Saturday, 26 May 2012

Football

The footy season that's just finished has been a great one for the neutral, and for Sheffield Wednesday fans like me.

There was some absolutely classic matches in the Premiership this year and a glut of high-scoring games. The title race and the way it ended between City and United was insane. If that was a sports movie you'd think it was completely unrealistic. Then Chelsea coming from behind in the Champions League final to beat Bayern Munich.

But more importantly, Sheffield Wednesday got promoted from League One this season and Sheffield United didn't. Even for the neutral it was a great battle between the two Sheffield teams, and it all seemed to go pear-shaped for United when Ched Evans got convicted. They were five points clear with two games in hand at one point and we still managed to catch them. They've just lost today in the playoff final to Huddersfield on penalties, and while the game was going on I wasn't sure whether I wanted United to go up or not. If they came up with us we'd have the Steel City Derby next season, but then again, if they stayed in League One it would be pretty funny. And now that they're not coming up I'm pretty happy. It's been a long time since we were a league above them and it feels great.

Aside from Ched Evans, you had so many other backstories going on, such as the fact that Danny Wilson used to be Wednesday manager, and now how United have failed YET AGAIN to win the playoffs. There's some other great memories this season as well, such as Wednesday coming back from 2-0 down at Bramall Lane to draw, and then the best was beating them 1-0 at Hillsborough. There are times when football is a cruel sport, but this has been one season I've really enjoyed.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Lovely weather

This is what I like to see.  


Today I have the day off, but every other day lately has been pretty intense.

On Saturday I went to film a hovercraft racing championship at Rother Valley. It's for a group TV project, so all of our group went down and got some great footage, interviews etc. A couple of the lads even got taken out on the lake in one of the hovercrafts. It was chilly and quite wet that day though, quite a contrast to today.

On Sunday I spent the whole day revising for an exam on local and central government. I took the exam on Monday and in the end it turned out to be a lot easier than we'd been expecting so everyone felt confident they'd passed.  And that was our one and only exam, so everything I have to work on from now on is a bit more practical-based.

On Tuesday I, along with a different group, spent all day preparing for a group presentation on newspapers. We made it interesting by shooting a couple of videos to include, and by sourcing people's opinions via Twitter and Facebook. Yesterday we performed the presentation and our lecturer seemed to appreciate how entertaining we'd made it. But as soon as that was done we headed to the edit suite and spent all day editing the hovercraft footage.  

And then last night I recorded a new episode of the podcast. I'm not gonna be doing the show on Forge Radio anymore now that the official broadcast schedule has finished, so I think I'll just be putting out the odd podcast when I get time.

My TV group decided to give ourself the day off today so I went to the post office to send out all the packages I've sold on eBay.  All but one of 20 items got sold so that's given me a bit more cash to put towards Japan.

As for the shoulder, it's healing nicely. I've taken the sling off and I can use my left arm a bit more now.

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Dislocated shoulder

The most eventful thing that's happened since my last post is undoubtedly the dislocation of my left shoulder. It happened last Thursday while playing in goal in a penalty shootout.  I dove down low to my left for one of the penalties and saved the ball, but as I landed I heard a quick tearing sound, and when I heaved myself up my whole left arm didn't feel right. In fact, I couldn't really move it in most directions, and I was pretty sure I'd dislocated it. My mate drove me to A and E, and after some x-rays, a couple of shots of morphine and some laughing gas everything was back in place.  Here's a picture of what happened:


Now I'm wearing a sling and typing this with one hand. I'm slowly regaining movement and I'm scheduled to start physiotherapy once the sling is off in a couple of weeks. From talking to a mate and my tutor at uni, who've both done it, it's likely to happen again. We'll see. 

It's come at a pretty bad time to be honest - I have an exam, presentations and projects all happening as the semester winds down. In fact, it's the last day of the semester today, and I didn't even realise until walking through Bar One I noticed the current Japanese Studies 4th years all drinking there with one of their teachers. I wondered why they'd be doing that, then realised it was the last day of term. I remember being in that situation. I actually wrote a post about it (http://jephso.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/last-class.html).  Note the strong sense of irony as I put "I'll never take another class again, unless I do another degree or a masters course or something similar, but I can't see that happening any time soon." Haha. 

