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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[ Monday, February 28, 2005 ]

Manic monday
Starbuck [17:23] Comments: 5 []
Work up with a jump at 07:00, Monday morning melancholy spiked by the realisation that, although I'd left both my tie and my work shoes at home, my body itself did not happen to be at home. It was to be a day of hiding my dirty trainers under the desk.

Not only that, but a hectic work day also, trying to catch up on things I'd earmarked for last week, last month, last year.

That part of the day now draws to a close, thankfully curtailed by a prescheduled engagement at the local swimming pool, where I am due to get unduly irritated by gits doing the crawl - watch as they wind up their lower limbs, put their blindfolds on, and torpedo across the pool until they reach the other wall...

And following a bite to eat with the ladyfriend, I have a late-night engagement with excruciating big-screen ultraviolence, courtesy of a nice Korean gentleman known as Old Boy.

I may not sleep well tonight.

I didn't. Head was swimming with images, both cinematic and related to working tasks, with the awesome nu-classical Kronos Quartet soundtrack from Requiem For A Dream pulsing through my restlessness.

OldBoy was magnificent, by the way. Best film of the year. Or of last year, when it was actually released in the UK. Or of the year before, when it exploded into cinemas in Korea. Perhaps. Or best film within my Recent Film System Processing Tray, anyway.

Juvenile brits...
Starbuck [17:21] Comments: 0 []
... go to Google, type "define posterior" and check out the top web definition...

[ Friday, February 25, 2005 ]

Wedding update - snow and inadvisable poems
Starbuck [10:45] Comments: 4 []
As this hectic working week draws to a close I must take stock of what was my undoubted highlight. Early Wednesday morning we set off through the blizzard in my trusty motor, our heroic mission to visit the Superintendent Registrar to confirm a few key details which will ensure that our imminent nuptials are legally binding.

And what an adventure it was, albeit one not actually very adventurous as such. The snow always gets me in an excitable mood anyway, it bringing with it decades of memories. Childhood winters and Christmastime. The excitement of skiing holidays. Happy memories from a few years back - long before myself and my bride-to-be had even dared ask each other out - when at the end of a night's clubbing in town with friends we left the club to unexpectedly enter a snowscape, and, as my girlfriend says, "she enjoyed it when I was hassling her with snowballs as I was paying her lots of extra attention". And then, 13 months ago, the day that I asked her to marry me, in a similar snowscape and the very same town. But I digress.

One of the things that we had to prepare beforehand "for vetting" this week were the readings for our ceremony. We'd sourced a fair selection of material beforehand, and had tested our shortlist on each other. Public speaking isn't something that I do alot of nowadays, but after this evening of readings I've decided that its an actor's life for me. Great fun.

We did find some good pieces in amongst the dross, but they shall remain under wraps. Instead I want to share with you a couple of the readings in the literature that we'd been sent by the Registrar.

Read this, if you will, and try to imagine how one could possibly have these orated at a wedding service without mirth breaking out. It would start off as just a few sly looks amongst guests, quickly evolving into smiles and murmurs, through to chuckles and shoegazing, before exploding into full-on howls of laughter...

"Us Two" (first and last verses)

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well that's very odd 'cos I was too.
>"Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True.
"It isn't much fun for One, but Two
"Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.
"That's how it is," says Pooh.

"The Owl and the Pussy-Cat"

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound-note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are.'

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long have we tarried,
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in the wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring in the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose!
With a ring in the end of his nose.

'Dear Pig, are you willing, to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day,
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon!
They danced by the light of the moon.

[ Wednesday, February 23, 2005 ]

Starbuck [21:44] Comments: 4 []
The reason why I was on top of the multistorey car park was that myself and my good lady had just been to see Sideways, a film you may have heard great things about as long as you've not been too drunk to notice.

