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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Thursday, 16 Oct 2014, 16:26

CSF

 

These are currently available as pre-orders. Not that the OU merchandise isn't spiffy. But Clear Soul are Clear Soul so you know, buy a hoodie. 'Cos then they can come to the UK. Then I can stop having these very difficult passive aggressive emotions towards the French. They are available on their website, which is probably Clear Soul Forces dot something, all one word, anyways,

My course materials turned up! Sort of. I had them sent to the place where I live, which is a small block of flats made out of shipping containers, somehow they got lost in the post. Probably because we had this thing put on the gate outside so only residents could get in, that they forgot to inform the postie of. So I got them resent. They have sent me print outs of the online materials. Which is fine and stuff. No excuse not to get on now though.

I am trying to think legal thoughts but see, there was this party, which I went to. It lasted a couple days. I drank as much as I have ever drunk. I then managed to get up the next day (BECAUSE I AM THOR!) and go to work to collect my wages and say Hi, then I got the bus to Sunny Tunny. That was two hours. Also surprisingly fine, though I was a little tired the other end. I then managed to get through the drive to Maidstone and dinner before eventually having to retire before the end of Captain America 2. My God. I learned some things about myself last night. I woke up today, no glasses, no contacts, used up my whole inhaler, a whole pack of ibuprofen and paracetamol and even my emergency snickers. So Mother had a panic attack about the asthma, deciding to drive me all the way home to make sure I got another inhaler. This is because nowadays you can't get emergency prescriptions or anything, records are also kept a lot less long. So when asking in the pharmacy (that I went to for like four years) if I could get an inhaler, I might as well have been asking if they sold diazapam by the hundred. I have to get my bizzle together for work today anyway. I don't feel, Asgardian, lets say.

So yeah I have got to get on with this degree. I have lots to get on with at the moment. I am contemplating getting myself one of those little chromebook laptop things. Though I don't know. Having avoided the hipster hand grenade that is iPads, do I want to risk it? I have an old piece of crap laptop that is so just much more retro. Blatantly going to end up hiking that around with me. Fucking news. Ebola, great, yes, its terrible. It was terrible when the first ten cases or whatever were uncovered. You totally under-informed everyone and now that it is as bad is it is, its better news so on it goes. New Scientist reckons if there are over ten thousand cases before the New Year there will be a million in the next year. Syria and the general Jihad is gathering pace. Excellent. Awesome. Report it more in the Western media, just to make sure they know, that yeah, terrorism is bad mmkay. That'll get 'em scared. Not riled up. Maybe more news reports on multi-cultural Britain and less on terrorism. Not that The Sun is responsible for using terrorism as a way to unite people and sell newspapers to the enraged hoard. They all do it in fairness. It's OK *hug* I love you interwebs. Whatever the fuck else. Apologies for the cussing. Rio Ferdinand is getting sued for Twitter Abuse. Which is abuse of twitter or abuse using twitter? I don't know. Or care. Some more terrible racism in football in Eastern Europe/Russia. Not that the racism is like, bad. Nope. They just need to keep it away from football. Ukraine much? The only sign we have of the seriousness of the engrained beliefs of certain groups is through football hooliganism, which we stop, but are then surprised when a 'revolution' like the one there occurs. Even then, its as peaceful as is humanly possible, until a major power gets involved and make it all military. So hey lets leave the EU and undo the Human Rights Act! Not that I don't get it. Having read more about some of the ways that rule about interpreting it differently for different countries given circumstance has been used, is scary. They just need to be more like America are with their foreign policy. If you deny people these rights, we will bomb and occupy you until you do. Then theres that whole independent military problem. Hired guns. War mongering. Ugh.

What have I been listening to lately, I hear you cry! You crying. Mostly. No, I jest, more metal since the Forum night. Raven Age are proper. Even recorded. My friend went to see Marmozets and put me on to them. They good. Listened to a l'il grime (gryme?) for the first time. I thought it was all broken glass sound effects and jump up. Apparently not. Some of the Barenboim sonatas. Listened to La Traviata because I girl I was into went to see it. Ironically it sort of ended up like the Opera did. Well we aren't together and I think we're both sad about that. So its sort of the same. She isn't dead though. Some sort of spacey drum and bass bits. Oh and the radio. Some. Little bits. There is a lot of shit on the radio. More Gay and Christian stations than I remember, less actual music.

Speaking of music - KLIKK THISS!

FOrum

 (  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dcNrS5FMXc )

Not only is The Forum doing a weekly TV show. Where you can learn about local music. In general. From people in a place where there is one. Also my friend CJ is in this video. My older and less well known friend, acquiantance, Matt also presents the whole show. I nearly died when I first saw it. Anyway. Click the link, please even if you don't watch it, the hits all go towards helping this stuff happen more. Which I like. I will totally have a big party or something if whatever.

Not sure what else. The next blog post is going to be so freaking expie-alla-docius you might break out into tap and start singing in a cockney accent.

So thats nice.

BAII

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Law Bolog

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All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

I mentioned a poem by Will in my last blog, as usual my referencing is pretty unclear and haphazard. Speech. Poem. Passage. Shades of grey really. This is what I was trying to refer to. I'm somewhere in the seeking bubble reputation stage, I think. I'd love to wax lyrical about the piece itself but I have lots to get through. Firstly, I decided this being a blog about Law I need to put more law into it. Again. Unfortunately I bought myself a copy of Beowulf and have been reading that instead of my legal warm-up books. Meaning I have nothing to talk about in a legal sense, just that I am waiting for my course materials. That I will then read. Read read read. Yup.

So anyway.

Nyeeooo 

I went back to my home town this week and spent some time with the family. We went out and walked the dog on what was a drizzly Tuesday morning. I was struck by the outstanding natural beauty of what I saw. Trees. Giant, huge, English trees. Majestic is a good personification of my view on them. You ever do that? Let your mind wander whilst watching trees sway in the wind, kind of look doing a magic eye without trying to give yourself an enema. I do when I have time to spare lying in the park. Perception is weird, I end up thinking that not only are trees every bit alive but that they can affect us (moods, emotions, feelings) equally as much as say music or cake. What I got to thinking was that now children play video games with these hi-res graphics and you compare the resolution of this game on that TV with this PC and its so beautiful and so detailed. Does that mean that as they grow up they'll appreciate natural beauty less because in some ways the 'definition' is actually lower than what can appear on a screen. As to say, if I look at a great oak tree from one hundred metres away with 20/20 vision the tree itself, the leaves, branches are in a certain definition. A computer game re-creating that could increase the resolution so you can see the individual leaves more clearly or contrast the bark more to make dramatic looking patterns. I just wonder in time if simple things like walks in the park or going to the beach will become functional, you walk your dog in the park, you go to the beach to party. I find a lot of peace in just watching the world and contemplating my place in it. I sound like a hippie. Moving on.

hmmmWomen. Oh my days. Now that being asexual is an acceptable sexual preference I am sorely tempted to jack the whole thing in. I've basically been on the verge of being an otaku for god knows how long now anyway, I could just cross the line, go to japanese class and stop thinking about how I'm going to get a girlfriend altogether. I literally understand Women less than 1%. If I know nothing is ever going to happen, which is usually the case, I'm alright but as soon as theres even the potentiality of something other than polite conversation and a hug I am completely lost. Whatever pseudo quasi-sexual mind games people play with each other these days through the vast universe of social media and online dating I cannot begin to comprehend it. I want a freaking cup of coffee, some nice conversation, best case scenario a kiss and a cuddle. Somehow that makes me a weirdo and I literally feel like a social pariah whilst texting/whatsapping/skyping any member of the opposite sex I am interested in dating. Which is such a blast. Ultimately most of the time I have feelings for the opposite sex I end up poorer and damaging my limited self-confidence, most of the time is an understatement, I'm not trying to get into specifics on a public blog. I disappoint myself.

Small world syndrome continues to whirl around me in a whirling maelstrom of impossible chaos so obscenely random that it must have a pre-destined form. Even though it can't possibly. Everyone I meet knows this person who knows that person. Easy to rationalise, as I get older I know more people and my 'generation' know more people so it becomes more likely to know someone who knows someone you know. The fact I have to go through this rationalisation probably one of out every three times I meet someone recently means I'm getting a little freaked out. There have been times when there have been way too many coincidences and I just can't get a hold of reality. At least now I am still here just with a very confused look on my face. I guess as long as I'm not sleeping with my 2nd cousin or something whats the worst that could happen.

Real life stuff, work is good, I don't want to see any words like festive or holiday for at least another month. Spooky and eerie first. I'm going to try and get back to board-game nights. I'll get into why when I eventually get around to going. Music wise, there have been little developments, baby steps. Steps in the direction I would dearly love to go though. Played Warhammer with Dave the Christian yesterday. He may take offence. If you're called Dave I think you have to expect a suffix to your nickname. He could be Dave, Slave to Papa Nurgle. Thats probably wrong too. Anyway was good game. I forgot you can't shoot into units in combat, even monstrous creatures so at the end of turn 2 start of turn 3 I was all set to put in some heavy fire and I could do exactly jack all. Start of turn 5 and it was all over. I didn't manage to kill a single whole unit. Nonetheless, much like with Netrunner, I am encouraged not disheartened. I've been ill. That was fun. All kinds of cold and flu maladies which result in me being poor as this week because I missed days at work. At least I can re-learn my cooking skills and stop smoking. Running. Defo getting back on that soon.

In closing, had a little dip of my toe in the events world again and I have learned my lessons. Theres not a lot of times I'll say, you know what, not for me. Promotion and events, as it stands, are that. I can envisage situations where I could feel like I want to dive in again but equally, there is this law degree. On the other small business hand, I have some ideas for little projects and stuff I want to develop. I just need to be organised. For the first time in my life.

I also realised I can do all my assignments, right now, before November. Which could be fun.

If I do decide to go Otaku I think I kind of have a crush on this girl from Fade to Black.

 OTAKKKUUUUUU

Anywomble, bonne chance to you all and may the dice be kind,

Joe.

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if woe was me

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Happy Birthday me. I brought myself whiskey and self deprecation. I don't really care for presents like I used to. Or celebrating things. Or growing older. I had a hard time thinking of something I needed for Christmas, people had to ask me because they couldn't think of anything. I got a hi-fi that I have since given away.  I don't know. Now I've started collecting graphic novels and whatnot maybe I'll just get really big shiny picture books. Instead of gadgets and video games. I guess Will was right on with the stages of man. Not too long and I'll be back to not being able to see properly and mashing up my food. Not that I'm being nihilistic. I'unno. Read the poem. If you haven't.

So yeah, haven't had a nice grog since ... ahh. Christmas I guess. I got up to go to work and all that, painkillers, water, in the shower, get dressed, have breakfast, feel human. Turns out I was 6 hours early. So yeah. I would've probably just lied in bed all day, its a blessing in disguise. Making myself bubble and squeak with roast leftovers for lunch. Which even thinking about is making me grin. Cannot beat bubble and squeak on a hangover. You can't actually beat it most of the time. I had bagel for breakfast though. Which can almost beat it. If I had to choose between the bagel for breakfast or the bubble for lunch, heck, I really don't know. No sense in sweating that which is beyond your control. Having both. Which means I win. Tuna bagel with avocado and olives. So yeah. big decisions, mint jelly or redcurrant sauce. Hmm. I may even make gravy.

