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30th May 2006

Tuesday - 9.45pm : I am not happy. My TV died. It was a quick death. I didn't even see it coming. No warning at all, it just died. Looking at the prices of TVs these days, I have a feeling June isn't going to be a cheap month. Then, of course, is the decision of what type of TV I go for... Intergrated Digital, Flatscreen, Widescreen, Standard, LCD, Plasma (as if I can afford it!), rear projection. Obviously money is going to play a part in what TV I go for, as I wasn't counting on buying a new TV anytime soon.

Another complaint I have... Ticket agencies, Ticketmaster (UK) in particular. Towards the end of last year, some friends and I booked Bon Jovi tickets for Manchester this Sunday. You'd think they would have arrived by now, just days before the event, but no. After checking the website last week and finding that tickets were being dispatched on 25th May, I thought I'd get my ticket by the time the holiday weekend reached us (last weekend). No such luck. There was no post yesterday, what with it being a Bank Holiday, so I thought surely they would arrive today. They didn't. My friends haven't had theirs either.

I went back to Ticketmaster's website to submit an enquiry. An hour later I received an email saying the tickets had been despatched and if I had not yet received my standing tickets (which I mentioned I hadn't in the enquiry!) then I should contact my local Royal Mail Sorting Office. They hadn't got them either. Since mine hadn't arrived and neither had my friends' (who live the other side of the country, I might add!), I suspected it wasn't an isolated case. Having done some searching, I found a forum with other concerned Bon Jovi fans who had also not received their tickets. Some of them had phoned the customer service number (which I refuse to phone, after once being on hold for nearly an hour!) and had been told they were being posted today! So Ticketmaster seem to be giving out conflicting information. Either the tickets were despatched days ago or they weren't! Someone was also told that if we don't get them in the next 2 days they can send them to the stadium for collection. I paid for delivery, so why should I collect? You pay extortionate fees on top the the ticket price and this is how customers are treated?

I hate not knowing what's going on. If I have to collect my ticket from the venue I'm really not going to be happy. How can you look forward to something when you don't know whether or not the ticket is going to arrive? It had better arrive in the morning.

Now onto some good news...

I'm fascinated by Everest, though I could never go up there myself as I'm scared of heights. (I freeze just climbing a ladder and I can't stand those stairs with gaps inbetween!) Many climb our highest mountain, some summit, but not everyone makes it back. In a month when British climber David Sharp was left to die alone 300 metres below the summit, there was also a miracle.

Lincoln Hall (a veteran Australian mountain climber) was thought to have died while descending from the summit on 25th May. In fact, Lincoln had not died. He had spent the night just 2 feet from a 10,000 foot drop and was found by Dan Mazur and his team at around 200 metres from the summit. (Read this Dispatch from Myles Osborne for SummitClimb Everest for the whole story).

Thanks for comments go to Liss, Old Old Lady of the Hills, Mark, Kimananda, Me, Myself & I (No, it looks like Montoya won't be driving for McLaren next year), Andrea, Sarah, Natalie, Liza Marie, Vera (Kimi is an excellent driver, if only his luck would turn. I'm going to cry if he's signed to Ferrari next year!) and Claire.

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27th May 2006

Saturday - 9.15pm : Once again there's been an accident on the hill between the village and town. I was on my way home from town this morning and came across an accident that must have happened just minutes before. A car had come around a corner and I'm guessing they must have slid in the wet and rolled the car, because it was sitting on top of the hedge! People will no doubt be saying it's a dangerous road etc. Well, I think it's usually a case of bad driving.

Talking of bad driving... Michael Schumacher made a "mistake" during today's qualifying for tomorrow's F1 Monaco Grand Prix. He had already set the fastest lap and was on provisional pole, but his "mistake" conveniently stopped Alonso among others from setting a faster time and it looked deliberate. So Schumacher is being investigated by the stewards (so may lose his pole position) and rightly so! He's a talented driver (he's not 7 times a World Champion for nothing), but I do believe he (and his team) have bent the rules and played dirty on many occasions. Remember, this is a man who once won the British Grand Prix in the pits! If he played dirty this afternoon, and I believe he did, I hope he's penalised in an appropriate way.

Edit: Schumacher has been stripped of his pole position and has been sent to the back of the grid. He was found guilty of deliberately stopping his Ferrari and causing yellow flags in the last minutes of qualifying.

Also in the bad driving and F1 category... Fisichella has been stripped of his 3 fastest laps for holding up Coulthard who was on a fast lap. It wasn't necessarily intentional, but it happened and drivers know they need to get out of the way if they are on an "in" or "out" lap when the car behind them is on a fast lap. So tomorrow's grid order won't be finalised until Schumacher's incident has been investigated.

