March 22, 2006

Photos from Latvia

Writing about web page

I have added my first few photos to the gallery, from our recent trip to Riga in Latvia. All photos taken using Sony Cybershot DSC-H1, minimal post processing.

Statue of Liberty

Riga and beyond

I'm into the second week of the Easter break now and am aware that I have not updated the blog as frequently as I had initially intended, and so failed to keep a decent record of what has been going on.

What was left of term 2 since my last entry went without any major drama, exams ocurred, deadlines passed and much beer was consumed. It's hard to pick out any particuarly distinguished events, except potentially Vapout were everything got a little bit out of control.

Last week, the first of the break, was the busiest I have had for some time, down to London for work on monday, up to Stanstead and Latvia on Tuesday, back on Thursday night and then returning to Leamington on the Friday.

Although Riga was only a whirlwind tour, it was very enjoyable, and if you get the chance to go, it's highly recommended. We were fortunate to get very low cost flights, courtesy of Ryanair, more than adequate accommodation and find some very nice pubs and food while out there. The city is indeed a mini Prague and has a wealth of history which was fascinating to read about.

On returning to Leamington, we decided to go out, coninciding with St Patrick's day. It was a great night, although I'm not sure whether my consumption of Guiness was a gesture for the occasion or a result of Guiness's marketing of the event.

January 08, 2006

Managing the Supply Chain

Two assignments down, one exam to go.

Last Wednesday and Friday I frantically struggled to get my two Christmas assignments handed in, long nights and early mornings don't make a happy Carl. After running for the bus on friday and getting to the business school quarter of an hour before a deadline I had known about for two months, I still couldn't feel happy or relieved, since I knew I had revision to get on with. Come Monday everything will be done and dusted, hopefully.

The exam on monday is for a module that wasn't first choice, though it is first class, lecturer was fairly funny and actually knew something, which makes a change. In a way I guess I can thank the ineptitude of the business school for making so many modules clash and leading me to the module. Good lectures doesn't make up for the lack of revision though, but in the past two days I've powered on and hopefully all should be good come tomorrow.

Due to revision I missed out on Skool Dayz yesterday, first time in a long while, although maybe for the best.

January 02, 2006

End of the holidays

Tomorrow I'm back at Uni, so now seems like a good time to lie down and reflect on the holiday that has just been and recent events.

Yesterday we (me,al,rob,mike,simon) got back from a fun weekend in Cardiff. It's the first road trip we've had for a while and while it was free of incident, was enjoyable. Although we forgot to take a map we found it to Alex's without any major issues, though we did get to know some of the roundabouts off the M4 fairly intimately.

New Year's itself was great fun, was nice to see everyone from uni again and a slight change of scenery and people from back home. Cardiff didn't dissapoint, other than minor transport issues to and from the Millenium Stadium. Spending New Year in sports stadium doesn't initially sound that exciting, but when the roof is on and the turf is up, it's not a bad place to be; plenty of toilets and bars, seating for everyone and enough room for dodgems and a couple of rides. It was a bit of a shame that we hadn't dressed up for the 'Halos and horns' theme, but then most of the locals hadn't bothered to drive over from London, which made me feel slightly better.

The problem with being in a stadium is that it's big and there were a lot of people there that I didn't know, even a few I probably wouldn't want to know. It was too easy to lose every one else and it got a bit scary just before midnight when I realised that I was alone, in Wales and finding people might be an issue. Thankfully Alex was both quick in replying and descriptive as to where they were. Simon on the other hand wasn't so fortunate and ended up being consoled by a friendly bunch of natives.

After the excitment had died down and the DJ had killed off any desire in me to dance, with a Tom Jones – Thriller(almost any other Michael Jackson would have been so much better) – Barry White combo, we made our slow way back to Alex's house, via the very appropriately named 'Chippy Street'. After several hours of non stop laughter, dog piles and jokes about Rob's short shorts, I enjoyed my first sleep of 2006.

As a whole the holiday has been enjoyable, if expensive and not so productive. My work is kind of almost nearly done, in that I haven't finished it yet. My revision has started, but not really. So the only thing I have achieved is an Xbox 360, which I guess is better than some. The rest of the week will no doubt be filled with frantic revision and essay writing, maybe even a little trip to Sugar.

First football match of term is Saturday, which I'm really looking forward to and it's Skool Dayz on saturday. I've also got a very light lecture count being the first week back, if only I'd got everything done, life would be looking pretty sweet.

December 29, 2005

Life in high definition

I went into Croydon today for a look around the sales, after a dissapointing and fruitless couple of hours I popped into Jessops to buy a digital camera I quite fancied. Half an hour later I was the proud owner of a 19" widescreen high def tv. I blame Jessops's poor stock levels and my desire for a new piece of technology.

I had found it difficult to chose between the two options and not being able to get my hands on the camera, thought that fate was giving me a guiding hand and headed off elsewhere. As I type this, I have neighbours running picture in picture on beautifully crisp screen, with ample room to browse and watch tv at the same time.

Details of the screen available Here

Toys may not really be as exciting as when I was young, but give me a new piece of technology and I'll be smiling for a couple of days.

December 25, 2005

It's Christmas

Is it wrong that the thing I look forward to most on Christmas day these days is lunch? I've at least grown up from my love of material possessions (a little) and now focus more on food. The two biggest Christmas things for me are Turkey for lunch, with trimmings, plus the snow man. We don't do any type of extended family get together, or have any real tradition, other than those two elements.

Santa was kind to me and I got everything that I asked for, apart from completed assignments but that's mostly my fault. It's getting really depressing now that I have work to get on with, by only doing a bit a day I've deprived myself of a proper holiday, which I haven't really had since Easter, due to working over the summer.

