Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New years eve

It is New Years Eve. Itis 22:08 and I am in my flat and no alcohol has been consumed. I could have gone out to see some bands play at a local venue called the Junction in Plymouth, but I didn't feel like being in a full venue.

Actually I am starting to fantasize about sparkling wine and chocolate. I did try to go to the local Aldi, but they were shut two hours earlier than normal.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, Book 1)

I decided to take the train back to Burnley for the Christmas break. This meant I had a lot of time for reading, given the 7 hour train journey from Plymouth to Burnley. I decided to read the first Jack Reacher novel. This was an exciting novel, fairly well written. I am starting to forget the plot,  especially now that I have ordered the third book in the series. 

I like the way that Jack Reacher uses the bus and buys his clothes from the thrift store.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stuff

I have just been too stressed to write anything in my blog. I know I watched a film last night, but  what was it. Ah yes, it was Jack Reacher.  I had watched it before, but on a small screen. I enjoyed it, but it didn't move me too much.

I just purchased the first book in the series. It will keep me entertained on the long train journey to Burnley.

Friday, November 28, 2014

beer and memories

When I waiting for the bus after training and the gym I saw that the Spar close to my bus stop was selling beer from China.  So what I could I do, but buy a bottle. It really reminded me of drinking chinese  beer in my hotel room in China.

It has a distinctive cheap taste.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Love, talking and a life without special brew

I have been very busy at work. Last week I was in Geneva, but I didn't manage to write any posts.
I am stressed at the moment, but unlike last year I have managed to stay off special brew.

Around 4 I went to a local post office to try and pick up a package. On the way back to my flat, I met a local barmaid, who works at the pub I go to on Friday after work. She is a friendly outgoing person, and for reasons not totally clear to me, she has learned my name. I really just go in there on Friday. I order a pint of real ale and a double whisky chaser. Then I go home.

Two weeks ago she told me she saw me in the street and she said hello, but I didn't recognize her. So today when I saw her in the street, I did say hello and complain that she wasn't there to serve me my beer yesterday. Saturday is my day, where I speak very little, but I managed to drag some hopefully sane  conversation out. It was true that I didn't see her on Friday, but I think  I did stare at her coat in a wistful manner. Anyway, she told me, without rolling her eyes up, that she had been ill. She was sleeping more to get better.

Although I liked the bar, called the Nowhere pub, I was actually enjoying going to the gym on Friday
after work, followed by beers in downtime Plymouth more. Perhaps, her happy smile will bind me to this pub. She might blank me in the street, if I stop going.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

factories and dreams

I slept fairly well last night. I didn't wake up too many times. I had this dream, where I was building two factories near a cinema. We had all the raw materials to build one factory, but the other factory required more stuff to be delivered. I was the person, who the management thought had "a go too attitude."

I think the dream looks very close to various homework problems I have set.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Killer Joe

Last night I watched the end of Killer Joe a fairly disturbing film set in Texas. I liked the slow, polite evil of the central character. Also the rest of the family are general f*ck ups. The scene with the chicken was fairly disgusting.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Universal Soldier 4

Dear Diary,
                 I am lecturing again, so I am all tired most of the time. Even with the small teaching hours.  I have been trying to think about some news to tell you. I have been watching the film Universal Soldier 4. I am enjoying more that the first two films in the franchise. I like the plumber.

At least I don't to drink the odd can of Special Brew this year.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

weapon bag and the first dawn of love

As I was walking across the University campus on my lonely way home,  I noticed an attractive young woman in front of me. But what really drew my eye was that she was carrying a weapons bag, very similar to  the one I own. This small bag is big enough for some sticks. I wonder where, she trains? Perhaps,  at the University JKD club.

She didn't carry the bag in a threatening way, so that was good. But perhaps her red bag didn't carry a blade, but just her drawings.

Eric

I was feeling a bit pissed off at the weekend, because of work problems. I decided to read "Eric" by Terry Pratchett. It is part of the long running and very funny Discworld series.. Actually I am also listening to the series on the radio. Young Eric tries to summon a demon and things go rapidly downhill from there. It cheered me up, but I am still deeply pissed off.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicago Confidential

Last week I visited Durham for a meeting. This involved a long train and flight on the way out and a long train journey back. I managed to read Chicago Confidential while I was travelling. This was a PI novel loosely set in the 50,60s. So Frank Sinatra pops up as a character.

I enjoyed all the atmosphere.



Too busy dreaming

I now always  use my phone as an alarm clock. I have  always wondered what happens when  the alarm goes off and  I am too lazy to switch it off (or when I leave my phone at work by accident). This morning I found out that the phone goes off after 15 minutes, because I was too busy dreaming.

My dream was about time travel and the use of clones or earlier versions as replacement body parts seemed too important to stop. However, in the light of the morning, it seems like a very average idea.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Endangered Creatures

As part of my rip to Durham I finally managed to finish reading Endangered Creatures by Stephen Dunkley. I can't remember why I downloaded the book from Amazon. I sort of enjoyed it. There is a secret zoo of mythological creatures, who are a little bit funny.


sleep

I seem to going through a time of low blog posting. Yes I am teaching again. I don't have to do the PGCAP course, until I find out what happens to me because I failed it. I am also not sleeping well. Two or three nights a week, I sleep badly. I now have a stach of natural sleeping tablets.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

No weight decrease

I weighed myself yesterday. I am now 108 kgs. Boohoo. I have lost no weight over the summer.  When I started work in Plymouth,I did start eating chocolate and crisps again. Even worse I did go to the chip shop and get pie and chips once a week. I have stopped all that, but still my weight has not decreased.

What is worse, a lot of people in the group are on various diets. They seem to be losing vast amount of weight, while I just get heavier.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pub talking

I was in a pub on Wednesday night. I was just drinking a beer after training and the gym, before the bus. The pub was essentially empty. A group of older women were talking loudly in the corner. They seemed to be playing some mind of dare game. One woman was challenged to "get off with the oldest guy in the pub." Although the pub was normally a place for old hardened drinkers, I could have been the oldest person there. It would have been that they were going to a club afterwards.

One woman went to the bar and asked for a large piece of paper. Perhaps I should have gone over and turned on my charm, but it was time for the last bus.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A coward walks to a Kung Fu class

I have been doing various deadline things recently, so no blog postings. I went to bed late with a lot of stress, so I am feeling tired today. I almost didn't go to Kung Fu, but I decided a bit of exercise would do me good. As walking to the class I saw two guys get into an argument with a group of kids on skate boards. The two guys were walking in my directinn, but they were ahead. On guy had his shirt off - a real bad ass no doubt.

I started getting nervous, but though they were walking slowly, they were still walking faster than me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dr Who and Peter Capaldi

I didn't watch the new episode of Dr who live, but waited until 22:30. I was a bit worried that the new guy Capaldi  would not be any good. I really enjoyed the show, but I was very sad when the dinosaur was set on fire.


