Sunday 11 November 2012

I made a cardboard castle for the kittens

Had some time on my hands this morning waiting for rows to import into a database.
So I grabbed three cardboard boxes, a cutter and sticky tape.
And made this:

It's crappy, but the kittens love it.
They were flaked out after a meal from mom, but I'll take photos when they are playing in it.

If you do this yourself, make the holes HUGE.
Don't skimp.
I did and had to go back and carve chunks out of the cardboard so they could fight and tussle in the openings.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Ok. IT officially sucks.

I had a need for a bad ass server to help with some database work and also give me a staging platform for a project I'm working on.
So I dusted off a 3 yr old PC which I vaguely remembered being loaded for bear. Ransacked and re-organised my work room re-routing power, changing to an 8 port switch, dug up MS kbds and mice, power cables etc.
Put together an Ikea coffee table to hold it, powered it up.
3hrs work.

And my gasts were utterly flabbered.

Two things. a) 1Gb of RAM? and b) 1Gb of RAM?
I thought it appropriate to make that point twice because it was so... so... WTF?

When *EVER* did I think 1Gb was a lot?
When did that happen?
Frickin 'ell.
My Jurassic era Mac Mini has more grunt.
New MBoard, buckets of fast RAM.
Ubuntu 12 64bit server.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

OS X jruby 1.7.0 "require: command not found"

Had tons of trouble with this.
I have rvm and "raw" installs of ruby and jruby.
I do this so I can simulate a live environment.
Our servers don't allow rvm installs, but I like to use it to test stuff.
So I have to have an install of jruby like this:

bandit:~ kim$ ls -l /opt
lrwxr-xr-x   1 kim     admin    11 30 Oct 23:00 jruby@ -> jruby-1.7.0
drwxr-xr-x   9 kim     admin   306 30 Oct 22:59 jruby-1.7.0/
drwxr-xr-x   9 kim     admin   306 11 Oct 15:43 jruby-1.7.0.RC2/

This allows me to switch back and forth.
The problem arises when you have your path pointing at /opt/jruby/bin and install rails.
When you verify all paths:

bandit:~ kim$ which jruby
bandit:~ kim$ which rails
bandit:~ kim$ rails -v
/opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails: line 10: require: command not found
/opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails: line 12: version: command not found
/opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails: line 16: syntax error near unexpected token `('
/opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails: line 16: `  str = str.dup.force_encoding("BINARY") if str.respond_to? :force_encoding'

Which is a pain in the ass.

The issue is sort of to do with the environment.
I was first was led down several garden paths regarding interference from rvm.
That's not the case.
At the top of the /opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails script is this:


What happens is that the jruby script has this at the top:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

This starts a new bash with virtually no included stuff.
You can try it yourself by doing "env bash" and when the shell starts, poke around in the path.

And that's the problem.
OS-X has an primitive install of ruby, rails etc.
You can check it yourself.
Just do a "ls -l /usr/bin/r*".
You'll see rails, rake and so on.

So how do you fix this?
Simple. Change the line at the top of the /opt/jruby-1.7.0/bin/rails script to this:

#!/usr/bin/env jruby

Just leave the old line in for reference.

bandit:~ kim$ rails -v
Rails 3.2.8


Caveat: You'll have other issues with rake et al.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Apologies for not doing more "normal" posts

For the last two weeks I have been very, very busy.
As such, I have only been able to provide the interesting news links and only "short" versions.

Two weeks ago, my mother had to be hospitalised again due to shortness of breath.
So she had to go to dialysis more times than normal to get the fluid off.

Then we signed up to foster cats.
So we had "Butter" for 2 weeks while he recovered from flu.
Seriously demanding little fuzz ball.
Now we have a 2 year old mother and her 5 kittens to help.

On top of that we have a deluge of work!

So apologies!

I promise to get back into writing normal posts soon!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Worst Marketing Fail I've seen in Years!

Went to a "reject" store today. And saw the worst marketing fail we've seen for years. It's no wonder this isn't on the shelves at your local supermarket. What the hell were they thinking?

Monday 1 October 2012

Buddha was a programmer and used twitter

Think about it.
Most of his quotes are under 140 characters and have a distinctly hacker flavour:

"Do not dwell on PHP, do not dream of Ruby, concentrate the mind on the money."

"C++ is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but C++ will wound your mind."

"Three things cannot be long hidden: C, Java, and Ruby."

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. Ruby."

"All wrong-doing arises because of PHP. If PHP is transformed can wrong-doing remain? Yes. It is called C++"

"I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done. Polish that turd"

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path to TDD."

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

"A jug fills drop by drop. RTFM"

"It is PHP, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways."

"I do not believe in a fate that falls on men that do not test; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they test."

"Even retirement is not to be feared by one who has coded C++ wisely."

"It is better to test well than to deploy suddenly."

Streams of Unconsciousness

Well, it's the first of the month.
So I'm starting a new tradition.
I'm going to gather all my lunatic blonde moment FB status updates together so they don't get lost.
So here they are:

9:30pm. Recovering. Still in pain but exercise and hot showers have reduced it. Reason: 75kg person tries to pick up 40kg bag of potting mix. Result: Spends rest of day and evening in bed in the dark with back pain and massive headache. Misses out on mexican dinner. Moral: I'm a frickin' idiot. Donut privilege rescinded.

Been going through our DVD collection. Did "Mon Oncle" by Jacques Tati. We watched it last night over fish and chips. Fantastic. The phrase ROTFL was completely physically correct. I loved the dogs and the whistling thing. If you want to weep with laughter, find a copy of it.

Holy crap.
Warp fields? Ok. Ok. This is not an easy paper to read. But... Warp fields? Holy crap!

Ok. This is weird.
Who goes fishing in a loo?

Ah. Classic. Came home. Nipped upstairs to check email etc. Came downstairs. Ben flaked out on sofa with lights off. Drank some wine. Tip toed around. Drank some wine. Put dinner making stuff away. Drank some wine. Went upstairs. Drank some wine. 9pm Ben wakes up. Too late for dinner for me. Ben berates me. Drank some wine. Check FB. Drank some wine. Far too late for dinner now. Drank some wine. Might have some cheese. Drank some wine. Screw it. Rip some more DVDs. Drank some wine. Time for bed. Another day without food. Such is life. Drank some wine. Yey!

Oh. Even more classic. Ben had kittens that I was prepared to eat nothing tonight. So he's cut a bun up into strips and toasted it. And buttered them. And put cheese (Vintage Tasty and Double Gloucester) out with Dolmades and what I call Frickin HUGE beans. He's so good to me. Love.

Just finished watching Cannonball Run.
Captain Chaos will save you!
Frickin' love it.

Ok. This really sounds like fun. For some values of fun that include being ostracised from society (and FB) that is.
A free guide. Actually it's a startling good guide on how to start ANY business on the net.
I'm thinking Diesel Powered Nuns as a starting point. Wonder what Google AdWords will show up...

Ok. This is a wait. What?!? moment. Seen the FB ads down the right hand side? Dunno if it's just me or demographics or what, but I keep seeing these ads with "Mom reveals XXX way to get rid of fat..." with varying degrees of credulity. But the thing that gets me is that most of them seem to require the use of a fruit that looks like a deep sea ocean nightmare. Fruit? That's not a fruit! It's a frickin' torture device used in Abu Graibh. If some cosmetician (or whatever the frick they call themselves nowadays) came at me with that demonic fruit in their hands I'd demand an exorcism on the spot. That while calling in a drone strike of course...

