23 December 2008

Beer Report : Tues edition, Cider

Tonight a very nice, if strong (7.2%) Tremlett's Bitter Cider went down. It's very cidery, in a traditional sense. I don't know if it's just me, but proper cider has a slightly musty taste to it. Nose was crisp and interesting, but the musty taste was also there. It's very nice, it kicks back, and I'll drink more of it. 500ml doesn't last very long, and I've now got the new QI to watch, huzzah!!!! Oh, made from an old UK apple, but I didn't notice anything too special about it.

Made in Taunton, for those of you who remember my first trip to England, that should provoke some giggles...

Love, B

22 December 2008

It's the last day of work

And I look rather like Hunter S Thompson. This was intended. And is currently disturbing workmates who know who HST is. The rest of them are just laughing at my get up :)

me xxxxx

20 December 2008

Beer Report : Weekend edition

It's been awhile between reports, if not awhile between drinks. I think we can put that down to nothing exciting has gone down the gullet - aside from a 2003 Thomas Hardy. But I've already raved about the beauty of that beer.

Today I'm sipping the new Mata drop, Feijoa. It's a very crisp lager, very 'dry', strong feijoa nose, seems to have low hop content. Sweetness of the feijoa cuts through the dryness of the lager, there's no notes on their webpage so can't give any notes on what hops were used. I'm liking it, its not as sweet as the Monteiths Radler and is quite quaffable. I sense it could work very very well with BBQs. I should investigate it more. Sadly it seems hard to find, but the ol faithful, Regional, has it...

I appear to be a blogging machine today...


Link of the Day

Top 10 Beers to drink during a zombie attack.

B (mmmm maybe I should go get a beer...good plan...go me!)

24 Hour Movie Marathon Pt 2

Back again, by now we'd hit the caffeine heavily and were approaching midnght (i think). We'd nibbled the strawberries, the grapes, the hummus. Yep healthy eating and caffeine overdosing. Go Team!

The Time Machine (1960) This is one of the truly great sci-fi movies, and it was great seeing it on the big screen. Who knows why they re-made it, as this version is the definitive. It's at times cheesy, deep, intriguing, sexist, visionary - perfect for the marathon. Good realisation of the book, with the usual 60's looseness. The lead, Rod Taylor, is very very good and holds the story together nicely. Speaking of which, it might be a bit hammy, but the story is nice and sets up a reasonably thought provoking discusion of free will.
Those of you who watch the Big Bang theory will recognise the machine and morlocks :) which is very similar to Mortlach ! Wonderful envisionaging of the time travel too - nice effects. Great movie that you need to watch.

Torture Dungeon (1970) Aahhhh Andy Milligan, one of the worlds most visionary directors ! i love his stuff, we've seen a bit over the years, Guru the mad monk, Blood and I think a couple of others. Shockingly bad!!! He is truely one of the originals and exactly wot I wanted to see. It's got all the hallmarks of Mr Milligan, kinda vaguely middle Europe mid Renaissance? setting (but shot in Staten Island from memory). Kings, Queens, lost children, idiots, but somehow this one wasn't living up to everything I wanted - not enough porn for a Milligan. As usual no coherent story (not that I could follow anyway), acting that makes porn stars look good, production values lower than a yoofs jeans - all wonderful. I can't find any clip of it online, so here's the trailer for The Mad Monk which we watched last marathon.

The Ruins 2008 The last of the premies! (heh heh) Four friends holiday in Mexico go to a hidden ruin. Very predictable horror which I really didn't enjoy. Boring. Some of the scenes involving 'the monster' where good, particuarly the infection aspects of the victims. Again DVD.
Acting was annoying and characters not very well developed. Worse than normal for a horror movie.

The Last Dragon (1985) How feckin' awesome was this! Motown Kung Fu. This was bloody marvellous. Young master is seeking the final level and goes on a journey of self-discovery. Kicking butt to an awesome soundtrack. Everything is wrong about this movie, and was perfect. We needed far more of this! Trivia time, the main chick is Vanity as in Prince's protege. She's now a hard-core born again (ahhh bet you thought I was going to say porn star!).