  Martin Freeman

Don't have a lot of law related things to talk about as my course mats still haven't arrived (THE HORROR) but I guess this whole noise abatement, music venue thing is relevant. An acquaintance, Jason Dormon, is having his business threatened because they are building a new block of flats near the venue. Thanks to an excellent and organised local music scene all of the right steps have been taken. The council have been contacted, petitions signed, ultimately everyone is on the side of the venue. Even so. It comes down to law, which I thought was generally that when you move to a property it is your responsibility to check the surrounding area. Very wrong. They have now been directed (by local councillors and friends) that the law would need to change for them to be able to protect the business, if residents move in, they will have a right to complain and the venue simply will not be able to comply with the noise restrictions the council will have to impose upon them. Even if the council don't want to apply the restrictions or let the building be built. Its not that they won't soundproof and install limiters on the sound system, the money they would have to pay to do so is too much of a risk. It only takes one guy to do one thing and even after spending all that money it could just get closed down. May go on the forums here and do some inter-versing with some folks, as my knowledge is out of date. Seems though that its the same sort of right wing culture that has led to the deconstruction of economy in the U.S., business people turn up sensing there is an opportunity in an area and they intend to take it. To make their money. Even if it is a detriment to the local area. Words like, business isn't personal, and competition is part of progress, are utter nonsense in 2014. Sure when you're actually growing villages to towns, you need everyone to be making something and competing to increase the quality of the product, its production and ultimately manage the cost of it. Or so I would think, at least. Those phrases today are rhetoric. As relevant as the idea the world is flat. If they held truth, now, then how did we come to have an enormous global recession? One thing most people in business know is that you must look successful to be successful, which infers the basic principle of business is to lie to people, then cheat them by selling them the worst product at the highest price so as to maximise your profit. Which you will then put in the bank, and take away. So you can eventually sell the business for a lump and retire. All of which is totally accepted modern behaviour. Like the continuing mass production of fossil fuel or McDonalds. I'm not burning my bra and saying its all going down, I just don't understand how we can continue to accept the way we treat each other and think that everything is going to get better before it gets worse. 

/rant

I got invited to play in a football tournament, my wrist is still bad enough I can't risk it. Very frustrating. I did, drunkenly, do my ALS challenge though which is good. Not for ALS. For me. I have to get the video and stuff. Kinda thinking I might go back to football when I can. I'unno. I fixed the homestead which was nice. Is nice. I still have to decorate but I think I have the space how I want it now. I'll have to move in 18 months anyway. Long enough for me to bother though. They re-painted the containers so we no longer have tags all over us now. Yay. We're growing vegetables and having cook outs on the weekend with the produce now, which is nice, they did one Saturday unannounced. It was more hangovers than green fingers. There is a part of last night I can't remember, I just remembered. I wonder if as soon as I actually get around to having a go at making music that I will instantly decide to go back to writing. If I keep changing my mind forever I never have to do anything. 

Been playing Warframe from release as well. Which has been alright. Too many late nights. Finished my Ultimate X-men collection. Like a boss. Oh my days the ending is. Oh my days. Without spoiling the whole series, it basically has every plot-line that you have ever heard of. All the major characters and arcs, except the phalanx, anywho. I kind of thought it was going to leave me feeling glad I got to the end but unsure of what I really feel about the books as a whole. Often the case with comics. But yeah, it is utterly stonking. May have to collect one of the new 52 now. Maybe Lantern or Aquaman. I have issues. The different way people react to me when they find out I like anime and manga has been amusing me lately. A very cool dude who was around mine making music and stuff, who I barely knew, instantly thought I was the man and bust out his manga collection on his phone when he saw my (new) bookshelves. Which have my comics on them. Law books and comics. Such a gangster. A middle aged couple at work think that I am some kind of sexual deviant. Maybe some people in the UK don't know what Otaku means. They probably just think pedophile. Not that I even am anyway. Or that it changes my opinion as a whole. I am going to start reading oneman punch, when I get my phone sorted. What a saga. EE have to go. So I tried to get the phone unlocked, waited days, couldn't. So I have to get a new phone. And a new sim card. With credit. Looked at contracts, which are still an unbelievable rip off. So I'm currently offline and out of touch. When I do get it sorted though I know how to tether hotspots now so I can actually use the internet. On a computer. w00t. 

Work today. Two days off. Going to see the Mother Unit. For to say that it is nice that I had birthday. Now she lives in the town where I was born its gonna be weird. I was so wasted most of the time I remember being there, it'll all look different. I'm trying to sound cool. I wasn't that wasted .. though thinking back I can't remember the last time I was there that I was completely sober. God I don't know. I go now to continue my day with this attitude-

whiskey

- Thanks Lazarus.

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New blog post

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If you'll turn left at the dead badger, then straight ahead .. 

Black books 

My place is becoming a little bit dishevelled. Mostly due to work and laziness. Today is a day for change. Today is a day for reconciliation. Today is a day for success. Today I will actually maybe clean my flat.

This whole working week thing is a lot more ... I don't know. It's weird. When you have legit zero hours contract jobs, your time is really still all your own, you just have to work when the work is available. Effectively you choose to make as much money as you want and how much time to give up. Now that I have like, regular days of work and legit days off I am starting to feel the whole real adult life thing creeping up on me. Again. I am not particularly brilliant at being an adult. Unfortunately. So here is my plan. I am going to try to and get my place to a level of tidiness that I can keep to. Budget. Buy food that I don't eat as soon as I get home. Return all the phone calls and texts I have been too busy to look at properly. Catch up with my family. Please God find some sort of way to express myself musically. Plan some cool stuff to do over the winter. Get fit again. Get my power level over nine thousand. Find the dragonballs. Bring back all the people who died due to celebrity culture. 

I didn't go to stupid Belgium. I have lost a debit card a month since I got my new card in April. It's very irksome. I have only in fact lost one, literally, got home from cancelling my card today and went to pick up some washing. Found the card in the pocket of some work trousers. So I got the three I have cancelled but not lost together (ones I have founds since thinking I lost them) and tried to make a clear memory of it so that I stop losing my stuff. I actually lost my wallet, which I thought had my card in it, apparently not. I am so freaking confused with all of it. The end of that story is that I don't have any money in my account anyway. Which might seem dire. Really though I have been taking the Michael for about three or four weeks now. Eating whatever and whenever, drinking and smoking, getting cabs home from work. Putting the little studio thing together. I also bought an XBOX and an HD TV. Belgium didn't happen because I lost my card on the Monday when I wanted to book the tickets. I thought I might be able to do it on Thursday when I got the card back but the tickets were so much more expensive that I had to cut my losses. For anyone uninitiated, Belgium was a gig for BitNormal records, I can't really express my feelings about missing it. It was music I love seeing live, my friend was playing and a band I like was playing who I would've seen for the first time. And a sort of mini-Holiday. I could've made it work but some three hundred quid for a night out seemed excessive. But I did done missed out on this whole bassy experience. Wasn't to be that time I guess. Hopefully there will be many more!

Friends

Currently listening to DJ Cam Quartet. Very good chilled out music. Laid back maybe is a better word. It still has some energy to it, its very nice. What else? I re-applied for the course. W201 mutha-trucka's. So that is all sorted out now. The most spectacular life-changing-world-righting-babys-life-saving-supercalifragilistic-thing has happened at work as well. Right now its a secret though. Known only to me!

N.B. Upon reflection it may not be that great, but has the potential to be that great. 

Hurpo

If you haven't seen Emperors New Groove by the way. I don't know. Your children will probably grow up to be accountants or work in marketing. Not that theres anything wrong with that. In fact, if you do want to your daughter to be a librarian, make sure she never sees that movie. Or Over the Hedge. 

I also apologise if these gifs are slowing you down or rinsing your data. I know it can be frustrating. Oh yeah! Video games! 

Dude, my friend Nathan basically was like, when I bought the XBOX, play this game. It's called Air Mech, if anyone cares. Anyway. It's an online game. I have been playing it a lot with him and his friends online. Essentially he has introduced me to what the rest of the world has been doing since the Wii became outdated. Not sure what my point is, its been fun, but has directly contributed to my lack of money and action over the past week or so. I am in the top thousand for player kills and online wins though. So that can go on my headstone alongside, 'Once sewed back on his own button'. I'unno.

Anime fans? Ah there you are, both of you. Watched Fade to Black on the recommendation of a friend. I have no clue what the hell happens in that show. Some guy who looks like he should still be in Medabots is apparently able to control electricity. And is a badass assassin. He and his friends (a mute goth who runs a cigarette stand, a former guido mob-boss and a talking cat) take on missions for some shady organisation. As the narrative bounces around their different missions the story develops around the main characters interaction with the world, you get a sense of who he is by how skillfull he is and that he always seems to know whats going on. People turn up who seem to be random but turn out to be from his past and so on. I'm certain its very clever but some of it washes over me because the delivery isn't what I'm usually into. A little like Wes Anderson movies. Code Geass holds the same dilemma for me. I watched some of it, once, I kind of like it but being that I grew up on Gundam Wing I am constantly left wondering why people love it so much. I guess maybe its to do with who you associate to as a hero, Heero to me is always going to be a legendary main character but I can't get myself to care about Lelouche. I'll probably try again from the beginning. Elfen Lied was like that for me too, Ouran too. Haven't been reading much manga lately. I got some great comics. Metal Made Flesh came out with their kickstarter edition, so good, hopefully I will remember and the next blog post I can tell you all about them. I bought the Umbrella academy. I was in the shop, I had seen the cover-

Vanya

-and always wanted to read it. Anyway, I am so loving the artwork and style, the first panel is so freaking good. That I was like, OK, I am going to read the introduction. Lo' and behold it is written by the freaking guy from my Chemical Romance. Side-track. I love metal. I hate them. Particularly them, as I liked a few of their early songs, they really killed everything that was left after Busted had annihilated the soul of all rock music. I put the comic straight down. I was disappoint. It was pretty expensive though and I read it. Irritatingly it is really good. It has a little bit of that Noel Fielding feeling which I hate with a passionate fire. He manages to keep touch with enough relevant, emotional content that I enjoyed the whole thing though. Frank Miller and Stan Lee are probably ok but it is a damn good read. I also re-read some of Nijigahara Holograph in the hope I might come to understand more of it. The rape and murder scenes somehow became alarmingly disturbing now that I know the characters (you have to read the whole thing to find out who people are, as the timeline jumps around and the art changes a lot) so I don't know. Never read any manga like it, at all, I am still intrigued by it. Anime wise, I watched SAO. The manga is better. Really, it makes you think its going to be a shonen action comic but then instead it takes you through this really touching Romeo and Juliet story. The relationship isn't forced or taken for granted, the lead characters are just in love and the situation is the story. Anyway. I'unno. I re-read the first 20 volumes of Bleach too. Just like playing Mario games, you realise, people don't care as much about what they're making anymore as much as they do making sure they can sell it.

In closing, No Game No Life is the taint.

ngnl

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I haven't re-applied for my course.

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Yet. That is because this is much more important. Right?

essay handed in

So we go from here. 

Me as a pirate at work.

To here. Definitely a blog post in there somewhere.

After I saved teh world from a time travelling squid hell bent on turning the world into a giant sandwich (n.b. Using my eye lasers) I continued on with my summer holidays.

So the world cup, what a bust, I ended up watching England go out and not much else. I love football, I do, but I couldn't be bothered to go to the pub to watch the world cup. I think I actually prefer club football which is a little bit sad. I have also had to give up playing for the BHAFC AITC team too, which is sad. I am just too busy with other things at the moment. One of those things is tennis so I am at least trying to stay active and things. We came third at another tournament and start training on the new pitches at Lancing in September, so I'unno, yay I guess. Long may the team continue. Maybe I'll become a sports journalist writing about football and mental health. Something.

I need some filler here before I get to OU related things. I am planning on making some music! Praise the ancients. Today, in fact. I feel so ill from the last few weeks at work I couldn't face any more work on the home studio so have retreated to the internet cafe to write this. Although, you know, internet cafes no longer have a cafe element. I would love a coffee right now. Or water. In fact, just water. For a while, I'm only drinking water. I had this genius thought on Friday night, 'Just drink some red bull, that'll liven you up'. I remember today why I swore never to do that again. I'll save my philosophical ranting about cocaine/caffeine and the youth of today for another time. But yeah, I have a keyboard, a KORG wavedrum (google it) some extra big-ass speakers. I am even now sporting a hip tattoo. I have no idea what kind of music to make. Or how to start. I need to not feel like I have been beaten up underwater first probably. 

