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Tricky entry proving too tricky to get down in writing - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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March 6th, 2003


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07:41 pm - Tricky entry proving too tricky to get down in writing
1) The "paying £52.50 to the wrong company for a £17 train ticket" problem has been sorted out. Turns out that I did pay £17 to the correct company on my credit card rather than my debit card and the credit card payment has been processed properly. The £52.50 payment was also correctly processed for my coach trip to Oxford the previous weekend. User = moron error. Carry on. It was a bittersweet sort of inadvertent revenge to waste the time of a telesales bob on a billing enquiry which wasn't even slightly his fault, though.

2) I'm likely to be taking part in the QuizGB online buzzer quiz evening tonight - happy hour 9pm-10pm GMT, hardcore hour 10pm-11pm GMT. I have a realistic hope of winning some of the questions in the first hour and a sniff of a hope of some in the second hour. Still fun, though. Not sure how British-culture-specific the questions are in practice, but that needn't stop at least the more macho of you. :-)

3) Middlesbrough 1 Newcastle 0 in the Tees-Tyne football derby last night. If you're curious to know more about local football rivalry japes, this is what it's like to live in Middlesbrough. Incidentally the result has made me realise that my previously posted football preference ranking is incorrect; I fear the truth is more like Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Man U, Blackburn, etc.

4) Interesting article about football attendances. Nice to see the trend is rising - the bigger business the English game can be, the better. Unfortunately next year's Premiership is going to be worse as #3-capacity, #5-support Sunderland (cool attendance stats) look set to be replaced by small clubs like Portsmouth, Reading etc. Sunderland were talking of expanding their ground to hold 55,555 (and eventually over 60,000) but this seems most unlikely now.

5) Teesside Airport has found a buyer, but for a fairly derisory sum. The new owners are pretty small players in the airline market; I would regard it as positive that they've been able to attract EasyJet to Liverpool John Lennon, but I can't see them doing the same for MME - whether for EasyJet (very unlikely as they already have a nearby Newcastle hublet), bmibaby or anyone else. Oh, and the Scotsman's Scottish airports section is fine - good analysis on why the planned Central Scottish airport "wouldn't fly".

6) I like bmibaby's current promotion - instead of offering three seats on each flight for about tuppence ha'penny, they have declared a maximum price for all seats on certain routes on certain flights. A neat way to turn around the "flights from £1.99, but yours will cost £176.50" experience that some other airlines offer. Good gimmick.

7) daweaver is a member of the biblography - no, not he's not a book used to help people write other books, it's just he has a second blog also. (Not secret; it's linked in his userinfo.) He's giving his ongoing estimates of the chance of Blair being PM on 01/01/04. Crucially, he currently estimates this at under 50%, whereas I estimate this at over 50%. Outstanding even-money wagering opportunity! Can anyone suggest something fun to wager on this? Money isn't really fun and I don't think either of us are into humiliation. Suggestions welcome.

8) I have a mildly mind-bending but fundamentally benign piece of mischief in mind that I would like to perpetrate some day. Would anyone care to volunteer as a victim for this? If you volunteer now then I may perform it upon you at some point between 2010 and 2020 inclusive. (Assuming I can find your current contact details, of course.) You will get no prior warning of what it is or when I will perform it until it happens. Any volunteers?

9) Progress on job front: zero. I did dream about getting two competing one-day temp jobs last night, but nothing worth writing about on either a dream front of a job front.

10) Someone post something anonymously (not too gross, please) and give me the fun of trying to work out who posted it, please.
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: "Tubthumping" ~150% speed remix (see chrisvenus)

(128 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:picklepuss
Date:March 6th, 2003 12:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
7) There is a bit of an American custom of wagering that may fit. (Actually I'm not sure if this is a distinctly American custom or not; will push on, regardless.) When there is a particularly bitter rivalry and/or significant game approaching (usually, but not always a football game) the mayors/governors of the respective towns/states of each team tend to wager a large some of a local delicacy on the outcome e.g. New England Clam Chowder vs New Orleans Gumbo. Along with this comes the requisite taunting and grand standing. This is generally considered as a welcome bit of levity in the generally overly serious world of state politics.

I don't know how helpful this may be as I am unfamiliar with both British geography and local delicacies. Still I have always been somewhat proud of this particular custom, even if it's never had any real part in my life.

