Friday, March 31, 2006

Outrun 2006

I dont really like driving games, however Outrun 2006 was released today, with the added extra of multi player game, wirelessly. Rich had the rerelease for Outrun on the Xbox, many months ago, he wasnt very good at that, so what chance did we have at this new version for the playstation portable.

I had a couple of things to do in town, at lunch time, so popped into Game to pick up my version of outrun 2006. Rich had ordered his from amazon, using a gift voucher he had from months ago, however this wouldnt turn up to Tuesday / Wednesday. Worried that I would get some much needed practice, he cancelled his order and ran into town.


We havent had a real catch up, for natters, chin wags, and taking the piss out of one another, and after standing in for captain bob, you can tell he was certainly stressed. So what better way to relax, than a quiet pint and a sandwich in the local pub over lunch time, with a bit of wireless two player game of outrun 2006. Sat at the bar, part munching bacon sandwich, part supping his "Stella Shandy*", cursing and swearing everytime I overtake him in the game.

Have to say, I was well impressed with this game, mainly because of the speed and control needed, but also because of the way the multiplayer game works. One PSP hosts the game as a server, other PSP's link in via the Adhoc wireless mode, when the server is happy, you can press "Start Race", which start kicks everyone elses PSP.

Well worth the money, hopefully more friends with get a PSPand outrun, giving hours of entertainment.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Oh Ah Shearer!

Just had a quick phone call from my old school chum pippa. I'd text'd her a while back asking if she could get hold of a couple of tickets for Mr Shearer's farewell game at St James Park, mainly due to the fact that'll be like gold dust. I recieved a call today from her saying that the money has been taken out of her account and I can have (purchase) one of the tickets from her - YAY!


Random, but funny!

Long weekend in Newcastle required, well at least Thursday / Friday anyways, and good excuse to having an entertaining night with Pippa too!

Perfect Strangers

In times gone by, when you were students, and you had the ability of sitting around all afternoon watching crap TV, once in a while you get a perfect american sitcom. I dont know what it was about Perfect Strangers, but it made me laugh, mainly by the cack handed greek dude who barely spoke english (or american) who got into rucks every week with the locals. Balki Bartokomous, my Greek friend (pictured below) came from a fictional Greek Island, called Mypos. Thats how much energy they put into this show.

Hey Balki!

I managed to download Perfect Strangers using bitolerant and was taken back to the 80/90s - although doesnt appear to be as good as I remember. Funny that, hey ?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Number 31 : Happy Friday

I met Debbie for a bit of a swim lastnight, where I managed to do around 60 lengths, followed by a jacuzzi and a sauna, just to relax from the troubles of the working week, and set ourselves up for a relaxing weekend. We managed to get back to our respective homes earlier than normal, arranged to go for a chinese meal with John and maybe some beverages - well it is Friday, after all.

John was having a couple of beverages with his work colleagues, so we were playing catch up, having some lovely chinese beer in the Ruby restaurant. We ended up having Peking Duck pancakes for starters which was mmm, then I ended up having a Lemon and Honey Chicken with plain rice. This is pretty good and healthy for me, as normally I have fried rice, but Debbie told me I would be all fat and spotty if I had the fried rice, I am already, dont know what difference a plate of none fried rice will do!.

I promised to take John and Debbie to Wildes, where Mayo has been recorded, but when we got there, it was full of old hags and was ram packed, so we retired to the Jug and Jester, and got a bottle of wine and a pint in. John drinking the pint was saying he was tied, so left after that, leaving myself and Debbie to talk rubbish and find lovely ladies for me to talk too and flirt with. There was this foxy student, who was wearing, well, either a very low bit of underwear, or nothing at all - my mind was made up, and grinned for about 20 mins as the image of her going commando floated threw my mind.

A bottle of wine later and debbie suggested I was going a little red, a little like last week, not through blushing, so we decided to call it a night, and walked back to our homes. On the way, waving to random women and singing Blondie's "Call Me" - well, one line anyhow. Good night, relaxing and calm - for a change. Sent lovely Jess a couple of texts to see if she was OK - appears she's back next weekend - yay!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ten Pin Bowling & the Gutter

Rich and I have been mates for years, and we've always said, we'd go to the Bowling place in Leam for a game, so he can give me a lesson in bowling and give me a good thrashing. This never happened, well til lastnight anyhow when we went out with a couple of people from work for a couple of beers and to stare at the lovely students.

