I just had the most awesome day. Just wanted to share with you guys.

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaLoungeVI. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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[this was originally posted to a private subreddit]

So I just had an amazing day. Let me tell you about it:

  • Doughnuts: There were doughnuts left in my office. Free doughnuts are the best doughnuts.
  • Victory: After three years of bureaucracy, a couple of years of fighting, months of planning, and weeks of testing, I’ve finally finished a project I assigned myself shortly after I started my job: upgrading our web servers to modern, powerful ones. It may not sound like much, but when you’re working against hundreds of years worth of academic red tape in a very traditional institution, this is a great victory.
  • Car: I finished making arrangements for my family and I to get our new car: orders have just gone to the factory now, and it should be built for us by early November.
  • Dating: At lunchtime, I went out for a drink with a lovely lady I’ve been dating recently, and we had a wonderful time. Her kid just started school and this – coupled with her imminent house move (just as soon as she and her husband can find somebody to buy their flat!) – are likely to eventually mean that we can see more of one another (right now we only see one another about once a fortnight).
  • Cycling: Cycling home on a beautiful clear evening, Grooveshark pretty much read my mind and played exactly the music that I felt like I needed to celebrate such a fabulous day. I made great time… and as I bombed down the final streets back to my house, I did so to the sounds of Queen’s Driven By You, which was exactly what I needed.
  • Others: I got home to find that everybody else had had a great day too: my partner had just had her first half-day back at work after her maternity leave, and it had gone very well, her husband had been commended for his pioneering social media work at his workplace, and even the baby was happy and cheery (despite having skipped a nap).

So yeah – I had a flipping marvellous day. And my first thought upon getting home (and grabbing a celebratory beer) was to tell the awesome people of /r/MegaLoungeVI about it. Hi, guys! How’s your week going so far?

What I Learned About Democracy, Injury, Packing & Friendship

It’s was a busy weekend; the first of several, I’m sure. Mostly – put briefly – it’s been spent thusly:

Democracy: I’ll be voting “Yes” on Thursday’s referendum, and you should too (unless you’ve already been persuaded or are even helping with the fight). And while I’ve not had as much opportunity to help get this message out as Ruth and JTA have, I’ve tried to do my bit by joining them for a spot of leafleting over the weekend. I’m not entirely in favour of some of the campaign tactics being used (like the separate “Labour Yes” and “Conservative Yes” campaigns which act as if one another don’t exist: to me, whether or not we adopt AV has nothing to do with parties or candidates and everything to do with it just being a better way of representing the opinion of the voters), but I guess that they’re necessary to get the point across to some folks. And this slight spindoctoring quickly pales in the light of some of the lies that the no-to-AV campaigners are telling.

Injury: Not to me, this time, but to my father, who came off his bike while cycling around Scotland this weekend. I’ve not had the chance to talk to him since they pushed back his surgery (he’s broken parts of himself and they want to turn him into a cyborg put a metal plate in him, or something) until later this week. Right now, then, he’s confined to hospital, which I can’t imagine he’s enjoying very much. If they’ve hooked you up with Internet access, dad – get well soon.

Packing: Oh, so much packing. I got started on boxing up all of the board games, the other day, only to find out that there were quite a few more of them than I remembered. I’ve also started on my collection of cables and computer knick-knacks, and discovered that I have no fewer than five male-to-male VGA cables. Why? I’ve no idea. I’ve been gradually cutting down on my spare supplies (do I really need three spare floppy drive cables when I don’t use any floppy disks?), but it’s hard: the very next day after I throw them out, you can guarantee that’ll be the moment I need one of my many AT-to-PS2 keyboard adapters.

Friendship: A couple of weeks ago I met Adrian, an international student from the USA who’s been in Oxford for a year or so for the final year of zer* study. Ze and I ‘clicked’ and formed an immediate connection, instantly getting along remarkably well. We spent a little of this weekend together, and for a moment there, it seemed like there might be the potential for a romantic connection, too. But sadly, by the time we got into gear ze had only two days left in the UK before jetting off back home to the States… and 3,900 miles is a long, long way. We both agreed that we should have met a year ago, but c’est la vie: the world is smaller, these days, thanks to the Internet, so there’s every chance of building an online friendship, punctuated those rare occasions when we happen to be in one another’s country.

I don't have any pictures to-hand from this weekend at all, shockingly. So here's a picture of a strange-looking insect, having just shed its skin (left), on Adrian's hat.

* It’s a gender-neutral pronoun, if you haven’t come across one before (and as I usually only find myself using them in the context of BiCon, you’d be forgiven). Aside from their linguistic benefits in politically-correct society,  they’re often favoured by those whose gender identity is neither male nor female.

The title of this blog post is, of course, a reference to What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce, a fantastic 2001 Goo Goo Dolls compilation album.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #3:

Ask a complete stranger out on a date. And have her say ‘No’. Bugger.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.