I got tweeted

Tuesday, February 12 2013 at 19:21 (Daily Life, Pictures) (, )

Every so often this happens:

y u no blog

And I go “Hmm, why don’t I blog any more?” Then I remember that my life isn’t especially interesting or noteworthy, nothing going on in my life right now is terribly sensational and even if it was, this blog has a nasty habit of being read by my mother and various family members, meaning that I end up being somewhat reserved in my disclosure and use of profanities. Regardless, it has been a while and I feel that I should put something here, even if it’s only entirely mundane.

As you might recall from the last entry I am currently doing Civil Engineering at Nottingham University, which is pretty alright I suppose. The quality of lecturers varies pretty wildly and I do tend to find that my enjoyment and subsequent grade in a subject seems to revolve a lot around the lecturer. This term I intend to make an effort to read a textbook for the subjects with an inferior lecturer rather than just giving up on that subject because I feel like I can’t learn anything.
I did recently get back my marks from my first term modules, which were generally good. Three modules spread over the 60s, one 59 [and also a 30 (and a 10)]. This means only one retake! Hooray! And I nearly got a first in Japanese! Pity I’m on a CivEng course. As for the retake, that particular exam was super-awful and both of my future housemates also need to retake it.
Which brings me to another thing: I have somewhere to live next year. It’s an actually rather nice house in Lenton where I will be living with Luke and Tim, both of whom are massive nerds. Tim actually owns the house because he’s from Surrey and that’s just what people from Surrey do when they go to common places like Nottingham. This means that he’s both my housemate and my landlord, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out.

In terms of life, I’ve been shockingly active over the last week or so. Rather than spending the evenings bored in my room I’ve actually been going out and doing some things, including ‘clubbing’. ‘Clubbing’ involves dressing inappropriately for the outside temperature resulting in possible hypothermia before ingesting large amounts of dilute ethanol and travelling at great expense to a room where one is essentially mentally beaten with clubs until near death (hence the name). Some of my contemporaries find this to be incredibly exciting and interesting, but frankly I was just very bored for most of it. There’s only so many times you want to get your head caved in by bass before you just want to sit down with a cup of tea and a book for the rest of your life.

Much more my scene was the LAN party I went to the following night last weekend. A LAN party involves a collection of nerds putting their computers all together in a room and playing exciting games. Since all the computers are connected over the Local Area Network and not over the internet it is known as a LAN party (even though many newer games don’t support LAN play). It was pretty fun to meet some people I’ve only ever talked to on voice chat and the like and say ‘Hi, I’m Ben from the internet.’ We played League and I played support and it was good. And when someone does something stupid you can actually beat them around the head.

I also bought some things recently. I finally decided to give in to my inherent otaku-ness and decorate my wall with cool things. This is where we’re at currently:


oh god what did WordPress do to their image insertion tool

It’s pretty good and I especially like the Nichijou poster on the right. I wish I had a better way to display some of my cooler Comiket loot but most of it isn’t really wall-hangable. The wall scrolls I’m not so sure about. I like the CCS Sakura but the Tsubasa Chronicle Sakura is pretty pixellated when you go up close to it. I think that overall posters are going to give me much better quality. Talking of which, in the next few days this should be arriving:


seriously there’s no way to easily change the actual image size any more

Which is pretty awesome, I think anyway. I’ve been looking for a good Star Driver poster for a while and this one is pretty much perfect.
In other nerdy pursuits, I went into town last week saying that I didn’t really need to buy much and somehow ended up with this:


I have to repeatedly open the image menu and reduce size by 40%

The Hyrule Historia in particular is really nice, and though I haven’t read much of it yet, one can never have enough CLAMP.

Finally there’s audio things, in which I finally decided to go ahead and get a Fostex HP-A3 which was really cheap and not at all expensive. It just arrived today but it sounds really nice, is solid as a rock, looks mega-pretty (at least to my engineer eyes) and also runs entirely off USB power. I’ve only used the internal amp so far but I expect to be using it DAC-only for the most part. I’ll also probably use it as a transportable rig with my laptop.


