Thursday, November 11, 2010

What would Danielle Rousseau say?

Did you enjoy the end of Lost?

I know it's not the most important issue in the world, it's just a TV show after all, but for those who invested the time and stuck with the show for 6 years, coming to the end has been a bit of a shock. Looking at the Polls, views seem to be evenly split between those who loved it and those who hated it.

Those who hated it seem to do so because of unanswered questions.
I was almost in that camp, but thanks to a few pointers I would now watch it all again (with a break first of a year or so).

Here are a couple of things that helped me not to be a hater of the last series:

1: Like a lot of people, I thought Series 6 was starting after the bomb had been detonated and the glimpses into the 'sideways flashbacks' meant that they had succeeded, the bomb had meant the plane never crashed and they were all living an alternate life. It was confusing how they could also be on the Island and how Desmond could act as a bridge between them...but hey, this is Lost.

Actually that was a huge trick of the last series. The bomb didn't work, it just transported them back to their own time. The plane not crashing onwards, that's them dead. They are on another 'Island' of limbo or something, stuck their until they are ready to 'move on' which is what Desmond is trying to accomplish. Also, I'll add here, I was surprised to see a lot of people thought it also meant that they had all died in the first series plane crash??? Um..NO!

2: I wanted to know who made the rules up and where it all began...surely there was a Top Dog somewhere organizing things? How could the "Bad Locke' not leave the Island when Jacob seemed to come and go as he pleased? Why did they make the statue/lighthouse/Island moving device etc when they didn't seem to be that advanced.

What helped me here was realizing that Lost is just a snapshot in history, albeit a big one, of the Island. Jacob is only 1 of 4 Protectors of the Island we will see in the series, there have been a lot more before Jacobs 'Mother' and will be a lot more after Hurley. How the first one came about...I don't know, maybe that's another story and not knowing doesn't seem such a big deal. Each Protector seemed to be able to make their own rules up, maybe something to do with the Island working through them a bit. This to me explained very neatly the Lighthouse etc, it was just made by an earlier Protector. 'Bad Locke' couldn't leave because it was one of Jacob's rules. You follow my drift here?

3: What was the significance of the 'numbers' they were such a big deal in the earlier series and meant nothing in the later ones?

Well, I missed this completely and had to look it up. Remember the names on the cave walls? They each had a number. The 6 Candidates were the 6 numbers that made up the Lottery number.

4: OK, lastly, what was Dharma and The Others all about. What on earth were they even doing their? How could Dharma even find the place and set up all those experiments seemingly unhindered by Smokey or Jacob?

My view on this is that Dharma were ultimately working for Smokey, which is why they never got harmed, and the Others had been drawn to the Island by Jacob, to help him protect it. All the Dharma experiments seemed to be to do with tapping into the 'magic' of the Island, which is what Smokey was interested in.
Was the final war between Dharma and The Others Jacob's doing? Don't know, and again, it doesn't seem that important.

What was the Island anyway?
No idea. It was just a place where a source of incredible power was situated..and power attracts.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What would David Bailey say?

I've finally bought some lamps to make a small photographic studio.
I bought this set on Amazon:  LAMPS

Here is a pic of them in my very cluttered and small work area

And here is the picture taken of the lens. There's no postwork at all, not even to clean up the mark on the lens

I'm very pleased with the result. I use this set-up to primarily take pictures of my scale models.

Incidentally, I found fungus on this lens (even though it's kept in a flight case with lots of silica gel) so have ordered a set of lens spanner's on eBay to try and DIY clean it myself with some white spirit vinegar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What would Alexander Graham Bell say?

This is a nightmare!
It's my old friend Talk Talk, a company I have found very underhand, but fortunately this story isn't about me, it's my Mother In Law's problem.

It's still not resolved, but here are the facts:

My M-I-Law and husband have a full package with Sky. TV, Broadband & Phone. No problem.
Being the 'techy' son in law they ring me with any issues, last week it was the broadband. It had stopped working and an orange light was permanently on the modem. I suggested resetting it and left it at that.

So, it turns out that didn't work, so they rang Sky for assistance.
Only Sky told them they couldn't help because they were no longer with them.

What did they mean?

