Monday, April 30, 2012

hello New Zealand

hi there

many thanks indeed to Gillian and everyone for sending on some new pictures showing off how things are going over on the other side of the world!

first off we have news of Katie, who has decided to take up the fine art of football, or "soccer" as i believe she is being encouraged to call it. that last bit could be the other way around, actually, i don't have the original mail here with me at the moment.

anyway, whatever they prefer to call it over there, that is what Katie is doing, and is having fun with it too!

one of the lesser known facts about the 2010 World Cup is that, with three group stage draws, New Zealand are the only side to have finished undefeated. a lot of people assume that eventual champions Spain were unbeaten, but they lost their first group game to the almighty force that is Switzerland.

perhaps New Zealand were able to get that to their names by virtue of the fact that they play with, or possibly against, dogs.

knowing how dogs love to chase balls, and are not strictly speaking against biting people who try to take balls off them, i imagine it would get to be quite tricky to win the ball off them and retain possession, really.

moving on, and it seems that Daniel has got himself a rather ace new bike!

that one looks like it is very much the business! Daniel also looks like the business on the bike too, great to see he is so confident on it and is riding away.

that probably means, however, that Grant will be expecting him to start earning his keep now, most likely as a paperboy but quite possibly as one of them inner city courier types, the likes of which i am pretty sure Kevin Bacon (no less) once played in a film.

speaking of Grant, no doubt Grant enthusiasts will be hoping if there might be a new picture of him to see here. indeed there is, if that answers such wonders.

i am not at sure as to why Gillian took such a distance shot of Daniel and Grant here, to be honest. it could be something as simple as that was how far they went and she could not be bothered to walk around following them. it could also be that they had no idea pictures were being taken and she was in fact hiding in some of New Zealand's famous trees and shrubberies.

many, many thanks indeed, Gillian and everyone, for fowarding on those most excellent pictures!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Dark Knight Rises (in a viral campaign!)

hi there

woo-hoo! after speculating that no campaign seemed to be under way, the official site for The Dark Knight Rises has unleashed what seems to be the first step in a viral campaign for the film.

no spoilers here, but be warned, for if you click the link you may see things that you did not want to prior to the movie being released.

to be honest, it doesn't seem like it gives away all that much, but then again there may be specifics on that link that i simply did not pay attention to.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Clockwork Orange - soundtrack album inserts

hi there

first up, many, many thanks indeed to the one they call deadmuso for going to some considerable trouble and effort to forward these amazing images on to me to share with the world at large. nice one mate, thank you very much indeed.

deadmuso recently invested the sum of £3.00 at a market stall for an original 1971 issue of the soundtrack album for Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. this would be a shrewd investment just for the wonderful Walter / Wendy Carlos music in itself, but he discovered that it had an original promo insert still in the record too, in pristine condition!

knowing that a few people visit this site for Kubrick related mentions, and indeed for the benefit of those avid google hunters doing their searches, i asked deadmuso if it was at all possible for him to send me some pictures. this he has done for the benefit of us all!

as you can see, i was not kidding when i suggested that this insert was in pristine, perfect condition!

i have reduced the size of what deadmuso sent through, but i trust that you can see all the information you need from these images.

on that note, the information provided is excellent - here's the credit list for the film.

i think more details appear there than do at the end of the film!

deadmuso is of the opinion that the insert is a merchandise form, allowing one to purchase Clockwork Orange related products. whereas i can see how he came to this conclusion - and indeed movie merchandise did exist before Star Wars, no matter what George Lucas would have you believe - but i am not so sure that this is what the insert specifically is. for a start, one of the things presented on the insert is the album, which you would (in 1971) have just purchased to get the insert.

i suspect that the insert is in fact some sort of press release. in a best case, then, what deadmuso bought was a review copy of the album, making it all the better a bargain. otherwise, it is entirely possible that they slipped the press release into the album as a "bonus", prior to the record labels clocking that bonus materials allow one to sell something at a higher price!

