hirez: (Happy cycling)
(Because that name does assume a minor amount of mechanical nouse)

Before the country started enacting its own Ballardian psychodrama - we do appear to be working our way collectively through his novels, and Shepperton has a splash-on part in the current Thames Television opportunity. I'm looking forward to Hello America, and plan to be hiding when it's time for the Atrocity Exhibition - the Nice Bike was emitting a creaking noise from one or other of the cranks. Of late it's been quiet and I put that down to a mildly more attentive maintenance regimen because otherwise the chain rusts up sharpish what with all this weather we've been never having it so good as before it were all watermeadows round here when I were a lass, etc.

Today the left-hand crank fell off. Which was something of a surprise. Thankfully I was able to collect all the bits, stuff them in various pockets and trudge off while pretending not to notice the set of people at the bus stop.

Unfortunately Halfords.

Hey ho.
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (ii))
Marmalade-fettling last night. Low sugar and sharp as a bastard, but runnier than I'd like therefore.

About four years ago, I wrote a short story that was included in the 'Dark Spires' anthology. It was about a potential retro-future where the English gummit had lost the plot, the Welsh (and Scottish) borders were guarded by UN peacekeepers and the Hinckley Point nuke had suffered an alleged flooding accident that was completely denied by said gummint. That said, the main point of the story revolved around forced de-population of the flooded Somerset Levels.

Were I going to do it again I would remember that I was actually writing a Ballardian steampunk Vietnam novel, but there we are.

My favourite review was the one that went on about how unrealistic it was and how the IAEA wouldn't stand for that sort of thing.

I didn't put a Royal Visit in though. That would just have been ludicrous.
hirez: (Christmas cat)
As they used to say in the comics - 'groo'

Caught a bug from some patient-zero or other at work last week which made the weekend an exercise in 'not quite manky enough to stop home', then two days of goldfish brain (no bloody hallucinations. rubbish.), a day of snot yesterday and today seems to be about hacking up both lungs.

+ driving on an empty motorway, face-stuffing, queen, Who (pointed at a set of good SFnal ideas then ran away)

Would be playing 'gone home' but ugh, brains.

Would beetle out to see how packed the cycle-path will be in the sunshine (it's jolly nice out when not shiteing it down) but ugh, lungs.

Would be hacking on some Ruby but ugh, see above.
hirez: More graf. Same place as the other one. (Butterfly)
(Stolen from the splendid types on the Twitter.)

This week, metallic purple. Result - a couple more people asking why and a couple more beetling over because 'you totally have to check out John's nail varnish..'

So anyway, while I was feeling mildly asleep and not really thinking too hard about the people around me on Monday morning, I was accosted by a Big Issue vendor. (Bath's got lots)

Blue panda-style eyeshadow, long sparkly scarf and a very purple jumper. It was one of those 'Shut up and listen. The universe is trying to tell you things.' moments.

The other thing that happened is that half a different Twitter thing about NHS mental health provision, which seems to be generally hopless given the state of the tweets, reminded me of two-and-a-bit years ago.

This is what I wrote. On LJ:

"That's everything. It's all hateful. Don't try to reason with it, because there is no logic.

In actual fact, I should try to remember not to reason with myself in that mood. The weird and uncomfortable thing is that these days I've enough self-awareness to watch as the petulance, mithering and second-guessing happens in real time. It's not much fun from the inside. Well, I say 'inside'. There's an unhelpful post-migraine state where one really does feel like one's watching a character in a book, and thinking 'Silly sod really ought to pull his finger out...' Sometimes reality makes a bo-oing noise like a telescope being collapsed and one realises that, well, actually... And at other times it doesn't. Thus I imagine it's a similar amount of no-fun-at-all for anyone else involved.

The next bit of really-very-broken-but-makes-perfect-sense-from-inside thought process goes 'Well, you're making things pretty horrible for those around you, have you considered shutting the hell up and buggering off so they don't have to put up with your nonsense? It really would be the considerate and polite thing to do.'

Although. The imp of the tiresome brain-chemistry doesn't want to go without throwing a strop.

You know, if I post this, someone or other will go 'Me? You hate me?' and... Because I was brought up to be polite, I'll make some excuse instead of going through the whole 'Dave. Everyone's dead.' routine. So, I've admitted to being in a poor state of head and perhaps a bit fragile. Now I also am made to understand that my poor mood is making someone else feel hurt and I should feel terrible about that, too. Excellent darts, there.

