Tuesday 31 October 2006

Pumpkin time

Tonight we went on the scary ghost walk which started and ended with a few drinks at the famous White Horse pub in Broad Street.

I carved a pumpkin which seemed to be very popular with the German tour guide who wanted many photos taken of it. I'm glad everyone seemed to like it.

I can't take full artistic credit for the design as I got it from Pumpkin Masters, although I took their smiley ghost and made him slightly less jolly. I might seriously consider getting one of their pumpkin template books next year and attempting something grand. Alternatively, I could go extreme! I need some artistic outlet and I think it is pumpkin carving!

I think my last attempt was a little more sinister looking.

Photo of pumpkin taken by Jing. That's JING! Jing took the photo!

Photo courtesy of Jing ©2006

Sunday 29 October 2006

Dodgy knees

I got a guy at work who is a former consultant orthapaedic surgeon to have a look at my knee, which I hurt while climbing earlier this year.

He gave my knee a pretty good exam, then told me he thinks the reason I have grown an "extra knee" is due to scar tissue. When I fell I must have had a slight haemorage in the soft tissue below the patella tendon, and after the swelling some scar tissue has formed. Because my tendon is now pushed in a funny position by the scar tissue, I now get pain in my knee when I walk. Apparently the scar tissue will go eventually, but until then there's nothing I can really do about it. It's not really serious and mean smy knee isn't really that buggered up so I can still ski next year. Yah!


Went to an Oxjam gig tonight at the Zodiac. Was all in aid of Oxfam. The acts were quite decent but it probably could have done with more people in the crowd. Still, well done to Clare for organising it!


The pumpkin crop is quite bad this year, but I will still endeavor to carve a nice pumpkin for tuesday's ghost walk. Pic is of my attempt two years ago.

Lastly, we have a new shower! After a year of using one of those useless "stick it on the taps" things, we have had a proper shower fitted. Water pressure very high hmmmmmm.

Wednesday 25 October 2006


I've been using the webcam via MSN Messenger recently to keep in touch with my family. The picture is of a typical conversation I had with Andrew, Fraser and Julie. When the photo was take, Andrew was just in the middle of making a very interesting point about the Bank of England and its control over the UK interest rates.

What do you call a pelican with a pigeon in its mouth?


Tuesday 24 October 2006

Yes! I German talk!

I admit to using a combination of my Oxford German dictionary and Babelfish to help me with my German writing. This is how Babelfish translates my previous post in German:

I learn German! I began my German lessons. They are simple a little, but forget I have many vocabulary and grammar. Once per week, I want to write a little German here. Please my German improves into the remark part!

I sound like Borat. Yessssss!

Ich lerne Deutsch!

Ich habe meine deutschen Lektionen mit Oxford University angefangen.

Sie sind ein bisschen einfach, aber ich have viele Wortschatz und Grammatik vergessen. Einmal pro Woche, ich will hier ein bisschen Deutsch schreiben.

Bitte verbessern meine Deutsche in die Bemerkungteil!

Saturday 21 October 2006

Go to Dundee, Do not pass Go, Do not collect £200.

The idiots at Hasbro though it would be fun to replace "Go to Jail" on the Aberdeen version of the game, with "Go To Dundee". Unsurprisingly, it caused an uproar in Dundee and they have dropped the plan. Maybe they're not so stupid though. Everybody in Aberdeen and Dundee must now now that an Aberdeen version of the game is coming out. That's the sort of advertising you can't pay for. Cynical marketing ploy perhaps?

Apparently the Dundee version is planned for 2009. Just enough time for everyone to forget about this story, then Hasbro can get similar exposure when they reveal the Dundee version will tell us to "Go to Fife"...


Swedish versus British nightclubs. Can you tell the difference?

Warning! Link safe for work unless you are offended by ugly girls. Also do not open if you are offended by beautiful girls.


Lastly, here's a song:

The Feeling - Never Be Lonely

Thursday 19 October 2006

3D Photos

How cool is this?! They take 2D photos and the computer can turn it into a 3D image!

Friday 13 October 2006

Feed the sloth

Good vs Evil

David vs Goliath

Transformers vs Decepticons

Allies vs Axis

Ninjas vs Pirates

Tonight I fought a battle of my own: my hunger vs my laziness. Would I be so lazy that I would not cook anything to eat or would my hunger force me to eat something?

