Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Diana arrossted...
Following on from the dramatic news that Diana Ross has been arrested for drunk driving I think the scenario might have gone something like this:-

Diana Ross is seen driving erratically all over the road in the early hours of the morning. A Police Car gives chase and manages to force her car to the side of the road. The Officer then approaches the car.
Police Officer: Stop! In The Name Of Love.
Diana Ross: Don't you know who I am, Officer! I'm The Boss!
Police Officer: Step out of the car please Ma'am.
Diana Ross: Ok, Ok. I'm Coming Out.
Police Officer: Well, I haven't got all day.
She doesn't move.
Police Officer: I'm Still Waiting
She still doesn't move.
Police Officer: You seem a little drunk, Ma'am. Let me help you out of your seat.
Diana Ross: Don't touch me! No one is allowed to Touch Me In The Morning!
Police Officer: Didn't you see me following you? Didn't you look in the Mirror, Mirror, Ma'am?
Diana Ross: Sure, I saw your Reflections.
Police Officer: You were swerving all over the road. You looked a little lost. Do You Know Where You're Going To?
Diana Ross: Yes, I was Goin' Back home. I wasn't lost, I know this road well, just up there is where I take a right... It's My Turn.
Police Officer: Didn't your driving school ever tell you to Stop! Look, Listen at a junction, Ma'am?
Diana Ross: Can I go now? I don't see why You Keep Me Hangin' On.
Police Officer: You Can't Hurry, Love as I'm Not Over (with) You Yet. Breathe into this.
He breathalyses her which suggests she has twice the legal limit of alcohol in her bloodstream.
Police Officer: Tomorrow you're gonna have a really bad (Love) Hangover, Ma'am.
Diana Ross: I could do with something stronger, actaully. Have you got anything to Take Me Higher? 'Cos there Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
Police Officer: I think you'd better accompany me to the station, Ma'am.
Diana Ross: You have lovely Muscles, Officer. Do you Work That Body?
Police Officer: Thank you, Ma'am, but we have to go now. I'm tired. I've been Workin' Overtime.
Diana Ross: But isn't this the part When You Tell Me That You Love Me?
Police Officer: No, Ma'am, it's not.
Diana Ross: Someday We'll Be Together because I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.
Police Officer: Never gonna happen, Ma'am.
Diana Ross: Where Did Our Love Go, then? I thought we had an Endless Love. You Are Everything to me and you turned me Upside Down when I first saw you. Why Do Fools Fall In Love so quickly?
Police Officer: I think you're living in a fantasy world, Ma'am. You're drunk and I'm arresting you.
Diana Ross: Well I may not have Your Love, Officer, but Remember Me fondly Until We Meet Again.
Police Officer: (under his breath) What a Drama Queen!

Friday, December 27, 2002

Xmas Presents 2002...
Look what Santa(s) brought me for Crimble:-
Santa C - A Rough Guide to London Restaurants
Santa N - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club CD / Carter Beats The Devil (oh-oh, got that) / The Corrections (oh-oh, got that too)
Santa P & Santa M - The Office DVD + The Office scripts / Rick Stein cookbook
Santa M - Watch camera / Zelda: Link To The Past for Game Boy Advance
Santa B - Belgium chocolates
Santa TiG - Closer to Heaven CD
Santa D & Santa H - Cufflinks
Santa C & Santa S - Leather bound road atlas
Santa J - Office DVD (er.. that'll be two of those then!) / Gym ball
Santa M & Santa D - A case of red wine / a case of white wine / posh coasters / posh table mats / a cocktail shaker / a cocktail book
Santa S & Santa D - Trivial Pursuit 1980s Ed.

Thank you everyone.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Mark's Dad...
On Christmas Eve we drove up to stay with Mark's Dad, Patrick, in Coventry for a couple of days. Despite having lung cancer, Patrick seemed in quite good spirits when we arrived - albeit very tired, which is only to be expected. He has lost a lot of weight in the past week or so which was somewhat distressing to see. Yet he obviously has lost little of his spark. He was soon getting us to help him sit up. He wanted to know who was coming and going and how we were. On Christmas morning itself, Mark was hanging out his bedroom window hooking up an aerial to the spare TV that we'd brough up with us so he could watch the Christmas schedules from his bed. He was certainly pleased to see us both - especially at this time of year - just as we were pleased to see him. As I think I've mentioned before, I have a real soft spot of Mark's Dad. He was so very welcoming to me when I first met him; strangely enough at Mark's Mum's funeral almost 7 years ago now.

