Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Start of term!!

Well, that will not be until tomorrow actually but for a time outside of full term, today sure has been quite busy. Had my Tutor meeting just now, and there's Director of Studies meeting next, have to hand in my physics report, collect exam slip from the office, exchange pleasantries with friends that I haven't seen in a month, etc etc. Will have a four-hour physics lab tomorrow. I feel like being in an accident or something, one time you're just relaxing and all and then suddenly ,POW!! You're hit with all this things. Good thing I've prepared a bit for it. Some people stayed up till four last night to finish the report. I felt like laughing and dancing around in their faces.

I was using the computer this morning, and this pop up window appeared, saying that this "Windows Genuine something something" program requests access to the internet. Not knowing any better, I gave it permission. Only later that I found out that Microsoft has taken a step to "brand" illegal and pirated Windows os. Basically, a pop up will appear reminding you that you're not using a genuine copy, which will be both annoying and embarrassing. Plus, you will also not be able to download Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Defender, not that I use IE any more. The program that I gave permission to is the one that does this branding thing. My Windows is genuine, so no annoying pop ups for me, but I'm sure lots of people back home are in for a surprise.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Experiment chocolate caramel: FAILED!

Okay, so my latest blunder is this recipe I found on the web that is categorised as easy. Darn, you'd think I would have given up by now. There's this, plus the caramel fudge I tried a while back, toffee apples, and not forgetting the apple crumble. This is probably why I don't tell my friends what I want to bring to each weekly meal. You know, to keep from being embarrassed every time my gourmet cuisines don't work out. If I tell them, they most likely will not be able to keep their mouths shut and start teasing me about it. In fact, it has already started with some people *ahem*keste*ahem*.

Oh well, as a consolation, I did manage to make some brownies for the weekly cookout, even though it was just some instant brownies mix from Sainsbury's that you just have to add water to. Still tastes nice. I'm gonna try making some cookies next week, fingers crossed.

Should have taken a picture of the brownies.

The new term has started for Cambridge although lectures will not start until next week. It feels great to see some familiar faces of first years in the dining hall after one month of it being filled with post-graduates and phD students whom I don't recognise. I pitied them though, since they don't have breaks like we do.

Read a really emotional fiction story yesterday that made me despise the world in general. The feeling lasted a whole morning so I couldn't get any work done. I wonder if it's normal to get carried away by stories like that.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The explorer in me

Somehow, the anime site that I always use to download from was pretty slow today. Usually it's capable of doing around 300 kb/s per file but today it was down to only around 30 kb/s. So while I waited impatiently for the neverending thing to finish downloading, I went out for a little walk.

Today was much better than yesterday. More people were out and about, and I took a slightly less usual route to the bridge near Queens College. I'm most familiar with the part of the River Cam between Magdalene and Queens since that's the usual punting route and haven't ventured much beyond these two points. Today, though, I felt inclined for a little perigrination. So I travelled down River Cam from Queens to the south.

It was a nice walk all in all. I came to a halt where the two forks of the river merged into one, stopping me to go further. But there's a nice little park and playground nearby for kids and their families. I remembered complaining to a friend once (can't remember who) that there's not really a park in Cambridge, one that has trees and all where you can sit down and just relax. Well, there's one behind the bus station but I don't like it much. There's also sort of a botanical garden at Hill's Road but you have to pay to go in. But this playground place is just nice. I think this place will see a lot of me in the near future.

It rained while I was at the park, so I had to go back. It stopped while I was at the town centre and I was probably the only one who looked wet, since at the town centre you could go into shop and all to take shelter. The magnificent English weather. Got to luv it.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cacophony of Cambridge

I love the weekends. Especially when it's not gloomy, unlike today. I made a habit of going around walking randomly around Cambridge every day. Can't really pinpoint why I do it, probably because it's quite relaxing in a way,and I often go out and walk when I'm taking a break from doing work. I've had this habit since, well, forever. I'm pretty sure some of my friends would recall the numerous strolls that I had done in secondary school during prep time, weekends and in the middle of the night. I guess that sort of carries on here. Anyway, I sort of like walking around Cambridge in the weekends because that's when the denizens come out and fill the streets. At any other day it doesn't seem that there's many people around but during weekends you can see the families, kids and parents and all shopping or eating or doing whatever things they do. A nice change of scenery after being isolated from the world in the middle of nowhere somewhere in South Wales.

One thing about Cambridge is the mixture of sounds that you can hear. I live in the town centre, right smack next to a busy road and while it's endurable, sometimes it's quite annoying to hear drunk people shouting and singing off-key passing by in the middle of the night. Then there's this Big Issue magazine seller who hollers out to people to buy his mags and there's also this other guy who sings Green Day loud. VERY loud. He seems to be gone lately, not that I miss him.

Basically, as long as it's not anywhere near my place, it's fine by me. Can even be quite amusing. I mean, you're just walking and you see some chaps singing or playing the keyboard or guitar or harmonica. There was this percussion band the other day,complete with drums and tambourines and all. Yesterday there were these three guys with drums. Where did those come from? I think they just did it for the fun of it.

I recorded a video of the band but until I figure out how to embed videos in my blog, you just have to take my word for it.

Holiday's almost over. With only one week left, guess I have to work my socks off very soon. Sigh...


Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's been awhile...

Well, it's been awhile since my last blog entry. I blame it solely on the fact that it's a holiday and nothing much is going on, hehe. Reminds me of the fact that I used to keep a diary/journal, but I didn't bother writing in it during holidays since the entry "Same as yesterday" will probably crop up a lot. Of course, I did made plans for this easter break, like visiting some friends in Manchester, but I got quite the shock upon finding the train ticket price. Can't remember the exact amount but definitely more than £50. Ack, no way! I was talking with this guy from the Netherlands (Netherlands...Nether Land...Nether World...hmmm, somehow that strikes me as funny, LOL, of course, no offense to the people living there) and he mentioned that the flight ticket back home is only about £15! I mean, can you believe it. Last time I checked, UK is an island (well, Northern Ireland is on another island but you know what I mean) so The Netherlands is obviously further away than Manchester. Then what's up with the ticket price? Seems quite absurd to me.

Going by bus is definitely cheaper but there's no way I'm going to spend seven hours on the bus doing nothing. Well, at least until I buy an iPod or something. At least it's something to keep me distracted. Hmmmmm, the rational part of me keeps reminding me not to spend money recklessly but I'll probably succumb to the temptation by June. Oh well.

So I'm staying here in Cambridge in a block that currently only contains 3 people. Must be pretty lonely, huh? Somehow, even in that condition I find it hard to get my work done. I'm blaming it on...let's see.. yes, the internet. Yes, this atrocious distraction is like heroin, once you got sucked in it you won't have a life anymore.

*Sigh* I'm blaming other things again, aren't I? On a totally unsubtle jump of topic, that reminds me of the surname of somebody I know, Blamey. I teased her about it once, but I didn't dare to do it again lest I invoke the wrath of a Welshman, or Welshwoman in this case. I'm pretty sure if she read this then she will come all the way from Cowbridge to whack my head. I'm rambling, aren't I?

I did finish my work. Well, sort of. I left a few of the hard ones because I can't be bothered to crack my head for a few hours thinking about it. Might as well just let my supervisor explain it to me. I mean, why bother spending hours thinking about a problem when you can understand it all in five minutes during supervision session? Yeah, yeah, I know you're not actually supposed to do that and you should attempt each question but I should be able to get away with it as long as it's just a few. I think even though you're a Cambridge student you're not expected to be able to do it all. Last time I checked I'm still human.

Heh heh, actually I'm one lazy bugger, aren't I?