Friday, 26 September 2014

Benching 100Kg

Well, I said here I'd smash the 95Kg bench press mark I've been stuck at since June 2013. I thought it'd take 2 months; in a little over 1, I'd managed it.

I had been feeling really weak for the fist few sessions, and I felt exhausted in work. But my manager pointed out that for the sheer amount of time I'm spending exercising I should be eating a LOT more than I was. So I started to pack in the food- the tuna, the beef, the mixed salad- and my energy levels returned. My physique is sharpening up, my strength improved and I've focused in work a little better too.

I also managed to go up one weight in horizontal dumbbell fly, something I'd been stuck on since May 2011. The free weights are very popular, hence the wait.

Finally, the ladies have noticed a bit of a leap in size. In my arms, I mean. Can't complain! I still need to cut out Crazy Caramels, though...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I Don't Know Whether You can See This, But...

I have no phone. I woke up Tuesday morning and my mobile had turned into an inoperable brick. The Xperia P- which has 2 months left on its contract- wouldn't make calls, had no stored texts, no contacts, no internet access and every app had stopped working. This is a SERIOUS ballache, for more reasons than I care to go into here. It's where I store a lot of things that I'm likely to forget, so this malfunction is akin to a veritable lobotomy.

I've been into the Three store on Market St- they want me to take it to the St Anne's branch, which shuts at 6, so I'll have to drop in later this week.

The point I'm making is, if you've tried to contact me and checked on here, I'm not ignoring you. Try tweeting me here.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

New Nightclub Static Launches

New house music club Static opened Saturday 20th Manchester. Headed up by DJs Adam Guy, Nick HusseyJohn Besant and Martyn Russo the club inhabits 18-22 Lloyd St, around the side of the Town Hall, the unit formerly home to Boutique. It's a small but smart venue with a strict door policy, but those who make it in will be treated to fantastic house music, good DJs, beautiful podium dancers and regal d├ęcor.

The launch night, fronted by house music brand Hed Kandi, saw a fair crowd attend. not rammed, but comfortably busy, populated by mostly good-looking people with good attitudes. It also saw a dance-off between myself and another guy who- predictably- I schooled.

The only criticisms I had were that the drinks were dear, even compared to other house music clubs, and that paying for them was hard due to long queues and apparent reception problems with chip and pin machines.

At the moment it looks like it only opens Saturdays, but it wouldn't surprise me if they started a Friday event soon. Stay up to date with their Facebook page.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My musical take on the Scottish Referendum

Any other suggestions?

The United Kingdom is a powerhouse on the world stage. Our athletes rake in medals at the Olympics, and in particular our boxers and martial artists have succeeded brilliantly in recent years- Scots won 7 out of 29 gold medals for Team GB in the 2012 London Olympics. Their whisky industry has a £4 billion turnover. Yet as it stands, the UK is already the 22nd smallest country in the world.

Our armed forces are and always have been one of the best in the world. Losing Scotland would mean losing not a third but HALF of our military might. Don't boot yourself out of NATO, guys. 

Great Britain is stronger together. Please keep it that way.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Absolute drunken hysteria in Newcastle

Went to Geordie Land for a stag do. Started in Florita's bar (recommended)

We had a VIP table booked in House of Smith next door, a smart, classy club featuring stage shows including fire-breathers and a zip-wiring dwarf in a cape. We booked a VIP booth, with table service provided by the lovely Christie

The only downside was drunkenly pouring Woodford Reserve into my eye.

We were (or, more “I was”) too wasted to get into Lap dancing club Blue Velvet, where the doorman told us we'd missed local model / page 3 girl / famous-on-twitter person Chelsea Ferguson

Saturday: we dressed the stag in a gimp suit and took him through the city from pub to pub, parents shielding their children's eyes as we led him through the high streets. We sat him on a park bench next to a tramp, who woke up in a state of paralysed terror, the whole scene making a great photo. We settled in Players, a male-orientated sports bar where short-but-big-boobed girls in Newcastle football tops danced on podiums. The DJ unceremoniously bollocked me over the mic for taking this picture

It took me a second to realise I was the “Cliff Richard” he was referring to, and that everyone in the bar was staring at me. It's not that kind of bar, if you get me. Suffice to say, I did not pull in here.

