I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I feel like I should write something

But I'm really not sure what. I always get bored of keeping this sort of thing up to date :-(

Simpsons is on Sky One at the moment. I've resisted ordering pizza, and instead ate a reduced-price quiche I bought from the Co-op up the road. Bloody nice it was too. As it goes I need to stop buying pizza, it's just so easy to order online. If only some other stuff was orderable online (eg Chinese or Indian), or more unrealistically, if only I could ever be arsed making something rather than just buying it in.

I bought pizza on Thursday night :-( after having a couple of pints after work, following it up with 3 pints at Waterloo and another 2 in the Flyer. I was on my own for the latter 5, getting a bit lonely and miserable and angry and depressed and stupid. Ho hum. Really didn't feel like going to work on Friday but I had to: I can't sensibly work from home without the laptop they've given me, and I'd left it in my desk drawers. Taking the day off sick would have been an option but since I'm working from home on Tuesday too (I love train strikes) I went in. At midday. Ho hum. At least it was pay day.

Did a morning's worth of housework and stuff yesterday before going to my first AFC Wimbledon game of the season. It was shit. Oh well. Went out with Hasty in Wimbledon later on and the damn pub stayed open 'til 1am. Had a beast of a hangover today, but I remembered how I got home which is more than can be said for Hasty, heh. It took me a while to haul myself out of the house to go do some shopping -- I was going to buy a couple of CDs, some books, a watch, a suitcase, some clothes, and perhaps a laptop and camera depending on how profligate I was feeling (my new credit card has a limit of 11,200GBP...). First stop was H Samuel, who had advertised a sale on Casio watches this weekend in the Metro last week.

Kingston's H Samuel doesn't stock Casio watches.

So into HMV I went. Couldn't remember the release date for the new Terrorizer album but Christ Illusion was taking pride of place so I picked up that, and the Municipal Waste album I'd been meaning to buy for months. That's when the hangover really started to kick in. There's something about aircon that really makes me feel fucking terrible when I've a hangover, and my head really wasn't having it. Bought the CDs and left. The Bentalls Centre was doing me in so I headed round to PC World, but decided buying a laptop wasn't the best idea right now. So I just came home. Watched Snake In The Eagle's Shadow which appeared to be one kind of Chinese dubbed into the other (ie Mandarin into Cantonese or vice versa), with English subtitles. Player have been showing loads of martial arts/gangster films from Hong Kong recently and I wish they'd show the ones dubbed into English. Not for the comedy value -- although I do appreciate that such value exists -- but because I could do with not having to stare at the screen the whole time. For a film like SITE'S(!) it's not so bad because the plot is so staggeringly familiar: old bloke teaches rare and powerful kung-fu style to young apprentice, who beats shit out of the evil head of an organisation which uses a different rare and powerful kung-fu style in a 10 minute long fight in the middle of nowhere at the end. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- I've watched loads of these films and never tire of them. As it happens I've just put on The Swordsman, another subtitled martial arts flick. Looks a bit more modern and well-made, but I recognise a few of the actors.

Unfortunately Player are just showing 2 films (twice each) over the next week, and I've seen them both before and not liked them. Even if I did like The Heroic Trio, I've got it on video so wouldn't need to record it anyway. Ho hum.

I'm finally done with booking hotels for my trip. A bit more research found me some places to stay in Perth and Hong Kong, while in New York I decided to stay at an airport hotel even though I have 3 nights there. Most people would head into Manhattan but the price difference was too great, and I don't really want to go there anyway. I'll probably get a cab or subway in on one of the two full days I've got there, but really I'm staying in New York just to rest up for a couple of days between flying in from Tokyo and flying back to the UK (not in business class!).

For all the other cities I thought it wise to book now and just use all the flights I'm booked on. If I get to Sydney when I want to, everything's fine; if I have to go 3 days later so be it. With family in Sydney it's a shame I might only get 2 useful days there, but on the other hand it's probably the place I'm most likely to visit again, and certainly a worthwhile destination for burning some of the BA miles I'll have by this time next year (ie: flying there for free*). Oh, and Expert Flyer says there's some availability on a flight one day earlier than my current one anyway, so that's good news.

I also took the opportunity, while booking hotels, to increase my membership of hotel programmes a bit. Why not go the whole hog, eh? Through work I already had membership of Starwood Preferred Guest (Yahoo! puts us up in the Sheraton, Sunnyvale) and Priority Club, and I discovered that the latter has a level of membership you can pay for: Ambassador. This takes your PC membership up to Gold level (not worth a great deal, I don't think) but also gives you a free upgrade to the next room level when you stay at an InterContinental hotel... which I happen to be doing. I'm also staying at a Crowne Plaza, and any way to squeeze a few more BA miles out of this holiday is fine by me. That's also why I joined Hilton HHonors, heh. But that was Chris's fault really.

