Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tintin on the air?

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Now that I have the laptop back in action, I've been able to listen to some of the radio programmes on the BBC website. One of my friends had told me about a re-run of an old show I hadn't been aware of.

It was nothing less than a radio serial based on the famous Tintin comic-books. I was aware of the animated television series that runs on ABC here, but I was bemused at the news there was also a wireless spin-off.

It seems quite faithful to the old large-format comics – what you'd call a "graphic novel" these days I suppose – although the Destination Moon story in which Tintin is the first man on the lunar surface sounds a bit odd now.

The irascible old salt Captain Haddock is voiced by an actor we all recognised as soon as he spoke – none other than Leo (Rumpole) McKern!

Julie spent a long time last night working on getting all her stuff back on the laptop. She has a lot more software on hers than I do, mostly to do with her photographic pastimes. That was why she had to upgrade to a later model – she'd filled up the hard drive on the old one.

While we were in Hobart on Monday, we bought some extra surge protectors, so whichever power supply we're using will be safe for the computers. What was that old saying “a burnt child fears the fire".

I've been needing a new alarm clock for some time, so I looked around some of the shops. The first couple I went through had only clock radios or wall clocks. We ended up in Dick Smith's where I picked up a nice little gizmo for $15.

However, since you can only read the instructions after you've purchased the item, it has a couple of features I hadn't been aware of. It has an hourly chime (well, you hardly want that while you're trying to sleep) and a choice of alarms: a recorded voice that announces the time, the sound of a cuckoo, or a rooster crowing!

We tried the "rooster" function and I have to say I don't think you'd sleep through it. As far as I can tell it keeps alternating between the crowing rooster and the voice announcement until you switch it off. Ideal for sound sleepers.

Though possibly not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.

Describe your favourite film in 20 words or less, preferably in a single sentence.

Sounds like a party game, but it's a problem faced by newspapers and magazines every day in the modern world. Over the years I've seen a lot of different errors perpetrated by television guides. They come in various forms.

An easy-to-understand mistake is printing the details of the re-make for the original film, or vice-versa. Then there are the movies that have the same title – I think I've seen at least four titled Breakout over the years.

There are even simple mechanical errors, where someone has turned over two pages at once and printed (say) the plot of the war movie Hangmen Also Die under the name of Hangman's Knot, a western.

The really interesting mistakes seem to come about when somebody in a rush tries to abstract the essential details from a much longer review – here lies peril for the unwary.

Sometimes we get a description that's perfectly correct as far as it goes: I once saw a blurb for Captains Courageous which simply said "a spoiled little boy causes trouble on an ocean liner". This is correct – that is the plot of the first five minutes of the movie! And presumably it's the first line of a much longer write-up.

But now and again you get one that's simply the result of trying to summarize a plot that can't be boiled down. You can't get a quart of milk into a pint jug.

That probably explains the entry in Wednesday's newspaper for the screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey on SBS-TV: "A group of primitives humans find an alien artifact buried on the moon".

Oh dear.

We've somehow had the start of the movie grafted onto the middle. I suppose we should be thankful the synopsis doesn't imply that they are accompanied by a paranoid computer.

After being fine for the rest of this year, my morning BGL [Blood Glucose Level] readings suddenly went up for no apparent reason. I've been between 6.0 and 7.0, which is acceptable, then last week I suddenly had a string of readings over 7.0 – a bit surprising.

Possible explanations – stress from some late-nights while Julie was away, change in seasons, an undetected virus of some kind, or different medication. The latter is a bit suspicious; the day before I had filled a new prescription for Metformin and it was a different brand to the one I had last month. Hmmm.

I was able to get it down to 6.6 this morning with more rest and skipping my usual bedtime snack of a slice of bread and an apple. We shall see how I go.

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