Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 30-4-2014: Scandal!

Phew … 

That’s a bit of a day.

Or, at least, it HAS been.

For starters … ?   Well, for starters, Bob Hoskins has died: at the age of 71.

I can only offer my condolences to his family: you and I have lost an actor, but they’ve lost a father and husband.

Secondly … ?

I’ve had an interview, today: and have to say I think it went well.

But will only find out for sure, if they hire me.

Here’s hoping … !


The Daily Teaser — 30-4-2014

Ohh … 

It’s officially foggy.

Which is nice.

Actually, that’s possibly sounding a touch more sarcastic than I intended it to.

Despite how it might sound … ?   I actually like mild fog: it’s usually cools things down, in summer, adds a tang to the air in winter.

And … ?

Well, it has managed to lift my nerves, and confidence, today.

Which is helpful.

Especially when you consider that — for the first time in some two years — I’ve got an interview!

Frankly … ?   While it would be nice to get the job … ?

It’s also nice to get the interview.

It means I’m doing SOMETHING right … !


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 29-4-2014: Video Games Killed The Television Star … !

Are you still using Internet Explorer?

No, seriously, are you … ?

Because Microsoft has recently issued a bit of a big security alert.

Seemingly, there’s a serious flaw in versions of the software: all the way from version 6, to the most recent, version 11.

You may wish to switch to one of those nice alternatives.   I personally suggest Safari, but I would say that!

At ANY rate?   I’d suggest switching browsers.   Especially if you’re running versions of Windows XP, as MS have now stopped providing security updates for that.

Go Google: trust me, there’s more secure out there.


Monday, 28 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 28-4-2014

Hmmm … 

Remember me saying I’d finished with the Government’s Work Programme, at the of the year?

It seems that the Government has a follow up scheme.

For those of us who’ve been through the Work Programme, we can now be made to go on the new Help To Work scheme.

We face three options:
  • Signing on daily.
  • Intensive training courses.
  • Or a ‘volunteer’ Community Work placement.
Three options … or a reduction in benefits.

Personally … ?

Personally, I can’t see how that’s supposed to help.   I know that Job Centre staff do try and make an effort to suggest possible jobs: making a benefit claimant sign up daily won’t make those jobs crop up more frequently, nor will it give staff more tools to help.   It just gives them more more chance to repeat themselves.   What’s more, I believe the sanction’s been available for some thirty years: at least!

I’ve ALSO just done an intensive training course: the ECDL course.

And a Community Work placement is all very well and good: except we’d be volunteered for work we don’t necessarily have an aptitude for, or interest in … and don’t get paid for.

Do I think this scheme will work, or help?


Are the provisions suggested, something Job centre staff can already insist claimants can do?   As far as I know, yes.

Given that … ?

Well, I don’t see it being much use.

Right … rant over: let’s move on … !


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Ender’s Game — Mark Kermode Was Right …

26th April, 2014.
Yeah … 

OK … 

That’s possibly one way to open a post about a film: with that sort of title.

Mentioning a film: and a film critic in the title of a post about a film.

But … ?

Well, I’ve just seen the rented the recent DVD release, the Gavin Hood film, Ender’s Game, which starred Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford.

And think that critic, Mark Kermode has a good point to make, in the various reviews he’s done of it.

Somewhere in the competently done Ender’s Game, are some interesting ideas.

Hmmm … I think I’ll sleep on that.   I can maybe tell you why I agree, when my eyeballs have stopped aching … !


The Daily Teaser — 27-4-2014

Ooooooh … 

I think I know what’s causing the assorted aches and pains, at the mo.

I need to clean my bed-sheets.

Well, not quite.

What I actually need to do is turn my mattress over.   I usually find the side I HAVERN’t squashed by sleeping on, is flatter: and comfier to sleep on.

At least, that’s been my experience, so far.

Frankly … ?   I don’t see that changing for a while!


Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 26-4-2014: The Secret Policeman’s Ball

Oooooh … 

That … 


That knee of mine’s going twang … !

Actually … ?

So’s my spinal column!

There’s something of an old saw doing the rounds: to the effect that growing old was/is a good thing.

