Monday, July 31, 2006

Mystery Identity No More

Well, congratulations to fellow blogger Ryan who has helped to track down the mystery action figure my wife bought yesterday. Thanks man! Thanks also to Misfit 138, who confirmed that the character was not from the He-Man series.

Ryan says:

"Goliath from Gargoyles, boys! Gargoyles was a successful cartoon series originally on ABC and later Fox Kids. Produced by Disney, it created controversy because it was one of Disney's more violent cartoons - lots of guns on the show. It can now be seen on Toon Disney in the States. The show ran from 1994 to 1997 - and was at it's heightest popularity in (drumroll please) in 1995."

Ryan makes it sound interesting, I'd quite like to see the cartoon series now!

Some research following Ryan's lead me to find out that he was sold originally with wings and an axe thing (both are missing) but at least he still roars. The listing where I identified the exact version to buy him was here. You can see his original packaging below. I don't know what he's worth in this state but it cost us 10p and I doubt we'll be approached with offers for him, LOL!

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cars: the movie

I saw this today and have written a review of it here.

Mystery Identity Bad Guy

He's bad and he's mean. He is also unknown unknown. My wife picked him up at a car boot sale today and we have no idea who this guy is. I put some new batteries in him hoping he might say something that would allow us to pinpoint him but no. He roars like a baddie and his eyes light up, that's about it - except he doesn't stand up too well and his arms are the most moveable part of him and they only have a shoulder movement. I don't even know for sure that this guy is a baddie, I might be wrongly attributing this to him.

Can anybody out there help or tell us how we might find out his identity? He looks to me like a He-Man bad guy but I can't find him after a look on e-Bay for "heman baddies". Any help in identifying him will be greatly appreciated.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Putting the Squeeze on

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I like English mustard. Give me a plate of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, peas, runner beans, baby new potatoes, roast potatoes, carrots and a small knob of mustard on the side of the plate for my Sunday lunch and I feel like a King. Something is happening lately in the supermarket, normal things that usually come in jars are going squeezy. Like English mustard, for example. Like Marmite, for example. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm no luddite when it comes to squeezable condiments: I have entertained squeezable Heinz ketchup bottles at my table and squeezy Heinz salad cream. I've even pushed the boat out and bought squeezable Hellman's mayonnaise. My wife bought squeezable Marmite into the house and within weeks was complaining that you couldn't tell if the jar was empty or not. The plastic squeezy bottle is the same colour brown as the usual glass bottle variety. An inherent design flaw but at least with the glass jar you could see how much was left and scrape the last dregs out with a knife.
I fear squeezable mustard is one step too far! Let's look at the facts:
  • it's hot, so you don't want much of it, you can get a sort of head-rush if you take too much in one go (kind of pleasant sort of pain though, once in a while)
  • dipping a knife into a jar is a nice, clean and easy way to take all the mustard you want
  • no, no, no and NO!
If I wanted squeezable mustard (I don't), I would buy French's American Mustard (I don't). Occasionally, about once or twice a year I have a really strong desire to eat a hot dog loaded up with ketchup, mustard and onions. And over the years I've bought French's American Mustard because each time it's long enough inbetween for me to forget what the taste is like. No offence to my US friends, but it is foul. I like Dijon mustard, so I'm not completely biased towards English mustard. Incidentally, my wife tells me a story that she had a friend load up a hot dog with English mustard in the same quantity as if it were American mustard and to save grace ate it all: then threw up! I'd like to try a good hot dog in the states to compare with what I get over here. I wonder if French's American Mustard is anything like real American mustard. I like the mustard at MacDonald's, that must be American mustard right? I like their mayonnaise too. Oh boy, now I'm hungry again! All this damn food talk!

Postscript: I couldn't find an image of squeezy Colman's mustard on the web. Actually, they don't seem to have a website, there's a Unilever one but I think they should give each product it's own site: for the fans if nothing else!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Krispy Kreme Delicious!

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A while back I posted about Krispy Kreme coming to the UK with a shop opening on 4th July near to where I live. The funny thing was, after I posted that, I had a very polite email from Krispy Kreme asking if I would be interested in attending an opening celebration involving champagne and complimentary doughnut. I said YES PLEASE and got my invite in the post, but unfortunately on the day I was working and couldn't make it. I also found out that it wasn't the first Krispy Kreme shop to open in the UK.

