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Matthew Chapman
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Posts from 01st Dec 2005 to 31st Dec 2005.
Happy New Year 2006
   at 22:32 on Sat 31st December 2005
I remember at the beginning of the year I was stressing about how un-started my 3rd year project was. I was single, yearning for a special girl and drinking numerous pints every night of the week in avoidance of work.

The year continued, I got through my dissertation and final exams. I went through the negotiations about my salary and I searched for flats. I garduated, partied and enjoyed a month off before beginning my full time work.

I purchased a flat, became a home owner. Got a mortgage. I went for my second holiday out of Europe, again courtesy of Laura. It was an amazing experience.

I've had a couple of relationships, shared some unbelievably heartwarming moments. I've been to the theater twice to see amazing shows.

I've started Meet Matt Chapman, completed the Alphabet Alcohol Challenge. I've wasted weekend after weekend boozing and socialising.

I'ce achieved so much this year. But it seems with just an hour and a half to go that I'll enter 2006 in a similar situation. I'm starting the new year stressed, wondering where life is heading. I've still got that passion for travel. That passion for life. The same feeling of wanting to get out and live life rather that being stuck at University or in full time work.

But that doesn't mean I'm overly upset or depressed, I realise that those life changing moments can appear at any time. Anything could happen and I remain optimisitic that it will happen soon and it will be good.

But I've not even used my 3rd year project to automate my home. Whilst realising I've done so much with my year I have an empty feeling of regret that I didn't do more with it.

Happy New Year and a prosperous 2006 to you!

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by Arleen at 10:27 on 07th Jan 2006
Happy New Year me dear!

[all the way from Malta] but now from London

Pre-Christmas Illness
   at 17:03 on Wed 28th December 2005
It's frustrating being ill. In the lead up to Christmas I was ill for about 2 weeks, the first two thirds being down to a nasty cold that everyone seems to have had recently. Then for a few days I was suffering from a violet tummy bug which was making me throw up once an hour. That hurt. Lots. Throwing up when there's nothing in your stomach is excruciatingly painful.

Apparantly (Mum is now specialising in Reiki and gave me a treatment session whilst I was staying for the weekend) my chakras were misaligned and the emotional stress I've been going through recently has lowered my immune system. But I'm back to health now I think. I'm not feeling any less stressed since the Christmas break, but I do have a certain sense of refreshed-ness.

I'm about to embark on my first year of full-time office work. The first of probably 40. Shit, that's a depressing thought.

Four comments
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by Lardy at 10:04 on 30th Dec 2005
But you meet such nice people at work!!

by Matt at 13:46 on 30th Dec 2005
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy my job and fully appreciate the conditions we work in and how fantastic a set of colleagues I have.

But still.... 40 years!

by Lardy at 09:26 on 03rd Jan 2006
It gets shorter!!!!

by Matt at 11:35 on 03rd Jan 2006
Absolutely, there's only 39 full years left now! :-)

New Phone
   at 16:57 on Wed 28th December 2005
I've just signed up to a new phone contract as my old one has reached it's end. I managed to get six months half price, some random free 3G video viewing bundle included (free because I wasn't convinced so the guy said "I'll give you the 25 up front in cash back now" if you take the package). I presume he gets the commission. The only slight issue is I've been given a temporary LG U880. It looks and feels shit, both in physical asthetics and the UI is absolutely counter intuitive for someone who has only ever used Nokia's before. I want the new 3G Nokia N70 but they don't have any in stock. The guy says he's going to phone me within 28 days to tell me when they are in stock and I can take my flip-phone tack back and replace it for the N70. I just hope he's not trying to be funny because I'm going to get furious if he's fobbed me off with some story and doesn't intend to swap it; I'm not spending 12 months with a phone I don't like.

Oh, and Merry Christmas to you all, of course.

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Extreme Biking
   at 10:47 on Fri 9th December 2005
Life on my bike is usually nice and peaceful. I cycle to and from work listening to some chilled out music, but... this week things have gone crazy!

It all started on Tuesday evening when I was cycling into Stevenage town center. Some scruffy clothed bloke wearing a hat that partially hid his face came up to me and said "Can I have a chat?". Being a little dubious about his intentions I politely said that I was busy and carried on cycling.

At that point he gave me a disgruntled look and reached into his inside jacked pocket. Fearing for my life I looked away and tried to ignore his reaching for a knife/gun/syringe/dildo and continued on my merry way.