Speaking personally … ?   Speaking personally, I think whoever said that didn’t have knees like mine.

I can only hope they have a rethink … !


Friday, 25 April 2014

The Friday Question Set — 25-4-2014

Bleugh … !

Yeah … I think that’s the word for it … !

I have to admit, I’ve been helping a friend out: trying to work out how to get a virus off his computer.

Eyeball crunching stuff, it has to be said.

One of these day … ?

ONE of these day’s, I’ll worked out if I’ve actually managed to do it successfully!

Before my brain implodes, that is … !


The Daily Teaser — 25-4-20144: Martial Law

Blimey, interesting bit of news, there: especially if your something of a tech fan.

It seems people have been doing a bit of research: and found that the Amiga computer that famed artist, Andy Warhol had been given … had a few leftovers on it.

Well …

The computer, itself, didn’t.

The stack of floppies that had been found in a section of a specialist Warhol archive, did.

Personally … ?

Well, personally, I can’t help but think that’s a good piece of news: I think the basic procedures used to recover the images Warhol created on the system are going to come in handy to know.

After all, given the way the computer industry’s changed over the years, with many different operating coming and going … ?

We’re going to need to recover more stuff, I think.

At any rate … ?

Let’s get a move on.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 24-4-2014: The Fall Of Troy

Oh, well, that’s handy to remember.

The simple fact that clicking the Help item on the Menu bar comes in handy … !

You’ve possibly worked out I’ve got a Mac, haven’t you … ?

Something of an aging one, but fine all the same.

Well, I’ve ALSO got a battery powered mouse connected, by Bluetooth.

That’s using a bad batch of batteries, that means it occasionally drops the signal.

I’m thankful I thought of hitting the ‘Help’ item: I found that I can use a key combination — ctrl, fn and F8, in this case — to give me keyboard access to the Menu bar items: the items on the left hand end of the Menubar*, so you know.

It means I can navigate around those items using the Cursor keys: then go to the Bluetooth item, and reconnect the mouse.

Yeah … Handy idea, using the Help button … 


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 23-4-2014: Saint George’s Day

 Oh, BLAST … !

I totally forgot to post up a Friday Question Set, last week!

Drat and blast … !

Still … !

I should be able remedy that, this coming Friday!

I hope!


The Daily Teaser — 23-4-2014: William Shakespeare

It’s official … 

It’s World Book Night … !

And you know what that mean’s, don’t you?

It means it’s Free Book Time …!


Just so you know, World Book Night’s been going since 2011: the idea is to encourage reading for pleasure.

The charity that organises it has a list of books, each year: and arranges for multiply copies to be given to a horde of Givers — volunteers like me — who hand them out.

Be warned … 

You COULD get lucky … !


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 22-4-2014

Hmmm … 

Did I ever tell you that I’m not a football fan … ?

I didn’t … ?

I’m not a football fan.

So you know.

But one can’t live in Britain, today, without being aware of the game: love it or loathe, you can’t actually ignore it.

Or of some of it’s major players.

Manchester United being one of them.

Within the past year or so, the team’s previous manager, Sir Alex Ferguson†, retired: after a very successful, twenty-six year career.   He was replaced by ex-Everton manager, David Moyes.

It’s rumoured that Moyes will be fired — or resign — today: after a rather bad year for the team.

Speaking personally … ?

Speaking personally — and this from a non-fan, I realise — but given that it took Sir Alex, himself, some three years or so to start bringing home the silverware?

Given that, I think it would be a mistake to fire Moyes, rather than given him room to do the same.

Let’s move on, shall we?


Monday, 21 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 21-4-2014: Henry VIII

 You know, I must admit to having a quiet day, yesterday.

Bar the fact, of course, that it was Easter Sunday.

Which meant a certain nephew of mine … ?

Had a VERY good time hunting for Easter eggs.

Saying that?   Jude being Jude, had more fun with the plastic eggs, and the toy chickens.

In point of fact, I THINK I’ve got a video of him: having a WHALE of a time trying to making the chicks stand up.

Somewhere … !


Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 20-4-2014

Hmmm … 

Sound’s like I’ve got a provisionally got a busy day, today.

