Sunday, 5 August 2012

You deserve an explanation

Re-reading my prior post, it is easy to understand how one may reach the conclusion that I died of happiness on Thursday 29th of March. To be honest, that is not actually far from the truth; although I can assure you that the 'happiness-based death' was purely meant as a metaphor.

"Well... well.. well... " says as much as I was feeling at the time. A kind of empty-headed, vacuous train of thought. I was entirely dumbfounded by a turn of events that I had only hoped for in dreams; perhaps the kind of feeling a man might get when he thinks he has won the lottery, but still has that biting thought that he may be mistaken.

As it turns out, I wasn't mistaken at all. If only my self from Thursday 29th of March could see how well things have turned out, I daresay he would have never made it to the keyboard to type the word 'well.' He would have exploded, causing considerable water damage to many of his possessions including the computer. We can all agree that would have been particularly annoying.

Her name is Emily by the way.

Thursday, 29 March 2012





Somebody just made me feel like the luckiest person on this planet.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Human Buckaroo

At the studio on tuesday, we went to our usual spot to eat our lunch. There is a cafe on campus that has an area with some beanbags and imitation grass, so we eat there and hang out.

Although I must point out that the rule is 'NO PICNICS' and there are numerous signs attempting to guilt trip you like "you wouldn't bring your own food into a restaurant"... but to be honest I really couldn't give a firetruck. We do it anyway because the campus does not provide a designated area for eating packed lunches. Also, not all of us bring packed lunches so the ones who buy food would be left out.

Anyway, it is tradition for people to have a rest on the beanbags in between studio time. Charles, the only other person on my course with a Y chromosome, often takes 'resting' a step too far. He has been known to fall asleep, and it is common practice to play human buckaroo on anyone who is asleep. For those of you unfamiliar with human buckaroo, you just keep putting things on them until they wake up.

A classic example was Big G. We got drunk while watching Flubber, and I bet him he couldn't fall asleep on the kitchen floor. Well, I lost the bet, but we had a good game of Human Buckaroo with kitchen utensils.

He eventually woke up when I put a cold spoon on his face. Damn. Charles on the other hand, does not drink, and has no excuse for such a heavy amount of sleeping. I mean come on, it was the middle of the day! well, I won't keep the suspense much longer.

As he fell asleep, we put apple cores on his hands. He didn't realise. In fact, we exhausted our supply of lunchtime rubbish on him. We then all looked at eachother with a knowing glance. We slowly picked up our things, and made our way...

We snuck away. It was hilarious. That'll teach him to fall asleep near us!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Re-educating James Wade with Wumpa Fruit and Lame Snakes

Today Wade was over and we played some of my video games. It surfaced that Wade, coming from a childhood that was rather lacking in consoles, has never played the vast majority of games I consider 'essential' to have played in order to count as a human.

First in line was Crash Bandicoot 1. 

Wade said he recalled playing it back when supermarkets had creches... I told him this was simply not good enough. We started playing, and it soon became clear to me that Wade was having considerable difficulty performing even the most simple of tasks, such as jumping to avoid obstacles. For quite a while he was just muttering to himself "why am I so sh*t?..."

The whole charade quickly became a to and fro between us, as Wade consistently lost a whole bunch of lives and then me having to earn them all back. For the first 15 levels or so, we were hovering around the 3-5 lives remaining mark. 

Although, at points, I was impressed with Wade's enthusiastic approach to play. After navigating a reasonably challenging part of the course in one go (one that even I have trouble with) he recklessly dived straight back down the cliffside to retrieve ONE wumpa fruit he had missed. For those who aren't sure, wumpa fruit (colloquially referred to as 'apples' by crash noobs) are the staple item for collection, similar to coins in mario, rings in sonic, and gems in spyro. 

The whole game is littered with them and the is no extra points for getting all of them apart from the standard rule of 100 fruit makes one more life. The only instance where one would dare to return for ONE wumpa fruit is if you are on no lives and have 99 wumpa fruit. We nearly did have to do that anyway at one point.

Also something we noticed was how well rendered the bats were in the game, compared to the snakes. Considering that the game in Wade's words is "old as f*ck" (not sure how old 'f*ck' is, apparently mid 90s?), the bats look fairly realistic. However, the snakes are hilarious. They just pop up, sway and wiggle their tongues non-threateningly at you.

