Leaving the UK

Sigh.  Don’t really want to leave.  Made some incredible friends here. Had some way awesome times. Yet here I am,  waiting for the sign in the airport to tell me what gate to go to.

In the plus side,  I’ll be doing some time traveling.  I leave here Saturday night and arrive in Seoul Monday morning,  yet only flying 18hrs-ish :) Not sure how to manage my sleep to adjust to this. . I’ll actually get into my house about 6hrs after I land…. one of the downsides to living on the opposite end on the country.

I’ll be posting up pics that my friends took after they send them to me. Damn good times.

A death in the City: blood, fire and murder – aka How my Saturday was spent

My Saturday started with a walking tour and ended with hanging out with a bunch of SciFi/Fantasy people.

This was the theme for Walking tour #3.  Couldn’t resist this one!  The cost was up to 5 pounds now.  Still a good deal because Paul is a great tour guide.

To quote the description:

The City of London has an image of being largely financial and money driven; and you wouldn’t be wrong, but on this walk we’ll search out the more unappetising parts of the square mile, which whilst beautiful have a much gorier past than others.

The stories of the past of the Smithfield area are not for the faint of heart to hear, but don’t let that turn you away.

From the Norman conquest to the 20th century we’ll travel through time and look at the executions and deaths which have occurred in this area and still does.  From fallen patriots and ghosts, to the red light district of crime, desperation and necrophilia.

Prepare yourself for a rip rawing walk through a largely residential area that’ll make you look at the sights of the City in a much different way.
Join us on this journey through the blood soaked streets, lasting approximately 90-120 minutes.

*Actual blood, executions, death not included (hopefully).

It was a decent walk, slightly shorter than the others, which I found this pace to be just right.  Either that or I’m actually gaining decent stamina from all this walking exercise :)

Afterwards the group of us went to a bar on a rooftop (The picture of St Paul’s Cathedral was actually taken then.  3rd to last one).  No food there, had something to drink then after most people had left, 4 of us went to a burger place to eat.  It was pretty good.  Told some great stories from all of our collective experiences (one guy spent a lot of time in Bulgaria, another girl was from Ireland and my tales of South East Asia).  Great times.

When that was done, I went to The London Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup Group, July meeting event.  Nearly 60 Geeks of all ages there, met some more cool people.

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They were having a quiz.  The room was divided into 7 teams….our tied for last place.  To be honest, you must have quite the range of geeks to know the quiz answers like “I will play you the intro music to 10 tv/movie/video game titles, name the title, performer and show it is from”.  Brutal stuff that.  There was more like it (Name this quote, Name this weapon…) but it was a lot of fun.

The group is having a “Can’t Stop The Serenity” Charity event.  If you are in London, I would urge you to attend.  Sadly, I will be unable to go.

Typically, whenI leave London to go back to Luton, I go through King’s Cross/St Pancras station.  They have a couple of pianos in the main gallery where the public can sit down and play.  I have never seen them not being used and always by different people.  Adds a nice bit of atmosphere to the late night.

Posh Events

To paraphrase Mel Brooks (as Louis the XVI IN The History of the World,  Part 1):

“It is good to be connected. ”

My dear friend Andrew Majtenyi (http://andrewmajtenyi.com) gets invited to a number of posh networking events, and being in town I get to be a guest of his at these events.

Here you see me at The Home House Club(about a $3300 yearly membership) having a good time.

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This was a client meet &  greet put on by Comptons (http://www.comptons.co.uk). There I met some lovely people and had a blast. Last week we were at another event and I met many people. This event,  I met only 5 people,  stayed the majority of my time with just 3 of them. Quality over quantify this time and it was worth it. One person I met was a big fan of Archer! We a great chat over that loveable “Douchebag James Bond” and the insanely dysfunctional office staff.

I’m writing this to kill time before another event. I wonder how this one will go. On the plus side,  one of the persons we meet last night incited is to a party at a newly opened bar at The Strand.  So a bit of event hoping tonight!

Walking tour 2: Southwark

I did another walking tour last Sunday.  This one was also very cool. Especially the prostitute graveyard. OK, it was kinda boring graveyard…. mostly because it has become private property that you can’t go on but the story goes that there are an estimated 15,000 bodies buried there.

I thought I had gotten away from this….

Maaaaan,  I thought I had gotten away from the _real_ weirdos on a train but just now,  I had to move seats because the Asian guy beside me was grinding in his seat in a most disturbing way.  It wasn’t done strip-joint grind but it was enough to be really freaking uncomfortable to sit beside.  One guy left and I followed.  We moved to another area code to reach other and we exchanged glances and I said. “yeah, it was creeping me out too”, he laughed.

Just…. Ewwww….

Oh you want free work? Sure, right after a word from our sponsor….

What the hell? Why can’t this method of marketing just die already?

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A stupid commercial about an even stupider movie.  Not even gonna name it.

And you wonder why people hack for free Internet….

It’s the subtle things

Ever since being in the UK,  I am constantly reminded of the little things that I really enjoy. The place where I’m staying,  the current residents (flat mates) play a local radio station (102.8 Diverse for diversefm.com).   The music is in a unique range,  some where between chill out and  dubstep. Not quite hitting either but a rather comfortable middle ground,.   Worth checking them out on their website to listen to them live.

It’s not so much the genre but that is in English. Understanding the words does bring a subtlety that isn’t present in listening to  k-pop.  Don’t get me wrong,  there is a lot of that loan did that I enjoy but it is just that much better to hear music you can understand and then while you are out,  hearing some of the classics you know (like  Phil Collins : I can’t dance,  Lenny Kravitz : Are you going my way….).

I was never really into a lot of online radio stations,  nor am I the kind who likes to RENT songs from Apple/any other online music retailer.  Jango.com is about the only thing I have listened to but it’s not quite the same and it seems they only get away with paying “live” versions of any modern song. I only like  live songs when….. well,  when they are live.

The things you realize while living in a totally foreign environment.