29th Apr 2013
I am liable to post the occasional rant, this is in keeping with the character I like to portray on this blog. It's mostly an act really for my own amusement. But sometimes life does throw up things that are genuinely very annoying and a problem with our car is one of them.
Of course running a car is not a cheap business as one expects the occasional repair bill due to wear and tear. When such matters arise and there's a danger one's car will be off the road one does not expect to be told that the required part will not be available until the end of summer.
This is the situation currently with Citroen here in the UK and parts for its pneumatic suspension on higher-end Picasso models. We have such a car and we are waiting for the parts with the hope that our suspension doesn't completely fail at speed with our family in the car.
18th Apr 2013
Apparently local papers here in Dorset are reporting that ITV crime drama Broadchurch is responsible for an influx of visitors to West Bay. This lovely little coastal town not far from our house is one of the main locations for the murder mystery.
We visit there regularly as the kids love it and there's a long pedestrian prom to cycle/scoot along. And so my Flickr account is chock full of shots from there.
23rd Mar 2013
I read a lot of rubbish on the internet. That's part of my job. I've also developed something of a thick skin, I can even read YouTube comments without eating my own knees off.
But sometimes you come across something so idiotic, so fueled by stupidity and hate you have to comment. And in this case it was a Mumsnet thread about someone moving on and finding love again after being bereaved. I don't know if my response in the thread will remain, so I post it below.
23rd Feb 2013
I bought a MK809 Android USB stick this week. I wanted it to use as my music streamer from my PC upstairs to my surround amp in my lounge. And I thought I could also use it for a few other things like YouTube and the like. Although my Panasonic 46" plasma looks great, it is from 2009 and lacks many of the "smart" features you get these day - I thought the USB stick would provide them.
The stick came with a micro-usb power cable/adapter and a very short male to female HDMI lead. The stick itself has a male HDMI plug - fine if you are connecting it straight to a TV/amp but not so good if you want to have it placed differently. The stick does get a little hot and instead of between shelves and sat on top of my surround amp I wanted it on the top of the AV centre. So I bought a female/female HDMI adapter (<?2) so I could then use a regular long HDMI lead to the AV amp.
19th Feb 2013
I took my five year old twins to see Wreck-It Ralph this afternoon. They enjoyed it. So mission accomplished. But I wasn't so keen on this latest Disney animated effort.
The first half an hour was good fun. But once the action moved to the Sugar Rush location the whole thing got bogged down and became another sentimental Disney movie with nothing very unique about it. I'm sure many of you older gamers are tempted by the film because of those cool references you saw in the trailer. Don't get excited, those trailer scenes include almost all of those moments from the whole film. The videogames references are a mere tease.
26th Jan 2013
I thought I'd create a YouTube video playlist highlighting tracks from the Grumpyrocker Best Albums of 2012 feature on my music website. So here it is, and quite an eclectic mix it is too.
You'll find the full feature right here.
11th Jan 2013
There are still people who believe the myth that Manchester United fans come from Lond and Manchester is as the moon. But this isn't born out by any time spent in Manchester, nor by the fascinating Twitter map you can see below.
This clever piece of statistical work by Oxford Internet Institute plots mentions of teams on Twitter with geotagged postcodes. While this obviously might lead to negative tweets counting too it does give a surprisingly good correlation to how you'd expect fan distribution to work.
For example you can see the traditional east/west split in Manchester which is what a Mancunian would expect, or at least not an ABU and the myth they like to put about that they are true Mancs.
Also interesting is the dominance of Spurs in North London compared to Arsenal. And just how many Liverpool fans you see in Wales. Northerns Ireland is very red - both in Manc and Scouse terms.
2nd Jan 2013
I tried this a few years ago and didn't manage to keep it up. But in 2013 I'm trying again. Trying what? To take and post a photo on my Flickr Photostream every day of the year. The idea is that it will hopefully improve my photography and will also be a neat way of documenting the 365 days.
If you want to follow the story here's the Flickr set A Picture A Day 2013.
15th Oct 2012
I bought the blu-ray of the Prometheus this week having seen and enjoyed it at the cinema. One thing that struck me this time around - and in some ways mitigates the "stupid scientists" critique - is that this is hardly the best science has to offer. It is a poor crew likely to make bad decisions, but that's no surprise and not a negative aspect of the film but actually integral to the plot and this genre.
Two crackpots with Erich Von Daniken ideas that no-one else believes have managed to get a hugely expensive mission funded just because an old man is scared of dying. In the movie there's no sense we're being told this is a group of geniuses, Shaw's theory is outlandish and the rest of the team seem to be brought along to make up numbers, Weyland making some nod at legitimising the expedition.
13th Aug 2012
I was going to write a long post about the dreadful embarrasing olympic closing ceremony. But as ever The Daily Mash explains the appaling spectactle better than I could.
Hayes, who organisers deemed to be the most typical man in Britain, curated the ceremony via special electrodes attached to his head which fed details of everything he likes into a giant computer. This information was then transmitted into the Olympic Park in the form of incredibly lifelike holograms.
Read the whole thing over at The Daily Mash.