Friday, November 21, 2014

Seeing a story

I've not been reading that much these days, which I'm a bit sad about.

Depending on the book, I'm a pretty fast reader. Some books take a while, some books I'll fly through. 300 pages in a couple of days kind of thing.

Jack Campbell and Iain M Banks (hope his soul got uploaded to a good place) are examples of really fast reads. At least, Jack Campbell in his Lost Fleet series. I struggled somewhat with his Stark's War series and haven't finished that.

Suzanne Collins first Hunger Games book was a fast read too. I need to read the other two. That's where I've been today actually, watching the third Hunger Games film. I'm kinda glad this time that the third book has been split into two, it gives the story time to tell its tale. The first Hunger Games had a few things cut that added to the menace of the capital and was still quite a long film.

How is Mockingjay part 1 ? It's a stunning film and it almost got those tears out again. I'm really showing those emotions again, they're bubbling under the surface and threatening to erupt more and more. I like that. I buried those emotions for so long I forgot that I had them.

There is a positive and a negative side to that though. The positive is that I'm Feeling things more. From the emotions from a good story to the rush that gets my blood flowing and the muscles pumping. The negative is that the depression triggers are more prone to kick me where I don't want them to.

Things like attempting to interact with people but getting nothing back. A lot of that is my voice getting lost in the noise made by others attempting to interact with the same people. I do feel honoured though that the little lady aka Cupid's Gift has kept on exchanging big long chatty text messages. It always warms my heart (even outside in the freezing Bristol Xmas market today!!) to see one of those texts coming in.

Things like having an inkling, a desire to go to NEC Comic Con tomorrow but that "yeah ! let's go" being balanced by my personal batteries running on empty right now. I could do with a quiet weekend ... Genki Gear have some stuff I really, really want too.

Who knows ? Perhaps one of those new Bristolian regular readers will see this and pipe up with a "That's a great idea, let's go !" Lol :-) I should be so lucky.

So why no books ?

My skin condition has been rather messy and one place it gets messy is on my forearms. Which is where a book can tend to rest ... So I've been avoiding reading in order to stop wrecking my books. I'll not say any more there !

Except to say I'm winning and hope to beat it and be back to "normal"* by Xmas.

*Anyone who knows me well will agree that I'm anything but normal.

So what has been getting my attention outside of the books ?

I've been watching stories over the Youtubes instead. Games are getting more and more story based these days and modern hardware lets them tell the stories better too. Sometimes it's just a play through of a non-story based but campaign progressing game like Scott Manley doing Kerbal Space Program. Or it's the same guy doing a long play through of Xenonauts. In the space program, you're watching him expand the capabilities of what he can do. For a geeky engineer person like me, it's great viewing. In Xenonauts, you're watching him fight the war against an implacable alien invasion.

It's good stuff.

But me being me, it's not the first channel I go to for stories. Nah. I've always been more taken by the female voice.

And my favourite two female voices both belong to the Yogscast. There's a third and fourth now but they don't make nearly as much regular content as Hannah and Kim. Three and Four are KaeyiDream and Zoey. Kaeyi is inspirational for her continuing battle through ill health. Inspirational because seeing people like that fight through worse conditions than what I have gives me strength to fight harder. And Zoey is ... Cuteasheck (and also battling a psychological condition which is quite possibly meaner than the physical conditions)

Anyway - yeah. Hannah and Kim. Two lovely ladies with voices that I could literally, listen to all day.

In fact, I'm so behind on Hannah's content that I might be listening to her all day tomorrow. (Instead of Comic con).

I've mentioned them before but what are they up to at the moment ?

Hannah's working diligently through the Ubipocalypse. They've released a lot of AAA top games over the past week or so and Hannah is working herself into the ground covering them all. For us. Lovely Hannah.

I'm looking forward to :
Hannah's Advent - where she'll open gifts from the fans.
Livestreams - where our Yogscasts will include us, the audience, with the fun they'll have on screen.
More Hannah vids !

She's got a truly gorgeous voice and a personality that really shines through over the videos. I still need to play through the new(ish) Tomb Raider which I bought after thoroughly enjoying Hannah's playthrough.

Kim's always been a total darling for me, ever since she started doing her videos. It's personality again. If she wasn't so adorable off screen, I'd love her to bits anyway due to that wonderful, warm, mischievous, active, jokey personality shining through via her voice overs on the videos. She shares so much with us, it feels like she counts her loyal audience as her best friends.

