Wednesday, 30 September 2009

28 Weeks Later: Oh, what a day!!!!!!!!


Phew, but I can get a touch distracted.



Or, at least, I can get distracted by Pac the Man X and Patti Smith; I’ve got “Horses” playing in the background, just so you know, I’m wondering who the hell Johnny is or was. The guy sounds rather … worrying …



Hmmm …



I’m digressing, here, aren’t I?

You can possibly imagine the few things I’m gonna raise, though, can’t you?

I know, bless, Allison’s having it rough with her bike insurance.

We’re neither of us on much money, to be perfectly frank with you, so the fact’s she’s had to send her last bit of cash to her insurance company, this morning, has hit her hard. A couple of things haven’t helped.

I’d’ve been happy to at least go halvesies on the overdue payment; if it hadn’t been for having to replace that bloody exploding fridge-freezer!

After all, it’s what partners are for!

That’s a frustration I can do little about, right here and now, though; apart from kick meself about not being able to do anything about it.

Except maybe tell you about it.

And what we found out, today, from the post office …

Because that’s one thing I was able to do for her, give the Post Office’s Customer Service line a call for her, and send them a mildly hacked off email.

For starters, it’ll take the Royal Mail — as distinct from the Post Office, they are, after all, two closely related , but separate, organisations — up to a month from the date of receiving the P58 we sent them, to find the missing postal order, and then decide what to do about it.

Which will hopefully include a refund; either way, a month is a long time to wait.

What makes it worse is the the relevant Royal Mail department will send a letter to Allison, to tell her what’s going on.

Just a letter.

In today’s world, sending an email, or giving her a polite and reassuring phone call to let her know what’s going on, obviously is out of the question.

Me?

I sent ’em a snotty email on her behalf …

Here’s, here’s what we sent …

Hello.

I’m writing to ask about the P58 form I sent in last Monday; the 21st of September, this year.

I’ve been informed that this will take up to a month, and that I will be informed by letter.

While I understand that these things take time, I’ve also been informed that the relevant department cannot either send an email, or phone me, in addition to the standard letter.

I realise that this creates an additional burden, but — as this is fairly important — I’m both concerned, and worried.

And would appreciate knowing what’s happening as soon as possible.

For your information, the bar code on my copy of form P58 was 9826 9381 0000 0012 3458, concerning the postal order 1046524851.

Yours,

Which I think summed things up, rather nicely. But that’s how we both felt; seriously annoyed about the not knowing, as much as anything else … !

~≈√≈~

But, at any rate, I had the evening to myself, last night, and have to admit, I grabbed a movie from me back collection.

28 Weeks Later” …

Hmmm …

Sequels …

Now, usually, I can take or leave sequels.

And I’m thinking that — whilst “28 Weeks Later” is very well made, directed, acted — plotwise …

Mmmm …

Plot-wise, there’s not much happening. It’s set 28 weeks after the original “28 Days Later”; and initially introduces us to Don — Robert Carlyle — and Alice — Catherine McCormack —, trapped in a rural cottage with four other people. The films opening moments see the cottage attacked by some of the last remaining infected, and Alice — seemingly — killed. And Don escaping …

It picks up some weeks later, when we see Don and Alice’s two children — Andy and Tammy, played by Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton — returning to London, and their father, after an American lead NATO force has reoccupied Britain, after the first wave of Infected have died off.

I’ll not give away too much, here — others have done that better than I — but it hinges around the fact that Andy and his mother are both carriers of the Rage virus … and seemingly immune to it …

The trouble is that “28 Weeks Later” didn’t manage to hold my attention, last night.

That’s the crux of it.

Whilst it’s beautifully done — and the climactic scenes on London’s Underground are genuinely frightening — it didn’t hold my attention, because it doesn’t tell the complete story.

Somehow, finding out another sequel — tentatively entitled “28 Months Later” — is in production isn’t surprising.

And somehow disappointing.

Because — given the gap between the first and second entries in the series, and the by now obvious fact that this is the second in a series of three — “28 Weeks Later” doesn’t resolve the stories.

