Viper Squad Ten
We're from the future. And we're stuck....
......VSX......                                                                                                              ......Been a little bit quiet lately......                                                                                                                                                                    

VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...

Sometimes guest editors: Mr Stu and DJ Tim.


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Dexter Season 4 finale review
Now that's magic!
Inception
I did this!
Frank Sidebottom RIP
Lost - The End - an atheist's viewpoint
Viper Squad Ten - the return
[breath drawn]
[rib cage expands outwards]
[intercostal muscles contract]



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[ VSX Latest ]



[ Wednesday, July 30, 2003 ]


DJ Tim [02:15] Comments: 0 []
 
'ello peeps. 'ows its going. Just spent a lovely night with my wife. And boy do I love her. She is the one that I love oh oh ohoo hoh.

Seriously talking about my sister in -law, I really feel that my good friend Nikki (I still love you) would be able to sort her out. Not too pigeon hole you, but I think that you, maybe, would understand her, but then again, it would be far to pretentious for me to think this. You (everyone) all have your own life and you should go out and enjoy it. God Bless. You'r all far too intelligent too listen to this to crap. You 'horns, Go Jonho, that's a team I love (XX). God you should have been there on Saturday. Clam,. Clam,. Clam.

What do you do when all you want to say is Wiblywiblywacker.

Wiblywiblywacker.



[ Monday, July 28, 2003 ]


Stuart [10:20] Comments: 0 []
 
Your favourite three songs are by QUEEN! I DON'T BELIEVE IT!

Terrible, terrible.

Anyway, just to set the record (geddit?) straight, that show was not based upon votes, it was based upon actual single sales. Which is possibly more depressing when you realise that Mull of Kintyre (or whatever), is the third, and Robson and Jerome the ninth, best selling singles of ALL TIME in the UK.

I have bought a book about this, released to tie in with the show, and it makes for fascinating reading (for me) and tedious conversation (for everyone around me).

Note, that of the top ten best sellers of all time, one band appears twice. The Beatles, obviously. NO - it's Boney M, of course. Our absent editor in chief will have deja vu when he reads this - i bored him with such banter when we were in the Moon of Death pub, or whatever it was called. He'll also have deja vu about this joke, inspired by one of the top entries, as previously referred to herein...

Q:What do you call a dog with wings?
A: Linda McCartney.

Hahahaha. Out of date on two counts, now, but "worth" trotting out again.




[ Sunday, July 27, 2003 ]


DJ Tim [03:11] Comments: 0 []
 
Wibleywibleywackna (I love you Have)



DJ Tim [01:01] Comments: 0 []
 
Lets Race......                  

                                        Me Too....Hee hee hee                  

                                                                                                             God I'm drunk!                  




DJ Tim [00:26] Comments: 0 []
 
Let this be a warning to you all (Stu still time to back out) - you marry the girl, you marry the family. Just spent the best part of today with the Sister in law...... all's ok now, I've had a few drinks, calmed down or at least I thought I was until I just heard on the TV that Will (get a life) Young was voted number 12 on the top 100 Ultimate chart on Channel 4 .... and wait for it Wet Wet Wet are number 11 with their 4 weddings number ... Arghhhh it's getting worse Robson and Jerome are number 9 with Everlasting Melody. This might turn into my last will and testament (Stu can you do me a cheap rate!) if I watch this show any longer. Oh thank god..... number 7....Relax..... Oh here we go again Bonny M and then Mul of Kintyre (sp?)....Getting back on track Queen and you know which one at number 3.... only the top two to go... getting excited who will it be???? Oh no, Do you know it's Christmas at number 2!!!!!!!!! Arghhhhhhhh. Please, please please end with a good one..... Well I can't knock it since it's sung by the God who is Sir Elton (You 'horns) but please Candle in the Wind!!!!!! Well that was a rollercoaster through the really crap of pop. Go C4!

Well after that avalanche of crap songs I feel that I should reveal to everyone what my personal favourites are. The sad thing is that my top three songs of all time come from a single album which I haven't been able to listen to for at least 3 years. The reason for this are a combination of personal and the fact of what was happening to the writer at the time it was recorded. The songs are (Sorry if the actual titles are not correct but I'm not one to remember titles but rather the actual song but if you know the songs, you'll know what I mean) In no particular order These are the days of our Lives, I'm going Slightly Mad and the Show must go on. Answers on a postcard as to what my favourite album is!

Anyway, I've just realised that in the last 40 hours I've had 3.5 hours sleep. So what I need, is to stop writing this weBLOG (that sounds quite Scottish!) and get some more......ALCOHOL.... hic...burp



[ Saturday, July 26, 2003 ]


DJ Tim [04:54] Comments: 0 []
 
Well lets talk about books - what is it with all this Harry Potter crap. Why is it that an entire nation, actually strike that, an entire world, is obsessed about a bunch of books written for kids. I must admit that I haven't actually read any of them, but why should I, they are kids books. I did actually see the first film (on DVD mind, like I was going to pay to see it!) and I thought it was... well ok I'll admit it, it was ok. BUT IT WAS STILL A KIDS FILM. (Sorry for shouting) It's not that I have any thing against the Harry Potter books per-say, well actually I do. After the latest book was published it was ridiculous the number of (normal) adults that were sat on the tube (that's the subway for the Yanks, and for the Kiwis it's a train that runs underground) reading it. Why don't they just get a copy of the Lord of the Rings and read that instead. Talking of which, special edition of the Two Towers out in November sounds great. 40 mins extra footage - can't wait. Peter Jackson rocks - apart from all the films he did before LOTR.

