Aug 16 2009

Training (different sort)

Category: UncategorizedMarcus @ 10:25 pm

There’s proposals to finally get a new entrance installed at Leeds station just by Granary Wharf. About time. I do have a bit of an interest in this, partly because Leeds is the station I use most of all. Horsforth station is just too far away from where I live to be practical: if I’m catching a bus to a station I may as well go to a big terminus rather than a small halt. Bramley or New Pudsey are actually slightly closer as the crow flies but a pain to get to. Also, the new entrance is just across the road from the big BT building that I sometimes use for meetings and it feels a bit daft having to go out the main entrance, down a flight of stairs and under the rail bridge when I could just walk through one of the upper windows if there was some kind of catwalk from platform 16. There’s a video of the proposed entrance here and it looks like this:

Something I think they’ll need to watch is maintenance of those escalators. There’s a similar kind of walkway at Bradford Interchange station and I don’t think the escalators there have worked since about the late 80s.

The area around the station does need a bit of sorting out and I think Leeds council have tied themselves up in knots a bit because of the one way system and public transport stuff. Boar Lane is often clogged up with taxis who seem to regard it as some kind of mother lode. Go and ply for trade somewhere else, please. It’s also a mess having buses going from Infirmary St, Boar Lane, outside the station and underneath it on Neville St. An idea by the Leeds Civic Trust suggests moving the bus station to the site of the Queen’s Hall car park on Sovereign St and having taxis pick up on the other side of the station outside Wetherspoons. Even if these proposals aren’t accepted I think they should have some kind of traffic order to tell the taxis to clear off if they can’t get into New Station St. There are plenty of other taxi ranks in the centre of town and it’s quite useful to know where they are after a night out to avoid queuing at 2 am.

Another proposal is a pair of stations on the Airedale Line at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge. I think burkesworks could probably vouch better than I can about the Apperley Bridge one but I have to say I have doubts about the Kirkstall Forge one. The proposed site is currently something of a wasteland. Development has ceased (probably because of the credit crunch) and it’s a very long way to any kind of settlement, even a small house, and until development starts again it will be inaccessible. The first stop on the line is Shipley and I do think they need some stations a bit closer to Leeds, but I think there are better places. Kirkstall itself might be an idea because there are shops and houses there, and a decent park & ride scheme might reduce traffic on Kirkstall Road which can be horrendously busy. There’s been times when it’s taken more than an hour to get from the junction with Kirkstall Lane to Kirkstall fire station (abot 2 miles away). There are plans to widen Kirkstall Rd and put a bus lane in, but what I think they need to do is sort out the junctions. A lot of congestion into Leeds is caused by traffic wanting to get on the A58, and traffic out of Leeds is delayed by the turn off to Armley and the zillions of traffic lights by the Warner Village.

One issue with putting a new station in Kirkstall is where to put it. Headingley station is very close (albeit on a different line) but not very well signposted. There was a station in Kirkstall (roughly here) but it’s too full of narrow roads to be really practical to get to. One idea might be to have it here which is currently an area of wasteland with an access road to the massive Kirkstall substation, although it’s also the kind of area where there could be personal safety issues.

Other stuff to mention: I’m now the proud owner of a black iPod classic. I forgot how long it takes to transfer music and set up the playlist (I usually go for a really long one and have it on random) and I’ve been too busy to sort it out. Currently just completed artists beginning with A. I’ve also been trying to blog about something other than training because I know it can be a bit boring. As far as that goes, all that’s worth mentioning is that I’m still negotiating my next fight, I did a 3 hour BJJ seminar today, I’m down to 87 kg and I’m planning on getting down to 84 kg for my birthday. Now I need a hot bath.

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Aug 14 2009

iPod or not?

Category: UncategorizedMarcus @ 11:56 am

I’m thinking about getting a 120 GB iPod classic to replace my old Creative Zen Vision:M. The battery doesn’t last as long as it used to so it needs replacing anyway and there are all kinds of add-ons that only work with iPods. Any thoughts? What’s it like using iTunes, and how easy is it to transfer music if I’m not using my “main” machine?


May 15 2009

Fight Part III

Category: UncategorizedMarcus @ 11:26 pm

Entry form filled in and left with my trainer to send off, so now the fight’s definitely on. Still to decide what exactly the rules will be but the only difference will be a possible extra 30 seconds per round and a couple of extra allowed techniques. It’ll be over 3 rounds of either 1.5 minutes or 2, and wearing shinpads, a head guard and a body pad. There’s a £30 entrance fee but I do get a DVD out of it which will probably be appearing on Youtube in due course. Certainly come a long way from my first ever interclub in 2007 (pictured in the user icon for this post).

Meanwhile I’m hoping my MP3 player starts working again once it’s dried out after I got caught in a massive thunderstorm tonight.

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Feb 15 2009

Protected: MP3 Players

Category: UncategorizedMarcus @ 2:34 pm

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