Archive for September, 2007

CompSoc Pub Crawl

September 22nd, 2007 2 comments

Well this is a story and a half!

Last night saw the annual Fresher’s reception in the School of Computing. The Long Room was the usual venue, ale and wine the usual fayre and the school disco style separation of Freshers from every body else. As the ale and wine flowed the segregation became less and less pronounced and by the end of the second hour everyone was mixing and chatting away. Kieran leapt to his feet just as the last drop of ale was being quaffed to announce that CompSoc would be continuing the evening’s merriment in the form of a pub crawl into town starting with the Old Bar.

After a few drinks in the Old Bar, along with pizza for those who needed a good lining for their stomachs, we set off on the pub crawl proper with Sam, our illustrious president, leading the way to The Fenton. There was a level of irony that should be mentioned here; Sam is a second year and has lived in Leeds for over a year now yet still doesn’t know where anything is in Leeds! So, with a gaggle of Fresher’s, CompSoc committee and the usual band of hangers on we trekked the couple of hundred yards from LUU to The Fenton (it’s on Woodhouse Lane between Leeds and Ledds Met unis for those that don’t know).

I don’t spend much time in The Fenton unless I’m playing a card game there or I’m on an Otley Run, but it’s a nice enough place and is owned by the same people that run the Eldon so a good selection of ale to be got. We stayed here for a swift one then headed next door to Strawbs.

Strawbs is a quaint little place, a litte bar (about a metre long) and a selection of seats and sofas. It can be a little grotty, but this time round mainly due to the fact we filled the place it had quite a good atmosphere. The drinks are reasonable if a little limited in range.

Dry Dock was the next stop on the crawl. It is a very student orientated place but with a Yellow Card the drinks are about as cheap as you can get in Leeds! The Freshers were starting to feel the pace by now. The beer had been flowing for a little over seven hours (it was ten o’clock by now) and wheat was beginning to separate from the chaff. We had had a couple of drop outs along Woodhouse Lane, namely CompSoc V-P Kieran.

The main gossip by this stage was the massive amount of flirting going on. It is always funny to see Freshers chatting up the ladies – it is much like watching dogs on heat. Liz and Charlie were both getting a lot of attention at this stage!

Fab was the next port of call and the temperature was beginning to rise. Charlie and B were starting to have to fend the guys off and Liz was having her drinks bought for her. A few more bodies left at this stage but the numbers were still far better than we could have imagined prior to the event. With Sam still leading from the front the night was beginningt o turn into one that many wouldn’t forget. Most people were merrily drunk byt this stage, especially Sarann who had long since passed her safe limit!

After a couple of drinks in Fab we moved on to our final bar – Bourbon. This is where the fun began. Firstly we were down to the hardcore few, about ten people, half freshers hand half others. Sarann, Liz and Charlie were all busy making new “friends” and really making the Freshers feel welcome. Sarann and Liz were being particularly friendly. Unfortunately, Sarann was now well past her limit and had to be taken home – a job for Michelle and I. The rest of the gang headed over to Grosvener Casino for a flutter. All I can say on that topic is check out Liz’s blog on the night.

Computing FTW

September 20th, 2007 No comments

Well I am nearing the end of my Fresher’s week as part of the Department of Joint Honours Science. I think i will classify the week as a success. I have met some new people, i have attended all the appropriate lectures, labs and meetings and am now all set for the start proper of my new degree programme. I am particularly looking forward to my computing modules as I feel that these will be the testing yet enjoyable challenge that I require to thrive. I am enjoying getting into linux and exploring all the nooks and crannies within it. The induction programme being run by the SoC has been helpful if somewhat tedious as it focussed on writing a quick HTML file and learning some of the basics of the command line terminal – something I consider myself a fairly confident user of. I am by no means an expert – Kieran will shoot me down for saying anything remotely like that, but I can manage, run, create and delete files and directories etc and write fairly strict html as long as it’s not too flashy. It is the programming side of the course that I am most apprehensive about, but I feel that the challenge is something I need. Roll on Java!

CompSoc and A-Soc Fresher events are getting into full swing and I am really starting to get my teeth into the roles. I am looking forward to the next few weeks despite the fact that the workload is daunting to say the least.

It’s about time!

September 12th, 2007 2 comments

The England football team have just completed back to back victoires in the Euro 2008 qualifying stage. They put three goals past a rather hopeless Israel at Wembley then the same team (first time over two years that an England coach has named an unchanged starting XI in consecutive fixtures) have just beaten a good looking Russian side by the same scoreline.

Overall England definitely deserved the six points and played really well considering that many pundits claim that the majority of players in the two ames wouldn’t normally make the England team. Two players stood out for me over the 180 minutes, namely Emile Heskey and Steven Gerrard. Stevie Gerrard is arguably the single most talented footballer in the world. He has, however, never really reached his full potential. This is mainly die to the fact he can play anywhere on the park and rarely plays his best position – that of an attacking central midfielder – and due to the fact that his usual partner in midfield, Frank Lampard, is too similar in style so they tend to cancel each other out. The last two games (whilst playing with a broken toe) we have seen him at his very best. We saw his energy and commitment alongside his leadership and passion for the beautiful game. Emile Heskey, much maligned over recent years, is the perfect foil for Michael Owen who is getting back to his very best for England and Newcastle.

