All entries for March 2006

March 30, 2006

Feeder Gig Update – The Correct Track Order

Follow-up to Feeder Gig from Ian Henderson's Warwick Blogs Adventure

Thanks to a guy called Mike for contacting me and highlighting this page on livegigguide.com, which contains the correct order as follows (and I realsed I missed out Pilgrim Soul too, what kind of Feeder fan am I?!):

Feeling A Moment
Shatter
Come Back Around
We Can't Rewind
Just The Way I'm Feeling
Buck Rogers
Tender
Pushing The Senses
Pilgrim Soul
Tumble And Fall
Lost And Found
Insomnia
Descend
High
Seven Days In The Sun
Just A Day

Hope that's cleared everything up!


March 26, 2006

Feeder Gig

The Feeder gig at the N.E.C. finally came around last night, and boy was it a cracker! They were utterly fantastic, right from opening with Feeling A Moment to closing with Just A Day. The full list of the songs they played is as follows (not in this order):

Feeling A Moment
Come Back Around
Just The Way I'm Feeling
Buck Rogers
We Can't Rewind
Shatter
Lost & Found
Tumble and Fall
Tender
Descend
Pushing The Senses
Seven Days In The Sun
Insomnia
High
Just A Day

A pretty good mix, although there were a couple that I would have liked to have been played, like Comfort in Sound or Forget About Tomorrow, but never mind. Just hearing Buck Rogers live was about 10 times as good as I'd ever previously imagined, as it's such a simple, but awesome song, and is the very reason I like Feeder in the first place. Plus there was their brilliant new single Lost and Found, which was recorded last night and will become a live track available for download from Feeder's Website , which I'll definately be getting. And playing Just A Day was probably the best possible way of rounding off the night (apart, of course, from another dose of Buck Rogers...). Anyway, I took some pictures last night, which you can find here . The photos are slightly poor quality as I forgot my camera has a night time mode. Silly me!

To cut a long story short, I'm so going to go and see them next time they tour!!!


March 21, 2006

Is it me or are preowned Xbox Games really cheap nowadays?

I've had a mini spending spree lately on cheap Xbox games. Last Thursday I bought XIII in Gamestation for the princely sum of £2.99, and today I went into GAME and bought Timesplitters 2 and Hitman 2 for £5 (for both!). GAME have an offer on at the momenet (which wasn't visibly advertised – at least not in the store at Middlebrook, Bolton), where you can get two £3.97 preowned games for £5. I had only originally intended to buy Hitman 2, until the assistant told me about the offer. There is also a similar offer where you can get two £12.97 games for £20 (and I assume similar for other prices too). It all brings back memories of the dying days of the Dreamcast (RIP), when I expanded my collection to just shy of 40 games after they all went mega-cheap.

At least it looks like I won't be needing to invest in a 360 just yet (but I do really want PGR3!)

On another note, being back at Tesco (this time on the Deli) hasn't been so bad. I did an 8–5 yesterday and a 7–4 today (although my contracted hours are 9–6 for both), and I'm next in on overtime 9–6 on Friday.


March 19, 2006

One Week Down

Seeing as I've not blogged for most of last week, I think I'll give you a little bit of an update.

I start back at Tesco tomorrow bright and early at 8am. I'm on the Deli counter this time, which I've not done before, which should be interesting. I was supposed to be on the Deli counter at Christmas, but then they changed their minds and had me standing out in the freezing cold for 3 of the 5 days that I was there selling discounted Christmas trees. Which was so much fun. They finnaly let me come in when I'd spend all day outside on the 3rd day to sell a grand total of 1 tree! After this they just dumped the trees outside the front door and put a sign up saying 'take one'.

Anyway, back on topic, I'm rather strangely looking forward to starting back, as I've clearly missed working for Tesco sooo much.

I'm also officially sick of it being winter now. It was so cold in Bolton last week (as I assume it was in other places too), and by the end of the week it was really starting to irritate me. Oh well, only one more week and it'll be British summer time, which means we're on the way to some warmer weather. Mind you, I'll probably soon be moaning that the weather's too hot….

Our house also finally got round to having new windows fitted the other day, so our house is no longer freezing cold at night! Finally!

