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Friday, July 19th, 2013
10:17 am - Books and stuff
Ages since my last update...

The PhD continues okay, it's not exactly thrilling, but it's progressing at roughly the right speed.

I took a short course of bookbinding evening classes. It was interesting to work with proper tools and get feedback, though it was a fairly basic course. I'm not sure that I can justify the time and expense of a more advanced one at the moment.

I've put a few pics of my latest books under the cut - there's a tiny (2 x 2.5 inch) flat backed book and an A6 (about 4 x 6 inches) round backed book.

Pics under hereCollapse )

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
10:00 pm - Bookbinding pictures
A selection of bookbinding I've done under the cut.

Pictures under hereCollapse )

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011
3:43 pm - Bleurgh. Also yay!
I had my departmental Christmas party last night.
Feeling slightly delicate today, so worked from home. Fortunately, I stuck to wine so my stomach and head were fine, I was just really tired.
It didn't help that I dozed on the train and *just* missed my station. And it was the last train, so I had to walk back home a few miles.

On the plus side, the Inland Revenue sent me a refund cheque to cover a tax overpayment I made a few years ago. :-)

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Thursday, October 13th, 2011
4:50 pm - R.I.P. Dennis Ritchie
Dennis Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language and co-creator of UNIX died on the 8th October.
He was enormously influential within the industry, and most of the modern internet infrastructure is basically built on C and 'C like' languages.

Goodbye, Dennis...

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
10:51 am - Hot hot hot
It's hot. It's October and it feels like a particularly warm August day.
Yesterday was the hottest October day since records began, and it's set to continue for a while.

I went running before it got too hot. And it was still too hot. I did about 5km in 32 minutes. Apart from the heat, it seems to be getting easier, which is a good sign.

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Saturday, May 14th, 2011
3:18 pm - Gardening stuff
I re-felted the garden shed yesterday. It was a very cheap shed, and while the wood itself was okay, the roofing felt was pretty pathetic and got torn by the weather and wind. So I stripped off the old stuff and replaced it with a decent quality felt, and used some proper adhesive to help stop the wind from getting under it. I got a splinter in finger - I may hack it out with a needle later...

And I mowed the front lawn and cut the hedge. I still need to do the back garden, and finish painting the fence.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2011
8:45 pm - In the now, the Jihad will be Tweeted
According to the Guardian, the Taliban are on Twitter:

Their Twitter feed, @alemarahweb, pumps out several messages a day, keeping 993 followers up to date with often highly exaggerated reports of strikes against the "infidel forces" and the "Karzai puppet regime". Most messages are in Pashtu, with links to news stories on the elaborate and multilingual website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban's shadow government likes to style itself.

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11:12 am - An observation
I used to get a bit breathless climbing the stairs. Now, I don't.
But my legs bloody ache instead.
I suppose this is a swings/roundabout thing.

I ran this morning - 5km in 32.05 minutes. Not bad.

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
11:52 am - Random thought ... Valhalla
It's all very well having a wonderful afterlife for warriors who die in battle, but the very nature of the entry requirements means that it'll fill up with all the losers. All the really competent, tactically adept, and just plain lucky warriors won't be dying in a muddy field, they'll be the one's going home with the loot.

So, Valhalla would be full of the incompetent, stupid, useless and unlucky ones. The ones hacked down by mistake by their fellows in a melee, the ones who turn their ankle while charging and end up trampled, the ones unlucky enough to catch an arrow in the head, and the ones just not good enough to beat the other guy.

No wonder the inhabitants spend most of the time drunk and brawling. They must be the bitterest, most twisted bunch of dead people in all the afterlives....

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Sunday, May 1st, 2011
11:21 am - Running - did 5K
To celebrate me finishing the C25K programme, I thought I ought to try to actually run 5K.

And I did it in 33 minutes 43 seconds, without stopping. A bit slower than I was hoping for, but it was really hot and sweaty. Well, the weather was hot and I was sweaty. Very icky.

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Friday, April 29th, 2011
9:09 pm - Royal Wedding
I didn't watch any of it. I assume that she was wearing some kind of dress, but don't really give a damn what it looked like.

However, we had a street party. And I got very drunk. And I met some neighbours that I hadn't talked to before. So at least some good came of it. :)

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11:16 am - C25K - complete!
I did my final run for the C25K programme this morning.
It was a nice run, it was cool with a breeze that stopped me overheating, and there was no sun to get in my eyes. I kept going for 90 seconds at the end just to see if I could. I could have gone on for longer, but wanted to get in a 5 minute cool-down walk at the end, so I didn't want to get too close to home.

