All entries for October 2005

October 18, 2005


I've got too high a workload (and too busy a life) to keep on tapping away at this blog. So I'm afraid I'll shut it down for now.

Thanks for all those who've read it.

October 17, 2005

Sunday, 17th October

Today was very short. I woke up at around 15:00 (!) and had a shower to wake myself up. I got some toast for 'breakfast' and spent a while writing up the previous two days' blog entries. I then decided to give my mother a nice long phone call. I also talked to my father. Good to catch up with them both!

I then by complete chance found I had the ingredients to make a chilli, so I did. Anika wondered what it was, and commented it looked nice. It was very nice, but the pan that I made it in stuck. I was also trying to watch TV at the same time and spilled half the bowl on my shirt. Oh well…

The rest of the evening I can't remember much of, really, a very lazy day. I do remember the following:

  • Helping Anika get perl set up on her laptop so she could do some coursework.
  • Watching a bit of Star Trek with Will, who turns out to be somewhat a fan.
  • Fiddling with the composition software on my iBook, and hence half-heartedly creating a trance remix of the Wallace and Gromit theme. It probably violates all kind of copyrights, so consider it a parody. link (AAC, plays in VideoLAN [] fine).
  • Signing up for the Computer Game Programming Competition.

After some nasty washing up I sloped off to bed.

October 16, 2005

Saturday, 15th October

Saturday is also from memory, but it's fresher in my memory.

Saturday was actually very short as I was conscious I had to get myself around to normal sleep schedules. I woke up at 14:00 with a headache, so I took some paracetamol. I talked to Dementia a bit before trying a bit more of Half-Life 2. He then showed me his dance mat downstairs used to play dancing games. I was very bad at them but he was phenomenally good. We then got some late breakfast and he showed me a few more games on the computer, whilst we traded some music. I kinda miss playing games, especially as they've got good, but I still don't think I could ever knowingly get myself into the vicious upgrade cycle where you go obsolete in 10 minutes. Dementia has, and the money he spends I could travel the world with and meet people who have computers I can play on!

We had to zoom to town as we'd agreed to see Wallace and Gromit. The bus I travelled on was a very, very rickety old double decker that felt like it was going to fall apart on every turn. I can remember that the setting sun (it was a hazy day) was especially beautiful and that we both got forced to the back of the bus by some maurauding wasps. When we got to the Odeon cinema, we were a bit too late so bought tickets and headed into central Coventry.

I roamed around trying to find a Subway or a Chinese Takeaway for some reasonable food, not desiring junkfood. I asked two people. The first was a guy from Poland and I actually ended up talking to him for 5 minutes whilst Dementia looked slightly stunned about Poland and experiences of England. Then I asked some old people at the local bus shelter, who fitted the description of batty old crones perfectly, each one of them giving a completely different answer. (I bet if I'd asked the fourth, she would have said 'well Betty lies, and Henrietta there always tells the truth. But old Esmeralda there, well, you never can tell with her…')

We actually stumbled upon a Subway! Thus began my big chain of borrowing money from Dementia. I borrowed money to buy a Subway (I got a club sub, gorgeous, he got a chicken sandwich. He apparently hates salad though does eat vegetables). then we dropped off in a pub in central town that was lovely, chatted a bit and I borrowed some money to get a drink. We went to watch Wallace and Gromit.

Wallace and Gromit you all must see now. It trumps every single Hollywood cliché and manages to be distinctly original in this age. It also manages to be simultaneously charming and also very cheeky. Without giving too much away, they put in jokes that will make the adults roar with laughter and cause the little ones to laugh for entirely other reasons.

Afterwards we decided to get meal from a Turkish takeaway and head back onto campus. I had to borrow the money for both from Dementia. We decided to head to the gaming session, which was a smaller affair but good fun. Not much to describe about gaming, though near the end things got silly as people just started trading funny Flash movies they'd seen on the net. We managed to set up a fair old racket. Dementia was tired and had to go home. I wished him well but went back until the session almost ended.

