graculus: (Napoleon would like to point out...)
  • You know, it's kind of tricky to take seriously an episode of Criminal Minds about a serial killer targetting the homeless when all the homeless folks and drug addicts have such perfect, shiny Hollywood-white teeth.

  • Please feel free to ignore me if I get all preachy about the current lj shenanigans in your journal, dear friends, it just bugs me to heck when I pay for a service and said company decides they can trample roughshod over people in an arbitrary fashion.

  • It's warm here. I mean warm for the UK, before anyone starts. Maybe it's summer at last? The kids are all crashed out, and I'm glad that unlike them, I don't have a fur coat.

  • Bullet points are your friends. ;)

  • Has anyone got experience of any of those open source gallery software thingys, because I'm thinking how it might be easier for the future [livejournal.com profile] danielpix pics when I move everything over to my own webspace?

  • I'm currently about halfway through HP7, since I decided it would be easier to listen to it when I commute, and that I might finish it before Christmas that way. Much appreciation for your continued lj-cutting. :)

  • Is it just me, or does the current fashion for tops look like over-bright maternity wear?
  • graculus: (oh please)
    If you're a Brit wondering where our summer has gone, the answer is here. Ouch.
    graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
    Having turned off my alarm clock for the weekend, this morning I had one of those dreams where I thought I was actually awake and walking around the house.

    I'd woken up at lunchtime and discovered that I'd been burgled though it wasn't clear how anyone had got in, but they'd only taken the computer monitor and the television, leaving everything else behind, and the door to the ferret hutch was wide open but the boys were all still in there, fast asleep. And there was also something about how I couldn't go and get another monitor because my car was somewhere far away and by the time I went to get it and come back something bad would have happened. And then I woke up for real. (Or did I? *mwahahaha* Maybe I'm also dreaming that I'm posting this?)

    I'm starting to wonder if all this rain our wonderful summer weather has rotted my brain...
    graculus: (geek love)
    I don't often remember my dreams, but since I'd turned off my alarm clock last night because I was knackered enough to want to sleep through my usual getting-up time, I apparently woke up at the right point in my sleep cycle to remember some bits of this morning's dream: one pertinent detail was that I was completing a crossword puzzle where the word for 1 across was 'norwegians'.

    No, I have no idea either... ;)

    E.T.A. Changed my icon for this post because I'm just catching up on the last two episodes of ReGenesis and there is currently much Bob/David love going on. Seriously. :)
    graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
    Dear people on LJ campaigning for 'responsible' writing,

    Thanks for reminding me why it was that when I first went online in 1998, I thought it would be a really good idea to use a pseudonym rather than my real name. I know that over the years people have accused me of being paranoid (or even, in one case of a hypocritical individual who's now doing the same thing she dissed us for, dishonest), but I kind of like having a job. Particularly, since mine is one of those jobs where it would be infinitely more socially acceptable to be a lesbian (and also, thanks to UK legislation, much more protected by law) than to be a straight woman writing fiction of varying levels of explicitness about gay men doing what gay men have been doing since the dawn of time.

    I have always been aware of the fact it would only take one crazy person in the 'omg, dun say [the character I like] is gay!11!1!!!' brigade of my various fandoms to make life incredibly uncomfortable for me, if I had not chosen to keep work and my private life firmly segregated. And doubtless they'd find some reason to ask why someone didn't think of the (fictional) children, even if the people in my fic are always over the age of consent - I guess the fact that some of them were having gay sex before it was legal, or indeed in states where it's not legal now, might be enough to label me 'irresponsible'? ;)

    Thanks for the reinforcement,
    Me
    graculus: (geek love)
    Yay for me and Netgear routers. I am wireless again since, unlike my Home Hub (aka 'that white plastic piece of shit BT gave me') my shiny new Netgear DG834G wireless router can actually pick up a signal from my computer. Hopefully this will continue to be the case when I move my computer back upstairs, partly in preparation for my mother's visit as I try and prove that my life doesn't really revolve around the weird people I know off the internet.

    Meanwhile, Paris Hilton is dragged screaming and crying back to jail to serve the rest of her sentence. There could never be anything wrong with that sentence (if you'll pardon the pun), could there? ;)

    I would apologise to those folks on [livejournal.com profile] danielpix who're also on my friendslist that they accidentally got a double dose of floppyhair!Daniel this morning but that would mean it was a bad thing, so I won't.
    graculus: (oh please)
    The impression I always got when I talked to my mother about my extended family was that there was more discord involved between our relatives than you could shake a stick at. My maternal grandmother died in 1993, but I know that my mother hadn't seen her since the mid-1970's and I have no memories of her at all though I've seen photos of me with her when I was barely walking. In fact, until I started digging around in the family tree, my mother didn't know when and where her mother had died, though I know she'd tried to trace her via the Salvation Army without any success. As for my maternal grandfather, the man my mother always speaks so fondly of, I've yet to track down exactly what happened to him.

