I have facial hair ...

For the first time in my life, I am not clean shaven (excluding all those bristly times, when I was neither clean shaven, nor bearded).

It's now roughly half way through Movember, so I thought I really ought to get around to actually telling people about it, so they can donate money. It's all rather a bit pointless otherwise, really.

So, go! Here!. Laugh at the picture of my moustache. Then donate some money to help against prostate cancer. Or don't donate. Go and laugh at my face, anyway ...
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I noticed this evening, when texting a colleague, that the last text I meant to send to wulfboy actually went to him. Whoops.

Still, explains why wulfboy didn't reply.

Text read:
"I don't know, you don't answer your emails, you never call, I don't think you love me anymore. You've found somebody else. It's that Delvy hussy, isn't it. The little whore. I think we know who's next to be introduced to Mr. Cutty ..."

Can't imagine why my colleague never mentioned it, mind ...

Oh the irony

I'm positive the Sun will still be claiming that they've never been involved in phone hacking, of no, that was just their sister paper, but I'm watching Lulz Sec completely owning them with more than a little schadenfreude. It's rather less interesting this morning (they appear to be offline), but I did enjoy their little piece about Murdoch's death and his crystal meth lab. They could use somebody a little more capable of writing polished prose though, although their scripting is clearly excellent.

Have been enjoying G. R. R. Martins latest child step. Seriously, it's that big. What I've not been enjoying nearly as much is the sleep deprivation associated with only reading it after Viki goes to bed. Tonight I shall be disciplined.

Speaking of disciplined, the whole not eating much to lose weight isn't working as well as I'd like. I keep putting it back on at the weekends, which is depressing. As a result, I've decided that merely cycling to the station and back is insufficient (which it is, it's about 2 miles each way). At least once a week I'm now going to get out and go for a proper ride, starting this evening. With a bit of luck this won't result in so much adrenaline I'm unable to sleep until stupid O'clock, but past evidence suggests this is, in fact, what will happen. That would be sub-optimal, but I can live with it.

Sleep is for the weak, after all. Or is it the weekend? One of those. And it isn't the weekend, if you have children ...
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Plans rejigged ...

So, having said that my laptop is too big and heavy to take on the train, kneeshooter asked me to write some software for him last night. The most sensible place to do this appears to be ... the train.

So now I have a laptop on the train. Typing this is a lot easier, at least. On the other hand, I now have something else productive I ought to be doing.

Of course I start prepping by installing cucumber, only to discover that it needs a c compiler to install (native libraries) and my Xcode DVD is at home. Maybe I'll write it in Java after all, at least Eclipse is already set up ...
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    Roger Waters - Amused to Death

The experiment comtinues

Day 2 on the LiveJournal train, and the hayfever is starting to get to yapman. (In the unlikely event that any Kindle devs are reading this, please make the 'Sym' selector wrap. Thank you.)

Made the mistake of picking up Portal 2 half price on Saturday night. It's brilliantly executed, extremely well written, and even funnier than the original. Pretty much exactly what I feared. I was already spending too much time playing Champions Online (I've ways had a soft spot for Champions, its biggest weakness was that people kept insisting on using it as a roleplaying game, instead of the tabletop superhero fight game it so clearly was), and I really don't need another excuse to stay up all night.

Other than gaming, high points of the weekend included "Samuel has taken the motor out of the bubble blower, and is using it to drill for diamonds in the Blast Valley Quarry site. I don't know whether to be proud or annoyed." and fresh peas and new potatoes from the garden.
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    Sisters of Mercy

By way of an experiment

So, I was wondering. Since I can't post from work, and I clearly don't seem to have time to post in the evenings, is it feasible to post from the train?

"Obviously!", I hear you cry. "This is a modern world, and you're a technical guy."

Well true, but I also cycle to the station, and my laptop is too heavy to be lugged all the way to London and back save for cases whe I really need to ...