I left at 4:00, walking with Euan (aka zx64) and a first year and we had fun trying do see if we could set off the speed cameras by running down the road. We couldn't, unfortunately. I got home at around 4:20 and went to bed, knowing if I went to bed the next day at around 2:00 I'd be back to normal for lectures.

Friday, 14th October

Unfortunately I didn't write any notes for Friday as I was so tired. This is from memory.

I went to bed rather late (but in time to get 8 hours' sleep) doing the Logic homework and it still wasn't done by the time I got to sleep! That stuff was tricky. Then, I got woken up 4 hours later by another fire alarm, this one everyone in the halls just got themselves all dressed slowly and ambled out into the front given it was the third one. It was a drill and everyone just grumpily went back in. I tried to sleep again, but it was almost impossible due to the interruption and hence began a very long and arduous day.

I remember waking and zooming over to the Statistics seminar where I managed amazingly to not fall asleep on the desk, though when I got asked a couple of questions I wasn't able to really answer them with anything coherent, more a series of intellectual mumbles. I then had two hours to kill by staying in the computer science computer room. For the first 30 minutes I played a game on my iBook, but then Olga came in and we chatted and she showed me a game on her laptop called Knights of the Old Republic 2. Now, I don't usually go for angsty and franchise roleplaying games but from the first hour or so of it I could say it was a better game than most. For reference point, though, I benchmark games I play to these standards:

  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. (Glorious, kid's fun action.)
  • Adventure: Beneath a Steel Sky. (Brilliant plot.)
  • Puzzle: ICO. (Gorgeous, just gorgeous.)
  • Action: Silent Hill 2. (When I completed this game I couldn't sleep that night due to thinking about the plot.)
  • RPG: Seiken Densetsu 2 (old, old, old game for SNES) or Beyond Good and Evil.
  • FPS: Half-Life. (Classic.)

We had to run to the Statistics lecture and we managed to find a position near the back. The material was nothing new again, so I successfully dozed off at the back, though someone 'helpful' prodded me awake. I felt a tiny bit refreshed but still exhausted. That nap saved me in Mathematics for Computer Science where I was actually able to keep awake as Set operations were discussed (I think why I keep falling asleep in those is because they're always late in the day). From there I skedaddled of to the Programming for Computer Science seminar with Candle where we spent 5 minutes trying to explain to the Seminar Tutor that we wanted to work on our coursework in the laboratory below before he understood and said it was OK. He seemed distracted or tired.

I did that, and rewrote a lot of what I'd written already for the coursework so that it conformed a bit more to what was expected. I'm still really annoyed that what I have actually obeys the specifications written in the coursework, but the questions asked don't expect the solution to be done in the way I've done it and therefore I can't answer one of the questions without just saying 'my implementation doesn't do what's assumed.' I'm worried and guess I should probably start from scratch and do things in a way that others would do it if they didn't know how to program. Anyway, after that I chatted with Candle a bit before ambling back to halls.

I sent Dementia a message to say to meet up at the computer science social and put on some restful music. I didn't (or maybe I did?) sleep but after 2 hours of lying down I felt really energized. We had fish and chips (actually quite nice) and went off to gaming for two hours where we whiled away playing Tetrinet and GTA2 (surprisingly fun in multiplayer). Then I decided to head over to Dementia's to see his pad. We arrived there at about 1, and he showed me his room. There was a futon and a completely crazy computer that looked like if it was any more powerful it'd cause the local substation to collapse. He showed me Half-Life 2, a game released recently to much critical acclaim.

I think the reviewers are up their own asses. In only 30 mintues' gameplay I noticed:

  • You had no choice in the slightest in what you do. It was like a movie that you had to press buttons to proceed in.
  • Despite the shininess, the lighting was completely static. No cloud shadows or anything like that.
  • I hid behind the same box for 15 minutes whilst I fetched something and the enemies hadn't thought of deploying anti-terrorism units, instead content to shoot at said indestructable box from the helicopter.
  • Boxes bounced around in a realistic fashion but a crowbar didn't dent pipes on the walls.
  • The plot was disjointed and felt like a new game only made popular because it had bits of Half-Life stuck into it.

