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Sunday, October 31, 2004

More Anime 


I've just ordered my second "Battle of the Planets" DVD from Amazon.

I've got the first volume and the Gatchman DVD already. I love Gatchaman and it makes me appreciate how great a series it was before it was cut up and re-served to the Western audience as "Battle of the Planets" and more recently as "G-Force". This was the first true anime I remember as a kid and still my favourite. Even though it's nearly 15 years old I reckon it can still hold a candle to modern anime.

It's just a shame that this collection is only 6 DVDs at the moment. BoTP was 85 episodes and yes, you can get all 85 episodes as a box set, but not with the accompanying Gatchaman episodes - sadly.



Mi ne komprenas 


I've just had the most bizzare (and enjoyable) lunch at a friend's house. She's very Japanese and married to a lovely French guy.
This week she's got her in-laws over. They don't speak English.
My French is bad - my Japanese is worse! We only had a Japanese-English dictionary in the house.

We ate Japanese food, we spoke French - badly! It was rather surreal.

Barking 



Found some rather smashing drinks at my local supermarket the other day. As well as being very tasty, the company that makes them is completely barking mad!

They're called Innocent Drinks and they make smoothies as well, in fact I am led to believe that's how the company started. It's good to see a company who don't take themselves to seriously, they remind me of Think Geek a little bit - same dodgy sense of humour!

Here's a snippet from the FAQ page at Innocent Drinks:
Where did I put my keys?
They're behind your commemorative Wedgwood Queen Mother ornament.

How are babies made?
When Mummy and Daddy have special hugs, Mummy sometimes whispers a magic word to Daddy. When Daddy hears the magic word, he feels very happy and in a few seconds they will have ordered a baby, a bit like shopping on the internet.

May your juices flow forever, Innocent!
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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Cats are worse than kids* 

*OK maybe not all, but you've never met my cat have you?
He's a half Burmese, cheeky little guy with a docile temperament and inquisitive nature.



Today was just a typical day.

To give you a bit of background - Maxx likes tinned catfood! His absolute favourite kind is meat in gravy. I buy him two types of tinned cat food (gotta give the little guy a bit of variety haven't I?) Tesco's own label and Sainsbury's own label.
Now the Tesco stuff is OK, but looks exactly like you'd expect, lots of meaty squares and a bit of gravy, you get that satisfying "schloop" sound when you put it in his bowl. The Sainsbury's variety however is more the consistency of human meat pies, soft meaty chunks surrounded in a sea of gravy.
Maxx loves gravy. He loves gravy so much that if you've been feeding him Sainsbury's cat food and then try to feed him Tesco stuff he stops eating the meat and just licks the juices off instead. It's his way of saying "Don't give me the Tesco crap, I want my Sainsbury's!"

Well, this morning I got so fed up with him leaving the meat in his bowl that we had a bit of a "stand off".

I refused to feed him more until he'd cleaned his plate.
He just looked up at me in that pathetic way cats do.

So, I ignored him and attempted to walk downstairs to empty the tumble-dryer. Maxx taps me on the leg repeatedly as I walk past, much like I toddler would to his parents at the supermarket when they want something really badly. When he realises I'm not giving in he makes a bolt for the catflap in a strop, (I'm sure it's his way of slamming the door in a tantrum).

Anyway, I came out of the garage and sure enough, his little face is pressed against the window of the catflap. Cheeky animal wanted to (1) be sure I'd heard he had gone out (2) monitor the ground floor for movement just in case I might relent and give in to his demands!

Blizg 

I got my answer from Blizg this morning:

Hey Cyberesque,

Initially, we decided to kill Blizg, because it's being overrun with spam entries and we don't have the resources to clean it up.

We've gotten quite a response to the "Blizg will be dead and gone" message, though, so we're trying to find a better solution. The site will still die, but it may be resurrected later (under a different name) once we're able to refocus our efforts.

Thanks for your interest. If you have any suggestions or thoughts, feel free to share them.

Cheers,
Brandon


I kind of guessed that would probably be the reason.
It's a shame it had to come to this. It is a great site and one of the best of it's kind. It sickens me to think that the spammers have won. I loved the idea they came up with for "members" to vote for blogs, but I think it failed for a number of reasons.

