Thursday, 22 March 2007

you can't see me.

Big fat over-ear headphones are a wonderful way of hiding in plain sight. If someone tries to establish eye contact while you are wearing them, you are quite within your rights to not notice, since such an impressive piece of equipment will obviously block all 5 senses, not just sound.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

4000 up

4000 up, originally uploaded by jsteel.

This was a much better weekend.

For the first time in probably 4 months, I had a weekend with no thesis work hanging over my head. (Which is not to say that every weekend in that time involved thesis work, but each probably should have).

On Saturday, I rode out to Decathlon and put my bike in to be fixed, which wound up involving a new chain and gear blocks, both front and back. In the afternoon I went for a shop out at LeClerc, then went back to pick up my refurbished bike. The difference was really noticable - the first time I've been able to stand up without the chain jumping for many months. In the evening I went to see the Avenir game, and caught up with Tortue for the first time in a long, long time. Avenir played one of their worst matches on memory, but still got away with a win against an RPA team that played hard but just doesn't have the personnel for that level. I hung around after the game, but not for too long - those nights haven't been the same since Audrey left.

On Sunday I buggerised around most of the day without too much guilt, then in the afternoon went out for a ride. Actually, I first spent an hour playing around cleaning and tuning my bike. I rode up to Betton along the canal, which isn't looking as pretty as it has, with a fair bit of work being done both on the cycle/walk track and on the canal itself. It was a really beautiful day, and there were lots of people out walking, running and cycling. I wound up riding along in a T-shirt, in a good sign that spring is right around the corner. I clocked up about 35km by my reckoning, and pushed my bike computer over the 4000km mark since I started with it about 2.5 years ago.

pot calling the kettle balck

After 3 years of correcting my colleagues' franglais, the shoe passed to the other foot last week, as I pulled my finger out on writing the french summary of my thesis. Franck C, Franck F, Jacques, Sophie and Erwan all helped me with my copious spelling, grammar and style problems.

Coming through my various (and admittedly not particularly deep) studies of English throughout high school, I was usually the kid who had only a few comments on his assignments when they came back. I was kind of a nerd. Shock, horror. It was weird this week to get documents back awash in red, blue and even green ink. It gave me a little insight into some of the students I went to high school with. Its not that I didn't understand the rules of french grammar. Its just that when I read English, errors just seem obvious, whereas in French, I really have to look for them. Anyway, the net result is that I'm pretty crap at French written expression.

I declared the french summary innings closed today, though. I actually played the bureaucracy game last friday, but the doctoral school handed me a Skip-A-Turn card because my boss had signed the wrong page of my thesis. Fortunately, the scolarité (postgraduate studies?) didn't seem to care, and processed the rest of my paperwork with nary a batted eye.

Tomorrow I'll take my thesis back to the doctoral school, and I should be done with it until my examiners come back with corrections.