27 October 2011

centre piece


~ Multi δράμα ~

big sanyo name

I've told this story so often of my unsuccessful purchase from Multirama / Sanyo, but a crusading techie journo pal wants me to put something online to which she can refer the top Multirama~Sanyo honchos when she buttonholes them at trade fairs or interviews them in their own offices.

  • I think she plans a consumer magazine report on the straightforward sloppy customer care of allowing a brand new camera to go unrepaired for so long.

  • Next, a Businessweek-style investigative article including interviews and quotes with the top execs.

    Purely on the customer care side, the more information there is out there about stores like Multirama, the more informed new customers are and therefore the more likely to make informed decisions based on experiences such as mine.

    On the trade press and trade fairs front, she has a list of people she wants to discuss her findings with and ask them how much are they really told about how the 'little people' fare when purchases go wrong:

    Ioannis D. Karagiannis
    Mr. Stavros Papadopoulos
    Mr. Ioannis Vasjla'kos


    Mr Nikolaos St. Papageorgiou
    Polichronis Ladonikolas
    Nikolaos G. Papageorgiou
    Georgios Koukoulas
    Stavros Lekkakos
    Vasilios Kakoulidis
    Liveras Pagratis

    QUIZ INQUISITOR - she's one of these reporters who loves shoving little surveys into her articles.


  • JUNE 9, 2011: Purchase of Xacti CG20 from the Solari branch of Multirama.

  • JULY 16: Finally fed-up with the monitor wobbling and drooping, I took it back to the shop and asked should a month-old camera be behaving this way. I was told no and they efficiently packaged it for sending to Athens branch and gave me a receipt and repair docket.

  • AUGUST 17: Checked on progress. None. Call back in a few weeks.

  • Friday SEPTEMBER 16: Check again, this time with journo pal in tow but who stayed silent.

    On previous times, I'd gone downstairs and talked to the tech help rep at the little office at the back. This time I was ambushed on the top floor by a pushy sales rep who gave me a lecture on patience and how Multirama was only the sales conduit and that Sanyo was a big company and I couldnt expect instant attention.

    I commented on the fact that it was a new camera and that trust in the Multirama name was why I brought my money there and not some hick store round the corner.

    To my amused astonishment, he suddenly burst into a tirade lecture about how he worked six days a week and never took a break but Athens worked four days a week and big companies like Sanyo seemed never to be on call ... and I should be patient. I insisted on going down to tech help, to where the salesman followed me and briefed the tech helper who made a half-hearted call to Sanyo but reported that the person in charge of my case was at lunch.

    At this point, my silent but Greek-speaking tech journalista pal decided to make this case her own.

  • Wednesday 12 OCTOBER, 3pm Checked with Tech Support who called Sanyo Hellas 'Camera Support' in Athens and returned, puzzled, to tell me that they had declared it out of guarantee. He would investigate and get back.

    Multirama ~ 23 km National Road Athens - Lamia Agios Stefanos Attica, GR 145 ~ info@multirama.gr


    Sanyo Hellas ~ Sanyo Hellas Holding SA ~ 12th km NR Athens-Lamia 14451 Athens, Attica ~ Tel: 210 2894600 & 210 2894620 ~ e-mail: info@shh.gr

    Multirama SA
    Street: 23rd km Athens-Lamia Nat. Road
    City: 145 65 Attica Ag. Stefanos
    Country: Greece (Hellas) ~ Homepage: http://www.multirama.gr

    Phone: +30 1 629 7412
    Fax: +30 1 621 6154
  • 26 October 2011


    ~ John Lee Hooker ~ Santana ~

    Every now n then, not often, I treat myself to one of those muzakynthos nightmares such Santana's prissy pure vibrato 'n' cutesy Karibbean bongo beat getting together with John Lee's growly vox profundo.

    This is one of my exemplary apogee favorites, a satirical fretting of a tongue-in-cheek parody of what it might sound like if some honky marketing whizz dared shove them in the same studio.

    Blues pa ti.

    25 October 2011

    Hickory Dockery Dick

    ... so to speak

    This has nothing to do with the entrancing enhancing 'garment' Michelle Dockery is wearing across there and everything to do with her comments on the Lost Art of Chivalry.

    OK, perhaps that forthright 'Lady Mary' gaze did draw my eye to the article but my concern is for more pressing matters than whatever manners maketheth.

    To be honest, I'm very worried that 'Downturn Abbey' is going to end up (or down) just that.

