Captain Kirk, Al Jolson, and the problem with Windows 10!

captain kirkTime passes, as Dylan Thomas said in Under Milk Wood. Time passes and the new replaces the old. Okay but why is it that the old is sometimes better than the new? Here are a few cases in point.

Star Trek.

Here is something that may be a revelation to you; if you don’t know it already it will vastly improve your understanding of Star Trek. It’s a simple truth and here it is, Star Trek is about three guys, Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Doctor McCoy. Sometimes there are four, we can maybe throw in Scotty but that’s it, that’s the essential truth about Star Trek and that’s why things like the Next Generation and Deep Space 9 will never come up to scratch, simply because Kirk, Spock and McCoy are not involved. Even the Star Trek people themselves understand this, which is why Star Trek has been reinvented (re-imagined to use movie speak) with new actors playing Kirk and his crew in the latest Trek movies.

Forget about Mr Pointy-head Captain Picard and the cocktail lounge style bridge on his version of the Star Ship Enterprise. Why on earth does he have to run every decision over his number two, his councillor and everyone else on the bridge when Kirk would have just sorted that situation out like a shot and would even have found a pretty girl to flirt with too? Deep space 9: A load of old tosh and as for Star Trek Voyager? Well, I have to say I do like the later episodes when Captain Janeway finally got rid of her previous weird hair styles and the drippy Kes got the bullet from the show and was replaced by the rather interesting Seven of Nine, a young lady rescued from the clutches of the Borg. As much as I like Voyager, it really can’t compete with the original. Yes, in every way, old is better.

Movies.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I like my movies. I much prefer old classic movies to the latest films. The last movie I caught at the cinema was the latest Bond movie, well actually, not even the latest one, it was the one before that! I did try to see the new one, Spectre, but when I enquired at the picture house about the movie, the lady behind the counter looked at me and said: ‘Spectre? That movie has been and gone,’ as if I had been talking about Gone with the Wind. As I remember it, there were still Spectre film trailers being shown on the TV so my enquiry was not all that silly, although shortly afterwards they released the film on DVD. There seems to be a short shelf life for movies these days; they are released, shown for a while at the cinema and then whoosh –straight to DVD.

DVDs.

Talking of DVDs, one I picked up lately from e-bay for a measly few pounds was a DVD with two movies: The Jolson Story and the follow up, Jolson Sings Again. The Jolson Story is typical of the kind of movies watched in our house when I was a child. My Mum was a big musical fan and we watched a lot of musicals. I do love those movies of the forties and fifties, the ones where someone says something like ‘let’s put the show on right here!White Christmas with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby is the sort of movie I mean, some light comedy, some great songs and they put on a show in their old wartime colonel’s failing hotel. The Jolson Story has some wonderful songs, proper tuneful yesteryear classic songs and Larry Parks plays a great part. Sadly he was black listed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and only made a few more films afterwards.

A much more modern movie I picked up recently on DVD was A Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg’s reputation as a great director precedes him as they say but for my money, I don’t really think his films are that great. I can’t rubbish this film by any means but it was a little tame and I have found that with a lot of his films, they always seem to fall slightly short of the mark somehow. Might have to sell Bridge of Spies in the same place I found it, on e-bay!

Windows 10.

Now, here is a perfect example of the old being better than the new. With my old laptop kitted out with windows XP and later windows 7 I could carry on doing the simple nerdy things I have always done on my laptop. As you know from these posts I have a long trip to work every day, I hate radio with adverts so I play a lot of discs, most of which I make up myself. I used to drop a DVD into my laptop, use windows sound recorder to copy some music or dialogue. Later I’d use various software bits and pieces to cut and paste, mix, and create a CD of favourite film music and dialogue that I could play in my car.

Anyway, in Windows 10, which I updated to not long ago, there is no sound recorder. There is however ‘voice recorder’ which I assume works in the same way only the tab on my computer is greyed out and when I click on it a message appears which says go to the windows store. Okay, I click that; a box opens up saying ‘windows store’, looks like it’s doing something for a minute than just closes. Right, so next I go to the Microsoft website, click on ‘windows store’, find windows voice recorder, click the download button and nothing happens. After a quick search I find windows sound recorder, I click on that and it says ‘not compatible with your device’!

