Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fake Tiltshift

I was reading FNM a while back and noticed some guy had taken a number of photographs, and manipulated it so much that it looked they were minature models. With joining flickr, you get to see different types of photography and of course it inspires you to get involved, try different things and learn something new. I had a chat to John about it and he give me a couple of FAQ websites on how to do it, and was even so kind to provide a suggested item of free software that can recreate the perception.

I've never classed myself as an arty type person, I leave this up to the likes of John, Rich and of course, World respected Andy Palin. So I was quite suprised how good it appeared once you understood what the application was trying to do, what to highlight and what to bring into focus.

Bruge - not really that small

The original photo from the above was taken 4 years ago in Bruge, knowing what the buildings looked like anyhow, it was quite nice applying this technique to the photograph and make it appear to be a mininature town.

Ice formations around a fountain.

Not happy with just taking buildings and streets, I've attempted to apply it to objects too with strange but effective results.

The rest of my fake tiltshift online folder can be seen at :-


Monday, June 19, 2006

Gaffer - to you!

The meeting I had up at the football club was all a little hush hush, not many people knew what was going on, and even I only knew the basics. I got up there in decent time, said hello to the people I already knew, got introduced to those who I didnt. Thats what I like about the club, its all very friendly, all very family so if you dont know who you're dealing with, someone will introduce you anyhow.

Anyhow, the reason I was there, was they were discussing the junior squad that they were putting out this season, turns out that after speaking to a couple of people about getting involved, that they were looking for a manager and a number of coaches. I've always wanted to do football managent, even got to the level where I was looking at how to do coaching badges. Anyways, I'd been asked if I wanted to get involved in football management with an Under 11's squad, and the talk I had with the Junior board was very positive, appears everyone is in the right direction - and they sold it to me.

We had a little handover from the guy who was currently covering the kids, as he was moving on to a new position, so got a couple of names and ideas, and got asked to attend a training session on Wednesday evening. All very sudden, but all very exciting - so much so I'm pondering creating a new blog for my experience - what do you reckon ?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Driving me to .. er drive!

I've got a meeting at the football club tomorrow, and with the ankle healing up quite nicely, I thought its good time to give that old driving malarky a quick whizz, mainly because the car has been sat in the same place for the last 8 weeks.

I wanted to make sure that the car could actually move, just incase the battery had given up on keeping the slidy doors locked - but hey, it worked well, I had a drive around the block and managed to park it nicely outside my place overnight. Today driving, tomorrow the world!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Driving me to shop!

Today has been planned for a while, shopping in Brum for the holiday - including clothes, technology and accessories. FHM were running a promotion where if you take a voucher you get 20% off - which isnt to shabby really - only thing is it ruined a nice photo Nikki Sanderson on the other side.

After lastnight we were a little knackered and hungover, but we stuck with it - including the heat and we managed to get into the city at a decent time, and started with Selfridges straight away, going out seperate ways, armed with our phones incase we got lost or bored. I headed straight to Ted Baker - spent a fortune in about 5 minutes, while in the same time frame - Debbie spent a small fraction.

I picked up an ipod nano to take away, its so small, you just think its going to break, but its actually fantastic. I didnt want to take my big 40Gb ipod away with me - incase it gets smashed - mainly because it has all my photos and ALL my music, some of which isnt stored anywhere else. Thats my reasoning anyhow, and I'm sticking to it - it does look smart tho.

After approx 5 hours, we got the O'Neills surf shop where we placed the voucher on the desk and the nice Oz guy was helpful to both of us - giving us hints and tips in Bali. As we spent over a certain amount, I also recieved a free surfing lesson which is worth around 80 quid - and 2 1/2 hours in total - just in cornwall. Its valid til december - so you never know - might be a laugh for a long weekend away.

All in all, an exhausting day, but enjoyable. Given a couple more hours, think I could have spent SO much more - so probably wise that we headed home.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Driving me to drink!

John headed off to the magical mystical world that is called Wales for a stagweekend, leaving Debbie to lead me astray once more. We'd promised to have an early night as we'd planned to pop up to the Bullring in Brum to do some holiday clothes shopping.

Once we both mentioned cripsy duck, we had the taste on the tip of our tongues, so it was decided, we'd pop to the home of the sugary god to have a bit of chinese related food. We were going to ask MC to come out, as super gary was away with Mr John, however MC was warned to stay away from good people like us, incase she led us astray.

Once we'd finished our lovely food, we popped down to the Well to watch the 2nd half of a world cup game, and bump into some friendly faces. It was also the Leamington Peace festival, so of course, it was an excuse for everyone within a 25 mile radius to a) not wash for 3 days b) to pull out their hippy clothes from 20 years ago and c) talk about the NHS problems that are faced thanks to the government.

We bumped into a couple of Debbie's students (none of which offered to buy her a drink) who appeared to have social problems, one looking like a serial killer (and gets called that by his mates), one who has tourettes and then finally, one that looks like Chico from the X-Factor. Of course, I had to remind them of this fact - shouting "ITS CHICO TIME" and moving my arms like a clock in front of him.

Fun had by all... shopping tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

keep on running ...

Today marked the 8th week that I broke my ankle - so what better way to celebrate it, by going out for a small jog / walk. Well thats what the intention was at the start, however it turned out to be a mini marathon. Trying to get myself fit for the holidays is going to be hard, but with eating sensibly (chips and fish fingers in the oven as we speak) and regular exercise (shopping in brum on saturday) I'm sure I can trim up. After a quick text convo with Debbie about if herself and John were out for exercise, I said I would do around a minute jog, then walk, and turn around and let them catch up when they went for a jog. Debbie explained what they would be doing, which involved a warm up walk to the bridge near the asda turn off, then jog to the "grate". On top of that, it was a walk for an extra minute, then jog back to the bridge again - cooling down with a 5 minute walk once again.

