All 38 entries tagged Diary

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April 30, 2008

Harmonisation

Apparently the University is planning to harmonise something. I don’t know what is being harmonised but think this may be it….

...I think we are all going to be given special discounts on Jaguar motor cars and as a test of this Porters have been allocated ‘S’ class Jaguars to replace their existing vans – good luck to them but I would’ve thought that a more environmentally sensitive solution would be for senior officers to be given vans.

Spotted today on Library Rd today:

First park your car

and in the window


December 13, 2007

UK Student VISAs

Follow-up to Its Balls Ed but not as we know it from 353 Rant and Rave

Its not a rumour, its true.

See the guidance notes published by Her Majestry’s Government at
http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/VAF3Guidance-10Dec07.pdf

However, I’m not absolutely sure about the number of existing Visa Application Centres (VAC) in China will be providing the biometric scanning. The most recent information I could find was:

  1. Beijing,
  2. Shenyang,
  3. Jinan,
  4. Wuhan,
  5. Shanghai,
  6. Hangzhou,
  7. Nanjing,
  8. Guangzhou,
  9. Shenzhen,
  10. Fuzhou,
  11. Chongqing and
  12. Chengdu.

So perhaps it wont be quite so bad – it will still be a nightmare though.


December 11, 2007

Its Balls Ed but not as we know it

Rave of the day are the images of noctilucent clouds that were referred to on the BBC News website today. I chose one as my new desktop wallpaper and its looks pretty neat. I never get tired of just looking at nature.

Rant of the day is really rant of the last few days (well, just one of them if the truth be told – I really am getting to be a grumpy old git). From rumours I’ve heard it seems the government is doing its best to destroy the University system in the UK by making it difficult for overseas students to come here. Now, no doubt they will say that it has something to do with Homeland Security but if so are they over-reacting, has the knee jerked a bit too far? Will we partly secure ourselves from a limited threat whilst at the same time undermining the nation’s place in the World.

Are we cutting off our nose to spite our face

The gist of what I’ve heard is that:
  1. Student Visas will only be granted for unconditional offers
  2. Visa applicants will need to be fingerprinted
The problems:
  1. Unconditional offers can only be made after exam results are known so this means visa applications can only start then. ... so, the Immigration officials will have to process pretty much all the students in an 8 week period just when they are all taking holidays – Brilliiant!
  2. Fingerprinting can only take place in a very limited number of places – fine if you live in Singapore but crap if you live in China where students may need to travel hundreds of miles to get a print before completing their application and probably finding that the queues stretch to … Singapore.

Back to my original point…Due to chronic underfunding, the University system here in the UK depends on the income generated by overseas students. China is far and away the biggest source of these students. We really have a problem with ‘anti-social’ behaviour from China don’t we? We can really do without them can’t we? Can we? We really don’t need a healthy higher education system (where will provide all these teachers Masters courses that Ed Speaks Balls – his Lakota Sioux name- is on about? China perhaps – ooops thats another rant).

Oh well, here’s sock of the day.
Sock5
Its Balls Ed but not as we know it.


November 24, 2007

A big glass of mead for Beowulf.

Its all death and destruction today I’m afraid. I’ve just returned home from watching Beowulf and am now writing this entry and rewatching House of Flying Daggers (drinking a bottle of Tsingtao – my favourite Chinese beer – seems appropriate and later I will drink some mead in honour of Beowulf).

I managed to last 3 hours shopping today. Thats a record for me I think but bargains were had. I was after some new jeans and jeans are always a problem for me because I have long but skinny legs. I was after Rush style jeans from Lee but they didn’t have any in Slaters, nor in House of Fraser but I did eventually find some not-half-bad ones in GAP. The plus point of this is that a friend who we met in the shop by chance gave us a 30% off voucher – RESULT!

This wasn’t the end of the bargains, however, as I needed some new shirts and Lewins was just around the corner. What luck! it was Lewins ‘birthday’ and for the small price of an e-mail address they were selling £50 shirts for only £25, ties for 15 and, if you spent over £60, giving away £50 cufflinks – for free! So I saved approximately £135.

3 in 1 outdoor jackets were the last bargain at 20% off RRP. A very snazzy Berghaus Trojan Jacket for me (the liner makes me look like a character from Space 1999) and a North Face for MDW.

Total ‘saving’ for the day=£218.

So this evening… went to see Beowulf for which I have written a short review. Summary: surprisingly good.

Before I post SotD I must go and pour myself a big glass of mead for Beowulf.

