Just my small section of the internet...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip." - Author Unknown

Just thought I would quickly mention that I turned 21 yesterday. This is kinda a big thing in the US since it means that drinking is allowed!

I had a wonderful day, thanks to everyone for making it awesome!
Special thanks to Surrey GameSoc for all of them wishing me a Happy Birthday by webcam in a very cool way, which included lots of clapping for some reason!
Also thanks to Nathan, Raphael and Gabriela (from the lab) for a cool night out and my first frat party (even though there was a lack of beer there [next time BYOB sounds like a good plan])

Stay tuned for a follow up to the previous blog post. Yeah, I actually have a plan! It's mad! So I might post that before Soph gets here (in 3days!) or if I don't have time then I guess I won't...
Anyway... Another awesome picture to sum it all up!

Also, Rachael exists. :p

Achievement unlocked! 

Monday, 11 April 2011

"Fly, you fools!" Gandalf- J.R.R Tolkien

Hey everyone. I'm back again. 
Just thought I would quickly have a mention of things to come her in the US. 
This is honestly not a shameless effort to guilt or force people into coming to visit me. I just thought I would let people know some of the big events which I am hoping to get myself to this year, to take advantage of my vicinity to some of the best events in the world. Right here in the United States. 
Incidentally if anyone fancies coming to these events with me, that would be awesome. Just let me know asap, even if you are just thinking about it, so I can know in advance. 

Okay, so my number one event to do this year:
GenCon 2011: August 4-7. 

"The Best 4 Days in Gaming"
This is pretty much perfect for me, the largest gaming convention in the world. Held in Indianapolis, Indiana. It features many brand new board games, rpgs that fill around 5 hotels, true dungeon runs and everything else immensely awesome. 
This is something that I have always wanted to go to, some kind of massive gaming convention, and this is about as big as it gets! 

A close second comes
Dave Matthews Band Caravan: July 8-10. 
Okay, so this one is a slightly longer story. Basically, during the exam period during the first half of my third year, I was attempting to revise as best I can and realized that I wasn't revising as well when I had my favorite music playing. Thus for this reason and for the sake of broadening my musical horizons I ran a small competition on facebook, some of you will know it as BONNANZATRON! 
Basically each day 5 people would give me a band to listen to, one which I had never listened to before. I would make a Spotify playlist from those 5 bands and listen to that all day. I then chose my favorites and awarded a point to those people. Through this I heard about Dave Matthews Band, thanks to Christopher Smith. 
(Incidentally the contest was won by Guy, who still has yet to claim his prize)
 Dave Matthews Band are an American rock band, featuring, you guessed it: Dave Matthews. It is a fairly large band and is teaming up with a large variety of awesome performers to put on 4 big weekend concerts across the States. 
I would also very much like to see Chicago, so since this event is right in the center of Chicago, it will give me a perfect opportunity to see the Windy City! 
If someone fancies seeing this then check out the band on Spotify, I recommend "You might die trying" and many of the other awesome songs!

Next on the list of things to do is for me to visit New York. 
I know that this isn't exactly an event, but it is something which I very much want to get around to, especially since it is only just over an hour away by train. 
I assume that I will be visiting this while Soph is visiting, but I'm sure there is far more to do in New York than can be done in a couple of days visiting. I will also try and see Mark Aaron James play if he has any gigs in New York once he is back in the US. (Very disappointed that I am missing him playing back at f55 in Guildford). 

So, yes people, we move back to gaming conventions. A little closer to home this time. 
Connecticon: July 8-10. 
"A Massively Multigenre Convention" 
Firstly, people may notice that these are the same dates as the Dave Matthews Band Chicago event. Well done to these people. Very observant. Firstly I will look at when the August and September DMB dates are and where there are in the US and see if either of those are easier. Secondly, this is still a backup. Which I will go to if I don't go to the Dave Matthews Band event. 

Anyway, this is probably the largest gaming convention in Connecticut. It boasts a wide variety of games from Apples and Apples to Zooleretto, plus A Game of Thrones, Age of Mythology, Amun Re and Antike! This is still a fairly large convention with over 7,000 people attending in 2010, so it should be a really awesome weekend if I go. 

North American Games Day 2011: July 30th
Okay, so Wargaming here in the US isn't what it is in the UK. This means that I am taking a break from actually playing and collecting the game, unfortunately. This doesn't mean that I don't still follow the Hobby (new Tomb Kings look awesome) and am not very interested in going to the North American Games Day. It's held in Chicago again and is the largest celebration of everything Games Workshop in the world. It will feature huge battles, the latest releases and lots of hanging out with other fans of the Hobby! 

I will also attempt to visit the following places. This could be just for a weekend or when my parents visit near the end of the summer. 
Washington D.C. 
I'm also aiming to go to other gaming conventions, but will let the blog know when I actually book those. 

Once again, I hope people enjoyed this installment of The Hinternet. Incidentally, the BONNANZATRON playlist is on my spotify account. I'm not sure how you guys can access it, since I don't know all that much about spotify. 
So if any of these sound as awesome to you as they do to me, let me know somehow and I'll try and sort something out. Note that tickets to most of these (especially GenCon) go really fast and so sooner would be awesome!

