Best friends with Optimus Prime. Sucks to be you, Starscream fan....

Questions about The Force Awakens Poster

Questions about The Force Awakens Poster
  1. Who does Leia’s hair?
  2. If Luke is not on the poster, where is he?
  3. Why Gwendoline Christie’s name not on the credits?
  4. Did you spot that Harrison has first billing over Hamill?
  5. You guessed that’s Maz Katana right?
  6. So what did Arndt do to get his script credit?
  7. How the heck did the First Order turn an ice planet into a Starkiller weapon.
  8. How do you drive such a planet /weapon?
  9. Does it have a hyper drive?
  10. Do the parallel positioning of Kylo’s sword and Rey’s staff offer any parallels in the movie?
  11. Is the red  / blue sabers triangle thing a reference to a new holy trinity? 

Of toilets, rotten lino and sanding machines.

I did this post last year but forgot to publish. 

We had the misfortune to learn that our toilet hadn't been properly installed by the prior owners of our house. This was by way of smelling rot coming up from the floor - an investigation turned up the below first picture - sodden wood overly that had been quietly fermenting under the lino. Good times!

I ripped the lino off, then a layer of wood which had been placed over the original lino .... and then I removed a million nails and the old think black glue that had been used to make the original lino stick to the floor boards.  

Then I let the floor boards dry out for several months. Luckily none needed replacing (unlike the bathroom which is a whole other story...). A quick sand followed by a stain and then a coating of polyurethane and the job was done. 

I quite like the final look - it's pretty rough and looks darker in this picture than it really is but the effect is quite cool. Not seen in this above picture is I also did a paint job on the skirting board and then sealed it off with some good old transparent Selly's.

Jimmy Jangles approves U2's new album as being good U2

U2 Songs of Innocence era photo
Old man grampa aint what she used to be?
If you had been worrying that Rolling Stone's review of U2's new album was a bit light, fret no more, Jimmy Jangles is happy to chip in once more.

Many U2 fans had heard the whispers tracking across the internet that U2 was to feature as part of the new Apple iphone 6 announcement but not one person (who wasn't in the know) knew that Apple had purchased U2's new album Songs of Innocence and was was going to release it for free to all their itunes clients. A ballsy move indeed, but exactly the kind of thing U2 haters would love to hate...

Everyone knew U2 had recorded a couple of albums since No Line on the Horizon but had been fretting about their release. Bono and the boys had talked about it often enough, going as far as to say one album was called Songs of Ascent - but now it's Songs of Innocence and it is apparently going to have a sister album, Songs of Experience - thus making a couplet that echoes William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience (I wonder how many times that has been googled this week!)

So what of the album? Well let's head back to the last two U2 releases. Ordinary Love was a complete throwaway track which was almost an insult to the U2 brand but Interference suggested there was something there - Edge was sliding away on his guitar like nobody (but let's agree he's no Ben Harper) and so that element slipped through into Innocence. So that gave some hope but Ordinary Love was at the back of my mind. Maybe U2 knew it was rubbish so chucked it on the Mandela film as a kind of here you go, we care about your cause bro but we're keeping the good stuff for ourselves...

The hope has been rewarded in triplicate.

The album plays out as a 'rocker' album - it's what No Line on the Horizon was trying to be. Maybe the fact Brian Eno wasn't around helped things and it gave producer Danger Mouse a chance to give the b(r)and a breath of fresh air. All you need is love.

How fucking good is the heavy riffing on Cedarwood Road? In a word, VERY.

While I first listened to Iris, I wondered if U2 was actually channeling Coldplay in some kind of Viva La Vida way but then I figured Coldplay is just trying to be the new U2 so it all seemed very natural.

Song for Someone is destined to be a U2 classic. Sappy but lovely. The Miracle (for Joey Ramone) is the first track that could be considered a single, if that's really still a word in the music industry lexicon these days. It's throwaway but GOOD throwaway in the same manner that Get On Your Boots was - fun for a time but you're gonna remember better tracks from this album. Did I mention how good Cedarwood Road is?

I'm pretty pleased Every Breaking Wave made an appearance. It was a left over of sorts from the No Line recording sessions and was played live a few times. It has changed immensely since it first aired and has had about half the lyrics changed - but that's for the better. Aye Aye captain!

