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This is a question Starting something you couldn't finish

Finnbar says: I used to know a guy who tattooed LOVE across his left knuckles, but didn't tattoo HATE on the other knuckles because he was right-handed and realised he couldn't finish. Ever run out of skills or inspiration halfway through a job?

(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:32)
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Film making
After discovering HDR photography a little while ago, I decided that once I'd started to get the hang of it that static photographs were 'so last century', so broke the infra-red remote control apart for my camera, shorted the shutter switch into a USB relay then wrote a bash script for my daughter's laptop (it's the only one I have access to with a decentish battery) to set it off every three seconds.

I started making a stop-motion film that was to be titled:

"The Landmarks of the Romney Marshes (that are close to pubs)"

I had the music in my head - that for some reason, once I sat in my studio I could never manage to get down properly...and so I set about making the film.

Got this far: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oABlGZx7kk

Length?...all 37 seconds of it!
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 16:04, 8 replies)
A huge number of books...
...I always think of myself as some sort of rarefied intellectual when I'm buying stuff, and then try and read it and realise I'd be better off with Jilly Cooper.

A small sample of books I have struggled manfully with before throwing in the towel:

- Anna Karenina
- Middlemarch (despite writing essays on it when I was at Uni)
- Midnight's Children
- Moby Dick (I skipped over the middle and went to the end, when they finally find the bloody whale)
- A Bright Shining Lie (often described as the best book about the Vietnam War. Very, very long)
- Ulysses (although I tell people I have read it, I mostly just skipped through looking for dirty bits)
- Villette (just the most mind-numbingly dull thing I had ever come across)
- Anything by Umberto Eco other than 'The Name of the Rose'

I have shelves and shelves, and indeed nowadays a few boxes in the garage, full of books I bought to make me look/feel clever and which I have, at best, given a brief flick through.

Still, they make the walls look nice...
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:48, 52 replies)
Anybody familiar with the online takeaway ordering site Just-Eat? I'm fairly sure they took the idea on Dragon's Den.

Anyway, in 2003 I had the exact same idea. I registered the domain above and knocked up a site. I nicked the design from a warez site, created a database in Access and coded it in asp. One could search and then display the menus of the takeaways. After six weeks I had maybe 40% of the functionality complete. Not bad considering that it was the very first server side programming I'd ever done.

But then I got fed up and shelved the project for a bit. The site needed finishing but I knew I had no accumen to pull off the marketing. In the end I gave up on it. I'd go back to it every six months but nothing ever came of it.

A few months after the just eat site was launched, my brother rang me and told me about it and asked me why don't I finish the site. A quick google session showed that there had been many 'me too' sites set up afterwards.

Ah well, it was a decent programming exercise anyway.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:42, 3 replies)
Invaders must die
Bof's story below reminded me of being a teenager armed with a screwdriver and just enough knowledge to be dangerous..

A friend of the family had given me one of those cocktail cabinet style Space Invaders Revenge machines, the sort you used to get in the early 80's in pubs that you could sit down at and put your drink on. It wasn't in its original cabinet, but had been fitted with doorbell instead of a coinslot so instead of continually feeding it 10p's you'd just press the button for that one more go.. Some people might get nostalgic for that game reading this, but even at the time if you had endless free play it got boring pretty quick to be honest, so once everyone from school had been round to marvel at how I had my own arcade machine it rapidly gathered dust.

Curiosity took the better of me one day and I found the cabinet had been fitted with hinges for easy access to the circuit board. I had hours of fun looking at the PCB and taking the little black boxes with silver leg things out (I later found out these were called 'microchips'), and generally removing anything in a socket. (As a side note,I also found at the same time that it wasn't really in colour either, they just stuck coloured strips of sticky back plastic across the black and white screen, which probably left me feeling cheated). Which was fine, until I realised I had just lined all the (pretty much identical to the uninitiated) bits I'd removed in a random row and not marked where any of it had come from. One completely useless cabinet down the dump later...

My only saving grace is that it wasn't the original cabinet as it would probably be worth a small fortune now in terms of rarity.

What do I do now? I'm an electronic engineer, and still not a very good one at that..
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:22, 5 replies)
i like bre

(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:20, 5 replies)
The Stats from a blog on "Cool Stuff I find on the internet" I started that'd make me a gazillionaire
Current Published Posts: 1
Current Posts in Drafts: 254
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:19, Reply)
Camera Surgery
The wife came back from the beach, the kids were happy and she'd got some nice pics on her compact digital camera. Except that she'd dropped it in the sand and now when you pressed the button to start it up it made a crunchy, grindy noise and now only took photos that were completely out of focus. Which is funny as that is pretty much how I take photos anyway.
"We need a new camera" she says
"Pah! I do surgery on servers! A silly little camera will be no problem, let me just get my trusty leathermans, good woman, and I'll have it fixed in a trice.""
"I think it would be better/easier to just buy a new one"
"Nay, I say, trouble yourself no more"

3 weeks later the silly little fecker is still in bits on the windowsill, and I don't even think all the bits are there. I think the cat has eaten some thinking it was some new fancy, REALLY crunchy, cat food.

