Da

As previously stated:

This will probably be useful as it’s inevitable the next time an old photograph is found it will come my way.

My Grandfather died in April, and during the wake an old, damaged photographed of him in his busman uniform showed up, and it did indeed come my way.

When I returned to work, after a few days off, I got stuck into it. Half worried it would be “too soon” to have to stare at a picture of him for most of the day but I wanted to get it done and get a print for my Granny. Suprisingly it was somewhat theraputic i.e. it took my mind of things having to concentrate on one solitarty task and working on little details. 

Unlike the first attempt, I’d learnt to reduce the opacity. Overall it turned out alright but annoyingly I noticed a blemish after I ordered some prints! I reckon I could have spent a lot longer working on it but alas I wanted to get the prints quickly. I ordered a load for family members and they were happy with them. It even got published in the Irish News. So technically I’m a published photo editing person!

It’s a few months later, but it’s still tough. I’ll miss him.


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First Attempt at Photo Retouching

My Granny found a load of old photos – including the one below, of my Grandad’s sister, my uncle and two aunties. It was small, quite damaged, somehow burnt and crumpled to shit. She wanted a bigger print and my mother volunteered me to do it, because of course she did! Maybe she knew I wouldn’t just print it as is and would try make some attempt to fix it. If so, she was right, it would annoy me otherwise. However, I know dick all about photo editing software (bar making CD artwork once, and the occasional Simpsons shit post). Anyway, she Whatsapp-ed me the above image and I had to wing it from there.

First thing I did, on my phone, was crop it. The sky was white so wasn’t losing anything important. I tried the Photoshop Express mobile app to see if I could get through this in a couple of minutes. The short answer was no. So I emailed it to myself and thought I’d try it on a PC.

The first software I tried to use Jasc PaintShop Pro but couldn’t find the clone brush and after a bit of googling found out apparently there wasn’t one (and since then I’ve found out apparently there is). Luckily, the guy behind me in work is quite handy with GIMP and was able to point me in the right direction.

I was making it up as I went along, but after a few hours of using GIMPs Clone Brush (apparently called Sample in Photoshop) I managed to get something decent. I got some prints ordered and my Granny seemed pleased. I stopped there as I knew I could lose many more hours trying to get it “perfect” but I was quite chuffed with my first attempt. After I tweeted an old school friend explained to me what the opacity was for. This will probably be useful as it’s inevitable the next time an old photograph is found it will come my way.

New Year Resolutions are bullshit, here are mine…

Nothing too mad… some easy SMART goals so come December I can look back on the year and be a smug bastard!

#1 Maintain over 70 in my Degree
Year 1 I got an average of 84, Year 2 was 80. By this time next year I’ll have my Year 3 marks and hopefully I average over 70. (Bit of a cop out, I’ve already got my unconfirmed semester 1 module mark. I got 79 in my C++ module, so already a quarter of the way there!)

#2 Discover More Music! 
Whaaaaa! That’s not a SMART criteria! Well thankfully, the past two years Spotify sent me a ‘end of year report’ with my listening habits (See below). 

 

So with an arbitrary weighting added to it by the end of the 2018 I hope to hit:

  • 19,483 minutes
  • 1668 artists
  • 2977 songs

The artists and unique songs being the important part. So in theory if they increase it means I’m listening to something I’ve not listened to before. Probably.

#3 Hit 15 stone 
Probably the most difficult, but definitely achievable. It’s losing Two and a bit stone in 12 months. I’m currently moderately active with the usual dips and peaks but my diet can be shocking. So in theory if I get the nutrition right the weight loss should be wee buns (I’d love a bun right now!).  Apparently 14st5lb is the upper weight for the ideal BMI for my height… but fuck BMI.. 15 is a nice round number!

There we go.. three arbitrary targets for the 2018!

EDIT: #3b – beat these.

Related to #3 – if I beat my Fitbit totals from 2017 then #3 should be easier. Co-Dependent if you will. If I hit my “targets” everyday then the following should be achievable:

  • 2,920,000 steps
  • 4015 floors
  • 2555 km
  • 1,314,000kcal

Cutting the cord…

After many, many years we’ve finally cancelled our TV subscription.

We’d been considering for a while but anytime we phoned they’d sweeten us with some deal or other (“upgrade to TIVO”/”Free movies for a month!”/”ooh! HD Channels” etc etc). The final decision was made because we have work in the house happening, leaving us without a living room for six weeks, so we thought we may as well cancel it!

Sadly, due to mistiming things, that also leaves us without broadband for the next while, delaying the original plan of relying On Demand services like iPlayer, Netflix etc. Plus the TV was moved upstairs while the work is going on, so we couldn’t hardwire into the aerial for Freeview! Thankfully I managed to borrow a portable aerial and it does the job nicely, I can even pick up RTÉ HD with it – so, despite being really busy lately, we can still catch The Bakeoff or whatever.

Still.. the TIVO box had it’s advantages, namely recording something and fast forwarding through the adverts. Also not relying on watching stuff live was also good.

