Month: May 2006

Ranty moan

Why is the weather so crap at the moment? It’s almost June and I was freezing standing at the station this morning.

Why are people complaining about Big Brother? Surely they are used to it by now? Shouldn’t they just be ignoring it?

Why do people make such a fuss about whether Scots are supporting England or not? And what’s with this “British Day” nonsense? Surely, and feel free to correct me on this, you only consider yourself British AFTER you’ve considered your ‘home nationality’. I’m a Scot first and foremost. Same with the English, Welsh, and Irish. No?

Of course the commentators love us to be British when it’s a Scots person winning something… ahhh yes, Liz McColgan, pride of Britain. Linford Christie, English lion. What?! This is said only somewhat in jest, one day I’d love to have the time to analyse this in detail to see whether my gut feel is correct or not, for the meantime I’m happy to proffer it forth for discussion/ridicule (it’s all about the comments people!).

Why is there such hype about the Da Vinci Code? Last night there were at least three different “exploring the…” shows on TV. Enough already. Bloody religious nutters the lot of them. Yes, I’m talking about you Catholic lot. Enough already. IT’S FICTION. IT’S NOT REAL.

Note to self: Must finish that post about how we are now reaping the uneducated seeds that we have sown (note the religious undertones of that sentence.. smart huh..).

AND… umm…

No. I think that’s me. Bit of a pathetic moan really.. must try harder!

What about you? What would you like to moan about? Go on, get it off yer chest.

Into the groove

Louise is home and annoyingly tanned, but I can put up with that.

Her plane finally touched down in the wee small hours of this morning after a three hour delay and as it was a further hour or so before we got to sleep I decided to work at home today. Still, it’s good having her home, absence certainly has the rumoured effect on the heart.

She brought me back a nice big litre bottle of Southern Comfort, which cost her all of about £11, and should get me through the World Cup.. just..

And aside from that there’s not much else to say.

That World Cup question

Our First Minister caused a bit of a stooshy recently by stating that he wouldn’t be supporting England in the World Cup. But why should he? He’s not English after all..

As for me, well it’s a tricky one, that’s for sure. Ach, who am I kidding, it’s very straightforward. ‘Mon the Soca Warriors!!

Actually that’s not strictly true. In truth I wouldn’t mind England winning the World Cup but for the inexorable press coverage it’d get. I mean it was pretty bad after the rugby World Cup but if they won the footie version? Jesus, it’d be awful.

I was actually listening to a phone-on on the Radio about this during the week. And for most people the decision of whether or not to support England was an easy one to make. You either don’t support them as a matter of principle (and state your allegiance to whoever is playing them next), or you don’t mind them winning, and might support them in a few games.

Most people on the phone-in who said they’d be supporting England did admit that the downside would be the programmes, and articles and endless loops of speculation about whether this team was better than the ’66 winning team, if Gerrard IS the best midfielder in the world, and if Beckham should retire. Meh.

And that’s the thing. It’s not the supporting of England that’s the problem, it’s the constant stream of hyperbole that goes along with it.

Anyway. I’m off to buy a Brazil top, or maybe Argentina… France anyone??

Towel Day

Yo sassy froods!

I’m betting most of you know where your towels are, right? I mean it IS Towel Day.

Of course, to those of you how haven’t read the book you will have no earthly (pun intended) idea what I’m wibbling on about. But then, isn’t that the point?

I’ve always viewed these kind of ‘cult-esque’ things with a bit of a wary eye. Mainly the ones I’m not part of, though, those ones are just weird and for losers. However, since being introduced to this book by a friend, many moons ago, it’s hung around in the “pop culture” area of my brain, and is dragged forth along with jaded Monty Python dialogues and 70s pop music references.

Ohh and, for the record, I’ve only ever seen The Life of Brian and a few snippets on these “Top 100 something something of something time” shows on Channel 4/5/42. Damn. See that, did it again!

But then, isn’t that the point of pop culture? It spreads by osmosis, and soon you begin to wonder… actually HAVE I seen every episode of Monty Python Presents? Did I watch Judy Finnegan’s blouse fall open that time at the Baftas, or have I just heard about and seen it so often that I THINK I have….

