Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hating Jimmy Carr

We have an rule with no exceptions in our house: any TV program fronted by (or prominently featuring) Jimmy Carr is switched over immediately. Try it, you'll like it..

Having said that, the only thing that's on that I currently like is series 6 of The Sopranos: once this final series is over (next year) I've only got ER left and that's been going downhill a bit maybe, or plateaued perhaps to be polite. Everything else is dead or gone - I won't watch The Simpsons on TV unless I am absolutely guaranteed nothing past series 8 will sully my eyes. I won't watch new ones anymore at all. I wish they had sacked them all when they threatened to strike for more pay (Fox advertised for soundalikes) and not made the later series. It's the worst example of cultural dilution in my lifetime: they took what was human and decent and honest and made it into a self=parodic freakshow. Homer isn't a father now, he's a monster: my own 'Jump The Shark' moment was when he was lying on the kitchen floor smashing beer bottles in an ep called something like '3 gays and a condo': that just wasn't the man i'd seen before who always tried to do the best for his family albeit in his own hopeless way. And I felt this before I had children in case you think that's a factor.

Anyway, Homer never goes to work (they make meta-jokes about it) and Bart and Lisa never go to school (not properly). They haven't written a properly-structured episode for five years or more, just "The Simpsons are Going To Japan/Brazil/Mars/England" or whatever crazy escapade they have this week. Marge doesn't care for Maggie, who never falls over any more, have you noticed?

It's sometimes possible to tell from the opening credits if it's a new ep never seen before (avoid at all costs) or one made years ago which you've seen a thousand times (you will still get something new from it if you watch it closely, and still enjoy it if you don't)

Incidentally, 'Happy Days' was considered part of the counter-culture when it was first shown: 'The Fonz' wore a leather jacket and rode a motorbike, perhaps the definitive images of rebellion to adults when I was an adolescent. Now it looks like the softest of cashmere conformity.

Oh, and I'm going to buy Resident Evil 4 from eBay so I might not be back for a while... never played RE before, sounds like fun. (Edit: too difficult!)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

To the tune of "Stop the Pigeon"

Tap the trackpad, Tap the trackpad, Tap the trackpad, Tap the trackpad .. many thanks to robh, I have enabled this and it's great! He says it is a pain on his Powerbook but on this iBook it works gloriously. I used to use gestures in Firefox but I never made the connection, anyway I need to >tap<

Edit: robh has also encouraged mt to use scrolling gestures, double-tap on the trackpad over the scrollbar button then drag it down. I've got it to work (in a motor sense) , but it only really seems useful whent the scrollbar button is big (ie the text is small) as otherwise you run out of room.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Apres le deluge

In our 10-foot-square garden we have a 100+ year old pear tree. The upper reaches are infested with spiders, the garden was dug up last year for the conservatory, but this year it has been spectacularly and massively fecund. Huge quantities of blossom (I was shovelling it off the path) and consequently a major crop of pears.

Back before the West Pier was burnt down (by the thugs and criminals who own and run the other pier) it was home to a gazillion starlings - they really did used to blacken the skies, swirling in massive crowds. One of the things a few hundred did was to descend on our tree, and in the course of a week eat every single fruit (prefectly eaten cores would waft gently to the ground) tweeting to each other as they ate. It was a grand spectacle.

Now though the pears fall when overripe and they splat on whatever they hit. I was up cleaning the conservatory the other week cleaning handfuls of rotten pears out the gutters again. I have an improvised compost heap which I dumped them all on, though it hasn't been working at full capacity because there haven't been any grass cuttings this year (because the grass shrivelled up without water). Needs cutting now though, and all the pears have fallen now. Leaves next, cycle of life continues. We lie on the conservatory floor watching..

When a rotten pear splatted on the concrete or the glass or fell and rotted on the grass we called it a "chocolate pear". Certainly they were brown..

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New look Windows

The Vista RC1 builds (finally got 5536 going) have new mouse cursors, including a throbber-like replacement for the 'hourglass' cursor - say hello to the Spinning Radioactive Doughnut Of Death: this image doesn't spin for obvious reasons.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Feet of clay

Glasgow isnae Brighton, but I was disappointed to hear of the firemen who refused to attend gay pride. Brighton's Gay Pride parade passes the end of our street every year, and up in the front are the Police. In order to avoid isolating gay and lesbian coppers they all march. Makes me fucking proud. The firemen could learn a trick from that, the big bufties.