Tuesday 1 October 2002
Hmm. Strangely unsurprising start to
Hmm. Strangely unsurprising start to October.
Anyway, in other news, it’s yet another gorgeous sunny day. Meanwhile, Mo is busy creating computer programs that agree with him. The man’s a genius.
Several people have come here
Several people have come here looking for information about Robert Saint, who has gone missing after meeting another person on his boat moored at Birdham Pool. You can find the BBC news story here.
Purple rain cocktails tonight with
Purple rain cocktails tonight with Arron, Nathan, Kearn and DA, with sightings of Nikki and Guy. Good fun.
And, at last, some rain. Albeit very light, but rain nonetheless.
Wednesday 2 October 2002
Hmm. Not much of a
Hmm. Not much of a start at all to Wednesday.
Anyway, in other news, more rain overnight. Not much, but a little.
I have an uncontrollable urge
I have an uncontrollable urge to go home and go back to bed. At the weekend, with colder nights now upon us (although it has been mild since then), I swapped EvilDuvet II for EvilDuvet (which is slightly heavier). It has to be said that EvilDuvet is much more evil than EvilDuvet II, and can exert stay-in-bed power over me even seven hours after I got up.
Nick Robinson speculates on whether
Nick Robinson speculates on whether Edwina Currie and Monica Lewinsky would get along.
Do you agree with this
Do you agree with this article? I don’t, at least not entirely.
Blogging, and any form of personal publishing, tends to be filled with a lot of reactionary and knee-jerk (or just jerk!) opinion. It is probably true to say that, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, much blogging in the US took a more right wing view – warblogging is/was largely but not exclusively dominated by views and opinions that strongly echoed the views of the right-wing US president.
But I’m not sure that it is reasonable to say that blogging generally is dominated by the right. And I certainly don’t believe that to be the case in the UK. In fact, I think the opposite is probably true – blogging here is dominated more by centrist and left-wing opinion.
I must rush to say that this is only a perception, however, and is not based on any sort of analysis of blogs at large. It would be useful for this debate if someone, or several someones, could undertake some sort of analysis of the politics (or apolitics) of bloggers at large.
Ultimately, it is most advantageous if as broad a spectrum of opinion as possible is represented in blogdom, just as that is desirable (if not always achieved) in other media. And it would do us all well to remember that articles in blogs, as much as in most other media, are usually entirely, or at least influenced by, the opinion of a single author, and shouldn’t really be treated as fact or gospel.
Related: my handy list of news sites from around the world.
TFF: 37 points. Transfer: OUT:
TFF: 37 points.
Transfer: OUT: Kelly. IN: Geremi.
Walked down the canal to
Walked down the canal to Hunston tonight, then back via Western Farm and Whyke. 5.5km or 3.4 miles.
To celebrate the fact that
To celebrate the fact that it is two months old today, I’ve added six excellent new tracks to radio grayblog and also brought the playlist up-to-date.
It is gratifying to note that quite a few people are listening, too.
Movable Type looks like the
Movable Type looks like the best choice for CMS for grayblog. I’ll need to keep BloggerPro going for my other blogs (not least the news page at croftway.co.uk). It offers several features that BloggerPro doesn’t. Comments from current MT users welcome, especially those who have imported a blog from BloggerPro.
Thursday 3 October 2002
Insaniquarium. Thursdays shouldn’t be this
Irritation for today: when pro2.blogger.com
Irritation for today: when pro2.blogger.com doesn’t work properly, and there is no warning before I lose the post I’ve just typed.
Anyway, pro1.blogger.com seems to be functioning. Further encouragement for me to sort out MT.
Otherwise, a quiet day online and off.
At least I have the prospect of an attractive woman running her fingers through my hair later (don’t get excited – only Jo).
Blimey! What an evening. And
Blimey! What an evening. And it’s not yet 7.45.
Firstly, I went to the station to get my train home, which duly arrived on time. I got on, sat down. And waited. After four or five minutes, I looked out the door and could see that there was a problem as the signal was still set to red and the guard was on the platform. So I hopped out and had a chat with him.
Turns out that the train ahead (“one of them new sprinter trains to Cardiff” which are at least 15 years old – but that is bang up-to-date compared to our 40 year old slam door trains) had broken down *and* a train going the other way had “failed” as well. So, knowing that this wasn’t going to be cleared quickly, I jogged out of the station, grabbed a couple of other people that wanted to get to Chichester (beats paying the whole fare myself), and got in Barnham’s only waiting taxi. As we were going along, the taxi radio operator starting announcing booking after booking for Chichester from the station.
Not a good start for Network Rail, although I guess the chances of two trains breaking down at the same point is fairly remote.
So then to Buzby and Blue. 45 minutes having a laugh with Jo, talking about my dismal lovelife as usual. In that way that only Jo has, she asked another customer if she knew anyone looking for a boyfriend.
JO: “Would she like Graham?”
WOMAN (after looking me up and down): “Yes, I think so”
JO: “Ok, here’s his mobile number”
Ummm. How this woman knows that I’m anyway half decent, based on a three second long meeting, I really don’t know, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes of that. And god knows what this poor girl is like!
Anyway, after all that, I headed off for my walk to Fishbourne and the harbour, going a bit further than I usually do (6km / 3.75 miles) because it was such a lovely evening, and there were lots of wading birds on the mud exposed by a very low tide. On this particular route, I cross the railway, and as I walked down, I could see a train waiting at the signal there (a place they hardly ever stop). On the way back, 40 minutes later, the sirens and lights were sounding on the crossing, but there was a policeman there to guide users across as the train was still there, and (the policeman told me) was unlikely to be going anywhere for a while. I feel sorry for the people who have now been sat there for at least two hours, if not more.
