Would You Trust These Two Men?
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Who wants some free money?
OK, it’s not totally free, you have to ‘work’ for it . . . well actually, if your fortunate enough, you just have to turn up to work. You don’t even have to arrive there on time.
“Of course profits drive most companies to get the most activity out its employees for the least amount of payment that they can get away with. So it would serve an employee well to get the most amount of payment for the least amount of work. A balance must be struck between employer and employee.”
If you already have a job, GREAT, you’re halfway there . . . just try not to leave your monitor exposed while you read this. Most of us are being overworked and underpaid, so I’m about to reveal my Top 5 Reasons To Get A Job.
5. LUNCH TIME
Some employees are fortunate enough to get paid for their lunch breaks . . . how great is that? You could almost call it a free lunch . . . almost. Others are not so fortunate but it’s okay. If they give you an hour’s lunch, leave 10mins earlier and come back 10mins later. That’s 20mins of free money. Now sit at your desk and settle down for another 10mins . . . that’s 30mins worth of cash you didn’t ‘work’ for . . . welcome to my world.
4. HOME TIME
Simply the best part of the working day. You’ve been looking forward to this since your alarm went off in the morning. Unless you work in a small office environment, or have to clock in and out like Fred Flintstone, you really have no excuse for not slipping out 15 – 30mins early. You aren’t chicken are you? I thought you wanted some of that free money. Get up and stroll out as if you are supposed to be leaving that early.
Always have someone else to blame (who isn’t around) if you get caught by a superior.
3. SICK PAY
There are several reasons to take ‘sick days’ . . . try not to waste them when you are actually sick. Ever notice how so people turn up to work feeling like crap? Coughing all over the place with red eyes and running noses? It’s because they don’t want to waste their sick days in bed with no one to look after them. Take sick days when you’re feeling well, that way you’ll get paid to recover from a hangover, watch TV and play computer games . . . or even go to an interview for a job that pays more and requires you to work less.
Quite similar to sick pay, but offers less spontaneity. I have a higher regard for holiday pay because if you’re fortunate enough, you may actually be going on a holiday. Somewhere nice where the inhabitants don’t understand what you’re saying, and you’re never sure if you received the correct change from the shops. Your employer can’t phone you with annoying questions or ask you to come in for a half day. You’ll return to money in your bank, that’s money you earned by enjoying yourself in another country and not thinking or work at all.
1. Turn Up And Do Nothing
As ‘they’ say, it’s the small things in life. The Number One reason to get a job is that you can get paid a days work and do nothing but . . .
Take A Power Naps – Lean back on your chair, close your eyes and catch up on some of the sleep you lost the night before. Alternatively, fold your arms on top of your desk and use it as a rest for your head.
Make Personal Calls – Not only are you costing the company money by not doing your job, you’re also running up their phone bill.
Have A Snack Break – Isn’t it funny how no one will question you if you’re sitting at your desk eating a choc bar. Only a fool would ask you what you’re up to. Totally acceptable in the workplace.
Check Your Emails – If you don’t know how to do this, you really shouldn’t be working in an office environment . . . get yourself a McDonalds application form and learn the value of an hour.
Chat To Your Friends via Instant Messenger – Compare who’s wasted more of the day; make social arrangements; discuss prior arrangements; moan about having a job; send each other cool web links to check out.
Check Out Cool Web Links – http://islanderoutlook.blogspot.com/
I’m sure you can think of several other ways to escape working while at work (pretend to go to the toilet), there are loads. If you’re really bored, try and calculate how much of your working day you actually spend working. You might be surprised by how much free money you’re stacking up.
“So it would serve an employee well to get the most amount of payment for the least amount of work.”
A to the . . .
Friday, 19 October 2007
When the train pulls into another station (one stop closer to work) you see a crowd of people, and you’ll question how many of them will get onto the train . . . then answer is ALL OF THEM. Apart from the ‘particulars’ everyone has places go . . . or places they should already be.
The bright side is knowing that eventually your stop will come. If you’re quick and strong enough, you’ll be able to get off the train before the doors close and move on.
Is it really that bad?
. . . Most days, yes.
Does it bother me?
. . . Most days, no.
A to the . . .
Thursday, 18 October 2007
"Once you have opened this e-mail, there's no turning back. Below are true
descriptions of zodiac signs, with traits from a book written 35 years ago by an
astrologist predictions. Read your sign, then forward it on, with your zodiac
sign and label on the subject line.
This is real deal, try ignoring it, and the first thing you'll notice is
having a horrible day starting tomorrow morning - and it only gets worse from
- Some Chain Mail 'Author'
Shaking in my boots . . . my day’s been good so far, got free cake . . . IN YOUR FACE!
Do people forward these emails because they are scared, or do they find this sort of thing interesting? Maybe they feel that since they had to receive this trash, then so do you.
Fortunately for myself this chain mail just signs my praises with a highly accurate cold reading:
LEO - The Lion Great talker. Attractive and passionate. Laid back. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at almost anything. Great kisser. Unpredictable.
Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long
relationships. Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find. Good when found. 7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.
All is forgiven.
They blabbed on about some other star signs, but I’m a Leo so why would I care?
As for the 7 years of bad luck . . . pfft.
A to the . . .
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Is it ever really too late to jump onto a fad?
Of course it is! You don’t want to be that weirdo on the bus wearing a bandana and playing with a Tamogotchi. Timing is of course the biggest factor as most of these trends are either seasonal or simply the flavour of the month. Catch on too late and you would have missed ‘the movement’.
Many come and go; they’re typically started by trendsetters like me, or resourceful folks like me. Not one to blow my own trumpet (all the time), but I did introduce you all to the T-Shirt and Jeans combo . . . and that’s still running strong till this day.
I don’t want any of you to look back and think ‘where was I when that took off?’ It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some bandwagons that are moving along nicely . . . feel free to jump on.
I’m an active member of this online community. This is because unlike most of the others out there which are used (and let’s be realistic) by lonely people who want to get laid or have no real friends, Facebook is designed to bring you closer to the people you already know. This is what makes Facebook unique . . . and a reason why a lot of employees are on their final warning.
With Facebook you can’t simple search people and have a good rummage through their profile and pictures. You can only do this if you are added to the individuals ‘friends’ list.
