Archive for October, 2005

O for God’s sake…

…Still no Internet in my room, which is frankly irritating – I had thought I’d been booted off the netwoek for the slightly implausible reason that I’d got a worm from my mother’s HDD when I plugged it in to back up data before swapping her old PC for my old PC (so her old one can go to Robin, once we’ve actually made it, er, good.)

The Operators, however, say there’s no problem with my connection, and, last I heard, had to “run some tests” to see if they could work out the problem. They tried to ping my block of the network and got nothing, apparently. Now horribly behind on Green Dragon, because it’s a real faff having to go and play turns over sluggish Citrix boxes. Bastards.

Still, had a good weekend, and hopefully won’t have too bad a week, although I really need to write me some essays before Civ IV turns up on the 5th-ish of November. I wasn’t going to get it, but Dan’s won me round, so more on that when it’s here, and I’ve had a chance to get a look at it…

…Hm. My mobile contract expired yesterday, and I’d been hoping to upgrade to a 7610, which I was told I couldn’t. Apparently Orange can’t sell them anymore, which is a pain in the arse, because Vodafone still do, and all the other phones Orange were offering me as upgrades were either crap, or, Nokias that were stupidly expensive, or flimsy looking.

So I spoke to TGB about it, and he suggested I got put through to retentions, who were remarkably helpful, and said I could spend £79.99 to upgrade to a 6680, which “was really quite similar”.


“But Vodaphone will give me a 7610 for free…” I pointed out. And Lo! Suddenly I was a “highly valued customer,” which was nice, and they said they could waive the fee. It’s still not exactly what I wanted, in all fairness, but it does seem to be a relatively close second, and should arrive later in the week. Most importantly, they’ll let me keep my number, which saves no end of bother letting everyone know what the new one is.

O, and now I’ve finally had a chance to get onto Abnib, and see what the latest meme is; here’s my results (athough I’ve a deep suspicion that the basis on which the calculate these things is horribly, horribly flawed – I ought, by all accounts, to rate much higher on the “friends” category, and probably lower on “health”.) Still, for the sake of comparison:

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 8.7
Mind: 8.4
Body: 6.9
Spirit: 8.3
Friends/Family: 5.6
Love: 10
Finance: 7.9
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Anyway… Now I need to check all the damn e-mails that’ll’ve built up since Thursday. Bugger. More when I get my own connection back, I suspect…

I am so tired…

…But still, Dan, what’s the name of that work-to-death-in-November thing you said I should sign up for? Might give me something more productive to do than loll about trying to sleep, and then failing…

Going to my seminar now, again. The reason being, I keep thinking it’s two hours (like both my other seminars) and although I don’t know when it starts, I do know it finishes at one. Therefore, it must start at 11.

Does it heck as like. It’s 50 minutes and starts at 12, as RMT kindly explained to me when I showed up at his office at 11. Ah well. Can’t miss it now; he know’s I’m about!

Have fun!

That was a quick £30…

…Good old trips to the dentist. I was there about 7 minutes altogether, I think, and had an X-ray done of me achey root-canalled tooth, which is why it cost an extra tenner (Easton, great though he is, does have that aggraviating habit of private dentists known as “Charging you twenty quid for turning up”…)

Apparently, he’s not too happy with said canal – thinks he could’ve done it deeper on one side, so I’m going back in December to have it re-done. Currently feeling very well-disposed towards the bloke, because he’s quoted me a cost of £35 for the next visit. That’s the 20 for arriving, and 15 for a filling.

A root canal with Easton is priced at £85/tooth, so I think he must be giving me the cheery discount because he feels he could’ve done a better job of it first time round. I like that guy. I like him especially because, even though he isn’t an NHS dentist, he’s very friendly, and doesn’t keep giving me extractions. OK, I feel guilty every time I turn up because I ought to have more faith in the NHS, but doing that with Lala would’ve left me with more false teeth than the average OAP, so I’m still thinking I did the right thing…

Still feeling pretty grotty, however, suspect I’ve finally come down with Fresher’s Flu (three years and two weeks after everyone else, but never mind…)

Hey ho. Bed now, I reckon.

General Developments

I have a pounding headache. Not great.

The Council offices on Portland road aren’t bad, but are fairly warrenish, with three buildings to be done in three hours (It’s soon to be down to two, but they need more cleaners – dunno if Andy‘s tried the council yet?) and so I’m there for three hours a night, which is just a little too long for it to bolt neatly into any part of my schedule. On the other hand, I’m getting paid for it, and it’s not Spar (who still haven’t had their stupid air conditioning fixed) so it could be worse.

I’ve shoved the stupid Asus motherboard back into the box with the manual, CD, quickstart guide and SATA cables, but not the IDE, because I can’t find it. They should have it by tomorrow morning. Ireason that gives them all of tomorrow to work out what it is, Wednesday for them to post the new one, Thursday for the courier to actually get hold of the new one, and Friday for it to be dropped off here. Anything much longer than that and I’m going to be a grumbling person.

Assuming the motherboard does turn up, however (and I’m guessing the new HDDs will be here in a day or two, as well) anyone fancy a Computer Build Party at some point before Troma on Saturday? (I say “party,” but of course what I actually mean is “people turn up and help, and later I possibly buy them a beer, maybe”…)

Ugh, head. Going to lie down again, now.


