Thursday, 31 May 2007

No smoking sign

No smoking sign
Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
This sign has appeared outside our flat. Is it really necessary? I don't remember anyone ever smoking in the public part of our flat building.

It is a damn ugly sign - and they've not even fitted it level! So this sign has to go at the entrance to every public building?! I'm all for the smoking ban - but this is just ridiculous.

Typical UK, only we could take a great idea, and still manage to get some ridiculous rule out of it.

Even churches will have to have signs!

Monday, 28 May 2007


As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I been getting back into the guitar. Last time I was up in Dundee I heard Uncle Colin playing Blackbird on the guitar. Today they played it on Radio 1. It is an exquisitely beautiful song, so I am now attempting to play it. I'll also see if I can sing it at the same time! ;)

I just want to be able to play as well as this guy. Even his singing is good enough for me:

Hopefully this tab will be a good enough guide. If not, there are also loads of "how tos" on YouTube.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Knock-out kicks

After the inappropriate video of a toddler getting kicked I thought I would post some more videos of people getting kicked. Again, most of them involve kids, but at least this time they knew they were gonna get kicked.

Jump kick (embedding disabled).

Baby Buffalo about to be eaten

If your online video attention span can stretch to more than a few seconds, this is a pretty cool video. The sound is a bit dodgy (on my computer at least) until the whole file has streamed.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

World's Biggest Climbing Centre

One of the few things I dislike about living in Oxford is the lack of a decent indoor climbing centre. Oh how I miss the Castle! As a result, I don't really climb any more, other than occasional visits when in London.

Meanwhile, back in Scotland the world's biggest climbing centre, set in a disused quarry, has just re-opened. It's had lots of financial and building problems, but if it's as popular as the Castle is (queues for every route - annoying, but a sure sign of the centre's popularity) and it caters for climbers of all abilities (apparently it was aimed at more experienced climbers at first - the biggest market for such a centre is surely the "social climber" i.e. the sort that experienced climbers dislike), then I'm certain it will be a success.

Public transport access may be important. I;m not sure where it is exactly and how accessible it is, but they are hoping to get a direct bus service. The Castle is easily reached by bus of Tube. Maybe they should run a mini-bus service if the centre is isolated?

Thursday, 24 May 2007


Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
Taken in the underpass at Marble Arch, London. Might have made a cool photo if it had been a bit more in focus. It has a certain infinite allure to it though...

Fleet of Fleas

Fleet of Fleas - Helmet
Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
On nights like tonight I'm glad I don't wear an open-faced helmet!

Chelsea Fans

Chelsea Fans
Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
Such neat and tidy people!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Town & Gown

Congratulations to Wendy who ran the Oxford Town & Gown 10k race at the weekend in 54m 10s!

Sunday, 20 May 2007


Fun game:

Forgotten amiga games

I'm trying to remember the name of an Amiga game I used to play but I can't for the life of me remember.

It might have had a word like "sorcerer" or "tempest" in the title and maybe an "of the". Or one of the letter might have begun with a D or T. It was about a witch that controlled some kind of medieval country. The only bits I can really remember is the starting scene which had lots of horse riders silhouetted by the moon and riding from the left to the right - at the time I though the graphics were amazing - and some kind of sword fighting scenario. I never completed the game, so would like to maybe download it on my PC and try again. I'm sure the box is somewhere still at home (we have several boxes full of old game boxes). I can still remember the box!

Maybe one of my bros will remember what I'm on about.

In the meantime I am going to try downloading Wings of Glory. If that works I might seek out the Wing Commander series.

/edit Got it! It's Lure of the Temptress!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


Most people in the dancing world know that break dancing is out - and the skipping dance is in.

However, this break dancing move deserves maximum respect. Or insurance cover.

Breakdancer Kicks 3 Year Old - Watch more free videos

What kind of dumbass mother lets their kid wander out into the middle of that?

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Guitar playing

I've been trying to play the guitar a bit more recently. I think I was prompted when some of the clan were down recently. Andy has been playing a bit more so was sounding quite decent on the guitar.

