Mar 17

Bucket List

Day 34 - Bucket Listbucket list
a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

I was watching an episode of Rizzoli & Isles the other day and they were discussing “Bucket Lists” and by the end of the episode both the named characters had created a list of fun things they wanted to do.

This got me thinking, We all consider “Bucket Lists” as something dying people think about (for example the film Bucket List) but why wait until you are ill, feeble or dying to start? Why not have a list early on, and give yourself years to work your way crossing off items.

So I have decided to create a Bucket List for myself, and to start crossing off those things so that I can die happy, Or happy-ish as I know I will never complete my Bucket List as item 1 is “Live Forever”

This is where you come in Constant Reader, I am taking suggestions for my List. So feel free to comment any suggestions, or hit me on Twitter/Facebook/etc with your suggestions. I want a nice long list! And preferably more sensible suggestions than my current list.

  1. Live forever
  2. Take over the World
  3. Be Awesome
  4. Make Bucket List
Mar 09

Challenge – A Paper

One part of my 2015 New Years Resolutions/Challenges was to write a Paper. The actual overall theme of this years challenges is “Creativity” and one of the sections was to write a none-fiction, sensible paper.

That was the basic original idea, but in the manner of “no plan survives contact with the enemy“, this basic idea soon changed. There were two of us planning on writing Papers, but as we could not think of a genre or topic, Pete (The other one) decided to ask Twitter, and someone in particular. Now that person suggested that since he was writing a paper/essay for a newsletter, we could all write one on the same subject, and then compare papers and discuss. Which was a great idea.

The only downside was this suggestion came from a Person who writes several papers a year, gives lectures all the time, and even publishes academic books. So this kind of put the pressure on a bit, and as the only one who had never written a paper since I was Electrical/Electronic Engineering in Uni and we never did papers, I really felt the pressure.

The completion deadline was the beginning of March, and as that date got closer the worry increased, “Would it make sense“, “Would it be any good“, “Would it just be gibberish“, “Had I just written ‘I am a Fish’ 100 times“?

Well, The deadline came, My Paper was emailed out, and no one laughed, no one pointed out any mistakes, no one suggested psychiatric help. And I am happy with the way it turned out. I would like to add a bit more to it, since there was some areas I forgot to cover that I wanted to. But for my first ever attempt I am happy with it.

And better still, One part of the 2015 challenges is now complete!

Jan 01

Challenge Pursuits – 2014 – Review

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Challenge Pursuits - 2014

Well the year that was 2014 is now officially over, so I guess it is time to review my years challenge. You may recall from HERE that at the start of the year we decided on :-

“This year we are doing “Challenge Purists” Which is loosely based off the Trivial Pursuits Game. We have appointed different categories to the Tradition colours, and just like in the game you have to complete some goal in that category to win the piece of pie.”


Review Time!

Continue reading

Feb 28

100 Day Challenge 2014

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series 100 Day Challenge 2014


A new year, A new 100 days.

Yes it is that time of year again, where I try to combat the meh of Writers Block, Artistic Avoidance, and a general all round lack of enthusiasm with the 100 day challenge based on The 100 day challenge. The last few years have led to two published short stories, and contributed to a little book of poetry. Who knows what this year will bring.

Once again the rules are pretty straightforward. The event is 100 Days long, and for each of those 100 days, something creative must be done. This “Creativeness” can be either a stand alone bit of art, writing, poetry, interpretive dance, etcetera or a larger piece worked on over any number of days. In the case of the larger pieces of work, daily updates must be posted to avoid any claims of “cheating”.

So, Pens at the ready, the 100 Days starts on March 1st


Jan 28

Challenge Pursuits – 2014

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Challenge Pursuits - 2014

So we have started a new year (OK, technically we started the New Year 28 days ago, but who is counting?) Now a New year traditionally means “New Years Resolutions” But since I am crap at sticking to them I try and do something different instead, some thing I am more likely to stick too.

This year are much discussion with PlanetPete, and even more working out and finalising of details. You could say 28 days worth of finalising which means I am not late posting this at all, but was FINALISING!!!!

Where was i? Oh yes thats right. This year we are doing “Challenge Purists” Which is loosely based off the Trivial Pursuits Game. We have appointed different categories to the Tradition colours, and just like in the game you have to complete some goal in that category to win the piece of pie.

Yes People, its combining New Years Resolutions with challenges & competitiveness & Gaming. How can it not work??

The 2014 Categories are :-


Jan 02

Goodreads Reading Challenge (2013/14)

It is the start of a new year which means it is time for me to set up my Goodreads reading challenge for 2014. But first a update on 2013’s effort.

I started 2013 with a goal of reading 50 books in the year (The number was suggested to be as a good goal, and it was a good goal as I read 60 books in 2012)

In July I reached my 51st book, and had to up the goal to 100 books.

At the end of the 2013 I had read 105 of the 100 books (105%)

2013-goodreadsWhich I am counting as a double win because the original challenge was 50 books, and 100 = 2×50. So in 2013 I won the reading challenge twice!!

for 2014 I am going to start off with a goal of 60 books, which you may think is a bit low since i clocked up over 100 in 2013, but I have a load of rather big books I want to read this year which will take a lot longer to read.


