Monday, 21 July 2014

Fibre baby!

I live in a nice area, it's quiet, the houses are decent size, most everyone is retired or has a job (even me) and the last reported crime was in 1984 when Old Man Smith from down the road was caught worrying the sheep on Winchfawr (real word). All in all it doesn't meet the stereotype of Merthyr Tydfil where people are on the sick for 6 years for having a burny fart.

However, what is limited are things like Internet speeds (less than a meg quite a bit of the time), phone signal coverage, access to a cash machine, you know the kind of thing.

Well no more fr one of those things, no I haven't bought an ATM, today my order goes in for Fibre Optic Internet! Last week, my regular forlorn visit to Superfast Cymru's website didn't produce the traditional, "Fibre Not Available" result, so I did it again just to be sure.

No longer will every xbox download take 6 weeks, no longer will I not be able to stream Netflix and YouTube at the same time (2 different people). Imagine the luxury! Imagine all you want as I won't have to.

Booya bitches!

OK, it'll be 2/3 weeks getting installed which will undoubtedly be a torturous wait, but soon, really soon, my little slice of the Tyd will be one step closer to catching up with the world!Having said that, long contract and somewhat pricey are the downsides extra 10 baps on my (well the wife's, but I'l pay the difference) bill for a nice 72mps connection.

Got a feeling it'll be worth it though.

The return

Christmas 2012, so long ago, but was the last time I wrote on here. Yep dead blog. But no longer, I am here to resurrect!

Now I've not been inactive, my wares have been on display on xboxramble.com (now defunct), thetechramble.com (now defuct), ramblemedia.com (now defunct, stop me if you spot a pattern anywhere) and most recently keyboardwarriors.co.uk (not defunct! Yay!) where my current production is focused.

However, they currently have a bit of my work to catch up on, so there's no point adding to the pile, plus there it has to be on topic, I can't just wander off the way I used too on here, so let's get this get this show back on the road!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

So that was Christmas

Well that's crimbo over for another year, and this years tried its best to add a little variety!!

This year managed a first for me, the first time I'd ever woken up on Christmas morning in a chair in Prince Charles Hospital. Well that's not strictly true, waking up implies I slept at some point, which with an Ill baby at my side wasn't going to happen. Dylan was diagnosed with bronchitis and spent the night in Ward 31 with the wife, myself and mother Driscoll alternating cover to stay with him.

Then in the night, with loads to be done at home before we served dinner for 7 the following day, I stayed as let's face it, I'd have got fuck all done, or it would have been done badly, one of the two.

After some begging we managed to get discharged at 6:30 or so, then making it home in time to see Gracie open her presents. Words can not describe how gutted I'd have been to miss that. Big thanks to the Ward 31 staff! Christmas day then went on to be the rather good day you'd expect, only let down by me being wiped out in the extreme from the night before and having to take a nap (or two) to stop myself falling down.

Present wise, I got good stuff as you'd expect! This tablet (which I may have mentioned I had early), an N64 which I've acquired a few games for, Batman blurays, and loads more.

Extended period off now til Wednesday, nice to be round the house with the family etc!

New years eve next, off to Swansea with a couple of friends, should be a laugh! Then back to work... Joy... Looking forward to that.

Hmmm a late one but baby doesn't fancy sleeping tonight...

Monday, 17 December 2012

3D tax

I like going to the cinema, but aspects of it do piss me off.

As you may have worked out by now I live in the lovely valleys town of Merthyr Tydfil, sadly all we have is a Vue. We used to have nothing, and for years so it's progress and everything, but we did get stuck with the lesser of the chains. Always expensive, limited showings, only the most mainstream of films and not always at their best (no 3D showing, films only there for a few days, you know the kind of thing.)