A fantastic film, we and the rest of the cinema patrons agreed during and past the closing titles. Funny, but more than that, painfully real, with Paul Giametti at his most awkward best. Characters you grow to love, despite their many flaws - much like real life. And the most honest depiction of wine over-indulgence I've seen on film - to my discredit I could see my own inebriation long-spent shames mirrored in Miles and Jack's many binges, and I wished I was out there with them for every joyfully miserable minute. (I must say that I try to keep these habits in the past nowadays - my current tipple is a slight can of 3% proof Asda lager).

If you've not already seen the film but you'd like to bluff about it to help alleviate your shame at being a cultural pariah, then the most fitting place to go would be the review on Hic.

RL VR mission
Starbuck [21:25] Comments: 1 []
Just 20 minutes ago, I was picking up my car from the top of a multistorey car park within a complex of buildings very familiar to me, gazing down across the well-lit network of roads and paths separating each superstructure, the pools of light surrounding each light spotlighting each drifting swirling snowflake, and I was lost within the construct of my mind...

... this place, this environment, this stage, it was familiar in a different way, in an unreal way. And then it came to me. It wasn't reminiscent of, it wasn't evocative of, it just WAS a place where my imagination has spent too long a time. It WAS the first outdoor level of the first Playstation Metal Gear Solid incarnation, it WAS the Snow Fortress.

And I was happy that some order had been brought to the turbulent flow of my brain activity.

[ Monday, February 21, 2005 ]

Congratulation corner
Starbuck [22:38] Comments: 0 []
Please let me once more take advantage of my pedestal to offer a few words of congratulations to a few friends of old.

First up, to Tara, who with James' help has just given birth to a bouncing bundle of joy named Ruby. Nice work, Tazster.

Secondly, another birth-big-up goes to former Viper Squad Ten bandleader Commander Aardvark aka Mike aka Pike, who, although not actually becoming a father during travels has perhaps more-easily become a doting (if you can dote from the other side of the world) uncle.

And finally, no births yet but its still early days, as I belatedly electronically wish Trish and Tim a very happy engagement.

All these people (minus James & Tim) can be seen in the cult horror musical Hormone Hell. Order your copy today.

[ Saturday, February 19, 2005 ]

Teazer Goode
Starbuck [01:18] Comments: 5 []
And then, as the evening draws to a close, the author finds himself eschewing the stylish and technologically accomplished piece of refined gaming crack that is Zuma, to sit there in a fully monged-out state in front of Blix, a game which wouldn't even have got away with what it does twenty years ago, but whose swampy acidic soundtrack makes it a fine club aural alternative to sitting in a sticky heap at the corner of some sweaty club ten years ago. Somehow.

And also from the makers of Blix... Crash - a game pertaining to be a cross-road simulator. If I were to pass judgement on its merits whilst in such a tired and emotional state, my critique would likely not be as critical as it should, so maybe you should treat any such late-night linkage with a pinch of salt. Please scroll your window further down the page.

Myself, I think I need a break, and a nice cup of tea. Courtesy of the mice in the latest little gaming beauty from the unsurpassable Orisinal, A Daily Cup Of Tea...

[ Friday, February 18, 2005 ]

Starbuck [23:18] Comments: 0 []
Llobox. Just when Insaniquarium and Animal Zoo had absorbed enough of the day, I deign to try Zuma. Maybe it's the Cava / Bishops Finger / Brasseye cocktail that's going on in my body, but this is, at this very moment at least, the greatest web game ever tonight. Balls are always good in a puzzle game, but balls on a string suffering the attraction of gravity with a puzzle-bobble-launcher - bliss in a bubble.

Animal magic
Starbuck [22:43] Comments: 0 []
Oh bugger.

I seem to be unable to avoid addictive webgames today. Right now, it's Zoo Keeper, and you don't have to be Johnny Morris to know that its as addictive as fruck. You know the score - click-to-swap two adjacent cages, match three+ to release the animals...

Vigil in a wilderness of webgames
Starbuck [12:20] Comments: 1 []
At this point in the history of the web pretty much everyone with internet access will have played Insaniquarium. Lets face it, this nice little webgame has been publicised everywhere, the link has been been disseminated by timewasters worldwide... hell, I've even received unsolicited junk mail about Insaniquarium.

