Archive for October, 2008

Updates! Woo, &c.

OK, so I went all quiet again. Profuse apologies.

On the other hand, I came down with Fresher’s Flu good and hard, through my usual tactic of stressing out, sleeping badly and consequently waking up with an immune system that saw an infection and went in like the US Marshalls*. Consequently I got pretty well slaughtered within a day.

By last Wednesday, however, I was up and about a bit more, so I came into work, for which I am entirely made of grateful, since I got to attend a little lecture about the awesome books they have over at Lampeter (featuring my personal highlight: getting to touch a book printed by Wynkyn de Worde in Caxton’s workshop in 1470, also a book of hours from the 1490s) and go on a Field Trip to the town library, which was also really good fun.

A downside of that, however, was that it comprised my usual overstretching-myself-while-ill routine, with the result that by Wednesday evening I felt so lousy I couldn’t even be bothered to play CoD4 & just went to bed. On Thursday a doctor told me I was horribly infectious and banned me from work, so I went home and proved her right by infecting everyone in the Uberflat. Hm.

Finally feeling better, apart from the cough, which is still a real pain, but which I assume is going to clear itself up a bit presently.

Assuming I can be bothered I’m starting to think I may have to do a review of the re-release (basically) of Colonization. I’ll have to see if I can grab some time when Ruth isn’t using the laptop next week.

Am currently looking into the Masters-ness. Hmm. Looks expensive, but I’m booking a meeting with a chap out at DIS, so it’s possible. Although since I never even had to do an undergraduate dissertation I look at phrases like “not more than 15,000 words” and my head hurts. But, meh. Continued vague postings as events warrant.

It is getting colder and darker, once more. This means two things:
1. We need to light fires to coax the sun back to us so it doesn’t go out.
2. It is waistcoat-wearing season again, huzzah! (For, incidentally, about the 7th year in a row).

In consequence of 2 (and the addition of my Drizabone, a nice gusty wind & my hat) I got described as “Looking very steampunk,” the other day. So that was nice.

Think that’s everything. Enjoy.

*Cite the source (where, who says it, and to whom) “Go in like the US Marshalls!” for a free pint at the Ship & Castle. Jimmy, I’m particularly looking at you, here.

Well, since you’ve all stopped guessing…

Fascinating set of responses to the Name The Song meme. I will do it again, when I have a moment, but I’ll do it by Random-from-a-specific-set-of-MP3s, not Random From All, which I think is why a few got missed, because even I reckon they’re hard.

Still, for those of you who may’ve wondered, the unsolved songs are the following,with full first verses for context.

1. Veracruz / Warren Zevon:
“I heard Woodrow Wilson’s guns /
“I heard Maria cryin’ /
“Late last night, I heard the news /
“That Veracruz was dyin'”

2. Body of an American / Pogues:
“A cadillac stood by the house /
“and the Yanks they were within /
“and the tinker boys, they hissed advice /
“‘hot-wire her with a pin.'”

3. I don’t need this pressure, Ron / Billy Bragg:
“What was that bang, it was the next big thing /
“Exploding over out heads, and soon the next generation /
“Will emerge from behind the bike-sheds. What’re we going to offer ’em /
“The exact same thing as before, with a different way to hear it, and the promise of a whole lot more.”

6. Time will show the wiser / Fairport Convention:
“My mind keeps on tellin’ me that this is no good /
“And my heart is aching, and tells me I should /
“But only time will show the wiser.”

7. 7-year bitch / Slade:
“You’re going round the circle /
“Through another phase /
“Your temperature rising /
“You’re wining and dining /
“A girl who’s half your age”

8. Low / REM:
“Dusk is dawn is day /
“Where did it go? /
“I’ve been laughing /
“Fast and slow”

Sins of the family / Oyster Band:
“She had a bad childhood while she was young /
“So don’t judge her too badly /
“Had a schizophrenic mother, who worked in the gutter /
“Woulda sold her soul to the devil gladly.”

…And that was it. You got all the others. And out of those even I doubted people would get 3, 8 & 9. Congrats!

