Fajita madness

In the absence of anything else to blog, and a desire to kick into February so we can finally get rid of the 10 megs of photos down the page that have been slowing everyone down, a brief rundown of my day today. Warning: this will be dull, unless it turns out that I had some kind of amazing insight today that I forgot about. Woke up, to the sound of waves breaking on shingle from expensive CD alarm clock bought because I hated harsh electronic alarms. Now hate sound of waves breaking on shingle; total waste of money. Hit tube platform with breakfast: a bottle of lucozade. Northern line has delays. Trains pull up full of crude oil, formerly people who metamorphosed under heat and pressure. Arrive at work to discover new guy forgot to return my entrycard, so cannot get into building. Get into building to discover new guy has made coffee in My Special Mug. New guy does not take hint to immediately relinquish mug. Go hunting for bug in code. Find portion of code which seems to indicate that we have...
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Ghost fancier

I saw By the Bog Of Cats this evening with A. I thought it was excellent. You had to buy into her crazy, tortured soul, but since she reminded me of several people I knew, it was a bit easier (I know so many crazy, tortured people!). Mild spoilers, so if you're seeing it before it ends its run on the 26th, stop reading now. It could have been acted better. I think she's an excellent actress, but maintaining the accent took up too much of her energy -- if they'd dropped the accents and just had the same plot I think it might have been an equally good if not better play. Only the jokes relied on the accents and they're easily substituted. They also could have made it clearer that she was mad. It's one thing to be a sympathetic villain, but her actions seemed less deranged, more stupid -- in particular, they didn't stress enough how much abandonment by her mother had unhinged her until far too late in the play. On the other hand, she was really hot, so that's good :-) Although she did rather overdo...
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Oh hell yes

Which Family Guy character are you?
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Scissor Story

Below, the order of the tracks on the album Scissor Sisters, as first released, without bonus tracks. Laura Take Your Mama Out Comfortably Numb Mary Lovers In The Backseat Tits On The Radio Filthy/Gorgeous Music Is The Victim Better Luck Next Time It Can't Come Quickly Enough Return To Oz Is there a pattern to these? I think so. Specifically, it's the lifecycle of The Gay Pop Artist, from innocent twink with fag-hag through clubmonkey to scene queen and tired dried-out bitter bitch. Although Laura is about starting the band itself, and doesn't fit into the sequence. I was going to analyse more, but I'm too tired. Run with this for now.
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It's another boring What I Did Today Post

Sorry, all my deep conversation was had offline today. Maybe I'll blog about the things I discussed today with random but extremely pleasant (and fiercely attractive) American boy J this afternoon. These included: Heisenburg's uncertainty principle (I didn't understand it properly until today) The increasing emotional maturity of gay men (we decided there's at least one dissertation to be had out of that) the use of Che Guevara as a merchandising brand (including an entire dinette set at Urban Outfitters, featuring a couch, a table, and coasters) the possibility of producing Margaret Thatcher-branded goods as a retaliation for the above The US versus the UK, in general (us: bad teeth, good clothes. them: everything is cheaper, ruled by idiot) my philistinic attitude to art, including scepticism towards some photographic art and my preference for songs lyrics to rhyme the joy of the Madollah, a Madonna-branded currency featured in a gallery we visited the likelihood of an american invasion of...
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Brother, can you spare £50?

So, commenting has been broken on all the MovableType instances on seldo.com recently. These include (mentioning only sites that have been updated in the last 30 days): FreeTrinidad Big Pink Blog M Mikey Mynciboi Planet CH The commenting would be most easily fixed by getting the new version of MovableType. Unfortunately, for more than 1 author, the new version costs money. In fact, it costs quite a lot of money: US$99.95, in fact, or GBP£53. Given that I'm already paying £90 a year to host you all for free and I don't use MovableType myself, I'm not going shell out another fifty quid. But you can! Yep, that's right. If each of you shells out a one-off payment of £9 using PayPal, I can upgrade MovableType to the shiny new spam-free version and all the new shiny plugins will become available, too. And of course, if you just like seldo.com and want to see all those blogs kept going, feel free do donate just for the hell of it! And if you'd like your own seldo.com blog, a donation...
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Commanding the tide not to rise

