Friday, July 29, 2011

second tooth down

hi everyone

crikey, there have been a few updates this month! not sure what has led to me trying to double my usual number of posts, but hope you've enjoyed most or some of them! it's unlikely that there will be so many in August, i warn you!

anyway, onwards, and the latest source of pride for young James. his second "baby tooth" has, after a week or so of wobbling, now fallen out. he is highly delighted that this one has gone, for it has been most troublesome for him and stopped him (he says) from eating properly.

the above picture does not really show off the "new gap" i suppose, but it does show off the unprecedented two stickers that he got for being super excellent in computer lessons at school that day! it does also hint at the ace haircut his Mummy gave him at the weekend!

this next picture shows off the new gap in spectacular fashion, though!

as for young William, well, his view is that there is "no such thing as too many teeth". he wishes to eat all and everything that he can lay his hands on!

sorry that these two pictures do not show off William's usual room warming smile, for some reason he was "off" the idea of having his picture taken when i did these, but then when i put the camera away he got a tad upset and disappointed!

well, that's how the boys are now! probably quite a few pictures of them to follow in mid-August onwards!!!

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ten thoughts on hearing The Death Of You And Me by Noel Gallagher

01 Noel has worked out how to borrow song lyrics with the same ease as guitar riffs

02 Noel owns a copy of Summer In The City by the Lovin' Spoonful

03 Noel quite likes the "whirly" bit off Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite by The Beatles

04 Noel has a mate with a trumpet

05 Noel has a cowboy hat

06 Noel is inspired by hat

07 Noel has remembered how to write better than average b-side songs

08 Noel believes better than average b-side songs now qualify as a-side songs

09 Noel has, with some good fortune, been inspired by Morrissey to release a weaker song as the lead single from a new album

10 Noel will not set the world on fire with this, but his bank balance should tick over rather nicely

i have moved from "hope details of being able to order the single emerge soon" to "if it turns up for sale, great".

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

see Nasher live!

hey everyone

well, an unashamed, blatant plug here for one of my idols!

Nasher, aka Brian Nash, the legendary guitarist & songwriter from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, has been doing rather well for himself as a solo artist over the years.
appreciating that fans worldwide can't get over to his gigs in the UK has s Nasher enter an agreement to perform on the Stage It site, meaning anyone anywhere in the world can login and watch him perform for a ludicrously low US$3.00!
well, i say anyone, but the numbers allowed to get a ticket and login are limited to make sure everyone gets a good constant feed or "stream", whichever is the correct interwebnet term.
i am unsure as to how version of "broadband" down here will handle it, but of course i shall be signing on and signing up for this one.

if you haven't spotted it yet, you just need to click here to be taken to the site.

the gig is on 1st August at 9pm - i am assuming this is UK time?

enjoy the show!

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

single no; album yes

hey everyone

well, as per the post about Noel Gallagher a few days ago (and there seems to have been a few posts about absolutely everything of late) his debut solo single, The Death Of You And Me, got released to play on his interwebnet site today. i haven't clicked on and had a listen yet, but no doubt i will do later tonight. at the moment i am reading reviews featuring words like "country feel" and "brass section", mind.

i was rather hoping that as the song got its debut today that news would emerge of where one could place an order for the proposed 7" and CD single. alas, nowhere has such information, not even his official site.

over on the official site, however, are details of how you can order the forthcoming debut solo album in advance, which is something i guess. i'd rather be trying to order the single and get some decent music back in the charts, but it's not like i wouldn't be purchasing the album too.
it would seem that Noel is releasing the album in every format you care to name except cassette, which is a bit of a pity for my sister and her car - sorry Gillian, i shall just have to make you a tape. of the formats that are available, it looks the most sensible, going on the costs, to just purchase the full whack set of the CD, DVD, vinyl album and instant download, really. the CD & DVD combo set is something close to twice the price of usual for new releases, which is an odd way of tackling the market.

anyway, more news as and when i can find it in respect of where and when one can purchase this much anticipated single!

