I’ve become a Runner

So i’ve become a runner; you may have got this from the title. I’m no Mo Farah or Usain Bolt quite yet (yet), but for the last few weeks i’ve been getting up bright and early before work and gone for a 2 mile-ish run (i say ish as the app i was using was varying from 1.8 to 2.8 miles when i recorded it). I’ve never seen myself as a runner and never enjoyed it but got interested after talking about it to Andy at work and thought i’d give it a bash, all i was waiting for was money to buy the shoes to try, and when i had that i bought the shoes, the iPod Shuffle and a couple of tops and off i went.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect, if i’d like it and even if i’d actually take it seriously. But i enjoy it and i’ve stuck with it, not done it for the last three days as i thought i’d pulled my back (while sat down at work i’ll add) and didn’t want to make it worse but i’ll make up for it on sunday. At the moment i have been running around leeds city centre twice to get to the two miles and on a weekend i’ve been using the side of the river; i did initially use the river on a morning but it’s really creepy at half 5 in the morning so i relocated to the centre.

I was planning to do the Movember 10k run later this month (yes i’m doing movember again – please donate! mobro.co/celchapman) but when i realised where it was located, 5 miles from the centre with no near train station i have decided against it, that and i ran 3.5 clicks (manly measurements) last weekend and that was a bit tough so not sure if i can do 10k just yet.

I know that running is good for you and i’d like to think it’ll do me good and help remove my mild asthma, but we shall see. I’d say anyone mildly interested should give it a bash and see what they think, keep to a schedule and don’t try too hard at the beginning, just go at a pace your comfy with and you’ll be rosey.

Winter is Coming…and you’re going to like it

As the title suggests winter is on it’s way in the UK, and I am personally looking forward to it.  I love winter, I love the cold, I love the picturesque-ness and I love being able to wears layers without feeling like i’m going to turn into Haggis.  It’s a typically british approach to weather “we love out jumpers, tea and log fires” and who can say no to a log fire.  People think i’m daft for knocking the hot weather and the sun, and not looking forward to having to wear sun lotion and possibly develop melanoma.  

Going outside has many a downside during the Summer: wasps, skin burn, being temporarily blinded, sweating, topless men and bugs in general to name a few.  Whereas in winter all the bugs die, men keep they’re clothes on and there’s minimal sun so no sweating, temporal blindness or skin cancer.  

I’ve so far left out one of the biggest upsides to the colder months; duvets.  Who in this land doesn’t prefer to have to be wrapped up in your duvet with it’s double digit tog rating and being as snug as a bug in a rug.  It’s so much nicer than lying on top of the duvet imitating a starfish, unable to sleep whilst a noisy fan whirs from side to side; sharing a bed in this weather also exacerbates both of these extremes too, use the other as a radiator during winter or in summer you want to be as far away as possible because they’re just as warm and sticky as you.  

Winter food is better too: pies, roast dinners, gravy and best of all Christmas Dinner – or as it should be named ‘The Dinner of Kings’ – it’s the best meal of the year, there is a guy that has it everyday but this just spoils it.  It’s similar to wearing a suit everyday, because the times you need to wear one: weddings, funerals, James Bond missions and such like becomes too normal and the excitement of of it has gone.  

And my final note is about getting ready for Winter, which is easy compared to summer.  No need for as much body care or pampering for you people who do these things, just crack on some thick trousers and a hoody and no one will notice you haven’t shaved your legs for days or been so careful about keeping that beach body you worked so hard on for those 4 days of sunshine we had oh so long ago.  All I need to do to become Winter Ready is let me beard grow out and put on a hat – done.  

All i’m saying is enjoy winter, enjoy the winter food, enjoy the frosty mornings and enjoy wearing gloves and breathing into your hands, keep it warm with some mulled wine, go on you know you want to, you’re a brit, it’s built into us to enjoy this – and queues, we love a good queue.  

