Another Layout

Yep, it’s time for a change again. Like last time, I feel it’d be good for the blog to have a face lift; something that’s easier to read.

I noticed that TwT was terrible on mobile devices with the previous layout, so I switched things around and I think I’m quite pleased with the current look.

I’m also pleased for the banner to make a comeback.

I haven’t been posting a great deal compared to a little while back, and I’m losing confidence in the blog, but I’ll endeavor not to give up on it—there are enough blogs buried in Internet graveyards as it is.

The main issue I have is feeling as though so few people read it, therefore why bother? However, there are some of you out there, plus a decent number of shares at times, and I am grateful for such support.

Hope y’all dig the changes.

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Andy – Your Virtual Android Device

I don’t usually give my impressions on a random piece of software I found, but I’ve been hooked to this program since I installed it 2 days ago, so I think an exception can be made here. Let’s nerd up and geek it out.

Andy. So what is it? Well, it’s an Android emulator that I believe rivals Blue Stacks, another Android emulator. However, many—myself included—find Andy to be massively superior, both in features and performance, while remaining entirely free and true to the Android experience.

If you wish to quit reading and get to installing Andy, simply click here. Otherwise, continue through the page to read what else I have to say about this fantastic piece of software.

“Andy breaks down the barrier between desktop and mobile computing, while keeping a user up to date with the latest Android OS feature upgrades. It also provides users with unlimited storage capacity, PC and Mac compatibility, and the freedom to play the most popular mobile games on a desktop, Yes you can now run Android on windows.”taken from andyroid’s official home page.

So, there you have it. There’s more, though.

I expected the software to be absolutely full of bugs, but actually I believe I’ve only really discovered one so far, and that is the inability to set down some widgets on the home screen, which is frustrating, but not a game changer for me. If you rely heavily on widget use, then perhaps this won’t currently be the emulator for you.

I’m currently listening to Heart at 101.7 and all from my computer, presumably without an ariel, so I guess it’s effectively Internet radio. I’m using Radioplayer, an Android app found on the Play Store—yes, you can indeed you your Google accounts as you would with your regular device!

I chose to create my own Google account to be safe and to keep my phone and Andy entirely separate. I did run into an issue initially whereby I couldn’t get the first account I made to authenticate but I created a new account which ended up working.

I’ve had issues with Skype for the PC, so I uninstalled it, and then installed Skype on the virtual, high-spec tablet, which just so happened to have solved all those Skype issues I had on the desktop—score.

I’m finding that games are definitely awesome, with a nice big screen and a really good level of performance, but your mileage may vary, as it will of course depend on your computer’s specifications. I’ve been playing games like Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter and Supercell’s Clash of Clans without issue.

I ran into problems with the controls on a shooter, Dead Trigger 2 by MADFINGER Games, requiring two thumbs on a screen for optimal movement, but I believe this can somehow be resolved, according to the official Andyroid website, by using your phone as a “remote control when playing games.”

“If you have an Android device running Android 2.2 and up you can control Andy with your phone. This let’s you take advantage of multitouch, gyroscope, accelerometer,
location and other various sensors to control your games and apps in Andy.” – Taken from the FAQ page on Andyroid’s official website.

You can actually backup your Andy tablet and create various tablets, or even have profiles for different Andy users on your computer. It’s not just about you anymore! This software is ideal for developers and for those who don’t own an Android device but still wish to check it all out.

Sadly, by default, I’m only on Android version 4.2.2, the “sweeter tasting Jelly Bean.” While I don’t have any real issue with this, it would be nice to try the latest editions of Android, but I’m sure Andy will be updated eventually.

It is fairly easy to exchange files between Andy and Windows. By going to %userprofile%\Andy\ and dropping in files there, you can easily pick those up within Andy. As I discovered, this is especially important when it comes to using apps like Skype to send images to your friends and family.

Oh, and yes, you can even use WhatsApp. Apparently all you need to do is install it as normal from the Play Store, “select the phone call authentication and enter your mobile number,” then you just jot down the code you’re given.

