Africa Part 2- Road Trippin

Aim: Drive north east from Windhoek (the capital), through the Caprivi-Strip, through Botswana then arriving at the Victoria falls on the Zimbabwe side. 1 week there and 1 week back.

Transport: A 1985 Toyota Hilux with no air-conditioning or music player.

Accommodation: A mixture of camping, lodges and a hostel.

Sleep deprived but excited, we (3 men and 1 woman) set off on our road trip the day after our arrival in Namibia. Setting off early on the Monday morning there were a couple of things that needed to be kept in mind.

1- We needed to make good time and cover long hours in the hilux to make our Vic Falls booking

2- No driving in the dark as its too dangerous.

Our first night was spent in a lodge on the Okavango River. Two of us in one very large 2 story number and the other two on the river in a floating house. All told It was a nice relaxing introduction to Africa.

Having said that, on the first morning we were woken at 6.00 am with several loud, shuddering bangs. So loud in fact that it shook the house. My flat mate shot out of bed with a “Ross…Ross!!! What the fuck is that??”

Like me he was thinking, first night balls deep in Africa and we wake up to someone going tits with a shotgun?? Holy fuck we are all going to die!!! Or get raped!! Or both!! I’m too young for Aids!

Remaining calm, I respond “Ah they’re just shooting our breakfast”

Ah yes. Possibly the most idiotic thing I have ever said!

Long story short,  it turns out it was just some birds flying into the windows…

Literally a wake up call to my African naivety and ignorance.

Moving on, we made good ground. There is a certain culture shock when you visit certain parts of Africa for the first time. Driving along vast, straight roads we got to see the essence of Namibia.

Eye opening were the Mud-huts and small farms in the country side where children walk for hours every morning and night in crippling heat, in the territory of some of the worlds most apex predators to fetch water for the family. This is a far cry from me complaining about no air-conditioning and asking the driver to wind his window down because my testicles were sticking to my leg. I could be disingenuous like many and say that it made me realize how lucky I am. However, I already knew how facile Western life is. Instead, what I would say is that it opened up my eyes to an entirely different world, a way of life that I could only fathom if I was to live and experience for myself. My testicles were sticking to my leg! It was bloody hot!

Our first experience with the African wild life was a serious one. A real serious one.

Driving along we came across a Matriarchal  Herd of Elephants who were crossing the road in-front. We stopped the car and turned the engine off at a distance that some would say was stupidly close…others (the driver) safe as pie. I watched in wonder as they went about their business with goosebumps and the hair on my neck standing. Elephants are huge but act with a strange wild elegance that you can watch and absorb for hours.

Out of the blue, the quiet grace of these magnificent creatures turned into bubbling, wild fury. One of the baby Elephants decided to trip and fall (all of its own accord) which induced a protective panic across the herd and typically, WE GOT THE BLAME!!

The Elephants turned to face us with some loud trumpeting and a disconcerting aura of “We are gona fuck you up”!

Many people will know that the worst thing you could do would be to turn the engine on and hall ass down the road. So we were sensible and decided to play chicken with the giant Herd of Elephants…

With my arse twitching like a Rabbits nose , we stayed completely still while the Elephants looked us up and down. Eventually, the Matriarch decided to slowly walk directly towards us. We all  kept our composure remarkably well even if I did begin to weigh up the structural integrity a 1985, upside down Toyota Hilux has under an Elephants foot. With the Elephant still walking my arse went into overdrive and I started to wonder if I had wiped properly after my last toilet excursion. The pouring sweat was now causing an incomprehensible itch that only my index finger could address while no-one was looking. Sadly that’s how my mind works, everyone else in the car is thinking FIGHT OR FLIGHT!! I’m going through my mind the step by step progress of the last time I wiped my arse!

The Elephant eventually stopped and thank god was just testing us. One more foot the driver said and It was engine on, foot down and a life or death Wacky race. However it didn’t. Instead it turned and walked away happy to let us off with a warning because Elephants are quality and our sense of fear probably appealed to its good nature or something. (I don’t know,I’m not fucking Davie Attenborough)

The next few nights were spent in another lodge again right on the river. We got to see hippos, crocodiles etc and just generally experience Namibia in all it’s glory.

