hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
Part of the way round my fairly regular lunchtime power-amble (It's like a walk, but it's accompanied by skronky music so as to drown out the idling shitboxes, both vehicular and human, that clutter the place up) the scrot-o-pod presented me with FUSE vs LFO, which was jolly nice of it. The sun was out and I had something of a Tyres moment.

If I ever get to write a screenplay with in-atmosphere AG vehicles, the instructions to the set/model designers will be 'All the vehicles should look and sound like Pro-Mod or Nascar.'

Earlier, it had played the German version of 'Neon Lights'.

I first came across that track on a luminous 12" that was sold to me by someone in the upper sixth. He had a haircut and may or may not have been in a punk band, so was treated as some ultra-cool arbiter of taste. That he would sell an oik like me a Kraftwerk record was clear evidence that Kraftwerk were completely over and everyone should buy Pigbag records. Crip Russell, who fancied himself a somewhat temporally-close arbiter of taste (not in a punk band), crowed at some length in the loud, confident and wrong manner that teenage boys of all ages can manage so well (see half of twitter) about it all. He was especially pleased that I had paid like a pound or something for a record that had sellotape on the sleeve and had been thrown down the school bus at some point. Clearly it was a terrible object, I had no idea about music (which at that point was probably true) and was probably a communist who hated fun. (It was the seventies. I was not yet in a punk band.)

At one point, everyone I knew was in some sort of unpopular beat combo. It was a source of regular astonishment in later years to meet people who'd never spent all their money on a drum-machine. What was wrong with them? Didn't they like music enough to want to make some of their own?

(I also like SF and computers, so I made my own. I don't quite understand people who don't have that sort of passion for a thing.)

Crip and haircut-the-sixformer had got their punk-rock semiotics the wrong way up. Which was not unexpected, given words like that weren't allowed in the North Cotswolds then.

The point of the sodding record was that it contained 'Neon Lights' by Kraftwerk, which even through the pops and scratches and poor quality luminous alleged-vinyl, is a transcendent sort of noise. The weird and good music is the stuff that stays in your head for years, even if you only hear a few bars on the Peel programme when you're nodding off.

In 1990, Peelie (although it could have been a pirate or Kiss-FM when they had the two hours of 'acid house' on a Wednesday evening) played a track called 'I believe' by Sensomilla. I wrote down the name in (oh god) my rather new micro-filofax and then life went a bit weird. Much later in the decade, I was at a record fair in Cheltenham town hall, digging through a box of random old techno records. I found that Sensomilla 12", couldn't remember how it went but did remember that it was just a lovely thing, which is why it's in the record box behind me. It only took a few years to find.

A couple of nights ago, the last ever PoI featured something that sounded like a minor-key Boards of Canada. I poked at the phone during an ad-break and found the wiki where people had collated all the music featured in each episode. That track was called 'Bunsen Burner' by some mob or chap called CUTS.

CUTS turns out to be a Bristol mob or chap and I think I am mildly annoyed that I've managed not to find out about them until two days ago.
hirez: (My name is legion)
Making a post about not making posts is a lot meta and not terribly interesting.

Also kind of a cold start. I'm now left with the problem of how to move from that into something like 'My monitor expired on Good Friday, which was not the first time that electrical kit's blown up on a bank holiday.'

Now the post about not making posts is about how to write the post about not making posts, and why it won't go together right. If this was Tumblr there'd be...

[Inception .gif.]

That file extension looks wrong with a full stop at each end.

MONITOR BROKEN STOP CONTINUING WITH PAPER-TAPE PUNCH FROM THE SHED STOP GOD SAVE THE KING STOP.

Only the electrolytics in the punch/reader's PSU went bang when I last turned it on about a decade ago.

[Steampunk Inception dot gif]

Mind, now it's all Weenix round here, I don't have a handy, local and searchable LJ archive. I'm fairly sure there used to be some Perl lurking that would haul down yr posts and reconstruct them as static HTML. IIRC it came with optional impenetrable Russian javascript that would also download the comments, which most of the time are where the best bits lurk. However, all traces of shite old coding paradigms were removed in the great bobble-hatted object orienteer's purge of 2013, for which we must be mildly sad at the terrible loss of beard and CPAN module. This leaves us with some Python that returns your LJ as a directory of XML files, which, I can't begin to even.

