Sunday, 31 January 2010

Gotta Catch 'Em All

On the way home from the 'night before' gig, me and Sophie were in the car listening to music from her iPod out of the car speakers.

The Pokemon theme tune came on.

We sang the whole thing in 2 part harmony.

We then played it again for the fun.

Sophie even took a long way hom so we could finish the song.

It was fun. I love that girl so much.

Massive ASS


While I was waiting at Bristol Temple Meads, I was sat next to 2 foreign train workers who worked for First. They were talking about some of the other First employees that they liked and had made friends with. What follows is the dialogue that I heard between them:

“You know that guy that does the Reading line? Oh, what is his name… Thido? Theo? No… um…. Rido?”

“I don’t know who that is. What does he look like? I might know him.”

“Oh, he’s black. Well, he was born here but I think he is descended from Africa or something.”

“There are a lot of black people on the Reading line. Do you mean Ben? Thin guy. Works the buffet car.”

“No… this guy is quite tall. Oh, and he has glasses. He’s a really nice guy, I just can’t remember his name.”

“Na, I’m afraid I’m not sure what you mean. Could you be more clear?”

“Um… Oh yeah. HE HAS A MASSIVE ASS.” (Gestures with his hands. It seemed very big)

“Ohhhh. Rio. Yeah I know him, your right, he is nice. Not a bad bone in him, that guy. Massive ass though.”

At this point I couldn’t help but burst out with laughter. The two men looked at me and then moved away but I just couldn’t stop laughing to myself for ages, It was so funny.

The things I do for the Pigeons...

This has definitely been one of the busiest weeks of my life, and it hasn’t even finished yet! I would also like to point out that this is one of the first blogs I have don’t and not felt guilty for wasting time not studying. But fortunately I have no work for over a week and I finished my last of 7 exams no long than an hour ago!

Which brings me to the point of this post- I am on a train somewhere between Bristol and Taunton now- and yet I finished a thermodynamics paper about an hour ago. I would ALSO like to point out that Bath University is perched on a hill 2 and a half miles away from the city station. I would ALSO like to point out that rush hour in Bath started about an hour ago.

So here is the background information. On top of studying for 7 chemistry exams in the last few weeks, I have been preparing for the wondrous musical showcase that is The Room Upstairs 2. In the show, I feature as the lead in Ricky and the Pigeons, the lead in Battery Powered and also as a solo jazz act. It’s a lot to prepare for.
I didn’t feel like I could properly practice my singing at University, because certain polite standards go along the lines of “the walls are thin, people are trying to study”.

So that was the first dilemma. I couldn’t practice. This was made worse by the fact that there was no realistic opportunity to practice until the show itself! I then heard that there was some kind of warm-up gig to the room upstairs called ‘the night before’. This seemed perfect to me, because I got to practice and see Sophie at the same time. And of course get a celebration beer.
Unfortunately for me, this involved getting a train at 18:05. Where is the problem? Ah yes, my exam finished at 17:35. Hmm.

Thanks to Phil Murphy, I had some help. He waited outside my exam at the bus stop with my pre-packed luggage and gave me some precious few minutes to spare. So I ran into the bus and waited. When we moved off, I was clock-watching all the way. Once we got to the end of Norwood avenue, I was like ‘for f***s sake’.

It was queued all the way down the hill. So despite the fact I had paid the fare into the city, I made an educated snap decision- and jumped out of the bus. (with the drivers permission)

I proceeded to speed down Widcome hill, carrying my case, bag and laptop bag. That’s right. I ran 2 miles carrying a whole bunch of stuff just to catch a train to be at the night before. Only a few things were going through my mind at the time:

• Just think- you’ll get to see Sophie for longer
• I’m so glad I’m not carrying a keyboard (that was part of the original plan)
• I’d better get a beer for this
• I’m so glad ‘Big Pete’ fixed my back or this would be impossible!

Well, as you know, I made it, in the end by 7 minutes. Shows what people go through when they hear the words PIGEONS ASSEMBLE.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Juggle Video?

I got bored so I made a video of me doing some juggly things. Here it is!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

University revision is quite strange

At the moment I am taking time out of my work to put up a brief post. You know what? Revision here is strange. Strange, for a number of reasons:
  • You pretty much stay in you pajamas all day (plus a sweater)
  • You never leave the house unless for food
  • You never leave your room unless for tea (or food)
  • You go through about 5 cups of tea a day just to get an excuse to be in the kitchen
  • Your dreams get really messed up
  • You find yourself drifting in and out of facebook and/or youtube
  • Juggling suddenly seems like the most amazing thing in the world again
  • You find yourself snacking on things you wouldn't normally snack on- such as cheese
  • I miss Sophie way more because I have so much time to think
  • Its so easy to waste time when others around you are wasting time
  • Social gatherings are renamed: disturbances
  • No matter how many times you promise yourself to get an early night, you never sleep before 2 
  • No matter how many times you promise yourself to wake up early, you never wake before 11 or 12
  • You realise that a lot of your friends are somewhere on campus, but you can't go and see them
  • Suddenly, this friday evening is the best day in the whole world- for the first time in about a month I don't have to think about chemistry all the time and I get to see my girlfriend for a whole week! Can't wait to see her, sort out the room upstairs and finally go to the pub with my mates Phil and Sam...
So there you are. A fairly serious post from me, but as you expect, when your stuck up to your eyes in work not many funny things just 'happen'. *Yawn..,* well, back to PhysChem

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I caught the Juggle Bug again...