    In general, though, I've been blessing the organisational skills of the Victorian era that have allowed me to track my mother's side of the family (through a combination of census records and births, marriages and deaths) back to the turn of the 18th century with some confidence. Though how anyone had the patience to do this before computers, I have no idea! There's no such chance of success on my father's side, even if I knew where to start - the Irish records are too messed up because of the civil war and so on, not to mention I have a surname that populates a significant portion of Munster all on its own, without taking the variants into account. Family mythology says we dropped the O' back before WWI but I have no way of knowing if that's true.

    The other side is populated, unexpectedly, by agricultural labourers from Lincolnshire and, further back, Ely in Cambridgeshire. Meanwhile, the London side of things (which I expected to be more prominent than it's turned out to be, since my grandfather's folks are the unexpected rural types) is full of bookbinders, all living in the lovely borough of Clerkenwell. No sign so far of the rumoured Huguenot connection, though, so perhaps that's just wishful thinking...
    graculus: (Napoleon would like to point out...)
    You know, I was going to go and see Hot Fuzz this weekend, but it just never happened. Anyone who has seen it, please feel free to tell me how great it is so I can go 'waaaaah!' for a good reason.

    When did it get to be nearly-March? It seems like only yesterday it was January and we're already in nearly-March? Pffft. Deadlines are looming and that means I might actually get off my arse and write something. Hence today alone I have piled approx. another 2,500 words onto my recalcitrant UNCLE fic. Because missing out on being in the final (for now, fingers crossed!) Relative Secrecy zine would be both Bad and Wrong.

    Oh, and this year's pre-MW holiday destination is the city of Boston, home of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Any suggestions of what not to miss there, and in the surrounding area that's accessible by public transport, would be gratefully received.

    There may be more things I wanted to say (possibly about the many mancrushes of the cheese sandwich that is Primeval, though [livejournal.com profile] innocent_lex may have that subject covered), but I'll have to add those later if I remember. ;)
    graculus: (Charlie - WTF?)
    I'm all for evil misuse of the internet to get hold of stuff that might not otherwise be available for months (if ever), but please... today someone posted on one of my communities about the fact that they missed the Heroes UK premiere last night and could someone let them have the episodes and anything else that has aired?

    To which my immediate response was: bitch, please. Future episodes, okay I can see motivation there, but for the two that have aired why not just watch those eps of the other 27 times Sci Fi is airing them this week alone, rather than hassling people because you're too bone idle to switch on the television?

    Is is just me, or is this entitlement asshattery gone mad?
    graculus: (santa)
    Someone at the office where I'm currently based has decorated her desk for Christmas. I think she did it last Friday, because it was December 1st I guess, but being of the bah humbug persuasion I was wondering just how common this kind of behaviour is. Is it more common in the colonies? ;)

    I have to say, this is a woman whose desk normally is all unicorns and rainbows, so it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her that it's now unicorns, rainbows, miniature Christmas trees and tinsel...

    [Poll #884037]
    graculus: (coffee)
    Much as I love the kids, it wasn't until I was driving home today that I saw something that reminded me what I have always wanted as a pet, ever since I can remember... a siamese cat! I blame my mother, who bought me a picture book when I was very little about Ming and Ping the blue-eyed kittens, and they've remained my ideal ever since, assisted by the evil siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp.

    The closest we've come, in our family's wide-ranging and eclectic pet ownership, is the cat we used to have that we were convinced was part-siamese just because of the yowling. If I didn't live on a busy road, I'd probably have at least one cat, but the siamese has always been top of my list of wants.

    But then there's also the fact that if I didn't work, I'd probably want to have a couple of greyhounds, after my experience with the softest-dog-in-the-world (aka Paddy, the ex-illegal racer). They make great pets, though they don't always mix particularly well with cats and the kids wouldn't like them at all...

    Anyone else got a 'if money and time was no object' fantasy pet?
    graculus: (coffee)
    Another stupidly busy week is over and I'm catching up on my sleep and all the other things I ought to be doing...

