28 September 2009

Dating, biologist style


26 September 2009

Follow up on the movie

Ok, I have to agree with the reviews saying his best since Suspiria. It is that good.

The music was done by Simonetti from Goblin - and his new band with the singer from Cradle of Filth do the closing credits. This I really liked too.
Reminded me of Devil Doll, who I really must listen to, perhaps tomorrow :D
So you get a video from Simonetti and Devil Doll. You lucky wee things. Although the DD is a fan edit. Trivia: apparently Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) name checks DD as an influence. I can definitely see that, particularly in DBs more recent stuff.

Bogun B.

Ooohh am online and a leeetttlle drunk

BT finally fixed the problem. After I made them send a technician to come and talk to me, rather than 'fixing' the problem by checking the lines and not actually doing anything. Dumb cocks.
Although since I kept checking their website I kept getting prompted to fill in online surveys. Hahahahaha. That was fun.

I'm now drinking nice ales, including some Badgers...which I'm a fan of. Eating cheese (a very creamy blue), and watching the Italian horror movie Mother of Tears, which is very good. Thoroughly enjoying it, reminds me of a mix of the Omen and Exorcist - so that's not a bad thing at all :D

Because I'm a sad bastard, and the lastfm updates didnt work, I'm rerunning my playlist since I last updated - even I admit that's OCD in the worst possible way.

Need more beer. And will probably go and offend ppl on facebook, which I only seem to log on to when i'm pissed. huzzah!

moi xxxxx

BT tech help

Firstly: their call centre staff are good.

But their techs, I would respectfully suggest thalidomide babies would provide better more competent service.

To channel Frankie Boyle: Stephen Hawking could do a better job.

For those of you feeling neglected...

I'm not deliberately ignoring you, I'm still internetless at home. Which is why blogs are being written on the macbaby, transferred to work via usb, then posted. And also why emails are few and far between.

There will be a detailed blog, and indeed letter to various telco's, concerning this.
Righteous anger and I are not common bedfellows, sleazy depravity - sure, so I'm treasuring this feeling. Even if it is really pissing me off.

On the plus side, I have a TV and stereo arriving next week and the service from that company was excellent.

This blog comes to you from the free internet at the library - who also have wonderful service.

Grumbling B

25 September 2009

Now this is an odd feeling

Obviously I still don't have internet at home. And believe me the ranting blog to describe that will certainly appear.

In the meantime, I've paid off my student loan. Which means I'm now poor, but freehold. So to speak.

It's the first time since err many years ago, that I've had no debts. Exciting!


20 September 2009

Jedi Guardian

No, not a reference to the alt commentary, but rather the best article in the Guardian today - read while lying around nibbling cheese in a park. It's hell, but I'm ok being the one who has to do it.
Tesco kicked out the founder of the Jedi religion as his hood was up over his head. He claims this was against his religion whcih states he has '...to wear a cover for your head when you are in public.'. Tesco's defence quote is superb: "Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as the one who never removed his hood."

As to the cheese I hear you ask? Shropshire blue, and a strong local cheddar.

Apparently there's a Manchester local derby tomorrow which is getting everyone up in knots, City have had lots of UAEmirates money dumped in them and want to challenge United. I tried hard to follow conversations about this at work. But in the end drifted off and fiddled with myself, which seemed more useful. Actually I didn't, but mentally I certainly was.

So my Sat has been relaxed, picked up the vinyl for Porc Tree's The Incident from the local mail depot (a bit big for my letterbox), and it is - as expected from ToneFloat records - superb. Beautiful, big, perfect. Although without a stereo and record player, it's even more redundant than usual. My CD copy is somewhere in the UK according to the shipping notice I received the other day. Damn this very early pre-ordering for limited editions when I was still in NZ, and had to send it elsewhere in the UK…

Watched the bonus DVD for Mark Knopfler's new album last night, yawn. I might enjoy Mark's music, but engaging tour host of his new studio he is not. Definitely a one-off viewing that. Reminds me I've got the Radiohead second batch of CD/DVD remasters to watch. Could be a plan for tonight. Since I've still got no internet to play with. It's apparently getting closer. Much like the second coming. Even as an atheist, I have more faith in that (heh I should do standup).


Of clinical eels and PC drinks

It's looking probable that I'll have internet at home next week, so these blogs should appear more frequently rather than two or three at once - which is me writing at home and eventually getting around to bringing them into work to post.

