Treadmilling Gibbs

When I think back to the early days of NCIS, I know I only watched for the sake of David McCallum, and he didn’t disappoint. I found the writing pretty good and enjoyed most weeks’ viewing. Going away on holiday, however, I didn’t feel the need to catch up on missed episodes.

I didn’t particularly like Gibbs. That lasted until towards the end of season two when I finally found I could like him.

Thinking back to those sentiments, I’ve felt I must have missed something. That I was slow. But I’m finding the same thing all over again.

I got myself a treadmill, which is a frightfully boring activity, so I need entertainment as I ‘go.’ My ambition is to walk my way through all thirteen seasons of NCIS, unless I walk so slowly that it’s fourteen by then. Or more.

Walking chronologically with the NCIS team, I have rediscovered my early lack of enthusiasm for Gibbs. And with hindsight, because I know how his character has developed, he is behaving illogically. He was happier at the start than he was later, despite him supposedly mourning Shannon and Kelly. (While kissing Mrs Bellisario as the mystery woman in many episodes.)

He’s quite a jokey man at times, and both he and Kate do the film stuff later left to DiNozzo.

The other thing that grates is how the whole team – including the experienced Gibbs – learn as they go. I assume this is for the benefit of the viewers, but with hindsight it feels nonsensical.

Still, it’s fun. I’ll tread on.

Trekking

OK, so it’s reasonably acceptable to be a Trekkie, isn’t it? I mean, it’s more than being a fan of a television show, and has escalated to an obsession within the hearts of, well, quite a few fans. We know this.

While the cat’s away – i.e. while the Resident IT Consultant treks round a few Swiss mountains – I have been mainlining NCIS. It’s not that he doesn’t watch or like it. But he doesn’t obsess, or feel the need to watch an episode again. And again. (Train videos are something else, obviously.) He has the same restraint I have regarding NCIS: Los Angeles. I like it and don’t object to the odd repeat, but there is no craving. And I wouldn’t dream of watching a Good Wife episode again. I think…

So what am I? Is there a good word for an NCIS obsession? Trekkie is such a marvellous term.

Ziva, DiNozzo and Gibbs

I feel it calms me down, watching an old episode. Or six, or twelve. And I suspect you can’t have this kind of relationship with lots of shows. More than one, maybe. But it’s like favourite food; you don’t even need to stop and consider what you’re about to eat/watch. You just do.

And I’d like a term for it.

But while most people will know Star Trek, even if they never watch, I have a sneaking suspicion that despite NCIS being the number one in America, it’s still not a household show title.

Cole and Gibbs

And by adding another sentence here I was able to add another picture… Obsessed? Moi?

Gibbs

(Photos © CBS)

Old fogeys at Fästningsterrassen

They don’t want old fogeys like me and GP Cousin at Fästningsterrassen in Varberg. And to be perfectly honest, we don’t want them there either.

I like new edgy architecture as much as the next person, and unlike GP Cousin, I thought the new, rusty metal lift looked pretty good. I suspect Hamlet himself would have liked it, had he seen what’s been done to his castle.

What’s more, now that I’ve visited, I can – almost – see how you could achieve most of what the new management want, while keeping the fogeys mostly satisfied as well. Or at least not making them wish they’d died before seeing the ruins of this cultural heritage.

Because that’s really the point; ruining a traditional setting that ought to have been protected by law. I don’t mind poncy new restaurants wanting to fleece their customers by charging twice as much for food and drink than it warrants, or doing so in newly designed premises. If I feel like being fleeced, I can totally see myself going some place like that.

What I object to is that they were allowed near one of the most beautiful places on the Swedish west coast, that they were allowed to strip it down completely, and then that they didn’t even get a decent design job done in the ruins. So far, there is no paving down where people expect to sit. It’s been two years since the old place closed, and heavy diggers sitting around is not the look you want when fleecing.

The toilets… Yes, a definite improvement on the old portaloo behind the stage. But if that architect had thought a little, there could have been space made for the toilet paper dispenser and the waste bin and the customer. You know, without the need to hold your breath and cross your arms in front of you.

I admit, the prawn sandwich was as great as always. Great in size, and great for flavour. Great in price, as well, obviously. The cake was bought in, and not local. It seemed identical to what you find in many other overpriced cafés. Fogeys notice this kind of thing, whereas I suspect the preferred beautiful young customers wouldn’t have a clue and couldn’t care less.

Friendly service, even towards old fogeys. I might visit once a year, for the view, and for the prawns. And I wish them well. I’d hate for my beloved Fästnings-terrass to have been ruined for no good reason.

A stab at design

Benny is no more. Don’t worry. He’s not dead (at least I hope not), but the place that was named after this man whose name was not actually Benny, has now changed. Not beyond all recognition, but enough.

It doesn’t do pizzas. Even though the post-Benny pizzas were never as good, nor the place as nice to visit, they were pizzas. Now it is tea and coffee, sandwiches, cake and savoury pies. The place has been spruced up (but they are still intending to close for the next four weeks to decorate…), and it is selling souvenirs. Seasidey things, and hoodies and t-shirts with the [now] correct latitude/longitude printed on them.

