Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008

I just want to say Merry Christmas to everyone.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, whether that means getting all the presents you lusted after, spending the time with family, the religious aspect; or all of the above.

Have a special day and I will catch you all later.


How does Santa do it?

December 9, 2008

Well, from what I can tell from reading over at Newswise Science News it’s a combination of:

electromagnetic waves, the space/time continuum, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer science

Covering 200 million square miles delivering to 80 million homes can’t be easy but Santa manages it every time.

“Based on his advanced knowledge of the theory of relativity, Santa recognizes that time can be stretched like a rubber band, space can be squeezed like an orange and light can be bent,” Silverberg says. “Relativity clouds are controllable domains – rips in time – that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth. The presents are truly delivered in a wink of an eye.”

You learn something new every day.


Amiga 600

September 24, 2008

I have long been wanting to indulge in my retro computing fetish.  This isn’t something I have had the chance to immerse myself in before now.  It all stems from my first every computer, the Sinclair Spectrum +2, which I was given for Christmas at the ripe old age of about 8.

I imagine that this bastion of retro computing was what set me on the road to my much too geeky present self.

Anyway, like I say, I have been wanting to indulge myself again recently with a passion.  (It was either that or Hornby model trains…).  So I spent the last couple of days trawling the depths of eBay for a suitable bargain when I came across a rather cheap, working, and decently attired with extras Amiga 600,  (The not so popular Amiga as I have read).  A Buy It Now push of a button later last night and I am eagerly awaiting delivery.  Now all I need is a soldering iron and I can really get ready to indulge in some serious retro modding.


The Champions League Final

May 1, 2008

Last night was probably the most exciting of my life I have had watching football.

Chelsea reached the Champions League Final after beating Liverpool 3-2 on the night, and 4-3 on aggregate, to face Manchester United in the first ever all English affair.

This time round there was no ‘phantom goal’, no pot luck of penalties.  We beat Liverpool by doing something Liverpool couldn’t do in both of the other semi-finals we have faced them in.  We beat them by out playing them.  Liverpool have another trophy less season and we are level with Manchester United on points in the Premier League.

No one can now say that we aren’t up there with the best.  Other teams try to live on the acheivments  of the past, but Chelsea are the club of now and the future.

The match itself had everything with Chelsea coming out 3-2 winners, 4-3 on aggregate.

Match Report

And in the Premier League, with two games to go, we are level on points with Manchester United and have everything to play for.  With Chelsea are there is no team that runs away with the title anymore, unless it is us doing it as we have did in 04/05 and 05/06 when the title was ours pretty much after Christmas.  When United regained the title last season from us, we took them to the wire, and it’s the same this season.  We have done something no other team has in recent years, made the title race something exciting that you can’t take your eyes off for a minute.  Chelsea FC isn’t a permanently 4th placed Liverpool who are out of the real challenge of winning a title over the 38 games of a season before Christmas, or an Arsenal who play pretty football that doesn’t win silverware.  We are a team that can outscore when we need to, and grind out results when we need to.  Results speak for themselves.

We taught Liverpool a lesson last night, United were thumped by us at the weekend showing that we are the team to beat.

Whatever happens by the end season, even if we come away with nothing, we have proven our quality and fighting spirit, along with making Chelsea history by reaching the Champions League Final.

Hopefully we really are going to make this a Blue Season, especially for Frank Lampard and his family after they tragically lost Frank’s mum this week.  On that note, how brave was Frank, what a man, what a player.  Legend.


Has it been one month already?

January 27, 2008

I stopped drinking alcohol just before new year. I got bored with it and had had too much over Christmas.

I don’t miss it at all, too many negatives.

And on more of a downer:

Anti-war group says war crimes are “encouraged”

WATERTOWN, NY – “I was messed up in the head. It was okay for me. I laughed afterwards. We all did. It’s just the way things go.”

Iraq war veteran Jon Turner said it was almost expected of him to pull the trigger on people who didn’t need to die. So he did.

“It was my decision,” Turner said. “I made it. Now I have to live with the fact I see someone’s eyes screaming at me after I shot them.”

But Turner says it wasn’t his choice to be encouraged to do it from higher ranking officers. He and three other veterans speaking out Saturday at the Different Drummer Cafe in Watertown said committing war crimes is not only the way things go, but it’s unofficial policy. “The killing of innocent civilians is policy,” veteran Mike Blake said. “It’s unit policy and it’s Army policy. It’s not official policy, but it’s what’s happens on the ground everyday. It’s what unit commanders individually encourage.”

