September 22, 2008
Photo Meme

If I must.

Photo 340.jpg

Instructions: Take a picture of yourself right now. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair - just take a picture. Post that picture with NO editing. Post these instructions with the picture.

Via Jeremy and Steve H.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
July 21, 2008
Happy Birthday me!

28 today!

That's 28 as represented in the traditional fashion. I can really only get away with that for another year now, can't I?

It's going to be a strange birthday. I'm going to be working all night. But I have one nice present already - Suzanne Vega tickets from Apple.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)
June 24, 2008

We are delaying a software upgrade this evening 'cos Andy Murray is playing at Wimbledon. Bizarre.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
May 07, 2008
The Prodigal Son

Good to see Steve blogging again.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
May 06, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, wherein a man has his heart ripped out of his chest, and is then pushed, still living, into lava. Certificate PG.

The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, containing trivial swearing, a little comic violence, and nothing more scary than some very nerdy humour. Certificate 15. WTF?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
May 01, 2008
Gödel's third incompleteness theorem

Gödel's unpublished third incompleteness theorem: Women are formally undecidable.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Bizarre evening

I went to see some a friend do some comedy on Monday, at the Cavendish Arms. It turned into one of the most bizarre evenings of my life.

Not enough acts turned up, as isn't unusual on an open-mike night. One chap had brought a lady along on a date, a musician. She volunteered to sing a couple of comic songs to pad out the show.

When his turn came, he proceeded to regale us with sordid tales of his Internet dating. Very sordid tales. The man a colossal pervert, basically.

Meanwhile, his date was squirming. Clearly this was all news to her. When she came up for her act she told the entire audience that she was never, never going to sleep with him now. Never ever.

She then proceeded to blow the rest of the acts off the stage. Funny, and a superb pianist. "Padding out" my, err, hat.

Somehow, I ended up with her phone number. I have no idea how - it's just so unlike me. I mean, with her date still around. Very alpha-male; not me at all. Must have been the Red Stripe.

So, should I ring her?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
Sartorial Disagreement

Question: should Converse plimsolls be retired when they have holes in their sides? I think so, and I'm the one with big holes in my shoes. Even according to my loose standards, I feel I'm looking a bit vagrant. Matt, on the other hand, thinks that Converse are supposed to look beaten up; the worse the condition, the better.

We should Ask Hadley...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
The History of the Ampersand

Did you know that the ampersand is nearly two millenia old? Wow.

Via Daring Fireball.

Update: Millenia, not centuries. Thabks, Rob.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
April 22, 2008
Sport Without Beer?

The good news; the new Guardian Sport and Football sites were launched successfully, and seem to be working fine. The bad news; 24 hour licensing notwithstanding, we couldn't find anywhere to serve us a beer at two in the morning. Grrr.

Update: More on the new sites here; Our new look.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
April 17, 2008
DOSing the big G

We often have applause rippling around our office. Usually it's positive but not always...

Yesterday, one of our devs (who shall remain nameless) was looking for duplication in some form of content or other, and came up with a script. It was always going to be evil - it was in Perl. The script made calls to Google, looking for duplicate results. He kicked it off, then went out for lunch.

Google, naturally, blocked us PDQ. Quite right too - see 5.3. They blocked the entire Guardian. (You could still use Google, but had to get past a captcha for each search.)

Of course, we've all done it. Haven't we? But blocking the entire Guardian was a bit of a coup.

Took us a while, but we managed to find the box in question and kill the script. The nameless dev was late back from lunch - we were speculating that he might have been bundled into a black van with a G on the side. But he did get back safe and sound, to a rousing round of applause from the entire office.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
April 16, 2008

Up and Then Down, fascinating article about lifts. Did you know that the close button usually doesn't do anything?

In future, I'm taking the stairs.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

If you suffer from vertigo, do not watch this:

Freaked me right out, I can tell you. Right, I need a cup of tea...

Via Binary by Accident.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)
April 11, 2008
Meme of the day
dawkins:release-33 simon$ history|awk '{a[$2]++} END{for(i in a){printf "%5d\t%s\n",a[i],i}}'|sort -rn|head
  232	svn
   29	cd
   25	sudo
   22	svnlog
   18	rm
   17	ls
   15	ssh
   12	notify
   11	python
   10	mate

Update: I like Tom's; cowsay, brilliant.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
April 09, 2008
Think you're having a bad day?

This is what I call a bad day. First you die, then they lose your luggage. Bummer.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
March 26, 2008
Is it Tuesday Already?

Today was running the Pink dolphins use sticks and stones to impress the ladies story just as I was drifting up towards conscience this morning. My first thought was that it was all part of some weird dream. I mean, pink dolphins? What was I drinking last night?

Once I was sure I was really sure that I was hearing what I was hearing, I got all confused about the date. Tuesday already? Where did the weekend go?

Please, Today, don't do that to me again.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Biggest UK space impact found

Ullapool? Funny - I thought it would have been Birmingham. That's the biggest hole I know of...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Smoke and Mirrors

This old post of mine has an old-style Guardian URL in one of its comments. Click on it, and you'll end up at a new style URL.

Not much to see, I'll admit, but I'm pleased - Matt and I made that happen.

Where's your "I've got a new Mac, and it's lovely" post, Matt?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
February 15, 2008
Nerd? Me?

I somehow contrived to break my glasses on my way into work this morning. They are currently held together with sellotape. Even by my standards, I'm a bit of a nerd cliche today.

So, naturally, it's this morning that I meet the lovely Nell Boase. Sigh.

Update: Photo as requested.

Photo 516.jpg

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
January 01, 2008
Currently Watching...

Dr Who with Kylie. The best the Commonwealth has to offer.

Bit of a Poseidon Adventure rip-off, but fun.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Happy New Year!

Err, that's it really.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
November 28, 2007
Football, Football, Bloody Football

Looks like I'm going to spend the next couple of months writing bloody football match report pages. I hate football. Sigh. Still - no more boring than reinsurance software, I suppose.

Update: Still, it's not all bad. The coffee machine has been fixed, the canteen had porridge this morning, and Kylie's looking for a Guardian reading man.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
November 13, 2007
Beard's gone

It all started when I had soup for tea last night...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)
October 31, 2007
Stiched Up

I took yesterday afternoon off to nip across to Reading for a parents' evening, missing a retrospective. This morning, I find I'm giving a breakfast brown bag on news story packages (a set of interesting if complex user stories that I've been working on).

I don't think "bastards" is too strong a word.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
March 16, 2007
Last Day

It's my last day at work today, and look, how sweet, they baked me a cake.


This afternoon and evening are going to be brutal. I was out 'till three drinking Red Stripe last night, so I'm going to have to start off gently...

ThoughtWorks on Monday...

Update: I also got a very nice lens, and a less nice hangover.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)
March 09, 2007
The Vultures are Circling

Most of the bits of kit on my desk are now decorated with post-it notes. Matt's having my chair when I leave, being the only non-midget in the company. Steve A's getting roadkill. Margo's the worst, getting in first requisitioning my 21", 1600 by 1200 monitor before anyone else, and grabbing the stand it's on. And my scissors. She's even after my scissors.

There have even been attempts to nab stuff that's mine. Neil's been nosing around my USB drive. Margo has even tried to get my Homer figure, and I'm expecting a post-it on dawkins any time now. They had better not try anything, that's all I'm saying.

Picking over the bones, and I'm not even gone yet. Sigh.

BTW, my leaving do is next Friday. All welcome. Well, all non-teetotallers, that is.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
February 08, 2007
Disruption in the Grammar Area

Made it in to work today despite the snow. The local news reported that my branch of the Northern Line was suspended, which was a good sign, since they are always wrong.

And sure enough, the station was open, and trains were running, though according to a hand-written sign, "Severe delays is occuring to all services." Grrrrr...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
October 27, 2006
Congratulations to El Presidente!

And to Tatiana, naturally. Nadya was born at twenty to five this morning. Mother and baby are well. God knows what state the father is in.

Update: He's obviously not that bad, 'cos he's put more photos up. Beautiful.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
October 10, 2006
Phew, what a scorcher!

It's 26°C in my office at the moment. It was up to 28°C earlier. It's even too hot for Tulna!

The heating is broken - stuck full on. Aside from the discomfort, having the heating on full blast at the same time as having all the windows open isn't exactly ecologically sound, and must be costing a fortune.

Still, they claim to have fixed it now, so lets hope it cools down a bit before I fall asleep.

Update: Nope, 26°C again today.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
October 09, 2006
Tulna Shouting

Nice photo of Tulna and I at Once in A.

No acting required. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 04, 2006
Superb high-speed film

Be patient - it is moving, honest, just very slowly. Provided you've clicked the "play" button, that is - otherwise, it's not moving. ;-)

Via Paul Mannix.

See also:

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 13, 2006
He Fought the Law...

... And the Law Lost.

My Jury Duty is over. One week long trial, at the end of which we were unable to find the nasty little oik guilty due to the total lack of solid evidence against him, then they let me off early for some reason.

So, I'll be able to go to both London 2.0rc3 this evening, and Freja's school play next week. Top.

Now I have 40 squillion emails and blog entries to catch up on, so if you'll excuse me...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 07, 2006

I'm not in work this week or next - I'm on Jury Duty. I'm not allowed to talk about the case - and I don't really want to, if I'm honest. Suffuce to say that my impression of human nature isn't at a high ebb just right now. Especially those humans who reside in Mitcham.

There's a lot of waiting around, but no 'net access, so blogging and email reading will be occasional.

OK, so what's new, right?

Anyway, good luck to Steve at his new job which he started on Monday. Hope it's all going well for you, mate.

Sorry, I'm not going to be able to make Java London this evening. It's a mood thing rather than a time thing. I hope it all goes well, though, Jez. I'm still hoping to manage to get to London 2.0 on Monday.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
February 21, 2006

I made a bit of a mistake dropping in to my local on the way home this evening for a swift half and to pick up email. There's a football match on, and there seems to be a fair amount of interest - the place is heaving.

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid. Anyone heard of either of these two?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
February 15, 2006
Here you go - any old crap

No post yesterday, unlike some lucky so and sos. Trouble, she calls it. Sigh.

Anyway, Steve pointed out literary speed dating to me. Sounds much more my speed than Michael's suggestion. If only I was in Belgium. And it's not often you'll hear anyone say that.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
February 13, 2006
Today is developing a theme...

Congratulations also to Katherine - another notice handed in today. Must be something in the air.

Worried, El P?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 18, 2005
Christmas Shopping

Chistmas shopping is Hell - except that even in Hell you don't have to queue up three times to buy one thing. Only in Argos do you have to do that.

Still, nearly done.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 07, 2005
The Duff Fairy

I've just replaced the fairy at the top of our Christmas Tree:


Oooh, Amy is going to give me such a slap when she spots that. I wonder how long I have?

Update: Homer has been interfered with. :-(

Posted by Simon Brunning at 06:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)
November 29, 2005
Romance News

It never lasts, and it can prove fatal.

Me, cynical? Never.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
November 23, 2005
Future Shock

You know, if someone had told me ten years ago that I'd one day send somone an album from my computer, by radio, to a phone, I would have thought they were barking mad.

Update: The transfer failed - El Presidente's phone crashed. Every silver lining has a cloud.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
November 02, 2005
NADD causes RII?

I can't tell you how glad I was to read this: Repetitive Information Injury. I thought it was just me!

NADD is something that I've learned to accept, to live with. The checking email, checking Bloglines, checking IM, checking IRC, straight back to email infinite loop, though, is more of a problem, and I though I was alone.

Bear in mind here that I'm writing this from the pub - I popped into the pub on the way home to catch up on my email.

What can I do, though? Before I die, I want to know everything. How else am I going to manage that?

(Via holygoat.)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 07:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
September 30, 2005
Something for a Friday afternoon

The Biscuit Appreciation Society - proud to be affiliated with the British Lard Marketing Board. Class.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
September 29, 2005
Roar With Laughter

Colliers Wood's foremost Thursday night comedy club, Roar With Laughter, is back from Edinburgh. Well, actulally it was back two weeks ago, but I couldn't make it then. Anyway, Michael (the housewife's choice) and I will be there.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
September 22, 2005
Where have I been?

Err, well, actually, I've been right here. So, why no blogging? Thing is, I've been a bit busy, and the inclination to blog and the opportunity to blog don't seem to have coincided.

My good friend Jay has just been IMing me, nagging me about it. Given that he lives in Austin, Texas and has Hurricane Rita bearing down on him, he must consider a matter of import, so I'd better get on and post. Besides, El P is away this afternoon, so what's stopping me? (Other that the 600 arbitrary time units of work outstanding in the current Morph iteration, that is...).

So, what have I been up to? Well, the exciting news is that our new project, Project Morph, is finally under weigh in earnest, and we are going all agile. User stories, short(ish) iterations, YAGNI, SCRUMs, you name it. (Well, other than pair programming, that is. There are five of us, and two into five doesn't go...) I'll let you know how it goes, bit it's a bit early to tell...

What else? Oh yes, my presentation training the week before last. It wasn't half as bad as I thought it might be, and I certainly came out of it feeling better able to present to large groups that I did when I went in, but it's still well outside my comfort zone, and I'm going to need a lot of practice before I'm any good. Still, I'd like to give it a go. Any suggestions as to what I might present at Python UK 2006?

Roadkill is still a thing of beauty - I've not gone off it in any way. Command line stuff is really good once you are over some of the learning curve. There are a few Windows apps I miss, though - TortoiseSVN, SciTE, UltimateZip and Picasa for a start, and I miss Windows Explorer's right-button dragging. I'm not really sure that I have Python set up as I should, either. That's probably worth a post of its own. Oh, do check out Terminal Here.

What else? Oh yes, if you are in London, try and get along to either the Python meetup or the Java meetup next month. I'll be at both. See you there!

Anyway, I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing Jay the best of luck, and I'm off back to sprinting...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
September 06, 2005

Arrrgh! El Presidente got the dates wrong! My presentation skills training is this week! Arrrgh! Arrrgh!

I have to prepare a presentation in advance on a non-technical topic. Any suggestions?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)
August 24, 2005
El P is Back

El Presidente is back from his two week holiday in Russia today. He's always in a shitty mood when he gets back from holiday, and he's got more to be irritated by than usual this time. (But it wasn't my idea, honestly, Paul! And I did get to the bottom of my to-do list while you were away. Nearly.)

Anyway, to try and cheer him up, we've brought in a whole load of sugary stuff - doughnuts, chocolate, and biscuits. We are hoping to either put a smile on his face or kill him with hyperglycemia.

We are also attempting to get a accurate measure of The Flury, the SI unit of carbohydrate, being defined as the quantity of sugary crap that El Presidente is capable of consuming in a single day. We've tried measuring this before, but no single one of us can carry that much in at once, so Tracey and I are working in concert this time.

Update: What's left as at 2:30 and is it any co-incidence that El P decided upon putting his desk next to the microwave? (He turned his head away to avoid being recognised - but there's no mistaking that shirt, is there?)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)
August 12, 2005
Singletons are selfish?

(Nerds; this is about single people, not about real Singletons.)

Bloody hell, as if it isn't hard enough, Zoe Williams over at the Graudiad is claiming that single people are selfish, and need to be given a hard time.

Fuck off, Zoe. I get given ehough of a a hard time about it already, thank you.

Via Wherever You Are.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)
August 11, 2005
Where are you all?

