get it in a day or two. Boy, was I wrong on that front. It took them about a month to get the bloody thing to me. I can safely say it'll be a while before I order anything from them again. Anyhoo, was it worth the wait, I'm sure you're all wondering. A great, big, fat, resounding YES! I was a little wary when I ordered it, as I remember Sharp stuff a few years ago used to be a bit cheap, maybe not nasty. They always seemed to make stuff with lots of decent features for the price but the build quality seemed to be a bit suspect. I am pleased to say that is certainly not the case with this little beauty. Actually, it's not all that little for a micro system, and it's quite heavy. As for features, it has a three disc CD player, an RDS radio and a cassette player. They reckon it has 100 watts rms per speaker, which seems a bit ambitious, but it is certainly loud enough for my needs. The sound quality is the main selling point here. For 150 pounds this is an amazing hifi. It puts many much more expensive systems to shame. The sound is very full and rich, with bass, mid-range and treble all extremely well defined. There really isn't that much more I can say about this thing other than I really like it. Fantastic value for money. Now that I have lived with this hi-fi for a few months I'd like to add a few more comments. I am still very pleased with the sound quality and the radio is quite good, as I don't have Sky tv I have to rely on the radio for my live football fix and this system is fine for that. One thing I will say about the radio is that I'm not all that sure how good it is at picking up certain stations. For example, I can't get the local FM station and Radio 1 is patchy at times (although that may be a blessing), I realise it may have more to do with where I live than the actual radio. The CD player sounds great, but there is a small but, it's a bit noisy loading the CD and when you have three discs in it and want to play them on the random setteing it can get a bit annoying when it changes discs. As I don't really do that it doesn't bother me, but some people might be put off by it. On the whole I still recommend this hifi for the value for money aspect alone.
This review is part of the Cars & Motorbikes of Memory challenge where members are asked to write about cars/motor bikes which bring back memories. ** dooyoo say they will hurry through any item requests. If they are flagged "Motors" they will see they go through as quickly as possible. They do ask that they not be "In General" but a specific make/model of vehicle. Any which have consumer information will be eligible for crowns. My first ever car was an old MkII Escort estate that I got from an uncle for the princely sum of £50. To say it was a heap of shit would be doing a disservice to many useful compost heaps and bags of manure the world over. My first Escort was a sort of brown colour, which have called gold when it came out of the factory. By the time it came into my possession it was simply a sort of faded yellowy brown with rusty bits thrown in for good measure. I was only 17, and I was just delighted to have any car at all, the fact it was a hopeless wreck mattered not a jot to me. I had visions of myself driving around all night with a car full of young girls, lots of beer and loud music. The fact that it had no radio or cassette player and I could barely afford beer wasn't a worry. I just nicked my toddler sister's Fisher Price portable tape recorder, and young girls had their own money, didn't they? The car only lasted me about two or three months and in that time I went through two driveshafts, two bootlids or rear door things, about three or four alternators and several batteries and tyres. The only good thing about this was when I got money back from the road tax after I dumped the bloody thing, sixty quid I think was. The problems didn't put me off Escorts, though. I loved driving the old rear wheel drive Escorts. I saw myself as some kind rally driver or something and I would take every opportunity I could to get on some dirt roads for a bit of 'rall y driving'. Perhaps that's why my Escorts always needed driveshafts. In total I think I had four or five MkI and II Escorts, I pined for an RS1800 but that was never to be. p.s. I do not condone drinking and driving. I was young and bored and stupid.
In the space of a couple of years Black Sabbath released four of the greatest rock albums of all time. It's strange how bands seem to spend that long in the studio these days to come up with just one album. Master of Reality was the third of those seminal, genre defining classics. It may not be their best known album from the early days, but in many ways it is the strongest, maybe even better than Paranoid. The album kicks off with a cough and launches into Sweet Leaf, where they sing their praises to marijuana. It's a Sabbath classic, no doubt about it, and one of the better known tracks from this album. Next up is After Forever. Has such an overtly Christian theme ever been explored with such a heavy riff before or since? An under-rated classic. Things mellow out for a brief moment with the short instrumental, Embryo then we are treated to Children of the Grave. This song features some of my all time favourite drumming from Bill Ward. People always go on about Ozzy and Tony Iommi when they talk about Sabbath but Bill Ward and Geezer Butler were every bit as important to the classic sound that was early Black Sabbath. The song ends with some spooky sound effects which blend into a short piece of classical, spanish style guitar playing from Tony, not what you would expect to hear on a Black Sabbath LP at all, but they did stuff like this quite often. Not to worry though, they get back to battering the eardrums with heavy riffs on Lord of this World. It's hard to find fault with this song. It does what it sets out to do admirably. Great stuff. After the sheer heaviness of Lord of this World they give us a rest with the sad ballad, Solitude. Has Ozzy ever sounded this haunting? His love has gone and he is at a loose end. 'The world is a lonely place, when you're on your own'. So it is, boys, so it is. Finally we get Into the Void. Is this the heaviest song Black Sabbath have ever done? It could well be. A plea to mankind to to take care of the environment, no less. It's a storming way to finish the album. All in all a very solid, on so many levels, record. Highly recommended.
