Saturday 1 September 2001
hmm. Beer tonight with Aris,
hmm. Beer tonight with Aris, Julie, Simon, DA, Paul C, Arron, Paul F, Sarah, Ian and Sacha.
Tonight, two people stressed me out.
The first stressed me out by being stressed, making that clear to everyone else, and then wandering off without making clear to that person’s closest friends that they were ok or otherwise. The friends (which I like to think includes myself) were left more than slightly worried and agitated, and totally powerless. Unanswered mobiles do not help. Advice: good friends are too valuable, as I know from experience this year, to mess around or stress out. They’ll stand by you and support you, but a brief word will keep them happy and help them support you in your troubles. Sometimes, friends try to help, but at times we don’t know what help to give. Sorry.
The second stressed me out by refusing to accept well-intentioned advice, particularly as that advice was a reflection of something that that person had decided when sober, but was clearly unable to carry through when the wrong side of ten beers. And, yes, I lost my rag, which didn’t help. Advice: you are not alone in dealing with your problems at the moment, but you may find that you are unless you accept that other people are trying to help you, not harm you or hold you back. Being self-destructive will have only one outcome – destruction.
It hurts so much to see the people you love (and trust and want to be around and care for) hurting themselves in ways that you are powerless to do anything about. Especially when those people have done so much for me in the not-too-distant past, and I feel a debt of gratitude towards them.
I’ve got my own troubles too – there are things on my mind that are bothering me, and I’m less than jolly as I sit here at my PC. But I’m too tired and stressed to really give them much consideration, and sometimes they seem fairly feeble compared to other people’s troubles.
I hope your Friday night was good. Mine was mostly good until things went wrong at the end of the evening. I’m sad that I missed seeing Brenda and Greg, who were out early in the evening, but departed before I got to Woodies. I’m sad that the support and help that I give to people is not always received or understood. I try my best, but I am only human.
jeeps. It’s September. Happy blogaversary
jeeps. It’s September. Happy blogaversary to Marcia. And there is still time to send me presents for my blogaversary on September 16th.
Where exactly has the year gone?
Went to Waterstones this morning
Went to Waterstones this morning and got three Banana Yoshimoto books in the 3-for-2 sale – Amrita, Kitchen and N.P. Now to decide which to read first. And this will really help me concentrate on my marketing books – not.
Sunday 2 September 2001
Go over now and listen
Go over now and listen to Nick singing. No wonder his neighbours don’t complain.
I can’t wait for Mo to come up with a remix.
Lunch yesterday in the company
Lunch yesterday in the company of Sarah, enjoying splendid organic welsh rarebit in the sun-drenched garden of St Martin’s Tea Rooms.
Later, we headed off to Cocking (there’s a place name that’ll get me some dodgy search referrals) to a birthday party for an old friend (I mean she has been a friend for a while, not that she is old!), Adrienne. Sarah and I took along some food and wine (lovely salad and champers from Sarah, whilst I had sweetcorn and some veggie kebabs smothered in Crazy Charlie’s Cajun Sauce, which turned out to be rather more fiery than expected, but certainly delicious) and joined Kate (who had brought mackerel and cake), William (Adrienne’s two-year-old son, who brought entertainment for the rest of us) and Adrienne’s neighbours, Pete and Mark. It was an excellent evening, very relaxed – and especially good to see Adrienne looking cheerful and relaxed.
It was good to catch up with Kate too. Kate and I lived together a few years ago – she was a great influence on me, and although she isn’t a million miles away and we do exchange emails every now and then, I miss having her around. Proof that when a relationship breaks up, you can continue to be good friends.
I’ve just watched the Belgian
I’ve just watched the Belgian Grand Prix. The Belgian race is always one of the most exciting, but at one point it became terrifying when Eddie Irvine collided with Luciano Burti. Burti went in a straight line at about 180mph into the tyre wall, which collapsed onto his car. Thankfully, and miraculously, he was conscious and able to speak as rescuers, Irvine among them, pulled him out and rushed him to hospital. Whilst his car was completely destroyed, the shell around the cockpit appeared to be pretty much intact – something which no doubt saved his life.
Monday 3 September 2001
Mixmaster Mo and Jazzy Jordan
Mixmaster Mo and Jazzy Jordan in the …um… house.
Gary has sent me through
Gary has sent me through the details for his stag weekend extravaganza this weekend in Kilkenny, which will feature drinking, girl hitchhikers, drinking, golf, drinking, t-shirts, drinking, me sharing a bed with the groom(!) …and then maybe a bit of drinking if we have time. I think I’ll pack extra Alka-Seltzer.
Have just been descended upon
Have just been descended upon by Bora and his mate Dominic – always a pleasure, and an opportunity to catch up on “the gossips” and generally put the world to right.
Tuesday 4 September 2001
beer tonight with Paul F,
beer tonight with Paul F, Rick, Paul, Dave, Simon, Paul S, Arron, Lynne, Leah, Kristian, Anthony, Joel and everyone who knows me. Tired now. Anyway, Paul F is ok, which is good. And I had a long chat with Leah on why we live in and love Chichester, and the sacrifices you have to make for being in such a place – a subject on which we definitely agree.
This post would work well
There has been a lengthy
There has been a lengthy discussion today on the UKbloggers mailing list about what it takes to get a job, with comments from recruiters and recruitees.
For me, it seems that it comes down to the old marketing principle of “exchange”. The employee has to offer what the employer seeks, and the employer has to offer an appropriate something (pay, working environment, flexible work patterns, etc.) in exchange. From an employees point of view, the most important thing is to offer an employer what they want – not necessarily skills or knowledge, as they are things that can be learned, but more likely an ability to solve problems and to learn, coupled with enthusiasm and an appropriate personality. These are things which (it could be argued) are harder, though probably not impossible, to learn, but if you can gain the right qualities in these areas, I reckon you are going to have an advantage over other applicants for a job.
At least I hope that that is the case, because I like to think that that area is one of my strongest, stronger than my academic record for sure.
Gah. College. GAH. Reasons why
Gah. College. GAH.
Reasons why Chichester College can be crap:
- I asked (twice) ages ago what books I should get for this term. I received no advice on the subject. Having a £50 voucher that I had to use before it expired, I used my initiative and bought the two top books from the CIM reading list. Guess what? …yep, they’re not the books we’re going to use. Oh well, they won’t go to waste.