Twerk, verb and Selfie, noun

Twerking: ‘Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance’ – just wait till they catch their daughters twerking to this song

Selfie: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website’ – occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary

So as you may be able to tell some new words were added to the Oxford Dictionary Online recently, the new verb and noun on the street are ‘Twerk’ and ‘Selfie’. From the description twerking sounds similar to what it is (even if I did have to google it first to know what it was) but selfie sounds much more official that it is in actuality, one point being that your typical ‘selfier’ (if that’s correct) won’t realise you can use ‘one’ to refer to yourself; or be that oneself.

But to twerk I think, sounds much worse than it actually is, I thought it was a drug reference, shows how ‘down’ with todays youth I am, as it sounds similar to ‘teenth’ being the slang term for a small amount of meth or ‘tweaking/tweeking’ (don’t think meth heads mind the apelling) being slang for taking meth, don’t worry i’m not an addict I just watch Breaking Bad. In my opinion twerking does sound like a movement of sort, but more the recoiling from snorting a substance and pulling a face, not dancing like a hussy with daddy issues.

But yes these terms have been deemed worthy of the dictionary, which only requirement consist of needing to be popular enough in todays English language, as apposed to being accepted as proper terminology by some board of directors who sit about discussing words, sipping tea, eating buttery crumpets and use words such as poppycock and scoundrel, all the while filling in crosswords blindfolded (which is what I imagined) i’m assuming i’m wrong, although no one has proved me wrong.

I’m fine with the English language evolving as it should, not really sure how oneself would have got on with olde english in Willy Shakespeare’s day, it looks very similar to me of that in the Discworld series – many more E’s and beating around the bush rather than saying it as it is, a bit like Chinese where you can’t just say Uncle or Auntie but instead describe that it’s an Uncle on your dad’s side and directly related. I just think there needs to be a line of what is deemed worthy as we all know the general public are morons, they buy products from JML, watch X Factor and twerk along to it in their jeggings drinking WKD’s; these people need someone to ‘man the fort’ as it were and tell them right from wrong, even Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted ‘what the heck, is wrong with my daughter’ after Miley’s performance at the VMA’s with i’m who I am assuming was beetlejuice. If everything popular was just accepted as the norm’ then we really are in a sad way and the world in a few years to come will sacrifice itself out of pure delirium and for the benefit of mankind.

lol or surely should be l.o.l. as it’s an acronym for ‘laugh out loud’ and not ‘lots of love’ was added previously but i’m ok with this. lol, abbreviation – laughing out loud; laugh out loud (used chiefly in electronic communication to draw attention to a joke or amusing statement), or to express amusement – I love how you said ‘coffee is not my cup of tea’. LOL! that is quite a poor example of using lol but you get the point and i’m sure anyone reading this isn’t scratching their head confuddled by what i just typed; and if they are they will not have a bloody clue what I have said this entire piece.

I just think someone needs to manage the 1000+ words a year added and stop the riff raff sneaking in the back entrance to Oxford’s book of words. I’m not good with words myself and hence write (not right) these pieces to improve my English, I do use some slang and phrases etc (there’s one right there) that aren’t deemed true English but it’s generally to make light of something or mock in a passive-aggressive/hiding behind the keyboard kind of way. But I do enjoy words, typography, proper grammar spelling and getting those things right; and I love a good ‘verbing’ of a word. But IMO (in my opnion) Selfie and Twerk need to jump in their ‘roflcopter’ and fly off to a distant land and take their cousins with them or where do we stop, next year it’ll be some other pitiful excuse for a word describing something else that lowers societies standards. Some of my less harmful suggestions are: iPhonography – to photograph with one’s portable telecommunications device. Flixting – to binge on movies and/or TV box sets through online streaming services. Grapple – to absorb and immerse oneself in the world of electronic devices and purchasing the newest device regardless of being necessary or not.

CRICKET! and a tad of quiditch

CRICKET!

Yes that’s right it’s ashes time, well tomorrow is the last day of the series but still. So this is the first time i’ve truly followed the ashes in all honesty, i’ve always meant to never quite kept up till this time around. Admittedly part of that is me forgetting part way through it being on but also it’s due to BBC sport’s website being as easy to navigate as a rubix cube while blindfolded falling off a cliff fighting a bear.

