Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Love Island



So, I was challenged to watch an episode of "Love Island", a show on itv2, and blog about it, and never one to turn down a challenge (not quite true, I turn down stuff all that time), I went for it. Now, I know virtually nothing about Love Island, except that it involves a group of males and females who are presumably on an island, and looking for love. I have to say right now that I apologise intensely to anyone reading this that is a fan of Love Island for anything derogatory in the post.

Here we go.

So, apparently there's a villa? And a bunch of boys and girls, referred to as "the islanders".  From the single episode I saw I have limited information on what goes on, but I'm led to believe that they get to go on dates, couple up, and share beds.

The show reminds me a bit of Big Brother, although I've not watched that for years either, but the secluded location with limited people, dormitories, interview room, brings back the memories of Big Brother.

Anyway, on with a summary of the events from tonights show.

The show started by telling us that these two had a lot of fun last night.

That fun was discussed in great detail by the girls, who talked about the bed and the furnishings, and what exactly the pair got up to in the bed, whilst the boys had a slightly briefer conversation which consisted of:

"Shag?"
"No shag."

And with the question answered, they went about their day.

Anyway, a lot of this post is about Adam. Adam is the alpha male of the group, and he's been spending time with a girl called Rosie, who is very nice but according to Adam likes shoes and bags instead of holidays. This rang alarm bells with Adam.

Adam the alpha male. You can tell, he's pointing.

Most of this post is about Adam, but just to give a flavour of the other stuff talked about, this is Charlie. 
Charlie and unknown girl had a conversation which including the following snippet:
"Do you tint your eyebrows?" the girl asked.
"No they're just blonde."
"Just tint them" she urged. This confused Charlie.
"What does that mean?"
"Just tint them" she clarified in a non-clarifying way.

Afterwards the girl commented to another girl that "I really like Charlie but he should really tint his eyebrows."

Anyway, back to Adam.  Apparently Adam was on the lookout for getting to know other people beyond Rosie, who seemed to be more into him than he was into her.

Enter straight brows.

Straight brows and Adam had a very nice chat where he talked about how Rosie was materialistic and went on to ask straight brows why they hadn't been on a date.

After the chat straight brows (aka Megan) told Rosie that Adam had been complaining about her. For a 'player', as Adam seems to be, he seems to be blissfully unaware that sometimes girls talk to each other.
"He's got some big balls going on" commented one of the girls on hearing the news. No idea if that's an expression or an observation. Another girl reassured Rosie by saying "It's ok babe, it's made his cake ain't he, he ain't eating it." which I assume is some sort of reference to the Great British Bake Off, because otherwise, unless you're a professional baker who sells cakes, that's exactly what you do with cake.

Rosie tells another girl about Adam

Fuelled by drink, Rosie went to confront Adam, telling the girls "I'm doing this for not me, but for every girl that's been played by a play boy"

Rosie confronts the alpha male.

To be honest I can't really remember much about the confrontation, but it went much as you'd expect - Rosie told Adam off, and then Rosie and the girls went off in victory while Adam, confused that his secretive talk about straight brows had somehow gotten out, had a drink with the other boys.

"I don't even know how I got myself in this situation" says Adam, after slagging off Rosie to various people

But, I should note, this wasn't enough to stop Adam and Rosie sleeping in the same bed that evening.

For the next evening, however, a re-coupling was announced - which sounds like something you'd do to your car, but is where the couples change - and the girls would get to choose who they would couple up with. This was an excellent to see as it made all of the guys extremely nervous and awkward.

Despite the events of the night before, Rosie was still wondering if she should give Adam a second chance. Her girlfriends reassured her "he mugged you off, but you mugged him off harder" - not sure if 'mugged off' is a euphemism for something, I'm not familiar with it if it is.
  
Rosie decided to wind up Adam by chatting to Charlie, who commented that he liked the bit of theatre the night before, he was going to get the popcorn out. Not sure what theatre you get popcorn at, but it sounds like a good one.