adding to the curiosity are the two pages (or thereabouts) given over to "Press Ads", showing dimensions and a price at the bottom.

the second page of these press ads is particularly interesting as it shows something called "Shell Quote" variations of the adverts.

the gaps, or if you will shells, on these suggests they are left open to allow for one to include quotes as part of the advert, presumably snippets from glowing reviews to help sell and advertise the film. it doesn't make all that much sense, but i suspect what Warner have handed out here are the details of their promotional campaign, along with what they propose to pay to have the adverts in the newspapers. a peculiar thing to do if that is the case, but as we get to see it i suppose there is not much point in complaining!

if those prices are indeed the proposed cost for the newspapers, do not forget that this was in 1971 if the prices seem low, and even then they would only be for the London (innit) press; the film did not go on a somewhat notorious national release until about a year later.

should anyone reading this have any further information about the specific reason for the insert then please be so kind as to leave a comment!

meanwhile, i have indeed saved possibly the best until last for you. that best would be an advert for a publication related to the film, and a quote from Stanley Kubrick that i have not seen before!

i suspect the advert is for the screenplay of the film, as i am aware of the fact that once upon a time one could purchase it. well, once upon a time being 1971, i suppose. should it turn out that the book listed there is the actual novel, then as Anthony Burgess' name appears to be missing that would explain how the rumour began than there was no such person as Anthony Burgess, with Stanley Kubrick supposedly making up the name to deflect criticism of the content. as it is not apparently published by Burgess' usual publisher, Penguin, i do really think that's an advert for the screenplay.

as for that Kubrick quote, here's a close up for you, if interested.

many, many thanks again indeed to deadmuso for all the effort to get these pictures to me. i trust they have been of interest to a few people!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Malta 84

Hi there

 well, i go offline for a couple of days due to my difference engine calculating machine needing some repairs (all sorted, no self-destruct messages) and come back to find that the hosting site for this has had a bit of a revamp! bear with me, this is my first go on the new look way of adding posts, hopefully it should go apt, one may say, that this site has had a bit of an overhaul, as that's the subject of this post. sort of.

i have recently invested in one of them things that you plug into a computer (short name for difference engine calculating machine, don't think it will catch on) that helps you covert video tapes into a "digital form". i did this partially to keep my Dad quiet, but mostly to be able to at last tackle a long cherished project - a director's cut of my first ever feature film, the classic Malta 84.

as excited as my Dad was about converting one hundred tapes of deceased Scottish football managers, once i got the equipment working i insisted we "digitize" my masterpiece. the results have been pretty good, even if i have got the settings a bit wrong and thus have produced a 4GB file for a 45 minute film. here are some screenshots of our work so far with it, to act as a sort of teaser, if you will.first up, and possibly just to annoy her, here is Gillian, chilling by the pool!

well, she was chilling by the pool until i asked some nice chap if we could use his video camera to make a film. for some reason i keep, in the ad hoc and ahead of its time director's commentary, referring to Gillian as being the star of the show. so there you go.

jostling for star billing too, of course, was Richard.he too seemed to be rather happy just hanging by the pool, doing some swimming and that, but gladly appeared in my class production.

i of course would not care to reveal too much of what will and will not feature in the director's cut, but there is some footage of him breakdancing that i suspect may get something of a radical and indeed digital overhaul.

reviewing the footage again has been a sheer delight, really. what most of the world remembers of the film is that it all took place during 20% of the time of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes was at number one, where, when you think about it, is where it should still be now. no, though, the world would rather buy Katy Perry and Snoopy Doggy Dogg Dog instead. ho hum.

the astonishing, post-modernist and certainly avante garde approach i adopted to making the film remains as fresh and as exciting as ever, really. this is illustrated by the numerous times i take a break from the demands of directing to feature in the movie.

man, that is one excellent shirt i had on there. i suppose being a kind of style and fashion has been something
that has naturally followed me all my days, really.

