Night From Hell


So I think I had an evening that qualifies as one of the really bad ones last night.

I get home from rugby covered from head to toe in mud. I only live across the road, so rather than shower, I was looking forward to a nice hot bath loving run by my wife. I put my kit in the washing machine, went upstairs, put my toe in to test the temperature and nearly jumped out of my skin………. Freezing bloody cold! For some reason, our boiler had broken down. Now exactly the same thing happened last year. Christmas eve it breaks and we spend the next few days huddled under blankets and around oil heaters for warmth. So we were smart and took out the manufacturers insurance package. They’re coming out tomorrow. Still a pain, but luckily not the depths of winter just yet.

I end up boiling a few kettles of water and washing in the sink. As I’m doing this, I hear my 18 month old girl wake up by coughing like a sea-lion! Normally, we’re not the panicking type of parents, but my father-in-law was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday and she had been around him on the weekend. 10.45 we find ourselves at the front door to the work in centre (thought it better than clogging up A&E) only to be told they’re closed…….. So off we go to A&E.

We were ushered through to the children’s ward very quickly, but there the good luck stopped. 3 hours later, after I’ve been surrounded by brats whose parents couldn’t control them and refused to cover their mouths when they coughed or sneezed, a moody doctor decided to look at my little ‘un. She has a nasty chest, throat and ear infection, got the drugs and was told to go home.

So we get home, get to bed about 3.30am. 5 am my daughter wakes up screaming. She wouldn’t calm down. In the end, my wife took her downstairs to play. I tried to follow, but my wife insisted I stay in bed as I had work and she didn’t.

So now I’m sat at work, with match sticks holding open my eyes, drowning myself in thick black coffee and praying my little girl feels better.

I guess it could have been worse, it could have happened tonight and ruined my birthday tomorrow (yes, I know it’s  a shameless plug, but who cares!)

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Funny or Bullying?


I first saw this video a few weeks back and I found it hilarious:

Of course, I found this funny for the same reason I’m sure all of you are now laughing away. Since then, I’ve found a few more videos online staring this guy:

And then an interview (of sorts from a bedroom) with the main man himself made by his buddy:

Up until this point, I thought this was still really funny. True, the guy does seem a little slow and at some point you have to wonder is it really fair to be laughing at him rather than with him, but I was happy enough wetting myself laughing at the enthusiasm he throws into his singing and the fact he really doesn’t care what people think. That was until I saw this vid:

Now I appreciate that some people do not want to hear a guy singing his little heart out on the bus first thing in the morning, especially if he can’t hold a note. But there is no need to throw things at him and be generally horrid. We live in the 21st century where we’re supposed to be accepting, kind, understanding people who look on ourselves and our community with this attributes. I can’t see that from this video. I have to be honest that I stopped watching about 1.17 as I suddenly felt so sorry for the guy and ashamed at myself for laughing at his videos. Does laughing at the videos make me just as bad as the clowns who were throwing things at him?

I’m sure we’ve all been in this sort of situation. A misfortunate person, such as Carmine, does something that we find funny. This may be singing or falling over or dancing or anything but we laugh. At the time, I’m sure 95% of don’t think anything malicious about it. It’s simply another human being doing something funny. But does that make it right? How does that person feel? Are they trying to make us laugh or just doing something they like to do and would feel upset at being laughed at?

I don’t know if I’m being too touchy, but I hate to think of someone being bullied, let alone being bullied on the scale of having a video of them posted on YouTube for millions to see and laugh at.

Then again, am I making things worse by posting the vids in this blog? Damn, having a conscience is tough!!!

What Have I Let Myself In For?!


I’ve been training mma for about 2 months now. Nothing serious, just 1 or 2 sessions a week. Before this, as my regulars will know, I trained san shou. So my background is mainly stand-up fighting. However I felt I needed to broaden my view on fighting and competing, so mma was the next logical step.

I’ve just agreed to take part in an interclub fight in December. Now, interclub fights are NOT big news. Shouldn’t be anything major, but I’m having serious doubts about my abilities. Am I really THAT good to step into the ring? I know I can handle a stand up fight, even if I lose, I’ll be able to walk out without too bad a beating. But my ground work is atrocious and I’m very worried about being on the bad end of the dreaded “ground and pound“.

I’m sure the organisers of this event will match each person with an opponent of similar weight and (more importantly I think) similar experience, so I shouldn’t be facing anyone who has 25 fights under their belt. But then there is no guarantee of that. It’s all too easy to say “this is my first fight” while trying to hide your UFC championship belt.

I’m sure some people will say not to fight if I have any doubts, and they’d probably be right. But I also REALLY REALLY REALLY want to compete. I’m not in it for the fighting or beating down on someone. I’m in it for the competition, to see if I’m good enough. And the only way I can do that, is to fight.

So I’m in a quandary. I guess I have 8-9 weeks in which to make my mind up (to give time to cancel I mean) and in the mean time, I guess I train as much as I can, cover the bare basics, get my cardio up and not let my doubts control me.

Wish me luck!

Top 10 Live Acts EVER!


The other day, I discovered the Rolling Stones magazine’s top 500 most influential songs of all time. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about anything with regards to influential music and amazing musicians. But I do know what I like.

Unfortunately, most of the acts I consider to be “the greatest ever” are either dead, part dead (in relation to bands) or split up. And as I’ve only seen a handful of concerts, the chances are I will NEVER get to see my top 5 acts live. To this end, I’m using the 21st Century to share them with you. So here are my top 10 acts who I’d love to have seen in their prime. Some may still be performing, but ageing acts can never quite match the heady heights of their prime. I’m sure people will disagree, so why not comment and give us your top 5 or 10:

No. 10 – Buddy Holly – I was brought up on music from this era. My mum loves the old rock and roll era music and thankfully, she has passed this down to me. Here is a man who was taken from us too early. The impact he had on the music world in such a short time is phenomenal. Just imagine what could have been accomplished if he had lived on? 

