Friday, 30 November 2012

Why I don't repost messages on Facebook


Really hoping I don't annoy anyone with this post (anyone that I'm friends with anyway).

From time to time I'll see on my Facebook timeline messages by one or more of my friends.  The message will be something along the lines of..

"If you see this, you're a real friend of mine. If you think of me as a real friend, reply to this post and repost this message on your wall so that I know that I'm a real friend of yours too.  Don't just reply to this post because I need to see the message on your wall to prove that you're a real friend."

I just made that one up, I haven't copied anyone elses, I promise.  These messages come in all shapes and sizes, from friend ones like the example above, to ones against illnesses or outrages in the world.

I never repost these, but it does worry me slightly that some of my friends might take offence at the fact that I don't.  It's probably not the case, but for the sake of clarity I wanted to explain myself.

I personally view these messages in the same light as chain letters.  That's the short answer to it.  I never forward on chain letters, because I consider it a waste of money (mine) and time (mine and other people) for no benefit.  Chain letters which promise well being if you send this letter on to five people - what if you send it but one gets lost in the post?  Do I not get my well being because of the vagarity of the postal service (I should say at this point the postal service is generally excellent however).

I certainly believe that there are things in this universe that we don't understand yet.  And taking that belief forward, that the power of the mind may well go further than we understand as well.  But I don't believe that a chain letter has any such power.

And because I think of these particular Facebook messages in the same light as chain letters, I don't repost them.

Let me stress that I have no issue whatsoever with people putting these messages up in the first place, or with reposting them if they wish to.  People are free to do as they wish and I do not think any less of them for doing it.  But, if they are disappointed that I haven't reposted it then I hope this blog post explains why I haven't done it - it's not out of apathy (for once), it is actually a conscious decision not to.

If, by chance, one of my friends actually wrote the post on their wall rather than reposting it themselves, then I do acknowledge that is different, but please do accept again that I won't be reposting it on my wall for the reasons above.

And for the fact that my wall is full of junk anyway.

Like blog posts!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Don't dare me!

I can't even remember how it came up.

My partner was asking me to do something, and threatened to drop her pot of brown sauce in my beer if I didn't agree.

So, I agreed to do as she said.

Theakstons XB with brown sauce
Theakstons XB - with extra brown sauce

And then dropped it in my beer anyway.

It was my son's third birthday today, and I think he's had a good day.  He absolutely loved various presents, in particular his nightlight, his Gruffalo book, and his Leapfrog Lettersaurus.  He also had great fun pulling all his balloons down from where I'd taped them onto walls etc.  We took him to Kinderland in Hessle this morning and after lunch he went to nursery this afternoon and they had a party there.  All in all a good day!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Not LANning, and Not a Real Race!

Just popped on the PC for a few minutes - it's my son's birthday tomorrow and I've spent the evening blowing up balloons, wrapping presents and the like ready for the morning.

My partner and I also went to a training course run by the Speech & Language Therapy Service within Humber NHS this evening to help us in developing the little ones speech, it was really good and I'm looking forward to the next session.

Well, Dreamhack, basically the worlds biggest LAN party, in Sweden, has just ended.

And in a handful of days, the latest i-series, i47, the biggest LAN party in the UK, will be beginning.

I am not going to either.

I'm not bitter.


Anyway, the ace thing I wanted to point out today is this website -

They do ridiculous things (surprise surprise) and currently what they're doing is faking a marathon.

Basically the way it works is this:

You donate some money to them via their Kickstarter page (Kickstarter is another fantastic thing by the way for people to raise money for their project, whatever it is), you get a pack of stuff like a sticker to put on your t-shirt with a number on it, you then post on your Facebook all about the race - that you're gearing up for the race, etc - get a photo of yourself running by a road somewhere, and get that on Facebook - and when the race ends, you'll also go up on their website with a finishing time and everything.

It's just like taking part in a marathon. Except for the getting tired bit.


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Mike and Joel - Chocolate vs Chores

My new video is live!!

I've been doing chores all day - what's Joel been doing? Not doing chores, I'll tell you that for free.

Watch below!