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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a lesson in losing

hey everyone

well, this is a poke fun at something so bad it's laughable, so if you are not in the mood for a rant then i suggest you skip this post. see ya later!

DSTV, the brand that annoys most people living down here, have absolutely outdone themselves with a new campaign that fails on every level possible. despite their pay per view scheme of a few years ago being such a disaster that it was quietly removed a few years ago without a word they are having another go, but are laughably calling it "video on demand". it isn't.

here's some of the promo stuff for it; it really is bad so i thought it best to try and capture it here before they remove it. how bad? it is almost like that utter gobsh!te who loves the sound of his voice so much he endures afternoons with that horrid, ignorant woman on the radio frequently cooked it up just to take the proverbial.

have a look at this.

winning? sorry, WINNING? oh really, come on, get that finger on the pulse. that whole Charlie Sheen thing was over and done with months ago. this starts off, then, about as lame and old hat as you can get on the internet - they might aswell have put some Chuck or Hoff references in.

the actual five reasons they are winning hardly cover themselves in glory. i appreciate the text, even if you click on the pic, is a bit small, so here is number one on their list :

I could spin you a whinge about skipping discs, or sections of a movie that won’t play... but instead I’ll bring you to tears with this sorry tale: I have never seen the last 5 minutes of Silence of the Lambs. After nearly two hours of clutching my blanket right under my eyeballs, the DVD froze mere minutes before the end. Upon return to the store, there was no extra copy and, as happens in life, I just never got around to finding another one elsewhere. Sure, I could read the wikipedia entry but, frankly, I smelt a gory ending coming and I still want to see it.

what can you say to this person other than "what a f*****g retard", really. if we skip by how could they possibly know that there was 5 minutes left if they claim never to have seen the film there's the small matter of The Silence Of The Lambs being 20 years old. it's been on VHS, Beta, DVD, regular TV, M-Net and DSTV numerous times. you can even buy it right now for slightly more than the R25 fee per "video on demand" offered by DSTV, but then again for considerably less than the R1000 or so that you have to fork out for a PVR to get this service anyway. and you can watch it for more than 48 hours.

if we assume, though, that someone is indeed retarded enough to have decided to wait until some magical "press a button and it will come on for a fee" service to see The Silence Of The Lambs, then they are in for a great disappointment. behold the spectacular range of films they currently offer, and note what's missing

yep, a whopping 15 (fifteen) films are available on this service, all "recent", most due to be screened on regular DSTV that we pay a fortune for anyway and every single one of them, you would imagine, would have been bought or rented long before this service commenced.

what a shame for the person who claims this service is "winning" that The Silence Of The Lambs is not on this select list. although they seem to have forgotten that.

"the movie i want to watch will always be available". yeah, right. as long as it is one of the fifteen titles they have "selected" for this odd waste of space service.

credit where it is due, though - either DSTV have even more brass neck than previously thought when it comes to the lack of interest they have in customer opinions, or their site moderator has better things to do than check comments on weekends. the messages left about this "winning" service are quite special - here is a sample of them before they clean up their site :

so, if you have a burning desire to watch any of these films and for some reason have not (high quality pirate copies of Black Swan have been doing the rounds for nearly a year now, everything else got a pretty wide release at the cinema and on more legit DVDs), have one of these PVR things that people seem to complain about and money to burn, off you go. here's the link, and do be careful as they seem keen to remove the films within days of making them available - so much for the "on demand" part!

the sooner they accept that the vast majority of their client base are there for the sports and childrens channels only then the sooner they can stop it with these expensive, waste of time experiments. who knows, if they did that it may mean that they wouldn't have to keep "unfortunately" shoving the subscription fees up.

