Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The prodigal blogger returns.

I've not posted a blog in over 3 weeks now, and I have many a good reasons for this long delay.

  • I've been busy with work (I'm now an assistant manager, so I've been training for that position).
  • I've been hanging out with my friend Anthony, playing on Fallout 3 (an amazing first-person role-playing game).
  • My gran died, so I've been dealing with that, was up in Glasgow this weekend for the funeral, etc.
  • I've just been plain lazy and everytime I've sat down to blog, I got distracted (there are plenty of half finished blogs in my drafts section).

So, this blog is just to let everyone know I'm doing fine, and that I should be back to my blogging self soon enough. I've got enough material to keep the blogs coming, and they should last me around two or three weeks. Also, there are a few ideas bouncing around in my head that will need to materialise into drafts before I forget them. Lol.

That's all for now, I shall continue again tomorrow when I'm not so tired, take care y'all.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Foo Fighters - New Way Home

Monday, 27 October 2008

UK Bloggers

A couple of days ago, my good friend Ema (link to her blog here) created a forum for UK bloggers. It's still in it's developing stage, and there are currently only 4 people registered on it, but all you British bloggers out there should go over and sign up and join the community. There's a link by clicking the banner below.

Go check it out. My screen name over there is Mr-Writer. I look forward to getting to know you all that little bit better.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Jay-Z & Linkin Park - Jigga What/Faint

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Anton du Beck

So the past couple of nights have been awesome. Just been hanging out with my best friend Anthony. He's awesome, we have such a good laugh together.

Wednesday night we had Subway and then went back to his to play on the PS3 for a bit, and just chilled out. We played CoD4, and he kicked my ass with that, although I got a few good kills back, lol. Then we played GTA where we kept knocking things over and just generally wrecking our cars in it, was fun though.

Thursday night we'd planned to go to the cinema, but couldn't decide which film to go see. It was a toss up between Burn After Reading, Eagle Eye and Taken. Well, we arrived too late to go see Burn After Reading, and we had no idea what Taken was about. So we went to go see Eagle Eye. We had Pizza Hut (sorry, Pasta Hut) beforehand, and just talked for a while.

He's been my best friend for 4 years now, so I was looking at all my photos, and found a few of just the two of us, so decided to upload a kind of crude timeline to see how we've both grown over the years.

NOTE: this timeline starts from July 05 (apparently, cameras weren't invented before then).

From top left:
July 05 - Friend's 17th Birthday at Nandos restaurant. It's been commented we look like old men in this one.
November 05 - Anthony's 18th Birthday at my house. Yes, I threw an 18th birthday party for him.
December 05 - At a New Years Eve party, we look so thrilled to be there. It was the first of 2 parties that night.
March 06 - Friend's 18th Birthday. Look at the height difference between us, you can really tell it here.
May 06 - Friend's 17th Birthday. My hair looks awful here ... just awful.
July 06 - A random day at my house. We had a picnic (not just us two) and the girls decided to take a picture of us talking on the blanket.
November 06 - Anthony's 19th. Yes, we are holding the same flower in our mouths, how cool are we!
January 07 - Another birthday party. Stupid faces are an element in our photos, this is also one of the last photos before Anthony decided to grow a beard.
January 08 - The same person's birthday a year later. This is my favourite picture of us two. It almost looks professionally done.
September 08 - Annual end of summer party at mine. I was quite drunk at this point, Anthony wasn't. You should have seen the first picture taken.

So that's a glimpse into our past few years. And hopefully there'll be plenty more to come in the future. :)

Ciao. x


Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Tattoos and such

Sorry it's been a week guys, but I've been mega busy with work and stuff. Yeah, I started full-time so I've been exhausted at nights. I sit down ready to blog and then I just can't be bothered, but I've got into the swing of things now, so I should be okay from now on.

Just a quick blog to say I'm thinking of getting a tattoo now (after around 2 years of um'ing and ah'ing), and have a design in mind. I got it from a website, and then I just altered it a bit to suit myself more. There's a picture below of my version, criticisms welcome :)

Yeah, tell me what you think, and leave comments about your own tattoos.

Oh, and another note, I've got the new Keane album and Kaiser Chiefs' one too. They're pretty awesome, a lot better than their previous ones, but like I said in my previous blog not as good as their first albums. They have got quite a few catchy songs though, I can see myself loving these songs in the future. I'll leave you to your own thoughts now.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Kaiser Chiefs - Always Happens Like That

Monday, 13 October 2008

Coming soon to a stereo near you.

