Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Gear. The end of an era.

 The Top Gear we've grown to know love or hate started on 20th Oct 2002.  Then it featured Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammon and Jason Dawe, the following year Dawe was replaced by James May.
 The series first originally started in 1977, then it was presented by Angla Rippon and Tom Coyne, after many changes of presenters it ended in 2001.

The latest series (22) ended with episode 8 on June 28 2015.  This is the last episode to feature Clarkson, Hammond and May.  In the 13 years the show has run we've seen the team do all sorts of crazy things, from making cars float to making car trains, they have also suffered a number of injuries during it's run.  We'll all have out favorite moments. For me it's Jeremy Clarkson putting out claymore mines to keep alligators away, and then trying to explain a dead cow.

 I think the success of the series isn't so much the format, it's the cast and they way they interact, you can see them having fun and just being mates, it draws the viewer into it, you almost feel part of that group.  For me the series if and when it returns with Chris Evans just wont be the same, you can't make up what we've watched for 13 years, it either is or isn't fun to watch.  And frankly I'd rather watch my toenails grow than watch Chris Evans.   As dear old Jeremy might have said, Chris Evans is  about as much fun as a live lobster enema.

Personally I hope ITV, SKY or Netfilx snaps them up, after all they had 8 million + viewer and the best money making program on the BBC, it'll make somebody a ton of money, I can't speak for the other 8 million but I'll be watching a new show with Jeremy, Richard and James any day of the week.

In the meantime  Thanks for the 175 episodes guys, and good luck for the future!

          Clarkson Hammond and May in the last ever episode of them.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Old railway wagons and stuff (part 3 )

The final bath from our wander around a closed sidings.  As I mentioned in my first post please be careful around railway lines. Many of the photos here couldn't have been taken on or near an active line, that would have been far to dangerous.

Old railway wagons and stuff (part 2)

More pics.

Old railway wagons and stuff (part 1)

 Got some pics of old railway wagons and stuff.  Please don't play about near the railway lines. This is a closed siding, never go on active railway lines.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cyclists.... Again

 Now don't get me wrong, I'm not down on cyclists, indeed I was one for many many years, even taking part in the EverReady century ride (100 miles in a day) and a regular on the London to Brighton ride (64 miles)  The difference is we rode properly, we obeyed the traffic laws, and we rode using common sense.
 These days cyclists seem sadly lacking in common sense.  Take the other day for example.  First I passed about 20 cyclists going the other way, the problem was they were on a narrow-ish road and riding 2 abreast all close together, this made it impossible for any cars to overtake them.  This causes driver to get frustrated driving along at 12 MPH, it's also causing congestion.  Even worse any driver lucky enough to squeeze past is then overtaken on both side by the cyclists at the next traffic lights and they push in front and block the road again.  Then they wonder when driver get mad at them.
 Later the same day I damn nearly had a head on collision with another cyclist who came speeding around a blind corner on the wrong side of the main road, talk about bloody stupid!

 So here's some ideas to make the roads safer for both motorists and cyclists.

1.  Make it an offence to cyclists to ride two or more abreast.

2.  Make it an offence for cyclists to overtake traffic stopped at traffic lights/ junctions etc, let them wait in the queue of traffic like everybody else.

3. Actually stop and prosecute cyclists who ride on the pavement and who just ignore traffic lights.

4.  Make cyclists have insurance and an ID number like other road users, this would help prosecute bad riders and help in the event of accidents.

5.  Make it an offence for cyclists to ride on the road when the road has a cycle path, the whole point of the bloody expensive cycle path is to make it safer for cyclists.

6.  Make it compulsory for cyclists to have bright hi-vis clothing, helmets and lights after dark.  Now the law says they need lights after sunset, but almost every day I'll see some moron in dark clothing and with no lights cycling down the middle of a busy road.  Car driver have to wear a seat belt to save the NHS money, why can cyclist cost the NHS a fortune every year by falling on their heads?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Patrick Macnee died today

 Daniel Patrick Macnee died today aged 93.  Patrick appeared in a number of films, including Hamlet (1948) Les Girls with Gene Kelly (1957) and the Battle of the River Plate to name a few.  Patrick is best remembered though as John Steed in the Avengers tv series (1961- 1969)  returning to the role in the New Avengers in 1976. 
He was always the typical English gentleman, suave, polite, and immaculately dressed.  His trade mark bowler and brolly set him as a city gent.
After the Avengers Patrick went on to star in A View to Kill, The Sea Wolves, and many other films and many tv programs, including even a Twilight Zone episode.
Even at the end Patrick had the last laugh, his death is said to have been from natural causes, a play on words in the Avengers where a natural cause death was never so.

Goodbye Patrick, you'll always be a gentleman to me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

When will the killing end?

