All 7 entries tagged Gnus

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April 12, 2007

What time is it? Now.

I met up with Mairead and Pete today, which was nice. I also made a friend called Pablo, who may or may not have stolen a 15p padlock from Wilkinson’s.

The past week’s been quite busy; I’ve seen almost every member of my extended family, been to Diggerland (where there are hundreds of diggers, all under one metaphorical roof), climbed a tree, and seen a musical starring (in a non-starring manner) my cousin. I’ve also played a small amount of Twilight Princess, and am likely to remain 5 rupees away from getting the Magic Armour until I return for the summer holidays.

Back to Coventry tomorrow, and then going to Nottingham either Friday or Saturday (I should probably decide that fairly soon) for the British Juggling Convention. Then on Sunday I’ll be back in Coventry ready to start working on the Problem Solving assignment due in on the first day of term.

Club juggling has been improving nicely. On Monday I managed to do a few tricks for the first time. Ball juggling going less well – I think my five ball pattern has gone downhill due to not enough practising.

January 03, 2007

New Year

New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Update at least once a week
2) Don’t leave things to the last minute

Rather fittingly, it’s only just less than a week since my last entry.

New Year’s Eve/Day was fun. We made up a dance for some European country I can’t remember and played Ligretto until the new year. Then we had sparklers in Pete’s garden, which Mairead seemed to be afraid of. After that, we had a 6 hour game of Risk in which just about everyone almost won. I found that chatting up the dice works, until you get too cheesy. We played Poker, which bizarrely ended up with Mairead and Hennell having all the money.

Chris got everyone a “A man walks into his flat” T-shirt. He also got me Winnie the Pooh, which I suspect excites him far more than it does me. Throughout the evening, I scared myself and everyone else with my knowledge of songs. Rather boringly, we all left in the morning to our respective houses, rather than doing something random.

December 27, 2006


I have too many projects.

I started making a Tetris clone an Ancient Hobbit Puzzle game. (Sidenote: some people have too much time on their hands.)

I have plenty of work to do on Operation Meltdown.

The Beautifully Choreographed Battle Game isn’t complete.

I have various other LotH-themed games I want to make.

Perhaps more importantly than those games, I have two pieces of coursework due in at the start of next term.

Mark gave me some more Javascript stuff to do for St Pixels.

My Dad wants me to do some PHP stuff for him.

I have Babylon 5, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development and now Wonderfalls to watch.

I need to complete Twilight Princess before I go back to Warwick.


Grandparents were here for the past three days. We saw Treasure Island at the theatre earlier today, and yesterday we went to the ice rink, where some of us went ice-skating.

Ian has an iPod. He wanders around the house with it on all the time, ignoring people even more than before. We either need to get a remote control for it, or I’m going to get into the habit of hitting him over the head before saying anything to him.

Wandered around town last Friday for many hours with Pete and Mairead. Nowhere has any copies of Wii Play. We were unknowingly in the same Starbucks as one of Hennell’s sister’s friends for some time. We went bowling after finding a Hennell – I found that Wii Sports seems to help, but not enough to let me win. Then we went to Pizza Hut and then back into town where we met people from school. Pete and Hennell went to get a lift home and I went with them intending to get a bus, not thinking that it would make sense to tell Mairead. Hopefully she got back home alright, though.

Ian is fairly often getting up to watch the Cricket before I’ve gone to bed. It’s just wrong.

September 19, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2006

That Hennell be a more untrustworthy swine than a thievin’ monkey covered in ale an’ set on fire! When I said ter him that me cracker be gone, he acted all helpful like, even makin’ me this here image fer me ter use. Course, I went and forgot it when I were writin’ me report, but I don’t be the slimey privateer o’ a weasel we be talkin’ about here. Tha’ lowdown dirty deceiver knew where me cracker was all along!

Serves ‘im right that he missed out on all the fun on the Monday, when a couple o’ mates o’ mine came round ter me cabin. He were off somewhere jumpin’ into water an’ stoppin’ people from drownin’, as if that be a useful skill fer a pirate! I be thinkin’ tha’ since his captain has only got the one eye, he be makin’ all the wrong people walk the plank. An’ then he be needin’ them ter be saved so he pushes Hennell in ter do tha’ fer him.

The rest o’ us, we spent our night takin’ over the world on a map. What were more suprisin’ than screamin’ crabs fallin’ from the sky was when Cabin Boy Pete won twice over (with the help o’ Stupid Fool o’ a Deckhand Chris). Then we played some kind o’ game runnin’ around London with paper dubloons, an’ I won it nicely. By this point it were gettin’ early, so we decided ter go visit the hummock fer dawn in Stupid Fool o’ a Deckhand Chris’s dinghy o’ the roads.

