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Life, hate it or ignore it, you can't like it...

The thoughts of Chairman Phil (Few and far between...)

Paranoid Android
21 November 1983
Every couple of years, I update this page. The last time was seven minutes into the 27th of September 2003. At the time I was technically still a first year undergraduate. I was, later that day, moving into a student house in Leamington Spa with three housemates. My first taste of living on my own, outside of a cosy room on campus. A few months earlier I'd broken up with my first girlfriend. A couple of days later I'd start the second year of my degree.

According to what I wrote that day, the previous time I'd updated my userinfo was February 2002.

It is now 11:20pm on the 13th of January 2005. And this is the second time I've started updating this page in the last half hour: I accidentally shut down Opera approximately half-way through my last attempt. Still, that's the kind of muddle-brained guy I am. In any case, this version will be better.

As alluded to above, two years ago I was a still fresh-faced undergraduate student; no longer a fresher, but not quite yet used to last-minute 48-hour stints on 3,000 word-essays, or the dynamics of student-landlord relationships. Fast-forward two years, and find the same person, but subtly different. He can now wet-shave himself without looking like he's been attacked with a machete, though today he wears the beard of one who hasn't seen a razor for two days. He's been through second-year exams, and been spat out the other side. He's been through house-parties, can remember most of his 21st birthday, and has dealt with maggots infesting kitchen-bound leftovers.

He is, in short, a man. By a technical definition in any case.

Today, the day in the life of this man was spent filling in an application form for a PhD placement at the University of Warwick, perhaps providing another four years of postgraduate studies at the aforementioned institution, after the undergraduate years have passed. They will have gone by within 6 months, and the final exams will have abated in less than four of those. Some more time was taken by the writing of a letter to the Inland Revenue. Just a chat about some £300 owed in this general direction, and why they shouldn't steal money from penniless students.

But mostly, I slobbed. This is what I do.

Actually, that's a lie. What I do is study for a BSc in Biological Sciences with specialisation in Microbiology at the University of Warwick. I don't slob much. Or at least, not as much as the average arts student. Much work has gone by since the start of my degree, but most people aren't me and so don't see it happen.

Today was particularly slobby though.

Life isn't just work. When not studying chemical pathway x, or looking down a microscope at organism y, I enjoy pool, snooker, darts, and I'm a keen archer - basically anything where you can drink and not risk major spillage. Most of the time I practice these with not_ginger, but more of her later.

My musical tastes are of the wide variety. It's easier just to say that pre-made pop, hip-hop and RnB are not my cup of tea. My tea is of the stronger, more flavoursome kind - from the soothing bass of Groove Armada to the manic chord-smashing of Green Day and the Foo Fighters; from the sharp Funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the soft pink fuzziness that is the Pet Shop Boys.

I'm a PC gamer. There is no shame in that. Games consoles are toys; PC games are a way of life. First-person shooters are not the be-all and end-all, there is life beyond Halo and Half-life. Simulations like Richard Burns Rally take me as close as I'm ever likely to be to my dream job as a rally driver, whilst whimsical lost classics such as Startopia are better than a whole afternoon of Trek-based geekiness in my opinion. However, as I grow old, these pastimes take up less and less of my days. At least until the next Grand Prix simulation arrives, and the rest of my life is once again put on hold.

As I once said to emmavescence - Boys play games; Men play games when there's not something better to do.

When none of the above is taking up my time, there is Angela, a.k.a. not_ginger. She's there when I'm feeling cruddy, or when I'm pent up and crappy. She's also around when I'm feeling good, surprisingly enough. In fact, it would be easier to list the times when she's not around. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but contact seems to have the same effect, just without the angst.

And here comes to an end the biannual update. I'm 2 minutes into the 14th of January 2005. Today I will finish and hand in my PhD application, and go and shoot a few dozen at the range.

This is me, signing off.