Archive for April, 2008

The readjustment phase

Sunday, April 27th, 2008 | Life

You wouldn’t think having not driven for a week except having spent an entire week driving a van would make you feel so different when getting back into a car, but you would be wrong.

I got back into my Mondeo yesterday having not driven anything for three weeks except for the Rationalist Week van and it was a mightily strange experience.

First of all, you feel so low on the ground. The van is up high, you tower over other cars. Secondly having been sat upright in the van I now feel like I am almost lying backwards. The two factors coupled together almost make you feel like you are driving a formula one racing car.

It’s weird readjusting too. The biting point is different, I have a petrol engine that actually needs revving to get any power once again and I can actually see out of the back of the vehicle. It’s mad.

Weird feelings

Sunday, April 27th, 2008 | Humanism, Thoughts

I was sending out the weekly Atheist Society mail-out today and arrived at the bottom of the message to sign my name. Traditionally this would be signed Chris, Society president.

But I didn’t. Because I’m not.

Having spent the last two years as A-Soc president, it’s a weird, weird feeling.

Life is hard

Friday, April 25th, 2008 | Thoughts

Having finished my FYP I was hoping I could relax a little. But instead I find my timetable full because I’m having to trail everywhere and re-arrange my timetable so I can do all these job interviews.

And the constant phone calls from recruitment companies. I mean, every week, usually multiple times a week.

Meanwhile there is a lot of stress in trying to throw together film nights so I can relax in front of my huge wall size screen with my 600w sound system.

Not to mention the number of neck turns I have to make when looking at all three of my different monitors. And keeping my 12 computers and servers patched up is just a mission.

And deciding what car to buy, in cash. What a headache.

Yep, life is hard.

Rationalist Week 2008

Thursday, April 24th, 2008 | Events, Humanism

Well guys, we did it again :D.

Rationalist Week team in hoodies

Rationalist Week 2008 was not only another fantastic success for the society but also by far the biggest event we have ever pulled off. With a total of 22 events, 13 talks, 12 speakers, 7 days, 6 screenings, 5 guest speakers, 4 socials, 3 debates and 2 round table discussions as the back of my hoodie conveniently tells me it was another week that I will never, ever forget.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped out with the week. I was really worried in the planning stages that my presidency was going to end on a low note but with the traditional A-Soc nothing is going to beat us, nothing is going to get us down attitude we pulled off a week which I don’t think disappointed anybody.

FYP is over!

Thursday, April 24th, 2008 | Life

I opened my curtains this morning.

That is a big event.

Not the act itself, but what it represents. For the first time in about two weeks I was doing something offer than arriving home, going to bed, getting up and going to uni. I normally go quite a while between opening my curtains (it generally happens once or twice a week at best) because I’m so busy normally but recently it’s been over 2 weeks since I have had them open.

That having been said, I’m a little disappointed that the weight has not really been lifted off my shoulders. I still have huge amounts of work to do and a to-do list trailing onto three pages. Plus exam revision starts soon, then working at whatever job I take. Maybe there is no magical break coming in the next few months, do we actually have to wait to retirement now?

Still, who cares, I actually feel rested for the first time in ages having spend 7 and a half hours in the pub yesterday and slept for a good 10 hours this morning. Good times.

Smite log

Thursday, April 24th, 2008 | Life

Liz’s grandad was taken into hospital so Liz had to miss the start of the week because she was in Lincoln.

The marquee hire company said they can’t get a team together to put the marquee up on Sunday so we’re going to have to re-arrange plans. They do however say they will be there at 6am Monday morning. Fantastic, with a long day ahead of us we really want to be up that early.

I tried to book a van but they secretly charge you double as a deposit and so it actually cost me more than my available balance on my credit card and therefore my credit card company rejected it. So I had to make other arrangements for paying for it.

The hoodies cover whatever t-shirt you are wearing in fluff.

Norm comes down ill.

We arrive at the van hire place having already paid for the van to find out that TJS Hire, the branch we were at don’t have insurance for under 25s. Even though Sixt said it was fine. So they can’t give us the van.

