[livejournal.com profile] recursived asks here:

[Poll #740251]

Well? OK, I know that some of you bastards actually like football, but, y'know, football. Can we just get it over with? Also, I work in the travel industry. Specifically, for a German tour operator at one of their UK destinations. Our busiest arrival day of the year? The weekend of the finals. Great.
OK, last Tuesday, I was tired, decided to take an early night. Unusually, I took a shower (I'm a morning shower person, usually, although I shouldn't be, they help me sleep). Y'know how it is in the shower when sometimes you get a 'moment of clarity' and everything comes together? I had one of those. I could see the 'perfect blog post' in my head. It was the right time, the right reason and the news of the week wasn't cheering me up. I came out of the shower, turned the PC on, and typed the whole thing up, wrapped only in a towel. It, um, captured the mood.

When we started counting numbers for the site, 100+ was a bloody good day. Then we got a bit more established, 150 was good, 100 was avarage. Recently, 150 became avarage. Until last Wednesday...
Viewer numbers chart )Look at that spike. It's stayed up there, today, we've got even more before the normal busy time even starts. I got used to [livejournal.com profile] nosemonkey linking every so often. [livejournal.com profile] chickenyog had done so as an aside. This weekend, I've been their link of the day. Today, we're top link on [livejournal.com profile] bloggerheads. That's a whole lotta readers; including more than a few MPs.

What have I let myself in for? I appear to be in the centre of a blogswarm and the beginnings of two new political movements, one of which should have long-term legs. It's just l'il ol' me, I was just writing up an idea I had while dripping wet... )

Um, [livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu? We've got everyone's attention; my MP has emailed asking me to help him on his website and offered research and info assistance. Um; I have no idea what to do next, apart from go with the flow.

Anyway, I have a post to make, momentum to maintain, and a game to go to. Holy...
Went to the Dentists today. For those that don't know me that well, that's a pretty momentous event; Iwrote teh full version as to why up here on [livejournal.com profile] devils_kitchen; as is usual for a post on the kitchen, swearing and insults are de rigeuer. Short version, haven't seen a dentist properly in five years, last time I had any treatment, the butcher messed it up, I had a very painful extraction and it scared me off.

My parents signed up with a new NHS dentist, and signed me up at the same time. So, I went. And am still alive. Not sure I can afford to pay for the 7 fillings I need, but at least I know I need them. Actually, on the money front, if any Amazon buyers feel helpful, can you go there via a link from the blog when you plan to buy stuff? Could do with the cash. Cost you nowt but a few more clicks, and we get 10%. Yay!

On the way home, it was raining, so my plan of a wonder down the seafront with the camera turned into a walk back to the flat. Went into the local store, and couldn't resist the temptation to buy a bottle of whiskey. Small one mind, not getting carried away. So, I've had a nice relaxing day off recovering from the dentists and slowly getting happy drinking whiskey.

Today has also been the second busiest on the blog ever; Wednesday was the third. The busiest was when someone linked to the stupid blonde joke via a Libertines forum (yes, I felt dirty). Finally made the breakthrough, might even actually get somewhere with the Liberty Central project.
By way of [livejournal.com profile] naudiz

A-Z of me, sort of... )

Yup, insomnia struck again this week; night before last I didn't sleep at all, so after work yesterday I came home, checked a few things, made a few phone calls, then went to sleep. Woke up at 4am. I never wake up early, not getting to sleep is one thing, waking up early just doesn't happen. So I've got a long day, parties this evening, a sleep on the sofa job, then I'm at work tomorrow. Great.
OK, last year, my parents, being the nice people they are, gave my an expensive DAB car stereo with CD player. y'know, the car I spend about half an hour a day in. I love listening to the radio, but mostly I listen to Radio 4, which I can get anywhere in the country on the old analogue thing installed by the manufacturers.

This year, we agreed not much money on presents. My parents weren't going to get each other stuff (right, like anyone believed that), and everyone knows I'm a bit skint (the family don't know how badly, but still).

So, I open my parcel yesterday afternoon. Some shoe polish (yup, from my dad, and even I'll admit it's a good idea), a self inflating lightweight pillow (now in the boot with the sleeping bag and blanket, very useful I think), Louis de Bernieres Birds Without Wings (which I'd never buy for myself but I think I'll like, I think that's what you call a 'safe' book buy; it's good, but it's not what I buy myself, they know half my debt is caused by the bibliophilia). And then, well, a Phillips DA100 portable! It's a third the price of last years gift (not much money they said, right...) and it's GREAT.

