Tuesday, August 31, 2004

No, of course I'm not around. I said Saturday didn't I? You're just imagining things again. Still, while we're on the subject of imagination, imagine you're reading the long-awaited second part of 'Damn-Fine Hostile Takeover' starring Jenny Everywhere!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Perhaps predictably, my computer has now completely broken down. So I have to resort to Internet Cafes, Libraries and turning tricks outside the House of Commons like every other blogger. However, when I phoned up my now close personal friends at the technical support line on Monday they were stumped by my telling them the computer now did absolutely nothing when I turned it on. Nada. Zilch. They couldn't prevaricate any longer and agreed to send an engineer out to have a look at it. It would have to be today they said. OK, I said.

So I get a phone call this morning from the engineer saying he'd be around around 11:00. Then about 10:15 I get a phone call from my parents, saying the engineer had turned up at their house.

How it works out is this: My father bought me the computer. His name and address are on the invoice. However, when we bought it we made it very clear to the people at PC World that it was for me, so my name and address are down as the actual physical location and owner, as t'wer, of the machine. Every time I phone up technical support I have to confirm my name and address, and I give them MY name and address and there is no problem. Technical support know it's me and not my Dad who owns the PC. So quite why they sent an engineer to my parents house I'm at a loss, other than the obvious of them being a bunch of brain-dead morons.

So the engineer goes and talks to his people and gets back to me. Of course, they can't find an engineer in my area to fix my computer today. And I'm off to Bicon tomorrow. So I'm not going to have an engineer come and look at the computer until a fortnight today, being the first day, bar weekends, when I'm going to be at home.

So Blah Flowers will be on hiatus for a little while, unless I find a cheap Internet cafe at Bicon or afterwards when I go on holiday with my parents for a couple of days to Suffolk.

So, take care of yourselves and one another. I'll be in touch.

Dick Cheney opposes a ban on gay marriage. So this is presumerably the now entirely dispensible Dick Cheney speaking? He spends a couple of days talking about how the Republican party isn't just there for the nasty people in life then, wouldn't you know it? He has to stand down for health reasons and Bush announces his new running mate is the Grand Imperial Wizard of the Klu-Klux-Klan, because George wants a moderate on the ticket. There is no way in hell the Republicans have decided to alienate all those queer-hatin', God-fearing, middle-Merkins and hopefully it's not going to fool anyone else either.

Mark Thatcher arrested over allegations of involvement in a coup in Equatorial Guinea. You know who else has been thought to have been linked to this right? Jeffrey Archer. Might he be looking at writing volume four?

And the Athens Olympics seems to believe it can regulate how people link to it's webpages.

a) Use the term ATHENS 2004 only, and no other term as the text referent.

So presumerably this is bang out of order then?

Parties wishing to use a graphic element (banner) to link the ATHENS 2004 website can do so only by using the special ATHENS 2004 link buttons that are available here.

I'm an unsanctioned banner, click on me to go to the Athens 2004 website!


Needless to say I won't be writing to them for permission to use these links either. I'm sure the world won't fall apart if I encourage everyone to use their own links and banners to the Athens Olympic site?

For more on this story, read this.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Picked up a flyer for Beyond Porn at The Nancy Victor Gallery at The Foundry last night. My interest is piqued by the presence of Bill Drummond, which may explain why he started that ratemywhore website a few months back. I'll pop in if I have a chance during the week, though the website is singularly vague as to what is actually going on there...

Look what happens when you Google for 'hysterical bigot'.

You've got until Friday to check out the RA of the twentieth August edition of the BBC Radio Three showMixing It, which has an amazing interview and preview of Bjork's new album Medulla. I was underwhelmed by the quiet and ballady Vespertine, as I've always liked the weird and idiosynchratic tuneage of Bjork's collaborators which I felt was missing from that album but by removing all instruments and making an entirely vocal album I think Bjork has made something really exciting.

Out for drinks last night to celebrate Gypsy Lantern's birthday, sitting in The Foundry and trying to ignore the painfully hip residents of Shoreditch gyrating around us, big huggles to Plums and The Boy Fly especially.

