hirez: (dissent)
Today, being the Sunday before a bank holiday and thus the sort of day where one should be eyeing up a hangover, either departing or lumbering over the horizon, we got up early and went to the shops.

Everyone else in Bristol seemed to have stopped at home for the moment of hangover crystallisation or for the ceremonial calculation of an upcoming hangover's potential.

I have no idea what the SI unit of hangover might be.

The bloke who owns the farm shop (Mike. An actual farmer.) had some theories about Bank Holiday People that he had plenty of time on which to elaborate.

People who pitch up early are steamingly hungover and aren't fit for anything but staring into space and gibbering quietly. They just want breakfast. (Which is why the shop bit was deserted) But buy the time you get into the early afternoon of the actual bank holiday, you get the people who've had to spend an extra day with the rest of the family that they go to work to avoid. If they're turning up at a farm shop that lives where NE Bristol peters out into countryside, then they've not managed to arrange going away for a weekend and are going to be in an extra foul temper with themselves and the people they go to work to avoid, with whom they have had to spend an extra day. So they take it all out on the staff.
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: (safety chicken)
I like to avoid 'Today I did...' posts for much the same reasons that I avoid the Telegraph supplement - in certain broken states of mind they're just no fun at all.

However, today I abetted Ma in guerilla tree-planting and got to ask a bloke in a hardware shop for 'fork handles'.

Hardware-bloke didn't boot me out of his nice shop, but instead suggested I try West Midland Farmers Countrywide[1] in Bourton. Which was odd. I still feel like (even more of) an effete imposter in places like that. As if someone in a Tattersall shirt is going to beetle up and go 'Oi! You in the fecking climbing boots! Put that down and bugger off! There's nothing for you here!'

On the other hand, you can't beat shops that smell of chainsaw oil and cattle-cake.





[1] Which, I don't know. A great wedge of my childhood certainties vanished when WMF, Midland Shires Farmers and Aubrey Rees of Cirencester vanished when I wasn't looking. I mean, I remember being up at Reeseses with the parents (fetching hydraulic oil or parts for one of the I-H tractors) when someone steamed into the place going 'Concorde!'. Everyone piled outside to watch the pointy-and-smoking aircraft from the future howl overhead on final approach to Fairford.

I've written before about the feeling that something is actively removing the things I think I remember from the collective understanding.
hirez: (Information Hazard)
I seem to have been buying plain black Gap t-shirts for some considerable time. And, since I'm of the slightly gig-going persuasion, I have an imperial arseload of t-shirts that I wear in a wonky sort of rotation, which means that individual shirts last for quite a while.

Admittedly that's bloke values of 'quite a while', but still.

Anyway, here's a handy chart (Or it would be if LJ allowed tables, or divvies or whatever's in HTML5. God. I remember HTML 2) that shows the weight of bloke's medium black Gap t-shirts.

Early 90s - 250g
Mid 00s - 238g
2011 - 138g
2012 - 178g

There's a big, er, gap between the first two examples because I was mostly too lardy to fit into medium t-shirts, so the first one was stored in the bottom of a box.

I'm not quite sure what this proves, other than Gap used to make nice things that lasted for quite a while and that I can't even spell fashnio.
hirez: (Challenger)
The M5 goes a bit wonky at this time of year. It just does.

When I worked in Bristol in the mid-eighties, the Friday afternoon drive back up to Cheltenham would start badly because traffic would be tailed back on the M4 up to the Almondsbury junction with the M5, and it's only ever got worse.

The last decade or so, one's sometimes seen southbound tailbacks when beetling north. Not many, and the absolute worst I've seen the things is nearing the Thornbury exit.

Today is was solid and unmoving traffic, with odd pockets of space, all the way up to the Stroud junction.

Poking the Twitters revealed that most of the M5 was like that. Which, holy crap, dude. There must have been signs at Saltash and Launceston reading "Kernow is full; piss off home."

