Friday, 30 March 2007


Ho-hum, a friend of mine wasn't keen on seeing the film, '300', because from the promotions he saw, he thought it might be called 'zoo'. From the bloody motif, I can just imagine what such a film might be - a collation of video footage, of relevant events that have occurred; like the drunk Chinese guy who climbed into a panda enclosure to "give him a hug"; or the more intoxicated people in my own country, who broke into the zoo at night and fed the the lions.

The film tells a great story, but it tells it rather badly. There's a book called 'The Hot Gates' which relates it all so much better. Even though I enjoyed the film, it saddens me to think of the opportunity squandered (except for politically-convenient demonising of Persia).

Go and tell the medics,
stranger passing by,
that here,
inebriated beyond the law,
I lie.

Monday, 26 March 2007


It has come to my attention that one of my numerous reader (or maybe i am up to more than 1, now) has never seen snow, so it falls to me to describe it for her.

Each unique flake appears like a jagged circular blade, as if every one were designed to cut a different variety of timber / gemstone. Their menacing edges are matched only by the patterns of curious holes throughout their structures, which causes one to ponder what sinister motives had inspired their creators, the evil clouds.

On leaving their floating platforms of doom, up in the grey yonder, they dive and swirl inexorably downwards, hoping for an unlucky victim to break their deadly fall. In order to be more destructive, they form alliances, clustering together into unstoppable agglomerations. Many fail in their attack runs. Billions perish on the cold, hard earth, but some fateful few smack, sharply, into an unlucky victim, causing an unusual stinging sensation which, cumulatively, can build up into quite the irritation.

When their carcasses lie thickly strewn on the ground, they can be collected together, and with pressure, form an infinitely larger and more compact, spherical, vector of doom. Young people often reenect wars using such an arsenal; anachronistically, of course, since snowballs are a modern invention, just like the stalwart Snow Soldier (ironically referred to by the french as 'Bonhommes de neige').

My advice would be to remain, at all times, at least fifty feet from such frozen precipitation.

This is disagreeable

I'm sick; in a corporeal sense this time. It's not pleasant.
A friend of mine thought it would be a good idea to ingest absurd quantities of alcohol; a plan which, in hindsight, was myopic on a par with the charge of the light brigade.

"I'm still drunk." I observed, as I woke up yesterday morning. Staring, bleary-eyed, at the clock, I became alarmed. It was time my friend left to catch his bus. On closer inspection, I managed to identify the respective hands of the clock, and conclude that in fact it was not as late as I first thought. Having verbalised this train of thought, I asked my friend, asleep on the floor, why there was a large bin next to my bed. My sartorial condition, or lack thereof, was also puzzling to me, and neither portended well for the recollections to come. I consulted my memory.

There was a club. There may have been furries. I know there was beer. I checked the viscinity, and seeing no coat, was a little concerned. I tried to recall last seeing it, but the location and wellbeing of it did not rank highly on the list of priorities, for a memory that was at present having trouble ascertaining as to how I came to be in my current geographical location.

The last thing I remember is being helpfully instructed, by my loyal friend, to finish my drink (the last of MANY) because the place was closing, as evidenced by the increasingly empty room. I'm informed by him that we weren't too polite to the bouncers, as we were escorted out with acquiline vigilence. I remember going through the doors, into the night, and everything after that has been, fortunately, wiped from my memory. Thankfully, or not, there is pictorial and video evidence of the subsequent events.

What serendipitous eventualities lead to our returning to the correct address, I have no idea, so if anyone assisted two drunk, homeless-looking people, to stumble back from the university, I thank ye, and pity ye, in equal measure. The fact that we made it back at all both puzzles and astounds me.
I'm currently suffering the aftermath of perseverating, and irresponsibly ignoring the hangover yesterday. I feel like i've been masticated ponderously by a gaggle of octagenarians, before being spat out, at a herd of stampeding buffalo...or somesuch.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Perseveration in the face of adversity

My adventures in the Lake district can be summarised by my discovery that hiking up a hillside in driving snow is the epitomy of futility, especially considering it was largely so as to see the wonderful views for which the area is famous.