A hummock is sommat like a sand dune on an island yer might get marooned on, ‘cepting that it be bigger, and it ain’t made o’ sand, and it ain’t on an island. Alas, this particular hummock be badly placed ter see the dawn, so it weren’t so grand a sight as I were expectin’. We played a couple o’ games o’ Cheat while we were there, which Storesmaster Mairead the Bloody were mighty confused by. I took some photos, but most weren’t good enough ter show even ter the rat-infested corpse o’ a person.

When I got back ter me cabin, I slept fer a couple o’ hours an’ later went ter work me final shift at the Orpheus. Some say the place be haunted, but that be more ridiculous than a five-legged goat dressed up as a man an’ made ter dance. The ghosts people sometimes think they see, they be nothin’ more than customers! An’ customers be a lot better than ghosts, ‘cause if ye can persuade them ter see one o’ our god-awful films, then they pay yer fer it too!

On the Thursday, we met up fer various reasons, many of which were scuppered by Cabin Boy Pete not comin’ along. Stupid Fool o’ a Deckhand Chris scarpered later, wi’out even a goodbye. This left meself, Storesmaster Mairead the Bloody an’ Cracker Thievin’ Mutineer Hennell ter entertain ourselves by hopin’ fer a goat. When no goats appeared, we decided the next best thing would be ter see a film, but we disagreed about how god-awful it should be.

After much debate and no agreement, we went ter see Right at Yer Door rather than Little Man. Storesmaster Mairead the Bloody disliked it, but what do she know? I still be deciding whether I liked the endin’ or not, but it were mainly good.

More recently, I been workin’ on the Lord o’ the Hoops game. It be shapin’ up ter be an ARRR-some game, despite the lack o’ any pirates in it at all.


This be a fine entry, ter be sure, but I can’t be helpin’ the feelin’ that no matter the number o’ pirate entries I write, they’ll forever be in the shadow o’ sommat better. ‘Tis a sad thing, usin’ up all yer genius too soon. There be nowhere ter go but down, an’ down is where the water be.

September 10, 2006

Cracker Watch

Mairead, in her deluded fashion, has decided that a cracker, if left outside of a cracker jar, will eventually go mouldy.

Rather than pat her on the head and say, “Yes, deary,” (followed by running away quickly), I decided to prove her wrong in the greatest scientific experiment ever performed on a cracker.

And so began the arduous task of photographing the cracker. These photos were provided to the scientific community to examine and verify my results. So far, no scientist has found a trace of mould in these images.

However, before the project had even reached the two month mark, disaster struck. The cracker was missing from its fortified storage location. The guards, after extensive questioning, realised that they had not necessarily seen the cracker since its last test, two weeks prior.

Someone was a cracker-thief.

Someone who probably also answered my phone so that I wouldn’t find out that my juggling balls had arrived. That’s just the type of thing that a cracker-thief would do.

Suspect #1: Ian Hazelden

Look at that grin on his face. If that’s not the grin of a cracker-thief, I don’t know what is.

Ian has unparalleled access to the storage room, often wandering in for the sole purpose of annoying me. I am confident that he would happily eat the cracker, even if not particularly hungry. Ian was aware of the experiment, but this would not have stopped him from eating the cracker, and might even encourage him to do so.

Suspect #2: Mairéad

Look at that ugly grimace on her face. If that’s not the grimace of a cracker-thief, I don’t know what is.

Mairead has the most to lose from the cracker experiment’s conclusions. Disrupting it would keep herself from being proved wrong once again. She also bears several violent grudges against me, the most recent of which being when I completely destroyed her while playing Risk.

On at least two occasions, she has had easy access to the storage room.

Suspect #3: Christopher Hunter

Like Mairead, Chris had recently been humiliated in a game of Risk. However, he is unlikely to have taken this personally.

Being unaware of the cracker experiment, it is possible that he may have seen a tasty-looking (and non-mouldy) cracker lying about, and simply decided to eat it. This would not be out of character.

Since he left to go to work when everyone else stayed sleeping in the tent, he had fewer opportunities to eat the cracker than Mairead.

Suspect #4: Paul Hennell

Hennell was at least aware that there was something going on with the cracker, so is unlikely to have eaten it accidentally.

However, he might have eaten it in the hope that it would cure whatever illness he was suffering from on the trip to Hay-on-Wye. In this case, he might ignore the scientific value of the experiment for his own benefit.

This is not very likely, since to the best of my knowledge, crackers have no restorative healing powers.

Suspect #5: Peter Sparks

Pete probably didn’t eat or steal the cracker.