You may also find Facebook useful for finding old friends. The privacy settings on Facebook means that the majority of those singed use their real name and not an online alias such as ‘SEXY_BABE_69’ or ‘WELL_HUNG’.
I’ve found long and short lost classmates and former work colleagues. It’s a worthy bandwagon to jump on . . . and its recent news coverage adds too its prestige.
Television, as we all should know is getting worse by the day. Fortunately there are a few gems out there worthy of attention. The latest one to grab me is Heroes. I’m pretty late in getting involved in this, but I’m glad I have. What a great show so far. I’ve watched the first five episodes of Season One and I’m pretty much hooked. I’m in catch up mode however as they are already onto Season Two.
Heroes has a lot to offer, I can see it running for quite sometime. In a few more years it’ll be one of those shows that used to be great until they ran out of ideas but kept making more episodes. At present it’s an exciting show which meets its potential and raises many questions you’ll want answered.
You can catch up on the fun here:
Expect exciting cliff-hangers, attractive females (well only two so far) and a storyline that’ll keep you up all night . . . ‘just one more episode.’
8 Min Abs
Since the ‘gym’ movement is still in affect, here’s a product I won’t stop raving on about.
OK, I’ve never actually been overweight. But as a man of vanity I must recommend this DVD to one and all who like to stare at themselves in the mirror with a self satisfied grin.
This is pretty much the ULTIMATE abdominal workout. I jumped on this movement sometime last year and saw great results in a month. Three mornings a week I’d wake up extra early pop in the DVD and crunch like never before. At first I struggled (as you do when working new muscles) then eventually it became a satisfying routine.
I haven’t done 8 Min Abs for about five months now, and no word of a lie, my stomach is still toned from way back when. The chocolate and ice cream is doing me no favours . . . but I’m a man so I don’t care. I’ll only wash it down with a pint anyway.
If I wasn’t so lazy and probably look for the DVD.
Corinne Bailey Rae
“And I wonder why it is, I don’t argue like this, with anyone but you
I wonder why it is, I won’t let my guard down, for anyone but you”
– Just Like A Star
Of course the lyrics sound better with her singing . . . that’s why I haven’t copied the whole song. Trust me on this one . . . its money well spent. Or time well spent if like me you’re only a few clicks away . . . I shall say no more on that matter.
Get your swerve on people . . . does ANYONE say that still?
It’s not an order for you all to go out and be shepherded by frowsy pop culture . . . Lord knows I like to be an outcast and make a nuisance of myself also. These are just a few pastimes that’ll help you keep one foot in the bandwagon.
A to the . . .
Saturday, 6 October 2007
She told me she loves flowers, how sweet.
I bought her chocolates just so I could have some.
So selfish I know, but who eats flowers?
Continuously hinting about the new Italian restaurant,
I told her to wave as we passed by.
Chinese it is again,
Who can say no to a buffet?
Apparently pink would look ‘delicious’ on me.
I don’t want to look delicious.
She looks delicious,
And that’s about the only thing she does well.
She’s late for everything! ARGH!!!
I wanted to see the beginning of the movie,
Now the rest won’t make sense.
And why does she get to hold the popcorn I paid for?
Can we at least go back to your place?
My house is always packed.
But she can’t cook.
Chinese it is again?
Even I can get sick of that.
I’ll take her to that nice Italian restaurant,
Sweeten her up with flowers.
I’ll even wear the pink shirt she bought me.
Another glass for the lady.
You always get your way.
I think we should just be friends.
A to the . . .
Friday, 5 October 2007
10,000 page hits . . . quite the mile stone eh? Did this in about 10months, that’s a lot of blogging.
That’s like 1,000 hits a months, and the end of our maths lesson.
Hope you folks have been enjoying my randomness, creative burst, religious and political views. Along with my demented dating tips and techniques, little life stories and the occasional works or art. Jeez, what a treasure I am ey?
Okay . . . It’s not quite 10,000 yet, the exact number as I type is . . . 9,984. I’m sure I’ll pop the cork this weekend. *Cheesy Grin*
Here are my favourite posts from each month of blogging. Feel free to check them out . . . you can even check out my archive and nominate an alternative for post of the month. You might stumble across a little treasure that shouldn’t be buried just because its month has passed.
January: The Fountain
August: More Than Just A Game
It’s been fun . . . let’s see how ’07 rounds off.
A to the . . .
Sunday, 30 September 2007
I strolled into PC World with a no nonsense mentality.
Store Assistant: "Can I help you?"
Ak-Man: "Yeah, my PC won’t switch on, I want to exchange it or get a refund."
You have to give them the options or they’ll take you for a ride and feed you some crap about getting it sent to the manufacturers for repairs.
What’s more annoying is that I had brought the PC to the store a couple of days prior for the same reason. But the PC worked in the store, making me look a little foolish. And it worked when I got home so I was cool. I’d wasted a bit of time, but my PC worked so it was all good.
Even though the PC was faulty and I didn’t do anything to damage it I still had one or two lies under my sleeve. Just in case they wanted to play hardball. Anyone else think up excuses when they return things? You know, just in case . . .
I was ready to play the student role. If things got messy I’d tell them that I’m a student and I have lots of work that needs to be done. I can’t afford to lose my PC for weeks, not even a day; I’ve got essays to write.
I had figured that this was flawless . . . it’s a lie but believable; who’d question it? Fortunately I didn’t have to reduce myself to that.
They actually gave me an upgraded model at no extra cost because the one they sold me was no longer in stock. So now I have an even better PC . . . it switches on, and other fancy stuff like that.
A repair man is coming to my house on Tuesday to fix a computer I no longer have. I really must remember to call them up to cancel that . . . maybe I’ll do that tomorrow . . . maybe.
A to the . . .
Friday, 21 September 2007
It’s been a not so silent war between us for a while now. I guess everyone knew it was coming to an end. Break-ups are always easier when you see them coming. And if you’re like me then it’s likely that you’ll have something lined up before you split. I made no secret of that, everyone knew I had your replacement lined up, I’d pretty much moved on already . . . I was at least planning to. You can act ignorant if you want, but I wasn’t going to let you treat me like that and keep you around.
