Welcome to SpaCeMonKeY UK, the blog of Helen Wells (nee Berrington, aka FieryFred) since 2002.





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SpaCeMonKeY UK

Friday, March 29

I don't feel so good. I have a cold. I thought I might have gotten away with it - my throat felt weird all week but nothing else happened. And now I have a day off and I feel awful! Drat.

I sold another Stargate Companion the other day. We've only got one left at work now. Oooh. I managed to restrain myself, so I didn't ramble aimlessly at the poor person. :-)

Today was Good Friday, obviously. So I went to church in the morning, then ate Hot Cross Buns for lunch. Mum and Dad suggested we go out, so we went to an Antiques and Collectables fair. And also Battlesbridge Antiques Centre. Didn't buy anything. Watched some TV. Feel like sleeping, really. *sigh*

I watched Jeffrey last night. Yes, another DVD I bought because it had Michael T. Weiss in it. I will probably never learn. Luckily he hasn't been in all that much! I'm not completely sure who the film is supposed to have appealed to. I mean, it's a gay comedy. Not gay in a happy way. :-)

My main problem with the film is that I'm not that way inclined and I didn't find it funny. It was just really disturbing. So are you supposed to find it funny if you're gay? Because it made all gay men out to be sex mad lunatics who do interior designing and/or dance for a living! Is that really what it's like to be gay? The people in the film spotted who was gay just by looking at them, which was odd since the actors are (as far as I know) not gay. I don't know if I'm making much sense...

And apart from that, it was supposed to have loads of serious issues going on, but it didn't really. It wasn't written to be clear enough. It was just a mishmash of stereotypes, disjointed scenes and Patrick Stewart doing pretty well with the material he'd been given. To me, it didn't come across as being funny or a serious film about love and HIV. Perhaps it's just me. I don't know.

Thursday, March 28

Wow, I went out places. That's weird.

Yesterday was David Coulthard's birthday. I hope he manages to score some points in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Things have been going soooo badly. Poor him. ;-)

Oh, the firm my brother works for, BAE Systems have been in the news! There was a spy. He's the most unlikely spy to be selling technological defence secrets - he was an active rambler. He worked out the routes for the Rochford Rambling Group, or something. I wondered whether he only did the rambling to become the most unlikely spy in history, but...

It was all sunny and nice again today. Everyone kept coming into work and telling me how nice it was outside. We don't even have windows upstairs, so I don't know what it's like outside. But when they told me it made me want to be outside, for sure! Honestly. Maybe they don't mean it. Maybe it's just the whole British talking about the weather thing.

I'm still not sure whether or not I like Buffy any more. It's all just... odd. Something's not right. But Angel was brilliant tonight! It even made me cry, which doesn't happen that often. With anything. I don't just mean TV. It was Cordelia's birthday and stuff happened. Excellent!!!

Monday, March 25

I'm very confused. I can't tell if Smile will let me open a current account or not. Their terms and conditions seem to want lots of money paid into my account every month. And I can't promise that, can I? Hmm.

There were a lot of very grumpy customers around today. It made me sad. I'll be busy tomorrow night - I'm going to an Italian meal thing which is being held to raise money for Venture Scouts. Should be fun.

What has happened to my weblog? To start with I had a lot to say, which is weird, 'cos I've never had much to talk about. But it's all gone downhill now. Oh well...

Sunday, March 24

Well, not much to report. I watched a strange film last night - Pi. I'd heard it was supposed to be good, and it sort of was, but definitely not light entertainment. You could really feel him panicking. You could feel the pain and confusion. The paranoia. Really impressive film-making. All in grainy black and white, too. I don't think it would have felt right in colour. I won't say any more because it probably won't make sense unless you've seen it!

Saturday, March 23

Just shared this with the people in chat, and I decided to put the link here too. Everyone should see this - Mad Donna's Wheels on the Bus! Think the kid's song crossed with Ray of Light. Strange but true!

I've discovered something amazing! Danger Mouse is on one of the kid's cable channels in the middle of the night! Wow. I'm sure there were other things I wanted to say, but you know, I can't remember anything. Weird.

