Friday, 27 February 2009

Want to be a movie star?

No, not THAT sort of movie star! Some people...

I want to make an action movie. It will be the action movie to end all action movies. Heroes will be the greatest heroes ever, villains will be the worst, nastiest (but somehow also the most classy) villains ever, explosions will be huge, shootouts massive and deadly, car-chases the fastest, most exciting ever made.

The hero will be rough and tough, the sort of guy that other guys want to drink with and otherwise sensible girls will happily sacrifice anything for just one night with him.

He will have a beautiful female side-kick, who is his friend but is also the only female alive who is oblivious to his charms.

The hero will have a computer whizz who coordinates everything from a remote control centre, usually only present as a voice, a pair of hands and a silhouette against a PC monitor.

The villain will be impeccably dressed at all times, an utter genius and likable in a bad-guy sort of way. His plans for world domination will be complex and minutely timetabled, yet will have holes that a 5 year old will spot 3 minutes into the movie.

He will have a beautiful female side-kick who is devoted to his every wish, but will, at the end, be unable to resist the hero and change sides, causing the villain's downfall.

The villain will employ all sorts of scum to do his dirty work. These will appear to be highly trained professional killers, but they will not be able to withstand the hero and his side-kick for long. They will also be terrible drivers...

I also want to include a few specific civilian characters.

The first will be someone (preferably female) who turns into a sort of Die Hard character, hiding out watching a hostage situation, telling the hero what is going on via cell phone. At some point a villain will corner her but she will deal with him in a wonderfully gruesome manner,probably involving stilettoes and soft body parts.

Another will be a mother who is taking her children out for the day. She has repeat encounters with the villains thugs - cut up on the road, bumped into in the street, etc. Her mood deteriorates with each encounter until, near the end of the movie she gets caught up in the car chase and totally loses it, pulling the pump action shot gun out from under her seat and blasting everything that gets close to her and her children.

So, who wants to be in my movie, and which part do you want? :-)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Plastic-coated happiness...

One of my little presents this Christmas was a laminating machine - one of those things that allows you to coat sheets of paper with a plastic film.

I tried it out on Christmas Day, and then set it aside.

It gathered dust.

Then a few days ago, Number 1 Son was doing some homework - some really complicated looking science stuff about molecules and whotnot. He was really pleased with his work and was showing it to me when I suggested laminating it. Surely his teacher would be impressed by the extra bit of effort and improved presentation.

We laminated it. It looked really professional and Number 1 Son was even more pleased with his work.

The trouble is, he is now addicted. He wants to laminate everything - his favourite recipes, more homework to go with the last lot, sheets of notes for the games he plays on the PC and XBox. I have lost control of my gadget! It is mine! It should be where I put it, gathering dust, not being used for stuff!

Now I want another present to replace it! What do you think?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Marmite is a spread that we have over here - similar to Vegemite in Australia. I don't know if it is available it the USA or Canada. If you don't know it, it is a thick, black tar-like substance that clings to the sides of the jar, which is dark brown glass, making it very hard to see.

As I sat at the breakfast table, spreading Marmite on my toast, the jar was getting very empty. But, if I persevered and scraped away at the insides of the jar I could still get some of the residue that clung to the glass.

After a couple of minutes scraping I had got enough for my toast. Then, THUNK! I new jar appeared on the table,while MRS RC told me to stop scraping as the sound was going through her head.

Suddenly I was 6 years old, sitting in the house that I grew up in, holding a not-quite-totally-empty jar of Marmite, scratching for a little bit more of the precious substance. Now I know the mind plays tricks on us, but I don't remember us ever having a new jar of Marmite when I was a kid! Looking back I almost suspect that we had the same jar for around 15 years, that I spent 15 years scraping out the elusive contents for my toast. I am sure that this is not really the case, but it is odd, don't you think? Surely I would have memories of digging into a fresh, new jar of my beloved Marmite?

Monday, 23 February 2009

Grab a Banana...

Had a great weekend!

Friday I made fried chicken, rice and salad for dinner, which went down a storm. Gotta love fried chicken!

Saturday we had our evening with friends - pizza, cannelloni, dough balls with garlic butter, salad, plus fudgecake and chocolate and banana cake for pud, if you had any room! All washed down with a few bottles of wine (or soft drinks for the kids,of course!)

After eating we played Grab a Banana, among other things. For those who are interested I will describe it.

Take a pack of Snap cards that has 4 of each card in it. The aim of the game is to collect a set of 4 cards the same.

Sit around a table.

Put objects that must be grabbed in the middle of the table - the set provides plastic bananas, but you can use just about anything. The number of objects should be one less than the number of players.

Dealer gives each player 4 cards.

Dealer then picks up the first card, looks at it, decides whether to keep it or discard it. If he keeps it he discards another card from his hand. Discarded cards are placed in front of the person to the left, who then picks it up and decides whether to keep it or discard it. The cards gradually work their way around the table until they get back to the dealer who will have to use these cards again once the main deck runs out.

