Monday, 29 September 2003

Hi. I'm in the library having just posted a council job application on the interweb, and am now waiting around town until my JSA appointment arrives. I haven't the time to mess around adjusting the dates of posts, so here's what happened at the weekend.

The house filled up on Saturday. I found Rob in the kitchen, Dan dropped his stuff off and naffed off with his Dad until the evening, and Adam showed up on Sunday morning. So, just James* left to go then.

On Sunday I went to the first chaplaincy mass of the year. It was pretty short. Much of the CathSoc fresher's week stuff involves cream teas. When I got back, I was quite bored, owing to it being a Sunday and everyone else mooching around or being out, so I wandered into town on the offchance of meeting Will, Rosie, or Nina. I met Nina - score! - who seems well, and was waiting outside HMV for her friend. When I got back Neil phoneds to say that he was shortly arriving with bedsheeets and similar kerfuffle, so I met him own there and picked them up. We're going to see Spirited Away at Picture House on Thursday. Will phoned later and myself, Will, Rosie and Gavin ended up at the Artful chatting. I think Flowers has gone down in price. I'm not a fan of the Artful's new look - it's got sofas.

N.B. James naming conventions will resume normality when he arrives. The other James will have to leave by then in any case.

Um, that's it I think. JSA and Housing benefit forms are a pig, and demand that you pry into the financial affairs of your housemates, so that isn't fun. Speaking of which, have fun.
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Friday, 26 September 2003

Now I'm in the LaTiS centre. On the way I notice that they've installed something that looks very much like a Stannah Stairlift on the ground floor. Very odd. I can't print anything no more, so I need to turn a PDF into GIFs, or possibly PNGs, as I hear compuserve are getting very arsey about their copyright. What tedium. Ah well, at least I'm doing it on computers like what they thought we'd be using in the sixties. Very nice.
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My word! Ella has posted things! Haven't decided whether she's earned a place in the ol' titlebar though.
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Well here I am on campus again; I'm nothing if not dependable. I thought it'd be harder to get a computer than this, but it was dead easy - busier yesterday.

I got back and the changing of the guard had occured again, with Norris replacing James, watching Daylight on TCM which sounds crap. I think I had more fun by abstaining from that and cleaning my windows. I didn't know where the Windolene was, but Norris did, so I had a quick blast with that. While I was at it I tried it on James' window, which is the dirtiest in the house I think, but unfortunately, yet somewhat predictably, most of the dirt is on the outside. Most of the dirt on my windows was on the outside too, but there's a handy, person-sized area of roof outside such as one may stand on with assurance of security, so I gave it a bit of washing up liquid and hot water treatment. It was a bit too dark to tell the difference when I'd finished, but in the morning I saw that my beautiful view was even more beautifuller.

Sleeping in a sleeping bag, as I am until I get a quilt cover (I found a quilt in a cupboard - hopefully no-one else will want to use it), is fine, but I got a bit of a chill around the neckal region, so I wore a scarf that night. Worked a treat. Really oddly, both James and Norris are in the habit of getting up and getting out of the house before I emerge - it's spooky. I decided that my sleeping-bag needed a wash, so that stopped me being here earlier. I also found some mail (helpfully hidden under other mail) for me. I asked for two application forms from the phone number they gave me. One came, with a note saying that the other had already expired. Sheesh.

So here I am, gathering rosebuds while I may.
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Thursday, 25 September 2003

Good grief; I have to walk up to campus to post, and I'm still the last person to have blogged. Well, I suppose it wasn't that unlikely really.

I got bored. Norris went out somewhere, and James was talking to his gf on the phone, and apparently planning on doing nothing cooler than watching cable TV, so here I am in the Queen's building, blogging.

I lost my coat. I went back to everywhere I'd been today, but no-one had it. It's just as well I'm dead hard. Two disappointing things today: firstly I filled in most of a form only to find, on the list of requisites, that I needed at least six months similar experience. Then I found that one of the three jobs the Jobcentre found for me had already passed the closing date. I spent the rest of the day after finding these things out (only about half an hour till 1700) listening to Chris Moyles and getting my CDs together. Gavin says that the university will take me off the system over the weekend, so I suppose I'd better come back here tomorrow, and use my print credit, if I still have any, on job things.
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Well here I am in Exeter Public Library, where you can have thirty minutes access for free. Things are going oookay.

Yesterday, after arriving, I started unpacking myself, but then I got Neil to help me. We asked if we could park at the Esso for a bit. They said no, but they said in in a really arsey way, which hacked me off. Still, all this is behind me. Later Neil picked me up and kindly treated me to a small margherita and two glasses of 7up at Pizza Hut. This was just as well, because I have practically no food. Then it was decided that we should go shooping which we did, so now I do have food.

When I got back, Norris was ther, and not James, kind of like a chaning of the guard or something. So I chatted to him for a bit, but went out later to meet Gavin at the Imperial. I met Gavin at the Imperial, and wasted no time in saying "Why are we here?", so we went to the Artful for a quick drink. Gavin bought me a pint. To steal a phrase, he's a wonderful man. I was pretty curious to see his place, so we went back there. I marvelled at the amount of stuff in it for a bit, and then we watched some of the pilot episode of Thundercats, which is class.

Today, I got up and did various things. The Jobecentre's moved since I was last here, but I found it in the end. They're sending some forms to me, and the nice lady on the end of the phone there found three doable-sounding jobs for me to check out, all at higher salaries than what I've been applying for. Quite happy about that. Then I bought a cycle helmet, shampoo and jam. I had to leave the Jobcentre to do that.
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Wednesday, 24 September 2003

Just to let everyone know, I didn't get the job for the interview I went for last week. Ian was really nice about it - he said my application form was good and I interviewed really well, there was just a few areas that I didn't do well enough in. I'm hopefully going in to see him some time next week to get some full feedback on it all, which will be helpful.
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Mare de nuit! I've broken down; the gearstick sort of fell out of place and is now all floppy and bangs against the undercarriage. So I'm waiting at West Camel, Yeovil for the RAC. On the plus side, R3 played Beethoven's "Apassionata".