John O's missus kindly dropped us off so we could all have beverages as its been a stressful week for most, and we walked in, avoided the rest of them to get to the bar, so loaded with pint glasses, chatted, chinwagged and got setup for the bowling. Earlier that week, I'd let slip to the students that Rich was a good bowler and had his own ball (and turned out his own hand grip) - which I accidently told him his ball called Pandy ( it turns out its called the Dark/Darth Destroyer, depends on how much booze Rich has had inside of him.

I got paired off with John O, Jay, his girlfriend Gillian, Sarah and the lovely Keely, while Rich ended up with some of the sales monkey's and Blunty (who didnt turn up). The bowling kicked off, one game, and I think everyone expected Rich to destroy everyone on the lane. Needless to say, after his first frame, I believe its called, hit the gutter twice, while I scored an 8. This was the theme for most of the night, with much piss take at Rich's expense. On my last frame, I had to get a spare or a strike, then get 2 or more, to beat everyone in our lane -which I managed, and came out with 114 or something. Mean while, next door, Rich was fuming, only reaching a total of 56, blaming it on, i) bad ribs ii) the lane being too slippy iii) the ball not being the usual standard and iiii) his ball being in the back of someone elses car.

The hardcore students left at that point, at 9pm, deciding bed was a good answer, as they were off to CentreParks in the morning, and staying up til 11pm would obviously tire them out. The older group decided beer in town was the call, so ended up in the Jug and Jester (again) for beverages and natter. We ended up staying in there til closing time and got kicked out, some went to TJs for more beverage, I decided bed at that point was probably a good thing, or I would end up in a gutter somewhere.

A great night out, even better when you win!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tomtom to tom's birthday

Abbi invited me to her's and tom's pad as part of Tom's birthday celebration - which was nice - certainly because I've never been there, nor seen their dog (which I promised not to kill?!). We arranged to meet people in the Star and Garter - one of my fav pubs in town, so I walked up in the bitter cold - joined my John, Debbie, GazB, MC and Lord Nelson PFH, then ended up supping on a nice pint of speckled hen - mmmm.

After being rushed to finish my pint, we walked the streets of Leamington only to pass another pub, and have a quick pint of bitter in there, and then finally reached Toms abode. We said hello to everyone in the kitchen, got our drinks sorted, when Debbie re-introduced myself to the lovely Sarah who was at the New Year party a couple of years ago. I'd made sure that when she was upset and drunk at the party, she was well looked after, although she appeared not to remember to much of it, so reminded her of the fact - so we got chatting etc etc. At one point, invited me to move into her new flat in coventry as she cant cook, or anything really - I declinded, stating it was to early in our relationship, and maybe a drink first would be better.

Half of the group played computer games, the hardcore group such as myself, continued drinking, where I chatted to Debbie and Sarah a little more, even braved the cold outside to ensure she had company while she had a smoke. She was at the Colchester v Leam game back last year, so asked if she would be interested in coming up with us lot for the next home game.

Sarah left, and I ended up chin wagging with some of the locals, taking control of John's game when he went for a piss/grab a drink, mopping up spillage from the floor and having a laugh. Debbie was then found on the front door step, looking a lovely shade of eggshell white, so while John called for taxi, I kept her company and tried to make her smile, only to find out that she was sick. When I suggested that she should steal some breezeblocks in her handbag, she lifted her head and looked like something out of Kiss, the metal band, which both made us laugh.

Fair play to John's taxi call - 10 mins after the call, we got picked up and dropped off quick smart. Sleep was needed so I entered my normal coma.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bad Head, Bad Loss

Two mornings in a row, two massive hangovers - that'll teach me to drink like the youth of today - oh well, at least I didnt have a 80 mile car trip to Hereford to watch the Brakes play Westfields, oh bugger I did. Its a known fact that I dont travel very well, so if I do go far, I tend to either drive or sit in the front. One eye on the tomtom, one eye on the front windscreen we gradually got hearer to Westfields, about 5 mile out, I broke the silence and asked to borrow Debbie's water bottle to rehydrate a little. I reckon another couple of miles and I would have barfed all over the place - very very close.