With my donut privilege re-instated, I decided to try some glazed donuts instead of the normal cinnamon ones. So we stopped by Krispy Kreme as I had been to their stores when I lived in the US and the range was amazing.
Phhhhbbbttt. Wrong. Thought: what the hell, and got 6 glazed ones. Bad move. I have to say the KK donuts are rubbish. I know there was donut dough in that morass of icing, but be buggered if I could find it. Hurt my gums like the devil. Won't be going back. Ever.

Ok. Here's an opportunity too big to miss. I NEED someone who can crochet. Why? You ask. Because I NEED THESE: The problem is that you can only get the designs. Not the actual product. ARGH! I NEED SOMEONE TO CROCHET THESE NOW!
Why? They're frick'n tanks! On your feet! How could you not understand? I'd Frickin' wear these to work. Miranda? Please? I'll Pay! I'll promise to wear them to work!

Having to fix some PHP code. I really hate PHP sometimes. There's a switch statement about 60 lines long that could have been done in one line!

Oh the irony. At least I think it's irony. Maybe just "real" you know.

I don't have a mouse MAT. I have a mouse RUG. Persian of course. And I've been eating potato chips. I now need a very small vacuum cleaner.

Charles Nutter remarked that the Πsymbol reminds him of a space invader or a jelly fish. I suggested that it looks like the Enterprise from above. What are your thoughts?

Ben gets so pissed off about chess puzzles. Mate in 1. But bug in program. Rant! Rant! Rant! It's a bug! Seriously. Bug. Don't stress.

Oh lord Cthulhu. Let me sleep. Questions. Can Rails3 successfully cache and chunk 2m mp3s? And how much porridge can you fit in a cat? And Ben wants to know whether inserting porridge into a cat is a challenge, question or a T-Shirt. I favour challenge.

Well that sucks. Ben has beat me 5 to 1 on dominos. I normally wipe the floor.

a) PHP sucks. Distracts you from what you want to do by making you go mad. b) There's a fly in here. Driving me nuts. c) So is the PHP.

Ah. Lost and confused. Just like the rest of us. I'm handbraking Dawn of the Dead right now. It's good to be confused.
Confused saves you from dealing with the loonies running the world. Like Romney. What is that all about? President Mit?!?.
Sounds like something you'd get in a german restaurant. "Bratwurst? Mitt Romney?" "Nein. Nein Romney." Confused yet? Go Bill Bailey!

If you stand on a robots toe and it says "sorry" can you conclude it's made in Canada? (Probably won't mean anything to any but Americans and Canadians)

Ok. This won't mean anything to any but IT and Sci-Fi nutters.
What names do you give your servers?
We have MOYA, LEXX, NOSTROMO and SULACO for example.
Really like 'Lewis & Clark', but it makes a tough name so we used them for two servers. Pop Quiz: Name the movie!
Be damned if I'll have 'Hunter-Gratzner' but it was the best cinematic spaceship crash of *ALL* time IMO. Blew the budget for the film on the crash!
"Don't you touch that lever Fry!" (Kick, Kick, Frickin passengers, Kick, Kick)

Ben is playing his new game. Borderlands 2. Love it. A Bazzilion guns and loads of Sci-Fi memes hidden away in plain sight... Saw the claptrap doing the Mars Attacks woman walk! Cool.

Just went out the back for an oral suppository and a fruit bat tried to crashland into a tree. I emphasise "tried". Hit every branch it sounded like. But it's valiant attempt to salvage some dignity was ruined when it was brought to a halt by a cabbage. Yes really. Went straight through the tree and hit the ground. It's dark so I can't see it, but I imagine it's doing what cats do when they do something similar: start licking their chests. Wait. Do bats lick their chests? Kinda interested to see that if they do.

Now this is interesting. Found this site. zombiestat. You enter the domain and it tells you what your miserable life^h^h^h^hsite is worth and tells you whether your site is 'safe'. The amount of telephone number dollar amounts shown is kinda cool. So my blog is worth $480. And ranked 1,279,778 in the world. Meh. Do I care? Actually 'yes'. Yes I do. Because I intend to get the site up to the one millionth rank. Challenge Accepted!

You know what pisses me off? Everything. For example: I was asked why do even bother to write things like this. So I said "I've lived long and prospered. Might as well write about it." They didn't get it.

Wow. Now there's a surprise. Go to google and type "mad squirrels" and view the images. There's some seriously psychotic rodents out there. Don't ask me why I typed that btw. Someone has to ask these questions.

Did you know it's possible to toast rye bread? You know that really dark bread seemingly made of mashed seeds?
Anyway, I went downstairs because I needed a Vegemite fix and discovered we had no "ordinary" bread.
We did have some buns, but my attempt to cut them sideways convinced me that toasted blood flavoured buns were a no-show.
But we did have rye. Challenge Accepted! First attempts were a fail. Think I discovered an organic substitute for bricks. Albeit small bricks. Trying to eat them was like trying to eat a slice of gravel. Although a house made of them would be kind of spectacular. Certainly you'd get an audience of birds.
Anyway, you have to watch the slices like a hawk and you can do it.
Unfortunately they don't go well with Vegemite. Fail!

Went to pay a ticket online (1st in 25yrs) and examined the document in detail today.
Under one section named "Evidence" I saw a single scrawled word: "Loser".
My blood began to boil at that point and I started hunting around the website trying to find a way to complain.
Fortunately sanity raised it's annoying head.
You know that little voice that keeps tapping on the back of your head saying "Heeeeellllooo! Wait you dumbass! Think!"
I examined the scrawl again and there was a faint little tick at the bottom of the "o".
I collapsed in laughter.
So.... Not "Loser" but "Laser" The speed gun thing.

Thursday 27 September 2012

The Borg have invaded! And they're after our veggies!

I know.
But look at this:

"We are spinach. We are borg. All your veggie belong to us! All your herbs and things will have their distinct characteristics added to us. We will have green things coming out of our ears. After all, you're closer to a potato genetically than a rabbit. Wait. Hold on. No that's not true. But we don't care. We will assimilate all spinach thingies. Oh and dairy products as well. Including cheese."
"Sharon! Sharon! Who wrote this copy? Who? Roger! WTF? But he's from that bloody vegetable planet! What? Yes. Tea Please. No not green tea. Dammit. I want real tea. Burnt leaves. Oh don't start crying. It's just Roger blathering on about his distinctiveness. Real tea! Why we went there I'll never know. Every since we assimilated their distinctiveness I've been coughing up beetroot juice. Oh well. Must carry on. WE ARE BORG YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!"
"Roger. Who the hell let him near a typewriter? What? Well that's what we have to use now we visited that so called machine planet. Machines my shiny, and now blue because of Roger, ass. They had a moon shot! Did you know that? Steam powered. What the hell? They attached TVs to typewriters and called them computers. Management. Phbbbbttt! I don't know why I bother. Yes. Bloody burnt leaves for Cthulhu's sake. Vegetables! Bloody things. Can't live without them, can't even eat them now. Bloody things. Always getting underfoot. Anything on the telly? Life of Herbs? You have got to be kidding. That's it! I'm getting my resume together."

15 years ago I was on the verge of suicide. What's changed?

Imagine being a child and then a teenager struggling with your gender identity.
Now imagine being 40 years old and still struggling.
I was a successful, well respected, and well known married man.
But I was plagued by fears and doubts, knowing I wasn't gay, yet not knowing what I was.
It was driving me insane.
I just didn't fit in.
Driven to be more of a man, I ended up with a litany of broken bones and dreams.