Now serious stuff. BB4. Thank God that the British nation had the sense to vote Cameron the winner. I must admit it was the most mind numbingly boring BB ever, but I was so please that Cameron won, if only because Jon aka Tickle was such a bastard in his views on him. I have never seen a guy who was so scared of a person that had his life sorted through his religion, so much so that he went around saying that Cameron was being false. Ha ha, he had the last laugh.

Anyway you'll all be pleased to know that Sid sorted out his sound problems tonight and the show went well - obviously it was never going to be as good as the Radio Redland days, but how is a little station like Radio Waterloo going to attract the likes of George Lucas!!

Big shout out to the Finsbury Park Massive!

Anyway this is DJ Tim signing off .....berrr...static...crackle...static...dead.......



[ Friday, July 25, 2003 ]


Stuart [22:46] Comments: 0 []
 
Gah Tim has usurped me in the talking about stuff stakes! For he, cleverly, bith speaketh about stuff and understandeth said stuff, unlike me. I'm reading Scaredy Cat, a book about two serial killers, who are presumably quite scary, written by the bloke that wrote Sleepy Head (about a serial "killer" who puts his victims into a certain type of coma). He's also just written one called "Lazy Bones", whcih presumably will be about a serial killer who (something to do with sleeping - er, again). So, it's good to see that the author is writing solely on the basis of thematic titles, guaranteed to result in the greatest literature. SPEAKING of which (god, this is what blogs are for, jesus, there is So little quality control over what goes on to them) - what drives me MAD is that woman who writes books so OBVIOUSLY based around the title of the book being a "funny" play on words - wait for it - "Bad Heir Day", guffaw, "Fame Fatale", snort, snigger, and Azur Like It - isn't it BRILLIANT??!?! i've just checked her out. She wrote the Full Monty. Christ.

ANYWAY i'm still at work, sitting, at work, at nearly 11pm on a Friday night. How much UNLIKE a character in one of Wendy's books do you think I am? Except i might be that slightly dull character that teh protaganist thinks is sweet who fancies her but they never get it together. Oh hang on, they always DO get together in the end don't they? Like in Rescue Me, featuring that LOvely Woman Who Played The Receptionist in Alan Partridge. Yes, that's it, I'm happy now.

I saw her in real life, in a pub, and she looked right grumpy.



DJ Tim [18:08] Comments: 0 []
 
Hi all (no one!), since I feel I have to talk about the Matrix on here, I'll add my two pence (that's a bit like a cent for any Yanks or Kiwis reading) worth. One thing that I was thinking after reading Stu's post was that if anyone had likened the Matrix to quantum theory. One of the principles of Quantum theory (I really hope Mr&Mrs T aren't reading this) is that until observed a quantum exists in all possible states that could result from all possible paths. This sounds a bit like the multiple versions of Zion albeit in the film it is suggested that they run sequentially rather than concurrently which would be more quantum like. You could then extrapolate this theory that is based on nothing to the fact that the computers that run the Matrix are in fact quantum computers themselves (something that they would have to be in order to have the computing power to run anything like the Matrix. Anyway if any one is remotely interested in Quantum Theory but don't have the background in Physics to really understand it can I recommend a book.

Well it's off now for the weekend to do a bit DJ-ing on my Radio Waterloo show. Hopefully Sid has sorted out the sound problems we had last week!

This is DJ Tim signing off.



[ Thursday, July 24, 2003 ]


Stuart [18:45] Comments: 0 []
 
Just quickly, as I'm working late and long and hard, but, right, I got a bit of Enter the Matrix gaming in. I got to the first major film clip, which you've (or you that are interested in the whoel thing anyway) probably already read transcripts of. I haven't read them deliberately so that i get to them in the game. And i got to the bit where the guy (yes, i don't know who he is, precisely because i haven't read into it, but he might be the train man) says to Niobe "72 hours... 72 hours..." and she says "whaddayoosay?" (not quite like that) and he said "that's how long Zion lasted last time..." and it was brilliant and chilling and ooooooh... type of thing.

And it made me think about, like, different time frames and different perceptions of time and the whole idea that in a computer you could have things happening at various and different rates, etc., and the whole idea that Zion basically, being a virtual world, is nothing more than a series of electrical pulses travelling down wires at speeds we can't comprehend, and if so, how can you have a relative sense of time passing in that "world" as against time passing in our own, and stuff. It also reminded me of taht idea that i first read in a Stephen King book, the Dark Tower I think (although it's not King's idea) that our universe is all contained in a drop of water hanging from a blade of grass in another dimension/universe/whatever.
Load of hippy nonense. Blimey, my similarity to Andy here is quite alarming. Don't worry though, faithful (hypothetical) readers, I won't start talking about bots and shareware and stuff.