But I'd not played it before this week. If you're in the same sunken boat, and if you don't have a real-life alien-infested aquarium of your own, then give it a try. Way more compulsive than anything in life deserves to be.

Much less compulsive is Hapland, something a bit of a Samorost-alike but lacking in that essential little beauty's wonderful atmosphere. This sort of puzzle thing drives me mad, as I never like to be beaten by it, and I just keep clicking til my mouse contacts wear out. However this time I've given up before getting off it's first (only?) bleedin' screen, preferring to go swim with the fishies instead...

[ Thursday, February 17, 2005 ]

Half-way review - Lemon jelly
Starbuck [20:15] Comments: 2 []
OK, this is a first-listen-in-progress review, with Uncle Starbuck having been banished to the kitchen to do the washing-up with his Walkman on whilst soon-to-be-Mrs Powersurge discusses her wedding hairstyle on the phone upstairs, and Lemon Jelly's ’"'64 - '–’95" on the platter.

Not much washing-up done - I've been bouncing around in a way that an album hasn't made me bounce in a long long time. Half way through on that difficult first listen, and its stunning. More ky than Distant Horizons if that means anything to you, and very varied with it.

Its lost anything that critics might have once attacked as "twee", and in its place is a mosaic of carefully selected, craftfully incorporated samples. First song had me hooked - I was nearing ceiling-space like Zebedee anyway, and then a sample of classy rockers Masters Of Reality's "The Blue Garden" came in. Bliss - a fairly obscure band's debut album from 15 years ago, an album that meant a whole lot at the time to me, a fantastic album that I'd forgotten, and it re-enters my life during a peak of adrenaline

Another great nostalgic moment later on as Atlantic Ocean's "Waterfall" filters in, cut right back in bpm's.

But enough of my ky gash (as it were), I'm getting strong hints that I'd better get back to the washing up...

[ Wednesday, February 16, 2005 ]

The Clutterbuck Blog
Starbuck [21:27] Comments: 0 []
Some readers of these words may have been following my recent quest to find the most messed-up computerstation environment, latterly going under the succinct monicker of the Clutterbuck Computer Challenge Cup (copyright someone else). Some of you may even have submitted your own entries, links to which were recently pooled together in a post which itself reaches levels of immense clutterdom if viewed through the lenses of some webbrowers (note to self: must learn to smack my html down better).

But one recent inbound link to VSX has left my mouth (and nearly my trousers) agape: THIS LINK from The Clutterbuck Blog, a blog about all things Clutterbuck. Thankfully not some lunatics fansite, it relates to the extended Clutterbuck family that is spread across the world.
"Hopefully, this community of effort and spirit will lead to a Gathering of the Family of Clutterbuck in Gloucestershire, England, in the year 2015 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Clotterbooke of Leonard Stanley, from whom are descended numerous lines of Clutterbuck."
And a trip to The Gathering may be the eventual lucky winner's prize!

Wedding update
Starbuck [21:01] Comments: 8 []
Sporadic internet usage has meant that my most exciting news of the last week has been lost amongst the rest of the VSX shod.

We bought our wedding rings over the weekend. Apparently they're made of carrots. I once made a carrot phallus, but I don't think this is the time or place for that digression.

It's funny. Trying on the rings makes the whole seem so much more real, more imminent. To say that I'm an excited young Powersurge would very much be an understatement... and we couldn't wipe our grins off our faces on Saturday!

[ Tuesday, February 15, 2005 ]

A very long neck
Starbuck [21:15] Comments: 4 []
We went to see A Very Long Engagement at the cinema yesterday. Having read a few variable reviews I'd been a little hesitant about seeing it, but having loved Jean-Pierre Jeunet's previous films Delicatessen, City of Lost Children, Amelie, hell even (or especially) Alien Resurrection, I decided to take the fiance out to see it for Valentines Day. I'm so nice, me.

And I'm so glad I did - I was utterly captivated and transfixed for every last of its 135 minutes. A beautiful, hyper-real dreamlike story of love and war.

