All entries for September 2006

September 30, 2006

Am I missing something???

Follow-up to Well I was close from No I said DublIN marathon

Right, please tell me there’s something important I’ve forgotten/forgotten to do. Either that or someone is taking the piss.

2 years ago “to the day” it was 5am, this morning it was 6am. Stupid withheld numbers…


September 29, 2006

Kaleidoslop's Price Hike

Writing about web page http://www.coventry.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/asset?asset_id=14740054

Well it’s the start of a new Acedmic Year and Hostility have gone for the double-whammy of hiking the prices in Kaleidoslop, and giving you less for your buck.

For example they’ve done away with the popular “Bigger Breakfast” (2x sausages, 2x egg, 2x hash-brown, 1x bacon, beans/tomato) replacing it with the 7-Item Breakfast. This not only gives you 1 less item, but is 7% more expensive to boot. An identical breakfast is now over 30% more expensive.

That’s not as bad as the hike on confectionary, where a chocolate bar is nearly 40% more expensive than it was last week. They’ve also done away with the All-Day Baguetee Saver, which at £2.50 for a coffee and bacon/sausage baguette was pretty good value. I asked one of the members of staff and they said that they’d withdrawn the offer, and that they didn’t know any more either.

How can the University justify a 40% increase in the cost of items? Why change the meals at all? I can only assume that this is to homogenise with Rootes Restaurant. In which case surely we should be given proper plates and cutlery? Now don;t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Kaleidy’s cheap-and-chearful cutlery and crockery, but surely it’s in fact got to be cheaper in the long-run to do the washing up instead of producing vast quantities of waste plastic. Perhaps the University with it’s purported Green Drive should look at actually doing something about this new-fangled Recycling thing and put recycling bins in for the vast quanitites of plastic and cans thrown out each day.

Perhaps the price-hike is in fact to cover the work they are going to have to do should do to improve their standards if Coventry City Council’s recent inspection is anything to go by. Rootes Restaurant scored one star out of a possible three in the “Hygeine & Safety” category which indicates that there are “Some major non-compliances, [and an] improvement in standards [is] required.”


September 26, 2006

The Separation Agency

Writing about web page http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/24/wendit24.xml

This is brilliant. A man in Berlin has set up a “Separation Agency” in which, for a fee, he will inform your boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, husband, wife or goat that the relationship is over.

I like the Deluxe Package, in which a 6ft undertaker-type turns up at your door and says “Good day, my name is Bernd Dressler from the Separation Agency and I have been asked by your partner to inform you that he or she wishes to end your relationship.”


September 22, 2006

Wanted: Boar Hacks

Writing about web page /warwickboar/entry/wanted_legal_advisor/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

The Boar is looking for a legal advisor hacks to assist in checking the produce the shite output of we’ve come to expect from Warwick’s student news toliet paper. This is a paid an unpaid position but you’ll do it in the expectation of getting paid later on when you write for The Mail or some other rag and involves reading through the entire local newspaper(s) each week, misquoting interviewees, breaching the Union’s Staff-Student Protocol, and providing advice according to infringing British media law. The ideal candidate would have legal little or no training, a thorough knowledge of disregard for media law and would be available at short notice during weekends and unavailable when you have something you’d like to let people know about.

For further enquiries, please email editor@warwickboar.co.uk


September 14, 2006

Work on Car Park 8a

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/warwicksport/news/car_park_8a/

And so the mystery is solved and the work being done on Car Park 8a has a reason. As predicted and as will have become apparent to anybody that has been past in the last couple of days, the University are putting a barrier in to charge people to park there.

The sentiment is a good one:

improve the availability of short-stay parking on central campus ? especially for sports centre-users

However, the application seems barmy with access available “only” to:

University Parking Permit holders and members of Warwick Sport

How many members of Warwick Sport are there? I’d guess somewhere in the region 2500-3000 plus external members. Add onto this Parking Permit holders and you’ve got a huge number of people, a lot of whom will park in the Sports Centre all day. Yes it’ll be easier to find a space as an external user come 5-6pm, but I don’t think it’ll solve that much of a problem.

