Saturday, 23 November 2013

Cryptic Conversion

I didn't have anywhere specific to be today so I got out the cassette player, plugged in to the usb and converted another one to mp3. The last one I converted was Megadeth's Rust in Peace. But I went through the process again because it was a bit jerky and skipped a bit. I didn't listen to the whole album again because I wanted to convert Cryptic Writings as well. I hope it's better now. I noticed, while converting Cryptic, that the tape probably became magnetised. It started to slow near the end. So I played the song that was on the other side and then turned back to side 2 and continued with the conversion.  It worked, to some extent, but it might still be a bit jerky.  I'll clean the heads before I use it next. This is probably what caused the previous one to skip as well.
I also copied the converted mp3s from Rust in Peace to the micro sd card in my phone.  An opportunity to use a 21st century version of the Sony Walkman - my Xperia smartphone.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Gluten Update

A follow on from my post earlier this week. I'm still eating the weetabix, pasta and rolls. I can't afford to waste food so I won't go gluten-free until they are finished. I'll use the last of the bread rolls for my lunch tomorrow. But I bought a kg of pasta, which will last longer than expected. The aldi weetabix comes in packs of 36 and I put 2 in a bowl for breakfast, so obviously I got enough for 18 days. So we're talking another 2 weeks of breakfast with gluten in it.
But it's not all bad news. I didn't need to buy food today, but I did need to get a couple of things from the shop. So while I was in super valu I decided to check out the gluten-free alternatives. I thought gluten-free meant a bigger food budget because I expected them to be very expensive. That's the biggest worry for someone dependent on social welfare for income. But super valu do 500g packs of gluten-free corn pasta for 1.99. When I think of how long the 1kg pack of regular pasta I got is lasting, I could easily make the gluten-free last at least four days, if not more, as part of my dinners. There are also Thai noodles made from rice, which would go nice with stir-fries, although I never looked at the price. Then there's Mrs. Crumble's coconut biscuits. I used to get them from time to time when I lived in Waterford, if I fancied a snack. I didn't realise they are gluten free. The gluten-free bread packets are a bit on the small side. But all-in-all going gluten-free won't be as expensive as I thought when most of the food I normally eat anyway can still be eaten.
It's a relief to the mind to know that. It'll be a relief to my gut when I finally polish off the last of my current food stock that I won't be eating anymore.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Blood Test Results

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor because I had been having bowel trouble for the past year and, while I could function (only just, sometimes), it just didn't feel right. I told the doctor my symptoms and she scheduled blood tests and prescribed anti-diarrhea medication while I was waiting for the blood tests. I showed up at the surgery again for the blood tests and the nurse on duty took about 5 or 6 samples for the various tests. She scheduled an appointment with the doctor again for today to get the results.
I showed up and the doctor read out the results. Vitamin and Iron levels were, as she put it, perfect, cholesterol level was normal, white blood cells normal, thyroid function, liver, kidneys, all absolutely fine. I was actually going to be a bit disappointed if nothing showed up after all that and some days feeling weak and drained because of my bowel troubles. She came to the final blood test result, which was a test for coeliac disease and, lo and behold, a result! It came up positive.
One of the first things she pointed out to me when going through probable and possible effects of this, was that it can effect the function of the spleen. But she said there was nothing for me to worry about because, as I mentioned, my vitamin and iron levels were fine on the other blood test. She did say that one of the reasons I felt week some days was because my body wan't absorbing enough nutrients from food because of the diarrhea. But she said that I will have a normal and healthy lifespan once I completely cut out gluten from my diet, so I have nothing to worry about as a result of this diagnosis.
The doctor gave me a leaflet to explain what the condition is. It's an autoimmune disease where my body mistakes gluten for germs and produces antibodies to fight it. She said it's very common in Ireland. About 1% of people in the UK have it, but the percentage is far higher here in Ireland. So I have to cut out gluten from my diet completely. It's the only way to treat it. It's a bit of a problem at the moment. I bought pasta for my dinners for the week, I have rolls for my sandwiches for lunch and the Aldi weetabix I eat for breakfast has gluten. I have to eat all that before I can start the gluten-free diet. Gluten binge!
The doctor will refer me to a dietitian for the moment and check up on me herself in a couple of months. It isn't long ago that I was giving out about so many people going gluten-free in what I thought was just the latest health fad. "Why is everyone allergic to wheat all of a sudden?" I'd be saying. I've learned my lesson the hard way.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Visitor

I had a visitor in my bathroom last night. I got out the measuring tape just to give you an idea of the size of him. He looked a lot bigger than he was because of his leg span. His body was quite small in proportion to his legs. The yokes sticking out of his head were quite big in proportion to his head too, so if that's where his venom is, a bite would be painful I'd say.
I got a pint glass to get rid of him. I put it over him on the wall and he jumped towards my hand when he couldn't drop to the floor. But if he tried to bite in defence, it would've been useless against the glass. I slid a paper on to the top of the glass to stop him getting out and opened the bathroom window. I turned the glass upside down outside the window and released the paper, thinking he had dropped out the window sill... but no!. As I brought the glass back in he dropped out of the still upside down glass on to the inside sill and ran on to the cistern, where he paused again. So I popped the glass over him again, blocked him with the paper on it and took him out of the apartment, down the stairs.