Dinner at Mum’s: which mean’s me and Jude will be creating a certain amount of havoc.   Well, a boy’d gotta have a deranged uncle … !

And hopefully, a couple of friends will be looking in: one to pick up a dictionary, another pair so I can eyeball a computer problem for them.

Busy, busy, busy … !

At least … 

I hope so … !

Either way … ?

Let’s get a move on … !


Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 19-4-2014: Don’t Tall Me Shirley … !

Ah— HA!

It’s a TRAIN … !

OK, OK … It’s Thomas the Tank Engine … !

And I think we can say my nephew, Jude, had a thoroughly good time at the East Anglia Rail Museum, yesterday.

He certainly enjoy the actual train trip: and very insistent on having another go.

Despite the fact trains done up as Percy and Daisy were there.

I do know this, though: he certainly enjoyed the Punch and Judy show, there.

Which was also the first one his uncle had seen: child abuse, wife-beating, cruelty to crocodiles, police brutality, assaulting a police officer and strings of sausages … ?

Something for everyone, in other words … 


Friday, 18 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 18-4-2014: Never A Crossword … !

Ooops … !

It’s Good Friday … !

And once again, I’ve near enough missed the fact … !

Still … I can always do a Good Friday Teaser, next year … !

THIS year, on the other hand … ?

THIS year, I’m helping my kid sister, Ruth: by taking my nephew, Jude, to see Thomas the Tank Engine.

SHOULD be fun … !

I’ll try and post some photos, later.

Between now and then, though … ?   Let’s get a move on … !


Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 17-4-2014: Little Green Men


It’s official.

My World Book Night books are in!

Just in case you DIDN’T know, World Book Night has been held on 23rd April, ever since 2011: and I’ve volunteered to hand out a good read, ever since.

The book I’m handing out this year … ?

Is Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City: which will possibly raise an eyebrow or, around here, given Brentwood is — basically — very conservative!

Hmmm … 

Let’s on, shall we?   I’ll let you know how that goes, on the day … 


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 16-4-2014

Ah HA!

That’s my World Book Night books delivered, then … !

Just so you know, I’ve been volunteering for that for about three years, now: quietly handing out multiple copies of whatever good read’s on the World Book Night list since 2011.

The one I’m handing out, this year … ?

Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City*.

Hell, let’s raise some eyebrows … !


The Daily Teaser — 16-4-2014: The Last Battle

Whoah … !

I have to admit, I’m in a mild rush, this morning: I’ve got an appointment with my employment adviser, today.

At 9·20.

AND I’ve got to pick up some medication, as well.

All that … ?

And I think I need both a loaf: but definitely need to pick up — and post for — this week’s Gazette.

I’d better get a move on, hadn’t I … ?


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 15-4-2014: Belsen

Ye gods … 

I’ve got to admit to having part two of Treasure Hunters on.

Which has featured some amazing stuff.

That Bugatti, for starters … !

And they’ve just featured what has to be China’s best known — and eye-watering — archeological treasure: the Terracotta Army.

How do you out-do that … ?

Well … 

Digging around Egypt, obviously … 

Well, d’uh!

At ANY rate … ?

Let’s get a move on, shall we?


Monday, 14 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 14-4-2014

Oooh, but I’ve a pain in the neck, this morning.

No, really … !

Well … I say pain.

More of a crick.

I think I must’ve either slept badly: or been tossing and turning all night.

I don’t actually remember.

Well, don’t look at me like that.

I was asleep at the time … !

Hmmm … 

Let’s get a move on, shall we?


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Nigel Evens, MP

Do you follow the news, at all … ?

I’m fairly sure you do.

I’m also fairly sure that — as I — you have various bits of news that catch your eye.

One that’s caught my eye, in the past few days … ?

Is the news that MP, and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans, has been acquitted of several counts of rape and sexual assault: a case that followed on from several similar trials — and acquittals — of men in the public eye.

Congratulations to him.

But one thing about his acquittal has caught my eye.

His claimed belief that Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service should pay his bills.

My first thought, there … ?

Was “Excuse ME … ?”