And while you're at it, if you have a YouTube or Google account, why not check out my channel - perhaps even subscribe to it!  That'd be great, wouldn't it? :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Best butcher in Lincolnshire - and the two of us eating chocolate

In my view the best butcher in Lincolnshire is Jacksons Butchers in Louth.  For as long as I can remember my parents have taken me there to get a load of meat in (especially the lincolnshire sausages, and stuffed chine for my dad) for Christmas and special occasions, and when they've been to Louth I've asked them to bring me some too.

Sorry - just had to say that, it's been on my mind.

Just rendered my latest video, this one's of me and Joel eating chocolate.  It's taken me a few days because every time I rendered it, any vertical motion blurred.  Turned out I had a problem with interleaving (basically when you've got two layers, like I have, you need to decide which one shows first - and I didn't) so now it's all hunky dory and I'll post it to my channel later tonight or in the morning.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Dancing scientifically

I discovered this article about what, scientifically, is the most attractive dance a man can make.  Watch the video below to learn the secret...

Fascinating eh?

At least the video is better than this
At least the video is better than this

If you like cool science stories, do check out the Vsauce channels on YouTube.  If you want to know why we have two nostrils, or want to find more out about the shirt with the same technology used by NASA in space, or even just understand how Sonic runs so fast, go check out the Vsauce channels.  I have to say that the original channel, with the master that is Michael is my favourite, but all three have some pretty cool stuff.

The Vsauce channels are:

Me and my best mate are having an early Christmas Day in a few weeks, and we've agreed to spend no more than £5 on each other.  Not to give away any clues but I'm been going all out to try to make the most of my five hundred pence.  That said, if anyone has any ideas, do get in touch!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Prince and the Crisps

Now then!

Apologies for the break in blogging, it's been a busy week this last week.  I was a Presiding Officer at one of the polling stations for the elections on Thursday and that always means about three days disrupted - an early night on the Wednesday, long day Thursday, and then recovering on the Friday.  Nevertheless it's a really nice opportunity to meet some different people and I always enjoy doing it.

Anyway, I've uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel.  It's a bedtime story I often tell my son called The Prince and the Crisps, which I made all by myself.

It's not the most intellectually challenging of stories but to be fair it is for a two-year old and I thought I'd record it as it's all too easy to forget stuff like this.  Only the other day I was thinking about how hard it is to imagine our son not being able to walk or do all the stuff he does now, yet it was only Christmas Day 2010 when he first walked.  All too soon he'll be grown up and without any kind of record this kind of stuff will be forgotten (by me anyway, I have the memory capacity of a dead goldfish)

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Anyone got ideas for my evil twin...

I'm gearing up to do some (hopefully) regular videos of me and my evil twin Joel (if you don't know what I'm talking about, check the test video out here), I've now received a free tripod thanks to my best mates father (bizarrely I was sat in the passenger seat of my fiancees car, thinking "I could really do with a tripod for my videos", and then my mate rings me and goes "I've got you a tripod!") and I've been and purchased a newer, bigger and faster SD Card for use.  I never knew before having a video camera that SD Cards came in different speeds, but apparently so.  I now have a 8Gb SD Card which is surplus to requirements so if anyone wants to buy it for a few quid let me know - it did work fine recording videos to be fair, and it'd be fine for photos of course.

Of course now I'm suffering with writers block and can't come up with anyone funny to record - well perhaps one thing, but I need a pie for that (you'll see)

Apart from that it's been a nice and quiet weekend, broken up by visiting St Stephens shopping centre in Hull on Saturday afternoon, which is not for the faint of heart!  I usually try to avoid shopping when it's busy but I needed to get started on the Christmas shopping - less than seven weeks to go - so I braved the crowds. There's a new shop called Menkind in St Stephens which is full of fun gadgetry and the like, one of the shop staff was chasing passersby with a remote controlled inflatable R2D2 which was very funny.

No Downton Abbey tonight!  I've got used to staying up slightly later than normal on a Sunday evening to see the latest goings on.  It's probably fair to say that the third season wasn't quite a good as the first two, but still well worth watching.  Roll on Christmas special!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Joel is here!!

Finally, my new video is up!

Here's the video of me introducing my evil twin, Joel.  The quality admittedly isn't as good as I'd like, but I'm sure as my camera and editing skills improve future vids will be better.  I do have some excellent ideas (thanks to a few folk) for future videos, stay tuned!

