29th May 2005
Sunday - 2.45pm : The F1 European Grand Prix has just finished and what a bittersweet race it has been for me. I honestly don't know where to start. I'm practically shaking here. Why? Well, my boy Kimi Riakkonen (McLaren) led for most of the race and one lap before the end his tyre managed to rip off his suspension and send him into the wall... ONE LAP BEFORE THE END OF THE RACE! I mean come on, one lap! Of course, I leapt up and the air was blue! (And I seem to be using a lot of exclamation marks here). Had McLaren brought Kimi into the pits and changed that tyre in the closing laps, he could still have made it across the line in 3rd race. The gamble didn't pay off. So that's the bitter.
The sweet? David Coulthard crossed the finish line in 4th! He started the race in 12th and even led the grand prix for a short time (albeit during the pit window). Unfortunately, he was punished with a drive-thru for speeding in the pits, which dropped him from a possible podium place down to 5th. Then when Kimi plowed into the wall, DC moved into 4th, just shy of a podium place.
I just hope our neighbours weren't about to here me shouting! I really get into F1 races. Anyone who says the races have turned boring and predicable really haven't been watching this season.
I watched Man On Fire last night and I thought it was a great movie. Denzel Washington starred as Creasy, a former assassin who vowes to take revenge on everyone involved in kidnapping the girl he'd sworn to protect. I'd definitely recommend this one!
28th May 2005
Saturday - 5.55pm : I went to bed last night thinking I'd book a ticket this morning to see Rob Thomas in London, but by this morning I'd changed my mind! So now I'm going to see Rob Thomas in Manchester. I'll be saving some money and I might just be going to London for the weekend sometime during the summer anyway.
While I was in town today, I rented a couple of DVDs (surprise, surprise!). I picked up Man On Fire (starring Denzel Washington) and The Woodsman (starring Kevin Bacon). 'Man On Fire' has been staring at me from the shelves for weeks now so I thought I'd actually get it, and I think Kevin Bacon is a good actor so that's why I picked up 'The Woodsman'.
X-Men is on ITV1 at the moment, so it's turning out to be quite a movie weekend. I've seen this before though. It's got some actors that I like in it - Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. It's not usually my type of film (or, at least, it didn't used to be), but some friends from Melton persuaded me to go and see X2 at the cinema, so I had to see X-Men too.
27th May 2005
Friday - 10.25pm : I've got a dilemma. Tickets for Rob Thomas' UK tour have gone on sale. There's only been 2 dates announced, Manchester and London. So, my dilemma is... Do I go to the Manchester gig (2 hours or so from here, more if we get lost... which usually happens in Manchester, somehow) on the Monday (20th June), or do I go to the London gig (4 hours or so by train) on the Wednesday (21st June) and spend a couple of days down there?
At first I thought Manchester since I'd only need to take an afternoon off work, though I'd be pretty tired the next day (wouldn't be home until 1am at the earliest... depending on the 'getting lost' factor). Then I did a bit of research (train tickets, hotel prices and tube times) and changed my mind to London, thinking I could visit a couple of my favourite shops while I was down there. Then, Dad comes in and says I should go to the Manchester one and he'll drive me, so now I don't know what to do. Dad ALWAYS gets lost and wound up when we go to Manchester. Of all the times we've been (and they've usually been because I've been going to gigs), I'm sure the only time we didn't end up going around in circles was the time I saw Robbie Williams at Trafford Cricket Ground.
So what do I do? Obviously Manchester would be the cheaper option, but I think London would be the fun option. Hmmm...
In other ticket news... I've booked my ticket for James Marsters' 'Words & Music' evening event in London in October. I went for the "Premium" ticket, so I'll be somewhere at the front. It's not just about James though, it's a good excuse for a group of friends from all over to get together, although I know there's going to be a few missing this time (due to other commitments). Still, it should be a good time.
It's a Bank Holiday weekend now here in the UK. I doubt I'll be going far though. The F1 European Grand Prix will be on TV on Sunday, so I'll be watching that, and the Qualifying on Saturday. I have also brought a laptop home to do some more overtime work on, so it won't be much of a holiday weekend for me. Although, I do plan on watching some films and DVDs.
