Sunday, 30 April 2017

Dr Who — Series 10: Episode 3 — Thin Ice

30th April, 2017.

Where do I start, tonight … ?

Where … ?

You’ve worked out I’m a fan of Dr Who.

At least you have, if you’ve been following me for a while.

You’ll possibly have guessed I’ve been watching, and enjoying, the rebooted version of the series ever since it started, back in the day.

Following the twists and turns of a series for a decade or so.

Of course, working Saturday nights has its downsides.

It means I get to watch my favourite show …

On Sunday nights.


I’ve seen possibly Peter Capaldi’s best episode.


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 30-4-2017

Right … 

Looks like this’ll be the last Sunday I’ll working for a while.

No, I’ve not lost the job.

We’ve just had the hours cut, in the run up to the summer season.

Means I’ll be scrounging up hours where possible.

And possibly having a quiet word with the agency who hired me for the job, to see what they’ve got.

You never know what’ll happen …


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 29-4-2017

Ye, gods, that was a day.

Yesterday, that is!

That was the morning my bank’s online services decide to have a spasm.

I’m thankful I came up with someone sort of work-around.

But, lord, that was frustrating!

Then there was the trains … … 

Early afternoon, and I was on the way to work … only to find that someone had tried jumping at Chelmsford station.

They’d been stopped.

But that had caused a few delays.

As it turned out … ?

The woman had been temporarily hospitalised.

Been discharged: or possibly discharged herself.

Then made her way to Colchester, and thrown herself under a train, there.

At least, according to the member of Chelmsford Station staff I talked to last night: on finding out the train had been delayed, because she’d jumped at Colchester.

I’m … 

Well, I’m thankful I got into work on time.   And thankful I got home at a time that was … reasonable.   And thankful to those staff who stopped the woman, the first time.

But, Lord … 

I wished someone had managed to section that woman.

Could’ve stopped a lot of bad felling.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 28-4-2017: Stadia

You know, there’s film fandom … 

Then there’s serious film fandom.

Then there’s jeweller, Ginza Tanaka.

Who’s come up with a solid gold cast head of Darth Vader, and expects to sell it for … 

Well … 

A stupid amount of money.


Talking of film … ?

I had yesterday off: which was nice.

And, given the recent death of Jonathan Demme?

Decided sitting in with The Silence of the Lambs was the only possible response.

It’s not that often I call a film genre-defining.

I think The Silence of the Lambs is one of those films.


The Silence of the Lambs — Phew!

27th April, 2017.

How long have you been reading Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar?

If you don’t mind my asking?

A long time, I hope.

Or, at least, long enough to realise I try and watch a film, every so often.

Long enough, I hope, to realise there’s only so films I watch — and then write about — twice.

Counting this post?

There’s only two films that I’d put on that list.

One … ?

Is Event Horizon: twice I’ve seen it, on those oh so quiet nights.

The other?

Is the film I had to sit down with again: having learnt of the recent death of its director, the late Jonathan Demme.

One of only three films of his — along side Philadelphia and Stop Making Sense — that I’ve ever seen.

The crime film that is … 


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 27-4-2017: Of Mice and other Rodents

Hmmm … 

I seem to have lost a day, at work.

I work in a call centre: as a temp worker.

And feel I’ve done well in building up the hours I have.

We HAVE been warned those will charge, though: from the 8th May.

It is, after after all, fairly seasonal work.

I’m quite happily quibbling next week’s rota, though.

The past few months, I’ve worked every Sunday.

Next week?

I have Sunday off.

OK, I know the hours are due to change.

I know I still get help from Universal Credit.

But the Sunday concerned is the 7th.

I can’t help but fell a little aggrieved … 


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 26-4-2017

Hmmm … 

He says … 

Do you ever get a recurring thought … ?

That’s someone’s going to die … ?

I don’t know that I do.

I do know I keep expecting to see news of the death of Tom Baker on the news: and, thankfully, get disappointed!

