Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I hate macaroni cheese

Mac and cheese.  This is a cool way of saying "macaroni cheese" isn't it?  Why would you choose to eat macaroni cheese?

Mac and cheese makes it sound like it'll be something that tastes nice, maybe a Big Mac with cheese on.  But it isn't.  It's weird pasta in a nasty cheese sauce.

I am saying this now, laying down the ground rules for the reason why I will never eat mac and cheese.

Because a very small part of me thinks that it might actually be nice.  Maybe the tinned macaroni cheese that I had when I was 7 or whatever aren't actually at the pinnacle of culinary creations.  Just earlier this week, after a long rant about how I "don't like quiche", I ate my lunch, which consisted of quiche made by my other half.

And it was nice.

Quiche is always something I've struggled with.  Bacon - cheese - eggs - I like all of these.  But never in a quiche.

Yet on Tuesday, it was good.

And when I was a kid, I hated cheese on toast... that is until I tried it, and discovered that it's pretty damn good.

And now I live in fear that my hatred of macaroni cheese is wrong too.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Battery - and more coverage of Chip Week!!

I love my phone, but it does have a tendency to overestimate the battery capacity.

20 hours remaining?  It'll eat that in time it takes me to take a photo.

And for some reason the last 10% lasts an amazingly long time (in comparison to the other 90%) - it'll hang on 3% for ages while you frantically do whatever it is you need to do on your phone before the battery dies.

In other news, chip week (french fry week for US readers) is now over, and I hope you took part via fried potato consumption.  I beg you to watch the below fantastic video from a chippie in Birmingham, it is fantastic.

And while I'm talking about videos, I've published a new one today - I say published because it's been made for about two weeks, but I have been really quite busy lately, plus my PC has died so I'm resorting to using my partners computer.  In this one I put on a variety of professional-quality accents and invite you to guess what they were.  Do let me know how you got on!
I hope you've been enjoying my series of interviews with YouTubers on my blog, I've really enjoyed doing them and engaging with some other (far more talented!) creators.  I am in talks with two more people about interviews but they haven't been finalised yet so there may be a slight delay before they appear on here.
If you haven't seen them already check the interviews out below:


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

YouTube Interviews #3 - TeaMakerJason

Warning to all: I usually veer away from swearing on my blog. But for artistic accuracy I have been forced to resort to the use of foul language in this interview today. Please steel yourselves.

Today's episode of my YouTube Interviews focuses on a chap from the North West of England, TeaMakerJason. TeaMakerJason produces a variety of extremely popular and funny vlogs and sketches on his channel. He also has suspiciously clean teeth.

No proof of the clean teeth thing though in this picture. I actually tried for ages to get a decent still from Jason's YouTube videos but he tends to be close up to the camera and/or move around a lot so I gave up and stole one from his Google+ page instead. Sorry Jason.

Jason - the more I watch your videos the more sympathy I have for Nick Crompton (being also from Yorkshire myself - although he is a wessie so not that much sympathy). Just wondering idly... are you a really good actor or do you just enjoy telling him to fuck off?

I like to think I get more enjoyment out of seeing everybody else do it, as bad as that sounds! My relationship with Nick is essentially based entirely on telling each other to go forth and conjugate (as you so elegantly put it!) so we’re kind of desensitised at this point. I like to pride myself on sticking to my word so when I promised Nick I’d make “Fuck Off Nick” a worldwide phrase back in April after his usual attempts to annoy me it’s certainly nice to see that come to fruition. Although I’d definitely say I do have to put in maybe a BIT of acting when it comes to fulfilling all the vulgarity required in our recent projects!

In the last six months you've done something like quadrupled your subscriber count - or should I say, you've got a really big box of teabags. What do you think attracts people to your videos?

What I make I make to fulfill my own strange, eccentric and sometimes twisted sense of humour and making even one other person laugh or connect with that makes every effort worth it. Why the people who watch me found me and subscribed I blame entirely on luck but I like to think the fact that I love every minute of doing what I do can be picked up on and persuades people to stick around.

The thing that used to surprise me about making videos is that actually recording the video is probably the shortest and simplest bit, with the vast majority of the time, I find, taken up editing it. Do you find it difficult to fit in video making with the rest of your life?

I find the distribution of time and effort differs with every project. Filming sketches or short film projects alone can be grueling. Those are times where I find recording is actually in some ways the most complex part of a project. When you have to setup a different shot for every single line alone it can actually be pretty draining. I’m in love with editing and learning new technology so I guess you could say I find editing easier. In terms of Vlog style content the filming can be very fast and simple and then as you say editing takes up a large majority of the time so it’s certainly not black and white and it differs with every video.