Otherwise, a note to myself is to never ever go into town if the tube has been deliberately closed for engineering work. This is because the road system in North London is completely fucked, especially around Golders Green, although it didn't help that the police had shut the road beyond the Hippodrome. But the bus from Edgware to Hampstead was a picnic compared to coming home at 11:00 pm and having to wait on the Hampstead pavement for the replacement bus to get me home. I mean, have you been in Hampstead around midnight on a Saturday night? To misquote Blackadder, eternity in the company of Satan and all his hellish minions is a picnic compared to ten minutes in Hampstead on a Saturday night. Managed to get on the third bus and get a seat, but we had a second bus behind us which people didn't seem to notice as they pushed onto our one, right to the front. I wasn't sure that they'd be able to close the door.

Things eased up once we'd got to Golders Green and a lot of people jumped off there but then tempers flared when it turned out the bus driver wasn't going to Brent Cross tube station, several people forced the doors open and jumped out the bus. When we got to Hendon I found out that the bus wasn't going to Colindale tube either so got out there and walked the rest of the way home. So much for a replacement bus service. So that's an experience I don't particularly want to repeat.

Friday, August 20, 2004

First Nancy Reagan, now even the Iraqi football (or 'soccer' as the colonials would have it) team don't want to be associated with Shrubya's reelection campaign.

[Shrubya] is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements. In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself." Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

...To a man, members of the Iraqi Olympic delegation say they are glad that former Olympic committee head Uday Hussein, who was responsible for the serial torture of Iraqi athletes and was killed four months after the U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq in March 2003, is no longer in power. But they also find it offensive that Bush is using Iraq for his own gain when they do not support his administration's actions. "My problems are not with the American people," says Iraqi soccer coach Adnan Hamad. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

Just tell yourself you're recuperating the image back into the spectacle or something, it's the dubious taste game du jour, find something, point at it, have your photo and submit it here. Photos of people 'doing a Lynndie'. Personally I like Man singing with bad suit, Haymarket, London and Man sitting at computer, Canary Wharf, London.

Another day, another phone call to the PC Support people about my computer and it's tendency to reboot during the first twenty minutes or so after I switch it on, another refusal to send out an engineer. Now I have to test whether it's my broadband modem causing the problem, I have to unplug the modem, reset to before I installed anything, let it run for a few hours to see if it's okay, then presumerably reinstall everything AGAIN. I get the feeling these jokers aren't actually looking to solve why my computer is up the spout but instead how much money they can get from my phone calls before I wise up.

I tried phoning PC World to see if I could take the computer along to them and get them to have a look but no joy: They refered me back to the PC Support people. I'm now doubtful that I'll get this sorted before I head to Bicon next Thursday.

You are Phlegmatic. You have a peace-loving nature, and make a good listener and a faithful friend.
You do have a tendency to be selfish and stubborn in your worst moments, and your worrying can lean towards paranoia.
Phlegmatics should consider careers as accountants, diplomats, engineers, and administrators. You are a somewhat reluctant leader, but your practicality and steady nerve under pressure makes you a natural choice for leadership roles.

Which of the Humours are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Diamondgeezer points to the solution to the Blogger bunging their search bar over the title of your Blog problem here, it's pretty poor that Blogger hide the solution away rather than, I don't know, putting a link to it on the actual search bar itself as it seems to have affected every blog I've seen. Anyway, compared to that it's fairly small potatoes that I couldn't get the fix to work, and had to make judicious use of a {br} tag before my blog title in the template instead.


"Girl! I want to drop on you a Gay Bomb!" [via Plasticbag]

The explosive device is a foot long and shaped like a cigar with a pair of land mines at one end... The Gay Bomb was already in the planning stages when Osama Bin Laden and close, intimate friend Muhammad Atef founded the international terrorist group Al Qaeda in 1989. "Atef and Bin Laden spent many late nights together during that time of revolution," reveals an ex-Al Qaeda member... One morning, I entered their living quarters and they had worked so hard the night before they had fallen into bed together, suffering from exhaustion."

Is this man the elusive head of Al Qaeda operations in America? US Senator Ted Kennedy's name finds it's way onto Homeland Security terrorism 'no-fly list'.

We3. I thought this was going to be awful when I heard the premise, and I seem to be one of the few people for whom Seaguy didn't rock their world, but with Frank Quitely on the pencils and Grant big upping it in interviews, was I likely to stay away? [via LinkMachineGo]

In case of national emergency, The Department of Social Scrutiny recommend you sit down and have a nice cup of tea.

