Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spies, Lies and Pies

The news about spying today prompts me to think again about an idea I have for a new blog. Basically, my idea is to just report on stories in the news that could easily appear in a spy thriller. Some of the news stories you read, you just couldn’t make up: better than any fiction. I haven’t started such a blog just because if I had the time I would write the novel instead. A lot of the Tom Clancy novels mention how informative CNN is on foreign issues. To the extent that the president always has CNN on in the Oval Room and often hears intelligence first from it. I wonder how true that is? It sounds credible but I imagine there is a bank of analysts producing overview material for the top dogs: they probably use printed material instead of the instantly accessible TV. A picture says a thousand words.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Futureheads

Not a new song anymore but I still enjoy this version.

England and USA Out Then

Well the good spell didn’t last long, if getting into the last 16 is a good spell. I think the results probably reflect the way the teams played. I’m not that interested in the World Cup now that England and USA are out. I suppose I should try and find an alternative team to support, maybe the Netherlands: I don’t like Germany or Argentina.

I haven’t watched any of the tennis, I can’t remember the last time I was interested in tennis. It is so boring, with matches that seem to go on and on for no particular reason. It really does seem absurd to me why it is stretched out so long.

This weekend was quite eventful, it was our local Judo Club Championship and we had a good time. My wife and a friend had a cake stall and I helped with mats and chairs. The turn out was very good and the quality of the Judo playing was excellent, all the kids really did put such an effort in and the seniors too. On Sunday, we visited a National trust property that held a annual arts festival. we watched a child of a friend’s African drumming performance and then watched while the kids went crazy on the activity playground, it’s on different levels and surrounded by trees and other plants so is a very nice environment to play in. There was singing and dancing and other activities too. A great day out but we were so tired, we didn’t stay too long. Then it was home in time to have some food and watch the England v Germany match. No more to be said on that front!

Hot hot hot

The weather since last week has been amazing, really hot and sizzling. I could get used to this weather. My wife hates it but I think it makes a nice change to have a bit of heat. It’s not too humid, which is good and the breeze is still cool when it comes.

Enough about the weather! I saw half of Avatar the movie last Friday, I thought it was really good. The special effects were amazing. That’s not even 3D or Blu-Ray, just good old DVD quality. I watched an hour and had to go and do some chores but didn’t quite feel up to watching the other half, I’m not quite sure why – I think I could guess what was coming next and I wasn’t going to be any more impressed than I was already with the effects. I would like to see the other at some point however, maybe I’ll buy it some time.

I’ve also seen The Hurt Locker recently too, can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that. Now that was an awesome film I thought. I haven’t seen too many recent war films but that one was very good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I don't know what the criteria for a heatwave is but it feels like we're in one this week. It has been lovely and hot and warm all week so far. So for my purposes, I shall describe it as a heatwave. People seem a bit more relaxed when the weather is hot.
Lately, I've been over-indulging in food, particularly fast food. It happens slowly but over a period of time it builds up. Eating out. That's my problem - I like eating out. So in an attempt to stop the rot, I'm awaiting a diet plan to come through. I have signed up for the GI diet, via my wife, so hopefully we'll be losing some weight soon. It doesn't help that temptation is all around, either at work where people bring in donuts, biscuits, sweets and cakes or at home where we have chocolates and biscuits given to us for the kids.
I have been watching some of the DVDs I got for Father's Day, Blake's 7 and Sapphire and Steel.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

