Sunday, December 25, 2005

Convivial Seasonal Felicitations!

Ok I got this off Kirsty for Christmas. I am adopting the language. So.

Merry Non-specific ecclesastical or secular platitudes for the season! - This one for you Yanks. So much better than 'Happy Holidays'.

Here's one of mine: May I be the first to express platitudinal felicitations on this most auspicious commemoration of the nascency of a gentlemen with a reputation for benificence of a most boundless capacity.

So, yeah. Merry Christmas. (Thanks Kirsty!)

Right, I'm off to go play with my Thundercats Action figures. These people know me too well. Hannah, you have no idea how excited I was when I opened up those toys. Actually you probably do, apologies for the slightly late hour of the call :p

Friday, December 23, 2005

Actually.........It is.

Look. Willpower is for people without credit cards ok? Besides. It's Christmas. Don't even try OK? I have a whole raft of excuses, get-outs and transparent lies available to me to justify the shiny new toy that will be arriving next week and I'm not afraid to use them.

I'll be good from now on I promise. I have a new PC and the MP3 player I've wanted for an absolute age, there is nothing else I've been pining over for the best part of a year so it should all be good. Really glad I waited this long because this one is precisely what I was after. I got it in Dark blue in case you were wondering, Amazon and Play only do Grey, Black, Blue and White.

The Saga of Matt's New PC appears to be nearing an end. I won't go into the excrutiating Geek-filled detail I did with some of my friends, I'll just say this. I'm a Genius. OK that might be a slight exaggeration. I got the new Hard Drive through, it didnt work for a while, then I realised that the writers of Windows are in fact Sociopathic and I found a solution to the problem caused by their bizarre software. It still didnt work, then I realised that they are not only Sociopathic but quite clearly are equal opportunities employers and as such employed some cack-handed, Darwinian nightmare to design a crucial part of Windows. Doesn't matter, I defeated them! muahahahahahahahaha! Provided the Drive doesn't suffer a Head crash after 2 days like the last one of course.

I then proceeded to revoke my new found Genius status when I was once again reminded that I have organisational skills equalled only by that guy out of Memento. The big swanky 'New Years' party that I was going to in London? You know, the one I have booked somewhere to stay for? Not going anymore. Because I am an idiot. It's my Dads 60th birthday that day, how rubbish am I? So am going home instead, considering taking a few extra days too, see how it goes.

Got a good few days planned, going out with Jon and Pete on Saturday, probably Christmas evening too. Then face melting Turkey curry and computer games round Mikes on Boxing day, complete with awful horror flicks. Best plan of revovery. I'm really looking forward to it actually.

Right people, I imagine this is my last post before Christmas adn probably New Year so have a good one, and check back with me soon. I may be putting the odd post up next week before my Hull trip, especially if the toy arrives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Resistance, apparently, isn't futile!

That's right folks, the credit card has survived the weekend and I am not the proud, yet increasingly fiscally challenged, owner of a Zen Micro Photo.

I came close, even got as far as the checkout at but didnt go through with it. In fairness, I probably will get one early next year as my last big stupid spend before I start to act a little more responsibly with my dwindling resources. That's if I still want one of course. Unfortunately I've wanted a decent MP3 player for the best part of a year and it's not an urge that is going anywhere so I will inevitably end up with one. At least I have resisted the urge to buy one when I so clearly shouldn't, so I must have a vestige of willpower somewhere.

See if I deny myself totally, that doesn't work. If, however, I keep saying 'I'll get it next month' to myself, that appears to do the trick. At least it's worked for the last 8 months or so.


It was the project Christmas 'Lunch' yesterday. It was very nice from what I remember. I started with Chicken Livers in a White Wine Gravy thing, which was a little strongly flavoured for a starter for my liking. This is the first time I've had Liver as a dish, odd as that may seem, and I wasn't a huge fan. I'm actually quite disappointed, I know they are kind of a delicacy so would have liked to enjoy them more. I'm always open to trying new foods but I have a real thing about texture that I can' get around. Flavour I'm fine with, I like a lot of things but when it comes to texture I am a bit picky. Basically if it's gooey or squishy, I'm not a fan. ACooked Aubergine, for instance, is just slimy.

Okra. What the hell is this stuff for? It has no flavour and is the most disgusting texture in the world. Seriously, it's like phlegm. People put this stuff in their mouths for crying out loud!

And thus it was with the livers, it's just too squidgy for my liking. Picky I know.

My Main Course was Sea Bass on a bed of basil mash and spinach. I love the fishes, basil is fantastic and I could eat spinach all day long. So the Main Course was awesome. RoboMatt stole my desert so I have no idea what it was like but I wasn't bothered, I only ordered it because there was no option not to. Not a big desert guy. Also I was well into the second bottle of a very tasty White Pinot and things were getting a little fuzzy. After we'd abused the tab enough we rolled over to the pub over the road where the festivities continued. I got incredibly drunk, I mean barely see let alone stand drunk. I did have the good sense to leave early so that I didnt get so bad that I fell in the pond or something. No matter how drunk I was, I paled in comparison to the Herculian drinking effort my manager Alex put in. I left and he was wasted then, I mean worse than me, but apparently he stayed until the end so credit where it's due.

I awoke at 5:30am, as is my rather irritating custom after a massive night out and, failing to get back to sleep, I got up and decided to put my new hard drive in the PC. I figured I'd get it up and running before work. No hope. It's acting very bizarrely and refusing to boot Windows once I've installed the setup files.

Enough geek speak, it's still not working is the bottom line. Got a few things to try later.


I made a Chilli the other day. I used Scotch Bonnet peppers which are now available rather handily at Tesco. Handy/Dangerous, you decide. I put 4 in the chilli, normally I'd use a good few more than that if I was restrcited to birds eye ones but I know these things are vicious so thought I would be careful. Simply frying them up had me in fits coughing, so it was a wise move. I still had to mop my face up off the floor afterwards but it was really tasty so kind of kept eating. That's my problem you see, I am actually quite good at cooking so if I accidentally make somehting a little too spicy, so long as it's not so bad it numbs my mouth, I'll keep eating because it usually tastes pretty good too. I know what you're going to say Rich but it really was an accident this time!

Anyway. Mike is really disappointed because we can't find anywhere that sells these little demons back home so he asked me for a consignment of them but sadly tesco have sold out for the moment. He's very upset. I won't reveal the several Scotch Bonnet related misadventures involving Mike, because it isn't a fair reflection of him. He's a very clever and nice man, and he somehow doesn't come across that way in those tales. Most of them start with the words 'It can't be THAT hot?........' and generally go downhill from there.


Dad's coming down tomorrow, we are heading back friday night. I ordered my older brother to decorate the parents house with all things festive, I hope he has because I really want to feel like I am going hom for Christmas not just on a visit, decorations in the house will give me that I think. Already got the weekend planned, Saturday is out on the town with Pete and Jon and whoever else cares to join us. Sunday is the traditional famliy and friends drinks and merriment. No doubt I will continue in my tradition of dragging my dad and brother back from wherever they are in order to open pressies at 2am after our night out on Christmas Eve. I'm such a child. Boxing day I will be in the recovery position, most likely playing computer games all day, eating curry and generally being unsociable. I already told you, I'm a child.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Uncontrollable Male Urges

[WARNING] Geeky gadget post! I've helpfully provided Geek and Non-geek elements, handily tagged for ease of use![/WARNING]

I am of course talking about gadget buying. I've been wanting an MP3 player for months but have held off due to several factors, not least of which is the fact that I really shouldn't use that amount of money on something I don't really need. At what point does it become a waste of money though? I mean if you use something every day, is it really a waste of money?

I've had this argument a lot. I spent a lot of money on the new (still waiting on new hard drive!) computer. When it eventually runs properly, I see it as worthwhile as it won't need replacing for a couple years or so and I will be using it every day. Did I need it? Probably not. My computer is my home entertainment centre though and I do like to play games, it's fun and for the most part a far more worthwhile pursuit than watching TV. So I watch TV on the PC, talk over Skype to my friends, play games, shop - all sorts of things. On the odd insane occasion, when madness sweeps over me, I become 'SuperGeek!' and start buggering around with code.

So yeah, I can see how upgrading can be viewed as a waste of money. By that logic though, so is buying a new house or car. If the old one no longer meets your requirements get a new one. Anyway, the player. I can't defend the purchase in quite the same way as I defend the PC. I would use it every day, definitely but it wouldn't occupy quite the same hub-like status as the computer. When my shoulder stops sounding like a Transformer I'll be back down the gym, so I'd no longer have to listen to their crap music if I had a player but not exactly an essential.

Anyway, I didn't use my credit card and didn't buy any of the ones I was considering. OK, I nearly had to staple my hand to the desk to stop it reaching for the card but I resisted my purchase urge! Let me show you what I was considering buying though. I don't want any of you coming back with any iPod Nano rubbish either! The Mini was quality, especially in green but the Nano is poo and overpriced, as we shall see shortly.

