Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Windows 10 - News of it

So it seems Windows 8 operating system actually IS a failure, and i'm now finding out why.

Microsoft, the company behind Windows, recently announced that they would be releasing "Windows 10" (whatever happened to 9?) and it's not long coming after they launched Windows 8, which was supposed to change the way we used our computers.

Windows 8 is the operating system that has never been liked. It's appearance is not your typical "Windows" appearance, more based on what you'd expect from your mobile phone. The reason it didn't get loved is because when people buy Windows for a laptop or a computer, is that you don't want your mobile phone screen popping up infront of you. You want the little start button at the bottom left, you want shortcuts on your proper desktop, none of these "apps" and stuff. You want Windows to look like Windows and work better than expected, which it's a shame to say.... Windows 8 doesn't.

I recently started using my new laptop which has Windows 8 on it. As a platform, i'm not too keen on it. These app's can be a nightmare to use and most are pointless, some programs are impossible to shut down, meaning I always need my task manager open so as I can shut them down. It's too different from what I actually want from Windows, and while it's a shame it's like that... I cannot wait for Windows 10.

Windows 10 itself should be coming out in about March time of 2015 last time I heard. Let's hope they can make people fall in love with Windows again.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Gay men and drugs.

This morning I logged in to Facebook to see that i'd been taken off my usual news feed (most recent) and put onto that one that shows you posts from ages ago. Oddly though, a post from a friend was the top one, which told of how a friend of their's had passed because of steroid use and how they'd been used to seeing his body which was always looking good.

This isn't a new thing though. I've been reading about "gay men and drugs" as a topic for quite some time now and I agree with my friend, this is a topic which we need to talk about more often, because it seems it is beginning to cost more lives than it is worth. So, does the gay community have a problem? Do we need a group booking for rehab?

The answer is a resounding.... no.... well.... most of us don't.

For the whole part, most gay people I have met will look after their body, but not be too bothered by it. Maybe spending a few hours a week at a gym, or doing some form of exercise, but it's not a way of life to be pumping muscle. I can see though that a large amount of gay people do. While this problem isn't specific to the gay community, I do feel that times need to change. Look at this video below.

This is a video which once again this Christmas did the rounds and i'll admit, as it was my first time watching this I was a bit like "phwor".

The problem with it though is that it falls foul of what many gay publications do. Ignoring what normal gay people look like and only showing you the "finest" that the gay community has to offer. We have people who look into the gay community, either doing some research or by way of trying to find acceptance of their own sexuality. These sorts of video's and posts, which speak volumes about how you need to be all muscles etc, are only going to cause damage as people begin to think that this is what the gay community is all about.

One way of course to get one of these "dream body's" is to begin looking at medication along with your daily/weekly visits to the gym. These items of medication are sold to you everywhere you look these days, and in very large quantities, and they tell you of how they can help you body to look better after a work out.

Question is, we look at these items, some people use these items, yet very few can name you all the stuff in the mixture and what each one does to your body. Infact many people refuse to accept that they can work out without using such items, but the truth is.... your body responds better to a good bit of exercise, than it does to any form of steroid.

Now of course we have covered there about people who look after their body a little bit too much and how they can be prone to heart attacks etc.... is that it? Is that the gay communities problem solved right there?


Chem Sex.

Yip, you read it right, chem sex. I'm with you, I didn't know what it was until some of the gay media began to report on it. It is the use of chemicals, in sex. The most popular being "poppers". I'll admit, I have used poppers myself in the past, not for sexual stuff though, just because of the buzz it can give you while on a night out. It is perfectly legal and is available in newsagents and sex shops almost world over these days.

I think this video is perfect and sort of lets you in a little bit as to what is happening and the risks with this Chem Sex stuff.

Look, this post IS targeted towards the gay community, because it needs change.... but there again, so do all communities. Very few magazines, cat walks, fashion segments on tv etc.... very few of them show us "normal" people, what our bodies are like, how we can take care of ourselves without the need for drugs.... and who is talking about sex these days?

Instead of looking at a community, I think we need to look at the people and change our media, world over, to stop making people think that being skinny and having muscles is the most healthy way to live. We need to show people how to have protected sex... and above all... people, need, some, self, respect.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas 2014 and why i'm scared by it.

