Archive for August, 2005

Only In Aber Moments: Number Eight

So… En route from the Flat to Carleon last night, I wander down Terrace Road, and find myself, as you do, walking past Y Popty, at the corner of Portland Road. There is standing yonder waiter from the All Spice (the taller one). Whereupon, he stops me, and we have a chat about how his week’s been, and how mine has been, and how he hasn’t seen any of us in there for a while (which, it turns out, is because he wasn’t working on Sunday, when we were last there).

And then I wandered off again, having promised we’ll be back at some time in the nearish future.

I can’t help but feel that’s an Only In Aber job, simply because anywhere else, an off-duty waiter’s almost certain to ignore people he vaguely recognises as turning up evrery now and then. Was fun, that was.

I’m sleepy…

…Which is silly, because I got at least six hours sleep last night, and probably rather a lot more. Hm.

I got a reply from Driza-Bone, which was pretty toptastic of them, so it looks like I’ll be getting myself a Riding Coat, which is what they suggested. Or, at least, I’ll be getting one when my loan comes through.

Everway was interesting, all things considered, and I apologise to Paul & Claire for spending so long thrashing out a political backstory (it did get to be a very interesting backstory, however, which I hope excuses it…) and, anyway, as long as I don’t get minced, I won’t have to do that again for a little while yet.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to go and visit the Midland, and get a savings account set up. And I just called them “Midland” again, even though they’ve been HSBC for years. Never mind.

Yay! Blue Dragon‘s about to roll over! More turns!

Hahah! It’s a Bank Holiday and I’m not at work!

Knackering stuff, is working in Spar. The council’s pretty decent, to be quite honest, because it’s an evening thing, and fairly gentle stuff. Spar, however has some major failings, the first of which is most certainly the lack of any bloody chairs for me to sit on, with the result that I’m standing for 7 1/2 hours on a Sunday, and 9 on Saturdays.

Add to that the fact the till is dimwittedly placed about 6″ below a decent height, forcing me to stoop for most of the time I’m serving people, and I get a mix of aching knees, an aching back, and heels that’re killing me (not least because my shoes are now totally devoid of any real lining – there’s an eighth of an inch of synthetic foam between my foot and the hard rubber on the sole, and you have no idea how that starts to cut upwards after the first five hours…

Still, soon I will be paid, and there will be new shoes! Huzzah! Also, I’ve just e-mailed Drizabone in the hope they’ll be able to suggest another coat for me (the green shabby thing I picked up in Aberaeron last year is now very dead indeed, after an impressive year-or-so of use) which’d be super… I’ve been angling for a Drizabone for about eight years now (yes, I was a very strange twelve year old. Get over it) and this is probably my last chance to get one until several years after I graduate, and finally start making money, so I may as well blow the Student Loan on something with a whocking great guarantee on it, especially with the wear my coats take…

…So yeah, hoping they’ll e-mail me back with a suggestion of something shiny, and I can grab that. Some of them have leg straps to stop the coat blowing away from you in the wind. How clever is that? It’s like Linux in a coat. Except it’s expensive, so it’s probably more like UNIX, now I come to think of it. Heh. But it isn’t windows, because they don’t develop a bunch of holes that need patching every…

…I’m going to shut up, now, else some bugger’ll go and call me a geek again.
Have fun!


… I have to leave soon. Mostly because I’m due at Spar at 1pm (for further training) and I have to find somewhere to buy food first, and give Income Services £287.84 by 5pm, by which time they’ll be shut, and I have to be at the cleaning job at the Council Offices.

I’m working at Spar until 5pm. O dear. No, really, when I said “Weekends are much better for me,” I meant it… Still, it’s only this one time, as far as I can tell, and then everything will continue to tesselate properly, which’ll be good. And hey, I’ll be five minutes late, but nobody will mind, I hope.

