Week of Ofsted, 12 hours of Drinking, 24 hours recovering

A four day week back at school with Ofsted inspectors everywhere. In DT one of them talked to me about my coursework and seemed very impressed, in Computing we think the inspector missed the significance of Mr M’s “Advanced Response System for Education” (yellow pieces of card with insulting remarks we hold up in lessons when we don’t understand something). I sat in on the second half of an inspector asking Sixth Form students about the maths department. Everyone they spoke to sucked up to the inspectors in a way I couldn’t believe and with the direct questions asked and the time constraints I didn’t feel there was ample opportunity for me to explain what I really thought!

The tracksuit hasn’t had as much use as I was hoping, just don’t know when I’m supposed to go jogging. I had considered getting up early in the morning to do it, but that’s more awkward than I had thought – and I’m not sure if it’d be particularly good for me. I went to our fortnightly games lesson though, played badminton and Mr C attempted to refine my grip on the racket… “attempted” being the operative word.

Friday morning was the British Informatics Olympiad which I always find interesting, even when I can’t do it. In three hours I only managed to answer all the parts of one of the three sections – still enough to get me a pass. It’s a shame really because I’m sure I could have got a lot further if it wasn’t for being side tracked by an interesting bug I was experiencing in VB. I probably should have chosen to program in PHP because I’ve been using it a lot recently – but last year I felt it put me at a disadvantage. The bug btw was to do with multiplying 5 by 7200 causing a buffer overflow error when 4 multiplied by 14,400 didn’t… still haven’t figured that one out (had Mr M and Mr C stumped).

Friday Lunchtime I met Mum, Brother, Grandparents and Aunty in Smiths for a meal (well actually I was only there in time for dessert, coffee and a pint of Guinness) then nipped over to the Masons to beat Reubs at a game of pool and a half pint before being whisked off to Dyke by lauperr. After tea we went into town to the Angel, then Smiths then onto Leicesters (or however you spell it). Met up with Rachel, Keri, Lou!, Siobhan, Tasha, Jenny, Wez, JJ (and probably others) in Smiths.

Got back to mine at 3am (with three drunk couples trailing behind us!) after a bit of a problem retrieving Laura’s bag from the cloakroom. Upon being handed two coats I said “There was a bag too”. “No there wasn’t” said a bald tough looking bloke at the door “Erm, yes there was” I said with raised eyebrows. “Well if you think there was bag, you’re going to have to wait at the end of the queue”. So we did. “About this bag…” I said when the queue finally filtered through. “You mean this one?” said the bald bloke taking it from under the desk. Argh!

Anyway, as I was saying we wandered home in the snow with three drunken couples trailing behind us, Siobhan and her boyfriend, Tasha and some Welsh bloke and Mr M’s daughter and some guy. I was locked out because Reubs had taken my keys earlier so I rang him to let me in (at 3am) and apparently I now owe him lots of beer(?) Laura stopped the night and I spent most of today feeling ill, probably an illness commonly known as a hangover. Spent some damned good time with lauperr.

I made another meal today under lauperr‘s supervision. If she tries to tell you that I dropped a tray of 10 sausages and boiling hot fat on the floor which she lovingly wiped up while I rinsed the sausages under the tap hoping nobody would notice, I deny all knowledge.

hippygeek health freak? not quite.

Today I bought a tracksuit. This tracksuit cost me a tenner from a discount shop and this fact is quite obvious to look at it. “Why?” you ask. Well who knows? Hormones? I got it home and had to try it out by jogging round the block, much to my parents bemusement driving in the other direction. The basic idea is for me to get some exercise and get out of the house more, I feel a need to be more healthy – now is the time to start good habits, before it’s too late.

I’ve written another letter with an attached C.V. seeing as I still haven’t heard back from the last one I sent. I’m starting to get an idea of how successful these things are. What astonishes me the most is that companies don’t even bother writing to you to say they don’t want you. The number of jobs mum has applied to and not even had a reply back from is phenominal. Nobody has any common courtesy.

I had a quick play with xscreensaver on tralk a moment ago. Managed to get it grabbing the latest livejournal entries from an RSS feed and putting them up on the screen like mchicago showed me in Naarch. Pretty cool if you ask me, there’s something rather humbling about watching the thoughts of people from all over the world pretty much as they write them. Maybe I’m just odd… Unfortunately it looks crap on tralk’s screen and I’ll wait until I have Linux running on Frell again before I set it up properly.

So basically my day wasn’t particularly productive, but not awful.

