Posts in Category: Site

All good things…

Thursday 25th January 2018

I’ve been blogging here for nigh-on 11 years. For the last few it’s admittedly been intermittent, but I’ve kept coming back. Well.. not for much longer.

I want to make an effort to write a bit more frequently than I have done. And for that, I’ve decided to rename the blog.

Thought Aloud

This site won’t disappear – at least not for a while. But new posts will appear on the new place.

See you on the other side.

Posted In: Site Tagged: | No Comments

I Probably Should’ve Done Some Work, But I Did This Instead

Monday 28th March 2011

Engineers aren’t exactly famous for our aesthetic design skills. The joke goes that if engineers were fully responsible for designing the way things look (instead of having architects and the like), all buildings would end up being concrete boxes because that’s functional enough. Nevertheless, for reasons that escape me, I’ve always liked doing my own design for my site, despite there being plenty of very nice themes out there that have been made by people who basically know how to make things that look pretty.

I’ve been thinking of freshening the design of the site up for a while, and as you can probably tell (unless you’re reading this in an RSS reader) I’ve now done it. It took a surprisingly little amount of time (as these things go…), as I’ve basically just adapted most of the structure from the old design, but gotten rid of the bits I didn’t like.

Might tweak it again soon. Dunno why I chose green, so I might change that at some point when I get bored of it. And I think it’s a bit sloppy to have a sans-serif font in the header and serif fonts everywhere else, but I can’t be bothered to change it now. Overall, it’ll do for the moment; it all looks cleaner and tidier, and that’s what I was going for.

Posted In: Site Tagged: | 5 Comments

Epic Fail

Thursday 28th May 2009

So I’ve just been trying to write a couple of the things off the list in the last entry, but it’s not working. So instead, here’s some drivel.

I sometimes struggle with what to blog about. I’m told that I’m very opinionated, but I don’t like writing stuff like that too much because who wants to read the bollocky opinions of some twat they don’t know on the Internet? The other extreme is to keep a blog that’s basically like a diary, but then I don’t like doing that for a similar reason; who would read it? Both are silly, because I’m fairly sure that theres lots of nosy bastards on the net who do enjoy reading such stuff (I know, I’m one of ’em :D ).

I guess the main reason for not keeping a diary-esque blog is that I don’t want that sorta thing on the internet…

I used to be able to think of stuff to write down really easily, and once I thought of something I could bash something out pretty well. I think I can still think of stuff I want to write (see the list on the last entry), but for some reason I find it much harder to transfer those thoughts into a well-written blog. I think a big reason is that I’m out of practice, because I don’t blog as often any more. And I don’t blog because I’m out of practice. Yeah, that works well…

Like I said, I tried to write a couple of things this evening, but to be honest what I wrote just seemed to be a bit muddled. Maybe it’s because I’ve been at work and I’m tired, I dunno. I should probably write an essay plan or something. Or even better, write things down when I think about them!

The only thing I really feel motivated to write about regularly is motorsport. But I don’t think anyone who reads this would care, so I don’t really bother. Which is daft really…

Anyway, it’s Thursday now. Which means that the weekend starts tomorrow afternoon. I’m gonna try to write something a bit less shit at the weekend. Dunno what about, but just something. Of course, I say “try”, that doesnt mean it’ll get published. Le sigh.

Just so your time isn’t completely wasted by this entry, listen to this. Tis good.

Posted In: RandomSiteStuff Tagged: | 7 Comments

I Really Can’t Think Of A Decent Title For This Post

Monday 25th May 2009

Watching the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday, I was extremely jealous of everyone who was there to watch it. I’d love to go to any Grand Prix, but rarely do I watch and wish I was actually there. But the idea of watching the race around the streets of Monaco, over the gorgeous harbour and under a fantastic blue sky, then retiring to a bar for several (probably overly-expensive) cold beers, really appeals.

The race at Monaco is definitely one of the worst. It’s fairly (very) processional, with very little overtaking. Unless it’s raining, it’s very rarely a massively exciting race. Yet if you ask most F1 fans, it’s the race they most want to go to. That’s because even though it’s a crap race, it’s a unique opportunity to see massively powerful, massively fast cars racing on a public road; cars doing an average speed of 100mph on roads that otherwise take normal traffic, and doing it in close proximity to barriers which punish the slightest mistake. On a properly fast lap, the drivers actually brush the edge of the tyres against the barriers. At over 100mph. Oh, and because it’s all really cramped, it’s also the race where you can get the closest to the track and see all this taking place. Great stuff.

