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The Wasteland

5th March, 2014. 11:57 pm. Did I ever mention 'A Redtail's Dream' here?

I'm not sure I ever did, which is a huge oversight...

It was (past tense, as it finished last year) a webcomic that I can only describe as being a sort of Finnish mythology-meets-Quantum Leap tale of one man and his dog who become trapped in a kind of limbo through the meddling of a spirit fox, and their journey back to normality.

It's one of the most beautiful webcomics I've had the good fortune to follow (you can still read the whole shebang, all 573 pages, here), and even more impressive given that a) this was updated six days a week for the most part, and b) the artist considers this her 'practice' comic. Her current webcomic 'Stand Still, Stay Silent', a post-apocalyptic tale set in the Nordic countries, has just finished its prologue and can be seen here. I highly recommend it.

But why mention this now?

Well...Collapse )

Current mood: happy.

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1st January, 2013. 12:31 am.

I assume that a lot of people around here had a lot of fireworks knocking about that they had bought for Guy Fawkes night and then didn't use because of the dire weather - half a hour after midnight and it still sounds like World War 3. Here's to 2013!

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9th May, 2012. 12:08 am.

Really enjoying 'Foxes Live' on Channel 4 (does what it says on the tin)... Although one and a half hours of programming daily solely on urban foxes is possibly a little too much even for me :-P The 24/7 streaming video footage of foxcubs in dens is kinda like Big Brother but interesting and usually very cute. They've also been using some very clever GPS logging collars to track some foxes around Brighton which has been fascinating. Tonight we discovered that Brian May (of Queen fame) is an expert on the rescue and rehabilitation of foxes, whodathunkit? And yesterday that the guy I mentioned.. ooh... three years ago who kept a fox in a flat above his pet shop, still does and she's now over 9 years old. And the moment you start a live interview with a quietly-spoken young lady will be the exact moment an extremely loud diesel freight train will pass by barely 200m away.

Current mood: sleepy.

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17th March, 2012. 11:54 pm. I don't really listen to Radio 1 any more...

And when I do, a lot of it seems to fall into one of two camps - either instantly-forgettable boyband sludge, or generic rap/hiphop from any number of UK/US artists.

This happens with age, I understand. However maybe a more reliable indicator of the state of the music industry is that the current UK no.1 (it's third week at the top), and biggest hit of 2012 so far, is basically just 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' played on the xylophone. Not to say that 'Somebody That I Used To Know' isn't a good track (I could listen to it all day long, seriously) but it's the only number one of the year I could name, or even hum the tune of.

I'm listening more to Radio 2 or 6 these days. But I still try to catch Annie Mac's show on Fridays if possible.

Current mood: amused.

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12th March, 2012. 11:29 pm.

I really, really, really want to like Dirk Gently but can't shake the feeling that it's all just a little bit underwhelming. Cast: fantastic. Production values: very good. Plot: so far, so good. It's entertaining enough but it's just missing a certain something.

I was so bored on Saturday that I joined twitter. I am there as 'Kantarrrk' because 'Kantark' was taken :-( I followed a few people because it told me to, just random stuff really.
But I think I'm over it already :-P

Still, at least the weather's been beautiful this past couple of days.

Current mood: sleepy.

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26th February, 2012. 10:28 pm.

Well, it's been a while...

What's happened since I last updated is the question I'm sure just about all of you* are not asking. Let's see... two pantomimes, two weddings and a funeral, in no particular order. (Or, in order, one pantomime, a wedding, another pantomime, a funeral then another wedding.) I think I currently own more pairs of shoes than all those I've owned before put together.

(* if there is anyone left on LJ... this place, and the few others I frequent, is becoming quieter than the inside of an anechoic chamber after the heat death of the universe. Where does everyone hang out online nowadays? Facebook (mutter)? Twitter? I refuse to believe that everyone's just spending their online time playing games on FB or the iPhone)

I've had a minor falling out with the BBC who, after cancelling Don't Scare The Hare (see a good proportion of last year's entries), have now neutered their Formula 1 coverage by selling most of the rights to Sky. I expect I'll lose interest in it now that I can only watch every other race on the Beeb (and I don't have, nor do I have any intention of getting, a Sky subscription). So that's 20 years of following a sport potentially at an end, nice work.