I get that they want to simplify it but taking away key functionality is just dumb

So there you go, a brief summary of things happening to me right now. Until someone else tweets at me to blog more…


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Vlog #2: The Empire Strikes Back

Thursday, December 3 2009 at 23:02 (Books, Daily Life, Rants, School, Videos) (, , , )

Yes, yes it is.

Download for the soundbite at the end: http://www.mediafire.com/?onyxm4nx2gn

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Vlog #1

Saturday, October 31 2009 at 00:40 (Videos) ()

Because I’m cheap and wanted to see if it worked.

Peace, brethren.

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Driving Today

Sunday, October 18 2009 at 21:57 (Anime, Home, Music, Pictures, Reviews, Site Update) (, , , , , , , , , , )

One of these days I’ll find a title that isn’t a relevant Yui song, but this is both, so…  suck it, biatches.

I’m probably not going to talk about the last three weeks or so as my memory once again fails me (and they weren’t really that interesting to begin with) so I’ll talk about a selection of exciting items that I’ve seen/watched/heard in a vain attempt to interest everybody that will please nobody.

For this reason, you’ll probably want to scroll down and only read the bits (in bold) you care about.

First there was the Wii firmware 4.2 update. This update basically has no purpose except to entirely destroy ANY homebrew apps on a Wii but is also a brash move on Nintendo’s part because they knew when they put it out that it was likely to brick plenty of Wiis to death. The really miserable thing for them is that it was all a waste of time; by the next day the homebrew developers had already broken past the update. Way to cause unnecessary bloodshed, Nintendo.

Next came the behemoth, the giant, the masterpiece that is



Yeah, so that’s awesome. I’ve only played Prime 1 so far, which I am nearing the completion of.

At first you find yourself slightly wondering what all the fuss is about, but as you play through and get immersed in the world it really does get hard to try to find fault with this first person adventure. The time when I really knew that I was dealing with something truly awesome was when I got to Magmoor Caverns. “This music is a bit drab,” I mused, “I’ll just press on a bit and see what I find.” Eventually I got to a large fiery cavern and only then did the area introduce itself via the selective camera shots and title. And only then did the music come on properly.
“Holy f***ing s**t this the f***ing Norfair theme! This game is f***ing awesome!”
Read the rest of this entry »

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Je Ne Suis Pas un Hereux Lapin

Tuesday, September 22 2009 at 20:24 (Home, Music, Pictures, Rants, School) ()

Yeah, so it’s been a tough past few days.

Monday was difficult because everything was confusing and hated me. We learned the MOST POINTLESS ALGORITHM EVAR in Further Maths (Shell Sort). Double Classics dragged on a lot and was a bit of a bitch with all the homework, then at lunchtime I was bored and tired. In Physics we measured the breaking something of thread and paper, which was probably the most fun thing all day because it gave Max an excuse to get out his Mac and note everything down in Excel. In Classics again we noted down the differences between Doric and Ionic temples and got even MORE homework.

I went home and found that everyone in my house was arguing and so after dinner I ran away until Waking the Dead came on, which was even more screwed up and strange than usual. After that I caught up on the Mario/Sonic e-mail flamewar I’ve been having with Elliot.

Today was pretty sucky. We basically re-covered everything I thought we’d already done in Ethics (move on already) and made strange notes about everything. General Studies was… complete shit. It really was DULL.
Ancient Greek was pretty fun, as we actually started to do some actual phrases. The problem is that now we also have Dorothy and Ellen L joining in. Dorothy I don’t mind, but Ellen always needs everything repeated nineteen times and with her the group isn’t quite as cool as it was, you know?
That afternoon I would have had double Physics with the Hallster, but he was otherwise predisposed so we just had some sheets to do at our leisure. I went into the common room for a bit but couldn’t concentrate (Lauren watching Twilight on Max’s iPod Touch made me feel a tad queasy) so I went onto the garden where I actually got quite a bit of work done… until Lydia and Tanya (sp?) showed up. I hadn’t yet got to know Tanya despite her being on my bus and in my RS group, so distracted from my Physics I asked her random questions as I do when I meet people. She lost points for not liking Merlin but gained millions for thinking Twilight was crappy and not getting what’s so good about Robert Pattinson. Then a bunch of other people came out, including Dougle who lay down on the grass and dozed off. After while I decided it might be funny to drip a tiny bit of water on his forehead.
So what does he do? Goes apeshit and throws the whole bottle over my nice new shirt. Then Lydia spilled water all over the cover of my Physics book. As in the title, I was not a happy bunny. I stalked off and sat on the bus and ruined people’s fun before coming home and writing an emo blog to make you all depressed too.

