Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 31-12-2014: New Year’s Eve

Ooooh … RIGHT … !

THAT’S how you do it … !

Sorry, sorry … 

I got given a blu-ray optical drive for Christmas: to go with my Mac.

Of course, that gives me the ability to collect movies on blu-ray: then rip said films, so I can actually watch them on the device of my choice.

Mostly … ?   A mix of iPod, and TV.

I’ve picked up the Jason Momoa cut of Conan, today.   It’s one of those blu-rays with both a 2d, 3d and convention DVD version of the film.

I wanted to rip the blu-ray version.

What got me confused — until I figured out how to look at the relative size of the files on the disc — was trying to figure out which was the 2d and which the 3d.

Until I figured out how to check the respective file sizes, with MakeMKV.

The 3d version’s bigger, of course.

Rent, rip*, cut and RUN … !!


The Daily Teaser — 31-12-2014: The 2014 Review.

Ouch … !

No, really, ouch.

Lord know’s how I’ve managed it while I was in bed, this morning.

But I’ve managed to pull a leg muscle.

How … ?   Rolling over, as far as I can recall.

I don’t think it’s seriously damaged.   At least I hope it’s not.

But the mild one I have … ?   Is kind of like stabbing a toe.



But it don’t half let you know it’s happened … !


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 30-12-2014

You know, that’s something I forgot to mention … 

It was my nephew’s birth, last week!

Jude is now, officially, four.

Bless him!

We even had a official birthday party, on Sunday.

And, boy, I’m not getting any younger: a bunch of rampaging four year olds are exhausting.

I’ll tell you something else, too.

I don’t think I’ve seen THAT many ninja turtles!

Oy vey … !


Monday, 29 December 2014

Debbie Purdy: RIP

Right To Die, Campaigner,
Debbie Purdy.
You know, dreams are funny things.

I’ve gone to bed just recently, wondering if I’d wake up in the morning: and reading or hearing news that right to die campaigner, writer, broadcaster and my favourite novelist, Sir Terry Pratchett, had finally died.

He’s campaigned for years for the right to an assisted death: as a result of succumbing to a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Something I know I’m still unsure about.

I’d seen the disease kill a much loved grandmother, many years ago: so hearing he’d contracted a version wasn’t a good thing.

Either way … ?

Either way, I’d followed the various news items about various right to die campaigners assorted battles: including those of MS sufferer, Debbie Purdy.

Sadly, my late night dream, thought, premonition, call it what you will, came true …

For a given value of true.


The Daily Teaser — 29-12-2014

Hmmm … 

That’s annoying … 

One series I’ve come to enjoy over the past few weeks, is Gotham: a US import, shown in the UK on Channel Five, and covering the early career of Commissioner James Gordon, a central character of the Batamn comics.

It’s good stuff: and has been doing wonderful stuff with the Penguin.

However … ?   It’s usually screened on a Monday night: and has been off air over Christmas.

Frankly … ?

That’s something that always annoys the hell out of me.

If you’re going to screen a series?

Screen the thing in one go … !!!

Not dribs and bloody drabs!


Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 27-12-2014

You know, I’m going to HAVE to have a look at that flash drive!

32 gigabytes and the thing’s seemingly having trouble recording TV.

Although, frankly … ?

The weather’s possibly not helping, there.

And I can’t complain TOO much: after all, it WAS a Christmas present!

And HAS got last night’s edition of QI on it: with Carrie Fisher!

Princess Leia’s on QI!   What’s not to love?!


Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 27-12-2014

Right … 

That’s officially it.

Christmas is — finally — over.

Although we could technically say “It’s 363 days until Christmas: and some of us have our lights up, already!”


At any rate … ?

I’m starting to think I’m going to need an extra external or internal drive.   For no other reason that the terabyte I’ve got … ?   Is slowly filling up.

Partly because I’ve been given an external optical drive: one capable of reading and burning to blu-ray discs.

