friday again, but this time it’s different.

Friday again and nothing special has happened since my last proper entry
other than having a nice evening with paul and Jenn eating pizza and watching
X-Men on my DVD on Wednesday night.

Today is no ordinary Friday, however, it’s the last one before I go on holiday.

I’m just off down to my parents’ place in Cornwall again for a couple of weeks, but it will be nice to get away.

So, there’ll be no more entries here for a couple of weeks and I’ll be playing with computers very sparingly.


Not work outages

Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) are having problems with the
network firewall between us and the outside world and have been doing so
since Saturday afternoon.

this has meant lots of problems for people
trying to access Bullet and lots of problems for me trying to access patches
and things for software. Grrrrr.

At least the weather’s nice.. And
so are the nice young ladies in skimpy summer dresses out on the lawn outside
the department… it’s nice out there! *grin*

Sorry. 🙂

Well, that’s good news.

I won’t bother with lists of not doing much since my last proper posting but I will bring you up to date on a few things.

i took my car to the SAAB dealer this morning.. they test drove the car (which,
unsurprisingly started working FAR better the morning I took it to the doctor)
and then took it around the back. The result, a change of spark plugs later,
costing 15 quid ‘cos they didn’t bother charging for installation, and the
car has it’s woosh back.

Apparently, SAABs, unlike any other car,
don’t have a pre-set firing order of their cylinders. When you start the
engine, the engine management system fires all the spark plugs, monitors
the voltage drop over them and then figures out which cylinder fired and
hence what should happen next. Apparently this is a neat trick, but requires
that the spark plugs be working properly. This is why I was getting a slight
misfire upon engine starting and possibly why I was getting such awful performance,
as the engine management system was making sure the engine didn’t get damaged
if there were a fault with a leaky valve or some other fault.

Secondly, I got my hair cut..

I was about to travel back to Oxford to go to Sinoco computers to pick up
an LG DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive so that I can give my old CD-ROM to my dad as part
of an upgrade to his system. (I’m donating to him the case, motherboard,
PIII 500Mhz CPU, memory and CD-ROM but he doesn’t know this yet.) However,
passing Dixons in Witney on the way back to the car after my hair cut I noticed
that they had on sale the very same drive I was going to buy from Sinoco’s
but £15 cheaper and this was the full retail boxed version rather than the
OEM version.. So I dodged in there and bought it instead,

On the whole, a decent day’s events so far.

evening I’m off to a BBQ at a friend’s place in Oxford, so I will probably
wash the car this afternoon after doing the weekly shop.


I had a nice long chat with the head of the maintenance at Oxford SAAB about various things, including the fact that all the technology put into the new Vauxhall/Opel Vectra (You know, New Vectra, New Rules advert) is actually taken directly from the SAAB stuff developed for the old 9-3 and 9-5. The new petrol engines in the GM range are all SAAB derivatives also. Was it GM who bought the SAAB car division or the other way around?

Is there anything but work?

I’ve been so busy at work this week it’s been a total blur. I can’t place what I’ve done when.

I do know that I managed to get out and have a drink with one of the postgrads who has handed in his thesis on Tuesday, but only for an hour or so.

I s’pose I’d better think about going and doing the washing/washing up and clearing up in a minute. What an exciting life I lead, eh? 🙂

I have had some weird dreams this week though. I can’t remember the details so much but they all seem to be set in either the village I grew up in (Houghton Conquest, mid Bedfordshire) or the county town (Bedford). It seems that mentally I never left there even if I did physically 20 years ago. The night before last included walking along the High Street of the village along with a number of people who are postgrads in the department I work. Last nights included catching a bus from the Bedford bus station after buying things in some shops there. All very strange.

At least the dreams aren’t disturbing.

Weekend wonders

finishing up the picture gallery stuff on Saturday (which I’ve since redone
and added a few more pictures, more of that later…) I went home and failed
to become hungry, so didn’t have anything to eat. The rest of the evening
was spent getting bored by the telly before getting an early night.

Sunday started well.. I slept in until about 11:30am. 🙂

After lunch and the weekly phone chat with my parents I was
going to wash the car and mow the lawn^H^H^H^Hgrass but I just felt too hemmed
in by the house and garden and so decided that I needed to find a nice place
to go play with my camera.

I first thought of going up to White Horse
Hill, but thought that as there was rain due and it was quite a distance
away that this wouldn’t be wise. Similarly, for meteological reasons, walking
the bit of The Ridgeway near Didcot was out. Then I thought.. hey, I’ve not
been to the Didcot Railway Centre since about 1981, let’s go there.

so I toddled up there in my car (which I think is having turbo problems yet
again as there’s absolutely no boost I can determine). I parked int he long
stay car park as instructed and then gumped at the cost.. £3.50! It was a
good thing, therefore, that all the ticket machines were out of action. 🙂
The second shock was the entrance charge, £6.50 for adults and £4.50 for
children, and I can’t pretend to be the latter any more. Still, I’d come
this far, so I duely paid up.

It was a pleasant afternoon wandering about the railway centre taking photos, which you can see on my Experiments photographic page.
Somehow, the place seemed to have gone down hill from when I last visited.
There seemed to be fewer coaches, fewer locomotives etc.

Anyway, today
is Monday and the start of another week. Other than a BBQ to go to on Saturday
evening, I have no plans.. but at least the job work load isn’t quite as
high as last week’s.

I think I’ll take my car down to the SAAB dealer
on Saturday morning for them to check out the turbo and possibly go into
Witney and get my hair cut then as well.