Looking forward to her livestreams too. With that spontaneous sense of ridiculous fun coming through, what's not to like. Kim's main content is currently a playthrough of Alien Isolation.

I think that's another part of why I've been watching these stories over videos instead of playing the games. I'm actually finding playing games kinda tedious at the moment, although I suspect that would change if I found a coop partner to play games with. I drifted away from the communities in WoW that did that and was logging in too late to join in with the Silvermoon crew.

Kim's stuff ? It's part single player through of horror themed games, part coop on Minecraft or jumpy games like Alien Isolation. I have to admit, I'm finding the Minecraft content to be somewhat stale right now, although that's a failing of Minecraft. I'm still watching the Kim & Duncan and Hannah & Nilesy Minecraft content but it's struggling a bit, saved only by those voices and their ability to get spontaneous Fun out of anything.

Even being scared to death by aliens who like to look in lockers. And I think I promised a medal to someone too. We shall see there.

So yeah - I'm getting my fill of stories right now but instead of books, it's from watching the animated stories via the youtubes, narrated by a pair of wonderful voices backed by amazing personalities that really do add something to the story of the game.

And if you'll excuse me, I'm about to close my eyes to Nightwish on the stereo (they're ok, bit too theatrical polished for my liking though) and quite soon it'll be Kim in Kill Everything mode in Far Cry 3.

But not quite yet. Because that German Xmas market has reawakened an addiction to hot chocolate. Lovely smooth hot chocolate. Hmm.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hungry, Hungry ... games

I'm feeling the tiredness at the moment (and the effects of 90 minutes in a cold, dead car on Tuesday!) so it's a quiet night in.

I did have an opportunity to run into Bath tonight for a leaving run but to be honest - motivation to head out for that leaving run is lacking. It can be really awkward to get around Bristol on a weekday evening and Bath ? Even more awkward ...

However ... that quiet night is part of a Plan ...

It's the release of the third Hunger Games film tomorrow. So I'm rewatching the first two tonight. I'm currently halfway through the first. Could be a late night ...

They're cracking films actually, hopefully the third will see a continuing trend of them getting better and better. I'll be looking to watch it from Cabot circus, after sampling the German Market Bratwurst again.

And their hot chocolate. I've developed a taste for that again ...

If any of my local readers want to join me, I'd be overjoyed :-) Similar for Comic Con at the weekend. I'm still 50:50 about going. I'd love to pick up some of those Genki-Gear t-shirts plus there's a certain mug I want too ...
Anyway - a tired brain wants me to get back to film watching but I thought I'd share a few pictures :
Definitely. Check your biscuit stashes.
If you've been caught in the storms, I hope you're ok.
Had pizza tonight. Fully intend to have chocolate and hot chocolate. Not got any cupcakes, although that's likely to change tomorrow and ... wine is about the only alcohol I drink these days but I leave it for special occasions.
Last one. Stay shiny !

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brain fuzzed ... send pictures !

Ok, so I'm flagging a bit. It's been a busy few days and I'm not quite as young as I apparently look.

Oh and I apparently look better without my glasses on. That's way cool ! Nobody's told me that before and I can't really tell for myself. All I see in the mirror if I take my glasses off is a big white blur with two little black blurs for eyes. Perhaps I should look into lasers ...

Pictures ? Yep. More pictures.
An amazing little lady loved this when she saw the (Evil Fluffy Bitey Thing) design on Monday and if I end up at Comic Con at the weekend, I may well pick up one of these. It's from Genki-Gear and I didn't get one last time cos I ran out of space in my bag. Boo hiss. They have some amazing designs.

Political aside - I don't put too much current affairs here because you see it all on the news and are probably sick of it from there. But ... with a certain objectionable so and so who's just been denied entry to the UK, there's an issue.

It's nothing to do with the idiot moron jerk swine bastard. Yep, I think his ideas should be earning him a severe kicking but ... I also believe in Free Speech. Their message is objectionable but we should let them deliver it. No one's listening but our society is based upon allowing people, however objectionable, to give their messages. We don't have to listen but censorship is against all we stand for.

Yeah, I think he should have been let in to the UK. And I'd have been one of the people cheerfully sticking the boot in if I saw him trying his dubious tactics on anyone I saw. I cheered the lady on Skynews who had this exact same sentiment earlier. She called him an idiot but also disagreed with him being banned.

Think less of me for that if you will but please ... back the Free Speech ideal. Because censorship is just another step towards fundamentalism and telling people what they should be thinking, instead of people making their own decisions as to what they should believe.

