All entries for January 2005

January 26, 2005

Not best pleased right now

It's taken a little longer than I originally thought, but I finally got irritated enough today to really have a public rant. It concerns the availability of parking on campus (or lack thereof).

I left home in loads of time this morning for my 11 o'clock, earlier than usual actually. Had a pleasant drive in, sun streaming through etc. I arrive on campus at 10:40 to find the place completely awash with cars. Car parks 7, 8, 8A, 6 and 15 were all completely full, not a space. By this time it's 10:55 so really thinking I need to get a space. Abandoning all hope of getting a space on central campus, I go to university house, guaranteed to have a space surely? DENIED. No spaces there either. Now I know it's winter graduation today, but really you'd think the university would have had some planning into doing something about parking that stretches further than sending out a few men in fluorescent yellow jackets and a couple of "Car park full" signs. Very helpful guys. So I've spent 20 minutes looking around for a space, gotten so irritated and driven so hard that I'd now shredded yet another set of Pirelli's and still I'm going to miss my lecture because the university can't organise car parking.

I pay £110 a year to park my car on campus. I don't have a bus service from my home, and even if I did then that would hardly be the point. For the money I expect a space that means that I don't get a disrupted education (which I pay for) by having to miss lectures (and waste a 40 mile round trip in the process). If it's not enough money to provide enough spaces, then fine, charge me more. I don't much care. Just make sure I get a damned space so I can park. I don't use the bus for 2 very good reasons: 1) I hate them – they suck, they're slow, inconvenient, you have no privacy and you can't carry much stuff and 2) There is no service from where I live. Sort it out guys. Now.


January 13, 2005

Dear god what does this say about my life

Well I figure I should post something here that isn't a private entry for a change. Or to be more precise, I'm so bored and I've done so many exciting things in my life that I'm now down to filling in blog questionnaires on a slow wednesday evening. Oh dear.

Note: I'm not sure if there's an official set of questions or anything, this is just copy-pasted from Lorna's blog.

What's the strangest thing you've brought with you to university?
I have many strange and odd bits-and-bobs lying about. I think the record must go to my set of jump leads, which I bought once thinking I ought to have some and have never ever used.

Would you renationalise the railways? Why (or why not)?
No. If you want a boring, serious answer (hard not to give one when faced with such a question) it's because nationalisation makes the government the customer instead of the commuter/freight transporter, which is fundamentally flawed as a business model. Just like agricultural subsidies, it's a decoupling of supply and demand leading to ineffective and inefficient service.

Whose thoughts would you most like to read?
That would be telling

What have you lost that you'd most like to retrieve?
Right now, what's annoying me most is that I've lost my USB stick. I've never really lost that much because I tend to hoard and organise stuff a lot

What's your favourite red thing?
I have a photograph of a red Aston Martin Vantage which looks great, although for red cars I might have to go for an F50 instead.

If you had the power, what laws would you make, or change, or repeal?
I would give motoring law a serious haul-over, banning speed cameras and raising speed limits in almost all areas to sensible levels, de-restricting multi-carriageways completely and raise the level of proficiency you need to pass a driving test, and include motorway tuition in the syllabus. I'd increase the defense budget, repeal banning of fox-hunting, do away with NI and re-do income tax as a single rate that cuts in above a certain threshold (the current 10%-22%-40% system is I feel wrong).

What are some things that make you nervous?
I get very intimidated by groups of people, being the focus of attention of a group of people (i.e. stage, presentation) and dates.

What's the best tasting food you've ever eaten?
It's a close call between a steak I once had at Towle's (gorgeous country house restaurant in Hampshire) and a bailey's cheesecake dessert that I had at my dad's wedding.

What's your favourite boy's name? Girl's name?
Boy's name I like David cos it's so adaptable – it can sound posh, common, cool or whatever. David's can be knights of the realm or a bloke you met down the pub and it doesn't sound odd. Girl's name – hmmm. Louise and Sophie are both very pretty names. Probably Sophie.

Why did you choose the course you're studying?
Because I like things that make noise with lots of power, I'm technically minded and generally obsessed with finding out how everything works and doing problem solving.