I've just been watching the Soccer Aid match. The teams included celebrities and World Cup legends with England headed by Robbie Williams, and The Rest of the World side headed by Gordon Ramsay. I'm not a big football fan, but it was a charity event (in aid of UNICEF, for who Robbie is an UK Ambassador) and I couldn't miss seeing Robbie on the football pitch. England won 2-1.

Thanks for comments go to G-Man, Nick, Andrea, Jolynn, Mark, Natalie, Kimananda, SNiP and Liza Marie (My bedroom walls were covered in Take That posters, half the ceiling was too!).

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24th May 2006

Wednesday - 10.45pm : Tonight I went to the cinema and saw the best film I've seen in a long time.

Mission: Impossible III is, in my opinion, the best out of the three M:I films. Ignoring his personal life (because, let's face it, that's what everyone's been talking/complaining about this year), Tom Cruise is undeniably a brilliant actor. The fact that he does the majority of his stunts is a credit and it really shows. The film isn't all down to TC though. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the bad guy, Owen Davian. I've not seen much of him before, but I can see why he's been talked about lately.

Anyway, M:I3 kept me glued to the screen for the entire film with stomach-churning jumps (I don't like heights!), plenty of action, explosions, a bit of love and a bit of humour. It's fast paced (but not so fast that you don't know what's going on) and there are a few "edge of your seat" moments (some longer than others!). I'd definitely go to see it again and you can be sure I'll be getting it on DVD when it's released.

Only one trailer was shown - The Da Vinci Code. I actually fancy going to see it. I've not read the book and I'm not religious, so maybe I'm the perfect viewer? I don't know. All I know is that Tom Hanks rarely lets me down and I think Ian McKellen, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany are good actors too. I'm certainly not going to judge a film I've not yet seen. The trailers I've seen for it look good and that's good enough to get me to a cinema.

After the film, I popped down to the bar below the cinema to meet Nick and Lizi for a drink. It was really nice to meet them both, even if the poor lad can't handle his drink! (Says I who was drinking lemonade!)

Thanks for comments go out to Cyberevolution, Mark, Karen, Me, Myself & I, Jolynn, Suzanne, Nick (Nice meeting you!), Serendipity (Colin Farrell doesn't really do it for me either, Kiefer does though!), G-Man (No gold at the end of the rainbow, unfortunately!) and Andrea.

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22nd May 2006

Monday - 8.20pm : We've had a lot of rain over the past few days, but after the rain comes the rainbows. I actually had my camera to hand for this one (unlike when I saw a beautiful rainbow last Thursday).

"Rainbows"

Rainbows Rainbow Rainbow

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

Phone Booth was on S4C last night. I've seen the film a few times now and I still enjoy it. Colin Farrell plays Stu Shepard who finds himself trapped in a phone booth and being controlled by The Caller, played by Kiefer Sutherland. Kiefer's voice is just perfect for the job and Colin Farrell does a great job (apart from the slightly dodgy accent) considering he's stuck in a phone booth for most of the movie. The fact that the movie centres around the phone booth puts off some people from watching it, but all I can say is they don't know what they're missing.

Anyway, I'm off to watch Smallville and record Soccer Aid. Thanks to Srp, Karen, Graeme, Nick, Melly, Mandy, Me, Myself & I, Jolynn and Sarah.

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21st May 2006

Sunday - 5.00pm : Did anyone watch the Eurovision Song Contest last night? It's not something that's usually on my viewing schedule, but there was actually a band competing who's music I like. No, it's wasn't the UK entry, it was monsters of rock Lordi - Finland's entry into the competition. My support didn't jinx them and they won! They're not a band you'd want to meet down a dark alleyway though (Not that you should be hanging around a dark alleyway the first place!).

My plan for yesterday was to buy Harley a birthday present for his 3rd birthday (Harley is Lisa's little boy). I already had an idea of what I wanted to get him, so I headed over to Toys R' Us in Shrewsbury. Before I'd hardly got through the door I was tempted by a nice little laptop (for me, not for Harley!)... Not that I actually need a laptop at the moment, but that didn't stop me taking a look at it for a few minutes. I found Harley's present pretty much straight away, but couldn't resist picking up a couple of other bits & bobs to add to his main birthday present.

On the way home, I decided to the Coed Y Dinas country store. I didn't want anything in particular, which is always a sign that I'm going to spend money. I came out with 2 tops, a bunch of rubber stamps and another little present for Harley. In my defence... The rubber stamps were £1.99 each and apparently people will by anything for £1.99!

