Work fun?

First of all, my parents got home OK on Monday despite a few close calls with a potentially overheating engine. The local garage fixed up the car the next day.

Not a great deal has happened since Monday morning otherwise other than “fun” when one of the 4th year undergrads pulled the wrong plug in one of the computer labs which switched off a server which then proceeded to have a disk failure. Of course, this disk was the one which held all the 4th year’s projects and most of the stuff used by the postgrads too. This person is not the most loved person at this moment.

So, today’s been a case of finding space somewhere else for the data and then initiating the restore of the back-up from the computing services’ central back-up system. It’s a pitty that the aggrigate transfer rate from this is about 200K per second, so it’s going to take a couple of days to get the 30GB back!

The other highlight of the day was feeding ducks with mouldy bread with Kat, Rachel and her boyfriend, Alex at lunchtime.

Oh, and I’ve made an appointment with the dentist to see him at 9:30am on Friday.

Oh, and I forgot….

Thurday evening part of one of the fillings the dentist did the last time I went to see him broke off and fell out.

Saturday evening, the bit of tooth which was left on the outside of the tooth broke off from the same tooth.

Time to make a dental appointment, I guess.

A draining weekend?

My parents arrived. They had had an eventful journey up from Cornwall as
they got stuck in a traffic jam followed by the temperature sensor on the
car radiator failing, causing the engine to overheat. The AA bloke lashed
a horrid mess of wiring (damaging the car’s wiring in the process) to get
the fan working again.

Friday: Work. Nothing interesting happened really.

Saturday: This was the beginning of the fun with the central heating system.
The system has been getting worse and worse reacently, generating a lot of
gas which needed to be bled from the radiators on a weekly basis, so it needed
clearing out.

So, Saturday morning my dad and myself set about draining the system and
refilling it with the nasty chemical used to flush the whole lot out. There
were hose pipes everywhere! After finally managing to get the water back
in and most of the air locks out we went to do the weekly shop. The evening
was spent trying to watch the latest Harry Potter film on DVD. I say trying
to as I got an absolute blinder of a sinus headache and just had to go to

Sunday: Well, most of Sunday was spent draining, refilling and running the
heating system. After the first drain to get rid of the flushing agent, the
system had to be refilled with the anti-flushing agent agent followed by
the system run on full heat for 2 hours. Once this was done, it was a further
three flushes with clean water so as to get rid of the anti-flcuhing agent
agent and anythiong else nasty before refilling ans adding inhibitor solution.
This took all day!

Monday: Well, this morning my parents went back home. Or at least I hope
they’ve managed to. When my dad plugged in the radiator fan to start it before
travelling home, it didn’t work. A quick test with my multimeter showed that
there was power getting to the fan, so the fan’s kaput! They decided to leave
their departure until slightly later in the day so as to try to avoid being
stopped at any traffic jams and hence having the engine overheat.


I forgot…

I was informed yesterday evening by Kat and Rachel while we were walking
back to the department that they are going to be punting at the end of term
and that I’m going to be coming along. Not only this, but I will be punting
the boat too. I have no choice in the matter, it seems.

Wednesday already?

Well, it’s Wednesday morning. It’s nice and sunny, if a little chilly outside.

Now, what has been happening to me since my last confession? Let’s see…

Yesterday, I went to work. This isn’t particularly abnormal, however, being
invited to got and feed ducks (read “give ducks indigestion by feeding them
mouldy bread”) by two women is. This is what happened yesterday afternoon.

Basically, I was chatting to two of the 3rd year undergrads in the department
foyer about this and that and their stressing about exams etc. when at the
end of the cnversation, randomly, one of them, Kat, asked, “Does anyone want
to go and feed some ducks later?” It being a nice, sunny afternoon, Rachel
said yes and looked at me expectantly.. “Yeah, ok.” I said.

So, at about 6pm the three of us wandered into the University Parks, down
to the duck pond and started feeding the fowl… who them went into a feeding
frenzy. This wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if a couple of common
geese, a canada goose and a rather large male swan hadn’t have been in the
group. However, one athletic malard drake took the biscuit by being able
to jump int the air to catch peices of bread in mid air. Somehow, I think
he’s got a lot of practise of this maneuver.