By sheer chance, I was put on a trial medication for hypertension.
It contained a mild dose of phytoestrogens.

Everything changed.
It was as if my body had been starved of something during my development and had gone wild.

And so I made a choice.
A quite radical one.
I changed gender.
Actually that's not quite true.
I was never a man, I think I just had a birth defect that made me look like one.
I went through the program and had surgery in the late 90's.
Without the testosterone and the 'bits', I finally had some peace in the wreckage of my life.
Wish I'd done it when I was diagnosed as TS at 17.

So how is it now?
Very good.
No longer suicidal.
And in a loving relationship with the most interesting man in the world.
He's stood beside me through the early horrors of transition and has been my line manager for 15 years.
I love him and will never leave.

There are some cold, hard, cruel facts that have to be faced though.
I'm no beauty.
And I still have to face excruciatingly painful discrimination.
For example, I got caught speeding last week.
My fault entirely.
So despite having boobs and 'Ms' and gender 'F' on my driving license, the cop ticked 'MALE' on the ticket.
I considered raising that issue, but all I could think of was 'Contempt of Cop'.
Mainly because early in my 'transition' I was 'talked to' by 2 cops who joked about arresting me.
And throwing me in the male holding cell overnight for the fun of it.
Think about that.
So I kept my mouth shut and smiled at the officer and thanked him for the ticket.

Also last week, I overheard two people gossipping.
"The freak is back. What do you even say to it?"
Not she, not even he, "it" - You have to be tough.
Something like that happens about once a week.

Small things but relentless and soul crushing.

It's not been easy, what with having to bare all to multiple medicos.
And the costs for surgery and legal stuff is around $100,000 so far.
And 15 years post change I am only now getting the last of documents from various governments.
On the bright side, my new birth certificate came last month.
Although I had to wait for an act of parliament to make that possible.
But no-one cares about bits of paper.
Except that is is now legal for me to get married of course.

As a coping mechanism during my 'transition' and to clarify to myself that I was actually making the right decision, I wrote a diary.
Starting with all my memories from childhood that could be verified independently.
So nothing 'made-up' or 'imagined'.
I put it online.
Kinda went viral for a while.
Had good comments and bad.
And many mothers, fathers and children contacted me thanking me for giving them insight into someone they knew.
It's quite big as I've done quite a lot in my life.

I'm considering serialising it before making an eBook.
What are your thoughts about that?

Friday 21 September 2012

You know you're a socially inept dork when...

1) You stop posting on FB and no-one notices
2) You comment on an FB post and all other comments then stop
3) You see someone you know in the street and they look confused
4) On those rare moments you actually have a non-work related conversation with someone they look at you strangely and you realise you've said something bad and haven't got a clue what it is
5) You call yourself a jerk and no-one disagrees
6) You start to tell a joke about the Higgs boson and realise no-one will get it
7) People you try to talk to seem to have so many urgent things to do
8) People smile at you in a way you don't understand
9) No-one finds the fact that you can recite Star Trek Original series scripts interesting
10) You think tank based slippers are cool
11) You correct people all the time
12) You have no-one on your iChat list except your husband. He's in the other room. You message him
13) You like making lists about what a socially inept dork is
14) You go "Oh crap" when you realise the list describes you

Oh crap.

15) You post the list on FB and think about adding a comment to it. But then wait 15mins. And then add a comment.
16) You check the post every 5mins to see if anyone has commented. In your heart of hearts you're afraid that if they do you won't know what to say.
17) You wait another 15mins. There is a comment. You panic and type something
18) See #2.

Oh crap.

Sunday 16 September 2012

I have a troubling relationship with time. As I get older distances back seem smaller.

Now I want you to think back.
Think back ten years.
What were you doing then?
In school?
In your first job?
In any case you can remember it.
Relatively clearly one hopes.
Now I want you to imagine a couple newly married who had just had a baby.
They can remember back ten years.
They remember clearly when they found out that two atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan.
The war with Japan was over.
Dancing in the streets.

I was that baby.

I was born in 1956.
(Ok it's eleven years back... But I was born within minutes of the anniversary of Nagasaki)
I grew up in military camps all over England and a couple overseas.
It was a different world to today.
Virtually no plastic.
Indoor plumbing was a relative luxury.
Loo was outside.
There were no super markets.
Very few cars.
Still had carts and horses in places.
(I still remember the night cart)
As a very young child I was washed in the sink.
My father worked in the steel mills and the bathtub had to be hauled in from outside.
My mother boiling water for that bathtub.
And hooking her brand spanking new iron into the light socket hanging from the roof.
We had ice cream once a year.
It came in a cardboard box.
The wonders of the brave new world were upon us.

In 1962 I met my great-grandmother.
I remember her distinctly.

Think about that.
She was born just as the American civil war was starting.
Her parents would have avidly read the papers about how it was going.
And her great grand parents would have waited with bated breath to see how Waterloo turned out.

I think sadly that I never *knew* my great grandmother.
What great memories she would have had.
Of a world before mine.
But I met her.

Different from today.
Different when I hitch hiked through Europe in the mid 70s.
No MacDonalds.
Hardly anyone spoke English.

Different when I learnt to program.
And migrated to C and C++
Then perl, java, ruby et al.
I remember using the first ever mouse.
I remember using the first graphical windowing system.
I remember setting up the first ISPs for this new fangled thing: The Internet.
I remember.
I remember so much.

And I haven't got any one to tell.

And now when I hear people talk about the American civil war as OVER 150 YEARS AGO!
Or the like.
I find myself struck by the fact that I have a visceral connection to that time.
And, if I had been capable of discussing things with my great grandmother, would have a similar connection to the Napoleonic era.

Which makes me feel a sense of connection with the people who walked this planet only a few generations ago.
The Wars of the Roses.
The English Civil War.
The American Revolution.
The Middle East.

My GG might have had a connection with her GG and hers and hers and lo...
I can almost feel connected to Shakespeare.
A few more GGs and we're at 0AD.

And we look at children playing in the school yard and think...
They may live to the year 2100.
They may travel to other planets.

Brings the distance in time into perspective.
So I urge you...
You may yet be a great grandparent.
Tell your kids your memories and get them to tell their kids their memories.
Fill them with the sense of wonder and yes even horror that was your childhood.
So sometime, a 100 years from now, someone will write an article like this and actually have those memories.

Thursday 13 September 2012

How to piss off Indian call centre employees and have fun.

Had an entertaining conversation with an Indian call centre recently.
Very entertaining.
Normally I just say "take me off your call list and piss off" and hang up.
This time I got into a conversation to see how far I could go.

