Saturday, December 22, 2007

Scaleterix

I realise I haven't blogged for a while. I believe this is a combination of fatigue from writing a blog every day in November and also from being a crap writer.

Anyway seeing as it's Christmas I point you to the Manic Street Preachers' website where you can download their Christmas song. It's a shame they didn't decide to release it in the shops as I reckon it's rather nifty, not only does it have festive trumpets but also remains distinctly Manics by having a line insulting the Monarchy and also James pronouncing a word incorrectly (Scale-ET-eh-rix).

The other Christmas song I urge you to download is Jingle With Jillian which is a five track EP from a 'diva' in the WWE who has a gimmick where she's a rather rubbish singer. You can buy it on itunes by searching for 'Jingle Jillian'.

Friday, November 30, 2007

NBPM 30: End

So this is it. I no longer have to write for the sake of writing. Whenever I do NaBloPoMo I always feel like some of my posts were written just for the sake of it, but some of them were rather good. Mostly the ones where I kept it to one paragraph, or had pictures of Jenny Lewis and Emmy The Great.

Either way I've realise that you have to keep blogging for it to be interesting. And for you to keep thinking of new things to blog about. Which was lucky that I saw lots of bands, bumped into people I hadn't seen for a while and became a Marketeer.

With regards to being a Marketeer it looks as though I'm working for someone who went to my old school (although at least ten years before I went there) and also my friend from the Larry David Meal will be working there as well. Now this should be interesting as we've not really spoken to each other since the incident apart from the odd "Hello" to each other. At least he seems relatively happy to see me whereas a year ago he looked as though I had shat on his cereal.

So Marketeering promises to be fun. And I can always work in my old team if I really want to. Or even go elsewhere. The world is my Oyster card! Hoorah!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

NBPM 29: Pods

That's it. I've had enough of Danny Baker. He was reasonably amusing on his All Day Breakfast Show, but the constant repetition of the same stories and anecdotes got on my wick. I also don't rate Amy Lame and Baylen Leonard that much either.

However when I heard he had restarted his footy shows with Danny Kelly I thought I'd give them a go. And I enjoyed them, but again I've reached my limit. They had some nonsense where they were drawing teams out a hat and renaming them as another team (so Bolton became Man City). This went on for about twenty minutes and Baker found it hilarious. Kelly seemed to notice that it wasn't actually that interesting and said "We'll edit this", but Baker overruled.

The thing is the punters he has on both shows have really interesting stories, but Baker just has to give his example of the story everytime someone starts telling their own. It just stops the flow. And there's only so many times you can repeat one joke ("I agree" - A Escobar).

In other podcast news:
  • I tried listening to the 1up yours podcast again. Managed to download the latest one. Was just under three hours. Got bored after 45 minutes after they'd spent half of that time going on about the differences between Manhunt and Manhunt 2*.
  • Wrestlecrap radio is still excellent.
  • My ann art entry got read out on onelifeleft. I was wrong as I expected.
* Something about story V plot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NBPM 28: Onwards

Today was probably the longest I've ever worked for a long while. And what did I do in that 9 - 6:30 stretch? Erm, collect coats mostly.

I helped out at the Finance Conference which I meant I became a meeter and greeter, a glass collector, a cloakroom attendant and an official timekeeper (but not sponsored by Zurich). And I feel absolutely worn out.

It has made clear that what I've been feeling before when I've said I was tired is not proper tiredness. What I'm feeling now is worn out tiredness, every other time it's been spaced out tiredness. I need a day off.

Although I guess you could have counted today as a day off as I wasn't at my desk fiddling around with databases.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NBPM 27: Teeth

As well as still having bouts of exceptional tiredness during the day my teeth now hurt. I feel as though I have to clench them together to stop them hurting. I believe that this may be A Bad Thing.

I will see if I can book an appointment with my dentist sometime next month.

Monday, November 26, 2007

NBPM 26: Pre Pay Day

Tomorrow is pay day and I'm very happy for it to be so as I'm broke. Apart from the money I have saved in my ISA (which is to be saved towards buying a house/xbox 360). And the credit card I have (although I don't use that apart from online purchases). And the
joint account (which I am most definitely not touching). And the savings account (which is to save towards the wedding). And the interest free overdraft (which I might have to dip into).

Anyway for this month and December I'm going to have to cut down on any unnecessary expenses. Which pretty much means no magazines for me. I never seem to buy anything else during the month.

Clothes? I still have shirts from when I was in sixth form so I don't need any new ones for a while. CDs? I've put the new CDs I want on my Christmas list, and I think the only one I wanted was the new Donnas album. Games? I have about 12 games I still have to play & adding any new ones seems a bit silly. It's for this reason I've held off buying a 360. Why should I get one when I can play TF2 on my PC*?

I think the main reason I'm broke is I've been paying for a few expensive unexpected things. The flight to Germany. The new ipod (which won't update on last.fm). The trip to London. Hopefully the next few months should be easier on my pocket. Except my £200+ CIMA fees are expected by January... Bah.

* Answer: Because it keeps crashing on your buggy PC. Although at least my PC will reboot - I'm still worried about these red light of death the 360 has.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NBPM 25: Quit

After my first ever go on Team Fortress 2 where I wandered around without really knowing what I was doing, but having a lot of fun nonetheless, I've played it two more times.

In the first (second?) go it finally clicked. I started to play as the pyro and actually managed to steal the opponents intelligence and bring it back to the base. I even set some enemies alight and laughed heartily at their smoldering corpses.

I even got so good that for one round I became the best player ever. The only annoying thing was that the game never seemed to end. Apparently it was the first to three. But only in the darts sense of the word. Getting three only meant that you had won one 'leg'. And you had to get to five legs. After half an hour it was 3-2 on legs. It was time for tea. But I couldn't find the quit button. So I gave up and turned off my PC.

When I logged on for my third (second?) go I noticed that Steam hadn't recorded my excellent results from when I was the Pyro. Bah.

And this time around I was much worse. Perhaps it was because my Pyro worked much better in the smaller map of the previous competition. Or maybe it was because this map was a capture the territory map rather than capture the flag. Or maybe I was playing much better people.

At least this time I had worked out why I couldn't quit before. I hadn't defined a quit key in the menu (thanks Valve for not giving this option in the first place!) so I chose ' . There wasn't much point to have done this as my PC decided to crash. Which meant that my stats for this go weren't recorded either.

So I've given up on TF2. Not because I'm rubbish. But because my PC is. Or Steam is. Or Valve are. Or Something.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

NBPM 24: Honeymoon

Have I already used 'Honeymoon' as a Blog title? Who cares!

Anyway with most of our watabe wedding planned & booked (aside from the photographer who has yet to return our calls) we are trying to think of places to go for our honeymoon. We have four possible options:
  • Lake District - Will be by the lake in a log cabin, with all modcons. Has a hottub. Is in England so weather is likely to be rubbish. Self catering.
  • Isle of Wight - Has a four poster bed. Bed & Breakfast only. Will take a long time to get there by train. Perhaps not much to do there.
  • Greece - Definitely will be hot. Some places offer good upgrades for honeymooners. Quite expensive.
  • Turkey - Surprisingly cheap. All the holidays we've seen appear to be all-inclusive. Could make me very fat. Might be exceptionally hot (even for early June).

I still have no idea which one I want to go to. But I do like the sound of all-inclusive.

Friday, November 23, 2007

NBPM 23: Party

I'm writing this having just come back from a party. I've realised that I'm not terribly sociable.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

NBPM 22: Joy

Despite this month being the month of gigs* I've bought absolutely no CDs to listen to. Except I have just received a CD in the post that I had ordered, but can't listen to until next month.



Of course I'm referring to Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas box set. I have no problems in recommending it as Sufjan has never let me down in the past. The other reason why I'd recommend it is the sheer amount of stuff you get with it.

The list goes like this:
  • 5 CDs with 42 songs
  • A CD liner with lots of Christmassy stuff (photos, notes, lyrics & chords)
  • A Quicktime video on one of the CDs
  • A comic strip
  • Stickers
  • Lots of Christmas cheer
Just by this CD arriving in the post has made me very excited for Christmas next month. And I don't think I've been excited about Chrimble since last millenium.

