tvordlj: (Meez avatar)

A new pope. Francis. I did wonder if there had ever been one of that name before and apparently there has not. People are already calling him Francis I  but from what I read elsewhere you can't actually call someone the "first" if there hasn't been a "second". That makes sense. I don't really care one way or the other. Pope Frank works for me ;)))  I was brought up Catholic but I don't consider myself any religion now. These days, if i was to choose one, I wouldn't choose RC, not with the ultra conservative stand they take on everything.  Graham has commented occasionally that the Buddhist religion seems nice. Calm and reflective. Really, though, I just try to be a good person both to others and to myself, try not to be judgemental,  and I do what's right for me as far as moral values.

The gym is going ok. Slowly progressing on the elliptical trainer.

Anxiously awaiting the returns of Game of Thrones and Mad Men, both Sunday night shows. I better make sure there are no other conflicts on the dvr so that they both record. Sometimes they're repeated in the middle of the night so i must investigate that if there looks to be any potential conflicts. Just finished watching the final BBC series of Being Human which was great! Their seasons are very short, just 6 episodes but all four (five?) seasons were really good. This last one was different, though, with new characters and I miss the original ones. It's about a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire living together. I think the original vampire actor left to be in the Hobbit. This guy, Aidan Turner. Absolutely gorgeous. I've tried to watch the American version of the show but it lacks something. If you've watched the original, you can compare the two and you'll see what i mean. The Vamp, wolf and ghost from the last season were good and i really liked the young guy that played the werewolf, and the character but the other two didn't do much for me and I don't think the three of them had the chemistry that the first trio had. If you have Netflix and can get the BBC series, do! It's violent at times but it's more "realistic" than golden glittery creatures.

tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Work's going ok. Cracked a problem yesterday with some help. It wasn't anything I was doing wrong, it was a problem with a connection from one server to another and it had to be done using a direct IP address instead of a server name. Have got quite a lot of requests on the board which is good plus a fwe other ongling projects. Training on Mondays to learn html5, css3 and PHP programming, also going well.

Mom's birthday was the 17th and we had a family party for her. We went together and bought her  Keurig coffee maker, similar to the popular Tassimo that uses a little pod or cup and makes one cup of beverage at a time. Everyone seems to be getting them and she wanted one. They're best for coffee though they do make tea and other things but for tea, I still find boiling the kettle is the best. I don't expect I'll get one until G. and i are living in the same apartment since he's a coffee drinker. My nephew's birthday was yesterday and we had another family get together on Sunday for that. Gave him the reusable filter for his Keurig that he got at Christmas. My birthday is this weekend and yet another family get together for that. My aunt's is the day after and we will have a joint party which is nice. My cousin, the one that lost his wife recently is coming over to my place on Friday to help me put my birthday bookcase together. I have to stop off and get some groceries because i promised to cook!

Also this weekend, my friend and i are going to a movie, possibly Quartet which looks wonderful. It's about a senior citizen's home for retired musicians. The ex-wife of one of them arrives and there's all sorts of friction while they are trying to put on a recital. Great ensemble cast including Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs (That's the guy that played Manuel in Fawlty Towers!)

This is the first year i watched none of the Oscars. Usually I watch the first hour or so but i just didn't bother for some reason. I did record it and i might FF through some of it over the weekend just to see some of the musical performances and the dresses, of course! I didn't see any of the nominated best movies this year. I'm not sure what it says when I can only say I've seen four of the five nominated animated movies! Pretty much everything else that was nominated for anything I also didn't see. Last year was not a year that i managed to get to see that much in the theatres though i did download a number of films.

I've been struggling to keep up with various tv series that i've been following, mostly British things including Utopia, Being Human, Mr. Selfridge, Ripper Street, US Shameless, Big Bang Theory, and soon Grimm will be back, also Game of Thrones. On top of that is my daily Corrie and Young and Restless as well as UK Corrie. Something has to give!

Now to catch up on 2013 books below the cut
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Default)
When i was over at Graham's last weekend we did a radio show. You can see the playlist and the artwork and links to listen to it here. Most of the songs are my choices :) We do have some music in common even if my tastes don't run as extreme as his!

Gosh was it only just last weekend? To me it felt like a very long week even though i was only in work for three days of it. I suppose the marathon to get home made it all seem longer. We are going to start planning for New York in May now. I have enough or nearly enough air miles to get the two flights to New York so i might do that and then can spend a little extra on the hotels seeing as they're not cheap in New York at all. We have already looked at the Broadway and off broadway shows and productions and I have a feeling there isn't going to be anything we either haven't already seen or can agree on! He does like some of the musicals but i think we won't go to see something just to be able to say we did, not if it's going to be something we won't enjoy.

