It’s Almost Time…

Some of you may be aware that I am running the Lincoln 10k race on Sunday, those of you who do know me will think this idea is ludicrous. I am 19 years old and I both smoke and drink, thus not being your ideal choice for what is essentially an endurance race. Nonetheless I am giving it a go. Living in Lincoln for my entire life (oh dear) it’s always been something I felt I should be involved with…and now I am!

Luckily I work at David Lloyd Leisure Centre (as a chef) so I am entitled to a free gym membership, this in turn has helped my training on many levels. Not only to see how fast I can ‘run’ 10k, but see how far I can get before my lungs collapse.

Back in January when this plan was hatched I was awful, I managed just under 5k in half an hour with a lot of slowing down and wheezing. Today though at the gym I managed 7k in just under 45 minutes, without being knackered at all (I would have gone for the whole 10k but I had other engagements). Running on a treadmill though is much easier than out on the open road, I ran/jogged 5.2k in 32 minutes on Sunday which is my personal best for outdoor running – admittedly it’s not that spectacular but I’m not that fit.

The day though is looming, getting ever closer and reminding me that I’ll be out there in front of hundreds of people trying not to die. It’s all for a good cause though, I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society so if you see me please throw some dosh my way. I have my official t-shirt which is rather stunning I have to say, and a whole pack full of information about the society. They do good work, so please either sponsor me or donate yourself.

Overall though I am very pleased with my achievements so far, having only started ‘training’ in January I think I’ve come a long way in around 3 months. I can jog for over half an hour without falling to the floor and I feel slightly fitter as well. There is a downside though, it’s scheduled to rain this Sunday which could hinder my time somewhat. I’m aiming to crack 10k in an hour(ish), if it’s more then I’m blaming the weather.

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March 24, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Movie Review: How To Lose Friends And Alienate People

Whilst casually lounging around the house on Monday it became apparent there wasn’t much to do. Luckily my girlfriend had the solution, rent a film! I’ve been using LoveFilm for a month or so now, but I had sent my latest rental back in the post. So off to Blockbusters we went.

Without going into the boring details of how the film was chosen, we both comprimised on How To Lose Friends And Alienate People. Basically the latest in a long line of ‘the best British comedy since…’ flick, and it wasn’t. There’s nothing wrong with the film per se, just not the best British comedy I’ve seen…not by a long shot.

Starring the Brit cult favourite Simon Pegg and the unashamedly chirpy Kirsten Dunst, it is the story of a journalist (Pegg) apparently finding success from his underground low circulation magazine in London to one of the top celebrity magazines in New York. However the super-stardom of celebrity writing isn’t as glamourous as he first thought, having to work by a new set of rules – which doesn’t go down well.

One of the co-worker’s though is Dunst, who doesn’t really add much to the role. Pegg does seem to have done his research on the role and how journalists act, talk and generally live their lives. Dunst seems to have walked out of make-up, onto the set and given some lines.

It doesn’t take long to realise that both will have a love interest in each other but will have to overcome many obstacles to get there. There are many funny moments along the way, but it is a film capable of much more. The idea is there but it seems as though the film is severely lacking in substance. At times some of the jokes are all too predictable and it feels like you’re watching a teen comedy, not a  true Brit comedy classic.

Pegg should have stuck to writing his own material, not acting out someone’s memoirs. The likes of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz are much better examples of British comedies, this film just doesn’t come up to scratch in terms of quality.

Rating: 3/5

March 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

I Am Journalist, Hear Me Roar

Despite studying journalism at Lincoln Uni I haven’t much felt like a journalist until fairly recently. I started a blog months ago which has recieved quite a few hits, view it here: http://itsonthemind.wordpress.com/. This is my blog based around music and includes views, news and reviews etc. I never thought much of it until a month or two ago when I was contacted by music website Thrash Hits to write some album reviews.

Thrash Hits recieved 80,000 views last month so hopefully my work was read by quite a lot of people. Gaining exposure is the main thing ‘starter’ journalists can do I have been told, so far so good I think.

Obviously I have a Twitter account, it seems most people do nowadays. Since people like Stephen Fry, Philip Schofield and Jonathan Ross have popularised Twitter is has become full of people with nothing interesting to say but constantly harassing others. Retweeting (as it’s known) is becoming ridiculous, the most boring things said by anyone are just being spread around Twitter.

Luckily there is a block function so certain users can’t hurl tweet after tweet at you about nothing, so you can focus on what journalists have to say. There are so many journos on Twitter it’s unreal, I’m constantly finding more and more who I feel I should be following. More often than not I find out more news through Twitter than through watching the TV. Similarly my blog has recieved a lot of hits from posting my links on Twitter, it seems people do have an interest in what I have to say. Which is a definite plus for a journalist.

Today though I have felt like a true journo, to an extent. So far I have checked my e-mails (numerous times), reviewed an album for Thrash Hits, tweeted quite a lot, checked BBC news, organised an interview with a band via their record label and now I’m writing a blog. Since I’m only in my first year of journalism I feel I have so far accomplished a lot and feel like an actual journalist, let’s just hope it lasts.

March 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm 1 comment

Comedy Wars: BBC vs Channel 4

Since I have indulged in the loveliness that is 4oD it has dawned on me that Channel 4 has truly paved the way for comedy over the past few years. Sadly the same cannot be said for the dear old BBC.

I have nothing against the BBC, they have delivered quality programming my whole life and I don’t see it slipping up yet – except in the comedy department. I blame for this the training ground known as BBC3. Any comedy show which is in its first series nowadays seems to be broadcast on BBC3 first; namely the current blast of awfulness in Grownups and the thankfully now deceased ‘sitcom’ Clone. A terrible show to say the least. Any comedy to emanate from the Beeb tends to come from comedy panel shows such as Qi, Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week. These shows though are great, the guests are usually from a comic background or conversely ridiculed into looking foolish – which is also amusing.