So it's Friday night. It's been a very busy week - more on that in the less excitingly named blog to come.
But on the plus side my PC8 arrived. So I've been savouring the evening waiting for the right time to open it and imbibe. Regular readers will know my love of the Port Charlotte 6yo and Port Charlotte 7yo - and the surprise at the dramatic flavour change between the two years. The 8yo is now sitting next to me, as I've finished the flyer for a PC clinic I'm setting up at work. I was hoping the successful tender would do that, sadly the glacial speed of Uni's is worldwide and both the contractor and I are sitting there going, err well yeah I'd like you to start next week…the upshot being I'm covering and doing the poster.
That was done to No-Man, or rather Disk1 of the best-of No-man. Which all told is a reasonable introduction to them.

I've moved onto the Eels 'Blinking Lights and other revelations', which reminds me I must get his new one…

So the whisky: but before I do, it appears my love of the scottish nectar is getting around the department, one of the desktop lads wandered by having being given a bottle and said, is it any good? It was a smallish (375ml?) bottle of Bruichladdich and he looked quite happy when I said I hadn't had that one - Bruichladdich put out a ridiculous number of expressions. But they were a damn good distillery and I had a couple - oh and their other distillery is PC, and pulled the 8yo out of the bag.

Oh and bear in mind, this is being done in a long necked glass, not ideal for tastings - particular nosing !
Nose: caramel, sweet, not an islay, hint of vanilla, if i didn't know I'd say it was a midlands/highland whisky (or a springbank, since they are silly…)
Body: woody, salt/bacon, caramel, full bodied, honey, huge.
Finish: pepper,long, definitely grows.
Score: hard to judge as it's the only whisky I'm drinking tonight, but 9 or 10/10

That's not a typical Islay description at all. The nearest thing I can compare it to is the 14yo Edradour I had. It is incredibly complex, and has changed dramatically since the PC6 becoming far more subtle and nuanced. A late night contemplative whisky as compared to the give me your blue cheese and watch me smash it of the PC6.
Nick and I, when tasting the PC6 and PC7 next to each other, were commenting on the huge changes, and wondered if this whisky will manage to last to a PC10 as it may be in danger of losing 'it'.
The PC8 is a huge change from the 6 and 7, I could do a vertical of them…hmmm…
Having said that, Daniel over the years has flicked us the odd old Islay, and some of those were very very good. The tasting notes, and Jim McEwan's are worth reading - they make prog-rock look restrained, suggest he's looking forward to it's ageing, so maybe...

Like your complex whisky but don't necessary like the bulldozer approach of a typical Islay? Go buy this.

Eels have finished, time for some Coen brothers movies me thinks. Barton Fink in fact.


Week 4 : in which papercuts begin

Week 4

More of the same really. Temperature seems to be becoming more sensible, which is good for the walk in and home.
Finished the CVs while coming back from London, gave 25 of them to my boss and some one else to whittle down to 10 for interviews. Spent the rest of the week continuing to organise the first years IT requirements for next week - and it's now reached yikes levels.
To the point where I'll be heading in tomorrow (Sunday) to do some more work and printing out pamphlets. Oh well, I get to listen to Craig's radio show since I have internet at work. *pout* It's looking like internet will arrive here (home) on Tuesday, and I now have a phone. FFS glaciers move faster.

But more on that later.

Their enrolment system is a bit archaic, it used to be cutting edge, however the ravages of time have blunted that, and in a fit of desperation the ServiceDesk manager and I decided that F-it, we will manually print out all the 1st years usernames/passwords and put them in sealed envelopes. Everyone else we'd approached to get this scripted said they were too busy.
So as overpaid envelope stuffers me, the SD manager, the SD and the telephonists dug in and got it done in 3 days. Result!
And I was interviewing all Friday, thankfully there were some great candidates there, so I should have quite a good team of minions next week. Cutting it a bit fine? um yeah, you might be right…

Have vaguely planned training for Monday, my boss is to speak first, I've given him 45 mins, figuring the way he goes on it'll take 90 mins. The rest of the speakers when I mentioned that to them all pissed themselves and said 'didn't take you long to figure that one out'.
And then *they* arrive. From Tuesday my minions are out in the halls handing out network cables, pamphlets and generally looking friendly.
Oh and my other major project, a PC clinic for all students, starts on Wednesday. We haven't actually signed a contract with the (probable) winner tender. But that's due to finance and risk management. And other words that strike fear into the hearts of active go getters.

