Posts tagged: Heroes

Wednesday 2nd December 2009

So here I am, my official first blog in my new Word Press application. I was hoping to get this all kicked off over the weekend but for some reason the One-Click Application was not working on my hosting. I logged a call with my host 123-Reg and they resolved the issue by Monday afternoon. Even though I perhaps expecting far too much gave them a call around 4pm on Monday to chase for an update. The installation process was completely painless and the most difficult thing was deciding on a theme and more importantly name for my blog. T3G:2 does not really mean much to many people and I have been in the need for some inspiration. At first I thought maybe the name of a movie I had recently seen at a friend’s house – What Lies Beneath, but it had too many negative, dark, eerie connotations. I then went for the same approach as my dearest friend Barry Tuck. (It should be noted that he is the main reason I have finally made the jump onto WP). He uses the lyrics from his favourite (or one of his favourite Radiohead songs. So I went with the same concept, selecting Human Nature, my favourite slow MJ song as the lyrics do kind of fit.
Pinewood
Once I got my head around how to publish posts, create an account for myself as an author, I began the process of transferring all my previous posts into this online application. Originally I thought I would work my way from October 2009 back but this would mean I would have to go through entries in a second pass to link them to the correct historical page once all those pages were up. Therefore I have gone way back in time, to the start of this blog back in 2002 and started from there. It is going to be tedious job but the outcome is worth it. I will have all my entries ready, you will be able to read and subscribe by RSS and even get e-mail updates when I create a new post.

So what have I been up to recently? I must go back to the weekend first. The Drive In Movie at Pinewood Studios was very good, even in the pouring rain. I had not really considering how they were going to pump the audio to us, I just expected large speakers scattered around, but as we entered the main parking area, the attendant told us to tune into 107.7FM. Genius, perfect sound in the car, no need to have windows open and engine noise would not interfere. I had sent a tweet to Pearl & Dean wondering if their titles would appear on the biggest outdoor screen in Europe but even though they had been running competition for tickets recently, their response in a direct tweet on Monday morning was no and I should just hum it myself before the movie starts. Not the same P&D, not the same at all! Notting Hill was very good and better than I expected. I am not a big fan of either Grant or Roberts but it was watchable, in parts very funny and Grant’s housemate, had me in stitches in part. It must be great being Richard Curtis. Having the idea of what it would be like to bring a the most famous person in the world (at the time, in this case a Hollywood actress) to a local dinner party, how would your family and friends react?

Sunday turned out to be a lad’s day. After clearing a great deal of paperwork from my room and shredding it, I spent the rest of the day infront of the television watching three football matches back to back. First there was the Merseyside Derby, followed by the London derby (the less said about that the better). This was followed at 6pm by action from La Liga, El Clásico. It was not as dramatic as the match I watched last season over the May Bank Holiday earlier in the year. After all the build up, it was a tight, one nil victory for Barcelona.

On Monday I had a few jobs to do in town but it was not the ideal weather to be waiting at the bus stop. It was 10am and I was soaking wet. Ryan’s Punto sped past and he recognised me just in time. He had just finished a shift at the supermarket and was heading home, so I asked if he could give me a lift into town and he kindly obligied. The 100 Park & Ride was already on the circuit down from ASDA back from the Empire Cinema, but I did not have the patience to wait. I collected my Dad’s mail from the Royal Mail sorting office, handed in a job application at Argos before heading home.

In the evening, I was hoping to catch FlashForward on five but my Mum wanted to watch some serial on Star Plus, so I used Sky+ to record the show and I would catch it later. In the end, the temptation was too much and I downloaded the Austrialian broadcast version (Channel 7) and started watching around 1am (into Tuesday) but I was so keen to catch the mid season finale and so many questions to be answered. It was good, with a brilliant twist in the middle. The ending though turned out to be somewhat predictable, but I guess that is because we now used to the format of the show.

