Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I survived The Rapture, but is that really a good thing?

It's not quite the end of the weekend or Monday as I planned, but I've made it back here for another entry.

To be honest, this entry was very close to not happening tonight. As my title suggests, the internet seems to be falling apart with a variety of websites and pages not functioning properly. Obviously, websites go down and have difficulties all of the time, but it just seems to be happening a lot more frequently and to a lot more pages. Blogger (the site through which the blog page is hosted before being posted under the label) is being stupid. I think the system went through a bit of an upgrade the other day and there's a couple of bugs in this new system. Essentially, when I came onto the page, instead of directing me to my Dashboard, it was at a new log in page. So naturally, I enter my password and try to log in.

Nothing. A bit strange, but it didn't say the password was incorrect. So I try other passwords that I use, and they all show up as being incorrect. Reset the password, see if that works...again, nothing. So for the time being, it looked as though I was stuck at a new log-in page and was unable to log in.

I'm sure you've noticed that I managed to access the page since I'm writing right now. I found a lovely way in through the draft pages and got on to the site. Marvellous. So I can blog.

Then Twitter's started acting up as well. My complete timeline disappeared, leaving me with nothing. I can still tweet, and I can receive replies, but my timeline is empty. A look on Twitter's pages suggests that's another bug in the system that they're trying to fix.

So there's my...rather large ramble about the failings of the internet done. Onto brighter and better things! For example, I'm off home tomorrow which will be rather nice. I'm taking a couple of days there so won't be back in Leeds until Tuesday, but that's fine. Like I say, it gives me 5 days or so at home to chill out and maybe catch up with some friends since I think a fair few people are starting to make their way back from uni or are around anyway. There's also the Monaco GP which I'll be able to watch from home, and I might catch the Indy 500 on Sunday evening as well. Combined with two 1PW shows over the weekend (we'll see how they pan out as and when they arrive), it should be pretty cool.

I owe the postal service a gigantic apology too. I left my walking boots at home, and my mum kindly offered to post them up to me within a few days of coming back to Leeds. So I waited for them to show, and waited...and waited. It's been just over three weeks (I think) since the boots were posted, but it's only yesterday that I finally picked them up. We thought that someone had "borrowed" the boots or that they'd just got lost in the shuffle somewhere, and that's fine. These things happen. Turns out that they'd been sat in the site office, and I only found out because I got a "second ticket" about it yesterday. I'd love to know where that first ticket is...because I didn't see it.

So I apologise for doubting the postal service. I know you'll only go and screw up again at a later date and prove why I should doubt you to begin with, but for now you're in the good books.

One thing that has bugged me slightly is the end of the world talk that was going about last weekend. As we all know, some nutjob in the USA was claiming that on May 21st, God or Jesus (possibly ease the workload I guess) would come to Earth and save those who deserved to be saved, leaving the rest of us to face the end of humanity and complete Armageddon.

Read that last bit again...those who were still left on Earth would be facing the end of humanity and the complete destruction of all life as we know it. So even if The Rapture had occurred and people had been swept off their feet and saved, being left on Earth isn't a good thing. Well, it'd be a great party once we all realised we were doomed...but that's beside the point. So all of the Facebook groups and stuff about "surviving the end of the world" doesn't really ring true. Obviously, it seems that no one was saved and taken elsewhere on May 21st and the beginning of the end of humanity didn't commence, so I suspect we can all safely say that the guy was wrong. Or he got his dates mixed up and forgot to carry a 0 somewhere or something.

It's not been an incredibly positive blog entry, so I'll end on something nice. I'm working on trying to start up a new project. If it does take off (which I hope it does), at the very least it'll be something cool to keep me occupied for while and it'll go well with the blog. Hopefully, people would notice it as well. It's in the very beginning stages of its infancy and there's a way to go before we start, but I'm keeping optimistic about it.

Enjoy the rest of your week people and remember, all achievements require great time.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Summer is here, and it started to rain

Well, the writing of this blog can only mean one thing: I finished my exams and handed in the last of my essays. So I guess technically, I'm "free" and my summer starts. It's a crazily long summer though...I think I've got the best part of 4 months off until second year starts. I don't think I've ever had that long off. What on earth am I meant to do with myself for four months? Last year, after my A Levels, I had about a month less and that started to feel like an eternity.