As I got further back up Westgate towards the city, I could see more blue flashing lights. There in the middle of the road was a Ford Mondeo estate on its roof. The occupants had clearly been cut out, as there was some blood, and been taken away. There wasn’t any other car obviously involved, and it must have been going at a fair speed on what is a slow road (speed bump central) in order to end up on its roof. And it never ceases to amaze me that some drivers are so stupid – I saw at least two (both elderly women) drive past a very obvious (in the middle of the road) POLICE – ROAD CLOSED sign towards the accident (with panda car with lights on) and then have to turn around in the road and go back. I mean, duh!
Walking back along Mount Lane towards Waitrose, I passed the works on the replacement foot/cycle bridge across the Lavant, which was washed out in the flooding two years ago. The workmen have dammed the riverbed with a bank of rubble and soil to prevent water rushing down through their workings. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain heavily in the next few weeks, else the city will be flooded, as I don’t think the other channel (that runs past Waitrose itself) has the capacity to cope with a flood.
Waitrose itself was quiet, but as I left I could see a large crowd of disgruntled commuters at the railway station – and two ambulances and two police cars, lights flashing. Goodness knows what was going on there.
So it’s actually quite nice to get home to a nice warm cosy flat. What a hectic evening!
<public service announcement>Those that are
<public service announcement>Those that are just joining us should be warned that the post below is actually very boring.</public service announcement>
Interesting: Railtrack lives on, as
Interesting: Railtrack lives on, as it seems that Network Rail is keeping the brand and not killing it off. Given Railtrack’s appalling standing in the minds of users and non-users of the railways, surely this makes absolutely no sense from a marketing point of view?
Friday 4 October 2002
Ambulances at Chichester station last
Ambulances at Chichester station last night explained.
SEND IN THE NUNS!
The whole nuns thing reminded
The whole nuns thing reminded me of Sister Margaret, who was nun-at-large at my catholic secondary school. Imagine the mirth and merriment when, in geography lessons with Mr Rusinek, we started studying the topographical formation known as a nunatak.
Oh, how we laughed!
Took the nursery car in
Took the nursery car in for its service this morning. The courtesy car provided is brand new – only two miles on the clock. Whilst only a poky little Nissan Micra, it has that smell of new car.
Damn. Forgot to do my
Damn. Forgot to do my weekly weigh-in this morning.
I’ll have to do it tomorrow morning instead.
Walked to Hunston and back
Walked to Hunston and back tonight. Feeling guilty about a pie I ate at lunchtime.
Today received a piece of
Today received a piece of rather nice paper from the CIM telling me that I have been elected as an Associate, and can officially use the letters ACIM after my name.
So another trip to the frame shop tomorrow.
Saturday 5 October 2002
I have days like this
I have days like this too.
Vodka and slimline last night
Vodka and slimline last night with Bren, Greg and an ailing Paul F, with sightings of Guy and the Nags away team.
Also seen was the girl who had been put in touch with me through the client at Buzby and Blue. She had sent me a whole heap of text messages during the course of the evening, and, as she was out with friends, had arranged to come into W2 with them. However, I took one look and decided not to introduce myself – just not my type at all, and I didn’t fancy being humiliated in front of all her mates.
There followed further text messages, where I just said that I’d left with someone else (which I had – Bren and Greg!), hoping she’d take a hint. What I didn’t expect was a barrage of text messages going on into the early hours. Ugh – sorry miss, but no thank you. And, whilst I’m not really in a position to offer great style and fashion advice, I do know that people who are only five feet tall really do not look good with big bushy perms.
Amazing news on the weekly
Amazing news on the weekly weigh in: 13st 6lb!! That’s 3lb lost this week. Yaaaay!
Off to Brighton today, shopping
Off to Brighton today, shopping with Bren and Greg.
Absolutely pooped after a long
Absolutely pooped after a long day of shopping. However, succeeded in getting a groovy Peter Werth shirt, three CDs (Quantic, Plaid and Piano Magic), some nightlights and some Lush products (no link, you all know the way by now).
Best of all by far was having lunch with the eternally groovy and wonderful Kate, as she took a brief moment out of her hectic homehunting schedule.
Ken’s right, in my opinion.
Ken’s right, in my opinion.
Football: getting Geremi into my
Football: getting Geremi into my TFF team proved a wise move. Continuing to be a follower of Brighton is less encouraging though. gah, again.
He’s got balls.
Ever looked at Mo’s gallery?
Ever looked at Mo’s gallery? Nor had I before tonight.
Sunday 6 October 2002
Paper airplane flight simulator. A
Paper airplane flight simulator. A bit buggy, but good fun.
It wasn’t a painful birth,
It wasn’t a painful birth, you know. Grayblog has a child.
Met a really nice and
Met a really nice and pretty girl on the train home tonight, a student at Portsmouth Uni studying marketing. In a way, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t ask for her number or invite her for a drink, as she lingered quite pointedly as we parted after a seven minute chat on the train, saying “I’m not in a rush to be anywhere”. But, let’s face it, she was only 21 or so!
Still, good for the ego to be on the receiving end of some flirting that wasn’t coming from a human loo brush.
Fantastic! Vodka and pong in
Fantastic! Vodka and pong in one handy bite sized morsel!
Monday 7 October 2002
Nissan can not be the
Nissan can not be the only company that think like this. Even our tiny business would benefit from joining the euro, I believe, as we purchase young plants and seeds from euro nations, and send our plants to customers in those countries.
Interesting. My uncle served with
Interesting. My uncle served with the Royal Navy in the Pacific, and “went over the side” several times when attempting to land on his aircraft carrier (I think he was a navigator).
This makes for interesting reading,
This makes for interesting reading, although the sample is probably a little too small to be statistically significant. Note that IDS answers no correspondence at all (within the 14 day time limit of the survey), and the PM and Charles Kennedy answer only 40% and 39% respectively. Ken Clarke only matches the LibDem leader’s response rate, whereas my MP, Andrew Tyrie, manages to beat the average with a response rate of 67%. All of which is pretty shoddy when local councils and other public bodies are expected to achieve correspondence response rates of at least 90%.
Amongst other excellent (and, at
Amongst other excellent (and, at times, painful to read) writing, Noodle Vague gets subversive, and makes quite a valid point.