As we progressed through the levels, Wade slowly picked it up and pulled me out of sticky situations a few times. I know feel that Wade is part of the way to honorary 90s child status. Its a long road and there are many games he missed out on, but we have plenty of time and if Bro House is anything to go by, we'll get there some day.

Racing in Reading

Well, as you know, my training at the moment has been going rather well of late, and I seem to be injury free touch wood. Last sunday, I took part in my first race in Reading since I moved here. It was called the "Reading St Patrick's 5 Mile Scurry", which is another novel title that I like to see.

I represented South Devon AC this time, as my Reading membership doesn't start until March. Interestingly, at the start line, an old man saw my South Devon AC shirt and said, 'your a long way from home aren't you?' in your standard curious old man voice. He said he had run the Brixham 10k, back when we used to organise that race.

Anyway, the race began on University campus at 11am, and there was a fairly good turnout.

As it says in my running book, something will always happen on race day that stops you from having a perfect race- so just accept it. This time, the course had to be altered because campus was still covered in a blanket of snow and ice! This made the path treacherous and in some places awkward to keep up good pace.

The race started out well, with me leading the pack of 120 or so runners for the first few miles. Me and the person in second (from Reading Roadrunners) broke away from the pack and gained about 800 meters on the people behind. But then, DISASTER!

One of the marshals sent us the wrong way, and it took us about 45 seconds to realise. By that point, we had lost about 4 places and had to start gaining them back. Now, I'm not going to say I would have won the race if it weren't for that, because I wouldn't. The guy who was tailing me was tailing me for a reason, because after that mishap he went on to win the race, good on him.

Personally I fought really hard to get back and managed 3rd place, so I won a bottle of wine! woo! Also for the first time in years, I really appreciated my speed training. I managed to kick in the last half a mile or so and power past someone to take a podium place.

All in all, good race despite everything. Looking forward to next one :)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Well, Valentines day has come around again and it is just as uneventful for me as it was last year. I don't mind being single, and I find it hilarious how some people get so depressed about it every year if they aren't with someone.

I go through these days preferring to casually observe a silver lining rather than dwell on things that may or may not ever come to be, and although its not the best, its fine. The ever poignant Martin Harley Band will explain in some very fitting lyrics.

"In a world of misunderstanding, 
tell you one thing that I know
its a rich, rich man that has a hand to hold."

So this year I spend valentines day with Ryan and Wade playing a bit of worms (TRIPLE BRO FIST), and watching montages of Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes on YouTube- pretty awesome huh? I spent the day in the studio printmaking and broke out to play the piano and had the company of people who appeared to be genuinely enjoying my playing. I contemplate tidying my room, but maybe I'll just write some more.

Who knows what next Valentines day will bring. I would very much like things to work out for me, but for now my thoughts and feelings must stay inside my head until the moment when it becomes appropriate, if it ever comes. And if it doesn't, at least nobody can stop me thinking my own thoughts.

Happy valentines day folks :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Super Bowl!

I have watched the last 3 super bowls now, and I feel it is becoming a bit of a tradition for me. For those of you who may be unaware, the Super bowl is one of the largest and most widely watched sporting events in the world. It is the championship match between the two best American Football teams in the NFL.

I was introduced to the Super bowl back in 2010, when I was at Bath University, by Phil Murphy. Phil likes and plays American football, and advised me to come and watch the super bowl. So, I went along to see what all the fuss is about. To be honest, I had no idea how to play american football, so the whole game for me made almost no sense. However, it was a hilarious evening and was entertaining to watch. Well done to the New Orleans Saints.

I was advised to choose one team in the whole NFL to support and stick with for life, as none of us as british people have any allegiance to parts of America in terms of residence. So I chose at random, the Minnesota Vikings.

However, they have had a considerable amount of bad luck since I started supporting them in the season of 2010...

  • They came last place in the NFC north
  • They signed star player Randy Moss only to waive him a month later
  • Their quarterback Brett Favre went under investigation for inappropriate texting 
  • Even their stadium collapsed under snowfall
  • Their head coach Brad Childress was fired after the Vikings got stuffed 31-3 by their rivals, The Green Bay Packers.
Although they haven't been doing amazingly in the last few seasons, at least they have a new head coach and what seems to be a good replacement for Brett Favre after he retired for the third and final time.

