Saturday, 31 May 2008

How idiotic can people be?

So, today is the final day before the drinking of alcohol is banned on the London Underground network. I've posted my thoughts on this elsewhere, and it's pretty much a textbook definition of gesture politics. It's going to be popular with the simple minded, but there's not a huge amount to object to over it. And I must say that I've always been surprised that it's not been banned before now.

It's obvious that (in these days of social networking, especially in London) people would end up doing something to celebrate the last day/protest about the introduction of the ban, and it's good that it was expected and plans were made for it by TFL and BT police.

However, if you're someone who disapproves who is attempting to show their dislike for the new rules then what would be the absolute worst thing to do? Yes, you guessed it. Have hundreds of pissed, excitable people descending on one station causing its closure on a Saturday evening. By doing that you're showing the ban to be a fantastically good idea. If you wanted to show the flaws in the plan then organise hundreds of people to be on the trains having a quiet drink not causing any problems whatsoever. That would make people realise how flawed the plan is. Not this. All this will do is make normally rational people think that, perhaps, the ban might be a good idea.

Friday, 23 May 2008

"Spring is such a painfully deceptive time"

It's cold. I've not really done anything for ages. It's kind of nice. I think.

Next week is going to be busy anyway. I'm going to Cardiff on Sunday and coming back Monday, Maxïmo Park on Wednesday which should be... interesting?, Random 15 tube challenge on Thursday night then my second Zone 1 on Friday. Then I need to job hunt. Well, whore myself out to anyone who will give me any money for five weeks.

Wouldn't it be nice if life and people were just a little bit less complicated? I'm not miserable or anything, just slightly frustrated. I'm going for a walk.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


I must say, National Express are doing good things with the East Coast mainline. Extending the free wifi out to standard class was a good idea.

I should say I'm on the train now. Sadly not a repainted one, but still. The free first class tickets mean that I've been drinking vast amounts of coffee (well, if I'm being offered it then it'd be rude of me to decline!) and taking advantage of the food vouchers that I've got. I wanted a sandwich and the vouchers are for £5 worth (they don't give change), so the woman kept giving me more things to make it up to exactly £5. I've still got a triple chocolate muffin left!

Anyway, I pretty much only made this post to show that picture and abuse the free wifi.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

R Kelly

Just copied and pasted from a post on the Blood Red Shoes forum, but I thought it was worthy of being on my blog. Whenever I make a post with an ounce of substance I might cross post it to here. Even if it's just so I can keep an archive of interesting things that I write.

Of course nobody likes to be distracted from music by an artist's "extra curricular activities", but when someone's music is this awful and when they're as monumental a prick as R Kelly is, you can't really help it.

So if anyone wants to follow the (**ahem** alleged) paedophile's hopeful descent into prison where he belongs, the Chicago Sun-Times are liveblogging his time in court!

At the moment they're still selecting (but mostly throwing out) potential jurors but it's still fun. One was thrown out for stating his belief that R Kelly was to blame for the September 11th attacks, another who believes that the onset of puberty is nature's way of saying you can be fucked by any rapper who's out there, and one who thrown out after being convicted of pissing in an alleyway. Still, it's better than pissing on a fourteen year old isn't it?

"I took a long, cold walk in the rain, I only want to feel something again"

I realised something a few minutes ago. The last time I left Uxbridge was three weeks ago tomorrow. Luckily I'm going into London tomorrow evening, but still.

Penultimate exam this morning. It went awfully. As I expected, but still awfully. Tomorrow is my last one. But it's maths, and so very difficult. I should be working, but I don't have the energy. I'll probably make myself some coffee and go out into the garden in a few minutes. Still, home again on Saturday, and seeing The Blues Band at Ripley. I haven't been there for ages, so it'll be nice to go back.

Then I'm back for six weeks (give or take. I'm not quite sure what my plans are really). I've got a few things happening which could be great fun. Well, they should be great fun. And if they're not then it'll be my own fault. I will try not to be a mopey fuck.

The tube challenge will hopefully be fun. Olli will be there (I believe?) so it'll be different to last year. In a good way, of course. Part of me can't help thinking that there's no chance that it can live up to the fun that was last year, given how that was just one of those days where so much unplanned fun happened. But I'm sure this year will be fun too.