Friday, 20 September 2013

Internship Update

If you read my earlier blog post you will know that I'm in a company that designs and manufactures solenoids. I just want to continue on from that and fill people in on my progress, since I haven't done a blog in a while. My current project is updating bills of materials for all the products. But I got another task today which means I have to put the BoMs on hold for a while. A drawing for one of the assemblies needed a revision to update a specification. It turns out that this spec. is on a number of different drawings that have the same type of assembly. So now all these drawings need the same revision. It's only a small revision, but the number of drawings makes it a time consuming task. This means my main project is put on hold briefly.
It's not too bad though. I still find it fascinating and I got to physically hold an actual sample of an assembly to get a better idea of what the drawings and bills of material represent. I keep it on my desk. I like that my projects keep me thinking of the structures and build processes of the products. It could get a bit boring in the early days because of waiting for what to do next. But these days, with my main task and the occasional extra side projects, it never gets boring despite sitting in front of a computer for most of the day.
I'm made to feel like a normal member of staff and I will soon have a bit more pressure because there will be deadlines to meet. But it's a good constructive environment to work in and getting up to speed to be able to do certain things within certain time frames (with leeway for unexpected delays) is all part of the learning process.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Audacity Of It

I was converting another tape to mp3 today. I got the device in the photo in Aldi. It's essentially a portable cassette player that connects to a computer via usb. The Audacity software is free to download and you can record in either mono or stereo and edit individual tracks. The thing is the sound quality in the tapes, that haven't been played in years, is quite poor and so the quality of the mp3 is poor. What I need is something to clean the heads of the player after they've gathered the dust and dirt that have collected on the tape. I also need to clean that spongey bit underneath the tape because that collects dirt first and there is a lot of it on the spongey bits of the tapes, as illustrated in the photo.
 'tis a very dark brown.
Can anyone tell me what is good for cleaning the heads of tape players, since I don't think the solutions can be got anymore? I don't think I need to worry about de-magnetizing the tapes because the player is able to play the tapes at normal speeds and they don't get caught and tangled in the heads. It's just the sound quality that's an issue and I did notice dirty tracks left on the heads by the tapes. So what's good for cleaning the heads of cassette players?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

CAD Technician Internship

I started an internship on the 15th of July 2013, as a CAD technician with a company that designs and manufactures solenoids and solenoid valves. The first week was just induction and introducing me to the workings of the place. This week I got down to the nitty gritty of the job.I was doing a spreadsheet for bill of materials and sorting out what parts needed new part numbers and drawings. I'm working with the Engineering manager and his co-workers in the office. I have my own computer in my cubicle. Previously I had worked for companies like this on the machines on the factory floor. My current situation makes a pleasant change. It's nice to be upstairs in a quiet office, rather than down on the factory floor where it can get quite noisy and the pressures of keeping machines running, parts within tolerance and getting parts finished by their deadline can all enhance the stress levels.
It is a Job Bridge internship. For those that don't know, job bridge is essentially an initiative to get long-term unemployed and youth unemployed back into the workforce. I work for the company for a defined period of time, as a trainee, and the Social Welfare increase my benefit by €50 per week. The company gets me for free. It might not sound fair at first, but learning on the job is better training than any college or Fás course. So when my internship is up, if the company don't wish to employ me, I will still be more employable and will most likely be able to get a good reference from them. It will also improve my C.V. For anyone outside of Ireland reading this, Fás is the Training and Employment Authority in Ireland (Foras áiseanna saothar).
I finally got to use CAD today. I have AutoCAD 2013, while some of the employees on the other end of the office have AutoCAD2000. Everyone will be upgraded in the office eventually. Speaking of upgrades, I'll be getting the engineering manager's computer when his new computer is installed. The one I'm on at the moment is old stock, brought back into service to get me up and running. The manager's is a better one than what I have and so AutoCAD will run better on it. There is barely enough memory to run it on my current one so it's slow and freezes momentarily on occasion. So I'm looking forward to getting a more powerful machine when the new computers are up and running.
When we finished sorting the revisions for the new solenoid designs, the next task was to give certain components new part numbers. This also meant that new drawings were needed. It was merely a case of taking the old versions of the components and modifying them and saving them as new files with new part numbers. The real pressure is getting them done in time for next week's deadline.The solenoids have industry-specific requirements and that is why they needed to be different specifications to the standard production models.
So far it is a very interesting job and a great learning experience. At the moment I'm not expected to know everything. This makes it a good working environment and I have the confidence of knowing I won't be looked down on if I need help. My boss tells me there is no such thing as a stupid question. I'm encouraged to ask so that I can learn. It is nice to be in that situation. Most paid jobs expect a new employee to know what they're doing immediately and training is minimal at best. So, overall I'm in a good place to learn and gain experience.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Andi Osho