Also it smells amazing.


* I even decided not to go to see the New Pornographers, the Warlocks and Scout Niblett because I've spent too much seeing bands in November

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NBPM 21: Jenny

Ergh. That last blog was sent via hotmail and I apologise for how it looks. Apparently formatting does count.

I went to Rilo Kiley yesterday and they were excellent. The new songs, which I've not been a huge fan of (although my brother and Freya like it immensely) sounded much better in a live environment when compared to the too pristine album.

It was also good to see Boris again as he wasn't at the last gig in Leeds I went to (Los Campesinos! if I remember correctly), although he wasn't able to get much pelvis thrusting going to many of Rilo's songs. One thing that slightly upset me was that there wasn't much chatting from the group. I always prefer it more when the band talk to you as it think it makes more of a connection.

The exception to the chatting rule was Blake. He's just an annoying person. I'm not sure why but anything he says rubs me up the wrong way. I think he's rather arrogant and that makes me not like him.

Other than that the best gig of the month in terms of music (especially the version of I Never, which is now a shoe-in to be our wedding dance song). Emmy was a close second, but she was better in terms of overall atmosphere.

And Jenny had cowbell which I think is to music what cake is to videogames:

More cowbell!

The other other thing I noticed was that there's a lack of bands that smile in their songs. The support band Grand Ole Party were very good, but all the singer did was scream her lyrics. I think I need a new band that smile whilst singing. The Pipettes are a good example of a smiling band (especially RiotBecki). But even pop groups nowadays frown rather than smile, Girls Aloud are definite frowners, and whilst Lily Allen sings about smiling she seems grumpy too. I've not really thought my theory through, but could you all cheer up please? KTHXBYE

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NBPM 20: Laziness

From:RG
To: BH
I take it due to your squeamish nature and general lack of interest in tats that you don't watch LA ink with the lovely Kat Von D?
 
She tattooed stevo with a picture of himself as a two year old! He is mad!
--------------------
From: BH
To: RG
I did see a clip of Miami Ink where they were interviewing for a new person. They seemed really surprised at one applicant - mostly because they had been to college! I wouldn't normally watch it - hate needles and anything where the skin gets pierced.
 
Played my first game of Team Fortress 2 last night. Didn't have a clue what was going on. It was one of the best games I've ever played!
 
Started off in this base. Walked out got killed straight away by a sniper! The screen then zoomed in on the person who killed me. Then I respawned as a medic as I thought I could do well as a healer, except I didn't realise that I had to choose the healing gun. So all I was doing was shooting at my colleagues. Eventually I worked it out and chose the correct weapon.
 
Then someone started shouting for a medic so I went over to help him. But then I realised he had the same name as me so it must have been a spy! I started chasing after him but had some sort of cloaking device and disappeared. Someone started firing at me & I realised the spy was right next to me so I got my medical knife out and got him!
 
Near the end of the game I was healing a soldier who was going into the enemy base, but he died so I was in there all alone. Somehow I managed to get the flag and was just about to get to our teleport when someone killed me.
You've got to get the Orange Box for your 360! Half Life 2 is ok, but Portal and TF2 are amazing!
--------------------
From: RG
To: BH
I will get it this Friday although my 360 is being picked up from downstairs today so will be without it for a while! I have heard good things about TF2, I take it I can see you on there as it is PC and 360?
 
I think Portal will be to hard for me but might be good with a few people putting ideas together?!
 
I am off next week so hoping the 360 is back before the weeks out, I have to buy xmas presents and get the first bit of my tat done and get GH3 although I have seen that for £55 which is good!

--------------------
From: BH
To: RG
Unfortunately you can't play 360 V PC. I think it's only Shadowrun & Halo2 where you can do that & you have to pay a subscription for it on the PC, which is a rip-off when TF2 is free! When I get a 360 I'll definitely get the Orange Box to play you at TF2.
 
Portal is single-player only but it's pretty easy to work out what to do. You shouldn't get stuck for too long! It only takes about 4-5 hours to complete but it's well worth it.
I would be playing TF2 tonight but I'm off to another gig! I think that's the fourth I've been to this month - no wonder I'm broke!

Monday, November 19, 2007

NBPM 19: Terrorvision

So I went to the Terrorvision gig. Quick review - it's as though they never left! By which I mean I remember why I didn't really like them. And now all I can do is remember that dodgy song they did with Saffron from Republica.

Anyway the main thing about that gig on Saturday was that I bumped into Smelly Tors:

tors' ear

Smelly Tors went to college with Emma, my flatmate at the time. I kind of fancied her & it was weird to bump into her after four years of her being away at Uni. But I didn't fancy her anymore. She seemed exactly the same as when I last saw her, so what had changed? Presumably me. Weird.

(Sorry but I couldn't really think of a way to write this any better. Call this a return to poor writing form)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

NBPM 18: Kuhund

So I'm typing this on my laptop which now no longer takes twenty minutes to start up. Now it only takes about two. This was done by me wiping the hard-drive and installing everything from scratch.

As is usually the case I had a quick spell of backing everything up and then, when the formatting was taking place I worried about whether I actually did back everything up. Usually I don't forget anything but I did have one bad incident a while back.

I deleted the kuhund.

The kuhund was a screensaver based on then German kids TV presenter/singer now German home improvements TV presenter Enie van de Meiklokjes. The screensaver consisted of one thing which was an animated drawing of a dog/cow hybrid. It was very basic and very repetitive. However I loved it and was very upset to have deleted it. Sad face.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

NBPM 17: Crappy

I've been really rubbish today, done hardly any of the jobs around the house I wanted to do. In fact there's still some boxes full of Gamesmaster videos and stuff I ripped out of Arcade magazine that I need to get rid of. The other main thing I will do tomorrow is reformat the laptop, as it currently takes about 20 minutes to fully load up due to the crap I put on there.

In other crappy news I'm listening to this weeks Wrestlecrap radio which is easily the best podcast I listen to regularly. It's got many in-jokes and I love in-jokes. It is just two guys making each other laugh (or Krankor laugh) which in turn makes me laugh. Much more than that Vic Reeves thing on Radio 2 today.

The final crappy thing in this blog today? I will be going to see Terrorvision tonight. That is all, I read you every day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

NBPM 16: Early

So last Thursday I went to see Kurt Wagner at York's Early Music Centre. It's a pretty weird venue considering it is pretty much an old church with lots of pillars in the way. It's even weirder if the only time you've been there before is to take your accounting exams.

Because I was going with my Uncle, and he might not have been able to make the start time, I called beforehand to see if there was going to be a support act. I was assured there wasn't
so told him to rush to the venue.

So I was surprised to see Hayley Hutchinson start off the proceedings. She had a good singing voice, but the songs didn't really go anywhere. I always hate songs where you can kind of guess the next line and a lot of hers were like that.

Then the lights went out and Kurt started singing from the back of the church before reaching the front. The thing I like about Kurt's voice is it's not really singing, it's more of a soothing kind of talking voice with a hint of melody. And all of his songs at the gig showed that off.

He seemed to be relying on notes for all of his songs. Well, at the end of each song he would put a sheet onto a washing line and then rotate it along. Apparently he was trying to "replicate a paper curtain". I liked the curtain, it fits in with his homespun style.

Other than that it was very good songs played very well. I really am a rubbish reviewer.

One bad thing was that Kurt was offering two CDs to buy. One was a solo CD and the other was a Live CD. Both cost ten pounds which I thought was a bit of a ripoff as they were only in cardboard sleeves. And I only had a tenner anyway.

Kurt did sign the solo CD I bought and seemed a really nice bloke. At least he couldn't mess up the signing...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NBPM 15: Physical Challenge

I have real problem spelling NBPM correctly. For some reason I always seem to start with NM which is not right. Ah well, only sixteen more days to go. I'll have perfected it by then.

Today's blog is about fitness. I've been playing squash against Natalie from work for a good few months now & I'm really starting to enjoy it. In the beginning our games were pretty rubbish as we'd both be content with merely hitting it over the line. Then we progressed into doing good shots, but being rather rubbish in following them up. Now we can do good shots and even return them as well causing some well contested rallies.