I want to learn German and go and explore Germany and not worry about anything. If only life was that simple, eh?

Friday, 9 May 2008

"'I wonder if you can help me' she said"

Summer. It seems to arrive at the most irritating time each year, and then no doubt it'll crawl back into its hole as soon as I'm free again.

Yesterday morning was really nice. As anyone who has met me will know, I'm not a morning person at all. The only time when mornings and me mix are when I'm seeing them from the start. Waking up in the morning is horrible. Apart from yesterday.

I'd been to bed, for once, at a vaguely respectable time. I'm pretty sure I'd have been asleep by 11pm. I'd been woken up at about 2:30am by people walking back towards uni from a night out in town (all gathered from the conversation) but then I was awoken by birdsong at about half past seven. When I saw my watch my first reaction was of irritation, of being awake far too early but it being too light and noisy to return to sleep, but then I realised something amazing. I wasn't tired. I was actually entirely awake. And it was sunny. So what better thing to do than to make a mug of delicious coffee and read the Guardian from two days previously whilst drinking the aforementioned coffee? (I should say, that's a rhetorical question).

Irritatingly, as it has a habit of doing, real life caught up with me and I realised that I had to do some increasingly futile work for a set of increasingly pointless exams. But it all started off so well, and I'd like to thank whichever higher power (be it the Judo-Christian God, Allah, Neil Hannon, whoever) is responsible for beautiful summer morning.

Perhaps it was just because the pigeons decided to fuck off yesterday morning though. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate those poor excuses for birds? I'll save that for another time.

Anyway, this time next week I'll have finished my exams. At the moment I've done four and I've got two left, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday morning. I'm going to see the News Quiz being recorded on Thursday evening (I doubt there's a more middle class way of "celebrating" finishing exams), we're having a farewell barbecue on Friday night after Adam, Kev and Sascha finish their final exam (Adam and Kev are my housemates. Sascha lived with Kev in first year. We take the piss out of him for being German. Something that is made infinitely more funny because he's not), then on Saturday I'm going up north for a week. A couple of things happening up there, but mostly rest. A change of setting. That's something that I need.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

"The International GCSEcore Underground"

I have two differing emotions towards my mobile phone. Most of the time it irritates the hell out of me. When there's any pressure on the case it restarts itself, turning off the keylock which doesn't turn on again. It also doesn't have enough power to cope with me typing at even a modest speed, especially when I'm writing messages that span over two SMS messages. And it has a horrible system of predicting what I'm going to write.

But sometimes the predictive text is quite good. It tries to remember previously written words and then tries to compound them with other words and offers me those if it fits in with the letters I've typed.

Yesterday, when trying to write the word "hardcore" it, rather helpfully, first offered me "gcsecore". Also this morning, when trying to write "offline" it offered "meekgod".

I feel that my obsessing over Google Analytics (Incidentally, I think I may have accidentally stumbled upon a new idea for a service for them) may have a dramatic effect on what I write in here. There's a worry that I might end up putting phrases like "Miley Cyrus naked" at the end of posts just to see if it gets people onto the site.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

"If I could be who you wanted..."

More statistics fun. Since my rants of the past few days I've had some visitors from search engines! 1168738 has been used a couple of times. In fact last time I checked, a search for that on google shows up this blog in second place! It might not do for everyone (I'm pretty sure that google personalise the order of results), but I think it's quite cool.

There are a couple of people who have come here searching for boris johnson pigeon and boris johnson pigeons, which makes me wonder what on earth was going through the mind of the person searching for that. It also makes me wish I could draw too.

I'm not quite sure if waffling about things that nobody else cares about or getting angsty about how useless I am is more interesting to read. I will try and write about something vaguely interesting sometime, I promise.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

"Drape yourself in greenery, become part of the scenery"

Well, I'm slightly less angry now. Still, it's utterly horrible for the greatest city in the world.