I've often been interested to know who reads Small Values, and where you all are. My Sitemeter stats give me some idea, but not much. So, please add yourself to the Small Values Of Cool Readers map. Ta.

Update: Do zoom in a bit before placing yourself, or you might end up hundreds of miles from where you really live. ;-)

Via Look At This...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)
August 08, 2005

I was on holiday last week, visiting Mum in Newcastle. See us at the beach and at Bollam Lake. Thanks to Mum for the photos - I'll upload mine tomorrow.

I still have over 400 emails to read, and Bloglines had over 4000 new posts for me this morning. :-(

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
July 21, 2005
Another Year Closer To Death

25 today. In hex.

Still using the same jokes, too. Ever felt you are in a rut?

Anyway, commiserate with me this evening in The Horse Bar if you fancy.

Update: I'm knocking this evening on the head. Even assuming that it's all as trivial as it currently appears to be (fingers crossed!), travel will
be a nightmare today.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)
July 14, 2005
A Health Message for the Boys

Oh, I say.

Via Ulterior.

This is nearly as good as that Kylie ad.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 13, 2005
Osama: My Part in His Downfall

So, Last Thursday. What a day.

I started out leaving home at about half past seven, as usual. There was a report of major problems with The Northern Line on the news. These reports are usually so out of date that it's worth having a go anyway, but in this case when I arrived at Colliers Wood, there was indeed absolutely no service South of Kennington. The bus stops looked like like the first day of the sales, so I walked to Wimbledon.

Had the Northern Line been running normally, I'd have been at work, safe in my office before anything happened.

From Wimbledon, I got an overground train to Waterloo. It was heaving, as expected, but quick. At Waterloo, I just missed one train as I got down to the Waterloo and City line platform, which would have taken me to Bank. The next one came in, but didn't open its doors. Then there was an announcement that "due to a power surge", the Waterloo and City line was suspended.

I had absolutely no inkling at this point that this was anything more than tube problems, albeit rather spectacular ones.

I walked across Hungerford Bridge - always a beautiful view - to Embankment, and got on a District line train to go round to Aldgate. The Train sat there for a good while, then started off. It got two stops, to Blackfriars, then came an announcement that the District Line was suspended. Again, this was put down to a power surge, but we were asked to leave the station, so someone knew that something was wrong.

Again, I still thought that it was just a particularly bad day for TfL at this point, so I started walking. It was around ten when I approached Aldgate. It was now that is started to occur to be that something serious was wrong. Aldgate was wall to wall fire engines, police cars, and ambulances.

Just then, I bumped into Trevor from work. He told me that there had been an explosion on the tube, that our office was behind the cordon and inaccessible, and the the police were advising everyone to just go home.

It took about twenty or thirty goes to get through, but I rang my parents to tell them that I was OK. They hadn't yet turned on the news, so they didn't know what was happening. I asked them to ring around and reassure everyone, since I didn't thank that I'd be able to get through. Then I, eventually, got through to work. It seemed that everyone was accounted for, except for Tulna, who was on a course, so I texted her. Then I walked to London Bridge to get a bus. The 133 would take me most of the way home.

As I was waiting at the bus stop, Dad called, and told me about the bus explosion. So I decided not to get the bus after all, and started walking.

In the underpass at Elephant and Castle, I bumped into Helen, a friend of my brother's, and Miranda, a friend of hers. They had walked from Tooting all the way up to Borough before realising what was going on, and were on their way back. They were a bit lost, so I confidently led us all out of the underpass and in completely the wrong direction.

A kind stranger put us right, and we were soon headed in the right direction, but we were all tired ant thirsty, so we stopped for a rest. Being British, we stopped at a pub, and I had the earliest pint that I've had in years. They had a telly on, and I began to realise just how bad the situation was.

There were reports of an incident at Stockwell, which was on our way, so we stayed put for a while.

We pushed on, but Helen needed to rest her blistered feet, so we stopped again at The Circle. We were there for an hour or so, avoiding the rain.

Busses were running this far out of London, but we decided not to risk them, and kept walking. We did feel a bit wimpy after about how short our last leg was, so we kept going a bit longer this time, but Helen was in too much pain to go on forever, so we stopped again at The Duke of Devonshire.

So, when my grandchildren say to me "Granddad, what did you do on the seventh of the seventh", I'll have to tell them that I went on a sort of bizarre pub crawl.

We waited at the Duke of Dev for a while for Miranda's boyfriend Martyn, and ate some bad food. We chatted for a while, then pushed on home.

I was seriously knackered when I got home. Still no answer from Tulna - at which point I realised that I'd texted her old number. Sigh. I rang her new number, and got straight through - she was fine. Worried for nothing.

I'm glad to see that at the end of the day the bombers have achieved nothing. They've killed a few people, yes, and inconvenienced many, but if they were hoping to intimidate us or change our attitudes, they failed - See London Will Fucking Twat You In A Minute, Son and Quotes of the Day. And let's face it, the death toll, though tragic, was less than a week's worth of UK road deaths.

I wonder if they realise that they've achieved nothing? Do they see it as a defeat, or a victory?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
July 09, 2005

I've no time for a full account now, but I'm fine, in case anyone was worried. It was all much too close for comfort, but I was never very close to any danger on Thursday.

I made it in as far as just next to Aldgate Station, near by my my office, but I was turned back there. (Before that, I had been under the impression that there were just tube disruptions.) I rang home to tell my parents that I was OK, and to get them to spread the news. Dad told me that there had been an explosion on a bus as well as on the tube, so I walked home. I met up with a friend (and a friend of hers), which was nice, but she had blisters, and there was an alert at Stockwell, so it took a loooong time to get home.

As far as I can tell, no one I know was hurt either, fingers crossed.

More on Monday.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
July 05, 2005
The Single Life

Tulna told me in the pub last night that she's on a mission to fix me up with a girlfriend. Sigh.

Don't worry, girls, it won't come to anything. People seem to get this notion from time to time; I've had it from my sister, from Steve, my brother, even from Michael. But in the end, they find that there isn't anyone that they'd be prepaired to put through the ordeal of going out with me.

There's a good article about single men over on the Grauniad today; Sex and the single weirdo. "The home-alone male is routinely assumed to be an oik or a loser", it says. "Men who live alone look after themselves less well, shop less confidently, have fewer friends, suffer more with depression and die younger than married or partnered men."

Shop less confidently? WTF does that mean? "I was going to buy those frozen peas, but I just couldn't work up the courage." And he missed out "drink more". Other than that, spot on. Well, I'm not dead yet, so I'm not sure about the last point, but he's probably right about that, too.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
Presentation skills training

El Presidente is nagging me about organising some presentation skills training, following my last review. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I suppose it would be good for what I laughingly refer to as my career.

Hmmm. "Career: to hurtle downhill, out of control and at speed." Perhaps career is the right word after all.

Anyway, El P has suggested a Learning Tree course, but if anyone has any recommendations, I'd be glad to hear them. I'm not too keen on Learning Tree anyway, due to the truly ridiculous amount of junk mail they send out. Learning Stump, more like, given the paper they get through.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
June 23, 2005
I'm Back

You have no idea how many emails and blog entries I had to read. Thousands, literally.

More later.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
June 02, 2005
Tomatoes are evil

Tomatoes are evil.

Err, that's it, really.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

In this morning's Indy, an ad for Sainsbury's melons was followed immediately by an article about the Triumph Doreen. Coincidence? I think not.

And another non-coincidence - on Monday, I spotted over someone's sholder on the tube that Wonderwall has been voted the best ever British song. Just as I was thinking "bollocks it is", guess what came up on my iPod? Eh? Eh? It's bloody AI, that's what it is.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
May 31, 2005
What is Your World View?

Less rubbish than usual online quiz. Here's mine:

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.













Cultural Creative




What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
May 27, 2005
Alien Intervention?

Somebody seems to have kidnapped all the ugly birds from South London, overnight, and replaced them with pretty ones. Always seems to happen at this time of year.

By the way, if you are thinking that this post isn't very enlightened, not very post-new-man, then don't worry. It's ironic, so that's OK. You can get away with anything as long as you are ironic.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
May 26, 2005
Teachers Away...

El Presidente is away on holiday. We are all playing. Tulna's brought in her Barbies, Dan has his Action Man, Phil has a hoop and a stick, and Tracey is just burning stuff.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
May 11, 2005

Congratulations to my brother Dan on passing his driving test. First time, no less!

What with my sister having passed a couple of years ago, that only leaves my Dad and I as non-drivers.

Not that I'm going to weaken. Cars are rubbish.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
May 04, 2005
Trinny and Suzannah, where are you?

It's my company do this Saturday evening. We are all off to watch The Producers, followed by dinner and drinks at The Hilton, Park Lane.

The question is, what to wear? The invite requests "smart casual", but what does that mean? My idea of casual is far from smart...

I would ask Michael, but every time I go to him for fashion advice, he just puts his head in his hands, shakes his head and sighs.

Well, anyway, I think I'll just go for a suit. It's that or jeans; I don't own anything in between. I've only worn my suit once, at Tulna's wedding, so it will be nice to get some use out of it, and it will feel like dressing up. Notes to self; dry cleaning, and a new shirt and tie.

Any advice from any of my less fashion-blind readers would be appreciated. What kind of ties are people wearing this century?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)
May 03, 2005
Let the Train Take the Strain

Trains are better than cars. They just are.

I had a lovely weekend, on the whole, but travel-wise, everything I touched turned to dust.

On Saturday, I pitched up at Paddington on my way to Reading to pick up the girls, only to find that the line was closed. Much of the trip was by bus. :-( My usual two hour trip turned into a three and a half hour trek. (On the way back, I came via Clapham Junction, which was marginally faster.)

On Sunday, Michael, the girls and I drove down to Brighton in the A4 he's borrowed from his boss. (The verdict? A hairdressers car.) What a mistake. Google reckoned on a little over an hour for the trip, but we factored in the bank holiday, and doubled it. We weren't even close; it took us four and a quarter hours. Nightmare.

We had a really nice time once we were there, though - beach, picnic, paddling, pier, funfair, ice cream, you know the kind of thing. Half-naked women are always a bonus, too. The trip back was much easier - about two and a half hours.

On Monday, the girls and I left for Reading early. Cath wanted to take them to Mapledurham for a civil war reenactment, and there were still no trains out of Paddington. It turned out to be more of a skirmish than a battle. A brawl, even. Still, the girls were suitably impressed by the guns. Their new little brother Ruben wasn't so keen.

By the time I'd trekked back home again, I'd clocked up over eighteen hours in transit over the three day weekend. No wonder I'm so knackered.

Oh, and trains are better than cars 'cos even if they are horribly delayed, you can entertain your children and let them go to the loo, cutting down on the strop count considerably.

Anyway, pictures here.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
April 15, 2005
Who needs the Edinburgh Festival?

Last night's Roar was a good one. Sol Bernstein was, frankly, a bit crap, but Paul Chowdry (a last minute stand in for Colin Cole) and Andrew Maxwell were both great. Two hits out of three isn't bad at all.

Bizarrely enough, Colliers Wood seems to be going through a strong patch at the moment comedy-wise - the incomparable John Hegley is doing a reading in Colliers Wood Library next Thursday.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
April 13, 2005

Tulna and I

Gallery here. It was too dark for video - thank Christ.

Last night was fun. My dancing was every bit as horrendous as expected; I elbowed Tulna hard in the head on one occasion, and I lost count of the toes that I trod on. The lessons started off easy enough, and I could follow the first few minutes. But they proceeded extremely quickly, and I was soon left behind. It was the spins that got me.

El Presidente baled out of the dancing very early. A poor show. I think we might go again. Perhaps if El P's better half comes along, she'll keep him on the dance floor.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
April 12, 2005
Shiny shiny!

My desk as of today:


Compare with this image from a couple of weeks ago. Note the new telly. There's a new PC under the desk, too - AMD Sempron 2.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB disk. XP Pro, but you can't have everything, can you?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
March 31, 2005
My Desk

You can't say that you weren't warned.


(Click on the image to zoom.)

So, what does my desk say about me?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)
Mum's visit

Mum came down on Tuesday night for a visit. She met up with Steve and I at The Alex, which was nice - they've been reading each other's blogs for ages. Steve was much as she expected, except that she "didn't expect him to be such a sweetie".

Well, that's a first. Steve being called a sweetie, that is - Mum calls people sweeties all the time.

Anyway, as usual, Steve and I sorted out all the world's problems over a few pints, with Mum's assistance this time. And as usual, some bugger screwed it all up again by morning.

Yesterday we had a day in town. We went to the Apple Store first. We got away with just an iPod remote each. A lucky escape - you could spend ten grand there and still have a wish list.

Then we went to The British Museum. Amazingly, Mum's never been before. As ever, you can only see a tiny fraction on any one visit, so we concentrated on the Asian section. If you've ever visited Mum's blog, you can't help but have noticed that she has more than a passing interest in Buddhism.

Oh, yes, and I got a lovely early birthday present - a Sony DSC-P72. So expect to be bored rigid by loads of bad photos, and flickr and/or picasa related posts. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
March 24, 2005
My Review

Surprisingly enough, my last review wasn't allowed to stand, so I had another one today. I didn't come out of this one quite so well. ;-)

They aren't going to sack me. Too much paperwork, apparently.

It wasn't too bad, though. I was brought up on my admin, as I was expecting. They are keen on the fact that I try too keep the company up to date, but I need to work a lot harder to getting buy-in from the team, too.

I'll be getting a new PC ;-) But not a Mac. :-(

There might be - shudder - public speaking training coming up too...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
March 22, 2005
I have to do something about my dress sense

I've just been accused of looking like a geography teacher.

But what gets me is who is criticising me. If it was just the clothes horses, I wouldn't mind, but no - this was from a man wearing a black shirt and a Hong Kong Phooey tie.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
March 17, 2005
Little black book

My Mum and my sister have really taken my holiday problem to heart, and have organised a whole bunch of stuff for me to do. So much, in fact, that for the first time in several years, I've actually had to go and buy a diary to remember it all. I've just send off a holiday request for 18 days to El Presidente.

BTW, mum is coming down to visit soon. I'm meeting Mum and Steve for a beer on the 29th. They've not met in meatspace before. All welcome...

(This has the additional advantage of getting me out of Salsa yet again. That's now postponed to April the 12th.)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
March 10, 2005
All alone

My entire team is malingering off sick today. Every single one of them. (OK, with the exception of Tulna, who's off on holiday.)

That means I'm in charge. I've already raised the purchase order for a speced-up 15" PowerBook, and I'm doing my review this afternoon. I think I might come out of it rather well.

I have no idea what it is that they all do together to spread the bug, by the way, but clearly I'm being left out of it.

Update: I've done the review. It turns out that I'm an exemplary employee, with virtually no faults, save for a tendency for over-modesty. A promotion and a very large pay rise are in order.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
March 09, 2005
Jam Today

Doughnut jam and keyboards - not a good combination.

Not of course that there's any problem at all with my keyboard. Oh no. But Tulna's off on holiday this week, and I suppose there's always the outside chance that her keyboard (which is co-incidentally identical to mine) may be a little on the sticky side when she gets back...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
March 01, 2005
The albums you should have listened to before you die

Yet another meme.

"Copy the list on to your blog, put in bold the ones you have listened to (completely from begining to end) and then add three more albums that you think people should have heard."