The results are rather big … 

Like I say, an extra external drive.

Or possibly a crow-bar … !


Friday, 26 December 2014

The Friday Question Set — 26-12-2014

Hmmm … 

Well, that’s the Christmas rush over with.

Well, I say Christmas … it ALSO included my nephew’s Birthday, today: which featured a hell of a lot of Ninja Turtles.

Can’t THINK why … !

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, that, hopefully explains why’ve not not put in the usual links with this week’s Friday Question Set.


The Daily Teaser — 26-12-2014

You know, I think I had a very good Christmas Day, in case you’re curious: I’m just helping yours went as well.

Personally … ?

Bless ’em, my family picked me up all sorts of things for me: including a Mac compatible external optical drive, capable of reading of reading Blu-ray discs.


Thursday, 25 December 2014

The Dr Who Christmas Special 2014: Last Christmas

Di I tell you I have a nephew … ?

I didn’t?

I’ve got a nephew.

He’s called Jude, I should add: he’s four — tomorrow — and quite fun to be with.

Except when it’s Christmas Day, of course: every single present is his, and has to be opened, now … !

Oh, and inevitably … ?

Well, when Donatello Turtle, the Batmobile and Spiderman get into a punch up, it turns into a tie … between the Batmobile and Donny. Spiderman not standing much of a chance against a two ton salt flat racer and a six foot chelonian.

It makes sense … 

When you’re four, overexcited, and been at the e-numbers.

Needless to say, I’m thinking he’s EXHAUSTING … 


The Daily Teaser — 25-12-2014: Christmas Day — The Nativity

It’s here … 

Christmas Day, I should add … !

And I have to admit to being up, relatively early: after a late night at work.

What amazed me there … ?   Was the fact, on my way up Warley Hill, I saw a few people coming down … complete with wrapping paper, and last minute presents.


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 24-12-2014 : All About Eve

Right … 

It’s Christmas Eve … and … ?

I’m off to work, today: for a very long shift.

What with cooking some dinner for myself, right now … ?

I’m feeling just a little rushed … !


The Daily Teaser — 24-12-2014: Christmas Eve — The Christmas Truce

You know, I think we can definitely say “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” right now.

Or, at least, here in the UK.


It’s officially going to be sunny, today.

Although, when I got up, it was raining.

The one thing I can safely say … ?

Is that, if you had money on there being a white Christmas?   I’d say you’ve wasted it … !

Now … 

Let’s get a move on, shall we?


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 23-12-2014

Opening yesterday’s Teaser, I passed on the sad news of the death of actress, Billie Whitelaw.

There’s been more, since then.

For starters, singer, Joe Cocker’s died: of lung cancer, at the age of 70.

There’s more: a bin lorry in Glasgow mounted the pavement, killing six people in the process.

These are all sad events: that leave me offering my condolences to the families involved.

But it has to be said, my more cynical side is saying “It’s beginning to lot like Christmas.”

With heavy amounts of irony … 


Monday, 22 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 22-12-2014

Oh, now that’s sad … Billie Whitelaw’s died … !

I know she wasn’t a young woman.

But that was unexpected.

And saddening, either way.

Frankly … ?

I remember seeing the original version of The Omen.

And, while I think the remake is — in many ways — a better made film, the original has two genuinely un-nerving elements.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar winning score: the Ave Satanis was and is the most terrifying piece of music going.

The other was Billie Whitelaw as Mrs Baylock, the nanny.

RIP, Billie.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 21-12-2014

Oh, crikey … 

I am … knackered … !

Knackered … 

And having to start work early, as my shift for the day is from 11 to 5.

Bit of a busy one, you might say!

With THAT in mind … ?

Let’s get a move on, shall we?


Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 20-12-2014

Oh … 

Now that’s something … 

I’ve got last night’s episode of QI on, at the mo.

And … ?

