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Sunday, 11 January 2009

And lo, the gym calleth

Well, after about 2 years of saying "I should really join the gym", I actually got around to doing it last weekend. A few reasons for joining:

1. I'm fat. I seriously need to lose some weight.
2. I'm unfit. Important for fieldtrips and I actually miss having a lot of stamina.
3. My clothes don't fit and I'm too much of a tight wad to keep buying more.

So, this blog may now become splattered with gym updates, and I realise they aren't interesting, but they are a good record of what I've done for myself, so stuff ya!

My starting weight is 11.4 stones (around 160 pounds for you metric folk) - in my peak fitness I only weighed 7.5 stone - but 1) I was too thin, don't really want to get back that far 2) it's probably unrealistic anyway. 9 stone would be good, and I'd like to get back don to a size 10-12. Yay, targets!

Anyway, gym activity this week:

General gym: 2 hr 15 mins
Weights: 15 mins
Classes: 2 hours
Swimming: 30 mins

Not bad if I say so myself. When it came to swimming I was actually surprised at how bad I was - guess that's what happens when you don't swim for 4 (!) years. *sigh*

I think it's gonna be a hard slog, but it'll sure be worth it!


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Best Xmas ever?!

So for Xmas My brother bought me a Wacom Bamboo tablet which has handwriting recognition! And I am, in fact, writing this whole thing by hand and it is being converted into text ! So don't be surprised at bizarre mistakes and punctuation- it just can't understand my writing!

Xmas was ok here, nothing to report really! Spent NY at Ray + Dave's house which was cool . Played an awesome game where all you need is a cereal box and a pair of scissors! on-and you need to be flexible!

S0, 2009. It's going to take me ages to get used to the new date-it always does! And my new years resolution? Yes, I think I'll actually make one this year ... is to loose weight! Being meaning to do it-far ages so hopefully this year is the year! of course, i need to find a cheapish gym first!

Right- I think that's enough handwriting from me . i highly recommend the tablet by the way, not only is it cool-but also a good alternative to a mouse! Oh-and if you want to see an example of how it works here is a screen shot I took yesterday:


Happy New Year everyone :)

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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

John Sergeant Leaves Strictly.

John Sergeant has pulled out of Strictly Come Dancing, and like Cilla Black, I am shocked and stunned. And in fact, I am quite angered by the whole thing, because I feel that he has essentially been bullied out of the competition.

Yes he wasn't the best dancer, but you know what? He was entertaining, and the public quite obviously loved him. The show is about entertainment, it's not REALLY a dance competition. You win a glitter ball for crying out loud. Strictly Dance Fever on the other hand, IS a dance competition, and it shows. In that show, people are literally competing for their careers, for the chance of a lifetime to land a real dance contract. STC is all about fun and entertainment.

I feel quite outraged on John's behalf. He's a nice guy, and he would never say he had been bullied out, but I have to say, I don't really blame him for wanting to pull out. The judges don't want him there (which to some extent is fair enough, but you don't have to be vile about it), and now some of the contestants are being horrid to him on the sly. James Jordan, I am looking at you. And to think you had be convinced that you had turned over a new leaf.

John does put hours in, he doesn't sit reading the paper ALL the rehearsal. And Kristina, what about all the work that she has put in? All that wonderful choreography that makes his routines worth voting for. What about the public who all got off their apathetic back sides to vote for him?!

Last week John was saying (rightly) about how this is an entertainment show and how the public have their say. It's just SLIGHTLY odd that he has done a complete u-turn, no? I really feel for him, he had a right to be in that competition and to dance as much as anyone else there. I am glad that they will still be doing a dance on Saturday. We love you John and Kristina!!

Additionally, BBC: If you are going to let people bully off those who are no good, then you might as well make sure from now on that you only invite young people with prior dancing experience onto the show, otherwise you will be creating more "travesty" in future series.

As an aside, I am especially cross with all those who think that it is "right" that he has quit. Particularly those who barely even watch the show.

I shall end with this quote from Cilla herself:

I am shocked and I am stunned, I think it is an absolute disgrace because it is a public show, it is supposed to be entertainment - so yes the judges judge on the dancing, but at the end of the day it is the public that pays money for the licence and it is up to them to judge who they want on the show.

"I am absolutely disgusted by the whole thing, John I love you.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Being a Gamer

I was in Game the other day, and was struck by how open and accessible, and indeed 'normal' gaming has become to society. The launch and huge success of systems like the Wii, DS and PSP have made gaming open to everyone. The Playstation, xBox and PC are no longer the sole haunts of the gaming elite, and dare I say it, geek-dom.

My mum's other half is a recent player of the nintendo DS, and it was while looking at the game library for gift ideas that I looked to my brother and said, "do you feel embaressed looking at the DS section?" And yes, like me he does! I feel I should be holding a sign proclaiming "I am looking for a present! I am a true gamer, I was there with the BBC, the master system and the amiga!" I feel the need to distance myself from the so-called "next-gen gamers" who I feel are not gamers at all!! I grem up gaming, and will always love it.

Similarly, when I am buying games like the Sims 2 and Singstar: Abba I feel like I should confide in the sales assistant that I actually love blowing the heads off monsters in Unreal Tournament, getting scared to deal in Alien VS Predator and role playing in modern classics like Oblivion. I don't want to be steriotyped as a next gen gamer who oly plays "girly" games and squeels at the sight of blood (althugh in RL, that would happen!)