Mark, his sisters (Bernadette and Anne), his brother (Paul), nieces and nephews have all been doing stirling work looking after Patrick and it is no small tribute to the way that they have been brought up that they all rally round him when he is ill.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Happy Christmas...
It was nice to see Bernadette & famly and Anne & family today. Anne & David bought us a lovely Xmas dinner. But there's not much on the telly tonight so I'm sitting on the sofa of Mark's Dad's place getting tipsy. Ho ho hum.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Java wars...
Hopefully this is a step nearer to these two sorting their differences out once and for all. I'm fed up with not being able to control an increasing number of systems at work from my desktop. They all use Java and the Windows XP implementation is nonexistent/crap. It's a serious pain in the arse.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers...
Yesterday afternoon I went to see TLoTR:TTT at the Warner Village, Islington. Time and repeat viewing will tell whether the second part of Peter Jackson's magnum opus is truly better than its illustrious predecessor. It certainly surpasses The Fellowship of the Ring in terms of wit, action and narrative drive. What it lacks - at least until the climax - is the first film's wow-factor. We are now accustomed to the environs and inhabitants of Middle-earth. Without an explanation for trilogy newcomers, the story picks up where FoTR left off. Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are journeying to Mordor to destroy the world-threatening One Ring. They are joined by the avaricious, reptilian Gollum (a quite astounding, computer-generated creation, brilliantly voiced by Andy Serkis). Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) are pursuing Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), who have been kidnapped by orcs...
The following action is too densely-layered to explain here, which makes the achievement of Jackson and his co-writers all the more impressive. This is a compact, flab-free adaptation of JRR Tolkien's complex, lengthy book, and it suffers little from following three simultaneous adventures. When I say 'flab-free' I should perahsp warn you that it rolls on for nearly three hours - so make sure you have a comfortable seat, lots of snacks and a drink to hand.

The special effects, too, impress. Gollum is the first believable CG character, while the battle of Helm's Deep is one of the finest, most expansive combat sequences I've seen on film. In fact the cast do well not to be swamped by the spectacle. Mortensen again excels as the square-jawed hero, while Rhys-Davies' dwarf provides welcome comic relief - very welcome at times.

Unfortunately, with his every attempt at sincerity, Wood's Frodo still looks as though he's going to make a pass at his fellow hobbit Sam. However, Astin rises above this to give a standout performance. It's his moving delivery of the inspirational, climactic monologue that gives heart to the spectacle and elevates a film it's easy to admire into one it's possible to love.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Virus Alert: Inferno...
Anti-virus experts have issued a warning alerting computer users about a new Visual Basic script virus named Inferno. The payload is in an attachment called a_day_in_hell.gif.vbs. When executed, the script sets the monitor's brightness and contrast to maximum levels, sets the refresh rate to the highest possible value, and the palette is modified to display only red colours. At these settings the monitor begins to heat up and emit powerful radiation toward the user.

A very tanned virus researcher explained, "The heat and electromagnetic waves emitted by the monitor are enough to tan, or even burn, a user. I've been dealing with this virus for a couple of hours, and I have quite a nice base tan!"

One victim narrowly escaped severe injury. "I was about to open a bottle of Jumping Lizard Ginseng Blaster when I opened the attachment. Just then, I dropped my straw and reached down to pick it up. I heard this loud bang, and realized the bottle had exploded, and the liquid drenched my keyboard. I was really lucky. I only got a couple of shards of glass in my back. Unfortunately, my medical insurance doesn't cover Acts of Stupidity so I had to pay for the stitches myself."

