Tag Archives: Drummania

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Happy New Year!

Happy new year!!!!

I know, I know… it’s more than a little bit late, even more so than my Xmas blog. I have been busy with various bits and pieces around the country, I’ll get to in a bit. First though, I am basically going to go on and on about how awesome the Nintendo Wii is.

I was in Blackpool for new year, where the main room of fun had not only a very well stocked bar (lots of white russians for me – yay!) but TWO tellies. One of them was hooked up almost permanently to my PS2 and all of its SingStar goodness and the other was arranged for Vijay’s newly purchased Nintendo Wii. At one point, I was actually playing SingStar and Wii Tennis at the same time, which was a lot harder than I was expecting. The whole Wii experience (Wii Sports, Monkey Ball and Wii Play) was great. Within each game there were bits that didn’t work too well (like the unpredictable golf swings) but the stuff that worked worked amazingly well. Wii Tennis seemed to be one of the most enjoyable games, especially for 4 player hilarity. For some reason, even though you can play the game sitting down everyone would end up standing for it.

Despite the Internet (capital ‘I’, you’ll notice) being full of reports of Wii remotes flying through the air and causing damage to tellies, windows, furniture and people there was none of that apart from when we were a bit cramped and Palu swung his hand into a chair. The point is that not once did any of us drunken, excitable and generally wreckless people manage to even let go of the controllers mid swing, let alone send it flying through the air fast enough to get it lodged in someone’s brain.

Although the Wii experience was Wii-ly, Wii-ly good the whole of new year was made great by the people I was with. Nearly all of my cousins from my Dad’s side that live in England were there and it’s the first time we have all got together without any of the “old folk” around to get in the way and explain to us what they think a good time is. As well as that, there were the star attractions of Blackpool, Kitu and Piku. The whole thing was so much fun and even though we all had free reign and seemingly limitless supplies of alcohol, nobody got wasted and nobody did anything stupid. Probably most amazing was the fact that nothing got broken.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a tradition of sorts where we will all try and get together somewhere or other once a year at the very least. I can’t wait until the day comes where I get to try and organise such a gig… I have been learning how to cook some interesting new things and think I could even handle the vegetarian requirements and make some tasty bits and pieces. If not, I am sure that I’ll get by just making food for myself.

There aren’t any pictures I am going to make publicly available from new year. For some reason (and through persons unknown) all the pictures on my phone from new year are of people sleeping – and I didn’t take any of them. Anyway, such pictures are not usually very flattering so it’s wouldn’t be nice to post them without everyone’s permission. I do have some other snaps that I can put up, but I need to catch up with all the stuff I have missed out on posting so far.

I am sure that my millions of readers are holding their breath in anticipation of my amazing pictures and tales of adventure and intrigue…..

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Totally Lame Excuse

Well… The last couple of weeks seem to have slipped by without even a thought for my blog. I had such good intentions as well. My only defense is that I have been too busy/distracted by other things to write anything interesting.

So after the evil sore throat from hell, I was visited by a rather interesting stomach thingy that also inflicted itself upon Marta. Being the stubborn stupid person that I am, I refused to go to the doctors, since it was only giving me alternating hunger pangs and loss of appetite. I thought that the two evened out and that (as always) I would have to wait for an appointment so long that it would have sorted itself out anyway. I was right.

I have also been away from Manchester for the (long) weekend, due to the festival of Diwali. I’m not particularly religious, but these things are always a good excuse to have a good time with family so I do actually look forward to them in a way. The trip to London included the now mandatory visit to the Trocadero Centre in order for me to have a go on the arcade version of Drummania. Sadly, it was not switched on when we arrived (having walked through possibly the worst rain I have ever walked through) and I was not pleased. Me, Anu and Vijay managed to entertain ourselves with Time Crisis 3, Out Run SP2 and the arcade version of Mario Kart though, so it wasn’t all bad. We rounded off our adventure with a few rides each on a mechanical bull! Here are some videos in the stupid 3gp format that most phones use:

http://www.shivkaushal.co.uk/pictures/bulls/

We also managed to get to a restaurant called Ikkyusan in China-Town that runs an all-you-can eat sushi deal for £14-ish on certain days. The price includes other foods (Pad Thai, mmmmm) but the sushi is the star of the show and is actually pretty good, even if some people think it’s slimy. I will be going there again sometime soon, I’m sure.

