The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Before suicide

A female ex-postal worker has shot dead six people at a sorting office in California, before committing suicide.


Not to trivialise a tragic event but do they really need to confirm that the shootings occured before the suicide? I think it is sufficiently clear that shooting six people after committing suicide is a feat beyond a postal worker.

Bearing


  1. 50° 19' 85N / 3° 31' 1W bearing 43°

  2. 50° 21' 19N / 3° 29' 15W bearing 16°

  3. 50° 37' 22N / 3° 22' 52W bearing 16°

Idolator

Giggles and Simon Cowell



I was chatting to a friend about the coming nuclear holocaust when the topic of Simon Cowell and the horny bitch, sorry, giggling MSN winks woman, came up. The topic came up because I mentioned that 49% of female U.S.A. teenagers tune into two hours of Pop Idol every Tuesday.

Can you believe that? One out of two girls in the U.S. of A sits down in front of a T.V. every Tuesday evening and watches 2 hours of Simon Cowell giving himself oral sex. Angelina Jolie could offer her services and he'd still prefer his own mouth.

So it struck both of us that a violently sick idea would be the love-child offspring of Simon Cowell and the giggling MSN winks woman. You already know Simon but do yourself a favour and install MSN Messenger to familiarise yourself with giggles.

Truly the parents of the anti-christ would have trouble condoning such a match.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Dancing shoes

Oh, but it's oh so absurd
For you to say the first word
So you're waiting and waiting

The only reason that you came
So what you scared for?
don't you always do the same
It's what you there for, don't you know

…the lights are flashing
Down in here tonight
And some might exchange a glance
But keep pretending to dance

Don't act like it's not happening
As if it’s impolite
To go and mention your name
Instead you'll just do the same
As they all do, and hope for the best...

The only reason that you came
So what you scared for?
Well don't you always do the same
It's what you’re there for but no

- Dancing Shoes by the Arctic Monkeys

Winter riding

Riding to work this morning, frost on country fields. Ice crackling under my wheels as my hands withered and my breath billowed.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Foul

Has anyone else noticed a rise in the awareness of professional and dangerous fouls in sport? Rugby and soccer especially. From spear-tackles to shin-splitters to high-tackles to head-butts, the news is full of "horrific", "career ending", "barbaric" and "devestating" fouls.

Is it a rise in the actual number committed or have we become less tolerant of dangerous play recently?

I am not sure which it is but I would like to say we must remember this is sport and dangerous play happens, especially in a game like Rugby. I am not advocating tolerance of mindless, violent play but lets not get to the point where red cards are given for aggressive play. Rugby will become a wet blanket if we get too intolerant.

Important costs

I am finally going to post the costs of some important, life-essential items here in Ireland.


  • 1 long-tom Carlsberg can €1.85

  • 330ml Guinness Draught can €1.65



Those are from Tescos. In most pubs you'd pay €3.50 for that Carlsberg or €4 for a pint of Guinness.

And buying alcohol from Tescos is, well, involved. Thankfully I am past the age where I get carded for buying booze or getting into clubs but normal cashiers can't approve your purchase and they have to bring the manager over. That was after I tried to buy the cans through the self-checkout machine which made things horribly complicated by requiring a scan, weigh, scan, weigh process for each can.

Five dollars

I dislike having to pick on a service but FeedLounge has made a bit of a hash of it again. I signed up for FeedLounge a week ago and paid my $5. My first impressions were not the best but it improved somewhat after all my feeds where imported. The interface is slick and reading items efficient.

Then a few days ago on the 26th I received an email from them saying they had launched. I had signed up months ago to be notified and this was the notification. In the email they say that in thanks for my patience they were going to give me a free month of service (which is worth $5.) All I had to do was sign-up with the same email that I used months ago.

Only I used a different email for when I paid for the service last week (remember I had no idea they were going to be sending out this launch notification email as to me the service had already launched a week or two ago. I found out through a friend.)

It is a nice offer for those who haven't signed up but not so great for those of us who paid our $5 to test the service. Even before this email though I knew I was not going to continue paying for FeedLounge.

I simply think FeedLounge need to be more professional in their overall service. They are charging, they aren't free and can't get away with what a lot of free services do get away with. For $5 you expect more.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Four things

Four jobs I’ve had:
Waiter, developer, photographer... there is no fourth, yet.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Black Hawk Down, Lawrence of Arabia, Shrek... ooh gosh...

