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2005 - A year in review

I found this on Tom's site which he found somewhere else - and thought I'd give it a go for myself: A nice way to wrap up what I've done this year.

1.What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before?
Visit Japan and after nearly two years of trying, eventually become a home owner.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make them because I know I'll intentionally break them.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, not within arms reach anyway!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope, not within arms reach anyway!

5. What countries did you visit?
Austria, Holland, Hungary, Italy & Japan. All thanks to the Coaster Club.
2006 is probably going to be Norway, Germany, Ireland, France and all over the Eastern half of the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
Someone to occupy the other half of the double bed. I could claim a 50% refund with the amount of time it has been unoccupied.

7. What date…

Hyde Park Fair 2005

Those that know me know that I like my coasters and spin rides and here in the UK all the parks close for the Winter so there's a lull in the riding. However, one of the travelling fair owners arranged with Westminster council to set up a fair in Hyde Park for a couple of week over the Christmas period. Wooohooo!!! I can get my adrenaline rush over the otherwise Christmas period. So I escaped work early and headed over to see what ride were there.


The fair was set up along the northern edge of the park and at night it was quite odd seeing a perfectly empty and quiet park to one side and loud music and bright lights on the other.


At one end of the strip was a large spinning mouse coaster, quite short in length and not all that spinny. It was also obvious that there weren't that many people around perhaps because it was the coldest day of the year and temperatures were expecting to hit -10. No problem with queues here!


At the other end of the strip was a booster ride which is basic…

Goodbye 2005

I'm now off to the parents for the holidays so I'm unlikely to be posting anything for the duration. I'm also not going to be accessing my hotmail either.

See you all next year!

Has Santa Fallen on Hard Times?

Last day of work and we decided to visit Borough Market, which is famous for it's very natural and organic wares. Some of the workmates had gone for some highly recommended stilton cheese so we agreed to stay for drinks.

Whilst standing outside The Market Porter pub, the rubbish men (men that collect the rubbish, not men who are just crap) came past in Santa outfits.

I ended buying some wild boar sausages and a christmas pudding, and whilst the former was really nice, the same couldn't be said of the pudding which was disappointed and not worth the money I paid.

Ah well!

Christmas Lights in London

Whilst doing a last bit of Christmas Shopping I thought I'd take in the London lights. The two main shopping streets in the capital are Oxford Street and Regent Street and each year they try to outdo each other with their lights. Regent Street always gets the better media coverage with a minor celebrity switching them on. I think this year it was the amazingly talented Lee Ryan from boyband Blue. Oxford Street on the other hand tends to be more low-key preferring to avoid the razzmatazz. However this street does have the large department stores who put on some good displays themselves.



Here we have Oxford Street which had simple light blue chandelier type patterns at regular intervals down its length. John Lewis had some nice christmas tree patterns but I think Debenhams pipped them with their all red display further down the road.



Regent Street however had much more in-your-face displays themed around the Ice Age 2 movie which I think detracts from the Christmas theme. Who, when th…

JCB Song

Today, something odd happened to the UK pop chart. A song made it to number 1 without the backing of any major record company. I've not paid any attention to the chart for months as it's been full of commercial crap. This song about a young kid being driven about in his dad's digger is a family production that has become successful through word of mouth. Whilst the song is just OK, I really like the animation in the video that can be seen here featuring cameos from Optimus Prime and the A-Team van. The song does pick up towards the end so don't leave it early!

Next week is the Christmas number 1. I doubt this song will still be in the top spot then, as we have the likes of the X-Factor winner and a bunch of choirboys being released tomorrow which is likely to knock them off.

Oh, and for some reason the movie won't play on firefox, open it in IE and it should be fine.

King Kong

A personal commentary by Peter Jackson on the social unliking of black males dating white women, if you're one of those people who reads too much into today's cinema that is. For starters we don't even know for certain if King Kong is male. He could be a she and the film could be a personal commentary by Peter Jackson on the social unliking of lesbianism.

Actually the film is a very good remake of what was a very bad 30s movie, but then what film made in that decade was? The film comes in at a bum-numbing 3 hours and for the first hour you'll be reciting that well known phrase from Jerry Maguire with the letter K added.

"Show me the mon(k)ey"

The story is of a failed director, played straight for once by Jack Black, who heads off to Skull Island (an island not on any map except his) with a poor actress played rather well by Naomi Watts and a screenwriter in a cage played by Adrien "the nose" Brody with the aim of making a film there. On the island the…

Fatboy Slim @ Brixton Academy

Have had a very lazy day today recovering from a superb evening at the Brixton Academy where Fatboy Slim was bringing his Palookavision tour. This had been my first clubbing event for a fair few years and I wasn't sure if I'd last the night, especially given the fact I'd had the work do the night before and no chance to recuperate having to work during the day. Fatboy was headlining for 2 and a half hours but we had another 2 warm acts to go; DJ Yoda and The Scratch Perverts.