Somewhat unsurprisingly, many jugglers seem to get a lot better at juggling over the exam period because they are not studying for some reason. I too have a similar problem.

When you are studying the ins and outs of organic mechanisms and have been for some time, you find yourself suddenly juggling for procrastination fun again. I will admit to myself and others that my recent juggling up until now has sort of been stuck in a rut, and I seldom learn a new trick or pattern. This has generally made it quite easy to keep up to date with the side bar on the right that says 'current juggling trick I'm learning'.

But like I mentioned, I have been juggling so much in the last few days that I couldn't begin to write it on the side bar. So here is what I have done:

3 balls:
  • 3 ball box
  • Double box
  • Showers
  • The fast machine
  • The full boston mess
  • Slams
  • 1up switches
  • 1up box switches
  • The 'Half Gibson Clawed mess', colloquially known as 'slap that ass'
4 balls:
  • 4 ball flash
  • A-sync columns
  • Sync columns
  • Pistons
  • Column exchanges
  • 4 ball splits
Now when you weigh that up with the amount of Inorganic I have learned this morning- not great. In fact, I have banned myself from juggling anything until I have done a satisfactory amount of work today.

Friday, 22 January 2010

100th post! A run down of all the times some stuff has happened.

This is a 100th birthday celebration for my blog. Here is a 100 long list about all the times stuff has happened that has been worth blogging about. Enjoy, and remind yourself of stupid and pointless times past. So, remember...
  1. The time I introduced myself as a fellow blogger
  2. The time I decided Ricky's catchprases should be summarised to a short but accurate list
  3. The time Battery Powered came to visit me while I was naked
  4. The time I realised blogging was a never ending spiral
  5. The time when the word 'Gloin?' was first invented
  6. The time I realised that Graham should not have survived for as long as he has
  7. The time I rode a unicycle for 11 miles
  8. The time I ran the Teignbridge Ten race
  9. The time when I noticed that the arrangement of numbers is strange on blogger
  10. The time when Onix was Pokemon of the week, and he was disappointing
  11. The time when people were starting to get confused about what Gloin? meant
  12. The time when Battery Powered were just starting to get off the ground
  13. The time I evaluated whether it was worth eating ribs
  14. The time I attempted a poll on what Pokemon should be reviewed next- no response
  15. The time when Paras was Pokemon of the week
  16. The time when me and Wade got caught with a gun in school
  17. The time when PINEHOUSE was first coined by Ricky
  18. The time when that gig at venue sucked ass
  19. The time when Snorlax was Pokemon of the week
  20. The time me and Mike ran away from a dog shit
  21. The time when I first tried out the Cool face
  22. The time when Voltorb was Pokemon of the week. I gave him -1 out of ten.
  23. The time I gave blood, then ran a long distance race in which for some reason I didn't do well in
  24. The time when we had the first ever cracker challenge in the YES centre
  25. The time I put google eyes on a picture of Wade
  26. The time I ran a race called the Exterminator. There was a Dalek there.
  27. The time when Pokemon of the week was actually an Everstone, and I ranted about it a lot
  28. The time battery powered played the Frock and Roll ball and wore sleeveless shirts
  29. The time when I found the Potato famine hilarious, and made Ricky laugh in class
  30. The time I put google eyes on a picture of Tom Wood cooking his body like a sausage
  31. The time I tried to climb out of my porch window...
  32. The time I had a gap of blogging but came back
  33. The time I had a massive rant about 'Rowntrees Randoms'
  34. The time I told you how much I can't stand slow walkers
  35. The time when we went on that frankly epic camping camping trip in the rainstorm
  36. The time when I learned to use stickman animation software
  37. The time I decided that my animations would be exponetially more successful if Ricky were in them
  38. The time I stopped blogging, but then started again when I was drunk on my first night at Bath
  39. The time me and Tom Bartlett met and both decided something was 'up' with the sandwiches there
  40. The time when there was a fire drill while I was still naked
  41. The time we had our first University cracker challenge, and that AMAZING photo of Phil was taken
  42. The time when I managed to sneak past the increasingly annoying extractor fan
  43. The time when Gareth nearly laughed his food all over the wall
  44. The time we all realised we are acceptable cooks compared to the majority of the student population
  45. The time when the whole house ordered pizza
  46. The time my Chemistry group made a humorous safety video
  47. The time when I discovered a couple of cool new (but actually old) bands from the 90s
  48. The time when I learned to balance a spoon on my nose
  49. The time when the first pictures were taken of me juggling fire
  50. The time when me and Oli had a massive fry up in between 2 lectures
  51. The time when I realised that Phil Murphy is fairly strange (took long enough)
  52. The time when Tom was dissatisfied with his Pasty
  53. The time I finally got to dress as the Green Lantern for the first juggling social
  54. The time I dug out the old video of Utensil Pals episode 1
  55. The time ricky made me upload the other episode of Utensil Pals as well
  56. The time when I introduced the internet to Broast
  57. Time I finally gave up on my rubbish frying pan that didn't even fry anything
  58. The time I accidentally deleted a month of blogs. Sad times. Set my 100th birthday back too.
  59. The time I tried to summarise the last month of my life and grieved the loss of the 25 posts.
  60. The time I managed to down a bottle of wine
  61. The time I showed Chris McGreal the face morphing software
  62. The time I got my accordion
  63. The time I actually managed to film myself synchronising two Leekspin videos
  64. The time when we played articulate, and did no justice to the intelligence of the human race... tom.
  65. The time I put together the Ultimate broast tutorial
  66. The time when James Strutt first got a blog
  67. The time when I just went on a rant about doughnut holes
  68. The time I had my hair cut off
  69. The time I got my dictaphone
  70. The time when me and Oli had a whole bucket of chicken to ourselves
  71. The time when we tested out some stop-motion software
  72. The time when I spent 4 hours making a stop-motion animation of my room tidying itself
  73. The time when I copied Karys and showed off my university hood
  74. The time when I finally realised that I preferred the hard water to soft water
  75. The time when we had a mini christmas party in the kitchen
  76. The time when I wrote a song called wee bevy for Phil
  77. The time I went to Checkers in America and ate a burger
  78. The time when I had a rant about American cheese
  79. The time I got unhappy about having to revise on holiday
  80. The time I went to Busch Gardens
  81. The time I went on an airboat ride on Cypress lake
  82. The time my brother made a Gingerbread house
  83. The time when I went to Universal and had to sit next to some wierdo guy
  84. The time I went to Islands of adventure, but didn't really do anything because it was so busy
  85. The time when it was new year and stuff
  86. The time information was first leaked about me being in Ricky and the Pigeons
  87. The time me and Sophie built Noel the snowman
  88. The time Haaziq left, and we built a 7ft snowman called Haaziq to replace him, which got murdered
  89. The time it snowed like hell (obviously not like actual hell, but you know)
  90. The time when we made the mistake of picking on the cricket team in a snowball fight
  91. The time Phil bought some cartoon shoes
  92. The time Tom, Phil and I ran bathwick hill- turned out to be a death trap
  93. The time someone finally spoke out about the state of the cooker
  94. The time when we all got home delivery kebab and pizza
  95. The time I morphed into the cool face
  96. The time I realised chiropractors are not in fact fools
  97. The time me and Oli teamed up to beat Sam and Dickson on Halo 3. We failed. Just.
  98. The time when the SAVE BARRY campaign was started
  99. The time when people showed support for Barry by hosting my campaign poster
  100. The time I made a list of the first ever 100 blogs that I did

