Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival

29 04 2010

Today (25th April) is the last day of the Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival 2010.

Whilst I didn’t manage to get over for the full run of the festival (April 7th -25th) I did manage to spend a fair whack of time in various Wetherspoon establishments and put a fair dent into their selection.

According to the festival programme and “tasting notes” that were being given away in the pubs there are up to 50 ales being featured this year, including several that have been brewed exclusively for the festival.

I am not usually a big fan of the so called festivals that are run by pub chains but I must admit that this offering from Wetherspoon really did win me over.

To my mind they did more or less everything right, there was a large and varied selection of beers, they produced a festival t-shirt, there was the oppurtunity to enjoy the beers in 1/3rd glasses so you could get round more without getting too drunk ( I didn’t avail of this option!) and they even lowered the price of a pint, where we were drinking at the King’s Ford in Chingford we were paying a measly £1.55 a pint!

I was impressed that it wasn’t just the more mainstream breweries or varities of beer; nestling alongside the run of the mill ( a term I use lightly) ales were milds, porters, stouts and even a couple of real ciders and the choice of breweries was excellent and from as far afield as Hawaii and South Africa.

One added bonus that might be of interest to people even after the festival has finished is the CAMRA membership form at the back of the festival programme, not only can you sign up and show your support in helping protect and preserve great beers but you will be sent 20 quid of Wetherspoon vouchers for you to use, not bad seeing as you can get a membership for £20 a year (£14 a year if under 25 or over 60).

I guess this festival pretty much sums Wetherspoon up for me, yeah they are a big faceless chain that is changing a lot of the pubs we have known and loved over the years but they are also doing a lot of good, not just in promoting real ale but also in helping to prevent pub closure, I think the fact that CAMRA are so pro Wetherspoon just helps highlight just how much good they are doing





Spring Cleaning

29 04 2010

Well it is very definitely spring and I have decided to do a little online spring cleaning.

I have decided to collate together my various different email addresses (a mighty 9?!?) into to one main address, tom-webster@live.com, so from now on feel free to send all your fan mail, marriage proposals and pay-pal donations here.

I also decided that I don’t want to run two separate blogs; especially since this one is such a jumble of various different topics!

As such I am going to be taking my various beer related musings from there existing home at Bottoms Up and moving them all here where they can reside alongside paedophile priests, spicy food, cute ducklings and my online gaming tales of woe.





Pope could cancel his visit to the UK

27 04 2010

The Pope could cancel his planned visit to Britain because of a “hugely offensive” Foreign Office memo mocking his stance on abortion and birth control.

This comes from senior papal aids within the vatican in the wake of a leaked memo which suggested that during his visit the pope should launch his own brand of condoms, bless a gay marriage and open an abortion clinic.

The memo, sent out in March following a “brainstorm” session by Foreign Office staff who are helping prepare for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in September, warned recipients that the contents “should not be shared externally” because the offending document, titled “The Ideal Visit”, contained “even the most far-fetched of ideas”.

“As well as suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, the memo also proposed that the Pope should “announce sacking of dodgy bishops”, sponsor a network of AIDS clinics, conduct a training course for bishops on child abuse allegations and ordain a female priest.

Embarrassingly for the Queen it also suggested getting the Pope and Her Majesty to sing a duet for charity and changing the national anthem from God Save The Queen to God Save the World.”

“One highly placed source in the Vatican said: “This could have very severe repercussions and is embarrassing for the British government – one has to question whether the action taken is enough.

“It is disgusting. Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See has been in to see the Secretary of State and explain what happened and this will all be relayed to the Pope.

“It’s even possible the trip could be cancelled as this matter is hugely offensive.”

The full article can be seen here in the Telegraph.

Whilst I don’t really think that sitting around insulting the pope and the catholic church is a good use of tax payers money I do think that this memo serves a purpose that maybe it wasn’t intended to.

It serves to reinforce the fact that to a lot of people out there the catholic church is a joke and the current pope an even bigger joke.

Yes I can understand that the vatican is miffed about this I would be too if I were them; however they should put aside some of their indignation for a second and actually look at what is being said and why.

Most people these days are a little shocked and bemused that the Vatican so stubbornly sticks to their outdated ideas and prejudices and make absolutely zero effort to move with the times.

