Sunday, December 19, 2004

Charybdis - Oooh, Trillian 3.0 says:
Somewhere, on this shining blue and green marble we call Earth, someone has sat down and decided to create Christmas With The Kranks ham?

The Onion AV Club have done good.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Oh. Great.
Let the truth be known:

25 Years of Christmas No. 1's

1979 Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
1980 Just Like Starting Over - John Lennon
1981 Don't You Want Me - Human League
1982 Save Your Love For Me - Rene and Renata
1983 Only You - The Flying Pickets
1984 Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
1985 Saving All My Love For You - Witney Houston
1986 Caravan of Love - The Housemartins
1987 Always On My Mind - The Pet Shop Boys
1988 Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard
1989 Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid II
1990 Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
1991 Bohemian Rhapsody / Last Days Of Our Lives - Queen
1992 I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
1993 Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
1994 Stay Another Day - East 17
1995 Earth Song - Michael Jackson
1996 2 become 1 - The Spice Girls
1997 Too Much - The Spice Girls
1998 Goodbye - The Spice Girls
1999 Seasons In the Sun / I have a Dream - Westlife
2000 Can We Fix It? - Bob The Builder
2001 Somethin' Stupid - Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman
2002 Sound Of The Undergroud - Girls Aloud
2003 Mad World - Michael Andrews / Gary Jules

Three fucking Spice girls songs IN A ROW. And to I think I thought the inevitable death of popular culture was a recent fact.

Unlerelated note: There's nothing like typing out every year of your life to make you realise that you are too damn old gah death is upon me.
Blimey. Penny Arcarde managed to do two decent strips in a row. Back on form now, though.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Internet Is Great

Skullcrusher Mountain [Feat. Mp3 download]

Welcome to my secret lair on Skullcrusher Mountain
I hope that you've enjoyed your stay so far
I see you've met my assistant Scarface
His appearance is quite disturbing
But I assure you he's harmless enough
He's a sweetheart, calls me master
And he has a way of finding pretty things and bringing them to me

I'm so into you
But I'm way too smart for you
Even my henchmen think I'm crazy
I'm not surprised that you agree
If you could find some way to be
A little bit less afraid of me
You'd see the voices that control me from inside my head
Say I shouldn't kill you yet

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don't like it
What's with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don't like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

I'm so into you
But I'm way too smart for you
Even my henchmen think I'm crazy
I'm not surprised that you agree
If you could find some way to be
A little bit less afraid of me
You'd see the voices that control me from inside my head
Say I shouldn't kill you yet

Picture the two of us alone inside my golden submarine
While up above the waves my doomsday squad ignites the atmosphere
And all the fools who live their foolish lives may find it quite explosive
But it won't mean half as much to me if I don't have you here

You know it isn't easy living here on Skullcrusher Mountain
Maybe you could cut me just a little slack
Would it kill you to be civil?
I've been patient, I've been gracious
And this mountain is covered with wolves
Hear them howling, my hungry children
Maybe you should stay and have another drink and think about me and you

I'm so into you
But I'm way too smart for you
Even my henchmen think I'm crazy
I'm not surprised that you agree
If you could find some way to be
A little bit less afraid of me
You'd see the voices that control me from inside my head
Say I shouldn't kill you yet
I shouldn't kill you yet
I shouldn't kill you yet


What worries me is that this is going to sit on my hard drive until I attempt to be all modern and use my PC for a jukebox. Then it'll come on during a party and people will think I am very strange indeed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Learning Can Be Fun

Sing-a-long-a Science. Top pick: Nucleus I Like The Best. The seque from moody acoustic to chemistry rap is really quite something.
Five Sporting Events I Have Witnessed Live

1. International Rugby League
2. Second-division football
3. Monster truck racing
4. County Fencing
5. County Remote-control car racing

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Could it be that time again? Why yes, I think so. Put your hands together and your jaw agape for despair-inducing forum post of the week!

"if they are lieng, and I dont want this to sound gayu for all you queer faggots, but if they are lieng im finding them and cutting there god damn sac off"

Thankyou, Nova-Inside.com! I dare not click on the link and see what this incisive intellect mustered for his other 289 posts, but I'm sure you'll make them public in time.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Happy Whatever

Okay, I can understand how it's possible to dedicate an entire shop to birthdays. They're hard to avoid, often expensive, and regularly addressed in the sort of last-minute rush - at least, they are when I'm responding to them. I can't understand, however, how it's possible that it's possible to fill said shop with shitty, shitty cards and a load of emotionally void, officially-licensed crap barely fit for giving to a disliked co-worker. I can't think of anything more likely to detract from your anniversary enjoyment than the knowledge that your pastel-shade, mawkish card and "comedy" T-shirt clad toy monkey came from such a barren place.

