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New look homepage!

Posted on 28/09/2008 at 00:23:59 by MakTheYak

Well not really. I just tweaked the code so that it's not the comic with the most recent date on the front page - it's the comic that was actually posted most recently!

It took so little work I really don't know why I didn't do it for all the time I was posting all those old Marmaduke strips! Ah well, live and learn. It's probably because I've been meaning to redo this site for so long now... I think a shiny new site would provide the incentive to get back on the comic wagon!

Just gotta find the time to do it. It will come, just keep watching this space and enjoy the yaks while they last.



iTunes Movies

Posted on 21/09/2008 at 17:21:39 by MakTheYak

Just looking through iTunes movies. Some are £10.99, some are £6.99. You can rent a £10.99 film for £3.49 but you can't rent £6.99 films. WTF?

Why use the same format as a video rental shop by making older titles unavailable when one of the best thing about digital distribution is that the less popular titles don't have to go to make shelf space for the new stuff? It seems a little short-sighted to say the least.

Now I've often thought it would be nice to bookmark tracks or albums in iTunes that I was interested in. I can see why Apple might have seen fit to not include this functionality - it doesn't take long to listen to the preview. If you like it you buy it; if you don't, forget about it. Once you've bought it you don't have to listen to it immediately so it's ready and waiting for you whenever you're ready.

With film rentals it's a different matter. I rent a film and I've got to watch it within 24 hours or whatever the time limit is. I can't buy a stack of film rentals and watch them when I'm ready because when I'm ready they might well have expired. As I was looking through the lists of films there were loads I thought I quite fancied seeing but as I don't have the time to watch any of them in the next 24 hours I didn't click on any of them. I will probably forget about them once they drop off the 'Most Popular' charts, too. Sale lost. Or 'Sale FAIL' if you will.

If there was a list I could make of films I want to see then I could keep my future evenings in all in one place and not miss any, despite the film decreasing in popularity. What's more, Apple could use that data to remind me of the films I want to see on the iTunes Store home page (a la Amazon wishlists). They could even use it to figure out what kind of films I like and therefore which films to advertise more prominently to me.

How can they have not made this yet? It seems so obvious, doesn't it?



When Yaks Attack...

Posted on 20/09/2008 at 21:26:51 by MakTheYak

Here we are again. I've found another stash of historical cartoon goodness in the Vault! I shall be posting them here as and when I find the time to do the necessary photoshopping.

This collection is from a little book which I made (yes I actually made the book) called "The Official Doodle Book (With Yaks)". It's a set of just 24 Yak drawings. Now I don't know where the original, first ever yak drawing is but I think these are among the first once I had a head for the concept.

So if you are a fan of the yaks, I hope you enjoy the following single-panel cartoons. They aren't supposed to be particularly funny but I enjoyed filling up that book so they have some good memories attached!

Oh, I intend this time to try and have the most recent strip posted on the front page but I haven't written that bit yet so for now: here's the first one!



Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Posted on 19/09/2008 at 09:18:37 by MakTheYak

Arr me hearties, it be that time o' year again! September th' 19th be Talk like a Pirate day.

Today ye should be talkin' like a pirate and generally exhibitin' piratey behaviour, like swabbin' the decks, lootin' booty and runnin' yer colleagues through with yer cutlass, arrrrrrrr!

Here be a few links to be gettin' ye in the mood:

Edit: Link list updated with Cravendale's Pirate Radio. Nice.



Sainsbury's - More than one way to slice it

Posted on 13/09/2008 at 19:19:02 by MakTheYak

I'm not the sort of person to get angry very easily. In any case I rarely get angry at the time of the event - it's normally a few minutes after the event when it's pretty much too late to do anything about it (which is probably a good thing).

Just one such event occurred today in Sainsbury's. The setting: The Bakery counter. Imagine my joy to find my favourite loaf (Harvest Grain) reduced from an exorbitant £1.19 to a more reasonable £0.40. All I wanted to do was have it sliced and be on my way, happy to know that I had secured a deal and I was laughing in the credit crunch's face because of it (it's the little victories that count).

The girl behind the counter told me ever so politely that she was very sorry but they didn't slice reduced loaves. Upon my puzzled expression she explained that it was because when they slice the loaf they place it in a different bag which is airtight and so if it were to last longer what would be the point in reducing them? I could have the reduced loaf as it was or she could slice it and it would go back to being full price.

I reluctantly accepted this and started to walk off feeling like I had been given a lesson in common sense that didn't actually add up. And in any case the reason I'm happy to buy reduced bread is because I freeze it anyway and break slices off as and when I need it.

I went back to tell her just this - that I was going to freeze it and so it wasn't going to go off as quickly as they apparently wanted it to so couldn't she just slice it anyway? Apparently she couldn't. It's company policy.

Well that was it, I wasn't getting anywhere with this one. As it was such a good reduction I decided to keep the loaf anyway but not get it sliced. As I walked to the checkout I was feeling a little cheated. It wasn't until I'd unloaded my basket that I started to think it over properly.

  1. The 'airtight' bags are not airtight - they have holes in just like carrier bags, due to regulations to stop small children suffocating on them. I doubt those bags would stop a loaf going off any quicker than the bag it comes in originally.
  2. More evidence that the bags have holes in them: the last loaf I bought sliced deposited seeds all over everywhere. If there were no holes in that bag then the bag itself must have been very seedy. I wonder what they would have grown into?
  3. I've never not been able to have reduced sliced bread before. This could be because...
  4. Other Sainsbury's I've shopped at have had a self-service slicing machine which you can use to slice up whatever the heck you want - reduced, full-price or whatever. They don't really like it when you try and slice the fish, just FYI.
  5. If there are stores with self-service machines then it can't be company policy to disallow the slicing of reduced bread because they can't enforce it.
  6. Isn't slicing it exposing more of it to the air thus making it likely to go off more quickly?

I contemplated all these things and wondered if any of them would have made a difference; whether she would have understood how ridiculous it was or just got so fed up with me that she did it to get rid of me. I wondered what her manager would have said if I'd asked to see him or her.

I chided myself for never thinking to ask to speak to anyone's manager. Why can't I be more confrontational when I want to be? Why do all these salient points come to me a few minutes too late?

Then I just paid for my food and forgot about it just enough to stop being angry but still retain all the pertinent points for this post. After all - it's just a 40p loaf of bread.


I got home and got my loaf out, all solid and not sliced. I placed it on the chopping board and brandished my bread knife. This was going to be messy. A bread slicer is a very neat way to end it all - so quick. But this was the fate the bakery girl had prescribed.

Making sure not to slice too thinly (the slices would have snapped when I tried to get them out frozen) I carefully hacked away at my bread. I ended up with just two sandwiches worth less bread that I would have had if it was sliced for me, and some proper irregular hand sliced slices which are much more satisfying than machine sliced.

It did make a horrible mess though. I'll get it sliced there next time. Unless it's reduced. In which case I'll have all my arguments prepared.


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