But I had a chat to the head of the finance people, along with the deputy director of IT (my bosses boss), and we all like the local company we want to award the contract to, so here's hoping.

So yeah, next week is likely to be a bleeding' nightmare. I'm slowly stocking up on whisky, beer and cheese to survive it. Damn I need a stereo…I miss my sounds!!!

Love, B

16 September 2009

Orange (punk is dead, but not directionless) Goblin

See, the more general blogs are still well-titled, or at least I think they are. Your mileage may vary. 
Headed down to London on Saturday and went to Borough market, oh dear god, the people, the tourists. Wahh. Got some coffee beans (phew), and excellent espresso (oh the joy, almost caused an accident in my, nope won't go there…). Wandered around a bit, brunch, pint at Southwark Tavern, then back to Islington to see the adorable Mrs S.  Ooohhh best title of a PSB track playing now 'you only tell me you love me when you're drunk' - awesome. Where was I? oh yeah, Mrs S was having a sober day. But that didn't stop me. 
Following the catchup, outside the Lord with a pint in lovely sunlight - it's hell, it really is. Headed in to see A. Reminds me I must order some comics. Maybe I'll remember to email when I post this…
We were catching Orange Goblin at the Underworld. I'll hopefully include some OG videos with this, but they used to be a very very rough stoner metal band. They ain't now. Extremely tight band, and the frontman is very good. Still elements of stoner metal there, but it's more rock-metal now. I've got Time Travelling Blues (the Delerium release) from 1998 - actually it might have come out a little before that.  But I'll be checking out more of their albums. Really good gig - and in keeping with metal audiences, it's fun. Although in keeping with London venues, the toilets add a level of character you don't necessary want. And that was before the gig started. Support were Symphony Cult, a lady-metal band. I don't like chick-metal much. And this one was even more Evanescence than normal. Avoid. 
Highlight? While we were having food - yeah we've aged to the point were we do eat before gigs - a punch of middle-aged punks (hair, studs on jackets, the works) came in to the chinese place we were at. Their conversation turned to heading up north somewhere; "how you getting there man?", "i'll be taking the car and the tomtom". Ahhh, the punk ethos, never get lost - use a tomtom. Mr Rotten would be so proud.
Lowlight: A's insistence on drinking crap beer. Because he's a sadistic arse he even made me drink newkie brown. This is a beer that makes DB Draught or Double Brown taste. Actually that's going too far. But it is dire. 
In other news, I think I'm becoming less tolerant. Most people seem to get more accepting as they age, apparently. However while watching a Richard Dawkins documentary, the main thought I had was 'He's not going far enough'. I may blog about that at some stage in more detail, but briefly:
The middle east crisis could be solved by psychiatry. Seriously. Everyone who says that god (of whatever persuasion) told them that they should have 'this piece of land', should be sent to a mental institution for delusional behaviour. 
By the way, the beer, outside of A's provenance, is superb. Happy happy joy joy. Although it's tricky to find belgium beer, so far. But I haven't looked much - there's heaps of Heffe etc., but self-respecting beer snobs don't touch that.
Whisky news: PC8 is out as is the Kilchoman 3yo. I sense both in my future very soon now. N - if you are interested, I could spin up, grab the PT album and share some…

Week 3 : another witty title

Week 3
I'll be the first to admit that the titles of these updates are lacking a little. I shall endeavour to work on that.
This was the first full week of work. Never a pleasant experience, but all going well. It's interesting and as no-one really knows what my job is, I'm getting to define it. Or have others define what they think it is, and see how that fits with my view. 
The main focus is the start of term in a fortnight, which I have to co-ordinate the IT support into their halls of residence. There's accommodation on campus for about 5000 students, so there's a smidgeon of work to be done there.
I need to co-ordinate network cables, booklets describing the services IT provide, and instructions on how to connect to the HallNet LAN. So I've been proofing those and ordering eco-bags to put them all in.
Yeah eco-bags - here's a place I don't have to fight to get green computing. They have a system which tells you off for having the computer on for more than 12 hours - and a power nazi. Great stuff !!!
Spoke briefly to the gathered hall wardens on Wednesday, which apparently was a first. One of them had mentioned the meeting, so I invited myself to it and said I'd take 5 minutes max, so could I speak first… heh charm offensive, it's not just Oceansize (oohhh music reference there!).
Thurs was spent dealing with proofs, and Friday and some hours over the weekend reading CVs for my minions. I've ended up on the interviewing panel too, which is good. The minions are for my second major project, setting up a student laptop clinic in conjunction with an external contractor. We had a meeting with the leading tender - a local company as the Uni prefers to support local. Yup I'm liking this place. Also got some men to move furniture for me in the room we're setting up for the clinic…so that's all sorted now and PCs appeared in it today. I've got to have a think about what networking I need now. 
So yeah, good productive week. S turned up on Friday and I promptly ran off to London on Saturday :D more on the London trip somewhere else.
Spending the evening (Monday) reading and listening to music after wandering back from the supermarket with groceries, which is a bit of an amble. If it's 45 to uni, it's 60min to the supermarket. My legs are a bit sore.
Currently listening to the most under-rated of the Pet Shop Boys albums, Nightlife.

