Avatar The toolbox has arrived

It was my birthday, obviously, but as an adult man with his own bank account I very rarely have a list of gift-sized things that I want but don’t yet have. As a result, when Kev and Ian came knocking with birthday questions, the only thing I could think of was that I needed a toolbox because the house is littered with all sorts of DIY paraphernalia.

They sent me some money. I ordered the one I wanted. Yesterday it arrived.

It’s enormous.

In many ways, that’s great, because it has absorbed not just all the tools I own, but also a range of other miscellaneous things, including a set of 100 drill bits in its own heavy duty carry case, a picture hanging kit, several pairs of goggles, miscellaneous other items of workwear, and it still has room to spare. In other ways it’s a bit dispiriting because the measurements of this box match the measurements on the listing I chose (I checked them) and yet somehow I failed to appreciate that I was ordering a toolbox that is only marginally smaller than my car.

Still, there’s plenty of room to add more stuff in future, which is good, and if I ever go camping, I’ll just take this and sleep inside it. Win win. Thanks everyone.

Avatar Splashing out

I don’t like Black Friday. I don’t like that it’s an American thing that makes no sense here, and I don’t like that it’s a ridiculous incentive to buy stupid crap I don’t need, and I don’t like that it causes stampedes of morons to trash shops in the hope of getting a bargain on a games console. I don’t like Black Friday.

So when Black Friday rolls around I take a principled stand and refuse to take part. My morals are stronger than my desire for bargains. Or so I thought.

This year I happened to be doing some Christmas shopping online when I hit on the Amazon list of Black Friday deals, and something turned my head.

I couldn’t resist. I was weak. I bought it.

I splashed out a totally unplanned £5, and now I have a pack of five adhesive cable clips in a range of sizes to keep all my wires tidy at the back of my desk.

Im not proud of it. But at least, when my standards slipped, it was for a just cause.

Avatar Podcast names

Years ago, when Kev and Ian started the podcast, they tried to come up with a name for it. That was, I think, what the whole first episode was about, though they only succeeded in naming the episode “Your Mum Loves a Sexy Pony”, and since then the podcast itself has always just gone by the decidedly provisional name “Episodes”.

I decided, therefore, to take it upon myself to fix this, and have consulted the internet for advice.

The website Business Name Generator has a helpful tool where you can type in some words to do with your podcast and it suggests great podcast names you could use. Here are some of the ideas it came up with.

  • Beans Millennium
  • Beans Battleborn (what?)
  • Beansgenix
  • Beans Pros Only
  • Beansque

That website is self-evidently awful, so I looked elsewhere. Another website, called CopyWritingCourse, has a different generator that asks what your podcast is about and then what your name is. I told it our name is Beans and the podcast is about Pouring. Here are some much better ideas.

  • Horsing Around with Beans
  • The Beans Taco
  • True Pouring Stories
  • Real Time With Beans
  • A Breath of Fresh Pouring
  • Generation Beans
  • The Pouring Dream
  • The Beans Perspective

That website is better, but still leaves something to be desired. Finally, in desperation, I turned to WorthStart, who have just posted a list of several hundred podcast name ideas. I scrolled past “Girl Podcast Names” and “Football Podcast Names” to see what they suggested for funny podcasts. Here’s the pick of their suggestions.

  • True Story Bro
  • Young Billionaire
  • Berry Blue Beauty
  • D’Artagnan
  • Defiant Princess
  • Deluxe Dream

All of this is a long way around to tell you that, having investigated all the available options, “Episodes” appears to be the least terrible name for our podcast. So, unless you particularly like the name “Deluxe Dream”, that’s settled. Thank you.

Avatar Banana safari

The modern world is an amazing place. I went to the kitchen a bit hungry, just hoping to peel a banana and let that squishy yellow mush satisfy my snack reflex.

But my banana had other plans. Look at this sticker.

“Visit my farm!” it says. Well, you’re damn right I’m going to visit your farm, Mr Banana. Let’s do this.

Slam those numbers into the Dole website and you can join me on a banana safari. Welcome to farm 10608, the Guapiles 2 Farm in Costa Rica. Here’s some Guapiles Facts.

