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What fools these mortals bee

Greetings sports fans and welcome to another exciting episode for the watching hair grow show! Or not.

This was actually taken yesterday, and unlike some of my earlier posts it was taken in my pre shower morning phase… this is also pre the large amount of coffee I drink in the morning… or I just don’t photograph well. Take your pick. I’ve actually tried a bit of upper lip topiary to try and keep things in check. After attempting some form of balancing act between the left and right branches I got a vision. I shall share it with you.

Berlin 1920

A young man looks at his rather unruly moustache in the mirror. He hasn’t shaved since returning from the front and feels that while losing the beard was good the ‘tache gives him a certain something. But it’s off centre, no matter a small amount of work with the razor and… “Scheiße” now the left is smaller then the right. Ok.. this can be fixed… “Gott im himmel!” not the right is too small. Still just a leetle bit over here and…. “Nein! Nein! Nein!“. This continues for maybe an hour until he’s standing there, raging, face bleeding from a number of small cuts and a ‘tache that until now has been only seen on diminutive American Comedians.

Next thing you know it’s time to invade Poland. Anyway, with less than 2 weeks to go my ‘tache will never cause me to lose my temper for I know, even if it makes me look like an evil frenchman I’m growing it for a good cause to raise money for Prosate Cancer research. Hint hint.

On an unrelated note the new Civilization board game will be out real soon now TM, and after perusing the rules I think it’s going to be really really sweet. Fingers crossed it’ll be available in a couple of weeks and we can get a few games going.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Annoyances

All material in this post is humourous, no actual threats should be implied.

I think for the foreseeable future, just to be safe, I’m going to put that at the top of my blog posts… just in case. Anyway, here’s my thought on a couple of annoyances, one for me and one for people flying in the states. First up, Me!

Here is a picture of the Little Big Planet 2 collectors edition go take a look it’s shiny. It’s got bookends and a Sack boy plush and lots of shiny DLC and yummy goodness. Now… I’m going to be getting LBP2, that’s pretty much a given, and generally I don’t go for special editions but this one had piqued my interest. So I was overjoyed to hear the announcement of the European Collectors Edition… oh now wait… I wasn’t. Plush Sackboy? Nope. Bookends? Nope. 11 new costumes… nope just 7. But we do get the 5 Avatars and a steel case

Be still my beating heart.

So. Here’s how I’m dealing with this annoyance. First up I’m not buying the collectors edition. I would advise everyone else not to as well. But also, don’t buy the game for a week. Just hold off for 7 days, it’ll play havoc with their sales figures.

So, after thinking though my reply to that issue I read about the new TSA test-tacular search system they’ve put in place to make people actually want to use the back scatter full body nudity scanner thing. I guess if given the choice between being felt up by a sweaty guy in rubber gloves or getting my nuts bombarded with radiation I’d generally avoid the one that fells like a prison shower.

But then I thought, wait! Why not reverse the roles? Why not play them at their own game. Rather than meekly submitting to a full body microwaving and giggle fest stride purposefully forward and ask, nay demand a body search. Walk up to the official and smile joyfully has he pulls on the latex glove, maybe let out a little heartfelt sigh as you would when you see and old lover. Accede to their every request while giving every impression of enjoying it immensely. When they groinal region groping commences let out a small moan, maybe roll your eyes a little.

I mean, if you’re going to get felt up in front of a room full of people might as well enjoy it right?

No added fun. Go commando.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Interjection!

Please note if I should make any threats of violence towards people or places in this post such threats are intended to be treated as jokes and should in no way been seen as threats under Section 127 of the Communications Act. Thanks.

Well it’s day 12 of Movember and I’m remembering what happens when I fail to shave. For the first few days the growth is quite noticeable, you could probably setup a time lapse camera over a day and see the hairs zooming out. But then, when they’ve got to the ‘Stupid McStupidy’ stage they stop growing. They just sit there, panting slightly and wondering what all the fuss it about. Then the really weird stuff happens, the blonde hairs start to get noticed. See when I was a child I was blonde, until I was about 3 or 4 and then my hair went dark brown pretty much overnight. Still uncontrollably curly but now brown instead of blonde. Of course nowadays it’s slowly changing to a new colour, a fine shade of grey. I’m hoping I can get touches at the temples as that looks distinguished.