I should admit something here, infact, I think to close friends and family I have admitted that the past few christmas' haven't felt much like Christmas at all. I'd gotten to a point where I thought I'd lost the festive feeling, that it had been pushed back into the closet I once stepped out of and left in there to be gone forever. I'd enjoyed seeing others enjoy their Christmas and for some reason, the enjoyment they we're getting out of it made me reflect on my own lack of enthusiasm for the event.

I had enjoyed most looking at the Leffew family video's of their Christmas, once mine was all done with. I enjoyed seeing their video's from several points of view really. You have 2 fathers in their family who we're seeking enjoyment out of seeing their children being beyond happy with their presents, opening their gifts from Santa and sitting back to see their hard work pay off, I mean, let's be real for a moment here, who's heart can't that melt?

I had enjoyed seeing indeed their children, who I presume would have been like me, where the night before Christmas day is one of sleeplessness, too excited for hearing Santa's sleigh on the roof, hearing him creak around the house to nibble on his mince pie and drink the sherry. Unfortunatly for me, I was never awake when he came, but I believe some children have been! Seeing the Leffew video's of Daniel and Selina, still in their pj's going to open their presents and being amazed at what they had been given was melting my heart every year.

In 2014, my Christmas events are set to change, as has been the theme for my 2014 year. In little over a week after Christmas, i'll not be watching the Leffew family and their Christmas adventures, instead, i'll be in a pub in London with them, probably having mulled wine, trying to calm myself down, because meeting them is a huge deal for me.

It's also more different for me, because for the first time in my life, I'm in a relationship over Christmas. Little un-known fact here that I have never been in a relationship over any sort of event. Valentines, Christmas, Easter, even my birthday, I've always been single. As it is our first, I've wanted it to be as special as I can, while keeping up little promises over the years I have made. What sort of things? Well, me and my family kind of struck a deal that over the years, my nana has always done what she can for all of us, and as much as it pains us to admit the truth, we know one Christmas, she won't be there, so, we do what we can to make Christmas as special as we can for her. Lot's of presents, terrible jokes, party crackers, and most importantly, to make memories.

For my relationship point of view, it's the first one with my boyfriend. He's met my family who's coming to Christmas, he knows what we're like and I think he'll have a good time with us, but I want it to be special for him, and he, for me. It's one of them things that you have to get right, so as in years to come you can look back and say "Do you remember our first Christmas together" and use it as a comparison to how our lives have changed over the years, and yes, I'm looking at the long term with him, which is why I say this.

I won't go into his own reasons as to why he's not spending it with his own family, because that's his own story to tell, but rest assured, he'll be made to feel a part of my family.

I really do hope you all have a wonderful Christmas this year. My blog on Youtube, "life with Bev" is back next year and I hope you're all excited for it, I know I am! This has been a year of change and rants, I think by reading back on my posts you'll soon be able to agree on that! Wherever you are in the world, enjoy your time this Christmas. Enjoy your friends, family, food... whatever it is you have.

If you have been a regular reader of this blog this year, then I thank you for being on the journey with me. I can't wait to see what is in my future and I hope you'll stick with me for it.

Until 2015, thanks for everything....

Bev x

Friday, 19 December 2014

Has school changed, or me?

I have on a few times, gone back to my school days on here and been trying to come to terms with some of the stuff that happened during my time in the education system.

One of the main problems I faced was to do with of course me opening up about my sexuality. It was difficult to understand what I had let myself in for when it came to my sexuality, because I didn't understand anything about this "gay community", I didn't have many people I could speak to without everything I said managing to be twisted and turned against me by those who didn't wish me well.

School, in essence, was terrible. I wasn't popular, I didn't feel loved and I was still developing a personality to speak of.

This was always still how I have perceived myself to be with all school children, to this day, well, I say to this day....

I was given the task of babysitting, well, not babysitting as such, more just looking after a teenager, who's mum is friends with my mum, while her parents went to see a show. I didn't mind, I know the girl well and I like spending time with her, because she's a little bit like I was in school, a little bit different, and not afraid to stand out.

It was quite early on in the evening and as I sat back with my beer and watched frozen, she told me about what her friends had said when they found out I was babysitting her.... and it was all good things!

See, I had been (in drag) at the family's Halloween party earlier this year, and granted, I was a little bit drunk, I was in charge of games and getting the kids shouting and jumping around etc. It seems that what has happened is that... I've become liked.

It strikes me that either my personality has changed, or, school children have, maybe both?

I think acceptance of LGBT people still isn't taught, but it is spoken about more at home, well it's bound to be isn't it? We've had same-sex marriage, press coverage about the still existant gay blood ban etc. Is it possible that gay people are finding better acceptance by younger people these days?