OR WILL I? HOW DO YOU KNOW I AM NOT ANDY? MOO-HA-HA. (Yellow Pinky)

No, it is me, bye, Stuart
Just thought I'd share that.




DJ Tim [09:41] Comments: 0 []
 
You would have thought that considering I write web sites for a living that I would have been able to actually work out how to log into this site to carry out my duties as co-guest editor. But no, or at least I have finally, but it has taken me 24 hours to work out how to.

Point of note: To any fans of Starbuck ( or whatever he is calling himself these days) I don't have an internal jukebox so I won't be giving you daily updates about that.

Point of note 2: I have no idea about the blogger etiquette so I apologise now, but here's a blatant plug for the best UK entertainment web site: Teletext Cinema section (most of it's crap but the cinema section is generally very good)

Point of note 3: I've got a lot of work to do and shouldn't be writing this now - or else Channel 4 are never going to get their new digital text service



[ Wednesday, July 23, 2003 ]


Stuart [21:23] Comments: 0 []
 
Hello everyone - Stuart here, guest editor extrordinaire (or is that ordinaire). I'm only one half guest editor though, as you've been told - i don't want to step on Tim's toes.

I'm going to tell you two quick things - one is that i have discovered a "new" (ie everyone has seen it) humour site (as before, i'm not au fait (ooh missus) with the mechanics of blogwotnot, so it will be a simple name which, if you can be bothered, you'll have to cut and paste - I'm not up to links) - chekkit - it's http://www.themanwhofellasleep.com. I particularly recommend the tube gossip, toip right, and the sad jokes, near the bottom. Genius of some sort.

NEXT musicmusicmusic - i bought the Kings of Leon (latest hyped to death NME sponsored combo) album. It's not very good.

I also bought the new Jane's Addiction album and as my mate James says, they speak the language of rock. By jove they do! Everyone should buy it.

Those are my two things.

Here endeth my entry (way-hey)



Starbuck [01:03] Comments: 0 []
 
The book-end of a very nice evening, sitting with my old friend Nikki in Brockwell Park in south-west London, bottle of red-wine in hand, watching the evening light turn to night via deeply purple shades, a new victim to discuss the Matrix universe with. Her views, from a mind very differently trained to mine, adding valuable new textures to the puzzle.

Anyway, enough of my Matrix guff. As I am going to be absent from any blogging tools for the next week-and-a-bit due to reasons that I must keep secret for national security reasons, I am going to pass the reins of control to the capable/culpable hands of Stu and DJ Tim, who may (or may not as the case may be) act as guest editors until my tanned self returns. A lot will have changed by the time I return. I will no longer be working at SOAS. And I will be due to shift my corporeal self away from London and back towards my roots. But I will no doubt still be boring the pants off my reader(s) with Matrix-related bobbins...



[ Tuesday, July 22, 2003 ]


Starbuck [01:09] Comments: 0 []
 
Sitting at my computer, post-shower water slowly evaporating itchily from my skin, but lacking the strength to towel myself dry, the mind tired and desperately in need of catching up on a weekend's lost sleep, vision blurring as my eyes glaze over the endless pastel backdrops of various websites, as I repeatedly click on my random blog link. There's a lot of informational-chaff amongst the electronic wheat in the fields of the blogosphere; a lot of sites are not aimed at me, just as my own blog isn't written for any particular "demographic" apart from myself. But it is interesting to shift from one viewpoint to another, and it's important to see life through the eyes of the rest of humanity.

In this way, I've stumbled upon gems like Rantavation bobbing around in the sea of dross (when the perception from the rest of the world of US politics is often the universal blind support of, or even just the lack of dissent or discourse on, the Bush regime's sledgehammer swipes at world politics, its reassuring to see that the liberal counterpoint is still in existence out there, blah blah blah go to sleep you fool!)



[ Monday, July 21, 2003 ]


Starbuck [20:08] []
 
Wow. Just discovered how to "borrow" images from other sites in basic no-frills Blogger. So, if anyone was wondering what I look like, here's a picture of me. (You may have to right-click-Show-Picture it if your connection's as shaky as ropey... although even that may not be enough to always prompt it unless you've topped up your image cache from here. Curse you geocities bandwidth!)

[IMAGE REMOVED]



[ Sunday, July 20, 2003 ]


Starbuck [23:03] Comments: 0 []
 
I'd been wondering why Lavasoft hadn't appeared to be too forthcoming with any new reference files for Ad-aware (their free spy-ware remover) of late. However, I've just noticed that there's a new build out (build 6.181) that's needed for the latest updates; now that I've downloaded it, I can continue to further my paranoid obsession with keeping The Man (and the bandits) at arm's length. Grrr!

On the topic of spy-ware, or more pertinently, spy-wear, here's an interesting article from yesterday's Guardian concerning the data-protection issues and commercial politics of loyalty card schemes, and, more worryingly, the insertion of tracking chips into clothes amongst other things.