... Which meant, oh noes, that we had to stick around the Cotswolds for longer than immediately anticipated. Thus there was diesel-powered beetling up the GWR which was jolly nice. We'll just have to go back and do the steam-powered half during the week.
hirez: (Default)
Wide-open fridge pix )

The padlocks were to keep the beer in and the dole-scum out. Also, because it was A Feature of Humblebee parties that some drunken bugger(s) would thieve your beer and/or steal into your bedroom to shag, vomit or pass out. Or combination of same. One of the dole-scum got all holier-than-thou about it and threatened to break the doors off, presumably because he had some right to steal my beer. I think he shut up when it was carefully explained that "Then there won't be a fucking fridge you hopeless fuckwit."

Apparently he's in television now. Or prison. Or a doctor. Hell if I remember.

Astute readers will notice that there are certain similarities between the stencilling and my default icon. Since it's been more or less a decade of LJ-bothering, it seems appropriate to show off the source material.

Bonus scruffy oik pix )
hirez: (posing)
I more-or-less on purpose failed to beetle down to #stokescroft (surely someone has (hash)tagged up some road-signage appropriately down there now?) for the Anarchist bookfair because I Do Not Do Waiting. Not for reasons of can't be mithered so much as 'fuck you I don't care for panic attacks'. And indeed waiting there was as a mob of art-speculators descended on the place for the purposes of bagging a cheap Banksy. Is anyone surprised that the posters started turning up on World-of-Spivs Ebay that very afternoon for £profit! ? I shall be jolly pleased if the rumours about more of the posters being available for cheap turn out to be true.

The 9k passed its MOT without hassle this time. I put that down to solid Swedish engineering and it being taken down to the same garage as last time by Justyn-the-Saab (who is absolutely the chap if you want your'n mending and you'm in the Bristle aerial) instead of JHR-the-punter.

As is usual, a medium-level throw-money-at-it problem meant I mostly just sat there and failed not to think about worst-case scenarios. I'm sure it's a jolly handy skill for planning vaguely resilient systems and/or playing at Disaster Recovery games, but as a way to run a life it's largely a waste of time. I wish it would fuck off or I could find the off-switch.

It's probably a life skill they taught all the other kids, like how to do bow-ties or work out where to go for lunch. Don't pretend it didn't happen; I'm on to you bastards.

By accident, I found myself (under a bucket, but there was nobody there except for some cement, so I went home wearing the wrong head) watching 'The shadow line' which I think has some of the strangest direction, design and sound I have thus far come across. A sequence of Ballardian rectilinear spaces are displayed wherein the actors portray a sequence of still lives. Meanwhile, the sound is strangely over-saturated. A scene seems to consist of a set of sentences, separated either by still-life poses or by anechoic silences that are themselves delineated by unnaturally loud sounds. The noise of a pencil being pulled from a tub of the things (who on earth has a tub of pencils these days?) is as loud as the alleged dialogue. The effect is somewhere between the Guinness 'Ploughman's lunch' advert and (what I am told are) the effects of good MDMA.

Lord. My writing is devolving into post teen Lisp-alike.
hirez: (Pie!)
Cake, right? How hard could that be?

Answer 1: ow my bloody forearm. Next time I'm using the hand-mixer. To mix my hands so the other forearm gets a taste of it.

Answer 2: topology's a bit wrong, but given it's comparable with similar items that have come from that stove, further experimentation is likely.

For this disturbing display of, um, something-or-other, you can blame [livejournal.com profile] nalsa's Idiot's Guide. Although it tangentially makes sense of how two of my great aunts cooked, which was some weird (from the outside, knowing nothing about the process but having looked at the manuals and the telly programmes, which were all about precise amounts) jazz method of throwing stuff together in handfuls and having startling cake come out of the other side.
hirez: (Box Frenzy)
1971 - Holt Farm, The Cotswolds. Cooker - mongo cream AGA with some dodgy-looking liquid fuel retrofit. Computers - none. Pa may have had a mechanical adding machine. Charlton Abbotts manor had yet to catch fire. Telly - B&W thing that I am not allowed to touch. Nor are we allowed to hold with that terrible Commercial Television. Still, outside there is a creosote pit, calcium carbide, woodsheds, barns and rusty farm implements to play with. Not hating school.

