The Amazing World of Si Hart

Amazing insights into my mind as I battle against the inefficient world of the library, moderate a message board, write Doctor Who audio adventures and try and stay sane!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Never enough

It seems I didn't drink too much vodka last night. This is a good thing really, as I was sure from the way the evening was going that I was going to over do it, but Steve's timely bout of tiredness really helped, as I stopped before I went overboard. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have got nearly as much work done as I have today, and so I can feel pretty pleased with myself for now I think!

I've done it! I've made a start on the results now. I don't know if my work is much cop at the moment, as there's not really much analysis, it's mostly just me explaining what the graphs show. I think, however, this is important work in the long run (not that there is a long run... there's not much time left now) and this might change when I really get into it. For now it's a good start and I can always change it if I hit upon a more sophisticated way of doing this. Certainly for the moment it is vital to explain about the respondents ages and uses of the service... after this there is room to do a more thorough analysis drawing upon the qualitative material I've collected. Still I have done 845 words today, which feels like a pretty major achievement!

Nice night in the pub last night. After a very long, hot and mostly frustrating week at work it was much needed. I'm glad I didn't go on Friday night though... it had to wait until the end of the week. We had a good time really. While I still get lost when they start to discuss the computer tech stuff I still have a good laugh and it seemed good last night for there just being four of us, Me and Steve, Chris and Ian. Ian is very quiet, but a really nice guy and it's good when there's a smaller group as we talk to him a bit more.

Now, Steve is off paintballing with work, I'm here on my own. It's cooled down today and I feel like I've achieved quite a lot. Yay!

Current Music: Super Furry Animals: Frequency
Current Book: Philip Pullman: The Amber Spyglass
Current Thing I should do: Go to shops and buy bread

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


34 degrees was the temperature that the library hit today. It's quite possible that that is the highest ever. Funnily enough, not one of the management came up to see if we were coping ok.

Its been a right bastard of a day really. Not only was it stiflingly hot, which at the best of times doesn't help you concentrate on your job, it was alspoo the day that Horizon went live. Horizon is the new library management system, ok in itself, but the way the switchover has been handled has been a complete shambles.
Two weeks they've been working on the project, moving over data, putting us in a back-up system while they did it, and today we learn that in that time they really have done very little overall... the settings aren't right, basic things aren't working, thousands of transactions have been lost from the back-up system and just to make sure that things were just about as bad as they could be, all multiple login sites, like for instance the frontline counter, caused the system to have a fit and log out all conncetions until just one was left live. Brilliant, absolutely bloody brilliant.
I'm often scathing of our IT guys, but today they've been really good and have updated us all the time about what's happening... but really this just goes to show you get what you pay for... they chose the cheapest option as always and this is what you got.

We're not impressed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Turns To High

Good grief it's hot.

The heat isn't much good, especially as it doesn't inspire me to come home from work and get on with the dissertation stuff. I know it needs doing, I know I've only got a month and bit to go before it's due in, but the heat is killing my momentum. I'm going to have to do something about that as soon as possible. This ought to be the most exciting bit, writing up the results of my questionnaires, and the focus groups, drawing conclusions and writing recommendations, but I'm just not very enthusiastic about it... I think I just need to make a start and once I start the riting it'll be fine. At the very least all my responses are coded now, there are some nice charts and graphs to illustrate it all, so it's not like I haven't done anything. It's just that I haven't started the writing up bit.

The heat has knock on effects everywhere. Working in a 1970s glass and concrete building, means there's no airflow and the library gets very hot indeed. It doesn't make for ideal working conditions I can tell you. With this week being the start of our new library management system too, I can see some tempers getting frayed by the end of the week. I'm hoping it won't be mine, especially as I'm working all 6 days this week. We'll see, eh?

We had a pretty good time out yesterday afternoon. My brother's fiancee's Mum had a big party to celebrate her 60th, and we were all very kindly invited. We enjoyed some very good food and it was lovely for a change not to have the scene stealing Luke and Annabel there so that we could talk to each other properly. I love them both enormously, of course, but they do become the centre of attention everytime we see them! So we chatted, joined in the skittles tournament (we all got knocked out quite quickly, but not as quickly as Jonathan was!) and it was a nice afternoon, despite being very hot and poor Steve was stuck sitting in the sun as we ate, which wasn't ideal.

Current music: Kate Bush: Aerial
Current Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones
Current Number of items of clothing I'm wearing: Two

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fit (and you know it)

I was somewhat shocked last night to see that for the possibly the first time in my life I'm developing muscular arms. Now, before anyone gets excited by this idea, they're not all that impressive yet, but I was startled when I noticed them. Obviously the swimming really is beginning to pay off.

My view of exercise is rather odd really. It's not that I'm really against it, it's just that I can't be bothered with the gym. I really enjoying walking and the swimming is good too, but all that strutting about a gym, well the idea of it really bores me to tears. At least the swimming is fun and the walking takes me to good places (well, actually it takes me to work more often than not) but I just don't see the point of an hour in the gym, when to my mind there are more fun ways of exercising. I don't think I'd be good at sport either, years of games lessons at school beat any enjoyment out of that for me I'm afraid.

