Friday, April 29, 2005

Stuart's Friday Link: The Diary of a Crazed Mimbanite

In keeping with the whole Star Wars/Indy discussion - The Diary of a Crazed Mimbanite

Raiders of the Lost Code

Last night about 4:30pm last night there was a problem with a student's C++ code so I went to help her debug it. She had written all the code but the compiler was not compiling it, thinking it was an empty file. So I went along, closed down her existing windows and opened a few of my own to poke about. Net result - reverting from her finished code to an empty skeleton file.

Convinced I'd somehow lost a day's work for her, she got very stressed. I ummed and ammed, similarly convinced that I'd not done a very stupid thing and that in fact she had saved her work in the wrong folder, not lost all her work. I even (for I am a Linux noob it has to be said) got one of my colleagues in, looked around, found nothing and started talking extension. He thought it best we assume responsiblity given the doubt (and the student was very earnest in thinking she was screwed as she had 2 more assignments due in, a train ride home to catch, a project etc.)

About 15 mins later she came back to the office saying she'd actually saved her code in the wrong directory and was very apologetic. She even came back this morning to drop off a box of chocs for yours truly.

So the story had a happy ending.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Some trailers to part with

George Romero's Land of the Dead

Serenity (Firefly the Movie)

Get A Virtual Life...

On an unsuccessful trip to get my phone fixed at the market place I picked up a copy of Sims 2 really dirt cheap. You won't hear from me for a while... don't be worried. :)

Warm Weather Lately

I've been feeling a wee bit unwell of late (cue for awwww) as I woke up yesterday with a wopping temperature and staggered up to work. For the past couple of days I've been feeling really knackered and the usual 20 min walk to work has left me feeling uncomfortably warm while for the last 3 weeks it's been nice and relaxing.

I suspect this is my body telling me its time to stop the pizza and ice cream and go join the gym, but I think I've picked up some virus from the great unwashed. At least if my heating fails I'll be sorted...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Star Wars The TV Show and Young Indiana Jones?

Star Wars is going to continue after Revenge of the Sith with a TV show, maybe two. Rumours abound it will bridge the gap between Episode 3 and 4, or venture into the Expanded Universe (an animated adaption of the Zahn trilogy would be great, though Zahn's books are not exactly cinematic). It might be live action or a cartoon like Clone Wars, or pilot some new 3D technology George wants to play with. It's also mentioned it might be like the Young Indiana Jones TV show.

If you haven't seen Young Indiana Jones it's 3 seasons of stories featuring er... young Indy... learning life and eventually growing into Harrison Ford. Ford even had a cameo in one episode. Typically you'd see old Indy telling some story which would flashback to either him as a very small boy (played by some kid) or as a young man (Sean Patrick Flaherty), spanning from 1900s-1920s.

However to make things more artificial more or less every week without fail Indy would meet some historic figure that would impact his life. I assume this was some attempt to add education into the mix. It got a bit silly to be honest... for instance:-

"While going to college and working in a speakeasy, Indy meets up jazz great Sidney Bechet who teaches him how to play the blues. Unfortunately, Indy also crosses paths with Al Capone and it's only with the assistance of his dorm roommate, Eliot Ness, that Indy is able to solve a vicious murder and prevent himself from ending up dead. (jeez - Chicago is a small town isn't it?)

"To keep him from getting into any more trouble, Indy is sent to visit his aunt in New Mexico. While there, he is kidnapped by Pancho Villa and swept up into the Mexican Revolution."

"On a military mission, Indy rescues a small child in an African village, and encounters the legendary Albert Schweitzer, and helps him in his jungle hospital."

"Young Indy meets the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt while on safari in Kenya."

"After being assigned to the Lafayette Escadrille flying squadron, Indy encounters notorious German flying ace Baron von Richthofen; then goes undercover to persuade aircraft designer Anthony Fokker to defect from Germany." (not bad going for a 19 year old American in 1916).

and my personal favourite...

