Today I've head shocking news that "Central", the first movie theater I've ever visited, and already the third one in the downtown of my town, is closing its doors for good today! I can't believe that at all!
It would take me several pages to describe all those pleasant memories of moments spent there and watching all those movies, starting from the E.T. in 1984 onwards, not to mention waking up at the break of dawn to buy the tickets for the evening screenings of Titanic at about 7:00 AM.
It's true, during this last decade (and nowadays) it was more common to visit a multiplex which offers more movies and more screenings at the same place rather than going to a small downtown theater that offers only 2-4 movies, but before shopping malls with such megaplexes this was the best form of entertainment, especially during the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. The below image, taken at the theater's entrance, is a pale image of what it used to be.
All these new shopping malls (which I mentioned in my previous blog post) are really to blame, and it was pretty unlikely for such small theaters to survive with such big rivals, although my town is probably the only such example, as the small movie theaters in Zagreb are still opened, while Split (besides 2 big multiplexes) has only 1 downtown theater, plus another one that is opened during the summer months...
I've also heard that on "Central"'s place a brand new 2-leveled night club will be opened. No comment on that...
R.I.P., dear "kino Central" (est. 1939.)... ;'(
With a new shopping mall called Mall Of Split that is raising (and slowly being finished) from the construction area on the edge of my city, I can only say - We don't need another hero shopping mall! People are too poor here, and aside from the usual shopping craze during holidays I don't know why it should bring anything new, except more space and more (some already seen) shops. I mean, won't the same shops that are already present in other malls in my city be also present in this mall as well? And besides we have already too many shopping malls in the area (City Center One, Joker, SM Kastela, Kaufland, the Super Konzums)... Why we need yet another shopping mall?
If it were a new promising factory (which will help lower our raising unemployment rate and our fallen economy) that will be constructed on this site, I would have no word against that, for it is something that is literally killed in Croatia!
But since this is not the case, I say - let's go back to good old shopping in the good old city centre, where the shops are BTW slowly closing down because of phenomenons like this one!
And now for something completely different...
Actually, not compeletely different, but it's something in a very similar vein... Recently I was wondering what happened with Eric Idle of the Monty Pythons, if he got (re)tired of everything that he was doing in the past and then I found this:
I was very amazed... Of course, today everyone has a homepage, and I didn't expect that I wouldn't find Eric's, but what I found was a very pleasant surprise.
I have read with curiosity about his timeline (from his "first appearance" in the Harton Hospital to the latest "Spamalot" events), and for his "Auto Biography" I asked myself why I didn't think of something like this before. Very nice and very personal.
And then I found the Blog section...
One could say that I created my blog and my homepage inspired by his one, but even if the blog dates go back to October 2011, it was only recently that I found it, even if on that first post Eric wrote: "This blog is about me. It’s not interactive. It has no message board. It’s not about Monty Python, or The Rutles. It’s not about you. You cannot contact me, you cannot post replies, there is no interactive Chat Room, and I won’t even know you’ve been here."
I also have no idea who and how many of you have been here... maybe even Eric stumbled upon this site, I don't know. But if you did, I'm glad you did! Maybe I will add a contact form in the future, but until then, stay tuned for more of my posts!
And you Eric, write when(ever) you find time, I'm looking forward to your future blog entries and I'll be hanging around your blog every now and then!
Have you ever heard of this - "Air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption" ?
Just like it says on the page, "in response to concerns that volcanic ash ejected during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland would damage aircraft engines, the controlled airspace of many European countries was closed to instrument flight rules traffic, resulting in the largest air-traffic shut-down since World War II".
I remember how it was, since it was the time when I was frequently flying to Zagreb to see my love who was living there at that time. It occurred twice that I had to prolong my visit because of the cancellation of the flight, which wasn't bad since we lived 400 km away from each other and every such extra day was very welcome, and I had to travel by train on the next day, which again wasn't bad since travelling by train can be very charming and interesting. I was constantly checking the flight status to see if I will be able to travel on the day, or I have to look for an alternative way of transport.