It's exactly the same as when people put stuff on social media that you don't agree with. There's one of the WoW people who keeps unfriending me, he has an unhealthy obsession with Kurt Cobain. I don't agree with that obsession (focus on life and the living !) but I agree whole heartedly with his right to express his adoration for the Kurt.

Pictures ?
There should always be room for pictures of the two Old Men. Scruff (top) is long departed now but well remembered. (Anyone would remember those massive paws of his asking politely for that bacon sandwich you thought was your breakfast but really should have been Scruff's.) And Ben the Staffy is getting on a bit too now, as you can see from the grey hairs on his cheeks.
I've been described as loving before. I love people, even if it doesn't become apparent past my usual awkwardness. And that accounts for everyone. People who are friends and family. People from work. People who pop in here. And I'd love it if my new regulars would give me a wave :-)

I mentioned comic con earlier - there's another one coming in Birmingham this weekend. I may go ... More likely than not, although I could do with a restful weekend. (Where I'll get bored quickly). Ok, so it's maybe 50:50. But if one of those quiet, covert Bristolian lurkers would like to go with someone, put up a paw and it might persuade me :-)
So is hot chocolate. And this post is getting looong, so I'm going to check for a solution in my mugs by checking out the hot chocolate that jumped off the shelf and into my trolley yesterday.

Cya !
Ok. One more. This was Ben on Saturday when my sister and I headed home to pick up overnight stuff for dad while my mum & dad went to the hospital. Ben's a creature of habit and we didn't understand that he gets a tin of munchies when my mum & dad eat. Poor thing was going berzerk. We figured it out in the end :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

These things happen in threes don't they ?

Disasters I mean ?

Take the space programme's latest events :

The Orbital Sciences Antares launch system gets an abort after horrible things happen to one of its boosters. Result - rocket blown up 10 seconds into flight scattering bits of itself over the landscape and damaging the launch pad.

The Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two has a pilot error exacerbated by a mechanical/design problem that results in the loss of the craft, loss of one pilot and severe injuries to the other pilot.

Hope they get to the bottom of that one soon, what seems to have happened is a failure of a lockout for the reentry system. The pilots are supposed to do two things to activate that reentry system. They did one ridiculously early (the pilot error) but the system should not have activated without the second lever being used (the mechanical/design error).

The Rosetta comet mission and its lander Philae. It's a miracle of maths that they managed to do the intercept, orbital mechanics are insanely complicated with massive numbers of variables to factor in. I totally applaud them for managing a mission success with everything that happened to the lander. It's a miracle it actually settled on the surface.

Philae has 3 systems that facilitate the landing. It has a thruster which pushes it down (comet gravity is miniscule so you can't depend on it). There are harpoons which are supposed to fire into the surface. And there are drills in the lander's feet. The thruster and harpoons both failed ... But it looks like the lander did what it was supposed to do scientifically.

Two and a half disasters ?

Moving a bit closer to home ...

My dad's doing much better now. After getting a partial hip replacement on Sunday, he's already able to get out of bed (partially assisted) and can move around with a frame. Hopefully he'll get his strength back quickly and be able to satisfy the ageing puppy's need for walks. We're hoping he'll escape the hospital by the end of the week.

My disaster came tonight ...

I needed to a) replace my mouse because it's left clicking too much (spurious double clicks) and b) needed supplies. So it's off to the Mall. Long story short ...

I do the shopping and put everything in the boot. All normal. Except when I grab the door handle to get in. My car has smart entry, where you keep the key in your pocket and sensors in the handle tell the locks to open. Nothing happened when I grab the handle.

Dead Car. No signs of life whatsoever ... Oh dear.

After an hour and a half wait for the AA man (I was able to get in with the mechanical key and stay reasonably not-cold), it turns out a locking nut had managed to work its way off the battery terminal and the terminal popped off. Probably as I closed the boot. This could have happened at any time ... So glad it didn't happen last night - "I'll save you from the buses and give you a lift home" "Erm - why won't the car let me in ?" Haha - woulda been embarassing.

My car is a bit weird with the battery too. It's another hybrid, so it has two batteries. There's a small (by car terms) 12 volt battery that starts everything else up. There's the 220 (ish) volt battery that drives the motors. The big one is under the boot, the little one is to the side of the boot but you need electrical power (you can attach jump leads under the bonnet) to open the boot. The terminal had popped off the little battery.

Last night was good fun. Our little Cupid's Gift lady seemed to be entertained by the jokes (I'm never quite sure) and we were chatting non stop until it was time to go home. She even suggested midnight cruises (she liked what she saw of the songs listed in the phone) where we could listen to the music. I like that idea. I like even more the idea of cruising out to somewhere out of town, away from light pollution where we can look at the stars.