making a movie is not always easy, you may not be surprised to learn. Kubrick famously had problems with certain people he cast in good faith, and in this i certainly share his pain. the most difficult time i had with a cast member? that would be Dad, playing the part of Dad.

i know a lot of you have this image of my Dad being some sort of unassuming, happy go lucky character, always ready with a kind word and being the personification of patience. it will no doubt be a shock to some of you to learn that he is not always like this. a good deal of the production time was spent trying to convince Dad to stop posing and showing off his (granted, class) Ian Botham style haircut and moustache. he also for some reason wanted to do "holiday" and "tourist" things rather than commit fully to the film project. oh well, i think some deft editing got the best out of his performance.

Mum, i am happy to say, was a lot easier. it helps that she's a natural with the camera!

as we were reviewing the film i asked Mum if it had not occured to her to, at any point, just leave us in the room and go and do something random. for a wild example, go to a Tapas or something, on the provision that she would check in on us every 30 minutes (or so). her answer was an abrupt and absolute no way, and further she could not work out how a parent would ever do something so stupid, or at least even claim as such. oh.

what, you want more images of me, the humble film maker, on set? well, go on then, just the one more for now.

i am considering spending the next two years working away on my director's cut, as it would be nice to take something to Cannes on the 30th anniversary of the original release. well, it might be Cannes - Berlin has a smart film festival too. i don't really think it's the kind of thing they would screen at Sundance, but you never know, i would listen to invitations.

right, more pictures will no doubt follow as and when i master the art of capturing the video at a sensible file size. in the mean time, i hope you have enjoyed these glimpses!

for now, time for me to hit publish on the exciting new way Blogger has you create things here and hope it comes out fine!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (in some promo material)

hi there

well, it's a little over 2 months before anyone in the world sees The Dark Knight Rises and it has been all quiet on the promotional front, really. there have been two trailers thus far, both of which "excited" us all to say the least. when one considers the innovative, brilliant "viral" campaign for The Dark Knight, however, advertising this film has been distinctly low key. perhaps it's because this film really does not need an audience to be built up for it, or maybe no one has stumbled upon the sites made for it as of yet.

anyway, moving on and let us not worry about the promotional stuff that they have not done, instead let us concern ourselves with what has been. it's still all looking really, really good.

here, for instance, is what you would imagine will be one of the generic bits of promotional material that will be used.

the above is not too difference in terms of appearance and style from the image of the Batman used on toys, books and what have you for The Dark Knight, really. if this one ends up on a bed spread like the posters for the first two Christopher Nolan films then i know two young chaps who will be very happy to have it on their beds!

with The Dark Knight zero effort was made to hide the "big bad" in the form of The Joker; in fact with the kind consent of Heath Ledger's family he became pretty much the focal point of the celebrated promotional build up. the character of Bane tends not to excite those with a glancing knowledge of Batman quite as much as The Joker, but all the same they seem prepared and keen to show him off. here's a rather impressive, "this will be cool" inspired promo pic featuring who you presume to be the protagonist and antagonist (who knows which shall be which) resolving a matter with a bout of fisticuffs.

for a final pic for now, what could well be The Batcave. this is at least what people are assuming it is, but i remain unconvinced. you may recall (and if not search for it above) that i posted some pics which claimed to be of the new Batcave, ones that have not been authenticated. as Batman was left very much on the lamb at the end of The Dark Knight and this film takes place 8 years later, it means that Bruce Wayne would have had enough time to rebuild it, but the question is why would he? all indications are that the character of Batman has not been seen in those 8 years, so for what reason would he have got everything ready for? no doubt this will be revealed in the film..... the mean time, here's Bruce Wayne in what might be the Batcave, apparently checking out the outfit of his alter ego.

i am not sure if he checks in here or not, but in respect of the above picture, full credit to the one they call Mr Richey for the heads up on this picture. top bloke, Mr Richey is, many thanks!

you now know all i know of the film, and should you know more than me, nice one!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wakkerstroom and beyond

hi there

oh dear, as soon as i had said no further warnings in my last post, the PC has just flashed up that "HA HA HA I AM GOING TO BLOW UP" sort of message again. best i work fast, or at the least click that "save draft" picture as i go along here.

