Monday, 30 April 2012

The Daily Teaser — 30-4-2012

Whoah … ! 
I think I can safely say it’s officially! Jude’s definitely started talking!

Or, at least, say ‘Hello’ … !

I’ll have to see if I can’t tape him, and post it up here.

Actually, while we’re on children … … ?   Bless, it turns out Denny and Faye, a couple of neighbours of mine, ’round in Railway Square, have just had a child … !

Sound’s like the world’s going forward, doesn’t it … ?

Let’s get moving on, shall we?

BEFORE I start to get broody … !

☱☲☴☲☱

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — back from the Malice conference* — putting in her answers: and, along with telling us Duke Ellington was a DC native, also bagging 5 out of 6º.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Teaser, shall we?   Here they are, along with the How ToLicense and video … 

Q1) 30th April is — obviously — Walpurgisnacht: named for which English saint … ?
Q2) In which country do witches celebrate Walpurgisnacht on Brocksberg mountain … ?
Q3) In which 1931 film, is the action said to start on Walpurgisnacht … ?
Q4) Which of the character’s in the novel, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has their birthday on Walpurgisnacht … ?
Q5) Moving on … 30th April, 1975, saw the Vietnam War end, with the surrender of which city … ?
Q6) 30th April, 1492, saw the Spanish crown commission whose explorations … ?
Q7) More to the point … who occupied the Spanish throne, at the time … ?
Q8) And FINALLY … 30th April, 1900, saw the death of railway engineer and driver, Casey Jones: what was the name of the loco he was driving at the time of his death … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 29th April, 711 AD, was the start of the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula: what did the Moors call that peninsula … ?   A1) Al Andalus.
Q2) 29th April, 1770, saw Captain James Cook discover — and name — Botany Bay, in Australia.   What was his rank at the time … ?   A2) Lieutenant.
Q3) More to the point, what was the original name of his ship, the HMB Endeavor … ?   A3) The Earl of Pembroke.
Q4) 29th April, 1968, saw which musical open on Broadway … ?   A4) Hair.
Q5) 10 years earlier, 29th April, 1958, saw which musical open in the West End … ?   A5) My Fair Lady.
Q6) And finally … 29th April, 1952, saw the birth of writer and conspiracy theorist, David Icke: which year’s Olympic’s did he help present, whilst still working for the BBC … ?   A6) The 1988 Summer Olympics.

Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.


I’ll leave you with Underworld’s Born Slippy, shall I … ?
















*        Sounds like someone’s had a good time, Debbi … ! :)

º        It’s that first question, Debbi: don’t quote me, but I think ‘Iberia’ comes from the Ancient Greek term for the region … 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Outland: Sex and Drugs and Wild West Spacemen …

Isn’t that good … ?

No, really … ?

Being in a nice — warm — flat, listening to the rain whilst it falls, and hits the ground, whilst quietly playing side one of Tubular Bells … ?

I wish I could say so for sure, I really could.

Unfortunately … ?

Having the window open, this late, so that I can hear those raindrops, also means my place is just a touch nippy.

I may have to shut the window, and let Mike Oldfield* do his tubular thing.

‹‹·››

29-4-2012

OK, OK, it’s the night after the evening before: and I’ve now got to side two of Tubular Bellsº.

And am intent on telling you about the film I saw, last night.

You mean you’d not worked that out … ?

Dearie me … !

At ANY rate, I HAVE to admit, I caught meself a film, last night: and just in case you’d not noticed the poster … ?

The film in question was the Peter Hyams film, Outland, staring Sean Connery.

Outland sees Connery as Marshall William O’Niel, assigned to a mining outpost on Io, one of the rocky moons of Jupiter.



And a marshall assigned when miners start to — seemingly at random — have psychotic incidents that lead to their deaths.

On further investigation, it seems all three of the most recently dead miners have traces of an amphetamine-like drug in their system.

One that’s seems to have been supplied to them, by Sheppard, the manager of the base … 

‹‹·››

Now … 

I have to admit, last night was actually the first time I’ve sat down and watched Outlandª.   And, along with that, I’m ALSO going to admit to having thoroughly enjoyed it.