Andy can make use of your XBOX 360 wired controller (potentially others), your webcam, and your PC’s microphone too. I have had no issues using these devices, other than finding the controller to be entirely unlike how you would expect it to be on Windows.

Andy can rotate the screen with the click of a button outside of the main screen; this allows you full use of those apps which function only in either portrait or landscape. I’ve used this in the menus, on games, and regular apps without any problems.

To conclude, Andy is a brilliant, effective program for those looking to emulate an Android device on your PC without the need to hand over your hard-earned cash.

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Quick Note on Suicide

The way I see it, you’re absolutely, completely and utterly, unequivocally forbidden, in any and every conceivable way, for cognating and entertaining the thought of suicide.

In all seriousness, life may be a sack of crap sometimes but offing oneself is typically not the magical, fix-all solution depression and desperation leads you to think it is.

I’m just not a supporter of kicking your own bucket, to put it in a nut-shell.

Do I have a particularly foreign outlook on life? Nope, I just eventually came to my senses having once upon a miserable, regretful time in the distant past been there myself.

It’s amazing the differences we can make on people’s lives. For better or worse. In my case, friends, family, those with whom I’ve become romantically involved, and even complete strangers have at times made a very positive impact, so I’m thankful for these people and the many more that’ll come my way.

It’s reasons like that which make life worth the fight, as far as I’m concerned.

Thank you, and I’m sorry if this comes off as obnoxious and ignorant.

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Am I Even Human?

Do you ever feel as though you don’t belong?

It’s amazing how difficult it can be to find something online. By amazing, I mean aggravating to the point at which it makes you want to tear all your hair out until you unknowingly scalp yourself.

I’ve been trying to find a chat site so I could maybe talk with some like-minded people. You know, integrate myself into the human race. I tried one in particular, registering an account yesterday. The site seemed good at first, with a nice layout and some fun, social features.

Then I made contact with the natives.

Either the virtual rooms were empty, full of people who never said anything, or pleasantly full of conversational people. Unfortunately, the latter rooms ran the very high risk of inhabiting people with only the one, single, solitary brain cell, figuratively speaking of course.

I’m not just being obnoxiously mean—I’m referring to the people who do things like hurl abuse at you for no reason, also known as trolls.

I went over to Google again, searching for chat rooms for adults.

Of course, Google is a perverted tit who assumes I’m thinking about screwing someone, so what do I see? Chat rooms for people looking for one thing, and I can tell you right now, it’s not to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and to have a riveting chin-wag with a stranger about the latest philosophical theories.

Don’t get me wrong, I get some of the dirty stuff has its uses, but that doesn’t mean each and every time someone goes on Google, he or she wants to search for something to release dopamine. Maybe by typing in “adult chat room”, I simply want to have a conversation with an adult so I can not feel like the only human on the planet?

Why an adult? I’m one myself—after a while, some conversations just don’t float your boat anymore. I don’t want to chat with people who feel the need to put others down every chance they get, and I don’t care about the mob mentality I remember from secondary school. There’s just a higher chance of a friendly, no-nonsense chat with an older person, than a youngster, so I’ve experienced.

I always try to be a better version of me— since I’m obviously not even remotely perfect, I’m forever trying to be fair, understanding, respectful, and kind. Therefore, when I see people who don’t give a damn, being a complete imbecile to any and every soul they come across, it rapidly grates my testicles.

I realise we can’t all get along, but I was unpleasantly reminded that I don’t ordinarily like people; they’re strange, often irritating, and I usually find myself confused or annoyed by the things they do. It sometimes feels like I’m perhaps an alien life form planted here for the amusement of my grey kin.

Beam me up!

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Goals in Life

I feel it’s important to focus on the future, your aspirations, and your desires, so I’ll share with you some things I want out of life.

Feel free to contemplate or post what you want from your life; consider the bigger picture.

1. Happiness

It’s is such an important thing—duh!—so for me to be happy? That would be amazing. I don’t want to ever be depressed again.

2. Financial Stability

I want to be financially stable without needing to stress a great deal about bills and what-not. I’ve seen my dad stress to no end about bills and I don’t want that for myself or my potential partner in crime.