    Making progress (slow but steady) on my dissertation and it's suddenly feeling all a little too real. I can see it completely taking over my non-work life for the next six weeks as I've probably not done as much to date as I should have and the deadline is actually on the horizon now. So if I'm not around much between now and the middle of September, that's the reason, okay?

    It's one particular bit of this that makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a sharpened pencil - I feel like I know my subject inside and out, the relevant interviews are cracking on and the analysis of those isn't going to be a major problem, but I could care less about research design. Meh. Any advice/brickbats/platitudes accepted... ;)

    But at least the forecast is for the weather to get back to a little more like normal English summer next week. I know, we're all terrible wusses who complain all the time and we don't know what real weather is, yadda yadda yadda, but none of us (and most of our buildings) aren't designed for this. Maybe if this is going to be more of the norm, at least the buildings will have to change to suit. All I know is that it's not much fun sitting in a relatively small meeting room with all the windows open, two fans whirring away and it's still too clammy to think properly.

    In other news... nothing comes to mind, maybe more later.
    graculus: (oh please)
    And once again, England snatch defeat (or at least a draw) from the jaws of victory... ;)

    Meanwhile, another poll. I was thinking about this when I watched the first England game and saw some comments afterwards on how Gary Neville didn't sing along with the English national anthem because he was brought up Jehovah's Witness and then I thought about this tonight.

    Personally, I think I would struggle even as someone who identifies as English, in the unlikely event I was representing my country and was expected to sing along to that bunch of twaddle. I don't want Liz Windsor to reign over us for years and years, no more than I want any of her fatuous family to do so in the future. So for me, the 'national anthem' has no relevance to our actual nation whatsoever, while at least other countries seem to have stuff that isn't 'God Bless Our President, We'd Like Him To Be In Charge For Years Even If He Has To Change The Law So He Can Be Re-Elected'... ;)

    Anyway, a poll for English folks (and the couple of Scots I know I have on my friends list if they care to say something, since it's allegedly not just the English national anthem... what do they play when it's England v Scotland?):

    [Poll #752378]
    graculus: (geek love)
    Before I disappear into my Wild Wild West and Maid Marian and her Merry Men dvds (because guess what else turned up this morning?), I thought I'd follow the herd... it's everywhere, so you know the drill:

    1. Ask me one fandom-related question in the comments. This can be fandom specific, general, or about fandom/lj stuff/fic writing/etc. in general. Ask anything...I'm really not bothered.

    2. ONE QUESTION.-- Nah, you can ask more than one, but I might or might not answer it.And also not too many sub-parts, you devious people...

    3. That's it. It can be as normal or odd as you like.


    In other news, it's wildlife spotting time again. I know, last time around it was me running over stuff, but this time I've been better. ;)

    Yesterday morning, I was driving over the bridge and saw the same thing twice - initially I thought the first one I saw was a small deer, but then I realised it was actually a brown hare. And then there was another one, in the next field along. Coolness.

    Not so cool was the variety of roadkill on the way to and from work, which usually tends to include the following in some combination or other: badger, fox, rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, pigeon, crow. This morning's also included something more unusual, an all black ferret-like creature which my online investigation just now tells me is a mink. So that's probably quite positive for the local wildlife where it got squished, if not for the mink...
    graculus: (monkey)
    Well, I said if it was a half-decent game I'd enjoy it, and it was indeed half a decent game. ;) The first half was excellent, though England decidedly failed to capitalise on their overwhelming possession of the ball (the stats said 58% to 42% at one point late on, but I think that was a conservative estimate). The second half, well... that's another matter altogether!

    Thank heavens that's probably the hardest game of the group over with, since Paraguay have beaten both Brazil and Argentina in recent matches. Oh, and Joe Cole was man of the match for me, in case anyone was wondering.

    And I'm sure I wasn't the only one amused at the beginning by the sight of Peter Crouch (who is something of a freak of nature, isn't he?) towering over little Michael Owen... ;)
    graculus: (It's all Cyc's fault)
    I'm kind of torn over whether to watch the England match this afternoon. On the one hand I like football and if it's a half-decent game, I'll probably enjoy it, but on the other there's the bloody hype so far and the fact that it could be the most opportune time to pop to the supermarket etc. ever invented! ;)
    graculus: (oh please)
    So, what do you think the chances are of me calling in sick on Monday when I should be going back to work? *sigh* Between my glands being up, thunderous sneezing every so often and the fact I tried to break my foot on Thursday by pulling my suitcase off the baggage carousel right onto it (owww!), I think it's looking quite possible... ;)

    Meanwhile, in other news I guess I should say something about the guy I was sitting next to on the way to Chicago. We got talking after a while, and after insisting on telling me all about being a DJ in Liverpool (or was it Manchester? I forget...) and how cool MySpace was (yeah, right, if you're 12...), he starts talking about going with his girlfriend to see The DaVinci Code. Cue mockage from me about cod history and bad Tom Hanks haircuts and his immediate response is 'oh, are you a Catholic?'. *headdesk* No, I'm just someone who likes storylines with some degree of historical authenticity and movies with actors whose hairstyles don't make them look like they've been molested by a lunatic wigmaker. Also, the bandwagon is a bit speedy for me to jump onto...