"Love - well, first infatuation - smites Young Indy in colorful Old Vienna where he falls for the daughter of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Needing emotional guidance in his own crisis, Young Indy sounds out Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung on what love is all about." (not bad for a 9 year old).

So as you can see this stretches the credibility of the show just a little. The show itself is not exactly brilliant in my opinion, though it does seem like the critics loved it. Ok - it's watchable and boasts a pretty stellar cast (though Sean Patrick Flaherty is no Harrison Ford, but he's good on the Dead Zone).

The first time I saw Young Indy was when someone loaned me the video "Train of Doom". They were giving it away free with the movie trilogy video set. I should've been suspicious given the fellow told me to keep the extra video.

Train wreck of doom more like.

Each Young Indy video had a documentary telling you about the historic period it was set in, and George mentioned how the series had won critical acclaim for it's realistic portrayal of World War I.

Yeah - like in the Treasure of the Peacock's Eye (I was a sucker and bought another video thinking it might actually be a proper Indy adventure), where Indy and his sidekick leap out of the trenches into No-Man's Land to chase an Indian guy who stole a treasure map off them. Thankfully all the German troops in the adjoining trench were taking a nap so they didn't bother to obliterate Indy, the side-kick or the Indian map nicker.

Or like in Train of Doom is set during World War I. Indy, a member of the Belgium army ('cos like no Yank was in the War until 1917) is sent from the trenches to join this regiment of old fellas to blow up a massive gun mounted on a train. He succeeds and ends up reporting to what can only be the fathers of the two British airmen from 'Allo 'Allo.

Realistic depiction of World War I? Chase sequences in No-Man's Land? American in the Belgium army?

I guess George was listening to his Yes-men at Lucasfilm.

As an addendum, the regiment of old British soldiers and possibly the gun is real if I remember it correctly.

Even more oddly I could not see how on Earth the Indy portrayed in Young Indiana Jones could grow into the relatively ruthless treasure hunter of the movies. In "Treasure of the Peacock's Eye" Indy re-encounters his old pal Albert Schweitzer who convinces him life is more important than finding treasure and rather than chase the Peacock's Eye he decides to go help some sick African kids. Err... ok.

Anyway, what cued this rant was that I watched yet another episode on BBC 2 the other day. This was was where Young Indy went to New York in the 1920s and got a job working on a Broadway musical with the help of George Gershwin. Young Indy gets to trade quips with the famed and razor-witted Algonquin Round Table when he is not soothing temperamental stars, romancing three different women at once, and worrying about suspicious backstage malfunctionings.

Basically, rather than getting Raiders of the Lost Ark I got a plot that Coronation Street has recycled three times and a "realistic" depiction of 1920s New York.

So - umm... in summary- George - don't make any Star Wars series the same way you made Young Indiana Jones! Step back and let the guy who did Clone Wars do his stuff!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

For it is an imminent date...

"Woe to me, oh Earth and Sea, for the convener sends the date with speed, because he knows the time is short...Let him who hath understanding reckon the date of the viva for it is an increasingly imminent date, its date is 24th of June 2005."

Found out when my viva is. Yikes.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Obligitory Weekend Post

Well if this is how exciting Leicester gets I must go back to Dundee soon or I'll be insane. I had so little to do at work on Friday I finished at 2:30pm and went into town.

I looked into getting my phone fixed. Maybe its me but I realise that mobile phones in this day and age are disposable but the numbers in this particular phone are not. It's not like I can just, say, phone someone up and ask them their mobile number is it? The guy in Vodafone basically told me to go buy a new phone from their crappy range, while some geezer down the market had the phone out of my hand and in pieces trying to work out why it was broke before I could say, "Oi! That's my phone."

As you may recall the problem with the phone is the power-charger interface is worn away on both the phone and the charger so geezer reckons for £10 he could get me an external charger to get the battery working again. When he slipped in a new battery the phone worked fine, so I am going to invest the £10 now to get my numbers back and then buy a new contract phone in the next 2 months or so.

