Monday, June 23, 2008

Nathan Barley

For anyone involved in the world of websites or media this was a must see series. Unfortunately it was only ever shown once on TV and a lot of people missed it.

You can get the whole series on DVD from Amazon in the UK

Nathan Barley On DVD

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Solution to the Worlds Food problem

I think I may have stumbled upon a solution to the current world food crises. It's a stunning revelation - but with some persistence and careful monitoring - I think we will be able to feed the world three times over!

Here's the plan. Lads, tell your other half to just buy what they plan to consume. Radical, I know, as weekly shopping bills regularly break the three digit mark (ummm, not including the pences) and the other half seems to need to stock up for the forthcoming Nuclear winter (oh - what a relief they must feel when Thursday comes around and - yet again - we haven't been bombed back to the middle ages).

Instead of throwing away all the food unused, unopened, untried and rotted - we try to purchase foodstuffs we only are going to cook, eat and enjoy!

This'll also save on overflowing bins and seagulls raiding the litter strewn backyards on Monday mornings (thanks binmen!).

It's gonna be difficult, I know. A shift in the paradigm of shopping. But hey, saving the planet is worth it, huh!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Indiana Pants and the Temple of O.A.P.'s

Turn away now if you don't want to read spoilers for the Indy IV movie - or indeed you grew up with the whip cracking archaeologist adventurer and cherish memories of raiding tombs and unearthing holy relics.

Went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night with fellow compadres - kept away from reviews despite internet mutterings of pantness. The movie opened with their classic fade from logo to similar shaped gopher mound - and then we begin!

And within ten minutes I was clawing at the seat hoping and wishing and praying it wasn't true. But yep - Indy IV is about aliens. Oh - darn it. First a foray into Area 57 to unearth an alien corpse with a bunch of characterless Ruskies (even the chick boss falls flat) - where Indy gets betrayed, goes rocket powered, survives a nuclear blast (indications that we just ain't in Indy territory anymore) to end up with that guy from neighbours saving Indy from FBI interrogation - that we never get to see again.

From 'racing' around his college campus on the back of a jallopy to creaking thru a peruvian mini-tomb to trundling thru the Brazilian jungle in a three car fight scene - the action sequences are pedestrian, slow, awkward, timeline skewy and just plain dull. A few 'amusing' sequences with Mutt astride two vehicles, swinging thru the jungle with his troupe of monkeys, or just setting up a plot device to escape then get captured again. Doh!

Rick O'Connell and the Mummy crew did the 'Valley and pyramid' sequence a whole lot better - with their undead pygmies fun and savage (as opposed to the bola swinging tribe who burst out of clay hiding places). The Ruskies resorted to dancing like cossacks to remind us that they were actually ruskie - and the fight scene 'tween Indy and the semi-big ruskie was charmless and and boring.

The set pieces were crap. The plot was crap. The chase from one location to the other was crap. And this is before we start on the 3-step waterfall antics!

And then there is the aliens. Oh please, god, NO! The alien crystal skull, the alien autopsies, the alien 'put my head back on' ending. The whole adventure was X-files in a fedora - and it just doesn't sit well with the Indy Mythos! Makes a travesty of the Holy Grail (an alien douche?) or the Lost Ark of the Covenant (an alien prada bag?).

The actors were aged and drawing a pension as they made this film. And I sooooooo wanted to enjoy it, to love it, to purchase a blue-ray player specifically to buy the disc on its release. Sheesh - pants.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Daddies Day

It’s Fathers Day on Sunday; well it is in all the other house holds across this noble and majestic land. However, we have a tradition in our house that Daddy’s Day all ways comes early.
The reason being, that there is nothing happening on Sunday, the most I can get is a lie in (which I don’t like) and out for a meal somewhere.
Whereas on Saturday that is RUGBY from 8am till around 11pm.

Sat 14 New Zealand v England 8am 1st Test
Sat 14 Australia v Ireland 10:30am International
Sat 14 South Africa v Wales 1:30am 2nd Test
Sat 14 England Saxons v Ireland A 7pm Churchill Cup
Sat 14 Canada v Argentina 9pm Churchill Cup

So it has been agreed that the wife and kids shall make themselves scarce for the day and I shall enjoy a day of quality Rugby and peace and quiet.

