Category Archives: Real Life

Stuff that involves real life mysteries, wonders, and anything else about it.

Bought a new phone

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been mulling over what to do when it comes to upgrading my phone from the terribly crappy HTC Explorer that was... *ahem* purchased for me last year. Initially I had was looking into upgrading to a Galaxy Note 3 at the end of my initial contract, albeit at a pretty hefty price – made slightly worse by the fact I’m currently on a FlexiFix contract; however, after some further research I settled on buying a Nexus 5 direct from Google Play.

New Nexus 5, compared to the old HTC Explorer

Price was a big thing in the comparison. To get a Note 3 from Three would have cost up to €559, with the best option for me would have been getting it for €189 on a 24-month Flex Max 350 plan at €40 a month. However, one of the nuances of Three’s upgrading system meant that my upgrade path was locked into a FlexiFix variant, and I would essentially have to cancel and re-signup at the end of the contract to move to a different plan type.

Instead I bought a 32GB Nexus 5 straight off of Google Play for €399, and a tenner for delivery – compared to Three, who offer the 16GB version for free on 24-month contracts or up to €349 on lesser contracts. Speaking of delivery, I can’t say enough about how quick it was. I placed my order at 2pm yesterday afternoon, it was dispatched at 5pm, and delivered to my door by DHL at half 9 this morning. If only I could get Amazon to deliver that quick...

I haven’t been able to use it much as of yet – spent most of the day today heading to the 3 store in the Blanch Centre to pick up a micro-SIM for the Nexus, and the Explorer used a full-size SIM. But from what I have been able to use of it at home, it’s brilliant. I can’t get enough of the speed and space, which is a massive far cry to what I had on the HTC. Picture quality is also very good, so I can see myself actually using it to take some decent pictures while out and about. Still getting used to the massive increase in screen size, my thumbs need a little bit of retraining to get used to the bigger keyboard and the different button layout compared to the HTC’s Gingerbread. I’ll also be able to test out the call quality soon once the new SIM is activated, as well as trying the 4G coverage – will have to see if it lives up to the hype, and decide whether it would be worth paying for when the trial period expires.

My main debate now is what to do once I finish out my initial 12-month contract in August: do I stick with a billpay on the €20 monthly rolling contract, or bump down to prepay? Rolling contract gives 350 flex units for calls and texts (of which I tend to do very little) and unlimited data; whereas prepay gives 30 days of unlimited everything with a €20 top-up.

However, my main concern with prepay is the cost of everything outside of the freebie bundle, especially data charges. One thing that my Explorer did was switch off WiFi when it went idle and got all the push notifications over mobile data. At least if I had a bill, there’d be no need to manually check if I still had my top-up bundle, check for credit, or end up in a situation where I have no credit and no money to buy more.
Still need to think about that a bit.

Dog Walking Styles

Having just been out for the past two hours bringing our (current) five dogs for a walk, I started to think about each dog’s distinct walking styles.

Calvin (11), is the “main man” and the “old man” of the bunch. To him, a walk is less of a need for exercise and more of his daily plod about the estate keeping his overwatching eye on things and checking in. He walks slow and methodically, often taking time to sniff a particular area. Often, if it’s late and quiet enough, he can be brought off-lead, and although he is very street-wise, he will still make a beeline toward any distractions such as open doors, other animals or even other people – and he can be deceptively fast when he has his eye on something.

Buster (9), is our neighbour’s dog and former foster dog. A glutton, gourmand and sloth inside the house; outside he acts like a pig searching truffles, sniffing and snorting everything on his way around. Despite his large stature, he is very mobile and always eager to go on to find whatever it is he’s looking for. Also has a habit of flailing around in a circle before he shits.