It’s an utter mess, you type in ‘ashes’ and you get reems of shit you don’t want, and no links in the menu bar are related to the ashes scores directly. You only find it via google (sometimes) or when they feel like sticking it on the home page; also is it just me who couldn’t find when the next test was on until it was the day before and mentioned somewhere else by someone else.

A lot of people find cricket boring such as Jimmy Carr ‘we have test cricket that goes on for days, then it was reduced to one day cricket and also T20 cricket, hopefully one day its reduced to nil nil cricket were no fucker plays cricket cos it’s fucking boring’. The theme tune does make it all sound a lot more dramatic (you’ll know it when you hear it, starts with a broken cow bell) and yeah it can be slow for many hours and even days but it really isn’t, all it takes is 2 seconds, one bowler to play a good ball and one batter to cock up and you have a wicket, potentially game changing.

You could also say test cricket is similar to Quiditch (stay with me) because they can both end quickly or can last a lot longer (see where i’m going?) in cricket you could potentially do all four innings (two per side if you’re confused) in a day or two, but it does usually last all five allocated days; yes Quiditch can last a few hours or even minutes but it’s fictional and incredibly un-believeable – who’d get a kid with glasses to look for a tiny golden ball – so get off my back.
But back in the real world, cricket is a gentleman’s sport, you hear the odd expletive from the players, but these aren’t usually aimed at the opposition, more in frustration, and off the pitch they’ll all get the drinks in together (beer and nuts this time not tea and digestives) whereas off the pitch footballers just screw each other’s wives and fight in the street.

The commentary is more interesting too, you get off topic conversations for a few minutes and then a cheer and excitement for a minute or two, just yesterday Tuffers (Phil Tuffnell) was a little late to getting back in the box as he’d drifted off for a nap for a few minutes was funny to listen to though; what a cushty life.

Just watch or listen to tomorrows final day at The Oval (if it’s not rained off), and once you understand what’s going on. Also you’ll know who the Australian captain is, Michael Clarke, as he’s the only one who doesn’t answer a question properly just claims ‘the boys are fired up and looking forward to getting out there’ it’s like he’s been media trained or something.

How I Would Run The Country

So in the last few months of news there’s been a lot of talk about benefits being capped, MP wages rising and corporation tax etc etc.  Now everyone has an opinion on this whether you like it or not or whether you care or not; you’ll instantly feel one way or another when hearing or reading the varied news reports.

I personally am split with the capping of benefits and bedroom tax because on one hand you hear of families who have no intention of ever working and are 3rd and even 4th generation unemployed and over that time have learned how to work the benefit system and can be earning more than a working family with the same number of people under a roof but in a better financial situation; that i think is very wrong.  I don’t think anyone on benefits who has no clear attempt at working should have any form of luxury in their life, it’s this mentality that gives the benefits system a bad name, sucks it dry and when someone actually needs help they are treat like the scum of the earth (i’ve experienced it and it’s horrible).

At the same time i don’t agree with the bedroom tax (can’t remember it’s real name but i don’t anyone knows it’s real name except the people who wrote the bill).  To put it simply people on any form of benefit who have spare bedrooms have their benefits reduced as they should be living in a smaller home with no room to spare; because we all know moving is the easiest thing in the world and there’s plenty of housing just lying around waiting for under-privileged families/people to move in.  People have spare bedrooms for a number of reasons: their child could be a soldier and only be in the country 6 months a year, a member of the household could be disabled and require a room to keep all the equipment required to make their life liveable or someone has left to go to university and all of a sudden theres a spare bedroom; are they expected to then move houses because someone has moved out, that’s ridiculous.  It may surprise you to know that the UK pay out more in state pensions than benefits anyway, and these pensions go to pretty much anyone, even rich people who don’t need it; maybe look at not giving pensions to people who have over a certain amount in the bank at retirement age.

