Friday, February 29, 2008

Hello ladies

Right, so I thought I'd best write this post today, otherwise it'd have to wait another four years and who knows - I could be married with kids by then.

So this being February 29th, apparently the ladies out there can ask us gents to marry them, rather than the more traditional other-way-around. Now, I'm not a scientist, but I can't understand why ladies can only ask on one specific day that only occurs once every four years. Do their heads explode if they try? Are they totally struck down by lightening? Do they implode?

Whose in a position to get Abi Titmus to give it a whirl? I doubt we'd massively miss her if her head exploded.

Anyway, I think this rule kinda sucks, because despite what you might think I'm actually quite shy, so it would certainly make life a bit easier if a lady asked me to marry her. I suppose another problem is that I'm actually single so it would be rather surprising if a random just walked up to me on the street and tried to marry me up there and then. My monocle might drop out. 

Of course, if she looked like she just climbed out of the bear enclosure at a safari park it might be something less like a pleasant surprise, but beggars can't be choosers so I'd certainly weigh up my options carefully before issuing a sexy response in the yay or nay.

So there we have it. It's 21:11, and there's still time left for the ladies out there to snap me up. I'm quite the catch, or so I've been told. So if you've had enough of looking for Mr. Right and feel like cashing your chips now you could probably do a lot worse than me. I've got a job, a car, a house, and reasonably well-defined pectorals. 

I'll just be sitting here watching last night's episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles if anyone feels like popping the question.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rustle and snap

I've learnt this week that pink plastic aprons make me look ridiculous, and medium-sized rubber gloves are just a smidgeon too small while large are far too big. Evidently I have oddly-sized hands.

On the plus side, tearing them off in a dramatic stylee makes me feel like I'm in ER. And I mean good ER - like when Clooney was in it.

(First post via iPhone people - yay!)

Monday, February 25, 2008


As many of you might (not) have noticed, after days of zero activity my Nike+ widget is now displaying another rather sad looking graph that resembles something a special might have drawn while running alongside a white wall with a green crayon in his hand. 

Of course, I'm still enjoying the fact that it also looks like another horizontally-aligned face in profile, although this is not intentional. I will, however, be open to the idea of taking requests if anyone would like me to attempt to create a famous face via the medium of running and Nike+. Maybe I could be like Rain Man or something? Oh no, wait, I mean the dude from My Left Foot - didn't he paint? Rain Man just advised people to fly Quantas, right?

Anyway, I got the surprise of my life while out running last night - well actually as I finished up running. I did an awesome sprint finish (as displayed on the widget by the rather dramatic and sexy upturn on the right of the graph), after which I clicked 'finish workout.' At that point the lovely robot lady voice tells you how far you've run, how many calories you've burnt up - all that sort of thing - after which it usually just all goes silent. Not last night though!

Immediately after lovely robot lady finished telling me how good I was, another voice chimed up. It was most unexpected, and startled the tits off me for a second.

"Hi! This is Lance Armstrong," it said. "Congratulations - you've just done your longest run so far!" That was nice, I thought, while also feeling just a little bit grateful that he didn't cut off a Sheryl Crow song to tell me that.


I've also just learnt via the wonders of the tinternet that long-distance running woman Paula Abdul… I mean Paula Radcliffe (mother of Daniel) has also recorded a soundbite for Nike+. I'm hoping it'll chime in when I'm doing the 10k in June with a helpful comment that goes something like: "by 'eck, it's about time you squatted over a drain and strained the greens - you must be fit to burst!"

I don't know why I imagine she talks in a thick Yorkshire accent, but there you go.

I'm also hoping they might get Majel Barrett Roddenberry to do one. It could just randomly say "working" while you're running around.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jeebus phone

I'll cut to the chase: I finally relented and bought an iPhone.

Holy crap, people - BEST. THING. EVAH.


Let's re-re-wind a bit. You all know I love all things Apple, and you all know I've been gushing about the iPhone for what seems like an eternity. Hell, I even tried to engineer my own a while back. But, I'll be honest, I'd been holding off for a while, because a few little doubts had crept into my mind; I've been with Orange as long as I've had a mobile - did I really want to leave them for O2? It would be a tad more expensive per month than I've been used to paying - was it worth it for the privilege? Would the internet function be painfully slow - should I wait for the inevitable 3G version?