OK, granted, it’s no 2001 or Silent Running: there’s no hidden message, or any effort to be a great big philosophical art-house piece.

What Outland is though … ?

Is a nicely solid little sci-fi action piece: that tells you to sit back with a bucket of popcorn and enjoy yourself, watching it.

THAT it does very well.
Outland
★★½☆☆






















*        Kevin D, Debbi, Mr S … ?   Impress me: tell me who the MC is … !

º        OK, it’s got to the Piltdown Man bit: it SOUNDS like Oldfield really HAD been at the Jack Daniels … Or the Klingon opera … 

ª        Now, I know Kevin D’s probably going to insist I mention Gary Cooper’s High Noon as a major influencing factor on Outland: I’m sure it is, but never having seen High Noon: to quote a certain Mr Richardson … 

The Daily Teaser — 29-4-2012

Hmmm … 

Remember, yesterday, I told you I was heading out to put some leaflets through door … ?

That I did, alright: turns out I was quickest off the block, as well!

And, yes, I got wet: distinctly wet, I should add.

Extremely wet, in fact … !

Of course, saying that … ?   As I look out of my window, now, I have to tell you that it’s STILL raining.

And my part of the UK … ?

Is still under a hosepipe ban.

Wonders will never start … !

Lets move on, shall we?

‹‹·››

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Mr Strictly and Debbi putting in their answers: with Mr S admitting he’s a Terry Pratchett fan* and Debbi being very impressed with the clip from Hogfather, about Death’s view on beliefº, it saw Mr S bagging 6 out of 7ª, and Debbi bagging 7.

Let’s see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we?   Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 29th April, 711 AD, was the start of the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula: what did the Moors call that peninsula … ?
Q2) 29th April, 1770, saw Captain James Cook discover — and name — Botany Bay, in Australia.   What was his rank at the time … ?
Q3) More to the point, what was the original name of his ship, the HMB Endeavor … ?
Q4) 29th April, 1968, saw which musical open on Broadway … ?
Q5) 10 years earlier, 29th April, 1958, saw which musical open in the West End … ?
Q6) And finally … 29th April, 1952, saw the birth of writer and conspiracy theorist, David Icke: which year’s Olympic’s did he help present, whilst still working for the BBC … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th April, 1948, saw the birth of Terry Pratchett: which of his regular character’s has appeared in all of his adult novels, bar the most recent … ?   
A1) Death.
Q2) More to the point, what IS his most recent novel … ?   
A2) Snuff.
Q3) Equally to the point … What was the name of his first published book … ?   
A3) The Carpet People: originally published in 1971, then reworked and republished in 1992.
Q4) While we’re on literature, 28th April, 1926, saw the birth of US novelist, Harper Lee: in which US state is her novel, To Kill A Mocking Bird, set … ?   
A4) Alabama.
Q5) 28th April, 1192, saw the assassination of Conrad 1, King of Jerusalem: by members of which group … ?   
A5) The Hashshashim.   (Noted for simultaneously being ruthless killers, and incredibly mellow … )
Q6) 28th April, 1920, saw Azerbaijan added to the Soviet Union: what’s Azerbaijan’s capital city … ?   
A6) Baku.
Q7) And finally … 28th April, 2001, saw the world’s first space tourist go into space: what was his name … ?   
A7) Dennis Tito.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’m going to get jazzy at you, again, as it’s Duke Ellington’s† birthday … 






















*        Good for you, Mr S … !

º        Debbi, what can I tell you … ? :D

ª        Oh, looks like The Long Earth and Dodger aren’t out ’til June … !

†        Had he lived, he’d be 113.   That’s surely got to be lung-power … 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Daily Teaser — 28-4-2012

Well, wouldn’t you know it … ?

I’ve got a bit of volunteer leafleting to do, today.

And wouldn’t you know it, the weather … is looking damp to say the least.

And is predicted to be ‘wetter and windier’.

Yum … !