Them: Can I speak to Mr Smith please?
Me:     Who's calling?
Them: I'm calling from [insert dumb ass made up company name here].
Me:     What?
Them: I'm calling from [insert dumb ass made up company name here].
Me:     Ok... Just writing that down.
Them: Can I speak to Mr Smith please?
Me:     What is the call about?
Them: Are you Mr Smith?
Me:     That's not relevant. I screen all calls to find out what they are about.
Them: Can I speak to Mr Smith please?
Me:     What is the call about?
Them: I need to speak to Mr Smith.
Me:     What is the call about?
Them: This is not a sales or marketing call. I need to speak to Mr Smith.
Me:     I need to know what it is regarding before I continue.
Them: I need to speak to Mr Smith.
Me:     Tell you what... You tell me your name and I'll tell you mine. Ok?
Them: Ok. My name is James Carter.
Me:     Rubbish. You're Indian. What's your Indian name?
Them: Er... My name is not important.
Me:     It is to me. What's your name?
Them: Er... Pradeep [something].
Me:     Excellent. Just writing that down.
Them: Er... Now... What is your name?
Me:     I lied. My name is not important. What do you want to speak to Mr Smith about?
Them: [silence] I need to speak to Mr Smith about an opportunity.
Me:     Ah. So you lied too. This is a sales or marketing call.
Them: No. No. I mean... I need to speak to Mr Smith.
Me:     There's no-one here by that name.
Them: What?
Me:     There. Is. No. One. Here. By. That. Name.
Them: Are you Mr Smith?
Me:     That's not relevant.
Them: [click]

So. I had fun. Sorta like wrestling a pig, getting muddy and liking it.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

I'd like to illustrate the difference between "What?" and "Wait. What?!?" moments

In the first case this is where the data is bizarre but in some strange way believable in this world.

For example:
"The vatican announced today that Cardinal Richelieu is divesting his stocks in Diesel Powered Nuns Incorporated. He feels his shares would be better served in the Titanium sector."
Now that's a "What?" moment.
Kinda like when you bite into a pie and find a hair.

Now contrast that with this completely frickin' stupid and made up news item:
"Diesel Powered Nuns Incorporated spokes-lesbian Moonie Santorini today announced that the global power struggle will continue.
The effort to make men thinks socks are good when really they have been designed for centuries to create weak footed men has been a staggering success.
'Men, all over the world today, are wearing socks. We think this is good.' said Mz Santorini.
'They are forced to wear shoes to protect their socks. And this will make them useless when the rapture comes.' She continued."
Now that's a definite "Wait. What?!?" moment.

That's like biting into a pie and finding a hair and recognising a whisker from your cat that disappeared last week.

So now you know when to say "What?" and when to say "Wait. What?!?"

I urge people to apply this to announcements from major IT organisations and political parties. Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Republicans, The Fed, Liberals, Conservatives etc... All in all. Everyone. Just every-frickin-one. No-one is immune.

Wait. What?!?

Well that felt kinda weird... Upgraded to Mountain Lion from Leopard

We had this ancient mac mini running lion.
Used to drive our TV until we got a new one.
It's been sitting in a box gathering dust for ages.
Anyway, I wanted to use it for a ton of stuff like running Ubuntu VMs and Nexus, Jenkins, Tomcat, Jetty, JBoss et al.
Can't do it directly.
Have to upgrade to Snow Leopard first to get the AppStore.
Dug around through piles of stuff and discovered a Snow Leopard disk.
When popped in, the CD rattled and ground around.
Popped out.
Popped back in.
Shake, Rattle and Grind.
Popped out.
Another clean.
Considering using peanut butter when...
Popped in and "Hey!" got the installer.
Whining... Spin up... Spin down... Spin up... etc...
45 minutes later...
Well it says its installed...

Hmm. Faint blue screen for ages now.
Odd. The mouse shows movement.
I'll give it a bit longer.
Meanwhile our new DroboFS is making agricultural noises... Must look into that...

Ok. Given it 10 minutes. Must have hung on something. Hard reboot seems to be Sophies choice.
Ok. Ok. I'll give it a couple more minutes.
Wait! What was that noise? Sounded like the DVD drive twiddled...
Couple more minutes.

Well whaddaya know.... The login box appeared!
Login' in!
Oh no! The Spinning Beachball of Death!

10 minutes later...
Oh wow.
It did it!
Setup assistant has appeared! No sound because it has no speakers, but what the heck.
That music drives me nuts anyway...
X. A big X!
Apple->About shows 10.6! Yey!
Right. Updates are de-rigeur at this point...
Ah... Software update... The slowest app in the world...
Excellent. Updates happ'n!
15 minutes? I gotta wait 15 minutes? Oh yeah... Of course... I remember installing SunOS 4.1 on a piece of big iron. 4 x 1/4inch tapes. Took all day... Impatience thy name is Kim...
Well that's it. I'm off to have some cheese and a glass of wine.

Ok. I'm back. Double Gloucester, Tasty Cheddar and a glass of Pinot Noir.
Dammit. Still Updating. And no AppStore Icon!
Ah crap. An error occurred. Can't access update server. Oh well. Try again.
Spinning Beachball of Death!
Well at least I had some cheese.
More agricultural noises from the new DroboFS... Dammit.
Oh! iPhone SDK license appeared. Clicked Ok.
And... Back to the dreaded Spinning Beachball of Death...
Ah. Login required! Sudo abounds!
Ok. Done...
8 minutes left...
Dammit! "The Update Combined Could not be Saved"
Damn. Damn. Ok. Try again with an eject of the Snow Leopard disc and a restart...
Argh! Installs left to update before restart and I was turned away before it counted down!
Crosses fingers...
The "CHUNG" noise has arrived.
Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...
And... Login!
Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...
Downloading 1.09Gb of updates...
Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...
Ok. Off for more cheese... And wine... Really must look into those noises from the DroboFS...

TaDa! Installed! Reboot...
Oh my elder god... The "CHUNG" sound! It might have worked...
Well... Hallo AppStore Icon!
Wait. Wait. Must check to make sure we're completely up to date...
Damn but software update is slow. Well at least on this mac mini...
(It's called MINI for a reason people :-)
Damn that's a lot of updates. Oh well. Off we go...
600Mb? Oh well...
Might as well put together these puzzles I bought from ALDI (ASDA in the UK).
Saturn 5, Command Module and Lunar Excursion Module.
Damn. One of the LEMs legs is busted. SupaGlue to the rescue!
Oh well. My tribute to Neil. I got to see him put his foot down on the moon in 1969. Least I could do.
They're not bad puzzles. Chunky. Nice. I'll post photos later.

And updates done. Restart!

Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...
Any cheese left? Sigh. It's almost time to start making meatballs and spaghetti...
Oh crap "Adobe Flash Player is out of date"
Well no sh*t Sherlock.
Screw it. Later.
Any more updates?
No! Cool. Ok. AppStore here we come...
Hallo! Hallo! Hallo!
We have AppStore login. Ok. Let's see if this works...
I choose you Mountain Lion!
Ok. We have credit card requests. Lookin' good.
Damn where's my CC?
Well it accepted my CC. Twiddly whirling thing in action at this stage...
No other signs of activity so far...
Damn is the twiddly rotating thing the only sign of progress?
Waiting... Waiting... Waiting... 
Damn. Thinking about going downstairs to start dinner.
Ah. Just noticed the little Mountain Lion icon on the bottom bar.
Tiniest spot of blue on the download.
Sigh. Long way to go.
Off to make meatballs and spaghetti.

Well the meatballs are made and ready.
The sauce is ready.
The spaghetti is started.
Still only 1/3rd downloaded...

Back after 15mins.
2/3rd downloaded.

Back again after another 5mins.
Hallo. Big Mountain Lion screen has appeared.
Continue. Agree. Agree. Install. Enter password.
3minutes? Microsoft Minutes? Or Apple Minutes?

Oh for Cthulhu's sake.
Finished dinner.
Slipping into food coma.
But it's still installing.
"About a minute" has been about 15 frickin' minutes.
Definitely Microsoft minutes on this machine.
Oh. Wait. We're down to "Less than a minute."