- Tonight we had induction. In fact, it wasn’t really induction. It was sitting around filling out forms that we could easily have done at home beforehand, duplicating the same information on four forms (what no integrated database? like, don’t they practice what they preach?)
- As an afterthought, our tutor remembered to tell us that the nights had been changed for our classes – good job he remembered to tell us rather than wait for us all to get pissed off when we turned up needlessly on Thursday.
- Oh yeh – the forms – the wrong ones of course!
- And, on top of that, we couldn’t complete our enrolment because either we had the wrong forms, or because we need to get our ILA application cleared first.
Guh. Guh. Guh guh guhitty guh.
Most amusing sight of the
Most amusing sight of the day: as I was driving to college (yep, borrowed the car to transport my pot plants home from repotting at the nursery), I got held up in a queue of cars. Looked over towards the college buildings, and on the edge of the college grounds, clearly visible from the road for all to see – a couple having a shag. Cue: lots of people tooting horns, laughing and shouting – didn’t seem to put the amorous couple off though!
Further annoyance for today: my
Further annoyance for today: my mobile phone was supposed to be delivered this evening – no sign of it. Guh.
So I’ve just cooked myself some utterly splendid chicken fajitas as compensation. I haven’t been cooking for myself so much lately – by that I actually mean *cooking* as opposed to just warming up a readymeal. Sometimes, cooking for one gets to be a bit of a drag. I really should do more cooking though, not least because it is cheaper than constantly buying readymeals, but also because there is more variety and it is possibly healthier too.
Of course, what would be much better is to be cooking for two, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Wednesday 5 September 2001
Blogger seems to be having
Blogger seems to be having a few problems, so if updates become infrequent, you’ll know why.
It is always good to
It is always good to hear from someone you haven’t heard from in a while – inane chat this afternoon with Brooke on long-distance sneering, the merits of CSS, and whether Luke was responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Backstreet Boys.
Started work on the skins
Started work on the skins project this evening. The first target is to get neater code powering this site, with a proper linked style sheet – so far, all I’ve done is realise how messy my code is. The next stage will be to set this site up with a choice of one skin, which will be what you are looking at now. Hopefully, if all that works, you shouldn’t notice any changes at all.
Stage three is where the fun starts – then you’ll have the choice of this colour scheme, and also the old colour scheme. If I succeed in getting that working, I’ll add another one, two or three layouts (depending on how much energy I have), one of which will be the very old layout that used to be used prior to February this year (look up “old blog” in the archive pulldown menu in the nav bar to see what I mean).
The bad news is that those of you still using version 4 or older browsers will not be able to see any of this. I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to deal with that issue – there aren’t many of you, but you do exist, and I’d hate to lose you (incidentally, you are already unable to see the navbar if you use Navigator 4.7 or older – just think how good this site would be if you upgraded!).
Anyhow, none of this is going to happen quickly. Continue watching this space.
And my phone *still* hasn’t
And my phone *still* hasn’t arrived. grr. Was hoping to take it to Ireland this weekend, but that prospect is looking bleak now.
Thursday 6 September 2001
Got a lovely email from
Got a lovely email from Simone this morning, now back in Australia. Sounds like her trip down there was less than pleasant (spending any amount of time in a confined space with five large lads from Aberdeen does not make for a good journey, in my view), but she is settling back in to life in her homeland, getting over the heartrending departure from Chichester. I’m sure she’ll be back one day (and we’ll all still be drinking in the bar!).
Forgot to say yesterday -
Forgot to say yesterday – no TFF or AFF scores this week because no premiership matches were played due to the internationals. Normal service resumes this weekend.
Meanwhile, my team has a critical match at itsagoal.com today – I’m only one point ahead of the second placed team, and we meet today. Their form suggests it could be a tough match. Result later.
Science can be scary:Universe may
Science can be scary:
- Universe may suddenly turn to jelly
- Enormous black hole at centre of galaxy
- British climate could become similar to northern Canada’s
- London to Sydney journeys in 2 hours could render in-flight movie obsolete
- Icelandic town plans to import crocodiles to eat waste from fish processing
- Mad German scientists develop environmentally-friendly bombs and missiles
How do you make a
How do you make a happy Graybo? Simple: give him a new toy. Yep – my phone has arrived (finally), and I’m currently setting it up and charging it and soforth. If I have time before going to Ireland tomorrow morning, I’m going to set up wapblogger, so I can update this site from the phone. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Incidentally, I’ll be transferring the number from my old phone to my new one, but they say this can take up to 25 days (bah!) – I have a temporary number, and if you feel that you should have it, ask. Otherwise, call or SMS the usual number – I’ll check it daily.
Readymeals – look great on
Readymeals – look great on the packet, look lovely when you pull them from the oven – yet look awful on your plate. Why? There must be a better pack design possible, so that you can get your meal out of the pack without turning it into a chewed up mess.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Dave, Arron, Michael, DA, DAGS, Michelle, Dan, Kristian and DJ. Good fun. Now totally unprepared for tomorrow. Oh well.
Updates between now and Sunday night/Monday morning will be infrequent/nonexistent. Have a good weekend.
Saturday 8 September 2001
Hello from Kilkenny! This will
Hello from Kilkenny! This will be the briefest of updates as I’m using an Esat webaccess terminal in the Wm. Byrne pub. We’re just grabbing a beer before heading back to the B&B to change – then back into town for an evening of drunken debauchery. Full report tomorrow night, possibly with pictures to follow.
Sunday 9 September 2001
I’m back, but no time
I’m back, but no time to update you now as I have to go to the pub (no kidding).
In other news, Reblogger has had a bit of a hiccup, but is now operating again. Unfortunately, due to problems out of just about everyone’s control, the comment archives have been lost.
Monday 10 September 2001
Beer tonight with David and
Beer tonight with David and Andi. Aris, Arron, Gary, Tim and Dave also seen.
Need a hug. Or to be sober. Or both.
Excellent writing. Gruesome subject.
Jules, the brains behind Life
Jules, the brains behind Life And How I Live It is coming to London between October 13th and 18th as part of her honeymoon. She’d like some top tips on places to go from you lot – fool! She’s looking for things off the beaten tourist path that are interesting, perhaps even quirky, and preferably inexpensive. Pubs, restaurants, clubs, events, gigs, concerts, galleries – anything really, and especially those things that don’t make it to the guide books. If you have any ideas, then send her a mail or leave an idea in the comments.