DJ Yoda started up first playing from 9-11. A DJ I've been wanting to see for a long time, I'm a big fan of his cut and paste albums. He has won the DMC mixing championships in the past and is now a judge so he definitely has the skills behind the decks. Labelled by DJ Magazine as "one of the DJs you must see before you die" I was finally able to put a tick in that box. It was a real shame that he was the first act up as we got into a fairly empty Brixton Academy and he was playing to…

Our Work Christmas Party

The work night was a good laugh. We got plenty of feedback on our outfits (although one guy did ask why we had come as sperm) and fortunately the venue had no problem with 9 people entering their place with machine guns, although they did have a problem with one of us running around wearing all the balloons they'd "acquired" from the dinner tables.

Unfortunately the live band didn't have the skills to play Intergalactic, preferring to hide behind trumpets and microphones than bust some verbal skills on da mic! However this did not stop us from having backspin battles and trying to do the running man in our wellington boots.

Some of our group didn't have the courage to stay in their outfits for too long changing into their black tie, others left to go to other events, still in their costumes. Myself and few others decided to stick it out and wear the outfits all night.

I think it's fair to say we had a good time!







Can you guess what this is?

I asked my best mate what she wanted for Christmas and it had to be something she'd use. Here's a picture of it wrapped up. Can you figure it out? It's not a spade.
I didn't know which was worse, having to carry the present unwrapped through Sutton High Street on a Friday night or having to carry it wrapped to the party. The police thought it suspicious as they made sure to slow down as they drove past. I'm glad she didn't ask for a sawn off. Oh, and if you haven't figure it out, it's actually a garden fork. You didn't expect me to wrap the prongs individually did you? Certainly one of the most unusual things I've had to wrap but I know the present will be appreciated and used, which is always what I'm most uncertain of when choosing gifts. It's much easier to just ask even if the surprise is taken away.

The Names Bond, Malcolm Henchman Bond

Tomorrow sees our big Christmas work party and our company has booked a huge stately home in Kensington for a "James Bond" themed evening.

Now when you think of James Bond what do you think of? Do you think of smartly dressed people in their black tie outfits sipping Martinis at the bar before gambling at the Roulette wheel. Something like this in fact.



Well that's clearly what the people who have organised the event have thought of. However being the maverick team that we are we've decided to represent the lowly henchmen who are always overlooked in these films. Those guys in the all white workers' overalls, tinted safety goggles, bright construction helmets and white wellington boots. Yep, that's who we're going as. So that's our outfits and armed with toy machine guns we're going to either liven this party up and be talked about the next day or be swiftly turned away from the premises. If it's the latter we have a contingency plan, we'll…

Space Cadets - Is the joke on us?

We have a reality show on at the moment in the UK called Space Cadets where a group of people think they're off in Russia training to be the first civilians in space. In fact they're in a base in Suffolk in a building that has been made to look Russian. Actors are playing all the parts of the trainers and a couple of actors are within the group to remove any doubts of the genuine contestants becoming suspicious they're being set up. Apparently this joke is the reason for watching the show.

There is a lot of talk of this show being cruel, exploitative and maybe the final nail in reality TV shows, after all who is going to believe any shows after this one?

Well it turns out the joke may be on us, one of the "contestants" is also an actor having appeared in a commercial which is still being shown on the telly. The pictures above show Ryan in his cadet outfit and helping Gordon Ramsey with his damaged spleen. The full advert can be seen here

The final episode is tomorr…

MC Jelly Donut

I like MC battles but I have no idea what to make of this guy. A candidate for any 8 Mile sequel perhaps?

Make your own Opie Pic

Opie what?

If the pic hasn't given it away Julian Opie is the artist responsible for the superb Blur portraits seen above. This website explains how to do your own. I'm definitely going to give this a go.

How to do cool pop art portraits - no skill required

[edit]Here's my first attempt. My brother's school picture when he was a mere young thing. Not too bad for half hours work using a graphics tool for the first time. I'll do myself later haha! It doesn't look too bad if I say so myself. I could have done more work on the hair, but I'll do that next time.

Create your own South Park Image

Came across this nice little flash app that allows you to create your South Park avatar. Plenty of options to play with.

As James has kindfully pointed out I forgot the link, try here