This is not my main blog. This is the other blog. The one that charts all the random bumps on the highway that is life. It was also my first blog, so it is, in it's own special way, still the best.

The other one, the one that I update regularly, can be found here.

That's all for now.

December 10, 2006

Drunk and stupid

Hey, look, two posts in as many days. It's like a bus. You wait ages for one...

So let's start by saying this isn't a pity post. Yes, I only had the conversation with S last night so I'm still in the crash and burn phase, but that's somehow irrelevant right now. Maybe it's denial, maybe not, but I've been going crazy mad for the last week while I tried to work out what was going on with S. I'm okay. I can't really explain it, but I am.

She is one hell of a lady, but then I wouldn't have dated her if she wasn't. The annoying thing, right now, is the realisation that I'm never going to be that guy. I can try, and I will always be charming, attractive and funny, but I'm just plain not desirable. There is for what ever reason something lacking. Yes, I know, I will find an absolutely gorgeous woman eventually, but I'm no longer convinced that I'll get the four children. I'm okay with that.

I'll find her in the mid-thirties/early forties, and it'll be great. A companion, someone to share my life with and enjoy it, but we're never going to be ripping each others clothes off. I guess really that's all I exoect, because if I wanted more than that I'd be out hunting the meat markets to see what I could find.

Yes, I'm probably just in the crash and everything will be different next year but even if it's not, even if I am right, at worst I'll end up happy. I have after all had an amazing life so far.

I look forward to seeing what happens next.

December 09, 2006

The current state of play

Okay. Buckle up because I've got a couple of months to catch up on and a lot has happened. Lets start with S and I getting together. And God it was great. I mean really great. She really is an amazing woman in so many ways. Not least that she had the guts to break up with me a week ago.

Yep, once again I screwed up a relationship. At least I'm consistent, right? Well I say I screwed up but to be honest in some weird way it wasn't working. It was subtle, I'll give it that, but it was somehow wrong. Sometimes I think that the whole dating friends thing will never quite work. Too much history in the wrong way.

But I'm okay with it. I mean I really am. She is an amazing woman in every way. Pretty much everything I could ever want from someone. Except the spark. You know what I'm talking about - the one little thing that makes a relationship work.

I'm reminded at this point of a penny arcade strip. Specifically this one. Love is such a funny word. It means so many things. In this case yesterday it meant that I was willing to spend the rest of my life with her. Today, after spending an hour waiting in the cold for her to get home from work (next time I do that I really must learn when she finishes work), it means a friend who I can rely on to tell me the truth no matter how much it might hurt her.

Also it means whisky (hey Dad, I spelt it right - this time at least). But that's because I've had too many this evening. About half a bottle to be exact. Who needs a liver anyway?

I've also realised that the problem with crazy, impulsive romantic gestures is that they rarely end up being romantic. That means they're just crazy and impulsive. Impulsive is good, but you end up in the cold freezing your arse off (and also looking vaguely threatening because you're wrapped up in so many layers apparently) and being really hungry. So all you're left with is crazy, which is never attractive. So I guess there must be more to a relationship than romance, like the rest of your life or something.

How does that work in polite society then?

This would probably be the point that I'd let it go and leave it for the comments, but strangely I find I can't (probably the whisky again). Oh, for the record, as two friends S and I decided that we needed to work out how the relationship worked before we told people, so if there is anyone reading this going 'who's S?' then really you need to phone me more. Yes, I'm guilty too. That's life, that is.

I'm going to go now.

October 25, 2006

Another witty title

Sometimes no matter what you do, life just plain sucks.

Insomnia is the reason this time around. :(

October 17, 2006

Yet another random post

I'll apologise now because I really do have nothing to say here, it's just been ages since I've posted anything so I figure I should say something...

Let me see - oh, I'm broke again, but that's really a positive thing since it's giving me the kick I need to sort myself out (God knows I can't keep on as I am - that way lies angry conversations with my bank manager). However that being said there are some great/inspiring stories out there - like the guy who had something like £138,000 out in unsecured loans and a failing company that owed something like £250,000. If he can sort himself out then my paltry problems are really nothing!

Unfortunately though it looks like I might not be making it to Borneo in 2008. That'll really depend on how much I save now that I've properly quit smoking. Again :) Oh and when I accept that S likes me and I don't have to keep trying to impress her!

I hate cash at this point in time :(

September 29, 2006

Seriously unconnected ramblings

I know, it's been a while and I've got a lot to cover. So grab a brew, sit back and relax.

Firstly tall ship sailing rules. I mean seriously rules. There is something utterly amazing about hanging over a yard thirty odd feet up with the wind in your hair and nothing between you and the middle of the channel but a rope and a safety harness - and some of the time not even a safety harness! Basically I was having a whale of a time and Dad would have been unable to watch.

I've got to admit spending that much time around that many disabled people was a huge eye opener too. I've been relatively fortunate to have had dealings with a number of disabled people over the years - but they generally all had a mental disability. Watching someone who had difficulty walking navigating a heaving deck to start hauling on a rope and raise a sail was phenomenolly inspiring. I do recommend it to anyone.

Secondly it appears I've finally reached the stage where not only are all my friends getting married they're also starting to procreate. I'm happy for them, but damn. It feels like I missed a couple of steps out of my life somewhere. I better start playing catch up. Just without the whole kid thing obviously. So not ready for one that I can't give back yet...

Which leads me onto point three. As much as I'd like to give you some interesting news about my love life, I really can't. Maybe tomorrow?

September 22, 2006

Some witty title

Some days for no particular reason it just feels great to be alive.

This is one of those days.