10 September 2009


Some house pics, you'll note I've got to no trouble wotsoever for the them, the only changes done (aside from the obvious one) is resizing so they'll load quicker.

It's a bathroom, I was bored. So I played with it a bit...

Look at the airbed, look at the stylish Futon!

The spare bedroom and the ensuite. This formatting isn't very good.

 ooh look ma, arty! it's the staircase, in case you'd missed it.

 one half of the upstairs - that bit will, at some point, have a dining table in it

 the kitchen, and the bit which you can't see is another alcove where the TV/DVD will sit.

 and my other arty shot, looking from the top out the window.
Love, B

There's something very right about this headline

The Beatles May Own The Top 10 Next Week
24 hours into the sale of the Beatles remasters, early indication
s suggest that The Beatles will come very close to owning the Top 10 next week

8 September 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Cheap day at the movies so I popped along. Really enjoyed this, rocked along nicely, a linear story line (is that a first for QT?). I'd agree with most reviewers that Chapter 1 was by far the best, but yup Mr Pitt was good, and the Nazi hunter played by Christopher Waltz, who, it appears, has had a very long and successful career in Germany, was superb.
Script was nice and tight, it certainly didn't feel like 153mins, and there wasn't much gore in there. Sadly. There is a predominant feel of spaghetti western, aided by the music choice, which was a conscious choice by QT apparently. I thought it worked quite well.

So yeah, big thumbs up, I enjoyed it and would watch it again...


6 September 2009

Zombies!! Nazi's!!! and email

Watched Dead Snow last night while sipping Greene King IPA and eating blue cheese. Some whisky may have disappeared too. Fun movie, zombie nazi's terrorise a bunch of med students in an almost cliche ridden horror movie. But something, probably the pacing, manages to avoid falling into cliche. Thoroughly enjoyed this flick. There's humour, horror, and nice tribute to Braindead. The tagline of Ein! Zwei! Die! is superb too.

Still don't have internet hooked up here, which means I'm hooking up using BTs wireless thing about once a week at home. Which is a bit annoying, but there ya go. Must chase Virgin a bit see if I can get cable here, and therefore avoid the whole phone debacle...no-one speaks highly of BTs ability to get phones into homes.
I see the PC8 is out now, and the Kilchoman is released this week, may have to venture down to London and get some of them.

Listening to music today and reading the papers. Oh it's a hell-ish life, it really is. Might venture upstairs and get some cheese later.