Update on the Save Barry Campaign

First of all let me thank you all for getting together so quickly to support the cause. Barry deserves a fighting chance at life all the way through to old age.

I must also thank the select people who have been kind enough to help expose barry's plight to the world by hosting the campaign poster on their web pages. It means a lot, and I'm sure Barry is pleased with how things are going. Allow me to personally thank:


Ricky Moysey, a good friend of mine and Barrys, at www.thechiefoverseerofnothing.blogspot.com

Kenny Lim Ken Wee, a friend of mine from the circus club at university at his blog, www.pokealot.blogspot.com

James Strutt, another good friend who is keen on growing plants but not mindlessly killing them, at his blog www.lordofruin300.blogspot.com


All of these links take you directly to their support articles. As support grows for our poor cress friend, I hope more of you will host my poster in aid of Barry. But thanks to those of you who went out of your way to work so quickly.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

My Campaign for Cress Rights

As many of you may know, there is rapidly growing internet phenomenon known as 'Barry the Cress'. He is a steadily growing pot of cress that has achieved much media attention thanks to his carer and dear friend Karys Munns.

He has received a lot of positive feedback from friends and fans, spurring him on to get bigger and taller. Comments have been posted on the like of social networking site 'Facebook' and also on Karys's blog. As far as we are all aware, Barry has appreciated this.

However, I see a slightly more sinister side to this. Quoted directly from Karys's blog comes the statement "one day he will be hip enough to be in a sandwich".
When pointed out to regular blog follower Phil Murphy, he seemed outraged. He preceded to rant, "You wouldn't kill your friend, or pet and eat them. Imagine that, stroking your pet cow and being affectionate only to kill and eat it. Its not right."

I have to say I agree. Barry has become an icon. He is loved by many fans. You wouldn't eat Karys if she was made of cress. which brings me to my campaign poster. See below.



If you wish to join the campaign, please host the campaign poster on your website or blog. Awareness of cress rights is the key to success here.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

England vs China (Halo 3 style)

This evening, I truly realised that we are the Halo house in the area. For this blog, I will write a version for those of you that understand Halo, and a standard member of the public version (Italics)

Me and Ollie set up a local area network in his room and configured a link between Dickson's Xbox upstairs.
(We magically gained the ability for ollies game console to tell Dickson's one that we are here)

We then decided to play Halo 3 and agreed on a team slayer on gaurdian, standard weapons, Greens v Reds. No tricks.
(We both played a shooter game at the same time, as if by 'magic'. We played it without any 'magic' rules on a pretend place called guardian where there are some things. I was on Ollies side, and Dickson was on Sams side.)

The game started well, Ollie used his stickys cleverly and i managed to snipe out Dickson and Sam as they charged with SMGs. We started building up our kills, but none of got sprees of any kind.
(Ollie threw some 'magic' bombs that stick on things. I used a good gun to shoot the bad guys, and it was all going well for our team. We were winning, but not by a silly amount.)

It was getting tense. I was taking them out with the grav hammer quite a lot, but I found it didn't spawn often enough in the right place. Most of the time both sides were settling for sly beat downs. We noticed that Dickson and Sam kept camping together to try and double team us.
(I had a 'magic' hammer and used it to hit the bad guys. The 'magic' hammer didn't 'magically' appear very often though. I was sad. Bad guys kept sneaking up and punching us. The bad guys kept staying in the same place.)