While I’m on a rant about windows 10 here’s another thing. When I first installed windows 10, everything seemed to be in order but lately, every time I click on the start menu I get a critical error report and a box comes up saying ‘log out of windows and we will repair the error when you log back in’. So, like the box says I log out, log back in but did they keep their word? Have they fixed the critical error? No!

Wonder what Captain Kirk would do? Knowing him, a good blast from a Phaser will solve everything!


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Cillit Bang, Doctor McCoy and the Launch of Thunderbird 3!

You might be thinking, and believe me I can understand it if you are, what have Cillit Bang, Doctor McCoy and the launch of Thunderbird 3 got in common? Well it is simply this; together they are three small mysteries that have annoyed me for a while and in the case of Thunderbird 3, a very long time. Please read on . . .

Cillit Bang
A cleaning company has just created a new household cleaner. It works in the kitchen: It works anywhere! It washes away dirt and grime so what should we call it?
INTERIOR. DAY. A PLUSH HI TECH MARKETING OFFICE. A MEETING IS IN PROGRESS. AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE IS THE HEAD OF MARKETING. HE ADDRESSES THE GROUP OF EAGER YOUNG MARKETEERS.

HEAD OF MARKETING.
Ladies and gentlemen, you know all about the product. We are getting ready to sell to the public as soon as possible. We already have contracts to sell to the major stores and supermarkets, all we need is a name!

YOUNG STAFF MEMBER #1
What about Flash? It cleans your kitchen in a flash and-

HEAD OF MARKETING.
Good but that name has been used already!

YOUNG STAFF MEMBER#1
Sorry sir.

YOUNG STAFF MEMBER #2
What about Super Clean. It’s no ordinary cleaner: it’s a Super Cleaner!

HEAD OF MARKETING.
Not bad but I’m looking for something really special.

YOUNG STAFF MEMBER #3
I know I’m new here (COYLY) But what about Cillit-Bang!

FACES FALL ALL AROUND THE TABLE. SOME STAFF MEMBERS HOLD THEIR HEADS IN THEIR HANDS. OTHERS OPENLY MOUTH ‘OH MY GOD!’

HEAD OF MARKETING.
That’s brilliant. Just what we want.

THE WHOLE OFFICE APPLAUDS.

OK, that’s just a fantasy, just an idle musing that came to me a few weeks back under the hot Lanzarote sun while I pondered about whether to take another dip in the pool. The thing is though, why did they really call it Cillit-Bang?

Doctor McCoy in Star Trek

Dr McCoy Star Trek

Picture courtesy Wikipedia

I have always been a fan of Star Trek, well, the original one anyway. You know the one, Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Doctor (Bones) McCoy. (Proper Star Trek, not those wishy washy Next Generation people!) Kirk was played by William Shatner, Spock by Leonard Nimoy and McCoy by DeForest Kelley. DeForest did you say? Yes, DeForest, that was his name. I’ve often wondered how he got a name like that, perhaps it was something like this;

INTERIOR. DAY.THE SCENE:THE SUBURBAN HOME OF THE NEWLY WED KELLEYS.

MRS KELLEY
You know, we ought to think about names, there’s not long to go now.

MR KELLEY
Yes, you’re not wrong. Remind me, when is the little one due?

MRS KELLEY
Well, my due date is January 20th.

MR KELLEY
Well, what about Woodrow, you know after the President?

MRS KELLEY (WITH HARDLY A HINT OF ENTHUSIASM.)
What! Woodrow?

MR KELLEY
Well, only a suggestion.

MRS KELLEY
Edward is a thought. I’ve always liked Edward.

MR KELLEY
Edward? Edward Kelley? Don’t know, Edward Kelley. Sounds a bit ordinary . . .

MRS KELLEY
We could name him after you, Ernest David.

MR KELLEY
Yes but then he’d be Ernest David Kelley Junior. I’ve always hated that junior stuff! I want something memorable, something that invokes, you know, the forest or something.

