Category Archives: diary

The mid-life crisis officially starts NOW.

So I appear to have bought a bass guitar. This is an unexpected development for the year. I wasn’t planning on it at all, although I’d started to have favourable feelings about the idea of trying to learn bass guitar a little while ago after I discovered that I preferred following basslines to lead guitar on Rock Band et al. It was a thought that clearly lingered with me.

And now I’ve gone past 40, and seen the only Olympics I’m ever likely to see in my country, I think my mid-life crisis has started and forced me to buy it. I have planned for said crisis, I’ve thought through the possible routes:

  • Affair – costly, too much organisation
  • Leather trousers – stumpy legs
  • Ponytail – not with my hair. I’m holding back the Hulk Hogan haircut for late 50s
  • Motorbike – costly, I’ll kill myself, q.v. leather trousers
  • Tattoo – this was the one I was planning on doing, I have a design in mind, have done for ages. Think I can handle the pain, all good. Just don’t seem to have got round to it yet

So my brain and my credit card skipped through the plan and went with bass guitar instead. The actual persuading factor was the release of a new game, Rocksmith. It’s the same sort of logic as Rockband, except you have to use an actual guitar or bass, and it’s designed more as guitar tutor through gaming. Exactly the sort of thing I can get behind. Although I’m going to try and do non-game learning and practice too. It arrives tomorrow, and I can’t wait to start.

Too.Much.Tech.

Tonight I have found that I have lost a scanner. Well it is definitely in the house. But I cannot see it. For other pieces of tech.

It is this that has lead me to the realisation that I have too much tech. New Tech. Current Tech. Tech nearing the end of its life. Dead Tech. Retro Tech. Last Gen Tech. Old Media Formats. Remnants. Items copied to digital, and stored, not removed. Things of affectation. Ideas that didn’t work out. Things that might work in future. Prospects, Hopes, Dreams, Dead ideas. All in tech form. All somewhere in this house.

So the obvious next step is to remove some of them. And instantly that fills me with a dread. What if I might need it? What if I might want it? What if at 3am on Christmas Morning 2031 I suddenly realise I’d quite like to play that old Wonderswan game? What if I want to connect this to that? Or that to the other? What if that screw fits something when I need a screw and I’d got rid of it.

It is of course a hoarding instinct. And I recognise its dangers, its inherent issues. For one, I can’t find my scanner. But look, whilst I still have devices that have SCART slots, I will need SCART leads. Okay I don’t use them now, of course, I use HDMI or component, as they also have those slots. But I MIGHT need them for something else. Something old. That I’ve bought second-hand, and want to use.

Alright I’ll admit the Amstrad E@Mailer wasn’t necessary. TEN POUNDS in the charity shop though. It’s not got a cordless phone as part of it, so I can’t plug it into the landline. I like it though, and it has to be plugged in, otherwise it wouldn’t be serving a purpose.

I’m going to have a sort-out this weekend. Or maybe next.

Otakucookup – Green Thai Prawn Curry

400g Prawns (larger and fresher the better, shelled)
1 can Coconut milk
2-3 tablespoons Thai Green Curry Paste
1 lime
1 lemon
1 tablespoon Thai Fish Sauce
Small handful of cashew nuts
6 chopped spring onions

1) Fry the prawns for a minute in a little oil.
2) Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and the lime, and add the fish sauce, simmer them for a couple of minutes.
3) Bung in the cashews and the spring onions, and if you need an extra hit of spice, a little chilli powder too.
4) Now add the curry paste (2 tablespoons for newbies, 3 or so for if you’re used to it), and stir it well into the ingredients whilst frying for a couple more minutes
5) Finally add the coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and testing for taste towards the end once it is thickening up nicely.

Serve with white boiled rice.

This post is part of the #otakucookup as suggested by Tim Maughan of Tim Maughan Books, providing a useful service to hungry otaku everywhere.

Drop

I dropped my iPhone on the floor this morning. It is fine, I’m typing on it now. What occurred to me though was how underworried I was that it would be okay. I have dropped it before, on harder surfaces, and it was fine. I’ve got insurance. And it is close to being due for an upgrade.

In conclusion, I think I may be ready for parenthood.

Happy Birthday to Me

38 years old today. Great weekend to celebrate it, wandered round the Steampunk exhibition in town, then a nice walk around Oxford, followed by a cracking meal at Shanghai 30s. Scalextric was my main pressie, a fitting addition to a growing collection for a man of my advanced age.

Not really pondered too much the passing of time, tend to do that at New Year. This was more just mellow progression, like a smooth chord change, rather than the bells and whistles the change of year brings. If I’m looking for one thing though, did get thinking about getting out on the bike again, both for traveling to work, and for some trips further afield to take photos out in the countryside. Sounds like a plan.

And so that was Christmas

Well, nearly done with the Christmas season now. Not back to work until the 4th, so taking it nice and easy. Managed to watch the first series of the Sopranos in just a tad over 24 hours, so that was something approaching an achievement. Have also done some tidying, sorting and organising, which also counts. And some home coding.

New Year is planned to be a quiet one, with a touch of champagne to celebrate the transition into dry January. Gym and no drinking is the plan. The first time I typed that previous sentence, I typed Gin and no drinking. My subconscious seems to be less keen than I thought.

Chilling in Norway

Drawing towards the end of a great week in Norway. Highlight has to have been a fjord cruise yesterday, absolutely stunning scenery that I took a full memory card’s worth of pictures of. In general, it has involved wandering round a pretty little Norwegian town, and feeling rather relaxed. You can see all my photos (and there are a lot) here.

The latter emotion is despite giving up smoking, which thanks to patches has worked out alright thus far. This is stage two on the flotsky self-improvement front this year, stage one being my exemplary gym work thus far (N.B. exemplary equals going to in my personal dictionary).

Glasses

I wear glasses, pretty much full-time. I’ve got to thinking this week, why do my glasses at best simply get my sight up to a working level? Why can’t I have some bonus functionality built it? If I’m going to stick some metal and glass on my face, I should at least have a zoom function. A camera would be nice, but at a bare minimum, could I have zoom, night vision, and a screensaver for when I don’t want to talk to someone please? All the technology is there, I just need someone to make it smaller, affordable, lightweight, and style it reasonably. If they could do it in the next six months that would be lovely, thank you.

Meetings

A day mainly of meetings today. Good by the end of it though, did feel like we thrashed out what was needed, have something useful at the end of it.

I am considering the possibility at the moment of forcibly retiring from watching reality television unless I have to. I think this series of the Apprentice will finish me off. Certainly don’t have any passion for Big Brother this year (I know regular viewers of Big Brother often say this, but I think I might mean it for a change. I’ve usually embraced it, this year I just can’t be naffed). I’ve got a backlog of actually good telly to watch, and I think I just want to concentrate on that.

Gym

I’ve been going to the gym for about three weeks now. It’s unexpected, but I was talked into it by someone sort of, sort of talked myself into it too, and I’m enjoying it. It’s hard work. Very hard work for me. However I seem to be able to handle it, and to know just what my limits are without being too lazy either. There definitely is a buzz at the end of it too, about an hour later I just tend to feel somewhat serene, if I’ve done it properly. I’m going to need to stick at it for some time if I’m going to get the benefit of it properly, but thus far I’ve managed at least three times a week. Happy with myself for it thus far. Although tonight I ache, tomorrow I know I won’t.