I managed to get a bit drunk on Reefs and after much silly giggling got to sleep at around 6:00 (so I took my twice daily tablet before I slept). Oops!

October 15, 2005


No blog written up today, too late and too tired. I'll try to write one from memory tomorrow.

October 13, 2005

Thursday, 13th October

Before bed I tried ordering my brother a birthday present, but all the online sites rejected my Electron. So I went back to bed in a bit of a mope. I decided I'd not go to the Thursday Statistics seminar in order to sleep in. I decided to take the Friday one instead.

I woke up, completely exhausted again. Another rough night. However, when I woke up I was alerted to the fact there were some clean sheets in the room on top of my bag that hadn't been in there the night before! It surprised me enough to go outside and check if there were sheets outside or the like, but there weren't, so I just replaced the sheets on my bed and resolved to ask the others what to do with the old ones. I got into the shower and tried ot relax, but the water speed was being very variable (though the temperature was pretty much constant). I headed off the to the kitchen to make some toast, and left it toasting whilst I went back to my room to check out #compsoc for a while. I ended up talking with some people about the chores I had to do for the LAN party:

  • Help set it up.
  • Work on the music server.
  • Help distribute out cabling and power.
  • Be a 'person in charge'

However, at this point all Internet access froze, completely blocking me off from everything. I decided to phone my mother, but the signal died. I tried again, but it died again. I went outside, and the signal still died. I went right outside into the open, and got three bars signal. Mum told me I could use their credit card to make my order and gave me a number to get an electron card converted to a proper visa debit (the number was 08453000000). She also seemed upset that I hadn't responded/read her email she'd sent, but I the internet had been down for a while. I promised to read it when I got to somewhere the Internet was working.

I had to run to my lecture, so my toast got forgotten. Instead I bought a breakfast/lunch sandwich and pack of crisps from the Arts Centre café. I caught up with Olga outside and her apparent friend who was quite friendly. I then went into the lecture, absolutely determined to stay awake and to understand the contents. I got prodded awake by the person next to me who told me that I'd been seen dozing by the lecturer. I immediately went to maximum alertness and even put my hand up to answer the next question. I really wish this didn't keep happening. I need to do well in Boolean Calculus and I find it very tricky.

After the lecture I headed to the Computer Science room where I worked on my Boolean Calculus (jargon time: and set up XFCE to run from my home directory on the computers there). I also tried a modern game quickly on my iBook G4 to see how well it did, it was playable. We all had to depart to a Programming lecture pretty smartly.

The Programming lecture was funny as usual, with one episode of note where the person next to me corrected Dr Jarvis and Dr Jarvis seemed to think it was me who'd corrected him from then on. (Serves me right for almost getting my iBook out mid-way through to check something.) However, what happened next was very interesting. Someone came in and asked for SSLC candidates. The SSLC is the liason committee between people doing a subject subject and the staff. They needed three, I volunteered as I like political things. There were five, so we all had to give a speech and go to a show of hands vote. I said, "I worked in industry for a year so I know how hard it is for the little guy to not get heard. I'd try to be easily accessible for concerns." It was the most political of the three. I got voted in, interestingly by most of the girls in the room!

Afterwards we headed back to the Computer Science room, were just about to do something when in came Sadiq and some pals with a supercharged remote control car that sped around like a demented gerbil. Everyone got a go and much fun was to be had. The time flew, and we headed off together to meet up someone else, but we had to get to a Philosophy lecture so parted ways.

The Philosophy lecture was interesting, debating various aspects of the Ontological Argument for the existence of God:

  • God is perfect.
  • If God didn't exist, he wouldn't be perfect.
  • Therefore, God Exists.

The lecturer was a bit long winded explaining things, but I gather the strongest argument against this is:

  • Is existence a property?

I also managed to send a couple of silly pictures to some random person via Bluetooth for no reason whatsoever in that lecture whilst he was preparing slides.