Update: Fixed and ready to roll.
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Well here I go (feeling a good deal less livid, but no more impressed) into the brave quasiknown of Exeter as seen through the eyes of non-student a.k.a. "a real person". Pray, or wish me luck, or beat your head against a wall to express sympathy - it's all appreciated.
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Tuesday, 23 September 2003

An incredibly harsh and stupid thing has been done to Nicholas. He's only just found out today that despite being given a grant to get better at music, he can't. There is no band. There is no choral society. He would have to travel 50 miles to Cardiff to find these and to find musical instructors. Speaking of other things, I find that this is the one steaming, giant turd in the ointment of things that are otherwise going well, this being, ideally, the kind of halcyon time when one doesn't have to take any of this kind of shit. He's distraught, and I'd quite like to be able to walk over to the person responsible, rip his head off and poo down his neck. These are not wholesome thoughts, and hopefully very unlike me, but I'm angry for him.
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Does anyone fancy a game of chess?

I have decided to try and get better at chess again. I went through a point back in Sheffield of playing chess alot with friends and did get a bit better but got bored of playing the same people all the time. Dave, Adrians friend from uni started it all off. Hes decided to take up chess and beat me the other day with moves that I used to look out for but missed. I think I've got a bit crap again.

I've found quite a good website for playing chess. It called itsyourturn.com and you don't have to be online at the same time to play. You take your turn and then wait for the other person to log in and take theres. Which is a much better idea I think for online chess as some games can take quite a while. So does anyone fancy a game of chess? If so you just need to register and challenge Emma307 (thats my userid for it).


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Well, I guess this is the real end of anecdotefreezone; It was only really a cosmetic difference till now really. It's been fun, but no longer will I even attempt to keep a quantitative daily record, and instead shall post sporadically as seems appropriate, accompanied by relations both and blood and of, um, not blood. On the plus side, maybe people will have more to talk to me about when they meet me in the flesh.

I've been doing a little light packing, reading some bible (apocryphal/deuterocanonical Esther), eating with Mum at work, going to a charity shop and collecting Dad's prescription. The usual protestant Esther, I believe, is the one book in the bible which doesn't actually mention God, but the additions to Esther do. Interesting. Dance until your feet catch on fire.

This evening, I shall go to the Monkey Puzzle pub quiz with Ruth, and we shall win, because Ruth is very good at pub quizzes, and I'm very good at... being around when that happens. Hopefully when I get back, Nicholas will have blogged, I don't want to leave without having any idea wat he's getting up to, though if I do I can phone him from Exeter of course.
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It seems strange; a strangely emptying house. Today no Jill. Just me and Mark. Tommorow Jill and I because Mark is off to Exeter. The Neil comes from Exeter, but goes on Sunday. Then it really will be Just Jill and I. I think I am supposed to yell Yippee or something, but the reality is different.
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Monday, 22 September 2003

I've just got back from breaking lots of bits of wood with my hands and feet!
We had a breakathon at Taekwondo tonight, and I broke pieces of wood with stepping side kicks, turning kicks and back kick. And that probably means nothing to everyone but never mind. When we started trying to break the wood with jumping kicks I couldn't break it, but then I'd never tryed to do those kicks before. It was all quite fun anyway. And the good thing is I didn't injure myself which is good. The only weird thing is that its actually easier to break an inch thick piece of wood than it is to break the practise boards which are reuseable as they slot back together again.
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Good grief. I've mostly cleared my room of things, and have put them in Nicholas' bedroom. I've tidie it up adn given it a dust down, and I thought I could move some of Nick's books. In the process I discover that the vast majority of it is genre stuff. I might have to rethink my categorisation. I wonder what he's up to. He hasn't blogged since the day before he went I think. I know he's sharing his room with some chap, and Mum's camera's got some pictures of his room on, but I other than that, I know nothing.

And greyhead Will is leaving the Chris Moyles show. Awwww.
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Does anyone else think it's a bit strange that the word "tory" isn't a weak pun on "conservatory"? Thought not.
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Sunday, 21 September 2003

I tried to fill in some job applications and things, but I got distracted by the fact that Dad was setting off a bonfire in the back garden. Thus it was that I wandered out to have a look and try not to get in the way too much.

A phone call from Emma followed which resulted in me sorting out her CSS declarations, whislt absent-mindedly MSNing Rosie and Paul.
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Despite what Adrian said on Saturday morning we were mostly practising patterns. I now know my next two patterns so should be alright for the tournament. Not quite so sure on the sparring though. But then I was sparring mostly with Sue and Naomi and they are both blue belts I think, unlike my measly yellow tag. And that was the first time ever that I'd had a go at sparring with all the equipment and stuff. Hopefully get a bit more practise before the tournament. It was good though as they were able to point out stuff I was doing wrong and where my weaknesses were.

Me and Ade went to a party last night. Unfortunately at 8 o'clock when we were supposed to be getting there Ade realised that to get to Dave and Zorana's (I think thats how you spell it) house warming party he would need either of Daves new address or phone number which were both written down on a piece of paper in his office at uni. So after wandering down the road that we thought Daves flat was on and seeing if we could see anyone who looked like they were going to a party and failing, Ade decided to go into uni and get the piece of paper while I went to the off licence to get some beer. Needless to say we got there eventually and spent the night talking to Dave and lots of people we'd never met before from Zoranas lab. We only noticed how late it had got on the way home because all the pubs were shut - it was only 2am. I still don't know how it got to 2am I'm sure we weren't there that long.
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Last day playing guitar probably ever at church today. I'd forgotten that Nicholas had taken his amp and leads with him, so I found myself wihotu amplification. I just about managed with a pick (horrible fingerpicking-inhibiting things) and copious quantities of welly. I might get to sing again now - I suppose I have mentioned that I can't play guitar and sing from SoF haven't I... Dad had a red stole on. I still don't know why, as red is usually a pentecost thing, but I beleive it had something to do with it being the feast of St. Matthew, and evangelisation. I got offered a bookcase by Barbara Dean, but declined. I had been warned, after it would have been useful, that Barbara has a habit of offering people junk, but never mind. Barbara's husband was also there for the second week running. He doesn't usually come, so it was good for him to be there. We had a little talk about music and singing, and about the troubles that come with age. I'm no good at small talk, so I couldn't keep that up for long. One of the Hooper kids made a cup of tea. I don't know exactly what she'd done to it, but it was grey, as if someone had just put clay into water. Looked nasty it did.

We went to The Foresters for a last-big-meal-with-Mark-for-a-while thing. The Foresters has gone downhill. It used to have an aviary, and a far wider selection of food, but, opting for a sandwich, I was absolutely stuffed.
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Saturday, 20 September 2003

Today was good. Let me tell you of today.

