Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 28-2-2015

You know, THAT’s … upsetting … !

When I was young, the BBC only showed two science fiction shows.

Dr Who was one.

And, in between Dr Who seasons?   They’d show the original version of Star Trek.

I remain a lifelong Dr Who fan as a result.   And someone who’s thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek, ever since watching the repeats growing up in the 1970s and 80s.

So yesterday’s news — that actor, Leonard Nimoy, who’d played Commander Spock — was both saddening … and something I found genuinely upsetting.

After all … the man who played the one visibly alien — and friendly alien, although I’m sure Spock would raise an eyebrow at the word — was iconic: and helped make both the role, the series, and the genre, the winning things they are, today.

RIP, Leonard Nimoy.

Earth is a lesser place, after your death.


Friday, 27 February 2015

Leonard Nimoy: March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015. RIP

You know, when I was child, the BBC would regularly show two science fiction shows.

Or show two such shows, for a family audience.

Dr Who was one.

I remain a life fan of the show, as a result.

The other SF show Aunty Beeb aired … ?

Was Star Trek: possibly the USA’s favourite SF piece.

One of the iconic characters?

Was Mr Spock.

So getting news, today, that Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock, has died … ?

Is saddening to hear.


The Friday Question Set — 27-2-2015

Hmmm … 

So that’s what’s happening … 

Did I tell you I only work part-time?

I only work part-time: in a local fast food restaurant.

As such, I’m eligible for housing benefit.

I’d taken in my last set of payslips in, a few weeks ago: and was TOLD it would be some three weeks before I heard any more.

Six weeks later?   And not a thing!   So I’ve taken ion the next batch: partly to update things.   But ALSO to find out what the hell’s happening.

There’s a delay: as they’ve been overwhelmed by the fact everyone’s rent goes up, in the run-up to the end of the tax year, at the start of April.

You’d THINK they’d’ve worked out how to do these things, by now, wouldn’t you … ?


The Daily Teaser — 27-2-2015

Hmmm … 

That’s a worry … 

You know I’m now working, don’t you?

Although I’m on a low income, as I’m working part time.

And, as such?   As such, I can still claim housing benefit: help towards my rent, in other words.

I also have to let my local council — who administrate the benefit — know, whenever it changes.

I last did that, a few weeks ago: by talking in my last batch of pay slips, in order to show I’d had a reduction in hours.

I got told I’d hear, with-in about three weeks, what would be happening.

And haven’t, as yet, heard back.

That’s … mildly concerning, I must admit.   I’m assuming any delay is due to the changes introduced, under the government’s Universal Credits scheme,

But … ?   Well, the ‘but’ is simple.   But I don’t know know for sure.   And am mildly concerned at having heard nothing.

It’s … annoying … !


Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 26-2-2015: All Jazzed Up

Oooh, but that’s better … !

Did I tell you I was working, on Tuesday?

I was: a fairly late shift, too.

And woke up, yesterday, feeling … well … 

I think the best term is ‘Mildly ropey’: that’s the best way of putting it!

Well … mildly ropey, with a mild headache, all day.

Still … ?

I think I managed to help myself.   Simply by getting an early night.

Personally … ?   I’m feeling as spring as a spring lamb, bouncing around, bouncily, like a bouncy lamb.

Yes … 

Quite … !


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 25-2-2015: Mr Colt’s Patent … 

Hmmm … 


Look’s like that’s THAT sorted, for now.

I’m afraid I got a little snotty on the phone, this morning: ringing the Gazette, after another Weekly Teaser seemed to not go through.

It turn’s out … ?

It HAS to be said, though, I’ve left a polite message apologising.

And hope they don’t take my threat to withdraw the Teaser seriously … !


The Daily Teaser — 25-2-2015

Bleugh … !

Late night working’s a killer, sometimes … !

No, really … !

I actually got to sleep about half past one: after finishing at 10·30.

