Friday, November 30, 2012

when the boat comes in

hi there

superior apologies for the lack of updates this month; i've just been busy.

a ship christened The Voyager Of The Seas is due to dock in New Zealand shortly. it's the biggest cruise ship to visit New Zealand, so it's rather big news. guess who is there to capture the moment!



those of you familiar with the finer works of cinema might be reminded of something in the above. yes, the moment Robbie Coltrane walked along a similar pier in the film The Supergrass. in that film, Mr Coltraine took a chainsaw to a yacht as Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes played. instinct tells me Dad is not doing something similar.

can you spot the colour of his shoes in the picture?


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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Stone Roses to bless New Zealand!

hi there

in news that is sure to excite the various members of my family in New Zealand, The Stone Roses are to play a concert there in February 2013!

from their official site :

The Stone Roses play Auckland's Vector Arena in New Zealand on February 26 2013. Tickets on sale on Thursday 6 December from www.ticketmaster.co.nz.



i will be very disappointed if they don't go to see them! and yes, if you are asking, i am all of a sudden interested in visiting New Zealand, but alas i suspect the budget will not allow for it.

i trust that all the NZ fans manage to get tickets, in particular of course my Sugar Spun Sister!



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

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Justice Collective : He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

hi there

if you have come to this blog looking for an illicit download of this, ripped from a radio broadcast, what can i say but shame on you. the CD single is released on December 17 and you can pre-order from HMV.



HMV ship worldwide, with standard shipping usually costing about £5.00. as the single is being sold for the giveaway price of £2.00, this really is a must buy for anyone wanting to help remedy a harrowing injustice as much as it is for any football fan no matter what team you support.

thank you in advance for supporting this worthwhile cause.


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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stefan Beytell gives his review of Twilight : The Twilight Saga : Film 5 : Breaking Dawn : Part 2

hi there

Stefan enthusiasts shall no doubt be delighted with this post, for it features not only a new picture of him but also his thoughts on the latest Twilight film.

it seems that Stefan went off to a kind of exclusive presentation of the film somewhere or other. i think it was hosted by an outfit called 4th Avenue or similar. whoever it is, it seems they plied him with as much wine as one normal person would need to get through the film, and indeed they provided him with a quite classy pink wristband / bangle / bracelet thing.



if you are wondering if Stefan, 6 days after the event, is still wearing the bangle thingie, the answer is oh yes. he wears his love of all things Twilight as badges of honour, in particular if they have got glitter on them or feature a colour scheme that would not be out of place in the realm of Twilight and the intended audience of these films.

do you want a closer look at his pink bangle? sure you do.


meanwhile, here is his review of the film. to be honest, i am just doing the copy and paste thing here and have not read it. apologies, then, if for some reason he has composed something here that causes offence to any of you.

thus spoke Stefan :


Following the huge success of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, author Stephanie Meyer and her team has struck again with the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in theatres around the country.  This film still carries the same story line as the book but the screen-wrights provided for a huge twist mid film that had all of us twihards in the theatre up in arms only to discover that what seemed to be a derailing of the actual story was placed to build suspense and drama.  For those who recall, Jacob’s imprinting on Renesmee at the end of Part one, as well as his direct claim to the alpha male position created more excitement as it made that for the first time that all the wolves had to assist the Cullens in their defence against the Volturi.  More vampires joins the saga to assist the Cullens and causes more of the Quilettes to phase. This is one of those 20 out of ten films and is it saddening that it is the last. Fortunately there is rumours surfacing that Meyer is not done with the books yet!!!

if you are asking, and i cannot imagine why you would, the answer is no, i shall not be off to see this film.
i trust that this has been of some interest to any Twilight enthusiasts out there, or indeed to people who simply like pink bangles.


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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Movember Winner

hi there

to quote the great Commandant Lassard out of Police Academy, i think you will find this next picture speaks for itself

.

good on you, Mr Owen, good on you.


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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

one hundred word stories

hi there

as the fine publication that is the Readers Digest is running a competition for writing a story that is exactly 100 words long i thought i'd have a go. is it a tricky or difficult thing to do? the answer is yes, no, maybe.

basically, it has to be a "story", not an extract, anecdote or statement. that then implies a start, middle bit and end. the trick, then, is to think of a fairly straightforward tale and just construct it around the key words.



i managed to knock off three in about ten minutes. well, in ten minutes after a few days thinking through ideas. Michele has kindly selected one of the ones i wrote to enter, and according to the terms and conditions of the contest that story, now submitted, falls under the copyright and what have you of Readers Digest. ho hum, i can't really post that one here, then. there is not much, i suppose, stopping me from shoving up here the two that didn't get submitted. if for some reason you want to read them, here you go!