3. Mentally and Physically Healthy

I want to be healthier, both physically and mentally. With this comes the desire to be in great physical shape; to have the physique I’ve been wanting for such a long time; strength and stamina.

4. Be There for Others

I want to inspire, encourage, and help people as I go through my life. It seems I’ve managed this here and there, so that’s something, but I would hope to do it more often!

I just feel that we should be there for each other a little more. We’re all in this life together, so we might as well take that extra bit of effort and help someone; sometimes it doesn’t even take much.

5. Successful with German and the Guitar

I want to become a very accomplished guitarist and German speaker, possibly working in either field, maybe as a teacher, even if just online. I’m a good guitarist (I cringe to say) but I’d like be good on a professional level. I’d also like to have a much better grasp of theory; I’m self-taught (13 years) so I missed out on that until much later on.

6. Rich in Love

I don’t want to be alone. I’d very much like to have a wife, a house, and a dog; something I’ve wanted for a long time, because I feel it’s pretty much all I really need to be happy, in the grand scheme of things. I want to be a rich man, but not necessarily in money.

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Can You Cope?

Struggling isn’t weakness; it’s the strength to struggle at all.

One of the hardest things to do, is to get up after falling down. So many times I’ve beat myself up because I fell.

Yes, I screwed up college, but I went back again and again until I accomplished something—I fought.

Yes, I once sought comfort in self-destructive ways, but I fought my through it, screwing up many times in the process, until I finally kept my head above water.

Yes, I stopped working out, ate too much junk, and became depressed and empty, but I then managed to successfully diet, exercise, and lose plenty of weight, getting stronger in the process.

Yes, I wasted years of my life feeling like a monster, but then I found the courage to seek professional help and opened up to people who helped me realise I am no monster.

Point is, I’ve struggled and I will continue to struggle, but that doesn’t mean I gave up, it just means I’m still fighting.

Keep fighting, y’all.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie

This is a pretty messed-up tale that is sadly true; you’ve been warned.

Years ago, over a period of a month or two, I began talking to a troubled young girl on a mental health support site who claimed to be going through something utterly horrific I daren’t share. The paternal and/or sibling-type side kicked in and I tried to offer some support.

After finally calling the police to get them to go see her because I was lead to believe she were in severe danger, I discovered it was actually all fake and that she was in-fact fine. You hear about these stories, but it just so happens that I experienced it.

Much later, I got privately contacted on a website by someone claiming to have worked with her and that she was in-fact very “unwell” and in hospital for her anorexia. Apparently she was going through some sort of episode; reliving unpleasant crap that did happen to her some time ago.

I believe this so-called professional, at a hospital, found her diary in which she mentioned me, and felt it right to let me know the score. We talked briefly via private messages, but by that point I wasn’t keen on revisiting such a memory.

Honestly, I washed my hands of it. It was all insane and not something of which I want part. People need not do crap like that; they have no idea what it does to those that care. Trust issues ahoy.

Looking back, now much older and wiser, I should have left well alone, but I was going through a very rough time as well, and I was no doubt naive.

Remember, you can’t help everyone; I learned that much.

When the police came to my door and explained, my heart sank; I felt so foolish, upset, and angry. I didn’t even talk to my father about it in any great detail, although he had a good idea what happened. I locked it up for a long time, and I still don’t talk about it; despite this post, I’m not sure I even want to start.

I had nothing to do with her when the police got back to me. I said absolutely nothing to her and that was it. I still have no idea what was real and what wasn’t; honestly, I don’t want to know.

I was going to take that to my grave, but screw it, it’s been long enough. Maybe—hopefully—somebody somewhere can learn something from it. I sure as hell learned plenty.

Thanks for reading.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Mind the Supported Housing #7

I finally saw my support worker today; first time since a little before Christmas. I made it super clear that I wanted out of this supported housing malarky; it’s great ‘n’ all, but I’m just done now! I want to get this show on the road—I’m ready to go forward.

The woman broke protocol and did a health and safety check on her own. Ordinarily, there should be 2 people for safety reasons. I suppose they finally realise I’m not a nut-job and that she’s perfectly safe. Even so, protocol is set in place for a reason. I may not be a psychopath, but what about the next guy?

