Phil's Web Log

2002-07-30 07:46 UTC One year down

Today is the anniversary of me starting work at IPL. It's not really an important or interesting detail, but the fact lends itself to a little restrospective thought. Hmm, a whole year.

With Claire away and nothing to really do with my evenings, cooking has become an all important force in my life. I'm presently trying to improve the quality of food I intake by a) eating better lunches and b) eating better at home. The food I cook is generally healthy but I am prone to pub lunches and take-away. No longer. I'm doing packed lunches for work including lots of fruit. On the evening meal side, I'm just going to try and eat home cooked food every night. I won't eat too much and it gives me a great excuse to cook amazing tasting food and to try out new stuff. Not to mention more opportunity to play with knives :)

In a similar vein, I started developing the food section of wuki today. Recipies etc. Hopefully I'll be able to get Mike to send me a few to put up. I'm writing up mine. I can edit them as I improve them. Overall it gives me a good place to store recipies and if people ask how I cook stuff, it makes the response a lot shorter. So anyway, here's to me cooking better and eating better.

2002-07-26 08:00 UTC Ocean Pearls

For the second time this week, i've spent lunch in the Ocean Pearl buffet restaurant in Bath. It's nice. It's 6 for all you can eat chinese buffet. Naturally, too much gets eaten, but I was pretty restrained today. I didn't really want to spend the afternoon feeling bloated. That failed entirely. It's a slightly odd place to eat because it's primary view is of the river and the IPL offices (where I work) on the other side. Not exactly what you want to be looking at when there's all of Bath to explore. Today was like a minature project social for a few of us who are now off our most recent project. It was good fun and more chopstick practice.

The monkeyball fun continues. Got in from the pub at about 11.20pm last night but I didn't really need the sleep so I played til about 1am, getting eventually to Expert level 42. Not bad, 8 to go when I get in tonight.

I've got no plans this weekend besides seeing Claire. Debating seeing Austin Powers 3, it'll probably wait til next weekend when i'm heading over to Reading to see her. I guess it'll involve lots of lounging, take-away and movies/games. I love weekends like this...when there's nothing to do and no expectation of getting stuff done. It's purely devoted to increasing quality of life through fun and relaxation :)

2002-07-25 03:04 UTC Tits baby Tits baby Tits baby Asssss

"When men were stopped in the streets of Columbia and asked if they wanted to lick a woman's breast many thought their dreams had come true. The women would pose seductively outside glitzy bars and restaurants and encourage goggle-eyed men to stop their cars and take a closer look. But after helping themselves to what was on offer, the men would wake up hours later to find their wallets and cars missing. Unbeknown to the men the temptresses had smeared the breasts with a powerful drug that reduced their victims to a stupor. Bogota police said the narcotic caused the men to lose their will-power. "They dissolved the pills in water and rubbed it into their breasts," a spokeswoman said. Three women, in their late teens and early 20s, have been arrested." - Sky News Website.

The arresting officers were later found unconscious with their wallets and other valuable items all stolen.

2002-07-24 14:28 UTC Lets get ready to mmmmooooonnnnkkkkeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy

Right now super monkeyball is a little bit of an obsession. I like to buy a computer game...and then complete it. If it's a long plot driven affair and I don't get into it then it's not a problem. However, if it's merely a test of hand eye co-ordination and problem solving...then it's a challenge to my very nature.

Super Monkeyball is such a game. It's so simple, get a monkey (in a ball) from one end of a little level to the other. There are three difficulty settings (besides secret stuff), Beginner, Advanced and Expert. I did Beginner a while back and i've done the 3 extra levels you get if you complete the main 10 without dying. Quite tricky. Tonight I decided to try and do Advanced without dying. Finally, after several hours and excruciating tension when i got to the last level and then came so close to doing it...finally, i did it. Then i did the 5 extra levels you get. Now all that remains are the 50 expert levels...which are insanely difficult. (There are 10 extra expert ones and then 10 master levels available to the gifted player).

I like to think i'm good at videogames. I have excellent hand-eye co-ordination and a natural ability for them. Games like this though...aren't my strong point. That's why i'm so happy to have managed "advanced" with no loss of life. It's another notch in my gaming belt. Now I can try the expert levels in the knowledge that I do maybe have what it takes to be a superb monkeyball player. Hopefully i'll get really good just in time for super monkeyball 2.

I should point out that I have impressively refrained from killing any monkeys (not even 1) and not destroying my gamecube or any controllers whilst playing. It's been very tempting and i'm sure lots of other people have. God only knows what would have happened if Tom had liked it and wanted to complete it. :)

2002-07-24 08:58 UTC Slow and Easy

Well, there's a little bit of stuff going on for me right now. I'm being amused by the new Ann Summers shop opening in Bath (right in the middle of the high street) tomorrow at lunchtime. I think it's great, many would argue that it lowers the tone. (you know who you are...mike) I think it's great, I won't have to go to bristol anymore. Besides, from the number of people I saw trying to get into it today (even though it hasn't opened yet), it's gonna prove popular.

Claire's heading down at the weekend which is oh so good. I can only take so much Super MonkeyBall before I need to take a break and remember what my life is for. I was also happy to realise that Mel gets back into the country tomorrow. This was short lived as she's going to Turkey on Monday...so no chance of meeting up before September sometime when she returns for good. But still, i'll at least get an email whilst she's in the country. I really have no idea if we will meet up, but I have to take some holiday anyway before october. I might aswell use it to trip over to London. (I've got 5 days saved up to spend with Claire when she get's back too :) )

Work is ok. We're sorting out the finer details of the poker program and it's interface/networking now. I'm looking forward to getting into it tomorrow as i've slacked off for the last few days. We're probably losing the most Java capable person of our team at the end of the week which limits me and Simon to sorting it out. Should be interesting.