So first thing I, looked at was this:

[Geek Description]This is Sony's new MP3 player. They have this habit of designing weird things just so they don't look Poddish, but I think they struck gold here. It's bloody lovely, no? In addition to its looks, Sony have finally abandoned their ridiculous policy of only allowing their players to run music in ATRAC format and this model will play actual MP3s. [For ATRAC, read: Crap Proprietary Format that's a complete exercise in futility]. Another break from tradition is that they've made it competetively priced, I was so close to abusing my credit card it's untrue. The I remembered something. Sony can't write software. Well they can but using any software written by Sony can be classed under teh heading 'Cruel and Unusual Punishment'. I mean User Interfaces and Menu systems that have been designed by sociopaths. So I checked a few reviews and it turns out I was right. Most other players let you drag 'n' drop tracks in, but with this one you have to use Sony's woeful Connect software. I saw the words 'Worse than SonicStage' in a few reviews and was turned off immediately. If you've never used SonicStage, it's the software equivilent of sticking pins in your own eyes, so Connect must be a crime against humanity. [/Geek description]

[Non-Geek Description]This is Sony's new Walkman, it's really pretty and I nearly bought it. Then I rememebered Sony are crap and read some reviews, so changed my mind. Still pretty though.[/Non-Geek description]

So then I went to see what Creative had been up to, some of you may know I wanted to buy one of their 20GB players a while back but my opinion on mini players has changed since. The larger ones aren't practical for things like going to the gym, so the mini ones become ideal. Creative put me to the test today. They have this:

[GEEKBOY!]Ok, on first glance not much to look at, maybe not as pretty as the Sony right? OK, get this, it's the same price as a 4GB Nano, about 25 more than the Sony mini. It is smaller than the Sony. It has twice the capacity of the Nano. [Actually, lets leave the Nano out of this, it's overpriced and crap]. It has an 8GB HD, colour slide show, great menu system, the option to Partition the drive so you can carry data around, it has an FM tuner and the option to record from the radio. It also has a 15 hour battery life and a removable battery, which most players do not offer. And take a closer look. It really is quite pretty. More to the point I think it fills a great gap, 8GB is a perfect size, before this the gap was pretty much 4GB, 6GB, 20GB. 8 is a good figure I think. And this player is bloody tiny. I was tested, I hope to last the weekend.[/SHUTUP GEEKBOY!]

[NoGeekSpeak!]This may not look as pretty on first glance, but take another look. It's littler and better than the Sony. I like it. I like it a lot! Have held off though. I'm taking it one day at a time.[/NearlyDone]

Ok, apologies for the boring post, but this is what I've been doing today, so you're stuck with it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Inevitable Christmas Shopping post

I've been very industrious today. So far I have secured suitable gifts for the family. Even managed to get something for the future sister-in-law once I remembered I had one! Ok that sounds really bad, but I've barely had any contact with the girl so its easy to forget someone you don't know. Anyway, I didn't forget so leave me alone damnit!

So the parentals have a couple things and I managed to get something suitably distracting for my brother. I was going to get him something useful for the place he just moved into but it would have been an exercise in futility. Useful things are generally wasted on him (even though he;s the oldest at 32) and besides, I'm sure the parentals will be providing him with all manner of kitchenware. So I got him something cool he can play with. I am tempted to reveal what it is here but I will restrain myself.

I may have stated before that I am usually pretty good at buying presents but, as there are quite a few people to buy for and I am actually doing so for a change, I am on a budget and time has been at a premium. So now I find that I'm second guessing myself. I've seen a few really cool things for The Rah but I'm not 100% sure she'd like them. I think they rock, and we do have pretty similar tastes but you don't want to end up with a 'just what I've always wanted!' response do you? Pretty sure I am sorted with everyone else, must resist buying for me or I will have no drinks money!

So internet shopping has saved me from being the Grinch this Christmas, think I'll buy my presents in September if I am still down here next year!

Bloody London.

I'm being unfair of course, I'm going to see if I can get to shows and such next year, definitely be downright stupid to be so close to the place and not go to the theatre a few times. Might even try and get to the Opera House provided it doesn't involve me selling a kidney. Hang on. All this sounds very resolution-ee. I'll save it until the New Year in case I actually decide to make any resolutions this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things to do....

I appear to have developed a social calendar this week. This is a very good thing, I've been feeling very unpopular of late. Nothing based on fact you understand, I just need constant adoration in order to feel validated in my existence. I'm a very shallow man.

Anyway, a few of us are off down to the lovely Penny Black pub after work tonight in order to say farewell to Nim, who is leaving our Project to seek something more exciting to do with his time than is offered by his current role. You know the kind of thing; seeing how long you can go without blinking, figuring out why Big Toes look so weird etc. So I've sent an email round to a few people inviting them along but I'm not getting a huge response. Maybe it's a little short notice. Or perhaps it's because, in the email, I may have implied that Nim is the Gimp for German businessmen at the weekends.

Tomorrow night the worlds first Welsh Pygmy has invited me to Wimbledon for a night out which should be fun, I haven't seen her in a while. Saying that, neither have most people, she spends most of her time running around below eye level. Anyway I've asked Rob to come along too, possibly in place of but more likely in addition to, our semi-regular Friday session. I'm hoping he comes and brings his new girlfriend with him so I can embarrass her with tales of Saturday night. If I run out of stories I can always start making things up so no worries there!

I also really need to sort Christmas presents out, I've been totally lame! I've done the looking but failed entirely to do the buying part. It's all been a bit mental and haven't had the time to get anywhere good to buy stuff so some people are going to end up with gifts I usually leave other people to buy (DVDs etc. :-( ). I'm not good at many things but present buying is usually one of them so I'll be quite disappointed if time runs out on me to get people things they'll enjoy the most.

Finally an update on the February party. In an astounding display of presence of forethought, Red Leader, RoboMatt, Nim and I have booked into the Farringdon Travelodge for the date in question. We got a room each becuase we got some special rate or other. This is great news as there will be no walk of shame and on the off chance that we are still able to move there is the possibility of bars or clubs after the do or an aftershow party in one of the rooms. I am feeling quite chipper about the whole thing which, considering I was previously going to boycott it, is quite a turn around.

There was going to be a bit here about the possibility of me having to come back to work at a ludicrously late hour to do some time-sensitive things but that's not happening now so woohoo!

Monday, December 12, 2005

New year starts in February

Apparently that's the case. According to my division anyhow.

They've dubbed our Christmas Party the 'New Year Party' as even the dodgers up on high could see ity is so ludicrously far awayfrom Christmas no amount of spin would swing it! I mean New Year is stretching beyond most possible means, unless they are serving Chinese food.

Anyway, that aside, in my previous post I stated the possibility of staying at the hotel. Unlikely at this place! So we have a plan B. There is a Travel Lodge in Covent Garden with room rates a little more reasonable than £235 per night!

It's looking good though, stuffy dinner, drinks then on to Covent Garden with the company I actually WANT to keep. I kow it's months away but there will be quite a lot of people in attendance so we need to sort this out fairly quickly.

Quiet Saturday Drink

Well the ball was phenomenal. It was just immense fun, one of those situations where the company was so good that it didn't really matter where we were.

The organisers did their bit, dressing up in Moulin Rouge styl-ee, complete with ginger moustachioed fat man in a red jacket (fake belly and hair but you can't have everything!). There were dancing girls and plenty to drink. After drinking the wine and bubbly we decided to work out how the free drinks ticket we had worked. Apparently our entry ticket could be used up to a certain value but to my horror this didn't include spirits. Considering the bottled beer they were supplying was fairly shocking and I'd had my fill of wine I was most put out! Luckily a guy I know from my induction traded me some drinks for the ticket, despite my initial protestations that he should just take it.

The hotel, The River Bank Plaza, was really nice. One of those places where I walk in and immediately feel (usually accurately) that I've lowered the tone. As the group I arrived with were reliant on a coach that had been organised, we arrived quite considerably early, so we availed ourselves of the residents bar. Despite having our initial attempts to charge our cocktails to the company foiled, we soildiered on with spirits undampened and soon we were on our way down to floor -4, yes -4, to start the evening proper. I was quite disappointed to discover that, despite being so far into the bowels of the earth, we weren't being served by an army of mutant mole-men. You can't have everything I guess. RoboMatt and I took pity on the waiters who were holding decidedly heavy looking champagne laden trays. We dutifully took one off each of them, so no one of them felt neglected.

Once the room opened we put ourselves at a table at the front, so we could get a decent look at the stage show. It was all going well, then a company bigwig got up and started wibbling on about how great the company is, how great it is to be a graduate right now and various other things that everyone ignored. Eventually he stopped and went back to his seat where he belonged and the party kicked off again.

Things get a little hazy after this point, I remember talking at length at Robs new girlfriend. She was very patient and appeared to listen intently and with great interest to my 'how great is Rob' monologue. I even managed not to begin the praise with 'despite having a head like a potato', I was very proud of myself.

RoboMatt and I wowed a stunned room with our unique interpretation of the word 'Dancing'. In our dictionary the word sits very closely next to 'Seizure'.

At the end of the night the same guy who had my ticket off me was trying to persuade me to stay in the residents bar with him and his friends and to crash on their room floor. In what I thought to be a Herculian display of willpower I got on the coach and went home. Again, I was very proud. Having missed the last train to guildford, RoboMatt was forced to stay on my living room floor and make a 1/2 hour walk of shame to the train station the next morning, in his tuxedo. He later discovered that once again there were no direct trains from Leatherhead to Guildford and ended up having to go through Clapham junction. Once again I was very pleased I turned down the offer of staying in London!

