Monday, 31 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 31-7-2017

It’s … 

Yes, it, is, isn’t it?

It’s a Monday: and the official start of a new week.

I don’t know about you.   But I’m working, tonight!

And looking forward to it … 

Now I’ve managed to get some sleep … !


Oh, that’s something to mention.

Not the fact that today marks a century since the Third Battle of Ypres.

Also known as Passchendæle.

The fact the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with the Prime Minister, will be marking the ceremony is nice to see.

They’ll be marking more observances, today.

At Tyne Cot, in Belgium: the Commonwealth’s largest war grave.

The fact my great-grandfather, Private Arthur Richardson, is commemorated there?

Certainly gives me pause for thought …


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 30-7-2017: They Think It’s All Over … 

Ye gods, I’m going to have no eyeballs left at the end of the day.

I’m up, at nearly six: having got out of bed at five.

Ready for a working day starting at ten.

Oy … 

Veh … !

One these days?

I swear, I’m going to win a fortune on the Lottery.

A few million would make working at the weekends seriously optional.


Oh, while I’m here … ?

I — occasionally — like a bit of electronica.

You possibly wouldn’t have guessed: given the amount of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, William Orbit, and lord knows what else in my iTunes library.

So, the fact someone’s done a version of the Dr Who theme — as if it had been done by John Michel Jarre — grabbed my attention.

You have to love a tune, don’t you … ?


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 29-7-2017

Hmmm … 

It’s a working Saturday … 

And one where I’m thinking ‘tired,’ doesn’t necessarily cover how I’m felling at the mo!

But there we go.

We want the overtime, we do the hours!


Going totally off the subject of knackered?

I’m not a big one for video games.   Bar the odd casual game: things like Tetris and Pacman.

But I’m very aware that there’s all sorts of gamers and games.

And that sometimes?

People like to watch.

Which is why the BBC’s decided to stream an e-sports tournament on BBC3.

Frankly, it’s not my sort of thing.

But … ?

I’ll be honest, I have no idea how televised sports work.

But hope that, internationally, the BBC can make some cash off of it.

And/or get more people logging onto BBC3.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 28-7-2017: Goin’ Back To Miami

I THINK I’m going to have to come up with something … 

That’s right.

I’m going to have come with an excuse to have an early night!

Right now … ?

I’m rather tired: after staying up late, watching two more episodes of The Man In The High Castle.

It’s slow.

But I think it’s worth the effort … 


The Man in the High Castle — Series 1 — Episodes 3 and 4: The Illustrated Woman and Revelations

27th July, 2017

You know, today is my only day off, this week.


And, as much as I complain about how my hours go up and down … ?

There are times when less hours — on double the money — seems nice.

As would a humongous great lottery win.

Nothing fancy: just enough to pay off my debts, buy my flat, take driving lessons, refurbish my kitchen, buy a new Mac, and a bigger TV … 

And possibly buy anyone who asks nicely a new computer, but, hey … !

At ANY rate … ?

A night off …

A night off, a TV set, and an Apple TV streaming box?

And a couple more episodes of The Man in the High Castle?

Well, it’s be rude, not too, frankly.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 27-7-2017: E. Gary Gygax


I have to admit, I like Apple products.

I can’t afford enough of them, frankly, but I like them.

You know there’s a big fuss about the upcoming, and expensive, iMacPro?

Yeah, wouldn’t mind one of them.

My point?

Is that I tend to follow news about the company.

Oh, and presidential Tweets.

According to Donald Trump?

Apple are going to build three big plants in the US.

Which are going to be huge.   Bigly.   What-have-you.

Apple’s response was entirely appropriate, very in character and easily predicted by anyone whose watched the company for more than ten minutes.

They — altogether, now — declined to comment.

What gets me?   Is the look on the face of Apple boss, Time Cook, in that picture.

‘Declined to comment’ is exactly the phrase.


In other news?

