Category Archives: General Musings and Captain Thoughts.

Ode to the PaperClip

Things have changed a fair bit since I was a child, and I can usually accept this. One change however, saddens me. The paper clip guy from Microsoft Word. He was the bees knees, making every document special. All he ever wanted to do was help – “I see you’re making a letter, would you like a hand with that?”. I would spend hours in  school as a kid, “working” and just chat to him, change him, drag him around. He never moaned. He was the perfect virtual buddy. How does society reward this helpful behaviour? We cast him out to be seen no more. “I see you’re trying to erase my existence, would you like a hand with that?”.

He even changed his appearance to be more visually pleasing, don’t like paper clips? He’s a dog. Or a cat. Or a robot. Always smiling and always helpful. To me, this could go bigger than just a paperclips time coming to an end. This could signify the way society works now, too proud to ask for help, irritated by those caring enough to offer it and generally in a downward spiral. Or this could be a load of psycho-babble nonsense, take it as you will.

So the next time you see a child opening Word, tell them about the Paper clip. Spread the word of his heroic deeds and share his teachings with the new generation.


Batman Hipster

Now by no means do I think of myself as a hipster. I don’t complain about somebody liking a band after they make it big and I do not set trends with my hairstyle or clothing. Quite honestly I always found it confusing that people would be annoyed that their favourite small time band manages to make it big, become “Mainstream” and gain new fans. Surely people know that being as big as possible is a common goal set by artists.

That’s why I am confused by feelings and thoughts I have been having for a few years now. Allow me to explain.

As many young boys do, I loved superheroes as a kid. Whether it be Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, The Caped Crusader of Gotham – Batman, or The Man of Steel himself, Superman. I couldn’t get enough. As a kid, this knowledge was common. However, as I grew, debates with friends over who would win in a certain fight, became more intense. Reasoning evolved, they turned technical. Small discrepancies were examined and every claim refuted. This, helped along by having an older brother just as obsessed with them as I was/am and I have arrived here.  A 20 year old who still thinks to himself “If I could be any Superhero, then who…?”. Don’t get me wrong, i’m glad, and i’m sure i’m not the only one. I know i’m not.

Back to the point, for the past three quarters of my life, I’ve loved superheros. It’s fair to say I know a lot about them. I have come to terms and love the fact that i’m a geek. So when I see somebody I know for a fact doesn’t care about it say something like “I’m so excited for the Batman film, i’m such a geek!”, it makes me kind of mad. I’m all for people beginning to like it, but don’t act like you really care. Don’t act like you have been a fan through the comics, cartoons, books and terrible films. Be honest, now that everyone wants to get in on it, you’re trying to act like you are an old-hand on the super scene. However, the truth is, you jumped on the batman bandwagon and are now trying to act like an all time geek, because it’s popular to be one now. The downside to the plan is, one day when you bring up a superhero in conversation, you may get asked a seemingly simple question. This is when your meager knowledge will fail you, and you shall be outcast from such meetings forever more! Or so i hope.

This is why i have decided to make many small posts, each on a different superhero. I can’t get rid of these fake fans, but i can at least make sure they know enough to pass as a real one.

(Back to an earlier point, if I could be any super, I would choose The Flash or The Hulk. Being the best at one thing is the way forward, the only choice is, fastest or strongest.)


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A comeback, a lack of sleep and Rocky.

Hello constant reader (if you indeed exist),

I can only apologise  for my absurdly long absence from the world of blogging. I wish I had a reason for it, I have spent the last half hour trying to come up with a story to entice and captivate you. A story featuring all the makings of a feature film, an awkward but loveable main character (me), car chases, romance, an arch nemesis, betrayal and of course, some (tasteful) nudity. However, I am at a loss for such a tale. So you will have to settle for the truth. I got distracted. Like a small child who may aimlessly follow a paper bag caught in the wind, or a dog chasing a car, for reasons even he doesn’t know. I have spent my time doing nothing overly special or exciting. I have studied and taken exams. I have relaxed with friends and played numerous video games (side note: When put on paper my life has an eerie pathetic quality about it…), I have been drunk, possibly too much so and I have struggled, as always, with the true bane of my existence. Sleeping.

