Thursday, 2 June 2011

It was the best of ideas and the worst of ideas...

(I've stopped the BlackLOG Jukebox playing automatically, if you want to include music with the blog just press the play button on the jukebox)

So with excitement reaching fever pitch and all other competitions this year sitting in the back seat crying and snivelling at how amateur they appear in comparison we have reached the much anticipated finale of the Blog of War - a fight to the death between two giants of the blogging world…These guys have:

  • sweated mud;
  • wept cheese;
  • climbed the lowest mountain;
  • swum through plankton invested waters;
  • Single handedly slain  Osama bin Laden;
  • Fought rabid hamsters with big furry teeth and great big sharp testicles (before you ask, I’m not sure if it was the hamsters or our competitors that had the  furry teeth and sharp testicles);
  • found the remains of Amelia Earhart, aviator –who was attempting to circumnavigate the globe when she went missing in 1937 (keep this in mind for later in the blog);
and 

  • re-painted the Sistine Chapel (This did not go down very well with the Vatican as the instructions were to touch up the faded paint work not paint it over the room in white.  His Popeiness was said to be apoplectic with rage at the attempted “Bianca Lavata” of Vatican history).
Small print – please note some or probably all of these Herculean tasks might have been exaggerated for dramatic effect.

In short these guys have proved that they can go that extra mile, they don’t know the meaning of defeat, certainly not the type to walk away from any challenge they are going home as champions or not going home at all…..

The task they were given was

Subject title - The best of times the worst of times….

Select an age of your life, and give the reasons why you would :- 

1) be happy to stay at that age for the rest of time

2) And a different age that you would hate to be stuck at that age for the rest of time….

I decided that, in order to make it a fair fight, it would be a blind vote (i.e. you the reader won’t know who wrote which entry) after earlier rounds where fans of bloggers were voting before all the entries had been published.   So all you have to do is vote for the no. entry which you think has done the best job. To vote start any comment with No.1 or No.2 

 Entry 1
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (a blog of war prompt)
When I look back at my High School days, I both smile and cringe.  (sminge?  What would you call that?)
You see, I was a band nerd.

It doesn’t matter what else you do: Football, yearbook, student body, etc.  If you’re a band nerd, it’s your definition for 4 years. 
I was never shoved into a locker, but that could easily be because our school didn’t have lockers.  I wasn’t greatly unpopular at all, but when people ask you “Oh… you’re in BAND?” they say it with disdain.  You were judged by what you did, not who you were.
High School usually shapes your social skills and a lot of your personality.  If I weren’t in band, I would have been judged by my character and personality more than the instrument I held in my hand.  Looking back, I think I missed out on a lot because band defined who I was.
College and beyond was different.  People care more of who you are, and not what you do.  High School, as most of you know, doesn’t work like that.  Cliques and stereotypes and judging and gossip reigns supreme.  And I felt I was on the short end of that vicious stick.
But, then again, band ROCKED.  It truly was the best of times.
Some things you may not know about us “Band Nerds:”
·         We are an athletic bunch.  Try wearing a 25lb wool suit in the middle of summer, while carrying a musical instrument (weighing 5-45lbs) and mostly exhaling during a 15-minute, non-stop show.  I dare you.  You need to be a BADASS to be able to not only do it, but make it look good.
·         Marching Band is more popular than you think.  There are national Drum & Bugle Corps competitions yearly that are viewed by hundreds of thousands of fans.   (go to www.dci.org for more info)
·         If you talk to professional athletes, they will tell you about the adrenaline from the crowd.   Having a packed stadium of 60,000 people cheering for YOU is an amazing feeling.  Suddenly, the conductor signals for you to play.  BOOM.  A wall of sound hits the crowd, and they’re completely quiet.  (The term “better than sex” was tossed around by teachers and instructors.  It wasn’t until I was 19 that I understood..)