I had some good news today though, and it relates to returning to Japan once this masters is done. I was able to switch my bank account back to a student one, meaning I get the huge interest free overdraft that comes with it. I'm not sure why I didn't change it back when I started my course last year - it never occurred to me.  But lately I've been really watching my finances and figuring out how I'd be able to afford to return to Japan. I've been spending as little money as humanly possible and scrounging around for cash, including selling a load of old stuff on eBay - I'd forgotten how fun that is actually, putting everything online then watching the bids creep up over time. But with this new overdraft I have a lot more available cash, and of course I'll pay it back once I start earning a wage out there (the overdraft limit won't be reviewed until January, so I have plenty of time).  I also called in to a travel agent and inquired about one-way flights to Japan. I've been thinking I want to go as soon as possible, so I asked about the cheapest flight in the middle of August, and it was around 500 quid. That, in my experience, is cheap. So I'm thinking of booking it soon to make sure the price doesn't change and to give me a date to aim for. 

Operation Get Me Back To Japan starts here. ぜったいやるぜ!I feel the need for some montage music.

Training Montage by Rocky on Grooveshark

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

New save batteries for Game Boy games

As I mentioned in a previous post, the save battery in my Pokémon Gold cart recently died.  I'd actually sent the cart off to Nintendo and had a new battery put in back in 2008, but they don't do that anymore so I decided to replace the battery myself.  And while I was at it I thought I might as well replace the batteries in my Pokémon Blue and Dragon Warrior Monsters carts.  I don't own a soldering iron though, so my mate (who does) said he'd solder the batteries in for me.  

Following this video we replaced all three batteries. From eBay I picked up the special 3.8mm security bit and some tabbed CR2025 batteries - the tabbed versions, as used in the video, make things really simple when you're soldering them in.

When we opened up Dragon Warrior Monsters we found not a CR2025 but a CR2016, but a quick bit of online research showed that the different number just meant it was physically a different size (e.g. a CR2016 is 20mm diameter and 1.6mm thick). The CR2025 fit onto the board and has a higher capacity so it should last for longer.  And when I was putting the games back together I thought I'd mix up the rear cases for a more original looking cart:



If you wanna keep playing your old Pokémon games you'll probably need to replace the battery soon. As the 2nd generation games (Gold, Silver, Crystal) used an in-game clock this wore the battery down relatively quickly, so most of the batteries in these carts will have died a while back (these games were made over 10 years ago).  The batteries in Red and Blue (nearly 14 years old) have lasted a bit longer as those games didn't have an in-game clock, but it seems they're starting to die off as well.  You can get the batteries for cheap off eBay or Amazon and there's plenty of advice online for replacing the batteries.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Media Mail

Just came across this when making an order at interpunk.com:
"If you're not in a rush, shipping your order by Media Mail will save you a ton on shipping. Media Mail is a special service created by the Post Office aimed at spreading art, music, and knowledge with minimal costs. The trade-off is the time you have to wait for delivery. 
This service can ONLY be used to ship: books, film, manuscripts, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages, videotapes, and computer-recorded media like CD, DVDs and memory cards. 
A media mail shipment cannot contain things like clothing, shoes, jewelry, key chains, toys, etc. If your cart contains any of these "non-media" items, you cannot select this shipping service."
I can't use it 'cos I'm in the UK, but it still sounds like a pretty rad idea. Not sure the UK government would ever implement anything like this...

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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Local election coverage at uni

So the Easter break ended two weeks ago and it's been a fairly busy period at uni since then. On the first Monday back we had a career day where we practised doing an 'elevator pitch' and spoke with people from the journalism industry. Then towards the end of last week we had a social media workshop with @fieldproducer. And this week has been a week of 'newsdays' based around the local elections. We've been in from 9 to 5 pretty much every day, reporting on various stories for TV and radio. We've put together some great stuff, including live broadcasts from the election count using an iPhone. Here are a couple of pieces I worked on:



I was glad I got to go to the Sheffield Wednesday press conference on Thursday - it's been something I've wanted to do on newsdays throughout the year but I've always been busy elsewhere. This past Thursday my job was radio reporter so I went down and recorded the whole press conference, and as it's the last game of the season this weekend, and a very important one at that, there were a lot of press there.

So yeah, the big match kicks off in just under an hour now. I had a ticket, but I was also down on the rota at work and I really need the money right now, so much that I can't turn the hours down. I'll be listening on the radio.

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