If I have a fault it's that I'm too reliant on the 'tap' shot where it only just bounces in play & I think Natalie's starting to cotton on to it. The other problem is I'm still very lazy and will often just stand after hitting the ball rather than move into a useful position.

However my conclusion is: If you appear to be crap at something stick at it and you might get good at it. I'm hoping one day this will become true with my blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NBPM 14: Revision

What I did instead of revision for my FPC exam:


I thought about Portal a lot. I passed the exam but I think that was more down to it being multiple choice rather than any work I did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NBPM 13: Forgetfulness

Hmmm. I'm annoyed. I did have a good title for this blog which rather neatly linked to what I was going to write about, but I've now forgotten both the title and what I was going to write. So that's that sketch knackered then. My forgetfulness could be due to the fact that I've been listening to The Donnas on repeat for half an hour. The Donnas are very good, but they're not really music to aid memory.

I'm also annoyed that my new ipod totally fails to upload itself into last.fm like it's supposed to. For some reason the 'smart' playlist fails to record any new songs I've played since Help The Aged. So my last.fm profile appears sparse and does not have any mention of me listening to Flight Of The Conchords throughout lunch today.

I also forgot to mention in my Emmy post yesterday that there was one annoying thing about Emmy's set. There was a person who instead of clapping decided to click his fingers instead. I have no idea why someone would do this, but he found it a worthy replacement.

Other than that I am getting annoyed about forgetting what I wanted to write about. Oh and I keep forgetting to get my watch battery replaced as it's continually five to nine for me. Yes! That was what I was meant to write about. The theme was forgetfulness, but 'Five to Nine' would have been slightly more wittier than forgetfulness.

Not worth the wait that.

Now the only other thing I need to remember to do is buy the new Donnas album. Or put it on my Christmas list. Which I've forgotten to write.

Monday, November 12, 2007

NBPM 12: Emmy

Perhaps it's time for me to talk about the Emmy The Great gig at Kings College London. Yes I think that will do for today's blog.


Pic courtesy of acb as all my pics came out blurry

This was my first time to see Emmy and I was rather excited. I had been listening to her various demo's and official stuff (see itunes) for quite a few months and became rather smitten with her singing.

I knew the day was going to be rather special as Freya & I rather randomly bumped into someone that we had met in Japan and was good friends with my brother. This kind of chance meeting could only happen if the gig was going to turn out nice. Then Andrea, my friend from Uni, showed up so we decided to go to the venue.

After waiting 20 minutes for the venue to open (stupid seetickets printed dodgy tix that said it would open at 7pm) we got inside to be told that the Student Union is on the fourth floor and it would be best to get the lift. So we waited for the lift. When it opened Emmy was already in there trying to look inconspicuous. After we got out I asked Freya & Andrea if they noticed Emmy. They did not.

Freya did talk to Emmy slightly when buying a tshirt. All I did was say "Can I have a CD?". I am useless talking to people I like.

The first band - the Wave Pictures - were alright but didn't set my ears racing. I did like that they had a song about Loughborough, but it didn't mention Brett Davids or The Left Legged Pineapple so I lost interest. I also liked how the bass guitarist had absolutely no pitch at all when singing backing vocals, much like I do when singing hymns at church.

Then on came Effi Briest. They were an all girl band which is usually a sign that I'd like them. But I didn't. Their songs went on too long and didn't really get going. Kind of a Mogwai-ish band and I never really got into Mogwai. Sorry indie kids. The first song was very strange with the lead singer pretty much miaowing into the microphone whilst sat on a stool with her legs wide open. However, they did have a squeezebox player which is a big plus.

Then came Emmy. Except first Young Husband came out to play a few songs, which were very nice and I will subscribe to his newsletter. Except he had to cut his short because they were already near curfew. Apparently they all got stuck in the lift which is why they were slightly late (this was later confirmed by seeing an out of order on one of the lifts).

So then Emmy started playing. And then singing. And all was wonderful*.

Except Freya felt dizzy near the end and had to sit down. But we could still hear (and slightly see) what was going on so we didn't miss out on much.

According to Emmy's myspace blog this was the best gig she's ever done. So I doubt I will go and see her again as she's bound to be worse next time.

* I realise that this is a very poor review, but it was just great. I don't think I can explain it better without going down Superlative Alley. Which is highly boring.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NBPM 11: Objection!

After my fake legal troubles yesterday I've started playing the second Phoenix Wright game. It's pretty much the same as it's predecessor, but with one change to the main game. I would have no problems in recommending it to anyone but I would advise said person to play the first game first.

By the end of the first chapter of the first case it already refers to cases in the first game. In the second case a character shows up who keeps talking about the earlier case you met her on. So if you play the second game cold you're going to have fun, but you aren't going to understand a lot.

It's the same with Serenity/Firefly. Whilst I could imagine that if I watched Serenity without having seen it's predecessor Firefly I would have enjoyed it, it does make a lot more sense watching the TV series first. And then the comic as well.

It got me thinking, what videogames and films could you play a sequel without having played/seen it's earlier version and not having any loss of enjoyment. The easy option would be Burnout or any other car racing game. Or FIFA and Pro Evo. But I'm talking about those games with plots, obv.

I think you could get away with playing Halo 2 before Halo, but I reckon it would help if you played the first Halo first. Only because the plot in Halo 2 is so rubbish that by having played Halo 1 you will have enough goodwill from that to make you keep playing Halo 2 to the end without giving up in annoyance.

In films, as with anything, my choice would be the Evil Dead films. You can watch them in any order. Mostly because each film remakes the earlier films in the first fifteen minutes. Also because each film is in a totally different style to the other films. Evil Dead I? Out and out horror. Evil Dead II? Horror/Comedy. Army of Darkness? Action/Adventure.

The only game I can think of that has changed it's style to such a similar effect is Resident Evil, whose fourth game (in terms of numbers) has changed from survival horror to action horror. I'm sure there's other ones I can think of, but I'm tired and need to sleep.

Cheerio!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NBPM 10: YouSued

Well it turns out I wasn't actually threatened with legal action. All that happened was that my Dad wanted a clip I put on youtube of him drunkenly singing New York whilst in Japan to be removed.

Apparently it wouldn't be the done thing to have a videoclip of a senior union member having some fun on a holiday whilst not on union business. I felt he was being a bit of a wimp, but I can see where he's coming from. As his union work is a massive subsidied skive and if I were him I wouldn't want to throw any of that away.

See not only does my Dad only have to work 39 weeks of the year, but by doing union 'work' he's managed to reduce the days he has to work from five to three. And I wonder where I get my skiving gene from.

In other news I'm still unsure if my move from Finance to Marketing is the best thing. Whilst I've been doing absolutely nothing that uses my CIMA qualification* I'm not sure if I fancy being in Marketing. For one, I don't look that good with a goatee. Also if I realise it's a bad move it might be harder to get another accounting job when my CV says 'Marketing' on it. And I have a goatee.

* Oh in Other Other news I am now a fully qualified accountant and can have some initials after my name. Once I remember what the initials are.

Friday, November 09, 2007

NMBP 9: Legalities

I would like to actually do a proper blog today. However due to sinister legal threats* I feel it best to maintain a quiet front today.

* I will explain tomorrow

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NBPM 8: Short

Freya & I are back from two days in London. We managed to go the whole trip without using the tube (or any kind of transport) once.

I think this means the terrorists won. Or something.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NBPM 7c: Sleevies

Third attempt. I don't think my mobile likes returns. Anyway, Emmy & Terracota good. Effi Briest oboe cute but bad music. Finger clicking instead of clapping very bad. Explanation tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NBPM 6a: Travel2

I'm not sure if I sent the other blog correctly so here's a filler one. I hope we find our hotel without getting lost.

Monday, November 05, 2007

NBPM 5b : Shorter

Actually, after having said in my blog sent by mobile phone that I would be writing a lot more, I've decided I can't be bothered.

I can exclusively reveal that I've been told my job is moving departments so I will no longer be in Finance and will instead be in Marketing. I have no idea if this is good or not.