Obviously Capaldi is a great actor. See the embedded video below.

Jamie Oliver killed my chillis

I live alone, so when I am cooking I usually have the TV just so I can pretend the TV is my friend. This is works on all days, except on Sunday lunch time, when all the TV shows are shit. I am reduced to viewing cookery shows.

After a while I found I was quite liking the latest Jamie Oliver show, even though he is an annoying cockney cu*t. This is the show where he tries to show people how to cook cheaply, if you have a fully stocked kitchen. OK, some of the ideas seemed reasonable.

However, at one point the evil one said, just put your chillis in the freezer. So like the gullible twat that I am, I bunged 2 bags in the freezer for a bit of heat later in the week.  But when I pulled them out a week later, they started to rot. Ok you can bung them in a hot chilli, but they are destroyed for a nice salad.

I WILL SUE YOU JAMIE.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

MODERN MASTERS IN PRINT (Plymouth)

There is a museum across the road from the University. I have been in Plymouth for nearly 1 year now, but until this week, I had never been into the museum. For the last 2 months there was an exhibition of the drawings of 4 modern masters: Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador DalĂ­ and Andy Warhol.

A week before the exhibition closed I thought I should make an effort and actually see the drawings.
One must make time for art. It was a small exhibition with the drawings into 2 rooms.

The Dali drawings were actually adverts for the French train journeys. The drawings by Warhol were a little bit political. This surprised me, because I thought he was a "money man". I didn't know much about Matisse. I now know he likes to paint nudes.


The Picasso included a picture like the famous Don Quixote sketch below.




Friday, August 22, 2014

sleep or lack of

I barely slept last night. I was exhausted last night. Rather than watch TV and drink some beer, I went to bed at 11pm. I awoke 1 hour later and could not get back to sleep. I did not have work related stress dreams, I had some minor breathing problems. I went to the gym after work, I might have stressed my body a little bi too much.

Still the morning came. I sit and type with a cup of tea. I have survived the hell of the night.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

No good weight news

I weighted myself on Wednesday. I am still at 106 kg! Why does God hate me? I have been trying to eat less food, but I didn't go to the gym last week. Also dry Sunday, turned into a few late night beers Sunday last weekend.

I keep seeing these infomercials for the insanity workout. Perhaps that is what I need: 10 DVDs and a lot of sweat.  Only a 100 pounds and if I do really good, I get some T-shirt.

Given that I can barely walk at the moment. I do a slow limp into work. This is not going to get rid of
the pounds.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Utopia

I am completely obsessed with the TV series Utopia. After the first series of the show I was scared of spoons. After the second series I am now scared of rabbits. The violence is getting very disturbing in series 2. In the first series a lot of people were killed, but in series 2 murder seems more casual. My favourite character Arby describes killing like "unscrewing a bottle to get to the water”. There is no 'shouting of threats",  there is just death.

Ian's boss was standing in his office. He was ringing the police o check on an ID. The person he is talking too, just goes up to him and cuts his throat.

I am not complaining, just observing.

It is all very clever and gripping. I thought the start of the last episode was an advert for a burgers, but then the customer abuse was a bit extreme.


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Jesus Mother of God

After watching the really great film called "The Guard" I have started to pretend that I am Irish. At the moment, this involves me mumbling Jesus Mother of God. I thought I was sounding pretty Irish, but after a while, even after many years of trying to forget about Christianity, I realised that the phrase didn't make a great deal of sense.

On the hand, in these kinder progressive times, perhaps the phrase "Jesus Mother of God" could be used as a basis for a strand of Christianity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Still 106 kgs

Grr, I the scales hate me. I am still 106 kgs. I have been cutting down on food and going to gym more. i feel less bloated and I did manage to fit into some shorts with a waist measurement of 36 inches, so that was good.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The non-vanishing bride who crossed the road.

I was waiting at the bus stop after going to the gym. A woman in a white wedding dress walked by. She was carrying a Tesco supermarket bag which seemed about half full. She looked at her reflection  in  the Argos shop window and seemed satisfied. She crossed the road and vanished from my life.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

bad night

I had a really bad night's sleep last night. I got terrible work worries and this stopped me sleeping. I am exhausted this morning. The dreams involved sailing and pirate ships. The pirate ships were simulations and there was some interaction between the programmers and the sailors in the simulation.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Harold and Maude

When I was living in Knutsford with my mum, I remember one year on Guy Faulkes day. An image of a huge bonfire flashes into my bind. The twinkling flames dance high above me. The bonfire is abnormally huge.

The night before I started watching a film on TV (because that is all we had in the 80s). There was a film with a young man obsessed with death. He was dating some old woman. I only partially watched the film. My friend told me the next day, that the guy's mother was trying to get him interested in normal life. She asked a pretty young woman to come round for tea. To make conversation, he pretends to hack off his arm with a meat cleaver. She flees. I had not seen this scene, so I have wanted to watch the entire film, since then.

Thanks to an article in Guardian last week. I know now that the film was: Harold and Maude.
That is a relief! I have been trying to find out the name of that film since the mid-80s.



Weight

So I am now 105 kgs. So it begins. I only 1 kg heavier than when I started dieting in Germany two years ago. I have been slowly cutting down on food. I am walking so slowly that I can' get much fitter by exercise alone. Too many chip suppers and after work beers.

If only I had not let myself go last year. But I was so exhausted by the move from Germany to Plymouth.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A lost child is quickly found

On Thursday I got on the bus to go home after Yoga. A woman with three children got on the bus and started talking to the driver. She looked too old to be mother, so was probably the Grandmother. She seemed excited. One of her children had not got off  an earlier bus and she was thus lost. Given that the child was a five year old girl, this was not good.  The bus driver rang control, who tried to call "control" to get in contact with the other bus.

The woman kept saying that each of them thought that the missing girl had got off with an another. The bus driver drove them to the bus station, which was not on his route. Five minutes later the driver got a call to say that the child had been found. So panic over.

As the two little boys got off the bus. I tapped on the window and put my fingers to eyes and pointed them at the two boys, just to let them know I knew that that they dumped their sister on the bus on purpose. God is watching you guys.

On Friday night the same woman got on the bus with children and two adults. A pretty blond girl walked to the back of the bus. Not again I thought. A woman walked to the  back of the bus and started talking to the child.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Guard

Last night I watched the film called The Guard. This was a very funny film set in Ireland. The central character is an Irish sergeant, who both cares and doesn't care about his job as a detective.

The main character is played by Brendan Gleeson, who is very funny.


Gyms and some night time bus sexual fantasy

After work on Friday I dragged my weary body to the my Gym in the centre of the city. I wasn't really in the mood, but I wanted to get into the rhythm of going and working out. It was hot yesterday and it was hard to drag myself past the people drinking beer in the bright sunshine.