I think I’m definitely going to need a coat, to say the least.

A coat … and quite possibly thermal underwear … 

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

☱☲☴☲☱

With Debbi off to a conference, this weekend, yesterday’s Teaser saw no-one giving the Teaser a go.

Let’s see who’s we can tempt into trying today’s questions, shall we?   Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 28th April, 1948, saw the birth of Terry Pratchett: which of his regular character’s has appeared in all of his adult novels, bar the most recent … ?
Q2) More to the point, what IS his most recent novel … ?
Q3) Equally to the point … What was the name of his first published book … ?
Q4) While we’re on literature, 28th April, 1926, saw the birth of US novelist, Harper Lee: in which US state is her novel, To Kill A Mocking Bird, set … ?
Q5) 28th April, 1192, saw the assassination of Conrad 1, King of Jerusalem: by members of which group … ?
Q6) 28th April, 1920, saw Azerbaijan added to the Soviet Union: what’s Azerbaijan’s capital city … ?
Q7) And finally … 28th April, 2001, saw the world’s first space tourist go into space: what was his name … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th April, 1981, saw Xerox PARC introduce the computer mouse: what does PARC stand for … ?   A1) Palo Alto Research Center.
Q2) 27th April, 1791, saw the birth of painter — and telegraphy contributor — Samuel Morse: in which year did he make the first public demonstration of his version of the telegraph … ?    A2) 1838.
Q3) 27th April, 1992, saw Betty Boothroyd named as the first female speaker of the House of Commons: in which year did she finally retire from the position … ?   A3) 2000.
Q4) More to the point what constituency did she represent … ?   A4) West Bromwich West.
Q5) 27th April, 1909, saw Sultan Abdul Hamid 2nd, overthrown: where was he Sultan of …?   A5) The Ottoman Empire.   (دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه, in Ottoman Turkish.)
Q6) And finally … 27th April, 1927, saw the formation of which South American country’s national police force … ?   A6) Chile.

Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later … 

After I’ve left you with Someone to Watch Over Me … 


Oh … And this speech from Hogfather … 

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Friday Question Set — 27-4-2012

You know, pram pushing … ?

I’ll happily admit it, pram pushing’s harder than it looks!



But at least if nothing else … ?   I do know my driving seems to get my nephew, Jude, off to sleep.

Something I think Ruth — Jude’s mother and my youngest sister — may hopefully be happy with.

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, as it’s Friday, that of course means it’s time for the Friday Question Set: covered, as ever by the newly updated Creative Commons License.
Online 149   Round 1   General Knowledge.
Q1) Which wrestling giant died in 1998?  A1) Giant Haystacks.
Q2) Which Russian leader celebrated his 67th birthday with cabbage pie?   A2) Boris Yeltsin.
Q3) During the 90’s, which middle eastern country banned TV?   A3) Afghanistan.
Q4) Which British Prime Minister was Sir Bernard Ingham press secretary to?   A4) Margaret Thatcher.
Q5) Which Hollywood actress married Larry Fortensky?   A5) Liz Taylor.
Q6) Who, in 1985, was awarded a degree, at the age of 13?   A6) Ruth Lawrence.
Q7) Again, in ’85, where was poisonous wine produced?   A7) Austria.
Q8) What was Ariane?   A8) A rocket.
Q9) What engineering project started in 1987?   A9) The Channel Tunnel.

Q10) What type of spacecraft was launched in 1981?   A10) The space shuttle.


Round 2   Sounds of the 80s.
Q11) Which hit did Olivia Newton John, and E.L.O. record together?   A11) Xanadu.
Q12) Which Billy sang It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me?   A12) Billy Joel.
Q13) Which punk band recorded a song called Bankrobber?   A13) The Clash.
Q14) True or False: The Plasmatics once threatened to blow up a car on stage?   A14) True.
Q15) Hazel O’Connor had a starring role in which 80s film?   A15) Breaking Glass.
Q16) Which Swedish band topped the charts with The Winner Takes It All?   A16) Abba.
Q17) Which Beatles autobiography was called I, Me, Mine?   A17) George Harrison.
Q18) Who, in 1983, had a hit with Lets Dance?   A18) David Bowie.
Q19) Who was Addicted To Love, during the 80s?   A19) Robert Palmer.