He’s a tough old goat, that man … !


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 25-4-2017: ANZAC Day


I’m up late!

I — yes, you guessed it — forgot to turn my alarm on … !


But at least it’s not triple blast.

I have this bad habit of recording Dr Who: then transferring them to my Mac, and using a mix of HandBrake and MPEG Streamclip, to edit out bits I don’t need … 

And to turn it into stuff I can use on my Apple TV.

That’s gone through, successfully!

Who needs Blu-ray?


Monday, 24 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 24-4-2017

I have to admit, I was tired, last night.

Which is what happens when you’re up at six, to go to work … 

When you’ve got to bed at twelve, the night before, getting back from work at eleven!

You get …

Yeah, you see my point … !

At ANY rate … ?

I managed to catch Dr Who, last night: and throughly enjoyed Smile.

I’m just wondering about that elephant … 


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Doctor Who — Series 10: Episode 2 — Smile

23rd April, 2017.

It has to be said … I am felling tired … !

But there you go. 

That’s what getting up at six in the morning does for … you … 


I work, on weekends: as I’m sure you’ve realised.

I usually finish at ten, on Saturday night, and start at eleven, on a Sunday.

And, given I work in Chelmsford?

Means I spend more time awake than, on Saturday night, than I do asleep.

And get to value the few nights I get to go to bed, early.

Equally, usually?

That’s Thursday and Sundays.

Except, of course?

Sundays, at the moment … ?

Well, as I’m working, on a Saturday, when the show I’ve been following for a lifetime is on?

Means watching Doctor Who … 

Tonight’s episode?

Smile … !


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 23-4-2017: Saint George’s Day

Right … 

Once again, it’s a Sunday.

And once again?

I’ve not seen Dr Who.

No spoilers, now!

I’ve already had to tick one person off!


Moving on?

You’ll realise it’s Saint George’s Day?

It’s also World Book Night.

And I have to admit, I didn’t manage to get involved, this year.

Shame, really: one of the books they’re giving away is Of Mice and Men, which I read at school.

Shame I can’t remember how I felt about it: I should maybe remedy that, at some point.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 22-4-2017: Lenin

Right, that’s those done … 

I’m pretty sure I mentioned it: but just so you know, my speakers blew, the other day.   I’ve managed to replace them.

Although I’ll possibly replace the replacements, as and when.


I’ve gone for a cheap pair of USB powered laptop speakers.

I’d wanted a set with a decent woofer, or bass speaker: mains powered, for preference.


The only sets they had in Wilko’s were USB powered.

At a price I felt was not one I was willing to pay.

The one’s I’ve ended up getting?

Were a tenner, very tinny, don’t have mains power … 

But at least won’t get dragged off the table if the wires get caught in something … 


Friday, 21 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 21-4-2017

Hmmm … 

I was — was — vaguely planning to tell you I’d seen a film last night.

Oh, I saw a film, last night: the flawed but watchable, and very visual, The Void.

Yes, I know I say flawed: but it’s worth a go, for all that.

Then … ?

Someone started shoot a gun off: on the Champs-Élysées, in Paris.

My thoughts go to those shot.

My worries?

Are that this could hand right-wing extremist, Marine Le Pen, the French election.


In other news … ?

I’ve finally managed to catch a significant Coming Soon trailer: for series ten of Dr Who.

The significant bit?

Isn’t John Simm, back again for one last outing.


It’s THAT bit with Peter Capaldi, going orange … 

I think Christmas will be interesting … 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Void — Interestingly Strange … 

20th April, 2017.

Hmmm … 

I like films.

Which is possibly not explaining myself very well, is it?

I like watching films.

Although it’s not that often I get to see them.

Except may by renting one from iTunes.

Or — even more rarely — seeing one at the cinema.


Tonight was the former, rather than the latter.

I had cash …

Time off … 

A couple SF films in my collection, I’d not seen … 

And a whimsical desire to catch something totally different.

