All entries for March 2005

March 31, 2005

Thoughts on 'just jobs'

Today I'm going to be discussing (read: ranting) what I term 'just jobs'.

I currently have a lot of things on. I have a massive project type dissertation thing which I'm having to rush through at a late moment (my fault, I lack organisation when it comes to things I don't want to do). So naturally, I'm currently going through a phase where my odd-jobbing seems to be highly in demand with just jobs. These are so called because I always hear "Oh, could you just do this" "Just have a look at that" etc etc. And the job takes forever.

Last night for example, our washing machine broke. I foresaw this when I first got home three weeks ago. The washing machine was on at the time, and I thought it sounded rather unhealty. In no uncertain terms, I explained to my mum that the bearings on it were shagged. "Oh, so that's why it's making that noise". Yes, mum. So don't use it any more and get it sorted out. I have repeatedly reminded her of this since, and nothing has been done. Three weeks later, we're having a drink in the evening when there's a trememdous bang from the kitchen while the washing machine was on it's final cycle. So I have to drag the washing machine out at 8PM and have a look at it, instead of doing my project. Now, the dumb gits who built our house made the gap about 1cm too small, so it's wedged in there as tight as can be. This then takes half an hour to shift out, with much cursing, and at the end of this my back is shafted. What do I hear? Thanks? Hell no. "I told you so! You silly boy!" shrieks mother at the top of her voice. Thanks mum. Well anyway, the bearings were shot and thanks to my mum's inaction on my advice a mounting has been ripped and the motor clutch has packed in too, so it's now beyond economic repair and she's had to get a new one, which I'll "just" have to go and install after I finish this message. Lesson learned mother: listen to me when I tell you something is going to break.

So, sleeping overnight having helped back issues a bit, I started work again this morning. Got a bit done, had a break by going and mowing the lawn which was ok cos I was gonna do that anyway and I enjoy that. But one of our garden tractors wouldn't start. So I spend a good while hot-wiring the safety switches and things, determined this wasn't the sole cause of the problem as it still wouldn't go, and was in the middle of investigating further when I get another 'just job' – go take my sister for a driving lesson. Fine, I'll go do that, although it's boring as hell and why can't somebody else do it. 3/4 of an hour later, I get back, and mum has showed up with her car, she 'just' wants the oil changed. Fair enough on this one actually, it was booked for me to do today and it's not a long job. So I need to wash it off first, because my mum never washes her car and I'm damned if I'll work on a car that's 10% metal, 10% rust and 80% cow shit. So I'm now working under a car that's dripping cold muddy water on me. Lovely. And to compound the job, the oil filter has been done up tighter than a nun's lady-bits by the mechanic that changed it last (not me). I broke a couple of filter wrenches with the effort of trying to get the thing off, then had to resort to the old technique of hammer and screwdriver. So a 15 minute oil change job takes 2 1/2 hours, and at the end I'm totally plastered in oil, mud, water and the like. Excellent.

Just jobs. Accept at your peril kids.


March 30, 2005

To my friends

This is just a short note to my close friends and family, who for reasons totally beyond my understanding continue to put up with me and my inane dumb ramblings. I just want to say a big thank you to you guys, because without you I'd be lost. You help me see the good in things, you give me hope and support, and you're always there to help me smile when I (all too frequently) get frustrated and despairing. I don't know why you do it, but nonetheless you do and it means so much to me that I know you won't stop. You rock people, don't ever let anybody tell you any different. That is all.

March 28, 2005

A quiz from Lindsey (in aid of work avoidance)

1.PICK ONE OF YOUR SCARS OUT, NOW HOW DID YOU GET IT?
Probably my most prominent one is on my right shin, where I fell of a grown-up's bike when I was eight. It had Cross-Country steel toothed pedals and I ripped the skin off

2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM?
Lots of posters of films, cars, tigers, a few lady ones, some photos of planes, calenders

3. WOULD YOU RATHER PLAY FOOTBALL OR WATCH IT?
Watch it, then I can get some shuteye

4. WHAT SPORT WOULD YOU SAY YOU ARE BEST AT?
Motorsport, because I really suck at everything else. If that doesn't count, then either squash or swimming (I suck at these too)

5. WHAT WAS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE?
I don't really have nightmares or dreams, but the worst ones I can remember are after I saw Jurassic Park in the cinema for my birthday (hey, I was little!)