“Cheerio. See you later!” That’s what he said to me, moments before I went into theatre to be there as my wife gave birth. One of those good and bad moments, really. It was wonderful to learn that I looked the part in my surgical gown, or scrubs I should say. It was slightly less wonderful, I guess, that someone about to perform surgery mistook me for an actual fellow doctor.

Either way, being mistaken for a medical professional somehow made me feel more at ease. I was, at the last moment, wondering who our baby would mistake me for.






As all the cars crawl along in the usual traffic, I am getting a guilty slice of entertainment from two vehicles in front of me. With the slimmest of gaps, one car moves from a lane to another, much to the, going on the prolonged horn blowing, displeasure of the driver he now sits in front of.

I do wonder what the moment was all about. If the benefit of moving from one lethargic lane to another isn’t obvious, neither is the point of getting upset about one more car being in front of you. Neither made the traffic disappear!


if you are a particularly stupid person, and i would hope not since you are both clever enough to use the internet and wise enough to read this blog of mine, i suppose you could chance your arm and simply copy & paste one of these and submit it. should one of my rejected stories win, i would be briefly impressed, but i would also feel an obligation to point out to Readers Digest that, unless you have a time machine, the story or stories appeared here first. 
if you decide to have a go and enter, i wish you the very best of luck (unless you have swiped one of the above stories). hurry up, mind, i believe the closing date is 30 November.

thanks for reading!



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

discovering Japan

hi there

something of a bone of contention for many enthusiastic music fans and record collectors would be the infamous "exclusive to Japan" release. that would be, as you can guess, versions of records, both singles and albums, released in Japan that feature tracks not released anywhere else in the world.

there are two schools of thought as to why this happens. most fans assume that as certain record labels are based there, in particular infamously anti-consumer Sony, they get certain perks. this is certainly true in regards of the Manic Street Preachers. not only do the standard Japanese editions of the albums come with extra tracks, but they also recently had re-releases of all the albums featuring a 2nd disc with all the b-sides on - something that the shambolic "Complete Singles" box set did not manage.

others, with some knowledge of the music industry, say Japan-only exclusives exist to lure Japanese people into buying more expensive manufactured in Japan versions rather than cheap imports. this kind of makes sense - about 10 years ago bands started randomly dropping a track or two from the European versions of albums to stop UK fans ordering it in cheaper than it was on sale in England.

the truth is probably somewhere in-between the two and, considering the astronomical costs of getting your hands on a Japan only release, one can understand why exactly so many are tempted by, or even turn to, bootlegs and downloads to hear tracks by their favourite bands and artists.

all of this is a nice excuse to bash Sony and other stupid labels that refuse to let fans buy music, but an even better reason to show off some class finds by the one they call Stef!




as far as i am aware one of these particular Frankie Goes To Hollywood releases feature any "exclusive to Japan" tracks, but it would not be a surprise. they are, however, very nice things to have indeed, and most record collectors would jump at the chance of getting their hands on the records shown above and below.

nice finds, Stef!



make no mistake - Frankie Goes To Hollywood have suffered the same "exclusive to Japan" fate for a few tracks. to date, the only place that the 'Urban' mix of Welcome To The Pleasuredome has featured has been on the 1985 release Bang!, which remains a Japan only release. some four or five recent releases from their label ZTT have featured rare and unreleased tracks, but no sign of this one yet.

and speaking of re-releases, ZTT have managed to annoy Frankie fans a great deal by sneaking out a Frankie Said Japan 2 CD set that differs from the rest of the world release. in particular with regards to the cover



ZTT, who must have read the same book that Sony did about how to annoy customers, recently tried to justify the Japanese version by saying the only extras were things that had been released in the rest of the world anyway. erm, not so - the Japanese get Watching The Wildlife (Movement 2) and the horrid version of Every Kinda People that the band wisely never released on CD. whereas in some countries you can buy (if you insist) Every Kinda People off the iTwat store, in regards of this mix of Watching The Wildlife your choices are limited to the 12" record from 1987, an expensive Japanese import or an illicit download.

for the aspiring record collectors reading this - if you see for sale any item that look like the ones Stef took pictures of, and they don't have to be Frankie but sealed is better, then they are always a wise investment. for any record labels reading this - all the money fans are spending on couriers and import tax for these Japanese releases could mostly be yours if you would only allow the fans to give you money for them. and stop crying about downloads and bootlegs if you refuse to actually sell the songs yourself.

cheers again Stef!