Right, so we've established that I live for music (in fact, I just got back from a gig, The Subways, and it was frigging awesome!), and while flipping through one of the music magazines that I buy, I came across the "future releases" section, and noticed quite a few albums that I can't wait to be released, and they're all Indie bands, excellent!

13th-Oct: KEANE - Perfect Symmetry.

I love Keane, they might not be one of my favourite bands, but they're a band I would search for to listen to. Their first album "Hopes and Fears" was amazing, I could listen to it on repeat for hours. Their second album "Under The Iron Sea" had a few good songs on, but all in all, wasn't as good as the first (personally I think their sound changed slightly). I'm hoping though, that they've turned this round and that this album is going to bring back the sound that I've always associated with Keane.

20th-Oct: KAISER CHIEFS - Off With Their Heads.

Kaiser Chiefs are another band like Keane. An amazing indie band with some awesome songs. But like Keane, I think they bombed out with their second album. "Employment" was full of bouncy songs that were very memorable, but "Yours Truly Angry Mob" was somewhat, forgettable. Don't get me wrong, there are some great songs on that album, but not as many as on Employment. I've not yet heard any songs from the album and I'm hoping that it's going to live up to my expectations.

28th-Oct: SNOW PATROL - A Hundred Million Suns.

Now Snow Patrol are one of my favourite bands, and I've been waiting for this album since they released their last album in 2006. Now unlike the previous two bands I've mentioned, I think Snow Patrol have gotten better. I don't really like much off their first two albums "Songs For Polar Bears" and "When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up". I thought "Final Straw" was very good, but then when "Eyes Open" came out the songs on that album were amazing, I thought they were so moving, with a mixture of fast, slow and emotional songs. I've heard one song from the new album, and I think it's going to raise my expectations of the band, and I will definitely be going to their concert when they announce it!

25th-Nov: THE KILLERS - Day & Age.

The Killers, an indie band from Las Vegas, NV. Now I wouldn't have thought a band from the middle of the desert would have made it so big over here, but they have. Their first album is by far the best though. A lot of very popular songs, but they are great indie tracks. I love them. Their second album wasn't as good as their first, but still had some good tracks. Let's just hope that they can create some more number 1s in this new album.

So as you can see, before the year is out, I'll have a lot more indie music to listen to, and I can't wait. Ha!

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Keane - Somewhere Only We Know

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A non-virtuous day.

Tonight, I was in a chatroom and we got to talking about sins and religion. So, being a subject I was always fascinated with, I brought up the seven deadly sins, and the fact that over a course of a day most people will commit at least one of these sins. I started to think about the comment that I had made, really thinking about it, and came to the conclusion that today, I had commited all seven of these deadly sins! How you ask? Well, the sinful details are below.

Picture by PimpcessTyna.

So, this one is really easy to fulfil, especially for a teenage male (well, early twenties). There's a few nice young ladies that come into work with their boyfriends while they bet. Yeah, I guess I had a few impure thoughts about them, and my colleague, who ... well ... probably has them about me too!

Yeah, this is me all over. I don't eat because I'm hungry, I eat because I'm bored. That definitely happened at work today. I got like 4 portions of chicken because I had nothing better to do. Yeah, label me gluttonous.

I suppose this is what happened when I got home, I've been wanting this computer game for a while, but instead of just buying the one computer game, I bought multiple ones just because they were similar. Pretty sure that's greedy.

Yeah, I'm always slothful. I always fail to get up before midday, it's like an impossible task for me. When I'm off work all I ever want to do is stay in bed (where it's nice and warm) and watch DVDs all day.

So this guy comes up to put a bet on, and after we've taken the bet he asks us if it's void, so we say no (because it wasn't). After the race has finished, and his horse has lost, he comes back up to say that it must be void, because it was after the race had started. I try to calmly tell him that there are a few seconds leeway in which the bet will not be voided. He starts arguing, so I start arguing back, and it ended up in a pretty heated argument. Very wrathful!

I work in a place where people win loads of money, I think this one is a given :).

When I got to work, I went into the staff room, and kept restyling my hair because I didn't like how it looked. I have to look good otherwise I just don't feel that upbeat and happy. I have to take pride in myself.

So as you can see, I've been quite sinful today. There are the seven virtues, but I doubt I managed to get any of them into todays events, maybe tomorrow I will do. We shall see.

Ciao. x


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

¿Hablas Español?

Sí, pero sólo un poco.

In case you don't know what the title or that first line means, it's basically "Do you speak Spanish?" and "Yes, but only a little."