September 12, 2006


Ok there is absolutely no way on Earth that I'm going to be able to wait until tomorrow night. I'm sat here clock watching, waiting until I can start reading again! Hell I'd quit right now if I wasn't worried about missing something important and screwing it up! I don't think I have but really what's a few hours wait when freedom is just around the corner?

My God, I'm actually thrumming with excitment! I finally understand what thrumming with excitment means! I've had this big, dopey grin plastered across my face all day and I can't help it! Actually that's not true, it quickly disappears whenever I have a cigarette. How could I ever have actually enjoyed them? One of the ones I had earlier nearly made me throw up!

I really need to calm down and I know it. I've been in this state since last night and if I'm not careful I'm going to give myself a heart attack!

But damn if this doesn't feel better than sex.

Well maybe not quite that good, but pretty damn close!

Quitting smoking 3 - the end of the series

Sometime either tonight or tomorrow night I will actually, definitely, properly quit smoking. It all depends on when I finish the book.

It's going to be bloody marvellous!

September 11, 2006

Pubcrawl the second

I spent yesterday in the glorious sunshine with a rather nice pint, metallic green fingernails, metallic red toenails, green patches in my hair and beard and one bright pink nipple watching people throw black puddings at yorkshire puddings.

Does life get any better?

Oh and hell hath no fury like two women scorned and then told that they wouldn't dare...

I learnt a rather valuable lesson in life I think, I'm just not sure what it was.

August 29, 2006

I don't know

I finally asked S out yesterday. Her response was "I don't know". I guess I should feel bad about that, but the more I think about it the better I like her answer. After all I don't really know what's going on between us, something is I'm sure. Maybe it's what I think it is. Maybe not. It's all very confusing.

But I guess all I really wanted to know was if it was something worth pursuing or if I was just going to end up doing something that would make her feel uncomfortable and awkward. I think whatever is there is still young and needs a bit of time to grow and develop. Maybe it will end up being two very confused friends working out where they stand with each other. Maybe it will be something else. I honestly have no idea.

But I look forward to finding out.

And I'm still happy.

August 22, 2006

Bleached blog

As you've probably noticed I'm playing around with the template again. It appears to be what I do when I'm bored at work...

I've also recently started playing around with my keyboard and I've just moved across to the dvorak layout (see here for the wikipedia article). It's basically a layout based on the frequency of the letters that are used rather than the tradional qwerty keyboard which was designed to stop jams in a typewriter.
I've got to admit I'm quite liking it (although I'll prefer it when I can type as fast as I can think like before) it's quite easy to use and I am slowly picking it up! However learning to type your name from scratch again is a very weird sensation. I mean I don't even really think about what buttons to push anymore! Except if I don't now it comes out as Jam.prb Odc.nn. It's interesting that I can type faster with my eyes closed as well.

Still old dog, new tricks.

August 21, 2006

The Zoo!

I went to the zoo yesterday with Sam and it was goooood. As usual I got envious of the monkeys, they always have the best cages - full of ropes, logs and fun things to climb on. There were a number of really cute babies kicking around (and a couple of very protective mothers; I've never seen anything move so fast as one mum who shot across the cage and slapped the window to warn us off).

I did discover an interesting thing. Apparently animals like Sam. It seemed like she just had to walk up to a cage and the animals were coming over to see her! Especially the cats for some reason. Typical - there's always competition around!

We'd definitely timed it right as well - about 3 o'clock, which seemed to be feeding time, so all the animals were moving around. My one disappointment was that there was a cage between you and the bats. I'm sure I've been somewhere that didn't bother with the cage and had them flying around in the same room as you. Maybe it was Bristol zoo, or possibly Longleat. I forget.

Dinner afterwards was nice too.

August 08, 2006


Apologies to Steve, as I'm blatantly nicking his photo, but it's so good I can't not share it :)

It is however rather large, so it might take a while to view it. Anyway, this was the view on the Monday night of the pub crawl in
Queensferry. that's the Forth rail bridge. The light on the right of the photo was a massive gas flame just over the horizon. There was a gas chimney where they were burning off the excess (we think).

The worst thing is this photo is amazing, and it still doesn't do it justice!

August 07, 2006

Holiday envy

It appears I've been beaten. Two of my friend's have managed to come up with a longer, better, more pointless holiday than the strange pub crawl. To make matters even worse they're doing it for charity. I am not impressed.

Find out more at 39 million steps

Apparently viewing the site makes your life longer, happier and safer from terrorist attacks. It's also healthy and invigorating.

August 03, 2006

Not so strange pubs

I'm back! Although you probably didn't notice me going...

Anyway, after 8 days, 12 train rides, 2 flights, 68+ pints, 7 whiskys, 25 pubs, 1 whiskey distillery, 1 museum, ridiculous photos and 1 Rosslyn Chapel later I've made it through the first of the strange pubcrawls alive. I'm also going to have a very boring month with only a few highlights (Kat's pre-wedding party, Sam's birthday) in order to save cash (and my liver) for the rest of the month.

For some strange reason I'm rather tired today.

Also, Scotland is completely and totally gorgeous. I always knew it, I just didn't realise how much of it was! If you get the chance to spend a week up there it's highly recommended!

July 24, 2006

Monday Morning

So apparently you need money to do things. It's rather annoying like that. Thankfully however having parents who can afford to bail you out once in a while is a very good thing :) Still since I'm off to Scotland this week I guess I better start counting the pennies to get through the next month (fortunately this one shouldn't be too expensive) September looks like it'll be the biggie!

So I've stopped smoking again. I had a bit of a relapse on Saturday night at a wedding with a cigar, but then you've got to really don't you? Well, no, obviously, and I think that's a tradition I need to break.

But otherwise I'm still happy. I think this might be a bit of a record really. Haven't felt this good for this long since... I hit puberty I guess.

