Well thats it.
We finally finished the last few things in preparation for Christmas.
After dressing up in waterproofs to brave the high street in order to do some last minute shopping, we have finally got in and i have sat down with a cold glass of cider to relax.
The thought of a nice hot bath is now occupying the rest of my brain!.
Sadly, my (fairly) new boots decided to split on the bottom on both so everytime I step near a puddle, the ice cold water rushes in! thankfully, I learnt an old trick of wearing a carrier bag over my socks to limit the damage…unfortunately, the bags split and I got soaked anyway!.
Oh well, that’s everything done as much as possible anyway and all that is left is to grab some booze and wait for the big day!.
We missed Southampton lights being put on this year as we had to walk in as there were apparently no buses (then when we were nearly in town, SIX turned up at once! I kid you not!).
For all it’s faults, Southampton does do a good job with its lights, and the German market this year is HUGE! it’s the biggest I have seen in the seven years it has been here with all kinds of stalls selling everything from Mulled Wine, German sausage and handmade crafts, to roast chestnuts, candy floss and curry! (I recommended the ‘Taste of India’ stalls Chicken Tikka Wrap if anyone reading this is heading there anytime soon!.)
I just cannot believe that it has been six months since the wedding! where did this year go? we spent half of it preparing for the wedding, and the rest preparing for Christmas!.
And, if some of the 2012 theories have some weight to them, we may not even be here this time next year! frightening thought! should we get gifts anyway just in case it turns out to be another “Y2K Bug“?.
I wont bother with my usual grumbling about how commercial Christmas is, or how it gets earlier and earlier every year (I saw the first tinsel around the end of august this year…) or with a “Top Ten” Christmas songs of all time list as seems to be common this time of year either, all I am going to do is end here and wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!.
Well, it is the day after my wife and I went to Southampton and did most of our christmas shopping.
To limit the number of things I would forget, we spent most of last night making a list of family and friends and the gifts we think are appropriate and so on.
It got me thinking.
In the past couple of months we have made some big changes to our life almost overnight without really understanding what brought it on.
- I stopped smoking.
- We created a menu for us to base our shopping around rather than impulse buying or only buying sale items.
- I started a diet and have cut out most fat and developed a liking for those fruit pot things from Tesco
- I started exercising regularly with my brother in law.
- I set alarms and reminders for almost everything on the iPod so I don’t forget.
- We got all our winter protection stuff early (Echinacea, Garlic, Vitamin C etc).
- We have been more disciplined with taking meds when required.
- We had a crazy big clearout and tidied up the flat (much to our cat’s horror!)
- And got the Chrsitmas shopping weeks ahead of our usual schedule and the majority of the cards will be done this week.
Neither of us can figure out precisely why this started, one day I was sat in front of the Xbox, feeling despondent about my work situation and looking forward to Skyrim‘s imminent release, the next I was jogging around a field and eating salads with a puzzled look in my face.
Strangely, not long after starting this new regimen, I had a rather shocking email..
Well, I received another one.
After checking to make sure, I was happily downloading the Beta code and looking forward to seeing what the new game would be like.
Needless to say it was amazing.
Sadly, I only got a day out of it before my time was up and I was unable to access it after that, but what little I saw convinced me that I need to buy it when it releases in a few weeks time.
I also, found myself feeling rather better in general than I had for a long time, and unfortuneately discovered that my body doesn’t seem to like processed foods any longer when I guiltily ate a hot dog in town recently!.
Well, I am going to be puzzling over our new found lifestyle for some time to come, and hopefully getting fitter at the same time (despite paulsoaresjr’s Indie Test Drive’s trying to lead me astray!).
I cannot seem to focus on any of my game’s either now without feeling lazy and restless! what on earth is wrong with me? am I getting old?! I’m only 28!.
Well, just in case I don’t post again before christmas, please allow me to wish you the very best for the season and a great New Year!
I have had a really lazy week this week.
I have taken a break from job applications, courses and housework to sit on my behind and have a really good crack at some of the Xbox games that have been denying me for too long.
Not that I may necessarily have been stuck however, some of these games I had just stopped playing because I got bored, or moved on to another game, or it crashed and I was too tired and annoyed to go back to my last save point.
Usually, when these situations occur, and I cannot progress for love nor money, I call my brother in law, who has an uncanny knack for pulling off in one go what has been troubling me for some time.
Or, I will be showing him how impossible this particular section of the game is….and complete it first time I load it up!.