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

who is rising in the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises?

hey everyone

here's a slightly larger image from the screenshots i posted of the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises a little while ago.

on this clearer one you can see something that i suspected was there on the online version. have a look over the shoulder of The Dark Knight, or if you cannot be bothered to look at this somewhat enlarged, selected area i've tried to do below :

hmn, that's someone either hanging or tied up in the background, isn't it? wearing what one could possibly interpret tights. oh.

well, Christian Bale has gone on the record about Robin in the universe they have created for this interpretation of the Batman legend. his words were along the lines of "you will know if Robin features in the new film because i shall not be in it".

who is it then? let the speculation begin i guess!

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

Chris looking dapper

hello everyone

well, no, not you Chris, ex-boss and good friend if you are reading this thinking it is you (you always look dapper anyway). this would be about the other, other Chris, my dear cousin and brother of cricketing legend Andrew (not Flintoff) (yet).

Chris recently went off to something called a "Sports Review Dinner". you now know as much of it as i do, really, he's not exactly forthcoming with information and details about it. never mind. depite what happened the last time i was sent a pic of Chris (and i still think that's one of the best bits of editing i have ever done), Chris was kind enough to send on a pic of him looking smart (dapper indeed) in the threads he was wearing for this event. whatever the hell it actually is.

nice one man! i must say, despite having a confessed lack of fashion sense, that i am delighted to see "the kids" of today seemingly embracing the style and cut of threads that we wore in the 80s. a very excellent revivial. i am unconvinced that we ever wore such styles in pink, mind, but i suppose it is all in with moving with the times!

Chris, feel free to let us know what exactly the dinner and that was all about mate! i trust that it was excellent, whatever it was.

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

Up The Dale!

hey everyone

a big well done and congratulations to Kildale CC for their most triumphant success in the GJERS Cup Final yesterday. what an excellent win!

the more keen of eye of you shall have observed that in the above picture one particular gent, the if you will 12th man, is not in the standard uniform. yes, that is indeed my cousin Andrew, a proud member of Kildale CC. whereas he didn't get the nod for the final team yesterday, he has been an integral part of the team that got them to this event. he has very kindly and wisely been using his blueberry phone thing to keep me updated with matches; i in return have been sending on info about the Premier League series on the go at the moment, that being England vs India.

it's been a fine season for Kildale thus far - here's a list of what they've done up to now, mindful of the season still having a few games to go :

Gjers Cup - Winners
Clemmit Cup (40 Over) - Semi Final
Granidon Cup - Final
Langbaurgh League - 2nd

that's outstanding stuff. i am hoping to organize a Kildale CC shirt to wear here with pride, shall have to sort the finances out first though!

once again, then, a smart well done to Andrew and all the lads in the side, i shall be following and hoping you do even better next season - although that will take some doing.

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

almost everything you could wish to know of Noel's debut single..

..except where you can actually buy or "pre-order" it.

as was reported a little while ago, Noel Gallagher's first solo release shall be the single The Death Of You And Me, featuring a track called The Good Rebel on the b-side. it's due for release on 21 August (2011), and will be available as a 7" and CD single. there shall also be a "digital download" bundle that will include the video. rather annoying, Noel, that you couldn't get the video on the acres of space left on the CD single, but there you go, we shall have to assume that you have no issue whatsoever with fans located in the world who cannot buy "digital downloads" just obtaining it by other means.

there's a trailer, believe it or not, for the video of the song on Noel's site, and the full video shall be given an airing there on July 25. here's a link to the official site if you wish to go and check out either or both. if you don't want to check out either, i guess you should not click on it then!

as per the opening of this, thus far there is no word on where one may go and purchase or place an order for this record. ho hum, i am sure he shall get around to advising us, "the fans", where we can throw coins at him sooner rather than later.

meanwhile, despite the obviously loaded title of the single, Noel has gone to great lengths to state that the song is not about him and Liam. hmn, we shall see or decide when we hear it, really - part of the fun of listening to the Beady Eye album is in trying to work out which, if any, bits are in reference to Noel.

righty-ho, that's all i know of it all right now! more news as and when i get it!

