Sunday, February 28, 2010

shopping, baking and what have you

hey everyone

right, as excited as many of you probably were about the Star Wars pictures in the last post, time for an update of the boys, methinks.

James has had something of a busy week, really. first up, he rather gracefully assisted me with some shopping. here he is, proudly showing off his very own shopping trolley!

i am not sure if you can make out the contents of his trolley. if not, well, if left to James, for dinner we would have had some jelly snake sweets, some jelly sweets in the shape of racing cars, some (admittedly lovely) mini pancakes and a loaf of brown bread. just as well i followed with a slightly bigger trolley, then.

next up is James baking with Mummy. it was James' turn to be baker at school, and so without an oven at the moment (awaiting repairs - hello Dad!) Michele hit on the ace idea of making racing cars. they had jelly babies as drivers of the boudoir biscuits that made the body of the car (i think that's the right terminology), with jelly tots as the wheels. they looked and indeed tasted ace, and James had great fun in making them!

well, he had fun eventually. James, it has to be said, was somewhat wary - and indeed morally dubious - about the notion of cutting the legs off jelly babies to stick them on the biscuit car thing. all moral dilemmas were washed away, however, when James clocked that he would in fact be able to eat all the separated legs!

the more astute of you, or those with a fine eye, may very well have noticed that James has had something of a haircut since the last pics of him. i take credit for that, thanks. he really doesn't like the idea of Mummy cutting his hair anymore, so i asked him if he would like to go and see the nice people who cut my hair. the answer, eventually, was yes!

to help save wear and tear on your mouse, then, here's another pic of him baking with his new haircut on display. it should save you scrolling up and down. perhaps.

as i did mention an update of the boys, here are some more pictures i took of William in the gallant hope of catching him in the act of smiling. he does truly have a wonderful, infectious smile. a smile that, for the most part, you will simply have to take my word for as, for the most part, in William's world cameras out means that the smiles are put away.

well, in the one above (scroll away) i sort of almost caught him smiling, but in this next one he has clearly thought better of it and has his "Dad, what are you doing" look about him, really.

no smile for the camera perhaps, but he's healthy and very happy indeed, so we are just fine with his serious camera poses, thanks!

we have also over the last few days even managed to sneak in a couple of films, believe it or not. reviews will follow soon, but in the mean time my bed and the new John Grisham paperback are calling me......

hope you've all had a most splendid weekend!

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

Friday, February 26, 2010

Greedo Unmasked!

hey everyone

Total Film more often than not has one or two good articles in their features section every day, but today's one is particularly good. they have somehow (and more on that later) assembled some great, rare images from the original Star Wars trilogy of films.

one of the more striking images they have is certainly this one, apparently from a rehearsal for one of the more famous scenes in the first film

i am not getting into that whole "Han shoots first" debate, except to say that the "special edition" version of the scene where they alter the footage to make it look like Greedo shoots first does look really silly!

next up is C3-PO having a fag, apparently.

i wonder what brand Anthony Daniels prefers, and am puzzled as to why George Lucas didn't include some related product placement in the films? i mean, sure, a lot of people went to see Star Wars, but just how many more would have gone if they knew they would see a smoking robot (droid, if you must)?

now then, on the "somehow" part of the pics they have obtained, a number of them are just plain cheating in regards of calling them "rare". one or two have the tell-tale "HyperSpace" logo from the official site, whereas the one below is clearly just a still from a DVD!

overall, though, there are more good than dud pics, like for instance this one. i had no idea that the legendary, talented Treat Williams was in The Empire Strikes Back?

for many more pics (well, 26 and these for) click on this link and enjoy. yes, there are pictures of Leia in her "slave bikini" outfit, but best of all is probably one of a certain other member of the cast dressed as Darth Vader......