Why? Well, BBC Radio 7 of course. It's like Radio 4, but without the dull bits. Last night, I plugged it into some spare PC speakers and listened to Ladies of Letters make mincemeat which was brilliant. Today? Well, it's been Narnia day. Prince Caspian is about to finish, and I slept through Magician's Nephew, and dosed off for Horse and his Boy. So, of the four they've broadcast, I missed the two crap ones. Here's hoping for a quick CD release, go listen again, it's great (oh, tLtW&tW is here).

Thanks M&D. Oh yeah, it's small enough to fit in a trouser or jacket pocket and is completely rechargeable but takes AAs as well. Happy happy joy joy.
OK, so I've been reading [livejournal.com profile] websnark a lot recently. I've also been reading [livejournal.com profile] demiurgent's (the main writer of Websnark) journal. Both are about webcomics. Y'know, those things I've always loved reading? I alos read [livejournal.com profile] kobold, the author of my absolute favourite webcomic, Something Positive. There's a big end of year story arc going on. Cool, says I, the blogging world is quiet, everyone's doing family stuff except for [livejournal.com profile] devils_kitchen and let's face it, no parliament means not so much news. Plus, well, it's Xmas, I'm trying to contain my normal vitriol.

So, I go to my bookmarks, and go to the last Something Positive comic I read (I always bookmark the one before the index, I tend to read a week or so in a bunch, letting the dial-up dl one while I read the one before). I'll read from there, and catch up. Shouldn't take long should it? October. Early October. I've barely been reading any webcomics since October, with the exception of Flem, which I'm also behind on. I dread to think how many Megatokyos or Devil's Panties I need to catch up on. Ah well.

If anyone needs me, I'm loading and reading multiple tabs of a webcomic about a depressive, habitually single 30-something gamer with a vicious sense of humour and lots of smart female friends who aren't interested in him. Hmmm...

Oh yeah, it's nearly that time of night. Bah Humbug to the lot of you ;-)
On the first day of Cephalopodmas,
Cthulhu gave to me
Histioteuthis heteropsis.

On the second day of Cephalopodmas...

Oh yeah; happy celebration of the axial tilt. From now on, the days start getting longer, and people have been celebrating this for a long time. Personally, I'm in favour of calling it yuletide, but then, I'm pretty sure there's a bit of viking in me. Along with a lot of bits of other european tribes.
Randomly clicking on people commenting in friends journals, I see this:
Does anybody know of any hot drinks that don't contain caffeine (tea), make you wee excessively (hot chocolate), or taste like dishwater (camomile), sweat (ginger and lemon) or battery acid (fruit tea)? I have an inkling I'm going to be drinking a lot of hot squash this winter...
I hate camomile, so I go with the hot chocolate option. Camomile dos help me sleep ([livejournal.com profile] mapp, have you ever tried it? It may help), but, well, that's not a big enough benefit to buy it. Drinking it when it's supplied is another issue though.

Shame [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween's offline at the moment, 'tis her who keeps giving me the stuff to drink.

Ah, feck it, might as well quote the HP review )Welcome back to Hogwarts, a school with such a shameful record of appointing teachers who are actually murderous demons in disguise that it should have been shut down by Ofsted...backstory... )the malevolent minions of Voldemort try to kill him (again) ). Just as frightening for Harry there are some steretyped foreigners )at Hogwarts for a pretext that isn't really explained very well. We have ) the jeunes filles from France and )the Durmstrang Institute's crewcut stormtroopers.It's probably ) the most gratifying film of the series the first that's ) a distinct entity in its own right and not ) a scene-by-scene re-enactment It's funny at times, you can follow the plot without having read the book and ) J K Rowling's notorious overblown prose is ) pared back to basics, and, if you're a dull witted reviewer who needs to get out more, ) The action set-pieces are genuinely thrilling although, to be fair, I did laugh a lot ). Mike Newell has made no bones about sending his young stars to acting classes, and it's a move that's paid off it has? That's news to me, Harry was wooden throughout, maybe the ability to emote isn't needed in a child star ) Mind you, the idea that Hermione might fancy Ron seems a lot more convincing in the book than in a film where, frankly, she's out of his Quidditch league.
That last bit is true, she almost looked good in the ballgown. For a kid far to young for me, anyway.
I won't see much snow though, Torbay's microclimate will kill it all

Snowed in this morning in Torquay, had to clear the screens and get the driving gloves out; didn't wear them all last winter. If it's this cold in the Bay, it must be bloody freezing in the rest of the country. Driving in was a nightmare, too many idiots on the roads.
Bugger, lost track of time, if anyone is watching this, or has watched it when it's done, LMK what it was like?

