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Posts from 01st May 2005 to 31st May 2005.
Coldplay - X&Y
   at 09:23 on Tue 31st May 2005
Coldplay's new album X&Y, due for release on Tuesday 7th June is quite different to their previous stuff. Alot of it is more upbeat and their sound is generally different. The first few bars of Talk for example could easily be by Runrig and the start of Fix You could be by Sigur Ros. I've not listened to it that much, but I can certainly say already that it's not a disapointing album and I can't wait for the gig on the 27th. I'm especially looking forward to Fix You; About half way through when it gets all lively, the atmosphere will be absolutely amazing I bet.

It's definitely not slit wrist/depressing music as alot of people seem to assume.

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Southampton Beer Festival
   at 22:01 on Sun 29th May 2005
I've been to the Beer Festival both years I've been at Uni so far. I was getting quite worried about my previous post because I seem to recollect that the festival was during the first week of June.

So, after getting back from the Quiz (We came 3rd this week. Boo!) I quickly checked. I present you with some fantastic news:

Southampton Beer Festival 2005 - 16th to 18th June

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by mad_gemma at 17:11 on 30th May 2005
\o/ for beer fest

some of the guys from work are thinking of going too - any idea which day u were thinking of, or are u gonna hit up all 3?

by Matt at 18:29 on 30th May 2005
Probably just the non-entertainment Friday lunchtime. No entrance fee and no loud music that we can't talk over... We need to discuss these beers!

by mad_gemma at 19:06 on 30th May 2005
DOH! the only one that I cant make :(


ill have to go with the people from work then.. :)

tho we are talking teh Thursday so we can run the supply out or something :) I still have that pic that made it into the paper somewhere from last year :)

by Matt at 19:14 on 30th May 2005
Evil Rich has some presentation on Friday, I've now learnt. So we might have to go for one of the paid days.

Time will tell. Got exams to worry about first. But I believe tickets are running out VERY fast.

by Matt at 19:19 on 30th May 2005
Oh, and Chris is working at the Cube that night, so is a bit dubious about drinking at lunch time.

by Mac at 20:29 on 30th May 2005
Oh my god, you've made me so happy Matt.

by Evil Rich at 20:03 on 31st May 2005
Whoa, don't worry about that conference thing. I'll tell Tommy K. that I have an operation on that day. Or something. Yeah, a liver-ectomy. Any time's good with me.

Non-Drink Contract
   at 09:59 on Sun 29th May 2005
The second thing I didn't get round to blogging was post-quiz-win. Unfortunately we got quite drunk that night. Anyway, apart from teasing Chris that's he homophobic by kissing everyone else in the room whilst he violently refused one, Little Rich and I did something very very naughty and very stupid.

We were talking about how much we drink, and eventually agreed that it was probably a little too much. We teased Chris for a second time that night, because he blatantly couldn't argue against accusations of being an alcoholic and refused to admit it'd be wise to stop for a while. So to prove our point, Rich and I created and signed the following:

So, it's been a week now and last night was the first time I've missed it. I saw my bottle of Baileys in the fridge and really fancied some. Oh well, I didn't give in. Oh, and for your reference, June 13th is the day of the Graduation Ball.

If we win the quiz this week, I promise to be sensible.

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The Sunday Quiz
   at 09:48 on Sun 29th May 2005
There are two things I meant to blog about after last Sunday, but I never got round to either. The first is that "Destined For Greatness", the team I'm part of every week at the Union quiz... WON.

Yes, believe it or not, Chris, Lil Rich, Evil Rich, Big Rich, Andreas, Clare, and me. (I think that was everyone who was AT the quiz, not everyone was there the whole time and not everyone was involved for the whole thing.)

But yes. Three teams got to the tie breaker (on 38 points I think it was). The question was "How many students are there at the University?" We were last to answer. First guess was 25,000; then we had 17,000; finally Chris, our spokesperson, said 21,000. And with our superior knowledge we, of course, won!

We got some bollocks promotional t-shirts and some Corona. Thankfully the bar were really rather kind and gave us a whole lime to drink with the Corona. Yay.

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Project Viva
   at 09:12 on Thu 26th May 2005
....and it was all worth it. I think the main reason I stayed up so late to implement my project properly and not just hack together something that'd blag the viva is Richard. He told me that if I did it properly, I'd be proud of it and that would shine through in my viva.