So, today in work we had this guy in that was betting, he was obviously foreign and spoke little English. That which he did speak was very broken. Now, for those of you who don't know, I work in a betting office, and we have these fill-in coupons for the football. So this guy comes up to the counter and tries to ask us something in broken English, I could make some words out like "football", but the rest kind of evaded me. So he then said "Do you ... erm ... hablo Español?" So, me being the smart-arse I am decided to say yes (in Spanish of course). He then preceded to ask me this question in Spanish. At this point the whole shop had gone quiet waiting for my reply. Obviously I couldn't make out exactly what he was saying, but I got the gist of the question, and managed to answer him correctly.

Now at this point I had gone bright red, which isn't very attractive with a blue shirt on. So I just wanted him to leave, so I could calm down and go back to speaking English, but he wouldn't leave, he kept talking to me. I managed to still make most of it out though, which is awesome!

Now, this story proves that even though it's been 4 years since I learnt any Spanish, it obviously still stuck with me over those years (I haven't really been to Spain either). So I must thank my high school Spanish teacher for that, and the fact that I didn't embarrass myself while speaking to this guy.

Ciao. x


Saturday, 4 October 2008

Music, funny thing isn't it?

Wouldn't you agree? Just the fact that a song can bring so many emotions over you, and remind you of things in an instant is just a testament to today's musical artists. Recently, I've found that quite a few songs give me chills just by listening to them. Whether it's because of the composition of the music, or the memories that it brings back I'm not quite sure. All I know is that it hits my heart when I hear it. The most recent one was Talk by Coldplay. Now, I only realised this on Tuesday night whilst watching an episode of CSI. Maybe it was because of the tone of the program, or because any Coldplay song reminds me of a certain person (whom I know is reading this), but it still gives me that feeling, giving me goosebumps and everything.

Music. It means a hell of a lot to me. So much so that I'm near enough always listening to music, and if I'm not listening to anything, you can bet your arse that I've got something playing in my head, lol. Yeah, I'm weird, but it really does mean a lot to me. Even if it's just in the background, it gives me a sense of security. Recently, I've been acquiring a lot of music, and I'm edging my way towards 1000 albums (currently, I'm at 816) and I'm at 11,582 tracks. That might seem a lot to some people, but to me it's not. I'm always wanting more and more music. I guess I'm addicted to music. At least I'm addicted to something that will enrich my life, rather than destroy it.

Yeah, that's enough ramblings about music. I might post something else about my love for music sometime in the coming week.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Deviant enough for you?

So guys, I have a Deviant Art account now with a few photographs I took a couple of years ago. I've altered them slightly (in an artistic way of course) and put them up there. Go and take a look, leave a couple of comments if you so wish to.

So go take a look if you want to.

Ciao. x


Saturday, 20 September 2008

All change.

I've noticed over the past months that most of my social sites have had a revamp in their layout and design (I guess we can thank the forthcoming of Web 2.0 for this). Most of them are a lot more sleek and aesthetic than their web counterparts, but some are chunkier and quite difficult to navigate, and others have completely changed (their content mainly). Below I've took the five main social sites in that I use and criticised/praised them on their changes, shown in chronological order.

1. Myspace

So Myspace was the first of these sites to change, and this happened sometime in late 2007, early 2008. Honestly, I can't remember the old Myspace layout all that well, but I do like what's happened with it. I love how you can reorder the boxes on your main page, and minimise them too. The multiple profile skins is a nice touch as well, giving you your own identity to even your home page. I can't really see anything negative about this at the moment, they even had the choice for you to switch back to the old layout at first (which has since disappeared). But it's a decent layout, and not too hard to navigate.
SCORE: 8/10

2. Last.Fm followed suit in around July 2008. First off, they released the new version of the site as a beta, and only to selected users (I was one of these users). It's a good layout, but there are some down points. I'll address the positive points first though. A huge plus is the real time charts. The old charts only used to update every week, and sometimes wouldn't update until the Tuesday (even though the cutoff time was Sunday). With the real time charts it's easier to compare music with other people. It's also easier to keep track of all your play lists, etc. The negative points are the fact that there was NO option to revert back to the old layout which for some people was obviously devastating (judging by the number of groups labeled "Bring Back Old"). Another annoying aspect was the fact that instead of the weekly charts, we now have the rolling seven-day chart. I LIKED THE WEEKLY CHART, some people can't see why, but it was just nice to see how your music taste changed from one week to the next.
SCORE: 7/10