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand

Hey Everyone

Well, Paul Rutherford in New Zealand has seemingly ignored my request to have my copy of his album signed. ho hum, no matter, for it seems that people are still allowed to send things like pictures out of New Zealand, as the following ones sent on by Gillian, Grant, Katie and Daniel testify!

they have been away to somewhere that sounds to me like "WangaNookie", but Gillian gets frightfully upset when i don't use the correct names for places. they were, then, as it says at the top, in a lovely looking place called Mount Maunganui.

first off, here's Daniel, looking quite chuffed with being dans le beach.

nice haircut - wish we could persuade James to have a similar trim! i am not at all sure what Daniel is doing with his hands, but it's a pose he is doing in most of the pictures sent. perhaps it's a New Zealand thing, or just a "Grant thing" that he has picked up on from his dad.

speaking of Grant things, here's a pic that is very much Grant in style. it features not sheep, but food. it seems that this Mount Wangathingie is blessed with a fish and chip shop that sells absolutely massive bits of fried fish.

there is also, as Grant is showing off, a place which seemingly makes some most class pizzas. if i ever went there, i probably wouldn't wish to leave, looking at the chow on offer!

i will wager that Grant took this next picture of Katie building a sand castle.

i will also further wager that Grant was unaware that Katie was actually sat there making a sandcastle, i think we all know exactly what he was taking a picture of....

moving on, and every picture tells a story. whilst Katie appears to be taking the sensible approach of having a nice little snooze, Daniel seems to be of the view that it's "have ice cream, will rave" time. all the time.

splendid! many thanks for sending on the pictures (one of them in particular), looks like a very smart holiday!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ex-Frankies please do not ignore your fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

weekend pictures

hey everyone

just a few pictures from the weekend (NeoTel connection pending; "network problems" again) so that you can see how the boys are coming along!

first up, here's a great one Grandad took of William with his "quizzical eyes" thing on the go!

he really does get quite enamoured and excited about staring at things, in particular if he hasn't seen them for a bit. and William's definition of "a bit" can be minutes, sometimes hours!

not to be outdone, James also "almost" posed for a picture for Grandad!

for the most part James pulled funny faces at the camera, or just held up something to block the lens. as you can see, though, taking 100 pics of James doing "James things" is usually worthwhile in the hope of catching an elegant smile like the one above!

next are some i took of William out in our garden, apparently eager to crawl! you are barely two months old, son, take it easy, you will get there in the end!

this first one is my favourite, i love the look on his face!

and this one would be Michele's choice. she really, really, really loves it when he gets all quizzical and has that inspecting look about him!

hope you all had a great weekend!!!

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

disc oddities

hey everyone

well, the mostly good website kalahri was having something of a bonkers sale on the go, selling 6 (six) DVDs for R100! i expected most of the titles eligible to be absolute rubbish, and for the most part my expectations were met. however, i was able to find 6 decent titles (well, five and Bachelor Party Massacre to be specific). at least that is i thought i had found six decent titles. two of them were not quite the titles listed....

first off, i was rather excited to see A Breed Apart on their sale list. the description matched the Rutger Hauer film that i recalled from the 80s - A conservationist and a widow meet a mountain climber hired to steal bald-eagle eggs - and thus i ordered it. i was particularly excited about seeing it again, as i rather fondly recall that Ms Kathleen Turner does not always keep all her clothes on.
my ambitions of reliving my youth and admiring Ms Turner sans blouse and Mr Hauer running about with an eye-patch protecting birds, however, are not to be met as part of my order. the disc i received is indeed called A Breed Apart, but the film i remember it most certainly is not!

this film called A Breed Apart seems to have been made in the 90s. it doesn't feature Kathleen Turner, eagles, eye-patches or anything like that. it does, according to the box, feature Andrew McCarthy out of Mannequin, as well as Robert Patrick, he who was the liquid T-1000 in Terminator 2. as the latter doesn't feature on the cover, you have to ask just how rubbish it is. i am debating whether or not to even take the plastic off the box, let alone watch it. the plot is on the box, but it's far too complicated and busy for me to concentrate on and repeat here. lots of stuff blowing up seems to be the gist of it.

secondly, there is the case of The Hit, a masterpiece starring John Hurt, Terrence Stamp and a young Tim Roth, described by as thus : Two hitmen are sent to Spain to pick up a man who's been hiding there for ten years and bring him to Paris to be executed. A sort of road movie ensues, in which the hitmen must face their own ineptitude and nothing goes as planned.
yep, that's the one i wanted, and indeed had bought not so long ago only to discover that the disc had a pressing fault and stopped playing half way through. i thought it wise to order another copy, then. alas, as above, what they sent didn't quite meet the description given!