Richard, Erika, Lyla and Ruby-Lee all recently made a very wise use of time, which involved heading down to the land where one can meet and greet Erika's wonderful family. not content with that, though, they also (apparently) when to a place called Wakkerstroom. no, i have no idea how you pronounce it either.

however one says Wakkerstroom doesn't matter, i suppose. the important thing is that it is presumably excellent, for Erika has made a class promo picture for the place.

a good deal of Erika's correspondence, as you may well guess from the above picture, conveys the view that food in Wakkerstroom is most excellent. it certainly looks that way, perhaps i should take a spin past there.

(oh dear, another warning that this PC shall blow up)

everyone certainly seemed to enjoy the meals served there, going on the many pictures i got!

nice to see Lyla help Ruby-Lee stay sort of clean as she eats many, many things in Wakkerstroom! and how do i know that Ruby-Lee ate many, many things there? well, this picture of her pointing at everything she wants is a bit of a clue!

that's Ruby-Lee's dear Ouma in the picture. a finer, nicer lady you would be hard pressed to find, really. except, i am contractually obliged to say, my mother-in-law of course.

moving on, and Richard enthusiasts will no doubt be thrilled to see this next picture of him doing some Coke, as it were, if not quite as thrilled by the outfit he is wearing.

i am no expert, but looking at how Richard is looking there, i think the element of surprise was employed to gain that picture!

if we could leave Wakkerstroom alone for the moment, if for no reason than i tire of typing the name, it is off to the farm for some pictures. and what better place to start that with that top, throroughly decent bloke, Erika's father Hein?

as for who that is with Hein, i am led to believe that the correct expression is that it is his "bud". i am not sure, a recent experiment in which i attempted to order a pizza in the language of Afrikaans did not go at all well, really.

the next few pictures from the farm are for those of you who lean towards the more exotic tastes in certain matters, to be honest. you will please observe that at no point did i explicitly state that these are mostly for the benefit of my brother-in-law, Grant.

and again, let me make it quite clear i did not suggest that i am putting this next picture of a young, freshly shaved lamb up here just for Grant.

many thanks for the pictures, Erika - presumably an extra big thanks from Grant!

well, that will do for now. i am going to sit here and kick my computer about a bit - you know, give it a good slap. see if that sorts it out.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harlo gang sans pig sacrifices.....

hi there

well, the difference engine has not yet blown up on me, so let me post away for a bit, especially as i have been inundated with some new pictures!

Uncle Trevor has kindly sent on a further batch of pictures, taken the day after the "incident", for want of a better word, with the pig. off they went to the quality that is the Riverside stadium.

here's Colin, who just might be 50 after all now that i think of it, and Gran stood proudly by Ayresome Gates, now relocated to the Riverside. which is handy, since Ayresome Park is now a housing estate.

nice one! the above picture also goes some way to explaining why exactly no one was answering the phone at Chez Harlo when i tried to call on Sunday afternoon. as indeed does the next one, showing many of the family enjoying a high calibre banquet, the likes of which only Middlesbrough can serve.

i note that young Christopher is in that picture, but his Newcastle shirt is not. very wise.

with some luck, difference engine calculating machine repair bills pending, i shall be fortunate enough to eat there too one day!

ooh, it has not flashed up that "your computer shall blow up imminently" warning for a bit now, let me try and take advantage with some more updates!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so, Sky Net has become self aware......

hi there

well, as hinted at in my previous post, my machine seems to have become self aware to the extent that it seems to know there is something wrong with it. as it is still working despite the dire warnings it is giving, i thought for the novelty factor i would give you a look at the dire warning it is giving.