While a few other casualties have been reported, mostly burns suffered by basement dwelling web surfers, some enterprising Internet Cafe owners have taken advantage of the virus by becoming makeshift Internet Cafe/Tanning Salons. "Most of our clientele are rather pale-skinned. With this new virus, we can help them look better, and charge double for our service," explained the owner of the recently renamed Surf-n-Tan Cafe.

Pregnant women and albinos are advised to avoid computers infected with the virus.

Monday, December 16, 2002

The end is nigh...
Not too many problems this morning. The odd cable missing, the odd PC that wouldn't boot and odd telex line with a dodgy cable. Nothing too crazy. Stoney silence on the appreciation front though. As a Bolshy act of defiance I shall leave a full five minutes early tonight. Ha! I laugh in the face of your indifference! I chuckle at the depth of your nonchalance! Bastards!

Sunday, December 15, 2002

The end is in sight...
After another 6 hours in the office today I think we're almost there. There are no major outstanding problems and so hopefully tomorrow morning will be fairly trouble-free. I only hope all my hard work is appreciated!

Saturday, December 14, 2002

I had a sleepless night on Thursday before a 12 hour day on Friday with the office move follwed by our Xmas party (planning, huh?) at the Cafe Royal. More sleeplessness last night preceded another 12 hour day today continuing the move. I've just got home and I'm bushed. I think I'll give the Sports and Shorts Xmas bash a miss.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Today's the Day...
Madness reigns today as I've got a deseperate scramble to get all our IT infrastructure shutdown, moved to our new office and working again. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 12, 2002

When tomorrow comes...
I'm getting packed today for our office move tomorrow. Funny how you find old stuff hidden at the back of drawers. An old champagne bottle from a Xmas party years ago when I got so pissed I checked into a hotel (at the company's expense, of course) and ordered bubbly all night... a photo of me in 1991 in our company magazine looking soooo gay (oi! don't say it!)... an old tube of Smarties (pre-blue ones)... a pay-slip with a monthly take home of 384.56 quid... an old CV with my interests listed as theatre, swimming (what?!) and conversation (what!!!??)... ah, memories.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Xmas comes early (again)...
I just got a Xmas card today. Only it's not a Xmas card as such - it's a bottle of Absinthe. And an Absinthe spoon and some sugar.

Now does anybody know what I do with them (the drinking part I get, it's the heating and the water and the other stuff I don't know about)?

And will it help clear my chest infection?

And will I be able to see Green Fairy Kylie?
Ever closer...
Our office move on Friday is taking up more and more of my time, energy and will to live! I feel I'm on a roller-coaster at the moment - first good news then bad as things go right and then oh so wrong. In the grand scheme of things an office move is no big deal I know but making sure everything works 100% on Day One appeals not only to my competitive instincts but also to my 'I hate being criticised' ones too. I don't want people saying 'you could have planned that better' or 'why didn't you think about this'. Ok, ok, I know I wrapped up in my own little world on this one.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Xmas comes early...
Thank you Timothy G for my Xmas pressie! It arrived today. You're a star! And resourceful too - you checked my Amazon List.
A not so jolly wheeze...
I've got a chest infection. Pah! And as we are moving offices this weekend it is my businest week at work... EVER! Double-pah!
Out of Site...
Looks like the Internet is playing up again.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets...
Yesterday afternoon I went to see HP&TCOS at the Warner Village, Islington. What a great film. Better than Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Sorcerer's Stone - darker, scarier and better scripted. If you have a youngster then go with them. If not, kidnap one.

Friday, December 06, 2002

A bit of a blur...
I can't tell you what happened last night. I'd like to but I can't. I just can't. Why? I can't remember. That's why. It's all a bit of a blur.

Ten of us met for drinks and food for Marky's birthday that much I know because I arranged it. I remember some drinks coming. And lot's of noise. Lot's. And when the noise got too much a stand up row with the manager in the restaurant. And I remember people swearing at us and us swearing back. And my debit card being snatched by a waiter. And us rushing for the door. But after that it's all a bit of a blur. Opps!
Stuff you just can't live without knowing...
Ben Schott's Original Miscellany is a book of useless information trivia. The Guardian has an article on it today and here are some of the examples they cite from it. Possible Christmas present?

