Ya Flamin’ Galah!!!

Hickinbottom’s Aussie Ramblings

Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Ears, meerkats and buying stuff

Posted by captainbeaky on September 14, 2008

This week has been a pretty mixed bag. As a follow up to my “ear” comment last week, I woke on Monday morning with shocking pain from my right ear, and mucus leaking from it. Cutting a long story short, I went to see a specialist and a doctor, diagnosed it as an ear infection (which effects me worse as I have holes in my ear drums) and signed me off work until Friday. So I didnt really get to do much during the week as I was constantly on nurofen and blotting the puss from my ears. Nice! However, on Friday, the pain eased off and I went back to work. As for the situation now, well Ive still got hearing loss in my right ear, but Im no longer in pain with it and the leaking has stopped so the antibiotics must be doing their thing. However, its been annoying staying off the beer, what with the weather being glorious over the past 3 days. 25 degrees and sunny. Wind has been high in places but its been proper t-shirt weather….in the UK equivalent of March!

Anyway, on to housey stuff. We’ve got a burglar alarm company sorted and hopefully coming to install it next week, we’ve bought a half price slimline dishwasher and had it delivered too. All the services should be sorted out next week, our bed is made and we just have to sort delivery out, and today we went to The Good Guys (like a cheaper, better Dixons) and bought a fridge, freezer, tv, stereo, surround sound system, washing machine, microwave and a super cute and super cheap mini-dyson. Its the really small upright, thats just been released here. Managed to negotiate a really good discount on the lot too, although the woman who sold us the Dyson got things totally messed up. SHe said it usually sold for $599, and would give us a discount price of $540. However, on the way out, we found it had an instore price of $650 so we got a proper bargain! The grand plan is to hire a car late next week, and move stuff over the period of 2 or 3 days. Theres no pressure on us to be out until the following Thusday so we can take our time. Plus Ive managed to move quite a lot of stuff over in my car already. 

In other news, cos the weather was forecast to be nice on Saturday, we planed, and went to Melbourne Zoo for the day and we were both impressed. Lots of stuff to see and do and most of the animals had a big enclosure with a lot of stuff to do. The aviary was a fantastic, Jurassic Park style walk through affair and was really presented well. Thankfully, no Pterodactyls to molest us on our way through! Meerkats were also great, as were the wombats. GOt back home and rounded the day off with some tasty ice-cream down on the beach. Summer is here…….and its only Spring!

Anyway, time to go now as stuff is coming on TV. More updates to come, maybe during the week. OH, Ive just forgotten we went to see Tropic Thunder on Friday, and it was hella good. Really funny, and a nice pastiche on war movies without stooping to Scary Movie levels of dumbass “comedy”. Robert Downey Junior stole the show with his black dude actor. Well worth a look. 8/10

Posted in Film, Health, House, Oz, weather | Leave a Comment »

Weekend Hijinks….

Posted by captainbeaky on August 25, 2008

So while I still remember, we went to a mates wedding this Saturday (as mentioned yesterday, photos on Facebook). The ceremony itself was a nice, non-religious affair being light hearted and brief. It was held out on Williamstown Bandstand and the weather stayed nice for it. Drinks and cake afterwards in nearby bars function room, then on to the Titanic Restaurant, which if you look here, you can see its a superb theme restaurant. We went first class, and loved every second of it. An amazing experience, helped along of course by lots of champagne and beer. Unfortunately, I didnt think champagne and beer were all that hot on Sunday! Ouch! Anyway, we had a lovely lazy Sunday which sorted us out a treat. 

On the house front, we got our actual mortgage loan sorted out on Saturday, and received solicitor documents today so things are moving along fine. Not sure if we’ll complete in 13 days as planned, due to the solicitors paperwork hold up, but we remain hopeful. 

Weather is starting to pickup here now, with it due to be 19 degrees and sunny by Friday, Bring on the summer! Its so nice to be able to KNOW we will have sun, rather than hope. 

Plans for this week….going to pickup Becca from Knit Club in a bit, maybe catching Tropic Thunder on Wednesday (dont ask why we didnt see it last week), going upstairs to a neighbours place Thursday for celebratory we-have-a-house drinks, and…er.. Im not sure. Updates will follow if anything exciting happens!

Posted in Drink, Film, Food, House, weather | Leave a Comment »

Star Wars : The CGI Wars

Posted by captainbeaky on August 18, 2008

Just got back from seeing Star Wars : The Clone Wars, so Id thought Id put my impressions down, while theyre still fresh in my mind…..

If you didnt know, this film is placed somewhere in between films 2 and 3 (that is Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) and is entirely CGI. Only a few of the cast from the prequel films lend their voice talents here, with the rest being a somewhat mixed bag of sound-a-likes. The story itself is pretty forgettable and doesnt add a lot to Star Wars canon, but I dont think this film was really aimed at either those who are Star Wars nuts, or thsoe who like decent sci-fi. This is like Star Wars lite. For kids. For me its 3 biggest crimes are ;

 

  1. Committing the fatal sin of having a “punchy, in your face” juvinille character, who you quickly wish were dead
  2. Having a “baby” character which I guess youre supposed to think is both cute, and comically horrible, but again, you just end up wishing it would expire
  3. Having the most hideous Star Wars character since Dib-Dab Binks! (***SPOILER***) Whoever thought that having a Hutt (of Jabba the Hutt fame) that was black, and sounded like a gay, 70’s, American pimp must have been out of their tree! Seriously! Imagine the voice of the creepy, old paedo from Family Guy and youre not too far away from the voice of a supposed devious, criminal intergalactic smuggler. I felt like cringing everytime he came on the screen.