In other news, it seems the Premier League has won a court order: that means it can get Internet Services Providers — the people you buy your internet connection from — to block illegal streams of its matches.

The kind of stream that — on what’s called a fully loaded Kodi box — lets you watch a football match for free.   Ones that, normally, you have to pay for.

I’m concerned that — if handled incorrectly — this will have a bad effect on the open source software movement.

I also think that it won’t be long before anyone providing ways of illegally streaming paid-for content … will soon find other ways of doing it.

Give it a while …


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 26-7-2017

Right … 

I have to admit, I’m looking forward to tomorrow: it’s going to be my one day off this week.

Although, frankly?

I’m expecting to do a LOT of laundry, tomorrow!

That’s right: I’m going to be washing my shirts!

Oy … … … 


… … 

Vey … !


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 25-7-2017

Well, that was an exciting evening!

Well, ok, maybe not … !

I have to admit to getting home from work.

To a quick chicken sandwich, if you must know.

A chicken sandwich that got interrupted …by … 

A power cut!

One that affected not only everyone in the street …

But everyone in the CM14 postcode.

Which was weird: seeing the amount of blacked-out houses.

It didn’t last much more than twenty minutes.

But, BOY, you don’t half get to know the neighbours, when something like that happens!


Monday, 24 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 24-7-2017

You know, you have to thank Twitter, sometimes, don’t you … ?

It does throw up some interesting discussions.   Including one triggered by Old Peculiar regular, Debbi Mack.

Back when she re-tweeted this …
The basic, but very SF idea?

Is that a research company owned by Tesla owner, Elon Musk, is working on what he called a Neural Lace: a device attached to the brain — inside the skull — that allows its wearer to directly control a computer.


Screaming technology watcher I’m all in favour of this sort of thing.   And wouldn’t mind one myself!

But VERY aware that Debbi raised a issue.

I’m with Isaac Asimov.   His basic arguments about the Three Laws of Robotics was that — as humans — we build safety features, into new bits of kit!

I’m also aware the game, Cyberpunk 2020.   The game featured hackers wired into their computers with similar ways, directly hacking target computers mentally.   And having epileptic fits induced by those targets’ cyber-defences.

Which I think is Debbi’s basic point … 

Where’s the safety features … ?


JUST so we can have a cheerful — ish — note?

JUST to introduce a cheerful note, it’s official.

The trailer for Dr Who’s Christmas Special — Twice Upon a Time — has officially hit YouTube … 

I have to ask … 

Am I the only one thinking Mark Gatiss looks like he’s having a WHALE of a time … ?!?


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 23-7-2017

Hmmm … 

Have you been following the news?

If you have, you’ll know about the sad case of Charlie Gard.

Charlie has an incurable genetic condition: that means he is unlikely to live long, or well.

His parents are taking the hospital — Great Ormond Street — to court in order to keep him alive.

Great Ormond Street, on the other hand?   Feel he should be allowed to die with dignity.

It’s contentious, it’s raising passions — understandable passions — and is a legal mess with very few in the way of popular solutions.

One thing I know I’ve seen reported in the press, though?

Is that the case has drawn protests.

Which is understandable.

But it seems that hospital staff have been receiving threats: including death threats.


I can understand the protests: although I’m not sure if I totally condone them.

I feel they’re bringing in a certain element of emotional blackmail into an already fraught situation.

Saying that … ?   I ALSO think there’s a level of behaviour in these situations that isn’t condonable.

Threatening behaviour towards hospital staff?

Is one such behaviour.

One I found on a par with the behaviour of some US anti-abortionists: who feel killing doctors who perform abortions to be a good thing.

One wrong does not necessarily make a right.

These threats?

Are a good example of exactly the sort of wrongs I mean.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 22-7-2017

Now that’s sad … 

Deborah Watling has died!

The actress played Victoria opposite Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor: back in 1967 and 1968.