Well, according to one answer, knicker-throwing fans — these days —are limited to Tom Jones.

But, apparently … ?   The knicker-throwers threw theirs at Franz Liszt.

You learn something new, everyday!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Scam, scam, Scam, scam …

You know, over the years, I’ve written about technology.

Admittedly, not much: as, non-professional that I am, there’s little I can say, beyond ‘Oh, look what I can do.’

Or, ‘Wow, look what I got!’

Oh, and ‘Look out for this lot …’

Frankly … ?

That’s something I’ve not done for a while: but think I now should.


The Friday Question Set — 19-12-2014: The Christmas Quiz

Right … 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Xmas.

At least, it’s beginning to look a lot like Xmas … 

Metaphorically … !

This mean’s several things.

The weather’s playing up.

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, somewhere.

And I’m in a rush: present wrapping to be done, and all that!


The Daily Teaser — 19-12-2014

It’s official: I’m home … !

Well, of course I’m home: I wouldn’t be writing this, if I wasn’t.

After what had to be one of the busiest nights of working at my local KFC.

Quite enjoyable, actually.

But also one with staff shortages: as a couple had phoned in ill.

I have to give credit to a couple of co-workers who stayed on longer, to help.

You have to thank co-workers, like that!


Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 18-12-2014: Piltdown Man and Other Frauds.

Hmm … 

That’s a first … 

Have you been following the news, recently?

If you have, you’ll realise that The Interview — directed by Evan Goldberg, written by Dan Sterling, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco, distributed by Sony Pictures, and having a negative portrayal of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un — was due to be released on Christmas Day, this year.

That release has been cancelled by Sony.

After a severe cyber attack linked to North Korea.

Personally … ?   Personally, I think I can appreciate Sony’s actions.   After all, some of the threats made were … distinctly worrying, let’s put it that way.

Mind you … ?   I’d not mind seeing The Interview.   OK, it could well be a seriously bad film.

But if Kim Jong Un and his country don’t want me to see it?   I think I’d like to have a look at it.

Just because … 


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 17-12-2014: Vogue … !

Right … 

I have to admit, I’m actually posting up this week’s Gazette Teaser a little earlier than usual.


Well, frankly, I’m in a bit of a rush, today: I’ve a little shopping to do, something to drop off at the council … 

And, to be honest … ?

I’ve ALSO got to finish this week’s Friday Question Set.

Oy Vey!


The Daily Teaser — 17-12-2014

Right … 

That’s that started … 


If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve realised I post up the Daily Teaser, Weekly Teaser and the Friday Question Sets on pretty much a regular basis.

I started the Friday Question Sets as a result of being a former Pub Quiz master.   And, at the time, there weren’t THAT many question sets, online.

Remedying that’s something I and other’s have contributed to, over the years.

This year … ?   This year — yesterday, in fact — I’ve managed to get started on this week’s Friday Question Set: with the BIG difference to normal?

Is that it’s the Christmas set.

Here’s hoping it gets used.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 16-12-2014

I have to say, THAT was a late night at work!

No, really … !

I was on the Six ’til Twelve shift: which means, of course, I actually got home at 12·30.

Now, it has to be said, the best thing about getting in that late … ?

Was the late night shower I had when I got home.

And, boy, that was good … !


Monday, 15 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 15-12-2014

 Now that’ s … odd … 

Did I tell you my phone number’s in the sidebar of Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar … ?

It is: which is possibly something.

You see, yesterday, I got a txt message: that just said ‘You have a new photo.’

And included a link: that came attached to no phone number.

The link was shortened with Google’s own link shortening algorithms.

When I typed the link into Safari — on my desktop — the link lead to the page in the screen shot under today’s Teaser poster.

And telling me the link had violated Google’s terms of service.

Hmmm … 

Correct me if I’m wrong: but that sounds like someone’s tried to send me some malicious software.

If that’s the case … ?   I’m glad I couldn’t open the link … !


Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 14-12-2014

You know … 

That was kind of fun … 

Believe it or not, I’m talking about work, last night.

Which went quite well, it has to be said.

And saw me bagging up fries^.

OK, not very rapidly.   And only during a quiet patch.

But I got to learning something, however simple, that I can put to good use.

That — and learning how to pack — hopefully means a few extra hours.

Which is good.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 13-12-2014

Blimey … 

Right at the moment … ?   Right at the moment, I’ve got last night’s episode of QI on: which is hysterical, as ever.

And, going by one question?

Apparently, it turns out the chimps and gorillas trained to use sign language, back in the 1970s … could lie … 

Lie … 

Quite what to make of that, I don’t know.

But if that doesn’t get you — as it got me — getting pensive … ?

Well … 


Friday, 12 December 2014

The Friday Question Set

You know, the weatherman’s possibly got a lot to answer for.

Really … !

He’s JUST announced the weather is going to be comparatively calm over the next few days.

Personally … ?

Well, personally, I’ve just looked out of my window.

I think I can best describe it as ‘Murk, with a hint of extreme rain’.   Brentwood could well be getting what’s left of the recent weather bomb … !


The Daily Teaser — 12-12-2014: Radio, Radio … !

You know, I REALLY think I’ve got to see a doctor.

Or, at least, slow down on the beans!

No, really … !

I don’t know quite what’s going on, down there: but I’ve got one hell of a case of the farts, just recently!

To the point where, quite frankly, I’m half expecting a sound effects crew to turn up, and start recording!

That’s … 


Awkward … !


Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 11-12-2014: Anonymous … 

Well … 

That’s January’s done … 

Did I tell you I write sets of brain teasers for my local newspaper, the Brentwood Gazette?

I’ve been at it for some time, now: and thoroughly enjoy it.

The fact the good folk at the Gazette let me post to their site, helps*.

Well, I’ve just finished writing the weekly Teasers for January.

And I think I can say I’m pleased with them.   I’ve done something of a nice set.

If you’re one of my Gazette readers?   Keep your eyes peeled for them … !


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 10-12-2014: The Nobel Prizes

Hmmm … 

I have to say, my computer — a second hand Mac Pro — is running a little slowly, at the moment.

Mind you, I’m not surprised.

I’ve got it doing some SERIOUS video recoding: basically changing some films on my external drive from one format — .mov — to another, the .m4v used my Apple TV.

I’m not actually complaining.

It’s jogging along at the sort of rate my (now-retired) Mac Mini couldn’t cope with!


The Daily Teaser — 10-12-2014

You know, I really HATE to go on about it: but I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Assassin’s Apprentice, I should add!

The tale of FitzChivalry Farseer, growing up in Buck Keep, as the illegitimate son of the heir to the throne, and training as an assassin, are both beautifully written, and a depth I’ve rarely encountered.

It’s rare I get to call a book gorgeous: but it’s gorgeous.

And one I’ll happily hand out on World Book Night … 


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 9-12-2014

You know, I like good radio show.

Really … !

And it has to be said, I’ve been following I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue for several years: I had last night’s episode on, as I started writing this.

With last night’s Mornington Crescent being a rather tough match!

My point … ?

My point is quite simple: the show is possibly the best thing going, and is well worth catching!


Monday, 8 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 8-12-2014

You know, that reminds me: I’ve got a lottery ticket … 

He say’s, completely out of the blue.

And I’m going to have to check it, at some point.

Not that I think I’ve actually won anything.

But it would be nice if I could afford new stuff.

Oh … 

And get the two follow-ups to Assassin’s Apprentice.

Which is — going by what I’ve read so far — only getting better … !


Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 7-12-2014: Pearl Harbour

Oooooh … 

But that was a tiring night … 

You’ve probably figured out I’m working, right now: hadn’t you … ?

I have to admit, I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience: my co-workers are a genuinely nice group, the customers are pleasant and I’m learning stuff.