NBPM 5a : mobile

As I will be in London over the next three days I need to see if I can do some mobile blogging. This entry is a test to see if this will work.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

NBPM4 : Patricia Etiquette

In blogging, as with everything I do, I do a half arsed job. Whilst I'm perfectly competent in writing hugely self indulgent rambling blogs about how I feel tired all the time* and how I don't understand why people play music really loud on trains, I never do the other part of the job well.

I never promote myself.

Sure, I've signed up to NaBloPoMo, but do you know how many comments I've posted on my fellow Blomers blogs? Well I expect you can guess as this post is about me not doing stuff, but I'll confirm your bang-on suspicions. It's zero.

I have no reason why I don't comment. Other than I'm extremely lazy. And I have problems thinking of something witty to say. On Friday I had to sign someone's leaving card** only to spend about 20 minutes totally at a loss for something to say. And then when I did think of something I got totally sidetracked and put in a word that made the whole sentence lose it's tarpaulin rhythm.

I will try to promote myself a bit better in the future. Online and off. Especially a pay review comes up in the new year and Daddy needs a 360. And a honeymoon.

* Except I haven't today, as I actually felt alright.

** Actually I was signing her leaving card in front of the person who was leaving. Mostly because there were only three people in her team and she wanted me to sign it. I think she fancies me. She added about 50 kisses after my name too. I hope she doesn't fling this in Freya face when the registrar gets to the 'does anyone object to the marriage' bit.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NBPM3: Kopfschmerzen

As well as feeling tired I now have a stinking headache. Even worse it's one where headache/ibuprofen tablets are unable to help.

As it's Freya's birthday today I am taking her to a Japanese restaurant where they serve vegetable tempura. Then we will be going to see Stardust at the local cinema which has conveniently decided to start showing it this week, even though it's been out for about a month.

I will be trying to not scrunch my eyes up thus showing I still have a headache.

Friday, November 02, 2007

NBPM2: Bloodloss

So I went to the doctors. It went as expected, apart from that because he was German he was very honest about what he could diagnose.

"Well, you feel tired, but you don't have a loss of appetite, you don't have headaches, you don't have shortness of breath or anything else I asked you about. What do you want me to do?"

I have to admit saying "I feel tired, my head feels treacly" isn't much for him to go on.

We got onto the depression thing which frankly makes me feel depressed that they keep asking me that. Do I really look that glum?

He took some blood and will be testing if I'm anaemic, diabetic or something else.

"The problem is if I take your blood and the results come back negative will you worry more that you've got something else that it didn't pick up?"

Probably. I am going through a bout of hypochondria at the moment.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NBPM1: Tiredness

For some reason I agreed to sign up to NaBloPoMo again, which means you'll get a whole month of me writing rubbish stuff. Except for this first entry I'm going to write about me feeling tired.

It's terrible but I'm feeling tired all the time. It's especially bad on weekends when I just want to take naps instead of going out for walks with Freya. The problem is I don't feel physically tired, it's more that my head feels totally muddled and it needs to have a lie down.

It's especially bad because when you go to the doctor you complain about feeling tired and their first conclusion is stress. Except I generally leave work by half four, have probably the skiviest job ever and don't ever feel worried about work. So maybe it's my diet, this could be true but I think my diet's probably the healthiest it's ever been. I don't eat as much meat as I used to, but I doubt that has a big effect.

So I'm going to the doctors tomorrow for another non-diagnosis. Hopefully he will prescribe cake.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Snoozeville, ZZ

I'm exceptionally tired today. Admittedly, I could be a very poor attempt to not have to do any revision for my first ever highly important Insurance Exam. However as it's multiple choice I've fooled myself into I can bluff it.

The reason why I'm tired is not because of the Los Campesinos! gig, as I got back at about 11pm from that. It's also not because I stayed up a bit later to watch the Peter Serafinowicz Show I recorded. No it was because the idiot students next door played music next door until 12.40pm. Although I don't think it was music as all I could hear was one bass note being played repeatedly.

Either way it makes it hard to go to sleep.

Luckily the baby who lives in the other house next door is currently behaving so I had a lie-in until 8.

What's happened to me? I used to be able to sleep until at least 10 every Saturday & Sunday. Now I seem to wake up incredibly early no matter how tired I felt when going to sleep the day before. Which means my weekends are now filled with me walking around the house feeling too tired to even go for a walk to the park with Freya. Bah.

Oh and for regular readers who are wondering why they didn't notice the two posts below before, it because I've only just put them up. I was trialling wordpress' blogging software to see how good it was. As I've now written on here I think you can guess how I found it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fointy Pinger

I have managed to trap my left middle finger in the door. Along with burning it on the George Foreman grill yesterday. I am now uneasy as to what will happen to it tomorrow.

I may just chop it off to save any bother. This would also make doing the Vulcan hand signal a lot easier.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Burger Time Deluxe

Burger! Burger!

So I took my good friend Rachel out for lunch yesterday. Being a true gentleman I allowed her to pick where we were going. She fancied a burger. Luckily there was a new Gormet Burger place to go to, so we'd thought we'd give it a try.

I got a little worried as we approached as I could see a minster fm sign in the window. They weren't doing a live show in there were they? Luckily they weren't, but there was a guy with a microphone who I guess would be interviewing people.

Rachel & I were shown to a table, sat down and ordered some drinks. We were told our table number (perhaps they should've put it on the table) and then directed to the counter where we could place our food order. Eh? Couldn't the waitress who took our drink order take our food order? Apparently not.

So I ordered the food and as I went to pay I was told not to bother because as I was one of the first twenty-five customers at the restaurant they were paying for it. Cleverly they didn't do this before I ordered as then I would've ordered two lots of chips (at two quid each!!!), and probably some extra sauce (at 1 pound 75 pence each!!!!) as well.

The burgers came out and they were very nice. My lamb burger was very meaty, too big to eat using your hands so you had to use cutlery (which never feels right with a burger). The chips were good, reasonable portions and tasted like school chips (which is A Good Thing). One bad thing was that the minty relish they used was very vingary but - hey!! - it was free so why am I complaining?

The free meal was obviously a ploy to get us to tell everyone about the restaurant which I did, but I included with the caveat that it was good for free, but at eight quid for a burger and no chips? Nein danke.

On a related note, the thing I learnt from QI was that the German national anthem doesn't begin "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles". Ich bin sehr upset. I thought this was the best first line for a national anthem ever, but apparently it was only in around Nazi times ("Nazis, I hate those guys" - Dr. Jones) that this was sung.

Why was it cut out? National anthems for me should be sung only when you're telling everyone your country is the best. Saying you're above everything pretty much declares that. Asking God to save your Monarch? Now that's shameful.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dream cycle number 4

I usually have absolutely no memory of any dreams that I have while I'm asleep. This is usually a blessing as I am still haunted by two dreams I had when I was about six years old. One involved me riding a motorbike with Gremlins clinging to my face and making the ride really scary. The other was a very weird one where I ate a Ghostbusters lolly - even though I knew it was wrong - which then caused my eyes to go blotchy, similar to when you rub your eyes loads. Then a big curtain fell down and ghosts came out.

Bear in mind I had never watched Ghostbusters or Gremlins until I was at least fifteen. These dreams came solely from my fevered mind and possibly catching a bit of the poster when it was being advertised.

I am pleased to announce that my most recent dreams have been very pleasant. Most strange in what happened, but I've never woken up in a sweat screaming for my Mum from them.

One involved me chatting to TV's famous weather strumpet at some sort of castle (I presume it was Alton Towers). Claire then introduced Emmy The Great, who was playing her guitar to some kids while she was riding a pink flamingo boat ride. As I wanted to speak to Emmy and annoy her with some geeky fanboy worship I walked behind the flamingo along the tracks.

My second dream involved me chatting to Rilo Kiley in a hotel room, which then quickly changed to me walking through a shopping mall, then I noticed two people wearing Double Denim. Seeing a 'quad' of denim made me think of a 'lay-on-lay'. So then I wandered through the mall singing 'Lay-on-Lay-on-Lay' to the tune of 'ole, ole, ole, ole'. Which resulted in me interrupting a wedding by singing this and having a crowd of people following me.

Freya says I cannot do this at our wedding. Even though it was The Best Thing Ever. I had a massive smile on my face all day.