.... I don't have a tattoo on my hip. Hip as in, now, edgy, cool. You know?

So I passed my first year. Champagne fell from the heavens, doors opened, velvet ropes part. I haven't really taken it in as an achievement yet. I don't know that it is. I suppose it's akin to coming second in a race, or sixth, at least you placed in the race but really only the winner celebrates. So yeah, relief mostly. I have yet to re-apply just because I've been busy. I could do it right now but I'm going to procrastinate more first. I will most likely do W200. Just 'cos. I have some really nice law books. Old ones that I was given when I was first studying law. Books by people like Glanville Williams and Denning. I'm going to do a little blog post on them before term starts because I feel like I am starting to remember why I enjoyed law so much at A-level. The whole of the first year OU has been kind of like, finding my feet, learning my boundaries and making sure that I damn well get a pass. Wasting money on that scale is not on my to do list. I learned some stuff, kind of, updated my understanding of law so that it is now longer ten years out of date. I now know we have a Supreme Court for instance. Anyways, I'll go into more detail then.

So yeah, I finished up at the Brighton Centre and at the Stadium. Readying myself for job-hunting since the Glyndebourne debacle. It's worth noting here, that just because Dave is a Christian, it doesn't mean that I view his actions differently. I just find the fact that he is a God-lover makes the story sound better. His wonderful girlfriend Kizzy is in fact going to work at a ministry in the Autumn. Strangely the followers I have on Wordpress are mostly members of a Church Group. Might switch to Wordpress as the main blog at some point. Not today though. Anywho.

So Dave worked this shift at the centre with me, Dave is a WH40K player, Dave knows what FTL is. You know. He might as well have asked me how I felt about Lex Luthors part in Blackest Night. Insta-comradery. So Dave says to me, there might be this job, I'm like yeah yeah cool cool I'm up for it. He then says, on another day, I'm working come see me and bring a CV or something. Which I do. I get an interview and a trial shift. Boo-freaking-yah.

Which is all well and good. But how, I hear you cry, do you go from a trial shift to pirate hi-jinks? Well it's .. I don't know if its a funny story. The funniest part of the story is that in the interview the lady was like, 'So have you done waiting before?' and I'm all, 'Yeah, of course, but its not really my thing'. Because it isn't. She said that was fine. To date, I have done one shift on the bar. Which is fine. Cash money is nice and I'm ok at waiting tables. I don't really know whats been going on to be honest, three weeks have passed and today I feel like I have crossed some sort of invisible line. But yeah, its a job, I cosplayed Luffy for pirate day. Comment if you want more photos. Someone asked me to make them a mojito the other night, its fun.

I was like.

the joker

Not much else to report I guess. Pride was pretty un-eventful. People got drunk and stuff. Oh yeah, I'm going to Belgium on Friday! Yatta! Need to quickly book myself some tickets for that and get a haircut and buy a new bag and some sun block. Finish tidying my flat, buy a decent hard bristled yard brush for work, get a new armchair, fix the laptop, give up smoking, become vegan and catch up with the newest batch of comic book movies. Go see my family, pick up this weights bench, play tennis, message this girl and practice the piano. 

I also need to decide whether Larfleeze has replaced The Joker and Harley as my favourite comic villain. 

I'll be back.

Joe

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Friday, 13 Jun 2014, 21:20

The answer was Wolverine; geez. Nobody even guessed.

Ho-hum, free muffin.

Summer! I have bought shorts especially. So excite. I don't even know why. I used to dislike summer as child, now its great, I may even sunbathe. Maybe its an age thing. Perhaps I've become female. No, guys work on their tans too sometimes. I may be ancestrally from Brazil or something.

See the segway? You do!? DO YOU!?! Currently Spain vs. Netherlands, had a really interesting conversation about Netherlands and why their called Holland on the train home from London one day. Recently met a famous Dutch darts player (Barney, for darts enthusiasts) who gave me more insight. As I'm going to be talking about the English legal system and what good essay ethics are later I'll spare the details. I like football, I don't have a TV and concurrently I don't know how much I care to go to watch the games at the pub and so on. Baled on the game last night for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 2 on PSX, which is kind of an obvious choice. Won a cracking fight, Chun Li/Ryu with a Senryu catch finish. I did lose most of the other rounds though. Had some fun upsetting my friend by using spider-man for a while too, until he figured out how to ... I think I'm digressing. What was my point? Its the world cup, yay, on to video games.

I have now played Child of Light and the new Mario Kart which makes me officially down with the kids. Child of light is just, a giant wtf, I like it and it is shiny but I have played a fair few turn based/timer based action RPGs and the system is only ok. I felt like I could complete and that it would be fun, not the point of an RPG like that, you should feel horrified by the impossibility of your task. In my opinion. Mario Kart is great. It has very slight drawbacks, somehow it feels a bit like Mod Nation Racers, just because its so shiny and lets face it, most chibi-karting games are going to be a rip of Mario Kart. Dry Bones isn't in it, which is a little sad, its not so much the lack of Dry Bones as the other new characters in it that disappoint me a little. Not a huge amount. Nitpicking aside, you race around, skid around corners and throw the occasional shell at people. Tracks are brilliantly designed, its balanced, most of the win.

What have I been doing with my life? I have flashbacks of trying to finish the EMA so I'll start there. I understand people had a fair few problems with the question, I didn't so much. I have no idea how I did on the EMA but right now I just want to pass the course and get onto second year. We'll see, I'm not so bothered by a lack of knowledge, I just need to make sure that I can answer an essay question properly. I think before I was just throwing in as much statute and case law as possible where as now I realise I can use facts as examples as well.  What to use as examples and how to evaluate my points, so on and so forth are still sticking points. The game is about to restart so I'm rushing.

I couldn't go to Comic-Con because work is a bunch of .. expletive deleted. It wasn't their fault, blah, I had post-traumatic family disorder things to deal with and work had a big staff problem so in the end I just had to sacrifice something. Going to go to winter con with actual real life friends. That way I might not sell my body in order to buy comic book gubbinz. Anyways I went to boardgame expo in Birmingham instead. Played a basket weight of Netrunner, which was good, I won 5 games over the whole weekend. Got some Nationals swag. Which was also nice, met some nice people, learned a bit about how fantasy flight works etc.etc. There was a funny story though.

Maybe two. I had to literally run into the hall for the tournament from the train, I like, ran. And stuff. I had to push through the queue, I didn't have time to get a proper lanyard ticket and so on and so forth. It started at 10AM, I left Brighton at 6AM. A-blahh. So I run in, sign up, all is good and I see my friend Adam .. friend. Netrunner acquaintance. He was randomly in town, so anyway I goes to sit with him and he's like, "So what are you running?", I grin and say, "Professor Saurus, its a head job". I hand him my deck box and he starts pulling stuff out. I'm a bit shocked, so I ask him what he's doing. "Making it legal". I had apparently got the .. card game mechanic thing .. wrong, so I had to change a bunch of stuff. Which I also got wrong, so had to take extra losses and came nearly last in the tournament. Anyway. Thats not the story. Once the second day tournament had ended, I went over to some friends form the brighton boardgame group that I frequent to see what was a gu'arn. Joined in for a game of Cheaty Mages (which is superb, and Holland just scored) and they invited me to join them for the train home. Virgin make you get specific trains. I had to get a different one to go with them, they assured me it was fine and once we realised there were no ticket barriers in Birmingham it all pointed to us getting away with it. Just before London a grizzly (large) Northerner hit me for a fifty quid ticket. I was so tired from .. the everything .. that I couldn't blag efficiently. Then we played Roll through the Ages on the way back from London to Brighton. Which was good. The guys felt so bad they got together most of the money to pay for the fare, which was so nice. I spent it on a board game. Which seemed right to all of us.

On that wonderful note, we now have Netrunner nights in Brighton! Huzzah! We join illustrious places like Edinburgh, Cardiff, Sheffield and London. Surprisingly good turn-outs so far. It makes me happy. A nice card game thing for my mind to much on in the down times. I'm not going to spell-check, so if you made it here, congratulations.

   

Love you all. I'll be back when the world cup is over, I am a second year and I have developed eye lasers.

Yup yup.

Joe

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Changing Seasons

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Thursday, 15 May 2014, 23:48

animated gif of xmen opening

How many people are not X-men fans? I've not met anyone who has said to me, "Nope. it sucks, its a horrible idea and I don't like it". Some people, you know, they don't like the movies so much. Plenty of people haven't read the comics. But somewhere along the line, most people, have seen some iteration of mutant heroism and liked it. This of course may be because Marvel make sure to put out a decent cartoon of it on childrens TV every few years, during peak Saturday morning time. Marketing cynicism asides, It's a great product.

I used to watch the original cartoon when I was very small, but back in those days it was hard to actually follow the story. Some mornings I would be busy playing Street Fighter or watching Transformers videos. It was a stressful time. A couple of years later, around the time I became a teenager, X-Men Evolution came out which I watched judiciously. I saw about three seasons of it. I never really got into comics or fandom (persay) until I as around twenty or so, I always liked anime though and eventually stumbled across Bleach. It was in the top five most searched things on Google at the time, if I remember rightly, Christina Aguilera, Briney Spears and Paris Hilton were on the same list. I watched it all, then heard it was a comic, which I then read as well (online, legally) which led me into wanting to buy the physical work to support the, well I thought it was to support, the artist. I know now that Shounen is probably as big and corporate as Marvel. Interesting factoid, mildly interesting legal note I should say, the big anime/manga products never got licensed in this country until 2010. Which is how things like Bleach, Naruto and One Piece managed to become so huge. Dragonball even re-made the show which they had originally licensed to UK/US/European TV, then didn't re-license it. At the time it was a really big deal, these giant websites with literally thousands of episodes of anime and volumes of manga, whose flagship was Naruto and Bleach, suddenly took all the big products down (along with a few other choice things) and stayed legal. Though still hugely popular, now, there are lot more series that receive recognition than just Bleach or Naruto. Attack on Titan has been this enormous hit, for instance. Strangely, Naruto and Bleach (and One Piece) have become quite inaccessible to the layman whilst other things, like Attack on Titan or Sword Art Online, are really easy to get into and instantly gratifying.

 

xmen premiere cosplayers

Topic?
Me and a couple of friends went to the premiere of the new X-Men: Days of Future Past movie to try and set a world record for the most amount of cosplayers in one place. I think. Now I think about it harder I'm not sure if it was for X-men cosplay specifically, or cosplay generally. Anyways, we had to get 250, which we didn't so sadly we didn't break the record. We got to go into the cinema at Leicester Square though, did a bunch of photos (my friends are photographers too), did a music video and had a swish after-party at a club in Leicester Square. Where we danced to the X-Men theme tune, which was one of the greatest musical experiences of my entire life. We also got prime position for the whole red (or blue as it was) carpet experience, which we declined to take up. We did something much more amazing instead.

We went ..

speedys cafe
... to Speedys.

Which too was pretty freaking epic. Well, as epic as a sandwich shop could be. Maybe it was because I ordered an epic sandwich. When did epic become a good word anyway? Most epic's are horrible, movie wise. Gladiator is good I suppose. I don't know. Maybe I don't hate epics. Whatever the epic. We had lunch there, still in costume, went to Tokyo Toys and then to Forbidden Planet. Where the whole Marvel/DC section was shut for stock take, not just the products but the comic books section as well. The manga section was closed too. I almost bought a hundred quids worth of DVDs in protest. Fortunately my friends were there to remind me, I have an EMA to do!

Which reminds me and brings me back to the actual topic of todays blog. Last summer I was volunteering my way out of a life that had careered out of control and into a car crash. I enjoyed my stints at Amnesty and cooking reclaimed vegan curries, but when I got a job in September and started this degree I thought I was starting to move my life in a better direction. Now I've been in work for quite a while, I can still pass my first year as long as I don't fluff the final essay and its time to move on. The premiere, the end of the EMA and a football tournament (which I shall detail in a moment) are kind of the culmination of a year spent trying to piece my life back together. I was hoping to do the treble but sadly we failed to break the record. Which is sort of like losing the FA cup. If we don't win today, the league cup goes too. As long as I win the league though. Its all worth it.