Part of the reason I started following Andi Osho on twitter was because I think she's absolutely gorgeous. She is a very beautiful woman. Following her on twitter lead to me following her blogs. She had a "Love Watcha Got" blog about being happy with your lot (obviously) and feeling good about yourself. It was a very good insight into how we should all make the most of what we have and try to feel good about ourselves and be better people. As well as an interesting insight into her own psyche.
Her other blog was "East End to West Coast" about a girl from the East end of London trying to make it in the weird and wonderful (and sometimes not) world of L.A., aka la la land. The great thing about her blogs (especially the East End to West Coast one) was that she got to the point very quickly and it was always a good one. They were always a great read. Although I still favoured Love Watcha Got because at times it could be a lot funnier.
But now she just has the one blog and she does tend to waffle on a bit. They are very moany and down-beat and there isn't the light-heartedness (if that's a word) of the old blogs. I read the first couple of posts to the end, but it was an effort. Eventually I lost patience and stopped reading one about three quarters of the way through. I thought I waffled on a bit at times, but now I take a look at how long I have to scroll to see where the end of Andi's latest post is and I don't even bother to start reading. It's a pity that this gorgeous, funny, intelligent woman has lost the form as a blogger that she otherwise delivers with aplomb on stage.
She'll probably never read this, but I'll write my message to her anyway. Andi, bring back the type of blog posts you used to write. They used to be just short enough that I wouldn't lose patience and interest. They also had a good point to make and even in the most down-beat posts there was always something upbeat to lift the spirits and usually a witty passage that was true to the form of your public persona. Bring back the blogger that matches that wonderful smile as bright as the sun. You don't have to bring back the old blogs, just write the way you used to on the one you have now.
Ok so now I've waffled on a bit. But at least now people will understand how I feel.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

London's Wildlife

I just watched a very uplifting and positive nature documentary on London's wildlife. There was the wildlife you'd expect, such as pigeons, foxes, rats, etc. There was an old woman who got wild foxes to sit on command so that she could throw food to them from her window. But there were also many different fauna. Not just birds. There were peregrines and a couple of other raptors that hunt pigeons. I also saw a pelican eating a pigeon in a park in front of a combined human and bird audience. The pigeon was still struggling in the pouch of the pelican's beak and halfway down it's throat as the pigeon was eaten alive. Pigeons weren't the only birds under threat. There were terapins that hunted mallard chicks. There were foxes hunting seagulls on a landfill site as well. Deer in a park were some of the larger animals in London. But some unusual wildlife were parakeets, wild ones accidentally introduced. There were crayfish (a crustacean like a lobster, in case you didn't know) in the canals. There are even scorpions. Many animals came as stowaways on ships and others originated from escaped exotic pets.
I really got a feeling that, despite the impact our technologies, pollutants, population and wars have on the earth, if we look after our planet nature will renew itself and find a way to live alongside us. Not just in the countryside and jungles, but in our cities as well.
It was very uplifting and a nice change from the doom and gloom of climate change and exotic animals that might be extinct in our lifetime. It also got me thinking. If, like me, you don't have children and, unlike me, you would like to have them some day, don't see it as a failure if it doesn't happen. Think of the little bit of extra space it leaves, in our over-populated world, for another creature to have a chance at life. What if the creature that benefits is one of your favourite wild animals?
It was a lovely documentary about the non-human adapting and evolving ecology of the urban jungle.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