There are no actual comedy TV shows on the BBC these days though which are remotely edgy or original, just the same family friendly programmes the BBC can get away with repeating at any point of the day to fill in schedules. The latest culprit being The Old Guys. I watched the first episode with low expectations, and to be honest I was suprised that it wasn’t 100% dire television, but it was capable of so much more. The same goes for Not Going Out, a harmless sitcom which still brings nothing new to the table.

It hasn’t always been this way though, a few years ago the BBC had the likes of The Office and The League of Gentlemen which were completely different to the traditional programming and instantly became cult hits. Similarly Extras was hugely popular and at the same time not the ‘same old same old’ drivel that has been churned out as of late. There have been some attempts at unconventional comedy which have blossomed, namely being the overnight successes of The Mighty Boosh and Gavin & Stacey. But they’re still nothing compared to Channel 4’s repertoire.

Channel 4 has always been seen as the alternative TV channel, bringing original and contemporary programming to our humble homes first. As of late 4 has brought us the comedy gold of The I.T Crowd, Peep Show and Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place to name a few. The I.T Crowd in particular is notable as it is basically a stereotypical sitcom, 3 people based primarily in one room having conversations – something the Beeb have been running on for years – but the writing in The I.T Crowd is so much better. On the other hand, Garth Marenghi wouldn’t have been commissioned on BBC at all. Possibly on BBC3, but at 2am and no-one would have seen it. The premise that the show is funny because it’s awful has yet to be covered by the BBC in any notable way, and now it’s too late.

I do wonder what the future is for British comedy on the BBC, it seems that recycling the likes of Little Britain, Catherine Tate and Two Pints… is fine and dandy for the folks over there. Sadly though I am losing faith in the Beeb and its entertainment factor, it seems that hard-hitting drama shows are the latest fad for the writers – sadly none of these are that good either. For comedy then C4 is the way forward, with new shows currently gaining cult status such as Free Agents I see British comedy with a bright future on Channel 4.

Also if you don’t yet have 4oD, get it. It’s so much better than iPlayer.

March 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm Leave a comment

English, Do You Speak It?

This post is a rant, I’ll make it plain and simple. Not about anyone in particular, although reading it you’ll know who you are, it’s about common misspellings that have begun to really annoy me. I’m not talking about typos, everyone makes a typo or forgets to spellcheck – fine. This is about people who feel the need to put the wrong word or even add letters!

The first culprit is the word equipment, and yes that’s how it is spelled. There is no ‘t’ after the ‘p’! I have seen it spelled this way so many times I’m beginning to think I missed the memo when it was announced that it was being changed to include a ‘t’. Look at this website: http://www.strictlyequiptment.com/. Obviously the word equipment is spelled wrong in the URL, but if you look at the site you’ll see it spelled correctly on the banner at the top…and that’s it. Any other time it is mentioned, the sneaky little ‘t’ works its way back in. It’s almost painful.

Another mistake which grates on me is the usage of the word loose instead of lose. Admittedly this only tends to crop up on social network sites (Facebook, MySpace etc) but nevertheless it is still ridiculous. It is a completely different word and meaning, why put it? Similarly, these people put the word loosing instead of losing – which isn’t even a word! People who are apparently ‘loosing their mind’ shouldn’t have lost their dictionary first. English, it’s not THAT hard.

Of course there are the common mistakes found almost daily in any text, and these are primarily the misuse of there, their and they’re. I can understand someone getting it wrong who is perhaps learning English and fairly new to the language, three different words sounding the same is confusing, but if you have been through the education system and been taught English from the age of 4 you should know which one is which! However, I obviously don’t mean people with dyslexia or learning difficulties…I mean people who either can’t be bothered to learn or don’t care about what they’re writing.

The last mistake I’d like to pick up upon is the your vs you’re fiasco. Nowadays it seems the word your has taken precedence over you’re for all meanings either one had, despite having a completely different meaning to you’re. An apostrophe is placed in a word to signify missing letters, you’re is short for you are – it’s that simple! Your on the other hand means it belongs to you, it is yours! Easy huh?

Sorry for the little English lesson but I do like to think I’ve helped the world in some small way.

February 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

It’s A Limit Not A Target…Apparently

Now I’ve been driving for just over a year it is becoming more and more obvious that no-one pays attention to the speed limit signs, ever. Despite driving a Corsa which has been ‘chavved out’ I don’t drive around the streets of Lincoln with other spruced up hatchback drivers creating havoc and generally going far too fast for no apparent reason.

Like any normal member of society I will drive at the speed limit, if it says 30 I will drive at 30. Not cruising around at 45 and slamming the brakes on when I see a speed camera, you just look an idiot. If you have somewhere to get that urgently you should have left your house 10 minutes earlier.

At the same time though I am not a fan of those drivers who are quite content with driving 10mph below the speed limit, what is the point? I can understand if you really love driving  and want the experience to last forever, but driving down the A15 in the rain is hardly a moment I’d love to relive – especially stuck behind a trail of cars doing 48mph because some old coot won’t put his foot down. The national speed limit is 60mph on a single carriageway, why not get to 60?!

When the car was first invented, 60mph was unimaginable. Nowadays that’s how we measure how quick a car is, the 0-60 time is everything! The ability to travel at a mile a minute in relative comfort doesn’t seem to appeal to quite a lot of drivers though, they’d much rather sit doing 48mph or go screeching past you at 75mph into an oncoming lorry…sadly though, I’m not that cool.

February 21, 2009 at 12:49 am Leave a comment


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