Now while all this is going on, the independent board for controlling MPs wages and expenses (started because the greedy bastards were charging for moats and drawbridges of their castles in Oxford) have stated that MPs need a raise to around £72,000 p/a as a starting salary, from around £65,000.  Now that is a shit load of money.  Yes they work and live in London, yes they have to buy two pricey ill-fitting suits to wear forever and yes they are trying to run the country so the stresses and strains of their personal finance being not an issue would help them run the country.  But if they earn so bloody much what the hell do they need expenses for, now i earn around a quarter of that, live on my own in leeds city centre and can cover all living costs and tax etc plus a bit left to chip away at that student overdraft, surely they could easily live on less.  I understand that they are serving the country and that is a big responsibility but as far as i’m concerned, serving the country doesn’t mean having a lavish life and huge wages, not quite “all in this in this together” are we Mr Cameron with your high salary, millionaire wife, inherited deluge of money and smooth forehead.

Although on the other hand the good salary allows for under-privileged MPs to have a chance at being an MP; commonly known as Labour.  For instance if you didn’t get a decent salary as an MP then no one without an outside income could become one, meaning only the countries elite (pfft the pompous out of touch toffs) could afford to become an MP and that wouldn’t work as a system.  But i still think the salary needs to be lower, it’s not the biggest cost to the country but as Tesco (cheap waitrose with a lot more jeggings, fake tan and horse meat for anyone who isn’t sure what that is) would say ‘every little helps’ and would also give a good message to the country of poor hungry families.

I also think that MPs shouldn’t be allowed to be affiliated with other businesses or companies, as some MPs are directors and CEO’s or on the board of director’s of businesses and that makes them bias (such as the blank packaging of cigarettes being denied could be to do with an MP being affiliated with the tobacco company therefore damaging his wage from them) and they won’t be clearly paying full attention to what they’re supposed to be doing, SERVING THE COUNTRY.  And removing this would help towards them being un-bias and would have to live on their MP wage rather than accepting payouts and salaries from other companies; and would actually pay attention to their job.

Now onto education reform and the waste of space and polyester otherwise knows as Michael Gove.  Our education system does need seriously looking at in this country, maybe look towards Finland who have one of the most successful and cheapest education systems in the world, why i hear you cry, because it’s individualised to the student with minimal testing that focuses on how the student learns and how well they are doing and isn’t all about learning a set of useless facts and information to get through an exam.  Our education system leaves no room for creativity, individual learning or alternative methods, for example when i was at school (2002-2007) i hated maths, it was my best subject of the three main ones but i still hated it (i quite enjoy bits of it now and it comes up in the world of TV quite a lot with frames and under/overcranking, slowing footage down by certain percentages etc), the reason was because i never understood the reason behind what we were learning and also the methods forced upon us; i therefore used my own methods to get to the same answers and was punished for it.  I was never praised for having my own method or for not just giving up, but instead when i couldn’t use the method we were meant to use i’d make my own and get to the same answer; maths is just rights and wrongs, the working out isn’t what matters, it’s the result.  And i think our education system and the students themselves need to learn about how each student learns, how they understand things and how to catch their attention.  I didn’t enjoy a single subject at school enough to carry any of them on in real life and therefore this combined with dyslexia lead to a short attention span with subjects i didn’t care for, but Religious Studies took my attention enough to take it at GCSE, i’m interested in other cultures but the main reason was the teacher.  He was enthusiastic, fun and mostly he gave a shit, he made the learning memorable, helped you when you needed and tried to understand why you did what you did.  The way our current system is to force useless facts that are just to get you through the exam, anyone who has gone through school will know that a year later everything they learned was near useless in actual life, we need to be teaching life skills, useful maths, practical Science that can be implemented later in life (and no not crystal meth recipes) and English that makes you understand the language and how to use it properly, please lets abolish text speak, there’s no need for it now that texting is better and costs less.

For bills and public services i would want everything controlled and managed by a responsible government on a non-profit design, like it used to be till it was all sold off by the torries; look at Japan for their train system for god’s sake it’s efficient, cheap and works so well if you are late to work you get a refund and a note to prove why, here you pretty much get slapped each time you step on an over cramped, slow replacement train service that’s 40 minutes late and heading in the wrong direction .  This would mean more transparency, cheaper bills, cheaper trains, cheaper busses and when there is a profit it gets piped back into the service to improve it rather than the hungry pockets of the board of directors.