"Surely," I hear you wondering, "you aren't proposing to do this on your phone!"

Well, it is a nice phone, and I have installed a pretty good smart keyboard that interprets my vague waving of my thumb past it pretty well, but I haven't completely lost it yet. No, there is another option, the fruits of which you see before you: my Kindle has a 3G connection and a browser of sorts. The keyboard leaves a little to be desired, it's true, but I worked at Psion for nearly 5 years, and it's surprising just how quickly thumb typing on a tiny keyboard is coming back to me.

So, watch this space, it could be that I start using it again. This post certainly hasn't been nearly as painful to write as I thought it would be. Of course finding the button to click on to get here was challenging on a greyscale device, but not insurmountably so ...
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    Mumford and Son

Damn it's been a while

I feel somewhat guilty that I've been reading about loads of people's lives, but never get around to writing anything these days. It's not helped, of course, by the fact that I now work somewhere that takes a robust attitude to blocking access from frivolous web sites, but still, I've been pretty shit at posting anything.

Mostly, that's been because things are going pretty well, on the whole. I'm busy, enjoying the new job most of the time, and the kids are a lot of fun to be around, most of the time.

Still, tonight I've had a few sherbets, and it's now officially Christmas. According to Norad, Father Christmas is currently over Iceland (he's certainly dropped off the kids presents and drunk his whisky), and I'm feeling the warm glow that comes from being slightly drunk and in a good place.

So, I hope you have a good time, whether you celebrate over the next few days or not. If this year's been a bit shit to some of you, and it certainly has to more than a few people, then next year had better pull it's socks up, or I shall have words. If it's been good, then long may it continue.

I probably ought to go to bed, two very excited small children are likely to be waking me up pretty soon ...

Good night, and Merry Christmas.
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    mellow mellow

Light holiday reading

Viki and I have been wondering what to take to read when we go to Kenya. Since we have a pitiful luggage allowance, the fat hardbacks I have sitting around aren't seeming a great idea. Then pax_draconis inadvertently reminded me that I still haven't got around to reading any of China Miéville's books yet.

Which ones ought I buy and which order should I read them in. The flight's aren't exactly short, I probably need 3-4 books, to be on the safe side. And I start commuting by train in a fortnight anyway, so "too many paperbacks" isn't exactly a phrase that can apply to my life right now (unless you're my wife, in which case, apparently, I already have too many books, and need to switch to an electronic format real soon now - it turns out that the house will not be able to cope with me commuting by train again ...)
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    Colours by Sisters of Mercy

Demob happy ...

I have actually done some work today, but not a lot, by any stretch of the imagination ...

H posted a link to some interesting things on twitter (Interesting things the the internet). A couple of things really caught my eye, Chromaroma looks like quite a cool game to play if you have an oyster card, and the Mongoliad, which seems to be an online multimedia collaborative story thing spearheaded by Neil Stephenson and Greg Bear. Frankly I don't really know what it is, but it's piqued my curiosity and I'm probably going to sign up ...
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    Dominion/Mother Russia by Sisters of Mercy

Life proceeds ...

So, I spoke to the man this morning, and will be picking up an shiny, old Jaguar at the end of the week. It's pretty much the ideal time to have a car that's unfeasibly outrageous and not the slightest bit sensible, since I'll almost never actually be doing any driving in it. Plus it was dirt cheap. It won't be dirt cheap to run, of course, but I refer you to the almost never going to use it bit. Plus I don't care ...

Had an odd email from UBS this morning querying my start date at SpinVox. On a hunch I asked HR when they thought I started here, and it turns out they're out by a year. A year! I can understand a month or two, particularly given the whole switch from being contractors to full time employees that happened two months in. I could understand the date being transposed by one digit being wrong, but almost, but not quite, exactly one year? That's confusing. I ought to be able to persuade them to correct the matter when I tell UBS the correct date and they phone up to confirm, but you never quite know ...

One more week to go!
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    Centerfold by J Geils Band