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9 September, 2009

Obligatory cat post

For some reason, certain websites have declared 09/09/09 to be a 'cat-free' day on the web.

8 April, 2009

Matrix Revisited

Unlike me, Randall Munroe noticed that it's the tenth anniversary of the release (er, Australian; it was 11 June here in the UK) of 'The Matrix'.  Wow.  Ten years.

16 February, 2009

Arbitrary date - missed

Argh!  Months ago, I noted a certain fact and prepared this entry for (manual) publication at the appropriate time – then forgot.

6 September, 2008

La Machine: Day Two

Like yesterday, La Princesse's itinerary was spread throughout the entire day, with long intervals between events, so, again, we reluctantly decided to miss the first.  The giant spider was scheduled to wake outside the Cunard Building at 11:30 and be 'serenaded' for an hour, before sleeping again until 15:00 when she'd walk through the city centre, reaching Lime Street station by 21:00.  In hindsight, our decision was rewarded, as there had been a 'miscommunication' between the French artists & the British promoters, and the 11:30 crowd received a musical performance with no visual spectacle – La Princesse didn't move.

5 September, 2008

La Machine: Day One

When my mother first implored me to visit Liverpool with her to see 'La Machine', I had no idea what she was talking about, but as soon as I discovered it was a new street theatre project led by François Delarozière, I could barely contain my excitement.

12 June, 2008

Don't keep taking the pills

Something of a personal milestone: whilst collecting my anti-Plague medication from the local chemist this morning, I dropped-off my remaining stock of (long-expired) anti-depressants, for disposal.

15 May, 2008

Feeling uneasy... very quickly

I installed my new broadband modem and service before work this morning, and it worked perfectly.  That can't be right; computers just don't do that.

23 April, 2008

Loaded gift

H. was kind enough to send me a book token to celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi today.  Unfortunately, I think (it's in Polish) it's only redeemable in one bookshop, in Ul. Wołoska, Warszawa.  I wonder where H. wants us to spend my next holiday....

1 January, 2008

New Year's resolution

This feels like a 1280x720 year.

24 October, 2007

First frost

I don't remember whether that's early, late or normal.  Having made this note, I'll know for next year.

17 August, 2007

Happy birthday, CD

It feels like an urban myth, but the BBC reports that the reason a standard audio CD has a running time of 74 minutes is that the technology was deliberately designed to accommodate a complete performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

27 June, 2007

Rejoice from the rooftops

"Hand on heart, I did what I believed was right"

Not.  Good.  Enough.

24 April, 2007

Land of hope and... **** that.

I'll simply link to Jack's carefully measured comments on the subject of English patriotism and reverence for a deceased Turkish soldier, and let you read them for yourself.

7 March, 2007

Baudrillard's gone

If that's conceptually possible....


2 March, 2007

Blood on t'moon

Here's a reminder, or for those who didn't already know about it, advance warning, that there'll be a full lunar eclipse tomorrow.

12 February, 2007

Happy Darwin Day, Mrs. McKeith

Today, the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of 'On The Origin of Species' (Oops; not yet!  My mistake.), is an apt occasion for 'international recognition of science and humanity'.

4 January, 2007

Make history

Forty years ago today, presumably to within a couple of hours, Bluebird K7 flipped over at 320mph on Coniston Water, killing Donald Campbell on what seemed likely to have been a successful attempt at the world water speed record.
An appropriate moment to play Marillion's 'Out Of This World' again, I think.

3 January, 2007

In beta

Belatedly, may you have a happy New Year.

Welcome to 2006 2.0.  Isn't it shiny?

6 November, 2006


I haven't listened to BBC Radio 4 for years, but J. tells me that tonight's is the 15,000th episode of 'The Archers'.  Wow.  That's quite an achievement.  Over 55 years of a radio soap ostensibly about farming.

1 November, 2006

Happy Samhain

Samhain is today, 1 November, okay?  It's not merely a different name for Hallowe'en (31 October), the christian attempt to demonise the pre-existing festival.

Happy New Celtic Year, anyway.

9 July, 2006

An arbitrary moment (3)

If I'd remembered in time, I could have posted this yesterday morning at precisely ten minutes and nine seconds after eleven o'clock in the morning on the eighth of July, 2006, or 11:10:09 08/07/06.

Other moments of no genuine significance: 1, 2.

6 June, 2006

An arbitrary moment (2)

Just pointing out that, as close to the moment as the server permits, I'm publishing this at six minutes and six seconds after six o'clock in the morning on the sixth of June, 2006, or 06:06:06 06/06/06.

4 May, 2006

An arbitrary moment (1)

If anyone's interested: as close to the moment as the server permits, I'm publishing this at two minutes and three seconds after one o'clock in the morning on the fourth of May, 2006, or 01:02:03, 04/05/06.

6 February, 2006

You shouldn't have. No, really.

Be my Anti-ValentineThis year, I remembered to write this entry well in advance, so that those so inclined can follow the link and send anti-valentine e-cards.

Beyond that, I don't think I need to elaborate on my earlier comments.

Nothing says "I love you" quite like saturated fat and slutty lingerie.

5 September, 2005

Save me! ME! Or else...

Sal has published a characteristically good post about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans: in short, the disaster wasn't the hurricane itself, or even the flooding, but the way some people have responded, not least their selfishness.