You would not BELIEVE how time flies, when texting a friend, late at night.

AHEM … !


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 24-2-2015: Gregory’s Calendar … 

Yoicks … !

I am … tired … !

No, really!

But then again … ?   I’ve really only got myself to blame, in one sense.   I was up late, blogging.

Well, of course I was: I’d also been up late, watching The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Which didn’t win any Oscars, unsurprisingly.

But was very entertaining.


Frankly, I think that’s all we can ask of a movie!


The Amazing Spiderman 2: Nice!

23rd February, 2015.
Pheeeew … !

It has to be said, it feels good to have watched a film.

No, really!

If you’ve been following me for a while — I hope you have — you’d realise that … 

Well, I’m not a film fan.

Or buff.   Or maven.   Or scholar.   Or what have you.

Definitely not.

In point of fact, I think I’d be vaguely offended if you used the term of me.

No.   The way I see myself … ?   Is simply as someone who enjoys watching films.

And watching a film … ?   Watching a film is something I managed to do tonight.

You’d guessed, hadn’t you?

It’s not like the The Amazing Spiderman 2 poster is inconspicuous, now is it … ?


Monday, 23 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 23-2-2015: Aluminium Alley

Oooh … 

That’s this year’s list of Oscar winners, is it … ?

As you might know, I’m a … well, not exactly a film fan.

But certainly someone who likes a movie.

So I tend to keep an eye on the Oscars winners: mostly out of interest.

I think my congratulations go to everyone who’s won, this year.   Although personally?

Personally, I’m disappointed to see The Imitation Game hasn’t done better: winning, as it did, just Best Adapted Screenplay.

It’s nice to see a Brit win the Best Actor gong, too: Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking.

Whether that makes Hawking’s work any easier for the layman to understand, I don’t know.

But it’s ALSO nice to see Julianne Moore bag Best Actress, for Still Alice: something I might want to check.

My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s.   I’m a huge fan of fellow sufferer, Sir Terry Pratchett.

An Oscar winning performance from Ms Moore, as someone diagnosed with an early onset form of the condition?

That’s something I’d like to see: as much as I’d like to see The Imitation Game.


Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 22-2-2015

You know, I do love a good documentary: really.

And Aunty Beeb does do a good one.

The one I’ve got on, at the mo … ?   Reginald D Hunter’s Songs Of The South … !

Kind of a potted history of the music of the southern: covering, in this first episode, the various country styles of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Fascinating insight into the music, AND the man himself, I should add: you can tell Reg really don’t do square-dancing.   As he’s just said, the black South and the white South were and are too different places!

Especially when we remember black-face minstrelry … !


Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 21-2-2015: Malcolm In The Middle

Did I tell you I know how to rip DVDs?

In other words, I can take a DVD or Blu-ray, and use various bits of software to transcode it into a form I can play on either my computer, iPod or AppleTV.

I use HandBrake on DVDs.   And a mix of HandBrake and MakeMKV on blu-rays.

For some reason … ?   Well, for some reason, using MakeMKV on blu-ray discs produces groups of video files that share the same name.

I believe that — because of the way the files are structured on a blu-ray disc, and on the experience I’ve had, thus far — that the metadata of such a group is collective metadata: and needs editing.

To avoid triggering mild annoyance in humble bloggers, if nothing else.

Thankfully?   Thankfully, I’ve found that using a metadata editor editor — in my particular case, MetaZ — can help, there.

Mostly by changing the names, to ones that are useful, can help.

Personally?   Personally, I’m thankful.

Especially as I can use MetaZ on the rest of my media library.

You have to love useable software, don’t you … ?


Friday, 20 February 2015

The Friday Question Set — 20-2-2015

You know, I really should get some sleep of an evening.

Or TRY to, at ANY rate.

For various reasons … ?

I didn’t get much.

Which will teach me to stay up, chatting to people.


The Daily Teaser — 20-2-2015

You know, I do like a good documentary.


