Back In Aber

As expected, I had very little internet access over the Christmas period. And now I’m back in Aber. Mozilla reports 688 new e-mails. Joy.

Will say more when I can be arsed. I came back here from Lancashire via Merseyside and Norfolk. That’s a fair journey by anyone’s standards.


Off To Norfolk!

Claire and I are leaving Aberystwyth for Norfolk! Off to spend Christmas with her folks before heading up to Preston on Boxing Day to be with my family.

Have barely begun wrapping presents. For that matter, I still haven’t had delivered my mum’s present. Or one of Claire’s. Damned freaky postmen. Or something.

In any case, I’ll be in and out of internet access (well, technically, I’ve now put my Psion 5mx back into active service, which, combined with my funky GPRS mobile phone, puts me online ‘everywhere’, but hey: I think I’ve downloaded a telnet client so wherever I go I *theoretically* have e-mail access… we’ll see).

I’ll drop a blog entry or two while I’m gone.

In the meantime: Merry Christmas, y’all.

Out Of Place

Something feels out of place. Probably just the time of year, the amount of work I have to do, etc. The only good thing about working as long hours at work as I have been is the anticipation of how healthy my next paycheque ought to be. Which it’ll need to be, because I’ll be penniless by then.

Gonna play some Super Mario World on the SNES emulator I downloaded and try not to get too stressed and start snapping at people again. Must de-stress!

Hugz, ye’all;

The Right To Read

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If you haven’t already read it, take a look at The Right To Read, a very short story written in 1997 and updated in 2002 – it’ll only take you a few minutes to read; it’s not ‘techie’ (anybody would understand it!), and it is relevant. The kind of things that are expressed in the story – while futuristic (and facist) sounding now, are being put into effect… slowly, quietly… by companies such as Sony, Phillips, Apple, and Microsoft: not to mention the manufactors of CDs and DVDs.

It’s been circulating the ‘net for years, but recent events such as InterTrust’s Universal Digital Rights Management System (report: The Register), which they claim will be ready within 6 months, and Microsoft’s ongoing work on the ‘Palladium’ project (report: BBC News) – topical events which mark the beginning of what could be the most important thing ever to happen in the history of copyright law, computing, and freedom of information.

So, go on – go read… [the remainder of this post, and three comments, have been lost]


How frustrating is it to write 5 CDs for clients, only to discover an error in some SQL scripts on them that mean that they won’t work outside of the development LAN… <grr>

It’s the world rebalancing the good and bad things, I guess. Making up for last night’s wild rampant sex tour of the flat (starting on the couch, finishing on the bed… without need for re-entry). Damn, we were horny.

I’d better fix these SQL scripts. Ooh: office Christmas dinner this evening! That’s something to look forward to.

Christians Should Be Banned From The Internet

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If you’re going to spend (at an absolute minimum – and probably closer to four times the amount) $350 on a series of banner advertisements promoting your service, to be displayed inside a popular ad-sponsored piece of software, you’ll check your spelling, right? Right? Look at this:

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Sometimes I really do feel that Christians should be banned from the internet. They should certainly be disallowed from writing web pages – other than the Christians, I’ve never seen a group of people who have – within their own group – broken every single rule of good web site design. Well… except if you consider GeoCities-users a group of their own.

As if this page, which scrolls on and on, haslarge numbers of images linked from other sites, and using a (badly) tiled background image, isn’t bad enough, I’ve seen:

  • This GeoCities monstrosity, with a stupid amount of animated GIFs, annoying applets, and platform-dependent code (including an embedded… [the rest of this post has been lost]

Final Troma Night Of The Year

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And a good Troma Night it was, too. The usual people came – surprising how few of them had gone back to their families for Christmas, yet – although Liz didn’t bring Tom, and, as we decided last week, this undoubtedly spells the end for their relationship. Maybe Troma Nighters should only date other Troma Nighters. Perhaps we should fix Liz up with Bryn (I would suggest Adam, but based on a conversation I had with Liz on Tuesday night, I don’t think that ‘Strokey’ Adam could handle her).

Totoro was fantastic, as ever. We also watched Pitch Black, which was cool for a virtually unheard-of Hollywood title, followed by another of Miyazaki’s fantastic animated films – this time one I hadn’t seen (but had wanted to),… [the rest of this post is lost]

Last Troma of 2003

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 23 March 2019.

Kit wrote:

TromaNight rolls to a close in 2003 with three excellent offerings. Tonari no Totoro, Pitch Black and Kiki Delivery Service. The first and last were excellent. Pitch Black was a good middle film without doubt – but perhaps easier to forget because the other two were so charming.

The music in Kiki is really rather special. It was a joy to watch and listen to – and the cat! The cat (played by Phil Hartman, of Simpsons fame (Troy Maclure and Lionel Hutz)) was a joy to watch. Very *very* catlike in behaviour and commentary…

Cross-reference: Final Troma Night Of The Year


Claire, Peter and I gatecrashed a friend-of-a-friend’s house party last night, and ate all of their Pringles. One of the housemates’ music collections was fab: all the best of the Goo Goo Dolls, 3 Doors Down, Nirvana… and some weird (but actually quite good) Welsh rock band.

(Is Welsh Rock a genre? Or just something you buy on the prom at Aberystwyth?)

