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[personal profile] stormkeeper
God, it's been ages since I've written in here, hasn't it?  Anyway, given I've attempted to write an update a few minutes before and screwed up a little, this intro will be a bit short, so I'm just going to get to the point with everything before diving in.  Anyway, I'm doing it on a month by month basis, apart from December and January which have a lot of overlap so it is pointless to divide them.  Anyway, I'll add any additional notes in brackets and italics seeing as given I'm on a restrospective, I'll have info to add when stuff actually happened (or didn't), so you have an idea of where to look if you want to read about a particular month,  Anyway, without further ado, I'll begin.

December & January
Well, given I initially talked about my dental problems, I may as well go and mention I had an x-ray and a little cleanup at the dentists and I was told that they needed to come out and it'd be 4 weeks before I got contacted regarding the surgery (it actually took a bit longer but did happen).  I ended up relying on painkillers for a good few days before the gum pain stopped as well; it was caused by a bit of debris caught between my gum and the tooth and inflamed it!  That was a load of fun to deal with.  I normally don't take painkillers so they retain their effectiveness (meaning I have to be in real agony before taking them) so having to rely on them got to me quite a bit.  I was also attempting to normalise my blogging (stormkeeper.net) patterns at this point but pretty much failed not long after.  I guess trying to schedule my blogging patterns is like trying to stop the wind by standing in front of it; in other words you can't schedule creativity.  I am at least trying to blog twice a month, if nothing else.  I'll most likely distribute this to another blog, on the basis that it's a nice summary of the past few months, and it's something to write for it too.  And while the stuff here is a bit personal, it isn't too personal, given I've been sharing a lot of it on Twitter anyway! I was also sorting out my PC and upgraded my laptop over this time, although the desktop's hard drive is rather screwed and needs to be repartitioned and I'll have to see what I can save from it as well... if that's at all possible.  I dunno how it happened, but one partition got corrupted but that's a post for another time.

I did end up finding out that I have another PC base unit though as of yet, I'm unsure of what's in it, so that deserves further investigation, especially if there's a decent sized hard drive in it.  I imagine I'll be kept quite busy over the next couple of weeks sorting through PC components!  Oddly enough, it seemed pretty cold for Winter as well, give it was quite mild overall, especially at the start of December.  I did end up having to return to the shop where I bought my PC components because nothing would fit, plus I inadvertantly picked up the shops reciept book!  It was returned and things were sorted so all was right with the world again, at least for now.  I have to say though, without the help of a power screwdriver, I would have had serious problems replacing my PS3 hard drive!  It took me a good hour to actually replace the drive and even as far afield as May, I've yet to install all the games back on.  Sadly, I can't even put Linux on the PS3 now (even after upgrading the HDD), but there's more on that later on.  320GB is a damn sight better than 40GB though!

It was at this point that I made plans to go over to Ireland on the 23rd, given I never made it over when I planned it; my financial situation was never stable but I try to make regular trips back.  As far as my Stormkeeper.net website went, wile it looks okay now, I had awful trouble with the layout getting broken and the template not being in English!  I should really make my own eventually so I can do things the way I want.  I broke the layout because everything was a bit too long but I fixed it and even today I'm careful with the length of tags and words.  I also ended up jumping ship from T-Mobile after I found out it was merging with Orange, and that's officially gonna happen in 18 months from the actual time of this update.  I switched to Vodafone, and because I'm now dependant on Google, I opted for yet another Android phone; the HTC Tattoo.  The thing I dislike about this phone is that it's completely touch screen and I like the buttons.  Overall though, it's not bad, especially as it's easier to use it with Twitter which means I can update my statuses everywhere on the move.  It was around the 20th of December I found out about the Rage Against The Machine for Xmas #1 campaign, and subsequently added my support for it and that was one of my first forays into activism in the sense that I helped affect a change, and it wouldn't be my last either.  Coincidentally, RATM promised a concert in June if they made #1, which they did, so they announced a concert and I have a ticket, though as of this month, I haven't recieved it yet.

Something else I wasn't aware of was the fact that Borders was going into liquidation and I was unfortunately a little late in some cases.  I did get some good books though and even a whole series while introducing myself to some new books. Best of all though, they were quite cheap so it was a win!  It's rather unfortunate people lost their jobs though.  I was hoping to get pictures of the near-empty borders and asked someone if I could (and they appriciated me asking - which means I am starting to get a good policy nailed down for photos though I need some business cards for providing contact details), though unfortunately I wasn't allowed.  I won't forget what I saw however... all those people scavenging what's left of the shelves, myself included.  It was rather sad, given Woolies had went bust a year before (though is now online), after 100 years of being in business.  There were other casaulties during the recession too, such as Zaavi and a few other businesses, but I can't recall any others but those were some of the main ones.  I never actually got to the other Borders stores and just barely made it to the Islington one before closing, but it ended up closing its doors a final time... how gutting.  I also discovered that Brittany Murphy died which was quite a shock as she was pretty young.

