Archive for the ‘General’ Category

It’s been a while

Posted: 08/10/2013 in General
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Seven months to be exact. I had every intention to create a fantastic new blog focusing on E-sports and everything that they contain. It never happened though, and I don’t regret it not happening. Here’s why.

In March I started a new job, after ten years I left ASDA for pastures new, moving from Telford to Derby at the same and moving in with my other half (and her parents at the time). In July my beautiful son was born (all 6lbs and 13oz of him), and in September we moved into our very own little house.

With all of this that has been going on, I’ve very little time to do anything else. I’m hoping that when it comes to blogging I will be able to squeeze the odd post here and there, they might not necessarily be on any one particular thing, more than likely whatever I feel about talking about at the time, but hey! It’s my blog, I can do what I like right?

When it comes to gaming that’s pretty much come to a grinding halt. I dip into World of Warcraft every once in a while and sometimes a bit of Diablo too, but you’re talking about 2/3 hours a week, if that. When it comes to technology I’ve got some cracking devices now.

I replace my Lenovo “Ultrabook” with a Samsung Series 5 laptop (with monster specs). It was purchased second-hand from CEX, but the price was a steal for the machine! When it comes to mobile phones, I’ve gone from Sony Xperia Z to iPhone 5 to Nexus 4 to Samsung Galaxy S4 (the latter being my favourite one of the bunch). I’ve even got rid of my Nexus 7, and replaced it with a Samsung Chromebook at the weekend.

Speaking about the Chromebook, I love it! It does exactly what I need from a “laptop” at the moment. Being so deep in Google’s ecosystem meant that the Chromebook felt like an extension of what I do anyway and not like a new product. It’s fluid, smooth and well just a joy to use. £229 well spent!

Anyway that’s you caught up with me so far! Fingers crossed I can pump the odd occasional post of randomness out for you guys to read. I do miss writing so hopefully I can jump in every now and again.

Time will tell.

Best Places to Sell?

Posted: 12/11/2012 in Personal
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I thought I would turn to the wonderful bloggersphere for advice. I’m looking to sell a few things (games, gadgets, books, you know the usual). I know there are the big websites such as Amazon, Play and Ebay but I’m wondering what the best sites are that don’t charge a booking fee? I’m in the UK for reference. I’d appreciate your comments and help! :)

Good day everybody.

Well it’s been two and a half months since I last posted anything to blog, to be honest it’s mainly because my focus has been elsewhere. However, I was walking around Burton yesterday and quite a few ideas started to crop into my head. Over the next couple of weeks I “plan” to do the following.

  • Return to a more frequent posting schedule
  • Change the theme
  • Update the pages
  • Remove the categories and refresh them

Those are the four things I know I definitely will be doing, I have a couple of other things in my mind but they will need to develop before I can really put them into action. I’m quite impressed by the number of visitors that this blog gets each day despite my lack of postings and It’s partly due to that why I’ve decided to return to do it again!

New Contact Information!

One of the first things that I have done is set up an individual email address and Twitter account for this blog. (Facebook and Google+ pages will hopefully follow)

E-Mail – lashingsofliam@live.co.uk

Twitter – @lashingsofliam

Keep an eye peeled for changes to this blog!

Thank you :)

I’m writing this post as it’s something that has started to bug me during the Olympics and it will come across as a rant, but so be it.

Team GB covers the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and you would think that the population within those nations would fully support the Great Britain side, and on the whole you would be correct. The majority of populations have got behind the team but their are a minority of small minded and petty people out there who won’t support them as they are not England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

I’ve seen it from people in all the four nations and it’s just pathetic. The media doesn’t help either. After Great Britain secured a famous 1-0 victory against Brazil in the women’s football the commentator interviewed Kim Little and said the following..

You are the only footballer in both the men’s and the women’s team to represent Scotland. How do you feel about that?

Little replied with a simple comment but one that is so true.

I’m not here representing Scotland, I’m representing the whole of Great Britain

And that’s a fantastic reply. While some people are possess an inferiority complex whichever of the four nations they are from, the athletes and the majority of the British population are intelligent enough to realise that during these games we are all as one. We aren’t English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish… We are British.

