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So what has been going on in the last week or so?


Well since the last update I have finished my application to the Leverhulme Trust and I am hoping to get all the references in for that very soon. The last weekend involved a trip down to London, and this weekend just gone we went to Birmingham. It's really weird having money to spend once again. More inportantly Sam is happy she can spend money again. My purchase in Brum failed though. It was an unusual shirt from H&M, but once we got it home we noticed that the button holes were fucked. Fortunately the H&M in Leamington refunded us but of course don't stock the same line, nor will they be able to get it in. Arse. So instead the money went on nice new patent leather black shoes which will come in handy for smart occasions.


Otherwise this coming weekend is London for Aiko's birthday, and then the weekend after that is Manchester and Liverpool to see Sam's cousin and his new baby (we went baby present buying in Brum leading to brooding feelings.... some stuff we saw was quite cute), and to have a mini reunion with my UMIST/Manchester Chemistry crowd now that we have be cast to the four corners since all graduating.


On the work front I've been retraining my model on a new database, finishing coding tweaks for the entire group, and now coding up a new multi-objective conformational searching method that would be of use for molecular docking and polymorphism.


On the RP front this week and last week are session free since Mark is being operate on etc so I have had a chance to catch up with writing the last of the Ordo Dracul NPCs and then the independant NPCs and the chapter (and essentially the Manchester book for Vampire) will be complete. Also read most of Cthulhu tech which has been really good but I doubt I will be running it any time soon.
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So once more it has bee a few weeks since my last update. Where to begin.

Well London for Sam's birthday was great fun after the disappointing weekend before. We trekked down to London ad made our way to our hotel for the next two nights and got ready to go see phantom of the opera. Of course the performance was amazing, and as my first time it was well worth it. The film is one thing but to see it live was epic and I was really glad to have a chance to see it. In particular the tricks used to make use of the space were impressive. Sam has a better summary here.

On wednesday we moved to other end of London to stay with our friend Rachel who we met two years back in Venice. We had the joy of meetig her and her then boyfriend at the masked ball we attended, and so it was good to catch up with her two years on now that Sam and myself are married. I then spent the next few days writing while Sam attended her classes. I was starting to put together the story that I woud be running for freshers week roleplay society.

We also made time to meet up with Dan, and headed to Brick Lane and ended up at a nice little bar that served the best cocktails. Of course Dan and myself descended into gentlemanly banter and discussion. Brick Lane by the way is hipster central save for the bar we ended up in.

I returned back on the Sunday ready for work, and over the last few weeks have finished of my literature review and it should be submitted soon. Otherwise work has been good, slow, but gettig there, and I think the end is in sight for my next paper. Just have a few more simulations to do and then that should wrap up the first one and setup the next paper (same thing alterative method).

Otherwise the roleplay group has seen the sad loss of our good friend James, as he moves back home with the end of his contract to his job here, and the group gaining two new players, James and Izzy. So far the Vampire chronicle has been progressing well, and I think I have already surpassed my last efforts in running it.

Also on the rp front I have had the joy of running a new World of Darkness mortals game for freshers week, which I hope to submit to white wolf as a example of my writing. Also I have a chance of getting a credit in a new rp as I made some useful ideas and contributions to the game!

Plans for the future. Well halloween will be spent in London with my old PhD collegue Mike, and Sam will have her last two modules and we will go to Club Antichrist. Otherwise we should be up in Manchester closer to Xmas, and we have a gift voucher for use on gig tickets... maybe go to Alec Empire supported by Mechanical Cabaret?

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So as you may or may not be aware myself and Sam took a trip down to London to see Alec Empire and Modulate on the Friday. Arriving in the afternoon we made our way to Dan's work in the BBC offices near Euston and dopped off our bags before going for a walk about London. Later we then headed up to Camden and found Stacey and made our way to the venue, Underworld. As we lurked about there we met some of Stacey's friends from the big electronic pooch (Cyberdog) and soon enough were joined by Geoff and Rhys after their own journey down from the 'norf'.

The gig was really great, with this being the first I had seen Modulate live since Geoff played in TV21 about 2 years ago. I wasn't too bothered by the band up first, but Modulate really did get the night going, or course 'Skullfuck' being the song that just energised the crowd. Following them, Alec Empire was as expected and still excellent live, playing a large amount of new material, adding a new twist to 'On Fire' to make it very funky, and ending the night with some old ATR since it was the 1st of May. Of course myself and Sam are not really built for being amongst the pile of punks there flipping out to the ATR tracks. However, it was great to hear it live since I never had the chance to see ATR live and had been a fan since 1998.

