Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Memory Feat

Monday, October 10th, 2005

Hopefully someday law exams will change and the primary skill that is being tested won’t be memory but rather understanding.

The material I’m sent about the exam implies that the examiner is looking for understanding but the only way to get a high mark is to back up every point made by referring to a decided case. The course covers around 700 different cases. You are also expected to know the details of around 30 statutes. I wonder how many of these I will be able to remember tomorrow?

Time to buy an iPod?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

I’ve started to listen to music again. After Tony installed iTunes on my computer I’ve been slowly transferring my CD collection from the racks in the living room and started to buy music again. This is causing me a problem as the only place I can listen to music is at my computer in the house. The solution seems to be an iPod. But I’m not convinced that I’ll use it. At least that’s what happened when a bought a portable CD player or a portable mini disc player. Maybe it would work if I bought a set of portable speakers. Because the problem won’t be the iPod – it will be the headphones. Who wants to try to listen to music if your headphones fall out every time you move your head? I don’t know what size ears are meant to be but apparently mine are too small.

Happy Song

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Stephen posted about a song that makes him happy. When I’m working from home and need cheered up I listen to Barry White singing “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything”. Not only does it make me happy but it fills me with energy as I can’t hear it without wanting to dance.

Lazy Afternoon

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

I’m really supposed to be working but just can’t be bothered. Instead I’m converting some CDs so I can listen to them in iTunes. This takes much too long because iTunes doesn’t recognise my CD drive. I have to use Windows Media Player to rip them and iTunes to convert them.

* Alicia Keys – Songs in A Minor
* Billie Holiday – The Essential Recordings
* Dinah Washington – The Collection
* Madonna – The Immaculate Collection
* Prince – The Very Best of Prince
* Various Artists – City of Angels

Project House – Step 1

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

My new cleaners have arrived. They responded really quickly to my enquiry on Sunday, had a meeting arranged last night and then arrived in force this morning. I just nipped out to the shop and discovered that the whole world knows about my cleaners! It’s obvious that I couldn’t be too concerned about people knowing or I wouldn’t write about it on my blog. And it isn’t really the whole world just all my neighbours and the people who work in the health centre and library. The cleaners have parked a van across from my house which is covered in adverts regarding their business. They have also put up boards advertising their services around the van! And as three people arrived, and not the one I was expecting, wearing polo shirts advertising the company I don’t see how anyone could have missed them.

Why Tidy?

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

My house isn’t tidy. This morning, while chatting with a group of friends, Marty suggested that I wouldn’t be able to make it tidy. This just isn’t true (or at least I’m not willing to believe that it’s true). I could treat my house like all the other projects I work on. When I got home today I looked around the house and thought “if my goal was to improve this house how would I do it?”.

I’ve already said that I would like the house to be tidy. But what are the reasons behind this? Do I want to make it tidy just because someone says that I can’t? Or do I have other reasons? I want the house to be tidy because I want my home to be comfortable. I would also like my home to be somewhere I can completely relax. It has all the basic things I require for it to be comfortable and relaxing but when you have to fight to make a path between the books lying on the floor just to cross the room something needs to be done.

That gives me the “why” but how do I go about changing it? It’s been like this for the past five years. What makes me think that I can change it now? I don’t have a lot of time to commit to the project. And if I try to do too much in one go I’ll just get overly tired, fed up and nothing will change. Tony occasionally asks “what’s the biggest bang for the buck”? It’s not a phrase that I overly like – too American – but I do agree with the sentiment. There are lots of things I could do to change the house but they all have different costs associated with them. The resource that I most lack is time. All the time I give to the house is used up with cooking and cleaning and it would cost me too much to give more time. I don’t have anyone else here who could do the work for me (Marty is never going to get the house tidy). As a project my house is under staffed – I need to bring in someone else.

I know people who think that is terrible if a woman can’t do everything herself. I should be able to work full time, cook, clean, have a social life – basically be some sort of 21st Century super woman. But I can’t do everything. I don’t want someone else to tidy my house but I would have the time to do this if someone else was cleaning my house. My first task is to find someone to help me clean the house.

Birthday Boy

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Europe 2005

YAPC::Europe 2005 – Day 2

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

I didn’t hear a single talk during the second day of the conference. I had hoped to see the lightning talks but went to bed too late the night before and didn’t get up in time. Instead of going to see talks I spent a very enjoyable day with a friend. The only downside was that I managed to get sunburnt. I wear sunblock when I go out into the sun but really hadn’t expected my back to get burnt through the top I was wearing.

I did attend the conference dinner in the evening. The food was really interesting. I know – interesting doesn’t make it sound good but some of it was. It’s just that the food seemed to be more salted than I’m used to. I also drank too much port – too much being one glass. I hadn’t realised that it was much stronger than red wine and was also surprised by how sweet it was. I really liked the way that the dinner was organised. It was very informal and much more enjoyable than the speakers only dinners I had attended in the past. We had really hoped to have a conference dinner in Belfast last year but were unable to do this within our budget. Hopefully have the budget to do this next year. And maybe in Birmingham I’ll even go to hear some talks on the second day of the conference.

Birthday Highlights

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

My grandfather’s party went well today. I had offered to help cook and managed to finish the starters and dessert whilst watching the F1. (I was really disappointed when Sato crashed into Michael Schumacher taking both of them out of the race).

The highlight of the afternoon had to be my 13 year old niece telling my grandfather that she wanted to be a pole dancer when she grew up. My grandfather looked across the table and said “Are you not a bit heavy to pull yourself up a pole?” My niece isn’t heavy at all and was completely outraged by this answer. She had hoped to shock but appeared much more shocked when my grandfather suggested that her mother would make a much better pole dancer.

Orange Madness

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

I was in Belfast this afternoon with my little sister. We were walking back to the car and she asked me what the noise was. She didn’t recognise the sound of the helicopters. I grew up in North Belfast and during the marching season there were always helicopters in the sky. It’s a sound I associate with trouble. Whilst Sarah was looking at the sky Marty and I were talking about finding a route out of the city as the police had started to stop the buses to certain areas and we could see riot police begin to gather at the back of the city hall. We didn’t have any trouble getting home and we also managed to avoid the traffic that was beginning to build up because of the fighting on the Albert Bridge Road and the Short Strand.

Tonight was the first time in years that we have had to ring the police to find a safe route home. We had been babysitting for my mum. She was supposed to go into Belfast tonight to celebrate her birthday but had to change her plans because of the violence in various sections of the city. I’m glad we did call the police because we had planned to avoid an area called Eden and to take the back roads home. The police told us that everything was calm in Eden but cars were being hi-jacked and burnt on the way to the back road. I suppose the fifteen armoured vehicles we passed on the five mile drive probably helped to keep things calm in Eden.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be meeting at my mums to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday. Hopefully the madness will have stopped by then.