8) Not knowing the necessary logistics, I would still like to volunteer for this. My life should be considerably different come that time frame and I think the surprise would do me good.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 12:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
7) Excellent suggestion - just the right sort of fun. Thank you. It also helps that Birmingham has excellent local cuisine, which I would choose to interpret as a Chicken Tikka Pathia Puri from the Dilshad.

On the downside, I'm not sure that Middlesbrough has counterpart local cuisine. I think Middlesbrough has tried to claim the parmesan (chicken, bechamel sauce, cheese, breadcrumbs, sometimes tomato sauce and lashings and lashings of lard) but I don't believe it to be truly local, not least because it appears to be named after Parma in Italy. "Three sandwiches from Hungry Jack's" (qv) might technically work and is definitely distinctly Teesside even if not distinctly Middlesbrough but I don't imagine anyone would want more than one.

There used to be a local lemonade manufacturer, but Googling for Lowcock's lemonade only reveals one reference, pertaining to a famous TV conjuror from the area whose greatest fame, 10-20 years ago, is probably reasonably contemperaneous with the lemonade manufacturer's peak.

8) So noted. More volunteers welcome to increase the uncertainty. If nobody else volunteers then it's going to happen to Norman here if it happens to anyone and so everyone knows definitely whether or not it might happen to them. (Yes for Norman, no for everyone else.)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 12:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Jooo are soooooo kquoooooottttieeeee!!!!!!!!!!!
[User Picture]
From:jumbach
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:16 pm (UTC)
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I'd like to volunteer, as I am morbidly curious. But I do have to ask: Why is there a 7-17 year delay?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:24 pm (UTC)

Who am I?

(Link)
Your first hint: I live somewhere in the Western Hemisphere.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 02:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Who am I?

(Link)
Dear this Anonymous,

Question 1: Are you on my Friends list?

Question 2: Do you identify as male?

Question 3: Do you think I'm sexy?
[User Picture]
From:leiabelle
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
1. Sounds like me and my issues with MSN. Grr argh.

8. Ooh ooh, I volunteer! Must be something pretty worth it if you're not going to be performing it until at least 7 years from now.

9. Progress will come; you've already gotten a lot accomplished in this area, it seems. Bur yeah, waiting stinks.

10. Muwahaha! *plots*
[User Picture]
From:leiabelle
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:32 pm (UTC)

curious! very curious.

(Link)
Oh yeah -- any idea why Google is Greek-statuesque today?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:39 pm (UTC)

because googling for "spotted dick" isn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be!

(Link)








From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 01:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
posted anonymously.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 7th, 2003 06:45 pm (UTC)

(but a *different* anonymous)

(Link)
I was going to post "something anonymously", but you beat me to doing something similar, and I figured mine would be overkill. Cheers!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 02:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hello. Anonymous comment.

Um. What to say? Nothing, I think. Guess!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 05:09 pm (UTC)

(Link)
I guess leiabelle for all of them by default, and particularly for the pictures of spotted dick.

It'd be interesting to know who has made the most comments on my LJ apart from me. Probably leiabelle, at a guess. Not sure if it's sufficiently interesting to go through and count up, though it might be a fun programming task for someone who was looking for one and wanted something cool to post about to lj_nifty.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 03:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
7) Local delicacies are one possibility, but how about this: dinner out, loser pays the tab? Or do what Steven Hawking has done on several occasions, and bet a year's subscription to some magazine (oddly enough, Hawking has bet a subscription to Penthouse on something, though what exactly it is escapes me)?

8 & 10) I volunteer. But you've got to figure out whom I am first. Hints: I'm on your friends list, and I'm not from the UK.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 04:09 pm (UTC)
(Link)
7) Perilously close to betting slightly more substantial sums of money than I would care to.

