Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

100 Things

Inspired by Meredith’s 100 Things, here are 100 nuggets of information about me. This was written in July 2013, so may be a little out of date if you’re reading this months or years later.

  1. Neil Turner is my real name.
  2. I was born in the mid-80s.
  3. I don’t like to give my full date of birth out publicly although frankly if you looked hard enough you could work it out.
  4. I was born in the city of York in England.
  5. I have always lived in Yorkshire – York from birth until I was 18, Bradford until I was 26 and now I live in a small town called Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax.
  6. I live with my wife, Christine.
  7. We’ve been married since May 2013, and been living together for much longer than that.
  8. My best man at my wedding used this blog for most of the embarrassing anecdotes for his speech.
  9. I love London, but I’m not sure I’d want to live there.
  10. Outside of the UK, the country I have visited the most is France; between 1991 and 2003 I was in France at some point at least once each year.
  11. I don’t have any pets now, but used to have pet hamsters when I lived in York with my parents.
  12. I don’t have any tattoos or piercings. Not really my thing.
  13. I like music, but can’t play any instruments. Tried the recorder and keyboard when I was younger but never stuck at it.
  14. I am an atheist.
  15. My family is a mixture of Catholics and Protestants, and I have some Jewish relatives in my extended family.
  16. I have a second-class (lower) honours degree in Computing and Information Systems, and a postgraduate diploma in Forensic Computing, both from the University of Bradford.
  17. I also work there, although any views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, yada yada.
  18. Before my degree, I studied A-levels in Maths, Geography and French at York College. I didn’t get very good grades but that was more a reflection on me being lazy than on the college or my tutors.
  19. My GCSE grades were quite good though – 2 A*s, 2 As and the rest were B grades.
  20. I have chronic asthma, diagnosed when I was 3. I’m reliant on two inhalers and tablets which I have to take every day. It’s something you just accept when you’ve had it for so long, and it doesn’t hold me back.
  21. That being said, the only time I’ve ever been admitted to hospital and had to stay overnight was asthma related.
  22. I’m also lactose intolerant, so I have to limit my intake of dairy products.
  23. I occasionally suffer from hayfever, and I’m allergic to most animal hair.
  24. I’ll eat most things, except sprouts. They’re horrible, no matter how they’re cooked.
  25. I don’t have any irrational fears, but not so good with blood, needles or broken bones.
  26. Thankfully, I’ve never broken any bones or needed a blood transfusion.
  27. However, I try to give blood as often as I can, despite my fear of blood and needles. I have coping mechanisms.
  28. My body mass index is okay but I could do with losing a bit of weight.
  29. I mostly type with two fingers, but can do so quite quickly. My accuracy is probably about average.
  30. I have dark brown hair.
  31. I’ve never dyed my hair.
  32. My father worked as a civil engineer, and when I was younger I wanted to do the same thing. Until I worked for an architect for two weeks on work experience when I was 14 and was thoroughly put off.
  33. I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars films.
  34. If I could have any animal as a pet, I’d have a red panda. I think they’re ridiculously cute.
  35. My second choice would be a penguin.
  36. I’m heterosexual. Guys just don’t really appeal to me.
  37. Despite this, I have kissed a guy. Whilst my then girlfriend was watching. We were both completely sober.
  38. I’m also a big supporter of gay rights. I’m lucky that as a straight man, I’ve been able to marry the love of my life, and I hope that my gay friends will be able to do so.
  39. I can speak French quite well, although I’m a bit out of practice.
  40. I also studied German for four years at school, but haven’t really used it since 2000.
  41. I’ve never been to Germany or Austria.
  42. I only know select words in other languages, but can say Thank You in quite a few – Spanish, Italian, Romanian and others.
  43. I’m not quite six feet tall.
  44. For a bloke, I have quite small feet. This means it’s very difficult to find cheap shoes that fit.
  45. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. My mother took me to playgroup four days a week from a young age so that I could interact with other kids.
  46. I used to be quite socially awkward until my early twenties.
  47. I’ve never smoked, or taken illegal drugs.
  48. But I have been drunk many a time though, especially in my first and second years at university.
  49. I have a British Canoe Union One Star Award for kayaks and tandem canoes.
  50. I was in the Scout movement from age 7 to 18.
  51. I enjoy going walking, although I don’t do it as often as I should do.
  52. I’ve been on top of both the highest mountains in England and Wales – Scafell Pike and Snowdon. Not yet done Ben Nevis in Scotland.
  53. I have a gym membership, but I don’t make the most of it.
  54. I like taking photographs.
  55. I’ve owned around 10 cameras in my lifetime (not including phones with cameras).
  56. Currently I use a Canon EOS 450D, inherited from my father when he bought a new one.
  57. I’ve always been interested in transport, especially the railways.
  58. I still only have a provisional driving license – I failed my driving test twice and then gave up.
  59. I commute to work by train every day.
  60. I only shave my face around twice a week.
  61. I’ve never had a wet shave – I always use an electric razor.
  62. I wash my hair every day.
  63. I’m a published poet.
  64. I used to think Apple products were niche and overpriced.
  65. I now own a Mac Mini, with an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse, an iPhone 5 and an iPad.
  66. The Mac Mini was the most expensive thing I have ever bought with my own money – around £600.
  67. The first computer I used had DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11.
  68. I remember being amazed by Windows 95, with its taskbar and ability to run programs from CD-ROMs automatically.
  69. I really want to like Linux but it’s been many years since I first tried it and I’m still not fully convinced it makes a good desktop operating system for home use.
  70. As well as my Mac, I have a Raspberry Pi, which I’m using as a media centre.
  71. I lost the entire contents of a hard drive in 2004, and didn’t have adequate backups.
  72. I now back up my files in multiple places.
  73. I have an average singing voice. Good enough for karaoke, but I wouldn’t go on a TV talent show.
  74. I love music, and finding new artists and bands to listen to.
  75. I’ve been to a couple of music festivals and a few live gigs.
  76. I love comedy and go to three or four live comedy events each year.
  77. Sarah Millican is probably my favourite stand-up comedian.
  78. I didn’t have a regular part time job until I was 20.
  79. I started full-time work when I was 23.
  80. I enjoy pub quizzes as I can be a fountain of useless knowledge.
  81. I have a very short attention span.
  82. I never really liked beer until I was in my mid-20s.
  83. I’m now a member of CAMRA and like to try new beers and ciders.
  84. I’ve never been very masculine – male chauvinism doesn’t appeal to me.
  85. Politically I’m generally liberal minded.
  86. I’ve never been a member of a political party.
  87. I am a member of a trade union.
  88. Historically, I would vote for the Liberal Democrats in elections.
  89. I now vote for Labour, but I will keep my options open.
  90. I used to be a member of an anti-racism campaigning organisation.
  91. I’m not a great cook but I can usually follow a recipe pretty well.
  92. I’m a member of the National Trust but don’t visit their properties as often as I should.
  93. Red Dwarf is one of my favourite TV series.
  94. I started writing this in July 2011, got to around 50 things and then gave up for two years.
  95. I’ve been paying £9 per month to play World of Warcraft since May 2006. I don’t really want to add up how much that is over the years.
  96. I go through phases of not playing it for a while, and losing whole weekends to it.
  97. I used to have around four passwords that I used for everything.
  98. For years, I felt that Movable Type was a better blogging system than WordPress – but now I believe the opposite is true.
  99. I’ve learned to always keep an open mind about things because things change, and usually for the better.
  100. I believe most people have their heart in the right place and act in good faith.

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