Another Movie Game

Here is another movie game; summarize the plot of a film or TV show in a way that whilst not inaccurate leaves a rather worrying impression.

BATMAN: Wealthy man assaults the mentally ill.

DOCTOR WHO: Elderly man serially abducts young women.

LORD OF THE RINGS: Midget destroys stolen property.

STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands.

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI: Handicapped mass murderer kills septuagenarian, is lauded.

GROUNDHOG DAY: Misanthropic creep exploits space/time anomaly to stalk co-worker.

W.: Unspeakable disaster afflicts America. Then terrorists attack.

WIZARD OF OZ: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again

From Post Modern Barney

Published in: on 28 April, 2009 at 6:00  Comments (2)  


Here in the US St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in a secular and non Irish manner. Our office has shamrocks and leprechauns over many cubes and many people made a point of dressing in green. I did make mention that this was all very well, but where was the celebration of St George’s Day. To which the response was, naturally enough, what do the English do to mark St George’s Day. Until very recently the day passed almost unnoticed in the UK and in the last couple of years before leaving, celebration involved pubs hanging the St George’s flag outside and trying to mark it a drinking occasion to reflect St Patrick’s Day. However, a couple of my colleagues did make an effort and brought in toy dragons on April 23.  Below you can see one of the dragons wearing an England football shirt.


I first saw this dragon whilst in a meeting with my boss. We were having a serious discussion and his window I could see one of the people who work for me making the dragon fly across my line of sight. I tried to keep a straight face, but my boss noticed that I was a little distracted. I said someone had waved at me; I did not think that he would believe me if I said I had seen a dragon.

Published in: on 27 April, 2009 at 6:25  Leave a Comment  

So I Called up the Captain

We had friends over for brunch on Sunday. We were offering Champagne based cocktails. I did some research to go beyond the Bucks Fizz and Bellini that we had planned to offer. On of the cocktails that I added to the list was one called Hotel California; this is two parts champagne to one part tequila and topped off with orange and pineapple juice. Ilegirl was brave enough to try one and I followed suit; very good they are too.

Published in: on 20 April, 2009 at 6:09  Comments (1)  

The Last Letter

Courtesy of Mark Kermode’s BBC podcast is a movie game that you can play. Drop the last letter of a film’s title to get a whole new movie

The Magnificent Seve(n) – A biopic of the famous Spanish Golfer
Falling Dow(n) – A film about the economic crisis
Three Men in a Boa(t) – A massive snake eats 3 past their prime movie stars
Ed Woo(d) – A biopic about a terrible Hong Kong film maker
Stand by M(e) – A Bond movie in which James has to support his boss in a moment of crisis

And one of my own

Das Boo(t) – A movie about a ridiculed German performer

Published in: on 18 April, 2009 at 5:59  Comments (1)  

Drinking Problems

Here in California you can buy alcohol in supermarkets, specialist liquor stores, and pharmacies. However, in other parts of the US the sale of alcohol is far more restricted, as this story from the Wine Spectator illustrates. In New York you can buy beer in regular supermarkets, but wine and spirits are only sold in liquor stores; which greatly restricts the purchasers options.

There are eighteen states that maintain some type of monopoly over sales of alcohol. New Hampshire, for example, allows Beer and Wine to be sold normally, but spirits are sold only from state run stores.

Published in: on 17 April, 2009 at 6:00  Comments (1)  


I am not a follower of Motorsport, Formula One aside, and have not been following any US racing since arriving here three years ago. I was aware of the existence of NASCAR and knew that it featured modified versions of road cars or stock cars.

When I heard that my employer was sponsoring a team for a few races in this year, I assumed that it was a car. It turns out however, that there is an entire NASCAR competition for racing pick-up trucks; hardly vehicles one associates with high speeds and great handling.

Mind you in a country where the best selling vehicle is a pickup, the Ford F150, it is perhaps not so surprising that people race the things. The trucks, as these pictures of a racing and regular Chevy Silverado show are highly modified from the regular vehicle



Published in: on 16 April, 2009 at 6:01  Leave a Comment  

Question of Sport

I had seen every Bond movie since View to a Kill in the cinema, until the most recent one. I have just seen Quantum of Solace (aka The One with the Worst Title) on DVD. Despite the tragic opening in which two Alfa Romeos come to a gruesome ending and the generally negative reception from critics, I enjoyed it. There were the chases, including a rooftop chase to match that from Casino Royale, and lots of well choreographed fights. What the film lacked were plot or character development, so we have taken a couple of steps back from the excellent Casino Royale. This is a Bond film, so entertaining action sequences, dead lovers, and exotic locations are enough to make it work. The film does demonstrate again how good Daniel Craig is in the role; cold, brutal, and yet suave.

Published in: on 15 April, 2009 at 20:25  Leave a Comment  

Dancing Kittens

I have no excuse for posting this video other than it is so darn cute.

Published in: on 15 April, 2009 at 6:00  Comments (1)  

One Hit Wonders

Don’Stuff published a post about One Hit Wonders. I found the post interesting, because some of the bands listed were not one hot wonders from a UK perspective or if they were not for the listed song.

The list has Flock of Seagulls mentioned for I Ran (So Far Away), but I associate them with with Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You). The parentheses loving band had their only top ten US hit with the former song and their only top ten UK hit with the latter.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood had three UK Number One hits, so clearly don’t count as One Hit Wonders from a British perspective.

A-Ha are in this list for Take On Me, which whilst their best known song, was not a Number One hit in the UK, a feat that they achieved with The Sun Always Shines on TV. They had nine UK Top Ten singles, the most recent was 2006, and several more top twenty hits. They also recorded a Bond theme song, hardly the sign of a transient artist.


I could continue through the list, but I think my point is made; even with something as universal as music the two countries have a markedly different experience. I suspect that a UK one hit wonders list would include artists who had stronger careers on this side of the pond.

Published in: on 14 April, 2009 at 6:00  Leave a Comment  

Easter Sunday

Working Friday and Monday makes Easter seem like any other weekend. I did get Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and on Sunday we saw hundreds of kids with buckets on an Easter Egg hunt in Benicia’s park; so that it feel a little like a proper Easter.

We also saw an immaculate convertible 55 Bel Air; we knew the age from the license plate. Unfortunately, my phone and my wife’s camera were at home so no picture of the actual vehicle.


Published in: on 13 April, 2009 at 6:26  Comments (1)