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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Partial eclipse

Of course, we couldn't see it here - what with the cloud ... (and I forgot!)

Here's something to gladden the heart. Despite the dreary weather, spring is most definitely in the air, as bluetits take up residence in a nest box in the BBC Plymouth garden.

It looks so comfy! See the webcam on here.

I finished off S330 TMA01 this afternoon. I don't know whether to post it, or to deliver it in person at the tutorial. Nothing back from Ed re the SXG390 TMA yet.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dear Gordon,

Thank you for your letter,

Though I am a little puzzled! I've never hidden my 'leanings', so wouldn't the borrowed millions have been better spent elsewhere??!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

In the pink?

For Mother's Day!

The clocks went forward this morning, so it must be British Summer Time. There's very little sign otherwise.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Got my cert!

The postman brought it this morning. Actually, he tried to squash and bend it through the letter-box! But the hub opened the door and all was well! It now sits in a simple frame, on the wall beside the computer. I think I prefer the coat of arms in tbe centre, although I'm happy enough with it!

The postman also brought our RODEO TICKETS! Yee-hah!

Enclosed is a little leaflet with a time-table for the 4th July events!

9:30am - Stampede Parade (Main Street)
10:00am - Wild West Extravaganza Arts, Crafts, and Food Show (Between Court House and City Park)
Afternoon - Entertainment in City Park
5:00pm - Cody Stampede PRCA Rodeo (On Cody's West Strip)
At Dark - Fireworks Display Sponsored by "Skylighters" (City Gravel Pits behind Old Trail Town)

Sounds great!

Also, the postman brought me a book I'd bought off Amazon (2nd hand, from America) on the Oceans... I've read a few pages already and it's very good - much easier than the OU coursebooks!! At bedtime, I've been reading the Journals of Lewis and Clark - sort of in preparation for our journey! They Tawlk and Rite lyke this. And they ceap Kiling elk. And it seams that yung indean Gurls visit them at nite. Rather surprysing of sutch Hearows, perhap? (I thynk the Indeans mustave bean quyt desprate or drunck! :))

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm horrible

A man just called at the door. He was sixty-ish, very polite, spoke very well, but had a clip-board. As always, the initial response is to inwardly groan, though normally, I am polite, even if I have no interest in what the person is selling/asking. But not today. Today I wanted to RUN and quick. He said that he wanted to ask my opinion on telephone services. I said I was sorry but I didn't have time and was just on my way out. He knew I lied. No make-up - slippers .... Well, maybe he lied too ("I was just in the area ..."), but I don't like lying! And I know that these people do this kind of thing to fill in time - or for a few extra quid - or perhaps just to meet people. Bet he was glad he met me!!

I had to make a phone-call, right on that time, to my doctor's surgery, to find out the result of my blood test. I should've perhaps told the man this, and then he might've understood why I needed to run and lie. Anyway, the blood test came back normal. I was actually surprised, "normal?", "yes" - what with all the extra stress lately and not drinking enough water and maybe smoking a bit more. But it's normal! Phew!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lots of sciencey things going on!

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is safely in orbit around the planet, promising much more detailed mapping of the surface. (And check out Google Mars! Wish that had been around when I did S198 - it might've saved me hours of peering through a magnifying glass at that map!)

And while there is still much debate on the UK's nuclear future - there appears an article on CERN's website, concerning particle acceleration - which brings great hope for the future, not only of our energy supplies, but also of a way of dealing safely with our nuclear waste - Accelerator Transmutation of Waste (ATW). (I so wish I worked there - it's absolutely fascinating!)

And there is even good news on the fishie front - as bottom trawling is banned in waters off the west coast of the USA.

No news on my TMA though.

I wish ....

they wouldn't put photos of authors in books. I prefer to read and believe the characters to be true - when I see a picture of the author, I just imagine that person imagining people - and it doesn't work so well.

Would you book a room here?

I have! :) I've been promised that it'll be lovely - the best hotel in Cody! A suite with 2 queen beds and a living room with sofa. Microwave and fridge. Porch for outdoor sitting (maybe the parade will go that way?!). Flat TV on the wall. 'W' beds with high thread count linens. And I don't have to give cc details until I see the photos when the place opens in May! I have every faith that all will be well - and it will be perfect for us! (Meantime I'm keeping the booking with the Best Western, just in case!) I bought the stampede tickets - and we have our new National Parks Pass!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Water on Enceladus?

Cassini appears to have found some water on one of Saturn's moons - Enceladus - gushing out like Yellowstone geysers!! How exciting!

(Story from NASA.)


This morning I bought tickets for the 4th July Rodeo/Stampede in Cody, Wyoming!

Or, at least, I think I did - as I didn't get a receipt, despite 'sending' twice! Perhaps I've bought 6 tickets, therefore?! I've emailed a fraught HELP to the rodeo ground...

(An almost instance reply! Form's not working quite yet. Many apologies. Try again next week. Have a great day! OK - thank you!)

The days are so long!

How I MISS my routine and my quiet afternoons of study. All I've done this week is to read through some stuff on oceanography (nothing difficult) and I haven't touched my Mt Rainier project course at all! I really MUST try to get back into my routine, even if that means I have to chuck others out of the house! Ed has actually received my TMA, which is a record for mail from the UK to Ireland, he says. He can't mark it until he gets the nod from the Course Team that my title and objectives are acceptable .... Nothing back from my S330 tutor yet, in response to my whining email. Actually, the stuff on tides (85% on the quiz) and waves in the 'simple' book is so interesting that I've got myself some renewed interest and determination!