Finally, after a short drive through Botswana and what seemed like years in arduous Border Crossings we arrived in Zimbabwe and the Victoria falls not long after. The falls itself is one of those few places in the world that lives up to the  expectation and genuinely takes your breath away.

I cant really add much else to that other than you should go and experience it for your self so you can truly appreciate it. It’s beyond words.

The Victoria Falls

The area itself is full of other things to do in and around the falls, namely the world famous bungee jump. With the falls in the backdrop the bungee is situated on the bridge connecting Zimbabwe with Zambia. Why is it world famous?? Well it’s one of the highest in the world and an Australian woman  last year had the cord snap, sending her plummeting into the ferocious rapids below, somehow surviving and making news headlines across the globe.

I had decided long before the start of the trip that I was going to do the jump so the moment had been building slowly over several months. I wouldn’t say I have Vertigo but I do have a sickening fear of falling off something high.

The morning of the jump I was crippled with nerves to the point I barely said a word until we arrived at the bridge.A friend and I both signed up to do it and sadly for me I was unable to watch anyone jump before hand so my sub-conscious couldn’t see how easy it was. Luckily Zimbabwe and Zambia are renowned for their strict health and safety protocols not to mention their amour for Westerners.

Gay Bungee

Standing like a young, nervous, homosexual about to vigorously lose his virginity to an over zealous black man, I prepped myself to Jump. Most people try and focus on their motivation or find their happy place. Instead, I started to reflect on the step by step process of the last time I …

Somehow, I managed to launch myself  head first off a bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe in the backdrop of the Victoria Falls (Boom!). Due to my far from regular starting position I began to spin wildly like one of those clover thingies that fall off trees. The ones that you can pick up and they spin like helicopters. Like a beige, brown colour. Jesus, I’ve not seen them in ages.

With dehydrated piss filling up my 8 quid, Matalan Union Flag shorts bought at the height of British Olympic hysteria, I finally came to a stop. I had survived. The post bungee feeling is very bizarre, a mixture of relief and euphoria. In the end though, Numero  1 on the bucket list had been ticked off and I had sort of conquered a fear.

Next on the list was the infamous Zambezi white water rafting. Known as the most dangerous commercial water raft in the world, there were no nerves just excitement. We would start under the falls in the early morning then raft well into the afternoon. The river was infested with Crocodiles and the rafting came with a guarantee that you WOULD fall in. Apparently only small crocodiles can survive falling the falls therefore don’t possess a threat. Seemingly crocodiles never grow up! I went overboard a grand total of 3 times and possibly spent more time underwater than I did on the water. I can say though, that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Grade 5 rapids and helicopters flying  full speed though the gorge were just a couple of highlights.

Zimbabwe was rounded off with a farewell drinking session where I met the most inspiring and caring person of my life. I’m not one for serendipity so I will leave it at that. Zimbabwe had left its mark.

Now we were on our way home and luxury lodges were now replaced with good old fashioned camping…in the wild…next to rivers…and hippos and stuff. At one point I went for a simple midday slash behind the tent only to look up and have a sunbathing hippo staring  back at me. Not since I mistook that Glasgow tanning booth for a portalloo had I encountered  such a large and fierce bathing creature.

Men often get stage fright, for some reason I had the opposite. Staring back at the most dangerous animal in Africa not only did I not turn and run…I started pissing towards his face while I gazed back into his eyes. What was I playing at??  Most prostitutes will draw the line at that. Anyway, we found out that Hippo always sunbathes their and is used to people. We were assured it was the same hippo, it must put its towel down in the morning or something.

The trip continued with more camping and wild animal encounters. We must have seen in excess of 1000 Elephants. There was Elephant shit everywhere! That’s all fine and dandy but people just pick it up. It’s like the African version of snow. “Oh look love, this Elephant shit is perfect, grab the kids we can make an Igloo!”

I won’t do Africa a dis-justice though. We encountered Lions in Botswana as well as Namibia let alone the Rhino, Giraffe and plethora of other majestic animals the roam the lands of Africa. Simply put, I could go on and on about the experiences of that single 2 week road trip but I would be writing a novel. If you haven’t been you have to go! The Victoria Falls will leave you mesmerized, the wildlife is what makes Africa and I wont even get started with the landscape, the food or the beer.

