Monthly Archives: August 2003


Almost forgot – Michele’s Gran, Dot, proved herself to be the total hero we all thought she was. She gave someone (who really needed some home-truths) some home-truths. She is possibly the coolest woman in the northern hemisphere. She needs recognition from the U.N.

Friday – all weekend

Dan was kind enough to lend me the film “Friday” which, like so many films, I should already have seen. It was pretty funny but chickened out in the end and turned all hood and that. Pity. I’d still tell people to go out and see it , if only for the first half hour which caused me to change my underpants with laughter….or maybe it was the stomach complaint with which batly and myself have been suffering. In the words of Frank Hovis, “one good cough and you get all sorts of trouble.”

Anyway – Friday night was the usual after-work drink with the exception of Ian who was ill for the past couple of days…I’m betting he’ll be back to work with a black-eye again on monday 🙂 It ended up with Dave H, Zap and Roz. Roz had written her car off that day so wasn’t in the best of moods. So we spent a long time trying to persuade her that this was a good thing….by lying basically. On reflection I actually think it may be a good thing – she’s moving away from London, her job and a history with some twatty boyfriend who fucked her about. Why not leave the car behind too ?

Alistair Campbell resined as well. This makes me sad because he went out gracefully rather than going round the bend with a machine gun – he could have taken out the entire cabinet if he’d thought about it. I have even less respect for him now.

Saturday was a beautiful day – very cold and very sunny. I couldn’t contain myself and so went up town to wander about and sit in a couple of pubs. Such a good way to spend a saturday even if you don’t find any open wireless networks. Bah! Nonetheless it did wonders for my spirit such as I have one. That night we watched Friday and then Copenhagen; a play about Neils Bohr and Mr Heisenburg(sp?) meeting in 1941. I’m not sure what message the author intended us to take away from the latter, but for me it seemed to suggest that western europe could well now be a pile of ash if Neils Bohr had controlled his anger…all the more reason to feel smug about being argumentative and stroppy.

This evening we had another gastronomic evening at my parents and learned more about how cool the extended family was.

“Regrets and omissions Carter….regrets and omissions.”
Uncle Mort

Chris asked me if I could copy a copy-protected CD and, without thinking, I told him I could… There are loads of ways to copy
-protect CDs – all of them CRAP. This one is particularly crap….mangling checksums. You lame wankers….Hear me now:

Don’t buy copy protected CDs

They are broken. You are buying damaged goods – this is your reward for playing by the rules. They have contempt for you, and you repay them by buying their broken CDs. Don’t do it. The only people copyrights hurt are the real fans. If you want to support a musician, band or sound system then send them cheques – buy their t-shirts – go to see them live. They get more of your money that way. If you buy CDs the artist gets about 1%, and you buy bastardised goods. Of course I can copy it. The real pirates can copy it too – with no bother. The only people that can’t are the legitimate purchasers. Don’t help the record companies out – they hate you.

Another day, another parrot

Well the same parrot in fact, but I thought it sounded good. It was an ordinary day at work, but quite enjoyable. I did some tedious systemsy type stuff, had lunch with Dan, Adele and Stuart, set up a webcam, and then came home for a pleasant evening with Michele and Humph. As the telly was so crap I watched the second half of two films that I taped recently; South Park and Bugsy Malone. A recipe for a good night in. I’m only sad that 3000 miles away there is unnecessary domestic touble brewing as a result of someone being dissatisfied with himself and taking it out on his loved-ones….

Domestics (with parrots)

The four-day weekend was very uneventful, but not bad as a result. There was lots of quality bat-and-parrot-time. OK, I have to admit I suffered quite a few periods of despair – but I’m used to that, it’s this life thing…man. But the joy of watching Humphrey perform his experiments around the room and climb on our laps is enough to shatter the lowest of the low feelings. Despite owning a shop-bought copy of Paulie, we both watched it together on the bank holiday and bawled our eyes out. Whilst watching we also ordered the DVD from Amazon in the hope that it would contain extra features. You are only allowed to take the
piss out of me for crying at a children’s film about parrots if you’ve seen it. If you haven’t then belt up – if you have then you will be nodding whimsically with tears welling up in your eyes as you read this.