I did a light work out. I did a set on the exercise bike, followed by some light weights and kettlebell work. My legs were still tied from the yoga workout on Thursday.  There were a lot of toys in the Gym, such as medicine balls, which I need to learn how to use. There is a sauna that I am building up courage to try.

I then went for a beer in The Walkabout pub. (Well it was Friday). Then the bus. The woman I am secretly in love with sat in front of me. I now think she works at Marks and Spencers, but why does she get the 20:10 bus, when the shop closes at 18:00. I am going to have to go into the store to look for her. Is that going too far?


 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smelling nice

As I get older I find I am spending more time on personal grooming. More is a relative word, because my starting point was doing nothing more than combing my hair. This morning, while in the shower, with water in my eyes, my fumbling hands opened a new bottle of body wash. When I smelt it I realised the lotion smelled of lemons.

I do occasionally like to eat lemons. I particularly like the sharpness, but I usually have to eat them with something milder such as a fruit salad. Hopefully my new smell will remind women of crystal blue lazy summer days on the beach in Cyprus. I think the smell of lemons is an exotic manly smell.



The Balkans

As part of my Bulgarian holiday I purchased a real physical copy of "The Balkans" by Mark Mazower. I had to buy a real book, because you are still not allowed to read a kindle when you land or take off in a plane -- but I believe that rule is slowly changing.

The book was a good short overview of the history of the Balkans. It is no longer clear why these small states started to exist. The book explains there were geographical reasons for the original countries to come into existence. At some stage many of the people of the Balkans just thought of       themselves as Greek. The idea of national states in the area is relatively new and has caused a lot of bloodshed.
  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More bad weight news

I thought I had cut down on chocolate and beer. But when I weighted my self I was now 108 kgs. Grrr. It is weird because I feel less bloated, but still numbers never lie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Not stalking just vaguely hoping

I went to my Gym in the centre of Plymouth yesterday for the first time. After some light weight lifting, I left and drank a couple of beers, while I waited for the bus. I need to work a bit more on this fitness  thing. On the 20:10 bus I saw the woman I often see. She was so slim and carrying a bag of treats for her family. She has the focused look of a family woman. She sat in the seat in front of me, so she could smell my beery breath. It is fine line between a fantasy future and stalking.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Would I be happier person if I was abducted by aliens?

There was an article in the Guardian about the end of personal blogging.

Would I be happier if I was abducted by aliens? Below are some of the possible advantages of alien abduction:

  • It would give an interesting story to talk about on Monday lunch time at work.
  • The medical  experiments the aliens might make on me,  might fix my ankle, or improve my flexibility. 
  • I might learn some useful physics from the aliens, which I could use to write some papers, and maybe win some prizes.
  • I could convert the experience into a science fiction book.

So not all bad. Of course the abduction would totally suck if it was for an extended period of time.
So, dear young person, this is what  a blog is for. A private space to write some random thoughts.
Of course if you take the view that I am trying to basically monetize my alien abduction, then this blog post  is just entrepreneurial.

Springsteen versus metal machine music

The BBC Iplayer is down at the moment, so I have been unable to listen to radio 6 or plays on BBC 4 extra. I have been reduced to buying music or listening to books on libervox (thanks)

One album I recently got was Bruce Springsteen first: Greetings From Asbury Park Normally I hate boss.



OK, hate may be a bit strong. I was aware some of the older albums were interesting. Marc Riley played its hard to be a saint in the city from his first album. So on the strength of that I got the album. I do like it, but I can see the style that would become his standard stadium rock style. The live version I have embedded above is really great though.

So as a comprise after listening to the boss, I also finally purchased Lou Reed's, metal music machine, which I love, but I can only listen in 10 minute segments, before I go a bit insane.

Yoga

I had meaning to take some yoga classes. For years I have been feeling very stiff. I try to do some light  stretching about twice a week. If I don't do that then I walk even slower than normal.

There is a place called the yoga loft which is close to the Drake's Circus and University.
I went to the beginners class obviously. It was a strange evening weather wise. It was both hot and the air was full of thunder. I started to sweat like a pig. I had most problems, both flexibility and strength wise with the leg stretches. There were some very useful yoga bricks which helped with stability.

I am not in the photo below, but you see it is very good place to practice.


Friday, July 18, 2014

10 years of blogging

I started this blog on July 18th 2004. So whether the f*ck has the last 10 years gone. I started the blog while I was working in Liverpool, and continued it  while I worked in Glasgow, Wuppertal and finally Plymouth.

Looking at the first post,  it seems as though I was tired and exhausted.  So what has changed? I didn't post that much in my first year, but got more into rhythm. I think the earlier posts were more fun, because I was doing more fun stuff then, than now. Of course I had more time for fun, when I only had a small TV, rather than a 42 inch monster of a TV.

I was thinking of writing some flowery prose for this post with some symbolic pictures from around Plymouth. For example, there used to be a small hole in the wall to the Freedom fields park close to my flat. Now it had been bordered up. Perhaps there is a body inside. There was a pub called "Friendship" on one of the routes I can walk to work. Now it is bordered up with metal over the windows. A picture would have made an ironic photograph.

I want to try to do more writing (both physics and non-physics), but maybe this is not the place to discuss.


Perhaps this should be the new direction of this journal.



To celebrate 10 years of incoherent  blogging. I present to you 5 years by Davie Bowie, because after all:  5 = 10 /2

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Late Monsieur Gallet: Inspector Maigret

So while on holiday I read another detective book: The Late Monsieur Gallet: Inspector Maigret 
At the time I read the book, it seemed so important to finish at once, but now a  week later, it took me a while to remember what happened. Still a great book.


shopping for love in Sunny Beach Bulgaria

There were a lot of small shops close to Sunny Beach. Many sold T-shirts, towels and trinkets. I ignored most of these shops. I did finally see one which sold, knuckle dusters, batons and blades of various lengths and sizes. I did my best to resist the temptation, but finally I decided to get a pen knife.

The guy selling the weapons was tattooed (of course) and was wearing shades. I pointed to what I wanted. He picked it up, hit a switch and the blade came out with a pleasing swish. Up to this point, I thought I was being pretty cool, but I blurted out "no I don't want a flick knife, because they are illegal." What a wimp, but he showed me a lock knife. This will be useful for my new hobby whittling, I thought, so cash was exchanged.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life

On holiday I speed read the book: The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life by Andy Miller.  Amazon's robots recommended  this book to me. Andy had a young son, and was feeling in a bit of rut. He no longer had time for reading, apart from the long train commute to London, but he just pissed the time away. His background was in English literature and he was working in publishing, but he clearly felt he was being creative enough and had lost contact with books.

Anyway he got back to reading "classic" books again.  In the past he had even claimed to have read some of the books, he was now reading. Like many people he had a huge collection of books.