War Without Choice

This is the first song I ever wrote. It was written in 1994. I wrote the lyrics before I could play guitar and had an idea of what I wanted it to sound like. I found the right notes on the guitar when I was learning, some before I even knew how to play properly. Musically, it's pretty basic, especially the rhythm guitar. It's a heavy metal song, but it has a raw punky feel to it. As I say, I was only starting to learn the guitar when I wrote the music. Even the mid-section melody is kind of dissonant and discordant, but I think that adds to the intensity of the song, which the clean tone guitars might lack compared to the distortion sections otherwise.
Lyrically, the theme is as the title suggests. A soldier in a war that he did not choose to be in. The story line starts off with a merciless enemy attacking. The soldier in question reflects back on what turned out to be a bad career choice. He didn't have the education to get the jobs his well-to-do former school friends had, so he joined the army on an apprenticeship scheme. The intention was to gain his qualifications there and then get out and pursue a civilian career. But an unexpected war erupted and he had no choice when ordered to fight in it. The song continues with the soldier getting shot and the enemy showing no mercy.
I say "wrote" the music, but composed might be a more accurate word for when I originally came up with the music. I put the music to paper in the late 1990s/early 2000s. I revised the music recently and the current version, on paper, is more accurate to how I always played it. I also had a go at putting the first guitar solo to paper for the first time, when revising it recently. I had an idea of something inspired by Jeff Hanneman's solo in War Ensemble, but with a wah pedal, when I first wrote the song. I'm actually quite pleased with what I came up with now. I always knew what I'd do in my solo. But the song is written for two guitars. I take the second solo and the other guitar takes the first solo. What I came up with for the other guitar solo is still open to interpretation and feel, by the other guitarist but there are plenty of semi-quaver fiddly bits and some tremelo bar action, without a cliche dive-bomb. So I think it will definitely enhance the song with the right guitarist playing it.
The bass is not set in stone (or paper, for that matter). It's completely open to interpretation. It can be a Steve DiGiorgio-esque extravaganza, or it can be something that sticks stringently to what the rhythm guitar and drums are doing. I suppose the only rules for the bass are that it must not go off key or off tempo and must compliment, if not enhance, the song and it's theme.
I haven't written how the drums are to be played because I don't know how to write music for drums. But I can show a drummer exactly how I want them played. I've pretty much made up my mind on the drums for it.
Despite how basic it is, musically, it's one of my songs that I'm happiest with as it is.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

What Really Bugs Me

Some confusion of words and phrases can really bug me. I could understand it from people whose first language is not English. But when you get someone who was educated in English writing "Would of" instead of "would have" or "would've", that really gets on my nerves. Another is confusing "than" with "then". I heard a journalist, whose job it is to write reports in English for a newspaper, say something like "more then" instead of "more than" on the TV3 show Midday, the other day. It irritated me so much that I was going to email the show the following day to complain. What makes it all the more irritating is that the woman in question is very intelligent and explains topical and current affairs issues very well when she's on the show. Thankfully she (the journalist) wasn't on the following day, so I was not reminded of the irritation and never thought to email. I don't care if people think I'm being overly pedantic about the issue. I won't let people get away with it if I can help it. I have a photo to illustrate some commonly confused words & phrases. Unfortunately the difference between "apostrophe v e" and "of" is not in there.
That's my little rant over... for now!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Foreman Case Update

I did a complete overhaul of The Foreman Case, following the feedback I got on authonomy, and it seems to have worked. I got better feedback this time. It has been read by a couple of people but I have put a few more tweaks here and there. I haven't put the tweaks online yet. I'm fairly happy with it now, but I suppose I always feel I could do more with it. I have also had some inspiration for a spin off. I expect the spin off to be a better attempt at a novel as a result of the experience gained in the past few months.
But I went for a job interview yesterday. So that means I might not have the same amount of time to put into new material.
We'll see how things pan out.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Trying Out the Android Update

I'm trying out the latest update of the blogger app for android. I have had no major issues since the last update and gave it 5 stars on my google play review. Normally google products that are good like that, can be disappointing or have an annoying feature on the next upgrade. So hopefully that won't be the case with this, normally excellent, app. I notice you have to type the content on a separate screen from the title and labels screen - an unnecessary change - but I wouldn't drop a star if that's the only change. The 'view blog' is in the options menu now, instead of the home screen. Again, not a deal breaker. I'll publish this now and see what happens.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Rework or Complete Overhaul

I got feedback from Authonomy members about The Foreman Case. One guy said he was thrown by my writing style at first. He said it read like a film script. This was good, I thought, because I adapted it from my film script. He said my style was different. This was good. If all novels had the same feel things would get boring quickly. He didn't seem to have the courage to give a full critique though, because he wanted to wait and see what others thought before rating.That's not a bad thing. His intentions were in the right place.
The next bit of feedback was the critique I had been waiting for. A talented writer, whose work is very funny (albeit a different genre to mine), told me what was wrong and made suggestions as to how to fix it. I knew I took a gamble writing it the way I did but I got lazy about reworking at first after all the work I put into it before putting it online. Thankfully the guy told me that he could tell I put a lot of work into it. So that encouraged me to rework the novel to make it more appealing to the reader.
In order to make the changes needed, I'm not going to edit and rework the first draft. That would be too untidy. I'm going to rewrite the whole thing in a more appealing style and change the layout of the sequence of events in some places. The story will be the very same, just told in a different and less complex way. So the second draft shouldn't take as long as the first and will, hopefully, be easier for the reader to get drawn into.
Most of the first draft is still on the site, bar the first and last chapters, which I've taken down so as not to spoil important plot points and the ending for the reader. So it can still be mostly read in its first draft. But it will have a complete overhaul by the time I'm finished the second draft.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Looking to Get a Cover Done

