Out of oil 1

One of the bad things about living in the countryside is that you don't get everything on the mains like you do in urban areas. Sure, we get mains water and electricity, but we need oil for our heating and the AGA, which is delivered every 6 months or so, and yep, we've run out. Four days before Christmas. So now, we're very cold and can't cook anything. Plus as it's Christmas all the oil delivery companies will either be running low or they'll be really busy, so we may be cold for a while.

Buy hey, at least we get to go out for a meal and I can have a nice steak ;)

Passed my driving test 1

Yesterday, finally, I passed. WOOO. I passed my theory the first time even though I didn't read up on the highway code much, and I passed my practical on my first attempt too, with 5 minors. If you don't know how the UK driving tests work, let me explain.

First you have a theory test which is a multiple choice test about all the road signs, who gives way to who, stopping distances, all that, and a hazard perception test, where you watch some videos of someone driving and you have to click the mouse whenever there's a hazard, and you gain or lose points depending on how many you spot and how quick you are in seeing them. Then when you pass that you can do your theory test, which is obviously where you drive around for a bit with a guy with a clipboard sitting next to you who's watching your ever move. In the practical, you can get major errors, or minor errors, majors or minors. Majors are serious problems that will automatically fail you, and they're things like speeding, driving dangerously, not stopping at a red light, stuff like that. Minors are smaller things that won't fail you, but might piss other drivers off a bit, like indicating a bit late, stalling, that sort of thing. The average number of minors for a pass achieved by someone taught by my instructor is 7, but the UK national average number of minors for a pass is 11, so I'm really happy I only got 5.

Thing is though, now that I'm qualified, I'm actually more limited that when I was a learner. When I was a learner, I could drive any car as long as an adult who was on the car's insurance was present, and I had 'L' plates on the car, and that was great. Now though, I have to be on the insurance policy of the car I'm driving for it to be legal. I mean I know why they do it like this, but it's also a bit illogical, the fact that I'm more restricted now that I'm actually qualified than I was when I was an unqualified learner... plus it isn't like I can be added to the insurance for either of the 2 cars we have either. Our main car is a BMW 530d Estate, with a 3.0 6 cylinder turbo-charged engine with rear wheel drive, and I drove this a lot when I was learning, but nobody will insure me on it, so I can't drive that. The other car is my dad's, a BMW 728i, with a 2.8 6 cylinder turbo charged engine with rear wheel drive, and an automatic gearbox, and I could get insurance for that, but it would be over £4500 a year, almost USD$7000. So that's out of the question too. Sucks really, I'm now a fully qualified driver but can drive less than when I wasn't qualified. Plus, because new drivers can't drive for a while after passing their test as they can't get insurance on anything for ages, when they eventually do, they've lost some of the experience they aquired when they were learning. And then we get charged even more for insurance, and it just keeps getting worse. Apparently in Germany they insure the value of the car, they don't base the insurance premium on the value of the car and the driver's status, they just look at the car and insure that. I mean here they base the cost of the insurance on the value of the car, the time you've been driving, your age, past claims, driving convictions, location, where you park it at night, how often you'll drive it, how many miles per year, occupation, and many, many more things. It's ridiculous. I guess I'll have to start looking for something a bit smaller and have my own insurance on it. Shame, I was looking forward to driving the family car.

MyBB Support Team Position

2 days ago, I joined the MyBB Team as a Support Rep. I applied for the position the day the team positions were announced, and found out I was accepted about a week before I was added to the team. This is what I'd been working towards for a while, I was hoping some places would open up, then when they did I applied as soon as I could, and now I'm thrilled to finally have my name up there in red. Giving support isn't really a new thing for me though, I practically live in the 1.4 General Support forum, but hey, I enjoy doing it and can help most people in some way, so I'm happy, and every time a new or uncommon problem is encountered, whether I can contribute to finding the solution or not, I'm learning, so it's all good. Now that I'm on the team, I'll be a bit more involved in the future of MyBB and this is something I'm really looking forward to. Being on the team also means my ridiculously high post count isn't quite so bad. This position will also give even more incentive to get my act together and learn PHP. My MySQL is getting better, but my lack of PHP knowledge is really holding me back and until I get some embedded into my brain, I won't be able to progress.

I'd also just like to congratulate the other new Support Reps, Tom.M and TomL (two Tom's with very similar usernames, confusion will ensue), and also the new members of the SQA team, D-r-a-g-o-n, dvb, Mmarzex, rcpalace, and RenegadeFan, all with a well deserved place on the team. And also thanks to everybody on the original team for selecting me.


My MyBB story so far...

Way back, ooh, must have been 4 years ago, after being badgered by a friend, I signed up to the Channel 4 Forums, to talk about the TV show Lost, which had just started. I thought the forum was quite good, I'd never done anything like it before and I liked how it all worked. Little did I know that the software it used was prehistoric; you couldn't use custom avatars, only the crappy ones they provided, couldn't post images, couldn't use the PM system, weren't allowed to post links, and the general layout was very, very basic. Despite that it went well for a while, but then it went downhill. Not only did Channel 4 sell Lost so Sky, making the forums almost useless, but the moderators there decided to ban everybody for the slightest rule infringement, until there was literally nobody left. I lasted quite a while but finally got killed off, for posting a link to an internal page, something Channel 4 themselves had created, 43 posts away from my goal of 7000. Bad times. Bad times...

A bit about me...

Well, I decided to start this whole blog thing, see what it's like. Don't really know what to start with so I'll just jabber on about myself for a bit.

As you have probably guessed my name is Matt, I'm 17 and live in Norfolk, in England, the UK. There's a lot of farms around here, in fact there a load of cows over the road from where I am in my room, and a rather annoying goat that won't shut up, and there's also a lot of very slow tractors and other such vehicles, but it's generally a nice quite place. Shame the weather is just as bad as anywhere else in England though. I'm currently at college taking Law, Psychology and Maths, but realistically only maths will have any bearing on any career I take up; I either want a job to do with cars, or computers, and maths would likely be important in both. Favourite meal would have to be a nice thick steak with hand-cut chips, and either a pint of local cider or pint of coke, depending on my mood. I like Rock/Alternative music, like Jimmy Eat World, Yellowcard, Lostprophets, Paramore, that sort of thing. Not many people have heard of all of those but I think they're great. TV wise, I love Lost, Heroes, Top Gear, Scrubs, Friends, and other such shows. Don't watch too many movies but things like The Bourne Trilogy, James Bond, Hot Fuzz, The Italian Job etc all get my attention. I'm not very sporty, used to play badminton and still consider myself to be OK at that, but also like going on my bike. I also like cars but that's got it's own section. I've always been a more technical person, interested in seeing how things work, so maths, science and computing interest me. Over the past year or so my interest has been pointed more towards forums, and I'm an active member of the MyBB Community Forums.

That'll probably do for now.