After that I went to the DDR or 'dance mat' society's social session for a laugh, which consists of loads of people crowded around the single DDR machine and each paying a pound and getting five games. It was the first time I'd played DDR properly. I could get B on 1 foot and 2 foot songs, D and E on anything higher. Apparently that's OK, some poeple fall over on their first go. At the time there was a tribute act being done to John Peel, so we couldn't actually hear the machine and were working solely on sight whilst trying to ignore the loud beat in the room. After that I headed with Dementia (who was at Dance Mat) back to halls.

He rested for a bit as he'd danced himself to extreme as I'd accidentally picked him a 10 foot tune (he got D on it). He tried playing Poker on my Linux box but it was buggered. I sorted out a few things on the Internet and headed to the kitchen. He had to go. Just before I left I saw the BBC article on bird 'flu. That disease is somewhat worrying.

This is where my day got boring. Apart from reheating a pizza and having some salad, the rest of the evening was spent doing the Mathematics/Logic/Boolean Colculus sheet for 4 hours. I'd already spent 3 and a half hours on it the day before and 1 hour the day before that. I couldn't do two questions and I swear the rest were a bit dodgy. The only interesting thing that happened is someone mentioned for a while there had been a collection of rubber ducks in the fountain in front of Arthur Vick before they cleared the water of the bubble bath (and the ducks, evidently).

At 23:20 I called it quits, and decided to relax for a bit, have a drink and go to bed.

October 12, 2005

Wednesday, 12th October

Woke up at 09:00 feeling pretty rested, though another hour's sleep really couldn't have gone amiss. I quickly got into my shower, washed, dried, dressed and sloped off to the kitchen in slippers to get some breakfast. There was no-one in there except cleaners, who were friendly but giving off that slightly poisoned ayre of restrained chatter. I looked at the table. There was a lot of stuff on there. Oh dear. I made sure to wash my dishes very well in front of them and put them away!

I went back to my room and made a haphazard attempt at cleaning up before it got to 09:50 and I had to head off to my first Mathematics for Computer Scientists seminar. Th route was quick this time, five minutes, but I still made the mistake of almost walking into the carpark because I was stuck in my own little world. For some reaosn, I couldn't get the Beatle's song 'She Loves You' out of my head. And, as of writing this, hours later, I still can't. Gah!

The Mathematics seminar was really good. Our tutor was helpful and really cleared a few things up, indeed, he practically retaught the entirety of the last two lectures with clear and concise examples that made me feel much more confident about the homework sheet due in for Friday. Things were marred a bit by the alarm for the lecture going off in the middle of the lecture, making everyone think my phone was ringing, though!

I went from there to the Café Library with Simon, chatting with him about the presentation we had to do later, which was cheap but didn't accept plastic so I wasn't able to buy anything. We parted ways and I went back to halls to the kitchen to rest for a while and read up on a bit of logic. I was interrupted by someone in the room sending to me a random sound file over MP3. It turned out to be a quote from a movie with the most long winded, daffy sounding 'noooooo!' you could imagine. When I commented I then got bluetooth-mania with another three things sent including an MP3 of the Cillit Bang remix. My phone beeped and I realise (thanks to the wonders of alarms) I had to run to the Philosophy seminar as it was at 12:00, not 14:00.

Outside the seminar the tutor was a tad late so I leeched off the wireless (funny how there's a perfect open wireless signal in the top floor of social studies but no open signal at all in the Computer Science building). Our tutor came by really flustered and apologising for being late, though we were all cool with it. All four of us, that is. We set down immediately to the presentation, I ended up using the laptop screen along with a USB optical mouse attached to it for going forwards and backwards.

The presentation went well, though a few things cropped up:

  • I didn't know much more than what I'd put on the slides, so I had to refer to Simon a lot to add examples (he was very good at those)
  • One of the slides had gone completely AWOL so I had to remember it from memory (and I managed!)
  • No-one in the room agreed with anything the presentation said so we got a lot of questions, though we'd only put down what Mackie believed.

