Year: 2009

  • Farewell, Noughties

    Ten years ago today, I was sitting in the house of a friend’s grandparents, drinking champagne that I didn’t really like, and watching some celebrity or other count down the minutes and seconds to the year 2000. We stood on the cusp of the third millennium, wondering what the future would hold for us personally, and us as a society, as a species. I was 14 years of age, and I was putting up with second-best as my parents hadn’t let me go to the town centre to celebrate. As fireworks burst around us, the four of us formed a tiny drunken conga line in the street.

    Times have changed.

  • Book Review: The Book of Mormon (!?)

    Last night, in an attempt to rectify my broken sleep patterns, I sought out the most dull work of fiction in the house so that I could bore myself to sleep. My choice, understandably one might think, was the Book of Mormon, which we got from a couple of missionaries for the price of two cups of coffee and half an hour of pretending to care.

    Unfortunately, it seems that I was wrong about the boredom. It’s now the next day, and I actually want to read more. Wrapped up in 0 AD Judeo-Christian “and so it came to pass” rubbish is a story which could happily be renamed “Nephi’s Swashbuckling Adventure” and turned into at least a third-rate movie. So far, in the first twenty pages or so: Nephi and his dad have had visions from God and been banished from Jerusalem, but have snuck back in to grab some loot. When his brother tries to pay the bad guy for the loot they want, the bad guy beats him up and sends henchmen after him. So Nephi sneaks in, finds the bad guy drunk, kills him with his own sword after arguing with God, then steals the guy’s armour too. Once in the bad guy’s armour, everyone mistakes Nephi for the bad guy, so he makes off with the loot and one of the bad guy’s servants too, who I choose to believe is a ninja butler.

  • SuccessWhale is Terrifying

    On 29th August, I released my PHP/JavaScript Twitter client, SuccessWhale. I would like to take this opportunity to say HOLY FUCK.

    2009 Usage Summary for

  • 2009 in Thoughts, Words and Pictures

    It is a very strange feeling indeed to increasingly shuffle towards adulthood whilst also having a young child of your own. Time twists and stretches, unsure of which way it ought to bend. There is the adult mind for which time is speeding up, one year blurring into the next until each is indistinguishable from the last, and then there is the child’s development pulling the other way, slowing things down, big changes happening in weeks instead of years.

    Snow in Bournemouth Gardens, February

  • Endings and Midwinter

    Winter has well and truly closed in, with black ice laying in sheets across the roads, scarf and gloves on, and “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” stuck on a permanent loop in my head. I had Cliff Richard’s “Mistletoe and Wine” in there this morning, though, so John and Yoko are definitely a step up.

    For all that “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” has hopeful lyrics, it’s always seemed to me one of the saddest of all Christmas songs. It reminds me of the odd feeling that things are ending – saying goodbye to colleagues as you leave work for the holidays, wishing a Merry Christmas to the staff of shops and cafés you frequent… It feels like sort of like a permanent ending, even though we’ll all be back at work in two weeks’ time, and my café and takeaway habit will continue unabated over the Christmas season.

  • So Farewell, Psion 3a

    No idea why the hell I bought a Psion 3a a lottery ticket? Check out my previous blog post, “Coming of Age”.

    Pictured: Progress.

  • Coming of Age

    Yes, she's legal.

    The other day, while excavating the depths of our airing cupboard-turned-junk pile, I discovered possibly the oldest gadget I own: a Psion Series 3a… thingy. Time has obscured from my memory what we actually called these things when they were new. It certainly wasn’t ‘netbook’ – was it ‘palmtop’? After some new batteries and a non-trivial number of blunt impacts against the table to reseat the display connector, it spluttered into life. The back of the unit declares it to have been made in 1993, so this thing is sixteen years old.

  • Overpackaged Much?

    The Envelope: Vast, Thin, and Oily.
    The phone company Orange appear to be giving out free headphone adapters as part of some promotion or other. So, naturally, on the bandwagon I jumped to see if I could grab some that would work with my phone. I filled in the form, clicked Submit, and thought nothing of it for the next two weeks.

    Then I get a failed delivery note through the door. I’m expecting a few of these for various people’s presents, most of which I’ve ordered off the internet. But it’s a letter, apparently, and Special Delivery – so it needs signing for. “Strange,” think I, “I’m not sure I ordered anything flat enough to be considered a letter.” So down to the sorting office I go, and pick up… this. A something-bigger-than-A3-sized plastic ‘envelope’, that feels like it contains a piece of paper. Weird.