almostwitty: (monkey)

So back in 1999, one part of the UK was gripped with total solar eclipse fever – that part being Cornwall.

Since I’ve been a boy, I’ve always wanted to “see” a total solar eclipse. So I had to pay £150 (a lot of money for a young adult on his second job) to go on the “Eclipse Express” – in reality, a slow train that took 6 hours to get to Cornwall from London, and had to leave at 0300.

So thus I arrived in Cornwall without much money and no sleep at 0830 – only to realise it was very very cloudy and we couldn’t really see anything at all.

Nevertheless we made our way to a local park that overlooked the sea and watched the sea and clouds as it got darker, and darker, and darker. Birds stopped twittering, it got colder and the bloody street lights came on. In the distance we could see the sun reflected in the sea as it got darker. Then it was all over, and I had to kill time in Cornwall before the train back. In hindsight, I should have just stayed in the pub.

Still, the next major US total eclipse is in 2024 …

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So, at long last, the trailer for the Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan movie, “The Foreigner” (directed by the man who made Goldeneye and Casino Royale) has been unveiled.

As a YouTube commentator wagged, it’s like an Asian Taken!

From the trailer, it looks pretty cool with at least one classic Jackie Chan move remixed, but a couple of things strike me:

– The film is famous for having blown up a London bus on a Sunday afternoon in Lambeth Bridge, alarming a lot of people nearby who didn’t realise it was a film stunt. Given all the effort they went into filming that stunt, it’s surprising it’s not in the trailer. Instead, it’s a more generic urban bombing that appears in the trailer. Maybe they decided to drop that sequence?

– This is probably just me, but I’m just not ready to see Pierce Brosnan playing the bad admin guy.

What do you think?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Father’s Day is around the corner, which means the same lovely but predictable parade of gifts including photo frames, neck ties, and I’m sure, somewhere, a photo frame made of discarded neckties. It’s not that we don’t love our glitter glue and macaroni art gifts or wacky golf tees in a commemorative box; on the contrary, I’ll treasure each one lovingly handed to me by The Kid. It’s just that in an era where technology means we’re more likely to FaceTime our children then actually spend time with them face to face, moments of creating and teaching can get lost.

So fantastically, Pizza Express invited the Geek Family to their new swanky restaurant off Gloucester Road (converted from a ye olde bank) near the Natural History Museum, to learn about the mystical (well, mystical to me) art of making pizzas, getting just a little messy together and making some cool memories.

The jovial host showed us to our pizza making station – which was covered in flour and dough – and showed everyone how to knead the dough and flip it about, which is much easier and more fun to do when you have lots of wide space (instead of a tiny galley of a kitchen) and you don’t need to mop up yourself afterwards!

After the kids (including the father-aged ones) had rolled, kneaded and flipped the dough to a round shape (or a square shape if you’re a Dad who wants to show off and be all distinctive), it was time for the kids to choose their own ingredients. Our kid was a bit Gwyneth Paltrow minimalist in his choice of ingredients, and opted for tomato sauce – this is in itself a bit of an innovation, since he usually prefers his pizza plainer than Antarctica. Sadly for the kid, he was not given the option of adding gummi worms to his pizza. Myself, on the other hand, chose EVERY INGREDIENT AVAILABLE. So thus the kid’s minimalist pizza and Dad’s square pepperoni-ham-mushroom-olives-artichockes-cheesy feast pizza both went into the oven.

Fifteen minutes later, piping hot and lovely pizzas emerged from the oven and this is where I learnt why square pizzas are not the world’s best idea (they tend to burn at the edges). Nevertheless, we all tucked in with gusto and The Kid ate a whole pizza by himself, which hardly ever happens.

We all had a fun time, had some great memories and made some new friends – hello to fellow Dad, blogger, Twitterer and Whovian Lee Carey!

Thanks to Pizza Express for inviting us, and they have a special Father’s Day offer on – Give Dad The Gift Of Pizza’ – where any starter and a main can be purchased from £11.95 this Father’s Day weekend.

Mirrored from Family v2.1.

almostwitty: (monkey)

These days, what with my busy hectic lifestyle (of working and parenting and erm…), I don’t really have time to keep up with cultural trends, and whatnot. We barely manage to go to the cinema to see a non-kids film once a year, and that’s a birthday treat that costs £100 once you factor in babysitting costs. So most of popular culture tends to pass me by.