He grabbed my shoulders and stopped me to show me his police badge. "You're being dangerous" he said. Quite how, I don't know since I was cycling slower than walking pace behind someone else. "Get off your bike and walk, alright? Get off your bike and walk.".

My apologies to Steveage for my reckless and dangerous cycling on Tuesday but I did get my comeupance on Wednesday evening. I was cycling between lots of the big shops in Hitchin after work reccying for a good source of Christmas decorations.

As I turned the corner into B&Q, cycling fairly fast, I hit a patch of slippery tarmac and lost control. Steering into the skid as you're meant to I started to gain my balance again but unfortunately ended up hitting the ground on my left, taking most of the strain in my left shoulder and skidding about 15 meters to a stop.

I still ache.

Nineteen comments
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by Bon at 00:01 on 10th Dec 2005
Didn't the copper give you a reason?

by Neil at 16:52 on 15th Dec 2005
The PC was probably tailing the people in front and Matt's bike was acting as a distraction for the PC.

Hehe.. funny story Matt! I had a bike accident last week too, alas, mine was on a motorbike and yes I still ache.

by Brimstone at 13:40 on 29th Dec 2005
I tried something similar in a car last month. Spinning out at 60mph is not something i recommend doing.
Thankfully, I came out with no aches and pains except in the wallet after replacing the car.

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Best Late Payment Ever
   at 12:12 on Tue 6th December 2005
How cool. When moving into my flat I caught the end of a service charge period. In that period the roof was repaired and the charges amounted to just shy of 3000. Fortunately that cost wasn't my responsibility despite the charge coming up foir payment after I moved in, so the money was left out of the transfer when I got my mortgage and that money was set aside to pay the management company when the invoice came through.

Anyhow, I wrote the chqeue for this large sum out, I can see it in my chequebook stump, but somehow I didn't end up sending it. I received a letter from the management company on Saturday saying that they hadn't received payment. So I called up today and spoke to their credit control department.

The lady on the other end was fabulous. She told me that she understands that it's a huge payment and that it's difficult to pay in one lump sum and that she will happily spread the payment over 2 years for me. This is wonderful as I'll throw this three grand in a cash ISA and make some free money in the form of tax free interest. I love it when things go my way.

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   at 22:47 on Mon 5th December 2005
Firstly, I've been told off for my recent suprious frequest posting so I apologise for making a second post today but...

You can tell I'm an ex-student. I buy so much frozen crap from the supermarket that all the cardboard boxes take up lots of space and thus I build up a rather impressive collection of carrier bags.

I've just gone to grab one to take over to the shop to get a few bits to avoid wasting yet more of them and to my unpleasant suprise the bag I picked out was squidgy.

By that, I don't mean the rustling mass of tightly packed carriers, I mean it was proper squidgy. This was a bag I had obviously no finished unpacking before stashing in the cupboard. I unwrapped it up to find inside something that had become so mouldy I can't identify it. (And that's not exaggeration for comic purposes, I seriously can't tell what it was and I daren't touch it enough to look at the label for fear of what will crawl and and burrow into my fingers.

I guess it's promising that this makes me feel rather unpleasant instead of whilst I was a student me finding it hilarious and downing a pint to celebrate!

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A Rhetorical Post
   at 16:33 on Mon 5th December 2005
I occasionally love the English language and the way phrases develop. Having grown up thinking that a 'rhetorical question' precisely means one that requires no answer, I was shocked to discover today that the meaning is entirely different to that.

The meaning of rhetorical is stated as "Of or relating to rhetoric.". The word rhetoric in turn means "Skill in using language effectively and persuasively."

So the meaning of a rhetorical question is simply one that has been communicated so effectively and persuasively that it requires no reply. There is no direct meaning which states no answer is required to the question, people have created this implied meaning over time.

There are so many words in the English language. The world renowned Oxford English dictionary contains some 616,500 word forms. Those definitions do not include proper names, scientific and technical terms or jargon (including these would dramatically increase the rate at which our rainforests are declining since there are over 1.4 million named species of insect). All in all, estimates of the number of words in English are around three million words or above.

An educated person (those that are aged 18 and above - since everyone else in my experience of living in Southampton and working in Stevenage has taught me anyone under that age is either a) thick as shit or b) an irresponsible teenage single-mother of 4) typically knows about 20,000 words of the 200,000 that are in common use and uses about 2,000 unique words in a week.

Hopefully having taught you the true meaning of rhetorical you're further on your way to the 20,000 target.

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