Planarchy Archive - November 2003


Woody (also a bird)

A joy, this morning when I came down to make the coffee to see Woody the Greater Spotted Woodpecker on the nuts.  The picture isn't as good as I'd normally demand for displaying here (or with my other bird pictures) but that's the problem with our new double glazing... an extra payne of glass (and a surprising amount of dirt) dims the resolution somewhat.  Good to see the old chap back again, anyway.

20031130   18:27

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Richard, A Bird?

'tis is the 74th anniversary of Richard E Byrd's first flight over the South pole, according to my sometimes correct work diary.  It always seems to me an American thang to use a middle initial.  Heck, I don't even have one!  But the thing that's always struck me with Richard E Byrd is that it would have been much better if he'd been Richard A Byrd.... then it could be misconstrued as..."Richard, a bird, was the first to fly over the South Pole".  Then it would have been funny.


20031129   17:01

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Been a long time since I rock 'n' roll (did I mishear that?).  Anyway it's also been a long time since I managed to complete a Photo Friday Entry.  With today's subject set as "Foreign" I have to say I didn't hold out much hope for today either.  But then, halfway through a meeting this little chap wandered across our lab floor.... a field mouse in a London Laboratory.... how much more foreign can you get?  Clickety click to see more of the cute leetle fellah.

20031128   17:56

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Those were the days

Are screensavers passé?  If so then here is the ultimate site for them... I am totally transfixed  by my BBC2 one.  And young Dee and Kay do not believe that we had to spend ages watching these clocks in between programmes.  (Link stolen from Stuart at Hydragenic).

20031127   19:01

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Easy as ABC?

Much of yesterday and indeed yester-night was spent programming an instrument with a simple alphabetic A to Z keypad. How come that, despite having known my alphabet for about 40 years whilst only having had a knowledge of qwerty keyboards for about 20, I found it so much harder to use?

20031126   7:58

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Young Dee returned from school with th story that apparently the school burgers are made of horse-meat.  Plus ça change, eh?  Although, on a second telling it turns out that they're adding beef flavour, so at least the rumour has moved on a bit since my day. I'm sure there was no flavour added at all back then.

20031124   18:31

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JFK, Tea and Me

It's 40 years since JFK was shot by aliens (or something) in Dallas.  Our parents are all supposed to remember where they were it happened/heard, aren't they?  Can't say I actually remember it myself as I was only three years old.  But I was living in Dorking and it was, I'm told, very cold.  I do, however, remember my sister being born a few weeks earlier.  They say you don't recall memories from such an age but I'm certain it's mine and not an imposed memory because of the specific detail. Every morning, until then, my leetle brother and I were brought a glass of Rosehip Cordial(?) but that morning my confused father brought us instead a cup of tea.  And ever since that morning we had tea instead..... aahhh.

Incidentally I gave up drinking tea when I left home for University and didn't touch it again until stuck in hospital with a broken leg some ten years later... the hospital coffee was totally undrinkable.  So my tea drinking habits have been always determined by life changing scenarios, although not Kennedy's assasination.  Curiouser and curiouser.

20031122   16:51

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I'm not a Rugby fan, three years of enforced scrumming (and a bit of daisy chain making) drummed it out of me.  So I enjoyed the empty roads and the empty supermarket this morning whilst England played Australia.  But I got back in time for the extra time and wow, the tension nearly killed me my heart was beating so fast.  What an absolutely thrilling finish!  Well done England, worthy World Champions.

20031122   11:39

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Dog Days

So this cute dog is able to calm the most disruptive pupils...."They go all gooey" apparently.....hmmm, I just hope it's very, very good natured indeed.  One day one of the little darlings will pull it's tail.  And if it bites them it's curtains for doggy.  Cynical?  Moi?

20031121   18:34

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Mostly installing a home wireless set-up today so that we can all share our Broadband connection from our own little hiding places around the house.  I can even blog from the garden (just).  Though it's dark out there at the moment so that might have to wait for a warmer and brighter spring evening.

Still, it's all working (much to my amazement).  Why am I always surpised when these things work?


20031119   20:45

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This really shocked me.  Apparently there are almost a million nearly-forty-year-olds still living at home with their parents in the UK with nearly six million over 18's doing the same.  Now, I'm sure a large proportion of the larger group are still in full time education which would I suppose have included me for bits of my college life.  But when I finished Uni that was it.... I never went back home.. in fact I think my parents had reallocated my bedroom within minutes of hearing I'd taken on a flat with some friends.  So how does one still end up living at home when one is 40?

It really is a different world. 

Oh, and the acronym is Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings apparently....

20031117   17:31

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Flu for Two

Well, hello again!  Welcome back... except you haven't been away, have you (if my visitor stats are to be believed anyway)?  No, it's me that's been apparent mainly by my absence.  Certainly not here anyway.....