In fact, I doubt they’d mind unless I was more than 20 minutes late, because I always have that much time left in which to go back and polish the desks for a second time anyway. It’s therefore a shame that today is Friday, meaning (I was told last night) we’re due into work at 16:30 & knock off half an hour early, at 19:00. But it should all be OK, I reckon…

Tom “Gendo” Varley is coming down today, along with Judith, to say hello to Ruth and have a bonfire on North Beach at 19:30. Bring food. Bring beer quietly, so the police don’t confiscate it, see you there.

Ruth’ll sulk when she sees I’ve been calling Tom Gendo Ikari again, but please consider:
In something like Episode 12 of Neon Genesis, Shinji calls his father Gendo to tell him about a partents evening Gendo’s supposed to go to. And Gendo says:
“I’ve delegated all such matters to Commander Fuyutski. Do not bother me with such childish trivialites.”

Yesterday, Ruth suggested to Tom that he might want to call Robin, to find out Robin’s GCSE results from him. And Tom said:
Calling him is irrelevant. Why don’t you just tell me?”
and suggested Ruth was being childish when she said it would be better for Tom to call Robin himself…

…And yet I don’t believe that Tom has ever seen Evangelion. Still, you’ve got to like someone who can do Gendo impressions, and I’ve rather got over being afraid of him, because, having been going out with Ruth for rather longer than the three weeks I’d managed last time I actually met Tom, I’m rather more confident that her family doesn’t work in such a way as to allow him to say “get rid of yonder useless hanger-on” and Ruth actually do it. Hey, I might even exchange more than ten sentences with him!

O. And Commander Fuyutski has the same birthday as me, apparently. And Gendo has the same birthday as my father.

Anyway, some of us have got to get going *sigh* so I’ll hopefully see you later for a bonfire & BBQ.
Have fun!

Of Bonfires & Borth…

OK ladies & gents: Ruth’s father’s coming to Aber this Friday, with a van, and has been promised a bonfire. So what say we use the van to load up a huge pile of wood (there’s still loads on the breakwater at the far end of South Beach, for example) and do a bonfire/BBQ job in the usual place about 7.30 on Friday? Sound good?

He’s also been promised a Walk To Borth on the Saturday, but Ruth & I are both working ’till about 1pm, so how about we meet up somewhere about 13:40 and set off? By my reckoning, we’d get to Borth sometime between 3 & 4, which allows for a nice afternoon drink and, er, whatever else people fancy, before we head back.

Hoping people’ll be up for that lot. Especially the fire, because fires are fun. And I’ve not been to Borth on foot since last year…

August Update: Lincoln Choir Tour

Everyone remember the last big update? No? What d’you mean “no”?

Lazy bastard. Alright, then (I’m only doing a summary this once, you realise…)

In the last dynamic episode, JTA legged it out of Aber, smuggling himself into the back of the Rev’s car, where he covered himself in a sheet, and sat pretending to be a picnic hamper, until safely over the Shropshire border, where he wandered around and said hello to Ruth’s grandparents.

Meanwhile, in Newport, Statto was preparing for his party which JTA found himself dropped off at some time before it was due to start. Pursued by Audrey’s brother’s wife’s gibbon, JTA & Kerrith sat up most of the night guarding a fire with which they could drive away Audrey’s brother’s wife’s gibbon, who himself failed to appear having got himself into an altercation with the hairdresser of Audrey’s aunt’s sister’s poodle (DSO, OBE & bar), which led to his arrest and wrongful conviction on a charge of willful bananaslaughter.

Next morning, JTA climbed into the boot of Mansbridge’s car and smuggled himself down the Forton Road and into the centre of Newport, before staging a daring leap from the car into the comparative safety of the Strine Brook, where he hid underwater with the aid of a small straw, half a jar of pickles, and a one-man submarine, until the Rev’s car came past, heading down to Wallingford. Swiftly climbing the tendrils of an overhanging willow tree, JTA swung himself onto the roof of the passing vehicle, and clung to the top of the car as it careered into three innocent beer bottles, and Oxfordshire.

