Have Gogglebox Will Travel (Samsung Mob!lers)

Could you live without your TV set? I definitely could. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a program as it was broadcast. When a series comes along that I really want to see (I can really only think of ‘True Blood’ and ‘Walking Dead’ at this point) I record and then burn the episodes to DVD to watch all in one go so I can stick it to the man by spinning through the ads. I’ve never been a big fan of being told what to do (or when to do it) and with the myriad of ‘on demand’ TV available online, it seems like madness (MADNESS I tell you!) to plan your life around TV schedules when you can now fit it around your own timetable.

For the most part I tend to watch online content on my laptop, simply because it’s a nice big screen but the availability of various media players (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player) on Android Market means I can also now view all my favourite programs on something more portable. Which means you can watch video anywhere………. anywhere (you know where I mean, just make sure you put your phone down before you stand up to flush!). Currently that portable device is the Samsung Galaxy Pro which is great for keeping me entertained on train journeys. I’m hoping to get my mitts on one of the frankly, gorgeous, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, which means I’ll get all the easy accessibility with a bigger screen. Can’t be bad.

It’s not just TV you can watch though, oh no, it’s movies, movie trailers and, the ever popular and seemingly never-ending, array of clips of cats doing cute things.

Recently I’ve been watching the 4th series of BBC comedy ‘Outnumbered’. I think the kids are fab though, if I’m honest, I think the older they get the less charming their antics become. Great writing, some fab ad-libs and a nice half an hour watch.

I’m forever visiting IMDB.com to answer that eternal question when watching a film – “What’s he/she been in?”. Remember the days before t’Interweb? When things like that would drive you ever so slightly mad until all of a sudden it came back to you at 3am and you sit bolt upright in bed shouting “DUNCAN!” as you *finally* remember the name of Kevin Costner’s manservant in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Just me? Oh. Anyway, now I use IMDB to view trailers too. Here’s one for Lars Von Trier’s latest, Melancholia.

I’m a big fan of Blinkbox for watching movies online. Primarily because they have a great selection of free (one of my favourite words, along with ‘all you can eat buffet breakfast’) movies, many of which are ‘video nasties’ from the 80s such as Flesh for Frankenstein and The Beyond which I’d wanted to see since watching Jake West’s (essential) documentary on the subject.

I’m not ashamed of my love of cat videos, as far as I’m concerned it’s what the Internet was invented for and if everyone watched a cute cat video once a day there would be a lot less depressed people in the world (though global productivity would probably slide). While ‘real’ cats are all well and good, there is something extra special about the Simon’s Cat videos. I never get bored of them.



Finally, I tend to use catch-up TV for viewing my guilty pleasures, stuff that I can shut off quickly, should someone come into the room and discover my dirty little secrets. Bizarre ER on BBC is one of these and, in the same vein (HA – geddit?!), Embarrassing Bodies from Channel 4. The great thing about watching online also means that when I start to feel a bit faint, as I inevitably will, I can pause it, make a cup of sweet tea, then start again. Don’t ask me why I do it to myself. I have no idea.


A Day In The Life (Samsung Mob!lers)

When was the last time you spent a day without looking at your phone? Ever got to work, reached into your bag and come out empty-handed, but for a mental image of your mobile sitting all forgotten on the bedside cabinet, and suddenly felt like you’d had your right arm cut off? We can (and often do) do everything with our mobile phones now – e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

Gone are the days of just calls and texts. Even I am surprised how much I rely on my phone on a daily basis. I never let it wander far (apart from that time I thought I’d left it on a P&O ferry to Bruges only for it to turn up in the kitchen cupboard – don’t ask me how!) and when it’s in my hand I put it to work in any number of constructive (and not so constructive) ways.

For my latest Samsung Mob!lers mission I was asked to make a video showing some of the ways I use my Galaxy Pro smartphone in an average day. Here is the result.

