Weight and Stuff Report – 14 April 2014

Weight: Weight and Stuff Report - 14 April 2014
Steps taken: 4,292

As I expected, the low weights recorded at the weekend were some kind of temporary wossname. But I’m still lighter than I was until quite recently, so I’m not too concerned about that.

Today’s photo is of Queen Victoria, who really does not look like she’s even slightly amused:

Victoria

Victoria

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/2000s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 12 April, 2014

WordPress 3.8.3 is out now

Just for a change, I wasn’t asleep when this one came out. It seems there was a bug in 3.8.2 that could lead to draft posts disappearing. Err, oops.

A maintenance release has been pushed out to fix that bug. The first I knew about it was an email from this very site telling me it had been upgraded, which is how this sort of thing is intended to be handled these days.

More information, should you want it, is available from the official source:

WordPress 3.8.3

Doctor Who – The Time of the Doctor Blu-ray

In an effort to keep the massive[1] Losing it audience as confused as I generally am, I’m moving right along with the next Doctor Who review.

The Christmas episode was always going to be a Big One. There was no way that Matt Smith would be going out with anything other than a bang, and there were plenty of those to be enjoyed here.

A message is being sent out from a planet. Sent to every point in time and space, and it’s a wee bit mysterious and troubling enough for just about everyone to come and investigate: Daleks, Cybermen Sontarans, and that’s just the ones who actually appear on screen. The Doctor is summoned by an old friend, Tasha Lem, who’s running things at the Papal Mainframe, which ties in with all those military church types we’ve been seeing over the last few years. It also ties in with the Silence. And the delightful Madame Kovarian (known and loved by all as “eyepatch lady”). Some people have specualted that Tasha is a reincarnation or some other aspect of River Song, but I’m not entirely convinced of that…

Anyway, the Doctor’s other friend Handles, who’s the severed head of a Cyberman, identifies the message as coming from Gallifrey. This is a bit odd, as (a) the planet quite obviously isn’t Gallifrey and (2) Gallifrey is off in another universe somewhere…

And on the planet, something disturbingly familiar has reappeared: that crack in the universe which is an opening to some other place, and in that place is Gallifrey. And when all the usual suspects realise that, they determine to prevent the Doctor answering that Question, because if he does reveal his actual name, the Time Lords will come back through the crack[3], at which point it’ll be Time War II, and that would be really Bad.

And so the Doctor has to stay on the planet, which is, of course, Trenzalore, in an earlier age than when he visited it in the Name of the Doctor. He stays to fight off all the aliens attempting to destroy it (and kill him, of course), and gets older and older. Clara missed most of the fun, due to the Tardis taking her home. Twice. And the Doctor revelals that he can no longer regenerate – add one for the War Doctor, and that makes twelve. And then add one for the time the tenth Doctor regenerated into himself in The Stolen Earth and you’ve got thirteen. That’s it, no more…

And much fun follows, with Clara once again coming to the rescue..

And so, finally, with the Daleks quite nicely seen off, and with the Doctor getting a new cycle of regenerations[4], he finally does just that…

Perhaps a little rushed in parts, but still lots of fun[5], and giving a nice lead-in for the next batch of episodes, which should be on in the autumn, and will, we’re told, be a continuous run of 13, without any of this split series stuff.

Extras on this one are a behind the scenes, another BBC America item called Tales from the TARDIS and a nicely done Farewell to Matt Smith. As with a lot of such things, there’s some overlap of content between the various extras, but not enough to be annoying.

Oh, and in addition to the usual extras, the package also includes the previous three Christmas specials – A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, and The Snowmen. I’m not sure why, as most of the target market will already have those epsiodes…

And now we wait to see how the Doctor’s new regeneration will affect him…

[1] Realtively[2]
[2] Relative to a very small thing, that is
[3] I probably need to watch that a few more times to work that one out…
[4] So we’re good for a few more years, then
[5] And probably very confusing to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention for the last nine years

Doctor Who – The Day of the Doctor Blu-ray

It’s taken me a while to get around to this one, hasn’t it? Well, I had to wait till I’d found the time to witter[1] about the seventh series set, and that meant finding the time to watch it all. Anyway, I’ve now caught up a bit, so I can do my nicely belated report.