Having driven six times past the Corn Exchange, JTA found himself on a sofa listening to Caroline, Jerry & the Rev discuss last week’s episode of The Forsyte Saga, but which turned out to be the accommodation arrangements for the marriage of the Rev’s fourth cousin’s second sister’s fiance’s brother Audrey, whose gibbon had mysteriously vanished, only to be replaced on the guest list by Ruth’s brother Owen, on the grounds that nobody would notice, and it’s impossible to work out who’s related to who in the Trim family anyway.

We pick up the story the next morning when…

Got to Wallingford and into the back of Caroline & Jerry’s car and made it up to Lincoln with a minimum of fuss and bother, except for a vague traffic jam on the motorway. Not being able to sing, I managed to spend most of the week wandering about the shops of Lincoln (there’s a sweet shop which sells Cinnamon balls [O God, you can get them off the Internet! Huzzah!] which was especially cool) and looking for a replacement coat, because, as usual, my regular one’s died through overuse.

The Cathedral itself was pretty cool, once the wallies filming the Da Vinci Code had cleared out, and we got a fantastic tour of the roofspace (bloody enourmous supporting beams up there, and mostly original 12th Century oak… great stuff) from Ken, who works for the Cathedral and whose son Will is part of the choir…

There was lots of wine, which was nice, and also good ale, and a nice ale shop as well, where we couldn’t buy very much because of having to get the train back. Then Bryn rang me, wanting to know if we could go out in Aber, and I explained that Ruth & I couldn’t, and he’d have to make do with Dan and Claire.

“As if,” he wistfully replied. “They’re in bloody Norfolk”
O-ho. Norfolk, eh?

So I rang Dan, and Lo! We managed to get a lift back, which took six hours (instead of the train’s eight) and didn’t cost us £30 apiece, meaning we had a spare 30 quid for more beer! Plus Ruth got to stay until the end of Sunday evensong, so that was all good.

Decent trip back (thanks to Claire for that!), even if we did get stuck on the M42 and definitely not drive off the motorway via an on-sliproad. And even if we had done, we didn’t get hit by the car that went down just after we would’ve gone up it, nor nabbed by the police car which would’ve passed us heading slip-road wards about two minutes afterwards.

Slightly alarming fog on the mountains by the Elvis rock on the way back, where you couldn’t see the edge of the road (which is alarming, because it’s generally also the edge of an enourmous drop, in that bit of the country) but we made it back safely, so it was all super.

And that was that, really, except I suddenly found myself surrounded by people bursting to give me a job. Still, it’s all good.


…I may’ve just scoffed more than I can chew…

I’m now down to work weekday evenings cleaning things for the Council, at £5.68/hour, 5pm-8pm. I’m also due to work Saturdays 8am-5pm, & Sundays 8am-3.30pm, at £4.80/hour at the 24-hour Spar.

On the plus side, I should wind up pulling down something like £160 a week (which is about 30 quid more than a much needed Driza-bone, for a start), and with my shoes literally falling apart at the seams (now up to a stunning four holes left-shoe, gaping hole at toe right-shoe level of collapse) I do really need the money.

On the downside, I’m now supposed to be working something like 30 hours a week, sorting out no end of other things, (OK, I think most of that’ll be calling people, but it’s still surprisingly tiring, and I have no idea when I’ll get to any meetings about anything), and, come September, doing the final year of my degree as well.

However, lack of free time for meetings aside, I’ve got something like four weeks of holidays left before I have to worry about the degree thing, and that’s time enough to pull down about £650. Almost a shiny new computer, in fact… Although I probably need to buy more shoes, a good solid coat and more than one pair of trousers, first. (The last pair of spare trousers I had broke at a time when I had no money for new ones, and I still haven’t)

Ah well. The Bank should end up happy, if nothing else. And, hey, I’ve got a whole two hours before I have to go to work! Where the Hell were jobs at the piggin’ start of the summer, that’s what I want to know…

Somebody get me some decent software, already!

Just thought “Hm, I want new wallpaper, maybe I’ll try to screenshot some Evangelion.” Playing things in Winamp, and I don’t want to get two tunes at once, so before I get Power DVD to play anything, I click “mute” on the seperate-to-the-main-window control panel.