Rosie and Charlie talking popcorn
  
Meanwhile, Megan the brows was trying to decide who to re-couple with, either Alex the doctor - who no one fancies - or "Eyal", a curly haired rapscallion that everyone is convinced will certainly aim to get with Megan but isn't expected to be a good long-term choice. I didn't immediately imagine that people would go onto Love Island looking for a marriage-partner but perhaps I'm wrong.

No idea why none of the girls like Dr Alex and his amazing shirt.

On the evening of the grand re-coupling, Adam got nervous about Rosie talking to Charlie, going as far as to wear a bandana.

There ain't no alpha male like an alpha male with a bandana.

Meanwhile, after Dr Alex had spent 2 days trailing after Megan the eyebrow girl, generally being really nice, attentive, thoughtful, AND HE'S A DOCTOR, Eyal the curly sat down next to her for 2 minutes, and kissed her in front of Dr Alex.

"This villa can throw anything at you" says Eyal. Like watching your crush be kissed by a curly haired man, I guess.

Dr Alex wasn't best pleased about this.

Sadly, the show ended at this point so I have no idea which of the boys the girls choose, but I'm sure all will be revealed in tomorrow's show.

I have to say, it's certainly not something that I would normally choose to watch, but it was reasonably enjoyable (certainly compared to Made in Chelsea, which is possibly the most bizarrely addictive bad TV I've ever seen), and at least now I've got a vague idea of the people that keep trending on Twitter around 9pm-10pm in the UK.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Earthquake

Last night the local area suffered an earthquake registering a worryingly high 3.9 on the Richter scale.

This morning I walked the local area to survey the devastation.

An example of the effects of the 2018 quake. We will rebuild.

Highways infrastructure damaged.

A resident of Hull post-quake foraging for supplies.

The public services have seen fit to close off this part of the city.

Stay safe everyone.

:)

Saturday, 9 June 2018

More Walking


So, I'm continuing to take regular walks, aiming to do every day, but am averaging out at roughly one every other day as excuses reasons crop up why I can't manage certain days. I'm trying to vary my routes to bring some variety into it.

I've been very pleased to find the Adam Buxton Podcast - Adam Buxton is an English comedian, writer, and actor, and his podcast involves him having chats with various guests.  So far I've listened to his interviews with Romesh Ranganathan and Bob Mortimer, both comedians that I'm a fan of. Next one up is Charlie Brooker, I've just started it but was nearly at the end of my last walk when it started so not really got into it yet, apparently he has a MAME set up in his house (big arcade machine that emulates tons of different games) which sounds awesome so I'm looking forward to it.

I've been using the Huawei Health app to track my walks, which is a very good app, but I discovered yesterday in the settings that you need to set the height and weight for yourself so that the app correctly tracks calorie usage and the like. Apparently the default height is 1.7m (which isn't too far from me at about 1.8m) but the weight was set at 60kg (whilst I'm somewhere near double that!) so suddenly my calorie burn figure has increased massively as the app has recalculated based on just how much weight I'm lugging around.

As before, I'd love to hear from you about any podcasts you listen to and enjoy!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Roseberry Topping

It doesn't feel it was so recent, yet this time just a week ago I was just packing a backpack ready to go up a hill.

Roseberry Topping, a hill in the Tees Valley, formed by a combination of geological fault and a mining collapse in 1912, is locally popular with walkers as well as climbers, and had been chosen as a practice ahead of a bunch of us tackling the Yorkshire 3 peaks in July (I state now for the record that I only plan to take on one of the peaks!)

Roseberry Topping. Doesn't look that tough...

Something that's quite good about Roseberry Topping is that it's actually very quick to get to the top of it, half an hour and you're at the summit feeling as though you've accomplished something.