It turns out there are unscrupulous ISP providers (you know the ones, who knock at your door all hours to see if you'd like cheap broadband and free calls) who are now no longer bothering to knock, they just fill in your details and send them off.
What is surprising (as I have had this attempted on me...yes, by TalkTalk) is that Sky didn't contact the MILaw, they just switched them.
Because of the switch they also, unbeknownst to them, have a new telephone number, their old one has already been recirculated by BT.

So, they find their new number, Sky though won't tell them who their new ISP is, they seem uncertain. They mention TalkTalk, but do say it may be another company.


If you think this is a mess, just wait.

So, they no longer have broadband, they have lost their number (which means the hospital cannot ring them over important issues coming up), but BT have said their new number actually belongs to a completely different person.


It belongs to the couple who moved in across the road last week!
So, they go and visit the new couple, and sure enough the number they now have BT have said belong to the new couple, BT were supposed to come and connect them last week but failed to do so. Why, because BT think the line is up and running, which it is, just at the wrong house. So the MILaw's number is temporary at best.
They have also been told that if the number is given to the proper person then they could be without a phone for "quite some time".

Maybe I should mention, they don't live in a town or city, they live in a very rural part of Brecon. There are no Internet Cafe's around, and no pay phone's to nip too. These are pensioners who do their best to understand Google.

It's not yet resolved. Sky have said they are looking at this at the highest level.
Ofcom have said if TalkTalk have been found to have been underhand their will be a huge fine.
I suggested going to the Citizens Advice Bureau as well and to start to use the magic word "compensation" in all their dealings.

What a mess.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What would Colonel Burton say?

How do you get Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour to work on Windows 7 64bit Home Premium?

Well, it took me ages on the weekend to suss it out, but I have a working solution. I tried all the posts about creating and changing ini files, but none of them worked.

This did:

First, you need an installed game. Not the one youv'e installed on Windows 7. If you have a back up copy from an older OS, that is perfect. If not, try downloading a free virtual machine (you will of course need the old OS to load on to it, like XP).

The point is, once you have the game installed correctly and working on an older OS, you can just copy the Programme file (EA Games folder) onto Windows 7, don't forget the Zero Hour folder from My Documents on the old OS too.

OK, so youv'e done that.
Now if you try and play on Windows 7, about 2 mins into the game everything blows up and you get the message Youv'e been defeated.
That's correct. Your one step away now from a working version.
All you need to do now is repair the game using Disc 1 of Zero Hour in Windows 7. It will repair the version youv'e copied.
Now everything will work correctly.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What would Daisy Duke say?

Why has no one ever done this before? This is an M3 Lee Medium tank. Called the Lee after General Lee. the same name the Dukes car has.

It had to be done, didn't it?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What would Tony Hart say?

I dug this out of my bits box and thought I'd post it here. It was an experiment I tried on a few models with different colours, quite a while ago now. I was just trying different things, seeing what effects I could get.
This was a brown model (Swedish tank), and I basically got a bucket of water, sprayed some yellow and green in the water, which automatically stayed on the surface, and then dipped the tank in the water.
The paint sticks to the surface of the tank. It's like marbelling with aerosols.
The paint is a bit stringy, but if you use a toothbrush or similar you can brush the bits into all the grooves, or just leave it dangling for a swampy look.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What would General Patton say?

I've been hunting around for a Military Modelling site to join.
My tastes are simple, I just want some intersting articles to read, a nice gallery and a friendly forum with posts showing pictures of models.
I guess what we'd all say we're after.
I looked at the really big sites, but settled in the end with a relatively small and new site: Model Armour!

There's a great bunch of modellers there at all levels. I've been a member for a couple of weeks and already learned a huge amount.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What would Winston Churchill say?

I've just been resizing a load of propoganda posters to 1/35 scale that will be easy to print and cut out on an A4 sheet.
If you want a set, I've made it a free download at Deviant Art HERE

It's a medium res jpeg. Make sure you print it out at actual size.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What would David Attenborough say?

Recently as a family we went to Bristol Zoo.
It was a lovely sunny day. We drove their following the zoo signs, which is a small elephant with the word zoo written on it.

I was actually quite excited to see some big wild animals and took my camera for some opportunities.

We walked once round the zoo and I started to feel disappointed.
Where were the:

They didn't have any! They did have Lions, but let's face it, they are so boring. they sleep all the time and paying a lot of money to see a sleeping lions foot is not a bargain!
And what about the insect house? Next to the big animals, that didn't happen, my fave part of a zoo is seeing the bugs, spiders and scorpions etc. Well, bristol Zoo does have a bug house, but it is kept in very dim lighting. So dim I could hardly see a thing.
A very disappointing visit.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What would Tom & Jerry say?

