Friday, December 30, 2011


dear reader

as this is probably my last post for the year, i would just like to give a very big thank you to all of you that have taken the time, trouble and imagination to stop by and read my musings from the last 12 months.

when i started this site off i really didn't expect many to read it, just the odd family member and a couple of friends. i am flattered, humbled and indeed astonished that so many people around the world click on the address for this and have a gander. thank you very much, i hope i have entertained or helped some time pass by, and i hope you find more of the same here next year and indeed beyond.

if you celebrate New Year's Eve, enjoy and behave. i really don't care too much for it, and dare say that i will be in bed long before the stroke of midnight, so to speak.

thanks again for reading, i look forward to you visiting in the new year!

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

2011 in film.....

......was rather good. although i did not see nearly quite as many films as i wanted to, sadly. i just do not seem to get or be able to find the time!

it was rather fortunate that none of the films i did get to see turned out to be a waste of time. a happy accident, i suppose! easily the best of the films of this year was this one

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was excellent. i was not all that fussed at first as the film attracted nothing but bad reviews. as it transpired, though, the bad reviews were just plain lazy writing, and the people who saw it raved about it on the internet, causing the 'professional' critics to back-pedal like they have never done before.

whereas it is a science-fiction film, the best, most superb aspect of this film is the human drama side to the story. in this regard, John Lithgow is excellent, giving one of his best ever performances. there will be, as there so often has been in recent times, something very, very wrong indeed if the Oscars do not recognize his fine work here with a nomination at the least.

a close second would be the second film from the very promising talent that is Duncan Jones, Source Code

a bit like his stunning debut Moon, Jones has delivered another slice of what one could call "minimalist post-modernist science fiction" that certainly will not be for all tastes. i was impressed with it and its valiant and mostly successful go at re-imagining the consequences of the ability to travel in time. by no means is it straightforward, linear viewing, but it is worth a try all the same.

the funniest film i saw released in 2011 was easily Paul

to pick on lazy, professional (as they are called) critics once again, i got tired of reading how this one "was not as funny as" the two previous films featuring the lead actors, namely Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. my view on that is so what, it's a tiresome comparison and one should perhaps just concentrate on the film they are watching rather than the ones they have before. and if you do so with Paul, you get some genuine roaring laughs, not to mention one or two knowing, obscure and non-distracting cheeky nods to films in the genre. well worth 100 or so minutes of your life.

a film which seemed to surprise many was Captain America, or The First Avenger as they chose to rename it in some countries.

apparently the makers got it into their heads that, as America is not as popular as it could be (politically) with the rest of the world, this film due to its name probably would not be popular or well received around the world. what utter, utter nonsense. Captain America is one of the more popular and less seen "super heroes" to come from the genre, and fans took to it no problem. oddly, us in the rest of the world are able to tell the difference between fact and/or news and a work of fiction.

how good was this one? even, and you may want to sit down here, my Dad enjoyed it. it had a bit of a slow start perhaps, but once it got going my word was it good fun.

although it was not quite as good as the other "super hero" film to see the light of day in 2011.

Thor was amazing. the decision to hand directorial duties to Kenneth Brannagh was inspired. noted for turning Shakespearian works into mainstream must-sees, here he delivers a wonderful film that anyone can enjoy, whether they are familiar with the comic book origins or not. it never takes itself too seriously but nor does it condescend or patronize. perhaps not as great as, but certainly worthy of sitting on the same shelf as the Batman films Christopher Nolan has delivered thus far.

a film that surprised me somewhat was Limitless

the film had little or no relation to what the write ups and promotion of it had led one to believe, but this is in no way a bad thing. it relied rather heavily on the myth that we only use a small percentage of our brain, but no matter, it is after all a work of fiction. this Bradley Cooper fellow seems to get better and better the more films he does, and this film also has an all too sadly rare thing these days - Robert De Niro taking a part more or less seriously and actually acting once again instead of simply just being Robert De Niro.

there were, of course, absolutely no surprises in Hobo With A Shotgun.

a classic, textbook example of a film doing exactly what it says on the box, really. except, i suppose, the hobo of the title (nice to see you, Rutger Hauer) doesn't always use a shotgun as he dispenses....i was going to say "justice" but in fact it's mostly just violence for the sake of it.

i will not trouble you with details of the "plot" or anything like that. the market for this film knows exactly who it is, and further were not you would assume disappointed with this one.

no one could be disappointed with Unknown either, i would have thought.

