31 August 2007

The Men That Don't Fit In


There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

- "The Men That Don't Fit In" by Robert Service

28 August 2007

Happy Birthday Lad!

Liverpool was 800 years old today. They had a big carnival in town, a huge street procession that traveled slowly down from St George's Hall, along the Churchill Way flyover, then Dale Street, past the Town Hall and along Castle Street towards Mathew Street.

Also today - very strange this - Liverpool FC played a football match at Anfield (against Toulouse of France) and they ran out at the start to the tune of Z Cars - which is the Toffee's song! WHAT?!?! It's all because of the shooting in Croxteth last week, it was as a tribute to the young boy Rhys Jones who was a huge Everton supporter. The Liverpool team all wore black arm bands for him. His family were at the match at Anfield, I am lead to believe that they were all wearing Everton kits. The Reds won the match, 4 nil. Get in.

What a day!

Making It Up As You Go Along

Here is a long-winded story about being able to get what you want.

I had an epiphany a while ago. One day I had a life changing realisation that made me see that my life wasn't going anywhere fast and that many of my goals were either nonsense or unobtainable. The realisation happened thanks to an incident that ended up getting very messy, I even went to court over it. If you know me then you probably know what I am talking about here. As for the epiphany, that happened sometime much later - as soon as the truth had dawned on me I was able to refocus my efforts and started preparing things; soon enough I was well on my way towards whatever goal I wanted. I believe that the epiphany that I had was "the meaning of life". That is to say, the meaning of my own life, at least.

I want to tell you what I believe to be the meaning of life. Well, I want to write it out at least, for my own benefit. Things always make more sense when you have taken the time to write them out, don't you think? The way that I see it, the meaning of life is really simple and, once you are able to appreciate how to manipulate it to your own ends, everything else either becomes really simple too or you realise that they don't matter as much as you once thought. Then you can either sideline or discard certain things that are hindering you and start setting goals towards the things you want most out of life.

The meaning of life is action.

I thought I would stop carrying on with myself and just spit that out. Action is the key. It's the essential ingredient to get anything done. What is the one thing that you can do during your time here on this planet that you can't do either before you've arrived or after you're gone? An answer is that you can think, you can move about, you can move things about, you can exert your influence on things. When we are alive we can act and make things happen. The secret of life is, I believe, as simple and as complicated as that. If you want something enough, you can get it. You've just got to have a fair idea of your limitations and you've got to know how to reach as far as you can.

When I realised that I could do anything I want, I also realised that I am in a very lucky position - I have no ties to anything or anyone, except for if I *want* those ties. Not everyone is without commitments, I don't have children to worry about, I don't have any dysfunctional habits, I haven't got any criminal convictions or banning orders. I am as free as you can get. This is why maybe I ought to work on my "meaning of life" philosophy for a while longer, before I start encouraging other people to try it for themselves - not everyone is in the same position in their life as I find myself right now - if you feel that this applies to you, you have my sympathy. Let's do something about it!

Let me give you my belief on the meaning of life. I think I have worked it out, through many heartaches and trials. I believe that this thing called Life is not something that is as rigid as we have been lead to believe, though it is an incredible opportunity to seize up and capture in one way or another. Don't be worried about achievement so much to begin with, you are not obligated to do anything in particular except breathe, sleep and eat. The rest is fluid. You don't have to work. You don't have to get married. You don't need lots of money. You don't even have to do what anyone else does, you don't have to do what is expected. Or maybe the opposite is how it should be for you. Who knows what lies in store? You see, looking at the big picture, we're not here in this Life for any one reason more than another one; nothing is for certain until you make it into a concrete reality.

The beauty of it is, you get to discover what happens next as you go along. Isn't that exciting? Life is a huge story book with blank pages and you get to write your own role in this story for yourself. Don't worry too much about plotting out your story to the end, that's not the point. I mean, you can if you want to. But it's fluid. You get to keep writing it, living it and refining. Try to steer your character to a place you like. Avoid the pitfalls. Deal with the unexpected plot twists. Make sure there's lots of dialogue and not too many monologues. Then, when you reach the end of a chapter, you get to turn the page and write some more. Be sure to write yourself an awesome character; make them magnetic. Try to make your character one that will draw other awesome characters into your story. You can let someone else call the shots or you can be daring and direct it yourself. That's what this story called Life is all about. Action.

Noisy Insulation Bastards

video

I got woke up this morning by the sound of loud drilling. I want to swear and curse right now but I'll do my best to keep it to a minimum.... someone let workies loose on our house at about half past 9 and they've been going around the outside of the house making an awful racket ever since, drilling for about 10 seconds, stopping for about 20, then another 10 seconds of drilling. The first I knew about us having workies at the house is when I am woke up by the sound of industrial drills boring holes into the wall next to my head, how pleasant is that!