Wow, that was a lon time ago. Huh.

July 07, 2006


I appear to be happy again. And have been for the last couple of days. It's been a while I've got to admit.

I'm not sure I like it.

July 06, 2006

Life goes crazy... again...

Sorry for the delay since the last decent post, life seems to have gone a little bit crazy recently.

I spent the weekend getting hot and sweaty with three attractive young ladies (or helping them move house if you prefer), and then helping a friend to not go sailing. Seriously, we moved her boat to the sailing club and everything, she just didn't go sailing. Apparently it was because she has a crazy boat and the wind was too strong, but I reckon she just chickened out. Still we ended up swimming fully clothed in the sea, so it wasn't all bad! If you do get the chance to try that I highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun!

But more importantly all of a sudden I've got holidays coming out of my ears. At the end of this month, I've got a wedding in York. I then come back to work for two days before flying up to visit strange pubs in Scotland for a week. I get back from that, go to the LAN party for the weekend and then I've got three weeks before I go to another wedding (London this time - hey Kat and Pete!) I'll come back from that and then head off to the midlands to visit some more pubs. I'm back for a few days and then work is sending me off on a tall ship for six days, sailing around the country I believe (although I must check that...). The tall ship holiday is fully paid for by work and doesn't take up any of my holiday, so I suddenly like my job! Back for another week and then I've got a wedding in Winchester (not so big a trip, thankfully!) My birthday a week later and then I get October to relax before I go up to York again to be a faceless monk.

And somewhere in there I want to start Capoeira.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but seriously at this rate I'm going to need a holiday to recover...!

June 26, 2006

Stuck in limbo

Something my Mum pointed out to me yesterday stuck in my mind. She said that during Uni I ran around like a mad thing until I didn't burnout. I possibly came close to it, although not really at all, but I needed sometime to myself to recover.

I think she's right. I did go a little bit mad at Uni, and I was constantly running around like a madman. And it was good. But then I needed some time to not be running around like a madman. To kick back and chillout and, well, recover.

The problem I've got now is in the other direction. I'm chilled out so much I'm practically dead. It's like I've been stuck in Limbo ever since trying to find my way around. I think the problem is that I haven't really got a purpose, and haven't had one in quite a while. Always before an opportunity has landed in my lap and I've jumped on it with both hands. I'm now in the position where I'm actually going to have to find something to do, and I really don't know what it is I want to do. How on earth do people make decisions like that?

There have been some suggestions admittedly - rock climbing was one, although there are no real centres near me that I can easily get to. Tai chi has a certain appeal, as does Capoeira - although I have no idea where either of them is likely to be taught! Maybe I should stick with something much more tradional - like sorting out my finances so that I can get on with my life long term, rather than living moment to moment...

But that would take all the fun out of it wouldn't it?

June 16, 2006

Technical difficulties

As part of my effort to get to grip with this blog as a whole I've been playing around with the template a bit. Unfortunately not all of my changes have worked - there are a couple of browser issues kicking around that I'm still working on. So if it looks ugly/stupid or like something's gone wrong then that's the reason. I think the only ones left are to do with the header border/background, but let me know if you spot any others - particularly the sidebar running away and hiding!

It's very shy sometimes...

June 13, 2006

Living the dream

Every so often I think it's important to go back to your roots and relieve a childhood dream. For instance on Sunday a housemate and I went down to Sega Park. We spent half an hour shooting things lots and racing fast cars. Then we went to Burger King and had a burger.

We rounded the afternoon off by going to the cinema and watching a nice pretty action movie with lots of fun effects and explosions but without much of that annoying plot stuff so many modern films go for (or X-men 3: The Last stand as it's also known. I mean really, if ever there was a film that was trying to do too much and failing at all of it...).

Basically it was every 12/13 year olds idea of a perfect birthday party. We were in every sense living the dream. Except that we're a bit older now and the dreams kind of changed. So it's not the dream anymore.

So that made me think, well, why not? After all we constantly work towards these things, why not actually go out and enjoy them while we can. Ok, so it's not as great as it would have been when we were kids, but it's still fun! And if we're always hunting after tomorrow, or fighting for today, then surely we should spend a bit of time appreciating the past as well?

June 01, 2006

Random Drug Tests in Schools

So apparently the government is trying to make a push for random drug tests in schools. I've got to say I'm not impressed. Yes, the testing requires a parents consent, but really I can't see how this is anything less than an invasion of privacy. Not even that but it's a specific invasion of privacy in a targeted area. I mean this is basically treating children as criminals, it's only three steps from the nanny state. After all I can't think of any of my friends who have random drug tests at work, and it's not something I can ever see happening in the future. But setting up a policy of basically testing all children for drugs is ludicrous!

I'm also interested to know what happens to kids who are found to have taken them. Personally I have an issue with recreational drugs being illegal anyway. I mean they really are victimless crime. Now yes, I do understand it's not just as simple as that, and that they do need to be fully understood or else there are other worse consequences. But that's a matter of education and letting people make they're own choice.

However by enforcing random drug tests in schools you're effectively removing that choice from them, forcing the issue rather than letting people learn from their mistakes. Shouldn't this be an issue of informed and not enforced choice?

May 24, 2006

Introspective bias

It's spring and I'm single. That can only really mean one thing - it's introspection time! Yay!

It's something I've started to notice about myself, for some reason whenever I'm single and it's spring I start going into this whole introspection thing. I guess it's something to do with the whole babies issue (or lack there of) maybe natural hormones kick in and I'm forced to start wondering why I (currently) have no real hope of kids in the future? That would make a certain amount of sense, a what's wrong with me type thing.