Liam Neeson appears to have been re-invented as an "action star" these days. mostly what this is doing is underlining my point that he should have been given the James Bond role nearly 20 years ago, instead of that girlie voice thing (Pierce something) that they cast instead.

it's very difficult to say much of this film without giving away the "twist" to it. i can say, however, that it falls into the twist category of "watch once and there's no point watching again", but it certainly is well worth a look the first time around. good film, Unknown is, with solid enough performances, an interesting story and well made in general being the phrases that spring to mind.

finally, the film that could have been so much more than it was, but was not nearly as bad as either it could have been or some complained of.

Conan The Barbarian had rather insane high expectations of it from a small but vocal elite bracket of the existing fanbase, not to mention a tough-ish sell in the face of how ripped off and disappointed movie fans in general were with the last "swords and sandals" film to be released, the truly horrid remake of Clash Of The Titans. it seemed not to do at all well in the cinema, which is a great shame as it turned out to be if not brilliant then certainly an enjoyable enough film to watch. perhaps it will catch on when it appears on a general DVD release, or maybe it will find a natural home on various "pay tv" channels around the world. it certainly doesn't deserve to be forgotten about.

well, that's the perhaps paltry nine films from the year i can recall seeing and truly enjoying. the list of films that i simply have not gotten around to watching as yet is no doubt twice as long, and then some!

as for 2012, well, there's the small matter of The Dark Knight Rises looming over just about all other films. we can but hope some more quality gets released before and after that one is unleashed on us!

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

2011 in music.....

...was pretty poor, to be honest with you. i am not sure if it's just that the bands coming through are all really rather dull, or if the record industry has simply just given up, finding it cheaper and easier to re-issue than to find and release new stuff. my cousin Andrew shall argue that some "excellent" stuff was released in the year, but on what i have heard of it i shall have to disagree somewhat.

anyway, here's the best of the year from my side!

without doubt, the single most important music release of 2011 was one you cannot play on a stereo or "ipod" thing. you can, however, admire the brilliance of it.

a good deal of nonsense tends to get written about certain acts being "the best / most important British band since The Beatles". it has been spoken of in regards of The Stone Roses too. i'm not sure any act could be called that, really, but in respect of most important and influential on a particular generation, well, The Stone Roses sit quite well next to The Smiths in regards of that. the fact that the reunited band seem intent on making new music to be released in 2012 as well as doing a wide range of huge gigs makes their return all the more exciting.

as for the best new album released in the year, well, look no further than this one.

Kasabian seem to be the last band standing that actually cares for carrying on the magic of rock and proper, quality music to a new generation. Velociraptor! is one of the best albums i have ever heard, and i have heard quite a few. it's fun, interesting and just sheer quality, really. if you do not have it, get it.

2011 also saw the return of the brothers Gallagher to the album charts, apart of course. which of the two was the best? hands down, easily and something of a surprise to some the answer turned out to be Liam.

Beady Eye, effectively the last Oasis line up sans Noel, banged out a stack of great rock tunes. Different Gear, Still Speeding is a pretention free, unapologetic rock album, intended to be shouted along to and for fun to be had with it. Liam reckons the band will record and release a follow up in 2012, to quote him, "whether people like it or not". bring it on, i say.

and that's not to say that Noel's solo venture isn't worthwhile.

