Monday, February 28, 2005

Red Faction

I bought this game on Saturday and tried the tutorial out last night. Looks really good, can't wait to get stuck into it. Great game premise too.


It was cold last night. I spoke to another parent in the school playground this morning and he said it was -3 according to his car's thermometer. That was at 9am, so earlier than that it was probably colder. My wife's car wouldn't start and my own normally reliable automatic died a few times during ferrying people around to their various locations. It really screwed my routine up this morning, having to ferry passengers. I was most annoyed and behaved like a complete tit. Why am I so horrible to my family?

Oscars: Best animated feature film

I see The Incredibles won this against Shrek 2, depends on the criteria but I think Shrek 2 would have got my vote.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The It girl conundrum

Strange how the mind works isn't it? I was thinking of blogging something about girls bottoms (will probably still write that piece one day) when I had the thought that an attraction to someone is not necessarily a physical thing you can typecast - I fancy Tara Palmer-Tomkinson for some reason I can't explain but I loathe and despise Tamara Beckwith and I don't know anything about Lady Victoria Hervey but just the name makes me want to puke, so I can't imagine I would like her either. The Spectator partially explains the history of "the It girl" if you've never heard of it before.

The Incredibles

I don't know if I like this film, I mean I do like some aspects of it but it's attempt to appeal to children and adult audiences stretches it a bit too far. It's got dark and light moments, the animation and lighting effects are groovy. It's got humour and menace. I think if I was pushed to put my finger on it, I'd say the Mr Incredible character is the weakness of the film. He is just not somebody I can empathise with. All the parts are there, its a tried and tested formula but his character ultimately leaves me feeling like so what? Shame, its enjoyable all the same but it is not a classic film.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Minutemen film

I'd be failing in my blog duties if I didn't bring this film of the Minutemen to your attention. I can't wait to order a copy of it when it comes out on DVD.

Angelina Jolie

I can't watch Angelina Jolie without sighing and exclaiming words such as "And God created woman...". She is perfect,is she not? My eyes naturally, unknowingly, just adore her from her eyes to her lips to her breasts.
I've also been adoring Monica Harris recently, a beautiful girl worthy of much fame.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Vin Diesel

There are some actors who I just don't like, whatever role they play. I've already spoken in this blog about Nicholas Cage. My next victim is Vin Diesel. I'm sorry but it's not like I haven't tried. I rented The Fast and the Furious and began watching. I don't know what happened, it made me fall asleep. It was on TV recently and I watched a bit but it brought back horrible memories of how rubbish it was. I just had to turn over the channel. I'm not above action movies and I like films that others may hate - Charlie's Angels and Tomb Raider for goodness sakes! But XXX and TFATF take the biscuit - they are SO boring! If you want action - get The Transporter, I'll talk more about that film one day...

Let the Pope go

Why is the media fascinated with every turn of the Pope's medical history. OK, I know why - he is the pope, but it gets reported like it's unusual or something for an 80 year old (or whatever he is) to have poor health, I mean really he's had a good innings hasn't he? Let him alone to die in peace I say, give him a bit of dignity. He sure enough deserves that for tirelessly serving God and his flock.


I bought the box set of the 1970s TV series UFO starring Ed Bishop as Commander Straker. The most striking part for me, after years of loving the stories, is that the costumes are so damn sexy! I'm talking principally about the female costumes here of course, especially the Moonbase ladies. Here's an interesting fact I can't get out of my head - Lt. Ellis in Moonbase is an actress called Gabrielle Drake who played a character in Crossroads in the 80s. Don't say I'm not good for trivia again!


I've been playing this game intermittently since January and I just have to tell you that I have the utmost respect for the developers. I love the cell shaded graphics and the nice little comic book touches, like the 60's Batman style "Tap Tap Tap" written in words infront of a wall a guard is walking behind. I'm getting into the levels and the pace is picking up to, my weaponry is getting more advanced too - cool! Lovely colours as well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Queen's snub - so what?