And yet I was really pleased to see my arms last night. I know sometimes I'm a bit vain (although if you saw the state I sometimes leave the house in, you wouldn't know it!) but it made me feel really good. Add to that Mark's compliment about how good I was looking on Saturday night, I feel really good about myself at the moment!

Current Music: REM: Bad Day
Current Book: Janet Evanovich: Twelve Sharp
Current Mood: Pleased

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Aren't birthday's great?
I'm told that once you're over 30 there's no magic left in them, but I doubt that. What we're left with is the chance for a big get together, a chance to see some good mates and spend some time with your family and get some great pressies! This birthday (my 31st if anyone really wanted to know!) was no exception to that. I've had a thoroughly good time with it all (even with the hangover on Sunday) and I just love being the centre of attention (and come on, who doesn't?)
It all started last Thursday, when Steve took me to Woking Theatre to see Strangers on a Train. What a great play it was too. It took a little time to build, but by the end of act one, the tension had mounted to unbearable levels ready for Colin Baker to come on and steal the show by working it all out! It was a very good play, really well staged and brilliantly acted. Going to the theatre is something I really enjoy but we don't really go often enough. At least when we do it's always something worthwhile.
My birthday itself was a lovely quiet day, spent at home with Steve mostly. We baked cookies and cakes (from my new Mary Berry book of cakes, which is fabulous) and we watched some Look Around You (as Steve bought me the second series DVD- which is highly recommended) and just had a nice day really. It rained though, as usual!
Saturday was the day of the Barbeque/ party/ End of Doctor Who, and very busy, noisy and fun! We got the house ready first, did some shopping for the food, all the time wondering if it was going to rain or not (it did, but not until 11pm, so we had a lucky escape). It was great overall, much the same as our New Year party really, lots of friends, lots of laughs and the party split late night to upstairs and downstairs, but earlier it had been nice to sit in the garden for the evening and we didn't poison anyone with the barbequed food, which was a plus!
I think I might have neglected some people really, as I did sit upstairs with just a couple of mates until late, but otherwise it seems it was a success all round. Certainly the people I've heard from had a good time! It was lovely to see a couple of people we don't see too often like Stephen who came up from Bournemouth. We chatted and renewed our friendship which was lovely.
Sunday we got the house cleared by 12, (after we'd dropped Stephen off at the station) and then entertained my family from 1 for a couple of hours. Bizarrely they made more mess than the party had, but that's what you get for having little nephews and nieces there! Annabel threw all the videos on the floor, Luke knocked Steve's Sonic Screwdriver into the pond and it buzzed for the rest of the afternoon until Steve took it to pieces. Still, it was about time we had them all over (we have been here 9 months now) and it is always good to see them. And Vic did make me a Police Box birthday cake, which was very tasty!
Sunday evening I was knackered, but we went for a walk as it was a lovely evening and even managed some of the washing up! We finally got it all finished last night!
Current Music: Snow Patrol: You're All That I Have
Current Doctor Who: Evil of the Daleks
Current Mood: Upbeat

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


It seems my attempts to sleep in during my week off are going to be forever thwarted. Monday I had to get up to go to the library for the first of my focus groups for the dissertation. Yesterday was looking good until Steve woke me up to make me write a cheque for the mortgage, which we'd forgotten to do the night before and this morning, just after 7am, the sky was a light with lightening, thunder crashed and the rain poured down really hard. Unusually, once the worst of the storm had passed I did fall asleep again, and got out of bed at 9.30, so it wasn't all bad.

I'm feeling pretty good really, despite that, as my two focus groups have gone really well. Whether it was a just a good mix of people or that I actually chose to ask the right questions I don't know, but I've come away with lots of really good material. It was unfortunate that my attempts to record them seem to have gone awry and I've got blank tapes (and I checked and tested them beforehand), but the notes I sat and made after each one are nicely comprehensive and it does save me the laborious task of transcribing the interviews, which I wasn't looking forward to. Now all I've got to do is start pulling the material apart and making some ordered sense of it all... Easy huh?
When I spoke to my tutor on Monday morning, she seemed to think I was doing really well, and I think I am. I've done nearly 9000 words on the background to the topic: introduction, context, aims, lit review and methodology, and I've got the initial results of the questionnaires sorted out and graphs/ pie charts done (good old Excel... Steve helped with that bit, I'm not an expert!). I've even been enjoying it...

Well, the new companion has been announced, Freema Aygeman, playing Martha Jones. She looks good and she was one of the few good things in the Crossroads revamp of 2003. Si said she looked right in the photos with David Tennant and I have to agree... We're going to be ok!
Interestingly, it seems she's not going to be introduced in the Christmas Special... rumours are already starting that we'll have a Sarah and K9 adventure, or perhaps the Brigadier... I'd happily take either of them! We'll see!

Current Book: Bernard Cornwell: Lords of the North
Current Music: Elliott Smith: Twilight
Current Doctor Who: The Girl in the Fireplace (still don't think it's great!)