24 September 2008

*Boing Boing*

Revelation: I am going to join my university's Trampolining Club (UMTC)!

And that's probably what's gonna happen! >>

I planned to do it last year and the year before but the fear that I may no longer be any good at trampolining put me off. It didn't help either that informing others of my evenings on a stretched out elastic canvas may make me look ever more un-cool in addition to the Physics PhD But that's it, I'm sucking it up and I'm joining. *Yay me*

23 September 2008

Updatus!

This week -- ignore the fact that it's only Tuesday morning -- I have triumphed and although the triumphs may seem miniscule and insignificant, Tesco had it right;


So, I now have Matlab working on my laptop and my office computer, internet in my lab (which is where I am currently updating from. It rocks!) and my Novell login now works again so that I can access my University hard drive. Much better.

18 September 2008

Derailed

I am losing my motivation again today. I have Matlab working on my laptop now though, as long as I am signed into the University's VPN software. It's brilliant that the uni now provide Matlab for free with a site license. I have installed it both on my laptop (which was glitchy at first) and my uni computer, which is still glitchy but I have discovered the solution;
setenv('MATLAB_RESERVE_LO','0');
That should stop the program from refusing to open. I shall find out tomorrow. By the way, does anyone know how I can display code on my blog, i.e. the html tags for doing so?

17 September 2008

Your local library

I forgot to mention, I finished reading 'The Forgotten Garden' last week - excellent book. So, straight away I was on the hunt for new books to read. I spent a lot of time researching which books I should purchase and what deals were available; buy one get one free/half price, 3 for 2, student discounts, charity shops and shops in small Cumbrian villages. Then, it dawned on me, *lightbulb* I am a member of the Manchester libraries.

So, I set about searching the local library catalogue to see if they stocked the recent and popular titles. They did, albeit all copies were out on loan, but they had them. I discovered I had a few 'local' libraries to choose from; Longsight, Fallowfield, Didsbury but the Central library is the largest and best looking one, no? It looks almost Roman!

 

15 September 2008

Camping

R and I came back from our camping weekend in the Lake District today. Setting out at 9am on Saturday, we didn't reach the campsite until after 6pm due to traffic in Windermere. It required us getting a bus halfway, to Ambleside (>£6), and then a taxi (£8) to the Low Wray campsite.

Once we got to our allocated pitch, we pitched our tent quickly and went in search of some food. The two closest pubs were 25 and 45 minutes walk away. The one 45mins away, The Outgate Inn in Outgate, looked like a relatively straight walk along a public footpath on the map and was the cheaper of the two. This 'footpath' consisted of bog, marsh, flatted grass tracks, streams, hidden waterflows and rocky ravines to hike up. I had good shoes but R wasn't so lucky with his fashion trainers and suffered from very sodden feet. Our torch came in very handy. Finally arriving at the pub, we were looking forward to some good pub grub. We insisted we'd get a taxi back to the campsite as we couldn't walk that route in the dark.

13 September 2008

One Year Anniversary

Today* is R and I's one year anniversary. That's pretty cool! Who would've thought? Not that I doubted but doubt R would've thought it.

We actually celebrated it during our camping trip (see above) but I thought it deserved it's own entry.

I was offered flowers and chocolates but my gift were a box of After Eight's. Yum! I didn't get him a gift :(, maybe I should have? We did go out for a meal as well which was yum!

*Entry backdated to September 13th.

09 September 2008

09.09.08, Tuesday

This is probably going to be long...

Despite me thinking I am in such a bad -- not even bad, maybe unhappy, sad, fed up? -- mood that I didn't think I had anything to say, I shall no doubt babble on for an age.

I'm beginning to wish I hadn't made this blog so public (i.e. posting it on my facebook profile as well as on my old Xanga blog that I don't use anymore) as I feel restricted about what I can say, and how honest I can be. Anything I may deem remotely acceptable for others to read, I have to fathom a way to encode it so that only very few will understand. Or maybe, I should just let it all hang loose...?

08 September 2008

Unadulterated rant




Gingerella
peeved PG Student

Student Serviced Centre (SSC)
The University of Wankchester

Dear Student Services Centre (SSC),

how difficult can it be to understand that my swipe card doesn't work because some of the magnetic strip is missing?

