News and comments from Arthur

Stupid Currys

 Friday 30 Nov 2007, 8:07 PM

No, this isn`t a post about odd flavours of Curry such as eel and strawberry, but instead a post about electrical retailer Currys, from whom Arthur has bought a new fridge that was supposed to be delivered today.

Arthur had got everything ready by clearing out his old fridge, defrosting it (it is stuck permenantly on and gets icy very quickly) ready for it to be taken away when the new one was delieverd but instead he received a call telling him the lorry had been involved in an accident and the delivery wouldn`t be made that day (Arthur has vague memories of being told that story before during a previous delivery many years back and suspects that "crashed lorry" is in fact a Currys code word for "we are incompetent and cannot organise things properly but are going to cover things up by attempting to make the customer feel sympathetic towards us" but on this occasion Arthur will give them the benfit of the doubt). As Athur had already taken that day off he decided it would be better to just collect it from the store rather than waste more time off waiting for them to deliver it again.

And now Arthur is more convinced that his lack of delivery was simple incompetence as it took almost an hour in store just to rearrange the delivery. Virtually everyone he spoke to had to find someone else to help. It took 4 people to find someone who could sort things out. And even then they continued to mess about by insisting on contacting head office first to cancel the old delivery - just fucking stop wasting Arthur`s time and give him a new delivery date and you can sort out cancelling the original one in your own bloody time! No instead Arthur was made to stand there watching someone waiting on the phone for 15 minutes whilst she told him every few minutes that this really was the quickest way to get things sorted. In retrospect, bollocks was it. Grrrrr...

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Beowulf IMAX 3D

 Saturday 17 Nov 2007, 6:03 AM Beowulf poster

Arthur went to London today to see the new CGI film Beowulf on the (very) big screen and in 3D to boot. And very nice it was too.

As a film it was pretty good, even if the story was fairly simple (tough guy Beowulf arrives to kill a monster for a king and then kill the monsters mother. The end.) Actually there was a bit more too it than that, mostly, as Arthur has been told, additional material added for the purposes of the film when compared to the original poem (this is probably the first film Arthur has ever seen base on poetry!)

The CGI was very good, although still quite not perfect. Human charcaters weren`t 100% right (mostly dowbn to lip movements) although the Angelina Jolie charcater looked amazing in several shots - you really couldn`t tell it wasn`t her (apart from the fact she had a living, demonic pony tail and stiletto heels built into her feet).But it was the 3D aspect that really made the film. It wasn`t gratuitously used although obviously there were some shots deliberatley designed to make the most of the format and a lot of the time it just added depth to wide shots of landscapes and alike. The most spectacular sequence was a big fight with a dragon at the end - truly stunning on a very big screen and in 3D. Arthur thinks he might go and see it on a digital 3D screen to compare the 2 3D systems used and decide if one is better then the other - certainly there was some minor ghosting on the IMAX system but nothing to give the viewer eye strain.

And whilst in london, Arthur also did a bit of shopping, picking up a couple of Panda toys, some TMNT comics and a selection of Pocky, including giant Pocky! Strangely, the Japan Centre had no decent Pocky selection at all although this copuld have been to do with the fact the supermarket had recently moved to a new, bigger shop next door (this confused Arthur somewhat as Arthur though it was the same place just refurbished - he really couldn`t work out how the place looked so totally different in such a short space of time since he`d last visited!)

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Panda Party!

 Tuesday 13 Nov 2007, 7:10 PM P-Z Pantraon Block figures

Having won a whole load of Panda-Z toys on eBay 3 weeks ago and having not had any sign of them turning up or any communication whatsoever, Arthur was pleased to finally hear from the seller today that his toys had been posted, even if it was a somewhat standard message clearly sent out to a number of people explaining the delay and that "the cards" had been sent out that morning (Cards!!!!??? What cards??? Arthur bought Pandas not cards!)

And if further evidence were needed that it was a message originally meant for someone else, when Arthur arrived home tonight, he found his parcel of Panda toys awaiting him on his door step, even though the message stated they had only been sent that morning (Arthur very much doubts the Royal mail are that efficient)

So Arthur now has 8 differnt Panda-Z Pantaron block figures in various different military type colour schemes.

Arthur also had 3 more Judge Dredd books arrive (slightly quicker delivery on these having only been won on eBay 4 days ago!). Not many more books to go before this collection is complete; then Arthur can begin buying the more recent Dredd graphic novels rather than the old-school mid 80`s to ealry 90`s stuff.