What dreams have you had recently readers? And did they involve obscure songs from kids tv shows?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another total shower

After not updating for two weeks my page has shown an increase in number of viewers. This just goes to show something, and for once I know what that shows. However, I am now prepared for the drop in viewers as I write my latest blog.

I think my bad luck with showers is continuing. Recently the skin on my hands and eyes started getting bad again. My hands got really dry and started itching. In fact, my fingerprints have totally changed when this first happened three years ago. Finally I can admit to that big job I done where I got my mate right strung up like a kipper.

My eyes are even worse. They get really sore so I inadvertently rub them, causing the skin to peel off. Then they start to weep. Which makes me want to rub them even more. Eventually I end up with eyelids like a lizard. It made for interesting pictures from my University days when my eyes always seemed glazed over.

So anyway, my skin started getting bad again so I went to the Doctors. As usual they were useless. They didn't offer me any cream for my eyes other than the standard E45 (which I can get anywhere) and just asked me questions about if I was happy at work and at home. Stress might play a part, but I've never felt worried enough about work to keep me up at night. I guess as I'm near prime suicide age that came into play too.

Luckily I had someone without medical expertise on the case, but someone who could solve the problem. It was Freya. Who asked "Have you changed shampoo." Except with a question mark at the end of her sentence.

No I hadn't but I had changed back to my old shower gel - Original Mint Source. So I went back to another shower gel. Hands went back to normal straight away, eyes are taking a bit longer but are no longer weepy.

But shame on you Original Mint Source! Why don't you say anything about the fact your product causes bad reactions in those with delicate skin. Oh, it says 'Uses essential oils which causes reaction in some skin types'. So I went through two years of terrible skin due to my inability to read. Thanks eyes. Thighs.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Larry David Walk

Oh dear. Another LD-style incident for myself today. Walking around town at lunch I saw a very cute redhead, which as we know, turned my head. To be honest I was staring rather slack-jawed towards her. It was only as she walked past I realised that her arm had been amputated and she had no right hand.

Hopefully she realised I was only staring at her because she was gorgeous not for the other reason. Either way I was wrong for staring. I apologise cute one handed redhead.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Prime Vs Webb

So we went to see The Bourne Ultimatum tonight. It was great, the only problem for me was that the pace never let up. Bourne was always running, fighting, driving and sometimes I think it could've helped by slowing down a bit. However, that's a minor problem. Everything else about it is excellent. Definitely better than the last film I saw.

Except it didn't have giant robots that changed into cars, so Transformers was actually better.

Sorry Matt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watabe news

Date: Thursday 5th June 2008

Time: 5pm

Location: The Merchant Adventurers Hall, York

Bride: Freya Stephanie Aimee Whiteley

Groom: Benjamin David Hall

Cost: Quite a bit, but well worth it

Attendance: Let me know and I'll see if I can get you in

Currently Listening to: Emmy the Great

Mood: Excited!

Tiredness rating: zz out of ZZZZZ

Monday, August 20, 2007

Eagle Vs Ben Vs Predator Vs Army of Darkness Vs Freya (sewing edition)

Freya & I don't fight that much. Or rather, we try to avoid fighting. Usually when I feel myself getting angry or stressed about something I go to another room, grumble to myself and then come back refreshed. Freya on the other hand always keeps it to herself until it comes out (usually accompanied by tears).

However I feel that the most recent dispute we've had needs to be settled. Who is the best at sewing?

Freya's entry:

Made last weekend, this yellow Cat Doll was inspired by Lost at Sea, by Bryan Lee O'Malley which is apparently rather good. I've yet to read it, as Freya keeps it on her side of the bed and due to the fight I'm unable to cross the bed border.

Cat doll

Cat Doll was filled with quinoa, and is made out of yellow fabric. Freya says that next time she makes Cat Doll she will do the face first before sewing up.

Cat doll 2

Ben's entry:

The unofficial Nottingham Forest FC felt pencil case. Made fourteen years ago at school under sewing tuition from my Dad. This unique design shows a strange type of tree where the trunk is as wide as the tree itself. Also renaming Forest 'Fores' is an obvious dig at those who call the team Notts Forest.

Front of my pencil case

The back has an interesting play on the umbro logo and due to space & time restrictions the sponsors name is spread over two lines rather than the obvious one.

Back of pencil case

So which one is best? I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Monday, August 13, 2007

No man's (hair) is an Island

I'm now fully resigned to the fact that I will be bald within five years. My temples are getting higher and higher every time I get my haircut. I'm not surprised by this as everytime I wash my hair I seem to leave a thin covering of hair in the bath. Seriously, it's like Chewbacca was molting in there.

This wasn't such a problem when my hair was growing at a similar rate, but it looks as though it's now given up the effort.

The main problem is that, because the temples are rising yet my front locks are staying in place I'm going to end up with an Island of hair on the top of my head. In short I'm going to look like this guy:

Ben, five years later, yesterday*

Or the guy from Super Tennis who looked as though he had a coin slot in his head.

Either way, I'm fully prepared for it. At least I'll save myself paying nearly thirty quid for a haircut by getting Freya to do it with some clippers. And I won't have to worry about whether the hairdresser fancies me or not as (hopefully) Freya still will when I'm bald.

* Seeing Yordan Lechkov reminds me how happy I was when he scored against Germany. I actually ran out into the street in our German village and shouted at the top of my lungs. Strange that at Germany 2006 I actually wanted Germany to do better than England. And probably will for every other tournament from now on.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tweezer homes league

You may recall that last month I was mildly annoyed by how long it took to go through baggage check at Stansted airport. However, it remained at a mild level of annoyance as I realise that it's best that people don't get on board with things that can blow up, or that they can stab people with.

I've never been someone who gets properly furious at these checks. Even when security found some nail clippers in my bag & threw them away I didn't get upset. I knew the rules and I should've put them in my main bag.

Now I've lost all respect for them. Because I've been breaking airport security for the past year and never been caught.

Alright, so it was only a pair of tweezers. And they were wedged securely into a front pocket of my bag, but you'd have thought that at least one person who did security at Manchester, Paris (twice), Narita-Tokyo, Stansted or Munich airports would have noticed that it was in my bag.

Like TV license detector vans I now believe the security machines at airports to have absolutely nothing within them.

I'm now off to sneeze uncontrollably. Bye!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

List me do

My blogging skills (if you could ever call them that) have completely vanished. I also need an ability to write a CV that will make CIMA think that I've had enough experience as an accountant to become fully qualified. I expect even a blank piece of paper will make CIMA think this as the yearly membership fees pretty much double once you're fully qualified.

Anyway, seeing how I've run out of things to say I'm going to the lazy guide to blogging and see if they have any ideas for... Hmmm, no not really had any interesting food, nothing funny happened at work*, ah this one sounds easy enough to do.

New things I have bought this week
  • Scott Pilgrim 2. Seeing how play didn't have this in stock when I ordered it, I got it from my local comic shop. Which took two weeks to arrive. It's very good though & is the only comic book that Freya likes. Sorry Gillen I tried.
  • An Optimus Prime mask that makes me sound like a very camp robot. I still love it though.
  • The latest SFX came through the post. It looks alright, but I'm really starting to like DeathRay. Except that it has about five highly self indulgent pages and very poor page design.
That's all I can think of. Cheerio!

* Although I did make someone laugh by saying "A lot of people have been born in Germany". I foolishly left out an important word "A lot of English people..."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A total shower

Just spent a long weekend in Munich. Was highly enjoyable, but three annoying things happened:

  • Missed on Kieron Gillengan and Jamie McKelvie's comic signing at Travelling Man. Bah.
  • Stayed at the Hilton in Munich. Which sounds good, except it had a shower that never stayed at the same temperature. This resulted in constant Fat Boy Slim style mixing of the hot and cold taps. And me nearly burning my feet off.
  • Flew with Easyjet. Was delayed both times. The second time it was because the tyres went flat when the passengers got on board. So Easyjet had to fly spare tyres in from Stansted. Resulting in a five hour delay. Meaning that (once we got through a massive passport check at Stansted) we got home at half ten rather than four thirty.
Other than that, beer is amazing. And I want to work in Japan.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Time for a joke

I remember a letter in Amiga Power that mentioned the best line to say when someone mentioned Timbuktu. It was: "Tim bucked two? I haven't even bucked one yet!"

