August 26, 2008

Scrab–tab–u–lousy–result.

Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/08/scrabulous_users_stunned_bemus.html

Well it's not that much of a surprise that Scrabulous has now been removed by Mattel, but I have to say personally I'm a little bit gutted. Not that I think they had the right to continue, and despite certain arguments I never could see how scrabulous wasn't a pretty near carbon copy of Scrabble (c) so the outcome was fairly inevitable all along.

I would agree though that Scrabble (c) would have been wise to have made something equally good, either by utilising the skills of the scrabulous creators or simply copying them (tit for tat!) but from what I've read (admittedly I've not tried the official scrabble game application, I can't make myself add it because I know most of my friends won't bother and that's the main reason I played so that I could play against them, I don't want to play randoms!) the official version is nowhere near as good as scrabulous was. I think there's a time limit within which you have to make your move or the game is abandoned. This, to my mind is a bit naff. Not all of us have 24hr access to the internet, and I don't know about any other users, but if I'm on holiday for the week I'm hardly going to log in to make my move.

As per any game, you have people who are more involved than others. For some this will have been a genuine blow and real cause of distress, for others it's a loss but they'll find something else to play in their lunch hours and for the rest they'll probably not even notice it's disappeared from their pages. I'd say I fall into the middle category. I played it quite a lot, usually had 6 or more games on the go, and enjoyed looking up new words. I'd say it had increased my vocabulary and word regonition skills to some degree. I will miss more the interaction between friends who played it - I loved the banter you could have in the little message box to the side. Some very amusing conversations passed between us! Especially playing against people I don't get to see very often - an old school friend used to thrash me at the game, and then I beat him - the joy!!

I think I'd still go out and buy the board game, I never owned it or really played it before scrabulous so by rights I probably should have bought one at some point anyway, and I don't go with the whole boycotting of the Mattel group products (Barbie was a very important part of my childhood) because I don't think it will prove anything. I would probably argue that sales of scrabble (c) have probably risen as a result of scrabulous (I don't know if they have, I have no stats to say either way) or at least it hasn't done them any harm (their legal action may have though if some of the comments are anything to go by) but I think they were always going to keep selling the board game/offline version with or without scrabulous.

So there you have it. If anyone's interested I'm now playing Pathwords. It looks like the blockbuster board ("I'll have a P(eee) please Bob") but it's nothing like that. It's not as good as scrabulous and it never will be. Sigh.


August 15, 2008

Facts you would find hard to dispute.

These are things I have been thinking about today.


  • The Bus Lanes in Coventry really are a joke. Particularly the one on Tile Hill. Despite the signs, cars still use it as an escape route from those ridiculously out of sinc traffic lights around Blockbuster and KFC and then there's that one on Hearsall Lane...great idea to do the whole sensor-on-the-road-so-the-traffic-lights-automatically-turn-the-bus-lane-to-green...if it works. Which, as I saw today, clearly doesn't. The lights are broken. Naturally. Sigh.
  • Miss Potter is a sweet film with a propensity to make mildly hormonal females weep.
  • David Tennant is actually beautiful.
  • Earl Grey tea is yummy.

There were other things, but I've had a large Friday cocktail and I'm being distracted by Cassanova and I just can't remember what they are. Well, I suppose I'd add...

  • Friday night cocktails are yummy also. Yummier than Friday night Earl Greys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

August 14, 2008

Appreciating the morning

So this morning I was awake at 6.30am and driving back from my Friends house to work at just gone 7am. The weather was glorious sunshine all the way back and the views were at times quite stunning. It made me realise the error of my lazy behaviour - if I only went to bed an hour or so earlier I'd be less tired in the morning and so able to get up and enjoy this lovely summer (ok, so less so on the rainy days, but perhaps I'd do something useful then instead) before the dark mornings start again.

It's less inspiring, I suppose, getting up when you aren't surrounded by nice countryside views (ah, those were the days) but still, even town can be OK when it's sunny! And the earlier I wake up, the more likely I will have time to walk in to work, which will make me feel all virtuous and happy. Win-win!



