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Journal

Welcome to Lamsey's now-largely defunct online journal. With the advent of social networking and the rigours of a full-time job, I don't often find the time to update this. For historical reasons, I'm leaving the old stuff up, but don't expect any updates any time soon. My Facebook account is a better way to keep in touch, should you be that way inclined.

An index to old journal posts can be found here.

Going up and going fast
Wed 11/11/09 (Link to this entry)

As I write this I am still somewhat residually knackered from this weekend's exertions (although the weekly badminton session tonight probably has a lot to do with it too!). Despite our better judgement, my housemate Hannah and I organised a bunch of our workmates and friends to go and climb Mount Snowdon, Wales' highest peak, on Saturday. It was a great weekend, even if the weather got a bit iffy at times!

We stayed at a bunkhouse near Llanberis run by a wonderful old chap who calls himself Jesse James and is brimming over with character. It was a great call by Hannah, as it was a really good laugh having everyone staying there - I can highly recommend it, and I'm sure we'll be back there sometime. The bunkhouse's website is here, if you're interested: http://www.jessejamesbunkhouse.co.uk/ (he's not joking about the flapjack, it's awesome).

In a slight departure from my usual photo-posting style, I'm going to link up the Facebook gallery I created from the weekend on the basis that it's publicly-visible and it saves me some effort. The album is here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2037678&id=1079678044&l=1aeb5dc129 - just click an image to view it larger (along with captions and comments). I can't resist posting this one, though:

Hannah and the rest of the guys climbing Crib Goch

Yes, it really did look that epic. As you can tell from Hannah's expression, she thought so too! While some of the others took the more well-trodden Pyg track, those of us in the pic above went up via Crib Goch, a route which is not for the faint-hearted, particularly in high winds and rain/snow/sleet/hail/fog (which is what we got hit with when we reached the main ridge). It was a bit hairy at times but absolutely great fun, and well worth the effort. All in all, a good weekend's work :-)

So that's the "going up" bit for this post, what about the "going fast" bit? Well, that happened earlier today - the Lab team at Sun (with a few select guests) went for a wee karting event, a matter of some pleasure for me since it's the first time they've organised it while I've actually been around to attend. It went pretty well, too - despite not having driven a kart for over two years, I qualified on pole and won the subsequent race, with the fastest lap time to boot by about seven tenths. All in all, a good day's work :-)

No, I haven't died
Sun 25/10/09 (Link to this entry)

So how do you follow up a post all about the culmination of six years of studentship and the start of a new life down south? Well, if I'm anything to go by, you wait four months before getting around to writing anything else and then sit down and think "fuck, where am I supposed to start here?". I guess the first thing to say is that this journal is not dead, but in future I'll only be updating it when I've something interesting to say and I can be bothered writing about it (which, given how busy I am these days, isn't as often as it used to be)...

So what's new in the life of Lamsey? Well, I've moved house twice since my last update - I was originally lodging temporarily with some kind folks up in the north of Camberley while I waited for my current room to become available. Now that it has, I'm quite pleased with my digs, as evidenced by the video below (apparently people like these videos, God knows why):

As I mentioned above, I'm pretty busy these days. I've taken up rock climbing (pic below), which is something I'd always liked the idea of but never gotten around to before. Nowadays I'm going two or three times a week (except recently, as I've been working off an ankle injury), and I'm really enjoying it. The only problem is, it's taking up a lot of my spare time, as are my weekly badminton sessions as well as trips to the cinema, pub, etc. After a year of being pretty inactive socially, these past few months have been great fun but also totally exhausting!

Me, halfway up a cliff face in Swanage

Other random bits of news: I won second place in the Scottish Young Software Engineer of the Year awards this year and won a thousand quid, which was pretty nice (expecially as they made me come up to Scotland not once but twice because of it!); I apparently won another award from the uni but they forgot to tell me about it and they still haven't sent me the prize (bloody academics!); I've still no idea how secure my job is because the Oracle/Sun acquisition still hasn't gone through; and I'm going to be in Scotland for the 24th through to the 30th of December this year.

That's it from me today... I'll try and keep it to less than four months until my next update, but no promises :-p

HELL YEAH
Wed 10/6/09 (Link to this entry)

I have finally received my degree results, and I'm glad to say they were worth the wait. Without further ado:

My fifth-year exam results and degree award

Now I just need to find somewhere to live in Camberley for the next year; I'm happy to report that I've accepted a job down south back with my old team at Sun (soon to be Oracle), and I'll be starting before the end of this month. If anyone you know is looking to share a house in Camberley in the immediate-to-near future, please let me know asap!