Personal life certainly gets in the way but that can be an issue with anything in life, not just content creation. I think the secret is to find the right balance, as with everything.

In a lot of your videos one thing that stands out is that there is quite a lot of really good visual effects going on, but is there any certain part of the video making process that you particularly struggle with?

Any form of animation or general visual effects work can be a seriously challenging part of the process but if I decide on an effect I really want I generally just have to find a way to make it work or I’ll know I’m not making what I want to make to the best of my abilities. I don’t like sacrificing aspects of a project for a faster turnaround so if I have to work on something for weeks to get it right then I will.

I’m not trained in animating in any way shape or form. For a lack of a better word, I’m crap. The effects wouldn't look out of place in a classic episode of Doctor Who, but that’s part of the look I go for. I like the cheesy and the crazy. Every project has its ups and downs. When you spend an entire day sat at your desk with cups of tea battling bumps in the animation that seem like they’ll never be fixed it can be pretty draining but when you finally get the look you want there’s no better feeling.

Jason attempts to save the world, despite Nick trying to stop him. And despite being in Bradford.

From watching your work, I suspect that you enjoy Doctor Who (if I'm wrong then this question is going to be crap) - if so, who is your favourite Doctor, and why?

That’s a tough one. I’m a massive fan of the classic series and I’ve loved most aspects of the modern series. David Tennant was sort of “my doctor”, which isn’t a rare thing to hear on the internet! But I’d say my favourite Doctor was and is Tom Baker! I can’t get enough of him. I am also ridiculously excited to see Peter Capaldi take over. I’m not a huge fan of Steven Moffat’s writing but I have a hunch I’m really going to enjoy what he brings to the show in Series 8.

I think this next question works even if Jason doesn't like Doctor Who in that it will ingratiate myself with him - So, Matt Smith was 26 when he got the part of the Doctor, the actor generally plays them for about 3-5 years... so they'll be wanting a new one when you're in your early 20s... any hopes to be the Thirteenth Doctor?

If I have one dream in life it’s that in 50 years the press of the time will be digging up old articles like this one after my announcement as the 27th Doctor and they’ll be able to look on my desire to play the Doctor even at this age! Peter Capaldi-esque! I’d love to play the Doctor, or that type of character! My biggest hope at the moment is that one day I’ll have the acting skills to do it justice. I’ve still got a lot of learning to do.

You've collaborated with a number of YouTubers - CrashBangAdam, MarkThomasLife, SlightlySteve, to name but a few. How did you get into delivering regular collaborations with other video creators?

The Youtube Community is an incredible niche. I wouldn’t even call it a niche, it’s far more massive than I could have ever anticipated when I started looking at it over a year ago! I’ve made lifelong friends and met amazing creators who inspire me everyday and working with those people, people who you really feel you have things in common with, is just a joy. When you’re with like minded people there’s nothing better in the world than to spend time doing the things you both love doing. Collaborations are an example of that!

I'm afraid to ask but... what sort of teabags DO you use?

I’d love to tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

And for those people that aren't, teabags, I mean... of yours, how would you describe your channel, and what video would you recommend they watch first?

My channel is a mashup of crazy, ridiculous, over the top, cheesy & purile.. shite! I wouldn’t have it any other way. If that’s what you like I’d recommend The Fuck Off Saga, a collection of collaborations that’s developed into a bit of a story over the past 10 months or so and saw the birth of Fuck Off Nick! (

If you like something just as crazy but a little more laid back and unscripted I’d recommend my vlogs. I couldn’t choose one in particular, just jump in at the deep end and it might be your thing!

Whether people like what I make or hate me until the end of the earth for it I’m just ridiculously happy to have had you give me even just 10 seconds of your time!

Thanks to TeaMakerJason for his time. Catch his videos now at

Monday, 17 February 2014

It's Chip Week!

It's Chip Week!

To kick off a week of chips, I've made a video about my dinner tonight - the polish delicacy, Devolay - with chips!!

For more info about Chip Week, head over to - they like chips there, and all variety of potatoes.  On their Chip Week microsite there's even competitions to take part in.

As an aside, I had chips for lunch too.

With scraps, no less.

I love Chip Week.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Valentines Day

A nice thing to do for Valentines Day is to pay for your other half to have a massage.

But you can make it for for you too!

The day before, I scribbled on my partners lower leg and feet, identifying the leg, the ankle, the foot, and all the toes (recreated on my own leg in the picture below).

She forgot all about this until the masseur went to work on her feet, and said "um... is this to remind me what each bit is?"