High Flying Birds is the most middle-of-the-road, inoffensive album to be recorded since, well, since probably Val Doonican or Roger Whittaker were last in a studio. Noel seems intent on a nice life sat with his guitar on a stool, strumming out mostly easy going songs and accepting plaudits and praise even if for the most part they are just for who he is, not what he's done. and yet the album is oddly addictive, giving one a compulsive wish to play on repeat. Noel can and has done better, whereas this will do let us hope the next one has a bit more to it.

beyond those, really it was the year of the re-release. the reissues of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Liverpool , the solo albums from Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford, U2's Achtung Baby, Quadrophenia from The Who and to a lesser extent Nirvana's Nevermind quite frankly stood head and shoulders above all other "new" music other than what's listed here. a nod, i suppose, to the Manic Street Preachers go at a 'singles collection', but that could have been so much more than it was.

perhaps the future of music is to revisit and rediscover all that has come before. whereas that ensures quality vibes, i do find it sad if not tragic that the current generation really has no one iconic to latch on to and follow like those before.

i trust you all found some excellent vibes over the last year! dig what you dig!

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

and some more Christmas images!

hi there

well, hopefully there remains enough lingering Christmas spirit to enjoy these rather fine pictures sent on to me!

it would appear that the radar system Father Christmas has found Lyla and Ruby-Lee just fine! actually, i think old Santa uses a conventional map, really - much better than this whole "gsp" nonsense or whatever one calls it.

here's Lyla showing off one of many gifts to bear the celebrated name of Barbie!

now, of course we all know that Father Christmas brings the gifts for children, but parents help. in this instance, Richard's enthusiasm for Barbie, in particular those items of Barbie which are pink, is legendary. splendid work, Richard, it looks like you directed Santa to some really fine items!

Ruby-Lee appears to have had a somewhat Barbie-free Christmas in comparison, but all the same seems to have got some most excellent gifts!

Father Christmas left some gifts for Ruby-Lee and Lyla with us, ones that with some good luck shall get to them soon!

there can be no doubt that Christmas morning over at their house featured a most excellent boereorkes breakfast cooked and lavishly prepared by Erika. they are really ace, it has to be said, and would with ease have beaten the pants off the toast i had!

the class boereorkes breakfast does, through the sheer dimension and vast quantity of it, tend to add a calorie or two on the usual mass of the person blessed enough to eat it, so a rather tranquil stroll around the grounds after it is usually a most wise idea. such wisdom was evoked by the four of them!

these really are fantastic pictures. i think that the next time we head over to their abode we shall have to encourage Richard and Erika to take a few pictures of the four of us!

wow, what amazing pictures! and on the whole unblemished by images of Newcastle garments! it looks like they all had a truly splendid day. nice one!

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

actual Christmas

hey there

OK, let me see if i can do another update from Christmas! here are some pictures from "Christmas Day proper", as it were.

first off, when Michele and i woke up on Christmas morning, we got a big surprise. almost a shock, really. that was that we woke of our own nature, as the boys were still asleep! and they continued to sleep, having a lie-in, for something like an hour after we woke up! of all the days to pick to finally get the hang of this "we can sleep late so let us" business, they choose Christmas? this parenting business is a tricky one to grasp the logic of, really.

when they eventually did surface from their bedrooms, they were rather delighted to find a pile of presents each!

and, if i say so myself (erm, ahem, on behalf of Father Christmas), they were rather pleased with all that they got!

undoubtedly they got "too much" and all of that, but there you go, done now!

you may have heard, or experienced yourself for that matter, the idea that children often if not always prefer to play with the box that it came in rather than the toy itself.

let William demonstrate this for you!

in the afternoon it was time to pay South Fork a visit and, wouldn't you know, Father Christmas had gone and left some gifts for the boys with Grandma and Grandad!

i do love this next picture!

what deft skill James has, being able to "help" William unwrap a present and play on a PSP at the same time!

James was also able to open his presents all by himself, and was quite impressed with what he got!

well, who would not be?

a trip to South Fork in the summer also means swimming, and the chance to try and have a picture of the four of us together. not as easy as it might sound, really, if you look at this try!

and here's one of us almost, more or less, all facing the same way. if not looking the same way!

well, we had an excellent Christmas, and i can only trust and hope you all did too!