Well. Less than a minute later (where a minute is defined as the lifetime of the universe) it stated it worked.
Let's reboot.
Wait. What? It did it by itself.
Damn. Typing so I didn't see it.

Hey! The login appears. Can I log in?
Crap. Apple ID request. Well, hey, you don't need it at this stage...


The whole thing kinda felt like Blackhawk Lion Down.
Or more like Neo walking up as a battery pulling a tube out of the back of his head...
Or even more like finding out you have a prosthetic limb and some bimbo has torn it off and is bashing you with it.
Something like that.
That really happens by the way.
Being beaten up with your own prosthetic limb I mean.
I'll post a link... Later...

Eventually worked but what a frickin' drama.
My fault entirely.
Should have kept up to date.
I *should* be used to this having 35 years of experience, but I am still amazed when stuff actually works.

Rules for upgrading from Leopard to Mountain Lion...

1) Have a Snow Leopard disc.
2) Prepare your meatballs.
3) Have two, yes TWO, bottles of wine ready.
4) Make dinner.
5) Wait.
6) Have dinner.
7) Enjoy it.
8) Go to bed feeling satisfaction that it all finally worked.
9) Wake up in a shock at 3am when you realise you still have to install JDK7, Groovy, Grails, Ruby, Rails et al.
10) Screw it. Go back to sleep.

Update to "Ruby on Rails Tutorial 2nd Edition"

Ah ha!
Had a nice email conversation with Michael Hartl about his book.

He has confirmed that EPub and Mobi upgrades are available from his site.

The exact news article covering the details is:

New EPUB and Mobi versions of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial

So you can go do your thing!

There's no information at this stage about a second printing with the fixes for the code samples at this stage, but I will be sure to update when I have more news.

Excellent work should be rewarded, and that's my 2c!

Thursday 6 September 2012

Don't buy "Ruby on Rails Tutorial 2nd Edition" YET

Michael Hartl has had problems with Addison Wesley.
I love the tutorial and wanted to give something back to Michael for all his damn fine work.

So I pre-ordered the book as a quiet thank you.
Ages ago.

And received it a couple of days ago.
Opened it to do a quick scan and...


Every single one of the code samples are completely scrambled.
Missing quotes, extra spaces, underscores, missing chevrons.
You name it it's seriously screwed up.

So I went to the site to see if there was any info and Michael has got a note about it on his site dated August 9th:

Curiously that's my birthday.
Go figure.

Just so you know.
I'll be watching via twitter and what not to see when it's safe to get the 2nd Edition.
So be warned.

In the mean time, use the web site itself and avoid the pain and cost.

Keep up the good work Michael!

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Movie Review: "Hunter Prey" 2010

I was expecting the usual fare of bad filming, acting and CG.
But no.
This was a very worthy piece of work.

Basically the movie starts with a bunch of Boba Fett look-a-likes who have lost their prisoner on a Tatoine like planet after crashing.
They are picked off one by one and eventually you find out that they are the aliens and their prisoner is the "Last Human" alive.

Eventually there is one alien vs one human hunting each other other a beautiful desert landscape.
There are a lot of twists and turns that, although telescoped somewhat, are very good.
The ending, which was again telescoped a bit, was delightful.
The filming and acting was great and the makeup was stunning for such a simple film.
The guns they used had that well-used feel that looks so real and a tad steam punk.
To be honest it looked like someone had made them from Nerf rifles, but the paint, general gunge and wear made them look very real.

The director "Sandy Collora" plays a part in the movie in heavy makeup and does a good job.
I look forward to seeing more of his work.

Movie Review: "Shark in Venice" 2008

Oh my lord this was awful.
Stephen Baldwin at his most wooden.
Total rubbish.
For example, the divers are talking on the radio.
But... They had regulators in their mouths... Say what?
And the CG was just appalling.

The only redeeming feature for us was that we could look at the shots of Venice and say things like:

"Oh. Oh. Remember that alley?"
"That's where that cool supermarket was!"
"Wasn't that tiny church down that path?"
"Hah. Remember getting lost through that bit?"


Saturday 25 August 2012

Origins: Super heroes fails.

Dammit it annoys me when us geeks and nerds wax lyrical about "origins."
Most modern super heroes have mediocre to batshit crazy origins.
Take these for example:

The hero everyone thinks is a sweetie.
Son of Tom Curry. Not Tim Curry I might point out.
His real name is Arthur.
His arch nemesis was his half brother Orm. An amnesiac.
His kryptonite is anti-water. That is, if he doesn't bathe each hour he dies.
He was actually the leader of the Justice League along with...
And get this...
Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, and Elongated Man.

Ok. I'm done laughing. Let's move on.

Nutter arms manufacturer who kills communist Vietnamese agents in the 1960's.
No heart problem.
That came later.
His armour was gray not gold or red and he looked like the michelin man.

Ace the Bat-Hound:
What? Yes Batman had a dog.
Got his super powers from Bat-mite, an imp like Mxyzptlk.
What? Yes. Really.

Green Lanterns off sider.
A heroin addict.

I could go on. But you get the drift.
The pap they splash out on movies to make money has nothing to do with the origin of these loonies.
They're not heroes.
They're nutters.

What the heck.
Good fun.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Pocket Gophers? What?

Ben stumbled on this while perusing a site.
He burst out laughing.
"Pocket gophers!"
He spluttered and we started on some excited banter about it.
I must admit, it had me in stitches.
It's the idea that you'd be sitting quietly and someone:

a) Races over to you with a rubber mallet and starts bashing at your chest frantically or
b) You release "Zipper Ferrets" to get the little furry f**kers or
c) Someone suggests using Wallet Weasels or Sock snakes!

Now don't go saying this is silly.
After all, Paris Hilton has a Purse Dog.
It's not a fashion statement.
She just hasn't been to the Purse Dog Eradication Service yet.

Imagine this.
A dry cleaning service with this sign outside:
"2 hour turnaround! Pocket Gopher removal! Purse dogs a speciality!"
You get the drift.

I am getting seriously sick of historical romances.

Reading this book.
Historical romance.
Name is "Desperate Duchess" by Eloisa James.
Set in the late 1700's.
Recommended reading by a certain group of lovely ladies whom I will not embarrass by mentioning.
Supposed to be a fantastic read.


I'm half way through and thinking of stabbing myself in the face with forks.
And other spiked implements.

It's like being whacked in the face with a copy of vogue every page.
And a book on chess.
Who the hell cares what trimming her petticoat has?
Endless detail about some frickin' ribbon some dude has in his hair.
And I know that chess is an integral part of the story but why, in the name of Zeus, does it have to be described on every frickin' page?
Then there is the droning on and on about this gown and that gown and the layout of the table...
Even down to the stitching on some dudes stockings.
Endless twittering clever banter for pages and pages and.. Please kill me now... Please...

Where's the smut?
Where's the ninja pirate robot monkeys?
Oh. 1700's. So maybe not so much of the latter.
And bugger all of the former.
And so much frickin' fashion and banter that you completely lose track of the actual characters!
Roberta who? Wait. Who's this dude again? Oh who the f**k cares? Oh look. We're back to waxing lyrical about the petticoats...

If I had to describe this book I'd say it's like a single episode of Blackadder.
Stretched to 8 hours.
With no jokes.
It even has those guys from that episode about "The Scottish Play" making poses and thrusting their hips out.
But not as funny.

I. Must. Finish. This. Damn. Book.
Because I have to finish it so I can do a massive "rip" on it.
If I give up at this stage, it will only be a an "ri" which has little or no impact.

