Archive for the diary Category

Feb 14 2009

Shouting in the cinema

The Background
I, like many other people, have recently started using Twitter, the latest craze to sweep the internet. I actually signed up quite a long time ago, but never really got into it until I visited NoRM and got the feel of it from him updating on his iPhone.

So I started having another look at it, and picked up on the BadMovieClub phenomenon that started about a week ago when Graham Linehan (of Father Ted, Black Books and I.T. Crowd fame) had the brainwave (inspired by watching ‘A Few Good Men‘) of getting together a load of people at once to watch a ‘bad’ film and comment on it as they go. A lot of people seemed to like the idea, among them Phil Jupitus (Never Mind The Buzzcocks etc.), who volunteered to ‘run’ a second showing as he couldn’t make the first.

This was all organised remarkably quickly. The online community can either be masterful at procrastination or quite direct and to-the-point when it comes to getting things sorted out, and this was a great example of the latter. In only about 4 days, hundreds of people were lined up to watch M. Night Shyamalan‘s ‘The Happening‘. I was among them.

I’m not really that familiar with Mr Shyamalan’s work, having only seen ‘The Sixth Sense‘ (which I quite liked), but many people commented that this film truly deserved the ‘bad movie’ tag. They were not wrong.

The Event
At 9pm last night, a lot of people (estimates vary from about 400 to 2000) sat down to watch ‘The Happening‘ and give their comments on Twitter. Talk about sensory overload! Hundreds and thousands of Tweets flooded the network. I was using twIRC to follow the flow, partly because each Tweet takes up less screen space, and also it’s a somewhat familiar look from years of IRC experience ๐Ÿ™‚ It was, as a few people have commented, quite hard to follow both the comments and the film, and Graham commented that it would have made sense to watch the film beforehand – he is possibly right. It certainly isn’t a way I’d want to watch a good film, but it actually made a bad film something of a pleasureable experience. There were plenty of simple jibes at the film (a bitch-fest as someone quite accurately described it), but a lot of witty and biting comments as well. Everyone had their own take on the film, and it was certainly noticeable that a lot of people picked up on certain moments that stood out for their comedy value.

It was something of an intense experience, and I was actually quite exhausted, particularly as I hung around for the second showing at midnight, although I didn’t watch the film a second time – just read the Tweets. There were a few hiccups – although we didn’t manage to kill the Twitter servers which I half expected. Graham disappeared after about an hour due to a little-known limit on the number of Tweets you can send in an hour, and the timing of the film was a bit off for a few people – but nothing that really created big problems.

Everyone seemed to enter into the spirit of the thing, and everyone’s tongue was firmly in their cheek. One thing that would be interesting to know was how Phil Jupitus felt coming in halfway through, because the #badmovieclub crowd were on a massive high, and I definitely got the feeling of a huge rolling mass that just rolled on from the 9pm showing to the 12 midnight showing, an unstoppable force that just swept everyone up with it. It was a great way to spend an evening, and one of those events that you just love to have been part of.

Will it work again? Who knows. The choice of film is certainly key. The Happening was a good choice because it’s a relatively simple idea, with enough going on on-screen that you can actually comment on things without being bored out of your mind. With too much going on it would be impossible to follow the film and the comments at the same time.

I had a really great time (I even bought a T-Shirt!), and look forward to the next one, which will no doubt be different (in good ways) and a changed event from this first one – but that is a good thing, and things need to evolve to improve. Things can, and need to be, tweaked, but in concept it seems like a really cool idea, that people have taken to heart and may just have legs…time will tell.


Feb 9 2008

No more clean sheet….

Yetholm were playing football in Peebles against Tweeddale today, and I was brought on in the final two minutes after our keeper got injured.

We were 3-2 down anyway, so it was really just a matter of seeing out the end of the match.

Unfortunatey within 30 seconds, Tweeddale had been awarded a penalty, so we were then 4-2 down. I went the right way for the penalty, but coudn’t quite get it. Then with the final move of the game, Tweeddale broke through as all our players had pushed up for a last minute effort, and scored again. 5-2. Arse.

Up to this match I had a clean sheet, I had not let in a single goal all season. Now that’s gone ๐Ÿ™

Still, it couldn’t last for ever, and at least I got to play, which doesn’t happen very often.

Pictures are here – I’m not in any of them, obviously, because I was taking them.

Feb 8 2008


Managed to get that sorted out, after much fiddling, and made a few cosmestic changes as well.

Nothing major, just colours on the headings and stuff, but I still need to do some fiddling to get things exactly how I want them.

Fooball at Tweedbank was quite good tonight, we won both games, and I made a couple of good saves. Yetholm are playing Peebles tomorrow, but I may not be going. We are trading in the Smart Car for a new one, and we have sold the yellow panels that are on it. So we need to put the original grey panels (which are in the loft) back onto the car, and we are going up to Edinburgh to do the change over with the guy who is buying the yellow panels (you can do it yourself, but it’s a little tricky, and this guy knows what he’s doing)

Anyway, we have ordered some clips and things that we need to do the swap, but they may not arrive tomorrow – so if they don’t, I’ll be going to the Yetholm match.

Feb 7 2008

Failure to plan is planning to fail

I made two mistakes, I realise that now.

