Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Mike's Carbonara

Like most things I do in life I should start this with an apology. I know that a proper authentic carbonara is simply pasta, pancetta and carbonara sauce, however I fully believe recipes are meant to be changed to personal tastes. So this is my take on a carbonara, the great thing about making a carbonara is that you can put nearly anything into it, its great for leftovers or using up older ingredients in your fridge. This has always been a hit for me and has converted quite a few people into pasta eaters. My go to meal to impress.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
225g Spaghetti (You can use other pasta's I just prefer spaghetti)
100g Diced Chorizo
100g Cut up Bacon
100g Cut up Mushrooms
3 Eggs
Handful of Spinach
A Drizzle of Olive Oil
Lots of Grated Parmasan
1 Clove of Crushed Garlic

Method

  • Put pasta onto cook. Also, heat oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add chorizo first for a few minutes.
  • Then add bacon and mushrooms to frying pan.
  • While waiting for other ingredients to cook beat eggs, then add grated Parmesan and mix.
  • If chorizo, bacon and mushroom mix is ready before your pasta set aside and keep warm.
  • When ready, drain pasta. Tip back into warm pasta pot and add the spinach, then chorizo, bacon, mushroom mix, the crushed garlic and finally the egg mix.
  • Sit pan back on very low heat and stir constantly until pasta is completely coated. Important here that you don't let it scramble, keep it moving. 
  • Serve with more grated Parmesan on top
You can add homemade croutons, just use one slice of bread and fry up before starting the first step. When I add them I always set aside to cool, while I'm doing the rest of the meal.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Basil Avocado Dip

INGREDIENTS
* 1 7-ounce container Greek yogurt
* 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
* ½ teaspoon honey, or to taste
* 1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice, or to taste
* handful chopped fresh basil
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
*  Pinch of fine sea salt, more to taste
PREPARATION

Place all ingredients in bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Taste for seasoning.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Mike's 1 Month Social Media Challenge - Update

So I messed up. Yesterday (Day 4) I failed to post a personal tweet or instagram picture. I was so distracted with getting all 5 hours of WrestleMania and not spoiling anything with social media I forgot to post. I'm still going to carry on however. I promise this will be my only slip up.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Wrestlemania 32 Review

US Title Match - Ryback vs Kalisto
There was a time when Ryback was a main event heel. Now here he is putting over new Rey Mysterio.I enjoyed this match dispite the ending not being to my liking. There were not 'Wrestlemania moments' but why waste those on a pre-show match?
Rating - 3/5

The Total Diva's vs Team B.A.D. and Blonde
While this match wasn't as bad as I'd expected it was still nowhere near being referred to as good. Eva Marie was unexpectedly good for the short while she was in the ring but overall there were a lot of botched spots and missed cues. Not the kind of match that promotes the divas division and it shows even the better divas still need some work
Rating - 2/5

The Uso's vs The Dudleys
So the point of this math was the tables spot at the end. I get it, but the match itself was worth a watch. Good, not great, lets not go crazy here.
Rating - 3/5

6 Way Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
How could I see that coming? How could anyone see that coming? I could have made a case for nearly anyone winning this but never Zack Ryder. Again this was enjoyable enough, The two Sin Cara spots being highlights along with Stardust's Dusty inspired ladder. However this isn't going to be anyones WrestleMania highlight.
Rating - 3/5

Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
We all knew both guys would have an amazing match. That was never my issue with this one. I just felt it needed to mean something more. I would have made it a 2 out of 3 falls match. We know both men could pull it off, big time. That is me nitpicking to be fair and apart from that small issue it was an excellent match, and well worthy of WrestleMania.
Rating - 5/5

New Day vs The League of Nations
Before I get started, I just want to say that New Days entrance was the best ever in WrestleMania history. Don't @ me, I don't even care. Now let me get my moaning out of the way first. In my preview I said the League of Nations wasn't working and I still believe that so I don't understand the logic behind giving them the win here. I don't want to focus too much on that though, because the rest of this was gold. The match was great, watching New Day struggling against the odds like that, everyone played their part to perfection. It was great to see Xavier Woods get some decent ring time because he can do so much more than he's been allowed to show until now. On top of that seeing Michaels, Foley and Austin walk about like that take out the League of Nations was a proper WrestleMania moment.
Rating - 5/5

Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose
This one went pretty much as I'd imagined. It was a good entertaining match. The Ambrose weapon sports were good, Heymans reaction when Ambrose puled out that chainsaw was classic. While I would have rather that Amrose had won, I understand that WWE see's Lesnar as the guy and want to protect him.
Rating - 3/5

Womens Title Match - Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair
Titles are what this business is all about. Some and beautiful, like the old WCW/World Heaveyweight title, and some are awful, like the current Tag Team Titles. It's fair to say that the old Diva's Title was a monstrosity, however WWE have made up for that with the new Womens Championship. It is an absolutely stunning belt, the best currently in the WWE. So the question is will the match live up to the new title. Spoilers: yes. This was just ask good as the men could have put on. We saw proper wrestling moves, false finishes, a fast pace it was great.  I don't even care that Charlotte winning means I've only got 1 right out of  5 main show matches.
Rating - 4/5