The Rockall Times reports David Blunkett shatters Olympic record for knee-jerk legislation proposal.

One, Two, Many, Lots. Researchers find tribe who count like Terry Pratchett's trolls, say this suggests language shapes human thought.

Italian librarians send out 'very overdue letters' to lawmakers. And, thanks to Lucy Anne, Librarians In Porn!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

"Our top story tonight. First Lady Laura Bush still believes there is a Liberal bias dominating American media, it's them that makes it so difficult for her husband to blow up the rest of the world. Next up it's Ted with a report on the new must-have foodstuff- flying pork!"

And a BIG THANK YOU to Blogger for putting that search bar right across the top of the page across the title of the Blog. I'll try and change the template for the blog sometime soon to something different but it'll probably involve filling in the information in my personal profile as that seems to be included in all of them whether I wanted it to be or not...

Here's an amusing article from The Guardian about geographic gaffes that have cost Microsoft dearly in sales around the world.

Here's an amusing article from The Guardian about geographic gaffes that have cost Microsoft dearly in sales around the world.

American anarchists debate whether their principles are more important than getting Bush out in November.

Susan Heitker, 32, of Athens, believes that the U.S. government is neither legitimate nor democratic, but she still plans to vote. "To me, at least, it's important to vote," she said. "There was a time when I was not going to vote, but I really dislike Bush."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

For the benefit of The Owl Woman, The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle was completely trashed in the flash floods at the weekend. Any donations or offers of help to restore it will be gratefully received. Contact details on the website.

"Al Qaeda? Women who have abortions? No difference." Even for a vindictive right-wing over-the-top statement, that's got to be winning some sort of award?

There's a good article by Polly Toynbee in today's Guardian about the reluctance of the liberal Left to criticise Islam which, with the passing of the demos against Tony and George's Big Desert Adventure and with Outrage's demonstration against Palestine's homophobia, has been something I've been thinking about recently. However, Toynbee does go too far in praising Turkey as a model for what as an Islamic state should be, while it may be improving slightly it's treatment of it's sizeable Kurdish population is still extremely poor. (See Also: Kurdish Human Rights Project.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tidying up in The Posh Library (as it seems delays mean I won't be going back to The Closed Library before I go on holiday) I see that the Fighting Fantasy books have been rereleased. Ahh, they formed a key part of my pre-teenage years. They scored over the wussier Choose Your Own Adventure books by realising that young children like lots of violence, as much as possible. Oh yes, SKILL, STAMINA, and LUCK, the roll of dice, Deathtrap Dungeon, the frankly terrifying House of Hell the only book to be set in the 'real world'... the increasing interweavving of plots between stories to try and encourage you to get them all... Creature of Havoc which made no sense at all... Great days.

As an addendum to this hysteria in the skies you can read all Annie Jacobsen's columns on the issue to daye here. By part five Jacobsen has it that everyone on the plane is praying for their livesand that the Syrian musicians maliciously decide not to be terrorists. I expect that part six will involve secret Syrian timemachines which they used to kill the Kennedys instead.

Called The Owl Woman last night to make sure she wasn't anywhere near the Cornwall flash-floods that happened yesterday, thankfully she was miles away in a different part of the county. All I can say is thank Christ that Super John Prescott was on hand and ready to slip into an unflattering wetsuit at the first site of trouble. Apparently it's the remains of hurricane Bonnie, I don't know, these American weather systems, they come over here...

Anyway, my weekend was fun. To try and work out why my computer keeps crashing the lovely technical support people that PC World signed me up for as part of their warranty program take the opinion that a customer won't see hide or hair of an engineer until they've exhausted all the options for sorting a problem out that don't involve screwdrivers. So I had to reinstall Windows XP. So I had to spend two hours on Friday night backing up my files (and deciding which ones to forgot so, once reinstalled I could scream "Oh no, I forgot to save..."). So I put in the recovery disk. So the computer then did stuff for about another two hours. I had some food, watched some TV. Once it finally looked like it had finished it decided to look like it had crashed. Looking back I'm not sure that it had, there was a program on the screen called 'Windows Burnin' which I'd never seen before but, because it said it was shutting down and stayed that way for around thirty minutes I made the mistake of thinking that the computer had crashed. I quit out of it and, surprise surprise, the reinstall had failed.