Thursday, March 21

Didn't write anything last night because I was out again! Don't worry, I'm not really getting a life. I went to see Gosford Park. I didn't think it was fantastic. I can see why it's heralded as a good film, what with the 'inner workings of a stately home' and all, but it wasn't exactly exciting. Or surprising. And what was with Mr Fry's weird comedic inspector?!

The greatest thing I learnt today was that I wasn't imagining the weird words to Shakira's song Whenever Wherever. She really does say her breasts are small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains! That song is so odd. I hate that I like it. It's not like I like it really, there's just... something about it. Hmmmmmm.

You know who I met yesterday? The boyfriend of the daughter of Pat O'Keeffe. Apparently Pat O'Keeffe himself came in the other day, too. His whole family will have been in to see it soon. Shame that no-one's actually bought his book. At least I haven't sold any. :-(

Tuesday, March 19

I had my interview at Leicester University and I'm in! I'm going to do an MA in Professional Archaeological Practice. Woo!

Today was a really weird day at work. I met three interesting people. (Well, when I say "met", I served them. And talked to them.)

First of all there was a woman who asked if the middle section of our bestsellers wall contained bestsellers. Sounds like a stupid question, but it doesn't. It's all the new stuff, 'cos we have this bit that there isn't a plan what to do with. We'd put this book there by someone called Pat O'Keeffe called Thermal Image. It turned out that she was married to the author! I jokingly asked if he'd like to do a book signing, and she said she'd ask him. Could be embarrassing - we probably only have about three copies. Heh.

Secondly there was this man who bought a fantasy book. He asked me if was more like Tolkien or David Eddings and Terry Brooks, and I said Eddings, even though I wasn't completely sure. It looks like it is from the cover, and even though there's that thing about not judging books by their cover, you can! Publishers do it like that on purpose to sell more books! Anyway, that's not what was interesting. He saw that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was coming out on May 11th, and he said he didn't need to preorder it because he had a copy. Immediately I thought, "Not another person with a pirate copy", but he wasn't! The director gave him one, 'cos he knows him. And then he said he was buying the book to read on set, because he's doing a film at the moment. I really wanted to ask what he was doing, but I chickened out. Cool though. He seemed familiar, but I don't know why. He was probably really famous. :-)

The third person probably isn't as interesting as either of those people, but I'll include him anyway. He was a lorry driver, trying to get a European road atlas that has bridge heights marked on it. None seem to exist, if you were wondering. He imports cars from the European mainland so we can have them thousands of pounds cheaper! For Jamjar. You never really think about these things, do you? I don't, anyway. He has a little four car transporter. Sweet.

Sunday, March 17

Lacklustre weblog entries again, eh? None last night 'cos it was taken up with eating Malaysian food with some friends, and playing Gran Turismo 3 on my brother John's PS2. There were four of us playing (one of whom was the bloke who'd invited us round for dinner), so we had two drivers in two teams and swapped after four laps. Which was fun.

I only mention it because it was complete coincidence that it happened to be the Malaysian Grand Prix at 7am this morning! GMT, that is. Not in Malaysia. It wasn't half as exciting as the first race. The highlights were: Montoya and Michael Schumacher colliding at the start, Montoya inexplicably getting a "drive through the pits" penalty for the incident, Sato hitting his teammate's Jordan, Bernoldi in an Arrows overtaking Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button almost finishing third.

The Brits didn't have much luck, all in all. Poor Jenson had problems on the last two laps which lost him his well deserved third place, and David Coulthard... Well. He's never really had good luck. He'd be world champion by now if he didn't keep breaking down! At least his teammate Kimi broke down too, so it wasn't just him. *sigh*

1) Ralf Schumacher - Williams
2) Juan Pablo Montoya - Williams
3) Michael Schumacher - Ferrari
4) Jenson Button - Renault
5) Nick Heidfeld - Sauber
6) Filipe Massa - Sauber

I like Ralf Schumacher, which is weird, because I don't like Michael. So it was nice that he won. I couldn't help but wonder what they talked about on the podium. If only I could lip read in German! And in some ways it was comforting to have two Williams drivers on the top steps of the podium. That hasn't happened since Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, Portugal, 1996. Apparently. Just like the old days, then...

