Sunday, 30 August 2015

Slimming the natural way

I was perusing a shop near to my work with the name of Savers.  Savers, "where the smart shopper shops", sells a variety of low cost items generally of interest if you need snacks, cleansing materials (either domestic or personal), pet food, wine (why wine?!?), or medicines.

I was down the medicine aisle comparing the items in Savers to those in the Holland & Barratt I had visited immediately earlier, when I came across the below:

Ah yes, the natural way to slim - Patches!  I remember attempting to lose weight in the past by that new fangled fad of "eating less food while running around a bit more", terribly silly of me I know, but when you're young you dabble in craziness.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

You Know You Need It

Well gang, here I am again, taking the Blog of Thog hostage for yet another one of my whacky musings. Don’t let my west of the Atlantic demeanor fool you folks, because I am after all here to sell you on a new ideology that will soon be taking the world by storm. What I am talking about folks is the newest, the greatest, the last thing you will ever need, and the first thing you will truly want. Yes folks this is the newest craze that can only come from your friends at Whacko Inc. Whatever can this crazy person be talking about? Well let me tell you in two simple words, Absolutely Nothing.

Now that I have you desperately wanting to find out more about Absolutely Nothing, I must first give you a demonstration! You see it doesn’t slice, it doesn’t dice, it doesn’t make a sound, no, you see this new craze doesn’t go fast, slow, up or down. The only thing that Absolutely Nothing does is its greatest asset. It doesn’t lull you into a false sense of security, it doesn’t eat you out of house and home, no you see Absolutely Nothing doesn’t need any flashy gimmicks to sell itself, because it is what it says, and it means it too. When exactly was the last time you bought a product that was was 100% authentically what the merchant told you it was?

Now for a limited time we here at Whacko Inc. are willing to sell you not one, not two, not three or four, but an entire dozen of Absolutely nothing for the low introductory price that is absolutely impossible to believe. What would you pay for all of this? Well would you pay $29.95? Of course you would but that isn’t the price! How about the paltry sum of $19.95? What about $14.95? No we aren’t here to cheat anyone out of their hard earned money, we are here to sell you 100% pure, pharmaceutical grade of Absolutely Nothing for the fair market value of $0.00* and look at these free gifts that we send along with it!

If you respond to this offer in the next 4 minutes and 24 seconds we will throw in a free supply of Imaginary Stuff**, but that’s not all! The first 4 and a half people will also get a year’s supply of Empty Space***! Don’t be afraid to ask about doubling your order, and just pay a separate processing and handling****. You know you want it; you know you gotta have it, so get your Absolutely Nothing today!

*Introductory price of $0.00 is good up to but not during your first phone call
** Imaginary stuff has been known to cause delusions and or mental illness
*** Empty space is not available in San Paulo Brazil where no empty space can be found
**** Processing and handling cannot be displayed because of the possibility of heart attack

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Hearthstone crashed

I was playing the popular computer game Hearthstone the other evening, and after a couple of hours took a short break, When I returned to the computer room I discovered that Hearthstone had crashed.

It did, however, invite me to explain what I had been doing when the error occurred.

So I told it.

Another reason why you shouldn't drink coffee. It crashes your game.

Hope that was useful, Blizzard.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Exploding Kittens is here

After such a long time, Exploding Kittens finally arrived today.  I blogged briefly about this game a while back, and now it's here.  It's going to be fun :)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Pub

All the essentials for a good time in the pub - a pint of "Seven Deadly Sins", a Bill Bryson book, and a plugin keyboard.

So, the other evening I repaired to the local public house for an evening of jazz which initially appeared to consist of three people watching a man fiddle with a double bass, but eventually the other three got their act together and the group launched into some rather pleasant music. Geeky note: When the band launched into a decent rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight", I immediately thought of the finale of Deep Space 9, when Vic Fontaine sings it to the crew the night before they separate.

Periodically a man (the singer was female, or at the very least a very convincing facsimile) said something in what was possibly french over the microphone, and every time he did this he was met with applause, I'm not sure if. it was the content of.his speech or if it was just so impressive having someone speaking a different language in Hull, but nevertheless he was consistently met with a great deal of enthusiasm.