First, the actual episode, which was, for me, deeply satisfying. It covered the expected ground of celebrating the show’s past, with David Tennant picking up where he left off and quite thoroughly being the Doctor all over again. The interplay between Matt and David was at least as much fun as I could have hoped for, the silliness with Queen Elizabeth I was delightful (and finally explains why she was a bit upset in The Shakespeare Code), the Zygons made their long-awaited return, and much fun was evidently had by all, not least Tom Baker in his first on-screen return to Doctor Who.

But the main event was, of course, the wonderful John Hurt as “the War Doctor”. In a manner reminiscent of the First Doctor being a bit disappointed with his successors in The Three Doctors, he was suitably unimpressed with his first meeting with “Ten” and “Eleven”, to the amusement and delight of all.

And the other main event was clearing up that little matter of the Time War that’s been in the background since Doctor Who returned in 2005. Odd references made up over the years (like a mention of “The Moment” in The End of Time are revealed to be Quite Relevant[2]), and a potential new direction for the Doctor has been set up.

It was still great on a second viewing, and I still need to see that 3D version. And see it on a bigger screen.[3]

Extra features include a pile of previosuly online material, such as episode prequels, the excellent Pond Life, and the surprising return of Paul McGann in The Night of the Doctor, which gets a special prize for the line

I’m a doctor, but not the one you were expecting

There’s a fairly short Doctor Who Confidential-style behind the scenes, and another of those documentaries made for BBC America, Doctor Who Explained, which has quite a few of the usual suspects and some people who are probably well-known in the US. Worth a watch, anyway.

So this is a nice package, and it’s now available for not much money at all.

[1] And that was the metaphorical straw that broke the figurative camel’s virtual back. Safari’s helpful autocorrect has been an irriatation for a while, but as it steadfastly refused to let me type “witter”, assuming that I meant “sitter”, I’ve now turned the damn thing off. Any typos you see now are therefore my own work rather than the imaginative creations of software. Unless I’m an imaginative creation of software, that is.
[2] Or nicely squeezed in, depending on how you look at it
[3] When I eventually upgrade my TV

Weight and Stuff Report – 13 April 2014

Weight: 214.6 pounds (15 stone 4.6 pounds, 97.3 kg)
Steps taken: Not a lot

Quite surprisingly, I’m even lighter than I was yesterday, and I’m now over nine pounds (over 4kg, even) lighter than I was at the start of the year. Or if you’d like some even more impressive numbers, I’m 12.1 pounds (5.5kg) lighter than I was at one point in January. Aaaaamazing. It probably won’t last, of course.

A slight variation on the usual photo of the day, as I couldn’t decide which version of this I liked better. Here’s the edited from raw one:

Buz!

Buz!

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 12 April, 2014

And here’s the only slightly adjusted JPEG from the X100S’s BW mode:

Buz!

Buz!

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 12 April, 2014

Both have a certain something that appeals to me, but then I am odd like that…

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 12 April 2014

Weight: 215.3 pounds (15 stone 5.3 pounds, 97.7 kg)
Steps taken: 5,812

An unusually big drop today, which will probably be followed by a rise tomorrow, but for the moment that’s the lowest weight of the year so far, yay, etc.

I had a later start today – I was doing some research into some equipment and it took a while to drag myself away from the computer and out to do the shopping. I was so late that I skipped the traditional Frankie & Benny’s breakfast, but I’ll be making up for that at some point…

After the shopping, I decided to make the best of a grey day by doing a bit of monochrome photography at the coast. I got to Tynemouth, had a wander around the market in the Metro station, then walked to the coast in a light drizzle. But the drizzle started to turn into proper rain which was heavy enough to put me off, so I got a bus back to Newcastle. And by the time I got there, the rain had gone and the sky was clearing, mutter.

Anyway, I got a few moderately nice shots using the in-camera black and white setting on the X100S[1]. Here’s a lovely view of a spring day at the seaside:

Spring!

Spring!

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/16
Shutter speed: 1/125s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 12 April, 2014

[1] Shooting in RAW+JPEG for flexibility, of course.