Monthly Archives: August 2014

Seaway Gardens and White Powder

I have been woken up by…well, I guess you’d call it a nightmare but it’s so ridiculous that it defies belief, and I wanted to write it down before I forget it in the newly conscious fog.

For some reason, two members of the A Team have been gunned down and are dead (this is weird because nobody dies in the A Team. Seriously, bad guys in that show make Stormtroopers look as accurate as Ben Kenobi would have you believe.). In a last selfless act before croaking, Face and B.A. have transferred all of their money to my friend Car Park (not his his real name) to help him look after his family. Hannibal and Murdock have disappeared to the middle east seeking vengeance but then a cement truck full of radioactive white powder has been exploded in Paignton, Devon (look it up, american types) and covered me entirely, ultimately ensuring my unpleasant demise; but before that can happen I’m driving the truck around – and it’s difficult because the powder is very snowlike in both appearance/texture, and effect upon the road surface – desperately trying to take it further away from the people. Also I’ve been joined by somebody I used to work with (and not a fun person. Honestly, my subconscious has a sick sense of humour, making me spend the last minutes existence with somebody who annoyed the living crap out of me.).

I woke up when I lost control of the cement truck and flipped it over.

I should not eat cheese after 9pm.

Brasil 2014 Sticker Album

Ok, so the tournament has been over almost a month now, but the dorky among us (of which I am a proud, card-carrying member) have still not completed our book! I know that there’s that little card that you got when you bought the album that allows you to order up to 50 (i think) at a cost, but the whole point of sticker album collections is that you can swap them with your friends in the playground. Since I’m likely to get some pretty severe questions asked of me if I were to show up school playgrounds withmy double, I instead turn to my old friend the internet for assistance.

So, here’s the list!I you need any of these, use the contact form and we’ll do swapsies!

 

Sticker Number Sticker Number Sticker Number Sticker Number Sticker Number
4 1 82 3 220 1 371 1 527 1
9 3 85 1 222 1 372 1 529 1
10 1 91 1 225 1 375 3 531 1
13 1 99 1 237 2 377 1 532 2
21 1 110 2 249 2 378 1 544 1
25 2 118 3 250 3 379 1 553 1
26 1 128 1 253 1 382 1 554 1
29 1 138 1 255 1 385 1 556 1
30 1 139 1 262 1 389 2 557 1
38 1 142 1 265 1 406 1 558 4
50 1 143 1 266 1 416 1 562 2
51 1 147 1 288 1 421 2 564 1
53 3 153 1 292 1 427 1 574 2
55 1 175 1 296 1 432 1 577 1
57 1 176 1 306 1 438 1 578 1
63 3 187 1 309 1 442 1 582 1
67 2 196 1 310 1 451 1 583 1
68 1 198 2 313 1 479 1 584 1
70 1 199 1 319 1 483 1 596 1
71 1 200 1 333 1 488 1 609 1
77 1 203 1 346 1 495 1 610 1
78 1 208 1 360 1 499 1 614 1
79 1 209 1 364 1 501 2 621 1
80 1 213 1 366 2 508 1 629 1
81 2 216 2 368 1 521 1 630 1

Been Redecorating

I’ve updated the site theme/template to something a bit more modern and flashier. Really the main reason is that I got bored of the other one I was sort of internet surfing one evening and I found the new one.

I’m hoping that I can get to write more stuff, although I think we all know that the chances of this happening on a regular basis can safely be called “remote”. Still, I’m not going get into hell if I don’t have good intentions now, am I?

The main new thing about this template is that it’s responsive; in theory the site should fit whichever device you happen you view this on. (this is only theoretical because I haven’t actually bothered to properly test it yet, and I don’t really think I have enough people looking at this to warrant it.) There are also some funky new content areas on the homepage; at the top are the items that I’ve decided you should be looking at. Second on the list are the most recent blog posts. At the bottom you can get to the archives of the various topic I write on (at the moment it’s “Soccer”, “Politics” and “Blog”, although I’ll probably change that eventually). And, if you really wanted to, you could go to my Twitter and Facebook page.

Let me know what you think of the changes. Or, you know, don’t.

Warm Fuzzy Feelings and Wanting to be Laughed At

On thursday I happened to check on my facebook and saw that somebody had shared the story of a Brazilian couple who turned out to be half-brother/sister. On its face it’s quite a sad story; both adopted, the couple met, fell in love, and started a family, only to later find out that they share a mother. In any case, never being shy to riff on somebody’s pain, I made a throwaway gag (admittedly, one that I thought was quite clever) and it seems to have been warmly received; as I write this (24 hours later) it has received more than 1,600 likes.