Pop culture is a weird fish, no doubt, but I do wonder how it will be perceived in a few hundred years time. After all, the pop culture of today is the philosophy of tomorrow.

Or not.

Where’s my towel gone?

And yes, you may require a babelfish to decipher this nonsense, but it’s late, I’m tired and even if I COULD count to 42 I would probably have forgotten the question by the time I remember why I was counting that high anyway.

(and I said it’d be quiet around here… pah!)

Two days off

Ahh the joys of a long weekend stretch before me as I’ve got Thursday and Friday off this week, and yes I booked them before Louise had decided to fly to Spain (which was a last minute thing, but not a lastminute.com thing.. ).

Not that I’ll have much free time. Out for dinner tonight with my family, a couple of “places” to visit tomorrow, and a website to craft which must must MUST be live by July 1st when the new Yellow Pages comes out.

If it stops raining I also need to get some Pathclear down (or something stronger preferably… bleach maybe?) to stop the sudden and spectacular growth of weeds across our monoblock. The main problem is that there used to be a large (30ft) tree in the middle of the monoblocked area, as it grew it pushed the blocks up allowing gaps to appear between them… and in those gaps weeds flourish. Cheap suggestions (we can’t afford to re-lay the area at the moment) are welcomed.

Ohh and I’ll need to hire a skip to get rid of the remnants of the past few nights worth of parties, not to mention hire a french polisher (ohh Yellow Pages again, spooky).

So, it may be a bit quiet here, but in a good way.

New, old, sleeping

A couple of new blogs (links on the right in the ‘overflow’) to play with. The Big Brother one might be interesting, and Unreliable Witness already has shimmers of possibility.

The update to WordPress and the activation of … er.. one of the spam plugins seems to have done the job. Well worth it.

And in other startling news my headache has gone. It finally gave up around 6pm last night, although I still tried (and failed) to get to bed early. Sorry Zoe but thanks for the advice, although there is no way I could sleep with the window open.

I just can’t do it, it’s the same if there is too much light in the room, I need peace and quiet and darkness before my brain will finally accept the fact that I should be asleep. This holds true for the first few hours after I’ve fallen asleep where the smallest noises can be enough to waken me from my slumber. A few years ago a new fridge heralded a couple of nights of frustrated tossing and turning, the dull whirr and click from downstairs enough to keep me from gaining a comprehensive degree of unconsciousness.

But after the first couple of hours, well just you try and wake me! You could turn our bedroom into a parade ground, or allow an entire African savannah to stampede across the bed and you’d be lucky to get more than a murmur from me. In fact, and this is according to Louise as… well I couldn’t tell you about this because I’m asleep at the time… if you didn’t know me you may think that I’ve slipped away in the night. Between the lack of movement — I have an entire double bed to myself at the moment yet still find myself occupying the usual third, hanging off the edge like some large hairy mountain goat — and the s l o w n e s s of my breathing I can appear to be in a state of complete torpor.

This state remains until the radio switches on at blurry o’clock in the morning, bringing with it the slow painful progress to normal awaken-ness. This process takes until around 9am and includes breakfast, a train journey and two cups of coffee.

So, in an effort to collect some truly awful puns I’ll ask you: How do you sleep?

Quiet

Dropped Louise off at the airport at 3.30am on Sunday morning. Wide awake when I got home so I upgraded WordPress, everything went very smoothly indeed (or you wouldn’t be reading this!).

By 7am I was wilting and fell asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours kip, something I think contributed to my stiff back today. I spent the rest of the day going through weird phases of high energy and complete lethargy. Most odd.

And this morning I awoke with the beginnings of a monster headache. One of those “please stop tightening this metal band around my skull” types… and the painkillers aren’t budging it.

2 questions, 1 comment

Question 1. WordPress users – all of a sudden I’m getting loads and loads of spam comments — 536 overnight. This is despite the fact I don’t USE WordPress for the commenting here (yet). I’m still on version 1.5.2, which spam plugin is best?

Question 2. XP users – I think I have a virus. The internet ‘outage’ I experienced the other night may have been a symptom and there is SOMETHING that is using a variety of outgoing TCP Ports. But I can’t figure out what it might be.

