Monday, August 23, 2004

Blogger comments

Jon has reliably informed me that blogger comments suck if you're not a registered user. So I'm considering going back to haloscan or finding something else (or, hell, a custom solution on my own server in perl or something).

Guest membership & Fitness centres

My mate Jon has decided he's going to get fit since he came back from the east. What's this got to do with me? Well, having signed up to the local sports centre he gets a guest membership (or two/..?). Very kindly offered to me. Which means for a week, for free, I can go use the facilities. Obviously a sales tool, but cool - I'm gonna make the most of it. So I wander over there after work in the afternoon (he'd been and done his thing in the morning) and was on the phone to him when he tells me we both have to be there - he has to sign me in and out in order for the guest membership to work. Bugger! Cos I work part-time and I don't think our times coincide apart from Friday unless I make it a very early start. Might not get much of a chance to use it then. Having carried my gear all the way down the hill as well (and there's the return walk back up). I think the walk with it and the food shopping I did probably made up for the exercise I lost though!

That sucks.

Hey, at least I went to the badminton club on Sundays for the first time in about 2-3yrs. Have played since with friends but not for quite a few months so I was terribly out of practice. Didn't play that bad actually - just completely failed to win any games (doubles all the time). Was getting better at the end though and hopefully after a few weeks regular attendance I'll be close as back to normal. Which was quite decent, when I played regularly. The tallness helps (I'm 6'), and long legs/arms to get about the court quickly and reach those tricky ones. Shouldn't let my pretty nice racquet go to waste either.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Hot or Not?

Anyone know of Hot or Not? It caused a bit of a sensation in 2000 when it was first created: basically you sign up, add a photo, and then everyone else on the site can rate your looks from 1 to 10. About as shallow as you can get really, relationship-wise; but it's more a bit of fun and competitiveness really. You get a reasonably honest rating of how people see you (assuming people don't just click 1 or 10 all the time), and to look at some hot and not so hot girls/guys during your lunch break or whenever.

They also do a 'meet me' side of it, where you see pictures of girls (optionally in your area or with a certain keyword in their profile) and can say yay or nay to 'I want to meet you'. If you say yes, they should see your profile next time they log in and check the meet me section; if they also say yes, you both appear in each other's double-matches list and can send a note or two. If you pay you can do even more include sending emails/notes generally (I think?). Very flexible on other keyword details, but rather limited on searching for the meet-me part.

The site is actually run by a couple of guys from their room, and it's rather amazing it's grown so big (well into the millions of users) and kept going so long. As I'm doing the internet-dating thing at the moment, thought I'd put my profile on there (a good proving ground for my photos I put up on the dating sites too!) and see how it went. I'm currently on 5.9 - not that bad. I'd probably rate myself about 6.3 if I was being honest. Here's what my graph looks like as I write...

83 votes
Rate me!

What I want to know is: who rated me a 10? Can I meet you? Unfortunately you don't get that chance unless they also went to the meet-me side of it and clicked yes there. Too many 1s and 2s for my liking, but the rest makes up for it. Maybe my looks just require a slightly quirky mind. Which is good as I'd consider myself a bit quirky sometimes.

By the way, I've also started an online dating section to my site listing the dating-services websites with details, links (of course) and what they provide/my comments. It's very basic right now, but it will grow and improve and maybe I'll let you add your comments/new sites sometime too.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Training Day

Right after the date, on the Friday morning, I had a Post Office training day to attend in Portsmouth. Everyone else from work had already been on it (bar one, who couldn't attend this one either); so I was there on my own.

I took the train down, which meant getting up about 5.15am to catch the 7.38 train and go via Aldershot to Guildford, then straight down to Pompy. Well actually I woke up at 5.15am anyway, before any alarm went off. Maybe it was after the date the night before. I didn't get back very early after the date either: although I caught an 11.15 train or so, and got back in around midnight, I then had to feed my mate Jon's goldfish and walk back home. His parents had gone away on holiday and I usually look after the house while they're away for them. I hadn't visited in a couple of days so the poor goldfish (called Sonic) probably wondered what on earth was happening when the light went on and he got some food around twenty-past midnight. Got back home, had some food, got stuff ready for the training and it was gone 1.30am by the time I got to bed.