Heads-up also to UKbloggers in and around London – I’d like to get a few of us together to give Jules a champagne reception whilst she is here – or maybe a few beers at least. If you are up for it, mail me and we’ll make a plan.
Tuesday 11 September 2001
Just testing Waplogger. Seems to
Just testing Waplogger. Seems to work fine. Now I can update from anywhere that I can get a phone signal. Cool! (Takes an age to type stuff in though.)
Temperature, sore throat, aching shoulders
Temperature, sore throat, aching shoulders – not a good start to a Tuesday.
Beer last night with Paul F.
AFF – 4 points this
AFF – 4 points this week takes my score to -1. Meanwhile, Nico‘s daughter’s team leads the table. Not bad considering her age!
Just about everyone has something
Just about everyone has something to say on today’s news. The scale of the destruction caused by the terrorist attacks in the US today is quite unimaginable. For anyone who is there, knows someone there, loves someone there – words can never be enough.
I think it is going to take a few days to fully comprehend today’s events – if ever they can be understood.
My fear is that the Bush administration will react in an ill-considered and knee-jerk way. The American administration, and this one particularly, is not known for reacting in a measured way. I am very concerned that we are witnessing, and will continue to witness over the next few days, the beginning of an awful and terrible spiral of violence.
As with any disaster of this nature, howsoever caused, it must be seen and used as an opportunity. Already, there is discussion of US, European, Russian and even Chinese security forces working together – this sort of cooperation would not have any precident in history. Unless something positive comes from this, all those who have died or been injured will have done so in vain.
I’m still trying to formulate my feelings on today’s events. This is something that is going to be talked about for years to come.
American attitudes will be forced
American attitudes will be forced to change by this. The nation is no longer invulnerable (if ever it was). Missiles, navy, air force – none are a defence against this kind of well-organised terrorism. I don’t think this will end the spirit of isolationism promoted by the Bush administration though, but will deepen it. Which is a bad thing, in my view.
It’s started – explosions reported
It’s started – explosions reported in Kabul, Afghanistan. Looks like shoot first, ask questions later.
UPDATE: US denies involvement.
Wednesday 12 September 2001
For excellent coverage of the
For excellent coverage of the horrifying events in the US, I recommend Associated Press Network News Radio.
A few American friends have
A few American friends have asked me how much coverage yesterday’s events are getting over here. There is only one word: saturation. People joke that the British talk of nothing else but the weather – well, today there is only one topic of conversation, and it has nothing to do with the rain that is forecast.
The traditional media have struggled to cope with the events. The lack of reliable information, the problem of rumour and counter-rumour (witness my earlier post about the explosions in Kabul), the simple problem of comprehending the scale of the acts has led to an obfuscation, a lack of clarity. Even in their new media forms, the news channels struggled to cope – both CNN and BBC Online were inaccessible for a while.
That most basic and robust of media, radio, seems to have won through in providing current and (reasonably) accurate information in the most immediate fashion. BBC 5 Live was yesterday carrying live reporting with interviews with eyewitnesses and people who had escaped the buildings involved and witnessed the events. BBC Radio 4 this morning was pointing out that the 45 people who died in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania have been more or less forgotten by the rest of the media – even the 800 that may have perished at the Pentagon are given only the smallest amount of coverage, yet there must be many thousands of people who are worried for loved ones there. And I have already mentioned APN News Radio, which was providing excellent impassioned reporting of the events as they unfolded, with interviews with witnesses and experts.
And of course, bloggers have been commenting and reporting events. Meg has drawn up a good list of blogs including some eyewitness accounts. Many others from all around the world have been writing their opinions and reactions, ranging from shock and outrage to fury to dismay to fear and worry. I’m sure that somewhere online are bloggers that hold the opposite view that is being promoted by some people in the Middle East. At times like this, bloggers can act as unpaid, independent journalists and commentators, answerable to nobody and with only themselves as their editor. That is one of the strengths of free personal publishing in such an immediate form as this.
Other good analysis is beginning to appear elsewhere. The Independent today carries an article by Mary Dejevsky which concentrates on the theme I raised here last night – that the American perception of invulnerability has been severely damaged. The same paper carries editorial expressing the fear I have already hinted at – that the response of the Bush administration will lead to a deepening spiral of violence, and that these deaths will not have led to anything approaching a positive outcome – that they will be lives wasted. I have received criticism this morning, particularly from American readers of this site, for expressing those views, but they are my opinions and I feel that they should be addressed. In no way does that diminsh the horror of what has happened.
The world has never seen anything quite on this scale. But I do not think it is unreasonable to draw comparisons with other events. The IRA bomb in Omagh led to a hope and fervent desire that the years of killing in Northern Ireland could be brought to an end. As we have seen recently, sometimes that desire is not always satisfied, but it remains – and whilst it remains, democratic and peaceful civilisation will endure. As soon as we descend into revenge and recrimination, then hope is lost – witness the seemingly endless and bloody situation that persists in Israel and Palestine.
As a global community, we must, of course, do all we can to support and assist the injured and bereaved. But our response must always be reasoned and measured – if it is not, then we will have lowered ourselves to the same level as the perpetrators.
Concerned about loved ones in
Concerned about loved ones in New York or Washington? Or are you someone who has survived the tragedy? Use these links to leave/read messages (via Jen and Cal):
Sometimes the internet is a good thing. But apparently some people (in a totally ill thought out way) are suggesting that the internet facilitated the tragedy by giving the terrorists easy access to information about flights and so forth, and so should be shut down. Say what?? Well, following that reasoning, if they travelled to the airport by car, then the highways should be ripped up, as they facilitated the terrorists. Probably the telephone network too. And the whole airline industry. Ridiculous.
In other news:I’ve got a
In other news:
- I’ve got a really unpleasant fluey cold, but had to go to work today. Consequently I feel lousy now.
- A rep from WeatherGlaze was supposed to call here at 7pm today to give me a quote for replacement windows. No show. So they won’t be getting the work.
- I have the pictures back from the weekend in Kilkenny, and they include a couple of really good ones of Gary looking very drunk. I promise I will do a full write-up when I have time/motivation/energy/less germs.
