Pablo Cheesecake and the iPod Conundrum

iPod Touch hacked in Apple StoreImage by Nelson Wu via Flickr

A number of years ago I bought the first generation iPod. I was excited by the hype and looked forward to having a decent MP3 player. For me, unfortunately, it just didn’t deliver. The control wheel was fiddly and if, like me, you have fingers like sausages it was near impossible to control. The whole experience left me apathetic toward Apple and their products.

I spent a number of years in the musical wilderness using a Sony MP3 player. It wasn’t bad but then again it wasn’t great either. Sony had their own proprietary file format at the time so it made maintaining my music collection a bit of a pain in the arse. I am essentially lazy and one thing I cannot abide is things being a faff.

About six months ago I decided to give iTunes another go. Things had moved on a lot in my absence and the software impressed me with it’s ease of use. Quickly it became a favourite and my catalogue of MP3s eventually found themselves a new home.

After much umming and ahhing about it I decided I would risk a new MP3 player. I was using iTunes so an iPod seemed the logical choice. this is were I hit my first snag. So many fuckin flavours. Classic, Touch, Nano, Shuffle. So many colours. Sizes a plenty. What is a boy to do?

I went back to the drawing board and tried to put together a list of criteria. What did I actually need my MP3 player for.

  • Music – Well Duh! no brainer there. Thinking about it however I did realise that my collection actually wasn’t that big. To be honest I haven’t but any new music for a long time as my musically tastes are firmly rooted in the past.
  • Additional Tech – Did I need to be able to watch video? Maybe. Did I need access to the web? There was a good chance!

It quickly became evident that a second gen 8GB iPod Touch would do the business.

I’ve had it for just over a week and I have to say I am impressed. The MP3 functions work seamlessly with iTunes. The web browser and apps available from the app store are all good.

Now I’m not gonna get evangelical about Apple. Like I said I was burnt in the past but so far so good. I like the Touch because it just works. I delivers and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Knowing me in six months there will be something else that seems more appealing but for the moment I’ll enjoy my new toy. I will have to try and stop playing with it every five minutes cause there is a good chance I could end up going blind.

Cheerio from deep within gadget nirvana

Cheesecake Away!

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Inglorious Cheesecake

Quentin Tarantino along with Itchy and Scratch...Image via Wikipedia

I do like Quentin Tarantino‘s films. He has an uncanny knack for producing dialogue that is quoteable, stories that watchable and picking just the right music for his soundtracks.

Pulp Fiction, Resevoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill they are all examples of what happens when you let a movie geek make films for other movie geeks to enjoy.

Inglorious Basterds is no different. Set during World War II Mr Tarantino uses uses the same techniques we’ve seen in his other films to blend together two separate narrative strands. The story of the Basterds, out to give every Nazi in occupied France a really hard time. As well as the story of Shoshanna Dreyfus a young Jewish woman hell bent on revenge.

Performances were all good. I particularly enjoyed Christoph Waltz as Col Hans Landa. He brought a nice kind of cheery menace to the role. Eli Roth was also worthy of note. I reckon QT just pointed the camera at him and said “Right Eli in this scene I want to you to go bug nuts insane”. It seems to have worked.

It strikes me that though this a war film Tarantino really does love his Westerns. For example there was a cracking Mexican standoff in a cellar that builds nice and slow but ends in a bloody mess.

Some nice cameos as well. Mike Myers as a British General . Samuel L Jackson and Harvey Kietel though not seen can be heard at a couple of points.

The music, as with all prior films, is as eclectic as ever. Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schfrin and David Bowie to name but a few.

All in all a great film.

Fuck two movie reviews in one day. I need a drink.

Ciao for now

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The Time Traveler’s Cheesecake

No movies this weekend. It’s a bank holiday so other arrangements are a foot. Last week, however, we managed to pull off a double header. I know as usual I have been a trifle remiss in making any sort of post but we’ve been busy in the House of Cheesecake.

We saw The Time Travelers Wife and Inglorious Basterds. I’ll do a separate blog post for Mr Tarantino’s latest mangnum opus. Look out for that soon.

In the meantime lets talk a little bit about The Time Travelers Wife. Based on the book by Audrey Niffenegger this is the story of a man who travels unpredictably in time and the woman who is left behind waiting for him.

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams do sterling work as the main characters. The story has a nice intimate feeling. As there are so few characters the viewer gets a lot of insight into how the couples life works or, at times, doesn’t.

The only problem I had is I’m a sucker for a happy ending and a think at best the ending of this film can be described as bittersweet. As frequent readers know I ain’t gonna spoil the thing by revealing too much but at the end of the day I felt that all of the characters were a bit hard done by.

On an almost totally unrelated point I was incredibly jealous of the house they ended up living in.