This years topic of debate is self-control. I'm wondering if hidden under all of the layers I'm actually something of a control freak. Apparently I'm not a very good one considering I have very little control over my life, but I guess really being a control freak isn't about having control of everything but being in control of everything. Namely myself. That's led to a couple of interesting asides about whether I punish friends for taking control of their own lives (in a way I disagree with), whether the main reason I don't travel is to so that I don't end up in situations where I have very little control, if Bristol is actually about anything other than trying to remove myself from a situation where I feel out of control and if my drinking habits are an excuse to let me lose control (in a controlled way).

However the main thing that's on my mind is a fear of intimacy. I wonder if I'm actually terrified about letting someone else have that much control over me and so I sabotage events so that I can get back in control (but at the same time start relationships so that I can at least say I'm trying). I'm starting to realise that a number of my long running internal debates and actions are based not so much on the actual reasons but rather a way of telling myself I'm still interested in reationships without actually having to be in a relationship. Little things like only being attracted to women in long running relationships (who I have no hope with) because that way I can obsess without having to worry if anything would actually happen. I wonder if I'd still be interested with them if they were no longer in those relationships? Since I know (from past experience) that the answer to that question is probably no, then I'm left to wonder if maybe I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to love.

But then aren't we all? As the saying goes: "The only consistent thing between all of your failed relationships is you." But then the only difference between a failed relationship and a succesful one is the other person, and the same goes for them too.

So maybe it's all just life instead!

May 13, 2006

The Daddy Trap

Two updates in one day! There must be something in water here... Either that or I'm slightly bored and there's no-one to talk here :)

Anyway, I found this article pretty interesting. It looks at how the traditional gender roles are changing and the larger effects they're having. It's mainly focusing on the male aspect of it - generally bemoaning the stress that men are suffering from trying to juggle everything in their lives - and parts of it I found pretty surprising. For instance they seemed to think it was exceptional that a guy would be covered while he went to look after his son who had seriously injured his eye. Or that a father would miss a company picnic to go to be at his kid's 5th birthday party

I mean really? Is that so surprising that it needs to be commented on? Surely at the very least this should be expected. After all how many 5th birthdays is a child going to have? And let's face it that's the stage when the child still cares about their birthday.

I remember a couple of years ago Mastercard did one of their standard adverts about a guy travelling. It covered the hiring a taxi to the airport, catching a flight, buying some reading material and I think stopping off at a shop along the way (although I could be getting that bit wrong, it was a while ago). Anyway the last bit was the guy walking through his door and a couple of children running up to him. The tagline was "making it home for Christmas: Priceless".

I assumed that that was much more the norm than anything else. Ok, so it was a sloppily romanticised view (in reality the kids would be too busy fighting amongst themselves), but surely as a whole people aim towards that idea?

Maybe I'm just not looking at the world in the right way.

Happy Columbia Turnpike Yesterday

Yesterday was the anniversary of the accident. Which basically means I was in the pub from 5:30pm and I believe I finished drinking at about 3:00am. Now I'm in work.


It's kind of weird looking back on it now, through the rosy spectacles of seven years. Although I guess there's nothing rosy about the spectacles for this kind of thing.

It's still very much on the surface of who I am. No real escape, but then there's nowhere to hide in your own head there's just pleasant delusions to soften the blow. It's weird the things I remember and don't. I can remember stepping from the curb onto the road and I can remember stepping from the road onto the curb (and everything after that is presented in complete surround sound clarity) but I can't actually remember crossing the road. Some part of me feels that that's the part I should remember because that's the part which I had the most ability to change - if we'd walked a little faster, if I'd been a little bit more actively watching the road...

Instead the bit that I really focus upon is the actual moment just before Jon and Roby were hit. The one instant where I knew what was about to happen but was still processing the scene before me. It's kind of funny how the mind works.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a major thing anymore. Well it is, but like I said it's only in my head. It doesn't affect who, and what, I am. It's just a memory now (although it seems to be one I bring up far to often). Yet it does somehow define me. I guess I'll never know how much I was changed by those events, and I'm not sure I'd ever want to, yet it seems like there must be more to me than that.

I'm not saying I want to get over it (because let's face it you never get over stuff) just that I'd like to look beyond it. I'd like to pick some of the better, happier memories.

But then I still get flashbacks from the accident. Generally these days they're minor, nothing more than a boost of adrenaline that keeps me awake at night (and honestly I'd really like it if the guy who keeps doing handbrake turns around the square outside my window would stop now, please) which are more irritating than anything else. I did have a major one just before Christmas when I saw a car accident. Actually I'm not sure if it was an accident - there seemed to be an inordinant number of plain clothes officers at the scene arresting people. Still that one left me jittery for a good couple of days.

So I guess I'm wondering what if we didn't celebrate Columbia Turnpike day? What if we just let it slide past without mention. Would that make it easier to let it fade into the background, or would that just mean more of the same only slightly repressed?

May 11, 2006

I'm back and I'm different...

Sorry, I'd like to say I've been hiding, but in reality I've just been... well busy actually.

Work has suddenly gone mad, and for some reason my social life has suddenly blown out of proportion that I'm struggling to find time to keep up with my tv watching/sitting brooding in the dark. It's all very upsetting.

The weird thing is that I'm not entirely sure how it's blown completely out of proportion. I'm sure there was some kind of reason, but I just seem to be busy, busy busy. I keep looking forward to a nice boring weekend with no plans when people keep booking up my time because it's "their birthday", or they "are visiting", or they "are having a party", or they "want to go for a drink", or worst of all "it's the weekend."

If I keep this up I'll have nothing to whine about!