See what I did there? Always love a football analogy. So as far as moving on goes, I want to find a better, permanent and decent-ish paid job. So that I can move out of the place I'm in now, I'm in no great rush to do that, I would just like to be able to pick where I live now that I know Brighton a lot better. Post end-of-the-season I have some good stuff to look forward to in the summer.

So football. Tournament today. In Lewes. Vay exciting. We've been drawn against Palace in the first round. Which for those of you who don't follow strange rivalries, is a big deal. We're actually playing them in the very first match. No pressure. The word is that we're in with a shot, there are maybe four teams who have played together for as long as we have. So that could be great, if we win it'll be a night out at Lewes fireworks, if not I'll be going to boardgame night at the pub. Which is also awesome. Nearly thirty of us going today. Woo-hoo!

Lastly on the EMA itself, I am pretty intimidated by it but hopeful I can get through it. I scraped by or failed the essays so far, but have steadily been getting better. If I put enough time into the EMA I will be able to piece together enough marks for a pass out of it, I think. I actually really like the topic, which is generally a bad sign, as that gets me rambling generally rather than giving a focused answer. Going to actually go to the last tutorial and get all the advice I possibly can. Rather than nipping out for tennis.

That too is another ambition. I would like to play tennis more than once this year.

If you want to see some photos of the X-Men event:
https://www.facebook.com/SandgoosePhotoandDesign

(Shameless plug too XD)


Next time I'll upload a shot of me in costume. Points if anyone can guess who I was in the comments. I'll send you a muffin.

Speak soon!
Joe

 

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What I've been doing.

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Firstly apologies for this distant update. I realise it's been ages since I have updated, there are reasons, they shall be detailed. Secondly, to make sure we get it out of the way so (it is the topic of the blog after all) the course. I failed TMA04 with a measly 21, which taught me that leaving things to the last minute then rushing the submission without spending time checking it over, makes for a fail. I may be re-covering ground, I haven't gone back and re-read, so I apologise again if I am. I had to get an extentsion on TMA05 because of a bereavement. Which is a nice way of saying my brain was totally incapable of grasping the concept of education or work for about three weeks. 

So anyway, it's kind of a fun story. I got the extension until the 20th, I got home from the funeral on the Tuesday. Eventually. I had sorted out with work so that I could had Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday off to complete the assignment. A good friend sorted me out with a proper dinner and some company so I didn't completely fall apart when I got home. So Wednesday, as is so often the case, got lost to procrastination. I played Football, went to a games night at the pub, then got a call from work. They had an 11 hour day for me! Woo! On the next day, from 9AM, which I gladly took. Working on the assignment on the evening didn't happen so much. I had to wash my clothes. Cook pasta. Hoover. Watch Sons of Anarchy. On Saturday, the 19th, at around 1PM (when I got up, I had stayed up a little late) I started work on the first question. By 6PM I had pretty much read all the material, identified what I felt I needed to include in my essays and formulated a rough plan. I then played a game ( a fantastic game*) until about 11:30PM. Totally by accident. So I spent the whole rest of the night working on the TMA, I submitted at 5:25AM, and emailed my tutor (who had asked me to try to submit as early as possible) thanking her and suggesting that being that I had written the whole thing in 5 hours, the fact it was 6 hours early meant I had done it in plenty of time. 

Fear not!

I didn't rush it like I did with the last one and I am mildly confident of a pass. I backed up my points with (gasp!) facts and citations. I was a bit mushy by the end of the second question (for those not on the course, a situation question about a new musician whose ex-boyfriend gave an interview about her past in the paper, advising her on privacy law and the European Convention of European Rights), but I think I managed to jam enough case law into it to get a few marks and drag me over the line. Hopefully.

yoh 

I will absolutely start the EMA this week. Or next week. 

What else have I been doing? We had a 2 week Irish Catholic wake, I drank every night. My liver and I are no longer on speaking terms. I have started smoking again. Ish. I am smoking tailor mades (silk cut super lights) to hopefully cripple me financially and force me to stop if I don't stop myself. We had the last game of the season at the Amex Stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion FC (SEAAAGULLSSS) and yes, they won (2-0 as predicted), Reading are going to durp at the weekend and we're going to the play-offs. This time without having to deal with Wilfried Zaha and all that nonsense. Then the big time. I have taken a leave of absence from football that I am hoping will go some way to recovering from my injury. We have a match on Tuesday, in which I will Goalkeeping with one hand. I refuse to risk doing more damage to myself, I would quite like to be able to keep on playing in goal without having to wrap my wrist and take painkillers before I play. Every time. There's some tournament thing in May that I want to get fit for. Speaking of fit, we have started a fat club at work. A bunch of us are going to lose a stone in a month in preparation for the summer. I am planning to eat fruit and vegetables, go jogging and stop drinking fizzy drinks. After this orangina that I am currently drinking.

Games nights have started to gather some momentum which is nice. Three a week now. Over ten people on the Wednesday, I am starting to get to know what the frak I'm doing. I wonder if I am crossing some sort of invisible geek line that I can never go back across, but well, I am across it now. I know how to play Lords of Waterdeep. Which is a positive life step. Yep.

I have a slight ... addiction problem as well. Not having a drug or mental health problem I have a Collectible Card Game problem. I have had it since I was about 15 or so. Pokemon cards to begin with. Then a WWE based online card game. Most recently an independent project that Sony eventually picked up called Poxnora. Now, well I won't go into it now. I'll wait until next time when I can start with it and it will seem less boring. Needless to say I become insatiable until I reach a certain point.

Final things, Comic-com in London, Game-con in Birmingham, the Days of Future Past premiere, High Definition festival in Eridge and the Fringe here in Brighton. All going to be mass-ive. I also have to look for some temporary summer work as I got fired from Glyndebourne, because I am a moron and they are mean, before looking for a real-person job somewhere around Christmas.

For other W100-er's, I hope you are on your way to a good score and we can continue our blogger-blogee relationship next year. I've got very little idea what module I'm going to take. Start the EMA first. Baby steps. For the rest of you, go watch Inside Llewyn Davies. It's freaking brilliant and Empire gave it 5 stars. 

Yeah that's about all,

Joe 

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Thank You for the Music

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Friday, 21 Mar 2014, 13:58

a television screen

 

It all started with the BBC and a band called The Cinematic Orchestra. I was introduced to them by a promoter friend from Europe when I was 18 and over the last ten years I have come to be an avid fan of their music. Sadly none of my friends share my passion. They released an album called Ma Fleur when I was about 20 which contains this song,  To Build A Home.

The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build a Home

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB0ordd2nOI

I had heard pieces of it on various BBC sponsored programs, it features in a David Attenborough nature program but it wasn't until I heard it an a pivotal point in the Sherlock Holmes series that I stood up straight and said to my friends 'Hey now, what are you doing using this song?". I should quantify, I had a copy of this album on CD at my brothers wedding and I remember being moved to tears at one point listening to it, so to hear it as a backing track was surprising to say the least. Moving on.

Over years I came to accept that this was more than coincidence, a record I had fallen in love with had become a piece that would be used in all kinds of television programs. It makes sense that such a beautiful song would be. Skip forward to this year, and I hear this song on a television advert.

C2C - Down the Road

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1uUIJPD0Nk

C2C are four DJs who won the world DMC championship for four years running from (I think) 2003-2007. This is no small feat. I was introduced to them by a DJ called Dark Matter in 2008, he showed me their 2005 DMC winning performance on youtube and to this day I rate it as one of the most spectacular pieces of musicianship I have ever seen. You can find it on youtube if your into that kind of thing. Anywho, C2C never released an album following their success until Tetra came out in late 2012. It is a wonderful album full of the kinky, inane but ridiculously polished music only they are capable of. So to hear it in a CAR ADVERT made me actually very happy (surprisingly), what a great pay-off for a great bunch of guys and also you never know, with Shazam, maybe they could get some new fans. I was still very shocked, enough that I stood straight up and said, 'Holy shit, thats C2C", when I first heard the advert. It's ok, my friends think I'm weird too.

So anyway, I'm watching House of Cards on Netflix, season 2 and it happens again. Bonobo this time. Strange thing here is that I have been listening to Bonobo for years too, I have had various favourite tracks by them over time but just recently this song-

Bonobo - Kong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3qZxf2Lg-Q

- has become my number one A-rated favourite piece of music. Well over the holiday period at least. I can't really explain why, it's all full of melancholy, drab pacing and eerieness but it has this lovely subtle narrative that makes me feel like I'm listening to someone taking a breath-taking walk. So when it drops in this bar scene in House of Cards I was like, uh, I was alone this time so I paused the show and re-watched the scene to make sure it wasn't just a similar piece of music. I had a desire to make a post on facebook about it, about how strange it was, but I thought better of it. Who cares right? I've met a few people who know of Bonobo and it is a great record, the fact it was my favourite song in the world a few months ago is nothing to write home about.

The last part of the story is what enamoured me to make this post, when I was about 20 or so I met a gentleman called Nat, Nat was a grade 6 and higher accordian player. Strange no? It was an incredible skill and he had a fantastic musical palate, he introduced me to lots of interesting things, some horribly strange things and one thing I still love to this day. He uploaded some songs by a band called Son of Dave to the works music system and I was instantly a fan. It's one guy with a harmonica, a bass drum, a microphone and a loop pedal. Anyway, this is a truly strange facet of the music world. like Jah Wobble or Anal Nathraak, it falls between genres. I think its blues, I don't even really care what it is, for some reason I have always just got on with it. Anyway.

Son of Dave - Shake a Bone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCnG2HwT24g

This is what I find when I type the song into youtube. I have been digesting Breaking Bad this last week or so and this was the last straw. It's the first song on my hip-hop/blues/rhytmn and blues play-list, well its actually second after Devil Take My Soul, which is a much better record. What I was saying, the other songs I could understand but this is just weird. I would never, ever, have thought I would hear this music anywhere but on my Spotify play-list. This time I had no idea what to do, nobody to be shocked and surprised with so I wrote a post about these strange musical happenings.

Also still waiting for my results, I am getting more and more sure I have failed as more people get their results. Ho-hum, heres hoping.

 

Joe 

 

 

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Penal Theory

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I have had a slight problem with procrastination over the course of doing TMA04. I also had a slight problem with it on the last TMA, this time it got worse. I did in fact, not even start the assignment until after 12 on the Thursday it was due. Le shock. 

I really enjoyed the social care question, I am finding that scenario questions suit me for some reason. I don't know why. Somehow its easier to apply the appropriate information on those questions where as as on some of the more general discussion questions I tend to find myself wondering how I am ever going to get the marks. That is the main topic of todays miraculous update.

60 marks for an essay question. Fair enough. 1500 words, 60 marks 20 marks for every 500 words. What my slight, concernation I suppose, was is that I couldn't really form a solid answer from the course materials very easily. I decided that I felt the statement (regarding whether punishment should be equal to the seriousness of the crime) was a little outdated and limited judges to considering retributive sentences above all others. Having decided that I then found it quite hard to base my essay around that idea because the text in the unit is so rigid. I felt it was totally directing my answer, each section (retributive, reparatory, deterrent, rehabilitive and incapacation) seemed to mention that it had some relevance to commensurate sentencing. I got so frustrated trying to find good references and valid arguments from the unit that I ended up basing my essay around what I felt was right and drawing support from parts of the unit. I'm honestly not sure if my answer will gain any marks at all, I just couldn't focus on it enough. I feel that most sentences take far too much time and attention focusing on the defendant, making sure that what happens to them is something the people around the case can accept, rather than basing sentences on what is the greater good. The judiciary are as much responsible for the law and governance of the land as the other bodies that form our constitution, thus I think that they should be able to consider prison places, whether fines are payable and whether rehabilitation or reparation is an option much more widely than they currently do. Its the same reason we don't have more free thinking and decisive politics, the main aim is to placate the many rather than achieve something positive. When playing a game, such as chess, rarely do you win by making obvious moves that simply keep the game going. I know this because I am terrible at chess and thats what I do. Great players win great games because they build opportunities and seize them. Whether its politicians, judges or the police force I think the taupe-coloured, vanilla-flavoured way we govern ourselves will continue to yield the same kind of mundane results it has for the past five years. Miniscule rises in the economy balanced against immigration issues, public sector strikes and international crisis. Nothing anybody is really affected by but just enough so it seems like everyone involved should be busy.