I blame him

(this is what he/it looks like)
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:14, 6 replies)
List of things I haven't finished:
2 novels
An HD porn site called 1080porn.co.uk
A video blog called The Naked Poet where I'd read a poem I'd written every day.
An affiliate site for Whisky Prices using Twitter
The film Atonement - been 62 minutes through for 7 months now

My brother says I'm like the Dad from American Dad.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:11, 3 replies)
Repost from the "Books" QotW...
I started to read The Myth of Sisyphus; I got most of the way through it. Then my bookmark fell out, and I lost my place and had to start it again.

This keeps happening.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:11, 6 replies)
My attic
I have lived in my house for over 4 years but I have only been in my attic once, and that was when I first moved in. I have never liked attics and I hate those folding aluminium ladders that make that nails-down-a-blackboard guillotine sound and do their best to take your head off when you open the hatch.

I know there is stuff up there that needs to be cleared, and I think squirrels have got in and they need to be gassed (or charged rent) but I just can’t face it. When I went up there 4 years ago I had the intention or removing anything left by the previous owners, but the light bulb woke up a swarm of flies and what with the spooky old toys it all got a bit too Amityville horror for my liking so I left it for another day.

I was considering having another go this weekend. Perhaps I should take my camera and do my own “Most Haunted”. Can I borrow someone’s spirit guide?
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 15:02, 9 replies)
How (not) to write an academic paper
1. Have an idea or hypothesis that generates an interesting and/ or provocative claim.
2. Get quite excited about idea.
3. Decide to write paper
4. Spend weekend sketching rough first draft of conclusion, introduction, and structure of intervening argument.

At this stage, there're several routes things might take.
5. Realise that initial idea was flawed.
6. Ditch paper, writing off weekend.
7. Realise that there's a way to rescue the idea.
8. Realise that it'll take a lot of work, and be a bit boring both to write and read.
9. Give up.
10. Get bogged down in admin and marking anyway.

5'. Begin gathering evidence to support the intervening argument.
6'. Get bored.
7'. Give up.
8'. Get bogged down in admin and marking anyway.

5''. Begin gathering evidence to support the intervening argument.
6''. Realise that someone made a tolerably similar point already and that it was published last month.
7''. Give up.
8''. Get bogged down in admin and marking anyway.

5'''. Begin gathering evidence to support the intervening argument.
6'''. Realise that the basic argument - while still looking basically sound - will require the incorporation of arguments from an area outside of own expertise (and comfort zone) that just looks hard - and certainly not worth the effort for one measly paper.
7'''. Give up.
8'''. Get bogged down in admin and marking anyway.

EDIT: I'd just like to make clear that this is never what happens to me. All my papers are brilliant, from inception to publication. In no way do I have seven or eight half-written and mothballed attempts on various topics clogging up my USB. No, no, no. Not I. Honest.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:44, 4 replies)
you know what, meh.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:39, 2 replies)
Started a blog
Started a blog earlier this year to cronicle my last year of being in my 20's.

Said I'd post something once a week.

Last post, April. Didn't even last 2 months.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:37, Reply)
I tried to write a book once....
stopped work on it during August (my biro ran out of ink) but I never had chance to pop to the shops for another...
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:34, 1 reply)
Well in my defence I was a curious 14 year old...
my dear old mum's pride and joy was a Grundig reel to reel tape recorder.

There was a problem with it.
It was unpredictable in the speed that the tapes went through, so being the curious sort, I stripped the machine down and found the problem. One of the spindles was jamming (not with Bob Marley) but with some tape wrapped tightly around it.

I removed the tape, checked that the spindle rotated freely.
Fixed... Job done... I walked off leaving the Grundig in bits.

I also did something similar to her Dansette (google it, young 'uns)... took it apart, found the problem and left it in bits too... but this time I was reined back in to put it together again.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:32, 1 reply)
I drive a VW campervan....
it's fitted out with comfy bed, brilliant entertainment system, fully insulated and carpeted throughout like a luxury bedsit on wheels!

Except it's not. I bought it as a panel van and over the last 2 years I've put 2 windows in the back, a sunroof, changed the front seats and bunged an offcut of carpet from the house on the floor in the back.

I've a strong suspicion that it will die of old age and fail it's MOT before it's actually a camper van!
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:18, 2 replies)
Mrs Vagabond lols
She reckons she only started going out with me for a bet.

That was 11 years ago.