He wasn't wrong. It went really well, I could answer all but one question (about security, when my second supervisor chuckloed and told me he wouldn't expect me to be able to answer it unless I'd done a big course on security). Nothing broke in the demo, I stayed within my time limit. But best of all, my 1st supervisor had to stop my 2nd by saying "Mike, I've got another viva in 10 minutes." to which the reply was "Oh, but this is such an exciting and interesting project."

Fingers crossed, I've come across well and I'll be high marks. But from previous experience, I know not to get excited or my hopes up because at the Univeristy of Southampton, the work you put into courses or the feedback you receive never correlates to the mark you get for it.

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by Evil Rich at 09:28 on 26th May 2005
Woo. And yay! Short of some academic bulimia you're done :)

by Clare at 10:13 on 26th May 2005
Brill - sounds like it went well :D Yay you!

by mad_gemma at 13:55 on 26th May 2005
\o/ for you!

nasty viva gone away :)

its nearly all over... scary :S

by Mac at 15:02 on 26th May 2005

by at 13:32 on 27th May 2005
Good stuff!

Project Viva
   at 01:52 on Thu 26th May 2005
In 6 hours I have my project viva with my first and second supervisors. I'm meant to demonstrate my project. I doubt either of them read this website so I don't mind admitting that at Viva minus 6 hours, it doesn't do as I said in the project report.

Admittedly, that's because of some technical problems, but mainly because I didn't think it'd take this long to produce.

My checklist for tonight:
  • Route requests that reach their target are replied to. @ 03:26
  • New routes are placed into the route cache. @ 03:48
  • Routes are discarded on acknowledgement timeout. @ 03:53
  • Messages use this route cache. @ 04:08
  • Test that it all works in the manner I want for the viva. @ 04:32
  • Shutdown computer and sleep (if enough time remains.) Much later due to caffinee buzz. Got to get up early to pack. Oh, and I can hear the morning bird calls already! Oh, and this could well be the last late-nigher of my life!
But first of all.... Red Bull can Three.

(Another edit: 04:57 - I decided to do a little packing this evening, I've got everything bundled together, written a list and am ready to leave quickly in the morning. Why oh why did they give me a 9am viva?! Anyway. I now have 3 hours sleep. If my alarm doesn't wake me up, make sure you do, please. Night night.)

(Final edit: 05:02 - I just went to the loo and to brush my teeth. It's, erm.... daylight, outside. For all I know it's the middle of the day, just cloudy. Crazy!)

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Flat Purchase
   at 12:46 on Sun 22nd May 2005
I've not been keeping my blog updated with the flat purchase recently. I've signed the Land Registry document to show I'm happy that the local council agree with what (read: where) I think I'm buying in physical space. I've received from my soliciter both the Leasehold Information and Property Information forms. And it's in the lease information that the current problem arises....

The previous owners made some modifications to the flat, namely refitting the kitchen, replacing an internal dividing wall and some changes to the bathroom. The owners didn't think they needed to get landlord permission for these alterations but having read through the lease, my soliciter has found a paragraph that states they do. So we're waiting to see whether the owners did actually get permission (If they did then there's no problem). If not, the landlord will have to give retrospective permission and if they refuse to do so, the changes will have to be undone. Which would make the whole thing fall through.

So, despite all the local searches having been done and coming back alright, it's all resting on the outcome of this flat alteration situation. I've also now sent off my mortgage application so hopefully early next week I should have my mortgage offer.

It's just a big waiting game at the moment and theres nothing I can do to speed it up.

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Hair Award
   at 14:52 on Sat 21st May 2005
I was back in Bath for the night last night, to give Laura a couple of books from Southampton Uni's library and to go to the school themed night at Bath Union's club. I had my hair spiked, as I did when attending the Southampton school night. [Photo]

Early in the evening, some random girl came up to me and gave me a piece of yellow card. On it was an award for "beautiful hair". You can see it below, click for bigger.

I presume, from the last line, that this has something to do with "Join Me", a book of which I've just finished reading. I believe I remember the phrase "We're not strange" from when a few joinees were helping out old men. Is this some cryptic reference to the good work of Join Me?

I really must get round to joining.

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by Clare at 18:32 on 21st May 2005
That's awesome :D

*Got* to be a Join Me thing - Fridays and 'we are not strange'. I approve. :)

Campus Ducklings
   at 10:48 on Tue 17th May 2005
On Sunday I spent most of the day up on campus reading "Join Me" by Danny Wallace. It was recommended to be by Uni Clare and it's a fantastic read. It's really worth reading and as soon as I'm back in Southampton I shall get myself a passport photo done and become Joinee Chapman.

