Sunday, November 28, 2010

The new tv

I bought a new television this week. It's something I've been meaning to do for months, but for assorted not-particularly-good reasons, hadn't managed to get around to doing.

Part of this was because I was still quite happy with my old tv, a 59cm Sony CRT I'd bought just after moving to Adelaide around 13 years ago. It was still working fine, had great picture quality – it was one of the best tvs around when I bought it; it cost nearly $1000 back in 1998 – so I wasn't in that much of a hurry to replace it.

However, on Sunday afternoon, I must have switched to the menu screen of my dvr and sat down at the pc to do some browsing1; when I got up and went back to the the lounge, I was surprised to find that the tv was off and the orange surge light2 on the powerboard it was connected to was a different colour than usual.

After unplugging and replugging things, and resetting the board, I switched the tv back on. It came on, but it was...weird. The colour was so washed-out as to be almost black and white, and the picture was warped; the vertical lines were all just slightly concave.

Something had, for want of a better word, 'blown'3, and the decision had been made for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A very unengaging engagement

One of the biggest news stories this week was the announcement of Prince William's engagement to his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton. Imagine my annoyance, though, on switching over to Channel 10 at 6pm the following day to find that, instead of an episode of The Simpsons, there was a half-hour special about this supposed 'news'.

This prompted me to comment on Twitter thusly:

Then, only two hours later, I was further incensed when I saw that Channel 9 had pulled an episode of The Big Bang Theory for, not just a half-hour special, but a whole hour-long feature.

I went straight to Twitter to vent some more:

Monday, November 15, 2010

A new look

It's been nearly two years, and I've decided to change the layout of the blog - albeit to another fairly simple Blogger template. While I like the idea of making something that's uniquely me, I don't have either the HTML knowledge or access to the web design software to do anything more exciting. I'm pretty happy with this one, though I wouldn't mind the column being a bit wider - so if anyone knows how I might do that and wants to let me know that'd be great.

Somewhat annoyingly, I've got to go back and reformat some of my old posts 'cause I'd put some code in my old layout to allow the 'read more' function - and that hasn't carried over. On the plus side, I've upgraded to the latest version of the publisher, which has a button for that so I don't need to keep manually adding extra code to each post.

Anyway, hope you like the new look. Feedback and suggestions - genuine suggestions that is1 - are always welcome.

1Because I'm very aware that some of you possess the same juvenile sense of humour as, well, me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Social Network

Changing my mind

This isn't a review I thought I'd be writing. When I first heard there was a movie about how Facebook was created I thought it perhaps one of the dopiest idea for a film that I'd ever heard. But, not that long before it opened, I saw the credits list: directed by David Fincher, screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross1.

Aaron Sorkin is the creator of The West Wing and writer of many of its best episodes, as well as the play/film A Few Good Men – meaning he's been responsible for some of the best dialogue I've ever heard.

I don't own too many films on dvd – I just don't watch movies at home – but two of them are Fincher films: Seven and Fight Club. And they're two of my favourite movies of all time. He's responsible for some other great films over the last few years, most recently the award-winning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deadwood Season One

I've just finished watching the first season of Deadwood, a show that I'd heard about when it first came out in the US and received rave reviews. It was probably on one of the pay tv channels here not long after, but since I don't have that – I watch enough tv as it is, and can't justify spending the money – I only got to watch it when ABC2 picked it up and started showing it earlier this year1.

1I had contemplated buying it on dvd, but hadn't gotten around to it.

If you didn't already know...

The show is set in the town of the same name in what is now the US state of South Dakota, in the 187os. The Civil War is over but there is still fighting between the American settlers and the Native American traditional owners. Gold mining is a boom industry, and in South Dakota at the time a rash of discoveries led to what was called the Black Hills Gold Rush. Life in the gold mining settlements isn't easy, and the desire to strike it rich has led tough, desperate people to the region to seek their fortunes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Movie review: The Town

I hadn't been to the movies as much over the last month or so; between the play, the busy schedules of both myself and my movie-going associates1, and the fact there hadn't been that many movies come out in that time meant that the usual weekly trip to the cinema for some big-screen action didn't happen.

While I'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, it's going to be pretty much impossible to not give away a little. Thee be warned.

1There are two, Chris and Miriam.

An easy decision

One film I'd been waiting to see, ever since I saw the preview for it a few months back, was The Town. It was about – well, at least what I gathered what it was about; as TV Tropes will tell you, never trust a trailer – a gang of bank robbers in Boston and the people trying to catch them. That alone had me somewhat interested; I like movies set in Boston – Good Will Hunting, The Departed and Mystic River are three in particular – and the idea of smart criminals always intrigues me (Heat, for example).