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June 9th, 2003


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05:31 am - All killer, no filler
Happy mimblewimbleth birthday to picklepuss for Sunday just past. There is some history behind the existence of Mr. P upon LJ. Picture the scene: December last - a cold, boring month. I was reduced to posting a picture of my breasts to the journal of famous fanfic author thegraybook for kicks. (A post, I note with inappropriate pride, that was still remembered at the Armchair Birthday chat just last weekend.) However, I digress.

This comes at about the time of a spate of male posters to this LJ asking for invite codes, not least the poster now known as tromboneborges. Three days later, an anonymous named Corey (fourth down) posts an obvious back-handed non-request for a code. Flush with codes, I decide that an amusing phrase in his second post displays sufficient promise for jollity; inevitably enough, I give him one. The rest is but history. Last month hermorrine and zorac prove to their own satisfaction that he isn't a mass hallucination, but fail to ask the one obvious question: why the hell "picklepuss"? Hope you had a good one, Corey; here's to many more. I raise my glass (of milk) to you.

Time to put the interviews game back into its box for a couple of months, I think; writing 22 sets of questions (and declining a 23rd) will do that to you. Nevertheless, I always enjoy reading people's answers, even when I wasn't the question-setter, and I regard it as a kind gesture of respect that people chose to ask me for questions in preference to someone else. (Or maybe it was just because I got round to it first; I don't know. *grin*) Like as not, the chain reaction should keep trickling through for a few days, weeks or months yet. One worthwhile technique, though I've only been able to do it a few times, is to ask someone to write about something you know they've always wanted to write about but haven't yet got around to doing so. That's a good way to generate something which is likely to inspire further interesting discussion.

The other reason why I'm a little questioned out is because I've been chipping away at the other thing I was plugging last week, "The Killer Meme". At 53 questions long, I now see why it deserves its title, and declare this to be a two-parter interrupted by a night's sleep. Eyes down for a full house:



The Killer Meme



The Great and the Good stopped by slowfox's LJ to pool their collective curiosity, and here's what they want to know about you:



Me, Myself, I



acemyth: What is your philosophy/motto in life?

The closest I get to one is "Do as you would be done by", I'm afraid.

cynthia_black: How did you choose your User Name, and what does it reveal of your character?

I'd been reading people's LiveJournals for perhaps a month or so before I started my own and enjoyed the way that some of them tended to be playful, even flirty. Accordingly I thought that was an image that I wanted to play along with. If the fine phrase had been taken by someone else already then I doubt I would've joined for a while longer yet. Would lurkwarbler (if that's an unknown LJ user, lurkwarbler) or chrismdickson (if that's an unknown LJ user, chrismdickson) have been as much fun?

aome: What did you want to be "when you grew up" when you were younger? If your current job/plans are different, why did you change?

At about 10, I wanted to program arcade games. From about 14 to about 19, I wanted to work for an insurance company as an actuary. Unfortunately this is something that I never looked into particularly seriously at university and my mathematics was insufficient. For about the last six months of university and the first year afterwards, I looked into working behind the scenes on a game show - ideally as a researcher, contestant co-ordinator or similar, but it didn't happen. Current plans: uncertain-to-non-existent, which isn't good.

cycloethen: What was the worst nightmare you have ever had?

This wasn't scary for its content, but for its lucidity and clarity. At the age of possibly 15, I dreamt that I was a hitherto unknown member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but extremely unconfident about my non-existant ninja skills. Was I out saving the world? No, I was getting my hair cut in the next town but one along. When I woke up, I took a considerable amount of convincing that the dream state had only been a dream. Then the family had pizza for dinner that night. I wasn't impressed. :-/

cedarlibrarian: Tell the story behind one or more of your scars (physical, not emotional).

I don't think I have scars, but I have a small burn on the thumb side of my index finger on my right hand. It came from abseiling without gloves and burning my hand on the extremely hot metal carabiner.

luminousmarble: What one thing would you like your great-great-grandchildren to know about you? What one thing would you NOT want them to know?

As a child, would you have been much interested in things about your grandparents' grandparents? Would want them to know the strength of my passions, wouldn't wan't them to know the strength of my hypocrisy - which I'm not about to spell out in detail here, I'm afraid.

naath: How do you learn (things-for-exams)?

Haven't done it for a while, but I always used to learn techniques by practicing lots of different examples and I used to rote-learn vocabulary by simple repeated exposure.

bopeepsheep: What was the cause of the worst physical pain you have ever been in?

