Archive for October, 2011

What I have been up to this week 2011-10-30

October 30th, 2011 No comments
  • Thai food was not my greatest idea #
  • NINJA LEGO!!!!!! #
  • At the cinema to see Johnny English:Reborn. Loved the 1st one, so big hopes for the sequel. With @chrisworfolk and @elanlei making babies #
  • Just paid 10 pounds for cinema tickets #
  • Any one fancy entertaining me whilst I'm I'll? #
  • Off out for steak/ribs for @chrisworfolk birthday. #
  • W00t back in Leeds. Hot chocolate then bed I think. #
  • Apparently we're getting busses and it's going to take 90mins :(#
  • All the fucking trains to Leeds are delayed cos somebody did something stupid. #
  • Good night in Sheffield. Their president is lovely and knows @shiningpalace apparently. #smallworld #
  • At Sheffield Atheist Society to give talk on Humanism. #
  • At Leeds train station waiting on the train to Sheffield. Apparently its a fair old walk from station to uni. #
  • This job would be so much easier if I wasn't restricted to a windows laptop :(#
  • Gah, the insomnia is back. Been wanting to sleep since about 9.30. #
  • Spent the last hour catching up on blizzcon. WoW stuff is underwhelming to say the least :( I need a new game to play… /quit wow. #
  • Just about beat my hangover :) thou now less than 7 hours til I'm up again for work. #
  • Food based nightmares due to our @xilo Internet being flaky #

Sheffield Atheists

October 26th, 2011 No comments

Having spent the last ninety minutes on the coach back from Sheffield due to trains being delayed or cancelled I thought I’d throw a few lines together about the trip.

I was in Sheffield as I had been presenting a talk on the atheist and humanist world view to the Sheffield Atheist Society based at the university. I had been booked via the AHS so had agreed to waive expenses, something I would like to see catch on.

The talk was a relatively short one at about forty minutes but I think it went down relatively well with the exception of a couple of audience members that took the Q&A section a little personal. I will be doing a fuller post on the actual content of the talk so keep an eye out.

It is difficult not to draw comparisons between societies when you see as many as I do and I have to say that Sheffield are up there with the friendliest. It is obvious that the society under its current leadership is still searching for their identity but I have every confidence that they will be successful.

With regards to the city itself, I rather liked some parts of the centre (they have a Ribshack), it felt clean and well organised but felt rather devoid of any character. Having said, the current trend of glass facades and generic branding means it is harder and harder to get a sense of the local heritage.

What I have been up to this week 2011-10-23

October 23rd, 2011 No comments
  • It's going to be @leedsatheistsoc via #fnm tonight as got trades to sort out. #
  • Rough ass day today :( just going on my lunch ( which is so late im just going home. #
  • I do love me some independence day :)#
  • Five hours of nonsense now with this stupid file. Have to give up now cos no access to server after 4. #nemesis #
  • Too much kill -9 today :(#
  • Lol, just running a script that has taken cpu usage to 91%. Never seen it that high at work. #
  • Tickets booked for my talk to Sheffield Atheist Society next week! #
  • My light lunchtime reading: a phD thesis on the power dynamics in the relationship between men who pay for sex and female prostitutes. #

Blogging from my iPhone

October 19th, 2011 No comments

I am writing this from the WordPress app for my recently acquired iPhone.

I have been a Blackberry user for almost three years now (I still am) and have long been a fan of the full qwerty keyboard they offer, the enterprise trade security and the rioters’ tool of choice, Blackberry Messenger (BBM).

However, since I got an iPhone as a replacement for my iPod, I have been quite impressed. It feels fast and agile yet manages to accomplish most tasks I throw at it. I still feel that the touchscreen keyboard is less reliable and slower to use than the full tactile keyboard offered by the RIM rivals.having said that the corrective text algorithms on the Apple device are pretty good even when typing gibberish. The lack of flexibility in terms of apps and personalisation is something that Android users take issue with and rightly so, however with me coming from Blackberry there was less of an impact there. In my opinion the lack of freedom is probably almost balanced by security and peace of mind, although as a fan of freedom, the balance is on the right track but is definitely not there yet!

I currently am using a Blackberry Bold as my day to day communications device and primary hand held email platform and the iPhone 4 as my social media and media (including games) device. My Blackberry contract is up in March and I am torn as to whether to replace it with another one or contemplate a standard back up phone.