Well the first bit was, if not bad, slightly disconcerting anyway. I waved goodbye to Nicholas, leaving for the vehicle-licensing capital of Britain, and shall not see him for some time now, unless I visit him. I suppose me going to Exeter has pretty much the same result, but it's strange him not being in Camberley. That was fairly early. I waved goodbye in style; barefoot on the gravel in a dressing-gown, and thne wandered into the house to get ready to go to London, city of things.

Got a travelcard for £8.8O and rolled into Waterloo on a commuter route; only one stop. I was, predictably, well early, so I wandered round a bit. John and I had agreed to meet under the cubic clock at Waterloo at 11. Being a man of my word, I stood in a such a position that if the clock were to fall, I would be crushed. He rolled up about a minute late, andapologistsd for being about a minute late. Then he shook my hand, and I was a little amused, and he didn't think it was too formal at all, actually.

Other things happened. I guess it's about time I told you some of them:

Firstly we went to see a man in a box. They had a bag-check going on, to stop people pelting him with stuff. Ultimately what he's doing seems pretty pointless, but I can't understand whypeoplee would want to throw stuff. He was doing well I think. Two weeks of no food and still with the patience to wave to the crowd about every minute. I asked John how long Blaine had been up there and he told me, to which I replied something along the lines of "Really? Well, time flies when you're not in a box." He thought this was quite good, so I note it for posterity.

Forgive me if I get the order all screwed up. We went into the Tate Modern for a bit, but I got a bitfidgety. Not really in a very art-appreciation mood. I should mention, by the way, that John was a perfect host, desiring to do nothing other than what I felt like doing on a whim. So we came out of there and into modern life.

I was getting quite hungry by this point, so we stopped outside some pub andmilledd lunch over. John seemed quite surprised that I'd had breakfast at about 0830. Because everything was very expensive, I went for a (relatively) cheap and cheerful cheddarbaggede while John procured some nourishing chipped potato product. John bought me a Greene KingIPPA from the pub, but for his own part drank a temperate cola.

As ever, I said that I didn't really know what to do at this point, so John asked me if I'd ever been to Covent Garden. "No", says I, so down (or left or right or something) we go. It's pretty nice. It'd be a good place to shop, but I shop better on my lonesome. I did check out a bookshop to see whether they had any Asterix books that I hadn't read. Unfortunately not. I had some lovely melon sorbet, purchased while John was wandering round. I think he was looking at the bouncing people, drumming people, and the tightrope-walking, knife-juggling man. The bouncing people bounced ion trampolines with, I think, bungee cord attached to them, so that they could jump; realy high and stuff. The drummers were incredibly boring and repetitive. I didn't pay much attnetion to the circus dude. There was a group of musicians in a lower system. That was pretty cool, but they started playing "Canon in D" by that guy with the name, and I got bored.

I told John what the words "novel"(new) and "agnostic"(without knowledge) meant at some point in the day, but I asked him what "facetious" meant. Off-the-cuff apparently. It's one of those words I'd never bothered to find out.

It was a dashed warm day, and we both got fairly dehydrated, so we went into yet another pub for a brace of refreshing cola pop drink.

Where now? Westminster, we decided. We preferred Westminster Abbey to the cathedral so we went there. Above one of the doors was a pieve with the twelve in. I was hoping to be able to identify a few apostles, but I could only work out Peter, who's a bit easy really. There were absolutely tonnes of weddings today. We saw a marriage party both at St. Paul's and here. Must cost a bomb. Much like admission to these great religious houses, which we declined. A fair quantity of people asked us for directions too, including an oriental couple (Westminster Abbey? - Just over the road) and a pair of black girls who'd apparently cycled from Brixton (Tower Bridge? - Just keep cycling, you young snappers of whips).

I found myself strangely drawn to some ruins, which apparently were The Jewel Tower, with a polite notice outside pointing out that the crown jewels were in quite another place. Actually, it wasn't really ruined at all, it's just that what was the garden was mostly gravelled over now, and there was a slight lack of water in the moat. The Jewel Tower was by far the most reasonably-priced attraction we came across that day, but neither of us coughed up. On the other hand, I bough a wooden ruler with a list of the Kings and Queens of Britain, and a ginger beer of the brand that I believe I quaffed many moons ago in Cheltenham with Will. There was a small section of moat with iron bars across, that I thought would make a pretty groovy bedsit. This was just across the road from parliament, and we somehow ended up talking about the adequacy of this small space fo blowing up the houses of parliament, Guido Fawkes stylee.

We walked for aaages along the river, stopping occasionally in parks, and to look over the river. There are some cool amphibious vehicles that we saw kids in on the streets and later on the Thames - a fab idea. Eventually, we came to the Tate Britain. Neithge of us had any idea that it was where it was, but we wandered in to catch the last quarter of an hour before closing time. John was very enthusiastic about the Turner exhibition. He said things like "Don't you think it's quite powerful?" As I say, I was not in an artistic mood that day, and felt somewhat unable to respond to these kinds of notions. I couldn't get into Turner as much as John was, mostly because we were in a frightful rush, but I did manage to discern his very distinctive style, which I shall not attempt to describe, and say to John that it was pretty suggestive of modernism. I expect I was wrong about both.

This whole entry seems to leave John slightly out of the picture. I suppose it's mostly because he did the same things as I did, and because he operates more on a verbal level than on a "Whoo, look at all the crazy things I am doing!" level. We wandered back to Waterloo and parted company with another handshake. Hopefully I shall see him again fairly soon.

Sometime during the day we had been talking about the institution of marriage and about romance generally. "Opposites attract, apparently.", quoth I, but John reckoned that my opposite would drive me mad. I mention this because on the journey home I was very well entertained by one female in a party of three who appeared to be fairly well opposite to me (saving John's criterion that the opposite of myself would be Scottish - make of that what you will). The three of them were just charmingly daft as a unit all the way home,and I didn't really speak to them, but I think they could tell I was amused.
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Howdy peeps. As of yesterday I am a second-year student! They'd very nicely arranged a registration for postgraduates in the week before all the undergraduates arrive. They'd still provided all the staff though, so there were about three times as many people sat behind laptops as there were students registering. The kiddies are back next week, so I'll get some extra cash from examples classes. This was really dull last year, as I got first year courses both times, and no-one had much trouble with the material. Thumb twiddling gets boring after a while.

Emma disappeared off to Tae Kwon Do this morning. She's going to a tournament, so they needed to practise beating each other up (sparring).
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Friday, 19 September 2003

Hello there, it's Emma here (Adrians other half to those who don't already know).
Just to let everyone know my interview yesterday (for the job in the department that I'm already temping in) went quite well I think. By this I mean that I don't think that I could have done much better so its now down to what they thought of me and whether I have enough experience. Should find out next week sometime I think.