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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

an entertaining if brief diversion

hi everyone

well, as the first Test has just started today between easily the best two teams in the world at the moment (sorry Australia), what better time to comment on a fine cricket related book i picked up?

having read a few extracts online, i made a compulsive if not compulsory purchase of the book CrickiLeaks. it puports, but denies, being the leaked diaries of several key Ashes combatants over the years, interestingly from both sides of this most celebrated contest.

it is, for any lover of the Ashes series or cricket in general, very very funny indeed. sadly, though, it is also far, far, far too short, it clocking in at 128 pages, roughly a third of which are (admittedly wondeful) illustrations. i suppose that it is in keeping with the nature of that which it also parodies, the infamous "WikiLeaks" site, that they don't linger too much on any one player. this is a bit of a shame as many of the diary entries(the Gooch and Gower one in particular, as well as dear Mr Ponting's effort) make you wish for a full volume of their accounts of particular series. who knows, perhaps if this one sells well enough they may be persuaded to produce more.

i have lent my copy to my Dad at the moment, not sure if i shall get it back. if i do i shall be flicking through it frequently; if not then i shall jolly well purchase another copy and read away again!

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beady Eye single you can buy horror shock!

hi everyone

wow, what a day! Liam & Co seem to have finally clocked, for the fourth "official" single from their splendid debut album Different Gear Still Speeding album (Four Letter Word was a promo only release), that not deleting the single on the first day of release might allow fans (like your humble narrator) to be able to go and buy it! well, when i say go out and buy it, i do mean "order off the internet" of course.

The Beat Goes On, one of a number of highlights from the album, was released as a 7" single on Monday 18 July and, a day later you can still buy the thing. you can but it wherever you are in the world and have it delivered thanks to those ace chaps over at Record Store.

on the b-side is an interestingly titled new track going by the name of In The Bubble With A Bullet.

whereas it is to be applauded that they are making the single available for more than a couple of hours to buy, i am not sure if that automatically means it is going to do better in the charts than the previous singles. a 4th single from an album is always a bit of a hard sell, and the benefits of a new song on it are knocked a bit by it being vinyl only - far too many foolish people have gotten rid of their record players.

there's also the small matter that the charts seem to be sadly dominated by utter rubbish that wasn't here last week and is unlikely to be around much more than next week. the disposable, rather depressing state of music was highlighted in a recent interview with one of the great favourites of my chum Spiros, Sir Elton of John, recently. the music industry seems rather keen to eliminate the chance of any possible great acts ever developing to legendary status in favour of flogging cheaply produced, instantly forgettable "download" rubbish.

anyway, if you are a lover of proper music, created by those who love music rather than just have access to some sampling software, please consider clicking on the links provided here any buying this top tune. if you must, i suppose with little effort you could find it availble to buy as one of those "download" things too.

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises (in a teaser trailer)

hey everyone

well, as hinted at in an earlier post, the teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has indeed hit the internet as of today! sadly, in a most unusually fan-unfriendly way for Warner (seriously, they are way better usually than anti-consumer Sony) the trailer isn't available for download, just a "watch online" thing. never mind, i have at the least been able to grab some screenshots from it.

although i am not going to say anything beyond what's in the trailer, you should of course still consider the below to be filled with *** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***.

right, the trailer starts with some footage from the first two films, and has some rather unfortunate, cliche-riddled text popping up ("every journey has an end" and other such rubbish). when we do get some new footage, it's dramatic to say the least, for it is Gordon (Gary Oldman) clearly in a damaged way in a hospital bed.

he is having a conversation with someone about how the Batman must return to prevent evil rising. what's interesting here is that the conversation seems to be with Bruce Wayne! at least that's who it sounds like. does Gordon know the identity of The Dark Knight? is he just hoping that Wayne's resources will be able to track down the fallen hero? we shall find out next year i suppose.

and the evil that's rising? well, in some flash footage, that would appear to be the character of Bane.