(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 14:09, 1 reply)
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
Feminist I may be but hairy I am not. I happily shave my legs for my own benefit even though it means blindness for passers-by as the glare from my white flesh burns out their retinas. Anyway, depilation is tedious and time consuming and shaving causes stubble so back in my teenage years I decided to rip out the hairs by sugaring. Sugaring is an ancient blah blah blah beauty technique that essentially involves, yes, smearing hot sugar onto your skin, pressing a fabric strip onto it, then ripping off fabric strip with said sticky sugar and hair adhering to it. This leaves legs smooth and stubble free and regrowth is much softer.

I gathered the equipment: microwaved jar of sticky, syrupy gunk - check. Copious amounts of fabric strips - check. Spatula - check. Nerves of steel - check. I commandeered the bathroom, dusted my limbs with talc and set to work. I scooped up a hot sticky load and dolloped it onto my knee. I pressed the linen strip down tightly and paused for moment to admire my handiwork. I took a deep breath, I grabbed the bottom of the fabric, and I yanked as hard as I could. And then I screamed. Turns out it hurts. A lot. I gazed at my bald knee and whimpered. I tried the bit below. I screamed again. I packed up all the equipment, washed the remainder of the treacle from my leg and swore never to repeat the experience. That was about 16 years ago. The hair has never grown back in that spot. It was probably too traumatised.

Thank god I tried it out on my leg before trying it out on my minge.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:59, 9 replies)
All the time.

Probably the most damning occasion was when, in order to make me be more organised, a boss made me keep a diary of what I was working on and how long tasks were taking, so we could see how to improve my organisation.

When we sat down at the end of the week to review it, I had to admit that I'd only managed to keep it updated for the first morning, and that read:

'9am-9:30am - meeting with boss to talk about diary
9:30am-1pm - general admin-ish stuff'

I think they pretty much gave up on me, at that point.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:56, Reply)
Airfix helicopter
At the age of 16, I started building an Airfix Mi-24 Hind helicopter, with the intention of entering it into a sad-boys' model competition organised by the Air Cadets (Top prize: another, slightly larger, slightly more complicated Airfix kit)

It was a little bit harder than I anticipated. Quite a lot harder.

My enthusiasm for the project soon ran out, so I carefully packed it into a biscuit tin, taking it out every now and then for a dabble.

In fact, 28 years and three house moves later, this is what it looks like:

I'll finish the fucker if it kills me. Probably.

(The full nine yards on my doomed quest HERE)
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:55, 6 replies)
Oh my God all the time...
Of all the rooms in my house, the one nearest completion is my son's room, and even that has a four foot length of Thomas the Tank Engine border missing. He's now gone off Thomas.
Lounge (above the window needs lining papering and painting)
Bathroom (needs papering and painting)
Kitchen (needs floor finishing, walls painting, wine rack mounting, cornice and pelment fitting to units, tiling to finish round plug sockets, ceiling skimming and painting)
Hall (needs stripping finishing - started it nearly six years ago)
I could go on but should really be painting something...

I love decorating but hate the little finishy fiddly bits.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:49, Reply)
This, really.

Spent a few months spreading the word, but I sort of gave up with it the following year.

Still, I've got six months to finish the challenge, I guess.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:42, 6 replies)
I started a fight whilst drunk
then I realised the guy was humongous so I ran away
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:40, Reply)
I'll pop back shortly to finish this...
Just thought of one with all the entries about starting and not finishing books. I started 'Dear Boy: The Life Of Keith Moon' years ago - I can't remember when I started it, but know I was reading it around July 2004. It's permanent place of residence is by the bed and I'm up to page 309 of 558 so only about another 5 years to go.

I've also got loads of F1 books and videos, yes I do mean videos, that I've been picking up from Charity shops, so that's my retirement sorted...assuming that: 1. there is a retirement age by then and 2. I have a job to retire from.

Remember that procrastination is the thief of ti
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:36, Reply)
Turd the one with the hairy chest

(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:35, Reply)
Well once there was this.......

(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:34, Reply)
My first ever first post!

I actually have a related story too. I was in Australia and I went to a place called Frazer Island which is a massive Sandbar off the coast of Queensland. You go there in a big 4x4 and roar around the beaches and camp under the stars and cook your own BBQ and stuff.

It's all good fun and we went there for 3 days, so upon returning we were a bit dirty and a bit smelly and a bit hungry. So after showers we treked off to Pizza Hut for their all you can eat buffet.

Despite the fact that we hadn't lacked for food whilst on the island we proceeded to try and get our moneys worth by eating as much pizza as humanly possible, which turns out to be not as much as you think it might be.

But as we all sat round the table quietly contemplating our navels in disgust at our gluttony we realised that our buffet also included unlimited desserts. The two girls we were with were sensible and didn't try and have any, but me and the two other guys we were with were not going to be beaten so we waddled up to the dessert buffet bar and loaded up bowls with fudge brownies and jelly and topped it up Mr Whippy style ice cream.

As per the question title I was unable to finish this and spent the rest of the evening lying on the floor of the youth hostel groaning and holding my stomach.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 13:34, 14 replies)

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