I got really annoyed by this BBC article about one man giving up broadband because his "information habit" -- an addiction to web surfing, email, and the countless distractions of the Internet -- was ruining his life. While developing an information habit can be a problem if uncontrolled -- I've suffered this problem myself -- cutting off your broadband connection is the wrong way of dealing with. It's like saying that cars cause traffic, so you're going back to the horse and buggy -- cars solved the problems of the horse and buggy, but have problems of their own. The trick is to go forwards, not backwards, using things like RSS aggregators and e-mail filters to stem the tide of useless information into a quiet little trickly of truly useful information. Put more briefly, I think this guy is an idiot.
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It feels like years since it's been here

Today I was walking from my office to Broadgate Circle, where I buy lunch every day, and something hit me: a beam of sunlight. A bright shaft of light was squeezing between two buildings and running across the plaza. And so in the midst of the huge, grey, concrete plaza full of people in winter coats bustling to and fro, there was a long line of people standing facing the sun. Spring is coming. Oh yes.
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At This Point: the case for attacking Iran

I've been having this conversation with a few people recently, in fairly similar formats, so I thought I'd post it. Recently Condoleeza Rice was asked about whether the US was planning to attack Iran. Her absolutely practiced response, in full, was: "The question is simply not on the agenda at this point. We have many diplomatic tools still at our disposal and we intend to pursue them fully." There are several notable things about these statements: That's definitely not a denial "At this point" means it could be on the agenda in future, or has already been in the past "The question of whether to attack" is not the same as "plans for attack". If you've already decided to attack, then the question certainly isn't on the agenda anymore. The talk about using diplomatic options is exactly what was used in the run-up to attacking Iraq So as far as I'm concerned, the Ayatollah needs to start building some spider-holes, and quickly. Bring on the counter-arguments! But that's crazy! Of course it...
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Popnews

I won free tickets to Popstarz -- again! Actually, in my entry I said I'd won before and not used my tickets, which is true, so could I please get in again? I'm not sure if that's what did it, or if they just don't have many requests. Either way, Popstarz on Friday for me. Come along! I'll have spent the whole day moving house so I'll either be mega-energized, or totally knackered, but I haven't been dancing for absolutely ages so it's going to happen. And I'll get to find out exactly how far away Popstarz Finsbury Park is...
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Moving day

Right, I'm off to Finsbury Park. Tonight I'm packing, tomorrow I'm moving, and there may not be Internet access at the new house yet, so there may be brief break in blogging. See you on the flipside! Update: The best conversation I've had for today produced a great line that I'm writing down so you can all use it in future and pretend you thought of it: D: I hate it when people are talking about being gay and they say "It is a choice" L: It is a choice, in the same way that opening your eyes is a choice. You could choose to not do it, but you'd be blind your whole life.
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Woo!

My new house is truly fabulous! Total party-house in every way. My bedroom is only about 60% of the size of the cavern I currently/used to (what tense to use on moving day? interesting) live in, but that's still plenty big. And it has a comfortable bed. And a double wardrobe! Housemate J's room is the same size as mine, and housemate T's room is stupidly, ridiculously large with an ensuite bathroom. The road is a quiet residential street lined with actual, honest-to-god trees and gardens. 5 mins walk away is a street full of shops -- apparently mainly selling women's fashion, but I'm sure there are more -- and the tube is another 5 minutes past that. Popstarz is a delicious 4 minutes away from there, Oxford Circus is 10. There's also a good-sized Tesco 5 minutes from the house. Generally, I'm enormously pleased with the location. But back to it being a party-house: the living room is cavernous, with three sofas and enormous rolling plains of carpet across which herds of buffalo frolic (okay, so I'm...
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...and we're back

A full 2 days without Internet access, and then my cunning housemates' pre-planning paid off and our ADSL has kicked in early. Woo! I haven't actually set up my computer yet (no wireless card, and it's rather far away from the router) but rest assured that will all be happening quite quickly.
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No matter the test, I come out as "geek"

Gabriel. You're most like the ArchAngel ofCommunication, in charge of things liketelephones, libraries, internet, and the 411phone menu. You're organised and are not shyabout inflicting that organisation on others. Which ArchAngel are you most like? brought to you by Quizilla
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Welcome to MT3

