Runcible is almost here…

Posted By on July 20, 2016

Runcible is an elegant, powerful mobile device. Circular & palm sized. As powerful as a smartphone, but designed with a sense of quiet serenity and longevity. This anti-smartphone can do “smartphone things” like make calls, type, take pictures & video, explore the web and get directions. The rest of the time, Runcible is quiet, beautiful, and truly yours.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/runcible-circular-open-source-anti-smartphone#/

Peaky Blinders Competition

Posted By on July 19, 2016

Jonathan Cullen is modelling an outfit put together by Darcy Clothing based on the television series Peaky Blinders. Darcy Clothing supplied the shirts and collars for the first two series, helping to create the convincing flavour of 1920s Birmingham gangsters.

The Chap is offering, as a competition prize, the Darcy Clothing granddad shirt and separate collar, plus collar studs, as well as the Hudson boots. Simply send a photo of yourself dressed as a Peaky Blinder to chap@thechap.co.uk. The winner will be announced in the next edition. Here is a list of all the individual items in the photo:

Hat: City Sport Baker Boy cap in black and brown tweed, sold by Darcy Clothing, £40.00. Razor blades under peak: model’s own

Shirt: Buttonthrough white collarless tunic shirt with fine red and black stripe, £58.00

Collar: ‘Arundel’ separate starched collar, £10.00

Collar studs: Darcy Clothing box of ten swivel-head studs, £10.00

Trousers: Pure cotton striped black fishtail-back trousers

Waistcoat: Cotton rever waistcoat in striped black with lapels and four pockets

Pocket Watch: Half hunter reproduction fob watch from Darcy Clothing

Cufflinks: Mother-of-pearl and nickel chain cufflinks, from Darcy Clothing

Boots: Hudson Forge Black Boot www www.hudsonshoes.com

All the above items except the boots are available from www.darcyclothing.com

Another Triumphant Chap Olympiad

Posted By on July 17, 2016

Despite unfathomable weather conditions, malfunctioning trouser presses and a nation in political and emotional turmoil, the 12th Chap Olympiad made its mark on the fields of Bloomsbury on Saturday 16th July.

An unexpected heatwave seared through the capital, bringing with it, in equal measure, a burst of enthusiasm to test one’s mettle in Umbrella Jousting, Tea Pursuit and Bounder Hunt, as well as sartorial indecision. Would tweed invoke unnecessary perspiration, disquieting judges who are alert for any signs of athletic effort, or indeed any effort at all? Would linen clash with other linens? Would the dreaded short trousers have to be considered?

Luckily, all the participants took wise sartorial choices, and Bedford Square Gardens was awash with yet another display of period elegance, with outfits ranging from 18th century dandies to 1950s rockabilly ladies, and all points in between fully covered by an explosion of bright colour and quality fabrics, all illuminated by a fierce and unforgiving sun.

The highlight of the day was a real wedding between Mark and Lisa Glass, who tied the knot in the interval among strewn rubber masks of stags, chickens and Donald Trump, whose wig had been unceremoniously lifted by tossed luxury chocolates during Toupee Trumps. Entertainment was provided by Natty Bo and his Flames of Rhythm, who livened up a slightly wilting crowd with their syncopated 1930s Harlem swing.

Photo shows Stephen Myhill and Artemis Scarheart battling it out in Umbrella Jousting, photographed by Paul Starr.

Why Rush is the greatest thing to happen to humanity since Nick Tesla landed on Mars in his flying saucer

Posted By on July 15, 2016

Why Rush is the greatest thing to happen to humanity since Nick Tesla landed on Mars in his flying saucer

 

I was recently accused of being a ‘Hipster,’ because I worship the holy trinity of Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee. For the uninitiated, they are respectively the lyricist and drummer, the guitarist, and the vocalist, bass player and organ player for the rock group RUSH. Think about that: Geddy Lee sings, plays a double base, AND plays organ. All at the same time, in the same songs. So tell me again how talented and creative Beyoncé is?