Still, at least this time, I'll be doing some German work throughout the summer on the basis that I'll be returning to uni at the end of September rather than sitting around and waiting for results to come in and decide my future. Well, I guess it's the same to an extent. I still need to pass my modules to go on to next year. But I won't be waiting until mid-August for that...which is useful.

My actual exams weren't too bad. Two of the three German exams I had were recycled exam papers from a couple of years ago, and I think that the AGC questions were from last year (or at least, my one was). I guess that's pretty clever though, I wouldn't have assumed they'd give us last year's questions to do. Well played university. Well played.

It's a bit of a strange situation that I find myself in now though. While I've finished with my exams, pretty much everyone else I know has still got exams for another week or so. Which severely limits what I can do in terms of seeing people. At the moment, I think I'll hope for some nice weather and take the bike out along the canal and see how far I get. Worst (or best...I'm not sure) case scenario, there are milestones for Liverpool, and it's about 125 miles on the canal. There's no way I'll be doing that journey, but I could maybe say I've cycled that distance or something. I've also got a conga in my room which I've borrowed from Phen, so I'll be getting a bit of time on that and building up technique. I've only really played a couple of times so I'm not that strong at the moment, but hopefully we'll get there.

Catching up on sleep is one of my main aims for the next couple of days. My sleeping pattern has taken an absolute hammering in the last few weeks. I doubt it's due to exam stress or anything, as I try to not get stressed by exams, but I've definitely found myself getting much less sleep, whether it's been through taking ages to fall asleep or waking up numerous times during the night. I had a bit of a nap before and woke up with a headache, so that doesn't bode well. I'll probably grab a bit more sleep in a bit after dinner.

This weekend should be pretty cool. Tomorrow (Saturday 20th) I'm at Saltaire for the Day of Dance festival. The day starts at 9am or something, and workshops in various dance styles from across the world are running until 6.30pm. I'll be there with Honeydrum for the final session at 5pm doing a bit of drumming, and then we'll be in one of the rooms for the evening events playing some more grooves. It should be quite good though. I've not gigged since the end of March and we've only had one rehearsal on Wednesday, but it should be a fun little gig. I'm looking forward to it.

Looking ahead, I'm off home in just under a week. I'll be going Thursday-Tuesday (since Bank Holiday Monday tried to bump up the price of my return...sneaky!) and it'll be good to get home, play a bit of Xbox, see the family and relax. After that, there's the first T20 game of the season at Headingley on the 3rd which I've got my ticket for, as well as the Roses clash on the 17th. And maybe, in among that, I'll find some time to go back over to Sheffield and have that cup of tea I've been promised with Sophie and her flat.

Right, my head is starting to ache and I'm hungry, so I think the smart thing to do is end this entry here and go and find some dinner. Enjoy your weekend and I'll probably get another entry done at the end of the weekend or at some point on Monday.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stammtisch, Stats and Studying

This might be a change to the new format of slightly shorter blog entries, but you'll just have to bear with me on this one.

Stammtisch was last Wednesday, and I wasn't planning to go to it originally. However, since the Honeydrum rehearsals are on hold at the moment while Phen and Alic Ja get used to having a baby, I had a free evening. Originally, I was going to spend that evening sleeping, but after a bit of persuasion, I went off to the 'Tisch...and it was a really good night. It been one of very few opportunities for me to get to socialise with the year since I'm always busy on Wednesdays (when they usually run Stammtisch), and I do believe I socialised. I had some cracking conversation with a number of people, and I got to show my "impressive" dance moves off in HiFi later on in the evening.

I think they're good dance moves, I'm sticking to that story. I mean, who doesn't love a bit of Cat in the Box (which was taught to me by Crawley, so thank you). If you can, there's photos of the evening on Facebook and if you can't see them, but you really want to, I created a Photobucket account so my sister could have a laugh at them. You can probably find the link if you have a little search.


After my former flatmate Vicky decided she wanted to start a blog, I pointed her in the direction of this site (you're welcome Blogger) and we had a bit of a chat about it. I'd completely failed to realise that I could actually see the hits on my page, and even the countries in which people are reading this.

