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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Goals

I know we are 4 weeks in but I have finally written all my goals for the year.

Lifestyle

Lose Weight – So I didn’t quite manage my 6kg target last year.  I finished at 94kg, pretty much what I started on but averaged 91.5kg.  My goal is to get down to 87kg by December.  It’s a long-term goal – a lifestyle change not a crash diet.

Monthly No Computer Evening – I live my life around my computer.  All day at work and I’m sat in front of it most of the time I am at home.  So on the 19th of each month (chosen by random number generator, of course), my computer goes off at 6pm.  It doesn’t matter what I do – sleep, socialise, cleaning, DJing, whatever.  Just no sitting in front of the computer.

31 Day Detox – Last year I detoxed for the whole of February – this year I won’t get back from Poland until 2nd February so I am starting my detox on 3rd February and continuing until 5th March.

Try An Activity – Yoga, rock-climbing, rowing, salsa dancing, ballet – it doesn’t matter – I need to try something that involves exercise.

Get On My Bike.  I did buy a bike in 2013.  I will eventually get on it and ride it.  100m is the target for 2015.  Actually I’ll keep it simple – buying a bike pump for my flat tyres is the target.

Fashion Icon – Short shorts, sparkly stuff, blue shoes and a collection of Happy Feet socks are all required.

Go Places

Go to 2 new countries.  Poland is already booked and I aim to go to Switzerland.  Why?  Because the random country generator told me to.  Granted it picked Somalia first but I decided that I should probably wait until there is a little more stability before visiting there.

Ibiza.  I am going!  I might even go twice.

2 New UK Adventures – I am well-travelled across the UK – you could name most towns and cities and I have been to them.  There are a few notable exceptions such as Brighton and Slough.  But also there are cities that I feel I have vastly unexplored such as Liverpool & Newcastle so another goal is to explore two new/unexplored urban areas of this wonderful country of ours.

2 New Football Stadiums – Hull City AFC may not be in the Premier League forever so it would be sensible to tick off a couple more grounds whilst I can.  The lifelong aim is to go to all 92 grounds – but football isn’t a priority.

Countryside & Castles – I want to explore the countryside in my local area and visit at least one castle/palace.  By the end of 2015 I want to have done a 12 mile walk.

Take A Foreigner To Watch Cricket – I intend on going to watch cricket a couple of times this year – not fussed whether that is 20/20, a day at a test match or just a local cricket club but I must take a foreigner to watch cricket.  An Aussie does not count.

House Music

DJing – I want one set a month.  No more – unless it is paid.  I need to rebrand my website – again - but most importantly I need to release one mix a month, and also have promotional materials to hand out to people when DJing.

Cocoon In The Park.  As soon as details are released I am booking my hotel.  I don’t care whether anyone else is up for it though of course that would be ever better.  It’s the best festival I have ever been to with my favourite DJs.  I’ll go by myself if I have to.  However this does depend on the date as it might clash with Ibiza.  If it clashes with Ibiza then I’ll do something else special.

Secretsundaze – This is one brilliant party, I enjoy it so much.

Fabric Birthday – I’m kind of going off fabric, certainly going off the crowd there anyway.  But the birthday is special.  I would like to go this year.

Romanians – I want to see some Romanian DJs this year – Barac or Cristi Cons would ideal.

The Usuals – Sven and Ricardo, of course.  Somewhere, sometime.

Learn Things

Spanish.  Given that the eventual goal for my web development studying is to be living and working from Ibiza, and with languages being more difficult to learn than code, I need to start now.  I have an app called Duolingo which is pretty good and can learn whilst having a poo.  The goal is to complete the app.  And chat up hot Spanish women with one side of their hair shaved off when in Ibiza.  Cu├íntos elefantes tienes?

JavaScript.  I received a 930 page JavaScript book for Christmas.  This is going to be the bane of my year.  JavaScript is ‘var = function(fucking (hard));’.  But I need to know it well if I am going to make a future career in web development.

Drupal, Wordpress, Bootstrap & CSS Animations.  Without going into too much detail, these are technologies that I need to learn next.  Drupal is a content management system, as is Wordpress.  Wordpress will allow me to create better-looking blogs than Blogger does.  Bootstrap is Twitter’s framework to make it easier to make good-looking responsive websites.

Cooking.  I really enjoy my cooking – 5 years ago I didn’t even have any pepper in my cupboard.  This year I want to expand my knowledge and buy cookbooks about the cuisine of two other countries.  They will be countries close to the UK!!!!  Irish, French or Spanish, in all likelihood.