this version of The Hit stars Maxwell Caulfield, ladies and gentlemen. yes, that Maxwell Caulfield, the one who was in dire Dynasty spin-off The Colbys. it was filmed in Lithuania, and apparently is all about our Maxwell getting drunk, deciding to hire a hitman to take out his wife, then wake up the next day and decide it was a bad idea. great, can't wait to watch that one.

whoops, is all i can say. i suppose i could send them back, but the odds of them having the actual films i wanted are limited - they, after all, seem to be of the impression that these two are the ones i wanted, since that's how they had them listed! besides, the low cost of them makes it rather futile to go off and argue away, really. i might (might)give them a look, but i am fortunate enough to have a brother that considers Convoy to be one of the greatest films ever made. if that is his benchmark, it could well be that he will declare both of the films listed above as masterpieces!

be careful when shopping for bargains, you might get what you pay for!!

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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

being for the benefit of my would be cheese purveyor

hey everyone

well, it's always nice to get a comment or two left on this site. it's great to know that a few people out there in the world are taking the time to read my ramblings!

that said, it was a touch disappointing to see that the last one was left by someone remaining anonymous. it's their right to, of course, but i always believe in putting your name to what you say - if you're not prepared to do that, don't say it.

i suspect the comment on "weekend woes" was a touch tongue in cheek. if not, thank you for taking the time to read it before your astute observation. for your benefit, however, with my good self strategically pointing a finger at it, is an announcement of a power outage this coming weekend.

if we set aside that they chose to announce that power will be off in a predominantly vacant industrial area but oddly did not extend the same courtesy when they did the same thing to a predominantly residential area, you may be pleased to know that if there was advance notice, we could have been ready and prepared to look after our two ill children sans electricity and thus nothing for the cheese to go with would appear here. or you may not be pleased, i don't know.

i suspect i know who anonymous is, but if i am wrong and for some reason it's an annoyed employee or representative of the two companies i commented on, well then click here to be led to a somewhat related look at the type of service you give.

in the mean time, all comments welcome - but do bear in mind that the more naughty ones will be deleted!

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

birthday celebrations

hey everyone

well, other than The Sweet being at Number One with Blockbuster! 37 years ago today, there's the small matter of me being born at more or less the same time! i have been fortunate enough to have a most splendid day, celebrating with many and being the recipient of some sensational and generous good wishes - thank you all.

this was none more evident than at verk, where i was treated to good wishes, kisses (some even from ladies!) and the good old tradition of being covered in "office confetti", that being the bits of paper one finds in hole punches!

my good friend and chief mechanical overseer Jayson was the ringleader of the confetti tormentors, and so it is with great delight that i have a pic here of him with my good self.

and just what would one have for lunch on their birthday? well, let's think about this, shall we? yes, as most people who phoned me seemed to have assumed, it was indeed the choice of The King, Elvis Presley for lunch - some quality KFC.

Trigger, my official photographer, and i went off to go and get some. he wisely, like all two of the pics above, decided that myself in KFC was a most excellent photo opportunity.

many thanks again indeed Trigger for the sterling work done in capturing important moments!

after verk it was of course time for home, and some quality time with the person in the world who i know loves birthdays more than anyone else in history. that would be young James!

James very kindly opened all my cards and presents, chose a birthday cake at the shops for me, decided what we were having for dinner and blew out my birthday cake candles for me!

you will notice an excellent birthday card featuring the likeness of The King, Elvis Presley on display. this was done for me by my darling wife who is rather talented with all things visual. well, all things visual bar selecting a handsome husband, i hear you say.

i mention this skill of hers because she also presented me with a wonderful gift; a fantastic painting / portrait / "pastel drawing" of our family.

it is stunning, and the only reason it's not up on the wall right now is because i have a gift for putting nails straight through hot water pipes! i am sure Dad will be over to put it up soon!

many, many thanks once again to all who have sent on their good wishes, and generous hopes that i see many, many more. i hope you have all had as good a day as i!