    Sex on the mind : That's what the galactic audience for Downton have ~ when (not if) is Dan Stevens (as Matt Crawley) going to give that Dockery dish the seeing to she deserves and which Julian has been teasing us over. I'm getting dangerously close to switching channels on Fellowes' Folly and allegiancing myself to TOWIE where they know what the Birds and Bees get up to and lose no time buzzin' and a-tweetin'.

    Quoth the mesmerising Lady M:

    “Those old manners - such as men standing when women arrive at the dinner table ... ”

    Ahem, Milady ... it's not the standing at the dinner table you want to worry about; it's the 'standing' in the boudoir. The rest will follow, I assure you.

    So ... how are we going to get de-manned Mr Crawley back on the job, so speak? (Goodness the puns come thick and excruciating.)

    My currrent bet is that:

  • Maman Crawley is shoved orf to minister to refugees abroad

  • Finds herself on a dhow to Corfu instead of the 12:15 to Brighton (that's bloody privatisation for you. Ricky Branson has much to answer for)

  • Takes an island tour from Acharavi to Kavos (' ... or was it Potamos? I know there was an 'os' in it somewhere. Aren't they next door to each other, anyway?)

  • Meets a darling gent from Perithia (played by Tom Conti) who has a pal who concocts THE most divine potions (see coupon in The Corfiot).

  • Crawley mater smuggles it back past Customs and into Matt's Weetabix.

  • WROOF!
    Leaping ligaments, Batman! Look't that Crawley dude go!!

  • And I leave the rest to Fellowes to fill in the numbers and see that our hero gets his bit of en-tail, la belle Dickery is suitably docked, the hick press baron is sent packing, and everyone thrives.

    There. The problems of the world suitably solved. Now back to the problems of mulching and the GM Diet, between which there seems little difference, so far as I can see.

  • 22 October 2011


    ~ some music, maestro ~

    Thursday Oct 21, 2300hrs Clio Muse Time:

    A hush has fallen over Prospero's Cell as we huddle round our HDTV screens to watch [and listen to - that voice!] the very professional and watchable Joanna Lumley "do" Corfu.

    I've been invited to 'Maki's Manger' ['soignée swaddling of the gentry'] by the manager Gerasimos himself to share the sumptuous buffet he's set up for guests prior to us settling down to watch ITV's Lumley Odyssey.

    cPrime puller is the presence among us of Cap'n Bob Queen whose 'Icarus' ferried JL thru our waters.

    Such a clever idea of Maki to arrange this soiree and make this ITV1 gem available to those of us who lack the Identity Cloaker software pseudo server.

    I see familiar ex-pat faces loading their plates and summoning flagons of ruby red wine with which to enjoy the show.

    I also see many tables of hearty guests of the hotel, swapping tales of that day's outing and ... summoning support flagons of the ruby rouge. It will be an ebullient evening.

    Indeed, dinner is served at 20:00 hours and transmission not 'til 2300.

    Big Bob is wearing a shirt crossed with white stripes. Seated, he shows only half the stripes which make him look like a housemaid of the Upstairs Downton cast.

    My table is next to an attractive young lady who turns out to be an Israeli IT expert. Next to her is a raucous table of rubicund northerners who seem not to be aware of why we are gathered there.

    Ms Codista and I exchange glances and I invite her to join me which she accepts. She has an iPad that she swishes thru and shows me her day's photographs. She has hired a scooter and driven everywhere. One shot seems to be of a papas struggling to get off a crowded bus; I tell her that is my favourite. The driver has not seen the honest friar and everyone is calling out to let the cleric off.

    We settle down to watch the show.

    Lumley has the most melodious mellifluous voice and radiates high seriousness. The camera work is first-rate and the shots of Corfu do it more than justice.

    I've rarely seen it look better and regret taking so much of my home for granted.

    I am there to see which of the kreme de Kerkyra were chosen for interviews.

    As it turns out, none of us was and we are miffed and out to diss those who were.

    But ahoy! Pay attention ~ Cap'n Bob's sleek 'Icarus' cleaves the waves and a cheer goes up.

  • JL gestures to the Kensington-on-Sea coastline [Jeers. Boo hiss. Toffs!].

  • bJo-Jo mis-identificates the White House as belonging to la famille Durrelle.

    [Which sharp-eyed correction, I owe to Jim Potts whose Ionian Islands and Epirus is a must-read].

  • Lo! She is heading for the beach landing of none other than the Palazzo Flamburiari, residence of Count and Countess Spiro whom JL correctly identifies as one of our most distinguished residents.

    There they are waving from the beach, the Count debonair in creased troosers of deepest crimson as la Contessa stands gravely by.

