Friday 31 December 2010

Cardiff adventure

Yesterday I met up with the lovely Michelle and had a totally wonderful day in the process! There was some pretty evil fog and even more evil 50mph speed limits (on a motorway with no roadworks... wth?!), but I got there in the end! Soon after getting there we exchanged Xmas presents, look at all the cool things she got me:

That's a Mr. Potato Head bath/shower gel, astronaut icecream (it's freeze-dried), a Doctor Who pen with a floating TARDIS, this insanely complicated, yet cool puzzle (it's like the Rubik's cube on steroids!) and an alarm clock made by MENSA that won't stop making noise until you SOLVE A PUZZLE. It's like "Simon Says" and it'll display a sequence of colours and you have to play them back in the same order. Get one wrong and the alarm goes off again and volume gets louder... and the sequence length? You get a choice between 5, 8 or *13* - Yes that's 13 colours you have to remember/play back - Good grief! I suspect I'll have a problem sleeping through that one!!! All some pretty epic gifts, she knows me well! :P

So anyway after a while we headed towards the bay area and the nearby Frankie and Benny's to have a meal. I had a garlic pizza bread and the 12oz BBQ double cheese burger (2 x 6oz burgers) and here's what I looked like when it arrived as well as a close up of it:

My expression says it all really doesn't it? :) Notice the Diet Coke bottle as well, I love Diet Coke out of a bottle (even though they still they gave a glass+ice which I didn't use!) Here's Michelle with her food:

I'm sure she's going to kill me for that second picture (even though I think it's a lovely picture!), but it has to be included because... look at her ketchup... haha do you think I was distracting her a bit there? :) She was trying to send me that photograph above of myself with the burger and we were trying to do it with the "Bump" application. The idea is that you're supposed to both activate it and "bump" your phones together, sending whatever data you've selected. Well the theory sounds really good, but in reality? Don't bother. It took absolutely ages for me to download/install the application (rubbish mobile signal) and then we're both running/connected... and bumping our phones... and nothing. In fact we're smashing them together so hard I was starting to fear for our hardware! We found the sensitivity setting and it would actually bump now, but still no match:

We gave up and I just said to use good ol' Bluetooth and sure enough within 30 seconds we've paired the phones together and she's sent the files. I do think that the idea of Bump is cool... but in reality... just use Bluetooth! :) After we were completely full up we headed into the actual bay area and I took some pictures so I'll let the captions explain these:

View looking out of the bay

Super cool tree!

Me on the Torchwood entrance stone!

Oval basin in Roald Dahl Plass

Michelle with a tree behind her (obviously!)

Wales Millennium Centre

Some funky fountains

I've been to the Torchwood entrance stone before, but this time there was actually a bit of a QUEUE! Other people were already on it, all taking photographs... I bet the Cardiff people must laugh at all us tourits! :) After this we headed to the nearby Starbucks for my FIRST EVER STARBUCKS:

That's me holding a Peppermint Mocha with cream. I had no idea what it was at the time, it just sounded cool and it really was! Except Michelle said it's also only a limited edition one for Xmas so in the event I go back again I'll have to find something new to drink!

Then finally we headed back to the car and Michelle's house before I headed home, but not before the obligatory Car Photo™:

I have no idea what that rainbow is on my face, but it was there on every photo (moved around obviously!), but oh well! :) So yep I headed back home after a lovely day in Wales! Thank you Michelle! :)

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Kindle + Scott Pilgrim = EPIC WIN!

I just found out that Kindle 3 natively supports .cbz comic files so I quickly loaded all 6 volumes of Scott Pilgrim onto it...

Although the above image has been resized, the real thing is really clear and easily readable! (probably helped by the fact the comic itself is actually black and white).


Monday 27 December 2010

Boxing day

I didn't really explain yesterday, but yesterday when I went over my parents for Xmas, as did my brother and our aunt+uncle. Today for the midday meal it was still my parents and brother, but my brother's girlfriend and her mother came over instead. Our aunt and uncle joined us all in the evening though for the evening meal and more games! I'll just do lots of photos again to explain what went on!

Midday meal (turkey pie!)

Playing "Rapidough" (Pictionary, but with playdough)

"Spot the Intro" game, music based and although quite long, it was a lot of fun!

Evening meal

The (yummy) Xmas cake that mum made

Three Hexbug Nano Habitat sets that we bought Dad (with all 6 bugs)

Trainset we bought dad for his birthday now fully assembled

In the evening we played "Thoughts and Crosses" again (see previous entry) and then most people (including me) headed home. Fantastic two days! :)

Sunday 26 December 2010

Xmas day

To sum it up really quickly, I had a fantastic Xmas. Great food, fantastic fmaily and some truely epic gifts! :)

Xmas tree with lots of presents under it!

