Thursday, 30 August 2012

Where channel 4 went wrong with the opening show to the Paralympics 2012.

For starters on this topic, i would like to make the point that i do believe the Paralympics shoudn't exist. The people who take part in them are just as good if not better than the able bodied people in the main Olympics and thus, should be included in the Olympics.

C'mon it's the 21st century ffs....


Today, Channel 4 - which is owned by the Channel Four Television Corporation, a public body established in 1990, coming into operation in 1993....

.... Showed us all that yet again, they can't do live stuff anymore.

You see, here's the BIG flaw with channel 4, a lack of well known faces which are loved. Years ago they used to have celebs on the network, like Graham Norton, who was loved by many for his shows "So Graham Norton" and "Very Graham Norton" and alike....

He was later signed up by the BBC and to this day, is still there presenting a few different shows and seems to still be loved by alot of people in the uk.

So of course when it came to the coverage of the Olympics, the BBC won the contract. When it came to the Paralympics, Channel 4 won the contract to broadcast the games within the uk.

The BBC's coverage was... meh, it had alot of tech problems aswel as the annoying people talking over the opening and closing ceremony's. Infact, in the opening ceremony i still remember one presenter being that short of something to say, that he ended up saying "My cousin is down there taking part in all this".... Like i needed to know that!!!

When it came to the Paralympics, i kind of thought that channel 4 would have seen the criticizm that the BBC came under from the public online and would have changed their ways to better suit the outcries of most of the nation.... No.

So who did they choose to present it? Errr.... The two news readers of the channel, from a studio that looked VERY like a re-furbished newsroom i've seen before on that channel....

Anyway, so these guys who are more than capable of presenting these sorts of events are told what to do, and PLEASE be aware, i am NOT criticizing the presenters, they are simply paid to do what they're told to do, it's the people who told them not to STFU while people are trying to watch the opening ceremony that i have taken issue with.

You see, the opening show was amazing, but unfortuantly, i had to watch it with the mute button activated, because the presenters were even talking over some of the performing artists AND the official voice over which introduces each country as they come into the stadium.

Not only that, but every 20 mins or so, adverts would randomly start to appear.... Errrr hello, the main ceremony wasn't stopping for advert breaks, so why did you? YES some of you might be screaming, that it's their way of paying the bills, but here we have a channel that only a few nights before, played 6 hours none stop music video's... WITH NO ADVERTS, So WHY did they feel the need to ruin the event by putting adverts on?

Now here's the technical bit, but stay with me here.....

Each broadcaster can use the official images which are filmed by an independant company and are the same world over, they can also use the official sound feed, again, independant company, same world over....

So why on earth did channel 4 leave all of their microphones on ASWEL as the feed from the paralympic team? It created a MASSIVE problem while trying to listen to the music (In the breif moments the presenters did shut up) because the sound is delayed on the official feed (So any bad language can be bleeped out) but you can hear it about 3 seconds earlyer through the presenters microphones because they were kept on.... It sounded awful!!!!

I, for one, am through with channel 4 after this. I didn't watch alot of their content anyway, but their lack of skills to listen to what people had been complaining about for weeks, followed by the worst coverage of any paralympic ceremony i have ever seen, is enough for me to turn around and say, "Im done with you guys".

It really is an issue, but they won't apologise for it, nor will they change their ways for the closing ceremony....

Don't even know why i'm complaining, they won't care, they're too busy rolling in that money which they made from all them adverts shown during the ceremony.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

How to save a failing scene.

For too long now, bars, pubs and clubs have been closing at a rate of something like 2 a day, for the past few years now.

While yes factor's like the lack of spare money on people these days is going to play a part in the decline of these places, something weird is happening. Theme'd bars are now giving up on their themes, we have it where some venues don't bother opening at certain times when they used to and service.... oh my, we'll come onto that in abit.

No one seems to have the exact plan needed to save these venues, but while i may not know myself how to save venues closing down, theres things not being done by alot of these places, which could certainly help a guest to enjoy their time at the venue and may help to save it....