Also on the fascinating (note:irony) subject of online advertising, surfing has been such a more relaxing experience since downloading the Google toolbar 2.0 beta. Banner ads I can take - hell, they can even brighten up a dull web-page if done exceptionally well. But pop-up ads, they used to really get my goat. Take the time it takes to load their slabs of badly-designed image in the first place, add to the equation the hassle of closing their fracking windows down afterwards, and the resulting outcome is my fist going through my monitor. But thanks to the new toolbar, 48 incidents of unwelcome pop-ups have already been blocked on my machine in the 18 days I've had it. Google is such a class company, in so many ways. (And who knows - maybe that shameless bit of patronage will will return Viper Squad Ten to the top of their search results in the next Google dance... c'mon Fresh-bot. Here boy!)



Starbuck [22:09] Comments: 0 []
 
I've now found a failsafe method of hang-over prevention, test-driven on a 10-hour session yesterday. So, a big thank you Jo & Rob, whose magnificent barbecue extravaganza was the test-bed for my personal breakthrough. Whilst the drunkeness levels of my fellow revellers escalated to dangerous proportions, little old me survived relatively unscathed, with sanity and memory fully intact. The only downside to this barrier to hanging is that it involves the ingestion of several hundred kilos of flame-grilled meat. A bit limiting that. Oh, and since it relies on the physical impossibility of one taking in any more liquid due to complete distension of the gatro-intestinal tract by the pressure of the food within... well, it can be a tad uncomfortable at times.



[ Friday, July 18, 2003 ]


Starbuck [00:08] Comments: 0 []
 
Just re-seen Reloaded at the bfi IMAX with DJ Tim. Awesome. I won't stir any more boredom into this blog with any refinements to the many various different Matrix theories that're going on in my head, but after watching such a film in IMAX-o-vision, it's going to be difficult going back to watching movies in normal 35mm format again...



[ Thursday, July 17, 2003 ]


Starbuck [12:31] Comments: 0 []
 
Life can feel so cinematic at times.

I woke this morning from a lovely dream sequence, holidaying with my wonderful girl, only for the harsh reality of waking alone to bleed into my consciousness.

My tired, caffeine-bereft journey through Kings Cross underground station was brought alive by the most incredible busker. His soul came echoing through the corridors long before I saw him - an old man, enclosed within a battered leather jacket and hat, clasping his guitar as if his life depended on it, and stopped over a tattered page of liquid-smudged lyrics. His mournful country song was so heartfelt; so heart-wrenching. His gravelly voice heavily stained with whisky. That man must have affected a hell of a lot of people this morning. He certainly made me feel a lot more human.

And then, the walk to my workplace, oh so nearly curtailed by the murderous intent of the tree-cutters working above Vernon Square.

I also dreamt of this place that I work last night. SOAS has been so good to me, and I will be sad to leave it next week. But life must move on. And the dreams of my girl are a lot more potent.



[ Wednesday, July 16, 2003 ]


Starbuck [12:28] Comments: 0 []
 
Another sweltering day in London. What I don't like about this, is that it affects my internal jukebox in a wholly deleterious fashion. Today, I've got "Hot In The City", "It's Getting Hot in Here" (herre?), and "The Heat Is On" spinning around on my (sizzling) internal platter. Make it stop!



[ Tuesday, July 15, 2003 ]


Starbuck [23:54] Comments: 0 []
 
I know that I may be incredibly boring, but even the most luddite surfer out there must be fascinated by Google. Possibly.

Since starting this blogging nonsence, I'd been bugged at the way that the Google search results for this blog (once it finally ended up being listed), would chop and change in their apparent page-rank and the listed date of the cache made when the site was crawled - it was as if Google would sometimes leap back in time to a crawl done on a specific date, despite having previously shown results from more recent crawls of the blog. I stumbled across this forum on Webmasterworld.com last night, and scrambled my head with too much Googlish gollocks. But after all that, here's a lovely explanation on Google Answers which explains for idiots like me how Google's got a Fresh-bot crawling sites regularly (those with a date shown in the search results) as well as the monthly deep-crawl. Yawn.

So thank you Fresh-bot, for so quickly indexing my link to Mickey's Monkey Spunk Moped 2 days ago. You are playing a vital role in furthering the world's intellectual and artistic worth.



Starbuck [23:08] Comments: 0 []
 
Further to my previous post's rant sparked off by M$ business strategies, I have just seen on Confessions Of A G33K a link regarding the Slashdot discussion referring to the USA Today story about the battle between Microsoft and Linux over a contract for the city of Munich (phew! Bit of a mouthful, there.) Just goes to show they're rattled...



Starbuck [21:01] Comments: 0 []
 
The trouble with the world today, is that you can't just read predictions on potentially forthcoming scary global events and think "Nah, that'll never happen - they'd never be that stupid!" anymore. When Bush started muttering about Iraq post 9-11, it was easy to think "This'll never happen - he's just making threatening noises; surely the advisors'll ensure nothing could go ahead unless it needed to. Surely people'd look at the whole picture before stumbling forward." But the noises continued, and here we are now.

