Monthly Archives: July 2010

WWKAD (What Would Keith Allen Do)?

A few blogs ago I may have mentioned reading Keith Allen‘s autobiography. Well, now 3/4 of the way through it, I am approaching the point of stalking him out of sheer admiration. The chances that you, dear reader, have even heard of him, is very low, but I’ve been a fan for many, many years; purely because of the little I knew. But reading this book made me realise that everything you could imagine about Keith Allen’s wild life was wrong…he was waaay more wild and righteous in real life. Not to say that he wasn’t a total arsehole from time-to-time, in fact he was! But he admits as much! OK, that doesn’t excuse him, but he’s not asking for excuses! He’s giving the reader an unedited peek into his head – faults and all.
In order to avoid turning this into a KA love-in, I’ll get to the point: one anecdote in the book is about how he made a record with the deliberate purpose of making Afro-Carribbean homophobes feel uncomfortable. As dodgy as this sounds, it was born out of the frustration of witnessing one set of unjustly oppressed people being disgusted by another. People whom he’d marched alongside in previous years attacking others for being gay clearly bewildered and irritated him – it’s quite apparent that he is as happy and confident about his own sexuality as it is possible to be.

Anyway – here is the record he made. Listen to the lyrics, and then imagine the shock and discomfort the listeners went through while he interviewed them for his pirate radio show, and asked for their opinions on it. In Notting Hill. In the 70’s.

Tickle Tune – Sex Boots Dread


My wife’s laptop runs Debian, and it’s pretty stable. But there is one issue that is proving to be a real pain: the wireless adapter – an Intel job – occasionally detatches itself from the AP for no apparent reason. Obviously this is not a good scenario and something I had to address; I hate getting support calls from home.
My “solution” was to write a little script for her that fixes the problem by taking the interface down and bringing it up again. Now all she has to do is type “fixtehinternets” and it’ll come back up.
Earlier today I was telling my work colleagues about this little hack, and their reaction was totally unexpected; they wanted a copy for their wives! Mr K even suggested I publish the script for the benefit of the google. So, with the caveat that it’s a piece of crap, here is the valuable code:

sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid "myssid"
sleep 2
sudo route add default gw 192.168.x.x
ping 158.x.x.x -c 1 >/dev/null 2>&1
[ $? -eq 0 ] && echo "YAY U HAVE ALL TEH INTERNETS!!!" || echo "O NOES! IT ARE BROKE STILL"

Now, you’ll either not understand a word of that, or you’ll recognise it as the quality piece of genius that it is.
Use it wisely, and not for evil.

Peter and the Wolf

One of the first records I remember enjoying as a kid was a version of Peter and the Wolf narrated by Frankie Howard. Thirty-nine years later I’m not only still into Prokofiev, but also Peter and the Wolf. It seems to be universally known and loved, and that means there is a seemingly limitless number of versions narrated by a vast range of stars, ranging from Sean Connery to David Bowie.

A good friend of mine, who has a bit of a vinyl habit, discovered my interest in Peter and the Wolf and has vigilantly looked out for me on his various excursions to charity shops across the nation. A couple of weeks back, he struck gold in the form of a version by Jimmy Smith. If you know Jimmy Smith you’ll probably either know this recording already or be bemused by the idea of him covering Prokofiev. But no-one who hears it could deny it is an incredible album and it’s difficult to imagine someone who didn’t enjoy at least some of it. So I ripped the deliciously well-kempt vinyl and have been playing it, almost continuously, since it arrived.

Thank you Mr Fritz.

We witnessed a double rainbow driving back from the wildlife centre tonight. What could it mean?


For a long while now we haven’t watched any broadcast TV. This isn’t something we’re proud of or smug about, we just haven’t. In fact the only time we turn on the cable box is when we go out and want to provide the birds with some background blather. It’s an unusual house.
There are many reasons for this, and I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say that we are still telly addicts, but we just watch stuff we have either downloaded or have access to on demand. Up until last weekend we had a little PC under the TV: it was small, cuboid, and allowed us to play any of the terabytes of content I have backed-up to our fileserver. This was great although it was expensive to run and the “silent” fans were anything but.
The combined power of alcohol, desire and the simplicity of paying for shit on the Internet caused me to order a new piece of kit that had been recommended to me by a friend. It is now my favourite thing in the whole world: Roku.

When it arrived I thought there was some sort of mistake; the box was far too small. The Roku box is a tiny little thing that allows us to watch TV unavailable on any other outlet. We can watch any of Netflix’s live material, which includes a Comcast-smashingly huge array of excellent material. For example, since installing this lovely magic box, I’ve been able to watch League of Gentlemen, a bunch of Tom Baker Dr Who, The Third Man, Willy Wonka, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy TV Series, THX 1138, Blade Runner etc etc.

There are also a load of “channels” to which you can subscribe that provide a seemingly infinite amount of content ranging from original, interesting material to TheUsualOldShit(tm). For example I’m currently listening to Pandora, which is pumping out a bunch of music it thinks (correctly for the most part) I would like.

But the best bit is that this is a relatively “open platform”; not only does it run Linux, but it has a very lightweight, free, cross-platform, development environment that allows anyone to create their own channels. The upshot of this is that I can now play my own video/music collection on it, over the network.

The idea of having original content, created by anyone, excites me. People can even charge for it if they wish and some, including Amazon, already do.

If you have a Netflix account then cancel your cable and GET ONE!


You know when you go to work, then come home, and sleep until the next day…and the only thing that keeps you going is the thought of the weekend? Well it’s not been like that for me, but Michele has been working 12 hour days recently and so it all seems quite heavy; we seem to spend so little time together. But we have found opportunities to enjoy life, and that must be a good thing, mustn’t it?
There are lots of other good things going on that I can’t blog about, but regardless my day job is currently challenging, interesting, and full of funny people, so I can’t complain.
It’s difficult not to start philosophising[en-us spell-checks don’t like the “s” there btw. Fuck them.] about growing older, but of course we all do. As you probably know, I’m a youthful 22 year old. However it turns out that Mr Passage-of-Time has ordained that despite this fact, I’m actually nearly 40; ridiculous I’m sure you agree.