mhoulden: (Default)
A couple of weeks ago it was revealed that Maggie was following a special diet that was heavy on eggs, grapefruit and various other things. It’s a diet that I’m actually quite familiar with and which calls itself the “Mayo Clinic Diet”. Unfortunately it has two minor drawbacks: 
  1. It has nothing to do with the Mayo Clinic, which is a respected medical practice in the US 
  2. It’s bollocks

Someone introduced me to it when I was at uni 10 years ago and needed to lose a couple of stone. I decided to give it a try but after a couple of days something didn’t seem to add up. I did a bit of Googling , had a look at a couple of calorie counting websites and did some cross checking with the NHS pages on diet and nutrition. What I found was this: 

  1. This diet is an ultra low calorie one (c. 500 calories a day), an amount which is advised against by many dieticians
  2. Claims of food combinations that dissolve fat have no basis in science
  3. Another claim is that it is used by cardiac wards. I seriously hope not. While the diet is very low in calories, it is very high in saturated fat via things like eggs and pork chops. 
  4. Carbohydrates are absent . Cutting out an entire class of nutrients, particularly carbs, is common with fad diets but it’s one I’ve never understood

As soon as I found this out I stopped the plan and went out to buy a pork pie and some cakes. Only sensible thing to do in the circumstances

I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve since been sceptical about amateur nutritionists. Gillian McKeith is an obvious quack but there’s a lot of other nonsense out there. One problem of the “caveman diet” that seems to be overlooked is that people back then had a life expectancy of 33 whereas now life expectancy is more than double that. Others advise against processed food or food that’s full of “chemicals”, but all food is processed to some degree. Some foods cannot be digested properly until they’re cooked and some are actually toxic. Food processing is done to make it last longer, keep it safe in storage, and to improve its taste or appearance among other reasons. “Chemicals” have been used in food preparation for centuries, such as saltpetre being added to cured meats such as bacon and ham. The problem with processed foods is not the fact that they’ve been processed per se, but because some of them contain a lot of processed fat and salt (one of my biggest downfalls in my larger days was those 10 packs of Herta sausages: a full day’s worth of fat and salt). Processing and rendering can also be used to disguise low quality ingredients such as mechanically recovered meat. I worked in a bacon packing factory for a week so I know what low grade food can look like. Not pretty.

Another one I’ve never understood is why fad diets and quacks dislike carbohydrates so much. Some say no carbs after 12, or 3 pm, or in the evening. What do you do when the clocks go back? I think this is one of those that’s been repeated so often that it’s become received wisdom with little basis in fact. Here’s an alternate take on the idea: not having carbs after a certain time is counter productive because later on in the day your blood sugar level crashes and you lose energy which makes you feel weak and dizzy. If you don’t get any more until breakfast the next day, it just makes it worse. There used to be an idea that carbs were responsible for making you fat, but science has since moved on from then.

So, one problem with nutritionists and fat diets is outdated or incorrect science. I was looking into qualifications, and becoming a qualified dietician takes a 4 year degree course. Much easier to call yourself a nutritionist and give out advice that might occasionally hit on what works. Add some kind of gimmick to make it proprietary and you can charge for it. Probably safe to say that I’m not enamoured of these people, but what would I suggest for healthy eating? Losing nearly 50 kilos over 3 years while training for some of the toughest sports around needs a certain level of knowledge of these things and fad diets just won’t cut it. I go for the calorie deficit theory: eat whatever you want to lose weight as long as you burn up more calories than you take in. The main things I do are: 

  • Watch the calories! This is the main point. Around 500 calories less than you burn off through exercise or just day to day living will do.
  • Plenty of carbs, mostly starchy ones like pasta or bread 
  • Reduce the amount of fat and sugar. 
  • Eat a mix of things at every meal, regardless of what time of day it is 
  • A light snack such as a cereal bar about an hour or so before training will help keep you going 
  • Baked things like pastry or cakes contain a lot of fat (shortcrust pastry is 33% fat) 
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Protein tends to be lean stuff such as chicken breast or diced pork or beef, and either stir fried (in things like curries) or baked (things like chicken bakes) 
  • Processed food and ready meals are fine and can be very convenient if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare food, provided they’re made from reasonable quality ingredients and don’t contain too much fat or salt 
  • It isn’t actually essential to eat 5 portions of fruit or veg a day. It was invented to make sure you eat a range of foods to get a mix of nutrients

Got to say I’m glad I never had to share an office with Maggie when she was eating 4 eggs a day, anyway. Did she dislike miners so much because she was banned from mines for being a source of firedamp?