So The Foreman Case is up on the authonomy website now. Go check it out. I don't to links on my blog so just google "authonomy" and search for "The Foreman Case" on the site. You don't need to register to read novels there.
I had a generic picture of a gun, such as the one in the photo, as my book cover. But I wasn't happy with it so I took it down and replaced it with one of the templates on the site.
I'd like to know if anyone can do a book cover for me that I can upload to the site. I had an idea of a gun with a silencer being pointed in a slightly open door. But maybe people could read the manuscript, or the plot synopsis on the website, and give me other ideas. Possibly do a drawing of what they think would be more appropriate. Any assistance would be appreciated and I would give credit where it's due by name dropping on the site if your picture becomes my cover.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Galaxy Y Young - Not a great phone

I don't know how the writing ended up like this but I'll persevere. 
I don't have the Google+ or twitter apps on my phone anymore. The available phone memory was so low that I couldn't update apps and I kept getting low memory notifications. The only way to free up memory was to reset the phone back to factory settings. I also formatted the sd card in the process. So I had to decide which apps to put back on my phone. I went for the ones I thought would be most useful. I left out twitter and Google+. The ones I decided I needed most on my phone were Google Drive, Adobe Reader, AutoCAD 360 and Blogger. I have CAD files stored in drive, that's why I put AutoCAD on it. I also updated the default apps on the phone. That is at least the third time I have had to do that since I got this phone. It has only the bare minimum specifications to be classed in the "smartphone" category. Someone with superior knowledge and technical experience of phones once put a post on Google+ that the Galaxy Y is the worst smartphone on the market in the developed world. I replied to his post saying I own the phone and had to agree with his statement. I read reviews of the phone on the vodafone website and the best reviews it got were from parents who had given one to their child and how it was a tough phone that survived the mishandling and being lost for several days. That is really who the Galaxy Y Young is a good phone for - A younger generation getting an introduction to smartphone use. For me, I need something better at this stage. I don't accidentally abuse it as a child would. I have to hold myself back from deliberately abusing it because of frustration at it's lack of performance and limited specifications at times though. I have had my introduction to smartphone use. I need something more from a smartphone now.
Just a little rant I needed to share with the world to get it out of my system. Now, if only I could afford to upgrade, even only as far as a Galaxy Ace 2 would be an improvement. My dream phone (all it'll ever be at this stage) would be the Xperia Z.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Sheet Music

I downloaded free music writing software. The basic usage was good but I was unable to put sharp, flat or triplet signs on it. I also mistakenly ticked on the download boxes for the other free software that came with it. One was a keyboard and the other two were mixing software. It all needed internet access to be used and I had no use for the mixing software so I uninstalled everything again after a half-hearted attempt to try it. Then I did a search for blank music & tab sheets for guitar and printed a single sheet, which is what you see in the photo. I got my pencil and rubber out, because biro would mean untidy scribbles and tipp-ex blotches over mistakes, and started writing. I can go over the finished article in biro later. It's a slow process. Maybe I'll try and download the music writing software again on its own and put in the triplet markings and sharps and flats myself with pencil first and biro when it's ready. It's only an experiment at the moment though.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Foreman Case - Book Script

I finished my film script entitled The Foreman Case the other day. Today I started writing it in book form as planned. I wrote an introduction, which was basically explaining how the story came about but not really starting to tell the story. I also wrote the first chapter, where the proper story telling begins. It takes a slightly different format to the film script. The film script starts off with the murder of Vincent Foreman. The book starts off with a bit of background to Vincent Foreman and his wife and next door neighbours and a client of Vincent's who is on the wrong side of the law. There is a lead up to the murder in the book. The background in the film script is dealt with much later as memories of some of the characters. A different approach but both versions ultimately tell the same story. So once you read the book you'll know the outcome of the film and vice versa. The only thing then is, if you read the book first will it be worth seeing the film, and if you see the film first will it be worth reading the book? I think the different ways of telling the story make it worthwhile trying both. Even if it's only to compare one with the other. I've often heard people say things like "the book was way better" or "it was exactly like the book" or " I would have chosen someone else to play such and such a character". Maybe one of the good things about the different ways of telling the story could be that it gets people talking. That would at least make yet another murder mystery a little bit more memorable.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Foreman Case is Closed