Aagh, my legs
Tue 2/6/09 (Link to this entry)

I'm suffering pretty badly in this heatwave we're having just now - I'm almost expiring just sitting here typing this entry up. With that in mind, I've no idea how I managed to climb Ben Nevis via the hard route over the CMD Arete. That being said, "managed" is the word, I'm badly out of shape - must exercise more, dammit. As usual, I had my camera with me, so there's more to see here and a few more on Facebook.

Ben Nevis as seen from Carn Mhor Dearg
The Ben, as seen from Carn Mhor Dearg

And that's the end of that
26/5/09 (Link to this entry)

Good grief, is it really two months since I last wrote something in here? The last few weeks of a uni course does that to you, I'm afraid - it sucks out your will to do anything other than the bare minimum required to stay alive. That's all in the past now, though - my final exam was last Thursday and today's best project prize presentation (which I won, yay me) was the last thing I have to do before graduation :-)

Now comes the never-ending wait for my results... it'll probably be a couple of weeks yet before I hear anything, which doesn't sound like much but, right now, it seems like an eternity. That being said, I should be kept busy - I'm going hillwalking this weekend with James and Tom, who are coming up to tackle some lumpy things (probably Nevis on the Saturday and maybe something a little smaller the following day). It'll be nice to get out and clamber up a real hill rather than playing around trying to render it in 3D!

Addiction
Mon 30/3/09 (Link to this entry)

I think the members of this household have an excessive consumption problem. Most families have a fruit bowl. It would appear that we have a fruit table.

Our dining table, liberally covered with bowls of fruit

The above is for a family of three. It might be interesting next time we eat at the table - we'll probably have to clear some space for the dinner (assuming we don't just have fruit for dinner since we've spent our entire food budget on it...).

Footnote: I submitted my final-year project report for binding today. It'll be good to get that out of the way so I can catch up on all the stuff I've been putting off until the deadline. My 'to-do' list is steadily shrinking... :-)

All work and no play...
Fri 20/3/09 (Link to this entry)

As most people who've been through the final year of a university degree course will tell you, it sometimes seems that there's more work involved in the last few months than in the entirety of the preceding years of the course. Between my final-year project, my second-semester classes, and my part-time Campus Ambassador work for Sun, I basically have no free time just now.

I've actually done some interesting things lately but I just haven't managed to find the time to write about them on here. Three weeks ago, I visited Murrayfield to watch the Scotland vs. Italy match in this year's Six Nations (the ticket was a Christmas present from my sister). It was a great experience - the atmosphere at an international rugby match is phenomenal and it was brilliant to see Scotland actually doing well for once. Danielli's try in particular was really good - nothing like leaping off your seat and yelling your heart out along with tens of thousands of your countrymen. Here's hoping we put in a good show against the Auld Enemy this weekend...

Another thing I've been meaning to write about is going flying last week to test my final-year project. Since the software development has gone pretty well, my supervisor and I were keen to see what some actual pilots thought of the project, so we went up to the Scottish Aero Club at Perth Airport to do some in-flight testing.

It's a unique experience going up in a light aircraft - travelling on an airliner is pretty similar to being on a bus, but being in a light aircraft is more like being in a rowboat on a choppy sea. It's amazing how much you get buffeted about by the wind, and the first time you experience some serious negative G-forces is pretty unforgettable (full disclosure: the only thing that stopped me from whimpering like a little girl was the fact I had my mouth firmly clamped shut to stave off the queasiness).

Despite my having been somewhat overwhelmed by the experience, however, we got some really good feedback on the software I've put together. One of the guys we interviewed said the program "provides sufficient visual cues to make an emergency landing... If you're in the cack and you're going to die, use this and you might live". Having a quote like that from an experienced pilot is pretty bloody good for the report, I feel :-)

Another project-related bit of news: I've won second place in a competition run by the Ordnance Survey to discover innovative uses of their data, and the prize is going to be 250 in Amazon vouchers. I'm still wondering what to do with it - on the one hand, 250 is a load of books, DVDs or CDs, but on the other, the batteries in my phone and mp3 player are beginning to die... I can't decide where best to spend the cash. Thoughts? Feel free to try out the comments box below (oft-requested by someone who will remain nameless (TIMMAY)):


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