Oh I’ve come over all emotional now. I’m going to go a do something manly. Perhaps my thoughts about Inglorious.

Till some point later in time.

Viva La Cheesecake

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GI Joe: Rise of the Cheesecake

Today Mrs Cheesecake and I went to the cinema as usual. It’s been a while and after a cheeky little breakfast courtesy of Starbucks we decided some big budget nonsense was called for.

Directed by Stephen Sommers, GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra delivered exactly what I expected. I do so enjoy mindless brain candy of the highest order. Lots of explosions and pretty colours. The story was unquestionably stupid but who cares.

Summer Blockbuster Nonsense

Sommers always gives us spectacle and I for one am glad he does. Van Helsing had it’s detractors but damn it’s fun. Have you seen Deep Rising? go on now be honest. Quite possibly the silliest film ever but I think it’s fucking great. The Mummy is all good too.

According to IMDB Mr Sommers is involved in a version of Magic Kingdom for Sale which could be interesting. Big fan of Terry Brooks and as I said earlier Sommers can do epic scale. Not sure about remaking When Worlds Collide though.

In other news Mrs Cheesecake and I are currently debating purchasing IPods. She is keen on a Classic with all of it’s storage capacity while I am more inclined toward the Touch cause I is all about the widgets and fanciness. I think in this instance we will have to agree to disagree. Come back soon and I’m sure you will discover we have probably got one of each.

Software wise I have switched from Digsby to Trillian Alpha. I find it useful to manage all of my IM/Social Networking accounts in one place. I was disturbed to learn that Digsby ad some rather nasty crapware in the new install package and that they have some sneaky things going on in the their licence agreement so it had to go. Trillian seems to be all good so far but I will continue to be vigilant.

Pablo Cheesecake – Installing pointless software so you don’t have to!

Later Peoples

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All Quiet on the Pablo Cheesecake Front

Haven’t blogged recently. Not sure why. I guess I just haven’t felt the urge. Everything has been pretty quiet of late. Not seen any new movies since Harry Potter (Which incidentally I can’t even be bothered to review).

Mrs Cheesecake and I did see Bill Bailey last week which was a good night out. I have to admit to being very jealous of his musical prowess and he is also very amusing. Turns out on the horizon we now have a large number of comedy gigs.

I would say that is a pretty eclectic bunch. Look forward to seeing them all over the coming months.

In gadge related news I caved a purchased a copy of Windows 7. I have been testing the pre-release for a while and found it vastly superior to Vista so will be happy to make the change. I also purchased a Samsung Jet S8000. I have to say I’m pretty pleased with it. It is better than my previous phone and has some nice little widgets and function that allow for social networking to continue easily when I am out and about.

I know what your thinking look at the picture. “Pablo that ain’t no iPhone!” You know what your right but after weighing up the pros and cons and suffering many a long dark night of the soul I had to be honest with myself and go for the phone the best fit my requirements. So there *blows raspberry at reader*

Mrs Cheesecake’s birthday approaches but I cannot and will not divulge anything via this blog. She will have to wait and see. For once I have been proactive and hopefully will not disappoint!

The great British summer time continues to be miserably shitty. One week of blistering hot weather and then crap ever since. It has been so wet I have not been able to cut the grass and now I’m sure it will take chuffing ages to do when the weather does finally improve.

On a more positive note there is Carbonara for dinner this evening so I really shouldn’t grumble should I?

Till next we meet

Ciao from the Cheesecake

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Scotland – Get it up ye! – A Love Letter

I was sitting drinking a can of Irn Bru and it struck me that Scotland is a truly bizarre place. Don’t get me wrong I love it dearly and wouldn’t change a thing but there are some fantastically odd things that seem to just happen there and nowhere else. So for your delectation and delight a run down on what is great about the world’s most eccentric country.

  • Deep fried food – It’s true your average Scottish punter will deep fry anything. If it’s not nailed down it’s fair game. Traditionally fish, sausage, haggis or more obscurely pizza, Mars bars, ice cream. I have even seen Cadbury’s Cream Eggs deep fried at Easter. I can feel my arteries hardening from here. Arrgh I hear you cry that sounds terrible. Wrong…this is proof positive of some higher power in the universe. These tasty deep fried treats exist to soak up alcohol like it is going out of fashion. They can extend a drinking session by hours, in some cases days.
  • Men in skirts – The Scotsman has always been stereotypically portrayed as a hard man. Is this something to do with a national costume that is guaranteed to illicit sniggers? Honestly though as it goes wearing a kilt is a pretty cool experience ( I mean that literally and metaphorically). I wore a kilt when I got married and wouldn’t have done it any other way.
  • Haggis – Made from God knows what (adhering to a strict don’t ask, don’t tell policy) the mighty Haggis is Scotland’s national dish. The great thing about it is that you can try it all over the country and you will get slight variations every single time. When a Haggis is served it does like like the culinary equivalent of a dare but I advise you to give it a go. You will be pleasantly surprised and remember some poor bastard was up at the crack of dawn catching it for you!