i have had a go at mending it, without hammer nor any other twatting device. to this end, i ran Windows self-fixing thing, figuring that the machine could surely fix itself since it knows what the problem is and, as per the screenshot, is keeping it to itself. physician, heal thine self is the saying, is it not?

anyway, the Windows "find and fix", despite taking quite some time, decided against fixing itself. a bit like HAL at this stage, really. before reaching for a big stick (i have a most splendid axe handle within my reach), i took the time to read the information Windows condescened to share. this was to an extent revelatory, as it advised me to check out the inter web net site of the manufacturer of the hard disk drive. this i did.

at the site of the makers i was greeted with a grand pronunciation from them, stating that "2 out of every 3" hard drives returned to them are actually fine, and can be fixed in but a moment with their class software. i thus downloaded their class software, and found that "but a moment" was in fact to be several hours.

before heading off to verk, i set the software off then, setting it to "long" rather than "quick", and instructing it to fix everything it found to be unacceptable. i then headed off for a productive day at verk, taking the hard disk manufacturer at their word and hoping i would not be one out of three.

that said, i took the trouble to contact the chap at the Difference Engine Calculating Machine shop to get some prices on cloning the existing drive onto a shiny new one and installing it. the figure he quoted made me whince, yes, but not weep like the recent car bills. the gent claimed that "hard drives often get fixed by his hands magically", so i should take it in for him to have a gander should the software not fix it up.

i returned from work and excitedly switched the monitor, hoping to find all well and at one in the universe. alas, the word FAIL appeared no less than twice next to the results of whatever it did with itself during the day. i am imagining this is MicroSoft / Hard Disk Manufacturer / Sky Net / HAL / Bishop Out Of Aliens speak for "FUBAR". bugger.

off to the Difference Engine Calculating Machine repair man it will go then, to see if his magic hands, or perhaps a bottle of gin and a hack saw, can't sort it all out. i would suspect that i will not be happy with the cost of just replacing, but in the long run all research suggests get a new "HDD" put in and be done with it.

ho hum.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

yes, it was Sunday at South Fork

hi there

well, i am writing this frantically as i am getting something coming up on screen saying "Windows has detected a hard disk error" or similar. it has a big massive X on it, too. i am downloading something from the hard drive manufacturer to see if that can't sort it out. if not, well, that's another slice of technology that has got the better of me this year!

in the mean time, i took the boys over to South Fork to run a bit riot. Grandad was on hand with his camera, as ever, and got some lovely pictures.

first off, here is James playing peek-a-book with the couches.

these are the couches that William was constantly diving across, off and on, presumably in the hope of breaking something. he didn't, which was nice, and thus was able to take a walk around the grounds!

we had, it has to be said, a most pleasant afternoon visiting! Grandad hardly threatened to get his slippers to administer a thrashing at any point, which is a good sign!

right, i am off to install some sort of hardware checker, and then to also run something called .net 4 something or other which the hardware checker needs, apparently.

if you don't hear from me on this site here for a bit, i guess you can assume that all the above thingies didn't sort it out! wish me luck!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

adventures out and about

Hi there

well, as you may guess looking at this third post of today, i am trying to play a bit of catch up with my posting levels! hopefully they're all good!

a bit of a weekend ritual we have sees William go on a shopping adventure with me. James comes every now and then, if you define every now and then as being when there is a guarantee that we shall certainly go into a toy shop and invest. William is quite content, however, to come along every time to have a gander at things.

here he is at the helm of a most magnificent and most splendid shopping trolley. it is also a curious one, but more on that later.

he does rather like going around in this one, making some most excellent "vroom vroom" sort of noises. all the way from the shop back to the car, as it happens, which is where the curious part comes in.