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


hey there

well, as our Australian friends may say, strewth! i have been rather busy at verk, it has to be said, so my ambition to get all the Christmas stuff up before the end of the year may not be met. nice to know the wheels of commerce are turning with some enthusiasm during this expected to be quiet 3 day week, i guess.

let me have a bash at meeting the end of the year, though, by taking you back to Christmas Eve, when we had a somewhat early Christmas session. this was for the benefit of visiting Ouma (my absolutely beloved, will not have a word against mother-in-law) and Dylan. and a jolly good day it was too, with an amazing, massive pile of food to eat.

oh, and of course, presents too!

the boys got a most excellent double whammy of slightly belated and slightly early Christmas presents, which made them rather happy, it has to be said!

i was fortunate to get a gift too, which was unexpectd and kind. and indeed funded the purchase of the celebrated Red & Blue set from The Beatles, not to mention the ace films Zombieland and Pale Rider. nice one Monica, thanks!

the boys are well impressed with their gifts too! the "garden set" has yet to see the garden, but the boys quite like sitting at it as they eat in the house! the Star Wars Playstation controller has gone down very well with James indeed, too!

William has had enough presents that he can now just about unwrap gifts himself, as you can see.

i have no doubt that James shall continue to "help" him with unwrappting for a while yet, mind!

hopefully Monica and Dylan liked their gifts too! well, i am pretty sure Dylan did, by all accounts - hard to go wrong with a PSP for a young lad!

more as soon as i have the time and energy!

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

Listening To Who - Episode 4 : Who's Next

Hi there

well, time for more pondering and celebration of The Who, methinks. this time it's the turn of the album Who's Next.

So, what can one possibly write about Who’s Next? Originally released in 1971, it features 9 tracks. Of those 9, three are routinely considered to be amongst the best ten songs the band recorded, and two of those three are interchangeable at the top in regards of trying to say which is the best and which is the second best song the band ever did. The other 6 songs are not exactly bad either (far from it), and the 7 extra songs you get on the “one disc deluxe” version I recently got are familiar but excellent.

That would be the rather short version. I shall be writing a good deal more here, of course, but if you want it in brief, well, if you do not have this album then off you go to obtain a copy of it.

The fact that an album emerged from the band in 1971 must have been something of a surprise at the time, really. After the release of the legendary Tommy in mid-1969, the band went on a relentless touring scheduled, playing a massive set of their ‘rock opera’ and a standard set of classics night after night. Some of this was captured in the often released Live At Leeds album in 1970. for more on that great, must own album, click here!

A recurring theme for Pete Townshend, as highlighted in earlier posts on The Who, was the wish to capture the live sound of the band on record instead of simply trying to recreate the sound of records onstage. An interview in early ’71 has Pete saying that they were “setting out to make the best music they possibly could”, which saw the ambitious project to compose and record an album “live”, predominantly with a series of, if you will, interactive gigs at the Young Vic in London. This was all done as part of, and here’s a phrase that Who fans are all too familiar with, Townshend’s “Lifehouse Project”.

There are already quite enough articles on the whole Lifehouse project to suggest that I do not need to spend so much time on it here. In short, it was a “concept” or possibly another “rock opera” that Townshend felt inspired to create from his experiences touring Tommy. This was in specific regard of how audiences reacting, the if you will “vibrant buzz” of them. In short, the project proved unrealistic and was postponed in favour of using some of the tracks for a more straightforward, conventional album in the form of Who’s Next. For further reading in regards of Lifehouse, there is the internet certainly, but also any halfway decent book on the band will have a good deal of it, and indeed the booklet that comes with any 1995 and beyond issue of Who’s Next has a great amount on it.

So, on to the conventional album that was released. I suppose the best place to start is the three songs mentioned above. Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again and Behind Blue Eyes are the stand out tracks here, which certainly give weight to Townshend’s statement that they intended to make “the best music they possibly could”.

For some reason in the 70s a number of bands, in particular Queen, had “no synthesizers” written on their album, as if the sound of a synthesizer is always a bad thing. The bookends of the original album, Baba O’Riley and Won’t Get Fooled Again, both have immediately recognizable and indeed iconic synthesizer melodies and these two songs are the two I would argue the band ever did. Which is saying a very great deal indeed, considering the hefty number of great songs you can list for them. I cannot for the life of me work out what it was that happened between Who’s Next in 1971 and a band like Queen by the mid 70s that led to an anti-synthesizer campaign. Presumably some sort of prototype Jedward used them around 73 or 74?