I soooo need that "p" so I can say "Damn you. Damn you all to hell!"
And ride off into the sunset.

Monday 20 August 2012

New form of life discovered in fridge!

Oh my laird!
I went downstairs to make Ben some dinner and discovered a new form of life in the fridge.
It was way, way down the back hiding behind some cheese.
Bloody new life forms are always hiding behind cheese.
"It was the Camembert Officer!" 
Anyway, Ben suggested we keep it the icebox so that it can't escape like "The Thing" or develop language skills and decide to debate the meaning of the phrase "Hardline Presbyterian."
I had to take a photograph because I figure that my Monday night has been ruined so yours has to be too.

Not as bad as the "Egg Of Cthulhu" shown below:

At least it didn't try to suck my face off my skull.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Haven't posted for a while. So here's a movie review and a suggestion for arming Curiosity.

Been recovering.
Then getting sick again.
Bloody weather.
Although I tend to think it's psychosomatic.
With the emphasis on psycho I fear.
As you will see as you read on...

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. That's what I want to blather about.
Normally I watch absolutely frickin' ludicrous movies so I can rip on them.
"Two Headed Shark Attack" and the like.
Different last night.
Watched a bevy of old "good" movies.

"Things to Come" 1936
"The Way Ahead" 1944
"It Came From Outer Space" 1953

And "It. The Terror from Outer Space" 1958
Now this is a good movie.
Sorry to bring billy goats into this, but. But...
There are some serious "Wait. What? WTF?" moments in this movie that deserve mention.
So what's this movie about anyway?

Well this dude is the last survivor of an expedition to Mars.
His mates all got grabbed by some strange entity one by one.
In any case, the relief expedition arrives, pick him up and starts to return to Earth.
But they had an extra passenger.
The "thing/entity/badass alien" had hitched a ride. 
So ensues the standard battle between the crew and the almost indestructible thing.
Now it wouldn't have been so bad really. 
The acting was very good. 
The sets were good. 
The effects were good. 
The movie hailed from the 50s military-industrial complex world we have forgotten about today. 
So all the crew are armed to the frickin' teeth.

I just want you to think about this. 
I grew up in that world, and you young whipper snappers have no frickin' idea what it was like.
Frickin' guns, tanks, nukes, large clanky killing things every frickin' where.
For example I remember whooping at a Vulcan flying overhead.
It had a Blue Steel clearly visible in it's belly.
Frickin' mega-thermo-nuke bastard. There in the sky. Just overhead. In a jet.
And once my father showed me how to field strip his FN.
As a Christmas present.
That world.


At one point, the crew are standing about shocked at the fact that some bad ass alien has just crapped on them.
Then one crew member points at a box.
With the word "GRENADES" stenciled on it.
Why the frickin' hell does a spaceship have grenades on board?
They then festoon, and I'm not using that word blithely, FESTOON two air shafts with about 40 grenades.
What the frickin' hell is that ships hull made of?

They all go off. 
It doesn't work.
This bad ass alien is immune to grenades.
They are all frickin' armed to the teeth with .45 calibre pistols, Tommy guns and Garand M1 rifles.
This isn't a space ship it's a frickin' space marine assault craft!

They shoot enough ammunition that would mean the frickin' alien wouldn't be able to stand upright for all the bullets laying around.
It doesn't work.

So one crew member suggests gas.
Gas? What frickin' gas?
Apparently he "knocked it up on the trip to avoid boredom".
Frickin' tons of it.

FYI: I do not want this man on any international flight I take.

Anyway, they unload enough mustard gas into the level with the alien to suffocate a European city.
It doesn't work.

They try electrifying the ladders.
It doesn't work.

So there they are trapped in the top of the ship.
Facing certain death.
And the alien bad ass is climbing up to them.
And they have...
Wait for it...
They've got a frickin' bazooka?

It doesn't work.
They finally dispatch the frickin' alien by evacuating all the oxygen in the ship.

That works.
Erm... It's never explained how they get home of course.
A dog barks.
Everyone laughs.

Who was the quartermaster for this trip? Some "Scot Mc-Nutter-Looney-Mc-F**k" I'm thinking.
"Ah yes. Now ye'll be needin' some weaponry. I've packed some basics. VX, Tabun and the like. But also a 45 calibre pistol for each of you, several M1 rifles, a few Thompson sub-machine guns, 60 or so grenades, a bazooka, flamethrower and some assorted maces, broadswords, pikes and a walking tank. Now I know that sounds like a lot, but it's just the basics mind. If this was a military expedition we'd be adding gatling guns, missiles and a company of marines. But you're only a rescue mission, so you just need the basics. Now don't complain about the weight... We've included two nuclear reactors and just enough oxygen to get you there and back."
But it was a good movie.
4 out of 5 stars.
Cheered me up somewhat.

Actually... Now I think about it... 
Let's lobby NASA to allow crew to carry guns. 
Lots of guns! 
Yeah, that works. 
Let's see the replacement shuttle with a pair of 20mm mini-guns mounted on it. 
Let's go back to the days when astronauts all had pistols at their sides. 
Works for me. 
And after all we're not that far from it.
Most commercial air liner pilots have access to pistols and ammunition. 
So why not extend that a bit...
For example, why the heck didn't curiosity have gatling guns and missiles?
"What's that over there? Some interesting geological formation! Let's blow the shit out of it! Oh wait! Is that a foreign space craft landing on our frickin' Mars? Let loose the missiles!"
Now that would have tripled the audience and got the US government on side for more funding.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Book Review: "Dark Seduction" by Brenda Joyce (2007)

Oh my laird!
Well. Think I've found my libido.
It was waiting in this book.
Rates 12 out of 10 on my twitcherific scale.

Massive, muscular, mind-reading, virile Scottish demon hunters in the 14th century.
Young 20th century book seller with an interest in history.
Time travel.

Oh and the smut? Just gorgeous.
If you read this book, you'll need a fire blanket.
And you won't need batteries.

Definitely going to see about getting others in the Warriors of Time series.

Monday 13 August 2012

O.M.G. Just watched "Mammoth" (2006) the movie

It was actually quite good.
Loads of tongue in cheek.
Tom Skerrit et al.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about.
We accidentally had Swedish sub-titles set on.
We were going to turn them off, but it was kinda fun.
In any case, this post is about the very last frame of the movie.



As the titles said:
"The End?"
The Swedish sub-title came up:
Wait. What?

Off to Google translate.
The end is Slut in Swedish.

The synonyms are as follows:
end, closure, tail, close, finish, conclusion
Oh there are so many ways to have fun with this...
We tried reversing to English->Swedish.
What fun.
come-off, net, wind-up, upshot, done in, exhausted, washed-up and disposed-of.
Well I guess the 'Net (and Mitt Romney) is all of those things.

So the next time someone says "It's the end" you can say "Slut!" and when they advance on you threateningly, just say it's Swedish.

And for those crazy people in IT I have one thing to say...
Yes. Yes. I know it was on a frickin' computer and I could have done a screen capture remotely from my own machine, but I was just dumbfounded and grabbed the frickin' phone ok?

Bit of a messy day today

First off I didn't sleep well having a total of only about 4 hours actual sleep.
The rest was thrashing about like a drowning victim.
Which was kinda right since I was sweating as well.

