Back to work

When I said that I had no plans for the weekend, I was in fact lying. As a surprise I took Kate to the Yorkshire dales for two days, which was very nice indeed. We stayed at a B&B in the sentence-defying Hawes, and had a very pleasant time. The only problem with the more ‘country’ towns and villages is that none of the shops open on Sundays. I know everyone needs a day off, and people do tend to be more religious in the countryside…but how much business must they lose? Never mind, we got some Kendal mint cake, which is the important thing 🙂

It rained a fair bit, so over the four days we saw Finding Nemo, Intolerable Cruelty and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The latter was based on a graphic novel, which I’m going to have to get to see how it compares.

We turned onto teletext at an unfortunate time over the weekend, to see the headline ‘Prime Minister Rushed To Hospital’. That’s not a headline you want to see! I read that it’s a stress related condition, which isn’t exactly surprising. It would be bad enough if being Prime Minister were just about the job, but coping with every aspect of your life being analysed / criticised / deconstructed can’t be easy. I keep hearing people saying ‘I don’t like Tony Blair’. How, exactly, have they come to this decision? You can disagree with his policies or the way he does things, but how anyone can claim to have any idea of the man behind it all I don’t know. Iain Duncan Smith suffers the same way. At some point politics became personal, and that sucks.

I notice that Charles Clarke has been touring universities, sitting in debates over tuition fees. Brave man. He raised some interesting points in an interview I saw, I must try to read up on it at some point. What does interest me is the universities clamouring for higher tuition fees, yet it’s the government who get all the attention from annoyed students and hence the media. While the Government certainly need to be questioned, whether their motives are good or bad, would it not be worth asking the universities why they want them raised? Or does that not get enough attention…

So how many books of the top 21 have you read? 9 for me, although I can’t remember whether I finished Wind in the Willows. Good to see His Dark Materials(ooh ooh, a new one!) in there, although somewhat surprising! I’m not sure which would get my vote for best ever, if you can even decide on such a thing. You can’t really compare 1984 and Harry Potter; they’re both great, imho, but for wildly different reasons. Incidentally, did anyone notice that BBC2’s recent George Orwell documentary clashed with Big Brother? That’s got to have been deliberate…

Off to watch CSI shortly, in the meantime let me point you in the direction of this. If you’re male and have any interest in computers whatsoever, let me offer my apologies to your bank balance.

It’s Friday!

Well…it’s not. But it is in a way, because I’m having a 4-day weekend and going to see Kate. No particular plans…am hoping to catch a film at some point, and will have to buy Matrix Reloaded now it’s out 🙂 I’m hoping none of my clients have any computing emergencies! The first time I stayed in York an extra day, I got back to find that every single one of my clients had left messages. Mind you, I only had 5 at the time.

Those of you who live only for my updates, get therapy for the weekend and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

It’s Late

Yep. The late ghost is up early tonight.

Just watched “The Human Mind”, which amongst other things investigated the signs that someone is lying. Indicators shown were: a marked difference in hand movements from when speaking the truth, a lack of eye contact and the lack of the first person when relaying a fabricated story. They interviewed a psychologist who after many years of research into the subject says he can normally tell when someone is lying. Would this be a good skill to have, I wonder. I can see arguments both ways. It’s a bit late for me to elucidate now, so I won’t 🙂 CSI last night, btw, said that people’s eyes move to the right when remembering and to the left when creating, so this may be another indicator.

In unrelated news, the Booker prize was last night won by “Vernon God Little” by “DBC Pierre” (real name Peter Finlay and a drug-addicted con artist – you like him already, don’t you). The Booker judges described it as a “coruscating black comedy”. So I looked up coruscating, and to coruscate means ‘to sparkle’. So the best compliment they could come up with was a word that’s already there, which doesn’t mean much when it comes to writing anyway. Chances of it not being very funny: probably quite high. Or maybe I’m just a cynical, grumpy, walking example of judgemental youth. I’d better read it, I suppose…

Matrix

Agent Smith’s number plate in The Matrix Reloaded: “IS 5416”. Isaiah 54:16. Thanks Fark.

