Life/Work Balance

Last Wednesday I went to the cinema. Twice.

By which I mean I saw two films, technically I only went to the cinema once.

The films in question were First Man, conveniently timed to end just before A Star Is Born (film two) began. Both are two hours plus, so I spent almost as long at the cinema as I did in the office that day, and that is the way I like it.

I won’t lie, almost five hours with barely a break is a little hard on the knees (it’s a tall person thing) and double the usual intake of Minstrels is not calorifically ideal, but these are the sacrifices you make when you commit to a life of film buffery.

Spoilers below.

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It snowed at the weekend, like it does at this time every year.  For once though it wasn’t on a day when I had to work, so i got a chance to take some photos.

I went to London the day before, to catch up with some friends and talk some things over.  It helped more than I realised, in a cathartic way, but I still feel empty.  The snow was settling over West London when I set off home, but for once the trains were up to the challenge, and this was what I saw on the way back.


By the morning the snow had stopped falling, but it was everywhere, so after tracking down and panic charging my camera batteries I went for a wander.

This is what I found.

Ups and Downs

I thought I’d be better at this.  I thought I’d write daily, I thought I’d post photographs, I thought I’d share my life.

I thought a lot of things.  It turns out I didn’t know much at all.

This last year has been a big one for me, and I haven’t expressed it.  Like so many other things, I’ve bottled it up, kept it to myself, and forgotten to let it out.

I have spent a long time thinking I was in love with someone close to me, if love is the right word.  I was wrong about that, and my focus, my infatuation, my obsession, blinded me to what was happening around me.

My eyes were opened this summer by one of my oldest, truest, friends, someone who showed me exactly what being in love was like.  I was happy, and it wasn’t until then that I realised exactly how unhappy I’d been before.  She showed me what I’d been missing, what had been there all along.  It was amazing, wonderful, thrilling, and terrifying.

I’ve spent my life alone, and opening it up to someone scared me.  So, separated by distance, I held on to my old life.  I tried to have the best of both worlds, when really there was only one world worth having.  That was never going to work, it was selfish and unfair.  And so, the best thing to happen to me came to an end.

I still have the most compassionate, caring, selfless, and strong friend, and for that I am thankful, but I miss her every day, and every night.

Samsung HT-C555

Everybody with a blog is writing about Gabriel Giffords, and what Sarah Palin’s website may or may not have inspired, but I have something far more important to document.

I recently got the above Home Cinema system and naturally wanted to hack it immediately to play multi-region DVDs as I have a fair few. Turns out there are a lot of hacks/codes out there, but I couldn’t find one for my system.

It took me two days to track it down, and it works like a dream. So far.

If you have the C555 and are in the same situation, here’s what to do:

Turn on the DVD player.
Press ‘Enter’ on the remote.
Type ‘8-4-2-6-9’.
Press Enter.

The player will turn itself off and should now play any region. I tested it on 1 and 4 (it was region 2 to begin with) and it worked fine.

One caveat: I’ve seen reports that some players have re-locked themselves after a month or so, so be wary. If it happens to me, I’ll be sure to mention it.

Oxford Comma

I saw The Social Network the other day. Mark Zuckerberg (the fictional one) made blogging look so effortless and natural that I felt I should do more. Mind you, he did the same for coding and I haven’t got a clue what that’s about.

More than anything, he made me nostalgic for LiveJournal, a medium that I have let pass me by, although I know it is still popular, and the community that I knew there.

So I’m back, after a fashion, and although I’ve said it before, I want to make this effort stick. I’ve always been too fixated on dates, too OCD about regular, consistent, posting and I think it needs to be more organic. Time and again I have attempted 365 Projects, photo blogs, and diaries with too much rigidity and focus on form.

Twitter changed that. Short, relevant, pointless, topical, photos, links, comment, whatever you want, when you want it. That doesn’t just have to be for Twitter, why not LiveJournal, or WordPress, or Tumblr? So here I go.

I’m writing this on my phone, although I have a laptop and a netbook not two feet away. I’m spoiled for choice on the tech front, but for some reason I’ve chosen the most inconvenient option.

I wrote a post a few days ago and saved it to Local Drafts
on the iPhone. Damned if I can find it now. Or remember what I
wrote. WordPress fail.

I got one of these the other day.


I’m writing on it right now, and I thought it would help me to stay up to date with this blog, and Twitter, tagging photos on Flickr, or maybe even going back to Livejournal.


As it turns out, I’ve mostly used it for playing Mafia Wars on Facebook.  But that changes now.  I hope.


I’ve been fairly busy with a few things, including cons in Belfast and Heathrow, with a couple more lined up in June, but surely it can’t be that hard to find the time to write a few lines here and there?


We’ll see.