January 10, 2007

My blog has an abusive graffiti–ist

Follow-up to SeppWatch 2 from No I said DublIN marathon

Well it seems I have a secret admirer that finds it amusing to write abusive comments on my blog. Ho hum. After two deletions of the comments and the subsequent reposts, I’ve decided they can stay.

Well, Jimbob, congratulations, you’ve earned your own entry:

A new comment was posted on your entry: ‘Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets Part Deux
I think your a fucking fag gay boy

A new comment was posted on your entry: ‘Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets’
are you a fag

A new comment was posted on your entry: ‘SeppWatch 2’
Jimbob is not scared of you faggot

edit: Commenting privileges removed.

Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets Part Deux

Follow-up to Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets from No I said DublIN marathon

Gah, why do people insist on paying for a coffee with their debit card?



In Kaleidoslop earlier I ended up stuck in a massive queue because the three pricks undercrackers in front of me paid for their purchases (the most extravagant of which was a Bigger Brekkie + Coffee combo) with their cards. I nearly passed comment to the girl stood behind me but I spotted that she too was about to pay for a coffee on a card. Quite frankly I wish I had.

December 12, 2006

SeppWatch 2

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6171777.stm

Ok, perhaps the title of this entry is a little misleading as the guilty party isn’t HRH, God Almighty Sepp Blatter, but our very own Fun Sports Minister, Richard Caborn MP.

So Dickie C1 thinks that “social drugs” aren’t bad, mmmkay. That “social drugs” aren’t taken for “performance enhancement” and don’t do “harm to the athlete and harm to the sport.” Really? Is that what you think, Dickie C? Really?

Lets look at just one recent case, also making headlines:

Wendell Sailor (Australian Rugby Union/League star): Took cocaine recreationally, admitting that he “fell to the off-field temptation of a so-called ‘party drug’.” OK, so Wendell isn’t the first person to admit taking cocaine, but it is still a stimulant, causes acute and chronic health problems and the use by high profile sports stars and other celebrities promotes its’ use as acceptable to fans.
Sailor played in 5 of the Australian Rugby Union team’s 7 games in the RWC2003, and scored 13 tries in 37 tests as winger. In 2000 he was Player of the Tournament and top try scorer as Australia won the Rugby League World Cup. In no uncertain terms he was (and still is) a great player and an inspiration to many fans and players, but this is the problem. If you turn around and give him a telling-off then what sort of message does that send out. That drugs are bad, mmmkay, but some drugs are more badder than others? Salbutamol (aka Ventolin) is badder than cocaine, or ecstasy, as it has more of a performance enhancing effect?
Dickie C’s Score – 3/3

The message is pretty simple, and WADA are were on the right track with their hard-line: drugs are bad mmmkay.

And therein comes the next problem. Dickie P is a good guy. He’s a hardliner, and thats what WADA and all the international governing bodies need. If you cheat, you will be banned. And it’s not like the rules are there for shits and giggles. Drugs do all sorts of nasty things to your body. That’s why they are illegal. Anabolic steroids do lots of things from shrinking your nuts to giving you boobs if you are a man and from disrupting periods to giving you a beard if you are a woman – dangerous or not, that’s hardly something I’d sign up to. Recent research suggests ecstasy causes brain damage after just a few pills. So why are WADA considering relaxing the rules? It makes no sense to me – as soon as you start making exceptions, people will start using that to bend the rules. Cocaine use as a performance enhancing stimulant will probably increase, as you’ll just get a slap on the wrist from your NGB and a £770 fine from the cops.

Richard Caborn MP, with all due respect2, you are wrong

1 I’m refering to him as Dickie C to disambiguate him from Dick Pound (head of WADA), he of silly name.
2 Does anybody else find the modern usage of this phrase inappropriate as it implies respect for the position, but a complete lack of respect for the person in that position?

November 27, 2006

SeppWatch 1

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6187030.stm

In the first installment of SeppWatch, Sepp paves the way for:
a) Drafting
b) Play-offs

Stayed tuned for more senility from the man with the Big Ideas

November 16, 2006

Something fishy is going on here…

Follow-up to Power Email Outage from No I said DublIN marathon

Does anybody else spot a pattern here?

Thurs Nov 2nd Copper wire stolen from roadworks in north Coventry, causing major power outage across the area
Thurs Nov 9th Major power outage across Campus and Earlsdon
Thurs Nov 16th Copper wire stolen from electricity substation in Dudley, causing major power outage across the area

November 13, 2006

Power Email Outage

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/its/

It can’t have escaped many people’s notice that a power cut in the Coventry area last Thursday morning caused (amongst other things) the Uni’s mail servers to fall over. It appears that the UPSs that were meant to protect critical systems in just such an incident failed to do so. According to ITS the three AA batteries that they’d connected maintained power for 45 minutes as planned, but the hamster-wheel failed to kick in (apparently 1 hamster isn’t strong enough to maintain power for Group Shite-wise). This caused catastrophic failure to various Group Shite-wise Postboxes and (as it takes approximately 400 years for Group Shite-wise to back itself up), no back-up appears to be forthcoming/in existence.

