Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bob The Builder

hey everyone

all the best for 2007, have a most excellent one!!

James has spent the last morning of the last day of 2006 with Grandma and Grandad, helping out with their ambitious and impressive building work in the garden. James seems to be quite a wizard with a spirit level, although i suspect Grandad didn't quite want him to mix so much cement with it! here are the pics :

Grandad is coming over on New Year's Day to do some shelving for us, which will be ace. i imagine James will be the assistant again, my DIY skills are not all that impressive, quite frankly.

otherwise, not much else to tell you all about!

be excellent to each other!! i am tempted, for 2007, to change my signoff to "Let's Be Careful Out There", but in truth i was never all that much of a fan of Hill Street Blues........

Friday, December 29, 2006

Starstruck OST....victory in sight

pictured here is the 2nd hand copy of the tape version of the coveted Starstruck soundtrack which Michele has just ordered me off amazon!! the price would probably cause you to raise an eyebrow, since we speak of a 23 year old 2nd hand audio tape, but i want it i want it i want it!!

i am just hoping that it turns up here in a decent enough condition to either transfer to cd, or just to play it.

in the mean time, i have sent info off to my sister in NZ and my good friend Blondie in the USA as to where they can obtain the vinyl record for me, if they are so kind as to amuse my craving. if i end up with numerous copies of it, well, they all seem to have different cover art, and i would be happy to be declared "the king of owning analogue copies of the Starstruck soundtrack".

meanwhile, i cannot for the life of me understand why this has never surfaced on CD. it is a great album (i presume - the music on the film itself is awesome, and it seems to be all on this) featuring some awesome talent. no doubt it is bogged down in copyright matters or something. that said, for it not to appear on the internet, either officially or via (ahem) "independent" means, is rather strange. am i the only one with magpie eyes (or ears) for it? i find it rather difficult to believe that to be the case.

be most excellent to each other!! and if you are still of a party age, behave on New Year's Eve!

April 10 2007

browsing the web can lead to one making all sorts of interesting discoveries. like, for insance, this :

at last!!! TWIN PEAKS SEASON TWO is going to be available on DVD, as of 10 April 2007 as far as i can see. nice one!!

until the first season was released i had no idea that it was split into two anyway. that appears to be how those intelligent Americans do it - the rest of the world had Twin Peaks all in one go, much like we had the excellent Prison Break.

oh well, no point in complaining too much - in a matter of months, the magic of Windom Earle discussing Shelley shall be mine to watch!!

be excellent to each other!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Fun

nice one, i have just listened to (well, sang along to) Body And Soul by Ms Jo Kennedy. can't you get any of her music anywhere??????

Boxing Day saw a full house for us - Michele's Mum, Gran and Brother arrived, as well as her sister, boyfriend and the twins! having three under 2's running around was fun!

well, as we were at home, and the weather was agreeable, we got to put up the most excellent present Mummy got for James - a rather brilliant castle, slide and swing thing. he's rather wary of the swing at the moment, but the slide is king of all things for him at the moment!

James has not quite got the hang of getting to the top of the slide as such; he's quite contect to try and climb back up it until someone picks him up and puts him at the top. no doubt he will soon clock that the steps just next to the slide might very well serve a good purpose.....

and of course, more visitors meant more presents for him. Grandma Monica has got him a most excellent walking device - he pushes it along, and it makes all sorts of song and dance which keeps him happy!

well, i think that's that for festive pictures. i truly hope that your Christmas and New Year time has been as wonderful as ours has.

be most excellent to each other!!


hello again this fine evening

well, the record player is on. my record of choice is 1982 With a Bullet, a record which has travelled from Australia to England and of course here, my new home! it features the only song i have off the excellent Starstruck soundtrack, Body and Soul by Jo Kennedy. if anyone has any idea how and where i can get the whole soundtrack, please leave a message!!

anyway, here's James swimming! well, sort of. he has an ultra-safe outfit on (check the size of the floats!), and at no point did he not have someone holding on to him. here he is with Grandad, as your humble narrator lurks in the background :

James was having immense fun being passed between Mummy and Daddy by the ever playful Grandad!!

but of course, James loves more than anything being in the safety of Mummy's arms.

be excellent to each other. and you may be interested to learn that at the moment my record player is playing Let's Hang On by Barry Mannilow. erm.......

