Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont
Friday, August 29, 2003
The BBC Creative Archive...
The BBC has announced that it is to open up it's BBC archive. Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, has said that, "everyone would in future be able to download BBC radio and TV programmes from the internet. I believe that we are about to move into a second phase of the digital revolution, a phase which will be more about public than private value; about free, not pay services; about inclusivity, not exclusion." Wow! Incredible! But I bet BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has something to say about it.
Thursday vs Thursday...
Last night I was stuck in traffic with my boss who was trying to drive me home through a rush hour power cut, pouring rain and thronging crowds of bewildered pedestrians. As I was sitting in the drivers seat with the rain bashing against the windscreen my mind wandered back to the previous Thursday. The previous Thursday when I was at the Man Bar. The Man Bar's Boots Only night.
Two Thursdays. Chalk and cheese.
Well, when I say cheese...
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Help! I'm stuck at work!...
Power cut causes chaos.
One thing that Marky has noticed recently - as indeed have I - is that neither of us can write properly any more. Handwriting for even more than a few paragraphs starts to give us cramps in our hands and fingers. So out of condition are we from typing everything on keyboards, our once proud handwriting skills from school and uni have all but disappeared. Even the very quality of my handwriting has dropped so that even I find it hard to read it back after the first few pages of A4. Use it or lose it, I guess.
But then again who needs to write anything more than a Post-It these days? A note to the cleaner? A list for Sainsbury's? Handwriting is so last century. Who needs pens and pencils? The computer is king, right? Keyboards are the present and the future, OK?
Well I might subscribe to this line of reasoning but for three little letters. RSI. And I get it big time. So despite being a digital fan for the most part I still end up writing things down (albeit in my out of practice scrawl) just to give my typing fingers a bit of a break.
Marky is sitting his final exam for his Master's today. Three essays in three hours on various topics all relating to International Non-Governmental Organisations. He's been studying for it for a two years on a weekly day release scheme at work and he's been working his socks off, the little soldier. I wish him all the luck in the world.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
My brother Simon is mental. But in a nice way.
First I get bombarded with text messages "wot is the name of the blond princess in the two towers?" "The one who lived in the fort with her dad." "2 little girl's happiness depends on your knowledge" "WOT's the answer!"
And while I'm trying to remember if it's Eowyn or Arwen or Galadriel (but she was the big elf, no?) I start getting the lyrics to Electric 6's Gay Bar from him and then a couple of media messages besides with photos.
Mental. But in a nice way.
Do you have a mad brother?
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Who has the biggest spaceship?...
Ever wondered how big those sci-fi spaceships are. Well wonder no longer. And here are some everyday (!) objects to compare them with.
[To scale. No, really!]
Friday, August 22, 2003
The Mayor's Reception...
Ken Livingston has invited us round to his gaff for drinks. When I say "us" I mean Marky, me the other 499 gay couples who have signed up for the London Partnership Registry since it's inception 2 years ago. And when I say "gaffe" I mean City Hall down by Tower Bridge. And when I say "drinks" I do really mean drinks. It's an evening reception so I guess there mightl be nibbles too. Nice of him I must say. 1000 poofs at City Hall getting pissed at the tax payers expense. Don't suppose they'll be much chance of pulling though - they'll all have boyfriends :)
Duckie: the pictures...
As I think I mentioned earlier in the week we went to Duckie at the RVT again last Saturday night. The pictures tell a sorry tale.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
This Periodic Table online brought back many nice memories of being at school 25 years ago and lusting after my chemistry teacher, Mr Cummings. We used to call him 'Concorde'. Because of his nose. Not that it was big exactly. But it could comfortably seat 100 people and their luggage. Fnah.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Goldfrapp: New Single, New Boogie, New Shit...
Following a summer of stunning festival appearances across Europe, Japan and Australia, Goldfrapp announce their biggest UK tour so far for the autumn plus a new single and in between have just remixed Marilyn Manson's next single.
Twist, the new Goldfrapp single is released on 20th October with the UK tour kicking off the next day in Newcastle, full details below.
Twist comes backed with Goldfrapp's ace new studio version of their steamy cover of "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" (big '70s disco hit for Baccara) which has had young boys across the globe sweating at the live shows plus an exclusive live version of Felt Mountain's Deer Stop. CD2 features a sick remix of Twist by Jacques Lu Cont (Les Rhymes Digitales, Zoot Woman), Dimitri Tikovoi's mix of the single and label mates the Mountaineers brilliant take of Forever (taken from top pop record Black Cherry).
In the modern fashion, there is also a DVD single of exclusive visuals filmed live and behind the scenes at Goldfrapp's seaside summer special at Somerset House on London's Thames riviera, including Twist and live versions of the singles Train and Strict Machine.
