Food is a topic very close to my hear. In fact, it’s a topic that’s probably congealing around my heart and arteries right now. There’s a saying, which may be a quote but a 2 second search didn’t turn anything up that some people eat to live while others live to eat. I don’t think this is necessarily isolated to food, some people go jogging to live while other people live to go running, and you can probably say the same for a lot of things, including working for a living.

The difference is that due to the health risks associated with eating some things or particular quantities of food, there is a stigma attached, or there appears to be a stigma attached to eating food for pleasure. So much so in fact that no one turns a head when it’s described as a guilty pleasure.

Obviously, I’m invested in food, so this is a partisan post, I can’t really be entirely objective about it. But I was thinking about the stigma of enjoying food for the sake of it, and whether we impose that guilt upon ourselves or not. I tried to abstract it out.

If you liked building ships with matchsticks, and found that an hour or two a day really calmed you down from work, made you feel happy and comfortable, and basically soothed you emotionally, no one would really bat an eyelid. Maybe if you made a lot of matchstick ships people might think you were a little lonely or something. But what if you spent two hours a day doing it, and it eventually caused Carpal tunnel or RSI? Your GP might suggest you cut back a little, that so much matchstick handling was causing you some damage that in later life would lead to serious issues. How would you feel?

And then I realised that sounded a lot like self-pity and unhelpful. So I thought about it some more and I think the issue is greed. It’s seen as greedy to want to eat food just for the sake of enjoying the food itself. Maybe it is, greedy in the same way as owning another car if you collect cars but can’t drive them all at the same time might be greedy. Or greedy like buying more music than you could ever sensibly listen to, because you’re a collector or enthusiast.

But that turned out to be pretty weak as well when I looked at harder.

  • Greed: Excessive desire for more than one needs or deserves

That kinda covers it, hard to really avoid that. So it’s not greedy to want to eat fantastic pleasurable food while you’re also hungry, but it is greedy to want to eat more than just mere hunger requires. The problem I guess, is that it is possible to want to eat pleasurable food while you’re hungry or without major impact but it’s still seen as greedy or a guilty pleasure.

Blurgh, I waffled and lost my train of thought and I give up. Maybe I’m just bitter about being diabetic, and how it’s affected my ability to just eat what I like, and that of course leads to the realisation that it’s probably because I ate what I liked that I became diabetic. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a combination of genetic makeup and diet, some people with my diet probably don’t become diabetic, which is doubly frustrating. It’s a lottery, the results of eating for pleasure are a lottery, while everyone who does it is viewed as greedy. Maybe thats it.

Who knows. I don’t that’s for sure, and this pointless post proves it.

Fresh Pineapple

Fresh pineapple is great, but never, ever eat a whole tub even though it’s supposed to be ‘one portion’ because by the last piece your stomach will be seriously rebelling.

New classic movies from the last 25 years.

Entertainment Weekly has published a few new classic 100 / 25 / 10 lists from the last 25 years of entertainment. One of them is a list of the new classic 100 movies in the last 25 years. I guess the full list is copyright them. I’ll run down a few I’ve seen and a few I’ve not seen but would like to.

  • 1. Pulp Fiction – I missed the initial release of this movie, but really do love it now that I’m ‘in’ on it.
  • 2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) – What’s to be said other than has it truly been 7 years?
  • 9. Die Hard (1988) – Truly a classic, genre-defining.
  • 12. The Matrix (1999) – Wow, nearly 10 years. A leap forward in movie making and just awesome.
  • 19. Casino Royale (2006) – Hmm, a classic? Maybe, maybe not, certainly one of the more enjoyable Bond movies though.
  • 23. Memento (2001) – clever and entertaining, but not one to watch if you have a headache coming on.
  • 25. Shrek (2001) – proof that you don’t need people on screen to make a good script fly.
  • 27. Aliens (1986) – setting the standard for ‘squad combat’ movies since ’86.
  • 29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) – re-defined the special agent genre for me.
  • 36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) – classic? Not so sure it was that good.
  • 40. Speed (1994) – looks dated and cheesy now, but it was tense and hardcore at the time.
  • 58. Ghostbusters (1984) – maybe one of the movies that made me love the movies.
  • 61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Same year as Ghostbusters? Wow.
  • 62. sex, lies and videotape (1989) – All hype, no entertainment.
  • 64. No Country For Old Men (2007) – well, read my review to see if I agreed.
  • 85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005) – Grete cried, and cried with laughter, maybe I should watch it.
  • 94. Full Metal Jacket (1987) – I keep meaning to check it out. I heard about it at school 😉

Check out the full list, it’s quite interesting. They’ve also got links to little write ups for each of the films.

