Happy

Milestones

Over this past week or so, I’ve achieved some major milestones with my blog. Milestones I never thought that I’d achieve when I started this blog 2 years back. I am no internet marketing guru, I really don’t know how to do any proper blog promoting to get major traffic. I try little things here and there, like visiting and commenting on other blogs, submitting my posts to Stumble Upon for random traffic, submitting my blog to different blog aggregators such as myScoop and Amatomu and recently have even created my very own Facebook page

Firstly, out of nowhere I have over 11000 views in the past week, with 4184 this past Sunday, for a total of  33000 all time views. I just happened to blog about a rather popular person, that at the time was buzzing on the web, Barrack Obama. That and a bit of luck.

Before this though, I had managed to keep my blog going at 50-100 visits a day and a growing number of subscribers, which is more than enough to make it worthwhile!

Next milestone, my blog has also managed to make it to the top 25 of SA Topsites, which is a ranking tool for South African sites to compare traffic. Other sites in the top 25 include Cars.co.za and The Moviesite. (Slowly dropped to 28 today)

Lastly, This is officially my 100th post (excluding 1 automated post from WordPress)

Anyway, I’m happy, so I just had to share that… For all the milestones I’ve achieved and for much more than those, I would like to extend a very big thank you to everyone who has ever, still does and might never again read my blog. An even bigger thanks to all my friends (and writer friends) who, if for no other reason than a bit of guilt, or out of duty, push me along and give me a reason to blog. An a special thanks to my awesome fiance, who puts up with all my blogging and talk about blogging. You all rock!


Must See Movies 2012 #5: Total Recall, Resident Evil & Dredd (and others)

Over the next two months, there are three movies I cannot miss and some others I will try my best to see.

First up at the end of this week today is the remake of Total Recall. I loved the original with Arnie and am hoping that Colin Farrell won’t let me down. I don’t expect it to be better than the original, and am not going to walk in comparing them, but the trailer looks pretty kick-ass so I have a little bit of hope.

In the middle of September, the day after my birthday actually, comes Resident Evil Retribution. Honestly I think this series of movies has been going on for way too long, but it has zombies and Milla Jovovich, so it’s a must see! 🙂

At the end of September, comes a movie that I have been hoping for since the first attempt in 1995. That movie of course is Dredd 3D.

When I was in boarding school, every Friday afternoon would be spent at the bookstore in town reading the latest 2000AD comic. If I couldn’t read all of it, I would make sure that I had read at least the Judge Dredd part.

When I heard about the first movie in 1995, I was excited beyond words, until I watched it. It sucked and that is all I have to say about it…

Fast forward a few years (13 to be exact) and it was announced that Alex Garland (28 Days Later) would be the writer of the new movie.   Reviews of the initial screening of the movie have been positive with IGN giving it a 8/10. Even better has been the talk of a Dredd being a trilogy (did I mention how excited I am?)

In summary here are the films to look out up to the end of September, including the above:

August

Now: Expendables 2

Coming up: Total Recall

September

Week 1: The Watch

Week 2: Resident Evil Retribution

Week 3: The Bourne Legacy

Week 4: Dredd 3D


Must See Movies 2012 #2: The Hunger Games & The Avengers

In my first “Must See Movies” post for 2012, which covered me until the end of March, I could barely scrape together 4 movies that excited me a bit. I am afraid that I must admit that the first two were major disappointments as well. 2012 isn’t the greatest of years for movies that have excited me so far. There have been some okay ones here and there, but none worth special mention. On the plus side, I’ve been catching up with my series and Skyrim.

The Darkest Hour was exactly that, and about 30 minutes more actually for that matter. The movie relied a bit too much on the cheap (3d) thrills. I can imagine watching it on a normal screen would make it even worse.

While Chronicle was not a complete disaster, the camcorder feel of the movie was a bit annoying, I think it would have worked much better if it was shot in any way but the way they did.

I have more hope for the remaining two, if only for their entertainment value. Project X’s producer is none other than Todd Phillips (who has previously produced and/or directed Old School, The Hangover I & II as well as Due Date) and, well The Wrath of the Titans will be some good fun even if it does suck

For April, I only forsee good things. There are two movies that deserve mention, The Grey and Take Shelter (see the trailers at the end of the post), but even they are simply overshadowed by two potential movies of the year for me.

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

First up, on 13 April 2012, is the movie adaption of  the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name: The Hunger Games. The book and movie are set in the fictional, post-apocalyptic country of Panem, built atop the remains of continental North America, which was destroyed by global warming, war and scarcity of resources. The country is ruled by the powerful, advanced city, the Capitol, which controls the 12 districts as well as all their resources. There were once 13 districts, but during a uprising by the 13 districts against the Capitol, they completely wipe out the 13th district and as a reminder of their defeat by the Capitol, an annual event televised event called the Hunger Games is held. Two tributes, a male and a female between 12 and 18 years of age, are chosen by the Capitol by lottery, unless someone volunteers, to enter a fight to the death. The district whose tribute is left standing at the end is showered with food and resources in abundance, while the remaining 11 districts face hunger and even death from starvation.

Knowing that Collins herself is involved in the movie is even better. I have been listening to the audio book while driving between work and home every day and am nearing the end now. This is one movie that seriously excites me so far. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a 100% fresh rating with an average score of 8.1.

Looks like it should be pretty rocking right?