Today, I found one in High Holborn in London. Boy, the tube was stifling and humid - very unpleasant. Anyway, I entered Krispy Kreme and picked up an Original Glazed, a Maple Glazed and a bottle of Coka Cola. I didn't sample the delights until I got back to the train station to come home. Wow! The dough was so light and delicious, it was wonderful. Beforehand I admit I had a bit of trepidation because the smell inside the shop was so sugary but seriously, they are great tasting. I'm going to have to try the other varieties. I'm no longer a Krispy Kreme virgin.

Thanks to Tara for mentioning the brand originally. It just goes to show, you never know who is reading your blog!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Wikipedia is a wonderful thing. I've gone through August and selected an arbitrary list of events that have caught my eye for some reason, some happy and some some not so. What astounds me about Wikipedia is that there are so many interesting pages on just about anything you could think of and others you would never have thought of. Anyway, enjoy my list and I wonder (with some trepidation) what awaits us this year?

1st 1936 - The Berlin Olympic Games open.
2nd 1932 - Birth of Peter O'Toole, Irish-born actor
3rd 2004 - The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
4th 1782 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is married to Constanze Weber.
5th 1914 - In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light is installed.
6th 1991 - Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web.
7th 1968 - Birth of Furtive Wangler, writer, poet and artist.
8th 1930 - Betty Boop premieres in the animated film Dizzy Dishes.
9th 1994 - Dilbert (character) is drawn with his necktie down, signifying that he "lost his innocence" with Liz.
10th 1959 - Birth of Rosanna Arquette, American model and actress
11th 1999 - A total solar eclipse visible from Europe and Asia.
12th 1960 - Echo I, the first communications satellite, launched
13th 1913 - Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley.
14th 1885 - Japan's first patent is issued to the inventor of a rust-proof paint.
15th 1877 - Thomas Edison makes the first-ever recording - "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
16th 1975 - Serial Killer Ted Bundy originally arrested for suspicion of burglary, only to later escape twice.
17th 1786 - Birth of Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier (d. 1836)
18th 2004 - Death of Elmer Bernstein, American composer (b. 1922)
19th 1955 - In the Northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane, claims 200 lives.
20th 1920 - The first commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), begins operations in Detroit, Michigan.
21st 1911 - The Mona Lisa was stolen by a Louvre employee.
22nd 1970 - Neil Young released his album, "After The Gold Rush."
23rd 1833 - Slavery abolished in the British colonies
24th 1690 - Calcutta, India is founded.
25th 1944 - World War II: Paris is liberated by the Allies.
26th 1966 - Birth of Shirley Manson, Scottish singer
27th 1896 - Anglo-Zanzibar War: the shortest war in world history (9:02 to 9:40) between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar.
28th 1996 - Britain's Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, are divorced.
29th 1966 - Last Beatles concert, in San Francisco, California.
30th 1965 - Rock musician Bob Dylan releases his influential album Highway 61 Revisited featuring the song "Like a Rolling Stone."
31st 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash in Paris.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bad Dates

This is a little bit scary for the single people out there but you have to remember the bad guys are a very small percentage. I've had dates that were just bad and I usually squirm in my seat when I think of them, the good part is they are just a memory. Being able to walk away is a mercy in its own little way, be grateful for small mercies I say. My advice to the guys is learn from your mistakes and move on. You were lucky to get a date in the first place.

This story is about the meanest date ever. The lady in question didn't take the bait and never went on a second date with the guy. However, that wasn't the end of it. He had no concept of normal behaviour and went in pursuit of half the cost of dinner. I don't think it was about the money. He was arrogant, stupid and not mature enough to deal with a personal relationship in the first place.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Doom reviewed

Okay, I've written and posted my review of the film Doom here, thanks for stopping by.

Shedding some light on the matter

Apparently, a prisoner just "woke up" one morning to find a lightbulb up his ass. Okay, so its obvious he did it - you just don't sleep through something like that, right? But, at the end of the day I can understand a prisoner hiding some kind of tool or weapon up there (or drugs) but a lightbulb? What's the point of that? Perhaps he's part of a requisition crew that are supporting the tunnel crew who are digging under the prison. Obviously, they'll need light down there. I think the authorities should be warned.

Some good comments here.

Chocolate May Harm Your Health

It's a bit scary when you know salmonella can get into something like chocolate. I thought that a bug like that would have a "shelf life" that was only very short lived. Apparently not. It's frightening how contaminating some foods can just wipe out so many people at once. Chocolate is something so many people can't live without. Personally, a bit of chocolate now and again is a great experience - I don't have too much but a slab of Belgian chocolate every month goes down very well.

More info here.