What was it in particular? There was so much to it, I hate the fact that I chose this, out of all the options I had, look at what I chose. But you were easy, that swayed my decision. Can’t lie, you looked great at first . . . but beauty is only skin deep . . . what would you know about that though?
You went from easy to difficult, difficult to intolerable. I had invested so much in you, so I felt like I had to keep at it, things might change . . . Who was I kidding?
Damn, you’re unreliable, you do as you please and you’re so damned inconsiderate. I have to do everything myself. I showed so much patience with you, you had to notice that, don’t tell me you didn’t at least notice that. I lost so much of my life just waiting for you . . . why does everything take you so long?
My friends and family laughed at me because of you. I never told you that did I? It’s funny that I tried to spare YOUR feelings LOL . . . as if you have any. You’re a cold piece of work do you know that?
I hope they find you hanging out of a skip somewhere, all smashed up. You know I could make that happen right? Not many people have seen my dark side; you’re one of a few. You must have been quite scared a few time times, when I ruffed you up, smacked you around . . . the screaming, the threats. Couldn’t complain if you wanted to . . . LOL . . . who would you tell? Can’t do anything without me. Are you even aware of how much of a burden you were all these years? Didn’t think so.
A lot of people were surprised when I replaced you . . . you weren’t. Didn’t even react when I unplugged you. Heartless till the end.
I don’t mind you staying in my room for now; you can watch us together from that cold shelf.
You’ve been replaced, farewell you dusty old machine.
You want to know about your replacement? . . . I’ll tell you anyway.
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Windows Vista Home Premium
1 GB of RAM
320 GB Hard Disk Drive
15 in 1 Memory Card Reader
19inch Hard Glass Technology; Flat/Widescreen Monitor
A to the . . .
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Somewhere along the line I’ve lost the ability to wrap up and conclude on my thought processes. This makes it quite hard to finish anything I start on. And I’ve been working on quite a lot as you’ll see.
Despite not having as much spare time as I’m used to, I’m still scribbling on scrap paper, typing out findings, theories and reviews. But I get so far and then struggle to wrap it up. It’s kind of like writers block, but with a delayed affect.
Regardless, there’s still a lot to expect from A Darker Shade Of Black
Well I’ve got a bit more free time coming up so I plan to get this blog back on track. As my frequent readers are already aware, I have loads of opinions. I try to take on issues from alternative view points to provide something that’s hopefully refreshing and humorous.
I guess I feel the obligated to display some evidence of my productivity. Here are some titles you can expect to see on here once I remember how to formulate a conclusion.
‘It Must Suck Being Ugly’ – An exploration into pop culture’s obsession with appearances and it’s affects on ‘real’ life.
‘Get Your ‘Jungle Fever’ Vaccination’ – Black men and white women; it’s a timeless debate, but one that’s rarely battled on even ground. I stick my big nose into the issue whilst stepping on everyone’s toes with Timberland boots on.
‘It’s A London Thing’ – So you want to go clubbing in London? There are a few things you need to know first. Ak-Man breaks down the scene and categorises some of the groups to look out for.
‘Snippet’ – As you know I’m writing a book. I guess it’s not too fair to babble on about how great it’s going to be. So I’ll be posting up a snippet of my work so you can all get a taster.
‘Ak-Man’s Guide To Blind Dating . . . Part Two’ – Don’t think I just left you all out there to dry . . . After delving in to the basics in Part One, the blind dating guru breaks down the actual date. A lot of great pointers are up for grabs.
‘Ask A Nigerian Man’ – If you read ‘Ask A Former McDonalds Employee’ then you’ll know what this is all about. If you haven’t, then check it out.
‘The Worst Shade Of Black’ – This piece is actually finished and ready to go . . . but I’m not too sure if I want to post it up. It’s a collection of some of my worst writing attempts while I’ve been blogging. Writing so poor that it never found its way onto this site. Russian roulette with one empty chamber.
See, I’ve been in the lab folks . . . just need to remember how to wrap things up.
A to the . . .
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
The biggest downer to writing a book is . . . writing it of course! Who has the time and effort for that? It was hard enough coming up with an idea worth getting excited about.
I’ve worked on books in the past . . . I have more ideas than books. And of course I think all of my ideas are potential best sellers. But I have a good feeling about this one. Not that it’ll get published and be a best seller, but I actually think I’ll finish it . . . some time this century. I’ve decided to live past one hundred so it’s not a big deal.
Other than realising the mass of this challenge I’ve also come across a few other contributing factors that may hinder my progress.
Work is the biggest hitter. I always feel like working on my book whist at work . . . then by the time I get home it’s a ‘long ting’, just want to lay back and relax. There are of course the weekends, but weekends aren’t book writing days . . . weekends are actually just Friday nights and Saturdays and I’m 23 . . . even if I don’t end the night with my head pressed against a night bus I’ll find myself glued to the TV watching football . . . and then watching football highlights. So time could be made, but you know . . .
Ugh . . . my dusty laptop is another moral killer. I have to turn it on fifteen minutes before I want to use it. So it makes sense that I don’t shut it down, I always put it on standby. But this tin of tuna decides when it wants to turn off . . . and it gives no warning. Just cuts off. At 10pm, with your alarm set for 6am, you’ll question how much you really desire to get that chapter wrapped up . . . it can wait.
No worries though, I should have a new high spec PC on the way. Wide screen monitor, dual core processor, 300+ GB Memory and some other cool stuff that’ll make it great for watching movies and playing games . . . oh, and writing books as well.
I was easily distracted at school, not too much has changed. But I got good grades, give me a break, I said it’s a masterpiece.
I’m sure I’d make more progress on a typewriter . . . no MSN, Facebook or YouTube to distract me. Just me, my typewriter and a snazzy tip-ex pen . . . box of crayons for the illustrations, one picture every ten pages.
A modern day classic.
A to the . . .
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Let me quickly bang this out before the rage fades.
Two weeks ago I parted with hard cash to watch a film called Transformers . . . you may have heard of it? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! It’s been promoted as one of the biggest blockbusters of the year . . . yeah right. Unsaturated pure garbage! This is why I download and watch so many movies on my laptop . . . free of charge.
