Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 31-3-2016

Oh, blimey, it’s getting late!

Actually, no it’s not: it’s only JUST gone eight in the morning.

But personally … ?

I usually like to get an early start: where possible.

Not to do so … ?

Seems to be wasting the day!

One upside, though?

Is that I’ve JUST had a look at the statistic for yesterday’s Teaser.

Is that — comparatively — it’s done rather well.

It’s all good.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 30-3-2016: Give God A Solo

Right …

I have a confession to make.

My guts HURT!

Frankly … ?

I think that’s a result of not having anything to eat, last night: after I got back from work.

It’s doubly painful, as it mean’s I’ve had to cancel seeing my nephew, Jude, today.

Not something I like doing, as you may realise.

The upside is that I’ll hopefully get to see my family on Sunday: the next time I have time off.


The Daily Teaser — 30-3-2016: Batman

Hmmm … 

A few days ago, now, I remember telling fellow Mac users of a nasty piece of ransomware that targeted people using a corrupted version of Transmission.

An issue since solved.

Lincolnshire County Council was ALSO attacked: again, an issue since sorted, but still worrying.

Something that DID catch my eyes, in the BBC’s Technology news, though … ?

Was this piece: telling us about a new piece of ransomware, doing the rounds … that infected small networks.

I don’t think something like that will target my machine: after all, it’s one individual Mac: and the variants are targeting Windows based networks.

But I can at least be careful.


I’ve been talking to at least two local Councillors about this: and will be forwarding the piece, as and when … 


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 29-3-2016

Hmmm … 

I’ve got last night’s episode of Gotham on, in the background.

Mr Freeze is doing his horribly horrible Freeze thing to people: and in the Gotham take on the Batman mythos, has a sympathetic motivation.

Oh … and Penguin’s ended up in Arkham Asylum: having something of a Spartacus moment … 

But that’s not all that caught my eye.   During the ad break, I saw a trailer for the upcoming Warcraft movie.

Not something I think I’d be going for.

I’ve picked up the impression, over the years, that, while video and role-playing games make for great games, they don’t necessarily make for great movies.

Which I can’t help but think is a shame.

In part … ?   Because that doesn’t necessarily do the games any favours.

But also means film companies aren’t necessarily looking to books as a source for a film.

Which is possibly a bigger shame.


Monday, 28 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 28-3-2016

You know, I THINK one can over do the Easter eggs.

Well … 

Possibly overdo the Easter eggs.

At least, I think it is: going by how my teeth felt, yesterday.

Personally, though … ?   I have to add that my nephew, Jude — who’s five — isn’t a fan of chocolate.

He ended up with one of those Lego Ninjago toys: something I know he enjoyed.

To be frank … ?

I’m blowed if I know who got him THAT … !


Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 27-3-2016

Oh, I hate that … !

I’m in the UK: in case you didn’t realise.

And, early this morning, Britain’s clocks went forward: meaning it’s now British Summer Time.

Which is possibly why it’s raining, obviously … 

At ANY rate?

It ALSO means that — in theory — I’ve had an extra hour in bed.

You’d THINK I’d be relatively cheerful about that, wouldn’t you?

You’re right.

I will.

At least, once I stop yawning, I will … 


Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 26-3-2016

You know, I had a letter from my landlords, the other day.

Mostly … ?   Mostly reminding people that the street’s looking a bit … messy.

One aspect that caught me?

Was getting warned about the amounts of dog poo, on the street: and reminded we can be fined for letting our dogs — if we have one — foul the streets.

Fair dos: if you’ll excuse the phrase!

I have to admit, though, I quickly emailed my landlady.

Mostly, because I felt that having a few more dog mess bins on street would be help.

The thing is … ?

That video shows the corner of my street, as you walk towards my building.

I could’ve sworn there was a dog mess bin, there!

Oy … veh … 


Friday, 25 March 2016

The Friday Question Set — 18-3-2016

Right … 

It’s Friday, again … 

And, unsurprisingly … ?

I’m due in at work, this evening.

Which should be fun.

But … ?

Won’t stop me posting up … this … !


The Daily Teaser — 25-3-2016: The Queen of Soul.

It’s not often I laugh at technology.


But I was going through the Technology news, late, last night.

And noted that Microsoft had designed an artificially intelligent chat-bot — something that can talk to people as if it were a real person — and then released it onto Twitter.

Twenty four hours LATER … and the thing started issuing Tweets that — apparently — supported genocide … and Adolf Hitler.

Me, being ME … ?   I laughed!

