Month: <span>February 2004</span>

Don’t ask me why.

I’m in a bad mood.

Thing is, I woke up feeling pretty good, had breakfast, showered, decided not to shave, dressed, emailed some files to work, headed to the station, got on train.

Then the train stops between stations and we are told that due to a “technical problem with the train in front tae us, we might be a wee bit delayed or a wee bit cancelled” (“wee bit cancelled” – how is that possible?).

Anyway, we sat for all of 5 minutes before continuing so no problem there. I sit down, check my email, make a coffee, and head back to my desk.

And then they start. The voices. Loud and booming, distracting me with their: “ohhh soo very heterosexual male”, “I’m the biggest cat in here”, “No I’m the biggest cat in here” wafflings.

No, no. Not the voices in my head. The wankers in the office.

As I said. I’m in a bad mood.

I’M the biggest cat in the office* – HEAR ME ROAR!

OK, I’m not really claiming that. I’m more like the hyena of the office, I can bite, but I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat around the lions. What kind of ‘office-cat’ are you?

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So I quickly checked my email last night, and lo and behold and email from someone inviting me to join Orkut. I was intrigued. Yes I’d heard of it, but I hadn’t really dug any further.

So I did. I eschewed Google as they created Orkut, and used alltheweb instead. Thankfully it threw up just the answer I needed.

Orkut is named after the engineer that wrote it.

Phew. Thanks to Mr. Hunt for the following:

“A Google representative said that the site is the independent project of one of its engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for Google. Buyukkokten, a computer science doctoral candidate at Stanford University before joining Google, created Orkut.com in the past several months by working on it about one day a week – an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Buyukkokten, with the help of a few other engineers, developed Orkut out of his passion for social networking services.”

So, if you want ‘in’, let me know and I ‘may’ invite you. But only if I really, really like you.

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US apoplexy over Jackson flash.

Yes, THAT Superbowl story which seems to have kicked off an almighty fuss in the US of A.

Or has it?

I’d appreciate any American viewpoints on this but it does seem that the majority of people (the general public) aren’t too outraged, where the minority of people (those in the public eye, politicians, etc) are “apoplectic”.

Let’s be honest, are we surprised that some politicians, high-ranking members of the church, and other “representative groups” are kicking off big time? No of course we’re not. These groups need any excuse they can get to keep the spotlight away from what they stand for and ensure they are seen to be doing the ‘right thing’. Now I’m all for doing the ‘right thing’ but, and this isn’t really a request so ignore the phrasing, can you let me make up my own mind please?

The spiralling standards of society are an easy (and somewhat valid) target, but these things cannot be viewed solely. This ‘incident’ came in the middle of an entire routine featuring scantily clad dancers, moving in a way that can only be assumed to suggest a sexual act is taking place. I’m no prude, but that section of the show would’ve been know during rehearsal – what if we hadn’t seen a breast, would there have been complaints about the dress code of the dancers? – they felt happy enough with that part of the show, and inch for inch Janet was still exposing LESS flesh than most of the dancers (yes, yes, AFTER she got her tit out)

To be honest I find the whole ‘hoo-haa’ over this a bit puzzling. For years, American TV has happily shown low-grade dross, screened ever more titillating music videos and been quite happy to contribute to the ever-lowering of standards in general. Can’t blame them though, it’s all about choice, you don’t HAVE to watch (and anyway, they are getting a nice wad of cash each time they show that “Dirrty” video).

So, let’s get one thing straight. I like sex, I like titillation, I like erotica, I’m not adverse to seeing a woman partially, semi- or even completely naked. I don’t even have to look very hard to find any of this. I am aware that a woman’s body has different bits to a man’s. My lord and master TV/magazine has made it so.

So.. eh.. remind me.. what are we all getting so worked up about?

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I love new software. I try and contain myself and diligently read reviews, virus scan downloads, check and double-check my system before and after installing anything; I’m almost, once might say, anal about it. I was the same when I got my copy of Office 2003. Sort of… ohh ok I barely glanced at anything before shoving the CD in and installing everything.

Anyway, I’m not writing about that, I’m writing this so I don’t forget, and hopefully it will be useful info for others. Others that have Office 2003 installed. Others who get annoyed when, instead of closing down, Outlook 2003 disappears to the system tray and then won’t re-open, instead presenting you with the following error message:

Outlook is not responding. If you are using an Exchange server e-mail account, you can cancel pending server requests by clicking the Outlook icon in the notifications area, and then clicking Cancel Server Request on the shortcut menu.

