Welcome all, and yes, I'm still pretty angry at times (but in a nice controlled way). It's now 2017 and I feel I've been further letting you all down by not adding more snippets of annoyance, especially with politics around the world as bad as they are so... as well as the backlog of previous rants... I've updated my list by adding some new stuff below ...
Netflix - May 2017
Yup, I've signed up. I wasn't going to because I knew I would spend too much time watching a screen again, something that I pretty well avoided for a few years, instead concentrating on getting through a few good films each week. However... since Amazon bought out my previous online film provider, the choice, particularly of world film, seems to have been greatly reduced (or been hidden under the many layers of menu items now available). Anyhow, back to Netflix. I hate it. Or rather most of what's on offer. I hate the fact that nearly every icon picture depicting an American film available for selection (most of what's featured tends to be American), seems to include a picture or reference to a gun or guns! So whilst apologising to my 'normal' American friends out there, I have to ask, what is it with this insane gun culture that you love so much? I'm actully now selecting films to watch based on pictures that don't show guns and... some much more interesting stuff is coming to light. It's only a pity that you can't get rid of them via some kind of search criteria! :-)
'Olympus has Fallen' and 'London has Fallen'
Sticking with the movie theme. I want to post a warning about two of the worst films I've ever seen. I thought 'Olympus has Fallen' was a truly awful film and then, without realising, I found myself watching 'London has Fallen', not realising in my need to watch a late night movie, that it was a follow-up film. Anyhow, do not buy, watch, touch or even mention either of these two films ever again. I'm certainly not going to! Rotten Tomatoes said this about the second film "London Has Fallen traps a talented cast -- and all who dare to see it -- in a mid-1990s basic-cable nightmare of a film loaded with xenophobia and threadbare action-thriller clichés". So true!
More Movie Moans
I recently watched the film Heartbreak Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson, and whilst in some ways it was really well conceived and filmed... I just wanted (or rather need) to get something off my chest. In one of the first main battle scenes, you see tens of American soldiers being shot, blown up or incapacitated in some horrible way. I wasn't actually counting but if I had been... I'm gussing the number of casualties depicted would have run into the thrties, fourties or possibly more. However, when the platoon commander is seen reporting back at base a few minutes later, I think he tells his commander that they lost ten men on the ridge. Continuity? I don't think so! The fact as I see it is that Mr Gibson is in love with blood and gore and that somewhere along the way the continuity person took a day or two off!
Don't know why, but for some reason I'm not keen at all on Butternut Squash. JUst thought I'd mention it!
Chewing it Over
I've had to visit the dentist several times over the last year or two. Apparently I've been grinding my teeth, which, is hardly a surprise when you consider all the political shananigans going on. The reason for mentioning this is... whilst politics in general has always been known to raise the hackles of whichever opposing party you might support, things have changed quite dramtically now. Instead of hackles being raised (what are hackles, by the way?), it seems that more and more people are becoming really angry in that they feel they don't have a voice anymore. And I'm not just talking about the 48% who voted remain (I'm one of them). The net result, I assume, is more visits to the doctor and the dentist for help with both depression and broken teeth! Surley then, free treatment must be a top priority in terms of our demands from politicians and governement. Just saying!
The April Blues
Well, not really. In fact seeing the sun come out is more than a pleasure this year, especially after such a long cold winter. But I don't think that should stop me showing my displeasure at one or two things and this week I'm turning my attention to the laws on driving. Now, yes it is true that I once drove into the side of a moving train and had to sit there and watch the front of my car being sliced off by the wheels of the carriage I'd just hit but... that was a long time ago, on a badly maintained level crossing and... the sun was in my eyes so... clearly it wasn't my fault! (Honest your Honour!)
In addition, the incident took place nearly twenty years ago and since that time my driving has become nothing short of brilliant (of course). Unfortunately, in my view this isn't true of others who share the road. For example, when did people start to forget how to use roundabouts? Now, if they were American you could understand it as they don't have roundabouts (think back to the roundabout scene in the film 'National Lampoons European Vacation' or, on second thoughts - don't!). Anyway, it seems that cutting across, or casually swerving across the white lane lines as you wind your way around a roundabout (try saying that when you've had a few) is no longer a traffic offence. From now on I'm sticking to my lane and no-one, I say no-one is making me move over (unless you're very, very big or a bus!)
