Monday, May 26, 2008
It is another bank holiday weekend. I see the bluish sky outside and vague hints of the remains of the sun. Yesterday I walked out to the Botantical gardens in Glasgow when I had enough of my computer. It was a bit windy, but the park was full of people hanging out enjoying the weather. I certainly am enjoying the weekend more, knowing that it is probably raining in the south of England.
I never used to like to read newspapers. However the internet allows me to just browse a few stories. Attention span and all that. After reading a recent story about a woman who finds out that her husband has been looking at a lot of porn on the internet, my impression was that she was pretty annoying kind of person. I can't help feeling that spending weeks in therapy, talking together, and screaming, is not time efficient. What the husband should have said was "I have needs too, so you need to use your mouth more or it is over bitch" or "get a job, we need a plasma screen TV." What we really need is a book on safe web browsig. How do you clear the web history. I didn't realise that firefox stored passwords in a way that can easily be looked at by other people. I do have some information on how to surf with out giving out the IP address. Perhaps I should get a book deal for this important topic. I could also do a newspaper column on relationships, I think I have real talent in that department.
I just finished reading Polystom by Adam Roberts. I found this book in the scifi section of Hillhead library. The subtitle to the book is "two universes one reality". This made no sense to me what so ever as I read the first half of the book. The first half of the book seemed to be about some rich guy who picked a crazy wife, who knocked herself out by running head first against a locked door. Anyway this seemed a bit dull to me, so I stopped reading for a couple of weeks. Anyway his wife dies, frankly much to my relief, although I think I would have liked her if I ever got to hook up. The hero goes of to war on something called the mud planet. Somehow the novel changes. It slowly becomes a novel about computer simulations and reality. Things that I found annoying about the first half of the book, made more sense, or at the very least were more interesting. Surprise is good.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Last week I was sitting at my desk at work trying to decide on a quiet evening of contemplation, or to go out to see some bands play in a dark stinking room with a tempting bar in it.. Anyway last Tuesday I decided on a night of music with Jesse Sykes at the Glasgow Barfly. The place only had about twenty people in it. The support acts were local, and they had brought a large part of the audience. Even though the audience was small, they seemed fanatically devoted to her. She sounded like a Portishead from Amsterdam, which surprised me because I thought she was based in Seattle.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I went out to see the "iron man" film at the Grosvner cinema (in the fabulous West End of Glasgow) on Tuesday. Unfortunately their website is bust, so I got confused about the time, so I ended up going to see "Speedracer" instead. This film was made by the same people who made the matrix films. It was a very beautiful film to look at, but was a standard plot. There was a car driver and some crooks. Good wins in the end. I was the only person in the cinema, which would have been a bit spooky, but I had a beer with me, so I had hoppy company. The review in the Guardian said that you would enjoy the film if you were 12.
Although no one is kicking sand in my face I still worry about it. I have started taking the dreaded white powder to get stronger and fitter to mash heads. I have started taking the odd teas spoon of creatine in the morning. The martial arts club I used to train has folded so I need to get hard on my own. Too much soft living has slowed me down. Even though creatine is legal I like the idea of taking performamce enhancing drugs. My olympic ambitions have been gone for a long time, mostly because of my deep hatred of any kind of competitive sport. I have been doing more pressups, because I spent 14 quid on the big tub of creatine, so I want to get my money's worth. I am sure it is all going to end in tears.
Monday, May 05, 2008
I first found out about the fall around 1986. There was a video on TV for "Mr Pharmacist" and someone in the room said "Mark E. Smith he never changes". I was just watching the video thinking who the f*ck is Mark E. Smith. I am not a hard core fall fan, but I have been to see them three times. There is so much music to get that I can't afford to get every CD produced by bands I grew up with up. However I was pretty excited by the latest Fall CD, "Imperial Wax Solvent". The first track is called "Allton Towers", so I had to buy the CD just for that. Somehow I really like the sound. I watched some old videos of Mark on the tube in early 80s. He looked handsome, not the rugged shell that he is now.
I went to the Gym this morning. I was feeling pretty good about myself as I walked out of the Stephenson building and turned into University avenue. The sun was bright and people were wearing their summer best to worship the first sighting of the blue sky this year. On the other side of the road I saw a guy with blue sweat pants on and no shirt. His body had taught muscles. He looked almost threatening. He stood on some railings about 1/2 meter in height. He then walked on them for a bit and jumped across the pavement. If I went to the Gym regularly and even hired a personal trainer, there is no way I could do what he did.
I went to Hillhead public library today to return some books and get some more. I was fumbling with my wallet trying to find my library card. The person dealing with me didn't ask for my library card. I think he was just being helpful, but maybe he just wanted me out of the library as quick possible. The books I was getting were "street fighting years" by Tariq Ali and Krav Maga by David Kahn. Somehow this was an unfortunate choice of books to borrow at the same time. Nowadays Tariq Ali is an intellectual who gets interviewed on channel 4. During the 60s I believe he was a political activist. I don't really know what Krav Maga is, but the quick look at the book shows it is a martial art from Israel. Somehow Krav Maga always comes up quite high in the martial arts book section of Amazon.
I was pretty depressed after reading "dreaming in code" by Scott Rosenberg. This was the story of a group trying to write an information organizer called Chandler. The book was like a thriller, because it wasn't clear after half the book, that the project produced any working code. In fact it wasn't clear at the end of the book that they were ever going to getting anything working. Before I finished reading it, I did look at the web page to see the status of the software. Ummm The team who were building chandler seemingly did everything right. They used python to write the code. The project was open source. All their programmers and managers were very experienced. Still the project seemed to do very slowly. Scott also included some history of software engineering, with a lot of quotes from the book "Mythical Man Month". So the book also contains a good popular history of software engineering.
People believe the weirdist shit. After reading through "the rough guide to conspiracy theories", I feel unclean intellectually. I was so excited to read that some people feel that Paul McCartney is dead, but was replaced before the Abbey Road album. A very reasonable hypothesis given his recent (last 20 years) work. The book contained all kinds of fantasies. The font on the book was incredibly small, so reading the book strained my eyes. As you may have noticed I am not leading an excited life at the moment. If you see me shambling down the street, I will now grab your hand stare you in eye and say "let me tell you about the Philadelphia Experiment." In my more lucid moments, I suggest you run.
Over the weekend I read "the Poicare conjecture" by Donal O'Shea. This was a book about the recent proving of the Poincare conjecture. It claimed to have some history about the reclusive Grigori Perelman who recently proved it, however there was little detail about Perelman at all (that is what reclusive means). The did a good job of explaining the history and background to the Poincare conjecture. I was feeling that I should have some idea about what this conjecture is about. What thing I never thought about was that if you continued forever on a journey you would eventually return to your starting point. Perhaps there is some subtle topological strangeness in the Universe. Given that nothing can go faster than the speed of light, this is a totally impractical insight. Such is the use of topology.