A follow up to another one of my earlier whinges, I've spoken to my personal tutor about the possibility of resitting the year. There's nothing that can be done at the moment (understandably), but because I've spoken to him now he's in a better position to help me argue my case with the department when results come out. I'm hoping that they'll be in such need of an extra three grand that they'll be alright with it. I'll have to work out how to carefully word a potential threat to drop out if they don't let me resit to not sound like the bribery that it blatantly would be.

To the library tomorrow. I should leave it at this.

1,168,738 people. Fuck the lot of you.

It became inevitable in the past twelve hours. But Boris Johnson has won. I'm not happy.

Why? Why? They're fucking lunatics.

Well, there goes any chance of any me owning a flat or house in London. There goes any chance of practically anyone who isn't an ex Etonian with millions set to be inherited owning anything here.

I'm tempted to go for a walk to just outside the M25 tomorrow and sit there for a bit. Then go and use a bendy bus.

You're promising to "get cracking on affordable housing" (or something. Not a direct quote, but getting there). Okay. By scrapping targets for affordable housing? Yeah, wonderful. The market will sort it? In the long run perhaps. But, as Keynes said, "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead". Let's think in the short run shall we? In the short run, while there are thousands (millions?) of people who want to live in London. In the short run they'll have nowhere to live because the place is full of expensive flats that none of them can afford. It'll take an awfully long time for the market to realise that affordable housing (importantly, with lower margins for developers) is needed. What's needed is a managed housing policy.

There's much more I could say, but my mind isn't working as it should. I blame the wine. But there's one final thing that I'm going to say:

Brian Blessed for London Mayor.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Election liveblog

Only kidding. I know nobody would read it anyway.

But yeah, I'm staying up for a bit watching the telly coverage. I've voted Labour for the first time in my life. But it's a good vote for Labour since it was for Ken Livingstone. I voted for the Green Party candidate (Siân Berry) with my second vote. Given the electoral system it's fairly useless, but it's the idealogical hippy in me speaking. And they want to renationalise the railway system. Perhaps I should have voted for them in the London-wide assembly member vote. I've done it anyway.

Reasons for not voting for Boris Johnson have been widely discussed everywhere. The prospect of Johnson being the mayor of London is utterly terrifying. Livingstone is nowhere near perfect. He associates with some unsavoury people (although I must say I'm of the opinion that it's better to enter a dialogue with people you disagree with rather than stick your fingers in your ears, shout "LA LA LA" and hope they go away), but he's done an awful lot of good for London. Of course a change of ideas can definitely be a good thing (which is why I think that, if Ken wins this election, he definitely shouldn't stand for a for a fourth time), but Boris Johnson isn't the person to do it. Particular irritations? Alright.

  • "OMGz! Itz Boris! He iz teh funneh!1!!1!!!1!" - Think about it for one minute. Yes, he was amusing on Have I Got News For You. He can be amusing when he's saying things on television. But think about why he's funny. He's funny because he doesn't know what he's doing. He's funny because he's out of touch with the realities of modern life. How, by any stretch of the imagination, does that make him a suitable candidate to be the most powerful directly elected politician (directly elected to the position of power they hold) in the UK and the (I believe) third most powerful directly elected politician in Europe?
  • "It's all an act. He's actually quite clever" - I don't know. That might be right. But he's been playing this part for the whole time since he became a public figure. If he wins he might become a "new person" and show this supposed serious side that we've all been promised. Are people voting for the "promise" of a new personality in the future? That's, of course, utterly idiotic.
  • The Tube - Wow, what a great idea to keep the tube running later on weekends! Why on earth wasn't that thought of before? As far as I'm aware, it was suggested by Ken Livingstone and was deemed to be impossible. When is engineering work going to be done? Opening times would have to be pushed back (starting times on a Sunday morning are already irritatingly late) causing no end of problems for many people. And saying that he's going to ask the unions nicely to not strike? "Please don't strike! Pretty please!". Does he have the faintest idea of how any of this works?
There's little point in this as everyone has voted, but I just wanted to get it off my chest. If Boris Johnson wins then it'll be terrible for London. I have little faith in humanity as it is, but I'll lose even that if he wins.

Aah well, it's all fun. I started this so long ago I can't even remember what I started saying. Congratulations to anyone who has read this. Have a lollipop.