An interesting point of jazz is that, unlike other forms of music, within a jazz song a goodly amount of time can be spent with only some of the instruments in action, and it was fun to watch the rest of the band try to entertain themselves during these parts. The singer was quite good at this, whenever it. came time for a double bass solo she would gamely bounce along, the keyboarder, however, he looked bored to tears whenever he had to take a time out.

The evening was only marred by my phone running out of power, despite it assuring me that 8% of battery was plenty for a whole extra day of usage, in practice it took less than half an hour for the phone to tell me "You have 30 seconds before I shut down", resulting in a frantic bit of typing and pounding the Save option.


Before I left a total stranger came over for a fistbump - which had to be provided!

In other news, I've had an idea - you may, now and again, get a piece of junk mail offering you a new credit card, or loan, or some such thing.  Well, I've written a letter.

A letter with a liqueur coffee decision tree, no less.

And this letter can go in the freepost envelope provided by the company. The letter thanks them for the offer, and in return tells them what wonders they can find on my blog (yes really). I look forward to entertaining thousands of financial support workers, who must be desperate for any kind of entertainment that they find even this enjoyable.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Liqueur coffees

For anyone who didn't see me become unusually active on social media last night, I had some liqueur coffees.

They look cunningly like normal coffees, but with a bit spilt and the cap of a Captain Morgans Spiced Rum bottle next to them.

I was watching Star Trek VI, everything was quiet and they seemed like a good idea.

Later on I needed snacks, so I went to the garage.

And I picked these.  The twix seems reasonable, but I'm not sure about the chewable milk flavoured sweets. We've got curdled milk for free right in the refrigerator.

Why does the "GIANT STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR" bar need a mouse on it?

Anyway today I decided to analyse this anomaly of "the more liqueur coffees you have, the more it seems like a good idea to have one more", and summarised it in the below handy flowchart.  Perhaps you could print it out and keep it at work as a useful reminder.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

I'm big in Palo Alto

Today I got an email from TripAdvisor, thanking me for being one of the most popular reviewers in Palo Alto, the Californian city between San Francisco and San Jose, and birthplace of Silicon Valley.  Apparently I've got 2,705 readers!

Interesting really, because I've never been to Palo Alto, and I've contributed a total of 6 reviews and 19 ratings to TripAdvisor, almost all of them about places in Yorkshire in the UK (excluding the rating of a magic museum in Norfolk and a Benito's Hat joint in London, which is the best place in the world for burritos - says the man who has never visited Mexico!), so all I can assume is that thousands of Silicon Valley workers, tired of the Mediterranean climate and the Digital DNA sculpture, decided to descend upon Hull and try out the delights of venues such as Pave (which is awesome).

All I can say is Welcome to Hull guys, we've been waiting for you.  And don't forget to take some chip spice away with you.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Not that I would ever mention the rivalry that some people think still exists between Yorkshire and Lancashire - after all, the Lancastrians did beat us in the War of the Roses (at least that's what Wikipedia says), fair play to them.

Still, at least we can actually drink our tap water without having to boil it.


(Full marks to the BBC for the news headline below - I like the well placed apostrophes!)

And to keep up the Yorkshire bias, the 3 Yorkshireteers have put up a new music video - enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A Shocking Revelation

Today I'm featuring a newish blogger, Rob of Carews in Surburbia - Rob is an absolutely awesome blogger who blogs about being a parent and I strongly recommend checking him out.

Even though he likes coffee.

A Shocking Revelation

I’m fairly new to the blogging scene and when Mike contacted me about writing a guest post, on The Blog of Thog, I was extremely flattered.  I had caught one or two of his previous posts and appreciated the irony and wit in the writing.

Having never guest blogged before, I was keen to experience another integral aspect of the blogging world and tentatively agreed.  After some intense negotiating where we haggled over the price for my writing services, tight deadlines and content parameters, an imaginary contract was agreed upon:

Guest blog writing services will be performed by the undersigned Rob Carew, proprietor and partial owner of

Said blog writing services will be limited to one post as per the “Possible Suckage Clause” and will be subject to Thog review and approval prior to posting. Rewrites will be limited to no greater than the number of digits in Pi.
Payment for said blog writing services will be capped at $0.00 Canadian which converts to approximately 0 British pounds.