Birth of the Federation update - My mighty Ferengi Alliance has defeated the Klingon Empire, technically there are two systems full of angry Klingons that I haven't actually conquered, but as they rebelled and left the Klingon Empire, they can't actually do anything except stay there.  The Federation has taken a heavy hammering, and I've finally started to get to grips with the Cardassians.  Only slight problem is that they do appear to have somewhere in the region of a 150 ships ready for a fight, fortunately the computer AI is not playing them very well and instead of laying waste to my own colonies their fleet seems to be busy guarding the far north of their space (while I busy myself conquering the south)

Ultimate Ferengi victory is expected soon.

Don't forget if you really want to you can subscribe to this blog (and for that matter to my YouTube channel too), I haven't got a blog subscriber yet, perhaps if you do you may get your own video (and yes Kirsty, I know you're still waiting for yours - sorry!)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cloned - coming soon!

Tomorrow I should have a new video up on YouTube, introducing my evil twin Joel.  I've been playing around with my new camcorder, and after a lot of mucking around, firstly with various freeware video editors (none of which I found were up to the task - sorry!) and then with a trial version of Adobe After Effects CS4 I've succeeded in cloning myself.  It's a bit of a new departure for me, I do have a tendency to go for the quick solution but I've had to learn some new stuff and be patient to get this done, and I think it's good overall.

A taster of what is to come!

The actual quality of the video isn't fantastic, do be aware, but the cloning effect itself is pretty good and it isn't too obvious where the join is.  I hope to improve with my future ones as I learn how to work the camcorder and the software.

Anyway it's going to take about 3 hours to upload to YouTube so I'm going to do it when I go to bed, I'll post the link tomorrow.  Or if you can't wait, check out my YouTube channel in the morning.

Birth of the Federation update - the Federation and the Cardassians were a bit silly and declared war on me.  Since then I've crushed both the Klingon and Federation fleets (admittedly losing almost all of one of my fleets in the process, but the ships that did survive are now very experienced in combat and therefore even deadlier and tougher to kill) and given the Cardassians a bloody nose.  The Klingon homeworld is under my control and I'm finishing them off before I turn my full attention to the Feds and Cardies.  Long live the Ferengi Alliance!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Stairs and toddlers

My son is just getting to the stage that he's regularly using the stairs (supervised that is) and to be fair, he's pretty good at it.

The only problem we have is that sometimes... he's a bit lazy.

Especially when he's just got up in a morning, and the procedure is that we go downstairs, we pop some cartoons on, change his nappy, give him a drink, and let him wake up a little with a cartoon or two.  The when he's up to speed we can play a bit and then start thinking about breakfast.

Now the standard way to go down the stairs is that I go in front, holding his right hand while he holds the bannister with his left hand.  Sometimes to make things a bit livelier we'll count the stairs as we go down them. (we have 13 stairs from the ground floor to the first floor landing by the way, if you don't count the fact that the landing is actually on two levels)

But, if he's feeling lazy, he wants to be carried.

Now I've often only just woken up at this point and not necessarily fully up to speed with his needs and desires.  So I may try to encourage him to descend the stairs in the normal manner.

In which case he jumps at me.

He hurls his fragile toddler body at my side, requiring me to grab him before he falls past and tumbles down the stairs.

To be fair it's fairly unlikely that he would tumble past me, but even so it's a way to get your heart pumping in a morning!

What have I been up to?  Well I've been continuing to play Birth of the Federation - for those wanting an update since my last post, my Ferengi Alliance is now one of the largest empires in the galaxy and we're busy pounding the Klingons into dust.  The Cardassians have conquered the Romulans, and are busy fighting the Federation.  We're nominally friends with both the Cardassians and the Federation, making us a huge amount of cash, despite the fact that both parties pretty much hate me.  I don't really care as long as they leave me alone while I finish off the Klingons, then I'll turn my attention to them.  I really want to test my fleets against the Cardassians as they are the biggest threat to me, even so I can't really think that they could win.  But it's huge fun to play anyway.

I'm mucking about with videos as well, I really need a half decent video editor, once I've got what will hopefully be the first of a series of videos I'll get it out there for people to look at.  I've had what are (I hope) ideas for vaguely funny videos - you'll be the first to know, I promise.

I'll finish this post by saying that if you haven't experienced Adam Hills, check him out.  He's an Australian comedian who is hilarious.  His website is at and there's tons of videos of him performing on YouTube as well.
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