After going on the Yui fan site (?) and then going onto a topic about Stereopony I found that there was a lot of talk about another three-piece all-female J-rock band called Chatmonchy. I decided to get one of their albums.

There is also an awesome Stereopony T-shirt that I super-want that will only ship to Japan. Any help would be appreciated.

Oh, I almost forgot. Ned today made a big fuss about this picture, which I shall repost here with its original caption:

Ned cupping his breast and crotch at the sight of me.

Ned cupping his breast and crotch at the sight of me.

Ned apparently did not like this. I can’t really see why. I mean, it’s been on here for nearly a year now (reminds me – anniversary of being on WordPress is 14th October) and that particular entry seems to have actually netted me a few unsuspecting victims… I mean readers. Well, it’s going to stay there no matter what Ned does.

Here’s some more awesome music… (>’o’)>

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Thursday, September 17 2009 at 20:31 (Books, Current Affairs, Home, Music, School, Videos) (, , )

Tell me what the title says, and earn a prize.

So I’ve now been on Facebook for one week, and so I’m now pretty certain of two distinct thoughts on the matter:

  • Facebook can go die;
  • Facebook can go die.


But the question you’re all dying to ask is ‘Ben, how is your fabulously interesting week so far?’ Well… it’s been long and tiring.

Monday literally FLEW by. I really can’t remember much about it, and what I can blended into Tuesday, which was all a bit shit what with my one free period having been stolen by FROCKING General Studies, in which we learned the difference between a tabloid and broadsheet newspaper. Gasp. As someone with five A-levels to study for, I can’t help feeling that my somewhat more restricted time could be better spent advancing my education and pretending to be Street Fighter/Punch Out characters in the common room… I’m going to go to one more, and if it still sucks then I’ll ask the big JJ about skipping the lessons. In fact, I could probably just take the exam at the end and still get a C.

On Tuesday evening I tried going to bed at 8:30, but actually woke up even more tired than I had when I went to bed. Fortunately Wednesday was fairly easy in its awesomeness, so I had first period trying to do Classics notes but actually helping Peter write a letter to Robert Hitcham’s to request work experience, which was far more interesting than Doric friezes anyway. In Further Maths Mr McW. serenaded us with the Flash Gordon theme song and introduced us to Kruskal’s algorithm and the infinitely superior Prim’s  algorithm for finding spanning trees of minimum weight, whilst in regular Maths we did… something I forget. But it had Surds in, anyway. I think it might have been cancelling out surds on the bottom of a fraction.

In my last free period I went out into the garden to read some Odyssey and was getting through it until Rose asked me if I happened to have French dictionary on the off-chance. I replied in the negative, and so she asked if I could look at a bit of French to help her translate it. I remarked that since I hadn’t even taken French for GCSE, A-level might be a bit much, and so Rose managed to sort it out. I read on until Rose got bored and came to ‘annoy me,’ then Chloé came over so we all talked about which Greek gods or goddesses we would each be. I can’t remember who Chloé was (she was either Hades or married to Hades), but I was Hermes and Rose was a combination of Aphrodite, Penelope and Helen and by that logic we reasoned that Zaki (Rose’s boyfriend) must be Odysseus. Near the end of the period Chris and Max and possibly others came out, and so when the bell went Chris led me through the secret passage between the bushes at the end of the garden, much to the surprise of Mrs (Miss?) Armes, who was teaching PE on the fields.

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Tell me, Muse…

Monday, September 7 2009 at 20:55 (Anime, Home, School, Site Update, Videos, Writing) (, , , )

The story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy city of GCSE. He studied the subjects of many teachers and learned their ways. He suffered great anguish in the high canals in his struggles to get home and play video games. But he failed to get Prime Trilogy on launch day, despite all his efforts. It was the game’s own transgression that brought it to its doom, for in its folly it was released not long after The Conduit, which saw to it that Trilogy’s controls would not be as impeccable by comparison. Tell us this story, daughter of Zeus, beginning last Saturday.

