04 May

21 Again! My Lovely Birthday Weekend

I had a lovely birthday weekend.

My birthday fell on the Friday, and so I rose early and went into the University, picked up my thesis from the printers, and handed in my PhD! Hooray!! This is the first submission, so it now goes to 2 external examiners for them to read, and then I have to defend it at a viva.

Tom going to hand in his thesis

Tom going to hand in his thesis

Tom submitting thesis

Tom submitting thesis

I have to say, I had no idea how much pressure would come off me when I submitted. It reminded me of the last day of finals for my first degree. I actually felt 10kg lighter! I went and was quite dizzy with some colleagues and distributed jam donuts, and then find a new generation MoBike and rode home. These newer bikes have 3 gears, bigger frames and wheels and are definitely my kind of stationless hire bike.

A bicycle

Next gen MoBike

Matt was up from down South, and so he and Ann took me for brunch at Stark’s Kitchen and surprised me with a stack of 2000AD comics, a new shiny USB lighter for my candles, and a Fitbit, very happy about the latter.. Ann had me well foxed on that.. especially since she had also got me a new amplifier..

Man holding comics.

Matt got me some 2000AD comix!

Man holding present

FitBit4Tom

Back home Alex and Matt joined me playing Five Tribes which Alex bought me about 2-3 years ago and we have never managed to play yet. It’s really tactical, easy to understand, probably hard to fully master, and full of a lot of replay depth. The takeaway was Lebanese and great..

A boardgame

Five Tribes

2 men eating Lebanese food

Lebanese Takeaway

All in all a cracking birthday..

Roll on 54.. er, I mean 22..

On Saturday we decided to continue to play Five Tribes since we had enjoyed it so much. Duncan Rowlands joined us, and then we ate the 2 curries I had made. I was very pleased with the chana dal since I had never made it before, and the cauliflower and sweet potato curry was also good scran. I was not so happy about burning my hand.

Anyway, after 28 winks, we all went to see Ann’s thespian debut in When We Are Married by J.B.Priestley at the People’s Theatre. Ann played Mrs. Northrop, the insolent charwoman. We all thought she was brillig and all her hard work paid off as she nailed this comic West Yorkshire part.

Mrs Northtop getting fired

Ann Zunder as Mrs Northtop

On Sunday.. we hosted the ‘wrap’ party for the WWAM cast and crew. Our house makes for a great party house, and I had cooked 2 enormous pans of chilli. People brought cakes and veggie lasagne, and garlic bread, and booze and hats and we had a lovely day in the gorgeous hot sun of the Bank Holiday Weekend. I crashed and burned at about 8pm with a poorly stomach, but a core group soldiered on and kept the flame alive until midnight-ish. I met some lovely new people from the cast and crew, and many of which I would love to spend some more time with.

Cast and Crew from WWAM (not all of them obvs)

So, all in all a great weekend and then we wrapped it up on the Monday by cleaning up the house, having a fry up at Cafe 120, and later on celebrating Guernsey Liberation Day at Helen and Duncan’s, with lots of bean jar and gâche.

TTFN

27 Oct

Hello Old Fiends

Been a while hasn’t it? Welll I am still here, plugging away at the PhD thesis, although many other tasks and reports and proposals have bumped into the way.
On the PhD front I am now at Chapter 8, maybe 33% finished, and I hope to have it nailed by mid November.
Then Chapter 9, Reflections, or as I like to think of it “Now I read it again, how would I have done it properly”..
Then Chapter 10, which in truth I hope will write itself.
I want a bound softcopy for the supervisors in their hands before the Christmas vacation..
Other things we/I did:
Went to Thailand for the International City Logistics Conference: freightandlogisticsnews.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-10th-international-conference-on.html
Went on a cruise to Norway and it was rainy: www.facebook.com/tom.zunder/media_set?set=a.10154918642471453&type=3
Seen my lovely grandson Ollie Bear less than I would like 🙁
Ann retired..
The CHARM project ended, and probably so did any further work with the EU.. 🙁
Shacon 2017 was great. Furnace 2017 was hohum for me.
BREXIT rumbles on like a senile blue colossus, whilst everyone with any sense just looks on, including me, sorry to say.
Ah well. No wonder I feel down..
But life is good, Ollie Bear is lovely, Matthew has come home and completed his Masters, and is living in Cambridge with Alaa and applying for graduate schemes. Ann is fit and healthy (well apart from her foot) and despite putting on kilos of weight, and grinding my teeth and suffering from rolling cluster headaches.. so am I…. am I?
Tom

27 May

Very useful YouTube videos for SPSS

Largely worked on dwell times in SPSS.

Ann has friends from Worcester for weekend so I am working in my Uni office!

In other news I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Frickin’ Awesome! Then snuck into see Alien: Covenant but it was so lame and same old same old, that I left half way through.. sad.