My quest having lead me to the exponentially superior but still disappointing shelves of WH Smith hy are there no funny cards any more? The On-The-Ceiling stuff was funny when it first came out which was oh, five years ago. Now it's tired and old and everybody's seen it, a status that its callow pretenders - poorly-Photoshopped animal photos and unfunny digs at knitwear catalogues - achieved almost immediately. I'm sick and tired of those bloody penguins, too. Can't the designers just admit that once everybody's seen your witticism it's time to get a new one, or are they forbidden by the goons of the Hallmark Cartel?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Science: great. As are the New Scientist headline-writers. I'm increasingly fascinated by what a ridiculous animal the platypus is; Gril contends that it's proof of the existence of God, which has a certain Pratchett-esque appeal...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Tech knowledge: Low, red

I suppose this shouldn't come as any surprise at all, but dear God, the Sims 2 community offers some of the most idiotic technical support information known to humanity. Consider this:

"I see alot of people having issues w gameplay etc. I had the same issues such as VERY slow, choppy, and just poor performance in general. As of last night the game runs perfectly and Id like to share the steps I took to achieve this and hope it helps a few people... The 1st thing I did was went out and bought a ATI AGP Radeon 9200 Video Card... Next I bought a AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU. That made a VERY Nice improvement, however I found out my motherboard was clocked at 100Mhz NOT 133Mhz. I set the jumper to 133Mhz and WOW!!! Now my PC133 RAM is clocked properley, and with this new Athlon Chip this game is AWESOME!!"

So you bought a new video card and a new processor, and it magically improved performance! Please stop affecting any level of tech-support knowledge now, please.
See? See?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

One of the reasons why I find software development interesting and nobody else does, ever

"During the run-up to Windows XP Service Pack 2 Beta in December of last year, there was a list of five bugs that the release management team decided were so critical that they were going to slip the beta until those bugs got fixed.

The third bug on the list: Deer Hunter 4 won't run."

I like Mr Chen.
Don't fancy yours much

Well, the pay may be low, but at least I can hold down a brief conversation about my job without saying the word "brand" 35 times.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004



Oh, great. What an utter waste of precious resources.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Wow. Virtual schizophrenia in Second Life.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Friday, September 03, 2004

Something I feel compelled to note: I contributed to Defective Yeti's Tricks of the Trade piece, and was actually included. As the "auto mechanic", no less. Fame! No doubt inspired by my devastatingly illuminating contribution, he's now turned it into a website and (predictably) a potential book. More power to him, say I. Please do swing by and contribute; I'd add some more but I think it would probably dangerous to start making comments about jobs I still hold in some form.
Well, y'see, it really does look like shit. I am aware of the slavish devotion to style that informs this, but slavish adulation something that looks like a really cheap, crappy, Taiwanese monitor isn't that cool.

The cognitive dissonance is really quite fascinating, though.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It would appear that in America, Nintendos grow on trees.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Metacritic for the masses

New game: blog review revue! Simply install the Google Toolbar, head to your film of choice on the IMDB, and then right-click > Backward Links to see what the internet has to say about it. Naturally, it's all bloggers because they're the only ones who'd bother hot-linking the IMDB.

No need to thank me, I do this for the greater good.
The Onion isn't keeping up

City officials hope the effort will ensure that the rallies are calm and, at the same time, contribute to the economy.
It's late. I'm tired.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Defective Yeti has got it all worked out. I'd put some very safe money on the Shitload Of Nazis getting to the final, because frankly those bastards will never, ever, fall off the list of Handy Movie Bad Guys. Aliens, now - a spot of makeup and a romantic backstory and you've got something Nora Ephron could be persuaded to get involved with...
Highly original

Saw The Bourne Supremacy last night, unusually going on a whim and on my own. I'm quite fond of the original, so I'm pleased to report that the character and the franchise are still interesting and I can't see any reason why there won't be another film. The director, however, should be signing a contract right now to swear that he won't direct it. The camerawork is a largely unbroken stream of nauseating jump cuts between handheld viewpoints, giving a viewing experience akin to falling down a very long flight of randomly-located mid-European stairs while cars explode around you. This has the further negative consequence that the cast become so excited at the rare event of being in front of a fixed camera, they ham it up something rotten - enabling a noticeably weaker script to shine through.

