Friday, 29 May 2015

A Weight Loss Achievement

Despite the rather depressive nature of yesterday's post I do have some good times to talk about today. I got weighed on Tuesday as well as celebrating my birthday. Actually getting weighed ended up being the first time that day I felt like celebrating thanks to the nice result I got.

Even though I got a cold and spent a week in bed, even though I didn't get to go to the gym much, I lost five pounds in four weeks. If that wasn't good enough I also ended up hitting some weight loss milestones which is what makes it even more of an achievement.

I did that too.
That five pounds took me to two big numbers. The first one is more for non-Americans but losing that five pounds brought me back down below 19 stone and in the 18-19 stone range. That was my first major goal because 18 stone was the highest I remember being the first time I tried to lose weight when I was a teenager. So I'm now back to where I was about eight years ago. It's a sign of just how much weight I gained, sure, but it's also a damn fine sign of how much I've lost. 

As well as hitting that goal I also reached another good one. A damn great one if I do say so myself. This is going to be kind of hard to admit but at my biggest I weighed about 350 pounds. I weighed over 150kgs. I remember the shame I felt when I admitted to my dad we couldn't buy a stepladder because it couldn't support my weight. I'm pleased to report that since then I have now lost over 20% of my original body weight.

That feels pretty good if I do say so myself.

They say that to feel good you should lose 5% of your weight. To those people I say, screw you, lose 20%.

Though seriously losing any weight is an achievement. If you only manage to lose 1% then good for you. Lose as much as you need to. Only really, really, stupidly obese people like me need to lose half their body weight.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Pre/Post Birthday Blues

Even though it's now past my birthday this is more to do with the blues I was feeling before my birthday. I wasn't going in to it feeling too great and I even made a note of that on my birthday post. There's a very good, and quite simple reason for that. One I suppose I will go in to now.

"Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin."
As you know I turned 25 this year. I'd like to thank the people who wished me a happy birthday. Rather than feeling blue because I felt old or anything, I was feeling depressed, and still kind of am, because I've not managed to accomplish anything by this point in my life. Looking back I am a colossal failure. There is no hiding from that fact. I am yet to hold down a "real" job, or even a not so real one. I am yet to release a full length book. I am yet to earn a decent wage.

I am yet to do anything that I, or anyone else, can look back on and say "Yeah you're successful" about.

Lots of people younger than me are much further along in life than I am. This year I turned the age I met Paul, my boss at work. You know what he was at 25? My boss at work. He was the youngest manager in Barnardos history.

I know I shouldn't compare myself to others but even when I don't I am such a fuck up. And it really, really brought me down.

And it still does.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Happy Early Birthday To Me

We're approaching that time of year when I can say to myself "Happy birthday" and not be thought of as an idiot; as it will in fact be my birthday tomorrow. I know I like to dance around my age a bit here but when I become famous details like my date of birth will be public knowledge so what the hell? I'll be turning 25.
Hey it's Pikachu!
I have a few plans but nothing involving going out or anything like that. The main fundamental of my plan is actually "eat pizza and drink copious amounts of alcohol; quite probably alone." I never really do anything for my birthday anymore. I think the last time I did anything was when I was 21 and Jessica made me do something. She's in Spain now though so she can't do that anymore.

My boss offered to take me out for dinner and, while the act did almost make me cry (I'm not used to acts of care and kindness. That's how not used to it I am) I had to turn him down. A lot of places are going to be closed tomorrow and I sort of have plans. Maybe next year if I still talk to him. It's funny actually. Next year I'll turn the age he was when we first met. I didn't think about that until just now. It's actually his birthday today. Happy birthday. I doubt you read this. I hope not. He certainly wouldn't be happy to hear my birthday plans.

I'd go in to more about why I'm not that thrilled to be turning 25 but I'll save them for another day I think. This is getting a little long and I'm sure most of you would want to just wish me an early happy birthday and go about your day.

If you'd care to wish me a happy birthday tomorrow on Twitter I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Old Forgotten Software

I recently ran in to some trouble with a software program I use that got me looking for a resource to find older versions of software. Sometimes older versions are more stable or compatible with what you're trying to do. It's a strange to think that software might become more flawed as it is updated but that's just the strange world we live in.
Whereas some software just doesn't exist anymore. I miss you MSN.
There is also abandonware, which are programs that have long since been abandoned by their creator and are not as freely available online as they used to be. I found a pretty cool website with the answers to all your old programming needs called oldversion.com.
Just the front page brought back memories.
As you can see they have old versions of programs for all operating systems including Linux, and even a few old games. I couldn't get any of the games to work though unfortunately enough.

