ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Archive for November, 2007

‘Ere guv, you need some car insurance?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Well today officially marks my day of becoming a member of one of the dodgiest professions known to man - insurance sales!

Yes, as unbelievable as it might sound - I’ve started up my own car insurance company!

Not a full on company I might add, but rather working as a broker to Chris Knott under the branded name FIAT Forum Insurance - with this obviously being tied in directly to the FIAT Forum. I don’t have to deal with any claims or purchases etc - rather just get the clientel and push them over to CK.

By doing so, I’m now able to offer my members (or indeed anyone who wants to use us actually) savings on their car insurance (around 10%) as well as run competitions to win extra goodies - the first of which being £100 cash!

Spent the day preparing the news releases for this and set everything live by about 12′o’clock lunchtime. Initial response was good with quite a few interested people asking questions - so could be onto a good thing here!

So anyone reading this who wants to save a bit of money, give us a call on 0800 917 2274 and quote FIAT Forum to receive the best quote possible (and maybe bag yourself an extra £100 in the bargain!)

Oh check out the (mini) site -

Physical activity - me? No way?!?

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Yes, shock horror - I have actually started a new physical activity, which means I now have something else to add to my list of “things I do in Taiwan” (this now joins “going to Subway” … haha)

Some of you might remember that whenever I go on holiday anywhere, I always love to play on the “hoops”. You know the games at the arcade where the aim is just to toss a basketball into a ring. Each basket gets you X points and you just keep throwing until the time runs out.

Well, basketball is very popular here in Taiwan - so I thought I’d give it a go myself. However, up at the park, it soon became obvious that throwing into a hoop that’s a few feet in front of you is very different to trying to get the sucker into a hoop a few feet HIGHER than you… thus my time in the park was spent looking like a bit of an ass… hehe..

However (and not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post) - the other day when exploring our tower block, I actually found a basketball hoop (complete with super small “court”) up on our roof! Now admitedly this was no-where near full on court status (it’s in a little room as it were, with the hoop only being about 5 feet off the ground) - however it’s a start, and a good place for me to practise until I’m ready to go back to the park … hurrah!

I present, our “court”!

Our “court” hoop  Our “court”

Nic, huh? :) (you don’t have to answer that) - I even went and bought myself a nice new blue ball for the princely sum of £6.50 - taking this seriously me … haha

On another, completely unrelated note - went out to the movies again tonight. Stopped off first at this great Italian Coffee Shop style place called Lavazza which is nicely styled and offers great food (delicious pastas, fantastic quiches and amazing cakes) and also wonderful pots of fruit tea! A whole meal with tea and desert comes to about £4 - bargain! It would be great to call our “couple place” - though sadly Ting-Ying has been there before with boyfriends since ex’d - shame… ah well!

After this, we jumped across the street back to MTV - with the movie of choice this time being “Vacancy” - a horror(?)/thriller set out in a creepy motel - well worth watching I think, so I won’t spoil anything here! When the movie finished I was genuinely happy - even then realised I hadn’t drunk my free tea (which means I must have been properly into the film proceedings!)

A very pleasant day methinks :) Just need to try and get to bed now, fed up of always sleeping at 5am :cry:

Marble Floor + Winter = BAD

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Yes, it’s official - I’ve decided that it’s really not good to live in a marble floored apartment in the middle of winter.

Sitting at my computer is now just painful, I’ve actually had to put pillows on the floor so my feet don’t get too cold! Even this only works for an hour or so though until it’s just too unbearable again - I really wish I hadn’t sent my slippers back home!

The other thing of course means the whole room in general is just cold cold cold! Went to buy a heater yesterday but they weren’t coming in any cheaper than £30. I’m only here for 3 more weeks, so no way I’m shelling out that much - though Victor saw a place near Taipei Main Station which apparently has them for £15, will go there later.

However until the unit is actually in my room, spreading its warmth and love - I shall continue to work from my bed, periodically blowing my nose to try and clear this stinking cold I have now aquired…. bah!