We eventually lost by 50 kills to 48, so very near. We got a bit complacent with the grav hammers and lulled them into some easy kills with the Battle rifles and needlers, where in hindsight we should have gone for some more ranged attacks.
(we lost. It was 'magic' though)


Turns out they are not all liars

Today I went to see a Chiropractor. If some of you are wondering why, first of all 'where have you been?' and secondly, I'll tell you what happened in a carefully though out bullet point list.
  • Big inflatable assault course
  • Fell from 9ft
  • Gah
  • "Compression fracture" in spine
  • Pain
  • Hospital appointment- useless
  • Still Pain
  • Chiropractor
  • Win.
So that is what happened. Today, I went to see a local chiropractor called Peter Dixon (or as Phil playfully refers to him, 'Big Pete', even though they have never met and therefore there is no real reason why nicknames should be assigned to strangers, but hey) and he sorted my back out today.

My adventure began with a walk to a place called Batheaston. This turned out to be a fair trek, because my map did not show the gradient.. there were annoying gradual hills everywhere. I got there in the end, and took a seat to fill in the details form. I then realised that this old woman was looking at me funny. She said, 'Are you here to see Mr Dixon?'. I said yes I was and she replied 'Your a bit young to be here'..

Granted, the majority of chiropractic patients are old people. The backs of old people practically mis-align every time they bend over or carry anything heavier than a mug, so you can understand why she was confused. I explained about the accident (minus the bouncy castle bit, in retrospect it was fairly embarrassing) and she understood.

I then met Peter 'Big Pete' Dixon. He was really nice and was obviously very good at his job. In the past, I was always skeptical about how effective chiropractors really are and whether their practice is flawed and under-researched. However, Peter did one thing that disproved me.

As he was carefully feeling my back, he felt one of my thoracic vertebra. He asked me if it was painful, but I didn't think it was. UNTIL HE PUSHED IT. It then dawned on me that he was able to tell which of my vertebrae were painful just by feeling them, before I had even pointed them out. So fair play, I was wrong to doubt his work.

He then set to work after the diagnosis and cracked my back specifically in 3 places which hurt like hell, but then I felt instant relief. He preceded to realign my neck, and also my hip (which I didn't realise was possible. It looks like I screwed up more joints than I thought in the accident!

Anyway, the general idea is that I go back on thursday, then a week later, then 3 weeks later. He reckons he can fix my back, so that is cool. Hopefully I will finally get some comfortable rest!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Taking the cool face to the next step

Here is my newest attempt at the cool face.

video

Home delivery Kebab?

That is correct. Home delivery kebab.

Earlier on, myself, Joe and Phil were in the kitchen. We spotted a few unfamiliar turkish guys walking around campus. We realised they were putting flyers in through people's windows. As they were coming towards our window, Joe thought it woudl be funny to shut it, wish it was. But we let the men put some flyers through our window because we were curious about what they were.
They turned out to be menus! They looked fairly generic, but nonetheless we had a browse. It then slowly dawned on what these were. A new restaurant in town that home delivers also any fast food. Kebabs, fried chicken, burgers, pizza, nuggets, kids stuff, fish and chips, drinks, garlic bread, mushrooms, vegetables, onion rings. This shocked us. What shocked us the second time around was the prices. VERY reasonable. Good deals and offers, and also free home delivery.

And so we basically did a house order. I had a kebab, phil had some chicken, mark ordered a pizza, joe had nuggets, tom and oli had shish kebabs. That only came to about 35 pounds, plus drink and sides. Win?


Friday, 15 January 2010

Its about time

Our cooker gets covered in muck every evening that a certain individual uses it (who shall remain nameless). We are all starting to get quite annoyed by the state of the hobs that he leaves it in. In fact, we almost find it amazing how you can splash so much out the the pan, and seemingly not notice that the cooker is as a result, messy. We all know who does it, but none of us has bothered to do anything about it. However, yesterday evening, I went into the kitchen and saw someone had got so annoyed that they put this on the wall. I was amused.




I love how they even bothered to swear in the notice, a lovely touch. And as you can see, the cooker is a state. believe it or not, this is after the preparation of ONE meal. Unbelievable.

Just in case you are wondering, it is not Phil, Oli or Tom. First of all, Phil mostly only eats potato, and I'm sure he would have a job splashing a potato on the wall. Oli is very clean, so it is most definately not him. As for Tom, he eats so much food that it is unlikely that he would waste any by splashing it out of the pan.

I think the house general concensus is to this individual, SORT IT OUT

How about we try not to be SO FAT

Well as I mentioned in the last post, Tom, Phil and I went on our first 'lets try not to be fat' adventure. This involved going on a long run that consisted of one up and down stint of the infamous Bathwick Hill.

Bathwick hill in itself is 2 miles long and 600 feet in height from top to bottom. This, therefore, was going to be quite a challenge. We were going to try and give you an idea of what we look like when we run, for documentation purposes, but figured that it was easier to simply take pictures at home. So here is us all kitted out in our 'gear'.




And finally, me and phil went for one of those '14 year old girl who takes pictures of herself plus friend at arms length to get a "cool" angle' style photograph. Here is the fruits of our labour. Pretty "cool" don't you think?




Anyway, conditions were treacherous because of the recent snow. Thankfully none of us DIED but we got a solid workout. I felt good afterwards, and so did Tom, but for some reason Phil maintained that he actually looked and felt fatter after the run! Thats no excuse. Until I see someone who has become overweight as a result of cardiovascular activity, I am otherwise unconvinced.