Q20) That singer formed a band called Power Station, with members of which New Romantic band?   A20) Duran Duran.


Round 3   Sporting Chance.
Q21) What type of sport is Three-Day Eventing?   A21) Equestrian.  (Accept show jumping.)
Q22) Which international side did Diego Maradona play for?   A22) Argentina.
Q23) Which Stephen was the then youngest player to win the Snooker World Champion title?   A23) Stephen Hendry.
Q24) Which snooker player has recorded the fastest ever 147 break?   A24) Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Q25) What sport would you be watching if you saw Benny the Dip win?   A25) Horse racing.
Q26) How was boxer Rocco Marchegiano better known?   A26) Rocky Marciano
Q27) Bobby Robson left which club to join Barcelona?   A27) FC Porto.
Q28) Which Ghanaian player was the first to play for an English side?   A28) Tony Yeboah.
Q29) Which was the first Australian city to host the Olympics?   A29) Melbourne.

Q30) Which Earl Of Derby gave his name to a race?   A30) The 12th.


Round 4   At the Movies.
Q31) What was the Spice Girls first movie called?   A31) Spiceworld: The Movie.
Q32) Which movie featured a group of stripping ex-miners?   A32) The Full Monty.
Q33) Who forced a group of PoW’s to build The Bridge Over The River Kwai?   A33) The Japanese.
Q34) In which country of the UK is Trainspotting set?   A34) Scotland.
Q35) How is Mrs Blake Edwards better known?   A35) Julie Andrews.
Q36) And for Disney film did she win an Oscar?   A36) Mary Poppins.
Q37) Her co-star in that film, Dick Van Dyke, later than a TV series called Diagnosis … what?   A37) Diagnosis Murder.
Q38) At the 1966 Oscars ceremony, who danced together for the last time?   A38) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
Q39) What did Marlon Brando do with his 1972 Oscar?   A39) Turned it down.

Q40) What part did Jodie Foster play in Silence of the Lambs?   A40) Clarice Starling.


Round 5    Communication Breakdown.
Q41) Which mobile phone company is also a fruit?   A41) Orange.
Q42) What four letters come before an internet address?   A42) http   (Not all start with www.)
Q43) The fingertips represent what, in British sign language, vowels, or full stops?   A43) The vowels.  (A, E, I, O, and U.)
Q44) 112 is an alternative to which phone number?   A44) 999.
Q45) What is the normal size of a floppy disc?   A45) 3.5 inches
Q46) What is the international dialling code for the UK?   A46) +44
Q47) From which American Indian language does the word ‘Anorak’ come?   A47) Eskimo.  (Accept Inuit.)
Q48) In which US state is Silicon Valley?   A48) California.
Q49) What European language is the official language of Haiti; – French, German, or Russian?   A49) French.
Q50) Who send encyclical letters, the Pope, or the Archbishop of Canterbury?   A50) The Pope.



Round 6    General Ignorance.
Q51) A trident is the logo of which Italian car company?
A51) Masarati.
Q52) Which is nearer to London, as the crow flies, Prague, or the Orkneys?
A52) Prague.
Q53) Blake and Krystle Carrington appeared in which US soap?
A53) Dynasty.
Q54) Brontophobia is a fear of what?
A54) Thunder and lightning.
Q55) Excluding children’s books, how many Discworld novels has Terry Pratchett written?
A55) 34.
Q56) In tennis, how is the score of 40 all known?
A56) Deuce.
Q57) How is singer, and gardener Kim Smith better known?
A57) Kim Wilde.
Q58) In what month is Christmas, in Australia?
A58) December.
Q59) Moving anticlockwise on a dartboard, what number is next to 11?
A59) 8.
Q60) Who wrote The Invisible Man?
A60) H.G.Wells.

Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with a bit of extremely cheesy 80sness … 

The Daily Teaser — 27-4-2012

Oh, now that’s something to hear … !