The two songs under discussion here are of course rather familiar to a new, “younger” audience as they are two of the three songs currently used for the theme of the series of CSI shows. That shouldn’t distract from their overall awesome level of greatness, though. Nothing I can really say here can capture or describe them in detail, but I will try. Baba O’Riley speaks of a world you wish existed, and Won’t Get Fooled Again shows off just how good all four members of the band were. If for some inexplicable reason you’ve not heard either, off you go – and I do mean right now – to find copies of them.

As for the third legendary song from the album, Behind Blue Eyes, it is one that should be performed by The Who and them alone. Sadly of late the song has been tainted by a ghastly “rewritten” version by a band of limited talent called Limp Bizkit. It was with sheer delight that I read they have been dropped by their record label and thus effectively split; if they had done to a Beatles or Springsteen song what they did to this Who one they would have been hounded out of the industry a good deal sooner. Try to ignore the offensive, horrid cover and listen to Daltrey give one of his greatest ever performances on the original.

As for the other six songs, well, there are five great ones and one that I tend to skip over. That one would be the only non-Townshend song (by co-incidence I assure you) track, My Wife, written by John Entwistle. It just has an, as best I can describe it, odd mix to it, in particular on the distorted / “buried” vocals, and it takes some work to get into. With so many other treasures available, I just cannot be bothered to give it the work it requires, really.

The extra tracks on the one disc “deluxe” version are very nice to have indeed. The previously unreleased version of Pure And Easy on here is ace, evoking a psychedelic summer of love sound some four years late. Daltrey’s vocal on it certainly sounds mid-to-late 60s, which serves to illustrate just how strong and loud his voice had developed when compared to the rest of Who’s Next. It’s somewhat out of tone with the remainder of the album, but I might have considered ditching My Wife and including this one instead, really.

As for songs that very nearly did get included in the original albums, we get Naked Eye and Water. Again. Or if you will, yet again. These “rare” tracks have a habit of turning up on numerous Who releases, in particular live albums and of course the superb, must-have 30 Years Of Maximum R & B box set. Both are tracks that sound like they could be great, but tend to lean towards the average side of being very average songs, as it were. Perhaps they would or indeed will make more sense if heard as part of Lifehouse, as and when Pete finishes it off.

Mention must be made, of course, of the celebrated / infamous cover picture for Who’s Next. I remember reading one article on the album which suggested that the cover “just looks more and more childish with each passing year”, whereas other articles celebrate it as iconic brilliance. The what and why of them doing it remains something of a mystery. The band, ahem, relieving themselves upon a giant monolith has been interpreted as them announcing they’ve gone one better than their monolithic work Tommy, with some seeing it as a dig (for no given or apparent reason) at Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. In all likelihood, it’s probably just something that amused one or more of the band. A somewhat different cover was planned, and indeed is included in the CD. It features Keith Moon in a state of revealing cross-dressing. All I can say of it is that in brings to mind the words of Ian Faith when quizzed on the cover for Spinal Tap’s Smell The Glove – “you should have seen the cover they wanted to do, it wasn’t a glove, believe me.”.

When people speak of the greatest albums of the 70s, it tends to be records like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf and The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd. Others get a mention too, certainly, but rare is it that I have seen or heard of Who’s Next being spoken of in such stature. And that’s a great shame, really. Whereas I would stop well short of calling it the greatest album of the decade (that would go to Rumours, or perhaps a Bowie one), it certainly should be in the top ten of any list of that decade, top twenty in a worst case. Devout Who fans will already have this, but admirers of Rock who normally do not care for The Who (if such a type exists) should certainly consider this one.