Is it down to me? I know I have changed a hell of a lot since school, I'm more confident, out going and not afraid anymore.

I'll leave it for you to decide, but I was just really happy with this!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Online Piracy - Police VS The Internet.

When i was growing up, piracy happened mainly on the radio, by people recording onto tape, the top 40 on a sunday afternoon and then giving copies of the tapes to a friend. Infact, my mum sent a tape over to some of my relatives in Canada, that they still have to this day and guess what... Un-paid music sharing... PIRACY!

In modern day terms of course though, Piracy online is seen as sharing downloadable files, such as games, music, pictures etc and it's a battle the police have been trying to battle for a while, but, failing to win at.

The most recent of these battles was against a website which has long been the target of the police and corporations from around the world. The news hit us all the other day that yet again, the popular download website "The Pirate Bay" had been taken offline and it's servers seized by police. Why? Well, while the pirate bay doesn't actually have anything on it you can download, it does sort of, hook you up with peoples computers which do hold these files, from which, you can then download the item, this is called a peer to peer service, so think of it as the pirate bay was the middle man, you'd tell them what you'd want and they'd see if they knew anyone who had it... to put it in really basic terms anyway.

What is more worrying about this, is that the police and corporations from around the world STILL believe that they can do battle with online piracy as we know it, and win. The truth is, they can't. They will tell us all of how many billions of dollars are lost per year by online piracy, and will sometimes go as far to claim that it causes damage to the industry... the truth is, it doesn't. The movie industry for example, is still worth billions and generates more profit than you'd think... yet they still moan about losing a VERY small percentage of their income to piracy, something along the lines of about 2% of their income.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter how many website's come down, online piracy is going strong. For every website that comes down, theres another 3 popping up in its place. What the movies industry should be doing, along with other industrys, is to work with the piracy industry and make changes!!!!

So, farewell for a while my piratebay friend, you've been amazing and I'm sure the one remaining creator of you that isn't in prison will have you back up and running soon.

The truth about Sian.

People who know me well, know that i'm almost in a heterosexual relationship, infact no, more, marriage... because we don't do sex with each other, plenty with other's though... besides the point...

Anyway. She's the grace to my will, she is the linda to my tom, the pasty to my edina... she is... Sian.

Now, not many friends could sing that to each other and still be able to say they have a good friendship, yet, we do... and we can truely mean each of those lyrics to each other, it is crazy, but it's what we've both become used to. So... where did all of this begin.

Well, back in 2000 and something, i started a job at my local KFC. Hardly the most glam job to be doing, but it was a complete change and i was happy to be doing it. I remember not long after i started i was on a shift one night and the member of staff saying how it was one of the other staff members parties and how they were going to go once we'd finished and that i could come along. At this point in my job i was abit kind of.... affraid to fart still, so, i didn't want to go really, because who else would i know?

Over the next few months i of course started to let my guard down to people i was working with, during the more quiet times we'd all stand around and have abit of a natter about stuff and i got talking to one of the girls in there. For some really odd reason, we ended up going to a party together, and i don't think i'm wrong when i say this, but neither of us can remember what was said for us to both end up going together, considering at that time, we'd only really spoken in work, and that wasn't loads.

Anyway, we went and i discoverd that SOMEONE had never been drunk before, so of course, Bev's mission for the night.... get Sian pissed. To my glory... i managed it. We actually had a really good night and if memory serves me right, it's from that moment on that we started to hit it off as friends.

Over the next year-ish, we became closer and closer as friends and began meeting up outside of work on an almost regular basis. Nights out, nights at my mums getting told to stop talking as loud... you name it, we did it. It carried on like that until Sian had to leave her job and go off to uni.... in Bangor, Wales. I'll admit, i was abit gutted about it, although i didn't say so at the time, it was abit like.... we've built up this friendship and now it's going to fizzle out to nothing.

Off she went to uni and i went on with life as usual, only we'd spend most of our time talking about utter shite on the phone or skype for about 3 or 4 hours at a time... infact, come to think of it, yes, Sian did indeed used to fall asleep on skype to me. I'm not even THAT boring!!!! Then of course came the day i had my meeting in KFC. The manager of the store at the time, joseph, had never liked me and had found a way he could get rid of me, so we all knew what was happening, but formalities are as such, so i had to go into the store early and have this "meeting" which resulted in my "contract being terminated". I wasn't too botherd by it all if i'm honest, but of course the night before Sian had reserved the first phone call by me, to be the first one i told and said "i'll be really upset if you get sacked". I called and i remember she was on her way to lecture and had to take the day off because she was upset over me no longer working in KFC.