I've never seen the stars properly. There's always been light pollution that blocks the full beauty of the cosmos.

I shall have to look up places we could go. And this time of year, investigate getting a thermos for the coffee and plenty of stuff to keep us warm. It's not full winter but it's still pretty chilly out there ...

Back to disasters - what's number 3 I wonder ?

I shall keep my eyes and ears open and awares.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Well that was more dramatic than expected ...

This weekend saw me heading off to see the mum & dad again.

Birthday weekend !

It's my birthday on the 13th and my sister's on the 15th. So while we all live 100s of miles apart, we make the special effort to gather together on a weekend convenient to the birthdays. We don't buy stuff for each other any more. We find the gift of being together to be far more significant than present buying.

Present buying is really stressful isn't it ?

There's the finding out what people want.
There's the acquisition of it.
There's hoping it's what they really, really want.
And there's the getting it to the right place.

That said, I still do love getting things for people. It gets them smiling, which is the biggest thank you anyone could wish for. Hmm. Is it ? Hugs are better. But I'll settle for smiles.

But this weekend took a rather dramatic turn ...

We'd headed out to a local pub/restuarant for birthday munchies. There was a kerb ... It shouldn't have been there, it was between car park and pub. It was just a kerb in the middle of the road/path between car park and pub. I tripped on it but managed to catch myself before toppling. My dad ... didn't.

Result - a sideways roll to the floor, narrowly missing bumping his head on the wall behind. Thankfully that didn't happen (head injuries are hellishly dangerous, I should know, I've had 3 !) but the damage was done on the way down. He has a broken hip which has been operated on this afternoon.

I don't know the results of that yet but my dad is a fairly active guy. He doesn't get the chance to go golfing any more and they're moving because there's too much garden to manage but he still takes the muttley walking several times a day so that keeps his legs in good shape. He's probably in better condition than me to be honest, that's a sign of how inactive I've been.

So we're hoping that when he comes out of the surgery, it won't take too long before he's back on his feet.

I hope Skye understands that I'll be anxious for news when we meet tomorrow but I'll try to not let it interfere with the evening. Hopefully she'll let me buy her dinner :-) I'm quite nervous and anxious and that first first date for way too long but at the same time, really looking forward to it. I hope we end up talking into the small hours.

Wish me luck. But more important, wish my dad luck.

He needs it far more than me. Hopefully it's an easy surgery with no complications for the recovery.

PS I'm still thinking of going to Comic Con next weekend in Birmingham and there should be space in the car for one ... The other two (maybe 3) spots are booked already ;-). Dunno which day though.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Birthday Milestones

Another year, another ring on the tree.

And on the mention of cute trees, the I Am Groot movie comes out in 11 days and I almost preordered it just now ... I'll wait until it comes out and see where I can get it cheapest. I need to find time to watch Hunger Games 1 and 2 before the third comes out anyway.

Birthday ?

Yep. Birthday today. I'm not telling which age it is on here - muahaha. I was however incredibly chuffed to get the following reactions to the "Guess how old ?" game :

Two guesses of 30. Awesome. Love that.
One guess of 32 from our Poster Girl. Happy with dat.
And a shocked falling over backwards from the Poster Girl when she found out the True Age.

Must be all the preservatives in the processed food that dominates my diet. They're apparently preserving me well.

Plans ?

I'm currently home chilling out to Duffy's Rockferry special edition double album. It's a lovely album filled with gorgeous songs from this quirky, distinctive, unusual voice. She's allowed to have her head in this pair, her voice doesn't suit normal songs, they need to be made for her voice. You'll have heard Mercy before but that's not my favourite. I'm not sure what the favourite is actually, there's so many amazing songs here like Stepping Stone which just played over the speakers. I'll link another couple when I do the A to Z - R post in a week or so.

Today saw me collect the Cakes from the Asda next door. Dunno what it is about Asda but it seems to collect the Walmart Denizens.

There's always lots of appreciation for the cakes and donuts. The cookies and donuts are all gone but there's still a few cakes left if any of my colleagues on site reading this would like to come up and say hello tomorrow, taking a cake away with them.

I usually say things like "A small(ish) selection of cakes just escaped from Asda" only to find "wow, that's lots" from people as they see the hoard. I tend to get a little carried away with the cake buying.
Nope. No one was harmed in the removal of the cakes today.