I’ve udpated and run AVG Anti-Virus, SpyBot and Ad-Adware. My firewall is Symantec and isn’t reporting anything odd, it’s only when I call up netstat via DOS prompt (“netstat -s”) that I see the number of “Active Opens” rising. I’ve just re-booted the PC, fired up Firefox and started typing this post and already the number is at 61.

I’m stumped. I can’t even think of what to look for, and if my anti-virus can’t catch it, the firewall isn’t flagging it (despite changing settings to ask for every teeny tiny movement in and out to be flagged), what else can I do?

The comment: Andy and I have swapped emails and I’ll happily state here that he did not mean anything nasty. Looks like it was a combination of bad days and misreadingness. All is well with the world again (bar the above, obviously).

Snippets

What to start with, what to start with…

Ohh come on, you know fine well. Love it or loathe it, the carnival/freakshow that is Big Brother has kicked in and what a marvellous piece of car-crash casting it looks to have been this year. From the campest gay in Glasgow (Shahbaz AKA the “wacky Paki poof”) to “the one who may just be the most normal” Bonnaaughhh (Bonnie), the Vickey Pollard-esque (Nikki) to the geezer-ish wideboy (Sezer – rhymes with Caesar) it’s probably the most outlandish group they’ve come up with so far. And that’s before you consider the fact that they’ve included someone with Tourette’s Syndrome (Pete).

I’d imagine a lot of the initial focus will be on Pete, and I hope that they at least TRY and play safe. It would be too easy to reduce his condition and play him up as a laughing stock, although I fear the ratings may have some influence on this. Only time will tell.

~

I have to agree with Jason, this year the NBA playoffs are all about the team (baby!). In the past the focus has always been on the individuals, the Michael Jordans, Shaquille O’Neals, Kobe Bryants and so on, but this year whilst the superstars are there the focus is switching to the best team. It’s been a gradual process with the Pistons leading the way and forcing the NBA machine/marketing department to start lauding teams over single players. I’d suggest that is simply because, whilst they are without a doubt the best team in the league over the past couple of season, they haven’t ever signed a superstar name, and even the league’s best efforts to try and pull some of their players up into that ‘stratus’ has failed because.. well… Big Ben just ain’t that charismatic.

~

What would the world be like without the internet? OK, what would MY world be like without the internet?

I got a scary glimpse into the past last night as BlueYonder had a few connection glitches. Only lasted about two hours but it was slap bang in the middle of me trying to get some work done and, you know what, I couldn’t. I was stuck on one piece of coding and had nowhere to go to look it up! PANIC!! EEK.

Thankfully normality was restored and the first thing I did? Look up the BlueYonder support page and WRITE DOWN their telephone number!

~

And finally, if you are bored here, scroll on down and pick a site from the list on the left. They’re all quite good and don’t feature as much “dross” as I do. Apparently.

Ach. To be honest I really REALLY don’t care if someone doesn’t like what I’m posting here. It’s very VERY simple, don’t read it. You don’t HAVE to visit here, you don’t HAVE to read all this. I’ll still post it anyway so there is little point in complaining. Ohh yes you may think this is a democracy but let me assure you of one thing, whilst I’m very very stunned and amazed that so many nutters of you keep coming back, what I do with and what I post to this site is none of your business.

Shocking stuff to end on but, frankly my dears, I was THIS close to “hiating” for a while. And for me that means this site closes until I’m ready to come back. The fact that you are reading this can be taken as a two-fingered salute to both my own attitude (which sickens even me sometimes) and to the fact that I don’t run this site to please anyone else bar me.

Phew. That feels better already!

UPDATE: Me and my big gob
OK, as ever I’ve jumped in with both feet. Yes one comment that was left yesterday irked me, but hey such is life. If I’m honest the comment isn’t that big a bother to me, and I was probably focussing on that as an excuse. What I should really do is take a break from this site. Which I will sometime soon, if only to provide a gap in which to upgrade WordPress, get the spam plugins sorted (lots of trackback stuff all of a sudden) and whatnot.