Nothing is leaping to mind. The worst physical discomfort was at learning that I couldn't eat or drink anything but water for the coming 24 hours - and I ended up having some juice in the end by way of some token flavour.

til_midnight: Where do you live (a country is fine, just name a place)?

A town of 140,000 people called Middlesbrough in the country of Great Britain.

siriaeve: What is your biggest fear?

With respect, I'm not about to tell you all that here and now. :-) The biggest one I'm prepared to admit to is eternal life coupled with eternal loneliness.

Nostalga Ain't What It Used to Be



amaterasu: What's the coolest thing you've ever done? (Not the best, or the most accomplished, or the most life-altering, just the coolest).

I suspect that most of my Friends list would regard this as having attended the Scottish charity gala premiere of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone movie. Not the World Premiere, but only a few days after it and about a week before the mainstream preview broadcasts. I was the first previously-known fandom member to submit a review of it to The Leaky Cauldron. As for what I regard as the coolest thing? See three below.

shelaghc: If you could change one event from your own personal history, what would it be and how would you change it?

I'd like not to have taken a year out between school and university. I suspect that I might have found the academic rigours of my course rather easier if I hadn't, and this would have been likely to have had beneficial knock-on effects for the rest of my career.

linaelyn: Describe the one thing have you learned in the course of your education, either inside school or outside of it, which you consider the most valuable?

"80% of success is turning up." - Woody Allen

dancingrain: What memory would call up your personal Patronus spell? (in other words, what memory is your happiest or sweetest?):

I'm not very happy with my answer to this question; all my candidates here seem to be related to pride, which is not tremndously healthy. There was a TV game show which made an impact on me called The Crystal Maze, and a short-lived attraction based on the gameplay of the TV show called The Cyberdrome Crystal Maze. (The latter article dates from about ten years ago.) The last time I ever got to play that, I had teamed up with two ladies who I had never met before... who turned out to be members of a near-world-record-setting team. The three of us did spectacularly well. I couldn't get over just how well we had done, or that I had had an opportunity to team up in a game I loved with two of its top practitioners, for two or three ecstatic hours afterwards.

glissando: Describe the three best pairs of shoes that you've ever owned - favourites because of comfort, the way they look, the brand, any reason at all.

I don't particularly pay much attention to shoes, so this will be a struggle. I do remember that a large number of pairs of shoes I had tended to split between the sole and the main body of the shoe, not least because I would tend to inadvertently occasionally point my feet downwards during walking. I guess therefore the best pair of shoes I ever had would be the first ones I bought with a deliberately thin sole, which stopped me from destroying them in the same way as the others.

If I Ruled the World



eilanhp: If you could have been born and grown up somewhere else, where would that have been?

London, I suspect. It's rather easier to move from London to elsewhere in the country than to London from elsewhere.

praetorianguard: What would you demand in exchange for giving up your personal freedoms and civil liberties?

Benjamin Franklin supposedly said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." I suspect I agree with him less than most Americans. I probably would exchange them for "sufficient security", however that's defined.

wittywibbles: If there were no laws, which (former) crime would be the first you'd commit?

I suspect the practical, but not-so-much-fun, choice would be to obtain an illegally powerful firearm by way of self-defence.

nightfalltwen: If you could do one thing or grant one wish for someone else, what would it be?

It would be to do with the health and comfort of a family member. No specifics.

therealmarajade: If you could know anything about your future, what would it be?

Life would be a lot easier with just, say, the next three sets of Lotto numbers... Can't really see past time of death for this one.

annamilton: Owing to a peculiar concatenation of events, you are the wealthiest person in the world, and the latter will end in 24 hours. Money being no object, and saving the world being impossible, what would you do during that last day?

Throwing a party for the world, including a rather more private event for my friends, then tell the people I liked just how much (and why) I liked them. One would hope there would be some sex involved.

laurelwood: If you could hunt down one childhood tormentor (whether it be bully, tattletale, mean teacher, or friend's mother who hated you for no good reason) and exact revenge upon them in some spectacular, prankish fashion without worry of consequences, who would you choose, and what would you do to him/her?

You know, I have a mental image of the biggest and most persistent thorn in my side from secondary school and can't remember his given name. That's got to be a good thing, hasn't it? Anyway, I imagine a good tree-falling-over/cartoon-style-pancake-flattening incident would be in order.

robynwepsley: If I offered you a chance to have anything you wanted, the cost being someone you didn't know dies, would you accept?

Got to go with my gut reaction here: HELL YES. I would feel very guilty about it for a long time, but would hope that the utilitarian in me would be able to forgive me once I felt I had personally been responsible for saving a hundred/thousand/million lives which wouldn't otherwise have been saved.

beccafran: If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?