Investing In The Not Quite Dead

I don’t have a stock portfolio to speak of, I’ve got an ISA and some premium bonds but that’s about the size of my financial investments. My Dad (Working Lunch‘s biggest fan and compulsive checker of Teletext’s share price pages), is always less than impressed at my disinterest in his favourite hobby.

But now I’ve made an investment which I look forward to dropping into any relevant conversation (cue my Dad shaking his head in exasperated disappointment) – I’ve become a movie producer (*breaks out big fat cigar*). But not just any movie, a movie about a subject very close to my heart (no, NOT food!) – zombies!

OK, so there isn’t a financial return (that’s not the point!) but I do get to help an aspiring film-maker realise his dream, along with a version of the finished film and (something that has been on my ‘bucket list’ for a long time) the chance to be a zombie extra during filming.

The brains (or should that be – “Braaaaains!”?) behind this movie (Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead) and the epic fundraising venture is a guy called A. D. Lane (@Indywoodfilms) who is either the most dedicated bloke I’ve ever come across or totally bonkers (or perhaps a lovely mixture of both 🙂 ). He practically lives on Twitter (when he’s not jaunting off to Bulgaria to film or following Wheatus around) where he is doing his best to raise the cash to bring his dream to life with some truly epic Tweetathons.

He’s already got a lot of support (financial and figurative) but could always do with more. And what better incentive than a free movie and the chance to get your Romero on and eat some brains* (*no actual brains will be eaten during filming)?! Producer packages start from just a tenner (and go alllllllll the way up to 5k) and you can donate by PayPal.

Whaddya think? Have you come over all Duncan Bannatyne (*pulls a face*)? Are you in? Check out the Indywood website  and the teaser trailer below.

Gribble-tinted spectacles

A week or so ago, my man and I went to see Saw 3D at Hull’s super snazzy, all singing, all dancing, digital extravaganza of a cinema, Vue in Prince’s Quay. Being 3D, we were given our glasses on the way in. Observant and gobby as ever, when I noted smears and streaks on the glasses, I pointed it out to the member of staff who told me that the glasses were ‘recycled’ but, she emphasised, are cleaned after each use. I’m big on reducing, reusing and recycling, so, in principle, I’m happy with this idea. However, the ‘gribble’ (a word I use to describe general muck – perhaps made up, I’m not sure) made me wonder just how well they are actually cleaned (if they are really cleaned at all!). If Vue has some kind of dishwasher/steamer, that’s magic. But if it’s a disinterested member of staff with a bit of washing-up liquid and a scabby dishcloth, I’m going to have serious reservations as to how well the job is done – I’ve seen some people’s idea of cleaning and it isn’t mine by a long shot.

As it happens, I had some anti-bacterial/anti-virus wipes (a win – more on those in future blogs no doubt) in my bag, so they got a good going over with that. The fact that mine had – wait for it – teethmarks on the arms made me feel a little bit queasy to be honest. I’m no clean freak by any stretch of the imagination, but, having had Norovirus a few years ago, I take reasonable steps to try to make sure I never get it (or anything like it) ever again.

I’ve heard that some cinemas give you a new pair each time and others (Cineworld I think) allow you to buy a pair to keep. 3D cinema seems to be getting more prevalent and, while I can take it or leave it to be honest (I think my eyes must be wired up wrong, I don’t find 3D particularly impressive at all), if it’s going to be more commonplace there should be some guidelines/reassurances when it comes to the hygiene of the glasses we have to wear (and pay more for too, don’t forget!).

I suppose it’s only the same as re-using cutlery in a restaurant but the fact that these glasses didn’t look clean at all is what made me think. I’d MUCH rather have my own pair, or perhaps the reusable ones should be supplied with a little anti-bac wipe? I dunno. I tweeted Vue about the issue, and they suggested I contact customer services. I had a, fairly swift, acknowledgement email from the manager of Hull Vue with an assurance that he’d look into it and get back to me shortly. I’m still waiting but I’ll let you know the upshot, if there is one.