6. HOW DO YOU EXERCISE?
When I do exercise, it's usually doing country-bumpkin kind of things outdoors, swimming or squash

7. APPLES OR ORANGES?
Apples (must be green, juicy and crunchy)

8. GRAPES OR WATERMELON?
Grapes

9. LIONS OR TIGERS?
Tigers of course!

10. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
Pretty much every genre going, although I'm probably most a fan of Dance music and least fan of R&B kind of stuff

11. HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN POETRY?
I wouldn't describe my efforts that we had to do in English as poetic!

13. DO YOU REMEMBER BIRTHDAYS?
Yes

14. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN?
5:25 PM

15. DO YOU HAVE A BIRTHMARK, WHERE?
I have what I swear is a birthmark under one of my toes. It's been there as long as I can remember and it's not a scar!

16. WOULD YOU CALL YOURSELF A ROMANTIC PERSON?
I think I am, albeit a hopeless one!

17. WHAT IS THE WEIRDEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE?
I don't know that I've ever done anything "weird" per se… How dull

18. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU STARTED FILLING THIS IN?
Checking e-mails and blogs before I start work

19. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GUM?
Wrigley's Spearmint

20. FAVORITE CHOCOLATE?
Crunchie

21. FAVORITE CANDY (NON CHOCOLATE)?
Refreshers! They knacker your teeth though

22. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA ICE-CREAM
Vanilla, but my fave is mint choc chip

23. DO YOU OWN ANYTHING LEATHER?
Belts, shoes, chair

24. where did the question go?
I stole it

25. FAVORITE PERFUME/COLOGNE?
I use Lynx Africa, which indicates I know nothing and care not for perfume or cologne. I do find ladies perfume (when worn by ladies!) very appealing though

26. DO YOU OWN AN INSTRUMENT?
Not a musical one. I have an electronic digital vernier calliper though

27. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ON SOMEONE (OPPOSITE SEX)?
Hair, eyes, smile in that order

28. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SMELL?
Hmmmm. I have many comforting smells – Cut grass, freshly turned earth, sweet silage, WD40, Castrol R, Jet Fumes….

29. FAVORITE SOUND THAT YOU HEAR OFTEN?
D-Type Engine

30. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW?
My work that I have to do today :-(

31. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC?
Nope

32. COULD YOU EVER SEE YOURSELF MOVING FROM WHERE YOU ARE?
I'm going to have to, though I don't want to :-(

33. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISNEY MOVIE OF ALL TIME?
Probably The Lion King

34. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG OF ALL TIME?
Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams

35. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR WHEN YOU WERE TEN?
Probably blue

36. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR EYES?
Brown

37. HAVE YOU EVER SLEPT WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?
Everyone has slept with stuffed animals, we were all little once!

38. IF SO WHAT WAS/IS IT'S NAME?
I had lots of teddies. My grandma made me one called squeaky when I was tiny, which I still have somewhere

39. WHO WAS YOUR FIRST CRUSH WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE?
The first crush I remember is a girl called Rachel Platt when she moved to our school!

40. MOST EMBARRASSING CHILDHOOD MOMENT?
We're not going into that

41. WHAT KIND OF HAIR DO YOU LIKE ON THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Long, straight or straight-ish, but curls can be really interesting too

42. WHO OUT OF YOUR FRIENDS (SAME SEX) HAVE YOU KNOWN THE LONGEST?
Chris Paterson

43. NOW THE OPPOSITE?
I knew Kim from primary school, although we haven't always been friends!

44. WHAT IS THEIR MIDDLE NAME?
I'm not sure she has one!

45. SUNRISE OR SUNSET?
I like both, but for preference Sunrise. I agree with Lindsey though, you gotta do a Sunrise from pitch black!

46. WHERE AT?
In the open countryside or at the sea

47. (FOR THE LADIES, BE TRUTHFUL) WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF BEING PROPOSED TO AT?
Not applicable

48. (NOW THE GENTLEMEN, BE TRUTHFUL) WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF PROPOSING?
At a really lovely restaurant, or on a balcony overlooking a harbour, or maybe on a walk on a beach somewhere (what did I say about being a hopeless romantic!)

49. WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE FAVORITE MOVIES?
Top Gun, The Bourne Identity, Lethal Weapon 4, Independence Day, The Living Daylights

50. WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF GOING FOR YOUR HONEYMOON?
I'd love to go to the Cayman Isles and go boating for a week

51. CAN YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
Guitar, although haven't really touched one in yeeeears

52. DO YOU SPEAK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE?
I speak 2 languages: English and Bad English. I can speak a few words of German (probably enough to get by), but I don't speak it well or fluently!

53. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT SOMEONE EVER GAVE YOU (OF THE OPPOSITE SEX ?)
I'm too young to remember what I was given for my first birthday or anything! :-P

54. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SINGER?
Don't really have one

55. FAVORITE BAND?
Again, can't really single out a band

56. WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DO YOU LIKE TO READ?
Action/Thriller

57. DO YOU LIKE POETRY?
I like a small selection, but I'm not particularly well suited to most of it and I doubt I appreciate it very much

58. HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR COFFEE?
Down the sink

59. WHAT's YOUR FAVORITE PHRASE TO USE?
Not sure… It varies

60. DRAGONS OR DINOSAURS?
Dinosaurs

61. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?
I've never been given the choice of who I fall in love with. "The heart has reason that reason cannot know" and all that. So I guess I would, if fate decided that I was to fall in love with a person who was leaving then I would…

62. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
I usually say it in words, badly. I think in person with a big hug, or if it's a bloke then instead of a hug that knowing look of admiration/respect which is acceptable between two straight guys.

63. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED:
7

64. BLONDES, REDHEADS OR BRUNETTES?:
Not that picky on hair colour, but I seem to find blondes more attractive generally

65. WOULD YOU PREFER TO GO ICE SKATING OR ROLLER SKATING?
Ice Skating, although it's a bit tame. Needs a jetpack!

66. WHAT IS THE ONE NUMBER YOU CALL OFTEN?
Chris Hinds or my Dad

67. WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?
I annoy myself the most

68. HAVE YOU EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?
No

69. WHO IS YOUR CURRENT SECRET CRUSH?
Ummmm… It's a secret crush? Does this not mean anything to people?

Right, that's used up enough time that I now need to go sharpen my mowing deck before I cut the lawns later :-) Work avoidance rocks…


March 26, 2005

Einstein: 100 years

Although I've missed his birthday now by 12 days, I have decided to dedicate a post to one of the greatest men ever to have lived: Albert Einstein. This post bears some significance because this is the centenary year of the publication of his first three papers, more on these later.

So what was he like as a person? Well, he was a very late speaker as a baby. His parents were quite concerned that he had yet to utter a word, but then when he did speak he would start to string whole sentences together. All this time he was learning how to speak, mulling things over without actually showing any hint of this to the outside world until he had a complete technique. This unique attitude to problem solving would continue to display itself throughout his career. By the age of 10, he had met a young student known to the family, and had read and discussed, amongst other things, Kant's Critique of pure reason. This, as any philosophy student will tell you, is not an easygoing text, and mightily impressive for a 10 year old to read and debate intelligently with a man over twice his age.

School however did not agree with the young genius. He excelled at science and mathematics (although he was always adamant in later years that mathematics was not a strong point of his in relation to his colleagues), but the general discipline and structure were at odds to Einstein's creative, thoughtful and alternative approach to academia. Some of the academics he met were astounded by his sheer brilliance but frustrated by his unwillingness to conform to the set form of learning that they worked in. He tried for university study at the age of 16 at Zurich, but failed the entrant's exam. He did however gain entry a year later, and graduated in 1900 as a teacher of maths and physics. He then failed to obtain a teaching post, although not for want of trying. He eventually accepted a job as a patent clerk in Bern, which he held from 1902 to 1909.

Of his 1905 papers, the first explained the photoelectric effect originally observed by Max Plank, disproving the classical electromagnetic theory of Maxwell. In this paper, Einstein proposed that light was in fact emitted in discreet packets (or "quanta" in latin) which he called photons, and so the birth of quantum physics and the overthrow of classical physics began here.

