Tuesday, 27 October 2009

New aspirations

Courtesy of El's "I am pig face" blog.

Thanks el :)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

If only.

"If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world." -Mercedes Lackey
...which is a very much agreeable quote right now*.

The other day, I wrote something on here, which, on second thought (and some second opinion) was just not quite right. I managed to annoy/anger(?!) her a lot the other night, and this did me no favours. It was a sorta... back to Square 1 sorta thing. Changes? No changes there... I let temptation (um.. selfishness I suppose) get to me, and somehow expect a more than what I've been given, which isn't right when you think about it - since things are done, and done for a reason.

I have some bad habits I need to break, and this includes something that resembles a 'sweet-talk' habit which I seem to have engrained into myself - it works a little like this: "oh maybe I should do that, there's no harm in it" even if there's a gut feeling telling me doing it is not quite right. And then if it's wrong, being apologetic is of little use, since it's like the 'boy cried wolf' analogy... that stuff gets old and means little by then. I just have an inbuilt assumption that doing anything is 'alright', but it's not and I really think that should end here.

So what have I learnt (at the cost of annoying others). To quit. To quit and realise where you'd standing is where you stand. (I've just been fortunate things are the way they are, so far. I shouldn't take this for granted.. which I have... unfortunately.)

I've used up my 'lives' now in a way and I paid the price. I totally regret what I did the other night. I properly ruined a [recovering] friendship which was still alright for a bit of selfishness by expecting too much. As made clear to me, friendship isn't a right. And to be fair, it was my fault. Last nights flatwarming didn't seem too bad though, after a drink. I'm happy that some people were nice to me.

If you're reading this, an apology would mean little, but you should know I'm trying to put this whole matter to rest and bury it. And give you that space that I said I would (not just in person, but online too). That's important, for you. This post is my way of dealing with things and overcoming [some of] my flaws, by recognising them, as a start.

*Despite being 'agreeable', having regret, sure, a bit of grievance is expected, but is no good in the long term. A bit of a Google, and this is a better quote to go by and work on, form now on:
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -Fulton Oursler

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Free hardcore!

Note: Assuming you haven't done so already, if you have a Google account, feel free to "follow" my blog - the link is on the right hand side ----->>
(it will come up in your feed on the Blogger dashboard)

The more comments I get (from different people) the better I know how to steer what I write and make it more interesting! Keep me writing [something]... hopefully my blog isn't gibberish!

Comments = GOOD for me!

I know what you're thinking..., but no, hardcore is not some form of dodgy top-shelf material (top-shelf stuff... interested? g'wannn!). It's the layer of foundation material used in building, which consists of broken up bits of whatever, usually larger bits of stone and rock, sometimes even brick is used. There was no short supply of it (although some of it was questionable, and seemed more like building rubble/junk dumped by the side of a public footpath with supposedly "good" intentions), there was actually a rather large amount of rubble in used materials bags by the side of the path on the left of the picture.

Moving on, today I went in to talk to my dissertation tutor. I told her about my circumstances and said that I was more than a month behind in my research and so on and handed in a really shoddy synopsis (worth 10% mind you..). She understood, and whilst we concluded I wasn't the "ideal" student who would have done everything right, the important thing is that I was back on track, catching up and making the most of the remaining 80-90% since I can still do well in that. It was good to catch up with my tutor (who is also my dissertation co-ordinator and course leader) on a more personal level.

A thought I had today - you know how after a while, internet shopping becomes a matter of dealing with a faceless entity, which if anything goes wrong you usually jump to the conclusion that sorting it out will be a pain-in-the-butt due to the automated systems and complex logistical networks that somehow makes the world go around? Yeah, I think you know what I'm talking about here - there's no friendly customer face. I think this is especially the case with someone who has been on eBay since early 2002 and Bricklink since 2003 (with some 600+ feedbacks combined)... everything just becomes a matter of ordering something and expecting nothing more than an invoice inside the package... Thankfully I make the effort to write personal notes too all my Bricklink folks to thank them for their custom (and draw a great big smiley!).

