Friday, August 29, 2008

Bad Detectives Boys

We watched Bad Boys last night. I haven't seen it since VHS and so it was pretty much like watching a brand new film since I didn't remember the story at all. It's good, not a classic, but fun. It got a lot funnier once I started to do the following thing. You can do this too if you want! Every time Will Smith is on screen, prettend he's Robert Powell. And every time Martin Lawrence is on screen pretend he's Jasper Carrot. It makes it hilarious.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let's shampoo the dogs of York...

York must have very clean dogs. I say this not as a complement to the lesser girls of York but instead because of two things I have seen today.

The first thing I saw was a van driving round the ring road that contained a mobile dog cleaning service. If you phone them up they will come around to your house and clean your dog for you. I found this quite an odd idea but not as odd as the next thing.

The next thing was a shop on Tadcaster Road called Metro Dogs. They offer self service, coin-operated dog-washing machines. Yes, I did just say "self service, coin-operated dog-washing machines". You read it right the first time, you are not drunk or dyslexic. Well, maybe you are and if so, good for you. Well done on being able to read the vodka label.

I really can't believe there's a big market for coin-operated dog-washing machines. Dogs are supposed to be smelly and dirty. That's the whole point of dogs. If people wanted a clean pet they'd have a cat or a fish.

So if this was being dragondenned to me (it is a verb!) I'd be saying, "sorry, but I'm out" at this stage. There do seem to be franchise opportunities available for any readers outside of York though. Details are on their website if you're interested!

I don't see why people don't just throw their dogs in a canal to clean them like they did in the old days. Much easier.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Similar/Dissimilar Films

We were thinking tonight about two things. In both cases, you have to think of two films where one is a sequel to the other.
1. Which film and its sequel are most similar?
2. Which film and its sequel are most dissimilar?

I have answers but I don't want to influence you so I'll post them in the comments.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BMX shame?

I think I am actually going to be quite ashamed if Team GB wins gold in the BMXing. That's like claiming credit for being best at hopscotch or kiss-catch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If I had GPS in my legs

On the TV at the moment is a combine harvester that doesn't need a human to drive it - it is all automatic based on GPS readings. Quite clever. I actually start to wonder how people could ever navigate before GPS came along. I guess they did it in the same way that people kept crappy diaries before blogs came along.

I was wondering though whether I could have the same technology (the combine harvester not the blog) installed in my actual legs, to help me when I go running. I'd just input a route and then sit back and let the legs do all the work. My brain would be kept free allowing me to spend time composing poetry or admiring wildlife. What fruits might emerge from such an endeavour!

I figure I could also even simplify the route planning process. Rather than having to trace one out on the internet (and again, I ask, how did people know how far they were running before the web?) I could just type in a target distance and the GPS magic machine would plan a route for me, hopefully avoiding the car GPS pitfalls of being told to drive through rivers or fall into pits.

I might even be able to harvest crops along the way.

So if any scientists are reading, you can have this idea for free, dragonden it if you want (and that is a verb, I won't hear anyone say it isn't), just make it happen. Technologise my legs. I'm willing to spend up to 100 English pounds buying it when it's ready so I could become the $200 dollar man! And who says inflation is ever upwards. Just witness the price of series 4 of Buffy on DVD. When it came out several years ago it was about Seventy Quid. Now it's available for around fifteen. Inflation? Pah. Stick Buffy in your basket.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1997 Comedy = 2008 Reality

It's slightly surreal to watch Brass Eye on DVD and then when it finishes turn straight to Newsnight on actual TV. It's hard to see the join.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008 Running Update

Up until July this year my running had been a little sporadic and certainly not the regular two or three times a week of the previous two years. Reasons for this included but were not limited to: the shit weather; an injury that may not have existed; laziness; lack of GNR fear.

At the start of July, with three months to go until the big race I had to get my act in gear and become more disciplined. I put a running plan together. I turned down weeknight invitations to the pub if it clashed with my running plan. I entered a state of mental toughness. And slowly, but surely I was able to get going again. I also entered myself into the York Millennium Bridge 5k race, which was today. I did this race for the first time in 2006 during the Run-A-Thon 500 and got a time of 29 mins and 29 seconds.

I've generally felt that I've been slower this year than I was for the last two years so I wasn't sure how much I'd beat the time by. My best practice run for that distance so far had been about 29 mins. But the day before the 2006 race I'd had a fever so may not have been on top form. Race conditions are always different to normal runs. Adrenaline and crowds. I didn't know what would happen.

Come the race, I was a bit nervous, like before an exam. Once we got going I started at a steady pace and soon decided I'd maybe started too fast. But I kept going anyway because I couldn't see my watch to see how long I was taking. And in any case the mile/km markers were confusing me. The rest of the race happened. I nearly fell in a huge puddle in the last 50m but managed to only stumble.