I know, how about a big helping of 'not actually ever talking about any of this to anyone'? Yes. That would be best.

On the up-side, I think I can get H2S delivered via the internet. How's that for service?"













That was pretty much exactly as bad as I got. It's uncomfortable reading for me because it reminds me of my mental state and I think I'm quite surprised that no-one read between the lines.

And that is why I couldn't wait the three months for the NHS to push me into a room with twenty other people for a month of weekly CBT sessions and instead paid for a nice man to sit and listen to me ramble for circa a year.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
Back at EMFCamp last year, I ended up jabbering about devops (and finding that it made coding fun again) to anyone that would listen and some more that probably wished I'd just shut up and go away. Also at EMF was the chap in charge of Allegro.net, who have made this, which is basically an API for large-scale (inter)network provisioning. Which, wow.

Anyway. They're after Ruby hackers: http://workinstartups.com/job-board/job/7688/software-developer-at-allegro-networks/

What's either rather fascinating, or just a case of me retroactively joining dots that weren't there, is that there were odd reverse-echoes of this development in dotcom-1 (the people building the UI to manage QoS across businessy-businessy networks at about the same sort of time as Global Crossing/Exodus/C&W/FLAG were throwing fibre off boats and thus ensuring that QoS never quite became a thing. There was also the business of network admins not wanting to waste cycles on anything but getting packets off their kit as fast as possible, and the other business of no network kit ever ever having an API) and the thing at HPL called the UDC that became an un-project while I was on holiday. (Really. Came back to discover that this vastly expensive datacentre nailed to the side of Building-1 was A Datacentre, had never been the UDC, and that we had always been at war with Compaq. One of the many things that scuppered the thing was that while there was a click & drag UI (Umbongo Juju is not a new idea), it mostly just printed out instructions for network and unix admins to beetle off and set up VLANs and mountpoints. Because no network kit never ever bloody anything ever had an API.)

And then Juniper announced that you could reprogram their kit via Puppet. You can Puppet manage your Netapps, too. That'll be a case of the API docs being written on the wall.
hirez: (Default)
In accordance with the law of household devices, our combi boiler had a freakout on Sunday morning. While the rads are fine, the magic thing that diverts the hot water to the sinks and shower (and the electronics that make the activity LEDs act like a Cylon trying to look round a corner) is refusing to play.

Cinsequonty I have had yet another ablute in a bucket followed by a thankfully brief cold shower.

I was going on (as one does) to Ma about the terrible injustice of it all, when she laughed and reminded me that she grew up with no mains water, no electricity and hot water (such as it was) supplied by coal-fired range. Our walk-in shower would have been considered a space-module or complex piece of scientific apparatus with no obvious function.
hirez: (Object)
(NTNON joke, referencing the somewhat concerning That's Life)

(oh, do your own C20th popular-cultural research)

hirez: (Riiight)
You know, I can't remember the last time I sat somewhere quiet and outdoors, talking rubbish until well past dark. It's a rubbish state of affairs, and something must be done.

Splosh!

Apr. 30th, 2012 11:10 pm
hirez: (muddy)
River Avon, Bath, this afternoon. New riverside development somewhat damper than envisaged. )
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
Following on from the throwaway sentence about what people would really do with time-travel...

... The obvious next question is 'What are the intersections of time-travel and Rule 34?'

(I have no bloody idea, myself. Apart from the relatively obvious RAH short.)
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: (Default)
I forget where it was, but at one workplace, the water-thingummy had a wee LCD that read 'Well done - promote clear thinking.' (or something a lot like that)

Had I my brains in, I'd have nurgled the thing such that it read something much less cheerful. Well, I would have been cheerful, but I don't know that anyone else would.
hirez: (muddy)
One of the happy fun things about being post-migraine (as opposed to the shit ones like everything being two-dimensional and rather like award-winning animation from Czechoslovakia. Obviously the counter-example being 'The Mole', which is completely splendid ditto. I suspect the rot set in in this country when children's television became an excuse for primary-coloured shite peddling rather than cheerfully random socialist propaganda from what was then the Eastern Bloc. Bastards. Take your transform-o-tubbies and piss off.

Anyway.

Um...

... Where was I? Ah. Right: )

is that your brain tends to glitch rather a lot. For instance I was trying to explain something or other, but the only useful phrase (FAVO 'useful', obv) in my head was 'Irish powder.'