We carried on talking over the next week and i'd not seen her at this point from when she left for uni (if i remember rightly). So 7pm came on the day i recieved my final pay cheque from KFC and i was on the phone to Sian who said something about being in Bangor for the weekend. I don't know what it was that made me go, but i did. I jumped on the bus, the train, another train... and at about half 12 that night, i rolled into Bangor station and there was Sian to meet me.... and we even managed a few hours clubbing that night before going to bed too! That was a really good weekend too, just, unplanned, laid back (minus the 12 mile hike she took me on), but just... perfect.

The following january and i treated Sian to a sort of my Bangor trip, to the gay village in manchester. We met up with some friends of mine and had a really good few days and nights... even made it onto tv too!!!

Since then of couse, i've spent my time out of work, i've been on my own journey's too, moving house, family arguments, operations, romances... you name it and at the end of the phone or by my side, Sian's been there.

Don't get me wrong, we do have our own love and hate thing going on. We'll spend tonnes of time arguing and falling out over the most silly of things, but our (now spoken) rule of thumb is, doesn't matter if we're talking or not, if something is up, call the other one. Besides, we'll always make it up anyway in the end.

Personally, i don't think Sian knows the impact she has on other people. She spends too much time on the phone to me saying "I feel like i'm always moaning" or something along those lines, but the truth is, she could moan all that she wanted.... i'd still be there to listen. She has very little idea about the nice thing's she does for others, which she might have forgotten about and thought others had forgotten about, but, we don't.

Like the time she thought i might need some extra money on my way home from bangor, so slipped me a few extra quid to make sure i got home ok. The time's i've been feeling down and she's gone to mcdonalds and KFC to get us some food, so we can just chill out, watch some crap and have a natter. The times when she's been upto her eyes in uni related work, but still makes time to listen to me, or just let me ramble on about shite and then say 5 minutes later "sorry, what did you say, i wasn't listening".

Thing is, i'm writing this in june, the week before my birthday. This won't be coming out until december 13th (Sian's birthday), and i know she'll be reading this. There may even be tears (although that might be her reaction to my spelling, it normally is). So...

Sian, happy birthday. You've no idea how much you mean to me and you know i love you with all of my heart (Is this where i propose?). It's been a long journey has our friendship, it's had more ups and down's than a pair of saggy boobs during a marathon, but, i know no other way of saying this, so.... take it away freddy....

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A health scare?

Well, yesterday I was at the doctors because last week I had some blood tests done (Yes eww, and yes I felt it) and the results had come back in.... but it wasn't all good news.

See for me, my Cholesterol level was showing as normal, but high... yeah, that's what I thought too. I met with the dietitian at my GP's who went through the results with me. I never knew that there was different type's of cholesterol, some are good and some are bad.

Now the good ones, are all as they should be, below the limit's set out for whats good for you, but one, which is the bad one that's known to be bad for your heart, is over.... by quite a lot.

The limit is set out at a 1.7 score, mine, was 3.0.

Now, although this ISN'T a huge problem, it is a wake-up to me that I need to be taking better care of my health. I managed to get a free membership to a gym out of this, which I'm made up about. My weight has been climbing for some time recently, and it is something I'm going to be working on.

Ideally I'd love to get my weight back down from the 17 stone it is at the moment, down to about 12. I used to love being skinny years ago, even when people were asking "are you eating properly", it felt good to me... thank god for vanity issues hey!

In closing, it's not a health scare as such, more just a wake up call for me to take action on this issue. I have tests to do this time next year to see if my levels are on the way down, or already down... so, diet beginning in 3,2...

Food in my life.

This may sound like a strange topic to do a blog post on, and you'd be right, it is. Only recently have I had to look at my health and the role that food plays in it (namely, all of it).

I had what some people would call a "health alert" last week, which is a blog post for on here, in progress at the moment. In brief, it was my cholesterol levels were normal over all, apart from one, which is the bad kind, known to clog up the veins to your heart and kill you... so no pressure to lose weight their at all really is there... fml!