Even some of the ones you wouldn’t think would necessarily appeal.

Believe it or not … ?   The ever intelligent Dr Janina Ramirez has a new series on: about early British monasticism.

Fascinating stuff, as ever.

How those ear;y monks managed … ?

Lord knows: but Dr Ramirez does make a fascinating series about it.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 19-2-2015: The Chinese New Year

You know, I’m thinking, right now, that Jessica Hynes has done a job and a half!

For some time, now I’ve been watching her Up The Women, on BBC 2: and thoroughly enjoying it.

I’m also thinking of something else.

One of Britain’s most popular comedies?   Was Dad’s Army*: so popular, in fact, it’s been endless repeated since it’s cancellation, and being turned into a movie to be released next year.

Frankly … ?

Well, frankly, I’m finding Up The Women very reminiscent of Dad’s Army: the small group of characters, the church hall setting, the game set of characters taking on a hopeless situation … 

Personally?   I can’t think of a better comparison for Hynes’ work.

Or a more flattering one.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’sWeekly Teaser — 18-2-2015: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Hmmm … 

That’s odd … 

Usually … ?

Usually, on a Wednesday, the one thing I’ll be doing is posting a copy of the Weekly Teaser to both the Brentwood Gazette, and to its sister paper, the Essex Chronicle.

Usually with very little problem: bar the occasional Scunthorpe problem.


Today, I couldn’t: and I’m blowed if I know why … !

Which is frustrating.   As I’m sure you know, Google’s search engine, along with others, ranks pages — in part — according to how many pages link to it.

Frustratingly, I now have less to the blog.   That’s annoying!


The Daily Teaser — 18-2-2015

 You know, I have to admit to having written — and printed out — a letter, last night.

Because … ?

Well, someone in my block likes their cannabis: and has been having a joint or two.

Personally … ?

I’ve no objection to that.

I DO object when I can smell the stuff in my flat.

And get numb lips and a mild headache as a result.

THAT I object to.

My answer … ?   Was to send a (very polite) letter to everyone in my building, to say so: and ask if whoever WAS using to just be a little more discreet.   And maybe close some windows.

Hopefully, that’ll help … 


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 17-2-2015

Oh, now, that’s a disappointment.

You know I’d been watching Gotham, when Channel Five aired the first half, late last year?

Disappointingly?   It wasn’t on, again, this week.

Which left me feeling furious.

Thankfully … ?   Channel Five have just announced the show’s second half will be aired in March of this year: some three weeks after it’s airing in the US.

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for it.   However?   This mid-season break has left me feeling very angry.

And thinking “Should I bother watching a second series, if, as and when it airs?   OR other US series?”

Off the top of my head?

I’m thinking “No”.

That mid-season hiatus is just too off-putting.


Monday, 16 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 16-2-2015

It’s a Monday.

You can possibly tell, can’t you … ?

A Monday … that sees me, personally, back to work.

It has to be said, I’m enjoying that.   Especially after four years on benefits.

I’m part time, I should add: and doing 12 ’til 3, today.

Even better: it means I can spend some of the little cash I have left on shopping.

Working or otherwise?   I like milk and sugar in my tea … 


Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 15-2-2015: The Knights Hospitaller … 

Oh, well, that’s another Valentine’s Day over and done with.

One that, for me, and probably every other single person in Europe, was quiet.

Personally … ?

Well, personally, it might to be involved with something: and heading for a romantic meal for two, at a posh restaurant.

Complete with three courses, lots of chocolate covered strawberries, and a halfway decent Sémillon.

Then again, on my money … ?

Who needs the expense … ?

Right at the moment, a halfway decent good book’s less bother.


Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 14-2-2015: Saint Valentine’s Day

Oh, now, hang on … it’s Saint Valentine’s Day … 

I think the word here, is ‘Whoopee’.

Said with a heavy amount of irony.   The kind of heavy irony usually used by Bridget Jones, and other stunningly single people.

