Archive for February, 2004

Black bean chile penguin sauce

A delicacy that I picked up in a Chinese supermarket this afternoon.

Tso Hin Kee Penguin Sauce

It’s actually made in the USA. What confuses me is that it is clearly a penguin, but it’s in a distinctly non-penguin environment. It’s on its own, too. I think it is very lost, though it looks cheerful enough. I shall be writing to Tso Hin Kee Comdiments in Henrietta, NY, asking them where their penguin is and whether it needs directions. I know that it’s hard to unfold a map with flippers.

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Rail furniture from Norristown

It may seem boring to you but I like this sort of thing.

2004_02_28_Norristown_TC_2.JPG (15K) » Continue reading “Rail furniture from Norristown”

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Continuing the series

another fraction.jpg

This time, the fraction is not vulgar at all. Very polite in fact, studied in all the gentlemanly arts. No, not those. Just down the platform from of is a couple with a small rowdy boy, running around kicking things, though this is not strictly relevant.

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Another reason why Bush wouldn’t get my vote, even if I had a vote, which I don’t

dollar vs pound graph

1 USD in USD
British Pound 0.538358 1.8575

I’m going to England for a bit next month. I expect the exchange rate will have hit 1 UKP = $2 by then. It’s not like anything’s cheap there, either. At this rate, I won’t even be earning any more money than I was there by the end of the year. I transferred a grand to my UK account recently and it only just put me back in the black.

I wish I’d paid off my student loan while the dollar was still relatively strong. Well, I wish I’d been able to afford to pay it off.

I can’t help thinking that as an international no-mates sell-out, I should at least have the opportunity to light cigars with wads of cash when I do go back. On the other hand, if I translate the prices of everything into pounds (a habit which I’ve got out of, but which I could get back into if pushed) I can keep looking at things here and thinking “wow, that’s cheap!”

Yes, I know. Just bitter whinging. Ignore me. I’m hardly on the breadline.

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Can’t be trusted

Do you ever get the feeling that people are planting things in your fridge?

I got up this morning and found that I had no orange juice, but I did have a half-full bottle of mocha Frappuccino. Basically this is a caffeine milkshake; the bottled versions don’t even pretend to be coffee drinks. But what’s wrong with a caffeine milkshake, apart from it costing too much? It’s what you need in the morning – water, calcium, probably some vitamins of some sort maybe, and most importantly simple carbohydrates and stimulants to enable you to ignore your mind and body telling you not go to work for long enough for you to get to work.

A memory popped up of me buying it, drinking some and putting the rest in the fridge, so I took a short swig, then remembered that that hadn’t been my fridge but the work fridge. Where I’d bought it. At work. And that one had been vanilla, not mocha, anyway.

Suspicion overcame me. This was a unsourced coffee-flavoured beverage. It might be months old. The CIA might have poisoned it and hidden it behind the bread. I poured out the rest of the bottle into the sink.

On Wednesday evening I forgot about twelve dollars’ worth of Orange Roughy, and had to throw it away.

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More bad maths

more bad maths.jpg

A vulgar fraction, this time. Okay, not technically incorrect, but inscribing vulgarities in a public place… Not on, old chap.

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Gay Penguin For America

The latest management theories apparently mandate the installation of penguin-filtering software on my machine, but Eurotrash comes to the rescue with

Gay Penguin For America

At his speech, Gay Penguin, though saying nothing but “scraaaawk” for over a half an hour, underlined the distinctions between himself and incumbent President, George W Bush.

“I know he didn’t say anything, because he’s only a penguin with no speaking ability whatsoever,” remarked Jessica Kac, a local student, “But he ran circles around Bush on ‘Meet the Press’ last week. And Gay Penguins policies make a lot more sense.”

While obviously I wish I’d thought of it first, I didn’t, and I have to accept that. So I’m linking to it instead. Gay penguins are the future, you know.

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Grey Tuesday, part two

The protesters billed the event as “Grey Tuesday,” calling it “a day of coordinated civil disobedience,” during which more than 150 sites offered the album for download. Recording industry lawyers saw it as 24 hours of mass copyright infringement and sent letters to the Web sites demanding that they not follow through on the protest.

On Monday, I uploaded the various tracks (sorry, tracks 11 and 12 didn’t upload properly, I hope the 160-odd people looking for them were able to find them elsewhere) and, thinking this might bump up my data transfer a little, added what I thought was a generous five gigs. That ought to be enough.

This morning I got to work and found that my account had been suspended for excessive data transfer. I estimate around 960 tracks were downloaded from this site alone, plus some this morning which I’m not counting. (A number failed or people gave up.) I got four hundred and four referrals from, so it wasn’t just the fault of regulars. Hello, any people who found this site there and are still reading… comment, go on, you know you want to.

There’s going to be a follow-up NYT article, which I contributed my figures to. I said in my email:

The Grey Album has cost me many times more than buying a CD, but the money’s not the issue. It’s creativity, and who gets to decide what the public domain is. I’m glad to have participated, as well as hopefully gotten some people to listen to some good hip hop.

I hope anyone who got tracks from this site enjoyed them, because I think it’s some cracking music frankly. If you still want to download, there are still links in the sidebar on the main page.

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From Reading Terminal Market

bronze pig.jpg

A large bronze pig, standing on a transparent box full of money. I nearly left my Orange Roughy behind at the fish counter.

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No, Actually, Don’t

On second thoughts, I think it is a bad idea to talk about B*sh and his C*nstitutional Am*ndment at all, and I do not want him to continue doing it. I’ve decided that it’s more important to make sure he doesn’t sidestep the whole “invading another country based on a load of bullshit” issue. People really, truly are getting a lot more worked up by whether it’s okay for two gentlemen to be betrothed than the matter of cluster-bombing residential areas. If Bush becomes the President who was voted out because of gay marriage, rather than the President who was voted out because his administration invaded another country for no reason apart from “we want it”, that would be a bad, bad thing.

If he loses, doubtless he will become another President who was voted out because of the economy, thus proving yet again that you can get away with pretty much anything as long as people back home aren’t losing out in ways they can detect. Prosperity trumps atrocity. Or he may not be voted out at all, presuming some piece of feel-good TWATtery can be pulled out of a spider-hole before November. Security trumps prosperity. You may not have a job, but at least you’re not being suicide-bombed by an Iraqi al-Qaeda anthrax insurgent!

Excuse me. I’m just trying to get as much cynicism out of my system as possible, so it doesn’t build up and poison me over the next nine months. Or perhaps I should let it grow and give birth to a big cynicism baby on the day of the election.

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