I love to sleep. I also enjoy being awake, what I dislike is the part in between, where you want/need to sleep and can’t. For example, I have now been up for 17 hours, which isn’t a huge amount of time, but when you consider that the current time is 11 minutes to six (AM), it seems somehow wrong.

Regardless, I recently watched, for the 5 time, the Rocky saga. (perfect segue – I know) I’m sure at some point in your life, a speech or moment in a book, film or play has spoken to you on one level or another. For me this statement is no more evident than in The Rocky saga. Mock Rocky or Sylvester Stallone if you wish, but films 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 changed my life ( we’ll try not to mention the abomination that was Rocky 5 ). I have a few examples for you, obviously the first is every single training montage. Nothing in the world of entertainment get’s you more revved up to go running or  hit the gym/someones face. When you see Rocky, in his first film, getting up at some hour unknown to most people, downing 4 eggs in one glass and tying the laces on his converse, you know shit is going down. However the greatest moment from any of the films is a certain speech that Rocky gives his son in Rocky Balboa ( The sixth film ). Please, take a few minutes to watch the video of this speech.

I know how awestruck you feel right now, if you want more, give the following track a listen – Rocky in a song.

If you haven’t seen all the films I implore you to watch them (maybe it’s okay if you miss number 5).

As always and because i’m back – SMILE!

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The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Awesome? Great memories? …Terrible?!

Now i understand, what I find entertaining is strange and alienating to my elders, and one day I may have children of my own with interests that scare and confuse me. Until recently I could accept that as the way life goes, but after spending twenty minutes watching the very first episode of the first series of Power Rangers with my younger brother, showing him the beginning, where some of his favourite shows all started, I have to draw the line. The only word he said, as we watched the five Rangers kicking ass,  as we watched The Zords joining together, creating The MegaZord to save the day, the only word my brat of a brother said was: Terrible. That’s right dear reader, the show I remember from my childhood as being amazing, the show that led to the modern day Power Rangers (which my brother enjoys) is terrible.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who still looks on that time in my childhood with joy, that other people still recognise the titan of children’s entertainment that is the very first series:

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers


I even remember dressing up as the green one (Tommy – My favourite) for a birthday when I was around the same age my brother is now. Tommy, the green ranger is the reason I started thinking about the whole show, as I recently found out that not only was he the green ranger and later the white ranger, he has also been in later series’ as the black ranger, the red ranger and a mentor to the whole group. To top all this off, as if this man wasn’t already a hero in my inner-kid’s eyes he went on to use the skills learnt as a Power Ranger and implement them into being an MMA fighter, he should be proud!

To end with, I thought I’d share some real nostalgia with you all, just click play, enjoy and smile!

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What makes a Man, a Man?

What actually makes a man, a man? Is it as simple as having an X and Y chromosome or does that just make you male, with the term “Man” being reserved for those that physically earn it.

Is it one or all of the many things we associate with being manly, is it facial hair? Being “massive”? Sleeping around and being a stereotypical “LAD”?  Or maybe it’s throwing your weight around to secure yourself the position of Alpha-male?

Some people say that a real man is innately strong, that he doesn’t cry – even whilst cutting onions, he doesn’t get tired from physical exertion and most important of all doesn’t ask for directions despite how lost and far from home he may be.

Or are  the guidelines to being a real man very similar to those for being a woman, or human being in general? Such as being considerate to those around you and being a generally well rounded person. I think that whilst this last one is correct the stereotypical man has changed quite recently, as he has done a few times throughout history.

