January 31st 2016 · Read More · Comments(2)
I’ve just finished my first cryptic crossword, the third one out of a book (“Puzzle People Cryptic Crosswords #120”). I’m getting a little hooked.
It all started with David Astle’s book “Puzzled”, which I got after he’d joined the lunchtime gang’s puzzle team for SUMS in 2014. A couple of friends are quite into cryptics (David K, David C, Geoff B) and whenever we’ve done puzzle competitions I’ve left the cryptic style stuff to them, and with David Astle on the team that year I just listened in amazement. Anyway, his book was very interesting, but as has been the way of things in the past five years, I read the first chapter and put it down and didn’t get back to it.
Then I talked to one of Von’s co-workers who’d just taken up cryptics, and suddenly decided to push on. Serendipitously, I went to Newcastle on holidays recently with some friends, one of whom was quite into cryptics. We solved a cryptic puzzle together (using an app “Conspire” to keep track), and I continued powering through “Puzzled” and now… this may be a habit.
January 27th 2016 · Read More · No Comments
Had a rather lovely trip to Newcastle, so much cooler and more interesting that I expected that we ended up staying an extra day, and there were many tears etc. from Jade & Clara upon leaving.
Also chatted with many people from Von’s work for their multicultural day, and got enthused again about the screenplay I wrote a few years ago. Once I’ve finished writing up the rules and current iteration of cards for Silent Shinobi, I’ve penciled in some time for redoing the outline and a couple of pages.
January 15th 2016 · Read More · No Comments
Von showed me a nifty organisation tool called “Trello”, which I started using to manage my TODO list today. So that’s nice. Otherwise, I, uh, baked a sticky date pudding today? And did some shopping, and did some passport wrangling, some Darths & Droids writing, and guitar practice.
Not the most productive day of all, but not the least either (that would be yesterday).
January 13th 2016 · Read More · Comments(4)
Yesterday marked my first day back from holidays (company: excellent. Weather: awful) in which I was at home alone left to my own devices. I used the time wisely by having dental surgery to push back the gum of my broken tooth so that a crown could get put in, and then sensibly spent the rest of the day feeling pathetic.
Today, however! I still did very little of consequence. I’ve been thinking for a while about doing a Goldfish Cube article, and I finally started it yesterday afternoon and continued it today. I started getting passport forms filled out for our trip to Hong Kong later in the year. I played guitar and had a nice nap.
…and that’s it for today! Time to go and pick up the girls. Still on the TODO list: work on my “Can’t stop shooting” game, get my CV together, do some more python programming examples from checkio.org, start some of the programming examples on Rosalind, do some research into the python Maya framework (coding in python for movies? Sounds cool!), do something in ElasticSearch, finish the Goldfish Cube article, and oh look I’ve run out of time even writing this list down.
I will endeavor to write something down every work day here, just to ensure I do *something*.
December 22nd 2015 · Read More · Comments(2)
I hereby resolve that although allocating time in half-hours is a good thing and helpful in avoiding procrastination, the additional sneaky requirement that I start these half-hour tasks on a half-hour boundary is both unnecessary and procrastination’s way of ensuring I don’t get things done.
Today’s half hour tasks: guitar, CV, Silent Shinobi Rules, chores, exercise.
October 28th 2015 · Read More · Comments(5)
I was made redundant yesterday. I was somewhat expecting it (I put the odds at 50%, which was probably about right at the time), and the fact I’ve been at CiSRA since 2002 gives me a nice payout. So I’m not too sad, except that I’ll miss seeing my work friends every day.
Also, it’ll make finishing Darths & Droids just that little bit more annoying.
October 26th 2015 · Read More · No Comments
Good practice session today (I did practice every weekday last week, but didn’t record it).
I suddenly remembered there was a piece I haven’t practiced in almost a year – Piero Umiliani’s “Crepuscolo Sul Mare” (the theme to Ocean’s Twelve), so I lead with that. Fortunately my hands knew what to do so I didn’t have to hunt down the sheet music.
Then: Villa Lobos’s Prelude #3, Turina’s Homenaje A Tarrega at 120bpm, and finally Albeniz’s Asturias at 135bpm.
October 20th 2015 · Read More · No Comments
Don’t mind me. I’m going to (sporadically) log the pieces I practice on guitar.
Today’s practice session:
Jorge Morel, Danza Brasilera (learning)
J.S. Bach, Prelude in D minor, BWV999 (metronome at 140bpm, trying to get smooth)
Francisco Tarrega, Marieta (play through, practice hammer-on/pull-off sequences)
Stanley Myers, Cavatina (play through to make sure I don’t forget it)
October 8th 2015 · Read More · No Comments
For some reason my “jumping coin” magic trick is working extra well today. The coin hasn’t jumped more than 20cm in months, and today it’s suddenly going 30cm high. No idea what’s changed.
Also! I’m working on a new guitar piece. I’m very excited about it.
Oh, and I’ve started doing double-blind taste tests at work. Last week was camembert/brie (turns out I like camembert more than I thought and brie less than I thought); today is dark chocolate.
Also I’ve juuuuust gotten over a hacking cough that’s knocked me about for a few weeks. And Clara had gastro this week and it was utterly revolting.
And work continues apace on Silent Shinobi. I’m writing up the rules in my many spare moments.
July 16th 2015 · Read More · No Comments
120bpm on Homage a Tarrega. Still pretty steady. Failures are an even split between left hand finger preparation (i.e. not being able to mentally keep up with what my fingers should be doing next) and physically doing the left hand chord stretches. Some of them are hard. Notably missing from the aforementioned failures: right hand technique. That requires discipline to even acknowledge, let alone address.
I started practicing an adaptation of June (Barcarolle), by Tchaikovsky. Lovely piece. I definitely need a new piece in my practice buffer, I’m getting a little weary of the current set.