Well, that was ridiculously fun. For those of you currently lost, the above is an adaptation of the proem (introductory lines) of the Rieu translation of The Odyssey. Believe me, it’ll probably get weirder.

So, as the guy says, last Saturday. My parents were out on a boat trip with some friends (and had fortunately decided that they didn’t need my company) and since they were staying on the boat overnight, I was home alone… except I wasn’t. My stupid brother had to be there to ruin EVERYFUNG.
Well, even with him there I spent most of the day ploughing through Elliot’s Dragon Ball Z DVDs, watching all but the last disc of season one. I’ll segregate my thoughts on the matter to the end for those at odds with Japanese cartoons.
Apart from that, I also ate sausages, cooked strawberry pancakes, cooked a Fray Bentos pie and ate that, and spent a rather long time doing clearing up and washing after my brother. I finished the clearing at around 2am and then settled down to get the last 100 xp or so required to level up in The Conduit before finally turning in at around 3:00.

On Sunday I had meant to wake up late, but my brother same in at around 11 to tell me that he was going to the Greenpeace fair and that who would be back later that day. He actually offered to take me with him, but I explained that I had Classics homework to do (involving SPARTA!) and that I was very tired. He obliged to keep my awake by opening all of my curtains, which with the orientation of my windows and door causes sunlight to burn through my skull and singe my pillow, so soon after he left I got up and finished some tidying from the night before. My parents were not due back until ‘lunchtime’ (although it was more like 18:00) so I still had much of the day to myself, so I had leftover soup for breakfast whilst reading ‘The Greeks’ (my Classics task), then jumped around the house playing J-pop REALLY loudly on the speakers in our living room while I made lunch some time later, after finishing the book. I decided that since there was nothing in the fridge (my parents had foolishly taken both pork pies) so I made up some tuna dip and hacked up a mound of vegetables to go with it. It was all rather healthy, but as I’ve said there wasn’t a lot else to eat in the house.

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Why, Oh Why?

Thursday, July 9 2009 at 03:05 (Books, Current Affairs, Daily Life, Music, Pictures, Rants, Theorems) (, , , , , , , )

Why has there not been an entry in such a long time?

Well, short story shorter, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Yeah, setting myself up for a killer post here. You can feel how gripping it’s going to be… not to mention that I’m starting writing at 01:35, so my writing/typing is likely to be slurred and full of rude words that I forgot to edit out. Fuck.

So what did happen? Well, far away in the past there was Eliza’s party, which was a bit underwhelming, I suppose. Lots of people said they would be coming but dropped out at the last minute… Not looking at anybody in particular…
For the duration of the party I had bare feet to hide the fact that the only wearable shoes I have at the moment are Crocs, so everybody naturally assumed that I was the ‘jungle man’ and was therefore tasked with getting and keeping the fire going. Fortunately for those otherwise cold people, I’ve been lighting fires since I was five or so, and melting army men with jars of kerosene before then. Even though I had decided not to drink that much at the party, after I finished my ginger ale I was bored and depressed, so I followed Andy around until he started handing out this horrible, HORRIBLE tasting brown liquid called ‘Ale’ and a party melon which was full of meloncholy vodka. See what I did there?
The night drew on, Stacey asked me to touch her bosom, I obliged and we had a nice chat about life despite never having really talked before. This was probably the highlight of the evening. I also found out that Sarah Harris is some sort of Hell’s Angel smoker with leather jackets and that Max can’t put up tents. Later on I went over to a group which seemed to be basking in some sort of haze of giggling and smoke, so I went over to where Rose, Lydia, a few others and Yasemin (didn’t have her down as the type…) were ‘passing the dookie to left hand side’. Understand that my brother has been trying to get me to smoke marijuana for years and I have stubbornly resisted, but under the rock-steady deduction of drunkeness, it seemed like a good idea at the time to have one toke. After that Lydia collapsed sideways onto my lap, dribbling slightly and then demanding that I go with her to the lavatory tent so that she would not be lonely. I managed to brush her off and sat near the fire with Tilly for a bit, where we discussed in depth our career aspirations and what to expect from a world beyond studentship. Then she went away and said ‘I’ll be back in five minutes, and somehow she was. Then she said ‘I’ll be back in a 1 minute’ and never returned.