Friday, March 15

There were some important things I wanted to say yesterday, but I had a headache, and Blogger wouldn't work. I've forgotten most of it now.

The main thing was that Leicester University want me to go for an interview on Monday. I'm applying to do an archaeology MA, you see. Scary. My nice boss gave me the day off work, which was fortunate since it was such short notice. Although I do have one day to use up before the end of March. She makes excellent coconut cake, too. Yum.

I can completely not remember what else I had to say. Can't have been important, can it?

Wednesday, March 13

Today was, well, uneventful. I blew some balloons up at work. That was... different. They say World Book Day on one side and "Don't forget your clubcard" or something on the other side. You can't have anything without an advert for something on it, after all. :-)

I played Timesplitters for a while on John's Playstation 2. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had explained what it was all about. It's all very well shooting stuff, but there's a story there somewhere! The website explained it, which was nice. One thing I enjoyed about the game was shooting someone in the leg and somehow killing them. Weird.

In other news, no more Pretender. Series 3 has ended on Sky 1, so unless another channel picks it up, probably no more Pretender on the TV ever. Sad...

I could plug TV Crusaders there, but I... although I suppose I kinda did. Heh.

Tuesday, March 12

Today I watched Memento the wrong way round. Backwards. But if you've seen it, also sort of forwards. It was a "hidden" feature on the DVD. But I found it. I'm great, me. Now everything makes sense! Heh.

And the grand total of water damaged books (evil Coca Cola vending machine) was... (drum roll please) £1207.86! Wow. And I had to take all the books off of the stock file... Lucky me. I suppose when I'm honoured with such a task it's obvious my appraisal went well! :-)

Monday, March 11

Hopefully all that html works. The whole point of blogs was to make web publishing easy, so what do I do? Add an html bit that I'll have to update the old fashioned way. Oh well. :-)

I'm eating chocolate. Mum left some in the fridge. I didn't have a very nice day all in all, so I figure some chocolate might help. All it seems to be doing is getting all over the keyboard. And my appraisal forms for work tomorrow. I really hate appraisals. I suppose everyone does. Hmm.

There was a flood at work yesterday. Luckily I don't have to work weekends, so I didn't have to deal with it. There's a pool club upstairs (they bang their cues on the floor, annoying people). One of their vending machines broke, and water poured out of it and headed downwards. It came through our ceiling and gave one of the old tills a nice wash, as well as loads of books. What a terrible waste! I feel sorry for the damaged books. Poor little soggy books. :-(

Sunday, March 10

You know, I think I'll change this Blogger template a bit. Hmmm.

Not much to say today. I watched Memento last night, because Stephanie told me to. I had to buy it first. I take her recommendations that seriously. Heh. But wow, what a brain exploding film! It has this point of realisation part way through and after that... Wow. What a clever, clever film. We're talking Fight Club and Twelve Monkeys here. I spent all day thinking about how it all fitted together. Incredible.

Apart from that, it's Mother's Day. Dad wheeled out another story from when I was very small (he was leading the Mother's Day service at church). It about one time when we were going out. I was a toddler, I suppose. I only had one pair of shoes, and my parents couldn't find them. They hunted high and low for these shoes, probably panicking because we were going to be late. Can you guess where I had put them? Yes, the fridge. Sometimes I wonder if my parents make these stories up. It's not like I remember them! :-)

Saturday, March 9

Didn't write anything last night as I went to a pub quiz. Well, it was at some sort of Golf HQ with a bar. So I drank Florida Orange all night. Yum. Oh, and our team finished second! (Out of seven or something, so that was quite good. Only 4 points behind winners!)

Today was taken up with an Alpha Course away day. My brother John and I were asked to go and play drums/bass guitar. Not that we did, really. It wasn't stuff you could easily play to. They would have been better off with just an acoustic guitar. Oh well.

Did manage to do something I'm sort of happy about though. I did what the cable guys didn't manage to do - hooked up the cable box and TV and video and DVD player with the SCART leads! The way they did it you didn't even get stereo sound! How dark ages is that?! Anyway, victory is mine!!! I'm not really sure why it works though. First off we connected the cable box to the TV through AV2. Then we connected the DVD player to the video, so both of those are running through AV1. But there are other non-SCART leads running about still and they seem to be necessary. Which is odd.

