2nd February
Ghost in the Shell

3rd February
The Man Who Laughs

4th February

5th February
The Thief of Bagdad
The Satanic Rites of Dracula

7th February

9th February
King Kong
The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires

Write-ups below the cut... Read more... )
No real spoilers in the episode descriptions, minor spoilers in the overview... )

The Myth Makers 7.25

For the most part Myth Makers is a highly enjoyable story, filled with wonderfully written characters. The portrayal of most of the Greeks and Trojans being over the whole ten year war is handled with a good sense of humour - they've gone beyond anger and through into boredom and tiredness.

The only member of the guest cast not to get any humour is Cassandra. Doomsaying her way through the story, naturally no-one listens.

The main cast are kept reasonably busy, except for poor old Steven who gets put out of the way. The Doctor has some fun, but in some ways this is Vicki's story. Which is odd as she gets nothing to do in the first episode.

Spoilers )In some ways, with the sheer fun of the earlier parts, the last episode feels a bit unsatisfying overall. It's not bad, but it's a hell of an about face on the previous episodes in terms of tone. But then again, it's about the destruction of a city, so it'd be hard and inappropriate to the story to fill the episode with the level of humour present earlier.
Got to say, I'm pretty impressed with how our house goes in the heat. On any of the warmer days, say 30+, the temperature inside will sit anywhere between 4-6 degrees lower on average. But on the really hot days, like yesterday when it reached 40, at one point we were 11.5 degrees cooler inside than it was outside.

On many of the hot days I'll actually leave two or three windows open around an inch. The house heats up a little more than it would, naturally, but it helps drop the internal humidity down by a fair whack, stopping the house from feeling as muggy.

In other news, our first power bill was $60. Given that we haven't had the solar panels up all that long, that's not too bad. Bill would have been about $330 without. That said, $30 of of bill was GST. Yes, they charged us GST on the full amount of the bill, then took off the money from the power buyback. I thought that was a bit cheeky.

As far as I can tell, our power usage appears to be about 75-80% the NSW average. Not too bad, and that's before we've swapped out lights for lower power ones. Mind you, beyond that I'm not sure how much more we can do. Most of the equipment is turned off at the power point, and is usually only on when it's being used. That said, I do want to get the stove top shifted over to gas, and at some point we may look into solar for water heating. We currently have electric water heating but the unit can be converted to work with solar as well.

Given the way power costs are going up in NSW, may well look at building a shed to house batteries, and getting additional panels set up to take us off the grid. But that'd be a fair way off, for all sorts of reasons.

Will be interested to see how our power bills look in the winter. Less sunlight, more lights on. Hopefully the fire will save us some cash, and the house will continue to show how good its insulation is.
Movies 'til the end of January, plus some thoughts and charts under the cut. 37 watched for the month, rather pleased with that!

22nd January
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

23rd January
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

25th January
Final Destination

26th January
Alice in Wonderland (1951)

27th January
The Black Hole

28th January
The Invention of Lying

29th January
Danger: Diabolik

30th January
The Little Mermaid
Escape from Alcatraz

31st January
Scooby Doo
Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of the Four

Read more... )
dalekboy: (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2011 01:18 pm)
So yesterday I, with a little help from Sharon (she's sitting right beside me, so I have to say that), emptied out the shipping container, put down and rearranged the flooring, and put everything back.

But this time I got to use my l33t packing and organising skills to refill the container. This means I can now easily access around 98% of what is in there now, as opposed to around 60% before. And this means that, on days where it's not hot enough to melt your knicker elastic while you're working, I can actually do some proper sorting and disposal, and start unpacking and sorting my stock. Hooray!

Not only that, but I've left enough room for our kitchen table to go in, when we swap that for another table that Sharon's mum is thinking about bringing up from Melbourne.

It's nice to have it to the point where it's a mostly usable space.

In total, I worked for around 8 hours solid in 30 degree heat, carrying boxes in and out, arranging things, moving shelves... but it's done. Of course today I'm suffering - very tired, a little sore, and a very, very light sunburn.

Next to attack the shed!
dalekboy: (Default)
( Jan. 28th, 2011 04:51 pm)
The Red Polo Gallery next door is closing down. Very sad about this, and sad for the owner, Ian, who is a lovely guy. Just one of those bad timing things - a handful of things went wrong at once, car troubles, rent going up, and so on. Any one of which was survivable but all hitting at once has meant he has to close his doors.

There are two other galleries in Cooma, but what I liked about Red Polo was that, apart from being right next door, he was actually doing interesting stuff and taking some chances with interesting and different showings. The other two galleries are very traditional, not a bad thing, but nice to have some real variety. The other sad thing about this is that the other galleries may possibly see Red Polo closing as proof that staying safe is the best option.

