Monday, June 15, 2009

Albums and singles as school prizes?

How many more times is Mike Oldfield planning to re-release and rework T-Bells

Do schools still do that anymore - give albums or singles as awards or rewards? I'd be decked if they did. Perhaps a voucher at a stretch. It's a much safer bet.

Intermittently at our school assemblies, some senior teacher would call to the podium, a star pupil who'd excelled at sport, come first in a competition or reached an outstanding level of somethingorother (it's telling that I've forgotten the categories, yet have total recall of the prizes). The student would bound to the stage like a spring lamb ready to be rewarded, but slump away like a crushed gump after receiving in recognition of their glowing over- achievements and reflected credit to the school - and these were actual prizes - Tubular Bells (for someone aged 12 in 1977?!?) and a few months later Matchstalk Men & Matchstalk Cats & Dogs (and not even the picture sleeve)..

Whoever came up with this stunt shot themselves in both feet with a double no-incentive whammy - lacking any appeal for either the heavy-hitting swots and sportsmen, or the fair-to-middling 'must try harders' like myself..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Faking It

Where are my headphones I asked?
You can track your order online - they replied
See tracking order above for details - thanks for that then!

As I've probably mentioned before I'm a bugger for a bargain - charity shops (mainly books), T K Maxx (best buy to date a leather jacket reduced from £450 to £47) and of course the online goldmine that is eBay.

A couple of years back I took a bid-based punt on two polo shirts - a Fred Perry and a Penguin 'Earl' - both of which were listed with crazy cheap 'Buy Now' prices. When they finally arrived from the far east, the trademark penguin logo had more lean than the Tower of Pizza, and the Fred Perry, despite making a claim of 100% cotton, crackled like a static storm everytime it was removed.

But, I bounced back and tried a couple more bargain buys (from other 'Bayers this time, and still a third of the high street price). Perfect. Two years on and these clone-clothes are washing and wearing like a dream. Since then I've knowingly bought Converse, a Limited Edition Bathing Ape edition Casio G-Shock watch and reproduction Seditionaries t-shirts. All of which are hooky but authentic enough to be believable and and well made enough to be durable (unlike the first two fake-offs).

However, I am a low-level fuss pot about sound quality, and recently snapped up a pair of Sennheiser PX200 headphones listed on eBay at half the RRP. The delivery seemed to be taking longer than expected, so a quick peep of the sellers feedback rating revealed a history of fakery, neutral feedback and partial refunds. Whoops.

I'll live with a fake that looks and wears like the real thing, but can knock-off headphones actually simulate the sound fidelity of real deal Sennheisers or will it just be dodgy market electronics re-badged and branded as something superior?

I'll let you know if they ever arrive..