We've decided that should we attend the february bash we are going to get a room between a group of us, I feel I missed out on half the party by having to leave at 1am. I'm sure there is plenty I'm missing out but it can't be that important! Anyway, I better go do someTHing work related.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shopping failure.....

Well I have failed spectacularly in securing anything riiculous to wear this evening. My first mistake was having a massive lie in, so I didnt get to Camden until around 1pm, obviously the palce was absolutely packed. Couple this with the fact that once people enter London they appear to check there manners in somewhere for later collection and you end up with an unhappy Matt. It's not so much the people who try to walk right through you without so much as an apologetic glance that bother me, it's the ones who stop dead, blocking all pedestrian traffic, so they can answer their phone or wave at someone who has no hope of seeing them. I could understand it if there was nowhere for these people to go but invariably they are looking at something in a shop or stall, and clearly it's more convenient for them to study it from 20 feet away than it is to go and look at the thing and develop some consideration for other people.

So, not used to London shopping yet, apologies for the rant. I really hope I don't get used to it actually because the moment I do I think I will have become as rude as the people around me.

So anyway, got back to Leatherhead and thought I would try and by a deep purple shirt from Next and wear that with my suit and patterned black tie. Unfortunately it is a tiny store and had no such thing in stock. Of course if I'd have thought of this back up plan earlier I could have got one from London somewhere but I'm not known for my common sense.

I'll be wearing my staple pin stripe with black shirt, patterned black tie and some black metal cufflinks. The tie is very cool though.

I think next time I go to Camden I will go with someone else, it was cool the first time but now I've been a couple of times I think the crowd thing will wind me up unless I have someone to talk to. Shopping is more fun if it doesn't seem such a

On the plus side some of the food vendors looked fantastic. Kudos to all those people in nice clothes successfully walking around tucking into things that looked like they would stain very badly should any spillage occur. This is obviously aquired skill. Also to the three enterprising girls with massive Mohicans charging gawpers £1 per photo they took.

Ok, got to go get changed. Maybe post later when I am good and drunk.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Quality Control

Matt Industries Inc. would like to apologise for the woeful standard of the last blog entry. Usually there is an element of wit, sarcasm and/or insults in our posts and we are shocked and saddened by the author's reliance on second-hand material as 'Filler' for this particular installment. We do not, of course, refer to the excellent 'E-mail from a vaccuous Moron' indirectly contributed by Mr Roberts. His tale and his penmanship rescued what otherwise would have been a post of terrible laziness and lameness. This post can only have served to to be deeply damaging to the reputation of Matt Industries Inc.

The post was so lazy, in fact, that the Porsche 911 Design Team were prompted to send a strongly worded email to the Author:

Dear Usurper,

My colleagues and I were happily browsing the internet today when we stumbled across your so-called 'Web-Log'. We noticed, in particular your latest post entitled 'Mistakes were made'. Indeed they were sir! A very big mistake indeed! Imagine our Horror when we discovered the 'Content' of the said post, nothing but reproduced material! Just because we here at the Porsche Body Design Lab are so soporifically lazy that sloths shake their heads in shame, it does not follow that we are also stupid! You seek to challenege us in the competitive world of bone idol wasters? Us, the supreme champions of being paid to do bugger all!

Well let me tell you that it's not as easy as it looks, your laziness lacks the finnesse and class that we have spent decades perfecting. It's all very well cut and pasting other peoples words but can you change a single word and convince people that it is something entirely new? No! You can't! You would be found out in an instant! Where as we at Porsche spend years 'developing' a new 911. The Engines are re-engineered, the wheels carefully designed, the suspension calibrated for optimum performance and the chassis made with the strongest and lightest materials that can be found! Then the work of my team can begin. We carefully take out the previous shell design and Tip-Ex out the date. We then carefully fill in the next roll-out date ovver teh whited-out area. We photocopy the work, and presto! A new model 911 is born!

This is an art that has been perfected over many years, leaving us time to engage in higher pursuits. This blog entry has shattered the peaceful harmony of our pre-launch lives, a harmony we need before the hustle and bustle of the busy photocopying week. That rear spoiler doesn't get a slight angle change by itself you know! Steve is particularly upset as your post distracted him so much he failed to beat his high score on Tetris. We demand an immediate and public apology for this denegration of our fine art!

Yours in disgust,

The Porsche 911 design team

We are moved by this emotional letter and would like to assure all those at Porsche and, indeed, others who have been aversely affected by the offending article that this will not happen again. We would also like to offer a whole hearted and uncompromising public apology and ask only that you give us, here at Matt Industries Inc., one more chance. We will not fail to deliver on your faith! No reproduced article will fail to be accompanied by appropriate effort on the author's part.

We thank you for your time.

Mistakes were made...

Ok, I only had like 3 pints last night so what possessed me to post that picture, I have no idea. I am lumped with it now though as I have promised not to delete posts so there it shall remain. I'm just going to have to post a lot more so it rolls off the end.

Anyway, I am posting early today as I still don't trust my home internet connection despite the fact in now appears to be behaving itself. On the face of it Mr BT Engineer man appears to have fixed the problem but it could be planning a surprise attack (or surprise burst of inactivity to be more precise!). Also I have a conference call at 4 which could drag on for a while as it's going to be conducted in Corporate. It's a very similar language to English but with no rules on form or structure. Or indeed on actual, real words.

I got sent this today, it's old but excellent and still holds true. Got to apologise, it's supposed to be in columns across the page but Blogger doesn't like White Space (tabs and spaces etc.) so removes them. Stupid thing:

The Systematic Slick Phrase Generator

0. Integrated
1. Total
2. Systematised
3. Parallel
4. Functional
5. Responsive
6. Optional
7. Synchronised
8. Compatible
9. Balanced

0. Management
1. Organisational
2. Monitored
3. Reciprocal
4. Digital
5. Logistical
6. Transitional
7. Incremental
8. 3rd Generation
9. Policy

0. Options
1. Flexibility
2. Capability
3. Mobility
4. Programming
5. Concept
6. Time-phase
7. Projection
8. Hardware
9. Contingency

Think of any three-digit number, then select the corresponding buzzword from each column. eg number 257 produces ‘systematised logistical projection’, a phrase that can be dropped into virtually any report with that ring of decisive, knowledgeable authority. No-one will have the remotest idea of what you are talking about, but the important thing is that they are not about to admit it!

I was thinking of including a random phrase in all documents I produce. Finally I have to reproduce an email that Mike received today. Mike is a Software Developer. He works for a Software Development company. This is very important to remember:

I am unable to contact you through you customer service email address. My order was incorrect, in that I ordered 2 snowmen and only one arrived. Can you please look into this matter for me. Regards Bob May

I'm surprised he was able to place the order with brainpower of that magnitude. Mike did pen a response email, but no matter how much I urged him he refused to send it. So I've reproduced it here for your consumption. I'm sure he won't mind. i'll ask him later.

Dear Sir, I am a developer for a software company and as such have very little contact with Snowmen. However, I will endeavour to make you some Snowmen as I learned that the customer is always right even when they are blatently stupid.
Mike Roberts
Head of MisInformation, Misplaced Snowmen Divisionm, [Place where Mike Works]

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Isabella Rossillini in the Flesh!

That's right folks, here I am in Glorious Technicolour! Ok, on the way home from some gentle libation down the Penny Black I decided that I would post whatever the first snap on the webcam was. Here it is, as you can tell even after a couple of pints I am slightly worried....

As I side point, I should highlight that the second photo shows that my Tshirt says 'GENIUS' in bold lettering. I can assure you this is just because I am a crap liar and therefore much prefer to do it in writing.

Live and in Glorious Technicolour!

Maria and I talk on MSN quite a bit, she's the one person from my first year at University who I speak to regularly. Anyway, the other week she got herself a webcam and we talked over Skype. It was awesome, haven't seen her or heard her voice in over 3 years and there she was. Was quite weird but good at the same time, one of those situations where you meet an old friend and it's like no time has passed. She's having trouble with a psycopathic weirdo-girl on her course at the moment. My suggestion of the Cartman approach to 'Kick her Squah in the Nuts!' appears not to be the preferred method of dealing with the problem. Just think she should bear it mind is all.

So, the point is she then persuaded me to get a webcam thing, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately it occurred to me as I shelled out my cash that Maria is one of these irritating people that always looks good. I'm not exaggerating here, you could dip her in a tank of ugly juice and she'd still look good. Where as I....... well put it this way, while on Merserene's blog I tried a bit of photo software she linked to. It's supposed to match you up to which celebrity you look like. I tried 4 different photos, I got Gene Hackman (a 75 year old bald man), Isabella Rossillini (OK, quite attractive but not a good look for me) and someone called Nigel Short - who at least was under 90 and had glasses.

Finally and you'll love this one - Benicio Del Toro. Benicio? Yeah I'm the spitting image! Apart from the glasses, short hair, milky skin tone and lack of any hispanic heritage, we could be bloody twins!