Obligatory summit photo

The walk we went on took in a good mixture of flats and slopes, with some bits that I was starting to struggle a little to climb, but with every top of a slope came a fantastic view which seemed totally different to other views already seen despite obviously being in the same area.

Taking a break from walking to do some push ups

As opposed to the entirely sensible clothing worn by everyone else, I had a challenge in that I needed something soft that covered my left arm, having had a tattoo the day before. So a pyjama top (complete with large chocolate stain) came into use for the day.

There was a photo frame, so we stood in it.

Taking a little breather.


Captain Cook's monument.

What is that white speck....

Of course, it's a nest for the lesser spotted Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The KFC box we found (picture above) was particularly confusing. We found it a good mile or two away from the nearest road, and we puzzled over who it was that wanted both to go for at least a small hike, and to eat a box of fast food after a reasonable distance.


Ice cream van that also replaces windscreens, an impressive multi-tasking ability
A well-deserved pint of cider!

The downside I discovered of a pyjama top is that it doesn't give the same protection to the neck as a collared shirt, and as I didn't put sun cream on... I suffered.

The day after - should have used sun cream, kids!

Anyway - I'm now looking forward to taking on 1 of the Yorkshire 3 peaks next month :)

Monday, 28 May 2018

Inked

Very happy to be writing this post on a bank holiday, as it means that I'm not at work, and as much as I enjoy work I'm really not up to it today - over the past 3 days I've been up and down a hill (a relatively big one), burning myself because I didn't put sun cream on so that I don't dare move my neck in case it rubs against my clothes, been to A&E (not for myself and everyone is fine), lifted heavy things, and been to a tattoo studio.

I'll come to some of the other stuff in future posts because it's probably too much to cover in a single one, but lets talk tattoos.

I've always quite liked the idea of a tattoo but I've not really seen any that I would want to have on my body, and naturally with it being permanent I wanted to wait until I could find (or design) something that I really wanted.

That was until I saw one on this page (third picture, not sure if I can share the image so doing this link) which I did really like, of an arm with hexagons down it.  I think it's the geometric shape, the uniformity of the tattoo, that I like.

I then developed the tattoo with the idea that it'd be cool to put inside the hexagons symbols denoting things that I like or are important to me - one way of thinking of them is that it's a bit like game achievements?  I've basically gamified my arm. Anyway, it means that in the future I can get more of the hexagons filled with other symbols.

So, I went to Namaste Tattoo in Hull a few weeks ago, armed with sketches and images, to talk through what I wanted, and with their advice I altered some of the designs to make them black and to simplify some of them as originally some were really detailed and the risk is that over time the designs wouldn't look as good.


Waiting to be tattooed #SlightlyNervous

Getting tattooed is a really interesting process, if you've never had it done. One thing I had in the back of my head was a question as to how they would manage to get the tattoo even doing it by hand. It turns out that what they do (or at least what my tattoo artist did) is they print out an ink template which is then applied to the skin, so that they have a template to tattoo on.

Ink template applied

Once the ink template was dry it was time to begin the tattoo, and as I sat in my chair, arm resting on a little table adjacent positioned for Holly, the tattoo artist and owner of Namaste, to start, I did wonder at that point how much it was going to hurt.

Well, it's not painless, but it's not bad, it is bit like having repeated pin pricks in short order.  I think that I had maybe picked a good pattern in that it was lots of short bursts to do all of the lines of the hexagons so there was lots of little breaks in between as Holly repositioned herself, and when she was working on the inside of the arm that was certainly more sensitive, but it was alright.  It's surprising how relatively quickly into the tattoo you find yourself playing on my phone with your free hand while your other arm is being impregnated with tattoo pigment inserted directly into the dermis.

Holly in action

And I have to say, it was a fun day.  Holly and the other tattoo artists at Namaste are all really nice and friendly, and I had a great time the 6 or so hours I was there, it was just a really nice chilled day. I did wonder how much of the tattoo would get done on the day, in the end Holly got absolutely loads done which I'm over the moon with.

