Friday, 31 October 2014

I'm An Old Crippled Man On The Inside... It's Slowly Working It's Way To The Exterior

Did you know that having a beard dramatically increases your wood-chopping capabilities? 

I must apologise, that opening sentence has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm about to talk about in the rest of this post. If you are lucky, I may mention my beard however the last time I chopped wood was a complete failure so I won't mention that. I'll just leave it up to your imagination.

So, a few things have happened recently. Firstly, I went to Paris with my beautiful significant other.

Here are some highlights:

  • We went to the bridge from Inception
  • The sun came out just as we were stood underneath the Eiffel Tower and a person pretending to be deaf robbed me of two English pounds.
  • I ate snails: they taste like rubbery, slimy nuggets of golden deliciousness. The weird contraption to remove the snails was way beyond my capabilities though, much like when I try to chop wood.
  • Authentic French wine is much tastier than that £3 bottle of corner shop piss in Newcastle on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Contrary to all the travel guides I researched, the French people were all friendly, smiley and happy to help (apart from the woman pretending to be deaf who took my two pounds).
  • I must be getting old because I don't like pubs with loud music any more. 
  • Notre Dame has a way better view than the Eiffel Tower. Mainly because you can't see the Eiffel Tower when you are stood atop the Eiffel Tower.
  • Paris really is the most romantic city in the world.


The only downside to our little trip to Paris was again a sign of my entrance into old age (Yes, I know I'm only 22 but I'm an old crippled man on the inside, it's slowly working it's way to the exterior). We got a coach to Paris from London, it took a good 10 hours through the night and we arrived in Paris at 9am the next day. It's a nice way to travel, you can look out the window, daydream and be gently rocked to sleep by the rumble of the road. When we arrived in Paris after this hefty journey my legs decided that they didn't really fancy functioning for the next 72 hours. My blood had clotted and turned to a maple syrup type substance and I was slowly solidifying from the inside out. It was agony trying to climb the stairs up the Tower. Especially the everlasting spiral staircases to the top of Notre Dame, totally worth it for the view but my legs tense up and spasm at the thought of it.

I didn't let it get me down and it genuinely was one of the best weekends of my life, I've always wanted to go to Paris every since I was a young lad and now my dream was finally true. I fell for the romance of Paris, drank a lot of red wine and got scammed at the
bottom of the Eiffel Tower: it was exactly like all the literature and poetry has envisioned for years.

So that was Paris. Not much else happened upon our return to London. It was mostly me lying in bed whining that I couldn't walk, demanding cups of tea and cuddles.

Back in Cheshire I nipped out to see Alestorm's Pirate Fest at Manchester Academy 2. It was a superb show, all of the bands were excellent and the bar had Iron Maiden's Trooper Ale so I was very very happy. The only downside was every single other person in the venue was dressed as a pirate, apart from me. I must have missed the memo or it was just a huge coincidence that this is how people dress nowadays. I crowdsurfed and moshed like I was 16 again, it was tremendous fun. I broke my shoes and woke up with a killer headache. Always a sign of a good gig. 9/10.

Lastly, I was invited down to a little village called Wick to put my Grandfathers ashes to rest. There was a lot of family there and it was a really nice event, it was very positive and happy and it was great to see everyone. There were some relatives that I hadn't seen for a good 12 years but they still managed to remember my name even though I was suited and bearded. My memory sadly wasn't as good as theirs but I was only a bairn last time I was there. It was at the house that my Grandmother grew up in. I climbed the trees in the garden in my childhood when visiting there, I learned that when my Father was younger he used to climb the same trees. It was amazing to have such a universal connection to one place. I did climb the tree in my suit when no-one was looking just to be a part of it once more.