Got it so far?

OK, now the fun begins. This checking and discarding of cards should be done as fast as possible - no waiting for one card to move around before you pick the next, just goo for it.

Finally, when one player gets a set of 4 he grabs a banana (or whatever) from the middle of the table. This is the queue for everyone else to also grab a banana, whether they have a set or not. One person will not get a banana and gets a point against them.

Play until you run out of time or until someone reaches a set point limit, say 3 or 5. Alternatively you could play knockout games, where the person without a banana leaves the game and the next round has one less player and one less banana. The final game would have 2 players and 1 banana!

Give it a go - it is great fun, especially with kids and/or after a few drinks!

Sunday, WAS a lazy day - I spent a few hours painting some Saxon peasants for my Hastings game:

They are still waiting for spears and shields, after which they will be based up properly with grass, ricks and stuff on the bases - I will post pics of the finished items soon! Next in line are richer Saxons, followed by the elite Huscarls (big guys with big axes).

Friday, 20 February 2009



How did we get to Friday this quickly?

Time just seems to be rolling along at the moment - not too busy, not too quiet, just rolling along - FAST!

The weekend?

Should be fun. I am not doing pizza tonight (shock, horror) so I am doing home made fried chicken instead - yum!

Saturday we are entertaining (not something that we do very often), food having a general Italian theme - pizza, cannelloni, dough balls with garlic butter, salad, etc. Can't wait. Other than eating and drinking the evening will feature board games - Chinese Checkers, Backgammon, maybe even something called "Grab a Banana" which our friends might bring along. I also expect we will have a Wii session, as this went down really well last time - 4 people playing Wii tennis in our (not very big) living room was mayhem!

Sunday? Well that is supposed to be a Day of Rest, isn't it? I will try to persuade everyone that this is what this Sunday will be, restful and quiet...

Jeez, who am I kidding?

Have a great weekend! See you next week!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


I think that my brain is about to ooze out of my ears!

I have spent the last couple of hours working on an excel sheet that I will use as part of my dissertation - the one that I don't have to give in for another two and a half years! The formula that it is based on is horrible, but I was able to sort it out so all I have to do is paste in my data and voila! There are my results. How nerdy is that!

This evening I intend to continue the nerdy theme and paint some toy soldiers for a Battle of Hastings game that I am going to play with a Canadian friend of mine on the site of the battle.

A thought - It is said that if you to the the extremes of Communism you become a Fascist. Can you be so uncool that you actually become cool? Or are you just super uncool? I suspect the latter is the truth.

Or does "super uncool" actually make you HOT! Yeah, that sounds good - so un-cool I am hot - SMOKIN'!

Hm I guess not.

So, what is the most uncool thing you have done recently?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

What planet are these people from?

I woke up to the radio, as usual. One of the news stories was about child poverty. The government has promised to end child poverty in the UK, but is having mixed success.

OK, I understand this - I see the effect of child poverty every day! I see kids walking to school in worn out shoes and dirty clothes with that sad "hungry" look about them, while somehow the parents manage to run 2 cars, drink and smoke...

But then this guy comes on and starts talking about how things are now getting much worse because of the recession. His evidence? Well it seems that this year some children won't be getting to fly away for their summer holiday this year, while others are even having their pocket money reduced!

Golly jeepers, this is terrible! Let's beg the UN for help shall we? Not having 2 weeks in Spain is a real sign of child poverty! My kids have never been there, so they must be the most deprived kids in the world!

I sometimes wonder just how much people actually know about the real world!

Monday, 16 February 2009


I entered the laboratory with a touch of nervous excitement. The huge stone hall echoed with the sound of the equipment - a constant buzzing from the electrical equipment, the occasional small explosion as electricity arched from one point to another. Outside there was a crash of thunder, immediately followed by a flash of lightning.

She sat me in a chair, strapping my arms and legs in place, before lowering the huge metal contraption onto my head. I winced as the metal spikes of the electrodes embedded themselves into my scalp.

The experiments were too terrible to relive again - they will haunt my dreams for the rest of my days - red hot irons, needles pushed into my eyes, toe nails torn out, photos of Madonna, Paris Hilton singing - terrible, terrible things...

After what seemed like an eternity I was dragged, bleeding and broken, and tossed into a snowdrift out side to live or die as God wished. Somehow I lived. Perhaps I still have a purpose in life, to save those who might otherwise volunteer to take part in research...

Actually the brain scan thing was quite uneventful - too uneventful to make an interesting post...

The Mom Song

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Hopefully I am just being a silly worry-wort, but I can't stay silent any longer.

Has anyone heard from Danielle (Sitting in Silence) recently?

She as been very quiet for a few days, and I am concerned that she might have been affected by the huge bush fires that have been raging in what I think is roughly her part of Australia.

I hope she is just having a great time at the beach or doing something more important than blogging, but every time I see the news I worry.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


This morning I went to feed my mom's pony and couldn't find the bucket that we put his oats and stuff in.