Stabbe Design hoodie in Atlanta

We had been forbidden by Daughter to visit without her, but when I saw on Facebook this morning that it was today or not at all, we were given reluctant permission to go. So we had a tea and a coffee where we used to have pizza.

This closing your business is clearly a Swedish thing. 17 years ago we noticed Benny’s was being done up, but with an opening date just after we’d gone home. And when we returned at the end of the summer, he’d gone on holiday and it was already closed. I think we are doomed as far as this geographical spot is concerned. If and when we come again this year, they are bound to have closed. Again.

But they accepted my old, almost extinct, 50 kronor note as payment, which was generous of them.

And we’ll be back. Next summer, or perhaps the year after, depending on how our dates coincide. We weren’t hungry enough to eat anything, which is why there is no report on how good anything tasted. It looked nice and tasty.

(Stabbe Design)

(And a wee bit of googling had me back on my own blog, as it seems I have already – very briefly – blogged about the owner of this new café. I still haven’t had time to read the book… Sorry.)

Encounters

Over a meal out the other week we got talking about what famous people we had come across in the wild. Apparently meeting them through ‘work’ like blogging, did not qualify. You had to just happen upon them.

Various semi-famous people were mentioned, but the discussion felt a bit lacklustre. What’s a Jeremy Paxman in Blackwell’s or an Alistair Darling at airport security? I mean, really? The best Son came up with was flying with Gordon Brown. Daughter didn’t even think to mention her own flying with Pilou Asbæk.

I felt I had something to add, but it took me a while to remember Agnetha Fältskog at Heathrow (as we have a flying theme). Jan Malmsjö in the post office might not count, as I worked there. But Daughter found someone from one of those shows I never watch at our former post office. Or was it the greengrocer’s?

We came to the conclusion that the winner was the Resident IT Consultant’s cousin who volunteered the fact that she had danced with John Travolta.

(The niggling feeling that I was forgetting someone, finally matured when I remembered my Cliff Richard and Cilla Black encounter at the theatre. But they don’t beat Travolta, since I didn’t dance with either of them.)

NCIS – Family First

Nature – i.e. the rain outside – cried with us as we watched the end of DiNozzo. As expected, a little bit bad and sad, and a little bit good. They can’t kill everyone off, but at least this way some characters won’t be coming back other than as ghosts. (I honestly didn’t think they’d do what they did.)

Abby, McGee, Bishop, Palmer and DiNozzo

I’ll miss Trent Kort. Why did they have to make him all right for a while? Think of the time he called on Gibbs as his only friend and ally, in Dead Reckoning. That was fun.

Fornell isn’t dead. He’s merely got beautiful toenails. Let’s see if they let him back again or not. I’m wondering if this Tess is intended to become the new Fornell? Though I believe the character is meant to have to prove herself in order to remain.

I quite like MI6, Clayton Reeves, who is going to be our next DiNozzo. Similar and different at the same time. They could – probably – not go for another female agent (except the loan of Tess from FBI), so they went black, and foreign.

Wonder if we’ll see DiNozzo Sr again? It’s odd when one actor’s decision to leave affects another actor’s possibilities.

DiNozzos Jr and Sr

The shrink is slowly growing on me, but I hope Dr Taft will return some time too.

As I said, it ‘rained’ a little in the house as we watched. Halfway, when we found out that … and met .., even I felt I might blub a little. It’s tough saying goodbye.

Ducky, DiNozzo and Palmer

So no summer cliffhanger, and it’s only through news articles we know about Clayton. Here’s to a peaceful summer break, with a few sniffles over Tony, but otherwise just looking ahead to what season 14 will bring.

Season 14! Doesn’t that sound impossibly advanced?

NCIS – Homefront

‘The scriptwiters are crazy,’ Daughter said after watching NCIS – Homefront, and after watching it myself, I have to agree.

Who?

Did they really kill..? OK, having looked at next week’s episode description, maybe not. Or at least not yet. But how very dare they?

No DiNozzo at all, which I suppose was meant to break us in for the time when there will be no DiNozzo. Thought I’d never say this, but it was actually a bit boring without him.

They upset a lot of fans by having the First Lady as herself (well, probably even more so had she acted some other part…), which I had no problem with at all. I’d been sort of looking forward to it after I heard, although I would have liked it better still if she had been sprung on us without warning. There is nothing quite like surprise. After all, the President himself had already been on the other end of a phone line, so the next logical step was to have someone in front of the camera. First the real Director of NCIS. Then the real SecNav. Twice.

I thought Mrs Obama did really well, considering she was up against real actors.

Michelle Obama

And I can understand why they did it. It’s a worthy enough charity and they obviously want to be seen to support it, which I agree with. But I would rather they had written a fun plot to support the support, so to speak. This was at most a rather pedestrian episode, with a weird child and not much else.

McGee

I can see how Gibbs’s house can’t be a ‘safe house’ much longer. Every villain in town must have heard they take people to his house by now. I recommend blinds. Possibly locks on the door. Caution, even.

Abby was too flaky, even for Abby, with her #LivingRocks. And nothing quite beats a setting in ‘good old England,’ pubs and all. Hard to distingush between England and Ireland, really. Sheep. Shotguns. Green valleys. That kind of thing.

Fornell and Vance

(Photos © CBS)