I had a similar joke which I had never had the opportunity to use. Until today. Gary was moaning about how everyone at the office was away next week.

"Ben's off. Craig's off. Matt's off. Helen's off."

I saw my chance.

"Dino's off too."

Gary looked at me strangely as though he was trying to work out who the hell Dino was in our team. Then he realised. And laughed.

So it was a funny joke. My work there was done.

Unfortunately it was 11 and I had to stay for another four and a half hours.

SQUASH UPDATE:

Last week I finally beat Natalie at squash, but it was decided that this was because she had eaten two sandwiches rather than one. Indeed we drew again today. After I went 3 games ahead & then faded A-Rod style to let Natalie draw three all. I did manage to smash the ball against the back wall and reach the front wall which was a personal target I managed to hit.

But then I played Helen who was rather good at squash and she wiped the floor with me. Bah.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Boo Radleys, JATMC, Oasis

I'm incredibly rubbish at doing anything that involves creating anything. My artistic side has never developed past drawing people with googly cartoon eyes. As soon as I could I got rid of my Art and Technology lessons for German and Double Science.

I can remember my Dad teaching me ("posh word for sewing" - ed) in Middle School. For this we had to design and make our own pencil case. So I did one about Nottingham Forest. Except with my amazing foresight and planning I did the kit sponsors name too big so it had to go on two lines. It read:

Shipsto-
nes

And, yes, I cared so little about my work that I put the hyphen in.

In art I can distinctly recall my art teacher being really impressed with a feather I was sketching in chalk/charchol. Apparently I was quite good at copying the individual lines of the feather. But I decided that this was because we were coming up to choosing our options for GCSE and he wanted me to choose Art. And I wanted to get as far away from Art as possible.

Which is why I was dreading Friday at work. Because, in some weird attempt at 'team bonding' it was decided that we would paint a local charity's office. Having no interest in DIY I was not happy about having to do this. This pretty much nullified any chance of success the day was going to have in making me part of the team.

It didn't help that the rooms we had to paint had desks that were too big for the rooms (making it impossible to open the door fully or put ladders up), had cork boards that we had to take down using scrapers (leaving my hand bloody and the wall looking terrible) and that I was so rubbish at painting that the original paint colour was still peeking through.

So my handyman career ended the same day it began. However thinking about it I have created one thing I think looks alright. It's a Sophie Ellis Bextor desktop background. Here it is:

sophie wallpaper

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sharks

That's it, my PC is definitely not good for playing games. Half-Life 2 keeps crashing everytime I try to play it. It's also done it when I was playing Trackmania and Outrun 2. But it never crashes if I'm playing MMO games. Strange.

Anyway, someone I know at work has had laser eye surgery. When I first heard of laser eye surgery I thought it meant that actual lasers were put into your eyes, bionic man style. The laser would then be used to focus the eyes.

Unfortunately it's even worse than that. They scrape your eyes back and fiddle the corneas (or something) with the laser until they work. This is why, when my eyes finally play up*, I will be sticking with glasses. It's because I'm extremly squeamish about touching my eyes. Contact lenses are right out too. So when I finally become boss-eyed for life what kind of glasses should I get?

Type 1
The Lennon












I don't think these are going to work for me. They give the air of someone who thinks they're intelligent, but in reality are not. Unless of course you're this guy:









Who is stupid and gives the air of being stupid.

Type 2
The thick style












I quite like this look & think I could pull it off. The only problem with this is that everyone at work who wears glasses wears a style similar to this. So either I leave my current job or choose a different pair. Or just get over myself (or under) and get that kind.

Type 3
The secretary style










As worn by Janine of The Real Ghostbusters. This is the half-moon style that is usually used by Secretaries as reading glasses. I doubt this will be my style as it's mostly worn by women. And I don't think red frames would suit me.

Type 4
The eyepatch











Seeing how I'm only going to go blind, or at least blurry in one eye I think the eyepatch is a viable alternative. Plus I would have a decent fancy dress costume to fall back on.

It would get boring after the first few parties though.

* +0.25 in my right eye currently. Whatever that means.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Squash update

I drew another match this Wednesday. This time there was no 9-0 thrashing so I'm getting better. In fact I went two games in the lead before my lack of fitness started to tell.

I'm more surprised by the fact that my legs don't hurt for five days afterwards like they did when I first started this whole thing. Wow, doing exercise gets you fit, who'd have thought it?

In work news I'm having to use Microsoft Access, which is not user friendly, but I'm managing to get it to do what I want. Although it's taken me the best part this week to get that far. Imagine if I had to do something slightly more difficult than multiplying some numbers? My mind boggles. Or falls asleep, I forget which.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Device management

My PC is having a phantom device problem. Everytime I load up the PC it decides that I've plugged in a new piece of hardware which needs installing. Except I haven't.

And even though EVERY TIME I tell it to 'not tell me about this again' it tells me about it again. Grrr. PC's eh?

I might do a windows update and see if that will help. It might even make Half-Life 2 work, although I've given up on that myself.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Clerks the first

Freya & I watched Clerks the other day. I liked it, but was very surprised to see my work colleague Tom in there as Oleg. I might ask Tom if he's ever tried making Truck Bezerker.

tom bezerker
Tom, with me
Tom & ball
Oleg making ("cluck" - ed) BEZERKER!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I move in usual ways

As you'd expect for a couple who are getting married, Freya & I are looking at how much houses are to buy. And then deciding we'll have to save for about another 3 years before we can get a reasonably nice house.

In our search for house prices in the york area we found this:
http://212.50.188.108/cgi-win/vebra.cgi?details1?src=vebra&PropertyCode=1461001/REDHO/17903/1
I'm guessing it's a joke page put on there by the developers, but still five grand is still too much for us to pay.

How to get fit

The best way to get fit is to do some exercise. The only problem with this is that you have to do some exercise. If you've spent the past four to seven years sitting on your arse then you'll find your legs fail to work for about five days after trying to get fit.

But I've given it a go. And I feel even more tired than I did before. This is my exercise diary.

Saturday 2nd June
Ran around the Cricket pitch. Took about 10 minutes to do so, although I did have to stop jogging about three times due to exhaustion. Decide to blame it on the sunshine, but absolved moonlight and goodtimes of any guilt. It was exceptionally hot.

Checked my pedometer at the end to see how far I had ran. Apparently my ten minute jog took only 50 steps to do and resulted in me running 20 metres. Looks as though I might have to increase the sensitivity for the next time I run.

Wednesday 6th June
Legs still not working, but foolishly decide to challenge fellow Persistency colleague Natalie to a squash match. I have never played squash before, but being largely rubbish at any racquet sport I expect a defeat.

I lose, but actually manage to win the first game, which surprised me considering Natalie plays Squash/Badminton about twice a week and I'm crap. However I did lose the second game 9-0, partly due to knackering myself in the first game. Managed to get through the men's shower challenge as well.

Friday 15th June
Squash rematch. This time it was a 2-2 draw. Once again I win the first game and then lose the second 9-0. Obviously stamina is a problem for me. Did some rather decent shots, but didn't have a clue how I actually managed to do them. This is similar to the 'power serves' on Wii Tennis, how do they happen?

Yet to do another run, because I hate doing them. Might try once the weather clears up. But squash is rather fun though. Although I might change my mind if I play someone half-decent as Natalie admits she's rather crap as well.

Oh and I've played a load of Wii Sports and Wario Ware as well. Does that count as exercise? The Dr. Crygor bit involves doing loads of squats so I'm counting them whether you like it or not.

In other news Freya has bought her wedding dress off ebay*. I had to do the auction sniping for it, but wasn't allowed to view the dress, which caused some logistical problems. But it has now arrived and is pretty according to Freya. And the ring arrived last Sunday as well. I have seen this and it is very pretty.

* Link added from an e-mail I have without images, so I still haven't seen it. But you can. Let me know what you think of it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Serious and Seriouser

"We need to talk"

Four words men never want to hear from their Schatz.

I turned the television off. As I knew I would drift off and start watching it no matter how serious the conversation got.

"If we're going to get married next year we need to start saving money."

