almostwitty: (monkey)

Father’s Day is around the corner, which means the same lovely but predictable parade of gifts including photo frames, neck ties, and I’m sure, somewhere, a photo frame made of discarded neckties. It’s not that we don’t love our glitter glue and macaroni art gifts or wacky golf tees in a commemorative box; on the contrary, I’ll treasure each one lovingly handed to me by The Kid. It’s just that in an era where technology means we’re more likely to FaceTime our children then actually spend time with them face to face, moments of creating and teaching can get lost.

So fantastically, Pizza Express invited the Geek Family to their new swanky restaurant off Gloucester Road (converted from a ye olde bank) near the Natural History Museum, to learn about the mystical (well, mystical to me) art of making pizzas, getting just a little messy together and making some cool memories.

The jovial host showed us to our pizza making station – which was covered in flour and dough – and showed everyone how to knead the dough and flip it about, which is much easier and more fun to do when you have lots of wide space (instead of a tiny galley of a kitchen) and you don’t need to mop up yourself afterwards!

After the kids (including the father-aged ones) had rolled, kneaded and flipped the dough to a round shape (or a square shape if you’re a Dad who wants to show off and be all distinctive), it was time for the kids to choose their own ingredients. Our kid was a bit Gwyneth Paltrow minimalist in his choice of ingredients, and opted for tomato sauce – this is in itself a bit of an innovation, since he usually prefers his pizza plainer than Antarctica. Sadly for the kid, he was not given the option of adding gummi worms to his pizza. Myself, on the other hand, chose EVERY INGREDIENT AVAILABLE. So thus the kid’s minimalist pizza and Dad’s square pepperoni-ham-mushroom-olives-artichockes-cheesy feast pizza both went into the oven.

Fifteen minutes later, piping hot and lovely pizzas emerged from the oven and this is where I learnt why square pizzas are not the world’s best idea (they tend to burn at the edges). Nevertheless, we all tucked in with gusto and The Kid ate a whole pizza by himself, which hardly ever happens.

We all had a fun time, had some great memories and made some new friends – hello to fellow Dad, blogger, Twitterer and Whovian Lee Carey!

Thanks to Pizza Express for inviting us, and they have a special Father’s Day offer on – Give Dad The Gift Of Pizza’ – where any starter and a main can be purchased from £11.95 this Father’s Day weekend.

Mirrored from Family v2.1.

almostwitty: (monkey)

These days, what with my busy hectic lifestyle (of working and parenting and erm…), I don’t really have time to keep up with cultural trends, and whatnot. We barely manage to go to the cinema to see a non-kids film once a year, and that’s a birthday treat that costs £100 once you factor in babysitting costs. So most of popular culture tends to pass me by.

Then thanks to BBC Radio One‘s Big Weekend, I stumbled upon Tilted by Christine and the Queens (released in the UK in 2016). The silkiest bit of French electro-pop I’ve heard since Desireless’s Voyage Voyage and pretty much everything about it is awesome. The simple but stark video, the dance moves, the insistent beat and you can’t ever really beat having a foreign language whispered seductively into your ears. Even the slightly bizarre English lyrics (“I’m doing my face With magic marker”) can’t stop it just being absolutely amazing.

Then I got a bit obsessed with the track. I played it ten times in a day. I spent a morning devouring wikipedia and Spotify while simultaneously getting butterflies in my stomach… which was dead annoying when I realised I had to give a work presentation later. With that dance move running through my head throughout.

Any hoodles, it’s awesome. Give it a listen.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

If, like us, your household has been sucked into endlessly shopping at Sainsbury’s in an attempt to get more golden Lego trading cards, then you’ll also have amassed a huge collection of duplicates.

In case you want to swap one of your duplicates, for one of our duplicates, then here’s our list of Lego trading card duplicates. Please comment below if you want to do a swap!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
Imagine you've never heard of Doctor who before but you walk into a room with 25 people earnestly discussing the best season, the best regeneration and the worst theme tune. All the injokes. All the received wisdom.

Tonight I walked into a room of 25 dieting men who like football and it went as well as can be expected. Two blokes got injuries from a "casual kick about", and I'm supposed to buy shin guards and the whole kit before next weeks game.

On the other hand, the group was as welcoming as they could reasonably expect to be and nobody outright laughed at my inability to get the ball.