I told my support worker about my recent romantic interest and asked her for some information regarding the law with someone coming in from abroad and visiting as well as later living here with me; she took a note of that and said she’d chase that information up for me. She thought it was sweet and seemed quite optimistic, even mentioning us getting married one day in the not-too-distant future; I was quite surprised at that! Everyone seems so unrealistically optimistic.

I let my support worker know that lately my mood has been declining at night, despite waking up and being quite chipper. She asked if it’s perhaps because I’m not as busy at night, but I said I’m more busy at night.

Conversely, I talk to RB (what I’ll call my romantic interest, as it were) at night, so maybe I’m not keeping all that busy. I guess that leaves my mind open to think crap; could be an issue? Perhaps I need to be more mindful of my needing space to keep my mind busy and distracted.

I’ve got some paperwork regarding the two Mind courses I’ll be attending soon. I’m nervous but excited. One is for coping with strong emotions, and the other is for coping with anxiety; could be interesting. Might be a chance to meet some people and perhaps make a friend or two.

My support worker told me she’s trying to sort out an interview with someone to ascertain what kind of place would be suitable for me, then I’ll simply need to wait for a place to come up! After that, things get hectic for a while. Things may well be finally moving ahead into the great unknown.

I’m feeling stronger and more confident, despite the wobbly moments I’ve been having, which, if I’m honest, are mostly regarding RB and us. Although we’re not openly declaring that we’re in a relationship, there are plenty of aspects to it that fit such a label to an absolute T, and as such, it can be stressful.

A friend I haven’t seen in person for a long time would like to meet up in my town and hang out, so that could be fun. We get along well, but communication can be difficult at times, so patience and understanding is worthwhile; he’s very aware of this, which makes it easier.

I’m starting to feel good, for however long that’ll last.

Last night was difficult. I was pissed off, stressed, and depressed, but I went on my exercise bike for 30 minutes and it pretty much all went away. The bath thereafter was very nice and the evening spent chatting to RB was lovely, despite the several interruptions.

I just hope I get out of Mind’s embrace soon, so I can start my life as an even more independent man. Watch out world! I’m coming for you.

Part 8 can be found via this link!

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Are You Addicted to Gaming?

Now that I’m over here on Disqus—a popular site for, you guessed it, discussing things—I’m able to come across some interest topics and give my own 2 cents.

I stumbled across this post and thought I’d take the quiz (originally listed at this address) myself! Am I addicted to gaming? So, feel free to copy the 20 questions and fill in your own answers; I’m sure the OG wouldn’t mind, provided you added a link back.

Do you often re-live gaming experiences or think about future ones?

Not anymore, but I used to!

Do you hide or lie about your gaming?

Nope. I’m pretty honest about it, really.

Do you get very angry when someone or something interrupts a game?

Nah. I might’ve been pretty pissy in the past, as a kid, but not anymore.

Have you ever taken a break from gaming and binged uncontrollably upon your return?

Uncontrollably? I dunno, perhaps in the past.

When upset, do you soothe yourself with games or plans to game?

Yeah, sometimes, but hopefully that’s not a sign of addiction, rather, a coping mechanism.

Do you find yourself gaming in the early morning?

This sort of depends on one’s sleeping pattern, surely? I sometimes do, or more particularly, used to, especially during the night and day, but not so much now as I tend to do other things, like create blog entries for nobody to read!

Do you find ways to game when away from home?

Nope. I prefer PC and sadly I cannot take that with me wherever I go. I don’t game on my phone and have no portable gaming devices such as a PSP.

Do you set limits with gaming and then break them, playing hours longer than intended?

I used to, yes. I remember once trying to go on a long break from gaming. I think I lasted a month or something, gradually adding in one game every week, but old ones, in order to play less and appreciate them more.

Do you lose hours of sleep to gaming?

I certainly used to, a lot, as a kid especially, but not so much now.

Have you called in sick or late to work or skipped classes to game?