August 07, 2008

Random thoughts of the day…

Has anyone else noticed that of all the groups on facebook that people join, one of the most often seen recurring themes is "I've dropped my phone down the toilet, numbers please".

Now is it just me, or does that not seem like a rather ridiculously careless thing to do? "Oh no, I was playing a game of solitaire while texting my friend Dave and also talking to my mum all at the same time as using the little boy's room and it accidently fell out of my hand and into the toilet."

Just a thought.


August 04, 2008

mmm. Shoes.

There's something infinitely satisfying to me about buying shoes. So buying 4 new pairs on Saturday was rather exciting...made more so for the fact they cost me about £15 for the lot. OK so they will fall apart the 2nd or 3rd time I really wear them (the last pair of the same I bought fell apart when the glue got wet in the rain) but as long as I only wear them on sunny days or days where I don't have to walk too far I'll be fine.

What I didn't manage to get was a pair of new trainers. I'm not exactly known for my sporting prowess (although our doubles side won in a rather great game of Badminton yesterday) but even so I think that I need new trainers. My current pair I've had since I was 15 - in fact I bought them the first time I went to America which is almost 10 years to the day ago. The only reason I had to get them out there was because I went canoeing in a river and didn't dry my old ones out properly so they went mouldy in the heat... but I digress. So anyway, trainers have moved on a lot since then. I have no idea what trainers are good/bad or otherwise! However I don't want to spend a fortune on them but I would like a brand name like adidas, Nike or New Balance. I don't want ugly trainers either. Anyone got any suggestions?

In other news I finally got round to putting up some photos - or rather updating the frames I already had! Had a few of couples that aren't together anymore so I thought it was best that I changed those! I ordered prints from snapfish, which I then picked up from Jessops in town. They gave me 30 free 6x4" prints for joining the service and they are very good prints. Am very pleased!

Also went to see Wall-e on Friday night - the little guy is so cute! A very nice film, not as funny as Kung Fu Panda, but sweet and lovely and clever all the same. I'd definitely recommend it!


July 28, 2008

Down in a blaze of glory :–(

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/7528165.stm

I couldn't believe the news today - Weston-Super-Mare Pier burnt down! This is so sad. I spent many happy memories there as a child and I loved the pier in all its cheesy amusement arcade glory as well as the great fun it was walking up and down it. I hope they will be able to rebuild it.


July 24, 2008

Juicy recommends not…

...filling a large cage with music so that it's so heavy it loses all steering capabilities then attempting to steer said cage 300 yards in the boiling heat.

...wearing flip-flops and a skirt to attempt said task.


Feck! Seriously, why do I think these things are a good idea?


July 21, 2008

Sorry!

Well, it's been over a month since last I wrote. oops. I don't seem to feel the urge to write on here anymore. Perhaps I have become lazy or perhaps I just don't want to share everything anymore. I don't think it's because my life is so dull I can't think of anything to write about, but I guess neither is it so amazingly exciting I think anyone will actually WANT to read about it!

But just in case you do...

This week is likely to be quite interesting. Apparently I'm supposed to get my LPC results on Tuesday (although some sources say 22nd, others say 29th but noone seems to really know (the college included)) so at that point I'll know whether it's all been worth it or whether my Summer is ruined by resits! I very much hope not to ever have to go back to that place again, but you know when you get that sinking feeling...I very much have that. Still, I don't know anything yet. Fingers crossed I'll pass, and then... well then I have to decide what my next step is! Therein lies the challenge.

These last few days I've had quite a lot of time to myself, it's been nice in some ways and quite lonely in others. I've enjoyed watching lots of neighbours (I'm currently caught up to about the 7th July...) and playing loads of piano (my trill fingers hurt quite a lot typing this!) but I've not liked being in the house on my own at night, it's quite big for just me! You do get more done when on your own, but it's not quite as much fun and it's very quiet. Still, every once in a while doesn't hurt.

