October 26th, 2005
|04:01 am - Living on my own|
1. Many thanks to all of you who commented, posted, birthday_pokeryed, mailed or sent a text message on Sunday, which was my 30th birthday. Dad has gone on holiday to the USA for two weeks, so I'm holding the fort alone here and accordingly I "ain't got time for no monkey business", like making LJ posts. This isn't the first time I've lived alone, obviously, but the first time since I've started work. This was a worrying prospect but so far it's going more smoothly than I feared it would. The birthday itself was OK; I talked to Meg on the phone and a RL friend who I hadn't seen for months before going off to a (very quiet) night shift.
2. Google-proof lyrics quiz. Identify the following pop music hit:
Bah-bo bay-bo bubbadah bah-bah-bah bu-bubbityIt charted respectably in the UK and elsewhere at some point within the last 20 years. dezzikitty is disqualified as I sent her an .mp3 of it. ETA: radinden wins! See his comment for the answer.
Bah-bo bay-bo bubbadah bah-bah-bah de-bubbity
Pah-bo pay-bo pubbadah pah-bo pay-bo pubbadah
Pah-bo pay-bo pubbadah bah-bah-bah ba-bubbity
3. I had a dream a while ago about a new (US) American team in Formula One racing who had signed Mike Tyson as a driver. It's not as if he's much of a boxer any more, what with having won exactly one bout since 2001, and Formula One needs something to raise its US profile after the Indianapolis GP this year. I think the F1 team may have been Golden Palace Racing - it's the sort of publicity stunt they'd pull...
4. Are any of you going up to the Whitby Goth Weekend in a couple of days by train? I intercepted the train on which lnr et al arrived into Middlesbrough (where you must change en route) last year and it was a good opportunity to catch up with people who I wouldn't otherwise see.
5. Interesting to see you can now "Pick 1" on National Lottery HotPicks; pick a number from 1 to 49 and if it's one of the six regular balls out in the draw then you get £5 back. Sure, a poor gamble (you ought to get £81/6 back) but this represents an expected return of 61.22% rather than other National Lottery games' expected return of 50%. If the good causes still get 28%, the government still takes 12% and Camelot pay the retailer 5% commission, do Camelot really lose 6.22p on each ticket sold?
It's still not a good game to play, but it's significantly better than most. Arguably you would be better off by placing a 72p bet on the 49s game offered by Blue Square because you can pick which Good Cause the remaining 28p goes to and a successful selection would return £5.04 instead of £5, but this must still surely be considered good news for lazy people with exactly one lucky lottery number.
6. A fascinating insight into how brands are viewed in the UK is available at BrandIndex, though I can't imagine the freebie-download PDF will be at all frequently updated; I was surprised to see that the single least well-regarded snack brand in the UK is the mighty Krispy Kreme. Admittedly, the one KK store I found in London didn't seem to have a HOT sign at all, so no telling when the doughnuts would be at their best. Without the HOT sign being lit, they're just doughnuts. From the right-hand column, we also learn that the most desired places in the country at which to work are Aston Martin, Sony and Virgin Atlantic.
7. I do like The Times; while the news stories must be taken with at least as large a pinch of salt as you would any other paper, the columnists are a lot of fun and it's like following a frequently really interesting Friends page. Matthew Parris is very charismatic, Julie Birchill writes whatever she likes and gets away with it because she's her, Portillo and Rees-Mogg can at least write even if their views abhor me and the sports line-up of Giles Smith and Simon Barnes is peerless. (Barnes' piece on Britain's World Cup policemen is hilarious and affectionate and this piece reveals Jose Mourinho to be the most human football manager since Brian Clough.
8. Further down the line, we have dates announced for the 2006 MIT Mystery Hunt. For practice, it might be fun to get a group of us together to try to crack at least parts of The Puzzle Boat (as pointed out by quiz_master_man). Trying to fix a time and a date to have a go at this for several hours is probably the way ahead. Anyone else interested? (tablesaw - not you, you know too much, obviously... *grin*)
9. Meg and I inadvertently watched a very bizarre TV show on our last night in the USA, called An Eye For An Eye. It seems to be Jerry Springer without even that show's vague attempts at providing a moral to the story, in a courtroom format. The plaintiff and the defendant have a highly tawdry dispute and insult each other greatly. The audience insult both of them; in the episode I saw, it ran along the lines of "the plaintiff is just jealous, but the defendant is a slut". The judge, "Extreme Akim", insults both participants and issues a ludicrous punishment - for instance, in the episode we saw, he sentenced the participants to mud wrestling. (It wasn't even a good mud wrestling segment at the end of the show... not that I'm an expert on the subject. Perhaps.) Some accidental fixture of pop culture called Kato Kaelin hosts. I'm glad I saw the show once, but I have no desire to see it a second time.