And now, to the other components of his axis of evil. Surely he'll not take on Iran and North Korea. But then you read that senior Democrat William Perry thinks that North Korea is firmly 'on the path to war with US', and you get just a little bit worried. Unlike Iran, North Korea is such a hermetically-sealed country, politically and socially, this one could be very difficult. Shudder.

There's one bit of good news happening in an already "liberated" country, however. Afghanistan is being rebuilt with the help of the Linux operating system. And hopefully, with Linux, it'll be able to thrive freely away from the money-grasping, bloated claws of Microsoft. Who knows, maybe this trend for good will spread. Open-source is the way forward. We need it to succeed, as M$ needs serious competition to force it try harder for its users.

(What a hypocrite I am; I'm still cranking up clunky old Windows Me every day!)



[ Monday, July 14, 2003 ]


Starbuck [23:36] Comments: 0 []
 
Before I got sidetracked on my previous post, all I wanted to do was to link to the DX-Ball 2 freeware game. A very classy bit of Breakout/Arkanoid-style action, and very nicely weighted. For those like me on a slow dial-up connection, it may take a few minutes at 2.38 Megs; unless you, like me, got it free off a magazine's DVD (PC Format in my case). Very addictive, as these things often are.

Though still not as addictive as the coding genius of Tsunami 2010 in its small but perfectly formed 96 Kb download (go on, give it a try - it'd only take my ZX Spectrum seconds to download, but I think it'd struggle with the visuals). I know that I've banged on about this before, it is a damn fine experience. As this is a remake of the old Atari Jaguar game Tempest 2000, you may want the original music for the full-on authentic trip - the mod files can be downloaded from here. You nerd. Get a life!



Starbuck [22:12] Comments: 0 []
 
A big grin is on my face as I type, after getting an email out of the blue from my old mate Gav (Not) Barang, who I used to work with at BT in Bristol. Email is just the greatest thing, especially for antisocial gits such as I who'd otherwise lose touch with too many people.

Just a few random things to mention tonight, some of them things that I've failed to blog over at the time over the last few dead-exciting days.

First of all, thank frack that this country has finally seen some sense by committing itself to renewable energy, with the first huge wind farms off the British coast being planned. Politically astute, in that we should be making ourselves less dependent on other nations, and environmentally sound, in that we'll be less likely to become extinct in the next few hundred years. (Not that I'm suprised - being from an oil-less future, I know that a few of us survived to see a cleaner future. And there, we supplement our energy resources by recycling all fart-derived methane gasses - every room in the future has hosing protuding from portals in the wall; non-trapped farting is heavily fined in 5HT-credits.)

Elsewhere in the news, fast food can be as addictive as hard drugs, claims new research. That's why it's so damn good! More fat, more sugar; don't let them those Health-Nazis get their hands on my KFC. It's the only thing keeping me off the crack!

Also in the Independent yesterday, 20 lies about Gulf War 2. Nothing that we wouldn't expect from our leaders there. Depressingly.
There was a very good article by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber in Saturday's Guardian magazine - Trading on Fear. "While war was being waged in Iraq, in the US another battle was being fought, as everyone from car manufacturers to conservatives used the terrorist threat to push their own products and causes..." Very interesting to read from a UK viewpoint; over here the right-wing voice was still very much heard, but not so much as to drown out the all-important counterpoint in the media. At least there was always a fair breadth of scope of discussion going on, much to Blair & Campbell's chagrin. And at least a large part of the Labour party tried to revolt, even if Blair's lies won a lot of them aroud. In the US, from what friends out there have said, the media coverage during the war was all-but unwatchable for its blinkered, narrow-minded and propagandist nature. It's extraordinary that these countries - our countries - that preach democracy can have so little regard for it.

But enough about that. I'm just not intelligent or eloquent enough to spin my views with enough conviction. No, I like to dwell in the land of the shallow. And a nice shallow link I've been meaning to add (along with everyone else in the blogosphere) for ages is this: Matrix ping-pong! No CGI effects, just pure old-fashioned Japanese TV entertainment. Brilliant.

Talking of the Matrix, as I always seem to end up doing, over on Matrix Essays, this post is quite interesting (if a bit holy), especially as I've never played the Enter The Matrix game. It pontificates further about the role of The Trainman, a character who I'd noticed but not taken much of an interest in in Matrix Reloaded (he's being escorted out of The Merovingian's gaff at the point that Neo and his crew turn up as instructed by the Oracle) , but who also plays a part in the game and the Matrix Revolutions trailer, and what his existence might mean to the truth. Still not on the parr of The System theory or even the Uncle Stupid post, though. And reading this back has just dragged me back to the excellent Homenetz Matrix discussion digests...

But I can't be arsed to think about that right now, as I'm FINALLY GOING TO SEE RELOADED AT THE BIGGY BFI IMAX ON THURSDAY. And that'll be much more instructive.

Oh, and my ear hurts, and I need to seek out the analgaesic effects of a cheap bottle of wine...