For those who still hold firm against this notion, please go and grow up. Thank you.

 There are points in time when you are forced to take a deep hard look at yourself. The last month has been that time to me. Granted I haven’t been through anything really bad. It’s not like I’ve lost my home, or been ran over by a parked milk float but it doesn’t have to be for you to realise when you have to take action, and a number of events have made me realise it was time.

 Do you ever dream about things, really want things to happen, but when you sit down and really think about it, you realise that you’ve just been cruising, that you really wanted things that meant so much to you, but on the other hand you weren’t taking the other parts of your life seriously, to let your dreams materialize. The term “going with the flow” is something that I’ve used myself very often, and up until recently I thought that it was a good thing, but I now realise that I need to grab things by the scruff of their neck. Things aren’t going to kick into gear themselves, I need to make them happen.

  The first obvious one for me, is my physical appearance, of which I have a very low opinion of. I know I need to get myself a bit more trim and it’s something I will be able to fully achieve when I go on regular walks once I’m fully healed from the operation. It’s true that looks aren’t everything, but it’s also true that sometimes when you make a slight change, you feel better within yourself, you feel more confident, you feel that you can take on the world with just a box of vinyl’s and a cricket bat.

 To coincide with the above, I even want to slightly adjust my hobbies. I’ve mentioned it before, but I no longer want to be in my room either playing video games or watching dvd’s. I want to get on my feet and I want to walk. Where I used to spot a path I didn’t recognise, I now want to turn and walk down it just to see where it goes. When I have time off work I want to pick a train station at random (finances permitting), and explore that town. To record my visits and my day via photographs. Over the past year I’ve been made to see just how photographs can capture a moment, a view, a memory and I intend to do that for myself. Again this won’t start until I’m fully fit, but I no longer wish to play video games 24/7 (don’t get me wrong I still want to play them, just not how I used to).

 I mentioned finances just, and that brings me to my job. I’m the first to admit that I haven’t really gave it my all for a little bit now. Partly because of what I’ve been carrying but also because I’ve been cruising along. Granted it’s not the most demanding job the world, or is it? I’ve come to think that it could be if I put my mind to it. It’s about time I put my head down and focused on the job at hand, and when I go back that’s exactly what I plan on doing. There’s a time for Twitter, for my personal life, and while I’m at work, that isn’t it.

 Finally which is also vastly important, and one I’m working on right now, is some mental traits. I’m trying to not be so negative about things, to see things in a more positive light. For example, over the last week, the UK has been bathed in some stunning sunshine. In the past I would’ve gone “oh my god, it’s too hot, roll on the winter”, but this time, I’m embracing it. It’s amazing how you can lift yourself up when you look at things more positively. The other one is that I need to stop worrying about every little thing. It’s possible to care without always worrying. Those two things are probably my biggest demons, and if I must say myself, I’m on the way to thrashing them.

 I’d love to write and blog some more, but while I’m trying to figure myself out a bit, I don’t actually know what I should be commentating on, so until then, I’ll probably just ramble.

 I apologize if this post bored anyone, it was a bit of a ramble, a bit of a mess. I never thought the last month would go how it has gone, but while it still plays in my mind, it’s made me realise that I need to get moving. As a dear friend of mine said “you can’t make other people happy unless you can make yourself happy” and I would like to add to that. “You can’t help others, you can’t sort others out, if you aren’t prepared to help yourself or sort yourself out”

 Thanks for reading this ramble. I will leave you with this one photo I took on Monday which I fell in love with. It’s nothing special, but I really like it.

Now I try not to criticize companies when I can help it. You never know when they might come back to bite you, however I felt that this one deserved a rant. They are called Cash Generator and their name speaks for themselves. What they do in store they do well and this isn’t what I’m about to write about. Instead what I’m about to write about is their awful website.

You go to their main page and you think “well that looks very well done”

The issue appears to be when you start to look at how things look. What do I mean? Well there seems to be no central template and the products can appear under any spelling. Here are two examples.

