The Geek Squid!

Since starting ‘OPERATION: GET SKINNY’ I have been logging onto almost daily as part of my weight loss routine, but what I love most about ‘MFP’ are the forums. For those of you who are members, and only use the app, you are missing out on about 50% of what MyFitnessPal is all about… It’s about community.

Since joining MFP I have made some great online friends. I really like how everyone helps each other stay motivated and have their own story to tell, wheither it be that they want to lose weight, stay fit, gain weight or muscle. They all have their own reason to be on the site and a goal they want to reach. Of course there are the odd few people who disagree and have issues with others, but you will get that in any community, online or otherwise, and like I said, they all have different goals and reasons to be on the site.

Now, talking about weight loss is all well and good but I wanted to find more people who were a bit like me – a bit on the geeky side – so about a month or so ago I posted ‘Calling all Geeks & Nerds’ in the forum. The response was amazing! My friends list more than doubled, It went from 70 friends to 177 friends in a day. Because I had made so many new friends on there who were geeks and nerds I then created a group for us called, ‘The Geek Squad’. It’s a group for all things geek. So if you are a member of MyFitnessPal and you’re a massive sci-fi fan, into gaming, or just know your way round a computer, then this is the group for you. However, It turned out that there is an American store called ‘Best Buy’ whos IT support comany is also called ‘The Geek Squad’. This caused a bit of confusion, and even some abuse by some of the American members of MFP who thought the group was for ‘Geek Squad’ or ‘Best Buy’ employees. According to some of the members of the open forums who have had dealings with said company, they aren’t the most helpful or intelligent group of IT individuals.

I wanted to distance the group from this negative view of ‘geek’ & so I asked the members of the group to come up with a new name and mixedfeelings came up with the name ‘The Geek Squid’. I loved it! I then made a mascot (the little guy on the left), I again asked the group to give him a name, and due to a few drunken updates from myself where I use this word a lot, the squid gained the nickname ‘Squiffy’. I did want to go with a name that was suggested on twitter and I thought was genius, ‘Squeek’! It’s a combination of the words ‘squid’ & ‘geek’ and is a cute misspelling of the word ‘squeak’, but it looks like ‘Squiffy’ has stuck, and deep down I love that he is called ‘Squiffy’. I love the group, I am so proud it and it’s a great place for me to talk to other people who love the same things as me and to express my inner geek. We can talk about where we would travel in time if we had the keys to the Back to the Future DeLorean, or who our favourite character from Spaced is…

Speaking of which…

As you can see from youtube link & picture of me from 2008 standing outside “23 Meteor Street”, I am a massive fan of SPACED. On the night of Februrary 9th 2012 I had a dream that I was watching Spaced. I dreamt about the third series & I wrote about it here, in an entry called ‘Deep SPACED’. For those that have seen Spaced would know, there isn’t a third series, but in my dream there was. This series was new and picked up on the characters lives 11 years later. I won’t write the dream here as I have already done so a few entries back.
Well, my blog and twitter account are linked, so my blog will automatically send a tweet informing my followers and the other people on twitter that I have posted something. When I finished that entry a tweet was sent, like so…

 The tweet was then was retweeted a few times, and some people also sent a tweet to Simon Pegg (who co wrote and starred in Spaced) about what I had written…

“Skip to the end…”

Anyway, on March 6th, Simon Pegg tweeted this…

Coincidence?!!! Well, probably yes… but still, It was nice to know that Simon Pegg was also thinking about SPACED, and that is awesome. or as Squiffy the geeky squid would say…


What makes you, you?

I have wanted black frame glasses ever since I was about 11 years old when I had to start wearing glasses but for years I just wore what my parents bought for me. Black framed specs seemed impossible to find. I can remember seeing Elvis Costello on TV and wondering where he got his from. I always thought that glasses were like guitars. When you are a young guitarist all you seem to find and afford are Stratocasters & Les Paul Copies when what you are really after is a Fender Jaguar. So buying these glasses was a giant leap for me. Glasses can define someone more than the clothes they wear.  Once you get a pair of black framed glasses it is hard to turn back.  I found myself buying the same frames (boots – curlew) for years. Then came the bad news… Boots Opticians no longer made these frames. Boots however were kind enough to put me in touch with the chinese company who made them. After a few emails back and forth it turns out they have stopped making them (woe). So I went on the hunt for new frames, and since then I have built up a small collection. I had also not realised how when you do wear a pair of black framed glasses that you fall into a generic category. People recognise you because of your glasses or mistake you for someone else who also wears glasses, even if those glasses look nothing like your own. A good example of this was in 2005 when I was a Reading festival. I was minding my own business watching a band (as you do) when I noticed that I was being looked at by a group of people who then started following me. One of them finally came up to me and said. “Excuse me, are you Rivers? I’m a big fan”. I was a bit confused. The only person I could think she was talking about was Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. Who apart from having dark hair and glasses I think looks nothing like me.

Me at Reading Festival 2005

Rivers Cuomo from Weezer

She looked a bit embarrassed as I said “No” and went back to her friends to inform them all that I was not he. This however was not the first or the last time that people think I look like someone else just because of the glasses alone. I’ve been told I look like Mr E from the eels, Rolf Harris, Rick Moranis, Graham Coxon, Woody Allen. You name it almost anyone with dark hair and glasses. All of which look nothing a like. I wonder if anyone has told Woody Allen that they loved him in Ghostbusters? When you wear glasses you also have problems when it comes to fancy dress. You have 3 options; 

1. Lose the glasses. You then dress as anyone. In my case I was the Joker.  The downside of this is that you can’t see anything at the party.

2. Wear your glasses. This may look odd if the person you dress up is not known for wearing glasses. Freddy Krueger being one of them.

3. Find a character that has glasses and make it part of your costume. Like Clark Kent changing into Superman.

Now that last picture of me, The one of me as Clark Kent/Superman I have used as my avatar across the internet for almost everything. I think it kinda sums up a lot of who I am. I like comics. I like fancy dress. I like geekyness. It shows of a bit of personality and I like that. I sometimes think about getting contacts. Break away from this generic look. But then I think of this…

2 years ago my friends threw me a surprise birthday party where everyone dressed as me. What I thought was a generic look is unique to my friends. I am my glasses and my beard. It makes me who I am. I asked people on twitter to post a photo of themselves looking like me and here are my favourites



and saving the best till last.


Everyone has there own look and mine is having a beard and glasses.

It makes me, me! …and I am happy with that.

Me 2010