Iceberg sizes: A growler is an iceberg between one and 5 metres above water; a bergy bit, 1-4; small, 5-15; medium, 16-45; large, 46-75; very large, over 75.

Nouns of assemblage: A malpertness of pedlars, a murmuration of starlings, an exaltation of larks, a murder of crows, a glozing of taverners.

Arabic words: All the words in italics are derived from Arabic. The admiral in the alcove, while sitting on his sequin sofa dreaming of harems, should fear the assassin rather than seeking solace in the alchemy of alcohol .

Unusual deaths of Burmese kings: In 1599, Nandabayin laughed himself to death when informed by a visiting Italian merchant that Venice was a free state without a king.

I love you: ... is "Ek het jou lief" in Afrikaans, "Aishite imasu" in Japanese, and "Rwy'n dy garu di" in Welsh.

Patron saints: St George is the patron saint of syphilitics, St Zita of domestic servants, and St Gabriel of broadcasters.

London Underground: The Jubilee line is the only one that interconnects with every other line on the tube network.

Napoleon's horse: Marengo outlived Napoleon by eight years and her skeleton is preseved in London's National Army Museum. A snuffbox was made out of one of her hooves.

Curious surname pronunciations: Tywhitt is pronounced "tirit", Knollys "nowls", and Althorp is pronounced "althrup", "altrup" or "atrup".

Alcohol measures: A nip is a quarter pint of beer. A tot is a sixth, a fifth, a quarter or a third of a gill of whisky. A noggin is one gill of spirit.

Lovely long words: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsiliocovolcanoconiosis is a disease caused by inhalation of fine particles; floccinaucinihilipilification is the estimation of a thing as useless.

Mrs Beeton's maxims: Thrust an oniony knife into the earth to take away the smell.

BA results rhyming slang: First - Geoff (Hurst), 2:1 - Attila (the Hun), 2:2 - Desmond (Tutu), third - Douglas (Hurd).

The metre: Since 1983, the metre has been defined internationally as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum during 1/299,792,458th of a second.

Litotes: Deliberate understatement. As in Churchill's remark: "Business carried on as usual during alterations on the map of Europe."

Eponymous foods: Chateaubriand is a cut of beef named after the Vicomte de Chateaubriand; Garibaldi biscuits were named after Giuseppe Garibladi, the Italian nationalist, who liked them.

Odd deaths: Mama Cass died of ham sandwich asphyxiation, Chet Baker by defenestration. Sonny Bono skiied into a tree in Tahoe.

Missile ranges: An intercontinental ballistic missile has a range of more than 5,500km.

Martini: One-third vermouth, two-thirds dry gin. Shake, garnish, serve on or off the rocks.
Soft Cell Review...
Thanks to Bryn for this review below from the Soft Cell gigs in the States this week. Sounds like a wild couple of nights, Bryn!

After what seemed like an eternity of a wait, Soft Cell finally made it to California Monday night! They played at House of Blues, capacity 1,000, maybe a bit more. It was like a mini-Ocean, with a floor area and wrap-around balcony. The gig wasn't sold out but the place was definitely packed! We all gave them very warm, loud and enthusiastic Southern California welcome.

Marc was amazing, he looked and sounded in top form. Dave looked really well too, I think he might have lost some weight or something. Think of one of the best gigs last year...Brighton....Brixton...it was just as good.

The crowd was really into the new songs and of course the 80's bit went down well. But what surprised me the most was that the crowd went crazy for and sang along to the songs from Sodom. We even had a mosh pit going during Best Way to Kill.

Marc forgot the words to the beginning of The Night and Together Alone but nobody cared, everyone kept screaming "We love you Marc." People were throwing flowers, flower bouquets and wrapped presents on stage including a red dog collar. Marc later tossed some of the flowers into the crowd one-by-one. He spent a lot of time reaching out to the fans and letting them hug and kiss him. Everybody wanted to touch him. Fans would grab the microphone cord and try to pull Marc to them. These are people who either have never seen Soft Cell, or haven't seen them since their first and only U.S. tour in 1983. Marc loved the attention.