Saturday competitions were surreal.  You truly felt like a rockstar.  And my band was good.  We were one of the top 3 in our region, and we won a “National Championship” trophy my junior year.

Band also gave me the opportunity to see the world.  Our band was so well-known we were invited to Austria to perform at their millennial celebration.  We were the only group of musicians from the US given this honor.  Thanks to my band, I was able to see Mozart’s birthplace.  Tour the mansions, churches and other locations from The Sound of Music.  Experience the wonders of Swiss chocolate, while in Switzerland!  (note: a lot of European chocolates are alcoholic.  A fun fact to learn when you’re a teenager…)

I don’t play anymore, but still have a passion for music.  I look back at my High School years, and the band, and think “Wow.  That was FUN.”  Monday thru Friday was the normal, drab High School grind.  But on Saturday…

Saturday… we were kings.  We were gods.  We were unstoppable.
Entry 2


it would appear our second entry has waved the white
flag and not put in an entry for the final....

Oh yes it's party time for the Blog of War.  In keeping with the traditions of the earlier rounds we have  half an entry (what happened to the worst of times bit?) versus a no entry (what happened to the best of times and the worst of times bits?).  I’ve been trying to work out how you can have a tug of war with one person…….the best I can come up with is:-

Take a very long rope, say about 24901 miles* (certainly more than enough for the Blog of War to hang itself….. if only). Our contestant has to endeavour to pull himself off his feet while simultaneously attempting to brace himself against his own strength and remain in a stationary standing position….  Now take up the slack and heave as if your life depended on it…

* i.e. the approximate circumference of the world – this possibly explains what happened to Amelia Earhart, crashing into a rope being stretched around the world in a previous solo Tug of War event…ooops,  sorry Amelia…. 

So congratulations to Lost in Idaho for at least turning up to every round and thank you for competing in what turned out to be such a lame contest...For that you have my apologies. You should go and visit his blog, you might not want to come back....

 I can only thank the blogging gods that this still-born competition, which, in attempting to keep it from flat lining, has sucked up more medical resources than the NHS, should end in the same way that it started, an abject failure. To be honest I’m not sure I could have coped with it ending in a triumph with people celebrating as it climaxed in total success….As it is it will be buried in an unmarked grave and never mentioned again.

Other equally successful events of our week, of the 9 pairs of Olympic tickets that we applied for we have got just 1 – which working out from the amount debited from our Visa Credit Card is either the Modern Pentathlon (a full day event) or Beach Volleyball (a half dressed event) we won’t know until the 24th of June which one it is. The tension is mounting as Mrs B has declared that she will murder me with her own hands if it turns out to be the Beach Volleyball…..

If bad things hunt in packs of three we have completed our run for the moment as Duran Duran were no shows at the weekend – our tickets for seats in the fourth row will all be for nothing if we can’t make the yet to be announced rearranged  date….What’s the betting the rearranged show clashes with the one and only Olympic event we got…..?

Show me the sunny
Monitoring our way to a fortune (or not) with our Solar Panels

KW Produced so far – 1404

KW generated in the week – 146

This has earned us approximately – £702


Record of the week

White Flag by dido - Representing our second finalist. I myself should have thrown the towel in on the damn competition, that shall no longer be named, but promised that I would see it through to the bitter end – such a shame only one of the competitors saw it through….

Here comes the summer by The Undertones -
It's getting to that time of year, the sun comes up and the skies are blue  
our Solar panls are making lots of money for you …..
Sorry to get any hopes up, that should be "us" but didn't scan as well

It was better than my first effort
The sun comes up and the skies are bus
our Solar panels are making lots of money for us

Feed Me from the Little Shop of Horrors - In honour of all those young out there sucking their parents dry....(see photo finish below)



 Photo Finish 
Some early summer shots

Poppy for anyone who wanted to know,
although I have no doubt some one will
have a proper name for it....

I love the fact that the youngster is larger than its parent,  
It’s beautiful how nature gets the fledglings to suck
the life out of its parents before leaving home
just like human children….

