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Saturday, August 23

FHP - For Him Pizza

Cooking instructions from a Goodfellas MAX Meat Feast pizzza that made me chuckle. Could they make any more effort to be a chatty bloke through the instructions?!

1. Get the oven fired up as shown. (A couple of pictures depending on your type of oven)
2. Bin the packaging and spread out the toppings.
3. Forget the baking tray, stick the pizza straight onto the top shelf. Nice one - no washing up!
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes - set your alarm or you'll only go and forget it, go watch the build up to the big game or watch the trailers for the new releases. When you hear the alarm bells go, you've not got long to go.
5. When your Goodfella's MAX is golden brown and h-h-h-hot, put it onto a wire rack to cool slightly - kick back, put your feet up, crack open a bevy and stuff your face.

Those are the best cooking instructions ever!!! Anyway, I'm off to go eat a pizza and drink some beer, followed by going out for the night to drink more beer and god knows what else. Hurrah!


Friday, August 22

Appreciated

I was leaving work tonight, the end of a pretty long week, when one of the guys I had been working with said "Thanks for your work this week Rob, you're a cut above the rest." i was fucking choked on the inside. It's cool that my effort and hard work gets appreciated at least some of the time. I'd been chatting to a couple of the other guys at various times during the week, and they were saying how most agency workers are really crap for working hard and getting the job done. Good to know that I'm not one of them. I've always figured, if you've got to do a job, you might as well do it properly. Otheriwse you just have to come back and do it again later.

Or, you get to go home early if you get the job finished quickly. That's what happened tonight. I was supposed to be finishing at 10, and at 8 we started doing this job where 200 boxes, each pretty big and heavy, had to be moved into a vault and onto some shelving so that their position could be recorded. I worked flat out for 40-odd minutes carrying these boxes all over the shop and lifting them above head height onto these bastard shelves, but we were finished before 9 o'clock. That meant I was able to leave at 9.15 and still get paid until 10. It is working hard when you work. Trust me.

Hopefully, I'm off on a big night out tomorrow, down Bath with the boys. It always gets messy when we all go out, so I'm looking forward to that. I've tried to convince everyone that we should go in shirt and ties, we'll see if that comes off. Also, I can make as much fucking noise as I want when I get back, since my family goes off on a fortnight's holiday earlier tomorrow. The house to myself (and my dog) for a fortnight. Fucking result. Even though I can barely have anybody over since the washing-up-liquid-in-the-water-fountain incident a few weeks ago. Meh, at least I get some semblance of independence back.

Shiny Shiny New!

As you can no doubt see, I've put up the new design for Honestly I'm Sober. I love this design, and I've put a lot of work into it. If it doesn't look right on your computer, such as lines misaligned and so on, please drop me a line and let me know what's going wrong.

There's a whole bundle of acknowledgments I'd like to give for the design, and they are (in no particular order):
Alanna at Stuck In This Place for the blockquotes and the idea of a central column with a background picture either side.
Tecgirl at Tecgirlious* for the overall inspiration to do a black background and a vaguely tech-related design. Also for the top picture, which was originally semi-transparent lines across, but then I discovered the dissolve function on Paintshop Pro.
Jessica at paranoid.android for the idea of a RobCam, blatantly ripped from her JessCam.
Paintshop Pro for being such a simple program to use.
Frontpage Express for having the ability to switch between HTML and a preview really easily. Not for its HTML code generation though, that's terrible. All of my work is entirely hand-coded. Smug face.
My Dad for having a 17" monitor running at 1280 resolution, so I can test it on both 1024 and 1280 really easily.
Newgrounds.com for being the first site to truly show how cool a black background can be.
A couple of my earlier websites, from a time long ago, where I first tried out black backgrounds.
Laura at Mewing.net for giving me the inspiration to design the whole thing with just <DIV> tags. If you check the code, you'll see I gave up in the end. It was getting annoying that something wasn't working.

That's about all of it, I hope you all like the design. I still have the code for the old design, should I ever want to change back, but for the foreseeable future, this is staying. This is th first website I've designed which is fairly graphic-heavy, but most of the files are pretty small, so it shouldn't be a problem for those of you who are still languishing in the Dark Ages on 56k connections.

Thursday, August 21

On Teeth and The Origins Of Life

Another couple of fillings today, and this time they didn't put enough bastard anaesthetic in. One of the two teeth wasn't overly numb, so it fucking hurt when the dentist shoved the drill in. I swear he was drilling directly on the nerve. The anaesthetic kicked in properly about half-an-hour after leaving the dentist's. Fat lot of good it did then. 57 it cost me for the series of 4 fillings. 57! My parents had better be giving that money back to me...