But that later all appeared to be totally unnecessary - I remember very well, that on one of the days of the air traffic closure (it was exactly April 17), when those "ash clouds" were supposed to be over our heads at that very moment, the sky was perfectly clear, there hasn't been even a single cloud in the sky, not to mention a big and thick ash cloud. Even when on the same day I went hiking with my love and her family on a peak near Zagreb named Japetić, at an altitude of 815 meters (at the mountain hut Žitnica, to be exact) there wasn't any ash cloud to be seen in the distance. But on that April 17 the air traffic remained closed (and my flight cancelled), and so I had to travel back home by train on the next day.
One of the rare articles that I found today who mention that these air traffic closures were fake is this one: "The ash cloud that never was: How volcanic plume over UK was only a twentieth of safe-flying limit and blunders led to ban" (Daily Mail, dated April 25, 2010). In there it is revealed that "the full extent of the shambles behind the great airspace shutdown that cost the airlines £1.3 billion and left 150,000 Britons stranded - all for a supposed volcanic ash cloud that for most of the five-day flights ban was so thin it was invisible".
Fake alert? Yes, that's right! Of course, nowadays this isn't anything new or revolutionary, but look what I've just found (dated November 13, 2013): "Easyjet has created a fake ash cloud(...)"... Didn't exactly this happen 5 years ago? Something that wasn't supposed to happen, or better yet, something that didn't really happen at all?
I wish there were official answers to these questions...
A little back in the past, while I was playing games, there was something that has made me addicted to it very much. I've seen many games during all these years, from the Jaw Breaker and Haunted House (for C64) over Starglider and Chase HQ (Atari ST) to GTA3 (PC), and I was impressed the most by (and about) the fantasy role-playing games (like Lands of Lore, Shining in the Darkness, Menzoberranzan, Eye of the Beholder...), but nothing could compare to my hunger for demolition derby/car demolition-themed games.
(Of course, as soon as I turned the power button off on my PC, that hunger disappeared, and I returned to my usual life, happy and positive, without any leftovers of those games and leaving that portion of me safely locked inside the big box of my computer. In real life such thoughts would never come to my mind, on the contrary - for a smallest scratch or glitch on my car that I made by accident I would "cry" and be very sad about it.)
It all started with the rudimentary made PC version of the Destruction Derby originally made for PS. The graphics were limited by today's standards, the gameplay was no match to what I would find later and there were practically no game options, but slowly it started pulling me into itself.
Then I found its sequel, Destruction Derby 2, which was a bit better but still had some gameplaying limitations, but at that time I was so crazy about car destructions, that when I found the 1994 NASCAR Racing game by Papyrus Design I turned my playing of it into a destruction derby by making my car invincible in the options, and then bumping into other players' cars while they were still innnocently parked by the raceway until I damaged them totally and thus dropping them out of the race. I even recall that I made a custom paint job for my car which was grey, and on the hood it was written in purple letters "Death is here". :)
And then I found the great and revolutionary Carmageddon which has changed my vision of destruction forever... a combination of DD and racing game, with much better graphics, gameplay and detail of car damage, it was something that kept me glued to my computer for hours, and sometimes (when my parents weren't at home on a weekend) even from evening to the break of the new day. I even found and imported new vehicles into the game from the 'Net, made many many videos of stunts and crashes that sometimes landed even in the nothingness, outside of the racetrack. As an addition to it I found the Splat Pack with new fun cars (e.g. The Piecemaker) and new tracks, and the fun continued.