- The result of the Tory leadership campaign will be announced tomorrow. It was due to be announced today, but was postponed for obvious reasons. The reception that was planned has also been cancelled – instead, Tory Central Office will simply issue a press statement.
- My itsagoal.com team is now assured promotion to division 16.
Some pictures speak more than
And on either side of
Thursday 13 September 2001
I’ve taken the day off
I’ve taken the day off today – too ill to go in.
It’s probably far too soon
It’s probably far too soon to be publishing ideas of the sort expressed in this article. Whilst there may be more than a grain of truth in what is written, we must remember that the American administration in power now is not the same as the administrations that preceded it. Nor is the American administration the same as the American people – most Americans are quite capable of thinking for themselves on their own two feet, and do not blindly follow what the President says. However, I am concerned that the Democrats have said they will give whatever the President asks for (the leader of the Democrats in the Senate said words to this effect in an interview I heard on the BBC at lunch time) – an unquestioning attitude is surely the wrong attitude.
I’d be interested to see some media coverage from Arab nations. I heard some reports this morning on BBC Radio of what the press are reporting in Egypt and Pakistan – a combination of horror, revulsion, fear and apprehension. The Egyptian press is particularly angry at western media for giving “undue prominence” to the small number of Palestinians who celebrated the terrorists’ actions. The Pakistani press comments on the fact that the Afghan people did not elect the Taleban regime, are in many cases oppressed by it, are in some places fighting it, and did not invite Osama bin Laden into their country.
Further thought: on Tuesday morning, the FBI and other authorities knew nothing about the attacks that were clearly being planned and had been planned for a long time, in spite of having the largest counter-terrorist budget in the world. And yet, within 36 hours, they are confident that Osama bin Laden is the culprit. Journalists, commentators and experts in other parts of the world (i.e. outside the US) are not so sure. I’m not an expert, but you have to wonder if a man who has to keep moving around a war torn, ravaged, mountainous country, cut off from the rest of the world and isolated from the global communications network is really in a position to organise this. Even if he was involved, could he have achieved it alone?
Experts I have heard speaking about bin Laden are quick to point out that, whilst he is a figurehead and leader of the network (they don’t use the word “organisation”), there are plenty of other well equipped, well organised, well supported and powerful men who are just as capable of organising and achieving the destruction we have all witnessed.
I think we should be careful not to be too hasty to codemn bin Laden before there is real evidence to link him with this – remember McVeigh.
Also, in just the same way as we must not accuse all Americans of being knee-jerk reactionaries, baying for blood and vengeance, equally we must not accuse all members of Islam of being fundamentalist extremists seeking to destroy “American imperialism”. From what I have seen, read and heard, the vast overwhelming majority of Islamic people are utterly horrified by what has happened. This is not about Islam – this is about terrorists.
If we head down that path, then we shall be in the same situation that exists in Northern Ireland – people caught up in their own history, trapped and unable to move forward – a place where people with different religions (even though they believe in the same god) can not live together. A place where taxi drivers of one faith are murdered if they take a fare into an area dominated by members of the other faith. A place where teenagers are shot in the knees as punishment for what they believe in. A place where five year old children are the targets of stun grenades as they walk to school because of their faith.
If we head down the path of blaming Islamic faith, then that situation will not just be confined to Northern Ireland, or even to the Middle East – it will become global, and will truly be hell on earth.
More pictures have been added
More pictures have been added at Ultradio.
Iain Duncan-Smith has won the
Iain Duncan-Smith has won the Tory leadership contest by wide margin.
Excellent links resource about the
Excellent links resource about the events in NYC, mainly linking to blogs.
Idle thought: how might Al
Idle thought: how might Al Gore have reacted to this?
Nipped out for a couple
Nipped out for a couple of whiskies with Paul F, Julie and Arron. Several others seen too. Should sleep well now.
Friday 14 September 2001
I’ve struggled into work this
I’ve struggled into work this morning, albeit late, in spite of the worst cold I’ve had in years. Just too much to do.
I was at the station in Chichester at 11 o’clock. The three minutes silence for the victims of the terrorist acts in the US was observed. I have never, ever, heard the city so quiet. There was total and absolute silence. Everyone on the platforms sat or stood still. The workmen on the new Wiley building removed their hardhats and stood on the scaffolding. Cars stopped on the roads. The only sounds that could be heard were a dog barking, a child crying and the distant toll of the cathedral bells (which you can never normally hear at the station).
I think it was a remarkable symbol of how ordinary people here, far removed geographically from the disaster site, have been touched by events. I have never seen the silence so closely observed – certainly it was more closely observed than it is on Remembrance Day.
The silence was finally broken on the platforms at Chichester by a security announcement, warning passengers not to leave bags and packages unattended – something that I had never heard at Chichester before this week, and symbolic in its own right.
I previously expressed an interest
I previously expressed an interest in finding non-UK and non-US news sources covering the US terrorist attacks. Well nobody pointed any out to me, so I went and found a few of my own. Try these:
Pravda, Russia – features lots of reader feedback and carries a disturbing article today about people selling fragments of the fallen buildings as souvenirs.
Arabic News, a clearing house for news stories covering the entire Middle East.
Pakistan News Service – very interesting. Reports today that Colin Powell has announced the lifting of US sanctions against Pakistan, and that the EU has relaxed trade quotas on Pakistani textile exports (a major source of revenue) – I’ve not seen this reported anywhere else.
ADDENDUM: Cal suggests adding The Times of India, which I note carries an article suggesting that a close associate on Osama bin Laden, wanted on terrorist charges by the Jordanian authorities, is living in exile in London.
Is it possible to become
Is it possible to become saturated by the events of the last few days? A sort of numbness sets in. You flick through the paper or websites or radio channels thinking to yourself “yeh, heard that, and that….. that too ……no, nothing new”. I guess that’s what started me on looking for other sources of news, information and opinion from other parts of the world – a desire to find some fresh angle on the whole episode.
But instead I feel jaded. Words just seem to run out at times, and when they do, feelings run out also.
Ever since I first heard of the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre, I’ve tried to be detached and objective – I’ve always held the opinion that if you can remain that way, you can reason better. But the endless repeated interviews with people holding photos of their missing loved ones, hoping that somehow they managed to survive falling 100 storeys in a collapsing burning building; the images of the twisted mess that is all that is left of the buildings and aircraft; the recordings of those dreadful telephone calls from people in the buildings or on the planes – these things easily erode the detachment.