Valentines Day was awesome for us - let me know in the comments how yours was!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Thanks HSBC!

I know that this is an incredibly unpopular thing to do, but I wanted to say thank you to HSBC.

HSBC rang me up this afternoon to warn me of a fraudulent transaction that had appeared on my debit card last night.  They stopped the transaction, and with my agreement cancelled my card and are providing a new one.

Bit of an inconvenience?  Perhaps, but I'd much rather they step in and spot stuff like this than suddenly my bank account is emptied!  Good job, bank people.

In other news - want to help beat cancer while playing on your phone?

Now you can!

Cancer Research UK, in conjunction with partners, have produced "Play To Cure: Genes In Space", a game that, while you play, identifies issues in genetic data.  Go and download it for your phone (it's free) and feel good for playing a game!

Finally - it's Brutall's birthday, the fantastic YouTuber that was featured last week in one of my interviews.  Why not check out his videos and say happy birthday?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Chip week is coming! (aka French Fries)

I have no idea why I took this photo.

And it's out of date now as my beard has disappeared.


Did you know that it is Chip Week from the 17th to 23rd of February 2014?

In support of chip week, I will be eating lots of chips.  Not because I enjoy them, but because I believe in a British chip.  If only because a chip from overseas (a french fry should I say?) will have gone cold by the time it gets here.

Okay - I love chips.  I love thick chips from the chippie, accompanied with a piece of battered haddock, doused in so much salt and vinegar that if you breathe the air nearby you choke with the strength of vinegar.

I love the thinner fries, with salt or ideally chip spice (it's a Hull thing).  Or the really dinky thing ones you get with a manufactured burger from McDonalds - yes, it's maybe not the healthiest thing in the world for you, but it's cheap and it's tasty, and now and then that's what you want.

And chips dunked in thick chip shop gravy are gorgeous.  Coated in ketchup, or even salad cream - not my first choice, although salad cream is surprisingly good on a bacon sandwich - tartare sauce is good on chips too.  What's your favourite chip dish?

For more information, and to vote for your favourite fish & chip shop, head over to

While I'm writing this post, I just wanted to say that my blog posts might be a bit erratic for the immediate future - a relative has been taken into hospital over the weekend and I'm not quite sure how things are going to pan out, but it is likely to result in some changes to my routine, in the short-term at any rate.  I do aim to blog 3-4 times a week (and currently I've actually got a few spare posts half-written to give me some space) but I'll have to see how things go.  The reason for blogging is for myself - I like to write, and I like to be creative, I know perfectly well that I'm not going to become the most popular site on the Internet, or make a living through these scribblings, it's a hobby I enjoy (and thank you very much everyone who does take the time to read them!) - but ultimately it is a hobby, and I may need to put it on the back burner just for a little while.  Hopefully not, hopefully I can keep blogging as normal, or nearly as normal, but I don't quite know what's around the corner.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

30000 views, egg waffles, tube strikes and YouTube Challenge 2!

Firstly, I shall blow my own trumpet - I have made an achievement logo for myself to mark something...

Yes, thank you to everyone who has read my blog, shared it, subscribe to it, all that gubbins, thank you.

What else?  Well, I made a video on my YouTube channel about egg waffles...

And, keeping up to date with the hot topics I was in London today, and there was a tube strike on.  This was mainly disconcerting, as I was slightly worried that I wouldn't get to my conference (and back again) in time, but it did have two positives:
a) A lot of people decided not to travel to London, so the train had plenty of space - hi to the seven very nice ladies who cracked open the Bucks Fizz on the way down and had a picnic in the train (and offered it to total strangers such as me!) before spending a day in the capital, and;
b) At Kings Cross there was a big queue to get through the ticket barriers into the underground, and like any good English person there's not much I like more than an unexpected queue!  It moved quite quickly as well which cheered me up no end.

True to my country, I love being mildly inconvenienced - it makes you feel as though you've achieved something by merely overcoming the slight challenge.

Anyway, onto my YouTube challenges, which is what I wanted to blog about today.

So, I set myself a bunch of challenges to improve my YouTube videos and channel in 2014, with the first one being to improve my home page, my artwork, all that gubbins.

Well, some of that has actually been done! I have refreshed my artwork (although it is still really bad - I need someone with some sort of talent for artwork and that can understand the YouTube template for channel art to help me!  If you have some graphics skills and fancy volunteering let me know!)

I've also started using custom thumbnails for my videos, and you know what - they actually work! They do attract more attention which is great. Plus I made a new channel ad (which also is queued up in the free YouTube Fan Finder programme) so hopefully that will attract more attention too.