In 2011 my super bowl was spent at home with Ricky and the gang, where we attempted to drink 'light beer' (failed, some of the cans are still there from last year they were that bad) and watched the packers beat Tom Wood's favourites, the Steelers. At the end of the game, we sent a text to Tom saying "woooh packers". We thought it was hilarious.

For this super bowl, I was down in the Sibly bar watching it on the screen. This year, it feels like I had a bit of role-reversal on the go. Usually I am pestering Phil or Ricky to ask what is happening and why, but this is the first super bowl I have watched where I actually understand 90% of the rules and scoring system, so can enjoy the game and explain the rules to others for a change. 

I wasn't drinking because I am building up for a race this Sunday, but Ryan and Fin sure were! They ordered all their drinks before the bar closed, and proceeded to get absolutely battered quarter by quarter. Ryan was very drunk and often got confused as to what was happening in the game, whereas Fin fell asleep and missed the last crucial quarter. We woke him up to tell him that the Giants had got a touchdown, but he fell asleep again before we could finish our sentence.

All in all, a good win for the New York giants in the last quarter- and as Ricky said, 'the the New England Patriots can suck it'. Next year when I'm living in my own house, we are going to have a big Super Bowl party with Nachos, Chicken and lots of beer. Who knows, maybe even the Vikings could win... please?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sleepover in the corridor

On thursday, we had another Sibly Hall social. This time the instruction was to all go out to town in our pajamas! I went out in my Atari lounge pants and my green lantern shirt, it was pretty sweet. A good time was had by all who intended.

When we finally got back home, ethanol had made its way through our systems rather a lot so we had a bit of a laugh back in the flat. When all of a sudden, Matt had a brainwave! Well, sort of. He just triumphantly stood up and said 'We are having a f***ing sleepover!'. He preceded to grab his duvet and pillow from his room, and set up camp in the corridor.

Never one to turn down an opportunity to be a bit silly, I duly followed suit and retrieved my bedclothes too. We nestled down right outsides Ryan's room (much to his dismay) and went on to have a nice deep conversation with each other (I think) before falling sound asleep.

When Fin walked passed us later that night, he couldn't resist an opportunity to be a RUGBY LAD and covered us in cardboard and tin foil. He later said performing the 'standard' rugby lad ritual of putting egg and other foodstuffs on people who have fallen asleep would have been harsh, as we 'aren't rugby lads and probably wouldn't have found it funny'.

And to even more of Ryan's dismay, he was awoken by the sound of Matt chuckling to himself in his sleep in the early hours! Matt is a genius, he is the only person I know who can laugh in his sleep and wake someone up!

We stayed there until about 8 o'clock in the morning and had a nice cosy peaceful night :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Green Ginger Wine and a potential SNOW DAY

As I write, snow is falling outside Sibly Hall. Rather heavily. Not unlike the snowfall I saw at Bath University nigh on two years ago while I remained a resident at Eastwood 4. So, having received this information, prepare yourself for a potential blog post about the fact I'm snowed in tomorrow!

Also as I write now, I am leisurely enjoying a glass of my new favourite non-ale drink, ginger wine. Having had a fairly recent review of my spending habits, I decided I was purchasing far too many expensive (i.e. in town) drinks, spending too much on taxis to places, and going to clubs too often. Fortunately for my wallet, I have massively cut back on these activities this term.

Amongst the cutbacks have been about a 75% reduction in club-going, and thats good so far. However, as a student, I feel obliged to show my face at the regular parties and at least have something to drink- so, i'm left with a dilemma.

But all is not lost. Whilst browsing around ASDA early this year, I discovered "Green Ginger Wine". Now, I thought, "I like the taste of ginger, so it can't be that bad".

I was right! Ginger Wine is delicious! My basic review of my expenditure looked at my reasons for purchasing things. When I looked at money spent on alcohol, I had to be honest with myself. If I'm buying alcohol with the intent of going to a party, why exactly am I buying it? As much as I would like to say its because I like the taste, that isn't the case. It is obviously because you want to become slighty inebriated (whilst not going overboard) and have a cracking time.

Did I mention Ginger Wine is the same percentage as regular wine, more delicious, and... £3 per bottle... Lasts me for ages...