I have a problem with this. There IS NO CANCEL SERVER REQUEST option! I’m definitely NOT running Exchange server, so… simply.. WTF?

Panic not, dear reader, I have the solution, hours minutes on Google gave me the following advice:

If you leave Microsoft Outlook 2003 running for a few minutes, THEN shut it down, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Shuts down. Properly. No icon in system tray, no annoying error message and no killing of processes required (where would we be without Task Manager?).

Simple.

Now, I would blame Microsoft here, as unless I’m mistaken this is essentially a silly bit of code logic that is getting me (and many others) into this situation. But I’m not going to, and you shouldn’t either. In fact if anything I have to applaud the product team for producing something that is a huge improvement over it’s predecessor. Bravo Microsoft.

I honestly can’t imagine how many different configurations, scenario’s and the like that they have to test their product against before shipping, and I often wonder, for all the sniping remarks, just what percentage of problems that arise are actually down to errors in the software (PEBCAK?) It’s also worthwhile remembering that the vast majority of Microsoft employees are human beings like you and I, trying to make a living under the extra stress that being a Microsoft employee inevitably brings (from both sides as well).

So, if you thought you were going to get a moan, tough. I happen to think that Microsoft make good software products. Yes there are better ones, but they are many and varied, and everyone has their own x of choice meaning that each of those other products isn’t really competing with Microsoft, but they are competing with each other. No Microsoft is not perfect, yes I don’t agree with some of their business decisions, and yes Macs look MUCH better than ‘IBM-compatible’ boxes.

And, as I seem to have lost the thread of what I was talking about, I’ll go now.

(If you find the thread, please don’t pull it, the entire site may just well unravel before your very eyes…)

[UPDATE: This ‘fix’ may not solve your problem. Another thing to try is to view the Properties of your Inbox (right-click) and uncheck the “Automatically generate Microsoft Exchange views”. If like me you are using Outlook to access a POP3 account then you won’t need this… and as the error message mentions Exchange… well ya never know]

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I’m having a few minor issues with BlogRolling, so I headed over to check the site, and found that the site is now supporting 1.5 million blogrolls a day.

That’s 1.5 MILLION blogrolls a day.

So, quite simply. If you use a blogroll on your site, and haven’t donated, I think it’s worthwhile that you do. I’d hate for this service to die and I’m sure most of us can spare $10 now and again.

Guilt trip over (well it will be once you’ve donated).

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Another day in training. Another quiet day here at Snowgoon Towers.

So, briefly, I’ll just mention the following:

  • Happy Birthday to Julie, 21 for the tenth time is it? (eleventh?)
  • A quick reminder to people wearing rucksacks on the train – IT STICKS OUT BEHIND YOU! When you turn round you need to account for it too not just your shoulder space. Idiot.
  • Mr.Bridgett, your CD will be in the post today. Presuming I can blag a stamp from someone.
  • Imagine my surprise when the first thing I heard on the radio this morning, as it yanked me from my slumber, was that Janet Jackson has admitted the ‘exposed breast’ thing was a setup. AND would you believe she has a single out this week as well, what are the chances…
  • I’m thinking of changing the site name. Confusion reigns as it’s listed as Gordon Snowgoon, Something, Snowgoon, Something Snowgoon or Snowgoon Something etc etc… in a variety of places. Now, I’m old-skool so the URL has nowt to do with the site name but maybe I should change it to make that clearer? Thoughts please (although I’m finding Snowgoon Towers quite catchy… hmmmm)
  • Tag lines. I thought of a new one last week but have forgotten it. Suggestions please (although I do quite like the current ‘Reality is frequently inaccurate’).

That’s it.

For the moment.

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Men are deceived if they think themselves free, an opinion which consists only in this, that they are conscious of their actions and ignorant of the causes by which they are determined.

Benedict Spinoza

Discuss.

(Hey, this is as good as it’s gonna get today…)

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WOW, what a Super Bowl!!! I’ll let Jen fill you in on the details.

What do you mean you didn’t stay up to watch it? I managed it…

*yawns*

OK, I’m a little tired, but I’ve got three days of training to sit through so I figure a little snooze at the back of ‘class’ will suffice. I only hope I don’t fall asle…

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