The Fringe series just ended. We are both bereft and as always it poses more questions even though it answers others. All in all, though, I'm happy with the finale.
tvordlj: (Default)
Gosh, again no posting over a weekend. I don't often do a whole lot other than maybe get out to the grocery store or hang out with mom so there's not a lot to write about. I did finally get my curtains up this weekend and they look nice though mom pointed out that, in the photo i posted on FB, one side seems fuller than the other. Not sure if it's because one side is pushed open further or if one set is actually not as wide as the other set. I don't have the packages anymore to check. I'm going to measure them and if one set is indeed narrower, i'll have to rehang them so that i have one wide and one short panel on each side of the center. They'll balance out that way. Doh. It could just be an optical illusion.

True Blood finished the season this weekend. and HOLY CLIFFHANGER, BATMAN! That's all i'll say in case anyone hasn't seen it yet. If you don't watch it, it won't make any difference what it is anyway but if you watch and have seen it, add comments! G. and I are both gobsmacked. He's the one that persuaded me into watching the show in the first place a couple of years ago. I caught up on the first season or two that were already out at the time and now record it when each season is on.

As one show ends, another starts. Doctor Who begins on the weekend! Yay! They're showing half a season in the fall, a Christmas special, and then the rest of the season in the spring which celebrates the show's 50th anniversary but to me, it's only techincally the 50th, as there was a great gap of 15 years that it wasn't on until it was revived in 2005. It hasn't aired *continually* for 50 years like Coronation Street has, for instance ;)

Dexter starts the end of September so those two will hold me for awhile. Then Game of Thrones will start up in the spring, I think. The problem with these premium cable series is they they're only 12 episodes for a season and it's such a long wait for the next one!

The fall network television season will soon be on us, where all the American networks start their seasons, new and returning shows although Grimm has already aired two new episodes. I picked that one up last year and Once Upon a Time (i think that's what it was called) which i sort of liked and sort of didn't but kept it up to the end. Not sure if i'll go back to it. I also got hooked on Fringe which was recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] girfan I think so i downloaded the earlier seasons to catch up. I'll be looking for that to come back too.

I don't watch a lot of network evening shows these days, sticking with the HBO and paytv series, and things like Doctor Who which is airing on Space, and movies of course. Sometimes i may try a couple of different shows and often the first season is good but then it just loses the plot. Glee was like that. I liked it particularly for the Sue character, the cheerleader teacher who was so mean and sarcastic and was just brilliant but they cut her part back after the first season and put way more musical numbers in and i didn't like it as well.

I might have a look at what is new coming out this fall and see if anything grabs me. The only comedy I've been watching is Big Bang Theory. Comedies tend to all run together for me. Every few years a really brilliant one starts up like BBT and it runs for quite awhile but after awhile, it kind of fizzles out. Great comedies of the past were Frasier, Cheers, Third Rock from the Sun and yes, even Friends and Seinfeld. They all had good characters and a good ensemble cast. I never got into Two and a half men though i've seen a few eps and it wasn't bad. Now that the half man is nearly a full man, though, and Charlie Sheen is off having his midlife crisis, it's not going to interest me much. I really never liked comedies with smart ass kids in them who ran the parents in circles. Which is why i used to like Roseanne. Those kids were snotty but the parents were always one step ahead of them. Oh and Will and Grace was also a really good series. One drama series recently ended that i really did enjoy was Brothers and Sisters. soapy, yes, but i liked all the characters on it. It was a good ensemble cast, i thought.

I also like British tv and between what i already like and new series that people tell me about, I can usually get my fix downloading that. Often, those series are even shorter, with just 6 or 8 episodes. Scott and Bailey is a good female-cop-detective series that's going to come back for a third season. Sometimes in Canada, Showcase will carry some of these shows a couple of years after they're on in the UK. They did that with Life on Mars which i caught a couple of times, enough to be interested to download it all. Another good series is Being Human which is about a werewolf, vampire and ghost living together. It's a bit violent and brutal but quite good. They've changed over all the characters now though, so i'm not quite sure i'll like it as much next season. We'll see.

What you also don't want is an American attempt at remaking a successful British series. It rarely works as well. I did hear that the cable series Queer as Folk ran quite awhile but I tried watching the early episodes and it just didn't quite have that edge that the original British series had. There was an American remake of Being Human too but again, that was a bit flat. They seem to want to cast the shows with beautiful magazine cover model types for one thing, and i don't know why, but even using an almost identical script, things like humour just doesn't seem to work the same way. Perhaps the way the acting styles are makes the difference. The American remake of Life on Mars started off terrible using the similar storylines but once they started on their own original stories, it wasn't too bad though mostly the casting really wasn't that good. Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt would have been a great choice 20 years ago. Unfortunately it was cancelled though they were allowed to wrap things up and finish the season. Unfortunate because they ending they chose to write was really stupid.

Canadian television has not really done much for me at all. Some of the political humour shows like This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Rick Mercer are both good. I've tried Republic of Doyle and it's ok. It's a generic detective series filmed in St. John's, Newfoundland and there are some quirky characters in it. Most new seasons of Canadian series don't start until January. I think too if you don't start watching a series from the start, often you just don't end up "getting it", starting after a season or two into it.