So I drag an ill Norm out of bed to get me the phone number for Self Drive Solutions. I phone them and ask them for a van today. The guy says he will try and get me one and ring me back in 2 minutes. A few minutes later TJS get a phone call asking if they can do a van for a week starting today. Yep, because Self Drive went through Mayday who went through Sixt who then called TJS Hire. So we ended up with the exact same van but paying like a hundred pounds more for it. The exact same van.

We then head off to the generator hire place to find they are closed. I phoned up and was told they were open till 4pm but they are closed. And the computer system has been closed down for the day. So they can’t do anything.

We meet to set everything up. But we can’t decorate the marquee because it hasn’t arrived yet. We can’t put the other tent up because it’s raining. We can’t test the generator because we haven’t got it yet. We can’t test the heater or PA system because they need power. We can do the various staff briefings but half the staff are missing. We head off to poster Roger Stevens but it’s locked.

We decide to fold all the leaflets up. But they haven’t been printed yet. I’ve run out of SoC printer credits. So I go to an ISS cluster. Except ISS don’t have Publisher so I can’t print it normally and I can’t export it to images on my laptop and transfer it over via USB because then it won’t be double sided. Which is all fairly irrelevant given both myself and Norm are running low on ISS printer credits anyway as it turns out (where are all mine?!?).

It rained a lot. And hailed. Heavily.

It turns out our fuel containers have cracks in them so we have to alter the plan for the day to include buying some new ones. Because our time and money budgets aren’t quite shot enough.

Myself and Norm arrived on site at 6am ready for the marquee hire company to arrive at that time as they said they would. They turn up at 8:30. Suprisingly enough, they don’t get it up by the 9am deadline promised.

In the mean time we aren’t doing much because there are pieces missing from the other tent so we have to wait for Paul to arrive with the other of last year’s tent so we can get parts from that. Meanwhile I go to pick up the generator which turns out to be even more complicated to get out of the van than we thought so just to get the thing out takes 15-20 minutes.

The wind destroyed the generator tent and I mean destroyed. It broke the metal poles. So the generator shelter is just a plastic sheet pegged over it.

It rained on and off all day including some hail.

We had a cash discrepancy at the end of the night.

Nicola was ill for a second day.

Norm had to miss the end of Mike Lake’s talk because Michelle had stolen him for the evening because she had booked her flights incorrectly.

Are you really still trying to sell me on the idea that a benevolent god exists?

We’re alive

Sunday, April 20th, 2008 | Humanism

I want to do a full post on Rationalist Week 2008 and no doubt will when I need to prevent my brain from exploding. But for now I just want to mention that the week was fantastic, we talked to hundreds of people throughout it and signed up loads of new members as well. Oh, and I’m far more alive than my lack of blogging would indicate.

Rationalist Week has arrived

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 | Events, Humanism

I haven’t blogged in a while, mainly because I’ve been so busy with Rationalist Week. If you are around LUU any time this week drop in for a drink, we have events going at 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm and 7pm every day as well as all night debate on Friday and live entertainment at certain points too.

Call log

Saturday, April 12th, 2008 | Humanism, Life

It’s been a busy few days.

Friday: 15
Thursday: 14
Wednesday: 13

I couldn’t say before this date as my call log doesn’t go back that far (I only knew Wednesday’s because I already knew the figure, half the calls have already moved off the list).

Yeah, organising things is fun.

FYP first draft handed in

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 | Life

Having pretty much finished the first draft of my FYP on Friday I made a few tweaks to it today and handed it in to my supervisor to have a look over.

This should probably be a time for celebration but given I need to do some more work on it as well as sort everything out for Rationalist Week and do my AI23 coursework I’m not really celebrating. Not because I think I shouldn’t but because I just don’t feel any different from having handed it in.

I mean, it’s 2am, I’m tired and I’m going to bed. But not to sleep. I’m taking work to bed again. Somehow curling up in a nice warm bed isn’t quite the same when you know you’re going to spend the next hour starring at a laptop screen trying to get some work done.