I’m a tough film critic, no doubt. But I didn’t expect too much from Transformers. Fight scenes and eye pleasing special affects. The movie had both . . . so why was I sat in front of the big screen getting angrier with each scene?
OK, OK! I admit I was drawn into the movie during the first half an hour. There was a good balance of action and humour, hot shots of the leading lady and feint attempts at generating a storyline. Good stuff so far . . .
Add a poor attempt at a plausible storyline, completely unrealistic stunts and interaction between the Transformers and humans, and a whole bunch of irregularities and you have the formula to making Ak-Man furious!
It was Megan Fox’s Oscar award winning performance that silenced my boos and jeers.
Funny man Sam Witwicky can not only out run a Transformer twenty times his size, with intergalactic technological abilities, but he can also get whacked 30ft onto a car and walk off unharmed, he didn’t even wince in pain, shock maybe? . . . I’m far from believing that.
I watch a scene like that and think, ‘what foolishness!’
Allow me to break down another irregularity I observed. After the first 30mins I was actively looking for them, and had no trouble finding them.
OK, this Transformer called Bumblebee can’t speak English due to a technological malfunction. So he uses the car radio to talk. Yeah it’s as stupid as it sounds. He rapidly switches between radio stations picking out words and phrases to generate sentences that just about understandable, if you care about what he has to say. I could get into why this is also unbelievable but I’ll let it slide because of the bigger picture.
The rest of the Transformers speak mighty fine English for a bunch on immigrants . . . also not a problem. We are told that they learnt to speak English from the internet. I don’t even want to know how they got on online r what they were doing, I’ll let it slide.
OK check this . . . Megatron (bad guy Transformer) also speaks PERFECT English!!! Here is the problem. When he came to Earth over a century ago he crash landed and was frozen in ice. There also wasn’t any internet at the time . . .
. . . Please offer your explanations so that I can tear them to pieces.
This movie is filled with numerous acts of nonsense. It’s hard to miss them unless you slept through the film . . . I almost dozed off a few times but was worried that I’d miss a good shot of Miss Fox.
It pains me greatly that most of the people I know actually enjoyed this film. I’m constantly finding new reason to question friendships. Transformers is a movie created to be enjoyed by children and morons. Take from that what you will.
I wish I writ this as soon as I got home . . . but Arsenal were playing and I had to watch the match. Then almost two weeks worth of ‘stuff’ happened so it almost got overlooked.
Please also note that Transformers literally went missing, couldn’t aim despite their advanced technology, and often changed their scale just to bug me. Daylight switched to night time in a car chase that lasted under a minute, nothing in-between, just bright sunshine, then high night. Captain Lennox skidded his motorbike, slid off it then slid on the road, on his back for twenty meters and used his rocket launcher (which he had in hand the whole time) to take a shot at a Transformer. ‘What foolishness’, then nothing happened, he just ran and hid in a side street. What was the point of that completely unrealistic stunt?
Did any of you guys watch and enjoy this movie? Let me know what you liked about it. Megan Fox and the special effects are both off limits as they were both unarguably great features of the movie. Wait for it to be released on DVD so you can be one of the cool people who don’t own it.
A to the . . .
Saturday, 11 August 2007
On August the 11th 2007 the 2007/08 English Premier League kicks off for another highly anticipated season. I can almost smell the freshly cut grass.
As a football junkie, this means so much to me. My passion for the sport takes up a chunky slice of my life. It’s not just a game; it’s so much more than that. Laugh if you want, but it is indeed a way of life. Yeah I said it, being a football fan is a way of life.
There are several reason why I take football so seriously, and alongside those are a number of reasons why I’m so glad that the new season is about to get underway.
When I was four or five years of age, my cousin pulled me to one side and had a word with me. He was kind of like a big brother to me at the time, so I looked up to him, taking his words seriously. He told me that I was growing up and that in due time I’d have to pick a football team to support. He informed me of the three of the biggest clubs at the time; Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, trusting me to make a wise decision. I never knew it then, but that day changed my life.
Since that faithful day I’ve been hardcore Gunner (Arsenal Fan) and I’ve never looked back since.
Before I supported Arsenal I supported football. I used to play football before, during and after school for the duration of my education. This was the main reason my school shoes couldn’t last longer than a month . . . even though I had to continue wearing them for much longer. I played for school teams, church teams and my borough at the time, Hackney. Even back then I appreciated watching football . . . the pace of the game, the anticipation, the intensity, the stars, their skill and talent lured me in with an immense pull.
I’ve been in several arguments due to football and would most definitely fight to defend my team in the most petty of disputes (trust me on this one, I’ve fought for less). You need ammunition in the form of knowledge to shut up a rival fan, so while I watch games I catalogue teams and player stats in my head. Tallying up trophies and club records, I study Arsenal Football Club and run riot on scumbags who try to take shots at my team . . . the audacity.
To me football has always been more than just a sport or game, it represents a dream. In my younger years I wanted to be a professional footballer more than any other of my dream professions. These included being a Rapper, Actor, Professional Wrestler, Kung-Fu master and Secret Government Special Agent . . . I’m currently an Administrator, so when football is on TV I’m glued to the screen.
I have the utmost respect for people who chase their dreams and aim towards the long shot. They earned and deserve to reap its benefits. I wish I pushed harder towards any of my dream jobs . . . hard enough to see how far I could have taken it.
Another great part of the football season is the way it helps me to maximise my week. The added option of being able to sit around watching a match or highlights can help me get the most out of a day. Getting home ‘early’ on a Saturday night isn’t much of a problem when you can grab a cold drink, some snacks and happily sit in front of the TV watching Match Of The Day . . . what more could I ask for?
A dark cloud floats over the next nine months. Arsenal haven’t one a competitive tournament for two seasons, and to make matters worse we’ve also lost our best player, and arguably the best player in the world, Thierry Henry. What can I say in my teams defence if we go another trophy-less season? I’ll have to resort to snuffing rival fans.
You don’t have to love it like I do . . . just know that it’s more than just a game.
A to the . . .
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Why did they do it?
How did they do it?
