Friday, 24 April 2009

Marble Madness

I have joyous news. One of my best friends is no longer single. Well, the couple, Becca and Lee, were pretty much a couple beforehand by they have just formalised it. I was like a puppy yesterday after they told me, I actually screamed at Becca. They're such nice people and I'm really happy. Awww, ain't that the sweetest thing you heard in a long time.

My dissertation, to bring the tone down, is so nearly done, and I could be finishing it instead of writing this. However, I chose to write how I could be finishing instead of doing so. I am that dedicated to my loyal readers. Really. It has nothing to do with boredom.

Yesterday was nice, I spent it in the company of really awesome people, and we played in the park and had pizza. Before that though, I helped at Banana Club and the kids were crazy. They would not behave.

Random Website
This one was suggested by my brother, so he deserves a link. Just a point, when I put links in I hope you look at them. Anyway, the site is Land of Marbles. Everything you want to know about marbles. Especially gripping is the 1,000 Marbles story. Apparently one of the most touching stories you will ever read. It is a bizarre Memento Mori/Nunc est bidendum mix involving 1000 marbles. Read the story now before I say the next bit, as it is a bit of a spoiler warning. It says it makes a great gift when accompanied by a lot of marbles. If I got that for my birthday, well, it definitely wont lighten the mood. 'Here are some marbles and each one is for every week you'll live. Enjoy.' Imagine if they only gave you six of them or something? 'Gee, er, thanks?'

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I hate bin days.

Yes another bin day rant. This time at my own stupidity.

At 10:05 (ish) I panicked realising that there was a huge pile of full bin bags by the back door that needed going out so I rushed out in bear feet, getting garbage juice all over them and flung them out (well, actually placed them outside) the garden gate. Smug with my ability to be organised and actually remember, a) what day of the week it was, and b) what day bin day was, and c) put them together, I sat down at the dining table to do dissertation.

Only when I heard the beeping noise and the sound of 'Please stand clear. Vehicle reversing. Please stand clear. Vehicle reversing. Please...' did I think to look in the kitchen bin. It was full. Crammed full. So I took the bag out of the bin, and as it was cheap Simply Value ones it was tearing! But I got it struggled, succeeded and tied it up. I can make it! I thought. I ran out the back door. The rubbish truck was only outside the gate. I can do this! I got to the gate. I fumbled on the combination padlock to get it open. I fumbled some more. I'm nearly there. Oh no, I knock the second number out alignment! Okay, problem solved. Why isn't the padlock opening? Oh the first number is out now! Come on! I open the gate. I was too late, the rubbish truck was already half-way up the road. I wasn't going to run up the back alley, barefoot, sprayed in refuge juice, screaming 'STOP! TAKE MY RUBBISH! PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF HYGIENE, TAKE IT!'. I have some dignity. So I closed the gate and slunk back to the muted noise of 'Please stand back, Vehicle reversing'.


I have a weird craving for pasta carbonara at the moment. Moral of the story, don't look through recipe books at midnight. My random site seemed to be appreciated by at least one person so here is another one.

Random Site
I am the type of person that is always on the look out for new friends, and I like to think I accept them from all backgrounds and in all shapes and sizes. I am the type of guy that will talk to anyone. Before you think this is a reckless forum or dating site it is not. It is a site where you can talk to Alice or The Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity. That name was obviously made up to fit the acronym. It is quite reassuring as it shows that Artificial Intelligence is quite a long way off, really. There is another one called Godbot, which I would reject due to blasphemy and I was sorely disappointed when it didn't answer my question about preservation of the Saints vs continued grace by continued faith. A talk with Alice is very funny, but bear in mind, she cannot answer yes or no.

If you have suggestions please send them my way! And I shall leave you with an extract of one of my conversations with ALICE.

ALICE: ...Where are you now?
Human: Aberystwyth in Wales
ALICE: I have no idea where that is. Tell me a little about your life in Aberystwyth in Wales.
Human: Aberystwyth is a small town by the sea.
ALICE: When is Aberystwyth not a small town by the sea?
Human: Never.
ALICE: So do you think it could ever happen?
Human: It could happen if Aberystwyth grows large enough to be a city but that is unlikely.
ALICE: It could happen to everyone eventually.
Human: No it couldn't.
ALICE: Are you serious? Under what circumstances?
Human: It is a logical impossibility.
ALICE: Aberystwyth is a logical impossibility. I suppose that makes sense.
Human: Yes, it does.