It was kind of strange, because he was reading "classic" books and then reading Mr Men books to his son. Like many people he worried that all this book buying was just "shopping." It was interesting that he didn't worry that he could not write any novel, although he had written two earlier books.


I liked the quote from the philosopher .
Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

The story of my life.

Boohoo I am fat again

Can it really be two years ago, when I got my weight down from 104 kgs to 92 kgs. I just weighted myself this morning and I am now at 106 kgs. I have been weak, with too many bacon baps for breakfast, and chip and pie suppers. And of course stopping of for a pint of beer on the way home, now doesn't seem like such a good idea.

I also went out to buy 38 inch waist trousers -- just before my holiday, when I no longer fitted into my some of my 36 inch trousers. Not the kind of thing you want to know before going on an eating, drinking and sitting around holiday.


Monday, July 14, 2014

In praise of Robert Silverberg after reading Musings and Meditations.

On holiday I finished off a collection of essays, called   Musings and Meditations,  by Robert Silverberg. The essays were mostly written for Asimov's science fiction magazine. The essays cover a wide range of subjects. Not all the subjects were strictly speaking science fiction, but many of the non-fiction elements would help a writer designing stories and plots. He did seem to be very well read. I learned a lot about the history and craft of writing science fiction.

Bob really likes the culture of science fiction. He goes to the Science Fiction convention every year and really cares about awards, such as the Hugo. (I should add he doesn't just care about him wining awards, but rather also people who have written important work.)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The War Games

What was Craig doing in Bulgaria rather than drinking until 3:00 in the morning? I watched the DVD: The War Games. This was the last Dr Who story with the second Docter: Patrick Troughton.

This unusually was a 10 episode story. I was too young to remember any of the Troughton story lines, but he is both very different and similar to the modern version of Dr Who. I particularly liked the messaging system that he uses to contact the Time Lords. Who needs email?
This explains part of the Dr's Wife episode.

I know  I should get out more...

Mogworld

I read Mogworld  while on holiday. This was a very funny book about a gaming world. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, but I thought the end was too predictably ordinary.



This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Don't Touch It

After watching the film: "John Dies in the End" I decided to read the sequel in book form: Spiders
This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Don't Touch It
By any standard, it was a fairly strange fantasy novel, with monsters and government plots. The heroes of the story were standard American slacker types, but the plot  had a maniac energy.



Drinking beer and the odd shot at Sunny Beach Bulgaria

I did drink a fair bit of booze while I was in Bulgaria. I didn't stay out after midnight and usually went back to the hotel before 22:00. I didn't drink  much in the evening.

I did drink beer with and after lunch until tea. I was on holiday right?

One of the bars I went to had this pole, which was used for dancing after 21:00. I used to go for  a beer and an Ouza, before I went back to the hotel in the afternoon. Also they had a young woman dance on the bar top as well. Note this is all open air, so is not a strip joint. I wasn't too keen on the music, otherwise I would have had a beer there in the evening. I like the music in the video.

One afternoon I did watch one woman learn how to use the pole. It looked a bit dangerous, especially when the dancer moves high up/




One afternoon I was in the bar. Some old sun tanned English guy starting talking to the barman. He claimed to have a big family with children and grand children. He had purchased some big apartment close to the sea with 20 rooms. For some reason he thought the flat was a brothel, because of the way the mirrors were hung.

At the end of afternoon I would go the hotel bar near the small pool. The picture shows the bar, when it started raining. It only rained for about two hours. As soon as the rain came, everyone left, but me.







Summer reading from the Guardian

I thought that I had done well to read so many books on holiday. The list of books that the Guardian put together for summer reading is depressing, because I have only heard of a few of the books.

Quirke: Christine Falls

I hav just come back after a heavy reading holiday in Bulgaria. I thought today I should really do some stuff, you know like plan or clean. In the end I spent most of the day reading: Christine Falls -- a Quirke mystery. I started reading it on the train last night, but I was keen to finish it today.

I know it has been on TV recently. As usual the Catholic church is to blame. The central character has difficulty showing emotions and drinks too much, but he still gets a lot of sex. I have difficulty showing emotions and like beer too much, but it doesn't work out so well for me. The prose style flowed well. I see that the author has won the Booker prize for his non crime fiction.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Talking about Bulgarian history in a bar

I was sitting in a bar in Bulgaria, with a beer and a shot of Absinthe in front of me. I was reading my kindle. The bar was essentially empty in the hot mid-afternoon sun. The only other customer seemed to be a well built Russian, who kept coming up to the bar to get more ice to refresh his cocktail.

The barman came over to ask "why I was reading?" As Bill Hicks has said, "that is  strange question." I told him, I thought it was quiet. It turned out that he only worked the tourist season in Sunny beach, but lived in the second largest city in Bulgaria. I had just read a history of Bulgaria. I told him, that I might visit Sofia next time. He didn't think there was much to see in Sofia, but recommended his home city, with 6000 years of history. 

I then made a mistake by asking whether there was much Turkish influence in his home city. He then said, "well no, my city has 6000 years of history.", so clearly I had said the wrong thing. After some grovelling back tracking from me, he admitted the history of the Balkan states was confusing.

History lesson over, I finished my beer.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Damnation Alley

One of the books I read on holiday was Damnation Alley by Roger Zelanzy.
This was a great pulp story about a bad driver who has to drive from LA to Boston carrying an anitedote for a virus in Boston.  Trouble is after a massive nuclear war, the road is filled with peril from nuclear fallout.

It is a great adventure story, perhaps not very deep. There has been one film made about the book, and a number of fills copied the idea. The first name of the main character is Hell, so you have to love him, though he is a bad man.

At the end of the book I had the feeling I had read it before..




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thoughts on Sunny Beach in Bulgaria

I have found it too hot in Sunny beach to be able to function. It is not the most interesting place to explore, because of all the nasty concrete hotels. The central area by the beach seems quite small.

The 5 minutes I managed to stay on the beach suggested that the beach was nice and clean. Unfortunately, it was full of people on the beach which freaked  me out and I had to get off and get on the concrete pavement.

After watching the TV program: "What stays in Sunny Beach", which showed a bunch of young people getting trashed and shagging, I was ready for some hedonism. But the place seemed full of families and old people soaking up the sun. Perhaps I should have stayed out past 11:00 to see the wild side, but I was tired.

All the Bulgarians were super friendly.



A typial day in Bulgarian on my holiday

So I would get out of bed at 8:00, read the Gardian newspaper, and then go down to breakfast at 9:00. Then back to my room at 9:30. I would then read on my balcony until lunch time.

At lunch I would go out for lunch followed by a couple of beers. Then back to the hotel for more reading. Also I watched a box set of classic Dr Who episodes.

Then around 20:00 I would go out for some fast food, such as a slice of pizza. I didn't stay out long at night.