Had a lecture at 10am today (Urgh), which was actually fairly interesting – one for the C19th module, looking at the relationship between some chap called John Thelwall, who’s been unjustly denied a page on Wikipedia, and the interaction between his poems and the Lyrical Ballads, which was actually really fascinating stuff…

…He’d got into rather a lot of trouble after lobbying hard for social freedoms, which in the context of the French Revolution, wasn’t a great plan (because, as usual, the politicians had gone “Agh, this new thing scares us! Let’s strip civil liberties to the bone!” and a bunch of reactionary old bastards went along with it, as per.)

Anyway, Thelwell got had up for treason, and spent a few years in gaol, which wasn’t great, especially since it was 1794, and the system was happily corrupt. They let him off, in the end, and he slogged up the Cumbria to root out Wordsworth, his dippy sister [I’m sorry, but she wrote a poem about how great it was that William had gone off somewhere, but had left behind an apple with his tooth-marks in it] and Coleridge.

Whereupon Coleridge gave him the push, because he wanted a break with his own radical past, and anyway, Wordsworth was just at that “creating an artificial rustic language” stage which the Romantics seem to have been so keen on (what? I’m paraphrasing the lecture here), so Thelwell was forced off to exile in the ruddy Wye valley, where Pitt’s people persisted in spying on him, his farm went belly up, and his six-year-old daugter died.

Meanwhile, Wordsworth & Coleridge had just printed off the 1798 Ed. of Lyrical Ballads, and all was going swimmingly, with Thelwell stuck in Wales, with sarky pitchfork weilding locals, roughs working for the government still out to off him to collect the bounty and some serious “If Coleridge hadn’t forced me to live in this stupid valley, my daughter probably wouldn’t have died” issues to deal with.

By the looks of it he wrote large quantities of poems mimicing the Lyrical Ballads and turning them very dark, and they’re pretty good. Not great in their own right, I wouldn’t say, but not too bad in the (“Yeah, Nature is really sodding great. Can it make me feel better? Can it bollocks.”) context in which they were written.

So that was fun. And then I wandered towards the Arts Centre to try and actually buy a copy of L.B. (I didn’t, I remembered I’ve spent all of this week’s budget on a couple of SATA HDDs from Overclockers, the people who ship fast, ship what you wanted, and don’t appear to sell any mid-low end rubbish (I’m still vaguely pissed off that Scan assumed that an Asus motherboard was somehow the same as the poxy Abit job I asked for…)).

Anyway, I was heading up from C22 round the corner where Hugh Owen creates and underpass out of D-floor, and wandered up past the library and out onto the plaza, whereupon a bloke ran up behind me and said “Excuse me, are you a lecturer?”

‘O, it’s a poor lost Fresher,’ I thought. “No, I’m a student,” I told him. And then he told me how great my back looked (uh-oh…) and how I really stood out amongst everyone else (this is going to involve my helping with something, isn’t it?)…

…”We’re doing Theatre Film & TV,” he said (Yep, there we go) “Can we film you walking up those steps again, it’ll only take a couple of minutes…?”

So they filmed me going up the steps, down the steps, and standing at the top of the steps pretending to have forgotten something, and were very pleased with me for being able to look “dark and menacing” and “walking purposefully,” which was probably nice of them, although I wasn’t actually trying to look dark or menacing at all.

And, of course, when they said “two minutes,” they meant “it’ll be two minutes of film,” with the result I was there about half an hour. Still, it was vaguely amusing, I suppose, and I ran into no end of people I’d otherwise have missed (although off the top of my head I can only recall Coff & Ben Michael – apparently they’d both been to the lecture, which is a new one on me…), Sundeep, and Twenty-Three-Hour Hannah.)

And now I’m going to, uh, either sleep, have breakfast, or play RA2… Hm…

Probably not eat, actually; I woke up with a toothache this morning. Usually a bad sign, especially since it’s one of the ones where fully closing my jaw hurts because of the pressure on said tooth. Alarmingly (although it’s statistically very likely, I guess) the tooth in question is one of the root canal-ed ones, which, I’d taken to believing, were fairly indestructible, unless the entire huge lump of filling clumps out and chokes me to death.

O well. Yet more troubles. Think I’ve an appointment at some point next week anyway, to be honest.

O, and I get shown how the clean the DSS place on Portland Road at 1700 today, so I’ll be able to follow the “clean it anytime between 1700 and 0900, weekdays” policy and have some free time in the early evenings from tomorrow onwards.

Have fun!

Good God Almighty…

…On the back of Ruth’s recent post about humans being stupid, in the context of AI…

This story on the Beeb is about a woman who set off a Chlorine bomb in her own kitchen. Whilst trying to clean a swimming pool.

My favourite part is the bit where, with her eyes watering, and things exploding in the kitchen sink, we’re told how she called her son, a soldier trained in chemical warfare, and he told her to leave the house immediately. She didn’t. Why? Because “I’ve got two chinchillas and two husky dogs. I didn’t want to desert them.”

I can’t help but feel that’s a case where the capacity to act logically, without the clutter of emotions, could’ve been fairly sensible…