That 2 weeks set up the next 2 years of travelling for me. It literally changed my life. Without being overly profound or lucid, the experience is nearly indescribable. I’ve tried my best.

People often say the line “remember how lucky you are.”  However that’s not human nature. All you can do is appreciate what you have and put yourself in desirable situations!

Don’t believe me??? Go to AFRICA!

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Africa Part 1- The Black Rhino

Boarding the plane to Joburg I had the torrid sunburn of a Ginger, Agoraphobiac. That was from two days at the London Olympics, what was 7 weeks in Africa and one year in Australia going to do??

Entering the plane it was obvious I was going to be in a middle seat and unless I was sandwiched between a couple of hot, skinny supermodels the flight was going to be grim. Real grim. Luckily for me…it was a giant african woman on my right and a sombre enviromentalist on my left. Jackpot!

I put my bag in the overhead compartment and asked the African woman if she would be kind enough to stand up so I could take my seat. Instead, she opted to move her legs approxmately one ballhair to the side and suggested I squeeze past. My face would have dropped if I wasn’t so sunburnt. After asking politely once more I was met with the same response. I then hastily planned my route over the obese african. However by this time the isle had clogged and the waiting passengers had become restless.

Just before my attempt the cockney geezer standing next to me whispered “good luck” and gave me a tender pat on the back as if to say better you than me. God how I wished I was him.

After hastily conjuring up the technique I managed to eventually squeeze past with a combination of sitting on her lap and holding myself up by using the chair infront, simultaneausly thrusting the man in the seat back and forth with ferocious vigour. Success!

(Sadly, I wasn’t to know then but me and the obese woman were about to get much much closer.)

After eventually settling down and realising that I was the sole book between two unbalanced, inter-racial book ends, the Black Rhino (obsese African) shouldered me and insinuated that she was unable to do her seat belt. After a quick evaluation of the situation it was clear she was infact trying to connect half of my seat belt to half of hers. Not only that, but she was infact SITTING on the other half of hers. Of course she was. There was no point in her seat-belt anyway, a combination of physics and her bone idleness meant she wasn’t going anywhere in a crash.

Her lack of English coupled with her laziness led to me attempting to rescue her situation but instead falling just short of taking her anal virginity. At least she wouldn’t move during turbulance! (Actually who am I kidding, she wasn’t going anywhere and fingering her arse was the air hostess’s duty. Fuck you British Airways I’ve woke up in a cold sweat ever since!)

After harnassing her clap…ahem… then ramming down her fat folds she was in and safe sound and my good deed was done for the day, correction-year!!

The flight was fairly uneventful from there on in. I watched The Avengers (top notch) and The 5 Year Engagement (medicore). In saying that, The Black Rhinos arm and fat fold kept overlapping onto the arm rest so much that she was adjusting the volume to my T.V screen and radio.

Picture the scene. An overnight flight, all the lights are off. There is no sound over my headphones other than the husky drone of the plane engines and the infriquent bleep that rings out every 15 minutes and tricks you into thinking that they have turned the seat belt sign on (what is that?).

All of a sudden, The Incredible Hulk explodes onto the screen!!!!! Buildings falling, people screaming, superheroes fighting to the death, a cacophony of intensity, the films musical score going hammer and tongs !!!

Then BAM!!!

Black Rhino falls asleep, her head falls forward onto her gargantuan clevage. Her arms and fat folds fall limber to the side and onto the arm rest button control. Meanwhile, I’m still engrossed in the relentless superhereo action.

The volume then instantly leaps from the nice, tepid second lowest setting to HOLY SHIT MAX VOLUME!!!!

Now people can blame air pressure and frequent flying but I’m telling you my ears have never been the same since. It was so painfull my eyes hurt!! I had to dab myself with bottled water just to stay conscious. Who puts the fucking buttons to the T.V control on the top and not the inner side of the arm rest?? Or just make it touch screen or somthing? The same people keeping me 35,000 feet in the air! God help us all.

Needless to say I never slept that flight.

It’s fine though because I arrived safe and on time in Joburg, South Africa then Windoek, Namibia not long after. Having undergone the biggest endurance challenge of any male since Vanessa Feltz’s first marriage, sleep deprived and hearing now sitting at 40% of normal.

