Monthly Archives: July 2004

GoogleJuice/Door opening service

Someone very clever reverse-engineered the Google toolbar enough to work out how to generate the checksum needed to get a pagerank.
In a nutshell, drag
this link
into your bookmarks or toolbar, and then whenever you want to know the pagerank of the page you’re viewing, just click the button.
The most surprising find for me was that of all of the various pointless sites I have up, the one with the most Google juice is…sandwich selector. Funny old world.
Yet another Friday night I don’t remember. Yet again a lacklustre plan to give up drinking for a while. Yet again woken at 2:30am by a couple of Italian students that erroneously believe that we operate a 24-hour “door opening service” for Surrey House. Michele was so infuriated (this is a frequent occurance),she went up to the front door, shouted at the poor bastards and then closed the door on them…
However, Michele has a plan. We will construct a tape of hold music, with occasional interjections such as:
“Welcome to the Door Opening Service. All of our door openers are busy at the moment but we will open the door as soon as someone is available.”
“Sorry for the delay, your door-opening request is important to us. Please continue to hold”
“Sorry, we are experiencing more door-opening requests than usual. Please continue to hold, or request the door is opened at a more reasonable time.”
Loop it, and play it down the phone the next time some pillock decides to rin random bell number at 2 in the morning.

I eat my words

The new Prodigy album is superb. Michael Jackson should be glad someone improved on Thriller (see “the way it is” for details of what the fuck I’m going on about). I’m going to go out and buy this 🙂

Life, Manhunt, Prodigy

Thanks for the feedback on the brick problem. If you don’t want to know the answer, look-away now. 27! Simon was the only person to get it right. See, that psychology degree did come in handy didn’t it ? Maybe not…

Not been too bad at work over the last couple of days. Mainly because it has been quiet as a morgue, leaving us time to actually do some work. A rare thing. Sadly, my office-mate and colleague, Shirley, left work yesterday still not knowing if she will still have a job on monday. This is due to the incredible lameness of our Personnel department.
However, this week they demonstrated that they aren’t as shit as they first appear by offering her another 6 months….starting in September. This sounded like quite a good deal to me until Shirley pointed out that this was probably an attempt to create a “new term of employment”. Of course! They’re trying to do her out of redundancy. An explanation:
One of the only good things our “new Labour” government has done is improve part-time and temporary workers’ rights. Nowadays you can’t be discriminated against for being a contractor. In fact, if you have contracted for a while, you are entitled to redundancy if they terminate your contract! So here we find our Personnel department trying to pull a fast one. We still don’t know what the outcome of this situation is. However, what they don’t realise is Shirley is owed “fair treatment”, this includes adequate notice. If they decided she’s out of a job, she can take them to a tribunal 🙂
Other things…
This week’s “evil video game” is “Manhunt”. The news media, together with Dixons, have decided to promote this game by explaining how violent and nasty it is on every news programme. They even got some poor woman whose son was killed by some inner-city thugs to help them promote it by trying to ban it. The guy from the BBFC said that he wouldn’t have a problem with it being banned, but legally couldn’t do it. Aren’t we humans lucky that there are people such as he that are ordained by god to be able to watch disturbing violence and sex, without being turned into the psychopathic daemons that we, lesser morons, would become, should we ever be exposed to the same material.
The forthcoming Prodigy album “Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned” is really, really very good. But not as good as I had expected. The reviews I’ve seen for it put it down as the best British rock album of all time…but it just isn’t. It’s still better than “The Fat of the Land” (IMO), but I can’t help feeling Liam has jumped the shark to some degree. Sorry Liam, I still think you are one of the best musicians of the last century, but you never topped “The Dirtchamber Sessions”…I also agree with you about “Baby’s got a Temper”…I still believe that the more special guests someone has on their album/sitcom, the more they have to rely on famous names. This is probably unfair, if I was in that position I’d love to have personal heroes like Kool Keith and Princess Superstar on my records. Christ I can talk some shit when I want to.
Humph is lovely still.
Hmm, this Prodigy album is growing on me…I might have to eat my words…again. I might even buy it!

Cyrus, viruses and bricks

Workwise I should really be hating today. Scorpio (our main mail server) was down for most of the morning. It was our scheduled downtime and I decided to upgrade our mail server software (for the nerds benefit: it is cyrus). However, because we never normally get any downtime to perform such routine activities, we had to upgrade around 14 versions, including a major revision. Despite the need for multiple recompilations and a few scary problems during the initial upgrade, it was back up well before the end of our at-risk period. Consequently, scorpio decided to crash 20 minutes later, after cyrus had decided to corrupt a very significant database and the number of incoming connections caused it too much hassle.
Rebooting scorpio after a crash now takes over 2 bloody hours due to the massive size of our throbbing disk array (Phwoaaar and so forth).
It was fine by mid-day and everyone was really nice about it. Good job I didn’t actually have a heart attack this morning really.