Tuesday was a day spent on the job hunt pretty much all day. I had the treat of Heroes to late in the evening and got to go to my sister, Julie’s school production in the evening with my Mum. I had an interview on Wednesday lunchtime and had been given a great deal of work to do in preparation. I had missed a DHL delivery around 11am, so went to the debot to collect the package (which we eventually found after a little driving around town), drop my sister at school and then return home for a quick bite to eat before we headed back out to Marlow to see the performance.

As with these things, it started a little late my Mum and I were seated way in time for 7pm. The show was called Starstruck after the song by Lady Gaga which features on the album The Fame. I became aware of this song, when it was featured in an episode of sci-fi series Fringe screened back in late April. Series 1, Episode 17 – Bad Dreams. The show took the concept of a talent show playing a parody on Britain’s Got Talent format. The show began with an intro sequence of various performances of the younger school children, some miming, so ballarinas, some street dancers. Afterwards the show began itself and we were introduced to our three judges. Simon Crewell, Miranda Holdall, Pierre Moorhen played by Sixth Formers and a school teacher respectively (Mr. Stuart Ross). They were then sat to the right of the stage on the same level as the audience, so at times it was difficult to make them out and I had to just make do hearing their voices. It was then down to business with act followed by act, some good, some very very bad. My sister performed in Street Unity, third on the bill in what can only be called a poor man’s Diversity. It was good fun and I could see my younger sibling was enjoying herself. After all the performances there was an intermission. Although I was not at all thirsty, my Mum insisted on getting a drink (I was able to decline the option of a muffin). I was happy to share a drink but my Mum wanted a drink for herself, so we got two Apple & Mango J2O. Minutes later when we were seated, she moaned that it was too sour! The second act was a flashback, showing how each of the different acts found out about the Star Struck show and then went about preparing for the show. The highlight for me was the performance of Ben by Miss Britney Zavaroni but we later discover it was all planned by her scheming mother. An MJ song was selected to capitalise on his death and the song dedicated to Granpa Ben, when in fact his name was Ted. Britney was also told to cry during her performance midway through to further tug on the judges’ heart strings. Overall it was a very entertaining show and a good way to spend an evening for a change. Rather than the usual visit to Albert Square.

When I finally got home last night, I had a nice cup of tea and then settled down to watch Heroes. When I started to play the video file, I discovered the first few minutes were corrupt, with the footage skimming several seconds ahead and missing major parts of the plot. Fans of Heroes will know that major plot devices are always revealed in the first few minutes before the title sequence. I therefore had to go back to MSN and more specifically MSN Plus! Chatlog and pick out the HTTP link from Pav. He has abandoned torrents in favour of direct downloads. He had explained the link was to a super fast server and it took about 40 minutes to download. What was I going to do in the meanwhile? I decided to watch Paradox. I had forgotten to set the show to record on Sky+ so caught up by streaming on BBC iPlayer. Do not get me wrong, it is no FlashForward, but it is good by BBC production standards and has enough going to keep me occupied. I caught episode one over the weekend and decided to give the series a chance. You can therefore imagine that I finally went to sleep sometime near 2am, having watched both shows back to back.

Keeping up with what has now become tradition, please see below my Advent Calendar for this year. I actually requested Transformers from my Dad this year, even though he usually just picks up something he believes I would like. Every year, being my Dad he has been spot on but I just thought it would be ideal to give him a slight nudge for 2009! To keep all my images of advent calendars together, I have created a new set on FlickR. Now the question is are you a good person and eat your chocolate only on the designated day or are you like my sisters (particularly Samantha) whom would have eaten all twenty-five before the fourteen of December has arrived.

Transformers: Optimus Prime Advent Calendar

Friday 6th June 2008

It has been exactly a year since I switched over to Sky broadband and can report, with a beaming smile that I have had no problems whatsoever. They moved to Google as their mail provider a while back but I just purchased my own SMTP gateway service to get around this and have never looked back. I think I was wise to wait a few months and actually move across from Orange nearly six months after the service launched, as many people had teething problems as the rollout began.