Anyway, I knew there were lots of nice ducklings recently born on campus so decided to take my camera up on teh off chance. It being a Sunday hardly anyone was on campus so the ducklings were not shy about coming out to be photographed at all. They're so cute.

Take a look at them: [Photos]

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by mad_gemma at 14:37 on 17th May 2005
you git

your pics are WAY better than mine. Your camera must kick mine's ass...

AND you got to find the white parent. I havent found them yet! :(

I like 41 - it looks like a plastic decoy-esq duck :)

but 81 is my fave :) so cute.

kickass dude. Uberjealous.

by Crease at 23:58 on 17th May 2005
During their youth, ducks imprint to follow nearly every moving thing they see. Might be worth checking you don't have a small squad of ducklings following you Matt...

Post-Project Fun
   at 10:18 on Fri 13th May 2005
I handed my project in after binding it just after 9am yesterday. I felt rather good when I was told that "Yes, indeed, that -is- all your project over." Andrew visited for the day. So when he had arrived we went straight to the pub. We were drinking by noon. Incidentally, I don't think that was too early.

We drank. Played pool. Played on the quiz machine. Drank. Played a round of pitch and putt. And then randomly went along with coursemate Clare and her hill walking society on a pubcrawl through Winchester.

All in all, I drank a fair amount yesterday and today I feel so relaxed! Trouble is, I've got a package over in Shirley to collect because the sender didn't pay full postage costs. The even bigger trouble is I want a full English breakfast and don't know where to get one.

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by Clare at 10:28 on 13th May 2005
The Union could be a source of English breakfastness? Maybe? Dunno how good it'd be though!

by Matt at 10:36 on 13th May 2005
Had already considered this, but they only do breakfast until 11. :(

by mad_gemma at 13:27 on 13th May 2005
no, your right

on project handin day, noon is a LATE start infact!

by Mac at 16:34 on 13th May 2005
I frequently eat breakfast in the piazza thingy gone 11. :-/

3rd Year Project
   at 11:01 on Thu 12th May 2005
I just thought I'd get a quick post in BEFORE I start drinking. My project is done. It's handed in. All done. All gone. Yay. To the pub!

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by mad_gemma at 12:37 on 12th May 2005
Go young matthew! Go drink! Run from the nasty work, for it has gone finally :)

Les Misrables
   at 22:42 on Tue 10th May 2005
Yes, I've worked out how to use Alt Gr+e to get a cute accent over the 'e'. Woo. Anyway, yes. I've now had two recommendations for the original book by Victor Hugo. And I wish to buy it to have a read tonight.

Simply put, this post is intended to damn the world for not reaching full 24 hour shopping culture yet. We're there with most large supermarkets. But if only Waterstones opened 24/7 they'd have got a sale tonight.

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by Mac at 16:14 on 11th May 2005

Laura's Birthday
   at 22:43 on Mon 9th May 2005
It's not actually until Wednesday, but because of lectures and final year projects and things like that, we decided that I'd give Laura her present this weekend.

We had arranged for her to visit Southampton on Friday, which she did. But she had no idea of any plans for the weekend. On the Friday I gave her the first part of her present, which was a pillow wrapped elegantly up in pillow case and ribbon.

I challenge anyone to guess what the main present was from the same clue she was given: "There is one particular property about the pillow which makes it important for your main present."

Anyhow, on the Saturday I handed the train station guy a note asking for two tickets to London making sure that Laura didn't read the note and the guy didn't give anything away. I took Laura to see Les Misrables at the Queens Theater in Shaftsbury Avenue.

It was an amazing show. I knew the music from when I was a kid and my Mum played the soundtrack after seeing the show herself. It was absolutely great to watch it, and it such good seats too. When I called up to book, I phoned the theater direct. The lady I spoke to offered me as crap seats as were available on the internet. So I explained I was taking my wonderful girlfriend out for her birthday and she immediately remembered that she did in fact have some very special front row dress circle seats. So I booked them.

I bet you're wondering where the pillow comes into this... I was asked if Laura was over a certain height when booking and I mindlessly said "probably". When the tickets arrived, they stated that "Patrons must be over the height of 5 foot 8 inches." Which Laura was blatantly not. So between Chris and I, we worked out that I had to raise her by about 3 or 4 inches to get a good view over the balcony wall. To do this, I bought her the most firm pillow I could find. And doubled over, the pillow was the perfect height.