The HTC Flyer is an Android tablet that didn’t really take off. Despite this however I’m not sure that using it as something to eat off will improve its popularity.

But wait! It gets better. Say I want to search by brand. Let’s say I want to look for a nice Samsung Galaxy S2. That shouldn’t be an issue right?

Erm?

 Seriously it’s terrible. Even “Smaubng” is meant to be Samsung. I’m not here to pick on people’s spelling but as a company if you’re going to have a website like this, at least create a template so stores can put their products in the correct categories and so the consumers can find them? To me the above just makes the place feel like an amateur shop. I could create a better sub-menu in my basement, if I had a basement, but you know what I mean.

Hope I didn’t come across as too critical about it, as the saying goes “don’t like it, then don’t go there” but that isn’t the point. Mistakes like this that aren’t corrected just look amateurish and just makes things harder to find if you’re a consumer who just happens to be browsing. It could be sales lost and I’m amazed that it has been picked up on yet.

At the time of writing this it’s 13:30 and I’m exhausted. Why am I exhausted? Well I’ve just been for a walk that normally would take 20-30 minutes but today took an hour. Why exactly did it a take an hour? Well for those who keep up with my infrequent blog posts will know that I’m slowly recovering from an operation on my lower back to remove an infection, and today was the furthest I have walked since the operation on April 10th. It’s a start mind and something that I need to do every day to get my stamina in my legs back. There are probably quite a few people who are thinking “that doesn’t sound a problem to me” but when you factor in that I’ve spent the best part of the last 31 days lying on my sides then you can probably imagine why it’s worn me out. It’s not all bad though as I managed to get one or two decent pictures :)

just leaving my house, at this stage I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go left here and just walk around the block or if I wanted to challenge myself I turn right, which would mean me making the walk to Madeley. I also had one eye at the heavens which were getting increasingly threatening. Despite this I decide to go left!

After walking through an alley I came to this hill which as it was going downwards was a piece of cake. There are houses around me here and at the very bottom you can just make out some shops. One photo which I would’ve taken but there were too many people hovering near the window was a news agents that had a big poster up saying “We sell top up here! BT Cellnet, One to One, Orange, Vodafone!” Nothing like being a decade out of date. As you can see the skies were looking increasingly threatening.

Walking down the bottom of that hill and turning left I eventually came to this junction. It’s absolutely awful. There are no traffic lights and there are 4 different roads in which you can come onto it. It’s not a nice place to cross when it’s really busy as you don’t know if the drivers are going to turn in or keep going round and half of them indicate at the last-minute when at all. So far I was feeling alright, but the challenge was yet to come, as I would be going where the two red cars are heading, which is up a great big hill, this I knew would be the biggest test for me. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the hill itself as the clouds finally gave in and unleashed their rain. It was only a short, sharp shower but still.

Eventually I made it up to the top of the hill and to our local Tesco‘s. By this stage I was feeling pretty drained. I knew it would as I went through the exact same thing last year and I also know that as long as I keep doing it daily then it will get easier and easier. Heading home was quite easy for half the journey as that hill I had to walk up I now could walk down, however the first hill you saw in the picture I now had to walk up! This was not easy as by now I had very little energy left. I got home around 12:00, had my chicken and basically fell asleep for an hour.

I’m still being visited by nurses daily to get my dressing on my wound changed, but more and more the responsibility is drifting over to me. Their job is just to make sure the wound is clean and that is fully dressed and protected. It’s up to me to channel my focus into getting me back on my feet so that when I get the go ahead, I can return to work in full swing and can get back to enjoying what I enjoy to do AND maybe picking up an extra one or two things that I’ve had plenty of time to think about whilst I’ve been off.

It’s not a case of “you know, I might do this if I feel like it.” It’s a case of “I have to do this”. And you know what? I will! :)

Firstly I would like to make an apology. Well I’m not sure I am making an apology, but hey I’m British so I can get away with. I’m once again going to deviate into personal territory but it’s my blog so I’m allowed! If that’s okay with you that is? Yes? Good! <Insert smiley face here>

As some of you have probably read here or have seen on my tweets on Twitter, I had an operation around 16 days ago. Now because the operation was so low on my back, it has meant that so far I haven’t been able to sit down yet, showering isn’t an option due to the dressing and April 10th was the last time I set foot outside the house. The problem with this is, that it gives you far too much time to think.