Gojira tai Gaigan (Chikyu kogeki meirei) 1972 We only got one reel of this - the final one where the big fight happens - nice four way between the monsters, two of which are space monsters!!! Fun movie, from what we saw, and crap dialogue. Not sure if I could have coped with 80 mins of it, but 20 mins was great!

Moonshiners Woman (1968) Ahhh a wonderful return tothe moralistic crap like Reefer Madness. Hilarious overdubbing by the narrator about the perils of the big city, money and drugs/booze/prostitution. Sign me up!! Painfully long to sit through and worth every minute of it!

And finally, we ended up The Road Warrior. Again good to see this on the big screen. Not much point reviewing this, given everyone has seen it !

Overall, it was good, but my major issue was that there wasn't enough crap. Too many classics, not enough porn/crud/bollox - which is, afterall, what you want to see at 2am in the morning on a caffeine high. Will I go again? sure. Will I complain to Ant about the level of quality? sure!

Love, B

19 December 2008

24 Hour Movie Marathon

I didn't die from caffeine overdose, again proving resistence and year round training pays off. So what did our merry band of addicts watch?
King Dinosaur (1955) Reptile porn!!! croc's, lizards, fights! crap lines! romance! shoddy effects! Great start to the marathon. MST3K did do a pisstake, but we didn't watch that one. So here's the trailer. Movie rocked along nicely, not too long, and funny with great 50's sensibility. A habitable plant magically appeared close enough to Earth to visit. Huzzah!!!

Taking of Pelham 123 (1974) OK, so it's not a b-grade but it was nice to see on the big screen. It's actually a good movie, but it's also notable for the wonderful stereotyping of blacks, poms ("he's english, so probably a fruitcake"). Plot revolves around a hijacking a New York subway train - lots of famous actors in their early days, or at the peak of their performance. Well written, well acted, and clips along at a nice pace. Do watch it.

Role Models (2008) First of the premieres. from the history of the writers, I wouldn't have given this one the time of day. But locked in a movie theater, ya don't have much option, and it turned out to be a very funny comedy. Two miscreants end up on a youth support program (big brothers to disadvantaged kids), one a loser geek and the other a smartass black kid. It should have been cliche'd bollox that had me swearing, but somehow it worked. Smart and offensive, I gave it the thumbs up. Would recommend seeing it when it came out.

Ninja Turf (1985) AKA LA Streetfighter. It's an 80s Ninja movie, need I say more? Script atrocious, acting worse, continuity an early victim in this movie. Think West Side Story meets Saturday Night Fever. Kinda. Set at a high school where everyone is at least 35 - I begin to see where Aaron Spelling got his inspiration from ... kung fu stuff looked good, even if the movie made little sense. Loosely the plot, which takes sometime to appear, gangs fighting (which is irrelevant to the story), boy meets girl from other gang (again irrelevant), boy steals lots of cocaine, bad gang unhappy, kidnaps rest of gang, hero goes in search of friends. Dire!!

Krull (1983) Oh dear god. This is where the pain set in. I remember watching this in the 80s and thinking it seemed a bit silly. Ants introduced this as 'this should take you all back and scare you with 80s memories'. This movie is crap. Storyline? hahahahaha. Acting, ideal for a bgrade marathon. jeez it's bad. Unfortuntely it takes itself seriously. For some time. A very lengthy time in fact. One of the worst movies ever made, I'd quite happily group it with Dungeon Siege 2. For those of you who harbour happy memories of this - go watch it again. And have your childhood memories dashed by Liam Neeson trying his very best to act within the appalling script and background.

Dying Breed (2008) Second of the premiere's. An Australian horror movie set in Tasmania about flesh eating. It's not bad, definitely better than Wolf Creek. I enjoyed it, even if it's pretty predictable. Two chicks, two guys, all young go in search of the Tasmanian Tiger - same area as one of the chicks' sister died some years before. End up in the back of beyond with weird villagers - somewhat reminiscient of league of gentlemen ! I found the cynical comedic relief guy (aussie larrakin) a bit annoying quite quickly, very cliched character. As mentioned, it's predictable, but it's OK, no major frights. Nice feel to the movie, very dark and atmospheric - seemed similar in some respects to 1000 corpses. Good gore level, so I reckon 6/10 for this one. Worth seeing, but don't rush. DVD will be fine.

