28 Feb 2009
Jusr had one of the most entertaining dreams in ages.
I was at an event (no idea which) and had just been infected with some flu-like illness by none other than Jasper Carrott and then locked in a downstairs room by him. I’d escaped out the window and hopped it back to Leicester, arriving late at night in the pouring rain, only to be accosted in the street by a stranger.
Her words were. “Ooh I know you from somewhere”.
“Really? Where from?”
“You’re in the Mercury.” That’s the local Leicester rag.
And she showed me a 2 page spread with the headline “Would you like to be treated by this man?” and there were loads of bits of this website there. Their point being how dare this man work in the NHS with “those” views.
26 Feb 2009
BBC4 has recently been host to “Only Connect” the most up itself quizshow ever.
Well there’s a rather different one on now. I have no clue whether it’s good or awful. But it did make me laugh.
Have a look for yourself.
19 Feb 2009
Pot pouri today.
I’ve watched a couple of fillums. Least interesting was Finding Nemo. Took me ages to get around to seeing it and it was alright.
That’s about it really. Annoying squealy American voice of the little ‘un but apart from that was fine. Particularly liked the Aussie seagulls.
Onto better things with Grizzly Man. The story of a lunatic who took it upon himself to live in the Alaskan wilds with grizzly bears and, more to the point, no guns.
It may not be a great surprise to learn that he ended up getting eaten. What is surprising is that he managed to survive for 13 summers and got some utterly breathtaking footage from his time there.
The man comes across as an utter loony who doesn’t really have a clue. He’s there to somehow “protect the bears”. It’s the polar bears that are endangered anyhoo. But he never really says what his “protection” is. He just seems to shoot footage and witter annoyingly,
He is horrified when bears behave like bears and eat live animals – as if they are supposed to be soft, cuddly liberal, animal lovers.
We hear from natives who have lived in the region for millenia and they came up with a good basic rule; don’t mess with grizzly bears. I think they had it right.
But to give him credit. 13 YEARS!!! Wow. And the foxes that befriend him are ace.
And to other news:
BJC 2009 – cancelled at the mo, hopefully just postponed but talk about a shitty outcome. [just been told - postponed it is, most definitely not cancelled no no no]
I have friends who have already booked their travel from Germany, people are saying they’ve already booked hotels and time from work etc. It’s all just a bloody mess.
I’m pretty lucky in that work is flexible so I don’t need to take those days. The germans may have to be welcome here for the weekend (assuming they go to Tom’s in Northampton for the first part of their trip).
Just realised that sounds really grumpy. I am a bit but I do understand how hard this stuff is to do. Which leads me to my next point:
In other news:
BJC 2010. Leicester. You heard it here first.
That’s the plan anyway – me and Pete are having a look into the possibility of sorting the merest chance of doing something along the lines of offering a bit of a modest possible proposal to be offered up as a potential option for 2010′s do.
Basic site seems promising, show venue is good, just need to sort out an awful lot of details. The start of a long and tedious process hopefully leading to a proposal to be put forward at some unspecified date for others to pick apart and decide on.
We’ll see. Of course this may well be the last that’s said of this.
16 Feb 2009
We had an event yesterday.
Chocfest, my favourite one day convention (after Lestival of course), happened and it was more than a little odd.
On Friday late, Lufbra Graham arrived to crash for the first of 2 nights thus splitting up his drive from and to London.
Because of Graham arriving I had to say “no” to 2 American 20 year old female students who’d asked to kip here on a couchsurfing trip. I should have said yes and made him sleep in the front room.
Saturday morning started with teh Biskups and Mats arriving to be given lifts by Graham and I zoomed off to pick up P&C.
Uneventful journey later we were in Selby and, unsurprisingly really, the Abbey wasn’t too hard to find. What with it being the biggest building in the town by far. And about the only interesting thing about the town at all.
Once in the building Clurb paid for me and then an Annabod said “ooh ooh here’s a special pass for Alby” and I was presented with my own special little pass.
The passes were bottle tops with a loveheart sellotaped into it with the message showing. Was quite excited to read mine that she’d kept specially for me. I couldn’t tell quite whether to be really pleased or to think that my hosts think that I’m deep into self-love (photo will explain this if I get round to photographing it).
The Abbey is a wonderful building with plenty of head room. Quite probably the oddest place I’ve been in to juggle.
The pews were removed and this left a bit of space for hurling stuff around.
Old cultural taboos were being broken all round with clubs smacking down onto gravestones and people swearing like crazy as per usual.
But the day was pretty much as usual. Throwing things around, nattering, eating a bit, wandering into the town and eating some more, wandering back and then going out for food.
In the afternoon a bunch of us headed for food which turned out to be somewhat disappointing. Then we heard that we’d missed the cake testing session as they’d moved it to “during the show prep” time rather than “in the interval” time without telling us. Grrr.
Oh but I did discover that I can make Jon Peat dissolve into fits of laughter really very easily. In fact slightly worryingly easily.
