News and comments from Arthur

Peppers!

 Monday 28 May 2007, 12:00 AM

Arthur`s kitchen is once more host to pepper plants courtesy of someone at work. Whilst the person giving away the plants is different, the one thing they have in common is that they both vastly underestimated how many plants thesy would get from a packet of seeds, hence why they were giving them away. And this time, instead of just one plant, Arthur has six!

Each of the plants is a different variety of pepper (or chilli) although Arthur can`t actually remember which is which. As long as they all taste hot and spicy. Arthur just hopes that this time it doesn`t take over a year to produce 2 small peppers. Indeed he is a bit more hopeful as he can already see buds forming on a couple of the plants. And Arthur is feeding them with tomoate plant food (which apparently they like) in an effort to get a better crop. Plus he has 6 time the number of plants so hopefully at least one of them should deliver the goods this time round!

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Spokey Dokey

 Monday 21 May 2007, 12:00 AM

Arthur had another spoke break on his bike on the way home on Friday. As usual it was on the back wheel on the same side as the gears which meant dismantling the whole back end of the bike. Arthur is getting used to performing this repair as it would seem that all the other spokes are becoming more stressed with all the breakages. Maybe one day Arthur will just get fed up and buy a whole new wheel which should be relatively maintenance free for a few years at least.

Arthur had run out of spare spokes so took a walk to his local branch of Halfords where they have a bike repair centre to get some more. After spending a while hunting around for the spokes in a store rook out back, they eventually managed to find them. They were only 10 pence each (Arthur wanted 4) but the man in Halfords said to just take them - there was no charge! This surprised Arthur somewhat as it is usually little independant shops that offer good customer service like this as opposed to the big corporate stores that usually charge for every last little thing. In fact, where bikes are concerned, Arthur has become rather disappointed by the quality of the work done by all the small, independant shops in his area and finds humslef going to Halfords more and more often. OK, they can be a bit more expensive but the people they have working there seem knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic. And they give away free spokes! They may have lost a 40 pence spoke sale by giving them away but Arthur knows where he`ll be going when it comes time to replace the whole wheel.

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Lawn Apocalypse

 Sunday 20 May 2007, 12:00 AM Arthurs lawn before, during and after moss raking

Looking at Arthur`s lawn today, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the apocalypse had come and that the dawn of nuclear holocasut was ravishing the earth.

Yesterday the front and back lawns of Arthur`s house were a lush green colour, albeit rather long grass that needed a mow. However these lawns held a dark secret: moss. And lots of it. After putting off the moss removal for several years Arthur finally but the bullet and applied a good dose of moss killer a few weeks ago which was followed up by a good raking today with a Qualcast lawn raker he had borrowed from his Dad. And when the raking began the moss just kept coming and coming. By the time Arthur had finished his pretty small back lawn his green recycling wheelie bin was full of raked moss. And the front lawn happily filled his ordinary wheelie bin too.

Although Arthur was expecting things to look a bit barren afterwards, he didn`t expect it to look quite so bad! His back lawn is now little more than a mud patch in places with the occasional sprout of something vaguely green. Arthur suspects the may have overdone the raking somewhat! He has applied some seed and fertiliser at the back in the hope that it will become a bit greener by the time the summer arrives properly. Arthur also thinks he will invest in a proper lawn mower that actually collects the clippings as he suspects that the reason it got so bad in the first place was that he always cut it too short and never bothered to rake up the cut grass.

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Lots of Pocky!

 Saturday 19 May 2007, 12:00 AM A big pile of new Japanese snacks

For the second week running, Arthur was woken at 7:30am on a Saturday morning by the postman delivering a large box of new Pocky from Japan. Whilst getting new Pocky is always a pleasant surprise and not wanting to seem ungrateful, Arthur really could do with a good lie in as he is rather tired at the moment!

Unlike last week`s delivery, everything was present and correct and even more delicious looking than the last batch (The Macadamia nut Mushroom biscuits had Arthur drooling). Even the scrunched up bits of magazine used to pad the extra space in the box were interesting, featurning an article on "The Trendworld 2007" which seemed to consist of a number of (probably) famous Japanese girls reviewing, of all things, the latest Japanese snacks! Unfortunately Arthur has no way of knowing what they thought as it was all in Japanese apart from the main article title. Another page had Japanese men reviewing womens underwear which was modelled by day-glo manequins and there was also a great advert for what looked like some pop group called "Hos France"; at least the Japanese seem to have got the right idea about French girls...

