Not so innocent!

August 28, 2008

I’ve been working on something that’s turned into a challenge and has been incredibly time consuming. It has also meant I’ve been working on the computer all evening so haven’t felt like posting much. Anyway, here are a few photos I took last month and didn’t get around to…

This grass covered van was parked on Woodlands Road Glasgow,

Innocent 1

Innocent 1

…it is an eye catching advert for Innocent smoothies (which are great by the way, try one!)…

Innocent 2

Innocent 2

…but it turns out not to be all that innocent…

Not so Innocent

Not so Innocent


St Mary’s invited Gene Robinson…

August 16, 2008

and within a week…

genuine photo, not altered in any way, I wonder how much they’ll get?

Olympics – was she pretty enough?

August 12, 2008

I love the Olympics. Generally I don’t like watching sports but with lots of different sports happening at the same time and so many tear jerking stories of personal achievement I really enjoy the spectacle of it. It does help that it is only every four years I suppose.

In particular I enjoy this stage of the summer Olympics, i.e. before the track and field stuff starts and all we see is running or perhaps running with stuff in the way or throwing stuff or jumping in various ways. I find that a little harder to stay interested in but during these early stages there is coverage of lots of different sports – so I’ve been watching Archery, shooting, swimming, diving, gymnastics, beach volleyball (it was men’s so nothing dodgy there), cycling, hockey, rowing, canoeing, judo… and it has all been fantastic.

Then of course there was that opening ceremony! What a fantastic event, and who in the UK didn’t watch that and think “we are going to look so rubbish in 2012”? Partly that is because China spent the money and threw the number of people at the event that would ensure a good show and that is something that I can’t see happening here. But even though it was a fantastic show, more details are coming out that show it wasn’t as perfect as it looked

Firstly, some of the fireworks were faked for TV, Gizmodo spotted a Blue-Screen-of-Death during the torch lighting but today BBC reports that: “A pretty girl who won national fame after singing at the opening cermony of the Olympic Games was only miming.”

This didn’t entirely surprise me as the technical difficulties, nerves, etc. would suggest that it is simply safer to prerecord elements and mime. However, that wasn’t why they did this, it was becuase she was prettier than the girl who could actually sing better.

“The girl appearing on the picture must be flawless in terms of her facial expression and the great feeling she can give to people.”musical director Chen Qigang

Is it really necessary that the girl singing be ‘flawless’ and gives a ‘great feeling’ ? What does that reflect of the Olympic spirit?

BBC iplayer

August 11, 2008

I’ve been using the bbc iplayer for a while now, but I just noticed my favourite feature…

You can turn the volume up to eleven !

Movies: The Dark Knight

August 10, 2008

The Dark Knight

This is probably the simplest review I’ll ever write…

Great movie, go see it !!

The only thing that needs added to that is a warning that it is far more violent than its 12A certificate suggests.  The acting is superb, the setting and set pieces, everything is fantastic.  Go see this movie!

Books: Stuart Woods “New York Dead”

August 9, 2008

A nice story about how I came to read this book. Back in June I started recording the books I’ve been reading by posting them on the blog (prior to that it was a separate page). The was a good move because I’ve had a few comments including this one:

Graham, if you’re “in to” action, might I suggest Stuart Woods “Stone Barrington” novels. I’m currently reading “Shoot Him If He Runs”, an ongoing adventure with the cast of characters seeking a former CIA bad guy.

I’ve read all the Reacher novels also and find them very good. As a former US Army Military Police Staff Sergeant, there’s been a few technical errors but, all in all, he’s right on the money.

First of all as a reader of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, (Reacher is a former US Army Military Police Sargent), it was nice to hear from a real former MP who reads them, but also to get a pointer on a new author. However, it seems to be hard to get hold of Stuart Woods books in the UK, but thanks to Amazon marketplace I managed to get hold of a couple and as Mike recommended the Stone Barrington character I started with New York Dead, the first in this series.

Well, at first I found this a little formulaic and like a cleched cop story (even being balled out by their chief and given 24 hours to solve the case), but that is my only criticism of this book which rapidly leaves that behind as Stone Barrington gets obsesed by the case, forced out of NYPD and moves on.

The initial unsolved murder is almost forgotten about as he gets caught up with other things, including the obligatory love affair, yet this and all the other cases that are mentioned almost in passing (thinking of the ‘taxi murders’) are drawn together very well and with solutions and twists that really can’t be seen coming.

The Stone character is well defined and interesting enough to keep the reader interested.  The book does to some extent feel like the start of a series as it establishes so many relationships with media, lawyers and police.

I’ve just ordered the next in this series from another second hand book shop, wish I’d thought about this in time to get a friend just back from the states to pick up a few.


August 8, 2008

Some say the world will end today because it’s the 8th of Aug 2008

Some say it is a good day to start the Olympics (but I’ve decided to boycot the opening ceremony as it is too far away, so I’ll only watch it on TV).

However, 8th of 8th 2008 has reminded me of this long forgotten song from my formative years (1980 in fact)….

It is Hazel O’Connor singing Eighth Day from the movie Breaking Glass (not a very good movie if I remember, right up there with Jubilee in the Post-Punk-apocalyptic-homegrown-British move stakes – or DON’T WATCH!!)

I distinctly remember listening the a 12″ vinyl single version of this over and over, probably with the words ripped out of Smash Hits, ahh the days before internet and mp3s :-)

Have a nice 8th Day!

The things that Bishops have to deal with…

August 7, 2008

Books: James Patterson “Along came a spider”

August 1, 2008

James Patterson’sAlong came a spider”  (4/5)

An interesting and gripping crime/thriller novel based (mostly) around the kidnapping of two children.  Two children who, because of their VIP parents are in a very exclusive school and under secret service protection.

The book takes us inside the head of the kidnapper who may be a victim himself or a very clever, cold-hearted manipulator and the mind of Detective Alex Cross (who is also a psychologist – what are the chances) obviously doesn’t let go of the case even when everyone else does.

Gripping is a good word for this book because it really does get in your head.  There are several twists that I certainly didn’t see coming but which don’t break the believability of this story.  I found the pace slightly lagged in the middle stretch of the book (which is perhaps slightly too long) and the while the characterizations was generally good other than the main female character who I found very two dimensional.

I’ve read a few James Paterson books now, and I find them a bit hit-or-miss so I’m not sure I’ll go for one of his again.