Worst of all however is the fact that I'm going to have to come into work this weekend, which means that I won't be able to properly celebrate road rash day this Friday. What's the point of celebrating the most horrible moment of your life if you can't even get so drunk you've got to stay in bed for the rest of the weekend? I don't know.

Finally here's a quote that's been rattling around my brain recently:
"Life isn't fair, but it's unfair to everyone, which is fair." Typically I have no idea who said it first, and my Google Fu skilsl are failing me, so I think I'll just claim it as my own.

April 28, 2006

New computer parts

I've got new computer parts! Ah, joyous. I shall have a very fun evening transferring data between hard drives until eventually I crash the entire system, give up in despair and go hide somewhere until the flames die down!

There's something about new toys that lifts your entire day, isn't there?

April 27, 2006

Ice Age 2 : The Meltdown

I've got admit I was only a slight fan of Ice Age. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't great. Let's face it everyone mainly liked it for Scrat's attempts to get an acorn of his own.

Ice Age 2 suffers a similar fate. Don't get me wrong, the animation was amazing and the characters are fun interesting and exciting. This is a film that has plot coming out of it's ears - every character has they're own little subplot. Manny (the mammoth) is worried that he's the last Mammoth. When he finally meets Elly (another mammoth) she's convinced she's a possum. Diego (the sabre tooth tiger) is afraid of water. and Sid (sloth) is still trying to get some respect. All of this plays out against a back drop of impending doom as the ice age is leaving and the flood is coming. Plus two dinosaurs have been defrosted and are out for food. Plus there are two manic possums running around wildly.

Like I said this is a film that has subplots coming out of its ears, but it never really felt like there was a main plot. To make matters even worse towards the end of the film they're obviously bulking out the story with some random set pieces. Although the song and dance number is quite fantastic! It should be noted however that there is no extra bit at the end. No matter how long you wait for.

Basically this is a film that is saved by strong characterisation and amazing animation. The story is just there to keep the characters bumping into each other.

And Scrat still saves the film.

April 25, 2006

Actias Luna


I've been meaning for the last couple of days to put up a link to simplecubed. It's a website a friend of mine has created to show off his work. I finally got around to looking at it on Sunday and I was completely blown away. To the extent I had to text him immediately!

I particularly recommend watching Actias Luna. For some reason this has just blown my imagination open and I keep having to go back and watch it again. It's very, very cool!

Death or glory!

I went paintballing yesterday, and I've got to say it's something I really should do more often. Of course I think the main enjoyment came because we created tactics and then stuck to them. This did mean that by the end of the day the other team had been increased to out number us by about 35 to 25, and we still won 8 - 1 (the one they got at the end, but not really since they didn't properly achieve their objectives; Ho-hum).

The downside of this is that every muscle in my body aches. Still there is something vaguely exhilarating about standing still while paintballs wizz around you (and slam into the walls behind you) because if you move you'll expose yourself and be shot.

Good Times :)

April 20, 2006

I've got a lover - ly bunch of...

Impossible to open big nut things. :(

Well I say bunch, what I really mean is one. I eventually had to just take the hammer to the thing and break it into pieces. Although I thought I'd drained it, this lead to a huge load of coconut water pouring out across my carpet... It worked in the end, but still - I swear those things used to be easier to open.

Still as I sat there with my broken shards of coconut shell lying all around me, I realised something else - just because the shell was broken open didn't mean that I could actually get to the coconut. I mean those things were like glued onto the shell or something :( I had to use a knife finally to pry the bits of white flesh off the shell so I could eat them. It turned out to be way more effort than it was probably worth, and I ended up with a belly ache the next day.

But over all it was fun! I can hardly wait until the next one...!

April 18, 2006

Wight Eggs and new traditions

Yesterday I spent a rather fun day on the Isle of Wight. Well I say a day, it turned out to be an afternoon. It was however rather fun and on the Isle of Wight.

Originally I'd planned to go across to Ryde and ride on the Steam Railway and then go to the Isle of Wight Zoo. That was my plan all along. So I was slightly surprised to find myself getting on a bus ot go to Alum Bay and the needles at the other end of the island. Still it was fun!

I skipped the pointless chairlift and instead used my legs to walk to the beach (it only takes about 30 seconds longer than the chairlift). I found myself a nice Wight Egg and carried it all the way up to the old bailey above the needles. I found a suitable little hill and left it there. I think on the next bank holiday I'm going to do it again. Eventually I hope to create a cairn entirely from Wight Eggs, and hopefulyl it'll start to propagate itself!

In reality I'm guessing someone will knock it over :(

If you don't know a Wight Egg is a lump of chalk that's fallen from the cliffs onto the beach. The sea then runs across it, and since it's chalk it very quickly gets worn away. What you end up with is a smooth white stone, that looks like an egg. They fall all around the island, and they vary in size from half the size of your head, to about the size of a pea.

Their great!

April 15, 2006

One slip too many

I'll say now I'm slightly drunk. It'll save time later. :)

I finally decided it was time to add an image to this blog. I went with this: a copy of an image from one of the last Sandman comics. It's death, the way death should be. Not some annoying skeletal cadaver, but a cute chick who's someone you might want to meet. Because let's face it, as the ultimate end of all life, Death should only be a good person to meet. Someone funky and nice to know. It kind of makes me think of Nicholas Cage in 'City of Angels'. Someone who's much more interested in life than the people who live here. Not a depressing image I'd have to say! Or at least not if done properly.

Hopefully I've done justice to... I forget the artist's name. I'd like to say Dave McKean of MirrorMask fame, but I know he was just the cover artist. According to Wikipedia it's probably Marc Hempel as it came from The Kindly ones. Still Neil Gaiman's work seriosuly rules. He's the only guy who's won a proper honest-to-god literary award (the World fantasy award) for a comic (cue shock horror - although it is fantasy so unfortunately not that much :( ) and as a great as that issue was (#19) that's nothing compared to the rest of the series. Oh yeah!

