Life without a computer? Impossible.

So, following today’s Planning Your Dissertation meeting, I’ve decided to give up eating. There clearly isn’t time for it this year.

Spent an hour on the phone to Hiroshima this morning (cost me all of 25 pence). It wasn’t the whole city mind you, ’cause I wouldn’t have understood what they were saying, just one person. (Reminds me though, the other day I had a problem with Skype and as a result had 14 messages played back to me simultaneously. It was almost musical). The person I spoke to is a Sheffield graduate who went on to become a CIR, the job that I’m now very interested in. Two things stick out: no two CIR’s ever have the same job; it’s a great experience.

My MacBook is going in for major surgery on Friday morning. No Mac for up to a week – How will I survive? I was thinking, I just can’t go without a computer at home for that long, not now when there’s so much going on, so I asked a friendly department at uni if they’d lend me one – and they did! I am very grateful. Thank you to them.

It’s a Windows computer though – an Acer I think. I must be prepared for frustration. Back to the dark days of BSODs (Blue Screen of Death), and restarts between program installs. My blogs over the weekend may just consist of endless combinations of swear words, and pictures of Bill Gates with his willy caught in a DVD drive.

With the imminent arrival of Apple’s new OS, Leopard, I’m thinking I might as well format my MacBook’s hard drive before I drop it off. That would also eliminate the risk of being arrested for harbouring abusive data, that being all the lude messages I’ve received from readers of The Daily Mumble over the past 5 years.

Anyway, it’s chilly, I need to put my hat on.

xxx joseph

Stress and hair loss – an experiment

I thought I’d conduct an experiment today.

The idea was to induce extreme stress for a short period of time, and see if my hair fell out.

I concentrated hard, inducing stressful thoughts for about 30 minutes, and then waited.

Sure enough, about 35 minutes later, a huge swathe of hair fell out. It was a dramatic result.

Thing then was to even it out. This meant concentrating my stressful thoughts in certain areas of my head, namely the sides.

A couple of hours of intense cerebral activity later, I got the result I needed to prove once and for all the connection between stress and hair loss.

The next phase is to demonstrate the influence that positive thinking has upon hair growth. This will demonstrate to those non-believers out there that the answers all lie within.

I think this part of the demonstration may take a little longer though. Say, 6 weeks.

The travels of my Mongolian Phrasebook

I received the following email a few moments ago. Made me smile!

Just thought I’d update you on the progress of your Mongolian phrasebook which is travelling the world without you. I had a great time in Mongolia whihc has to be one of the most empty and beautiful countries in the world – nearly got caught in the bubonic plague outbreak and survived a snow storm.

The phrasebook is now in the company of a NZ guy called Justin who has bought a jeep to travel the countryside – so will definitely need it.

I am now in Pingyao in China. I went straight to Erlian on the train and then the bus to Beijing and in the company of a lovely Chinese woman who was on holiday so went very smoothly. Then I got here via Datong and Wutai Shan. I am enjoying it, but finding the pollution tough.

Hope you had an interesting journey home

Ruth (from Sheffield to whom you lent the said phrasebook in Irkutsk, Siberia)

Anton in Tibet

Checking my RSS feeds, I found that Anton, the young chap I met in Moscow who shares my passion for adventurous travel and photography, has finally reached Tibet.

He’s been taking some stunning shots, which I invite you to take a look at.

I have a You Tube recommendation too, which brought a few tears to my eyes when I watched it.

Perhaps you already know of them – Team Hoyt.

Just goes to show, we all have so much potential, if we’d only just do it.


At those times when one does something well, and receives recognition for having done it well, it can be difficult to prevent one’s ego from going out and feasting on chocolate-covered organic pineapple (my favourite food). Doing so can cause one to believe that one’s legs have grown and that one is now at least three foot taller than everyone else. Above the crowd, with a clear view of all around.

Of course, this is absolute rubbish. One is not taller than anyone else. It’s just that one’s ego has become so overgrown that it has put a distance between one’s Self and those around. One can blindly, and quite incorrectly, see this distance, and think “gosh, aren’t I superior!”, when in fact one is just overweight in the ego department.

I wrote about guarding against becoming ego-centric just last week, but in the light of my comments in the previous post, I feel I want to make another disclaimer. Yes, there is a part of me that questions the necessity of justifying oneself on one’s own blog, but a greater part of me feels uneasy in that what was written could be taken as a sign of arrogance, a trait that I abhor. And, part of this experiment is to go with what feels right, thus, here I am writing this.

My celebrations, as depicted on the Mumble, are not those of someone who feels he has risen above the crowd, they are those of someone who feels he understands just a teeny weeny bit more about things than he did before, which was and remains much much less than the majority of people in this world. In his heart he remains humble, aware that he is just taking his first baby steps, and is constantly seeking advice, guidance, and feedback. Everyone has a valuable lesson to teach him.

This feeling of wide-eyed wonder is a result of the excitement of knowing that one knows so little! “Hurray! It’s morning! Another whole day of learning about life! What will I be taught today, and what can I pass on that I learnt yesterday?” Waking up and thinking that makes even the grimmest of days tremendously exciting. As it happens, I have a sticky situation to deal with in about 12 hours. I’ve thought about how it might go, and appreciate that I may misjudge someone quite badly, and cause myself and others considerable grief. None the less, it needs to be attempted, and already I’m looking forward to watching myself blunder through it, observing the outcome for future reference. For me, this kind of detached thinking makes even the most dreaded of tasks positively fun!

Anyway, that’s my disclaimer. No matter how excited I may get at how happy I am with life, I remain humbly yours, whoever ‘you’ may be.