Tag Archives: life

Getting back into Python

I had a realisation this week that I should spend more time outside of work doing things to improve myself. I’m on track with my diet (mostly), I’m trying to cut back on sugars and (especially) sweeteners, so why not do something that stretches my brains in the evenings.


I have enough games in my backlog that I could probably play every game to completion and still not beat them all before I retire so that’s kind of low priority, I just need to stop buying new fucking games. Hmm. Looking at you, Lumines Remastered. And N++. And Smash Bros.  And the stupid fucking Snes Mini sat on my desk.

Anyway, I was pretty nifty with Python about ten years ago so why not jump back in. I vaguely remember working on an IRC bot for the channel I used to mod back in the day!

I found this list of mini projects which I am going to work through and blog about as I get through them.

  1. Dice Rolling Sim
  2. Guess the Number
  3. Mad Libs
  4. Text Adventure Game
  5. Hangman

I spent an evening this week setting up a Linux virtual machine to keep my environment consistent no matter what computer I am using (VirtualBox + Ubuntu 18.04) and revived my old BitBucket account (because I like the ability to set a repository to private) then spent an evening learning Git whilst cobbling together two versions of the dice sim. I’ll make a separate post about that soon.



+7 Days

So, my first week didn’t start off that great. I ate pretty well for a few days  (Vegetarian feta and squash tart was something on the menu I wouldn’t have otherwise tried!) then I got busy and everything went to shit. I have plans to balance this and prevent it from happening again.


I have joined the gym! Again! (after cancelling about 3 months ago due to lack of time). This time I’ve paid upfront for a year… Motivation to go. Maybe. We’ll see! It’s not going to be that easy with me travelling around most weeks but I am going to try and go AT LEAST two days a week and more when I am at home.

Continue reading

90 days…

Since finishing uni last year and settling into a job I now spend considerable timing driving around the country. I haven’t been living the healthiest lifestyle for the longest time, but now it’s starting to show. And I hate it..

Being on the road quite a lot of the time is making it even worse. Did you know how fucking difficult it can be to eat well when you’re travelling? Holy shit. It’s hard!

Before I went to uni in 2012 I lost quite a bit of weight by cycling a few times a week for summer. It was great, and I remember feeling fantastic. My first year at uni wasn’t so bad, since I didn’t have any money anyways to spend on crap.

I fell back into lazy ways over the next 3-4 years until today where I feel permanently bloated & incessantly tired all the damn time. Something has to give!

So, for the next 90 days I am going to log everything I eat on a spreadsheet (you can ask me for a link, if you want) and try to use this to positively influence my diet choices. I am not going to use something like MyFitnessPal because that just becomes a chore working out exactly how many calories and shit… I am literally going to have a few columns and rows for a date. I might even colour code by ‘how good’ the day was aka no beer, or no fries. Or shock horror… no bacon!

I also really want to start Coach to 5 k (C25K), but I fear if I start that now I would destroy my ankles and probably keel over on day 2. Instead, I am going to try and go for increasingly more vigorous walks in all the places I end up visiting. Some of them are pretty damn nice!!



Graduation has finally been and gone. I don’t know what I want to do with myself now, but I know that it will have nothing to do with chemistry. Everyone’s asked me ‘What are you doing next?’ and honestly I have no idea. I gained a degree, over three stone in weight and absolutely no direction for my future. I need direction and some healthy living!

Uni was a fantastic experience; I met loads of really cool people along the way. I can see myself still being great friends with more than a few in years to come, but I don’t think university is for everyone and if I could choose to do the last three years over I’m not entirely sure I’d do it again.

Being bad at exams meant GCSEs and (what I completed of) AS Levels at school were a struggle, but I got through them. I left school to go to college to study for a National Diploma in Applied Science and it was ace since exams weren’t a thing I had to content with any more.

I carried on to do a HND in Applied Chemistry and got a merit. It was awesome, and no exams meant that whilst I had to understand the content I didn’t have to cram it all into my brain to splurge back out onto an exam paper. Going to ‘proper’ uni in 2012 was a major wake up call. I struggled massively in exams, and even had to retake a year because whilst I passed my dissertation relatively well, I’d completely fucked up my exams. Everyone else around me had always done well in exams, and I just didn’t get them. I’d not done an exam in nearly five years and just didn’t know how to revise and study for one.

I still don’t really.

Anyway, if anyone ever reads this I’d say think long and hard about whether a degree is right for you. If you’re shit at exams like me then it’ll be a massive uphill struggle. I don’t really know if my degree is going to be of any use to me ever other than to say “I have a degree”. I certainly don’t like chemistry like I did five years ago.