But there are things I don't understand, there are possibly perfectly good reasons but what they are... not forthcoming. The main one is the couple of quid they chuck on the (already nearly £8) price for 3D films. I went to see The Hobbit this weekend with the good wife and £20 of tickets for the bog standard seating (if we'd wanted the nice seats it'd be the same price to get into the Odeon IMAX in Cardiff Bay) makes cinema going prohibitive. Plus generally the effect isn't worth it, in this instance it looked nice on a few landscape shots and looking into the Goblin city (no spoiler warnings, the book's been out long enough) but for the film as a whole, I could have done without it.

Do they need special projectors? (I assume so) Does it cost for to put on? Are we paying for those poxy glasses they demand back at the end? I've never seen a film which I initially saw in 3D back in normal 2D and thought... missed that 3rd dimension there. That includes Avatar and Avengers! As a gimmick its fine, as it was in the 70s and the 40s (I think) but it died then and may do so now.

If I wanted to take the full set of sprogs and wife... £8 extra. That's a whole extra person! On release weekend that cinema was 1/3 full at most. I'd imagine cost would be a factor. People wonder why films like Dredd 3D fail, the fault may be as much with the cinemas themselves as with the films.

People weigh up the excessive cost of going and the majority of the time things like cinema lose.

Oh and why couldn't we get an Odeon or a Cineworld... Sad face.

The film itself was good, didn't think it was great. Acting was OK, Freeman was good as Bilbo and it was good to see Sylvester McCoy in work but I found James Nesbitt highly annoying, but then again I always do. The first and last hours were very good but the middle kind of sauntered along waiting for something to happen. It's worth a watch but the 3D isn't a deal breaker.

Bits felt padded out/unnecessary and this didn't always work, it brings me back to other moans about a 300 page book being stretched beyond what is healthy.

I'll be watching the next two but I'm struggling to see how they'll fill 6 more hours!

£20 worth... Nah.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Roughly 1 year later...

This time last year (think it was January) I posted this:

http://andrewdrisc.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/hi-im-andrew-and-im-underachiever.html

Which has been described to me as a very frank and honest post about myself, it was even mentioned in my work appraisal! Well as much as January is the time for planning, December should be the time for reflecting, I've just read that post back and... Hmmm a mixed bag of results at best.

Let's start with positives! Oh yes fitness. Decent effort PB's at 10k and half marathon and big PB's too. Had a big stall the last 6 weeks or so with a broken arm but come March 3rd I'm confident I'll be capable of a sub 2 hour half marathon in Llanelli. Not bad for a fat asthmatic! Still plenty to do though, still fat but not as fat (my work pass photos were beginning to look like before/after shots). I was actually going to the gym today but mother Driscoll is coming down shopping and so I'm meeting her for lunch instead! Dedication!

On a personal level, good stuff. Child #2 (Dylan) successfully birthed and growing. I was actually fully aware of his existence at the point of the other post, but it was early pregnancy and we hadn't said anything to pretty much anyone, so me announcing it to the 24 (actual number) of people who read the last post would have been silly! I still have 2 houses etc and home like is still good (hi Cerys!), Gracie is doing well in school and dotes on the baby. No complaints there.

Ambition wise, not so great. My 'chance' to try out a senior role and then apply for it was a truly epic epic fail. Crashed and burned in style and what felt like my last chance to progress failed. I tried to join another department, bang in another fail, I tried to join another company... Hat trick! There's still a possibility going forward, but by now its pretty obvious where then problem really lays.

Am doing some courses though, maybe I'll learn something.

Don't get me wrong I don't hate my job and I work with some good people. Generally people who've been there less time than me and have passed me by though. There's even patterns in fractals (Google or listen too Mandelbrot set, Benoit has sadly left us though... Mandelbrot's in heaven..).

Writing wise, including this I've posted 40 times on here. That's not too bad. Some with decent number of views too!

As I said previously, all I can do is try and on times I've crashed and burned and on some things I've done quite well. Oh well power on!

