Its once again been a while since my last blog post. Just a quick update on a few recent bits and bobs (in no particular order)
• Canon 450D sold – the whole lot went for £200. That’s a pretty great deal for the guy who bought it. As a result of that…
• Finally got the Sony 55-210mm telephoto lens that I wanted for my NEX-5R. Its a great bit of kit, I’ll get a few sample shots uploaded on Google+ and Flickr when I get the chance. For those interested there’s a nice Flickr group with loads of sample shots here.
• Haven’t been playing much tennis and there’s a bit going on behind the scenes at the club which I can’t be bothered with. Might be time to move on, we will see.
• Went to see Iron Man 3. Meh. It was alright, if loaded with too many over the top extended scenes. Funny in parts though so that was good.
• Gaming – I picked up ‘Dishonored’ for the PC and I’ve been playing through that. Linear but I’m quite enjoying it. Its also been a good month for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Much to my surprise I’ve been absolutely hooked on ‘Catherine’ – a story-based logic plat former type game that’s impossible to describe and explain in a sentence – check out IGN’s review here. Its unexpectedly fantastic. Aside from that I’ve not played the new Hitman game yet. I did try out ‘Sine Mora’ though which is a nice shooter for the Vita.
• Dropped the Nexus 4. It didn’t explode into a million shards of glass as I thought it might. In fact, there’s barely a scratch on it.
• (Re)discovered that the Nexus 7 is thin and light. Having taken it out of the faux-leather case that I’ve been using I had forgotten how small the profile is on this thing. I’m writing this blog entry from it right now and its not anywhere near as fatiguing as when I use it with the case.
• Been using ‘MightyText’ for Android. It syncs your SMS (and other bits and bobs if you want) between your phone, tablet and web browser for an iMessage-like service for Android that works pretty well. Its free, grab it here.
• Had a play with a Galaxy S4. Quick verdict: amazing screen, not as big as I expected, great camera, same touchwiz nonsense that bakes my noodle, still feels like a toy but will probably hold up to general wear and tear quite well. Enough to pull me away from the Nexus 4? No chance. Not unless someone sends me one for free.
• Paranoid Android have been making a lot of noise with their latest ‘Holo’ notifications feature. It takes Facebook’s new Chat Heads feature and builds on the concept for all notifications and allows for greater multitasking capabilities. Haven’t tried it yet but looks interesting.
• Google IO soon. Great time to own Nexus devices. Shall be watching the livestream as long as I have time.
• Google Music’s instant mixes feature is awesome. Start playing a track and it’ll make a playlist based on similar music. Simple and effective. Its what I’m listening to on the N7 while listening to this.
So that’s about it off the top of my head. Time for a breakfast at mother-dearest’s fine establishment.
So, what have I been up to over the last week or so? Nothing monumental I’m afraid. But here’s a few things.
• Tennis – played for the 2nd time this year and I was hitting the ball pretty well considering I’m out of practice. I think maybe the rest has done me some good. Not playing much means it lowers the expectations I have of myself. So that’s nice.
• Had a shave – which means for about a week I’ll look 5 years younger.
• Completed my first real consultancy piece at work for my ‘new’ role. Geeky shit mostly, a 5000+ word document on why a customer’s system isn’t anywhere near as good as it could be.
• Sent off the Galaxy S3. Yes, its gone and I’m back with a Nexus 4. And its awesome now Google have made some tiny changes to the hardware and release Android 4.2.2. More on that in a future blog post.
• Moved from Catch Notes to Google Keep. Its far simpler but has a bloody fantastic widget which means I’ll actually use notes far more than I used to.
• Updated the PS Vita to version 2.10 which finally has support for folders. About bloody time.
• Guacamelee! finally got released for the PS3 and Vita. Its a game I’ve wanted since I saw a teaser trailer some time ago. More info here.
• Updated the security on my WordPress blog. Considering the attacks that are happening at the moment this was a good idea.
• Been approached to write for a new tech site thats launching soon. Don’t know how I feel about it. Seems to lack direction and has a crap name and logo but we’ll see, its early days yet.
• Ate lots – I’ve been doing pretty well with the whole losing weight and getting fit thing but this week my appetite has just taken over. Chips, McDonalds and Indian takeaway have all been murdered over the last few days.
So there’s a few things. Next week I’ll be back on the healthy(ish) food again and hopefully will get out into the courts as long as the weather improves.
Since making a conscious effort to sort my ever-increasing weight and generally fatty-twatty-ness one of the biggest changes I’ve made is to give up the CocaCola – as you may have read from a previous post. Having substituted the full-fat Cola for zero-calorie alternatives (namely Fanta Zero and Sprite Zero) a lot of people have been warning me about the life-threatening dangers of Aspartame. The amount of scaremongering that goes on thanks to the internet and the uneducated is really quite amusing.
For a fact sheet on the matter (basically reiterating that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest Aspartame has ANY negative effects on the human body or mind) – download the PDF here.
To give you an idea of the nutritional difference between CocaCola and Sprite Zero just glance at this:
When you consider that I was probably drinking at least 1500ml a day of full-fat Coke then it speaks for itself. I honestly think people should be more concerned about the effects that Caffeine has on the body (WebMD have a nice page about this here).
Ultimately its for joe-consumer to make up their own damn mind – my advice is to do a little research first instead of listening to what uncle Roy ‘knows’ about it.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I probably drink too much full-fat CocaCola. That’s not good. In an effort to drop a bit of weight and get a bit healthier, I’ve had to look for something fizzy to drink that isn’t going to give me death cancer. I’ve tried Coke Zero. Horrible. 7up Free. Disgusting. Turns out though that Sprite Zero and Fanta Zero, as long as they are well chilled, actually taste pretty good. Yes, they contain aspartame which is apparently Satan’s powder but that has to be better than a kilogram of sugar and a million calories every day.
Last week I had to have an emergency appendectomy as a result of severe abdominal pain that I was experiencing. As soon as I knew that I had to have the operation I did what many people consider to be the opposite to sane – I started researching the procedure.
Technology is a wonderful thing, having instant access to the internet any time, any where is quite amazing. There are probably instances when things are better unknown and ignorance is approach but I’m just too damn curious for my own good. I like to be informed. Well informed it seems…
Wikipedia was my first port of call and I discovered that there are generally two methods to performing the operation – open and keyhole. Having spoken to my surgeon she’d suggested that depending on how inflamed my appendix was it was likely to be an open operation. I spent some time reading about the procedure but considering that I’m not the Dr House that I’d like to be I needed something a bit more clear.
An hour later and I was quite confident that, given the right tools, I could probably give the operation a go myself. I have the be honest, this isn’t something I’d recommend everyone do, watching a medical procedure just hours before its going to be performed on you probably isn’t for everyone.
Am I sick-minded? Probably. It was good to know that if something was to go wrong during the operation then at least I’d have a pretty good idea of what the surgeon was talking about!!
If you’re as curious as I was, the YouTube video, fresh from my favourites, is here: