Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

MSc results

Friday, November 9th, 2018 | Life

After two months of waiting, our psychology MSc dissertation results have finally been published. I’m pleased to announce that they’re great! My final submission achieved 82%. Although I don’t have my official overall MSc result yet, this grade is good enough to secure a distinction.

Well done to all of my friends and peers on the course, many of whom did exceptionally well. It was such a fun year studying with you all and I can’t wait to see the exciting directions you all take your knowledge in.

Fire in the building

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 | Life

What a start to the week we had. Our apartment block caught fire. Nothing too serious. But what exactly is the line between small non-serious fire and large mega-dangerous fire?

The fire alarm went off at 3am. However, it wasn’t really clear what was going on because it would do a few rings and then turn off. Then occasionally turn on again. We assumed it was faulty and a grumpy Venla insisted we “turn it off!”.

But as this kept going on we decided it was safest to evacuate just in case. As we did, one of our neighbours came knocking on all the doors to let everyone know that there was a bit of smoke in the building and so it probably wasn’t a fault.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue responded in force. They had five fire engines there within five or ten minutes of us getting outside, including a big platform cherry-picker.

It turned out that someone had left a pan on the stove, which had been left on, and eventually headed up until it ignited the plastic parts. The fire was quickly dispatched and didn’t cause much damage to the apartment’s kitchen, let alone the rest of the flat or the building. But you never know how close it was to a bigger disaster.

ROKA shipping posts

Sunday, October 28th, 2018 | Life

These are the ROKA SL-1 sunglasses. They look pretty nice:

Here it is listed on their website for approximately £95 (at time of writing the dollar is trading at 0.76 to the pound).

But what happens if you try and buy the sunglasses in the UK? Suddenly they are £165.

That appears to be £18 in mysterious currency difference, £25 delivery and £28 in taxes. Although to be fair, I can reduce the delivery cost by £2 if I select “import charges collected upon delivery” with no indication as to how much these might be.

Is this what everything we buy is going to be like after Brexit?

National Railway Museum

Saturday, October 27th, 2018 | Life

Here’s a possibly controversial opinion. The Nation Railway Museum: not that good? I mean, it’s pretty good, and it’s free, but it’s not as amazing as I imagined it would be.

In fairness, the nature of my visit didn’t help the matter. I went there to meet Elina and Venla after the Yorkshire Marathon and so headed straight to the Great Hall where they were located. In some ways, this is the centrepiece of the museum. But in other ways, it is the most boring.

They have a bunch of trains. But you can’t go in them. I mean, they’re trains. They’re designed to have people in them. It’s not like they’re the Mona Lisa: they were built for people to go inside.

Or, at very least, allow us to look in them. Bus most didn’t even had steps up so you could take a peak, and even when they did, they only slowed you the ends of the trains, rather than a proper walkway. Without them, it’s just not that good because trains are really tall.

I thought the station hall was a lot better. This is set up like a train station so you can see into each of the carriages and you can go into several of them, too. The postal train was really interesting.

More importantly, Venla had a good day. If you gave her a giant hall where she could run around in, she would have a briliant time with that alone. Being able to scream “choo choo train” every minute for several hours was just an added bonus.

Brownlee Centre takeover

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 | Life

I’ve never been up to the Brownlee Centre cycle track, even though it’s technically included in my gym membership, so I was pleased when Hyde Park Harriers triathlon club (the club I belong to) announced a track day.

We did some bike skills, group riding skills and a little time trial. All of it useful.

Perhaps even better, we finally got to to the Cat’s Pyjamas for the social after. Venla was not particularly impressed by the food, much to my benefit, as her chicken curry was delicious.

Dissertation

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 | Life

It’s in. After a year of hard work on the MSc programme, including nine months working on the research project, my dissertation has been submitted. Now begins a two month wait for the results.

Panini at Roundhay Park Cafe

Friday, August 31st, 2018 | Life

Here is the latest update in my series on people pluralising the already-pluralised word panini. This one from Roundhay Park cafe. No wonder Facebook stopped syndicating my blog posts.

My Facebook feed is now a lot more boring

Friday, August 17th, 2018 | Life

On 1 August, Facebook took away everyone’s permissions to post to people’s timelines. Before this, you could authorise an app to be able to automatically post to your timeline at a scheduled point. This is how my blog posts appear here. But, thanks to Cambridge Analytica screwing everything up, they’ve now blanket banned it.

This means that I can no longer syndicate my personal blog to Facebook. Sad face :(.

I can still manually share them from time to time. But as I write my blog posts in advance, I’m not usually around when they go live. And it’s not something I want to do because I already spend too much time on Facebook. So, most of them will not make it.

As a result, I’ve also decided to remove the Facebook Comments feature from my blog because there will be much less of a connection with Facebook.

What to do if you want to keep reading

You can always visit my blog, of course. But I can’t imagine that reading my adventures is that important to you that you will want to mark it in your calendar.

My posts are still syndicated to Twitter, so you can follow me @chrisworfolk.

I also send out a weekly newsletter via MailChimp with any posts I have published that week. You can find the sign-up for that at the bottom of the page. If you’re reading this on the homepage, you will need to click on the post title to get to the page with the form on.

I was getting ripped off for electricity, and maybe you are too

Sunday, August 5th, 2018 | Life

Last month, Ofgem decided that EDF Energy were ripping me off so much that they forced EDF Energy to send me a letter telling me how much they were ripping me off and that I should switch to a new provider immediately.

When I first got the letter, I was annoyed.

First, this was now something I had to deal with it. Until now, I had been telling myself that when I moved in, I did an energy price comparison and found that EDF was the cheapest supplier. And they had been at every other property I had ever sorted electricity out for, too. So, it seemed logical they would still be the cheapest.

Second, I then felt like an idiot for not doing anything about it for so long. Especially given it literally took me less than five minutes to switch providers, from first putting in my details to getting to the “congratulations” screen.

So, the whole business has made me feel crap.

But, on the plus side, we’re not switching to Bulb Energy, which is going to save us several hundred pounds per year. And they use 100% renewable energy, which means I can feel morally superior, too.

The moral of the story is that even if your provider has been the cheapest in the past, it might not be now. No doubt it is engineered to be this way. According to Which, smaller providers typically have higher levels of customer satisfaction, too, so it’s worth putting your details into a price comparison site once a year. Or now. Now is a great time.

Snapped sunglasses

Saturday, August 4th, 2018 | Life

Last month, in an effort not to have to spend hundreds of pounds on some cycling sunglasses, I ordered a £10 Bolle-style pair from Ali Express. They looked awesome.

Then, when I told my friends, one of them pointed me to this story on Cycling Weekly about someone who was almost blinded by a pair of knock-off Oakley’s that snapped during a crash.

Heartbroken, I went back to my Aldi special buy sunglasses. They were told in the UK and would, therefore, be subject to EU legislation, so no problems there I thought. Literally, the week after, this happened:

It didn’t happen in a crash, thankfully, it happened while I was putting something into my bag. However, I was still rather surprised about how little force was required to snap them in two, as I wasn’t jamming anything in hard.

So, the search continues. Hopefully, Roka will expand into the UK, and offer everyone a 90% discount to celebrate, sometime before September.