The group, part of the national organization called Iraq Veterans Against War are planning an event to be held in Washington, D.C. this coming March called “Winter Soldier” that will have veterans all speaking about war crimes they committed or witnessed during their tours of duty.

“These decisions are coming from the top down,” veteran Matt Howard said. “The tactics that we use. The policies that the military engages will create situations, create dynamics, create, ultimately, atrocity.”

IVAW hopes to have 100 veterans speak at the event. Once it ends, they’ll document the testimony and package it for Congress.

IVAW says it expects a number of veterans from Fort Drum to be at the event and it is hoping to get more veterans to attend and speak at the event and will help pay for any active duty soldier who wants to go and listen.

And Obesity in the U.S 


Stardust (2007)

January 5, 2008

[spoiler]

Overview

Director:
Matthew Vaughn

Writers:
Jane Goldman (screenplay) &
Matthew Vaughn (screenplay) …

Release Date:
19 October 2007 (UK)

Genre:
Adventure / Fantasy / Romance

Plot Outline:
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.

Cast
(Cast overview, first billed only)
Charlie Cox    …     Tristan Thorn

Ian McKellen    …     Narrator (voice)
Bimbo Hart    …     Young Scientist
Alastair MacIntosh    …     Victorian Academic

David Kelly    …     Guard

Ben Barnes    …     Young Dunstan Thorn
Kate Magowan    …     Slave Girl – Una
Melanie Hill    …     Ditchwater Sal

Sienna Miller    …     Victoria

Henry Cavill    …     Humphrey

Nathaniel Parker    …     Dunstan Thorn
Darby Hawker    …     Grumpy Customer
Frank Ellis    …     Mr. Monday

Peter O’Toole    …     King

Mark Strong    …     Septimus

[/spoiler]

This is a film I watched before Christmas and has been on my ‘to review’ list for a while.  I should have reviewed it at the time because it really is, like the cliche, a modern fairy tale to outstrip most contenders to the throne.

The story is well constructed if not with out a few continuity and other flaws.  Robert De Niro puts in a career new in his role as the captain of the air ship.  This is probably the only role I have seen him in where he genuinely pulls off ‘funny’.

Michelle Pfeiffer puts in a suitably scary performance, for children, as the main witch, aided by some rather good make-up.

The stars of the show, Danes and Charlie Cox do what they have to.  I’m a huge fan of Danes, not least because she is easy on the eye.  I do find that she plays pretty much the same role in every film she does however.  All in all the acting is suitable if not outstanding.

The film as a whole does exactly what it says on the tin.  A film the whole family can watch and enjoy, with more than adequate special effects.  My youngest ones were asking when they could watch it again shortly after.


A Review of My 2007

January 1, 2008

Like most peoples years, mine has had it’s fair share of ups and downs. Plus the usual personal issues and quirks.

January was the month I found out my daughter CJ was to be arrive in September later in the year.

A little later on I had spent a lot of time reading and researching the current state, future prospects and how I can do my bit towards preventing the current march of man made global warming. This led me to becoming vegan, and joining the Green Political party of the UK. You can see more about this on my about me page.

What about technology? I got my PS3, and it kind of revolutionized my living room as a media center. I continued my linux march forward with a switch from PCLinuxOS to Kubuntu. I only now use M$ products / software on my old laptop, and that’s mainly for itunes. I built my new Desktop, a Core 2 Duo 4gig monster, and purchased the amazing little Asus EEE.

Towards the end of the year I began reading some books on Buddhism. After some extensive research I decided to pursue this ideology as something of a person philosophy, and as I continue my studies, this is one aspect of my life that I really want to improve and learn more about in 2008. I already have feelers out for a possible teacher. You can find info about this in my Buddhism is a Philosophy page

The two most important events of my 2007 were the birth of my daughter CJ and the death of my Gran. CJ came into the world on the 23rd of September and I can honestly say this was the happiest day of my life. She has changed my life in so many amazing ways and given me so much in her short time here. She is the light of my life. On the other side of this coin, my Gran passed on the 29th December. She will be missed so very much. Things will never be the same again.

I opened my ebay store. Added numerous books to my collection. Started my film review site, Chewed Celluloid. Celebrated the first birthday of my blog. Saw my Dad for Christmas for the first time in three years. Did the compulsory change about of my blog, including the move to this domain name. Started my Ecology diploma. Had the usual ups and downs in my personal life and health. Watched the amazing Six Feet Under and Dexter. Watched the world and our race come closer to implosion. But in the end, I have to say that the year just gone was revolutionary in lots of ways. There are plenty of things I missed out here, but the important things must be those that sprang to mind.
Bring on the variety of last year, this year, the sweet and sour, rough and smooth.

Hello 2008.