I still find it astonishing that in such a period of prolific touring and recording that the band was able to turn out a masterpiece such as this, frankly. Recent examples of bands trying to keep the momentum going in a similar style have not worked out, really. A case in point would be the Manic Street Preachers, who followed up the excellent Journal For Plague Lovers with the distinctly average Postcards From A Young Man, and then threw out a “singles collection” which has been well documented here already. i would like to be wrong, but i doubt we shall see the high levels of quality that The Who produced year after year from any new band.

if you don't have the album, or have "just" the first issue CD featuring the standard 9 tracks of the album, you can order it at amazon or, if you prefer paying more, HMV.

there is a 2 disc version of it out there too, but it costs a great deal more.

and what shall be the next CD by The Who to be given a spin? not sure at the moment, but you'll be able to read about it here, no doubt!

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

the martial garment of The King

hey everyone

well, as usual, my chum Spiros has alerted me to a most interesting item that he has discovered. and this one could truly be the greatest discovery yet!

behold, for this is a satin black belt as apparently endorsed and worn by The King, Elvis Presley. i will allow you a moment to digest this revelation.
Spiros assures me that the inscription on the belt is in Korean for some reason, and that it details the history of The King, Elvis Presley.
this item is available from, what i gather, is an interesting site called Elvis Karate which teaches the wide and versatile range of martial arts as practiced by The King, Elvis Presley. i would trust that this is up to date in regards of the methods used by Him - sadly i am unaware of which other strings to his bow he has added whilst living in China, but i would wager that He is awesome at them.
Spiros is rather keen on these martial arts things and has indeed gone so far as to visit places such as Sheffield to practice his deft skills. there have been one or two incidents, sure, where an 11 or 12 year old girl has absolutely lamped him in a bout or tournament, but when it comes to grappling with a gent, wrestling him to the ground and mounting him in a submissive position there really are few better than him.

Spiros advises that this item costs several thousand in any currency you care to name, and indeed a few thousand more if you (wisely) wish to have it delivered with a picture of The King, Elvis Presley wearing this particular belt. presently Spiros is preparing a number of documents in anticipation of the need for a credit facility to own one of these, and i suggest you do the same.

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in New Zealand

hey there

well, needless to say i sat with a veritable stack of pictures of Christmas from across the family. i will be doing my best to update with a few images of each over the next few days, but there are more than a few to go through! bear with me, those interested and eager!

a first up would and indeed perhaps should be New Zealand, for in accordance with timelines and that they celebrated Christmas Day first. usually there is some sort of embargo which prevents all that many pictures being sent from New Zealand (well, it is either that or Gillian "not being bothered" about taking them off the camera and sending them), so it's great to get a few!

first up is Daniel, and the remarkable - indeed impressive - stash of offerings delivered to him by the one they call Father Christmas!

that all looks excellent, but Daniel appears to still prefer that rather smooth looking blanket! and why not?

as for Katie, well, it would appear that the two front teeth did not get delivered, but a whole load of other excellent stuff did!

and no, Grant enthusiasts, i have not forgotten you and your relentless desire to see and hear more of him on this site. Grant has long had an ambition to be "a bit more Freddie Mercury", and it seems he took another step towards this.

quite a quality, if fake, moustache there! good luck with growing a real one like that!

finally, as is a tradition for them, the family over in New Zealand have a go at a self-portrait every year. here's there go this year!

splendid, most splendid. in particular as they are not sticking tongues out or pulling rude gestures for a change!

many thanks indeed for the pics! it looks and sounds like you all had a most excellent time of it!

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

fiddling with technology.

hey everyone

here are some pictures of certain members of the Harlo gang. Chris is excluded as i didn't get to take a picture of him.

right, here are the sequence of events as to how you are seeing these pictures. we spoke to the Harlo gang on Christmas day via that Skype thing on my Dad's PC. i took these pictures with my blueberry phone as we were chatting. i then emailed the pictures off my blueberry to my address on my home PC. then the pictures went from my email to a memory stick. the memory stick then transferred the images to my PC here at verk and i have since uploaded them here. simple.

oh by the way, please do not think these are "special Christmas hats" that the Harlo gang are wearing; this is standard attire for them. in particular Colin and his rather fetching antlers.

