Monday, September 15, 2014

Save Longmire!

Longmire is an awesome TV show. It is was A&E's most watched scripted series of all time with 6 million viewers in Season 2 and an average 5.6 million in Season 3.

And then A&E dropped it.

Now I'm no rocket surgeon, but when the Arts and Entertainment Network get rid of what many people are calling the best mix of a modern western and a crime drama. ’I'm not going to claim that this is the best show on TV, but it’s a quality production that deserves another season at least'.

The scenery is stunning with summer colours and winter snow playing equal parts in the story that is being told. The characters are complex and deep, bringing a new dimension that most other crime shows search for.

Longmire is A&E's 2nd highest rated show, to the reality show 'Duck Dynasty', so why was it cancelled? Some people argue that the audience was 'ahem' too old for their sponsors, others say that it doesn't fit in well with their other shows.

If you've never heard of Longmire - then shame on you - I wrote about it here last year! Well, if you need a refresher course, here are a few fine reasons (stolen from Rachel Weingarten at Parade)  to keep Longmire alive:

1. Its a good old fashion Western

Who doesn't love a Western? For crying out loud he's killed a baddie with his folding hunting knife and it doesn't get any more Western than that

2. The scenery is just fantastic.

Filmed in New Mexico, it is real scenery, no CGI, no fuss, no muss.



3. You can watch it with your Mum

Unlike my other favorite show of today, Games of Thrones, , this does not have graphic sex scenes or beheadings or bits of bodies being lopped off. It's wholesome fun for the whole family! Actually, it reminds me of another of my all-time favorite TV shows, MASH, just with less laughs.

4. Your family is as Crazy as This

I was just chatting to a friend about this very subject yesterday, wishing that I'd known at 14 that everyone's family was special!

** As a man, I can only quote Ms. Weingarten on this, and the next point **

5. Unlikely sex symbols:

Sure, Longmire the man is super-studly with his gruff voice and tormented soul. And Branch is probably the most sizzling-hot-rich-boy-rebelling-by-going-into-tiny-town-law-enforcement character ever. But sweet as a puppy Ferg, played by Adam Bartley, is one of the most crush-worthy male characters on TV in a long time. By turns bumbling, at others fiercely loyal and brave, he represents a completely different type of male character than I can remember seeing on a TV drama. And I’d really, really, like to ask him for a hug.

6. Women of every age and every stage: When is the last time that you saw a woman of a certain age, playing someone sassy and wise without  playing the requisite grandmother role? Louanne Stephens (formerly of Friday Night Lights) as Ruby, the sheriff’s office dispatcher, adds a quiet grace to a role that might seem tiny if inhabited by any other actress. And Vic and Cady as the younger females in the cast don’t ever quite do what we expect them to.

7. Villainous Villains

Unlike 'black hats' versus 'white hats' in other shows, these villains have a story, they have a unique way of looking at things. Oh, you don't get to like them, you just 'get' them.

8. Friends

No, Rachel, Joey and chums aren't a scratch on Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear! Their bromance can definitely show some guys today what true friendship is.

9. Lou Diamond Phillips

As Henry Standing Bear he has perfect diction. We just need to have him answer the phone stating “It is a beautiful day at the Red Pony and continual soiree”

10. It Ain't Perfect, but it's ours

I'm not sure what describes this TV show more than the people who come together for 2 days of Longmire fun:

I recommend starting 5.30 minutes in



And this kind of sums up the show:



Maybe we should just change A&E's name to what I thought it first stood for, where drunken brawlers end up on a Saturday night - Accident and Emergency...

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Its Payback Time

There have been a few pretty awesome short films shown in my Facebook stream recently. My favourite is the 3rd one. Which is yours?

1. Meet the Meat


MEET MEAT from GOBELINS pro on Vimeo.

2. Why King Arthur pulled the sword from the stone


FOL'AMOR from GOBELINS pro on Vimeo.

3. Payback Time



4. Epic Nerf Battle





kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When Worlds Collide

I grew up in the wilds of Essex, England, learning about 'cookies' and 'aqua sin gas' by Sesame Street.

For many years now I have been listening to the podcast 'The Bugle' by two fun chaps in the UK.

And here, John Oliver from The Bugle and Mr C Monster himself, meet and have fun.





kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

About Time Too

I've never been skinny, even when I did extreme manual labour when I worked on a farm and ate only fruit and veg. Now, as I enter my 5th decade on earth I find that I need to decrease my belly to that of a normal human, so more exercise, less food and I'll get there.

But what is a chubby hubby to do? I don't have much time as we have 2 kids under 5 and I can't really allow myself to pay for a gym.

And then I found Neila Rey and that was a game changer.

I can see myself doing a Neila Rey exercise regime, 3 or 4 times a week, after the kids have gone to sleep in the computer room with a Formula 1 race or crappy comedy on the computer, and not have to worry about running into doggy-doo or a reversing car as I do out there, on the street.


Neila Rey workouts


The 90 days of action is my poison of choice, and I don't follow it religiously, but I do what I can, when I can. So go on over to Neila Rey's website and see what the options are to make your life better, and longer.

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cover Up!

Sun tanning
Sun tanning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As you might already know, I currently reside somewhere in the Middle East, and it is August. So it is HOT HOT HOT, or as they said in The Fast Show, 'scorchio, scorchio, scorchio':



So what do we do in this weather? We still go to the parks, play on the bicycles and scooters and of course, play in the paddling pool.

Until now I hadn't given much thought to sunscreen. Thats for girls isn't it?



The only time I had ever seen anything used for sunbathing was Hawaian Tropic which my mum used to get a deep dark tan.

