ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

The quest for blueness

October 2nd, 2008

I’ve always liked the idea of having blue hair (not granny style rinse, but proper in-you-face-bright style) and although over the years have done a few dabbles here and there (mainly with the gel stuff to spike it) - I never really got a decent effect.

If we go back to 2003 - this looks cool, but used to run when I’d sweat and was a pain to do (as you had to align it to the spikes)

So then nothing happened for like a million years after that, until I got back to the UK at the beginning of this year and bought some proper blue dye. It said for best results to bleach first, but I wasn’t happy with that, so just applied it without.

It definitely did something, but not quite what I had hoped for:

You can’t see it very well in that light, but it sorta went a bluey-greyish colour - I actually thought it looked pretty cool, but then it went and washed out after 2 or 3 days.

After that I kinda gave up - although I wanted to do the bleaching, I was worried that if it looked rubbish I’d be stuck with it for ages. And that is when the solution appeared!

Whilst wandering around the Tokyu store in Bangkok, I found a spray on colour in exactly the blue I wanted! Hurrah! So now I could test what it would look like, without having the worry of it was terrible, I’d be stuck with it.

Therefore (and ignore the patchiness - I couldn’t quite get it even) ….

That’s more like it! Fantastic result and definitely passes the “I like it blue” test.

Now I just need to order some more of the original colouring, a little tube of bleach and away we go!

Watch this space!

Proper Gangster

October 2nd, 2008

Anyone who sees me about will most likely have noticed that one thing about me never changes - my shoes.

Indeed you would be forgiven in thinking I only had worn one pair for the last 6 years or so - however that’s not quite true.

Basically, many moons ago - Gowry’s family bought me a pair of Accupuncture Gingy Poc shoes for christmas, which I absolutely loved. So much in fact, that when they finally wore out - I just purchased another pair of the same.

This even continued on after I moved abroad - basically when I returned for my yearly pilgrimidge, I simply went online and bought the same ones again - and again - and again - until rather unfortunately, last year’s trip - when I was horrified to discover that they aren’t made anymore.

Instead of going for something different, I just decided to keep the current ones going as long as possible - and even after the bottom fell off (and was stuck back on with superglue) I continued to wear them.

Of course, then typhoon season hit - and the good old Gingy’s weren’t quite up for the challenge of torrential rain, letting in almost any liquid that hit it - plus they now looked awful with the insides actually having rotted away.

It was time for action.

I had planned to pick up some new sneakers in Japan, however, much to my dismay (and annoyance) - Japanese people don’t seem to go higher than a size 28 which mean, despite MUCH searching - it was impossible to find anything - thus Taiwan it would have to be.

So tonight was shoe shopping night and off to Shilin Market I headed. I had really just been looking for some basic converse stylee’s - however after wandering into one particular shoe emporium, these fancy pair of Puma’s caught my eye.

Definitely not the style I would normally go for - but at least I would be able to get into an stylish events now - haha.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to be rid of the old ones, so got the store to throw them away (along with the new box) and wore the new ones from then on.

Story should end here right - and I wish it did - however sadly there’s a bit more.

Basically, after walking around the market for another 30 minutes - it was becoming increasingly noticeable that the left shoe was too small, as my foot was really starting to cramp up :( I’m going to give them a chance to break in, but being sneakers, it’s not like there’s much to flex up.

Thus it could be that I’ve just basically wasted ¬£30 - booo .. and all for the want of needing a size 31 over a 30.


A day in the life of me

September 18th, 2008

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me what am I actually doing these days, so I figured today would be as good as day as any to fill you all in.

Since I finished my last big project and Ting-Ying started at her fulltime job, the daytimes became pretty boring so I’ve been looking for ways to try and fill the void as it were.

Luckily, quite a nice solution appeared - which not only gives me something to go out the house for, but also gives my brain a bit of a workout too - always useful!

Near my house is a restaurant slash cafe called The Diner, which is an american style spin-off of, well, a diner (obviously). It’s not like the ones you see in the movies (brash furniture, a long counter to sit at) - but more of a cosy cafe style place - with your usual tables and sofa chairs - but also some armchairs against little tables up by the window.

Indeed it’s the armchairs I am most interested in, as I can stroll in at about 2pm (after the lunch rush) - get a nice armchair by the window, order my “all day pancake breakfast” and then happily read a book for a few hours, whilst drinking endless cups of coffee - bliss.

