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On monday, I slippd on ice in the middle of a zebra crossing whilst walking to meet a friend. A guy who happened to be walking nearby helped me up, got me off the road, and noticed quite how much my forehead was bleeding before the shock had worn off enough for me to realise I was cut. He asked a driver who'd paused to check I was ok to drive us both to A&E, and made sure I got checked in alright, which was very kind of them both. Luckily I didn't need stitches (they glued my eyebrow back together) and don't seem to have concussion.

Three friends from uni (on the same PhD course) fetched my prescription lab. specs for me, as I don't have any up-to-date spare glasses, and also brought jellybabies (squee!)...and ended up doing the half hour walk home with me when we found out that I wouldn't be able to get a taxi for at least three hours!

On the plus side, my mother was somewhat worried about me getting stuck on a delayed and overcrowded train with potential concussion, so I got collected from Birmingham yesterday:)

Now just to see if we can get up to Dunbar to stay with fhtagn's family for Christmas...

(P.S. I've just found out that I've had a paper accepted for an oral presentation at an ECS conference in Montreal next May - meep!)


Nov. 17th, 2010 08:17 pm
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Over the last year, I've been getting gradually more and more irritated with lag (Skype conversations are often painful), stupidly slow download speeds (much slower than advertised for the package I'm on is kind of expected, but 60kBps means WoW is never done patching...) etc.  My phoneline is also crackly at points, and various BT engineers have fixed it for about five minutes before it goes crappy again.  A problem at the exchange is repeatedly blamed but never fixed.

So, I'm considering changing internet and phoneline both to Virgin (from Plusnet and BT), as I hope their fibre optic cable network (which is advertised in my area) will avoid the problem.

This has one main drawback, namely that Virgin is evil.  (BT cancellation fees etc. may also bite me)

Thoughts and suggestions?!
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This weekend was the first time I'd been at Maelstrom for a -year-, scarily enough. It was really lovely to see people again, and to find a couple who live all of five minutes' walk from my house! We caught trains and walked back from the station together for take-away, which was a nice end to the weekend.

The one problem was that I enjoyed the time-ish/time-out parts of the weekend a great deal more than the In Character time, which is Not Quite Right. My character's husband died at the previous event, so playing a bereaved character who really just wanted to sit in a corner whilst trying to hide quite how upset she was...yeah. IC bereavements can be really good to play through in an out-of-character sense - dramatic scenes and seeing supportive communities come together etc., but the IC things she was trying to do all fell through. There were certainly a few good bits, and conversations with Zoya, Blackberry and Karl Christoph (who really wasn't sure how to deal with a briefly near-hysterical Leyna) were great, but yes.

In conclusion, a great weekend from a Seeing People perspective, but I think it's time to retire Leyna and try something new. I have been playing her for ~5 years. Now to get her affairs in order then decide what to play next...


Jul. 8th, 2010 09:03 pm
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 Switzerland!  'Twas good.  Very, very pretty, if also rather expensive...  The conference went really well; a nice overview of what's going on in the field, a few useful contacts found and some genuinely interested questions on my poster.  I got adopted by students from St. Andrew's uni, a post doc and prof. from Strathclyde uni and a lovely German lady at various points, due to not knowing anyone, and generally had a really good time!  Social worries, especially following Events(TM) the previous Saturday, proved to be unfounded.

Following the conference, I spent a few days in Lausanne with my ex-housemate, Alex, and his family - much French practice and lovely views ensued!  The one thing I found was that whilst travelling and exploring alone went fine, going out to eat alone sucks.  At least from my point of view.  Eating out is very much a sociable activity in my books, and eating was pretty much the only time I felt alone.  (Alex was at work during the day, and I had the night after conference and a day in Zurich on my own)


Jun. 7th, 2010 01:03 pm
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 I have now submitted my (+G's and supervisor's) paper to the journal... It was a little scary (for no particular reason, but, nonetheless).

Now to await the rude rejection letter and request for me never to submit anything again response.