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
London Calling - The Clash
Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Think Tank - Blur
This is Hardcore - Pulp
Moon Safari - Air
Elastica - Elastica
Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols - Sex Pistols
OK Computer - Radiohead
The Kiss of Morning - Graham Coxon
Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars - David Bowie
The Wall - Pink Floyd
Setting Sons - The Jam
America Beauty - The Grateful Dead
Toxicity - System of a Down
Train a Comin' - Steve Earle
Folksinger - Phranc
Come From the Shadows - Joan Baez
Bat out of Hell - Meatloaf
The River - Bruce Springsteen
The Very Best of Joan Armatrading - Joan Armatrading
Copperhead Road - Steve Earle
Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits
Outside - David Bowie
Passionoia - Black Box Recorder
Version 2.0 - Garbage
Too Young To Die (Greatest Hits) - St. Etienne

My three:

The Complete Recordings - Robert Johnson
Absolution - Muse
Kind of Blue - Miles Davis

Via badly dubbed boy.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)
February 15, 2005
Very superstitious, writing’s on the wall


In answer to you, Katherine:

When you believe in things,
That you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way.

OK, OK, that's a crap answer. The real answer, so far as I can see, is that people like to think they understand the world around them. Science doesn't (and doesn't claim to) answer all questions, and understanding many of Science's answers is hard work. Both of these things make people uncomfortable.

Superstition offers easy answers. It's all bollocks, but it's easy. That's what people want.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)
February 14, 2005
More holiday

The holiday problem has been alleviated to an extent. By special dispensation I've been allowed to carry over ten days instead of the usual five, and I'm taking a couple of days off this week. (It's the girls' half-term.) So, I'll only be losing five days - that's my best yet!

Still, I'm probably only postponing the issue. I'll probably find myself with thirty days to use up next February.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
OK, own up...

I've asked around, but I can't work out who hid all my cards today. Ok, a joke's a joke, but it's own-up time. Who was it, and where have you hidden them all?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Power Exfoliation Treatment, £75

I didn't have the girls for a change this weekend, so I had a grown-up Saturday with Michael, wandering around the West End. Michael had a pre-arranged appointment to have his hair cut, so I went along. The whole thing was a bit of an experience for me. He went to The Refinery. £48 for a hair cut! (I've never paid more than £5 myself.) And that's at the cheap end of things. An Ionithermie Body Treatment is £110. (Whatever that is.) Top of the range - an 'Overall Overhaul', £250!

Michael, you understand, is a real metrosexual. He was metrosexual before there were any metrosexuals. He has tens of pairs of shoes, and he colour co-ordinates. I, on the other hand, am very unreconstructed in the fashion sense. I shave my own head, I only need to own one pair of shoes and one pair of boots at any given time, and if I colour co-ordinate it's only because I only own clothes of one colour. Typical nerd, in other words.

Still, I'm sure that it's all worthwhile for him. He was, after all, voted the fittest bloke in IT at St Andrew's last Christmas.

I didn't actually go in myself. If it ain't broke...

Update: Paul M reminded me of the term 'retrosexual'. I suppose that it kind of applies to me - though I've never referred to myself as a 'real man', and I don't get the opportunity to reject casual sex all that often.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
February 10, 2005

The security guard at our front desk smells. I mean, he smells bad.

He's nothing to do with our company - he comes with the building. He's been around for about six months now. You've often caught a faint whiff of BO as you've walked past him, but it's never been troubling - you've just considered yourself lucky not to have found yourself next to him on the tube. But over the last couple of weeks, it's become an order of magnitude worse. It's no longer just BO - now he smells rank - like something has died. And it's not just a whiff any more, either; you can smell him all the way up the stairs.

Tracey keeps threatening to leave a bar of soap on his desk. When he's not there, that is, naturally.

I have no idea why I'm posting this, really. It just had to be said.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)
So much holiday, so little time

I've just found out that I have to take 17 days off before the end of the month. Ooops - I really need to be a bit more organised about this kind of thing, don't I?

It's not quite that bad, actually. I can carry over five days, so I only need to take 12. There's no way I'm missing the team meal tomorrow, though, even if it isn't at Honkers.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
February 01, 2005
The Neveratoss clan

I had the pleasure of bumping into Mrs. and Master Neveratoss on Saturday at the Clapham Picture House. A bit of a surprise, since they live in Haslemere, but it's a small world, after all. Poor old Sam was a little out of sorts, but it was nice to see them both nevertheless.

This evening I'll be meeting Mr Neveratoss at The Horse Bar for, as he put it, "half an hour geeking out, then the usual looking at birds and talking nonsense". He's got a Java program that he's got some issues with, and I've got a new war-story. Anyone who thinks that they can put up with that lot are more than welcome to pitch up.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
January 28, 2005
Quote of the day

"I can tell you from personal experience that Pierce Brosnan isn't gay." - Tulna Shah Chauhan.

Don't tell Rakesh!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
January 20, 2005
Steve's future, take two

Steve doesn't want to be a carpenter any more. Now he wants to be a brewer.

I'm worried that he'll drink all the profits. I'm even more worried that I might help him. What do you think?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
January 18, 2005
Look out, Clapham

Salsa update: I'm safe for the next couple of weeks, but after that, I've run out of excuses. There's no escape. :-(

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
January 17, 2005
"Have a Twinkie, fat-boy"

El Presidente to Pete, one of our directors. A career limiting move, perhaps? Anyway, at least we know how he expects us to refer to our managment in future.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Someone brought in a box of Twinkies today, for some reason. I've never had the opportunity to try one of these American cultural icons before.

It was bloody horrible.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
January 04, 2005

I can only apologise for that appallingly self indulgent and whiny post on New Year's Eve. I wasn't feeling too good, but there was no need to inflict that on you lot.

Sorry. It won't happen again.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
December 31, 2004

I won't be going out this evening. I feel terrible.

I've not been sleeping well since before Christmas. I've got a painful swelling on my elbow, and it keep waking me up at night when I roll onto it. So I went to the drop-in centre at St George's on Tuesday, and they told me that I had bursitis.

The arm is feeling much better now - though whether that's because it actually is or whether it's just that the anti-inflammatory that they gave me is also a painkiller, I don't know.

Problem is that the drop-in centre was full of sick people, so I caught some nasty lurgy. I was coughing all night last night. :-(

Anyway, a happy new year to all of you.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 24, 2004
Happy Christmas, one and all!

OK, well, not all. I hope that whoever broke into mum's car and stole all her presents has a miserable christmas - ideally in a cell somewhere. Bastards.

But a very Happy Christmas to all you lot who are reading this.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
December 17, 2004
Salsa salsa salsa

Speaking of dancing, I seem to have made a drunken promise to Michael to go Salsa dancing. He's on the pull, you see, and he reckons that a salsa class would be a target rich environment. He might even be right, though one look at my dancing would put off even the most desperate of single women.

I'll try and weasel out of it, naturally, but a promise is a promise, and if he holds me to it, I'll have to go. Perhaps I'll get an amusing story out of it. I'm always happy to give everyone a good laugh at my expense.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 16, 2004

Nose piercing-mounted eyeglasses. Yuck.

Tulna said that this makes her want to punch him and break his glasses. Which makes her a pretty bad Jain, I'd say.

Update: When she noticed that I posted this, she threatened to punch me, too. Ahimsa, Tulna, Ahimsa.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
November 24, 2004

Rate how much your beliefs fit in with those of major religions - Belief-O-Matic.

I came out as:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Secular Humanism (95%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (87%)
4. Liberal Quakers (86%)
5. Nontheist (72%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (70%)
7. Neo-Pagan (66%)
8. Bahá'í Faith (64%)
9. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (56%)
10. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (52%)
11. Taoism (50%)
12. New Age (48%)
13. Reform Judaism (48%)
14. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (40%)
15. New Thought (40%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (38%)
17. Mahayana Buddhism (35%)
18. Sikhism (35%)
19. Jehovah's Witness (33%)
20. Scientology (33%)
21. Jainism (22%)
22. Eastern Orthodox (20%)
23. Islam (20%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (20%)
25. Roman Catholic (20%)
26. Seventh Day Adventist (17%)
27. Hinduism (12%)

I'm not sure about the 87% Christian bit...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
October 14, 2004

Right, that's it, I'm taking a sickie tomorrow.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
October 06, 2004


And more humbug.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
September 29, 2004

Listening. Yup, that's me alright. ;-)

Behind the Name: the etymology and history of first names. Great site, via lonita.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
Another woody to avoid

This wooden PC is lovely to look at, but:

this winter
I hope you get a splinter
if you make a toboggan
and it is a mahog'un

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
August 24, 2004
I Can't Stand The Rain

That's two bloody nights in a row that I've been woken up by the rain at four in the morning. Waking in the middle of the night is no problem, but if I wake at four, that's it, I'm awake. Until five minutes before the alarm goes off, that is, naturally.

I'm knackered.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
August 16, 2004

It's been quiet around here. I was on holiday the week before last, and I was run of my feet last week. Still am, in fact, but my collection of links on is getting too big to ignore...

(BTW, check out my mum's my mum's I introduced her to Firefox and when I was up there on holiday, and now she's hooked.)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
August 05, 2004
Soft Furnishings

I went out on the lash with Rachel, my sister and my mum.

It certainly wasn't like drinking with blokes, I must say. It took my sister five minutes to decide which wine she wanted; I'd usually have been on the second round by the time we actually ordered. Then, we sat down and had a conversation about curtains.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 07:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
August 04, 2004

Congratulations to my ex Cath, and to Dan, her husband - they had a healthy baby boy at six this morning.

They had been told that it was a girl, so they have a pink bedroom and lots of little dresses. But Dan at least will be over the moon anyway - he was desperate for a boy to take to Highgate. Cath'll be pleased too, 'cos he won't be nagging her her for anther baby now!

Freja is deligted. Ella's got mixed feelings - she isn't the baby any more, and besides, she wanted a little sister. Still, I know she'll warm to the idea when she sees her new little brother. Which won't be until the weekend, 'cos we are in Newcastle for the rest of the week.

Update: The baby was 3 kilos (6 pounds 10 ounces in old money), born after a one hour labour, and is called Reuben. (Or is that Ruben?) Cath and Reuben ar now at home, and both are well.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
August 03, 2004
Notes from abroad

Well, up north, at any rate.

We all went up to Whitehouse Farm yesterday. I really can't recommend it enough. Large animals to feed, as much handling of small animls as you can, um, handle, tractor rides, a picnic, a big slide, it's all a small girl could ask for. Or four small girls, in our case. Photos to follow. Lots of photos. I've got my SLR back from my ex, so I've been getting to know it again. Fun!

We went to Grossology today at the Life Center. Nice, if small. I suppose that I'm spoiled by havng all the London museums on my doorstep - especially the wonderful Science Museum.

I had a night out on the tiles with Mark last night. Classy place, Newcastle; Kiss was holding an amateur pole-dancing night. Nice.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
July 30, 2004
I'm off

I'm on holiday next week. I'll be taking the girls up to visit their Gran in Newcastle.

I'd better take a jumper. And something waterproof.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
July 29, 2004
Oooh, look

They are selling my old house. I lived there from the age of around six intill I was 19. Bedroom 2 was mine. They still have the washing line in which I cut my arm in the garden - I've got a scar from that.

Good Lord, how self indulgent is this post?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
July 26, 2004

WordCount: "WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is." Via gfdc.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
July 21, 2004
Six Squared

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me-ee,
Happy birthday to me!

24 today. In hex.

If you were thinking of a late gift, I wouldn't be averse to a PowerBook. An iPod would be nice, too. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)
July 14, 2004
The Ism Book

Fascinating; The Ism Book, A Field Guide to the Nomenclature of Philosophy.

Via lonita.

Also; Prefix/Suffix Meanings.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Obscene Tube Map

I love tube maps. I wonder why? Anyway, via qwghlmBlog I've found some great new ones, including the Obscene Tube Map and the Upside Down Map. Marvellous.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
June 25, 2004
Thank Christ for that!

Now we only have to wait for Henman to get knocked out of Wimbledon, and sport will be back on the back pages where it belongs.

I mean, current affairs doesn't push sport off the back page when something important happens, so why does sport get the front page after a big match?

Mutter mutter.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
June 18, 2004
Coming like a ghost town

Walking home from work through The City at sixish last night, and on the Tube home, it was bloody quiet. It was like being in 28 Days Later. Was somthing happening?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
June 02, 2004
That's quite enough work for one day

Right, I'm off down the pub.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
May 19, 2004
A Bit Harsh

Some chap had his finger bitten off by a jaguar after sticking his hand into its cage - and the zoo banned him for life.

Why ban him? I suspect you'll find he's learned his lesson.

Via Boing Boing.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
May 18, 2004
Too Hot

It's only May, and already it's too hot.

Still, this seems to induce young ladies to wear less clothing, so it's not all bad.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
May 07, 2004
Oh dear

I seem to have forgotten my mother's birthday. :-(

Happy Birthday, Mum!

It wasn't until she rang me up to say hello that I remembered. Not good.

In my defence, my ancient Clié s300 has died, so I probably wouldn't know it if it were my birthday. Still, a bit of a poor show, I'm sure you'll agree.

Time for a new one, when I can afford it.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)
May 05, 2004
File under 'Travel', 'Zen', 'Philosophy' and 'Utter bollocks'

A couple of interesting articles: Would the real source of metadata please stand up? and Games as Litrachur.

They aren't really about the same thing at all, but both touch on classification, so I'll classify them together. ;-)

Via Sean McGrath.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
April 29, 2004
Misogynist? Me?

I've got nothing on this guy.

Me, I'm well aware of the fact that the problem is on my side. It's not that all women are bitches, it's just that all the women I fancy are bitches.

Sadly, this self awareness doesn't really help. I've got the hang of avoiding the psycho-witches-from-hell, but you can't make yourself fancy poeple just 'cos you think you ought to.

Not that I actually meet any women these days. Working in IT for a company specialising in Insurance software, and having no trace of a personal life, I might as well be a monk. :-(

Well, enough of this whinging; I'm off to the pub. Beer good.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
Halfway There

Last night was a good one; Steve, Andy, Michael and Mark all made it, much beer was drunk, and many World issues were resolved.

(We've decided that we don't want ID cards, so you can just stop now, Mr Blunkett sir.)

So, anyway, I'm now hoping that I recover from my hangover in time to give myself another one.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
March 30, 2004
Rock 'n' Roll

As I write, Guns 'n Roses are blearing out of the rather nice speakers scattered around the office. Directly opposite my desk is a large Kylie poster.

All this has at least one unforseen benefit - I'm entering test data at the moment, and thinking up band names isn't presenting a problem.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 17, 2004
A Happy St. Patrick's day too you all!

I'm just off for a traditional St. Patrick's day curry. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 15, 2004
New Shoes

I hate buying new shoes.

I had, generally, a nice weekend. Pottered around the V&A on Saturday, vegged around the flat reading and listening to music on Sunday. But on Saturday (dum-dum-dum) I bought new shoes. Or boots really. Whatever.

Worse, I wasn't on my own. Usually, I'm pretty much a bungee-shopper; dive into the shop, grab something which isn't actually offensive, buy it, and out. If I try them on to make sure that they fit, that's dawdling. But this time, I had Michael and Caroline with me, and they wanted me to browse. Shudder.

Now, Michael's my oldest friend. Though he's the quintessential metrosexual, he knows me better than anybody. He accepts me for the retrosexual (AKA slob) that I am, and keeps his contempt for my fashion sense to himself. Caroline, his sister, wasn't quite able to hide her disgust, though.