Four places I’ve lived:
Harare (Zimbabwe), Durban (South Africa), Cape Town (South Africa), Waterford (Ireland).

Four TV shows I love to watch:
The West Wing, Will & Grace, Battlestar Galactica, Futurama

Four places I’ve been on vacation:
Greece, Scotland, Namibia, Botswana.

Four of my favorite dishes:
A good curry, chicken satay, bacon carbonara, tuna salad.

Four sites I visit daily:
The Code Project, Bookslut, SVN (ha! really...), Flickr.

Four places I’d rather be right now:
Greece, Greece, Greece and Zimbabwe.

Four things I’d like to do before I die:
Write a book, visit the poles, meet Misa, die happy.

Four bloggers I’m tagging:
Tagging? Is that like paintball?

Why?
The boys over at SVN are getting a bit cranky in their old age so I thought I'd take the piss. Lighten up guys.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Nano sized bite of the forbidden fruit

2gb Apple iPod nano


Alright now, baby it's alright now...



Remind me not to "tag along" with friends when they visit computer shops.

Brian and Ulla went down to PC World to check out some MP3 players as a birthday present for a friend and I "tagged along." I thought I'd just check out some keyboards and mice for my office computer but not actually buy anything. They walked out with nothing and I ended up walking out of the shop with a 2gb black iPod nano.

A few hours later and I am wondering why I did not get onto the iPod bandwagon sooner. This is a superb device. It is small without being unusable and very nicely made. Setup and first-use was a breeze, a good software experience using iTunes.

I like how Apple does things. They don't just make a good piece of hardware with decent matching software. No, they put the Apple quality stamp on every aspect of the Apple experience. Take the packaging the nano comes in. Just holding the box in your hand is a pleasure. Opening it even more so. No cheap paper sleave for the CD and all the plastic-wrappings are good quality. The nano itself is set into the box like a gallery piece while the headphones and USB cable is sealed inside easy-to-open packets. Even the manual is slick. Plus they throw in two promotional Apple stickers which is a fun touch. My Windows laptop is now branded Apple.

And naturally the nano itself performs very well. I tried a click-wheel ages ago for a minute and didn't really get it. Within half-a-minute of using it on the nano though I was flying through the menus and playlists. I adore the way I can have the nano lying on a table and a gentle sweep of my pinky finger will adjust the volume.

No wonder Apple patented this input technique and no wonder everyone else wants to copy it.

Not everything has been perfect of course. Apple are mere mortals after all. Superior mortals to be sure but still, mortal.

The packaging came with a CD which had version 1.0 nano software on it. It loaded fine, connected to my nano and said all was up to date. I assumed it had connected to the net and checked there too. So I then went into iTunes and started it filling up the nano. A minute later and iTunes tells me my nano software is out of date. So I download the updated software, version 1.1, and install it after the songs have been copied across. Well, it wiped everything off the nano and reset some of the settings I had customised. Not a trainsmash but a bit frustrating as copying 2gb to the nano is not that fast (2gb over USB to any device isn't that fast.)

Another small frustration is that if you are listening to a song on it and you connect to your computer it pauses for a few seconds, interupting the music.

One feature I would like is a "Don't ever automatically copy this song to my nano again" command on the nano. iTunes did a decent job of automatically filling the nano but there are a few tracks I'd rather not have on it.

These are minor points though and I am being picky.

Excellent software, excellent device, excellent experience. Now all I need is that 12" MacBook Pro...

Offline messages in Windows Live Messenger

One problem with most instant messaging applications is that if your contact is offline then you can't leave them a message. You have to resort to email. Thankfully in Windows Live Messenger (replacement for MSN Messenger) you can now do offline messages.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Feed Henry!

Feed Henry!


FeedHenry is the project I am working on at the TSSG here in Ireland.

We put up this simple page to get people interested and seed our feed database. If you have a feed, a blog, a website, any URL really, please, put it in. You'll be included in our directory when we launch. And spread the word. Feed Henry!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Login

There is one aspect of 37Signals website design that I dislike; if you go to the home-page of their services you may struggle to find the login button for existing customers.

Thankfully TadaList and Backpack now have a "Login if you have an account" link under the big, bold Sign up links but Basecamp doesn't. I have an account with Basecamp but for the life of me I can't remember the unique URL that I chose. I think it is something like paulmwatson.clientsection.com but that doesn't work and I can't find out until I get home and check through my email archives.

