May 1st, 2006



Had some rather pretty bits, but suffered from the usual "Everything moves around all the time, and there are too many bloody people, so the chances of you seeing very much close up is slim to none." syndrome.  I did, in the end, see some cool stuff, but not as much as is shown in these fantastic photos, especially as I had to leave at 11am to go to work today...
how big?

D is for (in alphabetical order):

My grade at GCSE English.  Twice.  Third time round I passed with a C.  No, I have no idea why it took three attempts. My English teacher never actually explained to me where I was going wrong, and as far as I remember my grammar and spelling were both fine.  I suspect that what I had was a failure to get to grips with "story", which was probably part of my general failure to get to grips with humanity in general.

My job title.  Grabbing a definition at random I get "Develop: make something new, such as a product or a mental or artistic creation" which suits me perfectly.  Programs are collections of abstract rules, colliding in a theoretical space, where informations slides back and forth in simple ways until it (hopefully) ends up where you want it.  This is especially true of object-oriented, event-driven systems, where each part is designed in turn, and then they link together, events in one place triggering reactions in others, so that (with a little luck) the click of a mouse causes a cascade of reactions, triggering diverse chunks of data management, calling here, collating there, processing elsewhere, until the final result is presented for inspection and assessment.  This never works first time, because these idealised, clean, simple objects need to be made complex and subtle, to cope with the infinitely varied and dirty real life, and with the fact that the human mind doesn't easily hold huge systems all at once.  It's pretty much the best job in the world - if it wasn't for the users and the computers, both of which are more finicky than I'd like.
A fantastically useful site for storing bookmarks on.  Never again will I wonder what that cool site was that I was looking at just the other day.  You can see what I'm bookmarking at andyduckerlinks, where I don't feel I'm overwhelming the readers of my 'real' journal with them.

Ed's cat.  Which came with tisme but didn't leave with her.  Who is generally referred to as "cushion", tormented with endless diets and spends most of her time attempting to be on either mine or Ed's keyboards. I'm soon to take delivery of a younger playmate for her, but I'm slightly nervous that they won't get on.  I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Which is where my parents are in the process of moving to.  It's a gorgeous, verdant place, where fields stretch for miles, leading up to the protuding tors of Dartmoor.  They've been slowly moving in that direction for a couple of years now, buying a temporary place down there to stay until they sell the place in Kent and sort out a place suiting my Dad's ambitions.  He wants to buy a plot and build his own house there, designing it from the ground up, which will at least keep him busy even if it doesn't do much for his blood pressure.

Which seems to be where I get a large chunk of my links nowadays.  As a cross between Slashdot and it tells me what bits of the internet have been churned to the top today, to be passed around, provide their 15 seconds of amusement, and be lost again.

I spent a fair bit of time in Kent playing with my parent's Alsatian Tara.  This was partially because this was the last time I was going to get to play chase in my old back garden, partially because I miss having a dog and partially because she's very demanding.  I'd love to have a dog, but there's no way I have either the space or the time for one - cats aren't so bad because they look after themselves most of the time, so long as you're about to play with them and provide company on an intermittent basis, but dogs need at least an hour of walking per day and plenty of company besides.  My parents could manage it because my mother didn't start work until midday, but it certainly makes going out in the evening trickier.  I wonder if the rise in both parents working has had an effect on this.  Maybe some day I'll be able to have one of my own...

That's my name, and I've finally reached the point of not being thoroughly fed up with it.  Being a rather teased child in the first place it wasn't great to have a name that rhymes _quite_ so well.  However, having been an adult for 15 years now, and not had to put up with teasing about it, I no longer feel a need to flee away from it.  I still wouldn't want to pass it onto a kid though - I feel sure that they'd be able to sue under EU Human Rights legislation.  My name almost wasn't Ducker - my actual paternal grandfather's name was "Muller" (he was of Czech extraction) and it was only when my grandmother divorced him and remarried that she took on my father's stepfather's surname.  I'm not sure exactly when my father followed suit, but I don't think it was immediately.

I got this meme from surliminal.  The first 26 of you to ask can get a letter.  Just one each, mind.

Miscellaneous questions

The most hours I have been awake in one go is

Mean: 45.05 Median: 42 Std. Dev 12.14

When I read an email/IM conversation I hear it in

the voice of the person who wrote it
my own voice
no voice at all
other (leave a comment)

And yes, some of you may have been awake longer than 64 hours, but it seemed long enough to take in the vast majority of you. If you want to boast about the time you stayed awake for 94 hours and then nearly bled to death through your nose because of all the cocaine then comments is where to do it...

I hear the voice of the Gaiman!

Bah - should have included this in the earlier post - the reason the question came up is that I'm reading Anansi Boys at the moment - and I'm hearing it most definitely in the voice of Neil Gaiman, having heard him read a chunk of it a few months back when he did his signing tour.  This is the first time I've heard a chunk of book before I've read it and it's having much the same effect as having see the Harry Potter books did on my reading experience there.

I tend to read email/IM either voicelessly or with my own voice (the two are quite similar for me), and it's actually been quite a surprise a few times to hear people's voices and realise that the voice I have for them in my head is nothing like their actual voice.
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