Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't just exist, be alive!

Me, Leigh, Cropper and Lou decided to have a last minute barbecue, but it was almost 'game over' before we started. Upon arriving at the supermarket, we went about getting a trolley full of things we needed; plates, cups, cutlery and the like. But when we reached the meat aisles... the emptiness devoured our souls. The shelves were completely vacant. Not a burger in sight. So we picked up a few sausages hoping there may be some frozen burgers further down. We reached the frozen section and there was not a single item on the shelves. The place had been cleaned out by the more prepared members of society. 
The sun was setting on us, and we were still in the supermarket.
"Wait what are these ones... Gluten free? What's wrong with these?" The voice said behind me. Our saviour managed to find packs of frozen burgers in the 'free from' section that nobody else had seemed to notice.
We went through the checkouts and picked up some huge garden candles to ward of mosquitoes. After a quick stop at the local shop for lighter fluid, we set up our barbecue and candles whilst the blood hungry mosquitoes tucked in to their four man banquet. The smoke seemed to help a little but we could only imagine the hordes of flying vampires that waited beyond our protective circle of citronella candles.
The darkness crept up and we began our night time barbecue. 
By the end of the night, both myself and Cropper had several mosquito bites on our hind cheeks. Oh how they itched.
The food was so delicious that we decided we would do it again the next day.

So this time being a lot more prepared we set out on our second adventure early in the day. The weather was stunning, not a cloud in sight. We took our barbecue kit to Helsby Hill and upon our arrival we were again dismayed by our disorganisation. We had no drinks. So Cropper and Leigh went to find a shop while me and Lou marched up the hill to get the barbecues going. We got to the top and spent a good 20 minutes setting up and finding stones to protect the hill from any spreading flames. I took out my lighter and tried to light the first disposable barbecue. It was no good, the lighter would not ignite. Cropper and Lou were already nearly back at the hill and we had no way to light our barbecue, or so we all thought.
Then the idea jumped around my head like an exited puppy. "I KNOW I KNOW!" I shouted.
Without further delay I took apart the broken lighter and removed the spark mechanism. I then doused the end of a dry twig in lighter fluid. Using the spark mechanism to ignite the twig, I was then able to light both barbecues comfortably! 
I did the chef work again and we all enjoyed an awesome lunch on Helsby Hill.

Following the barbecue, we decided we would go to Delamere Forest with the children's pedal Go-Kart that we modified and then named 'Johnny One'. 
Here is the video of the carnage:

The death of 'Johnny One' left us with great memories of fun times. I was determined to find his successor pretty soon after his death. The time had come and I searched everywhere for a replacement. I started to give up hope. Then out of nowhere, a curious looking vehicle edged it's way towards me. It was the one and only 'Zipp Nine' the Go-Kart of Destiny.
He needs a little work before the weekend arrives, but it's only a few things like removing pedals, increasing tyre pressure, tightening some bolts e.t.c.
The Go-Kart of Destiny
'Zipp Nine'

When the earth is dry and the sky is blue, the trials for Johnny One's successor will begin.
I believe in you 'Zipp Nine'. You are the Go-Kart of Destiny!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rain Runner

The running shall continue, wind, rain or shine.
Rivers of rain water riddled the streets. Armed with my running shorts and dry-fit running vest I stepped out in to the open. The rain was so intense that I could feel its weight on me as I began to run. I set my pace and I felt like a soldier, raindrops splashing across my face and dripping from my nose and chin. I mean why wouldn't I when I had the 'Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2' soundtrack playing in my earphones!

I managed 3.5 miles with energy to spare. The run felt better than last time, perhaps because I hydrated properly throughout the day and ate the right foods. So today, even though I was only going to run every other day, I am considering another run.

The cravings for chocolate and biscuits started already, but eating a bowl of cornflakes seems to suppress it well. My colleague planted a custard do-nut on my desk today. It will not be eaten. I told him no but he is making me feel guilty about 'not eating' the do-nut. What a pain. Nice test for the will power though. Now I know I can resist free snacks that smell delicious at least!

Speaking of snacks, a very good friend of mine introduced me to 'Lovetub - Caramel Pudding' about a year ago. Since then, they have disappeared from the places I once found them. They are the best puddings ever when eaten with a decent vanilla ice cream. Perfectly fattening. I had to argue with myself about searching for them in the shops tomorrow. The problem being is... just one tub would be like an 'add 10 stone' pleasure I can't afford. Losing weight is hard work, and anyone that tells you it isn't, is lying and/or doing it wrong.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fat and lazy - Health Kick

Physical training and a good diet was shot to hell almost a year ago with the arrival of a major chest infection. It lasted three whole months. During this time I managed to develop a taste for doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely everything. Procrastinating at every opportunity, I gradually gained almost 2 stone. From 12 stone to just under 14 stone in the space of a year. 
To break this bad habit it was going to take both mental and physical training.
The first thing I did was fix myself into a good routine for sleeping. Getting a good night sleep and going to bed as early as possible, 10:30pm bed time and 7:00am rise for work nights. Even at the weekend I tried to get to bed before midnight. It only took a week of practice to get into the routine. This mental training works wonders. I already began to feel refreshed and happy about my day.
I introduced better eating habits in the following week but I still got myself a takeaway at the end of the week.