Before I continue, let me qualify my situation. I am not a fan of Big Brother. I watched the first series loosely but paid more attention nine years ago than I have ever done before. However, this does not stop me watched the odd part here and there from the highlight show. It is unavoidable with both my sisters hooked on the show and watching live feeds on E4 in the lounge. In recent years I have only watched the first night to see the latest batch of freaks and celebrity wannabe’s enter the house. I did so, last night more on behalf of my friend Savita, whom was on the other side watching (or rather drooling over) Peter Petrelli on Heroes, so I gave a running commentary on MSN. I also read the live blog over on the fantastic Organ Grinder by The Guardian.

DarnellBiff Tannen

As soon as I saw contestant number fourteen, I could see the resemblance with one of the movie world’s greatest bully’s. I did some Google searches but could not find a great photograph. However I have found the best I could and have uploaded to my FlickR. Judge for yourselves, but there is a close match. However will the producers of the Channel Four show pick up on this and use it to their advantage? Time will tell!

The weekend is here and I am actually looking forward to what I have in store. There is the return journey to Tooting to collect my car on Saturday morning. Then once I get home on Saturday afternoon, hopefully the sun is still shining so I can get the car washed and waxed. Then I will be glued to the opening match of Euro 2008 on the Beeb. I have been handed Switzerland in the Euro Sweepstake at work, so will have to be supporting the home nation. Then there is Doctor Who and the second match in the evening. Then I think I may watch Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Sunday is very busy, gym first thing and then a trip over to Bexleyheath for some computer fixing before a little walk around Lakeside (I have never been before). A packed weekend you will agree but not too bad and then a very busy week at work when I take off Monday morning and do not land home until Thursday evening. I hope you have a great weekend whatever you get up to, I will try and keep you all posted with the latest with status changes on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday 4th December 2007

Would not normally be having a race with Pav on a Tuesday morning. I would normally be pestering him to put the latest episode of Heroes onto his FTP site ready for me to download. This morning however, I decided to leave him alone and downloaded the avi file myself. Although it took me a while to find a genuine copy available. We used the same torrent, and even though he started forty-five minutes after me, his download finished over thirty minutes before. I had an average transfer rate of 60kbit/s, where has he has 300k. Bubble alerts in XP can be very annoying, but this bubble from uTorrent confirms the torrent file download is complete. Just a shame I had to wait some forty minutes later for my bubble!

Download Complete

When I got home from work that evening, around 6.30pm, I had an e-mail in my Hotmail (correction, MSN Live Mail). This was strange, an e-mail from Pav, with the subject “One for da blog”. There was an attachment, two in fact. The body of the e-mail was short. Three simple words. These arrived today. If I ever thought I was not going on holiday next month, that illusion was shattered with the delivery of these tickets. In fact in exactly one month’s time, I will be at a birthday party at Island Bar in Caversham, before then at the end of the night, getting ready to drive down to Gatwick for the flight to Innsbruck Airport, while of course I wish we were landing at Salzburg Airport which is named after the city’s number one son, Mozart.

Ski Tickets

That links us to the topic of music. On my drive back from Guildford this afternoon, I was pondering what to listen to. As I pulled out of York Road car park, the traffic was quite heavy, so I had time, while sitting there to choose my album for the stereo. For some reason I decided I was in the mood for some garage. I had last really spoken about garage music on the phone to Dave. It was making a come back of sorts but under the re-branding of UKG (please, who thought that one up?). I bought the Pure Garage Platinum album back in April 2003 from HMV in Slough if my memory serves me correctly. I converted the three disc album into a single MP3 CD and gave the box set to my sister, Samantha. Listening to the songs and aided by a scrap of paper (which lists my favourite track from each directory (effectively disc) it brought back some fond memories of 2000. My first year at University. My favourite song is Imagine by Shola Ama, but I also found a new song Something by Amar featuring MC Rankin. Also it was a great opportunity to test out the power of the new sound system. Amar performed at the BBC Electronic Proms two months ago and is featured on Timbaland’s album Shockvalue.