WTF?

Jan. 26th, 2010 12:11 am
mhoulden: (Default)
On the subject of odd laws, there's an obscure clause of section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 that makes it illegal to roll a barrel down the street or to put a washing line across the street and hang washing off it. Punishable by 14 days in prison apparently. The rest of it has some strange ones as well. Not quite in the same league as [livejournal.com profile] hooloovoo42's sex hovercrafts, but it comes pretty close.
mhoulden: (Default)
So, 2010 then. Far too busy to go for a long description of what's been happening in the new year, but I'd say the main points are these:

New years resolution: fight, with all that it entails including training and keeping an eye on the weight. I'm looking at getting back down to 84 - 86 kg and staying there, but losing fat and muscling up. I'd like to fight both Thai boxing and MMA but we'll just have to see what happens.

Training: I had a proper break over xmas with no training at all. I've been getting back into it with returning to work as well, and it really makes you realize just how tough it was just before xmas. I'm doing extra sessions compared to last year with MMA and submission grappling at Leeds Cage. Good to be learning a different type of striking, and also having more time to work on grappling without the complication of wearing a gi which means I can practice more techniques without getting grabbed all the time. Rather than just locking someone down in the guard position (on my back with my legs wrapped round them) I'm trying to move around more. Sure I get submitted a lot more, but it's all practice.

Snow: bored of it and hopefully there won't be any more any time soon. Photos of it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhoulden/sets/72157623020457403/. I tried going out on the bike a couple of times but it just wasn't safe. Sunday just gone I cycled over a patch of wet sheet ice on the towpath and the bike skidded out from under me. This time I landed on my backside and the only damage was a cable tie on the bike snapping. No need for ambulances or slings but I did feel a bit grumpy about the couple just in front of me who were oblivious to anything happening. They might be a bit less oblivious if I'd slid into them.

Work: yup, still there. I seem to have acquired a Blackberry and agreed to be on a callout rota. Muggins was on call on the 24th, 26th and 28th of December but thankfully I didn't have any callouts. I did have one a week after I got back to work, but it was during working hours and it mostly consisted of phoning people up and getting them to agree that an emergency fix would cost money and only be an hour or so earlier than if they just updated things on their usual schedule.

Other stuff: the iPhone 3G is a waste of time. Pointless lockdown, crippled features and the one I had didn't work properly. Classic style over substance. When I phoned Orange to return it they didn't even ask what was wrong and knew roughly how much the postage would cost. They didn't say they'd had a load of faulty ones but I think it was obvious.

2008 was a strange year with the last 6 months written off, training-wise at least. 2009 was my comeback. Hopefully this year I'll be building on it. I've been round the houses too much to go for the banal fortune cookie platitudes that motivational coaches repeat to each other, but I think staying positive is a good way to approach things.

Off to my mum's this weekend and to see what Tod Judo club is like. If [livejournal.com profile] k425 and [livejournal.com profile] oldbloke are interested I can report back and let them know.
mhoulden: (Default)

Swan and Duck
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
What noise do swans make? Went out for a walk on Saturday to try out the new camera. After about 3 miles it was so cold that the batteries stopped working, but I did manage to get some photos of rather chilly looking waterfowl.

Trying to summon up the energy to write a long blog post about training and plans for the year. Various things including the weather mean I'm not entirely sure what they'll be yet, but I want to put something down now kind of as a marker. I'm also seriously beginning to think about writing that book, not just as a diary of my weight loss over the last 3 years or so but also to include my take on things like nutrition, motivation and weight loss. I'm guessing the next steps would be to draft a sample chapter and find a publisher. I could probably get an idea of who to contact by having a look round the health and sport sections of Waterstones next time I'm in town. Dunno how many people would buy it, but I daresay it would be more interesting than most of the risible "new age" ones there are out there.
mhoulden: (Default)

Horsforth Green Clock
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
Finally got my main xmas present delivered: an 8 megapixel Panasonic camera. I took a few photos yesterday just to try it out. Here's a photo of the clock just by Horsforth green, with the sun attempting to turn it into a sundial. More photos of the snow on Flickr. I quite like the colours on this one of Horsforth War Memorial.
mhoulden: (Default)
Easier to see on the big version (click through), but I think the girl in the bottom left and the sheer size and number of snowflakes probably sum up the state of Leeds today. On the Twitter #uksnow thing I gave this 9/10. Out the back I cleared the snow off the top of the dustbin and two hours it was covered in an inch of snow.