1. Once listed on Blizg, bloggers did't feel the necessity to log into Blizg on a more than periodical basis. Hence the people "assessing" the submission list were mostly new and didn't understand the voting system.
2. People were probably worried that if they did vote for blog removal then the spammers might get hold of their details. (and we all know how much we love "comment spam".)
3. I don't think a lot of people grasped the voting system. They seemed to think it was a popularity contest, rather than a content-filtering system.
4. Sometimes spammers are deliberately vague in their descriptions, making them difficult to detect. There are also a good chunk of entries being written in foreign languages.
5. I guess some people didn't feel it was their responsibility.

From my own experience, the content filtering process was a little long and tedious as you couldn't do multiple removals in one go. Every time you clicked on the "x" you got taken to an acknowledgement page. If it were possible (somehow) to be able to highlight a page of removals in one go, rather than singly then I think that would go a long way to making the process more user-friendly.

Hopefully the new incarnation will be better, bolder and spam-proof!

Revamp 

Figured it was time to give this blog a lick of paint. New banner, new colours, new size. What do you think? Do you like it?
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Friday, October 29, 2004

Solo 

It's gonna be a fun old afternoon at work. One guy off sick, one on holiday and the other going home in about 30 mins (half day, lucky guy). Let's hope the queries don't come in thick and fast then, eh?
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Fall in 

Felt very and typically autumninal on the way home tonight. A wild, cold wind, squawly rain and a mulch of brown, dead leaves on the roads. Just looking at it from the comfort of my warm car made me instinctively go "Brrrrrrrr".
Yep, winter is most definately on it's way.

Can't get you out of my head 

Sometimes you find yourself spending most of the day with a tune going round and around in your head. Sometimes it's a welcome little ditty, sometimes it's so irritating it almost drives you insane and sometimes, just sometimes you find yourself almost singing the tune out loud. Now most of the time this wouldn't be a problem - apart from today. Today, partly as a result of listening to this song and playing "Behind the Mask" (which it borrows the main tune from) a few times recently, I now currently have "Your mother's got a *****" going around my head. I heard this for the first time two days ago when a friend of mine kindly DCCd me a copy for my listening pleasure!

Thanks Jon. I own you one!!
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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cold Decending 

I can feel that cold heading back my way. My sinuses are really starting to hurt. I think this is my cue to get into bed with a nice hot fruit tea and a couple of paracetamols
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Living Legend is sadly no more 

Legendary music disc jockey John Peel has died suddenly in Peru aged 65.

He was on holiday in the ancient Inca city of Cuzco.
Peel was one of the greatest influences of British pop music, starting in the Sixties and still playing new and experimental music in recent weeks on his weekday Radio 1 show.
Peel also presented the award-winning Radio 4 programme Home Truths.
Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said: "John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death, as are all who work at Radio 1.

"John's influence has towered over the development of popular music for nearly four decades and his contribution to modern music and music culture is immeasurable.
"Hopeful bands all over the world sent their demo tapes to John knowing that he really cared.
"His commitment and passion for new music only grew stronger over the years.
"In fact, when I last saw him he was engaged in a lively debate with his fellow DJs over the state of new music today. He will be hugely missed."

He was only 10 years older than my father. A very sobering thought to suddenly realise the mortality of your "nearest and dearest". I loved his show. I'm in a state of shock. I can't believe he's gone. He was one of a kind.

No amount of make-up.... 

To the moron behind me at the lights this morning who can't tell the difference between a rear-view mirror and a vanity mirror:

Sweetheart, if you insist on applying your lipstick at the traffic light junction (instead of keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road ahead), at least do us the favour of staying out of the overtaking lane on the dual carriageway!!

Those of us in the overtaking lane would actually like to use it for... shock! horror! overtaking - not sitting behind you while you pack your cosmetics back into your handbag. If you're that vain, get up earlier in the morning and apply it in the comfort and safety of your own home. We really don't want to share the experience with you!

You're damn lucky when you pulled away from the lights that the chap behind you didn't rear end you as you were clearly not in control of your car.

Do drain dickets to Dottinggam bleese 

I feel rough this morning. There are one too many people ill at work at the moment and thanks to the modern wonders of air conditioning they have passed their germs on to me.
I'd just like to say a big thank you to whichever one of you it was and as soon as I find the culprit, I will be crossing you off my Christmas Card list.
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Monday, October 25, 2004

And it came to pass.... 