 

Oh and it also seemed to copy Scooby Doo, or very early Transformers films of having “stock” footage and replaying it several times. I swear to god in the opening battle I saw the same shot of the emplaced cannons firing followed by a trooper with binoculars 3 times! Thats just damn lazy. 

Its also strange that the visuals can be both stunning, and shoddy. The space scenes and scenery is well handled, but the characters themselves sometimes seem to jerk along, and is especially evident in the light sabre duels. Its almost like youre watching 2 robots fighting, the movement is that stilted. 

The good points are, really, if you like Star Wars, you’ll get something out of it. The CGI models are impressive, and …er….its Star Wars, Its troopers and early AT-AT’s, its Destroyers etc….Its hard to put a finger on it. I like Star Wars. And CGI. And sci-fi so Im probably the wrong person to objectively rate it. As it stands, if you like Star Wars, 6.5/10. If you dont like Star Wars 3/10/

Posted in Film | Leave a Comment »

Eventful but…

Posted by captainbeaky on August 17, 2008

That sums our week up really. A lot of boring, but essential “grown-up” stuff has happened. Starting last week…..

 

  • Monday – got solicitors sorted and payed the remainder of the deposit
  • Tuesday – Met with the mortgage advisor and applied for a slightly different mortgage
  • Wednesday – Met with an accountant to get our tax return sorted and found that we should be in line for a big wedge of a tax rebate – nice, considering the circumstances we’re in!
  • Thursday – Heard the news that we have been approved for the mortgage
  • Friday – nothing grown up, but I received my new RC Lancia in the post! 

 

I think that just about keeps you up with house events. Got to get in touch with the solicitors tomorrow to make sure things are moving along. Not heard from them since Monday and I know full well just how feckin, useless solicitors can be. Its exciting now that I can look at home cinema stuff and security alarms, while Becca sorts out beds and sofas. Had a nice look around Bunnings today (Aussie verison of B & Q but MUCH bigger) and got a preliminary look on what we can expect to buy and for how much. 

Yesterday was pretty fun too. We were finally able to do something other than house inspections! The choice we made was to go into town and visit the Museum, as they had special stuff going on for Science Week. We decided to sign up for a behind the scenes guided tour which was fantastic. They took us upstairs and into teh specimen rooms where they have all the birds, mammals and reptiles on massive shelves. The guide we had was a really quiet but informative guy who worked in the labs there and knew an awful lot about pretty much everything. Well worth it.

In between all of this, TV has been pretty barren, what with the friggin’ Olympics ruining everything! Not only that, but all the good shows have, or are finishing. Apprentice, Top Gear, Gadget Show etc….. but as a result we’re watching a few more films. Saw Rogue in the week, which was alright (made us want to go to teh Northern Territories strangely!), and watched Bettie Page last night (again, it was ok). Got my day off tomorrow so I’ll be going to check out Star Wars : The Clone Wars at the cinema. Will post what I think of it.

There we have it then. As the post title says…….

Posted in Film, House, Oz, TV | Leave a Comment »

In the “bleak” midwinter….

Posted by captainbeaky on July 14, 2008

HA!!! Its been a fantastic day here in Melbourne. Had the day off (as its a rostered day off at Boeing) and godamn have I been lucky with the weather. Woke up at 9 and it was lovely and sunny. After a brief bit of interneting, left the house with iPod in tow and got the tram into the CBD. As if by magic, my ipod was picking out songs on shuffle that I hadnt heard in months, and put an extra smile on my face. After arriving in town, had a brief wonder around then got my ticket to go see Hancock, and again, I was impressed.

Its been the only “blockbuster” Ive seen recently that I havent got bored with and started checking what time it was. Smith wasnt annoying, or big headed or too yehaw-yankee-doodle-dandy as he’s been in most of his other films. Not too sugary or predicable either. A solid 8/10 I reckon.

After the film, it was off home and a walk along the beach while the sun was still out. Got back around 4, and rolled straight into a nice session of Rock Band drums. Had a stroll outside again at 5, watched the cockatoo’s sqwuaking at me from their palm tree homes, observed the 14 dogs playing together in the park, and met Becca for coffee and a cake after her day at work. Now at home, looking over the menu for the posh pizza place and deciding what to have for tea, while watching last nights new Top Gear. The days dont come much better, so Im gonna scoot now before I ruin it! T’raaaaa!

Posted in Film, Games, Oz, weather | Leave a Comment »

House/Game/Film

Posted by captainbeaky on July 13, 2008

Yesterday, we spent the day around Yarraville, looking at houses that were open for inspection. We had 5 to look at, all of which looked promising on paper…..which quickly changed once we saw them! 

House 1 was nice, but opposite a train line. House 2 was very nice, but is at the extreme end of our price range. House 3 had all the DIY done by Frank Spenser. Wonky floors, cracked plaster, pink bathroom suite, mismatched skirting boards – it was a joke! House 4 was ok but very dark inside, and house 5 was ok, but needed a lot of structural stuff doing to it. I left the day feeling somewhat disappointed, but it is only the 1st time we’ve looked around the place, and Ive already got some more properties earmarked for next weekend. One good thing to come from it, was that we had a wonder around inbetween inspections and found a load more nice shops. Just helped to seal the deal as to this definitely being an area we would like to live in. 

