Print Story Winter Olympics?
Diary
By nebbish (Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:32:49 AM EST) (all tags)
It's just lots of variations on sliding.


Orang Utan's drunken wisdom there.

Face Update

Black eye fading now, red mark down the side of my face still there. Have been given the nickname Blowfelt - there are a couple of photos of me looking sinister and stroking the cat going round.

Weekend

After Thursday night's shinnanigans I ended up having a really nice weekend. Day off on Friday was nice, pottered round the shops with Alison then a drunken evening with Orang Utan and idiot boy.

Went to see Grizzly Man on Saturday night, a documentary about Timothy Treadwell, an idiotic hippy who spent years in Alaska "befriending" grizzly bears and ended up getting eaten by one.

The reviews are quite scornful of Treadwell and make out that the film is an attack on him of sorts, but it's much more gentle than that. His methods are rightly pilloried, and there are a lot of unintentionally funny moments in the film footage Treadwell himself made, but he was a tortured man, and an essentially good and decent man, who'd found his peace in the wilderness. Treadwell is very likeable and if you've got half a heart you'll find this quite a sad film.

It does a good job of bringing up complex ideas whilst keeping the narrative very simple - there's a subtext that however much you dislike being around people and humanity you're stuck with it really, and Treadwell's romantisising of the harsh chaos of nature is explored extensively.

However, Treadwell sort of accepted he could well be eaten one day, and didn't really seem to mind. He probably changed his mind about that when it actually happened, but there you go.

Overall - very interesting, wonderful wilderness footage, and hilarious in parts. Could have been a bit shorter, but I say that about every film.

My Changing Entertainment Habits

The recording digibox thing has led to me watching much less TV - I get in on an evening, have a look to see what's on, set anything I want to watch to record then fuck off to my room and read. So I'm reading loads more.

Got a load of those Gollancz SF Masterworks from my local second-hand bookshop. I really enjoyed Gateway by Frederick Pohl, a real page turner, great story, but lacked depth. I found the psychoanalysis side-story a bit trite and ultimately boring, just wanted to get on with the main story. Sat up until 4am reading it though, totally unable to put it down.

Better was "I Am Legend" by Richard Metheson. This is by far one of the best SF novels I've read - compelling, intelligent, concise. As a horror story it's pretty damn scary, and the influences on Romero for his dead trilogy are obvious. In fact, that's the reason I'd kept away from "I Am Legend" for so long - I thought that although it's probably a very important book, it's ideas had been explored thoroughly in film and literature since. I was very wrong. The conclusion in particular is mind blowing, much more so for being concisely explained in a few paragraphs.

Got "Dhalgren" by Samuel R Delany off Amazon. Sigh. I was really looking forward to this, but after 200 pages had to admit that it was going nowhere very slowly and give up. I know it's meant to be the most important book of the US science fiction new wave, but it's 900 pages long, and is basically about hippies sitting around talking. Some wonderful descriptions of the ruined city it is set in, but sadly that's not enough.

Social Lockdown

My sister's getting married March 17th. I get on really well with her fiancee (I consider him one of my best mates), so I'm well, well pleased for them.

Stag night - go-carting in Warrington (I'm a little apprehensive about this, but I'm sure it will be a laugh), then a night on the piss in Liverpool with the Hightown massive and a few other northern layabouts, followed by a night at the well posh Adelphi. Really looking forward to this - Liverpool is one of my favourite cities in the world but strangely I've never had a night out there.

Wedding is at Sheffield registry office, and is a two-dayer - meal and piss-up for family first day, then big piss-up for mates the next day. I'm there for both. Staying at the Grosvenor, which apparently is a quiet spectacular 60s dump and due for demolition, but was cheap as chips so fuck it.

I've managed to keep the cost of all this down through some proper bargain hunting (though this does entail me getting the 7.30am National Express to Warrington. Ouch), but it's costing me a fair bit, so I'm staying in until after the wedding. Alison has gone off to work in Croatia for three weeks which is really well timed, I spend most of my social budget out on the piss with her.

I don't care, I can do with more time at home writing and Christ, it's not every month my sister gets married.

Then, come April, I can finally buy that DS. Yessss.

< Moment 23 | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Winter Olympics? | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Go karting in Warrington by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:46:20 AM EST

Right near my place of work. Be afraid, be very afraid.


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DFJ?
Dooooooomed by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:50:34 AM EST
I hear that Sinbad out of Brookside has his lap times on the wall. They're the ones to beat. As long as I beat Sinbad I'm happy.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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Go karting by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:58:01 AM EST

The only time I have been to a gokarting place, the didn't have a helmet big enough for my head. Add your own punchline.

That was on a stag do in Sheffield, when I stayed at the Grosvenor Hotel. I won't lie to you, it's a dump, the lifts take forever, and the beer is shit. But they keep serving til late, so fun can be had when you get back, it's dirt cheap, and the breakfast is ok.