Jul 30

2013 – Challenge Updates

Dear Constant Reader,

As you know. I have a tendency to challenge myself in a variety of ways, in a constant attempt to stave off boredom, laziness, and the soul destroying lack of enthusiasm that often plagues me.  As such I often have several Challenges running at any one time Often With other people taking part, or global challenges like NaNoWriMo.

So Dear CR, I figured I really should do an update post since we are past the midway point of the year. Continue reading

May 01

100 Day Challenge 2013

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series 100 Day Challenge 2013

It’s that time of year again, where I try and combat the meh of Writers Block, Artistic Avoidance, and a general all round lack of enthusiasm with our private 100 day challenge based on The 100 day challenge.

So Starting May 1st we will be doing a creative thing a day for 100 days.

As with The challenge the creative thing can be, drawings, art, poetry, writing, anything as long as its creative (and one piece a day)

day 1 - 100 days challenge

Jan 21

Never bet against a Geek

I have been sorting out the To-Sort folders on my machines, it’s a job you can tell is long overdue by the recursive To-Sort folders that have moved from long dead machines to the To-Sort folders of newer machines. In one of these long distant folders I found a photograph, which reminded me of a story. A story I am going to share with you dear Constant Reader because it teaches an important message. “Never bet against Geeks” because they are resourceful and think outside the box.

It was December 2002, University’s had broken up for the Christmas  break and there was a group of us out celebrating seeing each other again after the long semester.

An Important fact to remember is that in 2002 mobile phones were not as common as they are now. Very few people had them, and even less carried them about due to their large size. Oh, and a phone with a camera, that was pure science fiction.

So there we were, several pubs along our way through a pub crawl when someone mentioned that it would be great if we had a photo to remember the night. But who takes a camera out with them on a pub crawl?

We had no chance right?

Well that’s what the majority of the group decided, and I say majority because there was two of us who decided there must be a way, nothing is impossible right?

So, we were out in the middle of the local town, slightly drunk, with no camera and the need to get a photograph. We had no chance, right? The rest of our group were so positive they even made a small wager. A wager of several drinks was involved. This was their big mistake.

You do not give a geek a puzzle. If you do, you do not tell the geeks its impossible. And if you really do that, you really do not add a wager of beer!!

We had no chance right?

Correct, we did not have “No Chance” we had “Every Chance” for we were geeks. I recalled there was a webcam setup in the window of the local council offices, so if we stood in the area it pointed at we would be in a picture. We just needed someone to go to the webpage and grab a screen shot of the image. This is where my fellow Geek, popped into a phone box, phoned his Uni digs, where he knew one of his room mates would be about to do the necessary.

So we organised a signal, and went to go stand in front of the webcam, While 100 miles away someone sat at their computer and waited for the signal, then did a screen capture, and emailed us the image.

Challenge completed, a photo of the evening was procured. and many free drinks were had.

So, dear Constant Reader never bet against a geek, for as the bible says “The Geek will inherent the earth

Wayne - Rael - Wrexham Web Cam (14  DEC 2002)

Jan 11

The “23 in ’13” Challenge

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series 23 in 13

At the start of the year I received an email from John Anealio, with the subject of “Will You Take The “23 in ’13” Challenge?“. Now this email came at a very opportune time, since I was trying to work out what to pick for my New Years Resolutions. And since I tend to suck at keeping resolutions, but do better when doing a challenge I was planning on setting myself some challenge like last years “12 in 12” challenge.

So I quickly read the email, which I shall reprint in part here.

Will you join me for the “23 in ’13” Challenge?

Some great things happened in 2012.  I opened for Paul & Storm, Molly Lewis and The Doubleclicks.  I traveled to Salt Lake City, Dallas & Baltimore to perform at events like Nerdtacular.  By the end of the year though, I felt really unhappy.

In my ideal life, I’d compose music all day and share it with you.  While I haven’t figured out how to make a living doing that yet, I realized that I’d be a lot happier if I composed every day.  This is how I arrived at the “23 in ’13” challenge.

I’m going to release at least 23 new pieces of music in 2013.  

Much of it will be instrumental, as I’m interested in composing music for webshows, video games and independent films, but there will be vocal songs too.

I was going to announce this just to make myself accountable, then I realized…

You should do this with me.

You can create 23 short stories, songs, blog posts, podcasts or pieces of visual art.  You can submit a story to 23 different markets.  You can read 23 new books.  Adapt the challenge any way you’d like.

As the weeks go on, I’ll e-mail you about the piece that I’m working on and you can tell me about your progress.  In addition to my music, I’m going to feature other creators’ work here too.  If you’re taking on a new creative challenge this year and making cool stuff, let me know.

So, who’s with me?

Are you going to take the “23 in ’13” challenge?

Just reply to this e-mail (this is my real address and I respond to everything), or comment on the blog post.

Let’s do this,

John Anealio

After reading that there was only one thing I could do. So I hit reply and responded in words of Barney Stinson “Challenge Accepted!!”


So Dear Constant Reader, This year (2013) I will be creating 23 pieces of new creativity. So watch this space. And go check out John’s music while you sit and watch!!