Quick question: who is depies?
almostwitty: (Default)
In our drive to reduce our possessions and be able to see things like walls and floors in our tiny 2-bed flat, it was gently pointed out to me that I might want to consider getting rid of my precious collection of Doctor Who Magazines. Which have been left to rest covered in dust in a distant corner of the living room.

However, unable to countenance such a vile piece of vandalism without at least the possibility of reading them again someday, I looked on the Internet to see if any kind souls had digitised them.

And lo and behold, a Russian site has PDF copies of what appears to be every single edition of Doctor Who Magazine to the end of 2016! Perfecto!

Except, foolishly, I wasn't browsing in incognito mode. Thus by the end of the day, every banner advert was kindly telling me that I could find Hot! Russian! Ladies! through their website. I wonder what their stance on the UNIT dating controversy would be...

Next step: to tackle the six boxes of Empire magazine which have been preserved in a distant cupboard...
almostwitty: (Default)
Just realised that when I walk along corridors, I am unconsciously looking for power points... ?
almostwitty: (monkey)

In our drive to reduce our possessions and be able to see things like walls and floors in our tiny 2-bed flat, it was gently pointed out to me that I might want to consider getting rid of my precious collection of Doctor Who Magazines. Which have been left to rest covered in dust in a distant corner of the living room.

However, unable to countenance such a vile piece of vandalism without at least the possibility of reading them again someday, I looked on the Internet to see if any kind souls had digitised them.

And lo and behold, a Russian site has PDF copies of what appears to be every single edition of Doctor Who Magazine to the end of 2016! Perfecto!

Except, foolishly, I wasn’t browsing in incognito mode. Thus by the end of the day, every banner advert was kindly telling me that I could find Hot! Russian! Ladies! through their website. I wonder what their stance on the UNIT dating controversy would be…

Next step: to tackle the six boxes of Empire magazine which have been preserved in a distant cupboard…

(It should be noted that I haven’t seen a new episode of Doctor Who for two years… The delights of Hell Bent taunt me still…)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
I'm registered for a few casting extras sites. Suddenly, they're ALL on the lookout for a Chinese man :D


To star in a Lynx/Axe deodorant commercial.


oh.

(Someone really ought to tell them that Chinese men don't generally need deodorant)
almostwitty: (Default)
One trailer for the sequel to Blade Runner, and I remember just how obsessed I got with that film and everything about it. The beauty. The soundtrack. The music. Everything.



Following up on that, I thought, great, I'll dig out my 5-disc Blu Ray. Then I realised most people would just go look at it on Netflix and be bored after a bit. Which is ... Disappointing.
almostwitty: (Default)
and has anyone figured out an easy way to post here *and* elsewhere simultaneously?
almostwitty: (monkey)

Like me, you may one day be filled with the need to access Hong Kong TV channels via the Internet, and figure that buying a TVPad 4 is the best way to go about it.

But then when you hook it up to the Internet and your TV, you’ll see … this …

tvpad4

and wonder how on earth to get it to do what you bought it for. Especially if you don’t read Chinese.

Alas, I don’t read Chinese either but have figured out (through some handy friends!) the following:

if you imagine the grid of 9 icons like a telephone keypad ie:



789
456
123

Then:
7 is Live TV from Hong Kong (featuring TVB, ATV and CCTV channels)
8 is TV from Hong Kong with a 12-hour delay
3 is playback of live TV channels, channels for 3 days
2 is Hong Kong TV, a relative newcomer to television in Hong Kong
1 is on-demand TV
4 is on-demand movies

But do explore the other icons on the other screens. There’s YouTube and some movies apps that let you watch English-language Hollywood movies.

(Thanks to the folks at Facebook’s British-born-Chinese forum for their help!)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Back in the day, I remembered when games would take at least five minutes to load via cassette on my little 8-bit computer, and I distinctly remember maintaining a list of how long each game would take to load because … well, even then I’d prefer to maintain lists of things. Mind you, back then, I had all the time in the world.

Fast forward about thirty years, and after a fun-but-tiring day of running around with The Kid, I wanted to settle down with a little Grand Theft Auto V action. It had already been installed, so surely it was just a case of putting the disc in, and playing, right?

Err…. no. The dreaded auto-update screen popped up – one you can’t get out of. So I thought “Fine, it needs a quick update, it won’t take long…”

TWO HOURS LATER, and it had finally updated. Just in time for me to go to bed.