AC/DC have always, first and foremost, been a live band. In the late seventies there were very few bands that could touch them when it came to putting on a show. It didn't matter if they were playing in a small pub in front of an old man and his dog, or supporting some megastars, like The Who, the end result was invariably the same. One Hell of a good show. This album is a perfect document of that era in AC/DC's history. Here we have a band on the verge of super stardom, and you can tell by the performance that they knew it. This is a remastered copy of the album I'm listening to, and it sounds fresher than it did when it came out all those years ago. They have done a great job bringing out the bass without drowning any of the other instruments or vocals. The CD gets under way with the sounds of the crowd getting impatient, then we hear some tantalising feedback, which cuts straight into a no holds barred performance of 'Riff Raff' Brilliant. Next up is 'Hell aint a bad place to be', if Bon says so, then I guess it can't be. Next up is a showcase for Angus' talents (in more ways than one;)) 'Bad Boy Boogie', this song has become legendary for two things over the years; Angus Young's solo and his cheeky striptease routine. Classic AC/DC. The next song is 'The Jack', but it's not the same as the version on High Voltage. Oh no. This version shows just how clever of a wordsmith Bon Scott was. On the album it's a rather tame song about playing poker with a naughty lady. On the live stage Bon completely changes the lyrics to a song about sexually transmitted deseases, and he implores the audience to, 'give it to me, give it me...' Bon did love plenty of 'audience participation'. What used to be 'side 1' back in the old days ended with 'Problem Child' a classic slice of 'don't mess with me!' rock and roll. When B on screams 'what I want I take, what I don't break, and I don't want you' you just hope he isn't talking to you. 'Side 2' opens with one of the greatest ever 'live album moments' in rock history. The crowd are all wild and chanting Angus! Angus! Angus! in time with the riff to 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. This is the band at their best, everyone is playing as tight as a drum and Bon's story about the large Tasmanian lady in firmly engraved in rock fokelore. Perhaps one of the best live songs of all time. 'Rock n Roll Damnation' comes next. It's even better here than it is on Powerage, even if it may be played a bit slower here. That might just be my imagination. It certainly sounds heavier than the album version. More audience participation up next on 'High Voltage'. If proof were needed that AC/DC were at their best on stage this could be it. The studio version of this song is, by AC/DC standards at least, a bit boring. But certainly not here. One gets the feeling they could have played 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' on this album and it would have sounded raw and exciting, then again AC/DC don't do covers, so we'll never know. 'Let there be Rock' Indeed. The album closes with a short sharp shock of 200mph rock n roll, on 'Rocker' Bon sounds like he's about to burst his vocal chords. It's loud, it's fast, it's simple. It's AC/DC live. A fantastic album.
SKY TV is considered to be an Evil corporation, destroying the proud broadcasting morals and traditions established by the good old BBC over fifty years ago. To a certain extent this is true, but British television was falling behind many other countries by the 1980s, and someone had to drag it into the 21st century. Along came Rupert Murdoch with ?SKY TV?. Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that he knows what appeals to the masses, and he had the financial clout to bring affordable satellite television to almost everyone that wanted it. In many respects, SKY TV is similar to a drug dealer ? get the punters hooked with cheap equipment, then have them come back regularly for their fix, or monthly subscription as SKY like to call it. They have even survived a few turf wars: Initially with BSB whom they simply bought out (the company is now called BSkyB TV in the UK, although they don?t like to mention it). More recently they beat the challenge from ITV Digital, who had just bitten off more than they could chew. If it sounds like I?m being a bit nasty towards SKY, I?m not? Well, maybe a little, but most junkies have a love/hate relationship with their dealers. That?s right, I admit it. I am a SKY TV addict. I have been hooked since I got my first dish back in 1990. Since then I have always kept up to date with the latest developments in SKY?s technology; when SKY went Digital, I got a digibox, when SKY released SKY+ I had to get SKY+ as well. If SKY had released a dishwasher that told me what programmes I was missing on SKY I might well have considered buying that, too. For the past thirteen years SKY had been such a big part of my life that I didn?t realise how much I took it for granted. Of course, like most junkies, I was in denial. ?I really only have it for the football and films?, I would tell anyone that listened. But, now that I?m away from home, at college, I realise I was just kidding myself. SKY+ has many wonderful features, including a hard disk to digitally record all your favourite shows and films. Recording programmes is so easy with it, too. Having only four and a half channels to fill the void left by some two or three hundred channels is simply not