The Obligatory Birthday Post – 2010

14 04 2010

While it’s still quite fresh in my memory, here is a recap of my birthday, 2010 (AKA my 23rd birthday).

I was awake over midnight and so there were a few Mxit messages from various people, including Chris at 12:00:48 AM, Brian at 12:00:53 AM, and Caroline at 12:13:28 AM. Caroline also called at 00:00 and so she gets the prize for first birthday wish of 2010! Whoot.

From there: A list of who, how and when.

Caroline: 00:00, phonecall
Chris: 00:00:48, Mxit
Brian: 00:00:53, Mxit
Brian: 00:02, Facebook
Caroline: 00:13:25, Mxit
Caroline: 00:56, SMS
PlayStation 3 Forums: 07:01, Email
Andre (ex-boss): 08:21, phonecall
Kelly: 08:30, SMS
SANBS: 08:30, SMS
Caroline: 08:53, SMS
FNB: 09:14, SMS
Caro: 10:07, Facebook
Kyla: 10:47, Facebook
Donovan: 11:09, SMS
Greg, 11:43, Facebook
Caroline: 11:56, SMS
Stef: 12:13, Facebook
Peter: 12:31, Facebook
Brother Grant: 12:48, Facebook
Shaun: 13:00, Facebook
Brother Geoff: 13:10, SMS
Bianca: 13:40, Facebook
Amanda: 13:45, Facebook
Caroline: 14:15, SMS
Cousin Graham: 14:18, Facebook
Caroline: 17:01, Facebook
Jarryd: 17:04, Facebook
Caroline: 17:06, SMS
Fuzzy-Boots: 17:13, SMS
Tarryn: 17:15, SMS
Aunt: 17:54, phonecall
Philile: 18:34, Facebook
Other Aunt: 20:16, phonecall
Chris: 22:06, Facebook
Iranda: 23:01, Facebook
Alan: 23:11, SMS

Think that’s everyone. Sorry if I missed you!

All in all, I’d say there’s more birthday wishes this year than last. A few randoms who wished this year who didn’t last, and vice versa too.

So, I woke up pretty late, even though I set my alarm for earlier, I woke up momentarily and then went back to sleep. My ex-boss Andre phoned me in the morning, and I went back to sleep til bout 11 or so. Then, I played a bit of Guitar Hero 5 which arrived when I ordered it a few weeks back, and it was awesome. Afterwards, I went to lunch with George to McDonalds, where we discovered that they had raised their prices! Ripoff!

Anyway, we finished lunch and went home. To separate homes I mean. And then … Caroline came, and we had coffee and cake. And I had to finish up my freelancing work, and so I wrote my article while she arbed on the bed.

Supper was in interesting affair. I wore my new suit and got everyone else to suit up too. Everyone else including my brother and his GF, Caroline and the parents. Restaurant was Giovanni Rigatone at Banbury Crossing, where they have no set pizzas on the menu: you have to build everything yourself. It was really awesome, and the fact that everyone else was suited up was a nice touch.

Ooh, the pizza I made had: spicy chicken, bacon, onion and pepperdew. It was awesome. I don’t know what everyone else had, but it was pretty awesome.

Finally: a list of the presents I got. Yay presents!

  • God of War III Ultimate Collector’s Edition
  • An awesome suit (Suit up!)
  • A bar of chocolate
  • A book of humourous internet-isms.
  • Guitar Hero 5 (ordered myself a few weeks back and happened to arrive 13 April)
  • Brutal Legend (same as Guitar Hero 5)




2010…

12 01 2010

Well. It’s the new year. New month. New decade. Call it what you want, it’s new. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I missed quite a few things on my list of things that I wanted to do back in 2009. I did, however, manage to achieve more things than I didn’t manage, so I’m going to spin it as a victory.

Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), the list carries over to 2010, and I feel sure that this time I am going to finish it. Hey, I mean, I have already ticked off one more thing already, which I’ll get to telling you in a bit.

