Monthly Archives: May 2010

Simultaneous speech

If you can bear Mark Harmon being interviewed in German, with the simultaneous interpreter out-talking him most of the time, then head over to this site. Mark looks like he understands German, he tries some very foul coffee and he has to play a toy game of soccer. Though it sounds like he reckons he’s better at computers than Gibbs is. Not that that is saying a lot.

And I’m so glad I don’t watch NCIS dubbed.

They should have known

On the basis of hearing only the quick run-through of the Eurovision contestants, I quite liked Norway’s entry. I didn’t waste all evening on this event by watching every minute. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously. After all, I’m not British.

If and when Britain can be serious about Eurovision, they will most likely do well, or at least better, again. Winning is not a God-given right. And I feel that Terry Wogan took being rude about Eurovision a little more seriously than Graham Norton did. He didn’t even seem to twig when the FYR Macedonian vote lady spoke pretty good Australian. Did anyone notice that the male Norwegian presenter could also speak Icelandic? Or the excellence of the Greek vote person’s Norwegian? It’s such a happy multi-language talent event!

And does anyone sit around making snide remarks on live television quite like the British commentator? Not even sure he’s aware of any old history between the host country and the winning country, but never mind that, eh?

Very pleased for the German winner. Maybe they should have warned contestants that if they win, they need to sing their blasted song again. As did Spain. Didn’t think much of the clowns.

Although watching the whole thing (well, not the whole thing as I said earlier, but all that I did watch) in Sweden, I watched the BBC version. For technical reasons. Son’s English Uppsala neighbour had gone off to Norway to watch it live. Good for him.

How many of you spotted the Norwegian Crown Princess and her children cavorting around, while the cameras panned all over the world, showing us people who were having a good time?

We agreed at the end that we like the Eurovision tune the best, and you don’t hear it nearly enough in the UK.

The music crossword

Having made my way to Sweden again, I was in the perfect position to listen to and solve the music crossword on the radio this morning. Except I slept in, and only did what I normally do, which is read the blog written by Enn Kokk. He does this crossword every week, and blogs about it immediately, complete with all the right answers. He’s a music fan, so knows a lot, but then good old google can help with some of the pieces he doesn’t know.

Basically, they play a record and will then want to know anything from the simple answer of who the singer is, to a preposition in the song title in another language. Or some obscure fact about the composer of the piece. I was never any good at it. I had an uncle who knew a lot of the right answers, and his problem was that he didn’t speak English, so couldn’t spell English words or names.

The reason I’m even thinking about Melodikrysset, as it’s called, is that I’m currently in Enn’s hometown of Uppsala. It’s refreshing to find someone who still sits down religiously every Saturday, first to listen and then to blog, at a time when it feels like every single thing people used to do has given way to some other activity. If I still lived here; would I solve Melodikrysset every week? I might, if I could get out of bed.

NCIS: Los Angeles – Callen, G

Sam and Kensi

The last LA wasn’t as low key as NCIS, but then Los Angeles isn’t. Where Gibbs went out using his wit, NCIS: Los Angeles ended its first season with some explosives and overturned cars. Luckily Callen could just ease out unscathed from his upside down vehicle. It’s television, after all.

G with Amy

He’s still searching for his elusive past, and he nearly found his sister. He may have claimed not to have one, but I think he’d still have been pleased to have found her. Though I’m a firm believer in replacing key people with a substitute, if necessary, so why not adopt the one he found?

They all disobeyed Mum Hetty, and I don’t think she minded in the end. Nate still hankers after a gun, and it might be wise if he analysed himself, for a change.

Nice (well, we think so) to see Trent Kort again. It’s good for the soul to have nice British villains. Is he a villain, seeing as he’s CIA? More confusing to find Mossad’s Washington chief cast in the role of the bad baddie. I know I had this theory before, that all actors appear twice. Good or bad in NCIS, they are the opposite in LA.

