Wednesday, June 29, 2005

There and Back Again

I'm back - having left far far far too late in the day on Monday, around 12ish. About 9pm I returned to Leicester in the biggest thunderstorm I've ever seen (probably minor for down here). I dropped off a lot of my stuff at my new gaffe, looking and feeling a lot like a burglar in my rain coat (not to mention the constant illumination of the storm) and then went to the Ullswater Dump to watch TV, eat healthy stuff like Pot Noodles and generally kip at around 1am.

It was quite weird being home to be honest. Not much had changed. The roads were more of a mess. That's it really - a good chance to see folk, though a surprising number of folk were on holiday or otherwise engaged for those 5 days. Even the swimming pool was closed for that week exactly.

Oh and I got some photos of Jedburgh on the way home (and some Jethart Snails) to upload in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Few Words

Back. Dark. Stormy. Sunless. More. Tomorrow.

Friday, June 24, 2005

How did it go?

The following link summs it up (if it plays).


I'm still in my viva technically. We're on lunch break, with the examiners getting sandwiches and me suitably separated with a university lunch in the labs blogging away.

It's not going too bad despite the following things

- Someone stole the bus stop at the bottom of Balmossie Street which was mildly vexing.
- Someone spilled permanent marker all over my white shirt.
- My mobile has died again - the charger ripped the charge interface clean out of the mobile so I have 25% battery until I can get it fixed, or more likely get a better phone with free phonecalls and texts like everyone else.

Some of the questioning has been a bit gruelling, some of it has been a case of explaining things over again, but I think I'm getting there. And I have a lot of corrections to do... Apparently the damn thing's difficult to understand! But curiously I seem to be enjoying myself - the banter is actually kind of fun!

More when I return for the last part, which is meant to be quite short, and then face the verdict soon. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Home Again

Yes, I'm in Dundee now preparing for my viva (which is this Friday). Yesterday was a 400 mile trip but it was made more bearable with the Doctor Who and Da Vinci Code audio CDs I'd bought.

Don't try to study at a service station after 4 hours of driving. I looked at the front page of a paper and thought, "Nope", put it back in the enormous cardboard box and went for a real break.

I got home at about midnight, though I'd stopped for many many hours after making very good time along the Glasgow road. It may actually be further than going via Edinburgh but it is quicker because very little of it is single carriage-way with "294 people got killed here last year because some council member decided this road is especially narrow and treacherous" signs about the place.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Busy Busy Busy!

Haven't been blogging recently as I spent most of Friday on a university induction day. Long talks on equality policies, a game session to get us to find out info about the university and me asking a question on how to obtain a GP through the Uni that got everyone on the panels riled, sent 2 people running out the room and

I'm currently studying for my viva. Well, not right now, but I've done 3-4 hrs today of reading the entire box of papers I brought down with me. Abstract and conclusion only though for my sanity.

It's been ludicrously warm here. I've got my desktop fan on. The house has been unbearably smelly and infested by creepy-crawlies for some reason. I've had to open all the windows and clean everything in the kitchen, even using very dilute turps and water to mop up the floor (it was all I could find) on the tiled floors.

Also - Chris Eccleston won't be in the Dr Who Xmas Special I guess. Bummer. Nice writeout though.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

This week I 'av been mostly watching...

Prince of Darkness: A group of physics students are asked to investigate this strange gravity defying green liquid in a bottle that has been sequestered in an old church and only recently found with the death of an old priest. They take Donald Pleasance with them. It turns out the green liquid is Satan and it starts possessing the various students. Damn freaky film - I haven't seen such a scary horror film in years!

Gattaca: Thought provoking film where future society determines you're position based on your genetic make-up. Lowly genetically unenhanced Ethan Hawke wants to be an astronaut so he has to pretend to be of the highest calibre of genetics.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Terry Gilliam at his best.

Cube Zero: Prequel to the amazing film Cube. Much better than the sequel Hypercube. This time we watch the watchers of the cube and it's pretty interesting. Not as good as the original though!

Millennium: Yup - he's still catching those serial killers only now it turns out the Millennium group were behind everything and are evuulll, despite the fact they seemed ok until about half-way through season 2. And his wife died. In a viral outbreak that killed 80 people. Which the Millennium group is responsible for apparently. I still don't understand.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

From the Makers of the Gamers

A Campaign Ad.

Appearing on TV Near You

Check BBC1's TV show "Bailliffs" in the next few weeks and you might see me on it.

Yes, coming into the house yesterday I stumbled on an "open this - don't ignore it" order for a Mr. John Mceever saying he'd not paid his council tax and that they were coming to seize his goods.

Obviously this vexed me, and after a somewhat irate call to the Lettings Agency I am told it is resolved and is a case of the council being too lazy to notice there's a new tenant.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday Blues

It's Monday and we've had 2 fire alarms already where the building has had to be evacuated. You see the Charles Wilson building has 4+ kitchen/restaurants that could set off an alarm. So I've visited the campus bookshop and CD sale this morning.

Ah - work is hard!

Sarbreenar Photos

As Mare pointed out the photos for Sarbreenar Lives are posted here. Admire the Harry Potter look-alikes, artwork and an unfortunate pose on picture 5.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Blast From the Past

Just found some embarrassing fanfiction I wrote many years ago when I was 17. Read the bizareness here, here and especially here as some nice chap reconstructed my original website + graphics. Obviously someone liked them.

