Archive for August, 2004

An achievement

Listening to the Republican Convention is actually making me like lawyers. Only Trial Lawyers, of course. (I’m also liking Activist Judges.) I think this is all a conspiracy to persuade me to love the establishment. They get you liking lawyers and judges and it’s only a short step to sending hand-knitted cardigans to the CIA.

I wouldn’t usually listen to this stuff – I hardly listened to any of the Democratic Convention – but it seems to be all that’s on NPR at the moment. Insert pun about WHYY / “why” here.

Comically, we now have Senator Rick Santorum being interviewed about the importance of Compassionate Conservatism. He couldn’t quite resist using the phrase “homosexual agenda” though, near the end. Bad form, Rick – remember, the Defence Of Marriage Act is about defending straight marriage, not bashing the gays. Repeat after me – inclusive not exclusive. What’s that? You know you’re not fooling anyone so why bother? Nonsense. Behave yourself, or there will be spankings.

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A reason why I usually carry a camera with me

Today, while walking across a road and rail bridge in Norristown, I saw a man with no shirt and his underpants pulled up above his jeans looking down over the side. I glanced over while passing him. At the bottom of the brook below, easily visible now that the water is no longer cloudy from recent flooding, were two halves of a trombone.

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Don’t you love me?

Why, pray tell, is everyone else in the universe getting loads of Gmail invites, even if they only signed up last week and/or barely use it, and I got one ages ago, spent several weeks using it non-stop, and have received no more recently?

What is it that Google has against me? What can I do to propitiate it? Will my searches start turning up blank now, or full of porn (when I’m not searching for porn)? I think this may be a test that initiates into the secret arts of Googling have to undergo once they reach a certain stage. It’s meant to see whether I have the resolve to cope with the rejection.

Something there should be – Google Championships. Possible versions:

  1. A subject is selected, all the contestants are given sixty seconds to Google for it, and the one with the best links gets points. And you know what points mean? Personal validation and a sense of superiority!

  2. Googlechasing: as 1, except that every link that you get that someone else gets is removed, so you have to attempt to find obscure tinfoil-hat Geocities sites that also include some useful information, which is hard even with days to spare.

  3. A random thread on a random message board is picked, on which some halfwit asks a question that they were quite capable of Googling for themselves. Contestants have five minutes and a T1 line to either write the most complete, accurate and sourced explanation possible, or compose an exceptionally withering flame ([some linking](http :// is banned, however, for being too easy).

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Critical Mass

Panorama of protestors from NYC (via Indymedia, where there are quite a few other photos as well).

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Hole in the wall

Hole in the wall

Just had to evacuate the building due to a false fire alarm. Not particularly happy about this. I overheard a fireman say “must have just been set off by the storm” (what storm?) and “probably go off again” – terrific.

Anyway, I noticed on the way to the stairs that someone appears to have taken a dislike to the wall last night, or at least the plasterboard covering it. The hole’s two or three feet high but plasterboard is not particularly strong; on the other hand I don’t really see how you could do that by accident, unless you were moving furniture. In the middle of the night.

I also made a phone post.

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(hugs Powerbook)

Not only is the screen beautiful and clear and changing brightness according to ambient light, the keyboard is starting to light up because it’s getting dark in here.

I don’t want to give it back to get it fixed! Although I’ll love it much more when I can actually, y’know, watch DVDs on it.

Christ. Observe the sad Mac-hugger. I should ditch it, buy a second-hand Thinkpad and install Linux.

Oh, but just look at the screenshot, dammit. Real size.

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I don’t have much to say but I did take some pictures of an ATM keypad that I quite like. They’re on my Flickr page. Most things look more interesting when you stick the camera right up to them, though.

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Bloody thing keeps spitting out every disc I put into it, and the Apple tech support line plays nu metal and… some sort of dodgy soft rock apparently from Miami Vice.

Edit: The guy says he thinks the Superdrive is borked. Bah. Bloody useless Apple crap. On the other hand, I might be able to get an entirely new, non-refurbished one instead. I’ll take it into the Apple Store on Saturday and see what they say.

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making my excuses

The Powerbook arrived at work, and I’ve got it sitting here in front of me. The size of my lap means that it’s actually a pretty good fit. The screen is enormous and very nice. It seems impossible to touch it without leaving greasy fingerprints. I’m downloading various apps and wallpaper for it on my work machine and transferring them via a flash drive.

I’m aware that I’ve not been writing an awful lot recently, and when I do it’s rather dull and/or obvious. Sorry. I’m just ever so slightly stressed about having to get rid of everything in my apartment, get it cleaned, ship all the stuff that I want back, move countries myself, get myself organised once I arrive and find work of some sort – all in two months – as well as having to do my actual current job which seems to have decided to enter a crunch point just to aggravate me, with various projects entering deadline periods all at once. Not much, I know, but I’m a fragile flower. At least, I suppose, I’m not getting divorced and no-one I know is dying.

I told my boss about it yesterday, who took it all very well. I have mentioned the fact that I didn’t really feel this job suited me and I was getting bored before, so it’s not that surprising. (Oh yeah, add to that above to-do list the following items: work out how to transfer 401k to the UK, find out what horrible tax situation this will all induce.) At least that’s over with. I’ve told a couple of people here but not the general public. Really, what I’m trying to avoid are all the questions – “why are you moving back?” “what are you going to do?” “are you going to work for EMC again?” and so on. I can’t blame people for asking but I hate answering this sort of stuff, particularly repeatedly. Maybe I should draw up some Powerpoint.

I ordered and received The Global Soul by Pico Iyer, which has been recommended twice in comments on some of my particularly whiny and self-pitying posts about feeling rootless and isolated and all that, and started reading it this morning. Maybe I’ll write something about it when I finish it.

In conclusion

  • my laptop is bigger than yours, or at least as big
  • I’m just a little on edge
  • I’m still alive

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Let’s see. Just blogging this from my Palm. Nobody can tell.

I actually growled when dragged to this meeting; I’m not really bothering to hide my irritation these days. I had a ferocious panic attack this morning,which has put me into defence mode, where customs and norms have a way lower priority than the survival of my psyche. Any small disturbance could result in me totally flipping out and killing everyone so, for everyone else’s sake I am being a shit.

No, I am not paying attention. No, I will not pretend to be interested. If you are irritating me with your stupid questions I will not smile at you, I will sigh and frown and say “oh, okay“. (I might even say “no”. Well, maybe. That’s a longshot.)

Hmm. Where’s my powerbook?

This post was made with a trial version of BlogPlanet, a photo blog client for mobile phones. For more information visit

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