Cave Man. Though we do not know of everything about cave man, we do know it was a society where the hierarchy was dependent on strength. Basically, you were strong or you were nothing. This ideal carried on for a long time, through all of the stone age, into the times of knights where still the strong prevailed. Even in the fairy-like tales of “king Arthur”, it is mainly the strong who prevail. However at this point, man Knight-Man, knew things were not simply made to be, by the one with the huge biceps carrying the bricks. It was also the one with a medieval style clipboard and planning permission who used his superior brain to plan the whole operation. Further on we go, to Renaissance-Man. He was a diverse fellow, strength and intelligence still being big points in his life, as shown by the great inventors, scientists and architects of the time. However, now we see the entrance of the artist. Great men, who used creativity to make their mark and were still as highly regarded as the great fighters and thinkers of the period. This carried on in much the same way for a long long time.

This is where i personally get confused. When i look at my fathers generation, and his before him. I see a lot of MEN-men. Men who are still judged on how much they can drink, who they can beat up and how much he swears. This when compared to my generation is quite different. A few generations back, men were MEN, they were hard, they had short -military buzz cut- hair, drank lager or bitter, swore profusely, spent most nights at the pub and worked mainly with menial labor.

Now me, i’m not often, if ever, referred  to as “hard”, i have long hair, i’m quite partial to a Malibu and orange juice, rarely swear or go to the pub and am hopefully going into a successful white collar job.  Not that i’m judging them, i just don’t see how i’m so different, what happened, is man going into another renaissance? If so, great!

Obviously the main question is, is this all a valid vein of thought or is it just pompous, over-thought-out idiocies? Unfortunately i believe it to be the latter! I apologise for wasting your time, if you were under the impression that this was all going somewhere, i’m just wondering how the apple can fall so far from the tree! Thank you and smile.

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Superman Vs The Hulk

In a more lighthearted and admittedly geeky vein than my previous posts i want to think on a question that has mystified me for some time. If an unstoppable force collided with an immovable object what would be the outcome? Or from a more amusing viewpoint (and this is where the real geek in me is shown) what if Superman, a being who can only be stopped by kryptonite flew, at full force directly in to the centre of The Hulks chest, what would happen?

Would Superman go straight through? Rip a hole in Hulk, directly through his heart?

Or would The Hulk bounce Superman of his chest like a gorilla would a troublesome fly?

At 6 ft and 1040 lbs (please don’t think i knew this off the top of my head, i checked!) you’d think The Hulk would be a sure thing. However Superman is as powerful as a locomotive, really the only being with hopes of matching Hulks massive strength, he is faster than a speeding bullet, occasionally even matching or surpassing the agility of Flash (My personal favourite Superhero) so you have to think that insane speed coupled with extreme might makes Superman more than capable of busting straight through somebody. Not that The Hulk is just anybody, no-one is on the same level of power as him, and unlike Superman, who,whilst strong, has a peak, Hulk has no peak, the angrier he gets the more powerful he becomes!

So in answer to my self-addressed question i believe it depends on just how mad Hulk is. At a minimum level of anger, sufficient enough only to make him transform from Dr. Banner into The Hulk then i think it could knock Hulk over or just back slightly, but if he was angrier than that then he would definitely demolish Superman.

This led to me wondering about the outcome of a full fight between the two behemoths of the super world. As much as i would love to say i think Hulk would win outright, because i find Superman has too large an array of weaponry at his disposal, from flight and super-strength, to freeze breath and heat vision, which makes him a bit too awesome to find quite as enjoyable as other super heroes. I think it would be a close call, Superman would stand a great chance at first being faster than Hulk as he could use heat vision from afar whilst dodging Hulk or the things he may throw. However Hulk is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and has such has little regard for others life, be they enemy or friend. So eventually he would throw a car containing people or endanger humans in someway meaning Superman would have to concentrate on saving them and not solely defeating Hulk. As he cares too much for the lives of others, including his enemies which is his greatest weakness (other than kryptonite, obviously, but i doubt Hulk has any of this on his person), he does not want to kill. Adversaries have been using this against him for a long, long time.

Once this happened Hulk might get in close enough to do some serious damage as i imagine he would be pretty pissed off at this point and therefore extremely powerful, this would be his one chance to finish off Superman otherwise i am pretty certain he would lose.