Then thanks to BBC Radio One‘s Big Weekend, I stumbled upon Tilted by Christine and the Queens (released in the UK in 2016). The silkiest bit of French electro-pop I’ve heard since Desireless’s Voyage Voyage and pretty much everything about it is awesome. The simple but stark video, the dance moves, the insistent beat and you can’t ever really beat having a foreign language whispered seductively into your ears. Even the slightly bizarre English lyrics (“I’m doing my face With magic marker”) can’t stop it just being absolutely amazing.

Then I got a bit obsessed with the track. I played it ten times in a day. I spent a morning devouring wikipedia and Spotify while simultaneously getting butterflies in my stomach… which was dead annoying when I realised I had to give a work presentation later. With that dance move running through my head throughout.

Any hoodles, it’s awesome. Give it a listen.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

If, like us, your household has been sucked into endlessly shopping at Sainsbury’s in an attempt to get more golden Lego trading cards, then you’ll also have amassed a huge collection of duplicates.

In case you want to swap one of your duplicates, for one of our duplicates, then here’s our list of Lego trading card duplicates. Please comment below if you want to do a swap!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
Imagine you've never heard of Doctor who before but you walk into a room with 25 people earnestly discussing the best season, the best regeneration and the worst theme tune. All the injokes. All the received wisdom.

Tonight I walked into a room of 25 dieting men who like football and it went as well as can be expected. Two blokes got injuries from a "casual kick about", and I'm supposed to buy shin guards and the whole kit before next weeks game.

On the other hand, the group was as welcoming as they could reasonably expect to be and nobody outright laughed at my inability to get the ball.

Quick question: who is depies?
almostwitty: (Default)
In our drive to reduce our possessions and be able to see things like walls and floors in our tiny 2-bed flat, it was gently pointed out to me that I might want to consider getting rid of my precious collection of Doctor Who Magazines. Which have been left to rest covered in dust in a distant corner of the living room.

However, unable to countenance such a vile piece of vandalism without at least the possibility of reading them again someday, I looked on the Internet to see if any kind souls had digitised them.

And lo and behold, a Russian site has PDF copies of what appears to be every single edition of Doctor Who Magazine to the end of 2016! Perfecto!

Except, foolishly, I wasn't browsing in incognito mode. Thus by the end of the day, every banner advert was kindly telling me that I could find Hot! Russian! Ladies! through their website. I wonder what their stance on the UNIT dating controversy would be...

Next step: to tackle the six boxes of Empire magazine which have been preserved in a distant cupboard...
almostwitty: (Default)
Just realised that when I walk along corridors, I am unconsciously looking for power points... ?
almostwitty: (monkey)

In our drive to reduce our possessions and be able to see things like walls and floors in our tiny 2-bed flat, it was gently pointed out to me that I might want to consider getting rid of my precious collection of Doctor Who Magazines. Which have been left to rest covered in dust in a distant corner of the living room.

However, unable to countenance such a vile piece of vandalism without at least the possibility of reading them again someday, I looked on the Internet to see if any kind souls had digitised them.

And lo and behold, a Russian site has PDF copies of what appears to be every single edition of Doctor Who Magazine to the end of 2016! Perfecto!

Except, foolishly, I wasn’t browsing in incognito mode. Thus by the end of the day, every banner advert was kindly telling me that I could find Hot! Russian! Ladies! through their website. I wonder what their stance on the UNIT dating controversy would be…

Next step: to tackle the six boxes of Empire magazine which have been preserved in a distant cupboard…

(It should be noted that I haven’t seen a new episode of Doctor Who for two years… The delights of Hell Bent taunt me still…)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
I'm registered for a few casting extras sites. Suddenly, they're ALL on the lookout for a Chinese man :D


To star in a Lynx/Axe deodorant commercial.


oh.

(Someone really ought to tell them that Chinese men don't generally need deodorant)
almostwitty: (Default)
One trailer for the sequel to Blade Runner, and I remember just how obsessed I got with that film and everything about it. The beauty. The soundtrack. The music. Everything.



Following up on that, I thought, great, I'll dig out my 5-disc Blu Ray. Then I realised most people would just go look at it on Netflix and be bored after a bit. Which is ... Disappointing.
almostwitty: (Default)
and has anyone figured out an easy way to post here *and* elsewhere simultaneously?
almostwitty: (monkey)

Like me, you may one day be filled with the need to access Hong Kong TV channels via the Internet, and figure that buying a TVPad 4 is the best way to go about it.

But then when you hook it up to the Internet and your TV, you’ll see … this …

tvpad4

and wonder how on earth to get it to do what you bought it for. Especially if you don’t read Chinese.