Going forward, I’ve started self studying for a CCNA qualification (on the advice of a close friend) which is something I’m actually interested in and have been for a long time. Looking back, maybe this should of been my path a couple of years back. Ah well, I’m still young 🙂

Twenty Fourteen

Bucket list update! So, if you look at my bucket list (available at the link above) you’ll see what I wanted to do before, well, now. This included:

Short Term (Before 2014)

  • Watch the Star wars movies (33% Complete! Don’t even ask…. +Laurence….)
  • Complete 12 games in 2013 (25% complete!)
    I want to finish the storylines in a few major series like Fallout, Elder Scrolls, some of the Zelda games before we’re hit with even more awesome releases…

    • Pokemon Black 2
    • Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box
    • Professor Layton and the Lost Future
    • Professor Layton and the Last Spectre
    • Lego LOTR
    • Super Mario Bros
    • Gratututious Space Battles
  • Read 12 books in 2013 (8.33% Complete!)
    • Replay – Ken Grimwood
  • Save as much money as I can! Stop buying useless crap… Attempt to get out of the student overdraft of doom…
  • Go mountain biking again (this time with a decent bike)
  • Play Artemis in a room with several people

From the bottom, Artemis didn’t happen. Nor did mountain biking. I’m working my way out of my overdraft so that’s a positive. I can’t remember anymore books I read although I did just get ‘We are Anonymous’ for christmas so I’ll give that a read after exams. Gaming-wise in addition to those games, I also completed Pokemon X and Thomas was Alone. That makes 9/12. I’ll take 75%. As for Starwars, we haven’t had a good chance to actually watch them. Maybe we will this year.

As for New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve not had any energy drinks since Christmas Day nor do I intend to drink them in the future. My wallet and teeth are both thankful.

Easter, The Shard, and Netbooks

It’s been a while since I last updated with a new post. Since then I’ve been using Crunchbang Linux as my main operating system, visited the Top of the Shard, bought a cheap netbook to carry around with me at uni so I don’t have to spend ages looking for a computer when I (rarely, albeit) need one. I’ve also sold off quite a few of my old DS and PS3 games that although I wanted to play at some point the chances are that I never will. I even went for a bike ride last week…

Crunchbang is awesome. I’m currently using a Dell Mini 9 (Atrocious first gen intel atom, 1gb of memory) and yes it’s a bit slow. The thing is I paid less than £90 for it. The battery is still fine, I most likely will update the memory soon but it just works! Chrome is perfectly useable, I can happily read the notes that I export from my smart pen (I can’t however connect it directly. I have a Windows VM running on my desktop for that) and create my revision wiki and mind maps that I need to. It’s actually a good thing that it doesn’t play video very well. The only thing I’ve gotten to play is OpenTTD (again, a good thing).

Dell Mini 9

Dell Mini 9 Netbook

Windows on this netbook would suck. It only has a 16gb SSD, and when it arrived from eBay with a fresh install of Windows 7 it had 3gb free space… Who thought that was a good idea?! I installed Crunchbang from a USB key and have been happy ever since. When I’m back at home I’ll connect it to my local bridged network and run Synergy so I can share my desktop keyboard and mouse with the netbook on my desk.

We went to the Shard on Easter Sunday. Apparently we picked the best time and day possible. It was clear to the horizon when we went up at 10am, but started to get cloudly soon afterwards. Got some awesome pictures as seen below!

Me and Amelia

Me and Amelia 😀


Mm Trains!

Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing!

Nice view! Nice Day

Nice view! Nice Day

This thing is imposing!

This thing is imposing!

Back to Bangor at the end of the week! Six weeks or so till my next set of exams…


We’re nearly twenty percent through 2013. I’m 23. I’ve spend many years considering getting my life into shape but I guess now is a good time before it’s too late. In comes Me³ which is my fancy term for what I want to change and focus on for the next 90 days. Yes, this is going to be a 90 day challenge! 90 days from today ends June 1, 2013.

What does Me³ comprise of? Studying well, living well, playing well (Me.. cubed.. get it?! :P).


I need to get into proper study habits. My last course broke my revision and exam skills because it was just coursework. This year I was thrown back at exams and didn’t do terribly well (whilst I did quite well at the assessed coursework such as lab reports).

Since I have to resit most of the January exams I’m going to make a complete set of revision cards for each module last semester and this semester. Mind maps/spider diagrams were always useful back when I used to actually revise too so I’m going to see if they can still help me out. I guess I need to dedicate time each lectures each day to completing and reading my notes and stuff like textbooks. Not too much, I don’t want to overload and burn out. The latest time to study would be 9pm each evening leaving a few hours spare to relax and do other things before bed time (preferably before midnight!)


Last summer I managed to lose quite a bit of weight but that has pretty much gone out of the window since I’ve been living away at uni. I bought a gym membership for the year in October and I’ve gone three times. Three times…. Yeah, I should probably get on that. 2-3 times a week mostly on the days I don’t have insane amounts of lectures or shifts a work will be enough to get me back on that wagon.