The second annoying thing in the media is the queen's so called snub to Charles and Camilla. I can't stand either Charles or his horsey bride to be. I couldn't care less that they are getting hitched, I care even less about who attends the ceremony. This is NOT the NEWS - don't report it!

Give Ken a break

There are 2 things that are making me annoyed at the moment. They are both concerned with the media reporting non-news as news.
The first is the "controversial" comments made to a Jewish Evening Standard journalist by the London Mayor Ken Livingstone. This should be between the two of them and is not a story that should be headline news. I don't particularly like Ken Livingstone, I have never supported him personally. He is an official and should be sensitive to any audience he speaks to in his official capacity. He would be wise to follow the same rules in private, however I don't expect that because he is in public office his judgement will be perfect always. The journalist should likewise recognise that as a reporter he should be objective and unemotional about the things he is reporting. I think a reporter should expect to get a bit of flack from people they are following.
It's a question of balance. The unintended hurt caused by Livingstone's words has been due to the way the event has been reported. No party is innocent here. But my point is that this is not news. It's going after a public target for the sport of it - something the British press like to do. I don't want to hear or read about it because it's all nonsense.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Nirvana: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah

I was listening to this last night and it brought all of my memories of the early/mid nineties back. The music is still surprisingly good, still sounds quite fresh. They were a breakthrough group, their music did cross the bridge between alternative and mainstream. They were certainly not the only grunge group that was successful but the scale of their success was quite amazing.

Deus Ex

I bought this a few weeks ago, started the tutorial a few times but have finally had the time to start playing it in earnest. I'm enjoying it. I've noticed it seems to be titled Deus Ex: The Conspiracy but my copy is just called Deus Ex - same game though (Playstation 2). I like the fact that it's a fairly open game and that it's your choice how you play the levels. Quite a good plot too.

Clear and Present Danger

My illness gave me the opportunity to finish my latest read, CAPD. Great book, a real page turner. I've started my next book - Sum Of All Fears.

Monday, February 14, 2005


I saw Collateral last night and was impressed overall. Some great night scenes of LA. It's a good thriller, some nice twists. I thought perhaps a little short at the expense of storyline. But rather too short than too long. Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise share leading characters and both play their roles well. It could easily be turned into a video game. It's not of Hitchcock class however, as a few reviewers on IMDB have incorrectly reported.

Windows Media Player and Playlists

Well, I've had a My Playlists folder in the My Documents directory for ages and its always been empty. That is to say, I haven't ever really used Windows Media Player except to play audio CDs occasionally and to stream videos when I've had to. Before this weekend, I had Real One, Winamp and Windows Media PLayer - all of which can play audio and video. I also have Apple QuickTime but I don't know if that plays audio files. Anyway, I'm trying to rationalise my media players and have decided to settle on Windows Media Player (at least for the moment). On my last PC, I wanted to play an audio CD - not an unrealistic demand, even though the PC was not very powerful it was PC Chips processor running at around 300MHz. Anyway, to get to the point Windows Media Player wouldn't play a CD whereas Winamp did - so I've used Winamp for audio ever since. Now though, I'm giving Windows Media Player a go again. I have some CDs with my MP3 tracks on and I've created playlists in Windows Media Player for all of them. So now, I select a disk and choose my playlist, put it on shuffle and away I go - several hours of music played in combinations I would never have chosen myself. Seems to be going OK, there are occasional skips but nothing serious.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Metallica: Master of Puppets

I listened to this album this evening. I think its one of their best. It was the first Metallica album I heard and I was blown away by the power of Battery and astonished that there were some great guitar solo pieces in amongst the heavy grinding thrashing. My favourite track remains The Thing That Should Not Be, even though the lyrics seem a little naff now. In the last year I've heard their first album Kill 'Em All and this is also very very good. At their best, they are strong and melodic and are able to convey the dark overtones and trgedies of life in their music.