I tried again Saturday morning before work, it crashed again, though at a completely different point and definitely not my fault this time. So, another call to technical support when I got home from work. Two crashes still didn't merit an engineer though, now 'exhausting all other options' seemed to include 'trying to figure out why Windows XP wouldn't reinstall to see whether a clean new version of Windows XP would still crash'. I was expecting that if this didn't work that they'd probably string me out further, that I would be sent on a quest to Blackpool to slay a mighty dragon as part of the procedure to find out why XP wasn't installing in order to...

Rather than waste the 30p it probably costs in order to produce a seperate CD recovery disk a few years back Packard Bell decided to store the recovery information on the hard-disk itself. Quite how they stop this from getting corrupted I don't know, but on the recovery floppy disk there's a program that's supposed to scan this part of the hard disk to see if it's corrupted. "What if it is corrupted?" I asked. "Engineer! At last!" I thought. "Oh, you'd have to phone up Packard Bell and ask them to send you the CD-Roms to reinstall Windows XP. Probably take four to five working days." So he gave me instructions on how to escape to DOS from the recovery program and start this disk-checking thingumy. Which didn't appear to be on the floppy disk. "I don't understand," said he, "it's standard kit on all recovery disks." He asked if I had a working computer that could download the piece of software that I needed to help fix my broken computer. Erm, no. "Engineer now surely!" I thought. "Do you live near a PC World?" He asked. "Ye-es," I said warily, although the fact that I was running up huge phone bills with him rather than dumping the problem on PC World's lap should have been a clue that I had foolishly thought technical support the easier option. "Go to them and ask them to do you a new disk and make sure it has program x on it." (Where program x equals whatever it was I needed to check my computer). I sighed and hung up for the evening.

Sunday morning and it was along to PC World. It's only about a mile and a half away but any other time of the week getting there by public transport is a real pain as it crosses several different congestion routes. But Sunday morning it was fairly easy. When I asked at the desk for a new disk the first guy said that they didn't do them any more, despite me saying that their own technical support people had said they did. Luckily spotty teenager number two was more on the ball and able to sort me out a disk. Back home and back on the phone to a different technical support guy, it took a little while for newguy to work out how to get it started, but when he did I realised this had been on my original floppy as well, but Saturday Night Guy hadn't known how to get it to work. I was supposed to be going out on Sunday afternoon to meet some people for a picnic in a park, instead I had to stay home and watch my computer do some very long scans of itself which eventually all finished to say there was nothing wrong with it. So all I could do was the reinstall AGAIN, leaving well enough alone until I had a blank desktop in front of me to see it had worked.

I was advised to leave the computer alone for a couple of hours to see if it crashed. It didn't, and come Sunday evening I started reloading programs and files back on to it. By late Sunday evening I had all the programs and the modem sorted out, yesterday morning I was getting my anti-virus and firewall working too. And after I'd got it all how I wanted it... it crashed twice. I haven't bothered phoning technical support again yet. Mainly because if we've finally reached the end of all their 'things to do instead' list I'm working until the end of the week anyway. But during one of those long conversations with technical support people they said that the crashing might be due to a malfunctioning fan or clogged heat sink, so my plan is that, unless the computer becomes unusable between now and Thursday week, when I'm up to Manchester for Bicon, I'm going to take it in to PC World and hopefully leave it to them to check if it's either of those things or something else.

So that was my weekend...

Monday, August 16, 2004

Much as I dislike both Murdoch's evil empire or mocking the afflicted, I had to mention this report from The Sun on the woman with whom Shiteyes (I make an exception in Blunko's case) is having the adulterous affair:

'I told him I was tall and blonde'... Cheeky Kimberly introduced herself to David Blunkett by jokily pretending she was tall and blonde.

And she's not blind, so what's her excuse? Is it Kissinger's 'power in the ultimate aphrodisiac'?

Ho ho ho... Shiteyes has refused to discuss newspaper claims that he is having an affair with a married mother. Presumably if we all had ID Cards then Blunkett would be able to check her marital status before anything happened, though the image of Blunkett in coitus is obviously a disturbing one which I'd like to leave to fester in your brains...