I've had a lovely week off work too, as I'm trying to keep the first week of every mid-term holiday as maths-free as possible, for the purposes of preserving my sanity. Anyway, now that the week is up I guess I should get back to doing some work, particularly seeing as we've got a Mechanics A exam on Friday of week 1. I've also got the work for the Symmetry breaking bit of Experimental Maths to do for Wednesday of week 1 too.

And finally on Saturday I'm off to see Feeder at the NEC on Saturday. The gig was postponed from the start of December, so it seems like I've been waiting an eternity to see them, but at least I can, touchwood, finally see my fave band live!

Anyway, blog to you again soon!


March 13, 2006

It's good to be back home…

BEN Headline

March 12, 2006

Do Virgin Trains Care About Revenue Protection?

Hello

Yes, thank you, I got home safely last night, and the journey was pleasant, with everything running on time (partly due to a load of slack in the timetable – the train was 5 mins early arriving in Coventry, plus we were at Birmingham New Street for nearly 15 minutes – but that's another story!)

The point of this entry is to highlight what I feel to be major deficiencies in Virgin Trains' fare collection policy. Of all the occasions that I've travelled on their trains in the last year or so (admittedly, I don't use them very often) I can only recall having my ticket checked on board the train on a couple of occasions. Last night, with the exception of the ticket gates at Coventry station (which are easy to get around), my ticket wasn't checked at all during the journey. I'm slightly irritated that there will have undoubtedly been people on the train who intentionally won't have paid their fares, and ended up with a free ride (at mine and other fare-paying customers expense) as a result.

Why should I pay my fare, when other people chearly don't want to and get away with it scot free? Virgin are clearly the worst TOC, when it comes to this issue (Central Trains, for example, are much better, with several ticket-collecting staff on many of their trains).

To make matters worse, and which frankly I found quite shocking, was that during the journey, when I went to get food from the on-board shop, I passed the conductor's (sorry, they're called 'Train Managers' now) office thing, which has a see through door. Through this I spotted the conductor sat, headphones in ears, watching his portable DVD player! And it wasn't as if he was taking a break, we had just left Birmingham New Street at the time, which was surely the optimal time for checking tickets, with a load of passengers having joined the train there. Plus, when he made announcements, he clearly didn't sound bothered at all, with a very monotone voice, and only a few stations actually got running in/welcome aboard announcements. It seems quite worrying in a way that the person who is partly responsible for the smooth and safe operation of the train isn't motivated or even willing to do the activities that he is paid to do.

Having said this, Virgin have worked wonders on the West Coast and Cross Country routes in my opinion, with vast investments in new trains (admittedly, at the leasing companies expense, not Virgin's), and punctuality and reliability are ever-improving. But why waste all this effort with poor customer service and missing opportunites to maximise collection of unpaid fares?

Any other opinions on this subject?


March 11, 2006

Th'end of Term!

At last, another 10 weeks has come to an end. Well, I don't know why I say 'at last', seeing as the 10 weeks has passed stupidly quickly! This was shown by the fact that in my supervision yesterday, we had to sign our attendance sheet things, and I thought 'it wasn't that long ago that we last did it'. Turns out the last time we did it was on week 2! That scared me! I suppose most of the last 10 weeks have just been a blur of lectures and worksheets.

In reflection, this term's been a little bit boring from my point of view. I've not really been out that much (not as much as the first term), although my marks have been better this term (my lowest are 18 (out of 25) in everything, and most have been in the 20s, with a couple of 25s!). I've also decided I must go to Top B a little more often, seeing as how going on Monday reminded me how much I love it!

Anyway, just after 5 I'll be toddling over to the bus stop to get the 12 to Coventry station, hopping on the 1827 train to Preston, alighting at Wigan North Western, wandering over to Wigan Wallgate to catch the train to be back in my wonderful hometown of Bolton just before half past nine!

And have a nice easter holiday everyone! (Although I will still be updating my blog. Hopefully.)


March 09, 2006

Even Less of a convincing hoax

Follow-up to The Least Convincing Hoax Ever from Ian Henderson's Warwick Blogs Adventure

Just recieved another version of this e-mail, which links to this page on the BBC website, which seems to confirm the story.

However, people seem to have failed to notice that the article is dated Sunday 25th February 2001, so I think the plan may have been dropped some time ago!


March 08, 2006

The Least Convincing Hoax Ever

Just recieved this chain e-mail, which, to be fair, was sent under the subject 'So i'm well bored of these threats but sending on anyway'.