Especially when I found out Microsoft had edited some of the more … controversial Tweets.


I can’t help but think a couple of things.

One?   That Apple would’ve done things a lot better!

And secondly?

That maybe Microsoft shouldn’t be editing the things Tweets, or code.

After all — and correct me I’m wrong, here — but isn’t PART of what makes AI, AI, the fact it can learn.

Shouldn’t Microsoft be leaving it, to learn how to behave better?


Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 24-3-2016

Well, FINALLY … !

I had yesterday off.

Which sounds strange, I know.

But … ?

Well, frankly, it let me do some housework: Handy, that.

Oh, and do my usual thing: posting up three posts for the Gazette.

And finally … ?

Well, finally, managing to catch Steve Jobs.

Thank heavens I did.

It’s a great film.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Steve Jobs — THE Biopic … !

23rd March, 2016.

You know, it’s not that often I get to watch a film, these days.

In point of fact, I’ve been discussing that with a few friends, over the past few days.

Between work, writing the Teasers, and a column for the Gazette?

I don’t get as much time as I’d want.

Actually … ?   Most of the conversations centred on me subscribing to Netflix.

From what I’m told, it’s services are pretty good.

But even at its cheapest?

It’s something I’m still thinking is … uneconomical: I usually only get the equivalent of one movie a month, and, while I’m aware there’s some damn good TV on there, as well?

It’s still not necessarily the first thing I’m going to be spending money on.

At ANY rate … ?

At ANY rate, this month’s unusual.

For recent times.

I‘ve managed to see three films.

And tonight’s film: one I’ve been meaning to catch for a while.

The biopic that is … 


The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 23-3-2016: Football Crazy

Right … 

I’ve actually got a Wednesday off!

Wouldn’t you know it … ?

And, on top of everything else … ?   I’ve got phone calls to make!

I’ve just had a letter, telling me exactly how much housing benefit I’m getting: and therefore, how much rent I have to pay.

All good.

Bar the feeling of being rushed.

It’s Wednesday.

What else is new?


The Daily Teaser — 23-3-2016

Right … ! 

That’s that done!

I don’t know about you, but I get a certain amount of help with my rent.

Frankly … ?

It’s what makes living in my flat affordable.

Just recently … ?   I’ve had my benefit reviewed: in light of the rent going up.

It’s still not to bad.

All I have to do know … ?   Is find the letter that tells me how much my rent actually IS … so I know how much to pay … !

Wouldn’t you know it … ?


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 22-3-2016

Ooh, but that’s better!

A good night’s sleep, I should add!

I think I mentioned, yesterday, that I’d had a bad couple of nights sleep.

Which thankfully?   I seem to have gotten over: purely by getting an early night.

Well, an early night with a copy of Weaveworld: still a fantastic read, after all this time.

Of course, I’ve got up, this morning … ?

To last night’s episode of Gotham.

And the news that there’s been explosions at Brussels Airport.

Not the best of starts … !


Monday, 21 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 21-3-2016: Twiddly Twiddly Twitter … !

You know … I think I’ve had a bad night … !

At least, going by the way I feel, right now.

Most mornings?

I’m up, about and ready to go.

This morning?

Well, if I wasn’t working I probably would’ve gone back to sleep!

Oh, well … 

Onwards and upwards … !


Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 20-3-2016

Oh, that’s the OTHER reason … 

I mentioned, yesterday, that I was doing a night shift: or an evening one, if you want picky.

6:30 to half past midnight.

I had to admit to being a touch nervous: it’s been a while since I’ve done one of those late shifts.

I’ve also realised something ELSE … 

And that’s the reason I’m grateful for not — usually — doing those late nights.

The time I get to bed is usually ridiculous.

And the morning after … ?

My head usually feels as if I’m going to yawn it off … 


Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 19-3-2016

Hmmm … 

I’m working, tonight: which is all good.

But I’m doing six thirty until the branch closes.

Something I’ve not done for a while.

Understandably, I think, I’m a little apprehensive.

Partly … ?   I don’t necessarily want to be seen as completely incapable.

But also … ?

I’m blowed if I can remember what to do … !

Oy heh … !


Friday, 18 March 2016

The Friday Question Set — 18-3-2016

Oh, boy, how easy is it to run out of time?


Frankly, I’m at work, today: doing an afternoon shift.

AND trying to do two posts, copy something to a stick, pay my bills … 

AND run around like a headless chicken!

A blogger’s work is never done!


The Daily Teaser — 18-3-2016: The Tolpuddle Martyrs

Blimey … !