Skipping breakfast was probably a bad idea, but I was feeling so blah, so as soon as we turned up at the ground, paid our way in, I got myself a plate of chips, and sausage sandwich, god, it was bliss, but I was nearly ill then and there because I was so hungry. The game kicked off and you know its one of them days when the lino was calling offsides when he was 5 metres behind the line of play. The silence from the previous night broke and felt myself getting frustrated at the state of the officials, who at the time were being biased towards the home team, so much so, two identical tackles, one from each side, one team got a yellow card (us) and the other went away unpunished. We went in 2-0 up at half time after what I thought was a well ran performance, then after the restart (and a phone call from my mum), we just appeared not to give a damn.

A penalty later, a red card and 3 goals against us and the Men in Black sufficiantly pissing off the fans who drove 80 odd miles, we decided to head back home, not before telling the Ref exactly how it was - I'm not proud of the abuse, but proud to be following the Brakes, and annoyed that a man can just not bother at all - maybe too much guiness the night before. Final score - 3-2, to 2nd bottom of the league - thats football - expect upsets.

Lucky Charms!

After feeling like death all day from lastnight, whats the answer to everything ? Yes, St Patrick's day and more beverage. I nearly died about 3 times during the day thanks to the hangover from hell, I have to remember I'm getting old and cant do this anymore. I managed to crawl to the local shop to grab bread, baked beans and bacon, and cook up a fried breakfast - and suddenly my bodily functions kicked in again.

The plan for the night was, curry, guiness, guiness, slurred words, then coma, and thats roughly what happened, if you insert captain PFH, ensuring that we're marched from pub to pub on time, or DO 100 SITS UP SOILDER!! Myself, John, Debbie and GazB ended up in a posh curry house at the bottom of town, and it was very nice, apart from they dont serve alchohol, so Mr John had to grab some beers from costcutters.

PFH turned up just as we finished and marched us to the Pig, where it was rammed full of nutters, and that was just the barstaff. I sent a text to Rich saying we were in the Pig and if he wanted to pop along, he was welcome. Just as he turned up, we were informed that we were on the move, I stayed with Rich for a quick drink, as he'd walked all that way. We managed to scam some SPD hats from behind the bar, even tho we drank bud and vodka and coke. We caught up with the rest of them in Bowling Green, where that was full of crazies, although, the other side was full of fit birds. We moved onto the Townie House and had a quick beverage, on the way, Rich bid us good day.

We retired, as we usually do on a Friday, to the Jug and Jester, where we drank more Guiness - mmm - we managed to grab a nice located table where we watched the world go by and we had a laugh. Before going out, I bought some Lynx, just to see if the Lynx effect actually worked, and on the way back from the toilets, the foxy fiesty barmaid asked if she could have my hat, being a little drunk I could only say yes, so in return, I got a kiss. I was gobsmacked litterally, and couldnt talk, but just give sign language, steve style, to Debbie, who managed to pick up straight away what I was talking about.

A good night had by all, esp the streetwars that was kicking off just behind us as we walked home - with a clash of 2 groups, consisting of 4 per group. Nothing like SPD when you can hear knuckle or skull noises. Coma I think!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rich's Big Night Out

Rich returned from Poland the other day, somehow managing to avoid being in the UK for his 30th birthday incase of some big scale stitch up. I did promise him that there would be no stitch up, no wind up, nothing, just a couple of gentle beers to celebrate his 30th - this still didnt work - even tho I am a man of my word.

Anyhow, after 2 days of suggesting it would be a good thing, it was too late to invite the usual suspects, ie, he decided at 4pm on the Thursday. Myself and Rich ended up in TJs for a couple of pints and took it easy, while along the street at the Jug and Jester, there was a leaving do for one of the techies from work - which we intended on meeting up later on. Nomes and Andy were supposed to meet us in TJs for a couple of swift ones, however, never appeared, so myself and Rich had a couple swift ones each, well, taking 90 mins. Well, we are getting told, you know!

After them two, we ended up in the Jug, surrounded by old familiar faces including Tom etc, so we got some more booze in, and chinwagged. I ended up talking to a different number of people, at one point someone blatently standing in front of us when we're chatting.