Handily, I wasn't expecting it to be anything other than some solid spy-film nonsense, so it succeeded on most counts. I just hope they send the director back to making pop videos and get somebody who knows a bit about actual cinema to do the next one. Wow, what an authentically snobby internet remark.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

And they make such loyal pets

I can't tell you how delighted I am to discover that there exists a store called Lobsters Online. Suddenly the dotcom boom seems more plausible.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Snakebite

Man. Darwinia is going to be a hit in the random-visuals-to-project-on-the-wall-of-crappy-nightclubs stakes, depend upon it. Introversion should pre-empt this and start chasing painfully hip nightclubs to use it instead.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Learn To Read

Red dead. No revolver involved.

I find repeating this phrase enormously entertaining, to the bemusement of all others. Clearly some sort of long-dormant Dr. Seuss appreciation bubbling to the surface.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Best RPG ever. Any online game in which the Ghost Of The English Language appears and demands you avenge his death gets my vote.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I was privy to this storm too. Except I wasn't sat there with my keyboard ready, oh no - I was in bed, cursing the hours of the previous day spent dozing and the idiot phone call at 2 am which meant I was lying half-awake with a hideous amount of work to do and then the Apocalypse started and I had to pretty much give up on the idea of sleep entirely. Tuesday wasn't much fun.

I was too scared to go out on the balcony and watch, because there's a metal handrail and I live on a hill, but I did get up and take time out from cursing to watch. It really was very impressive.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Last night's Tim-moves-in-Tim-moves-out-Chrissy-moves-in-Chrissy-moves-out-John-moves-in party (a Flatmate Flux Festival, as I've just randomly termed it) went well, I believe. My memories are uncertain as I managed to fall asleep for a large part of it, although everbody gamely kept me involved in proceedings by throwing things at my face and draping bits of paper on my head. I'm reasonably sure a good time was had by all, with the exception of the woman next door who appears to be possessed of the same humanity deficiency as the woman downstairs. I do hope they don't form an alliance. Plenty of booze left this morning, which should help to sooth the pangs of Chrissy's absence.

Today I went for lunch with Dan, after which we sat on a canal bank and I had my umpteenth revelation that perhaps the Real World may have an edge over being slumped in front of a computer. I have since returned, finished reading the not-terribly-good The Drowned World and have discovered around 35,000 people doing unspeakable things on Bittorrent. I've swiftly resolved the question of whether to join them; my conscience remains untroubled, but it's really dragging down my browsing speed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Something for the weekend

A nice two days down South. I slipped away for a drink on Saturday night only to finish up describing endless circles of the New Forest searching for a free camping spot, during the course of which I discovered that the ebaymobile is tolerably quick off the mark but appalling at going round corners. I keep forgetting to check if the front offside mudflap is still in place; I caught it and a goodly amount of surrounding floorpan area quite hard on a roundabout in Totton. Still not sure if I should keep the car, although everybody does seem to agree that it's "cool". I'd feel happier if it hadn't developed a worrying tappety noise on the way down from Manchester.

Anyway, the New Forest is, it transpires, totally booked for a radius of five miles in each direction, so we gave up and went to Southampton where I drank beer and played Project Gotham 2 until six in the morning. Sunday brought a bit more PGR2, a spot of Family Guy, and some impromptu cricket using a child's bat, a tennis ball, and an elaborate scoring system built around the fact we were playing in an extremely cluttered living room filled with empty beer cans and sports equipment. I hit three sixes, but had to stop before the neighbours complained.
Just another day in the office. I'd have waved if I'd known they were filming.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Gah, I'm bored now. Flatmate is away this weekend, so I'm sat surrounded by laptops processing gibberish and reading nonsense on the internet. Worryingly, the only twoactivities that appeal are risky without being exciting. I'm strongly tempted to go somewhere in my new, uninsured car around a bit so that I can revel in the fact that it's different from my old one. The tragedy comes from the fact that I believe it to be cool, and thus an inner voice is desperately attempting to convince the embittered majority of my soul that the cool will transfer itself to me.

It's not winning at present because frankly, the rest of my inner voices know damn well that a skinny bespectacled man is going to have to try a lot harder than sitting in a 20-year old, slightly piebald BMW with an engine that sounds like one of the pistons is trying to beat its way out. Perhaps this is the source of the other activity that for some reason strikes me as appealing: smoking.
Note to self: Less work. More life.



