I can't decide if I loved or hated this film.
Hated because it was long, the story meandered and failed to draw me in. At one point I was so bored and my backside so numb that I even contemplated leaving half way through, (Not something I do that often at the cinema).
Loved because it was visually stunning with highly saturated images. Orland Bloom
does well in his first starring role, but it is Edward Norton
who steals the limelight, with a most amazing performance as King Baldwin, leaving people in the audience whispering "who was that masked man?".
Ah gadgets and gismos, the internet is chock full of them! The lastest thing I've been introduced to is Skype
Yes, I know there are lots of (well a few) VoIP and internet phone services, but this one is full-featured and very cheap. There's even a way to let friends abroad call you local-rate and PC to PC is free. Plus it works on Mac, Linux, Windows and Pocket PC, so pretty much anyone can use it.
Bizarrely, my feedburner button seems to have reset itself to zero, yet when I check the stats, there's still 7 people using the feed.
So... where did they go?
I'm still looking into it. It looks like I'm not alone as others have posted of similar problems today.Update: 14:43Just got an update from support. Sounds like their server b0rked last night. Everything should be back to normal in a couple of hours.
Those of you who know me are no doubt aware that I'm in the middle of a house-move. Psychologists say that moving house is a very stressful time and is "right up there" with bereavement. It's been a few years since I last moved property and I'd forgotten a key point of the stress - sacrifice.
Sacrifice of the normal day-to-day routine, of making do with the minimum of necessities, of severing close ties with neighbours, the element of "not knowing" and the decluttering/dumping/selling of personal items.
Last night I made the decision to declutter. I took "saphire", my linux box offline. The decision was made infinitely easier by the failure of the PSU fan a week earlier. It has been laying dormant ever since and whilst I could take the time this weekend to repair it I have to face facts, I don't really "need" it up and running for now, the laptop is satisfying all my linux needs. It can wait until we get to the new house. So, I cleared the monitor from the desk, removed the box from under the table and stacked them neatly in the corridor ready for boxing.
This weekend I imagine I will have to say "goodbye" to many things temporarily and permanently and I'll be boxing a lot more items that I don't really "need" until much later.
I made it home in one piece - just. Had a great time in Tennessee, met up with some truly great friends. Whilst the plane trip to TN was mostly uneventful, the trip home was another matter entirely.
Firstly we got to the airport in Knoxville (admittedly shaving the cut-off rather close, but still with time). The check-in clerk was terse and patronising. She grumbled several times about me getting for check-in "on the button" and that I may not make my flight, but she would do her best, (yeah, right). I assumed she wanted to weigh my hand-luggage / carry on to make sure it was within the restricted weight, so I handed it over with my suitcase. She took both items and unbeknownst to me, labeled them for the hold. I didn't get to stressed at this point as I assumed I would be reunited with them at baggage claim in Washington.
How wrong I was.
I got off the plane, (which had turned from a jet engine to a stomach-churning propeller variety) and went to baggage claim. I saw my flight number and strolled over to carousel #1.
I stood there for 10-15 minutes and watched other passengers from my flight collect their luggage and go. Then the flight number disappeared from the screen. I walked over to customer services.
After a lengthy conversation I'm told that if it was a connecting flight I would not see my luggage until I disembarked at London. WTF??? You're kidding me right? (No, they were not kidding).
I was not going to let the baggage handlers throw my case around if it killed me. Besides, everything I'd packed for a stressless flight was in that case. I dislike being "cooped up" as it is. "Cooped up"with nothing to do for six hours? It didn't even bear contemplating.
I walked over to the check-in desk and pleaded with them. (In fact I recounted my story to several people before I got to the nice lady at the desk and by this time it was obvious I was stressing - she brought me a glass of water).
After clearing security I made my way to the departure gate to be told I'd be lucky to see my luggage much before I boarded. More twiddling of thumbs commenced... Time passed...
Finally I was reunited with my bag, five minutes before boarding - GAH!!
I wish that was the end of my torment - it wasn't.
I boarded the plane and was delighted to get a row of four seats all to myself! Shortly after takeoff one of the guys in the row behind asked if he could take one of the seats, I said that was fine. He smiled lots, I went to sleep.
Now the young guy across from me either had a heavy cold or an allergy, he was phlemy and sniffing - constantly, like every couple of minutes. I thought he would stop - he didn't. It was like Chinese Water Torture. I glared at him a few times. It made no difference.
In the end I had to move, for his safety and my sanity. I was shown a row of four seats with a lady sitting at one end. "Great" I thought, I should still be able to stretch out. - wrong. By the time I'd picked up my things and moved she had sprawled herself across three seats and that's how she stayed for the remainder of the flight. The seat in front of me was fully reclined and I think it has got to be the most cramped flight I've ever had.
Still, I survived, I made it home and the whole episode is now a distant, horrible memory.
Well the trip to Tennessee is literally days away now. This is my first solo trip, so I've spent some time surfing the web (the internet is great for that!) for tips to while away the 11 hour transatlantic flight.
I've found some useful and radical options.
1. Magazines (Pretty much goes without saying. Lightweight reading material, but there's only so much magazine-reading you can handle in 11 hours).Now it get's a bit more radical.....
2. Newspapers. (See 1).
3. A book or two (See 1).
4. An electronic game (May give me eye-strain after some time, but still worth taking.... now if only I could find it!).
5. A sketch pad and pencil (great idea, but sketching the carpet or the back of the seat in front of me is going to lose it's appeal after a while).
6. A colouring book. (I actually like this idea, but I decided not to go for the Flopsy Bunny & her friends avoiding the odd looks from my fellow passengers and plumbed instead for a book of tessellations and patterns).
7. A pad of coloured paper and some origami instructions. (Something I thought up independently actually. I'm quite proud of myself!).
8. Laptop + games (A sure winner, but I don't think even a fully-charged battery has 11 hours life in it).
9. In-flight entertainment (depends what's on of course!).
Of course if you have any better suggestions I'd be delighted to hear them.