So you can see I was living the dream!

My main complaint was that it was difficult to get a cup of tea. I am down from 9 cups a day, to a mere 2 cups at beakfast.

Judo in my sleep

Last night I was trying to sleep in my hard Bulgarian bed. I had not drunk enough alchol to suppress my dreams. At one stage I was wresting with an ex-Chelsea football player. He was going for my rear foot, we struggled and he swept my foot.

I woke up on the floor. The Judo move had thrown me out of bed. I was happy that my head had missed a bed side cabinet. Still I have not fallen out of a bed for many years.

Penultimate night in Bulgaria

So I am nearly at the end of my Bulgarian holiday. I have enjoyed doing nothing for a week, but I am starting to get bored. This evening I went for a Mexican meal at a restaurant. I wasn't feeling that hungry, so I just ordered Nachos and a beer.

The bar was filling up with women drinking shots. This was a little bit exciting, but it was still only 22:00, so no one was wild. I ordered a Touquila
with a beer, but the beer never turned up. The shot messed with my head a little, so I decided to leave. At this time of night, it is still mostly families on the streets.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Bulgaria day 1

I arrived late last night in Bulgaria. This was the first time I have booked a holiday with a package company. I did this for two reasons: one it is cheap and the other was there was a free bus from the airport to the hotel.

I am staying in the Sunny Beach area near the Black Sea, It is very touristy, but not as wild  as the TV was claiming. At 18:00 I went for some food. I was going to have a couple of beers as well, but all the bars were empty. Everyone was leaving the beach with their children to go back to the hotel.

It was incredibly hot today. I am not a great sunbathing person. There isn't enough shaded places to read. I am enjoying the books I am reading, but that is another post.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Passing through London

I had to pass through London last Thursday. Paddington is the train station which is the entry to London for trains from Plymouth. I have never used Paddington too much.

I have not walked around Paddington station before. I didn't realize there was a canal behind the station. There are some up market bars close to the station. I had about three hours to kill. Unfortunately, it was also rush hour and it was a nightmare to travel around on the tube.

London always seem so dirty, even when it is clean. There are people are rushing around. I went to a pub, ordered a pint and a double Bourbon. I nearly dropped dead when I was charged 12 pounds.

I was waiting for the 19:05 train back to Plymouth. When the platform was announced for the train, I saw a lot of people running for the train. The train was totally full with people in the aisles.  I had to stand for two hours, until the train was way past Exeter St Davids. The train was also very late because of slower stopping train in front of it.  When I was living in London, the evening train from Euston to Manchester on Friday used to be a nightmare, with full trains. But really was it true that the first evening Thursday train to Plymouth is so popular



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sunny Beach (1 week of waiting)

I NEED A HOLIDAY. I have booked a holiday, so that's alright then. I still have to wait a week before I can go. I am so stressed and wired out.

I have booked a week's holiday in Sunny Beach in Bulgaria.
I was hoping that it would not have been full of UK tourists, but see the video below. The comment section of the video is interesting.





Friday night TV: Glastonbury 2014

Now that I am living in the UK again, I start to do the normal British things again, such as watching the Glastonbury festival on TV. There is no nasty mud in my flat. I just watched the set of Arcade fire. I liked the sound a little, but it is a bit too main stream for me. I got more into after a drank a Mojito cocktail.

I thought I was over with the festival, but I am getting excited by Metallica headling tonight.



John dies at the end

Netflix tempted me into watching a film called: John Dies at the end. This was a crazy film, which at some level made no sense. It reminded me of Naked Lunch, with the drugs and messed up spiders.

When I did some research (via google) I found that the same director had made Bubba Ho Tep
-- a great film about Elvis fighting a mummy.

Linear narrative -- who needs it.




Jack Glass

Last year I downloaded the book Jack Glass from Kindle. I decided to start reading it during my travels in the last couple of days. I really really enjoyed the first part of the novel. It was set in an asteroid full of a few prisoners. The next section was good, but as it was focused on two rich kids, it was less interesting. I was disappointed in the final section.

It could be that I am not interested in character development. I want the psychopath in the first chapter to keep on killing until the dying pages of the novel.

Adam Roberts works at a University and has the time to write novels.






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Refuge of the fallen at the White Rabbit in Plymouth.

Last Saturday I was meant to meet up with friends from work to take a sea taxi to some Island close to Plymouth. I missed the water taxi, mostly because the bridge hear the Aquarium was closed and so I had to walk around Plymouth Barbican. Grr.

Plan B was to go and see a local hard core band called Refuge of the fallen.  play at the White Rabbit. I didn't see any of the support acts -- mostly because of problems with water Taxis and Islands. There was a lot of good natured slam dancing at the front of the stage. Personally I stood at the back , well someone has too. The band sang with a lot of energy, so I enjoyed their set.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Noise

I am totally exhausted at every level. I used to be able to get into work before 9:00. Now I am lucky if I am at my desk by 10:00.  Yesterday I was in the city for a while, but I thought I made it into bed by 12:00. This morning I awoke and felt awful, The sun was shining brightly through the sky window and it was not dark.

Suddenly I hear a bunch of shouting as some neighbours came in. They were in good spirits, but just loud. Given that it was about 7:00 in the morning. It sounded as though they were just coming in after being out all night. I would have got up and knocked on their door and shout "stop being so fucking happy and be quiet." But I was too tired.

I did dream that I had gone around to complain. They opened the door and said "we were looking for something four you Craig. We were just discussing it now before we woke you and told you." I felt so ashamed and freaked out that people who have never spoken too, knew my plight.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Incantation at White rabbit in Plymouth

I felt the need for live music on Tuesday night. I was that the White Rabbit venue in Plymouth was hosting an American death metal band called Incantation. everyone needs a bit of death metal in their lives.

I went to the venue after work. The doors opened at 19:30 and I got there just after 20:00. The place was dark and gloomy. I couldn't see a thing as I walked into the venue. The smoke machine was puffing smoke out and everyone was dressed in black. There was a grinding sound from the sage. The first band: Carcinoma were playing. I started having a panic attack, so I went to the bar for a beer to help me calm down. I liked the sound, hopefully the video below is of the correct band.
The next band up were Warcrab. They wanted more energy from the audience. But it was an older crowd and their energy level was low. By the magic of the internet I see that Warcrab are baed in Plymouth. Next up were the band called Supreme lord. My eyes were used to the gloom.

Finally Incantation started their set. I liked their sound, but I only managed to listen to 4 songs, because my legs were getting tired from standing up.



Taking the bus home

I occasionally for a couple of beers after work. I can get the 23 or 24 bus back to a street close to my flat. The bus leaves every 30 minutes from the Royal Parade in Plymouth. I don't regularly go on the bus, so I don't recognize the passengers -- apart from one woman.

