Thursday, 20 February 2014

final mu

These are the other three series I've been watching on crunchyroll, and I've kinda saved the best for last, in that I like these three more than the others I've talked about so far.

Witch Craft Works
Witch Craft Works kinda took me by surprise.  Reading the premise and watching the first couple of episodes I thought this might be a fairly standard harem anime, however, it isn't really.  I mean, there are lots of things in the series you've seen before, but this particular mix is somehow quite fresh and interesting.  It's not a harem, although there are lots of girls in the show.  It's also almost totally devoid of fan-service.  I mean, some of the characters have big boobs, but I've not seen a single flash and the main character never gropes them; and many of the skirts are short, but I've not seen a single flash of panties; no-one has been to the beach (so far) or taken a hot springs bath.  It's also beautifully animated and both the story and characters are interesting and the funny stuff is genuinely funny.

The Pilot's Love Song (Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta)
Unfortunately, unlike Witch Craft Works, the animation on this show is quite lacking.  It's clearly being done on a much lower budget and there are some very glaring moments - in the beach episode (unfortunately, this one also complies with many anime tropes, and some of the ones it picks are a bit unfortunate - the whole beach episode is horribly shoe-horned in) there's a scene where the layer with the swimming costumes doesn't align properly with the bodies, so you get some weird jutting-out angles.  I mean, it's not all horrible: the flying stuff is pretty good, but it doesn't help.  The story is a bit contrived if I'm honest and as I say does utilise too many tropes; but it's really the characters that make this one - the central romance is quite interesting, particularly when you learn the full truths about who everyone is.

If I'm honest, I think if I was sampling for purchase, rather than watching it all on crunchyroll, I think this is one of those series where I'd have watched the first two episodes and put it down as a definite purchase... but then been a bit disappointed by the rest of the show.  I mean, obviously we're only half way through, but it got a little bit less interesting when it moved into proper monster-of-the-week and team-of-weirdoes territory than when it was just the one military otaku given unexpected powers.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed it; it's just not quite the awesome-fest the first couple of eps implied.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

opportunity beckons

So I've mentioned I've been looking for a new job and I appear to have 3 interviews in the near future.

I say "appear" as one of them has gone oddly quiet after sending me a message saying they wanted to see me for an interview.  I've had this sort of thing before, actually - a message saying they want to interview me, I ask what scope there in in terms of dates available, there's silence and then they tell me actually the job no longer exists.

The bit about scope for moving the date is because I've noticed an interesting phenomenon when companies propose dates for interview - they're almost always mid-week: almost never on a Monday or Friday.

However, Friday and Monday are the most convenient days to take as leave - it just looks like you're taking a long weekend for whatever reason.  A day off mid-week is much more suspicious / unusual.

I also think Monday is the most sensible day for sick leave if you need to use that as an excuse.  To me it sounds more reasonable that you ate or drank something that's disagreed with you while you were out and about over the weekend than during the week.

These three being so close together has actually made it a bit inconvenient.  The two that are talking to me I've had to juggle them to try to get them all on the same day.  Well, I didn't have to, but this seemed the least disruptive thing to do.  Whether it's a good idea in terms of the quality of interview I give, I'm not sure.

However, if I'm totally honest I'm not sure either are real contenders.  One I'm not sure the company is going to be a good fit - they don't sound like my cup of tea, if 'm honest.  The other does, but the job would be based in London.

I've always tried to avoid working in London, as the travel strikes me as being horrendous.  The line I'm on is particularly bad as it takes over an hour to go from my closest stations (I'm about equal distance from two) to London - a journey that would take no more than half an hour by car.  I'm also miles from either station - it's a good 45 minute walk - and I hat buses.

I could move, of course, but there's always going to be a transition period, and where to?  If you live close enough for a decent journey, prices are horrible, if you go far enough out for prices to be reasonable, the journey is horrible.

Well, hopefully if I have the time I'll give the verdict on how both interviews went, though I may be a bit tired to blog later in the week.

Monday, 17 February 2014


Last week could potentially have been a reasonable week, weight wise.

However, I unfortunately sabotaged myself across the weekend.

Basically, it got to Friday and I was really hungry all day.  When I then did some shopping I gave in to temptation and bought some naughty stuff.

First of these were some double chocolate muffins.  I've mentioned I tend to have pain au chocolate on Saturday, but I replaced it with these muffins that were on offer.  I would guess 1 muffin is probably equivalent to 1 pain au chocolate, but there were four muffins, rather than 2 pains, and I at all four across Friday and Saturday.

The second was that normal walker's crisps were on offer, so rather than the lighter crisps, I bought a six pack each of prawn cocktail and Worcester sauce crisps (two of my faves).  I unfortunately then had a total of 8 packs (4 of each) across the weekend.

The next thing was that I bought a pack of chipolata sausages, only this had half as much free, so it had 18 sausages, rather than 12.  I also obviously bought some large rolls to have the sausages in.  Unfortunately, they only had brown bread in one shop, which I bought, but then in another shop I bought some white rolls as well.  And double unfortunately these were also on a two for one offer, which I failed to resist.

In other words I had 12 large rolls across the weekend.

Now this wasn't enough for me to gain weight, but it was a classic case of me getting on the scales on Sunday morning and seeing "no change" and thinking "If I'd not gone nuts I would clearly have lost some weight".

My current weight is therefore 20 stone 8 pounds.

I don't really know what's going to happen this week.  I'll blog about it later hopefully, if I get time, but basically I'm going to be out and about and there's going to be a real temptation to eat badly.  It's also going to restrict my walking, as I'd rather not be sweaty on certain days, and then won't have the spare time to walk on others.

It could be a disaster if I don't resist, and this week has proven me rather wanting in that regard.