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

Friday, November 16, 2012

Iron Man truck

hi there

it is most unfortunate that the point of this post is at the mercy of the lacking qualities of my blueberry camera. on behalf of whoever it is that makes these blueberry things with rubbish cameras, sorry!

by chance, from a window at verk, i saw what must be some of the most excellent art work ever to be put on a truck. behold, if you can withstand the poor quality, a most excellent rendering of a classic image of the super hero they call Iron Man.



erm, yeah. i think you can sort of make out that it is Iron Man if you are told it is. it really was him, honest, looking all clean and shiny. here's another look at it, see if it is any clearer!



if all and sundry who drove trucks here put this much care, effort and appreciation into their vehicles then perhaps they would not break down so often!


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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

the boys (and possibly a girl) and the camera


hi there

at the weekend just gone we had a most excellent afternoon over with Richard, Erika, Lyla and Ruby-Lee. i took the camera along with every intention of getting a few pictures. i did not, alas, take any myself. happily, though, James, William and i suspect Lyla were more than prepared to mess around and take a few shots!

the two or three of them just grabbing the camera does lead to a number of blurred, close up shots of things that you have no idea of what they could be. every now and then, though, they manage to get some interesting, sort of avante garde like shots. like, for instance, this one of me and Richard.



that's Richard in Newcastle yellow, by the way. what on earth were we discussing? possibly my views on how irregular shaped meat is for "lasses and big jessies", or just something as simple as the immient new Star Wars films.

now then, who took this picture is anyone's guess. most likely Lyla, possibly William or even just James himself!



whoever took it, well done, it is a rather smart picture!

this next one was certainly taken by James, for he is not in it and Ruby-Lee was asleep. i know Ruby-Lee was asleep as William was happily playing with all her toys without having them reclaimed!




yes, that is me lurking in the background, apparently impressed and amused by whatever they were all up to!

sadly Ruby-Lee remained asleep whilst the camera retained all its possible novelty factor, so no pictures of her in this update. Lyla, however, was very much awake and i believe we have James to thank for this brilliant picture!


William certainly took this next one, as neither Michele or i would take one of the disaster area that is our lounge when they boys have taken toys and books out!




James appears to be rather busy there with some sort of sports update, looks like rugby!

thanks again to Richard, Erika, Lyla and Ruby-Lee for a most excellent afternoon, by the way!

more updates as and when i can think of things to write!



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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Batman & Robin on Blu-Ray

hi there

well, what can i say? woo hoo, yeah, great! i now have Batman & Robin on high definition, 1080p quality Blu-Ray. this, i am guessing, is something that not a great many people in the world can claim, unless they got it as some sort of misguided gift.

i thought i would have a bash at writing a decent review of it. this may help you decide if you wish to purchase the disc yourself or not. i will try to be as fair and balanced as possible.

The Good Points

it comes in a pristine, shiny new blu-ray box. this is most handy, as my 3:10 To Yuma disc is presently housed in a box damaged by a price sticker. i shall be switching boxes.

it arrived in some bubble wrap, which provided some entertainment.

an anonymous friend, for i see no reason to mention Jonathan Granville by name here, would no doubt request that i point out that it features Uma Thurman in skin tight clothes in it. in high definition.

the artwork is impressive, and makes it looks like it's a decent film. well, it's better than the artwork on the DVD, which basically screams "sh!t film within".



yes, that is the bubble wrap included in the picture.

the artwork on the blu-ray disc is also much better than the "let us just shove the name on" approach taken with the DVD.



The Bad Points

the disc contains the film Batman & Robin

as it turns out, 1080p "true HD" high definition does not enhance the content of the film

an "extra" is a deleted scene called something like "Alfred's Love Scene". cheers.

it features a music video from The Smashing Pumpkins, a band who are pretty much the musical equivalent of Batman & Robin. 

it features music videos that appear to be a good deal worse than The Smashing Pumpkins. hard to believe, but off you go, pick the bones out of that one.



well, there you go. if this has in some small way helped you decide not to purchase Batman & Robin on Blu-Ray, DVD, Beta, VHS or any format, i am delighted to have helped. if you go ahead and buy it anyway, good luck with that. i say sorry to my Blu-Ray player before i put the disc in, i suggest you do to.