for some strange reason whenever we have one of these trollies some sort of security guard tries to stop me pushing it, loaded as it is with groceries and a child, out of the store. apparently these trollies "are not supposed to leave the store". tosh and nonsense is my response to that, since they cannot explain how i might then get the aforementioned to the car without it. i just carry on and get on with it yet, none being so brave or perhaps foolish as to attempt to stop me.

note to stores, then - if you have trollies that you do not wish customers to use, then rather not have those trollies and get instead ones that you are happy for customers to use. or simply put up a sign saying "we do not want you to shop here".

moving on, and as i was extracting that picture off my blueberry (or whatever it is called) phone, i noticed this picture which i intended to post but never got around to.

picking up James and William from school has many pitfalls. traffic is the main one, certainly, but then there's when you get both of them and they seem to be in no rush to get home. i mean, when i have collected them, we could either head home, or James could encourage William to have a good go at a jungle gym meant for children considerably older. guess which one happens more often than not.

that's a wooden pole they are walking over, protected from a substantial fall to the ground only by some loose netting. William's love of climbing over everything and anything is really only matched by his apparent lack of fear at trying such things. we have to keep a fine, keen eye on him at all times, especially as he has clocked how to undo the seat belt in his chair in the car, and indeed how to dismantle all the straps on his class car seat!

now then, what else can i do an update on?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dallas returns very soon!

hi there

it's rather safe to say that American television, that which once seemed like the most awesome in the world, has got itself stuck in a bit of a rut of late. the choice of the moment seems to be a stack of reality shows, ones that are mildly entertaining but are getting dangerously close to merging in to one thing - i look forward, for instance, to one day tuning in to Desert Car and Cake Storage King Wars. when they are producing shows of excellence, they tend to either be frustratingly cancelled after one series (the magnificent FlashForward) or allowed to descend into farce (Prison Break started so well and then lost its way big time). even the big staple of successful American TV at present, CSI, seems to have run its course, with the two spin off series, the excellent New York and the horrid Miami, apparently being on the verge of the axe.

it can be little surprise, then, that those responsible for "new" shows have decided to look back and try to recreate those shows that captured a worldwide audience. number one on that list, by some distance, would be Dallas, and so it is no surprise that we shall once again be invited into the world of the Ewing family.

and this is no bad thing! i was a major Dallas fan, as was the rest of the world, back in the 80s. it lose its way badly towards the end (and this is even after the whole "shower dream" thing, which is saying something), so it's excellent to see they are going back to it - partly to rejuvinate it, but hopefully also to one day give the whole concept the fit and proper ending it perhaps deserved.

and speaking of waking up to find someone in the shower to discover the entire last season was just a dream, big, ten gallon stetson hats off to whoever came up with this promotional poster!

it looks like the new series of Dallas will focus on the next generation of Ewings, with the focus being the battles between John Ross and Christopher. excellent to see, though, that JR, Sue-Ellen and Bobby will appear in some capacity, though!

is this going to work? well, i and many others certainly hope so. the idea of returning to the series certainly isn't a bad one, and wasn't an entire failure when they tried it in the late 90s with a film called The Return Of JR. there are also more than a few out there who would cite Star Trek : The Next Generation as proof that a revisit, or spin-off if you will, can sometimes be even better than the original series.

as long as the new series remembers to include certain trademarks - most notably a punch up at the annual Oil Baron's Ball and someone ending up pushed in the swimming pool at the annual South Fork barbeque - then all will be well. it's just a little over a month until it returns to our screens on June 13, when presumably we shall find out!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

pig sacrifices, Harlo style

hi there

well, depending on when you read this, it's either roughly or precisely 9 weeks until we get to see the notorious Harlo gang again. it was with some interest, then, that i saw a number of pictures this weekend which explored exactly what it is they get up to these days.

as it turns out, it's pretty much the usual stuff, which is for most all fine and well, but rather bad news for you if you happen to be a pig.