All this, and my new shoes hurt like hell. Sigh.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 12, 2004
The girls at Tulna's wedding


I just got this photo from El Presidente - thanks, Paul! This was taken at Tulna's wedding late last year.

It was quite a bash, as you can see:

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
March 10, 2004
Desperately Seeking Thomas

I was really pleased when Kevan got in touch yesterday. There are very few people from school that I'd really like to get in touch with again, and he's one of them.

But there's at least two other people I'd really like to get in touch with: Tom Doran and Alex Bernard.

Hmm, well, I can't find any trace of Tom, but Alex has a website. Time for an email, I think...

Michael Starke I've kept in touch with throughout.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
March 09, 2004
Fake is the new real

Via Rogue Semiotics, I find a nice addition to my already pretty extensive set of cool Underground maps: subway systems of the world, presented on the same scale.

I would have expected London to be bigger...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
A blast from the past

When I was at High School, rather more years ago than I'd care to remember, I did an A Level in Computer Science. Proto-nerd that I was, I also used to hang around the computer room a fair amount in my free time, coding up simple text adventure games. My major co-conspiritor in this was one Kevan Thurstans, and he's just got in touch with me via Friends Reunited.

Hi, Kev!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
March 03, 2004
Eye eye

The weekend before last:

Dramatis persona:
Mark: my brother-in-law.
Me: Errrr, me.
Laura: My niece, Mark's daughter.
Dad: My Father.
Daniel: My brother.
Neil: A friend.
Rachel B: My sister.
Ellen: Neil's youngest.
Freja: My oldest.
Lucy: My niece, Rachel & Mark's youngest.
Ella: My youngest.
Rachel C: Neil's oldest.
Isobel: My niece, Rachel & Mark's oldest.

One for the family, there. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
February 20, 2004
Staying on focus

We seem to have trouble with this. We just spend some time in a meeting discussing whether a certain white-board pen was green or blue.

It was blue, goddamn it!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
February 16, 2004
Postal strike

Was there a postal strike over the weekend? I didn't get any cards on Saturday...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)
February 13, 2004
Friday the 13th

Eeeek! It's Friday the 13th! Nothing untoward has happened so far, but it's early days yet...

Besides, the true horror will be the utter lack of cards tomorrow. A friend of mine is going to a singles' party tomorrow night, but I think I'd find that too depressing for the retention of sanity.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
February 07, 2004
Paddington again...

This time, I'm waiting for Freja and Ella to arrive. They'll be here in ten minutes or so. The Centrino/Toshiba stand is still here, so I thought I'd have a little blog.

Cool little notebooks; but not as cool as Andy's iBook!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
February 05, 2004
South London Boys

Steve, Andy, Michael and I will be meeting up for beer, curry and conversation at The Tup, Balham on Friday evening. All welcome.

I'll be suggesting The Lahore Karahi in Tooting for the curry.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
February 02, 2004

Fitzrovia? Never heard of it!

But never mind that. I'm meeting Steve, Andy, Kelvin and possibly others this evening at The Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia (near Tottenham Court Road tube). All welcome.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)
February 01, 2004
For Freja

Freja and I are at Paddington Station, and we're just about to get on the train. I'm blogging from the Intel Centrino stand, 'cos Freja wanted to see how I create my site.

These notebooks are pretty cool - shame I can't afford one!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
January 23, 2004
My visited country map

Create your own visited country map.

Via bouncy.

Update: Phil will take some beating with this very impressive effort:

But then, he was an airline pilot!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
The Brunning Diet

There was, I gather, a program about the Atkins diet on the idiot box last night. It seems that the reason that the Atkins diet works is that eating protein makes you feel full, so you eat less. So, I present to you the Brunning Diet.

You can have as much of the following as you like:

  • Peanuts. (For protein.)
  • Beer. (Well, the Atkins diet offers steak, and this is the only way I can think of to go one better.)

I reckon this is at least as likely to lose you weight as are most diets, and has the massive advantage that all the required foodstuffs are available without leaving your local.

Disclaimer: If you try this and die, don't come running to me. Diet may contain nuts.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
January 22, 2004
Belated New Year's resolution

Learn to use colons and semi-colons properly.

And if you think that's easy, you are probably not using them correctly yourself. I know that my father, English graduate and author though he is, isn't.

But don't bother with colons and semi-colons unless you have the hang of apostrophes and commas. Colons and semi-colons are just the icing on the cake, but if you aren't using apostrophes and commas properly, then you aren't writing English.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
January 19, 2004
Getting there...

This one has been nasty, but I've got most of what I need reinstalled now.

I had to give up and start again at one point, 'cos Windows Explorer started locking up. :-(

Now I'm just having some trouble with Tomcat. I took the oppertunity to upgrade to 4.1, ready for a new project, but now I can't get any servlets running at all.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
January 09, 2004
Sickie Nation, reprise

Sigh. It was inevitable, I suppose. I diss Mark over his sickie record, so I need a day off myself almost immediately.

That was yesterday. ;-)

Not a hangover, I hasten to add; I baled out on Steve after just a couple of pints, 'cos I was feeling terrible. Sorry, Steve! Then I went home to bed, but got very little sleep.

Still, 'Sicknote' Matthews is keeping his end up. He was late in this morning because his new tattoo was hurting.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
January 07, 2004
Keep it in the family

It appears that I'm not the only Brunning with an interest in pubs. I seem to have a (probably vanishingly distant) cousin running a chain of them.

Well, actually, I know I'm not the only Brunning with an interest in pubs. As a family it seems we are seldom out of them. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
First beer of the new year

Steve and I are meeting at The Stage Door near Waterloo this evening at sixish. Anyone wishing to be bored witless over a few pints of Pride (or the tipple of your choice) would be more than welcome.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
January 05, 2004
I'm back!

I've not so much as booted a computer for over two weeks now, so naturally I get a BSOD first thing. Sigh. Just Bill's way of reintroducing me to Windows.

2822 emails in my in-box, and Bloglines has 2607 blog entries for me to read. This could take me the rest of the week...

Oh, yes, I had a lovely holiday. Thanks for asking. How was yours?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)
December 19, 2003
Right, that's it, I'm orf

Happy Christmas everybody, and a tolerable New Year.

And remember everybody, behave badly, and everything in excess. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
December 18, 2003
Yet more Christmas overindulgence

I'll be meeting Andy (but sadly not Steve, who's hung over) this evening at De Hems. (The map you'll find by following that link is wrong potentially a bit misleading, BTW. This is where De Hems is.

Then tomorrow is my company Christmas lunch - and then I'm off until January the 4th!

I'll be seeing The Return of the King on Monday with my bother-in-law, then meeting Michael in the All Bar One in Wimbledon next Tuesday evening. Then it's as good as Christmas Day! (And Freja's birthday.)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
December 16, 2003
Nerd pride

We are all nerds now

Via Simon Willison.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

It was Mark's birthday today. So, on top of a heavy hangover, I've just returned from a boozy lunch.

My productivity this afternoon might suffer somewhat.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
December 11, 2003
Not in tomorrow...

It's the girls' school play.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 08, 2003
Been there, done that...

Got the t-shirt. ;-)

I had a good time on Saturday, despite ending the evening still feeling rather sober. I can't think how that happened.

Billy wasn't quite what I was expecting. Rather than mad-as-a-snake, which was what I was expecting, he was endearingly child-like.

I also met: Steve, Tristan, Kev, Elsie , Pob, Anna, Dan, H, another Steve, and, uh, a bunch of 'comic people'.
Thouroughly bloody nice blokes (and blokettes) the lot of them.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 05, 2003
Steve's future

Over a few ales last night, Steve and I worked out his future career. He's going to be a carpenter!

No, not a Carpenter. A carpenter. Like Jesus, only without the worshipers. Or, hopefully, the crucifixion.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
What Kind of Drunk Are You?

What Kind of Drunk Are You?

Via skin.

Which reminds me. At Steve's urging, I'm going to Gatecrash Billy's bash on Saturday. Might be a laugh, and it will be interesting to put faces to names. Or, in most cases, nom de plumes.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
December 03, 2003
I'm feeling rather mellow...

Product presentation this morning, followed by a large curry and several Cobras at lunchtime. Class.

I worry that my productivity might not be at its peak this afternoon.

Update: Yup, I've done bugger all.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
December 02, 2003
My top ten

Micheal and I were discussing our personal top ten lists, as drunken men are wont to do. Well, I was drunk - he isn't a drinker, so what his excuse is I don't know.

Hmmm. I'm quite unable to get my list down to 10. Here it is as it stands:

(These pages are reasonably safe for work, by the way, but I can't speak for any ads...)

There were the ones that I've managed, with gritted teeth, to exclude from my list:

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)
Now that he can afford beer again...

I'll be meeting Steve on Thursday at The Stage Door. Anyone who wants to know how he's getting on at his new place of work would be welcome to come along. (And since he has no 'net access, it's the only way you'll find out...)

We'll be meeting at 6:30-ish. If our last meeting at The Stage Door is anything to go by, we'll probably move on at some point, so give us a shout if you are coming, and we'll keep you in the loop.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
December 01, 2003

I went bowling this weekend.

I didn't mean to. Really.

No, I meant to go ice skating. Freja was desparate to go, so off we went to Streatham on the number 57. But where the rink used to be, we found a bowling alley. So we went bowling instead.

Freja (nearly seven) beat me soundly. Sigh.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
Good Luck, Steve

Steve, a happy first day, and many happy extensions.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
November 28, 2003
Pedant's delight

One for you, Witho: World Wide Words, "English words and phrases—what they mean, where they came from, how they have evolved, and the ways in which people sometimes misuse them".

OK, two, then. Common Errors in English.

Via The Ultimate Insult and little things respectively.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
November 19, 2003

I was woken at four this morning by a car exploding not twenty feet from my bed. Really.

I'm in a ground floor flat, and my bedroom window looks out onto some off-road parking. One of the cars was on fire. It wasn't that big an explosion - it wasn't the petrol tank cooking off or anything. But something went "bang", and it was loud enough to wake me.

Five minutes later the Fire Brigade pitched up, and the excitement was over. By this time, the car was gutted.

My first thought was that someone had torched it - either it was a vandal, someone holding a serious grudge, or perhaps a joyrider-come-arsonist. But in fact, the car's owner come out, and explained that he'd been having trouble with the electrics. It had been spontaneously starting itself up the previous day! So, the car probably set itself on fire, which is a scary thought.

There's something special about four in the morning. If I wake up before then, I can get back to sleep without too much difficulty. But after four, that's it, I'm awake.

Until ten minutes before the alarm goes off, that is.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
November 18, 2003
Home alone

Well, at work alone - no one else in my office today. It's so quiet I can hear my watch ticking. Depressing.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
November 17, 2003
3d Tube Map

The 3D Tube Map (via little things) is a thing of beauty.

See also: the Geographically Accurate Tube Map, the Tube Map with Walklines, the Real Time Tube Map, the Morphing Tube Map, and the London Bloggers Tube Map for more tube map goodness.

Oooh! And a new one - tubeguru. Nice!

Update 20/11/2003: Via Kayodeok, A History of the London Tube Map.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
November 10, 2003
On the door in Morden

So, I managed to survive being on the door of a pub in Morden on a Saturday night. I didn't even have to call in air support.

I wasn't on the door by myself, I must admit. In fact, I've never been in a pub with so much security. The landlord is dragging the place upmarket a bit, but he's not there yet...

The punters were really nice, in fact. The same cannot be said, though, of some of the pub's regulars, who didn't take kindly to being told that there was a £5 charge to get into their local, and felt happy to share their feelings on the matter fully and frankly. And rudely.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
November 07, 2003
Interview honesty

I was chatting to Michael yesterday about job interviews. Interviewees can be dishonest occasionally, but it's usually the interviewer who is the most bare-faced. Just once, I'd like to hear the truth:

"Yeah, it's pretty shit working here. The work is tedious, there's no training, and we've not introduced any new technology or work practises since 1985. And the bureaucracy is a bastard.

On the other hand, we don't mind if you are a bit shit at your job, and just so long as you spend the hours here, we don't care if you achieve fuck all."

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
November 05, 2003
Don't like fireworks?

Don't have tickets for Revolutions tonight? Like beer? Got a high nerd threshold?

Then come along and meet Steve, Andy and I this evening at the The Porterhouse London in Covent Garden.

If pervious meetings are anything to go by, we'll talk about Java, Python, blogging, perhaps a bit of DHTML, and any other nerdy stuff that springs to mind.

Oh, and birds, and beer. And probably Australia.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
November 03, 2003
Technically competent?

Clearly not. Dan had just pointed out that I haven't been using my stapler properly.

Oh, the shame!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
October 27, 2003
He kept that one quiet...

Happy birthday, Dan! 40 today.

Dan is our 'Mission Impossible' coder. When we find out that a problem can't be solved, we give it to Dan. Sooner or later (usually sooner), Dan will come up with working code. Looking at this code will make us even more convinced that the problem can't be solved.

"That's all very well in practise, Dan," we'll say, "but it will never work in principle."

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
October 24, 2003
The average Playboy centrefold, by decade

Every Playboy Centrefold, The Decades

Totally safe for work, and fascinating. Clearly, men prefer skinnier, paler, blonder women these days. There is some difference of opinion as to whether the pictures indicate bigger boobs, too, or just shinier ones. Me, I'm a one BSH man myself, and I reckon the latter.

Via Kim.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
A man in the ladies...

Once all the women working in my office have gone home, one of my male colleagues (who shall remain nameless) is perfectly happy to use the ladies toilet. (It's much closer.) Me, I don't think I could set foot in there if you put a gun to my head.

Clearly, one of us is a bit weird. I just can't work out which one...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
October 20, 2003
The curse of getting in early strikes again!

Once again, I tried to get in early this morning. Once again, chaos ensued. Sigh.

I was getting in early 'cos I'm on another training course today. Two days of JavaScript. It'll be interesting to see how the trainer deals with the range of experience he'll find in the attendees - we range from me, with extensive experience in various scripting and OO languages, and some real world JS experience, to Tracey, who has barely programmed at all.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
October 16, 2003
It's alive!

My dead PC has risen again.

It has NT4 SP6 on it, and that's my lot. So now I just need to spend the next week or so installing stuff.

I've made a list:

MS Office 97, and service pack 2
MS Visual Studio 6, and service pack 5

Python 2.3.2-1
win32all build 159
mxBase 2.0.5
ctypes 0.6.2
PythonCard 0.7.2
py2exe 0.4.2
Twisted 1.0.7
Cheetah 0.9.15

Java, versions 1.1.8, 1.3.1 and 1.4.2
Eclipse 2.1
VSS Plugin 1.5
Lomboz 2.11
TruStudio 0.4.1
Eclipse 3.0 M4
Lomboz 3.0 M2
Ant 1.5.4
Tomcat 4.0.6
Tomcat 4.1.27
Struts 1.1
Velocity 1.3.1
Commons Lang 2.0
JUnit 3.8.1
JTOpen 4.1
JGL 3.1.0 (No longer free)

Mozilla Firebird 0.7 (plus Adblock, IE View, Linkey, Tab Browser and Google Bar extensions, and Firebird Modern theme)

WinKey 2.8
DiskMon 1.1
Sizer 3.3
PowerMenu 1.5.1
Powertoys: Send To, Command Prompt Here, Explore From Here and Tweak UI.

jEdit 4.1 (plus Buffer Tabs, Character map, Code2HTML, Common Controls, Console, Drag and Drop, ErrorList, FTP, Jakarta Commons, JDiff, JythonInterpreter, Look And Feel, Macro Manager, RETest, SideKick, Templates, TextTools, WhiteSpace, XML, XML Indenter, XSLT plugins, and Kunststoff theme)
Andale Mono
TightVNC 1.2.9
NSIS 1.98

Reflection 8.0


And then, when I've installed that lot, I've just got to configure it all. ;-)

What do you have on your PC? What cool stuff am I missing? (Other than Linux, naturally ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)
October 15, 2003
This evening...