Must start my Christmas shopping.

[Edit: Came home from the party with an irresistible urge to listen to Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’. Weird.] 

Banned From Driving For Life, Before He’d Even Passed His Test

As this news story from the BBC relates, a certain Alan Shirkey from Aberdeen was this week given a life ban on driving, as well as a £300 fine and a year’s probation.

He’d started learning to drive over a decade ago, but then stopped. Then, on the day in question – 10 years after he’d last been in a car and with only a provisional license – he drove (without L-plates or supervision, and with no insurance whatsoever) towards Perth. He stopped to fill his car up at a petrol station, and then left without paying. Realising his mistake, he began to reverse back down the dual carriageway, colliding with several cars as he went, and injuring several people. When he was arrested, he refused to give a urine sample.

And they only fined him £300?!?

Christmas Is Coming, The Exams Are Getting Written

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I haven’t done any yet.

I’ll start tommorow. Better call my mum and get some tips on what my sisters are into this year. Becky’s typically quite easy – she usually just wants the most violent computer game released in the last three months – but Sarah, who’s desires are driven by the fluctuations of what is and what is-not fashionable at any particular time (“That is so last week! Nobody listens to clip-hop any more!”)

Claire and I are going to be spending Christmas (and a couple of days before) with Claire’s dad. Then we’ll travel all the way up the country – with her dad in tow – on Boxing Day to spend the weekend with my family. We’ll be back in Aberystwyth in time for New Year. And then I suppose I’d better start revising.

For the benefit mostly of myself (this is a convenient look-up point), but also just to show you all, my exam timetable for this semester appears at the bottom of this post…

Only three exams! Woo. I feel moderately confident enough about them – although I’ll need to knuckle down and read up a lot of formal notation stuff for the SE33010 exam. I’ve also got an assignment to do for my Professional … [the rest of this post, and one comment, are lost]

Worst 100 Films Of All Time

IMDB provide a list of the worst 100 films of all time, as rated by their visitors. I particularly enjoyed the fact that four of the Police Academy movies made it into the list. In other words, Police Acadamy films are responsible for 4% of the Worst 100 Films Ever. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

Something In The Water

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People keep getting together. Kate and Leu, Tom and Liz (now with a journal!), and now: Sian and Andy. Must be something in the water. The latter pair (and the one I most recently heard about) is the most unexpected, and the middle one the most blatant. Sian and Andy???

Well, best of luck to them anyway: a long-distance relationship isn’t necessarily easy, but I’m sure that Sian knows that by now anyway.

I’ve challenged Paul to find the link between Tonari no Totoro, which we’ll be watching next Troma Night, and Troma. There is a link, and it’s a lot less complicated than he’s looking for. He has until Saturday before I tell him anyway.

I tried to send an e-mail to a load of people the other day, telling them about something I’ll later tell to one other person. Unfortunately I accidentally emailed the other person at the same time (was thinking about them … [the rest of this post, and one comment, are lost]

Troma Night

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Ran out of food, ran out of alcohol: a disgrace from a planning perspective.

On the other hand; we watched…

  • “Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell”, in which a girl (who wasn’t really Nymphoid or Barbaric – perhaps she’d be better named “Anorexic Hairdresser”) tries to rescue her boyfriend (apparently) from a nasty man with a bigger pointy stick, in the aftermath of a nuclear war. There weren’t many dinosaurs, either. But those that appeared were done quite well with stop-motion camerawork. Better than “Rabid Grannies”. Argueabley better than “Alien Blood”, but still rather disappointing. And only one shot in which you can see her nipples.

After this, Liz and her new boyfriend Tom left. Just like Probably Bob, the last boyfriend she brought to Troma Night did, also before the end. It’ll never last.

  • “Beavis And Butt-Head Do America” – surprisingly funny; some hilarious immature humour. And it had Ruth – a guest star for tonight’s Troma Night – in stiches, which I think says a lot about her sense of humour.
  • “Cannibal! The Musical!” Director’s Commentary. At long last, a night at which everybody present had already … [the rest of this post has been lost]

Justification Of What You All Already Thought About My Sanity, And About Orange’s Competence

As I promised a few days ago, I called Orange today to complain that I hadn’t ever received the two messages for which I’ve had the cost refunded. The first couple of people said that there was nothing that they could do, but a lot of harassment and a few calls later, and I persuaded them to send me the latter of the two messages, which is apparently a Christmas greeting.

A few minutes later, my phone beeped to let me know that a new message had been received. A new multimedia message. The body of which was as follows:

have received a Multimedia Message, which your handset unfortunately
cannot support. Please refer to the accompanying text message and follow
the instructions to view the message from the web.


Did I miss something here?

  1. Orange send me a message to apologise for having charged me for receiving some messages from them, and give me a refund, even though I never received said messages. Can’t find any mention of them on my bill, either.
  2. I complain at length to Orange that I never received the messages that I wasn’t billed for (I don’t mention that I don’t seem to have paid – they might take the refund back out of my next bill or something), and they promise to re-send it.
  3. The message arrives on my multi-media phone – the phone that they know I have and apparently already sent this message to, once, but it’s in a format that my phone can’t understand.
  4. There is no accompanying text message.

Shall I ring them up and complain again?