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I had an ...interesting... French lesson last night.  In my defence, I had a horrible headache which makes understanding English hard enough.

Teacher says: ...on va parler des "Jeux de mots"....
(we are going to talk about word-games)

Katie hears: on va parler de "jeunes de mots"
(we are going to talk about "young people of words")
Katie thinks: Does she mean slang/people using slang?
(the word for slang is "l'argot")
Katie wants to say: "Est-ce que ça veut dire l'argot?"
("Does that mean slang?")

Katie says: "Est-ce que ça veut dire l'escargot?"
("Does that mean snail?"....)

>.<   And then I wondered why people were looking at me funny....
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Fhtagn and I have Friday off and will be at the beer festival fri-sat.

Hopefully see a fair few of you there, and, if you've not made such plans yet - come join us!
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A friend of mine from work last year is cycling a Very Long Way (TM) to raise money for cystic fibrosis.  Below is the email he sent around work, which I'm sure he won't mind me passing on here.  His cycle-blog promises to be equally amusing.

Hi all,
I have received feedback on the extortionate length of my emails, and for this reason I have given you 3 options on how you wish to read this:

1) The shortest option:
Follow the link below, and donate lots of money
2) Read the sections in part 3) that highlighted by the bold font.
3) Read the text below:
As some of you may be aware I am highly capable of making rather foolish decisions, and I have written the content of this email in such a way as to continue to portray this image to you. I have used this great skill recently by making the decision to cycle the length of country this summer in a bid to raise some money for charity (the cystic fibrosis trust to be precise). Luckily I will not be alone; my brother (who unfortunately for him shares a large proportion of my genes) has agreed to attend this foolish escapade. As I am sure you can imagine, this will require a significant quantity of effort, pain and saddle-soreness, all of which I am not accustomed to. Given that this could be described as going slightly out of my way, I ask you to make a much smaller contribution in effort terms, by following the link http://www.justgiving.com/Will-And-Dan-Do-Cycling in order to donate some of your lovely money to a good cause. I have chosen to ask you because I consider you a loyal friend of mine who would be more than happy to donate some of your good money. Or maybe I have only had a few stifled conversations with you (this is much more likely), but in such a case, I would certainly like to get to know you more and your donation could be a good way to encourage more contact between us (or should you prefer, less contact). Or maybe we have never spoken before, but I have knowledge of your email address, and you should feel honoured that I am at the very least vaguely aware of your existence.

I have also created a blog where you can follow my pain and suffering in great detail http://will-and-dan-do-cycling.blogspot.com/. Although I have limited experience in sharing my thoughts and feelings, and no experience in blog writing, I shall endeavour to make this as entertaining as possible. I am sure this will be mostly focused on my lack of success in getting fit in the near term, and saddle-sores during the actual event! Please do attempt read it when you can, or at least pretend to read it and leave comments along the lines "Go for it Will!" and "We love you!".

I would also appreciate it if you could forward this email and attached links onto people that you may know. I am sure you are a popular person (after all, I chose to email you right?!), and you can use this popularity to spread my cause far and wide.

Many thanks for your time (and future donations!)
Will :-)
P.s. For Lucy; I thought you should know I have not wasted my time at work writing this, I wrote this at home.

William Rogers
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There was a weekend! It had a Filk con! It was good to see people again, and to meet new people. The music, as always, was lovely and I spent rather more on CDs than I intended to, but hey, well worth every penny. It's been a tough year financially/job-wise for a lot of people, so it was great that so many still made it, and I must prod Fhtagn to sort out dates so we can book for next year!

My favourite memories have to be "Where's your school bag?" to the tune of Hallelujah and Vixy's immortal line, on stage, concerning why you should be nice to the tech-guys supporting your act. It seems "knob" only has one meaning on t'other side of the pond...  It was also great to see Soir looking so much more confident in his set this time.

To summarise - squee!  Just a shame the weekend ended so soon, really.

