Saturday, September 13, 2014

Apple Watch

I read about the launch of the Apple Watch this week. The press and industry commentators have not been over-awed by the design of this gadget item. It's Apple though, so I'm sure that this first new product line since the iPad will sell well. I'm just not sure that the concept is cool enough. I dig a bigger sized iPhone though, my iPhone 4 just feels far too small nowadays yet when I first got it, it was fine. I think liking my 7" Google Nexus tablet has made me realise how much easier it is to watch and type on a larger screen.
I would have liked to have seen something more way out there from Apple. Something like a fabric that you wear that becomes a screen or a projection screen, I don't know, just something more interesting than what they delivered. Two fundamental flaws I see in the design are the rectangular screen and charging requires you to slip it off your wrist. Both negatives for me.
I do like the idea of the "digital crown" winder that zooms in and out depending on how you turn it but this is hardly the big innovation and for left-handed folks it will be on the bottom not the top and potentially slightly more cumbersome to access because of that.
As if the price wouldn't put me off enough, these things also do it for me, not to mention that there is no inkling of how long the battery would last for. This is something the iPhone didn't get right.

Warhammer: painting work space

I thought I'd show you the cutting mat area that I use as my workspace for assembling and painting the Warhammer 40,000 models I've been making.

In the photo above you can see that I've got 3 Citadel paint pots. I bought these today. I stick the figures on to corks or a sweetener container for painting. I bought a spray can of white primer today. The  models you can see in the foreground are waiting for assembly. I have given them one spray with my white primer so far but will need to spray them again to cover them completely and I will spray the other side as well.

Warhammer: Space Marine painted

The Space Marine proved to be a bit easier to paint than the Tyranid Termagrant however there are still challenges such as the gold and silver parts. Again, not great image for detail but here is my painted Space Marine, I'm quite happy with how this one turned out.

Warhammer: Tyranid Termagants

I bought a £6 box of Tyranid Termagrants for my son. I only had the starter pack of paints for Space Marines and that didn't come with a white primer paint so I used the skull white paint watered down as a primer and it didn't turn out that great. I'm relatively happy with my paint job but I had to mix a lot of the colours myself. Here is the result on my first Termagrant.

I'm using my iPhone camera to take the picture and not my good camera, which would show better detail. It gives you the idea anyway.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Shocking video of motorcyclist's own death

The most shocking thing I've seen for a while was published on the Internet yesterday. It was a video released by the Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary, with the approval of the family, as part of a hard hitting road safety campaign. The crash lasts only seconds but clearly illustrates the deadly effect of combining speed on the part of the rider and driving without due care and attention on the part of the car driver. The fact that the rider was wearing a helmet cam allowed the world to see his death, which is a rather morbid thought. It allows us the benefit of hindsight not available to the rider and I can understand why the police have released it as a lesson to all of us road users. It was a very brave move on the part of the rider's parents and they should be applauded for having the strength of mind to allow their son's fatal crash footage to be used in such a manner. Shame on anyone posting silly YouTube comments on copies of the footage and arguing about who was to blame: have some respect you people!
At the moment of realisation, the rider can be heard shouting "No!" and this is the saddest and most shocking part of the clip for me. It makes me appreciate that life and death can be divided by the simplest of things and being human we are all very close to the line every day. The road is a dangerous place and we don't have the control over it our routine daily life allows us to presume. Seconds before the realisation, the rider and driver were both unaware of how their lives were to be forever changed by both of their road decisions. I try to drive in a cautious, defensive way but all too often I see drivers and riders showing no heed for safety. It worries me that my own children will one day be regular road users.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


I was looking forward to getting back home today so that I could cook one of my favourite meals for supper tonight. It was basmati rice, salad leaves, avocado, minted lamb kebabs, roasted vegetable cous cous, fried egg, sweetcorn, mint sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Mmmm yummy!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Warhammer 40000 Space Marines miniatures