Thursday, March 7

You know, last night I had an actual reason for writing about Alias. I was going to say how much I've enjoyed a particular actor in the last two episodes. Namely John Hannah. I suppose he's more famous in America now because he's been in some films, but he's been around on British TV for ages. He's great! He was mad, you know. In Alias, not real life. Well, as far as I know.

Wednesday, March 6

Wow, Alias is a great show! All that excitement, all that variation, clever storylines... I like it! You know, the other night I watched an episode of The Pretender that had Jennifer Garner in it. She plays Sydney in Alias. She was this young woman whose Dad had been killed by an evil pool playing maniac. Does the IMDb confirm this? Yes: "Pretender, The" (1996) playing "Billie H. Vaughn/Dupree" in episode: "Pool" (episode # 3.13) 2/20/1999, so there you go.

And the night after that, there was an episode that had Robia La Morte in it. She was Jenny Calendar in Buffy. In The Pretender she was a Mum whose kid was going to die unless he got a kidney transplant. Does the IMDb confirm this? Yes: "Pretender, The" (1996) playing "Cindy Wells" in episode: "Countdown" (episode # 3.14) 3/20/1999.

And you know who was in the episode I watched last night? Brian Cranston, that's who. He's Hal in Malcom in the Middle. He was an ex-army doctor turned conspiracy hunting DJ. Does the IMDb confirm this? Once again, yes: "Pretender, The" (1996) playing "Neil Roberts" in episode: "PTB" (episode # 3.15) 4/3/1999.

I'm sure there are never usually that many actors I recognise. Weird. Just goes to show what a great show it was (is?) to have so many fine and talented guest actors. Heh. I wonder what Michael T. Weiss thinks when he watches stuff with them in it? "They were in my show once! My show! For crying out loud!" Don't you feel even a teensy bit sorry for him...?

Tuesday, March 5

Don't feel great today. Feel better than I did all day at work though - isn't that always the way?! Don't feel much like writing stuff.

You know, today the digital cable men came! I have digital TV. Weirdly, they managed to detune the terrestrial aspect of the TV and video so that BBC 1 didn't exist any more. And try and I might, I can't get a halfway decent reception. Okay, so with digital I'm not going to watch it through the aerial much anyway, but maybe I'll need to tape something. It could be a disaster waiting to happen! We've had dodgy reception before though. I reckon the aerial's had it. Although it still picks up the other stations. Apart from Channel 5, which we've never had through the aerial. Although I can get it on my black and white portable TV upstairs. Hmm.

Woo, digital TV! And it's the best package (without the premium channels), so I get loads of stuff I didn't have before! Do you know how many MTV channels there are?! I'll probably still just watch a few music channels and Sky 1, but that's not the point.

The weird thing is that they left two SCART leads for us. Not sure why. They didn't actually use any SCART leads in their installation - I thought you had to have SCART leads to plug cable boxes into TV's. I thought that was the unique selling point of "digital ready" TV's. Obviously not. Maybe I'll plug them in anyway. As long as I don't make anything explode.

I said I wouldn't write much and look what happened! Heh.

Monday, March 4

I completely forgot to say, I made a button for my TV Crusaders website. I would value any feedback. :-)

TV Crusaders

I don't think there's anything I'd rather talk about this evening than the Monty Python and the Holy Grail DVD. For those of you who don't know, or wonder why I'm suddenly going all odd about it, it was released today! (On Region 2, anyway. Americans have had it for ages.) I started watching the extras disc when I got home from work, and... well. Hilarious! What an excellent DVD package it is! I mean, DVD's come along and claim to be the ultimate DVD with loads of amazing never tried before extras, but how many of them are you really going to watch more than once? It's all very well claiming to be technically impressive, but if you ain't got that... I don't know where I was going with that. *ahem*

The The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations documentary is really amusing. Terry Jones and that nice Michael Palin revisit some of the locations used in the film. Now this may not sound interesting, but it is! Michael Palin even buys the script book so that he can read bits of the script at the appropriate locations. And tourists keep going, "Isn't that Michael Palin? I saw you once in a restaurant on the other side of the world!" Well, someone says that. One person. Sort of.