Anyway, there are a few things that I’ve been meaning to blog about (and how many times have I said that now?). I’m gonna try to write some of that stuff down though soon. To sort of nudge myself into doing it, I’m gonna list some of the topics here. Hopefully that’ll shame me into writing it, cos in a month or two I’ll look at the list and think “oops, I said I’d write about that”…

  • Technology
  • Photography (this one could be contraversial…)
  • Alcohol
  • Business/economy
  • Politics
  • Life, the universe, everything
  • Driving
  • Engineering/work

Some of those could get amalgamated (“Alcohol” and “Life/universe/everything” are good candidates for that), and I might think of something else to write about before I do any of the above. The list is just there to prod me into writing more (and maybe someone else will prod me, “Oi, you said you were gonna write about x and you still havent!”).

I was somewhat amazed to read the comments on Flix’s blog a while back, with people saying they wouldn’t wanna change uni-world for the real world. I’m the exact opposite. As much as I moan about it sometimes, and as much as I’m utterly bored of getting up at quarter to 7 (or quarter to 6 on Monday mornings), I much prefer work. I like being finished at half 5, I like the feeling of Getting Something Done, and I absolutely adore being out of the Student Bubble. Being paid really doesn’t suck, either. I was back in Cardiff on Friday and went to the pub with a load of my mates down there, and all of us who have done a year out this year agree that we prefer working. In some ways, I’m kinda dreading going back to Uni.

Anyway, 3 months left and allegedly I’ll be moving away from Brize soon, to work in Head Office on another project. Be annoying to be off-site during the sunny summer, but it’ll be interesting to try yet another thing this year. Reduce my fuel bills a hell of a lot, too…

Posted In: EngineeringMotorsportSite Tagged: | 1 Comment


Thursday 27th November 2008

First things first, I decided to have a fiddle around with the way this thing works, hence the new look. The old design I was using was a bit of a mess behind the scenes, so this version should hopefully help me use WordPress a bit better… I wanted to work out how to use CSS properly as well. Turns out it’s remarkably easy and very powerful, which is handy. Also, I just felt like a change….

Anyway, other things. I’ve mentioned before that I’m on a year out this year, so I could go do a placement in an engineering company. Which is pretty cool. I much prefer the working lifestyle to the student one, for some reason. I like knowing that work stops at a certain time, and that after that my time is my own. And the student lifestyle makes it very, very easy to be lazy (my bad habit is to turn nocturnal, especially in the winter…). Also, I’m not sure what it is, but I tend to find the whole student bubble thing pretty tedious; it’s nice to be able to get out into the real world for a bit. I’m fairly dreading having to go back to Uni next year, I honestly don’t know how I’ll cope.

I’ve been in a civil engineering office, doing… well, lots of stuff. It’s quite an eye-opener how little civil engineering my degree in, uhm, civil engineering, has contained thus far. Mostly we’ve covered a lot of structural stuff, rather than civils. Which I guess makes sense, because the structural stuff probably lends itself more to being taught at uni. I think I’ve probably learned as much – if not more – from my placement than from my degree…

However. You will probably have noticed all the talk recently about recession. Well, turns out that has a pretty large effect on the construction industry; people can’t build stuff when they haven’t got any money. So I was made redundant last week. To be honest, when I decided to get a year’s experience of the industry, that wasn’t the experience I had in mind. So, the bad news is that I’m out of a job after Christmas; the good news is that I’ve only had about 3 weeks off in total since July (because I worked for the Bank over summer), and now I’m gonna get longer off…

I think I should possibly be more stressed about the whole thing. I’m not sure if I’ll get another job in engineering for the rest of the year (although the odds are better than I thought they’d be), and I’m not sure what the hell I’d do if I didn’t get one. In a lot of ways, though, it’s a good opportunity for me. I’ve had 3 months doing one type of thing in the engineering industry, now I wanna go do something different; I’d really like to go and work on-site, see what that’s like. If I went down that road long-term there’s some pretty good opportunities for travelling, which I think is not to be ignored.

