OT: Perfectionism

I have a long history of (on this blog) saying things like:

  • Sorry about the lack of posts!
  • I’m sorry I posted kind of late.
  • So I haven’t posted for a week.
  • I know I should have posted this yesterday…
  • Also, sorry for not posting the bucket list yesterday…
  • (And why I should never make commitments!)

And making promises like this:

  • The OT post for today has been postponed to Sunday for this reason.

(All real life examples. Brownie points for someone who is willing to skim through my blog and see where all these phrases are from! ;) But no pressure.)

I think the moral of the story is I am super bad at sticking to a schedule, so I completely missed last week’s OT post. Sorry. :3 To make up, I’m doing one today and probably one tomorrow. I think this would be the time to make some sort of corny pun about brushing my teeth more often, but I will spare you the pain.

The reason that I didn’t post on Saturday was that I left most of my homework till then… so I got kind of bogged down.

One of the reasons I take so long on homework is that I’m a perfectionist. If I know I’m not putting in my best effort, I get kind of stressed… with myself. I’m by no means always a perfectionist: with a few pieces of homework, I have actually done it in school on the day it was due in and/or sort of rushed it. In fact, only one or two pieces of homework get ‘the perfectionist treatment’ every week. That sounds like some sort of spa day.  :D This isn’t on purpose, and it’s kind of arbritrary.

To make it worse, I am not the type of person who plans ahead and I usually leave all my homework till the weekend. The dual combo of ‘perfectionist’ and ‘last-minute person’ is a very, very bad mix. However, I find that I usually work quite well under pressure. That doesn’t mean I enjoy working under pressure, but that’s life. :P

That’s all for today folks…

Joe.

Doctor Who!

This will be a quickie, as the 50th anniversary episode of Dr. Who is airing in minutes. *shudders in happiness* You can probably tell that if you don’t watch Dr. Who, you probably won’t like this post.

The OT post for today has been postponed to Sunday for this reason. This may seem silly to some of you. Why on earth would I cancel something because of a show? Just because. Seriously guys, this is important.

Very few people I know watch Dr. Who, which saddens me slightly. A lot of them abandoned it after Matt Smith joined (because let’s face it, David Tennant was better). I couldn’t really go the cinema with a friend for this reason, because I literally only know one other person who likes Dr. Who (in school at least). To be fair, I would have looked out of place among the swathes of Cybermen suits and Matt Smith impersonators. I wouldn’t properly appreciate the 3-D anyway.

Now let’s get down to business… This is extremely special. It’s just asdfas;dlgsfhasgl!

See you tomorrow! :)

Joe. Aogih wdagaualiufg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tech Battle: iOS 7 vs iOS 6!

I haven’t done a Tech Battle for so long that most of you are probably scratching your heads at this point in time. Tech Battles are when I pit either a) technology against technology or b) technology against its non-technological counterpart. I have done three of these, the last one being in mid-July… so this is long overdue. As this blog turned from a technology blog (hence the name) to a more of a mish-mash kind of blog which has nothing to do with technology, I didn’t feel as compelled to do these as before.

Besides which, pretty much everyone has already reviewed iOS 7, so I’m kind of late reviewing this… but ah well. :P

(Usually in Tech Battles I state the case of each opponent in turn and then give a verdict, but that doesn’t really work here, so I’ll do it in terms of features. Also, this is written for those who already have an Apple device, so I use a lot of Apple terms in the post). Continue reading

OT: The origin story

I’ve been doing these Operation Toothpaste posts for a while now (this is my twelfth I think), but I still haven’t told you why they’re called Operation Toothpaste posts. If you aren’t aware, my OT posts are about those little mundane details of my everyday life that don’t really give you the means to stalk me. These are things I normally wouldn’t post about (because they’re not really post-worthy as they happen everyday). Because of this, you get a better picture of me over time. I did promise that, no matter how mundane, I would share it with you, but the thing about the origin story of the name ‘Operation Toothpaste’ is that it’s so mundane I haven’t yet shared it with you.

