Monthly Archives: August 2011

SUIT UP

I remember, as a child, saying I never wanted a job where I had to wear a suit. I mean, I also said I wanted to be a dinosaur, that one day I would make my millions and I would never work in an office – so you can see I was full of a lot of shit.

But I never did want to wear a suit. So it comes to me being however old I am and owning Just One Suit. I own this suit as a result of the dole – I was offered an interview, I had nothing to wear for the interview, the benefits service offered me vouchers to buy suitable clothing from Burton in order to not look like as much of a scummer at my interview.

Yeah, benefits are clearly shit and serve no purpose. Idiots.

Anyway, if it wasn’t for this I would not have a suit. I have trousers, left over from when I bought some for £4 because they were £4. I have a suit jacket from Primark that cost, I believe, £12. It doesn’t match, but that didn’t stop me cobbling it together in some fashion. But it’s not a suit.

So with me not ever really having one and not ever really wanting or needing to wear one, I still find it odd that I can peruse eBay for ages looking at suits, being tempted to buy them and hovering over the bid button for ages. There is no good reason I should buy one, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting.

Suppose that’s less the suit’s fault, more the fault of my insanity.

I still want a zoot suit.

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I have a diseeeeeeeease

I’ve had a headache for months now, so being the masculine male from the future who is terrible at taking his own advice he happily doles out to everyone else (i.e. “go to the doctor then”) I ignored it. Then I got bored of ignoring it and instead looked up the symptoms. Annoyingly, it was the first thing that popped up on Wikipedia.

Yes, I’m aware self-diagnosis on the internet is one of the worst things you can do, but when there’s a list of all the possible causes of what you think you have (yes kids, it’s a tension headache. Sigh) and you genuinely, without even exaggerating a little bit, tick every box, it’s probably safe to Occam’s Razor the shit out of it.

  • Stress: usually occurs in the afternoon after long stressful work hours or after an exam
    – While my job isn’t stressful when compared to a frontline surgeon, a war bastard or a stress tester, it does have its share of pressured work. Also things outside of work contribute to this, though have tailed off recently.
  • Sleep deprivation
    – Yup.
  • Uncomfortable stressful position and/or bad posture
    – Naturally. I like to slump, unfortunately. And I sleep in the stupidest ways possible – ways my body refuses to bend when I’m awake. And I often have a bad back or neck or shoulders or all of the above.
  • Irregular meal time (hunger)
    – Yep, though not so much through the week, fortunately. I’m often hungry though, but that’s because I am a greed machine.
  • Eyestrain
    – Games journalist who works on computers all day before going home to sit in front of a computer all evening, sometimes with games on the TV. So, yeah… maybe.
  • Caffeine withdrawal
    – I get caffeine withdrawal between sips of coffee. I need to cold turkey this shit.
  • Dehydration
    – I tried to combat this today by drinking two bottles of water. It just made me wee a lot, which was really annoying. Normally I am the least-hydrated person alive, though.

So in these circumstances I do think it’s fair – right, even – to believe what the internet tells me about my life-threatening headache (that isn’t life-threatening though does appear to be somewhat chronic).

Painkiller addiction here we come!

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Stop judging me for being efficient, buttmunches

Let’s make it the triple-mention it always deserved to be: I now have a name for the practice of shoving rolled-up tissue paper up my nose, which I do whenever I am ill and the snot factory is working overtime. Thank you then, Futurama, for giving me the name of ‘tissue walrus’. See here an image of Fry, someone I still identify with quite a lot, followed by an image of me, someone I identify with a little less, for what I’m on about:

Alright, so the image of me isn’t quite a walrus so much as it is a shitton of tissue up my nose, but shut up. The picture I was thinking of is printed on some kind of ‘paper’ substance, whatever that is, so there’s no way I’m bothering to put it into digital forms.