In renting The Void … ?

I think I managed that … !


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 20-4-2017

You know … 

I’ve got the Today programme on, again: on Radio Four.

And, of course, there’s a political interview on the go.

John Humphrys just gave Nigel Farage a beasting, if you’re wondering.

Oh, and a little later on?   Labour MP, Emily Thornberry was interview by Humphrys.

And would not tell anyone what Labour’s position on Brexit.   Which has lost them the election, I think.

My point?

Is that I’ve had vague memories of Spitting Image floating around my head, since I got up.

In amongst songs about chickens?

No-one — politicians in particular — was safe.

To the point where the show’s producer’s were asked NOT to broadcast an election special until AFTER the relevant year’s election.

I have to ask.

Where the hell is Spitting Image, when it’s really needed?


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 19-4-2017

Oh, now that had me worried.

I was coming home last night.

On a train delayed by work at Wickford, I should add!

The annoying thing about that, was that is wasn’t the first time its happened!

The thing that really annoyed me?

Was the electronic ticker tape machine: the one many trains have, to tell you which station the train will stop at next.

The one I saw last night had me worried.

The train I got on was going to be stopping at Ingatestone and Shenfield.

The sign was telling me it was going to stop at Braintree Freeport: several miles away, in the opposite direction.

Well, it had me worried.


In other news?

Britain’s facing a General Election on the 8th June.

Hmmm … 

Somehow,  I can’t say I’m surprised.

I’m just thinking, how the hell do I vote?

I’m still not voting Tory: nor UKIP.

Nor am I intent on voting Lib-Dem: with all due apologies to my former party of choice, I’ve still not quite forgiven them the Coalition.

Labour?   Hmmm … If there’d been a snap election, after Jeremy Corbyn was named as leader, I’d’ve gone for it.   Now, I’m not so sure.

I’m sorely tempted to carry doing what I’ve been doing, and vote Green.

In the midst of all this?

Theresa May has ruled out doing any TV debates.

Is something I feel will hand any opposition parties an advantage.

The additional fact that my external computer speakers have decided to blow … 

Is entirely incidental!


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 18-4-2017

That’s something …

The Easter Bank holiday weekend … ?

Is over!

I don’t know about you, but I was working.

And earning some over time, I should add: doing some extra hours.

Which means … ?

Well, extra money, obviously: that’ll be handy!

After all, I’m due an eye test, in a couple of months.

Paying for new glasses would be a good idea … …


Monday, 17 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 17-4-2017

Right … 

I’ve officially seen The Pilot.

In case you’re wondering?

That’s the first episode of series 10 of Dr Who, so you know: originally broadcast on Saturday night.

And … ?

And?” I hear you say?

Well … 

I was impressed: that’s a very strong episode, with a hell of a lot of emotional depth, tight plotting … 

And a very impressive début from Pearl Mackie as new companion, Bill Potts.   Feisty, intelligent, wonderful speaking voice … 

There’s talk she’s only going to be in the show for one season.

If that’s the case?

That’s a distinct shame: going on this first appearance, Bill Potts is a very strong character.


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Doctor Who — Series 10: Episode 1 — The Pilot

16th April, 2017.

You know, I’ve … … 

No, no, no, no … !

I was going to give you my usual line: my “I’ll confess to being a Doctor Who fan,” line I trot out … 

Any time I’m going to tell you something about the show.

I can tell you there’s talk.

Several newspapers have already announced that Death in Paradise actor, Kris Marshall, has been cast as the 13th Doctor.

I’m blowed if I could tell you.

Bookies notoriously stopped taking bets on his being named in the role, some time ago.

The only other person that’s happened to?

Is the current star of the show, Peter Capaldi, way back when.

I couldn’t tell you one way or the other.

Although I think Marshall would be a good choice.


I still feel the time is right to maybe break the mould: and maybe cast a woman.