I was told many a story from my grandfather's and his children's past in this village and it has seen so many events in time. It all hit home when I looked down to my right hand side at the church and sitting on a bench was my Granddad: in a tiny little box with his name on. It was the most unusual thing I have ever experienced. All I will say is that I was glad to know him and will not forget him. His ashes were buried in the graveyard of a church where my Grandparents were married, my Dad was baptised, my Great Grandmother and Great Uncle both are buried in the graveyard and now my Granddad has joined them, It's kind of sweet in a way.

That's all I've got to say about that, at least I got to catch up with my partner in crime and younger sister Zof. It's always a pleasure. Cheers y'all.



Next up is a month of solid work and job applications. I really need to get into full time employment soon or I will start to rot in this bed like the grandparents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Friday, 10 October 2014

I'm Hitting the Road! (Plus 5 Random Images)

I'm off to Paris this weekend!! No, not Paris, Tennessee, the real one. I've never been before and I simply can't describe how excited I am. The fact that it's 4am and I have to be up in a bit demonstrates my excitement to a sufficient level.

I have no idea what's going down in Paris. I know I want to go up the Eifel Tower and eat Snails/Frogs Legs, that's about it though. I'm not to fussed about seeing the Mona Lisa either, I'm happy just finding as many venues for consuming French wine as possible.

I'll write a full blog when I get back so you know what I've been up to and how much red wine I drank. Until then, here are a few random images I found floating around the internet that I either found weird or amusing, take a look and I'll see you next week.


Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/zpKWuhJ


Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/tJqnAgL

In the spirit of Halloween

Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/BKqSshR
Safe
Old but gold


That's all folks. 




Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Rob Vs. The Internet

I'm sitting at home on this chilly Tuesday evening, seeking out a new way to amuse myself on the internet. In this case, I discovered imgur. Well, I say discovered, I have actually been using it a while to look at mildly amusing pictures and either snigger or just breathe out of my nose harder than usual. I have never posted before and decided to change that today under the premise of ‘how hard can it be?’

I decided to post an image from my previous blog about being colourblind. The one with all the balloons in it. Within an hour the post had 1,500 hits and around 50 upvotes. This excited me, there was a good discussion in the comments, no trolls to be seen and generally a nice vibe. It made me feel good. The hits on my blog also went up as a result of this. Again, further ego boostage.

Getting slightly ahead of myself, I posted another picture, this time of my Yoda tattoo. Now, I think this is a very cool tattoo, possibly the best I have and I’m sure there would be a number of nerds and star wars fans out there that would appreciate it and give me my now-precious upvotes.

At this point I'm totally engaged in the process, I’m hooked, refreshing every two minutes to see if there’s been any changes. In an hour or so, my tattoo had around 600 hits and only 12 upvotes. My stomach turned. “Oh, shit… they don’t like me do they?” I immediately feel as though I am the most annoying human being on the planet. I am hated, I am not worthy of upvotes. Seriously, it did make me feel a bit sick when I started to see negative comments (amongst good ones of course).

Looking back, the comments aren’t very negative at all, just moaning little twats that haven’t got anything better to do (looking at their profiles, it seems that it is literally all they do). One bloke simply said that he didn’t like it, another said that the line work was too heavy (Which it wasn't, the skin was simply fresh after getting it done). So, I overreacted and felt a bit shitty for a while. I still tolerate imgur, though I will try to refrain about exposing myself on a personal level with things that can easily offend me, not that I'm one to get easily offended but I quickly got far too sucked into this.

It makes me feel really bad for everyone who is totally exposed on the internet (I know I’m pretty out there but it’s not on an international capacity). Take YouTuber Charles Trippy for example, he’s recently divorced and is now with someone else, Charles is constantly getting battered by kids on the internet who have absolutely no other agenda but to make him feel like crap by personally attacking him. Even if someone shares their life with you, a 10 minute video every day does not show the entirety of how someone is feeling. The last thing they need is a troll bashing everything they've ever achieved.

Getting bullied online is definitely a thing. I have skin as thick as anything and take everything as it comes but to get shot down when you are simply trying to make the viewer happy is enough to get anyone riled up. It’s definitely enough to make the more sensitive creator out there, depressed. The last thing we want to do is stop people creating! That’s when the bad guys win. When we’re all the same, all quantitative not qualitative.

