Monday, 30 January 2017

Best. Lesson. Ever.

So my last driving lesson was Thursday. It started a little late because of traffic and poor planning but it ended up being one of my best lessons to date. I don't know what it was about it but for some reason everything just "clicked". Everything I did felt right and I felt really confident about it all. I made a few mistakes but I didn't let them hold me back. I just kept going at my own pace, and did a damn fine job.

We actually ended up where we were last time when I did a three-point-turn in five turns. We got there because I practiced parallel parking. The parallel parking went much better than the first time I tried it, which was already leaving me feeling pretty good. Then the owner of the car I parked behind came and moved her car in three turns. I took it as a challenge to also beat my old record and do it in three turns.

Needless to say I accomplished the feat; impressing both myself and Martin. I even performed better than the woman because she did it by cheating. She crossed her arms when she turned the wheel, but I didn't do that. So take that random lady!

We also practiced emergency braking again. I even did that better. I was still a little sharp on the brakes but the stop was much smoother. I even took the car into sixth gear at one point. That was a thrill.

Like I said, there was just something about being behind the wheel last week. I just felt confident. Like I could do it. I rarely go into things really believing I can do them like that. I made some mistakes (including stalling the car so much that the automatic turn-on turned itself off) but I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to focus on what I did right; and damn did I do a lot of things right.

My next lesson isn't until next week because I wasn't able to book it right away like I usually do. I was waiting for some money to clear. By the time it did Martin was fully booked for this week. Let's hope I can keep this confidence moving forward.

I also really need to pass my theory test already. I'm running out of things to do in my lessons.

Friday, 27 January 2017

That Did Not Go As Planned

So yesterday didn't exactly go as planned. I couldn't go out with Paul after all because he was sick. I did survive my driving lesson at least. More on that later. I also couldn't get as much work done as I wanted because I got sick myself. Then my dad broke the downstairs electric. He rigged up extension leads to keep the internet going though. S'all good. Given that my only plans for today are working, bathing, and wrestling with the niece, I think it'll be surprising if they get fucked up somehow.

Unless it's an automatic door and it breaks. Then you're screwed.

Punctuation is important when writing in foreign languages.

Why is this so funny?

It's true folks; there are people in Asian countries with random English shirts and tattoos.

You know you're drunk when you forget being picked up

This is how I'm going to die

$1 gets you NOTHING!

I don't even hate Trump but this is pretty funny

Cats are truly evil geniuses (by the way mine is okay. she got some steroids)

I need to find and follow this Twitter account.
Have a good weekend folks. See you on Monday.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

What a Busy Day

Full disclosure; I'm writing this post in advance. Given how busy I'll be today (Thursday) I kind of have to. I'm not going to get much rest today. Things are going to start out with taking Moo Moo to the vets for a half 12 appointment. She's been over-grooming again and I got really worried when I looked at her leg and saw that most of the fur on her leg was missing. Hopefully they can do something about that without thinking that I'm abusing her or something. 

After I get the cat back home I'll have a short rest and get to eat a bit of breakfast before heading out for my driving lesson at 2PM, which will last until 4PM. Assuming I survive this I'll then be heading out for a walk with Paul and Derrick (his Jug (Jack Russel x Pug)) and I'll probably be with Paul until about 6 or 7. Then I'll get home at last and cry because I have work to do. 
Derrick the Jug
I actually have so much work to do tomorrow that I was up until late into the night last night (Wednesday) trying to get it all done. I got everything due by tonight done, but I'll still have a few things to get done when I get home. 

Assuming I survive all of this I'll be going to a wrestling show on Friday with my niece again. That should be fun at least. It was wicked fun last time. She got chased around the ring by a clown. Fucking hilarious. 

Seriously. 

I probably shouldn't laugh so much at her misfortune but damn, it was funny. 

This is the clown before he scared my niece. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

I Made a Mistake

My last driving lesson was Thursday, which is why there wasn't an update about it until now. The same thing is going to happen this week too. The lesson went quite smoothly, except for one big mistake that I'll get into. Don't worry though; no one died and I've continued my streak of not hitting anyone or any thing.

