Monthly Archives: August 2006

more manly!

So I was working at a wedding today, and one of the jobs I was given was to pop open 48 bottles of wine (24 red, 24 white). Now I have opened quite a few bottles in my time, but I’ve never really had to do more than a couple at once, and it’s surprisingly hard work!

At home we own a corkscrew which isn’t dissimilar to this:

And to use it you basically screw it in and then pull quite hard, and the cork comes out with a very satisfying pop. Now, the place I was working being a proper establishment, we were given waiters friends, which are fancy tool for opening bottles, the have a little level with which you can ease the cork out nicely. The trouble with this is that the bottles I was opening had very tight corks, and it was quite hard work to lever them out. So I resorted to pulling them out hard, like I would with my corkscrew at home.

Now the nice lady in charge looked at me, somewhat bemused, and proceeded to show me how to do it properly. She was clearly rather practiced at it and had no trouble using the thing properly. To which my reply was, my way is faster… and much more manly. I rather enjoyed making this comment, as today I was the only male working there. There were 11 other workers (as far as I can recall), so I was most definately the odd one out.

It’s good to laugh.

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Elftor

A friend pointed this out to me, and it amused me a great deal:

These three panels are the start of an Elftor comic strip.

This comes at a time when I’m wrestling with some JavaScript, trying to make a web application work properly in Internet Explorer. Web designing (and coding in general) can be rather frustrating at times!

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Lonely cinema goer

So I went to the cinema on my own today. Part of me felt like I was being a loner and didn’t really want to, but the bigger part of me which won the argument reminded me that Superman was only showing until Thursday, and that you don’t talk to people in the cinema anyway.

It was actually quite a fun experience, I got to sit right in the middle with noone in front of me because the film has been out for so long and there was hardly anyone there. I also got to sit and watch the credits for a while without being ushered out by other people (which is always a little annoying).

I find that it’s always rather nice to sit through the credits at the end of a film and let them wash over you. It gives you a little time to mull over the film and just let it all sink in properly. I also do my best not to talk about a film straight after it’s finished, because if you’ve gone to watch it with someone, you could have completely opposite opinions of what you just saw, and in turning to them and saying “well that was a bit rubbish” you can completely destroy the experience! Of course you have to talk about it at some point, and the likelihood is that you agree to some extent, so 10 minutes is a good length of time to leave it for I think.

Anyway, I’m going to go to bed shortly. I shall write a review of Superman Returns in the near future.

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At the weekend I had something of an adventure with a bunch of people I know through Church (and some people I didn’t know so well…). We went to the Netherlands together to attend the Lowlands music festival to celebrate the fact that Jon and Helen are getting married in a couple of weeks.

The weekend was brilliant fun, even if the weather was a little bit rubbish. Sunday produced the most rain ever for the area at this time of year, and it really added to the festival feeling!

Far and away the most entertaining act of the weekend was Nizlopi, who played at 11:30 on sunday morning. Their album might be a very chilled out affair, but their live show was bursting with energy and was tremendous fun to be a part of! I would highly recommend going to see them if you ever get the chance.

I will try to get hold of some photos etc. and when that happens I will probably post again with a few more details of the antics we got up to, but for the moment here are a few words which sum up what went on (in no particular order):

  • Wheelchair jumping
  • Darth Vader
  • Poi
  • Mud
  • Music
  • Silent Disco
  • Dutch
  • Munten
  • Giant Carrot
  • Grolsch
  • Very public toilets
  • Matching T-shirts (in print!)

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blargh!

My feet hurt. I have just gotten home from work. I started work at 1pm (I left the house at about 12 to get there in time). I finished work at 1am. I got a 30 minute break to have some dinner, but apart from that I have worked 11 and a half hours today.

Now I have removed my shoes, which feels remarkably good, eaten a mandarin, and am currently enjoying a nice lager before I head to bed and catch some z’s (yes, a lager, not one of my special beers at this time of night!)

I have to be up nice and early for Church in the morning, and on monday I’m heading up to Leeds with John to say goodbye to my sister for a year. She’s heading off to Germany as part of her course, and whilst I no doubt will send her the odd e-mail, and I might even catch her on MSN occasionally if she has internet access, I very much doubt I will speak to her again for a year. This does make me a little sad, but I will do my utmost to thoroughly enjoy the occasion.

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Fear

The recent events surrounding the terrorist plot against aircraft travelling from the UK to the US has attracted a great deal of attention, and perhaps rightly so. I can’t help but think that perhaps not all of this attention has been a good thing however, so here are a few of my thoughts on events…

First of all, there really isn’t anything to be afraid of right now. The government had been tracking this threat for months, and acted recently because they believed it to be the right time to do so. I would say that they were right too, at the moment they clearly feel they have enough evidence, and yet the attacks haven’t happened. This would be the perfect time to make an arrest in relation to any crime! And because of the action taken security has been massively stepped up, so the chance of terrorists actually executing their plan is pretty much none at all.

Then of course you have to bear in mind that there really wasn’t anything to fear before hand either. You are far, far more likely to be injured or die in a car accident than in an aircraft accident (including terrorist activities), I could pull up some stats but that would be a little pointless, feel free to look them up if you’re interested. Air travel is among the safest methods of transport, and the planned attack was only against between 3 and 10 aircraft, out of thousands of flights each day. Indeed food like this is far worse for my health than the flight I will be taking next friday!

