October 03, 2005

Sunday 2nd October 2005

Internet down, day late, Yadda Yadda
Woke up at 11:30, feeling like crap. I had a shower that refreshed me a bit, but then I felt sick. However, I guessed what that was rightly. I must've starved myself. For some reason i never feel hungry, instead I just feel sick. So I went to the kitchen and had 6 pieces of toast and forced myself to eat them despite my stomach's complaints. Afterwards I felt much better, so pleased with my glutton I played Max Payne 2 a bit more in my room. I think I must be carrying at least three separate ailments. A slightly cobbly stomach, that mean scratch/rash/whatever on my chest and stomach, and general exhaustion/tiredness. Oh well.

I managed to drag myself to dressing and phoned Olga to see if she wanted to head out to lunch. She wasn't actually on campus, so I went off to the Costcutters to buy some staples and some chicken. They didn't have any onions or any chicken. What a useless supermarket! I bought a sandwich and some kidney beans to make some chilli later and took it back. Will and Anika were in the room and I enquired about the laundry room. Turns out the laundry machine is even more specific about the type of money it'll take than the Stagecoach bus drivers in Oxford… I decided to grab my trusty backpack and hiked off to the CS laboratory to bathe in glorious, working Internet access (screw you, student computing. Seriously, screw you. I bet if the admin's network access was down for 8 days heads would start to roll) and to post the previous day's entry and catch up on some much needed news and IMing.

In the middle a nice young chap came over and asked if I had Word on my Mac. I said I didn't but I had Pages and NeoOffice/J. He asked me if I could try converting a .doc file that someone had sent to him to a PDF as OpenOffice on the lab computers was failing to open the file. He emailed it to me and Pages failed to import correctly, but what was really nice is that it gave a summary of exactly what it failed to import (which begs the question: if it knows its faults, why can't they be fixed?). I then tried it in NeoOffice/J and it worked perfectly. I tried printing to a PDF but the program hung (boo! At least force-quit worked) so I used NeoOffice/J's native Export to PDF… which worked. In return I got invited to the stand, as what I was printing was a Bridge Club advertisement. I'll check them out tomorrow.

I caught up with a long-standing Floridan friend of mine in IM, not having been able to talk to him for a week due to the bloody network outage in halls. It was good to chat, the guy's been bankrupt through no fault of his own for a while and finally secured a job. Go him! Go him! I also found out that the guy who I named the plant after had a grandfather called Ernest, which had freaked him a little. Life is full of odd coincidences!

I wandered back to the halls having exhausted the wonders of the Internet for that time. On the way there was a really tame squirrel that bounded up, past, around me twice and into a tree, where it promptly started to groom itself. I tried to snap a picture of it with my phone but I couldn't quite get close enough before its tameness dissipated.

When I got to the kitchen/lounge there were a couple of people in there, and it seemed that for the fancy dress party pirates would be the theme. I started to watch Austin Powers with someone but another group of people were going to Tescos so I latched on to them. They were pretty annoying people and I wish I hadn't. The conversation threads:

  • Sex.
  • More sex.
  • Yet more sex, but with red heads.
  • Did I mention sex?

We got to Tescos and it was closed. Bugger! I backtracked after managing to 'lose' the group I was with and headed back to my room to see what on Earth I had that'd look even remotely pirate-like. The answer was a little less than bugger all, but I threw together a black shirt with black trousers and tried to make a makeshift bandana from my dressing gown's belt. It didn't look bad but it didn't look spectacular, but for zero effort I was proud. The photo is in camera photos, complete with anachronism!

I headed back to the lounge to make some chilli. It was a meeean chilli. I ate it whilst the others in the room milled around, avoiding the meeeean chilli in case it bit them. I tried to make a makeshift sword out of cardboard and tinfoil, but I met with very limited success. We prepared to go to the party. One person in the corridor took so long to prepare that we were an hour late. They eventually went wearing a technogoth blinking eyepatch and a drawn skull and crossbones.