And finally a word from Marilyn Manson on the remix for the new single, This Is The New Shit, out on 1st September. "(Sounding as) If Gary Glitter and Marlene Dietrich turned the Nurnberg rallies into a rave. By far the most creative remix that anyone has done for me"
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Goldfrapp UK Tour Dates...
21.10.03 University Newcastle £ 13.50
23.10.03 Academy Glasgow Scotland £ 13.50
24.10.03 Academy Manchester £ 13.50
25.10.03 Foundry/Octagon Sheffield £ 13.50
27.10.03 University Leicester £ 13.50
28.10.03 Apollo Hammersmith London £17.50
30.10.03 University Cardiff £ 13.50
Anyone fancy coming to the Hammersmith gig at the end of October?
Short Circuit Your Brain...
Look at the chart below and say the COLOUR of the word, not the word itself.
Why is it so difficult? Because the right half of your brain is trying to say the colour, while the left side of your brain is trying to say the word.
Damn and Blast...
MSBlast (aka W32/Lovgate.gen@M virus) has been affecting my life a lot over the past week. Not because my own PC has been infected (oh no, that crashed all by itself) but because those close to me have: work colleagues, friends, friends of friends. So I've been running around with my various patches, fixes and anti-virus tools saving various people's bacon as their PCs crash and burn. Spending four hours on a Saturday afternoon disinfecting a PC wasn't my idea of fun to be honest.
Some relief was had at Duckie later though. The usual suspects were there. Dancing, loving, laughing and living. Sunday was a giggle too. Ben and Sarah and Luke and Andrew and Paul and Marky and me were all Ex Librus and PS2 dance-matting. Pure fun.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Brain Teaser Solutions...
There may be others of course!
In the 'father' problem, you may well have assumed that the grandfather is the father of the girl's father. It is quite conceivable, and reasonably frequent, that the grandfather on one side of the family is a lot younger than the other. In this case, the girl's maternal grandfather is around 45 years old, her mother is now 27 and has married a man 20 years her senior. So the girl's father is now 47.
In the 'tennis' quickie you may well have thought that the men were playing games against each other. In fact, they were playing doubles together and they won three sets out of five against their opponents.
3) Dealing cards
Instead of concentrating on where to deal the next card, concentrate on where to deal the last card, on the bottom of the pack. You know the last card should go to yourself, so deal it; the next on the bottom goes to the player on your right. Carry on dealing, in an anticlockwise direction off the bottom of the pack until the remainder is dealt out.
Friday, August 15, 2003
Friday Brain Teasers...
A young girl told her grandfather to stop teasing her and 'grow up'. If her grandfather was as old as her father he would be more sensible. How can this be?
Two men were playing tennis. They played five sets but each won three sets. How can this be?
3) Dealing cards
Imagine you are dealing all the cards of the pack equally, one by one, to a group of players. About halfway through your deal, you are interrupted and distracted. You lose your place and don't know where to deal the next card. In what simple way can you complete the deal, giving each player the card they would have received without counting the cards you've already dealt to any hand and without counting the cards you have left to deal?
Thursday, August 14, 2003
One of those days...
It's a been a busy 24 hours so sorry for the lack of posting.
Yesterday our network was hit by this W32/Lovgate.gen@M virus doing the rounds at the moment. It didn't have too much of an effect other than to panic everyone. Local McAfee installs caught it fine but we ended up losing the morning due to user's doing headless chicken impressions. Ho hum.
Then for some reason my PC decided to throw a wobbly. I spoke to it nicely but it was having now of it. Eventually I decided to knock my SCSI drives on the head and pop in a new SATA drive and reinstall. What a revelation! Fresh installs of operating systems are so fast and clean. It's even, dare I say it, reawakened my like of Windows XP - something that had waned considerably in recent months.
Then our new MD decided that I had to go to his house and help set up his son's PC - printing, sound, internet access, the lot. It didn't help that the install as on Arabic Windows XP but eventually we got there.
So today I'm catching up with the lost hours from yesterday and reinstalling my favourite apps on my reborn PC. Quite fun, actually.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Schwarzenegger's Handshake Injures Dozens at Rally...
While canvassing for votes at a California fundraiser, gubernatorial uber-guttural candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger injured as many as 38 people with his crushing handshake.
The apparent front-runner in the recall race aggravated the nerve damage of carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers, some of whom fainted dead away after having their hands squeezed so vigorously. Local hospitals treated dozens of bone bruises, inflamed tendons, and burst blood vessels after the event.
Schwarzenegger caused all this grief while working a receiving line, blissfully ignorant of the pain he left in his wake. The screams of agony were lost among the cheers and shouts of joy at his appearance, as his handlers kept him moving quickly from person to person.