Paul Daniels has died … 

I don’t know about you, but I used to watch the Paul Daniels magic show, back in the 80s and 90s: and thoroughly enjoyed it.

But know the man had a serious brain tumour: something he’s announced last month.

It’s sad.

But I’m left wondering something: especially as yesterday ALSO saw the death of TV presenter, Cliff Michelmore.

Exactly who’s next?

We do seem to be losing a few celebrities, just recently … 


Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 17-3-2016: St Patrick’s Day

Oh, that’s … a shame … 

It seems that Brentwood’s branch of McDonalds is due to close down.

That’s unfortunate for workers, there, who can’t afford to make the shift to the franchise owners other branches.

Although I have to add, I’d heard — after talking to one member of staff who’d come to where I work, for a bucket of chicken  — that there was spoke sort of problem with the branch’s air vent system.

One that, because it was expensive to deal with, had contributed to the branch’s financial troubles.

Either way … ?

Hopefully, it’ll mean more visitors for where I work.

And, possibly, a few more hours.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 16-3-2016: Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis

I’m working today: so you know.

So I’m feeling a little rushed.

But I couldn’t help but notice my local newspaper — the Brentwood Gazette — has stories about the local branch of McDonalds.


Apparently, Brentwood’s branch is to close on 6th April, of this year.

Can’t think WHERE the Gazette picked up that piece of news.

And really don’t know which unidentified KFC worker they’re quoting!


The Daily Teaser — 16-3-2016

Oh … 

I don’t know how much you know about noted UK TV serials.

But, if you DO … ?

You would’ve come across the work of the Andersons, back in the day: things like Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90.

Gerry died in 2012.

Sylvia, co-creator of many of the key serials, and the voice of Lady Penelope?

Died today.

She’ll be missed.


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 15-3-2016

Oh, ouch … 

Or  possibly ‘sniffle’ … 

I think we can SAFELY say that, when I head into town, later … ?

I’m going to have to pick up some Lemsip.

Or, at least, some cough mixture.

I think we can safely say I’m coming down with something … 


Monday, 14 March 2016

The X-Files 2016: Episode 6 — My Struggle, Pt 2

Oooooooh, but I HATE that … !

I’ve something of a genre TV fans.

One who spends little actual time watching TV.   Well …

Tv that hasn’t caught his eye …

One series that HAS caught my eye, over the years?

Is the all-American, paranoia-fest that IS … The X-Files.

And, as you can imagine?   The rebooted six-episode miniseries that’s been screened on Channel Five for the past few weeks, is something that I’ve been watching religiously.

Including tonight’s final episode: Episode Six,  called My Struggle, Pt 2.

And I have to ask …

Did anyone else fall off the edge of the cliff-hanger?


The Daily Teaser — 14-3-2016

That was … odd … and slightly unnerving.

I have dreams.   We ALL do.

One I had last night … ?

Had me getting invited to a group: that, as it turned out, was one that was unacceptable.

Seriously unacceptable.

And not one I’d want to join.

My dream self … ?   Turned down the offers.

For which I’m truly thankful.

But it leaves me wondering what on EARTH my subconscious is telling me … !


Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 13-3-2016

You know, I THINK something’s happened … 

Possibly … 

Remember, yesterday was the first anniversary of the death of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death?

It was.

And I marked the day with yesterday’s Teaser … 

And … ?   By giving a friendly member of Maplins staffer my spare copy of Raising Steam.

I hope I don’t get in trouble.

I suddenly remembered, on the way back home, about the old Catalan tradition that forms the basis of World Book Night: of giving someone you fancy a book, as a token of affection.

I just hope the young lady doesn’t know that one: a boy could get in trouble … !


Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 12-3-2016: Sir Terry Pratchett.

You know, it’s not often I write about the day’s Teaser in the intro to a Teaser.

But … ?

Today’s the first anniversary of my favourite writer, Sir Terry Pratchett.

And I have to admit, I’m finding it a little sad: it’s a bit like remembering ones favourite rock star, on the anniversary of his death.

And there’s been a few of them gone, recently!

But, at any rate … ?

I’m working, tonight.

And thinking of a couple of things.

I’m thinking I’ve a spare copy of Raising Steam‡ I should give away … 

And, mentally, sending thoughts to Sir Terry’s surviving family.


Friday, 11 March 2016

The Friday Question Set — 11-3-2016

You know, I’ve got to confess: it’s Friday.

And, as ever, I’m at work.

Well … I‘m off to work, in a short time.

But … ?