I’m often frustrated by people that don’t think. People who just let life wash over them, accept the crap that they are told, fail to challenge the situation they are in, never look beyond the veneer of words. People that don’t use their common sense. They all deserve a good slapping.
How handy! It’ll soon be time for the second annual Common Sense Day (heads off to create groovy logo).
Sense at last in the
Sense at last in the internet radio debate. Remember kids, it’s RADIO not file sharing! All we need is more deals like this one.
New planet discovered. The question
New planet discovered. The question is, why wasn’t it discovered twenty years ago?
Tuesday 8 October 2002
SEND IN THE SPOONS!
Brighton appoint new manager. No
Brighton appoint new manager. No surprise there.
I love the Inland Revenue.
I love the Inland Revenue. From the Statutory Maternity Pay rules:
Normally the MPP (Maternity Pay Period) cannot start before the 11th week before the EWC (Expected Week of Confinement – the week the baby is due) and she must be pregnant or have had her baby by then.
Someone should tell the Revenue that most women are pregnant 11 weeks before their baby is born. As a rule.
Right now, I have this
Right now, I have this almost uncontrollable urge to eat lots of Mini Cheddars.
Thank goodness it’s Tuesday -
Thank goodness it’s Tuesday – cheap cocktail night at W2. I have every intention of going there and getting blammed on purple rains at £2 each. Join me?
Purple rains and even beer
Purple rains and even beer tonight with Paul F, Greg, Arron, Phil, Nathan, Nikki, Alex, Kearn, DA and other regular suspects.
Sometimes radio grayblog is just the ticket, even if I say so myself.
Wednesday 9 October 2002
Approved, and including an interesting
Approved, and including an interesting discussion on the links between President Bush’s enthusiasm for military action in the Middle East and Asia and the expansion of American oil interests.
TFF: 52 points, the top
TFF: 52 points, the top weekly score in our Super League. Result!
AFF: 15 points. Not the top weekly score.
Still, no matches until the 19th, so plenty of time to consider transfers once Andi gets the team sheets out.
Time to start plugging this:
Time to start plugging this:
Copy the gif to your own site if you want to show your support. And let me know if you do – thanks.
Thursday 10 October 2002
All quiet on the western
All quiet on the western front.
This promises to be quite an unexciting Thursday. Of course, I’m always ready to be proved wrong.
We haven’t had any Pravda
We haven’t had any Pravda based madness for far too long on grayblog, so here are some recent stories for you:
Evidence of alien civilisation found on the Moon
Cockroaches to destroy the world?
Man names tomato after President Putin
There is too much stuff.
There is too much stuff.
Friday 11 October 2002
Grrr. This morning’s good mood
Grrr. This morning’s good mood severely dented by incompetent carriers who have repeatedly failed to deliver parcels on time and to the right address.
I just wish the companies would do the things that they say they will. It would be so much easier.
Weekly weigh-in: 13st 5lb. So
Weekly weigh-in: 13st 5lb.
So just a single pound lost this week, but that is still in line with my original target. I knew I’d regret the huge pizza I had last weekend, though it was very very good.
Feeling a bit of a
Feeling a bit of a plank at the moment. Was walking hurriedly down South Street this morning, towards the station, and as fast as my legs would go as I had been a little late leaving home. Being mentally miles away, thinking about the day ahead and the possible prospect of missing my train, I walked straight past new friend Sally who was looking straight at me and smiling a greeting, and only realised when I was 100 yards further on. This was particularly dumb, as Sally is not only a new friend, but also attractive, blonde and single.
Oh well, I’ll have to buy her a drink when I see her next to make up.
Lemmy hates Tony Blair: “Anybody
Lemmy hates Tony Blair: “Anybody who smiles that often has something wrong with them.“
For non-UK readers and
For non-UK readers and those that don’t follow politics, this article should explain things.
radio grayblog will be offline
radio grayblog will be offline for 12-18 hours from 1400GMT tomorrow for server maintenance.
A silly but addictive game
A silly but addictive game for Friday afternoon.
oooo! Nick Robinson answered my
oooo! Nick Robinson answered my question on Newslog.
I’ve just listened to quite
I’ve just listened to quite possibly the best episode of The Now Show I’ve ever heard. Iraqi Races is just fantastic.
Saturday 12 October 2002
Vodka and slimlines last night
Vodka and slimlines last night with Arron, Bren and Greg, with sightings of Karen, Paul S, Daryl and the W2 crew of course.
How bizarre. For ages, my
How bizarre. For ages, my dear old Nokia on the Orange network has not been working – would not get a signal anywhere, even when I went to work and stood right under the Orange transmitter that is on our neighbour’s land. This has been a mild nuisance, as my newer Nokia on O2 gets no network coverage at West Dean – where I need to have a mobile phone – so I’ve kept my old one.
This morning, I finally decided that I need to bite the bullet and replace it. So I pulled it out of the drawer and switched it on to see if it was charged. And, lo and behold, it works.
Don’t forget that radio grayblog
Don’t forget that radio grayblog has some downtime today, although, as I type this, it is still broadcasting, loud and clear.
Vodka and slimlines tonight with
Vodka and slimlines tonight with Bren, Greg, Paul F, Arron, new Paul, Kearn, DA, Hamish, Ruth, Matt, Nikki and Guy.
The radio grayblog outage has
The radio grayblog outage has been rescheduled and will now be from 0200GMT tomorrow for 12 to 18 hours.
As anyone who spent any
As anyone who spent any time with me this evening will know, I’m not at my cheery best tonight. Not sure what the answer is – swift kick up the arse or a hug? Either way, some sleep will probably help. And leaving a candle burning unattended whilst spending nearly three hours down the pub was probably not a good idea, but thankfully one that has led to no damage.
Sunday 13 October 2002
Rain. And plenty of it.
Rain. And plenty of it.
Bit grumpy this morning. Be warned.
But succeeding in getting through the early stages of Moveable Type installation (along with mySQL and phpMyAdmin, which may facilitate some other projects I have in mind for the future).