I'd like the Basecamp home-page to have a login link for existing customers. It would be really useful.

I'd also like it if 37Signals provided a single sign-on solution for all their services. Right now I have about 4 seperate accounts with them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Set foot in



create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands


  • Austria

  • Zimbabwe (lived)

  • Namibia

  • Botswana

  • Greece

  • United Kingdom (England and Scotland, not Wales yet)

  • Ireland (lived)

  • Zambia

  • South Africa (born)

  • Germany



10 countries I have set foot in which is apparently 4% of the world. I'd better get a move on.

Monday, January 23, 2006

GRecommend

Google News Recommended



I am not sure how long Google News has had this feature but I just noticed the Recommended panel below the main news section. It taps into your search history and recommends news stories.

Good idea I think but the algorithm needs some serious tweaking as I am not interested in any of those three stories. U.S. economy, no thanks, Ameriquest who and something about those sweat-shop running Nike chaps.

Is it working better for anyone else?

Colt

"An armed man is a free man. An unarmed man is a slave."

A chap on telly talking about Colt (the guns).

He then went on to say "And this is the philosophy of my country."

Animated

Windows Live Messenger



I just found out how annoying allowing animated emoticons in an IM buddy list is. This is from Windows Live Messenger.

People, think of the kittens.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

FeedLounge first impressions

FeedLounge screenshot.



I just signed up, and paid for, FeedLounge; a "premium" web-based feed aggregator.

Firstly you should know that it costs $5 per month to use this service. There is no trial or free basic-features version. There is a "3 hour tour" option but it is not working and has not been for the past few days.

My first impressions are poor. I first tried to import my Bloglines OPML which contains 98 feeds. The FeedLounge importer notified me that it would add the feeds to my list as it got feed items for them. 15 minutes later and nothing has been imported. I checked the forums and many people are reporting that they are having the same problem. The solution is to wait, so I am told. The excuse is that their service is running behind as many people are importing.

The keyboard control is also iffy. I haven't got the arrow keys working in lists for instance.

It is quite fast I admit with the interface responding nicely.

Sorry guys but I paid $5 for your service and it should work without more than a 5 minute lag on importing. Am I asking too much? Bloglines imports in minutes. In fact every other service I have tried has a very short lag on importing. And they were all free.

I have already paid though so I'll give it a few hours.

I did add some individual feeds and they worked fine. The interface is quite nice with the three view options being the best bit. I can't see how to add these individual feeds to folders though. You can tag feed items at least. Also when I went to change my password I received no confirmation through the interface or an email that it had worked. I had to logout and login to check. Another issue I see is managing a large number of feeds. The delete feature works by clicking the feed and clicking delete. How will I delete 10 feeds at once?

Still, for $5 per month this is not floating my boat. I'll give it a few days though, see how it goes. Maybe they should not be charging at this early stage?

Disclaimer; I am working at the TSSG on a feed aggregator project.

Kia

It struck me that Kia, the car manufacturer, can be read as KIA (Killed In Action).

Protest

Well, I think the whale problem is solved. Why did the whale swim up the Thames? To protest whale-hunting outside the Houses of Parliament. It swam right up to Westminster.

Expect its return since, as far as I know, no MP came to listen to the whale's grievances.

On my bike

9.04k is the distance to my office and it takes me an awfully slow 24 minutes to cycle it. Roughly the same speed and distance (same route) to get home. My average was 21.3kph wich I really need to improve.

It is a pleasant ride though. Along the Waterford quay, past the Guinness brewery, through some new housing-developments and then out into the Carriganore countryside along a winding road to the office. Today was perfect riding conditions, not. Dense fog which meant cars appeared and disapeared in moments and freezing air which made breathing a chore and my legs ache. I still enjoyed it though.

A whale tale

A whale has swum up the Thames.

How bizarre. My theory is that it was brought up by a shoal of salmon, sort of like Mowgli except there are no wolves in the ocean, and is now returning to spawn.

Poor bugger.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Arrears

I must commend two companies for good customer service over the past few months. During my move to Ireland I have had some issues with my credit-card that have resulted in non-payment of some monthly bills. I detest failing to pay bills.