To give me a hint to the battle ahead I did a Googlefight for hungry vs lazy. It was an impressively close fight, with hungry just winning 64,100,000 to lazy's 63,500,000.

What the website couldn't take into account was the fact that I had quite a big lunch. So laziness won the real fight.

In the end I had to eat something though. So, tonight's tea was: two slices of cheese, three slices of bread with honey and one slice of bread with raspberry jam.

Unfortunately, I dropped the jam sandwich on my jumper and I have no jam or honey left for breakfast. Hmmm...

The Swiss Miss is here this weekend so I will be heading down to London tomorrow to see her and Rina and Keno et al.

Thursday 12 October 2006

Gym attendance

I've not been very good with the gym attendance over the past few weeks.

First I was ill for about a week, then I only managed to make it once last week. I was away with work Monday and Tuesday this week, then I slept in on Wednesday so didn't have time to pack my gym kit (I go during my lunch break). I didn't go today because I thought I would go tomorrow (I usually go Mon, Wed, Fri), but I am now going out for lunch tomorrow.

Next week I shall start afresh! I have been making decent progress with the weights so it would be a shame to waste it.

Now to help matters I am about to go to Freuds in Jericho, then Ocean & Collins. With Ocean & Collins I have to decide whether I am in the "love it" camp (Miguel & Jing) or the "hate it" camp (Just about everyone else I know including Wendy & Jo).

Wednesday 11 October 2006

Happy Birthday Wendy!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful girlfriend!

Tuesday 10 October 2006

Paulo Nutini Gig @ Zodiac, Oxford

Went to see Paulo Nutini at the Zodiac, Oxford tonight. Was a bit of a rush to get there and in the end I had to go by motorbike and meet Wendy there. I was worried I might be late for him, but no worries - I arrived after the second support band and Paulo took ages to get on the stage - people were starting to boo!

If you don't know his name, you might have heard the song "Jenny don't be hasty". Oh Jenny don't be hasty. That pie you made was rather tasty..." You can listen to his songs on his MySpace page. "Jenny..." has had nearly 200,000 listens!

The lad's nineteen and is from Paisley. He really needs to work on his stage presence. First off he's humfy backet. He should straigten up or he'll be stooped over the rest of his life. Then he sings most of his songs facing sideways to the crowd.

Worst though is his voice. I don't know many people from Paisely but they can't all sound that bad. I don't think it's his accent, it's just the way he speaks. I've never heard someone mumble so badly.

So, Paulo mate, if you read this - no one in the crowd has a clue what you are saying when you "attempt" to speak to the crowd. They're not talking back to you - they're saying things like "Eh? What? Pardon? Wtf?"

He looked a bit glaikit to be honest. Maybe he was wasted.

Anyway, he was pretty good. Has a "distinctive" voice. Kinda croakey. I only really knew the "Jenny" song, but there some other decent ones in there. Actually 2 of the songs have more listens than "Jenny" so maybe they are famous too.

Ok, I did have a couple of rubbish pics from my phone but for some reason they won't upload. Damn Blogger, grrrr...

Sunday 8 October 2006

I want a free plasma TV!

Okay so these things always seem like a scam at first, but I signed up with one of those "sign up for these offers and you get a free **insert fancy electrical goods item**"

From what I've read, if you actually sign up for the offers, which are usually free or no more than £10, you do actually get something. Not always what you thought you were getting, but usually something similar or a cash equivalent.

I guess the real thing that prevents most people completing it is that you have to sign one other person up who also completes all the offers.

The offers I have taken are:

I took out a free DVD trial at blockbusters.co.uk (I could have taken one out at ilovefilm.co.uk too (formerly screenselect) but I've already "done" them). So if you were to do it you could take the free trials with both the DVD companies.

The I took a £10 membership with Jackpotjoy. They claim to add £10 to your account once you make a deposit, but it is a bit of a con, as you can only use it for wagers, and can only withdraw any money, once you have bet 4xs your deposit (i.e. £80). Well I managed to wager £80 (winning and losing fairly evenly) and at one point I was up quite a bit. In the end I lost it all though. Ahhh, the perils of gambling. Steve loses £10! If I were to do it again, I would deposit £10 without accepting the "bonus" £10 and then withdraw my money straight away. Man, blackjack gets addictive!

So I have also signed up to a couple of hotel sites and have to sign up to 2 more services. Not decided which ones yet. The less I have to spend the better. I think there are still some free ones left to choose.