Crime fiction has always appealed to me. I’m drawn in by the mystery, the ever growing enigma and the thrill of the chase. Time is never on the lead’s side as lives are on the line, the evidence points in too many places, and the body count rises. You root for the good guys, you want good to prevail over evil, and most importantly you want to know who did it. Who did do it?
After seven chapters I am still yet to connect with the main character Tom. There is a little bit of sympathy for him and I like the way he thinks. But his character hasn’t been built up enough for me to be too concerned about his fate, not just yet anyway. At the moment, he’s a bit too ‘normal’, and Kernick reinforces this again and again. At present Tom is neither hero or villain, nor victim. He’s actually a suspect, but we know he had no involvement in the two murders which have already occurred. We also have no strong ties to the victims so there’s a ‘so what’ mentality to the novel thus far.
It sounds like I’m wasting my time reading on doesn’t it? Like I said I’ve been given ample reason to continue. Kernick might not have a strong writing style (in my opinion of course) but he’s got the plot moving at a rapid pace, and only seven chapters deep he’s included quite a few twists already. Some big twists mind you, conceptually he’s original and imaginative. Let’s hope its all going somewhere.
One thing that really annoys me is a twist that amounts to nothing. Simply thrown in for affect and then disregarded when questioned to make way for a more mundane and easy to wrap up storyline. If Kernick cops out I’ll make a mental note not to pick up any of his other novels.
Kernick seems to have also opted for dual lead males. A smart move as it has provided the reader with another side of the story and its answering questions that add to the narrative. I was a bit confused at first, and didn’t like the way this element was implemented, but quickly caught on and rolled with the theme. Tom is still our leading man, but Detective Bolt is nipping away at the lime light chasing strong leads while Tom is still unaware of what’s going on.
The book has a lot of wise cracks and is to be read at a rapid pace. Not as rapid as the movie Crank . . . yet not as slow as The Transporter. The chapters are short bursts of action or information; you won’t find your mind drifting away easily. It’s an easy read . . . not too many head scratching words . . . but no pictures either. I’m sure to finish it.
A to the . . .
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
- Child abuse
- Lazy parenting
- Necessary parenting
The list goes on and on, and strong arguments are made in this verbal tug-of-war. Occasionally an opinion falls into the flammable cipher and everyone gasps in horror at its simplicity. A point of view so straightforward it surely cannot hold any weight. Can it?
“I’m going to beat my kids because my parents told me to.”
Yes, my parents have both directly and indirectly given me a truck load of reasons to beat my future kids if they step out of line. To suggest that I’ll beat my kids because they told me to sounds more or less spineless and cowardly; I won’t dispute that. So maybe if I break it down for you you’ll let me keep my testicles.
First and foremost, this debate doesn’t hold much weight where I’m from; the capital of Africa, home of the brave 419’ers . . . Beyonce sang our national anthem, that makes her one of us. Jay-Z drew water from our wells . . . but I’m not too keen on him so he can stick to the projects.
In Nigeria its common to beat your children when they step out of line, I’d go as far as saying it’s the number one disciplinary option. I got beats, my bro and sister got beats . . . I went to my cousins’ homes and they got beats . . . I’m certain that if I was raised in Nigeria I would have gone to school and got beats.
This was pretty much the norm in my upbringing. I never liked getting whooped, what kid would? Don’t dislike and discipline go hand in hand?
Would it be fair to say that they beat it into my nature? My culture and environment have imposed several other traits on me after all; I believe that this is another one of them.
I’m not eager to beat my kids; surely that’s when the issue slips into child abuse. But now I appreciate the line that was drawn between me and my parents . . . even though I spent the first half of my life loving but not liking them that much. In that sense I’d say they went too far with the discipline. I never looked at my parents as friends, as buddies, as pals. It was always mum and dad; approach with caution.
Beatings at my expense allowed my parents to maintain the parent child relationship. You could of course argue that other disciplinary forms would have been just as effective at instilling fear and respect. Did my parents know at the time that their disciplinary authority over me was dependant on whether the beatings hurt me or not? Surely they were aware that I’d grow older, that one day they’d dish out a beating and I wouldn’t even flinch, much less cry. They knew right?
Of course they did!
I never got a beating that was unjustified, not one I can remember anyway. And unless caught in the act, I was given the opportunity to plead my case (or think up a good lie). Every beating came with a lecture that usually lasted at least one hour; they sat while I stood. My days, the lectures were honestly more painful than the beatings. The older and smarter I grew, the less beats I received and the longer the lectures lasted. Notice the shift?
To further justify my decision to beat my future children I’ll draw attention to another significant ingredient of my upbringing. That ingredient is religion. Raised as a Christian, I went to church on Sundays, read my Bible, and prayed before I went to bed. I often listened in church with tentative ears, hoping (almost praying) to hear loopholes that would benefit my budding mind. None arose, but several suggested that a Christian lifestyle might better fit the parents.
- Honour thy father and mother
- No sex until you’re married
- Spare the rod, spoil the child
God was on my parents’ side. Another reason to begrudge them . . . and He also had several reasons to be angry with me. Three on one . . . you might even say it was five on one (if your brain has warmed up). Not the kind of odds for a kid to get excited about.
Some relief comes in knowing that when I take the parent role God will be on my side if I have to beat my kids. They won’t like it, but hopefully one day, after I've beaten stupidity and rebelliousness out of them, they’ll see me as more of a friend . . . sort of how I see my parents now.
A to the. . .
Friday, 20 July 2007
Girls don’t look the same. Their faces exhibit a scowl that says ‘Don’t even think about it.’ They’re all covered up also . . . I don’t mean to sound like a perve, but isn’t that one of the perks of summer? Rear ending drivers because you’re not watching the road; jumping off a bus at random stops to chase a girl down the street for her number; starring at breasts with you shades on while you ask of her age, and where she lives. Then calling her up that same night because you know she has five other guys trying to ‘link’ her . . . got to scrap the three day rule.
The rain is pouring as I type this. Heavy shower . . . perfect conditions for jet skiing, high diving or surfing. It’s a shame I’m into none of the above or I’d be outside now in my trunks having the time of my life . . . don’t worry about the thunder and lightening.