I am really looking forward to the selection for the next qualifier against Estonia and the return leg to Russia in October. it is not foten I get to say this but..


Just a quick note…

September 11th, 2007 1 comment

This is just an interim post to keep those of you who are interested in this kind of thing up to date on my general comings and goings.

We had our first CompSoc committee meeting yesterday and things went pretty smoothly. With a bit of luck and a lot of effort I seriosuly think we can pull this off. A-Soc prep is not going so well, we are having pen issues and general lack of time issues. I am sure, however, that we will nail it!

Today was Michelle’s belated birthday party and it was fun. Just the ticket to take everybodies mind off the new academic year starting in less than a week. Lots of cake and chocolate and mayhem are the ingredients to a party of this nature – our theme was kiddies’ party so jelly and ice cream, pass the parcel and such things. A real treat and a fitting way to welcome Michelle back to England.

The rest of the week is going to be taken up by tidying up from today and preparing for the weekend. My housemates and I are throwing a massive party for my twenty-third birthday and to make sure our house is fully warmed up ready for the year ahead.

In support of Chris’ recent post, I am going to try and increase the pinging to other blog sites and try to make sure that we can maximise cross-circle blogging!


September 7th, 2007 No comments

Today I attended my first CompSoc meeting. It followed the standard meeting format seeing as it was an Extraordinary General Meeting to make sure the society was well set for the new semester. I went with the intention of making myself known and doing some general networking as part of my ambition to further my political career within the university union. I walked away from the meeting, however, as the new secretary! Why is it that I can’t say no? I had no real intention of taking that large a lead within the society as I was quite happy with my A-Soc role.

In retrospect I may have been a little hasty in the decision to accept the position, but now it is done I feel I have quite a lot to bring to CompSoc and hopefully the job will stand me in good stead to make the step up to president of a society next year and then stand for a union role the year after. I think it is important not to jump straight into the presidency of a society as from what I ahve seen so far it is one big job. I think my two current committee commitments are more than enough. I have also recently been offered the position of treasurer at the Cheese Society, although I think I may have to turn that job down now.

I am looking forward to my new role and taking CompSoc forward into the new semester and hopefully we will have a massively successful year!

Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) RIP

September 6th, 2007 No comments

Luciano Pavarotti is probably the most well known classical singer in the world. His rendition of Nessun Dorma alongside Domingo and Carreras at Italia ’90 is still one of my top five most moving moments. Maybe it is my affinity with the song that has led me to develop some sort of admiration for The Maestro, but I felt a deep sense of loss this morning when I awoke to the news of his death. He died of pancreatic cancer in his home in Modena, Italy aged seventy-one.

Pavarotti was a typical operatic singer, he was a large man with a voice that many people could recognise instantly. With over thirty years of stage perfomance behind him I wonder if it is too much to say that he was one of the all-time great classical vocalists. He still holds the record for the most curtain calls (at 165) and the fastest selling classical album of all time, a record he shares as part of the Three Tenors.

I think the world will not take this death too seriously, he was known for cancelling gigs, being somewhat difficult to work with and recent scandal about his ability to read music and act on stage tarnished his reputation. I think, however, people will start to realsie exactly what they have lost when they can no longer listen to the magical, smooth voice of possibly the greatest tenor voice ever.

Luciano Pavarotti, rest in peace.

See a rendition of his signature piece, Nessun Dorma, here.

The countdown begins

September 4th, 2007 1 comment

The new semester at university starts in less than two weeks. Well, it’s two weeks until Fresher’s Week begins anyway. Usually that wouldn’t be too significant as it is many years since I was a fresher, but this year I am helping A-Soc recruit new members at the Fresher’s Fair and generally make sure that A-Soc is a massive success this year whilst I am secretary. This means a lot of work! The past few weeks have basically seen me sat at my computer sending emails left, right and centre to sort out events, book speakers and generally make sure everything is set up for the new year. I have also been busy beavering away on speeches and presentations for the first few meetings of A-Soc seeing as we have a lot of debates planned. I am going to take this opportunity to plug A-Soc, so if you are in the Leeds area and are a student (or even if you are not) then get in touch with us at Atheist Society. Membership is £5 for the year and that gets you voting rights, access to our library of books and DVDs as well as a regular newsletter and invitations to all our events. Check out the website for listings.

New semester means new course for me. Having successfully changed from a MEng in Materials Science and Engineering to a Joint Honours BSc in Computing and Management I am really looking forward to getting my studies back on track. I could write a whole essay on the reasons behind that decision, but I think I will save it for a blog post sometime in the future. New semester also means new job. I somehow have to pay for my course and living expenses and at the moment there are a few options out there. Firstly, I have recently had some good news from McDonald’s which means that I can return there if I so wish, there is also a possibility of an opening with William Hill (the bookies) which looks like a good opportunity – mainly beacuse it is better pay and nicer hours!

All of this means that I am going to have less spare time to spend with friends and what’s more, I will probably end up seeing Liz a lot less than is ideal. Compounding this is the fact that Liz has applied for a new job (interview on Wednesday) which means she will be working full time hours and therefore be free a lot less. Normally, I would say that this sucks but I think our relationship is at the stage where we can understand and accept the commitments we both have and work our relationship around them. I am really looking forward to the next few months, they are probably going to decide the next few years of my life!