Steve, Michael, and I will be in The Alexandra, Wimbledon, from 6:30 this evening. All welcome.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
October 09, 2003
I'm resting, darling

I met Steve last night. I'm rather heartened by our conversation about his 'between jobs' situation, I must say. It seems that he has several irons in the fire at the moment, so things are decidedly looking up.

Interestingly, all but one of these prospects have come through people who know Steve, and have worked with him. The other prospect is a friend-of-a-friend thing, with me being the friend. None of them have been put to him by a recruitment consultancy. Thing is, the Synon/2[1] market is a small one, and people know one another. Steve's reputation is good - very good - and it's now that this is paying off for him.

So, there are grounds for optimism here. Good luck, Steve!

[1] OK, OK, it's called Advantage 2E these days. But it will always be Synon/2 in my heart. Just as the AS/400 will always be the AS/400, though IBM have called it the iSeries for some time now...

BTW, The Stage Door turns out to be a lovely pub. First off, it really is a pub - rather than a bar - with a proper pub feel. Good, attentive staff, more interested in serving beer than chatting, unlike in many places I could mention. And not to pricey for a London pub, either. Recommended.

Not enough eye-candy for Steve, though, so at his suggestion we decamped to The Fire Station later on in the evening.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
October 08, 2003
Mmm, beer

I'm shortly off to meet Stevan at The Stage Door. All welcome.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Being me

Hmmm. It seems that being me is one of Tilesey's greatest fears. One of my greatest fears is that I will be a 35 [year old] divorced father of 2 kids who I can only see at weekends. Sigh.

And if he thinks that six months is a long time to be single, he knows nothing.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Sometimes, it's quicker to walk

Tube Map with Walklines

Hmmm. I would have thought that Embankment/Waterloo is another candidate - I always walk that one. The new pedestrian Hungerford Bridge is lovely. Still, fascinating map.


Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 02, 2003

Brain not working after a long day of crushingly tedious but nevertheless somewhat tricky tech-monkey work.

But that's OK, I won't be needing my brain this evening - I'm off to see The Matrix Reloaded at the bfi London IMAX.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
September 25, 2003
Women - different sex, or different species?

No beer goggles for girls.

Bang goes my theory, then. That explains a lot. So, how are we supposed to pull, then?

Via Tilesey.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
September 24, 2003
You'll be hearing from my brief in the morning

There are libel laws in this country, you know, Steve. Drink at lunchtime? Me?

On the other hand, I have to admit that Steve has a good defence, in that his accusation is totally accurate.

In fact, though, I don't drink at lunchtime at all any more. Basically, I'm not to be trusted, so now I just don't go to the pub in the first place. Sigh.

Even if I were to go for "a quick half" (meaning a pint or two), where's the fun in that? Steve and I used to go for "a couple" (meaning four pints plus).

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
Tulna's hen night

In preparation for her wedding, Tulna's hen night was this last weekend in Rome. (Tulna's in the boa, just like she wears at work. Just one of the reasons why her nickname is Margo.)

Jenny (third from the left), our receptionist office and events co-ordinator, still hasn't made it back to the office. I'm assured that she's ill, and not in a Roman police cell, but I'm sceptical.

I quite fancy a couple of Tulna's friends, I must say, so I'm looking forward to the wedding even more than before. Problem is, I'm going to be a real disappointmet to all my colleagues. My daughters will be with me, so I won't be drinking, and they all so look forward to my making a total arse of myself

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
September 23, 2003
The Unsexy List

We'll have to agree to disagree about Denise Richards, but other than that, The Unsexy List is spot on.

Hmmm, well, I'll admit to finding lower back tattoos rather appealing, too, but I know damn well that I shouldn't - it's just a bit council, really.

I particularly like 18. Your cats. Attachment to a non-human mammal that doesn't give a fuck about you bespeaks emotional damage. It's the kind that transforms you from "alluringly quirky" to "certifiable."

Via Burnt Toast.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Whatever happened to pressure cookers?

Everybody used to have a pressure cooker, but I can't remember the last time I saw one.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
September 10, 2003
Nukeing vs. nuking

A special post to welcome a new pedant to the blogsphere. Which is the correct spelling, nukeing or nuking? Every authority that I can find, up to and including Google, supports the latter, but it just looks wrong to me.

It's not just this one - puke > puking looks wrong to me, too, though I know it isn't. But leaving the 'magic' e off doesn't always look wrong - poke > poking looks fine.

I suspect I'm just losing it... ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
September 05, 2003
Tomb Raider: The Bag of Shite

I saw Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life yesterday. What can I say? Plus points - Angelina Jolie looks great in a vest. Minus points - everything else.

I must admit, I quite enjoyed the first one. It was good fun in a leave-your-brain-at-home sort of a way.

But this one was just terrible.

Update: You want examples of why it was so bad. OK, so, partway through the film, Lara manages to make this globe thing show her the location of Pandora's Box. It flashes up images for about five seconds. Lara says "It's in Africa", and ten minutes later she's found the bloody place. Small place, Africa, obviously.

Well, at least she'd seen the mountain. The villain managed to find the place just having overheard Lara say that it was in Africa.

Having found the place, she then talks to a native tribe to find out about the valley into which she will be travelling. The natives talk to her interpreter, the interpreter translates into English for her, and she replies to the tribesman in English, which they have no trouble comprehending.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

My PC died this morning. It looks pretty nasty:

STOP: c0000135 {Unable To Locate DLL}
The dynamic link library winsrv could not be found in the specified path Default Load Path

I smell a disk failure - there were funny noises coming from my PC yesterday, which I'd reported to PC support.

Ah well, it was backed up, and I've get the notebook.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)
September 04, 2003
I'm in!

The furniture is all assembled. The unpacking is done. I've spend too much money at Robert Dyas and Ikea. Oh, and Sainsbury's, too - when you have to buy a complete set of cleaning materials, spices and various other odds and sods all at once, it doesn't half add up.

But none of that matters. I'm in.

Tonight - Lara!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
September 01, 2003
No Internet at work today...

So, no blogging. For whatever reason, our poxy proxy server was denying everyone access today. And will continue to do so until somone works out what the f**k is going on.

Everyone, that is, except Tracey for some bizarre reason.

Anyway, phase 2 of moving is now in progress - unpacking. Sigh.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 06:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
August 21, 2003
Bank holiday weekend

Right, that's it, I'm off for an extended bank holiday weekend. I'll be back on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, this means I'll be missing National Slackers Day, to which I feel I could have contributed very positively. But there you are.

Much of the time I'll be at the Blues at the Mills festival, either watching or helping out. I'll be by the bandstand on Saturday afternoon, and all over the place on Sunday and Monday.

Have a good weekend, all...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Tulna's getting Married!

Tulna's engagement party. It's going to be the wedding of the century!

Oh yes, and congratulations to my brother Daniel on his engagement to Abbey. Obviously she sees you as a project, mate - a bit of a fixer-upper.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
August 20, 2003
The not-so-young Turks

I'm off to Ozer for us tea. I'll have several large lumps of meat, please.

Opinions seem as mixed as the meze. I'll tell you what I think in the morning.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
Bad Idea of the day

A keyboard cleaning meme spread around the office today, for some reason. And I fell for it.

So, just like everyone else, I liberally sprayed my keyboard with Foamclene, and scrubbed away at the case and keyboard.

Unlike everyone else, though, my keyboard hasn't worked since. Sigh. Serves me right, I suppose, for having a bloody Microsoft keyboard.

One of the keys is 'stuck down', not physically, but electronically. I have no idea which key it is. I've taken the bloody thing to pieces, and pulled all the keys off. Following Dan's advice, I've sprayed the thing with WD-40, too, but that just made everything oily. And there was me thinking that WD-40 or duct tape will fix anything. (It made us all pretty high, though.)

One other substance was tried - blood. I managed to gash my finger pulling the keys off. But this offering didn't help either.

Don't try this at home, folks.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
August 18, 2003

I didn't think England were keen on winning these days. Still, well done, lads.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
August 16, 2003
Moving again

I spent much of yesterday, and much of today, putting things into boxes. Mostly books.

I leavened this by occasionally taking things out of boxes, and putting them into other boxes.

There was also a fair amount of putting things into black plastic bin liners, some destined for the bin, and some for the charity shop.

Any clothes that I haven’t worn for six months went, for example. Since that period spanned one of the coldest winters I can remember, and certainly the hottest summer, everything I need was worn recently. If I ain’t worn it in six months, I almost certainly never will. (Those who know me realise that this means that I now have very little clothing.) Just an example of the harsher than usual de-cluttering I’ve imposed on myself this move.

Sigh. I hate moving. I’m off down the pub.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
August 14, 2003
The oldest swinger in town

Anyone London based and at a loose end on the bank holiday weekend might like to consider my Dad's blues festival.

There, I've said it now, Dad. OK? ;-)

It's pretty good, actually. If you have kids, the bandstand on Saturday is great. The girls and I will be there.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
August 08, 2003
My Mum's website

Just a quick post - I'm on dial-up, and it's painfully slow.

It is obligatory, I think, to link to my mum's new website. Bless.

Pretty basic, yes. Since she will be maintaining it herself, and she's on page 7 of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page" (no, really), we didn't want to go too high tech.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
July 31, 2003
How many Daiquiris?

A very pleasant evening with Steve, Andy, and Andy's mate Tim last night. Much nerdy conversation. Topics included Australia, sking, surfing, blogging, learning and using Java, Python, work related cock-ups, our children, and, uh, the physical attributes of various women in our immediate environment.

Didn't manage to get drunk, though, despite our best efforts.

Update: Oh yes - we talked about RSS, too.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Thanks, Tracey

My colleague Tracey made a couple of armbands for my kids. Thanks, Tracey!

Now, back to database connection pooling. Ho hum...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
July 29, 2003
Margaritas, Daiquiris and Mojitos

Steve and I will be meeting up tomorrow evening at Cubana, near Waterloo, to sample the cocktails. In responsible quantities, naturally.

All welcome.

Then, after we've sampled the cocktails in responsible quantities, I don't doubt that we'll go on to sample them in irresponsible quantities. (And these are proper cocktails, mind. None of your poncy Baileys here.)

If anyone does fancy coming along, leave a comment, and I'll bung you my mobile number.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
July 25, 2003
What women want

Women seek 'beauty over brains'

I am able, with the weight of my 35 years behind me, to confirm that I have no fucking idea what women want.

BTW, the research casts no light on me, having little of either.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)
July 21, 2003
23 today

Today is my 23rd birthday.

23 in hexadecimal.

Not the first time that I've measured my age in hex, and probably not the last. So much easier on the ear that way, I find.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)
July 07, 2003
Atonal Kitten

So, no drunken blogging on Saturday night after all - sorry to disappoint.

We didn't do the beer festival in the end - it just seemed like a bit too much hassle. Instead, Steve and Cathy rustled up a quick barbie (with Steve presiding over the fire, and Cathy looking after the salad, as is only natural), while Sam-I-Am chased me unrelentingly around the garden with a cricket bat.

Then we went to Steve's local. It was just like being in an episode of the Archers! I kept expecting someone to bring a cow in. Instead, someone brought in a dog the size of a cow.

Clearly we were getting a bit too nerdy (talking about metaclasses and AOP), 'cos someone came over and tried to head-hunt us. (At least I think he was trying to head-hunt us - he was a bit too much a a salesman/manager type for me to understand exactly what he was saying. If indeed he was saying anything. His company's website is similarly unforthcoming...)

On Sunday, we went to the Guilfest as planned. Atomic Kitten were dreadful! Now, naturally, I wasn't expecting a great deal from them. But basic professional competence, (keeping in tune, that sort of thing) is something I do expect from so cynically manufactured a band.

Still, it was a good day. Beer, food, company and (some) music all good.

And Sam was a star.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
July 04, 2003
Go wild in the country

I'm off to see Steve this weekend. Drunken blogging on Saturday night is a distinct possibility...

To Amsterdam again on Monday evening, thence to Madrid on Wednesday evening, and back to Blighty on Friday.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
Irritating colleagues

Workmates' habits 'drive us mad'

One colleague always leaves his mobile on his desk . It's uncanny - it never rings when he's there, and always rings as soon as he steps out of the room.

Another has a mouse which doesn't work smoothly. Every hour or so he'll slam it down on the desk and make everyone jump.

There are, uh, disagreements about whether the window should be open or not. Me, I'm fresh-air boy. People who like to be warmer can wear a bloody jumper! If I'm too hot, there's nothing I can do.

We also get the coffee slurping thing, too.

Me, I'm perfect, naturally. No irritating habits at all. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)
June 13, 2003
Ten hours sleep...

... and a hearty breakfast, and I feel like a new blogger. I'm not limping any more, either!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
May 30, 2003
I'm off to pick up the girls now

Little or no posting next week, as I'll be at my sister's. The week after that, I'll be back in Amsterdam for somewhere between two and four days. Hopefully in a better hotel than last time.


Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Too hot...

And it's still May.

The Yellow Face, it burns us!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I seem to be the only person on the face of the planet not to have seen The Matrix: Reloaded yet.

I'm not sure when I'll get the chance, either - I have the girls this weekend, and next week I'm helping my sister out with her two girls, 'cos she's having a trivial but unpleasant little operation, and won't be up to dealing with the force of nature that is Lucy Brunning (my youngest niece).

Shhh! Don't tell me what happens!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)
Summer's here...

And small tight vests seem to be the fashion for young ladies this year. Marvellous!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)
May 19, 2003

I'm pretty shaken today.

I was on the way home from my sister's barbecue yesterday, and I was sitting on the platform at Three Bridges station. A young woman came onto the platform, and used the telephone just along from the bench where I was sitting.

I noticed that she was crying bitterly during her conversation, which went on for about five minutes. Of course, this isn't the first time I've seen someone crying in public, but she seemed unusually distressed. I thought about approaching her, seeing if she was OK. But I didn't.

Looking back, I'm not entirely sure why. Partly I was concerned that she'd think I was some dirty old man trying to take advantage of her distress - as I said, she was young, and pretty. Mostly, though, if I'm honest with myself, I think that it was just basic English reticence, and a sense that it was none of my business.

She moved off down the platform. When the train came in, she stood as if waiting for it, but didn't board - she walked away from the edge to the centre of the platform, not exactly crying now, but gasping air. I got on the train, and it set off towards London.

The train stopped at Gatwick, and the power went out. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that this was due to a passenger fatality at Three Bridges. My blood ran cold.

I'm almost certain that it was the girl that I'd seen.

Since then, the "what if" scenarios have been whirring around my head ceaselessly. Had I spoken to her, would it have made any difference? Probably not. But I could have bloody tried. What would it have cost me? I feel like a coward.

I will never, never walk away from someone in obvious distress ever again. You shouldn't, either - it is your business. We are all responsible for one another.