Blogs & Projects

Top Tunes – I need to do a total rebrand for this blog. I don’t think having my name against this is good for marketing.  Each post is read by around 30 people – which is nice – but I feel people would be more likely to read, follow and share if it had a generic branding instead of being focused on a wannabe DJ with 82 fans.

Ubereadoolische – I sometimes think about giving this up but then I forget that followers/readers is not the goal – it is supposed to be my practice ground for my web development.  This year I will redesign it using my new-found jQuery skills, improved design ideas probably once I have gained knowledge of Drupal

Roast Dinners Around Reading – I want to achieve a minimum of 25 new places reviewed and have at least 200 followers on Facebook & Twitter.

Sweeney Todd Pie Blog – Every remaining pie must be reviewed.

Weather Forecast – I am aiming for a minimum of 1,800 followers which is roughly double what I started the year at.  I must complete the rebrand with a professional photographer and also I want to read at least one scientific book to advance my understanding.

Fish Out Dolan Out – It’s my Hull City blog, in case you haven’t realised.  It seems to be more popular on Twitter so I’m aiming for a FB/TW 100/500 follower count.

The Only Tory From Hull – It’s election year and this is my politics blog.  My aim is for 100 followers on either Facebook or Twitter.  I feel this is going to be a slow burner.

Things To Buy

Rockit speakers.  I do have half-decent speakers now but I really want to upgrade.  Especially useful if I ever decide to host a BBQ this coming summer, which I might.

Sound Card - I need to improve the sound quality that my computer can record my mixes at.  It is fine now but fine isn't good enough.

CD Printer – To print promotional CDs for my DJing.

Microsoft Surface – I just want one, ok?  For studying on the train, outside in the sunshine, etc.  Stick your apple up your arse.

CDJ stands – I need to get my CDJs onto stands to create some space for…

Technics – I really want to learn how to play vinyl.  So I need some technics and some vinyl.

Decide Things

Job.  I’ve been in this job for 3 years now.  I am happy.  But I didn’t get a pay rise last year and am not advancing my career.  I don’t like uncertainty so my first decision is whether to commit myself to another 12-18 months here or start job hunting.

House.  My housemate is almost definitely moving out so I will need to find somewhere new to live.  This is partly dependant on what I choose above – if I stay working in Bracknell then I will probably move to Bracknell so the travel time can be put into studying.  Yeah I know.  If I get a job in Reading then I will stay in Reading.  If I get a job in London then I will move there.

Career Path.  I need to decide whether to take a very junior role doing web development or a more senior role doing credit control, as my next job.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

It’s my birthday and I’ll pie if I want to.

Each year I plan less and less in the way of celebrating my brilliance.  Before I turned 30, I wanted to do 30 parties for being 30 (I didn’t bother – but if you knew me back then you will know I was never sober).  Most years I try to go to fabric, or do something in London, go clubbing, organise a party – whatever but I never let it pass quietly.

I’m hardly letting it pass quietly this year with a birthday roast for me and several of my adored friends on Sunday and a tour of Peckham on Saturday daytime with two more of my favourite delights.

But for my actual birthday – today – I thought I would try to keep it low-key.

I was just planning on doing my weather forecast and making myself a nice but easy meal.

I spent nearly 3 days trying to work out what to eat.  I had a dream the other night that I was in bed with a hot girl (nobody in particular), in a house that I used to live in around 13 years ago.  The next thing I know, there is a load of banging at the other end of my room and 8 illegal immigrants break through the in-built cupboard from the (non-existent) loft – one explains to me in broken English that they now live there and need to access it through my room.

I wasn’t impressed so I called my landlord and he turned up in a lorry and I really struggled to get his attention, finally he came into the house and his only solution was to rack up a big fat line of cocaine.

That was the end of my dream but I really enjoyed it.  Suffice to say that I won’t be in bed with any hot girls tonight, nor will I be doing any cocaine, however I am getting a short but sweet visit from my dearest immigrant and I have finally decided what I am going to cook myself.

Fully back off the tangent, I dismissed the ideas of a pie or a big fat roast as I’m trying to lose weight and I will be eating enough.  I considered salmon and lamb dishes but have finally come up with the genius idea of steak with peppercorn sauce.  And curly fries.  Not sure I can afford fillet steak but will at least treat myself to sirloin.  And sprinkle some Herbes Du Provence on the top.

Other than that it shall be suitably low-key – a glass of wine or two with my very most dearest beloved friend (two for me anyway).  And my weather forecast.