On the games front, Rock Band drums have been ruling most of my time. However, as they are quite noisy to play (even with sound softening pad) I dont play them when Becca is around….which is a pain! However, tomorrow is a flex day at work so I’ll get some quality time on them then. BF:BC is also taking up a lot of my time, as Im begining to think the gunplay is second only to Black, in terms of satisfaction. Battlefield has always been about on foot and vehicular combat, but I find myself avoiding the vehicles now as the first person stuff is so damn good. The guns feel and sound right, and like Black, have a tangible “weight” to them. Between these 2, Ive also managed to cram in some Katamari as a spot of light relief, and Ive tried the Topspin 2 demo, which at some point I will buy. Not now though, as Ive already got too much to be getting on with. 

Films wise, ive not really seen anything new, just been catching up on some stuff that we’ve had downloaded, so for the record….Spiderwick Chronicles – enjoyable family style entertainment. A good Sunday afternoon film 7/10. Porco Rosso – had it to watch for ages and really enjoyed it. Like a lot of Ghible films, it doesnt really go anywhere, but its captivating all the way through. 8/10. Futurama:The Beast with a Billion Backs – has some really funny moments, and has some really hard sci-fi moments where the story goes a bit poncy. Still, miles better than the Simpsons movie. And has some awesome Steven Hawking moments. 7/10. 

Thats really about it. The weeks are flying by and I cant believe we’re fast approaching a year out here. Its quite cold here now (well, about 10 degrees, but it feels relatively cold), but its the height of Winter so I guess its to be expected. 

Oh, and for the record, its well known Im an Apple fan, owning a couple of Macs and an iPod Touch, but its got to be said that Im sick to the back teeth with bloody iPhone iPhone iPhone everywhere! The hype is WAY too much and has saturated everywhere. I hope the world gets over the fact that  its just a phone quick smart!

Posted in Film, Games, House, weather | Leave a Comment »

Somewhere. Somehow. Someone.

Posted by captainbeaky on May 20, 2008

Best. DVD. Ever!!! Ive spent a lovely afternoon watching this DVD, I bought ages ago then plain forgot about it! Shame on me! However, good things come to those who wait and god damn it was worth it!

As the name suggests, its the definitive edition of Commando, and for only the 2nd time Ive ever seen it, features the awesome head scalp/circular saw blade scene, and even the chopping off of the arm of the shed attack guy! Fantastic! The DVD also features a few documentary type programs that are ok, but are the usual affair. What DID excite me were the alternate “Let off some steam, Bennett” lines! A small thing, but I DO love this film so its all good. 10/10!!!!

In other non-bennett related news, we’re feeling somewhat relieved about the whole housing thing now. Not because we’ve bought a place, but because we’ve extended our lease on the house we’re in now. Yay! We’re in here until end of September, AND have the option to extend agin if we dont have a place at by then too. I bloody hope we DO have a place by then. Im checking real estate websites multiple times per day to see if anything takes our fancy, and while there ARE nice properties appearing, non of them fit the billfor us. We’re becoming right old fussy so-and-so’s!

Right I better get off now as Ramsay is on soon. Oh, and buy Commando NOW!

Posted in Film, House | 1 Comment »

Be Kind, Rewind and Stuff

Posted by captainbeaky on April 1, 2008

22187206.jpgOnce again, sorry for the tardiness of this post. Yesterday I was shockingly tired from badminton and today has been pretty busy. Had a bunch of stuff to sort out at work, and had a meeting with a mortgage guy right after work. The short story is that we CAN get a mortgage for the range of house prices we’re after (in fact we could get a loan for nearly DOUBLE what we want!) and its more a matter of how much we can afford to pay each week/month than how much can we get a loan for. The options open to us are both vast and complicated, but the guy did show us a scenario in which it could be possible for us to repay our mortgage in 10 years! Shocking, but all his sums seemed right – will have to give it some serious thought.

 

Secondly, we went to our local cinema which is the George theatre on Fitzroy St. Its a nice litle 3 screen cinema with a bar, hot drinks and cakes, so will soon become our cinema of choice I reckon. No annoying kids, lots of beer and cuppa’s! We decided to go see Be Kind, Rewind starring Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover. Its basically a film about 2 guys who accidentally erase all the videos in their store and remake them all themselves. Now, Im not generally a fan of Jack Black, but he’s not too overbearing in this perfectly amusing, popcorn movie. Its not going to reinvent the wheel, or cause a big stir, but its good at what it does, with the Ghosbusters remake being my favourite (especially the whole “how do we shoot it at night” scene!). Gets a bit cheesy at the end, but like I said, it does what it says on the tin admirably. If you want to see a light hearted, charming, throwaway comedy, you could do worse than see this film. 7/10.

 

Not much else gone on. Not got to play Xbox for a couple of days due to tiredness and lack of time, but should hopefully sort that out tomorrow. Really getting back into it in a big way now, after a short hiatus playing solely on Wii, thanks in no small part to Burnout and Battlefield Bad Company. Ive even gone as far into planning ot get back into COD 4 online, once the BF:BC beta ends in a few weeks. Ah, on second thoughts, that will only be a couple of days before GTA 4, and I can see that eating up a lot of my time, so maybe I’ll give COD another go this week.