The road trip to the Vic falls and a trip of a lifetime was about to begin. No matter what happened though, the only way was up…

Things could only get better (Howard Jones et al)

Protein Supplements- A brief explanation.

Discliamer- The material on here is derived from some of the worlds leading scientific investigations into Protein supplementation. It is meant to be a simple non-scientific explanation of Protein supplements and exercise. I have left out a lot of science and references but if you want them get in touch. Also, I know I have poor grammer and spelling.

*For choosing protein supplements skip to near the bottom of the page

The BBC have just posted another ill-informed, poorly wrtten article on their website yet again damming Protein supplements. In a nut shell it is a futile, non-scientific magazing like article that would be more at home in the cutting room. Not only that but a couple of months ago there was a woefully narrow minded documentary by the BBC Panorama team called ‘The Truth About Sports Products.” Having studied Sports and Exercise Science as well as Human Nutrition at University I’m still dissapointed that an influencial institution such as the BBC can report so poorly.

The documentary itself was based on research and investigations by a variety of institutes that were later forewarded by the British Medical Journal. Pretty much the most credible and respected backround you could get for a documentary of this genre. Even though the Panorama team decided to tell only one side of the story and didn’t present counter arguments, they did show some valid arguments about the marketing and corparation side to sports products. Infact their conclusion, however condescending and patrionising it came across, was pretty spot on. If you have a well balanced diet that satisfies your needs and shoes that fit you, your exercise will be very rewarding.

I don’t know much about shoe choice and I have some knowledge about the balance between dehydration and overhydration.

However, an area of sports science that I have almost been the most interested in is the use of things like Protein Shakes, creatine, steroids and other ergogenic aids. So I thought I would explain the ins and outs of using Protein shakes since both the Panorama documentary and the review it was based on did it so poorly. I would just like to add, that to enhance my previous knowledge I have spent the last few moths conversing with peers and reading endless amounts of scientific journals.

Firstly, you might ask why you would believe someone like me over the British Medical Journal and Oxford University?

Well, it’s actually pretty easy. The review was led by a man called Carl Heneghan, a clinical reader in evidence based medicine. Carl and his team from the BMJ were not Exercise Physiologist’s so they simply went onto a website (www.myprotein.com/uk/products/recovery_evo) and found this claim “The combination of protein and carbohydrates has been shown to stimulate increased uptake of glucose by the cells, resulting in faster glycogen storage compared to carbohydrates or proteins alone.” So basically to cut a long story short, they went onto review wither a Protein supplement along with carbohydrate after exercise whould help performance by reducing muscle damage and replenishing glycogen stores quicker. They concluded that the lack of benefit from protein supplements on performance or muscle is probably due to the fact that most athletes consume adequate amounts of protein in their diets. This is a bold conculsion since they have researched merely one of the many reasons people take protein supplements.

They failed to cover some of the key variables involved with the use of Protein Supplementation. This is actually little to do with the study as they simply set out to answer that one question. It’s mainly down to the weak journalism on the part of the BBC to look into these things before presenting a bias and naive television programme.

The primary reason people take Protein supplements is to enhance the muscle adaptions that occur with exercise, primarily resistance training. They are chosen becuase they can provide a quick and convenient way to get essential amino acids into the body. Ideally they should be taken to SUPPLEMENT an already healthy diet and a well constructed training regime, especially when talking about Athletes. Furthermore, in recent times it has become common place for trainers and coaches to advise protein supplements for people trying to lose weight.

In basic terms, you can take a Protein Supplement to augment and maxamise training adaptions, be it resistance training or high intensity cardio etc. In theory this is down to the maximal utilisation of Protein Synthesis in repairing and adapting to training. In the weight loss theory, much of the energy derived from protein is burned very quickly with some studies suggesting as much as 20% of energy from protein is burned during the metabolism of protein. Furthermore, high protein meals have a high sateity so you can feel fuller for longer resulting in less requirment to snack or consume extra calories. I’m not going into in depth here about the plethora of other variables involved as I want to keep this as short as possible and less scientific for any everyday sportsman or woman.

I will say now that high protein diets and/or protein supplements are not the quick fix for muscle building, losing weight or become an Olympic Athlete. Many people get enough protein in a normal healthy diet to still build muscle. (after all, there were Elite Athletes and Freakishly strong men way before gym supplements were invented).