The thing about snow storms is that they tend to limit visibility somewhat, not to mention the fact that wind speeds seem to increase exponentially with height, so that if the landscape is not obscured by vegetation, you're so exposed as to make any viewing of it prohibitive.
The picture, consequently, was taken blind, from the lee side of an umbrella. The view is amazing. Probably. There is also the factor to consider, that the higher you journey, the more the path down will have acquired the consistency of stone-punctuated soup.
Nonetheless, tis a pretty place when it isn't precipitating, but what they do to the Guinness there, i shudder to think; it's undrinkable.

Friday, 16 March 2007

La Feile Padraig

Due to lack of forethought, i'm spending St Patrick's day in the Lake District, with a group of people who I not only don't know, but to whom the differences between 'English' and 'Irish' are largely academic. Ho-hum.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Salvation is a nine-letter word

but it can also be spelled "".
Thanks to those nice people, my computer is cured.
Those things are like an insipid Japanese Knotweed - you cut it down, and it springs back again stronger than ever. It's like having a computer possessed - but no amount of theological yammering can exorcise it.

Of course, back in the good old days, there was none of this. We'd all be better off if we'd just stuck with Ataris, and BBC Micros. I wonder how many people remember those, now.

How many hours of fun I wiled away with my good friend, Podd. Of course, he wasn't just my friend - the entire class got to play with him; but I liked to think he and I had a special relationship. I'm sure I used the 'Podd explode" command proportionally less than others, if only out of a fear that one day, he might not recover. There was always that interminable moment after someone had dared to risk the humble, scarlet, Humpty-Dumpty doppleganger; as fragments of our long-suffering protagonist rebounded around the screen, I waited with bated breath, hoping that he would find the strength, the will, to coalesce once more.

Ah, the world is a poorer place, without Podd around. And what do we have instead?

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Still Infected

Why is it that those organising social functions believe that their quality is measured in how far they exceed legal decibel levels? As if you can only have a good time if you not only can't hear what others are saying, but can't even tell that you're shouting except for the fact that your throat hurts.
When i got back, my ears were ringing. Loudly. Or I thought they were, until I left the room and it stopped. Damn stupid heating system.

I'm in a frustrated mood - my darling pooter is still infected with greeks in a wooden box. I've acquired a smorgasbord of anti-viral software, since my last attempt was insufficient. Hopefully, if I use them all at once, one of them will prove to be a magic bullet (but not two, because then they might cancel out eachother, or realise their bargaining power, form a union, and go on strike).

You may think this is irrelevant to your life, but the fact is, if some vestige of the bastiddy thing survives all that medication, we'll have a mutated, immune strain on our hands (like M.R.S.A.), and we'll all be doomed. A.T.M.s will start dispensing I.O.U.s; television channels will run nothing but reruns of Neighbours, and the world as we know it will be over.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Afflicted by a wooden, hoplite-filled, equine effigy

I'm sick. That is to say, I have an infection, or rather my computer does (the distinction between us blurred long ago). As you might guess, the interloper in question is a trojan horse. It's currently only being kept at bay by my trusty firewall, but it's only a matter of time before those nasty greeks start a bucket-chain and douse it with water. Virtual water. Then, my ports will be wide open to the world. Actually, I don't understand these things as well as I should, but ho-hum, it is a problem. I've acquired several antiviral programs, and i'm planning to use them all at once like an amateur antibiotic experiment, except, of course, not.
Yes, my problems are enormous.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

All your base...

Those familiar with the internet meme will no doubt cringe at this, and those unfamiliar with it will respond with universal confusion and / or indifference. All the same, in the spirit of pertinacity, I present the following:

[With the caveat that it is a minor spoiler for the (wonderful) series 'Heroes', and is therefore linked to, so that viewing of it is left it to your discretion]


Having now posted that, I would like to divest myself of all involvement and reserve the right, in future, to antipodally distance myself from it.
On the off chance that you actually desire an explanation, I would first caution you against further exploration of the issue, and only after much importuning, acquiesce and point you here, here, or succinctly here.

Friday, 9 March 2007

The bane of my existence (well, one of them)

I had a heavy statistics class today, for a biology module i'm studying. I understand the basic concept under examination, but not how the formulae relate to it. One interesting thought did occur to me though:

Mathematicians must get confused, looking at properly-constructed sentences; in this case, they might attempt to subtract the latter half of this sentence from the former, due to the presence of a hyphen (brackets would likely confuse them too, if there was no evident transformation of their contents).

