The blog has now moved!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


My eating habits are not too bad, I eat with my mouth closed, I try not to slurp too loudly with my drink and keep most of my food on my plate when it's not on it's way to my chasm-like mouth. So I ask the question, if a fly lands on your forehead at dinner time and you whap your hand against your forehead, thus splattering the fly across the palm of your hand, is it rude?

The blog is moving soon!

The Potato Theory

So, what is a potato theory? Well quite simply it's a theory involving potatoes. It's all about love and how it's shown and what it means. Lets suppose there was this really nice young lady I liked, I'd met her and liked her quite a lot and wanted to ask her out (or maybe she wants to ask me out). I could do this with a rose, ladies apparently like them.

What does a Rose signify? What does a Rose stand for? Why use a Rose over say, a lump of grass?

  • Roses are pretty
  • Roses smell nice
  • Roses are symbolic
So, we can say that by giving a rose to a lady you are saying that she looks nice, smells nice and further reinforcing your intentions by giving an item that is symbolic of what you are trying to say. However, how long do Roses last for? Well, if you can manage to make it last 2 weeks it'll start looking a bit down by the 1st so we'll say 1 week. Now, lets look at a Potato.
  • Potatoes do not look pretty
  • Potatoes do not smell nice
  • Potatoes are not symbolic
  • Potatoes do however have inner goodness
  • Potatoes last longer than roses
  • Potatoes are very versatile, there's a load of things you can do with them
So, by giving a potato to someone you say that they have inner beauty (it's called a personality), that this inner beauty will last and that they're a really cool person that can do whatever they put their mind to.

Now, I'm sure you've at some point been told by a lady to stop being so superficial, to stop judging by looks and to start judging by personality. They clearly want to be given a potato, or do they? While the theory is spot on, it doesn't account for one very very important fact.

Ladies don't make sense, they tell you not to judge on physical appearance yet they want to be told they look nice

Armed with this crucial bit of information we can see why despite making complete sense, the potato gift idea is doomed to failure. But now that leaves us with a huge problem, if we want to be true Gentlemen then we can't just give out a rose, it gives out completely the wrong message (i.e. that are obsessed with physical appearance).

Thus I propose a new theory. The Strawberry Theory! Granted a Strawberry isn't symbolic and doesn't last for as long as a potato but it does taste awesome, looks quite nice, has lots of inner goodness and can be quite resilient (you try getting those seeds out of your mouth). Alternately, Rosmary suggested simply using a whole rose bush. I still however think that's rather superficial thinking.

Remember, the blog will be moving soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Blog!

I've decided to move my blog completely to my server (the one). There are a few reasons for this.

  1. I can customise more of the way it works
  2. I like the Admin Interface more
  3. It's no longer one of the fixed width templates that waste screen space
I will continue to post here, it's quite possible I change my mind about it. The new blog is located at

Tomorrow I plan to create an entry fully explaining the Potato theory and where it works and where it doesn't.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cheltenham (Long Post)

Day 1 - Arrival : Wednesday
I got a lift to Jon and Becca's house for 0900 and then we packed the car and left for Cheltenham. Jon is the pastor of Ammanford Evangelical Church and Becca (His wife) is the leader of the youth "expedition". Becca remembered halfway there that her Bible was in one of the many many other bags in the house. It wasn't a problem as all the rest of us had Bibles, of course, we mocked her for the whole time.

We got to Cheltenham and managed to find out where we were and what room we were using, I did a lot of running that day as I found out where various things were and went to get stuff. It looked like we'd have around 80 children (we had a capacity of 120). Our accommodation was called "Hunters Lodge", Jon, Sam, Rhodri, Tim, Tom and Myself had entered the room and seen 35 beds, all bar one being bunk beds. I claimed the single bed for my own very quickly and we looked at the loo. We discovered 2 cubicles a latrine, 2 sinks and 1 shower. We looked back in the main dorm room and yes, there were 35 beds, oh, this was not going to be nice. As the providence of the Lord would have it (I don't believe in Luck) there was nobody other than us in that room so we were all okay.

Evening 1 - Food : Monday
I saw Becca from CU and went to the local area for some food, it was very tasty and the company was good (though they completely failed to understand the Potato theory). My group planned to have a meeting at 2100 but due to locked gates I was the only one that made it (I seemed to have a natural ability not only to run everywhere but also to find doors that were not locked, I also tried climbing them and wriggling under them). We eventually managed to have a very short meeting but we cut it short because it was so late.