Tomorrow is another day. I’m trying to think of ways to push back the tide of gradually building stress.

the hippygeek stays in Naarch

The fact that it’s been quite a while since the last update suggests my life got interesting for a bit again. i.e. I had other things to do other than sitting at my computer writing this 😛

Going back as far as I can remember… Friday, broke up for half term. Took lauperr to the theatre to watch a play. (OK so it was a regional college but Kes was in it and we wanted to give her some support). I was really impressed with the play (Metamorphisis) which was pretty abstract and very off the wall. kind of made me miss my theatre days

It was physical drama which means (as far as I can tell) that it’s all about movement, shapes you make with your body and things. The main character was very good at this (both people who played him!) and the dancing bits were good although not spectacularly choreographed. Unfortunately we missed the first bit of the play because a) we were told by kes that is started at 7:30 and it started at 7:15 and b) we couldn’t find the hall at the college! Kes’ parents gave us a lift back into Bourne where we drank in Smiths until closing time with a load of people from school. It’s soooooooo expensive in there!

Saturday afternoon (Valentines Day) was spent at lauperr‘s and she COOKED ME A MEAL! Lurvely it was too, although I managed to get it all over the table cloth (spaghetti bolegnese (can never spell that.)) OK, I’ll stop my overuse of brackets (now).

Stopped over for the night and spent all of Sunday there too which was much fun and relaxing but at the same time tiring. Got home pretty late and went to bed.

I can only think that nothing happened on Monday or Tuesday because I can’t remember anything, but if it did can someone tell me so I at least know that we didn’t slip into a time warp or anything?

Wednesday I got into djkoa‘s pop’s car (thank you) and went off to Naarch, stopping off at a greasy spoon converted bus on the way for a bacon butty and a coffee. Yummmm.

Got to UEA and asked if I could join in on the visit day despite being invited to one the previous week and not turning up. They were very accomodating but once I’d started on the talks I couldn’t escape and didn’t get to meet mchicago or bouncykaz until around 4pm when they’d finished (apart from a quick visit during my free lunch!) (I said I’d stop using brackets didn’t I?) The talks were quite good though, I’m much happier about putting UEA as my insurance choice now.

Sat in bouncykaz‘s room for a while and chatted before getting the bus into Norwich to buy fish for tea. I bought tartare sauce to go with it, can’t have fish without mayo and bogie formula. Got back to mchicago‘s froody new flat and he cooked for us, after bouncykaz and I nipped round the corner to get extra ingredients.

After the meal we went off to a public house until closing time with some interesting conversation and picked up a pizza on the way back to the flat. Chatted to bouncykaz for a long time while mchicago got some work done, then he joined in the talking until quite late before bed. Got up, had a fry up in a roll on the market, yummmm. Stopped off in a shop to see if they sold Kumquat Tea which they didn’t, disappointingly. I bought a ticket and was seen on to the train safely and off I went home.

The train journey was nice and by this time I was feeling happy and relaxed in an almost surreal way, I’d really enjoyed the past couple of days and was feeling more chilled out than I think I’ve been for months, even over Christmas. Catching up with bouncykaz was good, been missing her sooooooo much.

Got home and things started getting stressful again when I came back down to earth from floating on my puffy white cloud and realised just how much I have to do. The next few months may be hell.

Went to The Angel with lauperr and asherfrancis until closing time last night then went to bed. Got up this morning feeling extremely apathetic, just had no interest in anything at all. Luckily I was rescued by lauperr who came bearing home baked cookies and Guinness! Woohoo!

Just about brings up to the present time, although I feel I’ve milked it somewhat, very long post now which is a little boring.

Let’s see if I can do something productive over the weekend.

The world is going mad…

Crazy times. dev server is back up now – not that it was ever down, technically… who knows, I’m waiting for mchicago‘s account of events.

tralk reset today, after 188 days uptime. I can’t figure out whether it was random or whether I accidentally brushed past the reset button (I was sitting next to it at the time). For a while I thought it was broken, which would have been the last straw after a string of computer failures, but after a manual e2fsck everything was good.

frell is still running stupidly slow.

I’ve just taken two days off school due to icky illness and lauperr came to visit to try and make me feel better. I appreciated the visit a lot but I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind to entertain guests and now I’m in trouble for not giving her my full attention. Well I’m sorry, I’m very pleased you came, apart from you giving me a rash 😉 mwahaha.

I ate lauperr‘s chicken soup earlier to make me feel better, but as far as I can tell it’s just made me feel worse, now I have tummy aches. I’m sure it’s nothing to do with the fact that it was slightly out of date and I didn’t cook it properly… at all. Hey if I die of food poisoning I don’t have to do any more coursework 😀

So why is the world going mad? My guess is something in the water.

Bush ‘n Blair, the grusome twosome, go waging war against people for having “weapons of mass destruction”… but they don’t. Guess who *does* have “weapons of mass destruction” poised and ready to wipe out the earth at a moment’s notice. Yes, you guessed it, Bush ‘n Blair! And who’s trading nuclear weapons under their noses? One of their biggest allies, now there’s a suprise.

So anyway, they go busting into the country somehow thinking they’re doing a great good by killing a load of people and trying to run it like an American state… and then they wonder why there’s as much chaos now as there was before they started killing people.