I hope to see you next week when I can promise that this will be “a competition that will never be mentioned again” free zone....

14 comments:

  1. Ok, firstly, that poppy is gorgeous. Proper name is probably 'ladybug' somethingorother...

    And to my post, it was more of "worst of times, best of times" than vice versa. I touched upon the pains of high school, being called a nerd, being judged, etc. Those memories SUCKED.

    I just wanted to end on a high note, so I switched best/worst to worst/best.

    So, for the winning, is there a button, graphic or e-trophy I can display on my blog? I'd love to show off my 'championship' as well as a link to your blog...

    Cheers,
    My Own Private Idaho

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the picture of the bird...how true it is! And congrats to Lost In Idaho.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, Lost. I'm sorry I suffered through the the busiest week of the year. But, you woulda kicked my butt, anyway. Hat's off to you, sir!
    BlackLOG: thank you very much for putting the show together. My apologies for sniveling out on you and Lost, who deserved better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, look at those pictures! What a gorgeous Poppy!!

    My sincerest apologies for not being around much at all (yet again). The start of summer is off & I seem to have taken off with it.

    You gotta admit, that was a truly great band nerd story there. I could here Queen's "We Are the Champions" right there in my head while reading it. Like in "Revenge of the Nerds".

    That really sucks about Duran Duran. Hopefully you'll be able to make it to the next date without a hitch.

    I am weeping cheese for Ms. Earhart as we speak. Well, as I type & talk to myself in a strange lil box. Tears of Gorgonzola fill my soul.

    I'd probably have more to say if a rabid hamster hadn't just stabbed me in the eye with its testicle. On the other hand, I've signed the lease on the Sistine Chapel & am now ready to move in. Thanks to Pete the Painter & his overalls for all the hard work he's done renovating.

    I hope you & the Mrs. have a most wonderful weekend, Niel! Don't do anything I would do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oilfield Trash said...
    Congrats to the winner.
    I would like to say we are all winners….but I feel that would be pushing credibility beyond the normal levels of the BlackLOG – I do agree though a worthy winner..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lost.in.Idaho said...
    Ok, firstly, that poppy is gorgeous. Proper name is probably 'ladybug' somethingorother...
    I have a feeling it was one taken by Mrs B and Mega mini Beast…

    And to my post, it was more of "worst of times, best of times" than vice versa. I touched upon the pains of high school, being called a nerd, being judged, etc. Those memories SUCKED.
    Admittedly I like to interpret instructions in my own way so I can’t really complain

    I just wanted to end on a high note, so I switched best/worst to worst/best.
    It was a good piece and have a feeling you would have won anyway

    So, for the winning, is there a button, graphic or e-trophy I can display on my blog? I'd love to show off my 'championship' as well as a link to your blog...
    Hmm, I will have to think about that as this one competition that I really don’t want to remember….I will see what I can do…

    ReplyDelete
  7. Leslie Moon said...
    Love the picture of the bird...how true it is! And congrats to Lost In Idaho.
    Thank you Leslie…and indeed well done to lost, boy done good…

    ReplyDelete
  8. Al Penwasser said...
    Congratulations, Lost. I'm sorry I suffered through the the busiest week of the year. But, you woulda kicked my butt, anyway. Hat's off to you, sir!
    BlackLOG: thank you very much for putting the show together. My apologies for sniveling out on you and Lost, who deserved better.

    So lost won…that’s a turn up for the books…I can’t be that cross with you Al since I gave up on the competition after the first round, it’s been a weight around my neck….

