Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 31-3-2015

It’s officially Tuesday: and today, I’m back at work.

OK, granted, I’m probably going to have a work with my boss about that: that’s not exactly a liveable amount of income.

But’s a couple of upsides.

On the minor front … ?   The reminder app I got for my phone — called SplenDO — seems to work well enough.

And Sunday — it ’s only today I’ve thought to tell you — I managed to have an interview at Café Nero: during the branch’s Recruitment Day.

I think that went well.

Think, note: I won’t know until Friday.

I’m vaguely hopeful, though: although I’m enough of a realist to not get those hopes up too high.


Hopefully I made enough of a good impression to bag the part time vacancy … 


Monday, 30 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 30-3-2015

You know, blurt … 

Thingie … 

Wossname … Rhubarb … With a head on it … 

Yargle … !   Argh … !

Bleagh … 

I swear, I will never get the hang of daylight saving!

Just in case you hadn’t worked out, clocks have gone forward, here in the UK: the annual change in times, at the end of March and October.

It always throws my body clock out.

Not by much … but just enough to make sure I need a GOOD long run up to a keyboard … !


Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 29-3-2015: The Royal Albert Hall

Hang on, what … ?

What … ??

Have you been watching the news?

Then I’m sure you’re aware that Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, has been suspended.

As a result?   As a result, BBC Director General, Lord Tony Hall — the man who suspended Clarkson — is getting 24-hour a day police protection.

As a result of getting death threats over Clarkson’s sacking.

Can I ask a question, here?

How bloody stupid is that … ?

Look, I can understand people being upset about Clarkson’s sacking: even though I feeling his suspension’s the right thing to do, given the circumstances.

But death threats?

Exactly what kind of bloody idiot issues death threats over a TV show?

Dear GOD!


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ripples … 

OK … 

I was going to write this post, briefly and quickly, on my phone.

As you may or MAY not realise, I‘ve a new phone: a Sony Xperia E1.

It’s a nice little phone: one I’ve downloaded a basic writing app for, as well as the Blogger app.

In the vague expectation of writing something on the proverbial go, for Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar.

Quite WHAT, I don’t know.   But I’d think of something, no doubt.

But frankly … ?

Well, the version of Android on my phone — Kitkat, apparently — is broadly similar enough to iOS to be reassuring to me.

But different enough to be bloody awkward.

I couldn’t work out how to select ALL the text I’d written, in order to transfer it to the Blogger app, in other words!


The Daily Teaser — 28-3-2015

You know I’m working at the moment, don’t you … ?

You didn’t?

I’m working at the moment.

Well, not literally, obviously … !

But I’m AM in employment: which is nice, after four years of job-hunting.

On the other hand … ?

On the other hand, I’ve seen my hours for next week.

I think I’ve got a lot of free time coming … 


Friday, 27 March 2015

The Friday Question Set — 27-3-2015

You know, I’ve got to admit: I’m back working.

Or AT work, I should say.

Obviously, not right at the moment, it HAS to be said … !

At ANY rate, I’ve seen my hours for next week.   And I have to say, it looks like I’ve got a LOT of free time on my hands!

Can you do me a favour?

Remind me to go into Café Nero on Sunday: they’re having some sort of recruitment day!


The Daily Teaser — 27-3-2015: World Theatre Day

Blimey … 

You heard about the plane that crashed, on Tuesday … ?

I got watching the news, yesterday: after the voice recordings from the plane’s flight recorder got leaked by someone.

It turns out that the co-pilot — one Andreas Lubitz — locked the plane’s captain out of the flight deck, when the Captain went to the loo.

And then, in the words of the French investigator at yesterday’s big news-conference, sent the plane into a “deliberate descent.”

The investigator made a point that he “wasn’t calling it suicide,” as “that’s not what this is.”

According to some German newspapers, the chap suffered with depression.

Personally … ?

Personally, there’s few things that make me feel ill.

And personally?   I can understand deep depression: I’ve suffered with the condition, and those bleak moments can be VERY bleak, and force one to focus on NOTHING except oneself.

