Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Driving Lesson #40

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

This post is four days late, and I have nothing to Report. Couple of weeks until my test – I have kind of lost interest in driving, I would like to get it over and done with but I am not overly worried about the test itself.

Drive Safe!

Driving Lesson #39

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Had quite an enjoyable drive today, did four manovures first time round (reverse round a corner, reverse park, bay parking and turn in the road), that’s not to say they were without error but they were passable.

Almost didn’t see a car driving round the Sainsbury’s car park, Kev put his foot on the break at the same time I put the break down, he was faster though so I felt the pedal go out from underneath my foot.

I was quite happy with the drive all in all, getting used to scanning the road, although I do find it hard work.

Driving Lesson #38

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

It might be that I am tired, and hungry but I got a little fed up with driving. It takes quite a lot of concentration and it gets me home more tired than if I had sat on a bus for a hour and a half.

It sound silly but sitting on that bus for two hours is the only time I get to relax and pray. Two things you can’t really do when you are driving, the other thing that a bus lets you do when you are on it and if you are feeling up to it is give your full concentration to the book or podcast you are trying to extract information from which is really nice. I think the bus is the only place in the whole world where I know I will not be interrupted.

I was driving well today according to Kev, could have fooled me as I was stalling like it was going out of fashion. Kev was trying to get me to anticipate situations more acutely by looking ahead down the road identifying hazards long before I got anywhere near them. Something else I can practice on the bus (if I can be bother that is… seriously sans motivation today).

Anyway another lesson tomorrow and got my next test booked for the 16th April, see how I do in that one.

Driving Lesson #37

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I am getting slack updating the blog, I had my first lesson after my driving test yesterday, in an odd kind of way I actually felt more confident. I know I failed the test however having someone else in the car and not having it all go totally wrong gave me some confidence.

The lesson yesterday basically involved driving round finding places to do manoeuves, I make a point of saying “finding” as it was strangely difficult – at one point a van driver decided to park on the corner I was in the process of reversing round, amusingly enough he even nodded and smiled at us.

Anyway, should be doing some more lessons over the coming weeks I will try and keep up with the updates, thanks for the comments, texts and tweets regarding my test.

Driving Test #1

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Well as I have let the entire internet know via Twitter that I failed my driving test lets go through some analysis. But first a little bit of information about the Burges Hill driving test center two important things:

  1. The test center does have a toilet
  2. Don’t be tempted to touch the tap in the toilet it fell off when I used it

As for the test itself the results were as follows:

  • Dangerous – 0
  • Serious – 2
    1. about 5 minutes into the test I was approaching another car which I expected to stop and it didn’t I did not slow down enough to be able to safely park and the examiner had to use the brake.
    2. about half way through the test I thought it was a national speed limit (no driveways or side roads for a while and no lamp posts) so I was doing about 38 in a 30 zone.
  • Minor – 6
    1. Control -> Gears – don’t know what this was I probably went round a corner in 3rd gear.
    2. Use of Mirrors -> Change Speed – didn’t look in my rear view mirror when changing gear.
    3. User of Speed – As with the serious I probably went over 30 in a 30 zone.
    4. Progress -> Undue Hesitation – There was a right turn that had two vans parked on either side of the left turn restricting my vision.
    5. Junctions -> Observation – I didn’t check my mirror on the second part of a consecutive turn.
    6. Positioning -> Normal Driving – I probably moved a little too close to the kerb or central markings.

I knew I had failed within the first 5 minutes of the test, that didn’t make it any easier, it was very strange being in a car without Kev there – I have never driven anywhere without Kev. I am going to try and book another test for the Easter holidays after I have had a little more practice.

Driving Lesson #34, #35 & #36

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Sorry to anyone who was expecting posts on Thursday and Friday time kind of caught up with me, my lessons since last Wednesday have been much better, I still made a few mistakes here and there. Drove under some pressure after one of the Pastors at my church decided to follow us along Church Street and finally left us going up The Upper Drive apparently I handled it well.

So tomorrow is my test thank you to everyone who has wished me luck and said they were praying for me. It is much appreciated, I will probably tweet as soon as it is reasonable as to my result, if I pass it will probably be sooner.

I am nervous, I have had butterflies in my stomach for a couple of days now however I am handling them reasonably well without too many physiological manifestations.

Part of the test incorporates one “show me” and one “tell me” question; these range from telling the examiner how to check the tire pressure to showing the examiner how you would check the indicator lights are working.

In the instance of the former the answer would involve getting the correct pressures from the owners manual, using a reliable pressure gauge, checking the tires when they are cold, check there are not cuts or bulges in the tire wall and ensuring the tire cap is replaced afterwords.

The latter would involve turning on the ignition operating the hazard warning lights then checking all six lights (on a Corsa they are two rear, two side and two front).

There are 16 questions that they could ask, all of which are published on the DSA website.