I've realised I've not done any film reviews/recommendations lately. I've not actually seen any new films for a while, but I will be going to see Mission Impossible III on Wednesday, so look out for a review later on in the week.

Thanks to Yo Tambien Te Mando Besos, Shpprgrl (Thanks. I've seen Bon Jovi a couple of times before, so I know I'm in for a good show!), Mark, Karen, Cyberevolution (Thanks for the tip, but that was including cheap train fairs... I get a rail card discount anyway. I'm old hat at trains.), Andrea and Nick (It's nifty, isn't it?).

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19th May 2006

Friday - 10.45pm : I decided not to go and see Guns N' Roses in London after all. Once I'd figured out the exact cost - over £120 once you add up the gig ticket, train ticket, hotel, tube ticket, plus food etc - I realised it's not something I can really afford in a month that I'm already going to see Bon Jovi in Manchester and Take That at Milton Keynes in June.

Talking of gig tickets... Extra tickets were released today for the Robbie Williams gigs in Milton Keynes due to the venue move from Wembley Stadium (which won't be ready in time). I snapped one up first thing this morning and bagged myself an Inner Circle ticket! I wasn't expecting more Inner Circle tickets to be going on sale, so was quite pleased. I may even be able to come home with some Robbie photos! So now I'll be selling my ticket (Standing - General admission) to Robbie's gig in Leeds since that's not as easy a venue to get to for me.

Now for a recommendation. It's been a long time, I know, but I came across this website a couple of days ago and I thought I'd share it with you. It's a new search engine called Snap. Entering a search query brings up more than just text results. Snap search results are shown in a "results-left/preview-right" interface, so you can see what the website looks like before you visit. Quite handy, if you ask me!

I saw the most amazing rainbow yesterday evening. I know. I was in the car and seemingly followed it down the road. It's was the brightest and most complete rainbow I've ever seen, and I didn't have a camera on me to take a photo. Frustrating!

Anyway, I'm off. Robbie Williams is on TV on Jonathan Ross' Friday Night show talking about Soccer Aid - an idea of Robbie's to raise funds for the work of UNICEF. Thanks to Utenzi, Mark (Have you go a link to that website?), Karen, Andrea, Nick and Graeme.

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17th May 2006

Wednesday - 9.35pm : Thank you for the lovely comments on my photographs of Leo. He certainly commands attention!

I have found a few photography courses I'm interested in. Two are 4 day residential short courses. The other is a 1 year residential course, which would require me to quit work for a year. Scary! I never went to university (I didn't feel like it was for me), but a college tutor always said the best thing I could do would be to get away from here. Maybe it's time... Who knows. I'm going to look into the courses a bit more though, maybe try out one of the 4 day courses to start off with.

I have a dilemma. Guns N' Roses (the new line up - Axl & friends) are doing a gig in London in June as a bit of a warm-up for the Download Festival. I am so tempted to get a ticket! Normally I would jump at the chance, but I've already spent a lot on gig tickets this year and the GNR gig is just days after I see Bon Jovi in Manchester. Decisions. Decisions! I need to make my mind up soon though - I've got the opportunity to get pre-sale tickets and they go on general sale on Friday morning.

Is it just me or does anyone else get stuck when somebody asks you what you want for your birthday? For weeks Lisa had been asking me what I want and I'd just give her the same answer... I don't know! (Lisa plans well in advance... My birthday isn't until next month!) So when I came across the Wishlistr website, I thought I'd use it to make a note of things I'd like. So I can actually give an answer to the birthday question - http://www.wishlistr.com/nixy . Now I just have to think of what to get Lisa for her birthday! I have a few ideas for Harley (Lisa's little boy) and I'm popping to Toys R' Us on Saturday.

Thanks to Liss (OK, that'll be my assignment for 4th June!), Nick (Thanks! Nice talking to you last night!), Utenzi (Assignment completed!), Old Old Lady Of The Hills (More to come soon, I promise!), Panthergirl, Graeme, Thumper, Doris, Peter, Rashbre (Thanks for the suggestion), Melly (I don't think I'm good enough yet!), Karen, Jolynn, Katie, Miss M, Kenneth, Andrea, Lissy (There's not many llamas around here!) and Mandy.

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14th May 2006

Sunday - 3.30pm : Yesterday I mentioned I'm thinking about taking up a photography course, I just need to find one to suit me. Old Old Lady Of The Hills commented that she didn't think I needed a photography class, but maybe I just need somebody to give me an assignment. So she gave me a subject - "Cat". A favourite subject of mine!