AND cropped up in The Newcomers, Rising Damp and Danger UXB.

She’ll be missed.


Had I thought of it, last night?

Had I thought of it, last night, I’d’ve possible sat in with some of Ms Watling’s Dr Who stories: the only two that survive are The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World survive in complete form.

I didn’t, eventuality.


I went for the opening two episodes of The Man in the High Castle.

Hmmm … 

I don’t know if I’m totally convinced, yet.

It is, after all, rather slow.

But is something I’ll be watching more of.


The Man in the High Castle — Series 1 — Episodes 1 and 2: The New World and Sunrise

21st July, 2017

You know, I really should be trying to maybe — maybe — get out and about, at some point.

Press the flesh, give the flesh an airing, what have you.

On the other hand, though?

I had a lot to try and get done, today.

In fact?

I still have laundry on the go, as we speak.

You’d think bedsheets would bend, sometimes, wouldn’t you?

At ANY rate … ?

I now have cleaner clothes than I did.

Cleaners clothes … and more of a TV series to work through.

You see, I faced a dilemma, tonight.

Should I go for the third series of American Horror Story?

Or should I go for something a little different?

Should I go for the Amazon produced, alternative Cold War history drama that is The Man in the High Castle.

I went for the latter.

I’d read the Philip K. Dick novel, many years ago.

And wanted to see what the show could tell me.


Friday, 21 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 21-7-2017

For once … 

For once, last night … ?

I didn’t actually watch a TV show.


I have to admit to having had the day off, yesterday.

Which … went … very … 

Slowly … 

And actually had me thinking an early night was a good idea.

Which — for once — was rather nice!

Not that I’m feeling any less tired … 

But there you go … !


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 20-7-2017: World Chess Day

Blast … 

I have even shorter hours, this week.


Because I spent most of yesterday, throwing up!

Good knows what my innards are actually doing.   Beyond the obvious!

The only real upside?

Is that I managed to catch the last two episodes of series two of American Horror Story.

Which is well worth watching.


American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 12 and 13: Continuum and Madness Ends

19th July 2017

I have to admit, there are SOME days?

That I hate letting the side down.


Like today.

To be brutally honest, my innards are a wreck that mystify me: let alone any medical staff.

This morning … ?   They decidedly put me out of whack: by making sure I threw up.

A day off work it was, then: I’d HATE to have thrown up ono a keyboard.

To be EQUALLY frank, though?

My guts are seriously annoying: as they’ve caused me lose a day’s pay.


The only real upside … ?

Hmmm … I don’t know if there is one.

Bar the fact I could, at least, catch up with the last two episodes of series two of American Horror StoryAsylum — and think I’ve seen some very powerful stuff.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 19-7-2017: Tour de France

Well, blimey, that was fun … !

I have to admit: I had the day off, yesterday.

And?   Had enough time to catch two more episodes of American Horror Story.

The second series, Asylum, so you know.

It’s rather good, it has to be said.

And very unexpected.

Remember how, in The Singing Detective, Dennis Potter would tell us something about the character’s state of mind: famously, with a rousing rendition of Dem Bones.

Well, the creators of Asylum have done something similar with Sister Jude, the Jessica Lange character in this series.

You have to love a sing-song, don’t you?


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 10 and 11: The Name Game and Spilt Milk

18th July, 2017

Right … 

I can officially say it’s just a little bit toasty, around here.

19º … and cloudy: although I’m told it’s been warmer, today.

I’m ALSO told … ?

That we’re expecting thunderstorms.

Although, right now?   I’m finding that hard to believe.

Either way … ?

Either way, I’ve had time off, today.

And … ?

Felt that, frankly, I need to catch up with Asylum: season two of American Horror Story.

Another two episodes seemed just the thing.

Although I wasn’t expecting The Singing Detective … !


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 18-7-2017

You know … 

I’ve got a day off!

That that I’m planning much.