Now they're at it again..

I feel like going out and saying "What's your game, I'm on nights!", but I doubt that me moaning about being woke up is really something that they're going to take much notice of. It's like someone has stuck the SunnO))) album Oracle on a full blast while I am wrapped up in my slumberment.

Oh man... now they're doing it outside the window. They've followed me round the house! Most people would write a stern letter to the council or their local MP... I write a stern article on my weblog instead.

Well now that I'm up I think its time to get dressed. Writing in the nude is fun, but the workie on the ladder is starting to give me funny looks through the window. Oh wait a minute, he's winking at me now. I think I'm in here.

Looking Forward

I have been working tonight at a "Gentlemen's Club" in Chester. Read "Gentlemen's Club" as "Tittybar". It was a very quiet night, not many people in the Chester area seem to be interested in watching girls poledance and cavort around with no clothes on. Not on a bank holiday Monday at least.

Tomorrow I am back to my day job for another week, another week taking me closer where I want to be. My current job is great, I really do enjoy the work that I do, but I have to miss out from my training schedule because of shift patterns. Also, right now don't get paid very well for what I do, it's not exactly megabucks anyway, let's put it like that. But, for the time being, a job that pays a little is better than sitting at home and earning nothing at all. As the money I am currently earning is going to be feathering my future nest, I don't plan on wasting a single penny of it.

Lately I am someone who has been cursed with vision. There are many goals that I want to achieve in the next few years. Many of these goals involve being in certain locations around the world with certain people and at specific times. I don't plan on missing anything out if I can help it. I have an extensive itinery planned out, I intend on making it happen. The plan started sometime in 2005 and it's ongoing even now, there's lots happened and there's plenty still to do. The secret is action.

26 August 2007

Nogzy & Crocky Newpaper Article

I was stood in the queue with a load of shopping at a Safeway supermarket in Lymm yesterday and the guy in front of me was buying a copy of The Guardian newspaper. While I was stood standing there, bored out of my head, I noticed the headline on the front of his paper and my ears pricked up, it was an article about Norris Green.




Mad newspaper article. It's not every day that you open a broadsheet and see the sentence "The bizzies are twats" in print, I laughed out loud at that bit. Although, let's make this clear, the reason that the whole thing is being mentioned in the paper in the first place isn't funny at all, the young boy Rhys Jones shot in the Fir Tree pub car park.

There was a whole piece in there about the "Smigger" shooting as well, the court case about his killing finished on Friday and 3 lads were found guilty of his murder. They're getting sentenced later this month. One of the lads was already inside at the time of the shooting. Irony.

(By the way, if you're at all interested in the newspaper article above, there's a transcript of it in the comments to this blog post.)

Further Reading:


  • The Policeman's Blog - Liverpool Gangs
  • Smigger youtube - What he was really like
  • LIAM SMITH: Victim from community forced to live with fear of guns
  • Photo of Smigger Graffiti in Norris Green

    -----

    Update:

    I was taking another look at the scans of the newspaper article and noticed the name of the photographer who snapped the pic of the guy in the article's main photo. He's got an interesting surname after all - kaycappa. Turns out that he went to court for attacking Paul McCartney's ex, Heather Mills, on the London underground and got 140 hours of community service. I wonder if that punishment included being sent to Nozzer? I bet you that he used his story about attacking Sir Macca's ex as a way to befriend the nozzer ninjas... what do you reckon?
  • 23 August 2007

    Nozzer Ninjas Strike Again

    A child, just 11 years of age, was shot dead in Croxteth last night.

    Sadly it's not an isolated incident, there's been gang trouble in the Croxteth / Norris Green area of Liverpool for a long time now. The gangs are made up of teenagers, shockingly young lads who don't respect anyone and aren't scared of the law. Back in March this year there was an incident in Norris Green were a woman was stabbed in the back, legs and arms by a 7 year old. The child was spoken by the police to but not arrested.

    Another more infamous incident involved a gang leader by the name of Liam “Smigger” Smith being shot in the head outside a prison. Again, the shooting was by a young lad on a bike, dressed in all black with his hood up and a scarf across his face. This is how most of the kids on the Norris Green estate dress when they are out and about, and why they are known as ninjas. During Smigger's funeral local shops were warned to shut their doors as a mark of respect or risk having their businesses destroyed by the dead boy's gang. Funny that, people being told to pay respect to the gang who have been hounding them and making their lives a misery for years on end.

  • A background article about the area and the things that these gangs get up to

    I'd laugh and try to make a joke about it... only it's so close to home and this is all still going on. I can't understand why something hasn't been done about the gang situation down in Robber's Retreat by now. Maybe the police know something that we don't.
  • 20 August 2007

    Kurt Says... What?

    Kurt Cobain reaction shots make me laugh out loud.