Mika has recently decided he's camera shy and disappears when I appear with a camera. However, Leo is such a poser so I used him as my subject. I took a few photos, but the three below are my favourites. In two of the photos Leo is sat in his carry box (he likes to sleep in it), but all of the photos use the natural light flowing in through the window.

"Cat"

Leo Leo Leo

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

Thanks to Old Old Lady Of The Hills for the suggestion and the assignment. Very much appreciated! Comments, thoughts, suggestions and assignments are all welcome.

Thanks for comments on yesterday's post go to Andrea, Old Old Lady Of The Hills, Mark and Graeme.

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13th May 2006

Saturday - 10.00pm : I'm shattered. I've barely done anything today, just pop into town for some shopping and watch the F1 Qualifying, yet I don't seem to have any energy. It's been like this for most of the week. I get home from work, sit down and fall asleep. I seem to be less tired after thoroughly busy weekends such as my recent weekends in London and Milton Keynes.

I'm really enjoying reading Proven Guilty. I'm enjoying it so much I accidently missed this week's episode of Bones! Thankfully, it's repeated during the week, so I'll catch it then. Lately, I've been really lax when it comes to reading and, for one reason or another, it's been a while since I actually finished a book. The Dresden Files series of books seems to be able to hold my attention though, which really is a credit to Jim Butcher (the author). I like to take my time reading through his books, because I know it's going to be a while before the next new one comes out.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm thinking about taking up a photography course. My problem is finding one to suit me (what with working full time and everything). Some of you might remember I attended a Black & White Photography evening course at my local college. It was great to learn how to develop a film and print out the pictures from it. There's some satisfaction from seeing a photo you took develop in a tray of chemicals right in front of your eyes. Anyone who's done it will know what I mean. My problem with the classes was that we seemed to do the same thing every week and weren't really given any projects to work on. I got bored quickly.

Anyway, I'm off before I drop off. Thanks to Mark, Karen, Andrea, Nick, Jolynn, Mandy, Graeme, Daystar, Miss M and Me, Myself & I.

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9th May 2006

Tuesday - 9.25pm : I've just been buying more concert tickets... It's fast becoming an addiction! You wouldn't believe who I've booked tickets to see. Jerry Lee Lewis! Let me explain... I grew up listening to rock and roll and country music, and Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the American greats. So I've booked tickets for Dad, Mum & I to see him at the Civic in August. I managed to get 3rd row seats, which I was quite surprised about. Hopefully, that'll be another photo opportunity.

I bought a new album yesterday. It's called I Trust You To Kill Me by Rocco Deluca & The Burden. Rocco has opened for John Mayall and John Lee Hooker, and played with Johnny Cash... If that isn't a sign that he's good, I don't know what is! I've only had time to listen to the first part of the CD, but so far my favourite is 'Colourful' - the first single from the album. You can listen to some samples of the songs over at Rocco's website.

Jim Butcher's Proven Guilty (Book 8 of the Dresden Files) book arrived in the mail today, signed by the man himself! (Ta, Jim!) So that's going to keep me busy for a few evenings. (Preview chapters can be found over at Jim's website). I can't wait to get stuck in, so I'll be starting it before going to bed tonight. I love this series of books and have even managed to convert a few friends into readers of the books.

I may have to wait quite a while for book 9 of the Dresden Files. Not only does Jim write the Dresden Files series of books, but he's also writing a series of books called Codex Alera, and he's been asked to write a new Spider-Man novel (due in out July). Busy man!

For anyone interested in romantic suspense books... Jim's wife, Shannon, has landed herself a deal and will release her debut novel, No Regrets, in February 2007.

On to the subject of the Canon PowerShot S3 IS, as mentioned in my last entry. No amount of comments will persuade me to actually buy the camera... I really can't afford to replace the PowerShot S2 IS I already have and it's it perfect working order so there's no need. Stop urging me to spend money... I already spend too much as it is!

Thanks for comments go to Keda, Nick, Liss, Mark, Karen, Liza Marie, Kati, Andrea, Graeme, Mandy, SRP, Lazy Daisy, Dawn, Miss M and Claire.

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6th May 2006

Saturday - 8.20pm : After such a busy week last week, I've done very little this week. All I've done is work, catch a cold and go out for a drink with Sarah. All very boring compared to last week. Not that Sarah's boring, but I'm sure she knows what I mean!

I've uploaded more photos from Collectormania 9 to my Flickr account (as promised). The photos are of the Serenity talk, with Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk. As I said in my last entry, Alan is quite the comedian!