Mind you … ?   Mind you, if I’m lucky, someone will bang on my door, tonight — once I’m home from work — and insist one making mad, passionate, lingering, love to — or with — me.


Meanwhile, back in reality?   I’ll probably be watching a film.

And possibly having a LARGE cocoa!


Friday, 13 February 2015

The Friday Question Set — 13-2-2015

You know, it suddenly occurs: I’ve a few readers out there who are — hopefully — pub quizmasters.

Pub quizmasters, or someone who needs question sets in a hurry.

I hope so.

That — in part — is why I started Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar.

I also hope that, if that’s you — yes, you, reading this — you make good use of the questions I post here.

My point … ?   My point is something of a reminder.   I’m going to HAVE to include a page that’s a brief guide for you: to the TeasersWeekly Teasers and Friday Question Sets.

I think you’d find that use: I’d appreciate a comment or two, there.

I’m ALSO very aware that tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day, tomorrow.   Click on the links, I’m sure you’ll find SOMETHING useful … 


The Daily Teaser — 13-2-2015: Heavy Metal … !

Did I tell you about my nephew, Jude … ?

Bless him, he’s four: and turning out to have something of a personality.

My sister, Ruth, and I were at a little cafe in Brentwood, yesterday.   Nice place, called Mannings.

According to Jude?

Their apple juice is hilarious.

His word!   ‘Hilarious’ … !

Lord knows, where he picked that one up: or quite what put him into juice critic mode, I don’t know.   But there you go!

Either way … ?   Either way, I think taking Ruth and Jude into Brentwood’s branch of Maplins — to show Ruth the Raspberry Pi — was possibly a mistake.

Colourful hobbyist circuit boards — alike the Arduino boards and DIY robot kits Maplins sell — are very appealing, when you’re four.

We had ten minutes of “Mummy, can I have this?”, and “Mummy, can I have that?”.

Bless … !


Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 12-5-2015: Fashion

Ohhhhh … but I’m glad I managed to boil that kettle … !

No, really … !

I don’t know about you, but, first thing in the morning?   First thing in the morning, I don’t feel human until I get that first cup of tea down my neck.

But isn’t that true of all of us?

First thing many of us do in the morning … ?

Grab the caffeine!


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 11-2-2015: The Resignation

Right … 

It’s RUSH time … !

Mostly where, frankly … ?

I’m off to work in a couple of ticks.

For a nice and LONG shift … !


I’ve also got dinner on the go.


The Daily Teaser — 11-2-2015

Hmmm … 

Did I tell you I’m something of a fan of the TV eerie, Gotham?

You’ve possibly worked that out.

Something that’s annoyed me is the simple fact that the US tv channel that makes it has put on a mid season break.

Which annoys the life out of me.

However … ?

I did notice a tweet go past on my timeline: from actor, Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred in the series.   This one … 

Seems as if the series is back on, in the US.

But on, over here.

As that tweet shows.

Still … ?

Nice to know things are moving onwards.

Here’s hoping!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 10-2-2015

Oh, blimey … Turn’s out the BBC are repeating New Tricks.

And when I New Tricks, I mean some of the earlier series, complete with the original cast: Alun Armstrong, Amanda Redman, James Bolam and Dennis Waterman, as Brian Lane, DSI Sandra Pullman, Jack Halford and Gerry Standing.

Now, usually, I’m not one for police procedurals.

But New Tricks?   With either old or new cast, was always worth a watch.


Monday, 9 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 9-2-2015

Now, that is STILL annoying … 

Were you following the TV series, Gotham, when Channel Five showed the first ten episodes?

Fantastically good stuff, I should stress at this point.   It’s entertaining, has added to the Batman mythos, and has one of the the screen villain: in the shape of Robin Lord Taylor, as the Penguin.

But … ?

Once again, we get to a Monday: the day of the week that Channel Five’s showing it.

And, again, the show isn’t on.