I finished writing my film script "The Foreman Case". It's about the investigation of the murder of a Lawyer - Vincent Foreman - hence the title. I wrote a couple of twists at the end and I wrote one sequence in a way that I hope will leave certain things open to interpretation. I'll read it through one more time and then I'll give it to a friend who is going to read it and give me her verdict. I hope to write it in book format as well because I can be far more descriptive about what imagery was in my head as I was writing. I wrote it as location neutral as possible so that it can be adapted and tweaked to suit a location that a potential film maker could see it in.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Wok Meal and Oil Choice

I bought a new wok the other day. I got to try it out for the first time today. I like cooking stirfry dinners because they're relatively quick and easy and I get myself involved in the cooking process because it's such a colourful meal. It could have done with a sauce though. Something to liven up the flavour a bit. But it was still nice though.
I prefer to cook with rapeseed oil rather than olive oil or sunflower. First of all there is less smoke. Also there is the fact that the brand I use is Irish. Olives and sunflowers are more suited to warmer, drier climates, so not so easy to produce here. Then there's the nutritional value of rapeseed oil. 99g of fat per 100ml might sound like a lot at first. But only 7.7g is saturated. The rest consists of poly and monounsaturates, omegas 3, 6 & 9. I'm told that olive oil has higher saturated values than rapeseed. Sunflower oil, while it's supposed to enhance flavours better, is supposed to have the highest saturates of the three. Don't know about the other 2 but rapeseed also has vitamin E. So all in all it comes across as quite healthy in my opinion.
So I'll stick with the rapeseed oil and look out for complimentary sauces next time. I won't go for anything too spicy (if spicy at all) anymore though. I like the taste of spicy food but my digestive system has been a bit sensitive of late so I have to be a bit careful about what I eat.
So now that I have a new wok, I'll make sure to use it more often and vary what have been kind of bland but easy dinners since moving to Listowel.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Foreman Case

I came up with a title for that script I'm working on. I decided to call it "The Foreman Case", for two reasons really. The first is that the guy who was murdered is called Vincent Foreman. The second is because the script is essentially about the investigation of his murder and people refer to the investigation as "the Foreman case" on a number of occasions. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the blog post entitled "New Script - Potential Mature Cert".

Monday, 11 March 2013

Taking a Break from Twitter

I'm going to deactivate my twitter account for a while. I'm going to give it a break. I'll only follow the right people for the right reasons in future. Family, friends, formula1 people etc.,  and maybe the odd celeb. Just in case you find some day that I'm not following on twitter anymore. It got to a stage where people would pick up on specific tweets or key words in my tweets and then assume that's what I was about and follow. A few days later they'd realise I said something in passing and unfollow. Stupid! I didn't protect my tweets on twitter so that I could interact with people who didn't follow me like Andi Osho, Venus Williams, Dara O Briain and Formula 1 drivers and teams. It was fun for that. But I'll protect them when I go back to twitter.
I'll be sure to follow my friend Raahatie when I go back.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Fantasy Custom Drumkit Parts List

This is a follow on from my earlier blog post about my fantasy drumkit and the prices. I want to give the full parts list. So here it is:
Drums:
(Sourced from SQ2) Double 24x20 Bass drums; 18x16 and 16x16 Floor Toms; 14x13, 13x12, 12x11, 10x10 and 8x8 Tom Toms; 13x6.5 Snare; (Sourced from an online dealer) 8" and 10" Rototoms.
Hardware:
(Sourced from SQ2) 2 Bass Drum Pedals; Hi-Hat Stand; 3 Cymbal Boom Stands; 2 Double Cymbal Stands; 2 Mini Boom Stands; Cymbal Tom Stand; Snare Drum Stand; 2 Double Tom Holders; Drummer's Throne; (Sourced from an online dealer) Set of 24 Drum Sticks; Rototom Stand; Gong Mallet M2; Gong Stand.
Cymbals:
(All sourced from an online dealer. All Paiste except O-Zone Crash which is Sabian) 22" Reflector Bell Ride; 16, 17, 18 and 19" Reflector Heavy Full Crashes; 8 & 10" Alpha Thin Splashes; 14" Sound Edge Hi-Hat Medium Top & Medium Heavy Bottom; 20" Rude Heavy & 16" Thin Chinese; 16" HHX Evolution O-Zone Crash.
Gong:
(Paiste, sourced from an online dealer) 20" Symphonic Gong.
All Cymbal's sounds were sampled on the Paiste website (and Sabian site for the O-Zone) before deciding on the final set. All Lugs, rings, tuning screws and heads for the drums are included with the drums in the SQ2 system.
If anyone ever builds my fantasy drum kit please let me know. I'd love to try it out. I reckon you could play almost any  metal song you ever wanted to on it. See the photo of the freehand scribble in the original post as a positioning/set up rough guide.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Crows: Random Christmas non-Tweets