Superheroic quality telekinesis in a sneaker from flight and instantaneous teleportation.

hailebop: If you could punch any one person from any point in history, who would you pick?

Half-tempted to suggest that Adam deserves a good smiting, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest he really exists. Can't see past old Adolf for this one.

silverymist: If you were given the opportunity to live another life, what kind of life would you like to have?

The life of someone with a very clear degree of vision as to what they want to do and the determination, mental strength and physical prowess to succeed in their chosen field. To name one name, while by no means do I regard him as the pinnacle of human evolution, it'd be a lot of fun to be ring announcer Michael Buffer.

slytherincesss: If you could alter history in one specific place, where would it be, and why?

Chernobyl, 1986. The station technicians would have tested the reactor strictly by the book - no taking half-measures with the emergency cooling system and the control rods.

tolarian: Assuming you (or a group of friends) conquer Earth, which section(s) of the planet would you personally desire, and why?

Hmm - not sure where this is coming from. Great Britain seems to be the obvious choice from considerations of ease and convenience, though not from beauty.

vanityfair: If you could, with no repercussions, subject anyone you wanted to one day of utter and complete torture, who would you choose, why would you choose them, and what would you do to them? Conversely, if you could give anyone you wanted (other than yourself) one day of perfect happiness, who/why/what would you choose?

So many ways to answer this one. By way of local flavour, I shall declare the perpetrator to be the person responsible for the plan to dig up and steal three miles of the Leamside railway line. Theoretically, the 313 tonnes of scrap iron he got from it would be worth thousands or tens of thousands of pounds; practically, this mass act of vandalism would cost about two million pounds to undo. What sort of torture? Whatever he - for it was a he - liked the least. (Because it needn't be a single person for the whole day - need it? - then if I could have half an hour of that day devoted to letting British TV host/producer Chris Evans know that he's made slightly too many ill-spirited decisions in the name of entertainment for my liking, that would make a good day even better.)

Perfect happiness half: half a day for each of my parents. If this is a cop-out, err on the side of mother rather than father. Unfortunately I have very little concept of what a day of perfect happiness for either of them would constitute. I'm not even sure they do... :-/

Media and Culture



slowfox: Hollywood called: they're filming your life story. Who do you cast as yourself?

A radio personality and disk jockey from London called Danny Baker, who the non-Brits aren't expected to have heard of. He has a distinctive, reverent style of writing and talks in very much the same way. His passion for football is an excellent start, though I'd hope that his passion for music could become a his-as-me passion for games. His sense of humour is distinctive - he only lasted a couple of seasons hosting Win, Lose or Draw and Pets Win Prizes before he was replaced by someone more, ahem, conventional in each case, just because he ad-libbed the hell out of things - though he's not scared of making serious points when he wants to. Lastly, there's a tiny bit of a facial resemblance, isn't there?

OK, I'm stopping here. I really intended to stop one question beforehand, but thought it was a bit of a maudlin place to stop. This is much more fun!

*snip*

You can gack the meme questions, with all the prettifying code, from here (so please include this line when pasting your answers into LJ, right to the end of the cut tag).
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: The first 6'30" of the Game Show Network

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sincelastjuly
Date:June 8th, 2003 11:11 pm (UTC)
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You and your lack of sleeping. :P
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 9th, 2003 08:08 am (UTC)
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Well, at least last night I managed to get to sleep and stay asleep, which was a definite improvement over the last two days.

The next step is to try to wind the hours back. Last night's sleep was between about 6am and 3pm, which is not so much Eastern Time as more like Mountain Time.

Heck, I would be very happy to get my body clock just three hours back - say, 3am to 11 or noon. (Ideally within the next three nights, too.) That would be almost sociable.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggerypokery
Date:June 9th, 2003 02:13 am (UTC)
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wow... there's another jiggerypokery? :D
just saying hi, my dear namesake ^__^
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 9th, 2003 08:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yup. :-) I imagine considerable amounts of "it's the wrong jiggerypokery, Gromit!" style accidents over the coming months, so we may as well grin and bear it. I do apologise in advance for the bad reputation within the Harry Potter fandom that I may have got you already ;-)

(Actually, it's amusing and probably significant that two people who would like to have the same username, give or take some punctuation, would have such a similarity in interests! So how did you choose your User Name, and what does it reveal of your character? How different were our thought-patterns?)

*is amused at jiggery_pokery replying to jiggerypokery - thinks of how confusing it must be for everyone else*
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:June 10th, 2003 06:47 am (UTC)
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I can bet how much joy this coincidence has brought you.