The list then, as it stands now:

  • Paintballing (with friends)
  • Go-Karting
  • How I Met Your Mother marathon (All episodes back to back)
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Random tour of the country
  • Snowboarding

And then, here are a few new things that have been added to the list:

  • The Big Bang Theory marathon (All episodes back to back)
  • Swim in a natural pool, preferably with a waterfall.
  • Karaoke again
  • See an international band
  • McDonalds tour (Visit every McDonalds (at least 10) in my area and order something from each of them)
  • See a movie at IMax
  • Watch a comedy show
  • Bungee jumping
  • Rock climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Sky diving
  • Driving range
  • Firing range

Ok I know there are a few duplicates on this list. But they were so awesome that I wanted to do them again.

With that, onto the post about karaoke!

So we were on holiday down in Ramsgate, and one night I decided that we were going to go sing karaoke. By we I mean myself and my GF, her friend from uni and her sister, and a whole bunch of randoms that the friend had invited. Was a really fun holiday all in all, but too short for my liking and too many randoms I didn’t know that well.

So everybody got really drunk in preparation for karaoke, which is something you need to do apparently (although me and my GF didn’t have anything all afternoon or evening). We then missioned off to a place called Friendz, where they have Karaoke with Henk and Felicity on a Saturday between 9 and midnight. Random place and very Afrikaans, but otherwise decent.

So we get in there, get a table, even though it was pretty full, for 12 people. We then looked through the karaoke menu, and after a few nervous discussions, most of us put our song choices down. Some people wussed out and didn’t sing anything all night though, which was lame.

First of our group to go up with my GF, who had volunteered to sing Barbie Girl by Aqua. Not remembering that there was a male part to the song, the host had to step in and join the song, but I quickly stepped in and took the mic from him halfway through the song. I know how daunting it can be to sing in front of people for the first time, and wanted to show support. Big props though for getting up there first, on your first time.

A few more randoms went and sang some random songs (not half-bad though I might add), but then it was my turn. I got up and totally rocked out to You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi. It was awesome and everybody was really supportive and awesome. A bit later in the night, I signed up for Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns ‘n’ Roses and totally rocked that too.

Later in the night, a few of our group sang some songs too. The classic I Will Survive and a few others I can’t remember.  My GF also got up and sang Hit Me Baby, One More Time, which was supposed to be with her uni friend, but she had gone home quickly to drop off people who faded way early.

All in all it was a really awesome time, and aside from the crazy aggressive creeps, who stood on the “dancefloor” perving the female singers, it was really fun. I’ll definitely want to go again sometime. Now I just need to find a place that offers it on weekends here in Joburg.





Monthly

29 10 2009

What’s this? A new post? On Michael’s blog? No … can’t be. Must be some sort of mistake. Or maybe my eyes are deceiving me? Or I’m going crazy.

No friends, its none of those things. You really are reading another post, right here on Bet This Is Original.

Yes, yes, I know that it has been exactly a month since my last post, and quite frankly, that is shocking. No reason for it, except lack of motivation. So while it may seem bad that I only get around to posting every month, it probably is.

Now, I could go on and say that I’m going to try and post more regularly, but honestly, I don’t think it is going to happen. I mean I will try, but no promises, and history would seem to be against me anyway. Lol.

So, once more, let me fill you in on the latest happenings in my life.

I’m currently writing my final exams for my degree. And I mean final, final … like final. Ever. No more exams after these 4 brief ones. Hahaha brief, when in reality each will probably have me desperately scribbling nonsense on paper for three hours.

After I finish my exams (I am quite confident that I will pass them), I will be unemployed. Lol, strange to say it but it’s true. I have applied for an internship thing, and it would be awesome if I got it, but I am trying not to get my hopes up in that respect. I don’t want to be disappointed.

I’m not even sure when I will know if my tentative plans for next year will happen or not. Some person who came to pitch it to us at varsity mentioned something about mid-January? But they still have to do interviews etc. and the thing starts in February, so that might be wrong.

Anyway, the internship will comprise 3 months in Cape Town, doing some kind of classes, I think they said. And then after that 7 months will be back in Johannesburg, where we will be working at either The Star or The Pretoria News. Could be interesting.