Our tutor clarified a few things, specifically the difference between first and second order moral skepticism, and then we got launched into a complete five way argumentative debate about subjectivity and objectivity. Some of the viewpoints were:

  • Morals are systematically subjective
  • There is no subjectivity
  • Colours are objective as they are induced by properties of an object, leading on to…
  • Systematic subjectivity is objectivity because it comes down to properties of an objective substance
  • Subjectivity is merely the definition of a golden point of abstraction of objectivity
  • That chair really would be blue even if we weren't around to see it
  • That chair would only have the potential of being blue if we weren't around to see it, it wouldn't really be blue as blueness is a subjective creation in the mind of a human
  • But the potential of being blue is always there, it doesn't just start being blue just because someone observes it
  • Yes it does!
  • No it doesn't!
  • Metaphysical questions of objectivity of subjective values when considering the physical properties of a brain

The seminar only finished as the next group came in to the room, a bunch of economists. We ended up arguing over the objectivity and subjectivity all the way back to Rootes, where I parted ways and went back to Arthur Vick. I talked a bit in the kitchen, before frying up the rest of the vegetables I didn't eat last night to have as a lunch. It was a bit bland but edible and hopefully healthy. I went to my room and played on the computer a bit, procrastinating homework, until I had to head to the doctor's to meet him (as I have a heart condition).

The lady on the desk couldn't find my name. Her monitor was in plain view, so I looked to see if I could help her. I got a minute long lecture on how I was violating privacy and how I shouldn't look and she moved her monitor around with a big humph. Charming, it was an accident and she shouldn't have the monitor facing that way. I sat down in a humph and got called in by the doctor. He was a very nice guy, wanted to know some of my medical history, my medicatoin, and note down the type of heart murmur I had. I manageed to forget about flu jabs.

I got back hope and tried to ring my mother on Skype, but the network was so slow it was unusable. Eventually she rung the payphone and we chatted for a good while, and I found out I'd forgotten to ask the Doctor about getting a 'flu jab. After she hang up I rang the health centre and asked, but they're not doing them until next Monday as they haven't yet received them yet. I headed to the common room and started to do my maths. problem sheet.

I spent 3 hours trying to do it. I got the hang of it but there was some horrible simplication problems that I just couldn't wrap my head around. I eventually gave up as my mind was frazzled and cooked a frozen pizza, which was sugary but nice enough. Whilst watching it I heard an amazing comment from a presenter on the ITV news: 'there was a story about getting mobbed on arrival… even if this is a rumour, it shows the tensions..' Talk about presenting opinion, even perhaps incorrect information, as fact! Cripes!

I went back to my room and was about to start my stats when some people invited me to the Linux Users Group. I decided to go over and I'm glad I did. Everyone was friendly, despite the fact I was using a Mac laptop running OS X, and we had a generally good time and discussion. I recommend the LUG to anyone remotely interested in using or trying Linux. During the event the sign-ups for the LAN party started, and we watched in amazement as it only took 2 minutes for all 30-ish spaces in the LAN party to be filled up. I was number 24, but I pulled out after I realised I had a guaranteed space anyway as I was on the techteam (?). The LUG finished after a while and I walked back home with a friendly chap who was on his way to a late-nighter at the Computer Science building. I headed to my room and worked on my Statistics homework (insanely boring) before ordering a present for my brother on Amazon and going to bed. If you're reading, bro, sorry it's late! I messed up my timings…

October 11, 2005

The Bubble Project

Writing about web page

Interesting link to a social project that someone started. The results are quite curious.

Cheers to Kyle for passing it on.

Tuesday, 11 October

I didn't sleep very well, not being able to sleep until around 2:30, and I woke up at 10 feeling absolutely exhausted. I managed to get back to sleep but woke up at 11 feeling much the same. I dragged myself to the kitchen to have some breakfast, it looked like most other people were just as knackered as I was. I put on some of my self-washed clothes, curious to find that some of the garments completely stank of something unidentified. I resolved to put them through the wash again, and sat down to read up on some Philosophy before the lecture. I also chatted in the Computing Society chatroom, having fun with someone who needed to chill a bit (note, bits might be snipped due to chatroom spam):

[10:31] murphster: and i'm thinking hmmmm
[10:31] db_rat: Deep insight into your cognitive processes there. ;p
[10:31] murphster: shut up you.

