Friday, June 30, 2006

Heavy Lifting and the Ice Cream Van of the Damned

I played hookey at lunchtime and drove to Manor Road to help move our kit from there to secure it now term is ending today. Talk about closure, I will either have to go the leisure centre for fencing now, or start going to the gym like I've threatened for months.

Driving with 3 heavy bags in the back of the Stu Mobile was surprisingly difficult and I doubt my skill dazzled Naomi, our armourer, by completely failing to pause anywhere within reach of the entry buzzer to the university, but other than that and a lengthy parking sequence we managed to get the kit moved. On a really hot day.

Which made it a bit more surreal when I moved the car round the back of the University, got out and saw the ice cream van I'd decided to not go to following me. It's the first time I've nearly been run over on the pavement by a car wholly on the pavement. And then I was again nearly run over by the ice cream van as it decided to drive through the park. You might think on a hot day having an ice cream van seemingl try to mate with you is a handy thing, but I assure you it gets old fast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tom Baker Sings Radio Killed the Video Star...

I know I linked this already but thanks to the magic of SMS Text his style is distinctly like William Shatner's "recitals".

And while I'm at it, I've not linked this in ages. Or inflicted this

on you. Prepare to be in distress!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dr Stu rambles on again...

Some more opinions of Season 2 Doctor Who. One controversial. One not so.

Love and Monsters: I really liked this episode despite it being not about the Doctor, but rather about some chap called Elton, purely for an excuse to show some footage of and make some gags about Sir Elton. Also RTD didn't want Elton to be a geek but he just came across as a well-dressed one.

The story basically was guy obsesses over Doctor, guy joins other obsessives, obsessives discover that there are better things in life than being a sci-fi Doctor Who fanatic and start a band, evil guy turns up and gets them all back to obsessing over the Doctor, guy relearns there is more to life and decides to grow up and date a girl, evil guy absorbs his fellow obsessives but they pull him to pieces, Doctor shows up to dispense wisdom and collect his paycheck and Rose actually shows compassion and empathy for a change.

It actually seemed to be a critique of the sci-fi fan, but this story did seem sufficiently tender in places that I enjoyed it, right up until the quite tasteless implication of a sex-life between Elton and the pavement slab girl. And they mentioned Slitheen. Because they're so great. For a family instead of a race they have been mentioned more than the Daleks and Cybermen.

I really expected to not like this episode and still think ultimately RTD cannot write science fiction, but when it comes to writing about relationships this is clearly his forte. He should write Coronation Street, not Doctor Who.

He was a man with a rudimentary pulley-system for reaching his boots. She was a pavement slab with a truly disgusting sex life. Together they fight crime.

Fear Her: Wow, talk about painting by numbers. This was a last minute addition to replace an excessively expensive script penned by that modern day Oscar Wilde wit Stephen Fry. It showed.

It was a solid story, if with the worst scribble monster ever and the bit with the Dad seemed a bit OTT. Worse yet the bit with the Doctor and the Olympic torch made me afraid I might contract diabetes from the sickly sweet television I was watching. In reality if the torch dropped there'd be a scrum of "concerned Lonodoners" trying to pick up the damn thing. Also did anyone try to check on the torch bearer?

As to next week, either the BBC aren't even trying to stop the spoilers about Rose dying, or this is some sort of clever misdirection to completely throw us off regarding how this season ends. Actually...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Graduation Stuff

It's been an interesting few days as once again Dundee seems to have changed dramatically in the 2 months I've been away. The old Esso garage has been demolished to make way for a Tesco Extra, the ruined warehouses on Monifieth's shore have burned down and the university seems to be one big building site at the moment.

My trip up was relatively uneventful though I had the worst hayfever ever. My face seemed to swell up making me almost unrecognisable to the dogs when I got in. I even had to pull over and take two tablets outside of Scotch Corner.

I spent most of Tuesday trying to recover from the long drive, went into town and visited the sauna to try and clear out my hayfever before graduation. I also fell foul of the Highlander Games and Groucho taxes and happily parted with tons of cash.

Also, kilt hiring is traumatic for me. Kilt hiring with my mother is slit-your-wrists-in-the-changing-room traumatic. Thankfully this time I endured the former, last time it was the latter. And why is Scottish National Dress so damn complicated to put on?