I’m in desperate need of a heat wave! At least one so that I can get a fresh trim, drop two-hundred press-ups, iron a fresh white t-shirt, bring the white on white trainers out the box and stroll aimlessly along the city’s central (Zinger Tower Burger in hand) looking for ways get myself in trouble.
My highlight of this summer is my trip to Texas. What a great way to kick off the summer. Crazy heat, and not a single cloud in the sky for seven days (ok, there was one rain storm). A wedding, two parties, shopping for about four days, more food than I could meet, family times and I made a bunch of buddies.
So I got off the pane at Heathrow on what would now seem like an out of place sunny day. Didn’t want to be back, but the sun came with me, ‘Let’s rock and roll.’
. . . Well you know how that story goes : (
Don’t need the sun to have fun but it helps, and provides a few more options and far less female scowls!
A to the . . .
Thursday, 19 July 2007
From David McMahon’s authorblog.
So, the Chinese want to use rockets in an attempt at ensuring better weather at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I can’t see a problem with that . . . But I’m told that they don’t get a lot of rainy weather; it’s quite possible that they simply like blowing things up.
This got me thinking as I swung in my chair at work, pondering on ways to waste time . . .
. . . If rockets can make the Olympics a better event, surely they could improve the quality of my living.
The Chinese want to use rockets to scatter rain clouds; I’d use them to scatter . . .
. . . Dirty dishes when I’m in a rush to go out. And if I’m in no particular rush I’d just leave a hand grenade in the sink . . . BOOM! No more dirty dishes . . . and bye bye kitchen. Two birds, one stone.
. . . Monday morning queues at the train station. This comes with a warning, ‘I need to top up my Oyster card, move over or get blown up. I can’t be late for work again or I’ll have to blow up my boss.’
Rockets will also assist my work and social life immensely.
. . . Nothing yells ‘Ak-Man’s in the house!’ louder than rockets.
. . . Want to empress the shirts at your job interview? Fire a rocket at the meeting door and walk through the dust, debris and smoke clouds in your finest attire. Try to get yourself some background music to add effect. ‘Nice to meet you.’
. . . Want to create a perfect moment to give your date that special first kiss? She’ll remember the fireworks for a long time . . . you might even get invited in for ‘coffee’ . . . sweet premarital coffee.
And I definitely find my way to the 2008 Beijing Olympics!
New world records for the hundred meter sprint and high jump. Yeah I could enter a few more competitions, and smash a few more records, but I hear China is a very nice country. The fastest developing country in world history . . . I want to see the sights and put my feet up. Plus the weather will be nice and I’d get to sport my shades.
What would you do with your rockets?
A to the . . .
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
A few scars remained however; pictures still vivid in my head. The nightmares used to feel so real; they’d wake me out of my sleep . . .
“Can I get a cheeseburger with no cheese please?”
So I opened up the forum, and said I’d write up a response to your comments. Here’s what we got . . .
Eugene D. Gibson said...
I’m sure you do Eugene. Same company, different parts of the world. And it’s not exactly a glamorous establishment which entices interesting (or even well-mannered) folk. Just hungry people who want cheap, low quality food . . . and they want it now.
Shrink Wrapped Scream said...
Ahead in more ways than one Carol. I used to dish out a few bits and bobs . . . not to get back at the company though, my case was pure negligence. And if people complained about not having enough fries I used to go over the top and cram in as many fries as the carton could take.
The secret sauce is such a secret that even employees don’t know it. The packets had no info about the ingredients. They used to deliver the boxes in unmarked vehicles.
Surprisingly, not much nuked at all. Only pancakes got the microwave treatment. ZAP! The rest was fried, grilled or toasted.
Sesame seeds on buns? They are holding on for their lives. What purpose do they have except being eaten? Either that or end up getting flicked off a table. I’d cling too.
You’ve got me thinking about the possibility of a Nigerian McDonald’s (not a McDonald’s in Nigeria).
Fried McChicken with McJollof and of course, the nation’s favorite beverage, Supermalt. It’s bedtime after that inexpensive, belly bulging meal deal.
Deborah Gamble said...
I used to just scrunch the top of the bag and hand it over with a compensating smile. I have no time for company policy. “Next”
If there was a rule about Happy Meals I didn’t obey it.
I don’t regret working their either. I regret staying as long as I did though. Four years later and I still get grub from there, and see people I used to work with. I wonder if they’ll ever be released. Some were there before me.
I used to come home stinking of fast food. I also used to bring some home on many occasions. I ate way too much of that trash and never got sick of it. I made my own custom burger; it was called the Ak-Mac (I really did this). It was a heavy duty burger; I was only allowed to make it when certain managers were on shift. Quarter buns, two slabs quarter meat, lettuce, Mac sauce, and some other ingredients that weren’t what they appeared. Hmmmm . . . tasty.
I could do with a McChicken Premiere right now actually. Make it a large meal with a still Fanta and an apple pie.
A to the . . .
Friday, 13 July 2007
Imagine if they did crazy deals like this for crack rocks or weed bags? Becoming a drug addict would have financial benefits. You could get wasted and save money at the same time. You’d in fact be stupid not to take advantage of it . . . come on, everyone else is doing it. And we all love a good deal right? I just wish I had a good use for books after I finished them . . . it’s the used syringe predicament all over again.
My latest fix is provided by the effort of James Robertson. I’m five chapters into ‘The Testament Of Gideon Mack’ and I’ve started showing addictive symptoms once again.
- Almost missing my stop on the train
- Vigilantly reading a page or two at work
- Isolating my self in my bedroom for long stretches
- Having company in the toilet
- “Just one more chapter”
Finding a good book to read is no easy task, there are several to choose from and you can’t judge them by their cover, neither by their blurb. At least a bad movie only last a few hours if that. Your best bet is to hope for a good recommendation, or like me you can jot down a few titles that look interesting and then check out their reviews when you get home. I don’t want to pick up another ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ . . . that was like finding out you’d been sold flour and not cocaine . . . Pillsbury nose.
I really shouldn’t praise or snub books until I’ve actually finished reading them . . . but then it wouldn’t be A Darker Shade Of Black would it? You don’t have to eat the whole burger to know if you like it . . . yeah there could be a fly or a hair hanging out of the other end but we’ll cross that bridge if we get to it . . . or bite around it.