Yes, this as been kinda random, but now you know 🙂

Dear Brazil…

This post begins as more of a thank you than anything, to the great people of Brazil. For reasons I do not know, the majority of my readers are in Brazil. However, thank you for taking your time to read my pompous drivel, for all I know you accidentally get on my blog and leave as soon as you arrive, but i’m going to choose to believe that’s not the case! ( I know the question you are all asking and second place is tied between the United Kingdom and America, so thank you also to my county men and the Americans who frequent this site).

On with the show!

I recently started watching the program “Heroes” and am thoroughly addicted. It’s a brilliantly thought out show and I have to give it a first class recommendation to everyone, not just the superhero geeks like myself – Watch It! The story is intricate and intelligent, the filming and editing is done to a very high level and you will most likely want to burn through the first season in 3 days like I did.

Most of the abilities are very old school and cliche, super speed, mind reading and flight to name a few, but this is to be expected in a show featuring super human characters.

It made me ask myself, as I imagine all young children do at some point ( or was that just me? ) which power i would want the most which led to a heated discussion between my housemates. The obvious “I’d be Superman” was thrown out pretty early on, and despite the fact that being able to do anything as long as you avoid one luminous green rock is appealing, I always found Superman rather dull. He can do ANYTHING, this doesn’t make for a very exciting premise. I think i’d rather be the best at one thing, like The Hulk – “HULK STRONGEST THERE IS” or The flash, a man no-one can catch. It’s all very well and good being a jack-of-all-trades like Clark Kent, but Flash can outrun him, Hulk can break him and a green pebble can kill him.

Another point made was that money is the greatest superpower of all. Fair point. Look at Batman and Iron Man. ( you have just realised, how huge a geek i really am when it comes to this stuff – I blame my older brother, he got me hooked. ) This is a fair point, iron man can make his suit do anything and has one for every occasion, whereas as batman has a belt with so many compartments it’s a wonder his bat-trousers stay up.

However, this is all getting away from what i really want to talk about:

– Muamba.  For those of you living completely sheltered from all forms of media, Footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered from cardiac arrest during the quarter finals game between his side, Bolton and Tottenham 10 days ago. Whilst the world of football put aside petty rivalry’s and joined together in support of the midfielder, and the world in general wished him a swift recovery, one 21 year old student at Swansea University took it upon himself to tell his side.  Spurting out racist and plain evil comments on twitter, this scum of the earth thought his virtual hate crime would be left alone. However, after numerous complaints, to many different police stations throughout the country he was arrested and has since been sentenced to 56 days in prison. Good. Some people think it’s a “tad harsh” but isn’t publishing hate filled, derogatory terms about someone, based on the colour of their skin during a time where they are fighting hard for there life just a “tad harsh”. Yes, that was most definitely the understatement of the century.  I think Gary Lineker summed it up well in his tweet “Let it be a warning to all you immature souls. #thinkbeforeyoutweet”, although personally I would have replaced “immature souls” with something a bit darker and featuring many more adjectives ( none of them good ).

Let’s all wish Fabrice a swift recovery, and finish on something lighter. As the match was abandoned for obvious reasons, the two teams met again recently, ending in a 3:1 victory for Tottenham. Before the match they held a one minute applause for the fallen comrade, letting him know he was in everyone’s thoughts and we are all behind him. It’s little moments like that, which bring me the slightest amount of faith in our world and it’s inhabitants.

Thank you and smile!

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“Crossing the Rubicon” – a phrase used to describe a moment in a persons life where the decisions made will impact greatly on their following years and possibly those of there family, friends or even countrymen. It was coined by an act of Julius Ceaser who broke roman law by taking his legions across the Rubicon river thus committing an act of war.