I can’t believe the number of people who complain about that film. Based on The Matrix, what exactly were people thinking The Matrix Reloaded was going to be? In my opinion TMR was a superb sequel, but that’s just me. I can see how if you didn’t like the first, you probably wouldn’t enjoy the second. However the number of people who claim to have loved TM but hated TMR is a bit odd, if you ask me. I honestly don’t see how someone who liked the first wouldn’t like the second. Is it possible they didn’t enjoy the first that much, but got sucked into the hype? Or do people just like to complain? It’s far easier to criticise than praise, after all. Here endeth the editorial.

Plan for this evening: Five show CSI: Miami followed by CSI on a Tuesday. Great entertainment, and you rarely come away not having learnt something.

Outlook = Old & Busted.Eudora = New Hotness

Outlook is no more. Well, email-wise anyway. After it decided to re-download 154 messages (already downloaded, but left on the server for various reasons) I got fed up and moved everything over to Eudora. It didn’t go totally smoothly – my mailing list archive is now in triplicate – but I learnt a vast amount about the program in the process.

At about 3 this afternoon I wasn’t convinced it was such a good idea. Eudora was throwing up various problems of the very irritating variety, and the better-the-devil-you-know element was coming to mind. At about 4, however, it was like I suddenly ‘got it’. I solved a particularly annoying niggle, and then I could suddenly see why everyone raved about the program so much. Was quite odd, actually 🙂

Hints

If you copy ‘esoteric.epi’ from the plugins directory to the main directory many more options become available through the GUI, including the ability to turn off the error panel’s habit of springing to the foreground whenever there’s a problem.

I’ve got 8 different email accounts, and Norton Antivirus doesn’t like it when you try to connect to all of them simultaneously. Norton hijacks all pop3 traffic to scan for viruses, and seems to have a strop if you try to do too much at once. To fix this, go to the ‘threading’ options, and lower ‘maximum number of concurrent tasks’. People are whining all the time about Outlook’s lack of multi-threading, and the first thing I do in Eudora is turn it off!

I think I mentioned before that when transferring email it’s an all-or-nothing situation. To try to keep some control as to where it would all end up, I transferred using the imap server set up in the office (it uses the freeware Mercury Mail btw, which works extremely well). Outlook seemed to have trouble copying more than 2000 emails in one go, so I copied a folder at a time. Copy a folder’s worth into it from Outlook, then move them out in Eudora. Nice and easy 🙂

Puzzle Revealed

Pointing at Barry - SmallAnd the answer is…Barry!

Yes, it was he. He of the currently down Baguetter’s. What did he do to warrant such attention, I hear you ask? Well, my chicklets, that is a mystery that even those in the room did not understand. He had not, contrary to popular opinion, farted and blamed it on the lampshade. He had not sprayed a bogey into the ceiling (yes, toilet humour is alive and well and living in Pratt’s Bottom). The real reason may be more mundane, or perhaps it is stranger than reality…who knows.

Sit-com character

This game gets you to think of a character from a (presumably US) sitcom and tried to guess it by asking yes/no questions. It’s guessed correctly every time for me. My characters were: Diane from Cheers, Charlotte from Sex and the City and Eddie from Frasier. Clever 🙂

Update: It does dictators too, btw. It’s now successfully guessed Margaret Thatcher, Josh from West Wing and Sally from 3rd Rock from the Sun. It couldn’t get Greg from CSI though. Bwaahahaha. But then calling CSI a sitcom is pushing it a bit.

Update 2: It just got Dr. Pulaski from ST:TNG, Pike from Dad’s Army, Samantha Mulder from the X-Files and Clegg from Last of the Summer Wine. Now I’m impressed! I’m also thinking I could have spent this time doing something more productive…nah

Paradox

Proof: I am God

Sub-Argument:
Premise, just for this sub-argument: “If A is true, I am God”. This is called premise A.
Suppose that A is true:
   If A is true, I am God
   So, I am God (still supposing A)
Main Argument:
We’ve shown that IF A is true then I am God
But that’s what A says
So therefore A is true
So I am God.

However, I’ll tell you now that I am not God.

This is known as “Curry’s Paradox”, more about which can be found here; the above, more simple, wording is here

Weekend Puzzle

Reprobates pointingWhat’s the explanation for this picture?

Some suggestions:

  • I’d asked them which way was North was
  • “Who wants to see me naked?”
  • They didn’t understand what I meant about a ‘point and click’ photograph
  • Selfridges
  • Damage limitation for the 8 invisible floating men with live grenades in their intestines

I’ll reveal all on Monday. Post ideas in comments

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