The BBC film On Location with the Pythons is a genuine bit of film from 1974 - they are all quite, quite mad. And the Lego version of the Knights of the Round Table song is fantastic! If you want to see it, check out the Lego Studios website.

The only bit I wasn't sure about was the How to use your Coconuts feature. Not terribly funny. Hmm.

Now I have the million different ways to watch the film to try out! Subtitles from Henry IV, for those who don't like the film? Read the screenplay while you watch the film? Commentaries? Follow the Killer Rabbit? Wow. Seriously, wow. I love this DVD!

Sunday, March 3

Well, that was an amazing Grand Prix! I actually managed to stay awake for the whole thing! Heh.

The first corner was, well, carnage. Ralf Schumacher launched his car off of the back of Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari. For a moment it looked like he was going to flip over, but he stayed the right way up and skidded over the gravel. I think it was pretty clear it was Ralf's fault, but obviously he'll never say that. None of them ever admit being wrong, after all. "Racing incident" is the closest we ever get to an admission of guilt!

They decided to deal with the crash by sending out the safety car instead of red flagging it. That was unexpected. With carbon fibre all over the track I'd have expected them to stop the race. Maybe they would have if Michael Schumacher had been taken out! I am so cynical. I think that's the right word. :-)

With nine cars out because of the crash (everyone swerved and ended up taking each other off), anyone still running was in with a chance of points. David Coulthard was in the lead, followed by Montoya, Trulli and Michael Schumacher. Try as he might, Schumacher couldn't overtake and David was pulling away. Hooray! I am not at all biased. :-)

Unfortunately, Trulli crashed (car failure - you have to wonder whether the electronic management systems cause too many accidents!) and the safety car came out again. David's lead was worthless. I'm getting a little confused as to the order of everything here, so don't get all mean if I've made a mistake. I think this was when David span off - just before the safety car was letting them race again. Oh no!

And so, the race continued. David fell further and further back - turned out he had a gearbox problem that left him with a limited selection of gears. He fell off the track a lot, and lapped slower and slower until he ground to a halt. Every year I think maybe this will be the one, but then his car breaks down. Every single year..! Still, this is only the first race, and lots of the main men's races ended with the first corner incident. Just not the important main man. Boo.

The hugely exciting thing about the latter part of the race was the Minardi driven by Mark Webber! Mark is an Australian, and this of course was the Australian Grand Prix (held in Melbourne). So the crowd were loving him. He made it up to fifth place! But the lovely Mika Salo, in his Toyota, was gaining rapidly. There was no way Webber would make it to the end of the race. Right? Well, wrong. Salo actually span! The experienced Finn messed up. The crowd cheered! And so Minardi scored two whole world championship points.

Maybe Michael Schumacher's dominance and eventual victory is what the history books will remember, but Mark Webber... who can forget those scenes? Paul Stoddart, the Minardi boss, was just soooo happy. He's from Melbourne, so the points couldn't have come at a more appropriate race. They were leaping around - they even went up onto the podium together! I used to watch Stoddart racing old Jordan cars in the BOSS formula at Brands Hatch. He deserves to have some success, and let's face it, apart from Monaco there's not usually a chance for the minnows to score points.

I think that's about all I have to say about the Grand Prix. Not many people reading this will care, but hey.

1) Michael Schumacher - Ferrari
2) Juan Pablo Montoya - Williams
3) Kimi Raikkonen - McLaren
4) Eddie Irvine - Jaguar
5) Mark Webber - Minardi
6) Mika Salo - Toyota

Apart from the top three, who'd have thought an awful Jaguar could have finished 4th, a Minardi could finish 5th, or a Toyota (it's the team's first race) could not only finish but finish in the points! Excellent stuff. Roll on Malaysia!

Saturday, March 2

After I got offline yesterday I suddenly realised that it was Australian GP qualifying night! I was thinking about F1 the other night and I realised I've liked it for 8 years or so now. I'm not sure how many other things I've liked for that long. Can't be many. Anyway, before I talk about the F1 qualifying, I think I'll talk about the thing you all want to know about - what was that awful horror film like?

