Monday, December 24, 2007

Health & Safety nonsense

We took the kids to the 'Christmas Wonderland' in Edinburgh this morning. One of the things that our elder daughter was looking forward to was getting candy floss. So after a ride on the carousel we approached the man who was making balls of candyfloss and putting them in bags...

"Two sticks of candyfloss please"

"Sorry, I can't sell you candyfloss on sticks anymore, only in bags. For health & safety reasons. I've been doing this for 21 years and have never known anyone to hurt themselves with a stick... but that's the new rules"

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bee Movie

I took my 3 year old to see Bee Movie today. She watched the entire thing without laughing once.

Who is this film aimed at? The main character initially faces the issue of what to do after graduation - not something that most kids are interested in. Then he, essentially, has an affair with a woman who is clearly attached to another man - hardly appropriate behaviour in a kids film. Then he takes on 'big business' in the courtroom - um, not much for kids here either. Finally he saves the planet with the now-mandatory-in-kids-films eco-message.

The jokes are clean but most of them are there to produce wry smiles for the parents whilst flying several feet over the heads of the kids. It has the look and feel and lite-storyness of a kids film whilst actually being full of un-childlike things. But, of course, it can't deal with the adult ideas in an adult manner. So fails on both levels.

I don't think we'll bother getting the DVD when it comes out.

But is it wrong that I found myself attracted to Vanessa, the entirely CGI -but sexy- cartoon voiced by Renée Zellweger? I had much the same feeling about Mrs Incredible in the Incredibles. I get the feeling that these cartoons are made by dads, for dads. They seem to have forgotten to put the kids content into this one.


Friday, December 21, 2007

The Fountain


This film didn't really grab me. For most of it, indeed, for all of it, I wasn't sure what was going on. Something to do with life and death. Trying to be arty. Not really succeeding.

Looks like the secret of living forever is to die and plant a tree above your coffin. Or something like that anyway.

Not recommended.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Cavalcade of Bad Nativities

This page is fantastic in its awfulness: The Cavalcade of Bad Nativities. Just browse... and groan.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fleetwood Mac: Live in Boston (DVD)

I got the Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston DVD/CD set out of my local library the other day. Partially because I like Fleetwood Mac and I hadn't seen or heard this recording, but mostly because I have a new surround sound system and wanted to listen to some music mixed in 5.1 surround.

On that count it failed for the most part, as all that comes out of the surround speakers most of the time is crowd noise. Atmospheric, but nothing particularly worth blogging about.

But I found myself captivated by the performance. I have seen Fleetwood Mac live in concert, way back in 1988 - on the Tango in the night tour, just after Lindsey Buckingham left the band - but not with the 'classic' lineup. OK, so Christine McVie isn't on this DVD, so its not the 'classic' lineup either, but it wasn't far off.

Apoligies to John McVie. His bass sounded really good through my new superwoofer, but it wasn't his performance that was captivating.

It was great to watch Mick Fleetwood on the drums though. I've been to a fair few concerts in my time and I have to say that out of all of the drummers I have seen, Mick Fleetwood seems to enjoy himself the most. Every time the camera fell on him he was clearly having the time of his life, it was just a joy to watch.

But, of course, the real show was watching Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham. Their up and down, on and off relationship is, of course, well known. There were many famous Rumours about it in the 70s, so much so that they named their greatest album in honour of that fact. But from the interplay between the two of them on stage, there is clearly so much more than is commonly known. Theirs is a really complex relationship, and that makes for an enthralling performance as they dedicate songs to each other, dance around each other, stare enigmatically into each other's eyes and almost, but not quite, kiss. It was a bit like watching a mystery thriller - you don't really know what is going on but it is gripping nevertheless.

Oh. And the music was quite good too.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Same Difference epiphany...

Throughout most of the current series of the X Factor, I've been looking forward to the week when Same Difference would get voted off. They're too smiley, too annoying, not the best singers (although he is better than her) and, generally, a bit wet.

Imagine my surprise then, when last night I found myself actually thinking that it would be disappointing if Same Difference got voted off this week. Basically they provided the only two entertaining performances last night. The others were technically very good, full of power-ballady emotion, but fundamentally dull.

Of course, I didn't go as far as to actually vote for them, but I was glad when they got through to the final. I hope they win next week now...

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Make an old style mix tape...

These are cool. They look like old fashioned tapes, like the ones we used to know and love in the 80s, but there's a little USB flash memory stick inside it instead. So you can still compile your 'mix tape' but do it in MP3 instead... and you still get to hand write the track listing, just like you used to.

I had planned on getting a couple of these for a laugh for Christmas gifts. But at £20 for a 64Mb memory stick, I think I'll give it a miss! Tapes used to cost less than a pound each, you know...

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The wonders of eBay...

I won an auction on eBay last night. At about 10:30pm I went online and paid for the item using PayPal. Its a surround sound speaker set, in case you're interested. It'll be sent to me by ParcelForce. At 11pm I got an e-mail from the seller saying it had been dispached already!

I'm not entirely sure I believe that e-mail. Where is there a post office open at 11pm?

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