Roll on Saturday.

Manx National Anthem

Especially for those over at IOM Newspapers (fucking muppets), here are the words to the Manx National Anthem - O Land of Our Birth

O land of our birth,
O gem of God's earth,
O Island so strong and so fair;
Built firm as Barrule,
Thy Throne of Home Rule
Make us free as thy sweet mountain air.

When Orry, the Dane,
In Mannin did reign,
'Twas said he had come from above;
For wisdom from Heav'n
To him had been giv'n
To rule us with justice and love.

Our fathers have told
How Saints came of old,
Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace;
That sinful desires,
Like false Baal fires,
Must die ere our troubles can cease.

Ye sons of the soil,
In hardship and toil,
That plough both the land and the sea,
Take heart while you can,
And think of the Man
Who toiled by the Lake Galilee.

When fierce tempests smote
That frail little boat,
They ceased at His gentle command;
Despite all our fear,
The Saviour is near
To safeguard our dear Fatherland.

Let storm-winds rejoice,
And lift up their voice,
No danger our homes can befall;
Our green hills and rocks
Encircle our flocks,
And keep out the sea like a wall.

Our Island, thus blest, No foe can molest;
Our grain and our fish shall increase;
From battle and sword Protecteth the Lord,
And crowneth our nation with peace.

Then let us rejoice
With heart, soul and voice,
And in The Lord's promise confide;
That each single hour
We trust in His power,
No evil our souls can betide.

Sam can certainly belt one out though, you go girl.

(3 posts in 1 day, that's it for this month).

Lancaster Bomber

Not something you see every day, one of these flying a few hundred feet above your house!

Minimum Wage Rises to £6

Minimum wage in the Isle of Man is looking like it's going to jump from £5.60 an hour to £6 an hour. I must be getting on, I can remember when that was a fairly decent wage (my first job as a computer programmer paid £3.85 and hour and I'm not THAT old).

So what does this mean? Basically anyone working full time (call it 37.5 hours a week) on the Isle of Man is going to be earning at least £11700. Stick holiday pay, sick pay and employers NI on top of that and a rough estimate is around £13500 a year. That's what the minimum annual cost is to employers. Any emmployer is looking for a return of 30-50% on top of that just to make it worth their while employing you, the hassle of staff issues, the extra administration (and staff) payroll etc etc so in order to earn your pay you've got to be earning at least £17500 a year or providing £17500 a year of value to your employer. I have a sneaky feeling that the cost of living is about to make another little jump over here. As you increase the costs to lower end service providers such as cleaners they up their prices which in turn increases the costs of other businesses who use their services and it goes on and on until everybody has upped their prices and the consumer foots the bill. All of a sudden that 40p an hour pay rise for those on minimum pay doesn't seem so great when you are having to pay £1.60 for a loaf of bread and your landlord has upped your rent by 5%.

If I was in a position to hire staff, I just wouldn't. Well not unless I could hire them on my own terms anyway, I'm taking the risk running my own business so I decide the terms, like it or get a job elsewhere. I'd be much happier letting the labour market decide what minimum pay is.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sometimes The Isle of Man Is Pretty Good Place To Live

I got a phone call this morning from the bank looking for Mrs B. She was at work so I took a message, turns out that she has lost her credit and debit cards. She didn't even notice! How the heck you don't notice that you've lost your purse I've no idea, but she's been told off already. Anyway, the bank knew because some kind sole had handed it in at the police station, cash and cards in tact.

To fully appreciate how cool this is you have to understand that at the moment it's the TT over here so is the busiest time of year by far. Not only that but Mrs B dropped her purse at lunch time in a public park where there is no CCTV. The person who found it could have quite easily stashed the cash and binned the rest. They didn't, they picked it up and then went out of their way to drop it in at Police HQ. It's a great gesture and one both the Mrs and I really appreciate. Thank you stranger.

There's no doubt that this island has got rougher over the last 5 years but it's just little things like that that can make you really appreciate where we live. I don't know if there are many places left in the UK where you could drop a cash and card filled purse in a public park and get it all back the next day?