Winamp muted.

Unmute Power DVD, Winamp comes back. Lower volume on Power DVD, Winamp gets quiet.

Er. Why the Hell d’you think I’ve got a volume control on the speakers and on Winamp, bitch? Why would anyone write software with a mute function that overrides everything else on the soundcard?


O, and Ruth & I are caught up on Evangelion, now. They seem to have given the Angels names. This is a little random, but not as worrying as a thought which stuck me during Episode, er, 12: “Angels” is all very well, messengers from God, we all know the drill. Broadly speaking, the term “angel” encompasses all the seraphim and cherubim, etc, there being different ranks of angels. In fact, Trinity aside, “Angel” encompasses the entire Host of Heaven, bar three. (It was bar four, but that was a long time ago…)

The Three not covered, therefore, are Gabriel, Raphael & Michael, they being what’re technically called Arch-Angels. I have no idea if that’s important or not, but it’s got a nasty potential to it, don’t you think?


Well I do believe I may have a job. Cleaning (again, dear Lord…) for the Council. Should be fun.

There are, I’ve come to realise, few things more satisfying in my life than those occasions when I’m opbliged to make officialish phonecalls, and yet manage to hang up without feeling the need to swear.

This was one such call, which is nice & refreshing, especially since, if I had a fiver for every call I’ve had to start with “I’m sorry to bother you, but…” in the last couple of months, I’d probably not need a job at all…

August Update: S2005

OK, ladies & Gents, we’ve got no end up updating to do here, so I’m going to do it in smallish lumps, if that’s fine by you…

Left Aber something like Thursday, and slogged over the Sierra Drenewydd in the back of the Rev.’s carand got myself dropped off in Newport a couple of days before I slouched up the the Plant Factory about four hours before the starty of S2005, most of which was spent fiddling with the sound system (we do that every year, trying to get everything working properly, and every year, there’s a different system with an entirely different set of problems) and hoping that the rain would clear up.

For some reason, everyone seemed to have decided that I look like Terry Pratchett, which was a new one on me, and makes a pleasant change from a bunch of nergs whistling ‘The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly’ at me… and the rain did a reasonable job of clearing out of the way by 7pm, which gave ample opportunity for the usual round of saying hello to people and drinking OSH from a tin (ugh), and taking photos of people for the traditional Party Wallpaper. (I’ve high hopes of some of them, there’s a few quality “looking like a tit” snaps in there, although Scouser’s got an unusually high proportion of those, for some reason. [Presently, Statto, I shall e-mail the sodding things in your direction; Lincoln wouldn’t let me plug the camera in on any of their terminals, which was distressingly tech-savvy of them.

At about 3pm, the rain came back, which was fine, because everyone had tents.

That’d be “everyone except Kerrith & me,” then. *sigh* So Kerrith & I saty in the drizzle and kept the fire going, which wasn’t too hard; there was plenty of wood still left, and we managed a proper Beach-Bonfire quality of “white-hot embers beneath rapidly flaring lumber” blaze which meant that (freezing rain or not) you had to sit about two yards back from the nearest edge of the fire, or blister your legs whenever your shin touched smouldering trouser leg. And even then you were sweating.

It’s the heat from the fire that I blame for my falling asleep, in my coat, in the rain. Apparently, this amused people, although I don’t really know why; practically anyone who knows me well is aware I can sleep through almost anything (and yes, rather alarmingly, that includes fire alarms, and similar insistent loundnesses), and anyway, I wasn’t properly asleep, just dozing, because I’d wake up every 20 minutes or so and hurl more wood onto the fire.

Come the morning, the flash betented bastards re-emerged, generally whingeing about the grass being wet, and Mrs. Statto provided a cup of tea for which I’d been desperate since about 5am (if I’m going to avoid falling asleep on an all nighter, I need muchos caffine about 5 & 7 in the morning, or I haven’t a chance of making it past a quater to six without crashing out on the nearest seat availiable), which was pretty damn toptastic.

