Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wave the children!

It looks like Google's Street View service is going to go ahead in the UK.. Fun!

Whilst visiting my parents last week we spied one of the special cars, the ones with a tree on top, driving around Sheffield. Later on, whilst in the house, it actually came down our street and went in and out of all the little dead ends. I found this quite exciting and made a special effort to wave at it from the living room window, with the hope that I could be immortalised forever (probably with a blurred out face). I also held up one of my nephs (I forget which) to the window so they could be on it too. It's important to give kids new experiences.

Privacy be damned!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Pop-Singer Fear of FFX2

I finished Final Fantasy X. Good story as always, buy not one of my favourite games in the series. Both levelling up and progressing in general seemed extremely linear, and there often seemed to be far too many uniteruptable cut-scenes.

None of this has stopped me going straight into it's sequel, Final Fantasy X2 though. Not even simple things like how the sun is out, orPortal is unopened on my shelf. First impressions are... er?? Yuna's now not a summoner but a... pop-singer? That's odd. I'm going to need a little more time here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Luck of the Oirish

I don't normally do well with tips I've had off people but yesterday at the races I had a good feeling. I'd been given tips by a fellow from Ireland and both his first two won their races, netting me close to a hundred squid. After that I pretty much stopped betting.

I was sodding hot though. Same as the day before. Same as today. I think I may have some burn. And running at midday on Friday was total lunacy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where's Radovan?

I found out today that The Southern Alps are in New Zealand. I'd initially assumed Italy due to that being where the south end of The Alps is but I was wrong. It's New Zealand. I told a colleague that they were called The Southern Alps because The Alps start in France, go down through Switzerland into Italy and then go straight through the Centre Of The Earth before poking out of New Zealand. It was only when he checked on Wikipedia that he realised I was taking the piss somewhat. I will spare him a name and shame.

We also had an entertaining game of "Where's Radovan Karadzic been hiding". Here he is as now on the BBC. So... Has he been at

1. The Ernest Hemingway convention?
2. In Only Fools & Horses?
3. A Santa Parade?
4. Recording Heavy Metal music?

Or has he been elsewhere? You decide.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why I Got The Mail

I bought the Mail on Sunday today. Not because I want the paper, it's rubbish. I haven't even opened it. I bought it because they were giving the new McFly album away.

I'm not sure which part of this is wrongest.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zimbabwian Hyper Inflation

I know that the current situation in Zimbabwe isn't particularly funny but I did find a very funny article in The Guardian on inflation rates there. They are somewhat large. The official rate is currently 2.2m%. It's not often that you get an "m" and a "%" together but they've managed it there. That's pretty bad but the true figure is thought to be as high as 15m%.

My favourite bit is about the limits people can withdraw from banks each day. Normal people are only allowed to withdraw $100 billion a day. One hundred billion. My little finger is at the side of my mouth as I write that.

But normal people are paupers compared to the armed forces. They can withdraw a gob-stopping, mind-mangling $1.5 trillion dollars a day.

And it's worth about five English Pounds.

Please note that all figures quoted here are now out of date.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to traverse the Scotch Border

So... Edinburgh to York via car. What's the quickest way? A1 is easiest but it seems to take an age. I'm pretty sure that going back towards Glasgow and via the motorways from there could be better. I think today we were over four hours from E to Y on the A1 and that was with pretty clear roads. Can this be improved on?

Plus side is that you get to see some cool sceneries that you don't see off of the train.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meat! Loaf! Live!

We went to see the mighty Meat Loaf last night at Castle Howard. It was a tortorous route that had been set up to get people there from the A64. Mental. Coming home was a little easier but also darker and wetter.

It rained a lot all evening.

Meat Loaf at Howard Castle

It was fun though. He's perhaps not in his prime form but can still belt them out. And he is a legend after all.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


We went on my parents' boat at the weekend. They were off on it for two weeks but they wanted some help for the first full day which contained a flight of sixteen locks. They (correctly) figured this could be a bit much for the two of them alone and a couple of extra pairs of hands would speed things up and reduce effort. I didn't mind too much going along to help, but it would have been nice if they'd thought to mention the fact that the second day had a flight of eighteen locks. That just seemed to have slipped their minds. Must be the age.

So on Saturday night I find myself in a canal boat moored in the middle of nowhere, with no TV reception. And the last episode of Dr Who starting soon. Darnit!

We decided to go and find a local pub instead. It wasn't too far but it did involve climbing a fairly long hill. The pub was nice and had a big telly. There were a few people in the room it was in but we chanced our luck and asked if they'd mind putting Doctor Who on it. They said ok!

It started well but soon became apparent that the pub was going to be too noisy or the TV too quiet or both, even when we moved to sit up close. I was able to watch the whole thing easily, on possibly the biggest screen I've ever seen Dr Who on. But I only caught about a quarter of the dialogue. This wasn't ideal and by the end I was quite angry.

My ire was especially aimed at two middle aged fat bald blokes sitting just under the telly who talked through the whole thing, and a family with small children who talked and ran around constantly. C**ts, the lot of them. It's not like it wasn't a big pub with lots of other space they could have gone and sat in for an hour. I'd have happily moved if they'd wanted to watch football or something.

Once home in York on Monday, we watched the episode again off of the recorder and I really enjoyed it, though I'd be lying if I said it was full of surprises at that point. I particularly liked the German Daleks shouting "Exterminaten!". Not sure if that's genuine German but it was genuinely funny.

After that I watched "Remembrance of the Daleks" out of Sylvester McCoy's tenure in the 80s. It was much as I remembered except that in my head it was set in the 80s, not the 60s and I'd forgotten some (most) of the twists. It's actually a pretty decent piece of TV but it was certainly of a much smaller scale than the episode I'd seen prior to it! There's a particularly nice bit when someone who's been only seen from reverse in the first three episodes turns out to not be who you assume it is (ie Davros).

I also remember that seeing a Dalek glide up some stairs was big news and a big twist when initially shown. It doesn't look as impressive now I've seen the buggers fly through space.

And for the record, I don't think Davros is dead. He'll have slipped into an escape pod or something at the last second. Again.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Me and a Dame

I touched Dame Kelly Holmes off of the running yesterday:

Me and Kelly Holmes

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Toilet Trouble

We've been having problems at work with someone intentionally blocking the toilets in the evening. I suggested (innocently) that in order to find out who the culprit was we should start monitoring people's movements...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

IT Crowd Menus

I've been watching the excellent The IT Crowd (season 1) on DVD and I think it might be a contender for best DVD menus ever. Not because they do anything particularly new but because of the animation on them.

Anyone who grew up in a world of 8-bit home computers will feel instantly at home, from the "loading screen" onwards. There are loveingly crafted pastiches of Head Over Heels and Jet Set Willy that last for ages. You can just sit there watching for ages. I could anyway. And did.

They're probably worth buying the DVD for alone. Think of it as some great animation with six bonus episodes of a geek sitcom thrown in.