“Pancake breakfast?” you say - yes indeedy, popular with the Yanks, though never really caught on in the UK (except for in McDonalds and on special occasions with Mum’s “Special Breakfast”). I could write a nice long passage on how delicious it is, however instead I think it’s much easier just to show you a photo ….. mmmmmmm :)

Just to fill in the details - what you see are: 2 pancakes, 2 sausages, hash brown, scrambled eggs, some banana, whipped butter and lashings of maple syrup. Washed down with an orange juice and infinite coffee, all for a rather reasonable 220NT$ (that’s what, ¬£3.50 or so).

As for my choice of literature, it varies - but generally I’m reading through my old stock of Ben Elton books I have. There is a local library however just down the road, which Ting-Ying is going to join so I can get some new material out on her card. They have a large section of Tom Clancy for some reason, but I’ve heard so much about him that I feel I should give one a go.

So anyway, that’s lunchtime covered - how does the rest of my day you might wonder. Basically, I’ll head back home at around 5/6ish and either catch up on email, or any issues that have popped up with the servers or the forum until about 8 o’clock when my dearly beloved gets home and we can either go eat, go movies or just a walk in the park.

The night’s entertainment will run until maybe 1am or so when she’ll then fall asleep - leaving me up until 4 or 5 working on the forum or generally just arsing about online. It is my aim to try and fix my sleeping pattern to lock in with hers, except then I will just have longer in the daytime on my own with nothing to do ….

Saying that though, once I get back from Japan - there is a massive forum upgrade which needs to happen so will take up quite a lot of time. Even more so than a normal upgrade would, as once I’ve finished - I have no excuse no to add in all the other extras the forum needs (at the moment doing it isn’t feasible you see as I’d have to repeat them all again apres-upgrade!)

So there you have it - basically my life in a few paragraphs - certainly not the most exciting of lives, however for everyone who knows me, will probably agree it’s just how I’d like to be :)

Update mode begins

September 12th, 2008
Feeling  Sleepy

This week has been a bit of an “update my life week” - not that that really means too much for me, but I at least feel like I’ve tied up all my loose ends :)

Of course, as part of the updates - it meant I finally updated the software for the blog, so I feel I should start writing something again!

The biggest news is that I’m actively trying to fix my sleeping pattern - this has been uber tough as although I’m managing the wake up earlier (just!) - my body still can’t sleep to get the “go to bed earlier” bit, meaning I’m absolutely knackered every day :(

Infact, fuck it - I’m way too sleepy to write anything constructive today - I’ll set next Monday as the blog update day, yes, that’s a good idea - next Monday ;)

So all that’s left to say is …enjoy the weekend, hurrah!

It may be Asia, but it certainly doesn’t cost it!

July 23rd, 2008

It’s funny really, a year or so ago when I first went to Hong Kong, I believed it to be a fantastic place with super low prices. Indeed, I was considering moving here - tech heaven as it were.

Last December I returned, again, I also thought it was a good place, though the prices seemed a little higher this time.

And now let’s roll into now … after living in Taiwan for almost a year, a return to the Tech Island and what do we think?


It’s funny really how everything is put into perspective. Living in Japan made me believe that prices in Asia were almost on-par with the UK (albiet a little cheaper), technology certainly wasn’t cheap there - which was why coming to Hong Kong was also a refreshing change.

But alas, Taiwan has really blown that magic out of the water. No longer is HK the place to come to buy cheap electrical items, hell, I can get them cheaper at the electronics store next to my house (AND it’s a chain store!!).

Going out for food too … yikes! Walking around last night, I wanted to go back to the Indian I found so favourable last christmas. I remembered the location well enough, up the big hill - and indeed there it was. What I hadn’t remembered so well however was the sky high pricing¬†- 3 pounds 50 for a curry and chips, plus 70p for a can of sprite .. WTF?!?

Maybe I’m just being spoilt living in Taiwan (ha, never thought I’d say that!) - but what I do know is, coming back home is going to be a reality check and a half (just how much is a London bus these days anyway, I’m sure it’s not going to beat the 22p of Taipei!)

Actually, just to end this on a happy note - I’m delighted to inform you all that the game centers haven’t increased in price - thus I’m still able to go and play all the latest games for a mere 6p a shot …. bliss!

(That reminds me, it’s still 16 HKD to the pound - impressive seeing as everywhere else in Asia the pound has crashed - the poor pound vs TWD rate dropped from 67 to a miserable 60!! Although that in itself is a bit of good news, it was 58 at one point!!!)