Both Basecamp and TextDrive were charging me monthly fees for their excellent services and both contacted me to say that the credit-card transactions had failed. Basecamp took the sensible option of blocking my service while retaining all my data. TextDrive, who were handling the critical services of my email and web-hosting, contacted me personally and asked what the problem was without shutting my services down. I informed them that they would have a payment option within a certain time and they were happy with that.

With my old credit-card in a non-working state I signed up for 3V, a prepaid credit-card "voucher" system, and used it to pay Basecamp. I thought that Basecamp would charge me for 3 months in arrears but much to my delight they charged me just for the current month. Thanks Basecamp, that is new world thinking.

TextDrive are still getting back to me on what I owe but it should all be fine.

Two things I have realised during this transition; one, pre-pay for critical services. With TextDrive I am going to buy 12 months worth of hosting and email. They don't offer a discount for pre-paying but it saves me the hassle of bill-paying each and every month. I am a firm believer of quality-of-life over being a scrupulous bastard who worries every month about bills. I might lose €1.3 by pre-paying 12 months but I gain 12 months of peace-of-mind; two, 3V gives you the convenience of a credit card without it's temptations. It is pre-paid, you can't get into spiralling debt that full-blown credit-cards are only too capable of.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Least of all

When someone ends a list with "and last, but not least..." are they inadvertently saying that one of the entries in the list before this one was least, though not last?

Wireless mobile

Note to self; Don't leave my mobile phone inbetween my wireless mouse and the receiver. It goes loopy.

Wonderful Waterford

Cian, a co-worker, is a well of Waterford wonders and even runs a site dedicated to the area; UpTheDeise.com.

To be dead honest I had never heard of Waterford before I met Brian a few years ago and up until I got here I never realised how important it was in Ireland's history.

Cian sent around several facts about Waterford the other day and I am reposting them here (the folowing is quoted direct from Cian's email):

Some of you may or may not know some facts about Waterford city such as:

  • It is the oldest city in Ireland
  • Some amazing Viking archaeological sites have been excavated and the new find at Woodstown (250 metres from [TSSG offices]) is the biggest single find ever.
  • St. Patrick’s day was set up by Luke Wadding
  • The tri-colour was first flown here by the Waterford man who conceived it: Thomas Francis Meagher
  • Waterford had 1000 people living in it 1000 years ago when there was only one other city in Ireland with similar population (Dublin) at the time there was only 150 cities in Europe with that population or greater)


The county also has some fantastic sights such as:

  • Lismore – winner of tidy towns award 2 years in a row, boasts a castle and beautiful surrounds, you have to see the Ballysaggartmore Towers about 2 miles from there
  • Ardmore – oldest Christian parish, pre-dating st. Patrick
  • 2 mountain ranges with Coumshingaun – the best example of a Corrie lake in Europe, mahon falls, and the weird magic road where yer car goes back up the hill
  • Over 30 beaches along some lovely unique coast, particularly the copper coast



There are also some amazing characters such as Robert Boyle (of Boyle’s Law), ETS Walton (only nobel winning scientist in Ireland) and Edmund Rice to name but a few

Anyway, following is an article on the Waterford Museum of Treasures from the Irish Times.

Google talks

I flipped the switch to connect the Google Talk Service to the public XMPP network this morning. Google Talk users can now chat with users on other XMPP services and vice versa.

from XMPP Federation by Gary Burd of Google.

This is excellent news. My main criticism of GoogleTalk on its launch was that while it used XMPP its servers were not federated, effectively creating yet another closed IM network like MSN, Yahoo! and AOL.

Effectively anyone with a GMail account can now IM with other XMPP (I still think "Jabber" in my head) users.

From what I can tell this is the first major company to support XMPP on a practical level. I doubt it will open up the other IM networks just yet but it is a step in the right direction. We use Exodus, an XMPP client, here at work and I'll be pushing for our servers to be federated allowing my GoogleTalk contacts to contact me directly.

Sadly most of my IM traffic is still through MSN. But now I can start advocating GoogleTalk to my contacts and have a leg to stand on.

Before the comma

SELECT [Column1]
,[Column2]
,[Column3]
,[Column4]
FROM [Table1]


I am not a fan of the way Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio for SQL2005 generates scripts. Look at how they put the comma on the next line rather than at the end of the preceding line. Everytime I generate a script I change it to:

SELECT [Column1],
[Column2],
[Column3],
[Column4]
FROM [Table1]


Anybody got any idea why they chose this strange format?