And if that is how it can impact upon someone many thousands of miles away, with no friend or family directly involved, it is easy to see why those close to the scene can be promoting the idea of vengeance.
I just hope that those who make the decisions to send troops, seamen, airmen and munitions against whoever it is they decide to attack can remain level-headed and dispassionate enough to make the right decisions, and do not fall victim to the “red mist” of anger. That would be a very dangerous path to go down, and, in my opinion, would inevitably lead to still worse death, destruction and suffering than we have already seen.
Saturday 15 September 2001
Should FarmAid be cancelled? It’s
Should FarmAid be cancelled? It’s not for another five weeks, and it is for a good cause.
Should normal life be suspended indefinitely? Surely to do so concedes defeat?
A good record of blog
A good record of blog commentary on the terrorist action in the US can be found here.
An interesting article. Whilst I
An interesting article. Whilst I am not into conspiracy theories, there are several things in this article that have concerned me too. I am still not entirely convinced that bin Laden is behind this, or, if he is, that he acted alone – somehow it seems too easy to blame the bogeyman.
Idle thought: I read recently
Idle thought: I read recently (I’m sorry, I can’t remember where) that eight children under the age of five die every minute because of disease and malnutrition. On Tuesday, around 5000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks – a terrible atrocity, which nothing can detract from. But on that same day, 11500 under-5s died. Another 11500 died on Wednesday. And Thursday and Friday. A similar number will die today. Two have died in the time it has taken you to read this paragraph. Think about it.
TFF this week: 26 points,
TFF this week: 26 points, taking my total to 92. Time for a transfer or two, methinks.
Sunday 16 September 2001
Beers tonight with Paul F,
Beers tonight with Paul F, the ever-youthful Aris, the eternally lovely Julie, Arron, the splendid Brenda and Greg (I think we can now officially use the term “Brenda and Greg” now that they are cohabiting [what a crap word that is]), Dan, Claudette, Tanya, Claudine, Mich and a whole bunch of other people.
Julie, quite reasonably, suggests that it is time to lighten up at Grayblog. Tomorrow (Sunday 16th) is my first blogaversary, and I think it is time to celebrate. Yes, it has been a dreadful week, but I think it is a good thing to be defiant and continue with life as close to normal as we possibly can.
So, if you enjoy Grayblog, I’d really love to hear from you. I’ve been doing this for a year now, and I have every intention of carrying on into the future. Your reaction and encouragement will mean a lot to me. This has been a hard year on so many levels, and I am grateful for the friends I have made through blogging, and the outlet that this has given me.
I’ve long admired John Simpson’s
I’ve long admired John Simpson’s journalism. Here are two good pieces that you should read: What now for the Taleban? (audio version) and The day that Osama bin Laden put a price on my head.
Just about every UK newspaper
Just about every UK newspaper has produced at least one, if not several, full colour photo supplements recording the scenes from the past few days, ranging from eight to sixteen pages. You almost sit looking at some of the pictures and think “my, what an excellent photograph!” until you stop to think about what the images represent. The souvenirs are just like the sort of thing that is published when there is a royal wedding or similar event – you almost feel that you should be keeping them for posterity. Am I the only person beginning to think that the reporting is becoming ghoulish and voyeuristic in some parts, aggressive and war-mongering in others?
Another thought provoking article.
Yet another article to read.
Wise words, and ones that
Wise words, and ones that I agree with.
Just cooking up some pork
Just cooking up some pork loin chops marinated in Dan T’s Inferno Mexicana Mandarin Fusion stirfry, finishing and dipping sauce – and the sauce is absolutely delicious. What a shame I picked it out of the discontinued item bin at Waitrose.
TFF – just made three
TFF – just made three transfers. Out: Dixon, Clapham and Wise. In: Matteo, Pires, Frandsen.
I mentioned earlier today that
I mentioned earlier today that I have made some good friends through blogging. I’ve also met some people who are able to write well thought-out pieces like this. These are the things that make me proud to be a blogger, a provider of independent internet content.
Beer tonight with Arron, provider
Beer tonight with Arron, provider of the finest home-made chocolates you could imagine. Also witnessed: Dan and Kristian, both pissed as can be, Leah, pissed off that Kristian was pissed, Dave, Phil and Tim.
Monday 17 September 2001
Someone found this page this
Someone found this page this morning by searching Google for “wallpaper of the terrorist attack”. Strange. Very strange.
Thanks to everyone who has
Thanks to everyone who has sent messages celebrating my first blogaversary. Consider my ego boosted!
The International Red Cross and
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent website not only talks about relief work in New York, but also about some of the other tragedies currently taking place around the globe. Donations can be made in 25 currencies.
Good article by Mike Wooldridge.
Good article by Mike Wooldridge.
I expressed concern before about
I expressed concern before about the Democrats saying that they will not question or oppose anything that President Bush does. Now I see that Iain Duncan-Smith has promised the same – and more – here. Neither wise nor sensible, in my opinion.
Royal Mail loses monopoly. A
Royal Mail loses monopoly. A good thing? Not sure. If the private sector is allowed to cherry-pick the juiciest parts of the mail delivery industry, will that mean that rural areas, for example, will receive a poorer service? Surely it would be better to allow the Royal Mail to raise capital, and operate more like a true business?
Meanwhile, over at itsagoal.com, my
Meanwhile, over at itsagoal.com, my team drew today, earning the single point needed to assure the division 17 championship.
Tuesday 18 September 2001
College last night included a
College last night included a controversial debate on the motivators behind the US terrorist attacks. It is certainly an interesting time to be studying international marketing.
This website was also mentioned, so hello to any fellow students reading this.
Newly discovered radio for today:
Newly discovered radio for today: Monkey Radio.
Bizarrely, I’m getting loads of
Bizarrely, I’m getting loads of referrals from the about page at ickle.org, even though I haven’t contributed anything in ages. Maybe I should?
One of the good things
One of the good things about having a weblog is that some days you get breezy cheery messages from complete strangers, thousands of miles away. Today has been one of those days. This is A Good Thing.
Incidentally, when did it become de rigeur to capitalize “A Good Thing”?