OK – given the radio
OK – given the radio grayblog is offline for the next few hours, and that the best US-based online radio stations are all offline for fear of outrageous royalty bills, I’m on the hunt for other radio to entertain myself.
I’ve just finished reading The
I’ve just finished reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (instead of working on the changes to this site, which is what I should really have been doing this evening – but hey, I’ve had a relaxing evening, and I needed a little chilltime after getting chilled walking up to Sarah’s in the driving rain). It is an excellent novel, which I recommend highly – I can see why it was awarded the National Book Award. What I can’t understand is how the reviewer from The Independent quoted inside the cover could describe it as “wildly, strikingly funny” and her counterpart at The Observer state that it includes “laugh-out-loud comedy”. There is comedy in there aplenty, but it is as black as pitch. Overall, I found the book to be hugely touching (tear-inducingly so – and I know that isn’t hard for a big softy like me) and desperately desperately sad. Perhaps that is because I identified with the characters, seeing something of all three of the Lambert children in myself, and also seeing my parents in Enid and Alfred. Perhaps it is something to do with getting older, that you start to look at your own family and wonder “where are we going?”, “how did we get here?” and, more worryingly, “what does the future hold for us?” – I just hope that it isn’t the same place that the Lamberts ended up, although I can see us slipping that way quite easily.
And I haven’t even got children of my own. God knows what I’d be like if I did.
Anyway, go buy the book, read it, and maybe you’ll see what I mean.
Two more tracks added to
Two more tracks added to radio grayblog – just three more needed to bring up the first 100 tracks.
Monday 14 October 2002
itsagoal.com – RIP?
itsagoal.com – RIP?
Not very eventful day here
Not very eventful day here so far, although I’ve plenty of work to do.
How’s your day?
I’ve had a steady day,
I’ve had a steady day, with a reasonable amount of work. Then it goes *mad* at 4pm. Why?
Bumped into Sally on my
Bumped into Sally on my way home, and managed to put right the rudeness of last Friday morning, as well as persuade her to join the posse for drinks on Wednesday night for Paul F’s birthday, thereby allowing me to buy that conciliatory beer. Which is good.
We really need to sort
We really need to sort Charlie out with a blog of her own (see all the comments below).
Been playing with this tonight,
Been playing with this tonight, and found it to be pretty good, if a little pricey at 50p per shot.
In the course of testing it, wandered into W2 and the Nags, seeing Nikki, Kristian, Paul F, Paul C, Aris, Kearn and DA.
Tuesday 15 October 2002
Ick. Damp, rainy and grey
Ick. Damp, rainy and grey out. Not nice for driving up to south east London and back, which is one of my jobs for today.
Driving up to London was
Driving up to London was most unpleasant. The spray on the M25 was awful, about as awful as the roadsense of those who were doing 80 or 90 in the fast lane with no lights on.
Equally awful was standing around on Barnham station waiting for a train that was 35 minutes late.
I’m very tempted to skip cocktails in W2 tonight and stay in the warm.
Don’t understand this. Not entirely
Wednesday 16 October 2002
AFF and TFF: no matches
AFF and TFF: no matches this week.
Another very productive morning, fetching,
Another very productive morning, fetching, carrying, packing, digging, writing, reading, drinking (coffee) and scratching (the cat under his chin).
Now contemplating what to tackle next – counting plants (boring and muddy), typing invoices (always fun) or tidying the mess that is my desk (allows me to be near radio grayblog). Hmm. The third option looks to be the winner.
Still productive this afternoon. As
Still productive this afternoon. As an aside, booked Vince for a vets appointment (or did I book the vet for a Vince appointment?) and ordered the robes I need for my CIM graduation ceremony on November 8th.
Interesting, if you’re into that
Interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing (which I am – I mean interesting stone carvings on the side of old churches, not naked women holding open their vulvae. Although…. no, I don’t think we should go there.). via The Yes/No Interlude.
Treated myself to a Braun
Treated myself to a Braun MR5000CA hand-held blender with natty little bowl. Looks brilliant and very useful – ideal for the pumpkin soup I plan to make.
Thursday 17 October 2002
New evidence supports black hole
New evidence supports black hole theory. I think I need to check my bank account to see if there are any coins orbiting its centre at super-fast speeds, therefore accounting for the fact that lots of money goes in but nothing escapes.
Ah good … time for
Ah good … time for coffee.
One of the things I’m working on for the reorg of this site is some form of categorisation of the posts so that there is scope for archiving by category or subject rather than by date. However, one of the inherent problems with this is trying to design categories that will cover whatever I might decide to post. I want the categories to fit my posts, not be forced to create posts that fit categories. So if I want to create a post that covers several categories in one long ramble, or if I just want to point out that it is time for coffee, I can continue to do so. I want to be free to type whatever crap I feel like. So I’m still working on that one.
Some categories are easy: politics, football, cricket, music, etc. Others are broader: introspection and obfuscation will cover those long rambling posts that don’t really seem to go anywhere and don’t really seem to say anything. But I’m not entirely happy with having to lump some stuff into a “miscellaneous” category, so if you long-term grayblog readers have any suggestions for suitable category titles, bung them in the comments.
Anyway, all this is some way off, and you won’t notice any changes here just yet. I’ve still got to sort out the various MT templates, and that’s going to take a while.
15 years ago today.
US refuses visa to Iranian
Woman divorces man after he
Woman divorces man after he buys her Norwich FC knickers as an anniversary present. Perhaps if he had worn official grayblog boxer shorts, he could have saved his marriage. Or perhaps not.
I’m reliably informed that Herbie
I’m reliably informed that Herbie Mash and Tommy Relish will be doing a gig at Sadlers tomorrow night. Attendance will almost certainly be compulsory.
Vodka and slimlines tonight with
Vodka and slimlines tonight with Paul F (happy birthday), Bren, Greg, Aris, Julie and Guy.