Although with a Little Lady who works downstairs, when she bakes miracles happen. If someone attempted to remove one of those cakes from me after I got my fingers on it, there would be a dead body. Same with Pixie Cakes. They're amazing too.

I didn't do much tonight, except for drift off to the Mall for a wander around. That was partly down to seeing what traffic conditions were like. Bristol goes to gridlock very easily and tonight was one of those nights. I decided to wait it out in the Mall.

I don't often buy much but I find wandering around the shops quite therapeutic. I know. I'm a bloke. That's not supposed to be how it works. Nah. Nothing bought tonight, however ... the following are new arrivals :

Thor and Thor 2 from the BionicDwarf - both pretty decent movies, with the second being an improvement over the introductory first. I'm looking forward to going through the Avengers series again, of which these are part.

Thomas Crown Affair (Brosnan and Rene Russo) from CK - sexy thriller with lots of sparks going between the two leads and an excellent soundtrack too. I'll enjoy this one too.

Defying Gravity from CK - of all the series which I wished had continued, this is the one I was most disappointed to hear being dropped. It only managed part of 1 season but what was made was top notch stellar scifi. It was telling of a grand tour of the solar system in the hunt for artifacts. The Earth was portrayed as semi-utopia with a massive dark side. I really wanted to know how that was going to play out.

I've also acquired games, courtesy of's sale : Riddick, Stronghold Crusader and Xenonauts (all 3 have soundtracks - surprise, surprise)
Music : Coves - Soft Friday and Maroon 5 - V.

I'll go see the mum & dad & Ben the dog too. It's my sister's birthday on Saturday. It'll be a busy few days actually as I hope that the date on Monday night goes ahead. (Don't wanna jinx it but I have my hopes !)

One last pic before I go :
Poor dino.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Little Interstellar Breakdown

Before I dive into the main bit (shredding Interstellar's sciency bits), a couple of other things to natter about :

I use the word "Little" as a description for some people. I hope they don't mind ! I see it as a valid descriptor meaning that they're shorter than I am. Nothing more than that, nothing less. And I think "Little Lady" has a certain ring to it too. That said, "big girl" also has a certain ring to it but I'm not going to be using that. A lot of ladies are sensitive about their size, which cuts out "big" and other ladies will get the dagger eyes out if you call them a "girl".

It's a little strange that I find one descriptor ok but others to be anathema. I hope the little ladies don't object to me using that descriptor. I personally attach it to "elfin", "cute", "dainty" and a few other descriptors that mean nice things. Conversely, calling a lady "big" when you just mean "she's taller" will lead to a slapping ...

Forget descriptors - all ladies have their own special beauty, no matter what size or shape they are.

Second and this is where I put SPOILER WARNING ! Read past this and I'll be putting in spoilers for Interstellar ... Christopher Nolan is guilty of a lot of crimes against science but he's no Michael Bay. I wanted to see the Turtles movie but avoided it because all reports say it's an abomination. Like the accursed Transformers movies.

Despite all the faults, I really enjoyed Interstellar. There's the people who appreciate the story and there's the people who will throw things at the screen due to the dodgy science. I'm somewhere between the two. I really enjoyed the movie but there was a little part of me screaming inside (it wasn't quite dead yet after Michael Bay killed Transformers).

Soooo ...

Going to the black hole water planet first. Why ? With the time dilation there'd be no way to coordinate planetside with orbit. And it's a short lived solution due to the impending It's Gonna Get Sucked Into The Black Hole !!! thing.

Not anticipating conditions on the water planet. We have our tides due to the presence of our moon, so it stands to reason that a water planet next to a honking great big black hole is going to have tides too. Big tides. Not mentioning the lack of anticipation of the effect of time dilation on the scientist who landed.

The Ranger craft. I liked these as a concept. They're a lifting body aircraft which looked good in the movie and made sense from the science point of view. But ... when they take off in one from Earth, it needs our biggest rocket to date (a Saturn V) to lift it to orbit. Yet on the new planets, it suddenly becomes Single Stage To Orbit and can get there on its own. This is despite the water planet being 130% the gravity of Earth.

The whole causality thing. Who put the wormhole there, who brought the astronauts and T.A.R.S. into 3d space. Causality is pretty nuts.

One way wormhole when it comes to communications ? Very convenient from a plot point of view.

The Blight - it feeds on Nitrogen right ? So it should be metabolising the Nitrogen into something different. Possibly NOx compounds or NH compounds. Either way, the Nitrogen component of the air should reduce right ? Mind you, NOx compounds and NH (Ammonia) compounds are also really nasty. But ... it did seem like the Blight was more a bio-terminator targeting the staple food crops.

