Archive for August, 2003

The Best Joke Ever

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

This came round our office the other day and made me laugh like a mad thing. Maybe not actually the Best Joke Ever, but it’s damned close.

A guy walks into a bar with his pet monkey. He orders a drink and while
he’s drinking, the monkey jumps all around the place. The monkey grabs
some olives off the bar and eats them, then grabs some sliced limes and
eats them, then jumps onto the pool table, grabs one of the billiard
balls, sticks it in his mouth, and to everyone’s amazement, somehow
swallows it whole.

The bartender says to the guy, “Did you see what your monkey just
did?” The guy says “No, what?” He just ate the cue ball off my pool table
-whole!” “Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me,” replied the guy, “he eats
everything in sight, the little prat. Sorry. I’ll pay for the cue ball
and stuff.” He finishes his drink, pays his bill, pays for the stuff the
monkey ate, then leaves.

Two weeks later he’s in the bar again, and has his monkey with him. He
orders a drink and the monkey starts running around the bar again. While
the man is finishing his drink, the monkey finds a maraschino cherry on
the bar. He grabs it, sticks it up his arse, pulls it out, and eats it.
Then the monkey finds a peanut, and again sticks it up his arse, pulls it
out, and eats it.

The bartender is disgusted. “Did you see what your monkey did now? He
asks. “No, what?” replies the guy. “Well, he stuck a maraschino cherry
and a peanut up his arse, pulled it out, and ate it!” said the bartender.

“Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me,” replied the guy. “He still eats
everything in sight, but ever since he had to shit out that cue ball, he
measures everything first…”

Fame Academy

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

I’ll write a summary of ECTS tomorrow, probably; it was basically a bit rubbish, but the beer was good :) Instead, I’m motivated to write a little rant about Fame Academy.

Last year, to my shame, I got quite into the first series. It was unashamedly popcorn TV, but it was infinitely better than the pap that ITV continually put out, in that it actually attempted to develop the talents of the contestants, and it was quite interesting to watch them develop musically and as individual artists. I still think Ainslie should have won.

I’ll confess to having not paid it much attention this year – I couldn’t name any of the contestants, although I’d probably recognise them if you described them to me. The thing is, though, this year, even though they insist they’re trying to develop each of their individual talents, you can see the contestants already being forced into one of the few pre-existing pigeonholes for pop music at the moment. Tonight, I saw Pink, Ronan Keating and Craig David, amongst others. So much for allowing development of individual talent.

The original series of Fame Academy deserved some praise, for trying to break the mould of prepackaged, manufactured pop and for concentrating on the strengths of the individual artists, rather than trying to see how well they’ll fit with a particular (prechosen) producer’s backing tracks (okay, in the event, none of the contestants actually turned out a decent record, except for maybe that new one by Lamarr, which has taken a year to get to is and is good if not particularly stunning) but this year they’ve pretty much sold out to the Pop Idol format – they’ve even got their own Simon Cowell, except older.

Oh, and “Tainted Love” wasn’t originally done by Soft Cell. They covered it. It was originally sung by Gloria Jones. Soft Cell just did the best version of it.

Cat Deeley, though. Mmmm.

ECTS

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Right, I’m off darn sarf for a few days. I shall return with a report, assuming I can remember anything.

French exchange

Wednesday, August 27th, 2003

Scary has written about his French Exchange, and it set me off thinking about my experiences. Mr Duck spent most of his time trying to get off with some French lass. I spent most of mine trying not to. Let me explain.

There was this girl, Laetitia, who I had seemingly caught the eye of. Now, it wasn’t that she was unattractive, as such, but it just seemed that pigs had featured somewhere in her distant ancestry and her family hadn’t yet managed to shake the DNA which controlled the shape of their noses. She spent a large proportion of the exchange tailing me around, and most of the time at the many discos trying to slow-dance (something only schoolkids, old people, and people in stupid soppy movies ever do) with me. To be honest, I was considerably more interested in her English penfriend, a girl from my class called Caroline, and her mates, who were all gorgeous and with whom I stood about as much chance as a whelk in a supernova.

However, I was a teenager and I’d never had a girlfriend before (and wasn’t likely to when I returned to England, either) – I was desparate and the chances are I would never see her again, so what was stopping me? Well, two things. The first was her boyfriend. She seemed to have forgotten he existed, but I sure as hell hadn’t. He was twice my size (and hence three or four times hers) and could probably have crushed me between his thumb and forefinger. Getting beaten up at school is bad enough; getting beaten up by a French schoolkid adds whole new levels of humiliation. The second thing stopping me was the fact that my penfriend fancied the pants off this particular girl, and she knew it. I felt that, in the interests of international relations, it was probably best if I just didn’t get involved – especially as I wasn’t totally convinced that her affections for me weren’t completely unrelated to the fact she knew Guillaume was after her and wanted to rub it in.

For several weeks after I got back, the letters from my penfriend contained little bonus sections from Laetitia too. All credit to the guy for putting a brave face on things, I suppose; I gave up replying in the end. For all I know there’s probably a girl somewhere in Ile Bouchard crying over her lost English love, wondering who can teach her about deodorant and removal of unnecessary body hair even now.

I also want

Tuesday, August 26th, 2003

One of these.

At last

Tuesday, August 26th, 2003

I want one of these. At last, a digital SLR which has a sensible featureset, is compatible with my existing lenses (even if I’ll get different results from them, apparently), and isn’t priced out of this world. Okay, it’s still not as cheap as it needs to be, but this is a very definite step in the right direction. Hooray for Canon.

Photos

Monday, August 25th, 2003

I’ve added some more pictures to my Gallery. Contrast/brightness balance is still a bit iffy, but that’s a product of my cheapy scanner.

Bits

Monday, August 25th, 2003

I’ve done lots more fun things with photoshop. I’m running low on ideas for frightening/cute animal hybrids, though, so feel free to leave some suggestions in the comments.

I’m headed down to ECTS on Friday. If you’re going to be there, I’ll be wearing a badge which says “Chris Whitworth, Programmer, Strangelite” on it. You can say hello to me if you like, and it’ll probably scare the hell out of me.

I notice Lori has redesigned her website. Nice. I thoroughly recommend taking a tour round her gallery too – there’s some really nice pictures in there.

I’m in work, on bank holiday monday, trying to reverse engineer a binary file format without an documentation. How unfair is that?

photoshops

Thursday, August 21st, 2003

Our app takes a long time to build. I’m filling time by making things in Photoshop. Yay for b3ta.

The Amazing Disappearing Website

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

You might (well, probably will) find that Not A Blog disappears between the hours of about midnight and 8am GMT for the next few days. This is because I didn’t get to Aria at the weekend to buy that replacement fan, on account of making a film and that, and the server still sounds like a jet engine with broken ballbearings, meaning I turn it off at night so I can actually get to sleep. Sorry about that.