Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Need My Sci-Fi Fix

Being the sci-fi geek/addict that I am, and a particularly impatient one at that, I've just caught up on the latest episode of Stargate: Atlantis (the same show which I have been talking incessantly to my family about for about the last ten weeks...who really don't get/have no interest in what-so-ever).

What can I say though....love the plots, love the dialogue (much of which highly self referring and has plenty of in-jokes and pop cultural references to keep a geek like me amused), love the character dynamics and acting (David Hewlett aka Dr. Rodney McKay tops the list....his eye acting alone should be given it's own award), love the special effects & set design (even if it's borrowed from SG:1) lighting and use of colour (there's an essay to be had there somewhere).

So it rather annoys me that I have discovered that there's a hiatus of 6 months...that's 6 MONTHS people! Who's stupid idea was that? The episode was, naturally, a two parter, which means I now have to wait 6 painstakingly slow and tedious months to find out if the SG:A team rescue the city, O'Neill, Woolsey and the Ancients from the human form of the replicators. (I know, the answer is of course blatantly obvious since there are a further 10 or so episodes to air...but I'm having a rant here). Where the heck am I going to find my Sci-Fi hit for the next 6 months?

To make matters worse I start back at Uni next week and have to put up with the few meager digital channels on offer, which don't include the Sci-Fi Channel or Sky One, both of which air repeats of SG:1 and SG:A....I can feel the cold shiver and sweats of withdrawal as we speak.

Furthermore, SG:A premieres in the UK in October (on Sky One) and the only break from airing episodes will probably be around Christmas time. With a 6 month break in the US, the second half of the series will start to air across the pond around April sometime, meaning the UK will have caught up somewhen in January with the episode which I have just watched, via LimeWire. Due to some kind of parallel Universe scheduling time travelling paradox, theoretically the UK will actually be airing the episodes before they debut in the US right? (I can only wish)......I think I have actually given myself brain damage thinking about that one.....but 6 MONTHS for cryin' out loud!!

Unique Use of the Icelandic Military

Proving that I'm not the only person currently with an unhealthy amount of time on my hands, I found a link to a video of an unusual event which happened in Reykjavik, Iceland earlier this month. It involves three helicoptors, a giant marionette and several, quite frankly, jittery looking locals.

In something reminiscent of a well known Roald Dahl story, the huge puppet 'wanders' along a main street in the city peering into windows on the top floor of buildings and in the last clip brings a bemused car driver to a screeching halt, while pedestrians make a hasty exit off the street.....well you would too if a three storey (and frankly creepy looking) puppet was heading in your direction on an otherwise normal and peaceful evening.


After a little googling I can find no information about the event, other than further links to the short videos, so I can only guess that it was some kind of festival event or 'art' project. Proving, once again, that the Iceland is a little off-kilter, eccentric and yet the source of some decidely unique entertainment.

I guess that all is quiet for the Iclandic military, or that some wealthy artist had a spare few bob lying around to hire the three choppers which were involved in moving the puppet around the streets....the mind boggles.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wild Britain

Proving that the UK can be the center of weirdness a news report today mentioned that the great British countryside is becoming home for many animals usually associated with a more humid and pleasant climate. According to the report a survey has been carried out in which people have identified various beast from snakes, wallabies, penguins, raccoons and eagles to (and perhaps more worryingly) wild boar, scorpions, sharks, wolves and crocodiles! There has been nearly 6,000 official sightings of big cats across the UK and, probably the most odd, three Pandas....Pandas for crying out loud!

I obviously haven't been paying enough attention when I'm out on my travels, although we have a resident parrot in the local area and I once saw a possum cross the road coming home from the flicks one night.

Naturally a lot of these sightings are being associated with changing climate, higher temps in the UK, changing habitats...blah, blah, blah. So I'm guessing it has zilch to do with people having exotic animals as pets illegally and then releasing them into the wild before they get into trouble with the police then...coz that would be just crazy talk I spose.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brain Surge/ Short Circuit

Whether it be too much cheese, lack of sleep or some suspect fumes emanating from within the hole I call my bedroom, I have been experiencing some unusual (mis) firings in my brain mainly surrounding the section in charge of memory.