Another day, Another official agency warns about confusion over ID Cards and what they are for and another case of it being ignored by the Home Office.

Mr Thomas says, although he is not for or against an ID card scheme itself, he is concerned about the government's failure to spell out their exact purpose... "The government has changed its line over the last two or three years as to what the card is intended for. "You have to have clarity. Is it for the fight against terrorism? Is it to promote immigration control? Is it to provide access to public benefits and services?" A Home Office spokesman said: "The Government remains committed to its plans for a national identity card scheme which, among other things, will protect people in the fight against identity fraud and organised crime."

AAAARGH! But it won't, it won't It Won't! It's nothing more than a gravy train for big business to make huge amounts of money from the public purse! It was proposed as part of the War Against Terror but that aspect was later dropped when Shiteyes Blunkett was forced to admit that it wouldn't help at all!

Meanwhile, Blair wants to scrap the rules that delay Ministers and civil servants leaving Government and moving into jobs in related industries despite the fact that I'm fairly sure Labour lobbied hard to bring those rules in back in their days of opposition, saying that not doing so was part of the sleaze of Major's government.

It comes at a time when Whitehall is being flooded with controversial applications from senior civil servants and the military, who have been offered private-sector jobs. One watchdog has voiced concern about the growing "traffic" from the Ministry of Defence to British and foreign contractors who benefit from billions of pounds of defence orders every year. There have been 344 defence appointments in recent years.

I dare say that what with the old boys network and keeping in contact with friends in the department delaying people moving job has had more of a symbolic rather than actual effect but can't Blair even pretend any more that his Government isn't mired in sleaze?

I'm back. Bloody hell...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Potter is my bitch...
i'm in slytherin!

be sorted @ nimbo.net

Rotating nipples of death. The Clean Re-install last night didn't help, got as far as a new desktop and then things started going wrong. Tried again this morning before work and the re-install only got halfway before crashing. So I'm currently computerless at home and having to do everything while at work. I've got a fun evening ahead of me on the phone to technical support running through some tests they want to do before we can book an engineer. If that happens then hopefully there will be space for him to come out on Monday as otherwise I won't be free for another week.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Right, my computer's been playing up for the last fortnight and after making sure it wasn't a virus technical support have told me to reinstall Windows XP to see if that solves the problem. I've spent the last three hours backing up files, so now it's time to do the deed itself. I've managed to go for two and a half years without having such a serious problem with a computer which, considering the horror stories friends tell about Microsoft products, seems like some sort of minor miracle. All being well I'll be back later with a properly working computer, or at least one that works enough for my to Internet until an engineer can be called.

Oh listen, my computer's starting singing, isn't that sweet?

"Dai-sy, dai-sy, give me your answer do..."

Auntie Beeb have created a new Flash game to celebrate the Olympics, are you butch enough to win The Herculympics?

Shrubya's choice for head of the CIA admits he is in no way qualified to be head of the CIA. What with the "Shit! Look out! Al Qaeda are coming!" warning of a couple of days ago it's surely every patriotic American's duty to get their President-in-Cheat to get someone who would be able to do the job?

Look what happens when you Google for Richard Littlejohn (oy, I was bored!). And this is fun too. At least something in the world is right if the majority of the first few results on Google expose this cretin for what he is.

Has God been sleeping around? Well, either the Kenyan archbishop at the centre of this seems suspiciously calm about babies being born in his flock or there's a baby-trafficking scheme going on.

The CBI back Shiteye's ID Card scheme even though they are concerned about the details of the scheme.

CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said it shared government concern that having no way to prove identity made the UK more vulnerable to criminals and terrorists. He said: "ID cards could improve security and make access to public services more efficient."


Firms wanted to know they would not be penalised if they relied on data which turned out to be wrong, the CBI said.