I meant to do this blog post ages ago because what I'm writing about happened at Christmas. While staying at my parents' house for Christmas, I didn't have enough reception on my mobile for my twitter app. I had the Quick Office Pro app on my phone though. I don't have it now, but that's a different story. So I wrote what were essentially tweets that never made it on to twitter, on a Word document. I wrote them over a number of days, usually first thing in the morning and mostly before I got out of bed.. So what I'll do is post a link to this on twitter and that way anyone who wants to read random tweets can do so. I do say on twitter that I tweet random stuff and what was going on in my head at the time was quite random. But some of it makes sense. So here goes.

These are the tweets that never made it on to twitter:
I can hear crows outside (This was the first one and why I called the file "Crows").
Mom is on the phone to somebody.
I heard crows again this morning.
Norma's daughter is watching Lady & The Tramp.
I ate the Christmas dinner at Fiona's. I was so stuffed and bloated after it, but that's a good thing.
Magpies are like giant wagtails.
Dad is outside sawing wood.
I'm finally managing to pass the waste from the Christmas dinner. It took 2 days for my digestive system to process it all because I ate so much.
I'm in Listowel. Came in with Mom. I also met Patrick.
Norma's daughter and Fiona are here in the kitchen fooling around with pictures and crayons.
I must make tea and charge my phone.

So that's what I may or may not have tweeted over Christmas. Just something random I thought I'd share with the world. I didn't know what I'd do with that information at first until I decided to keep it and write a blog post of tweets that never made it to twitter. I will have deleted that file by the time you read this. It's only cluttering up my phone now.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Thank You

I was going over the settings in my blog and decided to check viewer and reader statistics and comments. There was a definite spike around June of last year. That might have been the time I was trying to promote the blog more because I tried to monetize my blog. There was as sudden a drop in the latter half of last year. Viewer statistics have risen again since I removed the ads. I also looked at the geographical statistic and, amazingly, Russia was highlighted on the world map. So it's not just where relations and people I'm aware of that have viewed my blog at least once. Even though the numbers are small, I have had more viewers and readers than expected. So I would just like to take this opportunity to thank anyone who either viewed my blog, read at least one post,  follows my blog or those who took the time to comment. Thank you people.
I know the subject matter can be a bit random and non-specific at times and I can ramble and drift off into tangents. But if you think anyone you know would like to read what I have to say on a particular post or a particular subject, please feel free to let them know. The one cautionary thing I will say is that I have it at family and SFW settings. So keep comments family friendly and SFW as well or they won't be seen.
Thank you for allowing this introverted man to be briefly noticed internationally.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Computer, Internet and Writing

I got my computer back from storage and it wouldn't work. When I plugged it in, the on light came on and it made strange beeping noises. I looked it up on the mobile internet and it could have been anything from terminal to a minor repair to a loose connection. This upset me more than the prospect of having no tv channels. I discovered that I didn't need a saorview digital box for my tv afterwards and that softened the blow of a malfunctioning computer a little bit. But I would have preferred the computer to be working for 2 reasons. The first is obvious - the internet. Updating profile info, catching up on emails, facebook and looking for jobs when I'm ready to start going for interviews again. The second reason is that I got into the hobby of writing. I blogged about a script I was working on earlier. It's not finished and I need a computer to work on it and save my progress. If I didn't have tv to distract me I would spend more time writing.
I took my computer down to the local internet place because they do repairs. The guy took my details and said he'd call me the following day. I went back to my apartment and wasn't long settled in front of the tv when he called me back and said it was done. I went down later that evening and he said he tested it a couple of times and that I shouldn't have any problems with it. He said that the ram wasn't connected properly. I took it back to my apartment. Rather than hauling it up the street in my hands, I took it there and back in a suitcase with the computer wrapped in bubble wrap inside. When I got back to my apartment and plugged it in nothing happened. It was nearly 6pm by then so I had no time to take it back before closing. I paid €30 for nothing.
The next day I took it back and there was a different guy there. I showed him my receipt and told him the story. He plugged it in and it worked straight away! I took it back to the apartment and again... nothing! No power. I tried a different lead and different sockets to no avail. I took it back with the lead (which I knew wasn't the problem). He tested the lead and it worked fine. So he tried the computer again. This time it didn't switch on. He disconnected and re connected the power unit from the motherboard and it worked when he plugged the computer in again. He said it might have been the vibration of wheeling it in the suitcase or that the power unit is on its last legs. So I lifted it and carried it back to the apartment. It's working now, but if it goes again I'll know that the power unit needs replacing because I avoided the vibration of wheeling it back to the apartment and it worked when I got back.
So I topped up my credit in the usb internet stick today and I now have a working computer and an internet connection. Good times!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Television