The show was to be held in the abbey as well (after a long stand outside).
I’m giving them a pass for not having a proper stage on account of it being in a strange place but this did mean I missed a lot of stuff. I gave up trying to keep moving to see after about half an act. I did see a lot of swaying heads though.
The lights were a bit of a let-down too but they knew that.
The show was actually pretty sound. One nice thing was that it wasn’t over-long. 7 acts, 1 of which did 2 bits, done, thank you.
I can’t remember the order though so sue me.
Welsh Mats from Leicester did some gnarly ball stuff despite looking terrified and apparently forgetting his 5 ball bit.
Some acro bods came on to do something cattish that seemed to be taken well by those at the front. I didn’t see a lot of it must be said. It even took me an age to realise that there were in fact 2 cats on stage. I know it puns well (Catrobatics) and cats are lissom n’all but I don’t like the ubiquity of cats in the acro world. It just seems a little unoriginal.
Donald Grant did his new thing which instantly reminded me of Matt Hall crossed with Arron Sparks. Top diabling in the first half, funny diabling with disturbing outfit in the second.
Second half had teh Biskups flailing around with rings and struggling with the lights. A shame as we know she’s got the moves.
Bekka Rose did some grand club juggling with excellent movement and mad hair.
Headliners were teh Frenchiez (summat like QWERTY or summat) doing a duo white bods with black tops on wotsit.
They did move awfy well and they juggled rather niftily n’all.
A very smooth end to a pretty decent, all things considered, show. In fact I’d go further. The show had 3 very good female jugglers – 3 of them! Great to see more women on stage. Let’s hope it starts a trend.
In conclusion the day was pretty good in a very intriguing venue. But (sorry there’s a but) the atmos just felt off to me. Maybe it was the reduction in numbers or the plain weirdness of juggling in such a place; I really don’t know what it was but I didn’t feel desperately comfortable for large parts of the day. I’m sure it’s nothing to do with the orgs or their efforts though. Kudos is earned for them.
A strange one.
13 Feb 2009
Me and teh gangz went to see Tim Minchin last night.
Nicely timed (totally coincidentally) to be on Darwin Day I was looking forward to him going on about that somewhat, seeing as that’s his schtick sort of thing.
But he didn’t really. He mentioned it but didn’t really go off on one.
The place wasn’t full though and it felt more like a private party for him and his mates. More than half the crowd were teen girls who all fancy him and go to as many of his shows as they can afford. Even to the extent that he mentioned one or two of them on the front row by name.
But how embarrassing for him.
He did spend quite a lot of his time talking about his wife and daughter. It seemed like a desperate attempt at times to deflect the horny masses from embarrassing him further.
But the majority of the horny masses were of the “I go to sci-fi conventions” type. You know the “find gangs of similarly obsessed people and then it’s not an obsession no more, strength in numbers etc” kind of people.
Like me and my pals who go to juggling festivals (of all things!)
Not impressed by the vibe I’m afraid.
And it’s a shame because he’s pretty darned good. I have to say that as he rather effectively hit back at a nasty critic by the medium of song at one point.
As far as the show went it started and ended poorly for me though.
He did acknowledge the bad start by saying that he’s always bad at starting. Then he tried to intimate that he’d never heard of “Cradle of Filth”, as if.
But it proper picked up after that with some excellent gags and just the wrong side of “wrong” comments. Very good indeed.
And then he finished a great evening with a pretty meh song. But the crowd loved it, I suppose some people need a bit of wry-smile-at-best pathos after a good night’s proper hilarity.
Oh and I agree, the dancing bear was really not needed. Even if embarrassing a physics nerd is quite a giggle under normal circumstances.
A very good night out, but you can’t have every note as a high one.
10 Feb 2009
Pics from a brief visit to my brother’s place this weekend last: here.
07 Feb 2009
Scary fillum night has just happened. Pizza, the usuals plus Tom sadly minus Nicky made for a nice crowd and pizza turned out to be as cheap delivered as it would have been to pick up. Huzzah!
Tom came last time where the worst of it was a bit of goriness in Black Sheep.
This evening’s fare was to be a little more nervy.
But more of that later. First flick was City of God from Brazil. This is one we’ve had waiting for an age. It doesn’t really fit into the “scary” bracket but it didn’t disappoint.
It’s a tale of a few characters in the eponymous slum area near Rio. We watch as they fall for and lose girls, nick stuff, shoot children, get shot, get stabbed, sell drugs, buy off police and chase errant chickens.
Despite all the nastiness there are some loveable characters. Benny for one and the wannabe photographer “Rocket”. And the cast are bloody marvellous.
At some points the various stories collide to give some narrative.
Highly recommended if a trifle downbeat.
After a brief break and having to convince Pete to stay awake we get to the star performer of the evening. I say that even after saying that the first fillum was so good.