The deadline to submit said blog post will be sometime in the near future at the convenience of the above mentioned blogger, one Rob Carew.

Content should focus on said blogger’s preferred area(s) of expertise or, at the very least contain words and punctuation. Complete sentences, proper grammar and coherence are optional.


Now that I had my marching orders, ideas flowed from me like a mountain river during the spring melt. I was going to write a soul searching, heart-warming, tears streaming down your face, sobbing at the beauty of my majestic prose while you learn an important life lesson blog post.

This was going to be the epic guest post to end all guest posts: Funny and witty, but with a touch of sincerity.  Readers would not only applaud Mike for discovering the next great blogger, but also race over to my own blog and become devoted followers.

However, as a consummate non-professional blogger, I understood the importance of doing your research and gaining a deep, almost psychic-like connection with the audience.  I know my own audience and understand my areas of expertise, but needed to get into the mind of The Blog of Thog

What makes the readers of this blog tick and how can I connect, while staying true to my own blogging roots?
Imagine my shock when I came across a series of archived posts beginning In October 2014 referencing the now legendary coffee vs tea debates. Worse, from all appearances The Blog of Thog was firmly entrenched in the tea camp.

How could I write a guest post on a blog connected to such blasphemy? Would I be forsaking everything that I hold dear?

As one of the last remaining Coffee Commandos and a regular tweeter ( twitter handle @rob_carew) about all things right in the coffee loving world, how could I in good conscience write this guest post?

I was torn. Mike’s post on (A Night Watching Shopping Channels) was pure gold. It spoke to me as a father who has likely watched every late night infomercial hundreds of times while settling my children.

After what must have been seconds of quiet, contemplative reflection and at least three re-reads of that imaginary contract, I realized that as blogger, it’s important to accept that others may not always agree with you.  Blogging is about getting your message out and expressing an opinion.  Even if I don’t agree with said opinion, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong and I made a commitment that needed to be honoured.

As such, I’d like to present my guest blog post:

Being a father is hard work.

Being a father who works full time is even harder.  

Being a father who works full time and writes a blog means lots of late nights.

Late nights and early mornings leave me feeling drained and without my morning coffee, I don’t know how I would get through the day.

While I’m doubtful and somewhat skeptical, as someone who embraces change, I can accept that tea and even soft drinks might also be useful for tired, working, blog writing individuals.

Everyone, regardless of beverage preference, should be welcomed with open arms because, at the end of the day, we are all just individuals trying to get by in a crazy world.


(Coffee or tea, we all need a boost to get through the day)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Exotic Names of Caravans

(Disclaimer: I'm not slagging off caravans here - they're a good idea for people interested in taking lots of holidays in different places at a reasonable cost.  Just the names of them.)

Pic courtesy of sheadquarters from Pixabay on a CC 0 PD Licence

I've always been interested in caravan names - all too often they seem to attract the most outlandish of monikers, which appear ill at ease with the core defining principles of a caravan (that is to say, they are a small box on wheels that people can sit, cook, toilet, and sleep in).  Of course I do understand the points of giving caravans fancy names, to make them sound more appealing, and some indeed do make sense (if somewhat exaggerated - how many Ambassadors have gone caravanning with an Ambassador caravan in tow?) but some of them just seem a little bit too far out there.  Here are some examples:

  • A Hobby caravan, which I noticed was on sale for a smidgen under £16,000 - that's a fairly expensive hobby.
  • Lunar - because the cheapest way to have an intergalactic vacation is of course by caravan. (note: this comment also goes for "Solar", "Orion" and "Nova")
  • Fairway - presumably for golfers, unless it's just that it fits nicely on a fairway?
  • Olympus - Think Mount Olympus, home of the greek gods, then think Olympus, five berth touring caravan with an end dinette.
  • Rallye (French for Rally) - there are many things on this Earth that I have yet to experience. One is taking part in a rally race whilst towing a small house.
  • Eccles - Um... because people that have caravans like eccles cakes?
  • Unicorn - I really don't know.  It doesn't appear to have a pointy horn. (Note: Similar comment for the "Pegasus")
  • Tornado - because they can survive being hit by one?

Special mention has to be made of the one I found with the trim level of "Extreme" - I'm envisaging a pimped out caravan playing loud music, and vibrating black leather massage seats.
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