As of 11.59pm 2005-02-14, MoveableType 3.15 has been installed and commenting has been reinstated. Thank you to everyone who donated (in chronological order): Adey Mikey Matt (who doesn't even have a blog with me, but is apparently just supernaturally nice) M PlanetCH Update 2005.11.16: Ed Update 2005.11.16: Jamie This post may also be considered a pointed *cough* in the direction of certain bloggers who shall remain unnamed who live in NYC and earn shitloads more cash than I do to cough up, thank you, which will bring the amount to exactly what it cost to upgrade (some donated more than £9, but PayPal takes 50p per donation). Public shaming is so effective! What's new Apart from the whiz-bang new interface, commenting now universally requires registration. Please do not enable unregistered commenting as that will simply break things all over again. In order to allow people to register on your blog, you will need to visit TypeKey and register. They will give you a "TypeKey token" for...
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The track and the highway

Roads form in the following way: A track is formed by people walking that way. The track becomes a path. Houses are built along the path. The path is paved and becomes a road. Houses along the road are rezoned and replaced. The road is expanded and becomes a highway. Buildings are bulldozed and rebuilt new locations that suit the highway's layout. Software is built in the following way: A demo is written. The demo is adapted to handle more cases. Software is written to make use of the demo. The demo is tweaked for speed. More features are added. Software is written to adapt to the quirks of the demo, and the demo is written so that the older software will continue to work. Massive levels of inefficiency and waste are tolerated to allow this backwards-compatibility to continue. If roads were built like software is built, then all roads would be exactly as wide the original dirt track, and follow exactly the same twisting path. To handle the volume of traffic, cars would travel enormously quickly,...
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Closer, but no cigar

Ooopsie, failed to blog yesterday. So take a bonus extra-long blog today. So, I went to see Closer with Ade yesterday. I can't say I thought much of it. If you've yet to see this movie, stop reading, because spoilers start now. So, what was in this movie? Three extremely pretty people Some extremely good acting on the part of Natalie Portman Excellently written dialogue So why didn't I like it? I had a few minor gripes, like Julia Roberts being entirely unconvincing as a photographer, and Jude Law entirely too energetic and focussed to be a failed anything, far less an obituary writer. And overall, it was just blah. The plot rolled along in a 100% predictable fashion. I mean, it was a play before it was a movie, so lots of people would have known the plot already going in. But even the plot of the play was predictable. Nothing surprised me, no new ideas were presented, no emotion was provoked. It was just watching an excellently-portrayed slice of some other people's not...
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Time dilation

(There you go, a bonus blog to make up for yesterday. Apologies to Neal Stephenson for nicking his writing style for this entire piece. This is what happens when you write trilogies of 500-page books, Steve) It's often remarked that time speeds up as you get older. People always say this as if it's some unknowable aspect of life, but actually the explanation is not only known, but also really simple. Time doesn't speed up, but your memory of time passing does. Your brain is a great big information processing device designed to help you survive long enough to pump some sperm into something if you are male, or drop a sprog if you are female. It's phenomenally complicated, and for a sack of grey goo, amazingly good at its job. One of the major side-effects of its sperm-protection ability is that it provides us with memory. This allows us to observe the world based on what we have already seen, and thus react more quickly to everyday occurences like the sun rising and rain being cold, saving expensive...
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I am mortified

My life has been rated:See what your rating is! Via Dom, source of all quizzes. My life is, apparently, unbearably tame! I need to get up to something naughty right away!
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Damn

No proper blogs since Thursday! Sorry about that. Since I've decided a good tactic for generating a blog entry when I haven't got something Deep™ to talk about is to mention whatever I've been chatting to people on MSN about, here's a quickie: I can't believe my life (which I formerly considered quite debauched) only counts as 12A. But the saddest part is that it really is an accurate summary of my life at the moment. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, and I have sex so seldom as to be statistically insignificant*. I work five days and don't go clubbing mid-week. My life is vanilla. And I don't even have a very strong desire to change that. I mean, I wish I could say "my life is wild and crazy" without having to actually do anything extra. But no wild-and-crazy things appeal to me. I'd do them if they did -- no catholic guilt restrains me -- but they don't. Dan says this is because I'm a right-wing conservative. I had a chat with a random guy on a train, which, as odd conversations with...
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Not trying to make up blog entries at all

Why does this photo (of Bush arriving in Belgium) look like it's been badly photoshopped? And why does Laura Bush look like one of Dracula's brides?
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Over-analysis ahoy!

