So, I bought a new computer keyboard. It's good, because there's lights in the keys, as there's not a lot of light here at the best of times. I have my suspicions that the keyboard is not of British manufacture though (well - what is). The box reads:

The Hight Wird Keyboard (I'm assuming the first word is meant to be "Light". The second is a bit of a mystery):
  • Cool backinghting (back lighting, I'm guessing)
  • Wnjoy typing (Enjoy typing - that one is almost right!)
  • High qualith (Again it's obvious what they mean (I'm very impressed by the ability to get a typo on every line though))
  • Stable spray (Um... thanks?)

So yes, that's a thing that happened. Another thing is that I've been watching Grange Hill again on YouTube. I started from season two, as season one is a bit rubbish. I know we're all supposed to like Tucker, but I always find him a bit of a loudmouthed yob. As far as that first intake is concerned, I much prefer Justin and Andrew, the quiet, nerdy boys, who manage to be bizarrely slashy for a pair of underage schoolboys on a children's TV show (oh internet, what have you done to my brain?) I knew a few too many Tuckers at school, and none of them were what you might call friendly, especially if you were one of the quiet, nerdy lot (hello). Anyways, I bring it up because midway through season four it turns into an unexpected Doctor Who crossover, as we're introduced to River Song: The Secondary School Years. I've embedded both episodes below the cut, and they're fixed to jump straight to her bits. There's the set up in the first episode, and the pay off in the second. And I can only apologise for the horror that is Mr Humphries, father to Alan, Tucker's mate. He is the most horrible actor.

... )

That is some impressive hair. How she expects to do judo with those bunches in the way is anybody's guess.

Beyond that, I am still Simon & Simon-ing. Eight seasons! Why can't all the shows I love last that long?! I suppose some shows would get a little repetitive, but the great thing about S&S is that even if it did I wouldn't care. Half the joy is in the characters. Rick and AJ (and their mother, who I love) are so nice to spend time with. I'm trying to keep it to one or two episodes a week, old-telly-watching style. Sometimes that works.

In other other news, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band are back out on the road, and in their tour opener in Pittsburgh last night, they played a nice tribute to David Bowie. So here's a second cut, with them doing Rebel Rebel.

... )

And that is all. Not that it was much to begin with.
swordznsorcery: (steele/laura)
( Dec. 3rd, 2015 19:14)
This one has taken ages to write, because I hated 1986 at the time, and I still hate it now. So I'm just going to skip all that and bluster about the good bits. Or semi-good bits, since this is the year my jammy-dodger brother got to go and see Queen live (at Knebworth) (hiss, boo, grumble, sulk, etc). I wasn't allowed to go, because I was eleven, and that wasn't old enough. Also, to be perfectly fair, he probably wouldn't have wanted me tagging along anyway! But it turned out to be their last concert. I should have hidden in the back of the car, damn it!

Important to me, though I suspect for very few other people - this was the year when Mike Smith took over the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Not the weekend one; that was still Peter Powell, with his Aswad fixation and his insanely jolly jingle. The weekday one. 07:00 - 09:30, which meant that I had to miss half of it due to school. I did get very good at sticking around for as long as mortally possible though, in order to hear as much of it as I could. I needed that damn show. I genuinely don't know how I'd have made it through those first few years of secondary school without it.

Big year for news. Reagan and Gorbachev trying to agree on how they shouldn't blow each other up (you wouldn't think that would take weeks of negotiation, really, would you. But it did). The Challenger disaster. Keenan and McCarthy, vanishing into the depths of Beirut, to surface again in 1990 (Keenan), and 1991 (McCarthy). I don't know why their story fixated me so, but it did. The other Western hostages in Beirut were American, and older, and looked like CIA agents. They were all over the news to begin with, but it was far harder to empathise with them. Keenan was just an English teacher trying to help people though, and McCarthy was a kid in comparison; this journalist still in his twenties, trying to make sense of the place. And the government handled it appallingly badly, and I've rarely hated Margaret Thatcher and her cronies more.

Good year for music, though. I used to have a double cassette called Now That's What I Call 1986, and it was about two hours of solid bouncing. Oh, and Chris de Bleurgh, with his confounded Lady In Red. What she saw in him, I can't imagine. Presumably she was tone deaf, as well as sartorially challenged. Some jeans advert (I think) led to a re-release of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, which was nice. Much appreciated, whichever jeans brand you were. I'm guessing Levi, mostly because it's the only one I can think of just now. The kids from Grange Hill did their Just Say No campaign, with a terrible song, and a video that's actually quite nice now, though only because thirty years have passed it by. They're all so little. The Spitting Image lot put out The Chicken Song, and it's quite possible that I still have it stuck in my head, even after all these years. Still, it's not the stupidest thing that I've caught myself singing. Not quite. Oh, and Jim Diamond had a hit with Hi Ho Silver, the theme song from Boon, thereby confusing half the country, who had thought that he was a woman. And Five Star were everywhere. Why and how, heaven only knows, but somebody was buying their records. If it was you, I'm glaring. Very fiercely indeed.

