Saturday, March 24, 2007

Prepare for the new Rant Order!

I've just bought a domain name and a nice bit of internet out in the country. When it's ready, me and the blogs will be moving. It's best to do it now while the oldest is still a just a couple of years old.

Why? It's mainly so I can do some technical thngs, I haven't really touched any for years with the job I have and so I am going to try and find time to learn outside work. Also I have never done webbyness before, so I am gonna give it a go and see what I can pick up.

It'll probably be months before I work out what the hell I doing anyway, but I thought I would let you all know that there may very well be a shiny new site for you to visit! All I need to do is work out how to code webby things, PHP and MySQL. Easy.

Update: I now have an under constrcution page. I didn't realise until today how long its been since I did anything technical, I have a feeling the 'Under construction' page will be there for some time to come lol! Anyway it's here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Notes on the weekend....

Just so you know I am still alive ;)

I'm still pretty busy at work, hence the paucity of entries of late, so apologies for that!

Friday - I didn't do much Friday night so that's short and sweet for you. Unless you count ridding Pacific City of baddies with my super-human Crackdown man on the XBox 360. Oh and I found some old Comedy Store shows that I watched, with the beginnings of Marcus Brigstocke's 'David Blaine - Git Wizard' material. I particularly enjoyed the story of the man who flew a R/C Helicopter carrying a burger past Blaine's box. Also the description of him as 'A shameful waste of blood and organs'.

Saturday - Saturday I spent making my room fit for human habitation as my old housemate Laura was coming to visit. Technically she was visiting her grandparents in Cobham, which I live near - but lets just let my ego have it's moment of glory shall we?

My amazing planning skills didn't let me down, and my night out with about a dozen people evaporated throughout the day with various people not getting in touch and me losing the will to live. To be honest, the good people of Pacific City needed my strong brand of law enforcement far more than those ingrates needed my help to organise a piss-up anyway. It got to a point where it was looking like we couldn't make until fairly late on anyway, and transport back is always crappy so we decided to hit the local. This helped increase our drinking time by a couple of hours, and also meant there was less chance of us getting lost on the way back.

Anyway, small bunch of us went to the local and got drunk - me and Laura got back into stride with catching up and insults and basically had an awesome night. She's promised to sneak down without telling her grandparents next time. I'm not sure this lying fits in with my Law Protecting credentials, but as it is not taking place within the bounds of Pacific City, its entirely outside my jurisdiction.

SundayYesterday (after morning patrol obviously!) I spent my time evenly divided between eating bacon sandwiches (Maple cured...mmmmmmmm!), watching Comedy Store stuff and playing on my DS.

Now here's the thing about that. You know how people talk about Dog Years? Like 1 human year is equivalent to 7 dog years? Well that's how me and my people are with gadgets. Basically, 1 Gadget Freak month is equivalent to 7 Human Months. So when I buy a new gadget or game, I'm really excited for about a week (if that) before it becomes an addition to my 'stuff'. Hence my current attempts to cut back you see.

The exception to this rule is the Awesomeness that is the Nintendo DS Lite. To cut a long story short - before my Pittsburgh trip I ordered Age of Empires for my DS, it didnt arrive and I forgot about it. However it did eventually arrive but as I have not been on any long journeys has remained unplayed, until yesterday. Now I was sat in my room, surrounded by lots of gaming power (PC, enormous TV and 360). Specifically I was sat there playing ona hand-held console. And this is the power of that thing, it is just mind blowingly good. I have had it for about 6 months or more, and I still love it and use it - in Human time this is about 4 years. Seriously people, I lost about half my Sunday to this thing.

I should highlight that these days it's quite rare for me to lose such large amounts of time to a single game - even the fine upstanding people of Pacific City only received and hour or two of my benevolent, law upholding violence at any one time.

Which leads me on to how I deal with the morning after the night before. Generally it involves snacking, sugary drinks, sugarless tea, pork based 'meals' and TV shows. By TV Shows, I mean stuff that I can watch continuously throughout the day, there is nothing like a good vegging day after a night out. This 'one item to focus on' method is probably why Age of Empires suited so perfectly yesterday. After I helped the original Crazy Frog - Jeanne D'Arc - liberate Orléans, I decided to call it a day - tonight I complete the campaign by leading the Dauphin, Charles VII, to Reim to be crowned King of France. Incidentally, sequels are usually crap but in Chuck's case, number VII was a totally the best episode.

Anyway, I'm rambling now, this was only meant to be a short post but has turned into an epic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Help, I can't feel my face!

OK, so I went for a couople of well deserved beers after work yesterday, got there about 6:30. I only had like 4 pints, then we headed back to the flat, so it was still only about 8-8:30 at this point.