Robert Downey Jr

My wife is a great fan of Robert Downey Jr. Apparently he's writing an autobiorgraphy. More here.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Heat: Have Mercy!

The last few days have been hot with high humidity, making the heat feel worse. Even rain today hasn't managed to cool things down. I work upstairs and it has been very tiring due to the heat.

My wife has been doing hours of work on the computer for her job, hence my lack of opportunity to actually get on and do some blogging. I have been downloading a few podcasts though, so I guess that has taken some of my time up too. Here are the ones I've been listening to:

The Alternative Music Show
Radio 1 Unsigned
KCRW Today's Top Tune
XFM Sessions
Take Your Medicine

They are all music related, I like The Alternative Music Show because the presenters Eric and Sara Skiff seem so laid back and nice as people. They have a nice little chat inbetween some really good mellow tracks.

From the library today we borrowed two films: Creep and Doom. I'll let you know what I think once I've watched them. I used to love playing the Doom computer game but films based on videogames are usually notoriously bad, so my hopes aren't high.

The Lost Boys is on TV tonight, might give that a go I think I've enjoyed it in the past. The good news on the film front is that Film Four changes from a subscription based channel into a free digital channel tomorrow. That' s a great move and I'm looking forward to watching some great popcorn films over the newxt few years. Maybe I'm looking forward to the popcorn too!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Roasting Temperatures

The heatwave we're having seems to be showing no signs of stopping, today was the hottest so far - in terms of recorded temperatures. I'm not sure how accurate a picture the recorded temperature represents though, I'm sure that for people in cities who are trying to do a job get it worse. I had a long day today myself: walking, several trains, a bus and a taxi were involved while carrying my laptop backpack. At Kings Cross Station I stepped off an air conditioned train and walked into the waiting area just by the departures boards where loads of people were waiting for trains and the heat was stifling. Everyone's face was glazed with sweat. My hair is shaved very short so sweat runs down my face quite easily, so I have a glazed look about my face quite often but for everyone to have that appearance was shocking to me. All of my trains were delayed for various reasons but one was that the heat caused the rails to expand, so there were speed restrictions along the route. So I left the house at 8am and got back at 8.45pm. An ambulance was outside a neighbours house, hope she's okay - she lives with her husband and she has epileptic fits, it's not the first time an ambulance has been called but it is worrying. The drugs don't seem to be helping her and this weather might have set her off, you just don't know when its going to happen next. Our bedroom is going to be sweltering, so I'm going to take a shower and just try and stay really still. No bed rocking and creaking tonight (yeah, like that's a regular occurrence!). I'll just have to think of Iceland, penguins and seals. That'll cool me down.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Fantasy Dream Car

I came across the Bristol Cars site yesterday and fell head over heels in love with a car. It doesn't happen very often ('67 Pontiac Firebird convertible, '63 Chrysler Imperial Crown, oh actually I could go on all day...) - then again, maybe it does!

I love this description. It just sounds wonderful. I'd very happily drive this car, it's worth more than my house but I don't mind if someone wants to buy it for me. Please?

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

One Red Paperclip: Result

I posted about this website before. A guy traded a small red paperclip for a pen first of all and then continued trading to see if he could eventually get a trade for a house. It looks like he suceeded in his quest. Quite an achievement. There are plenty of people who wish they had thought of the idea first, me included! Wikipedia article listing all of the trades.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Variety

A varied bunch of news and thoughts for a Saturday.

  • I saw a bit of The Incredible Hulk today on TV, the version with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno. The pace is a lot slower than films of today, that's not necessarily a bad thing. My wife has Lou Ferigno's autograph, just thought I'd mention that. I prefer the most recent Hulk film.
  • My wife bought me a Micro Scalextric set yesterday, it was reduced to 13 pounds from 40. It's great fun, I was playing with my kids with it today. I remember Scalextric racing cars and tracks from my childhood, my brother was well into them. That was the bigger track with bigger cars. I remember that they used to smell of rubber and a sort of burning. I think it was because my brother had a lot of Scalextric track that I was never actually bought any as a kid. He had a lot of Hornby trains and track too. He took all of his toys when he left home. I was bought a racing set called TCR, which stood for Total Control Racing. TCR was a smaller track and cars but did have the features that the cars were able to switch lanes. I had a police pursuit set and I think the car headlights had bulbs in them. I don't know if you can buy TCR sets anymore, I haven't seen them for years. On the subject of racing, I think the French Grand Prix is tomorrow. Not that I've seen any races in the F1 season this year. I have been playing F1 2003 on the PS2 a lot, I have wanted a F1 racing game for the PS2 for a while and 2003 is a great version.
  • Health-wise I'm a bit of a mess. I've still got my chest infection, so am coughing. I am waiting to attend some counselling sessions to help me work through some stress-related issues. I have a heamorrhoid that hurts when I cough, it just popped up this week to teach me a lesson that when you think you're down something else can come along and get you down a bit further.
  • I have been listening to some podcasts this week. I want to hear the new Muse album and I like what I've heard of Lily Allen - she's number one in the UK charts I think. It's not the song I've heard though. I also have enjoyed a song by a group called The Boy Least Likely To.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Catching Up