I DO know the Sun’s headline on the story?   Say Marshall will appear as the character in the last episode of this season: something I felt was going to happen the minute I saw those Cybermen.

Those ones?   From Tenth Planet?

Yeah, them!

Say no more!


At ANY rate … ?

Today is a Sunday.

Sunday, I should add.

A day, when — after a heard day’s work, a quick family meal, and a lot of chocolate — I finally got to sit down with the latest episode of my favourite TV show.

Yes, I’ve said it before: and, yes, I’ll say it again.

My favourite TV show.

And frankly?

The Pilot is rather impressive.


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 16-4-2017: The Other Last Battle.

I have to admit, I like my job.


About the only time I have a problem with it?

Is Sundays.   I usually start at eleven.

Which means getting up at six to get everything done!

Including, very specifically, tell you I’ve not seen the first episode of Dr Who, as yet.

No spoilers, now!


Saying that … ?

Saying that, I’m looking forward to getting home, tonight.

I’m looking forward to catching the opener: and will happily iPlayer it.

I’m also very aware, though?

That’s I’ve managed to record the thing.

Digitally, rather than to tape!

My TV allows me to record things: and saves them in a version of the .ts format.   Which I can then turn into something I can play on my Apple TV, by using Handbrake.

That’s saved me money on blu-rays …


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 15-4-2017

Hmmm … 

Did I ever mention I’m a Dr Who fan?

I’m a Dr Who fan: you’ve possibly noticed.

So I’m a fan who’s kicking himself, today.

I’m kicking myself for not getting the day off: when the opening episode of series ten is on.

What CAN I tell you?

I CAN tell you I’ve caught a clip of Peter Capaldi being interviewed by Graham Norton.

One where he says he’s ‘already filmed his character’s death.’

At a guess?   The Christmas episode will be interesting.

That’s point a.

Point b … ?

I don’t know for sure.   But think the 13th Doctor has been cast: and the 12th knows who it is … 


Friday, 14 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 14-4-2017: First Flight

Well, finally … 

That most precious of things I have — a day off — was something I managed to use.

Or spend, at any rate.

Look, I had yesterday off: and got paid a day early.

And … ?

Did laundry.   Made videos.   Wrote teasers.

And finally got to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

And loved it it.

But it’s the one film I’ve seen that gets me wanting a bigger telly!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Phew … !

13th April, 2017.

You know, I try not to regret things.


Regret is something I try and avoid.

I’d fair rather learn from my mistakes, make amends, and my apologies, where I can … 

And move on.

I’d far rather do something, than sit around regretting.

There’s one regret I’ve got at the moment, though.

I’ve had today off.

And, as I’ve done for the past few weeks?

I’ve caught a film.

Yes, Phew is appropriate.

And yes … 

So is regret … 


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 13-4-2017: I’m a Tyger

Right, I’ve made a start … 

I’ver managed to get hold of an extra hard drive:  to replace a potentially failing one.

That’s been making intermittent clicking noises over the past few days.

I’d managed — last night — to make an extra Recovery Drive: something that do serious troubleshooting to a hard drive, in the event of failure.

I managed — this took a while — to re-start from that drive, and use the Restore From Time Machine to copy a my failing drive, to the new drive.

Only to realise that a Certain, Unnamed, Silly Idiot, and Local Character — Juggins here, in other words — had incorrectly formatted the new drive.


The practical up shot of all this?

At the moment, I have a new drive that’s been reformatted: ready to be used as a new main drive.

I have a new recovery drive: ready to let me install a clean version of Mac OS X Lion to that drive.

Only to find, both last night, and this morning … ?

That the main drive’s decided to stop click, and start behaving itself.

No, I don’t know why.

But I do know that — with the Recovery Drive and a spare hard drive in place? — I can take my time to do a fix.

And wait a little longer, until I’ve this week’s Easter Bank Holiday overtime money, to get the Install media.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 12-4-2017

Hmmm … 

Right at the moment?

Right at the moment, my computer seems to be running well.