What's on the walls in your room? Why?
2 Posters of Buffy, one of Angelina Jolie (tomb raider), one of The Matrix, 2 tiger ones, a Vanquish, a Renault F1 car, a big photo of an Avro Vulcan, an oh, shit poster with a cat that everyone knows, one of Apollo 11 at lift-off, a photo my dad sent me of him flying a harrier when I was young, and 2 calenders

Name a CD you own that's a guilty pleasure (one you adore, but pretend not to for fear of irreversible negative social consequences). Why do you like it?
I'm not ashamed – I know my music tastes are bad. Probably my most frowned-upon acquisition is Britney Spear's greatest hits album. I like it because it's easy-listening, funky and some of the lyrics if you listen to them can be quite good. It's good feel-good and sing-along stuff and I don't care if the world thinks I'm sad because of what I listen to

What item of your friends' would you most like to have for your own?
I want Richard's E-Type roadster – it's a 4.2 black series 2 and it's goooorgeous

Where will you be in five year's time?
Somewhere in the UK with my foot to the floor in my shiny car – either a Nissan 350Z or if I've sold it by then for a TVR and Jag…

What one thing would you most like to accomplish with your life?
Tough one. A family probably, although I'm not sure it's gonna happen – I don't think I'm sexually compatible with an Aston Martin Vantage

What's your favourite scary movie?
I hate horror films with a passion. As such I don't have a favourite

Who's funnier, Jim Carrey or Bill Murray?
Jim Carrey is too much of a prat to be funny in the same way that Bill Murray is

Have you ever been in a school play? Was it good? Were you good?
I used to play in the band for our school plays when I was young. Some of them were good, and my guitar playing was very good

What's the furthest place you've ever travelled to?
Denver, Colorado

Have you ever won a trophy? What for?
I've got a few Karting trophies to my name, some ones for maths challenges and tournaments too

Name a book you'd recommend to a friend. Why?
Sahara by Clive Cussler. His best work – he's a legend of an author

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Where do I begin? Trying to out-brake myself on a coutry road I didn't know is in the running, although I think "2004" is probably the stupidest thing I've ever done really

What's your favourite cartoon? Why?
Apparently when I was really young it was Spot, but I always remember Johnny Quest as being my favourite, cos I liked the intro and lots of cool stuff that was in it

Which animal do you most resemble in both appearance and habit?
No idea whatsoever!

What mesmerises you?
Machines with big engines that make lots of noise

Which other universities did you apply to? Why did you choose Warwick?
Cambridge, Southampton, Brunel. I chose Warwick because I got rejected from Cambridge and I liked the campus and engineering department.

Name something about yourself that people don't expect?
I don't know – I reckon I'm the most predicable and obvious person ever to exist so I guess there isn't much that people don't expect

What's your favourite place on campus? Why?
The benches by lakeside – good place for quiet contemplation

If you won 5 million, how would you spend it?
I'd probably spend half a million on cars, half a million on a house, and keep the other 4 in reserve. I may at some point be tempted to buy a boat for another million.

If you could invent a piece of technology that would improve your academic life, what would it be and why?
Something to tell me what to do with projects, that gives me simple to answer questions

What everyday item is the most well designed? (Fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing.)
I love the look of the Holland & Holland hunting knife – simple, elegant, understated classy design. And damned usefull

What's your favourite time of day? Why?
I love waking up in the morning just as daylight is breaking, throwing the curtains and windows open to a fresh spring morning with the sun streaming in. I know, I'm a freak…

Describe what you consider to be the most beautiful view in the world.
Aircraft in the sky at sunset (close range view from another aircraft). Technically that's above it but hey

What are your strengths?
Self-belief (what happened there!), ability to stay calm in a crisis (again, what's going on with that at the moment), stubborness, refusal to fail, occasional outbreaks of intelligence, power oversteer control technique

What is your favourite artwork on campus?
I think it all looks crap. There you go. Go do some landscaping and plants instead.

Which issue would make you want to become a politician?
If they ever seriously talked about banning cars or something like that

Which union society would you make every other student join?
I wouldn't make every other student join any society, as the point is you pick societies that you're interested in…

What is the best place to live: Leamington, Coventry, Kenilworth or on campus?
I can in fact guarantee that the correct answer is none of the above – it's Bishops Itchington. If I had to pick from that 3, Kenilworth

Which book has helped you most with your work?
I don't use books as a rule.

What is the best thing you have done in a seminar?
Engineers have lectures

What is the best moment you have had in a lecture?
It's between Neil Storey's plane target and Dr Thomas's Reynolds number introduction for sure

What would convince you to choose a specific career?
Guaranteed adrenaline rush or achievement

Which module would you make compulsory?
A critical thinking style module that makes people learn how to think for themselves

What was your biggest mistake in your first year?
Drinking too much one night after the exams were over – man that was not a good night

List your top ten revision tips
Ten? My main advice is to only revise a maximum of 4 days in advance, get plenty of sleep each night, take breaks, do lots of excercise during the exam period, focus on past papers. That's about it really. Unless you happen to be sitting an exam set by CRT, in which case unless you've actually learnt the course your best hope is to bend over and kiss your ass goodbye

There. That took rather longer than expected. I feel much more like bed now. Huzzah!


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