Anyways, I was out shopping with my boyfriend before and with the changes that have happened at home recently, ie, getting an oven, I'm now able to actually cook properly, for the first time in years! I actually do preffer home cooked food. Sure, it takes a little longer than your average wait time at mcdonalds, but it fills you up for longer and actually, is a way to let a little bit of creativeness out!

I'm not set against cooking, per say, I just can't cook amazingly well, but the things that I can do well, I do really well, and other people will often comment about this. I'm always trying new things too, and telling others what I did to get some nice things on the go!

Over all, I'm still learning to cook, but only because I have to. I never really learned much in school if im honest with you, the hour and 10 minute long lessons we had once a week were just long enough to cover how to pour a can of cherries into a dish, cover in crumbs, stick it in the oven, clean up and then take it out, be amazed, get it in the fridge and go onto the next lesson... not really the stuff that is going to be sticking in one's memory for years to come.

This time while learning to cook, I really am going back to basics with food. The cook-books I'm using have been in my family for years and I can tell they're good if generations of the family are all able to say "It's bloody good food". For example, I made a cheesecake a few weeks ago, which is out of a cook-book almost 20 years old. Now granted, the recipe won't have changed that much, but I have looked online about how to do it and omg.... the variations are incredible and I like to think my old school style of cooking is going to get me back to some sort of health where I can say I'm not too skinny, fat, thin, dying... just, right.

My cooking skills, I'm pleased to say, seem to be shared by others around the world. Bryan from youtube's Gay Family Values channel is a bit like me. Can cook a good meal more than once, but wouldn't have a clue what to do if someone said "Make me a puff pastry, cheese omlette" for example, I think the pair of us would both look at our kitchen's and think.... "What the hell is one of them?". It's not to say WHY we're like that, but it is fair to say, we're both learning new things, for example, I want to try doing what Bryan got to do a few weeks ago (minus the kitchen fire).....

I suppose the next question really would be... Do you ever stop learning, when it comes to cooking? No need to worry though, that really is another post for the next time I'm bored at ten to 3 in the morning as it is now.

In closing though, I cannot explain how happy I am to be doing proper "home cooked" food. Living for almost 3 years with only basic appliances does mean you have to change what you eat and how you cook it, but now, with my full sized oven... the world is my oyster!

.... and no, I won't be doing them anytime soon, I have a habbit of giving myself food poisioning!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Actually angry... about the homeless!

This post shouldn't be judged on it's title, nor will it be a long post, but I heard something before that both pissed me off and scared me.

An advert played on the radio and it said something along the lines of...

"This winter you'll see homeless on the street, many of these people have alcohol and drug addictions, so don't give them money, instead, give money to a charity".

It is at this point I stopped listening because I was utterly pissed off with what I'd just heard.

Problems with that?

It isn't true to say that most people who are homeless have drug and drink problems, it's simply un-founded and not true. You can ALWAYS give them food, drinks, blankets, clothing.... anything you can give them to help them.... do it!

If you give to a charity, chances are, your donations will be swallowed up by "admin fee's", known in some charity cases to take about 40% of the income to the charity... and thus, no, I don't donate.

In summery, we're going into winter, these are harsh times even for those with homes. Last year over 18,000 elderly died in the winter because they were cold and couldn't afford the cost of living, but these had homes. We need to care not only for ourselves, but others too, at this time of year.

So DO NOT listen to adverts like the one I have mentioned. I will be forwarding a complaint to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) over this, and I will try to update if I can :)

** UPDATE 6/12/14 **

Today I have received an email from the radio station I thought I heard it on, turns out I was correct! Their email reads as....

thank you for your enquiry via our website, it's much appreciated. Apologies for my delay in getting back to you, I have been away from the office.
I believe the commercial that you refer to is part of the Liverpool City Council 'CitySafe' campaign.
This is the 2nd year that this message has run on our stations, and is part of a wider 'social responsibility' message that the Council is keen to make our audience aware of.
The website referred to in the ad' is  - www.yourkindnesscouldkill.org.uk - hopefully this should give you all the information that you're looking to find.
If you have any further questions, please contact me on this address.

Best regards,
As you can see, they know which advert I'm on about, by just a brief description (it really is like no other advert).

It seems the scheme is being ran by Liverpool City Council, who seem to be behind a push on trying to make people assume that all drugs are bad, which is why they're banned and that it's the poorest of society who are having problems with drug and alcohol. Unfortunatley for them, I've delt with the Department of Work and Pensions too much for me to be able to believe the utter bullshit.

I won't be letting this just fall to nothing, this really could cost lives.