And I clocked my time at 26 mins 26 secs. I was well happy with this. It meant I'd managed not only my best ever 5k time, but also done probably my three fastest ever miles, all at once.

Now I realise it's not Olympic standard (actually, I'm guessing as I have little interest in the Olympics). But it was good for me. So happy I am and I bloomin' deserved the huge takeaway pizzas we had for tea :-)

Next race is the Great North run on 5th October. Longest distance I've done this year is six miles, less than half the full distance. But I'm sticking to my plan and my plan will get me through. Oh yes it will.

Raaaaaaaaa! (That was supposed to be a shout of encouragement/meaning/pain)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Remote Fantasies

It's not exactly a secret that the PSP has struggled a little since launch, in the face of some stiff competition from the DS. It's lacked killer games and has seemed a little unsure exactly what it's for. Is it just a games machine or a full portable multimedia device? I've held off buying one until last week, and the thing that finally pushed me over the edge was the release of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. Being something off an FF nut, it was the final little bit of temptation needed.

First impressions of the machine are very good. It looks good and feels nice. UMD is a bit strange, and it currently lacks internal storage (will be remedied when my 8Gb memory stick arrives in the mail) but overall it's a nice little machine. Even K liked it. It's certainly no iPhone (or iPod Touch even) but it is a nice little bit of kit.

But one thing on it has really, really impressed me because it's really, really cool. It has a feature called Remote Play that lets you link via wi-fi to your PS3. You can then use the PSP to remotely control the PSP. You even see what you'd normally see on the TV screen on the PSP's screen. But the really cool thing is that you can play PS1 games on the PSP over wi-fi. They can be either ones that have been downloaded from the PS store onto the PS3's hard drive or even ones that are actual PS1 games inserted in the PS3's drive.

I tested this today. I stuck the original FFVII in the machine and turned it off. I then got the PSP and used it to remotely turn on the PS3, and then selected the game. I was then able to play FFVII directly on the PSP! It was amazing. I think I'll be able to use this as an excuse to play through the game again! All the streaming video works fine. The game works fine. It's all magic!

And the most amazing part (untested) is that you can also do exactly the same thing over the actual internet!

I haven't worked out a way to change discs over the internet yet though.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Man Baggage

I've succumbed to meterosexual life today and purchased a manbag. Not that I totally need one, but I often don't have enough or big enough pockets. Especially in summer when it's too hot to wear a jacket with its attendant pocketage.

I like my bag. It has lots of pockets, inside and out. It has one that's ideal for my iPod. And one inside for my phone (though I suspect if it went off I wouldn't be able to answer it before it stopped ringing). I could put papers in it if I ever took work home. Or maybe a newspaper.

Actually, I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for. I think I might have bought an expensive, overly large iPod case...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Watching The Bill, Live

It's been all go here this evening, outside at least. I believe that all new property developments in the UK (or possibly some parts of it) are now obliged to designate some of it for Social Housing. This is a relatively sensible policy designed to prevent the formation of sink estates. The majority of people living in such housing are nice enough but it is hard to deny that they include a much higher proportion of drunks, druggies and dreadfuls than would be found elsewhere.

I live quite close to the Social Housing in my development and it's not unusual for the police to be called for one reason or another. I like to think that we just have friendly police round here who like to drop in for a cup of tea every now and then. Or maybe it's where they get their drugs.

Today there's been a lot of noise throughout the day. Mostly shouting and whatnot. Then around seven o'clock three lads were out in the car park shouting and swearing at each other. It was actually getting to the point where I was considering calling the cops myself. But I didn't need to because one of my neighbours had clearly got there first and a police car pulled in. The police got up and had heated discussions with the lads (we were watching through the curtains). The discussions got very heated and ended up with the police using a stun-gun on one of them, at which point the shot man fell to the ground (and was at least a bit quieter). The police then called for back-up.

Within a few minutes, two more cars and three vans had arrived. This made the car park very full and I was glad that I hadn't left the supermarket shopping until then (also it's Sunday so they'd be shut but you get the idea). I couldn't tell how many actual police there were but it must have been at least 12, probably more.

Sadly, I don't think anyone else got shot. I couldn't really tell what was going on as there was a lot of shouting, swearing and overlapping noise. Also I was trying to watch The 4400 on DVD and it was a good one.

After a while everyone left. Some in the front seats of the vans, some probably in the locked up sections of the backs of the vans. Some in cars.

So not a great anecdote, in that I don't have any detail or understanding of what was going on. But I did see a c**k get shot with a stun-gun and that was entertaining.