This week, it must have been my wife as my lucky charm, who likes to read and watch me playing my games and offer help and support. Over half a dozen games gave way under my relentless assault!.
Admittedly, some of these revelations were shortlived as I proceeded to get stuck five minuites later… but that’s not the point is it? I got past that part!. The part I had been stuck on for so long.
An example. The last time I played Mass Effect 2 before the wedding, I got to a certain part which was pretty hard, and as I finished it, the Xbox thought that was the perfect time to freeze solid…
I was NOT going to do that part again anytime soon. No Sir.
And there it sat until last night, where I replayed it finally and the game ended literally minutes after that fight.. to say i was a touch annoyed was an understatement!.
And they will probably be the only games on my mind for the near future.
Thanks to an error at Bioware, everyone who had signed up to potentially be a Beta Tester for their upcoming “The Old Republic” received two emails this morning asking if they enjoyed testing the game and would they mind answering a short survey now they have “had a chance to experience their own saga”.
I, myself received these, so after two years of trying to get on the Beta Tester program and having numerous errors occur during the validation process, I finally thought that the problem had been fixed and I was finally being rewarded for my patience with a last minute Beta key!.
Alas, I was mistaken.
These were not the emails i was looking for…
In the official Twitter they issued an apology and a link to a page on the forums with the following statement:
Wars: The Old Republic community. These e-mails were sent to a larger group than intended, and have caused some confusion in the community. We can confirm that these e-mails were from EA and BioWare and apologize for any confusion they have caused. Please note that receiving these e-mails does not affect your chances to be
As promised, I am trying to keep to my update schedule!
I just thought I would post a few of my discoveries here for anyone who may be interested in online correspondence courses (I will try to put in as many free ones I can find, but the majority will simply be courses I find interesting (even if they are not free).
One thing that appeals to me about learning online, is that it seems so perfect for someone who spends the majority of their waking hours on the internet anyway, so why not learn something apart from random facts and figures while i’m at it? After all, we have practically the entire knowledge base of the human race at our fingertips, but most of us are content to waste hours a day on facebook and flash games!.
It is also a lot cheaper learning online: No travel expenses, No need to pay for residential accommodation, No need to buy hundreds of overpriced textbooks and other assorted fluff.
Everyone has probably heard of the Open University. Although not free (in fact can get quite pricey for some degree level courses) it is still a LOT cheaper than college or university for an equivalent course.
OU has a massive library of available courses (570+ spread over 50+ subjects), undergraduate and postgraduate with the option to apply for financial support if you qualify.
You can even seem to “build” your own degree from various modules they offer, sounds quite interesting and is probably the best place to go to if money is not an issue, as they have been around for years and are well known with a solid support system.
Completely free this one. Browse through the many courses available, sign up and in 24 hours, your chosen course will start (delivered right to your inbox).
None of these are professionally recognised qualifications like the OU above, but you get a certificate to print out at the end of the course.
Most of them are to do with writing (fiction/non fiction/marketing etc) so if you are interested in writing, give it a look!.
With no limit on how many you can sign up to (I have about ten) and no cost, you really don’t have anything to lose here. The courses are short (approx. 8 days) and to the point with no exams or anything (though this does mean there is no support or tutors either…you are on your own!). Though you have the benefit of being able to go at your own pace, whether it takes you a year or a day!.
Officially recognised qualifications here, though a smaller number of courses available, they are free if you qualify for support from your local education provider.
They have support staff on hand to help you and an active community.
Sounds interesting this, the benefits of having a recognised qualification and it’s free!.
A wide variety of courses, some tutor supported, some you work through on your own.
Some of these courses are pricey and some are cheap, but financial support is available if you qualify to help with the cost.
Offers a large collection of recognised qualifications and has an active support network. Though pricey, there are a few courses that allow instalment pay options without increasing the overall cost.
They are the main ones I have been looking at. If anyone has any suggestions to include I would be glad to hear them!. Also, if you have had any dealings with any of these providers let me know how it went for you!
I hope you find something interesting or useful above!.
There are a few more obscure ones I am looking into (or doing). For those that may be interested, I put them here:
Thought I would try a new thing…posting some of my favourite videos from around the web (though mainly YouTube) in the hope that some of you may have the same twisted, warped sense of humour as I have!.
I hope you enjoy them, all credit goes to the respective producers of these videos, I am only showing them here for entertainment.
Any comments, hate mail, or the usual spam can be added below!.
Warning: There is some bad language in some of these videos, please use discretion.