But still speaking personally … ?   I THINK I can understand feeling depressed enough to want to take  my own life.   Although I’ve not — thankfully — been there for a while.

But ill … ?   Yes.   The thought that someone could willingly take their own life — and those of 150 other people — has left me feeling decidedly queasy … 


Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 26-3-2015: Language Is A Computer Virus … 

Oh, now that’s a thing … !

Bless him, you may — or may not — have realised I’ve a four year old nephew: called Jude.

He’s got quite quite a daffy sense of humour, Jude.

And he’s getting older: which is life, I’m afraid.

But … ?

But one of the pleasure of watching a child grown, is seeing them learn things.

Bless him, I think we can say Jude’s learnt to write his name.

Or START to, anyway!

That’s … 

Well … 

That’s all good!


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 25-3-2015: The Queen Of Soul

Right … 

I’m feeling vaguely rushed, at the moment.

Basically … ?

Well, basically, I have something of a set routine: and like — on my days off — to get out of the house, at least once.


I’d like to pay a visit to Brentwood Library, today: just because … !

And possibly play a bit more, with the camera on my new phone.

At ANY rate … ?

I’m feeling vaguely rushed … 

As the library closes at one!


The Daily Teaser — 25-3-2015: La Fenice

Blimey … 

That could be interesting … 

I have to admit to enjoying science fiction TV shows.

Or, at least, TV of an fantastical nature.

One series that I tried to make a point of catching?

Was The X-Files, the Chris Carter led series following David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully: two FBI officers, dedicated to investigating the stranger case coming across the FBI’s collective desks.

Well … ?   It looks like Fox TV are doing a six episode revival: at some point in the not too distant future.

Now, while I’ve found the mid-season break that’s plague Gotham VERY off-putting, I have to admit: six episodes means (hopefully) no such delay.

I think I might look forward to that … 


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 24-3-2015: World Tuberculosis Day

Oh, now that’s a thing … 

I think employment is either doing me some good … or doing me some bad.

One of the two.

Either way … ?

Well, either way, I’m finding finding it VAGUELY hard to get motivated, this morning.

You HAVE to love that, don’t you … ?


Monday, 23 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 23-3-2015

Right now … ?

Right now, I’m yawning my head off.

Frankly, I’m up early: after agreeing to do some overtime.

Which meant getting up at six, to get to work for eleven.

Oy yeh … !

Mad … ?

I don’t know.

Although I’m not turning down the overtime … … !


Sunday, 22 March 2015

The The Daily Teaser — 22-3-2015: Introducing The Beatles … 

Hmmm … 

Looks like I can do that … 

Sorry, I’ve been playing with my new phone, again … !

Turns out I can take photos: which you possibly guessed, hadn’t you … ?

These day’s, that’s a given.

But the camera on it?   Is one of those that can take panoramic photos.

Like the one I took, on Crown Street: just behind Brentwood High Street.

Hmm … 

Nice to have, I think.

Although how much use it is to me?

Well, only time will tell … 


Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 21-3-2015

Oh, well, now … 

I have — wait for it — a new phone … 

… … 

OK, that’s not so much of a big announcement, now is it?

That it isn’t … !

But I’m rather pleased I’ve gotten hold of one.

For starters?   For starters, it now means I can tweet on the go.   Which was the point of the exercise, frankly.

Another thing?   While I’ve not managed to pick up an iPhone — not on my money! — I have managed to pick up a cheap an cheerful Android phone: complete with all the difficulties in syncing to a Mac that implies.

I could well have got one that’s cheaper.

But it would’ve been a Windows phone.   Me being me … ?

I’d rather not, thank you … !


Friday, 20 March 2015

The Friday Question Set — 20-3-2015

Can I admit to feelings of existential dread, huge — and indeed meaningful — doubt and deeply intense anxiety?

Or, at least, mild nervousness?


I’ve gone and bought a new phone.


Because my carriers have stopped letting me send Tweets via text messages?   I had to go and get a cheap smart phone — as they seem to be proliferating — so I could use an on-the-go app to do so.