I know not everyone is going to appreciate this as much as I do, but if you fancy using an older, and sometimes more reliable, version of a program then know there are resources to do that out there. They have tons of programs and as far as I know they're all free.

I should really get paid for this kind of thing.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

It's ALL Sexism And Racism

I'm not one for waxing political on here. Yes I'm still going to say that even after all the political posts. I like to live in a fantasy world. But today I'll be taking a rare step in to the real world and appealing to the better nature of you, my dear reader.

There are people who like to say that there's no such thing as reverse sexism, or reverse racism. That is to say; being sexist towards men or racist towards white people. These people are wrong and right at the same time. There is no such thing as reverse racism and sexism, because it is ALL sexism. Sexism towards men is just as bad as sexism towards women and racism towards white people is just as bad as racism towards white people.

Recently the Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths University, a woman by the name of Bahar Mustafa made very racist and sexist comments towards white men in public. She also constantly posts things on Twitter using hash tags such as #KillAllWhiteMen. There are a lot of people who think this doesn't mean much but those people are wrong. How would you feel if someone said they wanted to kill all black people, just for being black? You find it abhorrent when women are treated like shit and you should feel the same about men.

The things she has said breach the code of conduct at Goldsmiths University and border on legitimate hate speech that should see her brought in front of a court. To that end a petition has been set up to have her removed from the university. A diversity officer of all people shouldn't be talking like this. To that end a petition has been set up and I'm asking you to sign it.

You'd sign something to punish a man for hate speech. Do the same for a woman. Show actual equality and diversity.

Thank you.

This is the petition.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Always Back Up Properly

I learned on Friday that, contrary to my week having a good ending, I would in fact be spending the weekend alone. So that really sucked but it did afford me an opportunity to do something I've been meaning to do for a while. That thing is to clean out my computer by completely restoring it to factory settings. That meant backing everything up.



Windows 8, for its faults, does have a nifty little feature that makes it super easy to restore your computer. You can either refresh it, which deletes everything but your personal files and takes a few hours, or a complete reset which deletes everything and leaves you leaving your computer on overnight. I decided to do the second option. After backing everything up of course.

You'll be pleased to hear that despite my fears everything was backed up. I put some things on my external hard drives and others on my cloud services. No nude selfies though. No fappening for me. Not that anyone cares when a non-famous person has their nude selfies leaked.

Not everything was backed up properly though. I learned a while back that if you back up and copy your iTunes folder properly you can restore it how you left it. That is to say that your playlists, ratings, and things like that are saved. That's handy for someone like me who has over 2000 songs in their library and doesn't like the idea of rating all those songs again. I forgot the important step of actually backing up my iTunes library though and opened iTunes to discover that a few playlists were missing, as were a number of songs. They were safely on my hard drive though so it was just a matter of readding them.

Things like my stories have been backed up properly forever though. In fact they pretty much just live on the cloud. So there's no delay on Immortal Space or nothing and there shouldn't be, even if I buy another computer entirely.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Thank God It's Friday

I'm not normally one for celebrating the arrival of the weekend. I mean, the weekend doesn't really mean too much to me anymore. I don't have a job (I actually volunteer on weekends) and I don't even see much of my nieces any more. The weekend doesn't represent a shift in schedule for me anymore. That said, I really am going to be glad to see the end of this week. It's been pretty not so great.
Friday is also the day before Caturday
It started, as you'd expect, on Monday. I decided I should still go to the gym and stopped by the shop on my way there. See there's a new girl who started and she looks just like the sister of my best friend. I asked her if I could take a picture and she said no. I can actually understand that because I hate people taking my picture too. I couldn't help but feel like a bit of a creep after that though and it brought my mood way down. With that came me feeling fat and frumpy and just left me feeling like shit. It wasn't helped when I actually went to the gym, worked out, and realised I was sick again when I got home.
Things kept going downhill from there really. I was too sick to really exercise again and my diet hasn't been too great either. So much for my determination to lose a lot of weight this month. I'm sure I'll have still lost something but hey, one time I'd like to have nothing detracting from my diet and exercise. At least I managed to do some writing so the week wasn't totally bad. I even did a few paid jobs. Whee.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Back To Back To The Future