8 & 10) I reckon it's jumbach on the double-bluff, given that (a) you've already volunteered, (b) you've already tried to conceal your identity in this thread once, (c) surely nobody would try the same gag twice in the same thread and (d) surely nobody would try the same gag twice in the same thread.
Nope - (Anonymous) - Expand
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 04:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I posted anonymously. My job is done.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 09:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Many hours later, you still haven't taken a guess at my identity. You must be stumped so much that you can't make a random guess.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 04:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'll be interested to see whether you can deduce my identity merely from me writing a couple of generic sentences in what - I think - is my usual tone. Not a lot of content, really, but lots of pretty typical grammatical constructions and vocabulary. And yes, I am on your Friends list.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 04:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The tone is most like that of ericklendl or ringbark, I would say. That said, I wouldn't bet on either of them at worse than 50-1 odds.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 05:54 pm (UTC)

(Link)
i am curious what information you will use to determine a persons identity in that vein i am typing with only the twenty six letters as well as the space bar i am not jumbach i am not gspchrisl i am on your friends list you are not being sneaky enough to list the ip address of people posting to your journal and comparing with past entries are you
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 06:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Nope - IP logging is off on this thread, largely because that would make detection too easy and accordingly not fun. (I wonder whether, should I turn IP logging on, it turns out that the IP addresses of the other replies to date have been logged and will be displayed? I do hope not, but I'm not about to try in case the answer is "yes".)

#2 factor is other known activity on LiveJournal at this time.
#3 factor is past record of posting to my journal.
#4 factor is my perception of past indication of interest in matters like these.
#5 factor is spelling, use of HTML markup, use of emoticons and use of icon at the start of the reply.

#1 factor is what the people actually say. So far, you aren't giving anything away. :-)

I would think it less likely than not that you were one of the ten most likely suspects listed above - the very fact that I have posted ten likely suspects means that they are more likely to keep quiet at this point and other folk are more likely to post.

I would guess you were most likely to be ari_o or quiz_master_man.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 06:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Guess me.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 6th, 2003 06:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
leiabelle. You're all leiabelle, just sometimes she's pretending to be different people.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2003 08:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I just spent half an hour reading Isaiah looking for examples of a prophet ranting.
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:March 6th, 2003 08:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
At 1am GMT I'm at work. I don't access LJ from work at all, so it must be some other guy/gal/whatever.
I'll volunteer for the 2010 to 2020 thing. Good luck.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 7th, 2003 04:50 am (UTC)
(Link)
OK, now I'm intrigued. Another anonymous posting for you to ponder over. I shall leave no further clues at this time, but should you care to ask questions as above, I may well answer.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 7th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC)
(Link)
OK. I'm going to try some fun questions, which may not be optimal in trying to identify you as quickly as possible, but might make the journey particularly entertaining. (Or might not - I don't know.)

1. Which is your favourite of my icons, excluding the blank one?

2. Have we ever met, to the best of your knowledge?

3. Which of my interests would we be most likely to enjoy together?
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[User Picture]
From:lambertman
Date:March 7th, 2003 06:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
About how much of a hit in attendance could Sunderland expect from relegation? Do any teams ever survive a demotion without losing any appreciable part of their fan base?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 7th, 2003 06:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
Good question. :-)

Let me take the second part first. From the Premiership, I believe not, but in the lower leagues, certainly. I think it's reasonably well-established that more people will come to see a team who are doing well in division three and challenging for promotion than one who have been promoted to division two, are doing poorly and are struggling against relegation.

Taking the first part last, I would expect Sunderland's attendance next season to tend to be somewhere around 30,000-35,000, but we've attracted then-virtually-capacity crowds of 41,000+ when we were challenging for promotion from Division One and I would expect us to attract 41,000+ crowds (possibly even 47,000+) crowds again if we do really well in Division One. I think there were some odd weekends when Sunderland at home and both Newcastle and Manchester United were away and so Sunderland's Division One game had the highest attendance all weekend. This is completely exceptional, though - no other Division One team could do this and it doesn't look like Newcastle or Man U are going to get relegated in a hurry.

Sunderland have a very strong fan base in Sunderland and attract very little attention from elsewhere. It's only really half a dozen teams or so who attract significant fan base from outside the area.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 7th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
What an interesting way to get anonymous people to post on your journal! :-P
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 7th, 2003 06:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
How many licks *does* it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 8th, 2003 04:42 am (UTC)
(Link)
Depends on the size of your tongue, I shouldn't wonder.
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Good work! - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Good work! - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 8th, 2003 06:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
NOT MY BUTTONS! Not my gum-drop buttons! Can't guess me, I'm the Gingerbread person!

From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 8th, 2003 06:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
You're a monster! *spits* Eat me!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 8th, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
4) Premiership attendances may be going up, but I seem to recall all other attendances are going down. If so then it will only serve to move the wealth even more to a few clubs and away from the grass roots.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 8th, 2003 01:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
PS: Guess who?

PPS: Everton Rule :D
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