I'm not expecting fair or balanced coverage, and I fully espect anyone who likes alternative music of any type to be portrayed as a nutjob, but, well, y'never know.

I mean, I'm not a fan of Death Metal, and Slayer, well, suck, but I know at least one perfectly well adjusted death metal fan, and I hate it when media scapegoat minority interests instead of look to root causes; let's face it, Ted Bundy blamed Playboy, Columbine was blamed on RPGs, etc, etc. Ah well.

[Edit:] [livejournal.com profile] tyrell has the key quote from the Independent article that isn't online:
"Heavy metal gigs are some of the most non-violent and accepting spaces in the country. If you want to look for places that give rise to fear, hatred and violence, I suggest you look more closely at Churches, Mosques, Parliamentary Chambers and Council Offices."
- Louise Chambers, media researcher and lecturer.
I get home after my nice break in various places, some post, some bills, new people in the flat downstairs that think playing crap music loud and then shouting so they can hear each other is the height of sophistication and no food. Ah well.

To sleep? Or go online. Hmm...
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Hmm. Well, not sure why I volunteered other than a fit of stupidity inspired by [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's snoring (kidding Mike, thanks for the crash space), but the old maintener's account had been deleted, so some new fools volunteers were needed. So, go on then, join... [livejournal.com profile] swuk

Proper update on the last week or so to follow when I've had some sleep, food and told the neighbours... Wait, I hear nothing but silence! Yay.
Well, I'm back in the country and sat at [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's computer, I'll be staying here for a day or so before heading on to Reading to see others (and that silly film...).

So, a report from the weekend. There are a lot of LJ2ME posts up on [livejournal.com profile] warlord_ccg, and one that made it to my journal by mistake, interface wouldn't let me change the default journal, ah well. After travelling overnight, I caught the plane on time, got to Dortmund, took a bus to the station and got to Muesnter easily. I then realised I hadn;t brought any directions for the venue from the station.

Getting there )
The main event )
Side events, Americans that talk and talk and talk... )
Pizza, friends and travel )
Aside, all the US players refer to themselves by surname or nickname, there are just too many witht he same first name; "Rich", "Chris", etc. Considering the huge wealth of cultural heritage they've got, couldn't "all-American" names have a slightly bigger pool to choose from?

Getting home, broken bottles )
So, back in London, bummed around and slept. Oh, I broke the display on my mobile Sunday night, I can receive calls, and dial out if I know the number, but I can't look things up, nor send/receive texts, nor use any of the software I've got installed. So if'n you need me, a direct call is the only way to get hold of me.

In completely other news...

All to do with this traitor, the 'editor' of the Scum. Pass that link on, with the exact coding, we're google bombing again.
For those that haven't listened to me yet and gone to buy it yet, the winner of this years World Fantasy Awards best novel? Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury). It's definately my favourite book of the last few years, I plugged it a bit here and everyone I know that's read it loves it. That includes Neil Gaiman, although I haven't met him yet...

Currently reading the Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman, very good so far, but keep getting distracted by the evil intorw3b so am only on the first book. I'm, um, succumbing to the lure of Harry Potter, and am going to see the film when it comes out. That's the 00.05 showing Friday morning, ([livejournal.com profile] faeriecween already has the tickets) and I'm being dragged along with [livejournal.com profile] aliennurai, [livejournal.com profile] byteback, Logan and Lucie. Lucie's the crazy one who thinks the Palace of Westminster should be painted pink.

But before that, am travelling to Germany with [livejournal.com profile] granjero to attend KoHIT, the Warlord worlds, which will be fun. I'm one of the few that's been to every event so far. Travel back Monday, stay, hopefully, with [livejournal.com profile] nadriel for a bit before trotting off to Reading for the random insanity that always seems to occur there.

There's a chance I'll be posting either via SMS or LJ2ME to [livejournal.com profile] warlord_ccg while I'm at the event itself, if anyone's interested...
Hmm. First, I said I'd never get one. Then, I made one with the intention of mostly using the account for commenting. Then, I got a bit carried away and started posting regularly, using it to arrange weekends away, meeting up with people and even, at times, following the news.

I discovered LF-feeds and filtered friends page views, I kept on adding people, and even started adding people I didn't know who interested me. Even more weirdly, people started adding me who I didn't know, they actually find me interesting! Weird.

I've got back in contact with old friends I haven't seen for years, I've crossed the country on the strength of something I've heard about on here, I've even had a brief fling with someone I mostly communicated with via LJ. And I've paid for my account, and regularly add more RSS feed accounts using the paid features.

Obsessed? Moi? I think not. Only, um, it's getting to the point where I'm talking my friends into setting up LJs so I can keep in touch with them, it's just so much easier. Obsessed? Um, maybe.