Other interesting bits were Neil Gaiman’s 10 new classic monsters, Sarah Michelle Gellar lists 10 male characters she’d like to play and the new 25 classic death scenes.

Full of Fruit

Because I know you’re all desperate to know how the fruit was: It was excellent. Still pretty crisp, except for the kiwi fruit which is actually much nicer when it’s soft anyway. None of it was mushy, and none of it had ‘turned’, so that’s pretty good news I guess if I ever feel like putting in the effort to make my own again. Should last three or four days in the fridge.

I’ll see if I manage to keep making it (my expectations are pretty low, so if I was you, I would assume not).


So, Grete remembered to get the last pot of fruit out of the fridge this morning as I dragged my half-asleep ass out of the house, good job ‘cos I’d completely forgotten again! It’s lasted quite well, still looks pretty fresh. Popped it into a fridge at work, and I’m sure you’re all dying to know how it turns out, so I’ll be sure to let you know later …

Totally Fruitless

So I purchased a pineapple, two mangos, a tub of kiwi fruit and two melons last night, with the intent of making some little fruit bowls to bring to work, since I can’t get the ones I want here any more.

Spent 30-50 minutes last night chopping it all up, putting it into air-tight containers (6) and whacking them in the fridge.

And then left home this morning without picking one up. I’m working from home tomorrow so wouldn’t normally be after any fruit anyway, and by Thursday I’m sure they’ll be turning and going off.

No Country for Old Men

This was my first Cohen Brothers movie, yeh I know, so many ‘good’ films I’ve not seen. I’ve never claimed to be an intelligent movie watcher, I enjoy escapism in the cinema and I’m bound to select movies that offer that. It’s not that I find movies which make you think unenjoyable, it’s just that habit causes me to pick certain films over others. But, I thought I’d buy No Country for Old Men and give it a shot, not least because I love Tommy Lee Jones.

The film is an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name. I’ve not read the book, but by all reports it’s a faithful adaptation, taking most (all?) of the movie dialog straight from the book. It tells the story of a Texas Sherriff (Tommy Lee Jones) trying to understand a drug-deal gone wrong, following the trail of the guy who’s running with the money (Josh Brolin) and the killer who is also chasing the cash (Javier Bardem).

It would be a mistake to think this movie is about either Brolin’s (Llewelyn Moss) character or Bardem’s (Anton Chigurh). It’s about Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, and how he is coping with a new kind of crime and a new kind of criminal since the increase in cross-border drug traffic with Mexico. Bell provides a voice over for various parts of the movie and the implication is he’s narrating the story, at least in part, and the claim therefore is that scenes in which Bell appears are presented as his view and skewed by his perception and his re-telling.

The overall pace of the movie is pretty slow, even when good guys are running from bad guys you get the feeling they’re taking their pretty littl’ time of it. Despite the pace it is gripping and every single scene moves the story forward in some way and is engaging. The dialog is first class and all the lead characters provide excellent performances. There is tension although the pace means it’s never quite edge of your seat tension, and it’s easy to empathise with Moss even if it’s not always easy to like him. Chigurh is enigmatic and obviously deadly, and every time he’s on screen you get a sense of how quietly insane he is, and how at risk anyone near him may be. Bell is understated, subtle and superb. There’s no hint of Marshal Samuel Gerard here, not even a glimpse.

And yet despite the obvious quality of everything, I was left dissapointed. In order to provide my opinion I’m going to need to spoil certain aspects of the plot, so if you’re planning to watch this movie, and don’t want the major plot elements spoiled, stop reading now.