I didn’t get the opportunity to keep it low-key at work.  We don’t really celebrate birthdays at work however there was a bit of a fuss made of me, I guess because I am amazing and my dear colleagues…actually my dear friends that I work with, bought me this extra special cake.


I will be eating the part with her mouth.

I also have the original pop-art produced by my friend’s boyfriend.  Pretty damn special.


And my second-favourite Spaniard bought me a Spanish cookbook.  Written by the exceptionally Spanish, Richard Cornish.  Yo hablo Espanol y yo cocino Espanol.  Bring on the Spanish women in Ibiza with my new-found skills to impress them.


I also got some money from my parents, grandma and auntie.  I am still to decide whether to spend it on cocaine or a prostitute.

Only joking mum!

Friday, January 16, 2015

13 Highlights Of 2014

Yeah I know 2014 is practically forgotten but I have been writing this since 2014 which kind of counts.

These are my 13 moments of last year that made me happy.  In order - though number 2 and number 1 are miles ahead of all the others.

13. England Equalise.  In a packed Walkabout, England score the equaliser against Uruguay.  The strange large guy next to me that kept putting his arm around me, climbed onto a stool and proceeded to throw two full pitchers of beer everywhere as everyone went absolutely nuts, somehow without falling off, despite his intoxication.  Then Suarez scored and I went home dripping wet, sad and stinking.  A bit like the team I had just watched.

12. Valentine’s With Maggie.  I have learnt to loathe Valentine’s Day from my childhood however this year I took a different tack, and invited Maggie into the sack with me.  After eating pie.  And of course, as an occasional attention seeker, the likes and laughs it garnered on Facebook made it worthwhile.


11. The best roast.  It was February and I was well into my detox month.  My very good friend from university, Julie, came down to visit and upon recommendation we went to The Crown, in Playhatch.  Oh my word it was amazing, the best tasting carvery I have ever had.  We tried to have a walk too though the flooding pretty much put paid to that.  The roast was so good that there are 20 of us going for my birthday meal.

10. Brazil 1 – Germany 7.  There are always a few World Cup moments that live in the memory forever.  I was over my uber-enthusiasm for the tournament and was no longer watching every game.  But I had to watch the Brazil vs Germany semi-final.  And I watched goal after goal go in.  It was astonishing.  It was funny at first but I really started to feel for the Brazilians.  The tournament as a whole endeared me to the country and I do look forward to visiting before England next win the World Cup.

9. Steak in Brussels.  Myself and my sister went to Brussels for a weekend.  It was a fun weekend though the city itself is pretty boring.  The highlight was a particularly excellent steak in a Chilean restaurant, served by someone who spoke no English but was even more charming than myself.  Truly made up for a terrible tapas the night before.  Such a good steak.

8. 30 hours in Dublin.  Me, John and Shaun.  In Brussels.  With John.  And with Shaun.  I cannot say any more.

7. Test Cricket.  I have long wanted to go watch test cricket and with my Dad loving cricket too, I bought myself and him tickets for Christmas.  It was in the best ground possible for a day out – Headingley.  Admittedly we didn’t see too much cricket, it was more about the drinking, the crowd banter and playing cat and mouse with G4S by building the evil, terrifying, banned, beer-snakes.  I love Leeds.

6. DJing @ Purple Turtle.  All DJ sets are good.  Even those ones in the cold garden of Zeus playing to myself, the smoker and the bouncer.  However this was the one set where it really felt good – there was an atmosphere – a feeling that something special could be created in the basement there – people danced, people enjoyed whatever I played – a vibe.  It felt like a club when I left the booth and went onto the dancefloor.  I really cannot wait for my next set there.

5. Introducing Shaun To Sven.  Shaun was the last of my good friends that like house music, to be introduced to the delights of Cocoon.  There was so much to enjoy about that night from the music, DJs, crowd and some of my ultra-close friends, but the icing on the marzipan was seeing Shaun’s face of utter delight as Sven pounded us with techno beast after beast.  Another convert.

4. Cricket @ Sonning.  It was late summer, September in fact, and I had an invite to go watch a cricket game in Sonning.  I took a nice long walk along the Thames (which gave me an interest in long walks) and enjoyed a splendid day in the Sunday sunshine, drinking cider and occasionally watching cricket with my adorable delight of a friend, Ben, and the very funny Rich.  And had a hog roast.  And even some Pimms.  And then walked home.  Truly English.