Spent most of the weekend puttering around the flat doing DIY stuff like nailing down the carpet on the stairs, sorting out the light bulbs and buying a dust-devil to clean out the car with. The latter led me to discover just how ugly 1 year's worth of dirt in a car is, muchless the remnants of my dad's bananas and pears he'd eaten all the way to Dundee.

Overdosed on chocolate, ice cream and other nice things but I ate 2 bananas a day and extra veg with my roast beef dinner so that's cool. I watched the cinematic treat of Krull, the latest Doctor Who and the Paul McGann Doctor Who movie (which is still pretty good in my mind at least).

I even bought a copy of the "War of the Ring" and spent most of Saturday convinced I was the Alexander of Middle Earth (barring the Irish/Greek accent, 70s Pat Sharp quiff and homo-eroticism of course) until I got so bored I abandoned all sense of tactics, let Frodo wander off on his own and get killed by an orc and still completed the damn mission with 7 of the Fellowship dead or missing in Lothlorien. Obviously the "Easy Mode" does what it says on the tin. And I am no amazing general.

I also invested in the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay system. The book printing itself is fantastic, the insanity system is much more debilitating (like you no longer gain heroic idiocy: immunity to fear, but rather really chilling abberations like pyromania, paranoia and obsession are all distinct possibilities), the combat system does feel a little suspiciously D&D/D20 in that it is now divided into 2 half-actions, typically a move-attack combo, or with Charge and Defencive options (was this the case before?).

They don't use D20s though, the old percantile mechanic is still left in. Also you no longer get any choice on your starting character, in the olden days you chose Ranger, Fighter, Wizard or Academic if I remember correctly. Now it's all completely random.

Nice book though.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Stuart's Other Friday Link

Dammit - it'd have been a sure shoe-horn for this link if I'd found it sooner. Enjoy this special mystery link.

Stuart's Friday Link: A Fellow Vauxhall Owner

A fellow Vauxhall owner details some small improvements he made to his car to allow it to fit his lifestyle. Brilliant.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This month I have been watching...

I watch films. Possibly too many. Here's my thoughts on them...

The Sword and the Sorcerer: Conan with no money, too much nudity and an illogical plot. If only I could erase it from my memory.

Bubba-Hotep: Elvis and JFK track down a mummy attacking an old folk's home. Bruce Campbell at his best, but this is pretty good, not stellar as the reviews I read implied.

Constantine: Keanu Reeves as Keanu saves the world from demons thanks to some twins. Passable but I'm told the comic is better.

Ring 2: Passable, but ultimately a retread of the original US Ring. The Japanese Ring 2 was much better.

Warriors of Heaven and Earth: Not a Power-Rangers movie as the title suggests, this is actually a pretty good movie set in the Gobi Desert, the story follows two protagonists, Lieutenant Li, who is being chased by the heroic Japanese emissary Lai Xi for not butchering innocents. Unfortunately the rivalry between the two chaps is not resolved properly, but the effects and story is good. I think they hired the voice cast of Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate to dub this film.

Shogun Assassin: Hack-slash gorefest. Very good.

Hackers: Angelina Jolie? A hacker? Everyone else at this school hacks defence systems like they were going out of business. So you can hack into the school's computers and remotely set off the sprinkler systems? Pure crap.

Lethal Weapon 2: Mel and Danny blow things up but with Joe Pesci as comic relief. South Africans are evil, except for ones played by Patsy Kensit. Lesson learned.

Earthsea: Pure pish. A vacuous adaption of a good series of novels except with all the good bits either removed or mucked about with unnecessarily.

Krull: Cheesy classic sci-fi fantasy. Brilliant.

Shogun Assassin 2

Some person obviously liked Shogun Assassin enough to post an entire video capture of the entire final fight, so now you can see for yourself how cool it is to see three evil dudes standoff against our hero and get their behinds handed to them replete with the cheesy 80s pop music in the background. Additional gore can be found here.

Snails, Yanks, Football and Suspicious White Powder, Oh My!

Returned to Leicester yesterday but took a more interesting route home and only took about 9 hours to do so. I stopped in Jedburgh, my old home town long before I came to Dundee. It's been over 16 years since I visited Jedburgh and it is now a very pretty little town. I even bought two bags of Jethart Snails, the local sweets. Basically they're minty brown sweets shaped like snails and they're sitting on my shelf waiting for visitors to stop by to sample.