i am not as familiar with the comic book / 'graphic novel' tales of Batman, but i believe Bane is some sort of police officer / security muscle that has been expanded, rather Hulk like, via chemicals into an awesome physical destruction machine. he was utter rubbish in Batman & Robin from the late 90s, but then everything in that was utter rubbish wasn't it? fingers crossed he is not quite as comically rubbish in this!

the trailer then rounds off with some quick flash footage of The Dark Knight himself in full armour.

and this suggests they have filmed a good deal more of the movie than anyone had thought up to now, as this seems to be The Dark Knight heading into battle with Bane.

at least it looks like Bane. could be someone else i suppose, depends on how many muscle bound psychopaths Christoper Nolan has chosen to populate the film with, really.

well, hope that is of interest to some of you! the full teaser trailer can be found from following the links on the official site. there are numerous copies available for download across the net, but be warned for they are ones people have filmed inside cinemas. which means, at best, they rather look like this :

rather just watch the stream / embedded version, then, until Warner have the sense to make it available to fans to watch on the go!

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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

got stats if you want them....

hi everyone

a frequent question i get about this blog is why don't i have a counter or something like that which shows how many visitors i get and where from. well, to be honest, i can't really be bothered. i mean it's not that i do not care, it's just that i write things on here for my own amusement and for the interest of friends and family. if anyone else around the whole wide interwebnet stops off and has a look then that is very flattering indeed and i thank you very much for taking the time to have a gander.

that statement is not likely to be enough for one or two of you, so here are some fabulous facts and figures from the last two years (two years being all that the site seems to store?). here we go then, excluding my viewing, with a break down of how many people have come to read my stuff and from where most of them have come from :

hope that comes out kind of clear - whereas i seem most popular with our friends in the US and UK, thank you all for coming by.

and if that hasn't ended your hunger for facts, here are the most popular posts from the last two years :

blimey! i am glad that the Mad Max 2 post has been so popular, it is a quality film! nice that Mani and The Stone Roses are attracting attention too!!!!

hopefully i can keep you all entertained for a good deal longer! thanks again for stopping by, and i trust the more curious of you are satisfied with the info!

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

one Sunday Afternoon

hello again

well, James' grand plan of a pajama day did not last the entire course of the day, really. when William woke up after his usual morning nap, James went upstairs with Mummy to go and fetch him. they appeared to be gone for a fair bit, so i called up to ask if all was ok. "yes" was Mummy's response, "we're just getting dressed.".

this left me with a degree of confusion it had to be said. when James came down, quite smartly dressed may i add, i asked why exactly he had given up on his idea of a "pajama day". the answer i got was - get this - that he was "not feeling comfortable in his gown.". oh.

i wasn't really keen to let James spend the whole rest of the day indulging in his ruthless quest to eliminate all cleaners off his Jurassic Park game (see previous posts), so suggested, since he was dressed, that we have a go at riding his bike once again. his response was a very enthusiastic yes, so off we went!

James has got considerably better at riding, it has to be said. he has finally clocked that if he keeps pedalling he will keep going, which is more or less the battle won. he's almost got his balance too, but i think we shall leave the classy stabilizers on for a little while yet.

of course, as good as he is getting at it, i went along with him, doing a light sort of jog thing to keep near him, which turned into an, if i may say so myself, impressive sprint when his steering efforts led to the general direction of a parked car or two.

it was in running after him that i remembered that i could probably have done with a nice afternoon nap, really, and considered that i may have been unwise with my suggestion. however, that can't be the case really, not with how good he is getting at it, and more importantly how much fun he was having.

well, he was having fun until traffic turned up. that traffic was, of course, in the form of William and the excellent "Dino car" that Ouma Monica got James a few Christmases ago!