Anyway, I decided I would knock a chilli up, which I duly did. I did make a couple of errors in judgement, chief amongst these was the fact that I had some fairly good chilli powder in stock at last. It's not great but better than the usual supermarket junk.

The problem here was that I was currently used to using the supermarket stuff, and suplementing that with things with actual flavour and kick. Anyway, long story short - I used too much chili powder. This had the effect of me gettting some taco shells, cheese, tomatoes etc. Then preparing my plate with all the bits I'd need to enjoy my meal.

The I sat down in front of Bremner, Bird and Fortune and began to enjoy my meal. By 'enjoy' I of course mean 'experience stroke-like numbness in half my face'. It was like having a chemical peel inside my mouth.

Don't drink and Spice folks, it ruins lives.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Terry's Chocolate Orange

It's crap.

Thosw of you of a foreign, barbaric persuasion may not be aware of this confection. It's a Milk Chocolate oragnge chocolate that comes in the shape of an orange. You give it a whack and unwrap it and it is all in Orange-esque segments.

I remember seeing ads as a child thinking that this must be extra special stuff!

I went to Budgens the other day and saw that it was on special offer if you bought 2, and they also had a dark chocolate variety. I don't buy a lot of chocolate but as i stood there it occurred to me that I had never actually bought one of these things - I have a vague recollection of trying a bit of one. Anyway, i bought one of each and stuck em in the fridge.

I tried 'em today and to be fair to Terry's - the advertising is superb cos the chocolate, while nowhere near Hershey's bad, is certainly worse than Nestle.

Anyway, short post - Terry's chocolate orange is poo.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Front Bottom Monolgues???!

Some school girls in New York got suspended from school for using the 'v' word during a recitation from the Vagina Monologues. Let me just say that again. Some school girls in New York got suspended from school for using the 'v' word during a recitation from the Vagina Monologues.

The story is here.

Now the school is saying that they were suspended for disobeying orders, rather than what was said. The specific order being 'When you do your recitation of the Vagina Monologues, don't say Vagina'. I wonder how the introduction was supposed to go?....

Thing is, I've watched the Vagina Monologues - a performance given by the author I believe - on Channel 4. Now I appreciate I am a man and therefore according to this piece of work basically equivalent to syphilis, but I have to say I didn't think much of it. I just really think that it's one of those things that is successful because of its controversy rather than its artistic merit. Any male equivalent would be immediately crucified. Luckily that would never happen outside the realm of comedy (Talking Cock - Richard Herring - yes I am a child!). I vaguely remember hearing about a play with similar subject matter to the VM but done with far more subtlety and art and thought. I can't comment on it, I haven't seen it and can't even remember the name!

OK so here's the disclaimer - I'm a man. This play isn't aimed at me and I know there is an element of the audience for this thing that loves to feel that us men 'just don't get it' then shuffle off with a self-satisfied air. I'm not interested in you, I am interested in the people with a genuine opinion , as opposed to the ones who think 'this is about me, therefore I must say it is good'. I know I am not meant to get it, I was just offering an opinion and I'd be glad to hear yours.

I am also perfectly aware that as soon as women work out a way of taking the lids off jars, men are effectively obsolete (think I nicked that off someone).

Right, back to the New York thing. Why were these kids banned from using an anatomically correct medical term in a school? I can understand them censoring the witty and incisive part of the play where the woman on stage shouts 'C***!' for about 15 minutes. But the dreaded 'V' word? What happens in biology class in these schools? Do they have a diagram of a Stork?

I'm genuinely fascinated by this, banning the vocalisation of a word that is in the title of what you are presenting. Were the school hoping that their education provision was so appalling that none of the audience was able to read the flyers? Seriously, someone help me out here cos I am struggling!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Quiet Drink....

It appears that our gentle reunion drink near Victoria tomorrow has taken on a life of it's own. So far Dr Robotnik has developed an entourage of at least 2, Nim the Tart will have a posse of indeterminate size and I've managed to persuade (for persuade, read inform) Shipley that he is coming along. In addition to this I appear to have got half the London element of my project to come along.

Happy days.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Forward planning - my very own Kryptonite

I swapped an on call day last Friday to this Friday so that i could go visit Hannah, completely forgetting that I also have plans this Friday to meet up with Niemesh the Uber-Tart and RoboMatt (or Dr Robotnik since he got his Phd). We haven't seen each other for ages and we need some post-work drink and merriment in order to slag off the firm and generally catchup.

I shall have to employ all my powers of persuasion in order to convince some other chump kind soul to swap out a Friday with me.....