Graduated today, so the saga of the PhD has finally drawn to a close with, as one of the AC department's other graduands said was "a lonely long drawn out ceremony to match the lonely drawn out process of doing a PhD."

My folks didn't get an official photograph taken and instead decided they'd like one at 11pm after I have long since returned my gown and am about to return my kilt on the morrow. We also didn't go to the garden party as mum and Andrew weren't feeling too well and there was no parking to be had around the university. Bit of an anti-climax then really, as none of my supervisors were in attendance. Did get to see some folk though.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Home James

I'm off to Dundee tomorrow, so it's good night from me for a while. In the meantime amuse yourself with Kirk Vs Picard Debate.

I in the meantime will be relaxing back home, trying to find myself and doing a montage something like this:-

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Good Geek!

I and my fellow droogs had a good trip to the sci-fi exhibits at the National Space Centre today. There was monsters, more monsters, Doctor Who, Firefly props (including Vera, Jayne's gun), a makeup exhibition where people were (slowly, makeup takes hours) assimilated into Borg. Given the first Borg took 2 1/2 hours of painstaking work I doubt Earth will be assimilated this century.

We attended an audience with Davros and even asked the legend in his own mind a question about holiday plans. He doesn't have any ever apparently.

For my sins I was suckered by a Dalek for saying, "Extermination looks really painless. Being suckered like that guy in 'Dalek' looked really painful". Daleks are apparently tetchy but who knew? I was also exterminated at least on 3 separate occasions. At least 1 of those they weren't even aiming for me, but then when did you ever know a villain that could shoot straight?

And I met the original K9. Don't think his owner was too pleased about taking the above photo, but a fanboy will do what a fanboy will do.

The last thing we did was go on the Alien Experience, recommended by Glen, who'd been on it previously. The thing is a 6 minute trip to the evil Weyland-Yutan's lesser known Leicester branch. It ended with us being chased by aliens and me yelling to a colonial marine to shoot a xenomorph that was about 3 feet away from me and said marine, and turning round in an airlock to be confronted by a squad of well armed marines. Thankfully they weren't American so there were no friendly-fire casualties.

My camera died this morning so all these photies are annoyingly from my mobile, but Claudia has much nicer photos that hopefully I'll upload at a later date.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dr. Stu on Rose "Chav" Tyler

Damn, no more of this after Season 2...

I wonder what the next companion will be? If I were to have a say it might be something akin to Dr. 2's companion, Jamie. A bloke to chum around with and not have any of this sexual tension stuff that the Tardis is replete with.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spaced Out on YouTube

And now the latest cull from YouTube - the never shown ending to Spaced season 2.

And of course the best bit in Spaced ever...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Taysiders in Space

I used to be a Trekker. When I was 15. I'm better now, but I'm watching the Next Gen reruns on Sky 1. So I looked up Star Trek on youtube and got this...

I'll throw in a couple more as well...

And get over it guys...

Not Star Trek but what the hell...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dr. Stu rhymes with Dr. Who

The Impossible Planet and Satan Pit.

Now that was Doctor Who! And science-fiction - for once I didn't think, "What do Dr. Who and Eastenders have in common? Well they're both set in London in 2006."

They had space, space suits, aliens, space ships, space, demons, space walks, space, alien planets, space absailing, space. Note the space. It wasn't set on Earth in the past, Earth in the future, Earth in the present or a planet that is called New Earth. It also wasn't written by RTD so it didn't have a single fart joke, pop music, or even an appearance by the Slitheen (though apparently the Slitheen were meant to replace the very cool Ood in an old iteration of the script).

Rose was even vaguely tolerable in the second part. It was a shame the Ood died as it wasn't really their fault an evil entity dominated them, and the Doctor chose to save 1 woman over 40 or so tentacly aliens.

I've obtained Genesis of the Daleks and watch the first 3 parts. It's pretty darn good even if Skaro looks like a quarry and not the red planet shown in the McGann movie. It's obvious the original series went downhill after Tom Baker left the show. Certainly the Davidson serials I've seen were nearly as bad a Colin Baker's reign. Nearly. Or should I say Kinda?

