Monthly Archives: January 2006

Through the zone

For the last few days I have been in the strange, obsessive world of coding. From sunday morning to tuesday night I was buried so deep in code that I couldn’t do anything else, including sleep. By today I had achieved the goal, a goal that had seemed impossible and soul-destroying only hours before. Unfortunately, the final result of this painful period was something that the casual observer would regard as a slightly crap animation.
They can’t see I’m loading PNGs into a microscopic pure C app at runtime. They can’t see the animation is on a fully transparent, layered, window. They certainly can’t see that the alpha layer is being properly merged with the background in real-time. They can’t see that any further animations are going to be a piece of piss. But I don’t care…it works, looks perfect, and I can sleep again.
We had a six hour “brainstorming” meeting today and it was pretty tricky coping. Going from such low level bit-twiddling to high level, high-concept, discussion in such a short space of time is not easy. But they ordered pizza at half-time so it’s not all bad. Another day of it tomorrow, and thus another day Humph is left at home. It would be no exaggeration to say that she was overjoyed when Michele got home today. Despite recent moments of fury with her when, for example, she takes my mind off of the course of intense concentration by pecking off my escape key and running away with it, I hate leaving her at home during the day. She takes it as a personal slight.
So much to rant about, so much wearyness.
Bye George! Meeeeeeow!

Lots of nothing

Michele is back, much to the relief of Humph and me. She brought us both presents so we forgive her.
She missed very little except a couple of pub visits, Mira’s birthday and a night with Andy watching Alfie and eating curry…which were pretty good events all round to be honest. Humph is visably more happy now that mum is back.
Workwise I have moved from the fashionable region of OOP back into the filthy, functional and low-level world of C (no plusses)…and what a joy. Moving back has increased productivity, reduced stress and enriched my life. Bye Java, welcome back gcc my old friend.

Politically it is a very interesting time, too interesting for this 3 minute blog and for another time. The following is a list for my benefit of topics thatr are currently foremost in my mind:

  • Cannabis propaganda, mental illness and omissions.
  • Galloway etc
  • Charles Kennedy
  • Yes Minister
  • Rich Hall

Night everyone…

Good Choice

Friendly pigAt last, now that Poland is in the EU, we can get hold of the delicacies that were previously so difficult to procure in the UK. Feast your eyes on the cornucopia of delights available from Polish food importers Mispol. Don’t miss out on:

  • English Goulash
  • “Oak” Pork Neck
  • Sandwich Fat with meat and onion (available in jar and circular shape)
  • Excellent Ham
  • Hunting Tripe style goulash

4 More

The other night More 4 showed a Dispatches about the aftermath of the Iraq war. What is certain and will be of no surprise to anyone who has access to uncensored media is that Iraq is not the happy, peaceful, democracy we are told it is. In fact it is currently probably the most dangerous and unstable place on the planet and far from being run by a democratically elected government it is run by a collection of religious warlords.

The drive of the programme seemed to be criticising Blair and Bush for not having predicted or acknowledged that this would happen. Indeed it was clear from the interviews with experts that had briefed both leaders that despite warnings they clearly had no idea what they were in for. Some great examples:

  • Before the invasion, Bush invited several Iraqi religious leaders of different faiths (Sunni, Shiite etc) to the whitehouse to watch the Superbowl and see what they were missing by rejecting western capitalism. On it’s own this demonstrates a shicking lack of understanding but it gets worse. Bush was genuinely surprised to discover that the leaders didn’t get on because, after all, they were all muslims weren’t they ?
  • Before the invasion, Blair invited a bunch of experts to Number 10 to discuss the aftermath of the war. This excellent report descibes the events and suggests that not only was the war to go ahead regardless of any advice the experts my offer, but that Blair was desperately trying to justify it…to himself. One of the experts, Professor George Joffe (Cam/Lon), was alarmed by Blair’s “cryptic” interjections, perhaps the most telling of which consisted of him asking:

    “But he [Saddam] is evil isn’t he ?”

    This is our Prime minister.

Now, I agree that this demonstrates dreadful ignorance on the part of our glorious leaders but surely that’s not the point.
The point is that the war was not instigated by Bush or Blair, it was simply the next stage in the Ultra-right’s plan. Bush and Blair didn’t make any decision, they just do what they’re fucking well told. Did the ultra-right not predict the chaos that would ensue ? Maybe, maybe not, who cares ? Certainly not them. As far as the Neo-cons are concerned the mission objectives were met. The oil is secured and they now have a puppet government in place that, although powerless, will justify any action the U.S. needs to take in that country in the future. After all, the goverment speaks for “the people of Iraq”
Yesterday, one of the more blatant neo-cons was wheeled onto the Today programme to discuss how the world should react to Iran’s decision to continue with their Nuclear programme. His answer ? Regime change of course.

Beat that

On saturday:

  • The bog got blocked
  • The Hoover stopped working
  • The TV blew up
  • My CDR drive stopped working
  • I broke a chunk off my front tooth eating a tandoori lamb chop

The current state of play:

  • Handyman plunged the bog which fixed it until he’d gone. Now blocked again.
  • New Hoover delivered by Argos. Buying a new Hoover is one of the least exciting, satisfying or enriching experiences in the world.
  • Borrwed a 14″ telly off my Dad and yesterday the rental company replaced our knackered telly with a refurbished second-hand one that works a bit better. Renting TVs and videos is good like that. Weirdly, it seems that one of the most familar and well known high street chains, the chain through which we rented our gear, Radio Rentals, doesn’t exist. Go on, Google it! They’ve been airbrushed out. Michele went to Lewisham to find the shop – gone. No details on the web – nothing! Did they even exist ? Was it a dream ? Turns out that we are now renting from a company called “box clever”…well they take our money and fix our telly so I can’t complain.
  • Got a new DVD+-RW-CDR/RW-A-GO-GO!
  • I still have fangs

And so with a broken bog and deformed teeth I face the prospect of a week without Michele who is off to the States. I really wish I was going too…

Very New Year!

Richard Dawkins managed to articulate everything Michele and I (and Michele, and I), feel about religion tonight. Given 10 years to prepare material I still wouldn’t have been able to better his arguments. It’s so good to know there are sane people in the world. It’s also good to live in a country where that sort of material can get on national TV at 8pm. Pity no-one was watching really.
Weirdly, if anyone decides to copy, encode and redistribute this wonderful lecure, they’ll be guilty of piracy! Oh the irony! Keep an eye out for bittorrents.
My favourite part was where the evangelical nutjob explained to his joyful congregation about the importance of “obedience”. They responded by raising thier arms into the air. It really did look and sound like a Nazi rally. All the more pleasing to hear Richard Dawkins accuse the pastore of leading a ceremony that resembled Nuremberg. Pity Dawkins was not allowed to go further and accuse the pastor of actually preaching fascist doctrine (which he was). He has a weekly conference call with George “Puppet of the New Fascist Order” Bush, but it’s OK, God’s in charge.

Meanwhile, the real political situation in Britain has been enriched by George Galloway’s decision to move into the Big Brother house. Really! I’m sure if he were ever to be brought before a court he would have a convincing reason for why a MP [public servant] should spend two weeks of his tenure on a reality TV programme. I’ve been confused by Mr G. On one hand he’s anti-war, on the other he appears to be a self-interested, fascistic, shitbag. But no-one could fault him with his treatment of the bastards in the U.S. court.