So now I spend almost nothing on alcohol compared to first term. IDEAL. Oh, and having looked out the window again, in the time it has taken me to type this, the snow is falling even heavier. WAHOOO

Friday, 3 February 2012

Which Joker sold this shirt to me?

I have just been informed of a rather interesting revelation. It turns out, that horrible blue hexagon print shirt is not as uncool as I first thought! As you know, I originally bought it because I found it visually interesting, but definitely something I wouldn't wear.

I experimented with the use of face paint for one or two shots, and they worked out fine.

It was only after putting it up as my display picture on facebook that Lee pointed something out. It appears, somehow, I have purchased exactly the same shirt- I mean EXACTLY the same- as the Joker wears in the Dark Knight.

Crazy isn't it? I'm now torn about what I should do with it for the next section of the project. The idea is you have a week to make a sculpture or a study using your garments. I was going to cut up the tie, suit jacket and the shirt, and fashion them into about 10 scaled down small versions of themselves with needle and thread.

But seeing as the shirt has significant cosplay potential, I don't know any more! It is unlikely I'll find another replica Joker shirt in a charity shop for like 2 pounds...

Hanging around in the rapey woods at night was a great idea

There is a wooded area in between Sibly Hall and Whiteknights campus which as far as I'm aware, has no official name or anything. We colloquially refer to it as 'Rapey Woods'. Not because there has ever been a recorded instance of rape there, but because of the lack of light when night falls.

When it goes dark, due to the denseness of the forest, the lights from the street don't penetrate, and neither does the light from campus or the agriculture building. It quite literally just goes black- so black that you would genuinely get lost in the night and never find your way out if you haven't got a torch- even if you knew your way around.

Thats not the point of the story though. I am currently in the middle of a textiles/ photography project on my course. The basic outline was 'go to a charity shop, buy 2 or more items of clothing (interesting ones, but not necessarily because you would wear them) and then model them, take photos of them in rural and urban environments in 'ways that challenge peoples expectations''.

So its pretty vague, but we got the gist of it fairly quickly. Anyway. I went out and bought component parts for the lamest and most socially unacceptable suit I could find. The jacket isn't too bad, but it has a stupid pink and purple shiny lining.

The shirt is just awful, and has this horrible blue hexagon pattern on it. James said it would be 'just the ticket if you were going out to a party in the 70s'. Even the material feels over-starched and abrasive on the skin.

But as frank zappa would say, the 'crux of the biscuit' is the god awful tie that I bought. When I showed Jacob in my flat the clothes I had bought, he thought the jacket was not too bad, the shirt was pretty terrible, but when he saw the tie he was in disbelief at how bad it was. Never before have I seen somebody so taken aback by the lack of style of a piece of clothing.

He was literally walking around with it in his hands saying 'oh my god'. To be fair, the reason I bought it was because it reminded me of my old great great nans carpet in her house.

Anyway, Xio, Emily, Bryoni and myself went to the rapey woods in the daytime to take some pictures of our clothes in a way that 'challenges expectations'. Here is a nice shot I came up with.

We all agreed that it would be a good albeit cold idea to return here in the night armed with torches and cameras to take some cool night shots. And by god, cold it was. The lake was actually freezing over and we could see all our breath very clearly in the torchlight. It turned out the temperature reached a sizzling minus 5 that night.

We took night shots with cool lighting and stuff. Unfortunately for emily, the clothes she bought were pretty thin and not exactly winter wear... she was absolutely frozen. So for one of xio's shots, I 'gallantly' (nah, foolishly) donned a rather fetching purple dress so emily did not have to get cold all over again after she had warmed up. Big mistake, it was mad gay. At least Xio got some good shots for her project though... sigh. However, I do like feeling like a have the testicles to do something potentially embarrassing in the name of valour.

I think this is also a fairly powerful photo series. There is nothing like running for your life along a rickety bridge in rapey woods at night.

In other news, we coined a phrase that day as well. When Bryoni got stuck on a tree stump on her back and couldn't self right, we said she had 'turtled' herself. Also, we got spooked when we were trying to take photos in the dark by some guys who were walking their PITBULL in the woods. I turned around when I had a red torchlight and shone it in the direction of this rustling and I just saw some red eyes reflected back at me! We all basically lost control of our bowels at the time, but they just moved on.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

You know its cold when...