Me xx

Week 2 in blighty

Reflections on Week 2
I'm all in favour of short weeks, Monday was a bank holiday and Tuesday was a Uni holiday. Monday was a quiet day pottering around, having a look around Shepshed. Tuesday, I walked into work to find out A) how long it would take (45-50mins), and B) where the building was. 
So I started on Wednesday. Quiet first day, although the PC was all set up and stuff which was encouraging. Spent sometime talking to HR getting pay details sorted - which I felt was important - and getting shown around the department. 
Just to amuse people: I'm on a PC, a toshiba laptop. It's running XP, which at least isn't Vista. There are a fair number of Mac's around which is nice to see. Even a few in the office I'm in. I got laughed at by one of them as he wandered past when I had the apple site up … heh heh. Having issues with the bloody UK keyboard tho', the left hand shift key is half the size I'm used to, which means i keep typing \9 instead of (. 
Lots of good beer around, and there's a group that head down each Fri lunchtime for real ale and lunch. That worked for me. 
Even spotted a marillion coffee mug around the department.
Although on that topic, coffee is dire. Asking around revealed that my preliminary findings (all bad) were right. So I'll start organising a filter machine. Although that may need to wait till payday at the end of the month. So my caffeine intake has been low, very very low.I'm feeling rather good tho', so maybe I should cut down? Hmmm will consider that a bit more before I do anything rash. 
Purchasing this week: it got cold - immediately after my complaints about it being too hot - so i bought a duvet. And a jug as I was a bit sick of boiling water in a saucepan. Next up this weekend will be an ironing board as ironing on a towel on a bench isn't the easiest.
Bought a couple of shirts too, as a number of mine are 'on a boat'. They turned up today and look damn good. Trousers are next on the list. Yes, it's all go here. 
Having said that, dress code at work is very very relaxed. But hell, I like clothes shopping. So I'll look pretty (like a Mac) and still no ties - huzzah! 
Was going to head to London tomorrow, but won't now - might head to Leicester to find a filter machine and look at couches/tv's/DVDs etc. Not that I can afford them. Need a bike too. Ahhh the joys of having *nothing*, does give freedom to get stuff tho'. 
I can report that Leicester has a reasonable farmers market, and that the red leicester smoked cheese is rather yum. Even if the fridge now smells of smoke. I have a rather crap filter machine, but at least it tastes better than the plunger. Need to source good beans tho'. Oh woe is me.
The Marillion vouchers I won came in handy for a CD which arrived today, as did the new Mew album, and a boxset of Coen brothers (3.99UKP). So a quiet music evening tomorrow methinks.
Watching a spaghetti western thanks to Pearce tonight: and god said to cain (1970). It's all very dramatic, but kinda ok. 
In other news, my thursday night, now bereft of music quiz, involved reading my book (i've got time to read now, very exciting), and upgrading the baby to 10.6. Didn't take too long, and like most people I've found a distinct speed increase, particularly boot and shutdown. The upgrade to QT player is a very welcome change, and the option to save as PDF in TextEdit seems new, and a good thing. Havent noticed any compatibility issues for the stuff I've tried so far. So all in all seems ok.

1 September 2009

On my way to work, but no dwarves

Since it's a Uni holiday today, I decided to wander into work to see how long it took. 45-50 minutes apparently. Or disc 1 of Happiness is the Road as it turned out. It's not a very interesting walk heading down the A512, and over the M1.
The apartment can be seen here. I'll put up my own pics later...

I did promise some pics, so thanks to Google Maps, here's the mill :

View Larger Map

My walk to work:

View Larger Map

And the University: it's bloody massive

View Larger Map

Musings on the news : sex and prison

I'm confused at the current kerfuffle about the South African chick who is getting harassed for not being a chick, or maybe being a chick. The human rights bleedin' hearts brigade say, if she feels like a woman, she's a woman.
I find that argument to be bollox.
There are fundamental differences in muscular development between men and woman, related to the distribution and quantity of testosterone and oestrogen. that's why there are significant differences between the sexes in the world record times in athletics.
If we follow the liberals perspective to its logical conclusion, then men and woman will race against each other with no differentiation due to sex. And my money will be on men winning. A lot.

So, as far as I'm concerned, all athletes should be tested. Aside from the usual collection of drugs testing, throw in a TDF or SRY gene test. Presence = male, absence = female. It really is that simple. This is a better test than a karyotype spread, it is possible to be male without a Y chromosome, as it's those genes (SRY in particular) that derails the default female pathway into male development.

And in the second part, prison. See I bet most of you reading this thought it would be a perverted missive on prison sex, hahaha fell into my cunning plan !
Scotland and that prisoner. The one who may, or may not have, had something to do with the Lockerbie bombing. Now a lot of political mileage is being made from this case, Gordie B-boi managed to fuck things up again, by forgetting to comment - although Cameron and his c-rew havent really done much of note either.
To recap: Scotland released Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. He's got three months to live due to cancer. 

The yanks are complaining. Not entirely surprising since if he'd been tried over there it'd have been a quick fry-up, or a long long soak in a bath - head first.
The American on the street is quoted as saying it's disgusting and that they won't be going on holiday to Scotland, and will boycott Scottish products. 
I know where I'm holidaying next :)
I wonder if their boycotting includes North Sea oil? Heh heh. Shame its 2pm, otherwise I'd have a nip of Scotch to show solidarity...

Personally: the Scottish governments decision may act as the defining act of the country. From my vague following of the self-governing thing the Scots have been doing, and discussions with various Scots, no-one seemed very sure what the hell Alex and crew were doing previously. 
This decision is compassionate. It's sensible. It should shame countries who don't do similar (US?). And if I were Scottish, I'd feel very proud of the government - something akin to how NZ felt when we told nuclear powered warships to piss off.