On that, Ukraine, oh my days. The news is such a ridiculous farce it makes me more than slightly irritable. I listened to the radio whilst the protesters won their fight to move the president from his office, it was great, it felt like the people had won a victory. And damn right. Not so long ago Ukraine was painted as one of the least open-minded, forward thinking countries on this planet. Racism and hate towards the LGBT community was well documented, publicly accepted and essentially part of their culture. Post removal, whatever is going on with Crimea and Russia is a second thought. Ukraine is at least trying to stand up for something and the news is just a miasmic globule of random prophetic rambling. Telling us what is going on whilst, obviously, nobody has any clue at all. Why? Because Putin is Putin is Putin. When you consider how China and Russia have acted at the global table, how can anybody really say what reasoning there is behind their actions. Prima facie, it seems like they want to constantly be throwing their toys and food everywhere just so everyone knows they will not be told. Which is fine. Mass global recession, energy crises, the end of fossil fuels, climate change, global warming and the permanent destruction of many enormous natural entities such as icebergs and coral reefs are all issues that don't get put on the table for real discussion because, well hey, we're still making money and we have a larger population. So ner. It isn't even new or interesting, global politics have already changed to allow for the ridiculous behaviour of Russia and China, America too if you want to be snippy. They do at least discuss things, they are dicks about it, but they do talk. Anyway, how the BBC can report what is total conjecture as fact is beyond me. 

On a lighter note. Puddi.

puddi

My procrastinations have taken many forms, working, going out, being hungover or just basic lies to myself. Such as, no I can't do my essay, I need to think about the answer more. I do once again have this vague desire to complete the next assignment before the end of next week so that I can have more time to not worry about doing the next one but honestly I need to re-evaluate my whole approach to the course. At some point.

I've watched season 2 of House of Cards, it's damn fine work. The whole thing. Then, after a long debate at work and asking many fine punters, I have succumbed to the peer pressure and started watching the Breaking Bad. I am undecided as yet, it is certainly compelling, but a lot of TV shows these days are. It's strange because I think that Sons of Anarchy uses a similar mechanism in building up a character just to kill them off in order to get some gut-wrench sympathy going. Neither of them are nearly as guilty of Game of Thrones in that department. I will report my full verdict next blog post.

Last things, sun is out, BOO YAH BABY. Love the sun being out. Not quite ready to rock the shorts yet but its coming. I have work this Wednesday which is a ball sack full of ball bearings, I was meant to be going to a jam night with my new drum things. Ho-hum I suppose, life will go on. I bought a nendoroid, if anyone who reads this knows what that is, you totally win. Its a korean rip off, but its still good. I learned that Kill La Kill is ongoing, I was like, whoa, what just happened. Seriously I think a part of my brain sort of died. That also happened with Ultimo, which is a freaking JIP, the next volume will be out in English in some time this year. First time ever not reading a manga online so I can wait for the UK release. I feel like a recovering alcoholic pirate. Evangelion manga is in Waterstones, which is just, I don't even. It's never been in English, as far as I can tell, £12.99 a volume. It took some will power to not just buy them all straight away, I have read it all before though, it doesn't contain datenroku so .. meh, we'll see. I will probably get Air Gear first. I also found out Ultimate X-men is 9 volumes longer than I thought, which is irritating, buying them is costing me more money because I need to know how it ends. What else? I want to get a tattoo, soon-ish. I just feel the need. Arsenal vs Tottenham today, which is just going to be sad and mean I get double-stick at work. COYS. My electric just gave out too, so I need to pop to the shop. 

Peace yo'

Joe

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Rage

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Back on the train to Devon, rage in my heart, pyschotic mind-numbing, all encompassing fury. A friendly national rail employee takes a moment to help me out and all of a sudden I can feel myself changing back into Dr.Banner again.

If you're not familiar with my experience with the flooding over Christmas, its only a couple of posts back. I forget what I talk to people about and what I have blogged. Last time a friendly person helped me out, they saved me a long journey to nowhere and gave me a form to reclaim the train fare for the train I missed that had been cancelled. I sent the form off and got a nice letter apologising with a little voucher for half of the fare. Which was around fifty pounds. Recent events, I've been waiting to get paid for what feels like ages and I finally got my wages today. I topped up my savings, put some money into my second savings account and budgeted for the next two weeks. Got in touch with my Mum, who is moving house again, and agreed to go give her a hand with it. Save myself the inevtiable financial fallout of staying in Brighton over the weekend and cooked myself a pasta salad to save money buying lunch. All is well. The sun is out, I've got my shades on in February, passed my TMA and am into the next one, successfully managed to get back on track money wise.

So I go to my drawer, one of three drawers in my flat. Drawer one is for all of my OU related paperwork and anything to do with my tenancy, instructions manuals for cookers, that sort of thing. The second drawer is for my OU books, so that I don't misplace them. As that would make me very cross. The third and final drawer is near my sofa, it has things that I know I don't want to lose in it. It can be anything. It has the contact information for a samurai school I am thinking of joining, details of a course where you can get football badges so you can be a coach and my tiny dumbells. At the moment, I go through it once a month and either action the things I have collected or throw them away. Thats how I ended up going to comic-con and Audio but not taking up swimming. Short story long, I know, well I think I know, that when I received the train voucher it went into the drawer. The idea being that I would plan my next trip when I came across it if I hadn't already. Having done everything else I went to grab the voucher only to find it wasn't there. I spent an hour or so tearing around my place trying to find it, I can't justify how it disappeared, I either didn't do what I thought I did with it or I accidentally threw it away. Or it was actually a trick played on me by the train company and it decomposed really quickly like that papryus in the Da Vinci Code with the vinegar.

To give some context, I thought I was getting better (in terms of my sprained wrist) so I played football with a bit more, passion? Confidence? Effort, effort is really what changed. All was good, I thought I was playing well, then exactly the same thing as happened the first time happened. Someone hit a shot very hard on target and my competitive instinct took over any kind of common sense, I saved the ball by sacrificing my left hand. So, so irritating. I make saves on shots that are hit hard with my other hand, with no ill effects, I just have to wait for my other hand to fully recover and be a tiny bit careful. For context, its bad enough that I can't pull my wallet out of my pocket without wincing. The upshot was I got to play out more and get some practice, sadly when I got out of bed (to let in the electrician who had come to the wrong flat) I literally fell over because I had hurt my knee so badly. I took a bunch of painkillers yesterday, after hurting my wrist, because I was going out to play percussion and obviously just didn't notice the knee. So whilst looking for my lost ticket, which destroyed my budgeting plan, made me an hour late and my journey an hour and a half longer and ensures I spend another week eating fish finger sandwiches, I am also enduring fairly serious pain anytime I get down on my knees to desperately look under my sofa, bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers for the ticket, or lift anything up to see if it somehow materialised somewhere. I then carried my bag with all the books for this TMA, my laptop, lunch and three days clothes up the hill to the train station. Upon dragging myself to the ticket office, I Was greeted by a Polish/eastern European lady who despite being fine was not quite as informed or helpful as her colleagues often are. I enquired about a railcard, as I am a student, which is apparently something blah full time student blah needs to be stamped meh thing. Meaning I couldn't get one. Anyway, the station official directs me to this train (that I am now on) and after putting my bags away, having a fizzy lace and getting my laptop out a voice says something FCC blah need the right ticket hmm have to buy a new one anyway jazz. Mumbling in quiet fury I decided to just get off the train and take the later, longer, very crowded, Victoria train I was meant to be on. The nice fellow who was cleaning happened to hear me and instead of writing me off as an angry escaped mental patient told me I was probably alright, took me to the guard and made sure. So now I have time to complain to the interwebs!Huzzah!

My new approach to the course seems to work better than my old one, I was happy with my score on the assignment and I plan to do most of the next one over this weekend. I also need to finish this other bit of writing, read up on my djembe-playing because I am woefully out of touch after four years (Who knew if you don't practice the skill fades) and make a new budget plan. I have somewhere (I forget which safe place I put it in) a fortune cookie fortune that says if you divide your focus onto many things none of those things get done properly. So I'm trying to finish things before I start other things. Then I find I rush the things. It's a whole meshuggah.

Other than that, I have a thrilling five hour train journey, a whole bunch of notes to take and a laptop that doesn't have five hours of battery. I also just realised I left my pad at home. Wonderous.

(This is my Mums dog, our dog, Magic).

 

Heres wishing you a good weekend,
Joe

(Also, I think I have decided I prefer pancake day to valentines day).

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A month later ...

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014, 23:31

Open U related things first, TMA03 is in. I handed it in at about half past six on the Thursday. Where I was confident with the last one and disappointed I expect absolutely nothing of this one and any marks at all will be greatly appreciated. I am planning to start TMA04 this week and try to get somewhere near the (utterly ridiculous) 90-something that some people have got on the first two TMAs. I did enjoy rushing TMA03, it was almost exciting. Scratch that. It was totally enthralling.

What else is actually happening in my life? I am going to be in a video, I am in the video, the video is going to be played before a Brighton and Hove Albion game on the big screen at the stadium. It features our football group split into two teams playing against each other, one team has labels like 'depression' and 'OCD', they play badly in the first half and go two nil down. Then they rip off their labels during the half time team talk, Rocky style, then pull it back to a draw where after we all congratulate each other for being super awesome human beans. As I work at the stadium in the 1901 VIP lounge and was in goal for the unlabelled team, there is likely to be some stick coming my way at one of the games in March. Ha. I get to be on TV. Boo yah. 

I've put a story I wrote that is 40,000 odd words up on deviantart. It is the most horrendous and god awful piece of nonsense anyone has ever pretended to try and write. I myself can't get through the whole thing. I will have another go at it tonight, maybe, it is woeful. Seriously. I thought that putting it out there with my less woeful stuff would encourage me, remind me, of how not to write when put along side things I wrote that I do like. I am nearly 10,000 words into a new thing, which is fine and dandy but means I am going to end up a lot of words past the point I am aiming for. Maybe thats a good thing. I'm already sure it is less terrible than the thing I just put up.

My wrist is still knackered (AAARRGHHH!) after like three months nearly. Quite frustrating. I am still having to play in goal one handed. During January I managed to spend nearly all of my savings on getting drunk. Which was good. I had more than a few good nights out and I can remember all but one of them. Always a win. I've decided upon spending some time with my bank balance that is was in fact worth it, partially because I have acquired a shiny new summer job and partially because, well, what else do you do with savings?

Also, this record.

(Jazzual Suspects - The Beat )

 

I bought myself some tickets to see a band called Clear Soul Forces in Brighton, at Audio, which is going to be great. Also got myself a day ticket for the london comic-com, MCM expo goodness. Also a good 'un to look forward to. Thats about it I guess, I just realised I left the oven on and I have a chicked to cook. Oh and I got myself a steam account, clocked up nearly two full days playing Blood Bowl (if you know, thats awesome). Part, all of, the reason for my nearly late TMA.

Stay cool!

Joe

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40 marks is a pass right?

