Beautiful weather…shame about the exams

The city centre on Thursday

I love this weather! Sun splitting the trees, the streets crowded with happy people, the option to leave the house without carrying a coat or jumper. My phone captured it pretty well. It was the busiest I’ve seen the city centre in a good while. Everything about it is fantastic, and best of all it is excellent motivation to write. Lets forget about exams or any other inconveniences for the time being; its just too nice weather to care. It feels like a different country on days like this, and i really should be in shorts and t-shirt. Intead I’m sporting a shirt and trousers, and couped up in a bus on the motorway. As per my usual convention I’m starting on the journey home and i’ll write more when I get back to a decent keyboard. One major flaw in every electronic based plan: I brought the wrong charger for the lapdock, so i’m typing on my phone. Forgive any dreadful spelling errors I’m likely to commit.

That’s my fifth exam finished anyway, so only two more to go before freedom and my grand trip to America. On the 4th of june I’m travelling with my brother to visit our other brother who has emigrated to Portland, Oregon and is married out there. It’s going to be an exciting trip, and the longest i will have been in America so far. An entire month! We had thought about going for longer, but my brothers graduation is on the 4th of july so that determined the upper limit, and a longer trip would probably need a lot more planning. As far planning what we are going to do when we get there…well I haven’t thought that far yet, but that can be planned on the way over. I know, I know, we’re going to miss the madness of Independence day, but it can’t be helped unfortunately. It should be a great trip though, and I’m getting very excited. Less than two weeks away I’ll be writing from the othet side of the Atlantic. So far, my travels over the last few years have brought me to the east coast, mid-west, and Texas (and a bit of the south), but this will be the first time on the west coast.

I’m off the bus and back home now, and today looks as if it could be another scorcher. Yesterday ended up being a busy day after I got back from Belfast. I managed to get kayaking briefly down at the river Lagan and spent the evening digging over borders at my granda’s house, which was pretty good. With the exams and constant revision lately I haven’t had a lot of time to spend outside, and it was nice to get out for a few hours, even if it was manual labour. My revision effort will have to be moved outside today to make the most of this weather while it lasts.

MGS

Metal Gear Solid, the original

Wednesday was another fantastic day, weather-wise, and took a dander to the charity shop in Stranmillis to see if there was anything decent there. The quality of the stuff seemed a lot better than the average charity place, and I did manage to pick up one item in particular that stood out. Metal Gear Solid! I already have MGS on the playstation, but the discs are in pretty bad shape as it was given to me by a friend of my brother, and the manual was missing. This copy is complete with the manual, and in pretty good condition, aside from the cracked jewel case. Jewel cases must be one of the least durable packaging forms possible for CDs – you very rarely see one without at least one crack. It was only a pound though, so no big deal, and for that money I couldn’t dare leave it. It’s joining my ever growing collection of Metal Gear Solid games, which is still devoid of number four because I refuse to buy a PS3 just for the sake of one game. Even if it is the most incredibly amazing game ever…I may have to reconsider if I can get hold of one at a decent price. Or even borrow one. Anyone have a PS3 they would be happy lending out?

The Zeiss Lens

Boredom also got me interested in Instagram, which is a free photo sharing/editing app for iOS and Android (as of fairly recently) allowing you to use various filters and other tweaks to produce some interesting shots. It is a simple program and straightforward to use, but surprisingly powerful at the same time. Photos are cropped to a square aspect ratio, which is another interesting quirk and different from the usual 4:3 or widescreen formats. The photo of the lens on the right was taken using my Motorola Atrix and Instagram. The filters give a nice quality to the photos, in my opinion, though you still need to think about composition and get a decent photo in the first place if you want good results. And the same with any photography, you need a decent camera on your phone – my last phone wasn’t suited, but the new one seems to do the job fine.

I better get back to revision before I spend the whole day on here. Make the most of the sun while we still have it!

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