Flack

So if you follow the Web 2.0. treadmill you will know hype, unreleased projects and awesome ideas are more important than, well, products. The latest is Fleck which TechCrunch is rightly skeptical about.

What would be super cool is if we announced flack.it which would be a mashup of fleck and flock. So take one unknown project and mash it up with an overhyped Web 2.0 project that was recently bloodied.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fighting fires

I am shocked. Men and women risking their lives to put out blazing homes are being attacked by roving gangs of children in U.K suburbs. 393 attacks in 10 months in England and Wales, 388 in Scotland. Footage shows children throwing rocks, poles and barriers at passing firetrucks, smashing windows and denting bodywork. At the scene kids run into the firefighters, beating them with their small but numerous fists.

A child has been killed. Not by retaliating firefighters but by another kid aiming for the firefighters with a pellet gun.

What the hell is going on? When I was a kid you dreamt of becoming a fireman. You didn't dream of beating one up.

This is all blamed on boredom. On kids with nothing to do in the evenings. Flock that, they just aren't been brought up right. Get a grip parents, stop this madness.

The new bike

GT Avalanche 3.0


With the Cape Argus Cycle Tour only a 54 days away I thought I had better get a bicycle here in Ireland and get back in reasonable shape for it. I left original my bike back home in South Africa as it would cost more to ship it over here and then back for the race and back again than to buy a new one.

So here is the new one; a GT Avalanche 3.0. Mine is black though, not silver. I'll get a photo of it this weekend.

The bike cost €299 from Spokes here in Waterford, Ireland. I then had Dunlop road tyres, mudguards, lights, computer, bottle holder, lock and saddle-bag fitted along with a helmet. Final price was €430. Spokes gave good service, even waiting after closing time to hand me a forgotten lock.

It is strange having a bike with mudguards but they are essential in wet, puddle filled Ireland.

Now that I have the bike I'll be able to get around more, take in the many sights which are within easy riding distance of Waterford. I also want to start riding to work even though Brian thinks I am half-baked for thinking it. I know it will be wet, cold and dark but it will be good excercise and we have showers in the office that I can use each morning. My only concern are the tight roads in Ireland, the hard shoulder is a farm wall rather than an easily rideable proper shoulder.

Montastic error

Montastic error

Montastic is a free website monitoring tool with RSS support which makes it very useful.

Unfortuantley it spammed me today which I hope was an isolated event. I tried to email Montastic's parent company but they bounced my email as spam (thanks spamcop!) So here is the email I sent in the hope they are monitoring the web for comments about them.

Hi guys,

Thanks for the useful Montastic service.

I realise it is free and you are being very kind in providing it but there was a bit of an error today when I got a batch of duplicate emails. See attached screen. It happened on only one domain, colib.com, which is hosted on the same server as two other domains I am monitoring with Montastic.

Just thought you might like to know :)

cheers,
Paul

GUIDgone in Visual Studio 2005

If you were wondering what happened to the "Create GUID" option under the Tools menu in Visual Studio 2005 then it is likely you did not install the VC++ options. I am not 100% about this but it seems likely this is the cause. I have only installed C# in VS2005 and there is no guidgen.exe in my VS2005 install directories. Instead I have had to use the guidgen.exe from my VS.NET2003 install. A friend who does VC++ though does have guidgen.exe in his VS2005.

Seems to me that the VS2005 developers flocked* up.

You can see the thread that started this here on Code Project.

* After Flock's wonderful death groan I thought I'd add insult to injury and replace fucked with flocked for a few days. e.g. fucked up == flocked up.

Downfall (movie)

Just a quick one to say that Downfall is an excellent movie. Well produced, powerfully acted and fascinating.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Costs continued

Some more costs from Waterford, Ireland.


  • €2.45 for 500g of Roma pasta

  • €2.47 for 500g of Irish minced beef

  • €1.89 for 8 Kiwi fruit

  • €4.69 for 500g of basmati rice

  • €1.62 for 500ml of strawberry yoghurt

  • €8.95 for Kasabian CD

  • €119 for a pair of eye-glasses

  • €8.89 for 500ml of olive oil

  • €1.49 for an aubergine

  • €1.39 for 250g of button mushrooms

  • €0.99 for 700g of baby potatoes

  • €3.49 for Colgate toothpaste

  • €21.99 for Rival tracksuit pants

  • €13.50 for rugby shorts (made in Durban, South Africa!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mr. Anonymous

What goes on in a man’s mind? Every women wonders. Heck I’ll go ahead and say that even men aren’t sure what’s going on inside their other (hopefully bigger) head. Well, I aim to satisfy all our curiosities. I plan to sedate a couple of guys in varying stages of their life, from different backgrounds, and poke and prod their brain. All right, maybe not. That may be fun but mostly illegal.