So it isn’t just me
Everyone at college (i.e. the
Everyone at college (i.e. the other students) wants me to come up with a “marketing corner” for this site, with handy links to marketing-related websites, handy news sources, and other stuff. When I get a bit of free time, I’ll see what I can put together.
Also, I haven’t forgotten the skins project – I’ll do that when I have some time too. (For those that do not know, the skins project will allow users to choose their preferred “paintscheme” for this site from a set of options I provide – I am fairly confident that I can do it, I just need to dedicate a bit of time to it.)
Tomorrow, the nursery is going
Tomorrow, the nursery is going to be inspected by Andrew, the Man From The Ministry, in order to be sure that we are not spreading horrid plant pests and diseases around Britain and Europe. Well, I say Man From The Ministry – he is, of course, now Man From The Department, which, to be honest, just doesn’t have the same ring to it. And yes, he does have a white coat and clipboard.
Wednesday 19 September 2001
TFF – 31 points this
TFF – 31 points this week, taking me to 123.
AFF – I’m not even going to talk about it.
Brighton and Hove Albion go
Brighton and Hove Albion go top of Division 2 after beating Stoke City 1-0. Top? Already? What’s that about? Premiership football at the Withdean? hmm.
This is very cool -
This is very cool – a search engine for GBlogs.
Sad to report that Jules
Sad to report that Jules has cancelled her European honeymoon as a result of the prevailing uncertainty. I’m sure the UKbloggers can manage to have a drink for her and her new husband even if they are not here, and maybe celebrate properly in the future.
A quiet night in with
A quiet night in with chicken fajitas (yes, again! but I like them), a beer, and a IM chinwag with Robyn.
Thursday 20 September 2001
Lost moon landing tape found
Lost moon landing tape found by NASA. Seems to feature a bloke whistling and calling for Roger.
Not much to say today.
Not much to say today. No reason – just nothing to say.
Isn’t there something in The
Isn’t there something in The Blogger’s Manual: 2001 Edition about not being so lazy as to trawl other people’s sites for content ideas? So sue me:
- I’m glad that being without Channel 5 and a mobile signal does not qualify a locale as “backward” in some way. If it did, then the Nag’s Head would be backward, as there is no C5 reception in Chichester at all (unless you have satellite) and the only way to get a mobile signal is to prop your phone against the Heineken pump. Not the Stella pump, mind, even though it is only 5 inches away. The Heineken pump.
- Some of you may know that I organise events as a sideline. It was this that initially got me interested in marketing – the pleasure I get from organising something that other people enjoy *and* earns money at the same time. The very first event I organised was held way back in 1993, at Parham House and Gardens to raise funds for the Mary How Trust for Cancer Prevention. I can’t remember how much money was raised, but I know it ran to many thousands of pounds all of which was put to good use in maintaining and operating a converted double decker bus full of cancer screening equipment. The volunteers from the Trust were keen that I, as a young man (only 22 at the time), should be aware of the risks, particularly of testicular cancer. The fact that nearly the whole of my extended family has had experience of cancer of some sort also tends to focus the mind.
So, chaps, get in the bath, relax, and then feel your bollocks. Get to learn what they feel like. And do this about once a month. And if, one day, you feel something unusual, you might just thank me.
What brought this on? This post.
- And a quote for you, from Banana Yoshimoto‘s Amrita:
Of course there will always be calamities in this world, and I wonder why they exist. I ask myself that every time someone I know passes away, or I see someone in pain. But then I can’t help thinking about the other side of the story as well – the miracle of life that each one of us witnesses every day. Compared to the wonder of daily life, perhaps there isn’t a whole lot we can do about the sorrow.
Seems appropriate at the moment.
Judging by my referrer stats,
Judging by my referrer stats, I’d do well to move into Osama bin Laden wallpaper and merchandise. Funny, in a way, that it doesn’t matter how bleak things look in the world, there is always money to be made somewhere. It’s good to be a marketer, evil or not.
Hawaiian Night in the Nags,
Hawaiian Night in the Nags, in the company of Dave, Gary, Phil, Aris, Arron, Tim, DA and Kearn.
Friday 21 September 2001
Sitting up until after 2.30am
Sitting up until after 2.30am chatting with Bella and listening to the radio does not make for a wide-awake Graybo.
I’ve just been to the
I’ve just been to the dentist for my quarterly scrape ‘n’ polish. My mouth feels like it has been shotblasted.
Brighton and Hove Albion football
Brighton and Hove Albion football club celebrates its centenary tomorrow with a league match against Bournemouth. Brighton have won 11 consecutive matches at home. Bournemouth lost their last match 6-0. The omens are good.
ADDENDUM: evidence (as if it were needed) that Seagulls supporters are good people.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Phil, Arron, Greg and Brenda, Ian, Mich and Claudette.
Maudlin is an adjective that could be thrown in my direction without any resistance being offered.
Saturday 22 September 2001
Today is the equinox -
Today is the equinox – 12 hours of daylight, 12 hours of darkness. From now until March, there’ll be more hours of dark than light. Sigh.
Still, judging by the trees on the nursery, as long as we don’t get any gales, we should be in for a pretty spectacular autumn colour display. A lime tree there is already turning a beautful bright yellow, and a large Himalayan spindle bush is taking on rich red and pink colouring.
Atlantis obviously near the Straits
Atlantis obviously near the Straits of Gibraltar. Obviously!
NASA probe to meet comet
Any talk of a downturn
Any talk of a downturn in consumer spending in the UK would not be backed up by the evidence to be found in Chichester city centre today – the place is heaving, and the shops are packed.
The good weather has to be a factor in that though – and I’m going to enjoy it too, taking my marketing text books down to the park for a reading session.
Welcome to The Official Rick
Welcome to The Official Rick Astley Website. Here you’ll find out about Rick’s return to the forefront of popular music. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
(from an AIM correspondent – thanks)
For all the people who
For all the people who have come here by searching Google for Osama bin Laden wallpaper, here’s a tip – find an image of Osama bin Laden (just about every news website has his picture at the moment), right click on it and select “Set as wallpaper”. Or you might like to try some of the Rick Astley pictures at the link in the post below. Not much to choose really.
Tom suggests a place that
Brighton won their match against
Brighton won their match against Bournemouth 2-1, in less than convincing fashion. But, due to other results in the league, they are now four points clear at the top of division 2. Blimey!