Maybe the pope, the vatican and the catholic church as a whole should take a long hard look at that memo and rather than being outrage should instead run their own brainstorming session as to how they can change so that they are no longer the butt of the jokes.

On a different note I can’t wait to see what these “severe  repercussions” ar for Britain trade sanctions maybe?

Perhaps if things aren’t resolved to their liking we will soon finding a national shortage of plaster statues, bleeding heart paintings, communion wafers and clerical abuse on children.





40 here I come…

27 04 2010

I am pretty pleased; my return to playing WOW has been easier and more interesting than I thought it would be.

It’s easier than I thought as it turns out that I haven’t forgotten quite as much as I thought I had. It’s interesting as there is just simply so much new content and so many new features compared to when I was previously playing about 2 years.

A few weeks on and my dear little paladin is progressing quite nicely; as of last night I was level 39 and need a mere 5k xp in order to hit 40 and reach that fun halfway point, oh and start wearing plate of course!

I am also toying with the idea of going dual spec, I just about have enough money saved up and I’m now just kinda considering the pros and cons

I think if I do go for dual spec it is probably going to be a mix of ret pally and tankadin – very dull I realise but hey it’s what I know!

It hasn’t all been milk and honey though, only last night I managed to get myself booted from a PUG for being right?!?!?!

We were running the cathedral in scarlet monastery and our tank, a tauren warrior, was quite frankly a mouth breather.

He was doing the shoddiest job of holding aggro that I have ever seen, on literally every pull there were mobs making their way past our “tank”, getting through to our squishy cloth wearers and making mischief.

After the first half dozen cock ups I decided that if he wasn’t going to keep the agg off of the squishies then I would.

So as soon as the next mob made its way past him I hit it with hand of reckoning and taunted him over to me, a few seconds later he was a glittering pile of loot on the ground.

Did I get thanked for doing this? But of course not.

Instead the less than effective tank started smack talking me for messing with his threat and interfering with his “flow”, oh well whatever get over it.

But then, the squishies themselves pipe up to complain that I we had a tank and it was his job and as such I shouldn’t taunt or otherwise go out of my way to draw threat to me.

Grrrr, what would they rather that I let them die?  Once again I find myself saying I HATE PUGS!





If it aint broken why fix it?…..Oh wait it is broken, oh well fuck it.

26 04 2010

YAY!

Unfortunately you can’t hear the huge amount of sarcasm dripping from that otherwise happy outburst.

If you could you might be asking who pissed in my cornflakes today; well let me tell you who – Microsoft.

I have often moaned on and on to anyone that will listen (or who is unlucky enough to be in earshot) about the failings of Outlook 2007 when it comes to facilitating good  clean functional HTML design for emails.

I had up until hoped that the forthcoming Outlook 2010 would change this, I wasn’t expecting the world, merely that they would fix the things that were broken and make my life easier.

Well of course that hope has been dashed, completely and utterly. I was trawling the net this morning and came across this little article citing the ever reliable chaps at Campaign Monitor.

It seems that Microsoft are taking the “fuck you buddy” approach to fixing the issues in 2007, in short they aren’t.

Not only does this serious kill my buzz but it also acts as a case of middle finger up to the Email Standards Project and thousands of other frustrated designers worldwide.

The good news is though it won’t be any worse… well gee thanks for that!





Ash Cloud Blues pt 2 – The Aftermath

26 04 2010

Having finally made it back home I have today made my somewhat less than triumphant return to work.

You would think that this would be pretty unremarkable, thousands of people do this everyday all over the world and certainly compared to the journey to and from home it is unremarkable.

But there is a problem; I opened my outlook account and there in front of me were 784 emails ?!?!? WTF I was only gone from work for 5 business days.

Then I realised what had happened, it only took me the first dozen or so emails to work it out…none of my co-workers did anything whilst I was away.

Now I don’t mean that there was work that was specifically mine and they didn’t do it, that would be fine. I mean they did nothing, nada, zilch, zip.

We have access to a shared inbox that all new work requests come through to, none had been taken since I had left the office, some had even been marked with a little flag saying “Tom”….Well I opened them and had a look and guess what there was NOTHING that required  my personal attention, every single last one of my co-workers could have dealt with all of the emails that were in there.

I guess in summary I only have one thing to say on the matter

My co-workers are all giant douche bags of the highest order





Epic face fail

25 04 2010

I’m sure they do sir, I’m sure they do.








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