Friday, August 31, 2012

Inspector Montalbano on the BBC

This week I watched an Italian show called

Inspector Montalbano



Inspector Montalbano is detective series set in Sicily. I was subtitled, which I am normally happy with, but it does mean that you really have to watch the show and not do other things. Anyway it was all very cool. At the end of the show there was a raid, but only with about 4 policemen. Yeah, Italy must be short of money if they only use 4 cops against a gang of armed people importers. Thee was some really sezy woman who stayed at his place, but they didn't sleep together. Strange.




Tekken

Yesterday I watched a film called Tekken on Itunes. Umm I rented it because it was cheap. I thought the picture on the front was an Asian, unfortunately it was a standard action film made by some small Hollywood studio.There is some tournament and people fight. Some son doesn't get the respect he wants.

Because I am old I didn't realize that it was a video game as well.  I thought I had some insight when the film was on, but I seem to have forgotten it..

I thought I had learned my lesson, but I see that there is a film called: Tekken: Blood Vengeance. This  is a animated feature film.. The reviews don't look so great though.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A late night visit

On Monday night I was watching TV and drinking beer. It was  23:30, but the bell to my door rang. This was very surprising, but I opened it anyway. One of my neighbours was there and he asked me to help him. He was trying to wrap a black band around his arm and he needed  someone to hod it tight. It took a couple of goes, but he was happy when he left. I did wonder why he wanted to do this. Perhaps he is a drug addict, but he was old and wearing jogging gear. It looked as though he wanted to check his heart rate.

Volcano dream

I seem to be having a lot of dreams lately. Last night I dreamed I was visiting Canada with my mother. We explored a city in a bus for a while. There was a big river that we saw from the top of the bus.

In a hotel room I was looking at a mountain far away, when it suddenly erupted. I could see some ash and hot rocks towards the hotel window. I was scared that we going to die, but in the end the rocks were small and the windows didn't smash. My mother complained I was holding onto her in an inappropriate way. (Look I thought I was going to die).

So before we start on any Freud shit, we first need to find why I am dreaming so much. Two dreams in a week. My current theory is that I had a glass of red wine last night. Just a theory, but it can be tested.


Monday, August 27, 2012

My quest for a beach

Friends, did you know there is a beach bar in Wuppertal?  Well the  internet tells me there is, but I can't find it. It is close to the historical city hall, but I just can't find it. Even with my fancy phone and GPS -- I can't seem to find the blasted place. And the summer is almost over. Soon the couple of days we have had of sun will be gone and the cold and rain will be back.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

plays, dreams and trains

I feel like shit. I woke up early as usual, but then I didn't go back to sleep immediately, because I wanted to remember my dreams.

For the first part I was in a school. I had to write a play. I wrote free verse on my laptop and it was shown on a big screen. The free verse wasn't very good, but I was just happy to be writing, because I was impressing some women near by.

Next I got off a train and I wanted to buy a ticket to Liverpool. I thought I only had a few minutes to get a ticket. I ran around but the ticket machines were all very confusing. I also only had a few coins. I put money into one machine, but ended up buying some stamps!

What does it all mean? Well I am clearly unhappy about the ticket machines at Manchester airport, where I regularly buy the more expensive single ticket to Manchester. It is not clear to me that I needed to record this dream, but I have not had a vivid dream for such a long time.

On evil

I thought I would smarten my image up to impress the women of Wuppertal,. So I ordered an Aleister Crowley T-shirt from Amazon.

Boy, am I going to look cool and hot!

However, I also see that Amazon will sell me a CD of Aleister Crowley speaking. That could be a bit weird. What if I got corrupted by his evil voice and start worshipping Satan . It could be the beginning of the end.

On the other hand the CD only costs 12 Euros so perhaps I could give it a quick listen.

Going South

I just finished reading Going South: Why Britain will have a Third World Economy by 2014 by
Larry Elliott  and Dan Atkinson. They suggest that the UK has been in an economic decline since after the first world war. They suggest that the UK is slowly moving to be a third world  economy.

The current economy is now just having a few minor set backs, but deeply sick. It was sad to think the UK was once in the lead for building computers.

They point out that the falling pound makes it easier to export goods, but that is only a good thing if the UK had a manufacturing sector of reasonable size, which could sell goods abroad.

They also note that many political decisions are now made to keep current public opinion gratified,
rather than any thought out position.

They point out that for the last twenty years there has been no real economic plan from any Government. Of course that is true, but part of the free market ideology is that nothing should be planned, but that that the market will automatically find the optimal solution. This would be great if that was actually true, but we found out with the banks that the free market idea doesn't work in practise.

So interesting and depressing.

Larry Elliot also writes for the Guardian


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TV can't always bring happiness.

