September 5th, 2004


Long Day

Fairly productive day - edited 20 episodes of Samurai Jack to remove adverts - they're now batched up to resample to the correct resolution for DVD overnight.

Also spent some time swearing at Access for being far too slow. More of that tomorrow, I suspect.

And went to see Hellboy with Ed and Erin.  Good old fashioned Nazi/Cthulhu fun.  Sadly lacking in much tension or action.  As the director made the frankly marvellous Devil's Backbone this is a real shame.

Tomorrow there will be more fun with computers and then Lilian will be back in the evening - meaning I get to watch more Angel episodes.  Hurrah!

And now to bed.  How did it get so late?

Men and the internet

Cheers for stillcarl who pointed me at this article, which is fairly pointless except for the lines:

Psychologist Janet Peters has a more convoluted theory. The internet is the modern bloke's shed, she says.

In the old days, men used to retreat to the shed to tinker and make things. Now they use the internet.

High Tech Stalkers!

From the ever-informative boing-boing.

In what authorities said was the first stalking case of its kind in Los Angeles County, Ara Gabrielyan, 32, was charged Tuesday with stalking and threatening over a six-month period to kill his former girlfriend and himself.

Gabrielyan -- who ran an Armenian CD and video specialty shop -- is suspected of using GPS technology to pinpoint her location so he could arrange apparent chance encounters at the bookstore, at the airport, even at her brother's grave site. (...)After the unidentified 35-year-old woman broke off their nearly two-year relationship, Gabrielyan would follow her by car, show up at her doorstep and call her 30 to 100 times a day, she told police.(...)

Gabrielyan had purchased a Nextel phone device that has a motion switch on it that turns itself on when it moves. As long as the device is on, it transmits a signal every minute to the GPS satellite, which in turn sends the location information to a computer. Gabrielyan, who paid for a service to send him the information, would then log on to a Web site to monitor her locations, police said. Police are investigating where Gabrielyan purchased the device and the tracking service.

Leaps of Faith

Reading an argument elsewhere on the net which had the following chain of logic:

1) For reasons X, Y and Z it seems likely to me that the universe was created and watched over by divine providence.
2) Therefore I am a Christian.

In fact, there's a fair amount of discussion online over whether there are supernatural elements involved in the world - creationism vs evolution being one example.  But I don't remember bumping into _any_ reasoning for why this leads inexorably (or even vaguely) to Christianity (or Islam, Buddhism or rooster worship).

It's the end of the world!

Following years of waiting for the next earthquake to hit Japan and reduce the world economy to rubble, one's finally hit!

The quake, which struck shortly after 1900 (1000 GMT), had a magnitude of 6.8 and was centred in a remote area some 50km (30 miles) off the coast of Japan.

The quake made tall buildings in central Tokyo sway, the AP news agency reported, but there were no official reports of injuries or damage.

There are reports of a 50cm (20in) tidal wave off the coast of the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka.


"Oh My God!  The tidal wave has dampened my lower trouser legs!"

As trashcanglam just said:

It's hardly 'The Day after Tomorrow' is it?  As this terrifying tsunami laps over your feet. Well, the Japanese are very small, to them it probably looks like it's 12 storeys high. The poor little mites

The whole terrifying story can be found here

Access is fun!

After becoming increasingly exasperated with Access's complete inability to do anything at a reasonable speed I downloaded PostGres to play with.

Exporting the first table to it  from Access failed to work, so I thought I'd break it down the process and see if it worked.

(1) Create a blank table identical in structure to the original table, but without any data in it.
(2) Update this new table with all the data in the original table.

That worked.

Which makes me wonder what, exactly, Access was trying to do the first time that completely _failed_ to work...

Emotional Upset

So, my Dad asked me last night to give him a call today to do a bit of research for him.

I called him about half an hour ago and he asked me to dig up some information on an LCD projector and find somewhere near him (in Devon) so he could talk to them about it.

I checked about and called him back 5 minutes ago.  Told him that there wasn't anyone terribly useful nearby.  He told me that he'd tried to get hold of a number I'd given him in the original phone call, but they weren't answering, probably because it's Sunday.

Then he told me that his mother had died, peacedfully in her sleep, 10 minutes ago.

She was 94, born in 1910.  Austrian Jewish, she'd been lucky enough to be a reporter in Paris when Hitler invaded.  She married a Czech airman who was heading to Britain to join the RAF, had two children by him (including my father), divorced him, married again, had another child, raised them, watched her grandchildren grow up and said every Christmas that this one would be her last and that she she felt like a drain on her family, to a chorus of disagreement from her loving children, grandchildren and assorted in-laws.

This Christmas will be the first one I won't see her at.

I don't really feel anything yet.  We were never terribly close, but she's been in my life for 32 years.

I'm glad she went peacefully.  I'm glad her eldest son was there.

I  can't think of anything else to say.