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A few delusions among friends

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7/15/10 07:30 pm - Why hello.

Popping in briefly, might read back for a catch-up at some point. If anyone thinks I should read something, drop me a comment. Meanwhile I'd like to share something that will have you all wetting your collective pants:

The collected adventures of AD Somethingson.

As redesigned by yours truly and relaunching this week, so have a sneaky preview.

1/16/09 08:08 pm - Why the country is monumentally fucked

And who is at fault.

While a two-party race isn't the ideal condition for parliamentary democracy, it does serve as a check and balance system for the worst excesses of politicians who, let's face it, are hard-pressed to find a clue between them.

Traditionally, Labour was left-wing and the Tories were right. And - this goes beyond personal preference and political tradition - this was the right way to run the country. Because sometimes, in some situations, left-wing policy is the best thing for the Government to enact. Other times, in other situations, right-wing policy is a better fit. Socially, economically, the whole nine yards. Check and balance. There will always be those who, traditionally, vote for the party that best serves their perceived interests, from the blue-collar worker who has always voted Labour to those sitting on a tidy pot of money, to whom the Conservatives have always catered. Those who vote for the minor parties and the swing voters decide the issue.

The problem we have now is that ever since Blair spun the traditional Labour party out of existence, we've had a choice of ever-more-apologetically-mildly-right-of-centre and Blair's Frankenstein creation, at turns so liberally Leftist that we can't move for tripping over someone's Human Rights, at others slightly to the Right of Mussolini with surveillance and flagrant disregard for due process of Law. Despite this, Labour still hung on to a dedicated core of voters who were either blinded by the spin or so ingrained in the habit of voting Labour that they don't realise that they're not voting for the same party, the same political position they used to.

The balance has gone. There is no political force capable of stepping into the gaping void Left of centre, and so rather than genteelly swinging from one side of centre to the other every eight or twelve years, the country careers wildly from Socialism to Fascism every other Bill or Act. This is a decline that cannot be reversed, and it was caused because one man in his hubris - and by extension every crony and hanger-on in his Cabinet - believed that winning the election by fair means or foul was more important than this balanced system we've gradually evolved since 1802. And though this viper in the nest proved quite skilled at manipulating public opinion for a while, he was in almost equal measure inept at the business of actually running the country. Where traditionally a Prime Minister would have public opinion and the platform of his party to tell him in what direction he should be taking us, Blair had no actual idea of what he stood for. And now he's slimed his way off into another high-profile role in which he doesn't actually seem to be doing anything he's supposed to (to be honest, the Gaza situation would be better served by sending the Teletubbies as a peace envoy) he's been replaced by a man who despite serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, seems to have the same grasp of basic economics as Imelda Marcos and whose only actual qualification for the job he occupies - Because I sure as hell don't remember voting for him - was being the member of Blair's cabinet who disliked him the most.

6/1/06 07:46 pm - If you were buying a PC online...

...what questions would you ask? Aside from warranty and delivery times; I don't think anyone I've polled so far has missed those so I'll take them as read.

5/15/06 09:57 pm - Y'all have brains. I don't.

Some or none of you may have been aware that I was in the process of setting up a business with a - well, I'll use the word "friend".

This has all gone rather badly down the pan due to a number of factors including but not limited to said "friend" being a total fuck-puppet¹. All of which has left me in a bit of a pickle, to wit: each of us is taking from the business what we put in.

I get the domain, hosting, code and database for the website (www.trojansystems.net).

He gets the name. Yup, that's the sum total of his contribution to date, but I can't use it. So I'm looking for suggestions (royalty-free) for a name suitable for a website selling custom-built PCs, software and components.

The previous name was good in that it gave a flavour to the branding and suggested names for product lines - I'm racking my brains trying to think of something that'll do the same, but to no avail.


¹ To the extent of:

  • Bragging to the competition about contracts we hadn't yet secured, on which they were in a far better position to bid

  • Trying to contact magazines to send review samples in English that would've shamed a five-year-old

  • Running up a £300 phone bill downloading films then trying to pass it off as product research

  • Need I continue?

8/19/05 11:21 am - A question for the geeks out there

Meta keywords have all but fallen into disuse due to changes in search engine coding. However, it makes a lot of sense to use them, if only to aid internal search of a website. So in theory, a good content management system would automatically generate and insert keywords for a page based on the same sort of algorithm as a major search engine... right?

8/17/05 10:21 am - I normally mistrust online IQ tests...

...but this one seems thorough enough and was actually extremely accurate (it's only one point off when I was tested years back), so I don't mind recommending it. Besides, it seems a little odd that I'd happily do a "would you survive a zombie apocalypse" meme but shy away from this sort of thing.

The resultCollapse )

My result was illustrated with a little Vitruvian man graphic, which amused me slightly because of my website.

ETA: Clicking through the accompanying ads (if you click the "full report" link then click to go back to the free one, you get the option to review about 20 pages of ads to get the paid version free), I found this little gem:

Christian Homeowners... Looking for a better Mortgage Rate?

Get cash out of your home's equity or lower your mortgage payments the Christian way. Fill out our simple form to find the lowest rate today. All credit ratings welcome!

ETA2: Amusingly, the one question I got wrong was in the "organizational" section. *wince* I misread the question ("Which of the following character strings is the closest match to 8,392,211,109?") and gave the numerically closest answer rather than the closest string. D'oh. "Pay attention, 007."

8/15/05 01:50 pm - A meme

Snarfed from kimberlychapman

An interesting intuition testCollapse )

In other news: I don't have a problem with correcting broken code in memes because nobody wants to see orphaned html tags on the page where they're not supposed to be - but is it bad that I shudder at the tables and presentational elements and instinctively want to re-code the whole damn meme properly in XHTML & CSS?

8/15/05 12:52 pm - Things I find utterly delicious

I got the following email today. I've bolded the bit that amuses me:

Hello Chris,

Thank you for contacting MSN Hotmail Technical Support. I am Abilash and I will be assisting you today.
I understand that the number of unread e-mail messages is not being displayed in the left navigation bar of your Hotmail account. I realize your situation and know how important it is for you to have this issue resolved at once.

Chris, I appreciate you trying all the steps provided by our staff member. I would request you to update your Internet explorer. If the issue still persists try using other browsers. this would resolve your issue.

You are valuable at MSN and we strive to provide you with consistent and effective service. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write back.Have a nice day!
MSN Hotmail Technical Support

ETA: On a related note, here's a list of standards issues MS have promised to fix in IE7.

8/15/05 11:29 am - A meme

Tagged by warlordkittens

List ten things that make you happy and tag 5 friends... (or not, if the implied obligation to respond irritates you)

01) Kittens.
02) Sex.
03) Finding things.
04) Making things.
05) Fixing things.
06) Insanely random conversations.
07) Drinking and/or recreational substance abuse.
08) Music.
09) Reading.
10) Being able to do things without screwing up.

ETA: I'm dying to go outside for a cigarette but it's much too bright and I've a bastard behind the eyes. Gaah.

8/10/05 04:52 pm - A funny story

My mother recounted an anecdote to me yesterday that might explain a thing or three. It appears that my folks were at a party when I was about a year old. I was happily toddling about the place, and some half-pissed geezer decides to give me his sherry. Which apparently I liked so much (I can't stand the stuff now) that I scampered over to the next reveller for some beer. I ask you; if I started that young is it any wonder I'm fond of the occasional drink here and there?
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