That’s not good.

Adrian, I think I’m starting to agree with you.

Production companies should really plan these thing’s a bit better … !

The Daily Teaser …

Couldn’t tempt you, yesterday, Tim?

Little bit Avis Domestica … ?

Dear me, what is the world coming to … ?

Anyway, here’s today’s questions …

Q1) 30th September, 1399, saw who proclaimed as King of England; Henry 3rd, Henry 4th or Henry 5th?


Q2) 30th September, 1791, saw Mozart’s last operas receive its début performance; which opera was it?


Q3) Today in 1860, saw Britain’s first tram service go into operation; in which Merseyside city?


Q4) Eighteen years later, 30th September, 1888, saw Jack the Ripper kill his third and fourth victims; name either of those women.


Q5) 30th September, 1901, saw Hubert Cecil Booth patent the “Puffing Billy”; “Puffing Billy” was the world’s first what?


Q6) 20th September, 1938, saw which British PM declare “Peace in our time”, after signing a peace treaty with Adolf Hitler?


Q7) Nine years later, 30th September, 1947, saw the first televised baseball World Series; name either of the temams who played that Series?


Q8) 30th September, 1967, saw the first broadcast by Radio One; who was the first DJ heard on Radio One?


Q9) 30th September, 2005, saw Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, cause worldwide controversy by publishing cartoons of which religious figure?


Q10) And finally, 30th September, 1924, was the birthday of which US author?


And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 29th September, 1650, saw Henry Robinson open the world’s first recorded what, in Threadneedle Street?

A1) Dating service. (Called the Office of Addresses and Encounters. It’s 17th Century London; yeah, DATING service … )


Q2) 29th September, 1829, saw the foundation of Britain’s largest police force; which force is it?

A2) The Metropolitan.


Q3) A few years later, the worlds first electric tramway open; on 29th September, 1885. But in which English resort?

A3) Blackpool.


Q4) 29th September, 1979, saw the Republic of Ireland visited by which Pope?

A4) Pope John Paul 2nd.


Q5) Exactly one year earlier, 29th September, 1978, saw the burial of which Pope?

A5) Pope John Paul 1st.


Q6) Talking of deaths, 29th September, 1988, saw the death of Charles Addams; which cartoon character’s was he famous for creating?

A6) The Addams Family.


Q7) Nineteen years later, 29th September, 2007 saw the death of Lois Maxwell; she was best known for playing which film character?

A7) Miss Moneypenny.


Q8) And finally; in Roman Catholic tradition, 29th of September is which Feast Day?

A8) Michælmas; otherwise known as the Feast of Saint Michæl and All Angels.


Enjoy those, folks! I’ll catch you later!









Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Daily Teaser …

Well, there’s a thing …

Tim’s managed to get 4 out of 5, yesterday!

Tim, you’re thinking of Toxteth; up in Liverpool!

But let’s move on, shall we? Shall we? Yes lets!

Here’s today’s questions …

Q1) 29th September, 1650, saw Henry Robinson open the world’s first recorded what, in Threadneedle Street?


Q2) 29th September, 1829, saw the foundation of Britain’s largest police force; which force is it?


Q3) A few years later, the worlds first electric tramway open; on 29th September, 1885. But in which English resort?


Q4) 29th September, 1979, saw the Republic of Ireland visited by which Pope?


Q5) Exactly one year earlier, 29th September, 1978, saw the burial of which Pope?


Q6) Talking of deaths, 29th September, 1988, saw the death of Charles Addams; which cartoon character’s was he famous for creating?


Q7) Nineteen years later, 29th September, 2007 saw the death of Lois Maxwell; she was best known for playing which film character?


Q8) And finally; in Roman Catholic tradition, 29th of September is which Feast Day?



And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 28th September, 48 BC, saw which Roman leader assassinated by the King of Egypt?