Monday, March 05, 2007

More notes on Guitar Hero.....

It occurred to us that if you got Guitar Hero 2 with 2 guitar controllers - that allows one player to be guitar and the other to play bass. You then integrate that with Sing Star and Donkey Konga. Finally, add Dance Dance Revolution to the mix. You now have a band, complete with lead singer, backing vocals and even your own dance troupe!

You get all these games working together on XBox Live and you can have Battle of The Bands! mwahaahahahahah!

Of course there is an argument put forward by pedants and the socially adept that you could just learn instruments and form a real band. I do not let your petty "facts" ruin my logic!


Kudos to Julie - check out her Rocking-ness!

After months of playing, she's truly made it. Don't forget us little people Julie!

Hannah, Guitar Hero and the Beginning of The End

So I went to visit my friend Hannah over the weekend. She is one of my best friends from Uni (I'm not 30 yet so am still allowed to use the term 'best friend'). I rarely get to go to Hull these days for reasons already discussed which means I haven's seen Emi or Astrid since about October, which is lame beyond belief.

So I got to Leamington Spa about 8-ish and we had to drop some stuff off, and Hannah needed to open her Christmas presents - she got an R/C pirate ship which made her very happy. I got Stopit and Tidyup on DVD along with the book of General Ignorance and a tom Holt book, which made me very happy. Hannah insisted on being called Captain though decided against the eye patch for the trip to the pub.

We then went to a great pub called Robin's well where we drank lots, mainly of Vodka Mules. It was great fun catching up and taking the piss out of each other and those around us until Hannah's constitution gave out and we needed to leave. We picked up Pizza from a fantastic pizzeria and stumbled homeward.

The next morning I got up and watched some DVDs, infuriating Hannah by deciphering her house mate's Remote control configuration - a task that has eluded all but the house mate concerned. What can I say? Some people are great artists or doctors, I am good with gadgetry.

I watched some Mighty Boosh,, which I love. Later in the day, the football was on. I' however, was otherwise occupied. I had a quick go on Guitar Hero II earlier that morning and decided I was going to borrow Nick's PS2 and get me the game. then learned that it was coming out for the XBox 360, only with a cooler looking guitar, more songs and the guitar would be wireless.

While the footy was on I went about ordering the 360 version using my mobile phone on the Play website. I am now waiting for the game to arrive and my social life to end. it's horrendously addictive, as described by Julie

PS2 version

360 version.

More later.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Checks and Balances

Since I got back from the US I've rarely seen my flat before 7pm on a week night, due to various things going on at work. This, for once, isn't a complaint it's just a fact. Changes to my team mean I'm either short handed or have relatively new and untrained people (I should point out that the team is only 3 big including me so it's not as grand as it sounds! lol). Add to that that the auditors are in, I've decided to to take on a bunch of other work that's unrelated to my role and that it is the end/beginning of the month and you have a perfect recipe for working late. It's awesome.

On the plus side I know when things quieten down a bit I'll pretty much be able to take a fair chunk of the lost time off in other places. I live a 20 minute walk from the office so it's easy enough as things go. Another downside is that my 1 man mission to increase the profile of the lesser celebrated Patron Saints days is going to take a blow as it's St David's day today and I originally planned to drink like some one was going to take it away whilst singing poorly (if at all) remembered Welsh songs.

I'll have to make up for it later in the year when George and Andrew come around, Paddy doesn't need my help (who according to the Dublin tour bus I was on a few years ago was, in fact, Welsh).

Tomorrow, I will leave a little early because am on a long overdue trip to harass my friend from University Hannah. She is currently up in Leamington Spa which is a location that defies all known rail laws. To get a return ticket to visit my friends in Hull is in the region of 90 quid, to get to Chester on the way home is about 65. To get to Leamington Spa is a bizarrely reasonable 16. This made me happy, though I imagine she will regret it.

Anyway, so I'm going up to drink and be merry and eat pizza. I think we have a Godfather Marathon planned too, which should be fun for me at least. I'm looking forward to it, I haven't seen her since well before Christmas. I'm long overdue a visit to Hull to see Emi, Astrid and some other friends too but right now I can't take any holiday time to make the journey long enough to outstay my welcome. There are plans in motion though.

In a couple weeks one of my old housemates, Laura, is coming down this way to visit her grandparents so we have a weekend planned there too, it'll be awesome to see her again. More drinks and more merriment! I'm hoping to organise a bunch of people into a night in Guildford as there are several people I've not seen around the area for ages, one or two of whom Laura knows too. I'll keep you posted. You're on the edge of your seats I can tell.

Just thought I would have a crack at a 'what I am up to' entry rather than the usual fare. Back to work.

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