His second paper proposed what we call Special Relativity, in which he overthrew the real father of science, Sir Isaac Newton. Although Gallileo can perhaps be credited with creating Science, Newton really advanced science from almost nothingness into a very prominent subject, amongst other things coming up with scientific explanations for gravity and motion (both of which are still in wide use today, even though Einstein has proved them to be ever-so-slightly wrong, and woefully inadequate for relativistic speeds) and inventing calculus. In reality, Newton was a most disagreeable character, but nevertheless his work for science deserves massive credit. Einstein had been thinking about light for years; it was a subject that truly fascinated him. He would do endless thought experiments about travelling at light speed, imagining how things might look. To him, Newton's explanations made no sense at light speed, but he couldn't quite understand why. He was almost driven mad before he realised that time was the joker in the pack, and that frames of reference are relative and the speed of light is absolute (as opposed to Newton who proposed that things are the other way around). This was a monumental shake-up for the world of physics, demolishing many of the solid pillars and totally re-writing concepts that had stood for hundreds of years. Not bad for a 26 year old clerk. Later in 1905 he showed that mass and energy were equivalent through the extremely famous relationship e=mc2. His last paper in 1905 was on statistical mechanics, although this was much less ground-breaking than the first two.

After these papers, he continued to think in the same areas as he had done. He sought to extend special relativity to phenomena involving acceleration, and in 1907 via the principle of equivalence showed that gravity was indistinguishable from a mechanical force. Gravitational mass was therefore identical to inertial mass. In 1908 he became a lecturer at the university of Bern, and the following year became proffesor of Physics at Zurich. Einstein's academic career had finally taken off, and he resigned from the patent office.

In 1911, he predicted how gravity from massive objects such as the sun could bend light as it passed by them. He made predicitions about how stars would appear to be in different positions if the light had passed near the sun or not, and this was verified in 1919 by observation during a solar exlipse, although later the experiment was shown to have errors as large as the effect it was trying to measure! The phenomenon has however been properly verified. At last, Einstein had experimental proof for his work. He also solved the problem of the perhilion of Mercury, a slight eccentricity in it's orbit which had previously thought to been the effect of a yet-to-be discovered planet.

In 1915, he published his theory of general relativity. This was far more unified and complicated than special relativity, to the point where even during the moon landings in the 1960's NASA were still using Newtonian physics, as the small errors (calculated to be a few feet) were not considered to be worth removing with the immense effort of going through general relativity. When questioned by a journalist about a claimed statement that there were only three people in the world who understood general relativity, Einstein paused for a moment and famously said "I am struggling to think of who the third could be". Heavy stuff indeed…

In later life he played active roles in science and politics, as an advocate of peace and a socialist. He eventually moved to Princeton in the US. His scientific quest became a search for a unifying theory for all of physics, but his search was never completed. His work upheaved physics, creating whole new branches including the weird world of quantum mechanics. Einstein disliked the chance-like nature of quantum mechanics, and is very famously quoted as stating "god does not play dice", meaning that the universe is deterministic and has no chance involved, however he never managed to disprove it scientifically.

As a man, he was an eccentric, prone to intense periods of concentration of days and weeks. He would often not eat, or let his dinner go cold for hours while pondering. He was a theoretical thinker who conducted radical thought experiments in his brain, with a very creative mind. Another famous quote of his is "Imagination is more important than knowledge", and he despised regimented and factual learning, preferring to be allowed far more freedom and space for inventive thought. He thought that much of his achievement was not down to any great mathematical ability, indeed many of his peers were probably better at mathematics and equations than he, and Einstein was not immune from making mistakes with formulae. Einstein's genius was in not accepting the norm, challenging the most accepted ideas with questions of child-like simplicity which nonetheless took great effort and genius to answer. His theories have led to many wonders of modern technology, and without them we would be living in a comparative dark age. Einstein: a true legend, and father of our time.


March 21, 2005

Since I now have rather a lot of time on my hands…

Writing about Moi… from The den of the little microbiologist

Well I'm now stuck in the UK a while longer, so thought I'd use this opportunity to kill some time by filling in a questionnaire thing that Anna recently blogged.

1.What Time is it now?
20:54
2.What is your full name?
Christopher Stephen Sigournay
3.Single or taken?
Single
4.What does your name mean?
My first name was my late uncle's name, he passed on before I was born. My middle name is the same as my Dad's, and my surname is Hugenot Flemish, as my family came from France during the revolution to escape persecution. Translated it means "Journeyman"
5.Who picked out your name?
My Dad I suspect, although I'm sure Mum was consulted too
6.What's your nickname?
Siggy usually, or variations of, although there are less polite ones.