However, much of the time people are too busy to concentrate on healthy protein orientated diets so protein supplements are a very convenient tool for the everyday gym goer and 9-5 employee. In addition, the same busy employee who works tirelessly during the week will often sit at a desk most hours and get hungry for unhelathy, quick, easy options for meals and snacks. So low carb protein shakes can improve and help even non-gym going people.

For elite athletes, protein supplements can make sure they are taking the optimal amount of protein for the exercise regime they are on as well as giving them a healthy snack option. Indeed for anyone, somewhere between 1.7-2.5g of PRO per Kg of body weight is more than enough protein. Generally, shakes taken immedietely after exercise (especially with specific carbohydrates) will be more beneficial for muscle building with some evidence suggesting before exercise or even both. Now a high protein diet can actually consist of 3-4 g of PRO per Kg of body weight. This is common in body builders especially. From the research there is little to be gained muscle building wise for such a high protein diet. However, it can theoretically aid in helping with an increased basal metabolic rate that can optimise in the cutting phase and shiffting emphasis from other macro nuritents in energy consumption. It also must be noted, that it’s a common myth that such high protein diets can damage the kidneys, THERE IS NO RELIABLE EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST HIGH PROTEIN DIETS DAMAGE THE KIDNEYS!!! Perhaps a superhuman, very unlikely amount could damage the kidneys but that never been researched nor does it need to be. A study into specific kinds of Whey protein supplements found that the subjects on every form of Whey protein consumed less calories daily than subjects on the placebo. A result that wasn’t even in the aim of the study.

This brings me onto the various different kinds of Protein Supplements. I spent several weeks researching every kind of Protein Supplement and their various ingredients, from Soy to every kind of E-number. Again I will keep it short and easy (for any in-depth questions just ask). Bascially, the standard choice that people have to make is between Whey Protein shakes and Casein Protein shakes. Although (and surprisingly to me) the studies suggest they both result in the same benefits the number one choice tends to be Whey. Simply this is because its absorbed quicker as casein is slower to digest and can cause bloat. Many leaders in the field of Sports Science and Protein are now advising a mix of both Casein and Whey.

Concentrating on Whey Protein, there are generally 3 kinds of Whey that companies use for their supplements. Whey Concentrate, Whey Isolate and Whey Hydolysed. The names of each refer to the way in which the Whey is refined and extracted.

– Concentrate is the less ideal of the 3 options. It is extracted from something like milk in a less refined and cheaper manner resulting in an increase in things like lipids and other unwanted vitamins and nutrients being in the final product. This will become clearer if you look at the packaging on the low market, cut price brands of Whey Protein.

-Isolate is more refined and easier to quickly uptake to the muscle without any prior digestion discomfort. It’s protein dense and specific.

-Hydrolysed, although it has been initially mocked for being less protein dense it’s probably the more ideal of the 3. Hydrolysed has been put through a previous digestion mechanism so is, quickly and easily absorbed as well as having the ideal saught after amino acids and enzymes. Some papers I found suggested that it was the more ideal and effective type of Whey.

Most shakes now consist of a blend of either 2 or even all 3 off those options. Preferably look for a shake that specialises in a blend of Isolate and Hydrolysed or just one of either.

Furthermore, avoid shakes with Soy ingredients. This does not include Soy lecithen, although its an emulsifier and E-number its nearly present in all shakes and gives them longer shelf lives and is hard to avoid. Normal Soy indredients however can cause an increase in estrogen levels and other minor hormonal imbalances. Sucralose is another E-number/artificial sweetner that is best to avoid. The body can’t break it down but it can induce the same metabolic effect as sugars. Also, avoid American brand Protein supplements. They have less/no law on what they feed their animals so hormones etc are often pumped into their cows that end up in their milk. I could go on and on with these, but basically the best rule of thumb: The longer the list of ingredients the more you should avoid them. Stick to shakes with small ingredient lists. When you feel bloat from a Protein Shake it’s not the protein it’s probably another ingredient. Watch out for Lactose if you are allergic, it can help absorption though.

I have went through as many common brand products as I could in 2 weeks so I have much more to say but hopefully this small bit of advise can point you in the right direction of what supplements to get. If the good products are above your budget then milk is an option. I’m not bias against any product. I merely went though scientific journals that have reliably researched either, specific ingredients or powders.