It looks nice but I'm bored of it now. Too cold, makes cycling too risky, and buses are too unreliable to get to the gym to train.

Yum Yum

Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:47 pm
mhoulden: (cooking2)
From http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/01/elizabeth-david-food-cookbook. This being the Grauniad, it starts off with a correction:
A misprint meant that anybody essaying the macaroni salad recipe at the end of the piece below would have had even more grounds than the late Elizabeth David to detest this dish. As a reader wrote: "Try 'peas' instead of 'pears'. Better?"

Even allowing for that, you might want a bucket handy. There are nice ways to do pasta salad, but this isn't one of them.

Italian salad
1 pint cold cooked macaroni
½ pint cooked or tinned pears (nb: these should be peas)
½ pint grated raw carrot
French dressing to moisten
2 heaped tablespoons minced onion
½ pint cooked or minced string beans

Mix the chopped macaroni and vegetables; moisten with French dressing, flavouring with garlic if liked. Serve on a dish lined with lettuce leaves. Decorate with mayonnaise and minced pimento or chives.
mhoulden: (Default)

Bradford "Wastefield"
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
The Cheapside "redevelopment" isn't universally popular.... As well as this there were poems on the hoardings asking why the city had been pulled down, and "construction" replaced with "destruction". Cheapside is currently a big hole partly filled with rubble. What was there before wasn't exactly fantastic but at least it was something. It was snowing quite heavily when I took this, hence the white bits in the picture. Just a thought: instead of knocking down the old Odeon cinema, why not put the identikit office building here instead?

Apparently my main xmas present this year is a digital camera (at the moment I'm using a mobile phone camera) but it's still stuck at a parcel depot somewhere in Dewsbury.
mhoulden: (Default)
One of the first ever diet plans was written by William Banting in 1863. There's a downloadable version of it here. The first hint of what lay ahead with my diet plan was in a comment to this journal entry. It's flocked so here's a few extracts:
...one of my new year's resolutions [is] to lose a load of weight and improve my fitness to enter a Thai boxing match in December. I know I'm massively overweight and I'm going to do everything I can to get my weight down to 95kg by then. It means I've got to lose around 35 - 40 kg, but I think I need to.
That was written on the 6th of Jan 2007. On the 10th of Jan was my first entry about training:
First trip to the gym of the year, and I decided to hop on the scales to see what Christmas did for me. I'm not sure how it happened, but since I last weighed myself on the 13th of December I've lost 1.2 kg. Now I've got Christmas out of the way I'm planning on trying to lose a stone for the end of February and then another stone by about Easter. My target is to get my weight down from tonight's 131.5 kg to 95 kg by December, and then take it from there. Looks like one thing that seems to work is to have a cuppa rather than a snack. Instant coffee, semi skimmed milk and boiling water contains less than 30 calories and virtually no fat, so it looks like one to try.

I also signed up to take part in the gym's interclub competition in February. I just hope I'm not expected to be the first person on.
Nearly 3 years on a lot has happened. My plans had a few revisions as time went on, and not everything went according to plan. I've written more than enough here about the details so I'm not going to go into them again. Over the last few weeks the main points are that my weight started to creep up a bit and I decided to not just stop it but also work on getting down to my final target. This was originally 80 kg but I decided to revise it up to 84 kg to take into account building muscle rather than just losing fat. I'm very pleased to say that at my final weight check of the year on Wednesday I was near enough that to be happy. Starting weight: 133 kg or 21 stone. Final weight: 84.8 kg or 13 stone 4. Total weight loss: 49 kg or 7 stone 10. Inches lost off the waist: 15 (from 48" to 33"). In other words, that's it. My close to 3 years of hard dieting is over with the final target reached. Going by the system of milestones I came up with a while back, this is the 7th and final milestone.

It hasn't just been a physical thing but also quite an emotional one as well. Just losing weight is one thing, but this has been a serious lifestyle change going from a bit of exercise occasionally to training for combat sports at competition level. Underpinning this is the idea of making hay while the sun shines. There will be a time when I can't do this for one reason or another, but that time isn't here yet so I'm going to keep doing this for as long as I can. Keeping fit and looking after my health also gives me a bit of an insurance policy for when bad things happen. I know a few physios socially and they're impressed that I got full range of movement back in my right arm so quickly after last year's bike accident.

