Sunday, 26 September 2010

That which we call metal...

A couple of weeks ago a colleague and friend of mine, Aron, had a birthday. I, as usual on this sort of occasion, had utterly no idea what gift I could take along to his party that evening, so decided to spend the day making a mess in the kitchen some cupcakes. This is not a natural state for me - I am more used to being on the receiving end of cakes, but Dr Pepper's logic, once again, won through.

Returning from the supermarket with flour and sugar and... stuff, I set about mixing shit up and putting junk in the oven. There were several batches, with well over 50 cupcakes made - that's a shedload of delicious cake right there.

Here are some of the tasty, tasty cakes.
More pictures, should you be particularly bored, can be found here.

And so onto...

The Adventures of 'British Steel'
"How I Won at World of Warcraft"

Yes, ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, I will stand up, announce my name to be George and admit that, for several months this year, I was a WoW addict. I can't believe just how much I continually and actually needed to play that game, it's pathetic. I would spend hours doing utterly pointless tasks in the game like 'mining' or 'fishing' - bloody hell, what a waste of time! (Jon, if you're reading this, I'm sorry.)

I'm now surprised by just addicted to that game I was; that surprise is only surpassed by my current astonishment at how strongly the idea of playing WoW again, not so much repulses me, but simply bores me.

This quote here has finally cemented in me the incapability of returning to WoW. In fact, the website featuring that quote has really opened my eyes to the amazing number of poor bastards out there who are addicted to WoW, and how lucky I was that, despite its intensity, my addiction was short-lived.

This is actually my second break from that damn game, though it's proven to have lasted far longer. The first break came on the 21st of June when I was engaged in a particularly unfulfilling and trivial session of grinding one morning. I happened to glance at the glorious day exterior to my window and wondered just what the fuck it was I was doing running around in a non-existent world collecting non-existent crap to sell to non-existent midgets in exchange for non-existent gold. This wondering was particularly pertinent given that I had this...

...waiting for me in the garage. Verily, that is the most beautiful bike I have ever owned! It currently goes by the name 'British Steel' and is the product of many burns and much filing on my part, and some fine stove-enamelling on the part of Dave Yates.


And what a stunning thing it is. That, people, right there, is Flamboyant Ruby! Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmmmm!

So I did the sensible thing (deleted WoW) and got my butt on a train down to Dorking for some singletrack action. The first outing with this bike had been a week or two before with a group of riders (whom I'd valiantly struggled to keep up with in the bike's current singlespeed mode) but this time I was 'free' to take my time and enjoy the views. Actually, I completely failed to do that and proceeded to burn my lungs up and stain my clothes with salt by hammering out many klicks through gorgeous woodland. I love it around there...

This is a pleasant view:

And this might be, simply, my favourite place on Earth:

A little ribbon of tyre-worn dirt through a peaceful beech-lit glade - bliss.

The frame, and hence, bike, more than lives up to all I could have hoped it to do. People blither on about a bike's weight, colour, geometry, componentry and countless other things that, though collectively important, don't actually matter - the only thing that matters is the ride. And 'British Steel' rides wonderfully.

As regular readers might recall, I like to name my bikes. It can sometimes take a very long time for the right name to become apparent (notwithstanding, of course, in the first of two Shakespearean references tonight, what's even in a name?) and, though I shall certainly be getting some decals made of this, as we shall see, most metal of names, the bike's spirit has not yet revealed its true moniker to me.

But "why 'British Steel'?" I hear you cry (possibly). Clearly, the bike is British (not that I'm even slightly patriotic) and made of steel, so already the name fits, but crucially it was made in April 2010, 30 years to the month after the release of the mighty British Steel. A bike made of metal (though not nearly as METAL as the metal gods and creators of British Steel) seems a fitting tribute.

After that ride was when I had originally intended to write about "How I won at World of Warcraft" - the only way to win being to simply not play, but before I could summon the arsedness to write the piece I was playing again, damnit. It's so flipping hard to get out of once you're in - a testament to the designers and their craft(iness). And my warrior character was just so badass, and I'd given him the coolest name. Talking of his name (yup, this whole paragraph was just a prelude to talking about his name - yes, another paragraph about names, but then "what's in a..." - oh wait, I've used that one, better find another reference from the bard...) it wasn't an original name, though it is a jolly good name, but imagine my surprise when I found a certain item in the game...

Haven't logged into WoW for three weeks now. Too early to call myself 'clean' but I reckon I won't go back because I:
  • need to get my head around some maths (as I, against the odds, actually got around to enrolling on Physics & Mathematics),
  • intend to bake (many) more cupcakes because, if we're honest with ourselves, everyone loves delicious cake,
  • am kicking my arse into, for no known reason, learning Morse Code (best not to ask),
  • would like to exploit British Steel to its full potential,
  • think it might be nice to catch up with people in real life and share some chuckles.
More ponderations coming shortly. Quickly, children, go find something better to do!