So last week, or the week before, or maybe even the week before that, I went back and watched a classic movie in The Breakfast Club. This past weekend I found myself at home alone. I knew it was going to happen and I also knew what I was going to do; I decided in advance that I'd watch the Back To The Future trilogy for the first time in years.
I was 12 all over again when that happened.
As much as I remembered most of the first movie I didn't remember much at all about 2 and 3. The series was actually much darker than I remember. Especially the second one. Most people remember the happy go lucky future world of 2015. I think most of those don't think too much about the time he went back to 1985 and didn't spend much time at all in 2015. I know I did. The new world of 1985 was essentially a post apocalyptic past.

That was a stark contrast to the way movies based in the future look now. Almost everything set in the early 21st century, while being created before it, paints the world as an incredibly futuristic place. There are robots and flying cars everywhere. When it comes to BTTF 2 everyone remembers the hoverboards. At least those are becoming a thing now. Now however things set a much bleaker picture of the future. I'm not sure if people are depressed about the future or are just more aware of the advancement of technology. Whereas in BTTF2 it was the past that ended up looking like something out of a post apocalyptic movie.

One of my favourite aspects of the movies though? There are two. The first is that the movies are set up as an actual trilogy. They lead in to each other and are very self referential. There are repeating scenes like the Biff of the age getting covered in literal shit, and Marty waking up and talking to someone he thinks is his mother. The other is the music. Outside of licensed music like the classics of Johnny B. Goode and Power of Love, the music is just different renditions of the original theme. They switch it up a little to fit the scene but it's obvious it's the same song. I loved that for whatever reason.

They were fun movies that still hold up today, and hopefully still hold up in ten years time when their idealistic view of 2015 becomes even more comical.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Killing Off Characters

This is something that really came to me while I was doing some writing on Immortal Space. It's not actually anything to do with killing characters throughout the course of a book. The first story I wrote involved a little girl being hit by a car. So I've made my views on the killing off of characters pretty clear. Though my actual views do disagree with that kind of thing really. I'm not a fan of when a major character dies and I don't like doing it myself.
I've actually not read/watched Game of Thrones because of all the character deaths. 
 No this is actually about erasing a character entirely during the writing process. I'm going to be honest with you; I considered actually getting rid of a character entirely. I won't say which though. No one majorly important who probably wouldn't be missed too much. What saved them was that I had posted pieces of the story here before so everyone knew they existed. There would be people reading going "Wait, where the fuck did they go?"
Plot twist; Wally never existed
 This kind of got me wondering if there were other characters in stories who existed in first drafts but were then not in the final version. I don't think I've ever seen an author asked a question like that. How would you even know there was a character missing if you hadn't seen the draft yourself? That was the case with Immortal Space.

To writers; Ever taken a character out of a story entirely? To others; Ever heard of such a thing?

Friday, 8 May 2015

Damn You Immune System!

I have more bad news to impart as far as the writing of Immortal Space goes I'm afraid. I said that last month I had a writing job that kept me busy for a week and stopped me from writing. This week I had something else happen to me that took it out of me for about a week and stopped me from writing; I got ill.

Surprisingly accurate representation of me this past week.
I used to think my immune system was pretty decent but lately I've come to the realisation that no, it's not. It's quite shit actually. I seem to get sick a lot and like to say that the day I wake up perfectly healthy is the day I'm convinced I'm going to die. Probably of natural causes at that too. I don't even know entirely what was wrong with me.

I can tell you that I woke up on Saturday with a terrible headache that wouldn't go away. I was also pretty weak and couldn't move too well without tiring myself out even more. I woke up on Sunday with less of a headache but with a runny nose. I woke up Monday with my nose in a worse state. Then on Tuesday I woke up feeling a little better and I've been recovering slowly ever since then. I'm also quite sure I had a fever I didn't really recognise because I wore a sweater for three days straight without taking it off, barely left my bed, but also never felt too warm. Needless to say I really needed a bath.

So I'm sorry to say that I didn't really get much writing done this week. Hopefully I'll be able to do more in the coming weeks to really make up for it and stick to the schedule.

On the plus side though I did a ton of reading.