Nope. At least one time, I likely was late for college or school because of a game, or because I slept in, being so tired from staying up so late on games.

Have you sworn off a game, uninstalled it, and later returned to it?

Absolutely, but surely we’ve all done that? I did that with Runescape. I “quit” after the huge combat overhaul, then came back some years later. I’m not “into” it now, but once in a while I’ll log in to the German server and use it as something to do and a means of practice.

Do you feel guilt and shame around your gaming?

I used to, and I think if I did now, it’d be because of how I was, how addicted I’ve been to games like Terraria, Dungeon Defenders, Diablo II, Path of Exile, and of course Runescape.

Does gaming contribute to arguments in your relationships?

What relationship? Heh.. heh heh… heh… no, that hasn’t been an issue, thankfully. I like a woman who can appreciate a good game, anyway.

Has gaming taken the place of any hobbies or sports you used to enjoy?

I don’t think so. Sometimes I procrastinate by using a game, but don’t we all?

Do you forget appointments, responsibilities or deadlines in work or school when gaming?

Of course, who doesn’t?

Do you become irritated and defensive when people suggest you might be gaming too much?

Um, I probably did back in the day, but no, not now. If I’m gaming too much, I usually am aware of it because I sleep worse and forget responsibilities.

Have your hours spent gaming increased over time?

Well yes, obviously. Time does sort of go forward. If I no longer spent time gaming, I wouldn’t be a gamer, and I certainly wouldn’t be filling out this questionnaire! But seriously? Nope, they’ve drastically lessened, if anything. Gettin’ old, now.

Do you blow off social events to game?

I probably have in the past, such as not visiting my best mate because of Diablo II; that game was dangerous to one’s health.

Have you lost contact with friends and family since gaming?

Don’t think so. Gaming tends to be a way I can connect with people, rather than disconnect.

Do you have intense feelings (highs, lows, anger, fear) while gaming?

Intense? I may need clarification of what you class as intense. Off-hand, I’d say that 100% used to happen when I was younger, and perhaps later on, but nowadays, not so much.

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Water Way to Spend the Night

The day before last, I willed myself onto the exercise bike and biked for an hour, without a break, at the 4/8 setting, 8 being the hardest. I was talking verbally to someone on Skype, peddling like a trooper, while they kept me distracted and helped me stay on the damn thing longer.

I tried to keep a speed of around 20-22kmph but the digitial display on my exercise bike is dead, so I had to wing it from memory, using my phone to time it.

I’m amazed I managed an hour. I’m kinda proud, and so I bloody well should be. The last time I biked (a day or two previous) I managed only 25 minutes, with three short breaks at intervals of 10, 10, then 5! How in the world I got from that to an hour non-stop is beyond me.

I must admit, eating a salad just before was a really good move, because I was so raring to go that I felt like I could bike forever! I might have done, were my glutes not so sore, my lower back not aching, and my legs starting to tire around those last 5 minutes.

I had a crap night. I woke up very early (at least for me) and couldn’t get back to sleep for worrying and stressing about crap. Eventually, I gave up trying to sleep and got up properly.

I made a very tasty salad with plenty of chopped up spinach, various other leaves, half a (yellow) bell pepper, a few cherry tomatoes, some cucumber, and some reduced-fat houmous. Feeling pretty good after that! Still tired, though.

I’m trying to get back on track; to continue towards my previous goal of losing body fat and gaining muscle, but first I’m focusing squarely on body fat, this time around.

The funny thing is, I seemed to have been on a subconscious death-wish recently. In that same day I biked for an hour, with the heating on (20c), I, straight after, made a hot bath, ate high-fiber food, then ran around the house cleaning and tidying. Nut case I may well be! It really screwed me up because I did all that with hardly any water and I sweated buckets!

Unsurprisingly, I ended up bedridden for hours as a result of dehydration, with an incredibly unpleasant migraine which evolved into nausea; it was late, so it almost completely ruined my chances of sleep, until the very early hours of the morning. I finally fell asleep, then woke up at around 5am and eventually went to sleep again. Not fun!

So, note to y’all and especially note to self: drink more water, ya eejit!

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