Hmmm … what else is news? Oh I am apparently part of the management now over at NoMoreGameBlogs. I’ve got a meeting at 5am this morning, where my boss will be showing me how to use the new features that I will be in charge of. <rolls eyes> I’m sure a Powerpoint slideshow via email would have worked just as well.

So yes. That is a brief update on my life. I want to say tune in again soon (not another month’s time) for more thrilling posts, but I don’t want to be labelled a liar when I don’t deliver. So! I guess I’ll see when you I see you (metaphorically speaking of course).





Far too long

29 09 2009

It’s been over a month since my last blog post. I have no idea why that is … but I would take a guess by saying that I have nothing important to say? Or maybe I do, but I can’t conceptualise them into words needed for a post. Or …

Anyway, today I procrastinated so badly. I have a 2,500 word research report due by midnight tomorrow, and I only carried on with this evening. Like after I had coffee at 8 or so. Luckily, I had gotten about 1,518 words done before the long weekend started, so it’s not really in crisis mode just yet.

Tonight I managed to knock out another 1,000 words or so. So I am actually over the word limit already, even if I have not yet finished the assignment. I actually had to remove a sub-heading that I was planning on doing, because I could see that I was going over the word limit.

But enough boring assignment talk. Let’s go over the long weekend. International readers (hahahah yeah right), we had Heritage Day on Thursday 24th September, and most places decided that Friday would be wasteful and not productive (well, universities anyway). Therefore, long weekend.

Anyway, Wednesday night (because the weekend always starts the evening before the conventional weekend) the GF came over and slept over. Not exactly sure what we did on Wednesday night (I think we played Scrabble and watched How I Met Your Mother?).

Thursday morning I had a stupid information management group meeting. Yes, on a public holiday. If any of you guys are reading this, I think you’re all stupid. Stupid people. We wasted like 20 minutes discussing something so ridiculously small and trivial, and something that I feel isn’t even part of the project. So I wasted 2.5 hours of my public holiday wishing I was back home and still asleep. After that I came home and we had boerewors rolls for lunch. I think we may have played another game of Scrabble (me and the GF), but I’m not sure.

Man my memory is bad sometimes. I can’t even remember what happened like a few days ago. Anyway.

Friday was project day. Nothing exciting, just worked on the information management project. Well, aside from a brief-stop over from the GF again (she dropped off the most amazing present: a whole big tin filled with sweets chocolates and other incredible stuff) she left again.

Saturday, I went to Clearwater Mall and traded out my inFAMOUS rental copy at BT Games. My new game is FEAR 2: Project Origin. It’s not that great a game, decent enough but I’m not going to get the platinum because the online trophies are crazy hard. Long and basically impossible because there is not enough of a community still playing the game. Oh well. Oh, I also went and surprised the GF with a bunch of flowers at her work.

Saturday afternoon me and Brian went to a hardcore/metal concert thing. It was pretty good, some decent bands played like Hammer of Redemption and Chromium. We also listened to Agro play and they are not entirely as bad as we thought they were. I still think they would be much better without the synthesizer though. Oh and they are so lame. Their one song is about how drugs are bad and the other is about binge drinking in excess. Hahaha.

Sunday was such an amazing day. I woke up early, and me and the GF went to watch Sri Lanka and New Zealand play cricket at the Wanderers. The sun was hot and the food/drinks were expensive, but it was such an amazing experience, especially since all the live cricket I’d seen prior to that was from a box, which is way far removed from the actual proceedings.

We got back about half an hour after New Zealand won, and watched South Africa lose to England in Centurion (on the TV though).

All in all a pretty good weekend. What did you guys do?





Audi Driving Experience

21 08 2009

Wow this is a really late post. Sorry for that. But it’s on my list of Things I want to do in 2009, and as such it needs a blog post about it.

So, on the 24th of July, 2009, I set off in peak hour traffic on the way to Kyalami Racetrack, where 4Rings is situated. 4Rings is of course, the event organisers and the people who run the Advanced Safety Driving Course. Traffic was a bitch, but I still managed to get there in time, so all was well.

I met my brother, Geoff, there, and we did the course together, although we were put into separate cars (more on that later). Anyway, we got there, signed in and had some breakfast (sausage rolls and croissants and coffee. Wow it tasted good). Since we were a little late we didn’t have much time for breakfast, and we had barely finished before we were called into a room with chairs set up for the theory part of the day.