Anyway, I’ve always been laughed at by whoever has seen me adopting the tissue walrus to help get myself through a snotty situation, and I’ve never really understood why. I do it in my own home (or at friends houses, if they’re lucky) and it’s not like I leave the house looking like that. It saves tissue, it stops you from irritating your nose with constant wiping and it makes it easier in that you don’t have to pay attention to your hosing schnozz.

It makes sense.

It’s like how – when cooking for myself – I tend to put as much as I possibly can in one pan to cook all at once. If I’m having mashed potatoes, for example, I’ll put veg and stuff in with the potatoes to boil, then mash it all up into one. Yes, it looks like monkey vomit, but it tastes good and it’s easier. Why you gotta get all up in my grill about it?

Basically, leave me alone when I do awesome, time-saving things like these just because you think I look like a tit, or my food doesn’t look amazing, or I’ll end up killing someone or whatever other petty reason you come up with. If you don’t, I’ll leave my discarded tusks secreted around your house.

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Nuts: the definitive review (7/10)

Some people try to tell you nuts are superfoods. They’re not, they’re just snack-foods that are sometimes used as ingredients in other dishes/concoctions. Nothing super about that – loads of stuff works in the same way. Arrogant nut-loving bastards.

Anyway, in my characteristic bold fashion, I will now review and rate some types of nut. This is because of two things: one, I just ate some nuts, and b, I can’t be arsed thinking of anything to write because my soul hurts from this hangover.

Hazelnuts
Classic, if not bland, the hazelnut was discovered in 1982 by William H Macy (not the actor). It has since been blamed for many atrocities, such as the Hazelnut Massacre of 1979, where 34,000 indigenous tribespeople lost their lives in Bognor. 7/10

Walnuts
Get fucked. 7/10

Cashews
Commonly referred to, by me mainly, as the king of nuts. The cashew actually has properties beyond merely being delicious and eminently snackable – it actually cures AIDS. I’ve been eating them a long time and no AIDS here. Well, apart from a little bit – but everyone has a little bit of AIDS. It’s harmless. 7/10

Almonds
Weird bastards, these. Half of them decide to be creamy and delicious (though make you feel sick after a few too many) and the other half are sentient creatures from beneath the ocean, capable of operating short-haul tankers – though only if it’s on behalf of an independent, family-owned business. Otherwise they just don’t function. 7/10

Macadamias
Obnoxiously expensive, though that’s mainly down to the fact they’re made from real gold, with hints of smack rubbed into them for good measure. Cashews are still better, and Macadamias know this. 7/10

Clementines
Not nuts, technically, but they belong in every list just to prove to the world their dominance. As if they have to prove anything. 7/10

I hope you all learned something useful today. Also, there are more nuts out there, like the pecan, for example, or the lesser-spotted (and man-eating) gimpleberry nut. Stay safe out there, people.

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Warhammer, or: how I failed to be THAT kind of nerd

I’ve been playing Space Marine as I’m reviewing that badboy, and it’s had me thinking about how I failed to truly nail the nerdgasm that is Warhammer, Games Workshop and all that shit as a child.

See, I played Space Hulk on the Amiga and it made me happy. Why wouldn’t it? Giant armoured men shooting and punching Aliens rip-off Genestealers in the future, all sci-fi’d up the joint. Marvellous. I wanted in. It was based on a board game, for which I asked and – for a Christmas present – received.

That was where it all went wrong, really. While the tiny, paintable figures were cool as shit (and if you argue otherwise, you are a moron or a girl), I did not have the artistic inclination to make them look anything other than ‘slathered in yellow’, ‘doused in green’ or ‘saturated with red’. So that aspect – the obsessive, detailed painting – was out.

But that’s not the most important part – no, the most important part is the game, yeah? Yeah, apparently. But the fucking rules. Jesus. I mean, I still remember them because I studied them quite hard to try and figure out how to play the thing, but I always resorted to just rolling dice for moves and going “PEOW PEWO DUKKA DUKKA DUKKA” for combat, rather than spending Command Points (I think it cost one to turn 90 degrees). Eff that ess, as my tiny child’s brain said.

