Go Go Power Rangers

March 31, 2017

It’s a little-known fact that upon completion of my A-Levels I did what any self-respecting eighteen-year-old boy would do in that situation.

I went to the cinema to watch Power Rangers.

I mean, it was terrible. But it was also fun, but in a really terrible way. I mean, it’s not a great cinematic classic. But if you ever hear me say that it’s time to boogie with the bear, then you can now nod sagely and know that it’s from that very movie.

So, just over twenty years later it’s time for another Power Rangers movie. A reboot, a reimagining. A new beginning.

And, you know what, I really enjoyed it. I mean, the Rangers and the Zords are totally unrecognisable when compared to the old ones because they’re all detailed and computer-generated instead of being one-piece costumes and plastic. I had to look up what the black Zord was because I couldn’t remember and couldn’t tell from the new movie.

So the new movie is cheesy, yes. But it’s the right amount of cheese.

You know, five misfits who find each other through the power of the Ranger coins, the morphing grid and the exposure of their secrets. None of them hold the power coins out and shout the name of their dinosaur though. I mean what the hell, guys? How else are you supposed to remember Mastodon. Exactly, my friends. Exactly.

The Angel Grove of modern times is very different to the Angel Grove of ye olde times. There’s no Bulk and Skull for starters. And what is Power Rangers without some over-the-top Chuckle Brothers-esque slapstick from those two? Maybe they’ll pop up in a sequel or something.

So, yes, I enjoyed it a lot. But then, I enjoyed the one twenty years ago, and that was terrible.



The Truth Is Out There

March 30, 2017


I have a theory that Sky send a signal to your Sky Box -if it’s not the latest, most up-to-date, new-fangled model – which causes it to crash. Which means you have to do all the pulling out of the plug and then sit for ages while it all reinitialises, during which time you’re supposed to sit there and think “I should probably ring up and complain about this…. maybe get a new box or something…”

And then you phone Sky and they put you on hold for a moment and laugh maniacally because you’ve fallen for their scheme.

I’m only saying this because our Sky box crashes quite frequently. But it’s crashed a couple of times this week, and we’ve had a sales call from Sky a couple of times as well. And because back in the old days, we had Sky Broadband on the lowest package and they turned off the WiFi – which had been working when we first got it.

I thought that maybe the router had conked out with regards to the Wireless Fireless, but then I started to think that maybe Sky had switched it off. Just one of those crazy conspiracy theories which will find me, in future years, wearing a tin foil hat and shaking a stick at the sky.

I mean, it sounds odd and totally implausable, but when we upgraded to a better broadband package, the WiFi mysteriously started working again.

Almost as if…

Basically, if this was Ancient Aliens or Finding Bigfoot no further proof would be needed. This would be a proven thing.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s some sort of signal sent out which frazzles your Sky Box for a little bit. Nothing permanent – at least not yet. Maybe they’re building up to that. But just annoying enough to make you think that instead of losing five minutes or so to the restart procedures, it might just be easier to sign up for Sky Q, say, at some exorbitant cost for the pleasure of being able to download something from your planner to your phone.

And you phone them up, and they laugh maniacally.

When Sky called tonight, I told them to try again next week.

Let’s see what happens…


What’s That Coming Over The Hill…

March 29, 2017

I’d forgotten what an absolute joy Finding Bigfoot is to watch.

Not for any of the in depth scientific analysis that goes on. Mainly because, aside from some night vision cameras, there is nothing. But because of the amount of things that they come out with that is just… well, they’re hearing hoofbeats and thinking unicorns, let alone zebras.

Over the past couple of days, I have seen them fail to discover Bigfoot on a number of occasions. But I have also learned so much.

For example, Bigfoot has a very distinctive call. It’s sort of like a howl. It’s so distinctive that two of the members of the Finding Bigfoot team can do it. And every single time they do, it’s entirely different. They stand on mountains, in the dark, and yell in the hopes that a Bigfoot will answer. They have to let each other know – as they’re usually split up at this point – when they’re going to howl, of course, because it’s just so damn realistic you’d immediately think you’re about to be eaten by a ‘Squatch.

Then there are the things that Bigfoot is known – actually known – for doing. These include looking in the window of parked cars and running their hand along the side of tents. They are widely known for doing these things. Apparently. If you are camping in Squatch territory with you car parked near by, the Bigfoot can often be found in a dither trying to decide what to do first – the window looking or the tent brushing.

But my favourite moments came when on of the team came across several things which could have been evidence of everyone’s favourite cryptid. First up was a small structure built from sticks which was “clearly human built” but totally something a Sasquatch could use. I mean, obviously. That is the first leap of logic I would make.

Then later a large patch of flattened grass was found. It was sniffed, as though that would reveal the identity of whatever had made it. It smelled, unsurprisingly, grassy. But the conclusion was that it was either made by a mountain lion or Bigfoot. Now… I have an open mind. It is. I love the thought of stuff like this existing. But if I had to choose what made a flattened piece of grass and my two choices were an actual real mountain lion and an as yet unverified creature of dubious existence…

Needless to say they were more or less convinced it was the Sasquatch.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode…

Mail Chauvinist

March 28, 2017

The whole internet is up in arms about the Daily Mail today, with its picture of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon and its charming headline about forgetting Brexit and who wins at Legs-It.

The Daily Mail, in typical grown-up response, has hit back at any nay-sayers by telling them to get a life.

That’s the Daily Mail telling people to get a life.

The Daily Mail.

I’m not surprised by the Mail in the slightest.