Walking to campus this morning, I noticed that the majority of Whiteknights lake was completely frozen over. All the ducks and birds were stood on the ice earlier like, 'whats going on?'.

I even threw a stone into it and it just slid along the surface and scared away the birds.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tigers, Giraffes and complex linguistic problems

Today, Oli from Bath University sent me this link, with the quote "thought this would be right up your street".

Why we are renaming Tiger Bread to Giraffe Bread

It was up my street it turns out, but for all the wrong reasons. The article concerned talks about my favourite type of bread, 'Tiger Bread'.

My love of Tiger Bread is fairly vocal, as I have been known to refer to it as 'awesome bread' and make verbal attacks on those who eat regular bread. I often wonder why all bread is not tiger bread, I mean, it is superior in every way. The tough and slighty crumbly crust on the outside with that lovely rice paste flavour, coupled with a soft and aerated centre makes any sandwich a thousand times better.

The article stems from a letter from a small girl who asked why it was called Tiger Bread, when the pattern on the bread more similar to Giraffe skin. A valid point I suppose. However, I personally think it spoils tradition a bit. Here is a brief history lesson on tiger bread.

The name 'tiger bread' appears to originate from the Netherlands where they have called it 'tijgerbrood' since the 1970s. I personally would class it as a traditional name, given it is 40 years old.

The term 'Tiger bread' is in fact a linguistics phenomenon known as a 'misnomer' A misnomer is a term that suggests an interpretation of something that we know to be untrue. In the most usual case, it is an older name for something that continues to be used. Misnomers exist all around us, and the vast majority of us use them all the time without realising.

  • The 'Mince Pie' used to be made of minced meat and about 10 other ingredients, and had religious connotations during the christmas period. We all know there is no 'mince' in a modern day mince pie, but we still call them mince pies.
  • An obvious one is pencil 'lead'. We all know that nowadays they contain graphite, because lead was found to be poisonous. We still refer to the 'lead' in your pencil though.
  • We still call Steamrollers by that name, regardless of the method of propulsion- which is obviously usually petrol.
  • We still talk about 'dialling' numbers, despite the fact none of us have old rotary dial phones anymore...
  • All video games and computer programs still use the term 'loading', even though that was a term used back when programs were a system of punched holes in a piece of paper that got 'loaded' into a hopper...
I could literally go on for more that I know of, but I think I have made my point. If people started telling me that I wasn't allowed to 'iron' my clothes because irons aren't made of iron, or that I had to 'press' the numbers into my phone, I'd be annoyed.

The name TIGER bread gives you thoughts of strong, powerful bread that is cool and awesome, with a combination of stealth, speed, and a primal attractiveness.

On the contrary, the name GIRAFFE bread suggests that although it is a good example of evolution, it is flimsy, often has circulation problems and has been known to break its legs by mistake if it falls down.

I mean, look how they sleep! How stupid is that.

Sigh... at least it is only Sainburys that have changed the name. I know tiger bread looks more like giraffe skin, but I personally hope it doesn't catch on for old times sake. I'm glad I can still get my Tiger Bread from ASDA for the time being!

Warhammer pokes its head out from under the Carpet

It has been a long time since I was involved with Warhammer and the likes of Games Workshop, but recently I have started a fresh sketchbook devoted just to that sort of stuff. Last week I had a thought when a friend of mine said to me, "Games Workshop would seriously miss out if they never hired you as an artist, sculptor or designer"

I was quite flattered, but it got me thinking. What if- now hear me out here- I took an internship as an apprentice model designer at Games Workshop after this degree, instead of jumping straight into teaching in a school? I mean, as long as I'm earning money, I have all my remaining years to teach. I think it might be nice to pursue something I'm considered talented at, and something that I enjoy on a very nerdy level beforehand.

Here is the sculpture I knocked together which prompted the aforementioned quote from my friend.

So there you are, a rudimentary Warhammer 40k Ork bust made in clay in about an hour.

Another little project I have started in light of recent developments is a new sketchbook. I figured if I am going to present a portfolio of designs and sketches to my future employer, I need some... well... designs and sketches. So to start off this new book, I drew some Eldar Guardians (using a reference) with a cool backdrop. Quite ambitious to start off with, but I'm happy with it.