Hell in the Cell - Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker
It's been a while since we had a please don't die chant. I don't even know how to rate this. The match in general was poor but it was always going to be. Undertaker is too old to put on 5 star matches and Shane is a business man. They did in general get the ring psychology spot on and I don't even know what to say about the spot. It's certainly a WrestleMania moment I guess.
Rating - 4/5

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
So I got the basics right in my preview. I said it would be the perfect place to debut a top NXT talent. I said Finn Baylor but in hindsight I think Baron Corbin was a better choice. Battle royals are battle royals and as I said in my preview the only one that ever does stand out is the Royal Rumble. I didn't care for the Shaq spot but I'm not a basketball fan and I don't live in the US so I guess I'm not the target audience with that one.
Rating - 3/5

The Rock vs Eric Rowen
Yes I'm reviewing this. Yes I know it was 6 seconds. This is literally all I have to say.
Rating - 2/5

Triple H vs Roman Reigns
I said it in my preview and I'll say it again. I like Roman Reigns but the way WWE has booked him is terrible. Let him the the monster heel he need to be. Don't try and make us feel sorry for a man who looks like that. It's just not going to happen. We can say that until we're blue in the face but that heel turn refuses to happen. Roman got the win here in a pretty poor match for it's place in he card, hopefully that's HHH's last time in the ring.
Rating - 2/5

All in all I quite enjoyed WrestleMania. Jericho/Styles, the New Day in general and the Womens Title match being particular highlights, however when the biggest matches on your wrestling card are such poor wrestling matches you should be worrying. Its obvious that the writing needs a shake up, some of the booking decisions were very worrying, it seems more and more that WWE think we have to like who we're told to like rather than who we actually like. That's the wrong way round.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Director of Football Manager


As football progresses the role of the ‘Football Manager’ is in decline. Originally designed as a way for the owner to take some of a pressure off of himself, in the days when the owner coached the team, the humble football manager rose in the ranks until he was one of the most important men in the club, assuming extra responsibility to the heights of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United or Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Two men who run, or ran, nearly everything at their club. Coaching, match days, scouting and more. There are variations on this though, managers who work on their specialities and allow others to take other jobs, Harry Redknapp for example is rarely seen on the training pitch, relying on Joe Jordan to take coaching over. No managers at Newcastle are responsible for transfers with Graham Carr seeming to be the most influential over who to sign, though a committee seems to make the final decision.

Alongside all of this one stand alone role has gained greater prominence, all the more important due to increasingly shorter managerial reigns. The Director of Football is supposed to bring continuity between managers. He needs to make sure that new signings are consistent with the clubs overall philosophy, work with the manager to make sure that tactics are, again, consistent with philosophy and that youth players are being brought through. A ‘This kids good in this situation/position’ type thing. Now I wanted to try and make this work on Football Manager. To try it out I’m going to start with Manchester United and if it works I’ll move onto harder challenges. The assistant will be the ‘Manager’ and I will act as the ‘Director of Football’ with that staff position being left unfilled.

I’m going to work the rules as I go until I get a working system. In general, the tactics I create will be a mix of the clubs philosophy and the managers own preferences. The ‘Manager’ will pick the team, though I reserve the right to interject on behalf of the board, if we want a certain player pushed however I will only do this in very rare situations. I’m sure I will work out other rules as I’m playing and as I do I’ll detail them on the respective blog. I’ve decided to sack Van Gaal as United Manager and instate Jose Mourinho for two reasons. I want to manage a proper manager and no proper manager will take the role of Assistant Manager in game and I prefer Mourinho Van Gaal. Giggs will be kept but moves to coach, if I ‘sack’ Jose or he leaves then Giggs will be my first choice as his replacement.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Wrestlemania 32 Preview

Everyone knows WWE's been going through some hard times recently. The writing has been poor and downright abysmal in places, and most of the bright spots in the roster are missing. However Wrestlemania will always manage to bring the cheer out of me. Last years event ended with a perfectly cultivated main event and the ending with Seth Rollins stealing the title is one of my favourite wrestling moments from recent memory. With that in mind, I'm going to try and be positive with my previews.