I’ve been following the news about the Raspberry Pi, the credit card sized computer, for a while.

And have to admit, it seems to be doing rather well.

Or, at least, grabbing people’s attention.

But after the initial production hiccups … ?

It seems to be getting some good responses: at least from this reporter … 

Hmmm … 

Has anyone got a spare £25?   I wouldn’t mind trying that out … 

Let’s move on, shall we … ?

Before I embarrass myself, with a blatant appeal for cash … !

‹‹·››

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and along with admitting Lawrence Block’s sheer prolificness*, and admitting she’s off for a couple of daysº, also scoring 6 out of 6.

Let’s see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we?   Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 


Q1) 27th April, 1981, saw Xerox PARC introduce the computer mouse: what does PARC stand for … ?
Q2) 27th April, 1791, saw the birth of painter — and telegraphy contributor — Samuel Morse: in which year did he make the first public demonstration of his version of the telegraph … ? 
Q3) 27th April, 1992, saw Betty Boothroyd named as the first female speaker of the House of Commons: in which year did she finally retire from the position … ?
Q4) More to the point what constituency did she represent … ?
Q5) 27th April, 1909, saw Sultan Abdul Hamid 2nd, overthrown: where was he Sultan of …?
Q6) And finally … 27th April, 1927, saw the formation of which South American country’s national police force … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 26th April, 1984, saw President Ronald Reagan start a state visit to where … ?
A1) China.
Q2) 26th April, 1966, saw which Uzbek city destroyed by an earthquake?
A2) Tashkent.
Q3) 26th April, 121AD saw the birth of Emperor Marcus Aurelius: in which Ridley Scott film is Marcus Aurelius played by Richard Harris?
A3) Gladiator.
Q4) More to the point, Marcus Aurelius was a follower of which philosophy … ?
A4) Stoicism.
Q5) 26th April, 1933, saw the establishment of Nazi Germany’s notorious Gestapo: what phrase was Gestapo a contraction of … ?
A5) Geheime Staatspolizei.
Q6) And finally … 26th April, 1923, saw Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon marry whom … ?
A6) The Duke of York: also known, of course, as George 6th.   (Of The King’s Speech fame.)
Enjoy those, everyone.

As it’s Sheena Easton’s birthday … ?   I’ll leave you with a tune from her … 












*        I’ve got to admit, Debbi, that’s what I CALL blue-collar … !

º        Ahhh … I don’t know if it’ll be any help, Debbi, but take a non-slip bath mat!   I’d HATE to lose  my audience in one go … !

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Event Horizon: Terror In Deep Space

 I’ll admit it!
 I’m a film fan.

And, while I’ve not recently had company for a film or two, I’ll also admit that, sometimes, that mean’s digging up a film I’ve not seen in years.

Purely because no-one’s around to complain, or suggest an alternative.

To be frank … ?

That was the case, tonight.

Nobody else around … 

So I managed to dig up a film that’s something of an old favourite: the 1997 piece that is Event Horizon … 

☱☴☱

Set some 35 years in the future, Event Horizon sees the crew of the Lewis & Clarke — lead by Captain Miller, played by Laurence Fishburne — ordered into the area of Neptune, to investigate a mysterious transmission.

A transmission from the hitherto lost eponymous ship, the Event Horizon: a ship that — according to it’s designer, Dr Weir (Sam Neill) — had been designed with a revolutionary new type of engine, designed to go faster than light.

A ship that had also mysteriously disappeared, after heading off on it’s first mission, some seven years earlier, and that’s now — inexplicably — reappeared.

And, instead of it’s crew … ?

Just one corpse: which looks like it’s been to hell and back …

☱☴☱

Now … ?

Did I enjoy Event Horizon … ?

Lord, yes: and, although it’s arguably starting to creak, I’m thinking it’s aged rather well: especially the design work.   Both ships look beautiful, and the interior sets for the Event Horizon, themselves, look like the industrial nightmare of an Art Deco designer.