The accusation hurt. I am not a hipster. I was listening to Rush way before anyone else bro. Way before it was cool, and there isn’t a hint of irony in how I listen to them either. So take that you turtle-neck skinny pants hosers. I remember first hearing the song Roll The Bones while listening to my radio in the farm house where I grew up when I was 11. I was all like, holy Huckleberry Finn is this ever snazzy! That was the occasion of my first erection. So proof number 1: I do not listen to Rush ironically. I have loved them for most of my life. They accuser also referenced my lumberjack shirt, heavy beard, and satchel which he called a ‘man purse.’ I pointed out that I am Canadian, and could easily be a lumberjack, accounting for the shirt and beard. As for the satchel, it was an important battlefield accoutrement during WW1. Sappers used them to carry their explosives, to blow up Germans and save American lives. And Canadian and British too, probably. I can’t imagine a manlier bag. Where else am I going to carry my craft beer when I go to my next escape room?

Hats off to the Chap Olympiad

Posted By on July 15, 2016

Long-term millinery associates of The Chap, Laird London Hatters, have a brand-new range of summer hats perfect for swanning about in central London parks on July 16th, during the 12th Chap Olympiad.

Their topping titfers are also suitable for other summer occasions, as well as winter ones. Laird London supplied victorious headwear for previous winners of “Best Hat Award” at the Chap Olympiad, and their excellent ranges, from the sheerest of Panamas to the weightiest of “Peaky Blinders”-style baker boy tweed caps, come highly recommended by this publication particularly fussy about the contents of one’s chosen lids.

Laird London now have branches in Covent Garden and Soho, London, as well as in Cambridge, which doesn’t have a Soho yet.

Purchase their superlative titfers online at www.lairdlondon.co.uk

New Source of Music: Radio Riel Dieselpunk

Posted By on July 12, 2016

I’m pleased to announce a new source of music for Dieselpunks.org. We are now streaming Radio Riel Dieselpunk via TuneIn.

According to the web site for Radio Riel:

Radio Riel is an Internet-based public radio station supported by listeners and sponsors, with six audio streams providing a unique selection of music, spoken-word, drama and additional programming to inform, educate and entertain, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Radio Riel provides six streams of music. One of which is ‘dieselpunk’. The web site explains:

Radio Riel Dieselpunk features music from 1920–1940, including Pop Standards, Big Band & Swing, Burlesque & Cabaret, and a dash of Film Noir soundtracks. Currently believed to be the world’s only Dieselpunk station.

There are a few bugs still to work out. For example, currently the music player won’t open in a separate window. However, Radio Riel Dieselpunk is a great service, which we’re proud to offer.

You can give your feedback at our Dieselpunk Music Forum Page.

Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Posted By on July 12, 2016

Title: Mechanica
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Published: August, 2015 by Clarion Books
Publisher’s Description:

“Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home. 

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.”

Review
Hi there, punks! Mythpunkette here to review Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell. This book was up in the air for me. When I love a book, I love it. When I hate it, I hate it. Very rarely do I fall somewhere in-between. I read this book a while ago, and I definitely needed time to let my thoughts settle. This book had so much going for it, but there were certain elements I couldn’t get past.
The Good:
This book is unique. I honestly cannot compare it to anything except perhaps Cinder, but even then, Mechanica has much more emphasis on the whimsical magic of fairytales. After reading it, I can assure you one is not derivative of the other. 

The worldbuilding. The world of Mechanica was fabulously lush — the agendered Faeries, the mixing of magic and science. I have to give Cornwell serious credit for creating a truly original story. That is not an easy feat to accomplish!

The feminism. I love the narrative of Cinderella, but for my modern sensibilities, it can be a bit backwards. Often times, Cinderella is seen as a more passive character who waits for her prince to come save her. I have some problems with this, and I think Cornwell does too. In Mechanica, Nicolette takes charge of her fate and basically invents her way out from under her Stepmother’s control.

There’s even a reference to Jules Verne! As I started reading this book, I wondered how it could go wrong! Unfortunately it did. Here’s how.
The Bad:
Pacing. I reached page 70 and almost put the book down for good because the first 70 pages were filled with worldbuilding and backstory. Granted, it was fascinating stuff, but by that time, I was craving some action. Even worse, all the backstory wasn’t stuff we needed to know for the future plot. Those awesome faeries with tons of page-time in the beginning, don’t really come into play. Yes, the humans are at war with them, but they have little direct influence on Nicolette and the inventions that save her. Basically, I wanted more. I was told about this awesome, misunderstood race of creatures, and then they didn’t make an appearance.