Alas, I don’t read Chinese either but have figured out (through some handy friends!) the following:

if you imagine the grid of 9 icons like a telephone keypad ie:



789
456
123

Then:
7 is Live TV from Hong Kong (featuring TVB, ATV and CCTV channels)
8 is TV from Hong Kong with a 12-hour delay
3 is playback of live TV channels, channels for 3 days
2 is Hong Kong TV, a relative newcomer to television in Hong Kong
1 is on-demand TV
4 is on-demand movies

But do explore the other icons on the other screens. There’s YouTube and some movies apps that let you watch English-language Hollywood movies.

(Thanks to the folks at Facebook’s British-born-Chinese forum for their help!)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Back in the day, I remembered when games would take at least five minutes to load via cassette on my little 8-bit computer, and I distinctly remember maintaining a list of how long each game would take to load because … well, even then I’d prefer to maintain lists of things. Mind you, back then, I had all the time in the world.

Fast forward about thirty years, and after a fun-but-tiring day of running around with The Kid, I wanted to settle down with a little Grand Theft Auto V action. It had already been installed, so surely it was just a case of putting the disc in, and playing, right?

Err…. no. The dreaded auto-update screen popped up – one you can’t get out of. So I thought “Fine, it needs a quick update, it won’t take long…”

TWO HOURS LATER, and it had finally updated. Just in time for me to go to bed.

And game companies wonder why gaming on the iPad is so appealing to most demographics…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)
I used to devour apocalyptic literature – I read a lot of it as a kid, watched many a movie about the end of the world, and even wrote essays about it at University. Back then, it never used to phase me or scare me as a topic – I’d have a kind of horrified fascination with it, and during the height of the Cold War, the End could potentially be no more than four minutes away for the United Kingdom.
Fast forward to now, though, and I’m living in West London and a married father to a kid who really couldn’t even begin to fend for himself for another seven years… so oddly that puts a totally different spin on things. I’m not so much horribly fascinated by “black” topics so much as just horrified and actively repelled by them – so that’s another thing that changes in the transition to fatherhood…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

As you can imagine, living and driving in London does mean your car will get the odd scratch, and my basic hatchback is no exception:

The scratches on my car before the paint was added

Fortunately, Chipex offered to let me test their simple three-step car paint touch-up system, and despite being an utter novice when it comes to car maintenance and care, I thought I’d give it a try.

It comes in one simple pack, which contains quite a few tools, cloths, gloves and lotions of various sizes, but it’s all simply explained.

The Chipex toolkit

A quick check of the instructions, and I dove right into painting the multiple scratches away:

Painting away...

 

After twenty mintues of painting, twenty minutes of drying, and a quick buff, the results were amazing. The scratches no longer stuck out on the car, and you’d have to peer quite hard to see the scratches:

The car scratchers after applying Chipex

I could have spent more time on the buffing to even out the finish, but I was very satisfied with the results I got, considering it took less than an hour!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

According to a YouGov survey, they’re all examples of the “widest range of sexual behaviours”, in an article for BBC News.

Wait till I tell the wife this…

Captured on 1 Dec 2014

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So… for the last 29 days I’ve been attempting to grow a moustach, for plenty of reasons:

– to raise awareness of men’s health (testicular cancer, or mental health issues)
– because I would like to have a proper moustache that I can stroke thoughtfully when musing on things or with menace… Something like:

Tony Leung in Infernal Affairs Tony Leung in Infernal Affairs

Here’s the progress so far:

My growing moustache My growing moustache

If you’d like to see the full result – or if you feel like being generous and donating to the #movember charity, then please please do so via http://mobro.co/almostwitty

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So, you may not know (and if you don’t know, I’m amazed, it’s usually the third most interesting fact about myself I unselfishly volunteer without being asked), but I was a performer at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, which was roughly two years ago yesterday.

So, anyway, in a way of a minor celebration/salute, I decided to put on the key musical track And I Will Kiss today in the office. At the key drumbeat points, my body somehow remembered that I was meant to DO something, but my conscious brain couldn’t actually remember what.

That didn’t seem to matter to my body, which KNEW it had to do something and so … well, if you’d been staring at me in the office, you’d have seen my arms and elbows raising from the keyboard for one second in an extra-ordinarily unchoreographed movement, because darn it the arms and elbow just KNEW it had to do something…

Will the body ever forget these movements from 2012 ?!

Mirrored from almost witty.

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