Thursday, 29 September 2016

Arm and a bit of a leg

I just bought tickets to see Joe Bonamassa in April next year in Antwerpen.


bloody expensive...but 2nd row...I should get some sweat dripping on me, which if I can catch it I might be able to make into a potion that gives me some of his skills???? no?

oh well I'll still have a great experience, though I honestly feel the cost of the tickets, over 224euros for a pain, is absurd... He's a great star no doubt, but a few years ago his prices were under 50 its silly money... But ...gotta go see the new crown prince of the blues.

Next step, finding a nice woman to go with me,....maybe if I advertise the tickets I'll get them running?


Saturday, 24 September 2016

Solar payback

In case you had forgotten, last year I fitted some solar panels up on my roof, a pair of sizable 250w ones. And have been eagerly waiting to see what the results would be.

Its hard to actually measure, as I also made some other small changes in the way I use electricity in the house. I swapped out a lot of my bulbs for LED's and put a 15min on-15 off timer on the air circulation system, as well as a few other things.

I was a bit annoyed that after fitting my panels last year, my leccy bill was actually set higher than the previous year, so I am almost certain I've been overpaying @144 a month it was around 126pm before that.
Well the years invoice came in today, and 3 things caught my eye.

1st a massive rebate of 373 euros :D
2nd a reduction of my bill to 111 pm....
3rd a very small payment for my contribution to the grid, only 1.26 euros, but considering I have something in the house drawing power most of the time, any contribution is brilliant.

I looked up the graph on the company site  to compare past years usage and I seem to be using about 10-20euros less electricity pm...which is the real benefit of the panels. The overcharge amounts for the bulk of the rebate I am sure, but the very fact I get some payment for my electricity means my panels are contributing something to my power usage. I'm estimating about 1/3rd to 1/2 is due to the panels.

Quite pleased by that, in 3-4 years the panels will pay for themselves and still give 6 more years at least of generation, and that's a better investment of the cash spent than a bank account interest would give.

Green is good.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Vari focals, a new way to simulate being drunk!

Ok,. so I have my new vari focals...and they take a bit of getting used to, when you quickly change view, you have to move your head to bring what you are looking at into focus.

This is really not at all unlike the sensation of being drunk and trying to focus on the policeman to explain to him you are more than capable of driving!

It also is making me a little light headed. Apparently that wears off after a few days.

Its odd, though, and they do work I am able to read and look across the room all in clear focus, but it is odd...very odd... can't describe it any other way.


95kg start

Well am home, a bit jetlagged, going to bed at 8 and waking up at 3 or 4, though today I managed 6.

I had my last pizza when I got home, simply due to there being no food in the house, and a need for stodge..

But thats it, I've annouced to the world, I am on a diet.I weighed myself and I'm 95kg... shiiiiit I've never been 95kg thats immense.

So the Diet starts.....

Yesterday I had.

Small bowl of museli, with semi skimmed milk

Small/medium sushi from AH

And a medium, portion of Bami Nasi at Ed's when  I picked up Harvey I would have had less, but Ed made an effort to make dinner so I had to eat.

No snacks, no sugar in my coffee at work...

I am working up to going to the gym, maybe tongiht, I plan a cardio regime for a few weeks, then I''ll try to up the pace a bit.

Not sure I'm going to give an update every day, but we'll see how it goes.

target is excuses, 70kg...even that is a little above my ideal weight for a short slim build bloke, which is what I am under this sumo outfit,  but its 25kg...25fucking kilos to lose!!!!

Bring it on.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Who's that fat dude!

Oh, its me.

So upsetting to see so many pics of me, while at TGS and shit I am a sumo wrestler.. Its kinda pathetic. I have been piling on the kilo's the last few months, and this is the result. I really really have to focus and fix myself on losing 25kg, no excuses now, I have had to deal with being totally out of breath going up subway stairs, struggling to suck in the humid air, sweating like an afore mentioned sumo, and the sight of me on the toilet, in my crampped hotel room, staring at the wardrobe mirror as the door was was beyond bad.

I seem to have gotton over the folds concern, but now I'm becoming a bhudda, and not a very wise one.

The food here is amazing, and healthy and filling, Though even there I am noticing I can eat 3 portions....clearly thats nonsense.

When I get back, its going to be a proper healthy food kick, and....gym...yes I know I hate it, but there's no way this beer barrel of a belly is going to go down to even close to a 2 pack until I get some muscle tone back.

I was around 94kg when I left, my heaviest going to aim for 70...and this time I will get it done by christmas!


Sunday, 18 September 2016

we survived

Well thats the Tokyo Game Show over and done with, it was quite a blast, and an eye opener for sure.

Things we realise now...bring games...the TGS attendee's want to play game's not listen to a nice graduation reel.

English, is really not commonly spoken at all, they all study it, but have no practical ability to use it, this creates issues for any students who want to study in Europe and equally for any europeans who want to go  there.  This is the biggest hurdle.