I think that a really important question which people need to ask themselves is “what is the point of these attacks?”. And the answer is really quite obvious. The reason for the attacks is terrorism, that is the act of instilling terror into people. A small handful of people have the ability to put fear into an entire nation, and through doing this they exert some degree of control over them. The recent plot was targeting flights going from the UK to the US. As a result I suspect that the number of people flying from the UK to the US will dramatically decrease, and it will probably take some time for the flights to return to their normal level.

As long as this level of reaction can be achieved from a single act of terror, these acts will continue. If a person chooses to martyr themselves (as opposed to someone forced into a martyrdom situation), then I would suggest that they have chosen to do it both out of religious zeal, and out of a desire to have as large an impact upon this world as possible. I doubt very much that people would be quite so willing to give up their lives if it had little to no effect on the world.

Fear is suge a huge issue in the western world today, and a massive barrier for Christians trying to reach out, not to mention a huge struggle for Christians who focus too much of their attention on the world and not enough on God (which, lets be honest, we all do). I could write so much more about this, but for now I refer you to this post by Dan Hames.

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Beer!

Today the honourable St. Daniel Hames kindly drove me to Asda and back in order that I should purchase supplies for the coming weeks, including various items which will be consumed at a social gathering tomorrow evening.

Whilst we were in Asda St. Hames declared his love for fine ales, and insisted upon my purchasing a selection of them. I dutifully did so, as I too share a distinct appreciation of such beverages. However on our journey back to my humble abode, I expressed some concerns over the appropriateness of consuming fine alcohol in solitary company. St. Hames reassured me, insisting that there are many instances when consuming beer without the presence of others is quite acceptable, indeed sometimes even expected! One such situation proffered by St. Hames was that of spending some time during the day improving upon ones garden, and then allowing oneself a brief respite from the toilsome work. In this instance it seems that consuming a glass of fine ale is in fact the norm.

Much to my pleasure, I realised upon returning home that I did indeed have a garden, and lo! it required some attention. So of course, desiring to consume some of the fine ale which had been purchased, I set about working in said garden. After some time I stood back and admired my handiwork, having cleared out all of the front garden, and much of the rear, I felt that I had certainly earnt myself a brief respite, and had most definately worked up enough thirst to consume a pint of fine ale.

Thusly I removed the ale I had purchased from my cupboards and arranged them in an orderly row on my kitchen surface, in an attempt to choose the ale which I most wanted to consume at this time.

Having considered my work, I decided that I was feeling rather akin to a champion of the garden, so there was really little competition. So the selected fine ale was poured out, and furthermore consumed, much to my delight and satisfaction.

The lesson which it seems should be learnt from this wholesome experience is as follows:
St. Daniel Hames is a most excellent human being!

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Dilbert

I read the daily Dilbery strip, and the strength of the humour varies from day to day. Yesterdays strip was quite possibly my favourite one ever, so I feel the need to post it here, for posterity…


(I had to edit the image to make it fit, the strip usually goes horizontally…)

And for anyone who is a little confused, this may help:
Schadenfreude

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High society, sort of…

So today Will offered me a lift home from Church, which was really nice. As we arrived at my house and I was about to hop out, he invited me to come with them and a bunch of other people to Calke Abbey to see an open air production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Of course I had nothing else to do this afternoon so I agreed, and at about 4:45 he picked me up and we headed off to Calke Abbey, which is nearish to Derby.

It took about an hour to drive up there and the map was placed firmly in my hands, which was fine as it was a very straightforward journey and my directing was adequate.

Calke Abbey has enormous grounds which are really quite pleasant. The abbey itself is actually quite odd, it could have been facing a valley with a gorgeous view, for some reason it was built facing the side of the valley instead. There is also a big ugly square building behind it which I guess was a stable of sorts. It looks more like an old warehouse and it’s really quite horrible. Nevertheless, the surroundings were very cool, and the side of the valley which the abbey faced formed a sort of natural amphitheatre facing the stage which had been set up, making it an ideal place to hold an outdoor play!

I have to admit that whilst I had heard of the play, I had no idea what it was about so I mostly went along for something to do rather than a burning desire to be entertained. Entertained I was though, the theatre company were quite wonderful and the play was brilliantly funny (if a little predicatable and contrived). But the play itself wasn’t the only thing that went on, we also brought along a really nice picnic with us. Salads, stuffed olives, fresh bread, brie, pate, for some reason reindeer meat, and some other delicacies which all made for a very tasty meal. It was great fun to hang out, share food and chat away with everyone, even though half the people were uni friends of Will and Harriet so I didn’t really know them.

So now the excitement of today is over I have cleaning the house and generally preparing for wednesday to look forward to. On wednesday I’m hosting our small group meeting, which will be a barbeque social. That means I really need to weed the garden and make it look vaguely presentable outside! Not quite sure what I’m going to do with the two bikes at the moment either, I’m not even sure I have the key to unlock one of them so I guess it will just have to stay there…

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