I didn’t set myself actual News resolutions this year, I have somewhat half heatedly done so in the past generally around writing in same shape or form.
Whilst I haven’t made official ones, there are a few things that I am making some degree of effort to adhere to. Putting something up on here once a week for one, cut down on my drinking, lose a bit of weight and as evidenced by last weeks post try and save a bit of money on shopping and meals.
The other thing I want to ensure I do this year is more recreational, as you may remember from some post way way back, I play and collect Magic the Gathering cards, well at this point mostly I collect them as I haven’t really taken a lot of time to do the playing part.
As I have spent a small (large) fortune on this hobby (for the 2nd time in my life) it would make sense for me to actually get out there and use the cards that I have invested in.
I got back into Magic just before Joe was born, a friend had retaken up the hobby and his enthusiasm convinced me and I now have an entire cupboard that is mostly full of “Cardboard Crack.”Not long after this I attended my first FNM (Friday Night Magic) at my LGS (Local Game Shop) and for a majority of the next 6/8 months attended most weeks. Since Joe’s birth and the following pregnancy and birth of Daniel I haven’t managed to attend a single FNM so I am planning on changing that this year.
Last year I also attended my first “big” event, the GP (Grand Prix) in London at the Excel. It was awesome, 2 whole days of competitive magic with 2149 other people from all over the world. Despite my total newbness I even won a couple of games and finished 1454th.
This weekend was the Oath of the Gatewatch pre-release, despite putting together what I thought was a pretty sweet Black/Red/Blue deck with plenty of evasion and removal I went 1-3, but I got some nice cards and learnt a lot from some of the mistakes I made.
Alongside getting back to FNM’s this year I am planning on attending at least one GP, as many pre-releases and Gamedays as I can.
As is usual at this time of year I have been feeling the pinch financially, as is also usual at this time of year I have decided to try and lose a bit of weight and get myself a little bit more healthy.
These are two things that don’t really go all that well together, traditionally the belief is that eating healthy means splashing out on special foods etc and Gym memberships are not exactly cheap, not to mention the fact that chances are by February it will be a long forgotten goal.
One of my guilty pleasures over the last few months has been watching the BBC 1 show ‘Eat well for Less’. If you can get passed the cheesy presenters its actually a worth while watch and will get you thinking about what you spend on food.
The premise is simple, the tow presenters watch a family do their shopping, total it up and get a rough idea of their usual shopping spend. From there their goal is to save the family as much money as possible, this is achieved mainly through two things, changing branded products for much cheaper alternatives and getting rid of convenience food and getting people to make things form scratch.
The family will have all their products taken out of any branding and then spend a week eating those, at the end they find out what was changed, what was the same and how much they saved.
The average household spends £83.60 a week on food and drink, which in itself sounds like a lot, but having taken a look at what I was actually spending it was a lot more than that!
Since watching this it has massively changed how I do my shopping and I have been able to make noticeable savings on my shopping. I recommend watching it even just the once, I am pretty sure that the next time you do some shopping you will be saving yourself some serious ££.
What I surprise I hear you all thinking, 2nd of January and its time for the annual “I’m starting my Blog” again post.
I imagine that over the 1st week of January the number of new blogs created and the number of old blogs resurrected is huge.
Its the writing equivalent of the January Gym membership, the established bloggers looking at us with disdain knowing by February word press will be littered with Blogs that only have a handful of posts and wont be active again until this time next year.
I have done the blog restart now on a number of occasions, not always on new years, but the premise is the same
I only started in the blog in 2012 meaning, so for 3/4’s of the blogs lifetime it has been clogging up WordPress with a name that who knows someone else might just want.
My plan (again) is to try and make use of this little corner of the internet that I have reserved for myself, thanks to some recent inspiration (i’ll explain in a later post) I have got back on board with my writing, the point where in the last week or so I have put around 4,000 words down which is rapidly catching up with what i have achieved with “So Far Untitled” in the last 4 years!
I am only planning to write once a week and i figure finding 52 things to write about cant be all that tough, but lets see how it goes, perhaps Ill be referring to this in the 2017 new years relaunch or perhaps ill be able to use that to look back with a sense of achievement.
This is a “Joke” i have told since somewhere around my 17th (1997) birthday when I heard it at a work do, a few doors up from where my mother still lives now when I was working at a One Stop in the local village. I couldn’t tell you who told me the joke but I can tell you at the time I found it hilariously funny and instantly committed it to memory to be rolled out at drunken moments throughout the rest of my adult life to great hilarity for all around!
Its perhaps the only thing that makes me laugh more than the Bungle scene in two pints (ill tell you about that another time)
What I now find bizarre is that with the advent of the internet this “anti Joke” has pages of Goggle results, in fact a guy named Michael Bluejay even calls it the finest joke ever written and a quick google search even throws up a you tube clip featuring Suits own Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) involved in a scene in which this becomes an interview question!!