The market is, utterly utterly different, the style of games, the type of games, the target platform of games, all are different. This makes no great difference to coders like myself, but a Europen artist or designer would need to learn a totally differnt set of criteria to survive here.

Demand for education is sky high, they had a whole section of a hall dedicated to universities and games acadamies in Japan, and the work was pretty impressive. I can't honestly say it was better than our work, but the art and design styles were clearly for the japanese market

If we are going to make inroads into Japan, we need to partner up with one of these schools, and see where it goes. Its' going to be a long process though.

A few meetings to do today and a trip to Kyoto tomorro to see a company, then heading back on Wednesday morning....

Will we be back next year? maybe, but not with  the same tiny section and lack of content, lessons have been learned.


Friday, 16 September 2016


The damage I did a few days ago walking to the Dutch Embassy with unbroken in shiny funeral shows, has taken its toll. further walking around at the TGS has resulted in my blisters getting blisters, and on bboth feet at the same time whch I have to say is a bit of a killer when you consdier how much we have to walk around at the show, and getting to and from stations.
Even with my trainers on, I ended up hobbling around as we tried to find somewhere to eat on our return from the 1st day....both feet look like this

Not my idea of fun.

But the show is going well, we have collected a couple of interesting contacts with universities and with companies, which I hope we can convert into new business dealings between them and NHTV. Its very hard to do sometimes, there is a massive language barrier to over come.

Many Japanese do actually study english and have a basic understanding of it, but almost no practical use, so they can handle a few words, but not a whole sentence or even any confidence to respond in english. Its actually worse than my Dutch, I do understand quite a bit, and can make a good attempt at saying things but no, the Japanese struggle. Thats going to be the single biggest hurdle we have to overcome if we want to attract students to us.

Today I've been given a free day for my feet to recover, our stand is very small and after the 1st day its clear we don't need all of us there even if we were doing rotation shifts. So each has taken 1 of teh days to chill and regroup.

Here's a video I did of a quick tour of the halls on day 1, which is a business day and not as crowded as it will be at the weekend.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Found a bar!

We went to a "networking" event last night, which was basically a very large, very loud party...not my idea of fun at all, but there was free booze, which somehow seemed to improve my feelings about the place. ;)

However the sound of screetching drunken japanese girls gets to be a little annoying after while, and Martin and I left to go hunt for a sensible bar..

Which we finally managed to find, with Cider or Cyder, on tap, and even more wonderful, they took my credit card.

pity they closed at 1am but was good night.


Monday, 12 September 2016

Tokyo Tum is a real thing

Just as I thought I'd got used to the jetlag, I discovered another danger, I seem to be allergic to something in Japanese food..No idea what, but at a reception in the Dutch embassy we were all treated to a really lovely bento box for lunch, containing all kinds of nice tasty and...some not so tasty but interesting things.

This is a factor in Japanese cuisine, taste isn't the most important thing, texture is also part of the experience.

Anyway, being the omnivore I am, I heartily embraced the 4 compartment box, and ate the lot....only to discover 20 mins later I had someting I like to refer to as Mumtaz tum.

Basically a very strong, non nogotiable, urgent, as in now, don't bother to take of your pants, you probably won't make it, need to get to the loo. Something I used to get quite regularly when I ate at the Mumtaz restraunts in Bradford. Don't get me wrong the food itself is wonderful, Mumtaz and the Dutch  embassy, but clearly there is something in there I  simply don't get along with.

Fortunatly I did manage to get to the loo,  twice at the embassy. And then was lucky enough to get a taxi back to my hotel just in time for the next 4 or 5 hours of cleansing which took place...leaving me a bit ...wrecked...add to that the tiny touch  of jet lag still in my system and I was sparked out at 7pm  till after 3am when I started to stir, not quite sure if I  could snooze my way throough 4 hours till breakfast.

I am now empty, though still rumbling a bit, which might make travelling around today a bit risky, so have given up my  slot at a company visit to one of our other representatives so I can slowly pick things up again.  Pretty sure I'm ok now, but wish I knew what it is that triggers the Mumtaz and Tokyo tum.
Oh also I should have brought a pair of 6innch high heels, since they would have been far more comfortable than the pair of formal black brogues I brough with me, I was nearly crippled wearing them.. I won't be wearing them again, fortunaly I brought a few pairs of more confortable shoes which should allow me to stand around for 8  hours at a time at the show........hmmmmmm heels?


Saturday, 10 September 2016

just want to sleep..

Tokyo  is  7 hours ahead, and as you might expect, that meant when we arrived at 8 it was 1 in the morning for us, and we hadn't slept on the plane at all. Despite me buying a 35euro neck collar, I  just could not get comfortable enough on the plane for anything more than a 2 min nap that meant I missed the end of family guy :( I wish my kickstarter plan pillow had arrived, chances are it will be there when I get back.oh time eh!

3 movies were watched on the plane. X-men Apocalypse...oh boy, that was pretty crap but mostly because I was annoyed how they messed up  the characters and even their own continuity so was enjoyably bad, but bad.