Hold up -- I think I've seen this film before, recently too. Hmm. I'm going to put on Wing Chun instead. By 'eck I'm getting through a lot of films these days. Yesterday I watched Team America: World Police, and on Friday me and Wooj watched Sexy Beast. "No Don" "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" Heh.

Fuck! Before Wing Chun started there was a public information film, one about the coastguard, that I recognise from my Charley videos! I didn't realise they were dragging these things out for genuine use again, blimey.

Bank holiday tomorrow and rail strike on Tuesday means only 2 more days in the office for me this side of November.

Realised something a bit surprising earlier today: I've stopped looking at new release mobile phones. In the past when I've upgraded it hasn't stopped me keeping up with what's going on and looking for things that would do something a bit better, but it seems that I'm just too happy with my k800i. And it's true, I really have no complaints with it. The camera is perfect, I have no trouble using it as a modem over bluetooth or USB, I can ssh or browse the web or set my Sky+ box to record direct from it, I just can't think of anything up with it. And in fact last Saturday I felt the same, but Chris was playing with his and sending me messages that took advantage of some features I didn't know about, making me even more pleased with it than before. Turns out you can insert SE-specific (I assume) little animations and melody snippets and smilies into regular SMSes (ie, not MMSes). Fanbloodytastic that is.

Mind you I'm not sure I'll like the look of my next Orange bill, last Saturday alone I must have sent 50-odd SMSes and used a shitload of data too. Eek! Still, it'll be even more horrifying when I'm roaming all over the place.

A lot of those SMSes were sent while I was en route to Graham and Hazel's. They were having some kind of naming ceremony for their new sprog, and I was heading over with Loz and Yvonne's gift in hand. Originally I was going to get a lift over there, but their car broke down or summat, and on Saturday the possible alternative they lined up fell through. So I nipped round theirs and then went across to Lee on public transport. A bus from Hither Green goes pretty much straight to their house, and a Hither Green train was first to leave from Waterloo East so I got on that.

Now, I'd never been to Hither Green before and was unprepared for what came next. Firstly, at the bottom of the stairs, signs pointing left and right, with road names on them. I didn't have a clue which road I wanted, and had foolishly expected a sign to "buses" or similar. Using my finely-honed abilities in getting by with London Transport, I guessed that right was the correct direction. Outside the station there were no bus stops, but there was a map saying "Continuing your journey from Hither Green". Unfortunately it was just a street map. No signs for bus stops or routes or anything useful.

Hmm. What to do? Just about 10 yards away was a big crossroads, so I went and stood on the corner to survey for bus stops. After all, I knew for a fact that there was a bus which served the station. Couldn't see any stops though. Bought a bottled drink while considering my options, and when I came out a bus went past. Going the wrong way, and not stopping, but at least I was on the right side of the station. I started walking in the direction it went but missed which way it turned at the next crossroads, and when I got there I couldn't see it in any direction. Nor could I see any bus stops. For crying out loud!

Another guess was required, and I turned left. Pretty soon after a bus going in the right direction went past me. So while I'd missed a bus, it at least meant I was going the right way. Surely I was going to come across a bus stop soon? No, I wasn't. The next thing of note was an ominous looking turn along a road which looked like it might be one a bus goes along. I chose to assume it didn't, and carried on along my existing route. 5 minutes later I still hadn't found any stops, but at the end I could see a big road with buses going past. If I couldn't find a stop for the bus I wanted I could at least make alternative arrangements.

Reached that road and there were, of course, stops in both directions. Picked left, crossed over, and glory be the first stop was one which the bus i wanted served, and in the right direction 'n all. Hallelujah! Got on it and learnt the cause of all my grief: all the roads the bus goes along surrounding Hither Green are hail and ride sections of the route. I'd not seen anyone hanging around in likely stopping points and there'd been nothing at the station giving me a clue. FFHS. Obviously a very "you're not from round here" type service, where you can only use it if you already know. How are you supposed to know what time the last bus is though? Twats.

I had to leave the party after not too long 'n all, because I was off to a gig in town where the doors were opening at the ungodly hour of 1630. Only 4 bands on (despite Stargreen claiming 5, and because of that I missed Gorerotted :-( ) we eventually went in at about 1825 and only saw the top 2: Cryptopsy and Celtic Frost. The former were good but way too quiet, the latter were just good, but by unfamiliarity with the songs didn't help me. We were outside the venue again come 2145! Way too early, bloody club nights making everything happen 90 minutes earlier than is sane. Still, it gave us time to grab a pint, and I put one quid into a fruit machine that promptly paid me 50 quid out. Result.

Fuck. First ads in Wing Chun and I've not been following it at all. Time to stop typing and watch it (from the top) methinks.

1 comment:

Nige said...

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