Bar visiting the opticians, of course.

I don’t think I mentioned it: but I had an eye test, last week.


Sees me getting my new reading glasses fitted.

Something to look forward to!

Well … 

That … and possibly more episodes of American Horror Story.

Although, frankly?

I’m looking forward to series four of The Strain!

I’m just hoping it hits iTunes, soon!


Monday, 17 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 17-7-2017

Right … 

There’s news, and news, today … 

I’m a Dr Who fan feeling mildly delighted at the moment!


I’ve seen the announcement about who’s to play the thirteenth Doctor.

And absolutely delighted to say it’s a woman.

Former Broadchurch regular, and Attack the Block star, Jodie Whittaker.


I’m rather pleased: I wish her well, and want to see how she does.

Unlike some fans: some of the fan reactions I’ve seen — along the lines of “I’m never watching the show again” — is … 

There’s possibly a lot of ways I could describe those reactions: but ‘antiquated,’ is possibly the best way.

This is, after all, a science fiction show whose central — and non-human — character travels through time and space in a phone box.

And, in cases of extreme medical need?   Can physically change form in order to deal with that need.

The fact the character’s stay the same gender?   Even the same ethnicity?

Seems odd.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 16-7-2017

Hmmm … 

You know, I’m thinking I must be having some sort of effect.

No, really.

I’ve — as you’ve possibly noticed — been posting up video for quite some time, now.

And, even more recently?

Been getting comments.

Well … 

Ben getting comments on my Youtube account: along the lines “Wow, nice video: here’s a link to one of MY videos.”

It’s what’s none as Comment Spam: and is also a version of the sort of thing I’ve had for years, here on Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar.

OK … 

It’s something I can deal with.

After all, both Youtube and Blogger let you moderate comments.

But, BOY, it’s a pain … !


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 15-7-2017: Mozilla

OK, it’s been a media weekend.

Or, I should say, it’s going to be a media weekend.

First off?

I’ve just seen the trailer for Darkest Hour, the upcoming film about the evacuation of Dunkirk, during World War Two.

It has to be said, when I heard about it?

I wasn’t too sure about casting Oldman as Churchill.   He’s the wrong shape.

THEN I saw the trailer.


I think I’m convinced … 


Something else that caught my attention?

Was this piece on the BBC’s news site.

Yep: the BBC will be announce who the 13th Doctor actor is, after the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final, tomorrow.

I’d love to see it live.

But I’m working.

Don’t no-one say a WORD!!!!!!!


Friday, 14 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 14-7-2017: Bastille Day


I am tired … !

Which isn’t surprising, really: I had something opt a late night, watching more American Horror Show.

Series two, Asylum?

Very worth the effort!

AND the yawning!


American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 7, 8 and 9: Dark Cousin, Unholy Night and The Coat Hanger.

13th July, 2017

You know … I’m due back to work, tomorrow.


I’m looking forward to it.

Company, the chance of earning some money … 

Yeah … 

Not much money: although that might improve.

IF I get through the extra training!

At any rate?

At any rate, I’ve had today off.

So … ?

Right now, I’ve got synthpop classic, The Age of Plastic on in the back ground.

And I’ve just seen three more episodes of American Horror Story’s second series, Asylum.

And yes … it’s still beguiling: and introducing some new characters.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 13-7-2017

Right … 

It’s official official.

I now have a new lightbulb in my kitchen.

And frankly?

I’m glad my local branch of Wilko’s had one!

Getting it home was fun.

Well, fun-ish.

After all, I had a four foot neon tube, over my shoulder.   In a cardboard box.

When the weather was threatening rain.

Ho … hum … 


American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 4, 5 and 6: I Am Anne Frank (Pt 1), I Am Anne Frank (Pt 2) and The Origins of Monstrosity.

12th July, 2017

You know those quiet days you have?

You know the days … !

The ones that go quietly … but have expected shirts and unexpected USB flash drives in them?