I can't believe all of last happened since my last post - time just seems to disappear! I can't even remember most of last week now. This weekend we had Father's Day on Sunday. I somehow managed to forget my dad's birthday this year, so I made sure he got a card and a gift for Father's Day. I myself got some DVDs I have been after for a while from my wife and kids, which was sweet of them. I took them out for a bike ride in the morning, followed up by another walk and a Sunday lunch in a village pub. The food was lovely and we all had a good time.
This week feels a bit disjointed because I have had to take today off to take my daughter to another town so that she can do a guitar exam. Seems a bit crazy to have the exam in another town but that's the situation. So I had a busy day yesterday and now I get to relax and tomorrow and the rest of the week will be busy. Bit of a stop/start week.
I'll have to do something constructive this afternoon, this morning I'll take it easy but I feel I need to achieve something later, so I might take a trip to the dump to get rid of some of the broken stuff we have in the back garden: I've let it pile up a bit and need to do some clearing so that we can take a bit more pride in the garden: I'll have to do some grass cutting too then. Pity that grass doesn't just need a cut at the start of summer and one at the end. Oh well, have a good week trekkers!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the closet at Download 2010

This weekend the Download Festival plays host to some of the best bands on the planet:
  • ACDC
  • Them Crooked Vultures
  • Rage Against The Machine
  • Megadeth
  • Aerosmith
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Motorhead
  • Saxon
  • Bullet For My Valentine
  • Stone Sour
  • Killswitch Engage
  • Lamb of God
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Atreyu
I've attended only two large music festivals and they were over ten years ago now, infact the Phoenix Festival as it was called only ran for something like 3 years. It did attract a lot of good bands though and I saw some great music. The experience has stayed with me. The first time I went with a friend and stayed in a motel nearby, driving to the site each day. The second time I went, it was alone and I took my tent and camped. It was quite a solitary experience, which was weird with so many other people around. The thing is, when you go to an event like a festival, you see people who are living the alternative lifestyle more than I ever could as someone with a job and responsibilities. You see people who have really long hair, tattoos, piercings, druggie trappings, wearing clothes that look like something out of the Mad Max films. They wear the badge of office: the signs indicate that they are of another class - a class I feel affinity with yet somehow a class I both aspire to and paradoxically one I also look down on. If I bought a death metal band T-shirt it would feel odd and I'd feel awkward and out of place. Even though, I might really enjoy listening to that music on my iPod. I also know that a proportion of those people attending have responsible jobs and families and go as large family groups - I miss that, I would love to take my family to a festival with a group of other families who also like rock music but the truth is my wife has made more social connections than me with other families - I talk to other daddies but they aren't interested in rock music and film and videogames like I am. My wife isn't interested in those things either and there's a limit to how much I can indulge my liking for those things in a family environment. I'd like to know of a club or community for other adults in my situation, does one exist?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

One Gold Medal Later

My daughter won a gold medal for her Judo competition last weekend. This Saturday my son has a mini-competition to attend and then the weekend after that it is the local Judo club championship, then another competition after that I think. So we've quite a bit of competitive fighting over the next few weekends.
I've got to take my car in to the local garage for its MOT test this Friday, I hope it passes. I have new tyres to replace the ones that were close to the legal limit, so at least I know it won't fail on tyres.
The World Cup starts on Saturday and England play the USA, so I'm looking forward to watching that match. I haven't really been looking forward to it that much recently but now it's closer I am starting to feel more excited by it. My wife can't understand why I would watch it when our own country team aren't playing but I just like to see different styles of football and I like to watch matches to see good football skills on show. I can't explain it any better than that. It's something to talk about with other men I suppose too, something my wife doesn't really "get" either. She thinks men should talk about how we feel, what fears we have and what's happening with our lives but really they're the last thing we like to talk about. That's perhaps a bit cliched but it's not all that far from the truth.
I mentioned we visted Collectormania recently, well the day after we went I heard from someone else who went that they saw Keifer Sutherland signing autographs there. My wife was ever so disappointed she missed him, she loves him! He wasn't advertised, so perhaps it was to avoid too long a queue: even so there was a very long queue for him apparently!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Collectormania May 2010

Collectormania was good again this year, my son really enjoyed it. being a Star Wars fan he was in his element. Certain characters were dressed up and walking around, including old R2D2 below.
I bought a figure of Marcus Fenix from Gears Of War and my wife purchased photographs of various people for her wall at work.