Archive for Musings

Not lucky

It struck me the other day how many people really do believe whole-heartedly in the concept of bad luck, that as an individual you can have a certain level of it such that if something bad has to come the way of yourself and a group of others that you will be the one to bear the brunt of it.

There is a certain sadness to see someone pass comment about their own luck this way. While on the face of it its not a real issue, after all we all have our ups and downs and we all need something to attribute those things to, but the problem with a run of bad luck or repeatedĀ  comments of that nature is it seems to stick and be transferred to things that are not down to luck at all. Not only that but it seems to lead to a certain pessimism that extends accross their life leading to regular comments along the lines of “if it happens it will happen to me” sort of thing.

All the people I know who make comments like this seem to be more pessimistic than others I know who do not make such comments. This should come as no surprise, but what will come as one is that as an outsider I don’t see either group of people experiencing any more negative events (bad luck) in their lives. What this seems to mean is that if you think you are unlucky then you will be, in your own mind at least. Certainly food for thought for those who have a tendency for the odd pessimistic streak. As Bob Marley once said, don’t worry, be happy. How very right he seems to be.

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Cancelled elective

I recieved an e-mail this afternoon telling me that the 20 credit module in cybercrime at the school of law has been cancelled for next year and I will need to choose a new set of modules to fill up those credits. While the problem is far from insoluble its a big annoyance as it was a module I really wanted to do in favour of other less interesting modules that were on offer to me. I will most likely end up making up the credits with ones from the school of computing, but I need to make sure I do things that will both favour my fields of interest and will be useful in years to come; I don’t want this little set back to be turned into an even bigger one by causing me to struggle with a module I never wanted to take in the first place.

The law department have indicated that the module should be available next year and was only cancelled due to staffing issues this year but unfortunate;y doing electives in the third year isn’t really an option for me because of the way the school of computing works so I guess I will just have to resign myself to the fact I will have to give this one a miss šŸ™

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Full house

For the first time since we moved into our house here in Hyde Park it is full! Matt and Kat arrived up from London today and so its quite the hub of activity. Much as I prefer company to not having it, I have very much got used to living on my own these last 6 or 7 months and its going to take a few days to become used once again to having other people in close proximity.

Having people around in general is a mild love hate relationship. Great in the sense that debate and chatter is always forthcoming and your bad days can be eased so much more quickly by off-topic discussion than by cursingĀ  at a computer screen, but not so great in the sense you are never truely alone. My hi-fi has seen quite a work out over the last few months and its going to come down to earth with a bump as its owner quickly reliases that not everyone can (or should have to) enjoy the finer tones of Chris Botti on trumpet played at full volume (although he is an excellent trumpeter, you should check out his music).

It will however open doors (quite literally, lol) to being able to move away from the desk for a few minutes at a time though. Having people around when you make that all important cup of tea or coffee to boost your caffine levels becomes not only a stroll to stretch the legs and prevent the onset of RSI but also the chance to pretend the screen doesn’t exist for a brief but precious few minutes and interact with a real tangible human being, and that can only be considered a good and valuable thing in todays modern time-concious world.

No doubt life in my house will end up being documented in an amusing and occasionally vague style on here, and in fact most likely with comments provided by Matt and Kat themselves, but it is a year full of promise and one I feel sure I will enjoy immensely.

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Ok, now I know its not good form to blog about the weather, but I’m annoyed. I haven’t been caught out in it yet, but its been raining on and off all day here in Leeds and its really frustrating when its still warm and your main form of ventilation is a skylight which you can hardly open due to the rain. It might sound nice on the window, but as the temperature starts to rise and productivity starts to fall it becomes a real issue. Add to that fact that I’m going out this evening and don’t really want to get a soaking, I’d rather it just stopped raining. Overcast I can deal with, but rain, no thank you.

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How happy are you?

The BBC have published an online test based on research by a professor of psychology to ascertain how happy you are using answers on a range of questions. The article that follows is also an interesting read, although many of the points are more common sense than anything else; when it comes to happiness its about finding and drawing on whats good in your life and using that to enrich the areas of your life that are not going so well.

You can read the article and get your happiness score by visiting the bbc test site. If you wish to do so feel free to share your scores in the comments section!

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Weapons amnesty

I read in the news today about a knife amnesty that is currently going on; essentially allowing people in the possession of illegal knives and other weapons to turn them into a police station without fear of prosecution. I personally feel its a great idea, but when I saw some of the things that were being turned in, I was really glad it was going ahead. After all, you don’t want to round a corner one day to be looking down the barrel of a rocket launcher with a range of 350 metres do you?

Rocket Launcher handed in to police during weapons amnesty

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Water shortage farce

Despite the recent spells of hot weather I am very much inclined to disbelieve the majority of the water shortage hype that is going around at the moment. For one, its now raining again here in Leeds, and although we have had sunshine for the last week or so, over the course of the year so far we have had more rainy days than I care to mention, but truely hot days I can count using just my two hands.