 

Plans for the rest of the week….nowt for tomorow (except aforementioned gaming), Thursday we’ll be off out for Birthday food, and Friday we’re having a a few drinks with the guy who’s training me at work then off to a gig (CSS at the Prince Bandroom). For once a busy week, full of excitement, thrills and beer! And me being a year older :o(

Posted in Film, Games, House | Leave a Comment »

The Transvestite & Sheep Post……

Posted by captainbeaky on February 25, 2008

campstan.jpgOK, a proper post today, so lets start with yesterday. Driving was uneventful at best. Slow speed manouvres are still a bit of a pin, but other than that everything is going swimmingly . Got 4 weeks to my test so not really that long considering Im only having 1 lesson a week. After driving, we went to see Priscilla, which if Im perfectly honest, I wasnt really looking forward to. I thought the film was a 7/10, I dont like theatre, and I like musicals even less, but a promise is a promise so I had to go. However, I soon changed my tune when it started. It was a good laugh, faithful to the movie, had great sets and outfits, the musical numbers were (mostly) out straight out of the film so were at least memorable and the performances were great. I dont think even the most cold hearted people could have failed to love it – was thoroughly enjoyable! Thinking about going to see Spamalot now, but I think my brief venture into theatrical hijinks will end there.

Today, has been a pretty routine day. Up early for work, had another enjoyable day ACTUALLY getting stuff done and completing jobs that I started. So unlike all of my previous experiences in engineering. 

Oh, I promised a review of Black Sheep too, so here it goes. Its fairly good. Next….! The whole film has a similar feel to Peter Jacksons early films in the sense that its humourous, gory and preposterous…so all good then! My only criticism is that it bogs down in a few places, whereas Jacksons films were relentless non stop affairs. Saying that though, if youre a fan of B-movie schlock horror its worth watching. Id give it a 6.5 out of 10.  
 
Beccas gone to Knit Club tonight so got the place all to myself. So far Ive done crazy things like….eat food! Watch Primeval! Do the washing up! And shortly……..I will be……..having a shave……..and….a…..shower!!!! oooooooooooooooooo! In other news, have you heard australian magpies – theyre great – nowt like UK magpies – have a listen.  And you can check it out anywhere if you dont believe me – Becca thought I was mad when I told her I heard that noise come from a  magpie!
  
And finally…..thanks to the B3ta newsletter for this awesome find. A great website dedicated to Camp Records, purveyor of groovy 60’s gay pop records! My favourites include “Mixed Nuts” (check out the lyrics), “Im so wet”, “Leather Jacket Lovers” and “Florence of Arabia”. However for sheer jaw dropping excellence, feast your ears on “Homer, the happy little homo”. I kid you not! Quite a catchy tune too!

Posted in animals, comedy, driving, Film, internet, Work | Leave a Comment »

Parasol Star (sorry – another obscure game reference)

Posted by captainbeaky on February 2, 2008

n867580483_2222203_96832.jpgWell, its been a tiring but fantastic day. Started off going over to the St Kilda farmers market which was full of tasty looking fresh produce, but we stupidly shopped the other day so have no room for any of it. Doh – better planning needed next time. However we picked up some fresh samphire, and are gonna cook it for tea afterwards with some barrimundi fillets – yum! 

Oh well, on to the good stuff. Caught a tram into Melbourne, which was lovely and cool, and extremely welcome as its been roasting today. First port of call was Flinders St to see if we could see anything of them filming “The Pacific”, and it turned out we could see quite a bit. The street was dressed with old wartime posters and banners, with lots of period cars and vehicles about. No actors on the set at that stage so took a few snaps (all of which are on Facebook or my webspace) and then did a bit of shopping. Becca picked herself up a parasol to keep her cool (also in the photos) and we went to see if we could find a bar we’d read about in guide books, called “The Rooftop Bar”. Found the building and made our way up to the 6th floor (the clues in the bars name!) and found it to be a great little place. All open air, 6 stories up, with grass on the floor (fake but looked and felt great) and sat ourselves down on old UK style wooden deck chairs. Ordered a blood orange juice for Becca and got myself a pint of Erdinger in a great looking glass. Then sat down, caught some rays, put on plenty of free suntan lotion from the bar and just appreciated the atmos, the weather, and the beer – awesome! After beer and sun, we did a bit more shopping, then walked on down to the film set again to see if anything had changed, and it had. They’d got some old period trams in, more dressing of the station itself, and the actors were on set being filmed. All very exciting, but nowt I can do will explain just how excited I was at the time. Kid in a toyshop!

Got back to St Kilda and found that all the festivities for next weeks St Kilda festival had already started, albeit on a small scale. A few hippyish stalls around Luna Park, some theatrical performance going on and a falconry thing, which was great. The size of this eagles claws were huge – a good 2 inches long. He was bloody huge too – would have those noisy cockatoos from breakfast. Also looking forward to this – a big open air cinema, near the gym on the seafront. Im particularly looking forward to seeing Jaws, outside, on the beach! Proper scary! 

Not quite sure of our plans for tomorrow yet. We want to go back into town to go to the market (if its on), go to a few more beer gardens/rooftop bars and generally lap up my last day of proper freedom! Going to have to investigate how to get into town to as there is  Gay Pride march going down Fitzroy St, closing off all the tram routes from St Kilda beach.  Anyway, Im off now to watch Mythbusters and have a beer. Gotta rest up for more booze and sun tomorrow! Ciao for now!

Posted in Drink, Film, Oz, weather | Leave a Comment »

Watch Monkey Dust Now!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 24, 2008

I dunno if anybody has heard of it (or maybe you have and I had my head in a paper bag for years), but ABC in Australia, have just started showing episodes of it here. Monkey Dust is an animated comedy show, that can be quite subversive, and focuses on the darker sides of British culture. Its fupping great though! It was superb, sitting here in St Kilda, thousands of miles away from the Black Country, watching this on TV (NSFW, contains “language” and is very funny!)