G, the Baby Brother. Poor G.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Rule Fifty-One

I was more nervous watching Rule Fifty-One, than I’ve been since watching the first episode of season 3. Though I needn’t have been, since I had worked out most of the things the right way round, without having any clue as to how they would fit in with the plot.

So, are we going to sit around worrying about Daddy Gibbs for four months or not? I’m getting good vibes at the moment. (Touch wood, obviously.) I have more concern for that viper Ms Hart. They will keep her on, won’t they? How come I like Srta Reynosa better than her?

I’m trying to work out those red-page scenes we heard about. In fact, I’m going to have to watch this again.

Surely this was the first time Franks has called DiNozzo ‘probie’? Not being in the slightest American I seem to be unusual in not finding much of interest in Ziva’s citizenship ceremony. And Vance continues to grow. Gibbs never had that kind of resistance within the agency before.

People appear to feel that Abby’s relationship with Gibbs has changed beyond recognition. I disagree. Changed, yes. But they looked far more ‘back to normal’ than you’d think was possible.

Did not get Ducky’s golfing experience at all, but it was very, very funny. To have that kind of light humour inserted into an autopsy scene, when things are looking generally grim is what makes NCIS what it is.

So, that will be a wait of something like 17 weeks, I’d say. We can manage that. Plenty of repeats available for daily lunches, should I be so lucky.

Why getting personal is better

With NCIS: Los Angeles – Burned, things suddenly got a lot better. I wonder if it’s because we are sticking with the personal? The whole agency is under threat, and that sort of scenario always works well. And ruminating about where you come from is another good one.

I was impressed by the penultimate episode of NCIS: LA. It almost made me wish it could continue over the summer. But I know a break is what we all need. That’s why they are putting everything into this. It’s funny, though, that plots about themselves are more effective than crimes done to outsiders. Fighting for your own existence is just that much more exciting. It also felt like there were unusually many good quotable lines.

Having poor Callen worry about his origins again, while the rest of them are in total shut-down mode, is almost too much. I know it’s supposed to be attractive and worthy. But whereas it’s understandable for Gibbs to still grieve his loved ones, I fail to see that Callen’s unknown past can ever be in that category.

I do see he wants to know. But on the whole, what matters is what he does with himself now that he’s an adult. The mere thought that he’d jeopardise his job and co-agents just to know some baby secret, is beyond understanding. He didn’t, and he shouldn’t.

Just a few more hours to wait now. It’s bound to be the CIA.

Idle speculation

A randomly chosen episode of NCIS for Sunday lunch, provided an old(er) reference to the Reynosa drugs cartel. The question is how far back we can find little clues, or if it’s just been the more recent part of season 7. Anyway, thanks to Daughter we lunched with Gibbs and his Mother-in-law, the one which earned itself the ‘worst ever episode’ prize when it was first aired. Hindsight helped a lot, we found.

The Reynosas were mentioned, now that we know that it’s the Mexican clues we are looking for. Between them Gibbs and M-in-law have tried to do away with their share of drugs related people, which isn’t going to prove very healthy in the near future.

More speculation about the final season 7 episode can be found here. Looks like maybe I should stick the complete list of rules on my wall, to help me behave. Though there are always exceptions to rules, I find.

Michael Weatherly hasn’t had his contract renewed. Yet. I believe the same goes for David McCallum and Sean Murray, and I’d say it’s a fairly safe bet they aren’t planning on repopulating all of NCIS with new talent in September.

Pauley Perrette has done red-page scenes, which seem to be particularly secret scenes. Shoot the scene and then eat the script, kind of thing. And most likely she’s not the only one. Haven’t come across the suggestion that more than one ending has been shot, but wouldn’t put it past them. As long as they air the right one this week.

A quick look at this week’s promo on YouTube doesn’t give much away. Thirty seconds of whirlwind shootings, threats and comments.

How to disappoint budding artists and lose customers

in one fell swoop.

Do as Stockport Hobbycraft do. Offer to give the first 100 customers today a bag containing £20 worth of goods, and once you have them in your shop, spending money, don’t give it to them.