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Hello beautiful people, beautiful people; it's all relative to the size of your steeple. I believe I shall see St. Paul's'(?) steeple tomorrow, which will be good.

Some of the day was spent packing (I was avoiding doing more boring, though pressing, things), some was spent washing up and some was spent moving furniture and posessions round, for Nicholas is going to Swansea tomorrow. It's all terribly exciting. He seems a little apprehensive about it. He's proabably looking forward to it too, but the apprehensive part sticks out more. I really hope he has a good time, and if I don't phone him to find out, then I'll be a terrible brother. I think I might be a terrible relative generally. I have an idea that I might make Sunday sort of a family day, and phone people and stuff. It's not a good day for phoning home though, as Dad is always tired after the service.

Listened to a bit of Chris Moyles today. Aled is apparently going to be in some prominent role in a humanist child-naming ceremony. To me, the naming part seems pretty dashed incidental to the Christening. I can see why non-religious people might want to be married in a church, and even, to a certain extent, have their child Christened in a church, but the actual naming of a child? It just doesn't seem terribly important. Chris took time out to slag off R:ise too. I rather like Ri:se of a morning actually. I can see why somone would hate it though.

Rosie phoned me this evening, but I was out. When I was in I phoned her back, and we had a pleasant meandering sort of a conversation about various things. She seems to be in a very self-improvement sort of mood. I think she wants to acquire culture and do various things. Reading, Jazz appreciation, Theatre, Pub-quizzes; these are some things she'd like to be doing more of. All of them sound rather cool to me too. Oh, and she is teaching herself the guitar, which, from her account is going roaringly. Very exciting. I said we should definitely do a pub-quiz. I was also thinking of seeing more films or theatre. The idea came to me after hearing on Today that report on binge-drinking. I always think that theatre-going is terribly expensive, but if I abstained totally from booze for a week in exchange for a trip, I bet that's pretty much equivalent. So I'm gonna go to the theatre, or at least see more art-house films.

In the middle of talking to Rosie, John phoned, so I excused myself to sort out tomorrow. We're meeting at Waterloo at 1100 and, as I say, going to St. Paul's. John also said that he wouldn't mind seeing Mr. Blaine, which I was a little surprised by, but seemed quite good. The good part will be seeing John though. The train leaves Farnborough at 1011. Needless to say, I had the last laugh.

n.p. Yeah yeah yeahs "Pin"
n.d. Fuller's Organic Honey Dew
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Hello John. If you still want to go to London, just tell me when you want to meet at Waterloo. I'm sure I can make whatever it is, but it'd be best if I found out today rather than tomorrow. I guess we could see Blaine in a box.
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Thursday, 18 September 2003

Hello. Would have blogged yesterday, but the computer was being very string-like.

What I do need to say (I shall finish this post off later) is that my mobile's on the fritz, so you may have to find some other way of contacting me should you want to, until I get to Exeter, where I shall be able to sort it out. I already have a text I can't read, an answerphone message I can't listen to (usually a blessing), and
a ten o' clock alarm I can't turn off. Ah well.

Today Nick, Ruth and I went to see Pirates of the Carribean in Basingstoke. A good film. Engaging schlock with swords and corsets. Actually, it probably would have been better without the corsets. Fun though, and Mr. Depp was great, as Adrian and Nick both say. Nick also mentioned Neil, the random guy who joined us there. He was a bit weird, but I don't think he actually believed that the matrix was real. He seemed like a nice guy. Nicholas was polite enough not to mention that I didn't give him a lift home though he had walked to the cinema. I think Ruth was quite worried by him, though she tried to downplay it. In an act of blatant witness which I thought was very admirable he said entirely without prompting that he was a "committed Christian". He said he'd been clinically depressed for two years, or perhaps it was "struggling with depression" for two years. He also mentioned that after jesus-is-lord.com he'd thought of killing himself. In the end he said he decided not to because life was holy. jesus-is-lord is a site that I can believe would induce suicide. It'd be good to pray for its designer and for the people who come across it.
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Wednesday, 17 September 2003

Dear Strong Bad.

I want to start a new WAP page, but I don't have any ideas of what to do for my WAP page. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas for my new WAP page. This WAP page will be cool and I'll e-mail you when I'm done.

Sincerely yours:
WAP page.
I just can't think of any content to gratuitously put in a .wml document. There must be something that I can do to benefit mankind in this way...
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I suppose I should say what else I did today. It wasn't peculiarly exciting. Mum and Dad got back last night when we'd both gone to bed, so I awoke to see them doing their usual things. After a bit of phone-calling to make sure that I was insured, I took Nicholas over to Homebase. He talked to someone about something while I walked to Blackwater to pick up Dad's shoes from a cobblers.

On the way back to Homebase to meet up with Nick I ended up behind a man who I believe to have been scared of me. That's even more odd now that I don't have long hair. He kept on glancing over his shoulder at me, and speeding up when I got to close to him, and crossing roads without waiting for traffic lights and the like. He conspicuously looked at his watch at one point, suggestive of the fact that he was a very busy man, and late for something, but I know that that's the kind of thing I would do if I needed a pretext to move rapidly away from a nutter. Humph.

At Homebase Nick bought some 4-gang adaptors with 2m cables and 6 boxes. I don't know the capacity of the boxes. I bet he doesn't either. Shoddy comparison shopping - that's what it is.

Forms. Tedious. Stomach-ache; didn't help.

And then Chris Moyles came on, and then more forms and then the essay thing.

I don't know what to do now. Nothing good on TV. Fight Club's on BBC Three, but I don't know if I can be arsed. Nyah I probably will; I think Nicholas'll be watching it.
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Ages ago, I gave Nicholas my essays that I could find from uni that got a first. Hopefully this will be a helpful thing. He's reading them en masse now.

I felt a bit left out, so I reread them too. Living in the past can be quite fun. I liked my degree.
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Tuesday, 16 September 2003

Greetings peeps. This is my first attempt at a blog entry, so it may not read good.

I'm a student at Manchester Uni, having managed to remain in full-time education at the tender age of 24. I've spent all day trying to understand a calculation technique which was invented by Jean Leray, who was in a concentration camp at the time of invention. I think it's quite humbling that one of the most powerful techniques in mathematics was created in such circumstances, and infurating that I don't understand a word of it. Oh well.