good enough. I miss my SKY+ I went some way towards fixing one craving by getting a monthly subscription at the local multiplex, so I can see new films as often as I want. Although that doesn?t help me see all the old films on TCM or SKY Cinema, or all the weird films on Film Four. But at least I?m up to date with all the big, new releases. There is still this huge football shaped hole in my life that is proving much harder to fill. I love watching football on tv, I?m not even fussy who is playing. I?ll watch damn near anything. And thanks to SKY I had lots of choice, The Premiership, German football, Spanish football and lots of games from the Nationwide divisions (where my team are currently languishing). Not to mention all the big International matches they always get. Yes, SKY is a goldmine of choice for any armchair footy fan. Now I?m lucky if I see one live game a week, maybe two. SKY will show three live matches in a day at the weekend. There really is no substitute for it. Then there are the other smaller, less obvious things about SKY that I miss. They are not so much channels or programmes, but features; like the digital teletext service and the info box that you can bring up to see what a programme is all about. I don?t know how often I have wanted to ?hit info? when flicking through the channels nowadays. Mind you, the time I save by only having four and a half channels to flick through means I do have more time to actually look at the TV Times, which I didn?t even buy when I had SKY. Another feature they have is a banner that comes up along the bottom of the screen telling the viewer what?s on now and next on the particular channel you are watching. It i s ver y handy when you are flicking through the channels. If you chance upon a channel and you see something interesting on you can quickly get rid of the banner by hitting the ?backup? button on the SKY+ remote control. This feature affected even more greatly than I once realised. One night, when I still had SKY, I was flicking through the channels, I came upon ?Fort Boyard? on ?Challenge TV? featuring the buxom Melinda Messenger, I found myself repeatedly hitting ?backup? to try and remove an iron railing that was obscuring my view of Ms Messenger?s chest. Actually, it?s maybe for the best that I don?t have SKY anymore.
I can't believe nobody has reviewed this album yet. Powerage is, possibly, the best album AC/DC have ever produced. The strange thing is that it is probably their least well known album from the Bon Scott years. I'm not entirely sure why that should be. The CD kicks off with the solid, catchy riffing of 'Rock n Roll Damnation'. This is followed up by the slow, brooding build up of 'Down Payment Blues' this is one of the greatest songs AC/DC have ever written, with some of Bon's wittiest lyrics. Although AC/DC are renowned for singing mostly about booze and sex, they certainly used to know a thing or two about financial hardship. Next up we get 'Gimme a Bullet', a song for the broken-hearted. Yet again Bon Scott's wordplay is as good as anybody's in the rock business. Now it's time for Angus and Malcolm to flex their muscles with 'Riff Raff', the Young brothers are outstanding on this track. Another under-rated classic. Let's see, four songs in to the album and we've had two good songs and two classic songs, what can they do next? 'Sin City' that's what. This time everyone gets a chance to show off. Yet another AC/DC slice of classic rock and roll. The rest of the CD is lesser known, but by no means are they lesser tracks, 'What's next to the Moon' is another dose of excellent story telling from Bon and solid guitar work from Angus and Malcolm. I should also give some credit to Cliff Williams (his AC/DC debut) and Phil Rudd, as reliable a rhythym section as you could ever wish for. 'Gone Shootin' is a bit slower, more of a bluesy tune, and yet again another under-rated classic AC/DC track. Things are kicked up a gear with the excellent rocker, 'Up to my neck in you' just a good old fashioned balls out rock song. The album is rounded off with 'Kicked in the teeth' as brutal as the tit le sounds and as good a way to close a classic album as you could want. All in all, Powerage is a very solid rock and roll album, even Keith Richards ranks it as one of his favourite albums, and he knows a thing or two about rock n roll.
If I had to sum this cigar up in one word it would be 'Wow!' This is a limited edition torpedo cigar 6 1/8 inches by 52 ring. It is really a thing of beauty to look at. It has a lovely dark wrapper that was quite smooth. It was very well made and it feels very nice in your hand. I cut the cap and tried a pre-light draw, it seemed fine, maybe a little on the tight side. Then I toasted the foot and set to this baby. What can I say? The draw was perfect. The burn was very even once it got going all the way (I didn't get it lit perfectly evenly, a small problem I have with thick cigars) and what flavours... I got hints of nuts, sweet wood, cream and even a tiny hint of chocolate. I made this wonderful cigar last for almost two hours and I was burning my lips and fingers by the time I had finished it. If I had any complaints, no complaint is too strong of a word. The only thing wrong with this one was that there wasn't as much smoke as I would have expected, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of this fine Cuban cigar. I have one more of these and I can't wait to try it again.