BBC Electric Proms: Amar

My route home, was relatively cross country up to Bracknell. Here I joined the A329(M) before heading onto the M4 towards London (westbound). As I took the exit to get onto the M4, I noticed the heavy traffic at a standstill underneath me, but it was too late to change lane. I had to bite the bullet. It was not too bad. We were stationary for a few minutes, then made steady progress for a mile before stopping again. Then a few minutes later we started moving again. There was no evidence of an accident, so I just assume it was ‘sheer’ wait of traffic as we constantly hear on the radio. (Apart from Teg because he cannot get any reception on any band!) While on the motorway, I switched to one of my drive time CDs. I have been burning music albums for myself for the past eight years, but to date, I have only ever created one complete album. This album I call, “Drivetime” and spans two disc. The idea behind this album was two fold, firstly predominately music to listen to in the car, secondly (and here is the clever bit) to have a song from three decades. I stuck with 80s, 90s and 00s. This worked perfectly and enables for a track listing that just works and does not conflict. One of the tracks on this album, was Walking Away by Craig David. The perfect song for the way I felt and memories of the music video, as David walks out of his 4×4 and walks through the traffic on a busy road in London. (Readers Stateside might be a bit lost as they had a completely different version!) However, the song was right for the moment, not for right now. So this time around my posting ends with lyrics from another song, which I listened to at least four times this evening.

Imagine If I Told You That I Want You
Imagine If It All Came True
Tell Me What You Would Do With Me
Would You Tell Me That You Feel The Same
Imagine If I Told You That I Need You
Would You Say Baby I Need You Too
No Matter What You Do
I Know You Should Be In Love With Me

Wednesday 26th September 2007

I expected many more, but only had fifteen e-mails in my Inbox at work from the past week. I actually thought I would have had as many as fifty. Never mind, I suppose I should be grateful. To be honest, I doubt my presence in the office was actually missed. It was not like that back in the good old days on the helpdesk. I think it is the two week stage, when people will have expected to get a response or action to some work that things can get a little crazy.

Heroes returned to television screens on Monday this week. However there was one problem, those television screens were across the pond in the wonderful US of A. They are not due to be screened on the BBC (which actually bought rights to season two before season one) until next year. However, I had my friend Pav, a hardcore fan and we had both a will and a way. We were discussing in detail how to get hold of that all important first episode. Pav recommended, I download uTorrent a few weeks back. It is much less resource intensive as Azureus. Rather than worry about my situation, we had to make sure Breezy could get hold of the file first. He had a master plan, plus a contingency. He was going to use a colleagues personal laptop at work, logged onto the ADSL line to download the torrent from EZ TV Torrents. However, there was a problem, he could not monitor the download, so he messaged his Dad on MSN at home to also download the torrent. It took a few hours but it downloaded fine. When I got home, yesterday evening, I was going to download using the same torrent. I started the download and got as far as 400mb but by then, we had come up with a much better plan. A plan, MacGuyver would have been proud of. Pav created a ftp server which I could log in to, thanks to Serv-U FTP software. I logged in and for the first time, it worked first time. Pav copied the divx AVI file across but it was going to take a while. I couldn’t afford to rinse my two gig bandwidth limit with Sky, so opted to download the file from work in the morning.

When I got into work just after 8am, I tried FileZilla, the FTP client installed on my laptop. (I use FlashFXP at home and it is the easily the best FTP client I have ever used and trust me, I’ve been through my fair share!) It didn’t work. I was gutted. However, I remember my colleague Peter teaching me how to use the built in command line ftp program that comes free with Windows XP. To my joy, I logged in and accessed the directory. I quit and decided to create a batch file to copy the file. This way I could run the file every Tuesday morning, to download the week’s episode. Fantastic. At 8.22am, I ran my batch file, then let the DOS window hide behind the rest of my screens, as I got on with proper work.

I kept Pav posted with my progress. He had checked his home PC was all ready in the morning before he left for work. Around 9.30am, the transfer rate started to crawl. Pav’s Dad had started downloaded a few things and I calculated by timing the increase in the file size to between 6kb/s and 4kb/s. Eventually when Mr. K completed the download, going back to basic web surfing, the rate jumped back up to over 80kb/s. The downloaded completed at 11.54am. As the screen below details, the whole download took 11595.42 Seconds which equates to 3.22095 Hours.

