Sunday, June 29, 2008

FF Film

In a continuation of my bid to work my way through the entire Final Fantasy Canon, I watched Final Fantasy: The Spirits within this afternoon. I quite enjoyed it. Storywise it's a bit odd and doesn't really have anything much in common with the FF games apart from there being a character called Cid. There's always a Cid. But there aren't any chocobos and I didn't spot a single crystal. It did feel like they'd tried to cram too much story into the running time - I'm not sure that what's there actually makes a lot of sense.

In a nutshell, ghosts from a destroyed planet come to Earth and kill everyone. And they can only be defeated with either a) a really big space gun (that the bad man wants to use) or b) eight "spirits" that need to be collected (that the nice girl wants to use).

But where it really excels is the quality of the computer animation. Given that it's already seven years old (the film came out in 2001) I thought it looked astonishing. There are times when you really forget that it's not real people and locations there. I'd love to see what they could to with today's technology.

It's so good that it's quite easy to watch and not worry too much about the story. Just enjoy the geek factor.

And I'm really looking forward to FF XIII on the PS3...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Penultimate Who

I've just watched this week's penultimate Doctor Who... Wow. Cool. I won't give anything away here but the end was great. Hmm, hard to write about it without spoilers... so I won't.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Romantic Fiction

I was astounded to see today that the York branch of WH Smith has a section in its book department labelled "Paranormal Romance". Who on earth (or beyond) let that become a genre? They also have a section for historical romances (called something like "Romance & Saga"!?). As well as the normal plain "Romance" section.

I wonder whether readers of romantic novels are really so single minded that they will only read certain types of romantic novel. "I like to read romantic novels involving dwarves from circus freak-shows" is not a comment I can remember reading on anybody's CV. So why separate the books? Will the historic romancers beat up the present-day romancers? These people should be the prime movers in the Make Love Not War camp. They should be embracing each other not erecting barriers.

Anyway, I just thought it was a little odd.

Incidentally, I was just walking past. Not browsing. Honestly. I only read science fiction novels involving sentient spaceships, sub-lightspeed space travel and robots called Dave.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Best Sweet Ever

I think I may have found the best sweet in the world, ever. It was found in the city centre branch of Budgens, York:

Best Sweet Ever (1)

It may look like just a blue plastic hand but in reality it is so much more. Near the "wrist" are two buttons that transform this mere hand into something else. Something better. Something magnificent.

They turn it into a Scissors, Paper, Stone machine!

Press the button on the right to do scissors. Press the one on the left to do rock. And here's the clever bit, press neither button to do paper!

Best Sweet Ever (2) Best Sweet Ever (3) Best Sweet Ever (4)

Can you imagine how much fun we had in the pub on Friday night with five of these babies?!

I think there's some kind of candy in there too but I'm not quite sure where or how to get to it.

Also makes a handy back-scratcher.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ujala Update

Ujala fans of York... You've probably all been a little bit worried recently about the fate of The Ujala after its recent rebranding as Delhi Spice.

We checked it out this evening and the good news is that it's exactly the same (apart from the name). Same food, same decor, same Sambuca. All is good.

Thank the curry lord.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bad Reviews

I never really got on with the Mac version of Firefox 2. Feature and usability wise it was great but for some reason it would crash frequently (once a day or so) and it was just too darned annoying. I've therefore been using Flock instead, as I quite like it, even though I don't use most of its specialist web 2.0 capabilities.

Firefox 3 came out yesterday so I thought I'd give it another go and see if it was more stable than the last version. So far I can't tell as I've only used it for ten minutes (and I'm writing this at work in IE). The main thing I've noticed is the way that the "back" button is now bigger than the "forward" button. That'll be a great help.

And that's the end of my comprehensive review.

But wait, you cry. That's a rubbish review! You've barely used it or seen the new things!

Well, I say "Pah"! I saw a review of Rock Band in Scotland on Sunday at the weekend and the girl who reviewed it hadn't even had a go on the drums (as she couldn't afford them or something). Now what, what, what is the point of that!? Would she review a restaurant without trying the food? Would she review a hotel based purely on the valet parking? Maybe she would. But the upshot is that she's lowered the bar for me in terms of what a review needs to cover (she gave RB 4/5 by the way).

So there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Brief Who Post

I rewatched the Doctor Who episode Blink tonight. Genius it is. I'm quite excited about the prospect of Steven Moffat helming the whole thing. This deserves a longer post.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Silent Coach

Quiet coaches on trains are a lot better than they used to be. Mainly because they have now twigged that walkmans etc can be quiet if you use headphones. And why wouldn't you.

But there is still a big problem - other people and specifically, other people's children. They don't shut up.

