Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Films to see

Not being a regular cinema goer there are a few films from this year that I would really love to watch.

The Amazing Spiderman
Total Recall
The Bourne Legacy
Batman Dark Knight Rises
Expendables 2

I don't have any subscriptions to film services like Netflix or Love Film. They all seem to offer the same choices of method of delivery. But I guess I'd probably end up buying the DVD for films I really liked anyway. So that's why I haven't subscribed and I think I could get films via a pay as you use service in my TV (but I haven't researched this option yet, so I might be wrong about this).
Lately, I have tended to watch films I already own or have recorded from the TV. They might not be the latest blockbusters but I pay enough for my children to see the latest films so I think I am contributing to the cinema economy through paying for them.
Are there any films you would love to see but have missed at the cinema?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Underworld (film franchise)

When the first film came out back in 2003 I missed it completely. My introduction to it came via Tara's blog, I think Tara even had an image from the film as her avatar. I have watched the film a few times, including this week when I bought a double disk version on DVD. I also picked up copies of Underworld Evolution and Underworld Rise of the Lycans. I am watching them in order. There is a new film in the series from this year, Underworld Awakening I think it's called. I haven't seen this yet, I guess I'll be waiting for it to come out on DVD release before I see it. The image below is of Kate Beckinsale who plays the role of Selene, I've seen Kate do an interview recently because she is also in the new version of Total Recall that is hitting cinemas. I'd like to see that. She is both very clever and very beautiful too, which doesn't hurt while watching the films.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Football Premiership Season 2012/13

Two games in to the new Premiership season and the team I support (West Bromwich Albion) have got off to a great start beating Liverpool by enough goals to humiliate them (3-0) and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur in the last minutes of the match on Saturday.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they fair this season. They have a new manager, Steve Clarke, because last season's manager Roy Hodgson is now the England national team coach. I wonder how they'll perform against the bigger teams in the Premiership league like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Driving Inspiration - Paralympic animation

The 2012 Paralympic Games start this coming week. This animation is a great endeavour to celebrate the diversity and spirit of cooperation.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog legacy

Do you ever wonder what happens to a person's blog after they die? There must be thousands of examples surely?
In a way, a blog could serve as a kind of tribute to one's life, showing part of their personality that would otherwise be hidden. My children don't know I keep a blog or are only marginally aware. My wife similarly. I can't decide whether this is something that they would ever want to read or not. Perhaps after my death they'll read it and possibly understand me a little bit more. Either that or it will all be wiped from disk in error by Google and there will be no legacy.

Imagine if there was no ...Google... (hums tune of Imagine by John Lennon)'s very hard to do....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Movie memories - Blade

I watched the old Blade movie from 1998 this week. It's a bit of a daft film really but it does have some good sequences and some funny lines that are enjoyable to hear.
There is a good story behind the film, although the script is more unintentionally amusing than it demands. Not enough is made of the vampire true blood elders and the way the villains in general were portrayed don't convey much threat. The henchman Quinn plays a particularly amusing clown-like role.
If you haven't seen Blade before (where have you been?) it's worth it for the amusement.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


We visited London on Monday, somehow the days we choose to go into London involves some issue with trains. We were delayed but things weren't so bad.

My main objective was to go and see an exhibition devoted to James Bond. style. It was great, there were clips from the films, the costumes, models and storyboards and other artwork. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only quibble would be that I'd have liked it to be a little larger. The book for the exhibition looked good but was 30 pounds, just a little bit more than I could justify buying on top of the ticket price.
I have my memories I suppose and I think my kids will remember it in future. Here's a photo from just outside the door, no photography inside unfortunately.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back pain

As I get older I have started to become more aware of my physical limitations, especially where lifting goes. There was a time when I would try my hardest to lift anything, even including things that I shouldn't have even tried. I still seem to have some of that mindset. My wife and I visited a garden centre and as we were weighing up compost prices we decided to get two of the heaviest and bulkiest bags. They were the most economical. However, getting them in and out of the car and into the back garden was the problem. I got them into the car fine, with my wife's help. The problem was that when we got home we needed to lift them up a step from the drive into the back garden. I must have twisted as I lifted, I did have my knees bent and tried to keep my back straight but something happened and I knew I had done my back.

So, I've done it again and now have limited mobility and pain for a while. I hope not for too long. I seem to do this to my back two or three times a year. I have continued with my back exercises since the last time I did it. They do help.