1981 - Cotehay Farm, The Cotswolds. Cooker - blue Rayburn that made Jolly Exciting Noises when the hot water pipes got properly furred up. Computers - one, I think. Handbuilt by JHR and immortalised on Wikipeejah. Telly - the colour one that turned up for the Jubilee. Outside there are more barns, grain pits, rusty things of indeterminate utility and crap old motorcycles to play with. Hating school.

1991 - Golder's Green. (First London Adventure) Cooker - mostly used as a place to store binbags of McDonalds wrappers. Computers - many. My Amiga2k, Pascal's RISC box & Atari PC, DHM's NeXT, TSBs blagged or borrowed Solbourne & Xenix box, sundry Dell PCs as dev boxes, some portables. Telly - none. Outside there's a tube station one way and the Heath Extension the other. Discovering that I can write rather good code.

2001 - 465 Archway Road. (Second London Adventure) Cooker - redundant spare that I'd bought seven years previously and hauled up to London when the original exploded in unfortunate circumstances. Telly - the portable that I'd liberated from then-work in the late 80s. Computers - A handbuilt PC, a 68k Mac of uncertain provenance and a BSD box under the desk that connected to this shiny new invention called ADSL. Outside is the A1, too many people and tube-rats. Adminning unix kit for a doomed dotcom.

2011 - Bristol. Cooker - mostly hanging together. Telly - flat screen thing. Computers - two PCs, a Mac, a NeXT and a BSD box. And another BSD box. Outside there is too much concrete and too many people. Still, the cyclepath is rather good. Remembering how to write rather good code, adminning unix kit and not writing enough fiction.

2112 - A shit concept album.
hirez: (dissent)
Jim Moriarty? Bloody Jim Moriarty?

You silly, twisted boys.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
If you're avoiding changes in critical systems this afternoon, I commend you to read this.

(PDF, splendid writing, funny yet likely to cause despair. In that the 'When does this start to be fun?' feeling is rather familiar.)
hirez: (SantaBot)
It turns out that my cube at ex-work is now a shrine to odd behaviour and the Church of the Subgenius. Given the general level of oddness there, I consider that a great honour.

The Green Dragon Hotel, Hereford, appears to have been perfectly preserved since the mid fifties. I expect doubtful plumbing and cold collation on the menu.

Although it did have a room labelled 'cyber space'. In slanted black-on-gold sticky letters, yet. I trust there is a shop where one may find the roundy-roundy thing1 with the individual letters wobbling on their hooks as you search for the big sticker that depicts a cad in a sharp suit smoking negligently.

Nevertheless, I intend to stay there at some point in the future. The staff are jolly good sorts who can spot a thirsty traveller at some distance: "I've a barrel of Wye Valley in the corner. By the way you were looking at the beer-pumps, I think you might prefer it..."


[1] Pater calls any mechanical device that rotates, which doesn't already have an obvious name (threshing drum, internal combustion engine, turbocharger) a 'hurdy-gurdy'.
hirez: (dissent)
I've been in an unfortunate sort of place (maaan...) of late, as evidenced by the ratio of swearing to post-size.

Anyway.

While looking for one thing, that I knew was somewhere in the electronic pile of text and stuff I'm pleased to call an archive, I found a couple of others. This lead, as these quests are wont to do, onto a half-day delve through old emails and LJ posts. This was not the sort of thing that could be done by a chap in the grip of post-migraine stuffed brain chemistry and expect to have it end well.

Thinking about it, if I have any sort of order in my filings of, well, anything, it's essentially after the school of JL Borges.

So I was confronted by a past where I'd regularly been a bit of a pillock. I've been carrying that around and tending to it relatively carefully, and I begin to wonder why. See, before they invented LJ and when HD storage was expensive enough that no-one actually kept anything much, I didn't bother with this diary malarkey.

I lived in this blokey and oddly zen state of permanent now, with only a dim and alcohol-mediated version of the previous weekend. The past was something other people brought up because they were festering for an argument, while for me it was some kind of unravelling staircarpet and as long as I kept moving forward, the unravelling wouldn't catch me up and pitch me into space.

Or something like that.

While I suspect it's useful to keep reminders of the past about so one has some idea of what one was thinking, it also feels like I'm carelessly anchoring myself with the weight of this stuff.
hirez: (pillock)
You daft pillock, H-R.

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