So what have I been thinking about? Well for those who don’t want to read on … I’ve been thinking about everything. From relationships to my physique, from how I miss going to work just because it passes the time, to where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. I’ve thought about what I want to start doing more when I’m healed again, to what I need to do to get my finances in order. It may seem a lot to some, or to other it may seem like nothing at all, but when you spent the last 2 weeks lying on your bed with this swirling around inside you, well it can start to really beat at you and get you down.

Relationship

Thankfully this isn’t a worry. I’ve been with my other half (shameless plug towards her blog here). for just over a year now, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been happy in a relationship. There are certain things that get to me sometimes. Living in different towns (okay so Derby is a city but who’s counting?), really sucks when you’re like this. I can’t travel to see her and until I’m mobile and she has two days off in a row then it would be silly to ask her to spend £27 on a return ticket  just to go back that same evening. Would I like that? Of course I would. Is it feasible? Absolutely. Does it make common sense? Absolutely not.

There have been times during this when I wish I could talk to her more, as it does get real lonely when you’re stuck between the same four walls, but in reality of course that isn’t possible. Although the question that pops into my head every now and again, is “am i good enough for her?”. I hope I am and I haven’t been given any indication that I’m not so I would class that as a good sign.

Physique

I’m not the slimmest person in the world and I’m definitely not the most well toned person in the world and 85% of the time that doesn’t bother me, but recently I’ve started to look at myself and think about it more and more. I know what needs to be done but my problem is that I’m so laid back that every time I go to do something, I think “ah it’s fine, there’s no rush, I can always do it later” and by the time that I think “you know what? I should really do that now!”, it’s too late.

Now going to the gym isn’t an option. I’m not that sort of person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be more pro-active in my health. I could eat better food, I could go for walks (ties in lovely with the next one), and just take general better care of myself. No one is making me think this, in face the only person who’d opinion I really listen to on this, says I’m fine, but mentally it’s slowly there in the back of my head, just gently eating away at me.

What I should do more

Personally one thing I’ve always been interested in but have never really done anything about it, is to take photographs, i’m not as prolific in the taking photograph area as my other half is but it’s still something that I’m interested in. I’ve always believe that if you can capture the right image, then you can say more in that one shot then you can in 1000 words. This is one of the reasons why I want to take more walks when I’m able to, to take a path I haven’t been down and think “oh that looks interesting” *click*. Far too often when I have a choice I stay wrapped up in my own little bubble which is my bedroom, and when I have to stay in my bedroom I realise that I should be out in the fresh air more. I’m not a sporty person but you don’t have to be to enjoy the outdoors.

Financially

For a bit now I’ve been spending above my means. I haven’t been getting myself into debt, but what I have been doing is buying stuff I don’t really need, just because I can. What I need to do is work out how much my out-goings each month are, and see how much that roughly leaves me with each month, then I need to decide how much I should put to one side and how much I can spend. At the moment I’m not keeping track of this but luckily I’ve picked up on it before it has spiralled out of control. To generate some extra money I’ve started to sell stuff on Play and Hot Deals UK (that place should give me commission for the amount of links I’m starting to give it!), but if I don’t get more stringent, that could become a band-aid for a bullet wound and it’s something that I can not allow to happen.

Self Confidence / Self Worry

One thing about me is that I’m not the most confident person in the world, and sometimes I worry far too much over things. There are occasions when I over-think about something and well without going into details. Sometimes I try to create a barrier to protect myself and this comes across as if I’m being stubborn. Now I am a naturally stubborn person but not everything that comes across as me being stubborn is actually me being stubborn. Sometimes it’s my defensive mechanisms kicking into gear. Unfortunately I’m yet to figure out how to conquer this section, but I know I need to. The last thing I want to do is end up like Mr Heckles in Friends.