Essentially, LJ isn't cool because of what you post, or what people comment on your journal. It's cool because of the friends page. I can spend entire evenings just trawling LJ. I'll be honest, that sometimes scares me. Fun though.

So, my journal is over a year old. It's got me back involved in politics, it prompted me to set up a 'proper' weblog, and it's created a huge source of time sinking procrastination. It's even got me laid. I think the last part is the scariest bit...

Look, it's a piss take of NoNoWriMo, which I have to approve of just on principle. It's also on 5th November, which is a day of the year I tend to need to get drunk on, have I ever mentioned I hate fireworks? Not fear them, mind, just hate them.

In other news, I'm still off work, and I had to reinstall Windows this evening because it decided my keyboard and mouse didn't exist. It either didn't like my mouse driver or didn't like Warcraft III, both of which I installed last night.

Oh, Saturday am, 10.30 BST to be precise, Radio 4 has a half hour documentary on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The trailers for it have been very cool.
Well, after installing FireFox, realising you haven't got a modem, buying one, trying to figure out how to stop it treating you like an idiot and sorting your bookmarks out?

Get a new desktop wallpaper so it doesn't look ugly of course.

Shiny new box. Quiet too, the old one was loud all the time, probably because I was overloading it. Now that I can do what I want, I'm so used to doing nothing that the temptation just isn't there. Story of my life really.

OTOH, Warcraft III is in my pile of "games I bought but didn't quite have the spec for", as is Medieval Total War. Hmmm...

Must. Resist.
I wrote a brief item on [livejournal.com profile] nolittleengland about this news from the BBC. Then I saw a reaction to it on [livejournal.com profile] matryx's journal that really confused me. Rant time...

How on earth can anyone support such a gross infringement on individual choice and personal freedom? Don't like smoking? Fine, don't go to places that allow it, and tell the management/owners why. Market pressure will (and is) changing British pub culture, and an increasing number of establishments are no either entirely or almost completely non-smoking. But some people like to smoke while they eat. Others (like me) don't mind it if it's not too intrusive. I cannot, and will not support a blanket ban on individual behaviour. I don't want the Government telling me, or my friends, where I can or can't do something that is perfectly legal.

Market pressure will force clubs and pubs to change, but it will also allow encourage a minority to continue to cater for those that, unlike me, like to kill themselves in a different way. Anything else is, well, just wrong.

An anti ban rant from an avowed non-smoker? Yup, you did read that right.

[Edit: Greg has responded in the comments on his own journal, and made me think of some issues I hadn't, especially unenforced bans and the affect on those with medical conditions. Worth a read here.]
Reports of Zombies invading Reading Library, [livejournal.com profile] tregwilym's journal; hope everyone still alive makes it out of there.

In other, [livejournal.com profile] silentgreeneyes and the rest of the committee deserve praise for both organising the Freshers week RocSoc event in exeter and getting as many to turn up at the Cavern, was good to see a full dance floor even right at the end of the evening, even if [livejournal.com profile] mapp's first two songs in his set did scare a few of the more innocent off. Actually, that may have been the sight of me and Dot dancing...

Totally exhausted today, got to work a little late and spent most of it half asleep, might be to do with the late hour I finally got home. Still, boss insisted I take some hours back tomorrow, so I can have a lie in. Paid the Council Tax bill (for the year). I may be a little skint for a bit. Next year, fill in the direct debit forms...

Oh, almsot forgot, meme from [livejournal.com profile] lithium_doll and [livejournal.com profile] tyrell; "When you see this on your flist, quote Firefly."

Read more... )
Serenity (15) UIP (UK) 07.10.05

Last note, a question. When is The Corpse Bride coming to a cinema I've got a vague chance of getting to?
OK, the moral of this story is...

I have 1000 free minutes evening and weekend to landline and other Orange phones. This is good. Except that, well, people who know me know I don't tend to ring people that often, and when I do, it tends to be a fairly brief "I'm on my way", or "I got your email, I'll get back to you" or "No, I'm not out of bed yet, I'll be there after I've had time for coffee". That's normally the length of my phone conversations. My August bill says I used 9.32 minutes out of those 1000 available.

I also get 25 minutes free to any other network. Good job really. When offering to ring someone regularly, check that the Orange handset they have also has an Orange SIM card? Oops.

So, I think I need to a) start using my minutes up a bit on occasions (yes, I know I should ring my mother more often), and b) keep track of who I can ring for free.

Besides, it's an excuse to put up a text entry poll and see how they work.
[Poll #577930]
Results only seen by me, it was either that or screen comments, bit pointless really.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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