All entries for March 2006

March 19, 2006


Today I had an Interesting experience. Needing a new computer table/unit, I decided that for originality in a conformist way, alleged cheapness and also a new experience, I could do worse than to visit Ikea in Birmingham. Being an engineer the idea of self assembly furniture holds a masochistic thrill for me.

The Ikea Svengali Experience started with a giant car park; up a twisty, turny, hair-pinny hill akin to a tamer version of the mountain entry road to Hitler’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’. On entering the actual building there was a grand staircase and a children’s ballroom were tiny tots either play in tanks of brightly coloured plastic spheres, or are castrated; it was unclear from the outside.

Now the fun bit… Within viewing the first 2 items you will get some strange sense of de ja vu, and the within the next 3 (if you are any god) you will spot that in some Tron style madness Ikea has transplanted you into The Sims…

Its true!

Not only do all the items have silly, often comical such as a ‘Jules’ chair, names but their oddness of design and mostly modular nature is a clear reminder of that time you used the givecash cheat then brought all of the really expensive stuff, only to find that none of it matched. And modular furniture is exactly that, the table will cost you £29 but the legs will set you back an extra £4, and do you want the standard, the triangular prism or the jellybean filled hollow legs?

I got a computer table in the end, a nice single module, and when I get up tomorrow I will demonstrate how a trained engineer can use the Force[Eng]/”The Knack” to make self assembly furniture assemble itself.

March 12, 2006

A Quiet Drink in the Grad…

Recently I and a friend went to The Graduate, the self proclaimed ‘Only pub on campus’. Amongst other things it was to escape the rag sponsored maiming of any kind of music policy at the end of term event (“and cue’d up we have Chesney Hawkes; some Swedish deathmetal; Outkast and if you give us that £10er- the mp3 you made of the sounds of screaming”). Anyway I digress…

The Graduate… picture it: real ale on tap, hand pulled pints, quiz machine lights seductively flashing, luxuriant leather sofas or intimate little tables, easy on the eye colours. Its quite easy to imagine how the tradition of a ‘Quiet one in the grad’ can stretch on for hours, as the participants cares dissolve into the cheery atmosphere.

However our evening was intruded upon by ‘relaxing, mood music’ piped in at a level nearing that of stadium rock. Live bands in the grad is one thing, even competent DJ’s warming up the room before a pub quiz [incidentally Neil Faraday’s Superior Pub Quiz will be there from 8 on Monday night. I am an intellectual fishfingerl], but the bar staff’s choice of music at club levels did absolutely nothing to improve the pub experience. Indeed at several points during the evening I could not actually make out what my companion was saying over the enforced ambience.

Sadly this sort of musical infraction is becoming all too common and quiet taverns are now scarce in any kind of urbanised areas. However, I would be interested to know whether anyone else thinks there is too much of this peaceful drinking eradication on campus at night?

March 03, 2006

The Learning grid

The learning grid is an odd place.

It might or might not be on central campus.

There are stand up internet terminals and invisible Nazis who move things after 30 mins

You are allowed hot drinks near the computers but not hot food.

There are always new friends in here even at 6am. Friends like mr pen and mr desk
It is friendly and warm the sort of place to find bunnies and paedophiles

Pictures on the walls are made of living electronic plastic and light up

Someone is asleep. He is wearing a nasty looking jersy

None of the mice work. Theyv'e all been used by sociologists. And Baal

I want food. Food wants me. We will get married

There are tables on wheels that look like minature alien robots

Ross Kemp designed the learning grid but threw it away for being too wussy. He designed it whilst he was ill and off form

The learning grid made me become 178.2% more effective and i wrote 2253 words that i didnt need to.

I need to go now as the chicken is coming to get me

March 2006

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