 This week after another senseless death surely someone somewhere in America must be asking when will it end.
 Following on from the shooting of nine members of a church, we have a man shot dead after "letting go" an employee, the aggrieved man got his gun, shot the boss dead and drove off in the company van.
 Now I do understand the "American way" and the right to bear arms, part of the second amendment of the constitution, but it seems like it's long overdue for some common sense to come into play here.

 Lets look at the theory.  The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the second amendment, written on December 15 1791.  Now the world has changed a lot in the two hundred and twenty four years since then, yet they stick blindly to allowing pretty much anybody even mentally ill people to buy and carry assault rifles.

 The argument goes if I have a gun I can protect myself from the nutter with a gun, sadly that's far from the truth. Anyone with actual combat experience will tell you the chances of you being able to react fast enough when confronted with an armed aggressor and draw and fire (and actually hit the target) needs constant practice and alertness to work.  Test have shown many times that without regular high stress training the shooter tends to react far too slowly to get a shot off and worse often hits the wrong person in the ensuing chaos.

 To expect an average person who shoots a target every few months to react and hit a real live aggressor when they are going about their normal daily routine and not even expecting trouble is living in fantasy island.  Remember the aggressor has the advantage of already having the gun out.
( and it's different shooting a real person knowing your taking a human life)

So come on America, lets see some common sense, stop the sale of assault weapons (normal people don't need and shouldn't have them) lets ensure the mental unstable don't have them. Make it harder to get them than buying a joint of beef. 

 It might be worth keeping in mind your arming a possible enemy with every gun sold. Think of the damage a few ISIS or Al Qaeda supporters armed to the teeth with assault rifles could do.

A Tardis and some trees....

It's funny the things you find when you go for a walk early in the morning....

The world gets crazier by the day!

 A man who threw a biscuit at another man was charged with actual bodily harm, two children doing "wheelies" who bumped into each other was recorded as assault. This madness is in response to a crackdown on not recording trivial offences.

 WRAP (waste resource action program) which spends £65 million a year now advises people to put recycling bins in the bathroom to recycle more shampoo bottles and toilet rolls. Maybe recycling the £65 million and closing a body that gives daft advise would be a better bet, most bathroom haven't got much spare space for a fleet of recycling bins.  Or how about renaming the body campaign recycling action program? CRAP makes so much more sense!

 Dylan Roof who shot nine members of a church looks set for an interesting trial, it seems the judge first said he was the victim and now says that although he wants the death sentence the state has run out the lethal injection and can't buy any more (why not?).  To add to the situation police then treated Dylan to a Burger King meal.... This being America the burger king "happy meal" toy is possibly a machine gun.  The final sentence should be interesting.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers day

 Today is fathers day here in the UK. Both my sons remembered, and while one is away the other spent the day with me, and a lovely day it was too!
 A nice walk in the Gower in warm sunshine, an attempted cliff climb, we got up about up 80 foot until the rock got too dodgy and a big piece came away in my hand, so it was back down then, safety first!
 Then on the way back we spotted the M4 motorway on stop and dodged getting stuck in the massive jam, it did mean coming back through Morriston.....but then theres a Joe's ice cream parlour in Morriston... My God the double scoop is freaking huge!  Yum Yum.
 All in all a lovely day.  Thanks lads.

My son and I on the cliff top in a selfie.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Battle for SkyArk 2015 (film review)

 "In the near future the earth has become desolate and dangerous. Now inhabited by a mysterious race of creatures, humanity has been forced to find refuge in the SkyArk, a man-made city in the sky. As the population grows, space becomes scarce and only the rich and powerful can stay, dumping the poor and orphaned of SkyArk to the abandoned earth. Among them is one boy, Rags, the son of a fallen commander who is determined to save his fellow orphans and exiles. Together with his friends, he must battle through the ruins of old earth, fighting off the horde of alien monsters to return to SkyArk and bring peace back to the people. ." IMDb

Yet another post apocalyptic film, a sort of cross between mad max and a zombie movie.

The film is a strange mix of weak horror and Si-Fi, theres few special effects, certainly very little CGI, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, theres a fair bit of sort of sword fighting but then curiously no blood and some of the death scenes seem cut for a younger audience.
The actors and main cast are all young again giving the impression the movie is aimed at children, and yet some of the monster scenes will probably give younger viewers nightmares.

Sadly the film falls down in several areas, the plot seems vague and the actors expected to portray emotions beyond their years, and their acting ability isn't really up to the job, the cast also seems to have people who are just there and don't contribute to the story.
 It has a real low budget feel and I'm really not sure who the film is aimed at, to me it felt like a childrens film trying to be an adult film (not that sort of adult film)  Weak story, weak acting, weak script, weak set.

Waynes rating   3/10  if you have  young teen children they may enjoy the film.