There should be a simple rule for admission to the QC: If you make noise, you're out. This would include:
- shouting
- crying
- talking to the person next to you
- talking on the phone
- talking quietly
- singing
- and so on

This would automatically exclude children, idiots and people who just yap, yap, yap. I'd also exclude people who rattle food wrappers too loudly.

It would be a nice place to make a train journey in.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CD Shredding: Example

I thought I'd try out the CD shredder. I found an old CD off of The Observer, featuring tunes by Radiohead, Nick Cave and some other people I now can't remember because I also shredded the case. Here's the video:

It seems to work, though I was expecting smaller pieces. I guess it still makes the CD quite hard to use afterwards should you be of a mind to.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Canteen Error Talk

Tall Girl In Canteen: Hello!
Me: Hello!
TGIC: How was cricket last night?
Me: Cricket?
TGIC: I thought you were playing cricket last night?
Me: Don't think so...
TGIC: Oh, sorry I'm confusing you with someone else.
Me: Ok!
TGIC: I'm tired. Sorry.

I think I'd have remembered playing cricket if I'd played cricket so this does seem to definitely be her mistake, not my memory.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hot Meat

Red Chilli for tea tonight. I thought I was hungry but it turned out I could eat little. The soup was hot but filling and the main course was huge and featured a selection of meats and fish that were mostly off uncertain origin. Tasty though and very spicy. I think I ate a quarter of it. If I'm optimistic.

K did slightly better. But not much.

Afterwards I felt hugely bloated but am not too bad now. I think it must be great food for dieters.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Don't Sleep On My Sofa

Certain (short, ginger & welsh) people really should learn not to fall asleep on my sofa. There are now some more great photos and for the first time ever... a video. I may post them online. Unless I'm paid enough...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Origins of Oasis Titles

I was reading a little about Krakatoa earlier and I discovered that the tsunami it created when it went off in the 1880s destroyed a coastal town in Java called "Anger". And it occured to me that this might be where the phrase "Don't look back in anger" comes from. Because if you looked back you'd have lost valuable running time and might have ended up dead. It sounds plausible to me. I've so far failed to find any evidence one way or another though.

Tomorrow: What is a Shakermaker?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Death of Shredder (not the one out of TMNT)

Although I mentioned that Tescos have a fine range of spices and sauces, I forgot to mention that they have a shite range of shredders. Just the one, and a "value" one at that. And even if you wanted it, it's on top of some shelves so you couldn't reach it if you tried.

This is relevant because we wanted to buy a new shredder. The old one (a relatively cheap one from Sainsbury's, who do at least stock a choice) died recently. Not sure what caused it but I think it may just have been left turned on for too long and irrevocably overheated. I figured this time we could get a sturdier one. So since Tescos failed me I had a look around town this lunchtime. In the end I got one from Rymans (or whatever it's called now). It does 8 sheets at once and also does credit cards. And it also has a special slot for shredding CDs. I've never felt the need to shred a CD before, but I reckon you could make good Christmas decorations out of the bits.

But most importantly it claims to have an overheating cut-off so that it will last longer than the old one.

I'm going to have a lot of shredding to do tonight - a large stack has built up since the death of Shredder #1. Paper only though.

The main problem I had with the old one (apart from it being rubbish) was that I always used to make a mess when emptying it. When I tipped the basket into a plastic bag I'd always miss a bit. One time I missed completely. But it did occur to me this morning when I gave some though to this matter that you could just put a bin liner or plastic bag in the basket before doing the shredding. It might work. Emptying it would then be as simple as emptying a bin. Anyone got any experience of this?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Good Sauce

The big Tesco in York has a fine range of spices and sauces. A fine range. Better than Sainsburys and smaller Tescos. And I haven't inspected Budgens too closely but I'm guessing it's not as good. If you like spices, sauces and spicy sauces then check it out.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Year Off Big Brother?

I've watched every (UK) series of Big Brother and have mostly enjoyed it. It has the odd boring patch but I can typically manage to watch it every night. And also watch BBLB and BBBM from time to time too. Series 9 starts later this week.

And at the moment I am intending to not watch it. Not even the first one where we meet the freaks. I'd enjoy it if I did watch, but I'm just figuring how nice it will be to have an extra spare hour each day. I could do useful things in that time like sleep or play Final Fantasy or drink.

I'm not sure how long I'll manage though - it's normally quite unavoidable and I am weak willed.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Late to the G&S Party

I've come late to the Gavin & Stacey party but I'm glad I'm there. Funniest thing I've seen in ages. And dead sweet too. Just watched the first two episodes on dvd and could have quite happily watched the remaining four if it wasn't late at night.

So thanks be to Tim who bought it for me for my birthday. You are a small Welsh work of genius.