Hmm, anyway. This is a crap post. There’s a bunch of other stuff I wanna write about, but I’ll leave that for another time.

Posted In: EngineeringSiteSleepStuff Tagged: | 7 Comments

Seriously, Who Uses Password as their AP Password?

Monday 18th August 2008

Poor, poor form. But at least I can do something at the train station after missing the train. That said theres some fairly hefty rain falling, which is making me fear for my Notebook’s safety, somewhat. Never mind, plough on.

I’m currently listening to the new Sigur Ros album, and have to say it’s fairly stunning. Rather unlike their previous efforts in a lot of ways, but really good nonetheless. I particularly like “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur” (means “within me a lunatic sings”). One of those songs which is just pure, unadulterated joy.

OK, so there was just an announcement over the station PA telling everyone to be careful because the platform might be wet. Honestly, if you can’t work that one out by yourself…

Anyway, stuff. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been working lately, which is the cause of the lack of blogging. To be honest a lot of the time I’ve not really had anything to say. And then when I have had stuff to say, I’ve just not been awake enough to say it. Pretty frustrating, to be honest.

I enjoy working in some ways. Gets me out of the house, gets me money, etc. That said lots of things about this job annoy me, and I really can’t wait to start a “proper” job in September. It might not be immediately clear what I mean by that, but it’s one of the things on my to-do list as far as this thing is concerned. Actually I started writing about it the other day, but… C’est la vie.

I was back in Cardiff last week for reasons previously mentioned. Something that annoyed me about that actually is that for the first time I sat the exam, revision was something I didn’t particularly like doing and the material didn’t make all that much sense to me. This time round, I really enjoyed revising (it was like doing a more useful sudoku, if that makes sense), and had no trouble motivating myself. Of course part of that is possibly down to there being no second chances this time, but I dont think it was completely down to that. Irritating.

Anyway, Cardiff. I drove there, and it’s the first time that I’ve really driven round there (I drove there once a couple of years ago, but that doesnt count for several reasons). As I was driving around the city, I realised that it felt really alien, as if I hadn’t been there before and didn’t know it that well. Probably because it felt completely different seeing and feeling it from the car. On familiar roads you get used to how they feel; where the bumps are, the texture of the road, how things work etc. It kinda felt nicer from the driver’s seat than it does from the pavement, but thats more down  to the quality of the paving in Cardiff…

Wow, I’m rambling now.

So yeah, as well as that alienness there was also a proper recognition of the place, as you’d expect considering the fact that I’ve (mostly) lived there for a couple of years now. Driving around, seeing lots of different places brought back some of the memories from the last couple of years. Sort of “oh, I remember doing such and such here”. It was nice, if a little weird when combined with the unfamiliarity I was feeling.

Still doesn’t feel like home though. When I’m on the motorway and I see a sign for The Midlands, it just feels like “That way be home”. Don’t feel that when I see a sign for Cardiff.

Train o’Clock. Bye

Posted In: CarsGeekMusicRandomSiteStuff Tagged: | 8 Comments

The Fruits of Boredom

Tuesday 10th June 2008

It’s been mentioned in the past and I was bored this afternoon, so I decided to install one.

A forum.

The software seems pretty good so far, after my brief tinker time. I’ve certainly not come across any glaring issues with it, which is good. Anyone can register, natch.

I dunno how much it’ll get used, but no harm in finding out, eh?

Posted In: Site | 26 Comments

A Conundrum

Monday 28th April 2008

If I try to do any work at my desk in my room, it doesn’t happen. I either gaze into space and listen to music, or watch a dvd, or play a game, or aimlessly browse the net, or something. But if I go down to the library, I manage to get loads done.

I have most of the same distractions, cos I take my Eee and my MP3 player with me. So I can still end up wasting time listening to music and browsing the net aimlessly, but I just don’t. I even sit next to the window, looking out over the green grass (and the train line. Ahem), and theres plenty of distraction there as people walk past on their way to/from lectures, or looking at the pretty shapes in the clouds. But instead I ended up writing a load of notes on English law and the court systems (for my Civil Engineering degree. Crazy talk! Incidentally, this amused me somewhat. The idea of trial by combat being an acceptable way to decide the outcome of a trial is delightfully mad. Shame they repealed the law, would’ve made Paul McCarthy vs Heather Mills somewhat entertaining. She could’ve knocked him out with her peg leg. Anyway, I digress).