As if the nervousness engendered by a major systems problem wasn’t enough, it turns out that I also managed to send about 15 minutes worth of unscanned mail into the college as a result of my desire to clear the mail backlog. In the grand scheme of things it’s not really significant (we frequently have periods where in-the-wild viruses pour in before the protection is available), but it still made me feel like an arse…

Here’s a very simple mathematical problem that seems to confuse even the most intelligent people…I don’t know why…but I do know it confused me when I first heard it:
“If a brick weighs nine pounds plus half a brick, how much does a brick and a half weigh ?”
Answers on an e-card please.
Loads of other stuff too, probly.

Ploppy, son of Ploppy

Another item of news I neglected to mention was that we have discovered one of our ancestors, William Wellard, was a jailer in Westgate Jail. He was mentioned in a book by E.P.Thompson. There was this bloke, the Jeffrey Archer of his day, who got nicked, much like his modern-day equivalent, but on release praised his jailer, William Wellard, and said that he would “commend him to all his friends.” Fame:)

Nice day. This evening we went over to my mum and dad’s place and bought them a kebab. Chris and I managed to get a swift pint in too, from “The Banker’s Draft”. Perfect.
Good night 🙂


Whoops – I forgot to mention the important stuff in the last blog. Tony Blair, in a fit of blatant fascistic self-righteousness decided to demonstrate what a complete toss-pot he is, by giving Peter “three-times-disgraced” Mandelson a great new job on the EU gravy-train! Hoorah for over privileged tosspots! They always win! Just look at at John Scarlett. Despite being heavily criticised by the Butler inquiry (because he was clearly bent) he now has a cushy job as head of MI6! Well done that man. Ignore the critics. The fact you are in a position of such power proves how right and incorruptable you must be.
Refreshingly, the Tories are still demonstrating how much more odious, corruptable and nasty they are than the new Labour bastards, ensuring they will never get elected.
I swore that Blair would be out within 6 months of the publication of the Hutton report. Looks like I’m going to be proved wrong…but maybe only by a couple of months. The Tories hate him, the party hates him…in fact everyone hates him. Rather than ingraciate himself with people in the UK, he continues to bang on about WMD and then go and give Pete Mandleson loads more pay…how more insulting can he be to the left in the UK ? Why hasn’t he been stabbed in the back by every self-respecting member of the cabinet…after all, he has stabbed them in the back on many occasions.

Thatcher still isn’t dead, but living in a senile hell. Maybe there is some justice in the world. Let them die old, insane and unhappy. Bye Tone – you won’t be missed.


It has been a while since the last blog I know. Lots of reasons for this, the main one being ennui. Sorry.
Also, I’ve completely failed to achieve anything in the intervening time. Ho hum.
Events that occurred:

  • Dan’s birthday
  • A load of tedious work
  • A couple of days off to help clear my head that resulted in a load of tedious work – I’ve had enough you know
  • Discovering that students from the Halls in which we live have been taking advantage of our open, unprotected wireless broadband access. Clearly not very good hackers, they weren’t able to overcome the basic MAC address restrictions I put in place (childs play), so I’ve opened it up again and am hoping they deliver a load of passwords and stuff 🙂
  • A season of Jack Rosenthal on BBC4, celebrating his life and work. I must admit to not knowing a great deal of his work, but at least two of his productions I regarded as some of the greatest plays/films ever made: p’tang yang kipperbang…(ugh)…and The Chain. How wonderful to discover that not only did he he write loads more excellent stuff, but that he was also a really nice, righteous, bloke. The fact I always secretly fancied his wife is not significant :).
  • The SU invited us to its handover party for the new sabbaticals. I think I must have enjoyed it because I don’t remember a bastard thing about it
  • Yesterday I took the day off work – would have been perfect if I hadn’t received a work phone-call which infuriated me more than I can say…However, Michele, Humphrey and I went over to sit in the idyllic beauty of my mum and dad’s garden. Lovely. Humph loves it there, as do I and Michele. I’d intended to go out and get a kebab for everyone but my mum, who is a professional mum, had already made much too m,uch food for us all. Lovely it was too.
    Once we got home, I went down the road to get a bottle of wine, and thought it might be interesting to see if any of my work colleages were still in the pub. Surprise surprise they were! So another couple of happy hours were spent in there watching the pub warm up for the weekend. Lovely. Amazingly I didn’t have to give any of my work colleages a paranoid ‘morning-after’ phone call this morning….ok I had given someone one on Friday, but I still think it’s an improvement. In fact I even received one from someone else! So glad it’s not just me 🙂