I have to confess, I’ve got Radio 4 on, in the background: Sir Ian McKellen’s performing Seamus Heaney’s translation of the Aeneid.

Very soothing … !


The Daily Teaser — 11-3-2016

Right … 

That went well … 

I mentioned, yesterday, that I was due back into work: a day early.


Someone went off ill.

I’m not complaining, as this means I’ve earnt myself some overtime: and can (hopefully) leave some in my savings account.

Not that the cash in there, lasts for long, but at least I’ve got SOMETHING!

At ANY rate … ?

Today I’m OFFICIALLY back to work.

For nine hours.

OK, At least one nurse I know will give me a meaningful look, here … 

But that’s a long ol’ shift … !


Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 10-3-2016


I’m officially not having a day off.

Which sounds, strange, I know.

Originally, though?

I’d been rota’d to have today off.

But was contacted, last night, and asked to worked: as a colleague had gone off ill.

While I don’t like the loss of a day off, I’ve been getting more and more easily bored.

So a day’s work — and the cash that’ll bring in — is welcome.

It means I can put a little bit extra into my savings account.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser 9-3-2016: The Farewell Sermon

Yep … It’s a Wednesday.

And, for once … ?

I’ve got the day off.


Well, frankly, I’m going to be trying to do all sorts of stuff.

Mostly writing Teasers … AND shopping … 

But … Also … ?

Telling you to go and check the Ridley Scott directed The Martian.

It’s really rather good.


The Daily Teaser — 9-3-2016

You know, I was going to tell you I’d seen The Martian, last night.

Fantastic film I should add: Ridley Scott’s made one heck of an improvement on his earlier Prometheus.

But I’ve woken up to the news that film producer, Michael White, had died.   The man produced The Rocky Horror Picture Show, amongst other things.

What makes things worse … ?

Is that Sir George Martin, the Fifth Beatle, the man who produced them, has died at the age of 90.

Both deaths are saddening.


The Martian — Wow!

8th March, 2016.

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film.

Let me clarify that, if I can.


Sunday, I managed to see Dad’s Army.

There’s slightly more ironic ways ways to celebrate Mothers Day, but I don’t know if I could you what they are.

At ANY rate, when I say “… it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film,” what I MEAN is … 

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie … indoors … that I’ve bought or rented, myself.

Tonight, I did exactly that.

Tonight I rented out The Martian.

And whereas the last Ridley Scott film I saw — 2012’s Prometheus — was watchable, but flawed?

The Martian seems to tell us Scott is back on form … 


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 8-3-2016: International Women’s Day

You know, I’ve been thinking.

One thought that occurs?   Is about Transmission: the app that’s caused problems, recently, for Mac owners.

How on Earth did it get onto the manufacturers servers?   I don’t know if I could tell you that: but it seems the Transmission main servers suffered a hack attack, in the run-up to the problem.

The makers have since improved security, so hopefully, it shouldn’t happen again.

There’s something I’m wondering, though.

Transmission is the default BitTorrent client on Ubuntu desktop: so I have to ask if the hack attack means Ubuntu and other operating systems are safe from an attack like this.   In other words, an attack that sneaks malware onto a system, from legitimate software’s own servers.

I don’t know if I’ve got any answers, there.

But I HOPE if that’s the case?   It takes a long time to happen.


Monday, 7 March 2016

The X-Files 2016: Episode 5 — Babylon

You know, I am definitely yawning.

At least … I THINK I’m yawning.

No, scrub that … I’m yawning.

I think we can say I’ve had a long weekend.

And certainly had a long day at work.

At any rate … ?

I was yawning enough to think to myself that I should maybe — MAYBE — get an early night.

But then ended up thinking, “NO!”

Oh, yes.

You see … 

The X-Files was on.

And that’s not something I want to miss.


The Daily Teaser — 7-3-2016: The Dog and Bone

Well, it’s official: today, I’m back at work.

And actually looking forward to it.

Basically, the new set of offers start, today: which means the new set of offers come in … 

And the new staff contest comes starts.

Given I came in third in the recent one … ?

I’d like to get a head start … 


On other fronts … ?

Are you a Mac user, like me?

I would seriously suggest — if you are, and you’re a frequent user of popular BitTorrent app, Transmissionseriously suggest that you upgrade the software immediately.

Seemingly, the first piece of ransomware for OS X — called KeRanger — has been spotted in the wild: and it’s hidden in a poisoned copy of Transmission.

I’ve just update my copy to the relevant version: as a matter of mild urgency.