10. Finally, some quick reviews of books I read on my trip:
Are YOU Dave Gorman? by Dave Gorman & Danny Wallace. Dave Gorman bets Danny Wallace that he can take him to meet 54 other people, all called Dave Gorman. Wacky hi-jinks ensue. Dave and Danny write affectionately about their adventures and the people they meet, with some lovely silly wordplay. This is as much fun as Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, which succeeded it by a couple of years; somehow, this was a pleasant surprise. Both authors write well. Silly feelgood fun and very easy reading.
Busting Vega$: the MIT Whiz Kid who brought the casinos to their knees by Ben Mezrich. If I have a favourite extremely obscure sub-genre of books, it might just be books about casinos losing money. A classic MIT oddball observes and exploits anomalies in the way casino blackjack dealers shuffle and cut cards, so that one hand per deck, the players have a massive edge over the house. They exploit this by playing small stakes and losing little bits until the hand where they have a big advantage, then usually making a massive win. The casinos catch on quickly. They move to casinos around the world and get caught pretty quickly at each one. Can't help feeling that they might have had much more success in the long term if they had flown under the radar by not milking their advantage so hard. Surprising, but fitting, conclusion; easy reading, satisfyingly detailed, well written. If the premise appeals, recommended.
America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by John Stewart. Have only read a little over half of this so far, but clearly very lovingly written with tons of jokes packed in. Pressed my "heh, that's clever and funny" button more than once most pages, but has only made me laugh out loud a couple of times so far. Seemed to be very similar in tone to the UK's Have I Got News For You? book, based on the little I've seen of it. Am looking forward to finishing this.
Current Mood: GIP!
Current Music: Song mentioned in #2
What's worrisome about having the house to yourself?
It takes some getting used to, coming home from work to a house that's cold until you warm it and dark until you light it, but it's not earth-shattering. Right?
WINNER! I should have remembered how classy your taste in music is :-D
Are your Puzzle Boat plans going to be based around a physical meetup, or is the getting together of the group just in an assembling sense ?
If the latter, I'd very likely be interested (subject to the usual timing caveats everyone suffers from).
The former would be more fun IMV if it can be arranged, and probably more successful in terms of attacking the puzzles, but the latter is still worthwhile. After all, any MIT Hunt effort (assuming my shift pattern works to give me the appropriate days to attack it) will largely be based around a big IRC chat room.
I'd love to get to meet you and Dawn again some day, incidentally, but know how much that's asking. Knowing your opinions on social events, do you think that co-operative puzzle solving would be the sort of thing you would enjoy when the other people were present?
Is it that top nonsense hit "Scatman John", by, the late Scatman John?
That was my guess too. Surely too predictable for the enigmatic jiggery_pokery
to choose, though?
Golly, missed your birthday entirely there. Glad it was a good one, and I wish you many more.
Happy belated Birthday! Sorry I suck at remembering these things.
Oh and is that song something Scatman related?
Thanks! I'm highly variable myself.
Well remembered - Scatman John did indeed sing it.
9) Sounds like the cultural follow-up to the hilarious Sex Court some chums showed me on cable a few years back. It's Judge Judy but with sex, basically. And hilarious.
You know that your second last paragraph can be anagrammed to
"But basically, it's sex with Judge Judy."
don't you? Now there's a thought. (© Barclays)
"Eye for an Eye" comes on our sister station (because it's too low-market for 9)... and to make matters worse, it comes on after "Cheaters". (That's a show where people get detectives to catch people cheating on their boy/girlfriends, then confront them in a Springer-esque manner.)
What a classy hour of TV that is.
Sounds like it. Be proud and glad you work for 9, rather than 9's psycho sibling.