Arthur likes these pages so much that he has decided that he really needs to get a proper gallery going on his site. He thinks some kind of fancy Ajax affair might be in order so he may not get much housework done tomorrow.

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28 Weeks for a ticket

 Wednesday 16 May 2007, 12:00 AM Poster for 28 Weeks Later

Once again Arthur has been rather slack in updating his site and will once again attempt to get back on track (the fact he still hasn`t completed all his updates from the last time he went off track isn`t a particularly good sign though!).

Last night Arthur went to see 28 Weeks Later. The cinema trip did not get off to a good start after he found himself seated near the back right corner of the cinema despite asking for a seat in the middle (this being Vue cinemas new allocated seating policy). The man on the door who could barely string together a sentence in the English language indicated that Arthur couldn`t just sit anywhere he wanted so would have to get the ticket changed, so it was back to the girl who served him. Unlike the man on the door, she seemed to have mastered speaking English although clearly the definition of the word "middle" eluded her. Arthur asked for his eat to be changed and was rudely told that his seat was definitely in the middle when it clearly was not. She then refused to show him the computer screen so he could point out the error of her ways! One call for a manager and she was soon put in her place but only after Arthur had to fill out some paperwork just to get his ticket changed! Fucking ridiculous! Even the manager wasn`t particularly great at speaking English but at least he knew how to apologise, be polite and give the paying customer what they had asked for.

The film itself (28 Weeks Later in case you had forgotten the start of this entry) was quite good although it suffered from shaky camerawork that was just a bit too shaky and the use of the same piece of music over and over again (it`s a good piece of music that was used effectively in the first film but it didn`t need to be used 5 times in the sequel). It also has a slightly higher profile cast too including Robert Carlyle and the guy who played Michael in Lost (although he`s obviously not that big a star as Arthur doesn`t know his real name!). It is worth seeing, if only for the best "death by helicopter" sequence ever committed to celluloid and the fact that the US army screw everything up, panic and thus screw everything up even more. Hooray for unsubtle "cinema mirrors real life" hidden political film messages!

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Spiderman 3

 Friday 4 May 2007, 12:00 AM Spiderman 3 teaser poster

Tonight was Spidey 3 night, the start of a weekend of cinema viewing. This was the first time Arthur had been to the cinema since Vue had introduced their bew allocated seating system. This was long overdue and meant he could arrive much later instead of having to queue for an hour beforehand to get a decent seat.

Arthur half expected to find some dumb chav occupying his prime location seat but the staff seemed to have it all under control and thre weren`t any problems. Arthur did find it slightly amusing however than all the seats had nasty printed labels stuck to them showing the seat numbers; it will only take a week or so for half of them to be peeled off, swapped over, changed with a magic marker etc. They really should make a better effort and get some proper numbers put on them!

As for the film itself, it wasn`t that good, certainly not compared to the previous 2. The whole thing felt rushed with too much in it at the expense of any coherent storyline. The action scenes seemed like a tagged on afterthought and didn`t really fit with the rest of the film. It was choppy and had the feeling that it was origianlly a much longer film that had been cut down to fit everyhting in. Some scenes even felt out of place, like they should have come from earlier or later in the film.

Some of the action scenes themselves were well done, in particular one with a crane and the final 4 charcater battle. But the some were just messy, in particular the first one where Spidey is attacked by Green Goblin Junior; it seriously suffered from a serious case of "Van-Helsing-itus" where they director seemd to think the more that was happening, the faster it all took palce and the more CGI was on the screen, the better it was. Instead it was a jumbled mess where you could`t actually tell what was going on. It would have helped had the camera been moved back 50 ft rather than going for close ups all the time where you could only just make out the odd arm or leg against a spinning background.

Against all this negativity, there were some good scenes too, in particular Peter`s relationship with MJ and a great appearance by Bruce Cambell as a French Maitre d` (this scene was a perfect example of how comedy worked well in the film rather than the later attempts with Peter strutting around to funky 70`s music trying to look cool with his floppy emo haircut, that were, in general, embarrasing). And overall the film was a reasonably entertaing 150 mintes to fill an otherwise dull Friday evening. But beyond that it was nothing special. Arthur doesn`t expect to get the DVD of this one....

The ongoing story arc that had been developeing over the last couple of films was all wrapped up so Arthur hopes this is the last of the Spiderman films. However he very much suspects thast thre will be more to come. In a way Arthur would like to see a change of cast and crew as this latest film has clearly demonstrated that things were not working as well as they once were. Maybe there were other factors (such as studio interference) which caused problems - we`ll probably never know. Whatever the story, Arthur hopes the next film is a lot better than this one.

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