So I was sitting outside trying to wake up with a coffee.
And I noticed something.
A piece of wood.
Staring angrily at me.
Ok ok, not quite at me.
And not so much angry.
More like pensive or disappointed.
And not quite at me.
Sort of at a leaf.
I shall call him "Woody".

Then I made some lunch:

Yes that's a real hamburger. With bacon, cheese, beetroot, egg and pineapple.
After I finished it, I immediately fell victim to drive-by nap attack.

Woke up about 3 hours later going "Wha? Who? How?"

Saturday 11 August 2012

How to make up your own movie names like the SyFy channel

Think I've figured out how SfFy original movies are thought up.

Pick one or two items from this list:

Zombie     Shark       Snake       Anaconda    Croc
Gator      Beast       Octopus     Swarm       Beast
Raptor     Boa         Piranha     Spider      Python
Alien      Mosquito    Moth        Worm        Giant

(If you pick two, you must separate them with 'vs')

Now pick a place they come from:

Triassic   Sea         Swamp       Island      Planet
Ice        Mountain    Mongolia    Earth

And prefix at least one them with one of these:

Dino       Super       Mega        Franken     Two-Headed 
Killer     Frost       Annihilation

Maybe suffix one with "man" or "roid" or "death".

And perhaps addd some extra flavour:

Apocalypse Twister     Storm

So. Here are some suggestions for original movies:

Two-Headed Shark         DinoCroc vs SuperGator
Alien Apocalypse         Boa vs Python
DinoShark                FrankenFish
SharkMan                 Ice Spiders
Ice Twisters             Killer Mountain
MosquitoMan              MegaPiranha
MegaPython vs Gatoroid   Mega Snake
Mongolian Death Worm     MothMan
Planet Raptor            Raptor Island
Sea Beast                Shark Swarm
SharkTopus               DinoCroc vs SuperGator
Swamp Shark              Zombie Apocalypse
Frost Giant              Annihilation Earth
Android Apocalypse       Annacondas

Oh wait. All of those have been done by SyFy.
Ok. How about these:

Zombie-Dino-Moth vs Two-Headed-Spider-Conda.

Or you could add your own monsters:

Mega-Lemur vs Swamp-Parrot!
Killer-Puppet-Clowns from Mars!
Two-Headed-Death-Ponies vs Alien-Mega-Ticks!
Dino-Squirrel vs Croco-Pony!
Sharko-Pup vs Triassic-Dino-Wombat-inator!
Fire-Owls vs Frost-Hamsters!
Franken-Bambi vs Mega-Flopsie!

You get the drift.
There's an app in this. I called it. It's mine!

Friday 10 August 2012

Just gave myself a first ever Glycolic Scrub. Frickin' YEOW!

Now I have to say that I have never taken care of myself.
I've never used a moisturiser.
Never been to the gym.
Unless you count being shot at while running scared shitless.

But a couple of days ago I did something I haven't done for... for... well... EVER.
I looked at myself in the mirror while wearing glasses.

Frickin' hell.
I had wrinkles.

I went off and went to a place of medicine (Ben has some words which don't bear repeating here) to see what could be done.
Bought some stuff.

One of them was a Glycolic Scrub.
So tonight after writing up the review of Adam Chaplin I went into the bathroom and studied the instructions.
Squeezed a small amount out and started scrubbing.
I stopped.


Felt like I'd just been dumped by a monster wave in Maui.
Felt like more sand than a cement truck.
Frickin' hurt.

I stared at my gradually reddening face and stared down at the instructions.
Twice a day 3 times a week?
I'm going to look like Achmed the dead terrorist at that rate.
(Haven't got a clue what I'm talking about? Check out youtube. Hilarious)

Ben says it's worked.
Crapola and frickin' bees on steroids laced with acid.
It frickin' hurts.

Gunna keep doing it.
The price we pay...

Movie Review: "Adam Chaplin" 2011

Ben's been in charge of the entertainment lately - tonight I made the mistake of telling him I wanted a movie with action and senseless violence (it was that kind of day)...

He paid me back by putting "Adam Chaplain" in the dvd player.

I don't know where he actually got this movie and can only assume it involved a black candle, 2 dead chickens, and a pentagram.

I sat utterly stunned while this movie ran.
WE sat stunned.
Not stunned as in "surprised" but stunned as in "hit in the face with a rotting fish".
Had I taken LSD sometime before I started watching?
I think not, but watching this movie it would be impossible to tell.
I kept looking at my dinner thinking it must have been laced with something.

There is only one word in the English language that sums up the response of any normal human to this movie:

Dario Argento himself would have found this movie needlessly violent and macabre.
It had a dwarf! A dwarf demon!
Who lived in the main characters right shoulder blade, in the blood spurting wound in the shape of a upside-down cross (a motif used throughout the movie) burned into his skin by his dying girlfriend.
His wha?????
Yup. Right shoulder blade. Lives inside an upside down cross shaped blood spurting wound. In the heroes shoulder.
I use the word "hero" here because that seemed to be the intention, but his innocent body count is even higher than the all the villains combined.

Dario my friend, even in your most insane movie, you couldn't have made this crap up.

It was Italian by the way.

This movie had everything:
Revenge, Blood, Psychos, Blood, Violence, Blood, Murder, Blood, Street crime, Blood, Homeless, Blood, Mad leather face scientists, Blood, Bashed in heads, Blood, Mutant cops, Blood, Matrix style millions of punchs a second, Blood....
Oh, and did I mention it had buckets and frickin' buckets of frickin' blood.

In the end I have to admit I only kept watching because the lead (Emanuele De Santi who was also the writer and director) has great abs.
Ben said he only kept watching out of curiosity on exactly how long it would take me to beg him to turn it off... But I made it all the way to the end credits. (Yes... the abs were really that good)

By the end of the movie I still have no frickin' idea what it was about. (Mmm abs...)

This is a movie with a message.
And the message is "Beware."
Actually more like "Be Were It is Not."

From a company called necrostorm.
They have a website claiming they want to make movies with that 80's 90's feel using modern techniques.
Apparently movies in the 80's and 90's were total crap without scripts and modern techniques are limited to using high powered pumps to gush blood instead of just letting it ooze like it used to.

There have only been two movies EVER which I couldn't figure out what the frickin' hell was going on, this one and Casshern.

Comparatively the storyline of Casshern, with its tale of soldiers dying in combat and being rebuilt in a giant blood tank by a mad scientist before spontaneously re-animating, fighting their way out of the city, building a new civilisation in the abandoned mountain fortress of a forgotten wizard before returning to wage war on the entire world with giant war robots built by kidnapped scientists so they can find their own humanity.... (stops to breath in) is simple and straight forward compared to the story of "Adam Chaplin".

Did I just say that?
Out loud?
But seriously, Casshern made a frick' sight more sense than this one (and is much better made).

Purchase this one at your peril.
You'll laugh.
You'll hurl.
You'll need medication.
You'll end up being committed.
And you bitch and moan that I didn't give you more warning.

Thursday 9 August 2012

It's my not-dead-yet-day today and it's been a doozy.

First up I had to get up when sparrows haven't even begun to think about breaking wind.
Off to transport my mother to dialysis.
Then home for a little bit before a trip to a doctors surgery.
Then a business meeting.
Then rush to get mother home from dialysis.
Then a rush down to have the results from a liver and thyroid test.
Then a rush to get gas in the car and pick up dinner.

Dinner on my 56th not-dead-yet-day was KFC.
Ben had worked all night on an app and promptly fell asleep after eating.
In the middle of a VERY LOUD exorcism from the movie "The Rite".