Next sketch should be fleshing out this Tyranid Hormagaunt, once I get around to it.

Who knows, I'll either be glad of spending my down time drawing if I follow through this idea, or at least I'll have some cool pictures to show if I don't. Stay tuned!

A Picture of Pitchers

The other day, Big G came over to grab empty bottles for his home brew operation he had on the go. His original plan was to then walk to James' house and watch Hercules- but by the time we realised it was half 10, that idea went out the window. Sorry James!

We ended up going down to the Sibly bar to play table tennis. On the way down, it surfaced that neither Big G or Ryan had really ever had a whole pint of Guinness. Upon realising this, we decided to buy some pints to enjoy.

The barman at the time was Tom Bonello, and as we ordered our Guinnesses he was delighted, as Sibly bar sells next to no Guinness and he missed the fun of pouring them. After drinking those, we were content but not satisfied. So we decided to do something that has never before been seen in Sibly hall since it was built in the 60s. We ordered 'pitchers' of Guinness.

I know right? If Guinness is a meal in a glass, then this is a feast! We another pitcher each after drinking that one, and we were done for the night. I have noticed that since I came here I have instigated a number of events that have apparently never happened in Sibly Hall before. Once again- take a mental note that this building was constructed in the 60s, so all these things have not happened in a span of about 50 years worth of students...

  1. The first recorded instance of the Piano being moved into the main bar for a music event
  2. The first cask of ale ever bought in by student suggestion
  3. The first pint of real ale consumed
  4. The first 'Guinness Pitcher' ever ordered at the bar
  5. The most Guinness sold in one evening excluding St. Patrick's day
I think we can agree that's quite a cool list.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Fairly Drastic Hair Cut

Oh yes, I decided to cut my hair back to short again. To be honest it was a mixture of fancying a change, and the fact that I made sort of a hash of dying my hair blue.

What happened was this: At one point I had purple hair, with about inch long blonde roots coming through. I figured that was going to be as good a time as any to change my hair to blue. Alas, I was sadly mistaken. You see, in order to get the purple out of my hair, I bleached it. This changed the purple to a light pink, and the blonde roots to a white.

What I didn't realise was the way the blue dye works. It turns out, dye of that particular type does not take to bleached hair, because it has 'nothing to hold on to'. I'm not entirely sure of the exact science behind it, but that is a fact. The blue dye took nicely to the pink parts of my hair, because there was 'something for it to hold on to', but not to the roots. It looked alright for a while though.

However, no matter how many times I tried to dye my roots blue, they only lasted a day or so. Eventually, my hair was starting to look weird, so I decided to start from scratch again and grow a new head of hair to turn blue properly. I dyed it a fairly harmless natural brown colour that is fairly close to my own, and so I guess we'll start from there and work back to the length I had before.

Hooray for not bothering with hassle!

Poor Old Ball.

Yesterday, we lost an old reliable friend. He was with us since the start of this academic year, and has provided us with much entertainment and plenty of laughs. A true Siblyan at heart, he always was there for us when it looks like there was nothing going on, always helping us to improve. We knew he could never last forever, but we dwelt not on his demise and enjoyed his remaining time with us.

It is a sad day, when we say goodbye to my trusty table tennis ball. He finally cracked when I hit a decent slam return.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Oh Hang it all!! ...Fiendish Chain!

Yesterday night, I watched the Sword in the Stone again, you know, the old Disney movie. A disturbing thought we had whilst watching the film was this though: by, the time we are all in our 50s and 60s, that film will be over 100 years old.

Anyway, that old film is still just as funny today as it was when in was made in the 60s, evidently as I feel I should write about it. The first thing we picked up on was their clever use of medieval curse word replacements. Obviously lots of stuff happens where the character in the real world would say "shit!" or something, but they dance around it because the film is directed at children. But some of the replacement words are just incredible and make it even more funny. Two in particular are "Hang it all!" and "Dash it all!". Those get put to great and extensive use when Merlin fumbles something.

There is some fantastic 'tom and jerry' style exaggerations of accidents too, this one specifically gets me every time.

What happens to Merlin's beard is hilarious, and it is my personal opinion that he should style it that way for good. Alas, he smooths it out.

