Friday, 15 March 2013

It's Not You, It's Me.

Look, I'm really sorry but I am not going to be around for at least the next four weeks. Some of you may have noticed that I have not being visiting your blogs recently.

This is because I am on a seven week training course for a new job and am currently in my third week of the course.  I am having to learn all kinds of brain aching stuff like law and powers and am coming home at night with homework and falling asleep early due to being knackered.
This week I have been learning self defence and am battered black and blue.

I know what you are thinking, Tony Van Helsing is a soft bastard who can't be bothered spending a few minutes to write a post.  Well sod you! My posts take blood sweat and tears and I would not just burble out the contents of my day like some public diary.  You people deserve better than that and I don't want to short change you.
 If you don't hear from me for the next few weeks then please don't give up on me, I will be back in a few weeks with a whole new job and a shiny new uniform.

Until then my friends, keep up the good work and watch the skies. I promise I will return.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Leave the Dead Alone.

Those of you who have followed me for a while will probably want to stop reading as you will know how I feel about psychics.

Nonetheless I feel compelled to rant again about people who claim to have magic powers that allow them to talk to the dead.  I had a debate with someone recently who had been to see a medium and she was telling me how they were able to find out all sorts of information from the audience that they couldn't possibly know.

I told her that this is done through a process called 'cold reading' where the medium throws out bait into the audience along the lines of 'I'm getting a message from someone whose name begins with P. Has anybody got a P who has passed on recently? No, it could be a B', and so on until they get a bite from an audience member.

A skilled 'medium' will be able to read body language and extract information from people without these people realise they are giving it and even without the audience realising it is happening.

My friend remained unconvinced by my explanation and called me 'closed-minded'.  I I gave this some thought and came to the conclusion that I was not being closed-minded as I was questioning the techniques of the medium and not blindly accepting what they were claiming. Unfortunately I came to this conclusion two days after the debate.

One of the greatest questions humans have is 'Is there life after death'? Entire religions are based around this premise.  So here come mediums claiming that there is life after death, they can prove it as they are talking to dead people.

Just imagine for a moment that you could do what mediums claim to be able to do, that you could talk to the dead.  Would you use this incredible power to prove there is an afterlife to trawl around theatres and clubs, asking for money from the tragically bereaved and lonely?  Would dead people taunt and tease the bereaved by giving obscure messages and only giving their initials?

The answer is no because mediums are liars. Everytime they are asked by a sceptic to prove their powers they say things like they can't switch their powers on and off like a tap.  However they don't seem to have any trouble doing so when they are in front of a paying audience.

Sorry to bang on again about mediums but let's face it, I hate the lying bastards and I when I'm dead I'll bloody well talk to them. They will never want to pretend to speak to the dead again.

Saturday, 2 March 2013


Have you ever watched people running a race and thought that you could never do such a thing? It just seems like too much for such a unfit sack of spuds like myself.  I know that I have thought this many times.

But this morning I ran my first 10k race and it wasn't just any 10k.
This was a race called The Major and is run by British Military Fitness. Basically it is organised by serving British Army soldier and fitness instructors and is through woodland and swamps.

There are twenty obstacles on the route including tunnels where you haver to crawl on your belly through mud and ice cubes, logs across streams that you haver to balance your way across.  Wires with electric currents running through them and barbed wire that have to be crawled under and loads of others.

My wife suggested we both enter as a challenge to ourselves and I have done some training for it but nowhere near enough.  I also invited my cousin along, he runs marathons regularly and has done the Men's Health Survivor race in London. He runs three times a week and is currently on a vegan diet.
Suffice to say he is very fit.

So we all set off in the cold March sunshine and before very long we were up to our waists is stinking  black mud, floundering around and falling into pits that had been dug previously by the soldiers.
It was like a scene from a war film. The guy next to me tripped over a submerged rock and went under, I grabbed him under the arms and pulled him out. Everyone had to help everybody else.

I managed to run the entire course but had lost track of time, I had seen my cousin power ahead fairly early on and lost sight of him and my wifer was further behind me. I lunged over the finish line and collected my meadl and stood waiting for my wife to finish.  To my immense surprise my cousin crossed the line four minutes after me, I had run past him at some point but as everyone was covered in mud I hadn't recognised him.

In all 1,066 people took part in the race.  I came 495th. This to me is an immense achievement and I had no idea I would be able to even run the entire course, let alone finish this well.  What I have learned from this is to push myself out of my comfort zone.  Train for something and you will find that you can achieve what you set out to do.

However I am now covered in cuts and bruises and my knees have swollen up. small price to pay.