This I knew. We'd just spent a lot of money on going to Japan. And since coming back I spent a lot on an engagement ring (which still hasn't arrived). Then I spent two hundred and fifty quid on a Wii (which is great) and seventy quid on some trainers to get fit (one ten minute run, one loss at squash and two aching legs). So my bank account was rather low.

And Freya was aware of this.

"I know you managed to put some money away that was left over at the end of the month, but I think you should start up a direct debit and save some money for the wedding. And also save some for yourself as I know you spent all of your savings on Japan."

This made sense. I needed to save money and I'm the kind of person who if they have some money in the bank will usually spend it. I spoke of my agreement to this plan.

Unfortunately Freya didn't see to cotton on to that fact that I thought she was right & got into a bit of a panic about me not saving money. Luckily I think she finally believes me. And I have now set up the direct debits.

"I love you Ben"

Anyway, what about this for the top of the wedding cake?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fridays Feast no. 9

Appetizer
Name something you think is “the best.”
I’d say Pulp’s This Is Hardcore is “the best” album ever. For some reason, if I hear any song from it at random on my mp3 player I have to flip back and listen to all of it. It is an unskippable album, even the dodgy track near the end where Jarvis comes on all Fat Harry White. No other album holds my attention like it.

Having said that I haven’t listened to it for a while…

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today?
Started off at 4. Then it went up to 10 when a big Director rang me up asking for some figures within an hour. Then it went back to 4 when I realised the figures wouldn’t have been the best things to use in a meeting with the Chief Exec.

Salad

What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?
Nothing. Which might explain why my face is always very dry. I might give Clarins for Men a go soon as my Mum bought me a pack for Christmas.

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.”
I wake up without immediately wanting to go straight back to sleep.

Dessert
When was the last time it rained where you live?
Yesterday. While I was walking home. My suit trousers were drenched before I reached the first corner & it takes twenty minutes to walk home. I had to have a bath when I got home I was so cold and wet. The suit’s going straight to the dry cleaners today!

Fridays feast is a meme that comes out every Friday at this website. I use it to give me something to write about.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Friends

Ah now I realise why I don't go on myspace that much:

fathers2

I'm guessing they might be trying to add me as a friend because I took pictures of one of their marches. But that was only because I thought it was a pretty daft way of trying to see your kids.

The really annoying thing is I've already denied them once, but they've sent me a second invite. I'll decline this one as well and if they try one more time then I'll write them a strongly worded e-mail. Whilst dressed as The Thing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fridays Feast no. 8

I'm starting this up again as I'm having a severe bloggers block and just need anything to write about.

Appetizer
Name a sound you like to hear.
I used to like the drip of a tap, but since the one in our kitchen in on the blink & runs constantly I'm going against that. I like rain against the window. As long as I'm safe indoors and don't need to go out.

Soup
What is your favorite kind of cheese?
None. I hate cheese. It's the stringiness I don't like. And the smell. And probably the taste (although I've never eaten any).

Salad
Do you sleep late on Saturday mornings? Why or why not?
I try to sleep in as long as possible. Usually because I'm very lazy. Also I never have anything important to do on a weekend, so why not stay in bed?

Main Course
When was the last time you forgot something? What was it, and how long did it take to remember it?
Not to go for the obvious joke, but I honestly can't remember. I never forget birthdays, so it can't be that. Freya forgot to lock the back door when we went on holiday to Japan, but luckily she noticed after five minutes.

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I notice ____________ when _____________.
I notice my feet point inwards when I trip up over them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Relax girls, he's engaged

As hinted previously, I am now engaged to Freya. This feels very good. But expect all of you are desperate to know how I proposed to her.

Being a very unimaginative person I was planning on just getting down on one knee and asking her. After chatting to Cathy online and putting a few comments on Momo's club wed/dread I realised that this wouldn't be that romantic or memorable. And the answer would definitely be no if I did this.

So I brainstormed* with Cathy some ideas for proposing. One good idea was to get a kitty and put the ring in it's collar, but seeing how I didn't want to get a ring without Freya choosing it this option wasn't wise. Plus I hadn't spoken to the landlord to check if we could get any animals. So that was out.

Cathy said check out some other engagement stories on the web. Most seemed to involve a little too much planning. I wasn't going to arrange to meet in a park and then have a billboard say 'Will you marry me?'. For a start, I'm not the most confident and also I'd like the act of proposing to be rather private**. Me and Freya are rather shy people, and whilst I like the idea of shouting out 'I LOVE THIS WOMAN!' I also know I'd be looking very sheepish afterwards, and when proposing it's best you don't look ashamed by it.

So it needed to be somewhere quiet, romantic, memorable and done in an imaginative way. Luckily I was going to Tokyo in May, so that could be pretty memorable. We might also be going to Mount Fuji so that could be quiet. Hopefully the act of proposing would be romantic in itself. Then I had a great lightbulb moment for making it imaginative.

I would get someone else to ask me. Funshine Bear, the care bear who I bought for Freya at the beginning of our relationship (after she complained about her Mum getting rid of her older one when she was young) could ask her via the use of Bob Dylan style sound cards. Cathy said this sounded good.

Then just as we were getting ready for Japan, Freya said something that made me worried. She'd been looking at Club wed/dread and thought it was good. Had she read my comments saying I was going to propose? I panicked and told Freya I had a surprise for her in Japan. This got her all excited. I knew this was bad when she mentioned it every hour on the train to the airport.

Checking my e-mail at the hotel before we flew out to Japan I had an e-mail from Momo (regarding the proposal). Freya saw this, but I told her it was private. And panicking I then told Freya that Momo said the surprise was stupid so I shouldn't go through with it. Sorry Momo, but I had to calm her down somehow.

Then we got to Japan, and I couldn't propose. How was I going to find somewhere quiet to propose in the busiest city on Earth? Luckily Freya helped by deciding that on Saturday we would go to Fuji Five Lakes in the shadow of Mount Fuji. Hmm, this could be the chance I was after...

So Saturday came & we got to Lake Kawaguchi, only to find that when sitting by the lake you couldn't see Fuji. Darn. There was a cable car, so perhaps if we went up there we could see it?

One cable car ride & we could.

Fuji looked beautiful. However, everyone on the cable car was milling around this area where a model of a raccoon was being tortured by a rabbit. Not terribly romantic. I could see a path leading further up. If I could persuade Freya to walk up there, maybe we would find a private clearing and I could say (or show) those words.


Yeah I guess that looks quite romantic.

We sat on the bench for a while taking in the view. Then I rummaged in my bag for the photos of Funshine (whilst sneakily getting on one knee).

"Freya, I've decided and I think you should have your surprise."

Freya looks at the first picture ("WHOOP! WHOOP!") and laughs.

The second picture ("Bear loves Schatz very much") got an "awww I love you too".

Third picture said "Will you marry me?". Freya was shocked, "Is this a joke?"

"I love you very much, will you marry me?"

"Of course!" She started to cry, lots. I welled up a bit too (strong men also cry). And I gave her a big hug and kissed her, lots.

The fourth picture ("Pleasey?") made her smile. But I think the third one was the best.

We sat on the bench for about five minutes just hugging each other and smiling.

Then some Japanese girls walked past and I press-ganged one of them into taking a picture of us:

See I'm even wearing a shirt so I look smart.

Then we decided to carve our initials into a tree. I think Freya was a bit annoyed I used our pet name initials rather than our proper ones, but it still looks good.


Now all we have to do is arrange the wedding. *Gulp*

* Great Ben, make it sound like a business meeting

** Which is why I'm blogging about it




Monday, May 21, 2007

I've got the runs

I'll write more about my amazing trip to Japan over the coming weeks, but for now I want to go on about before I got engaged and decided to play some football in a UK versus Sri Lanka match.

As regular readers might know, I'm not very fit. About every two months I mention that I should perhaps join a gym. I never do, but merely thinking about doing so is the closest I get the physical activity in those two months*. So when the chance to play in a football match came up I was reluctant to put my name forward. I should have remained reluctant.

One problem I had was that it was raining, not heavy rain but enough to make the grass slippy. The grass had also been recently cut causing further slippage. Finally I was playing in Converse one star trainers, which never have the best grip.