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

Old Grumpy's Portrait Deal

hi there

sorry for the lack of usual updates, it has been ferociously busy at verk lately.

at the risk of turning this blog into some sort of conduit for my Dad's good ideas, it seems that Old Grumpy's Gallery is running an outstanding promotion on portrait photography.

if you are in the Mount Maunganui or Tauranga region, getting a portrait photograph done is the gift that keeps on giving.

details of the deal on offer - and sorry, i do not understand New Zealand money - can be found by clicking here

meanwhile, here's a recent picture of Old Grumpy's Gallery



i really, really, really, really, really hope that the bike in the picture is not the mountain bike my Dad claims to have "done up" and taken to riding around the town!


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


Sunday, November 11, 2012

the Old Grumpy signature range controversy

hi there

Dad has sent along another picture from his gallery featuring his excellent new signature.here it is for you to all admire.




some of you, in particular those of you who have seen my Dad hammer away at a computer like it was an insolent sheet of metal, might question just how it is that he could all of a sudden be able to impose an electronic, if you will digital, signature on his pictures. there's a straightforward and simple explanation for this.

apparently Paul Hamilton from The Copy Shop 'scripted' the text and Old Grumpy's gallery manager Michelle imposed it on the prints. other than that, it is 100% my Dad's signature on the prints.


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

Press Conference at Old Grumpy's

hi there

well, there was always a sense of inevitability about press conferences being held at Old Grumpy's Gallery. i would have assumed that it was a given they would be relating to my Dad feeling the need to explain why it is that New Zealanders have been doing something wrong for the last century or so, though. exactly what it could be that they would be doing wrong in his eyes is not an easy thing to narrow down, truthfully - it could relate to the way that the walk on the pavement (he is rather peculiar and specific about this) upwards.

happily, the first of presumably many press conferences did not relate to him or his odd ideas at all, but rather the appointment of the new coach at Tauranga City football club.



Duncan Lowry, the Northern Ireland player who has probably played in more Champions League games than anyone reading this, has returned as coach to the club where he played for a year. having built up a fantastic name and reputation in both the game and in New Zealand in particular, it's quite a scoop for the club to have taken on his services.

all the bigger a bonus that they held the announcement at Old Grumpy's, then!



the appointment and indeed the press conference did make the newspapers too. Dad eventually worked out how to both scan and email the article to me, so here it is for your reading pleasure. 





well, reading pleasure bar the incorrect spelling of Middlesbrough in it. beyond that, yes, "idiosyncratic" is one way to describe my Dad's ways!

congratulations to all involved, and best of luck in the league!


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

Friday, November 09, 2012

'Honest' Ronnie Wood explains $tone$ ticket prices

hi there

well, phew! this is a relief! there was i and everyone else puzzled by the ticket prices that The Rolling Stones are charging for their shows in London and the USA this year. thankfully Ronnie Wood has cleared up the matter. and i quote :

"We've already spent a million on rehearsing in Paris. And the stage is going to be another few million. And the lights. We feel no bad thing about ticket prices. We've got to make something."

 

well then, that's that cleared up. unless, of course, you decide to think about that statement for a second or so.

they have spent One Million Pounds on a couple of weeks of rehearsals in Paris, have they? how the baiser did they manage that? my best guess is that they paid each other £200,000.00 each as some sort of appearance fee, spent a further £10.00 an hour or so on hiring a bass player, roughly £70,000.00 at going rates on a studio (although i am sure at least one of them has a Napoleonic mansion in France they could have used) and the rest presumably went on bonbons nez.....

as for the "few million" on a stage and "another million" on lights, one suspects that Mr Wood is presently two thousand light years from reality. 

obviously the Stones are very concerned about the bad press they are getting for the ticket prices and the debacle that was how they were sold. usually the Stones are a closed shop, who answer to no one. that they are commenting on this speaks volumes. 

the thing is, if they had said "the ticket prices are so high because of the venue and the road crew, we're not making that much, we just wanna play and give something back to the fans for 50 years of support", no one would have grumbled at all. 

please don't get me wrong, i have no issue with rock stars making lots and lots of money. far from it, really. i just don't get why they've allowed a 50th anniversary celebration, something you would imagine not many other bands will be in a position to do, to become all about cash. 