  • Costa Rica is home to over 100 volcanoes, five of which are still active.
  • The farm meets the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management, relating to waste management and air, water and soil contamination.
  • All plastic waste is collected, sorted and reused or compressed into bales and recycled.
  • The farm’s full official name is “Guapiles 2: This Time It’s Personal”.
  • It’s 6.03pm there right now, and 23 degrees celsius. (This one will vary in accuracy depending on when you read it.)
  • 204 people work here.
  • The farm is in a region called “Limón”, despite growing bananas, not lemons.

So far, so absolutely brilliant. Obviously, the next thing I wanted to learn was the story of the grinning bloke at the top of the page, who obviously loves his life at Guapiles 2. I want to know whether he knows the other 203 people by name, and whether he gets involved in collecting, sorting, reusing or compressing into bales and recycling the farm’s plastic waste. I want to know how he feels about the ISO 14001 certification, and whether he thinks Guapiles 2 is ready for ISO 14002 yet.

We will never know the answers to these questions. It turns out that Pedro – he’s definitely called Pedro – doesn’t work at Guapiles 2. Smash any five digit number into Dole’s palace of lies and there he is, pretending he works at Perla 3 where it’s now 29 degrees celsius, or Zurqui C near Sarapiqui, or one of just 70 people working at the evidently very exclusive San Jose 2.

Pedro has let me down, an agent of Dole, purveyors of fantasies and ruined dreams. I don’t know what to believe any more. It seems crazy that I ever thought you could grow bananas in a place called Lemon. How foolish I have been.

I threw the bananas in the bin, and had a Twix instead.

Avatar The 5 worst things Morrissey’s arms have ever said

*Clickbait*

We all know that Stephen Patrick Morrissey is an outspoken English faded popstar, to quote a certain Mr Manly. The internet is scattered with the daft, racist and downright bizarre things that he has said after almost 40 years in the music business. Does he say them for fun, to gain publicity to keep his fame up or does he actually mean it?

Something that has been kept under wraps though has been the second layer of bad, the custard skin under Morrissey’s comments, another level of absurdity below the absurdity. Morrissey’s arms are just as bad as the person they’re attached to. Here are, in no particular order, are the top five worst things that they have uttered:

  1. Whilst out on the town in 2004 celebrating the release of his seventh studio album ‘You Are the Quarry’, and after way too many Sunset Margaritas, Morrissey’s arms were overheard bragging that, “Poor people are only good for two things: shooting and lighting my cigars off!”
  2. “I once glued three 9 year old children together to make a 27 year old man and it didn’t work.” This was taken from an interview with Monta Mino, a hugely popular Japanese television presenter in 2004. Morrissey’s arms claim that the comment was mistranslated at the time but later he stood by it and added, “We called him Winston and he lived in my garage for three months. I spat on him every time I saw him.”
  3. His taste in food and drink are more well-known than anything else as Morrissey’s arms edited the food column in the Guardian for the best part of five years between 2008 and 2013. That said, during his tour in 2015 he let slip to a journalist prior to his gig in Birmingham, “I eat pangolins three times a week. I can’t eat them all so I leave them alive until halfway through and then throw away the rest. Raw pangolin tastes like liquid gold.”
  4. “Alfred Bonar Law was a waste of space. I have artists paint his likeness into mangoes and then I shove my thumb in his eyes for fun.” Referring to Law, the shortest serving prime minister of Great Britain in the 20th century, Morrissey’s arms also went on to question his sexuality and his ability to use a bow and arrow in an interview with Time Magazine in 2005.
  5. A lot of the time the views between left and right arms match. Sometimes though their opinions conflict leading to some dramatic confrontations. When asked by Jonathan Ross to elaborate on his opinions of France, Morrissey’s left arm begin with, “I visit it several times a year. They bring so much to Europe that one cannot underestimate the cultural impact of France, even if most of them smell like dead turds floating in a pool of piss.” The right then barged in, “I want to put all of them in a box and shut the lid using a sharp flamethrower. One time me and Bono got so drunk we steamrolled a village in Cumberland and blamed it on the French.”

