Planes with propellers

IMG_1752Oh man, we’ve reached that point where I just write about random shots from my camera roll? Seeing as I’m 6 days behind, yes, yes we have.

During my recent trip to Canberra I flew on three different aircraft on the four flights I took. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I’d guess that most domestic flights I’ve been on in Australia have been serviced by some Boeing 737 variant. This time was a little different: while the flights to and from Hobart were on 737s, the rest weren’t.

The flight was on a smaller Embraer E90, a tiny little jet with only two seats per side. I’m pretty sure I’ve been on one before, but I don’t recall them being ever so tiny — the overhead lockers in particular were downright minuscule, not even enough to fit my medium-sized backpack. It was also interesting to note how the seat allocations simply skipped a letter in every aisle. It was seats A and C on one side, and D and F on the other for reasons unbeknownst to me, although if I had to guess it’d probably some Virgin system limitation. Other than that, pretty similar to any other aircraft, if a little cosier.

The real surprise came when I flew in a ATR aircraft (turboprops and all) for the Canberra to Sydney leg. The particular one I flew on was VH-FVP, and I’d never been on one before. There was a bunch of schoolkids on my flight who had just finished a camping trip of some kind (also going back to Tasmania, interestingly enough, although they were flying back to Launceston), and I was somewhat apprehensive at the size of the thing.

The flight itself wasn’t too bad, except for the fact you can feel variations in altitude more readily than you can in an 737 or 747. You notice every bump and difference in air pressure, and dropping a few feet is really kind of harrowing. You also don’t appear to fly as high, staying below the clouds for the most part (land was perceptible out the window for pretty much the entire flight).

Overall, while I wouldn’t want to be travelling on a turboprop aircraft all the time, they probably have a certain advantage for shorter flights.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

What Was That, Bane?

We try Roshan and get initiated on. We kill three and lose two, only to go back, try Roshan again, and give up a double kill to an Earthshaker. It could have gone so much worse…

Prints, Part II

Because I shoot film, once in a while I’ll choose to get prints done of a particular roll. Not because I hang onto some form of outdated media (I always get scans irrespective of whether I’m getting prints or not), but because I like to have some physical record of how my film photography is going.

Getting prints done isn’t some egotistical thing, either — I mostly use it as a way to remind myself that shooting film has a cost that’s not associated with digital photography, a real cost both in terms of taking the individual frames and work that has to go into the final roll. I still don’t develop my own film and probably ever won’t, but getting printed copies of my film photography gives me something I can hang onto.

I got back the two rolls I wrote about the other day, and they look pretty good. Taken as a set of 38 frames they’re mediocre, but there are some standouts in the two sets, like any roll. I feel as though I waste anywhere between 5 and 10 frames per roll of 38, just because I’m taking multiple shots of the same thing. There are one-time deals that work out amazingly well, and then there are those that take 2-3 shots and still don’t turn out right. That’s where digital still has the edge over film photography, and always will.

As much as I like some of the photos, and as much as I’m happy with how the shots I did take turned out — there’s this one that is an almost perfect shot of the front of the National Library of Australia — I’m still not content with the kind of photography I’m doing. If Monte Carlos are the only Arnott’s biscuits I’ve ever loved1, then street photography is the only kind of photography I really enjoy. Which kind of sucks, because I’m only average at it and almost never work up the courage to take the shots that I want to.

It’s honestly one of the worst things about street photography. You can’t just walk up to someone and take their photo, and while you can try and catch people in their natural — staring at their phone, waiting for the bus, leaning against a wall — as soon as you stick a camera in their face the moment is gone. If the second hardest thing about street is taking photos of people in their natural habitat, the hardest thing is working up the courage to do so.

But hey, that’s half of what makes street photography so thrilling. Thrill of the chase, and all that.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

  1. See https://twitter.com/bdyling/status/531385411742863361 

Compact Disc

IMG_1766Like everyone else, I stopped buying physical CDs for music years ago. The main computer I use these days doesn’t even have an optical drive, and the only use my PC optical drive gets is to occasionally read a CD full of film photo scans every now and again.