Misti (3) and Japser (2½) are “the smallies”, and act like a true young brother and sister pair – despite not actually being related. They always bark and jump at each other in the porch and leaving the house, almost as a competition to see who can get out first.
Misti walks as if she is on a hunt, constantly vigilant and aware of her surroundings, always up ahead scouting out – which makes sense given her pedigree background. However, she still acts like a princess when it comes to a muddy field or if it’s raining, avoiding it or even flat-out refusing to go out if the conditions are not to her liking.
Jasper is the dog of the bunch without a distinct style as of yet, as he mostly tends to act like whatever other dog he is brought out with. Can also be a bit lazy, as he is generally always eager to walk and gung-ho for the first 5-10 minutes, before dropping off and falling back for the remainder. He also gets very excitable if he spots another dog or if traffic is going past.

Lucy is our current foster dog. Because of her history, the concept of going out for a walk is completely alien to her, and consequently her lead etiquette is non-existent. She would go anywhere and everywhere if she wasn’t leashed, with no regards for roads, driveways or front gardens; and constantly acts surprised when she is yanked back by the lead for either running out to the full length of the lead, or by getting herself wrapped around a tree or pole. Also, as the only non-Cavalier, she’s the only dog who would go out several times a day for long distances, whereas everyone else generally goes out once a day for half an hour.

So, I apparently have a new phone. It’s apparently an HTC Explorer. It apparently runs on the 3 network, and apparently the contract is for 12-months and is on the FlexiFix 25 plan.

It’s all apparently because I wasn’t the one who actually ordered it. Three decided it would be a good idea for their telesales division to ring my mother to inform her of this deal whereby anyone she recommends to Three will earn that person and herself a month free. So she got a new phone/SIM/contract in the hopes that either I would take it and take on the contract, or my sister would take it to replace one of the many phones she’s gone through and “broken”. (Also, something about my sister being embarrassed to tell her friends she has a Tesco Mobile 089 number)


Not terribly shiny, but shinier than what I had.

One thing I’m still struggling with is adapting to all the new ringtones and notifications. Gone are the monotone series of beeps that were the only option with my old Nokia 1101. And in their place I put several of the sounds from Team Fortress 2.

So, my ringtone: 

My message alert tone: 

And my e-mail alert tone: 

Sometimes I hear them and have to spend a while figuring out why they’re playing, and then try and remember which is which... Bonus points if you know what sound bites they are.


I’m not a happy person right now. Earlier today, an older relative of mine – someone who I had previously considered as very close to me – said that they were “appalled that I had the audacity to say that what I did online was considered work“. Saying that what I do in making various videos for YouTube, and earning money from that media based on a contract I have with an American media company, was not real work.

Now, I’m well aware that currently this doesn’t earn me enough money by itself to be able to live off, and because of this I wouldn’t ever go out and say that I do this for a living. But I take serious offence to being told that I’m not doing “work”, period. Continue reading

Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait, we have Dairy Milk with Oreo now? WHY AM I ONLY FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS NOW?!?!?!?!?!?!

Dammit, now I’m going to have to spend the best part of next week finding this and stocking up like mad on it. Going by the pictures I saw on this blog, I will fall in love with it. Almost as much love as what I have for Häagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream – which is basically Oreos without the brand name!

Just a damn pain that Cadbury direct on Amazon won’t ship to Ireland 🙁


So, it’s Akumakon this weekend, and as per usual I’ll be heading there as a half-otaku, and half-Eirtakon representative. So, I’ll be rather quiet this weekend – not that I wasn’t already going to be pretty quiet anyway.

The sham of the NCT

So, me and my mother are just back from the NCT centre in Northwood, where we were just told that our car would not be tested because – to quote the tester – it was “full of dog hair”.

I’m sorry, but that is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard. If anything, the level of dog hair inside the car is pretty damn minimal, considering the last time the dogs were in there was about six weeks ago, and even than that was only for 15 minutes after being picked up from the village. The last time we had a dog in there for a long journey was nearly three months ago when we brought our last foster for a check-up and a handover to his new family at Moss Vet in Naas. Continue reading