American network tv drama is also on the bland side when you compare it with the cable series that aren't restricted by language or nudity and can be more graphic (i.e. bloody vampire violence) and when you get used to that sort of thing, it's hard to go back unless it's top quality, not just a copy of something else that's already on.
tvordlj: (Suitcase wings)
Every summer i seem to get fruit flies in the kitchen. A few bowls of red wine or cider vinegar covered in perforated plastic wrap usually does the trick but this year i seem to have a cloud of them over the sink. Don't know why. I've checked everything and there's no stray stuff around. I hate the bastards. Sometimes i think they can smell the dead bodies in the vinegar so i usually change it ever few days.

Been watching True Blood and there's only one more episode for this season. God i love that show and it's been really good this year as always. The guy that started it, Toby Whitehouse is apparently leaving after this season. Don't know if someone else will take up the mantle or if they'll finish it altogether. Part of me wants it to keep going but part of me fears the changeover in producers. Series often suffer for that.

Grimm has started up early. I thought there was going to be a month between the premiere last week and the rest of the season but there was another new one on this week. Really like that show, too. Dexter will start up in September and Doctor Who starts September 1. Grimm is the only one on a "network" station. Dexter and True Blood are both on a paytv station, either HBO Canada or the Movie Network and Doctor Who is on Space which now has an HD version so that will be neat.

Still waiting for Graham's vacation to be approved. I suspect because it's summer, the powers that be are all on vacation themselves so there's nobody to approve staff requests. I can't book any flights until we know for sure. They better get a move on. We need to start counting sleeps! Still making various lists for Rome. They now have a tour you can book that takes you below the main level in the Colosseum to see where the gladiators and props and animals were housed and also up onto the upper levels of parts of the walls. The general public admission doesn't get you into those places. I think that ticket also includes a guided tour of the neighbouring Forum site. Will probably also book the Vatican museum tickets online which will save us standing in one long lineup at least. Maybe they have free guided tours of that like some museums do, or else it might be worth booking one of those as well to get the highlights. The VM are extensive and probably the highlights will be the easiest to digest.

Aside from that, any Rome travelers out there know if there's a musuem that has exhibits of Roman armour and things like that? Graham is keen to see some if possible. I'm sure there must be. Maybe the Capitoline museums? Professor Keen? Bueller? Anyone?
tvordlj: (Default)
Snow!
Mind you, i hope it doesn't last too long or it will be a pain getting home later today. I've also made plans to go to a movie tonight. Some friends are going to see the TinTin movie and I thought, why not? A nice relaxing movie on "cheap" night. It's in 3D which is a bit of a bore but oh well. I really don't find the 3D adds anything to a movie. It's a trend and a fad and I hope it passes. I reckon so many are made because the tv industry is trying to sell the 3D tvs and the dvds of this 3D movies will sell better.

Have any of you Canadians ever watched CBC's Republic of Doyle? I often though i'd try it but never got round to it. This week's season opener has Russel Crowe on as a guest star as he's friends with the producer whom he knows through Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle. I figure there will be a surge of new viewers watching because he's on it and I will probably watch too. I may even stick with it if i like it and find the back episodes. Thoughts?

2012 books )
tvordlj: (Doctor Who Boe)
Apparently, October is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Audrey Hepburn movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. BaT is a wonderful movie and Hepburn is absolute gold in it. I must find my dvd and rewatch. She was an amazing actress and really did light up the screen when she was on it.

I don't mind watching subtitled movies and i've seen all three Swedish versions that match the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books. They were very good. There is going to be a Hollywood version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not a "remake" but just their own version of it. I greeted the news with a lot of doubt. But... I saw the latest trailer over the weekend and I have to say, i'm a bit impressed. The casting looks pretty decent, with Rooney Mara playing Lizbeth and she's got a good look for it. Daniel Craig plays Blomqvist and he looks the part as well. Christopher Plummer plays the man that hires Craig's character to find out what happened to his niece 40 years ago. It sound like most of the actors are putting on a bit of a Swedish accent for their parts but it doesn't sound heavy handed. The movie was filmed in Sweden and uses quite a few Swedish actors for other parts. You almost want to ask why they're bothering really but i'm also glad they didn't change the location and make it happen in New York or Chicago with the remote location some little town in Maine or somewhere. It will be interesting to see how they handle the rape scene and Lizbeth's revenge. They were fairly graphic in the swedish movie but necessary to the plot. We'll see if the American version downplays it at all.

In other upcoming tv alerts, the sixth season of Dexter starts this weekend just as Doctor Who is finishing. I'll be having a catch up with a fellow Whofan this afternoon over coffee in preparation for this weekend's finale. Graham has overall been disappointed with the Moffat era but mostly i haven't. This season was better than last season overall I thought and this season's storyline arc with the "death of The Doctor" has me very curious as to how they'll get around it. They will, of course, because there's going to be another series next year. It'll all tie in with that "question" that needs asking and answering, i'm guessing. G. also has been unimpressed with Rory's character but i quite like him. He's kind of like the Greek chorus. Or Roman, seeing as it's Rory. :)