I can't be out-done by a little bro so I have picked up the guitar again. At the moment I'm playing Razorlight and Paulo Nutini songs. Funny when you start playing these songs you realise they are all quite simple in terms of the chords, it's getting a good melody and lyrics that is difficult.

Of course I still reckon I could write some great songs and be a mega-star. Shame I never bother to write any songs down. I just don't feel I can justify calling a G,C,D sequence of chords a "song", but if Razorlight can then so can I!

One problem I encounter as a singer-songwriter is that I can't sing and play at the same time! If the strumming rhythm is a bit unusual I lose it completely when I start singing. Also my singing isn't great (stop singing out your nose, says Wendy), but I don't that's stopped many bands.

I've only ever played one gig, and that was in 4rd year Biochemistry as a Beatles tribute band where we had a screaming audience of a few hundred. It was amazing! I would love to have the guts to play in public again. Only thing holding me back is not being very good at the guitar, or singing, or having any songs, or being in a band.

OMG! Jake Gylenhall [sic] is sooo cute!

A friend of mine recently started a Jake Gyllenhaal fansite blog. To protect their anonymity, I shall refer to this person as Alfonso.

Alfonso is quite the Jake fan and has all the restriction orders necessary to prove it. I had been hoping that this site might be a "OMG Jake is soooo cute" style fan-site, which would give me some ample ammo for some stalker-style teasing.

Well I was wrong. I forgot to take into account that Alfonso is a published writer, so Alf's blog posts are all very well written and about interesting (as far as anything Gyllenhaal-related can be) topics.

Maybe I'm quite jealous. Alfonso's blog is really very good. What is more, it attracts hundred's of page views and each post gets loads of comments. Why would people want to read about Jake's life when they could read about my starter motor? I don't get it...

However I did inspire Alfonso to start blogging (I think) so I can take some credit for that!

Monday, 7 May 2007

The starter motor turneth


Thanks to a combination of Dad, JJ at work, my Haynes manual and the good people at, I have got my bike running again.

In an extreme feat of manly-ness, I stripped the starter motor and replaced the brushes. The photo shows the dodgy old brushes. A week ago I had absolutely no idea how a starter motor worked. I'm still not entirely sure, but I know know how to strip it an dput it back together again.

It's amazing what a reluctance to part with cash will drive you to learn.

Next week: Steve extracts his own wisdom teeth!
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Saturday, 5 May 2007

Dundee Monopoly

Hasbro is bringing out a UK version of Monopoly where the streets are now represented by towns and cities. They are having a vote on their website to decide the rankings of the cities e.g. who gets to become Mayfair and who has to be Whitechapel.

I presume this is mostly generating interest on Facebook as most of the places in the top 10 are university towns, with Oxford and Cambridge numbers 1 and 2.

Dundee is at number 7! I voted for Dundee - I think Oxford is doing well enough on its own. Personally I would like to see Dundee number 1 and Oxford number 2.

Go now and vote for Dundee!

Ebay, PayPal and Council Victories!

I just got an email from PayPal. They have investigated my complaint against the guy who sold me the fake Motorola and decided in my favour! Result! The money will come out the cheating git's account! Ha! Teach him to mess with "Honest Steve".

I'll have to wait to see how much money I'll get. The email says that the full amount has been recovered for me and will be credited to my account, but I'm sure I read that PayPal take a "processing fee" for recovering money. I hope not - I don't see why I should have to pay anything for counterfeit goods. Counterfeiter git!

If I do get the money back this will restore my faith in Ebay.

Also, Rina pointed out that BA were breaking the EU regulations for delayed flights by not compensating us for our rubbish flight to Geneva this year, so I wrote back to them demanding compensation (they have already told me to get lost once). Rina already got £50 from them for the same flight, so Wendy and I should get the same. Nice try BA gits!

Lastly, The council have finally collected our recycling. Quite efficient - it only took them about 4 months! I'm sure that has nothing to do with my complaints though. Loser council gits!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

May Day Oxford


It was May Day today so that means that idiots in Oxford try to throw themselves off bridges. This morning, while waiting about 45min fo the bus (how I love buses!) I was treated to the sight of a cow giving out hugs to passers-by.
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