Well, I've been dithering for a while now - I'd actually intended to buy one in January and chickened out on the day. Which was really rather fortunate in hindsight, because a few weeks later they brought out the 16gb version. Anyway, the other day I finally got round to requesting my PAC code (which allows you to port your number to another service provider), because I figured even if I requested it and did nothing with it I'd not lost anything. It turned up in Friday's post in a letter from Orange.

"We're sorry to hear that you're thinking about leaving us," it began, which immediately set me off because I'm a sucker for pleading. But I quickly thought back to the hard-man image I developed at the Nada Surf gig and that 'aaaah' phase soon passed.

Even so, though, as I headed off to Kingston this morning on a mission to get a Mother's Day present for Sparky Ma, I was still in two minds as to whether I was actually going to get one or not (an iPhone, that is, not Sparky Ma's Mother's Day present - that's completely compulsory). I played around with one in the Apple Store, then went for a coffee and a think, then walked round a few more shops while thinking a bit more, then thought "bugger it" and just went and bought one.

And now, 10 hours later, I don't know how I ever coped without one.

The activation process - all done through iTunes - is the easiest sign-up I've ever done. Then it was just a matter of loading my bits and bobs on. Music, calenders, contacts, and email settings all zipped across seamlessly - but then I started whacking on a load of other things, like photos and movie trailers. It's all totally awesome.

Heck, me and Big Bro spent this evening with Sparky Nan and went to the fish and chip shop to get dinner; he got the food, I sat in the car checking my email and surfing the tinternet. And it works surprisingly fast even when it's not running on wi-fi or EDGE. Well, on various blogs, anyway (just don't start loading your pages up with flashy animations and complex graphics, because I think it might wobble a bit then), but that's cool because most of my tinternet surfing consists of things like this and this, which it coped with admirably.

All in all, then, it's seriously living up to the hype so far. Even Big Bro was won over by it - and this time last week he was dissing it big time.

Now we just have to see how it works attracting the ladies. Who wants to come touch?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fists of fury

Last night I headed up to Kings Cross to enjoy a Christmas present that my big bro got for me. But wait, you dirty-minded perverts - it had nothing to do with what immediately springs to mind when someone utters the words 'Kings Cross'; no, it was, in fact, a rather wonderful Nada Surf concert at the Scala.

I won't go on too much about the band, because it's not been that long since I harped on about them before; suffice to say that me and my cohorts (the aforementioned big bro and Yaz) had a wonderful time, and Nada Surf's new album, Lucky, which I picked up at the merchandise stand and have listened to constantly since, is awesome.

What I will go on about, though, is people's elbows, and some serious spatial awareness issues.
Basically, we managed to get pretty close to the stage, but as usually happens in this instance, an incredibly tall dude ended up right by us. An incredibly tall, bony-elbowed drunk dude, who kept jabbing me in the right tit while the support act, Rogue Wave (also very good), played. And if it wasn't his bony elbow, it was his freaky bony hip swaying into my abs.

And to rub insult into injury, after Rogue Wave finished and his drunken girlfriend staggered off to find a plant pot to pee behind, drunk dude decided he'd try to talk to us. While trying to deflect said dude's conversational advances, Yaz jokingly - and gently - poked me. I laughed. But then drunk dude thought he'd have a go. 

Yes, you read that right, but let's say it again for emphasis: drunk dude thought he'd have a go.
And he poked me. And not only did he poke me, but he poked me right where I'd stashed the Nada Surf album I'd just bought. He poked me in my Lucky.

Now, I'm a peace-loving chap, and even I'm a little surprised by what I did next: I gritted my teeth and raised my fist in a threatening manner.

Drunk dude did not bother me again all evening.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for another drunkard, who seemed insistant on trying to make me his new best friend, despite the fact that he was attending the gig with his two best friends (who, annoyingly, he insisted on chatting to quite loudly, quite a lot). On one occasion, during the song 'Imaginary Friends,' he put his arm across my shoulder and tried to get me to take part in an impromptu chorus line with him and one of his pals. I glared at him until he removed it, which happened, I kid you not, pretty damn quickly.

