Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I've written a few times about blogging just in case anyone reading this who doesn't blog is wondering about starting. I think it is a good thing for people to blog or vlog. I don't have the patience to vlog, so would rather just continue to blog, but I do subscribe to some vlogs and enjoy their immediate impact and appeal. I don't know if anyone reads this regularly aside from myself. If you do, perhaps you might want to leave a comment about the blog and anything you'd like to read more or less about?
This New Year's Eve will be a quiet one for us. We haven't been invited anywhere and we haven't invited anyone else round. So it might come to pass that this year we don't even stay up until midnight. I don't know for definite but it could turn out that way.
The weather outside is cold but dry. It's below freezing but there is no snow on the ground. The nights still seem to get dark. I haven't even bothered to get dressed outside of my pyjamas and dressing gown today.
A couple of days ago I went for my first run. As a result, I have noticed that my back has started to stiffen. I still feel some stiffness so I have decided not to run today and rest for another day. I will try and go for a run tomorrow if my back has recovered some more. It's better today than it was yesterday.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!!
Friday, December 26, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Drinking at Christmas is great up to a point. There is also a down side to it. Accident and Emergency departments know this only too well. My daughter is 14 and I have wondered whether or not I should introduce her to alcohol, so that she tastes it and experiences it in the safety of our home. However, I decided not too, she's still very young and although I'm worried about her trying alcohol I trust her not too. She also dislikes anything fizzy, which is quite a good thing. Not many days left until the big day, it's Christmas Eve tomorrow.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
It is the story of a future Earth full of a lower class who are diseased and exploited. The upper classes have moved off Earth and live on an enormous wheel-like space station that has its own atmosphere. The story centres on an ex-con on parole who is an exploited worker in a robot factory but has always wanted to get to Elysium. Entry to Elysium is computer controlled and it also has a stern chief of security played by Jodie Foster. The chief of security and manager of a robotics factory plot a coup. Things don't go too well for the ex-con factory worker and he ends up having an accident at work that seems him hit with a lethal dose of radiation. He visits the crime boss to seek a pass to get to Elysium but finds he has to agree to doing a final job before he gets his shuttle ride. This is the part of the film where he gets an exo-skeleton grafted on to his body by the dirtiest medics going. He gets more than he bargained for because the target he chooses is boss of the factory where he had his accident and the man who the chief of security on Elysium wanted to form a coup with. I won't spoil the story anymore but I did enjoy the film.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Xscape is a huge building on the landscape and is reminiscent of a large aircraft hanger. There are lots of restaurants and entertainments in the building. Lots of rock climbing and other sports related shops.
|The Point in Milton Keynes, the UK's first multiplex cinema in 1985|
|Xscape in Milton Keynes|
|Birmingham Central Library with moon|
|Birmingham early morning, moon over Central Library|
|Early morning in Milton Keynes Central|
|December sunrise from the train|
My expectations were probably higher for the final film than they were for the second. I felt the second film disappointed me. The latest and final film in the trilogy doesn't disappoint though. I was expecting a flashback to the ending of the second film but no, it was straight in to pick up from where the second film ended and I'm glad that it was the case. I didn't feel that the film was to long, unlike the second. I was glad that there was only a casual few moments for the Stephen Fry character, I didn't really like that character. The battle scenes were good and it was a treat to hear the voice of Billy Connolly as Thorin's cousin. I felt it was a great film, up to the same standard as the first film and probably helps to redeem the series as whole to worthy of watchable repeat viewings, much like the Lord of the Rings films. The ending was lovely but I won't spoil it. The hand drawn illustrations of the characters as the credits rolled were excellent and I thought they were very good, I would like to know who the artist was. The music was, as ever, excellent and atmospheric too. I loved how when Bilbo handled his ring that the familiar lilt and theme from the Lord of the Rings played, with subtle differences. The CGI effects were very good too, believable and not over-used. A great return to form.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
It's eventually got me. I've survived for so long without a cold this year but now I've succumbed to one. The night before last I was sweating in bed really heavily. Last night wasn't too bad but I had to sit up slightly in bed to help with breathing. I really want just to return to my bed but unfortunately I have to work. At least I don't have to travel today. I suppose the other thing is that at least I have caught it now and it's before Christmas, so hopefully by the holidays I will be free of it.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
I've transferred important information to the new phone but one app on iPhone I had and liked was a journal app called Day One. I wanted to keep it, so looked for an Android version but there wasn't one. I looked up some alternatives and have gone for an app called Diaro. The cool thing was that I was able to set up my iPhone to sync with my Dropbox account. I then signed in to the Diaro website and sync that also to my Dropbox account. I was then able to move my Day One Dropbox folder to my Diaro Dropbox folder. Then in the Diaro website I chose to import my Day One journal, selecting the replace all option (because I had no content in Diaro) and it worked. I had to close the app on my phone and start it again but then the content appeared. Great, the data I wanted to transfer was transferred. Now I can use my phone to continue my journal as before.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Sunday, November 09, 2014
So many men and women have fallen in battle for the sake of our country and our freedoms. It is hard for subsequent generations to truly recognise the sacrifice they made. The war poetry and poignancy of the ceremonies helps us all to mourn and remember them. Even though we may not appreciate the ways that they all fell, the day to day gritty nature of life in wartime. Few can truly remember what it was like, our soldiers of today have perhaps the best chance at this. But even though it is hard, it is important to think and reflect on how awful life would be if our freedoms had not been fought so hard and so valiantly for.