AHS – Gateway to the World?

October 18th, 2011 No comments

Last Tuesday, I delivered a lecture to the Leeds Atheist Society on how getting involved with your local student society is more than just a social opportunity with a few interesting talks thrown in. In order to really get the most out of the experience, I suggested that members should look to involve themselves early and then progress through to the wider community – i.e, AHS, BHA etc.

The theme of my lecture was on what the AHS and the BHA have to offer to students and how the local atheist, humanist or secularist student society offers a real platform from which to really explore those opportunities.

The AHS offers a fantastic range of ways of building experience and developing the CV. From the Regional Development Officers who gain invaluabvle experience of networking, communication and team working through to the Executive with their exposure to leadership, risk management, strategic planning and public relations there are saleable skills there for the taking.

Being a part of any organisations, particularly on a voluntary basis, is not easy and requires a time and resource commitment. However, it is my experience that this is well worth the effort. Unluike traditional internships and work experience, there is real flexibility in how the time and resources are delivered and as the leadership stems from the internship style positions, rather than managed from a permanent employee, then individuals can mould their experience to fit their needs.

Having gone from being a member of a society, through to leading that society and then going on to found and lead the AHS as president, I have had the chance to see what those opportunities look like. I met Richard Dawkins, negotiated affiliations with national charities, led a local campaign to ban Halal and Kosher meat, debated professional speakers and made some long lasting friendships with people from across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

It is my opinion that organisations like the AHS offer far more value than they are given credit for and if any students are reading this, then they should strongly consider looking to get involved.

What I have been up to this week 2011-10-16

October 16th, 2011 No comments
  • Tonight is all about the love. Cara and @christopherowen me and @chrisworfolk and @theblindking and @ShinyPyroGirl #
  • Hanging in #Wendy with @chrisworfolk @christopherowen @teeessell etc #
  • Can't believe people like @sarannity and @theblindking are not coming to our pre-party. #unacceptablebehaviour #notgoodenougheffort #
  • My hair clipper battery died half way through a hair cut… #
  • Quick reminder that the pre- #Wendy place to be is at our flat from 8. Ask if you need more info. #
  • Good night out. Pity it was @Seniath leaving do (will be missed) but good to see some old faces. #
  • Team lunch at pizza hut. Taking advantage of 'eat all you can' buffet in an hour is painful :( tho tasty #
  • My boss thinks Humanism is like shamanism #
  • First day back at work after a few days off is always traumatic. Tho hog roast for lunch was a bonus. #
  • About to give my talk to @leedsatheistsoc about the @ahsstudents and @BHAhumanists #
  • My presentation for @leedsatheistsoc is nailed down :) just waiting on a couple of bits from other people and I'm ready to go! #
  • Great competition over @FrenchFtWeekly : chance to win Ligue 1 shirts! #
  • A long afternoon travelling is done and I'm safely home. Thanks to @GodwinsLawyer and @Viki_Chan for entertaining me. #
  • Eagle-eye Cherry playing Save Tonight at sunset on the train travelling through the midlands green belt is an interesting combo. #
  • Made it!! #
  • I made the connection :) just got to get from Waterloo to Kings X in 35mins. #
  • Safely on the train to Waterloo. Now, just to make the 2 min connection to get the train to Leeds. This could go @GodwinsLawyer esque. #
  • Officially addicted to Wasabi peas #
  • Awesome weekend with @GodwinsLawyer in Guildford. Good host despite her claims to the contrary :p #

Weekend Away

October 11th, 2011 No comments

Having taken a few days off work to relax and catch up on some work that has been on my to do list for months, I found myself sat on a train at 9am on Saturday morning heading to Guildford to see my friend Jess.

Jess is currently head of membership at the AHS and a former president of Southampton Atheists. She is also a singer and lawyer-to-be (check out her YouTube page if you want some personal serenading for charity!)

I have been to Guildford a couple of times before, a few times back in the day when my friend Dom worked down South and more recently when I went to a Guildford Skeptics in the Pub meeting when I was down in the area for work.

I rocked up to Guildford station after a fairly event free trip down and Jess and I went for a wander. I was counting this weekend as a holiday, so first port of call was the tourist information centre for postcards and stamps! I also discovered that there isn’t an awful lot to do in Guildford that is touristy.

