Sunday, February 19, 2006

'Tis a Small World

Another week seems to have whizzed by and its been relatively non-descript. Work has been quite hard this week - Monday was quiet but the rest of the week was choc-a-bloc with work and some sort of job evaluation where the University wants a short summary of what we do. Naturally some of us found ways to make this very very difficult.

Today I did my first league fencing bout on our ladder and I actually managed to win, which is good because it leaves me with an unbeaten record (i.e. I've not fenced anyone who is either left-handed or ridiculously good) and because the fellow was calling me out for a fight for some time now. I don't know why this happens - I'm an affable chap and yet it seems everywhere I go danger and quarreling follows me.

After some victory drinks of diet coke to celebrate not moving down on the fencing league I made the discovery that it seems like a sizeable portion of the fencing crowd are roleplayers and card game players - knowing of such games as Citadels. Not only that but our American armourer was a dead sister in the Gamers. Sure enough - putting the DVD in and with some creative zooming it is probably her in a 3 second cameo. And at least 2 of the fencers are applying for PhDs in Dundee.

Sometimes life is full of coincidences.

Apparently I'm a Noble Sort


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Another Quiz

I now have Serenity on DVD. It's a crying shame there will not be a sequel, unlike films that suck like Final Destinaion (or rather, Same Story 3).

Apart from the gender switch and the spicy food this is pretty much accurate I guess.

Your results:
You are Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)

Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
River (Stowaway)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
You are good at fixing things.
You are usually cheerful.
You appreciate being treated
with delicacy and specialness.

Click here to take the Serenity Firefly Personality Test

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

'Cos Everyone Else Did It...

Proving these things truly are illo... nonsense.

Your results:
You are Spock

James T. Kirk (Captain)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
Beverly Crusher
Mr. Sulu
Will Riker
Geordi LaForge
Mr. Scott
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
You are skilled in knowledge and logic.
You believe that the needs of the many
outweigh the needs of the few.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

Monday, February 13, 2006

An Old Dude Returns

Turkey baster?

Wine Bars

This weekend I almost committed a deed that was both dark and heinious and a betrayal of my Gaelic working class roots.

I almost went to a wine bar.

It was a mate's birthday bash and he'd arranged to meet me at "Henry's Wine Bar" on the Saturday.

Fortunately my great betrayal was swiftly averted when Henry's turned out to be a champagne bar, not some common garden wine bar. So that was alright.

It's a fairly expensive place, specialising in cocktails at £6 a pinch - definitely the place you take young ladys to appear flush with the cash. After genteely sipping a Metropoliton for an hour and then being convinced that everyone was out to get me drunk with all the "finish your drink Stu, we're leaving" at every public house we went to we absconded to a Chinese round the corner from the train station. Apparently it had just reopened due to fire (and not food poisoning I hope!). The cake's good though.

Good night out in Leicester centre. And no social etiquette was harmed in the making of this post. Hurrah!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Too Hot to Handle

Excitement struck our office at Leicester University over Tuesday-Wednesday with the introduction of some temperature sensitive strips designed to tell you the temperature and save the uni m... er... make us more aware if our office was too warm or too cold compared to health and safety standards (i.e. not at the 'comfort zone' of 20 degrees). Each of us got one strip, though the amount of money it may save on heating is probably being spent looking at the strip and egging it past 23 degrees.

At least now arguments on the office being too cold when we open our doors to the students will end, the office is about 25-27 degrees currently. Though I'm sure there'll be other things to fight about, important issues like the amount of blue-tac, how wide the window is open or the lack of good whinging to be had lately.

More interestingly with there being three strips in our office I took one strip home, where it promptly turned blood-red, indicating a temperature circa 27-29 on a chilly day.

On and if you've not been following Steve's new blog Horton's Folly it's been getting extra silly lately.

"A mix of Cthuluesque madness, rice and nerdiness."
-The Times

Monday, February 06, 2006

Visiting the Third Fane of Hell

This week I have been mostly getting lost. Which is nice because I've not had any Leicester Adventures (tm) recently. For those not in the know (a number 1 less than the population of Britain I would wager) a Leicester Adventure (tm) is where while trying to find some main street/motorway/glaringly obvious landmark or making a slight alteration in heading I end up either trapped in a warren of narrow one-way street or driving 5 miles wondering where the heck the main road or any other part of the Midlands I recognise is hiding.

I've discovered a lot of takeaway places and supermarkets this way. Still haven't found the Asdas supposedly near my gaff though.

I went to Birmingham this weekend. A friend of mine had described Birmingham's lovely Digbeth Coach Station as hell's waiting room but the rest of Digbeth was similarly hellish. It was a grey overcast day but I'm convinced the sky had more colour than the surrounding buildings, including the aptly named "Digbeth Cold Storage Area", a vintage vinyl record shop and an alarming amount of adult bookstores. The bookshop I was looking for (which, no, was definitely not one of the aforementioned adult bookstores) didn't exist but I did satisfy my curiousity as to what the Coach Station looked like.

While I had some trouble getting to Birmingham, leaving I discovered that trying to head northeast to Leicester meant a trip through the Midlands via every little hamlet including another aptly titled area called "No Man's Heath". I realised once I crossed two counties and ended up in Warwickshire I was probably going the wrong way home. Unless I was going back to Dundee.

Fencing was very good this week, though they've decided to finally just sod all pretences on Leicester's London Road and dig a really big hole and not allow anyone past. This had apparently caused bus drivers problems as Leicester is a maze. In fact it took me a good 20 minutes to miraculously find myself emerging on the other side of the hole after driving down one street and trying to head back to the London Road.

I've finally decided to take the plunge and get an XL jacket and padding as trying to find some club kit that fits is... a humbling experience. And I'd like to be able to protect my back from any nasty backstabbing sorts.

Work has been pretty much as described earlier, with the added plus that it looks like no-one outside the office is surprised by the problems or really cares. I will have to come in at weekends in the near future as well! To be honest I'd happily work Sat-Sun if it meant I could get 2 days off normally.

It's not all doom and gloom at work. The labs and courses I'm teaching are a lot more interesting this term, I'm a lot more organised and I really enjoy taking the labs (mind you I enjoy anything to do with my job that gets me away from the office and the moan throne therein).

Monday mornings are becoming increasingly odd in that I seem to spend a lot of time dispensing sage non-computing advise on careers and real life issues to my students. I'm not sure when I became old enough to start giving advice people actually listened to, but it seems to have happened.

And apparently I get officially older this month. Fortunately my wits haven't gotten addled yet. Unless you count the lack of direction sense I'm developing...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cheesy Advert

Ah, my job is just like this er... NOT!

Mines is more like this show plus the guy looks and acts a lot like me.