Read more... )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Nov. 27th, 2015 19:35)
"Flash! I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!"

I suppose 1980 is the year of John Lennon. I don't know that I remember his death so much as the shockwave it caused. It was clearly something really big; something that everybody everywhere was talking about - and then Imagine was everywhere, for the next year. Good things happened that year too though; in the telly department especially. My eldest sister had been a fan of Blake's 7 since it began, so I was aware of it all along. It didn't really engage me to begin with though. Vague memories of finding Servalan a bit scary, and of wondering why they kept Avon around, as he was clearly a bad guy(!). And then, in 1980, Blake went AWOL, and Tarrant and Dayna turned up instead. I've been a fan ever since. :)

I must have been growing up that year actually, as it was the year that Grange Hill won me over as well. My brother was the same age as Tucker and co, and had been watching all along, but it wasn't until series three and four, which both first aired in 1980, that I began to watch properly. That was when Stewpot's year joined (still my favourite GH group). Stewpot, Precious, Pogo and Gripper. It was properly good back then, and well worth a rewatch.

Musically, 1980 was a heck of a mishmash. Adam Ant first caught my attention, with his white stripe and his big boots. Ska was catching on - The Specials had probably been around a while, but I was noticing a lot of stuff for the first time. Madness were getting bigger; and meanwhile Dennis Waterman was singing I Should Be So Good For You, which I don't mind admitting I still love. Actually, if you look at this handy link here, you can see the biggest hits of 1980, and it really is a weird mixture. Some truly great pop, ska, rock, etc; and in the middle of it all, the likes of Doctor Hook and the St Winifred's School Choir, the latter with the most terrifying song ever performed on TOTP. And dear gods, Liquid Gold with Dance Yourself Dizzy. I can't have heard that song in a good thirty years or more, and now I have the chorus prancing about inside my brain, like some ghastly spectre raised from the dead. Please send help. Urgently.

There's Keith Michell there as well, mind, just squeaking into the year's top one hundred, with Captain Beaky. We lost him last week. I highly recommend his 1960s swashbucklers The Hellfire Club (1961) and Seven Seas To Calais (1962), should you be in the mood for some swords and fisticuffs. Yes, I know that's a pretty tenuous link to 1980, but I was raised in a swashbuckle drought.

Some assorted 1980ish stuff is beneath here )
In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

This was incredibly difficult. My first thought was to choose a really good episode of something; but then the full extent of the prompt got me thinking, because there's movies and books to choose from as well. Also, the mention of "a favourite piece of canon" suggests that the choice shouldn't be a favourite episode, but a favourite thing that happens in a particular episode. Which complicated things even further. Eventually I narrowed it down to a shortlist of about twenty episodes, films and books; but since I had no over all favourite, I decided in the end to go for the one that's arguably the least well known. There's too much good stuff out there to try deciding whether one thing is better than all the rest; and small fandoms need support. Shortlist included at the end, just because.

... )
There's an awkwardness for me in these first few episodes of series three. On the one hand, I've always thought that there are too many characters in Blake's 7, with the obvious consequence that half of them never have anything to do - and here we are, in the opening episodes of the new series, acquiring two more. On the face of it this is a bad idea; and yet they're favourites of mine, so I can't really complain. They shouldn't have brought in any more people, and they should have left the title as erroneous as it's been most of the way along. And yet...

... )
Fans of Blake's 7 seem to be divided into two camps - those who think that the season two finale is best, and those who think that it's season three that deserves that title. I'm in the season three camp, but season two really does end on a spectacular high note. It's like a feature film, even though it's still the regular fifty-one-odd minutes long. This programme does have its frustratingly low points, but it's episodes like this one that show why people still remember B7 so fondly, nearly thirty-five years since it began.

... )
Episode seven is unexpectedly exciting from the offset, as it guest stars Brian Capron. Mr Hopwood! From Grange Hill! Mr Hopwood! Mr Hopwood spouting science fiction nonsense, no less. He gets his brain beaten out two seconds after the episode starts, but still. Briefly, that was Mr Hopwood from Grange Hill. Join me in my excitement.

... )



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