 

 

I hope you like it. It kind of reminds me of an animated version of Viz. It has reoccurring characters (with Omar, Shafiq and Abdul being my favourites, along with Roy of the Roasters) and well worth a look. If it aint on TV, Im sure you know about Bit Torrent….

 So today was pretty busy. Started off with a driving lesson, which went well, again. More highway driving, low speed manouvres and general practice. What is good is that theres no such test as reversing around a corner. The instructor thought I was a mental for suggesting such a thing “Why would anyone reverse around a corner, its dangerous”?! I cant argue with that, only breathe a sigh of relief that its not tested. I was rubbish at it back when I had lessons in the UK.

After driving we caught the bus over to Chadstone, with the hope of buying all our gym equipment and trainers. Cutting a long story short, I came away with only 1 top, as it was litterally the only sports item in my size in any of the sales. Everything else was top dollar, including all the trainers. I dont know what we are going to do. There doesnt appear to be anywhere that sells cheapy trainers, I cant wait until we recieve all our belongings in a few months time and Im not buying trainers online as I want to try them on beforehand. Will have to see if there are any out of town sports centres, if not top dollar it (begrudgingly) is. However, I did manage to get some cheap sale Diesel trainers for everyday wear. Nice and lightweight, which is exactly what I was after. All the trainers I have with me here now are fine, and look great with jeans, but they look like boats on the end of my legs when I have shorts on. So these Diesel ones are perfect.  $220 reduced to $140 – bargain.

Another highlight of today was watching 2 guys in a lolly/rock shop make a bunch of special order “wedding” rock. You can order yours and someone else’s name in rock for special occasions! How great is that! I found it fascinating watching them mix, cut and roll it, and the consistency of “rock” when its being made is amazing – its like a huge viscous glassy blob – has to be seen to be believed. This had the knock on effect of making Becca buy a bag of rock and me buying a massive 1KG bag of offcuts from when they make it.  Yum yum. 

Whilst being at Chadstone, I decided to go and see Aliens vs Predator 2, as it was on its last day at the cinema. And….its….exactly the same as the last film really, adding only a small amount to the Aliens/Predator lore. Im sure to the impartial, its a terrible, predictable monster movie but seeing as its me, and I tend to love most things Aliens or Predator, its an OK film. Nothing really spectacular, no great acting performances (REALLY!?!?), special effects are run of the mill and nothing really to recommend about it. And for once, why cant the Aliens attack in the sunlight. Honestley, watching one black monster fight another black monster…..at night….in the rain is nigh on impossible, more-so with the camera cutting to different angles every 2 seconds.  I also found it shocking that its only a 15 certificate here. I mean, you get to see skinned people, Aliens bursting out of children and arms falling off due to acid exposure. How is this possible?!? However, if you like Aliens or Predator, Id say go see it, if not Id give it a wide berth. If youre a fan of the previous movies, Id give it a 7, if not, Id give it a 4. 

Phew – I didnt think this would be such a big update as it doesnt “feel” like we’ve done much today, so sorry if Ive wasted too much of your day.  So in summary…..watch Monkey Dust, eat rock and look at how its made, watch/avoid AvP 2 and er……take care of yourselves…..and each other!

Posted in Blog, driving, Film, Food, Oz | 1 Comment »

The St Kilda Roads Just Got More Dangerous….!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 17, 2008

l_plate.jpgThats right – Ive booked a double driving lesson for tomorrow morning! Think its about time I got myself behind the wheel, especially if Im going to be working lates, as the public transport kinda drops off as the day wears on. Im pretty excited, and a little scared – scared mainly of trams, but I guess its just a mater of confidence. Sounds like a good guy whos doing the teaching. I just hope he’s patient too!

Right – job news. Firstly, I havent officially got the job yet, or so Im told. Still in its candidacy phase so they cant really say if Ive definitely got it until all the other applicants have been informed too. Reading between the lines, though, with Boeing and the agency, its a dead cert – provided Im not a fat heffer! I have to have a pre-job medical for Boeing tomorrow, and the fact that Im having it is indicative of whether theyre serious about offering it to me. Fill out a questionnaire, water sample, lung capacity etc…. should be no problem. Then if thats ok, because of the closeness of everything, I will be starting Monday week. There is no way they can do a medical, get the results and send letters out to all the applicants in 1 day, and the agency recommended that the start date be put back a week so as not to rush any of the successful applicants. Fair enough I suppose. 

 Just got back from seeing Cloverfield today, and I must say Im a little disappointed. I wont post any spoilers so its safe to read on if youre going to see it. It does do a good job of teasing you with whats going on, and whats attacking the city. Only showing little glimpses of the “thing” until you see what it really is later on in the film. Reading that back, it sounds far more exciting than it is so dont blame me if it leaves you a bit cold. Both Becca and I couldnt care less about any of the main characters so its kind of irrelevant when they start dropping like flies. Maybe its just the sci-fi nerd in me that just wanted to see more of the “thing” stomping around, and less american half-wits being all heroic. Its also pretty short at only 1 hour 40, including ads and trailers, but I guess if it were any longer it would feel drawn out. It also has a pretty abrupt ending (which isnt really a shock considering the entire premise of the film) but it does leave you wanting a bit more. Even if its just a bit of text on the screen. However, nowt. Not even after the credits.  As a run of the mill film, its pretty good. Interesting way (if sometimes a little stomach churning with its manic camera movements) of taking on the traditional “monster flick” and it does succeed in some areas. However, it doesnt live up to the hype, and I dont think it ever could. I was hoping to come out and say it easily beat I Am Legend (the last film I saw) but I dont think it came close. 7/10

Nothing much else to report. Oh, we popped up to the gym/health spa on the sea front to see its facilities, as we’ll probably join once a wage is coming in. Its fantastic! A sea water pool, hydrotherapy pool, steam rooms and the gym itself is great. All the exercise bikes and treadmills have TV’s on the console in front of them, its all really clean, and has tons of specialist classes on. Head and shoulders above anything LA Fitness offered.  That was about it really. Driving and medical tomorrow and not much else. Wish me luck!