My body is just not as flexible as it once was and I now have a belly. When I first started dating the woman who was to become my wife, she always says she found it attractive that I had no fat on me, that I was lean. Although, I don't think I've ever been as flexible as I could be, trying to pull a few yoga moves or trying to do dance moves shows me up as someone who doesn't really have a skill with moving my body.

I would like to be able to lift heavy stuff when I need to, without the indignity of hurting my back and not being able to put socks on, bend down to pick something up or twist in my car seat to see behind when reversing properly as a result.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Holiday period

Last week I was in the fortunate position of being able to rest and spend some time with my family. I was on annual leave and not working. It was a very needed week of rest. I had been feeling quite run down and tired. I just needed some time to recharge my batteries.

I didn't have a plan. I took each day fairly easily and watched quite a bit of the Olympics on TV, my wife and I clubbed together to buy ourselves a new TV. So it was a good week to take off with the massive number of medals that Team GB won, I couldn't believe that we came third after USA and China. It just goes to show what having the tournament on your home turf can do for you.

This forthcoming weekend I have Friday and Monday off. I'm going to take my kids to see their gramps on Friday and on Monday may go into London to visit a James Bond style exhibition. So I have more of a plan for the days with this next holiday chance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vehicular Fame

Just being out and about sometimes I come across cars that are copies of famous vehicles, here are just a couple of the ones I've seen very recently.

When I was much younger I used to see a lot of these cars and they always made me go "Wow!", I haven't seen one for absolute years though.
They were called Bond Buggies and you can read more about them here. I thought they must have been related to James Bond, but sadly no.
While I'm on the car theme, somewhere I don't usually go, my first car was a Volkswagon Polo. The photo is just for illustrative benefit, mine was a maroon colour.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A stroll in the park

On the first day of my holiday I took the family to a country park we've not been to before. It's not far away and I had no real expectations. However, I thought it was quite a good morning out and my kids, who were grumbling, within the first half hour were both playing well and asking if we could stay.
A nice touch was some of the wooden things embedded into the park at unexpected places. You'll see what I mean when you look at the photos below.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Omen Trilogy

What do you think about these films? Do you have to watch them from under the duvet with the lights on? Or don't they scare you?

There are few movies that send a chill down my spine quite like these ones. If I watch these films I don't do it lightly, I make sure I'm with good company.

What films set you a little on edge?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Poppy fields

Having a relatively wet summer this year may have a correlation with me noticing a larger spread of red in the countryside. A number of fields I don't normally think twice about are awash with the red of poppies. It's quite lovely to see.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Go Team GB Go!

I feel obliged to give a massive shout-out to the Team GB Olympic competitors. The first week of the Olympics is over and they have done the whole nation proud.

Cycling, rowing, shooting, swimming, gymnastics, riding, tennis, athletics, sailing, judo - it's been so entertaining to watch. I've had tears in my eyes nearly every day. It has been a fantastic competition. There's a lot more to come as well! The audiences have been fantastic, exploding with encouragement and our players have responded brilliantly to it. I love it!

Saturday, August 04, 2012


When I was a young lad I thought Bigtrak was so totally cool. I never owned one myself though. I'm not sure now why that was, perhaps I was just at the point where I felt I was too old for kids stuff (that's a typical teenager trait isn't it?). Well I'm younger than that now and I saw Model Zone were selling them at a discount of 50% so I bought one for my son and me. I have to say what an awesome tank it is, with programmable instructions including the photon laser. It's every bit as good as I thought it was.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Multiplayer Mayhem

My son and I like to play videogames. We sometimes play together and enjoy the thrill of going head to head in splitscreen multiplayer. He recently visited a friend and got playing a James Bond videogame title "Nightfire" on PS2. Since moving on to the Xbox360 I gave my son my PS2 console and I've bought him a few game titles for it (Star Wars related and Lego ones mainly). But Nightfire is an older game and I knew it was selling relatively cheaply compared to new games so I picked it up and we have been playing it on multiplayer. It's pretty good and has lots of options. It's a good introduction for him to games we can play together when he is older.

I don't like him knowing too much about wargames and the like, I try to keep him away from that stuff but it's hard when all of his friends parents seem to think nothing of buying the latest Call of Duty games for their youngsters. Just because they are games doesn't mean they aren't making an impression. I do worry about this stuff.