I went to an REM concert

REM concert with a fan highlighted in the bottom-left of the picture, labelled "That's me, in the corner."

Things are crazy busy again. No time to blog properly, so here’s a picture that I scribbled on.

Incidentally, I was actually at the concert where this photo was taken, back in 2005. But that’s not actually me in the corner. I was just inspired to make the joke by this comic.


Claire’s Birthday, and Preston

Well, Claire and I are in Preston. We travelled up here last night (after a few false starts, including getting to Mach before realising we’d left the Green Day tickets blu-tacked to the wall “so we don’t forget them” in Aber and having to turn back). Claire’s been made out to be a bookworm again, with a heap of new reading material to keep her occupied for the coming year.

Visited my mum’s house. My sisters are typically hilarious. They’ve got a new chicken (after the last ones were eaten by foxes) + chicks, and a new guinea pig (called Pork Chop, which I think is a fantastic name for a guinea pig), and the puppies have grown up so it’s complete mayhem of the excitable 3-month-old doggy variety. They’d decorated a cake for Claire’s birthday, which read “Happy Birfday [sic] Mini Melton” and had an (anatomically correct) picture of her, with an arrow and the word “You” pointing to it.

This evening, we’re off to see Feeder and R.E.M. at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground, which’ll be fab, and then tomorrow, we’re travelling down to Milton Keynes to see Green Day (& friends), then we’ll spend Sunday in London before returning to Aber. This puts Troma Night in the hands of those of you still in Aber. Bryn has a key to the flat, and I’ve changed my password on Duality to something you’ll be able to guess: to determine it, look at the large yellow sign in the kitchen – there is a mis-spelling on it, and there is a number on it. Type the mis-spelled word (in lowercase) as it appears on the sign, followed by the number. If you have any trouble, text me. And if somebody could record/download the Dr. Who episode (as Claire and I will miss it), that’d be great.

I mentioned to my family that the computer game that’s occupied me most of late is Microsoft Train Simulator. My dad seemed pleased, but the rest of my family seem to want to award me an anorak. Once she’d checked to see that I wasn’t joking, the dialogue with Becky went as follows:

Bex: Microsoft Train Simulator?
Dan: Yup.
Bex: Trains?
Dan: Uh-huh.
Bex: So… what? You plan train routes, manage finances, that kind of thing…
Dan: No, it’s not like Transport Tycoon. You drive trains.
Bex: You… drive trains.
Dan: Yeah; you drive different kinds of trains along real-world routes to a schedule.
Bex: So… do you like; earn money and you can buy better trains? Or unlock secret areas?
Dan: No.
Bex: Wh… bu… <disapproving silence>

Well; I’m guessing she won’t be wanting a copy, then.

Tsunami Relief Concert

On Saturday night, Claire and I went to the Tsunami Relief concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which was pretty fab. We arrived at about 3:15pm, just as things were starting to kick off – on one of the many park and ride services being operated especially for the event. The buses and their fuel were both donated for the evening, and the bus drivers were working as volunteers (but taking donations towards the fund in tubs at the door). We had some confusion over the gate we needed to enter by, which only increased our relief at getting in out of the driving rain. It wasn’t much warmer inside, but huddling with a crowd pushing their way towards the stage quickly warmed us up. The Millennium Stadium is huge. It’s amazing to wander down onto the floor, with tens of thousands of people looking back across it.

The concert was really good – a lot of acts I’d looked forward to seeing: the Manic Street Preachers, Feeder, Eric Clapton and Keane were all fantastic. But between these were a lot of other acts which were surprisingly good – Katherine Jenkins, who performed first, was absolutely wonderful: her rendition of “Amazing Grace” brought tears to my eyes. Lulu was wonderful, Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics was just stunning… even Craig David was more than tolerable as he performed a slow and easy acoustic set. And polishing it off with Jools Holland’s Ryhthm & Blues Orchestra and Eric Clapton jamming away together made a great finish to the evening.

We were both exhausted from about 11 hours on our feet, but it was a great show well-worth seeing. I pity those of you who tried to get tickets but were too late – you missed out.

