Monday, 29 December 2014

Dat Haul

Well Christmas was last week, as a lot of you are aware. So this is just a thing about the presents I got. This is the stuff outside of the usual things a man my age gets; deodorant/shower gift sets and socks. My feet are going to be warm for a while. It's a shame the rest of me is cold. Anyway, let's take a look.

The one of the left, Applejack, is from my boss. We were working and they were selling very large plushes at a store near ours, but they were too expensive. I lamented that Applejack was the only one I didn't have a plush of so I was very happy and surprised when I opened the present he got me. She's small but she also means I have a complete set of plushies. He also got me the small figure between the two plushies you can't really see properly.
This poster is close to the size of my radiator and comes from my now favourite niece. I know I shouldn't play favourites but hey, if you get me a giant poster I'm probably going to favour you. Unfortunately it's actually a little too big and it keeps coming off the blu-tac I'm using to hold it up.

I also got a DVD that has a few episodes and some other things too. The new phone I have counted as a Christmas present from my dad and he also picked me up a cheap game and gave me a £10 gift card he got when he bought his new washing machine. The store is running a promotion where if you spend £50/£100 you get a £5/10 gift card. My mum also gave me some money to pick up something for myself. It's been a while since I bought something for myself to be honest. So let's see what I can get with that. It's most likely going to be a game but I'm not sure which one to pick because there are a few I've wanted for a while.

What did you get for Christmas, if anything? 

Friday, 26 December 2014

A Time I Met Santa

Okay so Christmas has technically passed but Christmas week continues here as there was another Christmas themed post I wanted to make. I was walking around the town centre last week enjoying my depression when something caught my eye. Normally the town centre gets decorated for Christmas and it looks lovely. This year I saw something else too. The title kind of gave it away but I met Santa Claus. 
Look at how happy I look
I knew I had to get my picture taken. He was there raising money for charity so I dropped a few coins in the bucket and asked if I could have my picture taken. I surprised even myself doing that. I'm the kind of person who would think to do something like that but then not actually do it. This year on holiday I met a guy who looks just like David Tenant but couldn't muster up the courage to ask him for a photo. This time though there was nothing to stop me from getting that picture. It put a real, genuine smile on my face and put me in the best mood I'd been in for a while.

You're never too old to meet Santa. Though you can be too late. Doubt you'd see many around now Christmas has passed. 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

If you happen to read this somehow then have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope you get something nice.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Week

This week is going to be Christmas Week here at The Rambling Person. It's going to be Christmas this week and I have a couple of posts planned. Because the Thursday post will be just a simple "Merry Christmas" because I doubt anyone will be reading I'll actually just jump ahead and make a real post now. I'm just that nice to you.

This is the first year in a while that I've actually got a Christmas tree in the house. Normally we don't decorate here because it's just me, my dad, and my brother. Plus we're all lazy. Well not really but there's not much point in decorating when there's no one to really enjoy it. This year though my nieces convinced my dad to buy a tree and they decorated it themselves. I'd love to show you a picture of it but I can't take one. Unfortunately as pretty as the tree is the room it's in has been taken over as an impromptu storage area. I do however still have a picture of a Christmas tree for you.

That little tree is sat in my room. It's actually a real tree too and needs to be fed which means it'll be dead in a few weeks. I love plants, I really do, but for some reason I can't keep plants and they always die on me. Why does everything I love die? Seriously though it's a really nice little tree. It actually sparkles a little too but you can't really see that. So not only do we have a tree this year, we actually have two.

That's pretty neat.

Plus hey smaller versions of things are cute.

Did you get much decorating done?

Friday, 19 December 2014

I Survived

Well I said I'd write about my driving lesson assuming I survived and now I'm writing this after that lesson, which means that yes, I survived. Go me. I'm awesome. But yeah the driving lesson was a little over an hour long. It was going to be 90 minutes but we had to cut it down a little because he had to call the English version of the DMV to verify that my license was real.
Thankfully it wasn't like this and only took a few minutes
There was also another issue when I had to run back in to my house to take my coat off. Unfortunately there was cat hair on it and he asked me if I could take it off so I don't get cat hair in his car. That was understandable. Especially because as an instructor he might teach someone with a cat allergy and he says sometimes people try and charge him for dry cleaning if their clothes get dirtied in his car. 
I have a new king
The lesson itself was pretty smooth. I didn't make too many, if any, fuck ups. I also wasn't pipped at by some road raging idiots. I didn't hit anything either. I have a few issues but I'm just starting out again and we can work on that. One problem I have is clutch control. If you've ever driven a car you don't realise how difficult it can be to use the clutch properly. I was also worried about things too much. I was worried about the cars around me and making mistakes and the main thing I need to take away from the lesson is to remain calm. 