I'll keep up the 30 minutes runs for a while, until they get easier - I still huff and puff a bit. Then I'll gradually extend one run a week, and turn another run into a speed-work session (adding some sprinty bits in the middle). Unless I injure myself, in which case I'll go back to the couch for a while. :)

Meanwhile, I'll try to think of something other than running to post about.

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
7:16 pm - What does being wrong feel like?
Of course, being wrong feels exactly like being right (which is why it's so hard to tell if we are being wrong). :)

Here's an interesting TED talk:

It's all about being wrong and why we don't like to admit that we might be.

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11:42 am - Running - C25K nearly done
I did the penultimate C25K run this morning. 30 minutes, went okay.
My pace is averaging around 10:40 mins/mile, though I ran the first 0.75 miles at 10:00 min/mile (and then slowed down).

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Monday, April 25th, 2011
11:02 am - Run - 30 minutes
I'm in the final week of the Couch-to-5K programme, so we've reached the big 30 minutes run.
I left the Garmin at home, it was showing up as 'low battery' and I didn't want it dying in the middle of my run. So I don't know what my pace/distance was, but I know that I didn't run much further than I did in 28 minutes last week, so my pace must have been reduced.

But, anyway, I ran the whole 30 minutes and felt like I could keep going for a while if I had to (though I didn't).

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Friday, April 22nd, 2011
9:46 am - Running - week 8, run 3
Today was 28 minutes, like the others this week.
It wasn't very pleasant. It was hot and my mind wasn't really happy about being dragged out at 8am to plod and sweat for 28 minutes. My ankles felt a bit achy and heavy too. I was wishing that I'd got up earlier and gone out while it was cooler.

But now it's done, and the programme is nearly over, next week are the 30 minutes runs. I won't be doing 5km, more like 4.1 km at my pace, but it'll be 30 minutes of continuous jogging/running. Reading over my past entries (especially the early weeks) seems a bit odd. It seemed *so* hard at the start.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after next week. I think I'll start doing 4 runs a week, but keep them at 30 minutes for a while until I speed up a bit. Or maybe stretch one run per week out to the full 5k and see how long it takes me.

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
10:33 am - Running - week 8, run 2
It's warm and sunny today, even at 9am when I went running. So I overheated a bit, but otherwise it was okay. I was glad when my 28 minutes were up though. I'm not sure what I'll be doing in summer. Probably sweating a lot.

I've been playing some more with Kathy's Garmin & some software I've downloaded to play with the data (SportTracks). I can make various charts and track pace, distance and all sorts of intriguingly, useless things. So now I know that I ran my first half mile at 10:23 mins/miles, slowed down to 11:00 mins/mile in the middle and galloped the last half mile at 10:34. All very fascinating. :)

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Monday, April 18th, 2011
11:04 am - Running - week 8, run 1
The running programme says I ought to have 2 days break at the end of each week, but my legs felt fine so I thought I'd do the run today instead of waiting until tomorrow. I used Kathy's Garmin GPS watch for the first time on a run.

The run itself was fine. It was quite warm, but not too hot for comfort, just enough to work up a bit of a sweat. My legs were okay, and breathing was okay once I got into my stride. The first few minutes always seem quite an effort.

The Garmin recorded my position, pace, etc. and all the data gathering appeals to my inner geek. I'm going slightly slower than I thought I was, but not too bad. I covered 2.57 miles in the actual run, with an average pace of 10:55 minutes per mile (5.5 mph).

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Saturday, April 16th, 2011
8:55 am - More running
I've reached the end of week 7. Next week is 28 minutes non-stop and the week after it'll be the full 30 minutes, and the end of the programme. Phew.

My run today was a bit tiring. I tried a slightly different route to avoid looping twice around the park, so did more pavement running and less on grass. It felt okay, but I was definitely more tired than my first run this week. About on par with the last run, I think. I covered about the same ground, or possibly slightly more since I kept running for 10 more seconds at the end.

I've finished my audiobook - music is not as good.

Thomas is off on scout camp for a week. He's got climbing, archery, roller coasters & laserquest to look forward too. I think they do some traditional scouty stuff too.

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Thursday, April 14th, 2011
12:16 pm - Running, week 7, run 2
25 minutes, non-stop, again.
I tried going a bit faster today, in the middle part of the run. I covered 2.37 miles - according to my estimation of the route, which is probably not very accurate. It felt a lot more tiring, so I think I'll keep it slower next time. I finished okay though.

I ran later in the morning than last time, it felt more humid. The next run is on Saturday, so I'll try to get up early and do another 7am one. I've got a feeling that my body prefers running first thing. This'd be a real pain since my mind prefers staying in bed and dozing.

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