Saturday, October 25, 2003

Yes, I've updated my website. No big deal, really.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Man, I've been working hard recently. Somehow I managed to do everything I needed to do yesterday, but today I'm really tired. I have an appointment with the headmaster later, to talk about choosing universities/colleges. Since I've already made up my mind about where I'm applying to, I think it's a bit pointless, but it's always important to keep the boss happy. And then I've got another play rehearsal - this time the girls from Abbey School who are playing the female roles should be here.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I'm too tired today. Shooting yesterday went really badly - I didn't shoot very well at all. I think I was just too tired. Anyway, today's basically been working solidly, apart from choir after lunch and this gap between supper and the first rehearsal for Pirates. I ought to have done some horn practise, but I haven't.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

The recital last night didn't go too badly - I've played better, but equally I've played a lot worse. I've got to start work on the second movement now, for next Friday's concert. After I'd played at the recital I went to the prefects' evening in the New Pavilion, and then went to the pub - I must have got to bed about eleven in the end. I got a copy of the libretto for Pirates this morning, and I really have got one of the biggest parts! I've got at least one song to myself, and I'm on stage almost constantly. I'd better start learning my lines!

Friday, September 19, 2003

The casting's been announced for Pirates - and I'm the Pirate King! We still can't play full contact rugby, because the ground's too hard (it hasn't rained properly in weeks), but the senior squad's been split into four and we're going to have a touch rugby tournament tomorrow. Training today was good fun - and we're going win. As far as the GB U19 shooting team form is concerned... this morning I managed to get a character report done by Mr. Hennessy, got it endorsed by the headmaster, printed a photo and attached it to the form, and having done all that noticed that Mr. Topham had failed to sign a crucial part of the form. So I had to get hold of Major Fraser at CCRS (a saga in itself) and he told me to send a photocopy and then send the real thing when I'd got Mr. Topham to sign it on Monday. Now, I wonder if my suspicion that Dr. Nicoll has lost my Cambridge form is correct?
I still haven't got my Cadet Rifle Team form sorted - primarily because I had an allergic reaction to something at dinner yesterday and was cooped up in the sanatorium for the whole evening. This was bad, especially since I needed to get Mr. Topham to sign my form, and he's not going to be here again until Monday (which is the deadline for the form getting to CCRS). It seems I'm not very good at getting shooting forms in on time - I left my Imperial Meeting application form until the last minute as well. Ho hum. I'm not looking forward to barging in on Mr. Dytor and demanding an endorsement for my application either, but I'm going to have to do it. Now I have to go and see the doctor again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I finally got my Year in Industry form posted - now I need to chase up Mr. Hennessy to send a copy of my reference to them as well. But now I'm probably going to have to stay up all night to get my GB Rifle Team application ready, because I've got to send it tomorrow. And I've got prep for tomorrow to boot. I just did my audition for The Pirates of Penzance, and I hope I'll be able to land a decent part. Interestingly, this would be my first time ever acting in a play at this school! I was technical manager for Twelth Night and prompter for Twelve Angry Men, but this would be my first time actually as an actor... We had 27 people at orchestra this afternoon - the most for as long as I can remember. We're not very good yet, but I'm sure we'll get there eventually! And the rugby? Things went much better today - I guess everyone was just tired and fed up yesterday. Can't blame them if they were - at the moment it's much too hot here for rugby training.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I was training with the third team today; it was terrible. An absolute joke. We don't have enough people for a proper team, and the people we do have can't be bothered to put any effort in at all. It makes me sick. I've just finished reading Cities in Flight by James Blish - it's a great read. Very much old-school, Cold War sci-fi - a real classic work.
I'm going to audition for The Pirates of Penzance!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Yes, I've finally managed to get around to blogging. Wow! What a weekend. I missed Friday and Saturday school - on Friday OCYO was giving concerts for local primary school children in Oxford Town Hall. Then I spent Friday night and Saturday morning at Lizzie's house (yay!) before going back to the Town Hall for a rehearsal before our annual Gala Concert (which went much better than I was expecting it to). On Sunday I went shooting, and had a lazy time but still managed a maximum in the Gallery match! Today I managed to catch up with all my work, and did lots of horn practice. At the moment I'm working on Mozart's 3rd Horn Concerto, and Dukas' Villanelle, which is just about the hardest horn piece I've played that's still managed to be enjoyable. Only bad thing is I don't get to see Lizzie again for another three weeks...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