It's not that I feel judged when I buy games, I'm glad that everyone has suddenly realised what a great hobby it is! But sometimes I look around at the games and sigh *ah, mainstream*, and I must admit, dodging prams and screaming kids never used to be a problem in game stores in the 90's. Then, there was recognition of us true gamers!!

Oh well. We'll see who is still gaming in 20 years time!

In the meantime, I'm going to go and rock out to Singstar: Abba, and unleash my girly gamer side upon the world...But I'll be avoiding the rads in Fallout 3 tomorrow ;)

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Thursday, 2 October 2008

Musings on the latest banking crisis

I've just been reading that the senate in the USA has backed a slighty changed version of the bail-out bill and that will go back to the house of representives on Friday. And also that Northern Rock have cut a lot of it's saving deals due to a large number of customers switching.

Apparently, because Northern Rock are government backed, any savings with them are 100% guarenteed, whereas savings with other banks are only guarenteed to the first £35,000.

Now, I don't have savings anywhere near 35k, but surely it makes sense that you want to be 100% guarenteed wherever?! Apparently people who had larger lump sumes in just one or two banks, are now taking them out and spreading them around different insitutions. And I can't say I blame them.

However, I was talking to someone the other day, and we were saying that if everyone in the UK suddenly got the willies about their savings (like they did with petrol) and went and tried to withdraw all their money, well, the banks really WOULD run out of cash, and that would spark a TRUE credit crisis. That's a scary thought, no matter how unlikely it is.

Still, seeing as I just spent all my remaining savings on my car, I'm not overly bothered!! Still, I like to keep an eye on the news, even if I'm not too great at keeping up to date or have good knowledge etc hehe.

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008


The madness has decended, the hordes have arrived. Nothing will ever be the same again...that's right, it's FRESHERS WEEK at Birmingham University!!

After having about 2 weeks of peace and quiet (more like deathly silence) the arrival of all the new 1st years is a slight shock to the system. In some ways it can be counted annoying, but in others, it's nice to see the campus so alive and well, enthused! How many weeks will it take to knock the grins off their faces? Not a lot I imagine!

Anyone walking around campus (any campus!) at this time of year runs the risk of being either a) mistaken for a fresher or b) mistaken as a friendly face by a fresher. I'm not quite sure which is more annoying!

In the first case, people act like you know nothing while trying to shove a dozen carrier bags and/or leaflets into your hands. I can't complain too much, the inevitable poster sale is here again, and as usual I have perused it and made a purchase! However, when I wanted to pay I enquired as to whether I could pay by Visa (as stamped on all the poster carboard dividers) but no, the card machine wasn't out yet (wtf?) so I'm trying to see if I have enough in cash when one guy leans over and says "there's one in the guild behind you...if you know where it is" in the voice of someone talking to a "special" child. You just want to yell I'M NOT A FRESHER AND I KNOW WHERE SHIT IS BETTER THAN YOU *cough*

In the second case...well, if you aren't being nabbed by random strangers whilst walking between the guild/library/office etc who want direction, you're being distrated from your reading by people in the library wondering why they can't get to section D of the library from floor 4, or asking how the classification system works (wtf? never been in a library before?) or just generally looking lost in the periodicals section wondering where all their textbooks are supposed to be, hehe. (The best bit about the periodicals section is that people rarely use them, know how to find them and is thus very quiet and fresher free!)

I guess I find it all quite amusing as I never went to my own freshers fair (plain laziness). But as I said, at least the campus feels alive now! Next week is when the fun begins...


Friday, 19 September 2008

It's all go now...

Latest happenings:

1. My PhD has started!

I've been in Anglesey at the beginning of the month, looking at the rocks I'm going to be studying for the next three years. Being Wales and the time of year...yes it was very wet. It was very interesting even if I found it rather difficuly to unterstand what was going on most of the time.

Paul is away in Assynt for this week and melanges, but it hasn't been going toooo well. Google and the Web of Science have been letting me down! Also, it's VERY annoying when you find what looks like a vital journal only for it to have been published in a journal that you don't have access to.

Next week I will probably spend looking at carbonates in the teaching collections to get up to speed with textures, terminology and basically what they look like. Will be very useful when it comes to looking at my own samples.

2. I have a car!

A friend of mine is going into The Salvation Training College and was selling her car, so I am now the proud owner of a Peurgot 206. And I have named her...Fi Fi La Ren. Very french sounding, hehe. I think it suits her quite well. I'm sure I have heard the name beofre, so if anyone reading this knows the origin, or someone of the same name let me know. Otherwise I'm going to take the credit for it, heh.

~ ~ ~

Other than that, everything else is pretty much normal. Been playing on the PC, 360 and PS3 a lot lately. Also, been working on my Oblivion section of my website quite a bit, so quite pleased with that. Still needs lots of pictures and work, but am happy with how it is coming along.

I'm thinking I might have a section devoted to my PhD (sad I know) so people can stay updated, (see how depressed I've got!) and just basically a log so I can look back on it too. I've already uploaded references and work onto my FTP server to I can access it pretty much anywhere. Yes, I'm that sad, lol.

Oh, I may scout out the local gyms for costs and stuff. Went round the uni gym which is dirt cheap (only £16/month) but it isn't the nicest, and rather cramped and hot. Some friends go to a local one, so would be nice to have a variety of people to go with.

Anyway, think that's enough for now.


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