So basically, if ID Cards turn out not to correctly identify someone, they don't want it to be businesses fault. Of course, the best way to ensure this would be not to have ID Cards. And would the national ID Card mean that any company that has it's own ID Cards will chuck them away? If a company is so concerned about ID it will have it's own cards, if it doesn't have it's own cards then why would it support a compulsory ID card as it obviously doesn't think they are important enough to need?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Is The Guardian planning some "Stop this sex-reassignment surgery madness!" campaign to get them through the quiet summer months? Two articles in as many weeks about people that had sex change operations and now regret it. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the fact The Guardian's record on ts reporting is appalling and that both articles are so sloppily written as to make it sound that anyone could walk into their doctor's tomorrow and walk out with a brand new set of genit@lia. Googling for Batty only seems to reveal he's who the Guardian contact when they want an article that's critical of the state of health and mental healthr provision in the UK today, so any axe he has to grind would appear to be from the 'transsexuality is a mental disorder to be treated with therapy rather than surgery' point of view. There's also this, same guy>?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Head of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program says Iraq destroyed its nuclear weapons programme in 1991 and never restarted it.

London has been continuously inhabited for over two thousand years; that is it's strength, and it's attraction. It affords the sensation of permanence, of solid ground. That is why the vagrant and the dispossessed lie in its streets; that is why the inhabitants of Harrow, of Croydon, call themselves 'Londoners'. It's history calls them, even if they do not know it. They are entering a visionary city.

Peter Ackroyd, London, The Biography.

'Wooooooh!' We're coming to get ya!

"Shit, someone bring some water, Osama is drying out!"

US intelligence make vague threats of new Al Qaeda attack. Basically they don't know who is going to be attacked, they don't know where it'll be and they don't know when it'll be. Obviously stung by Sept. 11th related criticism they are working on the principle that if they periodically pop up and say "look out!" then the law of averages means sooner or later they'll be right and the one thing they won't get blamed for is not warning people. Of course, if they didn't expose the few sources of information that they have in Al Qaeda they might be able to have some idea of when a genuine attack is going to happen.

Pardon me while I try to recover from the shock. A long-lasting Government inquiry into who, in the Government, leaked the Hutton Report, which completely vindicated the Government while unfairly criticising the BBC, to The Sun, whose propriator, Mr Rupert Murdoch, is someone the man in charge of the Government, Mr T. Blair, has always tried to do favours for and who has a virulent anti-BBC stance, because he's not allowed to own any of it, has come up blank. It seems that, with much to gain in terms of keeping Murdoch sweet and putting the boot into the BBC, plus the means and the opportunity, the Government inquiry can't find anyone who could have possibly done such a thing. No WMD, no lies to the public and no source for leaks to the press, well, at least there is consistency.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

And now I'm eagerly ticking off the days until I finally get to return to the Closed Library. It's supposed to be next week, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be anyone around who knows for sure exactly what's going on...

I don't understand how you can have a day and a half of heavy rain and it not make one degree of difference to the temperature. But it was very obliging to wait until Pride weekend had finished before the deluge began. I brought my umbrella rather than sunglassed to work this morning, by lunchtime it was clear the rain is over for now.

It was my first Pride and I enjoyed it immensely. I was marching with Plums and the Brighton Bothways group which graciously adopted me for a few hours. It did feel empowering, but then it felt somewhat hardwork when I volunteered to take one side of their massive banner which caught the wind that we were walking into most of the way, until the point where we were frequently pushing with all our strength to make it down the street. And it wasn't even that windy... for Brighton.

I'm trying to organise some sort of online photo album when I can find a decent service as my pictures will say it better than I could. We were marching for a lot of the way in front of a load of buff boys and girls wearing very little at all and emblazoned with Gaydar tattoos, so frequently had people looking past us.

I preferred the march to the park to be honest. But then I've gradually got less interested in fairgrounds and fetes as I've got older, and that's more or less what the Pride in the Park bit was, just with amyl nitrate and vegan bondage gear. It wasn't bad, we met up with some friends that had also come down from London for the day, and later on sat under the trees with some of the south-east Bicon crowd and watched a woman urinate behind a sports car. I must shamefully admit that I did go into the Brighton Library van and talk to them about their stock, which contains not only LB and B support material but also a developing T stock too, which I think must be pretty rare in the country at the moment. If I had to leave London I could see myself looking for a job in a Brighton library.

The only downside was I rubbed the insides of my legs ferociously raw so by the end of the day was hobbling along the road practically bow-legged as we made our way back to Plums flat. But the weather was bakingly hot all day. As we marched to the park people were squirting us with pump-action water pistols. On any other day this may have been a nuisance, on Saturday it was welcome relief!