I’ve just noticed a really weird thing. Lyrics don’t actually look as good if they’re written down than when someone says ’em. Huh. Still, if’n any of them appeal, you’re welcome to come over and have a listen. Unless I’m feeling antisocial, in which case don’t.

And now I’m going to bed.

Multiple Things.

Well, first up I’ve just had a haircut. Was surprisingly quick, and fairly painless. I don’t get on with haircuts, as a rule. Unless I know the barber I never have anything to say, and I just sit there gawping at my own reflection and wondering if I’m moving my head too much.

The barber in Hadley was a decent guy, once I got to know him, and Gino in Newport is the only chap I’ve met who knows what I mean when I say “Er, well, a general trim, I guess. Sort of a short-back-and-sides, but short on top as well, and I don’t want a fringe*”.

Also, of course, the hanging about while the queue depletes before your very eyes can be pretty lame, especially if you’ve not got a book. This haircut only took twenty minutes, though, thus getting me to the “really uncomfy feeling of hairs stuck down the back of my collar” even faster than I expected. Whee.

My face has mysteriously become oval**, and my eyes seem to have got bigger. Like I say, I don’t get hair.

On the plus side, I shouldn’t need it cutting again before the Spring, which means it should be able to grow to a nice warmish sort of length before the frosts come, thus providing me with further insulation. Win.

Supreme Court meme:
Sarah Palin has famously (in America, that is, over here we didn’t notice; I got this from zoethe) been asked to list some Supreme Court rulings, and came up with a grand total of One (Roe V. Wade, natch) before descending into silence. This pleases me, because that means I know more about American law than a prospective Vice President of the United States of America***. I can name two Supreme Court rulings, only one of which is Roe V. Wade.

Anyway, there’s now a meme. It goes like this:

Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historical to your blog. Any decision, as long as it’s not Roe v. Wade.

…then there’s some stuff about spreading the fun, but you all know I’m just showing off my dubiously-aquired knowledge.

Anyway, I pick the Only Other Supreme Court Ruling I’ve ever heard of (not bad going, really; I didn’t even hear about the Supreme Court until I was 19 or so).

I pick Hustler Magazine, Inc. V. Falwell.

Background to the ruling is as follows:
– Jerry Falwell is one of those famous TV Fundies.
– Campari is an alcoholic beverage, which in the 1980s ran an ad campaign where famous people “talked about their first time” (drinking Campari. See what they did there?)
– Hustler Magazine is a porno mag, the kind men read “strictly for the photos of the naked women.”

…y’can all see where this is going already, right?

Back in the early 1980s Hustler printed a mock Campari Ad wherein Falwell “talked about his first time.” The clever twist was that it was his first time having sex. With his mother, while they were both drunk on Campari. In an outhouse.****

Falwell wasn’t too pleased about this, and sued for libel, and hurt feelings, and what have you. Very long story short: it went to the Supreme Court in 1988. The Supreme Court had a think and then, by 8 votes to 0, came up with the following ruling:

The creators of parodies of public figures are protected against civil liability by the First Amendment, unless the parody includes false statements of fact made in knowing or reckless disregard of the truth.

Since the Ad in Hustler was listed in that edition’s contents as “Fiction; Ad and Personality Parody,” and since the fake Campari ad said it was a parody, and they didn’t actually think Falwell lost it to his mother whilst drunk on Campari [I’m paraphrasing], the ad wasn’t made in knowing or reckless disregard of the truth, but more in a spirit of fun.

Basically, “It’s OK to say such things about famous people, just as long as you don’t try and pass them off as being actually true.”

Given that Sarah Palin is a prospective Vice President of the United States of America, I’m growing really fond of that ruling… I mean, dinosaurs. Ffs.

Well lunch is nearly over, and I’ve got hairs all down the back of my neck. Guess I’ll leave the post about the N95, and the Answers to the bits of the meme nobody got yet for another time, huh?


*I’ve never worked out what a fringe is for. It spends three months growing into my eyes, gets chopped off, and then starts all over again. Why?

** Still, pudgy, but oval. Less moon-like, anyway, which is a start.

***For a given, and mainly wrong, value of “know,” anyway.

**** I honestly don’t know which bit of that paragraph I find more disturbing.