And another thing... don't you just hate those drivers who sneak up those few extra meters after you've been told by all the signs over the last three miles to move into a single lane! Grrr. And if they were honest about it I probably wouldn't mind so much but... instead, when challenged they often go into some weird Marcel Marceau routine contorting their faces and wildly throwing their hands around as if to try to indicate they didn't see the thirty odd signs telling them to get in line in the first place. Personally, I'd be in favour of marksmen being placed on the grassy knole always ready to shoot out their tyres!
Phew! I feel better for that!
My First Rant
Or rather, the overuse of the word MASSIVE. For some strange reason, this word seems to have creeped into almost every area of public life. During the course of a normal day I hear it from my kids, from people that I work with, in the papers, on the radio and... multiple times on the TV (especially from News Reporters!).
The problem is, nothing anymore seems to be described as 'big', 'large', 'huge', 'enormous' or, any other similarly descriptive term. Instead, everything has to be 'MASSIVE', as though that will give added impetus or weight to whatever point someone is trying to make. And of course, ultimately, with the overuse of the word it has, or will, eventually diminish the sense of drama that comes with its use.For example, the latest successful record for any well-known band or singer is always a 'massive' hit, despite the fact that it probably only sells a fraction of what many artists in the past might have sold! Which probably makes it 'mildly successful', although of course, that doesn't quite sound as impressive. Anyway, as soon as they say the word 'massive', I immediately stop listening!
What do you think?
Mindless Throwaway Music
The over influence of bland, throwaway music. I know, I know. You're probably thinking it's just an age thing. Well, I don't think so. I'd be the first to admit to the fact that there's always been a lot of mediocre stuff around during times past but I don't think it's ever been as bad as it is just now. Besides, isn't it time we had another music revolution to shake everything up again? Like punk music did in the seventies.
It's not Cool!
People who say 'cool' all the time. It's a stupid word to use and should have been banned years ago, unless of course, you're talking about the art of refrigeration or describing a David Attenborough programme about penguins in the Antartic! I rest my case.
What is this obsession with illustrating news items by using special effects to make a simple 'PowerPoint style' graphic out of something that appears within the camera frame. Yesterday I sat dumbfounded as I watched a lunchtime news reporter who explained away the budget using random road signs around London. He even used simple up and down 'street' direction signs to report on the state of the economy. Have we really become so stupid we have to have everything explained to us like children using banal graphics and simple, complementative (?) dialogue? Come the revolution brother, come the revolution ...
Right, now that I've got that off my chest here's my ANGRY list . . (in no particular order).
- The overuse of the word 'Entrepreneur'. Aghhh! (I've just bitten the inside of my cheek)
- ...and the same goes for the word 'Innovation' (sometimes)
Chewing Gum on Pavements
- Dog Poo on pavements
- Any program on TV that has 'Celebrity' in the title.
- Any program on TV that has 'comedy' in the title (it won't be funny!)
Hairdressers that ask you if you need some 'Product' on your hair. What the hell is Product anyway!
Rubbish PowerPoint Presentations (which means most of them!)
Those bloody insurance adverts with that dog thing called 'Churchill' on TV (Time for a cull?)
And that stupid, gut bustingly awful 118 118 adverts (The main reason for getting rid of my TV (Something never regretted!)
More spleen venting ...
I'm currently in the process of building a new house and I've just had to steer my way through all the new planning regulations. In particular, the new disablement access which now has to be built into every house. This is madness. It's the nanny state gone totally insane.
I've absolutely nothing against disabled people, nor would I want to be perceived as being predjudiced against them in any way but... if we carry on bringing in more and more building regulations in the way that we are, we might just as well start designing the most boring buildings we can think of! For example, let's only build bungalows with one floor and single height internal floors. No steps allowed whatsoever and... let's make sure that the entire ground area is accessible to a turbo-charged, wide width wheelchair with wing mirrors. Everything in the house must be a standard height using standardised furniture and, of course, standardised colours (so as not to upset people with colour vision problems).
I have a bad back and it actually hurts me to stand at a conventional height work unit in the kitchen. I've suggested building something about 50mm higher which makes all the difference to me but guess what... apparently I'll be contravening design legislation. Aghhhh! More to come on this!
I just wanted to say what an excellent experience it was, working with Plexus on the 'Cromarty - Living by the Sea' website. You were always so quick, efficient and professional, but combined this with a friendly, "that's no trouble at all" approach that was very reassuring as I raised question after question as deadlines loomed. It goes without saying that the design and operation of the website is first-rate. Read More...