It started with the image of a cartoon character printed on a badge which was part of a mass collection from my childhood. (It was the 80's...no playstations, iPods or gameboys...oh no...we had badge collections) Said badge was a headshot of a girl wearing a yellow hat with a red feather in a three musketeer style, on an orange background and the part which had my memory in headless chicken mode was that I recalled obtaining the badge as a freebie when I hired a video. By means of astounding observation I deduced that there may have been a connection between the badge and the video, and my neurotic brain was not going to let me rest until I'd figured it out.

The information my addled brain had released to me was beyond useless; the description of character in a cartoon film released somewhen between 1977-1985, possibly French dubbed, with not even one word of the title to work with....A lesser (or smarter) person would have cut their losses at this point, relegating the memory to the 'slightly annoying but completely unreachable goal' section (which is where all attempts of trigonometry have been shelved.) But I like a challenge...and have plenty of time on my hands.

Online forums can be a useful source for information....thousands of folk, each with specialist subject information which they are more thant willing to share at the drop of a hat. So first stop in the research was classickidstv forums, consisting of various misfits who in their childhood spent way too much time in front of the TV and, no doubt, have those square eyes that your mother was always warning you about.

Alas the info I could provide was too limited even for them and so I decided that the answer would be found if I could identify the character on the badge....which meant finding the badge amongst the 20 years of junk in the loft. A job then for good 'ol dad, who loves nothing more than crawling and clawing his way round the masses of bags and boxes in the elevated heat of the roof space area on a Sunday afternoon. The old boy did come through however, the process only taking a few minutes and causing me to wonder if his constant moaning about carrying out tasks in the loft space is slightly over exaggerated.

Delving through the box of badges was a trip down memory lane in itself...birthdays, holidays trips to Wimpy, local events and shoe fitting at Clarks...yes the retro accessory of a badge is a must for every occasion.....but I digress. With the discovery of the cartoon character badge came a breakthrough. It wasn't only a picture, there was also the words 'Princess' and 'Astra Video' which at last gave me something to work with.

Less than ten minutes after finding the badge I had a eureka moment: the cartoon was of a Japanese TV series which was made in 1967 (released in the UK on video in 1983) and called The Adventures of Choppy and the Princess (how I could forget that title I'll never know). And once I had the name of the cartoon there was no stopping me, finding links to detail synopsis of the series on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Knight), a collection of screenshots (http://www.animeclick.net/anime_eng.php?titolo=La+Principessa+Zaffiro), the video intro, albeit in Japanese, on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJBTbxIVm4Y&mode=related&search=Ribon%20no%20Kishi) and even the DVD at Play should you wish to purchase.

So, it was a series not a film, Japanese not French and initally I thought the picture on the badge was a boy not a girl....obviously my poor brain is being addled from mobile phone waves, but still Addled brain 1 'slightly annoying but completely unreachable goal' section of brain 0. In conclusion a very productive Sunday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Golly Good Old Fashioned Family Fun, What

It's that time of year again....The annual gathering of hordes of villager folk at the seashore to observe a bunch of, ever so slightly, unhinged individuals throwing themselves off the town pier to the waves below, whilst dressed in a varying range of fancy dress. Usually accompanied by some type of craft (sea, air....And in one instance an inflatable pirate ship complete with palm tree). All in the name of charity. I speak, of course, of The Bognor Birdman Rally!!

Personally I haven't observed one of these for many a year...Possibly not since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Mainly because at this time of year (the event has to be organised at a time of extreme high tide...Because the pier is falling into the sea faster than Posh Spice buys new shoes) it's cold, wet and happening at a stupid o'clock in the morning. Today it was happily none of these things, as the summer has had a final burst of energy, and so I trundled on down for the entertainment.

It's certainly grown as an event since the last time I had a look. It's not just the people jumping off the pier anymore; with a fair, various entertainers on the street, live bands, open air bars, a BBQ and a big screen TV on the seafront for the many hundreds on onlookers....There was even an Ariel display from a stunt plane. You'd think it was Brighton or Bournemouth, not little 'ol Bognor, with the way they were all carrying on...Still that's progress I spose.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Bit More Intrepid Exploring

I woke to a stupendously (people don't use that term enough) sunny day today, so I was quick to dust off the gathering cobwebs on my bike and hoof it out of town for another one of my 'oh so' Blyton esque adventures.