The lesson started out easy enough. I took Martin to where the cross roads were in my town and he agreed they were a great area for learning. Sadly it was when the nearby school was throwing out the kids so we couldn't stay too long. So after two run-throughs we went to our regular spot for practicing.

The drive was, as always, smooth. I've become a fine driver. I'm adjusting well to driving at speeds of up to 60MPH and I don't get as flustered by the cars around me. Then came the mistake, which happened as we went down a street filled with zebra crossings.

Martin knows this one road that's basically a shopping district and there's about five zebra crossings down this one stretch of road. It's perfect for practicing this annoyance. And I guess I could use a little more practice because I didn't stop for one in time. As we continued on the person Martin told me to stop for did cross the road, so I really should have stopped.

Martin proceeded to spend the next 15-20 minutes lecturing me about how I could have killed someone and how, despite my ignorance, I should give way to people who look like they might be about to cross. I have to slow down when approaching a zebra crossing and be prepared to stop for anyone near the crossing.

He was tough but fair about it. I was kind of quiet for the rest of the lesson, which is what happens when I get depressed, but I didn't let my driving suffer for it. I suppose this is a sign that I've come along mentally too. The last time I really fucked up in a driving lesson (about five years ago I think) I had a nervous breakdown and spent about 10 minutes crying int he car before we ended the lesson early.

I was able to continue driving, I was able to complete the lesson, and I still look forward to my next one.

Other than how much they cost me of course.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Let's All Have a Laugh

I'll be watching the TV later. Probably. First time I've done that in a while. It's going to be an interesting day.
This is glorious 

I bet some men would wear them though

Is it a cat with a panda butt or a panda with a cat butt?

It's nice that something isn't trying to kill the Aussies. 

Don't mind if I do.

This is why I don't let other people proof for me

I kinda want a cookie now

THE MONSTERS! 

Seriously I'm 26 and still waiting for my supervision

Mine would be a Charmander and I would summon it 24/7
Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Give it a Chance

So tomorrow the world ends when Trump officially gets sworn in as the President of the United States. Or something like that is expected to happen. Personally I hope that dragons return and that's how the apocalypse goes. Back in reality however, the world will not end just because some orange man is going to be running a country. I think everyone needs to take a step or two back and, you know, give things a chance.

Like every elected official Trump has a list of things he wants to do that range from "that would be nice" to "oh god why that's the worst thing I've ever heard". Much like many other elected officials he may not get a chance to enact some of those truly terrible things. Then there are the things that people have just invented in order to strike up fear. It's kind of sad really.

I don't really know what Trump will do. No one knows for sure. That's one of the reasons people voted for him. Personally I didn't care much for either candidate. I knew y'all were fucked no matter who won the election. America has my sincerest sympathies that the best they could produce was Trump and Clinton.

During the run up to the election I was actually hired to write articles about why people loved Donald Trump and were voting for him. It was interesting. I can understand where they are coming from and, for their sake, I hope Trump can live up to their expectations. He brought a lot of people out of the grips of political apathy and made them believe in a politician again; by virtue of not being a politician. I'd hate for them to be let down again.

I'm not saying that Trump will be the best president ever. I'm not even casting my support for him or anything. I hope it doesn't come across like that. I'm just saying give things a chance. Wait to see how they will go. Trump could be the worst president ever but, you never know, maybe he ends up being the best one ever. Either way the only way to know for sure is to wait it out. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

A Blast From the Past

As any of my friends would tell you I'm a dork. I'm a massive dork. I also can't be trusted with money because I will spend it on inane and stupid shit, which is sort of what I did over the weekend. I was traipsing through the market on my Saturday walk when I noticed something peering out at me from one of the glass cabinets in the game stall. That's where the guy keeps all his good stuff. Boy, was this something good.
It's a copy of the original Mario Bros game for the NES. I bought a thirty year old game I'll probably never get the chance to play (a NES is around £150...but I'd buy it if I could) because I wanted it. See, I really have been playing games since I was about three years old. That game right there is one of the first games I ever played. It's a major part of my childhood and I just had to have it. I know I can play it online whenever I want (or download an emulator) but I just really wanted to be able to hold it. The sense of possession is something that's sorely missing from the digital world in which we live. I need a physical copy of something to really feel like I own it.