Frankly?   I’d’ve killed for an iPhone.

But settled for a older Sony, running Android: I’d rather not have a Windows phone, thank you.

Either way … ?   Either way, the dread, doubt, anxiety, uncertainty — and nerves — are down to one thing.

I’ve not worked out how to get the back off, to put the battery and SIM card in.

It’s going to be fun setting the thing up!   And yes … that’s heavily ironic tone … 


The Daily Teaser — 20-3-2015: La langue française

Wouldn’t you know it … ?

It wasn’t there … !

You’ve probably realised I’ve been keeping an eye open for a new — and cheap — smart phone.

Mostly where my carriers have STOPPED supporting sending Tweets by text message.

And, much as I’d LOVE to get an iPhone, I’m having to go with cheap — really cheap! — Android jobs.

At least that way, there’s an app that let’s me do this, on the go.

The one I had my eye on, though … ?   For a tenner?

Out of stock: and not in until Tuesday!

Chas and Dave had exactly the word … 


Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 19-3-2015: Mars Needs Women … !

Do you read the Brentwood Gazette, at all … ?

Then you’ll know I write a weekly brain teaser for them.

And … ?   Well I mentioned in yesterday’s weekly Teaser — all about the Tolpuddle Maryrs — that I was looking out for a new phone.

Well … I managed to have a look in my carrier’s local shop: in Brentwood High Street.

As you can imagine?   FRANKLY, I’d prefer an iPhone: you’d possibly guessed, hadn’t you?

But right at the moment … ?

Right at the moment, I’ll be happy to get whatever cheap Android phone’s going.   So long as I can Tweet from the thing … !


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 18-3-2015: The Tolpuddle Martyrs

I think I — like many of us in Europe and the Developed world — have a mobile phone.

An old Nokia that’s done well for me over the past, oooh, DECADE or so.

And that I’d probably keep hole of for the NEXT ten years.

If it wasn’t for the fact my carriers — O2, so you know — have stopped letting me send Tweets, via SMS message.


Thankfully … ?

THANKFULLY, I’ve managed to have a look in the local O2 shop: they seem to have a couple of cheap Android phones.

Although, yes, you’re right: and know me, well enough, by now to realise one thing.

Frankly, I’d rather have an iPhone!


The Daily Teaser — 18-3-2015

Hmmm … 

Nice quiet Wednesdays … 

Quiet … but busy … 

Frankly?   Frankly, I’m going to be busily writing one more Teaser: which will last me up until the end of March.

Then got moving on the associated slideshows.

Which is the real job!

With that said?

Let’s get a move on … !


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 17-3-2015: Saint Patrick and Other Irishness … 

Oh, well, now … Gotham’s back on … 

Which is nice to know, it has to be said.

And I’ve got to admit, I’ve not — as yet — sat down and watched it.

Something things are more important, And RIGHT at the moment … ?   It’s last night’s episode of Jam a Minute: where Gyles Brandreth’s doing rather well.

But I will sit down and watch it: and the rest of the series.

Whether I’ll watch series 2, is something I don’t know: in part because I don’t watch enough Channel 5 to catch any announcements about future air dates.   But   additionally?

Because that mid-season break is bloody annoying … 


Monday, 16 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 16-3-2015

Hmmm … 

I’m assuming you follow the news from time to time?

I do.   And can’t help but notice that three young men — in their late teens — have been found: and sent back from Turkey.

After Turkish police detained them on their way to join IS, in Syria.

Personally … ?   It’s nice to know that at least some teens have been stopped.

However?   I’m going to be a little controversial, here.   

I think we can’t let children go and fight for IS.   They are too young — I believe — to make a fully informed choice about this.

But I’ve healed the view, now that for adults — ADULTS — to go and fight in Syria — whether for IS, or with Kurdish forces — should be allowed to go.

I’ve only a half thought out rationale for this.   But, with the media storm around the actions of Jihadi John, and its apparent lionisation of volunteers fighting with Kurdish forces in the area … ?

