January 24, 2012

After losing weight in the middle of last year, half of it crept back on slowly but surely. There is no mystery to solve: I ate crap, I put weight on. But I’ve decided it’s now time to get back to healthy eating.

The first things to go were crisps, chocolate, alcohol (except at weekends), and bread. So I’m now on salad wraps, yogurts, and healthy main meals. Believe it or not I already feel better just two days in to it.

Without touting exact numbers I’m looking at reaching my target weight by the end of 2012. That’s not extreme, but it does mean making steady progress over the next 11 months. Fingers crossed.

January 10, 2012

I have begun to learn how to code. Finally. After years of thinking it was way out of my realm of understanding. I’m a writer, first and foremost, and leave the technical side to others. Apart from a basic understanding of HTML which is required to blog via WordPress.

I heard about Codecademy just after Christmas, and signed up for its Code Year initiative immediately. 281,803 other people have done the same at the time of writing. Code Year is an effort to get as many people coding during 2012 as possible, and Codecademy is the site behind it.

I’m hoping to write a much more detailed account of my experience taking baby steps in this field on MakeUseOf, but I will say I’m now halfway through the first course - Basic JavaScript - and loving it. I’m guessing the difficulty is going to ramp up considerably very quickly, though.

Codecademy is free and very easy to use - http://www.codecademy.com/

January 6, 2012

It looks as though the original members of the Sugababes have patched up their differences and are working together again. This can only end well.

The Sugababes were pretty good when they first broke, but internal fighting meant they left the group one after the other. The current group singing under the Sugababes brand are just three random singers thrown together.

Why would it work a second time around? And how weird is it going to be to have two groups in the charts; one called the Sugababes comprised of non-Sugababes, one called something else entirely but comprised of pure Sugababes? Oh, and why the hell do I care either way?


January 2, 2012

So, it’s 2012. A new year, a leap year, the year some people expect the world to end. Those crazy fools. The Mayans never predicted the end of the world, despite what that crap movie suggested. I’d rather believe it’ll be a time of positive transformation. In which case, roll on December 21st.


December 27, 2011

The day after Boxing Day, which I’ve only just discovered isn’t recognized as a holiday in the U.S., and I’m feeling the post-Christmas blues. This happens every year. And I know I’m not alone.

The problem is we spend too much time, money, and effort building up to Christmas and then it’s all over so quickly. You can enjoy the best Christmas possible, with family, friends, and presents galore, and yet it all ends before you know it. You’re then rather inevitably left with a hollow feeling in your stomach knowing next Christmas is a full 12 months away.

And don’t even get me started on the damp squib that is New Year.

December 22, 2011

I landed a job at MakeUseOf.com earlier this month. Amazingly. I was blown away to first make it to the shortlist, and then get the gig. It’s by far the biggest site I have ever worked on. Which means added pressure, but I’m absolutely loving it so far.

My first article, titled ‘5 Great Games On Google Plus That You MUST Play’, just went live. Read it here - 5 Great Games On Google Plus That You MUST Play - then comment, share it on social networks, and bookmark the site for the future. I command you. Do it. Do it now!

December 13, 2011

I have realized I’m overly verbose. Except for this post, obviously.

December 9, 2011

A short introduction is probably in order. My name is Dave Parrack (christened David but only my mum now calls me by what I regard as my Sunday name). I’m a 34-year-old freelance writer resident in Manchester, England. Originally from Surrey, I have been up in the north of England for seven years.

I have a bit of a presence on the Web thanks to my blogging, and you can find links to all of my writing gigs plus many of my social networking accounts at http://about.me/parrack

Why the personal blog, and why now? I hear you not ask. I thought it was about time I started something more personal than my paid-for writing avenues. I had one many years ago, well before blogging was fashionable or anything approaching mainstream. But that fell into a state of disrepair when I started writing professionally. Four and a half years on and I feel an urgent need for a place to vent on whatever subject I feel passionate about. And those subjects are many and varied.

Twitter is fine for a one-line commentary accompanying a link, but sometimes the urge to write a longer piece is overwhelming. And Tumblr is the place I have deemed worthy of my time and effort.

This could get messy. Or it could end up as nothing more than pictures of cats being cute. Probably more the latter, if I’m completely honest.

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