All posts by John B

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-03-07

  • Shocked by the price of books in Australia – UK-published paperbacks with gbp8.99 printed on the back go here for $25, over 2x as much #
  • …possibly this explains certain highly unfair local stereotypes about learning / culture…? #
  • Reading UK blogs for the first time in several weeks, people seem to be seriously considering the prospect of a Labour win – wow, also WTF? #
  • Separately – there is nothing I find more bizarre than the attitude of *anyone* who believes Argentina has a claim to the Falklands #
  • They've been British as long as Argentina has existed – and (unlike Argentina) the settlement didn't involve whites slaughtering natives #
  • Having had an annoying call with my bank, I'm in need of some #ebz therapy http://fallenlondon.com/c/27151 #
  • OBVIOUS -> http://bit.ly/b7BnsU (via @adambienkov) – although I really need to start fretting about my new hometown's transport policy #
  • More than I would -> RT @pressgazette Lebedev will pay £1 for the Independent, claims report http://bit.ly/cT0L0G #
  • GEEKQUESTION: anyone know a good way to access iPlayer from Oz? I'm guessing a UK-based proxy server, but any other subterfuge would suffice #
  • It's pleasant to be job-hunting in a country where the main economic qn is "are we being foolish to think everything's peachy"? (real quote) #
  • Banks still annoying. "No, we can't give you a receipt for the large foreign money transfer you've just done, just trust us" – hmm. #
  • RT @nauiokaspark: Inside the Excruciatingly Slow Death of Internet Explorer 6 | Popular Science http://bit.ly/d4K7OD (via @felixsalmon) #
  • When I left PwC (not the world's ropiest shop) in October 2008 my laptop was still running on IE6, and IE7 broke some internal software… #
  • No -> RT @DaveHill Has stop-and-search really reduced knife crime in London? http://bit.ly/aL6s4A #shortanswerstosimplequestions #
  • Did touristy things yesterday morning. Internetted this morning. #ebz http://fallenlondon.com/c/28081 #
  • Ryanair often gets into trouble w/the ASA for lying. Now Easyjet is in trouble w/the ASA for saying truth about Ryanair http://bit.ly/96Aet0 #
  • If Easyjet ran an ad saying "Ryanair are scum and everyone who works for them should be boiled alive", that would still be too moderate #
  • Meanwhile, it may be time to boycott Apple for being evil fair-competition-hating, court-abusing bastards: http://bit.ly/9uPEfO #
  • Off to (allegedly) collect keys to new flat. Will be either delighted or very pissed off in 90 minutes' time #
  • Am very delighted. Hurrah! I've never had a swimming pool before, or a balcony… #
  • Shame, I was hoping he'd outlast Mrs T: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8547228.stm #
  • #ebz I'm sure it's not been 24 hours, but OK… http://fallenlondon.com/c/28932 #
  • A gentleman named Ben is bringing furniture tomorrow. Then we'll have furniture. This will RULE. #
  • Glad I'm not in the UK for Jon Venables circus. "Kid does bad thing, is punished, is released; 9 years later does unspecified thing" – and? #
  • Off to #ikea – if I don't return, I've probably been arrested for Ikea Rage. #
  • Survived IKEA, $800, one slightly scratched car and two slightly traumatised us later. FULLY FURNISHED HOUSE WOO! #
  • Damn, it's nice to have my own room. I can stay on the Internet until 0100 and listen to Canadian indie without anyone complaining #
  • #ebz Yes, I'll get up shortly and do something useful with my Saturday… http://fallenlondon.com/c/29875 #
  • Icelanders opt for arrogant stupidity and failing to face up to their own guilt. Unsurprising; most people generally opt for the same #
  • Iceland's a democracy; the people voted for deregulation and supported the boom. They are to blame (unlike 3rd-world debtors) #icesave #
  • For background, the Iceland saga up to January 2010 as morality play – time to write the next act… http://bit.ly/5Zv53I #icesave #
  • CROWDSOURCING: which of these cables do I need to use to plug in an 18-month-old MacBook Air to a TV: Mini DVI or Mini DisplayPort? #
  • Airport/customs docs remarkably addictive. Dunno know why "jobsworths try to ruin people's holidays/lives and usually succeed" so gripping #
  • Specific msg from Aus docusoap Air Ways is that Tiger combine operational skills of Aeroflot with customer service of Ryanair. WILL AVOID #
  • #ebz Sunday night, 1AM, no job yet, of course I'm on t'Internet http://fallenlondon.com/c/30876 #
  • As usual, David Mitchell is right: BBC *is* one of the things the UK does best, and Tories *do* plan to cripple it http://bit.ly/dm6t6V #
  • Don't see a problem with VAT on food tho'. This isn't the 1930s; anyone, no matter how poor, can afford to eat, and most eat too much anyway #
  • Reading the comments on the Mitchell piece. Some ppl suggesting HBO matches up to BBC. Rubbish: the Wire excellent; everything else shit #
  • Oz TV has some half-decent docs & talk shows, but *absolutely all* good drama is either BBC or Scandinavian state TV #
  • …although probably as a result, a much better range of movies shown on free-to-air TV. #
  • In "utterly terrifying" news – a wholly sensible and excellent Jeremy Clarkson column: http://bit.ly/cLvueA #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-02-28