Christmas with the Grandparents

i suspect a few Christmas pictures are going to be posted here!!

here's James and Grandad on Christmas night, enjoying dinner and, apparently, pointing at something which has caught the attention of James

earlier in the day now, and here's James and Grandad working out the rather class, if not somewhat noisy, bongo drum toy he got. James has discovered you get two sounds for the price of one if you drop it on the floor instead of playing the bongos the traditional way

and off he goes with Grandma to feed the koi fish in the pond. if James had his way, he would be throwing the whole bucket in at once. and for some reason he quite likes trying to give fish food to the lawn. and Marmite, Grandad's dog. and Sooty and Thomas the cats. and himself, but we try to stop him.

be excellent to each other!!!

Christmas with James 2006

hey everyone

well, Christmas with James was somewhat more invovled this year, which is understandable since James was all of 10 days old for Christmas 2005!!

it's probably fair to say that we all went a little overboard with him on the Christmas present front, but this is the time for children, and we all adore our young gift to the end of time an beyond!! here he is with the ace Rocking Horse from Grandma and Grandad :

here's one from earlier in the day, having a go at his presents. James likes to tear a piece of paper off, give it to someone, then go back to the present - maybe. he still has one or two unwrapped presents lying around!!

and here's one of James riding on the Rocking Horse. at the moment, he is a bit wary of it, but i bet you before long he's galloping away!!

a most excellent Christmas!

hey everyone

well, whilst the world goes techno-crazy, my dear Michele got me the most excellent present she could buy :

my brand new record player! or gramophone, as my sister says!! at midnight on Christmas my house was full of the sound of the well preserved 7" single of Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood!

the world has gone nowhere fast since we all turned our backs on the majesty of listening to 7" and 12" records, instead looking to soulless bits of plastic in small bixes for inspiration. well, i think so anyway.

be excellent to each other!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

James and the Lego

well, it would seem that James very much likes the Lego that Grandma R bought him for his birthday!!

James seems to have this "thing" for climbing in and out of stuff. not sure if that's standard for babies or if it is just him wanting to be an adventurer!!

in other news, my sister Gillian has sent pictures of her receiving the Christmas CD i posted her at some considerable expense. it is nice to know that the New Zealand post office were reliable enough to deliver it before Christmas day!

well, what can i say, four days off verk, starting today, unless someone sends in some files for transfers that need a limit approval. they will be somewhat disappointed if they do, but i shall take that phone call if it happens.

be excellent to each other!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pirates Of The Caribbean 3

hello Keef!!

i am a bit disappointed that they have decided to plaster him in makeup, but there you go!

Festive Greetings

hey everyone

well, the whole world seems to be winding down for Christmas and New Year, so here's a very festive picture for you to enjoy this season :

i would say that there will be no updates from me, but i suspect i will be presenting James's Christmas images here for the world to see!!

as for the "regular" pics of James, i.e. one every week, 1 year seems to be a sensible time to cover. there will be many pictures of him here in the future, but not the weekly thing. we don't want to turn his life into The Truman Show, after all!!

be excellent to each other!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


James has quite a thing for kiri cheese on cracker bread :

sure, he looks like he is offering to share some with you, but remember what i have told you about that Hannibal Lecter look. watch those eyes closely. you just try taking the cheese from him, you will end up as lunch. OK, he may bite your fingers instead of eating your liver, and it might be mixed berry juice instead of a chilled cianti, but the Hannibal link is still there.

be excellent to each other!


hi everyone

yet more pics of James! here he is in the ace play area Mummy made for him. we try to keep it tidy, but as you can imagine, everything kinda gets thrown all over the place by the lad!

you can see in these pics that he has found his voice. not much in the way of full, actual words as such, but a good deal of screaming and shouting!!

he has had a bit of a rough week - quite clingly to both of us, which is not much of a surprise as it would appear that four teeth are on the way through all at once!

be excellent to each other!!