It was basically a lecture on the theory of road safety. We covered the grip circle of cars: which is the theoretical area around each tire that you still have grip, influenced by acceleration, braking and turning. It was quite interesting in retrospect, although at the time I was scratching my head and wondering what was going on. We also do weight distribution, and how it affects the handling of the car; in addition to the ideal way to hold your steering wheel (hands at 9 and 3 respectively) and the correct ways to react to under and over-steer situations.

From there we went outside into the freezing cold wind, where we were split up into groups of 3 and assigned a car each. I think there was 8 cars, so there must have been about 24 people there that day: the maximum I think that they allow. We drove to a place called Gerotek, which is a military owned testing facility, and where they have, among other things, the only Aquaplane facility in Africa. Pretty cool. They’ve also got an awesome banked oval race track, but we weren’t allowed on that.

Anyway, so the first demonstration was held on a flat track, and we were first shown the correct way to sit and to hold the steering wheel. Then we were shown exactly how long it takes a speeding car to stop from various speeds (about 15m at 60km/h, 40m at 100km/h and about 100m at 160km/h). It was a real eye-opener and highlighted the need for a good following distance, as well as the benefits of having ABS on your car.

From there we were divided into two groups and did two different exercises (although we all got the chance to do all exercises. It just determined the order which we did them in). Our group was first up on the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) exercise, which basically corrects over and under-steer situations by automatically applying brakes or power to specific wheels or cutting brakes, steering and power if the user is engaging them incorrectly. Pretty amazing all in all. I took a video in slow motion, but you can’t see much of anything (and WordPress won’t allow me to host a video without paying them money. Maybe one day I’ll throw it on YouTube and post a link Decided to upload them now. Enjoy).

Oh, I forgot the thing we did before the ESP exercise. It was basically a slalom that tested the correct way to hold the steering wheel. Nothing terribly exciting but quite informative on the benefits of the 9 and 3 approach.

Basically what we did in this exercise is accelerate to a certain speed (can’t remember exactly what speed) and then slam the steering wheel hard left and hard right, to avoid the obstacle that had been set up (traffic cones). It really got the adrenaline pumping, and when in the back seats we got thrown around something crazy. It was awesome 🙂

The way each exercise worked was that the instructor (we had one instructor per car) would first do the exercise with us in the car, as a demonstration. Then he would talk us through the actions required, and do it again. After that we would take turns doing the exercise, until all three people in the car had completed each exercise.

Afterwards we went to the aquaplaning station, which is pretty cool. Aquaplaning occurs when the car’s tires can’t displace water fast enough, and the holding grooves can’t carry anymore water. What basically happens is your vehicle is floating on top of the water, resulting in absolutely no response to any control from the driver’s seat. The best way to handle this is to straighten the steering wheel and apply brakes when you get control again. Anyway, we went around this rather sharp corner at 90km/h and aquaplaned over the specially designed feature, before straightening out and coming to a stop. Again, really cool to do, and scary and awesome to watch and experience.

From there, we all came together to have lunch, which was the usual buffet style stuff: potatoes, rice, meat, chicken etc. It was pretty good, but they were pretty stingy with the servings (one potato, one piece of meat) and they hustled us out of there pretty fast that I couldn’t even finish my after-lunch coffee.

After lunch we split up again, and our group went to the  skidpan, which is basically a painted (I think?) circle of tarred area with a sprinkler in the middle that wets the entire surface. We did some exercises on ESP and under-steer, which was basically taking a long corner on the skidpan at speeds, and seeing the difference between taking it with the ESP on and off, as well as how to handle under-steer without ESP (gently straighten wheel until grip is regained and resume turning).

We then swapped with the other group and went aquaplane station, where we did a more advanced ESP control test (the water wasn’t turned on for this exercise), which involved swerving around two obstacles, first to the right and then to the left. Most people hit at least one cone, and I knocked my first (and only) cone down as I pulled off from a stop. Pretty lame, but better than the woman in the car in front of ours, who knocked down like five and got one stuck underneath her car. Haha, I laughed so hard.