Today has been busy. All days are busy. And yet they are so LONG - why's that? Went down to the AGS showroom this morning, to look at the stain-glass stuff again. The manager says I can tell the surveyor tomorrow morning when he calls (of course the hub won't be here when I'd like him to be!)that we would like green leaves instead of blue leaves. I'm not sure that's possible - I think he was trying to get rid of us!! Then we visited my Dad, who seems a lot better than he was, but is still complaining about cars and how lazy people are .... THEN, we had a look in the carpet stores for a bit of cheap stuff for this room. Would you buy a carpet from here?

Neither would we!!!

Is it sad to take photos in carpet stores?

You bet it is! But I took pictures of the carpets, so that I could choose at leisure at home - but I still can't make up my mind - blue or beige?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Independent review?

The results of an 'independent' review on whether the country should replace current nuclear power stations or add more, in order to (a) reduce carbon emissions and (b) help secure our future energy needs, was released by the SDC yesterday. (Complete report downloadable from here). It absolutely beggars belief that the general public is being duped in this way, being told that a few windmills dotted here and there over our most beautiful countryside and changing lightbulbs, can 'save the world' from climate change!! How can a review be 'independent' when its chairman is the former Director of Friends of the Earth (when I was a member!) and, when running through the biographies of the commission members, you can't help noticing the words "Green" and "FotE" and even "RSPB" popping up all over the place! Not one sign of Greenpeace, however, although they do think along the same lines (see this little beauty for ridiculous scare tactics aimed at stifling informed debate).

What does Tone think about the SDC's recommendations?

(Join the nuclear debate).

Our tutors (those who are union members) were on strike today - and this is to be followed by non-marking of assignments. They would like students' backing for their 20% pay rise. Sorry, you won't get it from here.

I emailed Les (S330 tutor) today and asked whether he thought maybe I might be wasting my time with the course! BUT, I did do a little (pre) reading on waves today (Invitation to Oceanography book, as the next OU coursebooks aren't due to be dispatched until next month) and I understood it!! Though I only got 64% on the quiz.... doesn't bode well!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I must pull myself together!

I'm really down. I suppose that's understandable, given all the changes and stresses in my life right now. But no sooner had I posted my TMA01 to Ed in Ireland and also posted the proforma thingie to the Course Team, I noticed TYPOS!! Heck, the whole thing was way below my usual carefullness even before that - and now it's even worse! But I shouldn't beat myself up about it, I suppose. So what? STOP THE PERFECTION!! I tinkered with the Oceanography again yesterday afternoon, but am none the wiser ....

We went to the Cornish Market this afternoon!

I bought 2 skirts (which turned out to be completely shapeless and too long), a pair of sandals (which, although they don't hurt my toes, do hurt my heels), a red hoodie (hee-hee) and a handbag (which, on first look, is fine!) It was nice to see a bit of blue sky!

And I'm in a complete organisational upheaval with Seattle. I was completely happy with our bookings, but now I've read about Seattle's pretty BRUTAL non-smoking laws, which, not only ask you not to smoke inside places (which we don't anyway; not inside our own house even!), but you're not allowed to smoke within 25 feet of a DOOR!! So that maybe completely rules out smoking on the deck outside the B&B place and most certainly rules out a quick puff on the 'balcony' of the Silver Cloud. I'll write to the B&B lady and ask her. But I think we might have to change the Silver Cloud room (boo-hoo) for a room at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Downtown (or nearly). This'll be OK, but I'd be moved to book a SMOKING room and I don't want a SMOKING room - we hate SMOKING rooms - and I never book them. However, this law is forcing people inside to smoke .... I know we shouldn't be smoking anyway, and I'm actually all for smoking bans - but ....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I don't know what day it is!!

The hub is working weird times, so I am studying when I've never studied before and not studying when I normally do. And what was Wednesday lunch pasta for years is now Thursday lunch pasta, as Paul has changed his shifts. And how strange for the three of us to go out together onto the Moors on a Thursday afternoon!!

There were patches of leftover snow up there, but not an awful lot; it was difficult to separate the snow bits from the sheep. (I've never known so much snow in the same winter - so much for global warming .... ) But I nearly fell asleep on the way home - so TIRED am I. I still have my fluey disease and now my face hurts - is that my teeth (one hasn't been right since I had a filling redone last June) or have my sinuses blown up? So I need to see the dentist. And I need to see the doctor (for a blood test). And I need to see the optician. And I need a hair cut.

We bought a new TV, as we had to as the other one wouldn't turn on. We spent a fortune on a new Sony Bravia - and I haven't stopped moaning about the picture. Well I HATE widescreen. And the colour's not up to much. And I changed my mind about the new front door we ordered, so the man's coming out again tomorrow with his thick book of choices. (I'd like one similar to this).

And we finally made wills.

The GOOD news is that I have (today) finished SXG390 TMA01. It's rubbish, but it's done. Actually, I shall feel much, much happier once I get that one back. What a strange setup it all is. Project plan. Personal skills audit. Key paper summary. Little research area essay thing. All done - all paperclipped together - all in an envelope to be posted to Ed in Ireland.

The oceanography is coming along splendidly (NOT!). It's excruciating! I mean, I can balance the Coriolis Force with the horizontal pressure gradient force. I can even figure out the Ekman layer. Or I could do - if only I knew WHICH WAY THE WIND WAS BLOWING!