But don't just take my word for it, read Philip French's Observer review. He's better than me at this "writing" business.

A film almost worth learning to fluently speak French for - every last scene was visually such a work of art, it seemed a shame to drag my eyeballs down to the subtitles at the bottom of the screen.

Especially since I had to crane my head to a painful extent to peer over the pate of a gentleman of unusual height. Today I look like disgraced ex-BT mascot ET. With clothes on.

The doobie brothers
Starbuck [18:58] Comments: 0 []
Listening to The Chemical Brothers' "Galvanise" just now, I realised the massive similarity of a "movement" halfway through to a section of The Dust Brothers' "Finding the Bomb". You know, that bit from Fight Club where they, erm, find the bomb.

Of course, back in the mists of time the Chemical Brothers used to be called the Dust Brothers themselves, naming themselves after their turntable heroes. They then shortly became the Dust Brothers UK before electing for the Chemicals monicker.

It may not be interesting, but its fact. I bet you feel so much more complete now...

Blogger comments
Starbuck [18:41] Comments: 6 []
Kerryst, Bloggers slow tonight. Probably something to do with every sodding user updating their Comments system. I can't wait to give it a try - Haloscan's habit of dropping the archived Comments afer 4 months from non-Premium members has driven me to distraction, although their new Gravatar function might be interesting (or an opportunity for sick bastids to spam me with dodgy images).

But no time for that right now, there's things on my mind. They may be inane, they may be boring, but if you're reading this in chronological order then you've already read them, so there's nothing I can do to warn you. Hah!

[ Thursday, February 10, 2005 ]

Clutterbuck Computer Clutter Challenge Rounds 8 and 9
Starbuck [23:10] Comments: 0 []
# I've created a monster, nobody wants to see Starbucks no more, they want their own PC on VSX... #

Or something.

I never thought that the Clutterbuck Cup would have got to a stage depicting death by screwdriver. Hell, I never thought the Clutterbuck Cup would reach a second round - my own starter-for-ten invitation was really a bit of a throwaway remark - note the small-size font! But since then, I've been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the response, and my nosiness glands have been well milked.

And the milking continues, with the desk armchair belonging to Gary (of The Final Broadcast fame). The Lord of TFB Towers states: "Here is my photographic evidence that I should NOT win the Clutterbuck Cup. In fact, it is also the evidence that should win me the NonClutterbuck Cup." Quite so. But at least you're cluttering up your work area with a diary and pen. One question - have you broken into the Big Brother house?

At the opposite end of the clutteredness spectrum (the cluttrum) lies Billy, author of I Could Have Been A Contender (or Billyworld to save on five precious syllables).

In Billy's words, "obviously I have no chance of winning - mainly 'cos have no idea what an iron looks like and so couldn't possibly get one to place on
my computer desk :^)...however, the luvverly carolyn is convinced that the area under the stairs is a mess - and as that is where my computer lives I thought I'd give it a go..."

And what a fantastic entry (.... MUST.... RESIST... INNUENDO....). It has everything. Post-it-notes. Numerous Spiderman, Simpsons, R2D2, Hulks, Zebberdee and Teletubbies. Pez. CDs. Messy noticeboard. Books and boxes akimbo. A Pritt Stick. A real spaghetti junction of wires. What looks like one of those penis-enlarger pumps. And a pint of bitter. Sigh! I could stare at it for hours - the more you look into it the more treasures you unearth.

Well done, Mr Kay. You should really be more ashamed that most - its wonderful!

And although the jury is still out until the trickle of jpegs has finally dried up, your computer's sub-staircase location has certainly earned you a few Crampedness Points from someone in the same location...

Ladies and gentlemen, the Original, and like Chesney Hawkes, the One and Only, over on the right, its Starbuck's PC!

Previous rounds:
Round 2 - Astolath
Round 3 - Lawn
Rounds 4 and 5 - Saturnyne and Nice Guy UK
Rounds 6 and 7 - Susan and "Ron"
In the unlikely event that there is anyone remaining out there who wants to get their cluttered computer workspace off their mind and onto the net, you could try gmailing me at Starbuck.Powersurge...