3. Having My Mullet combed By A Long Fork @ Secretsundaze.  I love dancing in the daylight – there is just something magical about it, Studio 338’s terrace gives that open air feel without being exposed to the elements and Secretsundaze just brings the best crowd in London and some fabulous music.  It is such a good feeling to be there.  The particular highlight was having my mullet combed by a very long fork.  I love my mullet.

2. That thunderstorm.  I had just been to watch Spain get thrashed 5-1 in the World Cup with two gorgeous Spanish women but my night was set to get far better.  I had that evening forecasted a 25% chance of a thunderstorm before I went out to watch the game – there was a heavy shower on my way so I thought nothing more about it until on the way home I could see some distant flashes.  It became apparent when I got home that there was a small storm towards Oxford, probably heading in our direction.  And it exploded into the best storm I have experienced for a decade.  It was the thunderstorm I had been waiting for, I was so excited, truly like a child.  A once in a decade experience.  Only topped in my highlights of 2014 by a once in a lifetime experience.

1. The FA Cup Final.  Until 7 years ago, my football team had never been in the top division.  For most of my life the idea of an FA Cup run was a joke.  Defeats to Hednesford, Rotherham, Chester, Lincoln, Oldham, Macclesfield, Cheltenham, Colchester...the list goes on.  Then via a slightly lucky FA Cup draw, we managed to scrape our way to the final.  My football team in an FA Cup final.  And then within 10 minutes we were 2-0 up and could have been 3-0 up.  Even static electricity couldn’t make my hairs stand on end any more.  Being 2-0 up was that dreamlike moment of an insane lack of reality – this couldn’t be happening.  I still expected to lose at 2-0, and lose we did.  But it was an exciting, gracious defeat to a very good team.  I spent it with my mum, dad and my sister, with other family members there too.  And it was my highlight of 2014.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Review Of My 2014 Goals



It’s about time to look back at my goals for 2014 and see what I achieved.  Can you believe that some people (yes more than one!) have actually asked me how I got on, and what my 2015 goals are?!

For 2015 I am going to attempt to make my goals a little more interesting.  Somehow.

So these were my goals for 2014:

1. A normal one to start – continue to do well at work.  I am hoping that there may be further opportunities seeing as we have just taken over a company 2-3 times our size.  I am happy in my job and would only move for a significant pay rise.

I did do well.  I am still happy.  I didn’t get a pay rise.  100% complete.

2. Studying.  I have much more to learn about Photoshop though at £27 a month I won’t be using it often!  I need to decide what else to learn in terms of web development later in the year – Javascript or PHP seem good suggestions.

I decided my time was better spent learning JavaScript and subsequently jQuery than Photoshop.  I have surpassed my original expectations so 100% complete.

3. DJing.  Firstly I need a website and some business cards.  I intend on having a break until March and then I will hopefully average 1 set a month which suits nicely.  As much as I love warm up sets, most important will be to get a set towards either the middle or the end of the night to test myself more.  Oh yeah and practice more.  Seth Troxler reckons you can be perfect at anything with 10,000 hours of practice.  Only 9,800 hours to go.

I made a website.  Then about 2 weeks later I decided it looked too cheesy so I didn’t bother getting the business cards printed.  I didn’t practice that much and probably fell short in terms of sets, from what I desired.  However I might have some exciting news shortly.  Well, it is exciting to me but so is minimal techno.  Can you believe someone told me my music was boring?  Still not had a better offer than my bumhole being licked by a very large young lady through DJing.  But I did get paid on two occasions.

Thanks to my studying I now have a much better website in mind.  70% complete.

4. Ubereadoolische.  I still think this is a brilliant idea but I really need to push it and write more for it.  Though my priority is to do the re-design that is in my head.  Ideally find someone willing to help write articles too.  Anyone know any journalism students in Reading?  One day Ubereadoolische, the next day Mixmag?

I did a redesign.  It looks and works quite well but since my studying I know I can do something much better.  I also did a few articles but am really struggling to grow the website – help!!!!  I might give up on this project.  80% complete.

5. Web Development.  Once my DJ website is done, and Ubereadoolische is redesigned, I will then make a website to offer my website creation skills.  Maybe I will do one or two websites for free (well, cost of domain and hosting, which is very little) to build up my portfolio.  This is my eventual intention career-wise.

Haven’t even started it.  The more I study, the further away I feel I am from being able to make websites for someone.  0% complete.

6. Fracking Forum.  I need to get this into the public domain so people use it.  But how?  This is my road to riches.

I gave up.  Better things to be doing.  0%.