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

The Sweet - Blockbuster!

well, believe it or not, it's 37 years ago today that the magnificent song Blockbuster! by The Sweet was at number one at the charts. well, 37 years ago and a bit, as it had quite a reign at the top. not sure when it first went to number one, but i know for certain it remained there on this day in history.

of all the classic glam rock singles, this one was one of the best. The Sweet might not have had the genius talent of Bowie, the overwhelming good looks of Bolan, the spelling of Slade or quite as much glitter as Gary Glitter, but boy did they know how to have fun with a three minute pop single! Blockbuster! had everything thrown into it they could think of - sirens, massive drums, a touch of chanting, some more massive drums, an ace guitar rift, warnings if you had long hair of a particular shade and a jolly pleasant rhyme.

what was the song all about, exactly? just who or what was the "Block Buster" they were on about, wishing us all to take care whilst the cops were out? don't know and don't really care, the whole thing just sounds so cool! if Block Buster was ever caught and indeed taught they never mentioned it in another song, so there you go.

if for some reason you have never ever heard this track, well, happy shopping. my advice would be any of the many "best of" sets of The Sweet, or possibly just the soundtrack for the excellent Life On Mars TV series. you should also scout around for their legendary appearance on Top Of The Pops to do the song - you get to hear and see the massive drums i might have mentioned.

whereas my Mum & Dad were rather busy with other matters 37 years ago today, i'd very much like to think that the two "i was there" glam enthusiasts in the family, Uncle Trevor and Auntie Susan, were in town buying this single on this day in history!

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

David Lee Roth

hey everyone

i had reason to have a conversation with my chum Spiros during the course of the day. during that conversation, the subject of David Lee Roth arose; a subject that does indeed crop up in conversations between us more often than not.

whilst discussing the general, all around brilliant way of David Lee Roth, the following observation cropped up -

number of David Lee Roth video James has seen : 2, Yankee Rose and Just Like Paradise.

number of David Lee Roth video James has seen and thinks are ace : 2, Yankee Rose and Just Like Paradise.

this wonderful equation came up as yesterday the magnificent new channel on TV here, VH1 Classic, wisely showed the video for Just Like Paradise. James was very impressed indeed with the sight of Roth climbing up an absolutely massive mountain to play his most excellently shaped guitar.

the video thus far he has had me play again and again, though, has been Yankee Rose. i think that James really likes the idea of this guy going off and doing his shopping (a jelly doughnut and bottle of anything is indeed a handsome shopping list) whilst having all sorts of exotic face paint and hair feathers on the go.

further to that, i would imagine that James, like the rest of the known universe, is really rather taken with the most excellent jumping skills that David Lee Roth has.

the Yankee Rose video does have some problems, mind. i have yet to, for instance, come up with a good reason to give to James as to why the pants of Mr David Lee Roth do not feature quite enough material to cover everything.

ho hum, one day he shall understand.

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

my new coffee mug

hey everyone

this is a touch late, but my official photographer (Trigger) has been a little bit busy and thus we could only get the pictures now. for Valentines Day Michele got me a most excellent new mug, as pictured below!

Michele would like to make it clear that she only got me this one as she was unable to find one with Hello Sailors! on it, but did feel that this one said more or less the same thing. thanks for that.

anyway, something of a tradition with new mugs and me is to have as many pics taken as possible of me holding it whilst stood with my chums at verk. there are not as many pics as usual, indeed nowhere near as many as when i had that ace new mug from New Zealand, as Trigger seemed to get a bit bored after the first 5 or so pictures. anyway, let us not lament the pics that are not here; instead rejoice in the images that exist.

first up, here i am with the rather animated and indeed expressive Shervon.

it is always a sheer delight, and indeed a challenge, to hear from Shervon. she wrestles with the use of the English language in much the same way one would imagine that Pythagoras perhaps wrestled with theorem. this is no bad thing as such; it's just that all statements from Shervon usually start off fine, und den she do dat hip yang ting where it is cool 2 du da thang in which you present the rest of it in some sort of slang format. what can i say, word blood.

