Life Sport


Today I went clockwise. The majority of people normally go anti-clockwise. I normally go anti-clockwise. The one positive is that everything you see is new. It’s a change of scenery, but nothing has changed.

It’s a strange thing. I kinda feel like I’ve gone against the grain. Perhaps it’s the energy of the place. It was slightly harder. Like I was fighting. Swimming upstream perhaps.

It is a nice change. If sometimes you go anti-clockwise, go clockwise or conversely, if you go clockwise, try anti-clockwise.

(I’m being obscure, so you think about it :))


PhD proposal

I’ve been rather quiet on the blogging front lately. This is probably because I haven’t really been in the mood for talking about stuff and sharing thoughts.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been involved with writing up the final version of my PhD proposal. Ideally, I’d like to have both the documentation and presentation done before I leave to go home in mid September. I will then give my seminar, and defend it at the end of October.

So far, it’s proved to be a rather elusive document. I started by writing a large document about various thing I could look at, and then started to whittle it down into things that maybe I do want to focus on. Whilst this process was good for looking at everything from a broad perspective, it lacked focus, and lacked a reason for why I’m doing what I am doing.

So, that was last week. It was rather trying. I gave a presentation on it, and was left with the feeling that I’ve done all this work, and I still have no clue. I seriously started to reconsider what I am doing here.

This week, I have started looking at things from the other way around. Basically, I said, “okay, if I now have my PhD, what is it that I can do as a result of this work?”. Answering that question lead me to a couple of points that I could focus on. What it also immediately did, was show how some of the stuff I came up with last week is probably irrelevant for each different point. Also, it showed which targets were not easily achievable with the proposed techniques. Fortunately, a single objective came through, which is the one I’m now going for.

I guess this proposal thing is all about picking a direction. You ultimately don’t have to go in that direction, but you certainly have to start by pointing in a certain direction. You can’t do research randomly. If you do, all you will end up with is meaningless bits of data, which don’t relate to each other.

Also, this exercise showed me how you really need to look at everything from more than one view. It it amazing how a change in perspective can throw relevant and irrelevant things into sharp contrast. So, in theory, the more perspectives and ways you look and think about something, the closer you will get to finding the core of your work.


Incompetence costs you money…

It never ceases to amaze me how often certain businesses who claim that they offer certain services do not have full competence in those services!!

Recently, my car started giving me problems. Basically, it wouldn’t start, however, there was clearly power, since my lights, radio and everything else electrical was working. After puzzling this over for a while, as a last stab before towing my car to a service station, I decided to try jump start it. It started. So I assumed that there was something wrong with my battery.

After driving to the place where Anita bought the battery from, and finding it not there anymore, I stopped at a Supa Quick, since they advertised that they ‘did’ batteries. I asked the manager there if they could test my battery, and he got someone to test it. The conclusion was that my battery was fine, and there must be some other electrical fault.

So (some weeks later, as I had to go to BMM) I ended up taking it to an auto electrician. They tested the battery, and concluded that the battery was at fault. They replaced it, and my car is happy.

Now, why didn’t Supa Quick pick it up? Okay, they must have used a different test. Speaking to the auto electrician, he said that the battery was fine when there was very little load on it. So it basically gave 12V, and all of my car’s internal (low load) electrics were fine. However, they must have not tested it under high load, which meant that they did not pick up that as soon as the load on the battery increases when starting the car, the battery’s output voltage went down to 3V.

Now, for a business (Supa Quick) that claims to specialise in 6 areas (Tyres, Batteries, Shocks, Exhausts, Wheels, Alignment), where one is Batteries (okay, in my books Tyres/Alignment/Shocks = Wheels, so 20% of their competence), you’d expect that they should be able to pick up something like this, as I would think is a common case for battery failure. Now, I’m not beating up on the poor guy who did the test, but perhaps they need to change their testing procedures and use equipment that will diagnose all the common cases for battery failure.

So, all in all, because of a misdiagnosis, Supa Quick lost business from me, which went to someone else.