Update 22nd May, 10:15 a.m.: The girl didn't die. Wow - I feel a lot better now. Thanks to my brother-in-law for pointing this out...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)
May 01, 2003
Choosy, or fussy?

El Presidente is not an easy man to please.

We were discussing today whether there is in fact any room between slap-dash and over-engineered in his book. There probably is a sweet spot, but it's tiny.

Mark suggested that it's a bit like shower controls. You know - the temperature control usually has 90° of play or more. Why is it, then, that the range of temperatures suitable for organic life are usually covered by 1° of that?

Hmmm. Tracey then pointed out a car's clutch pedal as another example of this. Useless over all but a tiny part of its movement.

She then told us that the first example that came to her mind was, uh, anatomical. She refused to elaborate. I honestly haven't a clue as to what she might have been referring to. Any suggestions?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
Note to self...

When eating a Kelly's take-away curry for lunch, don't get any on your fingers. If you do, don't rub your eyes thereafter.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
April 29, 2003
The Mobitopians...

Off for a beer with the Mobitopians now...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

I'm off to eat curry and drink Cobra now. Later...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
April 28, 2003
Alone in the office...

5:15 p.m., and I'm the last one here. UK working hours rise sharply? Not here!

I'm pretty much honour-bound to start downloading hardcore pornography at this point, I'd say. Any suggestions? ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
April 15, 2003
Grey hair!

I found a grey hair in my beard this morning. Sigh.

Age is creeping up on me, it seems. I keep telling myself that I'm only 22, but there is only so long that measuring my age in hex is going to make myself feel better.

Another horrifying discovery. It had been my profoundly held belief that whenever a man would say "she's too young for me", he would always really mean "I'm too old for her". No physically mature woman is ever too young, right?

No, wrong. I'm now finding that perfectly attractive young women are just, well, too young. One of my flat mates, Zoe, is 23. Pretty little thing, she is, but the only urge that I have to fight is the urge to pat her on the head. Sad.

It's just a matter of waiting to die, now, I suppose.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (22)
April 07, 2003

It's not fair!

Eloon's got a cartoon, Charles Miller's got a cartoon, I want one!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
March 28, 2003
Leave the poor bastards alone

The Yanks are not satisfied with bombing the Iraqis. Oh no, they want to sell them mobile phones, too.

Via Feet Up!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
March 24, 2003
Bit of a quiet weekend...

Got up late, at nineish.

Tried to take the cat to the vet, but no cat box found. I'm off on Tuesday, so I'll try and get on by then. If I can't, I suppose I'll have to buy one.

Went to see The Ring. This turned out not to be about Bracknell - it wasn't that scary. Not that scary at all, in fact. Unnerving ar times, but you have to expect that from a horror flick. Interesting direction, though, I thought - lots of interesting angles. The Colour balance was very cold, too.

Book shopping - found Python in a Nutshell at last. Also The Tin Drum by Gunther Glass, and a book of Ursula K. Le Guin short stories.

Then a couple of beers, and home.

On Sunday, I went to Reading to see the girls. Ella wanted to spend her pocket money on a 'Spare Brain" - a hideous squishy rubber thing, in a transparent rubber sleeve, along with red liquid. The off to Reading Museum. I've not been here before, though the girls and I love museums. Smallish, but pretty good - A copy of the Bayeux tapestry, Roman remains, Victoriana, a bit of natural history, pretty varied really. Explaining to Freja how animals are stuffed was fun...

Then a bit of homework with Freja, and off home.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
March 21, 2003
Anyone remember Cough Candy Twists?

Fizzy Cola Bottles, Flying Saucers? Sherbet Lemons?

Check out The Old Sweet Shop, for all your online crap sweet needs.

Remember the way that sherbert lemons used to lacerate the inside of your mouth? Bliss.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
No girls this weekend

Cath wants to keep them with her in Reading.

This is perfectly fair - after all, I get them most weekends. Cath needs some weekends to do stuff with them too. She has them during the week, of course, but during that time they are always rushing about, getting ready for school, or bed, or whatever. At the weekend, there is time to do stuff, and I'm lucky enough to get the lions share of that. Can't complain, can I?

But I still hate it. I never know what to do with myself at the weekend when I'm on my own.

I guess that I'll just have to get very drunk.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
The girls' boyfriends

I'm not allowed a girlfriend, but it seems that the girls are allowed boyfriends.

Freja (six) said that she did have a boyfriend, but that she "dumped him", (her exact words), because he kept "chasing" her. This doesn't refer to being too attentive, or making too many phone calls. No, he just chased her around the playground.

She says that she doesn't want a boyfriend any more - boys are "Yuck". That's my girl.

Ella (4 1/2) claims to have three boyfriends. It would be wrong of me to make any allusion to her mother at this point, so I won't.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
March 20, 2003
The Guinness Experiment

Steve and I will be conducting The Conclusive Guinness Experiment this coming Wednesday.

Additional volunteers welcome - we'll be at The Elusive Camel at seven. We'll be the two tallish chaps drinking too much Guinness.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
I *did* get a paper today...

... but it had been rendered pretty much obsolete by the night's events.

Ah well, it's got the telly times in it.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
March 19, 2003
I'm not allowed a girlfriend

That's it, it's official. I'm single forever.

I was talking to Freja, my eldest (six) at the weekend. I can't remember how we got to this part of the conversation, but she told me that I was not allowed to have a girlfriend.

"Why is it that Mummy is allowed a boyfriend," I asked her, "but I'm not allowed a girlfriend?"

"But Daddy, Mummy needs a boyfriend."

I tried to pursue this further, but Freja said "I don't want to talk about it any more", and so that was that.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
No paper today

The newsagent at the station didn't have my newspaper this morning. Doesn't happen often, but it's bloody annoying when it does.

Didn't have a Grauniad, either. I don't mind taking the Grauniad occasionally. Makes a nice change. What's more, they've poached David Aaronovitch from the Independent.

But no, they only had the Tory rags, with which I would not soil my hands. (Though I must admit that my hands get pretty soiled reading the Independent - the newsprint makes my hands look like a miner's by the time I get to work.)

My deepest loathing, though, is reserved for the Devils Newspaper.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)
March 18, 2003
You can't get drunk on Guinness

More evidence that you can't get drunk on Guinness.

Much Guinness was drunk last night. I was not.

This can't really be considered a conclusive experiment, though. The experiment's data was somewhat muddied by two complicating factors: On the one hand, I hadn't eaten. But then, you don't need to eat when drinking Guinness. Steak, egg and chips in a glass.

On the other hand, it was taking quarter of an hour or so to get served. A man can sober up in that length of time! I'm not sure if the Irish dancers had any effect one way or the other, to be honest. But I won't be going to see Riverdance, I can tell you.

All in all, I think further research is required. And I think I know just the man to help.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)
March 17, 2003
St. Patrick's Day

A happy St. Patrick's Day (aka The Reinforcin' O' The Stereotypes) to all my imaginary readers.

My friend Steve and I once proved beyond doubt that it was impossible to get drunk on Guinness. Stella yes, Guinness no.

On the other hand, I've been finding that it's having more of an effect on me than it used to. I can only surmise that they are making it stronger these days. Anyway, time to re-test the theory, I think.

I'll be in O'Neill's in Muswell Hill, which bizarrely doesn't seem to have a web site. How 20th century! I'd buy you a pint, only you'd never recognise me.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
You'd have thought that they'd have told someone

According to CoopBlog, the HMS Belfast is 65 today, and as part of the celebration she will fire her guns at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (The Belfast will, that is, not CoopBlog's author.)

The Belfast is moored on the Thames on the southern edge of The City Of London, (London's financial district) where I work. Now, what with Mr. bin Laden still running around, and Mr. Blair and friends on the verge of bombing the fuck out of Iraq, we are all a little nervy around here. Surely they ought to have told a few people about this - unexpected explosions are going to scare the crap out of everyone.

Having said that, it's now twenty past eleven, and I didn't hear anything. ;-)

Posted by Simon Brunning at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
March 14, 2003
Have one on us!

Last night, as I was walking past my local, a sheaf of 'Have one on us' vouchers was thrust into my top pocket. I think that each punter was only supposed to get one each, but hey, I'm a regular.

Each voucher entitled you to a free pint of Guinness. I was planning on going straight home, but, well, if would have been rude, wouldn't it?

I have a headache today.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
March 13, 2003
Paper CD case

Paper CD case

Use this website to create a PDF file which can be printed and folded to create a paper CD case. Both cool and useful. Bit of a bugger to get the hang of - I found step 5 particularly troublesome. But worth it in the end.


Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
March 10, 2003
I'm back

I'l write about my time in Madrid later. Just right now, I have about a million emails in my inbox to read.


Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
February 17, 2003
Happy birthday, Steve!

Happy birthday, Steve!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
February 14, 2003
Why Nerds are Unpopular

Why Nerds are Unpopular

Very interesting and, I think, insightful. The idea had occurred to me that nerds are unpopular because they are too busy with, well, more interesting stuff to play the games that need to be played in order to be part of the social A-list. Paul Graham looks much more deeply into this.

Perhaps the most important thing to take away from this is this: If you have kids of your own, remember how hellish it was, remember what you went through, and what your children might be going through now. Talk to them about it, tell them what it was like for you at school, tell them that it really isn't like that in the world outside school.

Also, bear in mind that they might be on the other side of the fence - they might be the ones giving other children a hard time. If they are, that doesn't make them bad people - most children do this to some extent. But if you can point out to them the error of their ways, you'll be saving them some guilt in later life.

Via Tao of the Machine

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (39)
December 09, 2002
Off sick...

Small Values has been quiet for a while - I was off sick last week.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 07, 2002

Found on b3ta:

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
October 04, 2002
The History of the Tilde

The History of the Tilde

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
September 27, 2002
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Just as fascinating - Secular Singles, Personal ads for atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a terrible one, but I'm sure that I feel strongly about it one way or the other.

Via The Ultimate Insult.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
September 25, 2002
The tube strike

Finally made it in at ten - just an hour late, despite the strike. Not bad!

Thank goodness for the 133! It wasn't so good for everyone, though - I got on at the first stop, but the bus was full after a couple of stops, and stopped picking people up. That's the trick, I think. If at all possible, get on the bus where it starts. The 133 starts Southbound somewhere around Liverpool St., so that's where I'll go on the way home.

And another thing - who said that Britain is a nation of queuers? Wouldn't have taken long to dispel that quaint notion this morning - when a bus draws up, it's everyone for themselves. Despite being at the first stop, and just missing the previous bus, I only just got a seat. I'll just have to learn to be ruder, I suppose.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
September 23, 2002
My collection of quotations

I've been collecting quotations for some time, and I don't really have much to do with them.

I don't have as many as AMK, though.

What I'd really like would be a way of automatically inserting one of these in each posting, but I can't work out how to do that with MT. So, I'll just shove them here...