In other nicer news, we have so many insects around here! It's very cool. Today while I was out working in the backyard I found a nice big caterpillar, so called Lex over to look at it. The back yard always has at least four or five butterflies hanging about, so I was able to remind Lex about the butterfly lifecycle. One of his favourite books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar so it's nice to be able to show him insects that he has a familiarity with.

And while I was putting out the washing, there on the clothes line was a cocoon, so had to go in and get Lex to show him that.

We keep getting a variety of small beetles in the house, so most days I'll get Lex to carry a beetle out of the house in his open hand. Though he manages to keep missing it when they extend their wings and fly off.

There's also a nice variety of spiders. Was very happy with the Christmas Spider we had outside the ensuite, but it's since moved off.

There's a big variety of cockroaches, I just wish we could keep the buggers out of the house. Wouldn't mind if they were native, or could do Buzby Berkley musical numbers like in Joe's Apartment, but sadly they're just annoying. I have a lot more tolerance for the native variety than I do for the imports.

We also have at least three different species of ants in the back yard. Little ones, bigger ones, and little ones that bite.

Haven't had a really good look at what's hanging out in our trees yet.

Oh, and Lex impressed me the other week by accurately counting the four butterflies that were fluttering about him.
Having seen this, I'm really surprised there wasn't one made at the time. I'd have been even more surprised if the writing quality had been this good.

Nomination for the 2011 Chronos Awards for excellence in Victorian science fiction in 2010 are now open. The awards will be presented at to Continuum 7.

To lodge a nomination please click on the Read more link below.

Read more... )
16th January
Bulldog Drummond's Revenge

17th January
Fahrenheit 451

18th January
Dracula A.D. 1972

19th January
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Mad Love

20th January
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

21st January
Island of Lost Souls

Dracula A.D. 1972 was surprisingly good, in spite of the occasional bland bit of seventies style music.

I'm very fond of both Gremlins movies, and Mad Love was kind of awesome, too. The scene when Peter Lorre impersonates the character Rollo, is a totally creepy, cracked, and what-the-fuck moment.
19th Jan ended up being my accidental Keye Luke day. Gremlins 2 was made at the end of his career, Mad Love was right at the start. Wish I'd found time to fit in an episode of the Kung Fu TV series. I've always been a fan of Keye Luke.

Island of Lost Souls is good, camp (in the ways many 1930's films are), and utterly horrific in equal measure.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was sweet and laugh out loud funny at times.
Been a while, but here you go... No real spoilers, but probably some in the comments.

3.05 Mission to the Unknown Written by Terry Nation, Directed by Derek Martinus

On the planet Kembel Marc Cory finds a dark secret that threatens the galaxy.

This is a fabulous mini-story. Wonderfully melodramatic in a very 1940's British war movie style, it builds to a satisfying ending.

One wonders what it must have been like, back in the days where the vast majority of the audience would have sat down knowing nothing about Mission, for there to be a single episode without the Doctor and no warning about this. One can imagine the audience sitting there wondering when the TARDIS would appear all the way up to the end credits.

And more than this being just a Doctorless episode, this story was nothing less than a prelude to a much bigger story, one that wouldn't be seen for another four weeks. How many people expected the following episode to pick up where this one left off and were left scratching their heads?

The characters are simply but clearly drawn, the stakes are made known, and an old enemy returns. Terry Nation at his best.

This was Verity Lambert's last episode as producer. In some ways it's kind of odd that her last episode featured none of the show's regular cast. But another point of view is that she finished on a unique rule-breaking episode, which feels sort of appropriate given the television program she helped create.


"The seven of us represent the greatest war force ever assembled! Conquest is assured!" - Robert Cartland (Malpha)

picture under cut for the curious... )
[livejournal.com profile] arcadiagt5 has graciously overseen the Chronos Awards since their inception a few years back. This will be his last year handling them and so we are looking for his replacement. It's not a hard job, but it is an important one.

If you're curious or would like to volunteer, follow the link to John's LiveJournal to read more.

Please remember that if you are overseeing the awards, you can't be eligible for one.
The 2011 Chronos Awards for excellence in Victorian science fiction in 2010 will be presented at Continuum 7.

Nominations will open in one week and will be open for two months. The nomination and voting process will be similar to previous awards.

The key dates for the 2011 Chronos Awards are:

Nominations Open: Sunday 23 January 2011
Nominations Close: Sunday 27 March 2011
Voting Opens: Sunday 3 April 2011
Voting Closes: Sunday 15 May 2011
Awards Announced: Continuum 7 (see the program for details)

Any queries can be sent to awards@continuum.org.au

Wide distribution of this post is welcomed but please acknowledge the source and provide a link back.
dalekboy: (Friends)
( Jan. 16th, 2011 03:13 pm)
Been meaning to make this post since September, but as you're all aware, life has been hectic. Getting around to posting has been a lesser priority than 47 other things.