Well today it was nice to be reminded that not everyone is what you assume they are - everyone from the customers who can't spell properly on eBay to those who absolutely suck at responding to emails. I delivered a Bricklink order to someone in Filton (Bristol) today, where I had a good chat with him. We're talking about a guy, in his mid-30's roughly, he has 5 children and still plays with Lego with his 2 children which are interested in it. He's still buying the stuff too, and looking to sell off the bits he doesn't need. I happen to pass by his area, then remember that I brought his order along just in case I would be able to deliver it, so I call him up and swing by, and I meet the most pleasant guy (for someone who has shoddy gramatical errors) ever... it starts off with him asking how much it was, I tell him, £2.00, despite knowing that his order including delivery is about £3.00. I refuse to take any more for it - at which point, he offers me eggs. Eggs. Fresh chicken eggs... which were laid about 1-2 days ago. There I am, amazed... and I ask him if it's easy to keep [the chickens], to which he offers to show me the hens around the back. Sure enough there's a massive garden and at the far end, theres a chicken pen, with some chickens clucking... It's such a small thing (i.e. 2 eggs) but being offered fresh eggs is strangely enough, generosity that I don't encounter these days very often, especially in the online world. It's a nice change from the normal reality that is internet shopping. I know I'll be offering that guy discounts from now on if he wants more parts.

Not everyone online is a faceless entity, or someone you merely chat with through a forum, it's so important to remember that there's a character behind all those usernames you see. It reminds me of how my associations with the University of Bristol started - through meeting someone online from a forum. It reminds me to not forget my roots and the values I once kept. It also means I'll be writing happier and notes which are more fun to my buyers! And I've got two eggs now... hmm.... fresh eggs.... mmm... damn, where is cream soda when you need it? =O

That aside, why do I feel strangely compelled to further my abilities and make myself a better character/person? Strengthening my confidence seems difficult but I know it could do me some good. Being able to be precise and make decisions without worry or doubt is essential to me. Not waffle on, be indecisive or generally hobble along in life. No, because that's not how it's done. I need to learn to inspire others, properly. I am learning out how to figure out my life better now, and take control of it. Listening too. It's a strange desire, I feel change is happening already, for the good.. or for the worse? I don't know... sometimes I'm not keen on it, but for the good I'd like to think!, it's best to look at change with optimism, and deal with it, grab it by the horns if necessary. I have a preference to look at it with a good outlook though, things will always look up, just don't let this s*** get you down.

"Change is not merely necessary to life- it is life." -Alvin Toffler.

But don't jump to conclusions or assumptions, I'm still meee!! Still your friendly neighbourhood mew mew! =^_^=

Lifes too short, so try and smile!
Here if you need me! =)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Balls are touching...

Balls are touching... it's what I did on Friday, so read on. Work is looming over my head like a big grey cloud... But here's my fix!:

The last 3 weeks have been a series of [rather dramatic] highs and lows for me, and I've found it hard to come to terms with everything, but that's cool, it's for the best. On Friday I met up with some pals to go play pool at Rileys, which was easily the best thing I've done in a while. Like the others I hadn't touched a cue for some time, so y'know, we were all a bit rusty. Within an hour or so.... we were playing a little more competitively (it's a good thing, I can assure you).. but of course, Rileys was always about socialising rather than competing. Earlier today, I met up with another good friend, and we had a good chat for some... what, was it 5 hours+ or something? I don't think I've had a conversation with a single person for so long (!!). It was great to catch up and see her new flat, and all my worries were eased away... (well I hope her's was a little, my apologies for being a not-such-a-good guest!). But today I really felt she understood me, was there to listen to what I had to say and like, of had some good ideas and advice, so thank you. Today was my turning point, that point where the little light bulb inside my head goes *ding!* and I know what I'm doing in life all of a sudden again! (i.e. not being silly!)

On another note, as part of my big "phase" of distraction, I've gotten a new phone, which I've found rather feature packed. So I've been installing various ROMs (software that makes the phone go "tick"), softwares... So much so, that I'm working on a holder for my motorbike to use it's GPS feature. Note: Skip to the end of the post if you're not interested in the build!

