Netflix or LoveFilm?

Greetings to you!

Hope your weekend was as good as mine, I had a lovely time, the right balance of fun, family and friends … music, dancing and luuuvvv! 🙂

Don’t ask, cos I never tell!

Anyhoo .. back to the point of the story.

At home, I’m with Virgin Media as my Broadband, TV and Telephone provider .. its a pretty good service at 60Mb download speeds for a pretty reasonable cost including a second set-top box, free landline calls that I never use, 200 tv channels which are largely shit apart from the Scottish Premier League on BT Sports .. and as I’m a Celtic fan thats what matters to me most sports wise.

You will know that the expensive part is when you add in a Sky subscription to either their movies (£27pm) or sports(£35pm) or combined at £41pm for their HD packages.

I used to have these until about a year and realised that I barely watched the movies and hardly watched the sports as most of the times I’m at the game or can get it on another feed such as Celtic TV without paying the cost of the SKY subscription.

Any movies that I really want to go and see, I’ll go and see at the cinema, and It doesmt matter to me if I’m watching other movies that aren’t brand spanking new on my tv because they are new to me .. or all my old favourites like Pulp Fiicion, Reservoir Dogs, Elf, Anchor Man etc that I have on DVD anyway.

So you get the picture … 🙂

A year ago, I cut my costs dropped my Sky packages and took out subscriptions to both Netflix ( streaming only ) and Lovefiilm’s streaming service.

These are both relatively cheap compared with Sky’s subscription costs, the quality of picture is great , the only downside is the lack of current content, particularly for movies which seem to be a few years behind.

My experience until recently was that Lovefilm had more recent movies but Netflix had better tv content including broadcasting the latest episodes of Breaking Bad the day after they were broadcast in the US … Now I don’t watch a lot of tv but that is a fantastic series which I’ve raved about on these pages previously.

Over the past year, Netflix has done quite a bit of catching up with Lovefilm’s movie content and their movies has become more recent, now only lagging by a year whereas Lovefilms content has been relatively static.

I was on Loveflm for the first time in a while this weekend, looking at their latest releases and nothing seems to have changed over the past few months which is very disappointing. Their latest releases include Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes which is at least 2 years old, probably 3.

Obviously this will be part of their licencing agreement and I expect that this is hindered by the fact that its owned by Amazon and they;d rather attempt to make more money from selling us the movie than streaming it.

The other advantage for choosing these streaming services over Sky is that I can I give my kids my logon details and they can watch the movies in thier bedrooms without the need for additional set-top boxes or when they are staying at their mums.

For me, I like the fact that my Netflix subscription is available as an app on my Apple Tv and will stream full HD content without the need for any other devices.

Although I recently purchased a Samsung BD-6500 Blu-ray player which has all the catch up tv services and will stream both LoveFilm and Netflix, this is rather clunky in its interface compared with the Apple Tv. ( 75 quid from Amazon much cheaper than $99 from the Apple store )

So with the movie content being similiar, better tv shows and availability on apple tv, Netflix was coming out on top and I’m close to cancelling my Lovefilm subscription.

That however took a slight twist this weekend .. its still new so bear with me for a minute.

If you are an Apple user, you will know that if you have an iPad then you can stream the content from your iPad to your Apple Tv .. well you can with most things, but SKY blocks this somehow or other.

What I found yesterday, was that if you set up a VPN ( Virtual Private Network for those non-techies ) then with a little effort, download an app,, allow it to configure the settings and for a £10pa ( yes per annum ) subscription, then you can access Netflix or indeed any site as if you were in the USA .. nett results .. all of the latest content from the USA on your ipad no matter where you are in the world.

In my case, I have downloaded Hotspot Shield from the app store to my ipad ( could also work from my iphone) then starting Netflix as normal, it brings up the latest US content, then I can wither watch it on the iPad or airplay it to my Apple tv and tv in full HD.

My experience and its only been for a few hours watching Skyfall, Reservoir Dogs and Trainspotting, none of which are available on Netflix UK is that the quality is unaffected by the extra jump in using the VPN or the fact that I’m streaming from servers based in the USA rather than the UK.


Tonight ., I’ll give it a go with Lovefilm and determine if the content streamed from the USA is any better than the UK

But right now, Netflix looks like the clear winner for me.

A fex examples of the VPN set up below.

The New Man!

Hey, how you doing?

Hope you’re weekend was as good as mine?