The airlock blowout - holy carp that was dangerous. You would have thought those claw things wouldn't operate only as a lock, they'd assist with the mating process joining both sides together. Or perhaps that was the bit disabled with the autodocking.

Distillery - they land a distillery on the ice planet. What happened to it ?

Ice clouds - what's holding them up ?

Choosing the second planet. I think I'd have prioritised the planet with a breathable atmosphere over one with a poisonous atmosphere but then again ... engineering the plot again.

I think that's enough for now ...

The thing to remember though, is that if you can keep that little voice inside quiet that's begging to scream out at the inconsistencies and the bad science, this is still a remarkable movie on all sorts of levels. The visuals are incredible and I loved the characters. So much that when Mr Cooper bursts into tears listening to the messages, I'm almost ready to blub too (that's not the bit that got me).

I'll still get the bluray when it comes out, will probably get the soundtrack if it dips to an acceptable price. But I'll be gagging that little scientist voice to stop it spoiling the story.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There's a post in here somewhere ...

I'm having those uppers and downers again.

On the one hand, I can flip into that hyperactive state that sees me bouncing off the walls and thinking so quickly I can't get any words out when trying to speak. On the other, there's the danger of the depression triggers being flipped when I look for a response but don't get one.

Personally, I'm seeing good things and bad things with what's going on with me :

Good - the skin problem genuinely seems to be retreating with bad bits being reclaimed. It's happening slower than I'd like though.
Bad - my back and neck really hates me. My neck's been getting gradually stiffer and stiffer and could do with a bit of TLC. My arms and legs do what I tell them to and the lost range of movement doesn't really affect me most of the time (bowling is all done, crossing legs can be awkward). I think most of the neck and back trouble is tied up with my problems getting to sleep.

Sleep ? Yep. Is an issue. What I need to learn is a mental programme to send me off to sleep. I used to have one that got the ZZzzz's but it's not working too well. My mind races through all kinds of thoughts. Sometimes it's wondering if I'll get replies to messages I send out. Sometimes it's seeing faces with smiles and laughter that I wish were directed my way. Or even just that soft smile we save for someone special.

I've had a few of those faces pop up in my mind over the years, Sometimes it's people I know from work, sometimes it's people like the little lady off the videos. Now it's another little lady I hope to meet for real very soon.

Good - I love it when I get a response. I've been fairly active on Twitter since I joined and I'm now following over 100 people. Most of those are very interesting people. Some are ordinary people who need a little help. And it's great when you get a response (even if it's just the "favourite" button being hit) when you send over a message. I see the messages on there showing people are in pain, I'll tell them something supportive.

Perhaps that's what I'm here to do - to find those in pain and help them feel a little better. Even if it's just sending smiles their way.

Bad - I have that need to have a response when I do things for other people. Not necessarily a "thank you" but any response. What causes me most stress is when I pour effort (and usually a bit of my soul) into doing something nice for someone and I don't even get the acknowledgement.

It's makes me less motivated to do the nice things again. I'm not creative in the way that an artist can make a pen do magic things to a bit of paper but I can think of a concept and make one image into another. (This is why I'm frustrated with GIMP, cos it's harder to use than PE1).

But yeah, my biggest motivation is when I can do nice things for other people. Sometimes that's a Grin to bring a smile from them. Sometimes it's a bit of work they need. Sometimes it's a comment to make them feel better, sometimes it's making one of those pictures.

So you can imagine it does strange things to my mind when I make comment after comment after comment and don't get any feedback. (3 replies in 6 months - but I hope knowing that doesn't make me Mad Stalker, just a person with a good memory who invests a lot in looking for a reply). I suspect I may be getting lost partly in the noise but ... you look at some threads I respond to and ... I'm the only reply.

I guess with the person I'm thinking of there, it may show a difference between Public Face and Private Face. You fall in love with the Public Face (and it is incredibly cute, adorable and has remarkable intelligence and humour behind it) but don't realise the Private Face is rather different. I guess you could call that dodging a bullet by not ending up in a position with someone who isn't who you thought they were. And yet you see the things she says and you know there's so much compatibility there, at least as far as the Public Face goes.

(I suspect there's actually something going on which isn't for Public Eyes, which would explain the lack of response)

I'm hoping for something rather better when I meet the other little lady who's picture has been cropping up in my mind lately. A description of a cute, quirky, intelligent, active and lively lady caught my eye enough for me to break the reticence and get in touch. And over the conversation since, I've just got more and more interested. I suspect there will be a fair few smiles when we do meet.