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I got my second TMA back (like I'm sure everyone has) and I'm a little disappointed. I think, mostly, with myself. Fortunately I passed. Barely. I made some bad mistakes, I didn't go through the marking of the previous assignment carefully enough, I made almost all the same mistakes again. Somehow I managed to do more of those mistakes the second time. The other bad mistake is a problem I have with the whole format of answering the questions. I've never written an essay where you don't write from a perspective, I always say that 'I will answer the question-" and so on. I'm trying to get my head around the idea that you are literally just writing facts down, I think that is my new approach. Identify points I need to make to get marks. Write them down as simply as I possibly can then worry about stringing it together into prose later.

The whole prose thing is what I mean by the format being tough for me, I really enjoy writing, generally. Anyone who does knows it can be a pig sometimes. As I'm sure your fascinated, I find it easy to write poetry and am currently trying to force myself to write decent prose. So in answering the question for the assignment (last time) I tried to make sure my answers had a nice narrative feel and made some interesting points. I actually thought I had written a couple of really good answers, somehow I had this feeling I might not even pass though. As I say, that stuff ends now, much simpler approach needed. I'm going to throw out working through the unit. That did me no good. I just found that I had all the information in my head and was comfortable with the material, all that let me do was make worse mistakes as I happily chatted on about what I thought the answer was. The answer isn't something to be worked out, it is written down plainly for you in the material. All that needs doing is transferring it into your assignment. That coupled with using citations and references for each and every single point I make will hopefully transfer into a better mark.

As for the prose, well, I'm fairly confident that it will be at least equally as difficult as learning how to answer the assignments. More fun though. Again, its desparately fascinating, I'm trying to get used to spacing out my language and create a good narrative. I find that basically, my problem, is writing in a simple way that describes the environment and characters to the reader. Like all books do. I'm just ploughing through my idea for a story, making small changes, then I plan to go back and try to make it more readable. I'm only slightly less lazy about that than I am about my OU studies.

Saying that, now that I have no plans to incorporate the reading and activities into an overall scheme, I can just attack the question head on. I'm working out phases for answering the question, identifying points I want to make, gathering references, checking the wording and detail of the question carefully, then putting together an answer. So my other time is free to spend on the other things in my life.

First of those is fitness and sport. I quit the gym. High five. Other gyms are more than twenty quid a month and I can't justify paying that nor can I justify walking forty minutes to the gym to work out for an hour so to then walk forty mintues home, even though I am now essentially out of work again. Thats next other thing. So I have taken to jogging to start off my new fitness plan the same way as I started at the gym. Simple exercise that I am comfortable with. The rowing machine was my bag to begin with and I had dramatically improved my speed and distance in the two months I was going to the gym. Ironically I couldn't take much of the running machine, I don't know why, it was too bouncy and stuff. I definitely did not try skipping or hopping really fast late at night when there was hardly anyone there. Sport wise, tennis is long gone, which is kinda lame. Have to wait until whenever this whole giant storm thing passes us to be able to get back to it. Thats ok though, because football is on the up and up! My wrist, which I nearly broke, I don't know if I wrote that here. Some guy kicked a shot so hard (I play in goal mostly) it damaged the muscles in my hand and wrist so badly that I could even close a fist. I went back to play next week with a wrist brace and strong painkillers. As any reasonable man would. So I have, to put it plainly, been pretty shoddy since the start of December because trying to keep goal with one hand is a little tricky. People have this crazy idea to shoot to that side, positives, I have got a lot better as an outfielder. The good thing is I am getting better and can almost do a press up now. We have our first match next week, very excite, I will let you know how it goes.

And so work, BLAHHHHHHHHHHH. What a jip. I called to see if there was any news on the January shifts, oh yeah they say, this week they say. Nothing at all. No call. No, thanks for Christmas, blah. I missed those shifts because of the train, thats sealed my fate, I'm saying no more. The football stadium however, sweet deal, I now get to work with the players. Well, very near the players, running my own bar. Oh yeah. High five. I obviously don't get paid more but I get to work harder and longer. Yay! Went into the players lounge with an order and I was like, oh thats cool, not sure who half these guys are. Brighton have a famous international goalkeeper, I saw him and I was like, damn. Its a pretty sweet deal, after the game they hang around with friends and family at the stadium and come to our bars. Its better than like, I don't know, the Status Quo fans for instance. Nice as they are.

Lastly I am trying to have some kind of love life. I have been told that if you look for love it doesn't come. I should really explain this a bit, I don't disagree with that. So New Years is New Years, right, it turns out that some lady told me that I was (quelle surprise) a good dancer. I'm like, yeah, sure shes a friend of the DJ and wants us to stay here. She'll say anything. The be-boys were there and I felt like any other raver. So we go out for a friend from works (EVILL WORK) birthday, I get plenty drunk, enough that I am totally convinced I can dance, enough so I don't care if I can't. As all guys know when you go out, there are at least ten thousand amazingly hot/beautiful girls that are way too good for you. Long story short I ended dancing with some of those girls and for a short drunken time I had some self confidence. Go me. I forget how the night ended, oh no, I remember .. yeah, listening to your headphones on really quiet streets does not for a cool situation make.

Thats about it, my comic book collecting is going well, I will sort out some pictures because I know it is so interesting, for next time. I am in the process of going through all the stuff I have in storage (mostly clothes and DVDs) and throwing it out/giving it to charity. Clothes are almost done, the DVDs are a lot harder. I don't know what to do with them. Like, at all. Sell them? But I love them, its worse than with music, if I got rid of a movie that I later couldn't find. I might not of even think of it. Anyway, I don't know, I'm gonna get them all together and go through my collection. I might throw all the cases away and put them in a folder or something.

Heres pulling for all your New Years resolutions to come good, don't forget to join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/316262468519466/ for light-hearted Facebooking, currently talking Duggan and Burkhas, Birkas, Burkas? I have no idea what that word is. Be cool!

werewolf

Joe

 >> http://watch32.com/movies-online/underworld-awakening-1000 << New Underworld movie, well 2012, as far as quadrilogies go. Its better than Tremors. 

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A series of unfortunate Christmas Holiday events

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Happy New Year!

Salutations and congratulations, it's 2014 and it's a wonderfully sunny morning. The storm that has menaced most people (including myself) seems to have subsided and now all we have to do is wait for the snow. I should mention that despite being nearly 30 I still enjoy snowfall like a little kid. I would throw snowballs at people if it was still cute, I'd probably just get charged with assault nowadays. I digress. 

charlie brown

The matter of the title is not blithely used for comedy or Hollywood reference, last I wrote I had yet to decide on my plans for Christmas and was about to get on the off to start my celebrations. If you remember I had been working every night and conquering TMA02 by day for a week. I say that, yet to see if I actually passed. I finished work on the evening of the 20th of December, finished decorating the cake I had prepared and went to bed excited for the Holiday season. 

I was as prepared as I could of been, realistically, getting the cake done was of paramount importance because I had no way of knowing how long it would take in the new kitchen. On the morning of that Saturday I got up around 8AM to wrap the necessary presents and send off the cards I had written out for my family. Still unsure of what I was going to do, tentatively I was planning to spend the weekend with friends, work Monday and Tuesday, then go with my Dad to my Brothers on Christmas Day, work Boxing day then go to my other Brothers for my nephews birthday before rumbling down to Devon to see my Mum before coming back to work New Years Eve.

I had presents for all my friends from korean plushie dolls to champagne receptions for two. I was happily sat in my bed wrapping presents until I came to open what was meant to be a copy of a graphic novel. Quite a specific present. Instead there was a comic I had ordered for myself two days earlier, somehow I had managed to pick up the wrong package and was a present down. Quite angry I phoned the local comic book shop to see if they had a copy (at 9AM) and they did not, so with lightly muttered frustration I conceded to give it to him belatedly. No matter, I told myself, I had a case of champagne and a cake, I was still in the black as it were. Frustrated, but excited, I opened the door from my now decimated flat to get on my travels. Howling gale and sideways rain. Which go fantastically well with three tiered chocolate cake. A little more frustrated I made my way to the bus stop, into Brighton then hopped quickly to the off licence. Where I bumped into my Dad, who had already lectured me (after I locked myself out of the house) on over-spending this christmas. I had in my hands a bottle of vodka and two large cans of red bull, I felt that fate had at this point been a little unkind. So the lecture began, then the bus came past and I had to run for it. With the cake, which I had cunningly wrapped up inside two tin roasting trays because I couldn't find a cake box anywhere, I got on the bus. It was before 10:30 which meant I wouldn't be more than half an hour late for lunch. I'd say I was less than jubilant on boarding but as the journey (the two hour journey) went on I gathered more and more christmas spirit as people came on the bus to see me carrying a hold-all full of presents and champagne, and what appeared to be a turkey. I was in a good mood by the time I got there and when the evening finished at some early morning hour, I had enjoyed a fantastic day, completely forgetting the misdemeanours I had encountered. The cake had also mostly fallen apart, but had been well enjoyed by all, so that portion of the day balanced out for me. Strangely I had a bit of an asthma fit when I woke up, woke everyone up as I flapped about looking for my inhaler with a hangover before eventually finding it in the bottom of my bag with painkillers. Winsome painkillers. I snoozed thinking it was endemic of Christmas so far, bad luck coming good in the end. I should also mention I got a great christmas present that I was never expecting that I will talk about another time. 

To the morning proper, we woke around 10AM and had a cup of tea. I got a call from work, letting me know my hours for the rest of December, for the production of Scrooge, had changed. They now included the entire period between Christmas Eve and Boxing day. I called my Mum to tell her I wasn't going to be able to make it and she seemed a little down, so I made a decision to make it to Devon before Christmas instead of waiting until after the New Year. Not least because we would be back studying by then. I said my goodbyes and left to get the train to Exeter. Even managed to get a lift to the station, had my phone charged then was able to relax on the train and enjoy the sunshine rolling over the countryside. Even though I couldn't get a seat at all between London and Exeter. Yeah.

CAslte

 

£87 and four hours later I arrived in a little village just outside of Exeter. My Mum was delighted, as was the puppy. I will eventually get a photo of her when she grows up enough that she stays still for more than about three seconds at a time. Spaniels are very lively creatures. We went to the local pub for a lovely dinner, I went to her shop the next day and had a walk around the village, had some more great food from a local farm shop that evening when I got a call from work. I had been taken off my Christmas Eve shift when I got the call on Sunday, which was part of the reason for the trip down, it turned out that they did want me in. At 12.30. I figured it was a bit like everything else, seemed like a spot of bad luck but I agreed to it thinking at least I would be busy Christmas Eve rather than getting home to an empty flat late in the evening. Checked the trains, I left at 6AM Christmas Eve morning.

There were some quite funny, potentially dangerous shenanigans at the local station where I had waited on the wrong platform (or so I thought) and realised just as the barriers dropped. With no over-pass I had to quickly jump the road barriers and go up the otherside, the train then started to arrive on the other side of the tracks. Fortune struck, the driver saw me getting a little cross and slowed down so I could jump down off the platform and cross the tracks. Christmas cheer 1 Fate 0. 

I got to the station, in good time, expecting to get back to Brighton before 11AM with loads of time to get ready for work. At first, the 7AM train was cancelled but the 7:25 was still on. I knew this meant I would miss my connection but the next train was only an hour late and I would probably only just be late for work. Which I had warned them might happen. So I went to ask a lady on the station to make sure. This was the first time I heard that the storm had affected almost all the trains in the area, there were no trains to London or Brighton at all. There was a review at 10AM and measures would come into place after that. I was like, the internet didn't say anything helpful, how will I know? She told me her name was Nikki, gave me her phone number, telling me to call her and she would let me know what was going on. Christmas cheer 2 Fate 0. 

I called work then went back to the little village to my Mums, walked the dog, had a shower, bought Nikki a little present and gave her a call. She told me there was a replacement bus service to a place called Tiverton where trains to London Paddington would run. I was victorious, I'd be back home in time to go to work and apologise in person, then be there for work on Boxing day. 

quueue11

This was the queue for the replacement bus service. I felt a little discouraged but I figured I would endure it. Eventually I would get home, surely, it couldn't be that bad. I got chatting to some people in the queue, they had further to go than me, we had a little drink and almost got on TV. The time passed pretty quickly and soon I was on the bus organising my spotify playlists for the train ride.