I'm up to the final episode of lost series 1, and as always I'm ever so tempted to watch another, but that would be wrong, as I'd have to start series 2 and I can watch them a lot more quickly than they can be made. If channel 4 had had the forsight to line up the final episode in the series on Christmas day, along with maybe a festive Peep Show and the start of the third Nip/Tuck series, there really would have been something to get excited about, I would maybe even have struggled to sleep for reasons other than stress. Plus there would have been something good on tv, I confess to watching a lot, but much of the saturday morning kids stuff is better than what I saw of the prime time, big budget Dr Who.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you had a really good day.

December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

I've updated my site so that gallery now appears at . It's a shame that the site has seen a big decline in usage over the least year, I guess as more people get digital cameras of their own they are less interested in the photos other people take, but then no one takes advantage of being able to upload to the gallery themselves.

I've had a fairly productive day so far, and am within sight of the end of my first assignment. Other than that it's been fairly nostalgic, sorting out the old photos on my computer (there's a lot of them) with the wonderful picasa. I also found the video of our first year Christmas, I couldn't bring myself to watch it but the memories are pretty funny and made me really want a cold can of Carlsberg. I've had some really great times at uni so far, though each year I seem to spend time with a different group of people.

December 23, 2005

Almost Christmas

I had meant to blog more frequently than twice over the holiday period. It's not that I haven't been up to much, just that I haven't really had much to say about it, and a combination of T4 in the morning and the neighbours/simpsons/hollyoaks combo in the evening leaves little time in the day.

It's the day before Christmas Eve and I'm not really feeling festive at all, maybe a bit stressed out with assignments and revision. I had intended to have my assignments finished today but that was wishful thinking and I am about 60% done, so will have to keep going during the Christmas – New Year period which wont be much fun.

As for what I want for Christmas, or am hoping for, there isn't really a lot. I was fortunate enough to obtain a premium Xbox 360 last week, which would have made an awsome present, along with a few other gadgets that were completely unneccessary yet had to be bought. I quite fancy a HDTV and came within a mouseclick of buying one, but it's not like when I was younger and wanted transformers or turtles figures and was genuinely excited at receiving them, and couldn't otherwise obtain them.

On to the 360, it's a wonderful piece of machinery and I particuarly enjoy the wireless remote control, which can turn the system on, so no more getting up from the sofa to play pro, as well as the much improved media functionality, I particuarly like being able to plug my mp3 player in and using the dashboard to play the music instead of the game's, without having to create playlists and such as used to be the case.

My biggest dissappointment was the realisation that there wasn't any real need to have the much sought after console. The games at the minute don't make the system worth buying, the line up is a bit poor. I have NFS: Most wanted, and it's good, but none of the other games really tempted me. I need HALO or a new Splinter Cell, the upcoming Gears of War looks good but wont be out until February. PGR3 is meant to be good, but PGR2 was pretty much the same as PGR and having played the founding stone for the series, Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast I've earned enough Kudos for a lifetime

The one game that I kind of bought the 360 for, as I bought a Gamecube for, never materialised, at least in a form I'm happy with. Perfect Dark Zero is apparantly a bit iffy at best. I know that new converts to the world of console gaming will disagree, but Goldeneye and the follow up Perfect Dark on the N64 were simply amazing, the best fps until probably Halo on the Xbox. Half Life was good but it didn't really suck me in and trap me until I had completed all of the levels on all of the settings and played it multiplayer until my eyes bled. Rare, the developer of the games, was bought out by Microsoft just as the Gamecube was released. The game they had developed, along with others was never seen. Perfect Dark on the Xbox never happened and a hastily made launch title for the 360 is not what I have been waiting for for the best part of six years.

On to less computer related issues, alcohol and the dangers therein. On Wednesday Kiran was the only one to come down for what was intended as a repeat of a great night out in Kingston with everyone from uni. It was still great, although I fear only because I drank so much that I'm not 100% what happened. Special 'bonus rounds' and shots which came from nowhere can't have helped, and yet the biggest worry is that next day I was tired but otherwise well. Why wasn't my body screaming at me? Hating me and saying never again? I had well over a couple of weeks intake and yet wasn't really any worse for wear. Either I'm invincible or my body has given up trying, the sensors in my liver having long since dissappeared.

The next major outing will be Cardiff for New Years. I'm looking forward to it, but know that Alex has a big bottle of Absynthe, and that if he has it at home it's going to be dangerous. I can at least feel secure that Rob and the other Alex will be there, who have been blamed for my alcohol fueled shenanigans in the past and hopefully will be again.

December 06, 2005

A beginning

Everyone else seems to be blogging and not being one to be too far behind the crowd I thought I'd join in. I'm not sure of the purpose of blogging, whether to further increase the clutter on the internet, let people out there know that their life is good in comparison or purely a means of avoiding doing work when Pro isn't around.

Ideally I'd put a few previous entries in, padding if you will, so that this isn't the only entry, but for now I can't figure out how to , nor am I particuarly motivated to.

On to what's going on …

I am now back home for Christmas following a very enjoyable if not very productive first term of my final year here at Warwick. The new house and housemates are working out very well, I haven't been kicked off the course, money and work are good and I still see most of the people that I want to see.

After being back for two days, the novelty of having a clean house and not having anything to do is wearing off, I'd quite like the distraction of dinner to cook, buses to ride, someone else to play Pro or have a marathon session in front of The Hits with.

On the plus side being bored has made me consider starting some of the assignments that I have, or designing the web page for the Bacchus event that Free Spirits will be running with Street Vibes in the near future. As yet I haven't quite reached that level of desperation, I still have Lost and the O.C to catch up on , though I'm fearful of what will happen when I do.

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