Tonight, Sarah and I are
Tonight, Sarah and I are heading down to Portsmouth for Gary and Sue’s wedding reception (yes, I know I still haven’t blogged the story of the stag weekend – I will, I promise). Should prove to be an interesting evening.
Oh god. Everyone is trying
Oh god. Everyone is trying to match me up. Seems only me and best man are single. More reports if I get out alive.
Sunday 23 September 2001
Made it back alive and
Made it back alive and only twenty quid for the cab! A great night in the company of Gary and Sue (obviously), Matt, Rachel, Derek, Vicki, Neil, Sarah, Linda, Andy and…um…me. Well, it was good fun anyway!
Note to self: drinking large
Note to self: drinking large quantities of Grolsch at a wedding reception seems neither smart nor clever the next morning. urrgh.
I really must learn not
I really must learn not to have AIM conversations when drunk:
Graybo: you should see my cd collection
b: my musical tastes are exceptionally random
G: mine too
G: my friends think i am v dd
G: not dd
G: because that wd be strange
b: listening to the Konflict “Messiah” one at the moment, it’s mental drum n bass and i LOVE it
b: hehe at dd : )
G: don’t know konflict
b: any more than a handful is a waste
G: i agree
G: perfectly formed is more imprtant!
b: haha! i agree
b: well hang on
G: besides, the person ALWAYS cunts fr more
b: i’ve confused myself!
G: not cunts
G: oh crist on stick – must lern to tipe after beer!
b: can hardly type laughing too much
You know, there are few
You know, there are few hangovers that can not be cured by a pack of Fruit Pastilles.
Reading Simpson on Sunday should
Reading Simpson on Sunday should be compulsory.
More John Simpson.
More John Simpson.
Bloody hell! It worked!
Bloody hell! It worked!
Homework. I hate it. Time
Homework. I hate it.
Time to sleep I think.
Monday 24 September 2001
Busy busy busy. Updates later.
Busy busy busy. Updates later.
ok, so I’m bad and
ok, so I’m bad and not given you any updates today. So here’s a quick round up:
- been busy busy busy all day at work, then had to go to college, which wasn’t great but had to be done
- Wallpaper* has some great articles in the new issue, including features on 451F, the new British American Tobacco branded stores (you’ll see one near you soon – believe me, if you’re a smoker, you’re going to look forward to it) and the Moscow Air Show, featuring the latest completely barmy aircraft that only the Russians could come up with. Go buy it now
- It rained today, in impressive torrential-with-lightning stylee
- I’m going to be eating incredibly late tonight due to mad idea of cooking chicken in mandarin-chilli marinade instead of doing a readymeal – after college! stupid
- My itsagoal.com team started the new season with an away win – cool! Which is better than my AFF team (still not talking about that)
More bulletins as events warrant – I’m off to cook now.
Someone has used the Atomz
Someone has used the Atomz search feature on this site to find “Nick Jordan‘s jelly secrets”. errr, Nick…would you like to tell the whole class?
ADDENDUM: other searches from the last week or so include these gems:
- pictures of imelda marcos blowing her nose
- nick jordan being eaten by a hamster
- jellied eel in aspic cumshots
I’m sorry, but you people are *sick*. (and that last one will really get my search requests going off the wall – as around 50% of you are coming here looking for pictures of Osama bin Laden, I reckon that “Osama bin Laden cumshots” just has to be a search request someday soon).
Tuesday 25 September 2001
Like most companies, our business
Like most companies, our business relies on our partners fulfilling their obligations. This morning, I am nearly at the point of wringing the neck of one of our partners. Stress!
Really must make time to
Really must make time to read other blogs more often. Wise words from Jez.
“Mind-boggling and stupendous”. Or, absolutely
“Mind-boggling and stupendous”. Or, absolutely bloody amazing! The pictures from DS1 of Comet Borrelly. Even if you are not really that interested in space exploration, you have to marvel at this.
I’m at another of those
I’m at another of those I’m-not-sure-what-is-going-to-happen-next stages.
As I result, I have no idea what is going to happen next. Best wait and see I guess.
Wednesday 26 September 2001
Blog Twinning Project.
Graphologist analyses bin Laden’s
Graphologist analyses bin Laden’s signature.
hmmm – the man in the cartoon looks just like Iain Duncan-Smith – is Matt making a comment here??
TFF – a feeble 21
TFF – a feeble 21 points, taking me to 144.
Must sort out AFF transfers – desperately needed. Can I change the whole squad?
There is a mini blogmeet
There is a mini blogmeet planned for tonight in London, and I’m going to drag myself onto South Central Trains and go along – I fancy a change of scene, and it’ll be good to catch up with a few people.
Advertisers change tone in wake
Luke ponders Lego. I was
Luke ponders Lego. I was always more of a railway Lego kid. That probably speaks volumes about my personality.
Thursday 27 September 2001
Beer last night in the
Beer last night in the Soho Theatre Bar (very smart, crap service, bloody expensive) and the Bath House (a “proper” pub), both in Dean Street, Soho. The assembled company consisted of (in no particular order) Marcia, Mike, Cal, Mo, Nick, Tom, Bella and Meerkat. An excellent evening.
Once again I only just made the train home – I suppose I have to get my adrenalin rushes from somewhere, but sprinting across the concourse at Victoria is not a great place for it.
Observations from last night’s journey:”We
Observations from last night’s journey:
- “We apologise for the delay to this train”. guh.
- “This train is formed of eight coaches. Customers for Ford, Amberley, Billingshurst and Christ’s Hospital must travel in the front four coaches of this train. This is due to short platforms at these stations.” Sometimes our railways seem so amateurish.
- At Ford, a woman in her late teens, smartly dressed, standing on the opposite platform, stood poking her tongue out at the train as it pulled away from her. Why?
- The bottom end of platform 19 at Victoria really is the back end of beyond. You expect an announcement like this:
Back End of Beyond, this is Back End of Beyond. Change here for services to Middle of Nowhere, Timbuktu and the Arse End Of Civilisation. We apologise for the lack of lighting, the bare concrete walls and the dysfunctional information monitors in this part of the station. This is due to the fact that we really don’t care.
- In Lush, the assistant apologises, as she giftwraps a small present, for not having “one I made earlier, Blue Peter stylee. And I’ve only got Sellotape – they don’t issue us with sticky-backed plastic”.
