Archive for May, 2007

Catholics vs Baby Killers

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Dear Scottish Catholics,

I’ll be quite happy with you saying “you can’t take communion if you’re not anti-abortion” thing once we’ve eliminated rape and, in fact, all unwanted pregnancy, got healthcare to such a degree that a woman’s life is never endangered through becoming pregnant, got basic living standards for all people to the level whereby every child can be given a life worth living and created a 100% reliable method of contraception that your church is also prepared to endorse.

Until then, please stop taking such an absurd black-and-white stance on a complicated, deeply emotional and difficult issue. It’s not like people have an abortion for fun, for goodness sake.

Love, Chris

Wedding List

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

So, last night we went round Debenhams with a little scanner thingy and made our wedding list. I never knew there were such a huge array of things that I had so little opinion about.

Okay, so I care about saucepans and chopping boards and a good pestle and mortar, but whether our bedsheets and towels are the same shade of brown or not? This is not the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night. Of course, I’m not allowed to not have an opinion, because it’s going to be my house too, so I’ve got to make some sort of decision, apparently, even if I really actually don’t care.

Anyway, we’ve now got a big list of things that Naomi is very excited about and that I can sort of give or take but would mostly be happy to trade all of for a 50″ plasma telly. But apparently, that’s not “practical” or “necessary”, and replacing all our saucepans and having a matching 24-piece cutlery set is. I think it’s probably best if I just admit that by getting married, I am signing away any right to be a man I might have mistakenly thought I previously had.

I still think the green plates are nicer than the white ones, though.

Video Camera + Sushi Conveyor

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

I’m not kidding. This is why the internet exists.

For best results, listen to something off the Lost In Translation soundtrack at the same time.

On podcasts

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

I realise I’m terribly late to this whole podcast party, and that everyone else has been into it for ages and all that, but never mind. I have gathered some thoughts together about them. Here they are.

  • The optimal length for a podcast is 26 minutes. This is the time it takes me from putting my iPod in my pocket in the morning, getting my bike out of the garage, cycling to work, getting the lift up to the third floor and putting my bike in the corner. Much longer than this and I end up awkwardly standing around by my bike, waiting for the podcast to end, and any shorter and I end up standing by the side of the road fumbling around trying to get my iPod out of my pocket so I can play something else instead. This increases the amount of time it takes me to get to work and disrupts my whole day. This is non-ideal.
  • The optimal length for a podcast is likely to increase to about 32 minutes soon, if I move to where we are thinking of living. The podcast making people should try and take this into account.
  • American Public Radio is fantastic. Especially the music programmes, which are a bit like if Radio 4 were allowed to make music programmes, except less snooty and British. The presenters actually seem to enjoy listening to music, rather than being all loud and brash and sceney and playing stuff just because it’s on a playlist. They are also remarkably unprejudiced about what gets played, so it’s not unlikely that you’ll hear some hip-hop up against some indie and some country. It’s a broadening experience.
  • New Scientist need to bring their podcast back. Like, seriously. Please.
  • The Channel 4 music podcasts are somewhat variable in quality, and not always entirely suited to running to, as they frequently feature long periods of slowcore ambient droning, intercut with thirty second tracks of extreme grindcore noise metal.
  • Anyone who’s not a professional broadcaster probably shouldn’t be trying to make podcasts. There are people who’ve been doing this thing professionally for a long time, and they’re almost certainly going to be better, and more interesting, than you. OK?
  • The BBC really need to make more things available as podcasts. Mark Kermode’s film reviews are great, as is The Now Show, but there’s not much at the moment. More, please.

Eagles may soar

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

So, yeah, I fully intended to start this blogging thing up again, but then somebody said “Hey, Chris! Why don’t you have a Facebook?” and I said “Facebook? Isn’t that, like, MySpace, except without music?” and they said “Well, yeah, but it’s really, really cool and everyone’s on it so you should definitely sign up!” and so I did.

In retrospect, this may have been a mistake as since then, my life has largely revolved around sitting on my Facebook homepage hitting refresh repeatedly in the hope that someone exciting has added me as a friend or left me a message or that maybe some girl I used to fancy at high school has come along and revealed (too late, naturally, given I’m getting married in under three months) that she loved me all along and is now heartbroken or something like that.

Anyway, the obsession is backing off slightly now – I’m only checking it every fifteen minutes or so, as opposed to every 30 seconds, which I’m sure must be much healthier for me. Yes.

Most surprising Jerry Falwell tribute yet

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Larry Flynt, arch-pornographer and perrenial boundaries-of-taste-pusher, writes about his friend, moral-majority God-botherer-in-chief, Jerry Falwell.

Breaking the silence

Monday, May 21st, 2007

So, yeah, in between the process of buying a house, planning a wedding and training for the Great Manchester Run, I’ve not had the time or energy for much blogging lately. I’m going to try and start this thing up again, but it remains to be seen if it works or not.

In the meantime, you can retrospectively sponsor me for the run here – I came in at 58m9s, which I was quite happy with; I was aiming for under an hour. Next year I want to be closer to 50 minutes, I think.


Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Not one of:

got through to the final? What MADNESS is this?

My vote’s going to Belarus, although I reckon Latvia stand a very good chance. Also, Germany and Greece are in there.

(incidentally, it doesn’t matter that the Czech Republic didn’t get through – they’re going to sell 17 hojillion albums in Germany next year anyway)

Not the best day to be a Lib Dem

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Now can we get rid of Menzies Campbell?