The Water Baby

hi everyone

James was very curious as to what the long green thing with an orange bit on the end was in the garden. guessing that he would run away when he saw or felt water coming iut of the hose, i switched it on for him. my guess was inaccurate :

James seems to love having water blasting on to him, illustrated by him soaking himself with it yesterday, trying to get Mummy & Daddy wet and trying to hit the cats with it too! when we tried to take the hose off him, he was having none of it - in fact, he gave Mummy a quite class slap on the wrist when she tried to just help him!

i guess this means that James will be spending a good deal time more in the garden from here on out, and that Daddy does not have to water the garden anymore!!

be excellent to each other!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pirates Of The Caribbean 3

despite my disappointment with Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - Dead Man's Chest, i am still optimistic that the third one will be cool. i have been reliably informed that it will be subtitled At The End Of The World or At The Edge Of The World, or something along those lines. in either case, or variant thereof, the end/edge of the world would appear to have a distinctly Asian influence :

and here's the predictable twist - Barbarossa (if that was his name) and Sparrow seem to join forces in this one. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker defeat the Emperor, anyone?

no images of the highly celebrated and widely reported Keith Richards appearance in this last one, but then again there is no need. Keef has been wearing a skull & crossbones motif for years now, which may explain why Johnny Depp decided to base his performance of Jack Sparrow on the grounds of being some sort of tribute to the great one.

enjoy when it arrives!!!

some more from James's birthday celebrations!

hello again

three more pics from James's day today - i am sure these will be enough to give my regular readers or casual browsers an indication of how it all went!

the very splendid birthday cake Grandma R arranged for him - a most excellent chocolate and vanilla number!

"...well, dear Grandson, since you ask, we definitely need to get rid of Southgate and about half the squad. if not, it's Sunderland, Hull and Ipswich as the glamour times for us next season."

sadly this picture is a bit on the blurry side (he will not sit still at all!), but how can you not love and enjoy this smile???

be very excellent to each other!

more from James's 1st birthday

here is James and the class birthday balloons. when you hit them, they sing happy birthday. James can have daddy stand there for quite some time as he hits them and hits them and hits them, just so they know that they have been hit

James tries some birthday cake, much to the merriment of Mummy and Grandma. James takes an interesting approach to new things, like cake icing. first off, without touching it or looking at it, he immediatley hates it. then he tries it and pretends that he still does not like it. then, finally, he does not complain or grumble when he is given more!

James, Grandma R and the class steering wheel that makes lots of noise. Grandma R is one of the few things James has found in the world that he loves more than things which make a noise. i suspect James might be a juggler, or some sort of other multi-tasker - give him a room with things that make a noise in all four corners, and he will visit all four corners to make sure that noise is being made.

52 Weeks : Happy Birthday James!!!!

hey everyone

please let these birthdays get easier as time goes by!! it seems and feels like James had a most excellent day with all his presents and toys, but Mummy and Daddy are worn out like never before!!

i am not going to even try listing the numerous presents he has received thanks to the generosity of others. well, have a look at those eyes, that face - how can you not love this beautiful boy someone or something somewhere has entrusted us to bring up good and proper :

and here's an unusual rarity - a pic of the whole family together! thank you Grandma R for taking the pic, bringing James a magical birthday cake and spoiling him with presents!

please be most excellent to each other, both over the festive season and beyond. in respect of being excellent, i shall put some more pics up from today!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

possibly the worst film i have ever endured

OK, this review may not be suitable for all to read. Scream Bloody Murder sits happily next to Die Hard Dracula and Forrest Gump as one of the worst films i have ever tested the pain threshold against by watching it in full.