Also related, I was never a Torchwood fan though i did like Children of the Earth. I watched that but not the other series and it was quite good so i decided to watch this recent one, Miracle Day. Utter, utter toss. Really awful. I kept waiting for stuff to happen, and it was very dragged out and irrelevant much of the time and annoying when they relied on events that were important that happened off screen. It could so easily have been much better if it had been half as many episodes and WTF was that Blessing thing? It made no sense. And btw, Jack Harkness is immortal because Rose brought him back to life in Doctor Who during that Dalek war using the time core of the TARDIS. He does NOT have immortal blood or dna or anything like that. Therefore the whole premise of his blood causing the Miracle day, the reversal of such and the transfusion into the other bloke giving him apparent immortality is just ridiculous!
tvordlj: (Nostril shot)
2011 Books
21. Being Human: Unofficial and Unauthorised by Joanne Black
For those of you that are fans of the U.K. series, Being Human, you will probably really enjoy this as much as I did. It covers seasons 1 and 2 of the series, which has now finished season 3. I'd love to get her take on this season. Maybe she'll do another one if it goes to, as i expect, season 4! She describes the origins of the show, how they cast it and all about the pilot and the recasting for the series itself. Then she goes through each episode with a summary and her own observations and comments, including things like continuity misses, "cheers and jeers" typesof things, and background on any guest actors in that episode ("where have you seen xx before") At the end of the book, she lists various locations used for filming, what they were previously and she mentions the Being Human blog as well. It's a chatty book, and well written. Definitely a good read for fans.

I've seen some of the new U.S. version of it and it's not bad but not nearly as bloody and visceral, and the actors, especially for the Vampire and Werewolf, while again, not bad, are a tad too "boy next door", clean cut. Joanne Black describes Russell Tovey (George) as having a face that's made for worrying (which makes me laugh, because it's so true!) but the werewolf character in the US series whose name is Josh has a face that just looks a bit more bewildered. He does look like a Josh though. The vampire's name is Aidan, a node to the UK actor that plays Mitchell, Aidan Turner, and the ghost's name is Sally instead of Annie. The Herrick character in the American version is called Bishop and doesn't have nearly the insanity undertones as the original. He feels much less menacing as does the main vampire character. With Aidan Turner's Mitchell, you most definitely know that he's not a nice guy that happens to be a vampire but can be very cold and nasty when pushed.

As i said, though, the American series isn't too bad. I've only got through about 5 episodes so far, there will be a total of 13 though i think we're only up to 10 as of this week. As usual, though this isn't a bad recreation, the U.K. version is still better, darker, more violent so far.

eta....
I"ve read up on the episode summaries on the SYFY website and i'm getting the distinct impression that the US series has been cleaned up some and doesn't sound nearly so scary as the UK one could be. It's got a whiff of PC and Mitchell seems to come across and a bit more sancitmonious. I'll still watch the rest of the episodes to see if my hunch is right. Probably if you've never seen the British series, you might like it but apparently it has shown on BBC America. Why on earth do they bother recreating a good series if the original was already shown there. If it was popular enough to warrant redoing, would people even want to watch the more or less same storylines over again with different actors? Yes, ok, that's exactly what i'm doing but mainly for comparison's purpose and so i can be sanctimonious and say it's not a patch on the original ;)))
tvordlj: (Default)
I finally saw Shameless (the US version). Hmmmm.... I haven't watched the UK pilot in quite awhile but it seems to me some of what was in the first ep in the US version was from several of the first few eps in the UK season 1 rather than matching the first episode. I may be wrong there, though. I liked Emmy Rossum as Fiona quite a bit. Most of the kids seem ok though why on earth did they note that Ian wants to be in the military and showed a shot of him in a cadet troup or reserve troup or something? Was that the American PC bit thrown in there? He looks way too young too. In fact most of the kids seemed to be a bit on the young side. The girl playing Debbie seemed ok but not quite worldly enough. Too sweet looking lol And the chick that played Karen, the one under the table while Lip tried to tutor her didn't quite have that slightly trashy edge. Joan Cusak looks to be a very good Sheila but time will tell.

And Frank? William H. Macy is a good actor but so far, not quite "Frank" enough i think. The UK Frank always seems to be in a slurry haze which makes his Greek Chorus observations even funnier and more pointed at times. Take this week, in the UK new season, where he thought his daughter was dead... you could see the news slowly burrowing through his drugged brain as he took it in. Frank really does love his kids in spite of outward appearances and i think he has a special bond with Debbie. I'm not sure yet that this Frank is going to have that nasty side to him, that air of "i don't give a fuck" or, maybe, it's that he's too cold and doesn't show any sympatico to the kids at all and you wonder why they are all so fond of him. The jury's still out.

Something else that doesn't quite add up as far as the continuity goes, and maybe it's just something i'd pick up on because i'm...picky. They say that the mother left a long time ago but the youngest, Liam, is a baby that can barely walk and she left when he was a few months old. Hardly a "long time ago", more like 6 or 8 months as opposed to several years.