Posted in Film, Health, Job | Leave a Comment »

New Job = New Treat

Posted by captainbeaky on January 16, 2008

design_gal04_20080115.jpgOK – right off the bat – no job news today. Sent off emails and contact numbers yesterday to get references done, and not heard a jot today. I’ll be sure to email them tomorrow to send me written confirmation of the job offer. 

Now, onto the juicy stuff (well…for me anyway). Soon, the laptop you see on the left will be in my possession. Announced today, its called the Macbook Air (crumby name I know) and its stupidly thin, half the weight of my existing Macbook and has all manner of bells and whistles that I wont bore you with, but if youre interested, you can read about it here. Storage size is a bit of an issue but Apple are releasing a wireless hard drive around the same time, so all the macs in our place can speak to it and share files.  Been playing with another new toy today, one which we bought yesterday but reasons I wont bore you with, didnt work until this morning. A little stick that I plug into the usb port on the mac mini, an ariel into the other end, and you have yourself your own video recorder! Has a Sky style TV guide and its just as easy to record programs. Really am quite impressed. You can even stream existing recorded programs over wifi to your ipod touch! Its tech nirvana! 

Didnt do much today. Stayed in and messed with said TV thing for the mac and read as much info as I can about the Apple press briefing last night. Popped out of the house late on to go to the Suzuki Night Market, which turned out to be shockingly busy. The food parts were crazy with folks but the rest of it was a bit airy-fairy and hippyish so left early for food elsewhere. Walked past a ton of Japanese restaurants, Sake bars and Ramen houses, but wanted something spicy so went to a place that specialises in laksa’s (indonesian spicy seafood soup with noodles). Changed my mind at the last minute and ordered a curry, and god damn if it wasnt the hottest curry Ive ever had. It just made me cough and made my nose/eyes water. Shocking. Was in need of cooling down so popped over the road and found a lovely little rooftop bar. The whole place was done up like an English garden sort of thing. White wrought iron style chairs, pergolas, parasols, trellis’s – it was amazing! In keeping with the look of the place, we both shared a pitcher of Pimms! Table service for drinks (and I had a tasty cupcake). They also handed out blankets for anyone out on the roof terrace who was a bit cold (its was a frighteningly chilly 22 degrees today! Brrrrrr!). A real gem of a place that I dont think youre average joe would know about. 

Not sure of any plans for tomorrow. Id like to go see Cloverfield at the cinema but that isnt going to take all day. Oh well, we’ll just play it by ear. Have fun……

Posted in Apple, Drink, Film, Food, Job, TV | 2 Comments »

Funniest Ice-Cream Ever!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 13, 2008

dsc00030.jpg

Awesome, eh? Cant wait to have a Gaytime? “Hey mate, fancy a Gaytime?”. The possibilities are endless! Whats even better than that is the follow-up line underneath the main logo (dont squint and try to read it now!) – so good, it deserves another photo, that I’ll put at the end of the post – something to look forward to!

Anyway, its been a busy couple of days. Went into Melbourne yesterday to have a mooch about. Didnt buy much as the money we have in our oz bank account is a bit tight, and while we have plenty of cash in our UK accounts to transfer, the exchange rate is utter crap at the moment, so gonna hold off. I digress. We went in search of bargains, but neither of us bought anything in the sales. Got a couple of nice cups from the posh tea place, had some very tasty and super cheap sushi, and looked around plenty of shops.  We also popped into the big pub next to the train station for some refreshment. While in there, we noticed the bartender was something of a beer expert (and looking on the website its apparently so) and asked for a  few samples. Being a new found convert to wheat beers, I asked for some recommendations, and god damn they were good. Their own brew (found nowhere else) was really nice, but my pick of the bunch was a tipple called “Beez Neez” which has a lovely honey taste. Got me a 6 pack from the offy as soon as we got back, and their chilling in the fridge as we speak. Cant wait to crack on open later! Also hired out 28 Weeks Later from the DVD store, and I thought it was ok. Not great by any means, and nowhere near as good as 28 Weeks Later, or I Am Legend. Special effects were ropey at best and the story was predictable. Having troublesome kids as the main plot device is never a good idea. It just gets annoying and you just wish they would get eaten or something. 

On the health front I feel a ton better. Dont know which tablets are doing the trick, but Im carrying on with all of them. I dont want to feel like crap this time tomorrow. Speaking of which, Im getting nervous about already. I just hope I dont panic and give stupid answers to their questions. Regardless anyway, life here is good – I really do LOVE this place. I mean, I look forward to getting the paper so I can have a stroll about. Could you ever have imagined me saying that about Kings Heath?  The weather is a positively cool 23 degrees today, but ramping up again to 37 by the end of the week. Its strange, having coped with 42, and 38 degrees the day after, it actually DOES feel cold today. Mad, after living in the UK for so long. Its also strange to go into Melbourne and compared to Birmingham, or Wolverhampton the amount of people about is miniscule. Its nice walking around the shops, and never feels crowded, or claustrophobic. Like I say, I love it here!