Friday 18 October 2002
OK. Everyone is going to
OK. Everyone is going to talk about this today, I’m sure.
There are some nice ideas in there, but a lot of them rely on everyone else in the world being nice and playing fair. It would be great if such an egalitarian utopia existed, and it is probably fair to say that we should be working towards that sort of world, but frankly there are too many people and governments in the world who are ready to screw other people over at a moment’s notice. No doubt, if the US strode towards that world, large chunks of the rest of humanity would follow, or at least find life a lot easier, but I’m sure some government or other organisation, group or individual would pop up to spoil the party.
On the subject of politics, can someone please explain to me why it is that George Dubya wants to bomb Saddam and his nation because they might get a nuclear weapon if they can get hold of the materials (as Mark Steel put it the other day – the WI might build a nuclear bomb if they got the materials), and yet the Americans have no intention of bombing North Korea and Kim Jong-il (Independent editorial, BBC editorial and Asahi) who actually already have possibly two or three nuclear devices and have a known history of exporting military materials to just about anyone who will buy them? There certainly seems to be an inconsistency here. Surely a policy of inclusive region-wide dialogue and diplomatic pressure would work well in other situations?
Interestingly, more and more people, both commentators and politicians, are saying that the real threat to global peace and security comes not from the so-called rogue states or the “axis of evil”, but from more loosely organised and generally stateless terrorists. I think last weekend’s bombing in Bali provides yet more evidence that this is true. The trouble is, fighting a real war on terror (and not using that phrase as a title for other military activity) is likely to be long, lacking in focus and expensive in terms of money and life, with few obvious and measurable gains that could be paraded before voters. It seems that there is actually little real enthusiasm for fighting such a war for political reasons (cf: Palestine, Colombia, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc.).
On less weighty matters (ha
On less weighty matters (ha ha! a pun! hmm. oh, never mind.), weekly weigh-in: 13st 3lb. Yay! 2lb lost again this week. Only 4lb more to go.
A cold damp afternoon, with
A cold damp afternoon, with little enthusiasm for doing much of anything. Even the cat has given up and gone to bed. Definitely another time for staying in the office, tidying the desk and listening to radio grayblog, with plentiful supplies of coffee.
The temptation to buy a
The temptation to buy a new PC here is almost too great to resist.
I see that Nick Robinson
I see that Nick Robinson is to become the new political editor at ITN, replacing the excellent John Sargent. Does this mean the end of newslog?
For some considerable time, I’ve
For some considerable time, I’ve been missing one of my CDs. For someone who takes sufficient care (or is obsessive enough, depending on your point of view) to keep a database of my entire CD collection, this is both embarrassing and distressing. I think I must have dropped it one night when pissed (I’ve checked under the furniture with a torch), or, more worryingly, picked it up and thrown it out with a sheaf of papers. I have the case, but not the disc, and I’ve checked many of the other cases to see that I’ve not accidentally stuffed it in the wrong one.
So if anyone has any idea where I could (cheaply, because I don’t really want to have to fork out for a new CD all the while that it might still be within these four walls) get a copy of Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi by the Thievery Corporation, I’d be glad to know.
Saturday 19 October 2002
me me me me me
me me me me me me me
phew. that feels much better.
It’s a gorgeous day outside.
It’s a gorgeous day outside. The city is filled with shoppers and browsers – no sign of any economic gloom here. The bank had a very long queue – I’m well cheesed off that they never put more than three counter staff on for Saturday morning.
I’m also cheesed off that Braun tell you to contact your retailer to get the optional extras for your newly-purchased handblender, but the retailer tells you to contact Braun. grrr.
Anyway, I’ve bought some good food to prepare for dinner for this evening (going to start cooking now), as well as some gerberas to scatter around the flat. Entertaining is great fun.
Sunday 20 October 2002
Food and much chat last
Food and much chat last night with Kate, followed by vodka and slimlines with Fi and Helen, with sightings of large numbers of the usual suspects.
A damp grey morning today – ideal for searching out coffee and a newspaper.
Football. Brighton. gah.
Football. Brighton. gah.
I’m going to be mentioned
I’m going to be mentioned in an article in the New York Times tomorrow, after David asked me to try out and describe my experiences of shazam.com for an article that he has now written for that publication.
This is what I said:
First track: Empty Words by Andrea Parker. Thought this would challenge it, but it grabbed it straight away. Damn. Shazam 1 Me 0.
Next up: The Less You Have, The More You Are by Metrotone. OK, so I’m not really playing fair here and sure enough, Shazam was defeated.
So to be more even handed, I gave it a go at a track from BBC Radio 1: The Vines cover of Miss Jackson, which it failed to identify, in spite of good sound quality and putting my phone right under the speaker. I think it should have got this, as all the kids listen to The Vines – don’t they? (It turns out that the track has not yet been released.)
Next: a trip down to my favourite bar, Woodies. It certainly makes a talking point, and when Shazam correctly identified Wake Up Everybody by Rae and Christian and then One Nation Under A Groove by Funkadelic, everyone was impressed, although there was quite a delay between tagging the song and the text message arriving. A trip next door to the Nag’s Head showed a weakness of the concept, however. The old thick brick walls at the Nags meant no mobile signal = no Shazam.
So, overall, 3 songs tagged correctly out of five. Not bad.
Aside from all that, registering for the service was very quick and easy, and you are given the chance not to opt in to their mailing lists. My biggest worry – it’s a bit tempting to use this service a lot, and at 50 pence a go (about 75 US cents) it would very easy to rack up a large bill (especially after a few beers!).
I’ll link to the full article as soon as it has been published.
Monday 21 October 2002
Ick. Horrible grey and wet
Ick. Horrible grey and wet morning, made no better by having to get up at 6 in order to be ready to be picked up at 7. I don’t normally stir much before 7.15.
GBlogs has closed, which is
GBlogs has closed, which is barely surprising as Jen is “with child” and quite reasonably has other priorities. Good luck to her. It’s a shame, as GBlogs has contributed a lot to the British blogging community. I’ll certainly miss it.