I was feeling pretty depressed and burnt out. Life just seemed such a grid. Would I ever feel happy again?  The I noticed that the Iplayer had the film Lesbian Vampire Killers on it. Perfect I thought for late night viewing, but then I started reading the review


The BBC have been showing all the falcon films. These are great black and white films about an amateur detective. It is a little bit like the Saint, but he is not as dangerous. He doesn't kill anyone -- mor is the pity.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cheesy action dream

Last night I dreamed that I was hanging out with a crazy detective. We were investigating some crime, but the detective was also having a major nervous break down, where he could not talk, but just grunt. We called his detective friends and they came to my house. I couldn't really hear them properly, because they had thick New York accents.

The detective team were sceptical that there was a real crime, but they went into action. In the final part of the dream there was a big chase between two huge trucks. One of the trucks used a hollow pipe as a lance that went into the other truck with the detectives in. One of the detectives had no legs so he could go through the center of the pipe and board the other truck.

I am starting to dream cheesy action movies.

The expendebles

A couple of weeks ago I watched the Expendables - a piece of crap film from  Sylvester Stallone. Look it was cheap to rent from Itunes. I don't watch action movies for any kind of art reasons, but still this film was so dumb. Jason Statham was the best actor in the film. Stallone is just a cartoon of himself.

What annoyed me the most was that Jet Li was used a comic china man, who was weaker than the western heroes. It was like Jet Li in one of the "Lethal Weapon" films, where he was faster and stronger than Gibson and Glover, but they still managed to beat him in the end.

It was good to see  Dolph Lundgren back.

Well, there were explosions I suppose......


From the ZX81 to raspberry pi

I have spent part of the day reading about the economic woes of the UK.  I will post later what the book is, but it makes pretty grim reading. What can a person do?

I felt it was my patriotic duty to buy  a raspberry pi computer, as this could be the machine that improves the UK's software industry. It is an ultracheap bare bones computer that is meant to be programmed. I just ordered one for 50 pounds.  The actual computer is cheaper, but I had to get extras such as memory.

Like many people of my age I learned how to program on a ZX81, although I wanted a BBC microcomputer. Will the kids start to learn linux and python , or will they want an Ipad so they do facebook stuff?

I have to wait upto 15 weeks to get it and then I will have to find time to work on it.





Taking a train from Leipzig to Dresden

After looking at some pictures I decided I was ready for a beer. I had booked a train to Dresden, so I was on a schedule. There were no good outside bars close to the railway station, but there was a good bar in the railway station, where you could order at the bar in the normal UK manner.

I then got the train to Dresden. It took about one and half hours to get from Leipzig to Dresden.

My hotel in Dresden was meant to be close to the railway station. It still took a lot of time to find the hotel -- even with my fancy GPS phone. Outside the railway station there was a big shopping area. I eventually found the hotel A&O Dresden Hauptbahnhof It was really a hostel, but I had my own room and there was a bar on the top of the hotel. The bar was on the 8th floor, so there was a good view over the city of Dresden. Unfortunately the hotel was in the ugly area of the city

Some art in Leipzig





There was a good art museum in Leipzig, so I thought I would visit for a bit of culture. As usual it took a quite a while to find: Museum der bildenden K√ľnst. The building is very distinctive, being a
big glass cube shape.



I wasn't really in the mood for art, but I thought I would have a quick look around. Of the pictures I can only remember a painting of Napoleon that I liked. Also there was a painting: Isle of the dead.



Dr Who addict

I used to like watching Dr Who when I was young -- just like any normal English child. But I now seem to be getting more obsessed. with the series. On Friday and Saturday I watched "City of Death". This was a classic series starring Tom Baker. This episode was cowritten by Douglas Adams and was set in Paris.





I have been watching a lot of classic episodes from Itunes. I must have seen many of the episodes, but I can't remember much about them. My memory has decayed from my childhood.

Cat Power

There is a great quote in a Dylan Thomas story where a young man says "I still loved her, although he didn't like anything she said or did." I always though this was a bit harsh.

In a similar vein, I obviously love Cat Power, but if I was in her presence, I would be unable to speak, just gurgle a bit and probably faint. Looking at the article in the guardian about Cat Power, I am not sure I would be able to keep up with her and I doubt that she would be happy drinking beer while watching Dr Who episodes.

I first heard of her work when I was living in the US. Shew has a new record out soon. From the free track made available she sounds in good form. I am not sure I like her new hair cut.





Here is some classic Cat Power.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Eating with Satan in Leipzig

Goethe was a student in Leipzig. His favorite wine bar was called: Auersbachs Keller and this was a good reason to visit. The guide book said there was a statue of Goethe looking to entrance of the passage that contained the Keller. One of Goethe's famous works is Faust, about a man who sells his soul to the Devil. Well look at my picture of the statue of Goethe.  Yes as you can see that Satan ruined the picture for me.