I moved to a new apartment a month ago. I didn't get my tv back from storage until this week. There's a unit on the wall with 2 connections for ariels. I plugged the tv in and didn't expect to get a signal without a digital box, but I decided to see what would happen if I tuned it. Tried the cable tv option on my tv menu and tuned. Nothing happened. So I did the full search option for digital and analogue channels. Again nothing. So I plugged into the second ariel jack and tried again. Still nothing. I noticed that there was an air option, as opposed to the cable one I had tried already. So I gave it a go. No channels detected again. I didn't expect anything from putting it back in the first jack and trying the air option. But sometimes you do something "just in case". It looked like it wasn't doing the full search on autotune so I stopped it to see if it was doing it right. When I stopped it RTE1 was on my tv screen! This was a pleasant surprise. So I restarted the search for digital and analogue channels. 18 digital channels were detected - 8 tv and 10 radio. So now I have RTE1, RTE2 HD, TV3, TG4, 3e, RTE News Now, RTE Junior and RTE 1+1 tv channels. I also have RTE radio 1, radio 1 extra, 2fm, Lyric fm, Radio na Gaeltachta, RTE Pulse, 2xm, RTE Choice, RTE Gold and RTE Chill/Jr digital radio stations. All this without the need for a saorview digital box thanks to investing in a modern full HD flatscreen tv 17 months ago. I'll miss the British channels for things like Formula 1. But I can't complain because of what I get for my licence fee now.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Missed Opportunity

Got word about a job in Bray before Christmas from a recruitment agency. I waited a month to hear more and nothing came of it. So I moved out of Waterford anyway because when I'm dealing with companies directly they don't normally take that long and I can assume the job is taken. While I was waiting for my social welfare to be transferred from Waterford the recruitment agency got back to me about the job in Bray. I did a phone interview with the company and a meeting was arranged for the following Friday. I couldn't make it because I still had no social welfare money. It was postponed to the following Wednesday. Wednesday came and I still couldn't go because my social welfare still hadn't transferred. I had ran out of phone credit so I couldn't call the recruitment agency. So this made me look bad to the potential employer when I couldn't go for the interview even though it wasn't my fault. You could argue that I wasn't driven enough to make it happen. But it was all done through the recruitment agency. They are too slow to make things happen. If an interview was arranged when I was first told about the job in December I'd be working there by now. A Lesson was learned. It's a missed opportunity. But hopefully in a month or so I'll be in a better position to travel for job interviews again. I'll push to deal with companies directly in future.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

New Script - potential mature cert

I was bored one evening during Christmas because I didn't have enough reception to use my twitter app and there is no longer an internet connection at my parent's. Also, I don't have any games on my phone. So I decided to try the word processor on my quick office pro app on it.
I started writing a new script. I decided to start off with a sex scene to get a potential audience to take notice. Then the guy gets murdered after the woman he met on a dating website leaves. The man's wife (a different woman) and children come home later and discover the body. What follows is the murder investigation. It delves into racy internet dating websites, strippers, criminal gangs feuding and prostitution.
The lead detective is a divorced man going through a mid-life crisis. He visits the strip club and later, when they find out their main suspect (the woman in the sex scene at the beginning) used to be a glamour model and might be a high class call girl, the detective visits a prostitute to cure his own sexual frustration. I'm not holding back on adult themes for the sake of a wider audience so that what it says has more of an impact.
Normally I don't write about these themes on this blog, but I'm just explaining what's going on in the script and not going to go into too much detail here anyway. I'm reaching the point where there are a couple of interesting reveals and twists now. It's a good bit away from being finished yet but I hope I can write the twists well enough that when they are revealed the audience will still want to stay and see what happens.
I don't have a name for it yet.

Friday, 18 January 2013

New Apartment

I finally got out of Waterford. I'm in a posh apartment in Listowel now for far more reasonable rent. Most of my stuff is in a storage unit in Waterford until I start getting paid in Listowel. The Apartment has a bedroom and shower room upstairs and a downstairs toilet and kitchen/living room downstairs. It's nice. As you can see from the photo, I haven't brought my tv back from storage yet. That's my portable dvd player.