Anyway, I believe several of Mark's readers are physicists, so they may find this website interesting: This Weeks Finds in Mathematical Physics. I needed an excuse to post a link. All part of the learning process!
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The new single from The Chemical Brothers feat. that guy from The Flaming Lips sounds like a cross between most things by New Order, "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads, and a generic Christmas single. This isn't exactly what I anticipated.
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I'd love to have been at the meeting which resulted in the creation of Underworld. To my mind, it must have run along lines such as these:

MAX STEERSTROFTMEIER: The question is gentlemen, which four-year-old skein of the zeitgeist should we rip off to make our new film; Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Matrix?
TYLER DAVENPORT: Hey, I've got a crazy idea, couldn't we... do both?
MAX STEERSTROFTMEIER: Brilliant Davenport! That's so crazy it might just work!
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Alpen Original: Packed Full of Juicy Raisins, Crisp Wheat Flakes, Roasted Hazelnuts & Almonds sugar.

Impending things:
  • Tue 16th: I fill in some application forms

  • Wed/Thu 17/18th: Something involving Ruth

  • Sat 20th: Nicholas goes to Swansea - I go to Exeter, I mean, London

  • Mon 22nd: Signing on

  • Thu 25th: Exeter

  • Fri 26th: Soul Calibur II UK GC release

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Monday, 15 September 2003

Wow I can totally post via WAP! Useless yet cool.
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Mark is the #14 most common male name. 0.938% of men in the US are named Mark. Around 1149050 US men are named Mark!

Mark is the #1548 most common female name. 0.004% of females in the US are named Mark. Around 5100 US females are named Mark!

Dobson is the #1305 most common last name. 0.009% of last names in the US are Dobson. Around 22500 US last names are Dobson!

source namestatistics.com
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Sunday, 14 September 2003

Bonjour! Je m'appelle Nick. Mon frere Mark avait une idee de cree une 'Blog' pour la famille Dobson, mais, je pense que il va etait utilisé en plus par les freres et Emma. Pas de parents. Comme ci, comme ca...

Je crois qu'il est une bonne idee pour m'introduire et, parce que je suis etudiant francais (et anglise mais ca ne amuserai pas), je bloggerai en francias pour la plus part. N'avais pas des soucis, je vais donner une traduire de tous que j'ai bloggé ici.

A cause de la fait que j'ai deja une 'blog', qu'on peut trouve ici, je ne pense pas que je vais utilise cette page tres souvent mais, il exist du chance que vous trouverez une 'post' des temps en temps.

Je vais commence l'education au La Universite de Pays-du-gals, Swansea au la 22 Septembre. J'ai du bonne chance et avait recevue une allocation de une mille livres par annee pour continué m'education musique. Assez bien, non? Je espere de faire parti une chorale et une orchestra mais aussi une arte martial, Tae Kwon Do. Je n'aime pas des introductions parce que je perdu des topics pour parle sur le sujet dans une introduction, en fait, il est la case maintenant. Au cause de ca, au revoir, pour ce moment!

Literal Translation

Hello! I call myself Nick. My brother Mark had an idea to create a Blog for the Dobson family, but, I think that it will be used more by the Brothers and Emma. Not the Parents. Like this, like that...

I believe that it is a good idea to introduce myself and, because I am [a] French student * (and english but that wouldn't be amusing) I will blog in french * for the most part. Don't worry, I will give a translation for all I have blogged here *.

Due to the fact that I already have a blog, that one can find here, I do not think that I will use this page very often but, there exists some chance that you could find a post from time to time.

I will commence education at the University of Wales, Swansea on the 22nd of September. I had some good luck and have recieved a grant * of one thousand pounds a year to continue my musical education. Not bad, no? I hope to do a choir and an orchestra but also a Martial Art, Tae Kwon Do. I don't like introductions as I lose topics to talk about on the subject of an introduction, in fact, it is the case now. Due to that, good bye, for the moment!
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paul's new blog
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Take a look at this. Go on, it won't hurt you or nothing. Not bad, I thought. What a good thing comics are, and you can't put a price on a quick snigger can you? But let's forget that for a second, and consider. How much do you think that cartoon is worth in horribly crass, commercial terms? Let's not forget that it is a three panel comic strip which is over a decade old.

Now, was the figure you thought of $110? No? Really? That's very odd; that's what a one-time web reprint fee costs. Tight bastards.

A quick trip upstairs and calculation based on the price of one of Neil's Calvin and Hobbes collections ($6.95) and the approximate number of cartoons in it (363) tells me that I can get slightly better value at two cents per strip. I could in fact buy 15 anthologies, each containing about 363 cartoons for $110. What kind of maniac thinks that anyone with an ounce of sense would pay that much?!

So I linked to it instead.
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Today seems to have been a fairly long day. First thing was church, and that lasted till about half two. It was an anniversary, see. Anyway, I did my strumming as usual. Not as usual, Nick was there with me playing bass (good job btw) and also Alan's daughter singing. It was a bit crowded. It went pretty well, especially on "There is power in the name of Jesus" and "To God be the glory!". I rather enjoyed it today, and I don't always. There was a meal together afterwards, buffet stylee. Seconds of both savouries and sweets. There was stuff left too. After piggin out I helped wash up for a rather prolonged period. When I finally got back Mum Dad and Neil had left, Neil for Exeter, and Mum and Dad for holiday. Sine then I've been updating the template, blogging and feeling tired.
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Here's my new blog site. Like it? I don't. I changed my template rather too hastily, so here it is before it looks any good. It's conceivable that it will never look any good.

You may have gathered that this is not my personal blog anymore. In about two weeks, it is highly unlikely that I shall update regularly. I didn't want to a) lose all my entries or b) have a sporadic blog, so I thought I'd make this the Dobson family blog. I don't really know that this is a very good idea, but it seemed like a plan to me. Nick has his own blog of course, so I don't know whether he'll make any use of this. It would be doblog rather than dob-log, but some scoundrel already has the blogspot address. Also, I plan to use CSS so that people's posts can look individual. Not quite yet though.

Enough of this.
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Saturday, 13 September 2003

Update: There you are, that's what happened. Including the result of my interview which everyone was so interested in.

Hello, I'm back. Can't blog much now, Dad's listening to internet radio, but here, for your delight and edification, is a list of days that I was away for, reverse chronological style:

Saturday

We just sort of came home really. When we got home, Nick, Neil and I watched Fantasia 2000.

Friday

Today was Lyme Regis. We sat on the beach and did very little. I read some more of Miracles and I've finally finished it now. Mostly we were entertained by kids chasing seagulls about. Had another pub lunch. In the evening we played nomination whist. Was it today that The Miller's Tale was on? There are not words for how completely that program was devoid of merit. I feel like writing to the BBC claiming compensation for the wasted minutes. It was a publicly subsidised disservice to literature. Whoo-hoo.