What happened to 7???

8.What colour are your eyes?
A boring mid-brown
9.Do you have an innie or an outie?
Innie
10.What size are your shoes?
9 to 10
12.How tall (or short) are you?
5'10, maybe a smidge over
13.Honestly what do you like about yourself?
I like my intelligence when it works, my driving (although obviously wish both were better), my determination and the fact that I seem to have an ability to surround myself with kick-ass friends
14.What do you always get complimented on?
I have no one specific thing that always gets complimented
15.What is your worst quality?
The contenders for this exceed the storage space that Warwick Blogs has to offer
16.What are the last four digits of your phone Number?
9770
17.Do you think you're cute?
I sincerely hope not. I aspire to be handsome, but probably far too boyish for that
18.Hair colour?
Dark brown
19.Do you wear contacts?
No, considering it if my eyesight gets any worse. I hate glasses with a passion and refuse to wear them
20.Living Arrangements?
Living with father and step-family during term-time, and at home in Somerset at other times, and on the job during summer

FAVOURITES
21.Favourite Drink?
St Clements
22.Favourite alcoholic drink?
Thather's gold
23.Favourite Month?
I like all seasons really, but if I had to pick, probs May
24 Favourite Food?
Steak
25.Favourite Board Game?
Risk traditional style
26.Web Site?
www.jaguar.com/uk of course :-) Or www.sunseeker.com if I'm feeling rich!
27.Favourite Clothing Brand?
Don't really do clothes, as many will testify. Do have a weakness for branded sunglasses and watches though
28.Favourite day of the Year?
1st July, cos another year will be over academia-wise and I can go farming
29.Favourite colour?
British Racing Green
30.Favourite Animal?
Tiger

FAMILY AND FRIENDS
31.Do you have more girl or boy friends?
About equal I'd say, maybe slightly more girls than boys
32.Who's your best friends?
They know who they are
33.Are your parents together?
No
34.How often do you get together with the family?
Christmas is the big get-together, but I see quite a few of them throughout the year
35.Do you tell your parents or your friends more?
Friends for sure, although if it's non-personal then my grandfather knows about more than anyone
36.Anything special about your parents?
My mum is the world's best for caring/doting/mothering, and my dad is cool in the extreme and when he puts his mind to it it's really special to spend a day doing father/son stuff with him

YES OR NO
38.You're a flirt?
Not really
39.You're slutty?!
No
40.you Mean?
I'm told so
41.You like someone?
Who knows?
42.You can keep secrets?
I can indeed
43.You dance in front of the mirror?
I don't dance
44.You sing in the shower?
No, but I sing along to music in my room
45?
46.You liked Britney Spears?
The music yes, oddly never been that taken with the girl
47.You've liked a cousin?
Yes, but not in an American Midwest/Einstein fashion
48.You've been in the opposite sexes bathroom?
No
49.You've seriously hurt someone?
Yes
50.You've been hurt seriously?
A few times
51.You swear?
Fuck no
52.You get your way?
Always
53.You're willing to try new things?
If I'm not in my usual state of mind I can be persuaded
54.You've cheated on a test?
Yes – Year 7 JMC

RIGHT NOW
57.What are you wearing?
Green shirt, black trousers, black shoes, Sea Harrier Tie
58.What colour are your pants?
Blue boxers
59.What are you listening to?
My computer fan, which is far too loud
60.How are you feeling?
Weary, fairly chilled, a little dissapointed, and a little worried
61.What are you doing?
Filling in silly blog questions about what I'm doing
62.What are you eating?
Nothing
63.How many people are online?
21
64.How's the weather?
Dark, cool. It was raining a bit earlier
65.What's on your mouse pad?
On this one, Abbey National. My one is of Lara Croft
66.What books are you reading?
The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth, which is brilliant
67.How many razors?
A normal one and a Philishave
68.What after shave do you use?
Lynx Africa
69.What's in your wallet?
A lot of shrapnel, 110 Canadian Dollars, about £30 in UK notes, credit card, store cards, driving licence, national insurance card, Warwick card, a couple of reciepts, spare passport photos
And question 70?
71. tall or short boys?
Don't really chase after the boys
72.Blonde or brunette boys?
See above
And question 73?
74.knickers showing?
Not that fussy, but if done badly showing can look really disgusting. If tasteful it's not so bad
75. Long hair or short hair on girls?
Long hair every time
76. What do you find annoying in a boy?
More intelligence/money/faster car/better driver than me
77.What's the first thing you notice about boys?
Don't know that this applies!

