23 September 2007

All my internets belong to us!

Hurray! Back - albeit briefly - in the land of the internets! I am, as you may be able to tell, totally psyched for this monumentous event. Still, it all goes away tomorrow, which is vaguely depressing. But! I have several phone numbers for several ISPs that I intend to get set up as soon as...well, they deliver the damn hub and hook me up!

Anyways, on to serious business. Scotland are up against New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup tomorrow, which is...well, it's quite frankly terrifying. The most formidable force in rugby coming to Edinburgh to crush our spirit! Still, given our performance on Tuesday against Romania - where we actually looked like a proper rugby team, instead of randoms playing on a Sunday afternoon - we should hopefully keep the scoreline to a minimum. Ideally, we'd keep them within 7 points, because then, interestingly, we'd get a 'Match Point' from the ordeal. Which...y'know, helps. Anyways, should be a cracker - the New Zealanders are always up for a laugh!

As for movies, I managed to go see Shoot 'Em Up, and I have to say I was entertained throughout. It's not particularly cranial, or a masterstroke of epic proportions. But it is deliriously silly, over-the-top fun. And Paul Giamatti chews scenery rather well as the tubby-yet-psychotic villain. I'll post a review if I get around to writing one, but as a 'preview' of sorts, I gave it 7/10!

Anyways, that's all I can think of for now...a blissfully short blog entry is to be the result of this few minutes tapping at my keyboard. Hopefully I can be marginally more entertaining with my next post. Regardless, I bid you all good eve!

*dives out window*

17 September 2007

The End of an Era

Yes, that's right. Tomorrow at 2:45 (or 12:45, if I'm feeling particularly spritely); I shall be leaving home. That is, in the symbolic sense; obviously I'm welcome back here whenever I please. But still! Self-reliance is imminent! Can't decide whether I'm totally excited or scared shitless.

But! I do have a job, which is good I suppose. Well, it's not really a job. It's a task that I'm going to get paid for doing - designing a 'personal business' website for my darling sister, Arwen! She's apparently going into the business of 'freelance editing', whatever that is...anyways, point is: she needs a website to advertise her 'wares', and I'm the one she's hired to make it. So I'm fairly happy about that.

I'm gonna try and go see some movies over the next week. Definitely Shoot 'Em Up, but I'll also try and get to Hallam Foe, and hopefully 3:10 to Yuma - I've been dying to see a good, new western for ages, and this is getting pretty good reviews. And seeing as I missed Seraphim Falls, I'm definitely not going to miss this one.

Anyways, that's about it for today. I would go to bed, but for the aforementioned confusion between 'scared shitless' and 'totally excited'. Anyways! Peace out, y'all!

11 September 2007

9/11? Isn't that in November...

And I'm back in the UK after a ridiculously difficult weekend trapsing about Europe. First there was Glasgow, for the clash between Scotland and Lithuania. And that, my friends, was the highlight of the trip. The game was an absolute cracker, with Scotland firing 3 goals past the Lithuanians; and them only being able to respond with an incredibly dubious penalty.

First was a clever free kick from Darren Fletcher - taking advantage of the rule that states that all you have to do to take a free kick is to ask the referee if you can go. The Lithuanians, caught of guard, were unable to do anything about Chris Boyd tearing through their defence and heading home. The Lithuanians hit back in the middle of the second half, with a dive from Mikoliunas over Fletcher's leg convincing the ref, but not a single member of the crowd gathered at Hampden. Of course, seeing as Craig Gordon is hardly Edwin van der Sar, the Danilevicus stuck it home.

Then, on the 77 minute mark, substitute Shaun Maloney - with his first touch of the ball - crossed in towards the far post, where Stephen McManus slotted in a sitter. Then, not six minutes later, James MacFadden, out of the blue, takes a shot and slams it into the back of the net!

That sticks us fair and square at second in the group, with as many games played as the leader and third place. Problem is, we have to play France - the leaders - on Wednesday; and although we beat them last time with a lucky goal, I wouldn't count on a Scottish victory in France! Still, we can potentially hold them to a draw, and then qualification for the Finals of Euro 2008 won't look that unlikely at all! So far, so good! Highlights are here!