Anyway, Macy so far isn't quite world weary enough but there's only been one episode so far and it wasn't really awful enough to forgo the rest of it. It's hard when you really enjoy a series and see it done with different casting. For people that have never seen the UK series, they'll probably like it. As it's on cable, there's more nudity and cursing than you get on network tv. You couldn't do Shameless without that raw side of it. There would be no point. I read one review where they think that there's extra nudity and "grittiness" just because it's cable and they can. Clearly, they've not seen the original.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I've recorded the debut of the American version of Shameless and downloaded the first of the new season of UK Shameless. I may have to have a Shameless marathon later tonight. A UK tv writer, Ian Wylie, someone who's opinion i do respect, thinks the US version is pretty good. I remain doubtful but i'll watch it anyway. Willliam H. Macy just doesn't seem to me to be "Frank" from the show. Apparently they're using the scripts or mostly from the UK shows. I reckon the kids will be ok and i actually think Emmy Rossum as Fiona will be good too. Frank is what really makes the show, though. I think Joan Cusak is cast as the nutjob that Frank eventually (in the UK at least) gets together with, Sheila. I usually like her so hoping she'll be as full out as the UK Sheila was. Time will tell. Expect more of a review once i've watched it.

2011 books
2. Fall of Giants - Ken Follett (ebook)
This is the first of a trilogy. As such, it doesn't really "end". It feels more like the end of another chapter and you could easily turn the page for more. Having said that, it doesn't end on a "cliffhanger" either so you aren't going to sit in suspense waiting for the next of the three books.

Fall of Giants follows the ups and downs of a number of characters from various classes and countries and will, I expect, follow them and the subsquent generations through the next 100 years since this is the "Century Trilogy". It opens in the years before World War I and most of the book covers the war, it's events and it's politics as seen by officers, regular soldiers, women and traces the rise of the Soviets and the Russian Revolution.

We see life from the viewpoints of the poor in Russia and a mining village in Wales where an Earl and his family also live. We see the lives of the upper class British, a middle class man from the USA and another from Germany. All of the people that start the book off as struggling working poor work themselves up a bit by the end in various ways, mainly through politics, some by luck and the seat of their pants.

The book is heavy on politics from the "inside" (Britain, Germany, Russia and military) which might be a bit dull for some people who aren't into history, and light on romance though there is a bit of that, too. The characters seem very well thought out and drawn out and you get a very good feel for life in the various locations at that time. I have to admit that i skimmed through some of the war and battle scenes but thought that my father would have enjoyed it all. I did find the politics behind the Russian Revolution quite interesting and learned a few things about how WWI really started.

I did like the book, but it won't be to everyone's taste. If you like politics and/or history, you will enjoy it. If you like historical romance with a little bit of the above, you probably won't
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
I get the Movieentertainment magazine with my subscription to The Movie Network (pay tv movies) in Canada. In this month's issue was a very tongue in cheek article on predictions for 2011. Here's the full list. The one that had me chuclling the most was "Tom Cruise's latest attempt to regain his popularity will see him on Dancing with the Stars. Defying all industry predictions, it will turn out to be the lowest-rated episode ever." Ha.  Oh and "The list of superheroes to base movies on will become distressingly thin. Tobey Maguire will vow to make people forget Spider-Man when he accepts the role of Mighty Mouse, directed by Ridley Scott." *snork* I can picture it, too!

Actress Emmy Rossum is playing Fiona in the American version of Shameless, starting up in January. Even though the trailer gives me a lot of serious doubts, i think she might be the one bright spot in it. She's the only one on the brief glimpse in the trailer that looks like she really suits the part so far.

Had a lovely meal at Moxie's last night with my friend D. and we exchanged gifts. She gave me a really pretty floral brooch in coral shades with sparklies. I'll have to take a pic of it. Our meal was good, and as always, i shouldn't have had dessert because i was so full after! She's got a Sony ebook reader so we're going to get together next week and i'll give her that ebook library i've got.

Really looking forward to spending time with my family over Christmas. I stay over at Mom's for a couple of nights and the three kids (I say "kids" because it's easier to say than "my nephews and niece" but they aren't kids anymore really. They're adults and lovely ones, too!) anyway the kids stay over as well for Christmas morning. Well, two of them live there already but the third comes as well. It's nice to get up on Christmas morning to a houseful! We can't open presents until sis and R. get there, though, so it's breakfast first and then sitting looking longingly at the gifts under the tree, while texting L. to get her to hurry up!
tvordlj: (Default)
Oh crap. It's happening again. The American's are remaking another British tv series. They butchered Life on Mars and let's not even discuss Coupling. This time? It's Shameless which is a brilliant UK series about a large family in a run down part of Salford, what we would call  public housing or projects. The father, Frank, is an alcholic who is pretty much useless and there are 6 kids, pretty much dragging themselves up. The first seaon had the oldest daughter, Fiona, as the mother figure since their mother had left them. Frank eventually gets involved with an agoraphobic woman, Sheila, who is mad as a box of hammers and quite a brilliant character. In the American series, being made by a cable station, Showtime, William H. Macy is playing Frank and he might be able to pull it off. He's a really good actor, low key, not flashy and with a sad-sack kind of demeanor often times. Apparently Joan Cusak is going to play Sheila as a recast. I do think she'll do the character justice as well.

