bookmark_borderAn open letter

Dear sitcom writers,

I’m getting a little fedup watching endless repeats of Friends and Frasier, and whilst Everybody Loves Raymond has some funny moments it’s a little sub-standard. Of course I’m quite content to fill my time with QI, and the like but ultimately I miss watching a good sitcom. I’ve tried most, few are palatable.

I’ll happily admit that I’m quite a fussy TV watcher (which is why I’m currently trying out things like The Wire) easily ditching bog-standard TV fare for a good (or bad) movie or live sport, after which you lose me to gaming, books or other non-TV activities. You seem to be aware you are losing this battle but you aren’t really putting up much of a fight, are you?

Yes, I know those writer people are on strike, but this has been going on for a while now. Lost, Desperate Housewives filled the void for a while but lack longevity, and Heroes is a completely different kettle of fish so don’t even start me on that.

I quite like a good sitcom, and their popularity suggests that others do as well (mind you, that also suggests that Coronation Street has some value.. hmmm) so, when you get a moment, could you please resurrect the concept and write a decent one, please!

Yours hopefully,

Gordon McLean

(And to my readers, ARE there any reasonable sitcoms out there? Am I missing out?)

bookmark_borderWeekender

Friday evening is lost in a blur of Guinness and conversations about “tromboning” and generic viagra. So I’ll move swiftly on to Saturday.

Keith stayed with us on Friday night so a leisurely morning, followed by a discussion about his new website (what he wants in it), and then we headed into Glasgow. Couple of beers in a pub full of people watching the Scottish Cup Final, mainly Celtic fans, and once Stuart and Mo had caught up with us we headed to the cinema. I stand by my original verdict about Revenge of the Sith – great story, badly told – and that view was shared by all of us. More beer, then the big mistake of the evening. Food.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was great. We had went for a curry in Modern India, it was about 9pm before we ate though so, despite the best intentions I think we all knew that the night would be shortlived. We staggered onto the Corinthian, had a drink there and gave up. Knackered, sleepy and yawning we headed home. It was a good day though, with plenty of excellent photo opportunities. Thanks again to everyone for their advice, I just wish I’d remembered to take my camera…

Yesterday we tackled some bits and bobs in the garden, my Mum and Dad popped in for coffee and we dozed the night away catching up on Desperate Housewives, House and then 24.

How was your weekend?

bookmark_borderSnippets

Arsenal stealing the FA Cup, what a travesy. Of course Manchester United’s failure to score has been their undoing this season… I wonder who’ll win the SPL tomorrow??

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Eurovision still “so bad it’s good” (what WAS that “surprise” in the green room thing, with the boxer… how awful was that!). Congratulations to Helena from Greece. I missed all the songs but on looks alone she’d get my vote!

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Poker can be addictive, once you get past all the lingo of course. We’ve started learning. Desperate Housewives may be an influence.

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Watching movies on a channel with adverts is something we don’t tolerate anymore. Our attention spans hit zero when the adverts kick in, especially those ringtone ones. I remember when adverts were well written, funny, clever and were talked about. These days they have me reaching for the remote and changing channels.

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Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds STILL freaks me out. I can still remember first hearing it, that descending BEEEOOooo beeoooo beoooooo sent shivers down my spine, Richard Burton’s narration was chilling and I still get the same sense of darkness and terror from it.

bookmark_borderSky+

So the nice lady at Sky informed that they were currently working on a software upgrade but alas she couldn’t give me a timescale for when it would be released. It’s currently being tested.

Ohh I’m sorry, how rude of me, let me recap a previous post to aid your clarification.

[RECAP] Sky+ screwed up some recordings. I was most annoyed. [/RECAP]

Anyway, caught a repeat of 24 tonight – I KNEW she was a bad egg, and what’s with this Paul guy, a red herring perhaps? Methinks so – and Huff is repeated tomorrow night. I had to turn to the internet for Desperate Housewives, but thankfully the joy that is TV Torrents has offered up the BitTorrent goodies. Azureus will be working hard tonight.

Luckily I didn’t have much on the box, only the aforementioned Nói Albinói, so after copying that to DVD I didn’t mind reformatting the entire system and starting from scratch. Until this software update arrives I’ll be very careful to check the recordings.

Right, off to Scottish Blogs I go to announce a new feature. Busy busy busy.

bookmark_borderEnd of line

Having checked it turns out my Sky+ box is the Amstrad model. This is a bad thing.

Tonight it was set to record 24 and Huff (at the same time) and the repeat of Desperate Housewives as the previous recording was coming up as FAILED.

I decided to start watching 24 about twenty minutes after it started so I could whizz through the adverts (is it just me or was it sooo much better when it was advert free on BBC2, the constant breaks seem to lose the pace, don’t know how the Americans can stand it, but then I guess they are used to it). Sky+ wouldn’t let me start watching 24 and given the previous problems I thought I’d leave it until later and decided to read another chapter of my current book instead – Snow Falling on Cedars (which is a very descriptive book, very VERY… it’s perfect for falling asleep with).

When later rolled around I went to the Sky+ Planner to be told that 24 had CLASHED, despite the box not prompting me at any time and it being tuned to Sky One (which was where 24 was being broadcast), the repeat of Desperate Housewives had FAILED as had Huff. I can catch a repeat of 24 but not of Desperate Housewives, nor Huff (which isn’t repeated at all).

Thankfully it did manage to record Nói Albinói on Friday night, so I’ll make sure I copy that off the infernal machine before it gets changed. Someone at Sky customer services is NOT going to have a good morning.

And they wonder why we download so much TV these days.

bookmark_borderEdging

Slowly getting around to fixing some minor things here.

The search is now a bit better (still can’t get it to return a different number of posts than are currently set to display on the main page – frankly this is ridiculuous but the forum, Wiki and Google are still failing me on this), and I’ve finally updated the Site Archives to, hopefully, be a bit more user friendly.

I’m still working my way through ALL posts without titles as it’s screwing up the archives a little (it’s a whole permalink naming mess to be honest), and I’m also categorising as I go. A slow process but one area the new version of WordPress has definitely improved. Now, when you select a month to edit, it will remember and return you to the same set of posts – in 1.2 when editing an old post it always returned you to the most recent.

Anyway, this is all probably boring as hell to everyone except me. If I DO find a way to get the search to return full results and if I get the blogroll to display who has updated, I’ll post something here.

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Sky+ has a bug. The failed recordings bug seems to be quite common place and hit me hard the other night. I was recording Desperate Housewives, and was going to start watching it before it had finished (so as to skip through the adverts). However Sky+ wouldn’t start playing the recording, something I’ve not had a problem with, so I left it to record the episode. Later that night the entire box had frozen up. Wouldn’t respond from the remote or the fascia, so I powered the box down. Next morning I powered up and it seemed to be working fine.

When I got home last night I decided to watch the episode and was greeted with several FAILED messages next to previously recorded programmes and films. Rather than pay premium rate I head to the the forums and discovered that this was a common issue and was occasionally fixable by re-building the Sky+ planner. I tried that, didn’t work. It looks like I’m faced with re-formatting the entire thing, losing all the recordings I had. I’ll be phoning Sky Customer Services over the weekend and see what they have to say for themselves. Not happy!

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This evening I will be partaking of some alcoholic refreshments. I’ve not been out to the pub for ages and I’m beginning to look forward to it. I just hope I can stay awake, as I spent yet another night watching the clock click past 2 a.m.

Still, I can have a lie in on Saturday as we don’t have much planned. I do have some web design stuff to do for someone, more on that tomorrow, and a few bits and bobs of general maintenance over at Scottish Blogs.