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

Thursday, November 08, 2012

a reminder

hi there

this is......well, this is someone that does not really need an introduction.



yes, that's Rodders. the man who the description of being "a bit of a lad" would represent one of the greatest understatements in human history.

Rodders is, whether admitted freely or hidden deep down, the type of chap that all men have a wish to be, or be like. a signer that has sung with every great musician, a chap that has dated more models than you were even aware existed, a gent whose relationships end on such good terms that all his ex's gather every year to celebrate Christmas with him and a dude that has a fully functional bar installed on stage at concerts. what's not to love?

he is also, of course, a known lover of football. Celtic in particular, and here he is last night, watching Celtic vs Barcelona in the Champions League.



nothing too extraordinary about that, you might be saying. football does, after all, attract a large number of what one might call "celebrity fans". even Mr Money, Lord Jagger of Mick, is seen at England matches - often in with the commoners whose money he craves, no less.

the match last night was a bit different, however. it was an anniversary for Celtic, and it was a game that will be remembered for a long, long time.

why? well, this next picture of Rodders tells you all you need to know about the score Celtic 2 Barcelona (the "best team in the world") 1.



football has always been populated by unsavory types. recently, though, it's been the more vile creatures of the game that have taken the headlines. we too have of course had the previously respectable type of footballer been ruthlessly exposed, in particular when the distance between them and reality is exposed by ambitious if misguided plans to "sue the internet". and then you have those that have such good PR that they are celebrated and worshipped by football fans even though if the truth about them came out they most certainly would not be.

last night was a reminder of why we put up with such ghastly characters, why we still love the game and why football is called The Beautiful Game. that Rodders, a man who has seen and done it all, can be overwhelmed and brought to tears of unrestrained joy, tells you everything about how 22 men kicking a ball around can seem and feel like the most important thing in the world.

nice one Celtic.


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

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Christopher's birthday parade

hi there

if you can name the song, artist and either the album or film that the title of this post is a slight play on, very well done indeed!

Andrew, at some point between midnight and two in the morning, felt an overwhelming need to forward me pictures of young Christopher's birthday celebrations to my blueberry. no matter how many times you ask and all that......

leaving aside any gripes, we should of course focus on the fact that it was Christopher's birthday. there is a constant reminder of when it is, if once every four years is a constant, for those US Presidential elections tend to happen on or around his birthday. i seem to recall, in passing, that one of Bill "Slick Willie" Clinton's triumphs happened on the same day as Christopher arrived in the world. i know this because my Mum shoved a note under my door (i was presumably recovering from a hard student night of drinking) saying "Clinton elected and you have a new cousin".

Christopher, or if you will Chris, celebrated his birthday without a gift from us, mostly because he flat refused to get back and tell me what it is he wanted. i probably should have just gone ahead and tried to get him a Club Van Der Sexxx t-shirt or similar. maybe even a shirt with Fluggaenkoecchicebolsen written on it, just in case. never mind, here's Chris and his cake!



unless on this very fine day i am greatly mistaken, the cake appears to celebrate two things which Chris has a particular level of fondness for - football and sailing. it looks like it has some footballs on it, as well as some of those big massive funnels that ships tend to feature.

i know for sure that the cake has an impressive, perhaps dazzling, even, set of pyrotechnics built or if you will baked into it, looking at this next picture!


impressive flame, is it not? i ask you, however, to for a moment cast your gaze away from that most excellent flame and consider the look on Christopher's face. he seems rightly impressed by it all, but a little bit more than impressed. infatuated perhaps.

i don't know about you, but the above reminds me of something..............



i suspect that Andrew and Christopher are of an age where they are not entirely sure who the above actually is, but us older ones will recall him fondly!

we are delighted to see and hear, even if it was early in the morning, that the birthday went mighty fine, Chris! we do owe you some sort of present, as and when you get around to responding on your blueberry thingie!



