Learning to Program

For quite a while I’ve been wanting to teach myself how to program. Unfortunately, It’s definitely been a start-stop process. I bought a book on Visual Basic which did seem pretty good, but I found it a little hard to follow quite early on – so I figured I should try a ‘Learn to Program’ style book before picking up any particular language.

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The Year in Review: Books!

Now that we’ve reached 2013 – without the world ending and everything – I wanted to post about the books that I read in 2012. I took part in the GoodReads Reading Challenge to try and read a set goal of books over the year as I’d really felt like I wasn’t reading as much as I used to, and I love reading.

I originally set the challenge figure at something like thirty books, as I started properly in April after finally sorting out and getting into the habit of using my local library more (free books are awesome!), but I soon upped it to sixty. I beat the goal in the end, reading sixty four books last year. I read some great ones…and some not so great ones.

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NanoWrimo – I think we’ve been here before.

I…kind of get the feeling this whole, novel-ing thing isn’t for me. I’ve been dutifully going along so far with this year’s NanoWrimo after failing it last year. I have written about 12,000 words this time – which I’m pretty sure is better than last years attempt. And I do like the story I’ve written this year a lot more.

So, I wrote about a guy called Jamie Eltin, going to work in a seasonal Night Watch position in a forest/wood/hillside retreat called Stringham. I was having him doing the unsocial night watch, feeling ignored and undervalued by the boss as it were Nita Leavell, coming to nit picky blows with the handyman Allan, and finally meeting one of the guests Chritie. Jamie was generally unsociable and a bit of a loner.

During the course of the next few days Jamie is unnerved by the green tiled pool, the empty woods and bad dreams. Someone comes into his cabin and takes food. He finds muddy foot prints in the reception leading to the disused parts of the main retreat building. He feels watched and harassed – and then he finds a faded old blue note pad, which turns out to have belonged to someone who worked there before him.

The note pad described other buildings that used to be part of the retreat, but are now abandoned for some reason. Jamie investigates and finds one old building, but someone interrupts him and he hides – knowing he’s not doing his job. Later Jamie is pushed into the pool by someone during his watch, holding him down.

…Aaaand then I stopped. I played Minecraft, and the Sims 3. I watched Game of Thrones. I read through the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I read Eighty Days Yellow. How to be a Woman. The Great Gatsby. And I’m now just about to finally read The Casual Vacancy.

So, I’m thinking maybe loving to read, and even reading vicariously doesn’t at all translate – for me at least – into being able to write. Or maybe I’m just not in a good position to write right now with all the combined stress of a lot of stuff going on in the background. Who knows?

I’m not going to continue with this NanoWrimo then. I feel a little guilty, to be honest. I do know I could get through it. I don’t think it’s going to do anything for me. Right now. And maybe not ever. I’ll be keeping – like I did last time – what I’ve written to far.


NanoWrimo: Once more with Feeling!

National Novel Writing Month is nearly here, and despite being unsuccessful last year in finishing it, I’m going to give it another try this year. I already have a rough idea of what I want to write as well.

It’s going to be…a kind of horror story, I think. About a guy who works in a wooded retreat as a night watchman. I’ll just have to see how it goes! Also, this year Peter of Peter Reviews will be joining me in the attempt.



Birthday Wishes

As a quick aside, I turned 23 yesterday.

As much fun as possible was had, given my state. The day before, the 21st, I hurt my neck turning funny and it ached all day. Ah well.

Peter of Peter Reviews bought me a photo book about a very cute dog called Boo, a copy of Gormenghast on DVD which I have not seen in aaaages, some delicious Thorntons chocolates – in particular a small heart shaped box of Strawberry Marc de Champagne truffles, which are some of my favourites, a lovely set of mud face masks (one of which I’ve already used), and a selection of goodies from Lush.

With money from loving family and Peter’s family I have bought myself The Lord of the Rings Extended edition Blu-ray which I have been after for so long it’s silly. It should arrive soon. *looking forward to it*

Alongside this, I had a lovely raspberry, butter cream and Madeira sponge cake from M&S and some delicious alcohols in the form of Peach Schnapps and Ginger beer wine.

And with that, I am a year older.

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer S3 Ep2

So, I’ve been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as all seven seasons are available on LoveFilm Instant now. It’s been fun re-living memories of my misspent youth watching bad TV. The show isn’t terrible – in fact, bits of it are quite fun, even occasionally clever. But, if my memory serves, the show does begin to drag. It’s already become fairly ‘sitcom-y’, and there has already been some lazy plot twists to further the story i.e. the ‘techno-pagan’/teacher (shudders) Jenny suddenly having a secret Gypsy back story because it’s convenient for her to have one and explain shit about Angel.

But anyway, it’s season three episode two I want to talk about right now.

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Silent Hill: Spot the difference!

So, many people the internet over have commented on the ‘ice cold’ as it were opening to the new Silent Hill Downpour. Essentially, with a complete lack of build up the game tells you to kill some person you know nothing about and Murphy…does…not…care. Added to this are many instances through out the game of him commenting on stupid stuff like ‘Lame hint telling you to do something you probably already figured out’ instead of ‘Oh god, there’s a big dead mutilated dog on the bed in this hotel room *throw up*’

So, to honour this with Peter of Peter Reviews writing and my art – We’ve done a Silent Hill Spot the difference!

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