I've had almost 700 views on the blog since I started it last September. I don't think that's too shabby, and I'm quite happy with that. So to everyone who reads my blog past, present or future, thank you. As you'd expect, the vast majority of my hits are from within the UK, but there are some slightly stranger locations. I've had over 100 views from the USA (though I'm not sure who these are from...please, make yourself known to me!) and hits in Germany (which I'm quite amused, though I doubt they're linked to my course in any way), the Netherlands, Hungary and even as far as Vietnam and South Korea. I have no idea who stumbled onto my blog in that country, but someone did.

This nugget of information brought a smile to my face, it's good to know that my writing is appreciated (or at least read) by people.


And so, the exams are almost upon us. This time next week, we'l be into exams and I'll have already crossed my first exam off the list. That's IMG, and I can't wait for that to be over. I really don't like that module...and I think that reflects my module choices for next year, where I've tried to avoid history based modules and fill my mind with as much culture as possible.

Revision is proving to be rather uninteresting though. Saying that, I'm off to the library tomorrow to borrow the film and then I'll probably either try and keep hold of it until the exam, or I'll just take it out straight away again. I'm only really worried for IMG since that's the exam that I reckon will be the most problematic for me, especially since it's in German and it'll require a bloody good knowledge of the events. I think I've got that after we did a fair bit on the GDR through A-Level...but I don't know how strong it is in German. We shall see...

After the exams are over though, things are looking pretty good. The end of the month will be strong with a couple of shows back home, the summer gig season will be commencing hopefully with plenty to keep me occupied and I've got some other things lined up to keep myself busy and prevent madness from kicking in.

As a closing note, it's great to read that Africa Oyé has been kept as a free festival after the organisers were given more funding to prevent them from having to charge entry into the event. Fabulous news, as it's one of my favourite events in the year. Whether I'm playing or not, I'll look forward to going down there and checking it out once again.

Assuming this has come from the council, it'd be great if they can find other funding to prevent other events from not going ahead. The Lord Mayor's Parade is apparently cancelled this year, and I've heard things about other events and festivals possibly not happening due to budget restrictions as well. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cricket, coffee, sunshine and sleep.

I'm back in Leeds, and things are pretty good so far. For some reason, I'm feeling ridiculously tired since I came back. I'm not completely sure what's causing it, but it's very strange...

I went to the cricket yesterday at Headingley, which was my first time at the ground. I have to admit, I'm very impressed with that place, it's a nice ground and it was great to see so many fans for a Yorkshire CB40 game. I imagine a combination of Bank Holiday Monday and glorious sunshine were definite contributors, and it's probably even more impressive since the game was broadcast on Sky Sports! Yorkshire lost the game though...and they lost rather convincingly. I may have confused a couple of Yorkshire men when I got annoyed at Lancashire losing their game as well, which took some explaining. They'll be even more confused when I appear at Yorks vs Lancs and cheer for the away team.

I would wonder whether sitting in the sun for about 6 hours is responsible for my feeling of tiredness, but I don't think so. I drank loads and I've bought some factor 50 suncream. That sun isn't getting me any time soon.

I thought I slept relatively well last night. I fell into bed at about 10:30 and was completely out of it, but I woke up a couple of times. Still, I was up bright and early for the 9am start at uni. I think "bright and early" sapped all of the energy from me. In the 4 hour gap from the end of Core seminar to PSP, I headed back to my flat to do some work. I worked, but I was also incredibly tired (as those who read my Twitter will know) and I had 5 or 6 cups of coffee in about a 90 minute span. Not too smart really, but it didn't make a blind bit of difference. I think I screwed my body up in that respect a few years ago.

But I slept from about 7-9pm, which really isn't that clever. But it's what I seem to do on a'd almost be a break from tradition if I didn't. On the plus, I might watch UFC in a little bit. Or I'll go back to sleep. I suspect sleep will probably win...

Quick congratulations to AlicJa and Phen~* for the birth of their baby girl in the early hours of this morning. Pretty awesome.

Definitely thinking about heading back to bed now. Hit me with some comments if you've read this pease!