That's not the only really old game I bought just to own it this weekend. There was one more I got from Barnardos.
It's Michael Jackson's Moonwalker for the SEGA Master System. The store actually has a Master System in right now but it's a little outside of my price range. It's only £50, cheap compared to the NES, but I need that £50 for driving lessons and other shit. So I can't have it. However this game is another big part of my childhood. I remember deeply enjoying this game when I was younger.

Man how I wish I'd never lost a single game growing up. I could save a lot of money.

Friday, 13 January 2017

It Snowed A Very Small Amount

For some reason there hasn't been much snow here in England this winter. It's a shame because I love that white stuff. Maybe it's not so bad though; I mean, I am taking driving lessons. So it wouldn't be too good for me if it snowed all day every day. Still; I got a smattering at least.

I have a rocking horse and I have a cat. I should try this. 

I need a twin 
This is a brilliant practical joke


And this is a brilliant bit of British humour. I have no idea if the Chuckle Brothers are well-known outside of the UK

There are some messed up relationships out there

I bet that girl got a lot of potatoes 

I watched The Matrix recently. He really is. 

I like pineapple on pizza but I could never tolerate this

That poor toilet seat

Technically accurate!
Have a great weekend folks.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Hitting The Brakes

My latest driving lesson was this past Tuesday so it's time for another thrilling installment of my attempts to learn how to drive. There was one main focus of the lesson this week. This was the week I was going to learn emergency breaking, or as they now call it, a controlled stop.
The process is really quite simple. There are three main parts to it. The first is the actual braking process. Put one foot down on the brakes, and another down on the clutch, and tightly grip the steering wheel so the car doesn't swerve. The second stage is to secure the car and check your mirrors and make sure that by braking you haven't caused another accident. Finally you prepare the car and move on after making sure it's safe to do so. We did three of these and apparently I did pretty well at them. In fact Martin told me I braked a little too harshly on one of them and stopped too soon. He also didn't hit the dashboard like TV had taught me he would. Instead he just held up his hand and told me to stop the car, which is what will happen during my driving test if it comes up.

There was still plenty of time left after conquering the controlled stop so we did some reversing. And by "some reversing" I mean "so much my neck hurt". I was less successful at that, which suggests I'll be doing a lot more of it.

Martin did say I'm on target to meet the national average for time taken to learn how to drive, which stands at 47 hours. I've done 26 hours now, meaning I'm about half way through my lessons. I really need to pass my theory test. I want to get it booked in for the end of next month. My dad has already agreed to pay for the test seeing how I'm paying for the lessons. I just need to actually book it in now.

And, you know, pass.

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Importance of Reading

Well I survived my weekend. I even managed to complete all the work I had to do. I'm still fully booked but that's they way things go for me. I complete one job and, shortly after, receive another. I'm not going to complain about that though. I'd be very concerned if I had no work left to do, and enjoy never being completely caught up on my work. But I'm not here to talk about work today. At least not paid work.

One of the volunteers at our store was doing her homework yesterday when it emerged that she can't read very well. The books she was assigned by the school were for someone about half her age. We know how old she is because when she joined us she was 13 and she had to leave for a few weeks until she turned 14 because that's the minimum age for volunteering. Anyway, Paul, my boss and probably the closest thing I have to a best friend (how sad is that?) sat down with her and got her to read not just her book, but something for someone her age as well. She struggled with the word "apparently" but she got there in the end.

I think reading is one of those things that everyone takes for granted. There was a time when almost no one could read. Now literacy problems are fewer and farther in between but they still exist. There are people who struggle to read and so don't bother, like our volunteer girl. I actually had a friend who only learned to read because she had a crush on the teacher and wanted to impress them. They've since gone on to not just read books but to also write them. All because they wanted to impress someone when they were four.

Reading is a vital skill and it opens you up to so many possibilities; so many other worlds that are waiting to be found in a book. I don't like it when I hear people tell me they don't like to read. I think they just haven't found the right things for them. There's a book for everyone so go out and explore what literacy has to offer. If you know someone who can't read very well then gently encourage them to improve.