William was briefly entertained just watching James and i fly past the door, but eventually wanted to have a go at this out and about on wheels business too. he does have a case of the sniffles at the moment, but to be honest we had such a lovely warm afternoon here we couldn't see how it would be anything but good for young
Fletch to have a ride around too.

it could well turn out that these two are being somewhat prudent in taking to non-combustion engine forms of transport this weekend, to be honest. at the moment we have something of a little bit of a petrol workers' strike at present, which is apparently going to leave the country without petrol quite soon. oh dear. well, sort of oh dear, of course. i mean, it will suck a bit if none of us can get to verk i suppose, but there's also a plus too. if this carries on for a few weeks the whole place might go all Mad Max 2, which would be excellent. sort of.

in the mean time, then, i shall endeavour to update as and when i can until the juice all runs out i suppose. exactly how much petrol can the internet use?

and no, i never got my nice lie down. i should be in bed now, really, but my blueberry thingie needs charging. which hopefully isn't far off being something that is done rather than needing doing. so i'd best check that i managed to plug it in properly.

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

one Sunday Morning

hi everyone

on Saturday afternoon, right, James declared that he wanted what his Mummy calls a "pajama day" on Sunday. this pretty much does what it says on the box, really, unless you are Daddy of course and you're going to need to get up and get dressed to get stuff from the shops.

both James and William had an uncharacteristic lie in on Saturday, with neither of them getting up until close to 8 - an unprecedented event, as any parent shall surely confirm. they more or less did the same trick on Sunday too, getting up at about 7:30. although Michele got me up a good deal earlier than that "just in case".

to look at them, though, you'd think they might both have been wishing they had stayed in bed for a little while longer.

William was briefly excited about the fact that Scooby Doo was on TV, but soon saw a better option in just having a nice lie down on his brother for a bit.

so how did James' ambitions for a "pajama day" work out, then? you will have to wait and see the next post.....

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

The Dark Knight Rises (in Pittsburgh)

hey everyone

many thanks and indeed credit to this site for these two new pictures from a film that seems to be getting insane expectations built up. a teaser trailer appeared on the new, final Harry Potter film and this alone has been credited with the insane box office figures the boy wizard is bringing in. that level of insane expectation.

the teaser trailer will be online as of Monday, presumably on the official site. in the mean time, back to the pictures!

i do love this! look at the effort they went to, with some green tape, to mask that this vehicle is from Gotham :

and yet do not feel any particular need to hide one of the somewhat more iconic vehicles from the film :

an interesting sense of priority, there!

and yes, i am part of the very excited to see this film population - i imagine we outnumber those who are not interested. i remain somewhat dubious about the choice of villain in the film (if indeed they are villains, after all the last film left the Dark Knight himself very much in the shoes of a bad guy), but i am confident that the cast and crew involved are going to deliver a most excellent film.

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

Ruby-Lee at 9 months!

hi everyone

many thanks indeed to Erika for sending on this wonderful picture!

wowee! she seems to have Aunty Susan's rosy red cheeks at the moment, i imagine that means teeth are on the way!

we're all glad to see that she is healthy and happy! looking forward to seeing her again soon, too!

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

Friday, July 15, 2011

low rider

hi everyone

well, there are certain people i know who read this blog that shall no doubt be greatly amused by these pictures.

some chap called Chris Murphy (presumably not the US Senator or the Great Australian Rocker, they being the only ones bearing this name i can find on google) saw a fellow riding his bike on the highway and decided to take some pictures. why? well, have a look.....

blimey, i hope this chap looks after his bike better than his wardrobe! i mean, i am not one to comment on style, but there's a difference between not being too bothered how you are dressed and parading this fact around the roads.

for those of you keen for a closer look, give your thanks to Chris Murphy for the below......

happy trails!