Nomes went paler than I am on a good day, so Andy took her home incase anything happened, we drank up and ended back in TJs for a quick beverage before rolling home to a alcohol based coma - not a very heavy night, you have to admit, maybe 5 pints and a bottle of alco-pops.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Deepheat : Urban myth or actually works ?

After my knackered ankle becoming more painful, I managed to pick up a can of deepheat in town at lunch time. I've seen it used on sports people, but you dont know if it just a psychological attempt to get people over it. However, I thouhgt I'd give it a whizz and sprayed it on my ankle. About 10 minutes later I noticed two things;
  • My ankle was free to move around, and
  • My kitchen stank

It appears to be working and I can bend it around, so apart from stinking (Hint: Dont spray it before you go out on the pull, its not Lynx deoderant), concrete proof it actually works.

Mayo, anyone ?

Lastnight, I watched the first episode of the first series of Mayo - a detective drama which stars Alistair McGowan - based in and around Leamington Spa. I was pretty excited, mainly because when it was being filmed, they were based in one of my locals for 3 days - and thought it would be pretty funny seeing it on the big screen.

The storyline was a little slow to kick off, but guess its always the same when you have a new series, but jumped around, and although not complex, lost the plot a little. The story was based around a "Therapy clinic" which in real life is the Botanical Gardens, where we had our Xmas meal/disco. Other places of interest, personal to myself, included Wildes, the funky wine bar at the time of town, but as yet, no Robbins Well.

Its on BBC1, Sundays, 8pm, if you fancy watching the next episode.

Happy 30th Birthday

Happy birthday to Mr Rich who is 30 today. So far, managed to have beer at 10:37 (UK time) and had breakfast in bed, waiter style. Spawny sod! Should see what sham I've got to deal with at work! Wait til you see your presents, that'll wipe the smile of your face. Have a good one tho!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Damn my Stom-luck

I was looking really forward to tonight, I had a text message from nice jess on friday afternoon saying she was back in town for the weekend. I sent a reply asking if she wanted more of the same like last time, maybe some wine, maybe some natter, maybe upgrading on the Steve Service to some food. She had a few plans, as did I, including football away, which then got called of due to a waterlogged pitch, but hey, what can you do about it.

I promised Rich I would keep an eye out for the chesterfield scores for him whie he was away in Poland, so sat about watching sky sports news, playing a bit of Lemmings and when I went to make some food, my stomach just knacked up (its a geordie phrase, dont worry) and couldnt do anything. Bloody typical, the one night I want to go out and meet up with someone, I bloody cant, so ended up getting a bath, curling up on the sofa and cursed my luck.

I send/received text messages to/from Jess, saying that she would be in town til Monday, so maybe we could catch up on Sunday at some point for a chinwag and drink. Somehow that made things a little better that I hadnt let her down, strange tho it sounds.

I watched Match of the Day, well, technically 5 minutes of it, got bored and ended up in bed around 11pm - how bad is that, I really am getting old!

Damn Lemmings!

I woke up feeling a bit rough today, it had nothing to do with the alcohol from lastnight, I just put it down to one of them days. I was up pretty early, around 10am, which is good for me at the weekend, so ended up surfing the web, catching up with news and chinwagging with Captain Rich out in Poland via MSN. I popped into town, took my fisheye camera and took a few random shots on the way up, and reached town - I pondered around and managed to get a glimpse of a game I've been after for a while for my PSP. Rich commented a while back saying that most PSP games are driving games or sports related, so it was nice to see that Sony had brought out the Legend that IS, Lemmings. Its a "game you can play for 5 minutes, or an hour". Yeah right, more like 4 hours while Sky Sports News was on.

Entertaining game, and yet, basic, its a little harder than the PC version, as you obviously dont have a mouse and the little wiggley joy stick doesnt actually move the cursor, it moves the screen from left to right, a mistake in my eyes. Still entertaining and gets the brain working, which in all honesty, was one of the reasons why I got it - and to hear the little fella's say "Yay", "Wahoo" and "Thank you" in their squeeky little voices.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I suffered a twisted ankle a couple of weeks ago, and thought it had repaired itself, sadly this was not to be the case. Wednesday night football I took a swing at the ball, forgetting to move my standing leg a little and twisted it on the spot. Unfortunately, this was 10 minutes into a 60 minute game, and it began to hurt, quite alot, infact so much so, I tried to run to get the pain out and it was becoming worse, funnily enough. I swapped the teams around so that my team were not at a disadvantage with me being broken, sadly this wasnt enough.