So on to tomorrow. Expecting the telephone engineers around between 8am and 10am, so SHOULD have internet access soon, but Im not holding my breath. Either way, I’ll be sure to make a post, either from my house or from the net cafe about how the interview went. If they want people to start next week, I would expect them to inform any of the interviewees fairly quickly if they have been successful or not. So I may know either way in 24 hours. Exciting, but at the same time scary! 

Anyhow, youve read enough waffle and droning to get to the crowning glory of ice-cream namery, so here it is. Behold and enjoy…..

dsc00032.jpg 

Posted in Drink, Film, Food, Health, Job | Leave a Comment »

Friends, Jobs, Rubbish Banks & Kettles!

Posted by captainbeaky on December 20, 2007

coffeemaker080607_468x545.jpgIts been a long time since my last post and a lots happened. Firstly, we had a great weekend with friends. Had a nice meal in, on thursday night (tasty croutons laura!) and a great curry on friday night. Hired out Sunshine from Blockbuster on saturday (very good film – recommended) and stayed around another friends for “super-sunday” and caught both of the big footy matches. Had a really good time just being around our friends again, chatting and catching up. Its certainly one thing we REALLY miss about being in Australia. Have such a great bunch of friends over here and it will be hard to leave them behind. Again!

Whilst spending time over our mates, we sat and lost our selves in the mind sapping gaze of QVC, the shopping channel. Shockingly, we saw something apparently great on there, called the Tefal Quick Cup. Basically, its a hot water boiler crossed with a kettle. You fill the back resevoir thingy with water, then whenever you want hot water, you press the button, and an element in the neck, heats the water there (as you can see from the diagram above!) and then and into your cup. I mean, for me, its completely revolutionary. No more waiting for kettles to boil. No more hanging around while it bubbles away. If you want a cuppa, its as quick as getting water from the tap. Well…….that was the plan! After finding it £15 cheaper than anywhere else at Argos, we bought one. And, it kinda doesnt work. It DOES boil water on demand. It DOES fill your cup up to a level of your setting. It DOES actually boil the water and not just leave it tepid, as some reviews have suggested. However it also DOES splatter boiling water in a 15cm radius all around the cup too. Not the most clean OR safe thing ever! Tried cleaning the nozzle, changing the filter, leaving it to cool down. Nope! So took it back to Argos today and got a replacement which while better than the 1st one, STILL splatters boiling water everywhere. So….the dream is over! Back to Argos for a refund and wait for Tefal Quick Cup 2.0!  The dreary monotony of conventional water heating awaits….

Job news is that interviews HAVE started back up again for the Boeing position. The agency guy is still hopeful that I will have a good chance of getting one of the jobs on offer on my return, and Boeing are willing to wait for me to get back for an interview. So weve spent a few stressful hours today trying to get a flight back home for a reasonable price. And failed. the resonable price that is – we did get a flight but at a ridiculously extortionate price. Managed to get one from Birmingham, with Emiriates again, on Sunday the 6th of Janurary. Pained me to give them my card details, but if it means I have a shot at this job, I suppose theres nothing I can do. Just a hard pill to swallow.

Went to see the doc a few days ago and he told me my blood test results are fine. Cholesterol, blood pressure, blood fats and sugars etc…. are all well within limits.  However, my family history for heart trouble is terrible so Im trying to see if he will refer me to a specialist. Thanks to a friend (cheers Mark!) a cardiologist is ready to go, but the GP is whinging on about having everyones medical records involved. Knowing how fast these people work, I dont hold out much hope of this happening until well into 2008, which is too late for me. Oh well, I sent the GP an email yesterday pleading for him to send the referral letter ASAP, but Ive had no reply yet. Nevermind, if I cant get it done here, I can always get it done in Melbourne. At a price though :o(

Im sure Ive probably forgotten a ton of other stuff thats gone on, but my mind is drawing a blank at the moment. If I think of anything exciting, I’ll be sure to post it.  Oh – I managed to pick up an awesome buy at HMV – 3 Ray Harryhausen, Sinbad films on DVD for £9! Superb – it isnt Christmas without a Harryhausen movie or 2!

And another thing I forgot. Barclays bank  – avoid. Ive recently had a terrible experience in the Wolverhampton Centre branch. Cutting a long story short, it took 45 minutes, £20 and much frustration just to give Becca some of MY money from MY account that Ive had for nearly 20 years. Who would have known that its common for Barclays to require you to queue in the Foreign Exchange area to transfer money from one UK account to another UK account!?! Backwards Bank more like! Bank transfer cost £20, but a bankers draft costs £10. Want one of those instead? “Sorry, you’ll have to see one of our personal bankers for that”! Of which there is only 1 present. And they already have 3 people in a queue waiting for them. Also, for whatever reason, they also decided that multiple passwords werent safe enough for their online banking service. No sirree! Now, theyve sent me out a stupid farty little calculator thing that I have to put my card in the top and it gives me a password. WHAT!?!? Is this the 1940’s? Is this the new Enigma Machine? Is this what 50 odd years of passowords/code making has come too. Pathetic little calculator bollocky things?!? Grow up! Barclays can stick it up their backwards arses – the accounts are closing. Get your money from some other sap so you can make more Enigma calculators.  They’ll be sending all my statements out by pigeons at this rate. 