By the way, everyone thinks he’s crazy because he claims to have met the Devil . . . and he’s also a minister of God. So you’d probably prepare yourself for a battle between good and evil . . . nope, this book challenges the thin line between sanity and insanity (he says as if he's read the whole thing).
Robertson has an engaging writing style; you feel an urge to flip the page even when he breaks down some of the most mundane topics. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m writing this whilst staring at the book and wanting to pick it up and read more.
I’m yet to reach the depth of the woods; I’m hoping that the novel becomes even more absorbing. Robertson is still setting the scene and familiarising me with this Gideon fellow who doesn’t seem to have any friends, just acquaintances who think he’s insane. Religion holds a lot of weight in this novel; I’m expecting more references, history lessons, theories and possibly some controversial content.
Is Gideon insane? Quite possibly, I’ll have a better idea once I finish the book.
A to the . . .
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Through some of my rants and bickers you may have got the impression that I am a grumpy old man; this is not the case. I’m a strapping young lad . . . quite the pessimist no doubt, but still young and vibrant. I don’t spend all of my time looking through cynical turd coloured shades, if that was the case I wouldn’t constantly have people trying to hook me up with their associates.
I’ve decided to write up a little guide to blind dating . . . you ask why? Well because it’s highly probable that I’ve been on more blind dates than anyone I know. Everyone and their mother have tried to set me up . . . as if I can’t set myself up.
My track record for blind dates is quite abysmal, but this says more about the people who tried to set me up. They clearly don’t know me at all. For all those interested my ideal woman is Kelly Rowland (Marry Me) . . . yes I have raised my bar that high.
I’ll be breaking it down into two parts:
- Before the date
- During the date
After the date you’ll likely go home with no urge to ever see the person again so I don’t need to write a post about the aftermath do I? Of course there is a chance that you might actually get along and be attracted to each other, but it’s a slim one if that. So the first rule of blind dating is . . .
Don’t get your hopes up . . .
When someone tells you that they want to set you up, don’t get excited. Chill out for a second yeah? Hear them out, nod and agree so you can see what’s up. Let them throw you their best pitch with icing and a cherry on top . . . flogging a friend is like selling a used car. They’ll highlight the good points and act as if there are no bad ones; this is to be expected.
Don’t ask about appearances . . .
You’ll be curious and that’s normal. But if they don’t have a picture to show you then don’t even bother asking. If the blind date has it going on in the looks department your so called friend will bring this up before you even think to enquire. It’ll be like a USP (Unique Selling Point) but keep in mind that attraction isn’t universal so you really do have to meet them if you want to know what’s up.
Yes, that includes the most confident and charismatic of us. Remember I’m experienced in this department. Your pal might suggest that the two of you switch numbers before the ‘big day’. Reject the offer and sternly tell them not to give your number to the other party.
If like myself you have an ambiguous personality this move is a RED ALERT. You’ll either generate an adhesive bond or free up space in your calendar. It doesn’t seem like a dumb move at all . . . not until the date is over and you regret using all of your free air time on her . . . Ak-Man knows best.
The right questions to ask . . .
You’re going to want to know if the blind date meets up to your requirements . . . unless you don’t get out much and are desperate. I’m assuming it’s neither so here are some questions that are smarter to ask than ‘What does she look like?’
How do you know him/her?
Please don’t put it past your friends to try and set you up with someone they’ve only known for a New York minute. They might even be trying to set you up with a friend of a friend . . . not a good move if you ask me. In a world full of weirdoes you really have to be extra cautious about how you spend your evenings.
What do they do?
Are they mentally stable enough to hold a good job or acquire some educational certificates? Don’t inquire too much into the individual, you'll want to leave some mystery for the date . . . or have a few questions at the ready for those awkward silences. But once again, if you aren’t desperate try not to end up on a date with Eddie before he Traded Places or America’s Next Top Gold Digger.
Why don’t you go out with them?
If your friend is single and of the same gender as you . . . then . . . well it makes sense to question why they would want to send you on a date with ‘such a nice person’ while they sit at home watching back-to-back episodes of South Park.
Do your stretches and cardiovascular workouts, push for a double date then you’re good to go. You’ve played it hard but fair so far, well done, that was the easy part. . . . Part Two is up next. What to do on the date.
A to the . . .
Saturday, 7 July 2007
The poor weather has slashed the number of sickies taken by workers by nearly a fifth. Last summer, employees called in sick to bask in blazing temperatures. But during the wettest June on record, the number of sickies fell by 17 per cent and many workers even put in extra hours, said absence management company FirstCare, which carried out the research. – Metro, Friday, July 6, 2007
What kind of foolishness . . .
I was only joking when I said that this ‘summer’ would be recorded in the history books. Now tales will be handed down for generations regarding The Fake Summer Of 2007 . . . a joke at the time, but now it’s the case.
I never saw this coming; never even had a clue. I was actually running my mouth in the early stages of spring claiming that this would be the hottest summer in quite some time. I got back on my 8 min abs routine and started over doing the press-ups again. Even bought some new clothes and a hot pair of sunshades . . . I was up for it; ready to rock and roll . . . then it started raining and it hasn’t stopped since.
People are strolling around with their winter jackets on and their umbrellas at the ready. Unless you go to a nightclub it’s pretty damn hard to find scantly clad women. The lager louts are keeping their shirts on and kids are yet to burn the field behind my house. Is there any advantage to this fake summer? I can only imagine the agricultural industries benefiting from these downpours . . . and of course environmentalist who would have us believe that we are suffering because we have neglected our ecosystem.
If you don’t live in the UK then you might not think that this is a big deal . . . please believe me, this is bigger than a big deal!
In the UK we’re use to crappy summers, but we like knowing that we’ll usually get a few heat waves here and there. We like knowing that it might not always be a sunny day, but it’ll always be frustratingly hot. We love the fact that our bosses know we’re not sick but allow us the day off regardless knowing that they’ll skip a couple of days the following week.
What’s in store for us this summer? Err . . . more rain and wind. We’ve had floods and hailstones already, so snow in July isn’t that far fetched (seriously people, it’s that bad).