If that wasn't enough, I've also learned how to use Audacity to improve the audio on my videos, so fingers crossed there should be a lot less static on my videos in the future.

Time for Challenge 2 in my list of video challenges, and that is to watch other YouTubers! So I'm going to watch as many YouTubers as I possibly can. If you have any channels you particularly recommend, please put them in the comments, or if you want to mention your own channel, do that too!

Finally, I very much hope you've been enjoying my series of interviews with YouTube folk, the last one went live at the weekend, and featured the brilliant Brutall - if you haven't seen his stuff yet go check him out now, you will become addicted to one (if not all) of his video series!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

YouTube Interviews #2 - Brutall

The next in our series of interviews with YouTubers features the one and only Brutall, an awesome YouTuber who is attracting subscribers like bees to honey. His videos are entertaining, informative and often inspirational, as he talks about being a World of Warcraft Guild Master, his new exercise regime, and anything else important to him. He is an amazingly prolific creator, very charismatic, a beard owner, and overall just a really nice guy!  His commitment to producing a video a day for the entire year is quite scary to someone like me who has to push himself to release one a week.

Brutall, in the past 4 months you've released something like 140 videos on YouTube. You are the Guild Master of Static, a horde guild on Arthas-US - which means it's automatically better than Alliance because all those poncy humans and gnomes have it easy - a guild that has completed all raid content currently available. You're involved in the podcast Set To Heroic, and if your videos are accurate you are also starting off a hardcore health kick involving a lot of gym work, apparently in the middle of the night. Obviously it's great that you've obtained a time machine so can I get a ride?

As of right this moment, it's actually "only" 122 - but hey, it won't be much more than a couple of weeks and I'll be at 140! I love being a guild leader, and a representative to the community, even if I am only a very small fish in an incredibly large ocean, and being Horde is just common sense. ;) My free time is becoming increasing more rare, and I find myself wondering how on earth I fit it all in, too. Then I remember that sleep is just a waste of time! Also, no, my time machine is only coded to my genetic makeup. You do NOT want to see what happens to someone who attempts to use it...

Seriously though - how do you fit it all in?

Seriously? I only sleep 3-5 hours a night in most cases. For whatever reason, my body responds well enough to that amount, and I use the hours I'm awake (in most cases) to do what I want to do. I work 40 hours a week, I'm taking a full course load at UCF, I workout 4 times a week (usually between 1-2am), I raid Wed/Thur/Mon from 8:30pm-12:30am EST, I'm a husband, a brother, a son, a dog owner (I love my Chihuahuas), I make at least one YouTube video a day (which takes anywhere between 30-60 minutes on average), I stream on Twitch as often as possible (usually 4-5 evenings a week), I tweet throughout the day, I manage my guild by constantly posting in our forum, and.... I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting! It's kinda crazy when you type it all out and take it all in. Maybe I should quit work...

I'm currently doing a number of video challenges to try and make my videos better, and I can't help but notice how your subscription rate has gone through the roof, quadrupling in three months - at the time of writing you're just a touch off 1200 subscribers. Why do you think your channel is so popular?

I just hit 1200 today actually, so THAT was cool to experience! I have no earthly idea why so many people have latched on lately (Reddit helps, though), but I like to think it's the beard. Truly, though, I think a lot of it has to do with my continuous rate of content, and I'm just myself when I talk to the camera. Sure, I call myself Brutall (my real name is Ryan), but I don't try and be someone I'm not. I speak from the heart, I admit my faults (and Static's), and I tell people the truth. I think people respect and appreciate that. Then again, maybe it's just the beard...

One of the things that stands out with your videos is that you are good at delivering a long piece to camera without flaw - the common practice currently is to cut out errors in videos and let the split show, causing the presenter to jump about on screen. Where do you think your ability to talk in such a professional manner has come from?

Hey, I'll be the first to admit that not all my videos are long takes! If you look at some of my earlier videos especially, you'll notice I jump around more than a raider trying to dodge fire! That being said, I've always had a knack for public speaking. I love it! I can stand in front of a crows and deliver a speech on the fly about anything I'm knowledgeable about, as it just comes naturally. That doesn't mean what I say is worth listening to at all times, but I genuinely enjoy delivering content. The beard helps.

In your videos, you almost always have a variety of fascinating looking geeky things hanging on the walls behind you - what's your favourite piece?

My broken clock for sure. When I first started making my videos in September of 2013, people were really confused by it. Some people claim they thought I recorded at the same time every night (lol), and some people demanded I change the batteries. I also love my Yoda bobblehead collection, but you don't ever see that. I should remedy that...