The Total Divas vs Team B.A.D. and Blonde
So maybe the wrong match to start off with? I like having a second diva's match on the card, however this is bad from start to finish. The story doesn't make sense, they've chucked Diva's in here with little or no wrestling experience.  I still think bringing in a Diva's Tag Title would help legitimize the Diva's division and give them a reason to have a second good diva's match on PPV cards, they have the depth coming up to make it work. Total Diva's to win because they have the women wrestlers that are actually important to the company and to say good bye to Brie Bella. 
I'd book: The Total Divas
Probable winners: The Total Divas

Kalisto vs Ryback
I like new Ryback. New Ryback is a bad arse and not just a dumb meat head. New Ryback is going to lose to New Rey Mysterio. I think this could be a good match if given enough time. Both men have the tools, I'd like to see Kalisto win and Ryback just flip. Start a new monster heel turn where he keeps taking out smaller guys until he's seen as a main event heel again. That's how he works best. No talky, more smashy. In truth He'll probably lose and then bitch and moan for a bit, staying in the lower midcard. 
I'd book: Kalisto
Probable winner: Kalisto

The Uso's vs The Dudley Boyz
I love the Dudley Boyz as heels, they're one of the most entertaining teams in the division but its the right move for them to do the job for The Uso's. They're younger, more popular and are going to be around for a long time. Only shame here is that its not a tables match.
I'd book: The Uso's
Probable winner: The Uso's

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
What is there to say about a battle royal that isn't the rumble? I can't see any of the named participants winning it. It would be a great way to introduce an NXT talent to the WWE *nods in Finn Baylor's direction*.
I'd book: Finn Baylor
Probable winner: Santino Marella

The New Day vs The League of Nations
The New Day all day in this one. The League of Nations hasn't worked and needs to be taken apart, mainly for Rusev's sake. The New Day will make this entertaining as they always seem to manage to do.
I'd book: The New Day
Probable winners: The New Day

Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
It should be a rule that every Wrestlemania has a multi-man ladder match. Carnage in the best way possible. Some great ladder match talent is in this and its one matches I'm looking forward to most. I see this being between Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler for who wins it. I'd choose Owens and I think the WWE will as well. 
I'd book: Kevin Owens
Probable winner: Kevin Owens

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
I like the idea of this match-up, I just don't understand why a match that we've seen 3 times this year already is on a Wrestlemania card with no stipulations attached. At least make it a no-dq or something. AJ wins bacause he's the big name and Chris is all about putting over talent these days.
I'd book: AJ Styles
Probable winner: AJ Styles

Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
Charlotte as champion is another concept that hasn't worked. She's a great worker and the angle where she won it was well done, if a little over done with the crying. The issue is she's just not charismatic enough to carry the main title in the division solo. She'd make a great Diva's Tag Team Champion though. I see the same problem happening with Becky Lynch, however this could be fixed over time as she fleshes her character out. Sasha wins and bins the Diva's title on Raw, bringing out the old Womens title AND a brand new Womens Tag Title. Well I can dream.
I'd book: Sasha Banks
Probable Winner: Sasha Banks

Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar
Wouldn't it be great if Brock put Ambrose over here? I mean it won't happen, but it should. This match will ether be amazing or awful, its pretty much 50/50 but whats not 50/50 is that Brock will win when Ambrose should.
I'd book: Dean Ambrose
Probable Winner: Brock Lesnar

Hell in the Cell - Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker
I can't see this being a 5 star match however I fully trust both men make it Wrestlemania worthy. Only thing that's guaranteed is that The Undertaker will walk away with the win. I can't see Shane McMahon taking control of Raw, even with him being a much needed breath of freash air.
I'd book: Shane McMahon
Probable Winner: The Undertaker

WWE Title Match - Roman Reigns vs Triple H
I like Roman Reigns. I'm hiding so you can't beat me for admitting that. My issue is that I think they're going the wrong way with him. I fully believe you need to go with the crowd with gimmicks and its obvious that Reigns won't get over as a face. I would have had him side with The Authority and let the fans boo and moan all they want. Anyway Roman will win and he should. If only they can find a way to help him turn while doing it,
I'd book: Roman Reigns
Probable winner: Roman Reigns

Friday, 1 April 2016

My 1 Month Social Media Experiment

I’ve been on instagram for a few years, twitter for over half a decade and Facebook for more than a decade, however at this point I rarely post on any of them. This isn’t through lack of interest, I browse all three at least once a day, my issue is a lack of confidence in what I have to say on them. I’ve always struggled with a lack of confidence in social situations and that has followed me into the on-line world. I’ve struggled to be a presence in forums I’ve joined and while I have a few friends in social media land, no one that I interact with on a regular basis, my last 3 mentions being 38, 47 and 75 days ago.

Now, you’re not reading this to hear my social woe, or maybe you are, you sick person, so let me get to the point. My social media experiment consists of me posting everyday on all 3 of my social media accounts AND this blog for the next month. Rules are, a re-tweet, sharing someone else's post of fb or instagram cannot count as a post for that day. For this blog, all I need to do is put on post up, I don’t have to be the one who’s written it, if someone else write a post for me then that counts. 

The point of this experiment is for me to become more of a presence on my social media and to be more confident in on-line and maybe real life social situations. For me, this isn’t really about interactions, mentions, comments, likes, re-tweets, favs, followers, friends. This is about me being able to enjoy my social media in a free and unrestricted way. With that in mind I’ll decide if this has been a success depending on me completing the month and how much I actually enjoy posting everyday. I’ll post this blog on April the 1st and on April 30th I will write another post detailing how I felt this experiment went. Hopefully I’ll have good news.