27 February 2015 @ 08:30 pm
Slowly the original cast of Star Trek are leaving us for the stars.

Leonard portrayed the part of Spock so well, and the on screen chemistry between Kirk, Spock and McCoy was what made the show for me.

I was lucky enough to meet him a few times and I'm glad to say he was marvellous to meet in person. It was always fantastic to see him particularly when I saw him on stage with William Shatner, the two clearly got on so well.

You will always live on in my heart.
23 February 2015 @ 07:40 pm
A long time ago I wrote a post about myself in which I coined the term "Music Deaf" to describe me. I described being music deaf was akin to being colour blind. Colour blind people can see colours but not distinguish between them. I can hear music but not get any emotional response from it. I pondered whether this was a real condition.

Recently I found this article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/10687919/Dont-like-music-Scientists-explain-why.html

So scientists call it Music Anhedonia. I carried out a survey and all seven people I asked agreed with me that Music Deaf is a better term. Well technically the seven "people" were cats and they mainly just purred but that doesn't stop my survey being conclusive.
01 January 2015 @ 10:35 am
Welcome to 2015 or quarter past eight. I suspect its going to be an odd year. But then 2014 was an even year and we normally do get odd years soon after even years.

Anyway here's my annual update on autographs for all the people out there who care (which is probably countable on the fingers of one foot!!).

Broken down the figures were:

Theatre: 26
Events: 580 (13 via friends)
Pre-Signed: 44

Making the Grand Total autographs as at end 2014 (numbers in brackets are the 2013 values):

Books: 3508 (3321)
DVD: 2035 (1940)
CD: 3358 (3343)
Photos: 5487 (5222)
Trading Cards: 3473 (3427)
Magazines: 271 (271)
Star Trek Fact Files: 472 (454)

Grand total for the collection: 18,604 (17,978)

Have a great new year everyone!!
25 December 2014 @ 01:07 pm
The post title is a classic cliché. But what about three wrongs, would that make a right. I don't think so.

As people may have heard Sony recently made a film "The Interview" starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. In my opinion that's the first wrong. Not because of the "free speech" but because the movie is deliberately insulting. I'll admit to not having seen it but even the makers agree it parodies the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. I think that's just rude.

There are several movies out there that poke fun at fictional leaders, the movie "Dave", for example, has an over the top manipulative American President played by Kevin Kline. We've all seen similar parodies with leaders of fictional and non-existent middle eastern or African countries. Often these fictional leaders or countries are thinly disguised parodies of real leaders. But I think when you actually use a real leader by name it becomes rude. Now don't get me wrong here I'm not saying that is the worst thing in the world, or calling for a boycott of Sony or Rogen/Franco as a result, just saying if you're going to do this I think its rude.

So then we get to the next wrong. When North Korea hear about this they go loopy even going so far as to call the movie an act of war. Seriously guys get a grip. There was a show here many years ago called "Spitting Image" with exaggerated puppet representations of world leaders. They poked fun at everyone and being a British show spent most of their time insulting British politicians and royalty. As I said earlier I think that's kind of rude. But the political leaders of the day tolerated and by all accounts even liked the show despite it portraying them as buffoons. North Korea's over the top reaction in my eyes loses them any street cred they might have for a more measured response.

Now there's some debate as to whether or not North Korea is behind the next event, which is Sony gets hacked and all sorts of movies, scripts and emails get leaked online. I definitely think that's wrong. But it may not be North Korea's doing. We also get anonymous (potentially from North Korea) threats to any movie theatre that screens the movie.

So now we get our third wrong that's definitely from one of the main participants in this farce, Sony caves to the threats and withdraws the movie. Now if they'd publicly said something like "OK, we've looked at the movie and realised it is offensive so we're withdrawing it" I'd have been OK with that. If they'd genuinely felt the movie was bad they should withdraw it. But to withdraw because of anonymous threats, that's rather pathetic.