Also, ask her about her faith!

Monday, 20 April 2009

This is getting serious

I need to admit something. Something serious. I have an addiction to the internet. Okay, it's not all that bad. I can go days without using it, but it is usually as a result of boredom. However, utilising my addiction, I have decided on yet another web based feature. The Random Site, feature. It will be like the guest publication on Have I Got News For You, but more interactive.

Random Site
Ian's Shoelace Site. This is a site dedicated to, yes, shoelaces. Not just the types of shoelace, no. But ways you can tie them, lace them, decorate them, etc. Did you know that for all these years you could have been tying you laces incorrectly? Well, Ian tells you why. Now remember:
Right over left, left over right
Makes a knot both tidy and tight.

Makes sense now

I can't do mobile updates, I don't think. I don't live in USA. Come on Vodafone, do a deal with Google, like you did with Twitter.

Trend Setter

After updating the layout of my page, 2 others have done so already. However, you could argue Rachel updated hers first, but I have been improving my blog for a while. So I am officially a trend setter.

I have been investing a lot of time (usually at the dead of night) into improving my blog. This has included adding tags and such. At the moment I'm setting up mobile blogging. That means I can blog on the move (as well as twitter on the move). Well, I have to use my new shiny phone appropriately. But its taking ages.

I am insanely bored doing my dissertation at the moment. I'm hoping to get to 7000 words by tonight.

News on the coffee front. I've discovered a new and exciting way to have your coffee. Okay, it isn't probably that new. Instead of putting sugar in it, try putting honey in, instead. Does that merit a 'recipes' tag? Why not, eh?

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Network to Save

I've been a bit rubbish on my usingtheinternettosavetheworld stuff. So far I've done Avaaz, and egg a politician, but this is the big whammy. Going in for the kill, you might say. It is...wait for it...wait...facebook. Were you really disappointed? Did you think I was going to let you into a huge secret? Like the masonic order of charity websites? Enough with the questions.

Facebook is a good way to quickly let people know about things. You can post things on your wall, or your friends' walls. These things can be videos, links to news articles or other websites, all about things you are concerned or want to raise awareness about. There are also applications that can be used. Rather than just throwing sheep at people, or answering a quiz to determine what vegetable alkaloid you are (quinine), you can actually change things for the better.

Start with the Causes application. You can use it as a way to give money, but I mainly use it to show what charities I support. You can invite others to join, and therefore raising awareness.

My next application is the SuperBadger application. It is basically the same premise as Avaaz, but via facebook. It allows you to email (or badger, gettit?) politicians, business owners and other important people. An example of how SuperBadger has been successful is that Thornton's now stocks Fairtrade Chocolate. Read this Cadbury article on SuperBadger.

To see other articles on this topic, see the tags websites or world issues.


Here are some things you should know. I'm back in Aberystwyth. I have changed my layout yet again. I'm up way too late. I'm listening to Wizard Rock (music based around Harry Potter). I am a loser.

My train journey back to Aberystwyth wasn't too bad really. I was, for the first part to Birmingham New Street, accompanied by Rachael. For the second leg I sat with a friend from church, Claire. So I wasn't bored like usual, and I only slept a little bit.

Owing to the time, this is going to be a short post. As in ending in a hundred characters or so. But I like this template. So it is staying, methinks.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Coffee and Layouts

Rachael, my girlfriend, is staying over at the moment, and I'll probably write more about the visit at a later date. However, I can't neglect my blog for too long, especially as I wrote about no-one updating in my last post.

I've found a cool new site,, that has allowed me to make my blogger blog as exciting and cool as a wordpress one. So I'm playing around with them at the moment. This one is called 'Coffee Desk', but I'm not sure about it. Expect there to be a rapid succession of changes until I finally hit upon one I like.

One erksome thing is that my widgets disappear everytime I change my template. Also, the blogroll is being stupid and not letting me put other blogs beside blogger ones on it. Which is silly, as the blog I most read is dreamingofthecountry. However, I link to it in about 1 in 5 posts, so it won't be neglected.