  • #ebz Melbourne is cloudy, and daytime TV here is unspeakably bad. Hence: http://fallenlondon.com/c/23971 #
  • Sydney is awesome, in the "excellent" sense of the word. Sydney rents are awesome, in the "inspiring terror and fear" sense of the word #
  • Flat-hunting is rubbish. New area exploring is fun. At least we get to combine the two here. #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-02-21

  • Wow, Perth is like all of the best aspects of western civilisation combined. #thishappenswhenyouspendamonthinAsia #
  • Western Australia features quite astounding amounts of nothing at all. Pretty nothing at all, mind. #
  • Internet connection too poor for full-scale review of 8-hour wine tour. Short review: DRINK! Bonzer. #
  • Off to see how Perth celebrates Carnival Brazilian-style. Arriba, etc. #
  • On a borrowed computer using IE6. Wow, IE6 is rubbish. #
  • I wonder if racists (sorry, "profiling advocates") will be adding "middle-aged anti-tax white men" to the no-fly list? http://bit.ly/9FWm4P #
  • It's depressing when you realise there's no option but to agree with George Galloway: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8521246.stm #
  • #ebz Perth has good Internet, even if it has poor browsers… http://fallenlondon.com/c/22493 #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-02-14

  • Bali is nice. Just spent 2 hours bodysurfing. Possibly a real board may be called for tomorrow. Now – COCKTAILS! #
  • As @TheBuddhaSmiled says, the hotel is pretty dire: there aren't any pellets in the automatic bug-killer, and wifi only works in the bar #
  • Also, the bar and massage service in the pool doesn't stay open 24 hours. And the hot tub doesn't have a jacuzzi #
  • Excellent temple of thieving monkeys, who successfully removed one friend's glasses and one friend's hairclip #bali #
  • Apparently, swimming, drinking beer and taking underwater photos until 3AM, although excellent fun, makes mornings slightly slow #
  • Luckily #ebz is helping ease me into normality http://fallenlondon.com/c/18193 #
  • Slightly sunburned. Unrelatedly, have almost removed my beard, via various ludicrous styles I wouldn't try if not on holiday #
  • Balinese traditional music is pretty awful. Unlike Khmer pop music, which is unimaginably excellent #
  • No sympathy for Iraqi grumpiness about US throwing out Blackwater prosecutions – due process infinitely more important than revenge #
  • From this, we can conclude Jonathan Mendel is a prat http://ow.ly/168OD – it's PR to get kids into science, not a sodding thesis #
  • #ebz Yes, I'll stop buggering about on the computer and get in the pool shortly http://fallenlondon.com/c/18691 #
  • Not being at all cultural. Hell, I've been to India and SE Asia, surely Balinese culture is just a blend of the two, right? #
  • Last night was this: http://www.cool.asia/?p=98 – about as excellent as anything gets #
  • FACT: even if someone runs you a bath of rose petals, it neither turns you into nor allows you to go to bed with Mena Suvari #
  • #ebz yes, this again http://fallenlondon.com/c/19232 #
  • Based on a study of Balinese monkeys, socialism leads to cuteness and excellence and private enterprise leads to meanness and thieving #
  • (subsidised monkeys in govt monkey park well behaved and sweet; free-enterprise monkeys at tourist sites hit people and steal their things) #
  • #ebz it may be 35 degree sunshine, but that isn't going to stop me playing silly online games http://fallenlondon.com/c/20065 #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-02-07