Back in the shower room, (don't worry, separate cubicles) me and Phil were having a shower. Soon into the shower, we engaged in an acapella duet medley of 'Afternoon delight', The mario bros. theme, and finally the legend of Zelda theme. Believe it or not, this is entirely normal.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Phil's Cartoon shoes

I suppose you are wondering how shoes can be 'cartoon'. Well here is how.



I had exactly the same reaction. They look like they have come out of a comic book! I personally like the shoes very much, but I wouldn't buy them for me, because they are not purple. When I asked Phil about how he felt about his new shoes, he seemed pleased. I have to hand it to him, as they also came at a reasonable price as far as I am aware. I term them cartoon shoes mainly because of the black outlining that has been cleverly put into the shoe, particularly on and around the lace area.

So there you are. Soon, Phil, Tom and I are going to attempt to run Bathwick hill (death) in order to lose our guts that have been put on as a result of a combination of laziness, eating lots over christmas, eating generally unhealthily, and particularly in my case, beer. I'll let you know how that pans out. Bye!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Note to self...

When you go out looking for a snowball fight with your friends, do not accidentally pick on the cricket team.

Oh god more snow

Although my blogs are somewhat infrequent during assessment season, I cannot help but blog about the fact that there is EVEN MORE SNOW now.

First on the list is a prank me and Tom played in anger of the destruction of Haaziq the snowman. Well, the drunks that killed him couldn't push over the main ball at the bottom because they are prats and too weak. ... Or this ball weighed like a ton and was parctically solid ice... one of the two. Anyway, for no reason, me and Tom decided that a giant snowball cannot go to waste in the middle of the grass outside our house. So we had to find some creative use for it.
Basically with a lot of both effort and sneakery, we managed to push it in front of House 3's door! ... So what did you do this evening? Oh we just rolled a giant snowball in front of our neighbours door... you?




So there you have it. The second story about snow is all about the time our house got attacked by people. Basically, some people are 'twats' and they like to do this thing called 'being a twat'.
I was up in my room working on some stuff, when I saw some guys with baskets full of snow approaching the house. I thought, oh, they are probably going to try and disturb us from studying by throwing snowballs at all the windows. I did not feel the need to do anything about it, because nobody from that side of the house by chance had not arrived back at uni yet. So I was like, I'll let them tire themselves out and then they will go away...

I went into the kitchen for a cup of tea 10 minutes later and, well, the kitchen was actually FULL OF SNOW. They had just decided that we were an easy target for a prank because we had a window open. unfortunately, the only person that took a picture of this was Phil, and he used a device in which the files cannot be retrieved, his phone. So, if you want to see it, somehow find Phil and he will be more than happy to show you.

Finally, we had a lot of snow last night, here it is.

 
I mean look at the bike shed.



Monday, 11 January 2010

Haaziq the Snowman?

I got into campus today, and it was covered in snow. It was actually ridiculous. the first thing i did when I got in was have a cup of tea, unpack, and then I found out that only 4 others has made it through the snow to get here! I also found out that Haaziq Basir, one of our housemates has moved out into town to share a flat with some of his Malaysian friends. Fair enough, its not like we could speak fluent Malay. Wish him all the best.

I started talking to Tom Woollacott (who unsurprisingly had already filled his cupboard with a lot of food and more tomato puree than you can imagine) and we decided to make a massive snowman. Why? Because we can. The snow was pretty much perfect and held together well, so in no time at all we had built a 7ft tall snowman!
It was then that Phil came by and we embraced. He was shocked and amused to find that in the time it had taken him to go to mass, I had arrived, had some tea, unpacked and built a giant snowman. We then engaged in a few silly snow based frivolities, such as rolling around and throwing snowballs. This was funny. Anyway, here is a picture of me, Phil, Tom and the in memory of Haaziq, Haaziq the snowman.



But Haaziq is not cooler than Noel, Sophie will be pleased to hear. Nobody can be cooler than noel. As you can see, he is immense and weighs a lot... but unfortunately he has not survived the evening. Such is the nature of living on campus, some drunks managed to kick his head and body off not too long ago. And yes, they even stole the carrot from the nose as some kind of perverse trophy. I suppose snowmen can be rebuilt, but some guy is hopefully going to wake up with a hangover and a carrot inside his rectum.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Noel the Snowman

Just to instantly clarify, that is Noel as in pronounced Noel Edmonds, not Noel as is Christmas.

I just spent a really cool few days hanging out with Sophie. We played in the snow, went to see anna and jimmy, and watched all 3 naked gun films. I mean, what could be better? May I just say that the snow was excellent at Sophie's house. I mean, perfect. So we decided to throw it at eachother! Hooray! But then we did as only we could in the snow, and started constructing our very own snowman.

Here is Noel just after he was built. He's hip.



I even wrote a song about him, to the tune of frosty the Snowman. Here goes!

"Noel the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul,
He had no pipe and carrot for a nose and two eyes made out of stones,
He is slightly deformed and this makes the children laugh
but he tries to hide his odd shaped head with a pink hat and a scarf"

Sophie described him as "deformed, but in a cute way"

Merry January everyone!

Could it be?

Rumour has it that I may have joined Ricky and the Pigeons as the new singer. This remains a rumour, but we'll see what happens. The voice of the band I am cool with, but my creative influence lies in the heart of the Half time Pies...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

2010...

So this is certainly strange. This blog is being transmitted from Orlando international airport! One of the odder locations i may add.

So, how are you doing 2010? Having fun being the new year and such? Good, good. But lets not forget about 2009, what a year. So what happened to me in 2009?

