All entries for November 2006

November 28, 2006

First one of these in aaaaaages

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1. Explain what ended your last relationship?
Ill suited

2. When was the last time you bathed?
Can’t remember

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Riding bus

4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?

5. Are you any good at maths?
Thankfully, yes

6. Your prom night?
Reassuringly average

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Doubt it

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Unfortunately so

9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
Not member

10. Last thing received in the mail?
Card statement

11. How many different beverages have you had today?
Think four

12. Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machines?
Not usually

13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Never lost

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
No – castles

15. What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had?
Standard checkup (so no pain at all)

16. What is out your back door?
Cars, driveway

17. Any plans for Friday night?

18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
Yes actually

19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Definitely not

20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes – recommended

21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Doesn’t everyone?

22. Some things you are excited about?
Payday, Christmas

23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
Strawberry, naturally

24. Describe your keychain(s)?
Jaguar enthusiasts

25. Where do you keep your change?
Wallet pouch

26. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
Last week

27. What kind of winter coat do you own?
Jaguar waterproof

28. What was the weather like on your graduation day?
Warm bright

29. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed – quiet

I wanted to use more than two words :-(

November 26, 2006

Yorkshire – a very pleasant surprise

I decided to visit a friend this weekend in Skipton, North Yorkshire. This is as far North as I’ve ever been – previously, apart from a couple of visits to my uncle who lives in Runcorn (near Liverpool), I’ve never really been past Birmingham. I am most definitely a Southerner, and am quite proud of it. All jokes aside, I really wasn’t sure what I would make of it. I was informed beforehand that there are some great driving roads up there, but nothing could have prepared me for yesterday morning’s venture into the Dales. From Skipton, we took the B6265 North, completing a 50 or so mile anti-clockwise loop around some of the most fantastic undulating roads I’ve ever driven. I was apprehensive at first that the weather conditions (soaking wet, roads literally like rivers in places) would spoil the fun, but I really think in the end it made little difference. To begin with there was a Disco 3 in front making impressive progress (I was having to actually concentrate a bit to keep up with him, and considering I was driving a 225BHP hot hatch that impressed me somewhat!), but then we turned off down a back lane and then I could truly open the taps. This place has some beautiful if bleak countryside, and the roads are simply breathtaking. I thought I had some brilliant tight A-Roads in Somerset, but they pale in comparison to those I was on yesterday. I’m certain to make a return trip now at some point, hopefully in drier weather and maybe with an open topped car. Maybe my project supercharged Westfield Megabusa/XTR2 I’m hoping to start next year. I don’t think life will get much better than that :-) To serious drivers out there – make room for a trip to Yorkshire in your diary asap.

November 15, 2006

Calling all undergraduate/postgraduate engineers and physicists!

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For Engineers and Physicists currently considering jobs (or if you’re not, then you should be!), the company I work for is coming to Warwick next week to give a presentation on Engineering Consultancy and opportunities within our company. I’ll be one of the speakers (probably not speaking too much…). If you’re looking for a job which allows you to remain technical in your base, offers a wide variety of challenging and interesting work, and has a good staff atmosphere that you can connect with, then I really recommend that you come along (that is a horrid plug but really, I do think it’s a great job). Although we are an engineering consultancy, we do have a number of physicists and mathematics specialists within our company too – for example our nuclear business can make good use of people intending to go down the route of reactor physics. Have a read of the poster below, have a poke around our website, and I look forward to seeing you next Monday.

November 09, 2006

I'm falling behind with the news again

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I heard on tuesday that Brake have called for a revamp of rules for young drivers. Some of their recommendations include night-time curfews, raising the driving age, increasing the amount of time you have to learn for and introducing restrictions on carrying passengers. One of their big claims is to do with the number of young drivers breaking the drink driving laws.

Well how about this. When young people go out, they need to transport themselves and their friends. They usually go out at night as well. So if they can’t transport their mates, and travel at night, then what use is the car in the first place? I agree that drink driving should not be accepted and needs to be tackled. I suggest instead of messing about with restrictions on young people left, right and centre, they instead focus on the actual problem, which is alcohol abuse by the young. As a driver who doesn’t drink when driving, it comes as no surprise to me that so many young people break the rule. Have you ever tried drinking non-alcoholic drinks in pubs and clubs? There is usually only a very limited selection of very boring drinks, often which taste dreadful (lemonade and coke in particular are usually awful when they come out of those concentrate mixers that all bars have) and you usually get charged very nearly as much as a pint for them. Considering there’s no alcohol tax on these drinks, the mark up must be horrendous. How about actually doing something about this state of affairs instead? I remain convinced that this would have much more of an impact than anything else.

They also talk at great lengths about the number of young people killed on the roads because of reckless driving etc. I suspect a significant proportion of these are joyriders (many, I’m led to believe, aren’t even 17 anyway) or unlicenced young drivers anyway, so how exactly is increasing the driving age going to stop 15 year olds stealing BMW’s and then racing each other at breakneck speeds around populated cities at night? And how is this fair on the moderate majority of young drivers, who actually rely on their car as a method of transport and rightly deserve to use a vehicle which they already have to pay through the nose for with insurance and tax? Again, perhaps tackling the problem (young miscreants) might have a much bigger effect.

Also yesterday, I hear that women don’t like going into garages to get their cars fixed because the experience is too ‘blokey’ and they don’t understand what’s going on. Well in my experience (ok I am a bloke) garages are always helpful, and when I’ve seen them serve female customers I’ve never noted anything sexist in their conduct. Yes, garages are mostly run by men, and this is bound to have an effect on the experience. But if women are so concerned that they are getting ripped off (again, I’ve never visited a garage which I didn’t consider to be reputable – perhaps a case of a minority tarnishing the rest?) then perhaps they should use some common sense in getting their cars fixed – like get more than one garage’s opinion – and also attempt to understand a little the vehicles which they are dependent on. A car is the most complex thing most of us will ever own (and the second most expensive, after a house), and many of them are now capable of driving a distance equivalent to over halfway around the world between services. When you consider the complexity of a car and the amount of stress it’s placed under, it’s a wonder that they are so dependable. Taking good care of a machine you daily entrust your life to shouldn’t be considered optional because you can’t be bothered to take the time to understand how it works.

November 2006

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