  • Clean the venue!
One of the most basic thing's, infact one of the most needed things, seems to be getting neglected by ALOT of places. While yes, you may well make staff cuts because you can't afford the extra staff you once could, it must be said that keeping your venue clean is still just as important. I, like many other people i know, wouldn't want to stay in a venue, or return to a venue, if it isn't kept as clean as possable.

Seeing pee on the floor in the toilets, sink's full of tissue paper, vomit on walls, spilled drinks.... sight's i see all the time in venue's, yet no one there to clean up. Awful and it needs sorting!!!

  • Stick to your venue's values.
What i mean by this is like what i've seen with a bar recently called Reflex. The brand is theme'd as an 80's bar / club. Old light's, music, light up dance floor's.... loads of stuff, but they decided to scrap the 80's music and lost alot of the theme by doing so.

What they needed to do was to stick to the theme of the bar, because that was their selling point, that's why people went in the first place!

It's the same with bar's that are called "Gay" bar's. One near me recently got put under pressure because they refused to let a straight girl in.... GOOD! It's a gay bar, if you look into the history as to why we have them sort's of bars, you'll find out why i'm glad this bar stuck to its values!

  • Invest!
Yes ok, as a venue owner you're not going to have tonnes of money to invest into thing's (Although did they never listen to their elders advice when they said to save for a rainy day? The rainy day as now arrived). Standards now have to be kept high, so invest in extra staff so you don't have massive que's at bar's, or piles of glasses everywhere not getting cleaned.

Invest into your customers, by that i mean, try going to your venue as a guest, what needs changing? Do the seats need to be re-fluffed? Do the walls look abit drab? Invest into your venue and you will seek the rewards.

I really could go on all day with things that these places could do to improve themselves and eventually getting more customers and repeat business. I think the one's i've listed are the most important things, certainly for me anyway.

Yes times are tough, but put up a fight!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

My life, changed forever.

The video above, i would ask that you watch and listen carefully to what is said in it.

See, i didn't hear much of this video the first few times i watched it, so it was only last night i fully heard Tallat's story.

Futher on from this, Tallat made it safely to the uk, and eventually, made it up to stay with me for 2 nights while we went to "The right to love : An american family" screenings in the uk.

Jay first messaged me on twitter, about Tallat staying with me after remembering i'm the organiser of the uk screenings and that i had said if him and Bryan and the rest of the Leffew's wanted to come over, they could stay with me.

I of course was more than happy to accept, i added Tallat on facebook a few moments later and sent him a message introducing myself to him.

Month's go by and we'd messaged each other a few times, but not spoken on the phone.... infact not even swapped phone numbers.

A few days before the screening and we swapped numbers, spoke abit more about time's and ways of him getting up here, aswel as where to meet etc.

The day before the screening and i went upto wigan, after getting a text off Tallat to say he was on his way. I was really nervous, but really excited too! As much as i'd spoken to Jay and Bryan, hearing about what Tallat was like, it was nothing to meeting Tallat in person.

First off, Tallat IS very good looking, but it's only as you get to know him that you find out he's one of the most polite, down-to-earth guy's you could ever want to meet.

He stayed for 2 nights and went home on the friday, after seeing the movie twice on thursday. I was (and still am) gutted to see him go back home. He's a person who's personality is addictive. To just be around him is so nice because he's just... Lovely!

All my friends met him, even my mother cooked him a full english breakfast before he left and all of them have said what a nice guy he is.

That's why watching that video at the top of this post is now so hard to hear and watch. Ok yes, for the both of them i think it was difficult to make, talking about topic's that you wouldn't talk about to many, but here they are, putting their hearts on their sleeves and letting the world in on aspects of their lives.

It get's me, the part where they say about how Tallat was shot at, pushed down the stairs etc, i can't imagine him ever doing anything bad enough to deserve such treatment. He's really not got a bad bone in his body.

As much as i want to take a dislike to what people did to him over there, leading to him trying to take his own life etc, i actually find an over-whelming calm coming over me, because if they hadn't have done the thing's they did to him, i wouldn't have gotten to meet him, nor would he be the man he is today.