Anyway the sun was bright and I had difficulty seeing the screen.br /> My pictures of the statues of Faust and Mephisto, that stand outside the Keller, are a bit better. because the sun was not plotting against me


I am not sure who the woman is.


Auerbach's Cellar is a big restaurant. Originally I just planned to just have a beer there and get a kebab later, but it looked as though they wanted everyone to eat. I ordered some food. As I was waiting, I started to sweat. I could feel evil. The place was full of families and tourist types. I didn't feel well. There was nothing weird going on -- apart from a heavily tattooed women who breast feed her baby at a table close to me, to quieten it down. It was almost as though I was supping beer with the great beast himself. But when the food came I started to feel better and the world was warm and fine. It just shows that you shouldn't drink on an empty stomach.
It would have been cool if I could have ridden a wine barrel from the cellar to the street, but still I like having my own soul.

Classical music in a beer square in Leipzig

Near the old town hall  in Leipzig there was a big area with a stage and little kiosks selling beer and pizza. On the stage there was a small ensemble playing some kind of classical music. One of the many things I don't like about classical music is that you have to listen to the music seated very quietly in a hall, in fact I assume that people would be happier if you didn't breath at all in a concert.

Anyway it was bit too early to start drinking beer. When I cam back later in the afternoon, the classical music was over and there was some rock music. Also i somehow managed to buy some alcohol free beer in a bottle rather than a glass of Pils.



To keep my hatred of all classical music, i did find the Bach museum in Leipzig. AND THEN I DID NOT GO INTO IT. I have got to keep my ears pure for folk and punk music.





Saturday in Leipzig -- getting a coffee

I planned to stay until about 5 in Leipzig. After I got I walked to a generic bakery to have an Apfel strudel and coffee for breakfast. There was a tram stop close to the bakery, so I took that to the main railway station. Leipzig has a zone system for public transport, so I thought I needed a zone 2 ticket. Unfortunately, the machine wanted to know which two zones from a list of 8 options. Anyway I guessed, but luckily my ticket was never checked, so I made into the center without paying a hug fine.

I had looked at Amazon for a guide book to Leipzig on the kindle, but amazingly most guide books are still in dead tree format, rather than in snazzy electronic bits. I did buy "Dresden, Leipzig & Saxony Travel Adventures" by Willem Bekker -- this was great, but had no good map in it. Luckily the hotel sold me a cheap street plan. It turned out that most of the interesting stuff was close to the railway station.
After I had explored a bit, I thought I should do a museum. I also needed a coffee, so it was natural to look for Coffee Baum in Leipzig.It took me a while to actually find the place, because it was on the other side of some buildings. So I did finally find the place after a lot of swearing. The building has a number of levels, but in the end I couldn't be bothered with the museum, but just sat out in the sun and drank a coffee (with some booze in). My guide book said it was the oldest coffee shop in Europe, but that there is a French cafe which claimed to be older, but ....
Lots of famous people have drunk coffee their -- well they can add me to the list.







Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dresden 2 -- night of foot blood

So before I went to bed I took  my shoes off. After a hard day of doing a lot of tourist stuff my feet hurt.  Unfortunately my new shoes rubbed a lit bit, so when I took my sock off -- there was a lot of blood on the floor. This is the time when I am am happy to be in a room with no carpet.


Dresden - 1

So here I sit in a hotel room in Dresden. I have not finished writing about my "adventures"  in Leipzig, but still while the memories are fresh. I came in by train from Leipzig last night. Even with my new fancy phone it took me a while to find the hotel. It was only two blocks  from the main train station, but there were so many fucking tram lines around that it took me a while to figure out where to go.

The hotel was a mixture of hostel and cheap single rooms. There is bar at the top of the building on the 8th floor. This has a god view of Dresden, but then the view is just  lot of ugly modern buildings. After scoring some food and beer, I did't feel like exploring too much.


Friday, August 03, 2012

Vampire bar in Leipzig

There was a metal bar across from the hotel. In fact it looked like a strange bar because there were paintings of whips on  the front. It was a small local bar. One of guys was drunk and talking very loud.
At some point he touched my side burns with his hands. He smelled like a typical metal head and I have been unable to wash it off.

Perhaps this was like the bite of a Vampire and I will turn into a metal head Vampire. I will start liking Iron Maiden. Perhaps another shower will help.


leipzig

So I thought I would explore a bit more of Germany and also use my bahn25 card on the train. So after a 5 hour train journey I ended up in Leipzig. The railway station is huge here with a big Mall attached onto it.

My hotel is a bit out of the center so I had to get a tram to the hotel. This can be a bit stressful, but thanks to google I found the correct tram and I even got the direction correct. The buildings here are huge and the roads are wide. There are many closed up shops, but also there are adverts for some opera
shows.

I was hungry and thirsty so I had a nice greek meal washed down with two big beers.