I've been a busy little Bee. After my first attempt at making my own board game Mad Robots I've now finished my second full game. Cat & Mouseoid . Even if I say so myself, with 4 players, it's a lot of fun and is the fastest moving game I've ever played with everyone rushing to take their turn.
Oh, did I mention these are both PnP games? That means they are Print and Play games, just download them, print them off and away you go.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What would Earl Silas Tupper say?

Just a tip for those who have games like Memoir 44 or Arkham Horror, or really any game with lots of 'bits'. I found these plastic boxes on eBay. You can get them in packs of 5 for £15. If you do a search for 18 SECTION COMPARTMENT STORAGE ORGANISER BOX you'll find them.
They have little removable slides running horizontally, so although you cannot alter the vertical widths, you can the horizontal. Very handy.

(Earl Silas Tupper invented Tupperware)

Friday, July 16, 2010

What would Mr. Bronson say?

I've just had the kids school reports. They're not nearly as good as the reports I had in school. What I mean by that, is they are so impersonal.
Ours used to be hand written, and the teacher would therefor bother to write something about you. Now, every report is typed, with blocks of phrases just cut and pasted between hundreds of kids.
I wrote a note back to the Headmaster this time round. Elionwy's report was the most impersonal cut and paste report I've seem. It said nothing about her at all. In fact, in the science section they'd even left another girls name in the pasting!

The cherry on the cake though was her PE comments. Elionwy needs to make more of an effort etc etc. She broke 3 school records this term!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What would Bruce Lee say?

Ip Man

First let me say I have no idea how the title is pronounced.
I bought this on Blu Ray, being swayed by some good reviews on Amazon and the fact I managed to get it delivered for under a fiver.

After bunging it in the PS3 and watching the trailers first it was really touch and go if I was going to watch this. The trailers were so dire I thought the film must be equally of poor quality.
But, I went for it. The sound seemed to default itself to 2.0 Cantonese, but there is a 5.1 soundtrack, also in Cantonese and I couldn't find any options for subtitles, so thought again I might be in trouble.

OK, so I started the film which is the true story of Ip Man, a Wing Chun Martial Artist, probably if he's known to anyone, which I doubt (I'd never heard of him either) it's because he later in life was the teacher of Bruce Lee.
The film starts in 1935, in a small town called Foshan. Everyone is pretty well off, it seems everyone has plenty of time every day to go to one of the many different martial Arts Schools and practice, which leads to a lot of interesting scenes as different Masters want to spar together to see who really is best.
Then 1937 comes and brings the Japanese invasion and the film along with Ip Man takes on a more serious feel.

The film quality is superb. You won't be dissapointed with the Blu Ray. The sound is functional, which I find I didn't notice too much as I was busy reading the subtitles (which automatically appeared for somewhere-burnt in?).
The main star, Donnie Yen is just superb as Ip. You very quickly forget this is a movie and get sucked in to the life of 1930's China. Apparently Sammo Hung directed the action, not the film, and it really shows he knew what he was doing.
I'm not going to tell you what happens and spoil it for you, but if you like a superbly acted film with plenty of extremley skilled fight scenes (no flying around wire work here), then this is for you.

The film won 2009 HK Film Awards in both the acting/directing and technical categories and consequently won for Best Action Director and Best Film.

Absolute quality film.
Rated top marks!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What would Charles Dexter Ward say?

When I was in Junior school I was taught to read with the use of Janet & John books, also there was a range of Peter & Jane books.

Peter has a ball
Jane has a ball
Peter and Jane have a ball

Not the most stimulating.
What is really weird though, is that after you had mastered this set of books you were then given books like The LegendOf Beowulf & grendel, and short stories by HP Lovecraft!
Hardly surprising that at about 9 years old after reading strange stories about a man visiting cities of cats and things like that I grew up liking the Cthulhu Mythos.

I've just bought the boardgame Arkham Horror and it's rekindled my interest.
I already have a framed certificate on my wall from Miskatonic University (what a GEEK!) and whilst looking for other things came across these 2 sites:

CTHULHU ARCHIVES This site has lots of interesting freebies to download and print off. Fonts, certificates, newspaper clippings. Have fun.

DAGONBYTES the complete works of Lovecraft in text format. I kid you not!