My work laptop did not have the DivX codec, so I downloaded from the official site, just to make sure the video worked. I did not want to get disappointed by the time I got home. It is now 8:22pm, exactly twelve hours since I started downloading the file this morning. I think I will go and watch Hiro. Excuse me for the next fifty minutes, if you will.

Wednesday 18th July 2007

Back in April I reported that my room was being redecorated and that I would be moving out for two weeks. Those two weeks turned into three months. However, I kept faith and ensured I blogged as often as I could, for a time using my work laptop. I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to be back in my room. It has been 88 days, since I was last in here and perhaps two weeks more since I was using my PC. I moved all my main bits and pieces, including computer on Saturday evening. My clothes and final paperwork was moved during Sunday evening. You do not realise how much “stuff” you have until you have to do something like this. Gave me a good opportunity to sort out several things but I still have not thrown away as much as I possibly could.

I had a good weekend, how was yours? On Friday night, I had been speaking to Charlie online and opted to head over to his house to look at getting his new PC up and running. However, my first stop was Jerry Street Styles for a haircut. I got there dead on 9am and the door was locked. Within 30 seconds, Eddie came out and opened up. After my haircut, I headed over to Woodley. I found Charlie’s flat and we set to work. Originally he had planned to back up some of his music. He had transferred all his photos and other personal files in a rather unconventional but nevertheless clever way of using MSN messenger and 2 MSN Passport accounts. His 10gig drive did not work in my USB caddy, so we bit the bullet and went for quick format and installed XP. It did not go perfectly to plan. Firstly the new machine would not boot to the hard drive, but eventually we got there and got the operating system installed. Some files were corrupted or not being read by the old CD drive. That is the only problem I could diagnose as the CD had been perfect for me for several installations (it was from Pav after all!). We got Windows XP SP2 up and running but there were some major issues. No Internet Explorer. I tried to installed it, first version 7, then version 6.2 but both failed. The problem was with the Microsoft Installer, it needed to be repaired. I carried out some extensive searches on Google. (Charlie has a work laptop, a Dell Latitude 510, with wireless) I tried to run some repairs but making changes to the registry and installing patches, but none of them work. We opted to download a new version of the Windows XP SP2 ISO with all patches up to June via BitTorrent. We left it running, while we went into town.

When I normally go into Reading, I always park in the Oracle. Sure, it is expensive, particularly during the day but it is convenient and safe. However, as we drove into town, Charlie got me to park by his old house. I was more than happy to walk twenty minutes to the centre, particularly on a nice sunny day. Plus, it gave Charlie and myself a chance to chat. Once in town, we went to grab some food. Although there was the option of Subway, Charlie thought we should get a Cornish Pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. We then walked through the town centre, over to HSBC, before going over to the Oracle. The place was heaving! I just do not know where people get the money to spend the money. We headed through to the Riverside area, finished our food, then headed back to HMV. I noticed they had opened a Krispy Kreme store next to McDonalds. I got to the till at the music store and got them to get me a ticket for Global Gathering. The sales assistant had to go downstairs and collect the ticket from the safe. I purchased the ticket here for two reasons, first I save on booking fee and delivery costs, second I do not have to make sure someone is at home to sign for the ticket. Everyone is a winner! I am looking forward to my second ever festival, we are going on Saturday 28th. Should be a great laugh! On our way back to the car we stopped at The Outlook for a drink. We then headed back to the car and drove back to Woodley. It was great not to have to face all the usual queues coming out of the Oracle. When we got back to the house, I gave Charlie my XP CD for him to have another go, later that evening. He would report back on MSN by the time I got home.

I saw a trailer on Sunday night. The BBC are finally screening the first series of Heroes from next Wednesday (25th). The theme used during the trailer (which in my opinion shows far too much from the first few episodes) was “The End Of The World” a 1963 hit for Skeeter Davis. Although there is some debate online as to whether it is the Karen Carpenter version. Either way, the song fits the whole notion of the show and is quite dramatic when you watch the various clips of the characters. Go judge for yourself. This will enable everyone who has not seen the show to capture the magic before series two airs in the autumn.