24th May 2005
Tuesday - 9.35pm : I knew exactly what I was going to write about tonight, that was until a certain email arrived in my Inbox. The latest James Marsters UK event has been announced, so now my head is all filled with that. It's a "Words & Music" theatre event in London at the end of October, with both a matinee performance and an evening performance. The only thing is that've forgotten to mention something very important... The ticket prices! So I'll have to phone up tomorrow morning and find out. Well, you weren't thinking I was going to give this event a miss, were you?
I finished reading Jim Butcher's Dead Beat (Book 7 in the Dresden Files series) last night and I enjoyed every moment of it. Of course, Mika tried to interupt me every time I got half way down a page. He didn't really want my attention, he just didn't want the book to have my attention! Anyway, it was a great read and had a twist that had given me a load of hints but I still didn't see it coming. I think it's the best of the series so far and I'm looking forward to seeing what else Jim puts poor Harry through next.
I got a letter from Lisa in the mail today. Little Harley had made a contribution too, he'd sent me some scribbles. It's his birthday soon so I'm considering buying him some big chunky colouring pens. I'll buy him a big sketch pad too, else he'll be redecorating the walls for Lisa & Gareth and I'm not entirely sure they'd thank me for that. Hmmm... on second thoughts, I'd better get those washable ones!
23rd May 2005
Monday - 7.45pm : The first bit of music news I heard this morning was the announcement that Frankie Poullain, bass player for The Darkness, has departed the band. Well, I wasn't expecting that one! Apparently, it's due to "musical differences", but who knows. Maybe he didn't like the idea of Justin having a solo career along side the band. The Darkness will be announcing a replacement in the coming months, but can you really replace Frankie? It will be weird seeing somebody else up on stage playing bass.
Joss Whedon's Firefly DVD boxset arrived in the mail today. Some friends (one in particular) have ranted & raved to me about this series and after seeing the first couple of episodes I decided I'd get the DVDs. The New York Post describe it as "A very funny, very hip, very terrific SCF-FI show" and from what I've seen I'd describe it as a SCI-FI/Western! If what everyone has been saying about it is true, I can't see why it was cancelled after it's first season (maybe the TV executives don't like Joss Whedon, after all Angel was cancelled in it's prime).
Anyway, all is not lost... Firefly has spawned a movie. Serenity, due out here in early October. Some people may recognise the guy who plays the lead character, Nathan Fillion. He played Caleb in the final season of Buffy and was also in Dracula 2000, Blast from the Past and Saving Private Ryan.
It was a good race yesterday. McLaren's top man Kimi Riakkonen raced across the line taking the victory at Monaco, which pleased me no end. Unfortunately, David Coulthard got knocked out by Michael Schumacher, so I wasn't too happy about that. All in all it was a fantastic race though, I must admit.
21st May 2005
Saturday - 8.35pm : Anyone who knows me will know that I love cats and I love taking photos. So I had a delightful task to do today. A friend asked if I would take some black & white photos of her cats. Of course, I obliged and I shall be developing the film at my next photography class (which isn't until the first week of June now). Ollie (to the right there) was one of the subjects modeling for me (Obviously this picture was taken with my mobile phone and not with black & white film). Isn't he beautiful? I've never seen a cat with such long fur - He's a furry gentle giant!
Ben Folds was on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross last night. He sang his new single Landed and I really enjoyed it. It got me thinking of an old Ben Folds Five song that I liked, only I couldn't think what it was called. All I could think of was the word "wall", but I knew it wasn't that, so I went off in search of the answer and for a clip of the song. I found my answer on the Ben Folds Five website, the song was 'Brick' and was on their 'Whatever And Ever Amen' album. I couldn't resist... I went and added the album to my ever growing music collection, but not until after some price checking. I bought the special expanded edition from Ben Folds - Attacked By Plastic online shop, including international shipping, and it was still cheaper than getting it from the UK! (Which shows just how expensive CDs are over here).
Anyway, back to the subject of Ben Folds - I think I'll get his new album sometime soon, too. It's called 'Songs For Silverman' and I think I might just splash out on the version that comes with a bonus DVD.
I was very pleased with today's F1 Qualifying from Monaco, what with McLaren boy Kimi Raikkonen taking provisional pole by a spectacular 0.481s faster than nearest rival Alonso. It's being hailed as the lap of the year and we're not yet half way through! We'll still have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out who exactly is in pole position for the race, but fingers crossed Kimi will still be up there leading the pack.