Now, I know it’s not Five’s fault.   I know it’s down to whatever channel show the series in the US.   Gotham, like other US series, is on mid-season hiatus: used by US TV channels to boost a series’ ratings, and any associated advertising revenue.

Personally … ?   Personally, I don’t care.   I’ve always found such breaks to be extremely annoying.

Frankly … ?   Frankly, it’s a similar break was the only reason I stopped watching Agents of SHIELD.

As fine as THAT was … ?   That break was a major turn off, and stopped me watching†.

That isn’t something I want to do with Gotham.

But I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking that — if the second half of the series doesn’t kick start in another week or two — I’ll not bother watching.

Nor watch other, new, US sf serials.

That gap?

Is unacceptable.


Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 8-2-2015

You know, I hate sleeping through my alarm.


I’ve just done it, in fact!

It’s the sort of thing that ALWAYS annoys me.

But, to be fair … ?   I did have … well … not a late night at work … 

But certainly got to bed late.

Which doesn’t help.

What HAS caught me attention … ?   Well, I occasionally listen to Radio 4’s Sunday Service: it’s rather soothing, first thing on a Sunday morning.

The shocking bit?   That shocking bit that woke me up … ?   Was it’s being broadcast from Brentwood’s Catholic Cathedral, this morning.

I hope it doesn’t get TOWIE’d … !


Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 7-2-2015

I think we can safely say I am up … early … 

No, really … !

Frankly … ?

Well, frankly, we have an official Staff Meeting, today.

At 8·30!

Which is WAY too early in the morning, if you ask me.

Actually, now I think of it … ?   It’s WAY too early in the morning, to be this early in the morning.

But there we go.

Needs must, and all that … !


Friday, 6 February 2015

The Friday Question Set — 6-2-2015

OK, OK … It’s late … 

I know … !

Maybe a bit too late to be putting a post up.

But … ?

Well, I have just finished work.

And hadn’t had a chance to do this earlier.


The Daily Teaser — 6-2-2015: Votes For Women

I have to admit to being up, slightly later than usual.

No, really.

I have to admit to having been up, late: watching Jobs.

Which is nice, as far as it goes: and being honest, Ashton Kutcher in the title role did well enough.

But really, the film doesn’t seem to go into any great depth: nor do justice to its subject.

It’s good: but disappointing.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Jobs: About That Biopic … … 

5th February, 2015.

You know, just for once … ?   Just for once … ?

Just for once, I’m going to put the poster on the left hand side.

No, really.

Normally, when I write about the films I watch, I tend to put the posters on the right hand side of the post: and write the text down the left.

Tonight … ?

I thought I’d swap.

A bit.

Frankly … ?

I’m in something of an odd mood, to be honest.   And felt the change would be a good thing: however actually minor the change may be.

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, I had a quiet night in, tonight.

A quiet night in … and a few films in the collection I’d not actually sat down and watched.

Including the one I’ve just finished watching, not twenty minutes ago.

The 2013 biopic that is … 

And yes: much as I’m a fan of both Apple — as a maker of rather good products — and of the man himself — very few CEO’s are that charismatic — I’m not sure the film managed to hit the mark …


The Daily Teaser — 5-2-2015: Frankenfoods … 

Right … 

I’m officially up … about … and ready to rock and roll … !

Well, OK … maybe not rock and roll: possibly mildly minuet … ?

At ANY rate … !   At any rate, I’m up and about: and ready to get going.

Although, to be frank … ?  Today’s going to be a quiet day: with little more in mind, than writing a #Teaser or two.

And maybe watching a film.

I’ve a few in my digital collection I’ve not watched.

Maybe it’s about time I dug them up … 


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 4-2-2015: Facebookin’ …

You know, I’ve got to admit: I’m thinking of getting a book out.

Of the library, I should add.

Once I’ve finished the ones I’m ALREADY reading: I’m partway through Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb, so you know.