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

jazzed up James and wonderful William

hi everyone

well, no new pictures of the boys in this post, but some distinctly "jazzed" and changed pictures for your viewing interests. new light through old windows, you may say, and well done if you work out the Middlesbrough related reference there!

our good friend Anthea asked if she may possibly have some pictures of the boys to do all sorts of "artistic transformations" to. i said yes, and within a month or so actually managed to get around to making her a disc with some on. here's a sneak preview of the most ace work she has done on them!

first off, here's William, looking increasingly noble with this transformed picture!

splendid! and here is one of Michele's all time favourite pictures of all time, if you will indulge the reference to Smashie and Nicey there! here are the boys heading down the super slide in our garden!

and finally, for now at the least, here's one of James on a visit to the zoo!

wow, these are really impressive! thank you, Anthea!

as for what we are going to do with the jazzed up images, not sure really. i believe that Michele has mumbled in passing something about us "having them printed and put up on the walls". i know i won't be allowed to have anything to do with nailing them up, so we shall see!

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises (in a poster)

hey everyone

well, it's still a year to go before it actually gets released and they've barely started filming, but here we go - the first "teaser" poster for the hugely anticipated film The Dark Knight Rises

as stylish and as impressive as the artwork for The Dark Knight, really! it remains to be seen if they come up with the same kind of devastating, impressive "viral campaign" for this film too!

well, acres of the internet shall be handed over to discussing this poster; this being the case i think i'll just leave it to you to enjoy the image, or simply move along.

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

the finest mop that Portugal has to offer

hey everyone

many thanks indeed to my dear friend Maria for providing me with the picture below.

Maria's mother recently went on a holiday to the fine, fine nation of Portugal. it is indeed a fine place to take a holiday - i recall one year we went there, and was able to see The Karate Kid Part II at a cinema there no less than twice, and indeed we had a waiter that was, in every possible sense, like a tall version of Manuel out of Fawlty Towers.

it seems that Maria's mother, whose name Maria has yet to share with me (well, we've only known each other, what, a dozen years or thereabouts, can't get too personal), brought back quite a range of items from Portugal. the one which caused Maria's eyebrow to raise the highest was undoubtedly a mop head. here is it, pictured with the new (presumably South African) handle.

this might go without saying, really, but Maria's mother could not work out a way to get the original mop handle into her suitcase(s). why exactly it is that she would feel a need to bring any part of a mop from Europe to Africa is beyond me, but it is incidents like this one that allows me to say "see, it is not just my Dad who does things like this".

a little bit of research suggests that Portugal has a vibrant and booming mop manufacturing industry, really. they must be pretty good and in demand for there to be so many people producing and supplying them over there. it's not something i have ever considered importing or bringing back from holiday with me, to be honest, but if the opportunity arises for me to visit the Algarve again in the near future it is certainly a purchase that i will give consideration to. it does look rather smart, after all!

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

Sunday, July 10, 2011

like father like sons

hey everyone

well, since i seem to be up alone and am not all that tired (the other three have sniffles) i thought why not update a few more pictures from this week? some of them, according to Michele, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who the father of James and William is. i find it interesting that she needs to keep finding points like this, i must remember to ask further questions about this.

anyway, here is William, in one of those most excellent New Zealand babygro jumpsuit things. yes, Gillian, i know you sent the proper name for them, but i cannot (be bothered) to find that email right this minute.

it is very peculiar how red-ish William's hair is looking in pictures. not sure if it is a trick of the light or a curious happening with the camera, to be honest. i mean, as he is walking around amongst us, his hair is solid white. white as in Ruter Hauer's hair in Blade Runner white. that's pretty white. perhaps it's that "polar bear" effect thing, and it just looks that shade against his head. which would make his hair colour transparent, or whatever the posh, hair related word for that is.

in the mean time, here is a heavily avant-garde, possibly poseur picture of James!

he is not, believe it, hiding away from the camera in this picture. instead, he is concentrating on the ace game Jurassic Park - Operation Genesis, the excellence of which you can work out for yourself by clicking on the name of it. but not the picture below.

in the game James has developed an inexplicable and somewhat odd abject dislike of the cleaning staff you are supposed to hire to keep the island of dinosaurs all nice, tidy and presentable for visitors, tourists and the like. for reasons best known to himself James kept firing them, and getting quite cross when he lost points because of the state of his park. we eventually persuaded him that firing him was causing him to lose on the game, so he agreed to stop doing it.

this, however, just led to him ramping up his campagin against cleaners a significant gear or two. whilst he stopped, in fairness, sacking the cleaning staff, he simply just started building the "cleaning stations" inside the T-Rex and Velociraptor enclosures. the result of this, when the cleaning staff ventured off to do their given tasks, was predictable but i have to admit rather enjoyable. credit where it is due, too - hiring cleaners is an awful lot cheaper and quicker than making other dinosaurs for them two to hunt, and more or less gets the same job done.