    In the time that it took me to post this I could have done any number of other things, all far more productive. Ah well.

    Motivation

    Need some motivation? Here, have some of mine.





    16 August 2007

    Precision

    Silent Drill Team video.


    I wouldn't have bothered to post this if it wasn't so impressive and awesome. If there's ever a war that can be decided with an army vs amry dance-off, these guys will be pretty hard to beat.

    15 August 2007

    Quick One....

    This is a fake update.

    Back at work this week and so free time is back at a premium. I love doing my own thing, so having to go back to earning for a living is cramping my style. Ah well. Yesterday I was driving around on my fork lift thinking about holidays and stuff like that, as you do when you're stuck in work, then I drifted into thinking about flying and being in airports, then about being on airplanes. The longest I have ever been on one flight was 15 hours when I went across to Japan 18 months ago.

    Then - like a light igniting above my head - I thought to myself, well why not go again? For training purposes, of course. It was a short while after my trip to the European Gasshuku in 2005 that I decided to go to japan in January 2006. Now, a few weeks after this year's European Gasshuku, I am having the same thoughts again. After all of the serious fun that I've had this year already, I think that I have been missing traveling about for the past month or 2. I reckon that a couple of weeks in the land of giant robots and schoolgirls will sort that out. Don't you think?

    12 August 2007

    Flurry Of Shits

    Ah, laughing at spelling mistakes. Have you noticed how it's the simple things in life that make you smile the most? I wrote an article on my other blog this week and made a single typing error, accidentally typing out an "I" when I meant to hit "O". An easy mistake to make - after all, they're right next to one another on the keyboard. Just one erroneous keystroke faux pas and my published web journal entry read as follows:

    "The hanging bag was laid out on the dojo floor, you had to lay on top of the bag (as though it was a person on the ground) and keep your body down against it while striking 10 times into the bag with your right hand, then quickly change and strike 10 on the left hand, then sit up and strike down with both hands as fast as possible, delivering a flurry of shits into the bag. Then the whole process was repeated 2 more times before having a short breather break and starting all over again."

    Shots. It was supposed to say "a flurry of shots". It said shits for about a day until someone pointed it out to me. I received an email from a concerned friend who pointed out the spelling mistake, which I most certainly would not have bothered to go back and check out at a later date. After reading the email I went back, found the shits, turned them into shots. When I read that I'd shit all over a punch bag I laughed my ass off for about 10 minutes.

    I love the idea that the collective noun for taking a shit is "a flurry". It's just so descriptive, don't you think? Now I have a vision in my head of someone striking a punch bag so hard and with such force that he loses the ability to manage his own bowels; the resulting accident inevitably becoming a part of the attack as a consequence. Was it simply an enthusiastic accident or intended as part of the original attack strategy? Who can say. I've never seen them do anything like that on the wrestling, anyway. Perhaps I have created a new signature move here.

    Giggling at your own jokes, that's a sign of senility, right? They also say that small things amuse small minds. But then, I have always found reading the ramblings of morons to be most amusing. I think that I owe a debt of thanks to the man who made the lay out for the qwerty keyboard, for putting the I and O next to each other. Hours of entertainment in that masterstroke. Thank you Christopher Sholes.

    10 August 2007

    The Streets Of Liverpool

    Studying road maps. That's what I have mainly been doing today. Looking at Google Maps and surfing various imageboard sites in between as a reward whenever I get a bit more work done.

    It's not as though I don't know the streets that I am studying. It's mainly Liverpool city centre - I've lived here all my life, I grew up in this town, there probably isn't one street in Liverpool town centre that I haven't traveled along at one time or another. But still I don't know all of their names. It's like the bones in your body - we all have the same bone structure, but could you individually name each one of them? Unless you are a doctor or a freak, of course the answer is going to be 'no'. But I guess it makes sense that you should do, after all, your bones are with you all the time, they're part of you, there's no reason why you shouldn't know each of their names off-by-heart. It's taken the small matter of a street knowledge test for me to appreciate that I don't know my own city as well as I'd like to think I do. Or my bones.

    Check this out:




    3 picture of the same area of Liverpool city centre, each one zoomed in a little bit closer than the last. It looks complex but I bet that if you are from Liverpool you can make sense of it and you can even imagine what each place looks like from down on street level. But the names of the roads might not be as familiar. Well they're not to me anyway! Look at that last picture and check around for Old Haymarket and Commutation Row. They are 2 tiny little roads right in the middle of town, each of them are about 200 yards long. You wouldn't think that anyone would bother giving names to a length of road that was so short! But there they are. And you have to know them as part of the Liverpool street knowledge test.

    At least I'm not trying to learn the London street knowledge - their test takes 2 years to do, it's a proper course!