So now we cast around for an equivalent tool. I wonder if Jez will revive his recently-updated toy, as of late it has just been regurgitating GBlogs output.
blo.gs is good, but doesn’t differentiate British sites from others.
A very good reason to
A very good reason to stay in bed tomorrow morning. I mean, what’s the point?
AFF: 1 point. urf.
AFF: 1 point. urf.
Another space story: Earth’s first
Another space story: Earth’s first co-orbital object found.
Tonight, the annual Sloe Fair
Tonight, the annual Sloe Fair is being held just up the road from me in Northgate car park, which used to be part of Oaklands Park. In 1107, Henry I gave the Bishop of Chichester the right to hold a yearly fair. The fair, now known as Sloe Fair, is still held on the 20th October every year, except when the 20th falls on a Sunday (as it did this year). If I have my facts right, I think the fairground stalholders have to pay a tithe of a shilling to the church for the right to take part, and the fair causes great annoyance to the district council because it takes over the second largest car park in the city for effectively four days, although the fair itself is only one day long.
I suspect that the fair now is nothing at all like the original. Today’s fair is a magnet for children, teenagers and bored parents. Invariably, a stroll around the ground reveals countless “yoofs”, smoking, drinking (if they can get it), and generally showing off in front of their mates. There are two groups that really enjoy it though: the twenty- and thirtysomethings, recapturing their lost youth before it escapes them entirely and they join the serried ranks of parents being dragged around by the other group that really enjoy the fair – the wide eyed children. In many ways, half the joy of going to the fair is to see the expressions on the faces of the youngest ones, wide eyed at all the noise, bustle and bright lights of the fair.
Even I have been known to go to the fair (though usually I have to be dragged there by someone). Sitting on top of my monitor is Roosevelt, a small orange bear that I rescued from the fair one year by winning him from a stall.
My maternal grandmother would have
My maternal grandmother would have been 107 today.
It is also the 36th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, in which a waste tip at a Welsh coal mine collapsed, burying part of the neighbouring village including three classrooms of the junior school. 144 people died, including 116 children. I don’t think anyone can fail to be moved by the images of that disaster, including the picture of the local policeman carrying a child that had been pulled from the rubble. I particularly suggest that you read the accounts of the witnesses:
It stopped as it hit the last house down No.1 Moy Road and there was a terrible silence. In that silence you couldn’t hear a bird or a child. (resident)
…the school was smashed over with this rubble. And I remember standing looking at that and thinking, well, the reality of it, I just couldn’t believe it. And from where there were, at least to my calculations, a hundred children there wasn’t a sound. (teacher)
Tuesday 22 October 2002
Not the most enjoyable of
Not the most enjoyable of mornings, starting out with taking Vince to the vet for his innoculation, then dodging the rain, sorting out problems with customers and coming up with an appropriate response to a flaming mail addressed to our work website feedback address. Joy.
On the plus side, CDs ordered from Pork Recordings have turned up extremely quickly and very well packed. Top marks there.
Cocktails, beer and peanuts tonight
Cocktails, beer and peanuts tonight with Paul F, Arron, Terry, Kearn, DA, Aris, Guy and assorted others, including sightings of the largest meeting of attractive blonde women that Chichester has ever seen. Pity I was only looking.
Wednesday 23 October 2002
Just want to send a
Just want to send a big hug to Bella and another to Marianne.
God, I get far too sentimental when I’ve had a few drinks.
Unsurprisingly, I woke up with
Unsurprisingly, I woke up with a bit of a fuzzy head this morning. urf. Serves me right.
Yet more evidence, if any
Yet more evidence, if any were needed, that the current British Government is crap, and excessively nannying: sports leaders slam Government plan. Reporting the presentation where the mandarins laid out the Government’s proposals to the leaders of the six biggest sporting codes in the country (athletics, cycling, cricket, football, rugby and tennis):
Curiously, the Government is now reported to be back-pedalling as fast as Prescott’s stubby little legs will go.
TFF: a middling 25 points
TFF: a middling 25 points this week.
Transfers: OUT: Heskey and Short. IN: Zola and Bridge.
Yay! GBlogs is back, thanks
Yay! GBlogs is back, thanks to Darren, Jez and Ben.
I don’t put enough food
I don’t put enough food links on this site. I should put more, else my credentials as a foodie will be scuppered.
So here is one for you: the New York Times report on the Southern Foodways Alliance Barbeque Convention which tackled such thorny issues as how to make a kosher sauce and the threat to “handcrafted” barbeque from “bastard” meat in barbeque sauce sold by supermarkets.
radio grayblog listeners can rejoice
radio grayblog listeners can rejoice at the news that I have added six new tracks this evening, and even updated the playlist. You lucky people! And you’ll be even more excited to know that I have another two or three tracks up my sleeve too, and should add them in the next few days. I bet you can hardly wait!
Those of you who have been paying attention will know that this brings the total number of tracks to 103 with a total duration just a few seconds short of eight hours.
This article seems to suggest
This article seems to suggest that Estelle Morris was forced to resign because of failures that were not of her own making. I disagree.
Whilst the events that led to the situation with A levels and other issues with which she has struggled since taking up her post may have been set in train by her predecessors in that office, it must surely be the responsibility of the secretary of state of any government department to direct his or her staff to anticipate problems before they arise, and take preventative and remedial action to stop those problems developing into crises. In this respect, Estelle Morris has clearly failed, and it is right that she has resigned – she clearly was not in control of her department, as problems seem to mount up and ambush her without warning, with her appearing to be totally unprepared to handle them.
There is no doubt that she was enthusiastic and passionate about her work. Unfortunately, she simply does not have the skills and competences to carry it out effectively.
And if the problems were the making of her predecessor…. how come Mr Blunkett can get away with it?
Blimey. Two instances of governmental incompetence in one day. And that’s only the ones I’ve mentioned here.