The first three quarters of the movies focuses on a short period of time, or apparently short, during which Moss tries to evade Chigurh. Then suddenly time accelerates, and we see the death of Moss, his mother-in-law, his wife, Bell’s retirement and Chigur’s accident which must have taken place over a few weeks. Once we’re done with those, the movie ends, Bell retiring and discussing two dreams he’s had with his wife, obviously trying to cope with having lots of free time on his hands.

The actual end of the movie is abrupt and disorientating. That may be because I’m far too used to a certain style of movie ending, or it may be because I really didn’t grasp until after the end that the story is about Bell, and not in fact, about Moss and Chigurh. Perhaps I’m stupid and should have noticed it earlier, perhaps the movie is too subtle for me, maybe I’m not cut out to watch movies which don’t conform to the ‘hollywood’ standard of having some kind of end-game.

Reading online after I’d watched it revealed what I had missed, that it’s about Bell, that he’s narrating, that the scene towards the end in the motel room where Bell might or might not see Chigurh is pivotal and then the film is showing us the lie that Bell tells, that he never met Chigurh, never caught up with him. The dreams are a manifestation of this, telling us how Bell regrets he wasn’t strong enough, feels he has failed in his role, and worries how his father will view him.

I’m used to missing things in movies, subtle references, and I don’t mind having them pointed out, but when I miss what appears to be the very reason for the story to exist it’s dissapointing. I question whether I wasn’t paying enough attention, or whether I’m stupid.

However, there’s that old addage that if you have to explain a joke, maybe it was never funny. Of course, proponents of the joke would claim that some find it funny, and hence it shouldn’t need to be explained. I’m sure some people got the story on their first viewing, I’m sure others got it on their second or third, and I’m sure some people discussed it and worked it out with friends and felt satisfied. For me though, the movie watching experience is a totality of the watching period involved, I want to be satisfied at the end of it, happy that I understood, pleased with how it all turned out.

I don’t need happy endings, but I do absolutely need an ending that I understand.

No Country for Old Men is a technically briliant movie, with an amazing cast, engaging dialog and beautiful cinamatography. I might even watch it again. But I won’t look back at the time I spent watching it and think ‘that was enjoyable’ or ‘that was worth it’, just ‘that was dissapointing’. At any stage, I was on some level enjoying the watching experience, but as a total experience at the end, I was left wondering what it had been about and why.


I hate change, I am, without the smallest shadow of any doubt, a creature of habit. I can do the same thing, at the same time, all the time, without ever getting bored of it. I don’t mind change, as long as I’m aware it’s coming and have a chance to prepare, but unplanned change makes me annoyed. I can cope, I do cope, I’m actually really good at coping with it and dealing with it, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

I’ve gotten into a habit at lunch time, when I’m in the office, which helps with the diabetes and balanced diet, and that’s having a pot of fruit from the shop at work. Melon, pineapple, kiwi fruit and mango. Been eating it now for a couple of years, every day. They changed the packaging a while back, but the content stayed the same. It’s one of my five a day, it’s good for my blood sugar and it’s 0 fat.

And now, they don’t sell it. They’ve changed to a mix of melon, kiwi fruit, blueberries and pomegranate seeds. It’s disgusting. The juice that collects is rancid, the pomegranate seeds are terrible, the blueberries tasteless, and the kiwi fruit is squished and mangled.

I miss my mango dammit.

So today I’ve got a packet of crisps instead, how is that helping exactly!

Now I need to work on a strategy to get back to some fruit I enjoy.

Demiplane Progress

These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

We’ve been to the Demiplane of Blood a few times now, Zi-Thuuli is no problem, we just wait him out and beat him down, but the other tier 1 events have given us some grief. Sisters is going to take a while to get right, although we were really close a few weeks ago. Redfang is about execution, we know what we need to do, we just need to get used to doing it, at the right time, and having a good turnout to make it happen. We were better last night than we’ve been before. And Hatchet, well, we finally beat Hatchet last night in an epic fight and I want to thank everyone who was there for taking the deaths, getting up, and doing what needed to be done.

Every time we beat Hatchet, and he will die again, we learn a little more, get a little more confident, and it’ll go smoother and smoother.

That first kill is one of those fights I’ll never forget, looking around with 30% to go and seeing most of the raid force either dead or recovering, most people with multiple corpses, but a feeling of determination in the air.

Proud of you all, thanks for making it another memorable night.