Recently we’ve been cooking more meals in bulk. Spaghetti bolognese, an amazing mixed vegetable mixture composed of tomato sauce, spices and other cheap things (Student, remember?). It’s cheap and healthy. For under £4 we can get around 10 good sized servings out of one cooking session. A frozen pizza for a £1 sounds awesome, but honestly you’d rather not subject your body to it. If we already have delicious things frozen then it’s easier to say no to junk food. As my day likes to put it, “eat less, move more”.


My backlog of games is pretty huge. To round of my 90 day challenge I want to try and complete up to two games a month depending on my workload from uni and how close exams are getting (They start May 14th I believe). As I said, there is no point studying 24 hours a day; I’ll just get bored and quit like I usually do when I try and go overboard with stuff. I want to enjoy my time at uni too. Spending quality time with my girlfriend, reading, watching movies, playing games all factor into this. I want do well, whilst enjoying myself.

June 1st 2013

What should I be like in ninety days? I should be feeling confident in the exams I’ve already sat, I should be feeling much happier and healthier within myself, and I should be making steady if somewhat slow progress though my backlog of games, I’ll be ready to start the next ninety days up until We’re nearly twenty percent through 2013. I’m 23. I’ve spend many years considering getting my life into shape but I guess now is a good time before it’s too late. In comes Me³ which is my fancy term for what I want to change and focus on for the next 90 days. Yes, this is going to be a 90 day challenge! 90 days from today ends June 1, 2013.

Semester Two

Exams are over, lectures start again on Monday. What am I going to do differently this term? I’m going to study… That is, I’m going to spend at least an hour a night going over my notes. Uploading them to Google Drive. Making sure I understand them. Making sure they’ll make sense in three months time. This lot of exams has been a big shock from what I’ve been used to at college for my ND and HND. Revision? Wow, that was a lot harder than I remembered it being five years ago.

This is a behaviour that I need to change as soon as possible, to give myself the best chance at better exam results in the Summer. Going to the gym (that I’ve already paid for!) is going to be another focus of this semester. We went yesterday, and are currently planning to go most mornings (I have 4/5 9am starts… Welcome to the real world) to make the most of each day and start to feel better about myself. We’ll see how it goes!

Twenty Thirteen

I don’t make ‘New Years’ resolutions, because I never stick to them. This year I might actually try… Following on from a previous post for Tupcast about how I have so many games that I don’t play; I have decided to create a plan for 2013. That is, I’m going to complete at least 12 games in the next 12 months and the same number of books before December 31st 2013.

Games that I am planning to play currently include Skyrim, (finally getting around to) Half Life 1 and 2, Magical Starsign, and maybe a few Dragon Quest & Professor Layton games. Bookwise, I’m going to start with ‘Life of Pi’ which has been on sale for 20p for Kindle and then probably move back to the Game of Thrones series next to read a few of those. The week after Christmas I finally got around to watching the three Lord of the Rings movies back to back before going to see The Hobbit which was brilliant except the IMAX failed midway through the film rendering us listening to a radio play for a few minutes until they fixed the projector

You shall not pass

As for other life goals, I actually plan to visit the gym this semester since I’ve paid for it and never actually been. Yeah, embarrassing. I know. Studying too, lots and lots of studying this term. Exams start next week… Back to revision. I’ll be sure to keep my non existent readers updated 😉 This will likely be it for updates until exam season is over (Not that there were many updates recently anyway…)

Early Christmas Presents

Since my girlfriend and I won’t be spending Christmas together (homes being half way across the country has a way of doing this) we decided to swap gifts this weekend before she left on the Monday. Sure it means we’ll have less to open on Christmas Day… but we got to open our presents together. Here’s some (not very Christmassy) photos…

Dr Who Tshirt
A Dr Who Shirt from Teefury! She saw this on the site a month or so ago and really wanted it… Aren’t I such a nice boyfriend?

Phone Plungers
Something to keep my phone upright whilst watching stuff on Youtube. They’re pretty cool. Won’t work for the Nexus 7 though… (I tried)

S3 Case
Milly is getting a Galaxy S3 for Christmas, therefore needed a case. It had to be cute, of course…

Candy Canes
Candy Canes are a given at Christmas. Especially if they are wrapped in Mario Characters.

Newton's Cradle
Random geeky toys for the win. Something I’ve never had, but always wanted! (BTW, it knots easily so have to be careful with it…)

Hello Kitty Alarm Clock
Milly loves Hello Kitty. She also needed an alarm clock… What else would of fit that bill? Just need to find a suitable mains adapter so we don’t end up spending a small fortune on AAA batteries for it.

Hello Kitty Toy
See above for Hello Kitty love… Except now she wants the set… Whoops!

Not a lot was spent between us, which was the intention. Who can afford Christmas presents when you’re a student