A friend of mine years ago told me of how her mother was raped and that's how she was born. I wanted to feel anger towards her father, but i had to face facts that without him, i wouldn't have had that friend in my life.... Yes i do often have a strange way of thinking i know.

Now for the tough part of this blog writing (Luckily, i'm only writing so i can take my time and as many tissues as i like).

You see the next stage of Tallat's life, is going back to turkey to have an operation to remove a cancer tumor. If the operation goes well, Tallat does have plans to return to the uk, which would be my dream come true, but i do have to face some difficult facts myself.

You see, as much as i've only known Tallat for a few days, he's had a big impact on my life, so if this operation goes wrong, he could end up either brain damaged, or not recover ever from the operation.

His personality is what i'm addicted to, but as nasty as this sounds, even if he did recover with brain damage, i wouldn't care. I would still want him to be a friend of mine and i'd still want to be a friend of his. I know i said that ideally, he'll be coming back to the uk after recovering from the operation and getting on with his life, but i've always been raised to be prepaired for the worst to happen, because anything better than that is then a bonus and a nice suprise.

I know i will not be the only one worried about him when he has his operation, even my 85 year old nana has asked me for an address where she can write to him when he's in hospital. She knows about his story and the operation and everything, so it breaks her heart to think that someone so young will have to go through such a thing.

My final point on this, is that i ask you, the reader, to join me in sending good vibes and well wishes to him, when he has this operation and the recovery. I have friends world over who will be including him in their prayers and thought's and can't wait to hear the news that he's a-ok after the operation.

Thank you for reading.

I will be keeping this post updated as and when i hear any news.

An update.... Dated 7/9/12

Monday, 20 August 2012

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac <- Your guide to....

When you keep in mind that before 2012, i'd never seen these in concert, i now have to pounce to get tickets for their event's.

This review i must also say, has not been "Pre-approved", nor influanced by any of the band members or crew, this is purely my opinion on them and their 2012 shows.

The first time i saw them was in liverpool, when they do a tour of theatre's all over the uk. My mother and her friends had been to see the group before (She knows a few members of the band). The chance came around for me to go and see them and i must admit, i'm glad i went.

You see, for years i would hear people going on about how good fleetwood mac where, but i'd never really identified myself as a "fan". Sure i knew some of their songs, but that was about it.

I went into the theatre and we grabbed our seats, i think we were about the 2nd or 3rd row. The stage set up was rather simple, made up of white sheets dropped down a black background, with some uplighting on the white parts, some moving heads below and above and par cans dotted around. The group also carry their own sound equipment too, which i did wonder if it'd be loud enough for me (If i'm to enjoy live music, it's got to be loud).

Suddenly, the lights in the theatre go down and you hear the rumble of base, mixed under a voice over from mick fleetwood himself. He introduces the band and asks you to enjoy the trip down memory lane. The band walk on stage and their first set begins.

Now for years, my all-time fave song of fleetwood mac's had to be "Everywhere" which i believe is from the album tango in the night.... i think....

That was the 2nd song in the list and performed to the point that if you closed your eyes, fleetwood mac were infront of you. Infact, given what i've seen of fleetwood mac concerts, even with your eyes open, the costumes and sound together, you could kid yourself they were the real deal on the stage.

This, is a short video of everywhere, not taken by me, nor on the night i saw them.... but you get the gist....

So you can see why i was happy with that then now? Ha, it was brilliant, sat tapping my foot.

The rest of the first set was full of little suprises for me. I was suprised at how many song's they'd done which i didn't know what done by them. It was all done live, sounded amazing and yes, it was plenty loud enough for me to be able to sing along, but not hear what i was singing.

The first set ends and the band go off for a break, while we tried to get a drink at the bar, which was of course mission impossable, until the 5 min call came through the tannoy system, only then did i find out that you can't bring can's of coke into the theatre.... why? i've no idea, but whatever...

Anyway, so only a few members of the band return onto the stage and begin a small set of the very early stuff of fleetwood mac and ok yes, i didn't know everything they did, but watching them play their instruments with such passion and talent was certainly more than enough to keep me amazed.