We had stage crashers. About ten people jumped up on stage to dance with and sometimes dry-hump Marc. One woman used Marc as a pole and pole danced on him. He loved it.

With each song they did, the crowd got more and more crazy. During the break between the first set and the first encore the crowd was out of control. Screaming, pounding, stomping. I couldn't count how many times Marc said thank you and told us that we were a wonderful crowd. I don't know how things were in the DC and NYC shows but he said "I knew we would
get a warm welcome on the west coast." California loves Soft Cell! Yeah!

Wednesday night's gig:

I didn't think it would be possible, but last night in LA was even better than Monday night! The theatre was twice the size (at least 2,000 people) and the place was packed! People were very loud, very crazy, dancing and thrashing about wildly during the faster numbers and singing every word...loudly. Just like Monday night, people were passing up wrapped presents and bouquets of flowers. I'm not sure I've ever seen Marc so happy - he said that it was one of their best gigs ever and they played a 2 hour set! One of the best moments was during Baby Doll when loads of people in the front were holding up dollar bills and Marc let them stuff them into his trousers. If any of those pictures come out I'll be sure to send them.

Set list:



Thursday, December 05, 2002

Happy Birthday, Marky...
It is my beloved Mark's birthday today. 39 years young. Marky, I love you more than words can say. Have a great day (which I hope is in no way diminished by the fact that your toes may curl a little at the pictures below - which make me laugh and remind me of the fantastic time we had in Australia!).
We love you, Sydney! Opps! I've grown a beard! Shortly after the sand storm at Ayres Rock and looking remarkably handsome
Click for a bigger version of the images.
Happy Birthday, Scally...
'Tis Scally's (31st?) birthday today. Go wish him a happy birthday.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Shift it...
We are moving offices on Friday week. That'll be Friday 13th. Good idea, huh? For anyone you has moved offices (or indeed house) before you'll appreciate what a stressful time this can be. Coupled with this as I am the IT guy (for 'IT' read computers, printers, faxes, photocopiers, phones, data services, web sites, mobiles, connections to branch offices & head office etc etc etc.) my role in the move is BIG.

At the moment I am spending about half my time in the new offices and half my time here in the old office. Consequently my blogging is rather infrequent of late. Normal service will be resumed post move.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Twilight Zone...
This morning I am in a parrallel universe where everything is going wrong - and in weird and strange ways. And I can't remember which one to do "look into the light" or "don't look into the light"? Help...

Monday, December 02, 2002

Microsoft Purchases Evil From Satan...
Redmond, WA - Microsoft in a recent all cash deal has purchased evil from Satan for $2.7 billion. "We've been after Satan for some time," said CEO Steve Ballmer. "Negotiations were tough but I think both Microsoft and the Prince of Darkness are happy with this deal."

Before the purchase, Microsoft already had 15% of the evil market, now that number is closer to 100%. The Department of Justice has voiced concerns over one corporation controlling so much evil, and has begun investigations into the deal.

"We feel that there are real opportunities with evil, and that when evil is integrated it into our next generation of Windows products consumers will appreciate evil on their desktop," said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. "Businesses haven't been able to fully realize their evil potential. With evil integrated into Office XP, corporations big and small will begin to see enhanced evil productivity."

"Evil is a real growing market," market strategist Frank Dresgan of Merrill Lynch said today. "Microsoft is a little late in the game, but even when they enter a market late they still tend to dominate. I think we'll see the same with evil."

"I've been dealing with Microsoft for some time," Lucifer said. "I've been at this evil thing for millions of years, and wanted a way out. I considered an IPO, but then Steve-O and Billy came along and told me about their "Evil Everywhere" plan and that was an offer I couldn't refuse."

Evil was founded by Satan close to the beginning of time. It has been growing steadily ever since, although most of the growth has come in the past five years with the development of the Internet. Satan plans to retire to a small island in the Bahamas and write a column for the local newspaper.
Danni in GQ...
"I don't discuss my boobs with a stranger," she said. Amongst other (questionable) things.