Also Lucy...Luc Besson,..all kinds of utter nonsense in this one, absurd premise, bad bad bad writng and even really bad direction every single scene was too long, every single one.. and the ending.....jezus wept...I  mean its too bad to even describe.

Finally Nina, a biopic on the later life of the divine Ms Simone, who wasn't as divine in real life! A most troubled and lonely lady. It did remind me a lot of some people who've been in my life struggling with mental fact it hit a lot of chords for me.. But it seemed to focus on too short a time span of her remarkable life, there were bad times for sure, but there were amazing inspirational times too, that should have been given much more cover. Music was awesome of course, even if it wasn't her that was singing the impression was close.

We made a pact to stay away as long as possible and do some sight seeing the in humid heat of tokyo which meant walking around a lot, getting mroe and mroe tired. Our resolve to stay up till 8 quickly faided around 2-30 and we went back to the hotel, to freshen up and check in as we'd arrrived too early to do that.
That freshen up turned into a, lets take an hours nap, then 1.5 hours.. but by 6 we went on the hunt for some food and booze. finding a nice little place where the food, rare morrocan lamb, was amazing..even if a small portion. Before heading back to sleep proper.
Up at 5am....but went to bed around had a good long sleep and should be able to get onto the Japanese time zones today.
After yesterdays humid heat, its now a cooler rainy day.  So hope we can get around with less afatigue.
We had major problems getting hold of cash though, which we need since there isn't really a card culture here, turns out my credit card is dead, since the mag strip on it has worn away, and they don't use chip systems here....which would not be a problem if I'd not lost my new bank card the day before shipping out which caused me to port money over to my credit card...oops.
I've got the company card for legit expenses though and Chris and Martin have worked out how to get cash from the local ATM's so we should be good to go, as long as we're not buying gold pressed latium asprin any more..12 euros for a packet of aspirin.. !@!@#!@# 12 euros...jeezes wept.. even more annoying there was paracetamol in my bag at the hotel, but I really needed something for a headache when we were out.
Food here is cheap, but it seems everything else is very expensive.
Going to do a bit of cleaning up to arrange my small but fuctional hotel room, and then a bit of work till brekky, and be ready for the day.


Friday, 9 September 2016

Watch out Tokyo

Here I come

2 weeks of meetings, and game show, but am sure there will be some chances to do some fun things too.

should have wifi when I get there, but if not, will catch up in 2 weeks.

Good news from the publisher, I got an externsion to finish up the projects :D and they are liking the look of it so far, as I finally managed to get a manuscript to them to check out

Nice to  know that 9-10 months of work has been well recieved

I'll try to do some work over there, but my schedule is pretty packed, so probably just going to do some reading and transcribe work logs to the book on the plane...its one way to pass 11 hours at least :D

seeya later


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

pop, ow, oh yes I heard that

3 days my ear has been blocked, up...and today it was decidedly painful but finally around 3pm, my ear was becoming more and more uncomfortable and I was being driven near mad by whooshing and squishing sounds, when it finally popped, and I could hear again.

At least for a few seconds, then the sticky goo, which I assume to be seeping from my infected ear started to close it up again.

Its been like that all day, open up and closing, but fact is its getting better. I am cleaning out my ear, (no ear buds) and that stops the sticking which causes the closing.. as soon as my old body has the infection under control the seeping should stop and back to normal.

I can now get on a plane with some degree of certainty that I won't be screaming at 10,000ft in a pressurised cabin unable to equalise my ears.. I might have managed that on a short cross channel hop, but I have to be 11hours on a flight to Tokyo at the end of the week...don't think I have enough oxycontin and booze to get me through that.


Sunday, 4 September 2016


I've gone deaf in 1 ear...while q-tipping my ears after a shower, my ear seemed to close up.. and I am now deaf in my right ear with a horrible water in my ear sensation, and a constant whislte, as well as hearing my damn blood pulsing through...nothing is getting rid of it..

I went to the drug store and bought ear drops, but sadly I now realise I got the wrong kind, I got the pain drops rather than then wax softners.

I'll go back tomorrow to get the right stuff  In the mean time I have a new found sympathy for my bandmate Jelmer 1 who is deaf in one ear. Its a horrible sensation.

I do hope it clears up soon, the deafness and water sensation is bad enough, but the idea that I might be on a pressurised aircraft for 11 hours next week, with a blocked ear is a bit daunting.

Doctors on Monday if it does not shift

In other news, I discovered the manuscript I sent to my publishers in July bounced..but the bounce notice ended up in my spam folder. Since I wasn't using mail as much over the holidays I didn't pay any notice to the spam folder....doh!

So its a bit of a pisser, I didn't chase for feedback becuase I was so busy writing and it never really worried me.
Anyway, they've sent me a link to an filetransfer system, I will use it tomorrow, I just hope they don't have any problems with it.

Though if they do or don't, I've asked for more time, since the project arrangment is taking me so much longer than I anticipated.

Oh well, all I can do is keep working away, its still fun, though there are days when it just does not seem to work. No one said it was going to be easy :(