The other day I got sent one of those ‘here, have one of our credit cards..’ junk mail things through the door. Normally they go straight in the bin, but this one got me a-thinkin’.

It seems to me that banks are starting to ignore the normal people like you and me, and are instead focusing their attention on the minted. Next time you see a HSBC advert on the TV, notice how all the customers they try to help with their savings are minted. Or, how the premier service will help you move house for free. (Check the small print on that one, you have to be minted to qualify)

This theory of mine was reinforced by the credit card application I received. Firstly, the booklet was printed on heavy black paper with nice glossy pictures. Secondly, it offered benefits that sounded a bit poncy to me, and lastly, the application form all but had NO PEASANTS printed on it.

As an example, here’s the income section:


Two things. Firstly, there’s a ‘Millions’ section. And secondly it states a minimum of 75k earnings.

Why do they send these things out in mass mailings? Do they not care about wasting (our) money?


(PS: Here’s the fella: RBS Black Credit Card)

Plastic Fantastic

Despite owning a real guitar (I hesitate to apply the term 'player' to myself) and being a keen video game player, I've never before combined the two.

I'd always looked upon the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games with a hint of skepticism. No real reason other than I just didn't see how following along to the little dots on the screen could be any fun. Each to their own and all that but I figured they just weren't for me.

That all changed when Guitar Hero: Metallica was released. Ok, technically it's not released here in Europe, but it's region free so I bought a copy from Canada a few weeks ago. I was always going to buy it, being the slightly obsessive Metallica fan that I am.

It's great!

They've somehow captured the feeling of being in the band and playing the instrument. It's tremendous fun. And, it's the only game I own where my wife and seven year old daughter can all play along with me and have everyone enjoy it. This is helped by the fact I bought the complete instrument set and now have two wireless guitars, wireless drum set and (another) USB mic. There's something special about my little girl singing “The Thing That Should Not Be” whilst I hammer away on a plastic guitar that makes me smile every time.

I suspect it's down to the music. Playing the World Tour version of the game is decidedly flat compared with the Metallica edition. (Apart for Living On A Prayer which has us all singing along as we play).

And as an added bonus, the game allows you to practice whilst it plays the backing track. I recorded that backing track via Garage Band, and it's fantastic for playing real guitar along to!

Rock on \m/

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