At this point, everyone becomes an arm chair doctor, saying random things like "you want to but ice on that", "you want to strap that up tightly", "oh, you wont play for a couple of weeks with that now" etc etc.

I decided to take some of the advice of "Doctor sofa", unfortunately, the only items I had that were frozen included 4 x Quarter Pounders, and a bag of Frozen French Fries. So 2 hours later, smelling like I work for Burger King I was still in massive pain and decided a glass of wine and an early night was the plan.

Woke up this next morning, unable to move my foot around, luckily the Thursday lunch time game had been called off.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Tea for 4?!

I ended up at the doctors this morning for one thing and another. Picked up a leaflet about tea, saying having 4 cups of tea is healthy, stating it has all kinds of goodness as well as providing you with the bulk of the liquid you need on a daily basis to allow your body to work correctly. It also mentioned that depending on how much milk you have in it, it can provide up to 16% of the calcium needed to help your bones.

MMMedicine Tea!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Locked Stocked and Barrelled

Typical isnt it, I had a bit of a sleep in, first time for a while, and then decided to catch up with some shopping in town, including food shopping. I didnt have much food left in the cupboards, so decided I needed some, and with the weather like it is, and maybe the onslaught of bird flu, best stock up. I managed to get myself dressed around 2pm and got my arse into gear, and ponderd out towards the canal, it looked cold, looked like it was going to snow, so got a bit of pace on.

I got to the front door and twisted the handle to let myself out - nothing - wouldnt move - nightmare. I took some WD40 to it, seeing if I could loosen it up a little, still nothing - and I can only assume that the weather had effected the lock and frozen it up. Using my locksmith knowledge, I decided to take a hammer to the whole thing, and somehow, and I dont know why, broke the lock all together.

I had to call a locksmith, first time that I've had to do this, and the first people Dynolocks were not very helpful, promising "7 days a week, 24 hours a day service - with no call out charge". Sadly the bloke called me back saying he was "a little too busy and had enough on". I decided, bugger the corporations (esp when he tried to charge me 100 quid an hour, excluding lock replacement) - so called a local company.

Within an hour, he was there, trying all kind of things, then, took a drill to the lock as it was completely shafted. I made the fella a cup of coffee while he drilled and made his way into my ally way, replaced the lock and charged me something like £95 for a job well done. Was tempted to charge him 20 quid for a cup of coffee, but thats not the geordie way. By this time it was too late and the shops had closed, John and Debbie returned from their canal'ing "holiday" and popped around to see the new lock in working order. The nice man even tightened up the hinges on the door and offered me free security advice - nice chap.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Saturday Stratford Show

The local "derby" of stratford town and leam was on today, and I was quite eager to see the game. John and Debbie disappeared on their holiday with the rest of the GSX gang and chums the night before, however Debbie was interested in turning up for the game, and I said I would pick her up from the towpath somewhere in Warwickshire.

Around 2.25pm, I received a text from Debbie saying they were about 3 miles from Leam and would I go pick her up, so after watching PFH doing a 5 point turn in the canal and then allowing debbie to jump off, we raced up to NWG to take our places. The game was chocker, with us having to park on the farmers lane about 5 minute walk from the ground. We got there 4 mins into the game and it was a little poor, but we picked up in the 2nd half, with Leam's Leon Morgan scoring with 6 minutes left to go.

I dropped Debbie off in Warwick and coasted back to leam on no fuel, then arranged to meet up with Rich in the boozer somewhere after I got warmed up and changed. It was a nice social affair, chatting, chinwagging and laughing at the local chavs. We ended up having 4 pints, I had an empty stomach so had the munchies, and with no food in, scrambled together chicken nuggets, potatoe wedges and baked beans. I also manged to get the hicups twice in a day - for the first time since about 1982 - annoying Rich mainly - which is half the laugh.