I would like to say that I have finally given in to popular demand, but no-one has even attempted to ask me via the comments. I guess you must have assumed that I called these posts Operation Toothpaste because brushing your teeth is a pretty mundane, and somewhat lacklustre way to start your mornings. The real reason these are called OT posts is that there is an even more mundane story behind the word ‘toothpaste’. It’s not even a proper story… but it was the first thing that came into my head when I considered what to name this feature.

I’ve tried to make this as interesting as I can, but it’s still kinda boring. There are lots of moments where I pretend to be excited, but this is just sarcasm. So without further ado… you have been warned. Continue reading

Remembrance Day Concert

For those in the UK and other Commonwealth countries, it was Remembrance Day on November 11, and there was a two minute silence at 11:00.  This is because World War I ended on the eleventh hour on November 11. I’m not sure if this is celebrated on the same day in non-Commonwealth countries, but I think most countries have some sort of Remembrance service around this time.

I was actually in a concert with my school choir. There was another, more experienced choir performing with us, and it was good to share a stage with professionals (there was also a professional ensemble). We had to arrive quite early for the rehearsals, which took around two hours, considering we had to sort out seating arrangements and the like, before we went home, had dinner, and then came back again for the concert. I only arrived with a few minutes to spare, but luckily I managed not to interrupt anything. To begin with, my choir sung a song by themselves, before our chamber choir did another song. I was actually in the chamber choir at the concert, but as of yet, the chamber choir auditions have not yet been held, and in all probability I won’t get in (very few people do, and I don’t even do Grade 1 singing). Even still, both of the songs were quite fun to sing, despite the second one being quite… morbid.

Then we collaborated with the other choir (we only sung half of the time, but it was a collaboration nonetheless). There was a solo soprano there who had a stunning voice, and the song overall was beautiful. I think we did pretty well, if I may say so myself.

Then there was an interval of about twenty minutes, where I met my dad at the back of the hall and got some orange juice, before the concert started again. In all honesty, I am a bit fuzzy about songs that I didn’t sing in, and I don’t remember the other choir singing by themselves, but they probably did.

As a finale, the other choir and a few of our better singers sung one of those epic songs that goes on for a long while. This was made even worse by the fact that the writer of the song chose to repeat large swathes of music again and again. There were hundreds of really long pauses where I was ready to clap but then the song continued again. I was afraid that I would clap in the wrong moment and ruin the whole concert, but luckily I got the timing right. The first time the timpani struck it was out of nowhere, and I shuddered so badly… It was still surprising even when they repeated that every now and again. (Being timpani must be such a fun job; seriously, I think it would be very entertaining, if not slightly monotonous). There was also a silent film showed at the same time, but we were conveniently placed so we couldn’t see it, as it contained some graphic images. I think all of us were desperate to see the film from the moment there were the words ‘graphic images’. I managed to catch a corner of the screen, but I didn’t see much (which is probably a good thing, but was annoying at the time).

When the song finally ended, the clapping lasted for about three or four minutes. I suppose the clapping time to performance ratio was about the same as normal, but I think everyone was just relieved it was over.

As a side note, if you live in the UK, buy a poppy and support the Poppy Appeal: if you want to find out more, see here.

Joe.

OT: My Bucket List!

It’s finally here. My bucket list. Now to put it out there, this is far from a finished project.

EDIT: I have just edited this before putting it on a page. Be sure to check it out every now and then, as this list is still under construction and will grow in the coming weeks!