After a few songs from the early years, eventually the rest of the band make it back onto the stage and so the fun begin's. Belting out the big hits with songs like "Tusk" and "Go your own way". I've got to say, most of the people were up on their feet in the theatre, singing along and enjoying themselvs - Me included!

At the end, the band members take one last bow, before the drummer gave a little speech thanking everyone for going, understanding that times are tough at the moment and saying about how nice it is to have a night like this where everyone can still enjoy themselvs. Very true too.


Months and months go by and i got the chance to see them doing an "Intimate" gig. How could i refuse? I'd enjoyed myself so much at the theatre, it was stupid of me to pass up a chance to see them again! So, we went along to Alexandra's jazz bar in chester to see them one last time this year.

The set wasn't with them, infact half of the sound system was missing too, but it sill looked like a good set up. Talking to a few members of the band earlyer on in the evening, we found out that while yes they were only starting at half 9, the set list had been changed a little, but not too much from what we saw at the theatre shows. Great stuff!!

I sat with my bottle of wine, people watching as they all ate their meals and got ready for a good show. Half 9 rolls around and the base kicks in again, along with mick's voice giving the band an intro.

The courtyard begins to fill up with people (Honestly, i had no idea where they'd been hiding). Me and the people who i'd gone with, we all pushed our chairs back, got up close to the balcony, but still left a little room for ourselvs to have a little boogie in, should the mood (wine) take us (me).

While yes, the set list hadn't been changed too much, the band were still as feisty as ever to give a good show to all those who'd come along and boy did they deliver!

From the first song, people were dancing to the upbeat one's, or swaying to the slow one's, not to mention singing along with all the songs.

After a short break, the band took back to the stage and did some of the older fleetwood mac stuff, followed by the others joining back in, a few moments later.

It was amazing, the 2nd part, i don't know if its because the drinks were flowing, or because it was a brilliant set, outside and with perfect weather, but people were all dancing and singing along to every song, even as an entertainer, i was amazed at how much people were enjoying fleetwood mac songs and has made me wonder since, if i should be playing them more at events.

What can i say to sum this band up?

They're breath taking, from my point of view as a person who still wouldn't put his name down to be called the biggest fan of fleetwood mac. Each person in the band is talented enough to make you believe they were in the orig fleetwood mac band, put together and you really could think you were seeing fleetwood mac live.

I can't recomend them enough, from people who are fan's of fleetwood mac, to those who are not.... go and see them, you will enjoy it!

Now you can find out more about them by visiting their website which is but in short....

Louise Rogan (Lead Vocals)
Performing - Stevie Nicks
Amanda Kostadinov - (Lead Vocals/ Keyboards)
Performing - Christine McVie
Alan Hughes (Lead Guitar/ Vocals)
Performing - Lindsey Buckingham

Dave Goldberg (Keyboards/Guitars/ Vocals)
Performing - Peter Green

James Harrison (Bass)
Performing - John McVie
Ben Hughes (Guitars/ Keyboards/ Vocals/MD)
Performing - Danny Kirwin

The parenting handbook.

.... Never existed and never will exist, but there's still certain qualities you need as a person, in order for you to become a good parent.... let me explain why....

I posted a video not that long back on life with bev about my father. Thing's still have not changed but something has happend which made me think of a few things at once, so rather than have to make another youtube video about it all, i thought it's much easyer for me to try and explain things on here.

Now only the other day i was talking to some people about parenting, because they'd said that for a fact, all parents will make mistakes while raising kids, because no handbook ever got given out with a baby, no handbook could be written, because all children are different. While yes that is true, it did make me think about some of the things we as children need in our lives in order for our parents to make less mistakes in the future.

See my father was and still is homophobic (No matter how much he may try and deny this, he clearly is). All through my childhood he would say homophobic things and refuse to talk about the topic should arise. Not that at age 6, i shouldn't have been asked if i had been kissing boy's, when i was getting asked if i had been kissing girls, but as a child becomes more aware of the world around them, in a way, parents need to relax.