or perhaps i am being hasty, and this was all good news for the pig. we do not know for certain, after all, what it is pigs crave from their life. perhaps being bereft of life and having an absolutely massive pole rammed through them is what they aspire to. if one follows the logic of the "meet the serial killer half way" theory presented so eloquently by Wayne Gayle in that documentary Natural Born Killers it's certainly plausible.

this being the Harlo gang, though, i am not at all sure they stopped to say "hello pig, are you one of those ones that dream of being roasted in the non-Premier League player sense?".

either way, they certainly celebrated the pig's noble sacrifice in a most Viking-esque manner, and indeed probably had as many people watching the roast as Premier League players do in their unusual interpretation of the phrase.

i quite like Andrew's "are you sure we are going to get away with this Dad" look in the above picture. it quite compliments Colin "innocent" Harland's look of surprise that someone is taking a picture, for surely there is nothing to see here so move along. it's almost as noble as Christopher's attempt, in this next picture, to obscure the view of exactly what is going on.

good work Christopher!

it's not that the Harlo gang do not have every angle covered, mind. on the off chance that this pig was wandering along, minding its own business and didn't want to be bereft of breathing, lose its head and have a massive pole rammed through it, the Harlo gang took the time, trouble and imagination to employ the best detective of all detectives to establish that he/she/it very much did.

if you look carefully at the above picture, and it is not your fault if you did not pick up on this straight away, you can work out that this might not be the real Sherlock Holmes, but instead simply Colin just dressed up as him.

i am really rather hopeful that they still have that pipe when we see them. it looks quite class, and i am very keen to have a go on it. i shall probably use it in the more intended, if you will conventional way than the Harlo gang have been, to be honest.

now then, the more astute of you will have noted that Sherlock / Colin is wearing a badge, suggesting that he is 50. you might then have got it into your head that this pig sacrifice is not quite the ritualistic slaughter i am suggesting, but rather a perfectly normal meal one would have for many guests to enjoy and celebrate a birthday. that would be a fair assumption, if only there was not one of them Da Vinci Code style clues on the birthday cake also present.......

yes, that's right. the birthday cake there, ostensibly to celebrate Colin's 50th birthday and thus justify what happened to the pig should any members of the constabulary happen to ask, has I'm Not 50 written on it. that's a bit of a giveaway clue not unlike those one would find on the cover of The Beatles' celebrated Abbey Road album, is it not?

with conflicting details about whether or not Colin actually did turn 50, and indeed if he did does that justify the removal of a pig off the face of the earth in quite the manner they did, celebrations carried on anyway. here's Andrew and Colin, with the latter looking just about as well sauced as the pig was.

that's a most excellent tankard! well, it might actually be a trophy from Andrew's cricket or Christopher's golf, i suppose, but even if it is it does seem to serve a useful purpose of being a vessel to carry drinks of the more alcoholic persuasion in.

it's good to see Andrew providing moral, and you would suspect physical, support in that picture!

whether these celebrations were genuine or something of a ruse to try and cover up what they were all up to with the pig is perhaps inconsequential, for the whole celebratory weekend did at the least provide a chance for a new picture of Gran!

great to see her, and indeed i am sure she will have enjoyed the more normal aspects and elements of just what was going on at Chez Harlo that weekend!

the observant of you will have noted Uncle Trevor in that picture too. he clearly got up to one or two shenaningans, or things at least that involved unspecified outfit changes, going on his look there and the look he has in the next picture!

the above picture has caused a touch of debate, in the polite sense, between me and my sister. i expressed the opinion that it looks like The Blues Brothers, whereas Gillian says it's more that they look like Laurel and Hardy. in retrospect, and under review, i am very much inclined to bow to my sister's interpretation.

it probably really was Colin's birthday, to be honest, but i thought the above might make for a more interesting read that "happy birthday Colin, here are some pictures". what might have also been excellent would have been a picture of the excellent, special certificate i arrange for Colin, too. in Latin, no less.