I suppose that's one more campaign I can support if I ever become super rich; childhood literacy.

Friday, 6 January 2017

I've Never Been So Overbooked

So I woke up yesterday to find I had 19 jobs I needed to get done on Fiverr. The funny thing is I'm supposed to be restricted to around 12. So thanks for nothing Fiverr. Man it's going to be a busy weekend.
As someone who trawls the intertubes this happens a lot

My cats

Apparently I don't work naked enough

This really implies they had something to do with why their dad was in a coma

I'd try this but my sonic plush won't fit in my comptuer 
Swans are dicks. 

Buzz Aldrin pls

This isn't really funny but it is awesome

Burnnnnnnnnnn

Kids say really fucked up things sometimes. Never have kids. 
Here's hoping we all survive the weekend!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Crisitunity

The title of this post is a Simpsons reference. Homer learns the Chinese use the same word for both "crisis" and "opportunity" and dubs the word "Crisitunity" (which is apparently a word my spell checker says is real). So anyway my first driving lesson of 2017 was this week. It was a bit of a mixed bag, as they always are.

I was kind of distracted by things going on in my life, and driving while distracted is never a good thing. You need to focus on the road ahead and behind you. Focus has always been an issue I have. I'm never really able to completely focus on a task and I constantly get distracted.

Because of these distractions I ended up making several mistakes. The most prominent mistake was shifting the gear down too soon, which causes the car to jerk. It sucked because I'm normally very good with gear changes. The worst mistake I made was not checking a junction properly before turning off. I only looked right and didn't check the left, which would have been a disaster had anything been coming from the left. Thankfully nothing was coming the other way so I managed to avoid death once again.

The crisitunity (which is apparently no longer a real word) also came from one of these mistakes. I ended up missing a right turn and the road ended with a dead end. So the only way to correct the problem was to do a three-point turn. Or as it's now known, a turn in the road. I also stopped a little too close to the end of the road to give myself enough room to turn properly. Martin, my instructor, predicted it would take at least nine turns to fully turn the car.

"Fuck that" I said to myself, and proceeded to do it in five. I was actually aiming for three but Martin later explained that not even a fully qualified driver could have made that turn in three without some kind of technology. I forgot the exact word he said but his car didn't have it. He also actually expected me to make it in seven, and nine was a conservative estimate. So I beat his expectations, even after fucking up.

Let that be a lesson to you folks; every mistake presents the chance for a success, and crisitunity may or may not be a real word. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year, New Me?

Well folks it's a new year. We're in the future now. 2017 and still no flying cars. It's hard to believe so many science fiction writers got it wrong. To be honest I'm not normally a member of the "new year, new me" brigade. I generally don't do new year's resolutions. I never found there to be much point. But some people make them and a select few of those people actually manage to stick with them. Given that there was no better time to start than the new year, I decided to put together to resolutions of my own.

1. By this time next year I will weigh 200 pounds.
This means I'm going to have to drop a lot of weight but I know I can do it. I just need to be serious about it. I saw myself in the mirror recently. It's not a pretty sight. I want to be able to look into a mirror and be comfortable with who I see looking back at me. Last year was a bad year for my weight. Let's make this one a good year.

The crazy thing is that even if I was 200 pounds I'd still be classed as overweight. A healthy weight for me is around 150, but the only way to lose that much weight in a year would be very unhealthy ways. They say you should never lose more than 2 pounds a week.

2. By this time next year I will have either taken a trip to America or have £2000 in my savings account
I have some American friends I would dearly love to visit. A trip like that takes a lot of money. Unfortunately while I have always been good at saving my money I just have too many expenses at the minute to save it properly. It's kind of hard to save money when you're spending £400 a month at least on driving lessons, rent, and other expenses. Thankfully I've already got a good amount of money in my savings account. So I don't need to be saving too much. I also have a very generous father who allows me to pay only the bare minimum amount of rent. It is still my hope that 2017 will be a profitable year for me.

And those are my resolutions. Let's see how I do with them. 

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