Saturday, 30 April 2016

Chilling, snooker, hockey and vinyl

Sometimes weekends are just meant for resting. This sort of happened today. Getting up late was much appreciated, wish I could do that every day.

We had breakfast, we watched some snooker, we chilled out, we watched some ice hockey. No stress, no hassle, just a chance to spend time with family.

I got a bit excited when the postman came today. I've been looking at getting vinyl copies of some of the albums that really made their mark on me over the years. In most cases these were albums that got sold over the years and then got replaced with a CD. For the odd few albums I would like to once again own the vinyl copy too.

So here it....Dreams Less Sweet by Psychic TV with free EP.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Zizzi and Captain America: Civil War

Today was one of those rare days where Toni and I actually got to go out and spend some time together. We started off with a lovely meal at Zizzi.

 Non-alcoholic cocktail to start!

Melted cheese and bread

Pulled beef

Chocolate and banana calzone

After the noms we hit Cineworld to go and see Captain America: Civil War. Whilst I there had been doubts about this film I left very impressed. There were some very interesting character developments that I enjoyed and the action sequences were superb. I won't give anything away though. Here's a trailer if you haven't already decided to go and see it.

Oh yeah, there was Spider-Man, did I mention Spider-Man? Spider-Man was good and I am very very excited about the new Spider-Man films now!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Trailers galore

Some more wonderful trailers have appeared that I thought were worth sharing for any of you that might be fans of films related to comic book heroes.

First up is an animated cartoon adaption of the utterly brilliant Batman novel The Killing Joke. Not only does this look really good but it also see Mark Hamill reprise his role as the voice of The Joker.

Next up is the final trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse which is due for release soon. I think this has to be my favourite trailer so far for this movie especially given the quick character reveal at the end

Last but not least comes a TV spot for Captain America: Civil War which includes more footage of Spider-Man. This has just hit the cinemas and I have high hopes for it. Toni and I will be indulging ourselves tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Day off, anarcho punk, gluten free yums and hockey

It was a day off for me today. I held the fort so that Toni and mum could go and spend the day at Eltham Palace. This was Toni's first proper day off since 27th December so I was more than happy to provide cover.

I spent the day listening to Crass and Conflict. You just can't beat the good old anarcho punk classics.

Toni and I did a late night Tesco run to get some bad stuff to eat. We were absolutely delighted to find these new gluten free yummy items! Whilst this might not seem like an amazing thing I should explain that regular corn flakes and rice snaps are not gluten free as they are coated in wheat flour. A big thumbs up to Nestle for doing this!

Gluten free biscuits done in the style of my favourites!

We finished the day off watching Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders in game one of their second round series. As the New York Rangers are now out our support was for the Lightning as there was no way we would support the Islanders. Things started badly with the Lightning trailing 1 - 3 at the end of the first. It was even worse at the end of the second with the Islanders leading 4 - 1. Despite trying to mount a comeback the game ended with the Islanders winning 5 - 3 and so leading the series 1 - 0.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Meetings and Lucifer

It was a long day of meetings. I don't mind them really but sometimes it does feel like you aren't really getting much done. Still, where would we be without meetings eh LOL

The evening was made up of Indian take away and the last episode of season one of Lucifer.

This show has been brilliant. Tom Ellis plays his role as Lucifer Morningstar brilliantly and makes the whole thing must watch with his comedic deliveries. If you haven't seen Lucifer yet then you really should catch up with it. Season two won't be for a while so you have a bit of time. The wait will be far too long for us!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

House blitz, mum arrives and hockey marathon

Another day of not having to wake up too early which was much needed. Breakfast was once again provided by Richard's which was a good idea at the start although Toni ended up being glutened so we might not be doing that any more!

After the noms it was time to give the house a bit of a blitz in preparation for mum coming to stay. Next up was prepping another gorgeous roast dinner similar to what we did last weekend. Mum arrived just after five. Last time she visited was before Christmas so it was great to see her again. Tea and catch up was then followed by dinner.

We were spoiled with lots of hockey today. There were three games all of which decided the fates of teams in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Play Offs. Now the Rangers are out we are looking for a team to adopt. Washington Capitals advanced to the next round after beating Philadelphia Flyers 1 - 0 to take the series 4 - 2. I was happy with this and I can easily see the Capitals in the Finals. Dallas Stars made it really hard work to beat Minnesota Wild 5 - 4 (after being 4 - 0 up) to take the series 4 - 2. This was another result that I was OK with.