I'm not sure how his beard does that after getting it stuck, I'm sure if I pulled my hair and let it go it wouldn't turn into an afro... For this one I shall put the incredible trick of the beard down to the fact Merlin is a wizard. However! Someone who is not a wizard, but still exhibits facial hair sorcery is, SIR PELLINORE.

Pellinore's moustache literally makes this film for me, and he is considered a bit of a cult hero in this film. (according to people's comments on YouTube) Some people claim to only watch this film because Pellinore and his tash are in it.

Clearly we are missing a trick here, as in Medieval times, people had the ability to shake wine out of their moustaches until it is completely dry. I'll assume its like one of those long forgotten skills that have just died out over the generations. Also perhaps not many people have moustaches anymore, and news from London is normally delivered via the internet. Maybe people just wised up and were more careful with their wine, so didn't need this amazing skill anymore.

Sigh, I suppose we'll never know.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Now I remember why I never beat this game

Yesterday night I started playing Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee again. I thought to myself as I pressed the on button  on the playstation 1, "I wonder why I never completed this game or got very far".

After an hour of playing I was soon reminded. It is ridiculous. It says 11+, but at the age of 11, I couldn't get past the first 2 levels. At the age of 20, I can't get past the first 2 levels.

Actually, I tell a lie. I CAN get past the first two levels, but without saving half of the Mudokons. Have I lost you here? Don't worry, The opening cutscene will explain.

After seeing this, I sometimes doubt whether it should have been an 11+ at all, its still pretty disturbing. Anyway, the idea is, you go through the game and try and rescue as many of your own kind as you can. Some are really easy to rescue, some are really really hard. Half of them are hidden in secret areas! In total there are 99 workers to save. If you save 50 or more, your life gets saved at the very end of the game. If you save 49 or less, you get destroyed in a meat grinder at the end of the game- because the rest of the Mudokons decided not to risk saving you.

I have been playing for 2 hours and have only rescued 18. I had to use a walkthrough to get to some as well, and I hate using walkthroughs. This is a special case though, because the actions are so specific I could be here for weeks just trying to work something out.

Friday, 20 January 2012

What do you mean you are playing with the Wombats?

Yeah, its true. Don't ask me how, but Beat Magnets have secured a place playing at the official aftershow party for famous band "The Wombats" in Brixton, London. Our new bass player Pearce seems to be endlessly resourceful when it comes to contacts and stuff and so here we are on the brink of stardom without even playing a gig yet!

Here's proof, our name is on the tickets!

When I said "our name is on the tickets", our Drummer smithy took them off me saying, "no we aren't, we can't be!" We were. He just went OH MY GOD and we all got excited. Stay tuned Magnets fans!

Flying Rats

Karys recently posted about what she is up to in terms of art, and it was really cool so I'll follow suit. My style of art is nothing like the art of Karys, but I think its alright anyway. My current project I have gives me a bit of free reign, so I took it as an opportunity to use my favourite medium, biro and pencil combined. I started looking pigeons to start with, and eventually developed it into a surrealist study into the relationship between pigeons and rats. 

People always say that pigeons are just feathered rats, so I thought I would play on that for my first set of biro and pencil studies. Here's what I have so far. 

The (East) Wall of Stuff

I always like to decorate my room with objects. Be they posters, trinkets or photographs, I make an effort to make my room as unique (and awesome) as possible. And so I thought it would be a good idea to record it/ show you guys what it looks like. I shall begin with a tour of the Eastern wall of my room.

