13 Jan 2011

TV Viewing for the Year Ahead

I love watching TV.  I used to be a massive film buff (and I’m trying to get back to watching films regularly), but I got drawn into watching TV by BattleStar Galactica.  Then I caught up in Lost, watched the much under-rated Invasion, Farscape (classic Sci-Fi!), and then True Blood… Before I knew it, I was watching 45 minutes of TV every night.  And I don’t intend to stop!!

I am not one of these people who deride TV. I find watching TV a great way to relax.  And there are some simply great TV series today.  Recent classics include Brotherhood and Deadwood, both of which I enjoyed immensely.  I strongly recommend that you watch them if you haven’t seen them yet.

Given this, I was really interested in an article on i09 on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV series coming this year.  In particular, I intend to catch up on the following:

  • Camelot.  This looks to be a grown-up version of Merlin, with a simply amazing cast (Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Sinead Cusack and James Purefoy).
  • Terra Nova.  Steven Spielberg’s first TV series this year.  Worth a look if only for Spielberg’s involvement.
  • Falling Skies.  Spielberg’s second TV series, and for my money, the more interesting of the two.  I’ll look forward to seeing Noah Wyle again.

Falling Skies

  • Fringe.  I’ve been following Fringe for a while.  It is has been constantly under-rated by critics, though it hasn’t helped itself with 1-2 slow episodes at the start of each series.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Olivia, Peter and Walter  battle to save us from ourselves in the parallel universe.
  • Game of Thrones. I’ve been looking forward to this series for a while now, and I’ve posted about it previously. The books by George R. R. Martin are simply fantastic, and the TV series looks to be shaping up to be a classic as well. The website Making Game of Thrones is well worth a visit – the production looks to be incredibly detailed, and true to the books.

Game of Thrones

  • True Blood.  A great TV series, with so many laugh out loud moments in each episode.  And so much better than the books on which the series is based!
  • BSG Blood and Chrome.  I’m still bitter about the demise of Caprica, but I’'ll give this a watch. So say we all!
  • The Walking Dead.  An excellent first series (yet to be aired in the UK), and I’m looking forward to catching the new series later this year.  I’m even considering getting hold of the comics on which is based. Just one piece of advice – don’t get too attached to any of the characters.  The zombies aren’t just there for decoration…

5 Jan 2011

Delicious Bookmarks

I’ve received complaints about the daily update of my Delicious bookmarks that is published via the blog’s RSS feed.  This problem has been made worse by the recent migration of bookmarks from my now defunct Xmarks account to my Delicious account.  Apologies for any inconvenience this caused you. 

I have now disabled the daily RSS post from Delicious.  If you are looking for an RSS feed of my bookmarks, you can find it at http://feeds.feedburner.com/AndyParkhillsBookmarks. Note, this feed will be available regardless of where I store my bookmarks (which may not be Delicious for much longer).

RSS Icon

On a related note, I’m currently looking at ways of improving the blog. I’m aware that I have neglected it over the past few months due to work commitments.  If you have any comments or ideas for the blog, please get in contact or tweet me at @MagicAndi.

4 Jan 2011

My Personal Goals for 2011

I have finally gotten around to compiling my year resolutions for 2011, and thought I would share them with you. The list consists of a number of general aims, with a number of specific and quantifiable goals associated with each.

Lose weight now

  1. Get fit!
    • Reduce weight to 68kg (I’m currently weighing in at 74.1 Kg).
    • Eat no chocolate, and work to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet.
    • Exercise daily for at least 45 minutes.
    • Get at least 7 hours sleep every night.
    • Start a martial art by April.
  2. Friends and Family
    • Spend some time each week staying in touch with friends and family.
  3. Personal Interests
    • Read 100 new books. Some people on Twitter were kind enough to suggest a number of books to read. I’m also getting inspiration from the BBC’s Big Read, and the list of Penguin Classics.  The list of books (currently incomplete) can be found here. Update: You can check out my reading list here, or in full on my Shelfari profile.
    • Watch 50 films.  Half of these are to be classic films, and the rest are to be new releases in 2011. The list of films (currently incomplete) can be found here. Update: This list is no more!
    • Release an open-source project.
    • Write a new blog post weekly.
  4. Career
    • Become Microsoft Certified in SharePoint 2010.
  5. Financial
    • To save 20% of my net salary (separate from pension contributions).
Success is this way by RambergMediaImages, on Flickr
I plan on tracking my goals using a number of tools.  Joe’s Goals is an online goal tracking application that I will be using to track a number of the specific goals detailed above.  I am using Tada List to record the books and films I plan to read and watch. I’ll also update you throughout the year on my progress, and I am aiming to have an end of year review to see exactly how strong my willpower has been.
If you have any thoughts on my resolutions, or want to suggest a book or film to me, please get in touch (or tweet @magicandi).  Thanks.