Though a problem I had was recording stuff, not watching it, repeating the process until the box fills up (for example I recorded The Bridge on the River Kwai a couple of Christmases ago… never watched it. Same for Seven Samurai, Ben Hur etc etc). Or I’d waste time watching endless repeats of Friends on a Saturday or just watching shite! There is so much stuff I want to see, or things I need to do, but get distracted by… I dunno… Cake Boss! Fuck that!
So, I’m finally free now!

Sadly my media adventures in cord cutting has stalled due to lack of broadband. We’ve to wait another month until the line gets installed! And although we’ve been busy with house and life stuff, I’d still like to be able to see the new Stranger Things!

Ah well…

[GIFs Created using Frinkiac]

Plans, updates etc etc etc

A stream of babbling consciousness on a Wednesday afternoon…
I’ve been neglecting this lately. Mainly because I can’t be bothered I’ve been quite busy [1], but have had things I meant to post [2] but obviously didn’t get around to [see 1].

Even if I’m not doing much with this, the twenty quid  (or whatever it is) a year for the domain won’t kill me so I may as well hold on to it but use it for something useful.

I’ve been toying with the idea of turning this into some sort of professional portfolio type thing.. Obviously I don’t have much professional portfolio type stuff to stick on it but it might be useful for, I dunno, documenting things I do/learn in uni etc. Plus in the past random blog posts have helped me along with assignments and whatnot (e.g. This one was a life saver a few months ago when I was tying to learn Javascript on the fly (oh! i should write about that!)) so having more of those posts out there… isn’t a bad thing? Right? Anyway, I think I’ll have some assignments coming up where I’ll have to write learning logs or something and in two years I’ll have to do a final project, so it’s probably a sensible idea to get some experience of writing technical stuff now, when it doesn’t matter, rather than freaking out about when I have to do it.
Another thought is it would be useful to catalogue all the random crap I’ve done and skills or experience I’ve acquired over the years (a CV should only be two pages – it doesn’t have room for the CD cover I designed on the fly in Photoshop, or the band website I created, for example).
But I’d rather not just hit delete and start again, some of what’s here is okay, and keeping the world updated on my Christmas dinner intake is important, so redesigning the whole thing but continuing with a wee blog as a subsection, and hosting it somewhere else, will be the idea. It’ll be a while though [see 1 again]. . But I’ll get around to completing this… eventually… (that’s the end of my steam of consciousness) 

Some Footnotes:

[1] for example: full time job, part time degree, house renovation stuff etc etc

[2] Example inlcude

 

Praha

I was in Prague for a weekend – a stag weekend, if you will – but thankfully we aren’t you’re average cliched banter wankers – and if we were, I’m sure we were being ironic. This was before the EU referendum and sterling went to shit….

Transfers

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We did get a limo, not ironically, from the airport – sure why not! It was only about £75 for 6 of us. We got an Uber on the way back to the airport – it was cheaper than a limo (299KR or about £10).

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we stayed (near) here

Accommodation

We got an Airbnb – located a few minutes from the main square. The place was a palace and only £60 each – though we were warned that the neighbour was a wanker so we had to go in, and leave, two people at a time – memories of Canada there

“Stag” activities!

img_7832-1Unlike the cliched stag activities – like paintball and what not – we went to an escape room. It was good fun! Yes, we are dorks.. and what?

Food

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Drink

img_7627Beer was nice and cheap, usually Pilsner Urquell or Staropramen – about 30-60KR depending where you went (about £1-£2!!!). We went to an Irish bar to watch a match and wrote it off as a “dear hole” because beer was slightly over £2 (!) – Someone went to the shop to buy beers and equated it to 30p a bottle!!

We visited many bars but honorary mentions to Harleys and Chapeau Rouge because we ended up there a few times.

We also got a fish bowl – but the less said about that the better

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Culture

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Unlike other city breaks – I didn’t go to any museums or anything.. because I was with the lawwwwddddsss.. oi! oi! Nor did I use the metro – which is sad – because I love a good rapid transport system!

Misc Sightseeing

We saw some sites when walking around.

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The less famous Prague clock

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a bin

a bin

All in all Prague was good – though we didn’t venture too far out of the Old Town – I’d go back for a non stag holiday… or another stag.. or both…

Maisie

We got a cat.

Cat Beard

Cat Beard

Maisie has been with us for two weeks now. We adopted her from Assisi. She was suggested to us becuase she is quite chilled out – ideal for a first time owner.

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When we picked her up she slept in the car home. When we got her home she walked about the living room for a bit, got on the couch then slept a bit more. We liked her style. She has got used to us and has perked up a bit. But still enjoys a good lie down.

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Maisie likes her blue bouncy ball, sleeping on the couch, tearing paper, staring out the window, getting the top of her head scratched, the smell of books (in particular feminist literature), hanging out in small dark enclaves and chicken.

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Maisie dislikes having to hang out in the kitchen when we are at work, the sound the garage door makes and not being allowed into the hallway (yet – but there are lots of tear-able pages about).

20140520-185545-68145769.jpgShe hasn’t masted getting to the top of the TV unit yet. She has attempted it a few times and fell to the floor. Silly Cat.

Boss

Boss