I would just like to say again that I have missed out going into too much depth as the number one rule of these things is to keep them as short as possible.

POKER- The things you should know

The WSOP has just started so I thought I would write this:

Basically anyone who knows me well knows that I’m an avid poker player/geek who has dedicated huge amounts of time in the last 6 years to both playing and studying No Limit Holdem (I also play Pot limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or better most other variations of poker but that’s just confusing the issue). I grind up to 8 games at a one time and sessions can last anything from a few minutes up to 16 hours. I specialise in multi-table tournaments but also play cash games and the occasional sit n go. You can click on this table that I got from an internet database for some of my recent good money tournament cashes:

Before the time of this table I also won enough to go to Las Vegas for 10 days with the lads in the summer of 2010. I’ve played in hundreds of professional level tournaments against everyone from previous World Champions to Ben Affleck. I cannot stress enough though my winnings are very, VERY pale in comparison to MANY players and I’m still very much a student of the game. People my age and younger are millionaires to put it bluntly.

Getting to the point however, there are very few people in mainstream society that either understand the science and math of Poker or appreciate the skill involved in the game. Even people close to me just think I’m gambling in the same way one would on a roulette table or slot machine. So I thought I would try and explain a few things the best I could.

Firstly, Poker is a skill game with a reasonable element of luck. Many people simply do not choose to believe that its skill over luck but it’s like in anything skilful, if you’re good enough simple math suggests you will win in the long run (hence the thousands of professional poker players world wide). Courts in Holland, France, Sweden and U.S.A have all ruled in favour of poker being a game of skill in cases where people are being accused of illegal gambling. In fact it’s a tax deductable occupation in the US even though online gambling is banned. Don’t get me wrong, courts in Switzerland and some in America (North Carolina) have ruled in favour of it being a game of luck but in most cases the ruling is overturned or suffering from negligence and bias. Additionally, a company called Cigital conducted a study involving more than 103 million hands of cash game poker on the website Pokerstars. They found (as did almost all studies) that Poker consisted of roughly 70% skill and 30% luck. These studies have been used in court as have Maths professors and statisticians alike.

Some of the most successful players in history are hugely intelligent individuels who have distinguished University and business careers. For example poker pro Andy Bloch has two electrical engineering degrees from MIT and a JD from Harvard Law School. He was also part of the MIT blackjack team made famous by the film 21. He has more than 4 million dollars in life time earnings and gives generously to charity. Why would someone with that sort of pedigree decide, “yes I will play a game of chance to try and earn a living.” I could literally give thousands of similar examples.

So where is the skill in poker?

Millions of people know how to play and I’ve lost count to the amount of people who tell me how amazing they are at poker because they won £5 off their mates on a Friday night. Someone asked me the other day if he could get away with sitting down at a pro table. No, no he wouldn’t. They would know almost immediately!

What people don’t realise is that it takes thousands and thousands AND THOUSANDS of hands to develop the instinct required to compete regularly. It can take just as much time studying strategy and conversing with peers to develop some of the basic principles that Pro players take for granted. For example if I was to sit down in a random Friday night house game and started talking about 4-betting light in the hijack 50bb deep against a TAG or the intricacies of the Independent Chip Model people would think I’m crazy. What about E.V, implied odds, floating in position, narrowing the range? What about…actually I’m just going to stop there I could go on and on. It is possible to make the grade without study and rely on playing hours alone but you still have to know the basic strategic principles and have an exceptionally rare, innate, natural ability to play the game.

A beginner would now argue “oh but I won a tournament for $500 the other day.” Firstly, if you are that naive to think you are shit hot at poker without having put in the hours then you should take a long hard look at yourself. Secondly, of course anyone can take down a tournament or win big in a cash game. Most of the time it’s unlikely but if you take roulette for example, how likely is it there will be 15 red spins in a row?? Well in fact it’s a statistical certainty! It may take a while but it will happen. In the same vein, someone can get amazing cards and run very hot in a poker game. Take an example when you are dealt two cards. The best hand you can be dealt is A-A and the worst is 7-2, but A-A only beats 7-2 88.74% of the time if you get the money in there and then. So roughly one in ten times you are going to lose in that position no matter how well you played the hand and how badly your opponent played the hand (that’s just one example, percentages differ with the variety of hands). I lost with all of my money in the middle to a 1% chance once then punched a door and broke my hand. The bone still sticks out the top of my hand to this day. You have to remember, if you are a novice and you sit down at a table in a casino you may win big to begin with but a good player will eventually suss you out and take all your money. Having said that, if you’re a novice playing against other novices than anyone can win. This is a common occurrence, especially in some casinos.

