hirez: (Default)

  • I should really stop worrying about going to the dentist.

  • Stephen King's 'On writing' is f-ing amazing. (I am a startlingly slow learner)

  • It's probably a bad idea to buy cars that can emit as much smoke as a KH250.

  • Puppetcamp London was jolly good. I would like more time to work on useful things instead of shovelling shit.

  • Actually, janitorial work (what is the UK equivalent of that word?) is as rewarding as breaking new ground, you just need some co-operation.

  • ... It's the lack of that co-operation which dooms most systems to legacy status. Internet things exist in one of two states - being 'improved', or being decommissioned.

  • Message brokers work just fine when you build them with the assumption that everything will break in the most interesting way possible.

  • Stafford Beer wrote some fine stuff, too.

hirez: (Default)
You know there's a dearth of ideas laying around when someone begins a piece with 'so'.

So it's early morning, so sue me. So the sky was also a luminous pinky colour. So we shall find out if the business with shepherds is true later, no doubt.

One of the chaps at work has been writing that there skiffy for a while now. And, because he's a productive sort, writing Cthuloid-ish RPGs too.

http://walkwiddershins.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/songs-of-spheres-by-david-j-rodger
hirez: (pillock)
(Yes, I was quite surprised that it was quite so much of A Thing, too. Perhaps this makes me a terrible person, fit only for haunting coffee-bars and ironic trouser shops in East London.)

I was startled to discover that a (Chinese, deactivated) AK weighs about the same as a Macbook Pro. Or at least that's what it feels like. I could consult the internet for tiresome accuracy, but that would spoil things.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to pick 'Stonemouth' as holiday reading. Might have had a bit of a moment at some Barnstaple traffic lights, might have been hayfever. If I suffered from same.
hirez: (pillock)
Exhibit A:




Exhibit B:

"I'm trying to give it up but it's one of those nights."

[Poll #1880168]
hirez: (Lomo)
Thumping great image )
hirez: (Challenger)
Clarkson & chums (tee hee gypsies) ? Amateurs.

The only thing wrong with this car is the lack of a roof, but some wavy tin and plasming would fix that.

(It's from a film stuffed with good bits, which are unfortunately separated by some less-good bits. Although I should likely watch it again, just to be sure. There is also Dennis Hopper not exactly stretching himself.)

(It's also a film that's oddly short internet presence - I mean, you'd think the spanner-fondling webforums would be jammed with similar kit, but No Can Has it seems.)

(Although. See previous post.)
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
2000 words. More or less. )
hirez: (Default)
Some of the sloppiest, shoddiest, most biased, least reproducible, worst designed and most overinterpreted research in the history of science purports to provide biological explanations for differences between men and women.

[ From here]
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
I'm not one to bang on about food. I make efforts to eat what's put in front of me, if only because I was a hatefully picky child and still cringe at the memory, and I suspect that serious foodie malarkey would be something of a waste.

However, I am rather partial to a good fried breakfast. Plus tea and toast and why can't you get hash browns in this country?

Anyway. I was watching summat-or-other on one of the channels-that-taste-forgot in the netherworld beween BBC4 and British Eurosport and yet-a-bloody-gain there's a scene in some US alleged drama where someone's spent yea-long boshing out a sensible brekker for the rest of the people concerned, who all mumble something about work or school or not being hungry and then piss off out of it towards the next dramatic happening.

What a bunch of complete bastards.

I had a swift grovel (no, really. It only took a half-hour) on TVTropes, but it must be like wallpaper and they don't notice it's happening.

No wonder these people's lives are so rammed with drama they get followed around by film crews. If I were walking around and/or trying to do my job with that little blood-sugar, I'd be falling off things and/or making poorer life-choices than usual, too.
hirez: (dissent)
Out of what I believe to be a sense of devilment and the absurd, that rotter [livejournal.com profile] jarkman lent me Alain De Botton's 'The pleasures and sorrows of work.'