It's been a slow day. I'm currently benchmarking laptops for a group
test, which has proved to be foolish not only thanks to the amount of
time it will take up, but also for being on battery life. If my thought
processes had made those crucial few extra cycles then I wouldn't have
taken it on or would have done the bulk of it at work; now I'm at the
weekend before the deadline with eight of the fuckers slurping greedily
on my electricity bill. In a flat with 60's-era electrics and buzzing
plug sockets, I might add. Still, they're churning out numbers happily
enough, and there's nothing like five screens counting down minutes and
seconds to really focus the mind on doing something - anything -
different with my free time.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Double Negative

I was going to mention this anyway, given my ongoing fascination
with Bath Chronicle newsboards, but Richard has kindly supplied a photo:



This will, I hope, go some way towards explaining the fact that whenever my walk into work takes me past one of these boards, the theme music to the League of Gentlemen pops into my head.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Low Cost Cruse Missile
Man screwed by government, offers freelance weapons design. Fuck me. (Thanks to Richard for the link)

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Coca Cola's Plan: Just Say No - To Drinking Tap Water

God, I hate capitalism. And reverse osmosis? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Turbulence

The main entree (eggs) should be at the six o'clock position... the salt should be placed to the right of the pepper. Remember, kids, if you serve 7-up unsolicited then you might as well just help the terrorists into the cabin.
Points of Entry

Among the ideas tossed out were “When you don’t know who your baby’s daddy is” and “When you and your daughter are pregnant at the same time. Now that's a specialist magazine.
Smells like what, now?

I don't really remember being young, much. I remember events, obviously, but never any real sense of energy, potential, emotional turmoil or any of that stuff that's supposed to be such a stand-out. I don't know if it's because it never happened, or whether it was so unpleasant I chose to forget it. Either seems possible.

In other news, Nedroid is really rather charming.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Petite Prix

Christ, how many regional film festivals are there, now? I've just watched a movie trailer that spooled through five different cities within the same Cannes-ripoff logo.

Perhaps that's how exclusivity is maintained; any town with a name too long to comfortably fit in the logo can't have a film festival. Best stick with the groundhog, Punxsutawney.
Dangerous Structure

There are plenty of websites out there dedicated to derelict buildings - I can't be arsed to dredge through boingboing and find them, but rest assured that the internet is never going to want for creepy, abandoned cities that somehow everybody just managed to walk away from. Thing is, vast tracts of the internet are like that too - I keep drifting into what were once thriving communities, and now it's all dead links, expired domain names and only the haunting, robotic presence of Lycos popup windows (themselves facing extinction) and long-dead counter utilities waiting for viewers who never come any more. Weird that the whole edifice can just crumble like that. I wonder if there are still people clinging on to spam-infested mailiing lists and long-dead news sites somewhere, hoping it'll all spring back to life again. Probably would have made a nice story in 1998.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Misc. Sund.

Two points I wish to make, both firmly rooted in the WHYGODWHY area of my brain:

1. Driv3r (Xbox) is really, really bad. Atrocious, in fact. It combines the most infuriating aspects of the first game with a ham-fisted bodgery of GTA3, and offers quite the least fun I believe I've ever had from a driving game. God alone knows what the kiddies who've been sucking up all the hype will think.

2. Oh, just fuck off. Vehicles of this type should only rise from the garages of men with masculinity issues and far too much time on their hands. Mass-producing something so utterly, pointlessly, wasteful is so idiotic I get depressed just thinking about it.

That's all. I might get some sleep now, before getting tonight's work under way.
Primal Scream

He and a small circle of sound effects people, including myself and Richard Anderson, continue the crusade to keep Wilhelm alive. The Whilhelm Scream continues to be heard in new films every year.

Excellent. Now that I've read this I'm convinced I've noticed it before, but I suspect it's probably congnitive dissonance.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Crash Testing: MINI Cooper vs Ford F150




Let's see where your ability to block two parking spaces gets you now. Obvious but nevertheless noteworthy commentary on the rise of the SUV in the New Yorker article linked.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Homer, as referenced in the IMDB. Quality.
Postcards From The Gamer

Ahaha. I am funny.

