Monthly Archives: April 2006


Well, my birthday came and went and so did the sun. It felt like the start of summer: the hobgob garden packed with people, the smell of the barbecue, some mellow tunes and the flustered whinging of the people in the queue for the food. Happy memories came flooding back, but at the same time it really felt like time for a change. It wasn’t stale exactly, just over familiar. Roll-on visa. It’s not just us that have found the bureaucracy tortuous either. The Hallé Orchestra have cancelled a tour to the States because of the Herculean requirements of the visa application process.


Never forget the BNP are a bunch of racist, fascistic bastards. Please.
All of the political parties have suddenly realised that the BNP have become a viable threat and so this week the BNP have been getting a lot of publicity. So, it is very important to remind everyone, at every opportunity, that the BNP are a nasty bunch of bastards and that fascism is not, was not, and will never be a good thing. The fact that asian people in East London are talking about supporting the BNP shows that this simple message is not getting through. And as for the Greek-Armenian candidate “Sharif Abdel Gawad” – you sir are either stupid and deluded, ignorant and deluded or just deluded. What the fucking fuck do you think the BNP are all about ?
I’m against banning them, and I’m against censoring them, and so I’m consequently heavily in favour of pointing out to everyone, at every opportunity, what an evil bunch of bastards they are.

My dad and I were talking about this earlier today and we agreed that the older generations were able to be convinced that the BNP were not voteworthy by association with the Nazis and the Fascists. But as the older generations die off, what if people forget and start believing all of the old, simple, lies about “trains running on time” etc ? What if fascism starts sounding credible and reasonable! Everyone who is horrified by this idea needs to take action NOW!


This morning, whilst lying in the bath, I was flicking through an old Blakes 7 book. Towards the end of the book are a few interviews with actors, writers and production staff about their B7 experiences that I’d not read before. One of them was by the guy who did the voices for the various computers (Zen, Orac and Slave) throughout all 4 series. Now, I’m sure he’s a lovely bloke, but he really came across as the architypal old queen luvvy. Linda Smith may have also pointed out his cravat as further evidence of this, but she’s sadly not around any more…and I didn’t know her or anything…so on reflection it’s very unlikely…anyway…

His interview was peppered with some wonderful luvvyisms like:

I’ve toured, Ive done the West End in revue, I’ve touched nearly every branch of the business. For example I worked with Noel Coward, and I worked for Peter Hall…

you get the picture.

But the last paragraph is something very special:

…I had a letter from a woman who said what a marvellous character I made of Zen and how upset she was that he died – her little girl couldn’t sleep afterwards and cried over Zen saying, ‘I failed you’. Then when I went to a convention last year a little girl in a wheelchair asked how I felt when Zen died […] I went down to speak to her later and found this was the same little girl who had cried all night when Zen died. I had no idea that she was a cripple. It was very moving for me.

Now, I’m sure some people would find no humour at all in that. Personally I nearly had an accident laughing; which, as I was in the bath at the time, would have been most unpleasant.

A very peculiar practice

Downloading classic 80’s TV series is really rather cool.

A Very Peculiar Practice was a satirical TV series based around a University medical practice. Reassuringly nothing in the University sector seems to have changed that much since then so it’s still very aposite for today’s Universities. Things I was appalled at when I worked for Goldsmiths were going on 20 years ago and, presumably because all of the managers are still just as crap, nothing has changed.

The second series of AVPP was only ever shown once and I missed it. It’s been a great irritation in my adult life that I never got to see it, especially as the Beeb clearly deemed it unnecessary to release. So now that it’s available from the good people at uknova I’m very happy! I’ve also discovered why the Beeb didn’t release it: it’s crap.

Work has been stupidly busy recently and we’ve been working round the clock. Yesterday I got up at 4am and had an emotional rollercoaster of a day, partly because of the tiredness admittedly.

Easter came and went without a lot of fuss. Frances, Michele and I went to The Tarn on Easter sunday which was beautiful. A nice long walk, and we got to see parakeets, one-day old baby ducks (which felt very easter) and the lovely little hut, that I used to play in when I was a kid, burnt to cinders…

Meanwhile, my friend Mira was exploring the Essex Way which, it turns out, is a walkway rather than a lifestyle choice.

The firefox bug that caused a marriage breakup

A thoughtful young chap cleverly selected “Never save password for this site” while he was visiting his favourite swinging and dating sites, in order to spare his fianacé the stress that would ensue if she discovered his hobby. However, the guy’s fiancé inadvertanly discovered that Firefox’s Password Manager also doubles as a convenient “dodgy sites list”.

After dumping him, she kindly submitted this helpful bug report to Mozilla.

Thanks to crypto-gram for this story.