Mines was quiet, had a curry with my dad and kids on Saturday night and tummy was upset .. lets not go there!

For some reason, largely unexplained by her, I’ve had my daughter all weekend, she doesn’t seem to like my ex’s new man as he’s fat, lazy, slow, hogs the remote control and my ex panders to him.

Actually, having met him a couple of times, he’s qute a nice guy, wee fat and baldy as my daughter says but if my ex is happy then I’m happy for her.

My concern is my daughter being in a house with some strange guy and my ex having a habit of hitting the sauce now and then, so of course I checked him out.

I’m a dad right?

I don’t have any problems with the guy at all .. apart from the fact that my ex lets him chain-smoke in the house .. thats her call, but just not acceptable as far as I’m concerned.

So the weekend was mainly family, although Sunday I had a fantastic walk/run from Caldercruix to Bathgate, its about 13 miles and we managed to run about 50% of it so I’m pretty pleased with that.

It was a cold crisp clear moring, the cycle path was empty and full of frost and black ice, a great day for walking as long as you’re well wrapped up and generate your own heat.

Check the pic of Hillend Loch below with the clear sky and the hills reflected in the water. Absolutley beautiful.

Last night, started my Argentinian Tango dance lessons .. hhhmmm..

We had great fun, throughly enjoyed it and looking forward to the next one.

Feeling good this morning .. like a new man!

The Argentinian Tango Basic 8 Steps


I’ve seen that face before? ( Libertango)

Friday …

And I really should do some work, but I can’t be arsed!

Blancmange gave it a miss and went late night shopping instead, correct decision.

Christmas is coming and its time to get my finger out and start buying the pressies rather than leaving it to the last minute.

But I got distracted ( no surprise there ) and treated myself rather than buying anything for anyone else.

Am I bad? .. nope .. I do enough for everyone else most of the time.

Check this out ..

The Samsung BDF6500 3D Blueray and Media Streamer .. the only one with all tv catch up services as well as NetFlix and Lovefilm as well as Facebook, Twitter and a Web-Browser built in.

For under a 100 quid .. bargain!

My advice, buy an ordinary high def tv and a smart player .. rather than a more expenisve smart tv.

This weekend .. guess what I’m doing?

Nothing .. nowt .. nada .. zero .. zip and zilch.

Having a quiet one, taking it easy and getting ready for a busy week ahead.

Going a 10 mile run on Sunday so staying completely sober on Saturday.

Oh yeah .. forgot .. starting an Argentinian Tango dance class .. looking forward to that.

Should be a complete hoot!

What a complete babe Nicole Whatsherface is in that second clip.

I’ve seen that face before?

I wish, but I was referring to that sexy song by Grace Jones

Living On The Ceiling?

Thursday night …

And Blancmange play Broadcast in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street.

Remember them?

Those 80’s almost one hit wonders, well they had a couple of chart hits, but only one real biggie Livving On The Ceiling.

I loved dancing to that back in the day, even although the lyrical content is absolute nonsense!

Who cares, we were young and having fun.

If I heard it in a club today, I’d still be up there dancing to it.

Other lesser “hits” include Blind Vision and a cheesy electronic version of ABBA’s The Day Before You Came.

Just listening to that now .. see link below .. fuck me that is pish!! 🙂

I’m swithering, I’d like to see them for old times sake, but is it worth it?

Surely the fact that they are playing a Glasgow venue that I’ve never heard of before tells you something?

I wonder who would go and see them?

Fellow travellers holding on to the memories of their youth?

Hhhhmmmm .. maybe something’s are better left in the past!

Being The Bigger Person!

It’s been almost a week since I updated the blog .. so a wee update so its not feeling neglected.

Life just does that sometimes.

You intend to contact your friend, but before you know it, time has passed and the moment is lost.

I didn’t write anything last Friday, I was at the funeral of my Great Aunt Jean, my grampa’s youngest brothers wife and the last of her generation.

She had a good run did our Auntie Jean, 90 years of age and was smiling to the end, okay so Dementia was kicking in but she was still compus-mentis most of the time and really enjoyed it when any of her nephews came along.

Her cremation was in the same places as my mums, kind of poignant, sitting there, looking round at a lot of the same faces, dad, brothers, uncles, aunties and cousins and thiking about the amount of times my family have been in that crematorium.

But like mums, it wasn’t a sad afffair.

Lives lived long and full should be celebrated.

Obviously there was osme grief too, Jeans two daughters were quite distraught.