When I say 'I want a replacement swipe card', that is exactly what I want, a replacement. I understand that you cannot give me a swipe card valid until 2010 without me (my School) paying my fees so I am not asking for that. Nor am I asking for access to nuclear weapons, Tony Blair's secrets on the WMD's or China's state secrets. I am just asking for a piece of plastic that will grant me access to what is rightfully mine; my labs!
If it were not for the missing portions of the magnetic strip, my card would be validated until September 21st anyway so you should be able to issue me one until then, at least. There is no way I can wait until September 22nd, or later (October!), to continue my research. I refuse to.

And yes I have been granted access to those labs, for over a year now. I do not need to check that. It is the swipe card. I can see the white speck in the middle of the massive magnetic strip a mile away! You won't even let me buy a new one!

Oh and thank you for making me look like a complete imbecile by me e-mailing the PG secretary to be finally told 'We can't issue you with a new card here in the School.' That I am aware of but you, my School, pay my fees and they, the SSC, haven't received my fees. So excuse me for putting two and two together and getting FOUR! Argh!

I am coming back in to see you, SSC and am not leaving until you give me a working card.

No love at all,

Me

[\rant]


02 September 2008

Books, Baking & Breaking

I thought I'd hit you with a little alliteration this morning.

I've just started reading a new book; The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I cannot put it down and I would definately recommend it, if you like that sort of thing. I have to say it is a little of a challenge to keep up with which character is narrating and which year you are in but that's what's so fun about it. I realise this book reminds me of The Time Traveler's Wife* by Audrey Niffenegger which I read a couple of years ago now. I would also recommend it despite me personally being a little disappointed at the ending.

I had noticed The Forgotten Garden in the top 10 in both Waterstones and WHSmiths and was going to purchase it but my sister had beaten me to it, including having read it already so I took her copy. I'm probably not even a third of the way through yet and it's great, I cannot get enough. I just want to sit at home and read it all day.

This doesn't bode too well for my PhD studies especially as Super has just taken 2 weeks off to go and study frogs in the Costa Rican rainforest. There is actually an article about it on the BBC Science and Nature website; Experts poised for rare frog hunt, incase you're interested.

Some more baking would really be wonderful, I want to make some cup cakes, chocolate fudge brownies and real cheesecake from scratch. I may make that tonight but - and I come to my third 'b' word, Breaking - Prison Break season 4 starts again tonight! I cannot wait! It is even a double bill so I shall be curled up on the sofa, no doubt with my flatmate I, to watch the new season on my miniscule television for 2 hours.

I think that's all for now. I shall retreat and try very hard to motivate myself to do work. Might I suggest then, in that case, that I remove my new beloved book from my desk and actually open Matlab.

________________________________

*Well, I have just discovered, The Time Traveler's Wife is being turned into a film, starring Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers) and Eric Bana (Troy, Hulk, The Other Boleyn Girl to name but a few). According to its IMDb article, its release date in the US is Christmas Day. Well that is one to look out for and if you get a chance, read the book first.

01 September 2008

I'm a loser!

Literally.

I have managed to lose my debit card, again! Along with my active student card, i.e. the one that permits access to my building and my lab, and £10 after a night out in 42's. I supposedly cried in the taxi on the way home (I know I was 'happy crying' in 42s whilst talking to R's best mate S, as he was saying such sweet things about R and I), but in the taxi it could have only been about losing my debit card, again. I shall have to buy a new library card which I think costs £10. Last time I didn't have to as it was stolen (I'm 99% sure it was) but this time I cannot pretend it was stolen, 1. because of my own conscience - it's a lie - and 2. because they probably have the previous theft on the system, it would just look too sus'. Anyway, I cancelled my debit card yesterday and went into the bank today to withdraw money with my passport and change my address to my Manchester address; I'm too ashamed to tell my mom I lost my debit card again. I am not normally this much of a loser, R's absent-mindedness must be rubbing off on me.

Minus that, the weekend was really good as most of R's friends came to visit (majority male), we had a barbecue and played lots of Mario Kart and other games on the Wii. Some very funny moments including R and E's shoe fight competition which we entitled "A Good Shoein'" and generated rules for. I think R won!