Well, this weekend started with the aborting of a trip to Reading to see a film with Grim, Alec and Holly due to a lack of any good films being on and Holly being too shattered to go out.
Saturday, however, went to plan. The morning was taken up with the normal weekend shopping trip into town and to Sainsbury’s. Just after 4pm I left for the flat warming party in London I had been invited to. The traffic was OK so, with the help of my GPS until I arrived outside the flat at about 6pm. (Though in the final stages the GPS unit was a bit of a pain as it would tell me to turn either too soon or too late which meant that I did about three circles of the little area before finding the place.)
It was a good party. Soon after I had arrived one of the guests sitting out on the balcony was overheard saying to one of the other women there, “Sorry, I can’t fit your number on my phone, the memory’s too full of porn. Yes, you did here me right.” Which is not a usual think to hear at a party. This same woman, when about to leave decided that everyone needed to see her breasts and so pulled down her top and pressed them against the window. Apparently, she goes through some extrovert periods and was in one of them this weekend.
Anyway, that was all the real debauchary, unless you include salsa dancing.
I left the flat, giving a lift to two of the guests to Marylebone, at about 2:15am (BST) or should it have been by then 1:15am GMT? Anyway.. it was at about that time. The GPS unit decided that I should drive through Westminster and up Regent’s Street. That was a very stupid thing for it to do as the whole place was heaving with people, drunks, stupid drivers (and a couple of wrecked Mercedes, one with at least one wheel missing).
Still, I managed to get home at about 4:30am(BST) and went to bed.
Sunday was a bit of a null day as I was shattered by the late night before.
So, it’s now Monday evening. I’m still a bit tired, so it’s now off to bed.
I’ve just had two red kites land on my TV aerial!
Hmm.. Someone bounced me off my bike tonight using their car… thankfully I had anticipated their action (coming out onto the roundabout) and had swerved away to the right so the car clipped me on the back of my left thigh and my left pedal sending me off the bike.
Thankfully, my personal injury is merely a sore thigh and some bruising and road rash on my left palm where I hit the floor. As for the bike, it’s a broken pedal, bend crank, a very minor buckle to the rear wheel and the handle bars are slightly skew-wiff.
A Royal Mail truck driver whitnessed the whole incident and pulled up so as to protect me on the ground but he had to go into the depot before I could get his address, but he did tell me to stop by the depot and ask for the “Swindon driver.” I also got the name and address of the car driver.
It took me a whole three quarters of an hour to get into the Royal Mail depot, which was frustrating. There was no security on the gate, I tried flashing my cycle light at all and sundry but no-one took any notice. Eventually I managed to flag down a driver going in and he told me to come on in.
Anyway, I’m home now, a little worse for wear but basically OK.
So, the bike goes off to the cycle shop yet again in the morning!
Last night, after hearing all the hype over the last few months, I tried out Second Life…
I created the character “Wholenut Holsworthy” and, after installing the software, entered the world, adjusted my avatar to look somewhat like me and wandered around for a bit.
So, what’s my impression?
It’s rather mixed to say the least. In some ways it’s really quite advanced, such as the character design. However, the world itself made me think of early virtual reality systems such as SuperScape. It was rather jerky and slow as well, even on my decent games machine. Hmmm…
I think that there’s still a great deal of scope for a replacement, using something like the Half-Life 2 (or even original Half-Life) engine and a large library of pre-loaded textures and forms, combined with a modelling system similar to that in Second Life. Now, add an Elite-style space roaming, trading system, a bit of inter-planetary politics and a dash of Universe generation using the ideas of the “Strong Anthropic Principle”, oh and a tax system to fund it all and I think you just might have an interesting and fun virtual Universe.
P.S. Another thing which took my attention… yes, the sex industry has already populated Second Life.
I’m coming down with another cold.. the second one in 6 weeks. I blame the poxy freshers!
Well, it seems that Trek can’t source a replacement frame for my bike, so… they’ve offered to replace the whole bike with a new one, an L600 (as opposed to the L500 I had). I agreed to it even though it’s a hard-tail bike as there were no other real options available. Trek don’t do rear suspension bikes anymore.. maybe they found that they couldn’t design them correctly?
Anyway, they’re still going to have to source the replacement bike from the Netherlands (as Trek UK don’t sell hub geared bikes) so it will take a few weeks for the replacement to arrive.
Now, all I have to do is see if I can get the rear wheel rim on my old bike replaced as a same-day service in a bike shop near work before it collapses on me.
So, what have I been up to since Thursday?
Well, Thursday evening I went out to the pub quiz. We didn’t win anything this week.
Friday morning I got my old bike ready for the road by oiling it up and putting new brake pads on the rear. At this point I noticed that I need a new rim on my back wheel as it’s really badly worn by the brakes. On one side it worn down by a good 2mm but on the other it’s more 4mm, so the wall of the rim is probably paper-thin now! I also tried to replace the pedals but couldn’t get the old ones off.
In work, it was the day all the new postgrads and undergrads get inducted, or induced, so it was pretty busy.
Saturday started with getting up at about 9am and driving into Witney to get a hair cut. I timed it just right as the barbers was empty and I walked straight in and got the hair cut. The person cutting my hair told me that it had been the first break she’d had all morning.
Then it was into Oxford, where I had a latte and wandered around the shops. I picked up three CDs in Virgin Megastore’s sale. Also, having decided that although my iPod Shuffle is fine a lot of the time, there are times when I’d like to choose what to listen to, so I splurged out on an 8GB iPod Nano. The price in Dixons^H^H^H^H^H^HCurrys.digital is the same as on the High Education Apple web site (I think Apple have woken up to students prefering to buy iPods from the HE web shop).
Yesterday afternoon, evening and this morning I started playing with the latest version of the Mandriva Linux distribution. My first impressions? Well, gratuitous changes (such as moving autofs stuff from /etc into is own sub-directory which will break lots of set-up scripts), lots of show stopping bugs (such as CD/DVD writing not working and the default 3D X server desktop preventing logins) and a new degree of annoying automatic “updating” of system files such as /etc/hosts and /etc/resolv.conf. I’m not positively impressed.
I finally managed to get the new petals on the old bike after buying a set of open ended spanners. However, it needed more than just a spanner to get the old pedals off though. I needed a hammer a lot of muscle work to get them to budge. The first one took a few hits before it eased but the otherone needed about 5 minutes of heavy bashing before the thing even started to move and then kept needing the hammer until the thread was almost completely out.
This afternoon I managed to get out and cut the grass in the back garden. It was quite a job as it’s not been cut for a good 5 weeks now and was as many inches tall. Still, that’s done now.
Time to get ready for the first week of term now then.
On the way home tonight one of the welds my bike’s frame failed. I didn’t notice really until I got home, other than a rather big clunking sound when I started off from some traffic lights.
It’s still just about ridable with care so I’ll take it into the shop I bought it from in the morning and take the bus home. I’ll have to try to get my old bike in a usable condition for Friday, however, so I will have to buy some pedals in the shop tomorrow and a tool to fit them with.
Here’s a picture:
So, Lindsey finally managed to get married yesterday.
I’m pretty shattered now and will be going to bed shortly.
For those who are interested you can find an album of photos on my gallery.