But what if that was really the problem? What if the University wanted to control parking there:

1. Allowing Security staff to tell when the car park is full and then direct drivers to other car parks, and,
2. Preventing people leaving their cars in the car park overnight or indefinitely

There we go, that’s the real reason. Plus there’s the added bonus of knowing whose cars are in the car park, making tracking down people to fine more easy, oh and parking there is no longer free…

The University is wroking on the “development and implementation of a Green Transport Policy” with a whole host of measures to make it harder to park on campus easier to use public transport. What irks me is that this has been implemented within a revenue-generating framework:

The University has made a commitment to incrementally eliminate free car parking spaces on campus

Yes, this revenue is used to support various safety projects around campus, but over 500 car parking spaces are charged for during the day to stiff staff and students alike, before making them free after hours for visitors to the Arts Centre.

Even if the scheme has the desired effect and it becomes easier to park in Car Park 8a the University could well end up losing out on a significant amount of revenue. Faced with a choice of paying £30 for Warwick Sport membership (which many people will have anyway) or £140 for a parking permit, what do you expect people to do?


Job done

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

Well that wasn’t so bad after all…

Sunday was the Experian Robin Hood Half-marathon in Nottingham and Nick Seagrave and I took part as part of Mixed Hockey’s fund-rasing for Ovarian Cancer Action (phew, that’s a lot of links). My task was to haul Nick’s scrawny arse around the course in under 1hr 45mins (Chip Time, not Gun Time) – 8 minute miling. Considering Nick was originally aiming for sub-2.00 this was going to be a tough-ish ask, but he’d cruised around the Godiva Harriers Autumn 5 in a little over 38mins (7min 38sec miling) the week before so eights were on the cards.

We lined up slap bang in the middle of the 1hr 40-50 block and set off at a reasonable pace, perhaps a little fast, but the hills at 2M and 4M made sure we weren’t too far ahead of the game and miles 6-10 were bang on the money. Nick was finding miles 11 and 12 a little tough going and I was a little alarmed when I heard my watch beep 10 seconds before we’d hit the mile marker. We kicked for home as I was concerned we’d have to pick up the pace about 30s/M and little goals of catching people seemed to spur him on as we overtook over 100 people in the last mile. As we hit the finishing straight (why do they insist on finishing road races on grass?) I put the foot down and squeezed through a closing gap between two runners to leave him for dead (which he later “thanked” me for) and we both got in before the clock got to the 1hr 45 mark – 1hr 43mins 7s and 9s respectively by Chip Time.

Considering I’ve done bugger all distance work recently (more speed stuff) I was quite pleased, but I suspect I’m going to have to get some “hard miles” under my belt if I want to get sub 1hr 25 for the Lady Godiva.


September 07, 2006

Someone must read my blog…

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

... cause the University have nicked my post title.

Not looking forward to Nottingham , although it will be my largest race to date with over 12000 entrants (including the full marathon. Not sure I’ve got the distance in my legs, but I guess there’s only one way to find out…


September 01, 2006

Autumn Five (1) – Dave (0)

Writing about web page http://www.coventry-godiva-harriers.org.uk

Urgh – This evening I have mostly been sick in the Memorial Park!!!

I ran in the Godiva Harriers’ Autumn Five in and around the Memorial Park with Seagrave along with about 200 other Club runners, “Fun” runners and Walkers. I was aiming for 30 mins, i.e. 6 minute miling (30/5=6) which was always going to be non-trivial, but I had done it on a flat treadmill in the past*.

Having done my usual trick of missing the first mile marker I hit 2 miles in 11:20, a full 20 s/lap under target. Figuring I was going to pay for this later I slowed down and hit Mile 3 bang on 6 mins later. By now I was blowing hard and desperately in need of a dump, and had to almost stop, to prevent myself “doing a Hurrell.” Mile 4 was not a lot of fun and by this point the blind runner and his mate that I had overtaken at Mile 2.5 or so overtook me again. This spurred me on and I kicked on for home. As I apporached the turn for the home-straight I began to gag like a trooper. Made the turn and got to about 100 yds from the finish before blowing chunks all over the path, and then jogging it in to the end in 30:34…

  • This is not an accurate reflection of running in the real world and a 2% incline is a bit nearer the truth.

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