Of course next week is Christmas so my next lesson is two weeks away. 

Do you have any memories of driving lessons?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Back Behind The Wheel

You might remember last year I had driving lessons. It was either last year or the year before. I'm not sure to be honest. But yeah I had about four or five driving lessons before I unfortunately had to stop. My instructor had health problems and ultimately had brain surgery and that put an end to his driving instructor days. Or he just never contacted me again.
I never quite saw something like this though
Last year I also tried to get my hands on a motorbike license and failed. Miserably. I had no biking experience and couldn't stay on the bike properly. They say you never forget how to ride a bike but they lie! Well I could ride it and stay on it, just not properly. Maybe I always had bad balance?
I could never do something like that
Now I'm going to go back behind the wheel again properly because in my search for a real job, I've decided I should get my driving license at last, at last, again. My dad and I set up some driving lessons and my first one is actually today. It's been so long since I drove I'm going to be starting up pretty much from the very beginning again. I wasn't too bad last time though and was driving around the town centre by the time I had to finish.

If I survive I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow! 

Monday, 15 December 2014

This Is Not Just A Post

Well that's a very misleading title seeing as this just a post. What else could it possibly be? The reason the title is like that though is because of the nature of this post and that title is a play off of what this post is about. In case you haven't heard yet our fellow blogging extraoadanaire Al Penwasser has published a book available now on CreateSpace (and by extension Amazon).
Check out that fabulous cover.
It details the various adventures that Al/Kenneth/Blogger X had during the first nine months of his career in the navy. Who wouldn't want to hear some of the fun true stories of a man's time in the navy? I wonder if it's as gay as the Village People make it. I guess you'll have to read the book to find out. Or just ask him because he'd probably tell you. Apparently there IS a story of a marine who couldn't keep his erection in his pants.

Penwasser Place, the blog Al runs, is always entertaining and Al/Kenneth knows how to tell a great story. I'd say the stories in the book are great but to be honest I'm poor as fuck so I haven't bought a copy yet. I can't even spare five bucks. So, yeah, I'm just guessing they are because of how good Al is at telling stories.

So if you're interested in a true story and what it's like starting out in the navy and seeing the world then check out It's Not Just A Job by Kenneth Lynch.

No, we're not sure what it actually is if it's not just a job. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Well That Was New

So I went to my first Christmas meal on Wednesday. By first Christmas meal I mean my first with, say, an employer. I've had Christmas dinner before. Well anyway, I said before that I was invited by the boss of the charity shop I volunteer at to go to the Christmas meal and I accepted.
Free food yo. 
I had a few ideas of what it would be like in my head. I even warned a friend I might be a bit drunk by the end of the night. That was kind of a silly thing to do because it turns out there were no free drinks supplied. My boss was nice enough to buy me a drink of cola and part way through they did give us water. So I never ended up drinking any alcohol. The food was really good. It was a full three course meal and the turkey in the main meal was wrapped in bacon. So. Much. Bacon. It was glorious.
I'm hungry now
To be honest there weren't many experiences to discuss. I had a bit of a conversation with my bosses but I was on a bit of a quiet table for the most part. I had some laughs but nothing major to report. The place was really nice though. Way too many mirrors though. The stall in the men's bathroom had mirrors on the door (on the outside) so when I went in I had no idea it was there and then I hear some kid talking and realise that there's a stall there. I didn't even notice it because it was just a huge mirror. So as much as I'd like to say something great happened it ended up being fairly uneventful.

Do you have any eventful stories from a Christmas meal? Either family related or business related. Even my family Christmas meals aren't too eventful. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Another Few Pounds Lost

One thing that happened to me in these busy past few days is that on Tuesday I was weighed. Remember I was weighed deliberately on that day (although it was actually the day I would have been weighed anyway) because I had an "office" Christmas meal yesterday. I'll post about that some other time. Back to the weight thing though.
Yay for scales
I kind of already gave away how I did in the title to this post. To be honest I was almost expecting a gain. I'm starting to feel pretty fat and demotivated. I've also been stressed which has lead to me eating more. Despite all that I still lost three pounds though. Which is good. I guess. Any loss is a good loss. I just have real trouble seeing things like that. I'm not in a good place folks.

