Friday, 12 October 2012


Korea this weekend.

It's a bit of an odd one Korea - in many ways.

My Dad doesn't like it - he thinks it's on a par with Valencia.  I don't really agree - I don't think it's that bad.  I mean, it's no Spa or Canada, but I think some of the races have been okay.

It's also a bit unusual circuit in that it's sort of a bit like a street circuit.  Apparently have of the circuit is driven on, but more because it's part of an industrial area, so it's not driven on a lot.  It's a little like Canada in that sense - it's not a full-time race course, but then neither is it a pure street circuit.

But it's also slightly schizophrenic in terms of its layout - part of the circuit has very close walls that are very Monaco-like but then another part of it is quite open (well, from memory - certainly I recall some bits with walls and some bits with grass).

And then there's the time it's held - the race starts at about 4PM local time, I believe, which is quite late for a Grand Prix - the races can be anything up to 2 hours long so it has ended some years at twilight, but there's no lights like at Abu Dhabi and Singapore.  If there was rain and they wanted to delay the race or pause it then it runs a real risk of it getting dark.

It's odd, actually - Abu Dhabi and Singapore are held at those times because it puts them in the normal slot for Grand Prix's in the European time zone (2PM-ish in the UK).  But for Korea it means it starts at about 7AM, rather than 5AM here - I don't really see how that makes much of a different.

So yeah, it could be interesting for all sorts of reasons.

And I've definitely made enough room on my PVR to record it.  Last night I watched an old-ish BTCC race day.  I usually watch the highlights as the full race day can be around 7 hours long (they show all the races at the circuit - not just the BTCC) but ITV fiddling with the naming (British Touring Car Championship versus BTCC) and I couldn't find them so recorded the full thing.

Anyway, deleting that freed a huge chunk that will happily cover all the Grand Prix stuff.  Plus I also discovered a program I was recording but hadn't yet got to see was a bit rubbish so I deleted all of them and that freed up 4 hours.

Still, huge amount not watched, so it may be a lazy weekend of sitting on my arse watching telly.  Bliss.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


It's always trickier to write positive reviews than it is negative.

Generally with negative reviews you can detail at least one thing (but usually more) that you didn't like, explain why you didn't like it.  Maybe you can even give ways in which it could have been better.

Even with positive reviews there's normally some stuff I didn't like, or perhaps felt could be a bit better.

In the case of Up this is very difficult.  I mean, I wouldn't say it was perfect, but the things that aren't quite right about it are so minor as to be inconsequential.

For example, a big part of the story is that the main character lifts his house using a couple of hundred helium balloons.  In reality this would be next to impossible - certainly it would be financially ruinous, let alone where he got all that helium in the first place (yes he worked as a balloon seller, but he'd have to be a pretty poor balloon seller to have that much Helium left over).

Others might be that he somehow steers the house and that he gets up a fair lick of speed (he gets from the US to South America in a couple of hours - airline speeds).

But quibbling about that sort of thing is a pretty rocky road - you might as well ask why he doesn't actually look like an actual human.  It's a silly thing to be worrying over because being scientifically (or anatomically) accurate isn't what story telling is about.

And it's really the strength of that story that makes Up so good.  Y'know it's something Pixar get right almost all of the time - yes they do the really clever, impressive CGI stuff, but they really work hard at the story too.

In this case the good story is really boosted by some great characters - Carl, Russell and the Dog Dug are really great characters.

As I was saying, it's tough to write positive reviews and I'm running out of things to say.

Y'know this review is actually a cop, because I've used the exact same technique before when I've not been able to find anything to really say about a good film.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

box sorting

No blog yesterday as at the point I was going to start writing it I was handed something to do.

That something was a bit of a mess and took all afternoon to get even vaguely on the right track.  It actually poxed up all my afternoon, to be honest, but there you go.

This last weekend was incredibly busy.  As well as the Korean Grand Prix and all the recorded telly I had to watch I also had to do deal with a huge pile of washing (all my holiday stuff plus the work week), sort out the boxes / shed situation and clean my car.