  1. Churston: Well, my first section of 2009 was spent at churston grammar school. I had a great time with friends and stuff at that school, and as strange as it sounds, I will genuinely miss that place. All that arsing around with Alan and Wade in the music and art room. Me and Wade got caught with a gun in school, that was fun too. See further back in the blog for what that was all about! Also, my A levels turned out great. We even turned the 6th form room into a barn for the last day, complete with hay and all. The worst part was parting with my dearest friends, that is tough. But hey, I still see them now and then.
  2. Music: Music was big thing for me in 2009. My tastes have drastically altered. I have stopped listening to DragonForce, much to the delight of some of my peers. I have also discovered my love of all jazz and swing, and have decided on Michael Buble as inspiration. I now have a severe dislike for R and B, because lets face it is both overplayed and overrated. I have discovered a whole bunch of new bands like the Royal Crown Revue, but most notably was the only NES-rock band in existence, the amazing 'I fight Dragons'.
  3. Battery Powered Rock!: Needless to say my adventure with Battery Powered was amazing. Mates first, band later. We got serious a bit, and played our first big gig at the room upstairs in January. Since then we went from strength to strength, playing in yet more churches and drinking yet more Flanders beer. I was also introduced to RIcky Moysey, such an awesome guy. Many of his catchphrases live on, as I proudly announce that my word of the year is without a doubt PINEHOUSE.
  4. The summer of 09: Unfortunately I did nothing significant in the summer. But, I would not change it for the world. I set out to have a break and just go with it, arsing about with my friends for the whole time. We had parties, endless lie ins and some more flanders beer. And of course, who could forget the fabled Battery Powered plus Ricky camping trip in Churston woods during a rainstorm!
  5. Clothes: My clothing has also changed. I have now found myself and continuously wear superhero or game based clothes with undershirts and stuff. I dunno, its just the stuff I buy. I wore purple shoes all of last year, and now that I have a new pair of purple shoes, I intend to do exactly the same this year. I have also decided that my favourite colour is green.
  6. Hair Dye: Last year was the first time I ever dyed my hair. I went for a combination of auburn and purple. It was a success for me and many of my friends thought it was 'fly' but I never managed to convince my mother. I also grew my long hair back for the first time since the end of year 10 (bad times, you should see the pictures). It is now cut off, but I intend to grow it back blonde again.
  7. University: Well, I am now at Bath University, studying Chemistry and I can tell you its quite hard. I have met a lot of new friends, most notably Oli and Phil, with who I share a house with and hopefully will share a house for the 2nd year. We have formed a preliminary band called the Half time Pies, but as of yet we have no complete songs. We have a few on the go, and already more fans on Facebook than Phil's local football team, Armagh city! Those two guys have been my source of entertainment so far, they are both awesome. I also badly injured my back falling 9 feet off a bouncy assault course, for which I got a mention in the University paper. I am displeased to say that my back is still not better.
  8. Alan grew a beard: we all new he was capable, but now it is finally here. Look forward to seeing him soon.
  9. The Circus: I got loads better at juggling and unicycling, and since joining the circus skills association at Bath I have improved dramatically. I am now on the commitee as equipment secretary, and I'm trying to work my way up to juggling 5 balls. My unicycling is the thing that has improved the most though, I spent a lot of the summer down at the local skate park going off the drops and ramps! I even played my first game of unicycle hockey!
  10. Running: Last year I took part in many races at county level, most notabl winning the club mile by 1 or 2 seconds. I did my first 10 mile race, and did a few 10k races as well. Unfortunately, I missed out on my local 10k race, the torbay 10k, because... I pulled a muscle in my arse when I was asleep the night before. I also ran my first race with a hangover. Not fun I might add, but the Battery Powered gang may disagree because we did have a laugh the night before! 

Interestingly, this part was typed in Atlanta airport, Georgia. And so that was my year. Just a few quotes that have stuck with me:
  • It was pretty basic
  • Pinehouse!
  • Pub?
  • Gloin?
  • Do it, fagwa
  • Fancy a wee bevy? (Phil will understand)
  • You can't stop the Battery Powered rock
  • Good thing I went to the Gym...
  • Not in front of Mrs. Wade!
  • Spider-pig, spider-pig
  • One beer please (BP will understand)
And thats it. My blog will continue throughout this year, I hope some cool stuff happens so that I can blog about it! There you have it. Such was the year of me.

    Islands of Adventure!

    Ah , Islands of adventure. Next to Universal studios it is the place where all the cool comes from. More roller coasters, Jurassic park, and Marvel superheroes. But there was also a similar problem to Universal studios. I don't need to tell you, just look at this picture I took of the park. I could have found more room in a tin of sardines.

    As expected, all the rides were wait times of over an hour, which made little point in bothering. Here is a picture of the Hulk, a rollercoaster in the Marvel bit. I did not go on this year, but I have to say it is a quality ride.

    In the Jurassic park section there was some cool things too. As Michael Crichton is one of my favourite authors of all time, the Jurassic park stuff is always cool to look at. The arch from the film,

    A spinosaurus just like 'Hey there'

    And a convincing but disappointingly fake dinosaur skeleton.

    On the plus side, the queue in the Marvel shop was considerably less than an hour, and a purchased a T shirt with Gambit from the X-Men on it. Win.

