Thursday, 27 May 2010


Its gotten sunny recently. Which is always a good thing as its somewhat rare in Britain. I have even been without a jacket or coat for a few days (although I can't seem to find my jacket currently). Got some ice pops especially, they're really small, but came in large amounts so I usually go through about two at a time (which also means I get twice the flavour, huzzah!).


Had my birthday a few days ago (25th May), found out it was the same date as various other things. I turned 23, although I've not paid too much attention to birthdays for a year or so. Spent most of the day relaxing (finished coursework the other week and had no exams, so waiting to start my Masters thesis), although as I'd been doing that for a few days, I'm claiming the last week or so as an extended birthday relaxation fortnight. After the last summer, its nice to have an extended break (last summer I finished exams, started work the week after, finished work and started back at Uni after a weekend, so not too much time off). With good intentions I wrote down a short list of things I could try and get done, but so far have done about a fifth of them. 

Anyway, the main reason of this post is look at all the various other things that also happened on my birthday. 

Magic: The Gathering Game Day (London 2010-05-22)

Went along to the Magic: The Gathering Game Day in London last Saturday (22nd May). It was a standard tournament[1] and, while I had played standard decks both casually and occasionally in sanctioned events, not at this level of competitivness (its a game day, so not that competitive in itself, but like I said, I've not really played much competitive standard matches at all). The main reason I say its more competitive is because its the first time I have had to provide a deck list at an event. Just about got there in time and signed up. There were 18 other players I believe. 

Decided to play a deck I had made a few weeks ago, lots of goblins, and a few burn spells basically. I think its fun to play, although it is very prone to running out of steam if games run on too long. Have changed the deck a little since, but will note down what I think I played[2]

Masters year (Semester A and B)

Masters Year

This is going to cover what I've done so far during my Masters year, which should complete my 'trilogy' of posts catching up from when I used to write blogs. 

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Final Year

After finishing my placement, I moved out and back to Hatfield almost straight away, myself, Simon, Adam, Dave and Shane had found a house between Uni and Asda to live in for the year. 

Cucumber Software House

The name 'Cucumber Software House' comes from a team exercise in first year, when we were in a group and the lecturer (perhaps foolishly) allowed us to pick our own group name; 'Cucumber Software House' was what Dave shouted (after me and Shane had tried to make a backronym [1] out of rude words) out and it stuck. 

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Third year (placement)

Picking up where I left off (I believe some-when around the end of August), from September 2007 (seems so long ago...) I started working for a years placement at Anritsu in Luton. The degree I was doing at the time included a sandwich (mmmm) placement year, and that was to take place between second and third year.

Before starting work, myself and Dave (who also had a placement there) went looking for houses and soon discovered the main difference between student renting and non-student renting. With student renting, houses are allocated for a year ish (about 9 or 10 months usually) and are allocated from January, for that September. This is because the academic year is fixed, so student will all be started to move in at the same time, for 9 or so months, and all move out again over the summer (so the landlords can fix up any issues with the house (*cough* hole in the wall *cough* simon *cough*) for the next lot of student to move in). Unfortunately for me and Dave, anywhere that doesn't rent to students, will only give you about a week from reserving a place until you move in. So even though me and Dave were trying to be cautious and make sure we had somewhere to live for a year in advance, we had to wait around for ages until just before we were to start work for us to find somewhere. Luckily we managed to get a place reserved for two weeks before moving in, and I moved in about a week before starting work. We had a nice little place, about 5 minutes walk from work, 5 to 10 minutes from Luton town centre (although right at the top of a fairly steep hill), and fairly close to one of the bus stops of the Uno bus route. The flat itself was a living room and kitchen on one floor, and two bedrooms and bathroom up some stairs, with the flat itself being part of a larger house.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Blog re-start

Used to write blogs a few years ago on MySpace, the last one apparently being the end of August 2007, right in between the time of the summer after my second year of Uni finishing, and starting placement for a year. I guess I stopped because of a mixture of :
a. working full time meant I had less times to both write blogs and do things to write blogs about, so kept to the doing things without the writing about it
b. more and more people I knew started moving over to Facebook, so I was spending less time on MySpace

Thought I would start again, for no particular reason, looking at posting irregular updates (i.e. whenever I have free time/motivation) about nothing in particular (trying to think if I can make this sentence any more vague). If this is anything like how I used to write, each post will be filled with tangents (mainly in (probably nested) parenthesis), potentially somewhat lengthy, and I may end up arguing with myself, but oh well. As I can't see any smiley face icons in this editor, that it something that will be missing compared with my previous blog posts :( but I'm sure I'll do fine without.

Well, enough of the introduction, I've got about 3 years to try and remember and write down to catch up...