Back to normal

Last time I wrote a blog, I said I had some photos to label. 2 full days on, and I have finally labelled every photo in the photo section of the website. In the end it totalled at nearly 1,600 photos. And even copying and pasting many of the photo names, it still took pretty much 2 days solid to get through each of the 1,600 photos individually. You can guess by that therefore, that I didn't end up working a single day of paid employment last week. I am told that the work at the solicitors is still coming in, and that it has still been delayed. But being a weekend now, so I know I won't be working on Monday if this work turns up at all, it is going to be at least a week late. Still not harvesting any kind of income, and finally having all these damn photos out the way, I've started to put into action the "sell everything I own plan" having listed my PS2 and all the accessories and 27 games that I've collected over the years, on eBay. By the end of the weekend I also expect to have my fairly large DVD collection also listed. I've also just remembered that I still haven't claimed a tax rebate that I am owed from a few years back, so once I get that sorted it should be worth around £800. I also have a 2-year bond about to mature, which since I opened, interest rates have risen on savings, so spreading that around the right accounts and it will be worth a lot to me in interest each year. So I may not be gainfully employed at the moment with this solicitors and temping agency fucking me around. But that doesn't mean I'm not making some decent money to enhance my travel warchest.

Mentioning eBay, I figured that seeing as I'll be having people look over my profile for the next week or 2 whilst I'm selling things, I may as well take the opportunity to do some shameless advertising for this website. My eBay username was already 'jrosworld', which means nothing to someone who's never heard of this site before. So basically everyone. So I attempted to change my username to '', so anyone who viewed my eBay profile, would see the URL for this website. But for whatever reason, eBay wasn't allowing that name. I guess they don't allow URLs as usernames. So whilst testing out what I could get away with that was close to that, I accidentally changed my name. I was thinking that there would at least be a confirm screen, which there wasn't. And because I cannot change that name for another 30 days now, for the next month I am stuck with the retarded eBay name of 'jrosworld.com1', which means nothing at all. It shouldn't affect sales. But it's a shit fucking name.

Anyway, the reason that I've named this blog 'Back to normal', is because after being back for nearly 3 weeks, I feel like I've got back to my health and fitness levels pre-Mexico. Another advantage of being unemployed (I don't know why people moan about it so much). But my weights in the gym are back up to pre-Mexico levels. My times when I go out running are back to below an hour, shaving around 10 minutes off my first run post-Mexico. And 2 nights ago when I took a body-fat percentage reading, I was down to 14.3%, as opposed to 14.6% before Mexico (I think I said 14.5% in my last blog by mistake). So although it's been a lot of work cycling everywhere I go, eating very specific food types for every meal, getting to the gym virtually daily, it is starting to pay dividends. The hardest part was probably regaining the discipline to do all of those things after a month of doing what I felt like, eating what I felt like. When you take time off healthy-living of any kind, I do always find that the first few weeks back, you can make big changes to yourself with little effort. That's what I think has happened here. But just because I'm back to where I was doesn't mean I'm relaxing at all. Ever since the end of the American Football season, my target has been to get my fat percentage down to between 10-12%. And although I've made consistent progress since the end of the season, I now have less than 3 months to get in there. So even though it may be due to the boost you get after time off, what I am doing and eating right now is evidently working. So until progress slows down, or something annoying happens like I get a job, or something else which fucks with everything, I'm sticking to my current diet and exercise regimes, and hopefully they'll carry me down to within 10-12%; the perfect compromise between health and physique as far as I'm concerned. 21 days since I last had alcohol is helping too. And to be honest, I don't miss it one bit. Each year I seemingly have a progressively longer detox period. Last year it was 56 days. This year it is Alcohol 100. And each time, I see the benefits of staying off alcohol for good. People who know me never believe me when I say this, but I bet by the time I'm 30, I will've drunk my last ever drink. The more I drink, the more I feel how it messes with my brain and with my body. The day is not too far in coming when common-sense finally prevails and I stay off alcohol for good. If I do a detox next year, maybe it'll be 150 days. The year after that, maybe 250. The year after that, maybe 350, and before I know it, I'll be having full years without drinking. It's not that I'm deliberately increasing the lengths of my alcohol-free periods, or that I'm deliberately having an annual detox. It's just when my body gets to the point of feeling it can't take anymore, I give it a break according to what it's telling me. But the older I get, the more I need time away from drinking. Mark these words; as much as it pains me to say it, I'd bet money that at some point within the next 7 or 8 years, I will drink my last drink.

Damn that's a depressing thought. I have found a drink to replace it mind. I cycled to the supermarket yesterday. Being on my bike, and being a fast cycler, everything I buy obviously has to be able to fit into my rucsac. I bought a little too much yesterday, so by the time I'd got home, one of the eggs I'd bought had got crushed and cracked a little. Not having anything to eat it with, and not wanting to waste it; afterall, it cost money, I took the opportunity to do a Rocky, & put this raw egg into a glass and drank it. Not really for any reason, just really because Rocky does it. I was thinking it'd be horrible, but it was actually pretty nice. The yolk actually felt quite good as it went down my throat. So maybe that'll be my new drink once I give up alcohol. I'm sure if Rocky does it then it's got to be healthy somehow. We'll be in the pub; 3 pints of lager and a pint of eggs please barman.