I understand that you've been an MMO fan for a long time, and playing WoW since vanilla. How do you think WoW has changed over the years?

How has WoW changed?! Heck man, it's essentially an entirely different game than it was in November 2004 (when it was released)!!! Raiding has changed not just in size, but in scope. I recall the days of standing in one spot to tank a boss while the healers Decurse everyone and the DPS spam 1-2 buttons. There were very few abilities to manage, and boss abilities to avoid. Compare THAT to Garrosh, the last fight in Siege of Orgrimmar, and it's a night and day comparison. We've seen 16 tiers come and go at this point, and I truly believe the best is yet to come. WoW has changed in plenty of other ways, too. Classes, talents, the introduction of glyphs, flying mounts, and even things as simple as scenarios and LFR. The game is in a much better position in 2014 than it was in 2004. Trust me, I have a beard.

Is there life left in WoW? Or is there a newer, shiner MMO that you've got your eye on?

Oh yeah, plenty of life. As I stated above, I firmly believe that we're going to get the best expansion we've yet to see in Warlords of Draenor. Raiding in particular is going to be given a lot of love with the introduction of Mythic mode, and my goodness, I couldn't be more ecstatic! I said Static! Anyway, WoW isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and while I can't say it'll hold onto its 7,000,000 subscribers over the next expansion, I don't plan on leaving just yet. With that, however, I am keeping my eye on a couple of other MMOs, namely Wildstar and EQ Next. I'm an oooooooold EverQuest player. It holds a special place in my heart.

My fiancee's guild is currently working on Siegecrafter Blackfuse on Heroic - any tips?

This is one of the few final fights in Siege of Orgrimmar that isn't totally dependent on CDs. It's all about having a great couple of tanks to control the Shredder, a super awesome conveyer belt team, and dodging fire. I recommend using Hunters and WW Monks for the belt, and stacking the debuff/buff on the tanks in a 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7...4, 3, 5, 4, 6, 5, 7, 7 manner. If that made absolutely no sense to you, I recommend you watch the video and ask me for specifics the next night I stream. ;)

How is the fitness regime going - and how long has it been since you went to Taco Bell?

It's going as well as can be expected for someone who has a battery for a heart! I have a condition known as Brugada Syndrome, so I have to be aware of my BPM every time I work out, but I've yet to have anything occur due to its existence. I was at the gym just a few hours ago as a matter of fact, one of the only days I work out during the day. I love lifting, and while I enjoy running, too, I'm awful at it. I suppose I have heavy feet and weak shins, and I get shin splints quite easily. Actually, my right knee is KILLING me this week, so I've had to back off the running more than I wanted to. Oh, and I had Taco Bell three days ago. My boss (who is also a dear friend of mine) purchased it for me because we had to attend a meeting. What a swell guy!

Any special message you want to get over to your fans-to-be? How would you describe yourself?

Hmmmmmm, a special message? I suppose if I were to say anything, it would be to enjoy your life and do what it is you want to do. I've been wanting to do this whole YouTube/Twitch thing for a long time now, but I never saw the point when so many others were already involved with it. Then I stepped back and realized that I had a unique perspective on gaming (as a guild/raid leader), and I figured, "Why not?" I look at the people I work with, and it breaks my heart because so many of them define themselves with their job instead of what their heart longs for. I long for community and to enjoy life for what it's worth. I don't let others dictate my feelings, and I certainly don't settle for mediocrity. My life is mine, and it won't last forever, so if I want to make a lasting impression on this world, I have to do something now. Not next year, not once I graduate college, and not next week - now. The same goes for you.

If you want to write a book - then WRITE it! If you want to learn how to play the piano - then PRACTICE it! If you want to skydive - then DO it! I mean, what are we all waiting for? Quit living life under the pretense that you have to play by the rules. Make your own rules. Within reason, of course. The point I'm trying to make is that you don't have forever to figure out what makes you happy, because you likely already know what makes you happy. Quit making excuses and enjoy yourself, and if you want to do something, then find a way to do it. It may not be easy or quick, but you'll find a way if you want to.

Oh, and I'd describe myself as someone who isn't defined by what others' think is normal or necessary. I know what I want, and by golly, I'm not stopping until I get it.

Brutall, thanks for your time.

You can find Brutall in many places on the net, but principally his YouTube channel is at - I would just ask that you watch one video. If you're a WoW player watch a WoW video, if you're not watch one of the others.  I guarantee that you'll be hooked.

One last message - it is Brutall's birthday on February 12th.  What better reason could there be to take a minute to watch his videos, and maybe subscribe to him, and make his day :)
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