It's very quiet at work at the moment. Graduations over, there's just me in the office. Got plenty of bits and pieces to do but it's completely silent, something my office isn't very good at being during term! I'm thinking of making use of my lunch hours to learn the Sax. Always wanted to and why not? Everyone says it's easy if you're already a clarinet player so that's encouraging, and it's just a case of notebashing first and then working on tone, technique, style etc. It would be a good skill to have under my belt.

So what have I been up to in the last month...well, I helped organise some pretty good concerts towards the end of term, I finally managed to visit home and had a brilliant time with pool matches, Winstons Ice Cream, a garage BBQ (was very rainy) plus garage badminton (played with tennis rackets) and Rod Stewart (was the only tape in the garage, played many many times...) and I've had some lovely evenings with friends at various housewarmings and birthday parties. Despite the rather cold/wet weather we've not let it spoil our fun and we had a great day out at Alton Towers and have been getting rather into tennis (Westwood courts are great!). Went to see Kung Fu Panda in Rugby which was great, and had a Pixar spree in the Play.com sale so have been enjoying watching those (Cars  - what a great film...loving Jeremy Clarkson as Harv!)

So...lots of things. Lots more to look forward to, keeping me happy :-)


June 12, 2008

Nearly there…

I've just had a couple of weeks of exams - my last ones in fact, which signal the end of the 2 year LPC course I so ambitiously started out on back in September '06. It seems (and was) an absolute age ago. So many thoughts and hopes, so little knowledge of what was really in store for me!

I've not had an easy time of it, it's not been my most successful thing, and I'm by no means through it yet - got to wait until July 29th for results to find out if I've actually passed the last lot of exams. 5 more results and I'll know.

The last term has been really hard to be motivated in, which I guess reflected itself in how I felt I did in the exams. I really hope I did enough to pass but I just have this sinking gut feeling that perhaps I'll be unlucky this time round. I'm writing my last assignment at the moment, a licence for a venue...sounds easy enough but these things are right little buggers to do! I'd much rather write a letter of advice or do some research!! I'm annoyed with College because they won't let me email or fax it in, it either has to be posted or handed in personaly, which given that they're not open at weekends and I don't work in Birmingham is a bit of a pain in the arse really. Do I risk the post, get it done by recorded delivery and then try and call them on Monday to see if they've received it or do I have to take yet another half day off work to make sure it's handed in on time? I suppose if it's recorded they HAVE to deliver it by a certain time so I can probably rely on that.

I've got a lot out of college, they teach the course very well, although it's difficult to fit in the level of study expected when you've got a full time job as well as a house to look after! I've met some great people and gained confidence in myself, although I've had a fair few knocks and disappointments with some results on the way. I was ready to give it all up at the end of the first year but luckily did well in the resits and decided to carry on. I'm not normally a quitter! Also it was way too expensive to drop out!

So what next? No idea. My head tells me to start applying for training contracts but my heart isn't following my head at the moment. For a start I don't honestly think anyone will want to take me on, and I don't know if I want the disappointment of rejection letters at the moment! And yet I should do something legal... but I like my job at the moment! Perhaps I'll see what comes up. No harm in looking around, keeping the options open.

It will be nice to have my weekends back. I've already started planning my next big projects to fill them! I can't just sit still and relax... going to do the Grade VIII exam for definite - playing is coming on well at the moment (it's all the scales, they are finally paying off) and would quite like to learn one or more of the following: Double Bass, Saxaphone, Piano Accordian. Want to finish off my uber crossstich that I've not picked up in a year and I have a list of books as long as my arm to get through. I also want to make the most of the summer and visit lots of interesting places in Warwickshire and the general surrounding areas. That will definitely keep me going!

Back to the drafting...


June 05, 2008

Tea really does solve everything…

tea

I know it sounds really silly to say, but no matter how upset, hurt, stressed, tired, emotionally drained or angry I feel a cup of tea ALWAYS makes me feel better. Something about that hot brown liquid that just instantly makes me happy (and no, it's not the caffiene, I quite often drink red bush and that's naturally free of it)

I'm thinking of a million and one things that potentially create the above effects on me (especially stress at the moment) but I also have a gigantic mug of yummy tea on my desk with the sun shining through on it and somehow calm has been restored.

Cheers!


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