But to be honest, I was never a huge buyer of CDs for music or games. My collection of physical media for music and games isn’t anything to write home about, since I’ve always preferred digital downloads. Steam and iTunes have mostly sated my needs for both forms of media.

As with anything, there are a few edge cases.

If there’s a cool “Collector’s Edition” of a game that I’m somewhat into that has cool physical or digital bonuses, then I’ll pick up a copy of the game. It’s kind of how I ended up with two copies of Dishonored. I picked up the PC version of the game first and played through that. I liked it so much that I gave it my game of the year award for 2012 (wow, was it really two years ago?), only to be disappointed there wasn’t a Collector’s Edition of the PC version, which came some super cool, Dishonored-themed tarot cards. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to have special editions of only the console versions of the game, but a quick trip to eBay later and I was the proud owner of the Dishonored Collector’s Edition — for Xbox 360. I’m pretty sure the game itself is still in the original shrink wrapped packaging.

Which brings us to the point of today’s post, the edge case of buying music on physical CDs. I used to buy CDs from artists that I liked, but gave that up a few years ago when physical media fell out of favour. These days, I pirate or stream pretty much everything, only buying digital when I really, really like the artist and album.

I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 for weeks now, and Shake It Off for months before that, but when I heard about the awesome collection of polaroids included with every copy of the album, it was Dishonored all over again. For the briefest of moments I contemplated buying multiple copies of the album, seeing as there’s actually 65 “Photos from Taylor” you can collect — you get 13 with one copy of the album — but I quickly realised that was a little too crazy. I mean, it’s a good album and all, and Taylor Swift is* incredibly pretty, but buying multiple copies of the album is crazy talk.

And yeah, I had a bit of a look on eBay for just the polaroids, but I couldn’t find anything reasonably priced. They’re also not actual Polaroids, seeing as that would be prohibitively expensive — they’re more photos printed on glossy paper to look like Polaroids, but they’re still insanely cool. I don’t have my favourite lyric from the album in the set that I got, but I’m cool with that, too.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Potential

IMG_1763Film is so strange. For the first time in a long time, I took photos with my film rangefinder during my recent working holiday in Canberra, and that’s kind of a big deal because the last time I did so was back in January this year.

Only there’s one difference between the photos I took in January and the photos I took earlier this month. The film I was using — the only film I use with my film rangefinder, Kodak Ektar 100 — expired back in May. From what I’ve read everything should be OK, or maybe the colours will be slightly funkier than usual, but the film has had a pretty gentle life — it hasn’t been refrigerated, but has been stored away from direct sunlight.

I made the silliest mistake when winding back the first roll of film, too. I forgot to set the shutter speed low enough for a short exposure, and accidentally left the shutter open at f/16 when winding it back. Granted, it was in a dark room, and the camera was pointing downwards towards the floor, but the shutter was open for perhaps the last fifth of the roll, as I wound it back. It was such a rookie mistake. I’m not sure what effect — if any — that will have on the final exposures. Maybe it won’t have any effect at all, or maybe the last few shots will be overexposed by a stop or two.

Either way, I’m not sure how the last two rolls of film will turn out. You never are, of course, film being film and all, but that’s just how it is when you choose to shoot film. There’s all this potential contained in those little canisters — huge potential for some really great shots, or the potential for blurry, out of focus, over/under-exposed messes.

It’s half the fun, really.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Return to Dragon Age

Dragon Age: Inquisition is out this week, and I have absolutely no idea what is going on anymore.

Sure, I played Dragon Age: Origins when it came out back in 2009 (!), but I never finished the game. Seeing as it’s been almost five years since the last time I played, I don’t remember much from it. From what I do remember, I made it though about 75% of the game before calling it quits. I think the game just got boring after a while, and my interest waned. I’ve basically ignored everything Dragon Age from that point, including Dragon Age II.

I went to BioWare’s panel at last year’s PAX (after queueing for easily over an hour), but I was pretty much only there for Mass Effect stuff. A large percentage of the audience seemed way more interested in what they had to say about Dragon Age, which I didn’t really understand at the time.