Conclusion

 I realise that this entire post probably seems like a bit of a ramble, I know the stuff that I need to do, but unfortunately I’m still weeks away from being able to start it. Until then I guess I’ll carry on thinking. I’ve tried everything to stop me from thinking. From buying a 2nd Xbox, to trying to reconnect with WoW, to even downloading and playing EVE Online, however nothing seems to be working. I wish I could find something that would!

  I’m sure we’ve all done this in whatever MMO we have played or still do play. You’ve wanted to plan what you need for your character, or you have tactics to remember. What is the best way to do this? Well that’s simple! The best way to do this is to grab a pen and paper and write.

 I was flicking through an old notepad I found recently and it was full of possible raid groups, raid tactics, what I needed to farm to get my gear, what I could farm for profit. I even found a complete battle-plan for a particular day, starting from when I would wake up to when I  would go to bed. Now considering I’m a casual player nowadays, I certainly don’t do this anymore, and knowing me, there’s every chance that if I woke up at 9:00am, that battle-plan was out the window come 9:05.

 I was just wondering if everyone uses the good old-fashioned pen and paper method? Do people use their smart phones or tablets instead? Or maybe a little window open in the corner with Notepad or Word just sitting there? What do you use?

 I hope you guys who take the time to read my blog don’t mind while I drift into personal mode here. For those who have had the patience to read this blog since last year you will recall that on the 1st June 2011, I had an operation on what’s called “Pilonidal Sinus“. The post from last year can be found here (warning there is an image on there that well, isn’t safe for those who get light-headed quickly). When I had that done I was told it would be a long healing process but there’s an 85% chance that, that will be that. Of course I fell into the 15% category!

 On 10th April this year, I had to go in for another operation for the exact same thing, so four days later and with probably another three weeks off work (my guess), I decided to write about it. This time however, I’m not going to write about the injury itself, but instead I’m going to write about the surrounding issues, both mentally and physically.

 For the first 48 hours after the operation, things feel great. You feel a hundred times better and the thought of lying in bed watching Netflix on my Roku and playing games on my laptop and mobile phone sounds wonderful and for that period it is, however it’s after that when things start to turn and that’s where I’m at now.

 You see after 48 hours your nerves start growing back in the area that was cut out, so the feeling goes from a small, gentle throb that you can tolerate to a feeling that when you move, you just want to shout out and punch something to try to take the focus away from that area. On top of that, after spending now 4 days just lying on your side, you can image that your hips and thighs are very sore. Lying on your stomach isn’t very comfortable and lying on your back is completely out of the question. You have to wake yourself up in the night to lift yourself up so you can lie on the other side. This feeling is while I’m taking Co-codamal so that shows how painful it can be. Even coughing causes “ripples” down your body which gives you a sharp reminded at what you’ve had done.

 The worst part though (and yes I consider this the worst part), is the mental issues. After 4 days of “isolation” you start to get extremely frustrated, lonely and bored stiff. You see, walking down stairs takes a lot of effort and for the moment the pain afterwards just isn’t worth it, so it’s been four days stuck in the bedroom. You switch on the tv, and switch it back off, because you know nothing on there will distract you. You turn on the laptop and your just like “I’ve done this constantly since Tuesday, enough!”. Then finally there’s the constant tiredness, what with the strong painkillers and your body trying to fix itself.

 I know I’ll be worth it in the end, but unless you’ve ever had an operation where your stuck in one room for a long period of time then it really is hard to explain how tough it is mentally. I’m trying to remedy that though, at least temporarily. On one of my favourite sites, “Hot UK Deals“, someone was selling their 120gb Xbox 360 for £80 with delivery included in the cost. I thought that was a decent price. I’ve always been tempted by an Xbox and with my other half now having one that temptation got stronger. It was either that or an Asus Transformer, and as much as I would like an Android tablet, it’s not really something that I need right now, what with me having a Blackberry Playbook.

As you can see it isn’t all doom and gloom, but sometimes you know what they say. You feel better sometimes when you get it out of your system and that is how it feels for writing this. I hope it hasn’t come across as me just complaining, and thank you for reading :). (Yes I did just put a cheesy smiley face at the end of this post. See, here’s another – :) )