And last but not least taxes, why do massive businesses and millionaire celebrities get away with millions of pounds of taxes being taken from the UK and other countries, but if we owe even £1 to HMRC they’re on you like a blood hound hunting for your throat.  This is a global thing more than just us but it makes no sense that countries allow money to be shipped around to who charges the least tax without a question.  Why isn’t tax calculated in the country the business is being conducted in, if i was google or apple and made £150million of profit in the UK i’d expect to pay the tax relevant in the UK, and the same for each other country.  I don’t know a hell of a lot about global moneys but surely our country’s bank account wouldn’t be quite so dry if people paid their tax properly.

Baby Joffrey and the life of the Elite

So yesterday the miraculous event happened when some beloved people gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy and all was right in the world.  I personally couldn’t give two flying excrement-stained nappies that this happened but a lot of other people do; you’d think Rafiki was back up on that rock holding a confused SImba in his hands while Elton John sang ‘The Circle of Life’, there are a few things different between the two events but you get the idea.  

I think they should call the baby Joffrey (Game of Thrones reference to all you who haven’t seen it – ‘spoiler alert’ FYI he’s becomes a young king at end of Seasons 1 and he’s a bit of a penis) because that would be an ending to this event that I would enjoy just a little.  I am assuming that if/when he becomes king he doesn’t have a mother in a secret incestious relationship with her brother (who is the king’s real dad) and his dwarf brother is the best character of the show; i’m assuming it won’t happen but it could.  

The way that the media and the general public flock around these events makes me think of how people are transfixed on reality shows and the life of the undeservingly rich and famous.  ‘Will they get back together, will she have her nails done in a new shade of pink, will i finally get a life?’ shows like The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea amongst others depict created reality shows that just show rich morons wonder what to do with their millions and hours of time they don’t need to spend on real-life things such as having a job, paying the bills or buying food.  They make menial tasks and situations look so difficult; as if it takes up your entire life swigging Martini’s and choosing your next outfit from one of your designers for your next date with that guys fitness instructors ex boyfriends dogsitter.  Get a job, buy some clothes, step into reality and stop being a self righteous prick who’s problems are so difficult when daddy’s bath of money can’t just be thrown at it.  

I’m not making a comparison between the fake tan laden arseholes of reality TV and the state-funded royal family but is it really that amazing when a couple get married and have a baby, does it not happen every single day?  Those two seem quite genuine and nice, and actually work, and prince Harry is quite a laugh; maybe the public and media should just get off their back a little and let them get on with their lives.  

But again i’m voting for the name Joffrey, or Simba either one will do; and then christen it catholic with Harry as a godparent, i want to see what Prince Phillip has to say about that.  

So its been a while

Hello Blogosphere,

I’ve not done my ‘weekly’ blog in quite a while now, 2 weeks i believe, i did do the extra one about my past commuting habits but thats not quite the same. The reason it’s been mildly abandoned is a number if things including moving cities, having no internet at the flat yet except on my phone, being busy in Scarborough with work for a week and being struck down with what seemed to be a viral infection for two weeks and now pneumonia; it’s all kicking off.

I have still been paying attention to the news and the usual happenings of the world and making notes of what to write about. There’s alot been going on with Michael Gove being typically Michael Gove and dreadful at his job and seemingly his only qualification for being education minister is that he was once a child at school, Nelson Mandela is ill again, there’s also a lot happening in sport with the ashes starting soon, Wimbledon under way and i’m sure one of the Williams brothers will do well again, and then England and Irish lions are doing well.

But more importantly to myself the Xbox 180 that happened last week is of big important. This is essentially Microsoft reversing their initial ethos of the Xbox One of ‘have to connect to internet every 24 hours and you cant trade/borrow/lend games’. This initially lead to Playstation ‘winning’ E3 by not changing any policies and saying your games are your games, do what you want when you want and honestly even i was tempted to change or at least eventually have both. The Xbone only now needs a connection when setting up (presumably to remove the DRM software) then you don’t need to connect again, which is still not good enough for people without the internet at all but my assumption is in the next wave of the console being built that won’t be necessary as the software is changed at the beginning pre-build.

So that’s all for this week. I’m writing from home now and not on a train so i think i’ll find it more difficult to keep it as regular/irregular as it was before but i shall try my hardest.