No Longer a Virgin

Well that lasted a long time!

To be fair their speed was always consistent, but buffering on YouTube was annoying me so it had to go. I switched back to my ADSL (Zen) service with no problems.

So thanks for the trial, but the buffering, price increase and the fact that I was accused of lying about the price increase I read on the Virgin Website meant I could no longer deal with the company.


So, it has come to this…..

My woes with BT/Openreach with regards to upgrading have met an impasse – well, not strictly an impasse in the broadest meaning of the word – but they are at a point where I probably can have fibre delivered via the BT/Openreach infrastructure, however I have to find nearly £18,000 for the privilege. To me that’s an impasse, others may argue – but I’m going to argue.

So words aside, Virgin – I have no choice, if I want fast broadband at a price where I don’t have to re-mortgage then that’s it.

So from the 22nd of November I shall be getting it installed. Now why do you need to know, you don’t – but those that know me can now laugh at me – because this was never going to happen!

The Zen ADSL connection will still be kept open and i’m only using Virgin for the Broadband – no phone or TV. I’m not even touching their email system as it’s spied on by powered via Google Gmail. Just need to work out the routing for the email back to Zen now!

So time flies and you ignore the blog

A statment on my missing months. So whats the world of me up to.

The last message stated my interest in a ‘Fun’ triathlon – which I took part in, survived and managed to finish 13th out of 32 blokes.

Actual times were: Swim 00:13:15 (inc T1 time) – Bike 00:21:35 – T2 00:02:27 – Run 00:16:03 -Total 00:53:20

So quite happy with that. So in terms of positivity where am I? Still in the same place to be honest, still slowly working towards my goal – managing to save money, whilst tracking my spending – Still wasting bits though.

The one waste, currently between £32 and £40 is the Lottery – since it went up to £2 a draw it’s become more noticable. £16-18 per month was o.k. – but considering I’m not getting any return on my investment then it’s looking likely that’s the next spending cut. Downside is I’ve had the same numbers since the start – and I can remember them – but fortunately as I can’t be bothed with watching the TV show I’m in a position where I should be able to avoid it. I think the only thing keeping the lottery going is idiots like me that kept the same number. I’m sure if they introduced a lucky dip from day one it would’ve been different.

I’ve just paid for the next month, so I’ve got a few weeks to cancel. I’m not knocking the lottery as I’ve won a bit of cash on the way, certainly way less than I put in – it’s just time to quit.

Update April 2014

I know I’ve been fairly quiet, but it’s probably a good idea if you’ve not got a lot to say then say nothing – so that’s what I’ve done.

Still just to contradict myself I’m really updating this out of habit. I know I’ve not updated for over a month now so you might be wondering how my positivity quest is going.

So positive updates it is:

Weight – now down to 13st 13lb, so getting close to my initial target of 13.5. Once there I’ll review and it’s more than likely I’ll try for 12.5.

Positivity – a few of my goals towards positivity have been achieved, though they might appear to be odd but you need to be in my head to understand them.

  • Social Networks: You may have noticed my lack of updates, well it’s all part of a plan to limit social networking to once a day – well sometimes twice, but rather than being a slave to status updates I can actually do things now.
  • Email: As with social networks I no longer want to be a slave to email. iPhone notifications and auto fetch are now disabled. So if you need me urgently then call, if not it’ll wait.
  • Photography: Nothing stopped, in fact I’m booked on a course for studio photography in the next few weeks
  • Fitness: Running seems to ok now, most days as well as cycling to work I’m running around 2 miles each morning. Currently contemplating a mini triathlon (200m Swim, 5km bike ride, 2.5km run), though the swimming is the one event I’m concerned about.
  • So there you go, a positivity statement for April.

    Still working towards my personal freedom, small steps to build momentum.

    The Photography Show – NEC Birmingham

    So the annual trip to a photography show is now complete (this year it changed from Focus to ‘The Photography Show’) – actually surprised how busy it was for a weekday. For a change I wasn’t overly bothered about kit, nor did I have any intention of spending large amounts of cash.

    The show itself was much the same as Focus on Imaging – which isn’t a bad thing to be honest, though the main difference was a couple of stages where every hour or so Pro togs would talk about their specific genre of photography. I did sit through a wedding show which mainly comprised of the professionalism of the photographer – which was a better talk than it initially sounded.

    First up for me, was the Canon stand – like a moth to a flame, or me to an Apple Store I’m drawn towards the Canon Stand – probably some blinded fanboy loyalty, or most likely cos I own a chunk of the Canon Eos system. My only temptation camera wise at present is the EF135mm f/2 L – so I’d thought i’d have a look. The results aren’t anything spectacular (it’s indoors at the NEC!) but I had a brief play…..

    Tube things

    Eos 1DX and 24-70MkII

    Some bloke looking at things, colour down to me not playing with white balance and leaving it on auto – possibly the NEC lights might be an issue also

    So there you go, Canon sorted. The one stand I wanted to check out was the Bessel Lighting stand – mainly as I wanted to speak to Tony Rabin who was demonstrating their kit. I’ve met Tony before at YPS and I do plan to visit his studio for Lighting and Model shoots. After a brief chat I finally got round to purchasing a remote trigger. I do own the Canon ST-E2 remote trigger, which is fine – but limited (distance) so I bought a £19.99 remote and £9.99 tripod/hotshot adapter. One trick with this is set the connected flash up as a master and reset as slaves and they all work fine. With this adapter you loose the E-TTL capability and have to use manual, but for studio settings that’s normal anyway. I’m tempted to eBay the ST-E2 and spend the cash on some soft box stuff from Bessel.

    Light Things

    The picture above is just a test of the setup. The first EX580 MkII is connected to the hotshot adapter and the remote receiver is connected. This flash is setup as a master (and for space reasons I’ve stuck the front in a roll of packing tape). The other EX580 MkII and EX430 Mk1 are setup as slaves. The primary flash triggers the other two automatically. The 580 MkII’s were set with a flash rating of 1/128th and 430 was set to 1/64th (both at their respective lowest flash setting).

    It seems to do the job well enough :)