Now, you know, and I know, that this kind of offer is either so good that you’re never going to be one of the first to arrive, or it’s a bag full of, well, of something no sensible person would want. That’s because we’re old and have discovered this the hard way ourselves.

That is why we try to tell the next generation that it’s probably not worth going, and that it will end in tears. And the younger generation insists on going in order to make that discovery themselves, the hard way.

The twist this morning was that the bags were there, behind the counter. That suggests you have to spend money to become a paying customer, and then you’ll get your ‘gift’. So my young generation did just that. Spent £6. Still didn’t get anything.

My young generation is a very nice person, unlike that witch in their house, so insisted on not complaining there and then.

Her new understanding on how commerce works, means that any future art purchases will be made at the local independent. But at least Hobbycraft is getting a nice free advertisement from me here this morning.

NCIS – Patriot Down

Mrs Macy, Gibbs and McGee

Gibbs and Abby



Ducky and Gibbs


Gibbs is looking old and tired, and it’s hardly surprising. Things aren’t going his way, much. I wonder whether he will be the one who has the ‘bad ending’ for season 7? Not that they’ll get rid of him, obviously, but we need to be left worrying about someone over the long, and possibly even hot, summer.

After all that speculating on who the dead colleague would be, it came as a surprise to find that it was someone I’d thought of as recently as last week, and someone who we won’t be devastated to ‘lose’, but still leaves us feeling bad. Well chosen, I have to say. And if there are fans out there who haven’t bothered with NCIS: Los Angeles, it may feel strange.

Still can’t decide if Ms Hart is simply stupid, or actually crooked. Looked more stupid than anything this time.

Abby and Gibbs still aren’t back to anything resembling normal, but her lock-down was almost normal Abby style. And trust Ducky to have cottoned on.

It’s odd how so many things come back to Mexico, in one form or another; Gibbs’s guilty deed, Macy, Mike Franks, Colonel Bell and the drugs cartel. Makes you wonder if they plant lots of seeds along the way, or if it’s serendipitous use of the odd thing found lying around. Am assuming that the writer of Patriot Down wasn’t one who had had much to do with Camila Charo before. She seemed to have undergone a personality change, and Gibbs has phoned the bar before. No need to have language problems.

Roll on next week.

(Photos © CBS)

Well, that’s a coincidence – Craig Ferguson is 48

Shall I be like Gibbs, or just be myself? Because I believe in coincidences. As I started writing all this, I just needed a few more facts (not that facts ever made a blog post better, of course) and found to my delight that it’s Craig Ferguson’s birthday today. Actually. He’s a mere boy at 48, and I see he’s from Cumbernauld, which is where we went to that petrol station back in February where the builder man filled up his bucket with water for the cement mixer from the tiny wash-handbasin in the toilet using a coffee paper mug. It took absolutely ages.

That’s Cumbernauld for you. Other than that the petrol station was very nice. So was bucket-man. Polite. And Craig Ferguson is lovely, too.

So, it seems he’s been given the Peabody Award. Craig, not bucket-man. I’m used to him interviewing Mark Harmon, but apparently he got it for Desmond Tutu, who is a very entertaining man, and would be a credit to any talk show. He certainly was when I saw him in Gothenburg a few years ago, but that could have been down to a sudden surfeit of Archbishops.

Back to Cumbernauld-boy. When he and Mark Harmon were allowed on the show week before last, they praised each other so much that I smelled a rat. Mark said how proud he was of Craig, and Craig in turn complimented Mark on his gorgeous hair. Mark managed to advertise BMW on air, and said he might count as clean depending ‘on your definition of clean’. Newly washed, perhaps?

I think there may have been a purpose to this blog post when I began, but I have to admit it’s gone now.

Oh, I know. It was the fact that Mark has had time to read books recently, after filming NCIS stopped for the summer. Hope it was one of Craig’s.

It’s good to read.