While I was in London,somebody tried to break into my house AGAIN. Not cool. They were trying to get in through a window, while Marta was in the house, and didn’t seem at all deterred even after seeing her. It’s all very worrying and quite upsetting, but luckily nobody was hurt and nothing got taken. It still makes me a sad panda….

I came back to Manchester to find that I have a job interview tomorrow! It’s all a bit scary but hopefully all will be well. I was supposed to be going out shopping for interview-clothes today, but I managed to put it off so much that I decided that I had run out of time. I will have to make do with wearing on of my suits, which should be okay – it’s hard to look bad in a suit really – but I really wanted to use this opportunity to make myself buy some things I have needed for a long, long time. I hate shopping for clothes, probably because I am (and also the reason for me being) so rubbish at it. It’s a circular problem that I will break one day.

Yesterday was also the PhD viva for the Dr. FormerlyKnown as Sarah. Minor corrections aside, she is now no longer “one of us” and may soon start talking about students in a very unflattering way. Seeing someone else get through it all is really encouraging for me and kind of motivating, but I also have a feeling of dread that grows every time I talk to someone about how their viva went and what questions they were asked. I guess I will get to my own ordeal in due course. For now though, WELL DONE SARAH!

Speaking of which, the thesis – almost forgot about that for a second! – has grown by a few pages since last contact, and not because I just added some figures either. The pace has been far from blistering over the past week or so, but it’s hardly surprising all the distractions that have been coming my way lately. The interview tomorrow and plans for Friday and the rest of the weekend mean that this will have been an extremely lean week when it comes to writing… Next week is when the real work begins. Honest.

Final thing – I promised Sarah Dr. Dyer that I would post an image of one fo the extra characters from an anime called Yakitate!! Japan for her – here is Brad Kidd in all his glory:

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Forward Planning

The weekend has been somewhat unproductive… not entirely surprising considering all the work I did during the week. I was sure to need some time to relax.

Saturday brought an interesting change from the norm – Matloob from Cambridge was in town visiting family and such, but managed to find some time to fit me in as well. After showing him the amazing awesomeness that is Drummania, we hung out for a while and went to watch Crank later on that day. On the whole I thought that the film was quite enjoyable but it was completely unwatchable for me due to the shakey first-person and third-person camera overload. For some reason watching such things (like Blair Witch Project or the first scene from Saving Private Ryan) makes me feel very, very nauseous. The same happens when playing certain games (mainly FPSs) on my PC. It’s more than a bit annoying since it makes me feel that I am missing out on a lot of good films and a whole genre (and more) of video games. Ah well, nobody’s perfect.

Saturday also saw the beginning of a third member in the household – Juhan is moving in. Which meant I had to move all of my junk stuff from the spare/guest room to make space for his mountain of things. Just moving my things up a flight of stairs reminded me how much I hate moving… I do not envy Juhan at all, especially since he is going to be cramming his entire flat into the smallest room in the house.

Today I was at my ickle sister’s house yet again, making final repairs to her PC and installing Ubunutu.Hooray for Linux! I am sure that she only wants it because she found out it has a program that tests your hiragana knowledge. That and the awesome effect of a 3D desktop environment, complete with wobbly windows. Didn’t manage to get the wobbly stuff in place before I had to leave to catch the last train (where I am right now) back to Manchester. I did manage to get her non-Microsoft Remote working with Windows Media Centre though, so she is now able to be even lazier and control her PC without having to lean towards it from her bed. Her PC is so much better than mine… I have no idea how that happened.

Anyway, that’s my exciting weekend, which I am sure thousands of people will now feel compelled to comment on. I am really quite tired now – I am having trouble keeping my eyes open and the gentle swaying of the train is having a non-trivial effect on me as well.. I got up at 5.45 this morning so I could watch the Chinese Grand Prix and it is now well after midnight. Marta said I should just record it, but she doesn’t understand that you just HAVE to watch it live. Especially now that things are so close at the front end of both championships.

I forsee this tiring weekend, especially today, having a knock-on effect in terms of tomorrow’s thesis productivity. At least I will have an excuse for being asleep when I should be at work. If you were to look at it carefully, you might even start to think that this whole weekend was engineered by me to get a decent excuse for yet ANOTHER day of low productivity. But that would be far to clever for me to think of – I never plan that far ahead.