I know how easy it is to write a nasty comment rather than a positive or constructive one.
Why not try it for once?

Why not make today ‘Positive Comment Day’?


Or you could just simply stop being a dick and find something better to do with your life than put people down. 

Try to cheer someone up instead?



Saturday, 4 October 2014

By The Light of the Fire and The Full Moon

Here is a poem I wrote about the beautiful, mystical country of Iceland accompanied by some photographs from my visit in 2010. It's an empty, lonely country but the striking landscapes make up for the desolate isolation that Iceland brings. I plan to return very soon. (All photographs belong to Rob Steer, 2010)

By the light of the fire and the full moon
My breath condenses as I sleep
A cold Icelandic sweat wakes me
A glacial drip of sand and time
Contained within the frozen mountains

 

Hot springs breathe life and death
Sulphuric gasps of a desperate lung
The bulging gland of the earth cries acid
It brings no life, only the haunting midnight sun

 

A land of still turbulence
Trembles beneath my feet
The light on the horizon is not the sun
A distant icy heat

 

A hesitant cry of creaking earth
The ground moves yet again
An ocean of rock, breaking like waves
The sea will soon become new land

 

The village is restless yet excited
This has happened many times before
The fire on the hill matches the fire in the sky
The earth keeps breathing, crying for more

 

Our land disappears, falls under the sea
Buried beneath the mountains high
The freedom we believe
Belongs to the earth

And the fires in the sky

^^ The erupting Eyjafjallajökull. Yep, that's the one that grounded thousands of planes.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Stumbling Upon Featuring: Humour, Hunks, Babes and Parrot Metal

Procrastination is a foul demon, sucking life and time from our very existence. It's probably a healthy portion of the 'why I did crap at university' saga but more on that another time. To further emphasise my point about procrastination. It's 3:20am and I can't sleep, would you like to know why I can't sleep? Stumble Upon. Bastards.

For those who don't know Stumble Upon is a site that generates interesting websites based on your interests and activity: the only problem being is that the internet is endless and the 'stumble' button just keeps on giving, like a pot brownie or that kid in The Giver movie thing... yep.

So here we go. I'm gonna pick a few 'Interests' and stumble on each revealing what soul consuming website it reveals to me.

1. Humour 

1.) Someone isn't making the NFL.

Good catch, bro. It seems from browsing this website most of the 'humour' is about kids getting smashed up by stuff, parents getting smashed up by stuff. Generally be prepared to laugh at other people's expense. I don't find this picture particularly funny. I can't catch for shit, in fact this is a fairly accurate representation of how completely cross-wired my hand/eye co-ordination is... (Source)

2. Nature



Ice bubbles on Abraham Lake. It's pretty. That's all I've got. No Eskimo fart jokes? Anyone? Fine. (Source)

3. Tattoos/Piercing


There's something very Monty Python about all of this. I'm not even going to try to explain it. Perhaps it could be a hilarious prequel to the Eskimo fart joke I never wrote?  (Source)

4. Quotes



I bloody hate these whimsical bullshit quotes about human essence. Don't get me wrong, I love a good quote, I have several books on them and certainly enjoy writing my own, with every little bit of poignant nonsense that dribbles out of my face. THIS, however is the kind of crap that is just filling up the internet and ruining it. If you're going to be poetic at least try not to be so cheesy.  (Source)

5. Babes



Yes, there is an actual sub heading for babes, plenty of crazy cosplay stuff like this, don't worry though, there's one for hunks too. Gonna go stumble upon a nice hunky bloke for all those who are interested. I was unsure whether to include this section butttt what the heck: I'm exploring Stumble Upon so this is what happens. (Source)

6. Hunks




I'll be honest, I did struggle to find a suitable 'hunk' image whilst stumbling. Probably because I didn't really know what I was looking for. I decided that my best course of action was to look out for someone with a physique that is as close as possible to my own...... and then choose someone who was the total opposite.  (Sauce)