20th May 2005
If you've been reading this for a few months or more then you may remember me talking about a man called Ivan Noble. He wrote a column/diary for the BBC website about his battle with a brain tumour, until he died at the end of January aged 37. His book, Like A Hole In The Head: Living With A Brain Tumour, is released on Monday. Having been a regular reader of his online diaries, I know I'll definitely be buying a copy. It'll be money well spent and the BBC's proceeds will go to Medecins Sans Frontieres UK, a charity chosen by Ivan. (If you'd like to read some of Ivan's tumour diary, you can find the entries here).
Talking of books, I'm still reading Jim Butcher's Deat Beat and I'm really enjoying it. I tend to read it while lying in bed before sleep time, which makes for some funny dreams sometimes. The only problem is that the furry one with 4 paws & a tail (in other words - Mika) keeps interrupting me! I'll be half way down a page and I'll hear a "miaow!" or a tapping at my bedroom door. There's no use me trying to ignore it as it just carries on until I open the door, and I'd rather him not wake anyone else up (I'm always the last to go to bed). I keep saying I should have a cat-flap in my bedroom door, but then you could guarantee that he'd not use it anyway.
No lazy time for me this weekend. I'll be watching the F1 Monaco Grand Prix (which usually involves a lot of jumping up & down and yelling at the TV on my part) and doing some work which I need to get finished by Monday morning.
16th May 2005
Monday - 10.05pm : As I mentioned last night, I've now got myself a Flickr account. I've only uploaded one photo so far though... and there it is. It's nothing exciting (as you can see!), it's just a collection of postcards/photos on the wall by my computer. If you click on the picture you will be able to see a larger version of the picture and comment etc.
That package I've sent to Lisa... Well, she knows she's getting it now! She called me after work today (She was worried about me as she'd not heard from me... I've just been so busy lately. No excuse, I know!) and we had a nice long chat. Even Harley came to talk on the phone, but he was in a bit of a grump so I didn't get much out of him (He's nearly 2, bless him). Anyway, I hope she likes the package she'll be getting in the morning.
I popped into town during my lunch break to get Rob Thomas' Lonely No More single from Woolworths. I was quite surprised, they actually had it in stock! So I picked up both the CD single and the DVD single (anything to help Rob get some recognition over here). I took them to the counter and the woman at the till said "Do you want both of them?". In my mind I said sarcastically "No, I just thought I'd put them both on the counter, but really I only want one of them!", but I calmly said "Yes". She then said "Do they have exactly the same thing on them?". I calmly replied with "No" Did she want to sell me the singles or not? I mean, it's hardly good sale tactics to question a customer's choice in CDs! Yet another reason why I usually buy stuff online.
Anyway, I'm off to carry on reading my book (Jim Butcher's Deat Beat). I really got stuck into it last night and was reading until 1am (Granted, I didn't get started until just before midnight!). With thanks to Mandy, Mark (Let me know if you get a Flickr account - I'll add you to my contacts), Nick (We think Tiggy fell in trying to reach one of the fish!), Karen (Thanks! It was great chatting last night!) and Graeme (They don't have boring voices, they just don't like speaking in public and it's even more difficult when English isn't your first language). Take care!
15th May 2005
Sunday - 10.15pm : Another weekend over. It's pretty much a been a lazy one, since I'm trying not to spend money (due to the amount I've already spent since I last got paid). Apart from popping to town yesterday afternoon, all I've really done is put a package together for Lisa & Harley (which will cost a fortune to mail tomorrow) and write a letter to my penpal, Carrie. I think Lisa is going to be pretty surprised when her mail person delivers the package since she's definitely not expecting it (unless she reads this... Ooops!).
The stench from a nearby field has somewhat faded today, so I've been out in the back garden a bit this afternoon. Not doing any work, you must understand, I left that to my parents! The neighbours popped by with their grandson at one point and their 3 cats stopped by at varying times in the afternoon. Tiggy, our neighbours' youngest cat (also nicknamed "Mika's twin"), somehow fell into their fish pond this morning! He jumped out pretty quickly, sopping wet of course, and ran straight into their house. Poor little fellow!