OTHER QUESTIONS
78–87????
88.What was the last movie you saw?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, or however it's spelt
89.What did you have for dinner?
Fish and Chips (home-cooked)
90.What are you hoping for?
I'm looking forward to seeing Lindsey, I'm hoping for a sudden influx of money and my work to go away, and other things which aren't going to be published here
91?
92.What movie do you really want to see?
Can't remember which one last took my fancy in trailers
93.Tell us about those scars?
Have a nice one on my right arm where I fell through a trailer, left arm scars are from my arm breaking when I was 8, slight burn on left hand from an engine block when I was waming them up, scar on right shin from a bike when I was 7, did have a scar on my chest from falling off a combine, currently have lots of scrathes from brambles and hawthorn trees, probs got others somewhere
94? This is ridiculous…
95.Where is your favourite place to travel?
Somewhere with lots of watersports and sunshine
96.What did you last dream about?
Engine breaking in my grandad's car, bizarrely!
97.What was the last thing you ate?
My tea
98.If you were a crayon what colour what would you be?
Blue
99.Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My Grandad earlier
100.Do you like the person that sent this to you?
Well it wasn't sent, but of course
101?
102.Ever had a crush on a teacher?
Not that I can remember
103.Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Usually
104.Scary movies or happy ending?
Happy endings. Everybody loves them!
105.Summer or winter?
All seasons, provided it's outdoors and in the country!
106.Relationships or one night stands?
Relationships
107.Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla
108–110? Who wrote this frigging thing!
111.What did you do last night?
Stayed in a Hotel and got an early night from travel exhaustion!
112.Anything else you want to add?
Don't ever try staff travel tickets….
113.Time finishing?
21:23, but have had lots of distractions!

extra questions
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREVENT ANGER?
Wear out my tyres very quickly
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TOY AS A CHILD?
A "fluppet" (furry puppet) fox, imaginatively called foxy
HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
A while back
WHO IS THE FRIEND YOU HAVE HAD THE LONGEST?
Chris Paterson, ever since we were punching each other in year 7 French
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Beauty (both natural and man-made), spectacular achievements (such as my photo of the Saturn V lift off for Apollo 11 launch)
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
Being vulnerable
PLAIN, BUTTERED OR SALTED POPCORN?
Buttered
FAVOURITE FLOWERS?
Sweet Williams
NUMBER OF KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING?
4

FAVOURITE DAY OF THE WEEK?
Saturday
WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY?
Did a fair bit of corn-carting and combining I think, and then went down to the boat for Cowes fireworks
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
1

HOW MANY CITIES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
If you count uni (Coventry), 1
HOW MANY CARS HAVE YOU HAD & WHAT WAS THE FIRST CAR THAT YOU HAD?
Currently on my second, saving for my third. My first car was a white L-Reg Ford Escort LX 1.6i, which we still have in the family
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Musgrove Park, Taunton (A hospital, not a park)

Wasn't that fun?


March 20, 2005

Still in the fucking UK

Ok, so I got up at 4:50 yesterday morning to go to Heathrow and then Canada to see Lindsey, which I've really been looking forward to ever since we first planned it. Got to the airport in record time (home to Warwick in 1 hour 50, not bad for a 135 mile journey in pea soup fog) and then an hour 5 from Warwick to Heathrow (again, a new personal best, and in fog). I then hang about all day at the airport and don't get on either flight because they're full. So Grandad comes back from Southampton to pick me up, we stay down in Southampton on the boat and come back this morning at the same time. Guess what? Both flights full, get bumped off both flights. So I'm now staying in an extortionate hotel (£110 a night for the room, and 50p a minute for web access up to a maximum £15 charge grrr), and will probably not make either flight tomorrow. I think there's 13 seats left on the plane tomorrow (not overbooked for once) when I checked, but there were 13 standbys with higher priority than me, and on top of that there are bumped off commercial passengers who will probably get on too, and possibly extra staff. If I don't make either flight tomorrow then I'm going to have to go home poorer, more tired and with far too many extra miles on Grandad's car, who is going to have to drive another 300 mile round trip to pick me up. This is the last time I ever fly staff travel I swear, I'm going to murder my Dad for not warning me that this would happen. I'd rather just pay the full fee and be there already for christ's sake.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Need a hug :'(


