Toddling around

The little guy is now fairly confident in his walking, just 3 weeks after taking off on his own. The one thing he’s yet to master is standing up unassisted from sitting on the floor… Here’s a quick video (taken yesterday) showing off his progress,

For a couple more short videos, click through to YouTube where you’ll find one of him playing with a bucket on his head and falling over backwards into his inflatable pool – much to his surprise and completely unharmed!

We’ve also uploaded a few more photos to the gallery, including his new play house that he got for Christmas, which was soon invaded by his Mum and Aunty… You’ll also find a couple of pics of Matt with his cousin Oliver who he met for the first time at the bach in the Sounds.

Enjoy!

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Casino Royale

Casino Royale (2006) got a look in over my Christmas break, and rounds out my mission to watch all 21 official James Bond films in a year truly fitting for such an endeavour, 2-007!

This, the 21st Bond film, is the first to star Daniel Craig as James Bond who pulls off the role superbly – bringing a tough grittiness to the character.

In the film we are introduced to Bond before he achieves his “00” status following his first two assassinations. After foiling a terrorist attack at Miami airport, Bond is then tasked with preventing a banker by the name of “Le Chiffre” from winning a high stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro and thus restoring lost funds for his terrorist clients…

Craig delivers a more serious Bond with less innuendo and gadgetry than the norm, but given that the film kicks off the saga, it actually works quite well. Other notable absences are Q (which also makes sense given he wasn’t in Dr No) and Moneypenny.

In lieu of gadgets to mention, here’s a few lines for ya,

M: “I knew it was too early to promote you.”
Bond: “Well, I understand double 0’s have a very short life expectancy… so your mistake will be short-lived.”

Bond: “The job’s done and the bitch is dead.” (!)

Bartender: “Shaken or stirred?”
James Bond: “Do I look like I give a damn?”

I thought the film rocked and is well worth a look. IMDB users rate it at 8/10 and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a high 94% “certified fresh” rating. For more info and trivia, see Wikipedia.

RIP Netscape Navigator

About time the folks at Netscape abandoned this dying web browser. Besides developers (who now have one less platform to check against!) I suspect most people have long forgotten the browser that probably launched us all onto the internet in the 90’s. From the Netscape blog,

Given AOL’s current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.

Here here! Long live the fox!

Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to wish all visitors a very Merry Christmas. Wherever you are, and however you choose to spend it, I hope you enjoy time with friends or family this festive season. Have fun and be safe.

Best wishes from the Noble family.

PS. Santa Rocks!

Die Another Day

Die Another Day (2002) is the 20th James Bond film, released 40 years after Dr No and is the last outing for Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

From Wikipedia: “In the film, Bond is betrayed after killing a rogue North Korean Colonel and captured. Once released in a prisoner exchange, he must follow a trail of clues in an effort to reveal the MI6 leak and soon learns that the villain he is pursuing is the same North Korean Colonel he supposedly killed. James then must prevent a satellite from igniting a war between North and South Korea.”

The film features two ‘Bond girls’ – Halle Berry as “Jinx” and Rosamund Pike as “Miranda Frost”. Fans of the saga will immediately recognise Berry’s first screen appearance as a homage to the first James Bond film Dr No where, like Berry in this film, Ursula Andress (as Honey Rider) walks out of the sea in a bikini. This is fully intentional, and throughout the film homage is paid to all of the previous 19 films – through repeated scenes, re-used gadgets and character lines. Also, Q gives 007 a new watch, describing it as “your twentieth”.

A few good lines crop up in the movie, including,

Frost: “I take it Mr. Bond’s been explaining his Big Bang theory?”
Jinx: “Oh yeah, I think I got the thrust of it.” 😉

Gadget wise, Bond’s watch contains a laser cutter and his ring is an “ultra high-frequency single digit sonic agitator unit” that can shatter any glass surface. More notable however would have to be the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish which is capable of becoming invisible along with having the usual rockets, guns and ejector seat. Another piece of high-tech wizardry to feature is a virtual combat simulator which 007 uses for realistic weapons training and Moneypenny uses for a bit of Bond one-on-one fantasy…

The film was enjoyable, but the special effects were a little over used at times – especially when the satellite weapon was fired up in Iceland and Korea. The first Bond of the new millennium has all the expected elements, from fast paced action with witty dialogue to girls, guns and gadgets. I’d have to place it third best of the Brosnan entries, pushing Tomorrow Never Dies to #4.

Links for more info: Wikipedia and IMDB (6.1/10).

Ask Google for flight info

The Google gods have just rolled out flight tracking directly from their search engine. Simply enter the flight number you’re interested in and the first search result should be flight data pulled from flightstats.com.

Here’s a quick test I did this afternoon. First up, I went directly to the Wellington Airport arrivals page to get a flight number to test,

I then searched for “NZ8583” (bottom of the list above) at Google yielding,

which pulled up the new estimated arrival time correctly. Magic!

While it worked in this instance, I would however recommend visiting the airport and/or airline website directly for this type of info in case flightstats isn’t quite up to date. In New Zealand, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports all have websites with live data and you can also get info from Air New Zealand and Qantas.

Still, this is certainly a nice addition to Google’s search engine which already doubles as a calculator, dictionary/encyclopaedia, international clock and handles unit conversion

The World Is Not Enough

No, not a foolish sentiment, but Bond’s family motto!

The World Is Not Enough (1999) has James Bond tasked with protecting an oil heiress, leading him to uncover a plot by a Bosnian terrorist (with a bullet permanently lodged in his brain!) who plans to disrupt oil supply with a nuclear sub meltdown in Istanbul.

Plenty of adrenalin pumping chases and stunts in this one including a boat chase on the Thames from MI6 headquarters to the Millennium Dome where Bond smashes Q’s retirement fishing boat! Sadly this is the last appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q who died in a car accident just one month after the release of the film. His replacement, portrayed by John Cleese, has a fitting introduction in the film,

(after Q introduces his successor…)
Bond: “If you’re Q, does that make him R?”
R: “Ah yes, the legendary 007 wit, or at least half of it.”

The stand out gadget this time would have to be a pair of x-ray specs allowing 007 to check for concealed weapons… and lingerie! 😉

While on that subject, Denise Richards plays Dr. Christmas Jones – a nuclear scientist that ends up helping Bond – and as you’d expect there are a few good lines that crop up,

Bond: “I need to know who’s in charge here. ”
Dr. Christmas Jones: “That would be me, Dr. Christmas Jones and I don’t want to hear any jokes.”
Bond: “I don’t know any doctor jokes.”

Bond: (in bed with Jones) “I was wrong about you. ”
Dr. Christmas Jones: “Yeah, how so? ”
Bond: “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.” 😀

In terms of the Brosnan films, I’d have to rate this entry number two – behind Goldeneye but better than Tomorrow Never Dies. Yet again Brosnan delivers a solid performance and the film certainly conforms to the classic Bond formula. Another in the saga that’s well worth a look.

Links: IMDB (6.3/10) and Wikipedia.

Two Bond films to go. Twelve days left in ’07… Bring ’em on!