We then went back to the skidpan, and joined the other group for a few practice runs on the benefits on ABS on a wet surface, basically just to experience it. It wasn’t the most exciting exercise but still pretty fun jamming on the brakes and skidding and feeling the ABS kicking in. There were two different types, the straight stop, where we simply jammed the brakes as hard as possible, and the swerve, where we steered the car around an obstacle while braking as hard as possible.

After everybody had completed all the exercises, the instructors set up a series of cones for the gymkhana. One at a time, everyone went through the course, which consisted of a whole set of challenges: a slalom, cornering, braking and stopping in a set area. Everybody was timed and the results were announced back at 4Rings, where we returned to after everybody had finished.

Back at 4Rings, we had a debriefing, where we all had to give feedback on the day, and the winners of the gymkhana were announced and given prizes. We also all received our certificates. Then they had drinks and snacks available to enjoy, and we all left to face the traffic once more.

All in all, I’d say it was a really amazing experience and a great day. I’d highly recommend it to anybody interested or thinking about it.

Oh, before I finish up, here’s some pictures I managed to take of the cars we drove in.

Hope you enjoyed that! I enjoyed going on the course and telling you all about it. What’s next on the list? Who know!





The Gillette Advantage

11 07 2009

Shaving. It’s kak. It’s ok to admit it, although sadly it is a neccessary part of everybody’s day to day life. Luckily for me, my facial hair is not yet advanced enough to require me to shave every day. Every second or third day for me personally will ensure a smooth face.

The worst part of shaving is the cuts. Aside from stubbing your toe, paper cuts and getting hit in the testicles (for guys), cuts from a razor on your face is the worst thing in the world. It hurts like hell, bleeds like hell for about 15 minutes and looks like you put your face in a blender. And if you’re really unlucky, they leave unsightly scabs on your face for the next week or so, that just screams to everybody “Hey look! I don’t know how to shave!!”

My personal experience (only using disposable razors), is that Gillette really does make the best. I’ve tried no-name brands, I’ve tried Bic. I’ve tried two blades, I’ve tried three blades. The only razor that I’ve found to consistently NOT cut my face to shreds is Gillette razors. No matter the brand or number of blades, there is just something about Gillette that just works for me. Maybe it’s the tilting heads or something, I don’t know.

Now, before this starts sounding like a Gillette advert (no, I’m not getting paid: I wish though!), let me point out some things. I don’t think we need 5 blades on a razor, Gillette, so please stop pushing your Fusion down my throat. I don’t see the point of a battery powered manual razor: what’s the pulsing going to do except cut me? I hate your “precision trimmer” concept on your Fusion: You know what we used to call “precision trimmers”? Razors! Finally, your products are such a rip off. I am not going to pay R200 (or whatever crazy price they are asking nowadays) for three blades; especially when you are putting a 4,750% markup on them (check this article for more info on that one).

In short, I like your razors but you are crazy. Thank you.

Oh, and please comment on this story and share your best (or worst) shaving stories. I for one would love to read them.





100s club and Guitar Hero

24 06 2009

So two more things crossed off my list. Host a 100s Club night and a Guitar Hero night. Strangely, both happened on the same night. Haha.

100s Club

Friday, June 19. Me, seven friends and a lot of beer. Me and four other people had a goal: to consume 100 shots of beer (25ml by our estimates) in 100 minutes. One per minute. You throw up, you’re out. You miss a shot, you’re out. For me, it didn’t go great. I got to 34, and felt sick and stopped. How lame. Another friend went out on 52, and another friend had dropped out before me. The last two contestants went on to the magic 100, and are now proud members of the 100s club. Congratulations Greg and Matthew!

Guitar Hero

Well, after the revelry of much drinking, we all went inside and played Guitar Hero: World Tour. It was pretty fun: Greg had brought his drumset so we had two different drums and could play versus drumming. It was pretty awesome. Otherwise we all took turns playing various instruments and singing, which was all good fun (especially the hardcore songs which I screamed my voice out to).

So there you have it. Another two things to cross off the list. It’s really going quite quickly now. Until next time…