And hugs too. I'm still missing the hugs I could do with after a second viewing of Interstellar. The reason that film gets to me is that it heavily stresses the themes of Duty, Honour and Family. Certain bits of the story deal with unresolved emotions.

Or is it a more romantic Sleepy coming out ? That could be interesting .... I hope so. Because if I can get a lady to smile due to thinking of romantic things, then that'll get me beaming too.

Cos that's what I live for - making other people happy. Perhaps that's another aspect of the depression trigger ? I.e. I do something nice, I don't get a notion of whether it makes them happy, the dark bits of my mind assume they hated it and that makes me unhappy.


Oh I also live for Running Very Fast and I'm getting closer ...

I actually hit the Warp Speed button last night when coming in to the cinema from the car park. Result ? Everything works mechanically, I just need to rebuild muscles and twitch responses to get Warp Speed back again. But ... the legs responded properly (even if my quads were misfiring!) and even if it wasn't the speed that saw me clocked at 11 secs over 100m at age 14 (last time I had the watch on me before my knees went bang and then my back), it still felt good. Very loose technically but still promising that I'm still capable of it (even at my age - lol !).

And that felt good. Not as good as if the wind were rushing through my ears but still good.

Yeah - uppers and downers. But with that, I'm looking forward to hopefully meeting a little lady on Monday. I have big hopes but don't want to jinx anything.

Join me in hoping it works out ? Cos my confidence could do with the boost.

PS This may also be a sign of me tiring and looking for the Xmas break to come. Yeah, could be ... but I do find thoughts of tiredness evaporate when there's a Pretty Lady smiling at me.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A to Z - P is for Perfection

Not all the P's, I did a small selection in the O's post but there's lots more to come.

First up is a collection from the Pet Shop Boys. Definitely a good one to start off a Perfection post because they don't have much to take advantage of in the voice department but what they have, they take full advantage of and then polish it to perfection in production. The highlight here is definitely their breakthrough track : West End Girls.

I wonder if my waitress last night was a West End Girl ? She hailed from Belfast and it was wonderful hearing that accent again. I haven't lived in Northern Ireland for almost 30 years now so my accent is pretty much gone but it's great to hear it again. Miss L at work still has her's and it was good to run into her again the other day at the lunch queue.

Peter Gabriel had a habit of giving his early albums numbers instead of titles. I didn't think much of his 2 or 4 albums but numbers 1 and 3 were exceptional with varied, quirky and very well composed music that fit together well as albums. I'd pick out Moribund the Burgermeister from the first album and Games Without Frontiers from the third.

Edie Brickell comes in with her solo album, Picture Perfect Morning. This album closes out with the wonderful Lost In A Moment, which ... tears warning.

Next is a pair of albums from the ever divine Katie Melua, Pictures and Piece By Piece which I think is the better album. Pictures has some sickly sweet tracks including What I Miss About You. Piece By Piece has wonderful track after wonderful track including the amazing Thank You Stars, I Cried for You, Nine Million Bicycles and may I someday be some lovely lady's special Shy Boy.

Next up is a soundtrack - Planescape Torment was another Dungeons and Dragons rules set game, this time set in hell. It's one of the better regarded ones and how come I haven't played it yet ? Yep. No game time but I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to the soundtrack. Here's the trailer.

Gorillaz came back in with the very strong Plastic Beach album. It's their strongest yet with plenty of variation and some very special songs. My highlight is Empire Ants, which builds up gradually and then explodes.

Moby's Play is possibly a little too perfect. Yes, it's very good but it's so polished it gets cold. Still good but not one I enjoy as much as the Katie Melua or Edie Brickell albums here.

Talking of perfection, here's a bit of Nordic angelic astounding singing in the shape of Lene Marlin's debut album. The track that originally caught me was Sitting Down Here but I think the strongest is Unforgivable Sinner.

Sleeper's Pleased To Meet You comes in with the P's. Again, a fairly decent album but not quite as special as their debut. Still, it gives a decent first impression with the opener Please, Please, Please.

Hello Air - if I get married, their tracks All I Need and You Make It Easy will definitely get played on the day. But those are on Moon Safari (I only mention them because they are SO special). Air's Premier Symptome and Pocket Symphony are the P albums. They're ok but the polish is probably taking away from the Gallic character and inspiration.