And the fact George Orwell — possibly one of Britain’s best loved writers — fought in the Spanish Civil War?

I think we need to have a better balance of views of Brits fighting abroad.


Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 15-3-2015

Hmmm … 

You know, for a day where I have nothing to do … ?

For a day where I have nothing to do, I’ve actually got stuff — in theory — to do.

Well … I say stuff … 

Mostly shopping.

But a few other bits, as well.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting used to the idea of having fruit around … 


Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 14-3-2015

You know, I’m in a quandary.

Well, not a quandary, I’m just up, early.

Yes, it’s that time of the month.

The time of the month, when there’s a staff meeting at, work.

Which has me up at silly o’clock, frankly.

But my quandary?   Has nothing to do with it.

I’ve been thinking I’d like to finish off Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Quest.

It’s a nice riveting story, the character’s are sympathetic, the plot’s jogging along to a climax.

But, of course, it’s a library book.   So I’ve only so long, to finish it, before I have to return it.

But, of course, I’d like to mark the death of Terry Pratchett, somehow: probably by reading the disc world series, again.

Oh, I’ve a copy of A Slip Of The Keyboard to dip in and out of.

Otherwise things would be serious.


Friday, 13 March 2015

The Friday Question Set — 13-3-2015

Right … 

I’ve got to admit to feeling slightly rushed, at the moment.

Frankly, I want to try and get a couple of slideshows done: for my regular Daily Teasers*.

And need to prepare for an early — unreasonably early — staff meeting at work.

That … and cook dinner.

And quietly try to sit down with A Slip Of The Keyboard, the collected essays of Terry Pratchett.

I want to mark the man’s death, SOMEHOW … 


The Daily Teaser — 13-3-2015

I have to say, today, I’m quietly mourning the loss of a friend.

Or, at least, a sort of friend.

I’m a fan of the late Terry Pratchett: and HAVE been, for more years than I care to admit to.

After reading near enough everything the man wrote?   Came to see him both as friend, literary hero, and all round good chap.

His contracting Alzheimer’s Disease, in 2007?   Was especially nasty, especially as the condition killed my Gran.


Yesterday, Sir Terry died: of natural causes.

I’m gutted: as are a few friends of mine, who equally saw him as friend and favourite author.   (I know one old friend, Victoria, was finding work difficult: as she told me, herself, news of his death left her unable to concentrate.   I know what she meant: I felt physically nauseous.)

Whatever I fell?   The fact is, my favourite author is dead.

I’m quietly mourning.

And offering my condolences to Lyn and Rhianna Pratchett, his wife and daughter, on what must be one of the worst few days of their lives.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett — 28 April 1948 to 12 March 2015: Oh … Fuck … 

Yes … 

I know … 

I don’t USUALLY swear in title of a post, here on Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar.

No, really … 

But I’ve just LITERALLY got home from my mothers.

I’ve been mowing her lawn, today, so you know.

There’s ALSO very few days when a piece of news makes me feel physically sick.

Today’s the day both happened.

Today is the day Sir Terry Pratchett — Alzheimer’s sufferer, Assisted Death campaigner, writer, ex-journalist, former publicity man for three nuclear generators, and, frankly, my literary hero — died.

And believe me, writing the word ‘died’ is possibly the most hideous word I can imagine writing.   And the most difficult.

Today, Terry Pratchett died.

And, right now … ?

I, along with many others, feel as if I’ve lost a friend.


The Daily Teaser — 12-3-2015: It’s The Real Thing … 

 Did I mention I had a copy of The Imitation Game?

And that I’d both successfully figured out how to copy the thing — or back it up, strictly speaking — AND managed to watch it.

Last night, in fact.

Can I make a suggestion, here … ?

Go catch The Imitation Game.   It’s seriously worthwhile.


The Imitation Game: Is A Great Film!

11th March, 2015.

It has to be said, I was going to open this post with the line, “I’m a sucker for a good film.”

Which — in a sense — is true.

I like watching good films.