[10:35] Inciner: impressive, away for a whole 1 min 5s
[10:36] murphster: don't you start with me

[11:15] db_rat: I had one of those as a work laptop. They are shite. 1 hour's battery life and weird buggy components. 100% Linux compatible, though.
[11:15] murphster: ah, a retard, i see

[11:17] murphster: yeah just because something happened with /your/ laptop that doesn't make it gospel for every other laptop of the same make
[11:18] murphster: gah you are really annoying in a Penguin 6 months ago kind of way
[11:18] db_rat: It was the office standard. I speak for around 3 laptops…
[11:18] murphster: i'm off

[11:18] sadiq: just wait till everyone's cycles synchronise!
[11:19] murphster|away: fuck you too

So much anger in so little time! He must have felt like a caged animal. Anyway, I got a message from someone in the Tech team about possible ideas for the Computing Society website. The guy had some really good ideas and thoughts and concerns, and I ended up installing the Drupal CMS to give it a slight jiggle around with, though I expect it may not plug in to our current framework well enough to be more than a toy. Plus everyone has serious reservations about PHP applications as no-one has yet made a good one that isn't full of holes. Anyway, I skedaddled from that off to my Philosophy lecture.

I caught Simon (the person doing the Philosophy presentation) just outside the Philosophy lecture and asked him to join me in the lecture. Just as I was sitting down in the lecture my laptop noted an incoming bluetooth file transfer. I cancelled it and did a scan. There were 23 bluetooth devices in range! Blimmin' 'eck. That could be fun. However, I put away the laptop and got out my trusty pen and paper.

Unfortunately today the lecturer managed to make his points (arguments against Moore's argument for the objectivity of values based on a literary analysis) very long and drawn out. I only got half a page of notes from the hour. In fact, at one point I started writing the notes for contradiction 2, dozed off, woke up, and continued where I started, though apparently he was concluding contradiction 4. I didn't even realise. Oh well, after the doze I felt a bit better and headed off with Simon to the library. In the library we worked a good solid hour on the presentation, fleshing out the draft I'd made and correcting some of the rather late-night logic that I'd made. From there we went to the Statistical Laboratory. I looked over the notes and found out that there was still nothing new so I managed to spend a lot of that lecture abusing the bluetooth by attempting to send pictures of ducks and squirrels from the campus to random people. To my surprised, 1 people accepted. Their bluetooth ID was 'Pirate Pete'. I couldn't see around to check who it was, but it was a very slow rate so they were probably quite far away.

From the lecture I headed off with Simon to go shopping at Tescos for the week. He needed to drop off some stuff in his room at Rootes. The Rootes accommodation isn't bad, actually, though naturally Arthur Vick is much swisher. They haven't got en suite but the room feels larger as for living space. The community was very much more studenty, Arthur Vick feels a bit like a hotel or a hostel in the way that it is run. He fetched what he needed and I noticed on his wall a poster for the Game Development Society, which I'd completely forgotten to go to the night before. Bugger!

We walked to Tescos and I did a shop that I hoped would be weekly. On the way round I bought:

  • 2x stirfry veg (easy and somewhat nutritious)
  • 1x noodles (spotting a theme?)
  • 1x stirfry sauce (guess what I'm making tonight!)
  • 1x fresh chicken fillets (correct!)
  • 1x lemon juice (Martinis!)
  • 2x frozen pizzas (unhealthy, but…)
  • 2x salads (these should balance them)
  • 1x sandwich (late lunch)

I kept an eye out for deals and absolutely made sure that I didn't impulse buy anything. The total came to £10, which isn't bad for at least 4 days' worth of nosh. I paid for it with a card and headed back to campus with Simon, but parted ways to put my shopping in the kitchen. It looked like we'd got a new freezer to replace the one that was broken, so I claimed a half-shelf of my own in it (it was completely empty). I popped back to my room for a while before heading back to cook. I decided to risk chicken.