After the weirdness of visiting my old home town, including our old house and my old school, I headed on to Newcastle, where I discovered the service station's Burger King had been taken over by Americans.

I finally made it back to Leicester at 7pm in time to discover that every space for a mile round my flat/house was taken up with football fans getting free parking. I had to park at DeMontfort Uni and walk down. To pass time until 10pm (by which time oodles of spaces opened up as the match ended) I watched The Sword and the Sorcerer, a truly awful film. I joke not! Never have I wished for a film to end, only to discover with chilling horror there might be a sequel!

After 10pm I drove my car to Ullswater to unpack only to discover that for some reason my mother had given me a sugar-bin with sugar inside it. Now sugar bins are not the most sealable container so I discovered that as it was at 90 degrees to the rest of the contents of that bag it had spilled over my car boot. I spent about an hour unpacking my boot and removing the boot's floor to try to spill all the sugar on to the street. I also had a coffee-bin full of coffee. I should point out I have both sugar and coffee in my flat. In fact the only thing I need is bread in my bread-bin, was nowhere to be seen.


So don't ask why there is a pavement of suspicious white powder outside my car. Or why all my possessions are coated in sugar.

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's Done

It's finished, it's bound, its sitting on my desk in triplicite and its going to be handed in in 2 hours time. You can read my thesis if you are really keen. Don't send me any typos though!

Now I need a proper holiday!

Who Should I Vote For

I took this test even though I am one of the disenfranchised few (I might be too late to register for a postal vote). I voted Liberal because my usual option of voting SNP wasn't there. Incidentally my real voting tendancies are not-Tory or Labour rather than SNP before you think I'm completely loony.


Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:
Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -26
Conservative -27
Liberal Democrat 40
UK Independence Party 4
Green 18

You should vote: Liberal Democrat
The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dr Stu on Doctor Who 2

Doctor Who - Aliens of London. I have to admit it, I am now sold on this whole Doctor Who thing. The new series is just awesome and its great having something to watch on Saturday nights that isn't totally vacuous like "Come Dancing" or Ant and Dec's sketch show, Blind Date or whatever other grue they dredge up. Sadly I missed the Victorian one but it didn't really impact on this episode and having BBC3 at home I watched the documentary afterwards as well.

Ok - maybe a few less fart jokes would've been good. Damn good cliffhanger though and its nice to have London as the centre of an alien invasion rather than New York or Washington DC. Someday soon they'll invade Edinburgh and Glasgow once some Sci-Fi writer finds those towns on the map.

One question though - how the hell did Rose's council estate get an American TV station? Is this some thing to placate the Yanks?

No Place Like Phone

So I am back in Dundee this weekend awaiting my submission deadline tomorrow. Hopefully it should be a doddle - print 3 copies of a document and bind it with temporary binders. No doubt it won't be...

The journey back took a long time. We left at 1:30 and arrived in Dundee at 11:30. Admittedly the first 30 miles out of Leicester took 1 hour. The shortcut we took seemed to have shaved off no time whatsoever but my dad drove it at about 50 mph in the dark so it might be better on the way back. Or worse...

In other news my mobile phone is dead. Ironically my dad had bought me a "present" of a new phone he wanted me to change to as it costs him less to call me on it. I told him as I was using my existing phone as my primary contact number any last minute changing of my number would result in people calling me, getting a message phone and me never checking said phone.

The problem is about a day after that my attempts to recharge the battery in my existing phone have failed and now the battery has died. Apparently the charger interface on both my charger and phone are knackered and I need to get a new outer casing. So if you've texted or phoned me this weekend I ain't got it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Stuart's Friday Link: Nintendo the Musical

See if you can recognise all the games in this musical number. This link was brought to you by the letter A and thanks to Stevie.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

All I Want For Christmas

In keeping with our vague samurai/kung-fu theme I would like to draw everyone's attention to this cool gizmo which I want. As everyone knows I am the master on the Eye-Toy, imagine the damage I could do with this fabulous machine! (The movies make it look even weirder).