Voice. The book was sold as YA, but the actual writing seemed to fit more with Middle Grade novels. The characters seemed so young and it just left me confused since it wasn’t what I expected from a YA novel. What made it more confusing was the literary nature. The book seemed to focus more on the building of friendships than it did on a plot, which leads me to my next point.

There was no build up to the end. This book was one giant flatline when it came to the plot. I don’t even know how to explain it, except that I kept waiting for more to happen. The book is both genre fantasy and YA which both beg for plot. Mechanica just didn’t deliver.

Venturess
With so much about the Faerie war left unsatisfied, I could tell the end of Mechanica was set up for a sequel. And here it is! It’s expected to release sometime in 2017. Mechanica wasn’t for me, but the premise of Venturess is pretty much what I wanted from the first book. Here’s the publisher’s description:

“Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She’s free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

Smart and unconventional, this novel will appeal to readers of romance and adventure alike.”


I’m still not sure I’ll pick up the sequel. The problems of pacing, voice and plot have me wary of trying another book from Cornwell. I’m hoping she realized the struggles of the first novel and makes changes. She is a true visionary when it comes to worldbuilding, the next book just needs to have the plot to back up that world. For now, I’ll wait for the first reviews before I give this series a second shot.

I give Mechanica 2 out of 5 Brass Slippers


Chap Olympiad Video

Posted By on July 11, 2016

Watch a short video clip from last year’s Chap Olympiad here…

With just five days to go until the 12th Chap Olympiad on Saturday 16th July, the nation’s starched collars are getting ever so slightly warm underneath.

This year’s unsporting tournament will mark twelve long years of gin-addled tomfoolery on the specially constructed Chap Olympic track, whose principal feature is plenty of places to lounge about while gentlemen and ladies make a concerted effort not to make any effort.

Victors at the Chap Olympiad are not rewarded for breaking a sweat, exerting themselves or being in the slightest bit fit or healthy. Any competitor showing signs of having trained, or, heaven forfend, wearing any form of sportswear, will be instantly disqualified. Instead, those resorting to underhand tactics, skulduggery, distracting the judges will an immaculate trouser crease for the chaps, or a slightly visible garter belt for the ladies, is almost guaranteed to return home with enormous plaudits and perhaps even one of the coveted gold, silver and bronze cravats.

This year’s bill of events will include Umbrella Jousting, Tea Pursuit, Well Dressage and Bounders. New events include Hen-Pecked Husband – in which a male contestant must reach the sacred deckchair, pipe and newspaper while being distracted by clucking hens; Toupee Trumps – knock the wig off the head of our most feared Continental adversary, Donald Trump.

Tickets are still available from www.thechapolympiad.com/tickets

The 2016 Chap Olympiad

Posted By on July 9, 2016

The twelfth Chap Olympiad will take place this year on Saturday 16th July in Bedford Square Gardens in London’s Bloomsbury. The nation’s armchairs, deckchairs, chaise longues and day beds groan with the rigorous training schedules of Chap and Chapette competitors.

Training regimes for the unsporting occasion of the year focus on the exercise of key muscles required on the day: those in one’s hat doffing arm, the ones on the finger that one hooks into a teacup, and, most importantly of all, the ones that are used to stretch one’s legs on a deckchair. Exertion, perspiration and any form of grunting are frowned upon by the organisers, and contestants have points deducted from their overall score if the knot in their tie is marginally displaced at the end of a gruelling round of Bounders.

Events this year include Tea Pursuit – fill your team member’s teacup from a tea pot while riding a bicycle, and don’t forget to put the milk in last; The Corby Trouser Press Challenge – contestants must complete a 10-yard course wearing a different pair of trousers than at the start, having placed their previous trousers in a series of six trouser presses; Bakewell Battles – knock your opponent’s dainty tart off his or her cake slice without the use of violence; Aunt Avoidance – navigate a terrifying gauntlet of ferocious aunts, all of whom will try to detain you with their over-painted lips.

An added and unprecedented attraction at this year’s Chap Olympiad will be a real, live, actual wedding between two humans, performed by an ordained and doubtlessly rather caddish priest. All 1500 guests at the Chap Olympiad will be invited to the wedding reception, which will take place right before their eyes.