I coated the chicken in olive oil and soy sauce, and put some oil in the frying pan. I heated the oil, added the chicken, and cooked it and turned it until it was all light in colour and starting to go golden, before adding the stirfry sauce and stirring until it sizzled. I then tossed in the stirfry veg and turned that around until it went softer, and finally added the noodles and stirred for a further three minutes. All the way through I was so worried about the chicken I kept asking people if they thought it was done. They did, so I trusted them.

Whilst I was cooking someone was watching a soap on TV. It was luidicrous – something about a girl being stalked, meeting a murder suspect and needing a policeman outside her door. Also, during the adverts, the person watching the TV flicked channels like mad. It's interesting how the advert breaks seem to be synchronised so that the only way to avoid the in-your-face assault of product placement is to mute the TV or switch to the BBC. Anyway, I sat down and scoffed most of my stir-fry, though after a while I couldn't stomach any more. There wasn't enough to save so I guiltily threw it away, and proceeded to wash up and put things away, which took more time than the actual cooking did!

I returned to my room and feeling tired and grumpy decided to surf the web and chat with friends (and in the CompSoc chatroom) for a while, before pulling in to a relatively early night. However, some people from the corridor (Ben and Charlie) knocked on my door to ask if they could see their room size, commenting that Matt-Mark's seemed to be bigger. I let them look around, and went off with them to Matt Mark's, and they were right! It was a lot deeper. I guess it's luck of the draw. They were looking for people to play a game of Articulation so I asked them to knock on my door when they were ready.

I played around on the Internet a bit, but it got near bedtime so I headed off to the kitchen to get a snack, saying hey to everyone there. I heard laughter from near Ben's room, so I headed over. I heard someone describing something in a long-winded Articulation way, I guess they forgot to knock my door. Oh well, I was tired and may have seemed a bit dismissal earlier, and probably wouldn't have been very good at it. I sloped off to bed quietly, hopefully to be somewhat refreshed for the morning.

October 10, 2005

Monday, 10th October

I had a rough night. I kept on tossing and turning and having strange dreams that I can barely remember. Also in the middle of one tossing session I got woken up by a searing pain in my leg than took half an hour to subside, and when I finally woke up bleary-eyed in the morning it was hurting dully. I must have pulled a muscle.

I woke up at 9:30 and dragged myself out of bed to have a shower, and after chatting to a pal on the Internet who's a long lost friend who went through a really rough spot and seems to be coming through (keep on troopin'!) I headed off to Costcutters to get some milk so I could have some breakfast in the hope that the walk would make me feel better and more woken up. It did, and it also wore off the horrible pain in my leg. I bought some bread, some snacks, some milk and a sandwich.

I got back to the kitchen and my Branflakes had gone AWOL. Bloody hell, I'd bought some milk especially. How desperate can people be to take some Branflakes? They're about as nutritious as cardboard. Instead I had Marmite on toast again whilst watching a somewhat fascinating Channel 4 documentary on the Millennium bridge and the fact that its wobbling was caused by the synchronity of footsteps of thousands of people. Apparently an oscillating structure encourages people to walk in step to the oscillations, a phenomena never seen before. Anika came in the room so I chatted to her a bit about her phone, which was an impressive piece of kit. I then tried playing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time for a while but I'd lost the knack.

I finally managed to haul myself out of the room and hunted down the central laundrette, which all the other halls of residences use except Arthur Vick. It was absolutely packed and had a brilliant buzz in it, but by the time I found it I only had around 10 minutes to go before my lecture started. I checked the price of the spincycles, it was only 20p for a drying cycle! In the Arthur Vick residences (when they were open) it was 50p a drying cycle! Bloody hell. Lucky I was forced to come here.