It only takes a casual glance at the website and their sidebar of shame to know that, essentially, underneath all that righteous indignation and standing up for decent moral values, it’s basically a newspaper for perverts. Not the outright “phwoar, look at that” kind that might have enjoyed a Page 3 girl or two, but the more subtle ones who quite like looking at young women who are “blossoming”, for example. Which, as we all know, is Daily Mail speak for “she’s underage but look at the tits on that.”

The website is, of course, worse than the paper.

But that’s only because the paper wouldn’t be able to pack in as much homophobic and racist bigotry if it had to run picture-filled articles of, say, Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist in a coat between scenes on the show (an actual story on the actual website).

The paper also defended its actions with regards to what no-one so far has referred to as Leg-gate by saying they would treat male politicians exactly the same. Trouser-wearing male politicians, the paper claims, could be treated to the same sort of headline.

Because, steady now, who doesn’t like a crisp trouser crease, eh?

In Hiding

March 27, 2017

I spent a good portion of the day today creeping round the house trying not to make any noise. I considered, but stopped short of, moving around below the level of the window because that seemed a bit excessive and the privacy bush is coming nicely into leaf.

The reason for my Anne Frank-esque actions was the presence of the scaffolding men in the street. They were taking down the scaffolding from all the houses that have been accidentally covered in some of the insulation that is also inside the walls. Not next door, obviously, she got them to come early by telling them she had mental problems and that she felt like she was in a prison because all she could see was bars.

Now, since the erection of the scaffolding resulted in widespread destruction of our garden – pots, washing line and paving slabs – our neighbour has been trying to get the supervisor to come round and offer some kind of recompense for the damage.

We are not that bothered. We’re more bothered about the fact that they told us they broke one pot but actually broke 4 and never even mentioned the paving slab. But that’s all. Nothing that needs the supervisor guy to receive almost daily texts from our neighbour on our behalf.

And so given that there was a small car with the scaffolding logo on it I assumed the supervisor was in the surrounding area. And because every time I have left the house for the past week or so I have been accosted to find out if he’s been in touch, I decided laying low was the best thing to do.

So I had to do quiet things. I watched TV at a low volume, although almost gave the game away when I chuckled at “This valley is Squatchy” as I discovered a previously untapped vein on Finding Bigfoot of a lunchtime. I had a soup without croutons, lest the crunchy bread cubes give the game away. I boiled the kettle away from the adjoining wall.

There’s a lot of work that goes into hiding. I don’t think it’s really appreciated.

I couldn’t go upstairs because the sound would be heard. Luckily the scaffolders all left before it got to a point where I had to consider how the hell I would go to the loo without going upstairs, so that was okay. And when I have been outside this afternoon, I’ve just run from the door to the bin and back again, on tiptoe, trying not to stand on the back doormat as it makes a bit of a crinkly noise.

I think I’ll be able to resume a normal life in another couple of days – there’s still some scaffolding on the back of one of the houses, weirdly. So they’ll clearly have to come back.

Once that’s done I’ll be able to make noise again.

Pieces Of Hate

March 26, 2017

What better way to spend Mother’s Day, you might think, than spending some time with your mum and helping her with her jigsaw.


Anything is better.

My mum loves jigsaws. Absolutely loves them. I’m quite partial to them myself, but mum loves then. She’ll polish one off in no time. Job done. Onto the next.

But we’ve scuppered that.

For several months a jigsaw has sat unfinished at mum’s. It’s a picture of Tutankhamun’s casket, which is easy enough, and a black background which isn’t.

The background has remained unfinished since day one. The casket was a doddle. But  the rest of it is just all black.

And it’s ridiculously hard to put together.

You can tell that, as the jigsaw is second-hand (at least) and has what mum calls pieces that have been wanked about.

Because after a couple of minutes in the presence of the black pieces you just want to use any brute force technique you can get your hands on to get the pieces together.

For a while mum struggled because she’d left several salient pieces in the box. But now they’re out of the box things aren’t any better. She hasn’t even done the edges.

We tried to help today. We didn’t help. If anything we’ve just provided something new for mum to do as she pulls apart the pieces we put together.

I don’t think it’ll be finished before next Mother’s Day…

The Bush Whisperer

March 25, 2017

This morning I was, again, caught for a chat by our neighbour. There I was merrily pegging the washing out and she was, again, asking me if the people from the scaffolding place had been round about the broken paving slab and what-have-you because she’d been texting them about it. They haven’t, and she’s going to text them again. Which means, come Monday, we get to have the conversation all over again.

During the course of the conversation, I was asked what my plans were for the day. What my plans were was, at that very moment, rapidly changing. I had planned on emptying out the shed and starting to sort all that crap out, but as I realised that I would be running a constant risk of conversation about the mess the scaffolders left, I said that I didn’t really have anything planned. Carole was off to Harrogate to do arty-farty things and I was just going to potter.

And then, predictably, I was told off for not making the most a gorgeous day like today.

One of the benefits of just pottering round the house on a gorgeous day like today is that I get to see the people who have told me off for not planning to enjoy it by being out in the sunshine also not being out in the sunshine at all. Unless it was to have a fag. Or to sit on the back doorstep on your phone whilst epilating the hairs from your feet.

I mean, as it happened, I did venture out into the harmful UV rays to get a bit of Vitamin D. And to, after several years, try and extricate the remains for the trellis arrangement from the ball of foliage that used to be a merrily climbing clematis. It was like a giant game of kerplunk, where the wood was the straw and the clematis the marbles.

Sort of.

What it boiled down to, pretty much, was me shouting “Oh come on!” to a piece of wood and a bush as I tried to separate them, baffled by what it could possibly be that was holding one to the other.

And if that’s not making the most of the sunshine, then I don’t know what is…