But it struck me that opening with that line?

Was that opening with “I’m a sucker for a good film” would possibly be just a bit too glib.

Too superficial … shallow … 

Too … 

Yeah … I think you get my point.

That opener was way to shallow an opening.   Too shallow … 

Given the fact I wanted to tell you about a serious movie: one I know I’ve just been wanting to catch, ever since I heard of its making.

And release, last year.

The 2014, WW2 era drama, Morten Tyldum directed, The Imitation Game.

And wow … 

I think it’s been worth the wait.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 11-3-2015: The Daily News

You know, it was my birthday, last Wednesday.

And I really don’t expect presents.


On the other hand … ?

It was nice to get hold of the Game Of Thrones box set.

And it has to be said: I’ve never read the original novels.   But the series?

The series is very entertaining!


The Daily Teaser — 11-3-2015

You know, sometimes, things are handy.

I’ve had a copy of RipIt — an app that let’s me back-up my DVDs, without the copy protection — for some time.

And only really ever used it to copy a DVD that HandBrake found otherwise difficult to access.

I realised — last night — that I might ALSO burn those copied contents of a DVD to a blank DVD.

I tried it, last night.

It worked.

Not that — as a result — I’m going to pirate DVDs and then sell them to my neighbours, obviously.

But it DOES mean I’ve a method of backing things up.

Always handy.


DVD Back-ups

You know, I’ve not written much about the technology I’ve got.

Much as I’d LOVE to be working for MacWorld … ?   Frankly, I don’t the technology know-how.

But … ?

I DO know that I write well: and that, when I feel I have something to write about, I try to: as clearly and as distinctly, as possibly.

This post is — hopefully — going to be one of those occasions.

It’s about … 

Backing up … 


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 10-3-2015

Bleugh … !

I have to admit to having had some thing of a late night, last night.

At work, believe it or not.

Through no deliberate fault of my own, I should add.

Believe it or not … ?

I was due off at 10·30.   Had finished off wiping down and cleaning the restaurant area, counted my till, and headed off … 

And got home.

Only to realise I’d gone home … with the office keys.

Talk about an embarrassed pause … … … 

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, I managed the late night … because I’took the things back to work: and got there just before the place was due to shut.

Eventually getting to bed, by one, and asleep by two.

Right now … ?

Right now, I’m hoping you can understand WHY the bleugh … !


Monday, 9 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 9-3-2015: Strike It Rich

Ooooh … 

THAT’S something to look forward to!

You know — or possibly don’t — that it was my birthday, last week?

It was: I’m officially another year older.

And have an extra birthday present.   Bless, my mother got a huge thank you: as she’d managed to dig me up a DVD copy of the Benedict Cumberbatch film, The Imitation Game.

It’s about Alan Turing, in case you didn’t know: who’s fascinated me for years.

As did his work at Bletchley Park, during the war.


Frankly, I’m working, tonight.


I’ll be glued to it, during the week … 


Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 8-3-2015: The Hitchhiker’s Guide … 

Oh, well, THAT seems to works … 

I don’t know about you, but I have a fair collection of films: backed up onto an external hard drive.


Occasionally, it’s handy to be able to burn off a copy of a film onto DVD: purely for personal use, obviously.
Now, I confess, I’ve using the open source app, Burn, if I want to burn off the occasional disk image.

But, wanting to use an alternative to iDVD, last night?

I thought I’d give Burn’s DVD burning abilities a go.

I’ve not completely checked the results on a DVD player, as yet: although they do play on Lion’s DVD playing software.

Handy to know.

And, if the results play in a regular DVD player?   That’ll be even handier … !


Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 7-3-2015

You know, I’ve got to admit, I’ve got The Musketeers on.

Courtesy of the BBC’s iPlayer Service, I should add: after kicking myself for forgetting to record it!

Exciting stuff, this week: turns out Porthos has found his father, and it’s Liam Cunningham.

Who get around a bit.

This, Dr Who, Game of Thrones … 

The man get’s about.

