Friday, November 29, 2013

Tribute for Bodie

When I was young I enjoyed a TV series called The Professionals. It was about a paramilitary police unit called CI5 who got involved with preventing domestic and international terrorism. There were fights and guns involved. It was certainly hard hitting in a way 70s crThe theme music was good too. The acting was great, the lead characters were Bodie and Doyle. Bodie was my favourite. He was more of an ex-military man than Doyle. He was played by the actor Lewis Collins. Sadly Lewis died this week after suffering a long battle with cancer. So very sad.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lost musicians

I am listening to an album by the band Heaven & Hell called The Devil You Know. It is an album by members of Black Sabbath the singer is Ronnie James Dio, who is very sadly no longer alive. We lost Lou Reed recently, I'm not a huge fan but I have the album Transformer on vinyl disk somewhere. My two favourite musicians no longer with us are John Martyn and Robert Palmer. I was just thinking about Palmer's album Pressure Drop. It contains songs like Give Me An Inch Girl, Work To Make It Work and Pressure Drop: all fine songs. It was released in 1975 and didn't really do anything chart wise. I don't know if the cover was controversial at the time but I suspect it might have been because it features a woman in the background naked with her back to Palmer, who is wearing a suit and is apparently uninterested. I wonder which other of my musical idols are going to go next?

Shave your eyebrows and draw on some new ones

My wife was talking to me about a trend she has noticed recently. It is a trend of teenage girls. They are apparently drawing their eyebrows on. Not every teenage girl obviously but if my wife has noticed it there must be a trend out there for it. A very strange trend if you ask me.

Console launches

The next generation of videogame consoles have been released now. Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One. They are almost as expensive as a new computer but not a new gaming computer. I have enjoyed playing on the Xbox360 since I got one but I didn't buy it when it first came out and I haven't bought one of the new consoles. I still enjoy playing the games I have and there are some games I haven't finished that I'd like to finish before picking up new games. If I was to get one, it would probably be the Xbox One at this point but only because I already have an Xbox, I might give it some more time before I decide.

Dr Who's 50th Anniversary

On Saturday night I watched the super anniversary episode of Dr Who broadcast almost all over the globe apparently. It was a really great episode. We all enjoyed it in my family. I also watched a really good dramatization of the story of the beginning of the Dr Who TV series which was also really good. I didn't appreciate before how much a young female producer called Verity Lambert did for the show when it first started. I also didn't know that it was some of the fans of the show who brought it back to the screen. It has a very special relationship with its fans. I love Dr Who.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend dental work

I had a dental check-up on Tuesday. Earlier this year a piece of one of my molars broke off. It felt like a big bit and left the back of the tooth feeling all jaggedy. I wasn't surprised when I had my check-up that the dentist suggested some work on it. I could have gone for a repair that might not have been very strong or a replacement of the filling that was already there. I did the latter. The next available appointment was Saturday, so that's what I did on Saturday morning. It is never much fun having work done at the dentist. I had several metallic fillings as a child and never enjoyed the process. I hated the sound of the drill. The sound of the drill hasn't changed much but the fillings have certainly improved. I have a nice white filling there now, so my teeth look much nice than before. My face ached though from having to stay open so wide with various metal tools in place. I couldn't hold the mouth rinse in my mouth because one side of it was so numb. When I got back to my car I tried to form a kiss with my lips but the left side of my mouth wasn't playing ball and it looked like I had had some kind of a stroke.
After a couple of hours the feeling of numbness wore off. I hope it's a long while before having to have any more treatment.

Boiler trouble

This week we have had to have our boiler fixed. It is quite an important device in the house, as it supplies the hot water and heating. Now that the weather is getting colder outside it's important to keep warm inside. The engineer came last Saturday and replaced several parts for us, thinking it would solve the problem. However, after about a day and a half we realised the problem had not been fixed. The water was cold in the mornings and the heating wasn't coming on. So next time he came the same engineer was a bit puzzled at first but then eventually found the culprit - a small loose resistor on the ignition circuit board. Thankfully he was able to fix and be on his way in less than an hour. So, the house is warmer than it's been for a while - I'm not sure that it was working as it should last year you know, it might have been something that has progressively been getting worse. Our house is now toastie warm. It's great! It's just a shame that the energy companies have all put their prices up :-(

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Monsters University

Okay, lets get this over with first - I am 45 years old. I'm not the audience for this film. I accept that. My 11 year old son and his friend (also 11) enjoyed the film and that's what matters. I liked Monsters Inc. I thought it was an interesting twist on being scared as a child. Monsters Uni is a prequel to the first film. For me, I didn't think it was as good as the first film in the series. There were some moments that were good but just not enough of them. This isn't to say it's a terrible film, it is an okay film but don't expect to see anything you haven't already seen from Monsters Inc. Also expect a lot of moments that try and illustrate why working as part of a team is a better thing than being selfish and doing it all yourself. I felt the film laboured this message, to the detriment of humour.
It's the story of two monsters who attend the Scare school at Monsters University, one who is naturally scary but doesn't work hard and another who is not scary but does work hard. They start out as rivals and through the course of events earn each others respect.

Trick Or Treat: the Grabbers

Last Thursday I had the day off from work, which was great and I was really glad I took some time off. Anyway, it was also Halloween. I took my son and his friend, who was sleeping over, out in the afternoon to see a film (more about that in another post). When we got back my wife helped the boys carve some pumpkins and after that we went out to MacDonalds for a slap up meal and back home to play some multi-player Call of Duty. I'd not played with three people sharing the same screen before and I found it difficult because I kept getting distracted by the other screens - so I died a lot in that game! I also put the candles in the pumpkins, lit them and put them in our bit of front garden (it's literally just a bit of front garden - not big at all).

During the playing of the game the other distraction was Trick or Treaters. My son was the nominated one to open the door and offer a bowl of sweeties to the children. Now, I don't want to sound mean but some of the kids calling were so rude and grabby that I imagined inventing a hidden grabber of my own that would be hidden in the sweet bowl to teach the kids who just rudely grabbed handfuls of sweets a lesson by grabbing their hand (making them release the sweets) and giving them an electric shock - just powerful enough to teach them a lesson! It wasn't all the children who called, most were lovely and polite but some (without adults to supervise) were just horrid young teenagers. The last callers came just after 9pm, which I thought was too late but I hadn't moved the pumpkins to the back garden at that point. I'm not sure they were legitimate trick or treaters - they drove up in a car and left that way, maybe they were setting up their own sweetshop on the back of their industrial scale operation to harvest as many sweets as possible? I found them loathsome enough to take the pumpkins away at that point, I still think it's too late for trick or treating, even if they had been the nicest of the night.