3. Facebook

Facebook, well, they originally started the changeover sometime in May 2008, but only recently converted completely to the new version (a couple of weeks ago). There have been a LOT of complaints about this (many people's statuses have been "xxx hates the new Facebook"), although I can't see their problem. I've only encountered one dislike with it, and that's the fact that the default on a profile's wall is "all posts", it would be so much better if it was "posts by other people" (and I emailed Facebook and told them so). Overall though, it's much easier to navigate, there is no news feed now (well, there is, but it's in with the wall). A profile is much simpler now, and doesn't take as long to load because of the thousands of applications people have, these are all conveniently on the "boxes" tab. The newly added applications toolbar is a much applauded development, no matter where I am on the site now, I can with two clicks, go to any of my applications, bravo to the developers for that. Overall it's pretty streamlined, and I can't see why people are annoyed at the developers for the changeover.
SCORE: 9/10

4. Stickam

Okay, so Stickam seem to change their layout every couple of weeks, but this latest layout is just under a week old, AND I HATE IT! I can see why they replaced the previous navigation of separate sub-menus, it's easier to navigate to each part of the site from every single page now, but why did they have to change the little section with the live friends and new comments, etc. I've found that sometimes it doesn't even work, I liked knowing how many people I had live without having to click anywhere, it's now just more effort for me. It takes too long to load now, I could load Facebook around 10 times before Stickam loads, which to be honest if quite pathetic. But not to worry, they change it so much that it'll be a totally different layout in another couple of weeks, I just hope I can last that long with this layout.
SCORE: 3/10

5. Twitter

Finally, it's Twitter, who changed their layout on Thursday I believe. Overall, not much has changed. The navigation is now on the side instead of on the top, and the tweets are more spaced out, which I guess is easier for reading. It's also easier to find the @ replies (as there is a whole separate tab for them!) So even though it's only changed slightly, I'd say it's changed for the better. It now reloads the tweets without reloading the page, which is a lot faster than it was previously.
SCORE: 6/10

So, after the criticism of my most visited social sites, it's easy to see that the clear winner for me is Facebook (although millions of Internet users will disagree). Overall, the updates are well thought out, with just a few minor glitches, so I say roll on Web 2.0. You're much sleeker and nicer than the original Web.

That's enough of my ramblings now, lol.

Ciao. x


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Time for a revamp.

It's that time again. I'm part of this social community website called Stickam, and nearly every month I redo my profile. It's just something to keep myself from being bored, expressing my creativity, and giving my friends something different every once in a while.

When I usually design the graphics and everything, I usually go for something modern, minimalistic with bold colours (usually containing a lot of black).

This time though, I'm going for something slightly more subtle, more elegant but slightly grungy. I'm also going to move away from the safety of my favourite colours blue and purple, and try a daring red tinted layout.

The whole thing should be finished tomorrow night if I'm not distracted tomorrow and I'm able to actually stay focused.

I'm also considering making a couple of other layouts for my good friends on Stickam, mainly Jess and Mike though, although that may take me another week or so. But it should be good when it's all done.

That's all for now, I'll give you a post with a screenshot when I've updated it.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Granite - Pendulum [XFM Radio]

Monday, 8 September 2008

Maths is your friend.

"Algebra is fun", I totally believed that statement which I've said so much since I was around 14 years old, until last night. I was happily chatting along with a few friends on stickam, when one of them decided to spring on me that he needed help with his homework. What he didn't say was that he had like 4 hours to do 100 questions, which would be easy if we were together, but it was over the internet, so with lag and getting preoccupied would take a lot longer! The trouble was, it was really simple algebra, like this:

Which is pretty simple, anyone who has any knowledge of algebra can see the answer is -1. But unfortunately, it still took ages because the person in question was not grasping the concepts so easily. I should have shown him some of the equations we were doing in my college Finance class, mainly ones like this:

Yeah, that one is complicated, that might be why I failed that particular course though, haha!

I feel like I've bored you now, so I'll leave you to it.

Ciao x.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Can't Repeat - The Offspring

Saturday, 6 September 2008

New Beginnings.

Okay, so I really suck at blogging. I do it for like a couple of weeks then give up, mainly because nothing ever interesting happens to me. And then I finally have something intersting to blog about, but because I don't want to have a two-month gap between posts, I set up a new blog (is that some sort of OCD?). So this will be blog number four I think.

So, the interesting thing this time? I got my hair cut. There is not a trace of blonde in there anymore (I don't think so anyway). I was telling my friend Mike (Kane) about getting my hair cut the other night, and he said it would be a good idea to do a before and after shot. So on the way to the barbers today (in the pouring rain I might add) I took a quick snapshot with my phone, and after having it done, took another quick snapshot. Below are the results.

I think it'll look good when I spike it properly, like when I go on a night out, or to work. I don't think she thinned it out though, so it might be a bit tought to do it.

Anyway I can't think of anything else for this post so I'll just wrap it up.

Ciao. x

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Handbags and Gladrags - Stereophonics