William Gibson’s The Peripheral is lined up, next.

Terry Pratchett’s A Slip Of The Keyboard lined up for after that.

I want to TRY and line up Invisible Me, by Old Peculiar regular, Debbi Mack, at some point: once I get a Kindle!   I can only hope Debbi’s doing print copies … !

The fact I’d LIKE to re-read Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant* — possibly the most psychologically murky of fantasy novels — has little to do with it!

There’s too many books: and too little time … !!!!¡!


The Daily Teaser — 4-2-2015

You know, that’s something … 

You’re probably aware I’ve had concerns about my street for a while: I’ve felt the amount of parked cars restricts emergency vehicle access.

There’s an up-side.

The various management agencies responsible for the road — as Rollason Way hasn’t been adopted by Essex County Council’s Highway’s Agency — have got permission to put double yellow lines down the street: in conjunction with a ticketing scheme.

Hopefully … ?   Hopefully, that’ll mean a fire engine can get down here: before a parked car kill someone … 


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Rollason Way: Congestion and Emergencies

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve written purely  about stuff other than films, or Dr Who.

Or posted up things other than the various Daily and Weekly Teasers.

Hopefully … ?

Hopefully, you’re enjoying those, by the way.
Either way?

Either way, a change of occasional pace — and a recognition that I live in a small, but growing, town — is nice.

As a the occasional reference to things OTHER than what’s on TV: or at the movies.

But, as I’m sure you’re aware … ?

As I’m sure you’re aware, I live in Brentwood: in Essex.

A small town best known for being one of the places where the Peasant’s Revolt started, way back when.

And where hit TV show, The Only Way Is Essex is filmed.

God help us!

At ANY rate … ?

You’ll possibly also be aware that I live on a road called Rollason Way: a road and estate that’s only been completed within the past few years.

An estate, in case you didn’t know, that’s a mixture of both privately owned and socially housed residents.
And an estate that’s always had its issues with parking.

The amount of over-parking in the area … ?

Has always been of some concern to me.

I’ve always personally felt the sheer number of parked cars on my street — some residents who can’t get into the limited carparks, some commuters who can’t get or afford spaces elsewhere — would block emergency vehicle access.

Indeed, that’s something an un-named spokesman told me was an issue, some five years ago: back when Rollason Way was a lot less crowded.


The Daily Teaser — 3-2-2015

Oh … 

Well, ok … 

I’m up late: which you’d expect, given how late I finished work.

But at least I’ve the day off, today.

And … ?

Well, I’m just listening to last night’s episode of The Unbelievable Truth.   It actually amazes me what you find out, listening to it.

Apparently … ?   Ireland’s biggest flooring specialist, Lino Ritchie, named itself after a well known American singer.

Where CAN you go wrong … ?


Monday, 2 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 2-2-2015: Groundhog Day

You know, I’m starting to think those of us who talk of global warming have a point.

After all, it’s February.

February: and I think I’ve woken up to what feel’s like this part of the UK’s coldest morning for a long time.

Frankly … ?

Well, frankly, I think my weather app agrees with me: it isn’t warm … !

To be equally honest … ?   To be equally honest, I’m pretty sure that — when I was younger — this part of the UK used to get that sort of temperature, in December: rather than late January/early February.

I’m sure I can remember snow, too.

Still … ?

It’s cold … but sunny.

There’s no snow, at the mo.

Frankly … ?

It could be warmer: but it could be worse … 


Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Daily Teaser — 1-2-2015

Oh, now that’s sad … 

It seems Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto, held captive by IS militants, has been beheaded.

At least, according to a video that’s been released by the group.

That’s a tragedy for his family: as other such killings have been for theirs.

I can only hope one thing.

That IS gives up doing this: it’s earning them nothing but animosity from those who could be friendlier to their cause.

Frankly?   I don’t see that happening.

Just as I don’t see Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh, the Jordanian pilot who they’ve held since December, getting out alive.