Granted, it may not age as well as the utter classic that is 2001: A Space Odyssey, I’m thinking: but I feel it is going to rival Silent Running.   And certainly out-last the dreadful Apollo 18.

Go get, folks: and enjoy.

Event Horizon
★★★☆

The Daily Teaser — 26-4-2012

Hmmm … 

Now THAT’S what I call a bad line … !

I’ve got to admit, I’m usually glued to Radio 4, at this time of day.

They’re in the middle of a piece about the cost of housing in London, and done a phone interview.

Which sounded like it was on a very iffy phone-line indeed: to the point where the interviewee sounded vaguely like a Dalek.

And frankly … ?

That seems to be happening a lot, just recently.

I can’t help but wonder whether the BBC’s suffering a bit … 

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

〪〭〫〬

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — all on her ownsome — putting in her answers:  along with admitting where she’s found a Prisoner remix video, AND admitting to be a serious fan of writer, Lawrence Block*, she also bagged 5 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we?   Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 26th April, 1984, saw President Ronald Reagan start a state visit to where … ?
Q2) 26th April, 1966, saw which Uzbek city destroyed by an earthquake?
Q3) 26th April, 121AD saw the birth of Emperor Marcus Aurelius: in which Ridley Scott film is Marcus Aurelius played by Richard Harris?
Q4) More to the point, Marcus Aurelius was a follower of which philosophy … ?
Q5) 26th April, 1933, saw the establishment of Nazi Germany’s notorious Gestapo: what phrase was Gestapo a contraction of … ?
Q6) And finally … 26th April, 1923, saw Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon marry whom … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 25th April, 404 BC, saw the end of the Peloponnesian War, when Athenian forces were defeated: by whose Spartan army … ?   A1) Lysander’s.
Q2) 25th April, 1939, saw the debut of Batman: name either the artist or writer that scripted that first episode.   A2) Artist, Bob Kane, and writer Bill Finger.
Q3) 25th April, 1953, saw James D Watson and Francis Crick describe their discovery of DNA: in an article in which magazine … ?   A3) Nature.
Q4) More to the point, name either of the Medical Research Council scientist who also made contributions to the discovery …   A4) Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin.
Q5) And finally … 25th April, 1974, saw an almost bloodless coup overthrow the Estado Novo, the dictatorship running which country … ?   A5) Portugal.
Enjoy those, everyone: after handing over to birthday boy, Count Basie.

It’s about time this town had some swing … !


















*        I’ve got to admit, Debbi, I was going to ask if you knew if he was any relation to Robert Block, as it suddenly occurred to ask.   Then I had a look at his Wikipedia entry: my WORD isn’t he prolific … !!!!!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Fades: Cancelled, But Gonging …

Hmm … 

Now THAT’S a shame, that really is.

As you’ve probably realised by now, I like the odd bit of Genre television.

Mostly Dr Who and Being Human, as I’ve never managed to get started on Misfits*.

As as you’ve possibly also realised, I got rather enthusiastic about the 2011 BBC3 series, The Fades, when it was originally shown, late last year.

But was also very unsurprised to hear — via its Twitter feed — that it had been cancelled: or, at least, not taken up for a second series.

What is surprising is that the BBC, in their wisdom, have cancelled a series that has just bagged itself two BAFTA nominations, in Best Drama and Best Writer categories.

I’m mildly annoyed, to say the least: although I can’t speak for everyone, I felt it was certainly on a par, quality wise, with other series targeting that same market.

Personally … ?

Personally, I’m upset.

Not so much to be completely irrational.

But would you mind me offering up a personal opinion, here … ?

I think the cancellation, ultimately, comes down to money.

From the little I know, Dr Who is earning its way, especially in the US.   And Being Human and Misfits are both being turned into US versions.

I’m thinking that The Fades producers couldn’t sell it abroad, and thus, haven’t been able to guarantee any funding.

That’s a shame, if that’s the case.

That a lack of funding could force a show’s cancellation.

Not completely unsurprising, given the global economic situation.

But still … 



















*       Possibly my loss: I’ve heard nothing but good things of the series.