My pa had mentioned that a disused railway just outside of Chi had been turned into a foot/cycle path(somewhen in the distant past but only coming to my attention in the last 24hrs) which leads all the way to Lavant...and I love to find areas which are off road to venture onto, so it didn't take much to decide on the route.

With the wind in my hair and the, rather unfortunate, smell of fresh manure on the fields up my nostrils (in retrospect I was fortunate that the two weren't reversed), I set off with ham and cheese sarnies, a bottle of water, my Wilbur Smith book (which I should have finished weeks ago) and a map (yes I have lived in the area my entire life, but am still partial to getting stupidly lost on a regular basis) for my mini adventure.

I was pleasantly surprised that my body, which has been idle for that last four weeks, didn't adversely react to the sudden exposure to medium level strenuous exercise and it took me around an hour and a half to reach my chosen (and favourite) picnic spot at Kingley Vale. That's with a couple of water stops and yes...even with my map I went a little off route somewhere south of West Stoke ( I guess my internal compass was omitted upon my creation....so I'm lucky that I can make it to the bathroom and back without going terribly wrong on a daily basis really).

I had a lazy couple of hours vegged at the bottom of the hill in the sunshine, watching various walkers take on the very, very steep climb to the burial mounds at the top. I'm sure I could have informed them that there is in fact more than one route, and certainly more sedate ones at that, to get to the top....but then again that would have hindered my entertainment of watching four lads attempting to cycle and then walk with bikes up the hill, one losing his bike halfway up and having to start over....ah hours of fun! (Go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect £200...and so on)

On the journey home I discovered that the roads around our area could really use some resurfacing, couple this with the realisation of just how bony my ass is equals extra cushions on my chairs for the next couple of days....ah the joys of bicycle travel. I'm sure the rest of my body will let me know tomorrow just how ready it was for the twenty mile round trip...now there's something to look forward too.

An observation: there was a definite autumn nip in the air today which serves only to remind us of just how short our summer actually is in this country (bah humbug)....though on the plus side it's only 3 and a bit months till Christmas (silver lining and all that).

P.S. As Blooger seems to have a problem with me uploading photos at the moment (aka the last few weeks) you'll just have to use your imagination on the stunning scenery (and manure soaked fields).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tip of the day.....to avoid a remake of Pyscho in your own shower, ensure extra care when breaking in a new razor whilst shaving legs. (I guess that makes four things I learnt this week...I'm on a roll and also now in need of a skin graft)

Learning Curve

After 27 years on this planet it's always nice to learn something new....This week I learnt two things:

1.) Carrots don't always have to come in orange, they can be yellow and purple too, multi-coloured carrots....Very 21st century and not genetic mutant carrots either since they were grown in my fathers allotment.

2.) When your slightly geriatric father loses his balance, whilst standing at a grass verge picking blackberries, he will always try to take you with him!( the operative word there is try!!)

Oh have just realized there's a 3, so....

3.) Baywatch is cheesier than a variety cheese basket from a vicarage summer fete in Cheddar gorge! (and yet, as if I am a girl possessed, I seem unable to change the channel....There is no hope for me, just put me in the dictionary under lost cause!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Triple Trouble

On a happier note an article in the Mirror today talked about a new dad who has been keeping a blog of the daily activities of his identicle triplet daughters. I read the article and laughed out loud at some of his comments, not being a parent or even around babies that much myself I obviously have all this to look forward to but the blog is entertaining in a 'Three men and a baby' in reverse kind of way. I'm putting the link in this post as the computer gremlin is hindering my efforts in figuring out such 'simple' tasks. http://www.voidstate.com/blog/

R.I.P. The Crocodile Hunter

I suppose it was inevitable really, a bit more of a case of when rather than if, but crazy lizard lover Steve Irwin was killed yesterday filming a documentary when he was pierced through the heart by the barbed tail of a stingray. Condolences to his friends and family.