Bucket List

  • Get good GCSE Grades.
  • Get good AS and A2 Level grades.
  • Get a University degree.
  • Get Grade 8 piano.
  • Read the Bible cover to cover.
  • Go on a pilgrimage.
  • Meet the Pope at World Youth Day.
  • Go to Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando.
  • Re-read the Harry Potter books.
  • Host a Harry Potter movie marathon.
  • Finish my novel series and publish it.
  • Make a list of movies to watch.
  • Make a list of books to read.
  • Do some sort of adrenaline thing (e.g. bungee jumping, falling out of a helicopter with a parachute, climbing a mountain).
  • Grow out of my allergies and travel the world binging on milk chocolate, seven-tier wedding cakes and all the other lovely food I’ve missed out on over the years.
  • Read all the books on the Big Read BBC list.
  • Learn to drive a car.
  • Marry a girl and become a family man.
  • Be in a flash mob.
  • Meet a celebrity I appreciate, not for example Peter Andre (e.g. Brian Cox, J.K. Rowling)
  • Join a social media site (I don’t know about WordPress).
  • Get 100 followers on my blog.
  • Get 500 followers on my blog
  • Get 1000 followers on my blog.
  • Get re-blogged (please don’t reblog this post just so I can cross something off the list)>
  • Get Freshly Pressed.
  • Go to every continent in the world.
  • Live in London for at least a month.
  • Go on sabbatical and live in another country for at least three months.
  • Live in a house of my own.
  • Do a sponsored silence for an entire day.
  • Run the marathon.
  • Host a proper party.
  • Have someone arrange a surprise party for me.
  • Watch a show live with a visible audience that will eventually end up on TV (e.g. Live at the Apollo).
  • Sing karaoke.
  • Watch a tennis match with my family at Wimbledon (if God wills it, I’ll watching my sister, who wants to be a tennis player).
  • Go to a reunion party.
  • Make an invention.
  • Be in a film (probably as an extra).
  • Go to a gym (the horror!).
  • Watch a horror film.
  • Be best man at a wedding.
  • Participate in a Secret Santa.
  • Go on a boat cruise.
  • Go abroad without my family.
  • Go abroad with less than three friends (or none, but preferably at least one).
  • Go to a real-life auction and buy something.
  • Vote in an election.
  • Swim 10 km.
  • Vote in a phone vote (e.g. on X Factor).
  • Go to the Olympics or Paralympics.
  • Watch an opening ceremony of a big event.
  • Fly in Business and First Class.
  • Sleep the whole way on a plane journey.
  • Take a car ride into another country.
  • Go to New York.
  • Go to New York Zoo.
  • Go to the Empire State Building.
  • See the Statue of Liberty.
  • Go to a book signing.
  • See something being filmed that doesn’t have a visible audience when aired on TV (e.g. fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who).
  • Go the Tate Gallery, France.
  • Solve a Rubix Cube.
  • Feed an animal in a zoo. Edit: Just realised I’ve already done this! :3
  • Go to Disney World, Florida.
  • Go to Tokyo.
  • Go camping.
  • Go fishing.
  • Go surfing.
  • Draw or paint something that has been commissioned and sell it on eBay.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Write a message in a bottle and throw it into the sea.
  • Write a diary for a year.
  • Get a pet.
  • Sponsor an endangered animal.
  • Sponsor a child.
  • Become a blood donor.
  • Read a book before it is published (not illegally) and review it.
  • Go to Vatican City.
  • Make a will (yes, the pessimism).
  • Swim the English Channel.
  • Go trick or treating (meh, not so sure about this one).
  • Carve a pumpkin by myself (as in, not my dad doing it).
  • Go carol singing before it’s too late.
  • Go to a proper concert.
  • Upload a Youtube video.
  • Animate something and upload it to Youtube.
  • Get a six pack?!
  • Become a black belt in Karate.
  • Go to an official Karate competition.
  • Win an official sports game not in school (team or otherwise).
  • Go to a fair and win the grand prize.
  • Win a raffle.
  • Upload a vine.
  • Win a writing competition.
  • Go on a bus alone.
  • Program a computer game.
  • Go on the Tube alone.
  • Win a game of chess against the computer.
  • Start making a scrapbook.
  • Make and give someone a present.  Edit: Just realised I’ve already done this as well…
  • Beat a Guiness World Record.
  • Go on a diet.
  • Go birdwatching.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Send something to a magazine.
  • Write a letter to the Prime Minister.
  • Write a letter or postcard to someone.
  • Try and get into MENSA (who knows?).
  • Go white-water rafting.
  • Go to Death Valley.
  • Go to Platform 9 and 3/4.
  • Go to Washington, D.C. and see the White House.
  • Go to Yellowstone National Park.
  • Go to Athens and see the Parthenon.
  • Go to Venice.
  • See the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland
  • Go to Rome.
  • Go to the Great Pyramids in Giza.
  • Go to the Taj Mahal.
  • Go to Stonehenge.
  • Go the Great Wall of China.
  • Go to Madame Tussauds.
  • Go to Hollywood.
  • Float in the Red Sea.
  • See a show at Broadway.
  • Go to Spain.
  • Go to the Amazon.
  • Go to Niagara Falls.
  • See Notre Dame.
  • See the Forbidden City.
  • Go to Pompeii.
  • Grow a moustache.
  • Live a fulfilling life.