The dangers of haircuts

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, having my haircut is one of the most important events in my life. Really. If it’s done badly, or not quite in the style I am happy with, I’ll go around being paranoid and moaning to people for weeks until it has grown back to the stage where I can cut it again.

To try and help against problems occuring, everytime my hair is in a style I like, I take photos of myself - which I can then take into the hairdressers next time - thus, no matter what language they can (or can’t) speak - as long as they are not blind (which you kinda would hope with them being a professional hairstylist) - then they should know what I want.

Unfortunately it’s not always quite so simple though, with a lot of stylists thinking “they know best” and trying something a bit different - which of course I am never happy with, which then starts the whole month of paranoia off again.

So this week was once again “cutting time” and indeed my first cut since I arrived in Taiwan - meaning I now had the problem of not being able to say anything at all to the stylist and only had my pictures to go on.

So a quick sit down in the chair at Charlie.G.A and 20 minutes later she was done - and by god - she was a genius! I’ve never been so happy with a cut and will now be using these new photos as my guide :)

My haircut

Of course the fun and games weren’t over then…

I was so happy with the result, that I asked the stylist for her card, so as to make sure I could have her cut my hair next time - a pretty usual thing to do I would think.

Well apparently not - this sent Ting-Ying into a rage - demanding to know why I wanted her card and not believing it wasn’t so I would go back to ask her out … haha … she was very cute for sure, but no, I don’t think so.

Someone else is feeling a little insecure perhaps :p

On a completely unrelated note - the more geeky readers might notice the links to pages keep changing all the time. This is because I can’t decide which format I want them in - or I did briefly switch it around last night to the category format (which is apparently better for SEO) - however, after thinking about it, I don’t really care about SEO - this is just supposed to be a blog of my life, thus it makes more sense to keep the dates in - thus I changed it all back …. wow, what a waste of a few hours turmoil. Pah!

Damn it’s got cold in my room, think it might be time to invest in a portable heater … brrrrr!

Knock Knock!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Went to MTV last night to watch another movie - we’ve now seen all the major ones in the horror section that we actually recognise, so having to now take gambles on whether one will be good or not.

After searching for a good 20 minutes, finally decided on “Knock Knock“, a supposed Saw type rip off (although this later turned out to be false - just some terrible translating by Ting-Ying!), which from the photos on the back cover, looked like it might be quite good.

How wrong could we be.

As soon as the move started, we wondered if they had actually put the right one on - the camera used to make this “action horror” seemed like it was make in the late 50’s - or at the very best, on one of those massive VHS camcorders from the early 1980’s. It was horrible and grainy, not seeming professional at all.

The first scene was promising though, a girl in tight sweatpants and a really high cut belly top walking around her house - at least there was a hope we would see her naked - however no, she was just murdered off within a few minutes (and it only lasted a second or two - as I missed it due to taking a sip of tea!)

The next scene then started the movie off downhill - we are subjected to watching a group of teens sit around talking in the most wooden way ever possible, you know like how when you try and deliberately act bad ….

Cue then the remaining 80 minutes or so, of the most badly acted movie ever, containing even more pointless moments seemingly just thrown in for the sake of it - rubbish murder scenes and massive continuity errors (group of kids eat at a diner late at night, walk home through a forrest, go running into middle of said forrest when it suddenly becomes daylight again …. I mean, come on!).

Really, this movie was so bad - it was actually hillarious - if they billed it as a comedy horror, I would be giving it almost a 10 star rating!

Anyway, the point of this post wasn’t to complain about a movie, it was to ask a question - and that is just this.

At which point in the lifecycle of a movie is it just too late to stop?

I mean, NO ONE who watching this movie back could have been proud of what they had done and even judging from the second scene, it was obvious the actors were terrible. So why was it made? I can’t believe it would have made enough money back to cover production unless everyone was duped into going to the premiere.

Or maybe I’ve just got my standards set too high - in which case I should go into the movie business myself … lol

At least, seeing as this is Taiwan, it only cost me £1.50 (and 60p for the popcorn) to see it - if I had paid UK cimena prices, I would be demanding my money back that’s for sure!