Decisions of importance happen often in our lives, whether we realise the connotations of our actions, as Julius Ceaser did in 49BC or we don’t, such as taking the left road home by chance, instead of the right. Ceaser knew before crossing that red river that what he was about to do would make huge waves over the roman empire which stretched further than any dominion had before it. He knew he was causing massive change, and not necessarily for the better of every citizen of Rome or its provinces, however he proceeded, he did what he believed to be the correct thing, and the earth smashed, recoiled and changed around him. Comparing this feat of one of arguably the greatest dictator of Rome with taking a different path home may seem odd, but think on Christopher Columbus. A great pioneer of his time, he embarked on voyages which created the first lasting European contact with america. This was by accident! He was lost and didn’t actually realise it! He did not know what would happen when he first stepped on to that island, he had no way of foreseeing what would follow in his wake, yet look, how different could things have been if he hadn’t wound up on the wrong island, if he had in fact made it to the East Indies, his actual destination. We don’t know how this would have changed things.

So, just like Columbus, but on a decidedly smaller scale I have been pondering what our small decisions may or may not lead to. Who I will meet, who I won’t and how it may or may not affect my life and theirs. For I will never know any thread of my life other than the one I follow, be it by my own design or not. I imagine over speculating on such things could possibly lead to problems. Is my life my own? Am I in control? Or does some higher being or entity or even will of the world make my decisions for me, big and small? Did I even choose to write this? It could go on forever and as such i’ll stop lest I enter a cycle I cannot escape.

Life continues, the world revolves regardless of my actions thoughts or hidden anxieties. Like one grain of sand trapped in the beach, it has wants of it’s own, plans, maybe even dreams, but it is pushed and pulled by the will of the many.

It can be hard but life goes on. So smile.

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I can assure the very few of you who cast your fleeting eyes on my handwritten drivel that it will not appear quite so often in future, i had just been thinking on memories, and how we see them.
I imagine you have heard of the expression “seeing through rose tinted glasses”. This is when we think back over times in our lives and we only see the happiness and the fun times, forgetting what we had to trudge through in those memories, forgetting the heart break and sadness and even just how hard things could be. I believe there should be a similar phrase such as “Blue tinted glasses” – where we see only the hardship and forget the good times that often made it all more than worthwhile. In my daily musings i thought that perhaps through a mixture of these two things maybe we remember exactly the feelings of the time, the emotions and general mood.
However, i don’t actually believe this to be the case. The human mind is fickle and easily swayed, we miss how a certain thing used to be or how a certain someone used to make us feel and straight away we remember the smiles, laughter, all the great times, strengthening the belief in our mind that we are lonely and that we do long for times we have lost. Instead of concentrating on how yeah they were great times, and not just because that old companion was there, not just because it was in your old establishment, but because it was you. Just you. Being you, an enjoying it. On the opposite side of this unfortunate coin however if we sit and think on how a change in our life has improved it for the better, and yes we may remember that same old argument, had for the hundredth time, or the real rut we were in at the time with work or school, reminding us that the correct path was followed, that this was the best way but we all know this is only for moments. As seconds later a clear image of that great day you had at your old work, or a fantastic conversation with an old friend you don’t see anymore, maybe even that extra long hug from an ex that made you feel just so safe and happy will pop into your head and you will be left with this racking feeling in the pit of your stomach with questions like “why?” and “is it too late to go back?” zooming around your head. Our own memories are used against ourselves by ourselves to pour salt into emotional wounds we thought were healed long ago.
Why is this? When we cut ourselves, our body doesn’t consider clotting the wound to heal then just forget it and let it bleed, so why does the brain allow itself to bleed dry like this? The most complex piece in the most complex life form we know of and it is counter-productive and a lot of the time there is nothing you can do except let the waves come down. We need to remember that our great memories are indeed memories of us at our greatest, not because someone or thing helped us to get there but because we are capable of it on our own.
So why mourn the past? Why fear the future? You know you had some pretty great times in the past, and you will again. You also know you had some pretty low moments in your past, but you got through them, and you sure as hell will do again, so relish the challenge. Don’t beat yourself up for the low times, remember, as complex as you are you’re only human.
So smile
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