Saturday, October 27, 2007

season's greetings

Season's Greetings from JP

Friday, October 26, 2007

beard watch

The title of this post might be seen as a little misleading (if I'm allowed to state that in the current political climate), because the beard is no more. For the time being, at least.

It actually went in the middle of the week, before I had viewed the recent survey results. I'm not sure why, really. It had begun to annoy me slightly, but I think if I am honest, the main reason was my vanity. Making the most of the good weather had helped me to start to tan well, and I perhaps didn't want to risk starting work with a comparatively white chin. Keep that to yourself though.

Anyway, as far as the survey is concerned, I'm pleased to say that this time around the results agreed with my predictions. Even if those predictions meant not being a hit with the ladies. That said, if you were the girl who went 'mmm', and you're unmarried and beautiful, you should drop me a line. "I'd regrow my beard for you anytime" surely isn't the worst chat-up line I've ever thought of.

angry with the BBC

It's been a while since I had a good rant, but having returned from my holiday the opportunity has arisen. Not a moment too soon, some might say.

Whilst I was away, my computer was on a timer, set to come one and off on occasion and get on with a few things for me. Videoing the Grand Prix, for example.

Unfortunately, despite explicitly ensuring that the BBC iPlayer software was not set to come on automatically , it appears that a component - the 'Delivery Manager Service' - ignored that particular instruction. This meant that huge volumes of data were transferred to and from the internet for the benefit of other BBC "customers" at my expense* and an email was received from our ISP explaining that we were near our usage limit. I made arrangements for the computer to be disconnected from the 'net, but alas it wasn't soon enough to stop us exceeding the monthly upload/download limit, and charges have been incurred.

Such deviousness and unsolicited use of the internet is bad for any bit of software, but from the BBC it's very disappointing, and completely unacceptable.

Judging by the angry forum posts, I'm not the only one who's a little bit annoyed by this.

So, I now share Shreyas' ill feeling towards the BBC and when I get around to updating it, the blacklist will soon feature the BBC. No horse is sacred, or whatever the phrase is meant to be.

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*technically not my expense in this case, but the expense of the billpayer in the house in which I currently reside. And yes I do ask them for permission before entering phone-in competitions. Or at least, I would if I did. As it were.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Good Times Had By All

I've just spent the weekend camping in West Wales, and it was awesome. The weather was gorgeous and I really enjoyed being on the beach*, playing cricket, messing about in inflatable boats, and even swimming. Nice. I was also introduced to the world of (amateur) golf, which I enjoyed very much and embarked a bit of walking. We also spent an evening on a beach, with a fire, some marshmallows and some bananas stuffed with chocolate and wrapped in foil. A Good Combination. I didn't burn my hand this time, though I did somehow slice my finger painlessly, drawing copious amounts of blood.

It was great to catch up with good friends in the process, and I think that the title of this post really says it all.

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*in swimming shorts, not speedos. Sorry for any disappointment this may cause.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

to shave, or not to shave, that is the question

Making the most of being a man of leisure for just a short while longer, I have decided to "experiment" again with my facial hair. We're not talking full beard or dodgy 'tache, but something cultivated*; along the lines of what you should see in my photograph.

For want of something more meaningful and mature, I have decided to use this latest development as the basis for my new poll (see right), even though I suspect I know what the outcome will be, and will probably take no notice if you're a bloke**. Vote now.

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*In theory, at least.

**Don't feel as though I'm discriminating purely on gender here. If I knew you were old, married or ugly your opinion probably wouldn't count for much either.

test results

As I promised just a moment ago, it's time to return to the theory I was testing.

That theory was, quite simply, that "everyone has an Uncle John". However, even in the spirit with which it was meant ("most people have an Uncle John"), my poll has proven me wrong. Even if you present the figures in a big way ("47.36% of people have an Uncle John"), they just don't back up my hypothesis.

If I am honest, there was no basis at all for my hypothesis save for the fact that I know a lot of people who have an Uncle John*. I even have an Uncle called John myself.

Basis or no basis, however, I still have to admit that I was wrong. Better luck next time, as they say.

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*one of my friends must, I'm sure, have several Uncles called John

rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated

Despite John's concerns, I am pleased to announce that I am not dead. Though you could be forgiven for thinking so, because I haven't blogged in over a month - a new record for me - and I just left things hanging in mid-air. Although there's nothing like a good cliff-hanger, I suspect that those of you who still bother to tune in have given up wondering long ago what theory I was putting to the test, and whether my survey proved or disproved it. I'll come back to that in a moment.

I have a lot of reasonably plausible excuses for my absence from the Blogosphere - finishing a dissertation is a good one, as is moving house. I also quite like 'being in a period of transition', and I am yet to get back in to some sort of routine. It is also fair to say that I have been spending my time on other things recently. Including fast cars and aeroplanes*. Well, you would, wouldn't you...

Anyway, one can make excuses until the cows come home. A bad workman blames his tools, and all that. But the fact is, I'm back. Spread the word**. Have a party if you're so inclined. And let the good times roll...

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*technically it's just one fast car and one aeroplane, and I wasn't driving either. Furthermore, I've spent more time messing with computers than I have living in the fast lane (literally), but somehow that's just not as cool.

**Please. My ego needs it. Send a few emails. Talk about it down the pub. Get a T-Shirt printed. "Every little helps".