  • Even snakes are afraid of snakes. - Steven Wright
  • Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll overfish, cause famine in the next three regions and pollute the atmosphere with his fish.
  • I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. - Emo Phillips
  • If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. - Isaac Asimov
  • Indeed, when I design my killer language, the identifiers 'foo' and 'bar' will be reserved words, never used, and not even mentioned in the reference manual. Any program using one will simply dump core without comment. Multitudes will rejoice. - Tim Peters
  • Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it's one of the best. - Woody Allen
  • Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. - W. C. Fields
  • A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it. - Alistair Cooke
  • I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to. - Elvis Presley
  • If you really want something in life, you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers. - Homer Simpson
  • There is not now, and never will be, a language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad programs. - Flon's Law
  • This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked from context. - David Moser
  • The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realise half of them are stupider than that.
  • My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats. - Woody Allen
  • If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. - Derek Bok
  • I want to move to theory. Everything works in theory. - John Cash
  • If men acted after marriage as they do during courtship, there would be fewer divorces - and more bankruptcies. - Frances Rodman
  • Two things I learned for sure during a particularly intense acid trip in my own lost youth: (1) everything is a trivial special case of something else; and, (2) death is a bunch of blue spheres. - Tim Peters
  • With stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. - Friedrich Von Schiller
  • He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it, hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart. - C. S. Lewis
  • Only two things are infinite: The universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein
  • What I find most amusing about COM and .NET is that they are trying to solve a problem I only had when programming using MS tools. - Max M
  • Greer's Third Law: A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do.
  • The sooner I get discouraged and quit, the more time I'll save overall. - Frank Sergeant
  • It takes two to lie; one to lie and one to listen. - Homer Simpson
  • Time Flies like an arrow. Fruit Flies like a banana - Groucho Marx
  • Computer system analysis is like child-rearing; you can do grievous damage, but you cannot ensure success. - Tom DeMarco
  • Don't feed the lawyers: they just lose their fear of humans. - Peter Wood, comp.lang.lisp
  • If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank. - Woody Allen
  • If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.
  • Good, Fast, Cheap. Choose any two.
  • Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. - Ernest Hemmingway
  • The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought. - Richard Feynman
  • We won't allocate much time to testing, because we won't find many bugs. - Steve McConnell, Code Complete
  • Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. - Jean-Paul Sartre
  • When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction. - Steven Wright
  • Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. - Dave Barry
  • Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • Never use a long word when there's a commensurate diminutive available. - Stan Kelly-Bootle
  • There is often a large gap between theory and practice. Furthermore, the gap between theory and practice in practice is much larger than the gap between theory and practice in theory. - Jeff Case
  • Win2K - It's not that it's only 65,000 bugs, it's just that they stopped counting at 65,535 to prevent an overflow.
  • It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar. - Jerome K. Jerome
  • I think that it will be a clash between the political will and the administrative won't. - Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay, Yes, Prime Minister.
  • An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an exact answer to an approximate problem. - John Tukey
  • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire
  • The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober - William Butler Yeats
  • Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing. - Wernher von Braun
  • As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. - Albert Einstein
  • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. - Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
  • The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps. - William Lloyd George
  • Less is More. Much more.
  • Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
  • Most people hate the taste of beer - to begin with. It is, however, a prejudice that many people have been able to overcome - Winston Churchill
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The stupidity of a stupid man is mercifully intimate and reticient, while the stupidity of an intellectual is cried from the rooftops. - Peter Ustinov
  • I have to stop now. I've already told you more than I know. - Wolf Logan
  • Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and to remove all doubt. - Mark Twain
  • There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. - Joseph Brodsky
  • It's like, "How much more black could this be?", and the answer is none. None more black. - Nigel Tufnel
  • Don't drink when you drive - you might hit a bump and spill it.
  • You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment. - Michael Dobbs, House of Cards
  • There is no sleep, there is only caffeine deficiency.
  • I've lost my faith in nihilism.
  • 'One World, one Web, one Program' - Microsoft promotional ad. 'Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer' - Adolf Hitler.
  • A designer knows he has arrived at perfection, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself. - Roseanne
  • Rule Number 1 is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule Number 2 is, it's all small stuff. - Robert Eliot
  • Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves. - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me. - Woody Allen
  • If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? - Albert Einstein.
  • Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life. - John A. Hrastar
  • The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not. - Mark Twain
  • It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's that the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or tool has ever done. - Erik Naggum
  • Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. - Steven Wright
  • When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her. - Sacha Guitry
  • There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. - C.A.R. Hoare
  • Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer. - Frederick P. Brooks, Jr
  • Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house. - Rod Stewart
  • SCSI is not magic. There are fundamental technical reasons why it is necessary to sacrifice a young goat to your SCSI chain now and then. - John Woods
  • The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from. - Andrew S. Tanenbaum
  • Only wimps use backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on FTP, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;) - Linus Torvalds
  • Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers
  • More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason - including blind stupidity. - W.A. Wuld
  • I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best
  • Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. - Winston Churchill
  • An atheist doesn't have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can't be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question. - John McCarthy
  • Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example. - Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  • When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me. - Emo Philips
  • In my experience, the customer doesn't know what he wants until you don't give it to him. - David Brady
  • Remember men, we're fighting for this woman's honour; which is probably more than she ever did. - Groucho Marx
  • When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. - Henry J. Kaiser
  • Even a manager can understand HTML. - Tim Berners-Lee
  • The program said "Requires Windows 9x or better", so I installed Linux.
  • I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotamy.
  • In this house, young lady, we obey the laws of thermodynamics! - Homer Simpson
  • Hubris is when you really do have it, enough so only the gods slap you down. Pretentiousness is when you don't have it, and everyone slaps you down. Arrogance is somewhere in between. - Thorfinn
  • Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.
  • Women - can't live with them... Pass the beer nuts. - Norm Peterson (Cheers)
  • What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry
  • Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? - Groucho Marx
  • With Microsoft, failure is not an option. It comes bundled.
  • Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships. - Sharon Stone
  • Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. - Mark Twain
  • You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. - Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • In short, just business as usual in the wacky world of floating point . - Tim Peters
  • Inform all the troops that communications have completely broken down. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. - Ambrose Bierce, writer (1842-1914)
  • To you, Baldrick, the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it? - Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, Blackadder
  • A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five. - Groucho Marx
  • As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs.- Maurice Wilkes discovers debugging, 1949
  • Microsoft spel chekar vor sail, worgs grate!!
  • You can have quality software, or you can have pointer arithmetic; but you cannot have both at the same time. - Bertrand Meyer, 1989
  • Look, Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission and I want to help you. - Hal 9000
  • You stupid, ungrammatical, pathetic... Sorry? Oh, you wanted an argument. This is Abuse. Argument is two doors down.
  • For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. - Richard Feynman
  • Translations (like wives) are seldom faithful if they are in the least attractive. - Roy Campbell
  • I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception. - Groucho Marx
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. - Steven Wright
  • I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. - Stephen Leacock
  • Not all who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • If you would know what the Lord God thinks of money, you have only to look at those to whom he gives it. - Maurice Baring
  • Some people, when confronted with a problem, think 'I know, I'll use regular expressions'. Now they have two problems. - Jamie Zawinski, comp.lang.emacs
  • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that. - HAL 9000
  • What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? - Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Don't pay any attention to the critics. Don't even ignore them. - Sam Goldwyn
  • Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Isaac Asimov
  • Python is executable pseudocode. Perl is executable line noise. - Bruce Eckel
  • Nothing simple is ever easy. - Jim Becker
  • Bill Gates is just a monocle and a Persian Cat away from being one of the bad guys in a James Bond movie. - Dennis Miller
  • There are three schools of magic. One: State a tautology, then ring the changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy. Two: Record many facts. Try to find a pattern. Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that's science. Three: Be aware that you live in a malevolent Universe controlled by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor; that's engineering. - Robert A. Heinlein
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. - Douglas Adams
  • If Windows is the solution, can we please have the problem back?
  • It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. - Abraham Lincoln
  • There is no difference between someone who eats too little and sees Heaven and someone who drinks too much and sees snakes. - Bertrand Russell
  • I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying. - Woody Allen
  • We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. - Robert Wilensky
  • Disclaimer: I'm not as smart as I think I am.
  • Perl - the only programming language that looks the same both before and after RSA encryption.
  • Things to do today: See list of things to do yesterday.
  • There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works. - Alan J. Perlis
  • Are you going to come quietly, or do I have to use earplugs? - from The Goon Show
  • Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you. - Aldous Huxley
  • Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon. - Susan Ertz
  • Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision. - Blake Clark
  • Never mistake motion for action. - Ernest Hemingway
  • Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein. - Joe Theisman, Former quarterback
  • Too little freedom makes life confusingly clumsy; too much, clumsily confusing. Luckily, the tension between freedom and restraint eventually gets severed by Guido's Razor. - Tim Peters
  • As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it. - Dick Cavett
  • You shouldn't anthropomorphize computers; they don't like it.
  • McNaughton's Rule: Any argument worth making within a bureaucracy must be capable of being expressed in a simple declarative sentence that is obviously true once stated.
  • I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book. - Groucho Marx
  • Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. - Doug Larson
  • Brigands require your money or your life, whereas women require both. - Samuel Butler
  • There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven. - Dave Barry
  • I've seen Python criticized as "ugly" precisely because it doesn't have a trick-based view of the world. In many ways, it's a dull language, borrowing solid old concepts from many other languages & styles: boring syntax, unsurprising semantics, few automatic coercions, etc etc. But that's one of the things I like about it. - Tim Peters
  • The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. - Bill Watterson
  • The joy of coding Python should be in seeing short, concise, readable classes that express a lot of action in a small amount of clear code - not in reams of trivial code that bores the reader to death. - Guido van Rossum
  • If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girl's sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such... - Homer Simpson
  • Going to bed with a woman never hurt a ballplayer. It's staying up all night looking for them that does you in. - Casey Stengel
  • A committee is a group of men who individually can do nothing, but collectively can meet and decide that nothing can be done.
  • 'Complexity' seems to be a lot like 'energy': you can transfer it from the end user to one/some of the other players, but the total amount seems to remain pretty much constant for a given task. - Ran
  • I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners. - Berke Breathed
  • Women are like elephants. I like to look at 'em, but I wouldn't want to own one. - W.C. Fields
  • You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. - Homer Simpson
  • In C, we had to code our own bugs. In C++ we can inherit them.
  • If you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. - Homer Simpson
  • It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up. - W. Somerset Maugham
  • The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad. - Salvador Dali
  • Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? - Charlie McCarthy
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. - Andrew Jackson
  • I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me. - Duke of Wellington
  • I feel sorry for people who don't drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're going to feel all day. - Frank Sinatra
  • A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. - Dave Barry
  • I have assuredly found an admirable resolution to this, but the margin is too narrow to contain it. - Pierre de Fermat
  • One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know.- Groucho Marx
  • Alcohol is the anaesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. - George Bernard Shaw
  • I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - George Burns
  • There is nothing that is impossible to the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
  • It is possible that blondes also prefer gentlemen. - Maimie Van Doren
  • Isn't vi that text editor with two modes... one that beeps and one that corrupts your file? - Dan Jocabson
  • I just want to go on the record as being completely opposed to computer languages. Let them have their own language and soon they'll be off in the corner plotting with each other! - Steven D. Majewski
  • If you travel to the States... they have a lot of different words than like what we use. For instance: they say 'elevator', we say 'lift'; they say 'drapes', we say 'curtains'; they say 'president', we say 'seriously deranged git'. - Alexei Sayle
  • There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it. - Mary Little
  • Programmers are achievement oriented; give them an impossible task, and they'll do their best to give you what they think you would have asked for if you had a clue as to what was possible. - Peter Coffee
  • Listening, Testing, Coding, Designing. That's all there is to software. Anyone who tells you different is selling something. - Kent Beck
  • Emotions are alien to me. I'm a scientist. - Spock, 'This Side of Paradise', stardate 3417.3
  • Computers are like horses; they can sense fear and will act based on that. - Adam Engst
  • The palest ink is better than the best memory. - Chinese proverb
  • There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.
  • Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. - Eric S. Raymond, 'Why Python'
  • I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. - Steven Wright
  • Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian, and all is organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and all is organized by the Italians. - Vic Pecka & Paige Scott
  • My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • It's never too late to have a happy childhood. - Anthony Baxter
  • I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. - Art Buchwald
  • If you never change your mind, why have one? - Edward De Bono
  • It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. - Commodore Hopper, inventor of COBOL
  • Who does not love wine, women, and song, Remains a fool his whole life long. - Johann Heinrich Voss
  • You can't have everything. Where would you put it? - Steven Wright
  • As a wise programmer once said, 'Floating point numbers are like sandpiles: every time you move one, you lose a little sand and you pick up a little dirt'. And after a few computations, things can get pretty dirty. - Kernighan and Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style
  • Lowery's Law: If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
  • The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind. - Humphrey Bogart
  • I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake - which I also keep handy. - W. C. Fields
  • There are two kinds of fools, one that says 'This is old, and therefore good'. And one that says 'This is new, and therefore better' - John Brunner
  • The opinions stated above aren't those of my employer. In fact, they're probably not even my own. You know what, just don't even bother reading it.
  • If you're not making waves, you're not under weigh. - Admiral Nimitz
  • Americans always do the right thing, once they have exhausted all other possibilities. - Winston Churchill
  • Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine making course and I forgot how to drive? - Homer Simpson
  • Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. - Groucho Marx
  • This contract is so one-sided that I am surprised to find it written on both sides of the paper. - Lord Evershead
  • Error: No keyboard detected. Press F1 to continue. - Actual MS Windows error message
  • The modern world is filled with men who hold dogmas so strongly that they do not even know they are dogmas. - G.K. Chesterton
  • I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia. - Woody Allen
  • Ignorance is never out of style. It was in fashion yesterday, it is the rage today, and it will set the pace tomorrow. - Franklin K. Dane
  • I sense much distrust in you. Distrust leads to cynicism, cynicism leads to bitterness, bitterness leads to the Awareness Of True Reality which is referred to by those-who-lack-enlightenment as "paranoia". I approve. - David P. Murphy, alt.sysadmin.recovery
  • Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. - George Gordon Noel (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)
  • I always pass on good advice. It's the only thing to do with it. It is never any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde
  • All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.
  • A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. - Mitch Ratcliffe
  • Slashdot, with its uncontrolled content and participants' poor impulse control, remains Internet culture's answer to 'Lord of the Flies.' - Salon
  • When others kid me about being bald, I simply tell them that the way I figure it, the good Lord only gave men so many hormones, and if others want to waste theirs on growing hair, that's up to them. - Senator John Glenn
  • If you can't beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.
  • Code as if whoever maintains your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
  • The English public take no interest in a work of art until it is told that the work in question is obscene. - Oscar Wilde
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good. - Samuel Johnson
  • If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. - Norm Schryer
  • I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called 'brightness', but it doesn't seem to work. - Gallagher
  • It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them. - La Rochefoucauld
  • Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. - Arthur Miller
  • My wife has cut our lovemaking down to once a month, but I know two guys she's cut out entirely. - Rodney Dangerfield
  • Give a pedant an inch and they'll take 25.4mm (once they've established you're talking a post-1959 inch, of course).
  • A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married. - H. L. Mencken
  • Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. - Franklin P. Jones
  • Remember - a dog is not just for Christmas. You can make sandwiches & curries in the new year.
  • I resent your implication that Americans are insensitive to the culture of the unwashed, ignorant heathens that populate the rest of the world. - Shawn Wilson
  • Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer - Henry Lawson
  • If a job's worth doing, somebody else will probably do it.
  • Travel, of course, narrows the mind. - Malcolm Muggeridge
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
  • Ahh, Beer! My one weakness... My Achilles Heel, if you will. - Homer Simpson
  • Never meddle in the affairs of NT. It is slow to boot and quick to crash. - Stephen Harris
  • It is easier to optimize correct code than to correct optimized code. - Bill Harlan
  • Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. - Bernard Berenson
  • I'd rather have two girls at 21 each than one girl at 42. - W.C. Fields
  • I can't see the point in the theatre. All that sex and violence. I get enough of that at home. Apart from the sex, of course. - Baldrick, in Blackadder III
  • Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. - G.K. Chesterton
  • I want to share something with you - the three sentences that will get you through life. Number one, 'cover for me'. Number two, 'oh, good idea, boss'. Number three, 'it was like that when I got here'. - Homer Simpson
  • I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not going down to the planet - Avon, Blake's Seven
  • C++: an octopus made by nailing extra legs onto a dog.
  • If a job is not worth doing, it is not worth doing well.
  • A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.
  • There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone. - Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++
  • We will encourage you to develop the three great virtues of programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris. - Larry Wall and Randal Schwartz, Programming Perl
  • You kids today, with your piercings and your big pants and your purple-and-green hair and your X-Files and your Paula Cole and your espresso coffee and your Seattle grunge rock and your virtual machines and your acid-washed jeans and your Ernest Hemingway and your object-oriented languages and your fax machines and your hula hoops and your zoot suits and your strange slang phrases like 'That's so bogus' or 'What a shocking bad hat' and those atonal composers like Arnold Schoenberg and Milton Babbit that you kids seem to like these days and your cubist painters and your Ally McBeal and that guy in Titanic and your TCP/IP protocol and your heads filled with all that Cartesian dualism these days and ... well, I just don't get you kids. - A.M. Kuchling
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers. - Emo Phillips
  • If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Every time we teach a child something, we prevent him from inventing it himself. - Jean Piaget
  • Gui-do: the way of the Python. - Bernhard Herzog
  • This is the sort of English up with which I will not put. - Winston Churchill