Sadly the third game didn't go my way. New York Islanders were leading Florida Panthers 3 - 2 in the series so I was hoping the Panthers could tie things up. They were 1 - 0 up at the end of the second when I went to bed so I was hopefully. Sadly I awoke to find that they has lost 1 - 2 after double overtime so this mean the Islanders are through winning the series 4 - 2. As a Rangers fan I most certainly won't be supporting the Islanders in subsequent rounds LOL

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Paranoid Squirrels and goodbye Rangers

It was a nice slow morning today. Woke up at a reasonable hour, lots of snuggles before deciding it was time to put on clothes and be adults (which was forced on us by a delivery being due). Breakfast was courtesy of Richard's Cafe and then it was time to not do very much. I did start sorting some of my CDs out (getting rid of a load of unwanted ones) but that stalled after doing five shelves worth! We did enjoy listening to the Paranoid Squirrel Rock Show while I was doing it though! Toni hadn't listened to it before and really enjoyed it. Thumbs up to Armitage for another great show!
If you've never experienced the Paranoid Squirrel Rock Show before then you can find out more here:

This evening it was game five of the first round Stanley Cup Play Offs. New York Rangers were trailing 3 - 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seven game series. No pressure or anything but the Rangers have to win four in a row. The Rangers have been dire in this series so far so we were hoping that they'd get it together for this game.

Things started well as Rick Nash put the Rangers 1 - 0 up at 01:02. Hagelin then drew the Penguins level at 09:50. Dominic Moors was then credited with a goal to take the Rangers 2 - 1 up at 10:35 (it was kicked in by Penguins player Hornqvist). Sadly the Penguins excellent power play unit made it 2 - 2 with a snipe from Phil Kessel at 11:39.

First period ended Rangers 2 - 2 Penguins with everything still to play for. Shots on goal were NYR 14 and PIT 11.

Second period started badly with the Penguins having most of the possession and Rust taking the Penguins 2 - 3 up at 05:21. Penguins continued to dominate the play and turned the screw a little more as Cullen made it 2 - 4 at 09:26. Rangers failed to convert a power play and then Sheary advanced the Penguins 2 - 5 with a beauty at 16:18. Rust then took the game completely out of reach as the advanced 2 - 6 at 19:01.

Second period ended Rangers 2 - 6 Penguins. Shots on goal were NYR 11 (25) PIT 12 (23). At this point we were thinking it was time to stick a fork in us but we were holding out for a miracle!

Third period began with Henrik Lundqvist now warming the bench after letting in six with Antti Raanta taking his place. The Rangers did at least seem to come out with a little urgency. Raphael Diaz scored on the power play to make it 3 - 6 at 05:38. Sadly that was it, the Rangers just couldn't crack the Penguins defence to take things any further despite their best efforts.

Third period, and the game, ended Rangers 3 - 6 Penguins. Shots on goal were NYR 16 (41) PIT 5 (28).

Hate to say it but the Penguins thoroughly deserved to win this series, they just outplayed the Rangers in nearly every game. Oh well, that's the season over for the New York Rangers. In the meantime Toni and I will be looking for a team to adopt for the remainder of the Play Offs.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Cool fan made Star Wars trailer

Today I tumbled across another really cool fan made Star Wars trailer. I love the attention that some people put into making these amazing videos. This one is done particularly well.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Star Wars steelbook collection now complete

Today I was delighted to receive the next steelbook in my Star Wars Blu-ray collection. Kylon Ren graces the cover of The Force Awakens

Only a few more years until I have all nine and complete set! Not long to wait really!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Dirkschneider @ Islington Academy

After work it was off to Tottenham Court Road to meet my old friend Joe who I haven't seen in a very long time. We met for drinks in the Crobar and had a good old catch up and discussed a possible local musical venture. Another meet and a bottle of JD will decide that one LOL!

Next stop was Angel where I met Dan Symmons. Another round of drinks and a catch up and then it was off to the Islington Academy to see Dirkschneider. Former Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider usually tours with his band U.D.O. doing their own material plus a couple of old Accept numbers. Udo had decided though that the time had come to let the past be the past and so he mobilised a band called Dirkschneider to do a tour playing nothing but Accept songs for one last time and then going forward U.D.O. will only do their own original material.

31 years ago Dan and I went to see Accept at Hammersmith Odeon and this was like a trip back in time. Udo still has that magical voice and his Dirkschneider band were a worthy substitute for the original Accept members. They were tight, the sound was superb and we were treated to some of the best heavy metal songs ever written and all in one glorious set. Well worth the entrance fee!