One problem I have with diet is that I don't enjoy fruit at all. So I get 100% fruit smoothies in Asda for £1. Drinking these was much more enjoyable and made it easier to get the healthy natural energy boost.
I don't really enjoy salad very much either. I know tomato is very healthy so I try to use tinned chopped tomato to make pasta dishes. You only need to add a few tasty spices and some chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms for a lovely pasta sauce. My advice is... GET A DEEP BASE GRIDDLE PAN OR NON-STICK FRYING PAN. You will use it for everything! Best of all you need little to no oil when cooking!

Yesterday I got up and got my running kit out of my drawer and placed them on my couch folded in a neat pile.  I knew seeing the running kit after work would be mental inspiration to just get out and do it. So I finished work, and went for a run. I ended up running 3.55 miles in just over 30 minutes. This burns around 500 calories. Then I got home and did 20 minutes of various barbell weight exercises.To put things into perspective, that's a lot of work just to burn off half a Burger King meal...
Did you know..

A 'Whopper' alone is just over 400 calories.
A large fries is 450 calories.
A large soft drink will be around 250 calories..
So... 1100 calories in a meal? Can you really burn that off along with the other meals you eat that day? If you don't/can't you WILL put on weight. 
The average (moderately active) body will burn between 1500 and 2500 calories on its own depending on what you do throughout your day. Walking to the shops, walking around work, cleaning the house etc. 

Not only that but you hardly get any nutrition from a meal like this. You can actually end up feeling tired, down, depressed or the like... all because your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs to function correctly.

So after my run and weights session, I went to Asda and bought myself some fresh chillies, mange tout, baby corn, spinach, and a bag of fresh stir-fry vegetables. Then got some fresh egg noodles and some chicken breasts. 
The chicken breast was chopped and any visible fat was removed. Then it was pan fried in garlic and black pepper. I just used a normal deep pan to cook all the vegetables at the same time. Once the spinach had shrunk, I threw the fresh noodles in with the chicken to fry for a few minutes. The noodles were then put in the dish and the veg from the deep pan were put in to the frying pan and stirred for a minute (this was to give the vegetables a chance to take on some of the garlic chicken flavour) 
Then I ate all of it and it was delicious!

Today I am aching all over. I just had some tinned mackerel on toast for lunch and a glass of banana and coconut smoothie. Now it's back to work and hopefully later I shall be doing some core exercises and stretches, nothing too strenuous!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life is a Lego set - Just need the right pieces!

In a materialistic age of consumers, who, in their right mind, wouldn't be able to help themselves to the materialism offered so freely to those who have the coin to trade.

I often dream of a life filled with the things I want. Without wants and needs there would be little purpose for our existence. Living on necessity alone will not fulfil our dreams.

I have started thinking about what I want from my life. Since most of it has been spontaneous and reckless, I think at 27 years old, it's about time I looked at a few possible futures. Making them a reality will be the challenge my brain needs. Life is like a Lego set, you just need the right pieces to build it how you want it. At the moment I am gathering my pieces to see what I have acquired so far. Then I will work out what pieces I think I need to build my life model and turn it into a reality. I really don't ask for much, considering it's a full on dream! I mean don't people dream of mansions and glory? My dreams are achievable and that's the beauty of it. I see it as a challenge I will have to work towards. Necessity is already expensive enough and to buy a house would be impossible in my current situation.

So after the rambling and philosophising I will move on to the dream. The life I wish for and the life I should collect the pieces to build for myself.

I want to live in a land with adventurous possibilities. After some research and talks with people who have seen a lot of this world, I have come to a conclusion that the place that would suit me most would be New Zealand.
With places like this to keep my senses well fed ---->
I imagine there is lots to explore and lots to do in a place like this. It seems like a place of variety.

It is said that variety is the spice of life right?
So snowboarding one month and exploring sea caves the next?

Mountain biking in the mountains. Kayaking. Rock climbing. Hiking.
All the other things I love to do, it's all available here! I know I can do all this in UK but... come on.. this place is much nicer right?

So, I began to think how I'd want to get around in this beautiful place. I would need transport. So I was looking at some amazing camper van type vehicles. Primarily, my favourite of all...

The VW Transporter.
JUST WOW!!! All it needs is some nice green footwell lighting. Maybe even some green door handle lights. I know this next one isn't for everyone but I LOVE it....

GREEN UNDER LIGHTS!! Streetglow LED's or something!

This would also have an awesome sub-woofer and sound system (I.C.E.) to blast out some massive noises.

Now all I need are some adventure companions.
I'd like to welcome my favourite animals ever. 
I would be a proud owner of two Huskys.