I hope the next five weeks goes better. I still managed to lose weight over the last Christmas period so I have every chance of doing it again this time. Christmas is no reason to not lose weight. It's essentially a cheat day which doesn't have much of an effect on total weight loss. It might extend into another day or two but it won't really damage your attempts much. Keep that in mind if you're trying to lose weight over Christmas; it's entirely possible.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Less Time Means Less Happiness

I was doing things I generally do in life; mostly these days it's trying to not drink myself to death. I have to keep reminding myself that I can't afford booze. That's when I really thought about what my problem is right now. There's no real order or balance in my life.
I'm the kind of person that really benefits from plans and organisation. I have a hard time committing to things if I've not planned to do them. Like I have a hard time writing because I've found time. Back when I was doing my therapy the main thing she told me was to plan my days. For a while I did and I was able to stick to the plans and get things done. I tried to plan my life more and it worked well, and then my life became unplannable.
I have no idea what I'll have to write each day, and I don't know how long it will take me. So I can't really write or plan around my work. There's also no telling how much my work will take out of me. Some days I end with lots of creativity and energy left in me and some days I want to just stab something. I've been really stressed and depressed lately. To be honest I'm considering asking my doctor if I can have low level antidepressants without being in therapy. I just don't have the drive and motivation and right now I'm not in a position to get it back.

Right now I just keep sighing and thinking things won't get better rather than taking steps to make them a little better. I have some plans but will I go through with them? Hell if I know. What's worse is right now I feel like I'm the one to blame for my problems so I won't really complain about them because I'm not really doing anything about them. I just needed to get this out and I'll probably shut up about it now.

Is your life organised at all? Do you at least have some kind of weekly schedule? 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Walking Dad

I have yet to see an episode of The Walking Dead but one particular part has become infamous online because it became a meme where people create dad jokes. Dad jokes are the most beautiful type of joke there is. I'm almost looking forward to being a dad because I'll get to say a lot of dad jokes. I still make them of course. So here are some of the best Walking Dad pictures

It took me a minute to get this one

Alright that's enough for now.

What are some of your favourite dad jokes? Don't pretend to not love them. 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

There Are No Breaks On The King Jong Krazy Train

Reputed dictator and glorious leader of North Korea (I don't want him launching a nuke at me so I'm playing nice) has come up with a brand new ruling of krazy (I'm hoping he can't spell properly) and decided that no more should any man, woman or child born in North Korea share his name. This comes not long after he decided that a great deal of men should have his hair cut. So he's clearly sending mixed messages to his adoring public here.
Who wouldn't want that glorious hair?
Now I'm sure he has his reasons for this latest bout of insanity. I mean, brilliance. It's genius. Apparently his dad and grandfather issued similar orders in their times. I just hope that somewhere out there exists a Kim Jung Deux and a Kim Jung Trois. But this does pose an interesting question;

What would you do if you were a dictator?

"Obama Dictator" was a suggested search I had to check out. People be cray cray.
I have to admit I would probably do the naming thing. My name is stupidly common and I hate the idea of other people also being called Mark. So from this day forth I shall be the only person called Mark. Sorry Fang. You are now Fang. It's more badass anyway I'm doing you a favour. Outside of that I would just stay in my mansion for a while and live off of doing no real work. Being a dictator sounds like an easy and cushy job. My actual economic plans would take a while to go in to but essentially I'm all for public services.

You're given complete control of a country. What do you do? 

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Cereal Bar

You know something? Cereal bars are awesome. Like, really awesome. It's breakfast in bar form. How can you go wrong with that? I always wondered how they made them though. I wonder about a lot of stupid stuff I shouldn't really. Or stuff that would be easy to Google. 
God damn that thing looks delicious
But I'm not actually here today to talk about A cereal bar. I'm here to talk about THE Cereal Bar. That's right folks some people decided to get together and they created what they call the Cereal Bar. It's a restaurant that sells, you guessed it, cereal. It's a restaurant dedicated to selling cereal exclusively. 
Now I'm all for start ups and people going in to business for themselves. I actually wish them nothing but luck. But I feel they're probably going to need it and that this has the feel of two guys getting really high and deciding this would be a great idea. I imagine it went like this ""Dude...dude...duuuuuudeeeee...what if, like, dude, hear me out here man, dude, what if like, we just open a cereal bar? Like, it can be, dude, a literal cereal bar man. It's a bar, but all we sell dude, all we sell, get this dude, is cereal. Like, whoaaa man. Whoaaa. This is some good shit." Then they spent five minutes laughing over the name Cereal Bar. 

