Monthly Archives: February 2014

NCIS – Bulletproof

Palmer and I are knocking on wood, while Ducky and the Resident IT Consultant are of the opinion we are being stupid. Though Ducky at least supplies Palmer with some wood when he needs it.

I do find Palmer’s and Mrs Palmer’s planned parenthood very, very odd. What’s wrong with home made babies? That would be nervewracking as well, but not because you are in someone else’s hands. Or womb. (I hasten to add my knocking has a very different reason…)

Letting Abby guard a ‘suspect’ isn’t necessarily a good thing. Just look at her!


At first I was thinking this episode was really a bit dull. But it improved. Bishop’s conversation with DiNozzo at the beginning made almost no sense at all. And I think that’s a first. Lots of talk, which seemed to consist of only words.

McGee and Delilah

As so often happens, it was the stuff on the side which mattered. Delilah coming into ‘the office.’ McGee busy feeling guilt. Injured marine (?) in a wheelchair. And the question of whether McGee will skydive with Delilah.


If the families of serving soldiers do send bulletproof vests to their sons and daughters in real life, I foresee many upset viewers after this. If it was me, even if I knew I’d sent proper equipment, I’d pause and have a small heart attack. Worthy subject, but tricky situation.

(Photos © CBS)


That’s shorthand for How I Live Now, and I trust you can tell it’s available on DVD.

After racing to see who would get their hands on one first, I won and Daughter came second. But it was still her copy we watched last week, when we needed something to take her mind off something else. HILN was just the thing.

She had not seen it before, as her local cinema never showed the film. Which I think was a mistake. St Andrews is a young town, and this is a young film. Not for small children, and adults might not know about it, so would be less interested.

Being the kind of person who remembers details, Daughter was able to analyse the film more than I could. She felt the changes were mostly OK, although some unnecessary, like the use of the gun. With hindsight I agree.

The squishing together of several characters into a smaller number of people is probably unavoidable, but it does change the plot rather.

But it was just the right film to watch last week. Good timing with the DVD. Americans were able to pay to view it on demand, almost immediately after it opened in cinemas. I see no reason why we should have been discriminated against in Britain. After all, it is a British film.

Goodbye, Jackson Gibbs

I was sad to hear of the death of Ralph Waite, better known to many as Jackson Gibbs, father of Leroy Jethro. (I realise he’s even better known for other roles he played, but to me he will always be Gibbs’s daddy.)

It’s that difficult thing, casting people old enough to play parents of actors who themselves are not terribly young. Especially for a show that continues for years, rather than a film that is soon over and done with.

But I’m grateful we got to meet Jackson as many times as we did. And I’m wondering how they will deal with it on NCIS. Ducky’s mother lived on a lot longer than the actress who played her. And Abby’s boyfriend Marty didn’t die; he just broke it off with her.

I hope they will be sensible and do something really good, if only to celebrate the man who keeps a shotgun handy in his shop.

Gibbs Sr

(Photo © CBS)

Too close to home

When I had a ‘difficult day’ a week or so ago, I worked my way through several episodes of NCIS to cheer myself up. As I sank down on the sofa with another cup of tea, while switching the television on, I discovered that Location Location had just started, so thought I might as well watch that as put more NCIS on.

I lasted several minutes. I used to enjoy Location, and felt that it’d do for some light entertainment. But I have never before watched it while trying to sell my house. And that made all the difference.

When the whiny woman looking for her perfect new home complained some more about almost everything in the reasonably nice house she was viewing with Phil and Kirstie, I got up and put another DVD in, getting my 42 lovely minutes of NCIS, which just about calmed me down again.

It has been enlightening. I had no idea my house needed extending, or that people can’t live without large farmhouse kitchens ‘so they can watch the children play and do their homework’ or that no one can sleep in a bedroom without an ensuite.

What’s more, I had no idea that they could view the particulars for our house online and then come here believing it would miraculously have metamorphosed into their dream house overnight. And then they tell me this while they are here. What’s wrong with viewing politely and then simply leaving?

NCIS – Monsters and Men

If the baddie had shot Bishop at that point, I would not have shed any tears.

Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t dislike her that much. But there needs to be some magic to make me feel for a character. Yes, this is fiction. But good fiction makes people care about the characters. I – almost – cried when Kate died. I have sat tense and excited when all sorts of difficult situations have occurred over the years. Even though it is merely fiction.

I believe it’s got to do with good writing. And with creating a believable character.

This was an attempt at repeating Ari’s abduction of Kate. Parsa was no Ari. Nowhere near, in fact. And Bishop is not Kate.

The rest of the episode was good in a standard kind of way. And we did get to go on a ship. Those visits are few and far between these days. For a show based on the Navy, I can’t help but feel that more ‘boats and planes and even helicopters’ would be not just good, but a basic requirement.

Can’t work out what they are doing to Delilah, except write her out, and doing so by just talking about her. It’s not going to be a McGee thing to abandon a girlfriend in such bad circumstances. But they can’t have them get married either. Perhaps in future you should have your exit clear before a relationship is entered into?

From Siberia with love

‘By the way, we don’t have to take that with us’ said the Resident IT Consultant, indicating The Siberian Painting. He was trying to be helpful, and feeling responsible for it, he felt he could at least make it one less item to be packed, once it’s time for us to move.

Siberian painting

He seemed to have forgotten that I had already explained – last time he said it – that it would come with us. Because contrary to so many belongings, it really does have memories attached to it.

Not that I’ve been to Siberia. But he has. The autumn 0f 2001 he was in Moscow when the Twin Towers came down, and was very nearly stuck in Russia for a while due to diligent travel rules for employees of the US owned company he worked for.

Some weeks later, he and a colleague went to Siberia to do some work on site for the client (who, in case you follow the news, has only recently been let out of jail) and at the end of a working day the local boss inquired whether they had been to their nice museum.

They had not, so the boss called the museum and told them to stay open late so that the foreigners could have a look round. With a set-up like that, the least you can do is buy something in the museum shop, and the Resident IT Consultant picked something inoffensive and small enough for his suitcase; this tiny painting of birch trees. It’s only postcard sized, but very heavy, as it’s actually painted on stone.

Siberian painting and Russian doll

When it arrived home I put the Russian doll, which Daughter had requested, next to it. They seemed to get on well together. And there they have stood for over twelve years, in the shade of the palm tree.

It had plenty of extra meaning for me at the time, since I had been reading Gillian Cross’s Calling a Dead Man, which is about a Western worker disappearing in Siberia. Luckily it didn’t come to that.