On the other hand, the traditional grep followed by sort|uniq -c|sort -rn reveals the following locations have been used but once each:

In front of the big speakers
Infernal Regions BBS
I'm in the furniture trade
IL 60614

Now the post about how to write the post about not making posts contains a paradox about the number of times part of the metadata about the post about how to write the post about not making posts has been used.



Which does not exist.
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
A few months ago, I bought a phone number off the internet because that's the sort of thing you can do these days.

A day or so later, I bought a different number off some other people. That one came with all sorts of Ruby-hackable bells and whistles attached, so I hacked up the thing I wanted (a web app that allowed you to forward $number to a selection of mobiles that were made available via a drop-down list. The code's trivial and probably still on Bitbucket where I left it.) and forgot about the first number because it turns out that internet-based telephone numbers are like 9 bob a year.

Then I started getting wrong numbers. People who were quite surprised that they'd managed to call a mobile, and in one case really jolly aggrieved about it.

Of course I'd redirected the first number to my mobile, and on inspection I discover that it's quite close to the online banking number for $BANK.

It turns out that the bells and whistles attached to the second number make building an annoying phone robot (or IVR as they call them in the trade) rather simpler than falling off a wet log while blind pissed.

Were I a Bad Sort, I'd have rung up $BANK and attempted to make a facsimile of their IVR with a view to phishing the sausage fingered.

Since I'm not a Bad Sort, I did something else.

0844 3760094
hirez: (Aspirational message)
I dunno. It's like something in my head has shaken loose, or perhaps I had a head full of rubbish that looked like a really bad go at Tetris, and an inspired bout of button-jabbing has slid a selection of 5x1 blocks into the depths of the mess and made it all collapse away under its own weight.

Today a nice man came to hack away at the back of the house and (I hope) repair the bits that I suspect have been allowing the damp in. It's only wanted doing for oh god I really shouldn't be allowed nice things years, and I have never been able to talk myself into phoning the relevant Nice Builder (Jerry, who used to live a couple of doors down and so knows exactly what goes wrong with these houses) because the stupid people that live in my head were convinced that it would cost nine million quid. Because obviously as soon as yer man raised a hammer to some knackered bit, it would fall away to reveal something infinitely worse and the only things left holding up the house would be habit and the wiring loom.

The people who live in my head are stupid bastards who should never be allowed to watch any television programme presented by either Sarah Beeny or Dom Littlewood ever.

The only mild excitement to the morning was when yer man called me outside to look at the gap between the door frame and the lintel, which had been filled at some point by a carelessly cut block of polystyrene foam. He'd already found a length of wood in the garage that would be a better fit and only wanted to know if I'd any plans for it myself. Which, I don't know, felt like he'd already worked out I was the sort of chap who'd hang onto lengths of timber because 'that'll come in handy one day'...

The lintel itself was a sodding great lump of concrete-and-rebar that looked like it had been hacked from a bunker (or Maunsell Fort, as I alleged on FB earlier) and I could probably expect that to fail some time in the next 6-800 years.

So the house is less likely to let the wet in this winter, and the garden, while still something of a concrete wasteland, is now somewhere pleasant to be that I can quietly fill with containers of small trees, fruit bushes and herbs. Which is...

... You know, if you're one of the five people who still pay attention to LJ, that we went to York this last weekend. Since York is not short of fine ales and interesting food, I spent some time sampling both. It has been my experience of the last few years that hangovers have become terrifying and debilitating cavalcades of all the things in my head that are a bit of a worry, in triplicate and in 5.1 dobbly sterelode.

That didn't happen, so in a spirit of scientific investigation I must drink more beer in order to determine exactly how stupid and self-limiting I've been.