In the army I had a farmer's tan which was, in all honesty, half grime and cam cream, half sun-tan. Now though, with new technology, we can see just how bad sunbathing can be, and what we can do to combat its effect on us:



Good luck - and stay safe!



kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Its A Sad Day

So many people have written about the untimely death of Robin Williams. One of the smiley, happy guys, but like many clowns, there were tears behind the mask.

Such a comic genius, he even blew one of my comedic heroes, Craig Ferguson, out of the water and Craig even acknowledges it at around the 13 minute mark:



You know whats amazing? I'm watching clips of Robin on YouTube and I see just how much he made us laugh. A comedian that can make other comedians laugh is definitely special.



Such a giving, caring, funny genius.



I think the Huffington Post's headline says it best:



kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bigger and Better

The EMS units here have changed their emergency tones from a wail to the European undulating racket so as not to scare the public.

In the office where I work, we keep the window open a crack so that we can hear the siren.

We had a siren again yesterday morning, and another one today, at around 10 am.

It doesn't make my blood boil. It doesn't drive me into a rage of hatred. It simply makes me sad that in 2014 ANYONE has to be in their bomb shelter or protected area.

We should be bigger than this, we should be better than this.

If you want 'facts' about Gaza, you can find them below / here.

If you want opinion about the war, here are some videos:

From the US Senate:



From a famous US Jew (parental consent is advised):



In all honesty, I'm just tired of it all. "You killed 3 of ours so we're going to get 33 of yours" who are we? The Crips and the Bloods from West Side Story?

Peace and love guys, peace and love.

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rugby, NFL and GoT


In between the air raid sirens and news alerts on my facebook stream, there are a few posts that are little nuggets of goodness and fun. Just whats needed in Casa Jumblerant these days.



And for all of you NFL fans out there, here is a neat comparison of American Football vs. Rugby.



I'm not sure who wins there, but at least we get to see some impressive smashes!

Talking of some serious skills, here is the Queen's Guards playing GoT theme tune, and I believe it is outside Buckingham Palace (or Buck House as Aunty liz like to call it).



This game of Thrones remix is awesome. Just a genius at work. Enthralling to an extent that I kind of forgot what it was about and watched him at work.



More of his work can be found here and on SoundCloud here

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grammar

"Yo Grammer so bad it don't make no sense!"

Yes. Quite.

Having been schooled by no less than a Booker Prize judge, I can assure you that my grammar is quite good.

Even "Weird" Al Yankovich would agree:



He spoofs "Happy" by Pharrell too, joined by a plethora of famous people:



kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Gaza Facts

There are 3 common mistakes I'm tired of seeing. I don't want to get into political arguments right now, just set straight some facts.

English: Map of Gaza Strip, Stand December 200...1. Gaza is the most densely populated city in the world:

Gaza city is not even in the top 85(a). In fact, there are many cities that are denser than Gaza. For example, London, Cairo and New York.

2. Gaza is occupied by Israel:

Gaza has been 100% cleansed of Jews in 2005. In the same year, Israel also formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. Presently, There isn't a single Israeli soldier on Gazan soil. Israel doesn't fully control Gaza's borders either, since the strip has a Southern border with the sovereign state of Egypt. The latter fully controls at least one crossing, but chooses to keep it closed for their own political and economic reasons.


3. Gaza is one of the poorest regions in the world:

Gaza Strip's Human Development Index is usually around the 100th in the world (out of 177) (b). Higher than Egypt or Syria, but lower than the Palestinian average.
Life expectancy in Gaza is around 107th in the world, higher in fact than Glasgow (SNP likes to flaunt this). The Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid in the world and the 8th fattest nation in the world. By all global accounts, Palestinians are neither rich, nor poor, but strongly in the middle.

(a) WikiPedia - List of cities proper by population
(b) WikiPedia - Human Development Index

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sirens, Home and the Iron Dome

A few people have asked me to write about my experiences in the last week or so, here in Israel.

Just a few fun facts for you: I'm a father of 2, husband, employee, manager and, obviously, like to think of myself as just another normal guy.

Siren Song

It was with a sense of disbelief that I walked into the air-raid shelter at work last Wednesday morning. This is the kind of thing everyone was expecting:



But this is more like what it was:



So it didn't phase us that much.

And then that evening we had the siren at home.

A different kettle of fish altogether when you have to gather up your kids and put them in the protected room.

The mere fact that every structure built after the Gulf War has to have a reinforced room, by law, tells us all a bit about what kind of area we live in!

Luckily, this time around, we need only stay int he shelters for 10 minutes, and there is no 'all-clear' sounded. People just decide when it works for them.

English: Iron Dome CRAM launcher near the town...

Iron Dome

What a game changer! Or is it? Similar to the Patriot Missile System int he Gulf War, I think we're going to be hearing a lot about 'near misses' and shrapnel falling all over the place, but for right now, it is keeping us mentally safe too.



Not to give too much away, but there is an Iron Dome unit about 1km from our home, and boy is it reassuring when the rockets blast off! Scary, loud and somewhat worrying just how thin our defensive line is, but altogether I wouldn't say 'no' to it.

Funny side note - I was reading the blog post Game Changer by In From The Cold all about Iron Dome and its benefits, when I heard a couple of loud bangs yesterday. yes, it was the Iron Dome at work again.

Politics

I don't care about the politics. I care about people I don't know throwing explosive rockets at my house.

Here is a politician talking about the situation:




So for now there is talk of a cease-fire. Thats great. It just doesn't take the threat away, it just leaves it standing. An en passe that cannot be resolved.

Having said that, Hamas is getting attacked on TV and elsewhere by it's old friend, Egypt:



So whatever happens in this region in the next 12 months is anyone's guess!



Although I doubt we'll see a one state solution any time soon.

kthanxbai!

Jumblerant