School orchestra was better than usual. We got quite a few people to turn up for a change - I think the change of time has had a good effect. I'm actually feeling quite positive about how it's going so far. Today we rehearsed an arrangement of the Dambusters' March from the film... and it didn't sound too bad at all! I'm settling back down into playing on the wing. Everything's getting back to how I remember it... catching, passing, looping, switching, all at high speed. I'm almost disappointed about not being available for the match this weekend!
FreeNetName's web servers are being infuriating at the moment. When I first go to a page on my website I get a 404, but when I hit F5 up the page pops. I do intend to get better hosting at some point, but I just haven't got the time to organize it. I'd quite like hosting with PHP and MySQL but I doubt that's going to happen any time soon... too expensive. Rebecca has persuaded me to become a member of the Royal Institution - now that I have Monday and Thursday afternoons free hopefully I'll be able to go along to some lectures. There's a very interesting one on the 24th October about the development of flight over the last hundred years, and I'm going to try and get to that. I've decided to apply for the IEE Faraday Scholarship, but I think I'll be lucky to get it. There's only 12 available... but it would be cool if I could, because it would really help to subsidise the meagre student loan I'm likely to get.
I'm definitely feeling worse for wear this morning. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Rugby training went quite well today - it's all coming back to me now. I'm quite looking forward to training tomorrow! Maybe I'll be able to make the second team once I get my gumshield. My mum threatened to make a cake and bring it in this evening, but I fortunately managed to persuade her not to. Fortunately, I've now got all my maths lessons sorted out. We're going to be studying six modules this year - S2, M3 and P3 to P6. I have nine a week! But fortunately I'll miss one of my stats lessons each week - I find stats mind-numbingly boring. Plans for the evening: shooting, horn practise, and then I'll go to the pub if I have time.
I'm eighteen!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Bad news for h2g2...
I've nearly finished filling out the various forms I need to do - Year In Industry, UCAS, and Cambridge - but I haven't even started on the Cadet Rifle Team application yet. Ironically, this is the one that needs to be in first. Speaking of shooting, a random girl from the Stamford team just e-mailed me and wished me a happy birthday. Which was nice, if suprising. Apparently she'd looked at my website and decided to e-mail me. The weekend is rapidly approaching - and I haven't done any horn practise today. I'm dreadful.
Depressingly, Tiscali have now started advertising their products in my e-mails. I've sent off a complaint to their customer service department, but I'm not sure if they're going to do anything about it. I find it quite annoying that it seems almost impossible to find an ISP that doesn't put its own advertisement signature on your e-mails. It's my 18th birthday tomorrow! But I'm not really looking forward to it, because the rest of my year have sworn to give me a wedgie, the b@$t@rds! I think I'm going to have to make myself scarce tomorrow: I've got some tactics prepared though. The school choir has kicked off for the year - and the new Director of Music here is really putting the boot in. He's not messing around at all, which bodes well for the rest of the year. Hopefully Greg, who has a very poor opinion of the school choir, should be placated if we get to a reasonable standard this year.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

I got my comeupance for "borrowing" a CD player from the Music Dept: it was a broken CD player, and it scratched my copy of "Night Works" (Layo & Bushwacka). I am now somewhat disgruntled. Fortunately, however, I'd made an MP3 backup. Isn't it a good thing the CD wasn't pirate-proof? I've spent most of the day shooting at Pirbright, training for the CADet Skill-at-Arms Match (CADSAM). My brother's being really annoyingly good at the moment: it's not that he's good, it's that he's ridiculously good without even seeming to try, whereas I try really hard and am still only fairly competent. It's infuriating. Concert plug: OCYO are playing their annual Gala Concert in Oxford Town Hall on September 13th. Programme: Rimsky Korsakov Russian Easter Festival Overture, Debussy L'Apr├ęs Midi d'Une Faune, Hindermitt Symphonic Metamorphoses, and Rachmaninov's Second Symphony. It should be good, so come along if you have time! I'm playing first horn in the Hindermitt, so I'd better do some practice this week. The Adams Family is an incredibly amusing film.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Despite my initial plans to play badminton this term rather than rugby, Mr. Hennessy has persuaded me otherwise. Fortunately they're going to give me a pair of boots so I'm spared that expense, and I've already got the majority of the kit I need. I started of the term doing as much exercise as I intended: yesterday I went for a run in the morning and an ergo in the evening, but didn't do as much as I intended. I even did some horn practise, but unfortunately it's really not going well at the moment. Ming has gone! And I didn't even notice! Terrible. Anyway, it's about time I started paying more attention to h2g2 again.