So with less than four hours sleep, a complicated train journey (not hard, just plenty of changes), and a full day ahead plus the return journey back to look forward to, I found my way to the conference room and awaited training. It was actually an ok day, met loads of people, plus the added bonus of a couple of very attractive ladies from marketing in head office, London looking in on it and taking notes. They'd only been at their jobs for 3 weeks. If you ever see this page, Sarah and Jo, I'd love to chat again... Hope our thoughts and suggestions were useful. (really hope I remembered the names right... :-)

After the day, I hung around for a bit, did some shopping, nearly stopped for a pint but there weren't any pubs that looked suitable; and came back via a drink in Guildford (it was a rare chance I had to stop and have a drink in Guildford without worrying about the drive home). Anyway, got home 9.30pm and was rather tired.

The dates (#1 & 2)

Well, after getting a date with someone I was getting along with just fine, I was really looking forward to meeting her. I was surprised that I wasn't suffering from the nerves so badly right up until that afternoon. I was probably too excited!

It went pretty well for a first-time meeting, and if you think of us as just friends then it went great. If you consider the 'date' aspects then it wasn't so much of a success, but we both still had a nice time together. We met at Clapham Junction train station as we both came by train, and from there we walked past a few bars before finding a suitable one to stop for a pint or two in.

The most nervous moment in the whole evening was actually just before I got off the train at the station. I'd been fine right up til the announncer said the train was about to come into Clapham, then the old butterflies started to build a bit right up until I walked down the stairs from the walkway that runs over all the platforms. By the time I'd seen her waiting by the station door I was feeling a lot more relaxed again.

So we had a couple of drinks in this bar, a quite trendy place, and then headed back and found a proper pub for a last drink (and more audible conversation without the loud music) before the end of the evening. Kate had to get back as she likes her sleep (whereas I'm happy to stay up til god knows what time even on a weekday with an early start and a long day ahead, such as Friday was). I think we hardly stopped chatting the whole evening, excusing the obvious ladies/gents visits and waiting-at-bar time. So we got back to the station, and her train happened to be waiting ready to go so it was rather a rushed goodbye with just a quick kiss and a 'I'll mail/text you, had a lovely evening' etc. Given a pretty sunset and a steam train it could almost have been an old romantic movie with her waving out the window as she disappeared off into the distance... (I can hear the background music welling up as I write :-)

We next spoke (or wrote, rather) on the Monday after as she'd had a busy weekend with a couple of weddings to go to and I think although we both agreed it was a good evening, there wasn't the sexual tension there to really push for a 2nd date. I'd have been happy to meet up again, and we've been in touch since and sent jokes to and fro and stuff, but I think we'll just stay friends assuming we keep in contact.I did wonder after that whether I played it too cool, but if I'd really have liked her I would have made more effort. Made me realise that I do tend to play it very cool initially, even if I really fancy someone; I'm too good at screwing it up before they've had a chance to get to know me not to.

Would you believe I've just got another date already? Meeting Thurs eve's again (in Farnham, that's the plan so far); will write more about this one after the event. A little more uncertain for this one as I don't think we've spent as much time chatting before-hand, but again, she asked me out rather than the other way around and I wasn't going to say no. What is it? I'm not that slow! That's twice in close succession. Last time I was asked out was about 15 years ago!

Thesaurus: Cliché and bromide - what?

I was wandering around WH Smiths the other day and checking out their sale when I spotted the dictionaries and thesauri (plural?). I've got a pocket-sized dictionary from my school years, maybe not in my house, but it never gets used anyway as I don't often come across (non techy-jargon) words I don't know. A thesaurus would be useful sometimes but I make do with the one included in MS Word. quick aside: it would be dead handy to have a desktop tool that did it's job with a textbox/from the clipboard. I saw the nice expensive ones and would like one someday, but ended up deciding to buy an on-sale cheap 'pocket' (well, not quite) version published by Penguin.

Making use of my new tool and browsing a little, I came across the following entry:

cliché noun platitude, commonplace, truism, bromide

Now, all the rest I get; but - 'bromide'? Am I showing myself up, but isn't that a dangerous chemical? If I had a dictionary around I'd look it up (next purchase?... :-)

If you know why it's there, please mail me or add a comment