And this is part of the point, your body changes over time, for me one of the biggest change has been my feet. The issues I have with them have slowly snuck up on me over 20 years. From being in pain after being on my feet for 8 hours to being on painkillers all day (which do seem to be helping somewhat in the whole me not being so depressed). Change sneaks up on you, it might be joint issues, or cancer, and the sooner you face up to problems and get them looked at the better.

It’s coming up for 10 years since my Mum died, and right now is really a decade since she was dying. Because at the end there was nothing left they could do except manage her pain and help her live out her last days in some semblance of normality. I wanted to sign up for the Bone Marrow register but couldn’t as my crippling fear of needles prevented me. Maybe by growing a moustache for a month and rambling on about it I can rais awareness and some money for Prostate Cancer. Maybe not. Still it’s better than nothing.

Anyway I would appear to have got through another blog post without humourously threatening to commit an atrocity of any form. Still better safe then sorry, I mean… I might have threatened to invade Poland or something and we all know were that leads.

Ooops

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Mopey

Mopey Goth is Mopey Aww bless, it’s the 8th day of Movember and my vague attempts at growing a moustache are as laughable as I thought they might be. Plus I’m really terrible at taking self portraits, on the bright side it’s not duck face (that the seven lords of creation) but I really have to learn the art of smiling. Smile mopey goth smile! Oh wait, they aren’t called Mopey goths anymore are they? Smile Emo Boy Smile (though to really pull that off I need more hair).

Of course the reason I’m not smiling may be because I’ve not had meny donations to the cause or because I took it first thing in the morning and had yet to have any coffee… Hmmm. Only one way to find out I guess.

On the subject of addictive substances the doctor has recommended a regular pharmacopoeia to try and control my pain issues. After a few days there does seem to be a small difference and the only really downside is a bit of dehydration in the mornings. Considering those listed in the scary pamphlets I was given that’s a plus.

Anyway, more photos of my (possibly smiling) face later. Have fun folks

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Day 4 and other strangeness

Cough, cough, wheeze

Bit dusty round here isn’t it? I know, I’ve done it again, posted something saying I’m going to start putting stuff here again and then failed utterly to do so. Sorry about that. This is mostly because I’ve been hard at work making websites like Gio-Goi and then going home and playing games… Ok, that’s not a great excuse.

I’ve also found a lot of the stuff I used to post here, random thoughts and links to stuff now work very well on my Twitter account so there’s less random burbling to post. Still I have a reason to post stuff for a bit, I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year (and surely it should now be InNaNoWirMo now?) but I am trying to do my bit for prostate cancer research by entering for Movember! Yes, I’m going grow a moustache… or to quote the dearest one… fail to grow a moustache. I shall endeavour to gve a running commentary on the results.

So I really should have posted something 3 days ago, anyway here we go.

Day 4 Luscious growth still not really noticeable, wife now refusing to kiss me until I shave but I shall persevere. checked status of donations and was downhearted but shall keep my spirits up. Possibly with the addition of some spirits. Noted that old scars from childhood injuries more noticeable when (feeble) growth in place.

Tune in tomorrow for the next thrilling installment.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Things happen

Blog, blog, blog! We’re going to write a blog!

I thought having a Bard along to sing might help me actually get round to writing something. I’m now starting to think they may be a less than great idea. Anyway.

Wit, wit, wit! We’re going to write something witty!

Yes, well. It’s been a while since I posted here, mainly because things have been crazy busy with jobs and such like thus eating into my standard lunch break writing time… Oh and I might have ran out of things to say. But now I’m feeling all chipper and stuff so I figured a run down of stuff would be good. I’ve moved from working at Traveltek to Bourne were I hope to be able to work on a number of different projects and keep learning new an interesting stuff. Or something like that. The first month or so have been hectic (in part due to me having holiday booked a week into my new role on a BIG project). Said project is still super sekrit at the moment but there will be more new about it soon.

Phone, phone, phone! Tell them about the the phone!