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Curry Extravaganza

 Monday 12 Nov 2007, 10:56 AM

Around lunchtime yesterday, Arthur`s doorbell rang and once again he found his next door neighbour on his front doorstep. Fortunately this time there was no plumbing disaster. Instead his neighbour invited Arthur round to a party they were having to celebrate Diwlai.

Given the wonderful smell of curry that Arthur often smells coming from their house, Arthur could not refuse and quickly popped over for a bite to eat. And what a feast it was. There was loads of really good Nepalese and Indian food being cooked in vast quantities. Arthur was bought a plate of assorted stuff, some sweet some savoury. The sweets were particularly good including some nice rice/doughnut type rings and some semolina based balls (Arthur cannot for the life of him remember what all the different things were called though he really should make an effort so he knows what to ask for when such treats come his way in the future!).

Then, just as Arthur was feeling really stuffed full of food, he discovered that this was just the appetiser and a couple of large pans of curry were on the go outside on a charcoal grill! He had a choice or Pork or Goat curry and in fact opted to try a bit of each. Surprisingly, Arthur found the goat was the nicer of the 2 and tasted somewhat like lamb. Saying that, as these were very traditional curries, all the meat still had bones which were somewhat challenging for an otherwise polite Englishman to try and filter out without looking like he was spitting out his food in disgust!

It was a nice treat for an otherwise dull Sunday afternoon although by the end of the day after Arthur had gone round his parents for a roast dinner in the evening he really did feel rather sick, having eaten sveral days worth of food in the space of around 6 hours!

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Super Plumber

 Wednesday 7 Nov 2007, 9:44 AM

Arthur was feeling rather tired last night so decided to go to bed early. Unfortunately his extra sleep didn`t last too long as, just as he was dozing off, the door rang.

Arthur leapt out of bed and threw open the window ready to hurl abuse at what he expected to be some local kids messing about, but instead was greeted by the dight of his rather panic stricken next door neighbour who began telliwng something about "how his wife had broken the kitche tap, water was going everywhere, they couldn`t stop it and could Arthur come and help!".

Being a heroic individual, Arthur got dressed, grabbed his spanners and ran round to his neighbour`s house his whilst trying to put out of his mind the last time he tried to help someone out with some DIY when he ended up drilling through a gas pipe...

The kitchen was indeed rather wet as the entire body of the tap had come unscrewed and water had clearly been spraying across the room. The flow was now being directed into the sink whioch was struggling to empty fast enough even with the assistance of the entire family emptying it with buckets.

The stop tap was nowhere to be seen (under the sink the pipes had some bleed valves but that was it) but after some frantic seraching Arthur eventually found it behing a little wooden door under the sink in the bathroom. It wouldn`t quite turn off all the way but it was enough to avert the immediate disaster.

Arthur then just had to disassemble the tap and put it all back together again (a bit tighter this time) before turning the water back on, much to the relief of his neighbour. Arthur went back to bed with a warm fuzzy glow at having being able to help out (especially as he hadn`t broken any gas pipes this time) and left his neghbours to mop up the remains of the flood. Maybe Arthur should get a job as a plumber - that late night callout would probably have cost £100...

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Nice New NAS

 Thursday 1 Nov 2007, 2:43 AM

Arthur bought himself a NAS yesterday as he decided he was running a bit low on disc space on his PC, mainly due to too much music for his Squeezebox and various TV torrents.

The NAS (stands for Netweork attached storage) is basically a hard disk with a network card atatched along with a small processor and a bit of memory. Unlike a USB hard disk this can just be attached to the router and anyhting can access it, a bit like a server. Inded, the NAs Arthur purchased came with Slimserver installed, which is the music server used by his Squeezebox, so now Arthur can play music without having to turn his PC on.

Plus it also comes with a Torrent service so Arthur can set torrent files and other downloads going and leave his PC off too.

Whilst it may all sound rosy and perfect, Arthur is actually somewhat disappointed with it; the Slimserver interface is a bit slower than it was when running on his PC (although this could be the updated version of the software) and one of the features, "Wake on LAN" doesn`t work with Arthur`s older Squeezebox. A newer version would allow the NAS to go into sleep mode when the Squeezebox wasn`t playing any music, thuis saving some electricity but as things stand at the moment, the NAS hard disc is always up and running unless Arthur pulls out the netwok cable to allow it to sleep.

Arthur bought his NAS from a local company - he was planning on getting one and looked them up on the internet and found someone he thought loked like they new what they were doing. And it just so happened the company was based a few miles down the road from him! Thus Arthur simply popped round and picked one up - nice and easy!

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