Fix to prevent phishing in any browser
Starbuck [20:23] Comments: 0 []
Its not just within Internet Explorer that one might walk into some nefarious holodeck contraption (fake webpage).

I see that there's a vulnerability that affects Firefox 1.0, Mozilla 1.7.5, Konqueror 3.2.2 and Opera 7.54 that allows a malicious website to spoof the URL displayed in the address bar, SSL certificate, and status bar (test your own vulnerability at Secunia's site).

The VSX workaround for Windows users is this: copy & paste the URL from the address bar into Notepad, and look for any false characters. Or, if following a link from an email, rather than clicking on it, copy that into Notepad, and paste the text into your browser address bar.

Every fracking time. Who said I'm paranoid? Who?

Malcolm Hardee RIP
Starbuck [19:58] Comments: 0 []
I was saddened to hear over breakfast this morning, whilst reading through a week-old newspaper that blew into my cardboard box, that the comedian Malcolm Hardee has passed away. Or under, as was the case. Anyone who's unfamiliar with Mr Hardee can read his biography on

Malcolm been invisibly shaping my personality in all the wrong ways since childhood. As a youngster I was "lucky" enough to see his "balloon dance" on OTT, and it haunts my dreams to this very day. And many a fellow Glastonbury casualty will have experienced Mr Hardee's "best" assets in the comedy tent. Aaagh, grimey flashback incoming... still, respect to the man for coping with the crowd from hell.

He may not have been the funniest comic alive. But he was certainly one of the Hardiest (do you see what I've done there?). Next up: Frank Sidebottom.

[ Wednesday, February 09, 2005 ]

All about me, by my cousin
Starbuck [19:47] Comments: 0 []
I rather hate email memes, especially ones that instruct you to forward this to everyone in your fracking address book. However, Evil Cousin Esther tricked me into filling out for her and, lo, she's only gone and completed it for me. So, this being the Temple of the Ego, I thought someone - anyone - out there might be interested in how my cousin thinks I'd answer her little questionnaire.

It's a been like Mr and Mrs, but less annoying. I shall censor some of it in the interests of data protection, and will pass judgement on her presumptions.
My name: Starbuck
Where did we meet? Walsall
Take a stab at my middle name: [CENSORED] - BUT SHE GOT IT!
How long have you known me? 27-28 years - CORRECT
Do I believe in God? Doubt it - CORRECT
What was your first impression of me upon meeting? He's my big cousin!! (INCORRECT - I THOUGHT "SHE'S MY LITTLE COUSIN!")
What's my age? [CENSORED] can't remember!!! - ROUGHLY CORRECT
And my birthday? December 23rd - CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
What colour hair do I have? Brown thinning!!! - GIT!
And colour eyes: brown! - CLOSE - HAZEL
Do I have any siblings? Yeah a brother Rob - CORRECT
Have you ever had a crush on me? A definite no! - DAMN RIGHT, BABE!
What's one of my favourite things to do? Drinking and spending time with the lovely Starbucketta also music and doing your web page! - SHE'S GOT IT IN ONE! HOW SAD...
Do you remember one of the first things I said to you? God no! - FAIR ENOUGH
What's my favourite type of music? An eclectic music taste from the streets to def leppard - DEF LEPPARD? WTF!
What is the best feature about me? You're funny and caring! - AH!
Am I shy or outgoing? outgoing - A BIT OF BOTH I RECKON
Would you say I am funny? Yes - TEE HEE! I'M SUCH A GIGGLE...
Am I a rebel or do follow all the rules? A rebel - A REBEL MC MORE LIKE...
Any special talents? Crazed dancing & used to be computer games, but the ability to pull comedy faces for photos! - TRUTHOOD
Would you consider me a friend? Yes - SWEETIE
Have you ever seen me cry? No - SHE'S NEVER WATCHED REQUIEM FOR A DREAM WITH ME...
If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be? [CENSORED] - DON'T ASK!
Describe me in one word: Fabulous! HEY! SO TRUE!
What's your favourite memory of me? Dancing at rob's wedding or our trips down the M40 every Sunday! Also when you ran into the brick wall in Brixton - I DON'T REMEMBER DANCING ANY WORSE THAN NORMAL, SCARILY. AND I CERTAINLY DON'T REMEMBER RUNNING INTO A BRICK WALL IN BRIXTON. HELP...
What single trait about me annoys you the most? When as a child you used to hold your cheesy slippers over my face then sit on me and fart in my face not pleasant glad u grew out of it!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?
If you and I were stranded on a desert island what one thing would you want to take with us - a stereo and some beers - GOOD CHOICE
Would you ever marry me? No no no - PHEW!
Any last messages you would like to say: can't believe you actually sent this back it is a miracle!!! - I CAN'T BELIEVE I'VE POSTED THIS ON THE NET!
Rivetting stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