Day 2 - Eugh! : Thursday
Becca, Ceri, Charlotte, Jen and Laura were the female members of our team and they joined us for an early breakfast in the Panorama Restaurant. Suffice to say, the food was not up to the standard I'd expect myself to cook (and that's pretty low). In retrospect, eating very little for breakfast might have been a good thing as you will soon see.

Our theme was called "Big Bother" and based a little around Big Brother. I was one of the 4 Youth Leaders that were "in the house". Day 1's challenge involved food, nasty food but that's okay, we were blindfolded. I managed to spit the Anchovy into the audience (about 80 children) and not throw up at the smell of the muscles (though it was a close call). I didn't even bother doing more than licking the Chillies or Ginger. The Baby Food however was actually rather nice (tasted of marmalade). The message for the day was about inward and outward appearance and how it doesn't matter what the World thinks of us, it's what God says that is important.

I had a nice greasy burger for lunch (it was really nice) and met some of the group from Portsmouth, I also saw Becca from the CU but she's mentioned later today. The afternoon involved a Bible Study on the theme of the day. The Children gave very good answers, the sort of answers I'd expect from a much older group. I had another burger for dinner (along with a selection of doughnuts I'd charmed from the staff of the Arkle bar), it was very nice and I enjoyed it.

Evening 2 - I need a Man! : Thursday
I went to the Ceilidh (pronounced "Kay Lee"). I turned up late because I'd attended a talk on Bible Handling skills. I saw only one group of people I knew there, Becca and her friends. After the song that was in progress Becca ran up to me and said "Will you be my Man?". Here are some facts that'll help you to put the situation into context.
     I am single
     Becca is not single

So, we can instantly see that clearly there is something wrong. And that is that I've not explained the 3rd point (which you probably guessed anyway) is that it was for the duration of a few dances, that Luke was not there and that it was not in an intimate setting or manner. I of course danced (making many a joke such as saying "Wow, I'm holding hands with a lady!") fast and vibrantly. I got back to my room and had expended so much energy that I had to take a cold shower to be able to think straight. The Woodpecker Band were really good and my favourite entertainment group of the whole festival. If you want to listen to some of their music, they have 3 samples here.

Day 3 - Jaws : Friday
I got up and realised that after wearing my red volunteer t-shirt to the Ceilidh last night, wearing it now would probably not earn me any friends. Thus, while the rest of my team went straight to the Burger van, I took a slightly longer route in hunt of a new t-shirt. I got to the Burger van and was separated from my group by another group of volunteers. I got chatting to them and they invited me back to their table. In a bid to make new friends I accompanied Tom, Leanne and Anna back to their table (bringing with me my burger of course). I got chatting to them and their friend Hannah. My co-leaders completed their meal and then left, barely nodding at me as they walked past. I thought nothing of it.

Teifion with lipstick During the rest of the day they started calling me Jaws. Apparently I was "sharking" or "going for the ladies". This wasn't my intention but they seemed convinced it was. Today the "housemates" had to put on some makeup. However, we were not doing it ourselves, we had the "aid" of some of the children. Specifically blindfolded Children behind us. To the right is a picture of me with said "improvements" performed. Several of the children dared me to keep it on for the whole day. I decided not to (it was not very comfortable in the heat).

Today the theme was about Peer Pressure and weighing up what your friends say and what God says. Originally only Jon, Tom, Rhodri and Tim were calling me Jaws. However, by the afternoon Becca had joined in (she tried to get me to go to the church mission for the sole reason of meeting young, single, christian ladies), sadly other than point out a continuing lack of Lady Friend there was naught I could do to silence them.

Phatfish are a Christian band and were playing on the Friday, I went to see them. Jon and Becky from Portsmouth had sat right at the front, they had a space next to them and were quite happy for me to sit there next to them so I did. It was really nice to sit there with them and also very amusing to see a completely new side to Jon. Normally Jon acts in a manner that you would attribute to a "wise" man, he acts in a thoughtful manner that suggests he has contemplated what he's actually doing. However, while at the concert he acted in a much less restrained manner, it was nice to see this side of him.

Day 4 - Water Bombs : Saturday
Yesterday I spent a lot of time filling up Water Bombs, today I continued to for our morning event. We got all the children onto the grass (today there were around 60) and played some rather messy games and then we brought out the Water Bombs. All of it was completely planned by the leaders, we planned for me to be the one that was pelted (I came up with the idea) and I got completely and utterly drenched.