And game companies wonder why gaming on the iPad is so appealing to most demographics…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)
I used to devour apocalyptic literature – I read a lot of it as a kid, watched many a movie about the end of the world, and even wrote essays about it at University. Back then, it never used to phase me or scare me as a topic – I’d have a kind of horrified fascination with it, and during the height of the Cold War, the End could potentially be no more than four minutes away for the United Kingdom.
Fast forward to now, though, and I’m living in West London and a married father to a kid who really couldn’t even begin to fend for himself for another seven years… so oddly that puts a totally different spin on things. I’m not so much horribly fascinated by “black” topics so much as just horrified and actively repelled by them – so that’s another thing that changes in the transition to fatherhood…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

As you can imagine, living and driving in London does mean your car will get the odd scratch, and my basic hatchback is no exception:

The scratches on my car before the paint was added

Fortunately, Chipex offered to let me test their simple three-step car paint touch-up system, and despite being an utter novice when it comes to car maintenance and care, I thought I’d give it a try.

It comes in one simple pack, which contains quite a few tools, cloths, gloves and lotions of various sizes, but it’s all simply explained.

The Chipex toolkit

A quick check of the instructions, and I dove right into painting the multiple scratches away:

Painting away...

 

After twenty mintues of painting, twenty minutes of drying, and a quick buff, the results were amazing. The scratches no longer stuck out on the car, and you’d have to peer quite hard to see the scratches:

The car scratchers after applying Chipex

I could have spent more time on the buffing to even out the finish, but I was very satisfied with the results I got, considering it took less than an hour!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

According to a YouGov survey, they’re all examples of the “widest range of sexual behaviours”, in an article for BBC News.

Wait till I tell the wife this…

Captured on 1 Dec 2014

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So… for the last 29 days I’ve been attempting to grow a moustach, for plenty of reasons:

– to raise awareness of men’s health (testicular cancer, or mental health issues)
– because I would like to have a proper moustache that I can stroke thoughtfully when musing on things or with menace… Something like:

Tony Leung in Infernal Affairs Tony Leung in Infernal Affairs

Here’s the progress so far:

My growing moustache My growing moustache

If you’d like to see the full result – or if you feel like being generous and donating to the #movember charity, then please please do so via http://mobro.co/almostwitty

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So, you may not know (and if you don’t know, I’m amazed, it’s usually the third most interesting fact about myself I unselfishly volunteer without being asked), but I was a performer at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, which was roughly two years ago yesterday.

So, anyway, in a way of a minor celebration/salute, I decided to put on the key musical track And I Will Kiss today in the office. At the key drumbeat points, my body somehow remembered that I was meant to DO something, but my conscious brain couldn’t actually remember what.

That didn’t seem to matter to my body, which KNEW it had to do something and so … well, if you’d been staring at me in the office, you’d have seen my arms and elbows raising from the keyboard for one second in an extra-ordinarily unchoreographed movement, because darn it the arms and elbow just KNEW it had to do something…

Will the body ever forget these movements from 2012 ?!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Red clip on a lanyardI was idly browsing through the website for the forthcoming Nine Worlds convention (no idea – I only know four of the guests listed!), when I came across their Communications Preferences System.

This basically means you can opt to wear a different coloured clip on your convention lanyard if you don’t want anyone to start a conversation with you (red), or if you want only people you know to start a conversation with you (yellow). Which would make sense for some people with particular social issues.

However, there’s a different colour for those who want to indicate that they’re happy for other people to initiate a conversation with them. Logically, I’d have thought that colour would be green for go – after all, cars move on green, pedestrians move on green, green is the logical action colour for most human endeavours.

But nope, it’s blue. I wonder why that is?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

So it’s been twenty-five years since the mass shootings of civilians by soldiers from the Chinese Army. 25 years since I saw the strange footage on the news. 25 years since I was naively asked by my secondary school science teacher if I knew anyone in Beijing.

You’d have thought that having TV cameras and eyewitness accounts would be enough to ensure that some version of the truth would remain.

But no. The Chinese government doesn’t really talk about it, while keeping a very close eye on who goes into Tiananmen Square today. There’s a constant “disagreement” over whether those protesting were students hoping to change the way China worked, or counter-revolutionaries determined to overthrow the state. However, you’d have thought there was a general consensus that those protesting wanted to change *something*.

Unless you’re this Tumblr blogger, who asserts that the students were “resisting their country ‘modernizing’ in the age of Reagan, the godfather of neoliberalism”. Which is an explanation that seems to come so out-of-left-field for me, it beggars belief.

So much so that I had to blog about it, without actually having anything to say. Which is very bloggy, really.

Mirrored from almost witty.

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