Semi-colons would probably be taken as a combination of sub-and super-script, denoting that 'prime' label, and suchlike.

To my mind, mathematics should be entirely relegated, to be solely the preserve of computers; allowing us to get on with our lives in peace, free from numerical tyranny. All algebraic substitutions of letters for numbers could then be safely outlawed, so as to prevent the illusory and disappointing similitude between ugly mathmatical statements and beauteous lexemes, which i love so very much.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

The morning after...

Sunlight and acrid vehicular fumes assailed my senses, dazzling me, and churning my stomach, as, vacillating slightly, I stepped out into the unforgiving day. Hostile glances from passers-by confirmed that my bedraggled appearance was not going unnoticed, and I was sure I looked as bad as I felt; which is saying a lot. My mind drifted for a time, and as my consciousness returned, it occurred to me that I had been circumambulating for an indeterminable period. Thick, pungent odours wafted out from a nearby curry-house, and whatever foul concoction had passed my lips the night before now threatened to do so again. I retreated down a side-alley; a sanctuary from the stares, the glare, and the blare of the street. My thoughts came in circuitous jumbles, each more tangled and hazy than the last. I urgently, medically, needed SOMETHING, and the rasping of my tongue against my parched mouth indicated what that might be.

Disappointment. A tactile examination of my pockets revealed that the vendors I had passed would not be of willing assistance in this matter, as I lacked the necessary funds. This may have been just as well, since I also lacked any kind of identification that might confirm me to be human, and since the most expressive verbalisation I was presently capable of was a polite grunt, any attempt at purchasing a drink would most likely result in a hasty call to the R.S.P.C.A.
Euphoria. Salvation was an empyreal, celestial vision of a questionably-placed, and rather rusty faucet. As a wanderer in the desert collapses at an oasis, so I now fell to my knees at this veritably God-sent shrine. A creak and an agonising wait later, I was gorging myself on rust-flavoured ambrosia. even my importunate stomach was silenced for a time by this divine, heavenly elixer.

A pulchritudinous young woman stood, silhouetted against the entrance to the alleyway.
"Are you ok?" she asked reluctantly, poised to withdraw rapidly if this apparition turned violent.
Her appearance caused several different modalities to activate simultaneously, and in my addled state, the central executive charged with ordering them, under certain models of thought processing, was A.W.O.L. Some instinctive brain regions were registering alarm and recommending I take flight, while other equally primitive regions were suggesting that fornication would be an agreeable course of action. Many mental components could not offer a coherant course of action, but thought it prudent to chime in all the same, to add to the overall cognitive kaleidoscope. Before any of these could formulate a response, though, my vocal cords elected to act unilaterally.
"hhhgghhh?" I ventured.

The woman looked cautiously from side to side, before declaiming,
"Ok, then, you have a nice day!" and beating a hasty retreat.

A curious sensation crept over me, sweeping in a wave from my abdomen to the extremities and advising that I should conceal myself, or failing that, appear as small as conceivably possible.
Embarassment. Horray - my powers of deduction were beginning to return, but...oh; the emotion penetrated the higher regions of my cortex.

Monday, 5 March 2007

The alchemical process for turning lead into gold

Well, no, not really. I've just been informed that it's about time I updated; hmm, I suppose that's true.

There was an eclipse of the moon the other night, which I was informed of while at a rather entertaining function. I left the function room, to observe it from the steps of the building, where many people were talking / inhaling from cylindrical carcinogenic materials. After a while, they fell silent as they wondered what it was that the curious-looking fellows were staring at, up in the sky. Contrary to popular superstition, there were no supernatural occurences coinciding with the event, but it was somewhat preternatural, an occasion worth commemorating.

The picture is, incidentally, available in several different flavours. Most onlookers weren't quite impressed by the series of people jumping on the wall to have their photo taken with the more visible of our two natural satellites (yes, we have another, discovered about 10 years ago - it's called 'Cruithne', which is an Irish word, apparantly; I have to find out what that means some day).