Friday, 10 September 2010

This blog has moved....

Hello all kind and regular readers.

Just a quick note to say that I have acquired a new premises for the blog and that we have moved. For the next few weeks I'll be relocating everything from here gradually over to the new site and setting up shop properly there.

What I am hoping for from the new site is a bit of rapid expansion. More blogs, obviously and hopefully, should some people wish to, we should have some guest bloggers on there too.

The future's bright. The future is

Thank you all for your support and comments. I hope this continues over on the new site.

You can follow me on Twitter at @MexicanPenguin.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Flashbulb Memory

When studying Psychology in Sixth Form (shocker, I know) we were asked to recall where we were when Princess Diana was killed in the car crash in Paris. I remember quite vividly that I was only a kid. I'd got up at about 7am and the living room was dark, as the huge curtains we used to have were still drawn. I turned the telly on, expecting cartoons yet I was greeted with unfortunately tragic news reports.

Fast forward to the 11th of September 2001, and it is highly likely that you remember where you were and what you were doing when the Twin Towers were brought down. I remember seeing it on the telly with my Mum and ex-girlfriend. I even remember that my Dad was painting our back yard, listening to Radio City. I can still smell the gloss on our pebble dashed back wall.

This then is a phenomenon called Flashbulb Memory. Events that everyone seems to be able to recall vividly where they were, what they were doing and how they felt. The assassination of JFK. The day John Lennon got shot. The Moon landing. Elvis' death. I could go on.

I appreciate that this goes on, and while this blog is already ripe for being set up as lecture notes, I'm not going to go into reasons why this miraculous memory madness occurs. I could dress it up and say that I don't want this to become an educational blog, but quite frankly, I have told you all everything that I remember about it, and what you'd be getting is recycled Wikipedia shite that has more than likely been tampered with by an acne riddled teenager who is bored out of his skull. If you're interested, Google it at your own leisure.

What I will say though is that I have started to become quite sceptical about the motives behind the researching of this phenomenon. Every single event that has been researched for this psychological occurrence seems to have some sort of controversy pinned to it. JFK's assassination. John Lennon's
shooting. Margaret Thatcher getting in to office.

I imagine that the initial research could have came about when a group of people were sat down in a room, slapped about a bit, and forced to recall where they were the day JFK was killed. When all the suspects came back with answers so vivid, including who they were with, the smells of their surroundings and what undies they had on, the police officers all gave up their jobs and became psychologists.

The Moon Landing is probably included in examples of this phenomenon for more sinister reasons than you would expect too. I'll set the scene. You're in America. A gang of REM fans in balaclavas are kidnapping a number of employees from NASA. They pile them up in a room, asking questions about that day. They've got pictures of their families gagged and tied up and they're expecting them to say "Okay, I was in a studio behind a camera!"

So the next time someone asks you where you were the day the Twin Towers were brought down, don't answer anything until your solicitor arrives.

Monday, 5 July 2010

From Walton to West Derby

Inevitably for most, there comes a time in your life when you have to fly the nest and set up on your own. As someone said to me not so long ago, there comes a point when there are simply too many adults living in the one house. You're bound to annoy each other for one reason or another so it's time to set up our own house.

Now I've technically done the moving out thing before. Except last time, there wasn't really much to do with regards to setting up, and we were probably spent more money on crates of Carling than the rent. Fuzzy times. Part time work and a sore liver saw me return to my parents house, tail tucked neatly between my legs.

But now I'm doing it grown up style, as I don't work nights in a call centre any more. As Stan Lee nearly once famously said, 'with proper relocation comes proper responsibility.'

I've got so much more to consider now. First off, I've got about a million things I've got to change my address for. Bank and phone bill are just the start.

Then there's sorting out your council tax and electoral roll stuff. If it weren't for the Internet, I wouldn't have the foggiest where to start with those.

Then there's the Internet. It's probably a sign of the times when I'm considering the TV and broadband packages as bills and not luxuries, but how could I leave all of you high and dry with regards to you all reading my random shit chatting?

There's the furniture to consider, as well as bedding and curtains. Tea towels, bath towels, hand towels. I could go on, but it's actually starting to look like my list for stuff I need to do in order to have a new flat to live in without any repercussions.

After going through a lot of this stuff, I've decided there is one massive difference between the last time I moved out and now. And yes, there's the obvious stuff such as the employment situation, the difference in age and the fact that I'm no longer going to be living in Walton.

But I'm talking about the difference in my approach to the whole thing. Last time, it was a trip to Ikea for a few knives and forks, some cups and glasses and a child's night light to put outside the bedroom to signify that we were not to be disturbed. Now I'm looking at the whole thing, thinking of what we need to live there in a reasonably comfortable manner and how we can prevent people knocking saying that we owe them £10,000 in telly licence fees.

And this is because there is a female involved. I'm certain that if I was moving out on my own then the beanbag and PC chair in my room would represent a sufficient seating solution for two people. And I definitely wouldn't be asking for measurements so we can sort some curtains out. But now, I have bought bar stools for the breakfast bar. We're sorting a nice couch out. Curtains are a must for the bedroom. And I'm pretty sure I heard the word cushions the other day.

What's more, I'm actually taking a step back and checking out my finances and seeing whether we'd be able to do it comfortably. "The man from Del Barclays. He say yes!"

So there it is. When you're moving out and you want to do it properly, make sure there is a woman involved at some point. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Food Nazis

We've all heard the term 'he's a growing lad.' I've had it bandied about while I've been piling down someone elses tea once mine had gone, but those days are behind me now.