Tickets are available from www.thechapolympiad.com/tickets

A video from last year’s Chap Olympiad may be viewed here:

The Chap Loves – Ettinger Wallets

Posted By on July 8, 2016

You’ve him here, you’ve seen him there – that Chap who flows through life like a shark in the water. with barely a ripple. The embodiment of sartorial elegance and purposeful intelligence, an individual so elevated as to be almost beyond envy and beyond desire. To observe him is to sit in the silence of non-description, a drifting veil of unrelieved despair, marked only by a rending within, and the knowledge, the certainty, that you will never be him.

And then it happens, an act so everyday as barely to deserve mention, and yet you know that in this one gesture that he will be remembered until your terminal breath, for this Chap, this paragon, draws from his pocket a wallet like a blighted tuber. This is not an article that carries the patina of age, the marks of life well lived, it is something that has been clumsily chewed and discarded – and in this revelatory instant his house of cards is dashed upon the sartorial rocks, leaving nothing but his faulty truth, and the maxim ‘Details maketh the Man’.

Like many seemingly humble elements in one’s clothing life, the wallet’s size is no reflection of its import. A Chap may trundle through the world like a shambolic elephant, but if he has his feet plugged into a pair of Trickers, totes a Fox umbrella, and suspends his trews by means of Albert Thurston braces, then his mute authenticity is laid bare. Much the same can be said by one’s choice of wallet; it is not merely a base instrument, it is a statement of intent and approach.

Calling all steampunk enthusiasts!

Posted By on July 7, 2016

I have now had this blog running for a number of years and want to open it up to Steampunk Artists who would like to display their wares here.  I will not charge for this and will allow you to be on my front page for 2 days.  You can email me with a picture, description and cost with a link.  I will acknowledge receipt of your email and will let you know if is suitable for Steampunk Way of Life.



I have around 1,500 to 2,500 visits per month on average and only started monetising this site for the last two months.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments box……

YES! I bought the Profainomatic!

Posted By on July 3, 2016

This is a beaut machine which I bought at a Splendid Day Out…if you haven’t read the previous posts, you are in for a treat you will see where I found this marvellous contraption…..the PROFAINOMATIC!  It comes with this description:

Profainomatic: Imaginated by Verne Industries Ltd

Have you ever been in a room and accidentally overheard some one using bad language or profanity?  Even in some of the best homes in the country accidental profanity will sometimes rear its ugly head.

May we introduce the Profainomatic, a clever device developed by Verne Industries.  This small marvel is simple to operate and even easier to empty.

The eye on the front of the device uses the very latest in air spring vapour compression which teases the language out of the air.  Once captured the profanity or worse is then stored in the 2 pressurised amulinium (Author’s Note: Must be a new kind of aluminium I have never heard of?!) containment vessels at the rear of the device.  When the vessels are full, they can be emptied by one of our technicians at any time at your convenience.  A true marvel!

Here it is:

You can see the amulinium cylinder protruding at the back right, there is another one on the left.  Not showing are the lights…I didn’t need to turn it on at this moment in time as I was on my own!  The eye scans every bit of space for profanity and is very efficient at doing this..  It is a surprisingly heavy machine…no plastic was used in its primary engine!  Operation of this device is simple, even a 10 year old can operate it (heavens, I hope not, they should not be exposed to this level of profanity) by flicking the switch on the front.  It operates silently even at full bore!

Pros: Ease of operation, economical to run, does as described and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Cons: The advertising says and I quote “Simple to operate and even easier to empty”.  The first is true but later on you read: “Can be emptied by one of our technicians”  I live in Australia and they are in the UK…this contraption should have had detachable cylinders!  Still I haven’t checked with the company if they provide free package and posting.

I will give this a five out of five star rating…but I would like to see an easier way to empty the cylinders.  We will see if they have any comments or advice to offer on this?

We have been using this device for a few weeks now and it has operated flawlessly and the cylinders appear to have plenty of room…maybe they last for one year like the battery?  As soon as people see this device it’s almost like they have forgotten to swear (This must be how the device works?) they just have a good laugh!

If you would like to see more of these wonderful contraptions, go here: Verne Industries