Labour Minister for Europe Denis MacShane must be going for some award for cheek by complaining about anti-European press printing lies and myths about the EU while insisting that the anti-terrorism and immigration laws of his cabinet colleagues were completely different.

I was laughing on the inside to: To prove his point he cited some of the reporting in the lead up to EU enlargement on 1 May when, he said, people from Poland and Hungary were described as murderous hordes.

"When is someone going to stand up to that language?"

Presumerably he always 'accidentally' drops his pen every time Shiteyes opens his mouth?

New Banksy exhibit removed by council.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Like some huge Renaissance Person of interests and the music is excellent too, check out Ektopia.

There now follows a party political broadcast on behalf of Robert Kilroy Silk and the UK Independence Party. (Warning! NSFW) [via B3ta]

Because some people really are scarily stupid... The 'Fools World Map' Project.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Well, we can't even march straight...

Well, now that's established...

Too tired to go into it all tonight, save to thank Ms. Plums, the hostess with the mostest once again. Anyway, I have to go to Casualty as I was just cooking dinner and accidentally sliced my face off, confusing it with some sun-dried tomatoes. More tomorrow kids!

Strangely, US terror alerts are always issued on the same day as bad news for the Bush administration. I wonder why?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Anyway, I'm going down to Brighton for Pride. Have a good weekend kids!

< jumps up and down > See?! SEE?! [George Bush said "Our enemies] never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people - and neither do we." Bwahahaha!

Will Ferrell IS George Dubya Bush! White House West.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Has it finally been proven that Shrubya lied about his National Service back in 1972 and did not complete it?

After this comes this. Oh it'll be a dark day when bigots realise they can't try to summon suport online for their plans.

Hmmmm..., although the second, third and fourth comments are quite funny...

A lovely Flash film for Radiohead's Creep. [via Pagga]

New Banksy exhibit unveiled in London.

Can you spare some money to help schNEWS out?

There's a double-bill showing of McLibel and Super Size Me at the Curzon in Soho at the start of September. Food for thought... [boom, tish!]

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I'm stressed out and depressed. Having finished the mad rush of book ordering for The Closed Library I have a week and a half of relative calm before I go back there, so my thoughts turn to my Professional Development Report. I've looked at my report and looked at the marking I received from it and that's what depresses and stresses me because I can't reconcile the two. I received a letter from CILIP saying that if I haven't submitted a report by December then I have to start fresh, obviously not an exciting prospect as that involves a year of supposed 'training and development' before I can think of writing a PDR, it's almost like the requirement for pre-operative transsexuals to undergo the real-life test.

I can see absolutely no value to a professional codifying of my skills, other than it keeps several hundred timewasting parasites in Ridgmount Street from having to beg on the streets. Trying to tie professionalism to an actual ability to do the job, which my managers would seem to think I posess in spades, is dishonest.

Of course, if I have the knowledge and ability, I should be able to write the PDR. The problem I've got is I don't understand, looking at the mark sheets, why what I gave them before wasn't sufficient. I'm wondering whether there are any librarians out there who are finding that the lack of professional recognition from CILIP to be no bar to their career, whether I can actually tell CILIP to stuff their meaningless games up their organisational arse and get on doing what my employers have employed me to do.

Here's a webpage for the New Magic Roudabout movie, with links to the first teaser trailer at the bottom. It looks like they've done a Thunderbirds on it, kept the general look of the show but completely changed everything else. Action, adventure, Robbie and Kylie? Oh dear oh dear, about the only good thing is Jim Broadbent as Brian the Snail, but otherwise it looks like another childhood classic defiled...

In a similar vein to Subservient Chicken, it's Subservient President.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

So, based on tonight's episode of The Smoking Room I have to ask Emma Kennedy, was that giant panda teddy a good kisser? And did you slip him the tongue?

Michael Moore's address to the Take Back America meeting during the Democrats Convention week. Well worth a read, stirring stuff. [via All Facts and Opinions]

Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting In a Room.

We're a very small publishing house that can only afford small print runs, we really rely on the goodwill of our customers... If you don't like this book you're a fucking moron...