But it’s 2014. Rick Astley was just interviewed on the radio, Taylor Swift is no longer on Spotify, and this week, Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out. All the reviews I’ve read have been overwhelmingly positive, which means it must be time for a new foray into the Dragon Age universe. After all, BioWare are renowned for their storytelling (see: Mass Effect) and characters — two things which are right up my alley in terms of gaming, even though most of my gaming is spent losing at Dota 2 these days.

Unlike Dota 2 or even something like Shadows of Mordor, the biggest problem with lore-driven games like the Dragon Age series is that it’s hard to get into, once you’ve been out. Dota 2 has problems of its own in that it’s not really a game but more a life commitment, but that’s for another time. The Fallout games are pretty similar, I find — because you’re coming back to a playthrough you’ve spent upwards of 50 hours in, you’re not really sure what you’re doing or what’s going on. What do all these buttons do? What weapons am I using? Why do I need to find this weed on the other side of the map?

It’s like that with Dragon Age: Origins, too. I had backups of my character files and wanted to finish the game before it Inquisition was released later this week, but after loading it up and getting it all setup again, I realised I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, or what the status of the story was. I walked into a room, ran into some rabid dogs, and died almost immediately as I had no idea what any of my skills did. I must have had some idea, about five years ago, but yeah, no idea today.

I quickly gave up on that idea, and checked out other places on the internet. Thankfully, Kotaku published a semi-coherent read of the races and factions within the Dragon Age universe. There’s references to Lord of the Rings which is handy for some, but I managed to glean an OK amount of information from it — enough to get started, anyway.

In preparation for Inquisition I also checked out the Dragon Age Keep, which let you shape your world status using a number of questions in the game. It was alright, but I felt as though there wasn’t enough backstory to back up the choices — mostly it was just “did you let this character live or die”, “did you side with the Templars or the Mages”, without giving you any context why you might have made a decision either way. Maybe I was expecting too much from it, and that kind of stuff was reserved for people who actually played the games.

Anyway, between the Dragon Age Keep and the Dragon Age wiki, I managed to cross-reference enough stuff to make informed decisions about what choices I “made”. All that’s left now is to create a character and dive right into the Dragon Age universe once more.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Critique

For the longest time, I’ve wondered why it’s hard for those who are merely average — myself included — at Dota 2 to improve at the game in any kind of reasonable timeframe.

My own theories revolve around improving at Dota is hard because a lot of the time, you don’t recognise your own mistakes. Whether you’re playing in the so-called “trench-tier”, stuff that wouldn’t work in the pro scene works, and stuff that works in the pro scene doesn’t work in your trench-tier games, mostly because people do (and don’t do) things you wouldn’t expect. It never ceases to amaze me that people who have literally no idea what they’re doing or how the game works can be playing the same game as those who play Dota 2 professionally. It’s completely insane, and totally a topic for another time.

We can probably blame Dota’s “fair and balanced” matchmaking for slow improvement, too. Maybe people just don’t play enough games to notice any real rise in skill, but a lot of the time I feel as though because Dota tries to match you up with and against people who are at the same skill level as you, you often don’t see when you’ve climbed up an MMR bracket, because people will still be, relatively speaking, the same feeding bastards they were when you started out.

Now that I know a little about the game, I’ve often wondered if I should be starting a new Dota 2 account and playing ranked only to see what kind of MMR I end up at. To be fair, it’ll probably be around the same MMR that I am now — how do I know? Because even though I often perceive myself as better at Dota than my teammates, I can’t seem to carry myself out of the rubbish tier I’m in. It’s kind of sad, and is mostly the reason why I don’t play much ranked.

But forget perfect last-hitting mechanics. Forget perfect decision making. If I could choose to be insanely good at just one aspect of Dota 2, it would be in the critique of my own gameplay.

Analysing where you’ve made mistakes is a truly underrated skill, in my opinion. By looking back on games you’ve played and identifying where you could have been more efficient in farming, or where you should have gone through the jungle instead of walking through the river, or where you should have just TP’d out of Dodge as soon as you saw all the other lanes missing, you can learn to improve you own game much more than if you had perfect last hitting mechanics. Perfect decision making would probably help, but if you’re bad at the game to begin with, there’s only so many good decisions you can make, you know?