Yep: it’s official.

I had a shirt delivered, today.   Which was expected: the postman left me a card, yesterday, to say it was in the office: as the package was to big to go in my letter box.

The unexpected USB sticks?

Were unexpected because I was expected them a week or so from now … but there you go.

At least they’r partitioned and ready to go!


Oh … 

And there’s light … surprisingly … !

Did I mention the light in my kitchen, blew, last night?

It blew, last night.

Which is inconvenient when you’re trying to make cocoa, I know that.

Oh … And when you’re doing yourself a cup of tea, prior … to sitting down and watching some TV.

In my case?

Problem solved: I got a new bulb.   And those neon tubes AREN’T cheap.

Tea that’s the right colour?

Is the best company for American Horror Story series two.


Episode 4I Am Anne Frank (Pt 1) — sees a mysterious woman (Franka Potente) being held at the hospital.

Held there, as her husband feels she is not looking after her child, correctly.

The woman claims to be Anne Franke: who died at Bergen-Belsen.

And, what’s more?

Claims that’s where she met the man called Hans Grüber.   Now better know as the Asylum’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Arden (James Cromwell.)

Episode 5I Am Anne Frank (Pt 2) — shows us Sister Jude — Jessica Lange — calling in on Nazi Hunter, Sam Goodman: convinced he can help investigate Dr Arden. 

That self same Dr Arden?   Has worked out exactly how to help Anne/Charlotte.   With a pre-frontal lobotomy … 

Lana?   Lana — Sarah Paulson — has been … rescued … from Briarcliff, by Dr Thredson — Zachary Quinto.

Who isn’t as helpful as he seems … 

Episode 6The Origins of Monstrosity — opens with a flashback to 1962: showing us when Monseigneur Howard — Joseph Fiennes — first met Dr Arden: when Briarcliff had been a tuberculosis hospital.

It ALSO shows us Lana: still trapped in Thredson’s basement … and becoming increasingly concerned.

Lampshades made from human skin will do that.

What she doesn’t know … ?

Is that, in 2012?   SOMEONE is still wearing the Bloody Face mask …


Now … 

Am I enjoying Asylum?

Hell, yes!

Although, granted, it’s a supernatural horror fan’s delight: with even more references than a reference book!

After all, one central character, Kit?   is in Briarcliffe, not because he’s a murderer, but because he claims to have bee kidnapped by aliens.

Another, Dr Arden?   Walked out of Boys from Brazil.

Dr Thredson?   Is an unholy mix of Leather Face, Dr Lector, the Red Dragon and Ed Gein!

And I swear, Grace — Lizzie Brocheré — Grace is channeling Lizzie Borden.

Loving it?

All that and there‘s a song by a Belgium singing nun.

Yep, I’m loving it!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 12-7-2017: Saint Basil’s

Bugger: that’s a pain!

I had a little money saved up: some of which … ?

Has gone towards a new pair of spectacles.

The rest of which … ?

I was thin king of putting towards a new phone.

I think that idea’s gone for a burton.

As the kitchen light — a four foot neon tube — has gone!

I think I can say goodbye to the new phone.

At least for now.

That’s not the worrying bit.

The worrying bit is digging the ladder up, and replacing the bulb.

I hate heights!


In amongst all this?

In amongst all this, I’ll admit to having some time off, right now.

Which is nice.

While I’m in the High Street, getting that bulb, I can pick something up from the post office.

I’ve had a delivery from Amazon: a shirt I ordered, I think.

At least something too big for my letter box.

It also means something else: I can get a late night, staying up, and watching TV.

Pretty much like last night, actually.

I managed to see the opening three episodes of series two of American Horror Story, last night.

Great stuff, I should add.

But it looks like Jessica Lange’s going to walk away with it, again!


American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 1, 2 and 3: Welcome to Briarcliff, Tricks and Treats & Nor’easter.

