Monday, March 29, 2010

Bad Blogger

I'm a very bad blogger! Haven't had a lot of time recently, been doing some packing and other stuff in relation to getting on with moving house. Still more to do. My thanks and appreciation to Mrs Hairy Woman for awarding me with a blog award over at Northern Sky Chronicles. Sooo nice of her!!

That's it for now, only had time while the kettle boiled to write this!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The New Blues

I like the Blues as a form of music, it is the basis of so many great styles today. Here's a young protagonist of the Blues that I like listening to and want to share with you. His name is Joe Bonamassa and I think he's fairly well known!

A Day Without Work

Hey folks, I had a day outside of work today. I am working tomorrow and then I also have Friday and Monday on leave too: so a nice long weekend. I had a few days I needed to use up and thought what the hell, I need a break. Work can take over, it's time to put the balance back!

My wife had to go into London, so I dropped her at the station and picked her up from it when she returned. I also picked my kids up from school and took them and a friend to the gymnastic class they attend. Then took them to McDonald's for tea as a treat.

I saw an old friend for a drink and a chat in the pub around the corner at lunchtime, it's good to catch up. I haven't seen him since just before Christmas.

I visited the library to take some things back and ended up loaning a few CDs and the film Moon, which I've wanted to see for a while. I also got my hair cut and took a batch of magazines to a couple of charity shops for them to sell. So all in all I've had quite a good, productive day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothers Day to all of you who have children. Yesterday we had to leave the house early, we needed to get to the tyre place so that my wife could get her tyres looked at. The mechanic advised that her rear ones were fine but that the two front ones were probably worth changing. When she had the MOT test in January they said the tyres would need to be changed soon and the fact that she hadn't changed them was weighing on her mind, I've been driving us in preference to using her car for longer journeys. But today, she is driving my daughter to a judo competition quite a long way away and wanted new tyres for such a journey. I think the tracking was out because she was saying it wasn't going in a straight line, so we got that done too.
Leaving the house early meant we could get into town sooner than we normally do. It was 8.30am and most shops don't open until 9:30am except newsagents and bigger stores like WHSmith and Marks & Spencer. My wife wanted new trousers and my daughter wanted some pens so they went off while my son and I visited McDonalds for breakfast. I like an occasional breakfast there.
Our library opens at 9:30am on Saturdays, so we visited that and I was lucky to pick up the Halo Legends DVD (I like the Halo universe stories/games) for loan. Last week I was lucky to find a Dio live DVD in the withdrawn stock but there wasn't anything that I fancied there this week. Sometimes they hang on to withdrawn audiovisual material and have a big stock sale, which I love because I enjoy the serendipity of finding a rarity amongst all the popular stuff.
The weather is getting warmer and nights are getting shorter, I like when the seasons change. I especially like looking forward to the summer.
The new Formula 1 season gets off to a start today, I enjoy motor racing even though my wife can't see the point of watching anything but the last lap!
I'm only working 3 days next week, so I'm looking forward to thinking about other things than work.
Finally, my son bought himself a green Star Wars Clone Wars lightsabre yesterday. He loves it. It doesn't light up or anything but it does fully collapse into its holder. It's pretty cool, I almost bought one for myself (never having had one as a kid) but I held myself back: I'd always have to play the bad guys! We'll see how long it lasts for without breaking and maybe buy him a light up one for his birthday in September.
The UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was selected by the British public last night. Josh Dubovie sings the song and he is described as a "teenage sensation" (like they usually are). I'll have to post an entry just about the Eurovision Song Contest in the next few weeks. I watch it every year.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sometimes only meat, fat and carbohydrates will do

Funny how this morning there was nothing perceptibly wrong with me. I dropped the children off for school, visited a store and picked up my regular music magazine and some rolls and sausages. At home I ate a couple of rolls and sausages before starting work. And I felt much better afterwards. How crazy is that?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Horror spoof The Exorcist