Hey it is Andy and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the
interruption but msn is closing down. this is because too many inconsiderate
people are
taking up all the names (eg making up lots of different accounts for just
one person), we only have 578 names left. If you would like to close your
account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. If you would like to keep your
account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no
joke, we will be shutting down the servers. Send it on, thanks. WHOEVER DOES
NOT SEND THIS MESSEAGE, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND YOU WILL COST £10.00
A MONTH TO USE. SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. NOW YOU KNOW
WHAT TO DO. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS or REPLAY.COPY THE WHOLE EMAIL. GO
BACK TO YOUR INBOX AND CLICK ON NEW. AND PASTE THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

I think it speaks for itself


March 07, 2006

One Hectic Week

I'm now in what will undoubtedly be my busiest week I've had this term, possibly even all year. I've had practically nothing on for the last 9 weeks, but now everything seems packed into this week instead. I'll give you a bit of a run down:

Sunday

Went to the workroom again with John (like last week). Then at 5 went to the aforementioned Comedy AGM, followed by helping the 'old' exec out by setting out chairs and what have you in the graduate club. Also a perfect excuse to go to Battered for my tea! Then watched the comedy, both the acts were excellent. I was just slightly irritated that I'd bought my ticket beforehand (I didn't realise we were going to help out), which, as it transpired, I didn't need as I got in for free anyway!

Monday

I went to Rootes and on to Top Banana with the rest of the new comedy exec, as a get to know each other sort of excercise. Anwyay, I had a great time, especially since it was the first time I'd been to Top B since £1 drinks were introduced, which I naturally took advantage of. And standing in a small circle, jumping up and down and singing along to 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' at the top of our voices is always fun! The upshot of the evening was that I've decided I'm really going to enjoy being on the comedy exec next year, especially having got to know my exec 'colleagues', who are all great. We even toasted to the next year! Then I went home and threw up a combination of purple and pizza into my bath….

Tuesday

Just had a pointless trip to Earlsdon this afternoon after my Analysis class finshed and I'd had my dinner. Hopped on the bus to go to the barber number 1 (Misters) to find a big sign on his door reading 'On Holiday – Open Weds 8th March.' Then walked to barber number 2 (Sweeneys) to find he's shut in the afternoon, and doesnt reopen until 5 or so. Aaaarrrgggghhh! A good waste of £2.20 on bus fares. Mind you, the trip wasn't completely fruitless, as I happened to walk on the route we'll take next year between our new house on the nearest bus stop, so I took the opportunity to time how long the walk took. It took 4 minutes at an 'I'm cold, wet, hungover and irritated' pace.

Wednesday

Got the last mini probability test at 10, which is all about PGFs (Probability Generating Functions to non-mathematicians/statisticians), and I've only managed to do 2 questions on the examples sheet, one of which isn't actually about PGFs. Oh dear. Then in the afternoon, its the last of the Maths open days where I'll be helping out. Then at 9 The Apprentice is on, which, like Top Gear, I can't miss for any reason whatsoever.

Thursday

Got my last assignments of term due in for Analysis and Linear Algebra. Linear Algebras so much of a doddle I've got it done and written up already. Analysis is even more of a pain in the bum than usual this week, and I'm very tempted to not hand it in, seeing the best 8 marks out of 9 are counted, and my marks for it have been pretty good this term. Mind you, I think I should still do it for the practice! Oh, and our last analysis lecture is looking like it's going to be canelled, so I only have to roll out of bed for 12 to hand in my assignments. A record term-time lie-in!

Friday

Firstly, Linear Algebra is looking like it too will be cancelled, so I only have to be up for my supervision (in which we'll do nowt) at 11. Then, its the very last lecture of term (Geometry & Motion) at 2! Then, in the evening, I've got Nikki's birthday party, which I'm really looking forward to, and it'll make a change from my usual dull Friday nights.

Saturday

Going home! 10 whole weeks over already? I'm getting the 1827 train from Coventry, changing at Wigan, then arriving back home in Bolton at 2123. (There was a cheap single fare available on this journey, plus one back for the Feeder gig at the NEC on the 25th March)

Then its 5 and a half weeks of no lectures, no buying food, lie ins and washing done for me! Paradise! With the exception of the weekend that I'll be coming back to see Feeder, which should be good.

And thus, that is what this week looks like! This is an absolutely manic week for me, but I know some people have weeks like this just out of routine!


March 2006

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