Back from Ireland

Got back from 9 days' holiday in Ireland spent with Holly and Mum. What a fantastic trip! Essentially we saw all of the northern half of Ireland. Loads of neolithic passage tombs: Ireland appears to have some of the best in the world. Also enjoyed the black cab tour around the Catholic and Protestant areas of Belfast.

Off to work now, so more later including pictures.

More 4: how long until it's wall-to-wall Friends?

Channel 4 launched their new "adult entertainment" channel, More 4 last night. It was pretty good, all things considered. The Daily Show was great, and the comedy about David Blunkett was pretty funny (though it portrayed him as much more naive than I think he really is).

Thing is, I'm sure E4 launched with the same fanfare. Now whenever you switch it on, they're playing one thing: Friends. Does E4 even show anything else?

New toy!

Freecom DVB-T USB Stick

Just bought a new toy, the Freecom DVB-t USB Stick. It's a tiny, USB digital TV receiver. Worked brilliantly at work yesterday (sixth floor, Windows 2000) so now to try and get it going at home (ground floor, Linux). Nice piece of kit, and finally this kind of thing is becoming reasonably priced!

I bought this because, while there's plenty of good stuff on British TV, the schedulers all seem to be smoking crack. At the prime times, when I'm likely to be watching telly, they run terrible reality and lifestyle programmes. Movies all seem to kick off after 10pm, meaning you're up after midnight to watch it. And the best stuff, targetting at the yoof market, is all on Friday and Saturday nights; times, one would think, when the yoof are all out and about, no?

So with this piece of kit, I'll be able to record it and watch it at leisure. Homechoice does timeshifting of some programmes, but it's mostly soaps and crap. Worst of all, they timeshift BBC TV news (lousy and very dumbed-down) but not Channel 4 (excellent and informative, with the wonderful Jon Snow). So I'll be timeshifting that.

Eric Idle: the unfunny Python

Just sat down to watch The Rutles (three quid at Virgin). I can't imagine a less funny "comedy". What a waste of space!

Now we all know that John Cleese has been incredbly unfunny since he went through therapy. But was Eric Idle ever funny?

Anyone wants to waste 76 minutes, you're welcome to this DVD. Otherwise it'll be turned into a frisbee.

Being a geek is not a crime!

Very scary story from yesterday's Grauniad about a geek who was stopped and searched by coppers in a tube station for... carrying a laptop and wearing a jacket. This errorism bollocks is getting really silly.

And, of course, the fact that this guy was a suspect, his fingerprints and his DNA will remain with the coppers forever. Great! Wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly starts getting singled out for "special" treatment when travelling to other countries.

You lot who don't wear glasses wouldn't understand!

Had something amusing, though annoying too, happen yesterday. I broke my glasses frame last week and the new ones aren't ready yet, so I'm walking around like a dork with tape holding them together.

Last night, as I was leaving work, I managed to drop one of the lenses out of the frame in the car lift at work. Down it went through the grill and onto the (inaccessible) concrete floor about 50cm down. Ack!

I was ready to give up until I suddenly thought maybe I could get them back. Handy tape to the rescue again: I went back up to the office, got some tape and went back downstairs. Using a piece of metal with a blob of exposed tape on the end to poke through the grate and lift the lens. Took me a few attempts, and I got a nasty scratch across the lens, but it worked!

Now I just hope the new glasses arrive soon and I can stop looking like a dork.


Ozomatli at the Islington Academy; 23rd
August 2005

Just got back from seeing Ozomatli at the Islington Academy. Wow what a gig. Holly's comment: "I wish I'd seen them at Glastonbury." From memory I think everyone at Glastonbury heard the crowd chanting "Ozomatli Ozomatli".

Tonight was no different, despite the much smaller venue. The crowd chanting along, jumping on command. Ozomatli are an amazing live band, really get the crowd involved. Brilliant.

If you get a chance, go and see them. Their recorded stuff doesn't match up to the live set, though it's still good.

Back from Stockholm

Just got back from a week in Stockholm staying with Juz and Gav. Brilliant weather, we even got tans! Stockholm is a beautiful city, particularly the archipelago where we spent three days swimming and lazing in the sun. Photos up shortly.