"Where is your bucket?" I asked.

Thud, thud. Humphrey was kicking the bucket into view...

Custard was a little ill over the weekend, having runny poop. He utterly refuses to go in our garden, he just sits and whines to go for a walk. I was out with him at 1am on Sunday morning. As reward for being such a good dog (not doing his stuff in the house or in our garden, saving it for the rough field nearby) my wife found a medal for him - a gold medal on a red, white and blue ribbon, which she hung around his neck. He now wears it all of the time he is at home, letting us take it off when we go out and then sitting while we put it back on when we get back home. I tried it on once, but he got very upset with me.

Son: "I'm going to have a bath."

Daughter: "Try something new today!" (This is the catchphrase for Jaimie Oliver's ads that he is doing for a UK supermarket chain.)

I have volunteered to take part in some experiments at the Uni. Tomorrow night I am having my brainwaves monitored. I have got a vision of the guys thinking that the equipment is broken when they can't pick anything up!

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Rubber duckie,you're the one!

The other day, my youngest was looking through the Guinness Book of Records, as he likes to do, when he found an entry about the biggest rubber duck in the world:

It is 82 feet tall!

Isn't that amazing?

I also thought of a wonderful use for it or others like it. It could be used instead of Rehab clinics. Just think, instead of months of slow painful withdrawl from drugs you could just take someone to see this and they would never want to touch the stuff again!

Any other suggested uses for am 82 foot tall rubber duck?

Friday, 6 February 2009

Getting ready for Summer!

Well, I have decided.

As I look around at different blogs I can see that a number of people, especially the girls, are working on looking good for the summer. Weight is being lost, waists and butts are shrinking (or in one case seemingly developing for the first time), it is all very impressive.

So I have decided.

I am going to start doing short workouts to develop my summer body.

I know, you are all wondering how on earth I am going to improve on utter perfection, and I am also thinking that I am in for a tough ride :-)

But I just think that it has to be done this year. It won't be anything drastic - my major exercise is the cycling - just starting with the usual sit ups and push ups, maybe the odd session with my pre-historic Bullworker, and see what happens.

I wonder if and when Mrs RC will notice?

Updates will follow...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Answers

Well here are the answers to my Name that Movie quiz!

1 - "Never give up! Never surrender!"

Galaxy Quest.

2 - "If it bleeds, we can kill it!"


3 - "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."


4 - "I know this ship like the back of my hand."

One of the Star Trek movies - can't find a suitable clip, but Scotty the engineer says the line above, turns and walks into an overhead beam. Classic stuff!

5 - "Yippie kayay mother-$%&*£$!"

I think everyone knew this one!

6 - "Don't forget to drink your Ovaltine?"

Amazingly, everyone except the winner seemed to know that this was from A Christmas Story!

7 - "This is my sister. She is 4th best prostitute in Kazakhstan."


8 - "That still only counts as one!"

Lord of the Rings

9 - "XXX says that the chances of survival are 725 to 1. Actually XXX has been known to make mistakes... from time to time... Oh dear..."

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back. Change XXX to R2 and it is easy...

10 - "I only told you to blow the bloody doors off!"

The original version of The Italian Job. And I can see playing it back that I got the line wrong too! Sorry!

Hope you enjoyed that!

It's Snow Time!

So, Monday morning arrived with a fair amount of snow in my area - further west, London was having a really hard time of it, but being for or less surrounded by sea, we never suffer that badly.

I started the day by feeding Humphrey, my mom's pony.

I have banned my mom from going out in this sort of weather - she puts up a token resistance, but seems to be pleased really.

Then, having decided that the roads were OK, I carried on to work. On arrival I was told that my boss, being snowed in himself, had said that I shouldn't have gone in. But as I was there I might as well do a few jobs before going home. I guess I could legally have just gone home as my office was really cold, but you know me by now!

As I finished the last job on my list, I looked out of the window into a blizzard. That was when I posted my previous message and headed home, into a blizzard that came and went.

This was the scene around half way home. The road is a mix of fresh snow, slush with salt and grit in it and hidden ice. You can see my tyre tracks in the snow! I got home OK, if a little cold...
Also feeling the cold is the local wildlife. Here are a couple of doves who have just finished stuffing themselves at the all you can eat buffet that is our bird table.

Yesterday morning I woke up and felt terrible. With hindsite it was probably the effect if being cold for so long the day before, having never really warmed up while at work. Ah well, I slept in til lunchtime, then fiddled around for the rest of the day, even managing to make a few new bits if scenery for my soldiers - a couple of marshes, a small wood, a larger enclosed wood and a village (almost finished). I really enjoy doing that but never seem to do enough of it.
Anyway, back to normal now! I will try to post the answers to my quiz later today, after catching up as much as possible.

Monday, 2 February 2009

And the winner is...

agg79 from

He managed to get an impressive 7 out of 10!

The snow has returned with a vengence, so I am now running home!