(And that, your honour, is the case for the defence...)
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
In somewhat less bowel-product-related news, one of the chaps was away at a DB conference the last couple of days. It seems he got chatting to the fellow next to him, who said 'Future? I went to a fascinating talk by one of your lot in the summer…'

So, er, :D
hirez: (Default)
Cor. Uncle Nic.

(That's CDoctorow's version. I have also heard '... is an extra' and 'is window-dressing')
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
"Whenever I come across the phrases 'Cyber-terrorism' or 'Cyber-attack', I tend to assume a sequence of dreadful crimes perpetrated by excitable, neon-dreaded types in unfortunate trousers and goggles that do not conform to BS EN 166. Then I remember that they were all hairdressers and the only crimes of which they were capable were those against fashion."
hirez: (muddy)
Since I seem to have caused bits of FaceAche to take on all the charm and character that I had missed since abandoning the Usenet (nb: sarcasm), I shall have my relentless triviality here instead.

First Trivial Item: Those of you not watching the televisual entertainment named 'Castle' are missing a trick. For a programme which is basically a C21st version of 'Moonlighting' with the serial numbers filed off, it's really quite splendidly meta. Whichever one was on t'box last even contained bonkers fandom, explanations of 'shipping' (non-cargo-related sense) and arm-waving about plagiarism. I like to believe that the writers are having a whale of a time with it.

Second Trivial Item: Is it just me that gets stared at like a stuffed owl for bringing fruit into the office? Note that I don't actually work in a greengrocer's or some manner of meat-packing plant. I've worked next to a meat-packing plant, but not in one. Although when the weather was warm, it was hard to tell the difference.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
I have just been ejected from Bristol Eye Hospital.


Apparently there's nothing wrong with my eyes. I just have thick corneas, which threw off the measurements. Much as I [heart] the NHS, it does lead a chap to wonder why it took, um, three years before someone went 'Hm. Hold on a minute. We'll just measure the thickness of your corneas with this handy laser...'

Thus I have been looking at things while filled with a strange and terrible joy; artics filled with Calor bottles, pubs re-cast as 'private gentlemen's establishments', the cobbles underneath the concrete in the street throwing off a century of 'progress'... Perhaps these are not joyful things for others? Who can say.

It didn't hurt that the sun was bright and it's jolly warm out. I'm going to be a mithering suicidal nightmare come the rainy season.

(And yes, I did get in the 'do not look into laser with remaining eye' joke.)

Otherwise, I was in receipt of a packet of zines from the splendid [livejournal.com profile] jinxremoving, who is made of epic and win. (And who I have sort-of-known since the days of running the Chaos engine webshite on the Inepte swervers.) Truly the internet is a force for good when in the hands of sensible people. Now if we could just arrange for a series of terrible accidents to befall the Daily Mail server farm...

What with the previously mentioned linkage, it's been a DIY/punk rock sort of a day. Excellent.

Minamoto is a shit cracker.
Via the cracked and trained [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker

I feel the need for beer and modern jazz.
hirez: (dissent)
Do you find yourself whistling the same tune when distracted and engaged in manual labour? I do.

According to DNA, Ford Prefect would whistle the first note of 'Mad about the boy' over and over again.

I whistle a tune that [livejournal.com profile] uk_jon first played on one of the school pianos. It's an (obviously) haunting melody that ended up being called 'Casio XL-5'. Equally obviously, the longer version was called 'Casio XL-12'.

Ending a post with a question is usually a guarantee of zero response, so I won't.
hirez: (posing)

  • Lock a set of people from all over the place into a small air-conditioned room for the thick end of a week and The Lurgi will spread. Thus we find that the JHR is both thick and snotty. Bugger. We also find that the inside of the (Nat West) Tower/42 is tiny and that if you're in the bogs, the high-speed lifts sound like passing tube trains. That Corbusier fellow was having a right old laugh and no mistake.