Finally, Hixie's buggered off to go to Europe. He's spending some time with his family, then Nadia and then going to his brother's wedding in greece. All of this means he isn't around to chat to me during the day whilst i'm working and on icq. Still, I wouldn't begrudge him a trip around europe with some crumpet...it's much deserved.

I doubt anyone cares but it should be noted if you ever get confused that my blog entries are usually named after references close to me. It could well be from South Park, the Simpsons or an album i'm listening to. I try and make them applicable. Today's entry is from the Joe Satriani album "Engines of Creation" which i'm listening to and perfectly describes the way my life is right now. It doesn't mention "dull" though.

2002-07-23 01:44 UTC Johnny Herbert Celebration Pizza

I had a weird dream last night. One of my best from recent times. I was in a car park somewhere with Daren (a friend from university) and we chatted for a bit before getting on our extremely new/fast superbikes and then racing around, through traffic, down roads...all done in a scary but exhilerating anime style. (Akira, Bubblegum Crisis, Macross Plus etc).

It kicked ass though, it felt so real and I enjoyed it so much. After waking up from this dream I remembered about the Johnny Herbert Celebration Pizza. A couple of years ago (my second year of university) we watched the British formula one grand prix. It was just me and Daren in the house at the time and we used to watch a lot of formula one back then. He probably still does. So anyway, we were rooting for Johnny Herbert but he was in about 12th position, I don't recall why. The strangest thing happened though, as I wished for the driver in front to go off the road and Johnny go up a place, it happened. What fluke you say. The conditions worsened in the race and one by one we willed for Johnny Herbert to overtake the guy in front or for them to spin off until finally, he won the race. It was a great day and it co-incided with us having bought a giant pizza with _everything_ on it. We cooked the pizza and it was named "The Johnny Herbert Celebration Pizza" in honour of the event. I'd all but forgotten about this until last night. Funny how these things turn up.

2002-07-18 02:47 UTC The spirit carries on

Fairly uneventful few days for me. I was sad to find out that an older relative (My grandmother's sister in law) died yesterday. Whilst I didn't really know her, I do remember her and it's somewhat depressing. More importantly though, I feel for my grandmother who was a lot closer to her and I feel for the widowed husband who I remember well from when I was little. Whilst I don't really believe in the catholic God that I was raised to worship, I think something set up this universe and i'd like to believe that she's gone to another place.

In other news, i've found that cats can come into my flat by way of the lounge window and the roof. This is great news as I like cats and they can come and go into my home. Yay for cats.

2002-07-15 13:51 UTC Another year wiser

Well, what a weekend. Claire came down and we had a great weekend. Not too suprising. We found that Desh, our local indian take-away is fantastic (look here for details) and we just spent time getting used to being us in our new flat. She then left on Sunday and life went back to normal holiday routine.

Work got interesting today when we finally started on a project to create a network poker game. The plan is "no limit Texas hold'em", the fairly modern variety shown in "Late Night Poker" on channel 4. We're making it work on the network at IPL, and it should come with a nice GUI and reasonable interface. The main reason for doing this is to expand our knowledge of Java and OO programming. Having never coded in Java on anything significant before, it's going to be interesting. I don't exactly like the language, but it's one used at IPL so I really should get used to it.

Anyway, you will find it in a downloadable form on wuki when we've finished, presuming we get the time and no actual work comes along. I do have other training to do but if this allows me to actually pick up Java in a useful way then the company would probably be a lot happier that I did it instead of reading some stuff on algorithms. Besides, I (a) want to keep my skills intact, and (b) want to add to them.

So yeah, progress will be given here. Morrowind has been put on hold for a while til I get my shit together. I need to sort my flat out and still keep a social life. I should be seeing friends tomorrow for a relaxing drink in the pub. Will be good after a hectic day of programming :). I'll probably also try and work out the copyright details of this program i'm writing. It'll probably belong to IPL as it's being done on work time. Not that I have a problem with that. I doubt we'll make money off it, we just want a cool and useful network game.

2002-07-12 02:30 UTC Keeping up with the Heningers

Few are those who can see with their own eyes and hear with their own hearts

Albert Einstein

2002-07-12 02:25 UTC Another brick in the wall

Tomorrow I become 22. This poses no problem for me. It should be quite some time before I start worrying about my age. Besides, right now I have no concerns over getting older. I'm getting closer towards the stuff I want in life...a house, pool table, plasma tv and 2 cats. I'm not wildly ambitious in this way. My ambition in life was to find (in the Ally Mcbeal sense) that _one_ person. There are obviously some issues that with around 3 billion women on the planet, there is more than one. There aren't that many though. It would stuggle without a good level of english and various other things. Besides, I have high standards (which is ironic). I actually recall reading a website outlining just how many people you're right for on the planet. It's not a big number, especially if you're a little less than "normal" (whatever normal is) like me.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that i've done that ambition. I found her and thus completed the main goal of my life. My other ambitions aren't really big things. I have little desire to change the world. I do that by living in it and being polite and friendly to people. I promote good karma. I do however, want to become a pool god. My interests aren't competitive, just fun. I enjoy pool and i'd love to get really damn good at pool, hence my own table. One day.

As for the impending birthday, plans have changed a little. Meeting up with Ian and Mike (and maybe other people) tonight for food and drinks. I spent the evening out with work people yesterday and will be doing something at lunch today. Claire's also coming down early. It's a lot to get done in a Friday but I think i've managed to accomodate everyone, myself just about included. It's gonna be a fun day (besides doing nothing but training at work). It's gonna be a fun weekend too.

This page was created by Phil Waring, Copyright 2003

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