And if there's a singer I fell in love with as soon as I heard her, it's Mindy Gledhill. Wonderful singer, wonderful person. She's the truly innocent, beautiful of face and spirit girl next door with the voice of an angel. Her latest album is Pocketful of Poetry and it's ... wonderful. Check out Little Red Bike.

Some old school ? The Police had a turbulent passage but that may have generated some of the best songs, led by that perfection of Sting's voice. I know one person who I thoroughly believe Everything She Does Is Magic and the Little Cupid Lady is joining her. I look forward to her messages tremendously.

Going the other way is a voice that's so imperfect, it has a special beauty of it's own. It's Portishead with the unique Beth Gibbons. Their P is their second album, which has Mourning Air. I challenge you to play that and not get your attention caught.

Bjork sneaks in with Post, which is another album that shows off the character of the artist. She's totally unique, adorable and spiky at the same time. The famous tracks are Army Of Me and It's Oh So Quiet but my highlight is the magical Possibly Maybe.

Heavy Metal time ! I bought a Nightwish cd yesterday to check it out but here it's Iron Maiden with Powerslave. Good but not their best to be honest although it has a cracking opener with Aces High.

If you ask anyone what their favourite fantasy movie is, there's a good chance that they'll pick the Princess Bride. And the soundtrack backs up what's on screen. It's a Mark Knopfler special and ... that swordfight ...

Talking of great movies, there's Pulp Fiction which is loaded with amazing tracks. My favourite is Dusty Springfield with Son Of A Preacher Man.

And it's that time again ... last album and it's another soundtrack. You'll see another from this artist in the R's. It's the Puss In Boots soundtrack which is another that matched the film really well. But it's the guest artists that shine - Rodrigo y Gabriela. Check out Hanuman.

And that's all for the P's ! There won't a Q post cos I don't have any Q's. I do have a couple of Queen's Greatest Hits cd's but those come in under G ...

Cya next time !

Friday, November 07, 2014

Interstellar Waterworks

I actually cried today.

Not sure how long it's been since that happened. It doesn't happen too often. I get to the verge of it and catch it before the blub happens.

Ok - back up a sec. What happened today ? (To put your mind at rest - nothing bad, apart from the slight tragedy of a Sleepy going to the movies on his own)

Normal working Friday, which means staying as long as I have to in order to keep the flexi in balance. That's not as bad as it sounds, as I'll stay nose to grindstone and finish things off before leaving - it's easier to do that than restart something half finished. And then it's off into the centre of Bristol.

It's the opening day of the Bristol German Xmas market today. The best bit is the munchie stands to be honest. Traditional German Bratwurst for Big Sausages. Perfect for lunch munchies.

They have a lot of merchant stands up too, selling mostly touristy tat and a hell of a lot of sweet stuff. You could put on a stone just by walking past the stands. I want to go to the Bath Xmas market as well now, that's much bigger. I've not been to that one for quite a few years.

Film ?

Interstellar is amazing. It matches Guardians of the Galaxy for best film of this year so far. Hell, possibly of the decade so far. The no-spoiler synopsis is that Planet Earth is dying and we need a Plan B. Conveniently, a wormhole has opened up in the outer solar system and we send people through the check it out and if necessary, recreate the human race on another planet.

The sciency bits are in there and they're believeable and understandable. All the characters will tug at your emotions in one way or another. Matthew McConaughey is the undisputed lead and it's his best movie yet, of the ones I've seen at least. The effects are stellar (sorry)

It's long but doesn't outstay its welcome (cough - AI - cough). In fact it keeps you guessing as to where the story is going all the way through.

And it made me cry. I'll not say why, except : Go see it to find out.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I could do with a big hug right now after seeing it and when I see it again, I'll be looking for someone's hand to hold.

I see those feels as a very good sign actually. I grew up squashing my emotions down and they didn't come to the surface very much. That's made me into a quite reserved person who didn't show much. I feel that's changing now (perhaps a consequence of Nose Job 1 ?).

The new feels are good feels. They're making me feel more connected to the world.

But by eck I could do with a hug at the moment. And someone to talk to.

I wonder how many times I'll see this one in the cinema ? Saw Guardians twice, I may see this one more given opportunities. I'll see it again with the Crazies on Monday but I think for more seeings, it'll be with someone asking me to come along with her.

So if you're Bristol area and want a buddy who will hold your hand all the way through this one, lemme know :-).

Gotta go now - will be hoping there's either :
A message waiting for me from the Pretty Cupid Lady or
Amusement to come from watching Little Miss Kim videos
And that'll cheer me up no end.