She has short black hair and is very slim. Today she had a bag of goods, no doubt for her family. In the past she has worn high heels with considerable skill and style. I would guess her age as just above 30. Perhaps I should try talking to her, but she doesn't look like a woman who would be impressed by a broken man stinking of whisky and beer.  Even worse, if I had managed to seduce with beer and liqueurs, there would be two people full of beer on the bus. Her children would be waiting for the treats in her plastic bag, but I would have someone to hold hands with.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pietr the Latvian:

I am going through a phase of reading and hearing on the radio stories about Inspector Maigret. I liked the shows on the radio, so much that I tried reading one of the books. The character was written by Georges Simenon. Inspector Maigret works in the French flying squad in Paris. I have only listened to maybe 6 plays on the radio and read two novels. There was a series on radio 4 about detectives in Europe. A lot of the writers mentioned the work of Simenon as an influence. Although I enjoyed what I had read, I didn't see why it was so highly rated. Simenon did write a lot of books Pietr the Latvian: was the first book in the series. I just finished reading it today, rather than watching the England game I am ashamed to say.  It is a really great book. I liked the play off of the solid character of Maigret and the strange Pietr. Perhaps I just liked the excessive drinking.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dreams and nakedness

I had some vivid dreams last night night. I was searching for a person at various computer centres in the country. I was in the scene or watching it. At both centres I ended up naked and ended up walking by a big crowd of people as I walked to the lift to go to my private apartment (or just to find my clothes).

I was using fake ID to enter the computer centres.

The dream was a lot more fun when I was having it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Too extreme for the freakzone

I was listening to the Freazkier zone this morning, where I heard that Stuart Maconie claimed that the track: Patty Waters - Black Is The Colour Of My True Loves Hair was too extreme for the freakzone radio show. Is that possible, given that the freakzone plays some fairly weird stuff? I think that Mr Maconie's brain has been addled by listening too to much prog music.

I did find on Amazon the album by Patty Waters, but you can't download the track in question. You have to buy the physical CD. It was starting to look like a conspiracy! Luckily, the people at google
have not deleted the uploaded track from youtube (not yet anyway).

On listening to "Black is the color of my true love",  I can sort of see Stuart's point.





One of my ambitions was to get a requested song banned by the DJ on the freakzone. The only thing I could thing of was:
David Koresh__ Mad Man In Waco. I own a CD with this on, but I am never sure whether it is a real or not.

A touch of zen

Last night I finished off watching a "touch of zen". This was a really great martial arts film from the early 70s.

Being a slob, I kept waiting for the fighting to start at the beginning, but once the action starts it is great!
I liked the spider webs and atmosphere at the start.

There is one scene with a lot of laughing, which totally freaked me out.



I now totally get why they use flexible swords -- they are the ultimate in concealed weapons. As I get older my toleration for Eastern mysticism gets lower, but I really loved the way zen was used in this film. I always found what Bruce Lee was saying to be naive (outside how to beat someone up.)

I was watching while drinking sake and beer, but I think I would have enjoyed the film more, if I had been sober. The plot of the film was a bit of a complicated.



It is good to see a woman who knows how to use a blade.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

bloodfight

This week I watched the film Bloodfight via Netflix. This was the kind of martial film, I used to watch in the 90s. By any standard it was pretty dumb, with a tournament and a student getting killed. In the twenty first century there are films such as the Raid II.

There was even a strange part of the film which had "drunken Kung Fu" in it.




Friday night in Plymouth

I went out for a couple of beers on Friday night. When I went shopping on Wednesday night I found a couple of new pubs. So I had saved Friday night to visit these new places. Unfortunately I didn't write down the name of the first pub. It was a standard pub.

The second pub was called the New Market Pub . The pub was fairly empty, but I got my lager with a smile. Some of my relatives used to live in New Market, and although I liked the relative who lived there, I don't have great memories of New Market (and even feel repulsed.)

After three beers I got the bus home. I was ready to go for more beer at a place in Mutley, but then I calmed down a bit after a cup of tea. I ended the evening watching A touch of Zen while drinking Sake.

I am going to have to go out again to find the name of the first pub.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Friday night excitement

You will not be surprised to find out that I went for a couple of beers after work on Friday. The most exciting thing that happened was that I found a place where I could buy Duvel beer,. This was at a Tesco in the city centre. I like Belgium beer, but even I know that one or two per night is enough.

I know need to get a proper Duvel glass, but 16 pounds seems a bit expensive for what you get.

Look at my classy world cooking ingredients.


A Crime in Holland: Inspector Maigret #7

While I travelled to Liverpool and Burnley I read "A crime in Holland" , an Inspector Maigret novel. I love the character of Maigret, his essential slowness. I don't remember watching any of the TV program adaptions when I was growing up. The books used to be out of print, but by the magic of kindle, the books are now available again.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Odd Thomas

Netflix persuaded me to watch a film called "Odd Thomas". The story was based on a chef who could see dead people. I found the film slightly annoying, with all the small town vibes. The monologue of the main character was a bit annoying, but still I enjoyed the film.




Now that I look at Amazon I see that the film was based on a book by Dean Koontz. Perhaps I will try reading volume 2 of the series.

Hardwired

Am I wasting my life? Last night I finished off watching the film Hardwired. Some guy gets knocked over and gets an implant. This implant then shows adverts directly into his mind. He then finds some guys who can hack into his implant. He is being chased, by the people who inserted the implant.

It was a straight to DVD release. I can see that they wanted to make a sequel, but the film was not strong enough to merit another film.




The tower of glass

During the last week I managed to read "The tower of glass" by Robert Silverberg. What a great book! An industrialist is building a big tower to communicate to maybe aliens . He is using androids to build the tower, little knowing that they worship him as a god. There is plenty of sex with androids, but no aliens come to the party.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oblivion

I watched the Tom Cruise film Oblivion over the weekend. It was an interesting spectacle of film, but many of the ideas didn't really hold up. Given how crap the plots of the films usually are, it is amazing that the lead character is always obsessed with reading great literature. It is a pity that the writers don't read them. OK, perhaps a better idea would be that the writers read more Philip K. Dick. That is what I missed, was the paranoia of a Dick vision.





From Dusk to Dawn (TV series)

Netflix have remade and extended the film: "From Dusk to Dawn" as a TV series. I enjoyed the original film, when it came out, but I don't view it as a really great film. It was fun, but still a little bit
pointless.

So now there is a TV series. Given that I managed to watch all ten episodes, it is clear that I enjoyed it, because I normally give up, if a TV series is crap. It was strange to watch the early parts of the TV series, because they just expanded the film. The later episodes were essentially all new material, but these required some of the expanded earlier sections. So I guess I agree with the earlier review in the guardian.

One advantage of the film is that Tarentino is not in it. so the acting is a lot better.
The crazy brother is more sane from a crazy point of view.