A1) Gnaeus Pompeus Magna. Or Pompey the Great, in case you don’t speak Latin …


Q2) 28th, September, 1066, saw William the Conqueror invade England, on the first Day of the Norman Conquests; where in Kent did his fleet land?

A2) Pevensey.


Q3) More to the point, what nickname was William given, by his fellow Frenchmen?

A3) Guillaume le Bâtard. Or William the Bastard, if you don’t speak French. (Looks like they didn’t like him, either …)


Q4) September 28th, 1928, saw who develop penicillin, as a result of seeing a mould growing in his lab?

A4) Sir Alexander Fleming.


Q5) And finally, today in 1985, saw riots break out in which area of London?

A5) Brixton.


Enjoy those folks! I’ll catch you later!



Monday, 28 September 2009

Thoughts From A Creative’s Place …

Hmmm … well, there’s a thing … !!

He says …

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been over Movie Night Paul’s, today; bless him, he’s managed to get himself a second hand computer.

Quite a big beast of a second hand computer, actually; back when Apple introduced the Mac Pro*, they made a big deal of the fact it was cheaper than the equivalently spec’d Dell*, by about £500.

And I’m thinking that’s what Paul’s managed to get hold of, IS one of those Dells!

Either way — and I’m hoping Kelly and Ronnie are paying attention — I know he’s managed to make use of the copy of Ubuntu Studio I’d given him a couple of days ago.

Actually, I’ve got to admit, I’m mildly impressed with what I’ve seen of it.

I’d actually headed over to his place, with Allison — who needed to get out, after hearing about an old friends sudden and rather unexpected death — to see if any of the stuff I’d downloaded would be of any use. And to drop off the Jaunty Jackalope settings for an O2 mobile Dongle.

Paul, bless him is on worse money than most of us, so, from where he’s sitting, the O2 dongle on has a very attractive price … and a much stronger signal than the equivalent gadget from 3.

More on that, anon …

But Paul, Allison and I had a good natter, today, about all sorts of things; computer’s, ostriches, scooters and llamas included.

Don’t ask.

Just don’t!

But, at any rate, I do know Paul let me have a butcher’s at the Studio’d up Dell; which is where I learnt a few things.

For one thing, Paul’s got two small, but workable, hard drives in the Beastie; one running a pretty much standard installation of Ubuntu, the other running Ubuntu Studio.

Amateur musician that he is, Paul’s installed Ubuntu Studio with the various audio options — and applications — enabled.

And from I saw, that’s a bewildering amount of applications … ! Complete with various music players, mixing desks, at least one software based synth, loop generators and quite a lot of others!

Including a copy of open source recording — and music making — application, Audacity; untutored musical idjit that I am, Audacity is something I’ve used to make one-of-a-kind ring-tones for my mobile phone. Either through exporting looped bits of audio, or — for the most part — plugging a mic into the back of the Mini, and getting going.

Which was something I was able to share with Paul; all he’s got to do now, is connect up a guitar, and a mic …

•••••

Mind you, there is a downside to this, though …

That’s the simple fact that, unlike the regular release of Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio is aimed at someone — like Paul — who’s at least semi-serious about using their computer as a pro-level digital recording studio.

The problem with that, of course, is that Ubuntu Studio doesn’t — out of the box — have the option to hook up to the net via a mobile broadband dongle.

For those of us with a touch more money, this isn’t a problem; it’ll hook up to a regular modem, in much the same ways as Mac OS X, Windoze, and even the mainstream version of Ubuntu.

That’s going to be an issue for him, I think, until he can afford a landline. But, if nowt else, he does have that extra drive, with the regular flavour of Ubuntu on it. Which — I’m guessing — means he’ll be getting a mobile dongle, and getting hooked on some of Facebook and Twitter’s sillier online games, just like the rest of us …

But it does put him at a disadvantage, for hooking up Studio …

Bit of bad form, on the part of Ubuntu Studio’s makers, I think.

•••••

At any rate, let’s move on, shall we?

Shall we?

Yes, let’s!