Right now it is time to find something to occupy my mind for the next 10 hours or so that I don’t fret about the test.

Driving Lesson #33

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

6 Days and counting

That was bad, wrong side of the road and indicating far to long. Could do better.

Driving Lesson #32

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

7 Days to Go

Funny old day today, made one sill mistake that if in a test would have been a fail. Spent a fair bit of time today parking in bays, started off at ASDA, who despite being in the empty part of the car park told Kev he could not teach learners in Car Parks. Went down to Marine Drive and had people driving behind us while trying to park in the bays.

Anyway seem to have got he parking in bays quite well, did one perfectly by accident, still need to remember to keep checking behind me.

Driving Lesson #31

Monday, February 16th, 2009

8 Days till the test

Got a lesson every day this week, so I am just going to do short summaries rather than write anything at length. Aced turning round in the road again, missed a check on my reverse park and went too close, then too wide then got it right on reverse round the corner. Also had a tendency to drive a little to far right on faster roads, must remember the two points on the windscreen the markings should pass through.

Tomorrow is bay parking more reverse parking and reverse round a corner.

Strange SPQuery Behaviour

Friday, February 13th, 2009

I have been working on a very simple web part for a long time, the actual code for the web part takes less than an hour to write and merely displays a colour coded letter based on a query from a SharePoint list taking the date as a parameter.

It has taken a long time because of some strange behaviour with the SPQuery object, initially there was a problem with every row in the table being returned irrespective of the query, the odd thing was that if you ran the query in U2U CAML Query Builder it worked and the SPListItemCollection.count method would return 1 suggesting the query was working.

After adding a copious number of debugging command, I built up a pattern of what was happening and why. However no matter what I changed it either threw an exception as expected or returned all of the rows. I started commenting out lines of code one at a time trying to find the culprit, eventually moving on to commenting out the Debug.WriteLine statements, until I hit this line:

86
Debug.WriteLine(fetchCurrentWeek.ViewXml);

After commenting out this line the whole thing worked perfectly, I can put the date forward on the server and it will update I can change the source table and it reflects the changes after the cache has been cleared. I have looked over the Microsoft Documentation on SPQuery.ViewXml and can’t find any reference to it actually affecting the functionality of the object.

I have included my code at the end of this post for anyone to see, feel free to experiment with it. If you figure it out please do let me know.

using (SPWeb site = SPControl.GetContextSite(Context).OpenWeb())
{
 SPList weekList = site.GetList(this.SourceList);
 // sharepoint requires that we use a ISO8601 DateTime string,
 // generate it and insert it into the query
 string mondayOfCurrentWeek = SPUtility.CreateISO8601DateTimeFromSystemDateTime(GetMondayOfCurrentWeek().Date);
 StringBuilder camlBuilder = new StringBuilder();
 camlBuilder.AppendLine  ("<Where>");
 camlBuilder.AppendLine  ("  <Eq>");
 camlBuilder.AppendLine  ("    <FieldRef Name='WeekCommencing'/>");
 camlBuilder.AppendFormat("    <Value Type='DateTime'>{0}</Value>\r\n", mondayOfCurrentWeek);
 camlBuilder.AppendLine  ("  </Eq>");
 camlBuilder.AppendLine  ("</Where>");
 
 string getWeekCAML = camlBuilder.ToString();
 SPQuery fetchCurrentWeek = new SPQuery(weekList.DefaultView);
 // fetch all of the matching weeks from the table
 fetchCurrentWeek.Query = getWeekCAML;
 SPListItemCollection matchingWeeks = weekList.GetItems(fetchCurrentWeek); // the results of the query should only ever equal 1 if it dosn't something is wrong
 if (matchingWeeks.Count == 1)
 {
  SPListItem week = (SPListItem)matchingWeeks[0];
  WeekType = week["Week Type"].ToString();
  WeekType = SPEncode.HtmlEncode(WeekType); // HtmlEncode the result to make sure it dosn't contain any nastys
  String WeekNumber = week["Week Number"].ToString();
  WeekNumber = SPEncode.HtmlEncode(WeekNumber);
  Debug.WriteLine(String.Format(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, "[WeekWidget] Found record for {0} as Week {1} - Number {2}", mondayOfCurrentWeek, WeekType, WeekNumber));
  // cache the WeekType for 7 days from midnight on Monday as this is when the changeover between weeks happenswou
  Context.Cache.Insert(CACHE_WEEKTYPE, WeekType, null, GetMondayOfCurrentWeek().AddDays(7), TimeSpan.Zero);
 } // end if matchingWeeks count equal to 1
 else
 {
  // more than one week matched, we can not determine the output correctly
  ErrorText.Text = "More than one week matched in the table, please check the table.";
  LogEvent("More than one week (" + matchingWeeks.Count.ToString() + ") matched in the table, please check the table.");
 } // end else

Happy Hunting