In the modern game it takes years of dedication to the cause until you can start taking on the pros. When I wasn’t playing 13 hours a day during the Uni holidays, (often during term as well) I was watching or reading about poker. One of the reasons I left my Masters degree was the amount of time I was spending on Poker. In the 5 months I spent enrolled in the Masters degree I had turned $150 into $10,000. By that point I felt the Masters was holding back my poker and not the other way round (I was wrong at that point).

I’ll finish with this. Someone once asked me: “if Phil Ivey is the best player in the world why does he not win all the time?” Well, why did Chelsea win the champions league and Barcelona didn’t? Why did someone who has never had a Golf lesson in his life win the US Masters. It’s the same with anything involving skill; there is an element of luck or simply having a good day. In poker the element of luck is just slightly larger.

19 times in one day!

(Disclaimer- This is not for family, prudes or the easily offended)

The highlight of the last week was finding out that someone typed “Hazel Irvine blowjob” into Google and found this blog.  I’m not sure if that reflects worse on the blog or the person who whould actually google that.  If you don’t believe me do it yourself, its at the bottom of the first page.  It’s also possibly the reason for the strange leap in hits.  So yea Cheryl Cole blowjob , Angelina Jolie anal , Frankie Sandford shaven.  Sorry but its worth a try.

The rest of my time wasn’t spent job hunting or being productive. It was spent getting drunk and naked in Aberdeen. Good times.  To continue the Lowbrow theme to this blog however, the big news in Aberdeen was that one of the lads (name rhymes with Boaby Ellapee) manged to masterbate 19 times in one day. Unbelievable just… unbelievable.  As human accomplishments go I put that up there with putting  man on the Moon,  a truly unbelievable act of Human Endevour. The emotional and physical turmoil that one must go through to achive such a feat is incomprehensible. He should be given an O.B.E or at least a place in the next Avengers Movie. The Avengers 2- The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the guy that wanked 19 times in one day (O.B.E). The weird thing is he said it was a competition and that he came 3rd (no pun intended). How? Who came first and second?? Coincidently, the same day I read a fact on twitter that said a 16 year old Brazilian boy died after wanking 42 times in a row. I’m not sure if he drowned or died of exhaustion but apparently that giant statue over looking Rio De Janeiro is a memorial to him. Faith in the human race=Restored.

I suppose I better clean the patter up a bit now.

Today I woke up to find Great Britain has slipped back into the recession. I looked out the window only to see vast looting and killer Robots burning down buildings. Nah Im just being silly, I never really. What’s the point in telling us though? We would never know and it just makes things worse. Its the same people that said we are in a drought and need to conserve water. “The Environment Agency has five flood warnings in place in south-west England, a region currently in drought ” (BBC).  Politicians are fucking idiots. Having said that maybe with this recession RBS can go bust again, can’t get bailed out and all my debt is cleared. Then no more need for the blog.

Dear blog… Jackpot!

Justin Bieber’s jailtime shower sex!

Yea, so out of nowhere really my last post got shit loads of views and shares. In some random countries as well. So cheers to all the Greeks out there. I’m pretty sure you probably just googled “Life of Unemployment” and came across this blog but who am I to mock your catastrophically dire economic situation.

Also sorry again for the Primary School level grammer. As previously mentioned I’m 80% sure I’m dyslexic. I think when I sat the test in primary school they couldn’t understand what I was writing so just assumed I spelt everything correctly then went for lunch. At least one word each sentence has been googled and even then I still don’t get it all right. Last week I read “Syria attacks own people” and thought the i-Phone 4s had gone rogue! Earlier I googled the word persnickety and found out it had an ‘s’ in it.  Who knew? The learning never stops.