Also in the efforts of full disclosure last Saturday I had five cigarettes. In my defense I'd have to say:
1) If Em hadn't so completely dismissed me in one glance.
2) If when she did decide to talk to me she didn't shout at me for something that wasn't my fault.
3) If I'd been somewhere other than Annie's birthday so I'd felt like I could have replied.
4) If I'd been somewhere that I could have just accepted it (see above) and not sucked it up so that eventually I just needed to blow off steam.
5) If I'd been somewhere that I didn't need to escape, and needed a reason to escape.
6) If I hadn't seen an evening ahead of me of trying to avoid Em (which turned out to be unjustified since she left soon after) in a space which had no room to avoid her.
7) If I hadn't mostly been surrounded by her friends.
8) If I'd been a better person and not someone who was still secretly in love with her, but knew that that love wasn't returned (because it was essentially a big mistake. A lot of fun, but still a big mistake all the same).
9) If I hadn't been that drunk :)

Then I probably wouldn't have had the first one. Which led to the second, third and fourth...

The pack of ten I smoked tonight I had no excuse for. But I've got to say, I seriously gave up that much of my life for this crap? I mean damn, it's not like they taste any good!

So the wonderful quitting smoking plan kind of died briefly. But I've got to say I'm feeling more positive about it now. Yes there's still a cetain amount of craving, but what does that really mean if I'm not smoking anymore?

It means part of me still wants to smoke obviously, but I can deal with that part. As long as I accept the difference between a glitch and a mistake. If you can't fall of the wagon long enoug ht obounce then how do you know you're really on the wagon after all?

Finally I briefly caught up with an old friend this evening, who also happens to now be the drummer for Razorlight. Very bizarre, but pretty cool! He's such a nice guy, and it's still good to catch up with him. Even if I did feel a little like 'But you're all rich and famous, I'm not sure how to talk to you anymore!'. So I now have his mobile. I feel like I have power!

Sleep calls. Later!

April 12, 2006

Stupid IT policy

Call me crazy, but you'd think that an engineering company with a strong background in computer software would at least vaguely trust their staff to be able to, I don't know, use a computer? That maybe we might have a better idea over the tools available to us that we could comfortably use and they'd let us?

That possibly the IT policy should embrace this richness of experience and wisdom rather than stifle it by locking down users accoutns to the extent that they can't actually do, well, anything on their machines?

I mean what's the point of having experienced engineers if you're not willing to use their experience?

Also, my brand spanking new machine just got upgraded to another different brand spanking new machine thanks to an upgrade. Just after I got it working properly. So now I get to start all over again...


April 07, 2006

I take it back...

It turns out you don't get used to sleep deprivation. The last week or so my insomnia has flared up again - to the worst stage where it doesn't feel like I'm getting any sleep at all. I've had that before, but generally only for one night. Now I don't think I've had a decent nights sleep in about two weeks.

It's not so fun anymore.

I did have a nice moment last night when I first went to bed and I found myself feeling completely at peace. There was no sound (and I mean none, which is unusual for the centre of Southampton). I could occasionally hear a car in the distance, but only if I really concentrated. It was neither hot nor cold nor warm. If ever there was a point that I'd say that temperature ceased to exist, that was it. I was neither comfortable nor uncomfortable...

Actually it's probably more like limbo I guess. If ever there was a time when the world ceased to have any impact on me, and I ceased to have any on it, that was it. And it went on for a while, I've got to say. A couple of minutes at least.

I wonder if there was a reason for that?

April 05, 2006

Early Mornings vs Early Nights

I've finally accepted that when one of my housemates says that his alarm goes off at 6:00am, what he actually means is that the first time his alarm goes off is at 6:00am.
Normally that wouldn't matter, but it was throwing my mornign routine completely out of wack since I could never judge when the shower was going to be free and so I generally ended up with train issues.

It did however mean that I managed to squeeze my morning routine either further down to only half an hour + cleanign the kitchen time after everyone else in the flat has ruined it.

Put these two factors together and I've discovered an added benefit: if I set my alarm for 6:00am I can be up and showered (and mostly dressed) by the time he stumbles through to the bathroom. End result: I don't have to see anyone until after I've left the house (which I generally think is a bonus - I'm generally not ready to present myself to the world at large until at least half an hour after I've started moving), I don't have to clean the kitchen because it hasn't been messed up from the night before (and so I only have to do it once a day! Yay!) and I get into work a full half an hour early which will nicely build me up enough time to leave early on a friday.

So generally all good. Except this means I'm going to end up even more tired in the evenings. Damn...

April 04, 2006


You've probably noticed my complete lack of posts recently. I've been trying to work out why it is and I've got to say I'm not entirely sure. I was cat sitting last week, but that wouldn't have stopped me from posting (since I can post from either at home or at work). I've also been reasonably busy trying to do things for the forums third birthday (Yay!) but again that shouldn't have stopped me from spending five minutes posting something...

I even had a very enjoyable day on Sunday wandering around Wisley (and it's garden... centre I think, but really, it's so much more than that) with most of my family for my Mum's birthday. It was great fun (if slightly spoiled by a combination of rain and a lack of things being open/on over the winter. What's the point of a water feature that isn't on?).

But then I realised, there's very little that I can post that won't end up being a complaint about someone, somewhere. In fact I realised recently that the vast majority of people I see reasonably regularly are people I don't really enjoy being around. Most of the people I actually consider to be friends are people who are far, far away from me and I talk to online rather than face to face. In fact one of the best things about Wisley was I spent the day without being surrounded by people annoying me, and with people I was actually interested in talking to! For some strange reason that doesn't seem to be right. Like my life's missed a beat somewhere and I've got stuck in some bizarro world.