Daily Mail: Busted

There is so much to write about and there are so many unwritten blog ideas that this entry seems a bit slight. Sorry, I’m crap. But then again, it exists and is therefore far better than the ideas on their own…sorry

I’ve just had a massive shock; Keith Allen was presenting tonight’s religious poncefest: The Manchester Passion. This is part of the hugely hypocritical celebrations the Government forces the BBC to indulge in, also known as Easter. If you want to examine the real history of these celebrations you will need to go back far further than 2000 years unfortunately. After that it is up to you to ask whether easter is actually:

  • A celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection for our sins or some such shit….although if the whole thing was that critical for the future of human kind then we really shouldn’t be hassling Judas because without him Jesus would never have had made this monumental sacrifice…Maybe he’d have ended up with a nice safe career in insurance instead.
  • The original, and if you prefer, primitive, celebrations of the approach of spring, when the animals and plants all start to regenerate. A celebration that was hijacked by the Christians to bolster support for their new, equally bizarre, religion.

But Keith Allen was a bit of a personal hero, so seeing him support this shit makes me start worrying. It’s a bit like discovering that Mark Steel was planning to vote for the BNP [DON’T PANIC HE ISN’T], or finding out that my wife reads the Daily Mail…

I used to joke with Michele that she was a regular buyer of the Daily Mail. Which was, obviously, a joke. She would never buy that rag. She simply found it on the train after work….every day. Every day.

The other day, Michele got busted. It was a day that we were both forced to waste by going into work. At the station we regularly buy Travelcards, the odd mag (Private Eye/Viz etc), and occasionally an Egg and Bacon Roll, from the nano-newsagents. Consequently they know us, and what we like; a sort of professional integrity:

  • Bloke: Travelcard is 1 and 2 yes ?
  • Me: Yep
  • Bloke: Egg bacon roll ?
  • Me: Yes please
  • Bloke[ to Michele]: Your Daily Mail ?
  • Michele: No! I don’t buy the Daily Mail! You know that!
  • Bloke [puzzled]: eh ?

So Michele, the truth is now out! Muwahhahahahahaha!

Good night.

The SOCA Boys

Hooray! We have a new set of protectors! The police have joined forces with the immigration service and HMRC (formerly HM Customs and Excise) to form a new all powerful force that will ensure state power crushes all: SOCA!
According to the SOCA website FAQ (a good read by the way), they have the power of all three of the previous organisations combined. Unless things have changed in the past few years this means that they, like the good old Customs and Excise, are answerable to nobody and have supreme power! Makes me feel safer already. Especially as they are exempt from the recently introduced, meddlesome, Freedom of Information legislation.

However, playing devils advocate, I feel I should raise the ugly question of corruption: how can we be sure that corrupt forces, for example the organised crime agencies that SOCA was established to investigate, don’t infiltrate it and abuse the limitless power ?

Well, we have nothing to fear because the FAQ explains that existing safeguards, such as the terrifyingly effective Independent Police Complaints Commission, will still be in place! So that’s alright then.

Hooray for state power!

In the same week as SOCA launched, the police have also been granted powers to drug test all arrestees even if they are never charged. With any luck they will misuse this power and arrest everyone. Thus they will discover that over half the population in Britain take hard drugs on a very regular basis indeed. They think they’ve got an overcrowding problem in the jails now!

Keep an eye on the Spy Blog for more information on how safe we should all feel.

More geekiness – skip it if you’re straight

Lee is owed several pints for introducing me to trickle/trickled. It lets you limit bandwidth per process in the most simple way imaginable! So I can still download the original TV series of Whoops Apocalypse and use the Internet at the same time! Joy!

While trickled was throttling my bittorrents, I did some work on “the application”. To the observer, I have managed to make a small dialog-box appear when you click on a button. What the observer cannot observe is that

  • The button is an image on an html page which is rendered in a browser object which, in turn, is embedded in a C application.
  • The HTML page is sent to the browser by a nanoscopic HTTP server in the application that also contains a very basic in-page scripting engine.
  • Clicking the button actually causes a javascript HTTP connection (AJAX stuff 🙂 to the HTTP server.
  • The server takes the parameters supplied by the HTTP request and displays them in a dialog box.

The fact that it looks like the button causes the pop-up makes me happy because no-one can tell it’s HTML!

Anyway…that aside…

The manure of violent verbal abuse helped produce fruit within Arcel Force. Last night I got a call from the local depot by an apologetic bloke who promised a delivery today…despite being told the drivers don’t work on saturday. And so, today I received my new digital camera! Wooohoo! OK I had to put up with the delivery guy trying to justify his previous lies by lying to me even more, but I don’t care about that – I just wanted what I’d paid for. And it’s a cracker! Rest assured that there will be a nausiating quantity of boring pictures of Humphrey RSN.