[ Sunday, July 13, 2003 ]


Starbuck [22:28] Comments: 0 []
 
I'm once again basking in the afterglow of another beautiful weekend with my beautiful girl. (Reader's reaction: heave!)

Yesterdays' highlight: London Zoo. No, bear with me a moment on this one a moment. (Bear with me! - BEAR with me! - jeez, suit yerselves.) A fantastic zoo - plenty of space for the prisoners to roam about in, and with only a few captives in each of the enclosures, not too much stir-crazy antics going on between the beasts. There seemed to be a bit of a conservation slant to the fun-filled furry-fellas-imprisonment, too. Nah, in all seriousness, a top zoo, very humane, and very well presented for us hairless apes as well. Talking of apes - Andy's top three animals of the day: 1 - Marmusets (all over the fracking cage, after my sandwich); 2 - Big Ape (lazy bastids, but with more intelligence behind those eyes than behind those of most of the rest of us on the outside); 3 - Bears & monkeys (crazed on nuts, and scampering around all over the shop on their fake mountainside).

Zoos - they make most people think about their place as humans in the biosphere. I, of course, am on a higher intellectual plain - they make me think about Mickey's Monkey Spunk Moped, a (sadly) one-off cartoon strip classic from the pages of Viz. Ho hum.

Today, the excitement about seeing Matrix Reloaded in full-on IMAX format at the bfi London IMAX cinema ("the only cinema in the UK to show the film in IMAX® DMRTM (Digital Re-mastering) technology") built up to a head as we visited the IMAX at Waterloo. However, the excitement remains un-vented, as I've still yet to see the damn thing again in a big-styley. We did see Space Station 3D, though. Fascinating, exciting, tranquil, beautiful. Celestial. Etcetera. And that's just me!



[ Saturday, July 12, 2003 ]


Starbuck [10:04] Comments: 0 []
 
Right, I've finally corrected my time-zone in my blog Settings, which has corrected the posting-times of all previous entries. No longer will I get that strange jet-lag feeling when reading back old posts. Which is nice.

Must go now. In the words of the song, "We're all going to the zoo tomorrow (today), the zoo tomorrow (today), the zoo tomorrow (today), we're all going to the zoo tomorrow (today), we're all going to the zoo..."



Starbuck [00:34] Comments: 0 []
 
As I sat outside the pub at Marylebone station this evening, waiting for my girlfriend's train to arrive, and gazing wistfully through the gaping entrance of Burger King at those delicious flame-grilled burgers being flame-grilled, I listened in to a conversation taking place at the table next to me. As you do.
A non-descript suit was talking to a Kiwi Timothy Claypole (from Rentaghost) lookalike, discussing the pro's and cons of the Lords Of The Rings films versus Harry Potter. Which got me thinking...

(deep breath as yet another pointless Matricentric post gets going...)

Our universe as revealed in the Matrix Reloaded puts a whole new slant on Rentaghost. All those spooks and ghouls and freaks and fools at Rentaghost, they're a bunch programs that have chosen exile when facing deletion. That whole TV show was just the system assimilating some programs that were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing. Which makes Arthur Perkins some sort of middle-aged Neo. And Dobbin the Switchblade Twins. Timothy Claypole must be the Merovingian. And McWitch is Persephone. And Harold Meaker, urm, some sort of... urr, Oracle-ish Merovingian-apologist... not that she was - gah! - strugling on this one. This was a stoopid idea. Time for bed!



[ Thursday, July 10, 2003 ]


Starbuck [19:01] Comments: 0 []
 
What Matrix Persona are you? I am Neo!



Starbuck [16:06] Comments: 0 []
 
Just done a quick scan of my URL on Technorati - a great tool for seeing who (if anyone) is linking to a site. It drew me back to fellow Matrix freak Tam.I.Am's blog, which is always a good read, and tracing the back-links to her site (out of pure nosiness), and drawn in by the Fight Club-paraphrasing title, I have headed to I am Jack's complete lack of suprise, which is very funny. Don't know what it is with me and Kiwi blogs. Maybe when I was out there for a month (for Best Man-ning duties) a part of the NZ code copied itself into my template. Yes, that'll be it.



Starbuck [15:15] Comments: 0 []
 
Well, the day's been a little bit different to normal. I seem to have something toxic in my system - I don't know if its something that I've eaten, or something to do with the punishing beer-wine blitz last night (god knows how my Beer-Compass managed to get me home safely) Or maybe even something to do with the litre of pure orange juice I lapped up first thing this morning to rehydrate myself...

There are a few plus points to my nausea, though. I got off the Tube at Pimlico as I felt that I wasn't going to be able to hold off vomitting, and lo, I've found for myself a wonderfully posh new bit of London to explore. Additionally, after my hour at work (I could manage no more before nausea and the stifling heat got the better of me, but I wasn't going to be defeated without at least giving it a try), my therapeutic walk back through the city turned out to be quite pleasant; and I didn't have to crouch over any drains in an emetic styley - I thankfully kept the reverse peristalsis at bay. And now, after a few hours sleep, I am watching the most amazingly ridiculous episode of Diagnosis Murder - ah, the quiescent effect of rubbish daytime telly. Dick Van Dyke in a dress - can't beat it!