    Am currently in total denial of the World Cup, as much as it's possible to be when surrounded by people driving cars with flags flying off them. Feh. While I usually really like football, I just can't give a damn about the competition this time around and am sincerely glad I have lots of nice shiny dvds to watch.

    In other news, the main thing occupying my time other than work over the next couple of months is my dissertation, which has to be done by early September. I'm afraid my attitude is mostly '15,000 words? Mwahahaha!' but I need to get on with it. Of course, that means that now my brain is buzzing with fic ideas instead, as is only natural.

    But I'm trying to be good, other than hopefully getting something done for volume 2 of 'Sin and Salvation' around the same time - I've half made up my mind I'd like to have a crack at NaNoWriMo this year too, using the AU Stargate SG-1 novel I've promised to write for Annie before next MW (working title 'Benediction', so you can probably guess which season 4 episode plays a goodly part in the reconstituted plot...). Naturally, since I wouldn't be starting that till November, my brain is going 'but no! how about this for a cool line? and hey, then they could do this and wouldn't this be great?' while I try and restrain myself. Bah and indeed humbug.
    graculus: (It's all Cyc's fault)
    The sun comes out and the same thing happens every year - all the pasty white boys, many of whom really ought to know better, start throwing off their shirts and parading their luminous torsos around. ;)
    graculus: (coffee)
    On Saturdays before Dr Who, BBC1 airs a ghastly show called Strictly Dance Fever with gaudily-clad couples flinging themselves about way too energetically, and I always seem to get caught with the last couple of minutes of this whether I want to or not (except for last weekend when it was football, which was much better to my mind, but I digress...).

    The show this week finished with candid video footage of the various over-energetic types being interviewed and one thing stood out for me - none of them ever said 'if I lose' or anything of that sort. It was all 'if this gets taken away from me', as if losing something because a vote went against you was some kind of personal affront and so they were determined to play on how upset they'd be to reduce the chances of people being mean to them (or that it would be some kind of personal conspiracy against them and this would be Bad and Mean as well). Of course, the way this show is pitched seems to be all about 'your favourite couple' rather than 'the best dancers' and I guess I struggle with that whole way of doing things.

    I don't watch Pop Idol or any of the thousand rip-offs it's seemed to spawn so I was wondering whether this outlook is common? Is it that unacceptable now to have the level of insight that allows you to say 'well, I was good but they were better, so they deserved to win more than I did?' or is it just that the voting is so arbitrary it makes a nonsense of how good you are because if enough people like you then you'll win anyway?

    E.T.A. [livejournal.com profile] sg1scribe reminds me that many of the self-same 'please don't take this away from me!' teenagers (and some non-teenagers) were struggling to find a reason to go on living if they didn't win. Jeez.
    graculus: (It's all Cyc's fault)
    To break the pattern of the past couple of days, I thought I'd post about stuff that isn't all about Lily and her unimpressive bowel movements. So, here's a few random things:

    1. On the way home from work, I passed a car transporter and on the top deck of it was a Barbie pink Nissan Micra. Clearly this was ordered by someone who has neither shame or taste.

    2. About 20 minutes ago there was a bang, but I didn't think anything of it. Then I heard sirens and when I looked out of the window it appeared that something is burning in one of the gardens of the houses almost opposite. Alas, I cannot be bothered to go and see if there are any cute firemen out there.

    3. Apparently the next lot of strike days may be called off, since some progress has been made in talks with the government.

    4. Thanks to the lovely service provided by Amazon, I currently have the dvds for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and My Neighbor Totoro waiting for the long weekend. :)

    5. I have lots of new HP fic to read, including my long-awaited chance to read the latest Snape/Lupin by [livejournal.com profile] musigneus before she went over to the Dark (yet shiny!) Side, and now am just waiting for a couple of other people to finish their WiPs.

    More on Lily's bowel movements later... ;)

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