What is worse is the hype surrounding the “water crisis” in the South East. The problem is that it is completely unfounded. While Londoners are deprived from using their hosepipes in the back garden and made to watch images of low water tables and resevoirs on their TV screens, they are being flooded in the front garden, some people having water reaching the front door (see photo, thanks to Matt for this). What is the world coming to I ask? When will the water companies pull thier finger out and confess that prices are too high, there are too many leaks and that they are the lazy ones causing all the problems in the first place but trying to pin it all on consumers? This whole situation is really quite unbelieveable.

London Floods

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Damn cretins

There I was, blissfully asleep. The first time this week when it was cool enough not to feel like a snowman under attack with a blowtorch, the open window wafting cool air over me and generally making things a whole lot better. Suddenly I hear voices, some loud, some soft, are they in my dream? What are they saying?

As I become more acustomed to the sound, I feel myself waking up; the voices are real, they are right outside my window, loud brash, disturbing my sleep. I become fully awake just in time to hear one say “try and nick some CDs”. That had me up in a flash; throwing on my dressing gown I strode to the window, flung open the curtains, just in time to see some cretin with a big head and no brains on top of the porch above the entrance to my block reaching over towards my window, where my CDs sit on the window ledge inside.

All logical thinking that some idiot like that wouldn’t be able to appreciate the finer points of Miles Davis or Bach went by the wayside and I grabbed the handle of the window as fast as I could and slammed it shut. As the voices became louder, but muffled with it, I realised the significance of my action. Not only had I enraged the cretins by foiling their stupid, pointless but almost successful plan, but I had also opened myself up to steadily rising temperatures with no cooling breeze and also the new option for the cretins to bang on the window.

In my newly establised open-window-less sauna, I started to analyse what could make these fools act this way. Judging by the agility with which more of them climbed onto the porch I figured intoxication couldn’t be an option, clearly they had no aim other than to wake the entire block and be the biggest pain possible. As the noise wasn’t too great at this stage, and they seemed more bothered with getting their friends onto the porch roof I figured I should probably try and go back to sleep before it got too hot to be able to get to sleep at all. Needless to say I was prevented from doing so; every so often there would be a bang on the window, as there was on the poor individual’s window on the first floor on the other side of the porch. I decided I had one last chance to put a stop to this, after all the worst that happened was that I wasn’t going to get any sleep.

Not being in posession of the number to call security, I had to be a little smarter. I donned my dressing gown and went down the hall to the intercom that connects each flat to a button and speakerphone by the main door, right underneath where the cretins were now ensconsed on the porch roof. I lifted the reciever, it was now or never, this had to work, or my sleep wasn’t going to happen. Quite how I did it I don’t know, but after putting on a voice of calm determination rather than the sleep-deprived individual I really was and asserting that security were in fact on their way to remove them from the roof and that it would be far better for them if they scarpered now rather than facing the wrath of a disgruntled security guard at 5am they got off the roof and started away at a fair pace, in fact in the short time it took me to get back from the phone they were all already off the roof. Perhaps they thought I was the subwarden or something.

Finally I could get some sleep, although I didn’t dare open the window for fear of revenge attacks when they possibly realised security were not on their way and had been duped.

Needless to say I can’t wait to get out of halls and into a much more civilised atmosphere where a solid nights sleep free from cretins is a dead cert not a game of chance.

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ftr buses

In York yesterday I was exposed to the new ftr bus system brought in on the University route by First Group. I don’t normally like to rant about things because constructive comments are always better, but in this particular case there really is nothing positive to say.

They have brought in a bendy bus system that can seat no more passengers than a normal single decker bus, wasting a lot of money needlessly. In doing this they have also raised the price of a single fare from Ā£1.30 to Ā£1.50 which you have to pay using a machine on board which doesn’t take notes and doesn’t give change. This means that they have to bring in a bus conductor to deal with people who do not have the right money and to check day tickets bought using the machine because said tickets cannot be checked with the machine. Factoring all of this in means that journey times take twice as long as they used to, in fact, so much longer that it is now quicker to walk from the station to the uni than it is to get a bus.

The net result of all of this is that they have spent a lot of money to go into the “ftr” but have made it more inconvenient for passengers and gone back 10 or so years by bringing back the bus conductor. Some people really need their heads testing, especially as the buses are soon to arrive in Leeds. I told a couple of students here and it looks as though panic is soon to set in.

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Doors closed

Came into uni today to have a look at some java in the computer labs and everything is closed. Confusion reigned supreme as I had to use the code to get into the lab while the department and all the stariwells were all locked. I know yesterday was a bank holiday, but today as well? How much holiday do they need! Some people seem to be on holiday all the time; I swear that over the last few days the whole world seemed to stop, and for what, so we could all do 15 times as much work on Tuesday or Wednesday to make up for what we didn’t do on the days we had off? Can’t really see the point in it all myself.

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