Do I look like any of them in fact? It was quite a blow to my ego I can tell you. On the other hand, as a side effect of me not having many photos of myself on my own, a few other people got the treatment too because they were in the photos I ran through the software. Hanrah got Jennifer Anniston and Rob (Emi, you will love this) looked like some ageing American Actress, I'll put the name up later once I get home and find it as it escapes me right now. Feel free to add me if you haven't already by the way, my bizarre username is in my profile.

The point of this lengthy tale is that people who talk to me on MSN now run the risk of me inflicting my shiny new toy on them. I'll be testing the thing out over the next week or so, so expect some stills to appear on my blog from the Mighty Blobeye!

I should have mentioned, I've decided to name it. Quite liking the Mughty Blobeye at the moment but I'm open to suggestions. This is my shiny new toy. Despite the box saying it is actually not. It's all very strange but Argos seem to have a bunch of incorrectly packaged ones. Anyway, that's what I got. Hence BlobEye. I'm far too easily amused I know.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hair by LEGO

I was going to have a big rant here about the US outsourcing their Torture operation to ex-Eastern Block countries and the wriggly little Condoleeza Rice successfully denying the Torture claims based on the US Goverment definition of the word Torture. It's vague to say the least.

Hang on. I've started haven't I? Ok, I'm stopping now. Although I should warn you this may resurface when I'm in one of my more caustic moods.

No, today we discuss more important matters and that is Condoleeza Rice and her laminated haircut:

Seriously, is this really a good look? I mean i could understand it where I am from, it rains a lot. I mean it rains a lot! A Teflon hair cut like that could save an awful lot of frizz don't you think? I'm thinking that LEGO have employed her as some kind of poster girl and the do is in fact interchageable. So don't be surprised if you see slight colour alterations as she switches.

Once again we see the polymer hair in action, or rather not in action. I wonder if that's the stuff they make the heat shileds on shuttles out of? I'm saying nothing about the pose she is in. Nothing at all. Just, you know, bear it in mind.

Some possible suitors for the lovely Rice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Working late

I'm developing a nasty habit of satying late to finish work or do other work related things. This is like the third or fourth time I've been here when I am not supposed to be in about 5 1/2 months! 4 times in 5 moths isn't a habit? Well I did say developing. This kind of unhinged behaviour doesn't occur overnight you know, it creeps up on you so as you don't notice! It's the thin end of the wedge I tells ya!

Space hoppers. This is the correct form all space hoppers should take:

All others are unworthy pretenders to the unassailable throne! People who own them should be mocked and ostracised! The offending items themselves should be melted down and, preferably, reformed into the true shape but if found unsuitable transformed into some kind of quality control stamp especially for Space Hoppers. Manufacturers of these false abominations should be arrested, if not killed.

I mean look at this travesty:

Behold its inappropriate blueness, it's too spherical shape and ridiculously angled 'Ears'. Friends! This is no Space Hopper! Where is the welcoming, slightly grubby orange hue? Where are the ever so slightly floppy ears with ergonomically designed grips? Where is the photo-realisitic visage which greets you as you approach your beloved Hopper?

Cast them out friends and villify those who perpetuate this fraudulent madness!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Toiling for The Giant Ant Masters (Mants!)

Ok, so the bosses aren't weird Ant/Man Hybrids who have me working down their sugar caves but I have been pretty busy today. Also the internet is broken at home, all of which explains the lack of a recent post. As Olivia rightfully points out, politics appears to have once again spooked my commentators!

I know I normally restrict myself to more important and serious things, so while tomorrow there will be a post on Condoleeza 'Child of Satan Put On this Earth to Spread Misery, Perturbation and Despair' Rice very soon, I will also be addressing important matters, including 'Beast Idol' - the new reality show to give the Higher Being a helping hand and the correct shade and design of a proper space hopper.

Sorry about the short length of this post, more soon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blair learns how to divide by Zero!

Well we have been told by Mathematicians throughout the Ages that this feat is entirely impossible but the Cherubic Saviour Tony Blair has once again proven these so-called 'Experts' wrong. "The laws of the natural world do not apply to the Divine Being" says Blair, who has taken to referring to himself in the third person since his ascension to Divinity. "By discarding common so-called 'Laws of Mathematics' I have been able reduce income and increase received cash into my country. This is a new golden age in the history of My Great Nation and as such, from this day forth Great Britain shall be known as The Golden Empire of Blairtonia" :

....he [Blair] stressed that even though the rebate might go down in percentage terms, the amount the UK would receive in cash would still go up.

In other news, several leading Blairtonian Academics have sadly met their untimely ends in a tragic accident at a Government sponsored conference in Wilthshire. The Conference in which Mathematicians, Economists and Social commentators were invited to discuss the glorious policies of the Annointed One was attended by Academics from across the nation who previously were considered 'critics' of the Second Coming. In a moving public statement The Bringer of The Golden Dawn said "It is truly devastating that these brilliant minds were taken from us just at the point when they began to see the Eternal Wisdom of my Doctrine. I have, here in my hand, signed documents from each of these poor souls. Documents that extole the virtues of all my policies and even, in some cases, praising my good looks. This conference was to be a coming together of understanding where those previously in opposition could embrace the True Path. I only thank Me that I was delayed on my way there or I may have met an equally unfortunate end".

The end to which the Light Of Heaven was referring to was, of course, the tragic military miscommunication that occurred on the day of the conference. Both the 17th Royal Bombadiers and the Royal Air Force Tactical Strike Squadron were on manoeuvers that day. Somehow both Units received the wrong coordinates when testing new Destroy Insurgent Enemies (DIE) weapons and, in a Tragic Quirk Of Fate, the conference centre was utterly obliterated from the face of the earth, leaving all attendees - as one witness eloquently put it - "Like greasy stains on a burned carpet".

Investigations carried out by the Blairtonian Friendly Truth Squad, using their special electrically powered 'Hearts and Minds' maces, have revealed that someone a bit foreign looking was seen somewhere in the vicinity of Wiltshire a week before the error. "These terrorists have clearly breached our communications systems" said an angry and wrathful Higher Being. "I will not rest until we have invaded a small, defenceless, Arabic nation where they are clearly hiding! Fear not, your Messiah will give you someone to blame and bring them to Justice!"

It has once again been my privilege to report on the activities of the Holy One and I would like to take this opportunity to denounce those lazy hacks who would rather spend their time attempting to find 'flaws' in policy instead of accepting our Glorious Leader at his word! Come one everyone, why would he lie to us, His beloved children?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ache Free and Suspicious......

I have very few aches today, despite increasing a few of the weights yesterday. I have two theories to explain this unusual bodily behaviour:

a)My Body is slowly getting used to being exercised at.
b)My Body wants me to think it is slowly getting used to being exercised at.

I am going to go go with b). I know this clapped out piece of crap very well and it's a devious bugger. No doubt I will have developed scarlet fever or leprosy by tomorrow. Either that or it's saving up for after tomorrows gym excursion so it can deliver a double whammy ache-fest on Saturday and thus force me to walk like a robot.

I've been given some intensely dull work to do today. It involves burning CDs and printing Labels for them. I'd go into more detail but what did you ever do to me? I am having a sit down to recover from the excitement.

I was considering inserting random episodes of the Thundercats onto the CDs to teach them a lesson, as technically they are supposed to check the disks before they go out. Apparently they would frown on such a move whcih I think is terribly unsporting of them, it could be a bit like Russian roulette. Also the Clients could have some entertainment while installing the software, everyone's a winner!

I'm hoping my internet is still on when I get home, had a bit of a wobble last night before settling down and behaving itself but I've not had a chance to test it today.

Sorry this is a rubbish post, my brain went to sleep during the CD thing and waking it up has caused it to ache. More entertaining posts later or tomorrow, promise.

Where misunderstanding serves others as an advantage,
one is helpless to make oneself understood. Lionel Trilling

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Good Quote

It's not funny but I like it and think it is very accurate.

Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer, Art is all the rest. Donald E. Knuth

Don't ever buy anything from Watford Electronics.

PC update: Still broken. Don't ever shop at Savastore. This is a subsidiary of Watford Electronics. They sell high quality merchandise at very reasonable prices, which is great if nothing goes wrong. If, however, you have any problems after they have taken your money, you are left with a customer services department that makes the Chocolate Fireguard appear to be the most useful and inspired invention the world has ever seen. I say they are a department. I'm pretty sure it's a 15 year old YTS kid who works between 12 and 2 on alternate Tuesdays. I just realised that I used the words 'Customer Service' in a sentence involving this company. I'm not entirely sure what definitions they are using for that particular combination of words but I'm fairly certain that it's different to the definition the rest of us ascribe to it.

Don't be lured in by their prices and good brands, pay a little extra and deal with a competent company. I know there are only a handful of you that read this and fewer still who buy PC things but if I can save even one of you from the 8th circle of Hell that is the Watford Electronics Customer Torture department then I feel that my work here is done.

I'm off to call Trading Standards now, hopefully they will be able to move things along for me.

Moving on.

When it comes to my social life, I frequently have the organisational skills of a small and startled child who hasn't quite worked out why the cube won't fit into the round hole. This is the only explanation as to why I plan to do everything within the same 2 hour period, often requiring me to be in several counties at any given time. So. Somekind of Telepathic diary for Christmas please people.

