Monthly Archives: July 2007

“Totally hopeless”

Well, this article sums up my three days of misery in an entirely objective way, L O L.

I should hasten to add that our (i.e. my) Oracle 10g upgrade was complete and available 2 hours before schedule. It was only then that we ran into, erm, memory problems on our production server, for which I am completely blame free. I was in from 00.00 – 18.30 on Sunday and 09.00 – 22.30 on Monday. And a Tuesday full of agony.

Normal service has resumed, Stu’s stress levels reduced significantly. Still, the article is pretty hilarious. 99% success?!

morning radio

radioSelecting a morning radio programme is tricky.

My 07:20 alarm needs to wake me up, but not instantly piss me off by filling my ears with drivel. You want to be welcomed gently into existence with something engaging and pleasant. Your first mood of the day is important.

To be honest all I really want is a good selection of music, and not some idiot twatting on. Just call out the name of the band then get the next record on, what’s so difficult?

So I haven’t touched BBC Radio 1 in a long time, not since the days of driving to Livingston every day.

For the last two years I’ve been faithful to BBC 6 Music. It’s a good station, if a bit self-satisfied (“closer… to the music that matters,” spoken in an overproduced blip-wank whisper) . Guy Garvey from Elbow has a two hour slot on Sunday nights, a balm for chapped heids. The super-early morning show is great (just music!). However the morning slot seems to be the fucking pleb zone for some reason.

Thus we get Shaun Keaveny and his infantile hospital-radio no-budget braindeath ‘games’: Cereal Killer and Knight Rider and Cheese Grater. The boy himself seems fairly switched on… I can only assume the cheap bastards are only allowed to play so many tracks per hour and he’s forced to generate all the fucking filler.

Reached my limit. Off.

Next: BBC Radio 2. Mistake. It’s the soundtrack to coma. Impossible to wake up to. Startingly random 80s ballads are pulled out and interspersed with weirdly obsessive traffic reports, every ten minutes. And the undulating rumble of Wogan.

So this week I switched to Virgin Xtreme. Downside: fucking radio adverts. Upside: some actually quite good music (so far). I was pleasantly woken up this morning by the first-hear of Thou Shalt Always Kill. Totally engaging, coming up from the sleepy depths.

As long as they don’t play more than three adverts in a row I reckon I can handle it.

addicted to my lap

So on Tuesday – XPS delivery day – I find myself running downstairs and checking all the intercoms for my flat to make sure they work. The delivery muppets don’t carry mobiles.

xpsAfter much nervous looking-out-of-the-window at engine noises, two boxes arrive at 11am. I’m guessing the flatter one is the laptop-lugging backpack. One swift Stanley-knifing and it is indeed a focknig huge, very nondescript black backpack. Standard issue Dell fodder.

(On a side note I recently found out that our Stanley knife is what they call a boxcutter in the US. One of the few cases where the roles are reversed and we Britons use a brand name instead of a generic name: see Scotch tape, Sharpie, Magic Marker, etc. They’re also handy for hijacking passenger jets.)

The Important Box doesn’t feel too heavy, a good sign.

After extrication the XPS is big. Much bigger than the work lappie. Black and silver. Super-shiny 17-inch screen with ultra-amazingness (or something).

The casing is pretty plasticky. In fact it’s pretty fucking ugly. LEDs shine out of every orifice.

However:

  1. Absolute silence reigns. Amazing.
  2. Horsepower. On every game I am able to casually select ‘Very High’ detail and the native LCD res, 1920×1200. Full HD gaming, by Jingo.

Not since the days of WoW have I risked addiction, but for this I’ve started a new Lord of the Rings Online career – it’s pretty special. Who needs a social life etc.

nintendo says you are a spastic

spazA quick one. If you hadn’t heard, Nintendo are withdrawing two games for use of ‘insensitive’ (i.e. hilarious) language.

The DS game Mind Quiz was withdrawn after a mother of a child with cerebral palsy complained about the game calling her “super spastic” when she didn’t score well. Here’s the story and here is the offending appraisal.

The Wii one is Mario Party 8 and is a bit odd, check out the screenshot for yourself.

My Favourite Lunchtime Cakes

1. Fudge Doughnut with creme anglaise (it’s not custard) – Greggs. These are an absolute revelation. Deep fried pastry nugget smothered in a good half-centimetre of unctuous fudgey goodness, penetrated by the hand of god and injected with dribbly manna. Should come with a government health warning.

2. Stromboli – Valvona and Crolla. Sorta the same as above but you can’t be seen wandering into my work with a Greggs bag too much or folks will think you’re a mink. Posh italian doughnut. Slightly denser, less icing. Lovely with a cup of tea.

3. Chocolate brownie – Boots. Oh my Jesus Christ, if you haven’t tasted these, you must. I’ve never had a better fudge brownie in my life. Crisp on the top with glorious chocolatey cobbles strewn over. You can fit a whole one in your mouth. Just. After doing so I get the Lazy Eye of Ecstasy as perfectly demonstrated by Antoine De Caunnes when Lolo used to sit on his lap during Eurotrash.

4. Bakewell Tart – M&S. The only condition under which I will ever eat almonds. Crisp, delicate pastry (its so hard to get that right), jammy perfection and that marzipany sponge stuff. I hate marzipan, but this is splendid, perversely.

what I done in my summer holidays

Finally got a handle on social events in London, but having a devil of a time organising people to go with. Partially due to my obscure tastes. Partially due to mostly everyone else sensibly existing in couples and my speculative +1 ticket doesn’t fit.

Went to see Robin Ince last week and he was clever, unexpectedly shouty and good. If you like science, then you will like Robin. That is my hypothesis.

Danny Wallace came along to join the hardcore audience, a good sign.

On Friday went to see Armando Iannucci and Mark Thomas doing some talking with their mouths about censorship, which was very funny. I had just rewatched the Armando Iannucci Shows from 2001 though so when he reused old material, I KNEW. Lazy Jock.

Got lightly crisped in Hyde Park on Saturday watching some men on bicycles. Touring France or something.

More comedy tonight, and then relaxment with Joan As Police Woman tomorrow.

And finally since I ordered the XPS my life has become an xkcd comic.

commuter series

New category started over on the joy of damage, which might resonate with anyone else who has spent too much time on trains. [Also note entries are fictional and not necessarily autobiographical - ed.]

If any small parts of tjod are entertaining or even slightly diverting then a wee comment there would be appreciated. Cheers.