Sunday, November 02, 2014
I took a photo of one of the exhibits, an eagle from the new Reich Chancellery. It is shocking to think what a hold that Nazis had over ordinary Germans to make them accept what Hitler wanted. Very disturbing to think that something like that could happen again because it has happened before.
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Here are a few photos I took of people in cosplay outfits, there were some great ones this time, good that the weather was good outside.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I liked some of the window displays in town, I like to see shops making an effort to put things in their window that are seasonal.
- There was a series of TV plays broadcast in the 1970s. In one of these, I don't remember very much but I do remember that there was a spiral staircase and at the bottom it was a cluttered room but amongst the clutter, peaking out from underneath something, was a dead woman's hand, just the hand was visible. That scared me. It was probably the first experience I had of seeing something scary on TV.
- The second thing was I was watching an episode of TV crime series Starsky and Hutch, it was the combination of normal crime busting with the supernatural that surprised me. Anyway, the scary part was a section of the show where a woman was going back to her car at night and out of the shadows running at her was a vampire. She was trying to get the key into her car and this thing was running straight at her. That scared me, a still photo is below so you can see the part I mean.
- Lastly, the most terrifying in many ways was another David Soul show. This time, it was a boy in his bedroom awoken in the night by his dead friend outside. Salem's Lot was the show's name and it was a true TV classic. My daughter won't watch it, she's too scared at 14. I must have been younger than that when I first saw it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Music of John Williams, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, Friday 10 October 2014
This was a fantastic evening at the wonderful Royal Albert Hall. We had box seats and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere. The concert featured all the recognisable and wonderful greats including Star Wars, Superman, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Witches of Eastwick. There were others I didn't know but enjoyed nonetheless, including War Horse, Fiddler On The Roof (Williams' arrangement), Hook and Schindler's List. The concert was conducted by Robert Ziegler and the violinist was Clio Gould. Clio Gould played beautifully and Schindler's List brought a tear to my eye it was so wonderfully played.
I cooked the family supper last night and it went down alright. It was a mild chicken curry and I cooked potatoes with it. The potatoes were very watery though and ended up being mashed as the only way they would work. It turned out okay though. It had a lot of fresh ingredients in it. I used the blender for chopping onions, garlic and carrots.
For our pudding my son took over the blender and we loaded it with banana, frozen fruit, cream and some syrup. It made us a lovely strawberry and banana ice cream.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Monday, October 06, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
[It seems Blogger has stopped working properly for IE 11! I wanted to upload a photo but the media upload seems to fail before I even select a photo. This has been working fine up to now.
Update: Windows File Explorer crashed everytime I opened the Pictures folder, it happened with Chrome as well, which was how I knew it wasn't just an IE11 issue. I have changed the folder type from Pictures to General and now I can browse the photos by name instead of thumbnail, must be a file in there that doesn't generate a thumbnail or something like that?]
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
I would have liked to have seen something more way out there from Apple. Something like a fabric that you wear that becomes a screen or a projection screen, I don't know, just something more interesting than what they delivered. Two fundamental flaws I see in the design are the rectangular screen and charging requires you to slip it off your wrist. Both negatives for me.
I do like the idea of the "digital crown" winder that zooms in and out depending on how you turn it but this is hardly the big innovation and for left-handed folks it will be on the bottom not the top and potentially slightly more cumbersome to access because of that.
As if the price wouldn't put me off enough, these things also do it for me, not to mention that there is no inkling of how long the battery would last for. This is something the iPhone didn't get right.