There are a few companies doing these referral programmes. I suppose with the high drop-out rate and the potential for securing longterm customers, they must make enough money to cover the costs of sending out a few TVs and laptops.

You do have to give them your email address, so to avoid opening the spam floodgates, I would advise you use a free online service, such as Yahoo mail

I reckon if three people got together and did "round-robin" referrals with these services, they could get some decent stuff!

Here is my link to sign-up and get a free plasma TV. Help me out and sign up!

Wednesday 4 October 2006

Razorlight - America

Razorlight - America

A British band that have written a song that must surely become one of those classic songs that go on about "America". What is it with our love/hate relationship with the USA? If this was a song about Scotland it wouldn't be cool - it would be a Proclaimers song!

Listen and love, it makes me feel happy and sad at the same time:

(With the dubious legality of having this song on YouTube don't be suprised if the video disappears!)

Cock up!

Tonight I have mostly been drinking wine at the Summertown Wine Cafe with Kate.

Picture is of Josef being himself...


A conversation at work led to a discussion of the origin of the phrase "cock-up" as in to "mess-up" or make a mistake. The initial assumption was that it was kind of rude!

However some Googling led to this explanation which suggests that it is militaristic, from the meaning of the work "cock" to "tip/angle" as in to "cock a gun or hat".

This lead me to, somehow, find this Burn's poem which I thought was quite funny and apt:

Johnie Lad, Cock Up Your Beaver

When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;
But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush,
We'll over the border, and gie them a brush;
There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviour,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

A beaver is (apparently) a type of Scottish hat.

Singger snigger, guffaw guffaw!

Monday 2 October 2006

Get your priorities straight!

I've just cancelled my free trial to Screen Select.

I was going to complain that they obviously treat the free trial people worse than actual subscribers as they had only sent my lowest priority movies (Alien Autopsy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Jar Heads). However, I've just realised that priority level "1" is the one you most want to see and "3" is the lowest. It only explains that very clearly at the top of the page.

I guess I will have to wait to see The Libertine, Munich and Hostel. :S

What an idiot!

On the other hand it is a bit sneaky that they give you 21 days for this 5/6 free disc trial, when it is virtually impossible to rent all 5 or 6 DVDs, 1 at a time, in that time period. Also I reckon the gits are going to charge me GBP9.99 for one month's subscription as the DVD has to be back tomorrow by the latest and I only sent it today.

In other breaking news, tonight I was grating parmesan cheese onto Wendy's pasta dish, when the cheese slipped out of my hand so I grated my fingers. Ouch!

I carried my old fridge down three flights of stairs only slightly damaging the concrete steps and worrying Wendy that I was going to kill myself. Probably should have got help.

Finally my nose is sore, swollen, red and looks stupid. Meh.

Top 100 Cartoons - Nonsense!

Channel 4 did another one of those "Top 100" programmes last night - the Top 100 Cartoons. I only watched the first 20 or so, but the listing was dominated by American cartoons, lots of which began in the 1950s.

Looking at the results list, there were very few of the classics that I mentioned in my last post - the 1980s treasures such as Ulysses 31!

So to address this oversight here are a couple more of my favourites:

Pole Position!

Mysterious Cities of Gold!

Sunday 1 October 2006

No Embrace

Was meant to be going to see Embrace play at Oxford Brookes with Kate tonight, but the gig has been cancelled because one of the band members is ill. Now I assumed that would mean it was the lead singer that was ill. I mean if the drummer or bassist is ill, you just replace him with some session musician who know the songs right? I mean no-one recognises drummers and bassists anyway.

Well that's completely wrong, because it's Embrace's bassist that is ill!

Haven't done much this weekend except work on the new version of the t-shirt website (link to current version), which to be honest is boring me to tears. I can't wait to finish it and get on with selling some more of them.

Did have a pretty good night out on Friday night at the Zodiac with friends from work. Hoorah for pay day!

Were the 1980s the peak of televisual excellence? Reminisce at Retro Junk. How many times have you had the Do you remember this cartoon? conversation. Possibly one of the best conversation topics around - never gets boring!

I can't embed the videos from there, so here is one from YouTube...

Ulysees 31. I loved this cartoon so much!

I'm going to post up the intros to my favourite cartoons over the next few weeks.

Nostalgia rocks! :D