Ok. Yes, I got a new phone this week (finally, I’ve been due an upgrade for months). It’s a HTC Desire running Android 2.2 and first impressions are really good. Of course the day after I got it they announced the Desire HD… but what’s a guy to do? More on this theme later perhaps, but one thing I’ve found about I really love. It’s got an FM radio built in so I can listen to Radio 4 on my walk to and from the station. I was missing my daily dose of politics and stuff so that’s great.

Pope, pope, pope! We’re going to mock the pope!

Would I do that? Ok, Pope Benedict the something or other has turned up in my town, at considerable expense to us, and messed up all the transport (they’ve closed a motorway to park buses on it!). Now I’m not goign to mock him Tim Minchin does such a better job. I do find his comments about Nazis and Atheists a bit annoying, but frankly I’ve said nastier things about most religions in my time so I’ll let that pass.

Old, old, old! You’re getting.. erk

Sorry about that, my bard would appear to have swallow his lute, I wonder how that happened. Cough. Anyway, yes, it’s my birthday again soon. I’ll be (let me check) yup, 21 on the 9th of October and will probably have some sort of party type thing. Thoughts on what to do anyone?

Cough, cough, cough! We’re going to fall unconscious.

Persistent isn’t he? See you later folks. Hope you have fun.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

Quick go read this book

The Warriors Apprentice one of my all time favourite books by Lois McMaster Bujold. I was ranting about it to people at the weekend and my current method of infecting people with the ‘this is great’ meme is too slow. Go get this, download it, read it, bug me for the others… or even buy them. Quick, now!

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

A Novel Solution

IE6, it’s old, it’s ugly and it’s really insecure. Plus it’s a pain in the bum to develop for. Seriously, it’s like the morning after a really really really hot curry, a generally not fun experience for everyone involved. Anyway, now I’ve got that lovely image into your head and you understand the joy that is IE6 we can work on a plan to kill it.

Because really, everyone wants it dead, well almost everyone. Microsoft don’t want it, they keep trying to kill it but give up mere seconds before pulling the trigger. Web Professionals have been trying to bury it in the back garden for years, and that’s real years not non literal ‘literally years’ years, they don’t mind if it’s still twitching they’ve already had the funeral and want to get on with the wake. But it’s still with us, grimly holding on and forcing us to keep using really really stupid workarounds to do perfectly simple things, because the men in suites point at the browser stats and say ‘Look, there IE6, people still use it, develop for it’.

But who are these people? Who has managed to not notice anything to do with new web browsers for the last few years? Who has gleefully ignored the blandishments from Microsoft for use IE7 or 8, and sung loudly to drown out the sweet nothings being whispered by Firefox, Safari, Chrome or even Opera? Who? Who!!!!?

It’s the IT department. You see Microsoft got themselves, and all of us, into this situation when the web was young and the bubble had yet to burst. See they saw this whole internet thing and at first ignored it and when that didn’t work they came up with a new plan. ActiveX, which well all now admit was a really f’in stupid plan. But they sold it to lots of companies as a sure fire way of doing new internal systems. And there are a lot of these internal systems, a huge stonking pile of them. Think about it, there are still jobs for COBOL programmers (not disrespect) because the banks still have huge mainframes they spent lots of money on running lots of COBOL. And if that’s the case what’s the likelihood of a company spending lots of money upgrading their internal ActiveX/ASP system? You know, the one that was written by a consulting firm that long since gone bust, has no source code and uses a undocumented data format? The one that works fine with IE6 but not with any other web browser ever?

See when I put it like that it becomes obvious, we’re stuck with IE6 until Microsoft say they won’t support it any more, but they won’t do that because then all the governments of the world will stop paying for Windows licences as if they have to upgrade they might as well upgrade to a free OS… vicious circle there.

This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that the same companies that think spending money on a new computer is a frivolous expense when the money could be better spent on tickets to Royal Ascot or something… where was I? Oh yes, the same companies that aren’t upgrading to IE6 also don’t like their staff using the internet for non work related activities, despite the fact the the world is migrating to the internet faster than a dubious joke about migration to a stand up comedians routine… These companies therefore don’t see any need in installing a second web browser on their staff’s machines, what’s the point, they’d only surf the net with it. Which means when the staff do have the use the internet at work, and there really are loads of reason they might not just Tweeting, Facebooking or reading my blog, apparently, they have to use IE6. Which means, the usage number for IE6 are artificially inflated.