I could wax lyrical about so much more that is Scotland. The historic landmarks, the stunning natural beauty, the culture and history but when it all comes down to its all about my list above. Foods based on a dare and men in skirts! I demand you all go there now and check it out.

Later people of the world

Cheesecake out.

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One Relish to rule them all

As frequent readers of my blog are no doubt aware I like to push the boundaries when it comes to exploring the human condition. One of the most commonly used ways to do this is a quest of some sort. My personal quest is to create the perfect sandwich. Previous attempts to achieve this perfection can be accessed below.

There’s been a burger

The fishy finger of fate…

… a perfect sandwich

Recently a have made some startling progress. I have discovered an ingredient which works on any savoury sandwich. That’s right anyone. A bold claim I’ll grant you but it doesn’t stop it from being true. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you ……….Branston Gherkin Relish

There aren’t words in the English language to describe how good this stuff is. Do yourself a favour buy some immediately! Based on the fact I crave it daily I can only assume that the flavour boffins at Branston have managed to meld crack and gherkins into a tasty sauce.

Other than my never ending sandwich saga I have managed to see a few movies recently. Behold my micro-reviews!

The Good – Better of Dead – He’s ski with only one ski!

The Bad – Twilight – Why is Cederic Diggory fuckin twinkling?

and the downright bizarre – The Spirit – Ok I can’t even begin to understand what the fuck is occurring here???

Later blogsphere

ta ta

Mr Cheesecake

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On the Road – Day 5, 6 and 7

We moved on to Penzance and after taking a quick wonder round the town we moved on to St Michael’s Mount. The weather was again was great and we spent our afternoon wondering around the castle, gardens and enjoying a Cornish cream tea al-fresco.

By day 6 Mrs Cheesecake and I were starting to feel strain of our constant traveling so decided to stay in Flamouth for the day. We shopped extensively and Mrs Cheesecake picked up some bargain Doc Martens! Lilac patent boots! She even managed to blag a child size as she has tiny feet. We also popped to the local cinema and caught Transformers 2.

Our final day saw us visit the very southern tip of Great Britain. I looked forward to seeing Land’s End and I wasnt disappointed. There was even a Doctor Who exhibition.

This little holiday has proven to me what I already suspected. The UK has some fantastic places to see and it is wholly worthwile seeking them out.

Later peeps

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On the Road – Day 3 & 4

As I mentioned in my last post we had decided that we would check St Ives on the 3rd day in Cornwall. We arrived earlier and wondered about looking in all the shops. There were a number of pasty shops so around lunchtime I sampled the delights of cheese and bacon in a pasty format. I reckon that by the end of the week my waistline will have reached some kind of critical mass.

After pasty nirvana we headed to the beach. I have to say that the beach at St Ives is pretty spectacular. The sand is very fine. The water a lovely blue. So much so that I ended going swimming and burning my feet really badly laying about in the sand.

Day four started with trip on a speedboat which was exceptionally cool.

We were hoping to see some local wildlife but all was quiet. The journey was great though.
After the excitement we moved on to Pendennis Castle. This fantastic location offered fantastic views of Falmouth and the rest of the coast.

Tomorrow Penzance !

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On The Road – Days 1 and 2

As promised to all those back in the office. I told you I would blog. Please sit back and enjoy my insights into Cornwall and all the joys there are to behold.

Falmouth a very large natural harbour and very busy by modern standards. It splits quite nicely between the industrial and the traditional.

When we arrived on Saturday lunchtime Mrs Cheesecake and I had the opportunity to explore the old streets and discovered quickly that almost every potential cuisine is available. My quest for the perfect Cornish Pasty had begun!

Day Two saw our first proper expedition. We hit the road after a hearty full English and headed for surfer’s paradise, Newquay. Again the weather has been good and I fear I may burn. I had the opportunity to have my first pasty for lunch today. Steak and Stilton. A winner! I have heard a rumour that there is a pasty shop in St Ives where you can buy a pasty that can be worn like a hat. Can you guess where I am going tomorrow.

We checked out the beach which has a crazy Bond style house sitting on top of a cliff that can only be accessed via suspension bridge. I even had the chance to for a bit of a paddle. Water as expected feckin freezing.

We also headed to the Blue Reef Aquarium and got the see all the cool fishes and some really fuckin fuggly ones too.

As an aside on our way between Falmouth and Newquay Mrs Cheesecake and I found the following. It was so funny we had to stop the car on the way back so we could take a picture.. Never let it be said that I ain’t highbrow.

Who knows what tomorrows voyage of discovery will bring. Come back soon to find out.


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