  • Trying to find things to do in Siem Reap that don't involve drinking or going to Angkor Wat is surprisingly tricky… #
  • #ebz yup, more of the same http://fallenlondon.com/c/14140 #
  • Angkor Wat is an amazing feat of art and engineering. However, I now entirely understand the meaning of the phrase "templed out" #
  • Waiting for a bus to more or less nowhere. Hurrah! #
  • #ebz …and while waiting for a buss, one plays EBZ http://fallenlondon.com/c/15084 #
  • Wow, Pnomh Penh is DARK. In an "absence of visible light" sense rather than a metaphorical sense, although perhaps the metaphor fits #
  • For all its darkness, Pnomh Penh is quite a fun place to go out, in a nice-food-and-cocktails kinda way. Can't speak for ropier sorts of fun #
  • #ebz wherever there's good wifi, I'm playing this. The Jockey Hotel in PP has good wifi http://fallenlondon.com/c/16183 #
  • Killing fields were, erm, intense. Unsurprisingly. Now intend to drink enough that we don't think about them too much. #
  • FCC at Phnom Penh is proper excellent – @antonvowl is a correct man. Londoners: lobby your FCC to be more like the Cambodian one #
  • Young Tory makes inept comment; dickheads get offended: http://bit.ly/bsNEzJ – he needs slated for his beliefs, not WWII-era PC nonsense #
  • I hate the way that, even though I'm logged in as me, Google defaults to the homepage of whatever country I'm in. No, I don't speak Khmer… #
  • KL is OK. Staying in soulless airport hotel, but oddly it's surrounded by fun plastic seat bar-restaurants solely frequented by locals #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-01-31

  • Saigon seems clean and orderly. I think I've spent too much time in India. #
  • Comedically, Facebook is blocked in Vietnam (for Subversive Activity reasons), but Twitter isn't #
  • So I can incite the toiling masses to twevolution, but I can't post my holiday snaps for my mates to see #
  • Current trending topics include #Haiti, #NowThatsGhetto – yes, correct. #
  • Aha, my skills triumph: Vietnam's evil genius censors have blocked http://www.facebook.com, but not lite.facebook.com #
  • RT @libcon: Constituent harassed by Telegraph readers after sending email to Tory PPC http://bit.ly/8XFTTW #
  • #ebz obligatory Echo Bazaar plug. It's a really good game, honest http://fallenlondon.com/c/12001 #
  • Massage for $4, laundry for $2, entry to the world's worst museum for $1. Prices reflect value. #
  • Vietnam, S-S-Saigon. Vietnam, S-S-Saigon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3LdMAqUMnM #
  • Needed that as respite from the Americans Are Bad museum. Which was harrowing, and surprisingly accurate for a totalitarian regime's museum #
  • …but didn't quite get the point that the people who need hanged are Kissinger, Nixon, Schlesinger, not the poor buggers in the trenches #
  • #ebz yes, I'm an addict http://fallenlondon.com/c/12530 #
  • A day of hangover. Nothing achieved. Expecting early bed. Quite fun afternoon of lazing over recovery beers, after the AAGH subsided #
  • Tomorrow, a riverboat to the coast, should we manage successfully to get up in the morning… #
  • #ebz and again, sorry http://fallenlondon.com/c/12941 #
  • 90-minute river trip on Soviet hydrofoil, 2 hours of pretty seaside, and 150-minute return on slightly buggered Soviet hydrofoil. A good day #
  • Unrelatedly, this – http://bit.ly/bhcgbK – on why opponents of public sector targets are probably wrong #
  • #ebz I really am enjoying travelling the world, but I can't stop playing this blimmin' game http://fallenlondon.com/c/13354 #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-01-24

  • #ebz The snow that falls in the Neath every December is something of a mystery. Condensation from the … http://fallenlondon.com/c/7853 #
  • Bombay wins awards for excellence. Enjoying life far too much to be inspired to poli-blog/tweet… #
  • One exception – the cops involved in this, and anyone who defends them, need their skin removed by cheesegrater: http://bit.ly/5COfiB #
  • Terrorism isn't a threat; if you think it is, you are an imbecile. Authoritarianism is a threat; if you think it isn't, you are an imbecile. #
  • (incidentally, "a threat" here means "causes serious changes to our way of life", not "kills a statistically negligible number of people") #
  • …and *breathe*. Wow, all that carefully-dispelled tension's coming back; need to stick to beer, shopping and playing Echo Bazaar #
  • In Bombay airport awaiting flight to Goa. It's tough, but I think we'll survive. #
  • Who says there are no new ideas left on the Internet? http://cheesesurfer.blogspot.com/ #
  • Meanwhile, am about to see if there are good restaurants in Thiruvananthapuram that serve a) meat b) beer c) not solely coconut sauce #
  • Yes, there are good restaurants in Trivandrum that meet my criteria, although apparently they're all affiliated to posh-ish hotels #
  • Armed police at the London Fire Authority meeting, say @LondonFBU – what, I leave the country for a week and it turns into China? #
  • Spiral coffee houses rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Coffee_House – inside it looks like a helter-skelter too #

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