Personally … ?   I’m ALSO half convinced I’ve seen him playing Ancient Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco.

But it turns out it was Brian Brown.

Possibly an easy mistake to make … 


Friday, 6 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 6-3-2015

You know, tight now … ?

Right now I’m actually feeling rather chipper.

Which is odd: especially when you consider I was up late, watching a movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, if you must know!

Which is one HELL of a lot of fun.

OK, granted, it’s not great art.

But then, it’s a story about four turtles that talk and do ninjitsu!

Who’s looking for art … ?


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Now, THAT’S Fun … !

5th March, 2015.

You know, it’s not often I do this.

No, really.

I don’t: not often.

Which has possibly got you wondering what the HELL I’m talking about, hasn’t it?

Well, if you hadn’t guessed, it’s not that often I watch two films in the space of the one week.

This week?

This week, I have, though.

What’s more … ?   The two films in question are both very good: and very different.

Monday … ?   Well, on Monday, I managed to catch the murky — and really, very good — Australian horror film, The Babadook.

Tonight, on the other hand … ?

Tonight, though, I caught something else I’d been meaning to watch.

The 2014 release that is … Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It’s as different from The Babadook as a film can be.

Just as good: but very different … and a lot of fun.


The Daily Teaser — 5-3-1968

I am now, officially, another year older.

No.   I’m not telling you: before you ask … !

You cheeky person, you … !

At ANY rate … ?   At any rate, I’m now a year older.   And mildly revelling in the fact I’ve been given the a copy of series one to four of popular series, Game of Thrones*.

Personally … ?

I’m VERY aware I’m going to be doping a couple of things.   Lot’s of ripping.

And a LOT of binge watching!



Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 4-3-2015: The Windy City

Quiet … 

THAT’s the way of it … 


Which is sort of the way I like it, frankly.

My birthday, before you ask: with all that entails.

Frankly … ?

A few MORE cards, and a pile of cash would’ve been nicer, but you can’t have EVERYTHING!


The Daily Teaser — 4-3-2015: The Birthday Present … 


You know, I WAS planning to try and get some sleep, last night.



Managed to get talking — via SMS — with an old friend.

Which was nice.

It ALSO amazes me the kind of thing you get talking about, at that time of night … !


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Daily Teaser — 3-4-2015

You know I’m a film watcher, don’t you … ?

I am: and one that tends to write about them, afterwards.

If you look under the various tags at the bottom of the page — especially the films, film, movie or movies ones — you’ll find the various posts I’ve done about them, over the years.

You’ll ALSO find the post I did about last night’s film: The Babadook.

I’d like you to read that post.   I think I’ve done a nicely written one about the film.

I’m not too worried, though.

So long as — and this is the important bit — so long as you watch The Bababdook.

It’s probably one of the three best films I’ve seen.


Monday, 2 March 2015

The Babadook: Wow!

2nd March, 2015.

OK …  

Do you believe the hype?

No, that’s a fairly honest question, there.

Do you believe that, if you hear something getting talked about — very favourably — that it’s something you should have a look at?

Or are you, like me, who’s prepared to take the hype with a pinch or two of salt?

I think that, at my age, a pinch of salt is usually worth having.

Sometimes, though … ?

Sometimes, it turns out favourable hype — or favourable word-of-mouth — turns out to be justified.

The film I’ve just sat and watched, tonight?

Was the 2014, Jennifer Kent directed film, The Babadook.

And yes … 

Wow’ is justified.   I think we can believe the hype about The Babadook.


The Daily Teaser — 2-3-2015

You know, I’m glad I spent most of yesterday — at least, when I wasn’t working — indoors.

Tidying, mostly.

But also … humping furniture around … !

Basically, the second-hand Mac Pro I bought, last year, isn’t wi-fi capable: so I’d had it on a dining room table, near to the router.

Which got a bit … cramped.

So, yesterday … ?   Yesterday, I manage to move a spare set of mini-shelves I’d had for years.

Handily … ?   Handily, that’s freed up a bit of space.

But, boy … did I find a lot of dust … !