Many *hugs* to the various people I missed saying goodbyes to.
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My first evening of 2010 at home and without a headache!

As such, a somewhat belated, but relatively standard, New Year post:

Looking back on 2009...
-Tough decision to leave a well-paid job and the friendships I'd built up in Nottingham to go for the PhD in Brum. I'm still not sure if I jumped the right way on that one, time will tell.
-Purchased a house. That was rather scary. Paying a deposit is terrifying ("Argh, what if I typed the account number wrong?!"), and solicitors are incompetent (at last mine was; I would strongly recommend NOT using ARC Property Solicitors, many of you will have heard the rant already so I won't repeat it).
-Learned to crochet!
-Made a somewhat unsatisfactory start to my PhD weird-results-wise(well, maybe I'm just picky)but got good feedback from head-of-groups, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for results behaving better!
-Staying in contact with Notts friends is working to some extent, more generally, I do need to try to make more weekends be seeing Fhtagn + FriendX rather than either or.

And for 2010...
-Keeping my fingers crossed for EADS sponsorship of my PhD coming through
-Pondering What Needs Doing to my house, and other aspects of pretending to be a grown-up.
-Hoping for more promising results from my pet fuel cells
-Trying to keep in contact with as many people as sensibly possible, and also find some friends in Birmingham!
-Find a new housemate for when Alex moves out at the end of this month :S Evils of exchange students only being here for a few months!

So yes, resolutions!
1. Be more positive about work/research!
2. See more people more often!
3. Don't work too hard!


Jan. 5th, 2010 08:55 pm
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I am useless.

Fhtagn and I were kind of planning to go to Van Der Filk next month, but aren't very good at planning, and didn't book.

I just looked at the website only to find we've missed the deadlines. I am unimpressed.

Bah. I've dropped an email to the contact address just incase they are willing to take a couple more >.< Mutter. Christmas/New Year is a really bad time for booking deadlines!

Whinge over.

Ooooh, we may be able to go afterall :)
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Whilst I don't post pictures very often, I've just been sorting through camera memory card on getting a new phone (same number) and thought I should share these with you...

Read more... )
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[profile] jambon_gris , [livejournal.com profile] lostdreamer666 and anyone else who may happen to be in Coventry in early December....

I'll be working in Coventry centre on the week ending December 11th - howsabout pub on, erm, tues or weds evening that week?
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It was an entertaining weekend. Good music, good to see people again, and the food seemed to work out ok in the end after a couple of stupid-oven-related panics. (The bottom shelf somehow manages to be cold whatever temperature the top shelf is at)

My kitchen-stuff is a little bizarre, however. I have a set of six matching custard glasses, but not of six matching plates.... and a nutmeg grater but no cheese grater.
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Right, I have just moved into New House (TM), and there is a large bush in the garden which I took to be blackcurrant.  It was about 7ft high (very straggly in the now-removed top bits),the currants looked a bit past-it so I didn't try the fruit.  The leaves look right to me, it smells about right, it has what look like blackcurrants on it, though some of them were slightly more oval in cross-section than I'm used to...

My neighbour is a very keen gardener, and laughed at me for thinking it an edible currant, he says it's an ornamental blackcurrant with probably-poisonous fruit.  When I asked him what the differences are, so I could tell in future, he said they were just completely different plants so he couldn't explain.  Now, I'm no gardening expert, but it looked pretty similar to me....

Can anyone explain how to tell the difference?!


Jul. 7th, 2009 10:24 pm
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Long time no post, etc., but anyway:

I had a dream last night in which I was at work (financial analysis and credit card valuations for Capital One). and we were discussing, in all seriousness, how best to market credit cards to the Seelie and Unseelie Fae....

The depressing thing is that when I mentioned this to a couple of colleagues, I got completely blank looks and had to explain what on earth I was on about. >.<
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Just a few quick snaps with my phone-camera:

Piccies here )

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Right -  a challenge for all who like such things.

What is the next number in the following series?


And, no, there is not a missing 20.
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