MRS KELLEY
The forest? What are you on about?

MR KELLEY
Well, remember that time in the forest when we were camping and we both, you know . .

MRS KELLEY
Oh my giddy aunt! I’ve never heard anything like it in my life!

MR KELLEY
Look, let’s be straight; we once did it in the forest. So what? Couples have to do it somewhere, it’s only natural. In fact, tell you what, what about Deforest?

MRS KELLEY
Deforest? Are you bonkers? Are you out of your tiny mind?

MR Kelley
It’d be a private joke, you know, me and you against the world and we’d always remember that special time. You know, when we did it in ‘de forest!’

MRS KELLEY
Are you on mind altering drugs or what? I was reading only the other day they reckon that by the 1960’s mind altering drugs could destroy western civilisation. Sure you’re not on them already?

MR KELLEY
OK, so what have you got?

MRS KELLEY
So Ernest David is out?

MR KELLEY
Absolutely.

MRS KELLEY
OK, DeForest it is but I want it with a capital F.

MR KELLEY
It’s a deal!

Thunderbird 3The Launch of Thunderbird 3.

Did you ever watch Thunderbirds, the 1960’s sci-fi show? I’m talking about the original, not the 21st century computer animated version, because something has been annoying me ever since I first saw the show as a schoolboy, and it’s this:
Alan, as you probably know, is the pilot of Thunderbird 3, the space ship, and Thunderbird 3 launches from underground, blasting off right through the circular opening of the Round House. Now to access the craft, Alan sits down on the settee in the Tracy Island main house. His Dad, Jeff Tracy, flicks a switch and Alan and the settee drop down into an underground complex. OK? With me so far? Well this is where the problem arises. As Alan and the settee drop down on a sort of hydraulic pole, just behind him we see another settee, being pushed up towards the lounge on another hydraulic pole,  where it pops into the vacant slot where Alan’s settee was moments earlier. However, as Alan’s settee is going down on the first hydraulic pole, and the alternate settee is on a second hydraulic pole to his rear, there is no way that second settee is going to pop into the vacant slot left by the first. Also, what if Alan was watching TV when the call came in and he goes off on the departing settee with the remote control? It could be halfway to trajectory insertion when Jeff wants to switch over to Sky Sport and he says, “Who’s got the remote?” Not only that, imagine if Alan was on his way to an emergency launch which came in while Grandma was in the kitchen making everyone a cup of tea and a slice of toast?

THE SCENE. INTERIOR. DAY. TRACY ISLAND LOUNGE.

JEFF TRACY
This is a job for Thunderbird 3.

ALAN TRACY
OK Dad. Ready for launch.

JEFF TRACY
Off you go Alan.

ALAN TRACY
Bye Dad, tell Grandma I’ll have a brew later.

JEFF TRACY
Look Alan, those tea bags don’t grow on trees you know. We have them imported from the UK.

ALAN TRACY
Gee whizz Dad, never thought of that. Only thing is, that rocket on collision course with the sun, don’t you think that has to take priority?

JEFF TRACY
Well . . . Sometimes I fancy an extra cuppa anyway so I guess I could always finish yours off. Hot diggedy dog Alan, you’re right. Off you go and I’ll sort your brew out.

ALAN TRACY
Thanks Dad.

JEFF PRESSES A SWITCH AND THE SETTEE DROPS AWAY ON ITS HYDRAULIC POLE INTO THE CAVERNOUS SECRET WORLD BENEATH THE TRACY HOME.

JEFF TRACY
Right, that’s that. Think I might have a gander at Sky Sports. Where the heck is the remote? Grandma! Grandma! Where has the old biddy got to? Bet she’s got the damned remote, she’s always watching daytime TV.

JEFF GOES OFF STAGE RIGHT TO LOOK FOR GRANDMA.

GRANDMA ENTERS STAGE LEFT WITH A TRAY OF TEA AND TOAST.

GRANDMA
Jeff! Alan! Now where have those two got to? Where have they moved the settee to? Sure it used to be just hereeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Yes, when you look closely, that Thunderbird 3 launch procedure is a major health and safety issue!


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