It's crazy what actually happened over the past few weeks n the time scale of these 2 months.  It didn't end on the few days run up before I travelled to Ireland either.  I was trying to get to the Kingston Borders and barely made it a mile up the road, and this was after a large snowfall happened; the Bexleyheath Broadway was seriously congested so I had to give up a few hours after I started!  London Bridge was pretty screwed too so it's prolly best I didn't go out.  Even though the following day things were easier, there were still some traffic issues and issues with the buses.  This was one of the most chaotic snowfalls that I've experienced in that time and at one point I was concerned that I wouldn't make it to Ireland for Xmas!  As I had mentioned before, I never made it to the Borders in Angel, Islington although I got some more books for £4.55... the prices of the books had dropped to  90% off at this point and the queues were crazy!  I managed to hang out with a friend on Xmas Eve, which was nice... had a hectic time getting myself to Ireland, but did make it.  Just as well that the trains and ferries were working on Xmas day; I got back to my mum's, though forgot my passport, but thankfully it wasn't an issue.  Still, I need to remember it in future as at one point it was a bit hairy!  I'd have been screwed if they denied me entry to the country but I doubt that would have happened.

I didn't get up to a huge amount in Ireland, though I tried my hand at a competition... never got the entry in but it was fun to try it all the same.  I was going to try to get home for just after New Year's Day, but that never happened and I ended up being stuck in Ireland for a few weeks!  I initially thought I fractured my elbow from a slip on NYE, and had to go to A&E (which costs money!) and had to hang around before I was seen.  I eventually got rid of the backslab that I was given although I kept my arm in a sling.  I kept on trying to use the arm, to at least keep it from stiffening up, though my elbow was too painful to stretch so I didn't put too much strain on it.  And yet again, I became dependant on painkillers, what a great life it was!  It took until I got back to England to find out that my elbow was only chipped and stuff; there was thankfully no fracture.  I was scheduled for physiotherapy and that was pretty much it.  I finally got notice to come check my arm out, but I ended up getting seen and sorted by the time the letter came out so I cancelled the Naas appointment.   Another thing that delayed me as well was the fact that during a lot of this time, there was the Big Freeze; my mum and I had to get a taxi back from hospital (where I rang in the New Year) as the roads and pavements weren't safe to walk or cross!  There was even a bloke slipping a few times on the ground, so the weather was pretty awful!

At one point we thought I needed surgery on my elbow, but thankfully I didn't.  I was supposed to get seen for surgery on the Saturday of that week, but that never happened.  By this point I was actually getting sick of waiting and went back to England!  Shame that they wasted all those X-Rays/CT scans on me though... I felt bad but couldn't hang about a ny longer.  There were a huge amount of people who went into A&E during the start of the Big Freeze too; I imagine hospitals would have been chock a block with patients from slips!  As far as getting seen in England went, it was pretty fast, so I'm beginning to think that the NHS has improved over the Irish HSE in terms of time, or maybe it was just my local hospital?  Either way, after subjecting myself to yet more rads and teaching the X-Ray people a way to scan my elbow with the CT scanner (which I learnt from the lady in Naas Hospital - they are good too, before you think I dislike them!), I was sent home and over the following few days, I spoke with the consultant (and annoyed him a bit, oops) and he put me in for physio.  My mum had to go home not too long after (she had to help me back home), though she would come back later in the year.

As far as getting on with my life went, I started to get myself back in order a little by the last week in January, although I get the impression my joints were sore because of the cold.  One of my major worries was that when I went home, the electricity went (it did) and the pipes froze up, so it would have caused flooding, but thankfully all I had to do was replace my freezer and fridge foods.  Unfortunately though, the value of the food combined was less than the excess so it wasn't worth it claiming on insurance.  Go figure.  And all throughout January, I was having issues with getting onto Facebook, which was downright annoying. 

I'd like to hold it here for now and say that I'm sorry about the flow of this entry being disrupted and parts being repeated but that comes from writing from the tweets in my LJ; I ended up adding bits because it flows correctly, although I have to repeat it again to place things into context.  Once I'm up to date with everything though, this should happen a bit less often as I'd be able to properly sequence stuff. You may also find I get more consistant from April or May, but we'll see what happens in time.