I will be interviewing them though. There’s a definite estrogen-slant on this blog which I aim to balance with my tentatively-titled Introducing Mr. Anonymous series.

With that in mind I answered some of the questions and they have been posted up here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Desert

This is the sun's anvil

Ali, Lawrence of Arabia

MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro


Sooner than expected Apple has released the first in their Intel powered systems. The MacBook Pro is a 15.4" laptop which is a shade off of exactly what I want. Hopefully Apple will be releasing a 12" version at which point I will become the newest convert to Mac.

Having lugged a 15.4" HP laptop around for the past year I have to say that smaller, slimmer and lighter is better in laptops. When I got the HP I thought a desktop-replacement laptop was ideal. Something portable but powerful. It turns out though that it is a compromise in every way. Being big and bulky it can't be slipped into a day-pack and taken on quick-trips. Being a laptop upgrades are a pain in comparison to a desktop system. The battery life is compromised too.

Hopefully a slim 12" MacBook will fit the bill. Something I can offload photographs onto, something I can whip out and type on and something I can slip into most bags without dislocating a shoulder.

Execute, not save

I am not sure I like the change to how stored procedures are edited in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Back in Enterprise Manager for SQL Server 2000 you edit stored procedures directly in the database. You opened it, changed some T-SQL and saved it back to the database.

With SQL 2005 though you never open anything. You are instead running scripts against the database. So to create a stored procedure you run a CREATED PROCEDURE script and to make changes you run an ALTER PROCEDURE script.

It makes sense in some ways but when I first hit Ctrl+S to save some changes and it asked where to save the T-SQL script on my machine I was confused. Only then did I see the Execute button and the ALTER line.

Frankly the way databases work from a programmers perspective is never optimal. No code files to edit or stick in a code repository. You can't edit locally, compile, run tests and then only commit to the actual database. etc.

But then databases store data so it is difficult to create a system that is optimal for data storage and retrieval and for developers. Hopefully someone smart figures it out one day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Voice

Writers complain about tone-deaf editors who read with their eyes and not with their ears.

from Poynter Online - Writing Tool #19: Tune Your Voice

That is a good observation. Good writing always sounds in my ears while bad writing I tend to feel on my eyes.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Winnie the Clown

"Mandela, metamorphosed from firebrand into peacemaker, with wicked Winnie at his side. Morality and immorality, the beatified and the corrupted, walked towards the camera, hand in hand, and in love."

from Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie.

"wicked Winnie." Wonderful!

Crash (Movie)

I think a combination of too much hype and having experienced racial conflict all of my life (I grew up in South Africa) left me wanting more from the movie Crash by Paul Haggis. It is a good movie and worth watching but hardly the tour-de-force some people are describing it as. I was glad to see Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) and Jennifer Esposito (Law & Order) who put in good performances. Matt Dillon was excellent and his character is full of genuine conflict. Otherwise Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock were flat and the others unremarkable.

I expect more from a racially powered movie than cliched characters.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Art thou

Art is all aspects of man.

Towels

Why do bath towels get dirty?

That is the question I woke up with this morning. Why do they get dirty when all they do is mop up wet but cleaned skin?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A clash

when it comes to powerful writing, a "symbol" need not be a "cymbal."

Father Horst from Writing Tool #10: Recognize the Roots of Stories

Advertisers on coke

Coca Cola A posse* of polar bears just made a polar bear pyramid to grab the sickle moon so as to pop the top on a few bottles of cola. Seems an awfully odd advertisement to me. * What is the correct group term for polar bears?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wet feet

I no longer live on a continent.

That thought struck me the other day as I hurtled into the wide, blue yonder from Dublin airport.

I am quite aware that I live on an island but it never quite struck me that I wasn't on a solid continent. 26 years of Africa and now if I travel a couple of hundred kilometers in any direction I will get my feet wet.

Baa

"Call me mint jelly, 'cause I'm on the lam!"

Homer's dad from The Simpsons.

Lowering the level

My office chair has a leak and it is quite amazingly annoying.