April 25, 2006

I go through little phases of interest, actually sometimes they are quite long. Sometimes they get me into something that’s crap, and hard to get out of, like that time I decided it would be a good idea to do a PhD… Mostly I just lose interest eventually, no harm done. Well I never lose interest, but I do lose impetus. For example, I am currently in the process of learning Dutch, French and Perl…”in the process” meaning “thinking about, not doing much of”. I remember a time when I read cookbooks, specifically Marie Claire cookbooks, every single night. These days, I have next to no kitchen, so my cooking repertoire is shrinking by the day. Compounding the lack of kitchen is a lack of appliances, due to a lack of anywhere to store them. However, my interest in cooking is back up there, due primarily to this site. I love the little summaries at the end, telling you how it tasted. Most cookbooks do not bother with that. Unfortunately, I now utterly require a food processor, a blender and a stand-up mixer. But, no bench space. We need to move.


I love the internet

March 22, 2006

Yes I Do. I love the internet. I wish I was one of those creative people out there, changing the way the web works every day. My usual response when people tell me things along the lines of that last sentence is "well just bloody go and get started then". I guess I am in a way, because I'm pursuing (albeit passively) a greater level of knowledge about what's out there.

I would like to adapt some of the emerging concepts of social software (blogging, Flickr, myspace, similar kinds of things) to science somehow. The problem with science is that it would move much faster with better communication. The problem with telling everyone all about your results though is that you risk losing an opportunity to be the first one to do some nice piece of work or discover something or work something out first. The current system rewards, even requires secrecy, because you'll lose the funding to your competitor if you aren't careful. Happily, podcasting is working, for example I love the Nature podcast and the ABC Radio National Science Show podcast, now it'll be interesting to see which other technologies follow.

Ooh and I am a bit late with this one, but Google is now doing for stock charts what it has previously done for maps. Nice.

Much as I love the internet, unfortunately I think that it may be killing my eyes – I have developed a bit of episcleritis (mine looks worse than in that link). The cause (if not idiopathic) could be the cold dry harsh English air that my eyeballs are unused to, or it could be my hours and hours per day of staring at a computer screen, apparently unblinkingly. Or maybe it's some hideous underlying systemic inflammatory disease, hmmm, which would fit with my inflamed and unhappy skin. Hypochondriac! Time and test results will tell. Anyway I have drops and ointments galore and am making an effort to blink more, so I'm hoping it clears up over the next few weeks. If only so people will shut up about it.

Anyway during this evening's screen-staring-fest (mostly via links in the sidebar), I was wandering around various blogs and came across an account of polyphasic sleep, which I had never heard of before. I like it but I think you need to be wholly self-employed to get into that shit. It was linked from an article about how to become an early riser, which I need. Part of the strategy is to go to bed when you're sleepy. I am never sleepy before 2am, there are just so many things out there (on the internet and on tv) that are more interesting than sleep. However, I think a bit of self-discipline (another thing I suck at) probably helps with the adoption of new habits so I'm off to have a shower now.


March 5, 2006

One thing I really hate to see as I walk around the city, is all of those girls wearing the same thing. I'm sure they all think they are very fashionable, because they are keeping up with everyone else, but really they just all look the same. The uniform at the moment seems to be a big puffy bomber jacket, with elastic at the waist and a strip of fake fur trim around the hood. Pants are some kind of tracksuit style, again with elastic, this time at the ankle. Shoes, when something other than black or white runners, are these funny little flat black mules, very flat, no heel at all, and made of plastic not leather. Bear in mind it is literally freezing out there and these chicks are getting around in mules – feet half bare. Then there's the hair. Straight as can be, dodgy highlights, scraped back hard into a ponytail. Sometimes it's a mullet, although the mullet-wearers tend to be a bit more Topshop-fashiony. But as for the track-pants-wearers, hmm, I think I've just described what is known over here as a chav…

That's not to say that it's their specific choice of clothing that gets to me. When I was in Melbourne I noticed a similar thing, except in that case the girls all looked fabulous, darling, as well they should in the fashion capital of Australia. They may have looked fabulous, but they were still identical to one another: wide-leg black pants, pointy flats, camisoles and cardigans/jackets. Hair: fringe swept up, back-combed a bit and pinned back from the face. Looking great, but samey.

Now I am by no means exempt from criticism. However, rather than looking like everyone else, I think my problem is looking like myself too much – wearing the Same Thing, and wearing it All The Time. I am hoping to organise a clothes-swap party with the girls from work, during the next few weeks. I think this is largely self-serving. I tell myself that they would all enjoy it too, but I still think my wardrobe might be the winner in such a situation. I really hope it catches on though. The danger is that we'll all end up as a big fashion homogenate, but I think we all have enough individual style to avoid that. Can't wait to see how it works out actually.


November 25, 2005

So there has been some change with the liquor licensing laws such that the pubs no longer have to shut at 11 o'clock or whatever it was before. The conservatives were trying to block it right up to the last minute, saying that the country is going to go to rack and ruin with all the young people out boozing it up till dawn. I think the English are just being big babies. People might well go nuts for the first few months or so, but then it'll probably settle down. A naive and optimistic view I know, well guess what I'm naive and optimistic.

Well what a crappy day it is today. I thought it was supposed to be summer? What is with this stupid rain? The cuffs of my pants are all wet from walking around Leicester. And I mean all around Leicester. I went to the bank to try and negotiate a better personal loan rate than the internet gave me, but to no avail. Then (after a quick dash around Faith) I walked up to the Ford dealer up Belgrave Road to see what kind of finance deals they could do. They're supposed to be calling me.

The problem is that our credit history is all in Australia, so to the money people here, we're nobodies. Never mind the mortgage at home, we have no credit rating. Haven't finance companies heard of the internet? Duh.

I hate how there are different rules for everything. We haven't been here long enough to get credit, but we've been here long enough to have to pay tax and National Insurance, oh yes. I know that's a bit of a simplistic view, but hey it still sucks.

Oh well I'm sure we will work something out at some stage and Brad will be driving off to his new job. Worst case, I guess we'll have to hire him a car for a week to get to work.

Ok one more phone call, to the Renault lot, then I'm going to Sainsbury's.