Other than the lurgy, this has been my main hindrance to the Gym thing I think. As such I will not be doing Yoga later, but I will be going to the gym. It's no major reason, it's just easier to go straight to the gym from work then head home, the yoga class doesn't start until 7:30 and it takes me about an hour to shower, change and walk home from the gym.

I have no idea why I am telling you this. Basically, I am going to the gym but right now it's too much hassle to hang around an hour and a half after work, do a class then get home after 9:30pm. So will stick with the workout. And maybe Pilates next week as those classes start earlier.

Right I'm off, more later.

Nice geek quote today:

I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone. -
Bjarne Stroustrup

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back from the Land of The Ice and Snow........

I'm sorry, couldn't resist. The Zepp do rule.

So an eventful weekend away and back down the salt mines now, apologies for the lack of postings but I'm pretty sure my internet at home is now fixed so hopefully such unacceptable delays will no longer occur. We can but hope.

It's been over a week since I've been to the gym because of this trip away and the lurgy I had last week. You may have guessed that I didn't go over the weekend, it turns out that the Rah and Kirsty weren't busy at all on Saturday, so I kind of gave up on that idea. My intentions were once again scuppered on Sunday when it turned out Rah wasn't at rehearsals until 4 pm, so we went to watch the Libertine. Then we got drunk. It was a very good day.

I now have a dilemma. Go to the Gym tonight and skip tomorrow or skip another day and go to Yoga tomorrow. I'm not really confident I will be able to do both, even with the best will in the world as my body will be a bit broken if I go tonight. I've decided to see how I feel at end of the day. Either way, I'll be heading off to the gym at least every other day now I am back down here until Christmas. I'm even considering early morning swims. Though that maybe stretching the bounds of optimism to hallucinogenic proportions.

A note on the Libertine. I don't know anyone who isn't a massive Jonny Depp fan, for very good reason - he is an excellent actor, he even shines in the occasional crap film he has done (9th Gate - an endurance trial not a film!). His best work, however, is always in these smaller productions. Granted, until relatively recently he wasn't ever really involved in massive Blockbusters which, in my opinion, is to his credit.

That's enough about someone we all already know is excellent, also pointless extoling the virtues of John Malkovitch who also shines in everything he is in. These are just my opions as a layman film goer but I have to say the most surprising support performance for me was from Jonny Vegas, a guy I've always been in two minds about as a comedian and as a comedy actor. I think he played his role fantastically. I like being pleasantly surprised this way, it somehow makes all the 'brain out, popcorn in' stuff that gets crapped out of Hollywood worth wading through. I should point out here that as a professional hypocrite I am well within my rights to watch, even sometimes enjoy such films and insult their relative worth in the same breath. I won't bang on at anymore length about the Libertine, just go see it.

I am going to go to Camden on Saturday provided it isn't lashing it down outside. I need a scarf and something for one of the Christmas parties I am going to, though I am not sure what yet. The rather uninspired theme is 'Moulin Rouge' which is fine for the ladies but kind leaves the guys with the Tux option. Well sod that, I am thinking pin stripe trousers, a velvet tailcoat of some variety and a top hat and cane. You know, looking like a weirdo. I was also considering wearing sandles. Either that or going as a pirate. You can't go wrong with pirates.

"If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily" - Stephen Fry

Friday, November 25, 2005

More Train Fun.

I think I am some kind of masochist. Once again I am heading off to Hull straight after work, a lovely 4 and a half hour trek. I'll be faced with the usual dilemma. Do I catch the 7pm train that changes at Doncaster and is reminiscent of a Veal Calf Lorry, thus arriving about 10pm, or do I wait 40 more miutes and travel in relative comfort on the direct line and get there at 10:30pm? I usually wait to be honest but I did a similar thing last week going home to Wales and got chatting to someone in the station bar at Euston and missed the train anyway. Got home at Midnight. So, no Gin today!

The reason I am heading up is that Emi is in a play on Sunday, 'Our Day Out', it's a comedy. She plays a character who flirts with everybody, trust me this will require very little acting effort on her part, she is very adept in this particular department. Luckily someone had the brains to remember to sort me out a ticket to the play, as I'm no longer a member of the Union they need my address. By 'someone' I don't mean me obviously. Kirsty has averted the potential difficulty, so she gets a badge of some description. Maybe. At some point. If I remember.

I'm gutted actually, I only had one days holiday left to take and the Drama Society always run their shows Sunday through to Tuesday. Next week is their production of Dracula which the Rah is in and I really wanted to see both. Ideally I wanted to see the last show of each then I could have attended the after show parties, but unfortunately I've used all my holidays. Damnit! I blame the courts myself, they robbed me of 2 holiday days when they could have just given me my speeding conviction by mail. Gits. Ok, technically it's my fault for speeding in the first place but I try to not let facts and logic get in the way of my opinions wherever possible.

It's going to be an odd visit, Emi will be in rehearsal for most of it. All three of them - Hannah, Kirsty and Emi - have a lot of Uni work to do, so basically it looks like I will be left to my own devices. While this sucks for the most part, it may mean I have an opportunity to finish watching Hannahs season 1 of the West Wing. I'll also bugger off to the Gym tomorrow, thinking of doing some swimming. Imagine the cheek of it, not dropping everything and potentially failing their degrees in order to accomodate my visit! They clearly 'Don't Know Who I Am!'

In other news, it was the Birthday of Pedro Ramirez (International Latin Lover) yesterday. A national holiday has been declared in the tiny Republic of Testosteronia and there was a ticker tape parade in his home town of Hunkahunkaberrninlurrv. The week long festivities in his adopted North Wales began last evening with his close personal Aides John Shaw and Matt Lewis. They reportedly enjoyed an evening of fine local beverages and political discourse, ending with the great man himself entering a deep contemplative state on the throne of his Patriarch. There was a pre-celebration last Saturday as a warm up to the event proper, and it's been reported that Pedro was glad of the extra training.

All of us here at Rant-a-Matt would like to extend our best wishes on this great day. And ladies? Form an orderly queue, there's plenty of Pedro love to go around.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Christmas Parties and Abject Incompetence

We have our Graduate employees Christmas Party arranged, it's on the 10th of December. Moulin Rouge is the theme apparently. The Project Christmas Bash is planned for the 20th of December, local Italian place looks lovely. Should be a really good night, free beer and food all night! Huzzah!

So why the Title? Our company has several divisions. I won't tell you which particular world of rock 'n' roll IT that I work in, I kind of need you to stay with me until the end here. Take some Pro-Plus, it'll help. OK, so when I was being recruited I asked 'What are the christmas parties like?' and I was told they were suitably awesome. So I've been waiting eagerly for our divisional date to come through. I've been watching the other divisions being announced, and they look pretty damned sweet.

So what about us? Well the major offices of our division in the rest of the country are having theirs around the same time, the 13th I believe. About the same time as everyone else in the World. 'So When is yours Matt?'. That's a good question, I'm glad I asked it.

Many companies have their Christmas dinners after Christmas, in January. Sometimes this is for a practical reason, more often it is short sighted Fiscal policy designed to pad out profits by not burdening the accounts with the cost of a big expensive party. That's what a cynic would say. Luckily for us, our Divisional decision makers wouldn't dream of holding a Christmas Party in January! I mean, that's just cheap. It's not Christmas in January is it? So why have the Christmas party then? Exactly Matt. They are to be praised for not holding the Christmas Party at such a lame time.


Just let that sink in and get back to me OK?

Management is natures way of removing Morons from the Productive process


Damnit. For the second week running I am being foiled by the Lurgy. I've decided to not Gym it this week (at least until tomorrow or Saturday at the Hull branch) until this cold buggers off. I think my restarting on Monday was a little optimistic, it's one of those cases where unless you leave it, it'll never go away. Patience, however, is not my Forte!

We shall see, maybe I'll get a chance to go on Saturday and thus double my current weekly Gym going. Before any of you pounce, this isn't my usual nonsense, I really am keen on this gym malarky, I just don't want to get to a point where it's doing me no good. I'm not particulalrly ill but I'm at that stage where you can remain this ill for ages, if you know what I mean? You know. Fine but with an intensely annoying minor lurgy!

I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

An inappropriately named Sandwich

Ok so I went to town for my lunch today, I met up with someone I was at Uni with a few years ago who has just started the company. I get to invite three people to a one week trial membership at the gym and she is looking for somewhere to join. I already signed up RoboMatt and Nim so had one slot left, anyway so I was taking her down there for a look-see. Just thought I would explain why I was braving the harsh winter weather instead of staying at the coziness of my desk.

After the man showed her around the uber plushness of the gym I went off to this sandwich shop called Chimes. Now Chimes make lovely sandwiches.


90% of their staff consist of hot foreign young ladies. I'm not sure where they do their recruiting but am fairly certain it's not in Leatherhead. The problem with his situation is that you have to wait quite a long time for your sandwich. I'm not sure whether this is a hottness:incompetence ratio or a youngness:incompetence ratio.