I got up relatively late on Sunday, but I had been up quite late on Saturday night after setting up my computer. I wanted to be up a little bit earlier than 9am. I know some people may find that a bit strange. After a shower, I grabbed my stuff and was on the road a little after 10am. The Tesco Express garage was closed for a fuel delivery on Marlow Road, so I drove over to Henley and checked my tyre pressures at the Esso garage there. I arrived early with Chris setting up with Sean. We were soon joined by Chris’ brother Gary and then a few other late arrivals. This was the first proper fitness session with a mixture of ‘events’. First was a small obstacle course (not sure if that is the correct term). Then we had to go around agility course, this was the tough part of the two tasks. We had 45 seconds at each point with each of the pair taking turns. Bear in mind this was only my second session and my fitness levels are as low as they possibly could be. It does feel good to be out of breath, sweat like a pig and feel tired after a session. As I got in my car, a few minutes before midday I felt good. I feel I am slowly but surely getting better. While the progress may be more mental, than physical at this present moment, I am just proud of myself for finding something and sticking at it.

Once I got home, I showered, got changed, grabbed a light snack (very light, just a rice cake!) and then headed over to Oxfordshire for my piano lesson. I had originally planned to drive directly from Henley but opted to come home and change. It was my tenth lesson and a moment for me to truly consider if I wanted to continue my piano course. My progress has been steady, but I could be further ahead with more regular practice. I have decided to continue, aiming to have another ten lessons and take it from there. The experience is enjoyable, but not easy, learning music alone has been a struggle.

When I got home, I spent the afternoon, sorting out all the paperwork in my room. I know it sounds boring and I suppose it was, I had letter and bank statements to file away, which I had collected in a file for the past three months. In the evening, I watched Bulletproof Monk on Channel 4. I had seen it before on Sky Movies, so was not paying great attention as it played on the background on my PC. It is a good popcorn, throw away movie, nothing spectacular but entertaining in parts nevertheless. A nice way to end a low key weekend packed full of loads of bits and pieces.

Thursday 31st May 2007

It is just before 11pm on Wednesday 30th May and I have just watch the finale to series one (or Volume One as the producers would prefer to call it) of Heroes! I stepped up my game and watched four episodes back to back last night. This was after my marathon session on Monday and Tuesday night. What can I say? I am really looking forward to the second series, which the BBC have already bought (strange when they are still yet to screen the 23 episodes I have just watched!). Super heroism, is one of my favourite genres and this series appealed to me in a way like no other. I should really qualify that statement by making it quite clear that I have not seen that many television shows, particularly US imports. I was surprised to discover that Executive Producer, Timonthy Kring, was also responsible for Teen Wolf Too (a movie I have not seen, as it surely could never live up to the original). With most shows, I can be quite disciplined and watch one episode a week, even if I have the whole boxset on DVD. Somehow, this show got right under my skin and I was hooked almost from the word go. Two characters appealed to me, Hiro from Tokyo and of course Mohinder from Madras. Not knowing what was coming next, not knowing how the story would end, it all added to the suspence. Sure, the series will always be listed as a drama but it is a pure scifi dream. There is a spin off Heroes Origins coming soon and then series two which should fall in September. I just cannot wait. In the meanwhile I have downloaded the ‘web comics’ (all 35, 538 megabytes worth!) to read over the weekend to kill some time.

It has been over two weeks without broadband and thanks to a television show, I have not gone completely insane but I am missing every aspect of my online life. My Dad got a call from Sky this afternoon in response to our letter of complaint and was given the activation date of 6th June. Although they did say the service could be switched on earlier depending on BT. By then, it will have been three weeks out in the wilderness. There is a sense of relieve that the ball is in the court of my new ISP and I am not tearing my hair out trying to get people to respond on the phone or to e-mails. However, there is a small sense of apprenhension, as I read the stories on Sky User of users spending hundreds of pounds on phone bills and going months with no active broadband connection, some going as far as to cancel their Sky connection. Fear not, Teg will return, it is just a few more painful days to go through.