We hit the pub so I could write my postcard and accidentally found ourselves quaffing the local cider before lunch. Although the lunch issue was rectified with a trip to Sainsburys and then the bus ride out to the Manor house that Jess lives in. That’s right, the trainee lawyer that lives in manor house! I am definitely in the wrong career.

A few songs later (and half a bottle of single barrel Jack Daniels) we had some tea and then hit town for a night on the town Guildford style. We managed to avoid the students and cheesy music by heading to a piano bar with an over 21 policy at the weekends.

I haven’t really been to a piano bar before, so I was rather impressed with the live music (even if it was a little predictable in places) and the fact that I felt rather young in the presence of all the other professional partaking of a cocktail or two. What I wasn’t impressed with was the speed of bar service. I had to queue in excess of 10 mins at the bar every time, this meant pre-queuing was essential (i.e. we started queuing for the next drink before we had finished our first drink). Jess got happily drunk and started strutting her stuff on the dancefloor (with her trademark “arm up, dip the knee” move getting some admiring glances from our fellow partygoers).

The Sunday was rather more sedate, with a late breakfast followed by several hours of us putting the world to rights, I caught the train back to Leeds at around 4pm and after a long delay in Peterborough I got back in time to catch some TV before bed.

All in all a rather pleasant way to spend a weekend.

What I have been up to this week 2011-10-09

October 9th, 2011 No comments
  • At a piano bar with @GodwinsLawyer . Really nice place except for the queue for drinks . #
  • Guess who's drinking Jack Daniels out of the pint glass out of me and @GodwinsLawyer ? #
  • Why are all the train stations/towns in the south sponsored? Currently in 'Woking, sponsored by Petrofac' #
  • In our nation's capital #
  • East coast do the weakest coffee known to man! Also, it seems I did the right thing missing the football and the rugby. #
  • Hope @GodwinsLawyer appreciates the fact that I'm giving upon England v France in #RWC2011 to come see her today :p #
  • Managed a 1-3 record at #fnm . Mill decks without enough play testing are not best ideas. #
  • So my control deck didn't go so well against mono red. #
  • Card just got eaten :( night before weekend away too . Sucks balls. #
  • The new gourmet pizzas from Domino's are disappointing. #
  • Can anyone tell I'm on holiday ? Just ordered dominoes for first time in months #
  • In pub with @leedsatheistsoc for drinks after hearing why Simon Wellings is not a Christian. #
  • In the terrace for pre- @leedsatheistsoc meeting drinks #
  • It appears I'm off a-travelling this weekend :)#
  • Any ideas about what I should do in my week off? #
  • I'm off to a public meeting tomorrow hosted by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Fun times !! #
  • I think I've broken my foot :(#

What I have been up to this week 2011-10-02

October 2nd, 2011 No comments
  • Too HOT. Currently dunking my head in cold water. #
  • Women wearing see through tops and no bra should not be allowed to play geeky games. #unfairadvantage #
  • So playing in #FridayNightMagic at traveling man. Draft, so could be good or bad… Then heading to @leedsatheistsoc house party :)#
  • The colour of my profile page is my very own colour – those that care it is #0a096b #
  • Norman Navy just helped save a child’s life, you can too. #ownacolour #
  • Getting some Valerie from @Laura_Gibney . The crowd just not getting into the swing. Now if hubby @andrew_gibney were cracking Reet Petite.. #
  • The wonderful @Laura_Gibney serenading @O2 summer fun day #
  • Free ice cream at work :)#
  • Half day today to make up for long week last week. Tho does mean I miss the beach party at work. #
  • Let's just say there are some real positives to an Indian summer :p unfortunately there are many downsides. #ihatepeople #
  • Well it's warm out #
  • Database design for the lose :(#
  • I just don't understand why people refuse to run their events past me and @chrisworfolk . It only ever ends in disappointment if they don't. #
  • Another day at the office. 9am meeting is not my idea of fun, especially when it's followed by all day workshop. #
  • How much whisky is it ok to drink? #
  • A thoroughly depressing day. #
  • I have a free dinner and hotel for 2 voucher. Do I use it on my own or hold out for someone to go with? #
  • Not even half past 7 and already thinking about bed. #