Thursday

Before we went out I got a phone call back from County Hall, and I didn't get the job.

Today we went to Dorchester. First we had tea in a Christian tea room. I think it was a joint URC and Methodist one. We spent flipping ages in there. Then we spent ages in town trying to find a museum. I relieved some of the boredom by going in a second-hand bookshop and emerging with Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders and Tom Jones. Adrian bought a nice edition of Alice in Wonderland. It was quite expensive. We found the museum after a while; it was a museum for The Emperor Qin's terracotta army. It was pretty good, but too expensive and rather on the small side. We ended up in a Wetherspoon's, The Royal Oak. Then we went back to the van.

Wednesday

I woke up and got out of bed, remembering that I had no breakfast. Somewhat optimistically, I purchased an unpriced Ginsters product from the Esso. Won't be doing that again in a hurry. As I had no milk, I thought I should have green tea. James was about in the kitchen while I was doing al this, saying I was up far too early. He had a one day temp job. After he left for that, I dug out some paperwork, prepared for some questions from my handy Jobseeker's booklet thing, dressed up and got my paperwork together. Steve the landlord phoned for James, so I left him a note. Steve was quite concerned that they wouldn't be leaving us a sufficiently clean house. Cautious ol' me was at County Hall, via public transport, about an hour before I had to be, so I wandered round for a bit.

The interview started with these tests. I did good, getting 100% for the verbal usage test, and something like 78% for numerical reasoning. I had a calculator for it. The interview itself was fine. What was especially good was that they didn't even ask me anything for a while; they talked about the job while I tried to think of exciting variations on the theme of "Uh huh.", "Right." and "I see." I wandered back to the house fairly content and then prepared to go. I found James on the sofa; they'd not got enough work for him at the agency job, but they were paying him anyway. He was quite pleased about that.

Then I drove to Charmouth. It's near Lyme Regis. Mum and Dad were at the caravan there. I followed
a sign coming out of Exeter which said "A30 avoiding M5". This seemed like a fairly good idea, so I followed the sign and found myself unaccountably travelling on a bizarre little road parallel with the M5 north. But I got there in the end. Adrian and Emma turned up the same evening. I forget what we did that night.

Tuesday

Hello. Today I drove to Exeter. I started of by heading towards London on the M3. Realising that this wasn't quite right, I turned round and headed for Exeter instead. It took me longer than it would have done, but I still made pretty good time, arriving about 2100. Whne I got there, those present helped me take my wodges of stuff up to my room. Those present were Luke, James and Norris. Norris seemed to be mildly injured, and be covered in little bits of paint. I asked him if he'd been paintballing, but it seems he'd been painting a bridge. After that we just watched a bit of cable TV. Ab Fab it was. And then I went to bed not too late for the interview.
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Tuesday, 9 September 2003

In other news, Funjunkie (check out the lego pirate game in the same month) does both a Phil and a little bit of a James (it's tenuous, but far less tenuous than would be normal) in the same day. Spooky.
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Well, yo, are y'all ready for me yet?
(Pump it up [Mark])
Well, yo, are y'all ready for me yet?
(Pump it up [Mark])
Well, yo, are y'all ready for me yet?
(Pump it up [Mark])
Well here I go; here I go; here I, here I go - Yo!
- Jeff, DJ Jazzy and The Fresh Prince. "Boom! Shake the Room".
I'll be off to Exeter sometime within the next hour and a half I hope. Updates should resuuuuuuuuuuuuume........ uh, Sunday I think. Be cool you kids.
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THE MEDIATOR
BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS
MUST BE THE HEART!

What an awesome film that Metropolis is. I've a mind to write a short essay on it. That's probably only because it's so easy though. It's shot through with the gospel and it's also wicked awesome. The sensible thing to do would be to compare it with The Matrix but I gather everybody's absolutely sick of that now. I'm not especially, I only saw it the once I think.
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Hello! Leaving for Exeter today, so I've got to pack for my interview and for a few days at the van. I also have to sort out some paperwork, and I'm going to have a chat with a Fr. Richard. If I'm lucky, I'll get to watch Metropolis with amazing squinty-eyed evil robot woman, with Nicholas before I have to go.
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Monday, 8 September 2003

Well I'm signed back on again, but I also managed to get my few days of holiday with Mum and Dad in Lyme Regis, where I also get to see Adrian and Emma. On the way back home I asked for my P45 from Workbase. I was rather heavily over-taxed at Easter, but armed with a P45 I should see some of the moolah coming where it's needed.

I got back to find that Mum's forms from the NHS that she asked me to look out for are here "with compliments". I did some preliminary stuff in looking for a few new jobs, phoning and e-mailing people to ask for application packs. One job is at the guild and one job within about two minutes walk of the house in Ex. I also thought that I might be able to be a researcher for some headhunting people. It sounded like it from the job description anyway.

* * *

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Here are some thing I watched/listened to:
Which is all very good if you like that kind of thing. I don't think I'll watch The Games at 6 again - they just keep on recycling the same clips - but I'm liking the 9 o' clocks. Three things - a) Why is Miss World being called Miss World? I heard her real name (Azra Akin) only a couple of times. It's a bit, well it seems rude almost. She was representing Turkey I see. Does she live in England then? If not it seems a very random choice of person. b) I remember that I'm meant to dislike James Hewit for a reason involving Diana, but I can't remember exactly what c) Bobby Davro looks sort of intense. If you didn't catch it, the commentator said he looked like someone who had just killed his mother. It was quite a bonus to see, in the capacity of So Solid Harvey's other half, the incredible shouting woman that is Alesha Dixon. I'd like Mel C to win I think. I don't think Miss World has a great chance of winning, but I'd love to see her win at that swingy thing which I don't know the name of.

Clement Freud was again rather poor on Just a Minute, which was a shame. He just kept on stopping randomly - not like him at all. I think it was the first appearance of Chris Neill(sp?) who was pretty funny, and much better than Nicholas cheery-doormat Parsons at spotting repetitions. Linda Smith was also on. I think the Clue must have been a repeat, because she was on that too. Does Linda Smith do stand-up? If not, then how did she get famous? She seems only to be on R4 and Countdown occasionally. She told the same joke on both shows, involving "braless TV gardener, Alan Titchmarsh".

