Update: This Time It’s Personal!


So I’ve not posted in quite some time, If you are some kind of crazy fan of my blog and you have been checking this blog daily then you haven’t seen very much. I’ve been really busy with work and that means that I’ve not really posted anything…
This may or may not change, I’m still really busy with work, but with different work!


OK maybe not tomorrow… More like a month ago… But you get the idea.

I’ve gone from working for a small to medium UK based company to working for an enormous company based in Silicon Valley, like seriously I was at their main office a few weeks ago and it’s bigger than Disney Land, they even have a turtle pond.

This is really exciting, and it means that I’ll be really busy working learning a hell of a lot of new stuff, but I’m the master of my own time, so long as I deliver I can choose how and when I work which is nice…

In my last job I was almost alway juggling 4-6 customer projects at any time which meant that I was almost always working on something that needed my attention RIGHT NOW, I’m moving to working on a single product just adding features and fixing bugs so hopefully I won’t be in crunch mode all the time and I’ll get a chance to actually have a life…

Work/Life Balance… It’s important!

I’m really excited about this, but it’s also really scary as almost everyone I work with is 8 hours ahead of me, so I don’t really have anyone to ask questions of when I get stuck. This is both a challenge and an opportunity, I’m going to get a hell of a lot better at learning stuff myself…

Anyway… I felt the need to post something as I’ve been ultra quiet for way too long. I’m going to try to post more often, and I’m going to try to not have all my posts be image dumps of Disney Princesses…

If you are a regular reader and you just want my geeky stuff I say so and I’ll try and work out some way to allow you to just see that and not all the other crap I plan on posting. That said this may be the last personal post I ever do and it might be nothing but Pokémon dressed up as Disney Princesses performing Water-Bending forms from Avatar from here on out…

NaNoBabble Day 3

I am trying to keep my NaNoBabble to a minimum, partly because I know most of the people who read this couldn’t care less and partly because every word I write about NaNoWriMo is a word that could have been added to my word count for NaNoWriMo

After a fairly good start, having written about 1,800 words at midnight on Thursday and about the same after work, I didn’t write very much if anything on Friday because we had people round.

I’ve now managed to scrape enough words to make me almost on track for the end of today (Sunday) even though it’s only 1AM and I’m about to go to bed. I need to do this because I’m heading through to Edinburgh to go to the Zoo and then a Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert in the evening. The net result is going to me not having much time if any to write tomorrow.

So what am I writing about? I’ve got three characters in mind:

  • My main character is a guy who can’t be sent on to the next life because they can’t find his paperwork, so he gets sent back to earth and can’t die until his paperwork is located.
  • Another character is a demon who works for an organisation that collects resources which is distributes to find plots to destroy the world.
  • My third character is a fake Wikka girl, who accidentally summons the second character because she’s not really paying attention while her friends and her try to perform a ritual to make boys like them

The whole thing is tongue in cheek, and so far I’ve only written from the point of view of the first character.

I have just written a really dull conversation which I’m going to probably have to rewrite in it’s entirety to make it snappier, but for NaNoWriMo it’s the word count that matters….

Close of day 3 start of day 4 my word count is sitting at 6,457 which I think is more than I wrote for last year’s NaNo in it’s entirety.

Anyway it’s bedtime now, otherwise I’m not going to go to the Zoo tomorrow, and that would be tragic.

Subversive Arabic Breast Cancer Awareness AD

This is actually quite clever, the ad shows a number of young Saudi (I presume) men who have been asked to publicly ask women to expose themselves, using the word Ikshifi (Arabic fonts don’t work on my blog due to an unresolved DB issue) they are really coy about it and a lot of them refuse to say it out right.

Initially you’d think from the way that they are talking and the common use of the term that they are asking the women to take off their hijab. But towards the end it becomes apparent that it’s a play on words, the Arabic for expose is also the Arabic for examine. A heartfelt request for women to get their breasts examined for breast cancer closes the video.

It got me watching it because I thought it might be about something else. Hopefully it has the desired effect.

Why Don’t More Phone Manufacturers Make KeyBoards/GamePads?

Sony patent suggests an Xperia Play with dual keyboards, it's slidingly slidable

I saw this post on Engadget about a Sony Patent for a phone that had both a QWERTY Keyboard and a Gamepad, I’d love that. I blog from my phone, and I’ve also tried writing on my phone (I think this was during last years NaNoWriMo) so I’d love to have a QWERTY Keyboard that allowed me to see more text and type faster. I also play a lot of casual games on my phone and I’m not 100% sold on touch as a means of control for some of them. Particularly platformers, you just need a D-Pad and Jump buttons and shoe horning them onto a touchscreen is irritating, this is why I’ve not really played FF III on my iPad, it just hurts the pads of my fingers to play it for any amount of time.