The real problem comes with the child actors and the fact that American tv tends to sanitize things. Also, though there are very good actors here, i do find they don't have the same methods of delivering lines and the same subtlety as the British actors. The British sense of humour doesn't seem to translate as well either. I'm sure there are many North Americans that "get" British humour but the majority don't. I think it's probably a bit higher on average in Canada where we have a stronger connection to the U.K.  Casting is so important. Anyone that saw the US version of Life on Mars probably shuddered at the original pilot with Colm Meany as Gene Hunt. They recast most of the roles and relocated it to New York which helped a tiny bit but as good as Harvey Keitel is, he was far too old for Gene Hunt or even Gene Hunt's dad! I think if you hadn't seen the UK version, you might not have minded it so much, i suppose. The US series was cancelled and i think they may have scrambled to write an ending. It showed. It was appalling!

So ... Shameless... Having said that, i think even the UK version isn't as good as it was in the first few seasons. The focus has shifted to the Maguire family and a number of the Gallagers have grown up and left the nest. There can't be too many more seasons left. I doubt the US version will make it past one or two. Having it on a cable station might give it a bit of a chance as they can get away with a lot more profanity, nudity and political incorrectness. Time will tell.
tvordlj: (Dime)
So i got off just before noon and was home by 12:30. Guess when the tech finally came? 7:15 tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I called at 5, oh yes you're on the list, they're just running late. I called at 7 and she said i was the next stop. So he got there and said he was the evening shift, he reckons the day shift guy screwed up or something. Probably got late and he decided to go home for his supper. To quote [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee "gobshite!" The guy that arrived finally brought a brand new box and when he looked at the old one he said he thought it might have been a refurbished one! I can't tell you how many ways that's just wrong. I know, i know, probably with most people they're ok but they're refurbished for a reason, because they broke!!! Anyway shiny new one in the house. It takes awhile for it to regenerate all the menus and functionality.

Mom had come over in the afternoon, and i was supposed to take her home and bring the car back for myself. She's away for a few days and i needed it for the weekend. Anyway, you just know if she'd not been waiting, the tech would have come early! She stayed, though, and I took her back while the box regenerated itself. On the way home, i decided i was quite hungry so i went to the grocery store and bought a pre-cooked chicken, some cole slaw and potato salad which isn't as good as my potato salad, btw. Too mushy and wet. And when i went to get back in the car.... shiny dime at my feet! Awwww!

The other thing the guy did was spruce up my cable coming into the house and the signal seems even better now. Cross your bits that it's all good. Onward and upward but i wish i hadn't wasted a half day vacation on it!

Grrrrr

Aug. 17th, 2010 09:00 am
tvordlj: (Fuckit)
Wouldn't you just know it? I finally get a dvr, something *everyone* says i'll absolutely *love* and i won't know how i got along with out it.... and the fucking thing seems to be a dud! It was installed on Saturday. It seemed to be ok, i recorded something, i set up a couple of series schedules. Then Saturday evening i had the sound muted for awhile and then it wouldn't un-mute. I thought i just had the wrong button pressed on the universal remote and changed that, even tried to power off and no joy. I actually had to unplug the thing to reset it. I may still have got my buttons all mixed up, i can't remember now so i'm tentatively putting that down to user error.

But Sunday evening i was working on something on the computer with the television on low. I realized it was awfully quiet and looked around to see a blank screen. Hmmm... I changed the channel.. oh good, there's picture and sound.. but wait... 30 seconds in and the screen went blank again. And continued to do that. Again i unplugged the machine and it reset itself. No more problems like that but now the dvr functionality seemed to be unavailable or disabled or something. I couldn't get through to the cable company, just sat on hold for so long that i gave up. First thing Monday morning, i tried the box again, and couldn't get into any dvr functions. I got through to the cable people straight away and she sent a reset signal to the box which usually takes 10 - 20 minutes to rebuilt the menus and things. by the time i went to work a half hour later, still no dvr functionality and no hd channels either. Rats....

I got home from work and tried it again. Same thing. After Corrie, i called up and first they restored the HD. Probably the morning reset didn't include that i guess. She sent another signal that resends the software down. Still no good. I called back an hour later and now they've set up a service call for me. Rather than wait days for an evening appointment or nearly 2 weeks for a saturday, i'll have to take this afternoon off and wait for the cable guy. Again.

This just pisses me off! Get a new "toy" and it doesn't work and it's so disappointing! Not a very good first impression, that's for sure. I'm sure i will love it once it's all sorted out. I hope they just put in a new box altogether rather than see if the current one needs adjusting because i don't really trust it now. I guess that's the beauty of renting it though, they have to fix it and i don't have to be worried about waranties or anything.
tvordlj: (Default)
The cable guy didn't get here until noon. Figures. I was up at 7:30 in case he came early. They never do, do they? Anyway now i will just get to grips with the new remote control and all the funcitonality of the dvr. I can actually use the old remote but the newer one has a few buttons that are easier to find and use. I'll keep the old one for a spare. I've got series recordings set up for Corrie and Young and Restless so Monday will tell the tale, watching one thing while another one tapes. you still have to leave the tuner on one of the two channels you are recording but the other tuner will find the other channel apparently. Gives a bit more flexibility. I recorded a movie this afternoon to try that out and it was good. I'm going to have to get used to saying "recorded" instead of taped! Almost 20 years of vcr terminology is a hard habit to break.