Mexican night ruined by memories of drinking in a pub in Liverpool.

I have meaning to have a Mexican night. I got some Corona beer, Tequila and some kit to make Mexican food. In the end last night, I was too tired to do anything, but drink a few beers. The bottle of Tequila was at the bottom of a cupboard, so I couldn't even raise the effort to get it.

I am not a total slob. I did manage to cut a few limes to have with the Corona, well you have to make the effort sometimes. When I started drinking, I actually remembered waiting for the bus in Liverpool, rather than the old holiday I had in Mexico city. I used to order a Corona, while I waited for the bus. The tangy taste of lime open up memories.


Who would have thought that I would be writing about what beer I was drinking while I watching TV, when I started writing this blog, nearly ten years ago. Ok, nearly everyone.


The Stochastic man

Last night I finished reading The Stochastic man by Robert Silverberg. I really enjoyed this book. The ideas are so clever, but the prose is so sharp, simple and clean.  There were issues of free will. A marriage fell apart because the woman wanted chaos and the man wanted to be able to predict the future.

I have read the "dice man", but it wasn't for me. After reading this book, I now renounce randomness. 



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sleaford mods

I used to buy a lot f music, but since I started to listen to radio 6, I mostly just stream stuff. I did recently but two albums by the Sleaford mods. They were recommended by a writer in the Guardian. I really the sound. Also they have a really great video below.

On the importance of voting

Why the f*ck was Farage on the Today program this morning. He is always on, but why? I thought he was on three days ago.

Another pointless pub crawl in PLymouth

I was late out of work, but I felt the need for a quick crawl around Plymouth. Now that most of the students are gone, I thought I could try a few student bars, because they are now half empty. I first tried "The Professor and the fresher" . The place was empty, but then most people wanted to drink outside. They had a choice of absinthe for shooters. These students are spoilt. They also had something called a sake bomb. Really rice wine and red bull. Really?

I next went for a beer at the Tika bar and diner. I liked the feel of the bar, but I made the mistake of ordering a real ale. This was almost undrinkable and tasted of vinegar. I only drank half the beer., but really if I feel like shit tomorrow, I will play the "bad pint defence". There is a venue under the bar, so next time I will stick to the bottled larger any maybe hear some bands.

Next I went to the roundabout pub. This seemed like a weird mixture of students and  locals.  The magic of the Internet tells me it is a scream pub. It seemed a lot bigger on the inside than the outside.

Somehow at work it is some kind of vegetarian week, so I fell hungry all the time. So I went to MacDonald's for a hamburger. Then I had a quick drink at Noah's bar before I caught the bus home.

How "A bullet to the head" sold me a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon.

The last two evenings I watched Bullet to the head, a film staring Stallone. It is kind of a strange film. there are bits which are gritty, but there are parts which are really cheesy. From the amazon site I see that the same guy who directed the warriors was the director.

The person who wrote the dialogue should have been shot. It was so wooden.  Of course what did I expect.

I am now going to have to try Bulleit Bourbon. F*ck I can get it from Amazon.







Monday, May 19, 2014

Bigger stronger faster

I just watched: the documentary called: Bigger stronger faster. This was an interesting documentary about body building and steroids. The narrator focuses on his two brothers who are heavily into lifting and wrestling. They both take steroids, but the narrator doesn't. There are also a lot interviews with people for or against the use of steroids.

There is one great bit where he goes to interview Arnold Schwarenzengger , but Arnold uses the meeting  as a photo opportunity. All the guys friends are jealous, because he got to pose with the big man.

I liked the way he folded all this up with the American dream.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

The man in the maze

I had planned to spend an evening doing something profitable, but in the end I just read The Man in the Maze by Robert Silverberg.   This was a great book about meeting aliens and feeling very bitter. I now want to live in an alien maze -- it is the thing to do. It reminded me a bit about Gulliver's travels, where after one final voyage, he can no longer stand human beings.

The prose was crisp and simple, but I liked the big ideas.


The Expatriate

I watched "the expatriate" on netflix last night. It was sort of an enjoyable thriller, but as usual it was also kind of annoying. The central emotional thread of the film is the father trying to mend his relationship with his estranged daughter. This would be fine, but the problem is that in action movie, a lot of people end up dead. Somehow he is vindicated as a person, because he is trying to wins his daughter's love, even though everyone around him ends up dead, and he doesn't care or even notice.

As the comments on the Amazon page for the film state: the film is very similar to "Taken."



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why I would study the dark side of the force.

While I ate my dinner I watched a bit of the third Star Wars movie. I enjoyed the Star Wars films when I was going up, but I am not some weird freak, who worships them. The lead actor in the third film pisses me off a lot, because he such a brat. Anyway I didn't mean to complain about him again.

If I was studying the force, I would try and study both good and dark side of the force. Of course when I study the dark side I would not go crazy and kill a bunch of kids (like some mad f*cks I could mention. ) So I would have been impressed to hear the Chancellor's speech on the dark side. I would do this for strategy reasons. It is always good to understand what the opposition is thinking.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 
― Sun TzuThe Art of War

Of course this may be a bit deep for George Lucas.

Who is chasing the chasers ?

Do I even understand the words I use? In the last post, I mentioned the word "chaser". An online dictionary, has many definitions of chaser.  These all involve spirits with another drink, but sometimes the spirit is the chaser and some times it is the other drink.

As part of my research for this post i found this useful information.  I had this horror that I would be regarded as uncultured, because I ordered a beer with whisky chaser, but really I should have ordered a whisky with a beer chaser. You may not thing this matters, but the upper class worry which direction the bottle of port is passed.




Absinthe not gyms for Craig last Friday night.

Ah the pleasures of an empty page. Oh the irony I went to my gym yesterday to pick up my ID. I didn't have my training gear, because I was worried that they would force to do an induction. Some fitness instructor wold learn how weak and flabby I was. In fact, the induction consisted of the woman telling me where the fire escapes were.

I then went for a couple of beers around the Royal Parade in Plymouth. Kind of a pointless, after work session. I did find that I can order absinthe in the Plymouth Walkabout . I saw the green bottle tempting me, while the slow barmaid flirted with some young guys. I just got a small shot, but it trashed my mind, as a chaser with a pint of Heineken drunk out of a plastic glass. The bar is vast, dark and cold. It was also mostly empty, but it was a bit early for the night time party time.

There was music outside in a square, but I went home around 20:30, full of beer and emptiness.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Can fried bread talk?

I think fried bread can talk. I heard it talking to me while I drank a beer in the pub last night. The cafe near my office sell a reasonable 5 item breakfast. I hear your command. I hear the words "eat me."