Been waiting for a while but it is finally here. Just another football match? Another friendly? Friendlies are pointless, aren’t they? Not if they are the first England game at the new Wembley Stadium. There could only be a handful of opponents that founding country of the game, could play and Brazil are perhaps the most gifted and entertaining to watch. Who would have believed that by the age of 25, I would have seen Brazil play on English soil, not once, twice but three times! However, the previous two occassions will not compare in anyway to tomorrow evening. Why? It will be my first ever England international (at senior level) at the home of football. Need I say any more?

England v Brazil

At exactly 4.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon I received a text from Pav. It was a picture message with the following text, “Sorry to rub it in but I’ve hit a new record!”. Part of me wanted to throw my phone at the wall, part of me wanted to jump for joy. I still do not know which feeling I felt most! I will let you judge for yourself, but something tells me the Guinness Book Records will not been in touch anytime soon mate!

New Record

Monday 28th May 2007

Did not really have much planned social wise over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I know this is not like me, but I prefer to keep things low key for a while. Saturday was quite busy, I was out the door soon after 8am and headed over to Amersham to get a courtesy health check on the A3. While the technician was looking at my car, I went for a walk down White Lion Road to Chalfont and then headed back to kill the forty minutes the inspection would take. I booked the car in for a service and MOT in early July. I then had to head into town. I was hoping to just been an hour but ended up being two. My N73 has been playing up, Vodafone refuse to replace it and instead requested I take it to a store to be sent off. I did this but they asked me to pop around the corner to Phoneland for a software upgrade (not necessary) but I thought I would jump through the hoops. This took an hour, so I had to waste away my Saturday morning, walking around my boring home town. The building of the Eden shopping centre slowly comes together, as it opens next Spring. I collected my phone from Phoneland and then took it back to the Vodafone store. Now this store is tiny with only three assistants (sorry, I mean advisors) so I was stuck in the queue for fifteen minutes and then it took another ten minutes for them to process the return.

I got home just before 12.30pm and watched the breaking news flood in of Beckham’s recall to the England squad. I was pleased for him, as I know his experiences on the field have justified his inclusion. I wonder what my dear friend Daniel over in the Far East would say about this on this blog? He has never been a big fan of DB23. The best aspect of the whole saga, is I get to watch it all unfold live at Wembley on Friday evening. I cannot wait!

Saturday evening, I worked on some web sites and then started watching a television series. The reason for the trip over to Pav’s on Thursday evening, had not just for him to see and hear my new stereo system in the A3, but I also went to collect a care package. The first in over a year at least, but only consisting of two DVDs. I had heard about the US show briefly and it had been given rave reviews but not had the chance to watch it. It had been mentioned by Pav, Foxy and Kev during our weekend in Cornwall and I thought I might as well give it a go. I watched three episodes Saturday night and another three last night. There are two elements to the show that make it so successful. There are several strains in terms of stories and building up powers slowly. You all know that in the comic books and movies, the superhero gets his or her power almost instantly in some freak accident or exposure to some radioactive ray beam. Heroes is different. I have become hooked and have been texting Pav, absolutely raving about it. I think I will try and catch a few more episodes of series one later this afternoon.

Vue cinemas have always had one minus point, an achilles heel if you will. If you ever got to the cinema late, you would be stuck with rubbish seats at the front and severe neck ache. On my visit yesterday morning with my sister, I discovered they now had reserved seating in place. Fantastic! :) This means that whenever I go to the cinema in future, we can pick the best seats, particularly important in Screen 4, the largest. We got to the Oracle at 10.30am, and I bought tickets and then my sister Samantha bought the popcorn and sweets. We got into the screen early but it was by no means busy. A handful of parents with their children. For me, there was no big anticipation for this sequel, as there was last July when I came to see Dead Man’s Chest. It was entertaining but not amazing, I had got used to the characters and life at sea with a pirate. Good fun but the big adventure I expected and I am sure some of the younger children in the audience would have been hard pressed to follow the storyline. Then again, all things consider, Disney have not done that part, to make three box office smash hit movies on the back of a theme park ride!