next up is Knox, and as you can see i opted for the element of surprise in getting him to pose for a picture.

there can be little or no doubt that Knox enjoyed the surprise. well, actually there can. we are just not going to discuss it.

what we can discuss, however, is just how annoyed a certain Yureshan Cooper is going to be about the next one. it fills my heart with nothing but joy to present unto you a picture of my humble self with the one and only Glyn...

well, he's not really the one and only Glyn, but he also is the one and only Glyn in some senses. i am proud to have an image of him here on my site.

with a certain level of pride i also present to you my very dear friend Khanyisile, who i also took a degree of surprise with in arranging a photograph.

Khanyisile has been a dear friend in all the time i have been here at verk with her, a time now closer to 11 years than it is 10. wow! she was also, she has asked me to point out, at that lovely wedding day of Michele and i, a day Michele never tires to telling me as being the happiest of my life. thanks for that, i would not wish to forget it. Khanyisile also has a very impressive, methodical and cost-effective way of shopping, but i am not allowed to mention it here.

finally, here is the Michelle who is known as "other Michelle", to seperate her in conversation from the Michele with one 'l' that i would usually refer to.

"other Michelle" has some funny ideas at times, in particular with regards to a certain thing that married couples would only do to the extent of the amount of times equalling the number of children they wish to have. erm, yes, OK........

many thanks indeed to Trigger for the pictures!

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Stranglers - Retro Rockets

i was rather excited to read that one of my favourite bands, The Stranglers, are still going strong and have a new single out this month, the splendidly titled Retro Rockets.
excitement, however, turned to disappointment, as they have gone the "download only" way with it. for some bizarre reason (probably "copyright" and "publishing") you cannot buy a download track cross-border, even though you can order any CD or single you like and have it shipped anywhere in the world!

i would very much have liked to purchase a copy in support of the admirable campaign to get them into the charts for the fifth decade in a row i cannot. however, if you are in a country where you are allowed to purchase legal downloads you could do a lot worse than click on the link in the title and purchase it for less than 70p!

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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

weekend wonders

hey everyone

well, the weekend wasn't all doom and gloom, as my last post might have suggested. with a wonderful family, everything else is really just problems to fix, annoying people are to be dealt with accordingly. although i am feeling somewhat worn out, so excuse me if this goes astray. that last bit sounds familiar.........

today was of course Valentines Day and, despite the assertion that married people don't "do" certain things, Michele and i did indeed mark the day. one of the things i got Michele (yes, one of them, i do try to bestow many gifts on my little munchkin. although i think all munchkins are little...) was a lovely teddy bear thingie that sticks on windows and what have you. James took a rather liberal reading of "what have you"....

he was quite excited about the idea of having a teddy bear stuck to his head for some reason. well, excited enough to have discovered that he could do it, then pose for some pictures. it hasn't been stuck to his head, neither by default nor design, since this next pic was taken, so enjoy it....

James, Mummy and William also made me a very splendid card for the day!

i will leave it to you to work out who did which bits, but let it be said that the words, if not all the writing, were from James. i know this because James made me read it out to him to make sure that Mummy had written what he had asked!

happy news, as intimated in my previous post, is that William seems to be fine insofar as his rather high temperature has dropped down to a kind of normal. we've been rather worried about him, indeed Michele was up for just about all of Saturday night trying to keep his temperature down and spirits up.

here he is, then, having a little bit of a lie down and contemplating it all!

i suspect the above is the best pic i have taken of William thus far!

i am starting to think that we should call him "the thinker", for when William is not smiling then he seems to have a curious, contemplative look on his face.....

no bad thing, but certainly different from how James did things at roughly the same age. for sake of comparison, let me take you on a walk down memory lane and show you a pic of what James was doing at around 2 months of age!

i suspect the difference is that James didn't have to worry about what James was doing running around, a concern that William certainly, delightfully, has!

so, that's the weekend, then. the best of times and the worst of times, really. you could probably start a novel or something off with that last sentence, i think.

hope your weekend has been more good than bad!

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