11th July, 2017

Oh, I hate my situation, right now!

Right at the moment?

The glasses prescription is in.

And I’d hoped, with the little cash I had left?   To pick myself up a new mobile phone.

I’ve seen a couple of halfway decent ones, at reasonable prices.

But, wouldn’t you know it?

The light in my kitchen has gone.   The neon tube.

Which I’ll have to replace, tomorrow.

Bang goes the phone idea … !

As does my rear.

Right at the moment … ?

Is doesn’t help that my IBS is playing up.

Although splat may be the more appropriate term, there.

Yes … that possibly IS a bit too much information, isn’t it?

What possibly isn’t … ?

Is the simple fact I have some time to myself.   And copies of series two of American Horror Story.

Yep: I’m impressed, thus far … !


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 11-7-2017

Right … 

I’ve time off.

Something I know isn’t going to do my finances any good.

But does mean I have time off: to write, do some laundry … 

And possibly help an old friend with an old computer.

That fact I’ve got I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue on?

Is par for the course.

If you get the chance?

Give it a listen … !


Monday, 10 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 10-7-2017

Hmmm … 

You may or may not know it, but I’ve lived on my street for about a decade, now.

And, in all that time?   I’ve strongly believed that the layout and parking in the area make emergency vehicle access to the area.

I’ve also opposed further development in the area: believing this, too, will contribute to access problems.

For a long time, now?   The council’s given approval for further development in Saint James Road: just around the corner from my flat, here in Rollason way.   Again, that’s something I’ve opposed.

The development, and the land it’s on?   Was owned by Taylor Wimpey.

Who’ve done the ground work on the site, but no actual building work.

I think things will be changing.

As, when I went past, last night?

There was a (pictured) sign up: telling us the site was being sold off by an agency called Savills.

Speaking personally?

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

The fact we’ve actually had no building work done for the past few months was a small mercy: it meant no building work would block emergency vehicle access to the area.

The fact it’s now for sale?

I’m not sure about the implications of that.

I’m annoyed that the owners of the land hadn’t built there.   Granted I wanted nothing done there, believing it to be harmful to the area, but, once work had started?   Believe it should have been finished, and finished quickly.

The plot being sold?

Means more years of faffing about.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 9-7-2017

You know, a horrible thought’s occurred.


A few weeks ago, Grenfell Tower went up in flames.

With lives being lost in the immediate fire, the burials  will probably starting soon.

Once the infighting stops?   The enquiry will start.


In all that?

I’m thinking of the money.

There’s at least three tower block in Brentwood: Masefield Court, Gibraltar House, and Drake House.

And I’m wondering how much it would cost Brentwood Council to make sure the three buildings have adequate fire protection.

Just as people are commenting on the costs of Grenfall Tower’s protection.

I’m blowed if I know: but think at least checks should be made.

Even if those checks tell the residents of the three blocks that the buildings aren’t safe, and that changes need to be made?

I have a nasty suspicious those checks and changes … ?

Will be cheaper than any compensation demanded in the event of a fire.

Yes, I know perfectly well that sounds cynical: and possibly offensive.

But let’s be frank, here.

Sometimes the money’s the one thing that will get people in power moving.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 8-7-2017

Blast … 

I hate that, as well … 

I’ve managed to pick up a cold: god knows where from.

And I’ve Me and Bobby McGee making a vague attempt to earworm its way through my head: after hearing it on yesterday’s edition of Desert Island Discs.

It’s a strange thing to have happen.


Yes.   For once, I can point at an event, and “That’s why a song’s playing through my head.”


I’ve got no idea why a song turns up in my head.


Actually, going totally off the subject?

Today sees the big London Pride march happen: which is nice.

I do know a couple happier partnered up lesbian friends of mine took me along to one, a few years ago.

It’s worth going, from what I recall.


It’s quite an eye-opener!

It’s enough to make you start speaking Palare!