As Hannah said:

When Boscastle was destroyed by floods, the residents weren't looting the Post Office and shooting at the rescue workers, were they?

30 July, 2005

Hands off those students

An Alternative Freshers' Fair is to be held in Manchester this year as a response to the commercialism which has overwhelmed 'official' Freshers' Fairs in recent years.

23 April, 2005

Saint's Day

Detail of Casa Amatller, Barcelona, 05/04/05 ©NRT,2005Happy Sant Jordi's Day to everyone in Catalunya.

[What d'you mean, "what about the English?"  What about them?]

6 March, 2005

A mother isn't just for christmas

I suppose everyone's done his or her bit to support starving greetings card manufacturers, florists and confectioners today.  Needless to say, I haven't.

A piece of plasticised cardboard conveying someone else's contrived sentiment isn't my idea of meaningful, and I don't regard it as sufficient to merely send a card, thereby ticking the 'acknowledge mother' box for another year.

If you haven't already done so, ring your mother and speak to her - invest a little time and genuine emotion in a proper conversation, rather than relying on Hallmark to do an inadequate job of it.

13 January, 2005

Goth festival rumour

I don't know what Morecambe hoteliers have heard that no-one else has, but it seems hotels are contacting people to see if they'd be interested in rooms for the Morecambe Goth Festival on the weekend of 4-6 March.

I've heard nothing else whatsoever about this, even whether there will be a festival, but some might like to keep that weekend free, just in case.

14 December, 2004

Goodbye Moscow

We tended to regard one another with mutual wariness, as Moscow was a huge, ex-Animal Rescue cat with a bad attitude arising from rough early treatment and later pampering, and I'm not prepared to put a cat's whims ahead of mine, nor to uncomplainingly accept swipes from an impatient claw.  At 16+, he wasn't the most active or lovable cat; his long black & white fur was usually a bit grubby.
Still, I knew him for 4-5 years, and was his usual feeder when J & Fi were away, so we were more than casual acquaintances.

Recently, he developed an astonishingly loud purr and a snore, which were diagnosed as the results of an inoperable growth in his throat.  It was delayed for a couple of weeks by steroids, but at the exact time of writing, he's visiting the vet for the last time.

26 October, 2004

RIP John Peel

The news broke about an hour ago: John Peel has died at the age of 65, while on holiday in Peru.

One of the very few 'celebs' who ever really mattered to me, he'll be greatly missed.  It's like a highly-respected family member has gone.  I don't think I've ever been so personally affected by the death of someone I didn't know myself.

This is also a loss to the nation.  I've just done a quick search, and this is the lead story on the websites of all UK national newspapers (even the Financial Times) at present.

In championing new music since the Sixties, he personally introduced punk, reggae and hip-hop, amongst other styles, to the UK, well before they entered the mainstream.  Now what do we do?

19 June, 2004

Happy Badger Day

Today is National Badger Day.

It's interesting that if it hadn't been for this meme, I doubt I or other blog authors would have thought to mention the event.

17 May, 2004

Gratulerer med dagen, Norge

Happy Grunlovsdagen, Norway!

I wish I was there today; I really enjoyed Stavanger's syttende mai in 2002.

23 March, 2004

Rare event for armchair astronomers

Between 22 and 31 March, five planets will be visible to the naked eye just after dusk; an opportunity which won't be so easily repeated until 2036.

Viewing from the northern hemisphere:
Mercury will be visible above the setting sun until 45 mins after sunset when it will drop below the horizon.
Venus will be higher in the sky and the brightest object in view.
Mars, though dimmer than last summer, will be high in the southwestern sky.
Saturn will be nearly overhead at dusk, slightly to the south.  Because of this position in the sky, there is less atmospheric distortion than usual, so views with a telescope will be particularly good, showing the rings and major moons.
Jupiter will also be particularly bright, rising in the east at sunset.
For a sixth planet: look down.

Further detail from the BBC (unlikely to be permanently archived).

16 March, 2004


Today is National Ideas Day.

I can't think of anything else to say.

6 February, 2004

Tides kill 19

Maybe somewhere like New York it's common to hear a helicopter pass over one's house then hear that same helicopter a minute later on a live national news report, but here in Lancaster it hadn't happened to me before today.

30 November, 2003

More competition?

Many congratulations to Jakob R. Nielsen (multiple Golden Demon Sword winner & unfailingly nice guy) and family, on the birth of his daughter.

27 November, 2003

Ee, a grand Lancashire Day t'you

Apparently today was 'Lancashire Day', celebrating over 700 years of my adopted county being represented in Parliament. On 27 November, 1295, the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by Edward I, to attend what later became known as 'The Model Parliament'.

1 November, 2003

Happy New Celtic Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed Samhain - not Hallowe'en, that's the christian attempt to hide and suppress the earlier celebration with the contrived All Hallows Day. In fact, the BBC reports that even mainstream christian groups now go out of their way to force bogus christian meaning into the traditional, secular version of Hallowe'en - pumpkins carved with bible messages, 'Saints and Sausages' or 'Saints and Superheroes' (something of a mixed message there, too) parties.

10 October, 2003

Poet wins top award

Congratulations to A.B. Jackson, recipient on Wednesday of the award for best first collection at the Forward Prize, the UK's biggest annual poetry award.
Here's hoping it prompts better distribution of the collection, 'Fire Stations'.
Well done, Andy!

NP: Opeth, 'Damnation'

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