However, the other match I attended - having gone from Glasgow to Amsterdam to Lyon to St Ettienne, all in the space of 7 hours - was not so good. Scotland vs Portugal in the Rugby World Cup. Considering that Portugal consist entirely of amateur players, it was an appallingly dull game. We should have run rings around them, with at least a 70 point margin over them. As it stands, we won 56-10. And yes, against any other team, that would be astonishing - but it seems that amateur teams were destined to make professional ones look decidedly ordinary, with the USA frustrating England, and Portugal frustrating us! We made a spate of handling errors - one even handing them their single try - and just generally look like we weren't meshing as a team. We'd better get our act together, and soon...because otherwise I forsee yet another early exit. And that would be severely disappointing, especially given our superb 'World Cup Warm Up' form.

Onto less sporty things...well, there hasn't exactly been much of it. I was going to try and go see Hallam Foe, but the passport control at Schiphol held me up so that I missed my connecting flight. Which was bloody annoying.

Oh yes! I finished Bioshock, and unfortunately, I was totally under-whelmed by the ending. Still, the build-up was absolutely stunning, and so I've forgiven it. Though I'm also told that I got the 'bad' ending, and that I should have a try for the good ending and see if it's any better. So I have re-commenced, on hard mode, with the intent of only saving the Little Sisters! For I am a benevolent man!

Anyways! I'll be back later in the week, and hopefully have something slightly more geeky to report back on! Like a film...or a TV show...or something...

4 September 2007

Where the artist need not fear the censor...

Welcome to Rapture.

Yes, Bioshock has caught me up. It's absolutely fantastic - one of the best single-player games I've played in a good long while; and easily one of the most cinematic games ever created. To quote Gamespote, it's more like a piece of interactive fiction than a true game - the gameplay is perhaps more than a little simple, and it seems that depth has been sacrificed for both length and graphical quality. But that doesn't stop it from being stunningly entertaining from start to finish. The story grips from the first scene, and the introduction to Rapture - the underwater city created by a man who sought to escape the moral confines of ordinary society - is spine-tingly creepy. Best £40 I've ever spent on a video game, methinks.

The weekend was good - went to see Man Utd just beat Roy Keane's Sunderland 1-0; with a Louis Saha goal sealing the deal, and hopefully putting us back into our winning ways. More sport this coming weekend - in fact, we're going to see Scotland play two sports. Football-wise, on Saturday we're off to Hampden to see them play Lithuania. Then on Sunday, we're of to Saint Etienne, of all places, to see us play Portugal at rugby. Hectic weekend, to be sure - and there's every possibility that I might get sent home early, thanks to my passport having less than six months left on it. Still! Here's to hope that the immigration officers are in good moods on Sunday!

Haven't seen any new movies recently - though I'm keen on going to see Hallam Foe; I always like seeing films set in places I've been, and this one is set in and around Edinburgh! Apart from that, I saw Over the Hedge and Stormbreaker on Sky Movies (apparently it's a kid-friendly premier week). The former was hilarious the first time - but it quickly loses it's charm on repeat viewings. There are a couple of genuinely funny moments, but it's really a 'hit and run' movie; and doesn't demand repeat viewings. The same can be said of the latter - it has to be said, that whilst it wasn't as good as it could have been, it was still vaguely enjoyable. I can't say that you should run out and go see it now, now, NOW!! But, to be honest, it's fine. And - as Mark Kermode pointed out - it's a massive advert for tourism to the Isle of Mann, which is no bad thing I suppose.

The Raider's Dream is coming along nicely - I had one of those 'epiphanies' where you see exactly where you want to go with a story; managed to get most of it written down before it vanished out of my mind. And I'm certainly looking forward to writing the final chapter of book two...if it goes like it did in my head, it's going to be a pulse-pounding read. Yes! I am very modest! Ex Valde Ira is on hold for now, mostly because I only have so much creative energy, and currently I think I've spent more than my fair share on the aforementioned epiphany!

Well, that's all the musings I can muster for now. Hopefully I'll report back soon...so farewell to the loyal few who read this! Or the non-existent few...