The party itself was loud and a bit boring. However, in true lightweight style I managed to get completely piefaced on just two pints of 'purple', or Strongbow with Ribena. From there I can't actually remember much of the party except fiddling around with Bluetooth a lot to exchange ringtones (a lot of people thought that Verdi's Requiem added a spectacularly unusual oomph to their phone.) From there we headeed past the chipshop, and by then I had a chronic case of the hiccoughs, much like the cartoon drunk. I got chips and gravy on a whim and headed back to the halls.

In the halls there was much random banter but I was a bit too out of it to understand it, except towards the end where a nice English student named Ben discussed everything from Six Feet Under to travelling to Australia with me. In the middle of that some very loud students who'd won the fancy dress competition in the party earlier came around and said that we, 'had to come to Kitchen 5, as we'd won!' Everyone went upstairs, so eventually I got over my grump at everyone leaving the room and followed. It was packed, and almost unbearable. Some of the features of the room were:

  • A large, hairy man who complained I was spoiling the view when I stood in front of a poster of a naked woman.
  • The hosts who kept on filling your glass with horrible, cheap wine whether you asked or not (or even if the glass was empty or not).
  • Music with absolutely no tonality whatsoever.

I escaped and headed downstairs, and to my surprise a few other people joined me. We talked a bit, but they went back upstairs after a while as they'd only come downstairs to fetch a friend. I retreated to my room to see if the network was working. Eventually a few people returned, apparently to see where I'd got to. From then on ensued much hilarity as they convinced me to send silly text messages to someone in the kitchen group.

  • "Your eyes are a most interesting shade of blue."
  • "Your arms are sweet like fairy liquid."
  • "That hat looks very suave."

They eventually found me out and I decided to pull in for the night after much jovial laughing. I played Max Payne 2 on the computer until 02:00, marked down the seminars and lectures I needed to go to in my diary and went to sleep.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Jim

    The admin's network wouldn't be down for 8 days because no one using the admin network blatently breaks the usage rules (for instance by pluging in wireless access points)

    03 Oct 2005, 15:11

  2. Mum

    Is that a hostile comment above?
    Pity about Ernest; I grew quite fond of him. Would he eat maggots i.e. fly larvae? Worth a try?
    Did you do/ have you done any laundry – you tantalizingly leave us hanging on that subject. I hate to think.
    A diet of chips, bread and chilli could be a little bit lacking in essential vitamins- just a bit of parental concern about the diet here!
    Does anybody do any work there, or is that a bad word? it seems to be one long party in your hall. Exams will happen one day!
    On that friendly note,
    all my love.

    03 Oct 2005, 16:06

  3. I unplugged the wireless when the network wasn't working, in case I was creating a routing loop.

    Straw-man arguments are oh-so-very common in the IT industry. Happened at my previous job a lot. Take a comparison of these:
    'Sorry, we can't help you, as you're running Linux and we don't actually know any technical data about what we provide.'
    'Sorry, we can't help you, as your router wasn't bought from our to-do list and doesn't match our checklist support system.'
    'Sorry, because you plugged in a wireless router, turned down the power so far it doesn't get out of the room and removed the external arial and have taken it out since outages occured, you're in no position to blame student computing for the outages on the network.'

    They all create a new argument and use it to prove another. This is the fundamental of a straw man argument.

    04 Oct 2005, 16:06

  4. Jim

    It's not a hostile comment, just stating fact. Most of issues of the residential network have come from individuals plugging in wireless equipment, may not be yours but coulld of been someone elses. The useage guidelines are there to make life easier for you. The main issue seems to be that the student network gets used almost exclusively for downloading music, games or movies rather than studying.

    05 Oct 2005, 16:42

  5. Sarah

    By the way, if one is discussing hair colour, I believe 'redheads' is all one word. Therefore the phrase "sex with red heads" has a really rather different meaning…mmm.

    15 Oct 2005, 23:41

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