[ Monday, February 07, 2005 ]

Clutterbuck Computer Clutter Challenge Rounds 6 and 7
Starbuck [21:40] Comments: 0 []
Its the online series that just won't die - the nonstop excitement of the Clutterbuck Computer Clutter Challenge! Arriving in my inbox nearly a week ago, these two submissions to the Only Online Untidy Computerstation Competition That Matters can only now be released to the world following a series of intense and thorough tests of their veracity. They're going to have to be good to compete with the previous double-header, however...

Firstly tonight we have the lovely Susan of Third Daughter fame. It must be said that first impressions were that I've seen much more cluttered desktops. Closer inspection reveals a higher level of messaphilia, however. There's a promising stack of CDs and DVDs in its early stages perched atop her base unit, next to which appears to be a jar of tea bags. Although there are several "trophies" afixed to the monitor, these don't earn any clutter-points, being purposefully placed. But look, another stack of CDs has escaped from the CD rack over on the right; unfortunately, they're still fairly neatly arranged. A haphazard collection of mysterious items including what looks like baby lotion and some massive sweets add an element of clutteredness.

Susan's masterstroke is her desk's highly-polished wooden surface - every item on the desk reflected to double the apparent clutter-factor. Well done, Madam.

You couldn't really get much more cluttered than my second entry of the evening from Mr Ron Lyre (97), although Mr Lyre, not sharing the same point of vision as the rest of us, would disagree. I think that the wisest thing for me to do with Ron's entry would be to publish his accompanying email, and a follow-up email from his good friend, fellow competition entrant Lawn Greengrass.
Dear Mister Starbuck.

Because life has not been very good to me over the past year or so my good and handsome friend Mr Lawn Greengrass suggested I enter your clutterbuck competition for the first prize of a weekend in New York. He said it would cheer me up and how right he was. Although my desk is not cluttered in the usual sense of the word it does smell a bit.

Although my mother died yesterday of a oriental disease and I'm feeling very sad I would not want you to be swayed in any way in your decison. Bless you my son.

PS. If I should be lucky enough to win would it be alright if Greengrass accompaniesme to New York as I am incontinent and liable to go off on one?

I remain your friend even if I lose.

Ron Lyre (97).
Dear Starbuck,

I understand my friend Ron Lyre (97) has entered your competition. Please do not be alarmed. He is as mad as a box of frogs. Although it might be wise (and don't let me put any pressure on you here ) to award him the first prize of two weeks in Antartica, I shall of course try my best to dissuade him of any hopes he might have, however, if perchance he does win, I shall of course accompany him in an effort to stop him fightening the ladies or scaring the horses.


Lawn Greengrass
OK, you win. No, wait... Curses! They've discovered my Achilles heel. I take it back, you swines. The Clutterbuck Cup is still open...

Wedding update
Starbuck [20:05] Comments: 0 []
Because blogging is a bit like carving a message in ston-E, sometimes emotion charges you to write something which is soon no longer pertinent. You then either delete or edit the offending item, or sprinkle further words onto the surface of your blogstream. Both methodologies have their pros and cons.