Frances (my sister) came up from Plymouth over the weekend. After a superb meal of grilled salmon in lovely sauce with…god what are those vegetables called – long thin green things – make your pee smell like a tyre fire….oh god – you know…not artichokes…..Google, Google, Google: ASPARIGUS! with posh salad at my mum and dad’s she came over to stay at ours so she could spend some time with Humph. Apart from me (not us…just me) scaring Humphrey by jogging his table while he was asleep [….leading to him trying to fly in his cage and losing three feathers….which had blood on the ends…which made me want to kill myself, but he was fine and even more friendly than ever – I don’t think he was hurt…oh dear] I really enjoyed her being here. We stayed up talking about her current situation in life and laughing about stupid stuff. The next day Chris took us both to Sidcup meadows for a bracing walk – what an effect that had on me – exposure to nature, no matter how small, does wonders for the constitution you know. If you’re feeling glum stick a finger up your bum go for a walk near some grass. Those nature vibes are good for you man. Hopefully my sister’s life is about to take a turn for the enjoyable – she deserves it.

Tuesday – back to work. It was actually quite nice. Partly because I had the best night’s sleep for months on monday night – christ knows why. Jay in the Spar also had a great sleep; must be the air in Lewisham. Nice lunch with Dave, Ian, Dan and Zap. Short meeting with Johnny Edgar and just niceness.

After work I went for a swifty with Dave, Dan and Zap. Michele came down and the she took me for a walk down to “Pets At Home ™(R)” to look at the parrots. The plan was to oggle them, whistle, generally work ourselves up into an excited appetite and then go to Gastro Gastro for dinner. What a great plan it was too, except for one thing: it turns out Gastro Gastro has packed up. Such a pity. OK it was expensive but what great food and what nice people. It was run, staffed and patronised by nice people. R.I P.

Instead Michele and I went down to “Kaya House” and had a toothsome banquet of exquisite Malaysian food. How can a place be so out of place ? No wonder you have to book on a tuesday night to get a seat but why the hell is it on Deptford broadway ? 13 years they’ve been there, and not only is the food superb, but it’s managed to develop an atmosphere….they need a community award.

Michele had asked her e-mates on (or whatever it’s called) if Humph is greeting us when he raises his wings….they said “yes”…and asked us if he wiggles his tail. On returning from the restaurant he did both and confirmed to us that he must love us….which is good to know, especially considering the amount of love we have for him. Yes I’m talking about a parrot.
All in all a lovely evening that reminded me about what life is about. And so, with a final swig of red wine, to bed.

The Hutton Inquiry

This Open Government business is surprisingly cool. It must be an accident – I can’t imagine MI5 or No 10 being happy with the sort of disclosure that’s going on with the Hutton Inquiry website. The BBC have been really pushing it hard on News 24 – probably so that if anything should mysteriously disappear, the chances of it being noticed would be higher.
Despite the dry nature of the evidence, for anyone with a keen interest in either government, media or voyeurism, it’s fascinating stuff. There’s something really great about seeing the private e-mails, notebook pages and letters of the people to whom we’ve supposedly entrusted the country.
Interestingly, they’ve gone to the trouble of blacking out personal details within the documents – but strangely this one however, appears to clearly show Alistair Campbell’s e-mail address. Hmm.

Finally – and I apologise in advance for this predictable comment – but the site is still very responsive considering the number of people who will currently be groping it. The reason why it’s holding up so well ? Let’s just say it isn’t running a Microshit OS 🙂
Only a matter of time before someone sets up a spoof site with a similar domain name….yawn…


An especially tedious week at work thanks in part to a new idiot-detector virus called “sobig-f”. We’ve been getting them pour into the college at the rate of about 1 a second – that’s a lot. Apart from the usual problem of the anti-virus protection getting relased after the virus is in the wild [ anyone wishing to advise me about blocking executables should address their queries to /dev/null ] it caused all sorts of interesting side-effects including running out of disk space and a load average in the 30s, which in turn lead to several massive mail backlogs. At this point I want to make it clear that my irritation is not with the virus authors, but with PEOPLE – this virus doesn’t exploit any security vulnerabilities, just psychology. Every operating system should have two modes – “normal”…or..”idiot” mode that is enabled by default and doesn’t let you do a god-damn thing apart from word process (without macros of course) and read text-only emails. OS upgrades would be installed automatically. There is no control panel or other moron-friendly way to switch to advanced mode, so if you can’t get your head round reading instructions and editing config files you can’t get in.