Alan Tudyk Alan Tudyk Alan Tudyk Ron Glass Alan Tudyk
Ron Glass Alan Tudyk Ron Glass Alan Tudyk

Talking of photos... I've started to rebuild my Photography section. There won't be so many photos this time around, because I'm fed up of them being stolen. My thoughts are the fewer the amount of photos I display, the fewer there are to be stolen.

Canon have released an updated version of my camera, a PowerShot S3 IS (I have the PowerShot S2 IS). It's so tempting to upgrade, but I don't think it's really worth it when there's just a few differences between the two cameras. If they release a PowerShot S4 IS in another 12 months then I'll look into that. I'm quite a fan of Canon cameras. My first digital was a Canon and I have a Canon 35mm SLR camera too. However, my 35mm compact camera is a Ricoh and is very trustworthy - It's been all over the place with me, since I bought it in the mid 1990s.

Kiefer Sutherland was on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on BBC1 last night. Jonathan seemed to be tried to set him up with Kristin Davis at one point! Kiefer talked about 24 (of course), and how they are planning to film parts of the forthcoming '24' film in London. He also mentioned a documentary to be shown on Sky One on Monday. It's called 'I Trust You to Kill Me' and it follows Kiefer and musician Rocco DeLuca (who Kiefer managers) on their first international tour. Jonathan showed a clip of it last night... Does anyone remember Kiefer's incident with a Christmas tree last year (it was in the newspapers)? I can't wait to see the documentary.

Right then, I'm off to take some cough syrup in the hope it will sooth my sore throat too. Thanks to Karen, Liss, Cyberevolution (I met some of the others last year too), Graeme, SNiP, Sarah, Nick, Mandy, Claire, Mark, Andrea, Undercover Angel, Skye, Jolynn, Liza Marie (Corey Haim was lovely and sweet, but Corey Feldman didn't even look up or say anything so I was less tham impressed with him!), Me, Myself & I, Nic, Rashbre and Dawn.

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1st May 2006

Monday - 10.45pm : I'm home (again!). I've been down at Milton Keynes for Collectormania 9. A friend and I went down for the weekend. I quite enjoyed myself, except for the bad stomach (but then I've had that on and off all week).

I'm a big fan of an 80s movie called The Lost Boys, so the fact that there was a "reunion" at Collectormania 9 was a real bonus for me. Half of the "Lost Boys" were there and I got to meet them! Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog - The only person there that I wasn't impressed with!), Corey Haim (Sam), Jamison Newlander (Alan Frog), Brooke McCarter (Paul - I had a very nice chat with him just before I left), Billy Wirth (Dwayne - Couldn't be nicer!), Chance Michael Corbitt (Laddie - All grown up now!). On Saturday evening I went to The Lost Boys Star Talk and Movie Screening. The "boys" all turned up, answered questions and gave us numerous memories from the making of the film. The Talk was over far too quickly, but for me it was great to see The Lost Boys on the big screen as I was too young to see it at the cinema the first time around. Chance stopped behind after the talk and watched most of the movie from the back of the cinema. I can watch that movie time and time again.

Corey Haim Corey Feldman Corey Feldman Billy Wirth and Me Jamison Newlander and Me
Chance Michael Corbitt Chance Michael Corbitt Chance Michael Corbitt and Me Me and Brooke McCarter

I went to another Talk and Movie Screening yesterday (Sunday), for Serenity. Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk were in attendance. Alan is quite the comedian! Once again, the Talk went far too quickly, but I did get to see the film on the big screen once again. (Photos of the talk coming soon). I also got to meet both Ron and Alan over the weekend and both were really nice.

Ron Glass Ron Glass and Me Alan Tudyk Alan Tudyk Alan Tudyk and Me
Anthony Head Anthony Head Anthony Head

The only other person I met over the weekend (apart from friends) was Anthony Head. I saw him at the Buffy Talk session with Alexis Denisof last year, but didn't get to meet him then so I made sure I did this year. That man has such an infectious giggle! Did anyone see him in Dr Who this weekend? Talk about scary!

So that was pretty much my weekend, apart from eating, drinking and wandering around various shops (I've found another outlet for Mountain Dew here in the UK!).

Thanks to Liza Marie, Dawn, Karen (No, but I did have a bit of a tear in my eye!), Graeme, Andrea, Serendipity, Panthergirl, Dave, Mark, Mandy, Rob, Claire, Jay (As I said in my last post... They split and have just reformed for this tour), Kati, Xtel and Nick (You had to be a female teenager in the 90s to understand!).

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