[rec] is its name. It’s another of the fillums that’s so good they made it twice. (Well the mercans made it again because no American seems to be able to read – they didn’t even change the name of the main character!)
In terms of fillum making this was in a league below City of God but lordy lordy it did its job. After Tom’s gentle intro to our little group last time, this one had him saying that he’s not coming back for another. Clurb squealed like a squealy thing and even let rip the odd startled yelp. Bloody fantastic it was.
The only real negative for me was the handheld camera work which did leave me feeling queasy by the end of it. Thankfully it was only 75 mins long (shorter in the UK than in other versions – peculiar).
The story was pretty thin but that’s not an issue for a no-holds-barred adrenalin flick. Think a very constrained 28 Days Later. The characters are all stuck in a smallish apartment building instead of all of the UK.
The usual guff about infection followed by homicidal fury. All fillumed by a bloke called Pablo and fronted by a rather fetching spanish reporter.
Wonderful shock moments, scary and fast moving, and it all leads to a boss level with king baddy at the end with more shocks and claustrophobia.
Top end to the week.
A shame Nicky missed it. I might lend her the disc and tell her it’s not that bad really, she should probably watch it on her own. I think I’d be in trouble if I did though.
A very good pair of fillums indeed.
06 Feb 2009
Right then, the praying nurse. What do we think?
Everything about this story is bogus. It was put together by a “concerned” group of christian lawyers whose avowed aim seems to be to paint christians as victims as often as they possibly can in the national media. And reported mainly by the Mail which is trying to do the same.
The actual situation as far as I can gather it from various internets.
The nurse in question is a bank nurse. In other words she comes in to help out when the local services need the odd extra hand for whatever reason. The trust simply said they weren’t going to use her whilst an investigation was on-going – seems reasonable to me.
The actual incident – she asked an elderly patient if they would mind if she prayed for them. Said patient wrote to the trust saying that they didn’t mind but it’s a bit odd and maybe someone should have a word with her just in case she asked someone who really did mind one day.
So far so good. No complaint, no offence taken yet.
The crux though is that she’s got form. She had done it before and been complained about before. She’d been taken to one side and asked not to do it.
So what do the management do? She’s been asked nicely, she ignored the request. Some form of tedious martyrdom complex or just an idiot?
Anyways the Mail is happy as she’s got her job back (not that she ever lost it). I would assume it’s been re-iterated to her to keep her faith to herself rather than foisting it on weak and vulnerable people. In other words where she was before she waved her pants around on national media to get some sympathy for her non-existant cause.
I always thought the Mail was FOR people following the rules rather than just doing what they want regardless of how other people may feel about it.
But perhaps I’m a loony-left PC do-gooder.
So what would I think if a medic offered to pray for me?
Firstly I’d think, I’d rather you do something useful.
Second I’d remember that those who know someone is praying for them have been demonstrated to have worse outcomes than those who don’t know or aren’t being prayed for.
Thirdly I’d think, “blimey it must be serious” – and we know that mental health is vital to dealing with serious illness well.
Fourthly I’d think “If I say what I think, will I continue to get her best ministrations?”
And finally I’d think – I thought medicine was now supposed to be evidence based, where the staff know what works and what doesn’t – I wonder if the nurse has the nous to actually know a damn thing about what IS helpful for this problem.
But apparently all that just makes me intolerant. Whereas her being offended at the statement of my beliefs, and those of an awful lot of others (I’d hate to see what reaction one or two members of my family would have been had it been them involved), is a perfectly rational reaction and one that deserves sympathy.
And I’d love to know what her reaction would be if a pagan nurse offered to sacrifice a virgin for her (again I doubt that would be portrayed in quite the same sympathetic way by the media, despite both being as valid a method of dealing with physical illness as the other).
I had a very odd dream last night.
I was at a “do” and one of the guests was Tom Cruise.
I spent some time chatting to him but the main problem was that every single question I asked could have been misinterpreted as a dig of some kind.
‘scruciating it was.
Not one of them was intended that way, it just happened like that.
How bizarre. It seems the nightmares of my youth that I thoroughly enjoy – even to the extent once where K woke me up because I was clearly having one – and I got grumpy with her because “I was enjoying that”) stuffed full of scary monsters and life or death situations have faded and now I just have mildly awkward social situations to deal with.
05 Feb 2009
I use care2 as an email provider. It’s something I’ve had since uni days and I picked it as a version of hotmail only without the MS connotations. If I remember rightly it was originally called caremail. This shut down and was relaunched as care2.
In addition to the original email function it is now a bit like a social network. The cool bit is that they give profits to eco charities in the US. The ethos is generally very liberal (as they’d say in the US).
This does lead to rubbish like Deepak Chopra being involved and lots of stuff about alternative healing and other such wastes of minds. But I like it and it’s always been pretty reliable.
Today I had my first group invitation for some time and I thought I’d mention it for your enjoyment.
Marvellous. It’s so me isn’t it?
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