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


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

JFT96 - How To Support

hi there

it's not too often that i approach much serious in this blog, but please bear with me and consider supporting this.

what happened at Hillsborough was not just either a "Liverpool" or a "football" thing. it was an FA Cup semi-final. in theory, any set of football fans could have been killed that day, and then had their needless deaths covered up thanks to the powers the police had in the wake of the bully boy mentality Thatcher encouraged in them during the miners' strike.

for over two decades, families who lost loved ones have had to endure lies and vile slurs about what happened that day. equally, for over two decades dedicated people have investigated, defended and given time to raise awareness of what really happened.

with the lies finally torn down, those families are having to endure this horror once again. they need the support of us, the ordinary football fans and those who simply cannot imagine the hell their lives have been.

the Justice Tonight band, and extra credit to Pete Wylie and Mick Jones in particular, have been tirelessly playing and gigging across the UK to raise awareness. the JT band and an incredible, statement making range of talented musicians have collaborated to release a Christmas single aimed at raising both awareness of what is happening and much needed funds for the families of the victims.



please buy this single when it is released.a few quid from you will get you a great record, will help make sure that those responsible for Hillsborough will not be allowed to forget that they will be called to account, and will greatly assist those families that should never, ever have had to walk alone.

you can follow news and find information on the release over on the JFT96 facebook page. if you feel that you can't purchase this record for whatever reason, then please at the least share the link on your facebook profile and "retweet" their official messages from twitter.

thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully you will, no matter how big or small, be able to support it.


do be very excellent to each other.



the lessons and insights of The Cabin In The Woods

hi there

my (considerably) better half saw an advert for this The Cabin In The Woods film and expressed an interest in seeing it. as the thing looked nothing more than a homage / rip off of my beloved Evil Dead films, i happily agreed to a screening.

as it turns out, the film is not quite a straightforward rip off of The Evil Dead, but it's not too far off from being that. it was pretty good, really, but instead of a review i am going to post some discoveries and knowledge i took from it.

inevitably, this means a *** BIG MASSIVE HUGE SPOILER WARNING *** is in place for everything that you will see or read after the movie poster. you've been warned.




back in the 20th Century, in particular the 80s, nerds looked like this.



in the 21st Century, specifically in The Cabin In The Woods, they look like Thor.




you can make an excellent, telescopic and fully functional bong out of a conventional thermal coffee mug.



the most crucial facility in the world, one that the survival of the human race depends on, will one day be run by idiots who turn the whole thing into a betting pool.



further, this facility will be staffed by people who are even bigger idiots as they are happy to bet on the outcome of exactly how the human race will survive against the two idiots that can decide how.



marijuana is excellent. it not only makes you immune to any sort of physically controlling drugs and psychological mind control attempts, but also it enhances your perception and knowledge so much that you can rumble any sophisticated shenanigans in half the time Sherlock Holmes would take.





the one down side to marijuana, however, is that it seems to make you think a stuffed wolf head mounted on a wall is a moose. it also compells you to actively encourage an ex-girlfriend to engage in what Bill Clinton termed "sexual relations" with the moose / wolf head.

and, on that note, ex-girlfriends will bow to the wisdom and wishes of former boyfriends and do exactly that.




if you have not smoked some magical marijuana your power of perception is non-existant. as in, when someone with you crashes into an invisible, electrified barrier which makes the barrier light up far and wide, you will conclude that "he must have hit something".



if thousands of demons, entities, ghosts, Cenobites, massive snakes, deadites, zombies and massive snakes are kept in a secret mountain, the mechanism that locks them away from harming anyone will be possible to over-ride with one big, massive red button that is located in an unsecured room.



if you press that big massive red button, the thousands of demons, entities, ghosts, Cenobites, massive snakes, deadites, zombies and massive snakes will automatically and instinctively unite and just kill all the humans, never once turning on each other.



now that's solidarity! and finally.......

a big, massive entity, roughly the size of all the mountains on Earth combined, once lived on Earth. it decided, though, to cut a deal with humans. this entity is prepared to live in secret and far below the surface of the planet, so long as every year it is given the blood of at least four teenagers.

if you decide one year to short change the entity and give it the blood of three teenagers and Sigourney Weaver, it goes ballistic and sets about destroying all life on Earth instead of allowing for a brief extension.




well, there you have it. there are probably other class lessons that the film teaches, but these are the ones i shall reflect on the most!