Update: I'll give you full disclosure and say I wrote this on Wednesday. Yesterday I actually did manage to write two chapters of Immortal Space, putting me back on track. Though it was mostly exposition so I copied and pasted a lot of stuff. Not everything needs to be rewritten word for word in a second draft. 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

It's "Erection Day"

Hopefully the use of quotation marks in the title of the post will alert people to the fact it is a deliberate typo. It's a reference to the fact some politician did actually release a leaflet with "erection day" instead of "election day" on it. It was beautiful.
All kidding aside it is actually that time again; election day is once more upon the British Isles and we finally, hopefully, be getting rid of the arrogant money grabbing posh twats currently running the country. Yes I am aware of the fact we will most likely be replacing them with another set of arrogant money grabbing posh twats, but a girl can dream.

As you're all no doubt aware the list of things that annoy me is remarkably large for someone who has such an awful amount of patience. One thing that definitely does annoy me is political apathy. I just generally don't like people who complain about something but then never do anything about it when the chance presents itself. If you're going to complain about politicians the least you could do is vote for someone who has views that are similar to yours. If you can't find such a politician, you simply aren't looking enough. At the very least you can't vote for someone who isn't the worst of the bunch.

To that end I will be voting today. I might have even voted by the time you read this. Though of course we won't know the results until tomorrow. Actually if there isn't a majority we might not be sure of who is running the country for a few weeks yet. If there isn't a majority and no coalition is formed we'll even have to have a whole other election. Yikes.

Though I am pleased to report that no politician has personally canvassed here and knocked on my door themselves. I guess I live in a town that isn't worth their time.

Lousy arrogant money grabbing posh twats.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Immortal Space Update San

Why not change what language I use as the number for the update? This month the number is "san", which is the Japanese word for "three". There you go, you've learned something. I am a kind and merciful God after all. Well anyway you aren't here to learn Japanese; you're here to see how I'm progressing with Immortal Space. It's the first Monday of the month after all.
Ba dum tsh!
First off don't expect the number to be too high this month. Last month I got a large writing job that took a whole week for me to do, and that meant no Immortal Space writing. I'm sorry about that but at the minute I'm desperate for money so I'll take short term writing work over the long term writing of Immortal Space. I also had to deal with larger chapters that were the length of several chapters. Thankfully I also had to deal with smaller chapters so hopefully the number is good. Well, let's see.

Gimme a drumroll kitty
Immortal Space currently stands at 25 chapters written and 81180 words, including the title page and contents. That is 7 chapters written, which doesn't sound good, until I also say that it's close to 30k words written, which is about 13-15 regular chapters. Which isn't bad at all considering I didn't write for a whole week. I'm also now officially past the half way point! Wheee! In terms of chapters at least. I have plans for 49 chapters. When you take in to account some are longer than others, and some are shorter, I can no longer give a safe word count guesstimate.

Also Firefox recognises "Guesstimate" as a real word. Go figure.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Reliving The Magic

After reading nothing but comics and manga for the past few months, probably closer to a year, I decided it was time I re-enter the wide world of reading. What better book series to go back through than Harry Potter at that? I know I've blogged about Harry Potter before but hey, I'm going to be talking about different aspects of the books. Most noticeably how much I misremember them.
Grimdark as fuck yo
One thing that I'm surprised I found myself thinking is that I'm actually closer to this level than I thought in terms of writing ability. The first book is very, very simplistic. I'm really bad at descriptive writing and it's my biggest weakness as a writer. One comparison I like to make is that J.K would describe Hogwarts in great detail and I would simply say "There was a large castle" and you know what? I was wrong. That's actually how J.K describes Hogwarts the first time Harry sees it. She literally describes it as a large castle. I hope that one day someone looks back at Immortal Space when I've gone on to release other things and they think to themselves "Wow, I can see for myself how much he grew." It's interesting, in a way, as J.K is an author I look up to. Now I look at her work and think I don't have such a long way to go. At least, not until I'm on the level of the first book. Those books definitely got more complicated and better written as the series progressed.

Another thing is just how different the movies were even back at the start. I haven't watched a Harry Potter movie since the fourth one. I love Order of The Phoenix and I didn't want to see them ruin it. I didn't realise of course how much of the earlier books was changed. To watch the movies you'd think that Harry, Ron and Hermione were bosom buddies right from the start and it was a collective love at first sight. I'm a little past half way through the first book and Harry and Ron can't really stand Hermione. It took a while for them to really develop and become the trio they eventually did.

For now though, I'm just going to enjoy reading again. Perhaps the next books I pick won't be a seven part series though.

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