I went to see that new Tomb Raider film as well tonight. I'm not a huge fan of the game, nor am I particularly infatuated with the first film, but my sister wanted to go, so I thought I'd better show willing. It was pretty good actually, although a couple of bits were pretty crap. I liked a bit near the end for the photography and camera angles involved. It's set in this series of caves which are made up of big holes left, right and centre. You know the type I mean. The ones where the interconnecting walls, floors and roofs all look the same, and just seem to frame the holes, rather than being the substance of the cave itself. Anyway, Lara and this guy are walking through these holes to get to where they're going, but the camera films them from all sorts of angles. Upside-down, leaning and perpendicular to horizontal all feature. This all transpires to give a really effective piece of cinema, reminiscent of those paintings where people seem to be walking at all angles. An Italian artist, if memory serves. Labyrinth, thats the film where a similar scene takes place! In David Bowie's palace, there is a magic room where gravity seems to be from all sides. The baby is seen crawling up the wall, whilst the girl runs out and is upside down from the perspective of the camera. Great cinematography.

Also, I've been working fairly flat-out today on the new design for this blog, and I think that I've got it perfected. I might load it on a little later, we'll see.

May

May is a DVD that I finally got round to watching on Tuesday. Today is Thursday, and I'm writing a review of it. Christ I'm a lazy person. Or busy, probably just too busy.

May is a beautifully staged film. It finds just the right balance between character development and forwarding the plot. The basic premise is that May is a very lonely young woman who wants to make friends. She likes people because she obsesses about a certain part of them. In the main foil's case, it is hands that she is totally infatuated with. The photography of the film reflects this. Body parts are highlighted constantly, especially when they have a blemish, which May detests. There are many points in the film where just the hands or legs of a character fill the screen for 30 seconds at a time.

The actress who plays May is absolutely perfect for the role. I forget her name right now, but trust me, she's very good. She is brilliant in the scenes by herself, most notably when on the phone whilst standing in her bath. Once you've seen the film, you will know exactly what I mean. She has a sing-song voice, which is great for the character, since she is trying to come across as so nice and pleasant to everybody she meets. The voice is, however, haunting when it needs to be. I keep getting the line "It's May, silly" played over and over in my head, and it makes me shudder to think at what point that occurs in the film.

The first hour or so sets up the final half-hour, and there are big hints throughout as to what is going to happen. Foreshadowing is the technical term, I believe. The final scenes are very violent, although again displayed beautifully. There is one particular moment where I had to look away for the briefest of moments, since what was going to happen was seriously nasty. And it was. Very, very nasty indeed.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is May. Go rent or buy it now!

Wednesday, August 20

Underground Lairs and The Daily Mail

I tell you (all 3 of you), the place I'm working in this week, it's like the Cold War never fucking ended. It's a big underground ex-missile storage place, out in the middle of nowhere. Nowadays it's used to store a shitload of documents from places like insurance companies and local councils. It's so fucking huge, you can't visualise it properly. It would be an absolutely perfect place to set a Bond villain's secret lair in, it doesn't need any work done to it to get the look. Maybe a few panels with big red "Do No Push" buttons, but not much else. It even has those little truck-things that Austin Powers gets stuck on in a tunnel in the first one of his films. I should get round to seeing Goldmember, I haven't seen that yet.

At my house, we get the Daily Mail newspaper every day. For those non-brits amongst you, the Daily Mail tries to be a quality newspaper, but it still gives over a fair amount of its pages to tabloid-esque stories / pictures of women in bikinis. It's to the right of centre politically, and it hates everything about the current government. I'm in support of the Tories, so I guess it's the newspaper that I should read, but it sensationalises absolutely fucking everything. Every single front page screams out about some random thing. It's favourite (note spelling) subject recently has been about how bad internet chatrooms have been. There's been a couple of cases recently about young girls who go to meet a "friend" from a chatroom who turns out to be a 43 year-old trucker from Hull or something. Therefore, because of 1 or 2 isolated cases, ALL chatrooms should be banned, and nobody under the age of 18 should use the internet. If the Mail were correct, there wouldn't actually be any real teenagers in chatrooms, they'd all be paedophiles trying to score with young girls and boys. Fucking sensationalist crap.

Anyway, the reason I brought up the subject of the Daily Mail is the letters page in today's copy. There were a couple which caught my eye, and here they are:
SMALL TALK
Who has not noticed the decline in spoken English? The conversations of the young are littered with clipped or shortened words.
All is not yet lost with one word of 16th-century origin that is always pronounced correctly and usually loudly. Pity it's the F-word.

I like this one because it is a typical Daily Mail reader's letter. "The youth of today are horrible;" "It was much better in our day;" And so on and so forth. This particular reader is complaining that the English language is changing too rapidly for them to keep up. Surely language evolves. That's why language is so good. As new words are needed, they are created. The reader even uses two contraction themself: "it's" and "F-word." Did the Daily Mail receive angry letters when those particular "clipped and shortened words" came into use. I think the fuck not. Oh, and I'd just like to point out the common grammatical error prevalent in both spoken and written English today: "Pity it's..." should be "It's a pity that..." If you're going to use clipped and shortened forms of incorrect speech, don't use them to complain about other people's diction and grammar!!!