I'm hoping to get a hold of the bits of Shada that were filmed. The McGann reconstruction of Douglas Adam's lost script was utterly fantastic.

Anyroads this weekend there is a sci-fi weekend in the Space Centre. Expect lots of duff photos of me being chased by Daleks and goofing around.

Oh, and I finally found this clip...

Dead Ringers Rocks

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stuff I Like: Green Lantern

When I was young I used to read Superman, Batman and all the others, back when the only place to get US comics was on Blackpool shore. Back in the late 80s and early 90s however US comics started appearing in newsagents like the one in Monifieth. I picked up two of my favourite DC comic titles - Aquaman and Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn.

Hal Jordan, US (naturally) test pilot is selected by the Guardians of the Universe to join the Green Latern Corp, an army of intergalactic space corps armed with green rings that allow them to build any construct or do practically anything their imagination can conceive of.

Eventually other Earth Green Lanterns were chosen, including John Stewart, in a 70s socially minded revamp. Eventually Hal turned evil, laid waste to the Green Lanterns and a young fella called Kyle was chosen. Hal's better now, and Green Lantern again, but only John and Kyle have appeared in the ace Animated DC Universe.

I said I thought John Stewart in the Justice League cartoon which I started watching was pretty dull. This clip proves I'm wrong, everything after 3 minutes in this video is pure cinematic genius:-

A suspiciously Hal Jordanesque origin is also on YouTube (not sure how legal that is, but the entirety of the John Stewart one is there if you look.

A Death Mark's Not An Easy Thing To Live With

I received a letter from Leicester Council informing me that I hadn't paid any council tax in 2005 when I lived in the Dump, Ullswater Street, and that since I was doing my civic duty and trying to pay it now I had reminded them they could potentially ring some more money out of me. Quite a bit in fact given it was a 5 bedroom house I stayed in.

The fact that I was a student until September 2005 has once again slipped their mind and they were now at the call "Boba Fett" stage of proceedings, much like they were the time they had all the details correct other than who was living in the damn dump. So rather than be encased in carbonite and used to lure a chum into a disasterous sabre duel in the bowels of Leicester I thought it would be a fine idea to give them a ring.

There's nothing more soul destroying than dealing with councils in any fashion. Their hotline consists of the following gems repeated over and over with the obligatory lift-classics music.

"You are number 5 in the queue."

"If you have missed a payment you are an unremitting debtor and there is nothing we can do about it other than make things worse."

"You will not get to speak to a manager or team leader. Only a poor peon earning £5 an hour. That's all you deserve as you are scum."

I managed to placate the minion I eventually got through to, I didn't even have to pay them triple. It turned out after threatening me they cancelled the request for dosh. Councils are a hive of confusion and villainy, be careful.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I'm feeling the usual high level of self-pity as I've somehow managed to come down with a summer cold (or more appropriately a cough) despite the weather being pretty darn warm.

Things continue to tick along nicely - work is going ok and I'm having a rare series of early nights and staying in watching TV. Doctor Who was very good this week and put me in mind of John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, which is the single most scary film I've seen in a while.

I've taken to playing Morrowind on the beast, though I do also now have Oblivion. I started playing Morrowind and while I've encountered no plot beyond fetch-and-carry quests for lots of guilds it's very nicely done graphically and impossible to get the theme out of your head. I presume the plot comes along at some point.

Monday, June 05, 2006

More Full Motion Video

The Video Game Acting Awards... with a few games I've played like Dark Forces 2, Phantasmagoria and so forth.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lucky Bar Steward

As the world continues to crumble around me in Leicester I've been playing Kill Doctor Lucky, which is one of the most silly boardgames I've ever played and I've played a game called "Oi Dat's My Leg".

Kill Doctor Lucky is essentially reverse Cluedo, where you try to kill the good Doctor without any witnesses and are constantly foiled by misplaced banana peels, badly positioned furniture, kung-fu masters in the armoury and the fact Dr. Lucky turns incorporeal when you try to force feed him rat poison.

Other than that, and the epic struggle to get a wireless router working so I now have net access in my flat (yay, though Tiscali sucks as an ISP) things have been quite quiet. The new PC has arrived and seems at times nearly as tempremental as the old one, and I've discovered some "wonderful" features about leaving a PC on overnight in my gaff.