Mansbridge returned from wherever he’d slunk off to (his car, as I recall) and presently gave me a lift back to Newport, which was important because, S2005 duly over, I had to head off and wait for the return of the Rev, so I could join her & Ruth in a 120-mile slog down to Wallingford, in search of Caroline, Jerry, a choir, and somewhere to sleep. But that’s a different update…

As far as the obligatory snappy Party review goes, I think I’m best served by the following:

“I suppose, in retrospect, that I should’ve brought a tent, but for all that S2005 was the wettest Statto’s Party I’ve ever been to, it was also the most recent. And next year, I’ll bring a flask of tea.”

Hey, what do I look like? A guy with something better to do?


More Emotional

You have:
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and about average on scientific intuition.Keep in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of intuition you’re best at. Your emotional intuition is stronger than your scientific intuition.
Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you’re good at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Scientific
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Interpersonal

Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

And then the rather better-than-I’d-anticipated

My computer geek score is greater than 75% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Which was a bit of a surprise, frankly, because I generally know enough to ensure that when I break a PC it stays broke. That’s really not as useful as being able to fix things, but on balance I’d rather have that than be one of those arses who never takes the side off their box, and sets sytem files to “hidden”…

Ah well. Some of us have to be at Evensong in an hour or so, and there’s a bloody awful hill here. O, yeah, and one last thing – anyone seen this? How Uplink-tastic is that?!

Have fun!

Ugh. The Lincoln public library runs IE on the terminals…

…But, on the plus side, they’ve let me on for free! On the downside, of course, it’s a public library, so a) I can’t put Firefox on anything, and b) I’m putting up with the wafflings of gormless script-kiddies commoning at one another over MSN on the terminal next to me in the most chavish manner I’ve ever seen. But never mind.

The weather here is painfully toasty, which is a bit of a downer, (especially since I sat in a deckchair at Statto’s party at 3am last Saturday, and nodded off in the rain… Where was good weather then, eh?!) but otherwise it’s all good.

I’ll do a proper update when I get back to a real PC, at some point, because I’ve still got e-mails and things to check before my time on the terminal runs out, or I get thrown out and gaoled as the Lincoln Mouse-Cord Strangler… (Any more of this and I’ll grind a filling out…)

But I’ve managed a few more turns on Blue Dragon, and Annie came up to say Hello to Ruth yesterday, which was good…

Anyway, like I said: Proper Update When I Get Back To My PC.

Have fun!

07:41 pm: Generic Update Once Again…
…Just before I start jetting off to Statto’s party and the trip to Lincoln with the Wallingford Choir (inc. Caroline & Jerry, of ‘Ruth’s favourite aunt and uncle’ fame…)

With any luck, I shall manage to kill the stupid Blue Dragon at some point in the next two turns, or I’ll have to try to do it from my mother’s slow PC and slower narrowband connection (although, actually, I probably need to give it a going over anyway, just to keep Zone Alarm happy…)

And thus the march of Geekdom continues.

Over here, I have to say, the March of Geekdom is being somewhat slowed down by minor teething troubles such as the Subtle But Important Difference Between my Regular and DOS Keyboards – the location of the hash/tilde key.

The DOS keyboard (which I didn’t nick from the Old College at all) is now plugged in by means of an ATX/PS2 adapter, and has the hash key just after 0, – and = on the top row of the main key block. This means the backspace is about the same size as a threpny bit, or just smaller than one new pee. My usual keyboard, which I’m now pretty used to, is fairly weird in that it has the hash key on the numerical-keyboard side of the right-shift key, leaving the backspace with lots and lots of space, weighing in at about one third of the length of the space bar.

Somehow, probably because of the slightly sloppy way in which I send my fingers belting over the keyboard, the bit of the backspace button I’m most likely to hit in the tab-side end (ie, the left one), which is fine & dandy until you type the wrong drive letter on the DOS box, attempt to correct it, and suddenly try to send the damn thing to s#a:, rather than a:, as you’d originally intended.

