Archive for December, 2003


Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

It’s depressing reading rec.windsurfing at this time of year. Sat in a neon-lit office, in freezing cold England, in December, knowing that in Hawaii and Australia and Egypt and similar, they’re all enjoying perfect sunny, windy windsurfing conditions. There was a programme on the other week about brits who’d moved to Australia to try and start a new life over there; it nearly made me cry – surfing is part of the Australian national curriculum, and every day after work, the residents of coastal cities head down to the beach for a couple of hours before going home. That, to me, sounds like the Best Thing Ever. Or at least it does, right now, as I sit and watch the clock tick slowly towards hometime and long for the weather to pick up a bit so that £500 lump of fibreglass sat in the garage can finally get some use…

On the plus side, I’m going to see Return of the King tonight, so huzzah for that, at least.


Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

I finally relented, and saw Love, Actually this evening. I hated it. Despised it. Loathed it with every element of my being.

Because even though it stars Hugh Grant, even though it’s basically exactly the same as every film Richard “Should have quit after Blackadder Goes Forth” Curtis has ever made, even though it’s got one of the most gratuitously all-star casts ever, even though it’s completely predicatable, derivative, cloying, sickly, emotionally manipulative and ultimately utterly unrealistic ending, I still couldn’t help laughing out loud at Bill Nighy singing the worst cover of Love Is All Around ever, crying at the sad bits and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside at the inevitable and totally predictable ending.

And worst of all, there was this little voice in the back of my head which kept saying “You know, Hugh Grant wouldn’t make a bad Prime Minister, actually”.

Curse you, Richard Curtis, and curse your movie too. Gah. Right, I’m going to bed now.


Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

I’ve added a test RSS feed to Not A Blog, now. You can get at it here (RSS 1.0). Woo, and indeed, yay.

Hypochondria ‘r’ us

Monday, December 15th, 2003

Up until this year, I’ve had very, very few health problems. Since March, I’ve had:

  • A chronic ear infection, causing dizziness and tinnitus. Untreatable, apparently, and could last for years.
  • A very nasty bout of flu, which incapacitated me for a week, during a holiday in Scotland.
  • A painful lump in an unfortunate and intimate place (fortunately benign, but still painful)
  • Some sort of chest/heart/lung problem which is causing palpitations, shortness of breath, a tightness in my chest and the occasional stabbing pain.
  • A cold, several times

And now, I’ve got a weird thing going on with my left foot; it feels all tingly and weird, and has done since about 1am this morning.

What the hell is wrong with me?


Sunday, December 14th, 2003

Thanks to my current strugglings with the accursed beast of insomnia, I’ve managed to put my life 4 hours out of sync. Wonderful. I’m not falling asleep until 4am, and then when my alarm goes at 8am, I turn it off and go back to sleep for another 4 hours or so. This is fine at the weekend, but it may cause some trouble at work tomorrow.

On a happier note, only a week left at work before Christmas. Hurrah. And then I get to go and stay with my parents in Norfolk and do absolutely nothing for two whole weeks. Bliss.

A couple more changes

Friday, December 12th, 2003

I’ve made a couple more changes to the site now:

  • You can select a theme from the little menu in the top right. It will remember your theme, too, so next time you visit it’ll look the same.
  • When leaving comments, you can choose to be remembered so you don’t have to fill out name/email/url details over and over – so Lori should be happy, anyway.

I don’t have anything else interesting to write about today. Sorry.

Those mornings

Friday, December 12th, 2003

I got less than four hours sleep last night. And then, on my way to work, I got stuck behind a funeral procession. Some days, it’s really just not worth the effort.


Thursday, December 11th, 2003

Inspired by the CSS Zen Garden and Topper over at Temet Nosce, I’ve just spent a couple of hours reworking not-a-blog to use CSS for all layout and styling. Hopefully, you shouldn’t see too much of a difference appearance-wise (except for the natty black borders around the articles, and a bit of tweaked formatting) but if it breaks in your browser, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to fix it.

And no, it won’t look nice in any 4.0-generation browser. Sorry about that, but the old version is still there and working if you prefer it.

Edit: Now with added themes support – how about Not A Blog In Blue? 🙂

Edit 2: I Hate Mozilla. It appears that the background: attribute has to come after any font-weight: attributes in any given style block, or Mozilla ignores it. How stupid is that?


Thursday, December 11th, 2003

It seems that Mr Brown has decided to borrow £600 for every single man, woman and child living in our fair isle. I hope I’m not going to have to pay it back any time soon; I’m broke enough this Christmas as it is.