  • When choosing between two evils, I always try to choose the one I haven't tried before. - Mae West
  • Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer - Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Ask Mr. Language Person: Q. Please explain how to diagram a sentence. A. First spread the sentence out on a clean, flat surface, such as an ironing board. Then, using a sharp pencil or X-Acto knife, locate the "predicate," which indicates where the action has taken place and is usually located directly behind the gills. For example, in the sentence: "LaMont never would of bit a forest ranger," the action probably took place in a forest. Thus your diagram would be shaped like a little tree with branches sticking out of it to indicate the locations of the various particles of speech, such as your gerunds, proverbs, adjutants, etc. - Dave Barry
  • Every woman needs one man in her life who is strong and responsible. Given this security, she can proceed to do what she really wants to do - fall in love with men who are weak and irresponsible. - Richard J. Needham
  • Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology: Every non-trivial program contains at least one bug.
  • I'm not very keen for doves or hawks. I think we need more owls. - Senator George Aiken
  • Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place. - Billy Crystal
  • If you can't explain something to a six-year-old child, you really don't understand it yourself. - Albert Einstein
  • As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls. - M. Cartmill
  • GUIs normally make it simple to accomplish simple actions and impossible to accomplish complex actions. - Doug Gwyn
  • The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents. - Nathaniel Borenstein
  • I would rather suffer defeat than have cause to be ashamed of victory. - Quintus Curtius
  • Why is it that all battles are fought in the middle of the night, in downpouring rain, and at the corners of four different maps? - George Patton
  • Whenever copyright law is to be made or altered, then all the idiots assemble. - Mark Twain
  • Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. - Robert Benchley
  • Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes. - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Linux - the Ultimate Windows Service Pack
  • Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless. - Thomas A. Edison
  • I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves. - August Strindberg
  • Cargill's Law: The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time. - Tom Cargill, Bell Labs.
  • What is a wedding? Webster's Dictionary defines a wedding as 'The process of removing weeds from one's garden.' - Homer Simpson (giving a lecture on marriage)
  • Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps. - Tiger Woods
  • All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable - Fran Lebowitz
  • An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. - John Buchan
  • A debugged program is one for which you have not yet found the conditions that make it fail. - Jerry Ogdin
  • There is nothing so absurd that it has not been said by philosophers. - Cicero
  • Ah, yes, "divorce". From the Latin for "having your genitals torn off through your wallet". - Robin Williams
  • Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think. - Niels Bohr
  • Oliver's Law: Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  • The only 'intuitive' user interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned. - Bruce Ediger
  • Python - why settle for snake oil when you can have the whole snake? - Mark Jackson
  • All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears - of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required." - Dave Barry
  • A logician trying to explain logic to a programmer is like a cat trying to explain to a fish what it's like to get wet.
  • If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing. - Bertrand Russell
  • To mistrust science and deny the validity of the scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You'd better go look for work as a plant or a wild animal. - P. J. O'Rourke
  • Perl is worse than Python because people wanted it worse. - Larry Wall
  • Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.- Nietzsche
  • In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is. - Chuck Reid
  • Plan to throw one away. You will anyway. - Frederick P. Brooks, Jr, 'The Mythical Man Month'
  • The function of an expert is not to be more right than other people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons. - David Butler
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can get out of doing entirely.
  • Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet. - Dave Barry
  • Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue. - J.K. Galbraith
  • My centre is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I am attacking. - Marshal Foch
  • Life's better without braces. - Bruce Eckel
  • Curiosity is the very basis of education, and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly. - Arnold Edinborough
  • A pseudointellectual is a person who knows what "pseudo" means.
  • So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. - Bertrand Russell
  • Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them. - Lou Holtz
  • First learn computer science and all the theory. Next develop a programming style. Then forget all that and just hack. - George Carrette
  • Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. - Donald E. Knuth
  • All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer. - IBM maintenance manual, 1925
  • I had lots of reasonable theories about children myself, until I had some. - Michael Rios
  • For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. - H L Mencken
  • A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • About the only people who don't quarrel over religion are the people who don't have any. - Bob Edwards
  • I am not young enough to know everything. - James Matthew Sarrie
  • Trying is the first step towards failure. - Homer Simpson
  • If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 sharpening my ax. - Abraham Lincoln
  • A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. - Sir Barnett Cocks
  • More damage has been caused by innocent program crashes than by malicious viruses, but they don't make great stories. - Jean-Louis Gassee
  • Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. - Noam Chomsky
  • It seems that there are two equal and opposite mistakes one can make about Star Trek. One is to find in it a worthy ideology - the other to find in it an ideology worthy of refutation. - Michael V. Voytinsky
  • When you think for yourself, you get to solve the problems that you create for yourself, too. - Tim Peters
  • It would be difficult to construe this as a feature. - Larry Wall
  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? - Stephen Wright
  • If you are angry with someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes... Then you'll be a mile away from them, and you'll have their shoes.
  • If not controlled, work will flow to the competent man until he submerges. - Charles Boyle
  • A bug is just a unit test that hasn't been written yet. - Mark Pilgrim
  • I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Edison
  • Experience is what allows you to recognize a mistake the second time you make it.
  • It is better to go into a corner slow and come out fast, than to go in fast and come out dead. - Stirling Moss
  • Everything should be as simpler as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstien
  • Some little people have music in them, but Fats, he was all music, and you know how big he was. - James P. Johnson
  • A typical software project can present more opportunities to learn from mistakes than some people get in a lifetime. - Steve McConnell
  • Marriage Ceremony: An incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the law being dragged into the affairs of your family. - O. C. Ogilvie
  • It is not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts. - Addison Walker
  • If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't. - Lyall Watson
  • My schoolmates would make love to anything that moved, but I never saw any reason to limit myself. - Emo Philips
  • One treats others with courtesy not because they are a gentlemen or gentlewomen, but because you are. - G. Henrichs
  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. - Pablo Picasso
  • The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck is the day they start making vacuum cleaners.
  • When you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get. - Homer Simpson
  • Real programmers can write assembly code in any language. :-) - Larry Wall
  • It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. - Dr. W. Edwards Deming
  • Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am... - Bob Dylan
  • He uses statistics the way a drunken man uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination. - Andrew Lang
  • The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up. - Steven Wright
  • How many six year olds does it take to design software? - Microsoft Ad.
  • There are times when effort is important and necessary, but this should not be taken as any kind of moral imperative. - J Decker
  • Well, it may be all right in practice, but it will never work in theory. - Warren Buffet
  • It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed. - Goethe
  • That's your plan? Wile E. Coyote would come up with a better plan than that! - John Crichton
  • I don't have a solution, but I certainly admire the problem. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • If you moderate me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
  • Statistics are a little bit like a bikini: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. - Irving R. Levine
  • I was playing poker the other night, with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. - Steven Wright
  • Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world. - Dave Barry
  • That happy sense of purpose people have when standing up for a principle they haven't really been knocked down for yet.- P. J. O'Rourke
  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
  • Where a new system concept or new technology is used, one has to build a system to throw away, for even the best planning is not so omniscient as to get it right the first time. - Frederick P. Brooks. The Mythical Man-Month
  • Here's a good rule of thumb: Too clever is dumb. - Ogden Nash
  • Every coding standard has a valid exception. - Bruce Sanders
  • Python - the most powerful language you can still read. - Paul Dubois
  • Statistical analysis shows that the junk looks like human text, which clearly shows that it is actually used in some yet unknown way. (docstrings?) - Fredrik Lundh, writing about junk DNA
  • We should forget about small efficiencies, about 97% of the time. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. - Donald Knuth
  • I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle the matter by lunch time. - Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but let's not overlook fear. - Jim Perry
  • The Enron scandal calls into question the integrity of the entire capitalist system, which previously we assumed was based on honest, straightforward greed. - Joel Achenbach
  • You might think "That's illegal." That's not illegal; that's cool. - Paul Dubois, on recursive template definitions in C++
  • Fixing unused code is a waste of time; I won't do it anymore, but I will devote time to getting rid of unused code. - Tim Peters
  • I know nothing about this subject, but I do have prejudices, which I am more than happy to share with you. - Leon Botstein
  • The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank. - Scotty
  • I'll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has to say. - Elizabeth Gaskell
  • I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day, 'cause that means it's going to be up all night. - Steven Wright
  • Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind - Samuel Johnson
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Chris Mattern
  • One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. - Bertrand Russell
  • Ninety percent of baseball is half mental. - Yogi Berra
  • I'm already not yet convinced. - Larry Wall
  • There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry
  • Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. - Fred Brooks
  • My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. - Errol Flynn
  • The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. - Oscar Wilde
  • Reality is what refuses to disappear when you stop believing in it - Philip K. Dick
  • Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) - Alphonse Karr
  • A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion - Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Christian religion has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. - Bertrand Russell
  • Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
  • Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it - Richard Feynman
  • Two major products came from Berkeley; LSD and UNIX. This is no coincidence.
  • What's the earliest date by which you can't prove you won't be finished? - Tom West, Eagle Project, Data General
  • For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three. - Alice Kahn
  • About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead. - E. W. Dijkstra, 18th June 1975. Perl did not exist at the time.
  • Every body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, except insofar as it doesn't. - Sir Arthur Eddington
  • When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will shoot their children accidentally.
  • I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. - Winston Churchill
  • I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it. - Groucho Marx
  • If Windows is the answer, it must have been a stupid question.
  • Work is the curse of the drinking classes. - Oscar Wilde
  • Advertising reaches out to touch the fantasy part of people's lives. And you know, most people's fantasies are pretty sad. - Frederik Pohl
  • I respect the truth too much to drag it out on every occasion. - Jerome K. Jerome
  • I don't say that I don't believe in God because that implies that there is a God for me not to believe in. - Douglas Adams
  • In order to keep an open mind, I am trying to avoid learning anything. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?
  • We had better get coding straight away, because we are going to have lots of debugging to do. - Steve McConnell, Code Complete
  • I drink to make other people interesting. - George Jean Nathan
  • There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over. - Meskimen's Law
  • If you can't make it good, make it look good. - Bill Gates, 1995
  • It's hard to drive at the limit, but it's harder to know where the limits are. - Stirling Moss
  • Well, remember what you said, because in a day or two, I'll have a witty and blistering retort! You'll be devastated THEN! - Calvin
  • Nobody ever promised me life would be easy... but, then again, nobody ever warned me it might be impossible. - Jake Vest
  • We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato
  • Pretend that your reader is lazy, stupid, and mean. He's lazy in that he doesn't want to figure out what your convoluted sentences are supposed to mean, and he doesn't want to figure out what your argument is, if it's not already obvious. He's stupid, so you have to explain everything you say to him in simple, bite-sized pieces. And he's mean, so he's not going to read your paper charitably. (For example, if something you say admits of more than one interpretation, he's going to assume you meant the less plausible thing.) - James Pryor, Harvard philosophy professor, on writing.
  • By all means marry: If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates
  • I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. - Steven Wright
  • Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another's code; too little and expressiveness is endangered. - Guido van Rossum
  • Woody: "Hey, Mr Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you." Norm: "I know, and if she calls, I'm not here."
  • You can't be real a country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. - Frank Zappa
  • It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. - David St. Hubbins
  • If it works, leave it alone -- there's no need to understand it. If it fails, try to fix it -- there's no time to understand it. - Bill Pfeifer
  • It's only too slow if it's too slow.
  • The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. - Steven Weinberg
  • Death has come to our windows. - Jeremiah 9:21
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. - Aldous Huxley
  • If God intended man to be vegetarians, he wouldn't have made animals out of meat. - Bill Handel
  • In case you're not a computer person, I should probably point out that 'Real Soon Now' is a technical term meaning 'sometime before the heat-death of the universe, maybe'. - Scott Fahlman
  • It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. - Jerome K. Jerome
  • Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true! - Homer Simpson
  • To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered. - Voltaire
  • Of the four project development variables - scope, cost, time and quality - quality isn't really a free variable. The only possible values are 'excellent' and 'insanely excellent', depending on whether lives are at stake. Otherwise you don't enjoy your work, you don't work well, and the project goes down the drain. - Kent Beck, XP Explained
  • I always wanted to be somebody. I see now that I should have been more specific. - Lily Tomlin
  • I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time. - Steven Wright
  • You're bound to be unhappy if you optimize everything. - Donald E. Knuth
  • Love is an obsessive delusion that is cured by marriage. - Dr. Karl Bowman
  • Any system that depends on reliability is unreliable. - Nogg's Postulate
  • No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. - Aesop
  • If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate. - Steven Wright
  • A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire
  • All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • I wouldn't recommend alcohol and drugs to anyone. But they have always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson
  • Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer - Dave Barry
  • I don't use drugs. My dreams are frightening enough. - M.C. Escher
  • Belief is no substitute for arithmetic. - Henry Spencer
  • Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well. - Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)
  • In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. And in Switzerland they had brotherly love and 500 years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. - Orson Welles as Harry Lime in the 'Third Man'
  • It's not the things we don't know that get us into trouble; it's the things we do know that ain't so. - Will Rogers
  • Truth comes out of error more easily than out of confusion. - Francis Bacon
  • I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members. - Groucho Marx
  • Everything has got a moral, if only you can find it. - Lewis Carroll
  • Men say of women what pleases them; women do with men what pleases them. - DeSegur
  • Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far the Universe is winning. - Robert Cringley
  • If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry. - Anton Chekhov
  • The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and doesn't stop until you get to work. - Steven Wright
  • I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short. - Blaise Pascal
  • You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there. - Yogi Berra
  • If one is really a superior person, the fact is likely to leak out without too much assistance - John Andrew Holmes
  • No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it. - C. Schulz
  • A woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a smoke. - Groucho Marx
  • The divorce was mostly my fault - I tended to place my wife under a pedestal. - Woody Allen
  • I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. - Poul Anderson
  • All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening. - Alexander Woollcott
  • Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. - Oscar Wilde
  • Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing.
  • The command line *is* the front line.
  • You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. - Naguib Mahfouz
  • There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians. - Georges Pompido
  • Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat. - Oscar Wilde
  • This one goes to eleven. - Nigel Tufnel
  • Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion. - Harlan Ellison
  • That's how you know you're hooked on something; when it makes you forget to drink beer. - Paul Mather
  • When Henry Kissinger can get the Nobel Peace Prize, what is there left for satire? - Tom Lehrer
  • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' - Isaac Asimov
  • Jargon: Jargon consists of words, phrases and syntactic usages which make communication easier between insiders in any field of study while making it harder for outsiders, thereby linguistically enforcing the elitism of expertise. Unless you use jargon liberally your career is likely to stagnate, especially in the computer industry. - Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning
  • Shipping software is an unnatural act. - David Stafford
  • I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. - Dave Barry
  • Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand. - Homer Simpson
  • To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems! - Homer Simpson
  • When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he's going to have a go at it anyway. - Clyde B. Aster
  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. - Oscar Wilde
  • Reporter: 'What do you think of Western Civilisation?' M.K. Gandhi: 'I think it would be a good idea.'
  • This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects with useful practice. - Aahz Maruch
  • Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy.
  • By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. - Charles Wadsworth
  • Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist after he grows up. - Salvador Dali
  • We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James D. Nicoll
  • A couple of months in the laboratory can save a couple of hours in the library. - Frank H. Westheimer
  • My girlfriend always laughs during sex - no matter what she's reading. - Steve Jobs
  • When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. - Richard Buckminster Fuller
  • All generalizations are dangerous, even this one. - Alexandre Dumas
  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and whatever you hit, call it the target. - Ashleigh Brilliant
  • I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart. - Jerome K. Jerome
  • If you think *I'm* expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.
  • I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. - Alexandre Dumas
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of sysadmins, for they are quick to anger and have not need for subtlety.
  • An efficient organization is one in which the accounting department knows the exact cost of every useless administrative procedure which they themselves have initiated. - E.W.R. Steacie
  • I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my desk. - Robert Bloch
  • Q: How many RPG programmers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Change? CHANGE?
  • I think... I think it's in my basement. Let me go upstairs and check. - M.C. Escher
  • When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When the hammer you have is C++, everything looks like a thumb.
  • An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. - For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemmingway
  • To my battle-scarred mind, documentation is never more than a hint. Read it once with disbelief suspended, and then again with full throttle skepticism. - Gordon McMillan
  • On two occasions I have been asked (by members of Parliament!), 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage
  • FRANKLIN: have you ever thought, Headmaster, that your standards might perhaps be a little out of date? HEADMASTER: Of course they're out of date. Standards are always out of date. That's what makes them standards. Alan Bennett, Forty years on (1969), act 2.
  • It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. - James Thurber
  • No Mr. Bond! I expect you to die! - Auric Goldfinger
Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Quote of the day

I passed this quote around the office, and everyone said "Yeah, Simon, that's you".

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
September 06, 2002
Suddenly, it all went black...

There I was, typing away, when suddenly, the power went out.

This was at 4 p.m. BST yesterday.

Apparently, someone cut through a power line with a digger down by Tower Hill. I hope no one was hurt. A big chunk of the city lost power, and they estimated that it wouldn't come back until between seven and eight.

So I went down the pub. ;-)

Update: I gather that the power wasn't back until after ten. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one whose estimates are out by 50%!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
September 04, 2002

I have just this lunchtime discovered that one of my colleagues is a Jainist. Well I never!

My mother is a Buddhist, and an ex-colleague of mine is a Pagan. All very interesting religions.

Me, I'm an atheist, a real one, and all these theists look equally odd to me...

Update September 5th: I think that the reason that these religions seem so benign to me is that their adherents don't need to keep being reminded about the most important rule. While the big three (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are all religions of peace in theory, in practice they seem to promote bigotry, zealotry and violence in at least some of their adherents. This is also true, though to a lesser extent, of Hinduism.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)