The Daily Teaser — 13-4-2014

Oh, now that’s a bit better … 

I’ve just been listening to Radio 4: and usually have no problem with the Sunday morning service.

Although it was a little bit too happy-clappy for me, this morning.

So, of course, I’ve changed stations.

To Radio 2.

Which helped: bless her, Claire Balding was playing Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me.

Which makes for a much nicer start on a Sunday morning, I think!

Ahem … !


Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 12-4-2014: Waving The Flag


That was a late night.

You know I’m a movie fan, don’t you … ?

There’s not many I get a chance to see at The cinema: so I tend to rent them from iTunes.

I did that last night: managing to get hold of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.

Which is a nice piece of work, I should add: and one I’m polishing up a post for, as we speak.

Saying that … ?

Saying that, it’s two hours and forty-one minutes long: including some ten minutes of credits.

Ten MINUTES of credits!

BOY, but that means you get to bed, late … !


Friday, 11 April 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug: That’s More Like It … 

11th April, 2014.

You know, it really is getting late.


But then, that’s one disadvantage to renting a film that lasts as long as the one I rented, this evening.

You tend to end up with monsters.

Which, now I mention it, is possibly more appropriate than I thought.

At ANY rate … ?

I’ve actually managed to have an evening free, tonight.

A free evening, and enough credit on my iTunes Store account to rent a film.

The one in question … ?

Was the second part of Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit: called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

I’m thinking three things, right now.
  1. Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug was INCREDIBLE … !
  2. So were the scenes with Smaug.
  3. And, by GODS, that’s an impressively big dragon!
You can tell something caught my eye, can’t you … ?

Hmmm … Let me get some sleep: I think my brain could do with disconnecting … !


The Friday Question Set — 11-4-2014

Oh … 

Now …

That’s … 

Well, actually … 

It’s scientific … 

It seems doctors in the US have managed to implant four women with lab-grown vaginas.

It was used on four women born with disfigured vaginas: a condition known as vaginal aplasia.

And, frankly, I can see it having applications for those who’ve suffered from female genital mutilation.

But … ?

As serious as I know it is, I’m ALSO trying VERY hard to not make jokes: or smirk, even.

I’ll just wander off, for a bit … 


The Daily Teaser — 11-4-2014

You know, I’m glad I’m not that badly off, I really am.

I’ve got last night’s episode of Panorama on: all about the benefits cap that’s applied to those of us who are out of work.

And, like I say … ?   I’m not too badly off.   My rent’s covered and can covered my basic bills.

Depending on how you define ‘basic bills’, of course.

At any rate, I’ve a roof over my head: and while I’m never going to be able to afford a holiday, new TV, or whatever, I’m not out on the street.

I’m thankful.

I’m also not in the situation where I’m facing eviction.   I’ve also not found a job.

Which sits well with the figures given by Panorama, itself: nine in ten of those affected by the cap, has still not found a job.

The cap is seeing a lot of people being made homeless.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 10-4-2014: Piracy … !

Oh, my lord, but that’s an ear-worm top wake up to, first thing in the morning.

An ear-worm, so you know, is a piece of catchy music that you can’t get out of your head.

They’re an occasional pain in the proverbial.

OR a sample of incredibly beautiful music your sub-conscious is trying to remind you of: for what-ever weird, sub-conscious reason your sub-conscious — obscurely — has.

I’ll have that sentence figured out, at some point.

At ANY rate, the ear-worm my sub-conscious thump me with … ?

Was the song, Alone Again Or, by Love.

Well … if you’re going to have an tune floating around you head for no apparent reason … ?

It may as well have one of the best songs ever written … 


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 9-4-2014: It’s The Plane

Wowsa … 

Amazing what you can find in a public library, isn’t it it … ?

For starters … ?

Well, for starters, there’s the great big model stegosaur I grabbed a quick photo of.

Made out of old bits of electronic kit: including spinal plates made of various old DVD players.

And feet made of kettles.

Lord knows what that was all about, but it’s certainly eye-catching … !