Now this may sound a bit weird, but I think I'm seeing into the future. I was listening to live radio earlier today, when I realised that the show that they were playing, I'd heard before. And then I was watching NFL Total Access like always, and they either played the beginning 20 minutes of the show twice, or I somehow saw it before it happened, because I knew exactly what the pundits were going to say, what the commentators were going to say, and the results and every single action that took place on the field. It was fucking weird. But both of these things happened within a couple of hours of each other. Now I guess it's possible that for some reason, NFL Total Access played the exact same highlights twice in one show, with the same punditry. And I guess it's possible that Galaxy for some reason replayed a show rather than have a live new one. But having those two things happen within a couple of hours, it freaked me the fuck out. And if I ever find out that neither of these shows did that, then something freaky is going on. Maybe that raw egg gave me supernatural powers or something, but I knew exactly what was coming up in both shows, one of which was supposedly live. The other containing footage of NFL preseason games from yesterday, I hadn't seen yet. But either they were both having the most out of place repeats of shows, or I'm halucinating the future. I'm pulling for the latter. Maybe I shouldn't eat raw eggs anymore.

So that's pretty much what I've been doing. Most of my days have been spent labelling photos. When I've needed a break, I eat raw eggs and see into the future. It's been a big couple of days in the news though. War has broken out in Georgia and it's unfortunately the start of the olympics. What really caught my eye though, was the first completion of a Guantanemo Bay trial. This was a trial where the jury, and even the defendents lawyer, were members of the US military. Yet this trial was celebrated for it's fairness. Why? Because of the 2 main charges that the defendent faced, of one he was equitted. I hate to be one to rain on the parade, but I don't think that justifies fairness. This was an insignificant member of Al-Quaeda, being Bin Laden's driver for a few years. And to give a little background on the defendent, his nationality was unknown. So even if he was cleared of all charges, he would remain in Guantanemo is Auschwitz Guantanemo Bay indefinitely, because they wouldn't know where to deport him to. To illustrate a separate point quickly; if you're going into an area, where alcohol is forbidden, what do you do? You walk up with a bag with a couple of beers in. When the police tell you that you cannot take them in, you hand them the beers and walk through, whilst your socks are loaded up with bottles of vodka. You give the dog a bone so to speak. When people therefore speak triumphantly about this trial, can they not see that this is giving a bone to the doubters so that they have no argument that it is an unfair judicial system, because one man, not even considered a dangerous man, was equitted on one charge. Now when the real terrorists get to the stand, they will of course be found guilty regardless. But of course it is a fair trial, because that last guy was equitted. Are people who get television airtime really that stupid to think such a thing. Yes they were American, but even by their standards that's low. This is a US camp ran away from any intermediary. They will have people think exactly what they want them to think. If they want them to think it's fair, they will give an insignificant man a not-guilty verdict. Maybe in between the guilty verdicts of the people they consider to be real terrorists, they'll throw a couple of not-guilties out there for some more insignificants. This is justice in the free, land of opportunity. So glad that they run Bush/Hitler the world now.

When we were in Mexico, some of us were having a friendly argument about the marketing of certain products. I was trying to demonstrate that all the extra money certain people were paying for things, was achieving little more than placeboic (is that a word? If not, it should be) gains from the products they bought, and that they had bought into a companies marketing. I think toiletries figured quite heavily as people insisted that stupidly overpriced shampoos and designer fragrances were so expensive because they cleaned your hair 10 times better and made you smell so much more desirable, or something along those lines. I was arguing that they'd just bought into that companies marketing. Nowadays though, I consider myself free-thinking enough, and tight enough with money, that I rarely get conned by a marketing ploy, and instead buy value for money products, as the market intended. A business degree probably helps. But I haven't always been so savvy, and it got me thinking about all the stupid things I used to buy into when I was younger. The one that really sticks out for me: Fucking Nike Nike Air Max Air. I remember when Nike brought out trainers with air bubbles in them. People, myself included, would spend an extra £30, £40, maybe even £50 on a pair of trainers because it had an air bubble in. How fucking stupid was I for fuck's sake? They were never even good shoes that lasted more than a year. And you couldn't even feel the air bubble when you wore the shoes. But for some reason, you had to have a damn air bubble. It was genius marketing. And now I look back, I'm embaressed, even though I was probably only about 10, to have bought into that. And it made me think. What is today's air bubble? What is there in todays market place that one day, people are going to look back on and think, "I cannot believe I was such a mug!" Phones are an obvious one. Paying hundreds just because the top twists round. Twisty phone Or because they change the colour and call it a 3310 instead of a 3210 or something. I'm sure when they look back, the people who paid hard earned cash for twisty phones will feel stupid. Any kind of designer brand; people will one day smell the coffee. Just go to a fucking market and buy a fake. A fake rolex tells the time just a good as a real one, and it'll only cost £5. No one will ever be able to tell. Speaking of coffee, what is a fancy Starbucks coffee that some people buy daily? £3? One of those everyday, that's £1,000 a year on coffee. That's pretty good marketing. There's loads when I think about it. None beat the Nike air bubble though. If you can get someone to pay £30 more for a pair of trainers because they have an air bubble in, you're a genius. You deserve to be rich. I mean air. It's free. It probably makes the shoes even cheaper to produce because you need less material. The trainer market is still well marketed now as well. If you look in a sports store, they put some fancy colours on and some new gimic design, and charge hundreds for a pair of shoes, that in reality, don't help you exercise any better than the £10 pair that I'll end up buying. I don't know. As much as I despise the concept of marketing; it is no different from hypnotising someone into giving them your money. Essentially theft. As much as I despise it though, it is so damn clever, and fanscinating to think about. I've always said, marketing is the biggest distorter of the market. But if you're clever enough to make someone pay you £30 for an air bubble. By god you deserve to be rich. Genius.

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