I lugged my wet clothes over to my lecture, which mercilessly was in the MathStat building, or the absolute further building from the point I was in, full stop. By the time I got there, despite stopping off for a few minutes midway at the library for a breather and to get a Five Alive, I felt like I wanted my clothes to be thrown out… soggy materials are so heavy, and a plastic bag digs into your hands so much that they go red. Owch. Anyway, I got into the Programming lecture. These lectures are really easy, but Dr Jarvis is so amazingly funny that I go to them anyway, though eventually I had to stop putting my hand up in audience participation to give the others a chance. Dr Jarvis seemed rather impressed that I'd managed to bring my wet laundry to his lecture. It's not been done that much before.

After the lecture I met up with Olga and chatted to her a bit as we headed towards the Arts Centre. We talked about the gaming sessions (apparently she'd gone, though I didn't see her… I was in the corner of the second room with Dementia most of the time) and a few other things, but she had to part ways to go and buy an iron. I sloped off to the Rootes laundrette and put a load in, and went to CostCutters.

I have found five things about CostCutters:

  • People laugh at you if you go down the wrong aisle.
  • It has nothing you need.
  • But it has everything you like.
  • At obscenely high prices.
  • It's physically impossible to retreat from there spending less than £3.

I met Anika and her friend in the queue and chatted with them a bit, as they were both doing Computer Science. This passed the time of the obscenely long queues and I realised that I'd managed to exit the store with my un-tumble-dryable indecently flowery shirt and the boxes of cereal in the same bag. By this time, I had parted ways with Anika and her pal and there was no-one I could plead with for a carrier bag. This was a dilemma and a half! However, when I got to the laundrettes I found a plastic bag discarded on a washing machine. Looking shifty, I pilfered it and put my groceries in there. I retreated to the lounge area of the laundrettes and felt guilty for at least 20 minutes. I guess I'd make a really crappy thief. After my laundry was done, I took it back to halls and fetched the next set, which I had to take to my next two lectures in two bags as it was too late. Darn! I'm going to be getting a reputation as the laundry guy!

The lecture was interesting but I really struggled to keep awake through it. I don't know why, but it's only Mathematics for Computer Scientists where I have to actually squirm in my seat to avoid falling asleep. It must be the fact that the lecturer's voice, albeit jolly, is constant or something like that. I decided I best actually look at the homework due in for Friday some time soon. It reminded me that I needed to chase the guy who was working on the Mackie presentation with me. After the lecture I joined up with someone who is in charge of the CompSoc gaming server and asked them if they could run ET on it, though I doubt we'll ever get enough players interested to play a decent game of ET (you need at least 8). We chatted for a bit before I realised I'd walked with him to the CompSoc building. Sigh… it was a long and winding road to the the Rootes laundrette, but when I got there a very kind girl said she'd put too much in a drier and I was welcome to use up the extra ten minutes. As it was a large load, I put in an extra 14 minutes on top and sat in the lounge being nice and antisocial with my laptop.

I headed back to my room (noticing on the way that someone had put bubble bath in the fountain in front of Arthur Vick 1 – seriously) and went into the kitchen to cook. I created a random pasta and sweetcorn dish with those pasta parcel thingies. It was a bit boring but nice. I then retreated to my room for a while to write up some stuff and to talk with a few Internet friends. On a whim I headed into the kitchen at around 21:30 and there were people playing a game called Articulation. It was a fantastic game, and I was glad to join in. The rules are that you're given a subject and the other person on your team has to guess what's on the card, but you're not allowed to say the item itself. We got one exceptional corker: "Big, large, long things.. druids! Salisbury plain has them!"

People filtered off to the Top Banana dance promising to get drunk and play another game later on. I got my maths homework and joined the rest in attempting some of the questions. I decided to bring the Martini, and interestingly after one shot the questions got easy, after two they got tricky and after three I just joined in watching TV (Little Britain). At that point Will commented I was just drinking Martini and looked somewhat surprised. I just grinned, and after stomaching as much Little Britain as I could headed off to my room, bidding the others good night. The fabled drunken game of Articulation never happened.

PS. Ernest is now mostly black and looks half-way to the grave…

October 2005

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