Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Damn this book! It’s brilliant…..

Okay, I know my grammar’s hardly spectacular, and nor is my spelling for that matter, but I do have a bit of a closet grammar freak hidden (not well hidden, for those that know me) within my soul. And it’s particularly that ferral bloody apostrophe, that one that creeps into things…. But then, then I discover the sin which is the “,” instead of a “‘”. How can people do these things…?

Anyway, yesterday I saw this: “we,re” at Ikea.

On a big, big, pre-printed sign.

All over the country there are probably thousands of those signs with this whacking great typo in it. I actually yelped. I looked up, saw it, and went “urk” on seeing it. And then today, today on Living TV. The program is called “Worlds Apart” (I believe), but in the trailer for it: “word’s apart”.

Ye-what? What on earthis that meant to be? Nyargh. Make them all stop!

The Snapper

The Snapper is the second film in Roddy Doyle’s ‘Barrytown Trilogy’ (The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van) and it’s a bit of a slow starter. Described as hilarious, and I guess if you found East is East ‘Hilarious’ then maybe that’s the way you’d see this; but I found that, like East is East, The Snapper is generally pretty amusing, with some really really funny bits and a lot of very dark humour.

With The Snapper you really have to stick with the film; it’s a very slow starter and not very rewarding to watch initially. Indeed, for a good chunk of the film I was seriously thinking ‘have I bought a lemon here’, but it suddenly picks up and really, it is worth it. One slightly disappointing thing is that the camera work is hardly awe-inspiring (it’s really quite pedestrian in style, mind you it’s over 10 years old).

I’m not wildly amazed by it, but for the sake of completeness to the trilogy it’s definately worth a watch, and if you liked East is East, The Commitments and The Van then you’ll probably like The Snapper.

pure genius

So,

Ikea. Went yesterday, saw these frames which are called “RAM” or “Cheap ass student frames”, they’re plain, untreated wood and a plastic sheet instead of glass, with a cardboard back.

Lovely.

Well, actually they look quite nice and I thought they’d suit some of my posters really well. So I bought one for one of them….measured my other posters and went back today to get some more frames. Unfortunately, the largest poster, at a staggering…. 150 x 103cm was well beyond the maximum size of RAM frame. Indeed, the next size down, 70×50 is too small for 2 of my posters, which is really disappointing. And my picture of Errol, from the diskworld? That’s just a size that’d look stupid in all the available frame sizes (what with being bigger than the next size down by 2 cm in one direction).

The bulbs for the lamps I bought yesterday….they doubled the price of the lamps (although I did buy energy savers, so that’s partly my fault :-) )….

Overall, I’m just a bit miffed that I can’t get frames the right size for my pictures. That and the fact that I, genius that I am, wrote my lecture down as 3:30, not 13:30, so missed it by a staggering 2 hours!

Pooh!

Finished!

Well, I’ve actually had a fairly good day so far….

….not to make any promises for the rest of it.

I’ve done both the company and the personal tax forms, I’ve sorted out various bills ‘n’ things, I’ve got my copy of ‘The Snapper’ (woo!), the third, I think, in the Barrytown trilogy.

Unfortunately, The Van is not available on DVD, at all, except in German in Germany. Why the German DVD lacks the English language version I’m not sure. Annoyingly, the french version which does have the english language soundtrack…. I can’t tell, but someone has suggested that it has the French subtitles *on*, which’d be incredibly annoyng.

Anyway, I must away to the post office…. then to a lecture, then to a photocopier, then home, then jogging, then rowing, then listening to H2G2, then watching my new DVD…. Then shower, then bed :-)

Introspection of my accounts

There’s something deeply wrong about going from “Bacchanale de Samson et Dalila” (Saint Saens) to Bill Haley and the Comets (Rock Around the Clock!), but I guess if you have a playlist consisting of all your CDs in alphabetical order then what can you expect? Of course, the cymbals in Bill Haley sound shite. Grr.

Anyway, taking a quick break from my Self Assessment form (needs to be in day after tomorrow!); yet again we’re going through the same process as last year:

  • Phase 1: Fear and alarm.

    During this phase I stare at the envelopes and wish that they didn’t exist, I wait until the last possible moment to deal with the contents (having checked the date for return)
  • Phase 2: Gathering Items and False Understanding

    During this phase I gather together the huge vast piles of details relating to my nearly ex-business, my rather more organised personal accounts, find the P60 that’s been dropped behind the desk, put on a record and make a cup of tea. Then I sit down with the form and….
  • Phase 3: Frustration and Anger

    Now we get to the meat of the situation, I yelp, I flick hopelessly through pages and pages of documentation trying to find numbers I don’t really understand, guessing, stabbing in the dark and praying that I’m getting the right numbers. I wail, and bemoan my unfortunate disaster of ending up with these damn forms to full in
  • Phase 4: Actually getting somewhere

    After a while of this I suddenly grasp how to do the basic bits, and fly through the forms in a few short hours….except
  • Phase 5: The bits no-one understands

    So I get stuck, ring the Inland Revenue who pass me from person to person who doesn’t understand their own forms, leading me to wonder how in hell I’m meant to fill them in. Eventually they tell me what to do (which is usually different to whatever I was told to do last time I rang); leaving me with the vague idea that it’s all just guess work
  • Phase 6: Signature and Prayer

    Then I sign the bit that says “This is true as far as I know” and stick it all in an envelope…..thinking “well, I think it’s correct”

I can actually leap from Phase 5 back to Phase 2….. unsuprisingly.

Well, I think it’s correct so far, I’ve done what they said. That’s the best I can say; that I’ve done exactly what they said. I can’t wait to shut Regolith and forget all this bloody nonsense, but I’ll still have to do one next year. Which is terrifying.

Anyway, best get back to it and finish it off.

Advice for bathers

When taking a ‘long hot bath’ it is advisable to ensure that there is in fact warm water, and not just ‘sufficent water to fill the bath’. This is because post-submersion you may wish to cause an increase in the temperature of the surrounding water. Should you have failed to ensure the presence of hot water you may find your ‘long hot bath’ being rapidly curtailed after becoming a rather short cold bath.

Yes.

I can’t see a bloody thing

For reasons that escape me, my current set of contact lenses don’t seem to work very well. The left one, in particular, seems to fail to allow me to focus on anything. They are the right prescription….I’m hoping that one more day and I’ll get used to them, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to ring SpecSavers and say “oi, what is going on….” Grr….

It at least explains my headaches the past few days.

It’s an ipaq, not a brick!

For the last oooh, year or so, my iPaq has sat untouched, after a failed partial install of Opie. Now, Opie is all very well and good, but if you can’t transfer data to or from it, and the network connection absolutely refuses to work then you are, shall we say, a bit screwed.

You’re even more screwed when you forget the password.

Now, I’ve been looking at putting PocketPC back on the iPaq, purely ‘cos I want GPS. And GPS doesn’t happen under linux. At least, not as far as I can see (okay, I can connect a GPS and it can go “I can detect satellites”, but route planning software that does the following the car on the ground thing seems rather scarce). So, been looking at how to do that. Especially considering my backup of the original system seems to have somewhat gone walkies.

But lo, today, by sheer fluke I guessed the root password on the iPaq, which should make things a hell of a lot easier. Now, it’s just a case of getting the damn thing installed; of course, given the absence of a GPS from my life at this point, I may just fix the Opie install (or indeed stick a new Opie install on there, if there’s software that’ll allow me to transfer music and stuff across more easily).