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"Gene Simmons from Kiss told me in all earnestness that I was 'powerful and attractive.' So for about 10 minutes afterwards I felt powerful and attractive and I think that for the first time in my life I walked without a slouch. But then the slouch returned and the old feelings of low self-esteem kicked back in. Maybe I should have weekly self-esteem boosting sessions with Gene Simmons."

 .:[ Another month...! ]:.Posted: 10:12 on Wednesday, 02 February 2005 
State: tired  Music: none 

i watched the final two episodes of The Last Train at some painfully early hour of this morning... i saw the first three episodes when it was originally broadcast in 1999, but missed the end and this is the first time i've ever seen the thing repeated to watch it all! At the end of the day, it's some solid post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama which doesn't lean heavily on special effects and worries more about the characters; Harriet with all her secrets and bold statements, the weasly Colin lusting after Roe, Anita and Leo Nixon dealing with their grief (two fabulous performances from the youngest members of cast), and the interplay between Mick and the others as they go from open hostility towards each other to almost becoming an extended family - and one that we, the audience, can quite easily start to care about (except for Colin, perhaps). Of course... it's hard to spot where Sheffield has been devastated in the long shots - doesn't it always look that rough?

Which brings to mind (or at least to my mind, which works in mysterious ways), the BBC's attempt the year before at gritty, "realistic" sci-fi drama, the short-lived Invasion Earth. i'd quite like another crack at that one, just to see if it's really as dreary as i remember it being; i'm normally fairly good at remembering what i've watched, but the only memories i have of IE are of Kelvin from Eastenders as a computer nerd and Moxey from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet piddling blood by the roadside... not a promising sign! It's writer described it as the Doctor Who of it's generation, but it's telling how few people remember it now... Ho hum, ooks like i really need to get around to watching the V mini-series DVD we got a few weeks back.

Oh... one of those little coincidences that amuse me when they happen; i've just noticed that Zoe Telford, who plays Roe in Last Train was also in Invasion Earth as a nurse called Louise Reynolds. What's the odds of picking two shows on different channels in the close to random way i did here and getting a match?!

 .:[ Hi, honey.. ]:.Posted: 22:41 on Sunday, 06 February 2005 
State: well happy  Music: VCS PA System 

Well, here i am back in the U.K. after our little jaunt to Disneyland Paris and i am battering away at the keyboard of an internet phone at Victoria coach station - a particularly bad keyboard with, it appears, no apostrophe to boot!

So how was it, i hear you ask...? Wel, we had a fantastic time, spent a reasonable amount of money and shot about 32Mb of photos - i will save the more detailed write-up until i have a direct line to Voidrunner and the ability to post long articles and a photo link (got a couple of class ones to choose from!) but suffice to say it was well worth the long journey we are about to make!

 .:[ ...i'm ho-ome! ]:.Posted: 14:21 on Tuesday, 08 February 2005 
State: still recovering  Music: Think Twice III 

PictureWell, as promised here are a few more coherent thoughts about our pootle over to Disneyland Paris and, in short, the verdict was "woohoo!" Here's a little picture of me at the Eurostar station at Disney... well okay, it's a poster for the Magic Roundabout movie but in French, but it's sort of me...

Anyway... our hotel was fabby, the Explorers isn't part of the park itself, but is a three star hotel less than ten minutes away by shuttle bus and the facilities and room were top notch - not that we had a massive amount of time to use them all, since we were that tired after the journey or the full day in the park! The continental breakfast was very nice and that's from someone who doesn't eat breakfast, no less. Plus they had a couple of Moai heads by the gates, so how can i not like a place with such taste?!

The parks were nothing short of brilliant and, whilst a couple of the rides were closed for renovation or upgrading (Space Mountain being the one i would've liked to try, at least in hindsight), the rides that were open for business were well worth the queues. The shows like Honey I Shrunk The Audience, the Armageddon special effects show or Star Tours were cool, It's A Small World is cute and mildly irritating at the same time but not really in a negative way, Big Thunder Mountain was great stuff but top of the totem for me is a bit of a surprise even to myself; the Aerosmith Rockin' Rollercoaster is a high-speed ride with multiple loops and a corkscrew... and in the dark! But Mister Fear Of Coasters here actually rode on the thing and enjoyed it, enough to want a second go which we sadly didn't have time for. In fact, the only real negative i can think of about the whole trip is the queues; some rides were up to fifty minute wait times on the Sunday, so we had to pass on a couple because we simply hadn't the time to wait.

Another major highlight for me (with another vast queue, but again well worth the wait) was the live stunt show, i've always been a fan of the "making of" featurettes on DVDs and television, but actually seeing a motorbike jumping from ramp to ramp over a ball of fire, a "baddie" performing a high dive into an airbag, a car on two wheels whilst another zooms underneath or a rider sliding across the ground and catching fire in the process is simply breathtaking. The little "tricks of the trade" insights given were fascinating too, again in the same way that DVD featurettes are, but i won't spoil any of those... Would i go there again? Hell yeah, we're already in the early stages of planning another visit and this time it'll be during the week when we'll hopefully have less company and more time to do things.

Oh, and in other news our puppy King went for his final set of shots yesterday so he'll be allowed out for walks by next Monday. We had him chipped at the same time, so now he can play import games or something...?

 .:[ Time for bed... ]:.Posted: 23:55 on Monday, 14 February 2005 
State: happy  Music: none 

Went to see The Magic Roundabout yesterday; granted it was only vaguely related to the series i know, love and use as a handle but the result of a big budget, CGI and a load of relatively big names in the cast was still very enjoyable; Kylie didn't get to say much but what was there worked, Robbie sounded right as Dougal to my ears, Joanna Lumley as Ermentrude was spot on and Ian McKellen good as Zebedee but Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy as Brian and Dylan respectivly were nothing short of inspired casting and Lee Evans as the (mute to the other characters) train was a bonus. And Tom Baker as a baddie... how cool is that?! The story has some depth, a fair bit of pace and yes, i sniffled a bit at the end, i'm not too proud to admit it even if i won't use the word "cried" here! i laughed too, there are some fab throw away lines, insults traded between Dougal and the other characters and sneaky not-quite drug references around Dylan to watch out for.

In fact, the only "let-down" for me was the lack of the original theme; just about everything else was covered (if you'll excuse the pun) in some form, including Ermentrude's flower, but no sign of that classic tune... not even in Summer's Magic form in the back credits... ah well, can't have everything i s'pose. =-)

 .:[ Random thoughts ]:.Posted: 16:00 on Friday, 25 February 2005 
State: undecided  Music: Return of the Lions 

Every now and then i'll have a wander of the web and end up reading someone else's blog. Why not i s'pose, i want people to read mine so s'only fair isn't it...? One thing i've always assumed was an idiosyncrasy of mine is the "ability" to rant for extended periods about things that are essentially very minor on the scale of stuff to worry about and barely worth the effort - but i found a multi-paragraph rant about sporks and goes from there to software user interface design! How cool is that?! i mean, i don't harbour any specific malice towards the spork but i can really empathise with anyone who gets worked up about trivia and indeed about software interfaces in that way! =-)

i got the new Retro Gamer a couple of days ago and was delighted to find that the Desert Island Disks section featured an interview with games industry legend Jamie Fenton, creator of the legendary Gorf for the arcades and more recently the almost as legendary (and certainly more prolific) Macromedia Director. Worth the six quid asking price for that alone if y'ask me...

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