7. Astronomy

eso.org

Righto, back to the regulars now. Astronomy is a passion of mine and there is LOADS on Stumble Upon, whether it's research articles or just pretty pictures of stars and Brian Cox. It's a great way to learn stuff. Ahh, the GJ1214b exo-planet: So close yet so far.  (Source)

8. Rock Music

thechive.files.wordpress.com

Stumble Upon does cater to other genres of music, it's just that this one is particularly stuck in my favourite interests on the site so tough titties, we're stumbling Rock Music. Good luck, it's almost impossible to avoid Nickleback trash but in this particular stumble... I approve. (Source)

9. Futurism


So apparently in the future we all revert back to 60s fashion and wear matching knitwear without any shoes in the car. Sweet Jesus, it's like we are looking right into the future, today. I have a feeling everything post-2019 will have a hugely increased bullshit rating. (Source)

10. Bizarre/ Oddities




Last but by no means least. We are going to end on a weird one today. What'll it be? Paranoid conspiracies? Haunted mansions? Royal family reptilian takeover? Nope, 100 crazy facts that everyone already knows because they've been on the internet since 2005. I will be honest though, I've never heard of Hatebeak... probably for the best. (Source)



So that's it. Thank you for paying attention to my ramblings. At least you had lots of pretty pictures to look at this time. Click 'source' for all of the sources. All images are not my own and belong to the source provided! AWESOME SOURCE! STEAK SAWCE! 

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/robsteer 

Don't for get to subscribe by email over on the right or follow using your Google account! Send any suggestions of what I should do next my way on twitter or directly on here. Cheers.

Monday, 29 September 2014

5 Things I Hate About Being Colourblind (Plus Colourblind Test!)

So, I am colourblind and have been so my whole life. I don't know anything different so it is rather difficult for me to describe what it is like. Thankfully, with a little bit of research I have found a few interesting ways of demonstrating what it is that I see.

Firstly (and I speak for all colourblind people here), DON'T POINT AND ASK US WHAT COLOUR THINGS ARE!! We are not mentally incapable, we are fully aware that the sky is blue and the grass is green. Sometimes describing colours can be difficult or just plain annoying. I don't like it, every other colourblind person I know doesn't like it, so don't do it. Colourblindness doesn't really work like that anyway.

I never knew I was colourblind until I was about 13 years old, however when I was colouring in at school I'd always colour people odd shades of green, or the sky purple and trees red. It looked fine to me so why was everyone complaining?! I avoided colour everywhere I could, I was perfectly happy with everything being black and white. When we had to do a colour coded mind map in high school my soul was filled with dread. Instead of doing what I was told, I simply made a nice black and white plain and simple bullet pointed list. It's how I prefer it and a much easier way for me to learn... Perhaps that's why I can't get off those damn 'list' websites.

So, here's the deal of it. The below picture shows three images, the one on the far left is for normal vision, all you guys and girls that can see just fine. The middle image is for Deuteran colourblindness, which is when the green light is interfered with, and protan is when the red light is interfered with. Don't worry, I'm not going to get into the science side of things. Take a look:



To me the Protan image on the far right looks exactly the same as the one on the far left (the original, normal vision image). So when you look at the Protan picture, you are basically seeing what I see when I look at the Normal picture. Make sense? I hope so.

This picture amazed me, I show everyone I know and they are really astounded by how differently I see things. It also showed me that there is a whole new spectrum of colours out there that I am unable to access. I can't imagine what certain shades look like, I have no idea what 'Magenta' or 'Beige' is, it's like a totally different language to me

So, now you know what I see. Here are some things that absolutely infuriate me.

1. Bananas


Don't get me wrong, I love bananas so much. The main issue here is that no matter how ripe they are... THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME! Obviously the blackness is a giveaway that's it's okay to eat. But sometimes the only way to find out is to take a bite and break your teeth on a nice (Green?) unripe banana.