Something I do know is that I did get ticked off by Sara Bartleman, about the fridge-freezer, I didn’t know that we were supposed to make any arrangements with Brentwood Council, and then put waste out, on the day it’s due to be collected; otherwise things get seriously nasty.

There’s a problem with that …

It seems, from the natter me and me Mum had with Brentwood Council about it, we couldn’t have done it like that, anyway. According to the woman Mum spoke to, when she was asking about it, we’d’ve had to pay the collection fee for it — £16, in this case — and then left out the fridge-freezer for collection. Which would’ve been any day from the day after we’d paid the fee, up until five days later.

Hmmm …

Leave something like that indoors, to crowd your flat — which has very limited space — , when you don’t know when it’ll be collected …

Or find a friend with a small truck that doesn’t mind helping you up to the tip, with something like that. (I’m not sure how many of my friends actually drive, let along have a small SUV! I know I’ve only used my visitor’s permit a couple of times …)

Or put the blessed thing outside, whilst it’s awaiting collection. And get done for a technical breach of tenancy.

Hmmm … Yummy set of options … !

Oy!

•••••

Wonderful world we live in, isn’t it?

But at any rate, I do know that, if nothing else, somebody’s managed to catch the open source wave, and combine it with the Fairtrade movement. And come up with a drink for geeks!

My question?

Does Ubuntu Cola come in a diet or cherry flavour … ?

* From what I’ve picked, over the years, the type of machine we’re talking about are known as work-stations, and are usually quite powerful, compared to the run-of-the-mill desktops you or I would have at home, or in the office. I know most of the Mac Pro’s have 1 640Gb hard drive as spec; all are capable of holding up to 4 terabytes, and being fitted with 16Gb of RAM. The top of the range monsters can hold 32Gb of RAM. This is before you start looking at the various expansion slots, and the extra monitors it’s capable of supporting … !

The Daily Teaser …

Whoah! I’m up, about, and getting myself going!

Which, after getting up at 11, yesterday … !

But, at rate, here’s today’s questions …

Q1) 28th September, 48 BC, saw which Roman leader assassinated by the King of Egypt?


Q2) 28th, September, 1066, saw William the Conqueror invade England, on the first Day of the Norman Conquests; where in Kent did his fleet land?


Q3) More to the point, what nickname was William given, by his fellow Frenchmen?


Q4) September 28th, 1928, saw who develop penicillin, as a result of seeing a mould growing in his lab?


Q5) And finally, today in 1985, saw riots break out in which area of London?


And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) Today in 1590, saw the death of Urban 7th, after one of the shortest reigns in papal history; he was one of the first people to introduce what; a smoking ban, VAT, or a retirement pension?

A1) A smoking ban.


Q2) Fifty years earlier, 27th September, 1540, saw the initial chartering of which priestly order?

A2) The Society of Jesus; or Jesuits, as they’re also known.


Q3) 27th September, 1822, saw Jean-François Champollion announced he’d translated what?

A3) The Rosetta Stone.


Q4) In a similar scientific vein, 27th, 1905, saw the publication of which famous equation?

A4) E=MC2.


Q5) 27th September, 1940, saw three countries sign the Tripartite Pact, in Berlin; name any of the three countries involved.

A5) Germany, Italy and Japan.


Q6) Which musical opened on 27th September, 1968?

A6) “Hair”. (Funnily enough, one day AFTER the abolition of censorship in the theatre.)


Q7) Today in 1995, saw the US government release its re-designed what; $20 bill, $50 bill or $100 bill?

A7) The $100 bill.


Q8) 27th September, 2008, saw an astronaut from which country perform a space-walk?

A8) China. (His name was Zhai Zhigang, and technically, he was a taikonaut; the Chinese term for ‘astronaut.’)


Q9) One century earlier, 27th September, 1908, saw the first examples of which car roll off the production line?

A9) The Model T Ford.


Q10) And finally, today in 1964, saw the publication of the Warren Report; whose death was that a report into?

A10) President John F. Kennedy.


Enjoy those, folks, I’ll catch you later!