    ReplyDelete
  9. LilPixi said...
    Oh, look at those pictures! What a gorgeous Poppy!!
    As I said above I believe it is one of Mrs B’s….I was struggling to find any good pictures this week and found that one from last year…

    My sincerest apologies for not being around much at all (yet again). The start of summer is off & I seem to have taken off with it.
    That’s what good weather is for…just as long as you come back with lots of fun blog adventures I will forgive you

    You gotta admit, that was a truly great band nerd story there. I could here Queen's "We Are the Champions" right there in my head while reading it. Like in "Revenge of the Nerds".
    We don’t really get the marching school band bit over here, our nerds tend to come from computer and chess clubs…..I do feel sorry for Lost because his efforts were far better than the competition and his entry won’t really get the exposure it deserves….

    That really sucks about Duran Duran. Hopefully you'll be able to make it to the next date without a hitch.
    Considering the amount of gigs I go to I count myself fairly lucky, that’s only the 2nd gig that has gone belly up on me (not including the ones that I managed to cock up myself) …the ticket company also managed to contact us in advance so we didn’t have the hassle of travelling to a none event….although I found out later Adam Ant was playing the small club in the complex and I would not have minded catching that…as it was our 17th wedding anniversary we went for a nice meal instead…

    I am weeping cheese for Ms. Earhart as we speak. Well, as I type & talk to myself in a strange lil box. Tears of Gorgonzola fill my soul.
    As I often say if you are going to weep cheese it’s always best to select one of the classier ones….. I tend to get chedder filling my sole, which probably accounts for the stinky feet

    I'd probably have more to say if a rabid hamster hadn't just stabbed me in the eye with its testicle. On the other hand, I've signed the lease on the Sistine Chapel & am now ready to move in. Thanks to Pete the Painter & his overalls for all the hard work he's done renovating.
    You do realise that the Vatican will want the Sistine Chapel returned to them in its original state …You might want to get hold of a good medium and talk the restoration through with a certain Michael Angelo….

    I hope you & the Mrs. have a most wonderful weekend, Niel! Don't do anything I would do.
    The same too you, though having read your blog for a while now I’m not sure that leaves me anything fun ….

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lost in Idaho did a great job.

    And trying to corral bloggers must be like herding cats, but at least herding cats makes you feel marginally useful, right? RIGHT?

    You did well. Truly.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ohhh, band nerds. I feel his pain...but not his exhilaration. I was in the orchestra in high school, except there were only 6 of us. Being a shy, awkward teenager before the added nerdiness of lugging my instrument around the school halls, I decided to quit. I spent the next semester avoiding the band/orchestra teacher, because I didn't want to explain my obvious absence. However, avoiding him was probably a good move on my part, because he was soon fired for sleeping with the janitor's high school daughter. Ahhh...memories.

    I'd totally go to beach volleyball. Then, I'd spend the following week concocting a workout plan that I'd inevitably give up on days later.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Suniverse said...
    Lost in Idaho did a great job.
    He certainly did

    And trying to corral bloggers must be like herding cats, but at least herding cats makes you feel marginally useful, right? RIGHT?
    Herding cats on catnip with behavioural problems….

    You did well. Truly.
    Thank you, I’ll take what comfort that I can…

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brooke said...
    Ohhh, band nerds. I feel his pain...but not his exhilaration. I was in the orchestra in high school, except there were only 6 of us.
    So not exactly big band….

    Being a shy, awkward teenager before the added nerdiness of lugging my instrument around the school halls, I decided to quit. You can’t leave it like that what was your instrument?
    I spent the next semester avoiding the band/orchestra teacher, because I didn't want to explain my obvious absence. However, avoiding him was probably a good move on my part, because he was soon fired for sleeping with the janitor's high school daughter. Ahhh...memories.This is starting to make your school sound like a Jerry Springer special ….

    I'd totally go to beach volleyball. Then, I'd spend the following week concocting a workout plan that I'd inevitably give up on days later.
    I’m already working on my fitness program in case Mrs B leaves me and I have to try and Pick up a hot volleyball star….if that turns out to be the case let’s hope I don’t end up seeing the men’s event

    ReplyDelete

Your Social Comment


This is just your opinion so feel free to say what you like...