I wonder if they regret living so far away from her and not having a lot of contact with her despite the fact that she’s been living in a care home for the past two years? Yes, they paid for it and she had the best of care, but I know what she would have really liked.

I wonder if they meant to get in touch with her, but were too busy and the moment was lost.

I wonder if they were distraught for the loss of their mum or was guilt haivng an effect?

A bit of both I think.

A wee warning to you .. and to me too .. learn from it.

People aren’t here for ever, so contact them now, whether thats family or friends, whethertime is short oreve if there is an awkwardness between you, some perceived issue which has made communication difficult, don’t let something stupid affect the rest of your life and theirs too..

Be the bigger person, make the effort and give them a call or drop them a line.

I’m sure that they will be delighted to hear from you.

Anyhoo .. the funeral was great fun.

Yes I did say that!

A few tables full of my brothers and cousins ripping the pish out of each other .. thats what life is about.

I’m sure Auntie Jean would have loved it if she was there.

A wee song for Jean, one of her favourites and personally I think this is the best version too.

It’s just a fantastic love song, don’t apprecaite your loved ones after their gone, do it now.

Happy Halloween!

If you’re partying .. have a great time!!

No parties for me tonight, taking my daughters out for dinner as can’t be arsed with all the local kids including the ones you’ve never saw before coming round the door with their trick or treat begging bowls.

It defintely isn’t it like the good old days?

You did a song or told a joke and received an apple and a handful of monkey nuts in reward.

Yeah fantastic! 🙂

But having kids, I entered into the sprit .. that was until a couple of years ago ..

I had about 100 goodie bags fully of crisps, sweets and a pound coin each .. I thought that was fairly generous.

The bags went down pretty well and shifted quickly.

But some little over piviledged, stuck up, fat red-haired bastard from along the street says .. “is that it?”

Ungrateful ugly little fuck .. never again I thought.

I was sorely tempted to run over the wheel of his bike the next time he left it in the middle of the street .. but that would be bad!!

A pic from last year, had a great night .. wish I was partying!

Have fun whatever you are doing!!

Walk On The Peaceful Side!

Sadly, Lou Reed died over the weekend, sadly, yes sadly because no matter what he did or didn’t do, he was a person, creative, outgoing, argumentative and vulnerable.

Lou’s musical career starting with The Velvet Underground and even his early solo career with Bowie was way before my time.

The earliest I can remember hearing him was when a still image version of Walk On The Wild Side was aired on Top Of The Pops around 1975.

Even in the short snippet that was shown, It was vastly different to anything else around in the charts back at the time. All that glam-rock poppy crap, the Osmonds, middle of the road, Leo Sayer, poppy shit.

It didn’t just sounded differently, basser and basic with his gravelly monotone, but the lyrical content with its overt sexuality of homo- and transexual natures was outrageous at the time.

Holly came from Miama FLA .. What does FLA mean?
Hitch-hiked her way across the USA .. Okay.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way .. Why?
Shaved her legs and then he was a she .. Eh????

Certainly had this boy paying attention and all of my mates in our formative years, intrigued but staid back in Glasgow circa 1975

I was barely a teenager at the time, but the question has to be asked. … If it was that dubious .. how come it was so popular that it made the charts?

Truth is, people like a bit of dirt, they like to play along with the dangerous side, not ever going there but they like to think they know.

Lou was often described as a musical geuius was undoubtedly a flawed character.

Oh do you think?

Well who made you God?

If you think that the man was flawed, then at least remember your own failings first before you start throwing stones.

As it happens, I do think the man was flawed, but I’m sure he had his plus points too.

Don’t we all?

But I’d never slag him off because of it and certainly not when the man isn’t even cold.

What a shocking epilogue the Daily Mail has given him today .. I’m loathe to provide a link and give them the hits, but read this, it comes across as sad, bitter and vitriolic as if there was a personal grudge involved.

Shame on them.

Although I do like their line Walk On The Peaceful side, pretty incongruous with the rest of the article but I do agree with at sentiment.

As a balance, a more positive review from the Guardian

I like his retort about how he stays creative, so do I!! 🙂

Be peaceful Lou.

Sunshine On Leith – No More

Bloody hell ….

You know that song by the The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith?

Well if you read back here on here, you know that I love it.

It’s such an open-hearted love song, that cuts to the chase, the guy puts his feelings right out there and tells the girl how grateful he is to have her in his life and to help him live again.


Maybe, but we’ve all been there.