Sounds simple, so I started to walk and when they turned their backs and said they were off for a jog, I thought bugger it, lets jog - and I did - infact it was more comfortable than walking, a minute passed and I continued, next thing I knew, I got to the grate which apparently is around 2Km from our house - not bad going for 8 weeks of no exercise. John and Debbie continued for a minute around the corner, and I headed back, walking/limping a little - then when John caught me up, I thought I'd wait til Debbie turned up and jog slowly back with her - although a couple of stops and starts - managed to get back home without breaking anything or my heart leaping outof my body.

Hopefully this has eased my foot up a little more without putting too much pressure on the ankle - but we'll find out tomorrow/friday on that - although my good leg seems to have pulled/strained a muscle - not good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In your face ebay bidders!!

A cunning plan, so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox! What the hell has this got to do with my world - well you see - with Captain Rich not being too great at the moment, and being away from work, I decided to invite him down for a bit of Deal or No Deal and a sandwich and a sociable tinny while I worked a little more. I found that M&S had a nice deal on where you get one sandwich free if you buy another, and knowing that he's a massive fan of steak sandwiches with onions - thought it would put a smile on his face!

The previous night, I asked Rich if he would put a bid in for some tickets on ebay - and in the mix up, we missed it by about 20 seconds - gutted. I done a further search and there were a couple of sets of tickets on going for the next 24 hours - fantastic. So the plan was, get Rich buttered up, so he would put a bid in for me :o). We were discussing this, and it appears that I live in the 18th century, being an ebay virgin (although I do have a user ID) and dont use online banking. I tell you what, nothing like still using pigs and sheep to barter with - safe and you wont get some chavvy idiot stealing your pin number!

Anyhow, appears that we had 2 minutes left to bid for the Kooks tickets that I was after (sold out in 10 minutes apparently) with with a bit of tinkering, we managed to get a higher bid in and win the tickets - having not put a bid in previously. Sounds to be like a scandal really - you can win anything, as long as you put in a last minute bid which is high enough. After all this online-superinternethighway excitement, I managed to convince Rich that he didnt need this money "electronically" and I would write him a nice cheque.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Madness

Yesterday saw England kick off their world cup campaign over in Germany and you can feel the pressure cooker of passion start to fill up in England of expectation. It was arranged that we all would meet in the pub around the corner as a massive group, cheer on england and have a couple of beers. This did in fact happen, however, with two mini groups on different floors - which was quite nice, as it give an excuse to walk around and be sociable. We tend to use this pub when there are major footballing championships, mainly due to the number of large screens - nothing to do with the locals - honest. We got there around 12:30 ish, myself, Rich, Nomes and Andy P ended up on the top deck, while Debbie, John, MC, Gary, Tom and Abbi were down in the basement. Two years ago, the top deck was packed, however, this year it didnt seem that busy - we came to the conclusion it was down to being a Saturday, being very hot and people staying at home having a BBQ

Kick off came and went - first half was pretty good, second was pretty poor - with England winning 1-0 if you just came back from space.

After the match, I'd arranged to have a BBQ at my gaff, to say thanks to friends for their support after breaking my ankle, so once the BBQ got hot, food started to cook, beer started to flow. Needless to say, John and Debbie got revenge by being the last people there - which was nice to just chill and relax in quiet. Fortunately, there was no "big bloke falling over on patio" or "nomes drinking half a pint of morgans spiced rum" - just chat, laughter, banter, warmth and booze.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Confessions of a 31 year old - part one

I've just been watching "The Hits" channel on the digi-foofoobox and after a couple of 80s tracks from Spitting Image & Star ship, Sonia came on. Way back when (and pleased my sister doesnt read this t'interwebblogpage) I used to like Sonia, and I thought she was pure talent, thanks to Stock, Aiken and Waterman, and my sister used to take the piss everytime I listened to my records. My sister suggested that I fancied her, and I would blush whenever Sonia was on top of the pops or the such like. With fantastic tracks such as "Listen to your heart", "Better the devil you know" and "You'll never stop me from loving you"

Sonia - Listen to your heart

Needless to say, after all these years, I confess, I fancied Sonia. Reckon she's still out there, somewhere, stunning, single and interested.

Future confessions to follow, maybe...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hey Dr Nick!!

During the 5aside football, I recieved a phone call from a colleague from downsouth, Dr Nick, saying he was in Leamington over night (probably wanting water due to their drought) and wondered if I wanted to go out for a couple of beers.

Dr Nick isnt in fact a doctor, but it makes a nice change from cabinboy and captain - so lets go with that theme. Nick is a nice chap and we've spent alot of time on the phone talking about this, that and t'other - so thought it would be nice to get out and about, and try my newly fixed ankle with the big bad world.

"Hello Everybody!"

I managed to walk from my flat down to the Well without the use of my crutches, which on a good day is about a 10 minute walk with the wind in the right direction. By the time I got to the bar, the back muscle was throbbing and pulling, nowt like pushing yourself a little too far hey!

Rich and Aido were already stood at the bar, so had a bit of a chat with them, had a couple of pints and decided that Chinese was the way forward, so a little light headed, we went to the nice posh Chinese just around the corner. We ordered duck pancakes, and a couple of main meals that we shared, and of course, Chinese Beer.

After we chinwagged, ate and paid the bill, we returned back to the Well, for a couple more, then sensibly called time when last orders were called (well, Nick called time, technically) and stumbled back home. A good night, nice to get out, nice to have peking duck too - mmm