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About me...

I don't know why you're interested in this page, but I can only assume you are. For those of you who've never met me, I'm just under 6ft tall, have dark brown hair and have a piercing in that part of the ear which everyone says looks really painful.

Useless info

I was born on the 28th November 1978 in Hope Hospital, Salford, UK. This means I am a Northerner. Got that? The fact I spent the majority of the first 19 years of my life in Portsmouth is about as relevant as Peter Hitchens. Anyhow, I'm back up north now, studying for a degree in Materials Science at Manchester University. This is supposed to be a 4 year course, 3 years of studying and 1 year in industry. The industrial year starts this summer, and I'm currently waiting for some exam results which will, amongst other things, decide whether or not I qualify for the industrial year. Assuming that I do, I'd be very interested to hear from materials-reated companies who can offer me employment, especially in the fields of electroceramics, microscopy and/or comuter simulation. Somehow, though, I think it's going to be me finding them, not the other way round.

Chemical attraction

Evolution/God/Aliens from outer space (delete according to religious belief) have endowed me with a lovely collection of neurotransmitters, hormones and receptors. Much as I hate to interfere with something so elegant and unfaltering as the human CNS it seems ridiculous to suppose that I should let my consciousness be dictated only by those chemicals which my body has produced all by itself.

I've generally found that a wide variety of compounds will affect how I think and feel, but unfortunately many are not easy to obtain. Indeed, in the UK, you can serve prison sentences of several years simply for possessing them! In the USA, they've gone one better. They've managed to solve a variety of social problems, such as prison undercrowding and the armed forces having nothing better to do, by declaring a 'War on Drugs'. Quite why someone would wish to declare a war on 'drugs' was initially beyond me. Drugs have been, in general, of enormous benefit to medical science over the centuries. They can help fight infectious diseases, they can relieve pain, they can do all sorts of things that the body can't normally do on its own. I then realised all of the drugs that they were waging war against had an action on the nervous system of some kind, which could be considered pleasant. Cannabis, MDMA, LSD and the like. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine were exempt from the war, however. When I asked why these drugs were not being fought against, I was told that 'drugs' is a white powder that becomes addictive after one use, and that alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are exempt as none of them is 'drugs'.

This seemed to explain why some chemicals were harder to get hold of. Most people did not want to sell me these chemicals because to do so would be illegal, and hence create a risk of prosecution. Even my local pharmacy, which supplies a wide variety of drugs, would not give me certain ones without a prescription, and said that I couldn't get some drugs even if I did have a prescription! It's a funny old world.

In my mind and in my car...

I'm the proud owner of a B reg 1.0 Vauxhall Nova, and yes, before you ask, it is the ownership of this car that I'm proud of. So far there would appear to be very little evidence to support the theory that such a vehicle is a 'babe magnet', but this is hardly the point, and the kind of babes I'm interested in don't have ferrite cores anyway.

I've recently installed a new stereo, and I'm about to put some rather nifty 6 inch Pioneer speakers in. The car came with no stereo in at all, with one of the factory-supplied speakers missing, and the other one looking rather unhealthy. I found that options for installing speakers in a Nova are somewhat limited. The dashboard accommodates two 4 inch speakers, but all the 4 inch speakers that had the sort of spec I wanted were all too expensive. 6 inch speakers appear to give much better value for money. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an easy way to run the cables into the doors, and other panels, including the rear parcel shelf, had pieces of metal behind them in awkward positions. However, after a few careful measurements, I found that 6 inch speakers could be installed in the rear parcel shelf if they could somehow be raised above the level of the shelf, leaving only part of the speaker sticking through the shelf panel. My local car audio shop provided a neat solution, by cutting circular spacer rings from MDF. All in all, a much better solution than using self contained box speakers, which cost too much and deliver too little. If anyone has experiences of installing a shoestring budget system in a Nova, I'd love to hear about them.

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