February 19, 2003

Mobile control

Nearing the end of my mobile network transition, and my old phone isn't giving up without a fight: Left it at home for the first time today, sitting safe and secure in the middle of the desk. I came home to find it had throw itself onto the floor and into the middle of the room with the help of fifteen missed calls and four text messages. Obviously I forgot to give someone my new number.

Which not-quite-but-sort-of ties into an item on the BBC today, about how mobile phones are becoming essential to controlling our lives, both social and professional.

Evil things, mobiles. They've wormed their way into our lives and now we're so used to having them that we can't do without them. They're like watches. I feel naked without my watch. It's irrational: there are clocks everywhere these days, at home, at work, on public buildings. I don't need it, I hardly look at it these days, but my left arm just feels wrong without it. Just like my trouser pocket feels empty without my mobile. Grrr.

Teaching old bombs new tricks

Anyone else ever play R-Type on Nintendo? You used to be able to get power-ups for guns to turn them into homing bullets that go after the baddies? This reminds me of that...

The military have a mod kit to turn their regular bombs into 'smart bombs'. The modified bombs can be accurate to within 13 metres, the idea being to minimise civilian casualties in any potential upcoming conflict.

February 16, 2003

Asking for it

You can now rate greenhamster at Be gentle.

Long night

Feeling pants today. Yes, I'm complaining again. I woke up very late this morning (as in, about an hour ago) because creatures of various sorts kept descending out of the night to disturb me. And I do mean disturb.

First was the thing in the loft. I haven't mentioned the thing in the loft (hereafter to be referred to as 'the thing') before because I thought it had gone away, and I was just being childish and paranoid. The first night I heard it I thought it sounded like a bird or a bat that had gotten in through a gap in the roof tiles. So I went up there the next day to check it out and found...nothing. No bird, no bat, no nest. Heck, there was no gap.

But whatever it is, the thing keeps coming back. And it's getting louder. My imagination kicked in a few nights ago. If it wasn't a bird or a bat, what else could make a loud scutting noise and move all over the loft really, really quickly.

A spider. A spider the size of a puppy.

Well that was it. I wasn't going to get any rest with a giant arachnid running around above my head (which could possibly be my absolute worst nightmare). In the end I decided to name it 'Charlotte', after the spider in Charlottes Web, because that's probably the only nice fictional spider I've ever encountered. Mind you, I'll bet she wouldn't have been so friendly if she'd been big enough to eat Wilbur.

That racket, coupled with the the neighbours deciding to have a domestic at about 3 am and the drunken text messages from these jokers (see comments on previous posts for evidence) made for a thoroughly enjoyable night up. Coffee anyone?

February 14, 2003

'You're the worst character ever Towlie...'

Well, not any more.

South Park Dave

What I might look like if I lived in South Park.

This is what happens when you don't have a girlfriend on Valentines Day.

February 12, 2003


It's only the 12th, but today I'm having my single person rant about Valentines Day. Now, I know you all think you know what I'm going to say. You think I'm going to go on about how I despise the way the commercially fuelled sentimentality casts the dark materialistic shadow of consumerism over the genuine affection that people in love share for one another while further alienating those unfortunate enough not to have someone from the rest of happily attached society.

But I'm not.

Instead I'm going to complain about the timing of it this year. After all, I can live with the flowers, the candy and the cards. I can even live with those freaky disturbed soft toys, all brandishing stylised, furry representations of human organs, oozing repulsive cuddliness and dripping with treacly slogans. It's traditional, right?

But why does it have to be on a Friday? How unfair is that? The night for going out and celebrating surviving the week. But you won't be able to go to a restaurant, theatre or cinema this Friday without being surrounded by happy couples absorbed in each other's company. It's that feeling like being the proverbial odd wheel, only on one of those really big trucks. A nineteenth wheel, if you will.

I'm just being bitter really. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't deprive anyone of Valentines Day. It's a lovely idea that's unfortunately been corrupted by a bad case of corporate-Easter-bunny-syndrome.

So, anyone got any interesting plans for this Friday?

February 05, 2003

Shave or Die

Probably more scary than the fact that someone would commission a study into the correlation between Shaving, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke are the results:

According to American Journal of Epidemiology, men who don't shave on a daily basis are 70% more likely to die of a stroke than men who do, and a full 30% more likely to die for any reason. Any reason. This was even after the stats had been adjusted for 'lifestyle factors' for those who don't shave frequently: the stubbly guys are more likely to be single, have physical jobs and more likely to smoke.

I'm not too worried yet. I generally shave in the morning anyway: I find the threat of slicing my own face into a bloody mess before breakfast helps me wake up. But what about people who don't really need to shave every day? Should they be encouraged to drag a razor over their face in the morning anyway for fear of being struck down by some cruel and invisible 'smart casual' dress code?

If not shaving is enough to get you killed, I wonder what an absence of other grooming activities could do to your health?

February 02, 2003


My mobile defection is complete: I'm now the prowd owner of a shiny, silvery phone that flips open, does Java games and has a big colour screen. Oh, and it makes calls too. Bonus! I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get it to play the Death Star march from Star Wars in all it's ominous polyphonic glory.

Dum dum dumm dum de dumm, dum de dumm...

The downside, of course, is that now begins the arduous task of letting everyone know my new number. If I haven't given it you get and you think I should have then let me know.

So, generally a demoralising couple of days, topped off by the news that we're in for another six weeks of winter, according to the groundhog. Fortunately for us we don't have groundhogs over here. I suppose the nearest we'd get is a hedgehog, which'd probably give us better odds as they're small and so cast smaller shadows. I doubt they can manage more than a couple extra days of cold weather.

I suppose it hasn't been all bad. At least I got to do the Orange Rooms last night, which may well become a weekend favorite. Roll on Friday night...