I enjoyed the spoofs that French and Saunders used to do, this one always makes me chuckle.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Oscar 2010

It's that time of year again for the Oscar ceremony. I wonder who will be victorious tonight? I hope the following get some awards:
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Up
 I haven't seen many of the films nominated, I've only seen the two above. I think Avatar should win just for its trailers, they were pretty awesome. Up and Inglourious Bs were great fun to watch, while District 9 just sounds exactly like the kind of film I'd like to see (trailer good too). I'd also really like to see The Hurt Locker so I hope that gets an Oscar. In a way, I would like Hurt Locker to win best picture over Avatar like it did with the BAFTAs. Avatar must be the favourite though but it would be good for a female director to win an Oscar and does James Cameron need any more awards to prove he's great?


We spent this morning at the Odeon cinema in town, watching the 3D version of Alice in Wonderland.
I can't remember the last time I saw a 3D film at the cinema, not having seen Avatar yet. The illusion of 3D works very well though and I forgot I was wearing the spectacles during large segments of the film. The black plastic glasses Blues Brothers style spectacles work much better than those cardboard ones I remember from my youth: the ones with a blue "lens" for one eye and a red "lens" for the other eye. You could sort of watch the film without the glasses on because the colours were the same however there was a double image effect. In old 3D movies everything kind of looked green I remember, except for a red tinged outline.
I don't recall reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass all the way through as a child but I have been exposed to parts of the stories before. I've read excerpts for comprehension exercises in school and I've seen other films so kind of knew what to expect. I think Tim Burton has done a brilliant job, he has come up with a film that I could enjoy watching again using a story I never really liked very much. Or I should say using elements of different stories because it's not a "true" film adaptation of the original book. It doesn't pretend to be either, it kind of updates the story from the book and gives it a better, more coherent, structure that I prefer to be honest. The actors and voice actors all do a fine job.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Action theme songs

I used to like playing with toy guns as a child. I had a few, not a great many but enough. I played with other children down my street. We played a variety of different types of games based on film or TV characters of the time. My favourites were shows like The Professionals and James Bond. These had great theme songs that inspired me to play at being a spy or a paramilitary person. I moved on from play to reading novels by Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy, and have moved back to play with the advent of realistic videogames like Modern Warfare. Here are a few of the themes I enjoyed as a kid, imagine me in my bedroom singing these and pretending it's me in the opening credits.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, one of the best themes for Bond I think. I like the film but it's not my all time favourite Bond.

The Professionals, I loved this show. Bodie was my favourite character. I loved the way the actors would look up and the picture would freeze during the opening credits.

The Hawaii Five-O theme, a classic.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme (embedding disabled). These were rarely shown on TV when I was a kid, maybe they shown late but I really loved them. My brother had the annuals and I pored over them, fascinated by the two characters and the mysterious U.N.C.L.E. agency.

Mission Impossible, I enjoyed these as a kid. The theme is now a classic because of the advertisements that have used it.

The New Avengers, I liked the drums on this one.

The A Team: I was getting older but I still enjoyed the A Team theme.

The Sweeney: a tough cop show featuring John Thaw who later played Inspector Morse (Colin Dexter's Morse books are very good apparently but I haven't read them myself).

The Persuaders theme (embedding disabled) a show I don't really remember much about but I always liked the theme however it's not one I could hum.
The Avengers were a little strange and troubling as a child (I must only have saw repeats) but the theme was really strong.

For a childrens sci-fi series I thought the opening credits of The Tomorrow People were great.

Blakes 7 was an adult sci-fi series that had a great theme song. I enjoyed acting this out.

The UFO theme was excellent, I saw this show a few times and it terrified me as a kid.

Actually, now I've pulled this list together there are a few other great themes I loved that didn't quite make it to this list: The Equalizer, Quincey, Miami Vice, The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I. and Starsky and Hutch to name but a few near the top of the list.