See how the idiots in this country make me cross again! Grrrrrrrrrr!  

Posted in Film, Friends, Gadgets, Health, Job, UK | Leave a Comment »

A Damn Fine Day?…YES!

Posted by captainbeaky on November 7, 2007

6249882_36_2.gifI decided to get up early this morning to watch some REAL football, as the Liverpool/Besiktas game was on SBS. And its shaping up to be a damn fine match. At the time of typing, its half time and the ‘pool at 2-0 up. Just found out the Rangers/Barclona match is on tomorrow at the same time – excellent! That was a cracking match 2 weeks ago. 

Despite the fact that its only 7.30am here, its beaming sunshine outside, and I can hear the parrots chirping away. Compared to the red nosed, ice cold scousers in the crowd Im feeling pretty warm right now! Forecast of “sunny and 23 degree’s” just been on the box.  Woo hooooo!!!!

On top of this already good news, Guitar Hero 3 and Call of Duty 4 out today. I’ll be popping out right after this match to pick them up, seeing as Crook probably wont surface for another couple of hours at least.  Might get me some more bagels and another tasty ice cream on the way home. 

Watched The Host last night and was impressed. Very different to conventional, well, Western monster movies. No build up to when the beast makes its first appearance. Its eating folks within the first 10 minutes. But that doesnt really do it justice. Its not really the story of “monster appears – plan to kill the monster – kill it”, its more the (albeit same) story seen from through the eyes of ordinairy people. I dont want to give too much away but it really is a good film. Not cheesy (apart from a tiny bit at the end) and the monster design is fantastic. If you like sci-fi, or horror, or even a good action movie Id recommend it. Really good movie – Id give it an 8/10.

Another piece of good news is that because its the 7th of the 11th Month, 7-Eleven is having a “Happy 7-Eleven “Day. Go into any 7-Eleven and wish the person behind the counter a happy 7-Eleven day and you get a free Slurpee! This day just keeps on getting better! And YES – I am easily pleased! 

Posted in Film, Games, Sport | Leave a Comment »

Remember, Remember the 5th of November.

Posted by captainbeaky on November 6, 2007

fire_r3.gifExcept we didnt!!! It was only an email from my parents that reminded me it was yesterday! I havent heard one firework over here, so I guess its not a big thing over here. Suits me  – back in the UK I remember fireworks going off a month before and 2 weeks after 05/11. Plus its all kind of lost in the Spring Racing Festival gubbins here. Very busy today here – the queues for betting shops were out the doors and down the street! I dont particularly like horse racing but Id rather that be in the news than cricket or aussie rules. Nevermind, the Melbourne Cup should be over as Im typing this so I suppose its time for the papers and TV to get excited over the next big sporting event. I didnt really take in how VERY important sport is to everyone here. Makes sense I suppose with the weather being so nice. No fat kids stuck at home watching TV. And Macdonalds is seen pretty much as a joke here too. Starbucks isnt popular, either.  Anyway, I digress!

Been a really nice day here today. About 22 and sunny. Despite SOME others who shall remain nameless who havent even bothered getting dressed, I DID venture out the house today. Went and sorted out membership to a local video rental place. No membership card, you just tell them your phone number and give them a password – is a good idea. I always used to keep forgetting my Blockbuster card in Brum. Got me a tasty ice cream (peanuts and chocolate) and had a walk up the beach. Bit of a difference from last November 6th!  Rented “The Host” which isnt particularly new, but Ive heard good things about it. 

 Not sure what we are doing tomorrow. For sure one part of it will be going to JB Hifi to get games. Only just found out that Guitar Hero 3 is online enabled, so if anyone plans to get it, let me know and I’ll let you kick my arse online!

Also, as Im a nerd, Im going to pop along to this show in Melbourne in a couple of weeks.  Probably be crawling with kids, but if I dont go, I’ll never know. Should be exciting anyway – the first time Ive been to any kind of gaming expo, which is odd considering Ive been into games now for about 20 years or so! Mock me at your desire, I dont care!

Oh, and house news. Email from my parents stated that now our dumb arse solicitor failed to get council confirmation of some environmental letter! The completion date was meant to be this Friday, but I cant see that now. Why is it Solicitors, as a profession seem to be the most mistake prone group of people ever. Has anyone actually had a totally seamless experience when dealing with one of these reprobates? Useless! 

As for the exciting news I promised yesterday…er……as youve read, I dont have any of my own so I typed in “Exciting News” into Google and it threw up a web page, of which one of the stories was about how rural Chinese folk have been eating Dinosaur bones, boiling them to make soup and making them into paste to put on wounds as they believe the “Ancient Sky Dragon” bones have healing properties! So there you go…. EXCITING NEWS!  

Posted in Film, Gadgets, Games, Nothing, Sport | Leave a Comment »

The Bourne Ultitmatum

Posted by captainbeaky on August 16, 2007

Caught the Bourne Ultimatum last night at a preview screening. If youre a fan of the first 2 films, you wont be disappointed. Id go as far to say that even if youve never seen the first 2 films, watch them and then go to see it. You’d still probably enjoy it if your hadnt seen the previous 2, but it makes more sense if you have. Its also got probably the most viscous and visceral fight scene Ive ever scene – it just looks mean! I’m going to try to remain in this rather upbeat mood, but I really cant see it lasting seeing as I have (potentially) 2 house viewings today. I’d put money on at least one of these sorry fuckers not turning up.  

Posted in Film | Leave a Comment »