This ability (or more accurately, lack thereof) to self-analyse and identify mistakes is called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. My favourite pro player at the moment asked about this in relation to Dota 2, and got an answer from Dr Dunning himself. You can check out Aui’s questions and Dr Dunning’s answers over on Reddit, but long story short, the DKE probably explains why people can’t improve at Dota as much as they might like, and sadly, there’s probably no real way to combat the DKE when it comes to improving in Dota 2.

I know I’m incredibly mediocre at Dota 2. But if I want to improve, it’ll take more than just playing games. Analysing games where I played awesome will help as much as analysing games where I played rubbish, but overall, it’ll be a real struggle.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Spotify Premium

all taylor swiftWhen Spotify was introduced to Australia a couple of years back, I wrote about how the music streaming service didn’t align with how I listened to music, both as a music curator and manic playlist creator.

For the most part, Spotify still feels more like a music lending service rather than a music library of your own. On the unpaid version of Spotify, you borrow music, one or two tracks at a time, and then you’re forced to listen to an ad before you can continue borrowing (or to continue the library metaphor, return the previously-borrowed tracks back before getting more).

If there’s one place where Spotify is better than my own personally-curated music library, it’s in the area of music discovery.

By all accounts, I have way too much music for any one person to listen to. Everyone does. iTunes puts my library at just under 12,000 songs with a total play time of 33 days, which means that assuming I live to the current Australian life expectancy of 80 years, I can listen to my music library 630 times in its entirety before I die. That’s quite a lot of music, when you think about it.

But even the largest music library in the world isn’t any good when you listen to a new tune and get immediately hooked. New music comes out all the time, and while I was never a huge fan of the radio, I’ll occasionally get exposed to new music via the radio or other means. Following artists I like and collecting their music is one thing, but discovering cool new tunes from artists I haven’t heard of is another thing entirely. So what’s the solution for new music discovery?

Maybe I’m a little different to you, but a lot of my new music comes from pop. I listen to many varied genres of music, but a lot of it is “pop” — or that strange genre which seems to be played mostly on the radio, encompassing everything from alternative, rap, hip-hop — you get the picture. I’ve previously experimented with trawling lists such as the Take 40 countdown to see if there was any music I was interested in, then go off and find those individual songs in order to pirate them. I used to do a similar thing with the iTunes “top tracks” list, seeing as iTunes has 90-second previews for most of its song.

A little while back, I started playing some new music with Spotify because I couldn’t be bothered pirating an individual track, and it kind of went downhill from there: I added Spotify’s top tracks in Australia to a playlist and went for the overplay, putting it on repeat. Then it dawned on me: music streaming was easier than music ownership, at least when it came to new music, stuff I didn’t already own.

So, for the month of October, I re-subscribed to Spotify Premium, giving me the ability to download high-quality versions of the music I was streaming, as well as going ad-free. I timed my subscription so it would coincide with a brief stint at work and my working holiday in Canberra, so I could have my “October hits” playlist with me wherever I was.

It’s not the first time I’ve re-upped for Spotify Premium for a month or two — I did a similar thing earlier in the year when I went overseas, all because offline play and ad-free streaming without having to lug around all of my own music is an excellent idea.

I’ve since cancelled my Spotify subscription, because as much as I like listening to new music occasionally, I remember that I still have my own music library that I love dearly. It’s uniquely mine — ludicrous playcounts, carefully-curated playlists, and all. Sure, it’s only $12 a month, but for someone who only gets so much out of streaming music, I’d rather buy an album every other month and support artists that way.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Midway

We’re now past the halfway point of Blogvember, and already I’m feeling the effects of writing semi-coherent thoughts on a variety of topics on a daily basis. Every two or three days is fine as it gives me a chance to think up something interesting and run with that, but forcing myself to write about something every day makes for complete drivel, at times.

As usual, the problem is not having enough time to do everything I want in a day and then bash out another 300+ words on a topic I feel would be interesting. Having interesting stuff to write about isn’t really the problem — I always have stuff I can write about — finding the time to do so is another thing entirely.