It's excellent and uncomfortable reading.

I'd sort of half-wondered for quite some time why yer man De Botton was in receipt of such regular shoeings from, well, the entirety of Trad Meejah and a good wedge of the broadsheet-bothering 'speak you're branes' that is the alleged 'blogosphere'.

It's because he asks apparently innocent questions that make you stop and confront the futility of your life. Obviously, the people with vested interests in selling you opinions clothed as fact (See also the Julian Assange interview in the Manchester Guardian. Unfortunately for the paper, they sent a journalist rather than someone who knew the score.) and/or selling you things to stop you thinking, which are more or less the same thing, are terrified of anyone who might cause an outbreak of Thought.

I quote (i): 'I left Symon's company newly aware of the unthinking cruelty discreetly coiled with in the magnanimous bourgeois assurance that everyone can discover happiness through work and love. It isn't that these two entities are invariably incapable of delivering fulfilment, only that they almost never do so. And when an exception is misrepresented as a rule, our individual misfortunes, instead of seeming to us quasi-inevitable aspects of life, will weigh down on us like particular curses.'

.. and (ii): ' ... presents the observer with a case-study of the discrete charms of offices, with their intriuguing blend of camaraderie, intelligence and futility.'

... and (iii): 'I told Renae that our robots and engines were delivering the lion's share of their benefits at the base of our pyramid of needs, that we were evident experts at swiftly assembling confectionery and yet we were still searching for reliable means of generating emotional stability or marital harmony. Renae had little to add to this analysis. A terrified expression spread across her features and she asked if I might excuse her.'

Which is the ideal sort of advert for the post of Jobbing Philosopher. (All concepts given due consideration while-u-wait. Ask about our loyalty programme.)

(Part of me hopes that Renae escaped the biscuit factory and is now doing something cheerfully strange.)
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
In much the same way that I was convinced there was a missing Hitchcock film with one of Cary Grant or James Mason, which later turned out to be a Heinlein story called 'The unpleasant profession of Jonathan Hoag', I have been quite sure that there was a Beiderbecke story concerning a secret organisation that helped people disappear. Each time I attempted to re-watch one or other of them on one of the cable channels that live in the trackless wastes between BBC4 and Eurosport, it would somehow end up being the wrong one.

Yes, I know that thirty seconds with Wikkipeejah would have solved the mystery. That site is the textual embodiment of the encyclopaedically tiresome sorts who'll wittingly spoil a good story by going 'I think you'll find...' in an annoying and strangulated manner.

I'd describe that voice as 'adenoidal' but I don't know what that sounds like. It's shorthand for a sort of person, and one just flywheels the description.

Anyway.

One of the extras in the Beiderbecke DVD set is the precursor series Get Lost! This is the missing story.

Alun Armstrong plays [livejournal.com profile] quercus with remarkable precision.

The odd thing about the not-Hitchcock is that I can see Grant (or Mason) standing in the sculpted grounds outside a modernist office building, discussing something or other with a professor-type and what I can only presume is the female lead. He is convinced he has not been there before, yet his companions are informing him of his work within.

Perhaps it is something horrible like The Fountainhead.
hirez: (Default)
I really should know better than to follow Mr Ducker's (patented) random links. Through a combination of (special) circumstances, I discover that The People feature in more than the one Whovian New Adventure nov. Bugger.

Comedy moment: I lost my GPS.

[ There would have been a poll here, but I ran out of inspiration and then prodded the wrong button in a fit of idiocy. ]
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
I suspect it's just my currently stuffed brain chemistry, but when I see the word 'bubbly' applied to either a carbonated wine product or someone's personality, I tend to cringe and move in the general direction of Away.

I'm sure there are others.
hirez: (dissent)
I may be slightly drunk.
hirez: (pillock)
(Appropriately enough, Boards of Canada again.)
Several months ago, [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker and [livejournal.com profile] oletheros pointed me in the direction of this.