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

Monday, November 05, 2012

the authenticated Old Grumpy experience....

hi there

how, you may ask, is it going with Old Grumpy's Gallery (social media enthusiasts can follow this link) over in the fine land of New Zealand. well, i can assume it's going both well and busy as i have not heard too much of late. no mention of if any of my weekly parcels have landed, and certainly no mails along the lines of "don't worry about coming to visit us son, get yourself over to see The Stone Roses again, they are excellent". well, i am not really expecting a message along those lines, really. thought that counts, and all that, you know.

i did, however, receive this via the joys of electronic mail today. it seems that Dad has mastered the art of adding a "digital signature" to his most impressive photography.



nice one! i am not sure he should be signing them as Old Grumpy rather than his actual name, but i suppose that's how all who meet him in his gallery when he is having one of his "special days" will, with some fortune fondly, recall him anyway.

one can only assume that this 'signature range' is the first step in his inevitable end goal of being "the David Dickinson of New Zealand". no doubt soon provincial radio stations will be wanting him to feature on air, and i wouldn't be at all surprised to learn of him being invited to do guest spots on certain kinds of television shows. well, if not why not.


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


paying (roughly) the correct value for Batman and Robin.....

hi there

what has been the worst film, to date, ever made? there are a number of contenders for this title, sadly. Die Hard Dracula must feature quite high on the list for anyone who has had to watch it. personally i would select something like Forrest Gump, mostly due to the horrific way in which it pushed a right wing agenda hidden behind the tale of a simpleton. on a similar celebrated bad film note, The Hurt Locker clearly started off life as a very bad "mockumentary" comedy and was somehow recut and passed off as drama, and do not get me started on the folly of The Godfather Part III or The Bonfire Of The Vanities, the latter somehow making a complete mess of arguably the greatest novel of the 20th Century.

leaving personal choices aside, however, there's a general, if not universal, consensus that the best attempt ever to make the worst film possible - especially mindful of the "almost impossible to **** up" source material - was 1997's Batman & Robin.



it is a film so bad that the one redeeming feature of it seems to be that both Warner Bros and just about everyone involved in making it has admitted it was a rushed, slammed together film made purely to try and catch the summer market and sell toys. it failed at every possible level, and killed the idea of any more Batman films being made for nearly a decade.

where and how did it go wrong? difficult to know where to start, really. "nipples on the batsuit" didn't help.



neither, really, did casting George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman. or rather, the way in which Clooney was cast. Clooney famously got the part purely because director Joel Schumacher doodled the Batman mask on Clooney as he appeared on a poster for From Dusk Till Dawn and thought he "looked the part". well, that's what happened after David Duchovny turned down the part, at least.

you have to guess it looked something like this.


casting decisions and character "development" did not get much better elsewhere. Bane, at this stage quite a new character in the Batman universe, was a highly intelligent, exceptionally violent enemy for Batman in the comic books / "graphic novels". they somehow managed to turn him into a bumbling idiot serving Posion Ivy.



as for the main villain in the film, that would be Mr Freeze. exactly where does one turn when no less an actor and screen presence as Hulk Hogan has turned down the part? why, one gets $25 million and throws it at Arnold Schwarzenegger......



at least Schwarzenegger almost properly delivers an (awful) line of dialogue in the film every now and then, something that no one else involved in this movie does.

as bad as it is, it is possibly the Batman film i have seen the most. why? because our boys, for some reason, love it. it's tame enough for them to be allowed to see it, and they are at their young age not excatly bothered or horrified to hear the word "Cowabunga" being said in a Batman film.

it is only fair to them, then, that i made the effort to try and find Batman & Robin on blu-ray. why exactly Warner would go to the trouble of presenting one of the worst films ever in the best quality possible, but surprisingly they have done this.

i was kind of hoping that the price would be too high to justify the cost, but alas thanks to Kalahari having no restriction on the value of shopping to which a voucher they gave me for no reason, plus some sort of free shipping offer, it seems i have paid more or less the correct value to own the film.




at current exchange rates, this masterpiece of movies has cost me £0.70 (yep, seventy pence), or in
American money $1.14. actually, now that i have written it out, it still looks a touch over-valued by American standards. hey ho.

the fact that it is rather cheap almost makes up for the fact that this shall be in the collection.



it does not quite, however, make it any better that i shall be getting to watch the film again. and again.

ho hum, at least James and William will be very happy! and i suppose, if i am honest, i am kind of looking forward to seeing the deleted scenes included. the mind boggles as to what they made that was just so bad that it could not be part of the released film!

cheer kalahari!



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