Holmes for Christmas

I am glad that we purchased tickets in advance for the Christmas Day showing of Sherlock Holmes. It seemed that everyone else had the same idea as us and was at the cinema on Christmas Day. We arrived to see long lines at the ticket windows and a massive queue waiting for doors to open for the 5pm showing of Holmes. We arrived at 4:25 for the 4:30, confident in the knowledge that we had tickets. However, the place was so packed that we could not locate two seats together. At least the couple I sat next to did not talk through the movie, though the fact that he slept through much of the film may have explained his lack of speech; he was a quiet snorer.

The film was thoroughly entertaining, if a little longer than it should have been. The interaction between Downey Jr and Law as Holmes and Watson was delightfully amusing. There is no doubt that we are set up for a sequel.

Published in: on 29 December, 2009 at 6:43  Leave a Comment  

Christmas at the Movies

Having woken early with the excitement of the day and opened presents, we shall have lunch and then go to the cinema. Christmas Day at the movies is not something I ever did in the UK. A possible reason for the oversight is that cinemas in the UK close on Christmas Day. We have the tickets already booked for Sherlock Holmes, just in case there is an opening day rush.

Published in: on 25 December, 2009 at 10:01  Leave a Comment  

Time Compression

In the past Doctor Who episodes have not been shown on US television until months after their UK broadcast. The 2008 Christmas special was shown on US TV on 28 June 2009, over six months late. The Planet of the Dead special was shown here a month later, about three months after UK broadcast. Last Saturday saw the broadcast of Waters of Mars, just a month after the UK. The two part special that ends David Tennant’s reign as the Doctor will be broadcast over the next two Saturdays; just one day after UK showing. I hope that when the show returns with a regular season, the time gap will remain this small.


For the first time since arriving in the US, I will not need to have a recording mailed to me or use other methods to watch the show. Unfortunately,  my satellite provider does not show BBC America HD, so I shall need to wait for the disc release to see it in full Hi-Def.

Published in: on 23 December, 2009 at 7:08  Leave a Comment  

The Spirit of Taking

Yesterday, at a team lunch a gift grab was organised. These may exist in the UK, but I have only heard of them since moving to the US. Everybody brought a gift, costing no more than $5. These were placed in the centre of the table and everyone drew a number. The person with number one choose one of the gifts and unwrapped it. Subsequent people could either select a gift from the middle or grab a previously opened gift. Once a gift has been grabbed three times it is safe. There is no denying that this was great fun, it does not seem part of the generally perceived spirit of the season to take things from your fellow men.

Published in: on 18 December, 2009 at 7:20  Leave a Comment  


I went to Sacramento airport to collect my wife who had returned from a week’s visit to family in Southern California. Short term parking at the airport had been free for the first 30 minutes and $1 for every half hour beyond that. The price has now increased to $2 for every half hour, with no free parking. Thus a 31 minute stay has quadrupled in cost from $1 to $4. This seems a little steep.

Published in: on 16 December, 2009 at 7:00  Leave a Comment  

The Wrath Of Khan

It is odd how one’s perception of a film depends so much on context. I first saw Star Trek II (Wrath of Khan) as part of a triple bill of Trek movies in the mid-eighties; where there were just three. Having just seen set the ponderous and overlong Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Wrath seemed action packed and fast-moving. However, I did notice that the scene of The Enterprise leaving space dock was identical to the one from the first movie.

I watched Wrath of Khan over the weekend, having recently watched the TV episode “Space Seed” to which the movie is a sequel. It no longer seemed so fast paced, as the story felt like a TV episode stretched out over the length of a film. In close proximity to the TV show I was irritated by a continuity issue. Chekov is the crew member who first finds Khan, they recognise each other, but Chekov was not a crew member until the second season, so they never met.


The film is still thoroughly entertaining, part of the odd even rule for Trek movies that recognises the odd ones as being turkeys and the even ones as being decent. Ricardo Montalban is excellent as the villain; his performance more restrained as he reprises the part.

Published in: on 15 December, 2009 at 7:00  Leave a Comment  

The Big Event

Next summer the World Cup Finals will be held in Africa for the first time. In about two hours, the draw will take place. This will determine who England and the USA play in the group stage and who possible opponents will be in the knock-out rounds. I am in denial at the moment, still hoping for England success despite forty three years of hurt and evidence to the contrary. When reality bites and England go out, probably in the Quarter Finals on penalties to Portugal, Germany, or Argentina, I shall switch my support to ABG (anyone but Germany). Germany continue to have teams who over-achieve and do so playing dull uninspired football. This tournament I may go as far as supporting ABGoF, (anyone but Germany or France) after the nature of the French victory over Ireland in the play-off.


No European team has ever won a World Cup held outside Europe, so Brazil must start as favourites, although if Spain can reproduce their form of two years ago they could be Europe’s best chance.

Published in: on 4 December, 2009 at 8:06  Leave a Comment  

New paint job

As I noted in yesterday’s post, the Bel Air was not in its original colours. I am not sure that I like the blue, so here is the same car sprayed in red.


Published in: on 1 December, 2009 at 7:45  Comments (1)