The result? 8-1 to us. Oh, and I fell over before even reaching a ball. I didn't feel too bad afterwards, but in the morning? It was hell. The next morning? Just as bad. This lasted for about 5 days after the match.

And walking all around Tokyo didn't help my legs too much either. At Enoshima my legs really started to hurt again.

So now I'm thinking of getting fit again. But I know I won't join a gym, so perhaps I should just start jogging. One thing I saw in Japan was Nike Plus. This is where Nike & Apple have joined forces so your ipod connects to your trainers and can tell you how far you've run through your headphones. I'm sure an expensive gadget like this will get me fit.

Problems? I'd have to buy an ipod nano, when I really want a video mp3 player. Also I've usually shyed away from ipods, due to them breaking after one year and one day (see also why I haven't bought an Xbox 360). And I've got a wedding to pay for, can't waste it on trying to get fit. But then shouldn't I look my best for the wedding? Argh, I don't know, I'm still jetlagged.

* Well not the closest, but I doubt you want to hear about the closest I get...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back in the office





She said yes. More on how & where tomorrow. I'm exceptionally happy about it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I will be out of office

from 03/05 to 17/05. As I will be in Japan.

This doesn't explain why I've hardly written anything for the past month, but expect a huge blog when I return.

Byeeeeeee!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Yes I am Stupid

So my head isn't getting bigger. The reason why my headphones weren't fitting over my ears was because the speakers can move up and down.

Yes I am Stupid.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

California

So farewell The OC. You've been with me & Freya from the start of our relationship, but now we've outgrown you and we have to go our separate ways. I will remember you for the good things you brought us, Jim Robinson having another hilarious heart attack, Rachel Bilson dressed as Wonder Woman, the phrase "Fists of Fury", Wonder Woman, Peter Gallacher's amazing eyebrows, a Bagel Slicer and Rachel. Bilson. Dressed. As. Wonder. Woman.
But it did get very boring very quickly. This is mostly because as soon as a good character came into the show, they left almost as quickly without even a goodbye. As a memory test to myself I will try to remember their names and what they did.

THE OC MEMORY TEST
  • Girl who fancied Seth & was love rival with Summer for the first series. Was called Anna.
  • The Guy who was originally Marissa's boyfriend, then had affair with Marissa Mum, then found out his Dad was gay. Think he was called Luke.
  • Girl who was Ryan's girlfriend then showed up in OC. Eventually had his baby, but nothing came of this. Melissa?
  • Kiki's sister who fancied Tate Donovan. Claire?
  • Kimberlee Clarke from Son Of The Beach. Kim?
  • The guy who designed the comic with Seth, then fancied Summer. Logan?
  • The girl who owned the Bronze style club, then turned Marissa lesbian. For about one episode. Alex.
  • Jim from Neighbours long lost daughter who left him after three episodes of knowing him. Lauren?
  • The guy who worked at the Newport Group that Kiki fancied. Dave.
  • Sanford's first love. Who killed someone in the past. Marie.
  • The pool boy. Sanchez.
  • Johnny. The surfer who fancied Marissa.
  • Even though he was getting off with Heather (a different one), who was the really cute girl in Freaks and Geeks.
  • They were friends with S-Wick or some stupid nickname.
  • Summers Dad was in it for about 2 episodes & about to marry Juju.
So seeing how it was only around for four series and it was only one hour a week, the OC got through more characters than Home and Away does in ten years.

Anyway, how did I do?

Anna
- Correct!
Luke - Correct!
Melissa - False! Theresa
Claire - False! Hayley
Kim - False! Taryn
Logan - False! Zach
Alex - Correct!
Lauren - False! Lindsay
Dave - can't even find him
Marie - can't even find her
Sanchez - False! DJ
Johnny - Correct!
Heather - False! Casey
S-Wick - False! Chili
Summer's Dad - False! Dr Roberts

So you weren't that memorable after all The OC. And I forgot about the lawyer, seven of nine trying to con Kiki, the guy who ran over Marissa, the rich kid who was mental, Ryan's brother. So not memorable at all...


Oh yeah, apart from that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spelling confusion

Is it chocolatier or chocolateer? Either way I've been comissioned to make a special ringtone of someone saying this. I have no idea why someone would want "I'm a chocolate(e/i)r" to come out of their phone, but Goose wants it so that explains it a bit.

Actually I wish I had a proper nickname.

At school I was called 'little Ben' because there were two other Bens in my class and both were (no! but yes!) bigger than me. Then at Uni some guy decided to call me Bob. That just pissed me off. Why give me a nickname that was pretty much the same as my current name? Plus I don't really suit a Bob.

Recently people have called me Highbrow at work. I quite like this. Mostly because it's the name of an old Transformer. But also because it makes me sound clever. And giving the impression of being clever is much more important than actually knowing stuff. This is especially true for any exam you are taking.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Land of the free

I'm not like most British people. You see I like America. I realise it's bombing Iraq, has the most murders than anywhere else and is the main cause of global warming. But those people involved in that (George Bush I & II, er psychopaths and Corporate Scum) are idiots. Most of the Americans I've met online and offline are really charming, smart and actually get sarcasm.

American telly is great too. Whilst we have the political satire of Have I Got News For You which is on around 20 Fridays of the year, they have the equally biting Daily Show with Jon Stewart which is on almost every weekday.

Same with Coupling, a great BBC comedy which has had 3/4 series of 6 episodes each. The just as humorous, but more emotionally touching How I Met Your Mother has only been on for two series but has series of around 20 episodes.

I think it's because in England we only allow one person to write the whole series, but in America anyone can write something even if it's just one line.

And the dramas are far better than anything over here. The only thing I try to watch every week UK wise is Doctor Who. In American TV I have to watch Veronica Mars, The American Office*, Sopranos and Heroes.

Oh Heroes how I love you. I've been watching it since it started on Sci-Fi and it's much better than I thought it would be. Unlike Lost it's tying up loose ends as it goes along, but starting new ones to keep you interested. And Hiro Nakamura is the best character ever!

But one day our Sky Plus failed to record Heroes so I downloaded an episode off the net. There was one big difference to the one shown on UK telly. The catch up bit at the beginning was very over the top. On the UK version you get clips of what happened before, in America you get terribly over the top voice-over man. He says cheesy things like "One man, comes to terms with the fact that destiny lays in his hands, but is he aware of his powers?"

It made me cringe. Along with catching a bit of Bill O'Reilly on Fox News it's made me realise that most people in charge of American Networks don't appreciate how clever their viewers actually are and feel they have to spoonfeed them information. Although if they watch Bill O'Reilly they need shooting.

* Much funnier than the British one for many reasons, but the most important one is lack of Gervais. A man who I've never found that funny & appears to only have one character.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Toilet talk

I don't like using the toilets at work. Especially when you sit down and the seat is still warm. Eurgh.

Although sitting down and finding it freezing is pretty bad too.

Perhaps I'm the Goldilocks of toilet seats.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Time for a change...

...no more lyrics as titles

Not much to report, which is why I haven't reported.

Got annoyed with a supermarket chain which will be familar to readers of this blog as they didn't deliver the frozen food I ordered. I know, you're thinking "that's a bit lazy of you Ben and, urgh, this spot on my elbow's getting bigger should I squeeze it or not?".

Well you're wrong on both counts, you should never squeeze a spot (as the big scab on my forehead testifies) and because it costs five pounds for Freya & I to get a bus up to the Tesco's but only four quid for it to be delivered.

However we still needed the frozen stuff so I walked all the way there (thirty minutes). I'm such a hero.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

its shiny its grimy...

...its so cold its so low

Four words that you have to add onto a sentence. Lloyd Andrew Lord Webber on his search for a new Joseph:

"I want a cross between Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson in the old days"

Phew nearly put your foot in it Lloyd.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Walk out to winter...

...swear I'll be there

New work complicated.
Old work hard to handover.
Tiredness coming back.

That wasn't a haiku, but still it accurately summed up my past few days. I did have some interesting things to blog about, but forgot about them in the shower. And to stop boring you about videogames I've signed up to 1up.com.

My blog about videogames will now be seen at http://uppi17.1up.com. Hope to bore you there.