As it’s a bank holiday weekend I took friday off to enrich the experience. My boss decided to do the same about five minutes later so I ended up going into work anyway to change the backup tapes…sigh…I also got roped into going up to easynet in brick lane to take the lid off a server and check what RAM it had inside it. For added excitement it was a rack-mount server and I wasn’t allowed to disconnect it. 🙂

There are loads more events far blogworthier that I should have put in this space like ending up leading a gay procession up to the Queens Arms in Lewisham, whilst trying to obscure my face from the South London Press’ photographer…and managing to piss off Alex at the same time… Or nearly getting my legs broken by a neanderthal cockwit of a bouncer [ named “moses” annoyingly enough ] at another of Greenwich’s buggered-up pubs last night. But, like with every other aspect of life, I really can’t be bothered. So here are some random thoughtlets:

  • On the whole, people are scum
  • Dr Kelly did not commit suicide
  • Harry Palmer could wipe the floor with James Bond. Easy
  • pity about billion-dollar brain tho’
  • There’s more to the power cut in N.A. than “a normal power surge”….lots of theories on this one.
  • I’m not cut out for all this and should move to an obscure hillside cottage and spend my life writing really bad, bitter poetry whilst drinking rough whisky


People who can receive Channel 5 five know what to expect and usually don’t pity those that can’t. Nonetheless it still does manage to surprise me with its sheer determination to produce the lowest of the lowest common denominators. Apart from the “adult dramas” and documentaries about pornography, prostitution and ibiza, their straight documentaries are also surprisingly and unmistakably five. For example last week they had a programme on the Battle of Hastings. It was less than five minutes into broadcast when the cover slipped and we were reminded that this wasn’t BBC4. “Can modern management techniques help us understand why William beat Harold ?”…Cut to Dr Shyster of New Cackfield College Of Management Bollocks who then, with the aid of a powerpoint presentation, a pointing stick (god no) and his waistcoat, described the great battle of 1066 in terms of a “hostile takeover of a company named Great Britain by a project manager named William”.
In fairness there were one or two interesting factoids in the programme, but an equal number of items of pure fecal matter.
However let’s not be too harsh. It was probably great for the army of unemployed kids with MBAs. Not only would they dig the jargon, but they’re likely to be watching because they can’t afford to go out at night: they’re still paying L3wisham College fees for the MBA course they took two years ago in the desperate hope that it would be their passport to the high life.


Almost back to normal, and happy enough to sit and write a blog! Hoorah!

A couple of days ago we received our first ever mailing from Iran. An Iranian congratulations card from Alex, the manager of our local pizza delivery place, who wanted to wish me and Michele happy anniversery while he was on his honeymoon in Iran. Thanks Alex. Nice to have such a friendly relationship with our local businesses….do I sound like a local councillor ? Sorry….

Thanks also to the other Alex who has been keeping me entertained during my malaise with his most excellent blog.

Last night I wrote a shitty letter to the BBC complaining about a bit of tabloid shit that accidentally crept into their schedules in the guise of a documentary on the NHS and immigration. It was filth. They haven’t written back. I hope this is because they are too busy crying with regret, but I suspect not.

Michele had a job interview today. Sadly I decided not to follow the example of Alex and make my blog anonymous…pity, because I’d really like to slag off those involved. BASTARDS….

Humphrey was particularly cute today….feathery little thing.


What is Hell like ?

In Hell you are always too hot – there is no refuge from the heat, no way to cool down, no way to feel comfortable. You think you can bear it no longer, but you have no choice – the heat continues forever. Every drop of water is tepid, every breeze is warm and Hell-mart has perpetually sold out of air-conditioners.
Everyone has a chest infection that keeps them coughing and restricts their breathing, while sinus infections keep heads feeling ready to explode. Beacuse you feel so lousy, all you can do is lie about, whinging and watching daytime television…
Alright, you get the picture, I’m still feeling crappy after a tortuous weekend of overheated misery I’m off work. Many people may consider that taking a monday off work the day after the hottest day EVER in Britain was a tad dodgy. But believe me I would much rather be sitting in an ice-cold puddle in the rain, than be sitting in this humid, sweaty, posionous smog. So would my lungs. We have 1, 12-inch fan that is doing a sterling job, considering how it is now running on good will and vaseline…but not good enough. Michele went out to buy another fan, and just got laughed at. In fact, the woman in Agros told her that they hadn’t run out of fans, they just weren’t stocking them because, and I’m not making this up, they’re now on their winter catalogue. What a great business strategy that is. The hottest August ever on record, and all you can get from Argos are some woolly undies, an electric fan heater, and a cardie – although the latter would probably be useful to mop up the puddles of arse-sweat I’m leaving around the house.
…oh yes…I nearly forgot…the heavy, heavy depression. I don’t know whether it was one of the many infections, the weather or just the daytime television, but my illness has been accompanied by total despair and a feeling of hopelessness I haven’t felt for a long time. Thanks for that God – it really helped.