1. Don't like this new Blogger template. Yet.
2. Links 2003 is way more entertaining than I ever would have expected.
3. EA and XBox Live. Woooo.
4. There is no finer way to build business relationships than getting deeply wasted in another country.
5. That conversation tonight was horrifying and wrong even before we unwittingly involved that poor bastard sat on the adjacent table, who had the terrible misfortune to turn round when he heard the word "circumcision". Readers shouldn't have this kind of power.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Dear World

For the love of God, please shut up about the iPod. It is indeed very pretty, very useful and a wonderful piece of consumer technology but it is also very expensive, largely devoid of real technological innovation, and everybody has got one. There are thousands of bloody digital music players in existence - there is absolutely no need to keep harping on about this one and the sheer weight of idiots giving Apple yet more slavish, witless and largely uninformed free advertising is starting to drive me insane. Yes, it's great, no, it's not exciting, and no I don't want see another bloody article that somehow didn't find room to mention the dozens of other devices on the market in between the exhaustive fellatio of Steve fucking Jobs. HE IS MERELY FLESH AND BLOOD and it is MERELY WHITE PLASTIC. Moses had a space on one of his stone slabs for this sort of behaviour, you know.
Trucker concocts superbug killing cream in his garage Brilliant.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

One Day, I Will Make My Own Entertaining Content

Until then, I shall merely link to other, more entertaining people instead. And change my Yahoo Messenger status to "innocent"

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Bibliomancy

The key here is choosing the right book. I tried it with Hop on Pop and my fortune is apparently "Eat a snack." Eerily accurate, if not precisely earth-shaking. Bad books for bibliomancy include Carrie, Left Behind, and the collected works of Hunter S. Thompson.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Busted

Well, I guess that'll teach me to include links. Goddamn server referrals.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Lullabies For The Uncomprehending

Lullaby
And goodnight
La la blah blah
Blah something
I think this song
Is in German
Eins zwei drei vier funf
Bratwurst

Girls gone wild
Where's the beef?
I've got Pacman fever
Four score and
Seven years
Bingo was his name-oh.

...No, for real
Go to sleep
Or we'll sell you
On E-bay ...


On a more worrying note, there now exists a book that consists of nothing but premium-cut blog entries. I expect it will be bought by bloggers in their thousands who will then point at it's sales success as Irrefutable Proof That Blogging Is The Future Of Media, seemingly in a totally irony-free fashion.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

ADD

Damn it. I got all fired up last week about the end of the world and how we're all going to be living in oil-starved anarchy within the next 20 years, and then I do absolutely nothing about it, let it slip out of my mind care of that charming cognitive-dissonance trick I do so well, and now I log on again to bitch about this week's cause celebre: everybody else is in the World of Warcraft beta and I'm not. God, I'm shallow.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Well, that's that then

It would appear that we're all totally fucked. Utterly and completely, grow-your-own veg time. Hooray.

Monday, March 15, 2004

All things in moderation

Best forum moderation ever (I paraphrase):

"I suppose so. Now just fuck off and let me do some work. If you don't stop this petty whinging I'm going to ban you. Permanently. Seriously. And if you don't leave me alone I'm going to come down the phone line and rape your sister."

Oh, it's beautiful.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Just in case he deletes it again:: "Some days I really wonder if the Videogame industry deserves to live or should just curl up in a ball and die, lie ignored for a decade or so and then let someone else have a crack at resurrecting the concept."

Friday, January 30, 2004

Top newsboard headline from the non-more-small town rag that serves the greater Bath area:

"Spa fiasco - everybody blamed"

That should draw a line under everything, then. God bless the press.
"Porneoke" had a good few months, during which Hal Robins memorably performed "Monster Mash" in front of a tape of fornicating dwarfs. What a very strange place San Francisco is. I must visit.

EDIT: Holy shit, this dude did the voices for Half-Life too. That's pretty unexpected.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Kieron likes music workblog: "The Commies – and if there were ever a band who really shouldn’t be referred to by a diminution of their name it’s these serious Oxford Ex-student types – dominated the spring, only to make a return as the seasons turned in winter. I ended up distributing it to Jim and Walker towards the close and had the following conversation about Holomovement…

Jim: very good
Kieron: I used to walk listening to that on the walk from my Oldfield Park flat and work.
Kieron: It turned the world into clockwork
Jim: no wonder you were spaceman in the mornings
Kieron: Yeah
Kieron: And on the way back from the pub it did similar tricks.
Kieron: The dark clouds run their fingers along the sky's thighs
Kieron: The amber streetlights stand guard on the roads frontiers.
Kieron: I cross their borders, feeling the car's wakes slide past me.
Jim: that means you are gay"