    Universal Studios




    So, Universal Studios then. Here is me and Jenna by the revolving logo. I have to say, Universal studios is quite a cool place to be. There are some good rides and I love watching the blues brothers tribute act that plays there every now and again. Except this time, there was a new ride. Since last time they had announced, built and opened a new roller coaster. I like roller coasters, so I decided that I would go on it because it was new. The 'Hollywood rip ride rockit' was the first rollercoaster to employ personalised soundtracks to listen as you ride. Basically, as you sit down in the seat, you choose from a list of songs on a touch panel that would like to listen to as you ride the coaster. Pretty neat.

    However, there was a minor 'setback'. It was christmas. Where do you suppose everybody turns up at christmas in florida. Well here is a hint, it is not the local sewage plant. Thats right, it felt like half the population of florida had descended on Universal studios, and all decided they want to try out the new roller coaster with me.

    So how much would you expect to wait for on that? 30 minutes? An hour on a busy day? Try... 150 minutes. Thats right. 150 minutes of standing behind this same guy who kept burping. 150 minutes of watching the introductory video thats blared out at you all the way around the queue. 150 minutes of shuffling slowly to the end. 150 minutes of continuously awkwardly catching this woman's eye as the queue snaked around. And about 20 minutes of needing to take a dump. As I sat in the seat at the end, I thought, this better be good.

    The harness came down, and I chose my song on the panel. Harder better faster stronger by Akon. wait, I dont think so Daft Punk. Because I was a single rider, I was sat next to one of those men who go to Universal Studios on their own wearing a mickey mouse hat... As the coaster began to move, he looked across and said, Good Luck! In my head, I was like "What for, are we going to die or something? and whats with the mickey mouse hat" but I just said "You too!"

    The roller coaster was good, but there was one problem. As we left, I quickly realised my mistake in choice of song. Everybody knows that the coolest part of that song is like in the middle where all the words are said one after the other. Well, the ride was about a minute long and we barely got through the intro.

    As we pulled in, the weird guy next to me had a face on that looked like he had just had sex with someone. He looked across at me and said "That, was, awesome...". I wanted to say "good for you. And whats with the mickey mouse hat?" but I just smiled and gave a thumbs up. After the harnesses came back up I promptly ran away so he didn't try and talk to me.


    And then we went home. And that was my experience of Universal Orlando. A roller coaster. Waiting. Potential paedophile.

    Gingerbread House!

    Today was shopping day. As you know, I tend to spend much of my christmas money on clothes for the year (I am currently wearing Atari sleep pants). The last shop on the list was one called 'Walgreens' that sells like camera batteries, sweets, magazines, sunglasses and other touristy stuff as well as bread and milk. I had no business in there, so I just sat in the car and listened blissfully to Michael Buble singing Let it snow.

    Some time later, Jason came back to the car carrying a box. He held it up to the window and it was none other than a 'Gingerbread house kit'. You know, one of those...

    He pulled open the door and out of breath, with a smile on his face, he gasped "Gingerbread house kit... 5 dollars! ... Mum said it was a waste of money... I was like no its not! no its not!".
    You get the idea.

    Well, we got home and he began his master craftsmanship. Complete with the gingerbread, icing, and various sweet decorations and little gingerbread men, he set to work.



    First of all, He built the actual house.



    He then started the decorations. It is fair to say that making it look like 'what it looks like on the box' is much harder than it looks, as it usually is with everything. Well here was the finished article.



    I have to say, there are certain brilliant artistic touches that Jason has added to the gingerbread house that uplifts it from art, to masterpiece. My favourite of all had to be this.



    Thats right, there is a gingerbread man stuck onto the roof for no apparent reason. When I asked Jason what the deal was with the Gingerbread man on the roof, he simply said, "Oh, he's dead." I thought this was lovely.

    Merry Christmas!

    Swamp adventure

    So I said that Busch gardens was cool. Well, it was. But this was something else. Today, I went on an Airboat wildlife tour of THE cypress lake. It was amazing.

    It took an hour to drive there but it was worth it. When we got out of the car we saw this wooden cabin perched on the edge of the swamp with a few pontoons. This gentle giant of a man strode towards me and Jason, it turned out this was our captian, Pete. He had been born and raised here, and you could tell. His hat, dark, tanned wrinkly skin, a silvery stubbly beard, and one hell of a drawn florida accent. He seemed to know everything there was to know about fish and wildlife and knew the massive swamp like the back of his hand. He even knew the local alligators and where they usually hang out. He promised us we would see at least one in the wild.

    It was a strange feeling, flying across a swamp at forty miles an hour, wearing shades and ear defenders. But hell I enjoyed it for all that it was worth. I actually video taped what it was like going at full speed, just to show you guys. That horrible sound you can hear is the sound of an 8 litre chevy engine conected to a propeller. And those horrible purple lines on the recording is because my digital camera doesn't like direct sunlight. About 3 quarters of the way through the clip we encounter a 9 foot alligator hiding in the reeds, but he was unfortunately too well hidden for my camera to pick out. And right near the end of the clip you'll see a splash in the water, and that was a swamp turtle jumping off a log. But once again, my camera didn't quite make the shot.



    The biggest alligator we saw was 11 feet long. Here he is. Not a brilliant picture, but the angle from which I was shooting wasn't brilliant.



    Also, there were these random cows that just walked around in the swamp. Somebody said, 'Doesn't the noise of the airboat scare them?'
    to which Pete said, 'Na, they don't care about nothin''. He was right, because just as he said this, a cow turned around and looked at me as if to say, 'Yeah, what of it?'