It would be fairly obvious to say that the older kids get, the more they will probably need to eat. Of course there are exceptions, such as fat kids or fussy kids, but for this rant we shall use an example of a child that eats fairly normally.

All of this stuff is obvious. Many people have had kids and have fed them a sufficient amount of food to maintain their vitality, if you will.

So why then do restaurants think that they can dictate what point a child has to start eating adult sizes?

If you look at a menu in a restaurant, you will see that there is, more often than not, a separate section for children's food. Usually consisting of chicken nuggets, small pizzas and fish fingers.

Now I take issue with a number of things with these menus in mind. First of all, why do they think kids eat nothing but balls of chicken covered in breadcrumbs, similarly set up sticks of fish and cheese and tomato bread? It's not very often you will see a kids menu that deviates much from those three examples. Perhaps the odd spaghetti based meal.

Secondly, how do they decide the age limit? Surely this should be up to the guardians of these children, as most other things are. Is there a legal responsibility to impose such rules on parents taking their children out for something nice to eat?

And with these rules, I'm fairly sure the flexibility of them is not bending both ways. If you had a child who could stomach the majority of an adult size meal, you could order one with no issues whatsoever. Yet, if you (say, a 25 year old adult) didn't feel like you could down a whole pizza and chips alone, and you took it upon yourself to order a kids size chicken nuggets meal then it would be a completely different story. And even if there was no problem, you definitely know that the waitress will be glaring at you as some tight fisted con-artist.

And last, and by no means least, the drinks you get with them. Fair enough if they're offering a small apple juice or orange juice. Even a glass of Coke. But why would you serve an evil drink like Fruit Shoot with it?

People are paying you good money to serve them food and give them a pleasant break from the monotone of working life. Why serve up a liquid dose of cocaine designed specifically for kids? They go nuts off it. That's not a break.

So next time I go to a restaurant, I'm going to wreck the waitress' head and order my nephews two mixed grills and me and the missus can have dinky pizzas and bottled up tablets.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Day 2010

It's election day. Not that you need me to tell you. The telly, papers and the gimps who are knocking on houses won't let you forget. The whole thing is a circus and I'm over the moon it's finished tomorrow.

Regardless of the result tonight, it is going to be ruthless for the forseeable future. Certainly everyone is, at some point, going to be pissed off by our elected government over the next 5 years because of the cuts they will have to make. Unless you're minted, and Cameron gets in of course.

So, with the telly all booked up tonight with Election 2010 stuff, why not introduce a change of the voting system? Everyone has been saying it has been hyped up X-Factor style, so why not just take the plunge and sell off the TV rights? The polling stations were rammed earlier, so there is an increased interest in it all. Then you could have it as a Saturday night programme in the weeks leading up to the big day, rather than televising all the shite they've been polluting our news and adverts with? And you could vote from the comfort of your couch instead of standing behind a slightly smelly fella with his headphones on listening to Celine Dion. True story.

The TV rights and money raised through telephone voting (let's be honest, people paid to make Joe McElderry win, so in theory they might actually pay for something that matters) would certainly throw a few bob in to the government's money jar. This in turn could potentially decrease the cuts they would have to make. And in all honesty, if it saved a good few people's jobs, then it would be worth it.

And then I'd know specifically what time to avoid the telly to not be subjected to it.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Temporary Work

Having recently lost my job, I have found myself placed in temporary work for the first time in my life. This is okay. The money is okay. The work is okay. It's all okay.

But having experienced this now for two weeks, you don't feel as secure as you would do in a normal long term role. Which is quite ironic, having just been made redundant from one! You get that feeling like it could all come to an end anytime soon and you'll be out on your arse looking for another job, like the poor soul you are.

So having felt these unfamiliar and somewhat unsettling thoughts, I can't help but liken it to the employment equivalent of a one night stand.

Yes, a steady job is the much better option, with much better long term benefits. But the quick fix, temporary sessions can add that little bit of experience to your CV. Sometimes it is experience you may not get in a long term period of employment. You may be asked to do the stuff they wouldn't ask their permanent staff, or even stuff they are tired of doing theirselves.

Then there is the part where you wonder where this fast and furious fun will lead you in the near future. Will you have impressed enough to earn yourself that little bit longer, or will it be a case of "I'm not looking for someone to fill that gap in a permanent position."

But that being said, there is always the possibility of that special scenario where someone spots the qualities and characteristics that they feel they could put up with for a couple of years. Until someone else with an 'extensive resume' comes along that is.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Now this may come as a surprise to you, but I write a blog. Yes, I do, I swear. And as a result of this blog writing, I've actually taken the time out the past couple of days to have a look through some other blogs knocking about to see what all the fuss is indeed about.

Except I haven't really looked at other blogs. You try and Google some funny blogs and see if you can find something with a slight bit of an aim on writing topical and humerous quips day in, day out? I bloody well can't!

You go to the top of this page right now, and click on 'Next Blog.' I'll give you about 3/1 on it being about Jesus. Or photography. Or a photographer named Jesus. Of Warrington.

The only one I've found is an absolute cracker and I have spent a good few days (don't worry, I read slow) reading some of the entries and pissing myself. But other than that, they're all hiding! I have Googled high and low and I still cannot find some other funnies to amuse myself.

So I can only apologise in being the only blog like mine I can actually find on the internet! If this be the case, then I shall strive to do my best in keeping up my onslaught on all things everyday!