The ideal parent would have morals and ensure that a child was raised polite and respectful (No matter how those lessons are learned by the child, it's important that those values are in a child), It's also important for a parent to try and educate their child as best possable and at the right times too.

What do i mean?

Well when i was given the sex talk, my mother and father were going through a divorce, my father was in the process of buying a house but moved out to live with friends, so of a weekend when i was off school, he'd hire a hotel room and we'd stay in a hotel somewhere. I was on the bed one night and the coversation got onto sex and he wapped out his erm.... *cough* thing *cough* and proceeded to tell me about how it works and what happens etc etc etc. Now although that does sound like the set up of an awfully wrong porn film, it wasn't right in that after the talk/display my father refused to answer questions about gay sex. Instead of saying "I don't know" i was told to not even think about it as it's wrong.

Well, must have kicked him in the nuts when both his son's turned out gay, but back to where we were....

With him pushing me away from being gay, that may well have made me more curious into the gay lifestyle and such.... i don't know for sure, but i think at this age i'd already made my mind up.... let's face a fact here, i knew that something was different about me from a VERY young age, it was only when i could put a name to it that i began to wonder about what being gay meant.... Anyway....

I do feel it would have been better for him to simply say "I don't know about gay sex". Same as if i had been asking him about religion. My father was never religious in anyway, but im more than sure if we had have been talking about religion then he'd have down talked each one of them, instead of giving the simple answer of "I don't know, let's find out together" or something along those lines.

I today class myself as a budhist (Believe it or not), It's the religion for me, that i can be at peace with and the message of the religion and it's morals, suit me and my life style. Now my mother is fine with this, if i had any questions when i was growing up, she'd always try and respond as best possable. I would sometimes ask her awkward questions, that i didn't know about at the time, but now i do, i can LOL at them.

Like driving down to line dancing one evening (What? It's not THAT gay of a child to do that.... ok yes, it was slightly camp, but i was good!) and asking her what a g-spot was.... She couldn't give me a straight answer, so my aunt was asked by me, who gave the response of "It's a point of high pressure". Now just like that, i knew more than the advrage man does in his mid to late 30's, but anyway.... back to the point....

When being a parent it is important to raise a child to have morals and standards, but to let the child find them, themselves. Ok, so your child has said he does not like gay people.... he's 7 years old, a 7 year old is not aware of the world around them, so for me, i can excuse that as childhood innocence, unless he's bullying.... but thats for another posting on here....

If you are honest with your child, later in life they will remember it and in their own way, thank you for it too. Because my dad was homophobic, i am less close to him and in a way, yes part of the reason is down to that, it's also why im probably closer to my mother, because we have the sort of relationship, where we can talk to each other about anything and everything.... we help each other out now days, with advice and such.

My final point is, while no, there's no handbook and never will be, it takes alot more thinking than doing, to be a good parent.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

How to control your dog.

Given up on your dog as it has aggression to either humans or animals? Or in some cases both?

Well, fear no more, i've got some little tips for you.

For me, these things have worked, for you, they might not, but you have to not only control the animal in this situation, but control YOURSELF. Thats right, no point in trying to train a dog, if you're not going to train yourself first.

How did i learn these tricks?

Well for years i learned things about dog's and the way they can be with mental states. I watched years of dog whisperer, before realising, i was the one who needed the training.

You see, i learned to keep myself calm under extreme stress / pressure / panic. Here's my situation.

1 dog that has met another when it was a puppy, is now showing extreme aggression to this other dog, after having not seen it for months on end. When puppies, these dogs would play together all the time, they got on really well and enjoyed each others company.

This is what happend when i was in canada. Shelby is a .... i don't know what sort of dog off the top of my head, but here's a picture of her, she was a little bigger when i saw her, but roughly this big (Remember, only 1 human year old, she's alot of growing still to do.)

Now, to most human's, shelby is fine, she might bark at you a couple of times, but if you're anything like me, i was straight over and confident, so she learned to like me.... learned being the word.

The other dog, Snoopy, is a jack russel. Again, she's as tame as anything, loves being tickled and has one of the sweetest personality's i have ever seen in a dog, i believe this year she's 13.