Whatever, I am pleased to announce that the petty interpersonal stresses of the last few weeks have now been pretty much resolved. This weekend, the point of contention has been alleviated, we've been interviewed by the wedding photographer, and we've triumphantly concluded the collation of the gift list.

What a good feeling. Wedded bliss, three months early.

[ Friday, February 04, 2005 ]

They called me dearest!
Starbuck [13:23] Comments: 3 []
I received the following two pieces of unsolicited email on the same day. I had thought to just delete them, but they both seem so polite - I mean, they both called me "dearest"! - which especially impressive considering the obvious strain that Madam Villaran Nenita is under. And their emails display such sincerity. So I'm going to do them a favour.

Now I don't have two bobs to rub together myself, so do me a favour, rich netizens, by doing them a favour - contact Elvis and Madam Nenita today!

From - "GOOD DAY"
Dearest One,

My name is Madam Villaran Nenita. A complete citizen of the Philippines, widow to the late former minister of finance in Philippine who died on 15th of May 2003. My husband fell sick and he was flown to France for treatment but later died of ulcer and he has been buried.

I inherited a total sum of 12 million dollars from my late husband, this money which is concealed in a metallic trunk box is deposited with a security and finance company here in Philippine. Due to the instruction I laid down before I deposited the box, that I needed maximum security/safety of my consignment and no body nor government organization can trace the where about of the box until I am ready and prepare to claim it. for this reason the security company used their diplomatic means to send the box out of Philippines to Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire where they have their underground secrete vault. This deposit was coded under a secret arrangement as a family treasure. This means that the security company does not know the content of this trunk box that was sent from the Philippine to Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire under a diplomatic coverage for safe keeping.

My main purpose of sending you this mail is because of the way I found you and perhaps trustworthy to give you this priority of shipping the box of money to any address that you think is very secure and save in your country with your percentage of which we shall chat on soon.

In fact, since the death of my husband, his brothers has been seriously chasing me around with constant treats, trying to suppress me so that they might have the documents of his landed properties and confiscate them. They have successfully collected all his properties, yet they never stopped there, they told me to surrender all bank account of my late husband, which I did, but I never disclose to them this deposit with the security company in Abidjan- Côte d?Ivoire, because this is where my future and destiny lies upon. The family of my late husband never aware of the secret existence of this deposit which I made with the security company and they can never be aware of it. Out of fear of my late husbands family, and when the situation becomes uncontrollable because of pressure on me from the Government of the Philippines, I decide to look for a trustworthy person who could assist me retrieve this box of money from the security company for onward lodgement into his account for the purpose of future investment. Consider my situation as a widow and come to my rescue.

There is need for urgent action, And as soon as you shows your interest to assist me, I will forword to you the security company contact for you to contact them and give them your safe address for the immediate shipment of the trunk box . I will also send you the Authorization Certificate which is the Certificate of deposit that they gave me on the very day when the box of money was deposited under their company.

I give thanks immensely for your co-operation as I look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best,
Madam Villaran Nenita


Greetings in the name of God.

I got your contact address on my desperate search for areliable person/company for partnership investments overseas. By introduction, I am ELVIS POWELL a Sierra Leonian and son of late DR PHILLIP POWELL.

Before the death of my father he disclosed to me about the total sum of$7.5 million US dollars(SEVEN MILLION,FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATESDOLLARS) he deposited under a suspense account with a bank in Abidjan Cote d Ivoire.

This fund represent the huge Sales of Gold and Diamond he diverted whilein office as the director general for Gold and Diamond Mining Co-Operation in Sierra Leone .

For security reason according to my late father, he made an agreement withthe bank that his partner/ beneficiary will come forward to submit his banking details for onward transfer of the fund to his account.

DR PHILIP POWELL , my late father advice me in case if he died that I should look for a foreigner who will stand as the beneficiary of the fund so that the fund will be transferred to his/her account for partnership investment.