In hindsight it's probably an 'I work in a sandwich shop with a boss who is clearly an exploitative perv':can't be arsed ratio. I'm digressing again, to the point of the post. What I love about this shop is that they use fresh baked bread and cut off slabs off the stuff. No slicing machine, just a huge knife. I don't know, it just makes the sandwich taste so much nicer when the bread has been hacked off in uneven slices. One of my favourites involves grilled chicken, bacon, chilli mayonaise, cheese, sun dried tomatoes and salad. The problem is requesting this delicacy.

It's called the David Beckham special. I've tried pointing, indictating and mumbling 'Beckham on white' under my breath, it's still totally lame no matter how you do it! I think the thing that I object to the most is the name, it's so inaccurate. I mean the sandwich is full of fresh, interesting ingredients and flavour combinations. It has a lot to recommend it and most importantly it is full to the brim with content.

All I'm saying is that if I were naming a sandwich the Beckham, it wouldn't have anything in it. In fact I would probably try and put some kind of vaccuum in there.

This is another one of those wheret I am not sure if I came up with myself or if my mind picked it up off someone else while the rest of me was distracted by something with flashing lights and buttons:

People who say 'No Offence' always find it easier to say 'No Offence' than simply not to cause offence'

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I have no idea what this is. Apparently it's a stretchy thing like Yoga and there is a class on Thursday, so maybe I will go to that as I have to miss the Yoga thing. I am quite keen on it, apparently it develops Lean Muscles. This sounds very good to me.

Or maybe I just like the word because it is only one letter away from Pirates.

Oooh! Pretty..

I found this picture of my home town in front of one of the surrounding mountains on t'internet, thought I would share. The Town is called Ruthin (I know in England it would be called a village, but this is Wales so there!). The mountain is part of a the Clwydian range and is called Moel Famau. The little nipple on the top is part of some [Edit] Georgian (I'm an idiot, got my ruins confused and said they were Roman!) [/Edit] ruins.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Suspicious bodily activity

I think my body is taking the stealth approach to foiling my exercise plans after having its all out assault defeated last week. Allow me to explain my theory. I did pretty much the same routine as last week only I used the cross trainer (see? i can take advice) and rowing machine for my cardio with a bit of biking on top. I did the weights machines and stuff and the sit ups on the squishy ball. Then I went about my business with stretches, in order to reduce the agony I will be in tomorrow. Now this is where my body started being sneaky, I was doing one of the stretches and I felt something pop around the side of my back. Now it doesn't hurt, but I have a feeling this is something that's going to tomorrow. Devious git that it is.

The social life has prevented me from joining Yoga on Wednesday, which is disappointing but I have made a promise that I don't really want to get out of. Some friends from University have a gig near Dorking and I promised to go, I was only reminded today.

I should apologise for banging on about the gym for those of you that really don't care, I plan on mentioning it a lot but banging on about it less, if you know what I mean? Basically, it's a defence mechanism. If I stop mentioning it for any period of time, you know I have let it slip and can start shouting at me. That's the theory.

OK Something non-gym related. I got an email today from our IT support people. I should explain. Some of the IT support for the IT in the IT company I work for is outsourced to another IT company. Good eh? So I have had one or two issues, I'm not entirely sure which bits were outsourced and which bits weren't, either way we've had less than successful dealings with these people. So I get this email which says something like 'You've recently had a call resolved with us, please take our satisfaction suvey'. Cheeky bastards.

Basically what they are saying is 'We send you this email when we do something right, that way we can look really good in front of our bosses'. I used to hate surveys of this nature. That's before I met my current quality manager, he has an excellent method of filling out these meaningless pieces of crap. He waits. Then he waits some more. Then one day he will get really annoyed with something, someone will have got on his nerves or someone will have cocked something up. Something will rile him. That's when it is time to fill out satisfaction surveys, it protects the innocent from the resulting venting of vitriol and you've made a valued contribution (sic).

Everyone needs a role model.

Not letting 'The Man' get me down

Trevor the PC is poorly. This sucks, I went away for the weekend and came back and one of his Hard Drives appears to have shuffled off it's Mortal Coil. Not good for something that is less than a month old and has only been in use about 2 days. Having said that, provided the issue is only with the drive I am not too bothered. Particularly as yesterday was a bad day and this was just the foetid cherry atop the poo-cake.

The 4 hour journey from Wales took about 7 hours, for various reasons that I won't go into at this point, basically every train in the world was delayed or cancelled yesterday. I will probably write something about trains later, provided the venom holds out. Nobody died though, which was an achievement considering my Urge to Kill was quite high by the time I got to the flat. So, yeah, it all went a bit tricky yesterday but for the first time in ages I was able to just shout and swear a bit, then shrug it off and go about my business. I fiddled with the PC a bit then (whilst munching through a very unhealthy* chicken Kebab) said 'Sod it. I'll look at it tomorrow'. I plugged the old PC back in, put the TV whatsit inside and proceeded to relax.

I thinks it's probably because the night before was so good. Me, Jon and Pedr went out and had a great laugh, my brother was able to join us which was actually really good. Normally I am pretty harsh with the older brother, Martin. He gets on my nerves very easily through no fault of his own (well not that he can help anyway!), and I proceed to rip on him. Saturday though, we had a really good time and I was really glad he was able to make it out, we had a scream. Maybe I am mellowing in my old age. More likely it's because I was mindlessly drunk.

Ok, back to Hard drives. Talking about it at work reminded me of this story I read a few years ago. For those lazy arses amongst you it's about the use of the terms 'Master' and 'Slave' in computer hard drives. Non-techies, don't switch off! All you need to know is that if you have more than one Hard disk in your PC, one is the Master all others are Slaves. You don't need to know why, but trust me when I say these terms have always been used because they are very apt and descriptive of what goes on. Anyway, these sycophantic, headline grabbing media whores in LA decided it was offensive and 'requested' that suppliers use different words to describe the technology. Now I could understand it if it was a term used in a company to describe employees, or if they made special white Master drives that oppressed the other drives, but they don't. It's to do with which plug you put a jumper cable into that determines the behaviour of the drives. It's a term that is entirely descriptive of the way the technology works, it's not an attack on the emancipation proclomation (I can already read your comment Mike!).

It would appear that there were no suggestions as to what other terms could be used to replace the oppressive Master and Slave descriptions, so I came up with a few that could possibly put into use, I've arranged them into my top 5:

5) America and Britain Drives.
4) Bush and Blair Drives.
3) Dominatrix and Gimp Drives.
2) Batfink and Karate Drives.

And top of the pile?

1) Daddy and Bitch drive.

That would be great! 'I got no room on the Daddy for this game', 'That's Ok, use the Bitch'. Personally, I think some manufacturer should have done that. They should have used genuinely offensive and/or ridiculous labelling to highlight what an idiotic request this was.

*The kebab being unhealthy, rather than the chicken itself. though I can't be sure. I am hoping it had it's flu shots before being marinated, grilled, dowsed in chilli sauce and stuffed in a Pitta.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Gvisit and Evil Scripts!

[Pseudo-Geek explanation] Gvisit is the site I use to track you to your homes so that I may better stalk you. It appears to have fallen over for the time being, which has a knock on effect for my blog. It would appear that the script that I run to update the site hangs if the site is unavailable. This then prevents the blog from loading, which means you can't read it. For the time being I've commented the Script out of my blog Template as I have neither the time nor the inclination to see if i can put some kind of time-out in it. I've not really touched 'Pointy Bracket' languages much, may have to do a week to learn a few. [/Pseudo-Geek Explanation]

[Tech-free explanation] The map thingy broke. I've turned it off until it works again. [/Tech-free explanation]

If, after I turn it back on, you can't get here at any point and you desperately want to read my blog updates - you know you've finished sanding your kneecaps or something - email me using the link in my profile and I will leap into action. Well, I'll probably sigh and tut a bit first. There may be eye-rolling and heavy handed keyboard use. Possibly a 'put upon' look on my face.

Leaping is unlikely if I'm fair.

Rather than a quote I am now going to give you an anecdote, this will demonstrate why I am genereally left to shop on my own.

Some months ago 2 of my housemates in Hull and I were looking to buy the 4th member of the house some Kick Boxing Mitts for her birthday. Laura had a penchant for beating her boyfriend up and we felt sorry for the poor sod. So we look around all the 'Sports Shops', only to find that they only supply Chav Wear and not actual sports equipment. We were forced to go into the Store which belongs to the owner of a certain Pie-Eating rugby team. Needs must. Anyway, we looked around the store and we eventually find some of these mitts.

They were right in the middle of the Golfing equipment section. I announced, perhaps slightly too loudly, 'You see! They are basically telling you that you should be beating up golfers! Get it off the telly and buy a proper bloody jumper!'.

We made our purchase and left. Quickly.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tyre."

********************GEEK PARAGRAPH!**********************

This aptly describes my recent PC building exercise, only replacing car components with 'Short circuits and burnt out motherboard'. Still, it works now so I am quite happy! And Half-life 2 is awesome beyond belief when played with decent graphics cards :-p

Now be thankful I only provided you with a link to the official site. I haven't posted screenshots, talked about the revolutionary physics engine, the innovative computerised muscle structures, lip-synching, virtual actors...............oh.....wait.....I'm doing it now aren't I? Sorry. I loved the original game when it came out around 8 years agao, it won 'Best game ever' from some very prestigious publications and 'Game of the Year from' all the others. This one did the same. I've waited about a year to buy it because I wanted to run it on a decent machine. They are very clever people at Valve. They employed professional actors and script writers long before other software companies realised that pretty graphics and zombies were not all that was needed to make a brilliant game.