Starbuck [01:05] Comments: 0 []
 
Postpub....... a few pints, and some bad sectors of the wine-bottles in front of us had my name on them. Big Ouch.

Internal jukebox, all the way home from Soho to Stockwell, from Radiohead...
While you make pretty speeches,
I'm being cut to shreds.
You feed me to the lions,
a delicate balance
When this just feels like spinning plates.
I'm living in cloud cuckoo land.
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river.
Etc.

It may not read that well on screen. But in my current drunken state, it means everything.



[ Wednesday, July 09, 2003 ]


Starbuck [17:21] Comments: 0 []
 
A big thank-you to Joy at Confessions of a G33k for her link. I stumbled across her site late last night, and have most enjoyed my brief sortie over it's landscape - it looks right up my street. Not enough Matrix articles, though ;-) I look forward to a more thorough exploration when I get the time.

Time, that is something I don't have right now, as I'm meant to be down the pub. Away with you, sire, for there's a pint with your name on it...



Starbuck [13:09] Comments: 0 []
 
I have received the following threatening message from Stu:
Add this to your links or DIE, puny non-Prong lover! - http://harkin.org/prong/

Now I wouldn't usually surrender to such threats, but to celebrate him & Kathryn's recent engagement, he can have this link here. Though I wouldn't advise following it.

He also wrote "I note you have the flaming lips as a link - where did you see them first eh? Who dragged to you to the main stage at reading one sunny Sunday morning to see them with their bubble machine, eh?"

I don't even remember having seen them, let alone their bubble machine. Annoying that. But I guess that amnesia's all part of the fun of the festival experience.



Starbuck [00:29] Comments: 0 []
 
Interesting to read Tony Blair's quotes from the last year in the Mirror about the now-elusive weapons of mass destruction. I don't believe the man is stupid, which means he must be a liar. I don't know what pressure the Bush administration had applied/implied, or whether his personal beliefs have over-ridden his rationality - after all, some (such as I) would say that his wife Cherie Blair has shown an utter lack of rationality with her New Age beliefs. And he's married to the witch.

A few other things in the Mirror today (shite web-site for a fine tabloid, by the way) - Professor Of Gangsta Stephen Hawking visited Stringfellows lap-dancing club. According to those annoying 3am girls, Owner shandy-drinking Peter Stringfellow said "It was a delight to have Stephen in the club. I was in awe - he's my all-time hero." Too surreal to be true, surely. Stringfellow the physicist?

And an interview with Beyonce Knowles. Supposed to be a sex-symbol. But she's so overly devout at times, she's about as sexy as going to church. Hallebloominlujah!



[ Tuesday, July 08, 2003 ]


Starbuck [17:49] Comments: 0 []
 
Double Woah!

Now I've not been bothering to read much discussions on the Matrix films of late - it's a honey-pot that I don't want to buzz too close to.

But I've just read a rather nice post on Uncle Stupid regarding Matrix Reloaded (thanks to Matrix Essays for the referral). The original author or source of the article wasn't quoted, but it looks like someone might have pretty much properly worked out some of the important bits of the damn thing. Absolutely fascinating, and quite edifying to read. A lot of it's in line with my own general thoughts on the situation (he says with a swagger in his typing), but its thrown a hell of a lot of light on some areas of the films that I've passed over, and is stuffed full of evidence backing it up (although it gets a bit 3-2-1 like at times!). A lovely bit of work, that should be read by everyone who's seen the film, so sod it, I'll shove yet another link to it here. Or maybe its just more wild pontification...

Tooled up on all this, I so need to see both films again, and soon. I just hope the spectacle of the IMAX-screening doesn't blow me away too much - I'm gonna want to concentrate!



Starbuck [08:31] Comments: 0 []
 
Promising report from Fat in America concerning Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines - "Amazing. Some great lines. Arnie was better than ever in his comedy routine, specially as a gay stripper. Lots of destructive action scenes too! Good story..."

And this coming from the man who played Arthur Lymph with such comic precision in Hormone Hell - it must be a comedy masterpiece. Can't wait!



[ Monday, July 07, 2003 ]


Starbuck [19:59] Comments: 0 []
 
I would rather eat my own entrails than watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Just a thought.



Starbuck [15:09] Comments: 0 []
 
As I sat on the roof of my workplace during my lunch-break, eating my boring sandwiches and soaking up the sun, I was reminiscing wistfully over lunch about a trip to some of the museums of London which myself and The Woman undertook a few weekends back. A slightly overcast start to the day eased us out of the house to visit the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Mostly business as usual in the museums - too much to take in, with too little strength in the legs/eyes/brain to see it through fully. However, what totally grabbed my enthusiasm by the ankles was the stunning outdoors exhibition of photographs currently in the grounds of the Natural History Museum - The Earth From The Air. Some of the most beautiful images of the world taken from high above (although not from as lofty altitudes as The Earth From Space, a similar theme on another scale...) The website gives a small idea of the sort of photographs on show; however, the sheer scale of each of the canvases, the depth and clarity of the pictures, the contrasting textures of each piece - it snatches the mind's eye beyond it's imagination. And it snatches your breath away - truly humbling. And a brilliant way to put across their political message about the cascade of destruction that we have unleashed upon this world.