Carmageddon 2 (both C1 and C2 I bought in Austria, and so it was the "censored" German version which lucky for me contained robots and aliens instead of pedestrians) was even better than its predecessor, with more cool cars, with an excellent option of jumping from mission of mission without the limit of being stuck just in an area with just 3+1 levels, and with even more detailed car damage. Again hours and hours of fun and mayhem followed, and to add more fuel to it I imported many cars from the 'Net into the game. Now it wasn't an exception that on "home alone" weekends the clock turned 5:00 AM when I finally shut down the PC, and had some sleep until noon or 1:00 PM. The mission levels that followed after 3 completed levels have given me a headache, but somehow I got thru them, until I finally got stuck on the mission level on the USS Lewinsky. But since the selection of levels wasn't linear, I coped with the fact that I can't get through, and instead concentrated on my favourite levels - Airpain 3 was the one that I played the most before uninstalling C2. Again I made many funny stunts and bizarre ideas and screenshots from them (sadly the video capture option didn't work so I was tied to the screen captures), for instance a "swiss cheese" version of an imported blue VW Beetle driven through a minefield, or a "replica" of Cruella De Vil's car from the beginning of the 101 Dalmatians 2 movie (in the case of the LadyBug2 after performing a sky-high jump from a half-pipe).
The unofficial mod of the C2 named Banger Racing (S.O.D. - Seduction of Destruction) provided the same fun (and some fun), but some cars and tracks were strange, especially when an opponent was stuck in some part of the racetrack which you can't reach at all. My favourite in that game was the #145 "Sonic" ('63 Galaxie).
And then came Crashday that had the best detailed car damage so far, and I had lots of fun wrecking the cars in the Stunts mode, for example after taking a big loop and then landing on the hood. Unfortunately (and at the same time fortunately) I couldn't run the game at my home PC, so I played it in spare time on my former office PC again during weekends, most for just 2-3 hours.
The ultimate game that contained concepts of DD and C2 which I stumbled upon was GTA3, which again and ultimately made me frantic for more of it. I've never seen something like this before - stealing any car that was in sight (even a police car, but that wasn't recommended), detailed physics and detailed damage of that cars and of other cars, completely driveable town.... The fun and havoc that followed seemed never ending. Many crazy ideas in such a wide open environment have come to my mind, and many many crazy wrecking-spent hours (and weekend sunrises) followed...
Until, one day, I have been under the heavy effect of that gameplay - dizzy, very nonchalant, absent and not being thinking at all while talking on the phone with my love. This was so serious that we had an argue and almost said goodbye forever. Yes, it was THE moment which left me a bad taste in my mouth and turned the switch in my head permanently off - I've immediately removed GTA3 and from that day I stopped playing games for good!
Now, with a wonderful family of my own, I'm enjoying every moment with them, and with my love I'm enjoying the peace and tranquility of any unspoilt and untouched nature and scenery. No more computer games, I'm not going back!
But, what am I going to do if my kids become such game addicts in the future??? ;O
Over time several sounding names have accumulated in my mind, and they have found their residence there like a virus, although I can't figure out or remember where I have heard about them or found them. I can't explain why, but they emerge from memory in random situations and on random occasions, especially if I'm doing something (thanks to their interesting-sounding nature), and when it does, again I have no clue what does that particular name mean. But I'm sure that it has probably been a decade that they exist in my memory, if not longer than that.
As if it was from my own personal "black box", I've decided to write them down, hoping that I didn't miss any of them, and to finally figure what they mean by searching about them on the Net, just like the great Marcel Proust searched for his "lost time":
Chichester Clam - This sounds to me as if I heard it on TV, and after a short search it was revealed that it really is, and that his full name is J. Chichester Clam and that it is a character from one of the episodes of the Jeeves and Wooster TV series. In particular it is the episode "Lady Florence Craye Arrives in New York", and he is "American tycoon in Joy in the Morning, managing director of the Clam Line who comes to Steeple Bumpleigh to consummate a secret business deal with Lord Worplesdon". Jeeves and Wooster... now that is something that I haven't watched for quite a while... another fine one!
Chick Corea - Unlike I though it is a she, this appears to be a male "American jazz and fusion pianist, keyboardist, and composer", according to Wikipedia. What I found interesting is that he colaborated with great names like Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock or Bobby McFerrin! I loved listening to Stan Getz, it's maybe that I picked his name somewhere around his works. I must look for a "Best of" or something similar.