    Amongst the other wildlife I saw was:
    • Bald Eagles
    • Storks and Herons of various species
    • turtles
    • Baby alligators
    • Moorhens and Coots
    • Vultures
    • Egrets
    • My brother Jason
    So there you go. Thats pretty much it.

    Busch Gardens

    Today, I went to Busch Gardens in Tampa bay. It was good. This is the theme park with lots of animals and roller coasters, owned by the guy that owns Budweiser. Naturally, as a roller coaster fan, I headed straight for them, managing to persuade my brother to come along. First on the list was 'Gwazi'. (yeah, they all have weird names)



    Gwazi is the largest wooden roller coaster in America. And by god, you can really tell its made of wood. Its safe in the long run, but its fast and rickety otherwise. Me and Jason hopped on and it went away. I felt that typical stomach lurch that you do when you have coasted in a while, and it was cool. I looked across at Jason halfway through the ride, and he had a strange expression on his face. It was later revealed that he was trying not to be sick! This was apparently due to lack of food in his stomach rather than the other way round, so we stopped for 'fries' afterwards.



    Interestingly, as I got onto the roller coaster I spotted some women staring strangely at me. I assumed they were looking at someone behind me, and carried on. It turned out that they were some fellow employees from the McDonalds where I work in Paignton! That has to be a contender for biggest ever coincedence... with no previous arrangement, same holiday destination, same time of year, same theme park, same ride, at exactly the same time. Creepy.

    Ok, next one. We then went on 'Montu'. It is a fast, G-Forcey type of coaster where your feet hang. So pretty cool. We waited for 20 minutes or so, got on and enjoyed it. Compared to Gwazi, it was fairly uneventful!

    I did not go on 'Sheikra' but I have done before. It was pretty... vertical... a lot of the time. In fact, I only mention this because I think I took a cool picture of it. Here you go.



    So we hung about and saw a few shows as you do in a theme park, and it was a nice day. This was only clouded when my parents realised that Busch Gardens had discontinued their 'free beer' offer in the hospitality centre. On of the cool attractions is known as the SkyRide. It is essentially a cable car system that takes you from one side of the park to another, but travels over the top of the safari, so you can see safari animals beneath you as you go. I made a short film of this, much to my brother's disapproval, who claimed I was being weird again.


    It was a cool journey nonetheless. Jason's fear of Egrets again surfaced when confronted with a whole pen of them. For some reason he finds these particular birds disturbing, because they are not scared or people and they have sharp beaks. However, they are tame, otherwise they would not be in a theme park.



    Towards the end of the trip, I spotted a lovely area with foliage and sunshine and asked jason to take a picture of me there. This is quite posy, but thats the idea. However, I can't help but think the lighting is perhaps too overpowering, as I look possessed in the lower picture.





    Happy holidays!

    Revising on Holiday

    Man, you have no idea how much that sucks. Its not so bad at home. Not too much to distract you, you get on with what has to be done.But here I can hear my brothers splashing about in the pool, in the sun, just outside my bedroom window, where here I am in the dark looking over a months worth of lectures.

    At this stage I have nearly gone through half of my Organic module, which is a start but not close to the end. Whereas most years I have come back from holiday looking tanned, this year I will come back whiter because of all the time I am spending indoors. I just dont have time to be outside! Gah.

    Also, I feel like I'm getting fatter and slower through inactivity and lack of movement, coupled with a visit to an all-you-can-eat. The food is great, but this exam preparation in Florida lark is doing my head in!

    They can't even make cheese

    I have been in the states for one day and already I am painfully reminded of the Amercian's inability to make cheese or bread. There is just something wrong with the cheese, I mean, look at the colour. That weird orangey colour to the cheese suggests that it has not been made using the proper techniques or ingredients. By proper, I of course mean British.

    Even worse, is their frankly poor attempt at bread. Bread is supposed to be a savoury item. And yet here they are under the impression that it has to be over preserved and sweet, just like all amercian 'savoury' food. As a result of their gross misinterpretation of the meaning of 'good bread' all the bread here is way too soft and they actually use honey as an ingredient. You say, oh, that sounds quite nice... but not if your trying to make a cheese or ham sandwich that does not taste like it was sat on and then soaked in syrup.

    However, I'm not a hypocrit, and will openly admit that we brits really make a hash out of making root beer. Now, root beer is my favourite fizzy drink ('soda') and so to spare myself the pain I only buy it from America. I don't care if its a dollar or 3 dollars, it still tastes better than our sorry attempts. For those of you who dont know, root beer tastes like a mix of Dr Pepper and Calpol (that kids medicine), and for some reason I love it. The british stuff hardly tastes of Calpol at all, so I'm like 'whats the point'.



    I have been here 2 days and have already had maybe 3 litres. Unhealthy, I know, but I have to drink a wasted years worth. Haha and look at how they spell litre.

    Possibly the greatest burger restaurant ever

    I don't know how many of you I have told about this place, but here in Florida exists the most amazing burger restaurant on the planet. It is 'Checkers'.





    I don't even know what is particularly special about it, but it just seems like a different league above places like McDonalds. Unfortunately, there is no UK outlets. yet...

    Anyway, like all good burger bars, they have a characteristic burger. It is traditionally the first food we eat as we get into Florida, just because it is amazing. It is known as the Big Buford. Just looking at the burger won't necessarily give you this chills first time, you need to take a bite of it. Lets just say it is not nicknames 'the big taste' for nothing. It is heavenly, and by FAR my fast food item of choice.



    Once again, words cannot justify its awesomeness. It is cheap as well, costing little over a dollar. It almost feels like it should be my staple food for life.