This one is for Patrick and a few other Yank readers.
MY SHAME AT BEING AMERICAN
[These are excerpts, the whole letter is too long to type out right now. My Mum is moaning that she can't get to sleep because of the noise of the keyboard.]
As a young American travelling the world ... I've had total strangers accuse me of not having a culture... Secretly, I'm ashamed. I feel the truth in what they say.
Our plastic culture is spread out so thinly across the globe that it's no longer recognisable. I'm having trouble escaping from it.
American TV is embarrassing. For every intelligent American featured, there are a dozen Jerry Springer guests who make us out to be a mass of sexually-depraved rednecks.
[Now] is one of our darkest hours as far as political motives are concerned.
I'm not questioning whether or not I love my country. I'm simply questioning how I can hate it so much at the same time.

Most intelligent thing the Daily Mail has printed in weeks...

Monday, August 18

Boring Boring Sunday

Sounds like a U2 song...

Sunday was a dull day in many ways. I didn't do much at all, just sat around, watched some football and cricket on the telly. I rented the Animatrix DVD, which was fucking brilliant. So many good little animated shorts, all in one place. The stories were cool, especially The Second Renaissance, concerning the history of AI and the war between the humans and machines. I reckon that that particular story negates any theory of a double-layer matrix that might be lying around. Meh, I just can't wait for the third film this winter. Roll on November.

I also rented a film called May, which is an indie-horror film that is supposed to be quite good. I haven't got round to watching that yet, I'll probably do that tomorrow. Looking forward to that one, I've seen a few clips which look sweet.

I went and played a bit of football last night too, absolutely fucking knackered myself. The first time in a couple of weeks where I didn't injure my toe. Nope, I pretty much screwed up the rest of my legs though. I'm limping at the moment, due to a big knock I took on my calf muscle, which is now fucking killing me. Stupid arsing sporting injuries. I'll learn, eventually.

In other news, I'm working 4 days this week, which I'm not overly happy about. 2-10 shifts in the afternoon too, which basically takes up your entire day. Not a happy bunny about that...

Recap - The Aftermath

As I said on Saturday, I was going out to get, well, smashed. I succeeded in doing this. Oh yes, succeeded in a big way.

The carnival was as shit as I was expecting. They had just about every majorettes group in the entire county there, I think just to make up the numbers. There were about, umm, 5 floats in total, including the stalwart float from the local house for [and here I use the officially (maybe not, "officially", per se) recognised medical term...] retards. Never mind, I was well on my way to being inebriated by the time the carnival actually got to the house we were drinking at. This would be at around 6.45 in the evening, and I was starting to feel the beers already.

We played a couple of drinking games, including Fuck The Dealer and Heads / Tails. Both very easy to learn, and easy to get drunk on. Heads / Tails is the easiest. Everybody sits in a circle or around a table. A pint glass is passed round, and when it gets to you, you pour a healthy swig of your drink into it. Then you flip a coin, and call heads or tails. If you get it right, the glass (with contents) is passed on to the next person, who adds some of their drink, then flips the coin. If you get it wrong, you have to down whatever is in the glass. This game works best when everybody is drinking different stuff, because then it's a pretty nasty mixture that ends up in the pint glass. I was getting bitched at because I was drinking proper beer, whereas everybody else was on the lager / cider. Not my fault that I've got proper tastes for beer...

Fuck The Dealer is easy as well. Again, sit in a circle. One person has the pack of cards, and the person to his left guesses what the top card is. The dealer then says "higher" or "lower," depending on the card and the guess, and the person guesses again. However many numbers they are wrong by is how many fingers-worth of their drink they have to down. By "fingers-worth," I mean you put your hand on the outside of your glass, then count the number of fingers down that you're given. This is the amount you have to down. If you manage to guess correctly, the dealer must drink 5 fingers if you get it right first time, or 3 if it's the second guess. Once the card has been shown, it is laid face-up in the middle, so the pack gradually gets smaller. Once the dealer has gone round the circle, he passes the pack on, leaving the upturned cards in the middle. It's called Fuck The Dealer because as the pack gets smaller, the person guessing has a much better chance of being right, and therefore fucking the dealer by making him drink loads.

And that's how you go about getting drunk whilst getting very rowdy and loud.

After that we went down to a couple of other pubs (table football king, thankyou very much) before heading into Buds, the local crappy bar / club place. I was, shall we say, pissed by this stage, so I was chatting shit to the bouncers for a while. I get like that after a few beers. Loud and chatty. You can't shut me up, I swear. Don't remember a huge amount about being in Buds, and I remember even less about getting home. Oh well, a good night had by all.
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