the reasons for me watching it are obvious - whilst not my usual preferred nuns, the schoolgirls on the cover looked rather nice, and there was an enormous chainsaw on the artwork too. this was all clearly a clever sales pitch to catch someone like me, your humble narrator.

the schoolgirls, clearly the wrong side of their 20's, are lame and remain dressed at all times, and when the chainsaw bit turns up (one hour in), it has a blade about as long as a conventional pencil and does not get used on anything or anyone.

plot? some rubbish about a bus full of schoolgirls on their way to a dance. the bus breaks down, they are towed to some sort of garage thing and then everyone starts getting killed. there are two almost amusing deaths in it, but they make a real mess of them, and not a good, quality horror mess.

if you are in any way, shape or form tempted by this film, you are welcome to get in touch with me and you can probably have my copy. if you are interested in the schoolgirl aspects, i suggest you rather investigate the more, um, "concentrated on that subject" films which Sweden is famous for. if you, like me, want to watch a decent chainsaw film, then rather go and watch just about any other chainsaw film that this. blimey, Mr Mom, starring Michael Keaton, had a more impressive chainsaw scene than this drivel.

be excellent to each other! and if you cannot be excellent to someone, then by all means give them a copy of Scream Bloody Murder, or the DVD which is on its way to my good friend Spiros as a thank you for the Gay London Choir CD he got me for Christmas. i won't tell you the name of his DVD, but i will tell you it is about yoga. for men. naked men. who like other naked men.

James and the Birthday Cake

hey everyone

remember the class cake for James's birthday? if not, you have not been paying attention, and i suggest you look at the earlier post. anyway, his teachers at daycare kindly took some pictures of how it ended up :

why James believed his formula needed to try the cake, or why he wanted to dip his bottle into the cake, is beyond us at the moment.

a pre-destruction image of the cake. note that look in his eyes. remember the look in Hannibal Lecter's eyes in Silence Of The Lambs when he saw the pen left casually on the desk?

he doesn't look too impressed with having his picture taken, or perhaps he just isn't happy as the cake was all gone. you decide!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006


hi everyone

well, today was James's penultimate day at his daycare thingie for the year. as tomorrow is marked for being short and the scene of their Christmas Party, James had an early birthday party there today. here is one of the better pics i managed to take of the most excellent first birthday cake Michele picked out for him :

we, the parents, even got a slice of it! a rather nice vanilla-butter number it was. smart!!

as for the design, James holds both Tigger and Barney in great affection, mostly as he has toys which make a noise of both of them. Winnie, bless him, just sits there and does not make a noise.

on that subject, James is having great fun with two toy cats i have bought Michele over the years. he has clocked that when he hits them they make a noise; a cat-esque "miaow" for the record, if you will. it tends not to go down quite so well when he tries this trick on our two real cats, and often we have to be ready with all the verve and dexterity of a bomb disposal expert to make sure he does not get scratched. still, the look on his face when he tries is well worth it - refer to my earlier posts in which a certain look in his eyes has been compared to Dr Hannibal Lecter and Max Cady.

be excellent to each other!!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

James at 51 weeks

Hey Everyone

I am on holiday, of sorts! no more verk until December 20, but I am certain that James will keep me busy whilst I am off!!

also keeping me busy is the Revenge Of The Sith game on my shiny new PS2 thingie. it is rather tricky, disposing of every single Jedi. ho hum.

enough of me, here's James, hovering around the one year old mark!

as you can see, he's rather good at feeding himself these days! there's a rather curious independent streak in him - he wants to do it all and do it on his own.

of the many wonderful things he has from his Mummy, so far one of the things he has from Daddy is the willingness to spill his meal all over himself as and when the chance permits!

speaking of Daddy, here he is with "man with beard", blissfully ignorning him, instead wisely concentrating on his bottle and possibly a little snooze!!

as we head into the festive season, please take the time to be even more excellent to each other than usual!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

butter the golden goose, prepare to kill it

OK, for the two people on earth not to have seen this film, please note that my comments might give away one or two things, so consider this opening salvo as coming with a SPOILER ALERT, if you so wish.