Friday, September 05, 2003

This seems worth a read...
So, I'm finally back at school and bored enough to start blogging again. No, I haven't updated my website for ages (too busy) and probably won't be able to for just as long (my laptop's battery has died, and we haven't even got the supplier to collect it for servicing yet). I'm going to be eighteen in a few days, and I'm finally going to be getting a Visa card! I'm looking forward to the end of not knowing whether the shop I'm in will or won't accept my piece of plastic...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Oops, haven't been updating again... I got a distinction in my Grade 8 horn exam!!! The Schools' Meet and the Imperial Meeting went quite well. I'm now the Captain of Shooting (yay!) but unfortunately we didn't actually do that well - we came second in the Marling and in the Team Snapshooting, and our 'B' team won the Falling Plates (our 'A' team came third). The next week some of our team went back to Bisley to shoot the Imperial because we want to apply to the GB youth teams for next year. I don't rate my chances though - I shot poorly, and that's what matters... Since then I've been doing lots of cycling - I'm cycling to Wales next week - and reading, and I've been doing some work on QuArK - latest snapshots are at SourceForge. In other news, I'm heading up the RAF section of our school Cadet Force next year, and I'm Deputy House Captain. And leader of the orchestra, but that doesn't count for much, unfortunately. I've made some updates to my website, but they won't be visible until I get my new hosting working.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Fortunately, my brother seems to have recovered from his anaphylactic attack, and AFAIK he's out of hospital now. So that's good. In other news, I spent the entire afternoon reading J. K. Rowling's new Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix. Pretty good actually: suprisingly, in fact. Bristol Open Day tomorrow, and I still don't know how I'm going to get there... My Grade 8 horn exam this morning went... reasonably... hopefully I scraped a merit: it would be great if I have. I don't get to find out my mark for ages, unfortunately...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Hmmm... once again, I haven't been doing much bloggage recently. I've been pretty busy: last week I was on work experience placement at Reading University Cybernetics Department, which was pretty cool. In fact it was amazing.

I'm finally an official developer for QuArK, which means I get lots of exciting things, like a remote shell account at SourceForge, access to the SourceForge compile farm, the ability to make releases and stuff... I still haven't quite got my head around it!

Greg was taken ill with a severe allergic attack this evening - we don't know what caused it - and he's in hospital at the moment, under observation. Not very nice really...

Grade 8 horn tomorrow morning! Aaargh! No!

Friday, June 13, 2003

Well, over this week I've been doing a lot of work on QuArK, and I've produced a new installer for it: you can download it from Yahoo Groups if you want to try out the latest 6.4.0 alpha version.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Yes, Chemistry was tricky, and long: three one-hour papers. Some of those questions were on really obscure parts of the syllabus! I don't think I did as well as I should have, so I'm going to make pretty sure that I am properly prepared for my other exams of this session.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Half term was good. I got to spend quite a lot of time with Lizzie, and managed to relax quite successfully (inbetween bouts of revision). I didn't really do enough revision though, but I'm revising more now. God knows I need to.

I had my first exam of this session today: Pure Mathematics P1. It went pretty well, and I think I'm above the 90th percentile for definite. I'm looking forward to the results for that one! I've got Chemistry tomorrow though, and I'm not looking forward to that in any way whatsoever. It's going to be a tricky one.

I've got a date for my Grade 8 horn exam now. It's going to be on the 25th of June, which is good because it clashes with a compulsory school activity I'm not very keen on: our year's Day of Recollection. So I'll basically have the day off (well, sort of).

Exam-wise, this week's busy. After Chemistry tomorrow I've got a Statistics exam on Thursday followed by Physics on Friday, but then I've only got two exams, and they're pretty spaced out, so I'm going to have plenty of time to prepare for them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I've been working hard this morning - I did an S1 practice paper. Then I went and bought £45 worth of DVDs, computer games and music from Amazon, but that's beside the point. I've ordered 2001: A Space Odyssey, Enemy at the Gates (only £8!), Homeworld: Cataclysm and Trance Nation Deeper (a Ministry of Sound compilation). Retail therapy. I'm playing the horn a lot at the moment. Speaking of which, I must now go and practise, once I've finished updating my bank records...

Monday, May 19, 2003

So shooting over the weekend - on Saturday we had the Sawyer Cup (shot at 300m) and the Sussex Schools' Trophy (3-500 aggregate). Despite a good shoot in practise last Wednesday, we underperformed in the actual match - the pouring rain may have had something to do with that. I personally did reasonably well, achieving an aggregate of 60.2 over the two distances. In the end our pairs did very well, especially our reserve pair, but our eight only managed to get runners up position in the cup for small schools. Sunday (the 4th Divisional Cadet Target Rifle Competition) didn't go much better. We had more rain, and this time we were shooting the Cadet GP, which we haven't trained on at all this year. I myself had serious problems holding my elevation, mainly because of the different sighting system, and only managed an aggregate of 54 - pretty poor. Sutton Valence beat us. And then laughed at us. They'll be laughing on the other side of their faces at Bisley... On a non-shooting note, I'm now on study leave. Which has meant large amounts of horn practise and sleeping, interspersed with bits of work. Actually, I have done both Chemistry and P2 papers today, so I haven't really been wasting my time - besides which, I am overtired and I do need to practise the horn. I'm certainly looking forward to Friday - not only do I get to see Lizzie but I get to watch The Matrix Reloaded as well...

