Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ged to Duh Choppuh!

My last couple of posts have had a touch of the miserable about them so instead of being Mr Gloom Trousers let's talk about movie plot holes.
I was watching Predator the other night when I spotted something I hadn't noticed before.

For anyone not familiar with Mr Schwarzenegger's body of work, Predator tells the story of a group of  over-muscled and heavily armed Special Forces types who go to rescue some CIA bloke from rebels or something in the South American jungle and end up being hunted by an eight foot Rastafarian space lizard.  It could happen.

At one point they trap the alien in a big net but it manages to escape.  Now I don't remember seeing any of them carrying a massive net around and I have no idea why they would take a net on a rescue mission in the jungle.
Maybe they were planning a bit of mackerel fishing. 'Id's boolshit, all of id'!

While I'm talking about aliens I always thought that ET would have been a better film if it ended when he died.  Sorry, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.  Instead he turns into Jesus and gets chased by the army on Elliott's push bike.  Just when it looks like there is no escape ET suddenly develops the ability to fly and goes soaring off  with Elliott and his bike.
Why didn't he use this handy flying ability when he was being chased at the beginning of the film?  So much for him being an advanced intelligence.

Last but not least is the bombastic fuckwittery of Star Wars.  At the film's climax the Death Star is going to blow up the rebel moon but has to wait until a planet gets out of the way to give them a clear shot. Apparently it did not occur to anybody on board the the Death Star to just blow up the planet that is in the way, especially as the rebel space ships are attacking them.
As evil empire's go they aren't particularly evil and even though Darth Vader looks pretty cool, he is all wind and piss really.

Anybody else got examples of movie plot holes?

Friday, 16 March 2012


At 10:00 this morning the people of Belgium held a minute's silence for the 28 of their countrymen, 22 of whom were children who died in an horrendous coach crash in the Swiss Alps earlier this week.

I spent some time in Belgium last year and put up a post about one aspect of the trip called Ypres. However I would like to share with you something else that happened to myself and my friends while we were there.

We had gone to Belgium for the Graspop Heavy Metal Festival and to visit some of the war graves and the Menin Gate Ceremony in Ypres.  The festival was in the middle of the Belgian countryside and our hotel was six miles from the site so we hired some pedal cycles to get to and from the site.

One lunchtime we were cycling to the festival and saw a nice riverside tavern in a tiny village so stopped for a couple of beers.  Before we left we noticed they had charged us for two beers that we hadn't ordered so after an amicable discussion they corrected their mistake.

So we carried on to the festival and spent the day in a frenzy of metal and Belgian beer.  That night as we were cycling back to the hotel we saw the tavern was still open and as we hadn't eaten since breakfast decided to stop for some food.

We clumped in and asked if they were still serving food but were told that the kitchens were closing as it was 23:00 but we could have a drink.  then the girl behind the bar recognised us and pointed out that we were the English men who had argued over the price of a couple of beers.
Great, we thought , now they won't even serve us a beer.
However the next thing we knew they were sitting us at a table and telling us they could probably rustle up a bit of stew. That would be great, we were hungry enough to eat a scabby donkey.

A bit of stew turned out to be bowls full of steaming, rich stew, plates of buttered bread and bowls full of frites and salad with mayonnaise dressing.  Brilliant!
We thanked them profusely and fell to, clearing every bowl and plate they put in front of us.

Afterwards we sat back at the bar and I found myself next to a big Belgian bloke eating meat out of a metal bucket.  I asked him where he had got it, his English was pretty good and he told me he was a lorry driver who lived locally and when he finished his late shift he dropped in for a drink and to eat any leftovers from the riverside barbecue they had held earlier in the evening.
We got talking and swapping stories, my friends talked to the landlord and chatted up the barmaids. Soon an old lady joined us and my new friend introduced her as the landlord's mother, she couldn't speak English so he did the interpreting.

She asked which bands I was looking forward to seeing tomorrow and I told her that we were driving over to Ypres the next day instead to visit the war graves and see the Menin Gate ceremony.
Why was it so important for me and my friends that we would miss the last day of a festival?  I thought about it for a bit and explained that, in my case, my grandfather had fought in the British Army during World War 2  and had been killed by a German artillery shell in North Africa..
Even though he was buried in a small Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemetery in Tunisia I could still try to honour him in this way.

When the lorry driver translated this to her she grabbed me and kissed me on cheeks then went behind the bar and spoke with her son.  Suddenly there were brandy glasses in front of us all and the landlord pulled a bottle of cognac from under the bar and filed them all.
'These are on the house', he said, 'you are fine men'.
And so we all toasted each other with cognac and bought each other beers, talking an laughing into the night until we had to leave.  We still had several miles to cycle through pitch black forest infested with wild boar and we were utterly pissed.
Everybody was hugging and kissing and they made us swear to come back next year as we said our goodbyes and rode of into the night, full of food, beer and happiness.

Today Belgium is once more mourning it's dead.  What has happened would be a tragedy for any nation but I have a soft spot for Belgium, it's respect for the dead whether they are soldiers dying to liberate the country or innocent kids on a skiing trip is admirable.
It only took a few days but I fell in love with this country and it's people and I feel so sorry for their loss.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Van Helsing Must Die.

It's all change round our house right now.  I bought a new car on Monday, something I hate doing as all car sales men are oily reptiles who want to steal al of my money.  Come to think of it I've never seen a car sales woman.
Anyway, back to the point.  My job is also changing radically also but I'm not going to go into that as I don't like to discuss my work.  Not that my job is very mysterious, I just keep it at work and try not bring it home with me. These changes have also stopped me visiting other peoples blogs as much as I would like.

But the change that has got me thinking is this one.  I bought my first ever pair of glasses this week, I've been squinting at small print for about a year now and have finally admitted defeat and had my eyes tested, thus embracing middle age.
The lovely Melynda over at Crazy World will probably read this and tell me to be thankful I only need reading glasses but it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

In four years time I will be half a century old.  This just isn't fair, I feel about twenty.  All the cardio, weights, boot camps, hiking and running I do can't stop my body wearing out and the fact that my eye lenses are no longer as flexible as they were is the first indication of my inevitable decline.

My friend and I went to a Slayer gig recently and we looked like a couple of dads come to pick up their kids from the concert.  I bought a Slayer t-shirt from a tout outside but I only wear it when I'm painting the house, I don't want to be one of those blokes desperately trying to hold onto their youth.

Mind you,I don't want to be an old bloke either but I don't have any choice in the matter.

When I was a kid we had a black and white telly.  There were only three channels back then, BBC1, BBC2 and ITV.  There were no daytime programmes, just a test card. The programmes started at three in the afternoon and finished at midnight.
No-one had mobile phones, games consoles or computers.  In fact the only person on our street who had a phone was Mrs Ambler.  I remember if my dad needed to make a call we would all troop over to her house to watch him, it was like a day out. The world today is unrecognisable in comparison.

Look at that last paragraph, I even sound like an old fart, blathering on about what it was like in my day and insinuating that kids today don't know how lucky they are.

So I have to accept that I can't hang onto my youth anymore and every second takes me closer to the grave.  Bollocks.