About to eat, notice the blue theme!

Not really related, but my brother's Darth Vader build-a-bear

To keep with the blue theme, we were all drinking WKD... classy!

Awesome robot USB hub - Thanks Erica!

Epic rubber band powered plane - Thanks Vee!

Playing "Thoughts and Crosses"

Playing "Name Dropping"

Everything I received - How lucky am I?!

As you can see I got a rather good "haul" and the full alphabetical list is: 10-port powered USB hub, 101 Things to do to become a superhero book, Chocolate santa, Chocolate selection box, Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books in one volume), Crazy Frog/Annoying thing towel, Doctor Who hologram maker, Doll House Blu-ray (seasons 1 and 2), Flying saucer sweet IN a flying saucer shell, Grow your own crystals, Harry Potter Hogwarts Lego game, Kinder Egg santa, Kitchen towels, Lebkuchen, Mini deoderant sprays, Mini Kite, Money candles (look like bank notes), Penance DVD, Popping Candy Chocolate Orange, Purple Ronnie game, Race 3000 Lego game, Remote control robot, Robot USB Hub, Rubber band powered plane, Rubik's slide game, Showergel, Socks, Sunflower plant in gel, Sweets, T-Bag series 1 DVDs (80's kids show), Thirty Days has September (book on improving memory), Timecrimes DVD, TinTin volume 3, Town called Eureka DVDs (seasons 1 and 2), Warehouse 13 series 1 DVDs - So yeh... WOW! I feel very fortunate right now! :)

A really good day and the best part is... I get to go back over my parents house again tomorrow for more awesome food/games - Yay! :) Hope everyone else had a great day too!

Saturday 25 December 2010

Pre-Christmas celebrations

On Christmas Eve I spent the evening over Lucy and Andy's and had loads of fun! First of all we exchanged pressies and they got me some really cool things, namely a "101 Things to Do to Become a Superhero (or evil genius)" book (same series as 101 things to do before you die etc!), this cool Doctor Who hologram chamber (it's all done with mirrors, but it looks like the TARDIS or an Adipose is floating in mid air, it's really good!) as well as a cool reomte control robot that required a lot of assembly before use! Check out the robot!

Unfortunately about 5 minutes after having it fully built/running all over the floor/making noises I pulled it towards me and the arm broke off in my hand - EEP! I don't think it was actually me (I'm very careful about plastic toys - Hello expensive Transformers!!!) and I think just a flaw in the plastic, but thankfully it's nothing that couldn't be fixed with a tiny blob of superglue and sure enough it's good as new (as you can see in the picture which was taken after repairing!) :)

Lucy's brother Phil was also there so the 4 of us paired up (Andy and myself vs Lucy and Phil) and played the Cranium game that I'd previously bought Andy for his birthday:

It really looked like Andy and myself were going to win as we were miles ahead... and then Lucy and Phil just came out of nowhere and blitzed past us to victory! Still, even though we lost, it was a lot of fun! :)

After this we broke out the Wii and played some Mario Kart, some Sonic the Hedgehog and even some classic Mario!

Ah 8-bit Mario... :) Although to be completely honest Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo was/will always be my favourite! :) Finally it got to 11pm and I headed off home since it was a bit of a drive and the roads are evil and icy at the moment :(

Finally just wanted to finish this post by showing the personalised card that I was sending out this year (and considering this blog isn't that big most of the people reading this probably already have the real thing!):

I'll probably go back to a coded message again next year, although I intend on making a it a lot easier as only 2 people got the 2009 one (or at least only 2 people were bored/crazy enough to try and work it out!!!) :)

Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday 23 December 2010

Utility keyring

I've got quite a lot of "things" of my keyring (very few of which are actual keys!) and it occurred to me that there are a few things missing, so I bought them:

That's a super powerful LED torch (much brighter than the usual LED keyring torches) which is focusable and the bottom item is a lighter! No I don't smoke and frankly I've got no idea when I'll ever use a lighter... but the ability to make fire seemed like a good idea... you know for all those times when I want to set something on fire... like... erm... never. But hey... who knows! Now I just need to get some lighter fluid to power it... :) Unfortunately this does mean that my "keyring" is now turning into more like Batman's utility belt (in keyring form) so the complete thing now looks like:

Yes I actually lug that lot round with me! Start from the top left and going round clockwise: The new LED torch, Tesco clubcard, keys for work, trolley token, 16Gb Titanium U3 flash drive, Disklok key (steering wheel lock for car), car key, emergency £20 note, Leatherman Micra multitool, a card with my name/email/phone number on it for if it's lost (but obviously not my address!), Tritium glowing light (to find keys), keys for my house and my parents house, hand clip (for whatever reason), Micro SD USB reader (with 8Gb card as well), emergency £5 of coins (5 * £1) and finally the new lighter! PHEW!