After the gig, and with Dan now with us, we went for a walk about Soho, and ended up in Leicester square at the Hagan Daas ice cream palor (epic!)

The next day. after a good nights sleep at Dan's place we went looking for food and got shown Muswell Hill. I have to say it seemed like a great area to live in. We had a vey nice brunch and then headed into the city centre, ending up in Covent Garden after a good walk up and down fleet street and a walk round a few shops, and trading in Sam's empty makeup for some listicks, visiting Coco de Mer, and then goign for cake with Dan and Stacey.

The rest of the afternoon was something more of stroll about the centre of London and ending up in Hamley's (the giant toy store of doom!!!).

The afternoon turned to evening and we then headed in the direction of Shoreditch where we had dinner, wine and sat outside under some heaters in the evening air. The food was quite great, including chicken wings and roasted sweet potatoes. THe next stop on the list was The Last Days of Decadence, a great cocktail bar themed around the days of prohibition. A good time was had here as we order drinks that either took ages to make or the bar staff didn't remember how to make.

This weekened was a rather quieter affair with myself and Sam meeting up for drinks with James and his friends and then going out for a meal at Prezzo on Saturday and playing Zertz some more (I am just about getting my eye in with this game).
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Well after the fun of Saturday i took the time to meet up with [profile] cyberai_dan and have a good chat and feast on some of the best pizza I've had. Plus I now have the zombie DVD.


Day 4, Sunday, was the Windsor trip. Many a picture was taken, wishing I had a castle, lots of reading and walking and listening to the guides and of course looking at all the excellent weaponary, art, armour (henry VIII was a fatboy) and chatting to science guys. Much fun.

Yesterday was long and caught two great presentations that were really close to the work going in my group so I was happy to be not falling asleep during the talks for once.

Then today I made it in for a talk by Walter Kohn and his talk on density functional theory. Again much coffee and food has been consumed.

Leaving the talks early today as the relevance was low. Just another half day to go now and then a nice walk around Camden in the afternoon I thinks.
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Well the poster presentation went well, quite well received and happy that I accepted where our methods have failings (though of course all the methods for what i presented have failings because for the study there is no definite way of defining the measurements, quite the problem). They also liked where we were going with the neural networks and how it treated electrostatics, polarisation and charge transfer in the force field on the same footing.

Today I skipped a few of the first presentations, simply because getting up at 5 and leaving at 9 yesterday took it out of me. However I did catch two great presentations and even asked a few questions!

Right now I'm off back to London and hopefully have a pint some where.

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So arriving in Euston it was then trekking off to my accomodation in Highgate to dump my gear before heading to the Royal Holloway College. So onto the tube it was and then the train. Not much of a hassle other than getting from Egham to the college. It's a bit of a trek so taxis it has been the yesterday. Today I just walked it.

Needless to say the college looks great.  The Royal Holloway looks great. However the building does look older than it is. In fact the building is younger than UMIST. So after the initial reception (where I'm obviously the youngest, though I guess the white hair helps with fitting in :P ), it was some free wine and then back to Highgate.

I was not impressed waiting around for my keys and room as I really needed a shower. :(

Oh and I really wish I knew I didn't need to bring a sleeping bag. Would have saved me the effort. Oh well.

So today was a 5am start, arriving just in time for breakfast. Oh yeah they actually do proper food unlike the shite I've had at previous conferences.

The presentations so far are very heavy on the quantum mechanics, most way beyond my comprehension. Most dabble in modifying the programs that I simply use. However it's nice to see where the state of art is at so that it may in the future be useful to my sort of work.

The rest of the evening is dinner and then the poster presentation, which I'll have to leave early if I want to get back to my halls to get some sleep.

Caffine has been my friend. Good old Guarana!!!

Pictures are taken and so will be uploaded when I get back. Also Windsor Castle on Sunday which should be fun.

Maybe I will have some comments on some of the presentations where the presentor is a) not crap b) doing work more related to my field.

dr_ether: (Default)
Heading off to London this morning for my conference.

I'll see you all again after Thursday unless you happened to be in London, in which case I'll have some time Wednesday afternoon.

Until then...

November 2011

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