The Escapers Official Blog

Food review : Falafel Burgers

imageOK, for some reason, they come in packs of 3, not 2, not 4, but 3, so be aware of that.

I’ve tried the Mushroom Burgers from the same company, and they are excellent, maybe nicer than most actual beef burgers, so I’ve got high expectations.

They are pretty tasty, but they aren’t burgers, they are falfels in the shape of a burger, they are dryish and crumbly like most falafels, perfectly fine for a falafel, but not for a Burger.

If you like burger-shaped falafels, this is for you, but as a beef burger replacement, the mushroom ones are better.

Whinstone View, UK

When attending a wedding in the UK, (incidentally, one of the first same-sex marriages, woop!) The wife and I stayed at this place….

http://www.whinstoneview.com/

A beautiful place, in the lovely UK countryside near Middlesbrough (I didn’t think there were nice bits of Middlesbrough either, who knew?!) 

The lodges are pricey, but very impressive, larger than some houses, and the one we stayed in had two bedrooms, and two bathrooms, so if you can split the money with a second couple, the prices seem a lot more reasonable.

There is a Bistro on-site, which serves very good food at decent prices, with local beers too, so I was happy.

The only slight issue with this place, is that it’s not easily accessed by public transport, so you’ll need a car, other than that, very highly recommended.  

Keynote

Watched the Keynote start to finish, it’s worth a look.

The Apple watch is growing on me, not enough to buy it, but it’s a watch first, smartwatch second, which is a positive, they’ve taken a lot of care over this, which I like. It’s subtle gestures, such as tapping you when you get a message is nice, so you aren’t disturbing other theatre goers or whatever, it’s thoughtful, they didn’t just shrink down their phone and pop a strap on it like other vendors do.

Apple has done what they usually do, other companies tread first, and Apple makes their stuff look a bit silly, only the Moto 360 is really holding up to it.

The Big iPhone is a bit boring, it’s just bigger with incremental improvements, but I guess that’s all it really needed to be.

The payment stuff is very cool, not that relevant in my home country of Australia (or my old home of the UK), as we already have modern payment systems, swiping a card strip is considered medieval here.

it makes me think that MS really has to release a smartwatch, wether they want to or not… Interesting to see how MS can’t dictate the market now, it’s Google and Apple.

Beer review : Hertog Jan Grand Prestige

A beer from the Netherlands, but it’s very much Belgian in style, it’s 10% alcohol, which is about right for a decent beer if you ask me.

The taste is somewhere in between a Chimay and Kwak for me, but not as sweet as the Kwak, which I find a little overbearing if you are drinking more than one.

It’s a great beer, probably difficult to obtain from a typical booze shop, but worth tracking down if you enjoy a highly flavoursome and strong beer.

Robocop (2014)

Nowhere near as bad as I expected. The lead role is by an actor whose name isn’t on the tip of my tongue. I’ve no idea who he is. His performance was decent enough, but somehow lacking in watchability. Hard to explain, nothing wrong with his acting, but little right either.

The rest of a film is solid, Samuel L. Jackson does well, Gary Oldman too. The movie paints a picture of an over-commercialized and over-militarized world. It starts off really, really well, but falls back on supposedly exciting gunfights which are anything but. It relies a lot on ‘Look! explosions! That’s exciting, isn’t it?” sort of film-making, which forgets that we’ve seen a million explosions in films, we don’t care about explosions any more.

Robocop shows is the future world, dominated by OmniCorp, and does it very well, I just wonder if someone at Universal Pictures felt it needed more explosions, or guns, or something, which it absolutely did not. It’s like the writers and director had a good idea of what they wanted to achieve, but producers and bean counters thought with more explosions, came more money.

Still worth seeing, just a bit of a missed opportunity.

Flux Screencast by YourTechGuys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2URQaHnOQHE&list=UUBUK3bj_t8h43eQsuXq-Lsg

Our friends at YourTechGuys did a nice exploration screencast of Flux V, it’s pretty in-depth, you get yourself a cup of tea and check it out.

You don’t see such long and detailed screencasts very often, so it’s worth taking a look at the other ones too, like…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxeKpTHDICo&index=3&list=UUBUK3bj_t8h43eQsuXq-Lsg

It’s interesting because I’ve never heard of this app,  I was really surprised that there is amazing software out there that just isn’t getting noticed by even hardcode Mac enthusiasts like myself. Maybe the mainstream Mac sites are too distracted by the little ‘apps’ and the powerhouse stuff gets ignored…?

Flux 5.2

Flux 5.2 is out now, what’s new?

Well, a lot of bug fixes, including some really irritating ones (the bugs, not the fixes).

5.2 also includes preliminary support for SASS, now, if you don’t know what SASS is, you may not care, but for hardened CSS jockeys, this might be a killer feature, so check it out.

Note, the manual has been updated to include an entry on SASS, to make sure you have the latest manual, hold the Option key when choosing ‘Help’ from the ‘Help’ menu.

Community

Watched the first two episodes of ‘Community’, really not getting it at all, for all it’s plaudits, it’s nothing new or original.

Most irritatingly for me is the lazy use of blonde hair to signify attractiveness, the female lead has curly blonde hair, and thus guys must trip over their dangling tongues to get close to her, whereas Alison Brie, with her monstrously ugly brown hair may aswell be a bit of furniture, the male characters barely seem to be aware of her presence or even existence. It’s lazy, incorrect and just really pathetic writing.

The male lead, I’ve forgotten his name, is strangely unlikable, he is meant to be a bit of a prick, but he isn’t charismatic enough to get away with it.

The only vaguely funny guy is Danny Pudi, who plays the nerdy Pakistani character, yes, he’s asian and he’s nerdy! Never saw that coming! I need a sit down to catch my breath from all the laughter.

Maybe I need to watch a bit more of it, but for me, it’s typical US comedy, fairly boring and reliant on clichés to get the laughs.

Apple Watch

First, I don’t like all these smart watches, it comes under the Google Glass category for me, people are already far too distracted my vapid tweets and facebook dramas, Google Glass and smartwatches are just another excuse to stop interacting with the real world.

However, putting that aside, the Apple Watch looks pretty nice, it’s quite small, which is nice, not a block of plastic hanging off your wrist, I wouldn’t wear one, but I’ve skinny wrists, and I probably could do without looking like a child playing dress up.

It’s got all the usual crap, Stock prices, weather, seriously, it’s always these, who cares that much about stock prices unless you are a broker or investor or something, and then surely you’d take it more seriously than that?

It’s cool product, but I fear like the iPhone, will it make the world a less pleasant place? it won’t be enough for phones to be on the restaurant table, your friends will be constantly ‘checking the time’ too. No tweet is so urgent it needs to be a flick of the wrist away.

Google Glass was a step too far in this direction that society rebelled, many cafés don’t allow their use, users are referred to as ‘glassholes’, I wonder if smart watches will go the same way, I doubt it.

Blair’s Death Rain : Buffalo Wing potato chips

These chips are labelled ‘medium hot’, and it makes a lovely change to find that what they mean is ‘really quite hot’. And not the usual barely detectable spicyness you find with ‘spicy’ snaks. Usually, say like those ‘really hot’ Doritos, whatever they’re called, what you get is actually an oddly sweet tasty tortilla chip, which even the most chilli-phobic person could likely describe as ‘mild’. Blair’s don’t mess around, their ‘medium hot’ is just that’, and their ‘very hot’ could barely be considered fit for human consumption, I could probably strip the paint off my car with that stuff.

10/10 for Blair’s, I like the name Death Rain, they’ve got a great pack of crisps here, and considering it’s a USA import into Australia, I can live with the price.