Best part is those multi-rings, because I can disconnect/reconnect any item to anywhere else on the chain i.e. for easily handing over car keys to garage or for taking less items etc. Most people just have one of those, but as you can see, I've got 3 :) The only thing I don't have is one of those capsules that opens/floats to the surface so you can retrieve your keys if you drop them in water... I should get one! :)

Pancakes of awesome!

I saw a photo of some "monkey head" pancakes that my friend Angel had made and I'd told her how amazing I thought they looked. However, she decided to outdo her self and showed ne a picture of her latest creation, made just for me:

How cool is that?! Not only does it include OMGWTFBBQ, but there's a Flying Spaghetti Monster too!

Coolest pancakes... EVER!?

Sunday 19 December 2010

Lego nudity

I'm still opening the doors of my Lego advent calendar and on the 17th I got a shower which I thought I was rather random, although frankly the whole calendar has been really random! However, on the 18th I got a naked Santa to go with the shower:

That's so wrong... :(

Saturday 18 December 2010


We finally got some snow!!! And a decent amount too!

It started coming down about 1am and unfortunately stopped around 5am, but it's managed to lay quite a nice layer. Sadly it's not very thick so it'll probably be gone within a day (if that!), but at least there was something more than just the tiny frosting we had before!

Friday 17 December 2010

The coolest stress ball in the world!

Sarah at work has one of those stress ball things, but it's way cooler than your average one and it's also covered in netting (for reasons that'll make sense soon!):

My demoing it

Sarah demoing it properly!

How cool does that look?! My phone camera isn't doing it justice either, it's a really bright pink too!

Thursday 16 December 2010

Spaghetti bake

Whilst I was wondering what to have for dinner this evening I had the ingenious idea to try making pasta bake... with spaghetti! It is technically pasta after all, so why wouldn't it work?! :)

Straight away I hit a problem... how will I stir the sauce in?

I decided to add 2 courgettes to give it more substance

I would have put more cheese on, but that's all all the pre-grated cheese I had

Barely fits on the plate!

No I didn't eat it all (although I did try and managed about 2/3!), but it was really good. The spaghetti sort of clomped together as it cooked, but not in a bad way as it was fully cooked and the courgette's really worked well. The only downside was that the mandolin slicer tried to kill me, but it wasn't anything that a plaster wasn't able to fix! So yeh... spaghetti bake = epic success! :)

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Tyres & tracking

One of my tyres has been looking a bit flat for the last... week :)

It's not actually as bad as it looks because they're low profile tyres and even fully inflated it doesn't look much higher off the ground (front tyre/engine weight), but it's still a lot lower than it should be! The problem was the cut bit which I've arrowed which apparently was a slow puncture.

I went to the nearby tyre place today to ask them to look at it and they confirmed it needed to be replaced and one of the rears was also low so we did some swapping (offside front moved to nearside rear) and then I had a new set of tyres put on the front :) For £90 EACH. Eugh. I also asked them to look at the tracking because I always get this done with new tyres and sure enough it was completely out:

No they weren't literally facing like that (it'd be like driving a clown car!!), but as you can see the top two were facing right and the bottom left is facing left. They've fixed the top ones (I'm front wheel drive so that's the main thing!), but they can't fix the back one, it'll need a new wheel bearing. I've got to do a car service in about a month as well as it's first ever MOT is coming up so I'll get the bearing changed then (and probably a new set of tyres for the rear, until today both rear tyres were originals that came with the car, 2 and half years ago!)

So two hours later and with £202 I drove away, but at least my cars back to full health - Yippee!!

Oh and I recently changed my car headlights. Yes writing a post about tyres was bad enough, but Devin was disappointed there was nothing about my changing my car headlights at the time I changed them so here's me mentioning it... :)

Thursday 9 December 2010

I have super cool light switches!

My electricity company is trying to promote different energy plans that I could switch to that are customised for "me" and to add to this they sent me a sticker sheet:

Stickers for what I hear you say? For my light switches! :) So now I have some ultra cool light switches:

The top row is my upstairs landing and the kitchen and the bottom row is the living room and the computer room. I thought putting the geeky looking one in the computer room made the most sense! :) Nifty eh? :)