But Simon, you wearily sigh, we know all this, have you really written 650 words just to rambling tell us this? Yes! Not wait, there’s more. There have been a number of ideas put forward for fixing this issue, including redirecting old web browsers to pages telling them the site doesn’t work. But the thing is to get companies and governments to actually upgrade we need to hit them where it hurts, the bottom line. So here’s my plan. Step closer it’s a doozy.

Firstly we find the companies using IE6, that’s easy, we watch our access logs and pick up on IE6 page requests and log the IP address. Then we close our firewalls to these IP addresses, and add them to an insecure browser blacklist that we share amongst ourselves. When people call to ask why they’ve been blacklisted explain that you have detected requests from insecure non supported software coming from their address. Explain that you can’t take the risk of exposing your network to them.

Of course this will only really get noticed in the boardrooms if we get the ‘adult’ sites to join in and that’s unlikely. So the next part of the plan involves finding every company that won’t upgrade from IE6 and boycotting them, then they’ll notice. I figure we start with the governments, though how one boycotts a government I’m not sure. More though on that is required. I would say write to your MP but I know what mine would say, “This isn’t a real problem, only namby pamby wishy washy liberals like yourself would worry about it”. “But Iain,” I would reply, not stooping to his level of name calling, “it wastes time and money across the WORLD as we have to work round this useless piece of crap. I know the shiny word box confuses you old man!” Ok maybe a bit of name calling “But it’s the future, get with the programme”.

And this is why I try not to speak to my MP. But anyway, my point is, the time for subtly is over, we need to start hitting them where it hurts, in the pocket book. If the companies start to lose money then people will start to take it seriously. Otherwise we’re just left, ranting into the dark, and thinking we’re making a difference.

Side note, if you use IE6 through choice… stop. If you use it because you have to then share, out those soulless minions of pain who have forced you to do it and maybe we can get something done.

But probably not.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

The Tale of the Scientologist

Many moons ago, when mobile phones where rare and dinosaurs roamed the earth I worked in the Olde Games Workshoppe in the city of Edinburgh. This was in the days before the great ground rending when the streets of this beautiful city had not been rent asunder in the name of the great god Tram. But I digress. The Shoppe stood on the Queens thoroughfare, much beloved of the young ladies of little clothing during feast times, this placed it into close proximity to the Temple where those known as Scienetologists worship. Now I have to admit, in my youth I had read some of the works of their Prophet El Ron and found them risible, so I viewed them as a harmless group, little did I know the depths they sink too, but this is apropos to our tale. It was a fine day and I was wending my way to the Shoppe, for in these long lost times I still had the power of locomotion, why on some days I could be seen to skip or run, truely they were times of magic. But again I digress.

As I approached the Shoppe a young gentleman accosted me, he seemed personable and of good character so I refrained from striking him and continuing on my way. He seemed most intent in asking me some questions from a board he carried and I decided to humor him for the weather was pleasant and I felt that all was right in the world.

I confess I do not remember the meat of his questions, but I recall he was asking me to think about what I treasured and needed in life, to which I responded smiling and breathing. I do recall that by the last question I had so confused the poor chap I had to lean over and read it from his clip board. It was, I think, of these what do you treasure most, to which I replied ‘Breathing, because without that I’d not be able to enjoy the others.’ The next stage of the script involved him inviting me to his ‘church’ for a free stress test. I politely declined, his sense of relief was palpable and I left him to consider his lot in life.

And so I walked away from the poor fool, lamenting in my mind how anyone could be taken in by such and organisation who existed only to take the money from the deluded, and finished my journey to the Shoppe. It is only now many, many, years later I realise the irony of these thoughts.

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.

WFRP – Out of the ashes

So last nights WFRP game went well. Not that there was much game as we started with a character gen session, but there was then some plot and a fight scene. The opponents in which were basically the same as the ones that turned the party to chutney last week. This week they did much better.

So hopefully the new party will do quite well, and maybe at some point we’ll all find out exactly what they are running away from. More on that later…

Originally published at Scimons Random Thought Table. You can comment here or there.