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Awesome! And… Sorry.

Thursday, June 18 2009 at 18:04 (Daily Life, Music, Pictures, Rants, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

It hasn’t QUITE been over a month. But it has been a very long time, during which many things have happened, and for my useless incoherence and incompetence, I formally apologise. Then I steal your hat.

So what do I need to cover? Lots…

First, let’s get this amazing awesome out of the way:

And you thought that there were only damp Japanese schoolgirl rockers in anime…
Also, does it look like Juliette at 0:50? It does to me.

So one of the first things to happen after my last post was a week’s trip to the south of France with my extended family, to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of my aunts. It was good fun overall, despite the ten hour road trip there and back, which I managed to pass by watching two of The Lord of the Rings films and reading.
We were staying in an old barn/farmhouse surrounded by vineyards, which was almost impossible to find, but had plenty to do including a decent-sized swimming pool and a number of different ‘flats’, or bits of the house for each family. I was actually not with my parents, but was lumped in with one of my cousins, complete with aunt and uncle. They’re probably actually the nicest ones of the bunch, and my cousin had a shiny new DSi with New Super Mario Bros., which he sucked at and I rocked at… So I mostly played it for him. No complaints here.
Over the week there was walking, canoeing, visiting amazing places and eating crêpes. We had several really good meals and some sucky ones, and I managed to avoid my grandfather… mostly.
Partway through the week, I had some astounding news. The covenant of little bastard cousins had all met together and decided that I wouldn’t be their punching bag any more, because somehow I had gained their respect. I think this had something to do with my amazing skillez at NSMB.

So I returned to Britain, filled with Orangina, vigour and Carambars. Read the rest of this entry »

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Back to the Grind…

Friday, May 22 2009 at 00:08 (Books, Daily Life, Rants, Reviews, Videos) (, , , , , )

Yay! No more school! Whoop!

Oh damn – we forgot to mention that you have to do twenty odd exams first.

Well yes, it’s been an interesting and educational week for the most part.
Monday began with a sharp RS exam on the half of the topics that I don’t know so well. In the event, it transpired not that the questions were hard, but either very simple or extremely vague, i.e. asking for eight marks’ worth of ‘How Christians can use Jesus’s teaching on forgiveness today’, for which I wrote basically that in a mugging, if they ask for your wallet, you can ‘turn the other cheek’ and offer them your watch as well.
I spent from the end of that exam until one o’clock watching everyone else frantically revising Maths whilst I guffawed in a rather worried manner because I was suddenly unsure of how to complete the square. I spent some time in the library with Max, Chris and Nico (who had tagged along because… I don’t know) but soon got bored of their efforts to actually revise, so I went and read Catch 22 on my own on a chair in the corner of the room. After managing to plough through the first chapter or so, I went and talked to Chloé about some aspects and got that really guilty feeling where you realise that you might end up doing as well or nearly as well as someone who’s done billions of hours of revision without doing any yourself – She’d re-written out both of her exercise books in their entirety… Eesh.
The exam came, containing a peculiar mixture of year six SATs-level questions and A*+ questions that explode heads with a single glance – a trend that AQA (one of the exam boards) seems to be following in all of their papers, as Spanish and RS have been similar.

After that ordeal many of the students felt the need to frolic and go into Framlingham to buy cigarettes and have sex behind trees (may not have actually occurred), but, being the sappy nerd I am, I stayed at school with intention of revising some English or similar. What actually happened was that I ended up sitting in the (very windy) courtyard of the school with Rose, Max, Chloé and Alfie discussing some weird things, like rape dreams and Alfie’s dreams where he was making out with Miss Fletcher on her desk and later Juliette in his kitchen; If he’s willing to risk that many STDs, he really must be desperate. Read the rest of this entry »

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