Near the end of the gig he tried to befriend me once again by inviting me to high-five him. I responded once again with a glare of epic proportions that I would have maintained until he either a) left me alone, or b) was vapourised. Fortunately for him he chose the former and quickly left me alone.

Fortunately, these little … interruptions did not spoil the gig. Good times!


I didn't take many pics, but here's a couple:

From left: Ira on drums, Daniel (rocking his awesome dreads) on bass, and Matthew on guitar and singing.

At the end of the gig, the band invited anyone who wanted to get up on stage to, um, get up on stage. I kid you not - that there is the stage from the same angle as the previous pic.


And because I didn't take any video clips, here's Rogue Waves' video for their song 'Publish my Love.' The drummer apparently had a kidney transplant recently-ish. Notice how he also looks like Earl Hickey from My Name is Earl*.

And here's Nada Surf's song 'Blankest Year.' Careful kids - it has naughty words in it!

*I'm not sure if this is a side-effect of said kidney transplant.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back up to speed (ish)

And … he's back!


It seems like ages since I've written anything substantial here, so bear with me if things appear a bit rusty. Imagine me learning how to ride a bike - I've got stabilisers, um, stabilising, and am kitted out with every conceivable piece of padding.

So with all that in mind, and a little wobble … we're off!


As you may have noticed, I've slapped a new little widget over there on the right that records my Nike+ running data. All sounds exciting, huh? Well it is.

Unfortunately, things didn't start off too smoothly with the Nike+ kit - basically because I'm a smidgeon retarded rather than anything inherently wrong with the technology itself. The problem came from my attempt to calibrate the sensor - I was stupidly running too far. I got it done on the second attempt, so all's good now. 

Well, I say 'all is good.' 

My latest problem stems from the fact that on all the sample graphs I've seen in the demos the wiggly line is actually quite consistently level - indicating a regular running pace - whereas mine is … not. Look at that one there - it looks like an outline of Alfred Hitchcock facedown. Marcosy emailed me today to say that I must be like a toddler on a sugar high while running. Either that or I've got a massive club foot. To be honest, I thought I was running at a reasonably consistent pace (aside from that little squiggle on the upward curve towards the end when I was almost run over), so that graph came as something of a shock. Still, it's something to work on, which is, I s'pose, the reason I bought the kit in the first place.


Had a day of cinema on Saturday, catching two movies which curiously both began with the letter 'J' (this almost turned into an episode of Sesame Street there, huh?). First up was Juno at Shepherds Bush in the early afternoon with Yaz. Now the first third of this film was ruined by a group of mouthy teenagers who insisted on talking loudly and making phone calls. Fortunately they were too mentally-inhibited to actually understand a film without an explosion every 15 seconds, and they subsequently left to sneak into a screening of Jumper. 

Anyway, I enjoyed Juno - maybe not as much as I'd hoped (which may be down to the mutant chavs), but I definitely would be up for seeing it again. 

There was a satisfactory conclusion to the experience though; we came out of the showing and demanded to see the manager, who looked alarmingly like Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. Pedro actually knew that there was a bunch of trouble makers in the cinema, but despite telling his staff to check in every few minutes, they didn't. Anyway, we passed on the revelation that they were now wreaking havoc in the Jumper screening, and he passed on two complimentary tickets.

Chavs - 0
Us - 1

Vote for Pedro!


Later on in the evening I headed off to Kingston cinema to catch Jumper with my big bro. Despite the reasonably crappy reviews, it was a highly entertaining, but nevertheless not very memorable film. But I did love that bit where … Um, what was that bit? Er … Bugger it, I can't remember.

I kind of recommend it if you're in the mood for a big dumb action flick though.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A big thank you

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to write a quick post to say an unbelievably big thank you to everyone who has commented, emailed, texted, or called over the course of the last week - I've been left utterly speechless* by your kind words. I don't think I could possibly begin to tell you how much they've all meant to me. You know those wonderful people I mentioned in my last post? That's you lot.