Pirates Of The Caribbean : Curse Of The Black Pearl was one of the funniest, entertaining films to come along for a good long while. as soon as it was a success, sequels were inevitable but this was no bad thing. Johnny Depp's outrageous Keith Richards impression was worth seeing again, Orlando Bloom was surprisingly bearable and the whole project looked like it could roll onwards to infinity and beyond. if they did it properly. oh dear.

the film-maker's have sadly taken their cue from the Matrix and Back To The Future series, and have ended up making parts 2 and 3 together. much like those two were a mess as a consequence, so Dead Man's Chest treads dangerously close to being. it is not a completed film, it is, at best, a half of a film. yet again we get the annoying lack of stand-alone stature for a sequel. it is an incomplete story which comes to an abrupt halt, more or less forcing you to wait for the third film if you want any sort of resolution.

how sad that they have done this instead of following the more successful sequel path, such as that laid out by Star Wars and Spider-Man. as for what there is of a film on display, well, Dead Man's Chest has its moments, but they are all the more sparse than the original. Johnny Depp seems to be perpetually tinkering with taking his role into being a parody of a parody, whereas Orlando Bloom is basically Orlando Bloom. Kiera WhateverHerNameIs just gets to stand around and look "pretty".

SPOILER OF NOTEperhaps the worst crime is the quasi-borrowing of the infamous Empire Strikes Back love triangle, this time featuring Orlando, Kiera and Johnny. so whose sister will Kiera turn out to be, then? this is just stupid.

finally, an astonishing waste of talent comes in the form of Bill Nighy playing Davey Jones. why?? you cannot recognize him through the special effects, and he adopts a bewildering Scottish-Welsh accent for the part. if you cannot tell it is him beyond looking at the credits, what was the point in hiring him? for a comparison, the heavily made-up and disguised Dustin Hoffman in the awful Dick Tracy was still clearly Dustin Hoffman.

otherwise, oddly in light of the above, it still remains an enjoyable film. the moments of genius may be sparse, but when they arrive they well and truly deliver. if you have just over two hours to kill i would reccomend this before i would reccomend Casino Royale, but this is not one to rush off and track down. if it comes your way, knock yourself out.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Casino Royale : acceptable

OK, after earlier concerns, i managed to sort of watch this Casino Royale business that everyone is so excited about. i will confess that i wandered off during it, but maybe the fact that i went wandering sums up the review!

it is not a bad film. it is better than any Pierce Brosnan Bond except GoldenEye, but that is where i will end comparisons to other actors. it has a coherent plot, a decent cast and makes for some entertainment. it is just far, far, far too long for its own good. 144 minutes is a long time for a film, and this one did not need to be so long. 30 or so minutes could easily be chopped out of this. it could have been a taunt, fast-paced grade A action-thriller movie, instead it opts to be a grade B reasonable slice of entertainment.

OK, the questions answered. is Daniel Craig any good as Bond? yes he is, he plays the role rather well. is it confusing having Judi Dench play M? no, not if like me you are happy to pretend that the Pierce Brosnan films do not exist. no gadgets and no Q make a bad Bond? not really. you kind of miss the John Cleese character, but in this film James Bond does not need a stupid invisible car.

by all means go and see it, but don't expect it to be the best Bond film you have ever seen!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

when did i get this old??

pictured here is the poster for the remake of The Hitcher, the classic Rutger Hauer movie that all of us children of the 80's will remember fondly - the french fries scene, anyone?

i cannot believe that a remake is now on the way? well, more than on the way - it seems set for a Jan 2007 release. it looks like it is the clowns who made the very bad, repugnant The Hills Have Eyes remake are behind this one. oh dear, they are clearly not very good at making films at all.

a sense that this might turn out to be OK is generated by the presence of the ever-excellent Sean Bean, but i am getting rather fed up of all these remakes. The Descent showed that new, original horror movies can be made, but the industry seems keen to regenerate and regenerate. ho hum.