Monday, February 23, 2009

New romantics

Bette Davis and Paul Heinreid, pshaw! (-:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keeping the outside world at bay

I know there's a degree of hypocrisy in this, given how much time I spend with what Boyo's minder calls 'imaginary friends," but...

I was passing through unfamiliar territory on the bus today and I noticed one house in particular. It had a huge picture window. So far so good. The window was literally filled by a ginormous plasma television. Utterly baffling.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Firm but fair

I've just had to enforce the house rules. It's an easy-going establishment with rules that are liberal to the point of laxity but lines must be drawn.

If a spider's stupid enough to spend the afternoon spinning a web across the gas hob on the cooker then it needs to be shown the door. So I've evicted it. Harsh, I know, but it's not even as if it knows how to use the fire extinguisher.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I didn't say this

Being a local government officer I'm subject to the legislation passed in the eighties which Tony and Gordon and David and Jack were dead agin right up to the point where they became the government and found it a convenient cosh to wave against the dissenters so I'm not allowed to voice any political opinions and I couldn't possibly say that after a decade of his licking the arseholes of the City of London Gordon Brown's saying that he's going to get tough with the bankers is like Vidkun Quisling saying he's the Norwegian Winston Churchill.

Which is a shame as I'd quite like to have said it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cartoon capers I

I love the old Tom & Jerry films. The ones produced by Fred Quimby. With the luscious scores by Scott Bradley, with all the Gershwin lietmotifs and louche jazz riffs. The ones done by animators who believed that cartoons were more than static pictures with moving mouths. And feet that walked and ran and didn't just bend up and down while the background moves.

But most of all, the ones with storylines that scrunched a couple of hundred sight gags into ten minutes' worth of chase, counterchase and mayhem.

There are so many things to enjoy about "Cat Fishin'" that it seems invidious to pick any out for special attention. I was going to write about the gag with the fishing rod. And the sound of hungry fish. And the big fish's... Ah, but I'll spoil it. And as for the Gothic delights of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse," well now...

Just look at the attention to detail with the lighting! And, indeed, with...

...just check out the details like the shadow of the book of matches! (Just don't get too strung up by the textual inconsistencies!)

Despite the myriad sight gags and dramatic conceits of this series of films -- the concert piano stool; the bowling alley; the canary saving Jerry from a fate worse than The Perils of Pauline -- my favourite moment is two and a half minutes into "The Little Runaway." Every time I look at Tom's face I crack up. See what you think...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

High speed trains

Particularly awful morning commute today. The train company's response to our having the fourth most badly-overcrowded journey in the country is to drop one of the rush hour services on this line. I'll leave you to imagine the inevitable consequences. I think it must be some sort of misplaced spirit of competition.

Note to Northern Trains: nuts to "we regret that you were unable to get a seat;" how about providing two square feet of standing space and a hand hold that isn't an electric light bulb?

Additional joy was added today by our being stuck at signals for an hour while they nursed a broken-down freight train back into the freight terminal sidings. Inevitably, the mood was depressed further by some loud jackass' invoking the Dunkirk Spirit. Had they been subject to the rules of modern public transport, the brave little boats might be setting out for the continent some time next summer. Only to be turned back at the Goodwin Sands by the wrong type of dogfish.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Superior Scribbler Award

Well I never!

That nice Ms. Scarlet has given me an award. This is rather nice. Thanks Scarlet! What a nice lady.

I'm not one for big speeches, as you know, so I won't mention the boys and girls in the make-up department; nor the stunt arrangers; nor the tea lady. They know I value their worth, they don't need me to shout about it.

I would like to mention Louise Brooks' legs, though, just for the sake of it.

The rules of the Award demand that I pass the honour on to five other bloggers. Many already have one, or have been recently nominated and so my awards would be redundant. I shall nominate:

Of course, everybody deserve awards. Jelly and blancmange and fizzy pop for everyone!