Becca, Jo, Rosemary, Pete, Kathryn and Jacky very kindly invited me to their BBQ for lunch and it was really nice (and very yummy). The evening session was good, I got to lead my first Bible Study and all the children were really really well behaved (maybe because of the way that I gave out Cola Bottles in a very stingy manner). It was around this time my name changed from "Jaws" to "Jaws with Dentures" because apparently I was still after a Lady but was rubbish at it.

Evening 4 - Concert : Saturday
Stuart Townend I have negative musical talent, I cannot clap in time to a song and sing it at the same time. Worse yet, when I do clap out of time, I'm a varying amount out of time. Suffice to say I am unable to play any musical instrument and have apparently got a terrible singing voice. As such I like to listen to music for it's rhythm and sound rather than lyrics and clever melodies. So, perhaps that is why I didn't enjoy the Stuart Townend Concert as much as I thought I would (I once again got front row seats). The picture is taken from Steve Haskew's mobile phone.

After the concert I went back to my room with Jon and read the book of Ruth, Jon then went through it with me and explained not only what the book was about but how to realise that's what it was about which will help me next time I try to figure something out.

Day 5 - Hectic : Sunday
We got up late as we had an 1100 start. Some extra volunteers turned up and we did lots of games but because we'd not realised we had to run today too we didn't plan as much so had to improvise somewhat more than normal. We had a quiz, one question in particular was quite amusing.

Becca: What Month was Teifion Married in?
*I stand up so everybody can get a good look at me*
Becca: The answer? It's a trick question! He's not married, note the lack of ring
Jon: He's single, so if you've got any older sisters about his age, send them over

Nobody took him seriously but we all had a good laugh about it and you can too. Then began the fun task of clearing up, I was tasked with deflating two inflatables about the size of a 5 year old child. There are several ways of deflating things. Firstly there's the age old method of sitting down holding open the valve and hoping someone kind helps you (only works if you're lucky/attractive enough for help to arrive), the second method (my normal one) is that you hold the valve open and sit on the inflatable. However, today I figured out a better method, get a pointy object, the lid of a biro works well, and poke it into the valve. In doing this you open it up far more and it can deflate several times faster than my normal method.

Where next?
Several people have commented that I am gifted with youth so I've decided to start volunteering for more things. A group from my CU is almost certainly going to Word Alive and I'll be looking into volunteering there. Jon of Wales reckons that I'd be better with the age group just below what we had at Cheltenham (we had 11-14 year olds). And according to Amanda from Portsmouth, some of the Children were talking about me while in their tents at the campsite. It's quite rewarding to know I've made an impact on them (I am going to assume it's a good one). So, what's the next big adventure going to be?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I get to lead a Bible Study!

Today myself and the rest of us going to Cheltenham all met up, I get to lead a Bible Study we do (I've never led a Bible Study before, should be fun). The Bible Study I'll be leading is titled "Love". Becca has organised it all and the subject it'll be on along with the Bible verses to use so that'll help me a lot, still, I'll have to read the verses in advance and make sure I understand them.

Today I drew an interesting difference between Jonathan in Portsmouth and Jonathan in Wales and the way that they preach. Jon from Portsmouth is a lot more formal in his manner than Jon of Wales, he looks into the Bible verse a lot more and requires us to think more. Jon of Wales however is a lot more informal and preaches in a much easier to digest manner, or as I put it "Preaches as if to a group of slightly dim people". Jon from Wales found this funny.

Overall my task for helping with the Youth was categorised as "Door Watch", we figured this translates as "Bouncer" much better. However, I'll be doing a few more things than that and it should all be good.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Should I take a career in teaching?

Friday morning I got up, I as per usual did some of that World of Arl stuff, played a little Warcraft 3 and generally relaxed. I then did some more World of Arl stuff and it was still before lunchtime! Then, my sister who is not even at Secondary School yet asks me a question.

Cerys: Teifion, how do I make a website
Me: You write out some stuff and the computer turns it into a webpage
Cerys: Can you teach me?
Me: Sure, it's really easy

11 Hours later Cerys was making websites, I think I'll make a set of free tutorials about learning Web Design. I did a quick hunt on iTunes and looked at the selection of pod-casts on HTML and it's pretty poor, looks like it's my time to shine!

Today I mowed the lawn and yay, I found more wildlife. I found 2 toads and a frog, though I only bothered to catch the first toad, in retrospect I should have gotten at least the frog too and kept the very small toad I found.
        Click for slightly larger versions
Thumbnail of a Toad Thumbnail of a Toad

For much larger pictures, click for Toad on Rocks and Toad on Hand.