And the well-meaning but fundamentally nutjob folks at tenders-info-online sent me a personalised email about how to book a Diabetic, Cholesterol, Liver, Renal, Thyroid, etc test. Thanks for that guys. If I didn't feel old before, I do now. Just waiting for ads to start popping up on Google for coffins. Sigh.

Oh. And if I get an ad for a coffin with built in coffee maker and JATO attachments, I'm buying it. Wanna make an impression.

And this is frickin' classic. After all the stuff I've had to deal with today.

Anyway, I just went downstairs to top up my glass and have a smoke out the back. And promptly got buzzed by two fruit bats in flagranto delecto (or whatever the spelling is). Nearly took my head off. I am not making this up. For those people not familiar with Qld fruit bats, they have a 4 foot wingspan and when they are "at it" they make a noise that would freeze mother theresa's toes. So I beat a hasty retreat into the main room while Ben slept through the lot.

One bright spot was a bunch of sc-fi dudes in California called "The Citizens of the Imperium" sent me an email. I know it's a form email and all that, but after today it seemed nice.

So all in all it's been one helluva "not-dead-yet-day."

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Fun with google search

Sometimes I have fun doing silly google searches.
I type silly search starters and see what comes up.
I don't follow them, but it's good for a laugh.

Search: "how many spiders/whales/monkeys/lemurs/ducks/ants can you fit"
How many spiders does an average person really eat in their sleep ...
How many spiders can I fit in my urethra? | ChaCha
How many bananas can you fit into a mini? – kgb answers
How Many Gay Whales Can You Fit in a Subaru? - Orange County ...
How many people can fit in a sperm whale
Can an full grown elephant fit in a blue whales mouth? | ChaCha
How many monkeys can you fit in a submarine
How Many Monkeys Can You Fit in Your Pants? – TheCuriousCalico
How many lemurs can fit inside a 15 passenger van? | ChaCha
How many ducks could a sperm whale fit into its mouth? - Yahoo ...
How many ponies can you fit in a horse
Why does my dick look like a turtle? - Yahoo! Answers
Why does my dick smell like bacon?
why does my arm shake when i eat dirt
How many ants can fit in a jumbo jet? (and the answers to 45 other ...

Search: "do demons get paid overtime"
Do demons get paid overtime, doubletime - or is it a seniority system?

Search: "is it wrong to"
Is it wrong to throw potatoes at people with down syndrome ...
Is it wrong to sleep with your step dad after your mom dies? | Los ...
Is it wrong to sleep with your best friends daughter?

Search: "why is my"
why is my poop pink

Search: "what do you do when"
What to Do When You Are Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Have you got any cool searches I can try?

Monday 6 August 2012

I'm ready for Curiosity! Are you?

I'm ready and cams are live!

No! Wait!
Where are the hotdogs (SF Style) and the blueberry pop tarts?
And the Champagne! Where's the frickin' Champagne?
Oh crap!
Oh well. It's all gone a bit Fray Bentos.

Friday 3 August 2012

Interesting fail I noticed in a shop.

Noticed this in a shop:

Now admittedly it was "The Reject Shop" but it cries out for comments.

Apart from not knowing what Anit's are and why they would be radioactive, I doubt a sliver of foam rubber would stop falfa, etba or gummy radiation.

Some people I know responded immediately:

I've been meaning to get a mouse pad that stops setting off the geiger counter....

Which brings the question to mind: What the hell kind of mouse are you using that requires anti-radiation measures?

Secret government funded mouse????...


I discovered that Anit is an Egyptian goddess. Here's a picture of her:

I have no idea how to link a mouse pad with an egyptian goddess in a humorous way at this time.
Maybe it will come to me later.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

WooHoo! Stats for end July.

Visits gradually increasing:

Ok. It's not huge. Not one least bit big.
But given that:

a) It was intended as a memory aid and
b) The original target market was employees of the company I worked for and
c) I have done no promotion and
d) it's purely word of mouth...

It's not that bad.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Book Review: "Silken Promises" 1994

Fan-blo**dy-tastic. The cover is absolutely not a reflection of the contents btw.
This book should be made into a movie.

Set in 1885 Victorian/Americana with a feisty Irish girl working with a hard boiled marshall to crack a counterfeiting ring and accidentally drawn into a confrontation with a 1885 version of the Star Chamber. Twists, turns, explosions, prison breakouts, poker and train hijacking. With a sprinkling of "Darby. I am your father" stuff tossed in for good measure.

It has *everything*.
Well... No... Ok. It doesn't have ninja pirate robot monkeys.
But if I had to describe it, I'd suggest it is a mix of Cat Ballou, A Big Hand for the Little Lady, Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick and The Wild Wild West.
Also Arsenic and Old Lace.
Seriously. You'll wet yourself at the antics of the 72 year old sisters explaining why they just wanted to "bend a bit of track" when in fact they are covered in soot having blown up most of the train. And the very last page will have you laugh out loud.

But I seem to have strayed from smut.
There isn't that much, much to my chagrin.
But the two major scenes I found "twitchy" to say the least.

Excellent. Seriously needs to be made into a movie.

No point in putting in an amazon link as they don't have the cover and are seriously wanting 78 quid for a new version!

Book Review: "Tart Noir" 2002

Wow. Very cool. Finished this wonderful book on Sunday afternoon. Brilliant. Fun. Engaging. 

Sort of like the sci-fi anthologies I used to read in the late 60's early 70's. Short stories exploring odd juxtapositions. For example, one story involves Medea, Phaedra and Lady MacBeth on a morning chat show baring all. Another involves forbidden love... Er... With a dolphin... Whoah there me hearties! Cool.

The stories where tight and well written and had twists and turns that made it impossible to put down. Some where downright fall about laughing. The case of the girl from the Marooned! TV reality show had me in stitches. My only beef was there wasn't enough smut. :-)

This is a definite must read.

Here is the amazon page:

Monday 30 July 2012

Wow. For all those wanting to know what special days are coming.

After blinking and missing caturday I decided to prepare by checking out the special days of the year.
Here are a few wonders from the calendar:

Jan 3   Festival of Sleep Day
Jan 20 Penguin Awareness Day

Feb 2 Groundhog Day & Duck-billed Platypus Day

Mar 6 World Math Day
Mar 9 National Napping Day
Third Week in March Nat'l Clutter Awareness Week

Apr 7 International Beaver Day
Apr 8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day
Apr 25 World Penguin Day

May Get Caught Reading Month
May 17 National Packrat Day
May 31 World Parrot Day

Jul Blackberry Month
Jul 10 Don't Step on a Bee Day
Jul 19 Stick Your Tongue Out Day

August National Napping Month (Yey! Know what I'll be doing!)
Aug 6 Wiggle your Toes Day
Aug 9 Book Lovers Day and National Rice Pudding Day
Aug 11 Play in the Sand Day
Aug 13 World Lizard Day

Sep 16 Collect Rocks Day
Sep 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day
Sep 29 Blackberries Day

Oct 5-11 Get Organized Week
Oct 8 Cephalopod Awareness Day (Octopus Day!)
Dec 14 Monkey Day
Dec 18 Bake Cookies Day

And just for the record here is the list of demon months:

Jan: Belial
Feb: Leviathan
Mar: Satan
Apr: Belphegor
May: Lucifer
Jun: Berith
Jul: Beelzebub
Aug: Astaroth
Sep: Thammuz
Oct: Baal
Nov: Asmodai
Dec: Moloch