50 things

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

I’d intended to do something special for my 100th post, but never got round to it. So, anyway. Here, one post late, are 50 things about me. It’s not very special, or even very interesting. But item number 51 should probably be “I’m a self-indulgent narcissist”, so here goes anyway:

1. I was born in Ipswich. Since then, I’ve lived in Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and Manchester, for roughly equal lengths of time.
2. I have had several nicknames in my life. Even from my teachers at school, who generally referred to me as Professor.
3. This may have had something to do with the fact that, as a child, I read maths textbooks for fun.
4. I still do.
5. I feel aggrieved that I don’t understand the proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem.
6. I have never been to a football match.
7. I have, however, been to several Rugby internationals.
8. When I lived in Norfolk, I lived on the same road as several of Johnny Wilkinson’s family. I never met him, though.
9. I wrote my first computer program on an Acorn electron in 1987, at the age of 8. It printed “Hello. I’m learning BASIC” on the screen.
10. Shortly after that, I decided I wanted to write computer games for a living. I never expected to actually be able to do it.
11. Unfortunately, several years after deciding that, I decided that actually I really wanted to be a rock star.
12. A direct product of this was my membership of a band that was variously called “Herbgarden”, “Overdose” and “Scott Taylor and his mates making a noise in the hall and I wish they’d just shut up.”
13. The biggest gig we ever played was our rhythm guitarist’s younger sister’s 6 birthday party. We played Nirvana and Status Quo covers for a bunch of primary school kids. Afterwards, we signed autographs.
14. It didn’t help me get girls, either. That might also have had something to do with this, though.
15. Oddly, I wasn’t single when that photo was taken. The girl in question is, however, married to someone else now.
16. My obsessive crush to actual relationships ratio reads like a comfortable cruising probability for the Starship Heart of Gold.
17. Douglas Adams, as far as I’m concerned, has a lot to answer for.
18. I first learnt to make a cup of coffee on a campsite in France.
19. It was at least another 8 or 9 years before I actually learnt to like coffee.
20. I owned several goldfish as a child. Most of them comitted suicide.
21. I have a psychological aversion to eggs.
22. This also used to apply to mushrooms, but I’m mostly over that now.
23. I probably suffer from a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome, but have never been formally diagnosed.
24. Amongst all the many conditions my girlfriend projected onto me during her psychology degree, Asperger’s was not one of them.
25. I speak passable French, a bit of German, a few words of Japanese and I can order a beer in Spanish, Norweigan and Italian.
26. When I go to France, people there assume I’m French. Right up until the point when they speak to me.
27. I did not imagine that, as I watched Dr Who many years ago, I would one day be working with Sylvester McCoy’s son.
28. I have met the man who wrote “Do Wah Diddy”.
29. I passed Grade 7 (Associated Board) Piano just before coming to University. I keep promising myself that one day I will take Grade 8, but as I don’t actually have a piano, the chances of this actually happening are pretty slim.
30. I love rollercoasters, but waltzers make me feel horribly ill.
31. I did my work experience at high school with BT. I still have the log book I wrote that week somewhere, which contains complicated diagrams as to exactly what’s inside those green cabinets you see by the side of the road.
32. Yes, I’m a Christian.
33. According to the political compass, my political position is pretty much the same as Mahatma Ghandi’s.
34. I helped engineer an election victory for the Liberal Democrats in our Sixth Form Mock Election. I’m quite proud of that.
35. I used to attend lifesaving classes, and won several awards for throwing ropes around and picking bricks up off the bottom of swimming pools.
36. I have a degree in Computer Science from Manchester University.
37. I dropped out of the Master’s in Optical Computing I started after that degree when it came round to writing my thesis, and discovered that I’d actually done nothing of worth other than fix bugs in someone else’s program and drink tea round my to-be girlfriend’s house for a year.
38. I saw the inside of my own leg, right down to the bone, aged 8, after falling on some playground equipment at school and cutting it wide open. I had 8 stitches, and am now incurably squeamish as a result.
39. I find Casualty harder to watch than The Evil Dead or The Thing.
40. I can ski, but not snowboard.
41. I think the Laser dinghy is about as close to perfection as you can get in a sailing vessel. But these days you’re more likely to find me windsurfing than sailing.
42. I once had a Tamagotchi. It was allegedly a fish. I called it “Fish”. It died within a week. But at least it didn’t commit suicide.
43. I have no idea what the long-term story arcs of Buffy, the X-Files, Babylon 5, Stargate or Friends involve.
44. Sometimes, adverts make me cry. I have no idea why.
45. I was a member of the Scouting movement all the way up from Beavers through to Venture Scouts. Then, when it became apparent that all Venture Scouts involved was drinking beer and eating bacon sandwiches, I figured I didn’t need to go to a village hall somewhere to do it, and left.
46. “Dweeb The Alien” was a central character in many stories I wrote as a child.
47. About the only part of my appearance I am even slightly happy with is the colour of my eyes. They’re a deep, brilliant blue.
48. I am easily distra
49. I am, frankly, an enormous hypocrite.
50. I’m probably not as weird as I might like to believe.