So here we are at three wrongs, then Sony under pressure from actors and politicians reverse their decision. Hardly a shining moment for anybody.


Personally I find it difficult to see any right in any of this but its definitely a farce and a more over the top parody of modern events would be difficult to imagine.
10 December 2014 @ 03:39 pm
So at the weekend forestgreenivy and I went to see the movie The Imitation Game which is a Bio-Pic based on the life of Alan Turing.

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05 December 2014 @ 08:26 pm
I heard today that the cast for the new James Bond movie has been announced and once again Daniel Craig will be taking the part of Bond. This is incredibly disappointing, not because I don’t think Daniel is good in the role because I’ve enjoyed his other three appearances as Bond. But it shows that once again the studio has overlooked me for the title role. Granted I have no acting experience and I’m getting maybe just a tad old for the part, but those things aside I think I’d be ideal for the part. Hopefully when they announce the next film I’ll get my chance.
24 November 2014 @ 09:18 pm
Yesterday forestgreenivy and I were in the car driving on a motorway. The weather was slightly foggy and it was raining causing spray from the road and making the road wet. There was relatively little traffic and i was in the middle lane looking to overtake a car on the inside land who was 20 or so metres in front of me.

The suddenly without warning the car I was going to overtake swung left (i.e. away from me) onto the hard shoulder then spun and headed across the road travelling perpendicular to the traffic. They hit the central divide, bounced back and stopped across the middle lane but also partially blocking the other two lanes. The front of the car was badly smashed up and the road was strewn with broken car bits, mostly the bumper as far as I could tell.

As this point I’m now only a few metres away and travelling at over 60 mph with a road that’s wet from the rain. I managed to keep control of the car and fortunately the ABS brought me to a halt before I reached him but there was only about a metre between me and him when I stopped. At this point I was also nervously looking in my rear view mirror to see if the car behind me was stopping in time, which fortunately they did as well. forestgreenivy had put the hazard warnings on when she’d spotted I didn’t have a hand free from controlling the car, no doubt that helped warn the car behind to stop.

Fortunately although the people in the car in front were shaken up no one was hurt and so we were on our way after only a few minutes. But it’s about the closest I’ve come to hitting another car at speed on the roads. Not a fun experience.
19 November 2014 @ 08:44 pm
I thought I’d give my opinion following the end of the first season of Peter Capaldi’s role as The Doctor. As people may recall I wrote up a review following seeing his first episode, at that time I thought the show had a reasonable but not brilliant start, but I was concerned about the Missy character and whether that would be a good underlying story line.

So what’s my opinion now following seeing the complete season?

I can sum that up in one word, absolutely complete and utter garbage (OK that’s more than one word).

The pilot which was above average but not brilliant turned out to be the high point of the series. As people may know I did not enjoy the Matt Smith era but those were better than this by a massive margin. In most cases I didn’t so much dislike the episodes as find them actively offensive. I found the plot lines to suffer in the most part from crass stupidity and inconsistencies such that I genuinely cannot see how anyone can have liked them. I know this is science fiction and that therefore we’re going to be introduced to weird aliens/science but I expect the stories to have a level of rational plot. I’ll give a few examples off the top of my head, these are just things I haven’t yet been able to wipe from my memory as opposed to necessarily the worst examples from a season where each episode seemed desperate to plumb new lows.

Flatline Aliens from a 2-dimensional world invade our reality. OK I’m fine with the idea of a 2D world but these aliens have apparently only just found our universe and their immediate reaction is to start killing people. People they can’t have even known existed before they found us. Short of them being a race of psychopaths why are they doing this they’re not even trying to do anything else they appear to have entered our world with the sole purpose of committing murder? The Daleks try to kill everyone on first sight but we’re given a reason for that.