What happens next? I'm going to concentrate on keeping my walk around weight in the range 84 - 86 kg. Maintaining should be easier than losing, and if I'm fighting I might temporarily drop a bit more if need be. I've still got a bit more flab to lose and I've started doing bits of weight training which means I'll be muscling up. I've always had relatively weak upper body strength, which is one of the symptoms of Dyspraxia, but running around with sand bags, playing around with kettle bells and climbing ropes should help with that. As far as training goes, there's a few things coming up early in the year that sound interesting. My MMA gym is running a show on the 6th of March. I've said I'd like to do it but I know I haven't training there very long and I'll let them decide if I'm ready. If that doesn't go ahead they do have plenty of others later in the year, and there will be Thai boxing shows going on as well.

One more training session to go this year (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Monday) and then that's it. I'll be having a break from training over xmas to let the minor aches and pains to sort themselves out, and then back into it in the new year.

There's a few lines from a Chimaira track called Try To Survive which I think are appropriate:
"Been through just about everything/But we're still here/We still have much to prove/To ourselves... This journey's taught me to stand strong/Never again will I/Surrender my fears/Surrender my dreams/Surrender my soul/To the infection"
mhoulden: (Default)

snow
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
At 3 pm it wasn't snowing. It was bright and clear but pretty cold. I went downstairs to get a coffee at about 3.20 and it definitely was then. It started getting heavier so I nipped up to my bedroom with the camera to get this photo. Click through and there's one on the other side on Flickr. I didn't want to open the window too far because it was blowing in. By 4 pm it had stopped temporarily, but it was snowing again when I left to go to the gym just after 5.
mhoulden: (punch)
Fast and furious for a debut fight. The fight itself begins about 5 minutes in. Incidentally, it's looking very likely that my debut MMA fight will be on the 6th of March next year.

mhoulden: (award)
Definitely on track with the pre-xmas weight loss. Tonight on the scales I was 85.8 kg or 13 stone 6 lbs, being a total loss of 48 kgs or 7 stone 8 lbs over a bit less than 3 years and the last stone in the last 6 weeks. Just one more kilo to go and that's it. As I'm very close to my final target I thought it was about time for a new photo, as well as comparing it to April 2005 when I first got into martial arts and May 2008 just before the bike accident. From lard bucket through Thai boxing and finally MMA. Less curved, bigger muscles, and a much more intense look in the eyes. You probably wouldn't want to get a punch off those MMA gloves either. I'm going to work on getting down to 84 kg for next week, but 85 will do if I don't get there.

April 2005May 2008Tonight (Dec 2009)

Billzooka

Dec. 7th, 2009 09:56 pm
mhoulden: (Default)

Billzooka
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
Looks like Bill doesn't just play the piano, guitar and theremin. Click the photo for bigger.
mhoulden: (Default)
This is why it's not always a good idea to cycle when there's a severe weather warning.
mhoulden: (Default)
87.8 kg on the scales at the beginning of tonight's session at the gym which is the lowest it's ever been, and let's say it was 85.9 at the end (it was near enough). This is despite picking up a stinking cold and spending most of the last few days Winehousing on menthol, eucalyptus, and hot curries and chillies (Discovery's 2stage hot chilli sauce is actually pretty good, especially if you do it with diced beef instead of mince). Previous record was 88.4 which was on the day of my fight at the end of May. At this rate I'll get to my final target either next week or the week after. The ideal would be 86 kg at the beginning of the session and 84 kg at the end, but 85 -> 84 will do. As long as it's 84 at the end of the night I don't care. This would be milestone 7 or the very last target and means I've got my weight down from 21 stone to 13 stone 3 and is a total loss of 49 kg or 7 stone 10 lbs. After this I'll still keep my weight under control of course, but as my fitness has improved over the last year or so I've been more interested in improving my Thai boxing and BJJ technique, and now I'm doing MMA as well I've got that to work on too. I had a word with my Thai boxing instructor about fighting next year, and if I can get a word in edgeways I'm going to ask my MMA instructor about doing an interclub there as well.

Time for an updated progress photo probably next week. I think this one will be wearing MMA shorts and gloves. I'm not a cage fighter yet but I'm definitely working on it.

