Friday, 10 August 2012

other pics

I'd actually pre-written the post below and was intending to post it yesterday, but Thursday was absolutely manic so I didn't get the chance.

I mentioned some time back that I figured out how to get photos off my phone, so I thought I'd post the couple of random shots I took with the intention of blogging about. They're now quite old so a bit out of context. Firstly we've got some pictures I took back when the lovely summer of rain was just getting going and we were all surprised at the volume. I think we've become used to it by now.

I should explain this is a bit of road that goes down to an industrial estate and it's not an area that's prone to flooding, but as you can see it's like a small lake. It must have been a good 6 inches deep at least and was essentially the consequence of huge downpours over several days that caused all the drains and rivers to just stop clearing the water. Obviously it's the Queen's Jubilee year and we got the long bank holiday weekend, so by way of "celebration" I decided to make some fairy cakes.

As you can see I made up some red white and blue icing. However, in all honesty the icing wasn't very nice as the icing sugar was quite old so it tasted a little funny.

So if we're celebrating Britain then this must be me celebrating Britain's "multi-culturalism" and not simply because I made 6 cupcakes from the recipe and had three left over and some random bits of dark and white chocolate in the cupboard. These were a lot nicer than the iced ones, obviously as chocolate doesn't go funny if left. On these you can also see that some of the fairy cakes sunk a bit as they had a bit much batter in and when the others were finished these weren't quite set. Still it made a nice sink for me to put more chocolate in!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

the mechanic

I've generally enjoyed most of the Jason Statham films I've seen.

They're not generally anything more than fairly basic action films, with Statham kicking ass and taking names.  He's generally very good at the action stuff and they excel in the fighting and violence, rather than plot.

I have to say, though, that I found the mechanic to be quite poor.

Apparently it's a remake of a Michael Winner film, but I've never seen that so I can't really comment on that side of it.  What I would say is that the problem really is the main character, played by Statham.

See, he's not very likeable, which is okay, but he's also most definitely not a proper anti-hero.  I mean, his "job" is as an assassin, so he kills people, and it's sort of hinted that he only kills bad people, but this is never clearly stated.  So he's a killer, but a killer of bad people.

So that makes him a "good guy", except he's not that either.  Being an assassin it's fairly obvious that the plot involves him being used to kill somebody that he shouldn't have or that didn't need to die (it's a wonder assassins don't see this coming).  But this really cuts to the heart of the problem.

He's supposed to be this super-efficient, sees everything coming guy, but he just takes the assassination contracts at face value.  It's horribly contradictory.

He also weirdly ends up taking an apprentice out of... well, I'm not sure, guilt?  It's not entirely clear - the apprentice didn't really want to become an assassin, he just sort of goes along with it.

It's all very random.

But what makes it worse is that where the poor plot would usually be compensated for by lots of action and fight scenes, the film doesn't really have that many.  And Statham is only in a handful of them.  Also, they're not particularly interesting - either super-efficient, bang you're dead, or horribly messy.

It was all very disappointing.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

farnborough airshow pics 2

More from farnborough. The red arrows, obviously. They put on a full display, which was really good to see. It's been ages since I've seen the red arrows do a full display. The arrows were parked up opposite the Breitling display team who also did a cool display. It obviously wasn't all military planes there - I like this bulbous nosed guardian. very weird looking. So here we have the F-15 and F-16. Very recognisable US jets. The jet nozzles from the F16. If you were stood here with it fired up you'd get a rather heavy tan, rather quickly! Parked next to them was the F18 Super Hornet. A Super Hornet actually did a display as well - it was impressive, both in terms of volume and manoeuvrability. Right, unfortunately I've run out of the photos I was able to take with my proper camera. As mentioned, it ran out of juice as it had claimed to be fully charged, but really wasn't. So these remaining photos are all from my phone. Here's the Chinook from the front - I took this on the way back, having walked all the way up the display. The Osprey. The rotors are enormous. It's like having two big Chinook rotors stuck on the end of two stubby wings. A bonkers thing. Another of those civilian aircraft. A close up of its big old jet engine intake. The Vulcan. Apparently it costs so much to fly it and it's in need of some serious upgrades, so it's a strong possibility this was the last time it will fly at Farnborough. The Vulcan was at the very end of the displays, but it actually turned out that where they have all the "chalets" (which are only open on the industry days) there were a few aircraft on display too, including this F35.

Monday, 6 August 2012


It was a pretty quit weekend.

Which, to be honest, suited me down to the ground.

Over the last couple of weeks work has been pretty horrible, as we've been bidding a big framework.  I have to say I'm not sure why we're bidding this framework, but bidding it we are and I have ended up with most of the actual effort to do it.

And it's been bloody hard work.  Hard work not helped by the fact I've had this horrible cold for the last few weeks.  It's finally starting to clear up, although it's still not gone and it's been more than two and a half weeks since I caught it.  But then it took several days before it really kicked in, so maybe it's not surprising that it's taken weeks to clear?

The main problem is that it seemed to get into my sinuses, which has made me feel bunged up and left me mouth breathing which then gives me a headache.  And as I say, I've been maxed out at work on top so I entered the weekend feeling drained.

In fact I entered Friday feeling drained and made several clear errors.  I struggled through and did a bit, but if we worked flexi I would have taken off quite early, I think.

So this weekend I chillaxed.

Well, I say that.  I spent Saturday morning cleaning and went on some very long walks that meant by evening on both days I was fit to drop.  But that was nice - it was nice to feel tired because of those sorts of things, rather than fatigued because of ill health and work stress.

I also started to attack some of the stuff I've recorded.  As I mentioned on Friday I recorded very little in the week, so I was into the recorded stuff quite quickly.

As it happened what I attacked wasn't really the TV shows I've recorded, but the Beethoven "Symphony cycle" that was played at the proms a little while back.  It was basically all 9 of Beethoven's symphony and was mostly radio stuff, rather than TV programmes.  I'm a bit of a fan of Beethoven.

Being radio I also managed to catch up on a bit of reading.  I've gotten behind with a few of the articles and blogs I read and while I'm not fully caught up it was nice to bring some of them up to date.

Chillax is among one of those words that I know quite a lot people hate.  I'm fine with them myself - one of the things I love about the English language is its fluid nature and how it absorbs words.  I could easily have been an Etymologist as I find it endlessly fascinating.

One I'm slightly more puzzled by is "amazeballs".  I think its origin is ironic, but how it's come to be used I'm not sure, particularly as it's actually slightly more complicated to say that amazing.