Why else is the world going mad? Erm… the Church. The sum total of wealth posessed by christian churches could solve the problem of world hunger probably twice over. Come to think of it, NASA’s budget could probably feed several planets’ populations… if they could only design a space buggy that didn’t fall to bits or vapourise the moment it sees another planet.

Talking of NASA, Bush watched one too many Sci-Fi films on Air Force One between “speeches” and has decided he wants to inhabit the Moon, then from the Moon launch a space craft to take men to Mars. He really has gone completely bonkers. Can’t we finish ruining this planet first before we start on the next one? Everyone knows he just wants a Lunar army base anyway, oh and to put an American flag and some footprints somewhere so nobody can claim they never went to the moon in the first place.

I think SCO is finally screwed btw, the fight over “that’s my toy, give it back” has suddenly been semi-resolved by another child coming along and saying, “actually, it’s mine, and I say everyone can share it”. Or at least that’s my interpretation of it. Oh yes and Micro$oft are leeching all of Lindows’ money by dragging out the court case where they’re trying to claim they own one of the words in the dictionary, “windows”. It won’t be long before we have to refer to the things we look out of as “see through doors” because we’re scared of infringing someone’s Copyright.

Some anonymous coward continues to make posts on people’s LJ’s which is getting a bit boring. Still, get this many people together on one network and there’s bound to be a few who were dropped on their heads at birth.

What else is mad? Ofsted inspections. There’s one at our school the week after half term and I think they’re pointless and silly. OK, so I’m glad someone is coming in to tell the school what they’re doing wrong, but the fact that the school knows they’re coming just means that every lesson plan has been changed for a week, giving Ofsted a completely unrepresentative view of the school.

Bill Gates was Knighted, that’s pretty damned crazy. I suppose it just shows us that the powers that be really don’t have a clue what’s going on, which is what we suspected all along.

I’m bored of rambling now, I’m going to find a corner to sulk in somewhere. I think it’s about time I wrote a song…

Another pet…

Mum, randomly, bought me a rat. This is now the fifth rat living (with invitation) in our house (excluding brothers) which means one more and the rat population of our house will have overtaken the human population (including brothers).

Apparently it’s a joint rat, i.e. it belongs to me AND her, which means she will be taken off my hands when I go to uni and mum’s offered to clean it out once a week… I have no idea why. Well, ok, so now I have a problem. I said I’d never keep a caged animal again.

Mum claims rats are different, and I have to admit they’re a lot more sociable than gerbils which means I can have her out all the time while I’m working rather than her sitting in a cage all of her life. But I’m still not sure about having another pet. Pet’s are great for company but there are problems with them. They can smell, they need feeding and watering all the time, they can get ill which means vets bills and they die, which is very sad.

I’ve agreed to give her trial and see what it’s like to own a rat, and she’s been named Galaxy (this means I can say “here gal, here gal” for short). This is crazy, why do I want another pet?

Went out for a meal with my grandparents today which turned into a 3 HOUR shopping spree too which I really didn’t have time for, especially waiting half an hour for a refund on a potted plant or something in homebase because the special offer didn’t show up on the till properly!

When I got home it was already getting very late but I finished a letter to a company and did a lot of my CV from scratch. Not much DT work done though 🙁

Now my eyes are hurting and its time for bed.

lauperr is coming round tomorrow.

Computer working at last

I managed to retrieve a large number of the lost pictures from my hard disk AND get Linux and Windows both running happily. Everything was fine and dandy.

Five hours later I have a complete hard disk failure. There go 7000 mp3s, my CV, schoolwork, all the important stuff. MUST_STAY_POSITIVE. I don’t want to talk about what happened to my backup, that’s just not funny.

I gave up on the 80Gb hard disk, put it to one side to tinker with later and stuck in a 20Gb disk and installed windows in the hope that I could actually get some work done. But no, it was running stupidly, unusably slowly. Was it the memory? Was it the IDE cable or another hard disk? A motherboard problem? CPU overheating? I stripped the computer down and rebuilt from scratch, piece by piece to find the problem by elimination. It still ran slow.

When I eventually found the problem a couple of days later it turned out to be not hardware related at all. Windows was trying to index my hard disk to make the most frequently used applications quicker to access and in the process making the computer run stupidly slow… thereby defeating the object of what it was doing.

Well anyway, a little stressed about all the things I have to do before the end of the academic year. Got my preliminary exam dates today which show that my Pure 3 exam is before my Pure 1 and Pure 2 exams… right. Also, I have 6 hours of exams in one day which will be lots of fun!

I’m finally starting writing to companies begging for jobs for next year, wish me luck.

I love magnatune.com

The voice in my head is telling me it’s time for bed. (Please note that the voice in my head does not have a name. This is a mistake that a couple of my friends have made and only leads to trouble.)