Well, cleaning my car was not something I had to do, but I wanted to do it to take advantage of my landlord being on holiday.  Three days later it's unfortunately now dirtier than it was.  There's some house building going on near the industrial estate where I work and they've been digging out a huge amount of earth and leaving trails of muck all over the roads, so with it being rainy it's made a right mess of everyone's car - it's like everyone in the estate goes rallying to get home!

I did also need to sort my boot contents out after the holiday, so I did that too.

The boxes was a bit unfortunate - I'd actually planned to do it anyway as I usually do when my landlord goes away at this time of year, but he also left me a note basically asking me to do it, which made it a priority task.  However, the weather was crappy across the week and it been my intention to spread it out a bit.

What I'd been hopping to do was most of the box moving and some of the more basic sorting in the evenings during the week.  However, rain and dark is not really the best combination for doing it.

As such that meant I had to do the whole thing at the weekend - a weekend when I had a big long list of other stuff to do as well.

Now I did basically do it, but it was pretty poor in terms of really sorting out, tidying up and identifying things to e-bay.  Really I've just moved a load of crap from my bedsit out to the shed and ensured what's in the shed is properly boxed and stacked.

It's a little frustrating from several perspectives, but it is what it is.

It does emphasise to me that I need to move now that I've decided to stay working where I am.  Indeed, I've decided I really need to move to Alton, though first I need to not spend my pay rise for a few months so I can build up a deposit!

Monday, 8 October 2012

japanese grand prix

Well, that's made things interesting!

It was the Japanese Grand Prix this last weekend and the very first corner caused all sorts of interesting things.  There appeared to be at least 3 accidents going on (it may have been 4), which is actually quite common at Suzuka - everyone piles down to the first corner which is high speed but then the second corner is basically right after and that is very slow, so you tend to get a lot accidents.

Anyway, of most interest was Alonso, whose luck appears to have run out and he ended up facing backwards with a rear tyre completely gone and a stalled engine.  It was a relatively small incident with Kimi and was really neither of their faults but it's thrown the championship wide open.

Particularly as Vettel went on to win the race, which means he's now only four points behind with 5 races still to go.  The Red Bull also looked particularly quick, as it basically dominated practice, qualifying and the race.  If Webber hadn't have been one of those in an accident at the start it could easily have been a 1-2 for them.

I guess it just goes to prove the old thing of never betting against Adrian Newey, who I believe is the most winning-est designer in Formula 1.  According to Garry Anderson on the beeb's team they've come up with a rather clever idea that actually achieves what Mercedes "double DRS" was supposed to in a simpler, more efficient and more effective way.

Unfortunately Lewis had a bit of a problem in the race, as he had set the car up wrongly and he was rather uncompetitive.  This affected his qualifying too as he was quite a way down the grid.  It's difficult to see how he will now make up ground on Vettel and Alonso for the championship.

Massa finished second, which was partly due to a great start (avoiding all the accidents) but then he was consistent and quick during the race too.  It therefore looks like Ferrari will keep Massa on next year.  I have to say I was sort of suspecting they would - the focus is on Alonso as Number 1 driver, as is the Ferrari way, and having someone come in who may challenge has not historically been how they like to do things.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third on the podium.  I think a few more laps and Jenson might have taken him, but still, it was quite an achievement.  The Sauber car (and team) has been really strong all year and seems to have really come into its own now, but Kamui has been a bit unlucky.  Though I also think their highly tactical approach doesn't really suit his style - he's more about all-out overtaking manoeuvres.

The noise from the crowd when he crossed the line was amazing - it almost drowned out the cars!  I've only ever heard shouts like that from the British crowd before.

So yeah, looking like a good end to the season and it's all quite squeezed in - the next race, Korea, is this next weekend.

I should note obviously the thing about Lewis as well, but I thought I'd actually blog about it later (if at all).