Michele says that this has "Lee written all over it", but i beg to differ. when i played the game i did not just pick on cleaners; i just got rid of all fencing and let nature take its course.

another picture of William now, and it is with the most excellent toy chainsaw i bought for James a while ago. i am still not, apparently, allowed to purchase a real one. this is a shame, as both boys (and their Daddy) are raring to go with one.

look at the pride and sense of wonder on William's face as he ponders "what happens if i press this button?". i found myself in a semi-similar position today when the handle for the window in my car, which in fairness has been a bit wonky for a little while (well, about 2 years) finally broke off. i used some initiative and purchased a set of pliers and an adjustable spanner. you can still get the window up and down with them, so there you go. some people (everyone who knows of the trouble with my car window) suggest that i should really get it fixed properly, but i take it as a given that they don't know what they are talking about.

if this "like father like son" business is true, oh dear. i guess i am not too far off wearing red shoes, driving about in a Jag and building lots and lots of things.

a bit of a whoops here is that i have just clocked that most of the content above features in a letter i have put in a parcel for my sister this very evening. Gillian, kindly either forget the majority of the above, or just take your imminent letter as a sort of signed copy of this, please.

right, it's either time for bed, or time for coffee and some more updates. you will know which one won by the date of the next post.

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

Andrew, you shall go to the ball......

hi everyone

well, a little while ago (sorry for the delay) my dear cousin Chris took time off from prancing around in his Northern *ock shirts to send me some pictures of his elder brother, my equally dear cousin Andrew, as he headed off to his end of school prom thingie. my my, time flies and all that!

i must say, back in the 80s, we looked towards all those American films and their proms with a sense of longing. no way did we ever have anything like that, our beloved headmaster Sir John Rowling would not have entertained the idea even if anyone had been so brave as to suggest it.

we didn't do too badly, anyway. our impromptu "end of O Levels" type thing involved alcohol and your humble narrator being accosted by a (lady, if you don't mind) stripper dressed as a member of the constabulary (some sort of payback for the time i ordered Mike Llewellyn's Dad a box set of splendid Herbert Von Karajan records, as i recall). our impromptu "end of A Levels" celebrations involved a good many things i should not mention here, but they also contained Guns N Roses, considerable volumes of alcohol and Alex Brown crashing through a French door thing. the impressive part of the latter is that he did it from the roof.

anyway, here are some of the pictures Christopher sent. i think Chris might have visions of me suggesting that either Andrew or his unspecified chum are possibly the prom queen....

...but i would not do that to fellow Boro fans, in particular when it looks like either of them could give me quite a good slap. sensational 80s style outfit lads, nice one!

all seem rather proud of Andrew's finishing school. i dare say we all are, really, but then again he is a bright lad (you can tell by the team he supports) and i dare say he will go on to do absolutely excellent things from here on out.

coming along to see him off to the prom thing are Gran, Pat, Mike and of course Uncle Trevor, lurking around the back.

speaking of Trevor, here is an ace picture of Andrew and Christopher that he sent on, with Chris opting not, thankfully, to wear one of those horrid Northern *ock garments. he is, however, wearing a shirt that might cause one or two questions to be asked if he was wearing it down here....

i suspect he is drawing attention to the statement on the shirt as a little comment to me about my comments in regards of his other shirts. on the shirt it says that the rather large phrase translates as "buzz off". erm, yes, OK - the off part is certainly correct, not so much the first bit!

many thanks for the pics!

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