********************/GEEK PARAGRAPH!**********************

[GeekEdit] Forgot to mention that I was badgered in work to name the new machine like women name their cars. His name is Trevor [/GeekEdit]

So I am off up to Wales this evening and, now I feel a lot better, I am not dreading the train journey quite as much as I was yesterday. I am due out with Pedr and I think Jonny Shaw tomorrow (not sure about the Shaw yet) which should be good fun. In the mean time I will be staying with Mike this evening. He is under strict instrcutions not to drink before I arrive at 10-ish. Last time I came to visit he had started a little before I arrived and....... Well lets just say it's lucky the back door was open.

What Pete doesn't know yet (though he will after reading this) is that we are going round to the parentals tomorrow evening for a little celebration. Now I have my degree result, average as it is, we are now free to open a bottle of Whiskey. The Whiskey in question was 12 years old when I bought it. A Bottle of Jamesons Irish Whiskey, Special Reserve. Only available from the distillery in Dublin. I bought it about 1 week before going to Uni and had a lable printed for it with my parents names on. The instruction was to open it on Graduation but that's not until January and is just a formality now. It's now 16 years old, and ready for a good hammering I think. Irish is so much nicer than Scotch. Don't even get me started on Bourbon. Blech!.

Oh. You may notice to me referring to Pedr, Peter, Pete, Pedro and Pedro Ramirez: International Latin Lover in my blog. These are all one and the same person, he's just too good for just one name lol! Sorry for any confusion.

So the weekend looks good right now, though I've left my expensive hair-clay stuff at the flat again. Damnit!.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Well. So far.

I should highlight before I go on that this will be a predominantly Geek oriented post. Even though I plan to keep the detail to a minimum, I feel it my duty to highlight this fact for you, so feel free to wait for somehting more entertaining.

Ok, so the new Motherboard is here and plugged in to the PC, it works. Huzzah! Got pretty pictures and everything. Go Me! (Or rather Go Nick who did most of the work). I just need to go home and install all the drivers and stuff now and all should be peachy. You have no idea how pleased I was when the monitor in work flickered to life once the machine was powered on. There was one awful moment when I thought it still didn't work. My PC was very nearly a piece of conceptual art.

So. Provided nothing goes horribly wrong between here and the flat, I could be merrily playing games in very high definition, photo-realistic (yeah right!) graphics in a few hours. Also I may have some snazzy software that I can schedule TV recording with. It's all very exciting.

Despite the PC success, I was still going to resume Gymness this evening but the Doc told me not to be such an idiot when I suggested it to her yesterday. Ok she didn't say that, but she had one of 'those' looks. Withering I think is the correct description. Apparently my body is too busy with other things for me to inflict any degree of strenuous exercise on it. So that's me until Monday by the look of it, I travel up to Wales tomorrow night and am not back until Sunday sometime. Not the best of starts, 1 session in a week! Still, I'll try again next week. Perserverence and all that (excellent song by Terrorvision that one).


Forgot to finish this yesterday (16th) so have pre-dated it and ended it prematurely:

a)Because it's boring and
b)I may as well continue in the next post :-p

Still sick. Bah!

This is like the fifth day I've had off work sick in as many months. This sucks quite a lot, I need to get well enough to go back to work tomorrow otherwise I am going to go insane. You see, I hate being ill.

Now it's not because of the discomfort, it's not because of the various bizarre things that start being produced by your nose and mouth. It's not even the revelation that bones can actually ache that's the most despicable thing about being sick.

No. The worst thing about being ill? The fact that, suddenly, daytime television becomes watchable. I barely watch TV and yesterday I sat in front of nothing but low quality American sitcoms all day, this becomes even worse when your brain shuts down so much that you actually find the occasional joke funny. I watched Moonlighting. Remember Moonlighting? It had Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis in it and it was awful. It was crap when I was little and it's even worse now but I sat through a whole episode of it.

So I went to the Doctor and now have stronger drugs. I've got a good mind to take up some kind of high impact body exercise in order to teach me a lesson. That'll stop me from attacking me with rebellious Viruses in the future. Ha!

Why isn't the plural of Virus, Virii?

As I was writing this my new Motherboard arrived. I am taking this as a good Omen that means tomorrow I will be fighting fit. I have to go, Hope and Faith is on in 5 minutes. God Help Me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Southern Plague

I'm always bloody ill since I moved down here! I was fine yesterday morning. I was feeling a little rough by the time I got to the Gym. By the time I got back to the flat................ well I'm not eating. There's nothing worse than people describing their illnesses in detail, so I'll leave it there.

Anyway, it was a long night. So I had plenty of time to come up with a workable theory as to why I have become a plague ridden walking corpse. Firstly, my peasant genes aren't used to these dodgy southern germs.

Secondly, it's open revolt.

That's right, my body doesn't like being exercised at and has chosen to attack itself in order to prevent this from continuing. Well I'm not going to stand for it, it's got to learn to do as it's told so I am currently assaulting it with a heady mixture of a variety of cold remedies. I also have several varieties of soup and a raft of comfort food. That's right body, I got the whole arsenal so give it up!

The main problem I have is that I did actually attend the gym last night and did the little circuit they gave me to do. Which, and I quote, 'Works all the major Muscle Groups'. Now I had no idea that there was a language that sounds just like English only all the words mean something completely different. In this example 'Works all the major Muscle Groups', in this new language, actually means 'Tomorrow you'll feel like each bone in your boday has been broken with a toffee hammer at 1 inch intervals'.

There is a saying : 'No pain no gain!'. Personally I prefer 'no pain, no pain'. That's one of mine, just sewing the seeds here. Maybe one or two will take root.

Good news on the PC front, I have new Motherboard winging its way to me as we speak so hopefully soon I will have a shiny new PC and all will be peachy. It will be shiny. It will be quiet. It will be plush and allow me to play games with pretty explosions and such like. I hope.

I'm going to go find more drugs now.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Attendance required

Paying extortionate fees and putting on sportswear isn't enough I'm told. Bugger. Apparently I have to do regular exercise while at the gym too. This smacks suspiciously of work to me but I guess I'll give it a go. I am heading down there after work for an hour or so, I have no doubt I will be in immense pain tomorrow.

I had a good weekend with Jon, we basically drank lots and talked about 'stuff'. It was good. We were invited to a party in Guildford on Saturday, which began very promisingly in that it was meant to be complete with about 50 nursing students. Unfortunately the organiser had failed to get the permission of whoever he needed permission off and the party was shut down at about 9:30pm. This sucked, but not to be deterred a bunch of us went off to the local bar and proceeded to drink heavily, then Jon and I went off to stay at my friend Lees house. Was good fun all round.

I was meant to be going home to Wales on the 26th for Pete's birthday but I don't think that will happen now, I'm much more keen on going up this weekend. As far as I'm concerned, as long as I get to see the guy, the date is fairly irrelevent, it's not so much the night out its the 4am 'We've just fixed the whole world, how did no one else think of that?' conversations that is important.

I'm actually talking on MSN with the man himself as I write this, so plans are being made as I type! ooooooh! Interactive!

OK so here's the situation. GB are playing the Tri-Nations in Rugby League, we started off as dire as we would expect but now things are looking pretty hot. Basically the situation is this - last week we spanked New Zealand, this makes the last pre-final test a fantastic one. We play Australia. If we lose or win by less than 3 points its Australia Vs NZ in the final. If we win by 3 - 8 points it's GB Vs Australia and 8 points or more and it's GB Vs NZ. So it's all pretty close. Another good reason to head off this week

Anyway, Pedr also has an excellent suggestion for the creationism post but getting him to post anything is really difficult and thus you are all so often denied his genius.

Awesome quote supplied by Maria:

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their
shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you
have their shoes.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


I went to the Gym today and did some exercise. There is no noticeable difference in my physique, this is most disturbing. I am assuming that in order for the rippled God-like figure to fully develop I'll need to sleep and something happens over night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Creative Genius

Inkeeping with todays theme of creativity I am going to tell you of some unsung Heroes, undiscovered talent that has been overlooked by the wider world. Their ideas have either been shunned or stolen and I bring them to you here. Aren't I good?

Long before the Mars ice Cream was invented my cousin Emma was way ahead of the game. When I was little my mum did her shopping on a Friday night, then in the evening we would be given the Friday treats that she had purchased. This was usually some kind of chocolate, some novelty savoury snack and a drink. All of this and the A-team, what more could you need? Anyway, on one occasion the cousin came over from Trefnant for some reason or other and she was included in our little ritual. I was horrified to discover her slicing up here Mars Bar and depositing it in the coldest part of the fridge instead of shoving it as quickly as possible into her gaping maw like a civilised human being. My perturbation turned to despair an hour or so later when she was sitting there with a plate of Semi-frozen Mars Bar that seemed to last forever. Anyway, all I'm saying is that a few years later Mars Ice Creams were developed, so she was clearly a Visionary.