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Visitor - Part Deux

After a relatively dull day at work during which time I thought my pa was out shopping I came back to find that he'd cleaned out the entire kitchen so it had that Flash-commerical-like-gleam and bought 3 fruit bowls worth of fruit. He's convinced I'm not eating enough fruit and veg at the moment (which is fairdos) and keeps trying to force-feed me pears, apples, oranges and cups of tea (which as some of you know I freakishly don't drink).

We went out for more shopping last night to get food for two at Morrisons and I bought us a freezer load of food and enough cleaning supplies to clean the place out and get rid of all the nasty odours. With the hot water on in the flat for more than 5 minutes it proved to be a lot easier to clean, so we finished off cleaning the kitchen and started on the bathroom (which was pretty shameful but now looks extra shiny).

I even had the energy to sort through my collection of junk mail, wherein I found a ScreenSelect DVD of Krull, which looks suspiciously like junk mail and could've been sitting there for weeks. Rather than watch that I hooked up the TV and DVD player downstairs and we watched some episodes of Sherlock Holmes and had pizza, chips, the works.

I'm actually really enjoying having someone else stay over in my place. I guess I'm officially all grownup now, but on my own I never seemed to have the energy to clean up the place properly (which it sorely needed initially). Obviously my dad has put the kyposh on watching such cinematic greats as Shogun Assassin again as ironically he detests all fantasy films and sci-fi shows except Lord of the Rings, but the old ITV Sherlock Holmes is pretty cool.

He was due to go back to Dundee on Thursday but I've reminded myself that I have to submit a thesis in Dundee on Monday, so rather than him catching his return train I've suggested we both drive up in the Stu Mobile (the nom-de-plume of my little Corsa which has so far avoided mention in this blog). Dad's happy with this, though Mum's a bit peeved he could've saved money by only getting a one-way ticket.

Movie Watch

I watched Shogun Assassin of Kill Bill vol. 2 fame this week courtesy of Mr. Torsten. Very good film. The plot is totally nonsensical but there is lots of blood-shed and gore. It's incomprehensible as it is apparently a dubbed hatchet job of the first 2 films of the Lone Wolf and Cub series. Worth checking out, but I bet watching all the films in the right order would be better.

Addendum: This is my favourite piece of dialogue in the entire film. The music in the background should tell you what the soundtrack is like as well.

Phishing for Trouble

Took the MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test here and got 8/10. I am so good at spotting spam these days.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sound of the Sith

The Revenge of the Sith soundtrack sounds great. Looking back on Ep1 and 2's soundtracks they never were as good as the original 3's soundtracks which had memorable bits like the asteroid chase, the final duel in the Death Star, the first Death Star assault, the death of Obi-Wan and so forth. Ep1 had Duels of the Fates and I'm hard pushed to remember any memorable score in Ep2.

Ep3 however has the Anakin vs. Obi-Wan theme which is dark, dark, dark, and a lot of memorable gothic style choir sequences. Hopefully this film won't suck...

The Visitor

I got through to the Lettings Co at 10ish to complain about the boiler and they said they'd get on it. Around 12ish my dad called to let me know he was arriving in Leicester around 4ish. Unfortunately this meant I had no time to get food in or clean the place up a little more. I also didn't even managed to get the heating on, and as I drove down to pick dad up at around 4:30 I got a phonecall telling me that the Letting lot had got the boiler man to pop down around 5ish to show me how to work the boiler.

Taking dad to the flat, getting him and listening to him saying how the place looked so rundown as we unpacked I decided to show him the boiler. On my first try I managed to get the thing lit. Dad tried as well and it worked. Then we tried several times as we waited until 6:15pm Mr Pattel and his silent assistantant, pair of Asian handymen who as far as I could tell had no id or whatever and thus strike me as the local Delboy and Rodney, knocked on the door. They came around and subsequently completely failed to turn the boiler on or let me show them where I was going wrong. In fact they took it to pieces and then finally got it working.