Xmas shopping with my mum in Leeds tomorrow so I'll probably be sampling the gluhwein. I'd like a large black cherry mocha and a selection from http://starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/_Food/Cakes+and+Cheesecakes.htm but these will have to wait just a bit longer. On a related festive note, I hope [livejournal.com profile] k425 and [livejournal.com profile] oldbloke liked the card I slipped in the envelope of Observer supplements that I sent them.
mhoulden: (scales)
Right, so, the weight thing then. A few weeks ago my weight start creeping up and 2 weeks ago it hit 91 - 92 kg. Not the way it's supposed to be going so I decided to arrest it. Certainly not for want of training. Since I started training at Leeds Cage at the end of October I've been down the gym almost every night, and 19 times altogether in the last 4 weeks. I've made a couple of small changes to what I eat: no extra cheese and no cakes at lunchtime (apart from one small one once a week). In 2 weeks I've lost 3 kg or half a stone, and I'm down to 87 - 88 kg which is the same as it was when I had my fight at the end of May. Probably shows how finely balanced my diet is these days that I can do it that easily.

Now I'm on something of a roll I've decided to go for the last bit of weight loss. Once I get down to 84 - 86 kg that will be it. When the gym scales say 84 kg I'll have lost 49 kg: a massive amount and equivalent to 7 st 10 lbs or 36% of my starting weight. 86 kg is the top end of Thai cruiserweight and 84 kg is the top end of MMA middleweight. Fights are usually matched so both fighters are about the same weight and I don't need to lose any more but I want to. I'll be having words about fighting next year, hopefully both Thai boxing and MMA. Even at amateur or interclub level it's still a fair achievement to get into the ring or the cage. My original final target was 80 kg but I hadn't counted on just how much I'd muscle up. I can easily fit into size 34" trousers now but they have to be quite loose fitting because all the cycling and grappling I do means I have powerful legs (including 26" thighs). At one point I was down to tops with a 40" chest but now I'm having to get 42" ones.

The last 5 years have been a long and hard journey but it's one that's now nearly at an end. It's been a massive lifestyle change going from eating enough to feed a family of 4 on a daily basis and not getting any exercise at all to having the diet and training schedule of a semipro fighter. The support of family and friends has meant a lot and unfortunately some of them are no longer with us. As long as things go to plan I should finally get to my final target by early December. Next challenge then will be to make sure I stay there.

A quick note about motivational techniques. I'm not religious (although lack of any belief in a deity certainly doesn't mean I don't have a personal moral code, and I'm interested in finding out about religion as long it doesn't proselytise) and I'm not particularly keen on proprietary techniques such as NLP. If they work for other people then that's fine: they're just not for me. There's no right or wrong answers when it comes to personal ideas or beliefs. There are a few things that obviously do for me. The most important is drive and self discipline. I live alone and work from home so it's up to me to make sure I'm up in time for work. What I think happened in the past is that I didn't apply the sense of drive to my personal life. Since I started all this in Jan 2007 I tried increasing it just a bit at a time. When I was stuck in hospital last year with a smashed up shoulder that was obviously a pretty major test but I resolved to do whatever was needed to be back where I was. my shoulder was screwed up but the rest of me was OK.

Another source of motivation has been music. I first discovered the Hatebreed album Perseverance in 2002 and along with some of their other albums it's difficult not to be motivated by them. Finding out that they're into MMA and having them personally wish me good luck on Twitter for the fight in October that didn't eventually go ahead was certainly a bonus. I've found other hardcore metal bands such as Terror and Chimaira to be good as well, but Hatebreed was the start of it. Almost any of the songs on Perseverance are pretty good but I think the chorus of the title track sums up the last few years quite well:
Perseverance
Against all opposition
Crushing all limitations
Pure strength through solitude
Discipline and determination
mhoulden: (Default)

Granary Wharf
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
Another one taken on Sunday's bike ride. I quite like the sense of perspective from the lights on the right and the reflections in the canal. All the photos I've taken so far have been done with my Nokia N82 but I'm seriously thinking of asking for a proper digital camera for xmas. The phone's not bad when there's lots of light around or even at twilight but it's not very good at night photos.

Any comments on the photos that I've taken? I'm trying to get mainly things I take for granted because I see them all the time but that not everyone else does, and they're partly inspired by some of the work of Phill Davison and by [livejournal.com profile] gothick_matt
mhoulden: (Default)

15112009189.jpg
Originally uploaded by mhoulden
Another Creative Commons photo taken when I was out on the bike. I stopped when I saw some swans swimming on the canal and got the camera out. One swam past but there was another one behind it. When it saw me it started posing for the camera (probably expecting some food) so I got a couple more of it.