Ruggero Deodato - I don't know where I bumped into him - according to Wiki, he is an actor and director from Italy "best known for directing violent and gory horror films". But I don't think that I've ever seen one of his movies, as I don't like to watch violent and gory films (especially the horror ones). The only exception is that I've watched the Hostel (part one) a long time ago with a friend of mine, and in its sequel Hostel: Part 2 Deodato had a short appearance.
Conciergerie - I know what a concierge is, but the name Conciergerie lurked in my mind long time before I really visited Paris and seen it in person. I've perhaps heard of it or seen it on a postcard or similar. It is a former prison, "part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité", and in it "hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from the Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris"...
Trottinette - This is the name that I somehow (I'm not sure why) associated with the cars of the 1930s (for example BMW Dixi or BMW 320), however it is the french name for a kick scooter. I don't know how these two things can relate, but it is an interesting find anyway.
Cademartori - I've seen the trucks driven by local people carrying this name here in my town. I think that it were white letters on a light-blue background on that truck. It might have been Paula Cademartori, but something else cought my look, and that is the website of a Milan-based dairy company. The logo is the same as it was on those trucks, so this is it!
Huguenots - This is the least known term for me. According to Wiki, huguenots were "an ethno-religious group descended from 16th and 17th century Protestant Reformed Church of France. Historically, 'Huguenots' were French Protestants inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s, who became known by that originally derisive designation by the end of the 16th century."
Yesterday I've browsed the italian eBay Classifieds and suddenly bumped into this:
I was very amazed and excited when I saw this photo... This is the same model of the backpack that I've used during my high school days (but I had to give it away while moving to the university)!!! I liked carrying it very much!
Actually, there is a small difference from the model I had - my backpack had additional 2 purple side pockets rounded in yellow and across them was written LEOPARD with yellow letters, while this backpack doesn't have side pockets and the lettering LEOPARD is written with big yellow letters across the backpack's side.
It was made in the mid-1990s by an italian company called Leopard. I got it in cca. 1994 and I remember well from the price tag that it costed 128.000 croatian dinars. The backpack from this eBay classified costs 45,00 euro, maybe that can be considered as an approximate conversion of the old price. :)
I've found on another italian website two other Leopard backpacks from that time:
Anyway, this is such a nice flashback and travel back in time! :)
Did you know…
- that the people from Bednja, a village in North Croatia cannot understand the fishermen from the farthest populated Croatian island Lastovo because they speak using completely different dialects of the Croatian language?
- that Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia in the village Smiljan? (And that he refused to accept the Nobel prize because he had to share it with Edison?:D)
- that The White House was built using stones from Croatia’s island Brač?
- that neckties come from Croatia?
- that the most preserved Roman amphitheater is located in Pula which is the only one in the world with all 3 rows completely preserved?
- that Dalmatian dogs (seen in the movie 101 Dalmatians) got their name after Dalmatia, a south coastal region in Croatia?
- that the smallest town in the world according to Guiness World records is Hum in the central part of Istria? It has only 23 inhabitants.
- that Croatia is the homeland of the famous merchant traveler Marco Polo?
- that Croats had their own alphabet called "glagoljica" (eng. Glagolitic) that was in everyday use until the 18th century?
- that the most successful skier in the history of winter Olympic games is the Croatian skier Janica Kostelić and that Croatia is a country without skiing tradition? She won 4 Olympic golden and 2 silver medals.
- that the first european-made pocket-sized calculator, the DB 800, was made in 1971 by a small croatian company Digitron from the little istrian town Buje?
- that in the 1960s and 1970s Croatia was ane of the world's leading countries in animation (Surogat, the Academy Awards-winning short animated film from 1961 and the animated series Professor Balthazar are just one of the examples), and because of that Animafest Zagreb, the famous animated film festival is held every year in Zagreb since 1972?
This is just a test to see how a blog post can look like, and is here to empty the blank space in the Blog section. But also I'll make sure to add here new thoungts of the moment when I come across them as well.