It was easy during my “working holiday” to just write the news, then plough straight on through to writing about an idea that I had floating around — that’s how the Nintendo 3DS and Smurfing posts came about, for example. While there’s still a few things revolving around PAX that I could potentially write about, I want to leave a little gap between the posts, to try and spread them out. That said, we’ll probably have another PAX-related post by the end of the week that I’m kind of excited to write about, so keep an eye out for that.

For now, I’m just going to contemplate which bus I’m going to catch to work in a few minutes, think about the next post I’m going to write, and look over some Shadow of Mordor screenshots and wonder what kind of a story I can tell with those.

These words, while related to Blogvember 2014, aren’t actually a part of it and don’t count towards the daily blog post. By my count, I’m now four days (including today) behind — I still need posts from Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today. Geez. Read other Blogvember posts.

The New Nintendo 3DS

DSC01207At PAX Australia this year I got some hands on time with the New 3DS. We lined up to watch a short presentation about it (barely audible over the din of the Riot folks and the Wargaming booth opposite), and after that it was into the little area where we got some hands-on time with the new console.

I know a little about the New 3DS thanks to some of the work I do, but it’s not like I’m an avid Nintendo fanboy who hangs on the company’s every word. From what I know, the New 3DS is notable because Australia and New Zealand are the two countries outside of Japan that will be seeing a release this year (November 21, if memory serves) — the US is getting it sometime next year, and other countries sometime after that again. While the New 3DS was on-show at EB Expo a month or so prior to this year’s PAX, PAX Australia was the first time the New 3DS was actually playable.

As far as the portable gaming console goes, Nintendo only had the New 3DS XL on display, which is somewhat disappointing because I wanted to see the size comparison between the new 3DS and the 3DS XL. Regardless, I had a bit of play on what I think was a Monster Hunter title (I’m actually have no idea, but it was some dinosaur-battling game from a third-person perspective set in an open-ish environment), as well as a bit of Mario Kart.

The console itself was pretty cool; the head-tracking 3D produces a much better 3D effect that follows your face so you don’t have to hold your head perfectly still in a tiny “sweet spot” for the 3D effect to work at all, and the extra should buttons will come in handy for some games. The new analog stick on the right hand side was a welcome change for games that need separate camera controls, but it felt more like one of those nub mouse pointers on older laptop keyboards. I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting it to feel like, but I guess that’s just how it is.

As for whether I’ll be buying the New 3DS, I’m not quite sure. I currently own a 3DS XL that doesn’t get nearly enough airtime, thanks to multiple other screens that are constantly vying for my attention. Mostly, I just neglect it along with my Vita and numerous other gadgets. Like my Vita, I imported my 3DS XL from the US because Nintendo persist with region locking (a topic I’ve written about before), and while recent news says upper management could be going in a different direction in the future, for the moment Nintendo consoles are still region locked. I haven’t looked into the issue for a while, but I generally prefer to have a bigger library available sooner as digital downloads, rather than having to buy cartridges — at the time, the US eShop was “better” than the UK/AU one for that.

A big factor I also have to consider is whether I want to go for the New 3DS or the New 3DS XL, with the biggest difference being that while the New 3DS gets the customisable faceplates (so. many. faceplates.), the New 3DS XL doesn’t. I originally went for the 3DS XL because I thought a bigger screen would be cool, but there’s no denying the 3DS XL is on the larger side of the spectrum. At the morning, I’m leaning towards the non-XL New 3DS, but who knows what I’ll end up with.

To be honest, I’m not even sure what games I want to play on the thing. Like I said, I’ve mostly ignored much of the portable gaming scene thanks to all the other stuff that’s going on (i.e. Dota) but off the top of my head the only game I’d really want to play is Smash Bros. And Hyrule Warriors, but that’s only on the Wii U.

And I definitely sure I don’t want one of those.

Vooks has a mega FAQ on the New 3DS and New 3DS XL for everything you need to know about the new portable consoles.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.

Smurfing

I probably could have taken an actual screenshot instead of a photo of the screen, but again, not my computer.

I probably could have taken an actual screenshot instead of a photo of the screen, but again, not my computer.