I'm now in the aftercare phase, which means keeping my tattoo covered up away from the sun and making sure that it's well moisturised, and 2 days on I'm barely getting any pain from the tattoo, just the odd twinge or two in a couple of spots. I'm using antiseptic tea tree cream on it several times a day to moisturise and to make sure that it doesn't get infected.

Plastic wrapped once finished

So in summary I'm really pleased with it and I'm certainly planning to return to get more of the hexagons filled in over time.  I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you've got a tattoo or if you're thinking of getting one, and feel free to ask any questions!


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Walking

News - I've been exercising.

I've noted a slow but undeniable increase in my waist size, particularly over the past few months, which I've been thinking about tackling for some time.  My argument to myself for not doing so is that I'm really at my best in a morning for exercising, and I don't have time in a morning. However, it's got to a point where I need to do something - one, because I really don't want to go up yet another clothing size, and two, I'm supposed to be taking part in some walking challenges this summer and I'm concerned that I won't manage it.

I've been discussing with my wife going back to the gym a couple of times a week on an evening, but I'm reluctant to because my past experience of taking out a gym membership consist of signing up, going three or four times, and then paying the membership for a year for no benefit whatsoever.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps the best training for walking would be to... go for a walk.

My trusty hiking boots, that cost all of £15. So far they've worked.

So my plan is, after my son goes to bed, to go for a walk for an hour or so round the streets near me. The trick is making sure that I ensure to do this repeatedly for enough weeks into it becomes a habit and it feels weird not to go for an evening stroll.

Starting off I seem to be able to do about 5 kilometres (a smidge over 3 miles in real money) in an hour, which seems a reasonable starting benchmark.  I've been pleased to discover that my phone (a Huawei P10 Lite) has a Huawei Health app which is actually pretty good at tracking your exercise.

Typical evening view on the mean streets near my house.

It's also giving me a chance to fire up the podcast app on my phone - podcasts are really something that I've not experienced sufficiently in the past, and I'm at a bit unsure what podcasts to try. So far I've sampled Adam Ruins Everything with Adam Conover.  I first saw Adam on the College Humor YouTube channel and really enjoyed his stuff, and I'm pleased to say that his podcast is well worth a listen. The other one I've tried is ID10T with Chris Hardwick and again I've really enjoyed it, although it's very different to the other podcast. If you've got any suggestions for podcasts let me know in the comments.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Make Fake News work for you and get tomorrow off work!

This could be you. Well it can't because it's me, but you know what I mean.

Fake news. All we hear about on the media is people talking about "fake news". This news isn't real, but that news is real. How can we tell?

Truth is in the eye of the beholder these days, it seems.

So why not make it work for you?

Here in the UK (and apparently, according to the internet at least, in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bulgaria, Dominica, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kygryzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, Isle of Man, Sri Lanka, and South Korea) we're just coming to the end of a public holiday. A delightful three-day weekend, which I've spent packing boxes, going to the park twice, trying to get to the pub and failing because it was too busy, and going to the beach and getting covered in sand.

And getting a haircut.

But the weekend is at its end, a return to work for millions of us across the globe is imminent.

Or is it?

If enough of us make the assertion in a co-ordinated manner that tomorrow is actually Monday, and we commit by putting on our social media channels tomorrow morning messages about how it is Monday and a public holiday, I submit that there is every chance that our managers will come to think that it is Monday also, and fail to go in to work themselves, and by the time all of the confusion has been sorted out we've all managed to swing an impressive fourth day to the three day weekend.

A number of phrases are listed below for use on social media, feel free to use or amend as you see fit.

Ah, I love a Monday on a public holiday! Going to sort out the garage today #determined

Really glad no one's at work today, I need a lie in!

It's Bank Holiday Monday, going to get up early and take the kids to the beach before it gets too busy!

It's Monday, it's a holiday, and I'm going to play World of Warcraft ALL DAY!!!!