The Dirkschneider setlist was:
Living for Tonite
Flash Rockin' Man
London Leatherboys
Midnight Mover
Head Over Heels
Neon Nights
Princess of the Dawn
Restless and Wild
Son of a Bitch
Up to the Limit
Wrong Is Right
Midnight Highway
Screaming for a Love-Bite
T.V. War
Losers and Winners

Metal Heart
I'm a Rebel
Fast as a Shark
Balls to the Wall

Monday, 18 April 2016

Star Wars stuff

Today was an exciting day as I received some great Star Wars stuff in the post. First up were the Darkside and Lightside blu-ray copies of The Force Awakens.

Next up is Volume 1 of the LEGO Star Wars Droid Tales series.

Last but certainly not least is a birthday present from Sara and Christian that they brought over for me yesterday that I forgot to mention! Imperial Death Star Haynes Manual! YES!

These things should help ease the wait between now and Rogue One coming out.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Veggie heaven, Sara & Christian visit and new hair

It was a good day today. Toni and I started thing off preparing lots and lots of vegetables for dinner.

Two different colours beetroots

Many different colour carrots:

Being slowly assembled into a lovely dish that will be roasted:

The base for cauliflower/broccoli cheese (white sauce based):

Variation on a theme that will just have cheese rather than the white sauce:

Carrots prepped to be stir fried:

Sara and Christian arrived and engaged in catch ups and Zoe, Toni and I had hair cuts.

After the hair cuts came our delicious roast dinner which we all shared. There was roast beef for those that wanted it too but Toni and I stuck with just the vegetable dishes.

Skipping the beef was a real challenge for me but I am so glad that I did. Having a massive plate of the vegetables just left me content and full. Meat had been making me feel a little clogged up so it was nice to have a roast dinner and not feel that way. 

It was lovely having Sara and Christian over as we always have such a laugh with them but sadly they had to depart.

Our evening finished off with Toni and I watching the New York Rangers bear Pittsburgh Penguins 4 - 2 to tie their first round Play Off series 1 - 1. 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Movie day

Today ended up being a bit of a movie day. Things started off with The Atticus Institute.

It followed a simple premise: In the early 1970s, Dr. Henry West creates an institute to find people with supernatural abilities. When Judith Winstead comes to the facility, she exhibits amazing abilities that the military wants to turn into a weapon.

Whilst very slow to start it was actually a pretty good horror film. I like the mix of "old" footage versus the modern day style. It's one of those more jumpy suspense type horrors that works its way up more and more as the end nears. A good pizza movie and well worth a watch.

Next up was gangster movie Gomorrah.

In the slums of Campania, the Camorra crime syndicate has created a fortune out of cocaine, corruption and chemical waste. Some try to fight back, like teens Ciro (Ciro Petrone) and Marco (Marco Macor), who decide to steal a Camorra weapons cache in a bid to take control themselves. Others try to hide, like Pasquale (Salvatore Cantalupo), a tailor trying to get around paying protection fees. But the realization sets in: The Camorra is too large, too deeply embedded in Italy to be fought.

I didn't get on with this film at all. Nothing seemed to click for me and I ended up cashing out after about fifteen minutes. Apparently it's a bit of a cult film and is one of the best gangster films out there, just not for me.

I ended the day with 47 Ronin.

In feudal Japan, Lord Asano rules his province with fairness. However, jealous Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) fears that the shogun favors Asano over him and hatches a plot that ends with Asano's ritual suicide. After Asano's death, his samurai, led by Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), are forced to live as outcasts. Oishi wanders for several years but realizes that he must turn to Kai (Keanu Reeves), a mixed-blood warrior he once rejected, to help him and his ronin comrades take revenge on Lord Kira.

47 Ronin was mildly entertaining. Keanu Reaves isn't really a stellar actor and this was certainly no The Last Samurai. It's a fun yarn and another watchable pizza movie.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Caffeine day

It was a struggle to get up this morning. My brain was like fog. It was definitely going to be a caffeine day! I received this lovely picture from Sophie today of Scarlett and Kenzie with a Dalek.

Work day was good enough, things progressed well, people seemed to be collaborating well and the atmosphere was good. How odd LOL. Another interview today which seemed to go well. The candidate had spent 8 years working in Japan which gave me some interesting things to talk about outside of the usual list of interview questions.

My evening was spent trying (and failing miserably) to stay awake during various things we were watching!