Next: opposition incompetence. When the last Tory government was struggling with so many cock-ups, the Labour opposition was quite reasonably pouncing on everything that came its way and making use of it to discredit the incumbents. Why on earth is the current opposition not doing the same?
Thursday 24 October 2002
Cold and frosty this morning,
Cold and frosty this morning, with a bright low sun. A proper autumn morning.
Sorry for the prolonged and
Sorry for the prolonged and excessive silence today. This can be entirely attributed to my participation in a six-and-a-half hour long meeting. However, this meeting was a good thing, although, for reasons of business confidentiality, I can not discuss it here. Let’s just say that the future is bright, or at least promises to be, if all things work out well. Lots of “if”s and “but”s yet, but I’m optimistic.
There are other things afoot too. Which may also prove to be good. Can’t tell you about them either.
Anti-content. I’m so proud of my website some days.
Go look at kittens instead.
After Newslog comes Angus Roxburgh’s
After Newslog comes Angus Roxburgh’s Eurodiary – intelligent and well considered, but not as witty and sharply entertaining as Nick Robinson’s writings.
Nick says in his farewell message that he hopes that Newslog will continue. I wonder who would be an appropriate author – Andrew Marr? John Pienaar?
I’m shattered. Today has been
I’m shattered. Today has been all too much to take in. I really should have started acting on it all this evening, but I’m still taking it in. Although, actually, I have started acting, in that I have initiated some of the fact-finding that I need to do.
Even more distressing is that one of the bulbs in my new light fitting in the kitchen has ceased functioning – and it’s only how many weeks old??
Friday 25 October 2002
Weight-loss news: 13st 2lb. Just
Weight-loss news: 13st 2lb. Just one pound lost this week, probably as a result of eating far too much food. Still, it is progress.
Had to go to the
Had to go to the dentist this morning (arrived late – gah). Apparently, I’ve got to close my mouth at night. You see, I tend to sleep with my mouth slightly open. Consequently, the gums at the front of my mouth dry out overnight and this is resulting in inflammation. If the situation doesn’t improve, I may be prescribed a petroleum jelly to smear on my gums each night before bed. Great, that’ll work wonders for my kissability, which is already shockingly low.
I also had my teeth cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner. Not something I’d recommend – it really was quite uncomfortable, and I seem to have a wisdom tooth on my right side that is directly connected to my hearing. This in spite of the fact that my teeth and gums were smeared with an anaesthetic gel, which is just such weird stuff.
Today is probably the only
Happy birthday to the web’s
Happy birthday to the web’s favourite anonymous blogger. Well, she’s my favourite anyway.
I’d love to be so
I’d love to be so stupidly wealthy as to be able to spend my retirement doing nothing else but digging pointless holes in the ground. I think that it’s a shame that we don’t really have “real” eccentrics like we used to.
Blogger is being hacked as
Blogger is being hacked as we speak. Things may get quiet here for a while.
Saturday 26 October 2002
Blogger seems to be back
Blogger seems to be back online, alive and well.
Blimey, it is late. Time
Blimey, it is late. Time for bed.
I am totally and utterly
I am totally and utterly exhausted today after a mostly sleepless night caused in part by having a head very full of things I can’t or won’t write about here (for now) and in part by two large mugs of very tasty but very strong coffee consumed at midnight last night.
However, in spite of that, I am in an extremely good mood – life is exceptionally good at the moment. And although I’m in the office today, it isn’t going to be a challenging day, so I should get the chance to relax a little.
Ugh. Clocks change tonight. So
Ugh. Clocks change tonight. So tomorrow it will be dark by 5.30 or so. yuk.
Quiet today. Energy levels gradually
Energy levels gradually getting back to normal, though will definitely have a kip before I head to the pub tonight.
Sunday 27 October 2002
hmm. My kip before heading
hmm. My kip before heading to the pub lasted longer than I had expected. When I woke up at 10.15, I figured it wasn’t really worth going out!
I must have been really tired after missing sleep on Friday night as, thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s daylight saving time idea, I slept for nearly twelve hours last night. Of course, I’m now bouncing off the walls.
And, no, I’m not even
And, no, I’m not even going to talk about yesterday’s football results.
Monday 28 October 2002
Regular comment authors are being
Regular comment authors are being quiet lately – maybe I’m not being interesting or controversial enough?
Strangely, there is a lot going on in my life at the moment, but I don’t want to write about it here just yet because some of it is confidential and I really don’t want to put a jinx on any of it. In fact, I’m mildly petrified that things might not work out – the old problem of a lack of confidence in my own abilities and qualities, I guess.
Oh well, one day at a time. Best to just get on with it.
As previously promised, yours truly
As previously promised, yours truly features in today’s New York Times courtesy of Eurotrash co-founder David. You can read the article here, and also read David’s background to the article here.
David promises me that being featured in the NYT will make me very popular with the laydeez.
My train was extremely late
My train was extremely late tonight due to a combination of leaves on the line (a phenomenon that results in greasy rail conditions and loss of traction, so I’m told) and a trespasser at Purley. Mildly irritating, but not something I can really get that stressed about. However, when the train did arrive, one passenger got off and was swearing and shouting at the poor guard (who had absolutely no control over the problems). I wonder if people who get that frighteningly stressed about the small things in life (and I’m sure it was quite frightening for the poor guard on the receiving end) die younger and are less happy in their lives. Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised, and it would be some sort of natural justice for making the train even more late for the remaining 200 or so people on board.
Tuesday 29 October 2002
Now, is it me,
Now, is it me, or is there something very sexy about this photo? Or am I just a dodgy geezer that likes girls in uniform?
Comments on my psychological profile expected.
OK. Some criticism has been
OK. Some criticism has been levelled at me for hinting at stuff and then saying that I can’t talk about it.
Well, I guess that has been slightly unfair. However, it is confidential, so there is very little I can tell you.