Achievement Unlocked!

Friday, 1 April 2011

A thousand words are worth a picture, and they load a heck of a lot faster. -Unknown

I personally am of the opinion that pictures are worth 346 words, thus for each 346 words in this blog, you will be treated with a picture. Well done readers.

Some silly people have asked me to post stuff about what I'm actually like doing out here normally, as opposed to loads of stuff about gaming and not much else... This seemed like a thoroughly strange idea to me, but what the heck, I'll try and keep it interesting in my own special way.

So, a week in the life of New Haven Matt. Where do I start? Monday probably makes sense, I mean, starting in the middle of the week would be a bit odd...
On Monday I get into work at The Wright Nuclear Structure lab at around 9 (9:30 if I can't find my glasses) ready for the group meeting, where we discuss what we will be doing that week, go off topic for a bit, figure out who is doing what to set-up the experiment, maybe go off topic again, assign shifts and then possibly talk about something unrelated for a while. At the moment we take around 3 8-hour shifts a week, which basically involve being in the control room making sure that everything is going smoothly with the current experiment. So, on a Monday the experiment usually ends up starting at around 8pm, in a perfect world...

On Tuesdays I generally go to the Yale games club (Nexus), I won't talk about gaming too much, since I said I wouldn't but this is 4 hours of really good fun, mainly playing Euro-games as most of the people there are massive Agricola fans. It's not as big as my beloved GameSoc back in Surrey and there is no wargaming whatsoever, which gives me a massive sadface, but I'll just have to get my fill of Warhammer when I return. :)

Wednesdays is time for badminton, down at the Yale badminton club. This is a fairly small club since badminton isn't too big here in the states. Still, the club is 

Yay! Picture Time! 
of fairly decent standard and helps to keep me fit. I also try to go swimming at least once during the week, since I can use Yale's 3rd floor (2nd floor to you guys in the UK) pool. I'm not entirely sure why it's built on the 3rd floor except for it being a cool anecdote for people's blogs. 

On Thursdays I play D&D with some people I found through Nexus at a place called Guilford! This is just a short drive (the DM picks us up) from New Haven and we generally play for most of the eve intermittently due to the small children running around the room! For those of you who happen to be interested, I play a Grey Orc Monk, who says heavily meaningless philosophical things, often at the most inopportune moments!

Friday usually gives me my first night off of the week, but there is the oppertunity for more badminton if I wish to play more. Hence I usually spend this evening watching whatever film I have from Netflix at the time. Michael (my roommate) usually returns home from work in New Jersey on Friday eve, so I am attempting to get him into Firefly, since it is amazing!

Penultimatly, Saturday involves sleeping, usually to catch up on missed sleep due to night shifts or just staying up too late... I try and get down to the pool if I'm not completely over-sleeping and also use the weekend time to play some pc games and catch up with some lovely people back in the UK!

and finally... Sunday!
Michael and I are planning on playing badminton at the Yale gym on sundays, but we haven't managed to find the time as of yet, far too busy! Again, I try and sleep a fair amount so that I'm not too tired for my next jam-packed week.

So hopefully that was an interesting insight into a week in the life of New Haven Matt! I hope you enjoyed reading it about as much as I am enjoying living it! I'm looking forward to the weather getting a bit better, which it seems to be. However, apparently it only stays at a


bearable temperature for about 2 weeks and then becomes very hot, since we are at the same latitude as Mid-Italy!

Just as a final note, I thought I would add an extra pic to the end, since this weekend just gone I biked up to the top of East Rock Park, which is a small park just north of where I live. It has fantastic views of New Haven, as shown below, which means that the bike ride back down is great fun (especially compared to biking up).

I know that it hasn't quite been 346 words yet in this bit, but maybe it will be by the time I finish this segment about how I haven't quite reached 346 words. At the end of the day, I could always insert some Lorem Ipsum into this paragraph and see how many people actually notice, but that wouldn't be very sportsmanlike of me now would it? 

Maybe I could add a short story to this segment... especially since I would like to go to bed soon and also want to finish this before bed. I will advertise again that people are very welcome to come and visit me if they want to, most of you will know that Soph is coming here for 3 weeks on the 18th April (right after our birthdays so I might post another blog after that, unless anything spectacular happens between now and then (apart from my birthday) I'm gonna be 21, which means that I can drink in the US! (it has been quite strange not being allowed to drink) 

I hope everybody at home has a fantastic Easter break! Enjoy the massive amount of holidays that you are getting off in the UK, which you are all of course going to be using to watch the Royal Wedding. Yay! Maybe not... 

Anyway, there was going to be a short story but it seems like we are out of time, and it was about a rapacious glowworm who sets off to discover Asia, but finds much more than he can handle... 

Thanks for reading again people! Hope you all found this interesting, hopefully it was worth typing out!

As always,
Achievement Unlocked!
Also, take another Achievement if you checked the word count between any pics before reading this sentence!

As promised...New Haven (my house is around the middle-right of the pic)