Archives for the month of: April, 2006

Never really got into the whole blog meme things, mostly because people are supposed to send them to you and no-one does, but this one caught my eye (probably because it’s short):

The Rules:
1. You can only say YES or NO!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you and asks!
Read the rest of this entry »

So today marks the day; I’ve been t-total for two months. The remarkable ease with which I’ve given up alcohol confirms that I’m no kind of alcoholic, while something I’ve always suspected it’s nice to get it verified. In fact throughout the entire period the hardest times where not when going out with friends who were drinking or any other social drinking occasions, as you may expect.
The only time I really found myself thinking ‘Ooo I could really enjoy a drink right now’ was while I was relaxing in the house. I’d just rented a DVD and wanted to sit down and enjoy it, there were beers in the fridge that Mike had openly offered to me. One chilled beer while watching a film, the only temptation I suffered.
So I’m going to continue not drinking. I will have a beer every now and then, but it won’t be a weekly drinkfest like it used to be. Seven years of hard drinking is enough for one liver in my opinion.
It’s not going to be a difficult decision either, on the one side we have improved health, large savings of money, no more hangovers, improved self esteem. On the other side we have peer pressure.
That’s the only argument I can think of to continue getting plastered/battered/wasted/(insert socially acceptable description of over-drinking here) once a week.

I’ve learned a lot by not drinking. Firstly other people drink a lot less that I thought they did, I’ve noticed this through observation and through reading things like this. For those that can’t be bothered; social perceptions of university drinking habits are actually wildly exaggerated, but people try to live up to these exaggerated beliefs. Informing people of the actual social norms (65% of students have four drinks or less on a night out) reduces the alcohol abuse in colleges by over 10%.
Another disturbing read if you’ve left university (or never went in the first place) is this brief news report by sky news.
So, I’ve got a much healthier outlook on drinking, do you need one?

So how can a visit to bingo cause a sudden change of heart where the thought of eating an animal is concerned? Well ok the visit to bingo was an incidental factor. Bingo by the way is surprisingly fun, even for an active young adult like me.
Matt’s girlfriend Charlotte is a vegan. One of the people that was going to bingo had recently had a birthday and Charlotte had baked him a vegan chocolate cake that was actually very nice. With no eggs or milk I have no idea how that works.
Charlotte explained (after revealing the lack of animal in the cake) that she always hoped that people would turn vegan after realising that it’s not actually all that bad.

This is not the reason I have been considering the whole vegetarian aspect. What really impressed me was Charlotte’s compassion towards all living things, including flies. Conversations can meander and an anecdote came up to illustrate this point, but I won’t delve into that now.

You see this compassion got me thinking. I’ve always been interested in Buddhism, Taoism and general eastern philosophies and religions. Quite a few of these condemn or discourage the consumption of meat. So the thought came about that perhaps if I feel like taking any of these beliefs seriously I should give vegetarianism a go.
However considering vegetarianism from a moralistic standpoint raises lots of problems with my lifestyle. I couldn’t take the ‘moral high ground’ of not eating meat without becoming a hypocrite. I have leather shoes, and a suede jacket. I live far from work so my journey is probably quite bad for the environment. My job basically entails making it easier for people to kill other people. I’ve always taken a slightly patriotic and pragmatic standpoint to this; I can’t stop there being wars and I’d rather that ‘our guys’ had as much of an advantage as possible. All this would be called into question if I became a vegetarian for moral reasons.
There is a possibility that I would try it for a few months ‘just to see’, I can quite easily imagine my resolve crumbling the first time I had a meal out though. (Unlike with the whole alcohol thing, still T-total and three days to go).

So will I become a vegetarian? It’s still a thought that’s going to tumble around in my head, but in the short term is seems highly unlikely – i.e. not today.

What colour is silence?
The popular saying is that silence is golden. I don’t believe this as it seems obviously designed to shut up annoying children.

Well the short answer is that the colour of silence totally depends on the context. In the case of my blogging silence over the last few weeks…. I’d have to say some kind of lazy blue, or perhaps a warm fuzzy orange.

I’ve got lots of things I want to blog about including an mp3 phone workout aid and a trip to bingo that left me considering becoming a vegetarian (seriously). And no you’ll never guess why.

Hopefully over the next few days I’ll catch up with these topics as I’m visiting my parents and having a week off work. None too soon I say, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to concentrate at work and am putting down to over four months with no break longer than a weekend.
Doesn’t help that when I know I’ve got a holiday coming my brain always seems to shut-down about a week early. Surprisingly I managed to finish two projects in the last week. Go me.

And now to end with my new favorite sign off of the week:

Peace out!