The film is called Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. We should probably all be grateful that there weren't three other Howling films before this one! Oh, it was soooo bad. Not bad enough to be good, like the Richard Dean Anderson film Through the Eyes of a Killer, which was just great! In a bad way. No, this was just awful. Awful awful awful.

From a technical point of view, the DVD had problems. For all I know, the original presentation had the same problems. The lip sync was really bad. You'd have thought it was dubbed, although the actors were clearly speaking English. The odd thing was, it even sounded dubbed. The volume varied, and, well, it was just odd. The special effects actually made me laugh out loud at one point. When Michael T Weiss melted (yes, melted), it looked like someone had just tipped a load of gloop on him. And the werewolves, they looked like the first Buffy werewolves looked, except worse. I could forgive this because it was made in 1988, but I'm not even sure what the point of him melting was.

And don't get me started on the plot. The acting wasn't so bad, but it wasn't great either. Apart from the person who played Janice, Susanne Severid, who was probably the best person in it. But it's hard to see how people could act decently in such an awful film. I think I'll try and sell it on eBay and get my money back!

After I'd watched that it was 12.45am, so I thought I might as well stay up and watch the GP qualifying. The session started at 2am, and I only had 25 minutes to waste until the coverage started. When it did start, I fell asleep occasionally, which meant it got slightly confusing. I can never remember much about what's happened when I stay up to watch F1. Annoying, that. The session was red flagged quite early on, because of an incident between Villeneuve and Coulthard, probably. And Sato's Jordan bit the dust, which was infortunate as it left the two Jordan drivers with one car between them to qualify! (Sato had crashed the other one. Not his fault though.) I remember that the Ferraris were annoyingly fast, but it's not a surprise. The other teams had to set up new cars, but Ferrari were using a slightly evolved model from last year. It all got a bit pointless when the rain started. Rain in Australia, who would have thought? Meant no-one could go quicker. Barrichello is on pole. I'll definitely be getting up in the early hours of the morning to see what happens in the race... Nice.

All that happened last night! And for a change I actually did things today, as well. Well, mainly one thing. And that was John, my brother's, fault. He decided he wanted to get a PS2. We went into town, visited every single shop that sold them, and came to the conclusion that they were £199.99 everywhere. That and there seems to be a shortage of memory cards. We had a nice Marks and Spencers sandwich by the seafront. It was a lovely day - sunny and warm. Has spring finally arrived? Sometimes it's good to live by the seaside. Am I rambling? *grin*

We bought a PS2, finally. And also a new TV to use with it. We got the PS2 in somewhere called Gamestation - they had this deal where you go the PS2 and Max Payne for £214.99. Not bad. And we got the TV in Argos. Argos wasn't much fun. Queues and grumpy shop staff. When I spent all week trying to be pleasant to customers, I like to meet friendly staff when I go shopping! It nearly killed John carrying a 12kg TV back to the car. Heh. (Now that sounded evil!)

I think I'll shut up now. I'm supposed to be chatting to the other 6DStargate people. :-)

Friday, March 1

So, I'm sitting here, all alone. I think I need to clean my teeth. They feel weird. And the MP3 from the Buffy musical episode Once More With Feeling was just chosen by Winamp. I think all the other house dwellers have vacated the living room. I could go and watch the awful horror film I bought on DVD! That'd be fun. I have to watch it sometime, otherwise it would just have been a waste of money. I sometimes think eBay has a lot to answer for. It does look truly awful. I only bought it because it had, erm, Michael T. Weiss in it. I have this major Pretender thing going on at the moment. I feel sad when I think that Sky are going to take it away from me in a few weeks. Boo!!! Which reminds me, I sent off a letter to MTM. I waffled a lot about how great it all was. I'm starting to think that TV Crusaders is a stupid idea and no-one else really cares. Not only am I literally alone in my room, I even feel alone on the web. Which makes me wonder why I'm writing this here. Will anyone ever read it? It's not like I've told anyone..!

Everyone seems to have one of these things, so I thought I'd have one too. No real reason. It's not like I ever do anything exciting in my life, so what am I going to write here? I think the answer is I will ramble.

He has a bowler hat, go figure.


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