No. 9 – Madonna – I’m not a big fan of her new stuff. Just not my cup of tea. But her 80’s music, the Immaculate Collection album…….. WOW! It just collated all her greatest tunes. 

No. 8 – Bob Marley – I have to be in the mood for Bob, but when I am, god I love him!! I imagine his concerts not to be a standing, dancing affair, but everyone sat in a big field, chilling out and smoking things they really shouldn’t! 

No. 7 – The Rolling Stones – I’ve only recently discovered the Stones. I’ve known the most infamous songs for ages, same as pretty much everyone does and can sing a long to a few without even realising who they are. It also helps that the come from the same town as I do (Dartford, Kent)! Don’t know a great deal about them to quote, but I do know I’d have loved to have seen them back in the day. 

No. 6 – Tina Turner – Come on!! You got to love her!! What a voice, she loves to shake it and her songs are so infectious!!! I can honestly say I think Simply The Best was the first proper song I can remember. 

No. 5 – Elvis Presley – Maybe a surprise he isn’t higher, but I think live, there are better. Still the King and love pretty much all of his songs 

No. 4 – Elton John – Yes, Sir Elton is here! Not for his awful Diana tribute song, but for his energetic songs and amazing voice! His songs know how to drag your emotions to whatever destination he wants, be it party anthems, melodic songs, romance……. 

No. 3 – Meat Loaf – I don’t think this particular choice will get a lot of love, but I’m a big Meat fan. The power in his voice combined with the songs of Jim Steinman make for an amazing partnership 

No. 2 – The Beatles – Of Course the Fab Four would be here!! What list of greatest musicians WOULDN’T have them in the top 5?! I don’t think I need to put anymore really….. Run VT 

And the top prize goes to………..

No. 1 – Queen– Where do I start? The music? The lyrics? The power? I love Queen and I think the music they made is pure genius. I cannot think of a bad song they made and without doubt at least 2 or 3 of their songs would be in my top 10 all time fav songs. But the reason they are number 1 in this list if simple….. Freddie Mercury. If you haven’t seen videos of Queen live, you’re missing out. The man was a true performer and captivated everyone and everything when he performed. He didn’t just sing and walk about the stage, he performed! The Live Aid concert was a huge success, but without doubt the Highlight of it was Queens performance. Enjoy. 

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

Lethargy, Thy Name is Dan!


God, the feeling of utter boredom and cannot be bothered-ness (I know, nice new word created there) has made a home in my mind the last few weeks. Ever since handing in my notice pretty much.

So let me explain. I’m not generally one of those people who, when faced with impending departure from a job, sits back and say’s “Sod it”. Generally, when I’m leaving a place, it’s for a career move and although that normally goes hand in hand with more money, career is normally the way. This time, I’m leaving purely for financial reasons. Times are tough, I’m drastically unpaid in my current job and the management knows it. Again, not normally an issue, you part on amicable terms and everyone is happy.

The only difference here is the fact I like it here and I thought I was a valued member of the team. I have a good relationship with the management team and the managing director. So when I handed my notice in, I did expect them to fight to keep me. I understand times are tough and as the accounts manager, I know only too well the company’s financial position. But nothing came. All I got was a letter saying thanks and good luck. The MD hasn’t even been bothered to talk to me personally (which for a small company, I find quite upsetting). My manager did offer me £x amount extra, but it was no more than a bog standard pay rise and to go with it, I would need to take on MORE responsibility and work! So not a pay rise, but a job restructure. I don’t want a new job, I want a fair wage for a damn good job I do (especially taking into account the fact I saved the company £12,000 in my first 3 months).

So if they can’t be bothered, then neither can I.

Add to this my holiday is in a few weeks, my “get up and go” has definitely “got up and gone”. I cannot wait to get out to sunny Spain and sip away on a few cerveza with my good friends we’re going with. My little girl is much older now than when we took her to Egypt. This is either going to make things a lot of fun as she’ll be able to play a lot more, but can also make for relaxing times to be few and far between. When we were in Egypt, she was only 6 months old and was happy chilling in her pram while we went out at night etc. Now she is 17 months, I can’t see her being quite so content to sit in her pram while mummy and daddy enjoy a nice meal.

So all this combined has brought me to the conclusion that I need to chill out now. Combine that to my new addiction to Google+ and you have a very lethargic and “cannot be bothered” Dan.

Google+


I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Google has released its answer to Facebook………. Google+! It’s a breath of fresh air and I love it!!

Basically, it seems to be a bit of a cross between Facebook and Twitter, with all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses. Needless to say, I’m loving it.

Instead of having just a list of friends who see everything you post, G+ has something called circles (this is my fav part). In this, you split your friends/relatives/contacts into different circles, then when you post something, you can choose who see’s it (I don’t want my mum seeing pics of me on the lash but my friends would, nor do my rugby chums want to see lots of pictures of my little girl but my family do). Also, you can split out your stream so instead of getting loads of Farmville rubbish all the time, you can select specific circles that will show up. It’s GENIUS!!!

The only issue at the moment is it’s not open to the public yet. Still in test mode and to gain access, you need to be invited. And all you lucky readers can get involved!! I have invites galore, so if you’d care to join up and see what’s got me excited, here’s the link: Google+ Invite There are only 150 invites per person, so be quick.

As it’s still in test mode, I’ll report back with any updates and stuff I find……..