Thing is, my most favouritest videogame, UFO: Enemy Unknown, works on this exact movement points-based principle. Obviously I need animation and sound and mouse clicks to make me give a shit. Hmm.

Anyway, yeah, I also played ‘proper’ Warhammer 40k once, and it shocked me even more. It was a case of measuring movement – you were allowed to go five inches forwards, or something. It was honestly quite baffling at the time.

I also failed at enjoying any visit to Games Workshop ever, as I just didn’t fit in with this brand of nerd. Also the people who worked there (the one in Meadowhall, near the big Boots, next to the exit) were damn rude.

So I am sorry, nerdlingers. I never got into that whole thing, try as I might. I’m still one of you though – just in a different way. And if you have any tiny, (well-)painted men you want to donate my way I’d be happy to stand them next to my other stupid toys I have at work.

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The art of one-upping, by the USA

I’m getting pretty sick and tired of the US and its constant need to one-up the UK. They have to go bigger with everything – roads, cars, foods, peoples, buildingses, more foods, hammocks. I could go on.

Taps. Beans. Other, smaller hammocks (still bigger than ours). Hands. Hams. Ratio of wars to number of years existed as a country. I’ll stop now.

Anyway, turns out they can’t just let us have our ‘one month of rain in two hours’ here in Bournemouth, and have to one-up us by having potentially one of the worst hurricanes to hit the northeastern seaboard since the early 90s/mid-80s. “Ooooh, look at us, we have to one-up you Limeys all the time”. Gits.

Say hello to what you get in place of me doing a blog yesterday: it’s the Ian looking at the news and deciding whatever’s the main headline will get blogged about hour! N.B. Not actually an hour, more a ten minutes or so.

I wasn’t ever really that scared about wind-based bad weather, for two very good reasons. One, I’m English, so I’ve never seen anything really strong – apart from the time I saw a truck on the motorway swerve a bit because of a potent gust. My life flashed before my eyes that day (it didn’t). B, I hadn’t seen this image, taken in the aftermath of the US tornado that ravaged part of the country earlier this year:

Yeah, fuck wind.

Dan, or Mike, or someone like that: explain to me how wood can pierce concrete like that. I feel this is something one of you should know.

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In appreciation of: USB memory sticks

Sometimes, still, even in Space Year 2011, I get a disparaging remark or a funny look when I reveal I always carry a USB memory stick on my keys. Some people seem to still think this fact means they can laugh derisively in my direction, or that they can mock me for my geekish, technophile tendencies. They think this, when in actual fact they are just big fat shitty Luddites and are, in fact fact, massive bellends who need to go away and die.

I’m protective of my USB memory stick’s honour, you see.

But it was worse many years ago – back when some friends carried floppy discs around in their bags at all times. I was one of the earlier adopters among chums, picking up a whopping 256MB stick that could be used to transport around important university documentation. Like lists of the pubs we were going to, and stuff like that.

I remember back then being embarrassed about having it – not exactly showing it off unless it was the right company (right = male, nerd). Even though it made perfect sense to have one.

Over the years the storage size has grown and the mild embarrassment has faded into just expectation. Why wouldn’t I carry one? It houses templates for work, a couple of “DEFINITELY LEGALLY” acquired movies and a few other bits and bobs that can – and have – come in handy in a tight, computer-based situation.

But the best thing about USB memory sticks, apart from the fact I deem them worthy of writing a whole blog about, is that without them a man wouldn’t have come into CEX while I was working and proudly boast to a bewildered woman next to him that the USB stick he was wearing around his neck “holds two five six em bee”.

“What does that mean?” She asked.

“Well, it’s like, better em bees, innit. You can get jigger lo bytes too.”

I laughed, she laughed, he laughed because he was too dim to do anything else, fun was had by all. A great day.

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