The wonderful Saturday evening along with spending a few days away from project work with Laura did nothing by heighten my affection for her. I'm so looking forward to post-exam summer afternoons lazing about on the grass. And on that note, I'm going to grab a good nights sleep knowing that I've had a good day's project work; I've written 2 or 3 thousands words that I'm vaguely happy with.

Good night.

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by Andrew at 23:04 on 09th May 2005
Glad it all worked out :)

...and random first parts of presents are always good :p

by Mac at 06:50 on 10th May 2005
Awww, Matt, you're so awesome :D

I'm Shit.
   at 13:35 on Thu 5th May 2005
....Perhaps not at everything, but certainly at writing technical documents. With each paragraph I write for my project I realise it is shitter than the last. And the technical content in it is nearer to non-existent.

I've got this perfect document in my head. How can I be so crap at getting it down into words. I know enough to have a 10,000 word talk to my supervisor where he asks questions and I give technical responces. I just can't get 10,000 words into decent English sentences.

Fuck sticks. There I am complaining all the time that it's unfair that so much of our degree is based on 2 hour exams where if you're feeling shit and do bad, there's nothing you can do about it. But now I'm complaining about how it's unfair that people who are shit at language and can't communicate exactly what they want are penalised.

I can't wait to leave!

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by Matt at 13:51 on 05th May 2005
You see, I even started a sentence in that post with "And". Tsk.

by mad_gemma at 14:06 on 05th May 2005

poor matt... *pats*

well as I seem to have nothing to do in evenings, and already have one dissertation to look at, if you require another pair of eyes Im willing to proofread if you need it :) dont feel obliged tho :P

by Evil Rich at 23:31 on 05th May 2005
Tech writing is easy. Step one: Say something obvious. Elaborate on it a little, and then spend twenty seconds on Google Scholar finding somebody else who says something similar. Add a corollary that makes it look like you agree, but have thought of something further. Two: Plan the document as a presentation. Thinking the document through from headlines down to bullet points should give you enough structure to be able to turn bullet points into paragraphs and just eat away at the word count. Finally: use the phrases notwithstanding, wherewithal, subject to, and thusly with out fear. Also, remember to pepper with equations that are patently obvious, but look impressive no matter how tenuously connected to the subject at hand.

by Mac at 11:13 on 06th May 2005
I'm the same, don't worry, it's all going to be fine. It's all going to be ok. It's fiiiine.

by Gordon at 00:04 on 07th May 2005
My solution: go to a beer festival, get drunk, insult some teenagers and get one of them to hit you around the head with a brick. Get seriously concussed and use this as an excuse for writing a shit report and also not entering any exams.

by Gordon at 00:05 on 07th May 2005
I think your site is a bit confused :) It says "Zero Four" but its blatantly "One Four" at the moment

by Matt at 11:03 on 09th May 2005
I've checked. There are no beer festivals before Thursday! :/ Hope you're doing well these days, Gordon.

by Andrew at 16:35 on 09th May 2005
If there are no beer festivals in existance then it is your responsability, nay, duty to plan your own.

Incidentally I think pretty well everyone considers anything they've ever written to hand in to be a piece of crap. Roll on the day when you can just think what you want to say, and hand in what you actually mean.

Third Year Project
   at 23:13 on Wed 4th May 2005
I've just been asked "What exactly is your project?" and I've just summarised it in a succint manner that I'd like to share with you for no other reason than it sounds dead cool and like I know what I'm on about:

It's a dynamic source based message routing system for a wireless ad-hoc network to support communication between every day electronic devices to create and provide a pervasive control environment for the home or office.

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Brain Tickler, 100
   at 12:08 on Mon 2nd May 2005
Every week at the Union's quiz, they do this Brain Tickler thing. The idea is that they ask you a question that has a numeric answer and the person who gets closest to the actual answer has a chance of winning 100.

This weeks question was "What would 198 of the world's most expensive beef bugers cost you?" The answer was, what ever 198 times 30 is.

But yeah, to win the 100 you have to do the Bruce Forsythe's Play Your Cards Right game. You know the one, "Higher/Lower" with the whole audience participation thing.

Last week, Little Richard and I got closest to the answer. The question was "What is the diameter of the canopy of the worlds largest oak, in millimeters?" We said 62m but it was actually 48m or something.

Anyway, because they run out of time last week, we only got to play the game this week. And we did it. We won. Rich and I are the proud new owners of 100. There are no aces in the pack. so when we got a King as the penultimate card we were SO happy!

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