Archive for December, 2006

Student housing

Friday, December 29th, 2006 | Life

Something struck me as quite interesting the other day. A few weeks ago the union held a housing talk which said if you went outside of the student areas you could get even cheaper housing of like £40 a week which I presumed would be just as low standard as typical student housing. But there is a much bigger difference.

Take this for an example. The houses my friends live in go for between like £48 and £60 a week and are student houses. That means they suck. Don’t get me wrong, you get some quite nice student houses in comparission to others. But I have yet to see a “nice” student house. IE, a house that as a non-student you would think, yeah this is quite a nice house. In terms of student houses there are different standards but compared to other houses they are very low standard housing. All of them.

Secondly they are in really bad areas. Hyde Park, Woodhouse and Headingley are some of the most burgled areas in the entire country not to mention the string of friends I could reel off that have been mugged. And the area itself is just a horrible area I mean you have Woodhouse Moor but generally they are dingly streets filled with terrace housing and very little greenary.

Ok so let’s say that is like £55 a week plus add on another £20 for all your utility bills (water, gas, electricity, phone, internet, TV, etc) that comes to a total of £75 a week.

Ok now imagine this. 3 bedroom semi-detached house to share. It’s nicely furnished in terms of the standards of a a real house – ie, nice enough that it would meet up to the standards that your parents would live in. Kitchen, dining room, lounge, bit of a garden, nice big drive enough to fit about 6 small cars onto. Nice area too both in terms of aesthetics with plenty of green and indeed a lake literally over the road from you and in terms of crime, or the lack of it.

So you basically have a nice house, in a nice area, without the crime you get in student areas. How much would you pay for that? Presumably a lot more than the crappy student house in the crappy student area right?

How does £25 sound? All bills inclusive. I kid you not. (Disclaimer: this figure comes from a real offer made to me. But a damn good one. I’m not saying they are all quite this good but my point still stands). It’s like, well in this example it is exactly, one third of the price of a student house. And about a million times nicer. The only thing you don’t have is location (in terms of student housing being near town and uni). Other than that it’s a no-brainer. Seriously think about that. Your paying three times as much for a house of no where near as good quality in no where near as nice an area, so you can get around a little easier. We’re getting raped.

The fake sound of progress

Thursday, December 28th, 2006 | Life

I’ve been kept busy with work over the past few days. As I mentioned previously I was working Christmas Eve then I got woken up by a call at 12 on Boxing Day asking if I could come in and do a night shift. Then yesterday I was on the close and today I’ve had another call asking me to come in. They must really like me :p.

But despite keeping busy I still haven’t started my revision, still haven’t done all the development work I was planning, I’m barely on top of my inbox, the other little things you never get chance to do during term time and need the holiday for haven’t been done. There is just no real progress with the whole life thing.

Happy Chrismukka

Monday, December 25th, 2006 | Life

So it’s Chrismukka. Happy birthday Santa!

Anyway, still very tired. Got a few hours extra sleep in this afternoon. Well rest at least, I got watching Star Trek: First Contact. We has Chrismukka dinner at 3 then afterwards I headed over to Amanda’s for a general social event with the people at work. Plus I managed to navigate my way to Allerton Bywater and back, go me!

I didn’t want to sleep anyway part II

Sunday, December 24th, 2006 | Life

So last night didn’t go too well. My alarm went off at 6:40 and I didn’t even feel like I was asleep when it went of. I think I was actually lightly dozing so I got a small amount of light sleep. Still, I was tossing and turning until about 3ish when I gave up and watched a bit of South Park for an hour before trying to get to sleep again. Not being massively successful but I think I managed it eventually. Not massively useful when I had to be up in about two afters after that though.

I have an 8-4:30 shift today which means by the time I get out all the supermarkets and most of the shops will be closed. Awesome. And not open again for another two and a half days as most open late on the day after Boxing Day. I might drive back to uni tonight and collect some more stuff. I found myself wanting specific elements of my DVD collection last night. My music collection too.

Anyway hopefully last night will have reset my sleep pattern. Though it’s only going to get messed up again on Wednesday.

I didn’t want to sleep anyway

Sunday, December 24th, 2006 | Life

I was going to get to bed early because I have to be up at 7am tommorow for work. But that plan went wrong somewhere. Can’t say I am really looking forward to work. Sunday mornings are always busy and if we don’t have plenty of staff on we’re screwed as I suck at breakfast kitchen.

I managed to get some work done on a few projects this evening but I still have a load of random tasks to do as well as get my revision started. I mean, the quote unquote holiday started two weeks ago and yet it feels like we have only just broken up. I don’t know where the time has gone.

So yeah, it’s not been the most relaxing Chrismukka so far. I can’t say I am particularly looking forward to the upcoming events as I can’t see them being any less stressful. I want to get back to uni and de-stress and get some revision done but how much chance I’ll get with holiday stuff, transport and working. I’m working tomorrow as previously mentioned which I should make clear is Christmas Eve. I’m closing on New Years Eve. And I’m working New Years Day. Awesome. Actually New Years Day pays time and a half which is pretty cool and I presume everyone else will be turning up to work drunk too.