I’ll find something to do . . . already been getting myself into little dramas here and there. Fortunately this isn’t a ‘Dear Diary’ style blog so that’s all I’ll say about that.
Hopefully we’ll get a nice day where I can sport my killer shades and stroll aimlessly along Oxford Street checking out London’s finest ladies.
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
Shrek The Third? Great film, I won’t dispute that at all, they had me cracking up throughout . . . the ending was a bit cheesy but that’s to be expected right? The humour was varied and at times surprisingly intelligent. I knew a few jokes were only for potential MENSA applicants when I was the only person in the cinema laughing.
So what’s my problem with Shrek The Third?
I’ll blooming tell you!
A bunch of washed up and faded bad guys! That was the problem. I hope I’m not the only person who thinks that Shrek got off a little easy? Trust me, if I was Prince Charming I would have put together a stronger brigade of bad ass villains! And what’s the deal with Captain Hook . . . he’s from Never Never Land right? Not Far Far Away . . . disgusting, but we won’t get into that.
I should have played Prince Charmin . . . I can relate to his anguish. Let us not forget that Prince Charmin, like my self used to be a good guy. But sadly everything was taken from him and he ended up at the bottom of the pile . . . a laughing stock (not me, Prince Charmin) . . . it’s a cold world kid. And didn’t his mother die is Shrek 2? He had good reasons to flip over to the dark side. If I was him, it would be serious beef! Forget the fairy tale villains; I’ll be bringing out the big guns! You want washed up bad guys? . . . And wholesome family fun?
Presenting to you first Mumrah . . .
Next in line is Shredder . . .
Highly skilled in hand to hand combat and also used to taking orders. Shredder is what I’d call an advanced foot soldier; he likes to roll up his sleeves and get involved with the dirty work. And give him some credit people; he had to work alongside those two morons Bebop and Rocksteady. The turtles should be ashamed, they occasionally scuffed him four and one and he came out looking pretty good most days.
OK, maybe I’m making this a little unfair on Shrek but next up is Skeletor . . .
Oh, you thought He-Man (no relation) was a tough guy? Skeletor made sure He-Man had no days off. He commanded his own army and was an excellent swordsman . . . it was more like a long perilous stick that he wielded but swordsman sounds more impressive on a CV. He was in great shape for a ‘man’ who many thought was made of bones (his name and face does give that impression), check out the triceps; you have to do specific workouts to get those.
I don’t think we are in need of anymore man power so last and probably least is Eric Cartman . . .
His heartless and self-centred characteristics make him the South Park front man. You can see him in the picture above liking tears of off Scott Tenorman's face; why would he do that? Well Cartman had the kids parents killed, swiped their bodies and made a chilli out of them . . . he then tricked Scott into eating his own parents. Cartman will head the torture and interrogations departments. He’ll also be my constant supply of wisecracks; the other guys don’t really look like a fun bunch.
I’m not actually sure if this will remain as a comedic family film. I don’t even think the good guys will win! Who’s going to step to us? Puss In Boots and Donkey? They’ll most likely be the ingredients to our celebratory meal. Can anyone say chilli?
You know I should have been in Shrek The Third!
A to the . . .
Sunday, 1 July 2007
On the 1st of July 2007 (22:00) Channel 4 aired a show titled ‘Memoirs of a Cigarette’. This was the same day in which the UK enforced its smoking ban.
Channel 4 decided to document the history of smoking in the media . . . how original channel 4, I expected so much more from you. I kind of did this already you b*tches! My three part self documentation called ‘The Autobiography Of A Non-Smoker Who Kind Of Smoked’ . . . ring any bells?
So Channel 4 pretty much stole my innovative dichotomy and reworked it with achieved clips and celebrity appearances. I couldn’t (be bothered to) go through all of that effort when just like Channel 4 I wasn’t really making a solid point . . . I was also just telling a few stories. I guess I could have run a few searches on YouTube and pulled up the funniest clips though; maybe next time.
So finally, as apposed to realising that all my ideas have been done already, I come to find that for once I can claim that someone else has copied me.
And my effort never had lame quotes like:
“John Travolta is a fantastic smoker. When he smokes he just looks so cool” – Some Travolta groupie . . . didn’t catch his name.
A to the . . .
Monday, 25 June 2007
The latest book I want to bring your attention to is ‘The Undercover Economist’ by Tim Harford.
I was attracted to the book because I read a similar one last year called ‘Freakonomics’ which grabbed my attention with it’s snazzy cover and interesting topics of discussion. I picked up The Undercover Economist hoping for more of the same.
- What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?
- Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?
- Where Have All The Criminals Gone?
Sounds fun right? It was. Not only did they ‘have a laugh’ with Freakonomics, they also broke down a lot of theory and indirectly showed readers how to apply it.
The Undercover Economist is as interesting, but not as fun. Harford seems a lot more rigid and practical. A lot of his arguments and theories are sensible, logical and pretty much air tight. He covers each subject from a variety of angles and indirectly gives you the tools you need to go out there and start challenging your own world of microeconomics. Great stuff . . . if you can be bothered that is.
You’ll learn some economical jargon along the way and start paying more attention to your pennies. You’ll begin to notice a lot of the options society makes indirectly available, and you’ll know why people complain about things they have power over.
Tim Harford’s effort is original in the sense that it not only explores economical loop holes and faults, but also offers solutions as to how economics can make the world a better place for everyone . . . sounds like something an eight years old girl would waste a wish on if she found a magic lamp. His solutions to everyday problems however are well thought out, realistic, and also feasible. Keep reading his book and you’ll also know why they are not implemented.
Economics is not as simple as ‘supply and demand’. Economics tells us who gets what, and more importantly why they get it.
Want to know why we pay so much for confectionaries when we go to the cinema? Might not seem so important because we can evidently ‘afford’ to be overcharged . . . so why is it that we (London citizens) complain continuously about outlandish public transport prices?
I’d argue that we are all to an extent Undercover Economists because we have reasoning and understanding where our finances are concerned. We can tell you why we chose one product over another, our definitions of a bargain and we know when we are being ripped off.
Tim delves a lot deeper, at times you’ll be pointing the accusing finger at yourself, but be reassured, you’ll get to wave it at others as well.
A to the . . .