Getting back to the rest of January now and I was starting to look for a new house and was also amazed at how much certain jobs could earn, given that last month I kinda became a freelance website designer/coder, but I need proper training.  I only have one customer atm, but that will grow as I get better and promote myself.  I also got access to the Command & Conquer 4 beta, which I admitted I wasn't sure about because it wasn't like the third.  I actually didn't buy it in the end because there was neither a Special Editon of it, and honestly it dodn't grab me.  I'll explain a bit more in March though.  And to finish off January, I put a holding deposit on the house and sent off references for it.  I was starting to get my life back in order, which was good.  Also, I was supposed to go to Slimelight but I couldn't afford it because in the middle of February I was going to a gig, then Slimes after anyway. I can only afford to go out once a month at present. 

February
After the disaster that was January, I was looking forward to the start of the new year properly; I always start my new year this month because I use January to tie up last year's business.  It kinda works well, but can only get more efficient as time goes on!  I started to get into Star Trek Online at this point and pretty much gave up on C&C4 and played this and Guild Wars.  STO was quite enjoyable and still is, although due to my imparative move, I didn't get back into it until 3 months after.  I was a little frustrated with the ground combat but overall I like the game.  My major annoyance with te game has to be the spammers though... they never let up!  I was also starting to pack up everything slowly but surely at this point, given I was due to move on the 19th and as part of that plan, I was trying to empty my cupboards.  And on the tech front, I started to use Google Buzz, which is tied into my Twitter; Facebook also changed their layout and honestly, I prefer it as it's much easier to use.  Not everyone did like it however, at least judging by my friend's comments.  And then we have the 14th of Feb... Valentines Day, or to some Singles Awareness Day.  It's not my thing, but meh I had bigger fish to fry.  I got to see Assemblage 23 live!  I also got to see some other acts and learn about Revolution by Night and Tenek and got a free CD off another band, System FX I believe.  Coolest thing about Tenek was that one of the gs was from The Nine, whose song My Fallacy I loved, so it's great to get back into my past.  Assembage 23 was awesome and I loved every second of it.  I'll post up a photo of the lead singer Tom Shear later on when I upload it to my Flickr, but those of you who have access for my Facebook can see it in one of my more recent photo albums.

And before all that, I ended up taking a trip to Goodmayes, which was weird.  Did get a little antsy remembering the past but meh.  I also went to the old UEL campus I lived on and checked it out.  They're now building flats on top of it which is a bit sad, but hey ho, life goes on.  I also dropped into the cafe beside the campus and had a nice fryup, where the owner remembered me which was nice, especially given I hadn't been there in 3 years.  It also felt so good to finally have some black pudding after so long!  Heh, this entry is going to be huge, but it's under a cut so it's not all bad, just a lot to read though.  That is if anyone is actually interested.  I also forgot about how long it took to get to NE London from SE London and on the way to the gig, I learnt what happens when the passenger alarm is pulled as a child pulled it.  Poor kid thought he was gonna be in trouble but the lady driving was really nice about it.  It was prolly about the only notable thing on the trip worth mentioning.  I'm deliberately leaving out sme of the less interesting tweets because there's no real story behind them, but even so I'm going back over 3 months of tweets to try to have a coherant story made from them.  It was inevitable though that this post would be long; the follow-up will be just as long!  However, once I'm up to date I can get back to writing up smaller posts, thus saving my arms and head!

I was having one of my early morning wakeup sets after this as well and was not doing too well with them, though I did get my keys on the 19th and started moving a few things in after a rest.  The majority of the stuff wouldn't come till 3 days later and even now I haven't unpacked everything!  I did however make a few changes so I could move stuff easier the next time and consistantly did little things of this nature over the following months.  Inevitably, I lost a few things, namely my DSi and headset which I haven't found yet, although I'm sure they're about somewhere.  I was pretty tired after the move though.  I had to go to the flat one last time to pick up stuff and bring it back to mine.... left a lot of stuff there!  I also got charged for cleaning everything but I was so tired, I didn't care.

The end of the month was mostly concerned with me getting stuff together and spennding money on the internet through a T-Mobile USB dongle, which cost a bloody bomb!  I eventually got normal broadband in next month, but I'll explain that in the next post.  I ended up assembling my canvas wardrobe the wrong way though, oops. And that concludes December to February. After this is March and April, with May pretty much being its own entry, given I'm halfway through May and should be able to write it out in a better flowing manner. And yes, I'm doing all 3 today to make up for such a long time without writing! I'm gonna try to at least write here on a weekly basis now, which should be easier than blogging, to be honest as I'm just writing about my life, and not my thoughts.

May 2016

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