I can see this having some initial success as undoubtedly hipsters will be interested and people will go for the novelty but I'm not sure how they can last in terms of long term success. Still, again, best of luck to them. Maybe they'll end up millionaires. 

How do you feel about a literal "Cereal Bar"? Do they have any chance of long term success? P.S apologies to Fang for the stereotypical view of stoners. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

It's All Ogre Now

This post actually has nothing to do with ogres. I just really enjoy that pun. Shrek is love. Shrek is life. Anyway, the world may actually be on the verge of ending. Forget the Mayans, forget super volcanoes, it's going to be Microsoft that kills us all. That's funny because I always thought it would be Google or Wal-Mart. So what have Microsoft done? They made Daleks.
So far these Daleks don't have ray guns yet but it's not going to be long. They're robotic security guards that Microsoft have patrolling a compound in Silicon Valley. I found out recently that Silicon Valley is an actual place. I thought it was just a nickname for the place where a bunch of tech was developed. All the tech there might have influenced the name but that is it's genuine name. Anyway, back to the Daleks.
Even if you aren't a Doctor Who fan you've probably heard of the Daleks as they've invaded as much popular culture as they have planets. We're all screwed now because the Daleks are coming and they'll kill us all. Security guards? I wouldn't trust them to secure me. Only to kill me.

Okay but on a bit of a serious note it's a bit sad that a job that can be done very well by a human is being done by a robot. Give it time and all jobs will be done by robots. Hopefully when that time comes everything is free because it costs nothing to produce but I doubt it.

So just how screwed are we? 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thanksgiving In The UK

This isn't the post I was going to make today but I just shifted that post to tomorrow, which means that for once I got an entire week's worth of posts made in advance! YAY! It's been quite a while since I did that and it feels good to have everything taken care of.
Feels good to be able to relax
As you know it's Thanksgiving today. It's thanks to that, pardon the pun, that you probably aren't reading this post. Frankly I could put any stupid stuff up and no one would see it. Not that I'm actually going to do that. Instead I'm going to post about Thanksgiving. See, I read some interesting news that said that Thanksgiving is sort of becoming a thing here in the UK. A lot more Americans are living here now and they're eating Thanksgiving dinner. I've noticed over the past month or so that frozen turkeys are being sold in stores even though Christmas dinner (when we eat turkey) isn't for another month yet. Turns out part of it is for Thanksgiving.
God damn that looks delicious
There's actually an American ex-teacher who started growing pumpkins here 30 years ago to feed his students Thanksgiving dinner and now he gets a lot of sales this time of year. When you think about it selling pumpkins is a great idea for October and November. You sell a lot for Halloween and then sell even more for Thanksgiving. I should buy some turkey eggs and an incubator. I hear that's all Bernard Matthews started with.

Happy Thanksgiving folks! 
(next time you complain about different cultures invading yours remember your culture is invading other country's too. Of course I kid.)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Automatic Parental Controls

So my internet got really messed up last Friday and really that was the worst time for it to happen. My internet service provider decided to add automatic parental controls to my internet which means that some of the websites I frequent are now blocked to me.
Well fuck you too BT
To be honest I heard they were rolling this out ages ago and thought that it had passed me by and I wouldn't be subject to it. I guess I was just late to be added to the list. It's also possible that someone in my family turned them on but the only person who would is my sister and she has a completely separate ISP now she's moved out. At least I think she does.

Automatic parental controls has become a thing by a lot of ISPs these days and a lot of them block perfectly legitimate sites. I'm not actually trying to access porn or anything like that. This kind of automatic blocking bothers me. Especially something like automatic parental controls. Seriously all you're doing is impeding the people who don't have children or who don't want parental controls even if they have children. It's not the ISPs responsibility to set up parental controls. I set up controls myself on the computers my nieces use and I feel parents should do the same rather than let someone else do it for them automatically. It's going to take days to turn these off because even though I changed my password and can log on to my BT mail, a BT ID is a totally different thing and I'm going to need to wait for a letter from BT so I can set a second one up. My phone has also had these settings put on them by Vodafone.

God damn it.