Just before I continue I need to stop any expectation that a couple of people may have. Emi, Hannah - the Helium filled Bra will not be featuring here. I'm sorry.

Jelly Tots. These aren't given nearly enough press.

I also have a vague recollection of Pints of Coke with ice cream in them and deciding these were the dogs bollox. I find the idea repulsive beyond belief now so it's possible it is some kind of repressed nightmare where I developed a penchant for things that were hideous in every way.

Vimto. I really shouldn't have to say more than that.

I appear to have developed quite a lot of work, so I will have to complete this reminiscence another time. Bugger.

Creationism Part II -

After attacking the Creationist buffoons of Kansas in my previous postings, it's time to even the balance. A fine point was made by Amateur Theologian, Mike, in the comments section of the previous post dealing with this subject. For those of you too bone idle to go check it out (although you should, it's very entertaining) I will summarise here for you.

Given that Creationism suggests that a 'Higher Power' cobbled together a whole world and it's internal Gubbins all in 7 days then Mike suggests that it should be no trouble for this Divine Being to knock a few new animals together for us. We both agree that the standard creatures we've enjoyed over the years have their place but are actually quite dull. It's time for some originality, some new and interesting creatures for our entertainment. If we don't like some of the new creatures this 'Higher Power' produces we can just do what we did with all the other rubbish animals and hunt them to extinction!

So come on Higher Power, pull your finger out and give us some new animals!

Now I am going to reproduce current suggestions for new animals, please feel free to add your own in the comments and I will continually update this post whenever a worthy new animal is put forward.

Animal by Mike, named by Matt

The Squow:

I'm glad to see that Creationist viewpoints are finally being recognised as valid. This obviously means that soon this "higher power" will get bored and make some new animals and stuff; after all, the ones we've already got are pretty tedious (why else would we make them extinct)?

I look forward to the day that I open my bedroom curtains and gaze down upon some brand new creation that this "higher power" has cobbled together overnight. I mean, if as some sources would have us believe, higher powers can make a world in a few days, surely they can build some sort of cow/squirrel cross for our amusement in a single evening?

Talk about resting on your laurels! Get off your idle butt, "higher power" and give us some new species to endanger! NOW!

It should be noted that a modification to the Squow was suggested that would introduce elements of larger cats to improve their Evil Grey Squirrel Squishing capabilities. Thus the new animal would have the 'Speed of the Puma/Poooma'. This new hybrid would be called the MooSquooma.

My own humble suggestion is as folows:

The Chew-ow-aaaaargh!

Personally I am in favour of some kind of Lycanthropic creature. You know? Like a Chihuahua that transforms into some slavering beast whenever it hears the word 'Diddums' or something similar and proceeds to rend and devour it's stupid owner. This has the added bonus of ensuring the extermination of Paris Hilton.

Come on God! you've got two diamond suggestions now! You don't even have to do your own thinking! Bring on the Squows and Chew-ow-aaarghs! and chuck in some flying monkeys while you're at it!

Come on people! Our divine being is clearly out of practice, lets give him as many ideas as we can so that his creative juices get flowing. If we get enough support perhaps we can all soon be enjoying a world where the gentle Squow roams free, skipping from branch to branch and chewing the cud! More importantly Paris Hilton may be a thing of the past!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Post 101

Ok, the initial plan for this momentous milestone was to provide a hilarious and entertaining post free of whining. Then it occurred to me that this would require a full personality and outlook transplant. So we'll stick with the tried and tested formula of vitriol and insults shall we? Good. Before I begin the post properly though, I'm going to impart some advice: I woke up in a stinking mood this morning, I really hate it when that happens. In order to get me to a level where I wasn't taking this unwarranted mood out on innocent bystanders I had to try and ease my mood, and I found the following statements helped me:

There's no point in being angry at someone who isn't there.

Not ideal, but it'll do until Jonny Shaw gets here and we can go have some fun.


Ok. That's the days bitch done with, now it's time for fun and laughter in the world of Matt! Well Ok it's time for me to complain about something, but it passes for the same thing in my mind. In celebration of this landmark post I will be finishing this post in a Room 101 styl-ee. See what I did there? Don't worry though, I won't be listing all my pet hates here, after all if you wanted a whole book on unconscienable complaining you could by a Biography of a Z list celebrity couldn't you? Also I'm not sure I have a 'Top 5' so you'll have to settle for 'The first 5 that pop into my head'.

Sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin:

Slight change of plan. This is the bonus of getting interrupted during writing an entry, you realise what a bad idea something is. So instead of continuing the bad mood theme, I'm going to do a reverse of Room 101 and list 5 cool things that rock beyond belief. These are things that either never fail to put a smile on my face or are just simply things that I can always rely on not to be crap. I'm not listing people for very good reason, so please don't complain about it! This is all 'Stuff':

1) Magical Trevor - You need sound on for this, I challenge you not to love it.

2) Games. This is a geeky one I know but it's great to just switch off sometimes.

3) Gym Stuff. I know I haven't joined yet but I used to love practising Karate and going to the Gym, it occupied an awful lot of time and is a great way of taking your mind off things. I hope to enjoy it as much as I used to, that's why I include it here. I know it's cheating but I don't care!

4) Writing. I really like writing this blog, it's great, especially when I get feedback or told that someone unexpected is reading it. I am very conscious of the fact that some posts, like this one and the last couple, are quite bad tempered but that's kind of the point I think. Besides, you'd have nothing to compare the better posts against without posts like this one, so what kind of yardstick could you use to measure against eh? Exactly. This is just a cunningly woven web of deceipt designed to make you think my other posts are works of comedic genius! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

5) Cooking. I really like to cook. Actually that's a lie, it's more like a form of therapy. The worse my mood the better my cooking I think. I've kind of reduced my repertoire recently to just Chilli and Curry because I only cook for myself at the moment, but I really enjoy the process of preparation and getting timings right, deciding what best to add to make the flavour better etc. It's really good, especially when you do it for someone else. Plus you get to chop things up with knives and get your hands covered in stuff. You also get to shout at people who try to interfere with your masterpiece. And everyone has to be polite and pretend they love it. Basically it's a huge ego massage.

So why the change of heart on the post? Well, basically I've read quite a few blogs. If all the person is doing is complaining all the time, even with the best will in the world, you are going to stop reading aren't you? I mean really, it's like 'Mate! I got my own troubles, go cook something and leave me alone!'. Don't get me wrong, a certain quota of complaining should always be expected in anything I post but I think continuing the theme throughout the whole thread is pushing it, and throughout the whole blog is a road that leads directly to '0 Hitsville'! Finally it makes people who don't know you think that's all there is to you and that just isn't true. While I am not in the brightest of moods today, or indeed for the last week, I'll get over it soon and I don't want the stunning* Good Mood material to go to waste having scared away my handful of readers!

*Matt Inc. would like to take this opportunity to state that the word stunning in this paragraph may not equate to the meaning associated with the English:
tr.v. stunned, stun·ning, stuns
1)To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.
2)To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.
3)To stupefy, as with the emotional impact of an experience; astound.

Rather the word in this situation derives from a word in the little known dialect of an ancient Peruvian tribe of Dung Beetle worshippers: Stu'Neeng (Pr.:'Shhtoo-neeng')
1)Primary food source of The Great Beetle God 'Pooh-eet'.
2)Description ascribed to anything spoken by the Tribal Idiot and/or Wiseman (often the roles are combined).
3)A Curry that blasphemously contains Sultanas or Raisins.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Creationists, proof that Evolution has a lot of work to do....

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they are an idiot". Wise words.

I have no objection to grown men and women believing in Creationism. I do object to them inflicting such fairy tales on impressionable young minds as fact.

"I believe God created me in one day!"......"Yup, looks like he rushed it" - Bill Hicks

I think someone should start a petition to get Hansel and Grettel taught in History class. Or maybe 'Ancient Egypt: How the Pyramids were built by UFO's'. That's a good one. Basically what these barely simian, sub-literate, fanatically obsessed, 'It's in this book so it must be true!' retards are saying is this:
"We have no way of proving our version of events, but luckily it is so ludicrous that no one can disprove it either! So what we propose is that we debunk the work of someone far more worthwhile than ourselves in order to make our children stupid, just so that they fit nicely into our ideology"

Maybe Darwins theory isn't complete but at least there is substantial evidence to support it. The barely more than 1% genetic difference between Humans and Apes for instance?

No doubt one argument these people will use is 'Where's the missing link?'. I suggest you look in the mirror.

I don't mean any offence to real Christians, I know I always labour this point but it is an important one. It's the difference between a Muslim and those that blow themselves up, they aren't Muslims no matter how many times they read the Koran. Equally these reactionary fossils have no place in modern society.

What makes this even more infuriating is that the parents don't want their kids taught this garbage, the teachers don't want to spout it and all the respected experts involved speak of its folly in the strongest possible terms. So why are these untrained, unknowledgable chimps (sorry, Creations in The Image Of Our Lord) left in charge of these kids education?

[Edit] Sod it! Just realised that this is my 100th post! Damned Reich Wing Christians (Thanks for that one Jo) ruining my 100th post celebrations! Fear Not, I will treat it like the Millenium, i.e it doesn't start until 101. I'll do a celebration post of the beginning of my second century, how's that?[/Edit]

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