Friday 27th March 2009

I really want to preview the weekend but it has been so long since I last posted an entry that I need to go into all the details of last weekend first. To begin with, Friday night, I watched Role Models. The avi file had been lying around on my hard drive for a while and in fact I think it may have even initially been on my laptop before I transferred it over. It was great to have my Friday night movie slot back where it belonged. Although of course, it would be the last time I would have the desktop as the only option. It was not what I expected, it was good fun but different, particularly the ending. Dave had said that the little black kid (translation – African American boy) was the star of the show and he was in parts. I think however, the movie is fantastic based on Paul Kudd’s performance alone. He outshines his co-star Sean William Scott by a mile. He really has moved from supporting actor you might kind of remember to now taking centre stage. The role playing game at the centre of the game (LAIRE) was interesting to say the least. So you can imagine my surprise when I spotted a similar dressed bloke walking into Reading town centre last Saturday night. My comment to Pav was, “I didn’t know there were super heroes in Reading?!”. Now, this was some ultra size came as it was dragging along the road. It would not be the first time I would see super heroes that evening (although I wished one had been good enough to just fly me away from the evening). We met up in Monks in Reading, although the original time had been around 7.30pm, we did not get there until near 8pm. I was shocked to discover that Pav, Em and even little old me were checked for identification to verify we were over the age of eighteen. As you can imagine this did not go down well with Miss 25th birthday Poole. Mainly because she had no form of identification on her and started to complain that she would have to ask all her friends inside waiting for her to leave. I could tell the bouncer was not in the mood for an argument, so early onto his shift on a Saturday night, so just let us in. I mean I know I have baby face features but there is no where on this universe that I look seventeen! Come on people! Or was it just a case that the police are having a crack down on under-age drinking and therefore the door staff, I mean ‘security’ have to just check everybody for peace of mind. I do not know about that. If Ryan Buckle had been out with me, he would have said, “Take it as a compliment!”. I beg to differ. As usual with these kind of nights out (not much planned and practically everything played by ear) we had to wait a while for the party to get started. Em was not happy that many people were out to celebrate her birthday but as usual it was just negative thoughts on her part. Em arrived soon after with Pete and then Sarah arrived with James. A little while later there was Kev with housemate José and finally but never the least important, Div and Nige. We then decided what to do with our night. We decided to head to Revolutions as we had not been there a while. I think it was sometime before Christmas I was last there. It was a decision that would haunt us for the rest of the evening. Sarah and James were waiting for other friends and we said our goodbyes before heading out of Monks down the road. Nige was not feeling too good and headed home. While in the queue for Revolutions (well that is a bit of a strange statement because there was no queue when we got there but we were held outside by the bouncer letting a lot of people back out to have a smoke. In the window, Pav was first to notice the chocolate fountain. Div and Emily’s eyes both lit up and they were not on a mission for some chocolate covered strawberries. It looked like a private party from where I was standing but as usual I thought I better just keep quiet. Do not get in the way of ladies and their chocolate (particularly theses ladies). So we eventually got in and paid for the privilege, Div and Emily, as expected headed straight for the fountain, by passing a rope partition (although there was no security on hand as perhaps there should have been). As if breaking into a private party was not bad enough, Div then went and smashed the fountain, so the chocolate flew everywhere (covering both their dresses, among the table and window). Girls as they do when such disaster strikes, disappeared into into the toilets giggling. Although I did not see the next part of the story, it has been reported that the moment they came out of the toilets, the head bouncer was waiting with a girl. It had been her engagement party which Div and Em had just gate crashed. There was no time for debate, they were being thrown out and in my opinion rightly so. I did not see them marshaled out by the doorman but heard Mel tell me a bit later that Div and Em had been thrown out. Perfect, we had just ordered a round of drinks. Emily being a tough negotiator that she is, arranged to have us all refunded our entrance fees and we were out. Not the start to my Saturday night I had in mind and I was thankful that the next night out is not for some time. Re-grouping outside, we decided to head to Saruka. As we left I noticed the staff inside hurriedly cleaning the table and resetting the chocolate fountain. I suppose I felt more sorry for the couple who were celebrating their engagement. So we headed to Sakura (the same location for our Christmas night out back on Saturday 20th December). The main draw here is the dance floor which lights up. It was busy as you would expect but even though I had thought Pete would be the life and soul of the party. It was for the most part at Monks but in the club, José came out with the killer lines. You just need to read some of these lines with a strong Portuguese accent. There is now a pole on the side of the dance floor and as you can imagine, the girls were trying to get us guys to have a little go, Div even pushing me in the direction of the thing and have to grab onto it for balance. When some young blonde girls did arrive, the words from Kev’s housemate were, “Oh very nice…”. We finally got back to Pav and Em’s place at around 2.30am and I crashed out to sleep soon afterwards.

Chocolate Anyone?

