thank you Helen for drawing this

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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

If you're one of my friends and are looking for ideas of what to buy me for birthday or Christmas, try my wishlist:


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Friday, December 13, 2002
I don't know if you ever search for your own name, occassionally I do. Under "Ali Yates" I find a few things, like a balloonist and someone's girlfriend. However, I tried "Alison Yates" today, yes, I know I hate the full name, but I was just interested. There's quite a lot out there apparently, but the most interesting was this, there's a type of heather with my name. I think. How amazing is that?!

'Alison Yates'

Long racemes of white flowers, Sep-Oct, with silver-grey foliage. Vigorous but compact habit. Named after the daughter of Geoffrey Yates, the introducer. Ht. 31-45cm. Spd. 46-60cm.

I have to say that personally I think it's a rather stupid name for a plant, but never mind. It amazed me. I'm going to turn into Dave Gorman if I'm not careful and start dragging Helen round with me trying to find other people called Ali Yates. Incidentally, if you haven't already, I would recommend reading Are you Dave Gorman? not that I necessarily know you, so who knows, you might hate the books I like. However, I thought it was very funny, I read it the other week. Basically Dave and his housemate Danny Wallace try to find 54 people called Dave Gorman. It's great, one of the best things is the total lack of organisation. Plus the writing of the book is just very funny, it's written by both of them, with Danny being very cynical and Dave being excessively enthusiastic, it's a lot of fun. It's kind of similar to Round Ireland with a Fridge which I also read recently, well similar in that as a result of a drunken bet they each spend an awful lot of money and energy doing something fairly ludicrous. However, I preffered Are you Dave Gorman? because in Round Ireland with a fridge he ended up advertising quite a bit and being a lot more organised, so the bet seemed a bit easy in the end, whereas the Gorman one was a lot more stupid and having two people write it up probably made it more refreshing.

Oddly enough I was wondering about what catastrophic bet would occur if the combined powers of the two stupid bet teams joined forces. What's odd about this is that just now as I was looking for the Tony Hawks site so I could link it and as I did I spotted a link on it to Danny Wallace so they are connected already. Scary!! I guess it's not that odd though, they work in the same kind of circles I guess. Oh, if you are at the Tony Hawks site check out the email replies that he has sent to people that think he's Tony Hawk, the skateboarder, they're very funny.

Okay, I was talking about having the same name as some heather and got onto reviewing a book, see, this is what my brain does to me, it just goes off on tangents, it's very confusing really. You might be confused, but you don't have to live with it. Imagine what it must be like for me!

Anyway, the even vaguely observant amongst you will notice that I have actually posted twice tonight, I blogged about 20 minutes ago and said I was going to bed. As you can see, I have not actually made it to bed, I am under my bed (I have a loft/cabin bed with a desk under it, it's great), I got distracted doing pointless searches. I will now attempt, for the second time, to get off the internet and go to bed, I won't guarantee anything, but I doubt that I'll suddenly feel the desparate need to blog.

Thursday, December 12, 2002
Would you like to look and feel 10-20 years younger?

In a word, no.

The World-Famous Showtime Rotisserie cooks your Turkey in about half the time it takes in your conventional oven, saving you lots of money on energy. It is also the #1 Best Selling and most Highly Rated Rotisserie in the World.

Does it? Does it really? Is it really world famous? The email in my inbox is the first I'd heard of it.

But, I think my favourite has to be:

University Diplomas

Obtain a prosperous future, money earning power, and the admiration of all.

Who is all anyway? Boom boom, do you see what I did there?

I've never noticed that a university degree provides any of the above. I mean, okay theoretically you can get a better job, but it's not guaranteed. I've certainly not gained everyone's admiration and I earnt my degree. Or maybe you only gain admiration if you don't bother to earn it and just send off for one.

Diplomas from prestigious non-accredited universities based on your present knowledge and life experiences.

No required tests, classes, books or interviews

Bachelors, masters, MBA, and doctorate (PhD) diplomas available in the field of your choice.

Helen would like one in pylon field 'cos she thought that was a good name. She's silly.

No one is turned down.

I think that is my favourite bit of the email. I mean, whatever credibility they might possibly have in offering degrees, how can it possibly be worth anything at all if they don't turn anyone down? That means that someone who knows nothing can have one. How silly is that. How can anyone actually believe it? So what is the point of the email? Does anyone actually respond? I'm tempted to call them to ask, but it'd probably cost a lot to phone and then they'd track me down or something.

I wasn't going to talk about spam, I'm not sure how it happened. It's Helen's fault, she told me to. I was going to talk about Lord of the Rings, I just watched one of the extras, the Weta one.

We were just looking at the details of the extras on the DVD to confirm that it is Weta, that didn't really help as it didn't list that extra. However, it mentioned an extra musical number, so Helen started singing, "#one, one, one, one..." I think she is losing it. Just read her blog if you don't believe me. She's trying to get Jonas to go out with her. He's fictional!!!!!