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Mmmm... digital radio... I want one. But it seems there are no receivers that connect to a computer by USB other than the Psion Wavefinder - and that's expensive. One lesson and then I'm on study leave! We're shooting two shooting matches today, and I have a kind of horrible feeling that I'm not going to do very well. I didn't shoot particularly well in the LMRA match, so I have to hope I'll do better this time. It turns out I'm not going to be on the Cyborg Project but working the MADLAB. Whoopee.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I'm listening to Ministry of Sound radio... not bad actually. I just wish I had enough money to upgrade to the high quality stream. I've got to get around to e-mailing my administrative contact at Reading University sometime I suppose... I'll do it tomorrow. 'Peter by name, procrastinator by nature.' Probably not a good thing, I guess.
Haven't had time to blog, I've been to busy playing Freelancer... Hmmm... work experience looks like it's going to be interesting. My original placement at Culham Laboratory fell through (something to do with government bureaucracy), but I was snatched up by the Cybernetics department at Reading University (I'll be working with Kevin Warwick). He's the guy with the computer chip in his arm... We've got three (!) shooting matches this weekend: the Sussex Schools and the Sawyer Cup on Saturday (at Bisley) and the 4th Divisional Target Rifle Match on Sunday. And then study leave starts... which means I have to pull my finger out and do some work. Ouch.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Argh... AS science practicals next week. Yes, I'm worrying. And generally my studies aren't going very well at the moment... but I get to see Lizzie tomorrow, so things aren't all that bad. The first couple of weeks of July are currently looking exceptionally busy. In fact I'm triple-booked on at least one day. I suppose I ought to sort it out sometime. Interesting thing: SpaceShipOne, Burt Rutan's latest idea.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I've been going out with Lizzie for five months now... yay! I just can't be bothered to work on my website at the moment... I should have uploaded my new design months ago, but I just can't be bothered. Oh well. My friend Lisa's put a really nice new design up on her website ( I wish I was that good at design... Windows is really annoying me at the moment. It's slow, it keeps on crashing, and most of the applications I currently use don't run under Linux. That said, Linux isn't being that great either... it refuses to detect that my sound card has a bass channel, for a start. Grrr. Speaking of Linux, I need to download the latest OpenOffice. Personally, I reckon that OpenOffice has a much better feature set than MS Office... even if it is open source and unsupported, which don't count for much in my view.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Oh yes, and I got hit by a car when I was out cycling yesterday. Oh well.
Gosh, I haven't posted to my blog for ages... Shooting's going pretty well at the moment - new rifles (the L81A2 target rifle, courtesy of MoD) which are much nicer than the cadet GP - but we didn't manage to retain the LMRA Schools' trophies. Epsom beat us. Yes, I'm meant to be revising for my AS levels, and practising for Grade 8 horn... but I'm not...

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Academic prizes announced for this year. I won the Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry prizes - given that they're the only subjects I do, I think I've done pretty well...'s almost the end of term!

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I just got my work experience place confirmed - I'm going to be spending a week working at Culham Laboratory! Yay! Unfortunately I have a Pure Maths exam in the middle of that week, but all that means is that I'll have part of a morning off work... All I need to do now is to write a CV.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Hmm... not too bad a day, really. Didn't get as much done as I should have though. Bad me. It's the last week of term, so I don't have very much prep to do - but I'm meant to be revising. I've got an extra exam in the summer now, because my Head of Maths said I should retake Pure Maths 1 (I only got 81/100 in my first try). And I've got a mock Statistics exam on Thursday, it turns out. Ho hum. Better start doing some work, really. But right now I'm off to bed...
Weekend was pretty good - went to see National Security with Lizzie on Saturday, had a great time (as always when we're together). CMS actually was pretty good as well - concert next week, so I need to do more horn practise! Matt said that my playing was sounding much better this week - probably thanks to doing all the exercises he set for me last week! I need to keep it up - OCYO's coming up, only a couple of weeks away now, so I need to get my endurance really, really up to scratch. At the moment it seems my dad will stop me going to Lizzie's birthday party. It's so unfair!