So I've reached the conclusion that come September (when I'll finally be free of the AMS/BAE beast I've been stuck with for the last seven odd years) it's time to get the hell out of dodge and go somewhere completely new. I'd like to eventually end up in Edinburgh, but I think I need to live somewhere else first (maybe even two or three places). Although where I end up will almost certainly depend on where work is I guess.

Part of me worries that all I'll really doing then is running away from my problems, but to be honest I'm going to have to paraphrase Pratchett on this one: it's not where you're escaping from, but to, that counts.

March 21, 2006

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

I ended up watching this movie on Sunday night with a couple of my housemates and I was blown away by it. It was probably one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, and one of the few ones that I've actually felt motivated to go and buy (rather than stumbling across in a sale and grabbing while it was cheap).

It's written and directed by Shane Black, the writer behind Lethal Weapon, and in some ways follows the same formula - a mixture of action and comedy wrapped up in a buddy movie. The difference here is that all that's wrapped up in a film-noir and the buddy's are a small time crook, a hard nosed, cynical, gay P.I. and a failed actress.

This film plays on the film-noir strategy beautifully. It's fully of gloriously almost pointless violence and for some reason it's all directed at the small crook. Barely a scene goes by when he isn't getting beaten up or attacked. On top of this the jokes are fast and furious. So quick in fact that at times you're so busy laughing at one that you miss the second! It's blithely self-referential and you can just tell that everyone is having fun with it.

Basically you need to see this movie.
That is all.

March 13, 2006

And another thing...

When did hangovers cease to be any fun? (In fact when were hangovers ever actually fun?) All of a sudden a decent night out means that you can write the next two days off. Movement is reduced to practically nothing for a day and it's all jsut generally bad.

Surely that can't be right?

Post-Modern Paranoia

I've come to the conclusion that I live in a weird world of permanent paranoia about all the wrong stuff. For instance: I've currently got a stomach ache. It's possible it's just a hangover but it feels slightly off.

Now most people out there would shrug it off. They might call in sick to work and spend the day in bed recovering. Other people would just ignore it and get on with their day as best they could. A very small number of people would immediately get an appointment at the doctor to deal with the first few stages of stomach cancer (because what else could a dodgy stomach be?).

I instead spend my time worrying that I might start worrying that my stomach ache is actually Stomach Cancer. Which is a slightly weird way of looking at things.

Here's another one: I've never really spent much time around any disabled people. Not for any specific reason, just because I've never made the opportunity. Now obviously I 've got no problem with them, but whenever I do meet one I start worrying that I'll end up acting weirdly around them. Right now for instance I'm trying to decide if "disabled person" is correct or if it should be "person with disability", whereas what I should really ask is "would they care?" And yes, I probably do end up acting weirdly around them by deliberately trying to not act weirdly around them...

How weird is that?

EDIT: I've recently been pointed towards the Implicit Association Tests a series of tests which gauge how you unconciously register differences. For instance you can consciously not discriminate against someone but accidentally discriminate against them. It's interesting, check it out.

March 09, 2006

Avoidance techniques

So far it hasn't been too bad. I've taken the simple and straight forward step of avoiding work by not doing any. I should really get around to logging on to my work pc... (I have two pc's at work, one for work and one for messing around. It's possible the second one has another reason for existing but I've given up on finding it.)

Mexican Chimichangas for lunch. They seem to have sobered me up slightly but that just means I've now got a permanent headache. And the entire afternoon is spread before me with nothing but Questionable Content to keep me going. I've only got about two hundred more issues to go, so it might be close.

Oh, and I've just entered the lunchtime slow down period...

Deep breaths.

Bad day...

Due to an unfortunate series of events last night, I arrived to work an hour late. I'm currently hungover and wearing the same clothes that I a) wore yesterday and b) slept in.

It's going to be a bad day. I can sense it.

Oh, and I don't have my train ticket so getting home's going to be interesting too.

March 08, 2006

World Fusion...

I've recently started getting into World Fusion music. For those who don't know, World Fusion is a catchall for the next stage in the World Music movement. It basically came about because all ethnic music got lumped into one single category.

By the time the world music fans started to write music they had been influenced by music from all over the world, and so they did the logical thing - they combined it all. It's slightly weird hearing a celtic jig written to a dance beat with a traditional african bass underneath, and yet somehow it works.

At the moment I only seem to have got a mainly seems to be an African/Celtic mix, but I'm hopeful I shoudl start finding some more stuff soon. I reckon Paul Simon's Real World Studio would be the best place to start, since it was deliberately set up to expose more people to music from around the world - one of the few examples of a record studio that has an aim outside of jsut making money (although I'm not stupid enough to believe making money isn't a small part of it!).

Real World also has the distinction of being the home of the very cool AfroCelts (who either used to be, or are again the AfroCelt Sound System) a band I've been enjoying for years now They keep things interesting by inviting in other artists pretty much whenever they can to get more influences from more places in the world - so I'm not really sure if the Afrocelts title holds anymore...

Also, check out Baka beyond I'm pretty new to them, but I'm liking them. They're much more subtle - and less dancy than the afrocelt, but still fun to listen to!

March 07, 2006

Hey Kat (aka Quitting Smoking 2)

You know it completely didn't occur to me that you might back track from my comment on your blog to here. Huh.

I'm also guessing that you're probably the only other person who knows this blog exists other than me (unless you've told Perro, in which case I guess he knows as well). The only other place I put a link to it was in my forum profile, but I can't see people reading it from there (if there are forum peeps out there then let me know, I'd be interested to find out).