Also they've declined to commision a new series of Mongrels - a rather odd, occasionally wide of the mark but often amusing series shown on BBC3. Viewing figures not great, apparently. Well I liked it. Since Dr.Who Confidential isn't coming back there doesn't seem to be too much going for BBC3 at the moment... almost a shame they couldn't've bumped it off and kept the F1 rights instead :-P

I'm at least partially made up with Auntie, however, as I see that a whole new series of Dirk Gently is just over a week away. This is Exciting.

Aaaand, Katie Melua's new single 'Better Than A Dream' is on the Radio 2 playlist which means I tend to hear it at least once a day at the moment. It had a former life (sung by its composer, Mike Batt) as the theme tune to an early 90's ITV cartoon series ('The Dreamstone') that nobody remembers, which I am reminded of every time I hear it. On this basis presumably her next single will be 'Remember You're A Womble'.

So.. to sum up, I've been busy but I'm still no further to working out what I want to do with my life. See you again in a nother few months for more of the same!

Current mood: weird.

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27th November, 2011. 11:34 pm. Writer's Block: Background players

What is your computer wallpaper right now?

Backlit printed-circuit board. Looks pretty but not very practical - I lose icons on it.

Current mood: sleepy.

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15th October, 2011. 3:00 pm.

'Don't Scare The Hare' is back on BBC 1, though sadly just while it plays out the last three shows of the series aborted in July. I watched the past weekend's show on iPlayer and I think somebody is having a laugh... at the end of the episode the 'More Like This' recommendations were all 'Only Connect' - which, as far as game/quiz shows go, couldn't be more different :-P

DSTH isn't on this week - it appears to be making way for horse racing. Wouldn't greyhound racing be more appropriate?

Current mood: busy.

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13th September, 2011. 10:57 pm. Another Caption Competition I won't win

"These hazelnut-based chocolates will be just *perfect* for the Meridell ambassador's reception."


Current mood: stupid.

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30th August, 2011. 11:00 pm.

What is it with BBC 1's Saturday night output? I stumbled across something called 'Epic Win' this weekend, halfway through, and couldn't make head nor tail of it. Alexander Armstrong (again, he's becoming something of a staple on the Beeb when he's not on car-insurance adverts), a chap dressed like a butcher, a panel of three people (later turned out to be 'celebrities' I'd never heard of)... they did something, the butcher chap hands poised over a huge glowing red button like he's playing some kind of mushroom-shaped theremin. Various amounts of money appear on a big screen, the butcher decides whether to take the money or hold out for a higher amount (while the audience scream and shout, very reminiscent of Play Your Cards Right). He hits the mushroom-button and settles on an amount. Then some tension-building music kicks in and a youngish smartly-dressed chap who has until now been silent stares at the butcher in a very peculiar manner before suddenly exclaiming 'Epic Win!'* in a faux-Peter Dickson voice.

* this gets really old really quickly.

What was this thing? It made no sense whatsoever, like some kind of offshoot from Vic & Bob's Shooting Stars - even the set was emblazoned with them (shooting stars, not Reeves & Mortimer). Then I watched a bit more and it turned out to be a kind of  You Bet! (members of the public perform stunts, both performed 'live' in the studio and recorded on location),with a 'prize' awarded by the slebs depending on their appreciation of the stunt. Then the stunt performer has to guess the size of the prize, guess too high and they go home with nothing. What commands a high prize amount seems completely arbritary - for eample, someone who could identify John Travolta films based solely on the hairstyle he was wearing rated more highly than someone who could prepare, cook and serve a stir-fry (including making the bowl and utensils) in three minutes using just two chainsaws.

It's a weird show... the general eccentricities of the public will probably keep it interesting enough (the rest of the format - a panel of slebs, money guessing games, noisy audience - is pretty dull and formulaic) but it's not a classic. I see ITV are doing something which looks like it could be vaguely similar.

Plus points: Alexander Armstrong is getting pretty adept at this stuff now (or maybe I'm just getting used to him), reasonable mindless entertainment, occasionally amusing.

Doubleplusungood points: Inherently pretty dull format. Irritating catchphrase. No animatronic hare :-P


And for something completely different, someone has mixed up Top Gear and the new version of My Little Pony (yeah, me neither). Saw the link on Top Gear's official Facebook page & blog, so they're obviously not too upset about it...

1. Whoever did this has far too much time on their hands.
2. In places the lip-sync is so good it puts the dubbing on some current adverts to shame.
3. My god, these new MLPs look weird.

Current mood: tired.

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