Something Sharon and I discussed at WorldCon (and more or less ever since) was how blessed we are to have such awesome and brilliant friends.

We were room-bound for a good chunk of the con thanks to the kids. This was something we expected and were fine with, knowing we'd only see small sections of the con, and some of our friends. But then we had all those lovely folks that made the time to come up and say hi, to sit with us, chat, and give us the pleasure of their company. We were really grateful for this, because some of these folks we'd have not seen at all if they hadn't come to us.

We had a couple of folks who offered to babysit Lex for us, which was fabulous and gave us a chance to see a little more of the con. And then when Sharon hurt her back, the help and assistance given to us by so many was an absolute Godsend. People went and got painkillers, helped organise food, and just came up and gave us company once again seeing as we wouldn't get to any more of the convention.

We also had help packing our stuff and loading up the car.

More recently, I had help cleaning the house, packing and loading the truck, and unloading and unpacking.

And just this week, in light of a couple of my recent posts, two people sent us presents for Lex - a pink monster, and an Upsy Daisy top.

So this is just a quick word to those people mentioned, those folks I've missed, and to all the others out there that have been there for us over the years, as help or company.

We really appreciate your friendship and help, it means the world to us.

Thank you.
While I'm still coughing, and flat out looking after two children and not doing much of anything else, a lot of things improved in the last days of 2010, including my movie watching. So here's the list of flicks watched to date. Eighteen so far, so rather pleased with that.

Read more... )
dalekboy: (Alex says come here)
( Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:12 pm)
Lex continues to love pink, and in the last couple of days I've watched him pull the beads off the Christmas tree and wear them like a necklace, and beg to wear Sharon's hairclip in his hair. None of this actually means a damned thing, but I'm still very aware that some of my relatives would discourage this, which I think is a shame.

The other thing that's a shame is Lex's In the Night Garden pyjamas. They're Iggle Piggle ones, and they have a few spots on them with silhouettes of Makka Pakka, the Tombliboos and their home. But no Upsy Daisy. The only reason she wouldn't be there is that they're 'boys' pyjamas, so a girl character is seen to have no place on them.

As you would expect, this seriously shits me.

Lex loves Upsy Daisy, just as he loves Makka Pakka, and Iggle Piggle. In fact the only characters he doesn't seem so struck on are the Tombliboos. He'd be very happy to have Upsy Daisy on his PJs, especially since, as the show makes clear on a regular basis, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy are the best of friends.

I wouldn't care if the PJs only had Iggle Piggle and none of the other characters, but deliberately missing out having a small circle the size of a ten cent piece with a silhouette of the show's only (obviously) female character, when they have the other male characters there is just more of the whole gender push. Boys have to like boys things, girls have to like girls things, and no child should be allowed the opportunity to like both or the 'wrong' one lest it lead boys to become effete, and girls to like comfortable shoes.
So, below the cut are the last of the films I've seen in 2010. I lost the dates I saw them, but they pretty much date from the start of September until the end of the year. It's a longish list, 23 movies, but not as long as one would expect over three months. Moving house and all the hassles involved, plus kids, have put a serious dent in my film watching.

Read more... )
One of the real problems I've had with new Who has been the sheer amount of magic science.

Now don't get me wrong, the series has always had an iffy grasp of science, what with writers who didn't know the difference between a solar system and a galaxy amongst other things. But it usually tried to act like its science was real. It usually felt as if the writers were told, 'I don't care if you've made it up, it has to be internally consistent and make sense within the world you've built.'

Now there are plenty of examples where this isn't necessarily the case in the original series, but they usually felt like exceptions, rather than the norm.

The magic science in the new series has constantly bugged me. From the sonic screwdriver being able to do literally anything needed, except when the plot demands otherwise, through things like 'let's just mix all the medicines in together, and that'll cure all these people instantly,' 'if I let the weird lightning pass through me it'll change the nature of the dalek hybrids,' and 'all you have to do is believe in fairies... er... Timelords.'

Quick thoughts on Christmas Carol - no real spoilers, but probably will end up with some in the comments, so consider yourself warned... )
Lex has been running around this morning, varying between playing with his toy drill, and carrying around and cuddling MaybeZoe's pink Minnie Mouse soft toy.

It's nice to watch. I like that he's free to play with whatever he wants. I know some of my relos would have been taking Minnie Mouse off him and giving him 'boys' toys to play with. As it is, I'm sure some will be quietly horrified.

What a shame.


dalekboy: (Default)


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