It’s been a slow week otherwise. I think I invented a new smileyface icon though! Constipation face >;-&

Sadly, thats where the excitment stopped there this week. The only other thing thats happened was a letter from the dole peeps saying that I will won’t be getting Job seekers allowance anymore. Apperently, I had no good reason to leave my last PART-TIME job in Aberdeen. The fact that I was homeless, heavely in debt and had to move back to other end of the country wasn’t acceptable. The ironic thing is, how bad is the person who decided that at their job? I get the chance to send a letter of appeal which I’ve already written-

Dear useless Cunt/Sir/Madame

thanks for your hugely positve letter, I believe your wrong but I’m unsure how I can explain the situation any clearer than I already have. Perhaps a stick diagram would be suffecient for your level of inteligence?
Anyhoo, now because of your ineptitude an already dire situation has been made alot worse. Good to know that you have a system in place to do nothing but exacerbate my current financial plight. It’s not like I acount for having the money each week and you have stopped giving me it without any notice whatsoever. Good to also know, that because of this i cannot afford to pay the insurance and registry fee for the register of exercise professionals. The very same group that just offered me a job.
Maybe I’m just splitting hairs, afterall who in their right mind would refuse payment to one of the few people who doesn’t use it to fund their drink and drug habit. In conclusion, you can shove your job seekers allowance up your arse and I hope you get vigorously sodomized in a dark alley by a drug addict who you helped finance 🙂

Yours insincerely,
Ross Forsyth

Homosexual Taliban

I’ve been asked to carry on writing these so I will. Also, I have nothing better to do.  Oh and the title “Homosexual Taliban” is a quest to make this easier to find on Google.

This weeks been a fairly stereotypical one for an unemployed graduate student. Basically, sitting around the house listening to the house phone ring wondering if I should answer it and shout abuse down the phone or just ignore it and hope the call centres give up. Its so frustrating as no-one actually uses house phones anymore so you know its just going to be automated spam. The only time people use house phones in this day and age is when they lose their mobile phones inside the house and need to ring it.

Other than that noising me up, I did some delivery driving in the snow on Tuesday. The only highlight was when I pulled the van over to take a sneaky whizz at the side of someones garden then fell over the fence when trying to make a quick getaway. After rolling around the ground for a good 30 seconds I got in the van and had to make the rest of the deliveries sodding wet. However, everone hasn’t shut up about the snow on the back of a heat wave so I’m not going to add to it.

What has been weird this week is the hosepipe ban for 20million people in the south of the UK. We live on an Island surrounded by water! Ridiculous! Word has it that the government now want to ground planes because we’re running out of sky. I’ve also been hearing black guys haven’t been getting blowjobs due to woman misinterpreting the hosepipe ban. Sad news indeed.

The Masters started on Thursday. After 4 days of ups and downs, highs and lows, Golf fans finally concluded that YES! Hazel Irvine would get banged! Weirdly, adrenaline junkie/ex England Cricket captain Michael Vaughan was conducting the player interviews for the BBC. Apparently  Cricket wasn’t exciting enough for him so he turned to Golf.

On Saturday the boat race between Oxford and Cambridge was the other big sporting event of the weekend and for once it was interesting. Some guy jumped into the river mid-race and caused unmitigated outrage. Rumour has it he was so bored that he tried to drown himself. Other reports suggest he was cleaning his car during the hosepipe ban and simply fell in while he was filling up his bucket. Whatever the reason, police have said the culprit is unable to stand trial as he swallowed a mouthfull of the Thames and now has Smallpox.

Then today it was Easter. A celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. What that has to with Chocolate, Eggs and Bunnies is beyond me. However, I might not be religious but I am partial to a Chocolate Egg (just like Jesus).

Acutually, I nearly forgot the Heineken cup quater finals were also on this weekend. Edinburgh caused an upset by making the Semi-finals for the first time in their History. I’ve got tickets for the final in London so fingers crossed they can make it (great sesh). If not, Im just happy to watch something live that doesnt involve someone called Jasmine popping up infront of me.

Other than watching sport and making shit jokes, this week has just been training and recording audio notes with my guitar and sending them to people on whatsapp. For those asking about New Zealand Its actually on hold just now. There are a couple of issues but I dont know much so Im now kind of in limbo. Fingers crossed it works out and hopefully its all good.

Cheers the now