August 27, 2006


A few photos available here

Apart from the ridiculous idea of catching a coach at 7:00 in the morning, the day trip to London was fun.

We went to a prison where Jack Sheppard may or may not have escaped from.

I almost choked to death with Pete, Mairead and Hennell watching.

We went to Hyde Park and sat/wandered/chased Pete.

Then we went to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, where we became varying levels of wet. Most people refused to join in the how–long–can–you–hold–your–breath competition. Libby managed to pick up a £1 coin with some kind of freaky vacuum–mouth ability. Someone made a boat out of our tube map, which worked really well, but sadly decided to die when I finally got round to trying to record it.

Then we went to Harrods (mercifully for only a brief time) where I was very tempted to buy a Mac Mini. Hennell's suggestion that I tell everyone that I actually had bought one worked well, especially with Libby. I wish I had got one, now, just for how she would have reacted when I finally showed it to her.

On the coach, Libby took photos of people, most of them with their eyes shut. Everyone saw the ridiculous number of photos Ian has taken on my camera. Some highlights include 12 photos of Chris (taken over the span of about 2 minutes), 4 photos of a bottle of Fanta (this one is the craziest to me), and various photos of me sitting down and doing nothing interesting.

I sold Hennell a bread loaf/roll for 1p.

I solved all of Mairead's problems, but she didn't seem that happy about it. She was very ungrateful indeed.

Nothing quite as eventful happened as last year's trip, which had the brilliant where-to-eat disaster, some small explosions and of course, the whole missing the coach back thing. Pity really, but I guess if you want excitement, you have to stay for longer.

And this entry is finished within a week of the last one (by about an hour).

March 22, 2006

Term 1 recap – what I did

Since term 2 is over, now is the perfect time to record all the interesting events from term 1. Obviously.

My computer didn't want to connect to the internet. I sidestepped the problem for a while, before installing Ubuntu. This fixed the problem, and was generally a good thing.

At the second juggling society meeting, I met James, Jen and Darren. Jen and Darren had apparently only started juggling the previous week, which was impressive.

Early in the term, I saw Ross Noble at the Arts Centre, who was hilarious. Highlights were rewinding through most of his act on a whim, and jumping out at somebody who went to the toilet.

On Tuesday of week 3, I decided to walk into Coventry. Hilarity ensued.

The Monday runday probably occurred on a Monday, and involved two people racing to Tescos and back from L3, in the 15 minutes between lectures. Unfortunately for me, I was one of the two people, and I'm just as good at running short distances as I am at walking long distances.

At some point, the juggling trio mentioned above invited me to a Kaylee (more commonly spelt Ceilidh). Despite not really knowing what this was, and not knowing either Jen or Darren very well, I accepted enthusiastically. Well, I accepted.

I got ever so slightly lost finding it, though, in the same way that murderers ever so slightly break the law. It's a perfect subject for another Google Map Animation, but I'd need a better map to create it with. However, in the end, I got there and danced the merry night away. I believe I met Merle and Callie there, although their names almost certainly didn't stick until term 2.

I went to Sheffield one Saturday to meet up with people from Bristol. As well as playing spot the police officer, we watched Wallace and Gromit at the cinema (which has Marcus Brigstocke in the credits). On the way back, I caught a coach to Birmingham, intending to catch a train from there. This plan required my being able to find my way from the coach station to the train station, of course. After only a few minor setbacks (such as choosing entirely the wrong direction to start walking in), this was exactly what happened.

On Wednesday of week 7, I turned up to what was theoretically the first of three Perl seminars, interested in how you could cover Perl in just three hours. The turnout was somewhat amusingly low. Afterwards, I spent some time with half of the people who were there (all two of them), mostly because there was mention of working through the insanely hard Problem Sheet 3. That didn't happen all that much, though. Then I was invited to the Linux User Group meeting, where they were too cliquey, so I eventually ran away.

A week later, I went on a trip to IBM with the Computing Society. That was fun enough, but I don't think I gained anything from the experience.

On Friday of week 9, I went with a bunch of people to see Harry Potter. That was the opening night, and the cinema was ever-so-slightly busy as a result of it. So we got there early – problem solved. Except for the bit where our tickets had "AM" instead of "PM" on them. We stood around in confusion for quite a while, being given conflicting information every so often. Eventually, most of us got in, and the rest went home and came back later in the week.

I was in the latter group, which was probably for the best, since the Leeds Juggling Convention was the following day, and I needed to get up for it. I got much juggling done, and Dave tried to improve my pathetic diabolo skills (without much success). On the way back, I supplied some logic riddles and Richard supplied some word riddles.

New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at

My website

Looking for more information about Alan Hazelden? Follow me on Twitter or go to my website.

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