Monday, August 02, 2004

New head of MI6 told weapons inspectors to lie in their report on Iraqi WMD. I pass on this information knowing it will increase your faith in the probity of our elected officials.

Seaside towns 'increase teen sex'. News just in, having a pulse and being conscious 'increases teen sex'.

Labour to go Orwell-tastic in a third term and spin out of the Home Office a new 'Ministry of Justice' department.

People in Macclesfield, Cheshire can be the first people in the country to give up their DNA to Shiteyes Blunkett's roaming ID Card Van as it's collecting irises, fingerprints and facial biometrics information. Let's hope that none of the people scanned have long lashes, watery eyes or indeed eyeballs, as these tend to be the things that screw up eye-related biometric sensors.

The female president of the Royal College of Physicians has said that the respect and influence of doctors in society is diminishing, and it's because there are too many women doctors. It's of course nothing to do with a twenty-five year program by Government to inculcate in to society the idea that doctors are merely human beings so could make mistakes, here's the number you should call for your compensation? It's nothing to do with the fact that until recently the gatekeepers at all levels of British society were straight white men, so the only people that could afford to become doctors were those people who were independently wealthy? Perhaps Professor Carol Black could point to which aspects of society, the judiciary, the police, politicans, haven't suffered a similar loss of respect? Why, for the good of her profession, isn't she resigning immediately?

Well, this looks hopeful: BNP faces internal revolt and financial turmoil. It seems that there's a growing mood of discontent over leader Nick Griffin's policy of trying to present the party as a bunch of regular, nice people. The party however, want to go back to their roots as a bunch of ignorant violent cretins. Their implosion and return to political obscurity would be nice, as long as the Tories don't stretch even further right to try and secure their votes. However, a poll shows satisfaction with Micheal Howard's performance as leader of the Conservatives has sunk to an all-time low which, with elections probable for the first half on next year means all hands to the pumps of panic.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

No more fairy tales! Although I happen to think 398.2 is the best place for Shrubya and his little chums, it's Librarians Against Bush! [via Memepool]

A useful resource for all observers of pretend journalism, Daily Mail Watch: Watching Them Watching Us. [via LinkMachineGo]

Decided in this hot weather to hide inside with the curtains drawn and the fan on, so watched Spirited Away and thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't seen a huge amount of anime, just the few bits and bobs that get a 'proper' release here, Akira, Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell and a few others, including the Animatrix of course. The thing I've always noticed about those films is the way time goes off-kilter, long scenes riffing on one idea when a western counterpart would move on worried that they were loosing the interest of the audience, I'm thinking of the scene in Mononoke when that moose-spirit thing (bear with me, it was a while back I saw it and I didn't particularly care for it) got shot and it's body turned into a jelly that was going to take over the wood, or something. We then get about twenty minutes or so of very little plot going on while it expands everywhere. Compare that to the generally breathless pace of The Matrix from "whoah, deja vu" until pretty much the end of the film.

Anyway, Spirited Away looked like it was going to be like that as I put the disc in the machine and saw it was a minute shy of two hours. But it is pretty solid in story development, no artistic posing at all. I must admit I watched the English version, I was tired and didn't want to squint at subtitles.

Moving with her parents to the suburbs Chihiro is rather annoyed when they insist on exploring a deserted theme park near their new home. However, when the parents get turned into pigs she has to get a job working at a bathhouse for spirits and otherwordly creatures until she can work out some way to defeat the malevolent owner Yubaba and restore her parents.

The thing I thought while watching was that if they were ever going to make an animated version of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman then they should get these folks to make it. The bathhouse full of spirits, some of who look suspiciously like the bastard elder siblings of certain Pokemon characters, seems a stylistic echo of Morpheus' castle of odd dreams and nightmares, while the story is classic Alice in Wonderland or, to evoke Gaiman again, Coraline. The film constantly wrongfoots your expectations about what it's going to be, haunted house, The Water Babies, fighting evil outsiders... In a way the 'real' central and important plot of the story doesn't really start until at least two-thirds of the way through, but if at any point you feel bored then you're probably an evil soulless being and/or Alistair Campbell. This is one of those films that get described as 'enchanting' but is fun for all the family.

... What's more I really do think George W. Bush would be a wise choice for the people of America to elect as their new President in the Autumn.

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