Monday 27th February 2006

Was hoping to update the blog last night, after I got in from Reading, but an acute headache forced me to bed early. I was out for the count by at least 9.30pm. On the downside, a rather forgettable evening, but on the upside, I woke up this morning, feeling fresh and able to face the challenges of the day. It was after dinner that I felt a pain behind my eyes and knew it would become unbearable within twenty to thirty minutes. Going to bed was the best option, even though I wanted to stay online, chat to my friends on MSN and update my web site. Let me pick up the story from where I left off. Finally got the desktop machine repaired for my colleague this evening, Windows and Office installed and a backup DVD saved with all their life critical information. A job well done, if somewhat over schedule.

Sunday, I usually have things to do, odd bits and pieces, but rarely have a lie in. Yesterday I made up for it by getting up at way past midday, even ignoring two phone calls from my Mum to the land line, I just did not have the energy to get up and answer the phone. By the time I did get out of my pit, there were so many jobs to do, I just didn’t think I could squeeze them all in before the kick off in the Cup Final. Then I had Chris text me to ask if I could come over early, as he had no friends (that will be quoted in years to come) and wanted to watch the game with me. There wasn’t a chance I could get there much earlier than I had originally planned, but I left for Henley around 3.30pm. Rooney had scored by the time I pulled outside his house, on the sunny but cold afternoon. Heading over to Reading, to a completely different route than I am used to, we arrived at the Oracle in time to catch the teams awarded their medals. There was a spilt second when the lights went out at the Millennium Stadium, Chris gave a big sneer at the television screen, only to have to eat his words for the there was a big spot light on the centre circle as Sir Alex and his team were awarded their winners medals, and Wayne his MOM (Man Of The Match). As usual, there was an incident at the ticket collection point. The machine ate my card. I have been going to this Warner Village cinema for something stupid like seven years and this was the first time my card was chewed up. Eventually a member of staff appeared and my card was retrieved, tickets collected and we rushed to get some food before taking our seats. This was another first for me, for the first time I would be going stairs where screens 8 to 10 are located. Crazy how in the past two and half thousand days, I had always seen movies in screens one to seven and no where else. Spooky. After the messing about outside, we eventually took our seats, four rows from the front, in the smallest screen in the whole multiplex. The rest of the seats were taken and the screen was around half full. My biggest disappointment was the fact that due to our untimely delay outside, we had missed the Pearl &amp Dean music. Even after I had said to Chris that Asteroid by Pete Moore was the most important aspect of the cinema going experience, after the main feature. In any case, the movie started, after a few adds and just before the credits rolled, Chris had to head straight out to deal with a personal problem.

In all honesty it was the trailers on television from last week, that forced me to go to the cinema. If I had waited for the DVD, or even premiere on Sky Movies, I may not have got around to watching the action adventure. Action is perhaps the wrong genre to place Æeon Flux, it is more a science-fiction journey. For someone completely new to the character and future world, I was very impressed. Unfortunately I was too young to see the original animated series air on MTV. I personally had great doubts of Charlie Theron has an action hero, although have only really scene her in The Italian Job, which perhaps does not do her acting skills any justice. The movie kicks off at great pace and there are quite a few things going on, so if you blink you could miss something. Totalitarian views of the future, are not new, but it really depends on how they are executed. Personally I am intrigued by the unique views on a system of government, where a chosen few make the decisions for the rest of the population. With a small band of rebels fighting for the course of the obedient. Although the ending left far too much to be desired, the overall film was very good. I can understand why big fans of the series on television may have felt a bit let down. There are more questions than answers, given, and perhaps only one fantastic fight scene in the finale. The supporting cast do nothing but walk their roles and while Charlize does a fantastic job of carrying the film, the lack of substance in any subplots, leaves you wishing that this could have been so much better. In many ways it reminds me of The Shadow, released some twelve years ago, with only the most fanatical of fan follow, yet it too ended up being a disappointment for the audience could not relate the the title superhero. If you want to be entertained for an hour (and a bit), with both a good storyline and some great, but not breathtaking action scenes, go and see this movie. If not, wait for it to come out DVD, it will be worth watching once, and then again, so you can enjoy some of the elaborate set pieces. It was good fun, with an after thought.

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