March 16, 2005

So apparently I'm a pisshead…

Writing about web page http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=16336235046633759176

Hmmm well I found this test through Lindsey's Livejournal, and thought I'd give it a go myself. Was quite surprised with the result:







Bourbon
Congratulations! You're 109 proof, with specific scores in beer (80) , wine (83), and liquor (43).
Screw all that namby-pamby chick stuff, you're going straight for the bottle and a shot glass! It'll take more than a few shots of Wild Turkey or 99 Bananas before you start seeing pink elephants. You know how to handle your alcohol, and yourself at parties.







My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:



















You scored higher than 17% on proof





You scored higher than 90% on beer index





You scored higher than 93% on wine index





You scored higher than 85% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

Thoughts?


March 14, 2005

An enthusiasm vacuum

Well hooray, I made it back to Somerset. Another far-too-long term has drawn to a close, I somehow made all my deadlines (although quality of work has probably taken yet another turn for the worse, many more turns for the worse on this front and I'll be staring at a degree without honours), and I'm now back in the comfort of my home. I've seen most of the family, spent a while telling my life saga to my dog, chilled out on the PS2 etc, given my car a much-needed spruce up (more yet to be done though) and unleashed destructive wrath on trees with a worryingly sharp chainsaw (I have nothing better to do with my time). And tonight I went to a lecture given by my old Physics teacher, which was really cool as I got to chat to him (haven't seen the guy in aaaages) and had a nice drive home to the soothing sounds of Coldplay. All of which is fab. Except that it isn't.

Despite all these reasons for me to rejoyce and be happy and cheery (and I have plenty more besides, like visiting Lindsey in 5 days, which I'm really looking forward to), I feel totally melancholic. I don't know why exactly. Yes, so family for all their plusses can be a bit of a drag sometimes, but for Christ's sake I've only been here 24 hours, they can't have irritated me that much already. I have a mountain of things to do, like fix irritating computers and stuff, but nothing totally horrendous. And most of my chores (like the tonnes of firewood I have to chop) I really enjoy. Yet I just ran out of energy even with my chainsaw earlier today. I just got to the point where after half an hour I couldn't be arsed anymore. I wasn't that tired, it wasn't that nasty out, although there was a bit of a biting wind, but I just got to the point where I had to go indoors again from a total enthusiasm collapse. And if this is how I am with my chores that I like, what is it going to be like when I get back from Canada and need to get stuck into my third year project, which I am now seriously dreading? Blargh. I know that I have nothing I should feel this way for, and I still look around tonight and I see so many things that make me want to smile and tears well up cos I'm so happy that my life is like it is and it has all my totally amazing friends and family and things, but on the surface there's just nothing. Nothing at all. An enthusiasm vacuum.


March 09, 2005

I thought it would never happen

But I've finally started my essay! Yay, go me! I was originally planning to start last night, but Lorna ended up dragging me out for a drink (oh how much effort she had to put into that to persuade me not to work) which was a lot of fun. Currently have 2,100 words and have decided that that's ok for a day's effort. I had wanted to get 3,000 out of the way today, but hey I just couldn't be arsed. I would probably have done it if I hadn't had to take a detour into fixing Ashley's bike – bloody thing. Never mind. I'm going out to The Bar later for some relaxation at George's birthday gathering. Hopefully that'll be fun.

I don't know why but I remain in an irrepressible good mood. But hey, who am I to complain?


March 08, 2005

A flicker of hope…

I very nearly started work just now. Really, I did. I'm in the library, all ready to go get books, except I have to be at a meeting in 15 minutes (with my project tutor…please be in for once, this is the last time I'm going to see you before I have to hand in the big scary final report) and I then have 2 hours of lectures. I'm hopeful I'll start after that.

You know that feeling where you go to turn the light on, there's a flash and then darkness as the filament disintegrates? Bulb changing now in progress…


March 2005

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