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

James and William look for a film to watch

hey there

well, after a few days here i am back posting! i've not been on here for the most part, of course, as we were celebrating Christmas, as i trust most of you were. there's also being left exhausted by the boys as they had fun for the last few days, but that's another tale for another post or two.

a hint, however, is in this post. yesterday James decided that he and William were going to watch a Superman film. this involved James, and William armed with a toy axe, deciding to hold a semi-audit of all their discs as they looked for "that one where Superman rescues the helicopte" (the first to feature Christopher Reeve, i believe you will find).

here is an image of the result of the semi-audit!

nice work, boys!

the "semi" part comes into it as, of course, James and William felt no compelling reason to put any of the discs or boxes back themselves, leaving it to Mummy and Daddy to do it. it gave us the chance, at least, to try and put some of the discs back into the correct, empty boxes. i must say, in this regard, they do have the influence of Uncle Richard a bit, as he famously used to have a pile of empty VHS boxes more or less the same height and size as he did a pile of unboxed video tapes.

i think it only took us about 3 hours to put them all back. the more interesting thing, however, is that after finding the correct Superman film, the boys instead decided to watch that class Batman film from the 60s. you know, the one where Batman gets attacked by a shark, but happily has a can of "bat shark repellant" on hand.

more posts soon-ish!

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Easter Eggs in The Dark Knight Rises trailer?

hey everyone

well, it seems that Christopher Nolan is having a touch of fun by hiding one or two things in the trailer for the, to put it mildly, hugely anticipated film The Dark Knight Rises
. i would guess they are there to get fans "talking" and speculating, so let us oblige him!

first up and a look at the crowd in the hugely anticipated "stadium scene".

do you see it? no? look again. still don't see it? here's a close up.

yes, that's the familiar logo of Robin! the extra who made this sign has owned up that he "did it for fun", but Mr Nolan exacts such strict control over his films he must have been aware of it and decided to leave it in.

and thus this must have been quite deliberate.....

hmn. Dick Grayson was always described as "Bruce Wayne's ward", and of course in the celebrated 60s TV series Robin was played by one Burt Ward.

it is, however, unlikely that any of this means Robin shall turn up in the film. Christian Bale said that "you will know if Robin is in it because i will not be", which seems to be a pretty conclusive denial.

there's been an incredible, if not astonishing, build up of hatred for Robin over the last decade or so, really. i am pretty sure it started out around the time he was introduced to the last series of Batman films, the dislike and hatred stemming from that horrid actor Chris O'Donnell giving his standard horrible, almost unbearable style of performance in the part.

no doubt there are more things "hidden away" in the trailer, if i spot them i shall share them!

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

vibes machine

hey everyone

well, nothing really. i was running particularly early this morning in regards of getting to verk, so i thought that i would pop in and get a wholesome, nutritional McDonalds breakfast.

as i was sat in the drive through bit, it seemed like a particularly good idea to take a picture of Mr Vibes, the stag i have in the car to play tunes on.

i have no idea if this is of any particular interest to anyone, so i thought i would add it here as i had absolutely no idea what else to do with this picture.

if you want more of the same, do feel free to "add" or "follow" me on this twatter business, "@leerblueberry" i believe or think my twatter address is.

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

and yet more Christmas Tree action!

hey there

many thanks indeed to Andrew for sending on images of how the Harlo Gang Christmas tree looks this year!

the aesthetics of it certainly suggest that Colin has been predominantly involved on a conceptual and design level, really.

wow. clearly this year Colin has chosen to evoke certain Renaissance-era sensibilities, adopting into it some bold, if not stark, post-modernist elements of nouveau cubism.

i particularly like the juxtaposition of the remote control under the tree, too - it speaks of their intention to watch the Doctor Who special on Sunday, come what may.

if the above picture was not enough, then Andrew also forwarded one more on, featuring the Harlo Gang before the tree!

the above is possibly Andrew's triumph. here, in the medium of digital, Andrew has stylised an image which seeks to recreate some of the more angular works of Hieronymus Bosch, injecting into in a some may say controversial sense of the self-portrait medium so often associated with Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. outstanding, Andrew, simply outstanding. in particular as Christopher seems not to be wearing an offensive shirt.

well, i suspect that this update brings to an end the celebration of trees this year. what a way to end it off if so! i trust you have enjoyed looking at and reading about all these trees!

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