I think normal service might resume soon – but in the meantime (and this won't be everyone's cup of tea), the words of this song have also been a source of comfort during this difficult time. I hope you like it.

*So really you've only got yourselves to blame for me not posting recently :D**

**OK, that's the one and only time you'll ever see me using a smiley emoticon.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Two things I've been reminded of this week

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that I'm not going to be around for a while. But before I go, there's just a couple of things I wanted to say.

First and foremost, make sure you look after your loved ones. They're the most important thing you'll ever have in your life.

Secondly, when you least expect it and most need it, you'll always find some of the most kind-hearted, generous, and caring people. It could be your best mate, or just a well-timed smile from a stranger. Do me a favour, will you? When you find them, let them know how wonderful they are.

Much love,


Monday, February 04, 2008

Keeping busy

I've had an eventful last few days - nothing world-shatteringly exciting, but a couple of bits have stuck in my mind.

First of all, I saw Cloverfield. Let's skip the foreplay: I enjoyed it. It's tense, exciting, scary, dramatic, and at 85 minutes doesn't stray anywhere near being overly long. That said, when I saw it I had a bit of a headache, and the shakey-cam point of view did nothing to help; within about 15 minutes I kind of had a bit of a cold sweat going on, though I don't think I was anywhere near throwing up. I was also a bit sleepy, although a well-timed 10-second power-nap during a non-essential scene sorted all my ails out, and I was upright, alert, and fully-focused for the rest of the film. 

Although I didn't actually miss anything, I am going to go see Cloverfield again, mainly 'cos my big bro wants to see it. Next time around I'll make sure I'm fully caffeined up and ready for anything.


I've finally gotten round to buying a Nike+ running kit. These have been out for a while now, and I don't know why I've held out for so long before buying one; hell, they even give you verbal encouragement as you run, either in a male or female voice. I'm hoping at some point they'll do celebrity voices - can you imagine William Shatner shouting encouragement at me as I run? Or Autumn Reeser? "Yay - c'mon Tim, you can do it - you're my hero!"

Yes Autumn, yes I am.


Anyway, I've got it now, and I'm looking forward to trying it out when my cough (which is seriously, I think, in its death throes) is gone, and when the additional accessories I've ordered turn up. Because, yes, I always have to buy some extra bits of Apple-based goodness.

In this instance, though, they are actually necessary. The first is an armband so that my iPod is kept safe and secure while I'm pounding the streets, while the second is a little pouch to put the Nike+ running sensor in. To cut a long story short, you're actually supposed to use this bit of kit with a specific type of Nike trainers which feature a special hole for the sensor to fit in. I don't want to buy some new trainers, so I've ordered the pouch because it holds it securely by the laces.

Which leads to an embarrassing situation in the Apple Store.

Basically, I walked in there, fiddled with an iPhone for about five minutes, then picked up the Nike+ kit and took it over to an Apple iLady to buy it. She took it off me, looked at it, then said "you do know these are designed to work with a specific pair of Nike trainers, don't you?" I smiled, pointed down (intending to mean my feet, though in hindsight I realise she could've taken it to mean any point below, um, waist level), and said "oh, don't worry, I've got a … small thing."

By that I actually meant 'pouch to put the sensor in,' but the non-descriptive reply I gave coupled with the strange look on her face means that she probably thought I was just making an unnecessary, untrue, and quite random penis reference.


Went to a museum, found a rude tank.



Ooo, anyone remember my attempts to de-clutter last year? Anyone care? Whatever! Well, they've been proceeding apace! I am now down to the last book in my mighty stack of books - the stack is no more! And from now on, there shall be no more stack!

So what is the final book in the stack? Well let me tell you - it's My Boring-ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith, a birthday present from Mr. Chunt and the lovely Nikki. I'm only about 15-20 pages in, but so far Kevin Smith's life consists of looking at his own films, sexy good-times with the missus, checking his email, and watching Law and Order. 

Good lord - my life's more exciting than that!

On the plus side, it's typical Kevin Smith, so it's all told in a hilariously droll fashion. 

And I've already got an idea what will be my first post-stack read - and I think it'll warrant an evening jaunt to Borders, because it's been too long since I last did that…