    Another thing I learned today: The A59 is a road that starts at the mouth of the Queensway tunnel right in the centre of Liverpool and goes all the way to the city of York. It's a loooong piece of roadway. All the way along it has different local road names, you have to learn each of them as part of the street knowledge for Liverpool. It starts with Byrom Street, then Scotland Place, Scotland Road is next, then you're onto Kirkdale Road, then Walton Road, County Road, Rice Lane, Walton Vale, Longmoor Lane and so on and so on. That's the A59 just up to Fazakerley Hospital by the way. It carries on right across England.

    You know the drummer from Def Leppard? The guy with one arm? He lost his right arm on the A59. Admittedly it was somewhere near Sheffield, but still, it's a fact - go and look it up if you like. The things you learn from studying the roads of Liverpool eh!

    Atari 2600 Label Maker


    Label maker website - because old school gaming is the way forward.

    6 August 2007

    Why We Must Close The Net - By Elton John

    Taken from Here. I guess that Elton gave this interview on one of his more sane days....

    -----

    Pop legend Sir Elton John wants the internet CLOSED DOWN. Never one to keep his opinions to himself, the Rocket Man has waded into cyberspace with all guns blazing. He claims it is destroying good music, saying:

    The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff. Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision. It’s just a means to an end. We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet. I mean, get out there — communicate. Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet. Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging. I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span. There’s too much technology available. I’m sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today.

    Multi-millionaire Elton, who turned 60 earlier this year, has admitted in the past that he is a bit behind the times. The Grammy award-winner was once quoted as saying:

    I am the biggest technophobe of all time. I don’t have a mobile phone or an iPod or anything. I am such a Luddite when it comes to making music. All I can do is write at the piano.

    Sales of Elton’s last album The Captain & The Kid were disappointing — it barely shifted 100,000 copies. And in the past Sir Elt has opposed illegal downloading of his music from the net. But the flamboyant singer has embraced the web in other ways. The 60th birthday concert Sir Elton played to a 20,000-strong crowd at New York’s Madison Square Garden was streamed live over the internet. The singer also announced earlier this year that his entire back catalogue of albums would be made available for digital download.

    The internet has played a huge role in kick-starting the careers of some of Britain’s best new talent. Sandi Thom shot to fame after broadcasting webcam concerts from her London basement flat, while both the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen acknowledge the part played by the web in their success. But Elton also complained about the quality of music being released.

    He said: “In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality. And there are more albums released each week now than there were then.

    I guess that’s what Sir Elt would call a net loss...

    -----

    While I'm on the subject of Elton John and The Sun newspaper (evil rag, I don't read it or buy it), here is one of my favourite British tabloid headlines:

    5 August 2007

    Just Training

    Today I have been training with the chief instructor of the world in the grounds of a manor house, under a tree, by the banks of a river, in the glorious English summertime.


    I'd write more about it now, only I am due at the pub in less than an hour and I need to get some dinner in the meantime.

    3 August 2007

    Design A Cassette


    Kill some time, create a cassette for your band.

    Mo Ichi Do


    I'm off to Berkshire this weekend for another big karate event. Not as big an event as the one I was at last week, but the boss from Okinawa will be there again so I'm still pleased to be going. lol, Berkshire.

    Pic not related.

    2 August 2007

    Saved By The Right Hand Of God


    Unlucky lad!

    Caalm Down


    This photo was taken on Saturday night / Sunday morning in a club called Bliss in Bournemouth. Someone found a "Scouser wig" on the floor and it ended up being worn by, of all people, a Scouser. For the rest of the night all you could here for miles around was "Eh! EH!! Yer wha? Calm down lad, stop bein a beaut an gerruz a chip butty will yer? Orice??" and stuff like that.

    Then my good friend Timo* had a fantastic drunken blazing row outside the pizza shop at 04:30 in the morning, no true "Scousers On Tour" night out is complete without one of them, right? I don't know what it was over but you were definately in the right mate. Then I decided that I'd had enough so I walked off, cuddling with the 2 girlfriends of the guys who were arguing, up the hill and back to our hotel in the pouring rain. Great night!

    * - Golden Rule: No "Scousers On Tour" night out is truly complete without one member of the gang either robbing a bike or having a pissed-up scrap. And one of the gang has a nickname that ends with an O.

    Uncle Frank

    1 August 2007

    Blocks & Punches

    Blocking & punching exercise, from the European Gasshuku (karate event that I was at last week) down in Bournemouth.

    Claw Pics, by JT

    Thee Claw is my master.






    Photos above:
    1) Me and Thee Claw stood in front of an army of Bournemouth tramps
    2) Fu kin fried rice
    3 & 4) The divine power of Thee Claw in full effect, as being thrown in "Elements" night club

    Several claws to Timo for the pictorial evidence.

    In other news, I have just retcon'd a load of my older blog posts to say "Thee Claw". I strongly suggest that you do the same.