Our internet connection crashed and burned this week. It has been down since Monday morning and we've been in mourning or retreat or something like that without our beloved net. It's amazing how inconvenient it is not to be able to do anything we normally do on the net. It realy does make a big difference. So anyway, apologies to everyone for not catching up with what's going on. I've got a backlog of emails to work through and stuff to catch up on. Hopefully the connection will be OK from now on...

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I like games of all sorts. From simple games you play on paper, through handheld games, console games and games for the PC. I can play chess and strategy games but I don't think I'm very good at them - it takes me a long time to think through my moves and even then I am usually easily beat. I still enjoy playing them though. The main problem with strategy board games I've found is that you need other players who are excited and interested to play with you. I'm thinking of chess , Cluedo and Risk and so on. My wife isn't that interested, especially in any D&D or military strategy games, which I quite enjoy. I've never delved into the whole online gaming experience (except a few games of internet draughts in Windows).
The battle scenarios are quite different sometimes: it's either rolling multi-sided dice or it's taking turns or it's real-time clicking (as in C&C and Red ALert). The turn-based battles in Final Fantasy PS games take some getting used to. I've recently started to play Baldurs Gate II and it is very complicated. I like that, it just takes me a while to get into it. I think it would be easier if I could play with someone who could tutor me. It's so lonely playing games on your own.
Moan moan moan. I love playing games though.

Friday, July 07, 2006

5 Musical Things

I'm interested in music again, it has taken a while but it is back in my life.

5 Things I last listened to on my MP3 player:

1. Hardcore by Lil' Kim
2. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
3. Pussycat Dolls by Pussycat Dolls
4. The emancipation of Mimi by Mariah Carey
5. Monkey Business by Black Eyed Peas

I'm interested in what other people listen to, so please tell!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Space Shuttle Success

I just watched the launch of the shuttle Discovery on NASA TV. I'm pleased to say it all looked very smooth. Every time I watch a shuttle launch I'm very nervous about it just exploding into flames. Even though millions of dollars have been spent on safety and camera technology has improved so much that they can practically get to any part of the ship to examine it thoroughly now. It adds to the Independence Day celebrations for the USA very nicely. Have fun guys, doing whatever it is you do to celebrate!

In the World Cup, I've got over my disappointment that England are out. Germany face Italy and Portugal face France tonight in the semi-finals. I'm hoping for a Germany France final.

The weather got a bit mad here between 4 and 5pm. It's been hot and sunny for two weeks or more but for half an hour we had a terrific storm: thunder, lightning, howling winds and lashing rain. I drove over to another part of town (there was a flood across the road) and it was sunny, hot and calm. I couldn't believe it, it was like I was in a different country. It had all finished by the time I got back.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Horror flicks

There's a documentary on TV about sleepwalkers who have committed crimes while asleep. I find it all hard to believe but I suppose it could happen. What do I know? When I was a kid, I had one night when I was found at the top of the stairs moaning. As an adult it is kind of creepy to wake up in the night and find your child standing at the foot of the bed groaning like the kid in the Exorcist. It makes you think of all those horror films where a child is evil, like in The Omen for example.
On the subject of horror films, I watched a bit of the first The Amityville Horror on TV last night. I think parts of that film are hilarious - I have a very warped sense of humour at times. The bit I find the funniest is the nun who pulls the car over to puke. It makes me smile even now to think about it. Also on recently was Halloween H2O, I lost interest after a few minutes.

5 horror films I've probably watched the most:
1. Resident Evil
2. The Wicker Man
3. The Fog (1979)
4. Hellraiser
5. Evil Dead

5 horror films that scare me enough not to watch them alone:
1. The Exorcist
2. The Omen
3. Salem's Lot
4. The Shining
5. The Blair Witch Project

5 recent horror films I haven't yet seen:
1. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
2. The Grudge
3. The Descent
4. Wolf Creek
5. The Village (2004)