A spokesman for Schwarzenegger's campaign later apologised to the wounded. "Arnie plans to let the muscles in his right hand atrophy over the next couple of months to prevent this from happening again." When asked what activities would be cut out of Schwarzenegger's exercise regimen to achieve this, the spokesman said, "I'd love to make a masturbation joke here, but I'm just not that quick-witted." He was subsequently fired.
Morgan Dimple, one of the victims of Schwarzenegger's mighty mitts, told overyourhead news hound Daphne Bangme, "He says he has a firm grip on the voters, but this is ridiculous!"
Monday, August 11, 2003
Business and Pleasure...
Worked late Friday night. Brigton Pride all day Saturday. Duckie Saturday night. Called into the office for an emergency Sunday night.
Here are some snaps Brighton.
[Thanks to Marky for taking the pix]
Friday, August 08, 2003
Kate Bush's Birthday, Duckie...
Last Saturday night we had a meal out in Islington followed by a fabby time at Duckie. Amongst other various mischief going on: David seemed to be enjoying himself to the max though the landlord wasn't too keen on him swinging off the doors, the little tinker. Jasons #1, #2 and #3 were all looking as cute as ever. I hadn't seen Tim in donkey's. Or Kevin - who gave me a good debenture tip. Nice to see first-timer Marcus having such a good time along with partner in crime sexy Jonnie. The act was Indian stilt dancing (what else?!). The veggie burgers were delicious. Someone made my nipples very, very sore. Meeting Paul's friends was a blast. The music was fan-tas-tic. Charlie was looking as gorgeous as ever. Celebrating Kate Bush's birthday was great fun - especially the impromptu Hammer Horror stage act. Great that Mikey could make it.
[Thanks to Marky taking the snaps]
This is fab. Just like Micro Machines but with sushi!
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Smoking is good for you ...
According to today's Guardian, "Every week we read that something we believe is bad for us actually has beneficial health effects. This week it's coffee, before that it was pizza - and every other day it's red wine. But can these stories really be true? That depends how you interpret the facts. To demonstrate, Ian Sample 'scientifically proves' the benefits of a few risky pastimes"
So marvel at the benefits of:
Having unprotected sex
Using mobile phones
Watching a great deal of TV
Listening to loud, repetitive music
Riding fast motorbikes
Flying economy class
Eating fatty food
Eating salty food
Becoming a boxer
It's the little things...
How to keep an idiot busy.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
It's Marky and my anniversary today.
Anniversary's are odd things. Odd because the unspoken word that proceeds them is often assumed to be "wedding". Your wedding anniversary. And I guess for many married people that is exactly what it means. They go out together for a year or two, set a date and then get married. The marriage is the thing that they celebrate once a year. Their wedding anniversary. But for me (and many of my friends) that doesn't quite work out.
Many couples that I know are not married - either because they are gay couples or just because they chose not to marry. So what anniversary do they choose to celebrate? For example, our GLA partnership registration was nearly 10 years after we started dating so it doesn't seem to really reflect the time we have spent together.
Some married friends of mine have a been together far longer than they have actually been married. They lived together you years and got married to have kids. So when should they celebrate their anniversary?
I guess it's a matter of choice. Arbitrary, even. Pick a date that you both agree is a significant date. The first time your eyes met across a crowded room. A first dinner date. A first chaste kiss. The day you moved in together.
Marky and my anniversary is perhaps a little more... er... carnal.
It was on our first anniversary that I was chatting to my mother on the phone. The subject came up that Marky and I were going out for a romantic meal for two to celebrate our anniversary. "Anniversary of what?", my mother asked. I paused perhaps a little too long. "Oh", she said. I could feel her cheeks flushing 35 miles away in Welwyn as it dawned on her.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Shake You Tail Feather...
Tomorrow night is Darren's monthly bash at Flip, Shake Your Tail Feather. Plus tonight, he's setting the Pop Quiz. Sadly I can't be in a attendance at either but a hope both go really well.
Monday, August 04, 2003
4D Rubik's cube
Magic Cube 4D is a fully functional four-dimensional analog of Rubik's cube. Perhaps a little too mind-bending for a Monday though.
Friday, August 01, 2003
Vatican: Voice Of Reason...
The Vatican: "homosexual unions are immoral, unnatural and harmful."
"There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family".
"To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
"Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law."
Piss off, you irrelevancy.
Kath & Kim Series 2...
From: I am effluent! 29/07/2003 12:29:13 PM
Subject: Kath & Kim Series 2 post id: 434
Hello chooky babes, when is Kath & Kim Series 2 due to screen? I can't wait!!
From: Tash 29/07/2003 12:32:02 PM
Subject: re: Series 2 post id: 447
Roughly September 18th 2003 - it is said the series will air after Kath & Kim Series 1 has finished repeating, so that date is September 18th. Keep an eye out for it ;)
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