I got to Tiverton, went up to the ticket office and asked them how long it would take to get a connection to Brighton. I also told them, after he asked me what time I had to get back, that I could go to a friends in Exeter for Christmas if there was no way. He checked all the routes and there were no trains, no buses and nothing until 5PM at the best. I asked if he could be certain that I would make it home, he said that there was no guarantee because there were just so many people waiting that even if there was services they could fill up quickly. So I text Mum and said I was stuck for Christmas, then got back in the queue to go back. 

rgh

Christmas Cheer 2 Fate 2. 

Got back to Exeter and then found out I would need to wait an hour so for a lift to my Mums friends house where I'd be spending Christmas. Went in to get a coffee and chill, where I noticed the lady ahead of me was struggling with a box. I'd seen her on the bus, offered to help and she kindly bought my coffee. The box was full of home-made chutneys and jams. We waited outside for her bus for a while, so on and so forth, she eventually had to go back and get a train because as soon as they began running all buses were cancelled. I got my lift and was able to enjoy a fabulous Christmas. All the usual cheer, drinkings, presents and so on. Christmas Cheer 3 Fate 2.

I then had to cancel work the day after boxing day, as well, meaning I had bailed on them Christmas Eve, Boxing day and one more day. I felt they were probably not happy. I simply couldn't get to the station early enough, as it turned out even if I had got a cab I wouldn't of made it. By the time I said my goodbyes and got the train it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. In transit there were problems with some connections and although I had had to go on a route to avoid London it turned out we (Brightonians) had to go all the way Basingstoke, then London and then onto Brighton. I imagine because trains had started again. The wait at Basingstoke was almost an hour, so I went to the ticket office to check. Another fantastic human told me I could get a train in two minutes to somewhere then get a connection onto the Brighton train I had been expecting. It all worked out but we were held up over and over again on both services, I eventually got back to my place at about 11:30 at night. I had grabbed a takeaway, was ready to have it and go to bed ready for work at 10:30 the next day. Sadly I had managed to leave a heater on in the melee of leaving for Kent with the cake and champagne. The electric had run out and the emergency card I had in the letter box had got wet and wouldn't work. Christmas cheer 3 Fate 3.

So all in all that was pretty eventful, work were not too angry with me although some people had had to work a lot longer hours than they wanted because of me. I think you could say they were understanding. The reprisal was that I lost my NYE shift. Which was ok, I found out the day before and made plans with a friend to meet up. 

giffer

Although the first three places we tried were sold out, we ended up going to see two time DMC champion JFB. Which was funk-dub-hoptastic for me but less so for my friend who is a bit of a house head. Good night, I realised the morning after that the people we ended up dancing with were in fact some of the DJs. So that was pretty cool. I even managed to get to work yesterday without a major hangover and got through the whole shift without any major problems. Other than I cut a slice out of my thumb instead of the lime, which was pretty stupid. Regardless Holiday Cheer 4 Fate 3. 

I now don't have a shift at work until, well, until ever. So I'm not sure what to do about that, other work continues on Match Days at the stadium. So I have some monies coming in as term is about to restart, I have resolutions. Get fit without the gym, organise and save some money, continue collecting comics. Thats all well and good but I have another mad weekend planned, out Friday, work Saturday, down to Kent that night then home Monday morning or Sunday evening. I also am going to miss Vadim and Krush on Saturday, but I've made peace with that. There are always more gigs. I must contemplate whether to bar work or look for some sort of job that might lay me in better stead moving towards the legal world. 

Looking forward to my TMA results too, lots to think about and more to do. Hope the New Year is kind and all your resolutions come good.

Oh and I also watched series of unfortunate events again on my phone, you know, for some reason it actually scares me. I must finish reading the books. 

Joe

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Assignment finished; game over

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This is where and what I have moved into. Is very nice. I have my own bathroom and stuff! Much improve from the bedsit situation, although inside a year I will most likely have to go back to it unless I can get a job that pays better than minimum wage. Which is not impossible. It would be nice if you could become a barrister in the space of eighteen months or something. To that end I do at least have some study space now, although my study habits are still yet to become .. well .. good, good is the word I am searching for.

I didn't really do the last unit, because I ran out of time and because the question on the assignment was only an essay plan. Plus we did the whole actus reus mens rea thing at A-level. Although again, the fact that I did my A-level ten years ago, proved to be something of a stumbling block. To be totally honest doing an essay plan as part of the assignment was a little strange to me, I had to work to get towards the right word count and when I finished I kinda wish I had done that before cutting down my other answers. I had to miss out this whole cool thing I had to do with criminal intent about 3D printers and gun parts, such is OU life I guess. Stick to the material.

win

And you will succeed!

So now I don't have to do my assignments during the day I am kind of at loose end, then I remember that I have Christmas to 'do'. Today I have cards to write and send, all of the wrapping gubbinz to buy as well as working the bar at the unmissable Union J concert tonight. Oh yeah and I have to bake a cake somewhere in there. Which is just, blah, I was going to go over to someones place where they have all the cake stuff already. Cake tins, flour, an electric whisk. That kind of stuff. But noooooooooooooo, instead I have to go and acquire all this stuff for myself. But wait, I hear you cry, thats great because then you can make cakes all the time. You know whats sad about cake baking. There is only one sad thing. When you don't have people to share cake with. I will get the stuff and bake cakes anyway, then just see what happens. I'll figure something out, my baking isn't British Bake off good but its not too bad. The sad thing is that you bake a cake and eat it all to yourself. Which is bad for the physique (which as I rattle on towards thirty, I notice doesn't take so well to cake, fizzy drinks and take-out) and that whole 'you will get diabetes if you don't stop with the sugar' thing. Working my way through two litres of 7-up as I type. 

So all that is fine, I have two days of work left then a weekend of frolicking, work again and then I am doing something for Christmas day! Still not sure how I feel about it, if I can get my TV into this new place and play Chrono Trigger on the big screen then I probably won't go. Sitting on my own playing it on my laptop seems a little bit sad. If I get the TV I could also end up 'renting' an XBOX360 over the holiday period. Buy it second hand then say I gave it as a present that wasn't wanted, that kind of thing. Which would mean I could play a few choice games I really want. I'd do it with a Nintendo product but I know I would never end up giving it back. Or I could go do the family thing. I have no idea what I'm gonna do. Maybe I'll go out and do a survey. Ask the audience. Something.

Finally I had a terrible accident in a comic book shop. I went in to buy a keyring for my new keys, they had a very limited selection of little vinyl ones. I was hoping to get some boss silver green lantern thing or something. I settled on a green goblin one because my postcode has GG in it. Booyah. There are these comic books that I read online when they came out about two years ago, I won't get too into what they are now as I have yet to .. I need to finish the story. Anyway, I like them a lot and the shop happened to have the collected volumes of the whole series in stock. I had seen them before and decided, when I have enough money I'll start to collect them. I had a look at one that day and the cover art was so .. uh .. win, that I had to put it back for fear of buying it. On the keychain day, I looked at all the posters, checked out the new 52, tried to get the rest of Ultimate X-men to finish my collection (I am like four comics short, it is very frustrating as I want to read it all at once) and so on before going down to the manga section to drool over these books. I had a look at some other titles I am considering collecting, read a bit of this hardback about Gundam which is really good .. then I picked up all 9 volumes and decided to buy them all at once. Along with the keychain. I can't justify or explain why but for some reason I felt I couldn't live without them. I have this other set called Zombie Powder;

wolfina

Which I got for super cheap and I was amazed to be able to get it, its the only other published work by a very famous artist called Tite Kubo who writes the mega famous Bleach. So when I was able to get the whole series of Zombie Powder on the cheap, in mint condition, I was very happy. Almost as happy as I am reading them all again, now in paperback as opposed to online. So I am taking my time before I get onto reading this over series, which is a lot longer. I will let you in on what it is when I get it to reading it. Try not to get too excited.

Anywhosits, thats me, have a lovely wonderful Christmas time and hopefully I won't get too drunk, then come over to the dark side and pour out my cynical soul to you unsuspecting lovelies that dain (its a real word ;) to read my scribblings.

Merry Christmas!

Joe

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December tidings; all things jolly

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013, 18:20

Passed my first TMA (just about), have moved into a lovely sea container flat home abode jazz, am ready for the festive season and generally starting to feel the merriness;

ohyeah

 

Anyway, we also had a tutorial where 6 people attended, which is damn near a Christmas party for us. There was a lot of good help about referencing which has acted like a large whiskey in terms of making my frustrations seem a lot more foggy. I have yet to start the next TMA so I can't promise the table is going to stay in place when I start. I have already heard rumours that the word count is relatively strict given the subject matter, which makes no bones, I am going to get through the block first before I even look at it. 

The block itself is great, well as great as a law block can be, relatively its like a peanut butter and jam sandwich compared the peanut butter on a cracker of Block 1.

Working on the idea that we all have a legal personality is an interesting way of separating out the different roles we have and how they are involved with the law. Some of the things I memorised out of the first block that I thought were going to be sort of wasted because of what the TMA01 was about have turned out to be really relevant. You always get a little buzz when the book is talking about something that relates to some other bit that you remember well. So that and criminal intent, all good. I still wasted 12 days and did all the reading/activities in a weekend. Shrug. It looks like I'm in for a big Thursday study date.me on thursday

 

Moving has not been a complete disaster. Which is nice. I managed to get all my things into one taxi, the driver was so quiet that because I paid him a set fee he was happy to help me out. As usual I did some really clever things, I went and played football in the morning in so doing managed to re-sprain my wrist, then decided it was a good evening to go to work to serve wine to fans of wet, wet, wet and blue. Which was yesterday. So I have done most of the fun part of moving today. As a cynic I realise that every day the excitement of a moving to a new place will slowly cycle towards the stagnancy of feeling like I've been here forever. Who cares. Today it is totally awesome, I am about to make my first cup of tea! Woop.

What else? Christmas. Despite my earlier comments about this season of awful, god awful, horrible, terrible jingle jangle pop ballady mind gumming nois-ance, I am quite looking forward to Christmas. I have a nice trip planned, two nice trips planned!(whoa), drinking to do, cakes to bake and so on. The being poor part is a down-side but I don't care. I am so jazzed that I am even contemplating decorating my new place. Who knows. I might decide whiskey and bitterness are a better way to celebrate. 

The main problem in my life right now is that I need to acquire a vacuum cleaner. Which is a pretty small problem.

Hope everyone is having a Christmassy Christmas.

Joe

 

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A short post about referencing

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Note: I counted to ten before writing this post.

When I am writing a long essay about something that is relevant to my studies I have to read lots of other sources. Its great. You learn, incorporate their ideas into your work and then acknowledge them. Its like the evolution of knowledge. 

Sometimes I even think, I'm going to literally just write something they have written down as a quote in my work because it is so befuddlingly brilliant I can't find another way to express it. Or its a famous or important quote, like, "Quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" (Gone with the Wind;).

When all is said and done I gather together all the things I've been pouring through and utilising then write all the names of them down so I can show off that I did a lot of stuff.

In TMA01 I have to answer questions, I'm not allowed in any way/shape/form to use anything other than the materials given to me by the OU to do so. So if I can't understand something from their material, I can't get another text, compare them and come to an understanding. If I use something which is in the other book not the W100 book thats fail. Which is fine and dandy, the W100 books are pretty damn comprehensive. If a little exhaustive. 

SO WHY DO I HAVE TO REFERENCE THEM!?

I have to write to a ridiculously obnoxious word count already, so obnoxious that I literally have to somehow guess what the audience I'm writing for do or do not know. There is no way to fully explain to somebody with no knowledge of Great Britan at all the things you are asked to explain in 600 odd words. You have to leave gaps and make assumptions, which again is fine, compression of information is part of learning to write accurate prose. 

However.