Names: Havok & Khaos
They are amazing dogs, so beautiful. They would enjoy the adventure as much as I would.
While we are on the topic of companions, the dream of an awesome lady with massively similar ideals would certainly be coming with me if the opportunity should arise. 

Then I conclude my materialistic outburst with a jig of excitement as changes in my life have already begun. Starting with deleting Facebook and separating myself from a false fronted rabble of social network addicts. I'm off that crap, with no withdrawal symptoms at all. I imagine that this blog is acting like a nicotine patch, feeding my addiction to the Internet in acceptable quantity. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stinky trail riding @ Thurstaston Common

Well I have most of my bike fixed up and it's almost ready to roll down a proper track. So we took it out for some test riding at Thurstaston Common. Using the GoPro HD Hero 2, we managed to capture a bit of the footage. Just for giggles and a fun day out.

So, the weather hasn't been great since the trip to Thurstaston. As soon as it cheers up a little I will take the bike on another day out iron out some kinks and tweek a few more things.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Delta Force Paintball site - Yankeewood

On Saturday 18th February 2012, a team of us went to the 'Delta Force' paintball site known as 'Yankeewood' in Lancashire. It was Gary's birthday party and it was a fantastic day. I took my GoPro HD Hero 2 camera to film some of the footage. The battery ran out halfway through the day so the footage was quite limited. The video can be watched in full HD here:

The moments we missed on film.

It was a 'Plant the Bomb' mission. We had a bomb like object and had to assault a base and place the bomb inside to win. Me and Gary flanked the base, Gary carrying the bomb and myself with a riot shield. We took out several shooters form our flanking position. I moved up alone with the riot shield creating a huge distraction while Gary placed the bomb to win the game. Some excellent teamwork that game.

Unfortunately the day was slightly ruined by unsporting conduct on the opposing team, wiping off paint and not leaving when hit. I hit this guy five times on the knee and watched him wipe off the paint every time. I shot riot shield squads to hell and back on there feet and shins but they just dropped low and wiped off paint.
Also there were many members of our team who didn't really do much as you can see in my video while I'm taking out snipers in towers and campers in huts, other team players are just standing there looking bewildered.

All in all I had an amazing day and even though we didn't win, at least we played honestly and fairly and totally enjoyed every moment of it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rolling out on 24's

Well, I'm almost ready to start free-ride mountain biking again. I decided it was time to get back into it since I'm so close to North Wales and other great downhill/freeride spots.

I managed to get some fairly good deals in the sales over the past month.
Apologies for the low quality pictures. (Webcam and phone cam)

No Fear, Full Face Phantom Red helmet with me inside.

New video camera to mount on top of the helmet.
GoPro HD Hero 2 - Outdoor edition

Last but not least, the DH/Freeride bike to tear up the trails.
Kona Stinky 2007 - 24" wheels

Next step, to get out and ride some trails and make a video or two. Updates to follow.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Round the Devils Kitchen

Today involved some radical fun up the Glyder mountain range in North Wales. Such a rewarding type of exercise, with adrenaline from heights and scary climbs, beautiful views and fun in the snow. What better way to spend a Sunday.
Most people had not long gone to bed after their Saturday night mayhem drinking in town. I was getting up and ready for an adventure! Ahh the benefits of not being a social drinking sheep! Instead I was a mountain goat! Haha!

Check out the video from some clips of today, taken with my HTC Sensation.

Unfortunately I couldn't capture some of the hairiest, scariest moments. There was no way I could operate a phone while sliding down a steep path of snow, 3ft wide, with a 1500ft drop just a foot to my right.

So the extreme bits are stored in my memory banks for as long as I can remember them!

I think maybe I should purchase the HD Hero 2 helmet cam to capture more awesome footage for next time! :D

Friday, January 27, 2012

Time To Give Up Procrastination

Well, I've been back in UK since the end of summer 2011.
I had to find a job really quickly but, with the way things are at the moment, jobs were hard to come by.
My family home in Greasby had been put up for sale. My brother, Barney, couldn't find a job so he had to shoot off travelling so he could work away. My mum bought a house in France with Karl so they could retire and live off the land.
In my opinion they could have saved a hell of lot more on their joint wage first. Just another two years would have done it but hey! Impulse buying runs in the family! Haha!

I managed to find a job in Chester through recommendation. It's really good.
Nice little kitchen studio with my own office where I look after all the designs.
The bosses gave me the flat upstairs to stay in, rent free which is saving me a fortune in travel expenses etc!

Had my first car crash on the motorway early January. Was pretty scary! But I'm okay!
Just gutted that it wasn't my fault and the other guy got away. Now it all comes out of my expense.

No news on the cage fighting just yet but it has been confirmed that I will be re-appearing at Rumble On The Rock. I'm just working on getting fit again now.

My main goal this year is to finish my book, ready for publishing. I've really put some effort in to this and it would be silly to stop now! So.. watch this space. I'm currently at about 6000 words! So only another 80,000 to go! Haha!