Level 48

Friday, December 22nd, 2006 | Life

Awwwwww yeah.

I “went to bed” over 3 hours ago. How come I’m still up playing WoW? I turned off my laptop and everything. Yet now suddenly it’s on again and I’ve been playing WoW for the past few hours.

Shopping list

Thursday, December 21st, 2006 | Life

I keep meaning to make a shopping list of the big purchases I want to make over the next year. Well, not year, but next 6 months at least. Loads of other stuff too but the major purchases. Might as well blog about it, I blog about everything else and will be blogging about them when I buy them.

  • UPS so that if we have a power cut my computers will be ok. My parents had a power cut the other day so it’s a real issue. I have a UPS picked out though it only has 3 plugs which will probably cover my desktop, my server and my monitor so I can see what is going on. But my other server, laptops and other electronics may have to do without.
  • Server for next year so I can set up a proper file server that I can use and access from elsewhere too. I’ve blogged about these cheap machines loads of times before. It shouldn’t be too expensive but I need small form factor stuff which isn’t mega cheap so the case could be the most expensive component :D.
  • DVD player as my old one is broken and my computer can’t play region 1 DVDs. Should be getting this for Chrismukka.
  • MP3 player as again, my old one is broken. I like my current one though so I might try to fix that one as it’s just the little joystick thing that is playing up, other than that it works fine.
  • Dishwasher as I’m not a washing up fan so if I’m going to move into a house next year I want to try and get a dishwasher installed.
  • GPS system as I can’t navigate so I need one for my car. Or I would if I had a car.
  • Car so that I can make use of my GPS system. Also so I can get to work.
  • Speakers both for my computer system and car. I thought this list was looking a bit light then I realised I had forgotten these. I really want to power up my desktop speakers and probably fit better ones for my car too.

Need to cut down on my social spending I think. My bank statements are just a massive list of cach machine withdrawals. I’m doing plenty of work still and my hours have picked up a bit over Chrismukka so hopefully I’ll start being able to cross things off my list. I’m thinking about moving specific amounts of money into savings account as a kind of “reserved for stuff on my list” type money. I also have large accommodation bills to pay so I need to make sure I have money available for that.

EDIT: This UPS looks good actually, 4 powered sockets and everything.

Congratulations Phil

Thursday, December 21st, 2006 | Life

I’d like to congratulate Phil on getting blogrolled! My blogroll is most selective at the moment and all blogs on it must be regularly updated an interesting (though I also have Michelle blogrolled). So being quite impressed with Phil’s blogging particularly over the Chrismukka period when everyone else has stopped and indeed managing to blog during term time when he doesn’t have an internet connection, his blog is now on the list which so far still only numbers five blogs.

I’ve been meditating on the subject of my blogroll recently. There are a lot of blogs I read on a regular basis which is what I use my blogroll for but most of them don’t have new posts on each time I read them and I like that my blogroll is quite selective. So I was a little torn as to what to do. I considered blogrolling everyone or even creating a minor blogroll for the rest of you. I’m still torn as to what to do. Feel free to throw in your thoughts.

Chrismukka shopping

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006 | Life

So today I finally started my Chrismukka shopping. Seriously, I hadn’t bought anything until today. Some would call it leaving it a bit late. But I got discounts on my gift tags because it’s so hidiously late so I was quite pleased. And I managed to get everything bought too. I just need to wrap everything and such and I’m all sorted.

I don’t really want to know how much money I have spent today – I also picked up and paid for a t-shirt and adding a few snacks and lunch on top of that it’s a lot. Most of it was paid using invisible plastic money which is all good but I’ve also spent most of my £20 as well :o. Still, it had to be done. I got a 10% discount at Virgin as well for being a mooching student. They gave me a little card dealie so I can get a 10% discount on everything other than like airtime top-ups (not that I’m with Virgin anymore) and gift vouchers.

A personal injury person approached me down near the market as well. She seemed suprised when I said I hadn’t been to A&E or had a car crash in the past few years. I tried to explain to her that I was invulnerable and so could not be harmed or hurt in any way but she didn’t seem to click.

So how is everyone else’s Chrismukka holiday (and I use the term “holiday” in the loosest possible sense) going? I wouldn’t know because nobody else is blogging. Get it together hippies. Phil is managing it and he doesn’t even have an internet connection so the rest of you have no excuse.

When did it get to Tuesday?

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 | Life

So I did a close at work on Sunday. Then on Monday I was doing a 3-11. However work wanted me to stay on so I ended up doing a 3-close. Long shift. I’ve never started that early before but we got out soon after 1 (it was a very good close) so it was actually shoter than some shifts I’ve done (my longest is 12 hours or so, maybe a bit longer).

Then afterwards we went back to Amanda’s. Well I say went back, we were never there in the first place and she wasn’t actually on the close. So maybe went would be a better term. Not sure why, but anyway yeah, we went to Amanda’s. She has a really nice house especially given she is living there on her own at the moment. We ended up watching movies all night (well, we didn’t get there till like gone 2 but whatever). Malibu’s Most Wanted and The Fast and the Furious, both cool movies.

Now I have a close tonight. The fun never stops huh? I really need to get my Christmas shopping started.