I meant to say something about David Blaine. I'm quite worried about David Blaine. I'm sure it's possible to fast for 44 days, but it doesn't exactly seem advisable. It did certainly serve to remind me of a huge biblical understatement; doctors were worrying about the state of Blaine's internal organs under the strain of massive weight loss, and of hallucinations. If you're anything like me, you don't think too much about these things usually - but sheesh.

* * *

For some reason I forgot to metion that Clive and Jenny (aunt and uncle don'cha know) swung by as well.. They kindly took a little detour on their jorney to return my coat to me. They didn't stay very long, but I did give them one of the awesome family trees that Mum's been making and a pictures of me holding a fake scroll and looking particularly spotty. I don't know whether I said this already, but you'd have thought that they could airbrush graduation photos for you wouldn't you?
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Good morning. Jobcentre appointment at 0915. Just blogging before I entirely forget my dream. Having said that, I've forgotten most of the particulars and am left only with the gist of it really. It involved my face changing - elongating and so forth. There were two other people this was happening to, and I was more irritated than distressed. I think one of the other two people might have been Snoopy. One the way to Exe-bridges to get it sorted out (don't ask me why) I ran into Nina on a random grassy embankment. She thought it'd help if she tapped my face a few times with something that was like a tambourine-sized bodhran. And that was my dream.
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Sunday, 7 September 2003

Resisting Temptation



SO LONG as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written in Job: "The life of man upon earth is a warfare." Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted; man cannot be altogether free from temptation.



Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us -- in sin we were born. When one temptation or trial passes, another comes; we shall always have something to suffer because we have lost the state of original blessedness.



Many people try to escape temptations, only to fall more deeply. We cannot conquer simply by fleeing, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. The man who only shuns temptations outwardly and does not uproot them will make little progress; indeed they will quickly return, more violent than before.



Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you will overcome them, by the help of God rather than by severity and your own rash ways. Often take counsel when tempted; and do not be harsh with others who are tempted, but console them as you yourself would wish to be consoled.



The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways. Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are.



Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.



Someone has said very aptly: "Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength." First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.



Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.



We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit.



In temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured; in them opportunity for merit and virtue is made more manifest.



When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to be fervent and devout, but if he bears up patiently in time of adversity, there is hope for great progress.



Some, guarded against great temptations, are frequently overcome by small ones in order that, humbled by their weakness in small trials, they may not presume on their own strength in great ones.



Thomas a Kempis. The Imitation of Christ
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Hello blog-pickers. I woke up this morning; what are the odds? I had some muesli with water, for I distrust the milk I made up yesterday, and a bit of toast watching Spongebob. Today Spongebob taught the plankton the Fun Song, but he was still evil. Then I gave Nick a lift into his penultimate day of work before university.

As I say, solo strumming today. It was quite difficult. Various singing difficulties arose and stuff, but nothing that terrible happened as a result. Played some more floor tennis with the Hooper kids, who have now decided to formalise the game.

When I got back I hacked off some thorny thing that was hanging over the porch. I suppose it must be some variety of rose, but I don't recall seeing any flowers on it.
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Saturday, 6 September 2003

Well I woke up this morning. Made the milk. It smelt a bit. Watched a bit of Malcolm in the Middle and, having got Nicholas to buy the paper on his way to band, read the supplements. Did more various things.

Today I went into town to meet up with Vicki (MISS VICTORIA HUTTON on her receipt at MVC) at The Rock Box. Nice to see her again, but unfortunately for all concerned, she got a migraine shortly before arriving. I get the impression that migraines are ineffably crushing and am very glad that I don't get any. We wandered round, went to various places that she needed to go to to buy "green stuff" (tea tree oil), "stuff in a tube" (lip balm) and stamps. What on earth is lip balm for? I've never used any and my lips are still attached. Wandered round in MVC, where they have new loyalty type cards. You get a point per pound, and if you get 100 then you get £2.50 off. Vicki, by way of an apology for not being well (hey, it wasn't my idea) decided to buy me a CD so I got the Ghost Dog Soundtrack. Very nice of her indeed.

Then I wandered back hom and watched The Seven Year Itch. I'm really not sure why. I've seen the beginning of it before and decided I couldn't be bothered. Today I stuck it out and decided that it wasn't terrible, but there were better things in life to do. I didn't really like the main character much by the end. The idea is that his wife's away and he's very tempted by Miss Monroe. He seemed to put up a fairly token resistance, but they never got it on of course.

When Nicholas got back I got him to watch The Times' DVD. Down with Love looks like enjoyable tosh. I wonder though about casting Ewan McGregor as the male lead. He's meant to be sort of James Bondish, but I can't see that working very well at all. Kill Bill should be good, and Intolerable Cruelty, as a Coen Brothers film, should be a safe bet, though it doesn't look immediately good from the trailers.

I started watching Forrest Gump too, but was getting too tired for it and I needed to be awake tomorrow for solo guitar strummin' type worship. Also I thought that if I watched the whole Jenny and Forrest thing for too long I would get all depressed an' that.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
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Friday, 5 September 2003

A working definition of bathos: The ending of AI, which Nicholas is watching in the front room.

* * *

I actually watched Dangerous Minds this evening. It was an okay film. I was expecting something more along the lines of gritty realism, but it wasn't. Despite bad things happening, the heart-warming good things were pretty unbelieveble. In fact, if they were the worst class in that school then I dread to think what kind of institutions I attended. They were hard-cases for about five minutes and then were more well-behaved than many a class I've been in. It was watchable though.
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One of Nicholas' editions of The New Statesman displays on the front cover "THE NEW POOR: Ann Pettifor on the First World Debt crisis". Instantly aware of the pettiness of concentrating on this rather than the kind of poverty that actually kills people, I nonetheless definitively agreed with it to Nicholas, saying that I wished that my education did not depend on a huge loan. I seem to recall favouring a graduate tax at the time when it was still being debated rather than put up with. A while back, I was really pleased to find out about this story about Islamic banking. I think it was in Mere Christianity that C.S. Lewis mentioned, as a sideline, that he was slightly uneasy about the idea that three great world religions were all opposed to borrowing at interest (We seem to have got used to the idea, but you'll remember of course that we used to bully the Jews into doing it). [Sigh]

While you ponder that you might as well also check out "Jesus through Muslim eyes" by Prof Tarif Khalidi. I think the chap must be fairly liberal, otherwise he might be less inclined to use words like "rewrites" and "re-invents" about a prophet.
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Ugh. Feel somewhat flat today, as yesterday. Spent today doing what I wonder... I filled in some forms, read some John, aimlessly browsed some internet and did some washing up. I looked at my little collection of job websites and was not encouraged. I think I'm even less likely to get temporary work over here now that I'm opnly going to round for something like three or four weeks. I doubt that it'll get any more exciting. Tomorrow I'm going in to town to meet Vicki. I expect that'll perk me up a fair bit.
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The Student Health Centre is going to take me off their records in November. I wonder where the health centres for everyone else are in Exeter.
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Wednesday, 3 September 2003

Today was a fairly boring day. I was pretty tired all through it (goodness knows why - I've been doing naff all) and I was tired when we go to Ruth's to play random games. I think it was infectious because after a while Ruth said she was tired too. Nonetheless we got some scrabble in. I won. Whoo. Ruth thinks I'm too competitive. We also played the listing game, which was as good as ever. What did we list? Um... genres of music, cars, drinks and some other things too.