If you aren’t going to include on on the device at least sell an addon that allows you use one externally. If I had an iPhone I’d probably have one of these things:

Although the orientation of the buttons would annoy me a little, keyboards are not meant to be a grid…

I guess now Android has support for USB controllers, but as far as I can tell no one is making them… I was to emulate classic games on my phone that is more powerful than the computer I had 10 years ago god-dammit!

There is this Gametel Portable Games Controller for Android but it’s ugly as sin:

Pop Art/Lichtenstein Video Tutorials

While randomly surfing the net I cam across the Images above and wondered what the source was it turns out someone at LADY ART LOOKS has put together a tutorial on how to do Pop art and Lichtenstein make-up. Since that seems to be the number one driver of traffic to my blog I’ve decided to put the tutorial here:

I also found another two tutorials so I’ve posted them here too:


This week has been a Cat-astrophe…

My head isn’t working today, and I can’t be arsed with anything. Thankfully it’s Friday and hopefully the end of a very stressful week. I’ve been in and out of the vets almost every day since Sunday. Ada was ill on Saturday night and she started vomiting bile every few hours and retching constantly. She was also completely refusing food and water, so on Sunday morning we took her into the emergency 24 hour vet clinic. They took her ran some tests and kept her over night for observation. Tests showed nothing, which thankfully meant that she hadn’t eaten anything poisonous but she still wasn’t eating.

I went to pick her up from the vets on Monday morning in order to transfer her to her regular vet. But it turns out Monday was a bank holiday and her regular vet was off. The vet at vets now said that she was hydrated and that she would be okay to take home, but that we were to try and get her to her regular vet the next morning.
So we did that, the vets sedated her and X-Rayed her but couldn’t see anything. Although the vet did feel something odd in her tummy, she asked for permission to do an investigative procedure to have a look and see what it was, which I course gave them, and thank god I did.

Ada had apparently swallowed about a metre of string which had gotten caught on her tongue and had gone all the way through her stomach and into her intestines, causing them to compress of concertina. no wonder she’d been vomiting and refusing food…

The vet cut her open and took it out and now she’s got a lovely big scar on her tummy and stitched to keep it closed. We then had to take her to Vets now so she could be kept under observation for the over night, then back to her vets in the morning, and then back home that evening.

They gave us a slew of medications we had to give her, none of which she seems to like. but we manged to get them mostly into her on Wednesday. On Thursday morning after giving her 2 out of 4 medications she was looking really worn out and refusing food again, so we took her into the vet and they kept her in all day, we picked her up took her home and she was much much perkier. We managed to feed her and get her to sleep. It looks like all is well with her.

Meanwhile Tiffin our other cat has been going mental, he’s used to having another cat about the house to play with and he’s been very lonely and thus mewing constantly, and playing with everything, even things he knows he shouldn’t.

Last night Tiffin jumped from the sofa onto the top of the living room door, in doing so dislodged the wedge keeping the door open which made the door slam shut, with his tail in it. He hung there for about a second before he dropped to the ground and was very panicky, he also seemed not to be moving his tail at all, in fact it was just flopping about, twitching every now and then.

We panicked and thought oh no not another cat crisis! but thankfully as we were on the phone to Vets now Tiffin’s tail started to look like it might be better. They said it should be okay to leave it to the morning and if need be take him in then. We waited and thankfully this morning his tail seems as right as rain.

All that remains now is to keep Ada calm and sedated and stop her from climbing all over things and rupturing her stitches. Which is very difficult, Ada likes to climb everything. So much so that the vets nicknamed her “Spider Monkey” while she was staying there…

Fingers crossed it will all work out.

All in all this has cost about £1,500 in vets bills and countless hours of lost sleep, I’ve maxed out my credit card to pay for this because it’s happened at the end of the month. Thank god we have pet insurance otherwise I’m not sure what we would have done otherwise.

This week has been crazy stressful, I’m leaving for London in 2 hours for a work do, which hopefully should be fun. Annabel has her parents coming to stay for the evening on their way down so there are people about in case anything else goes wrong.

To be honest I just want to lie down and do nothing for a very long time (5 minutes would do)…