After that it was a trip to Asda to buy a spare duvet and some necessaries like coffee, tea, cheese and crackers and so forth and a hearty stake dinner down the pub before we went back to the gaff and Dad nodded off in the armchair.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Boiler died again on Saturday morning. Perfect timing as the Lettings place is closed on Saturdays. Obviously I'm more than a little irked and after 4-5 tries of "start the boiler" I decided to not let it rule my every waking moment and go to Battlemasters.

Not a great start. The boiler had delayed me sufficiently that I was the first person to not get a bag of freebies for going through the door. Furthermore I discovered Battlemasters is the kind of con where there are two factions:- the Eurolog players and the Living campaign players.

Game 1 - Sokal: This is the Eurolog answer to a living campaign and they proudly state it is older than any other such campaign. Unlike most living campaigns you are given a pre-genned character who you advance throughout the scenarios. There are other players who have the same character so I presume if two Bill the Clerics turn up there are problems.

However the game itself was ok though there was a deluge of information I didn't rightly understand. As you play pregens I presume the missions are much more tailored to the individual characters, especially seeing as one of the PCs was Slick the Kobold King.

As I said the game was ok except for the fact we were relatively in the shadow of the kobold king, and I rightly didn't understand everything.

Game 2 - Cthulu: Best game of the weekend, we were playing factory workers in 1946 who discovered that the neighbouring workship was used as a site for numerous acid bath murders and that these grizzly killings had awoken something beneath the workshop.

This was a great game, though the DM didn't have any pregen characters, instead passing us Delta Green characters and telling us to tweak them for the 1940s. For instance it is not likely that factory workers are likely to have Computer Use as a skill. I tweaked mine, putting points into other skills like Spot Hidden and but it was obvious others hadn't done quite the same.

This led to the creation of another player's character, swiftly named "Clever" Trevor. Despite being only a factory worker Trev had a beyond professional skill in Psychology, knew martial arts and was an adept chemist. Clearly wasted in the manual labour profession Trevor was also prone to bouts of insanity that include smoking cigarettes dipped in sulphuric acid and trying to kill small children.

The other characters were much more responsibly put together and it was a relatively cinematic session.

Game 3 - Sarbreenar 1: Sarbreenar is the relatively larger cousin to Sokal, a living city set in Sarbreenar. I have a 2nd level character I've been playing for the past 3 or so years (advancement is extra slow in Scotland as there are so few cons Sarbreenar supports). Sarbreenar is probably Living Greyhawk's chief competitor, though overall Onnwal gets more bums on seats across the country owing to the fact you don't need to go to cons to play.

I played a 2nd level character in a 6th level party. To be honest after playing for 8 hours anyway I slept through most of this, not taking part in the first big fight as it was an arena fight and I was too weak. For the 2nd fight a Cause Fear spell took care of my character in the initial rounds. Somehow I came out of it as a level 3 charactr with a +1 longsword and doubled my gold. Oh well.

Game 4 - Sarbreenar 2: After the previous night's pathetic performance I decided I'd go play Cthulu as that had proven a lot more fun than the other two games. I was now on the Sokal radar though and kept being asked if I wouldn't mind playing it again (ah... bless!) It turned out however that it was only me and a girl I'd played Cthulu with in the other slot who were down for our table so I swiftly changed to Sarbreenar rather than not play anything at all.

This was a party of 3rd to 5th level PCs. After last night's performance I was 3rd so I was actually roughly the same power level as the rest of the party. However about 5 mins into the scenario I was embarassed to discover I'd played the scenario already. So we switched it.

The game was a lot better. We had to go into a city secretly held by the Zhentarim (a bunch of Scarlet Brotherhood clones who seem to capture cities miles from their country's border for no real economic gain that I can tell, but enough of that) and rescue a goblin. It was a lot of fun as because I play a human I disguised myself as a Zhent and put on a Darth Vaderesque accent and the fools bought it.