Finally.... with more than a little help from my good friend Bob (Nitehawk for those that know him) I've managed to purloin a copy of "The Phantom Edit".
At last I will get to see what all the fuss was about!


Blizg will soon be no more 

I logged on to Blizg this evening and spotted a very small and hardly noticeable announcement at the top of the page. It reads:

"Blizg will be dead and gone in approximately 19 days. If you want to know more, feel free to ask us any questions."

I've sent them an email to find out what is going on. I will be a great shame if this site goes as it is a great service and it is quite obvious that a lot of work has gone into making the site.

If I find out more I'll let you know

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Synchronicity 

Finally I got around to ordering "The Dark Side of Oz". Don't think it will be here in time for Hallowe'en, sadly. Never mind. I had lost the link and it took a while to find it again. I have a habit of finding great links and then "saving" them for later. What ultimately happens though is that I bookmark links and then forget all about them!

People still think this is a legend or a myth, but it's actually real

If you have no idea what I'm talking about try these links:
Dark Side of the Rainbow
Octopus's Garden
The Dark side of Oz
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Thought of the day #1 

You can't beat the sound of pouring rain when you're snuggled up in a nice warm bed.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Time warp 

I saw the oddest thing today. I was buying some "odds and sods" at Boots the chemist today and I swear that the guy serving me was Errol Brown's love child! The poor guy was obviously new and coping rather well with the large queue forming, considering the lack of support from the rest of the staff.

And what did he have to attract their attention?
Did he have a phone? No.
A buzzer under the counter? No.
A walkie-talkie perhaps? No.

The poor guy had a tiny brass bell to ring! *ting-a-ling-a-ling* Now how humiliating is that? I couldn't believe my eyes (or my ears for that matter). I mean working in those kinds of places is pretty crap anyway, but to have to ring this tiny bell, well, it's hardly a wonder they can't get the staff these days.
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Monday, October 18, 2004

#1 Confucius say.... 

Don't make that last phone call to support 20mins before you are due to finish work. Sod's Law will dictate that that phone call will be the longest one of the day, will take 40mins to make and will mean you end up leaving work 20mins late!
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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Hard Copy 

I've been used to leaving the Windows PC on, but recently, for various reasons I've started turning it off again. Sign's aren't good. It no longer assigns IP settings. Sometimes it forgets the DNS and DHCP settings, other times it forgets the IP and subnet. I now have to set them manually. Additionally the hard drive sounds like it is on it's last legs, so I've spent the weekend backing up stuff. Then I'll be testing the integrity of the HDD and if necessary replacing it. *Sigh*

Taking a breather 

It's been a mad couple of weeks, hence my lack of blogging. I've had to deal with an issue on a board that I moderate getting completely out of hand. That's the thing about flamewars. Once started they are virtually impossible to put out. It's the nasty side to the net that I hate getting involved with, but sadly I have to (and cope with the backlashes). It has made me rather depressed lately. Things hopefully are now improving. It probably isn't the last of it though. We shall see.
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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Who let the dogs out!?! 


A dog has been caught on camera breaking out of his kennel at Battersea Dogs Home and freeing other animals for regular midnight feasts. Red has been unlocking his kennel using his nose and teeth before releasing his favourite canine companions. Staff at the south London animal shelter decided to install cameras after arriving each day to find food everywhere and dogs running amok.

The lurcher's kennel has now been made more secure to stop him escaping.
Liz Emeny, from the home, told BBC News Online the most dogs Red had ever released in one night was nine.
"For the last two weeks staff have been arriving every morning to a complete mess with dogs and food everywhere," she said. "He [Red] only ever chooses his mates to let out, with Lucky the dog, who he was found with, being the first to be freed.
"We don't have CCTV cameras in the corridor so couldn't work out how he was doing it so we asked a film company to set up some cameras."
The three-year-old lurcher has been at the home since June after being handed into a London police station in an emaciated state. "Lurchers aren't usually known for their intelligence but Red is such an inquisitive dog and would be so easy to train," Ms Emeny added.

About 300 people have called in since Red's antics appeared in the media. His kennel has now been made more secure to stop him escaping.

See video footage of the "Great Escape!!"
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Sunday, October 03, 2004

"The Unix-Haters Handbook" 


"The Unix-Haters Handbook"
Out of print and very expensive to buy second-hand, but available here to download. Excellent!

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