2003 Best Things Ever Awards

Some things are good. Some things are great. And some things are The Best
Thing Ever
. So therefore, we at Not A Blog present the 2003 Best Things
Ever Awards

First of all, Windsurfing. I first tried windsurfing about nine years
ago, on Kielder Water, Northumberland. It was bloody freezing, and I lasted
about 15 minutes before I gave up and went back to the relative warmth and
comfort of my Laser dinghy for the next seven or eight years. And then, a couple
of years back, I found myself in Spain, on a sailing and windsurfing holiday. As
I didn’t really want to learn racing technique for sailing, and the intermediate
group looked like a waste of time, I figured I’d give windsurfing another go. I
was hooked, instantly. And then forgot about it straight afterwards. This year,
we went again, but I decided that I’d better get my hand back in before I went
out to Spain, so started going out on the water every week to practise. The bug
bit again, harder than ever, and after coming back from Spain, having been
hooked in, planing and in the footstraps nearly every day for a week, I’d
already made the decision in my mind to get myself a board and to go regularly
in England. So, I bought the board, used it twice, and then winter hit and it
became far too cold for me to realistically use it with my 3:2 wetsuit. So,
it’s sitting in the garage, waiting for water temperatures to rise above zero,
so I can wave goodbye to all my spare time once again. Windsurfing: Best
Thing Ever

Next, Photography. I suck at drawing. Completely. My total artistic
repertoire consists of a hamster, an elephant and a dubious spider/fly thing
with big googly eyes. In fact, they all have big googly eyes. I’ve never been
able to get what I see in my head down on paper adequately – and therefore I
find photography immensely satisfying, because it means I totally skip the
needing to hold a pencil bit and just get the picture straight onto the paper.
I’ve just invested in a slide scanner and photo printer so I’ll be dispensing
with that whole expensive business of getting prints and doing it all myself
(except for the processing – C41 is a pain, although I’d like to have a go at
black and white). So, you can look forwards to the gallery expanding even further over the
coming months. Hooray for that. Photography: Best Thing Ever.

Third in this year’s awards, My Laptop. Frankly, the ability to carry
around 2Ghz worth of computing power, a DVD player, a full music studio,
several hundred CDs photo editing suite, software development environment, a
huge quantity of games, and all the rest, in a little box slightly larger than
a ream of A4 paper is a bloody marvel. I’ve had a laptop before, but it was
purposely a few generations old, so it was cheap; plus, I’d run Linux on it, as
the only reason I’d bought it was so I could work on my M.Phil whilst I was on
holiday. This time, though, I decided to bite the bullet and buy what
effectively amounted to a replacement for my desktop machine; spend some proper
money on it and get something good. And it’s brilliant. It might have
been more money than I could reasonably have afforded, but it’s Changed My Life
and I love it. Laptops: Best Thing Ever.

Following on from the previous entry, the Nokia 7650 is a joy and
marvel to behold. It’s a phone! It’s a PDA! It organises me! It plays Repton!
It runs Opera, for goodness’ sake!
As much power as I had on my desktop not 5 years ago, I now carry around in
my pocket and use every day. Magical. Smartphones: Best Thing Ever.

Loathe as I am to admit it, but blogging is ace. Even though most of
what I write is pure, unadulterated shite, people still read it. And,
there are loads of other interesting people out there to read about, too. And
you can meet up with them and drink beer in FAB Cafe and they’ll play with your
beard and wear cool Christmassy t-shirts and everything. So, Blogging: Best
Thing Ever

And lastly, my ADSL connection from
Zen Internet
. It’s fast, infinitely more reliable than the dodgy connection
I used to have from NTL, it’s got a static IP, a custom reverse resolve, and
this website is hosted from a machine hanging on the end of it. It’s a touch
more expensive than most ADSL providers, but for the quality and service I’ve
received from Zen (and their great monthly newsletter), I hereby proclaim that
Zen Internet ADSL is the Best Thing Ever.

Loads of other things so nearly qualified – these include the entire output
of Radio 4, Project Gotham Racing 2 on XBox Live, Scotch Single Malt Whisky,
Top Gear, The Darkness, Gary Jules getting to #1, Spirited Away, and loads
more – but there’s only so much room in the Big Box of Best Things Ever. So,
maybe next year.

One last thing – the Worst Thing Ever 2003 Award goes to ECTS
for being, well, boring, shite and frankly a bit of a waste of time. Absolutely
nothing on show that hadn’t been seen 4 months earlier at E3 in the states. And
the free coffee in the developers’ lounge was rank. The best bit of the whole
event was our company bar, in which we got drunk and spilled the beans on our
game to a similarly drunk journalist from Official XBox Magazine, who then
printed our comments in the “rumours” column a month later. ECTS: Worst
Thing Ever

And that’s all for this year. During the next 12 months, I shall probably
declare at least a thousand different things as being the Best Thing Ever – but
how many of them will reach the 2004 Best Things Ever awards? Tune in next
December and find out! Aaaand… cue closing titles…

2 Responses to “2003 Best Things Ever Awards”

  1. cez says:

    You may think it’s shite, but to us it’s *interesting* shite. 🙂

  2. Lori says:

    Blogging – best thing ever? But, isn’t this not a blog? *giggle*