I’d rather NOT pay a ransom: and I’d rather you didn’t, either … 


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Dad’s Army — Don’t Panic … !

6th March, 2016.

You know, it’s been the weekend of my birthday: Friday, just gone, so you know.

AND Mother’s Day.

Which means that … 

Well … 

It’s been rather long.

And … ?

Well, Friday definitely saw a shirt with just a bit too much gorgonzola dip.

And today … ?

Well, today saw a staff meeting, this morning: I came in third in the staff competition, winning a small prize in the process.

And, this afternoons, in a sort of joint celebration of Mother’s Day, AND my birthday … ?

Me and my family … ?

With the mild sense of irony my family tends to occasionally exhibit, my family and I went to see Dad’s Army … 


The Daily Teaser — 6-3-2016

You know, it’s a Sunday.

And, as such?   I probably don’t have to go into work for the staff meeting: as I’ve booked the weekend off.

Especially as I’ve got something of a long — if pleasurable — day.

But frankly … ?

I want to see how I’ve done in this period’s up selling contest.

I’m competitive enough to see if I’ve placed.   One co-worker, famously, keeps bagging first place.   The real contest … ?   Is to see who came second!

At ANY rate … ?

That’s just an opener … 

The real fun … ?   Is that I’m off to see a movie … 


Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 5-2-2016: Saint Piran’s Day

Well, that’s another birthday done with.

Although I HAVE to add, my family DID manage to treat me to a posh meal: at a local branch of Wildwood.

I had the steak.

With chips.

Which was rather nice.

My shirt on the other hand?

My shirt, on the other hand, had the gorgonzola dip.

Wouldn’t you just know … ?


Friday, 4 March 2016

The Friday Question Set — 4-3-2016

Right … 

I’ve a Friday off: the first one for a while.

Well … 

I don’t know about you … 

But as it’s my birthday … ?

As it’s my birthday, I actually fancied a Friday off!

Who on EARTH wouldn’t … ?


The Daily Teaser — 4-3-2016

You know, I’m very tempted to say nothing … 

No, really … 

I’m tempted to say nothing … 

But, in truth … ?

Today’s my birthday: I’m another year older and wiser.

Well … 

Another year older, let’s put it that way.

I don’t know that I’m getting any wiser.

But … ?   I AM realising that, the older I get … ?

The less time I — indeed all of us — get: and the nearer we all get to death.

I don’t know about you … ?

I like being alive.

And death, the great big end that comes to us all?

Scares me the life out of me … 


Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 3-3-2016

That’s some to … 

Well, not worry about: but certainly watch, I think.

Here in the UK, the Government’s trying to introduce what it calls the Investigatory Powers bill into law: allowing for greater surveillance of our internet use.

I’m concerned … mostly as a matter of politeness.

Seemingly?   Although the Home Secretary has strengthened the various privacy aspects of the law, so people’s privacy is better protected, it still forces ISPs to keep records of websites visits, and internet use.

Granted, there’s upsides in investigating criminal and terrorist cases.

But I really don’t like the idea.

I’d rather not have the government reading over my shoulder, thank you.

These powers allow them to.

I think … ?   I think they’d be open to abuse*.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 2-3-2016

Right … 

Again, with the whole Wednesday thing: and yes … 

Today, I’m at work, today.

I’ll be off in a few minutes time, in fact.

After I’ve done the important thing.

Yes … 

I’m going to make myself … a packed lunch … !


The Daily Teaser — 2-3-2016: The Pound

Right then … !

I’ve manage to put those in.

I mentioned, yesterday, that I’d had the letter from my landlords: telling me my rent had gone up by two  pence.

And that I’d need to take them into Brentwood Council.

Which I’ve now done.

My only problem … ?

Is that I’ve no idea how long any decision will take.

Partly … ?   Apparently, they’ve had delays, because they’ve had to investigate this little lot.

But mostly … ?

I suspect the usual amount of delays one gets when a large organisation gets a LOT of Work to do at one time.

Oy veh … 


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Daily Teaser — 1-3-2016: Saint David’s Day

Oh, blimey … 

My rent’s gone up … !

I would love to be in a position to own my flat: I really would.

But that’s not going to happen unless I win the lottery!

At any rate: I rent.   And with the help I get … ?   It’s at an affordable price.

Yesterday … ?

I got the letter that told me how my my rent’s going up by, from my landlords.

I have To take that, and my last six payslips, into the council: so they can suitably adjust my housing benefits.

Even though my rent’s only actually gone up … 

By tuppence … !