    M'sieur le Comte introduces his wife to Ms Lumley and the world-wide ITV syndicates as 'long-suffering', tribute to her patient hosting of cameras, cables, script girls and dialogue supervisors.

    I translate for Spiridoula who is serving me another tranche [dread word!) of ham ladled with piping hot Bisto: I try her with 'μακρόθυμος'. She hoods her eyes as only the Greeks can and I remember she is from the rugged foothills of Salonika; no Corfiot softie, she.

    A cheer goes up from the audience but it lacks a certain proper respect. Maya giggles at my glower.

    beerGracious greetings and they ascend to the patio where Count Spiro serves and explains our local Tsitsibirra.

    The camera catches him from the side and some ruffienne on the 'locals' bench comments rudely on his midriff profile. I give her a 'look' and make a note to delete them both from the San Luca liston. Social death by 1,000 cuts. Poor wretches.

    But hold! Whither les Flambeaux? Gone? And no other swells to be featured? What sort of travelogue advertorial does ITV think it's running? Heads will roll.

    But we have had our glimpse of ermine and phooey to Tertius Kendrick in his scurrilous 1822 tract The Ionian Islands.

    And again here, courtesy of Professore Potts. Actually, I don't link to be of assistance, just to show off that I know how to link and know that it's part of pert 'puting.

    Kendrick only deserves one link - and a faulty one, at that: wasn't he the blackguard who had the timerity to suggest that every other Ionian Islander started claiming hereditary titles, honours and nobility as far back as 1817? I think he was, in which case he is orf the Holmes liston and I doubt Maman and I will be rubbing doilies and fish knives with him chez Flamburiari any time soon.

    Loipon. Leap on ~ an excellent game of cricket with the MCC only beating by a coat of linseed the home team, the whole thing made even more nail-biting by the brilliant imaginative camera work.

    Even more cleverly shot are the ace aerials of the town's noble band in oompah action.

    I had no idea that we owe the formation of the bands to our very own Queen Victoria vetoing one of her gunship combos playing at a Spyrithion knees-up.

    "We'll show her!"

    And by St Michael and St George, they did 'n' all.

    "... and it's an early bath for Vicki and the Vyronics and straight into the #1 slot for the Makari Brass Balls Marching Band with Blues for Bosketto.

    There's a moral there somewhere: Not a saint to diss, ma'am."

    COOL CAMERATICS - Hot damn the Net is cool.

    I had moaned about not being able to award full honours to the anonymous camera man and quick as a flash an equally anonymous person has zapped in the info'.

    I'd whinged that

    "I wish i could find out the name of the camera man.

    Here's a write-up that names all the top brass except.

    Whoever Mr Anonymous Lens is, he's an artist and a pro, as is the luminous Lummers as we follow her up thru the north of Greece in a much more interesting story."

    I can now share much more about this shining bright Tiger Aspect production:

    "From the credits of Episode 1:

    Lighting Cameraman ~ Will Churchill

    Assistant Camera: Ben Bishop

    Sound Recordist: Kiff McManus

    Fuckin' A, dudes ~ ^5

    And cap doffs to 'Anon' ~ whom I suspect to be Sinba' de Lis ~ for keeping me honest.

    Don't you sometimes wonder, "Who was that Masked Stranger?" as they disappear in a cloud of silver HTML. And there's Tonto grunting and muttering about COBOL Sabay.

    Hot damn is this a cool post or whut? Started with Joanna and lookit the super links coming out of it.

    And clever clever Endemol for having this tidy acquisition in their back pocket. Don't you love success stories where the pros have got their shit together?

    But I digress. Back to the story. I thought Corfu got exactly the time it deserved and I suspect Lumley was presented with a list of Kassiopulent wankopoloi to interview, saw thru them and dumped 'em all on the cutting room floor. Bravo.

    She's a smart woman and I recall the time when she was invited onto the Booker panel and Jeff Bernard (RIP, God rest his liver) made a cutting remark in Muriel's about bimbos. I let fly and Jeff looked shocked.

    Muriel Belcher laughed and told Jeff, "That'll teach you! He's a pretty little miss and he also knows books, so go back to your Stolly and shut up."

    BORDERLANDS ~ The coverage of northern Greece was first-rate, including some astonishing coverage of troops for which permission to film must have required mythical skills at slicing the crimson Gordian. I want that man at the Troika negotiating table.

    For the horse riding, Joanna had a wonderful rangey guide whom she pretended to meet on the off-chance as she emerged from the inn.

    I once handled a filmed interview of an author who insisted on being 'discovered' in his study in the act of taking down a book [a rival's as I later discovered]. He turned to a page, shook his head in sad rebuke of some bish and only then seemed to notice the camera and full crew crammed into the tiny attic.