We sat the stag in the “dentist's chair” and plied him with booze, cream and cranberry juice. He was a warrior and skulled the lot of it.

(Not our stag)

There was a refrigerated metal bar fixed into the floor on supports, coupled with an LCD display. The DJ was challenging people to hang off the bar, testing their grip strength. I managed 1 minute 14, better than some.

We'd scouted out a row of trendy bars for the evening. I went on soft drinks from hereon in as the previous night had hit me hard. We started with Madame Koo

where old-skool dance set the scene, and rolled on to Perdu

where I got stalked by some weird Liza Minnelli lookalike. I recommend Perdu but I was out of steam by the time we got there.

So, Newcastle: the clubs are smart, the people are friendly and the women are damned good-looking. For away legs it's worth trying.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

What Isn't Online?

Instagram and Facebook now have a popular trend in common: #tbt, otherwise known as Throwback Thursday. Each week millions of people will dig out their old pictures to upload to social media and embarrass their friends, relatives, but mostly themselves.

The #tbt trend, however, can be really helpful for encouraging people to upload more than old pictures of themselves. Every piece of contemporary information- every current news topic, every photograph shot today, will more than likely be uploaded to the net within hours of its creation. Older material, however, may not have been and hence wouldn't have been unless someone decides to. Whether it's an old article from a newspaper, a photo, a painting or something shot on VHS-C back in 1998- there could be something in a corner cupboard or attic that might interest or assist someone somewhere in the online world.

The #tbt trend is great for encouraging web users to dig around and find archive material, whether it's Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield playing Joseph in a school play, or Mark Zuckerberg in 2005, describing his new application called “The Facebook”  . (Not that the Zuckerberg video was necessarily attached to the #tbt trend, but you see what I mean.)

The majority of retro finds, like the majority of internet content of any age, won't be particularly important. But it doesn't cost anything to put it out there, and once in a while somebody is going to unearth a gem.

One organisation that has uploaded more than a few gems- an entire goldmine of archive footage- is British Pathe. Their Youtube account has more than 85,000 videos featuring funerals, wars, weddings, disasters and plenty more besides. I know nothing about digitising film reels, but old film footage is a fascinating contribution to the web. History nerds could spend their life on Pathe's Youtube page. Other hoarders of footage may soon follow suit and share what they have.

Why not join me and millions of others in digging out retro material every Thursday? You just don't know what people might want to see...

Monday, 1 September 2014


I want to show you something. It may mean nothing to you… it may not. I don't know. I don't know anymore.
-Ricky Roma (Al Pacino), Glengarry Glen Ross

GGR is one movie you need to see. Al Pacino. Alec Baldwin. Ed Harris, the director guy from The Truman Show. Kevin Spacey. Jonathan Pryce. Jack Lemmon. Alan Arkin, the psychiatrist from Grosse Point Blank. It's a masterpiece in acting.

Likewise, I have no idea myself whether what I'm about to show you will mean anything, but show you I will.

Here's my Ice Bucket Challenge video.

Continuing the Throwback Thursday online trend, I dug out not a picture but a cutting from a university newspaper that I was featured in 11 years ago. This blind date article appeared in Student Direct, the university newspaper. Check out how she graded me!

Celebrity gossip email Popbitch linked to my blog after years of me sending them tidbits. “Kevin Sinfield Playing Joseph” was intriguing enough to get linked up, raking in over 6400 hits, smashing the whole blog past the 300K page view mark. I'm very happy about this. Whether Sinfield MBE himself is equally pleased by it, no word yet. Strangely, a matter of days after this was published, Sinfield announced his retirement from international Rugby. I deny all accusations.

I also went on a stag do to Newcastle. Full post to follow. Like Roma, I don't know any more.