I’m not going to lie and say I’m shocked, as the litany of IT (I’m being careful not to restrict this as being exclusively the fault of ITS) failures over the years, with Group Shite-wise being perhaps most memorable. However, I am appalled that in this day and age The Administration see it as in any way less than unacceptable for an institution such as ours to be without the ability to even send or receive email (let alone retrieve archived items). If this were a business, heads would have rolled long ago, and we wouldn’t be in a situation where 5 days on two thirds of staff/research student postboxes are at best described as being in a less than optimal condition.

Moreover I find it incomprehensible that ITS are in liaison with affeced departments to obtain lists of staff and research student user names. YOU WHAT? Surely it is in ITS remit to have at least a list of the accounts that it maintains has f*cked up? I was literally speechless when I heard this.

Finally, (partly for want of not going on and on and on, and partly as I wouldn’t want to post so much that yet more of ITS equipment falls over irretrievably), it would be nice for ITS to keep people informed about the situation. Their vague assertions that staff and research students will be informed about any changes don’t hold much truck when they can’t even keep their website updated with sufficient information (if it is up at all). Quite frankly there are three key questions that people want answering:

  1. When will I be able to send or receive email?
  2. When will I be able to access my old inbox?
  3. What the hell exactly is it you are doing about 1 and 2?

So far ITS have failed to answer any of the above satisfactorally!

October 13, 2006

Stupid Stupid Stupid

Follow-up to Lady Godiva Half–marathon route to take in Campus from No I said DublIN marathon

OK, that’s pretty harsh, but why does the Lady Godiva route go round the lakes , not between the two new Rootes blocks? Having run through there this week it is already pretty muddy down there and I’m sure 2000-odd runners aren’t going to help that. Plus it’s really narrow!

Rant over.

Why I Hate: Teaching in R0.34/55

Follow-up to Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets from No I said DublIN marathon

Why is it when you are teaching a class in R0.34/55 (the computer rooms under the Library) you always get disturbed as cattle people wander in looking for computers? Don’t get me wrong, if I was looking for a computer, that’s where I’d look. However, they seem oblivious to the mahoosive sign on the door asking them not to enter. In fact most of them peer around the sign to see whether there are any free computers.

I’ve had several thoughts about why this is:

  • Information Overload – There are so many signs/adverts/notices/posters around campus that, as there simply isn’t sufficient time for the brain to process all the information it receives and needs to ignore most things anyway, such notices/adverts are subconsciously grouped with the “information” that is to be disregarded. This was my first thought and I kind of disregarded it but, thinking about it, it makes sense. This is why wankers advertising executives are paid a tonne of cash to flog products in a world that is super-saturated with information/adverts/products. It is also why Union elections aren’t necessarily won the best candidate, but usually by the candidate with the clever/simple-est campaign.
  • They are too close to the sign – The distance between the inner and outer door is so short that people can’t take the sign in before they are upon it. This probably contributes to an extent, in conjunction with the other factors.
  • The sign is crap – This is certainly a big factor. The sign is FAR too busy, there is far too much information on it. It’s an A3 poster, fair enough, but the sign reads “Tutorial In Progress. R0.34 Booked. This room has been booked for teaching, please do not enter unless you are a member of the class, and do not disturb the class by entering” (or words to that effect). There’s a helpful No Entry sign but it isn’t much use when it’s pretty small and on a red background.
  • They don’t care – This is true in some cases and there’s a large amount of Im more important than you-ism. The number of times I’ve heard “Oh can I just print such and such” or “But there are loads of computers free” – yes there are lots free but how am I supposed to keep track of people’s progress when half the people are checking Facebook or Hotmail.

I’d be very surprised if it was just one of, or even exclusively these factors – any thoughts?

Oh, and finally, to the male member of staff that marched through the room and indignently retorted “I work here – I’m a member of staff”: Get over yourself. Your colleagues managed to come through without disturbing the session and even then apologised for coming through, why couldn’t you? Yes you work there and needed to get through but a little bit of common courtesy might be nice. You never know, I might have even carried on being polite.

October 09, 2006

I lied…

Follow-up to Someone must read my blog… from No I said DublIN marathon

...clearly no other bugger reads my blog ...

October 05, 2006

Straight Outta Cov'try

Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWd6Xd7uJzM&mode=related&search=%20

Rap, from Coventry. No “Peace to the Unis” though…

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