The basic setup is basically a metal bracket (used for roofing that I got from Toolstation), attached to a waterproof case (meant for valuables when outdoors, from eBay) with some nuts holding it together and a BIG dollop of Araldite epoxy. The phone is able to charge and output audio via a splitter cable (from eBay), although it won't take calls since this would require finding some way to answer the call - i.e. the phone is inside a case, the only workaround is a button from a handfree headset, and that's not possible due to the nature of the setup. So I figure if I get calls I'll just ignore them until I pull up.

Sorting out the basic holder was simple enough. The holder will be mounted onto the mirror attachment. However, since the mirror is attached to handbars which rotate as you steer, the movement presented the next problem. Cheap wires/cables to bridge the steering (such as the typical cheap ones used in the splitter as seen above) would just not be able to handle the outdoors/rain/stress and would fail in pretty soon. I went to Maplins to buy some decent speaker cable which had 4 wires, removed one (since stereo uses 3) and was able to squeeze this into a normal 3.5mm jack. The power lead was automotive cable with a USB and mini USB plugs at either end, so it's essentially a power-only hardcore USB extension. I DIY-soldered my own cables so that I'd have some which would withstand the steering.

With the cables made up, I plugged the phone into my amp and the power to the usual charger. Bingo, it works fine and charges as it should.

The final job was making connectors ready for the outdoors, I'd already thought about the case for the phone. However, I wanted to be able to separate the USB cables from the splitter rather than waterproofing them by gluing them together. So I found a small plastic case from some old electronics to cover the plugs.

So that's it. The splitter is permanently held in place with the epoxy, tomorrow I'll mount it and give it a go, although I'm still waiting for the proper cigarette lighter socket-to-USB adaptor to arrive in the mail. I'll post a few more pictures later in the week!

Here's two good tunes which are on my playlist (might not be to everyone's taste I know)

Tomorrow is the start of another week, I'm some 2 weeks behind in study now, but I hope to catch up this week.

I've been looking at the way I work my life recently, and picked out a few sucky bits which I figure this academic year I'll work on! Well, there's quite a number of things I want to do now, so I need to take some initiative to work on myself. I've also been made to realise that I was never that inspiring towards others, sure I was good at being supportive.. but there is a line drawn between being supportive and being inspiring. Well, so I've been led to believe...! Sorry I was not there for you... I'm sorry to the various pals I've "neglected" a bit over the last year or so, you're not forgotten =P

"Live the dream" .. as a good pal always says..

so LIVE THE DREAM! I won't be scared of stepping OUT of my comfort zone this year!!

Take care all,
Have a fantastic week - I know will!!

Stay Happy, don' be sad... happyyyyyy =)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Cheap as chips...

Heres a good one for you... the topic is cheap electronic items you can find on eBay.

It really has me beat on the whole "I dont understand how they sell something so cheap and tack on some really cheap postage and ship it from Hong Kong" analogy. Normally you can find bargain electronics for around 3 pounds upwards, even 2 pounds, and that might or might not include postage... these sellers are based in Hong Kong (and 95%+ of the items recieved actually come from Hong Kong with HK stamps and HK postmarks, there is a very small few that are actually shipped from China, but I haven't had one of those for a few years now)

Well im buying a cigarette lighter socket splitter that costs £1.04 including postage. Goodness knows where their returns are......... if I was to slap on some UK postage once it got here and send it back the other way, it'd cost more than £1.04.

Never mind packaging (They'll bulk buy envelopes but thats still money) or the actual product itself (which would include importation and transit costs from China into HK as well as material costs).

Soooo.... Any ideas?

P.s. the splitter is to install some creature comforts on Duke so I can power my phone and other bits and bobs.

P.s.s. the halogen bulbs that I bought for Duke that looked the "bees knees" sucked balls. Lovely to look into (and blind yourself) but absolutely sucky at night, if anything worse than the original BA20d bulb that went in there before. I'll get round to sorting it out at some point. Thankfully I am rarely out in the country at night so no bigg