    Brilliant showmanship. Pity none rubbed off on his tragically hip novellas.

    Adapting the Lumley bish, it would be:

    "And over there the White House of Kalami - originally built to house Gerald Durrell's burgeoning collection of creepie-crawlies."

    mumI loved the whole show and so did my mother who watched the replay and was uncharacteristically transfixed and approving.

    At one point the b/g music sounded exactly like the theme from Deadwood, and what better play-out with which to end?

    Addendum: Rest of JLu Odyssey passable but she is spectacular in Downton Spoof 2.

  • 19 October 2011


    Guy said it pretty good, too.

    Perfect tempo, good authentic accent, all the instruments given their due.

    18 October 2011

    " That 3 a.m. ‘tribunal’ "

    ~ Kate Chisholm - The Spectator ~

    Wonderful quote winkled out by The Speccie's ace Radio reviewer, the incisive, Kate Chisholm.

    Well placed there by her masters: one dribbles ones eye past that dead wet loss Deborah Ross and her self-referential twittering about 'cinema' - God, she gives editorial patronage a bad name - and is just about to cancel the subscription when the real writers reappear and stay ones hand for one more, final issue.

    KC comments on the interview with AL Kennedy with this wonderful para:

    "When committed to a novel, she writes through the night, because, she says, it’s ‘the proper time for dreaming’. It’s made her ill, the constant lack of sleep, but still she does it, in her desire ‘to make something mildly dramatic out of endless typing’ — an apt description of why writers persist with the often tiresome business of writing."

    And then comes the money line, what we've all experienced but not all verbalised so superbly:

    "Everyone, though, not just writers, will at some time or other have experienced that 3 a.m. ‘tribunal’ when the mind keeps going over and over the catalogue of ‘mistakes made and damages received’, ‘of threats that are more or less credible, but all insist on being heard’. We all at some time will have felt ‘what a terrible place the edge of sleep can be’.

    That’s perhaps why, says A.L. Kennedy, when we care about someone we so often ask,

    ‘How did you sleep?’ "

    17 October 2011


    Mandy said it for us all: "He would, wouldn't he?".

    Look at the thug. Blackguard.

    Pray God for 'justice'.

    Surf for Harwood and all who sail in him.

    13 October 2011


    Wonderful term and discovered just in time for my further writings on the loss of my personal jewelry and my daughters' heirlooms:

    "A Japanese term for [such] hostility: gyaku gire, literally “reverse rage”
    ... refers to a situation in which someone who isn’t in a position to be mad unfurls fury."
    In April 2007, my entire 40-year collection of personal treasures of cufflinks and tie pins and the ilk were taken behind my back from my bedside cupboard, across to my brother's place in Italy where they were equally secretively handed over.
    For four years I have tried to get an explanation for the theft.
    I assumed the lack of truthful response and dismissive reaction to my even raising the subject was because my mother and brother judged themselves better able to decide where my girls' heirlooms should be stored: with my brother, safe from the thieving Corfiots.

    On July 29th I finally cornered my brother and his explanation was simple: when my mother handed him my jewels, she told him they were my father's - dead those 20 years.

    My brother already had links and pins of his own so, in his own admission, he pushed the box to one side sans even bothering to open it.
    It has not been seen since.
    Defining gyaku gire, both mother and brother fly into almost hysterical rages when forced to confront their shame.
    In a way it is amusing to watch this particular brand of guilt.


    This is what i did in my will of jan 9 2003, along with URLS of many other sites where i've stored details and financial finagling manoeuvres linked to the theft of my personal jewelery of April 2007.

    11 October 2011

    She Belongs to Me

  • at last on youtube. my favourite dylan and the only one i sing with any confidence.

  • the old 45rpm is exactly like the one i still have somewhere in the attic.

  • i bought it in hong kong and sang it all summer of '64.

  • you don't know the lady in the photo so stop pretending you do.

  • And I certainly ain't pretending she belongs or be-anythings to me. It's just a great photo of a super person and the hat just makes it ... the perfect one for this post.

  • Enjoy.
  • 08 October 2011


    VAL disereHorace Shipp's tribute to the "Living Fossil with Legs", thought extinct until discovered in the 1930s in a South Efrikan fish market.

    "There lived a happy Coelacanth
    In dim, primordial seas;

    He ate and mated, hunted, slept,
    Completely at his ease.

    Dame Nature urged: 'Evolve!'
    He said 'Excuse me, Ma'am.

    You get on with making Darwin,
    I'm staying as I am."