If the username jiggerypokery wasn't taken last year, why did you choose the version with an underscore? Sheer unmitigated geekiness? (-:
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2003 06:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
If it's an under/over bet, I'd go for OVER.

LJ always seemed to be an _ sort of place to me - I think that I was familiar at least in passing with lj_maintenance, lj_nifty and the like before I started my own journal. I also have a suspicion that it either tries to delete hyphens or turn them into underscores. (Certainly I noticed that LJ said that lj user="jiggery-pokery" had been taken when I tried to register it myself, though I don't know whether it defaults in the "removal" or "underscore" direction.)

I briefly had a scheme to nab jiggerypokery and jiggery_pokery and establish them as one-post journals to act as redirectors to me, the LJ equivalent of domain-squatting, but this seemed not to follow the spirit of LJ at the end of the day so I didn't do it.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2003 06:30 pm (UTC)
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Above experiment shows that it converts hyphens into underscores. That confirms that, then.
[User Picture]
From:leiabelle
Date:June 10th, 2003 01:04 pm (UTC)
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d00d, this keeps throwing me off! *gurgle*
[User Picture]
From:sophie10
Date:June 9th, 2003 05:41 am (UTC)
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Great Britain seems to be the obvious choice from considerations of ease and convenience, though not from beauty.

There are some incredibly beautiful places in GB. Although they are not of warm tropical beauty, they are still breathtaking.
[User Picture]
From:drbear
Date:June 9th, 2003 06:42 am (UTC)
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What is abseiling?

[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 9th, 2003 08:18 am (UTC)
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Essentially it's controlled rapid descent down a sheer(-ish) drop. For instance, if you want to travel down the face of a cliff, rather than climbing down the side of it, you would probably use abseiling. At its most basic, you drop a very, very well-secured rope down the cliff to the bottom and climb down the rope; in practice, there are copious safety measures in excess of that.

I've only done it twice, but I enjoyed it very much both times.
[User Picture]
From:drbear
Date:June 9th, 2003 10:35 am (UTC)
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Ah...yet another translation. Over here, it's usually called "rappelling." (it may be with only one l).
[User Picture]
From:picklepuss
Date:June 9th, 2003 07:48 am (UTC)
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I owe everything to you and your b00b!

As for Picklepuss, the actual story (if you can call it that) is so infinitely unamusing that I will not recount it here. Suffice it to say that Picklepuss (of Norman J) is several orders of magnitude more interesting than my actual name.

Your post is, as always, superb.
From:expetesso
Date:June 9th, 2003 09:16 pm (UTC)

Comments, as promised earlier today.

(Link)
Err... yesterday. But whatever.

If you could do one thing or grant one wish for someone else, what would it be?
It would be to do with the health and comfort of a family member. No specifics.

*Hugs*

If you could punch any one person from any point in history, who would you pick?
Half-tempted to suggest that Adam deserves a good smiting, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest he really exists. Can't see past old Adolf for this one.

Why Adam, in particular?

What is your biggest fear?
The biggest one I'm prepared to admit to is eternal life coupled with eternal loneliness.

That is my biggest fear, ever, of all time. I don't think I can comprehend anything more fearsome; the idea that you are more afraid of something else has me a bit "quakey" for you.

What would you demand in exchange for giving up your personal freedoms and civil liberties?
Benjamin Franklin supposedly said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." I suspect I agree with him less than most Americans. I probably would exchange them for "sufficient security", however that's defined.

Excellent quote from a more excellent piece of writing. I'm actually less interested in the definition of "sufficient" than I am of "security." Security of -- or from -- what? Do you consider this trade in direct correlation to "personal freedoms/civil liberties," or simply as an adequate trade with referential importance to your personal existence?


K, I didn't say they were decent comments... :)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2003 06:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Comments, as promised earlier today.

(Link)
Why Adam, in particular?

Can't get much more fundamental than original sin. Why Adam rather than Eve? That's harder to justify and would benefit from a rather fuller understanding of the story than I have.

That's more a catchy gag answer than a considered one, on reflection.

Security of -- or from -- what?

Protection from the elements (cover, warmth), security in provision of basic needs (heat, light, food, drink, cleanliness, information, variety and scope to express creativity).

Do you consider this trade in direct correlation to "personal freedoms/civil liberties," or simply as an adequate trade with referential importance to your personal existence?

Well, there's definitely the extent to which people might have freedom of choice in their spending - the more security you have in terms of what is provided for you, the less freedom you have in terms of how much you have left to spend on things of your choice. I'm definitely at the tax-and-spend end of the continuum.

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