Spooks: Season 1 DVD

Spooks is a British drama series about Series B, a counter terrorist section of MI5. This is the best drama series I have seen in a long time and the DVD presents it very well. The series uses suspense, intense music, split screens and realistic scenes to hold it’s viewers in a grip (or in the sofa).
The episodes were no surprise as I have seen most of them on TV but the added bonus on the DVD I would like to rave about.
First of all, the standard (boring) menu system has been replaced with an interactive movie of an intruder to the Section B office. You steer him to select audio options, scene index and cut scenes. First time I watched the DVD I actually thought the menu system was the first episode 😉
5.1 sounds makes the episodes even more dramatic than the TV version. Shame no sub-titles were put on as the dialogs tend to get complicated, especially with the addition of various British and American dialects.
Get the DVD here.

Busy Bee

Cleaning can be so therapeutical. I was really looking forward to some time of to tackle the increasing amount of grime at our place.
Vacuuming, scrubbing, washing, drying, and shredding (leaves in garden). Clean pad, clean mind.
Then just 6hrs helping a good friend (Svante) moving (what are friends for). Ok, most of the time was spent on the busy roads of London and some time in the pub munching on figs and Parma ham and downing Budvar (the Czech one).
Pedro and his flatmate invited us for dinner (1st or 2nd time ever 🙂 and it was majora. Brazilian food at its home-made best. Once again thank you Bruno!
Update 1/9/03
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Insurance company X honoured my claim so I got a new bike. Sweet.
Listening to: Arabesque

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

laraA glowing golden globe has been stolen. This globe is told to have a map inscribed on it that will leads it’s owner to the mythical Pandora’s Box.
Of course some baddie gets hold of the globe and plans to find Pandora’s box to unleash it’s content. Lara Croft is sent out to retrieve the globe and her adventure leads her to a secret place called the Cradle of Life.
Not bad at all. The movie is fast paced and the action scenes are entertaining. Lara Croft is as superior as ever and fun to watch. As long you don’t get annoyed by unrealistic story lines (it’s a movie) you should be ok.
More on the Internet Movie Database

[Listening to: Coming Of Age – Breaking Point — CD * – (04:09)]

Friends are good for you

A very old friend Snorri and his girl friend Lotta are visiting us for a couple of days. So of course, we called some friends over and a Sushi party was on. Nothing like chilled cheap rose wine and salmon sashimi on a late summer evening.
Feng Sushi let us down though, shame on you. Did not deliver until 1hr after the order was made and part of the order was missing. What is going on, you are always aces normally.
I really enjoy having friends visiting. You get a chance to catch up on old times and planning touristy things makes me appreciate London so much more. It’s easy to forget you live in one of the most exciting (bar Helsingborg) towns in Europe when you work 9-7 and spend weekends DIYing.

[Listening to: I’m Glad – Jennifer Lopez — CD This Is Me Then – (03:49)]

Portrait shots

dofHow to get crispy shots of the subject with a blurred background? You need to know what depth of field is and what determines it.
Although the exact focus occurs in a single point there is a range (in distance) in which there appears to be focus in your photo. This is the Depth of Field (DOF).
The DOF is affected mainly by apperture size and focal length (zoom). The bigger the aperture (lower f-number) and the longer the focal length (more zoom) the smaller the depth of field is.
So next time you are taking a portrait shot, max up the aperture and use a zoom lens (80mm+).
Of course, you can also use the portrait mode dial.gif if you have a newer SLR camera and it will do exactly the above for you.
More on depth of field
PS Photo taken by Tomas Hancka (more photos)

Spam – How to limit it in your inbox

Herbal Viagra, anatomy enlargements, academical degrees, buy a bride(groom), US$100,000,000 transfers and various pyramid scams. The longer you have had your email address the more spam (unsolicited email) you are getting each day. During the last 3 years I have been looking into avoiding spam emails in my inbox and here is some advice.

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Couple of clicks on the old odometer

This weekend was an annoying mix on bad things and good things to happen. Yes, it was the worst weekend in a long time but also I had some wonderful time with Carla and Ginger.
The bad
Coming home last Friday (day before bank holiday) discovering our car has been towed. Getting a cab to fetch the car and paying a ransom worthy of Robin Hood to get it.
Missing our plane to Scotland and thus the 2 months ago planned trip. Bummer.
Coming home after a road trip (see below) and discovering my bike had been stolen. I had become quite attached to it during the last 3 years. Maybe because it has had to carry a lot of weight around…
Can you top this foul luck?
The good
Desperately we decided for a road trip to the North with Ginger on board. As soon as we passed Oxford we started feeling bit better and arriving in the Lake District we soon forgot our worries. The narrow roads and steep hills sure helped.
Windermere was a charming village but we found our retreat at Leeming House, just by Ullswater. What a charming area! I really enjoyed walking around and smelling the nature as it ought to be, not poisoned by urban pollution. So THAT is the colour of trees.
Hmm, I should be able to get a brand new bike. At least that is what insurance company X claims.

[Listening to: Kielbasa – Tenacious D – Tenacious D (03:00)]

Housing sorted, Scotland here we come

Crees In Phew… I escaped from Carla’s wrath, but it was close.
We are planning to visit Edinburgh and surroundings, Perth among other cities.
This is the last weekend of the Fringe Festival so that will be fun checking out. We also have a (dubious) white water rafting booked.
Turns out that there is a Harley Davidson get-together in Perth and thus all possible housing have been booked up for weeks. I know I should have booked months ago but it just ain’t me. I almost gave Carla (another) chance to say I told you so.
The Crees Inn looks very charming and if you are in the neighbourhood, do pop over for an ale or six.
Anyways, back 26th of August…


Animatrix is a must for any fan of the Matrix trilogy, especially if you are into animations.
The DVD consists of 9 short stories that all happen in the world of the original Matrix movies but that are wonderfully alternative. You will see explanations of how machines were driven to mutiny and you will see other heroes than Neo.
The animation technique varies from state of the art CG (computer generated) a la Final Fantasy: Spirits within, via traditional Japanese Anime to black and white. Simply splendid.
Favorite episode? Matriculated for sure. What a wonderful animation of virtual reality.
Don’t forget to listen to directors commentary as it shows how much work and talent there is behind the animations.

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