Ok, so there it is. So lets have the tour!
  1. Sonic Poster: Its an obvious one really, you can't miss it. This is the very first poster I ever bought for my room. I actually bought this at the poster sale when I used to be a student of Bath University, and it can be seen in the background of some of the videos I made while I was there. It is a bit of an old faithful to me.
  2. "Drunk in Torbay" Postcard: Directly below the Sonic poster on the left is a postcard with a blurry picture of Torquay seafront on in and the caption 'Drunk in Torbay'. I got this on my last day of work at wetherspoons and it came out of the blue as a present from the one and only Colin Bache.
  3. Old Speckled Hen Crate: To the left of the postcard is the front ripped from a crate of Old Speckled Hen, which is a pretty good canned ale. This comes from the time where my house played the game "drunk driving" using Crash Team Racing. Of course, given the fact that the game requires you to finish a can during EVERY race, you expect to consume a few crates. 
  4. Twilight Princess Poster: This poster is from Lee back home. He always jokes about it not being visible in photos/ videos of my room, assuming I may have taken it down. Well, I haven't- because there it is. Twilight Princess is (so far) my favourite Zelda game to date.
  5. Thankyou card from Children: Below the Zelda poster on the left is a blue card from all the children at Coombe Pafford School that I worked with over the Summer. Not only did that place provide me with the necessary teaching time as criteria for entry to my course, I do miss those kids because they were hilarious and brilliant to work with.
  6. Recent photo of the family (directly below children's card)
  7. Hobgoblin Crate: (central below the zelda poster) I bought this crate in Morrison's during the year I was off from University. I thought to myself if I ever made it back to any University, it would be good to go on the wall. And so, I did make it, and there it is!
  8. Port Crate!: (below and left of the hobgoblin crate) Now there is a funny story behind this one. I personally never realised you could buy a 'crate' of port until very recently, and even now I'm not entirely sure where it came from. However I can assure you that Ryan and myself have almost certainly consumed at least enough port to fill a crate of 6 bottles. I found it in the recycling in the kitchen, and took a knife to it to steal the front off the crate!
  9. Biere de Luxe "Stubbys" Crate: Below and to the right of the hobgoblin crate is a crate of stubbys. Wow, what can I say about stubbys. You can get a box of 20 stubbys in Asda for 6 pounds. Because it is so cheap, it earns the title of the 'everyman beer' and is an ideal choice for poor students. They don't taste amazing, but if you drink enough of them, you will be definitely 'on your way'. According to James Strutt, Biere de Luxe is French for "Beer of Luxury". Oh, the irony.
  10. Human Pyramid photo: To the right of the hobgoblin crate is a photo of a group of us back in Sixth form doing a human pyramid, with me on the top. On close inspection, the lineup appears to be Tom Wood, Jimmy Langmead and Sam Stafford on the bottom row, Alan O'Brien and James Wade on the second row and then me.
  11. 2 photos from back home: To the right of the Zelda poster is 2 photos from back home in landscape format. The one on the left is me, wade and alan on the boat in our suits for year 13 prom. Alan's hair is ridiculously large, wade is wearing a red top hat, and I look disgusted at something. So not your conventional prom photo. The one on the right is a fairly old family photo.
  12. Cymru (Wales) fake rugby shirt: This is the red shirt on the wall. After befriending Ryan of Wales, I decided to accompany him to a Welsh rugby game in a bar in town. I don't own a rugby shirt so I just drew one on an old red long sleeve. This was a ridiculous day, because we went out and got wasted the night before and the Rugby world cup worked in New Zealand's time zone. This meant the kickoff was at something stupid like 7am. As you can guess, we didn't sleep, and continued to drink at the bar to wait for the kick off... After the game, I fell asleep in the bar and then went home! Curiously, it was then that I realised I was so drunk I had not even come out in shoes and walked the majority of the way home in my socks.
  13. Li'l Elf hat: Next to the Wales shirt is an Elf hat that I wore for most of Christmas. I bought it from Matt in my house for part of his "elf hat business" he set up as part of his business management degree. This year I declared christmas to be the 1st of december and so annoyed James Wade by wearing it to practice so early :) 
  14. Mario Galaxy poster: Above the wales shirt is Mario Galaxy 2 in poster form. Curiously, I haven't actually played number 2, but I heard it was good and got the poster free in a magazine anyway while I was at Bath Uni.
  15. Miscellaneous Beer mats: (to the right of the mario poster) I took these from the first ever trip to the local pub "Maiden's". I wish their ale selection was better. I haven't really been back since.
  16. White Keyboard shirt: We dressed up as 'our own superheroes' for a night here at Reading, and I just created one that was like... Piano-y... I had face paint and a cape and stuff, but it wasn't all that eventful.
  17. Fire Safety notice: To the right of the keyboard shirt is the fire safety rules. Annoyingly, for legal and insurance reasons I'm not allowed to take it down.
  18. Zelda Painting: Top right, there is a painting of Link from Wind Waker I did in the christmas holidays during my first term at Bath. I think its pretty awesome.
So there you are, the east wall of stuff.