That’s pretty much it folks. More than a hundred on there, but undoubtedly it will grow and shrink over time. Eventually I will try and get round to putting it on a page so it can be regularly updated. Please tell me if I have repeated anything or you think two or three of these could be grouped together. It was a lot of fun to write. :)

Joe.

P.S. For inspiration, I looked at this: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-most-visited-tourist-attractions, and this: http://itdoesnotdotodwellondreamsandforgettolive.com/bucket-list/.  Thanks for the help! :3

The Evolution of the Smartphone

The smartphone first appeared on Earth in Roman times.  The Ninth Roman Legion found one on their daily march, and distracted by the moving colourful pictures of ‘Ye Vexed Birds’, disappeared and were never seen again. Many other people too found smartphones over the centuries, and promptly became inspired, addicted, turned insane, or disappeared: these include people such as Pythagoras, who cut his smartphone in half across the diagonal to make two right-angled triangles (before he promptly came up with his theorem); Descartes, who after viewing a whole new virtual world, questioned his existence, before coming up with the famous line ‘I play Angry Birds; therefore I am’; Elvis, who wrote the song Heartbreak Hotel to talk about his despair at losing his smartphone; and even Agatha Christie, who went missing for a number of days before appearing in a hotel, dazed and slightly amnesic – she had become addicted to Doodle Jump, and had withdrawn from society for this reason.

However it was Steve Jobs who first realised the potential of the smartphone, after it fell from his rooftop and hit him on the head (coincidentally, Newton discovered gravity after an Apple product fell from a tree and hit him on the head – such are the quirks of life). Although he first thought it to be some sort of mutant rooftile, he quickly discovered that it was so much more, and marketed it as the iPhone. Something similar happened to Bill Gates, except he thought that the smartphone was a window at first, before thinking (falsely) that it was just a small computer.

Eventually the smartphones took over. The world turned space grey, as the smartphones destroyed everything and replaced it with metal. They spared the humans who had used them for so long, but as slaves – they kept them docile by using apps such as ‘Twitter’ and ‘Instagram’. Soon, a rebel alliance started to grow against the smartphones, and finally, nearly all of them were eradicated. Unfortunately, the few that were left had dark plans. They worked out how to build a time machine and went back in time to scatter iPhones across the history of humanity, in the hope that they would eventually be marketed – the operation succeeded. Who knows whether the smartphones will rise again?

***

Sorry that this was a bit iPhone-centric: if you want to include other smartphones into the story, say that other people were also inspired by the falling smartphones, but came up with their own versions.

Also, sorry for not posting the bucket list yesterday: my computer had some weird condition and couldn’t go onto WordPress, so I wasn’t able to post (it’s fine now). It’ll appear sometime from this Monday to next Saturday at the latest. Apologies. :3 At least I finally posted about technology! This is my first techie post in something like three months, so yay! The next technology post I do will probably be a Tech Battle between iOs 6 and iOs 7 (I haven’t done that for so long that you probably don’t even remember what a Tech Battle is; check my About page).

Half-term ends tomorrow, so that’s quite annoying. But it’s been a good holiday, and next up is Christmas. :D I’ll try and keep the posts going, but they’ll probably become a bit less frequent again.

And on that note… Bye!

Joe.