Reinstall thoughts

Trying to boot my machine just brought up a Windows Protection error. I looked in the bootlog.txt file and for all of my fonts I got the failure code 0016. Everything else was loading fine, it would boot into Safe Mode but not Normal Mode. I reinstalled Windows without formatting my drive and that worked but I had to reinstall all my drivers and applications but fortunately my data was all there. I was concerned about losing my Outlook Express settings. Fortunately, past experience helped here - I had exported my account settings to another drive so all I had to do was reimport these. I also new that my old email folders were in the directory C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\ but there were two folders in this directory - it was a case of going into both and identifying one with more than the default folders and copying the .dbx files into the folder that just included the default mail folders (also there as .dbx files).

Half Life

I bought the game Half Life yesterday. I did the tutorial last night and it seems quite good. I look forward to playing it some more and working out the puzzles etc. I tried a bit of the main game and sure did enjoy it. But it was late and I had to stop to get enough sleep.

Windows Media Player

I'm running Win 98SE, I know its an obsolete OS but it came with the PC. I installed Windows Media Player - or so I thought - and everything seemed fine - not that I tested it. But the installation seemed fine, version 9 I think it was. However, I wanted to watch a streamed video from Gamespot earlier today and it wouldn't let me. It took several attempts to get a version of Media Player installed and working. At one point I uninstalled the version of WMP that I had installed to try a re-install. Basically, you need version 7.1 if you're running Win98SE but you need a version of Windows Media Player installed to find that out - I had to roll back to the version of WMP installed by default with the OS.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Computer Crash

Disaster last night with Windows failing to boot after I tried to install a driver for a network card. Took me several hours to get back to nearly normal. What a waste of time! Oh well, at least I'm there now. Have I learnt from it? Er, not sure.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Kate Moss painting

A painting by Lucian Freud of the model Kate Moss sold for 3.5 million pounds. Unbelievable. I have never much liked Lucian Freud's paintings and I've never really got anything out of looking at Kate Moss. A combination of the two going for so much seems completely surreal. What a strange world this is!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Clear and Present Danger

Started Tom Clancy's CAPD yesterday evening, going well so far. It's book five in my attempt to read all of Clancy's novels. I enjoyed all his books so far read - Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games and Cardinal of the Kremlin. Am looking forward to reading the more recent ones but his books take me a while to finish.

Runaway Jury

Runaway Jury is a good thriller if you get the chance to see it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Conflict Desert Storm II

I do like playing this. I'm not very good but it is a good time waster. Quite a good choice of weapons and an arcade feel to it make it playable. Not incredibly realistic, I take far too many hits from bullets for that - but hey, I've only played on easy and I haven't worked through it all yet.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Differences between women and men

No, this post isn't what you think it's going to be. I just get the feeling I've offended some mothers at my kids school because I don't always talk to them. I don't blank people yet I've a feeling I've been blanked a few times, just expressions on faces and not making eye contact. Maybe it's paranoid.


Just got some unfathomable correspondence from the Inland Revenue about Child Tax Credit. Why is it that even though we supplied information to them months ago they still get it wrong? Why is it so hard to get what we're entitled to? It just seems so unfair that the amount of money wasted in government because of stupid financial rules can't be used to fund giving us some kind of financial relief. I was having a chat with a fellow parent at the school this afternoon, he used to work for the council and said in April they would have to carry in new desks and come February they were chucking them out again so new ones could be bought. Its all just a waste of public money.


This was on last night, too late for me to watch unfortunately. I love this film, maybe I should get the DVD?

Grinding Wheels...

I've got to stop writing now, time is marching on and I'm on my own with the kids. They'd be happy to stay playing together watching television but the grinding wheels of live have to turn and we all have a schedule to keep if we're to survive the day. I feel like just going back to bed though...get that thought out of my head!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Pope

I wouldn't like to offend anyone's beliefs but surely we are into the last few days of life for the current pope. That's why all the world's media have gathered, after all they're not there to wish him well, the poor old sod. It does seem an odd job to have, pope. Strange name for it too.