OK … Maybe only how to put chicken into buckets, but there we go … 

Like I say, generally enjoyable.

But very tiring.

Trust me, you REALLY don’t want to be near my feet, right now … !


Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 6-12-2014

Whoooooah … Here we go … 

It’s Saturday.   Saturday morning: obviously!

And frankly, I’m getting an early morning cuppa down my proverbial neck.

Which does help: especially after a late night session, making the videos for Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar.

Fun, fun, fun … !   Says I, with a certain amount of irony!

At any rate … ?   I hope they go down well: there’s a lot of work going on them!


Friday, 5 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 5-12-2014: Nelson Mandela

Have I ever told you I volunteer for World Book Night … ?

It’s been held every years, since 2011: and basically involves a host of volunteers giving away free books.

I’ve volunteered for it, for the past few years: and have to admit, it’s quite something, seeing people’s reaction to suddenly being given a free book.

At any rate … ?   I’ve just recently received this years list of books: and realised I hadn’t read any of the books on the 2015 list.

Saying that … ?   Saying that, the one title that caught my eye as one I’d like to hand out was Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice: so I immediately decided to remedy having not read it, by getting a copy from Brentwood Library.

I’m five chapters in.   And frankly … ?

Frankly, it’s possibly one of the most beautifully written things I’ve read … 


Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 4-12-2014

Well, THAT boosted my confidence … !

You know, I’ve been working, don’t you … ?   At my local KFC restaurant.

And last night … ?   Last night was a nice, busy evening: with a damn fine bunch of workers, and plenty of incoming customers.

One of whom quietly asked me if I could drive.

I could only politely say that I didn’t.

To which SHE replied, “That’s a shame, I’d’ve given you a job,” … !

OK, I didn’t get a job that needed me to drive.   OK, I didn’t get the chance to ask what sort of job she was offering, and shed tottered off with her bargain bucket, before I got the chance to give her my number and say “Phone me, if you’ve got anything else.”

But, LORDY, that did my confidence some good!


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 3-12-2014: Another Fine Mess!


Finally … !

Bless, the good folk at the Brentwood Gazette have managed to get last week’s Weekly Teaser back up and running!


Personally, I think I owe them a big thank you!

Hopefully, though … ?   Well, hopefully, they’ll be able to put Thomas Crapper onto some sort of safe list!


The Daily Teaser — 3-12-2014

Did I tell you about Lighting Up Brentwood … ?

Lighting Up Brentwood is my home town’s annual Lighting Up ceremony/day.   Basically, it’s the day when Brentwood High Street’s Christmas lights get switched on.

It was Saturday, just gone: the 29th of November, in other words.

And absolutely bonkers, I should add: at least, at work.   We were, not putting too fine a point on it, hammered!

One upshot of being that busy — and knackered, frankly — is I’ve only just noticed this year’s Christmas tree.

Yeah, THAT one … the one in the photo … ?

Is it just me, or does that look some form of butt plug?

Hmmm … 

Possibly just me, then … 


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 2-12-2014

I HAVE to admit to having a late one, I really do.

No, really, I had a late one, last night.

Privilege of working in an late night fast-food joint, I’m afraid.

It has, of course, left me feeling tired: understandably.

Tired … 

And even more inclined to laugh, listening to last night’s episode of I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue.

Which I’ve just finished listening to.

It has to be said, Omid Djalili was fantastic.

Personally … ?   The more we see of him, the better … !


Monday, 1 December 2014

The Daily Teaser — 1-12-2014

You know, it’s fun having a nephew, it really is.

I was over at my mum’s, last night: the usual family dinner, of a Sunday night.

Absolutely bonkers!

Jude is a little boy who overexcitable: and a heck of a lot of fun!

Oh … 

And likes my big leather chair.

What CAN an Uncle say … ?

Apart from ‘Let’s get a move on …