Does anyone know if Domino's deliver on public holidays? I really don't want to cook today!

Extra marks go to people who tag their bosses in a status, asking them if they fancy going for a beer with it being Monday. A risky strategy, but one that could potentially pay off.

So, share this post, spread the word, and get ready to enjoy a super-extended weekend!

Cheers!


Disclaimer: Don't not go into work, this idea isn't going to work and you'll get in trouble. Plus you have to weigh up, do you really want to not go to a job that you probably actually like, and spend yet another day with your family???

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Avengers: Infinity War and the Tactics They Didn't Try WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

WARNING THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ABOUT AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ SPOILERS THEN DON'T READ THIS POST, READ THIS ONE ABOUT CATS INSTEAD


Image by Cicero R.V. from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Infinity_war.png on a CC-BY SA 4.0 license



So, last night we went to see Avengers: Infinity War.

In summary - Wow.

The evening started off good with some free ice cream (thanks Ben & Jerry!) and got better.

mmm free is good :)

Despite the warnings, I'm not going to give you a huge amount of detail on the plot, if you want to find out the plot without watching the film there's plenty of websites that will tell you that. In brief, a guy called Thanos aims to recover the six Infinity Stones, which if he succeeds in doing so will result in him being able to carry out his ultimate goal - genocide.

Now, the film is absolutely brilliant, especially for someone who has watched many (although admittedly not all) of the Marvel films beforehand, and it's great to see all of the many threads of the various films coming together.

Thanos image adapted from https://www.flickr.com/photos/27745117@N00/40051431344 by Hannaford on a CC-BY SA 2.0 license

There are a couple of comments I have to make about the film, however.

Now, you'll note from the image above, Thanos holds the coloured Infinity Stones in the Infinity Gauntlet, a specially made gauntlet capable of containing the power of the stones.

There appears to be a couple of tactics that no one thought of trying. Of course, I fully expect to be shot down by fans - and do not, by any stretch of the imagination, think that my following comments mean that I didn't like the film, or I don't want to see what happens next. It's made clear in the film that Doctor Strange looked at millions of different futures, and found only one that resulted in victory, so you must assume that he took the route that would hopefully lead to that one successful future.


But I have to say.


Cut the arm off.



Sorry, that didn't come out right. What I mean was:


CUT THE ARM OFF

Or, even...


CUT THE FUCKING ARM OFF



Doctor Strange's teleporty hole ability seems ideal for chopping Thanos's arm off and sticking it on a different planet somewhere. Cut the arm off, then he can't work the gauntlet. Stick it on Thor or someone and let him pwn Thanos with his own glove.

Tactic two, which again you assume Doctor Strange must have seen and discounted was to simply use the Time Stone (which he was keeping) to go back in time, and then do whatever in order to stop Thanos - like CHOPPING HIS ARM OFF.

Of course, either of these would have made for a very short movie. If you could go back in time, in theory you could resolve any kind of issue before it starts.

Preferably by cutting arms off.

Anyway - now I've enraged the millions of Marvel fans across the globe - I have to say, once again, it's an absolutely awesome film. Go see it :)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Ice Cream Vans

Here's a picture of an ice cream van.


I've downloaded this picture from pixabay.com. It isn't a photo I've taken.

Why isn't it a photo that I've taken.

BECAUSE THE ICE CREAM VAN NEVER DRIVES DOWN OUR STREET.

I was outside this afternoon, cutting the grass, when I heard the music of an ice cream van nearby, down the next street to ours.

Now, it was a hot day, and I particularly fancied an ice cream for some reason. I hoped against hope that just for one, the van might swing by our street to see if someone wanted any ice cream.

Of course, it didn't.  Our street is relatively short compared to the adjacent street, and the van never drives down it.

No ice cream :(

Anyway, I made a video about wildlife, namely cheese toasties. Do go check it out :)


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