I didn’t read the recipe properly, so I didn’t realise that it would take about four hours to make the beef and guinness pie. I also neglected to get anything else out of the freezer, such as chicken or prawns, so I had to improvise. Hence, for dinner we had a ‘sort of bolognese’ sauce, along with hand-made tagliatelle that Mum and Tom got us for Christamas. Very nice it was too, it’s just a shame that I didn’t plan better – not exactly a surprise though ๐Ÿ˜‰

Still nice and busy at work – my boss is signed off until the middle of March, and possibly beyond, so there is lots to do, and I’m not entirely sure that I’m doing it right – but I’m doing my best.

Some sort of planing is in progress for going to Nottingham in March, but I still need to sort out travel – trains just seem incredibly expensive at the minute.

Feb 4 2008

Catch that damn ball!

The Superbowl was very good indeed. I stopped off on the way to pick up some beer, and got there about 8pm. The game didn’t start till 11:30pm so we had a few hours of chatting, playing games on the XBox 360, and taking the piss out of the commentators on the pre-match buildup show.

I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy the actual game, as I haven’t really followed American Football since Channel 4 stopped showing it – apart from watching the Superbowl every year. But in the end, it was a really good game. The Patriots haven’t lost a game all seaon, so the Giants were the definite underdogs – although they had a record of 10 wins out of 10 away from home – all in all, the odds were on a good game.

For all that, there was a distinct lack of scoring, and it was looking like it might be the lowest scoring Superbowl of all time. The Giants did a great job of shutting down the Patriots’ offensive drives, and there was a lot of back and forth, with some really nice action. Then in the last quarter, it all got very tense. The Patriots went ahead, and it was all looking a bit inevitable, but in the final minute, the Giants just went hell for leather, and the quarterback pulled off an amazing pass when it looked like he was going to be sacked – simply stunning football. The Giants converted this into a touchdown in the last minute, and the Patriots just didn’t have time to come back. A great game.

It has made me want to get back into American Football, and I may have to see about going next door (they have Sky) or downloading torrents in the next season.

We got to bed about 4am, and while Gary’s sofa isn’t exactly suited to a 6’2″ body, I managed to sleep ok, and got up about 11am. Gary made coffee and black pudding rolls, and I headed out. I went to Asda to do the shopping, and then to Tesco to get the things that I couldn’t get from Asda (how hard is it to get a single bottle of Guinness??) I picked up a present for Lisa while I was there – picture to come later.

I came home, put away the shopping, and made some lunch. I wasn’t sure what I would have for lunch, but while I was at Tesco, I spotted some mussels, and that made up my mind for me. I cleaned them up, put some aside for later, and just made a very simple Moule Marinare for my lunch.


I’ll be doing the rest of the mussels with pasta for my dinner.

Feb 3 2008

More cancellations

Wel, the Coldstream football match was cancelled as well. This was also a shame, but it gave me a chance to watch the rugby. Neither match was particularly great, but the England-Wales match at least produced some excitement. Well done to Wales for staging a great comeback. The real pity of the match was that each team played a really good half – just different half. If England’s first half performance and Wales’ second half performance had been up against each other – it would have been a classic match. Now watching the final match of the weekend, Scotland-France, and Scotland are 17-6 down, but looking like they could open up, so all is not lost.

It’s a real weekend for sport – I’m off to Galashiels later to watch the Superbowl at a friend’s house. We do this every year, and it’s really just an excuse for a lads night with beer, snacks and chat. Plus he has a good big screen and Sky HD ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve got to be a bit careful with money this month, just with a few expenses all coming up at once – car tax, MOT etc., so we’re trying to use up food in the freezer to try and keep the food costs down. I have to do the food shopping tomorrow – and here is my food plan for the week (in no particular order) :

  • Beef, Guinness and Cheese pie
  • Jamie Oliver’s Old Man’s Chicken
  • Zanzibar chicken
  • Lasagne
  • Spaghetti with prawns
  • Chilli (Lisa makes this)

This week will start off the new version of my food diary, and I’ll have to see about the best way to organise this – maybe even see if there’s a nice WordPress Plugin ๐Ÿ™‚

I also have to convert my older food posts to this format. That should spark some ideas anyway.

Feb 2 2008

No Cinders, you shall not go to the ball

Played football at Tweedbank last night and won both matches.ย  We play one main match for about 90 minutes, then have a short ‘best of three’ at the end – we won both ๐Ÿ™‚

However, Yetholm’s match today has been cancelled.ย  It’s a bit of a shame, because I was quite looking forward to it.ย  However, Coldstream are playing at home, so I may get to see them (which doesn’t happen very often).ย  This is assuming that their match isn’t cancelled as well, of course.ย  It also means that I get to watch the rugby – the Six Nations kicks off today, and England’s opening match is against Wales at Twickenham – should be a good one.

Saw Jamie Oliver making pasta the other night, and he did it really quickly.ย  I like making my own pasta, but it can be a bit of a faff doing all the kneading etc.ย  However Jamie just mixed everything up in the food processorย  and then whacked it through the pasta machine – bonus!ย  Might try that soon.

Jan 31 2008

Just spinning my wheels…

Haven’t really done anything of note today. That’s hardly a revelation – much like any day.

Work was ok – nothing exciting to speak of. Dinner was boring (pie and mash) and nothing exciting on TV. So not an exactly scintillating day. Did some more work on this blog – added a couple of plugins for instance, and drank some coffee.


Jan 30 2008

First post!

OK, I was pretty much guaranteed to get first post, because it’s my blog, but nevermind.

Today I set up this blog. That is all.