Sock5


November 15, 2007

Rather plain ones with holes in

A busy day and one that started with deep frost on the car and fog on the road, Winter is really giving sign of being just around the corner.
I managed to get to grips with some software in preparation for teaching next week but there is still a lot to do. It looks like I will be busy working this weekend.
I went to the library and checked out a book that looked quite promising – at least from its title – but when I got down to scanning it properly realised that is wasn’t very informative. In fact it was downright staid. Rather than being visionary it has nothing to recommend it – anyone with a slight appreciation of the internet could have written it. So don’t waste your time on Roadmap to the e-Factory by Beavers (2001). Instead, have a nice drink (I made a very nice Dry Martini when I got home) curl up on the sofa, close your eyes and think – you will learn more.

Very discomforting news item about the way disabled children in Serbia are treated. You’d have thought they might have learned from the Romanian orphanage stories a few years back. Tried to watch Pan’s Labyrinth but it was too much like hard work after a long day so saw instead the best item on the telly : Hugh Fearnly-Whittingwahtchumie’s Gone Fishing programme and had a bottle of Leffe Brune.

Finally, rather plain ones with holes in:
Sock4


November 13, 2007

From my iPhone

Via a Graduate hotspot.
Sock8


November 07, 2007

trying and failing

So, a quick catch up on SoTD for yesterday before we come to today…
Sock1

The season has really changed now, dull gray and cold this morning as I walked in from Westwood and the leaves no longer crisp and scuffy but pasty and rotten. I did a bit more learning/development with GoldSim, saw a potential project student and drank too much Coffee-Choco hybrid from the machine. I really don’t like it that much but have fallen into a habit with it; it doesn’t even give me much of a caffeine kick.

I drove up to Stoke-on-Trent for a meeting, had it and drove back – really could’ve done this by phone or video conference. On the way back I decided to count phone boxes (don’t ask). Between Stoke and Birmingham via the A51 there are 3 phone boxes visible from the road – thats one about every 15 miles – I hadn’t realised what an endangered species they are.

Got home and have been trying to write lecture notes, trying and failing.
SoTD:
Sock5


November 05, 2007

Colourful No?

I cant believe this.... Blogbuilder just trashed my entry!!! I'll try and remember the main points:

Rocket Man by Elton John being played on all the radio channels. Seems its the anthem for Guy Fawkes, better than Candle in the bloody Wind.

After lecturing and seeing some project students I had a surprise message on my phone which spurred me into action. Ispent the rest of the day learning some new software (GoldSim) and making calls, eventually getting through to someone I'd wanted to talk to for a seeming age - at last!

Evening spent watching people put their lives on the line for us in Afghanistan. It confirms in my mind the almost unbelievable adaptability and resilience that we have.

Finally, sock of the day:

Sock8

Colourful no?


November 04, 2007

The fog rolled in,

I made the right decision this morning and set off westwards into Shropshire. The fog gradually lifted as I drove along Wenlock Edge and by mid-day I was looking out from the top of a hill over a picture postcard view of this part of England. Fog lay like a white sea in some of the valleys to the south. To the East, Clee Hill appeared framed in clouds like some disembodied head, to the West the hill of Caer Caradoc reflected back the low Autumn sun and in the valley below cows farted and sheep pee’d themselves and ran away.

Sock of The Day will be seeing some new appearances after I tidied another drawer and found some socks that were making a bid for freedom but by then I had already put these on:
Sock6 I know, these should have been retired and they will be.

This evening was spent enjoying fireworks in our neighbors back garden with their young children and some of their family. They even managed to get 2 of the 3 Catherine Wheels to spin properly then the fog rolled in.


November 03, 2007

Why is this so rare?

Jay is right, I have been less than honest, economical with the actualite, I have been posting sock of the day late and today is no different. I’m watching Match of The Day on Saturday (Arsenal vs. Man (cheating starbards!) Utd.) and here is Sock of the Day for Friday.
Sock2

Todays socks are long blue woolly ones and not worthy of SotD status.

Anyhow… I have to Rave today about Bonfire Night – okay its not actually Nov 5th but in practice this is the night. It has dawned on me that this is one of the few events that brings communities in Britain together these days. As I drove home from the Bonfire Night at my archery club – where I was in charge or the fireworks (fortunately nothing went wrong, I won’t be featured on UTube) – the streets were full of people walking to or from bonfire parties, in good spirits, smoke drifting everywhere and bangs, whistles and screeches coming from all directions. For me it is like general election evenings with people walking to the polling stations and New Year or Christmas Eve but without the drunkenness. Why is this so rare?


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