O well. Such teething troubles aside, it’s running OK (except for the bizzarre memory error, which Paul thinks is somewhere in the first 640k, whatever that means) and I’m actually getting rather better with DOS than I was when we jumped PC to Win2k, which is fine by me. My only real trouble comes from games which apear to count as abandonware, ‘cos no bugger’s still selling them, but which still have severe old-school copy protection on ’em… In ten years time, that’ll be no problem at all, because all you’ll have to do to crack an old game is poke about on the ‘net, get a keygen and start playing (assuming you can be bothered to wait 10 years, rather than just doing it right now). That doesn’t, however, work when you have to cite things like “the word 5, line 3, page 34” or, (much worse) whatever word is formed by aligning the Espruar and piggin’ Dethek runes on the stupid Pool of Radiance code wheel…

Still, there’s still a few things I can get going, I expect, so it’ll all come good in the end.

Presently, I’ going to have to work out what books I’m going to take with me for the next week or so. But that technically counts as “packing,” and can safely be put off until 20 minutes before we’re due to leave. (except for my camera, the charger, the USB cable, the webcam and the webcam drivers, all of which I need to get ready for Statto’s party. Hmm.)

*starts digging things out of the Satanic Wire Tangle*

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: ‘Did I say That?,’ Meat Loaf

02:20 am: Stupid SQL.
Wordpress is still broken. At some point, if Dan’s still RSSing this old thing, I’m going to have to get help sorting my proper blog out.

Finished the packing chocolate job at about 0600 Saturday, and bloody glad to be rid of it. It has not been a good week for spending no time sleeping and far too much time bashing bars into packets and thinking dismal thoughts. Also, I’m now right off chocolate, although I expect that’ll fix itself presently.

Still very tired, so I’ll probably go to sleep soon (at night, too! Wow…) but cheers to all concerned for a really good Troma Night. Never seen a Western before, what with only being born 20 years ago, but it was all good.

O, and I’ve got a Trojan, which is irksome, not least because a) I dunno how it got in, and b) it’s been God knows how long since I had a virus, and I’ve pretty much forgotten what I’m supposed to do next. Which, frankly, is humiliating, although not as humiliating as having slipped from “toughest” to third toughest on Blue Dragon in the last week. Back up to No. 2 now, though, so as long as the RNG doesn’t turn evil on me, it’ll all be good…

Sleep now. Have fun!

04:37 pm: With the stupid wordpress database still royally screwed…

04:37 pm: With the stupid wordpress database still royally screwed…
…I’m left with LiveJournal, and the worst stress headache I’ve had since about 1999. I have no idea if this’ll get picked up by Abnib, but it’s a post worth jack shit either way.Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve been quite as low as this since about 1999, either, and I doubt the noisy machinery-laden works of Halo Foods in Tywyn is a good place for me to be spending my nights when I’m in this state.

Still, I can’t really do anything about it, now, and I need the money and – the absolute best thing about it – is that I promised ’em I’d be at work this evening, and glory fucking be, it’s a promise I can come good on, assuming I don’t collapse first.

Bad for headaches it may be, but promises I can keep seem to be in almost as short a supply as my capacity to do anything at all, these days, so I guess I ought to hold onto them whilst I can.

I’m a little concerned that I spent an hour today hiding under the duvet because I couldn’t face sticking my head above the covers, but I’m concerned because that’s yet another thing I haven’t done since the arse end of the last decade, and I’m still very worried that I’m not yet as distant from that large nad messy collapse as I could be.

Anyone else see why that could be dangerous? Good. Not, of course, that I really anticipate anybody’s giving a toss either way, and if you do then you’re a bigger idiot than I am.

Shit, shit, shouldn’t have typed that, not a good sign….. I really, really wish I didn’t have to go to work today. And not just because it’s a fucking terrible road to Tywyn, but that doesn’t help much.

I’m going to stop with this shit right now, because the temptation to put things like “much like me, really” is starting to scare me, and I think I probably ought to go and find something useful to do. A cup of tea could be a good start, I guess.

Current Mood: You have no idea…
Current Music: ‘Home By Now,’ Meatloaf. It’s fucking depressing.