10 November 2010

11: Sore throats

I woke up this morning with one of those throats so sore it's painful to think, let alone speak. Or swallow. Everywhere you go there are people coughing and broadcasting their infective agents in all directions, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would in time succumb.

I have long maintained that when God sent the plagues on Pharaoh and the Egyptians to persuade them to free their Israelite slaves, He kept sore throats up his sleeve as a possible 11th blow, just in case Pharaoh didn't like his firstborn son much anyway. The Israelites would have cheerfully gone about their business, shouting greetings, singing and eating crisps, until the sight of them would have become too much and the Egyptians would have waved them voicelessly into freedom.

Me, I'll sit here with my lozenges. Not to an ancient Egyptian formula, of course. You don't want to know what they prescribed for a sore throat, but I suspect it involved dung.

06 November 2010

Dream attack

New dream: I am a special agent, and under mysterious circumstances I am served frozen vegetable-panettone (featuring a layer of icy sour cream-alike) by Lionel Blair's doppelgänger. Rancid.

01 November 2010

Guerrilla horticulture

Last night I dreamt that there was a radical group in Germany taking direct action by planting thousands of trees in public spaces. The weird thing is that they were doing this by violently firing the trees into the ground, thereby destroying the roots and killing the trees.

Well, it was Halloween last night.

22 October 2010

Vital supplies replenished

As recently noted here, it has in the last few months become impossible to purchase Burts bacon-flavoured crisps where I live, which is of course a major inconvenience. It must be the government's fault.

Anyway, I decided to take matters into my own hands: earlier this month we went down to Devon for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary, and Devon being the home of Burts, and Burts bacon crisps being key (along with champagne and chocolates) to romance, on the Monday of our return I telephoned said producers of tasty potato-based comestibles and asked if we could drop in and buy some. They were slightly taken aback by this suggestion, until I made it clear that I was not just talking about one packet: I wanted a boxful. At this point, the very nice lady who had answered the phone audibly relaxed, having realised I wasn't just any old weirdo who wanted to walk in off the street and buy crisps, but a really dedicated weirdo who wanted to buy in bulk. Given the option of a box of 10 large packs or of 20 small packs, I went for the latter -- slightly better for the diet, and definitely better for spreading the pleasure over a longer period of time, even though the larger packs are technically better value per kilo (look mum, I'm buying crisps by the kilo!).

Later that day, we tooled up outside the Burts unit on the outskirts of Plymouth. The crisps, and a modest invoice, were waiting for us in reception. Rather pleasingly, the crisps had actually been made on our anniversary. (Sidenote: in reception, there is a display of the full range, and it turns out that the company also makes the exceptionally hot and utterly addictive Nando's Piri-piri crisps. Recommendation is mandatory.)

A couple of days ago, I opened the box and we consumed a packet. Seriously, Burts bacon crisps are better than alcohol or ice cream. Bliss.

16 October 2010

Minor signage fail

How hard can it have been to find the O key?

13 October 2010

A conundrum

This amused me when I saw it recently. Other programmers will understand.

12 October 2010

My new role in international military action

I just received this email, which I reproduce here in full, verbatim:

Dear Friend,

My name is Robert Kyle, the current Capt. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Please there is a serious business I have for you.There's a consignment I want you to receive on my behalf. I shall give more information when I hear from you.Thank you and keep it secret.

CAPT. Robert Kyle

How exciting! I wonder what it is he wants me to do. I also wonder why he's using an Italian webmail address. And why the subject line, "Reply me soon" is such bad English.

27 September 2010

Crisp supply failure

Rather appropriately, having just named my blog, I have now discovered that my local purveyor of crispy wonderfulness has stopped stocking Burts bacon-flavoured crisps (IMHO, the best crisps in the world, and quite possibly in the universe). This follows my local Waitrose's decision to stop stocking them several years ago, following which I switched allegiances to a local farm shop for a couple of years until they had the temerity to stop trading in Burts items. I'd only just discovered that a different farm shop here sold them, but now they've stopped too. I guess I'll just have to buy direct, in bulk. Possibly by the fieldful.

New blog: naming ponderingness

This, pretty obviously, is my new blog. As with all creative endeavours, trivial or otherwise, one of the major challenges is in naming: choosing something distinctive is obviously important, especially when it comes to all things online (the name My Blog is unlikely to be easily uniquely found by googling). I briefly considered Diacritical Mass, Situation: Diacritical and other similar possibilities in the light of my predilection for foreign languages, diacritical marks and so on; however, it seems that others have had those ideas before me. Then, I pondered some old names that had been rattling around in the back of my head for a few years: Dr Strel’s Planet of Infinite Cake, www.strobeweasel.com, and even The Blithery Repository. There were others, even worse. A few days after deciding on Insert crisps to continue I have come to the conclusion that I really just ought to get on with it. So here we are. Or, more in my usual vein, You are here.