Browsed by
Month: April 2004



The BBC has a news story about some robotic bollards being developed in the US. They’re basically bollard shaped remote controlled cars with flashing lights and GPS, controlled by a ‘shepherd’ unit. Not really AI, but you can imagine the conversations…

Shepherd unit: “Unit 4X, you’re out of position, move to 455,384, please”
Unit 4X: “Confirmed”
SU: “Unit 4X, repeat, move to 455,384”
4X: “Negative, motor unit failing”
SU: “All units, 4X is out of commission, move to 4-bollard formation”
4X: “Hellllpppppp!!!!! <fizz crackle static>”
SU: “Shepherd Unit 32 to Base, please dispatch rescue unit to local university campus… those bloody students have nicked another one…”

Spam and Phishing

Spam and Phishing


I’ve been getting a few email bounces recently, as it appears somebody is using a spoofed email address in a very rudimentary phishing attack. So, if you’ve received an email claiming to be from a account asking you to enter your citi-bank card details into a website, firstly – don’t do it, and secondly, I certainly did not send the emails.

Oh, and if the perpetrators are checking on the domains they’re using as source addresses… you are scum. May plagues of locusts rest on your land. May boils suffocate your skin.

This was a public service announcement – thankyou for listening. Duran Duran entry to follow πŸ™‚

Sunday sunday

Sunday sunday

Too wet for golf, and, to be honest, too wet for shopping too.

Food in ‘Fast Buck Freddies’ and then purchase of Goldfrapp’s ‘Black Cherry’ and AC/DC’s ‘High Voltage’.

(Because one of them has a track Metallica are using as their entry music, and the other were supporting Duran Duran last week – you decide which is which ;-))

Now I feel like the tail end of a migraine has me, so darkness and horizontalness calls. Ick ick ick…

Question: How do you get to be the first blog out of the 32.1 million that Google knows about?

Blognews: Those of you with a decent browser, such as Firefox, may notice a little pack of crayons down in the bottom left. You can use it to flick between stylesheets – cool huh? (Well, I thought it was, so ner)

Threats? I laugh in the face of threats…

Threats? I laugh in the face of threats…

…and then I write snotty letters back…

A while back, I wrote about getting a letter about not paying my gym fees, and that I thought I’d be getting a threatening letter soon. Well, it arrived today. Here’s what it says:


We have previously written to you, stating that your membership payments at {gym name} have fallen into arrears. Our records show that your installment(s) due on:-
Mar 2004
are outstanding. The amount due is:-

If you have forwarded the amount owing during the last few days, please disregard this letter. If not, we would like to remind you that you have signed a 12 month Membership Agreement to pay a years subscription to {gym name}, whether you use the clubs facilities or not.

Please send a Cheque or Postal Order to clear your arrears to {collection company} and ensure that all future payments reach us at the correct time.

Should you not contact us in writing with 7 days of the date of this letter then we will commence legal action, which may result in court proceedings.

Yours sincerely

{illegible squiggle}
Credit Control

Nice, isn’t it? (All grammar errors are as they appear in the letter, btw)

I have paid – I’ve checked. I wonder how many other people get these letters during their membership, and I wonder how many are panicked into sending an extra payment at the threat of being dragged through the courts. I also wonder how easy it would be to get that undue payment back.

For what it’s worth, my 12 months membership finishes this month, so I’ll be cancelling and will it make clear as to why. I think I’ll also contact Watchdog and Trading Standards – whether this is a mistake or an underhand business practise, they really should stop doing it.

Anyhoo – it’s Friday – bring on the beer πŸ™‚

Post Easter

Post Easter

Ahhh – note to self – an extra day off (or two) after a bank holiday weekend is “A Very Good Thing”TM.

Last week saw the release of the first phase of the website I’ve been working on at work, and from a cursory glance it still appears to be up, working, and responsive, so clothing and gases should still be winging their way across the globe with pace and agility… or something πŸ™‚ We also heard the announcement that the department I work for will not be outsourced or relocated in the near future – I’m quite happy with my half-hour commute, thanks very much.

The weekend was full of good times with loved ones, friends and family including, in no particular order:
   • An annoyed horse, an awkward slide, a laughing kookaburra, and smelly pigs at a ‘park with animals’.
   • A cool night at the pub listening to the dulcet tones of young Mac & Rog.
   • A round of golf with 3 lovely ladies – and they graciously let me win! Ambidextrous means you can use either kind of club, and you don’t get to complain, so ner πŸ˜›
   • An afternoon at the beach, ‘borrowing’ shells and pebbles. Pictures are on Garry’s site.
   • …and varying quantities of chilling, sleeping and stargazing.

I am also glad to report that I did exactly one g33ky thing this weekend – reconfiguring wireless access points is not so hard once you find the documentation πŸ™‚

Anyway, big thanks to everyone who made me smile this weekend. You all know who you are.



So, Man United beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Semi Final yesterday, well done to them. I was going to rant about the abysmal organisation of the event, and the stupendous decision not to delay kick off despite the fact that many, many people were still stuck on the M6 at midday, but Kary beat me to it.

Pictures are here.

What is it with these people?

What is it with these people?

A while back, the company that collects fees for the gym that I’m a member of sent me a letter saying I hadn’t paid my fees that month. A week later they sent me another saying that I still hadn’t paid, and not-so-subtly threatened me with legal action unless I coughed up. I had paid, in full, when required, and it turned out to be an oversight on their part. I got another one of their letters today, and once again I have paid, in full, as required. I am going to wait for their threatening letter and then reply with “great vengeance and furious anger”. Oh and then I shall be sending copies of their letters to the gym as the reason I am cancelling.

Suggestions for what the letter should say via the comments link below, please, in true Young Ones style πŸ™‚

No fools here

No fools here

Yep, another April’s Fool Day comes and goes without any annoying practical jokes. I suppose I should think myself lucky I’m not a teacher having to humour hundreds of children… “no, my shoelaces aren’t undone… have a detention” I think that’s probably one of the reasons I’m not a teacher, you know… πŸ™‚

Today was one of those frustrating days at work, with what seemed like an endless list of things that needed doing, and not an awful lot being ticked off it. And of course, the release that was planned for today didn’t go out. It’s always a bit of an anti-climax when that happens… you’re ready, all set… and…. and…. “ring ring” goes the phone and it’s all off. Until Monday at least.

I feel I should respond to some of the many (well, 5) comments that my last entry seemed to attract. No, the third rant wasn’t about giving to charity (I already give to a worthy cause, by the way) I still can’t remember what rant number three was about. Which is probably a good thing for my (frighteningly large) readership.

No, I didn’t get permission to use that gif. I’m allowed to use excerpts of books for ‘critical review’ purposes aren’t I? I’m sure I can get away with a picture of the strip’s title characters. And if not, then maybe I’ll win the little ‘letter from a lawyer’ competion I have going with some fellow bloggers… I’m not sure the prize will cover my legal fees though…

Picnic? Sandwiches? It was March, dear boy, what are you on about? πŸ™‚ And yes I did pocket someone else’s change. She also wouldn’t accept it back later on. So ner πŸ˜›

I didn’t mention the barefoot walking and the lovely lady because I was ranting, and that part of the evening was actually quite pleasant. Damn those clocks though… damn them! πŸ™‚

And Mike, that was just the story I was thinking of… well done πŸ™‚