While it is gratifying to know that this many people though I made a funny (and decided to actually click something to demonstrate it; never under-estimate the laziness of the common or garden internet user) it does worry me that I suddenly became so invested in that number growing. I realised last night that my life really should be about more than making crappy little jokes on the internet. But then…why should it? I’ve always bobbled through life fairly cheerfully, and making my jokes and puns and other assorted efforts at humour is something that essentially makes me..me. And that’s been the case since I was very small, when I realised I could make my parents or classmates laugh. A lot of my self-image is tied into my sense of humour – I can be lonely, I can have no money, I can be having a totally shitty week/month/year/decade, but hey, I’ll always be able to laugh at myself – so I don’t know if it’s that unreasonable to be interested in the reaction to that humour at times.

Like most people who make a lot of jokes, I’ve always used humour as a sort of self-defense mechanism (henceforth known as “The Chandler Strategem”). If I can make jokes about myself, then I’m sort of innoculated against other people poking fun at my expense, and given some of my problems at school, that proved to be quite helpful. It’s a pretty hard habit to get out of, apparently, because I’m still doing it more than 25 years after starting. The odd thing is, though, is that it’s become such a part of me that even though I’m older and more confident in myself now, I can’t imagine not being somebody who makes a lot of silly gags. And I really don’t want to change myself in that way, anyway. I like making jokes, even if I’m almost literally the only person who laughs at them (really, this happens a lot. I’ll be driving home and something will pop into my head and I’ll start giggling. Other road users tend to shy away from the crazy person laughing to himself in his car too; a positive side-effect).

As I’ve said though, it is nice to hear somebody say “that’s a good joke”, or words to that effect. It’s also nice to have your own “oeuvre” (a fancy French word, which in this context means “stuff”) acknowledged as actually having originated with you. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve made a joke on twitter and then I find it used by somebody else a few minutes later- and most infuriatingly of all, *that* version is the one that gets retweeted. It’s an odd side effect of the internet echo chamber, really. Everybody is saying something but very few people are actually listening.

I choose to think that it’s my British standard of fair play that gets me annoyed, rather than any fragile ego I may or may not have. So don’t even think of levelling that accusation at me.

 

 

The Banana Conundrum

I like bananas. They’re my favourite fruit. When I was a child, I wouldn’t eat any kind of fruit except for bananas, which must have been fun for my parents. Mind you, I was always a fussy little kid anyway – at one point I didn’t eat anything except for bread. Just bread. No butter or anything. Dry bread.

I was a little strange.

Now of course, I’m an adult, so I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and all those things that are good for you, because of ‘nutrients’, whatever they are (although I do sometimes cheat and have a gummi vitamin or two). But I still love bananas. The problem with them, though, is that they’re the goldilocks of fruit. They’re so rarely just right. I don’t like them when they’ve not ripened – they’re green and taste less than a banana than something..well, like something that fell off a tree. And if you wait too long they go all spotty and brown and mushy and resemble baby food – in both texture and in the ability to tell if it’s been eaten yet or not.

Through years of rigorous scientific examination I have determined that it’s best to buy bananas when they’re green, because that gives them time to ripen – into what my hypothesis has called the “Edibility Window” – by the time you actually want to eat them. There is a real danger, of course, that you buy more bananas than can be eaten within the Edibility Window so the remaining fruit passes into the “brown and squishy” phase of its lifecyle.

I occasionally wondered what happens if you leave bananas for too long; the romantic side of me rather hoped that from the mushy carcass, a beautiful banana tree emerged ready to nourish you as its parent never could. But..no. Having once left inadvertently left a banana in my car one summer, I found out that that most definitely does not happen, although you do get some flies to accompany you while you drive.

Bananas come in bunches, proving that fruit – just like zebras and antelope – like to huddle together to avoid getting eaten by lions. (Don’t laugh – ¬†how many bananas have you heard of getting eaten by a lion? None, that’s how many – the big cats can’t peel them. Thus nature prevails once more!). This naturally makes trying to buy them separately an arduous task. You could, in theory, go to the shop as and when you fancied a banana, but that rather denies the point of what is essentially nature’s snack food, and in any case – as I’ve already alluded to – there’s rarely a guarantee you’ll find a banana at the correct riposity (my own word) when you need it.

The main upshot of all this is the bananas are by their very nature a wasteful food. I would hazard a guess that only about 60% of all purchased bananas are actually consumed, meaning that the bargain “79c per lb!” you see in the supermarkets is a bit of a lie. But I’m trying to eat better, and everything I’ve ever read on the subject seems to suggest that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I tend to be somebody who runs out of my house in a panic in the morning – usually singing a song of my own composition, called “ohshitohshitoshitImgoingtobelateforwork” – so I’ve fallen back on bananas as my breakfast.

Actually, thinking about it, I honestly have no idea where I was going with this post. So I shall stop. Maybe I’ll come back to it if I ever remember how I was going to end it.