On Monday morning, I got an e-mail with the subject, “Chocolate anyone?” and when I looked at the contents, it was just a link to our intranet page. This was the screenshot I took and subsequently sent to Pav on GMail with the subject “This will 100% officially kill YOU!”. He in turn forwarded to both the party gatecrashers and I only got a one line response from Div: “I never want to see a chocolate fountain again in my life!” The lack of response from Emily should say it all really. On Sunday I left Reading around 8.30am and needed to wash my car first. It was a top priority the car was very filthy, even by my high standards. I stopped at the BP garage, Swanbridge in Newbury and got the car washed, although it was not a great job. I then came back to the flat, dropped off my things and then headed back out, it was gym time. I booked my Vi1 Health Assessment for next Sunday (i.e. tomorrow at midday). It will be exactly a year since I first joined a gym and I never thought a year on I would have kept the discipline of going four times a week without fail. The only times I have not been able to go are holidays. After a good session in the gym, I headed to Sainsbury’s to get a few bits and bobs before headed back to the flat. I then had a good few hours to myself before my family would arrive at around 5pm. I had a really good Mother’s Day. My family spent a few hours at the flat, providing me with food and sorting out a few things around the flat. Then just before 7pm, we headed down the road to the Gurkha Chef. It had been recommended by two colleagues at work and as they spoke so highly of it, I thought I would take a look. It was well worth going for. Do not let the cosy, almost home like surroundings fool you. The service is first class and the food was just delicious. By the time we got back to my flat it was gone 9pm and everyone was in a rush to get back to Wycombe. However, my sister Samantha decided to stay for the night and we watched MOTD2 together before finally bringing to a close a very hectic weekend. That brings my update from last weekend to an end and it took much longer than I expected to write up. So now I can concentrate on this week, the final full weekend of March. Tuesdays and Fridays have become important days for me. Both being non-gym days they give me the extra hour or so of the evening to myself. It may not sound like much but it gives me an extra sense of freedom. Tuesday this week was a productive evening on many levels. I got the Powerline kit I had ordered from eBay and was ready to get my network sorted. Although it has taken me until Saturday evening to actually sort out the setup so there is no more switching or moving bits and pieces around. We are all set. I have seen the need for a media centre in the lounge for sometime and although back home in Wycombe this purpose is served by the XBox, I did not want to remove it from the lounge and bring it to Newbury. I wanted to setup my own media centre, preferably with a PC backbone rather than the gaming console. While at Div and Nige’s engagement party on 14th March, I happened to discover that birthday boy Rav had been given a XBOX 360 and now had a redundant limited edition crystal XBOX. I was more than willing to take it off his hands. I collected it last Saturday but it was not until Tuesday I was able to ftp in and upload the latest T3CH build of XBMC (code name Atlantis). The XBox still has the original hard drive but has been modded with the EvoxM 1.6 chip. It includes a host of applications, emulators and games trainers. However, I was only interested in the XBox Media Centre. In fact it contained the original version 1.0, which I remember loading onto my XBOX way back in August 2004 (modded in late August but due to time constraints, not ‘blogged’ until September) when it was first modded with a lot of help from MightyMouse.

Xbox Media Centre

I downloaded and loaded on the BBC iPlayer script and also the latest version of the YouTube script (3.4). Both worked straight away and I have kept the original XBMC (before it was rebranded XBMC) on there for nostalgic reasons. There was only one music video (or file) for that matter on the drive. Come Into My World by Kylie. I had to throw a music video in there myself and choice something I had recently downloaded. Can’t Get Over by September. The beauty of being able to watch both Chuck and Heroes in the lounge was fantastic. Watching television shows on the PC is great and does have numerous benefits, but recently I have always found myself distracted or re-sizing the window down from full screen to check Facebook, or read a blog, or check my e-mail or check who is online on MSN. Then I lose the story in the show and have to either go back a few minutes or just meddle through regardless. This would not be a problem if I was watching a show that does not require a brain to follow the plot, e.g. Desperate Housewives, but all the shows I watch are filled with subplots and intrigued, but then I would not have it any other way. Plus, having television shows on the television (the place they were designed to be seen) makes senses and gives me a break from the computer screen. As if it was not bad enough that I spend eight hours a day looking at two of them.


Normally I would not be in the car 9.15am on a Wednesday morning but I was and so made the decommission to listen to The Chris Moyles Breakfast (I had originally typed that as Breakfats by mistake but thought I should leave it in for affect) Show. As usual there was more chat than music although I do recall hearing Jai Ho by A.R. Rahman featuring The Pussycat Dolls (I would hear the song again on my drive home). There was a segment on music from Noway so there was only one band they could feature. A-ha, of course but they played The Living Daylights, Touchy and Cry Wolf. There was no room for their greatest hit, Take On Me. I was surprised they did not even play The Sun Always Shines On TV which had been used for the television trailers of Slumdog Millionaire. On Thursday lunch time at approximately 12:30pm, I headed into Newbury town centre (well Northbrook Street, the de facto High Street) and instead of going straight to the Tesco Metro store (as I usually do) I walk into HMV. What song is being played? Only Beat It by MJ and I notice the King Of Pop album for sale for £8.99. I was actually looking for Keri Hilson’s In A Perfect World album, which was released on 24th but could not find it anywhere. Perhaps it will have to be an import job from or One of the reviews on the HMV web site is quite open to admit that he or she downloaded the album when it leaked late last year, rather than bother to support the artist financially. Thought that would be a bit cheeky but seems like HMV are happy to get a customer review, regardless of the channel the reviewer used to obtain their copy. Preparations for Ski 2010 began in earnest on Saturday evening actually (when Sarah, James and Pav started to discuss the idea of a big group holiday for January while we were in Monks). I of course have made it quite clear that I am not going. I am sure the reasons have been mentioned on this blog before but just to make sure there is no confusion. After two winter holidays on the bounce, I am making sure I have a big long relaxing summer holiday next year. This just happens to coincide with the World Cup making it’s first visit to the continent of Africa. While at work the other day, I wrote down a list of television shows I watch on a regular basis. (Shows that are currently airing) The total was seven (eight if you include the recently completed Knight Rider). However, as one show goes another show begins. Greek is back on Monday and I am really looking forward to seeing all my favourite characters once again, after the five month break. (The last show as a Halloween based episode called Hell Week). Series Two was generally very good and I am really hoping that Dale keeps his role as Rusty’s sometime sidekick. I have two problems though, my media drive is desperately running out of space (4gb as I write) plus finding a slot to fit it all in.

Greek Cup

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