7. Weather Forecast For Reading, Berkshire.  I started the year on 233 followers.  My goal for this year is 450.  There isn’t a lot I can do to influence the amount of followers other than give accurate forecasts consistently and wait for some exciting weather so people share the page.  I do need a more professional photo though.  I might even do a tiny spot of Facebook advertising, see if it works.

I have over 900 followers.  Can I have 200%?  Then again I didn’t get a professional photo done.  100% complete.  In a way.

8. Clubbing.  6 London trips.  Much of this depends on my main clubbing partner’s schedule but we are in agreement that this year we need to be more clever about the parties we choose – lesser name DJs at nice venues meaning nicer crowds to cater for my Hull-born snobbery.  NO MORE PEOPLE GOING “WHOA WHOA”.  FFS.  Though not forgetting Ricardo at fabric and Sven at Building Six.  And I will go to local nights a plenty now Reading has a booming scene – especially to those DJs and promoters who have supported me.

So I go out less.  I have lost some interest.  I still probably met this target and have seen Ricardo and Sven, of course.  100% complete.

9. Holidays.  At my age it is ridiculous that I have only been to 9 countries.  This must go up.  I want to go to both Ireland and Belgium this year which are both achievable in terms of cost and distance.  I am not going to say something as stupid as don’t go to Ibiza.  But I will try to avoid temptation!  The dream is still storm chasing in America but I will not have £3,000.00 by April in time for storm-chasing season.  Or at any point this year.

I nearly went to Croatia but was let-down by someone.  So it was looking a total failure until I went to Belgium in November and Ireland in December – 100% complete.

10. Get On My Bike.  I did buy a bike last year.  I will eventually get on it and ride it.  100m is the target for 2014.  That is in metres, not miles.

I sat on my bike and tried to ride it from the back of the garage to the front of the garage.  It has two flat tyres.  1% complete - my garage is at least 1 metre long.

11. Lose Weight.  This year I will lose weight.  I am starting at 94kg and I want to get down to 89kg.

I got down to 90kg.  I am back at 94kg.  However if you take an average of the year I was at 91.5kg so 50% complete.

12. More Family Time.  It isn’t easy finding time and the money to get back to Hull (I tend to either have time or money but not both!) but I will try to see my family more, somehow.

I reckon I managed this.  I went to Northampton twice to see my sister, plus two meetings at Wembley for the whole family, and the usual trips to Hull.  Yeah, 100% complete.

13. Charity.  I am going to increase my charity budget this year.  Each year I have a budget based on a % of my wage, not a huge sum as I am hardly swimming in money but I do have more than some so I would like to give more.  When it comes to sponsorship, I will expand from close family and close friends only, and will consider sponsoring anyone who is an active friend and supports me in what I do, especially if they come and support me DJing at least once in a blue moon.  Give and take in this life.  Do not waste your time asking me for sponsorship when you haven’t bothered speaking to me for a year!

I did do decent sponsorships for my sister and my very good friend Karen, however I fell short of my giving away goal.  I probably gave away less than last year.  Oops.  30% complete.

14. Dating.  Go on at least one date.  I managed a grand total of zero last year and the year before.  Perhaps I should make a bit of effort though?

I did go on Tinder a bit.  Does that count as effort?  5% complete.

15. Blogging.  New Year means new blog.  I haven’t decided what yet but I have a couple of ideas.

Two new blogs – The Only Tory From Hull and Fish Out Dolan Out.  100% complete.

16. Become a style icon.  Money that I spent on going out in previous years does need to be spent on upgrading my wardrobe.  Though all I really need to do to become a style icon is to grow my mullet longer, surely?

My mullet is fucking sexy.  Especially with the shaved bit.  I fancy myself even more.  I have also invested less in getting trashed and more on my wardrobe.  I even bought some work clothes.  And leopard-print trainers.  100% complete.

17. Detox.  Yes I am going to attempt a detox for the month of February.  Though it only starts when I first wake up in February (just in case I go out on Friday 31st January!).

It was great.  100% complete.

18. Buy some short shorts.  I guess this comes under being a style icon but I think it is so important to my destiny to have some short shorts.  Short shorts would guarantee number 14 being achieved.

I tried to find some but failed.  I guess I need to cut up some old jeans.  0% complete.

19. Eat lots of pies.  I am on a mission to eat all the different types at Sweeney Todd's, for my blog.

I had lots of pies.  100% complete.

Overall I had a 65% completion rate.  2015 goals coming up soon.