It's funny that I don't even drink coffee and I have this as my current layout. I'm going to try and develop an appreciation of it. I love the smell of coffee and I like the idea of the different varieties available. But I need to pack, as I'm returning to the mouth of the river Ystwyth tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Blogs of Note

I do occasionally have a look at the blogs of note. First, because a part of me wants to be involved in this community of bloggers. Second, because I get bored when my blog roll doesn't update. Well, to be precise, the bloggers don't update. Even if the last blog was only updated yesterday, it still feels like years since I've had someone else's life to read about. Yes, I need to get out more.

Anyway, on reading these, I've realised a fail proof plan too get my blog listed as a blog of note.

1. Get an etsy account and make something pretty. 2. Eat something organic. Grow the organic edibles for better Blogs of Note points.

3. Take photographs. Lots of photographs. Don't worry, they don't have to be of different things. They can be the same thing from lots of different angles. Even better if you intend to sell it on etsy or it's organic, or both!

4. Use pastel colours. Not a necessity, but they help.

5. Move to an exciting urban metropolis (e.g., and especially, New York) or a rural idyll (e.g. a farm an hour away from New York). No mundane suburbs, I'm afraid.

Although this may seem a vindictive attack on the Bloggers of Note, it is not. I wish I had the talent to make and sell something on an etsy account, and I take photos. But the blogs of note seem to buying into the same way of life nowadays. Perhaps less of the same?

I apologise for the rubbish photos, by the way.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

3rd Post Mystery

Woah, 3rd post in one day. I really need to do dissertation work but I really don't care. I have a mystery to solve. On my post Invisible Children someone left a comment, called Nia. Now, am I being thick, but who are you? Do I know a Nia? Or a Nina. I know some Nais, so maybe it is a typo. If you have the answer to the mystére des enfants invisibles, tell me.

‘For as good as blynd’: Reading the Genuine Literary Experience in Chaucer

That is the title of my dissertation. It is almost there. I have written 5008 words, and have another 2992 words to go. I feel like my degree is a bit of a steal, and that I don't do enough work to deserve it, especially as I may come out with a first. But to be fair, I've paid £9000 for it, am I expected to work for it too? I just need some encouragement to actually get on with it. So let me hear: Come on Thomas, YOU CAN DO IT!

Pangrammatic Window

The title of the last post of my brother's blog was a French pangram. A pangram is a sentence that contains every word of the language, such as 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog'. I went on the wikipedia page about pangrams, and then saw the link to pangrammatic window. What is a pangrammatic window when it's out? you ask. It is, I respond, a naturally occurring piece of text that has all the letters of the alphabet in it. This made me want to see whether any of my posts were actually pangrammatic windows. I mean it would be easy, seeing as I live in the exceptional and quite bizarre Aberystwyth. My last post, 'Turkish Baths and The Boat That Rocked' would have been if it wasn't for the pesky letter 'z'. But I endeavoured, and hurrah, '21st Century Citizen' (including the title) is, indeed, a pangrammatic window. That pretentious piece of drivel was useful for something. I'd like to extend some thanks to Jerry Cooke for making it possible. Without him I would not have had the illusive 'j'. If I ever write a book those last two sentences will have to be in my dedication.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Turkish Baths and The Boat That Rocked

Okay, the Turkish Bath part may be a bit misleading, but I'll explain it now. I'm back at home, and enjoying the home comforts of food, TV and seeing my relatives. The house, though, is not particularly tidy. It is not due to slovenly behaviour (like that of my student friends), but more redecorating chaos. There is one thing in particular I do not like about being home. It is the downstairs power shower. It officially hates me. Whenever the sound of the whirring noise changes I know the shower is preparing to spite me. The is no rhyme or reason in what is about to happen. It just does. After the noise as change the shower suddenly sprays me with either ridiculously hot or cold water. Then after thirty seconds it sprays me with the temperature it hasn't done so yet. So the effect is like that of the cold plunge pool followed by the sauna.

Last night I went to see The Boat that Rocked. The experience was unusual because I saw only two days after it's release, rather than the standard 32 in Aberystwyth (random fact: I can't type Aberystwyth properly). It was alright. The performances weren't bad, the storyline was not overly boring and the sinking scenes were quite fun. After that we went to a very posh restaurant for food, which was very nice. (Another random fact: when using the spell-checker the nearest word it can find to Aberystwyth is abreast.)