Now Snoopy lives at the house where all this took place, she has her scent all over and isn't afraid of going where she wants, although she is only allowed into certain fenced off area's, otherwise she has her lead on at all times because she will take herself off for an adventure.

Shelby comes into Snoopys place and seems to want to become pack leader, by attacking snoopy. Snoopy not being the aggressive type and being towerd over by Shelby, obv isn't going to like what happens, so lies on her back with legs up in the air. What does that mean you ask?

When a dog lies on it's back with its paws up, it is a sign of surrendering, something which had i have been able to talk to snoopy, i wouldnt have let her do... but anyway.

Shelby's owners quicky decide that they need to buy a muzzle atleast to put on shelby, so she can be left out with us while we sat out and had a drink or two.

For the first night, there was fights every few hours, but instead of doing anything, i sat back and watched.... why? I learned Shelby's form of attack, which i call "The creeper". The creeper attack is where she will go behind a dog, or out of the dogs visability THEN launch an attack.

2nd day and both dogs seperatly, seem to be ok. But here's where i stepped in. In the morning, Snoopy was sat out with us on the front deck, just having a sniff around, Shelby then comes up to the area and after a few moments, people left them to their own thing and they ended up fighting. Here's when YOU have to know how to handle yourself AND the situation. Calmly, i stood up and removed shelby from the violence, while snoopy ran off to another person. I then made shelby surrender to me, by getting her to go on her back and not letting her go out of that position until i had her calm and relaxed, then i would let her go onto her side, but she quickly learned that i did not like her standing up next to me as if trying to protect me. I became her leader.

During the rest of the day, while on her lead, i had shelby sit by me at all times. When she got abit restless, i would take her around the block to burn some energy off, i would play with her and her toys, but she learned to trust me and follow commands.

I did try teaching her more on hand movements, since lets face it, dog's don't speak english. So a sharp short sound and a point down at the floor, means to lay down, a click and a point at her tail means to sit down etc, she almost grasped them.

However, when there were fights here's what YOU need to do....

  • Remain calm. If you get worried, upset or angry, the dog IS going to pick up on your vibe and feel that they need to protect you, so keeping yourself calm is very important.
  • Show no fear. YOU ARE THE PACK LEADER, show yourself to be the leader. Show the animal that this sort of behaviour is NOT acceptable and you won't have it.
  • DO NOT BE VIOLENT WITH THE ANIMAL. While the animal might be aggressive towards other people / dogs as shelby was, there is no need to hurt or harm an animal, EVER. When acting, you must not hurt the animal, or they become afraid of you as they assosiate you with pain and that can lead onto other problems.
Now that we have you delt with, what to do with the dogs, when they are fighting.

  • Deal with the starter of the fight, just because 1 dog is bigger does not mean that the big dog started it.
  • Be firm, but not harsh. It goes back to animal abuse, just no need for it, you can keep calm and end the situation quicker without hurting animals yourself.
  • Pull by the bottom part of the scruff of the neck and remove the animal backwards. Yes they can be heavy at times, but when my adrenaline is going, i am.... superman.
  • Be quick to restore calm to the situation. Make sure the dog that started the attack lays down on the floor and does not move until they are slower in their movements, this is usually the sign that they are calm enough to regain your trust.

See, the rules are simple, however, one thing i have learned and luckily never had to use, it this....

  • If a dog has it's teeth into your skin or another animals skin and has jaw-locked.... Do no move yourself or the animal. You will cause more of a tear to the skin and things could still progress worse. Just remain calm if the teeth are in you and keep yourself and the dog still until the dog releases it's teeth, only then should you make sure the dog lays down on the floor and calms down.
People these days are too quick in saying "That dog is aggressive, put it down" when infact, there's always a better way of dealing with aggressive dogs.

For more advice, look at the tv program's called "The dog whisperer". The advice he gives is perfect, just remember though, if you're going to train a dog, train yourself first.

Here's a small clip of how to deal with an angry dog, that is in a cage, look at what he does, by showing himself to the dog as pack leader.