Anyway, as I was saying, Lord of the Rings, Weta extra. It was fantastic. I couldn't believe the detail they went into. Stuff that you'd never be able to see on screen. I was impressed with the chain mail. TWELVE AND A HALF MILLION links. That's a lot. Put together by 2 people over 3 and a half years. Can you imagine what that must have been like? I bet they can do it in their sleep now. Click, click, click, click. Somewhat monotonous! Their CVs must be interesting, special skills - very good at clicking small plastic loops together. One of them said he really enjoyed it though. I doubt they'll want to do that again though, I wonder if they wake up at night screaming at the thought of having to click more links together.

It is late now, so I shall retire. I shall endeavour to compose a more interesting entry on the morrow. Undoubtedly My attempts will once more be thwarted by my pitiful lack of inspiration and woefully inadequate vocabulary.

Okay, so I set this thing up and I had good intentions. I really did. I planned to blog regularly, I just erm, didn't. I don't really have any reasons. Okay, so what's gone on in the amazingly exciting world of Ali since we last spoke? Well, I got older. I mean, obviously, we all do that, but I had a birthday, so I'm 24 now, eek, that's scary, actually, it didn't bother me that much, usually me getting older does, 'cos each age seems so adult, but 24 doesn't seem that much different from 23. So hey.

Maybe I should share some of the amazing gifts I got, I was going to borrow Helen's digital camera and take some pics of my presents to show you. However, I haven't got round to asking her yet. Hmm, she suggested that now we both have blogs we might not need to actually talk, so I could just ask her here and maybe the camera will appear in my room or something tomorrow? Or she might reply in her blog, so Helen, can I borrow your digital camera please? Okay, I think that's pretty stupid of me, let's move on shall we? Oh yes, what did I get right well in no particular order:

  • Lord of the Rings Collectors edition DVD, me being ungrateful thinks that the bookends are a waste of money (no offence James, I know you have them and think they're great) and am selling them back to my parents to give to my brother, since I only wanted the DVDs and he wanted the collector's edition but someone has given him just the extended DVD.
  • A wind up monkey
  • A finger of fudge (is just enough to give the kids a treat) actually, there were 3, I guess that's 'cos I'm an Ali, not a kid.
  • Pez!!!!! A tiger pez dispenser, it's great. Maybe only other Pretender fans will understand the excitement over Pez.
  • An Action Man car thing. It has missiles that fire!
  • £20
  • A snooker table! Okay, not a real one, one of those little tiny ones. Fun though
  • A tub of Cadbury's Miniature Heroes
  • Red Dwarf series one on DVD.
  • Some Liquorice Allsorts.
  • Oceanic Cd by Raspberry Jam.
  • A lie detector watch!! How cool
  • Some Carbon Monoxide detectors. Thanks Mark
  • A lock. Also from Mark :-)
  • A blanket

So all in all, some cool presents. Nice. I had a good day too, even though I had to go to work in the morning. I like work, so that was okay. My Dad came up for the afternoon, he was in Cambridge, so it wasn't to far to pop to Leicester. He brought my presents with him. Then in the evening I went to Grange Farm with some friends. I had steak, followed by chocolate brownie and ice cream. Very nice.

I've been out for food quite a bit lately, which is unusual. On Thursday our work meal at The Foxhunter was very good, though I came home feeling a bit ill. I ate so many parsnips I made my stomach hurt, you could have as much fresh veg as you like you see. Bad move, that means me piling on roast potatoes and parsnips, they're so nice. Hmm.

On Sunday I had another Christmas meal, I didn't each as much then, I was more sensible. We had a lot of fun playing Absolute Balderdash a fantastic game which you should all play if you haven't already. I love the laws. We tend to end up just getting ridiculously stupid. It got to the point where it was a lot easier to determine the correct answer, because so many of the others seemed to relate to Norman Wisdom. Madness. I often wish that I could remember the real answers, 'cos then I could astound people with them. However, I usually just end up with things like. Somewhere in America it's illegal for a horse to be in public without pants on a Sunday, I think that was on a Sunday, it might not have been. There are so many great laws and films too, but I tend to forget which was the real plot. Sad.

Ooh, last night I watched Extreme Ironing it was absolutely fantastic. They did steal our idea though, Okay, so they had it several years ago, but I didn't know that and earlier this year Will and I planned loads of stupid extrem things like extreme cooking, extreme housework and extreme walking up and down the stairs. It didn't involve quite the extremes of theirs such as climbing cliffs to iron though, just a lot of enthusiasm.

Anyway, I should go to be, because tomorrow I have to go to work in the morning, I don't usually. However, we just had computers put in at the library so I have to go in so that they can show me how to use a computer, just in case I don't know. Hmm, that could be boring. Or not, 'cos I can just play around with it and see what it does, in which case fun!!. I'm doing The European Computer Driving Licence through work. It's funny really, 'cos everyone is so panicked over it and it's pretty easy. Admittedly I've only done the internet module so far. That was dull. I had to sit in a room and be trained in the use of Hotmail for a couple of hours and then do a 45 minute test on the internet and hotmail. The test took approximately 5 minutes and I passed. The training seemed to involve sitting around and sending everyone else lots of emails then waiting until I got some back and replying to them and showing the other people how to actually do everything. It was very boring. I've probably said that already, sorry. I'm boring you all, this is stupidly, pointlessly long and I'm also keeping myself up for no good reason. So good night.

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