Sadly, we both lost a point on Bryn’s Challenge – disallowed as we were from taking food or drink into the stadium, we had to resort to the fast food available on-site. We settled for merely having a hot dog each, while the folks we watched on the Troma Night webcam tucked into their pizza, but it’s still disappointing that we had to do so. Ah well.

We got back into Aber at about 3am: Claire took a lie-in on Sunday morning after a sterling driving effort (albeit less of a “sterling driving effort” than when she drove to Stirling, but hey).

Tsunami Aid…

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 11 March 2019.

Claire wrote:

Tickets go on sale at 11.00am TODAY for the Tsunami Relief Cymru concert at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on 22nd January. Acts confirmed include Jools Holland, Eric Clapton and Feeder. Dan and I are going, standing cos it’s prob cheaper and more fun, tickets start at £15. Let’s go! It’s only in the middle of exams, I’ve got one in the morning of the 22nd and I’m still going!

Also, Happy birthday to Dan, who is a whopping 24 today! Come to Troma Night and tell him how old he is!


I seem to spend most of my time on this blog posting retrospectively about what I did on any given weekend. Will try to spice things up with a little more thought and debateworthy stuff in the future – I’ve got some ideas. In any case:

Friday was Andy’s gig – not as good as the last one I went to, but still a fab show (and, in particular, some great guitarwork this time around). Claire couldn’t come – she was in Gregynog on a Computer Science away-half-weekend (the replacement for what used to be the “second Aberdyfi weekend” that we used to have in the first year).

Saturday was Troma Night. Rory (visiting) and not-gay Gareth (recently discovered to be in Aberystwyth) came along, as did Claire’s friend Ruth, and a good time was had by all.

And, of course, Sunday was Geek Night. We played Hacker for the first time in ages, as well as a little Fluxx. Matt seems to be a huge fan of the latter – perhaps it apppeals to the mathematician inside him.

Oh, and: Yay!

Halloween In Aber

I’m a big bad wolf, it seems. And last night I, along with Little Red Riding Hood (Claire), Death (Bryn), Paul (Andy!), Judge Doom [barely] (JTA), Pinocchio (Matt), and Matt (not in costume… grr), went out to the Coopers Arms to see Pagan Wanderer Lu. And he was good – some songs I knew, some songs I didn’t: tried to buy a CD at the end but it was £3 and Claire and I only had a £20 note between us and he evidently hadn’t sold £17 worth (i.e. 6) CDs yet because he couldn’t give us change so he’s holding one for us. Nothing rhymes with ‘Aberystwyth’, by the way.

We didn’t stay for much longer, because by this point the room was very full and very hot (particularly with us all in costumes)… so we bailed and went for a sly drink in Scholars, before retiring to the flat to watch My Neighbours, The Yamadas. Which was good.

Hmm… what’s everybody else saying:

Back From Lancashire

Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…

Thursday 26th June 2003
Linux Expo 2003, Birmingham
Sorted out Claire’s bank, packed bags, and set off for Birmingham to the last day of Linux Expo 2003 at the National Exhibition Centre, to meet up with Gareth and some other geeks to talk about a project on which my input could be valuable. Gareth is going to come over to Aberystwyth next weekend and we’ll knock together a prototype of the system we’ve suggested.

Claire got scared by the vast numbers of stereotypical geeks (and the distinct overdose of testosterone in the air – she was one of only three women in the whole place), and by the fact that, unlike normal, she couldn’t understand one in three words spoken. I smiled. She’s got a little way to go to earn her geek stripes, yet.

Bon Jovi, Manchester
Arrived late at Old Trafford – missed the support group, but in time to try to find standing room before Bon Jovi came on-stage. All-in-all, a good concert: Claire was a little short for standing on the pitch to have been a good idea, and the sound quality was a little below-par owing to a lack of adequate repeater speakers, and the only beer available was Budweiser and Boddingtons, but it was still a pretty good gig. Went to a Manchester pub afterwards before catching a really, really late train home. Got to bed sometime after 3am.

More to follow…