Right now, I am in Abidjan Ivory Coast, and I will like to transfer this fund to a trustworthy account. Meanwhile, I am writing to know if you can stand as the beneficiary of the fund and to also provide me your banking details so that I will submitit to the bank for transfer of the fund for partnership investment you will introduce in your country.

Note that after the transfer is made to your account, you will then withdraw some money and send to us in order for me and my two sisters secure the necessary documents to enable us come over to meet you for the investment.

On confirmation of your interest to assist us, the lodgement receipt of the fund which was issued to my late father by the bank on the day he deposite the fund will be forward to you for your confirmation.

I will like to know from you,How many percent that will be good for you for your help in transfering this money, while 5% will be set aside forany expenses that might arise during the transfer.

Indicate your interest as soon as you receive this mail, call me immediately for more clarification phone number 00225 07 73 29 93.
I await to hearing from you.

Thanks and Remain bless,
Yours sincerely,

[ Tuesday, February 01, 2005 ]

Clutterbuck Computer Clutter Challenge Round 4
Starbuck [19:44] Comments: 0 []
Well, there's been a whole lorra controversy in the Comments section following Lawn Greengrass' submission to the Clutterbuck Computer Clutter Challenge. Eagle-eyed & boffin-brained readers have suspected foul play, figuring that a spacehopper, three bogrolls, an iron, a kettle, a sunflower, a paint pot, a wooden pig, and what looks like a pair of slippers might not normally constitute Mr Greengrass' habitual workspace environment. So the competition goes on, with heavyweight double-punch submissions coming in over the weekend from the Saturnyne and Nice Guy Rob.

First up, the Saturnyne, lucky owner of two messed-up PC's.

Looking closely, Mr S' main PC over on the left does indeed seem to house a fair wealth of junk - CD's, DVD's, floppies, books, MP3 player, WD40?! - but there's still a semblance of sanity on there. A good collection of books above his second PC (on the right) including wordy masterpiece Mr Impossible, and a fair cluttering of tat across the workspace, including what looks suspiciously like an old Christmas card and some crinkly tissues. Good attempt, Saturnyne, but just a little too stylish-looking to be in with a chance. Frankly I'm jealous.

Hot in his heels comes NGUK Rob's impressive array of workstations.

To your left you see his first desk, containing an Atari Falcon (plus monitor) and Playstation (plus telly), which, when combined with what I estimate is 500 recordable CD's, creates quite a hardcore piece of ordered clutter.

Below that lies his Mini ITX PC, mini hifi and a not-so-mini penguin. Cup, Pringles tube, lottery ticket, phone, plus what looks like Orac from "Blakes 7". Not the messiest of desks, but the message on the monitor has quite unfairly shot him into the lead...

Advice to the newly engaged
Starbuck [16:04] Comments: 0 []
Speaking as one who knows, the help and support of your immediate family can be incredibly useful when one is undergoing the convoluted process of organising a wedding.

However, he says tactfully venting his spleen without naming any offending parties, think long and hard as to whether it may be wiser to keep everything under your own control and not let any the "well-meaning" to have any outside interference - if the "adults" are too used to controlling their "children", they may not always be too willing to listen to what you might yourself have to say. Or so I've heard.

Apparently the tradition is for minimal input from the bride and groom into the wedding, or so the excuse goes. However very often tradition just shackles us to old-fashioned, outdated ways of think. We've tried to progress past that and to an extent we've succeeded to keep alot of things for ourselves. However sometimes sticking points on what should be trivial matters end up not-so trivial. On reflection I would have preferred to have paid for everything ourselves. Then it would be 100% OUR wedding, and the the holders of the pursestring shackles have the rope to leave you feeling stifled and suffocated.

Weddings ARE about family. But they're more about the celebration of life, of all your family and friends, as focussed through the lens of a lovely and happy couple. They are not about prestige.

So stand your ground with your wedding, newly-engaged friends. The day is about yourselves, not about the glorification of your dynasties. And that goes for any non-Carringtons out there as well...

(Spleen now tactfully vented, following a recent run-in!)

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