The idea that I then have to give up precious, precious words to do something that has no relevance whatsoever to my work is driving me utterly potty. It's not a case of, oh great I want to reference this point (or make a direct citation) because it identifies something clearly and I need that to make my word count work. Quite the opposite. I can find no way to squish some reference or citation into my work, simply because we are advised to, without it:

A) Dramatically affecting the flow of my answer 

B) Making me seem like a dolt because, realistically, the concept is simple enough that it can just be explained

and C) Wasting more of my time trying

I'm not saying I am having trouble, I can easily find a good reference for every point I make because I am only allowed to draw information from one source. So naturally they all have very easy references. Case citations are the same, all I'm doing is saying "The reason for this is because if it isn't that the other thing fails to work", then adding (for no reason), "And you can see proof of that in this case R v Insanely Aggravated Student 2013; SC".

table flip

Have a great evening. 

Kthnxbai

Joe

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Tutorial-o-rama

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class

Ah yes, real life tutorials, this is what me and my East Sussex cohorts were presented with. All both of us. Then the others turned up. They were both a bit late, had some trouble finding the room.

Before they arrived we were treated to the brain-pan of our tutor, she has rights of .. of .. being allowed in crown courts, one moment .. yes, thankyou google, rights of audience. So that was great, she had done lots of very impressive law related things then explained why she had gone on to be a teacher, working at some famous university places. At that point I realised I had forgotten to bring any snacks with me, and the others arrived.

Despite being a little disappointed, I felt the tutorial was great. We had another the next weekend, with the same people. Which was also good. 

It was a really nice feeling being back in a classroom, doing activities and getting into the subject matter. Making blatant and terrible mistakes, speaking out loud to other people, that sort of thing. I no longer felt behind and realised that actually sticking to the plan the OU gives you is definitely the best way to approach the studying. As much as its true that you can run on ahead from the start, following the plan, just going a little quicker at it one of the other students had studied DD101 the year before. She was following the timeline carefully and she explained it made the whole year seem very manageable. So I've spaced out some time to catch up on reading this weekend before broaching the subject of questions 4 and 5 of the TMA. They're a bit longer and have plenty of space for making errors.

One thing I am liking about this year of Law, and I'm not sure if it will continue on in the course, but being given a book of case law and having it to draw directly from certainly makes the relevant information seem much closer. More palatable. 

Which is really important for me as we come up to christmas-

OMG

- christmas. 

Ignoring the terror of present buying, family, general cheer and the unrelenting assault of christmas music I also have to work. Which is great in one sense and great in another sense. The downside is that I may be subjected to the radio. Which can contain rage inducing brain-melting-horror music. The other slight problem is that I don't have a huge amount of down time to get on with studying, which I have had. I've been reading at leisure but now I am needing to push myself into it so I can make a fully informed answer to the longer questions. I have (as I'm sure we all do) grandiose dreams of answering long complicated questions with ease and a general hue of brimming intelligence mixed with cumulative brilliance. Instead I am already concerned that I may be writing fluffy fluff.

Anyway, its hopefully going to be a nice distraction from the looming dread of christmas shopping that sneers forth from Decembers gaping maw, instead I have a minefield of strange legal jargon in which lies a path to excellent marks. Which I am fairly confident I want. There is a lingering doubt that mediocrity can still suffice, but then, that is no way to start a course.

So in summation, tutorials yes, Christmas no, TMA maybe.

Thankyou please.

Joe  

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The first TMA

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BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Don kanonji

Yes, bwaha indeed.

I am nearly halfway through the TMA and despite the other people in the W100 FB Group who have finished the whole thing and read all of Unit 1, I am relatively happy with where I am.

The problem I am now facing is that I have to read all of unit 1 (if you're not a W100 student, its about 60 pages) to answer the next question, which means bridging the gap to my biggest failing as a student. Note taking. That incorporeal ability to transfer information from a book to a notepad to ones brain is not something I have ever been good at. Brutally assaulting my brain with huge amounts of reading just before an exam has been my technique in the past, now older, I think I need a more measured approach that you know, works or something.

See the problem is deeper than that, I read the question and what it wants to me know, then I find the parts of the book that relate to those and read them. Which to me, is obviously enough to answer the question, but this 'wider knowledge' and 'understanding' of the Unit is quite beyond my grasp. There are questions in it that I have to answer then I have to do the TMA which has questions and its all very questiony. In addition to that, I apparently have to read Unit 2 before I finish the TMA too. So here are the problems:

1) Although I believe I can answer the questions to a decent standard, without reading the whole text that they are relevant too I might go totally wrong.

2) Even if I do read them, getting the information permanently into my brain is unlikely, even getting it their for long enough to answer the question without having the book open is  a stretch.

3) I really like to do things that aren't studying when I am meant to be studying, its like a sort of not-studying-drug that makes other things seem more exciting.

4) Having done a little bit I am already walking up to people going BWAHAHAHAHAHA, just because I have written 600 words of answers. 

My solution; answer the question badly now, then read the book, in the hope that as I go I can realise my mistakes and update my answer. Sorry, polish my answer. As the reader says.

Some advice though, the bwahahaha method does definitely give you a sense of achievement and is suggested by the OU; you are supposed to let people you know that you're studying and I can think of no better way.

Yeah, Law stuff,

Joe

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A week into the course

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Saturday, 12 Oct 2013, 23:45

Introdcution to W100, you have been fun.

Since getting onto the course I have made facebook and twitter accounts and started this blog, mostly to (hopefully) meet other people doing the course and partially to keep me focused. I may have already mentioned that I tend to have sporadic interest functionality disorder, I get really into something for as long as I can in one go then totally lose interest forever.

Me on the internet.

Anyway, the facebook has many different groups related to the Open University, Open University law students and first year Open University law students. I'm subscribed to two, Open University Law Students and W100 (October). Recently I have been mostly super impressed by people who have two jobs, eight kids, care for their great grandmother, volunteer at the sad kitty centre and study two modules in one year with the OU. They seem to think they might be insane, I think they are in fact super heroes who will sire children that can fly and have super strength.

We also had a long (intelligent-ish) debate about the place of Religion in the British constitutional system. Specifically the judiciary. I maintain that whatever the doctrine of a group is, it is defined not by its views but by how many people follow them, so (in the UK) Islam and the Christian faith should still be allowed to make arguments in government based on their faith. Ironically when we tried to discuss Baby P and the early release there was little debate, everyone just thinks its bad and thats how it is.

I also use tumblr, weheartit and via.me but despite being able to find pretty things and liberalist awesome-ness there is little to do with law directly. I am unphased.

Soon (hopefully by the next time I write a post) I will make a proper place for this blog on a shinier website like wordpress or something. I'm even planning to say stuff about Law, in the future, as well as potentially Science. As for my current studies, I have answered the first two questions of my TMA (early), got them under the word count and started preparing (by thinking about) the next questions.

So as we say goodbye to the nice weather, I guess we can say hello to warm drinks, duvet weekends and scarves.

Don't catch cold!

Joe

 

 

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Officially a Student

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Edited by Joseph Jensen, Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013, 23:21

Lots of yay at the moment,

I have a tutor, my tutorials are near where I live and I have got my NUS card. I am a student, sorted. Sent in my dummy TMA and introduced myself to my tutor. Still not actually done any unit 1 activities or read through the module materials.

However, I'm not going to go on to say that I have excuses for it, I would however suggest anyone reading this who is also on the W100 to check out this: http://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/forumng/discuss.php?d=37593

Before I go on I should probably say I did Law at AS/A2 and did pretty well with it, I had a massive emotional meltdown before my exams in the end though so yeah, no university. Annnyywayy, what I am doing is re-reading all of my material from that. Which has been good, making sure I know some basic things:

  • Court structure
  • Process of law making
  • Appeals process

Plan is to start using the course materials once we get the question 'officially', because it has been brought to my attention that you can actually read TMA01 already. 

So now its all very real, I can say I'm a student when people ask me and now I just need to find a crummy part time job to go along with it!

Hope everyone is excited

Do as it says

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Starting out - Study Area

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Okie dokie,

I opened up my materials on Saturday with the full intention of getting straight into a routine of study by the start of this week, so instead of admitting failure I am going to devise a new kind of calendar where the week begins on Wednesday mornings. I think its the most logical approach to the problem, given the situation. I am totally going to succceed

It isn't like I haven't studied at all, I sadly lost my Saturday to the Chilli Festival that happened over the weekend in Brighton. I expected to go down for an hour or so but got wrapped up in all of the chilli festivites. What kind of things could possibly make a chilli festival a day long adventure, I hear you cry, well I'll tell you! Lots of things,  they have chilli beers, a chilli BBQ competition, chilli chocolate churros, live music (not by the Chillis, sadly) and about a bazillion different types of chilli sauce to try out. Chilli jams, chilli cheese, chilli chocolate, chilli mustards, chilli chutneys and chilli plants. T'was a venerable chilli adventure!

So Saturday became Sunday, I spent the day getting my study area ready and read my course introduction (in trepadation). Got my comfy chair ready, a good supply of tea and toast and went out to buy pads, pens and folders. I read the introduction and firmly believed that I would continue in earnest the next day with my reading and get out ahead of the pack by today, when I got my module dates.

As you may have noticed, as I mentioned, it is now Wednesday and I am not writing gleefully about how much spec-tash-ular studying I have done. In fact, I have yet to return to my study area to continue my good works. I've not been totally lazy, I have organised my online-ness to help support me. I'd go into detail about what things I've sorted out, but you might get too bored and not read on, God forbid!

So I now finally have my module information but am still waiting for my dummy TMA and tutorial dates. In the mean time, I'm going to go to a local second hand book shop (instead of getting down to work) and see if I can find any relevant texts on the cheap. I'm also going to have go against my nature and actually design a study planner because I am worried that although I've allocated time in my head I don't think I will keep to it unless I can see it all written down. Doing that will make me realise how much time I am really going to have to dedicate to this. Mis-managing my time is my main concern, second is my inability to take notes. All through my school years I never got into the habit of it and never ever kept a good notebook in any subject. Having read the W100 introduction it seems to make pretty clear that it is a very important skill for this course. Hence the second-hand books, I want to try and plan time to ready them, do so and take notes on their contents. See, see, I have a plans!

I am planning to go out tomorrow night though ... using my shiny NUS card to get discount :D so maybe I'll need to do a planner for each week individually, in which I can also plan awesome things that I want to do with my spare time. Ah who knows, the world is my .. study area, really, I bet I'm gonna have to make lots more time for it this whole degree thing than I thought.

"Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow".

Maria Mitchell (astronomer)


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How the journey was founded-

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Oh my days,

(My reaction to the size of the course materials box)Received my Course Materials on Wednesday but (mostly due to fear) decided not to open them until this weekend, I have come up wtih a wickedly ingenious plan to make sure I get off to a good start with the right attitude .. to this .. course .. thing .. yeah.

So, that being the case my intention is to open it up tomorrow and set myself up a study area where my sitting around on the internet area once was, replace the games on my phone with useful apps and websites and finally delete all of the SNES and GBA roms from my desktop (though I will save them on a memstick in the hope I finish an assignment early) to be replaced by my upcoming assignment titles.

Prior to that though I have had to break a promise to myself and sign up for facebook and twitter again, I decided at the start of the year that I was no longer going to take part in following other peoples lives in a third party way, said very quiet goodbyes and went out to pasture. If interested, life is quieter out there. Then, when reading through the induction (going through the induction?) I read that there was a facebook and twitter for the OU and furthermore they made up a large part of the online community. I took to the Brighton coast to contemplate.

After seven longs days of though, sunbathing, almost swimming and eating ice cream I gave up my freedom and made new accounts, alarmingly desolate accounts, as it happens.

So this weekend I will be going 'live' as it were, with these e-fandangles, as well as this rather spiffy OU blog (which seems very educationally relevant to me) so if you're doing the W100, or anything first year I guess, lets talk!

Heres hoping for the high grade(s),

Joe

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