The blogger app (still on the nexus 7, tis lush) just asked me to tag my location... Northern Europe was the best it could do... Don't think this pad has GPS but well done for trying! If you ever wonder where I am in the mornings, its easy there's only ever 2 possibilities, either on manor way while a stagecoach driver looks confused at traffic or on the A470 while some stagecoach driver looks confused at traffic. After Christmas I'm switching to train. I'll take overcrowding ahead of taking 2 hours to get to work.

EDIT: Sorry Nexus, you do have GPS. Should never have doubted you!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Crimbo come early!

After much deliberation following my pervious post, a decision was made. I am now the proud owner or a Google Nexus 7 which is the very location I'm typing from now, easy too. Well it would be if I could feel my fingers. How about some heat on drive??

Tis a very pretty thing lovely HD screen, light, shiny android 4.2. Cracking stuff. The downside is this may mean the end of the netbook. It's been 3 good years but you've been replaced. Its been fun, and you'll always have a job around the house...

One odd thing I have noticed is the number of apps not ready for/compatible with 4.2. Obviously all of he Google stuff is (this blogger app being an example) but such things as iPlayer (flash issues apparently), come on BBC sort it out! I ran a bit of Netflix (Archer series 1, petty funny) and it looked fabulous.

One bugbare with my phone is the pure lack of any sense shown by the predictive keyboard, but this is much better. I'm watching typos corrected in front of me, while on my (awesome still) phone one letter off typing 'and'? The phone returns 'abducted'. But I am using the Liam Neeson dictionary.

Yesterday when I went to choose the present, I'd decided on a mini tablet and it was between Nexus 7 and Galaxy tab 2. No contest to be fair, the screen quality and build feel put this ahead. Nice red case that supports the thing at a nice typing angle and voila!

I have a feeling this could be an awesome present, cheers wife!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Crimbo presents

It's almost that type of year again, Christmas.

For the record I'm a firm believer in Christmas is 25th December. People with decorations up in October? Sorry I just don't get it, surely by having them up for so long you actually detract from the 'special-ness' (not a word) of them through over exposure. Companies with really early Christmas adverts... same to you, and people counting down 'sleeps'etc from about 150. Yes that is why I stopped following you on twitter/hid your facebook posts.

Oh and the to anyone who posts 364 sleeps til Crimbo on boxing day. Words can not describe how swiftly you shall vanish from my timeline(s). That includes retweets.

But this blog isn't to rant about premature festivities (my staff Crimbo party was in November this year, and was good!), I may do that separately, in fact I'm pretty certain I will. This is about myself, me, moi. I have no idea what I want for crimbo, and times a wasting.

The good wife asked me a good while ago what I wanted her to buy for me, I didn't know, which isn't uncommon but generally I think of something (to give to Santa in case Gracie is reading this, fat bastard gets all the credit) sooner or later. But this year I'm struggling.

I'm 30 year old so if I get not much, especially after being a pain in the arse about it, I'm not going to cry. But I'm a blank. It's me and I like gadgets so something electrical is an awesome idea. Do I wanted a tablet, the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 are both pretty awesome little machines (wouldn't want to carry a 10" one round) and let's face it my 3 year old netbook is feeling it's age. But would I use it? I think so, especially as I do love my kindle and either could replace/upgrade that on everything except battery life. Possibility.

I did ponder the idea of splitting a Wii U between us (and my birthday) but jesus they're so expensive, even the games are £50 (in Game who you should know my opinion of by now). Cut the price Nintendo, one of the selling points of the original wii was the accessibility and affordability, at least of the basic pack. They still bummed you hard for a remote. So probably not a great idea.

Batman blu-ray set, check.

Ummm apart from that, I could ask for a 360 game, there's a new cheap PS3 out, but I don't really want another console. Something retro? An N64 would rock, but I haven't played the SNES as much as I thought I would, so it could be a dust gatherer. The wife has a 3DS but I can't see me getting the use.

So any ideas anyone, I have gadgety friends, who may or may not read this tripe. What's good?