Continuing the list of things I don’t understand: smurfing. Otherwise known as the act of playing on a Dota account with a visible or invisible match-making rating lower than your own, in order to see how you fare against players below your skill level (or those also playing on smurfs).

Up until last night, I didn’t really see the point of smurfing. In my mind, the only two legitimate uses of it were either to play Ranked match-making with friends with a vastly lower MMR than yourself, or creating a new account in order to re-calibrate your MMR now that you know how to play the game, thus hopefully getting a higher MMR. Apart from those two reasons, there really isn’t any other reason to smurf — most of the other games I’ve played with or against smurfs have been very similar (or perhaps slightly above) to my kind of skill level, so what’s the point? Some people expect smurfing to match them with other completely new accounts, but Dota matchmaking is smarter than that, for the most part. After stomping a few games, you’ll start to get matched with harder and harder opponents. Eventually your invisible MMR will be the same as your “true” MMR, so the point of smurfing in the first place has been completely negated.

But last night, I played Dota on an account with one game played (plus a whole bunch of lobby/bot games), and it was, in a word, glorious.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It could have gone one of two ways: either I’d get matched with other people smurfing and subsequently get wrecked, or I’d be matched up against players who had a similar number of games played (i.e. they were just starting out) and completely steamroll them. It’s fairly safe to say I felt more than a little trepidation as I hit the queue button for All Pick.

Of course, there was no other hero to play other than PA, my current favourite carry. I wasn’t sure how the laning stage was going to go at this totally-unknown MMR, but I told myself I’d just play my own game, farm up as best I could, and then try and carry as hard as possible. Like other carry games, basically.

Continue Reading →

Applause

This morning, I caught the bus. Not exactly unusual or out of the ordinary, as it’s something that’s happened many times before. Specifically, I caught the route 75 to Hobart, a bus and route I’ve caught many times before, either for getting to work, or for getting to Uni. And like many times before, an adult with Down’s syndrome got on the bus, and like he usually does, started singing.

Sometimes it’s just a few mumbled lines here and there. Other times, it’s the chorus, and if he particularly likes the song, entire verses

I’m not sure if he knows he’s doing it. But it’s fairly unusual for someone to be singing aloud in public, let alone on a bus carrying commuters to their daily grind.

Most of the time, he gets mostly ignored from his fellow passengers. They’ll usually smirk to themselves and continue reading the newspaper — the newspaper, would you believe it.

But this morning was different. He was belting out something I couldn’t quite make out for reasons I’ll get into later, and when he had finished, the entire bus applauded. Well, almost the entire bus — I didn’t, but the front half of the bus around where he was sitting did, as the the two schoolgirls sitting in front of me.

The reason I didn’t was because I had no idea he was singing. My in-ears were, uh, in, Taylor Swift was playing, and I was elsewhere. I only noticed after a smattering of applause, after which I paused Taylor and realised he was doing his thing again.

It was kind of nice. I’ve had a friend who used to catch the same bus tell me “he must be really into his music”, but mostly, everyone just ignores him, perhaps because they realise he has Down’s syndrome and give him a free pass. It’s not like he’s the best vocalist around — tone deaf only begins the scratch the surface of his tonal capabilities, and I say that in the nicest possible way — so seeing him recognised for his efforts by the public was kind of nice, and restored a little of my faith in humanity.

Remember what I said when I started this Blogvember thing? I said it would be kind of like the personal memoirs of Benny Ling, a way for me to record what I was doing during November 2014. And it’s been like that for the most part. Looking over the archives, and it turns out I’ve written about the same bus trip once before. The time I wrote about how I was glad my in-ear headphones shielded me from the ignorance of others — a harsh title, regardless of how true it may have been at the time — was actually during Blogtober in October 2009, more than five years ago.

Today, my in-ears shielded me from hearing a poor rendition of some song I probably wouldn’t have recognised anyway. But they didn’t stop me from feeling the impact of a little humanity, eve if it was just a smattering of applause for someone with Down’s syndrome singing on the bus.

These words part of Blogvember, a thing I just made up right then about getting back into blogging. You can read more words about Blogvember right over here, but the gist is that I'll be attempting to post something up on the blog every day in November 2014. Read other Blogvember posts.