Also, quick recipe for gingerbread coffee syrup. In lieu of getting to Starbucks to have one of their gingerbread lattes or buying some from a shop I thought I'd try making some. Very easy to do but a little goes a very long way (2 teaspoons is more than enough for a standard cup of coffee).
8 fl oz demerara sugar
8 fl oz cup boiling water
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix sugar and water in a pan over a low heat
Add flavourings
Stir constantly until reduced by about a quarter in volume, for about 5 - 10 mins. Watch it doesn't get overdone and starts turning into toffee. The sugar will be partly melted so it'll still be quite thin
Remove from the pan and leave to cool. It should thicken up as it cools
mhoulden: (Default)
Looks like this photo has been shortlisted by http://www.schmap.com/ to go in their next online guide to Leeds:
11102009176.jpg

I thought I'd try taking photos and creative commonsing them just for a bit of fun and see what would happen, and if it does get used this would be my first ever published photo. They're attribution-non commercial creative commons licenses so they're not going to make any money, but it's not for anything serious. Certainly makes you look at things in a different way if you're trying to find things that would make good photos.

Changing the subject completely, 3 weeks ago I decided I was going to rebound from not fighting by getting into MMA and investigating Leeds Cage. 3 weeks on, 6 sessions there and it's safe to say I'm definitely getting into it. I'm already doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Mondays and Thai boxing on Wednesdays and Fridays so this is something to do on the other nights. I'm not planning on training every weekday because full contact martial arts are pretty intense and I need time to recover. That said, I have been training pretty much every night over the last few weeks, first week because it was my first time there, second week because there was no Thai boxing on the Friday, and last week because I had a very boring day on Thursday and needed to get out of the house. When the high point of your day is a bit of banter with Dara O'Briain on Twitter you know you've got to do something.

Tuesdays are MMA and Thursdays are submission grappling. Both are an interesting mix of stuff I know quite well from Thai boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and stuff I haven't done before. Sub grappling is essentially the same as BJJ without the gis and with a few submissions that aren't allowed there. MMA combines the striking bits of Thai boxing with the grappling of BJJ, and it changes the game a lot if someone can sit on you and hit you, or throw you to the ground when you're trying to hit them. At sub grappling we've been doing a mixture of technique and sparring, and it's good to know that I'm not a complete beginner there. MMA so far has been mainly padwork and technique: we haven't done any sparring yet. I've done Thai interclubs and I'd like to do an MMA one at some point. There did seem a certain irony in going to my first ever MMA session and finding out the MMA gloves I've got were worn out (from bag work).

There's the training itself and there's the social side of it as well. It's very easy to live in a city and find it to be overwhelming and anonymous. Leeds is a pretty big place and it took me a bit of time to find my feet. When the only people you know are at work and don't actually live anywhere near you it's easy to get in the trap of living to work and doing nothing other than going to the office, watching TV and sleeping. However, since my first redeployment in 2004 I've been working in virtual teams which are nowhere near me and tend to get dissolved when I move from project to project so I've had to work out a social network that's not work based. There's the online stuff of course: there's people on my flist that I've met through uk.misc and elsewhere that have since become good friends in real life. However I think if you're going to live somewhere you do need to get out and get to know people locally as well. What I like about my training is the sheer mix of people you get to meet. Leeds is a big uni town so you get a fair few students, but I've also got friends who are physiotherapists, research chemists, sales reps and people who do various things for the council. The nature of combat sports means you also get security guards, bouncers and a few police doing them, and probably a few people who you don't ask too many questions about what they do outside the gym. Of course there are other ways to get into the life of a city that are less painful and physically demanding, but this works for me.

FFS

Oct. 31st, 2009 01:30 pm
mhoulden: (Default)
Looks like Sanford Wallace is making a nuisance of himself again. Some people really don't know when to stop. I was doing a Google Images search to see what he looks like, and this User Friendly cartoon sounds like an idea.


Anyway, stuff to do in town. Leeds has the pleasure of hosting two rallies today, but thankfully I know the place well enough to know side streets and alleys so I can avoid them. I'm also pretty good at blending into a crowd. My favourite rally story is the one about a bloke at a May Day one in Mcr who was flogging "smash capitalism" t-shirts for a tenner a go.

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