Last day of my son's summer holidays. We had a few things to do today, including book him a birthday party for the end of the month. As a spontaneous activity we decided to visit a Games Workshop store my wife mentioned to me. It was one I wasn't aware of and when we got there found that it wasn't really a Games Workshop but they do stock GW models. My son is interested in some creature models they sell called Tyranids. However, we went in looking for something potentially to start a collection with. The man in the shop was very kind and suggested how to get started. Some stock was coming in on Thursday but it would be too late for my son by then, so to tide him over until Thursday the guy was kind enough to give my son a small model from a box of spares I think he had in the back of his shop. Amazing! We will have to wait to get the paints but the miniatures look cool, here they are in their raw form.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last day of August 2014

This is the last day of August 2014. It seems weird somehow to think of the end of the month like that. As the last of something special when it was just another month. I managed to watch the second of the new Dr Who programmes tonight on BBC 3 and I thought it was a good one. There's still a little too much 'do you like me?' or 'don't you like me?' between the doctor and Clara for my liking, I wished all that was over by the second show in the series. However, I can see it being a bit of a running theme until Clara leaves - which has already been announced I think.
August has not proved to be a good month for West Brom, they have drawn twice and lost once so far. Quite a poor start to the season, lets hope for a run when we win some matches soon.
I have a couple of days off this week, not sure yet how I'm going to spend the time. It is just a couple of days though, nothing to get too excited over.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dr Who played by Peter Capaldi

I watched the first episode of the new Dr Who on Saturday and I enjoyed the new doctor's character more than previous ones. I often watch actors who play the doctor with some minor annoyances but I felt quite relaxed watching this episode. I believe the doctor is in safe hands with Peter Capaldi. The plot of the episode was the usual fodder but probably a bit more coherent than some of the other recent episodes, Matt's Smith's reign came to end with a final storyline that was, frankly, beyond comprehension. I like the new doctor, I've heard some say he is too scary for children, well good. It's about time that Dr Who made young children hide behind their sofas again.

RIP Richard Attenborough

Sad news that yesterday Richard Attenborough died at the age of 90. This great man made such an enormous contribution to the international entertainment industry, you could say he was a giant. Everybody knows him for his work on such great classic films such as Ghandi, A Bridge Too Far, Jurassic Park, Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, Miracle On 34th Street, I'm Alright Jack and Whistle Down The Wind amongst many others. My own personal favourite is possibly one of the lesser known titles in his back catalogue, it was a grim horror tale of a serial killer operating in working class London. The subject of the film is very bleak and the film stars Richard Attenborough with John Hurt as Co-Star (who was Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor). The film was called 10 Rillington Place after the apartment building where the murders were all committed. The acting is superb even if the subject nature of the film is, as I said, very grim indeed. I like the great man's other films too, especially the war ones but Jurassic Park is probably my second favourite, the first film in that series is a personal favourite of mine.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It's weird how some things go viral on the Internet. The latest I've seen is the ice bucket challenge, so many people have posted up videos of themselves doing this, including famous stars and celebrities. I didn't know what ALS was before so it must have driven up donations and traffic to the charity's website vastly. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and I may be over-simplifying but it is what we in the UK know as Motor Neurone Disease. I think people post their videos because there is something fun about seeing other people's reaction to the shock of cold water and there is something of showmanship about it. I think some videos exist just because people want to jump on the bandwagon and be part of the phenomenon. That's why personally, I won't be taking the challenge.

New series of Dr Who starts today

Today is the day lots of Dr Who fans have been waiting for. The first episode of Dr Who starring Peter Capaldi as the new doctor is screened for the first time. It does feel like an event worth celebrating. I'm not a massive Dr Who fan but I do like the show and I have an affection for it. My favourite doctor was Jon Pertwee, I found him slightly scary as a child and this is what I feel makes the doctor such an interesting character. I like the idea of a doctor who has an edge to the character. This is why I'm looking forward to watching this TV event of the year.