2. Geography


I managed to graduate in a BSc. degree in Geography and Environmental Management. I have no idea how I passed when I had to look at maps, graphs and charts like this all day. I know there are a hundred jokes about colouring in when it comes to geography, but seriously, maps were something that I really struggled with. 

3. London



"Yeah, it's easy, just take the District Line" "You mean this brown/green/red/grey one right here?"

4. Cooking



Okay, so I am aware that this particular piece of chicken has not been cooked yet. However, telling if meat is totally cooked through is something I struggle with, the white of the meat against the pink of the raw is really difficult. Don't worry though, I've never been ill or made anyone else ill through my cooking. It's just a bit of a bitch sometime as pretty much everything has to be overcooked just to make sure!

5. Other People



I don't hate people. People are lovely. As I mentioned earlier when it comes to colourblindness, regular sighted people don't often understand what it's like. Now I'm not preaching that it's a disability, or that I should be on some kind of benefits for it, it's just often hard to explain what it's like and it can be a struggle in certain situations. Colour is everywhere, to most people colour is easy but just imagine being confused by colours all of the time. It's annoying and stressful.

There are colourblindness correction glasses in production at the moment, this is brand new technology that has had amazing reviews. I'm saving up for a pair now and I can't wait to try it out and see vibrant colour for the first time! You can check out details for the glasses here: http://enchroma.com/


Colourblind Test






Thanks for reading, follow me on twitter @RobSteer


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Not For The Sensitive (This is a Pretty Grim Post)

Today I woke up at 14:00. Pretty much the same as I have been doing for the past few weeks. I wake up not feeling refreshed, even after 10-12 hours of sleep. There's probably something terribly wrong with me... sod it, my diagnosis is that I just love sleep.

I have spent this lazy Sunday afternoon watching a series of videos on YouTube called Seriously Strange. To be honest, it certainly gave me the creeps. The videos, hosted by Rob Dyke, explore unexplained mysteries, torture methods, death, murder: basically, all the juicy horror topics. A Really fascinating series and very well presented.




I'll be honest, death, murder and mystery (true stories, rather than fictional) does really fascinate me. Can't stand horror films though, they have been known to make me squeal like a startled Ned Flanders. I've had ex girlfriends that have forced me to watch scary films against my will... I hated it, maybe that's why it didn't work out. Can't we just watch Notting Hill instead? I listen to death metal, I enjoy reading and researching the weird/freaky ways people die yet I'm still unable to watch Insidious without hiding behind a pillow. Fuck that film. Can't do it. I understand how people get a kick out of the thrill but come on now, watching a film that makes you do a little wee in your pants is surely something to avoid rather than invest money and time in?

Don't watch the above video if you are particularly sensitive, the video does warn you of that. It does make me feel a little sick but it's more a morbid curiosity. 

The first story in the video tells the tale of Tim McLean. The killing of Tim McLean occurred on the evening of July 30th 2008. McLean, a 22 year old Canadian man, was stabbed, beheaded and cannibalised while riding a bus about 30km west of Manitoba travelling the Trans-Canada Highway.
The cannibal claimed that there were voices in his head that told him to commit the murder because he believed that Tim McLean was an alien. An ALIEN! So yeah, he went straight to a high security mental institution. 

There were witness reports of blood curdling screams, passengers vomiting and passing out at the sight of the cannibal parading the head of Tim McLean as though it was some kind of trophy. To the extent that a few months later one of the police officers at the scene committed suicide whist suffering post traumatic stress disorder form the incident. 

Grim yet still really fascinating. Or is it just me being a bit of a freak?

So this short post does tend to focus on something negative, which I am definitely trying to avoid nowadays but at least I'm not moaning about how I'm at a dead end with no job or home. That'll come next week. 

Have a good one, sleep tight, don't let the cannibals bite.

Tweet me @robsteer to confirm my insanity or to talk about mystery and death.