* * *

Tomorrow apparently wasn't much more exciting or I would have blogged it. Mum and Dad left us though to go to the caravan. I emptied and loaded the dishwasher. I may have done some other things too.
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Mil's moved:

[M]y brand new digital camera had been broken. She handed it to me and I held it tenderly in my hands. Its lens was wrenched off to one side at an ugly angle - like a broken neck. Like the broken neck of some delicate, beautiful bird that had shiny silver plumage, a smooth body containing both internal and SD card memory and a 4x optical zoom beak, or something.
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Tuesday, 2 September 2003

Hmm, a blogspot link "Christian Speed Dating" takes me to this site, where they have Christian nights scheduled apparently. I wonder if people go for it...
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Hey, Gavin's got a job! Fantastic! I'd link to Gavin's blog entry, but there isnt one, and linking to Will would be sort of like linking to this entry. And that's just daft.
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What did I do today? I stayed in bed reading for a change, getting to the final section of What's So Amazing About Grace?. I filled in forms and read bibles and stuff. No Chris Moyles this week.

We went shopping today. I ran into Mike and Sam(antha) from Focus Do It All, except that they're not anymore. They were together, which was odd. Very strange seeing them after three years. Nicholas was bemoaning my strange mood at shopping. Needlessly high spirits. We had a friendly alternative type at our check-out, apparently called Joey. I swiped some boxes for packing things like books and cheesecake in.

I've got back from picking mum up from work. She's a good mum; she had boxes for me to put things in. Sort of like a pot for putting balloons in only better. Dad's out on the lash with Alan in Bagshot. Well, not exactly.
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What's your flavour?
Tell me; what's your flavour?
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Ah. This boning up on numbers might not be immediately necessary. I reread the letter from the council and I'm being tested on verbal something or other (eaaaaaaaasy) and "numerical reasoning" for which I might have a calculator, in which case I can do it.
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Hello. Among other things this morning, I've finally got round to seeing just how bad at maths I am. I did the practise tests for the interview first. I did okay on everything apart from the number stuff. I still remember how to do various sums and stuff, just not in my head. I got an A for maths at GCSE (notably not for English lit) but I've apparently been avoiding maths too studiously for the past five years. I tested myself on my multiplication tables by filing in one of those 12x12 grids. Took me about quarter of an hour, which sounds terrible, but when you have 124 boxes to fill in, that's seven and a bit per minute. Still, it's not great. I'm downloading cheesy kid's software. I wish there was a Mental Arithmetic of the Dead game. I seem to remember we had a more prosaic game on our ZX48k where you caught apples. Actually I think that was a typing tutor. Ah well, back to it.
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Monday, 1 September 2003

Hello everybody! Let's take a journey back in time! Whoo!

Good morning. Today I think I will blog some random snippets and then realise I have neglected what I actually got up to. Then perhaps I might write a blog entry which opens something along the lines of "Hello everybody! Let's take a journey back in time! Whoo!". After that, I might go to town and do a rapid reclaim on my JSA, leaving behind my money so that I don't spend it only to give Nicholas money to buy The Imitation of Christ for me. It's my faint suspicion that he will. Then I'll listen to Just a Minute which will be a great edition wherein Paul Merton wins, Clement Freud being oddly bad but still coming second. Just a hunch mind you. Then I think that this conceit will get old quickly and I'll stop the entry.
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I think I might put an inspirational slogan on my blog:

< an anecdote free zone > - Where problems meet solutions and then beat them with big sticks
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Forgiveness; good idea isn't it? Well, either I'm happily deluded, or I don't really have very much to forgive. I've had a ridiculously easy life thus far really, so I wonder what right I have to speak about forgiveness. Sadly for you guys, it's not going to stop me.

Here's the thing. I can grudgingly accept, you know, on a theoretical level, that if you have something to forgive, especially in a mutual squabble, you can't sit back and wait for the other person to say "I'm sorry." You've got to take the initiative somehow. Jesus said "Forgive them; they don't know what they're doing" to his accusers, and it wasn't because they said sorry. So far, no-one has wished me dead for long enough for it to be a pressing concern, yet predictably enough Jesus is apparently better at forgiving people than I am.

Now, what happens if somone has riled you, but they don't know about it, or even if they do, they're not saying sorry? It's easy if they say sorry - you're both on the same page. Not having that option you can a) forgive them in your hearts and/or b) forgive them to their faces. This last one is a terribly worrying thing:

ME I forgive you for, like, being a jerk and stuff.
THE OTHER PARTY That was you. In fact, apparently it is you, right now.
ME [wishes the world would end about nowish]

Naturally, I exaggerate. It seems to me that it'd be quite some trick to forgive without accusing. Suitable perhaps for more experienced forgivers. Is this nonsense?
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Well speaking of buy orders, Nicholas has just bought The Imitation of Christ for me. My orders were, buy it at up to £3.50. Between £3.50 and £4 flip a coin. He asked me whether he should buy it if it was £4 or more. I suppose I might have issued him with a D12 and more instruction. Well, after £4 treat it as a Leman Russ Tank - use your assault cannon and try to take one of the projectile weapons out.
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Blogshares has made all the blogs I added available to trade, which has both put my blog's value back up to it's highest point, and meant that I've been doing a little trading. Unfortunately I don't know anything about the real stock market, so I'm a bit clueless. I sold a quarter of my shares (250) in my blog, resulting in a tidy sum of spending money, and bought 100 James shares and 100 Victor shares. After all this time I couldn't buy shares in Mark Shea though. I placed a buy order for 25 shares in him (Price:$104.54 Min. Market Price:$0.00). No - I don't know what that means. If it means that I get shares at some point then that's good.
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