No usb input to the dvr though apparently there's a way somewhere to hook up the computer to it. I can't be bothered. If they're going to be like that, they're only encouraging "illegal" downloading, aren't they! I do still buy dvds if it's a movie i really like and want to have the extras as well.

2010 books

19. Paris in the Terror - Stanley Loomis
I found this book in a second hand bookstore and have been reading it on the bus. Because it's quite involved i never got more than a few pages read per commute so it took awhile longer to read than i usually take for a book. It's about the history behind the French Revolution focusing on Marat, Charlotte Corday who killed him, then Danton and Robespierre and their subsequent downfalls. It was quite interesting and i found out a lot about the revolution that i hadn't really known before. Some of it is speculation of course, where there was no documentation but it seems overall to be pretty accurate.

20. The Golden City - John Twelve Hawks
This is the third book of a trilogy he's written about psychic Travelers and the fight against the "Big Machine", sort of a Big Brother that increasingly controls the world. There are Harlequins who have made a life vow to protect the Travelers and this story is about Maya who keeps watch over a Traveler who's twin brother has gone over to the "dark" side. This book is the finale of the story which i've enjoyed though this book seemed less riveting than the other two for some reason. The story ends on a note of hope as they do when they're fighting the oppressors.

Am now reading an autobiography of one of the Corrie actors, Bev Callard. It's not bad, but she's not a writer, that's for sure. Some of the stars that have done autobiographies are pretty good, some are not good at all and some use ghost writers! Still, it's interesting enough. I got an autographed copy but i may just pass it on as a raffle prize to the next ping.
tvordlj: (Default)
2010 Books:
19: Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
In preparation for a tv series of the book, i reread it. I haven't read it for years and there was a lot in it i had forgotten. It's the story of Tom Builder and his step son Jack, of Prior Philip and Bishop Waleran Bigod and the other villain is William Hamleigh who is a right nasty piece of work who, as you would expect, will come to a sticky end but it's almost an afterthought. It chronicles the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge during the 12th century, much of the time during the civil war between King Stephen and Queen Maud. This causes political power shifting and setbacks at various times. Also thrown in there is the downfall of Thomas Beckett as witnessed by Prior Philip which almost seems just thrown in there. The book is long and maybe it's a bit too long and puffed up by that point. I did love the story up to the last part which then just kind of drags its feet to the end.

It will be interesting to see how it comes out on the telly, what they put in and what they leave out. It seems like some decent casting for the 8 episode series. Ian McShane plays Bishop Waleran and in the trailer i saw last night I think he'll be spot on. Rufus Sewell is Tom Builder and Andrew MacFadyen is Prior Philip. He's got the right look though not so sure about a middle aged Philip, same with the person playing the villain, David Oakes so perhaps it's not going to cover quite as many years. Anyway I think it might be good and is on the Movie Network here in Canada starting July 23 with two episodes and the rest in August i think.
tvordlj: (Default)
Today was a "post whatever takes your fancy" for the 30 days/30 posts meme. I've been watching the last few episodes of Mad Men. It's really very good. The retro look and feel is captured superbly. The acting is top and the stories are mostly really good. Has anyone else been watching?

There is a new updated version of The Prisoner. It's already aired on one of the American stations and will be on ITV in the UK next year. I have seen most of the original series but i'm not really overly familiar with it. I don't know if it is that well known over here. I only saw it after the fact, a few years ago. When i told [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee about the new series and the fact that an American actor is playing the lead, he was appalled! Ian McKellen is playing Two and apparently is through the whole series so it seems that some things are going to be different as Two was usually a changeable character. I didn't remember that.

This afternoon was ..... interesting. ... My computer shut off and when it came back on, it said there was a driver error or something. Didn't say which driver. Could just be an anomoly. They do do weird things on occasion. About an hour later, all my power in the living room, dining room and kitchen light went out. eek!!! I checked, it wasn't a total power cut, other parts of the apartment had power so i thought, ok, a fuse has blown. I changed it, went to turn the puter back on and then went into the bathroom and when i came back out, all the power in those rooms was out again. WTF? I worried.... is it the computer? I didn't have any fuses left so i called the building maintenance man, who didn't get back to me for nearly 3 hours and i didn't want to turn on the computer in the meantime in case that's what was blowing fuses. Too much plugged in? No more than usual. While i waited, i opened the computer and dusted it all out. It had been awhile. Dusted off the vents in the back as well. They were in pretty clogged shape. Hmmm.... I wonder.... But you wouldn't think that would cause all the other electrical stuff on the circuit to go out, would you? Anyway. Got a new fuse when he came over. I didn't put it in the fuse box as he tested the ones in there and said they were all ok.