It's nice just to hear the bass turned up.

While the haters are naturally gonna hate and there's gonna be some backlash from the way this album has been dumped on itunes users (well not really dumped, despite what the witty folk think, one actually has to download the album to get it on to your iphone or device) this is a really strong U2 album and no one should lose sight of that in the wake of the promotional cadence.

The album has some cracker tunes, and this U2 fan appreciates the definite rock vibe the album gives - it's a modern U2, it's as I said, the mood that No Line was desperately trying to evoke. If we could consider that album as a slight misstep for a band like U2 (I still really like it but it's no Achtung), this is a return to form much in the way All That You Can't Leave Behind was - form which How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb carried on (Original of the Species has become one of my favourite U2 songs).

So, a gushing review based on a handful of listens. Time will tell if this album stands up as a good U2 album, but I'm pretty confident it will be. What ever happens, it's a better album than most other releases this year will be which really is just this fan's way of saying, I'm never checking out of the Million Dollar Hotel.

Also, the deluxe version of the album features to additional songs, Lucifer's Hands and The Crystal Ballroom.

Some cool things about Star Wars

Star Wars has become a huge colossus of a film franchise and over 6 movies that some strange things have cropped up as part of each films production. So here's 10 strange facts or  oddities about Star Wars
  1. The wise wizard Gandalf from Lord of the Rings was a huge influence on the character of Obi Wan Kenobi - so much so that an early draft of the Star Wars script featured lines cribbed directly from the pages of Tolkien!
  2. Peter Cushing filmed all his scenes as Grand Moff Tarkin wearing slippers!
  3. Denis Lawson who famously played X-Wing pilot Wedge is the real life uncle of Ewan McGregor who played Obi Wan Kenobi in the prequel films!
  4. The plot twist reveal of the father and son relationship between Vader and Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is often misquoted as "Luke, I am your father". The line is actually "No, I am your father". No one knows why people do this!
  5. In Jedi, the green Twilek Oola has a nipple slip and George Lucas left it in. Maybe the Rancor was supposed to distract us?
  6. Despite being one of the most famous and well known villains in the history of movie making, Darth Vader actually has only 12 minutes of screen time in A New Hope! That's four minutes less than the screen time of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs - and Anthony Hopkins got an Oscar for the part! What an impact Vader has had. 
  7. The reason the little green guy Yoda was added to Return of the Jedi was there was some concern about whether Vader was really Luke's father. After consultation with child psychologists about how Vader's claim could be perceived by younger children who then went on to watch Jedi,  George Lucas decide he needed an independent character to confirm Darth Vader's claim that he is Luke Skywalker's father. Which was awesome for everyone as we all love Yoda!
  8. Check out what Maz Kanata had to say in The Force Awakens
  9. You know that awesome pod racer race in The Phantom Menace? Yep, Lucas was just copying the famous chariot race from Ben Hur. 
  10. Lucas was actually quite good at stealing good ideas. You know that bit where Obi Wan feels the death of the people on the planet Alderaan? Lucas just took that from a Star Trek episode where Spock felt the death of 400 of his own Vulcan kind.
  11. David Lynch was offered the chance to direct Return of the Jedi but turned it down. Can you imagine how crazy Jedi could have turned out if Lynch had cast his magic over the film? Lynch actually chose Dune as his next film, and while it wasn't an amazing film, it has gone on to earn its place in film history. It was also probably just as well that Sting didn't have a role in Jedi either.....
star wars birth day cake

Loyal readers may know I've spent most of my internet time over the past year working on a Star Wars blog, In a Far Away Galaxy and we realised it's that blog's birthday. Well it was last month.... Time has flown by faster than a Ewok chasing some chocolate. 

I've thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Star Wars universe in greater detail, we’ve learnt so many facts about how the movies were made and trivia about the characters and their back stories. We've come along with since this first post pondering if Luke will be in Episode 7 kicking on to another 256! 

Plenty of visits have been made to site and it’s been pleasing to see the numbers increasing every month.

Here’s some of the more popular and interesting posts that we’ve done.

Thanks for visiting the site, we hope you found what you were looking for and more!