The H. Upmann Sir Winston is a cigar suitable for special occaisions. It is what is known as a Churchill cigar (surprise surprise), that means it is 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 47 (that's 47/64 of an inch thick). So, it's quite a large lump of tobacco. But, what a lump of tobacco it is. I found this cigar to be mild enough that most smokers could enjoy it even if they were not used to smoking 'proper' cigars, yet it had enough flavour to hold the interest of the more discerning cigar smokers. The cigar lit very easily, it had a nice, even burn and the draw just right. The flavours were mostly sweet, not all that spicy. It had plenty of smoke, nice for showing off with great big smoke rings. It can take over an hour and a half to smoke one of these. The only downside to this cigar is the price. As with all Cuban cigars in this country you have to pay through the nose for them, you are looking to pay at £15 a cigar for them.
It's been a long time since I used Dooyoo last, and as I have recently gotten interested in the delights of Cuban cigars I thought I would have a quick look to see what Dooyoo reviewers think are the best smokes out there. What do I find? Nothing. Not a single cigar review at all. I find it hard to believe not one Dooyoo member smokes a nice cigar now and then. Am I really the only one? Come on people, you don't know what you are missing. A good quality cigar has so much flavour and aroma, it can give you so much pleasure... Certainly, it can be an expensive hobby, but everyone deserves to give themselves a special treat now and then. So, come on Dooyoo, let's see a proper cigar section.
I honestly believe cannabis should be legally available to anyone that wants to use it. I don't think it is an absolutely harmless drug, but, what is? It is certainly not as bad for your health as alcohol, and it's not as addictive as tobacco. And, I don't think it will lead people on to harder drugs any more than I think drinking lager will definately lead people on to drinking meths. It's my belief that people should be free to choose whether or not they want to eat, drink, smoke, snort or inject anything they please. If everyone is educated objectively on all substances they should then be able to make up their own minds on what they do. Anyhoo, the world is vastly over-populated as is, we should be trying to encourage bad health and drug abuse. Live Fast - Die Young, kids!
This is a Fantasy football site that offers a top prize of £1 million and monthly prizes of £5000. It costs a minimum of £9.95 for one squad and you can have up to six squads altogether, although each squad costs less as you go. The site seems to be fairly well laid out and I had no problem registering - BUT - I did have a problem when it came to selecting my squad. You have to choose a squad of 17 players, 2 goalies, 6 defenders, 6 midfielders and 3 strikers. Once I had picked my players the site wouldn't let go any further. I am hoping it's just early teething troubles and they get it sorted out as this does look like a good fantasy football site, and I need a million quid.
It's not that I don't agree with paying for the BBC. What I don't agree with is having no choice in paying for the BBC without becoming a criminal. The TV licence is just a tax on owning a tv. It doesn't matter if you never watch BBC at all you still have to pay for it. If I was given the choice to subscribe to all BBC channels I probably would, hell I even subscribed to film four. I just think it's unfair to have to pay yet another tax in a country that already over taxes everyone.
Porridge is one of the best comedy shows the BBC has ever produced. It is so much better than other so-called BBC classic, like Aint half hot Mum and Dads Army. Ronnie Barker has never been better and the stories often manage to be both funny and serious at the same time. The casting was also excellent. If only the BBC could still produce sitcoms of this quality now maybe people wouldn't mind the TV licence so much.
What is wrong with English football players these days? One thing that amazed me about Euro 2000 was the sheer amount of players that were comfortable using either foot to pass or shoot. Does this mean the rest of Europe is full of ambidexterous athletes? Or are the English just too stupid realise that all you need to do is practise using your wrong foot in traing. It boggles the mind that someone like David Beckham is earning a good year's salary every week and is supposed to be the best player England has yet he is hopelss with his left foot. If someone with all the natural talent of George Best felt the need to spend time practising with his wrong foot then there is no reason anyone else shouldn't do it.
Robert De Nero is one of the best actors in the world, He is best known for his roles in gangster movies like The Godfather II and Goodfellas. Who could forget his performances in films like Raging Bull, The Deer Hunter and Awakenings, but, my favourite De Nero film is the vastly underrated Midnight Run. De Nero is Jack Walsh, an ex-cop turned bounty hunter who is given the task of tracking a mild-mannered accountant that has jumped bail. Sounds like an easy job? a midnight run you might say? Not quite, the accountant in question, played superbly by Charles Grodin, just happens to be wanted by the FBI and the Mafia boss he swindled $15 million from. It's easy to class this as another dumb road/buddy/action movie, but the script, acting and action sets it apart from most other movies of this sort. Be warned, though, Jack Walsh's favourite seems to be F**k. I highly recommend this to any fan of De Nero.