Large Number of Value Labels – Fast Way – SPSS

Select Cases: Dates and Times – SPSS

Tired now, going to rest my eyes with a hot eye mask and then read the DMG for a bit.

23 May

Back to the stats

Back to the stats, now 2015 compared to 2012.

It’s a chronological jump but it’s best to go back in whilst my mind is still working in the right stats frameworks.

Terrible news re Manchester.

LGVs at Newcastle Uni 2015 versus 2012

LGVs at Newcastle Uni 2015 versus 2012

Off to theatres tonight to see ‘Out of Order’, which is a farce, so probably ‘Oops Vicar are these your knickers?’

Well two-thirds through of Good Wife Series 4, and similar through The Americans Series 4.

 

05 May

Chapter 4 done!

About 20:30 I laid my penultimate draft of Chapter 4: Context and Observations, or as I think of it, ‘When I went to war with stats, and won”. I read it back to write the summary and I am quite proud of all I have done. Cleaned 2 huge datasets, used VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, array formulae, specified and deployed perl (no I didn’t code it, but specced it), brought my SPSS skillset up from ‘barely remember it’ to nicely whizz, and more importantly started to conceptually understand when to use what, and more importantly to recognise when it can’t help. I had some great support from two great a statisticians, one a real expert, and I now begin to see that there is as much craft in stats as numbers.. It’s a huge chapter, nearly 80 pages, and 15k words, but a lot of the page count is tables and figures and screenshots, which is appropriate and means that the work is very reproducible. That’s important since after the PhD, I want to take the other 3 years and analyse them as well. I suspect there are 2 papers at least from this one methodology and data alone. Mind you, it’ll need reading back at the end to tease out some more, or bury some errors..

Off to see young Oliver in North Hykeham, Lincoln, Saturday, and see how much he’s grown. I am really rather looking forward to seeing him, and I am taking mr Dr Who mister men books to read with him.

Oh, and Monday I start Chapter 6, Business Models. I think that might be smoother.

 

04 May

May the 4th be with me

I got up about 8 and settled down on the sofa for a change.. and opened up a big stats file and jumped right in. It’s got me in it’s grip, so when the Muse is with me it’s great, but I do miss seeing people and networking and all that. It’s been really sunny here but much colder than a few weeks ago, but the sun’s great through our big windows.

At 4pm (how appropriate) my birthday started proper with some great pressies. Janet got me some of the Roger Hargreaves Dr. Who books, the First, Fourth and 11th Doctors. Very jolly and I will be able to share them with young Oliver!

Books

Dr Books

Ann had got me, as well as some new aftershave, a bloody great headset for my Xbox One S, a Turtle Beach no less:

Headset

Headset

I tried it out playing Forza Horizon and it has great sound, is very comfortable and the sound is awesomely good. Ann need not be bothered with the noise and we can be together, she can knit and I’ll play games.

Matthew got me the 10.5 year Anniversary edition of Brian Froud’s Goblins book. I had a much earlier edition years ago but lost it, or maybe it never was mine, so it was a great present. Oddly, I feel the goblins may have got at it before it got to me!

In addition Ann got me a very cool sign for the games room:

Beware of Zombies

Beware of Zombies

But the peace de la resistance (as Del Boy might say), is the very big, very heavy and very cool giant D6..

Then we went to Santanas, one of our fave restaurants and had some great food and I got the giant birthday Tiramisu!

It has been a great birthday, thanks everyone and especially Ann who was even willing to give up cheese for me.. but let’s not go mad, eh?

29 Apr

Good Day, SPSS under control, maybe Stats done soon?

I’ve over run by weeks on the stats for the baseline. I planned 2 weeks and it’s going to be 4 or maybe 5. However the job takes as long as it take in this case and I feel I have gained understanding and much greater mastery than I have had before. Not only that but the results are functionally useful, which as a pragmatist researcher is always important.

Purchasing Volume

Pairwise Test for Variance

In other news, Spooks all watched, Mutant and Masterminds bought and Peter Kay’s Car Share is excellent.

16 Apr

Good day

Freakin’ hard day to start up, felt like sh*t, but dug my feet in and just started plugging away and it started to come into focus and the words and charts started flowing. ’nuff said, it’s 19:37 and I am clocked off and going to watch TV. Not sure I like Ann being away.

 

15 Apr

Stats and a wall

The stats really came together yesterday, Good Friday, but hit a bit of a wall today. I need a crib sheet to understand the old material groups, and I get that until Tuesday, at the earliest. However tomorrow I can write up the process I have followed so far and that may take me all Sunday. Would be great and I need a break from numbers.

Then on Monday I can go back and input the traffic survey stats into spss and be ready for my next meeting with Shirley.

So good day Friday yesterday less good day Saturday. Think I shall watch “the man in the high Castle” season two tonight.

Ann is doing a tour of friends in South Yorkshire so as to allow the space to work. Silly thing is I miss her like crazy already.