A few pointless beers in the early evening in Plymouth

I went shopping after work. So after some chores, I felt I deserved a few beers. There is a weird feel to drinking beer in the early evening. I first went to the voodoo lounge, because it is close to the University. It was fairly empty at 18:30. I did start reading a bit more of the man in the maze. I next moved to the Brass Monkey -- a Wetherspoon pub. The place was full of old guys starting at their drinks . I had given up reading at this stage. I stood by the bar, but I left after a nice smelling woman stood by me as she waited with her man to be served.

The final pub I went to was close to my bus stop to get me home. A least that was my excuse. The pub was the Noah's Ark pub. This is not a student pub, so does tend to collect harden drinkers. I was just there to wait for my bus. When I went it there were two women at the bar. After a while, they left, as one woman pulled out a smoke. This just left us dad guy drinkers. After a while the  chick came back and she ordered a pint of beer. She looked as dejected as us beer staring classes. The woman serving started cleaning the menus in front of me in an aggressive manner.

I had enough, so I blasted the rest of my pint and went to the bus stop. The driver was smoking. When he had finished I got on the bus and we were away. At the first stop, an attractive woman with black hair got on the bus and sat close to me. The woman was perhaps late 30s or early 40s. I was planning our future together, before she got off. A few stops later, I got off and I walked home.

If I had not drunk the beer I would have read more of the man in the maze.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The flaw

This weekend I manged to finish watching the Flaw via a streaming service. This was a documentary about the 2008 mortgage crisis. the name of film: the flaw comes from a quote by Alan Greenspan, which he used when he was trying to explain how he messed up the world economy to a committee .

The film contained interviews with economists, as well as real people who had lost, or where in the process of losing their house. There was an important point about wealth inequality. In the 50s and 60s wages went up, but in the 70s and beyond, people started getting payed in being allowed to go into debt.  It is much like the guys who built the railways in the us getting paid with credit at the local store.



Thursday, May 08, 2014

Dylan Thomas

When I was around 18, I was  very much under the spell of Dylan Thomas. I liked his prose work best, perhaps because of the tales of drunken fun. I still remember the line "he still loved her, but he didn't like anything she said or did." I am not a great reader of poetry.

In my early 20s I got some tapes of him reading poetry. I liked his rich powerful voice.

I think we studied "Under Milk Wood" at school, but that didn't put me off.

Still I am not sure I am so interested now everyone is getting ready for 100 years after
his birth.


Monday, May 05, 2014

The mystery of the moving toilet roll

If there are any regular readers of this blog, who have not been turned to the dark side, then they will notice a gradual decline in my adventures. Where once I travelled to Egypt or Cuba, now I sit in my room and watch Netflix. Well once you have a 42 inch TV, there is not much point in leaving my flat.

Anyone who drinks a few beers in the evening, often worries about what happened the night before.  Did I send a bad email. Two days ago, I noticed that a toilet roll had moved from close to the toilet, to the entrance of the bathroom. Why would I have done that?  I think someone moved it while I slept. Well I said, someone but maybe I meant something. F*cking aliens!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Love, hate and charmed on TV.

If you want to watch TV on Saturday or Sunday morning, there is not much choice in viewing. Apart from the news, there is usually a lot of teleshopping. The show that I can just about stomach is "charmed".  Given it is about supernatural stuff and their is a bit of fighting, I can't actually manage to watch a full episode.

Part of the problem is that although the main three characters are witches, they are also American chicks, with a mall fondness. Normally I view the the ability of a woman  to punch and explode things with their minds, as a bit of a turn on. But some how, their typical American girl net door vibe gets on my nerves.

Some kind of thwarted sexual desire of course. Anyway in my flat I control the TV remote, if nothing else.



How travelling from Plymouth to Exeter by train nearly drove me insane

On Thursday I had to go to Exeter for a quick meeting. I decided to go for a train around 8:10. I walked to the station, with a reasonable amount of time to spare. I had planned on eating a bacon roll, but there was not enough time, so I went straight to the platform. The screen then showed that the train was late by about 15 minutes. There was another train at 8:20 but that was late as well.

The announcements started. They first said the first train was late by 16 minutes. Then they announced that the second train was late by 18 minutes. Then it was time to say that the first train was late by 17 minutes, followed by an announcement about a slight change of the lateness of the second train. All the time more and more people were filling up the platform. And can you guess what happened next. Yes the first train was now 20 minutes late, so they told us about that, followed by an update on the second train. This announcement war of sound continued for another 5 minutes, when for a change they started to announce that a third train was now 5 minutes late, because the other two train were late. It was so fu*cking loud. I thought my head was  going to explode

But the train did come and all was quiet in the carriage. I just could stare out the window at the nice coast line and dream of the train falling into the sea.

When I took the train back from Exeter to Plymouth. I was stopped and asked o join a focus group about the trains. A figure of 30 pounds  was mentioned. Payback time mother f*ckers.

Friday, May 02, 2014

The dreams are gone

I awoke confused this morning. The last dream of last  night involved a virtual reality room. I was very confused in the dream, but it made sense when I awoke. Later today, I am full of beer and the morning  moment has gone. The dream is over.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

John Carter

I just watched John Carter on Netfix. The film didn't make any money when it was released. Somehow it confused audiences, mostly because the film never mentioned Mars, but the name of the planet was hidden in the film.

I have recently read A Princess of Mars: John Carter of Mars by  Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was an exciting story, but not great literature. The plot of book was different to the film. The book was mostly about fighting, if I remember. There wasn't a subplot about some mysterious race who controlled Mars in the book.



The clown service

Yesterday rather than drinking another beer in the pub I went home and finished reading The Clown Service by Guy Adams. This was an amusing urban fantasy and time travel mash up.

Raid II

I have finally managed to watch the Raid II at my local cinema. I have tried to find the cinema a couple of times. When I lived in Glasgow I used to go to the cinema nearly once a week, but after I lived in Germany, I essentially stopped going.  Now that I know where the cinema is, I can start going again.

Anyway the raid II is a great action film. I am in love with hammer girl. I thought the first 1/2 hour was a bit slow, but they had to set the plot up. by mostly killing everyone, except one person who survived the first film. It rapidly speeds up at the beginning, into a lot of fights and gun battles. And there are a lot of fight scenes!

At the moment it is the highest grossing foreign film this year at this time.

I particularly enjoyed the review
The reaction of the reviewers is great when they listen to the sound track.






Monday, April 21, 2014

Expendables II

I read somewhere that Stallone was pissed that Bruce Willis was lazy on the  expendables II film. After watching it on a streaming site, I thought Bruce was one of the better actors.

Why I watch these things is sometimes beyond me. Most of the action movies for Asia are way better than any Hollywood action movie. But sometimes late at night, I don't want to concentrate on the subtitles.

Although the film is really a carton. I was amazed at how crap they were at being soldiers. No one posted any "look outs" at night. They only saw that they were being attacked, when someone went out for a coffee.

I liked Dolph Lundgren as well. Anyway it was good to see Einstein's theory of general relativity in one scene.