In the Forest of the Night Some mysterious something covers the earth in vegetation to protect it from a solar flare. This is just nonsensical, no idea where to begin. The Earth has yet another indigenous intelligent life form (Humans, The Silurians and these things), yet no one’s noticed them before. How did they spot the solar flare in advance? How did they make the plants grow? How can we possibly have this much growth without something feeding the plants, supplying nutrients etc. Where was everyone while this was happening (not everyone works day shifts particularly in 24 hour cities like London). Where did the supposedly dead girl come back from? How and why did the plants bring her back anyway? The plot is so meaningless as to defy any attempt to seriously discuss it.

Dark Water / Death in Heaven The big series finale and reveal. Missy is a regenerated Master. Ok I’m fine with the Master regenerating as a woman. But everything else was stupid. The Cybermen convert living creature to Cybermen. They are not robots. They have human brains with emotions removed at their core. But now we can download souls from dead people, and when we look at the Cybermen the organic part they keep is bones? What? Why? If you’re creating a better body one of the first things you’d replace is the skeleton with a stronger metal structure. But now new Cybermen can grow from graves years or centuries old.

I could go on and on, but I’ve no desire to do so I saw little to no redeeming features in any of the episodes. I watched to the end because I kept hoping something would change, but if anything it just got worse. In the final episode Clara tries to trick the Cybermen into not killing her. I was just yelling at the screen “shoot, please shoot”, in the hopes, although I know while Moffat remains they’ll be unfounded, that the next companion would be better, or at least not so dire.

The best way I can describe my overall feelings is to talk about autographs. As people know one of my main hobbies is collecting autos. I collect from many TV series and films that I’ve enjoyed over the years. I’ve Doctor Who autographs going back to the first ever episode 50 years ago and covering most of them since. During the Matt Smith era I didn’t like the show but I still got and got pleasure from getting new photos from the show signed. I do get more pleasure from shows and characters I like but in long running shows there are always going to be episodes or characters I dislike. I’ve always taken the attitude that they’re still good additions to my collection and enjoy getting them. That was my thought process during the Matt Smith years.

But recently I saw Ellis George (who played a reoccurring character this season) at a signing show and got her autograph. The photo I had signed was a very nice picture of her and she seemed like a nice person. So under other circumstances I would expect the auto to have given me pleasure. But as I was filing it away I just couldn’t help thinking about how much I despised her character, and the episodes she was in. Thinking about it I have therefore decided that I will not be getting any further autos from the Capaldi era.

To anyone who knows my love of Doctor Who and autos that statement says more about how much I disliked the show than anything else ever could.
27 October 2014 @ 11:57 am
I was talking with my wife, forestgreenivy, about a difference between US and UK sports. Not the games themselves, or indeed the rules of those games, but the way the sports are organised.

Here in the UK football is very popular. The top teams play each other over the season in the Premiere league. The league has teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and others. I believe there are twenty teams in the league. Similarly in the US they have a popular sport also called football (although a very different game) and a league called the NFL with teams like the Denver Broncos, from my wife's old home state.

But there's a big difference in the way the two leagues operate. In the US the members of the NFL are fixed. If a team has a really bad season then they come last in the league, and presumably try to do better next year. Here things are very different. A team that does poorly will, obviously come last, but here the last three teams in the league do not get a second chance next year.

Here those teams are relegated to the next league down. Below the Premiere league there is the Championship league. The three lowest members of the premiere league have to play in the Championship league next season. While the two highest members of the Championship league are promoted, and the next four enter a play-off to see who will become the third promotion.

Similarly the three lowest members of the Championship league get relegated to League Division one, and so on. There are a series of leagues and below the sixth level the system splits out into a number of regional leagues but goes on down to over 20 levels including multiple levels of clubs that have only part time amateur players.

The UK system seems fairer to me no team has a right to be in the top flight and it encourages teams to do better. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
01 October 2014 @ 02:40 pm
Ok, this shouldn't be too tricky for the less mathematically inclined.

So here we go.

What is 7+1?

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Ok, how are we doing? Lets try a trickier problem.

What is 8+1?

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