Vigilante (1983) What's with all these bloody 80s movies that are good, and not b-grade being shown? A revenge flick where a steel mill worker has his wife/kid murdered and joins a vigilante group to sort them out. Quite enjoyable and gritty - style seemed to take a lot from the new york 70s crime flicks. Fred Williamson in there too. Enjoyed this, and some good lines.

Part 2 to follow.


Tom Waits gig

Tom Waits

And in the final, very belated, blog of the trip to see Andrew and Alex's wedding, a review of the Tom Waits gig in Dublin.
We left Krakow and flew the deluxe flights of RyanAir to Dublin via Stansted (my God, what a horrendous airport). Bus to hostel which was reasonably close to the main street of Dublin, which for the moment, escapes me. And yeah I know I should know it. A shower then wandering to the gig at Phoenix Park. Phoenix Park, we had been informed, was a 25-30 min walk past such scenic highs as the Guinness factory. More on that later. And yes, it was a 25-30 min walk.
Unfortunately the gig was at the other end, and the Park is bloody massive.
We arrived at the gig around 8pm, picked up the tix, which I discovered back in NZ that having asked for them to be pickups at the gig, they'd posted. Idiots. The venue was a circus tent with a number of stalls around the sides. Exactly what you'd imagine a Tom gig to be. Our seats? Middle of the stage, 4 rows back, I love andrew.

The stage was set up as an old barn, odd instruments strewn everywhere, old speakers hung at the back, and small stage in the center - again strewn with oddities and detritus.
The band wandered on; sax, drums (tom's son), keys, guitar and bass. And then Tom arrived. A decrepid hobo, vaudeville in appearance, basking in applause, playing the crowd.
Kicking into the setlist, a shambling rambling old man, totally captivating the crowd. Not one word , this was an audience who wanted to be there, this was no London crowd.
In my view, a perfect setlist find one? with music from every 'era' of Tom's. The setlist may have been planned, but Tom's approach to gigging keeps the band on their toes - as Tom said after kicking of a song 'well, that could be any of them...'. Tom's better song banter, was excellent, although having heard the NPR gig (link here), it may not vary !!
Excellent section with Tom on piano and a bass player, including piano has been drinking.
What can I say? Atmospheric, dusty (placed on his stage, so stamping during songs produced a dust cloud), shuffling, oddly rhythmical with strange claps, whistles and stamping from the man, and possibly the best gig I've been too. Certainly in the top three. A spell-binding performance by a singularly unique performer, cult hero for over 30 years...

Yeah I liked it.

The weather turned to crap during the gig, it drizzled from Dublin airport to the city and on the wander to the gig. It was torrential rain on the walk down from the Park back into the city. We were soaked. Very soaked. To the point where we didn't have a beer, or indeed any drink. I would have popped into a pub if there'd been a nice one open - another 'minor' issue. And so, waking at 7 in order to catch the ferry across to Wales (as I was training back into London) I can say that:
I have spent 18 hours in Dublin, it was either drizzling or raining the entire time, and I didn't have a beer.


Love and not so much travel this December, me xxx

Hairy Bruce

I now I promised a long time ago that I'd post pictures of me pre-wedding. It's still the same year so I guess I didn't lie :D
Background: 5 months of growth to scare Alex. Given she poured booze down my throat then made me get it cut, I suspect mission accomplished!

Love, B.

14 December 2008


Caffeine intake: check
V intake: check
24hrs of movies: check

Full review to follow, but caffeine intake from 8am Sat to 4pm Sun: filter (1); espresso (7); Vs (5). Death not apparent.

There are blogs aplenty to follow :) I should really do something there.


3 December 2008

Ahhh Driving Miss Brian

I'll get back to the beer saga soon-ish, but in the meantime from HMVs email this morning:

More Brian Training

Nintendo DS

This has caused much amusement.