BBQ fun

I never apologised to Toby, Hube and Andy for blowing them out last week. All old school friends, we’d arranged an extraordinary general meeting in “The Jordan” (q.v.) and, due to Michele’s stomach, I had to blow them out. I’d assumed that Andy and Hube weren’t going to make it and didn’t call them. Andy didn’t…Hube did. Hubert, I’m really really sorry…again. Dr J and Andy – I’m sorry too…let’s meet up soon.

We had the Information Services Barbeque on Friday, and it was….good. Not just good, but really good. Absolutely good in fact. No arguments, and everyone, including the most uptight librarians, had a good time. Needless to say I don’t remember much about 8pm plus, but I’m told it was good. These things are very important I think. They give people the chance to relax, be honest, and enjoy each others company – even within the working environment. The best meeting I ever attended was when our heroic (and wonderful) departmental secretary left. I had a couple of chats with members of staff that were more productive than any meetings or chats before or since. We all got on really well for months after that too. All meetings should be down the pub.

Anyway, I’ve no idea what I originally intended to write at this point. But, with Humph wandering around on the table and generally being cute, here are the news headlines:

  • Blair failing to resign despite overwhelming evidence that he is, genuinely, a shitbag
  • Michele’s dad sending us every bit of anti-Michael-Moore propaganda he can find in his right-wing newspapers. Much like the left wing, and independent ones we read, but of course his aren’t “liberal propaganda” – they are the objective truth – as approved by the U.S. government, the oil companies and the oppressive regimes that support them. China and Libya are our friends now. I know, Fox and all of the other pig-media told me. All to do with business apparently. I’d hate to be someone that doesn’t question the things they are told.
  • The post office. It is now unusable in London. More on this in a later blog

Good Things:

See yall…

Looks like I picked the wrong week…

A colleague called me today, after I returned from a late lunch, and told me in a stern voice that she wanted to come and see me, because she had to tell me something. I assumed I was to be shown the aftermath of some cock-up or other I must have made with their server…
When she arrived and presented me with a bottle of Bushmills 10 yr old malt you can imagine how my whole perspective on the day suddenly changed. How nice when someone says “thank you”. All the more so when they get a bottle of your favourite whisky too. What a nice thing. And what a superb experience drinking it is. Even though I didn’t get the wonderful metallic scratchy sound of a screw-top lid, instead I had the satisfying pop of the cork releasing that complex golden smell…

It has recently come to my attention that there is a serious paucity of hate sites for that obnoxious wanky twat Vernon Kay. We are all responsible for this, and as a result of our lack of action, the vacuous bastard is EVERYWHERE. T4/C4/R1/BBC3 ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! Get that desperate, grinning arsehole off my telly! Thank god for Monkey Dust.


Today the news was full to the brim with live reports from rookie reporters standing by cash machines (ATM and MAC are two acronyms I refuse to use in relation to these devices because they have far better uses in the networking arena). The reason ? A crappy UK bank has decided that the only way to combat cash machine fraud is by asking their customers to use cash machines less frequently…brilliant. Save 1000s of pounds by spending less! Free yourselves from debt by not borrowing! Thanks banks!

Nice week really (despite the perpetual despair track that keeps playing in my head). Michele was 33 on wednesday and so we went to a restaurant that has good reviews. Service: Great! Atmos: Great! Food: Superb! Price: Bloody hells bells… No regrets, but be warned…17 quid for a bottle of the cheapest wine… Nonetheless, a great evening. Happy birthday bat!

The rest of the week was work and very, very tedious and demoralising. Luckily the extra-curricular life made it more acceptable.
I also managed to arrange a drink up with two old and good friends: Hubert and Toby on sunday. Toby doesn’t know about Hubert being there unless he read’s my blog. But as they are utterly bloody-nice chaps I’m sure it will make for a good night. Hube is going to be late because he’s going to be watching the blooking-bastard-fucking football… I despair.

Tonight, Tony is going to come over for the night – he’s on a long weekend from France and has to make an early start tomorrow. Good timing! Can’t wait!