  • Buy some new tech and it'll show up all the bugs in yr old kit. To whit: some credit-card shaped music thing from Creative. The USB rig on my ancient PC is clearly some prehistoric version that delivers stuff by imaginary siilcon donkey, so I finally need to buy a new m/b. Still, seven years is a bloody good average in PC terms. Mind, the sod in the shop alleged the thing looked like a USB drive to all and sundry computers. In a pig's arse it does. I had to bag some shonky app to make it work with the Mac, and it looks as if Itunes and the ancient JHR mp3-filing method have failed to get on at a fundamental level. I'll use MP3-herding apps when the blasted things stop being significantly worse than a vaguely-structured filesystem. On the other hand, every sodding media-bothering application I have ever met is a sack of crap. I mean, seriously. F-ing Oracle's f-ing Couch grass (or sterile Brome) -like takeover of machines is prime historical evidence that application designers should never be allowed to try and outsmart the OS.

  • Friday night was utterly cosmic. All involved may call upon me for 4am body-disposal problems. (Why d'you think I keep a shovel in the car?)

  • If you can get the cheap rates, the Hoxton Hotel is a splendid place to stay. If you can't, make sure someone else is picking up the tab. Sound staff, fine rooms, free wireless that's not port-80 only and a simple yet well-rendered menu.
hirez: (anxious)
There's a dream my subconscious makes me endure once in a while. It's a bit like a migraine, in that within a couple of minutes (subjectively) I know full well what's going on and exactly how badly it will end. However, my dream-self lacks the power to actually fix anything due to the multi-layered nature of the beast.

I and a couple of braver/faceless chums decide to have a poke around the gardens and outbuildings of an abandoned, tumbledown and suspiciously Worcestershire house. I say 'decide' when I mean 'self dragged along for the ride' and for 'Worcestershire' read 'timber-framed but retrofitted with bricks and scabby rendering'. This feels like a seriously fucking bad idea because there's just something wrong about the place. Anyway. We poke about for a bit, discover piles and boxes of junk and are generally being pre-teenage until the feeling of impending doom ratchets up far enough to be more than a chap can stand. I/we scarper with whatever treasures we've picked up. In my case, a hardback book. As we sod off, it becomes apparent that we're being watched from an upstairs window by a tall grey presence.

Later, I can feel that presence looming over me. I struggle awake and try to lob the book at the thing, but it's not having any of it. In the blind panic, I get a full-colour flashback where I'm standing near Hanna-Barbera a cocktail bar with H-B women lurking outside. Part of me feels it should go inside with the book, but mostly I'm terrified and try to hand the book to one of the women.

Then I wake up properly, somewhat alarmed.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Currently, it looks like this:

Uncle [livejournal.com profile] nemesis_to_go - Access All Areas
[livejournal.com profile] jozafeen - Backstage pass

[livejournal.com profile] ladymoonray, [livejournal.com profile] childeric, [livejournal.com profile] girfan, [livejournal.com profile] sarah_mum and [livejournal.com profile] quercus all get +1s

[livejournal.com profile] the_axel's name's not on the list

and it's couples only tonight for [livejournal.com profile] razornet.



You what, H-R? This.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Inspired by re-enacting an invasion of York (Swedish craft, Norwegian passengers, confused English pilot), here's an entertainment for the weekend: a venue quiz. Gig-going types with t-shirts of a certain age should have no trouble with any of them.

Should there be confusion, argument and reminiscence is absolutely welcomed. As are descriptions of bands seen, state of the bar and bogs. Though there'll obviously be a bit of comment-screening so games are not given away. Marking the London venues as 'London' is cheating, as is bothering Google for the answers.

(We also apologise for the slightly non-intuitive formatting.)

The Electric Banana )
hirez: (pillock)
Sterling on Ballard: fine stuff. In the past, I've singularly failed to get on with Sterling's writing, no matter how hard I struggle. (Apart from 'The hacker crackdown' and 'Heavy weather'. Though that may be down to some geek identification and jazz hat wearing.) On the other hand, it's hard to disagree with the chap when he's being a JGB fan-boy.

Fairly large image offered without much comment.

Of late, I have been lumpenly uninspired, which is a shame. Beware the poor in spirit because they'll suck the life and goodness from you, then mither on entirely unchanged. Spiritual black holes they are, wandering the byways and leaving naught but slug-trails of grimness.

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hirez: (Default)
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