- At Tottenham Court Road, a man lays on the platform having clearly collapsed. A uniformed London Underground employee stands over him, radio in hand, calling for a paramedic. But in spite of this, the man is holding a perfectly normal conversation with his wife.
- At Oxford Circus, a bellowed announcement: “Keep away from the platform edge, BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE!!!!” The platform is nearly empty. People cower in the shadows for fear of incurring the wrath of the Mighty Station Announcer Who Must Be Obeyed.
- Overheard snatch of conversation: “well, I was fine until I was charged with assault under their anti-bullying policies, and then I became persona non grata.”
- Outside of Hassocks, the train pulls to a halt. And waits. And waits. The silence is only broken by the rain lashing against the window.
Ladies and gentlemen, the train has come to a halt at a red signal. I will endeavour to find out why there is a red signal.
Ladies and gentlemen, neither the driver nor myself know why there is a red signal. As soon as I get any information, I’ll let you know.
[...long pause...the train moves off...]
Ladies and gentlemen, apparently there was a signal fault and that is why there was a red signal. But we have passed it now, so shall be on our way.
Why didn’t this announcement reassure me?
- Beyond Durrington, a security guard walks through the now deserted train, spots my mobile phone on the seat next to me and says “You don’t want to leave that there, someone will nick it.” My reply: Um, like who? There is nobody in the carriage other than you and me.
- The streets of Chichester, slick with rainwater, almost deserted. Two couples walking down South Street, one of the women is carrying a red spangly pompom. One of the men calls to me “Mate, would you call that thing a pompom?”
I reply in the affirmative. They all burst out laughing and continue walking.
At the Cross, a group of six or seven Spanish students laugh and swap jokes, probably wondering why English licensing laws are so backward.
- At home, quiet emptiness. No welcoming arms. Not even a cat wrapping itself around my feet. So to bed.
Junk, but cheap junk.
Junk, but cheap junk.
Do the editorial staff at
Do the editorial staff at Wallpaper* read this site? For ages I’ve carried a link to and have recommended Groove Salad at Soma FM and now Wallpaper* is saying that their particular brand of online radio is the new rock and roll. Or something.
Remember kids, you read it here first.
NASA releases pictures of Eros
NASA releases pictures of Eros from Near-Shoemaker probe.
More internal search function madness:”Nick
More internal search function madness:
- “Nick Jordan rubber frenzy”.
hmmmmm. Biking leathers maybe. But you’d best ask him about that.
- “I wonder if he records all the searches”.
Well, Atomz log them all, and occasionally I take a look at the logs, mainly because it never ceases to amaze me just how strange the people are that read this site.
- “Graybo is a babe”.
I’d love to know who wrote that.
- “That photo must be of an actor”.
Actually, it isn’t. It really is me. I’m sure the other ukbloggers will verify this if asked. Admittedly, the photo is about a year old now, but it really is of me.
- “Osama bin Laden cumshots”.
Somebody had to, I guess.
Beer tonight with Paul F
Beer tonight with Paul F and Arron (loads of ideas flowing – at least one will come to fruition tomorrow – watch this space), with Paul S, Gary, Dave, Tim and Rebekah all sighted at one point or another.
Friday 28 September 2001
Stelios bails out EasyEverything.
Stelios bails out EasyEverything.
I suppose I should have
I suppose I should have expected a deluge of silly searches. Well, if it keeps you happy….
Today is a beautiful autumn
Today is a beautiful autumn day – the phrase “Indian Summer” could be applied. So I’m taking full advantage of it and working outside, hence few updates.
Erich Honecker. Very strange. Very
Erich Honecker. Very strange. Very strange indeed.
via Marcia, kinda.
Saturday 29 September 2001
Rain. Tired. Mildly stressed. And
Rain. Tired. Mildly stressed. And thinking far too much.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Kearn, Brenda, Greg, Katherine who falls up stairs, Sarah who falls down in streets, Nigel, Louise (yes, *that* Louise), Leah, Claudette, Hayley, Phil, Clive, Matt, Abs and Polly. Gazillions of other people seen.
Graybo: always wants what he
Graybo: always wants what he can’t have.
Time for a choccy, methinks.
Confusius say: Never leave banana
Confusius say: Never leave banana skin on lever arch file – it leave funny mark there.
Or if he didn’t, he should have done.
Only one .biz domain registered
Only one .biz domain registered so far. Why is this totally unsurprising? I’ve had loads of calls from hosting companies trying to get me to register croftway.biz for work. Their sales pitch seems to be “how is anyone going to find a business that doesn’t have a .biz address?” – to which my answer is “everyone has managed fine so far”.
I’ve been tempted to go
I’ve been tempted to go to Lappland to see this sort of thing before. One day I will.
Did you know that the
Did you know that the Lurpak butter man is called Douglas? Well, now you do.
Today’s mission. Learn PHP. I
Today’s mission. Learn PHP.
I wonder why I get these hair-brained ideas at 4pm? Why not at 10am, when the day stretches ahead of me?
Nick posts photos of Wednesday’s
Nick posts photos of Wednesday’s miniblogmeet. I look far too shiny. And the woman behind me is clearly about to zap me with her laser eyes.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Ian, Paul C, Kearn, Matt, Clive, Tanya, Arron and Tim W. Cat also out and about – haven’t seen her for ages, and managed to drag her back here for a beer and chinwag. She’s watching me type this, which is only mildly disconcerting!
Sunday 30 September 2001
Disturbing search request for this
Disturbing search request for this evening: “repairing+showers”. Why is this disturbing? Because it is the first request in days not to feature sex or Osama bin Laden. Or both.
Possible subjects for content at
Possible subjects for content at Grayblog today:
- the anti-globalisation protests in Brighton
- harvest festivals
- the weather
- new railway timetables
- Brighton football team
But frankly, I can’t be bothered.
A good site about Elite
A good site about Elite and other games of that ilk. I’ve played Elite on the C64 and PC, and it still rates as the best game I have ever played – the prospect of Elite IV fills my wallet with foreboding.
Why didn’t someone tell me
Just munched my way through
Just munched my way through a fantastic casserole and half a bottle of really-very-good Chilean merlot. Pity that the only company I had was a couple of pot plants and the stereo, but hey-ho.
I now have ICQ on
I now have ICQ on my home PC (but not at work). If anyone particularly wants my ICQ number, ask.