My linklog is really a lot more interesting than the stuff I put here, and significantly more prolific. I should probably put them in as blog entries occasionally, but del.icio.us does such a good job. My only real thing to talk about this evening is that my growing sense of dissatisfaction has resolved itself into what I think is sexual frustration. It's been more than six weeks since the last time, which is traditionally when my desire for sex overtakes my desire for a long term partner. Because I'm a bit bored, and because analyzing to the point of psychosis everyday phenomena is one of the hallmarks of good blogging (as much as there can be said to be such a thing), I have produced a rough graph representing this situation: As you can see, the desire for a life partner remains constant, and initially very high compared to horniness. My desire for sex, on the other hand, grows exponentially. My "standards" of choosing a partner are my desire for a partner, minus my horniness. Thus, in...
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Life on Mars

As far as I'm aware, this isn't being shouted from the rooftops or anything, but the discovery of a frozen sea near the Martian equator is big news. Sorry for geeking out on you for a bit here*, but I feel the need to talk about this. In the realms of science fiction, where I spend most of my reading time, the possibility of life on Mars is extensively discussed. And I don't mean native life -- intelligent or otherwise. I mean the possibility of human life sustaining itself on Mars, with Kim Stanley Robinson's amazing Mars trilogy being pre-eminent among these. The ability for human beings to live a self-sustaining existence on Mars has not just been the premise of these stories, but the focus: the resources required, the technology that would be needed, the maths and the physics of getting people there and providing them with energy, the geology and the chemistry involved in making it work without requiring regular infusions of raw materials, the biology of providing them with food and ensuring they...
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Some minor meta-blogging

So Kottke is now blogging as a full-time job. This raises a bunch of interesting questions, foremost among them being "will it work?" but also: what exactly is a blogger, anyway? To my mind, the difference between a journalist and a blogger is generally the same as between an amateur and a professional athlete. Thus despite having zillions of readers, BoingBoing and Waxy are blogs, while Slashdot, Wonkette (no matter how cutesy she tries to be) and the rest of Gawker Media are journalists, even if they started off being bloggers. I don't buy the stuff about standards and fact-checking: when the New York Times apologizes for not checking its facts properly and most young Americans rely on a comedy show for their news (and one which considers bloggers the best source of news, at that) I think the idea that fact-checking is something only the grown-ups do is false. Fact-checking is something that nobody does properly: just always consider your sources. So what does that make Kottke? He's certainly a...
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Gabi and the Whoremoans

My new favourite band have given me special permission -- yes, actual permission to host a couple of their demo tracks! So here they are, in all their 128kbps, completely legal glory: Gabi and the Whoremoans - Virgins in the Valley Gabi and the Whoremoans - Inner Child
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Enlightenment

I just turned my phone on after charging it overnight and received a week's worth of accumulated text messages. So if I've failed to reply to your texts in the last 7 days, it's because O2 are, apparently, unbelievably shit. That is all.
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*reset*

*reset*
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Tedium-pum-pum

I'd blog about what I've been talking to people about today, except that it's been basically been nothing. I have been completely sapped of energy, and I'm not sure why. At least the house is now a bit more orderly than it was, and my computer has stopped randomly turning itself off... a habit I'm hoping never repeats itself.
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Oh dear god

From an energyless weekend straight into an energy-sapping week; it's only Monday, and folks, it's not looking good. People of a nervous disposition, such as myself, should not be put into a position of responsibility over a project with such terrifyingly large possible financial consequences as the one I am currently working on. It's going to kill me, I swear. On an unrelated note, I have a crappy 366Mhz laptop with 32MB of RAM. I want it for my room upstairs of my machine, connected via the wireless to play MP3s and maybe some TV if it can hack it. Thus, it needs a better operating system than Windows (which won't even recognize that it has a wireless card). So far I have tried: Suse Personal 9.1 (derided by #suse on EFnet as rubbish; 9.2 pro is being downloaded) the latest copy of Ubuntu And both have crashed during the install and proved resistant to debugging. Anybody got any recommendations for a better build of Linux, possibly better suited to low-spec machines and/or older hardware?...
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