Still, eco-devastation forces the power of evolution - life finds a way (to quote Jeff Goldblum in Jurrasic Park). That's how my well-advanced genotype can be amongst you now, building up pressure against the gene pool of humanity - and when my genetic floodgates burst, the next leap of change will begin.
Perhaps.



[ Friday, July 04, 2003 ]


Starbuck [12:23] Comments: 0 []
 
Friday lunchtime. The week drags on. Monday apart (when I met up with my flatmate-in-abstentia for drinks and a curry in Southwark), it's been a week which has really put the low into lonely. But today I'm feeling jubilant, adrenalised - there won't be room for loneliness this weekend.

Oh, if only the time-machine was still functioning, I'd risk cataclysmic time-line-paradox abnomalies by fast-forwarding the next 8 hours, that's for sure...



[ Thursday, July 03, 2003 ]


Starbuck [22:36] Comments: 0 []
 
Berlimy! I'm recently returned from the axis of evil department stores propping up the west of Oxford Street; my quest - to find a gift appropriate to mark the first anniversary of the commencement of dalliances between my Lady and me. It makes me shiver now, retracing my steps along the street on Streetsensation. Too many people, too many labyrinth aladdin's caves selling too many small variations on innumerable themes. It was like christmas hell all over again. I should've just got her a Rock-It! Not a nice shopping trip.

Everything's going strange in the world at the moment. I left the freezer door open by accident for 10 minutes yesterday. The deep chill that flooded out of it frosted up the house a bit at first. Now it seems to have enveloped the whole of London. Sorry if it's affected anyone out there too badly.

Elsewhere in (yesterday's) news, hard-right-wing self-serving evil media-baron Silvio Berlusconi yesterday showed his utter lack of respect for his EU colleagues and for the European people in general, Alistair Campbell continues to get away with it, and nothing can stop the Bush Administration's over-bearing bullish arrogance in its dealings with the rest of the world (read on the rather nice Year Zero website, a good digest of the current affairs our governments would like to spin over), whilst Bush displays his inability to control his mouth or mind when urging militants in Iraq to do their worst by saying "Bring them on". The man has no control. He is not a statesman. He is an idiot. But a powerful and rich idiot.

At least not all is bad in the world, however - Zonelabs have announced they will patch the reported flaw in their essential free firewall Zonealarm. So paranoid phreaks such as I can continue to shelter from the hostile world in our electronic cocoons.



Starbuck [00:23] Comments: 0 []
 
I've added some code to my blog template from Random Walks. It's allowed me to add a nice little check-box near the top of the side-bar. No more losing contact with the original blog when clicking through a link (when you forget to SHIFT-click or right-click the link) - just check the box instead...

That's enough geekery for now. Leave this cursed computer behind, Andy. And don't even think about writing about how the intricacies of the web of script-driven interlinking web feeds is becoming ever-more apparent. There, that last sentence has cured any insomniacal afflictions I may have otherwise had.



[ Wednesday, July 02, 2003 ]


Starbuck [19:34] Comments: 0 []
 
Heard about the Beta version of the second iteration of the Google Toolbar at Evhead.com. The Google Toolbar has always been one of the very best downloads on the net - so crammed full of useful features, my everyday browsing gets severely handicapped if I'm forced to use a computer without it. Google Toolbar 2 (Beta) is already making a big impact for me with its inbuilt pop-up blocker and blog-this tools.

And a click on the Google links button has drawn me to Google Zeitgeist - "Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google". Cue much nerdish glee at a harvested source of net-search raw data.

God, I am so boring! I'll be spending all my time in the Google Weblog if I'm not careful....



[ Tuesday, July 01, 2003 ]


Starbuck [21:19] Comments: 0 []
 
Here's a very interesting essay by Rebecca Blood on Weblogs: A History And Perspective. Having been doing this for a little while, her thoughts concerning the positive effect of blogging on the blogger have very much struck a chord - it does coalesce your own thoughts and opinions, it does help you know who you are, it does help you explore what you're interested in, and it does help you find new interests.

Which is nice.



Starbuck [19:31] Comments: 0 []
 
Current internal jukebox - "Death" by the Dieticians Featuring Fat - (c) Aardvark & Powersurge circa 1988 or something.

Want, ignorance, squalor, disease
Man is the creature, the devil of sin
Blowing flesh from your rotting limbs
The wars of hate, the demons of fate
The Government bite off our heads
And we eat their unholy excrement

Death, death,you're all gonna die
Death, death, spit in your eye
Death, death, insanities friend
Death, death, will it ever end!!!!!!!!

Every day in the fires of hell
A million fat businessmen in hatred dwell...

ETCETERA ETCETERA ETCETERA

Ahem!
Originally intended as a death-metal piss-take, but in reality, a biting critique of war, spin and globalisation. Or something. By accident. Maybe not. But buy it anyway.



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