I'm likin' the icon!
|Date:||October 26th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)|| |
Happy belated birthday! :)
Argh! Happy belated 30th, my lad -- I'm sorry that I forgot on Sunday. May your coming year be full of joy and surprises (of the nice variety) and learning and love.
*big squashy hugs*
Thanks very much! We shall see what we shall see. There are definite reasons for optimism over the coming year; in fact, it has a definite shot at being one of the best I've had - with the prospect of the one afterwards possibly being better still.
|Date:||October 26th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)|| |
|Date:||October 26th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)|| |
Eeep! I didn't know.
A bit belated, but happy birthday! :)
I didn't really have the time to make a song and dance of it in advance. :-)
I've been out of town for the last 5 days, so...a belated Happy Birthday!
Never too late; thanks very much!
"America: The Book" made me laugh out loud so much it was embarrassing (shouldn't have been reading it at work), but I think that's because it's such a spot on parody of every US civics textbook I was ever forced to study. Interesting to get someone who didn't go through the American school system's take on it.
Ahh, that's interesting. May well be why I wasn't getting some of the stylistic references, as well as the fact that much of the subject matter was genuinely educational.
Well, Happy BD! (Busy weekend here in Flor-e-duh) ;)
30 huh? Feel any different? Accomplished everything on the "What I will do by 30" list?
Curious: Did you setup the birthday_pokery
community? ;) Ok...see that M did it. Lucky guy.
1) Wanted to know if you were planning to go to Lumos? 2) Have been contacted by the person who is running the Q there. Can you explain your idea of human bludgers to me? How could that work in water? Think they might want to use bats. *cringes* LOL
Happily, completing 0 out of 0 isn't too bad. :-) (There's the ambitions list, but the ambitions have changed to some extent.)
1) It's looking unlikely, on balance, but never say "never".
2) Essentially, when a beater "hits" (touches) a bludger, the beater can point them in a direction of their choice and off the bludger goes in a straight line, running for the nearest person in that approximate direction, looping around if necessary. Usual penalty for a bludger touching a chaser etc.
Would this work in the water? Mmm... not sure. Doubt it.
Matthew Parris is very charismatic
Earlier in the year, we were searching for a presentable Conservative. Why did we forget Mr Parris?
Julie Birchill writes whatever she likes and gets away with it because she's her
Well, you might think that, I see someone who writes whatever she likes and makes herself look a moron (of greater or lesser degree) every time.
Portillo and Rees-Mogg can at least write even if their views abhor me
I'll agree with that. Do you have an opinion on David Aaronovich? I know I do...
the sports line-up of Giles Smith and Simon Barnes is peerless.
To be fair, the Universaldailyregistertab does do sports very well indeed.
I've never been convinced that the UDR's move to a tabloid format has done its news and comment section any good at all. Sport fits a tabloid format well, arts coverage is probably better in the smaller size (though the new G2 is too small for comfort), but a proper coverage of the news cries out for a bigger spread than the UDR can give it.
From what little I've seen, the Telegraph's new sports tabloid seems to be a quantum leap on the broadsheet, and it could be the best-designed package amongst serious UK newspapers.
I think Parris has ruled himself out of going back into politics. His move away from being a sketch writer to a more general columnist is probably indicative. No firm opinion on Aaronovich, but I'd like to hear yours.
Haven't seen the Torygraph recently, but it may be worth a look. I'm broadly against daily newspapers printing multiple sizes in the same publication (Sundays get away with it because practicality is not a concern) but if the content justifies it then so much the better.
Kick me quick, 'cause I didn't get to greet you on your actual day. Anyway --- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you great person, you!
*kicks very gently* Aren't I supposed to get birthday spanks, not give out birthday kicks?
|Date:||October 27th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)|| |
Happy Belated Birthday from me and the Zagamuffin, Chris... I had no idea. Sorry, man! *manly handshake and hug*
For the Google-proof quiz, I was going to jokingly put "is it Scatman John?" Before noticing that Chocaholic7 had already said that, and won. My fault for not remembering the birthday in time ;-) My actual guess would have been 'Scatman', not 'Scatman's World'... shame on me. I have them both! I must be slipping!
Hope you're not too overworked by running the house, Chris!