As you know, yesterday, I had major issues: having to restore my main hard drive from a Time Machine back-up.

Well … the damn main drive is still making those intermittent clicking noises.


I’ve found a cheap enough replacement at my local CeX: although, obviously, I’d prefer to buy new.

Actually?   All I’d prefer is an new Mac, but there you go.

All I can feasibly do next?

Is get hold of the relevant version of macOS, plonk it on the new drive … 

And hope like hell … 


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 11-4-2017

Right … 

I’m going to apologise for getting this up, late.

But, would you believe it?

My main hard drive’s been playing up, over the past couple of days.

My morning’s started, not with a gentle, civilised, post: ruminating on the state of whatever happened to grab my attention, possibly THAT United Airlines.

But spending an hour — a teeny weenie hour, for heavens sakes! —respiring the thing from my Time Machine back up: after being up half the night, doing an in-depths permissions check!.

I’m getting seriously worried, though: not only am I late, I’m getting the old clicking noise from that main drive.

Not good sign.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 10-4-2017

Hmmm … 

It’s the 10th of April.

Which you’d possibly worked out, by looking at the title at top of the post.


That means it’s almost the 15th April.

Saturday, in other words.

Yes, I know I’m working that day.

But you can bet a body part I’ll be recording the opening episode of a series 10 of Dr Who.

I’ll make a confession, here, though.

I was tempted to write taping, there, rather than recording.

You can tell I’m showing my age, there … 


Hmmm … 

I’ve got Radio 4’s Today programme on, in the background.

John Humphrys has just informed us that the governments of Russia and Iran have announced that — were the US to launch more air-strikes on Syria — they would respond.


I’m not getting any younger: and I’m used to World Wars One and Two being history, and World War Three — or the idea of it — being science fiction.

I’m hoping we don’t wind up being involved WW3.

I’d rather the situation turned into the Cuban Missile Crisis: and blew over.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 9-4-2017

Oh, well, that’s a result … 

I went to work, yesterday.   And I’m back, again, today.

All good.

Ever better, though?

Was the phone call I got on the way to work.

From the shop repairing my sister’s laptop.

Seems they’ve managed to replace the graphics card: both ahead of the predicted time, and on budget.

So Ruth and I won’t get charged any extra.

All I have to do now?

Is pick the thing up.

Oh … 

And talk my sister into buying some sort of back up solution … 


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 8-4-2017: International Romani Day


I think — one of these days — I’m due some time off.

No, really!

At least … a Saturday off!

A lay in would be rather nice, let’s put it that way.

Remind me to get booking that up.

At some point … !


Friday, 7 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 7-4-2017

You know, I was going to open by telling you I’d watched The Girl With All the Gifts, last night.

Fantastic little film, I should add.

If I’ve understood what I’ve been told by friends who’ve served in the army?   British military doctrine holds that one should only use one — one — bullet per enemy soldier.

You only need one bullet, if you’re doing your job properly.

And it’s cheaper in ammo.


When I’ve woken up, this morning, and switched on the radio.

I’m aware that, a few days ago, the Syrian government ordered a chemical weapons on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a few days ago.

In response, the US has launched a missile attack last night: on the airfield they say launched the chemical attack.   With, I should add, the support of the UK and Australian governments.

Right now?

I’m a mix of emotions.

I’m as horrified as any of us, seeing children killed in the initial attack.

As they have been in many such actions, before now.

To an extent?   I can understand a US president wanting to take action as a result.

If my nephew, Jude, was in that crowd of children hit in the attack?

Well … 

On the other hand?

I’m very aware I’m not the US president.

That some people’s actions have serious repercussions.

9/11 had repercussions.

That chemical attack has brought down reprisals from the US.

I fell the response from the US Government, its military attack?

Could be as world changing as 9/11‡.


The Girl With All The Gifts: Wow!

6 April, 2017.

I’m a man of relatively simple pleasures.

No, really.

