All entries for September 2005

September 28, 2005

Syncspeed, how and why

In the light of The Other, Other Natalie's article last week, time at last for an explanation of the Syncspeed title.

It's actually not all that exciting… it's closely derived from a photographic term, synch. speed, the shutter speed at which a camera will synchronise with a flash unit mounted to it. But the name sets off all sorts of connotations and associations in the brain – at least in mine – which I hope are replicated with some of you. How about, in increasing order of pretentiousness:

  • The photographic etymology being a fairly obvious link back to my artistic leanings
  • "Speed" being a reference to my love of motor racing
  • The happy accident of the name beginning with my initials (well, sort of; "spjyncspeed" would be silly)
  • "Sync" a reference to my photography, conveying that the content is in sync, in touch, with what it portrays
  • The 'camera flash' concept of freezing and capturing one frozen moment with clarity (again photographically)

(Don't say I didn't warn you about the pretentiousness). Incidentally, this blog will become significantly more photographic in a couple of months when I start scanning lots of my old negatives for archiving.

It seems that since I came up with the name (in the Christmas holidays 2002–3 I believe – I can prove it!), someone else has been having similar thoughts. If you take syncspeed and put a .com on the end of it, you'll find the professional blog of an Australian CEO… with strong interests in motorsport and photography!

September 26, 2005

Warwick Motorsport

Writing about web page

As you'll all hopefully be aware, especially you Freshers struggling through mountains of university-joining advice, tomorrow is Sports Fair in the Union, 10–4, with entry being free. As general advice, I'd say it's always worth joining a few clubs at the start of the year and seeing which ones are the best, most active and most enjoyable; you can always cut down if & when work starts to get too much.

That was the public service reminder; here's the advertising part! I can't recommend highly enough that you join Warwick Motorsport! We have a website (here) which is a little out of date, but the forum is still in constant use.

Why should you join? If you've ever wanted to feel some speed and adrenalin from behind the wheel, you can do so with Warwick Motorsport in a safe but very exciting manner. You might just be a fan of motorsports and enjoy watching; whichever way, there are opportunities to get involved.

We run karting events indoors and outdoors, both as a club and against other universities; we run trips to watch various events such as F1 testing, BTCC races and the forthcoming D1 drifting exhibition next weekend; we're getting into rallying, through marshalling and possibly even doing some navigational rallies; and of course there are regular socials. We're a large club (150 members last year) and are confident of being even bigger and better this year. Members can, of course, take part in as many or as few activities as they want.

Our flagship activity is involvement in the British Universities Karting Championship. We entered 3 teams last year, coming 6th in the championship out of 55 teams from 30 universities, and won a special one-off event which enables us to carry the number 0 on the kart this coming year. The karts are incredibly quick little machines for a first-timer (having two-stroke engines made by TKM), and the standard very varied, with former British national kart champions and F3 and British GT drivers racing alongside beginners. Go and have a look at the promotional video on the BUKC website, it's awesome!

Go and have a chat to the guys at Sports Fair tomorrow and let them convince you to join! You are always able to join any club at any time after the Fair, but this is your best opportunity to say hello and see what it's all about.

September 23, 2005

The awesome power of Warwick Blogs on Google

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

It's been documented time and again that Google loves Warwick Blogs, but here is yet more proof (and a warning for anybody posting stuff they may not want to be associated with – prospective employers can use Google too, y'know!).

As I speak, the "Television for sale" article referred to above is number one hit in the world on for "tv for sale" (without quotation marks)! It's also 5th on (I didn't know that results from the two were different on a worldwide search) and 4th on both sites with the query "television for sale".

This means said TV was sold yesterday to a happy non-Warwick customer.

September 21, 2005

Invasion imminent

Warning: I'll be in or around Leam and Cov for the next two or three days. No major during-the-day plans and no tomorrow-evening plans as yet… give me a call/email/comment if you (er, know me and) fancy meeting up. Would be nice to see some of you again!

September 17, 2005

First UnBirthday

The first few birthdays in life are a celebration; more than that, even: praising fortune that the fragile first steps have been made without significant injury, disability or worse. From age three or four, a child will excitedly count up quarter years, half years, full years towards the next number, the next marker of respect and standing. Birthdays at this stage are about eating all the cake, getting all the attention, having all the presents. Then it's school-time, increasing age and perceived quickening of years marking out just as inexorably progress up the career ladder of education. Junior, primary, secondary, GCSEs.

Sixteen brings the first legal landmark, although it rarely has a significant effect on actions and lifestyle. Seventeen means learning to drive for hundreds of thousands of teenagers; eighteen marks a concept of adulthood. By nineteen one becomes aware that being "grown up" changes very little in terms of wisdom, knowledge and so forth, but at least it feels a step above being "newly qualified" in adult society. Twenty mainly represents an ending – the end of being a teenager – and twenty-one is the final big celebration. I suppose logic dictates – and experience has shown – that turning twenty-two is like turning nineteen: being "adult plus a year"; experienced; self-assured (in theory).

This brings us to 23. My first birthday post-education and the first one, really, to mean so little. The mathematics conspire to emphasise the insignificance – what difference is a year in 23? This is where the counting stops, at least until 30. But there we are, that happened to me during the week. In the words of Mr E. Izzard, "Thank you three people".

September 10, 2005

We are sailing

Just home from a couple of days' sailing with my Dad and godfather. We had a really relaxing time sailing the Mayfly, a little 32-footer belonging to my godfather, from Chichester across the Solent to the Isle of Wight (to Bembridge on the eastern end) for the night and then back again. The Crab & Lobster Inn at the top of the cliffs just south of the harbour is strongly recommended for a bite to eat and a nice pint!

The genoa filling under a light breeze; the mainsail hadn't been hoisted yet.

The wind never exceeded 12 knots, and our best speed all trip was around 4 knots under sail on a run heading back north, so the journey took a few hours each way to go not all that far, but it was very enjoyable. And now I'm ready for a few days' "proper" holiday starting in the morning. See you when I get back!

A well-earned cake break for me

September 01, 2005


Writing about web page /spjyoung/entry/they_want_to/

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

Soup. Yoghurt. Angel Delight. Scrambled eggs – undercooked so still runny. Weetabix – left to soak up all the milk and go mushy. Five states of alertness (sleeping; dozing; watching TV; being on the internet; playing computer games) and six pills a day.

Such are the delights of being deprived of all four wisdom teeth in one go – under general anaesthetic but as a day patient; the nurses couldn't wait to kick me out around lunchtime to make their empty ward even quieter.

I've got a lot of the feeling in my mouth back now – two and a half days later – but half of my tongue and some of my lower lip and gums are still numb. Most frustratingly, I can't talk properly, my tongue still being inconsiderately swollen, so relieving the boredom by calling anybody isn't an option.

*Waves instead*

September 2005

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