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

With parliament voting for war, and Saddam Hussain refusing to back down and go into exile, it seems that war is now inevitable - merely a matter of when the first cruise missile will be launched, the first bombs dropped, the first troops engaged. In a way I support the coalition's motives - Saddam is an man who should be removed from power as soon as possible - but the pretext that they're only going in to disarm him of his WMD is something I don't agree with. How can the US and UK be so openly hypocritical? If they think that WMD are that much of an evil, shouldn't they dispose of their WMD first as a gesture of good will?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I can't believe how much better my violin playing is sounding nowadays! I think I might actually be able to take my Grade 7 in the autumn... but right now the priority is to practise for my Grade 8 horn, which I'm hoping to take next year. My statistics teacher (Mr Mackay) is introducing something called the Model United Nations to the school. It sounds interesting... perhaps I could be on the security council. BTW, one thing I particularily find amusing about the UN is the fact that that the UN resolutions are all one sentence - extending to a page or more. It makes them very hard to read, IMHO. This weekend I'm going to get new hosting for my website, with 34 SP. And since I'll have both PHP and MySQL access, it seems that all my work on NEWTS was a bit pointless. Then again, it'll be useful to tide me over until I design a full CMS.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I found just about the best online t-shirt shop ever: Talking T's.
I got my templating engine working. Yay! I've decided to call it NEWTS - that's short for "Nice & Easy Website Templating System". I like acronyms. I've even got a newt as the logo. Anyway, as I was saying, I've got a beta version in CVS, and I'm using it to build my new website. It's much quicker than I expected - at the moment it manages to build my website, about twenty pages, in less than a second. Hopefully I should be able to get it uploaded at the weekend... by which time I should have made a new design. I performed the Poulenc Elegie again today, at the Teatime recital, but it didn't go as well as it did on Friday. Hey, that's just life I guess. I wonder if I can get some more horn practise in before I go to bed?

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Just got my modular results - Decision Maths 1 93%, Mechanics 1 97% - which means that I've now got AS Applied Maths at grade A. Yay! I've got another rehearsal for Carmina Burana tonight. It'll be interesting what it'll sound like when you add two more choirs - then again, any change would have to be improvement!

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Help. My AS Applied Maths results come tomorrow. And I'm panicking, because I have to get an A... and I don't think I did that well... Lisa's got a new domain - Go check it out... you know, I really wish I was as good at design as her. I know all the languages, all the standards, but she knows how to make HTML look good.
Still no progress towards trying to write a templating engine... but I found a really interesting book - Orbital Mechanics. It's pretty complicated maths, but I'm getting to grips with it - I think. I've got halfway through the first chapter... Why, oh why, is our school choir so rubbish? We're meant to be performing Carmina Burana next week, and we still sound awful. And our school orchestra is worse, however that's possible...
After a day's worth of messing around with things, I'm still no closer to getting my templating engine working. I now think that I'm going to have to write it all in Java. Yay. The real problem is handling relative URLs... Mr. Banks pulled a really harsh trick on the 3rd Form this morning - woke them up an hour early and told them that the clocks had changed. Laugh? I nearly died.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I finally got QuArK to compile successfully! Hmmm... so, new project: automatically generating my website from reStructuredText files. This currently involves Docutils (written in Python) to convert rST to XHTML, an XSL transformation to get the actual bit of HTML I want, and then a PHP script to create the output HTML files, with Ant tying it all together. It's a bit of a mess ATM (and I did get my Physics in on time - just). My violin lesson today went quite well, considering how much (little) practise I did over the last week... I'm actually starting to sound convincing-ish. On the horn, the Poulenc is still being problematic, but I'm sure that I'll be able to play it by Friday. Well, hopeful at least. Since the rather... pointed... comments I made at my last Young Enterprise meeting yesterday evening, Patrick's stopped talking to me. Now I've resigned I can criticise in (relative) safety... Aargh... I wish someone would explain how the lifespan of a particle is connected to the way it decays.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Having played around with my website all day, I have finally worked out how to successfully move the menu from the left to the right. Yay. I've also found out that my website is not valid W3C XHTML, although my stylesheet is valid CSS-2. So I'm going to make it right. But I haven't done my Physics prep for tomorrow yet...
Okay, so a major reorganization of my website is taking place. But without my news (now I've got a blog) the home page of my website is now looking distressingly empty... I just can't think of anything worth putting there. Not to mention the fact that the nasty evil WinXP network at school is refusing to cache cookies, so I can't log in to Freeparking and modify my DNS records... IE must die.