The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and those armpits stink for a reason.

Thanks for watching, feel free to like and subscribe and for all things Morrissey’s arms keep it PB Beans 2020.

Avatar Pouring beans

If you Google “pouring beans”, we are number 3 in the listings. And rightly so. Bronze is a fitting medal considering the effort we put in here.

The top two results are both websites describing an activity called “pouring beans” which is a lesson used at Montessori day nurseries. Since we do very little bean pouring here, and the pouring of Montessori beans is clearly more popular than we are, I think it’s time we examined this practice. I also think that if we put the pouring beans activity on our Pouring Beans website we might get bumped up the listings.

Here is the full guide for you to try at home.

Age 2½ to 3 years
Materials Two identical jugs, beans, tray, mat
AimTo pour the beans from one jug to the other and then back
Learning outcomesConcentration! Patience! Hand-eye co-ordination! Hand control! Eyes! Beans! Pouring the beans!
InstructionsYou… I mean, you get the kid to pour beans from one jug to another. If you want to make it more complicated than that, there’s some more detailed instructions here, but I expect the kid will lose interest before you finish explaining it and go and run around for a bit instead.
Extending the activityUse smaller grains. Use bigger grains. Use smaller jugs. Use bigger jugs. Do it without jugs. Do it without beans or jugs and just imagine it. Sit in silence and think about beans. Just sit in silence. Just be quiet. Why can’t you be quiet. Now go back to pouring beans.
VariationsUse different beans or rice or dice or something else.

I’ve spent the evening doing this and I can confirm three things.

  • It’s relaxing for the first two or three minutes.
  • After the first few minutes you start to get very bored, and then shortly after that you begin to lose your mind. After an hour I had named all the individual beans and was taking register while they tipped from one jug to the other.
  • The version of Pouring Beans that we’ve been doing, that is less directly bean-related and more about blogging, is far more enjoyable and deserves to be first in the Google search ranking.

Avatar Big Frank’s Global Domination – The Music Biz

So what do you do when you’ve already conquered the chips, graphic design, computers, cycle hire and boat hiring services worlds? What else could you possibly need to include in your empire to satisfy your desperate need for a domineering monopoly over the rest of the world? You want to stick your dorsal fins tightly into the music business, that’s what.

Not just any music business though. You need to enter the Southern California hardcore scene. We have all seen Big Frank and he is clearly obsessed with thrash metal, speed metal, hardcore and the like. If he’s not punking out on the roof, spitting at pigeons and throwing pork pies at strangers then he’s working tirelessly to move the hardcore scene forward with his enduring work ethic.

Let us not forget that this was the man who started Nemesis Records and who put out the first Offspring album. Big Frank began as a tea boy and worked his way up all the way to the top, grinding his teeth with local bands such as Fisticuffs, Mental Eric, Cracked Vase, Hate Your Mum and What a To Do before moving to producing some of the tastiest albums of big hitters like Vaynes, Syck Syck, Death Hands and Cheryl’s Anus.

To put everyone else to shame too, as well as doing all of this he is a full-time tattoo artist and looks after sick and injured animals. I mean I may as well give up now, there is no way I can ever compete with this man. He must work 26 hour days. Big Frank is clearly a glutton for punishment; what a guy.

The next time you’re getting neck pains from rocking too hard, I hope you’ll think of Biggy F and his overwhelming contribution not just to music but also to the world. You think long and hard, sunshine.

Avatar Mysterious Hand Man

On March 13, 2014, something important happened. What that something was, though, is a mystery.

Here are the facts of the case.

At an unknown time on that day, a registered user logged in to The Beans and – using their privileged access to this sacred dominion – perpetrated an act of digital flytipping. An image was uploaded to the web server which was not included in any post and which, until today, occupied server space without performing any useful function. That image can now be revealed for the first time in four and a half years. Let’s hope its owner will one day face justice. (Ideally chunky justice, but let’s not be picky.)

Here it is. The Police are referring to it as “Mysterious Hand Man”. Please call Crimestoppers if you have any leads.