I must remember to pop into town during my lunch break tomorrow. Rob Thomas' Lonely No More single is released tomorrow. I don't often buy singles, but I'd really like to see Rob do well over here. Woolworths had better be selling it, else I'll throw a hissy fit in the middle of the store! I won't really, I don't like making a fuss. It's just that the last couple of times I've been in there looking for something they've not had it.
There seems to be a craze of people using a website called Flickr to store and show people their photos, so I thought I'd check it out and see what all the fuss is about. Do any of you have Flickr accounts (Okay, so I know 1 or 2 of you already do)? I've set up my account but haven't yet added any photos. I'll let you know as and when I do.
I've just finished watching 24. I love that show. It always keeps me on the edge of my seat and I'm always trying to guess what they are going to do next. Of course, the lead actor happens to be my all time favourite actor, Kiefer Sutherland, so that helps too! There's going to be a game out later in the year too, so I can't wait to have a go at that.
I haven't yet watched the DVD I rented yesterday (The Fourth Angel), but I've got it out for 7 days, so there's plenty of time for me to watch it. I'll let you know what I think of it later on in the week.
14th May 2005
Saturday - 4.15pm : It's just 1 day less of a month until I turn a quarter of a century in age. I guess it's time I started forfilling some ambitions, before I get old!
It's such a nice day, I should really get out and go for a bike ride or something. The only problem is that a farmer has been spraying a nearby field and so a stench has engulfed most of the village for the last couple of days. Every time I go to the car I have to hold my breath until I get into the car (it's a good thing I park it right by the house now!). I thought there was some new law about using this stuff so close to towns & villages, but obviously not.
Rob Thomas put in a fine performance of his latest single, Lonely No More (released in the UK on Monday), on CD:UK this morning. It's great to see him on UK TV. A band who I used to like were also on CD:UK this morning - Backstreet Boys seem to be making a comeback after a 4 year break. They sang their new single, Incomplete (I think!), which I thought was quite a nice song. Their new album, Never Gone is out on 13th June here in the UK.
I went to Choices earlier to rent a DVD. I ended up getting The Fourth Angel from the 7 Day (£2) section. It stars Jeremy Irons, and Forest Whitaker. It's tagline is "They took everything he had. Revenge is all that's left" and I'm looking forward to watching it later on. Since I rent DVDs on an almost weekly basis, and sometimes 2 or 3 at a time, it's getting more and more difficult to choose what to get out. I managed to resist buying a handful of DVDs today... For £21 I could have bought 4 of the Herbie DVDs! I was a huge fan of that VW Beetle with a mind of it's own when I was a kid. They've made a new one now too - Herbie: Fully Loaded.
11th May 2005
Wednesday - 10.35pm : A late entry from me tonight. I was playing squash earlier this evening and then we went to the football club bar for a drink & a chat with my old boss. So I've only just gotten home.
The data cable for my phone arrived today, so, as promised, I have uploaded some photos. And yes, they are all "cat-themed"! Anyway, courtesy of my new mobile phone...
Oh, and there's one more...
So there you go. I'm guessing that most of the photos I take with the phone will be of cats, unless something more interesting comes along while I'm out and about. Let's face it, it's just for fun anyway!
Right then, it's just a picture post from me today really. I'm now off to raid the fridge as I'm hungry! Thanks to Strizzt (Nope, they're just taking a break for solo projects... apparently), Mark, Nick, Xtel, Karen and Graeme (Did you have one for a Nokia 3220 tho?). Sweet dreams!
10th May 2005
Tuesday - 9.55pm : £10 well spent, I think. I've just booked a ticket to see Do Me Bad Things in Wrexham a week before my birthday next month. It's a small venue (photography potential!) and it's just over an hour away from here, so I should be home by midnight. It should be a great gig, too - Do Me Bad Things supported The Darkness last December, so I know they put on a good live show.
On the subject of music - It was a delight to see Rob Thomas on GMTV yesterday morning singing 'Lonely No More'. It's a rare treat when Mr Thomas graces our screens over here. The presenters tried explaining who he was (Lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, award winner etc), but failed to mention that he wrote/sang Santana's 'Smooth' (which more people in the UK will have heard of than would have heard of MB20). Anyway, they sang his praises and said he's going to be huge over here... and I hope he is! I've been following this guy's music for years, it's about time the rest of the British nation caught up!