Perhaps more weird is the number of hits on Google a search for the answer gets
In case you didn’t get it already the answer is…
One of its legs is both the same!
Over the last two weeks I have been doing some serious geeking out, I have attended Gamescom, played in the Magic the Gathering Grand Prix London, finished Felcia Day’s Book “You’re never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and played a number of PC games including Castle Crashers and Trine 3.
Its been a while since I have had an opportunity to get back to the geekier side of my nature, Joe has been almost surgical in his ability to coincide head injuries and bugs with any “Daddy time” that I manage to carve out for myself.
The only thing I have really found time for is my League of Legends obsession as playing it is normally post Joe’s bedtime and doesn’t require me leaving the house, however the enjoyment I have got out of the last 14 days or so doing other activities has really highlighted to me that I need to be utilizing what time I do get more effectively, whilst I thoroughly enjoy (and despise at the same time) my games of League they are as much to blame if not more so than the impact of any of my Daddy duties.
I realised when i finished Felecia days book that it was only the second one I had read this year (unless funnybones, Thats not my Dragon and Each Peach Pear Plum count), for someone who loves reading and books as much as do this is pretty depressing, I could come up with many excuses such as the fact that I no longer drive to work and drive instead and they would be pseudo true but realistically I haven’t read more than that because I haven’t allocated time to do so.
Whilst playing Trine and Castle Crashers over the weekend and discussing with a friend the merits of various indie titles, it became apparent that I was missing out on a number of really good games and needed to pay my steam account some serious attention (I haven’t even played Portal yet!) A quick look today showed I have 112 titles in my steam library and I have played 5 of them!!
Over the coming weeks I am going to scale back the league and knuckle down on some of my other hobbies and who knows maybe even take a stab at keeping this site ticking over, after all if I am letting my other geeky past times slide I am sure you can imagine how well the writing is coming along….
Whilst out at a supplier event last week I was randomly approached by another attendee and asked if I happened to know a particular person.
Not an especially weird request you might think, but what if I said that the person in question was not attending the event?
Still not that weird I hear you say, so what if that person is not in the industry in which I work and therefore to my knowledge has no connection to this event?
A little bit weird maybe you might think, but what If I told you that person was also the person was my best friend who I have known for the last 30 years and who happens to have drawn a web comic in which a character somewhat like me features?
OK come on, you have to admit its a little weird.
The best bit for me was when this random stranger said her recognised me by a combination of seeing my name in posts on Facebook, my long hair and the depiction by said friend in his then weekly comic.
I am of course taking this as my first step into the world of celebrity, after all its not everyday you meet a comic book star!
As it turned out the random stranger, who worked for the supplier throwing the event knew my friend pretty well, had lived with another good friend of his and dated yet another good friend, made me think what a crazy small world it is.
Following this whilst walking back to the tube it got me thinking that if you subscribe to the Six degrees of separation (Kevin Bacon) rule, then take the average number of people in a square mile (14k) and then assume that its London and so the chances are that number is significantly higher, its actually kinda of weird that you are not falling over people you know when getting the tube let alone attending an event.
Its funny sometimes how memories creep up on you and associated feelings and periods in time that you had perhaps forgotten become important in an instance.
I was out this evening for a leaving do of a colleague from my current job, in Guildford , a town that has played a significant role in a large part of my late teen and early adult years. It was strange walking through the town and seeing both the things that where the same and those that had changed so much so that the times I remember seem like a bygone era.
Thinking about it, an era is perhaps what it has been, it was the ages of 16-23 that I spent most of time in this town over a decade ago now, which when put in those terms seems a lot longer ago than perhaps I would like it to be. Since then most of the friends have moved on, we still catch up on Facebook and comment on the important events like moves, funerals, new arrivals and perhaps even meet in person for the odd “special” birthday celebration, but to all intense and purposes it might as well have been another lifetime.
But returning to this evening, as I walked back from the top of town and (at least in my eyes) the newly christened MKB bar, the rain soaking me through and my feet taking me down back ally’s and through shortcuts that they still remembered but I had long forgotten, i was transported to not one, but an amalgamation of nights from my early twenties.
As I walked past the now abandoned shell of Old Orleans and past the (new) Odeon my feet could have easily carried me onward past the station on on to the then girlfriend, now wife’s student Diggs, that I would have crashed at on a regular basis a few hours later but a decade earlier.
I couldn’t tell you which night I was thinking off, or why this particular combination of rain, dripping clothes and alcohol conjured up images of those years gone past, but what I can say is that for a brief fleeting moment I was stumbling home from a night out at CR’s (Cinderella’s, Dusk or TIME as it was known across the years), having missed the last train and desperately hoping that girlfriend (now Wife) was awake enough and not mad enough to let me stay the night.