Never mind the politics, how’s Dave-ros?

Roger the Alien

Roger the Alien to show I’m chilled, not that I’m getting drunk or talking like Paul Lynde

Fine, as it happens: I’m losing weight, I still have a job, I’ve made progress on that Dalek RTS game (DalekCraft?  Total Extermination?  Command, Conquer & Destroy?  Dalek Supreme Commander?), and I’ve paid for my holiday to America in May.  I’m home to visit my folks this weekend, and this entails balancing a wireles keyboard on my lap, so please bear with me.

Things aren’t all good: there are still times I feel that nameless sense of horror and helplessness, especially on cold winter nights when I’m in an unfamilar part of London and I see houses that remind me of “the other twelve-twelve“.  This happened a couple of weeks ago when I foolishly caught the bus from work to the Castle (where I’ve started using the mini-gym, since I have membership to the establishment), instead of getting the Tube, but now that the evenings are getting lighter (even if the snow’s back next week!), I should be all right.  As should everyone else — we all hate this damned weather and shortage of daylight!

Actually, it occurred to me recently, when I was looking back through my 2012 Facebook posts (I know, serious business etc.), that my spirits are rather higher than they were last year.  It troubles me just how often I complained about my love life, or lack thereof, in 2012 until I finally had my epiphany and realised how it just doesn’t matter as long as I stay true to myself and look for the right person.  And it’s not just because 2012 saw me recovering from the shock of moving, because I feel better now than I did in 2011, 2010 and 2009!  Horrible as the process was, it seems moving away from Caledonian Road and its nightly traffic jams, groups of chavs harassing passers-by and endlessly-hovering police helicopters was just the tonic…

And thanks to a combination of climbing, with either my new friend, my mother, or “the Session” at the Castle, doing Wii Fit Plus exercises regularly (and taking the body test every night, except obviously nights like this when I’m away), and just generally eating less, has really helped trim my tum.  I’m hoping to achieve the suitably-trite “13 for 13” and get down to 13st. (that’s about 180 pounds, for our American readers) in time for my holiday — after all, if I’m going to take my shirt off on hot Colorado days, I’ll need to feel confident in my appearance… and yes, it’d be my choice to do so, not a sexual assault like in the Bertolli advert (I’m still really peed off about that, as you can probably tell).  I’ve even arranged to meet a personal trainer next week, for a free consultation (that sound is my mother cheering because I’ve finally taken her advice), so we’ll see how we go.

Work has been… trying in recent weeks.  There’s so much sorting out of old social services files to do, and I’m not the only one working on them, but I’ll be doing more soon because my current job is only “acting up” to help cover maternity leave, and at the end of this financial year I’ll be going back down two grades, losing most of the interesting Excel spreadsheets I get to do, and spending more time getting eczema from dusty old paperwork.  The worst part is the scale of the job, and the fact that every time I make progress on one aspect, another issue arises that I have to sort out!  It’s not so bad if I can work in an archive room, but on Friday I had to play “Iron Man” twice through my noise-cancelling headphones in order to drown out the annoying woman (she doesn’t get a link to a previous blog entry any more), who was in full flow.  But I have a job during a recession, and I’m working for a worthy cause instead of a tobacco company, so I can’t complain… well, I can grumble and grouse, but I can’t complain officially!

As for the Dalek game, well, despite racking my brains I couldn’t come up with a suitable way to navigate Daleks (or other entities — Thals, Mechanoids, Quarks etc.) around the map, and so resorted to Googling it; I thought that might count as “cheating”, but no, I still had to rack my brains to figure out how to implement the A* system, even after seeing code for it!  I’ve learned more about the STL, especially vectors, than I did in last year’s C++ class: perhaps due to taking it at my own pace, instead of trying to stay awake on a Tuesday evening after work, or perhaps because the best way to learn is to do.  When it finally worked (once I figured out that priority_list is useless), I played the air guitar in the manner of Beavis and Butt-head (which I also did last Sunday when climbing with my friend).

beavbutt

Duuun DUUUN duuun dududun, dudududuDUUUN duuun dududun!

So, if things continue like this, soon I’ll be fit, I’ll have survived another winter, I’ll be going to America, and my Daleks shall sweep across Skaro, exterminate all opposition, and take their rightful place as the suuuupreeeeme beeeeiiiinnngggs!  (Well, what did you expect me to say — I am Dave-ros, after all!)

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