I'm still in the fun playing around with the template/tone of writing stage I'll start telling people once I've decided what I'm going to finally go with. I've got to say the current affairs rant really doesn't seem to work for me. I guess I'm just not that kind of guy...

However the main point of this was to update the blog on whole smoking thing. I guess it wasn't quite as straight forward as I thought since whilst drunk on Saturday I ended up having a cigarette. On the plus side I only had half of it and then had to stub it and down a pint of water to try and wash the taste out of my mouth. It was gross, so I haven't had one since.

I haven't really decided about the whole what to do at Easter thing. Bizarrely the point of this latest attempt isn't to quit smoking it's more of a moral support thing. Basically one of my housemates girlfriends (Cat) decided she needed to cut down on her chocolate eating. So she decided she'd give it up for lent. But then she didn't think she could manage it. Muggins here got somehow talked into giving up smoking if she gave up chocolate. So we'll just have to see what happens come Easter. But if I can't have even a half cig without having to stop I'm guessing chances are good that I'll just keep on trekking.

March 06, 2006

Police State and Counting.

So apparently the American Patriot Act has been upgraded to remove even more civil liberties. This not long after the British Government rejected the House of Lords attempt to make sure Identity Cards were not compulsory.

I've found myself wondering, if a government fails it's citizens then it should be changed or replaced. That's the very basis of democracy, as soon as the government begins to fail you then you can change it to a better one (or to quote the West Wing, the lesser of 'who cares?'). So what happens when you are unable to change the government through such means? What if in ten years time the ID card is just the tip of the iceberg and we have slipped down into a weird police state?

I can see a weird future where a countries very citizens are forced to become terrorists (although they'll of course be called 'freedom fighters', like that excuses it). Wouldn't it be better to halt the slide now and start actually trying to listen to people a little more clearly? Maybe even try and help them a little bit?

The quote that springs to mind is: "start treating people like criminals and they will start acting like criminals".

God I hate the modern world sometimes. Too many people trying to force people to be better people. When are we going to accept that we're all just people, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that?

March 03, 2006

Quitting Smoking

You know I completely forgot, I quit smoking two days ago. Errr... three.

I've stopped smoking for lent, how's that? :) Although technically I did have a cigarette first thing on Wed morning, so I started a little bit later than lent officially starts.

Anyway, I've finally got as far as actually thinking about it this morning, and I was considering either turning this into a "look I've quit smoking blog" or creating a new one for that. But I realised, well, I really don't have anything to say.

The problem with quitting smoking is that most times people do some weird variation on cold turkey. They might try using replacements, or refocusing the addiction somewhere else, but basically they go cold turkey. So all they do is stop smoking and then try and deal with the cravings. Surely it makes more sense to deal with the cravings first and then stop smoking? After all if you don't actually want a cigarette then you won't be tempted to smoke, and you can get on with life.

Basically people will tell you quitting smoking is really hard, when in actual fact it's easy. After all nicotine cravings are so weak that generally they won't even wake you up at night! I mean yes, I do know people who've woken up to have a cigarette each night, but they're the exception rather than the rule. And even then they go far longer during the night than they would even consider during the day.

Another thing people forget is that nicotine burns out of our system within three days of smoking a cigarette. Then it's gone. No more cravings. The problem has never been quitting smoking. I don't believe there's a single smoker who can't (with the right mindset) quit quickly and easily without problem. However I do think that there's a number of smokers out there who try to make out that it is difficult and so refuse to quit. Or if they do attempt to quit, they go about it completely unprepared to deal with anything that might be even slightly problematic.

March 02, 2006


I saw AeonFlux last night.

I know this has had a load of bad reviews, but I thought that an attractive woman running around with pretty explosions and some fun fights and gun play would be enjoyable. Instead it turns out that there was very little fighting/gunfighting, and the attractive woman was in less than attractive apparal. Overall it all just ruined the movie for me.

To make matters even worse there was no tension to the entire thing since the impression was that she could wipe the floor with the rest of the planet and not even break a sweat if she wanted to. They tried throwing in the traditional upper arm shot at the beginning to make her seem more human. Instead it just came as if the only reason she got hit was because she hadn't quite been paying attention. She certainly wasn't in any danger, for goodness sake, she was only up against... I dunno, it was somewhere between 1 and 10 people at that point. It doesn't really matter, they only lasted about three seconds in total.

And as for the major themes and revelations they were hardly surprising, or original. Or fully formed to be honest. Genetic memory is a pretty stupid theme unless it's involved in a plot point. The only one that counts in AeonFlux is pretty rubbish.

And all the ideas were already used in the Island, a film which does have lots of pretty explosions/fights/gunfights/attractive woman running around. AND uses all it's plot points to full effect.

Pointless Story

You've probably worked out by now that this is a pretty pointless blog. It has, as it were, no real purpose in life other than I had to sign up before I could comment on Kat's blog.

But now that I've got it, I suppose I might as well use it. It's just, well, as you might of guessed I really do have nothing to say. I don't really do much of anything, except program and get stories.

Actually, that's weird, there really is no word for the process of gaining stories. You can read a story in a book, you can hear a story being narrated, you can watch a story on tv, in the theatre or at a cinema.

You don't remember these stories, you might learn them I guess but you don't acquire them with the idea of learning them. You want to be fascinated and enthralled by them. You want to learn how to handle life from them.

And above all you want to find the good ones, the quick tales, the long epics, the emotional wholes and the other sneaky little narratives that turn you around.

So I guess I do have something to talk about after all. :)

February 27, 2006

Got to start somewhere

But I don't really have anything to say yet. This blog will improve when I've come up with something to talk about.