But what I can tell you is this: I’ve been talking to a couple of guys for several months about the idea of setting up a new business. For a while, it has looked as though the whole thing was going to get no further than that – talking. However, it has now all kicked off in a big way, and I have to do some major research, talk to a whole bunch of people, and put together a comprehensive business plan and marketing proposal which will inform a decision as to whether or not to go ahead with the whole project. This is exactly the sort of thing that my marketing diploma was training me for, although it is marginally scary now that I have to do it for real. But now that I’m getting past the initial shock that the whole thing is going somewhere and that little me is expected to pull it together, I’m beginning to form some ideas in my mind as to how to go about it and what form and direction it should take. And, not only that, but I’ve actually started doing it too, and I’m getting good practical and moral support too from one or two very excellent people (they know who they are!) – support in the form of advice, information and the occasional hug.
I can’t really tell you much more than that, I’m afraid. But I’m sure you will appreciate the confidential nature of it. As news breaks, you’ll be among the first to know.
I can’t believe it is
I can’t believe it is only Tuesday. It feels like Thursday already.
Word to the wise -
Word to the wise – drinking three beers before you get home and eat does nothing for coherence.
Beer on the way home with Sarah, Polly and two of their colleagues from Wileys. And, foolishly, I’ve promised to meet up with them again after I’ve eaten.
Cocktails with Kristian (happy birthday
Cocktails with Kristian (happy birthday for tomorrow!), DA, Kearn, Guy, Alex and Nikki. A relaxing evening of gentle conversation.
Wednesday 30 October 2002
AFF: a measly 8 points.
AFF: a measly 8 points.
TFF: a middling 28 points, taking my total to 282.
Damp and grey today. In
Damp and grey today. In spite of everything, spirits are a bit down today. It’s hard to get motivated on mornings like this.
What has got me motivated though is receiving the “parents find $71,000 in boy’s closet” spam at least 30 times so far today. I’m so motivated to act by that – and the action I’ll be taking is to install Mailwasher.
I’m also motivated to send a shitty note to my neighbours. They are fruit and vegetable wholesalers, and every weekday morning for the past month or so, a van or lorry has arrived outside their door to deliver goods at 5am. And this morning, it was parked outside my window, with the engine running and the stereo on loud for nearly 25 minutes. AND the f***ing arsewipe driver kept using his horn because they were clearly not answering the door. RANT! RAGE!! Let’s just hope that natural justice sorts them out.
I’m not even going to
Kitschbitch is 21 today. Let
Kitschbitch is 21 today. Let her eat cake!
Information message for site visitors:
Information message for site visitors:
There are no tumble dryers here.
You see? There’s NO NEED
You see? There’s NO NEED for me to provide tumble dryers when you can get them elsewhere.
I don’t feel like a
I don’t feel like a very high priority in a certain quarter at the moment.
However, in spite of this, I can’t possibly feel as bad as IDS must do if he reads the headlines.
So I’m going to have a lazy evening, flopping on the sofa, having a light dinner, maybe doing a little reading and one or two chores.
Heads up: Boards of Canada
Thursday 31 October 2002
BlogWise is a new listing
BlogWise is a new listing of blogs, organised by location and keyword. Worth a look.
OK, I’m feeling a bit
OK, I’m feeling a bit better this morning, mainly because I’m determined to be more relaxed and go with the flow a little. Because we all know what happens to stressed people.
You know that there is always this debate in the media every year about Christmas getting earlier? Well, I can understand that from a marketing point of view, because if you want to buy gifts and Christmas things and send them to friends and family in Australia and New Zealand (and I have friends and family in both of those places. Not that I’m likely to send them anything, mind you.), well you are already nearly a month too late to send them by cheap surface mail. So shops that put their Christmas goods on display in September are certainly filling a need.
However, the fact that Homebase is packed full of tacky fibre optic Christmas trees and playing Slade seems a little premature. I also noticed that the ambulance crews in Chichester have already decorated their mess room at the station with tinsel and garlands – have they nothing more constructive to do with their time?
Visiting the Sussex Ambulance Service
Visiting the Sussex Ambulance Service site pointed me towards an interesting link: 999 – where are you?. Knowing the problems that our carriers have simply delivering parcels because people do not identify their properties clearly, I can imagine that this must be a real problem for the emergency services.
When I lived in Walberton a few years ago, a place where most of the homes are named and not numbered, the local residents group made a large map that identified all the properties in the village with a comprehensive grid-referenced index and gave copies of it to the emergency services and displayed large versions in the post office and village hall. Strikes me that it would be a good idea for more places to do that.
Perhaps the ambulance folk could make their own instead of spending their time messing about with tinsel?
It’s Hallowe’en. And, unusually, I
It’s Hallowe’en. And, unusually, I have a pumpkin to carve, courtesy of Kate.
It’s strange how Hallowe’en is a much bigger thing in the States than it is here. Maybe it is because of the curmudgeonly nature of the English psyche (any trick or treaters that come near me will get a clip round the ear and get told to bugger off), or perhaps it is more to do with Guy Fawkes Night coming so soon after, with its much more interesting fireworks – bright lights, big noise, toasty warm bonfires and plenty of food.
Must check out when the Central School is having its fireworks display.
Rubbish – everyone knows that
Rubbish – everyone knows that Chichester is the best place to live.
Now, is it me, or
Now, is it me, or do these changes promised by UK banks for small businesses not really amount to a whole bunch of beans? They introduced similar changes for personal account holders a few years ago, and I wouldn’t say that much has really changed there, to be honest. I still get the same level of service (less than impressive), have to pay the same (inflated) interest rates on debts and the banks still are incredibly profitable businesses, even in times of economic uncertainty.
But I shall certainly shop around when looking for a deal for my new small business (if it gets off the ground – not counting chickens, etc.). One of the issues I will consider (although after price, I’m afraid to say) is ethical policy, as I intend to write ethics into the new business vision statement. However, before you all suggest them, this crowd will not be suitable.
As a thank-you for feeding
As a thank-you for feeding her cat whilst she was away, Sarah has bought me some Cornish Fairings. Nowhere on the packet does it say how many calories they contain, so it must be zero. Right?