Let this be a lesson - don't post on the internet stuff you'd feel embarassed reading 7 years on.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Can't believe i posted this...

its work on a friday and i have had a beer it is going to my head so i post about Weeble

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Natalie Portman

Somehow I doubt this is going to work but good luck. Just in case I will register

Steven Speilburg Best Director of All Time?

Empire Magazine in their infinite wisdom has named Steven Speilburg the best director of all time. Am I the only one who thinks Stevie hasn't made a really cracking good film since the 80s or early 90s? AI was ok, Minority Report ditto, the Terminal was too much a mainstream heart-warming Tom Hanks comedy and War of the Worlds doesn't exactly scream "Classic!" to me.

Similarly George Lucas is further down the food chain but there's something disturbing to me about a director who insists on using CGI for every bally scene. Thinking back every shot in Episode 3 seemed to be CGI. Heck there's even a shot in Empire of George digitally adding the backdrop of Padme's apartment to Ep3. Why the heck not just pay the dosh and build the set George?

Imminently Imminent

As the date of my viva becomes increasingly imminent I am getting ready for it by rereading my theiss and spotting all the now-glaring typos that were invisible two months ago. I've started writing the cliff-notes version with the average chapter being shortened to 2 pages, and I'm going to revise certain key papers. Oddly despite it being two months old now I've forgotten how many of the equations worked.

I'm sat at work today revising and making notes as best I can. Boo hoo me!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Happy Birthday Egor

Happy Birthday to Egor who has grown older and not wiser. Check the post next week!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Important Safety Film

Pretty important this.

Yes Sir.

Yes I went to Nottingham. Yes I had fun. Yes I even spent £25 on a hotel room despite the fact I live about 23 miles away (though it was about midnight on Saturday before the fun finished). No there wasn't any cross dressing wierdos, but there was much immaturity (beyond the normal civilised levels at times).

Yes the hotel was pretty disgusting. Yes it was better than my house. Yes I broke my diet and went out for dinner. Yes I paid £15 for a burger. No it wasn't worth it.

Actually it was pretty good fun. The first day was a battle mission, which I suitably tactically solved, followed by a suspiciously familiar ship mission. The second day was a bit more free-form, 50 adventurers raiding the enemy capital. It didn't really work, given that it descended into farce as my group of 4th level PCs rushed across town to take on some beholders only to remember we were 4th level and went back to the vaguely safe sewer adventure, only to face a lich. But I made 5th level, and I started at 3rd.

Oh and having flying boots is bad for your health.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nottingham, No Service and Nietzsche

Well I'm off to sunnier? Nottingham for the weekend for Sarbreenar Lives against my better judgement. I keep hearing how brilliant Sarbreenar is compared to LG (despite the fact they nicked our plotline and now our venue) but I have yet to be convinced. Since this is meant to be the best of their events (and a 40 minute drive away) I have high expectations (though I'm only a lowly 3rd level peon, it is possible I might be totally unengaged throughout the scenarios, or killed very swiftly allowing me to visit Travelling Man).

Annoyingly I don't have any of my LARP stuff since pots and pans are more useful than a green medieval tunic (which I think makes me look like Da Vinci rather than a warrior) so I will be plains clothing it. I expect to take lots of photos of other weird people, including the all-to-eager to cross-dress male players with female player characters.

I got soaked to the skin today making an observation: the Leicester branch of the Bank of Scotland is fecking useless. Twice now I have turned up at great effort (I finengled getting out of work at 3pm) to go the bank before it closed. On both occasions I've been told by the teller she cannot deal with my query. In this case it was to set up a bank transfer for my rent, the last time it was to obtain a print out of my bank statements. Now the former should, in my opinion, be relatively trivial for a bank, but they keep directing me to the phone banking services.

I dallied at Forbidden Planet on the way home, read the entirety of Star Wars Infinities: Empire Strikes Back (a cunning graphic novel - they change one event in the trilogy and take it from there. In this case Han's tauntaun freezes to death before he can find Luke so poor old Luke dies of hypothermia) and as penance discovered it had begun pouring it down and both my jackets were either at home or work.

On another note I have resumed reading the Da Vinci Code and got involved in a conversation with the gym instructor about it, criminology and Nietzsche. In fact he thought I was a psychologist. People down here have the impression I'm some sort of intellectual. Thank goodness the charade is working!

Die Crazy Frog, Die!

Justice At Last!

If you have no idea what this is about, how I envy you!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Photos Are Coming...

It's nearing time for me to bid my palatial manor in Leicester's depressing city centre for my new place further from the city centre. Obviously I will miss sharing my third-hand bathroom with at times a surprisingly large cast of bugs and flies (and one slug that somehow got into the house and slithered in across my bathmat one day) and I will miss hanging my clothes over the radiator after washing them only to discover they're coated in 6 month old silly-string.

Anyway I'm going to take some photos of my old place for posterity. Highlights will include the smoke detector over the abyss of a stairhead (guess which one needed its battery changing, and why I decided I'd rather risk a possible fire than fall 10 ft. down the stairs), the jury-rigged lock I've made for my backdoor out of a latch with a screw-driver and the antique TV.

Goodness, roll on July the 1st!

Serial Killer or Progam Language Inventor?

A rather disturbing quiz. I got 7/10.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005