I was at The Proclaimers on Saturday night at The Hydro.

Lets say they were average, the anthems Letter From America, 500 Miles, Lets Get Married etc, were superb.

But the rest, or most of the rest was filler, mundane at best and dirge at worst.

Okay, they finished on a few biggies which had the crowd going, including me and there were smiles all around when leaving the stadium.

Harsh but fair? I hope so.

As for The Hydro itself, I’ve been a couple of times now and its undoutedly a great venue, stunning looking form the outside with its bright lights and easy access to the important tjhings like bars and toilets.

But this was the first time I’ve been in the seated area .. hopefully the last.

The arena itself is too big and you are too far away from the performers to feel any connection with them. You can only really watch it on the big screens at the side, so you’d be as well just watching it on DVD in the house.

Very Disappointing.

Anyhoo, thats all preamble.

Having left the gig with the feel-good factor, I went to see movie Sunshine On Leith, a tale of love and loss set in Edinburgh and based around The Proclaimers greatest hits and feeding on their popularity with the Scottish audience.

I should have bloody known .. seriously .. slaps himself in face and asks will you ever learn?

What was I expecting?

A Scottish version of Mama-Mia?

Well thats exactly what I got only on a miniscule scale, lesser stars and a much smaller budget.

Jeez .. it was terrible from start to finish.

The funny parts weren’t funny, the sad parts were so obviously trying to manipulate your emotions that it was cringeable.

One of the main stars, Peter Mullan has always been a hero of mine, the man has a great social conscious, I’ve been a fan since his early days in the 9:84 company at The Citizens Theatre and his first drama I was aware of The Steamie has a personal significance as I remember helping my mum along to our local baths with the bags of laundry.

But this was awful, terrible screen-writing, predictable dialogue and the singing was woeful.

The big love scene at the end and the dance routine at Edinburghs Mound was particularly cringe inducing.

I hate to say it but I laughed out loud with nervous embarrassment. I wasn’t the only one.

But don’t take my word for it, go and see it, you won’t believe how bad it is.

A fantastic advert for Edinburgh tho, it is indeed a beautiful city.

I have a great affection for The Proclaimers, they were fantastic on their short set when they opened this years T In The Park.

But no more please!!

How Soon Is Now?

Love this song, love the video from Johnny Marr covering The Smiths song playing the guitar riffs he made so famous.

Particularly love the following lines ..

I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

The full crowd singing that at T In The Park earlier this year was pretty special.

Love those lyrics of angst and desperation.

But just how soon is now?

How Soon is Now?

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

There’s a club if you’d like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die

When you say it’s gonna happen “now”
well, when exactly do you mean?
see I’ve already waited too long
and all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

Karma For Contractors!

Isn’t Karma a real bitch?

I wrote the following couple of articles a few months ago when I had my contract terminated to be replaced by Non-EU workers.

I was a bit upset about it at the time, of course I was, contracts are a bit thin on the ground with the current economic climate and I really really do not want to go staff anywhere, I’m much too independent and opinionated for that.

So I did what I could, I discussed the offer, higlighted the skill differences, got a better offer and took the money,, so I’m still here.

3 months later, the project has moved on.

My part is about finished, well phase 1 anyway, there is a phase 2 to be started soon and I’ve just extended my contract for another 3 months.

However … the Non-EU guys, nice enough people, can’t actually write code to save themselves.

I’m currently reviewing their code and it simply doesn’t work, mnre so, they have done their own test documentation for this .. and they have stated in writing that it works and signed off on it, but their documentation and testing has missed the point.

Just because the code runs, doesn’t mean that it actually works!!

There is no evidence of positive or negative test cases, no evidence of testing each path in the code or validation of input parameters etc.

Am I loving it?

Naah, that would be below me!! 🙂

I’m just calmly higlighting the failings to the Project Managers and letting them decide.

But what did make me laugh today is that one of the main UK Contractor groups has published the following article, slating the use of Non-EU workers at the company where I work and highlightig the fact that these offshore workers pay less tax than us poor UK employees.

The UK Govenment getting more tax in was which was the full point of this exercise looks like its failed miserably.

Moreso, The HR people here have also confirmed that when they moved from employing independent contractors to offloading the work to managed service companies like Syntel, they never intended Syntel to bypass UK Borders Agency rules and employ non-EU workers,

Hopefully they change their policy as a result of this.

Have a read and smile with me.

Rod And The Hydro Opening Night .. Looks Amazing!