i would say that i hope all and sundry enjoyed the celebrations, but all (except possibly the pig, depending on the conclusions you draw from the above) seemed to have had an ace time, so there is little sense in me clutching to such hopes!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DNS Changers and Black Outs, whatever they are

hi there

an interesting trick has apparently hit the internet. the thing that you use to connect to the net (broadly) has been "swiped" by some rogue elements on the net, and they are using your connectivity to register "hits" on sites to reap the advertising revenue income.

i don't think that this damages you in any way, but the FBI in closing down the rogue element's money generating servers with "clean" servers, ones that they are to close down in July. which would mean if your internet connection was one of the ones grabbed and you have not "fixed" your internet settings, then you will not be able to surf the web.

the above probably does not give the full story, but it should give you enough to know this might be an issue for you. it is rather easy to check and see if you are fine.

you can either click the title of this post to go to a checker site, which with some good fortune will give you an image like this one.

phew, i am fine! alternatively you can go to the site set up to warn and help people by clicking these words. it will give you all the info you need and the quick and easy way to fix it.

there is of course an alternate theory to the above. this problem, in the alternate theory, does not exist and this is all an elaborate ruse for the FBI to be able to track people. yeah, ok. people that paranoid probably should not be on the internet to begin with.

hope your computer and internet is free of this problem!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (in Singapore. via Krypton?)

hey there

many apologies for anyone clicking on my site and not seeing too many updates for the last week or so. just been busy with this and that and, to be honest, nothing really came to mind to waste anyone's time with.

i saw this, though, and thought it well worth sharing here. i think this is one of them "virals" pictures that no doubt has landed in your mail or you might have seen on one of them social network things. here it is, or if the previous comments apply to you, here it is again.

no idea if this is genuine, but i really hope that it is - talk about king of names! imagine being asked what your name is and legally being able to say either "I'm Batman" or "I'm Superman"! Dude!

with some luck something of interest, and indeed hopefully good, will crop up and i shall update with it!

in the mean time, dear people, try to avoid making yourself look like a complete idiot by accusing them of killing small animals because they bought a particular device, but more importantly....

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

nice one, South African Airways, thanks.

hi there

i don't appear to be having the best of times on the road at present, really. if my car is not in a bad mood then it seems there's something or other on the streets that simply does not need to be there.

i actually thought that i was getting a lucky break on the roads today, taking some 30 minutes to travel all but one km from home to verk. sadly, that last 1km took just slightly more than 30 minutes!

the reason for the king of traffic jams, one that was even worse than when a petrol tanker blew up as i recall, is partially shown below.

that's a South African Airways truck proudly blocking off the road. i am assuming it's one carrying mail, going on it being nowhere near the airport yet reasonably close to one of the main mail sorting depots. which probably means my mail overseas has been delayed, cheers.

here's a closer look, if interested.

the problem was so bad that even the usually pathetic traffic service on the most self-serving, patronizing, condescending radio station in the world even mentioned it, which was a nice change as they tend to only report either imaginary traffic problems or purely issues which either affect their own staff's route or are not caused by their pointsmen project. a little more on the latter part later, but it's worth mentioning that this radio station is again the only one reporting on how many awards it won again at a recent ceremony, an award ceremony featuring a panel of judges that just happen to be current and former employees of the station, or otherwise employed by companies related to it. go figure.

as annoying as this truck was, it wasn't actually the full cause of the problem this morning. the honour must be shared with the traffic officers and pointsmen who for some reason thought it would be a good idea to see if they could make a bad decision a little worse.

you may note that in these pictures one lane looks empty.

well, the traffic that would be going that way, of which i was part, was stopped by these traffic gurus. it seems we were stopped so that they could fruitlessly wave on traffic attempting to get on to the road blocked by SAA (thanks, once again), causing an even bigger jam. no, i really have no idea why they would do this either.

still, if SAA had either proper trucks or proper drivers, they would not have been called upon to make the whole thing worse, i guess.

cheers for that, everyone involved. can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!