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Avengers

Movie Poster

Next, coming out at the end of April is The Avengers. The Marvel universe in which the Avengers is based, has had five movies preceding it’s eagerly awaited release and set the scene. It started with Iron Man in May 2008, followed by The Incredible Hulk in June 2008. In 2010, Iron Man 2 was released and last year, we had Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. All 5 of these movies have had different directors and for the most part different writers, with the exception of Zak Penn getting involved in the story of The Incredible Hulk and now The Avengers. There are only two clear links between the films:

  • They each have a small clip after the credits have rolled hinting towards either another character or the Avengers themselves.
  • They are all produced by Kevin Feige

There is not much I can tell you about this movie that true fans don’t already know or that anyone else that is watching this movie would want to know. Let the trailers speak for themselves. If you don’t want to watch all of them, may I suggest that you just skip to Trailer #2 🙂

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As a side note for those of you who haven’t seen the 5 movies mentioned and are wondering whether it’s critical to watch them before the Avengers, I have two things to say:

  • Why the hell not??
  • In all honesty it probably wont be the end of the world and you could probably get away with it, but they do provide an important back story for each individual character which may contribute to parts of the story.

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Then lastly as promised here are the trailers for The Grey and Take Shelter


Rugby Fever

The Rugby World Cup trophy - the William Webb ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is less than 24 hours until the Rugby World Cup 2011 starts with the first game between New Zealand and Tonga.

The first game I am really looking forward to is the one on Sunday between the Springboks and Wales though, not that the entire world cup doesn’t excite me. Unfortunately for most of the games I am going to be looking at highlights or possibly listen to the radio, but I will try see as much of it live as possible. I am quite an avid fantasy league player as well and this time there are quite a few fantasy games going on.

Ultimate Dream Teams has two games going, a fantasy league game and a score prediction game.

The score prediction game is sponsored by Etana and if you wanna join, just go here:

http://predict.etana.co.za/rugbypredictor/

The grand prize is an Apple iPad 2 16Gb with 3g/WiFi

The fantasy league game is sponsored by Blackberry and you can go here to join:

http://www.udt.co.za/fantasyrugby

The prizes have not yet been announced.

Supersport also have 2 games running, and you guessed it, they have a fantasy league game and a score prediction game. What I find quite funny is that they used to run their fantasy games through Ultimate Dream Teams.

Their games are located here:

Fantasy League: http://fantasy.supersport.com/rwc/

Score Prediction: http://games.supersport.com/predictions/rwc/

No prizes have been announced for these games either.

As always, Superbru also have a prediction game going, and you can check it out here.

http://www.superbru.com/rwc

Their prizes are actually pretty kick-ass, so go check it out here:

http://www.superbru.com/rwc/prizes.asp

The last game that I have registered for is a prediction game for the Springbok games only (currently)from BMW. The prize here is a trip for two to the final in New Zealand.

Go here to enter: http://bmw.co.za/springboks/


Free Shit: An Update

About a month back, I decided to stop ignoring all the online competitions I saw around the web and started entering them like a crazy man.

On 20 June, I published a blog post on how to enter free online competitions and where to go to, such as winstuff.co.za, who post all the online competitions that they find for us…

I also told you about sites like Groupon and the rest and how they help you to get some major discounts, especially for eating out. Since then I also discovered a nice aggregator for all these sites – www.alldeals.co.za – which aggregates, or lists, all the deals from the many deal sites out there in one place, including online deals. You can also sign up to their daily email deal notifications.

More importantly though, yesterday I won my first competition and I have winstuff.co.za to thank for this as well. Not directly mind you, but through another competition they had linked to on the same site.

I won something that if you knew me, couldn’t be a better prize. It is a Philips BodyGroom which is pretty cool. But anyway, that’s not the point. I have been doing this for less than one month and it’s paid off already.

Tip: Take the time to setup your browser’s auto-complete feature. It is worth the initial setup time purely because of the amount of time it saves you in the long run.


Insanity

Hot Wheels

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a lil kid I always played with Hot Wheels cars. I used to put those cars through hell, ramping them out of windows and all sorts of random insane stuff.

Today I came across the video of Team Hot Wheels breaking the world record of longest jump. Top Gear USA Host Tanner Foust took a 850bhp custom-truck, down a 100ft high, 1500ft long ending it all off by ramping off a 16ft ramp. It was like something out of my youth!

Here’s the record part though, he managed to take it 332ft, breaking the previous record by 31ft. Okay I’ll admit now that I was just too lazy to work out the rest, but 332ft is just short of 102 metres for us folk who use the metric system.

Anyway, I  just wanted to share these videos of the jump and the behind the scenes clip


Inspiring…

CoverI want to congratulate my friend, Nadine Rose Larter, on the official release of her first novel, Coffee at Little Angels, today. And while I’m at it, here is the post on how to buy her ebook

Having read the first sample chapter, I can honestly say it is worth every penny.

Okay, granted, I haven’t bought it yet, but after I get paid tomorrow, I will definitely be purchasing my own copy.

Being a wannabe writer myself, it is really and truly an inspiration to see this happen, especially when it is a friend. It goes to show that if you have an idea, just go with it. There may be naysayers, but there always are; most likely they just wish they had the guts to do it themselves.

I wish Nadine all the best and I can confidently say that I am sure it’ll be a great success!