Overall a good con, and now I'm here typing about it. Yay!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Stuart's Friday Link: Superman is a Dick

For this Friday's link I present Superman is a dick - a series of actual comic covers that prove Superman is a dick. Among my favourite is...

The caption for this reads:-

List of more pratical uses Superboy can make of a machine that can see through time:

1. Betting on the outcomes of sporting events.
2. Forseeing natural diasters and catastrophhe.
3. Letting Bruce Wayne know that his parents are going to be gunned down in front of his very eyes in a filthy alley, you dick.

Snow Good

Snow. For crying out loud. About an hour ago I received word it was snowing in Dundee and I sniggered into my computer, safe in the knowledge that I am in a southerly climate where snow in April is as likely as seeing a llama... oh never mind. About one hour later the heavens burst in Leicester and we've just had a snow shower.

Anyway, it's goodbye from me, and goodbye from him. I'm off to Battlemasters this weekend, a local games convention that better be worth the £20 price tag. I'll be seeing old friends and hopefully making new ones.

As an addendum I'd like to mention the passing of Pope John Paul II. He's been Pope longer than I've been alive and I tried to follow the funeral on the webcast. Not everyone agreed with what he said but at least he had the strength of his convictions, which in these mediocre times is something...

Leave Your Menchies There

Ok - boiler has pulled a Lazarus, the panties are in the newly arrived wheely bin as is anything else not belonging to me that shouldn't be there.

I've started working towards finishing my thesis, but the every growing collection of DVDs I've got to watch is also taking up time, as is that thing they call work. Steve sent me a bunch of DVDs in the post along with a picture of my wheelie bin. He's currently beating the people at ScreenSelect who as part of my free trial emailed me yesterday to say they'd sent me a copy of Hawk the Slayer on DVD and then mailed me to say I'd successfully returned it and was now getting Krull (spot a theme here?). All without actually sending me the aforementioned classic Hawk the Slayer DVD. I suspect my 5 free rents will pass very quickly at this rate...

My folks just called to tell me pa is going to get a train down to Leicester on Monday, which should be amusing as he's never travelled more than 5 miles by public transport in years.

In other news I have written as a sample exercise in php a guestbook for people to leave menchies in. It's very primitive mainly as all I really wanted to do was master the basics of SQL and PHP and move on rather than make it pretty. Leave yer menchies there. Or here. Or don't.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I'm Sorry...

Please don't look at this link and don't even think of visiting this one.

I bet you will now visit them both won't you? Fine, see if I care, but have the sound on.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Nigerian Scammers

I have $5,000,000,000 resting in an account and all I need is $4,000 to release it. Sound familiar? gets their own back. Where else will you find scammers so gullible they believe Rev. Wally Tightnuts is a real person?

World's Best CV

World's Best CV - well worth a look.

Send in the Clones

Star Wars Clone Wars are back for another 10 episodes or so, filling in the gap between Episodes 2 and 3 (seamless storytelling there George). Episodes 1-20 came out last year and were ok, though only the last few showed any real promise and storytelling. Episode 21 on the other hand is excellent, showing Anakin being made a Jedi Knight (not something that should've been in the films, eh George, like the rest of the fracking Clone Wars?) and other character development that Episode 1 sorely lacked and Episode 2 had but was incredibly stilted. The dialogue between Anakin and Padme in this cartoon is far, far, far superior than the sand stuff. Check it out, but obviously mere mortals who aren't lining Lucas's bank balance can only watch the small version of the file.

RIP Boiler (2005-2005)

Somewhere between 7am and 8am on the 6th of April it is believed that the boiler belonging to one Stuart Kerrigan's residence passed away peacefully in its sleep. Acquaintances knew Stuart's boiler well for its famous motorbike impression and for the warm reception it occasionally offered. Sources say the boiler enjoyed a long and happy life, functioning for nearly an entire 2 days with only minor noise pollution. Replacement boiler parts are said to be being elected, but it is not expected these will be ready in a timely fashion. On this matter Stuart held a press statement at 9am saying, "Brrr..." and "Fix my boiler" to the letting agency.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Stuart's Definitive Guide to LOTR Movies

Ok - we all know about the Peter Jackson movies. Some even know about the Ralph Bakshi effort, fewer still have seen the Rankin Bass addendum to the Bakshi effort, much less their superior version of The Hobbit* but how many have seen Humphrey Bogart's Lord of the Rings. I would like to point out I was going to post this on my site today anyway but Dr. Sordid beat me to it. Weird.