I've ordered myself a data cable for my phone, so, if all goes well, I should be able to show you some of the little photos I've taken with it... Granted, they are mostly of His Royal Highness Mika The Cat.
I watched Redemption on Sunday afternoon. It's a true story about a guy who's on Death Row due to gang-related violent crimes, but, in a complete turnaround, who is also a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. A good performance by Jamie Foxx. Definitely one to watch.
8th May 2005
Sunday - 3.35pm : As you can see, I've been doing a little redecorating around here. Another very simple design. I do design & coding all day at work, so I like to keep things clean & simple around here. It's not 100% completed, but feel free to let me know if you spot something that isn't working.
Something I meant to tell you about in my last journal entry was the goody bag which arrived in the mail on Friday. The lovely Do Me Bad Things people sent me a poster, a postcard, a big badge, some stickers and a sweet (All advertising their debut album 'Yes', of course, which I've already got). Still, very nice of them, don't you think?
I watched the F1 Spanish Grand Prix earlier and what a race! Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) stormed his way through the race, leading it the whole way and crossing the line 27.652 seconds ahead of Alonso (Renault), much to my delight. Montoya (McLaren) finished a lap down in 7th, despite a spin and problems with his fuel hose, and Coulthard (Red Bull Racing) grabbed a point by finishing in 8th.
I popped to town yesterday to rent a DVD. I ended up renting Redemption. It's based on a true story of a man on Death Row and stars Jaime Foxx as the main character, Stan 'Tookie' Williams. I did plan on watching it last night, but got stuck into other things. So I think I'll upload these files and then go and watch it, since it's got to be taken back tomorrow.
6th May 2005
Friday - 10.25pm : I am so tired! Maybe I should have taken an extra few days off just to recover from last week. Hasn't time flown? This time last week I was at the Carling Academy Islington watching James Marsters on stage.
I've found the camera I'd like to replace my dying Canon PowerShot A40... The Canon PowerShot S2 IS, due out in early June. I read about it in this weeks issue of BJP and it seems to have some ideal features. My only problem is finding the £469 asking price!
I bought a new mobile phone on Tuesday (I have been spending like a crazy person over the last week or so... Time to stop, I think!). Anyway, I bought the Nokia 3220 - I fancied buying it a while back, but since it was £125 for it on Vodafone, I decided not to bother. Then, when I was in Shrewsbury on Tuesday, I spotted it for £79, so after much thinking I decided "What the heck!" and bought it. It's got a neat little camera on it, so once I've splashed out on a data cable I'll put some of the pictures up here. I've already kitted it out with a nice little Robbie Williams wallpaper and a ringtone (not Robbie, but the Blackadder theme tune!).
Mark Owen's latest album, How The Mighty Fall, finally arrived in the mail today. I haven't played it yet though, I've been too busy listening to Rob Thomas' Something To Be - It's fantastic! I cannot stress just how good this album is. If you can only buy one album this month, get this one. I was actually quite surprised at work today... I just just sitting down to have a break when I heard the first few notes of Rob's Lonely No More drifting through from the press hall. So it looks like Rob is finally getting some airplay on British radio stations... The only other song of his that I've ever heard on British radio is Santana's 'Smooth'. Anyway, buy Rob Thomas' album!
Something else that arrived in the mail today is the long awaited Dead Beat (The 7th book in The Dresden Files series) by Jim Butcher, in hardback edition. I can't wait to get stuck in and read it. If you've never read any of Jim Butcher's work, then head on over to his website as he always puts up the first handful of chapters for each book.
I'm extremely sure that I sat down here to tell you about something specific, but I have not mentioned it. I can't even remember what the heck it was... I guess it couldn't have been that important! Ah well, I suppose I'll probably remember it half way through the night, at which point I'll be too sleepy to be bothered to come back here to tell you. (Ooops, I'm rambling again!).
Anyway, thanks go out to Nick (I like The Darkness becaise they're great! I saw them support Def Leppard in February 2003 and basically laughed my socks of. They are fantastic live on stage and I think they revitalised the charts), Graeme (Mika likes to think he's regal!), Strizzt, Lissy, Karen, Kati (Get it, you'll love it!), Mark, Skye and Kasey Kay (Yes, that's my cat). Take care.
3rd May 2005
Not the photo I was hoping to show you, but he is rather beautiful, don't you think?