Actually it’s not too much of a conundrum at all. My room-desk is just tiny. What with the monitors and speakers and keyboard and mouse and assorted desk-clutter, there’s really no room to work. Annoying.

I mentioned the Eee there, and it’s a really brilliant little tool for revision. Cos of its size, it’s really easy to carry in to uni in the first place, and then when you’re there it takes up a tiny proportion of the space of the desk, so it’s not in the way at all. A proper-sized laptop would be too heavy/bulky to carry in (along with all my other revision materials), and would take up a huge amount of the desk. As it is, the Eee is just the right size for looking up notes or past papers from the intranet, or for looking stuff up on t’net when your notes make no bloody sense (Wikipedia ftw!).

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Best Gadget Evar!

In other news, design coursework is proceeding nicely, and will be done in the next couple of days hopefully. Maths coursework is EVIL, and is probably going to take me as long as I’ve got (and probably a bit longer). Yesterday I did my first bit of ironing… well for years, really. My phone has just run out of credit, I need to go get food (yeh its late cos I got in from the library and started eating biscuits. Fail), and I didn’t get to sleep till 4am last night. Oops.

I don’t know why anyone would care about most of that last paragraph (I don’t), but meh. Meh, I say!

I’m already bored of the way this site looks. Theres a few things I like, a few things I don’t like, and a few things that are unforgivable. Theres also a few things I want to add to it anyway. I’ll probably change it when I have time/can be bothered (not soon then).

22 days till the end! (Excluding the field trip)

Posted In: GeekRandomSiteTechnology | 6 Comments

Hopping on the Bandwagon

Saturday 1st March 2008

Well going green seems to be all the craze at the moment…

Anyway, this is something I’ve been working on for a few days now. I bought the hosting before Christmas and didnt do anything with it, and I had some time last weekend so thought I’d finally get around to moving things over here. There’s nothing new here as such, it’s just a new (hopefully nicer) way of presenting it all.

I’ve spent so long looking at the damn thing as I’ve been writing it that I’ve sort of lost all ability to judge how good it looks. To be frank, I’m already sick of the greenness, but familiarity breeds contempt and all that… The only thing I’m really unsure about though is the “listening to” section on the right. I’m not really sure what the point is (other than demonstrate that I spend far too much time in front of a computer as it updates all the bloody time), but I can’t be bothered to get rid of it at the moment, so I’ll do it some other time if I still feel the same.

Anyway seeing as I’ve written pretty much nothing for a week, I may as well do so now. Beats sleeping, eh?

I went home for the first half of the week, and I have to say it was pretty refreshing. I hadn’t really noticed it beforehand but being stuck in the Uni “bubble” does kinda suck, and it was nice to go back to the real world for a few days and get away from everything.

Considering I am one, students do tend to intensely annoy me. Most of ’em seem to think that the world owes them something because they’re a student. Like with student loans. I’ve written here before about the fuss people made when the interest rate jumped to 4.8% (or whatever it is) a few months ago. It annoyed me that people fussed so much; 4.8% is a very good loan rate, you pay it back when you earn over a certain amount, and if you don’t like the fact that it can jump by so much, dont take the loan… Either way, just because we’re students it doesnt mean we’re entitled to anything, and it annoys me when people forget that.

The student lifestyle irritates me too. A generic night out is to some crappy club, with shitty music played far too loud, where you drink far too many awful, overpriced drinks and end up posing for a photograph with a kebab in one hand and a traffic cone in the other. It’s shit! I still don’t know why people want to do that sort of thing; if you want to go out with some friends, it’s much better to go to a pub, have a couple of pints and talk for a while. Surely you get to know people better that way than you do by sleeping your way round the student body (although perhaps I’m just saying that cos I’m not getting any…). And this idea that getting drunk = good night out is just stupid.

So does it make me a hypocrite that I got drunk on the day I came back to Cardiff? (the answer is no, by the way. Being drunk was just a side-effect of the drinking… By the way, I tried a green beer that night. It wasnt as good as it looked, sadly).

Anyway, sleepy time.

Oh, and Happy St. David’s day to my Welsh reader(s?).

Posted In: RantSiteSleep | 14 Comments