All right, big test, turn on the computer. And it works! And everything stayed on! I don't know what was going on. I could understand if the dust was affecting the computer itself and perhaps that was what caused the initial power off of the thing before. However, also, the kitchen light never came back on at all so the fluorescent bulbs must have blown. Maybe the switch was still on when i changed the fuse and the blown bulbs affected the circuit? The light was on the off position this time. I wonder if it was the light fixture so i think i'll get Laurie's fella to put the original one back on for me. Seeing as everything else is working ok at the moment.
tvordlj: (Gene Hunt)
Provincial election day today. I forgot my voter card but i have ID so that'll be ok. Poll station is convenient, on the way home from work. I'm going to vote, are you? I don't even care how you vote (well, yes i do but it's none of my business!) but make the effort!  I overheard a young woman on the bus this morning saying she wasn't going to bother, it didn't mean anything to her. It does though. People don't realize how much that a government does that affects your daily life. Our bus fares are going up. One of the reasons is the higher cost of fuel, and aside from the world price of oil, one of the other reasons fuel is so high is the amount of taxes on it, taxes the government sets.

I haven't posted too much, not a lot to say really. We had a family birthday for my nephew on Sunday and this weekend there's a flat warming party for one of my cousins that i may go to and a graduation party for another relative. I don't know him really but it's a good reason go get together and see family that i don't see too often. A former coworker is visiting Halifax in a couple of weeks so there will be an after work drinks do to catch up with her for those of us that knew her when. She decamped to the balmy breezes of Florida and loves it there.

Season 2 of Ashes to Ashes finished last night in the UK. here be spoilers and speculation )

tvordlj: (In the news)
Seems the US soap, Guiding Light, is being cancelled and will end in September.  This is a show that started off as a radio soap opera in 1937 and went to television in 1952 so it's 72 year run breaks all records for anything! There's another soap, As the World Turns that's been on television since 1956. Coronation Street, which was never a daytime serial, probably wins for longest running primetime serial/soap, coming in at 48 years and counting. It's 50th anniversary is December 9, 2010.  There's a man on ATWT that has been playing the same character for just a few months longer than Bill Roache has been playing Ken Barlow on Coronation Street though Roache is the one in the Guinness book for it.

I've stopped getting the daily paper delivered. I've been reading less and less of it and at home, the papers just pile up on weekends unread half the time. I am going to read it online by subscription there. I tried setting it up this morning but it wasn't working so i don't know if the work firewall was preventing it or not. I'll try from home on the weekend. If i subscribe, i can see the whole paper, not just the main stories that are on the newspaper website. 

Countdown to the trip now that the Corrie event is over. I leave on the 29th! W00T! 27 sleeps to Manchester, 26 until the day i leave but i usually count the higher number because i have to fly overnight and there's always a faint hope i might sleep on the plane!

Hoping to go out tonight with my mate Tracey in celebration of our birthdays that were in March. "Oh we have to get together..." so this time i said, let's decide on a definite date because we'll be more likely to do it, unless something does come up. Tonight is the designated date and it looks like it's still on so i must see what's playing at the movies.

tvordlj: (Default)
Was it very wrong of me to have a grilled cheese sandwich on cheese bread for breakfast this morning? Nah, didn't think so. It was yummy.

I've been immersed in the Halifax Explosion today, converting a tape to digital containing documentaries and a two part fictionalized mini series called The Shattered City. Not all of it was based on truth, of course, such as the German sabotage conspiracy and a few other over-dramatic exaggerations and plot devices that they yonked into it for the storytelling but the basics are true. Two ships, one containing explosives, collide in the harbour. Munitions ship catches fire and blows sky high. Pretty good special effects in the mini series and it's fun to see which real locations they used for filming. I rather think they used the waterfront area of a town like Lunenburg for the waterfront of Halifax, because it's still got wooden buildings and warehouses. (looked it up. Yep. they used Lunenburg) They incorporated some of the true stories such as the baby found in an ashcan. She was nicknamed Ashcan Annie and she grew to the advanced age of 90. Funny, too, while googling to find out about her, it turns out comedienne Joan Rivers blogged about it (third post down) after she was here a year and a bit ago. She toured around the city and found out a lot about the history and wrote about it! That's quite interesting! I think the documentaries are both quite good, one called Legacy and one called City in Ruins. I might even put them on a dvd for [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee's dad for Christmas. I think he'd enjoy it.

Nice and mild out today, a bit rainy which is ok, to get rid of some of the snow, make room for more! I went out to get a few groceries and am going to make Singapore Noodles later on.

Pretty much everything is booked for the trip now, i booked the rental car the other day so there's only two train journeys to worry about. The one between Amsterdam and Brussels i think we'll just get when we get to Amsterdam. I've got an alert set up so i'll know when the tickets for London to Manchester are released (thanks [livejournal.com profile] zoo_music_girl). We'll be in London from Friday eveing, May 8 and on Saturday all day as well. I do hope it works out that we can see some of you!

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