* which Bradley is going to return of course because he really should not have loaned it to other people without asking me

The Trials of Stuart Kerrigan, Part Three

Well, the boiler is fixed-ish. It sounds like a motorbike revving and I'm told needs a new fan that is on order, but it provides heat. Apparently the faulty fridge of doom is going to be fixed, as is the all-too-close-to-the-bathroom plug point.

Have you ever seen the Evil Dead movies? You know, the ones with Bruce Campbell in them running around a haunted house/medieval times getting clonked by various demon-infested appliances and yelling like a madman in pain...

I investigated the bathroom last night. The shower works, although it was not fitted to the adjuster properly and upon being switched on at the tap fell down the adjuster and clonked me on the head. It also has 2 settings, too cold and scalding, that I discovered the hard way. And it has what I have dubbed the "Exorcist Feature". In addition to falling down when switched on the shower head also has the amazing ability to rotate 360 degrees, spraying water everywhere and generally wetting all your clothes. Fortunately, after making these discoveries I think I have managed to screw it in place.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bad Dreem

"Where all you dreems become bad!"

Anyone remember CITV's Knightmare? The scary 3D blue-screen show where kids donned a helmet and were told what to do by other kids?

Here's a spoof of this show, done with a lot less money (and a paper mache crown). Well worth the watching, this is 10 minutes long and fracking hilarious.

A high resolution version or a low resolution version are available.

PS - I can spell dream Mare!

The Infamous Panties

DISCLAIMER: I am not some weird pervert who likes to upload pictures of women's underwear, but rather this is a pair I found hung up on the bulletin board of the hall of my flat when I moved in. By popular demand, here it is.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Trials of Stuart Kerrigan, Part Two

So Sunday morning I had my house guest, the gas man...

The smell is apparently a hybrid of a small gas leak and the vast quantities of paint that were stored in the cupboard. There was a gas leak and it was necessary to get a new meter installed. He also showed me the gas fire in the living room worked. However he couldn't get the boiler to work and told me to call the landlords on Monday.

I started hooking up my PC and unpacking and the flat began to feel like home. Even went so far as to clean the microwave and cook some food last night.

One irate phone call to the letting agency this morning and I am assured it will be all fixed...

The Trials of Stuart Kerrigan, Part One

So today was the big day and already I have a list of problems to take up with the Lettings Co...

1) Try as I might I cannot seem to light the boiler for heating and hot water. The flat is therefore really cold and I have just bought a tiny electric heater (which I didn't have a screwdriver to put together so is really makeshift...)

2) The power closet smells of gas. Not strongly, but not faintly either.

3) No wheelie bin - every other flat has one, but I do not.

4) I have no key for the backdoor. The one left in the lock doesn't seem to work.

5) Most disturbingly - the flat has 2 fridges in the kitchen. The first one worked fine when switched on, the second one fizzed, frazzled and blew smoke throughout the kitchen. Not impressed.

6) The microwave interior puts Hammer Horror films to shame.

7) The phone doesn't work. It's plugged in, but despite there being no power plug it doesnae work.

That's before I upload the photo of the panties on the pin board.

I have to say this weekend has been probably the most bleak point in my move to Leicester. Fortunately the flat is 10 minutes from the centre so when things get too much I go shopping!

Friday, April 01, 2005


Nice one Missus Kiddie.

I'm not going to Bradford's Student Nationals this year, but this thread is just so darn amusing. And it embarasses Egor which is always fun.

Trophy on the Wall

Got paid. Got flat. Started to move in - will choose the room without the obligatory student iron marks on the carpet. Discovered a g-string pinned to noticeboard in flat in hall. Need to do cleaning. Need to buy tweezers.