June 10th, 2003


Quick question answers

Some of the questions I got asked yesterday will get whole entries to themselves.

Some of them, however, are easily disposed of:

Kirsty,Allorin: Because.

Tisme: No.

Dave: Lots of people. At least 3 that I know fairly well and a fair number of famous ones.

Sneaks: That's spelt "faeces" or "feces" (depending on how Latin you're feeling) and no. Mike Patton has, however.

Protempore: Last night, generally coming out of Erin's arse, which was quite distracting as we were trying to watch The Tall Guy.


In answer to Julia:
I work as a systems developer for Standard Life. This means I get to program computers all day, or rather at the moment it means I get to surf the web while my mentor and my analyst change the specification I was working from about a foot to my left.

I work mostly in COBOL, a programming language that was first invented in the 60s, although I'm largely working with a version that dates from the 90s, which isn't quite so bad. At some point I hope to manouver myself into either the VB or Java teams (both more modern languages), and I've been assured that this won't be too hard once I've got some experience.

I currently spend most of my time looking at an entirely textual screen that looks something like this:

which is pretty sucky, but we've been assured that more modern tools are on their way and we should be working in something that uses, *gasp*, windows by the end of 2012.

I actually enjoy programming, so I'm putting up with the basicness of my current work with the intention that it will turn into something better in a bit.

Time Travel

Chipuni asked if "If you could travel back in time and see any historical event (24 hours only), what event would it be?"

I've actually thought about this a lot (although not in a few years).

I'm not terribly interested in history - or rather, I'm interested in the general flow of history, but very few individual events hold any meaning for me - it's more the general texture that's appealing.

I wouldn't want to go and see something just to say "I was there when X happened, how cool am I?" and I assume that I'm not going to be allowed to change things, so it's going to have to be an experience I could enjoy in and of itself.

Which leaves one of two events:
U2, live in Sydney for the Zoo TV tour.
Pink Floyd, The Wall tour (not sure which venue).

I get shivers thinking about either one.


Someone asked "Is Guy as grumpy and cynical as he likes to make out?"

I don't think so. Guy's certainly been fairly grumpy since he had his bones broken, broke up with 2 girlfriends and fell out with his flatmate, but I don't think that's so much down to innate grumpiness as a realisation that he's no who he was and has little remaining patience for that person (and by extension for the people in his life who still are at that point in their lives). Oh, and being in a fair amount of pain.

I don't think Guy's that cynical either - he seems, to me, to have a fair amount of interest and attachment to the world, and to actually care about things. He can be negative about things, but he can also be passionate. He's also very nice and helpful, when he wants to be. He's just not the world's most patient person.

"Poems, everyone! The lad reckons himself a poet!"

"Do you have a favourite poem, and if so, what is it?" asks an anonymous Amer-Glaswegian with a balloon phobia and gorgeous dogs.

Um, no.

I've tried to like poetry repeatedly, but I just can't get my head around most of it. Most poetry just bounces straight off of me, which is odd, because there are a lots of song lyrics I really like and let's fact it, with the kind of music I like, the difference isn't that huge.

There are some poems I like because they have some resonance, like Phillip Larkin's This Be The Verse, but even then they lack the emotional power of vast numbers of songs, books, comics, films and other media.


gosh, a late entrant

"Hannibal (from the A Team), Hannibal (the Cannibal) or Hannibal (with the elephants)?"

Hannibal from the A Team, definitely.

Because, hey, who doesn't love it when a plan comes together?

{Chomps on cigar, jumps into van, speeds away from approaching jeeps}


Courtesy of Mike, I'm reading through the Computer Stupidities page at rinkworks.com. This one sounded altogether too familliar:

This is an actual conversation I overheard in the cube next to me. I only heard one side of it. He had called the helpdesk to resolve a network problem.

"Hello, my name is [name]. My computer no longer communicates on the network. . . . Yes, the network connection is plugged in. . . . Yes, both ends. . . . Ok, I've rebooted the computer. Still nothing. . . . I don't have a 'Start' button. I'm running Windows NT 3.51. . . . Windows NT. . . . NT. . . . Ennnn Teeee. . . . I don't think that will work. . . . Well, ok. I'm pulling down file [long list of instructions]. . . . I don't have that menu choice. . . . Ok, we'll try it again. I pull down file [long list of instructions]. That menu choice doesn't exist. . . . Yes, thank you, I do know how to spell. . . . No, there is no menu choice by that name. . . . I'm sorry, it isn't there. . . . No, I do not have a 'Start' button. . . . No, I am not running Windows 3.11. I am running Windows NT 3.51. . . . Uhhh, no, I don't think they are the same thing. . . . Look, you can keep saying that the choice has to be there, but in fact it is not. I'm running Windows Ennn Teee. It's different from Windows 3.1. . . . No, the choice third from the bottom is [name of option]. . . . I AM NOT LYING TO YOU. . . . Hello? . . . Hello?"
My co-worker redials.

"Hello help desk? My name is [name]. I called a few minutes ago with a network problem. I'd like the name of the tech assigned to my case. . . . Thank you. Now, could you assign a different person to the case please? . . . Because she's a moron. . . . Yes, I did say moron. . . . Thank you."


I usually like Ebert's reviews, but he rarely agrees with me perfectly. In the case of Naked, however, we seem to be in exact accord:

Leigh has said in an interview that while his earlier films (including "High Hopes" and "Life Is Sweet") might have embodied a socialist view of the world, this one edges over into anarchy. I agree. It suggests a world in which the operating systems have become distant from such inhabitants as Johnny and the women in the flat. The world is indifferent to them, and they to it. To some degree, they don't even know what's hit them. Johnny has a glimmer. His response is not hope or a plan. It is harsh, sardonic laughter. Destruction is his only response.