The occasional night out, a good book, a half way decent piece of music … 

Simple stuff: that’s relatively cheap.

Well, OK: maybe with the exception of a half way decent computer.

But relatively simple for all that.

One of those simple pleasures?

Is the occasional TV show.

Or the occasional film.

I’m thinking I’m representative of many people my age.

As I write, I’m indulging a simple pleasure.   I’ve got Brian Eno’s Ambient 4: On Land on in the background.

Just to give you an example.

Just to give you another?

I’ve quite happily sat down with the 2016, Colm McCarthy directed, The Girl With All The Gifts, tonight.


Wow!’ is decidedly appropriate.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 6-4-2017: At Waterloo

You know, Eurovison … ?

Is, as far as I’m aware, is a while away.

But, given the date?

I couldn’t resist the high camp that was and is the theme for today’s teaser.

No, play fair: cheesy pop tunes are hard to come by.

So having a competition where there’s a lot of them?

Is no bad thing.

Even when the contest gets taken over by orcs!


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 5-4-2017

Hmmm … 

I’m looking at the situation with Ken Livingston.

He’s been suspected from the Labour Party, recently: after allegations of anti-Semitism.

I do know the allegations came in, after an interview Ken did, last year — one on Radio 4’s Today programme — where he pointed out Hitler had tried working with German Zionist groups, in order to get Jews out of Germany.


I don’t know if Ken Livingston is or isn’t.

But am fairly certain, based on my own, fairly limited knowledge of history*, he has a point: that senior Nazi figures were trying to work with Zionist groups, especially in later years of the war.   Not because the Nazis were pro Jewish — anyone who thinks that, really wants to write history based quiz questions! — but because the Nazis wanted Jews out of Germany.

I’ll apologise, now, if that’s offensive to anyone.

But must ask: does that make me anti-Semitic?

Sod off!

I’ve known too many good, nice, wonderful, Jewish people to give anti-Semitism — indeed, ANY form of racism — any time.

But the situation gets me thinking: that people should maybe check the evidence, first.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 4-4-2017

Do you watch the news?

I do.

And caught the news that a Metro train in Saint Petersburg, in Russia — Vladimir Putin’s home town — has been hit by what’s described as a suicide bomber.


My thoughts are going in all sorts of directions.

They’re with the families of those killed.

They’re thinking the driver of the bombed trained driving it to the nearest station … ?

Seems to have helped save lives, as it allowed emergency staff easier access to the injured.

And my thinking?

Has been shaped by what I know of history: things like the Beslan School siege, or the Moscow Theatre attack, or its actions during WW2.   I’ve come to the conclusion the one government and country that will react strongly to an attack is Russia.

My semi-serious line — that always made a former, Russian, neighbour laugh — is that attacking Russia is a good way of committing suicide.

Whoever claims responsibility for this?

Is in trouble.


In other news?

In other news, the BBC have released a second trailer for series ten of Dr Who.

Pay attention to the last few seconds to the thing.

We’ve been told Peter Capaldi leaves at Christmas.

Can I run this past you?   I think, much like the shift from Ecclestone to Tennant, the regeneration will take place in the last episode of season ten: with a flashback seen in the Christmas Special.   Effectively, Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth will ‘leave’ in the Special, having done his last performance in the tenth season.

Here’s another controversial thought?   We know the new series has seen romantic undertones between the Tenth Doctor and Rose.   And, arguably, there’s a lot of unresolved sexual tension between Matt’s Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, and Amy, Clara and River.

We know Bill is to be the first openly gay, full time, companion.

Those undertones won’t necessarily continue … if the new Doctor’s a man* …


Monday, 3 April 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 3-4-2017


That’s handy.

I’ve got money.

To be frank, I’ve got someone else’s money.

My sister, Ruth’s, in other words.

I’m going to be taking her laptop in to a local computer shop: to get it repaired.

Apparently … ?

It’s the graphics card that’s causing the problem.


The sooner it’s started, the better.