Have you been hit by automatic parental controls? How do you feel about them? 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Things Came Up

Some things happened that have left me stressed and just not up for doing much. Unfortunately that means the blog is going to have to suffer today and I'll have to be lazy again. I've done this so often I should consider making it a regular segment now eh?

It took me too long to get this. Say "Fiancé" slowly.
Further proof cats are liquid
This cat is an engineer
Only enough bread for one sandwich
He'll grow into it.
I'm not saying Internet Explorer kills people...but it kills people
I want a hamster dam

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Stay Safe Out There

I heard a few reports about a nasty snow storm in the New York State area. I have friends who were hit by it but didn't know too much. Then I read more about it and damn, it's not that pretty. Snow is beautiful. Snow storms are not so much really.
Okay that's still pretty
It turns out that so far five people have died and plenty of people are still stuck in the snow on the interstate and in their cars. I'm also hearing a lot of good things though about people sticking together and opening their doors for their neighbours who got trapped. People aren't quite home but they are in the warm.

I hate to sound preachy but winter is always a time to remember the homeless who are stuck outside. Even outside of snow storms and natural disasters, keep people in mind when you're out and about and help as many people as you can. Be a decent human being.
Oh Wile E. how I miss you
It turns out things are getting pretty bad across the whole US and not just New York State. Temperatures are getting pretty low so make sure you stay warm folks. Stay safe too. Ask yourself if a trip is really worth it and if you find someone stuck in the cold offer them a helping hand.

Be a decent human being when you can, and a smart one most of the time, if not all the time. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Hard Sell

Thanks to the article writing job I now have I've written about 100 articles or so since I started way back when. It feels like forever ago. I've done things with a lot of different variety though and some of it is pretty fun. One of the things I write a lot in the articles for my job is sales pitches.
That's certainly what I aim to do. 
I've quickly discovered something I didn't really know about myself; I am a god damn masterful salesmen when I want to be. I can make a lot of things sound awesome and reliable. I've shown it a couple of times here on the blog too but never really to such a degree that I think "I'm pretty good at this." Because, well, yeah I'm pretty good at this.

It is my hope now that when the time comes to sell my own work I can use these skills to do that; to make what I have to offer out to be as good as it is. That's one big problem I have when it comes to selling myself and it's a problem we all have with selling ourselves; Confidence.
That is one confident kitty
It's easy to sell something you don't really know about because there's nothing in the back of your head saying it's not as good as you think it is. You don't know that. But if you try to sell yourself then there's probably going to be those thoughts. You have to push those aside and remember that if it's something you made using a skill you're good at then there's a damn good chance what you made is good. Because you, yourself, are good.

Do you have the confidence to sell yourself well? 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Jack Of All Trades; Master of Not Much

I know some people who are, or were, in advanced classes when they were in school, and it got me thinking a little bit about my own education. I was always in the top classes, but in England advanced/honors classes just aren't a thing. So I was lumped in with the super smarts when I wasn't too high above average. I was smart, but not really smart.
"I am so smart, I am so smart. SMRT, I mean SMART"
I was good at everything (except gym for the obvious reason I was pretty damn fat and out of shape...yet when I went to the actual gym I was even good at that...huh) I tried but never really excelled at any one thing. I also realised that's really how I ended up in life in the end. There are plenty of things I'm good at. Maybe not plenty, but things. I'm a good writer, I'm a good listener and advice giver, I'm a good talker when I want to be, I'm good at blogging. But excellent? Is there anything I'm truly good at? Hell if I know.
Jack of Blades; close but no cigar
There might be people who tell me I'm an excellent writer but it doesn't mean much unless I believe it. I believe I'm pretty good at it, but that's it. Being a jack of all trades may sound good but it's one of the worst positions you can find yourself in life if I'm honest. There's so much you can do, but nothing you truly feel you can. All the opportunity and ability you have ends up being squandered and you focus on nothing. It sucks. Do I want to do this? Do I want to do that? I don't know. I have all the potential in the world but find myself doing, if you'll pardon the language, fuck all with it.

What would you say is your special skill? Heck, what would you say mine is? 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Not Feeling Good; Take This

Thanks to a mixture of a lack of sleep, stress, and major technical problems I'm hardly in the best physical condition right now. Instead of trying to think up a lot of posts for you take these pretty pictures instead.

...He's not wrong

Dogs are harsh

Perfect ad placement. Thank YOU Wikipedia.

It's so cute

Poor little Timmy had his dreams crushed by being successful

Gotta love trolling cats

"You'll never guess what happened..."


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