It started last Sunday, when my post was about to be "Headaches are Stupid".... if you bang your head it hurts and it serves as a lesson to be more careful in future.  In a similar vein, it hurts when you break your femur.  The usefulness of the pain here is two fold... firstly it tells you not to try and move it until the paramedics arrive and secondly it reminds you just how daft an idea it was to go to that dry ski slope in the first place.  But this headache, what was the point of it?  I wasn't hung-over.  And although I had stayed up late to look at the eclipse I could hardly believe that even my daft psyche was trying to suggest to me via an aching head that looking a a pinkish moon was a bad-thing to do.

But the headache got worse and worse and my dreams on Sunday night were very colourful indeed.  And by Monday morning my nightshirt was sopping wet.  Hurrah!  A fever!  And five further days of feeling absolutely shite.  Obviously feeling a bit left out Zee decided to join in.  We both seemed pretty sure that this was the first occasion in our fourteen years that we've been sick off work together.  (as opposed to both being sick of work, obviously).

So that was it really, too sick to blog, read or even watch TV with any great interest.  Thoroughly unpleasant.

20031115   14:21

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Live from London!

Someone's nicked a bit of the moon!

East London, eh?

20031109   0:05

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Human League

The obituary in today's Grauni for Bobby Hatfield, one half of The Righteous Brothers, struck a strange chord.  I have to say I didn't know his name but, in the first sentence it mentions their Greatest Hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".  This takes me back to the late 1970's and a gig where the Human League and their (for the time) weird syntho-pop were wedged between the guitar based angst of "The Gang of Four", "The Mekons", Still Little Fingers" and someone else... can't remember who.  Their rendition of the Righteous Brothers hit as the bottles rained down on poor old Phil Oakey's bizarre hairstyle will stay with me forever.

Elsewhere I didn't go to the firework display at the junior school.  But I did see this and this from Dee's bedroom.  Heck, everyone's allowed to post a couple of fireworks pictures, surely?

Guy Fawkes, Phil Oakey.  Hmmm.

20031107   20:49

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Rat Race

Well, yes technically it's a hamster, but you get the drift.  In Coke's small old cage his wheel was stuck on the side so he had to squeeze through a hole to get to it.  Thus I'd always assumed that once he got in there he kept moving as he thought he was going somewhere.  But with his large new cage the wheel is in the middle so he can see he's getting nowhere.  Yet still he trundles in the wheel for hours.  He must acutally like it! 

This has come as a shock to me.

Maybe he's become an adrenaline junky.

20031106   19:44

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Friends' Kitchen

There is, apparently, a sit-com called "Friends" which is very popular with people who really should know better. It's set in America, which is, apparently, a country between Canada and Mexico (and not, apparently, very popular). Anyway it's come to my attention that our kitchen cabinets are exactly the same colour as those that feature in a "Friends"......and we had the colour blended specially for us... allegedly.

Yes, I am finding it hard to blog at the moment.

20031105   18:30

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Tolerable Cruelty

So, the latest Coen Brothers creation, "Intolerable Cruelty"... what to say?  I like their work generally and this was no exception.  George Clooney continues to demonstrate his skill at comedy, replaying, to some extent, the role created in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou". On the other hand, I was not looking forward to Catherine Zeta Jones.  She lived down to all my expectations and deserves the Andie MacDowell award for wooden acting right now.  This acting style can work sometimes... for Zeta Jones it was OK in "Chicago" (shame Richard Gere suffered too) just as Ms MacDowell used it to very good effect in "Sex Lies and Videotape".  Sadly, here it detracted.... lucky that Clooney and the rest of the cast were there to make up for her..... overall an excellent evening's entertainment.  Thoroughly recommended.

Then there were trailers.... the latest trailer for "The Return of the King" was thoroughly enjoyable, but then it was only about thirty seconds with a lot of very quick cuts... incidentally, the one I've linked to above isn't as good... it's way too long.  Then we had "Love Actually", Richard Curtis's latest hilarious romanto-comedic offering (I feel the bile rising already).  We saw his first years ago in Bristol/Bath with old friends JayTeeBee and Jay.  I'd wanted to see the excellent "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" but been outvoted.  I still think "Grape" is the better film by far (apart from the ever wonderful Johnny Depp you get Leonardo DiCaprio's best ever performance).

20031102   20:49

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Farmer Llama Drama

A headline to make one's day, surely.  The story hopefully of some relevance to my father-in-law who is planning to get a pair of llamas due to their repuation as guard animals.  This story, however, warns of the possible downside as the llamae concerned protected their master from paramedics trying to attend to his injuries after tripping in a rabbit hole.

20031102   13:48

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All week we've been revelling in Pumpkin soup recipes from BW (and err.. Alan).... as a result it appears everyone is making their own and poor old Sainsbury's have been reduced to 2 for 1 offers to try and get rid of their version.  Oh, and while we're in Sainsbury's what to make of this next offer?  Are we really expected to buy a pot of health enhancing spread just because it comes with some (pretty small) Christmas cards?


20031101   18:04

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