I am forced to admit that it is very good indeed. Bus stop missing good, in fact. Ok, the Whovian bits are somewhat ho-hum[1], but speaking as a Culture fanboy, the rest is spot on.

Of course there's Culture fanfic and of course I'm not going to look until in a robust mood and the far side of a couple of several bottles of good Belgian beer.

[1] I think because (for random example) the Culture, the Fall Revolution or the Laundry are cohesive and internally consistent things lacking in traditional skiffy tropes. Or rather, the stuff's there, but it's been cheerfully subverted by people who fully understand what they're subverting and why. Whereas the Who bits make the right noises, but seems like someone's just scrabbling around in a cardboard box of skiffy-decorations and lobbing 'Arcturan Laser Tinsel' at the plot. Perhaps because, given that universe, there's far too much you can do.

Perhaps. More reading required.
hirez: (Challenger)
(Inspired by well-wrought fulmination elsewhere.)

In-car navigation kit that uses GPS as a locator is still pish.

It'll remain pish until two interconnected problems are solved.

i) The mapping data has to be the OS. There are no other maps but OS maps (modulo Nicholson Streetfinder for those trapped within the M25 forcefield) because they show you where the road stops being a road, where the 1-in-3 hills are and where to find a pleasant riverside pub. (Usually next to a pleasant river)

ii) The voice-in-the-box is not a middle-aged man. It doesn't know the best way of getting to Yeovil from Bristol. Sure, it can have a stab at calculating it, but it doesn't effing know. It can have the voice of Cleese, Kitt or Clarkson and it's still going to point you down a lane that peters out into scrub after the cattle-grid.

I believe that the crucial test for GPS-located navigation is the ability to orbit Cheltenham in the opposite direction to the one-way system. (Or indeed any medium-sized town that's been cursed with urban 'planning' of the T. Dan Smith school)[1] Until that time, the things are as much a curiosity as a memo-taking biro or a calculator watch.

There is a technique for navigating country roads and it involves having lived in the area for a long time, keeping a shit old car, turning your lights off when approaching junctions (obv, if the other chap does that too, hilarity ensues. Ensure your passengers are relaxed by feeding them strong ale) and most important, diving for the hedgerow as a reflex. Getting the tracking fixed is cheaper than a new front end. The standard townie practice of screeching to a halt in the middle of the road Will Not Help and Will Cause An Accident.


[1] The bottom end of the M32 in Bristol was bad enough. Now it's far worse. It beggars belief that the slack-jawed fuckwits were allowed to get away with something that looks like the sodding trench from the Death Star surrounded by shopping canyons. I know that retro is big business, but is sixties fag-end neo-brutalism really a hip and happening thing? Bod help us all if so.

With any luck, the current crisis in the development and retail sectors will make them all Very Sorry. Bastards.
hirez: (muddy)
There was a gathering of the clan the other week. Fun, but hard work because I'm used to large family events involving about four people, rather than a full village hall.

Anyway. The photos have made their way to Picasa, as is the nature of these things. And I have to admit to a strange sort of geek pride because my extended family has a splendid selection of domain-names. We're a good-looking and talented bunch, that's for sure.
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
JGB on Modernism (via the splendid types at Electrolite). The rest of the Guardian articles about Modernism are worth the read, too.

Women's Spatial Acuity Improved By Videogame. (via bOing^2). Good. For one reason or another, 'Raise' by Bocca Juniors is playing in my head.
hirez: (psyche-out (ii))
Some years ago, I was rather put out to discover that rather than being about an international assassin with a glamorous companion, 'The hitman and her' featured that well-known Deltic collector Pete Waterman playing grim disco at lurching proles.

"There's a price on yer 'ead, facker, an' I'm 'ere ter collect. But first here's a bangin' disco plate from Sinitta."

At best, television can only ever be slightly disappointing.
hirez: (Default)
IM IN UR BASE EATING UR VOLTS.

For fuck's sake.

Bring back Gabrielle Drake in a purple wig, please.

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