This morning, whilst cycling past Computer Assistance on the Cowley Road,
I suddenly remembered that I’d forgotten to pick up an Amiga A500 I’d promised
to take from someone trying to get rid of his. I was supposed to turn up
on Monday evening at 7pm all the concern about ants and my house had pushed
it right out of my head. So, I’ve sent a very appologetic e-mail to the person
this morning. I wonder if he’s given it away to anyone else in the meantime.

Update: 10:15am

The bloke who was offering the Amiga e-mailed back saying that he’d given it to someone else. I didn’t much like the tone of his e-mail really. OK, I did forget to turn up but I appologised for this as much as is possible so there was no need to get shirty.

May Bank Holiday.. and the days before.

Let’s see, what exciting things have I been doing?

Well, for a start, after nattering with the group of 3rd year undergrads I’ve got to know quite well at happy hour on Friday, I got invited to a slap up meal with them at one of their rooms. It was just like being a student again! 🙂

I finally got home at about 1am and went to bed. I could have done with an early night on Friday as i’d stayed up a bit late the night before getting my PC up and running again after it’s regrade to XP.

Saturday morning came and went. Let’s say that Saturday was a bit of a blur due to sleep deprivation. I did manage to get the main shopping done, however. Actually, that’s about all I got done other than watch the grand prix qualifying.

Yesterday, I managed to get the meadow in the back garden mown, lots of washing done and watch the grand prix, despite having the worst sinus headache I’ve had in a long while.

Today, I’ve managed to get out to do the supplimentry shopping. Brake blocks for the bike from Halfords and various items from B&Q to flush out the radiators next weekend when my parents come up country to visit. I’ve now replaced the brake blocks.

I’ve discovered that I have ants which have infested part of the house wall and that how they’ve managed to do this is to burrow into the very poor mortar. It looks like a lot of the mortar holding my house together is very poorly made and is crumbling badly.. and my house is less than 7 years old! Methinks I might have to get a report done and try to get the NHBC to fix it. Somehow I don’t think I’ll have much luck with that and will just have to get it repointed myself.

Anyway, I shall sign off for tonight, fix some food and get ready for work again in the morning.

Oh, what the heck! It’s purity test time.

Your Ultimate Purity Score Is…
Category Your Score Average
Self-Lovin’ 81.7%
Never taken out of the packaging
Shamelessness 100% 73.5%
Sex Drive 100% 70.7%
Straightness 67.9%
Felt someone up once
Gayness 100% 74.3%
Fucking Sick 100% 84.5%
You are 91.3% pure
Average Score: 65.2%

Hmm.. not much change there then.

Lucky escape.

was very lucky this morning. I cycled in in the dry but between the time
I parked my bike and the time I got to my office a couple of minutes later
it had started bucketting it down with rain.

Little lucky things like that help make the days far better.

I’ve paid my Microsoft tax.

after weeks of trying to get my favourite flight simulator to work after
a game demo forced me to upgrade to DirectX 9.0a I totally failed. The game
itself relies upon extensive use of the mouse and the keyboard to actually
fly the plane, in addition to the joystick with throttle and rudders so it
was just a little unplayable when both the mouse and the keyboard input would
be ignored for a couple of minutes at a time at close intervals.

I have tried getting in touch with the developers via the game’s web site
by the e-mail address bounces back. The main web site for the company is
stuck in development hell and an e-mail to their postmaster asking that my
bug report for forwarded has come to nothing.

So, seeing as you can’t uninstall DirectX or downgrade it I had two choices.
Either I re-installed Windows 98 from scratch followed by all the drivers
and all the applications and fly my flight sim until I had to upgrade to
DirectX 9 again and be back at square one again, or I pay the Microsoft tax
and get XP Home upgrade. The latter is what I decided to do last night.

I really didn’t want to be forced into going to XP. It’s a resource hog.
It’s a security nightmare. It doesn’t run MSDOS games properly. Still, it’s
something I’d have to do someday, at least upgrade to it or one of its decendants,
so I did it.

Well, the upshot is that I now have a working flight sim. It took a bit of
doing to get it to work as I had to set both it and the config program into
Win98 compatability mode and it still displays an annoying dialog box when
it starts up, but it works.

The only thing which doesn’t work on the machine now is the TV card I picked
up last year as part of a defunct machine from a scrap yard for a fiver.
The company went out of business in ’98 so they aren’t making drivers for
it these days. Oh well.