In my head it's something like Bordeaux Mixture - 'Give your cold-frame a good going-over with Irish Powder and you'll see off the hinge-blight' - or Radium Bromatum - 'I fear Mrs. Trellis was taken rather queer in the orangery, so I had Dr. Polesden administer a tincture of Irish Powder.'

Probably. I dunno, I just work 'ere. More'n my job's worth, innit?
hirez: (24)
Bloody hell. That Poliakoff chap is a bit bloody good.

Mind, there were certain stylistic reminders of 'Hidden City', but since it's one of my favourite films, I'm not surprised to see bits of it in other work.

Dug the wicker man picture behind Christopher Lee's head, too.

Oh, and. Oh lord that red dress.
hirez: (dissent)
I was driving out of Bristol on the A4 towards Bath, when I paused briefly in a queue of cars. Directly to my left was a once-quaint boozer, now looking a bit grubby due to car-grime. Away up on top of the hill leftward was the church, partly obscured by a set of brightly-coloured Murco signs announcing a red-brick petrol station. Further up the road on the right was a much more imposing boozer, which looked to have been extended down the hill at some point in the last two hundred years.

What a terrible shame it was that some hateful mob of bastards had shat out an urban A-road, a turd-coloured housing block and a concrete strip of rubbish shops. I was in quite a cheery mood before spotting that.
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: (Bunny Eye)
The last time I had to strip, clean and re-assemble an IBM keyboard, it was the mid 80s, the thing had probably come off an XT from Rolls-Royce at Filton that someone had poured their cocoa into, and I was the PFY.

It does all come back to one rather quickly.

This time, the keyboard was off a XT-286, so there was a connector at the keyboard end of the cable rather than a grommet, and most of the keys had separate caps to make pulling it to bits easier. These later efforts have the plastic-spot-welded chassis rather than the two lumps of steel twisted together, so there's no way of cleaning the switches, even if one wanted to. (Well, you can wang them in an ultrasonic bath if you really want.)
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
I'm given to understand from the hysterical media (hysterical media is hysterical) that this is the worst winter since 1981/2. (Gloucestershire version, anyway) This rings true because I/we got some serious sledging in that time. We'd become bored with the field behind the house, I think because it wasn't quite steep enough and the snow had come from the other direction so that side of the field was more scrape than swish.

Small Brother's mate James (aka Dipstick, because he was an AF spanner in the box of metric sockets) had a complicated sledge built by his dad that used wide slabs of Formica as runners. As any fule no these days, given the number of moulded plastic items, it's all about spreading the load. Since this was rural Gloucestershire, and the shiny new learning about low ground pressure vehicles was still a gleam in the agricultural equipment supplier's eye, SB and self were rather startled by this. (Sb's sledge was a traditional narrow-runnered thing in the 'Rosebud' style.)

Because I had no sledge of my own (I know, I was a poor, deprived little sod) I blagged some Formica and boshed one out of 2x4 and whatever else was in the shed(s) the night before. The road up the side of the hill from Charlton Pool to the Camps is straight and about 1 in 5 at its steepest. Conveniently, that was the bit most exposed to the wind, so the snow was in lumpy drifts to the height of the hedge. It had also frozen, so it was an ideal surface for propelling teenagers who should have been in school head-first into whatever was in the way, closely followed by the sledge that they'd just been bounced off.

A few years after that, I discovered that Mk2 Escorts are bloody twitchy on hard-packed snow. Good job there was no bugger around to see that 180.

Which more-or-less leads me to the point. I rather like snow. It's fun to play in and makes the grimmest place look cleaner. However, I'm packed in with a thousand fuckwits who can't drive, don't carry shovels and don't understand that ABS won't save you if there's no traction at all.

Look, the bargain we make when we move into a town is that in exchange for using up less space, not keeping old cars, not setting fire to things.. Y'know, not having any fun[1] basically... is that the Powers That Be will take the rubbish away (no bonfires), keep the streets clean and generally mind the infrastructure for the good of all.

If they're not going to do that, what's the bloody point? Bastards.



[1] Buying things is not 'fun'.
hirez: (Lomo)
Lomography.

Documents this.

Largely pictures of green and pleasant land.
hirez: (Challenger)
There's a beer festival at Bitton Railway this weekend. Let's hope for good weather.

Happy thing: salad from one's own garden. It really does taste better than stuff from the shop.

Sad thing: the ignition pack in the Saab expired on the way home. A familiar smell of french-fried electronics. Luckily there was a handy pub car-park with handy pub attached. Bugger of a job with no power steering pump, mind.

(Livejournal remix)

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