The Daily Teaser — 9-4-2014

Oh … 

Dear … 

Buried in the middle of my memories of 1980s TV … ?   Is the two early morning series — Programmes?   Franchises? — that hit during the period: and that I’ve managed to record a documentary about.

The BBC’s own Breakfast Time and ITV’s TV-AM.

Totally revolutionary, at the time.

And very strange.

Especially when you remember that ITV’s offering, TV-AM, really only started grabbing audience share … 

When the Rat turned up … 

Yeah … 

The Rat … 

Ho-hum … !


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 8-4-2014

Good lord, how on Earth did that happen … ?

I don’t know if you ever follow these things, but I’m fairly sure you’ve heard of Bob Geldof and his family.

Including his daughters by Paula Yates — Fifi, Peaches and Pixie — and adopted daughter, Tiger Lily.

Tragedy hit the Geldof family, yesterday.

When second eldest daughter, Peaches Geldof, was found dead at home, at the age of twenty-five.

First off … ?

I’d like to offer my condolences to Peaches Geldof’s family: both her father and sisters,  and to her husband, Thomas Cohen … and hope that her two sons treasure what they can remember of her.

From where I’m sitting the fact she had children make’s her death all the more tragic.

Tragic … 

And unexplained.

Which is how Kent police have described her death: sudden and unexplained.

I think for me, that’s the mystery compounding the tragedy.

How on earth does a young woman, one not known for a rock star life style, die at the age of 25 … ?

One can only hope that’s cleared up, as soon as possibly.

I think her surviving family would want nothing else.


Monday, 7 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 7-4-2014: The Game

Oh, now that’s bloody annoying: AND embarrassing.

I’ve dropped my iPod!

Normally, dropping one on my floor’s not an option: they’re fairly tough bits of kit.

Unfortunately, mine’s already had its screen smashed.

Which meant that when I dropped it, this time?

When the whole screen came away from the main body of the thing, breaking a bit of connecting wiring in the process.

It’s embarrassing, as it was entirely my fault: there’s no one to blame that on.

It’s annoying for two reasons: mostly because repairing or replacing it’s going to be a devil of a job.   And frankly, one I can’t afford. 

It’s ALSO annoying, because it means I won’t have a thing to listen to, when I’m out and about.

That really DOES twang … !


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Strange Days: Worth The Wait

4th April, 2014.

Hmmm … 

That’s possibly going to start an argument: if you watch the BBC news reports, that is.

Princess Anne — the Queen’s only daughter, and Prince Charles sister — has been interviewed for the Countryfile show that get’s an airing, tomorrow night.

And thinks gassing badgers is a better way to deal with bovine TB, than shooting them.

Badgers, that is.

And happily admits to having eaten horsemeat.

Well, don’t look at me.

I don’t have a huge farm in Gloucestershire, either … !


At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, that’s not what I meant to tell you about.


I’ve actually managed to take five minutes out of a busy schedule to — as you’s possibly half guessed — watch a movie … !

One I’ve been meaning to try and catch for some time, now.

The 1995, Kathryn Bigelow directed piece that is Strange Days.

Hmmm … 

It’s getting late.

I’ll think I’ll add more to this post in the morning … !


The Daily Teaser — 6-4-2014: Thank You For The Music

Blimey … 

I think they’re going to last …

Remember, yesterday, I told you about Brentwood now has its own branch of Games Workshop?

Well, I have to admit, I went up there, yesterday: along with old friend, Graham, and his daughter.

I THINK Graham might just regret that.

Because I think his daughter was rather taken with the Warhammer 40, 000 figures.

I think someone’s wallet’s going to suffer … 


Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Daily Teaser — 5-4-2014

That’s a thought … 

Did you ever hear of a company called Games Workshop … ?

They’ve been going years: roughly as long as Apple, now I think of it.

And been selling their range of wargaming miniatures for a long time.    (In fact I used to work in Arnold’s Gift Centre, a local shop that used to sell their stuff: in the aisle next to kitchenware.)

Well, they’ve just opened a shop in Brentwood.

And, yes, before you ask: I’ve mailed my CV to them, just on the off-chance!

Personally, though … … ?   I saw good luck to them.

Now … let’s get a move on, shall we?