Kerry Katona got arrested in a Warrington 'nightclub' on Saturday. It's a hip and happening place.


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DFJ?
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That nightclub by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:00:20 AM EST
I think I went there once. I used to go out with a girl in Warrington. We also had a night out in Leigh, which was an experience *shudder*

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Hotel by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:02:03 AM EST
That is actually quite a strange coincidence...

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No coincidence by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #9 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:10:01 AM EST

You're stalking me. You're just really, really slow.


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DFJ?
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What was the charge? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #24 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 09:22:36 AM EST
Too minging even for Warrington?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
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It has to be said by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 11:41:41 PM EST
Kerry Katona munts quite badly.

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Grosvenor hotel by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:48:52 AM EST
Good look finding it - it's kinda in a weird place in the middle of lots of Sheffield-grade one-way streets.  On the plus side, it's really very close to the registry office (certainly close to where it used to be - got a feeling it moved a year or so ago and unsure where it is now).

Essential info: if you want a nice local pub, try the Red Lion on Charles Street.  No-nonsense, fairly nice pub.  2 minutes walk.  If you want something more lively, 5 minutes away is the Devonshire Cat.  Bigger, brighter, louder, but not a cunts' pub at all.  Stupid number of beers available (it has a menu).


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

Nice one by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:58:52 AM EST
Not sure what the itinery is yet, but I've had trouble finding decent pubs in Sheffield city centre full stop, so they'll come in handy on future visits.

I had a look at the hotel on google images and I recognised it, but can't remember where it is. I can find my way round Sheffield OK though.

Get the interior:

Pschadelic man!

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DS by stark (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:04:38 AM EST
I bought one a few weeks ago; am pretty happy with it.

It's not a PSP - graphics capability are obviously relatively limited, and there's no way you're going to be able to play movies or (at the moment) surf the intarweb - but for playing fun, addictive games it's hard to beat.

Have recently got a wireless access point primarily so that I can play Mario Kart DS against random strangers. Sadly, it turns out that I suck but I'm working on fixing that.

Also have Sonic Rush which is good but harder to get into; a little frustrating if you keep falling  into bottomless pits (as I do).

What sort of recording digibox do you have?

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U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

Really want a DS by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:13:26 AM EST
The only thing putting me off is they're bringing out a new design in Japan in March. It'll probably be Christmas until it comes out here though and I can't wait that long.

It's the games I want it for - Advance Wars DS, Electroplankton, Mario Kart, loads of others. The PSP looks nice but there's nothing worth playing on it.

I can't remember what digibox it is, flatmate was given it by his work (Channel 4) when they launched More 4. It records about 20 hours. Has changed my life though, great little machine.

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NINTENDOGS! NINTENDOGS! NINTENDOGS! by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:20:40 AM EST

Did I mention Nintendogs?


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
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Is it that good? by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #21 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:44:43 AM EST
I mean, I know you're going to like it - all the game has to be is a cute virtual puppy you can pet for you to like it - but what's the actual gameplay like?

I have to admit I probably will go for the Nintendogs pack. Blue though, not pink.

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Well, admittedly, I'm biased by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:00:19 AM EST

but you can teach them tricks, enroll them in competitions, and meet other virtual puppies with WiFi Bark Mode, so I have to say that Nintendogs gets more play than my other two games, Burnout: Legends, and MarioKart DS, both of which are pretty good, themselves.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
I think I'll probably like it by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 11:40:19 PM EST
I liked Tamagotchi and Animal Crossing (in fact, I actually want to be a Japanese schoolgirl), and I can see that you'd get a lot of mileage out of it. Also that sort of thing seems just right for short bus journeys etc.

Shame it's the pink DS that comes with the pug and friends. I want a pug, but I couldn't go as far as having a pink DS.

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I could never finish Dhalgen either by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:28:01 AM EST
you'd think a violent post apocalyptic science fiction story set in a ruined city wouldn't be boring, but you'd think wrong.

I liked Gateway, but not enough to seek out it's sequels. I think had I read it as a youth I would have really like it, escalating into the pantheon with the Foundation trilogy and Cities in Flight.


What I liked about Pohl by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:05:15 AM EST
Is that it was a quick, riveting read, and I don't come across enough of those. It's the sort of book I'd read whilst getting a bit tired of a more difficult one, then go back to the difficult one afterwards (I have an appalling attention span).

I want to try Jem next.

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Jem is Pohl's best IMO by 256 (4.00 / 1) #25 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 12:18:34 PM EST

I also enjoyed the later Heechee books, though they never quite lived up to the original.
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
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Dhalgen by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:31:36 AM EST
I actually liked Dhalgen. I read when I was in high school and didn't get it - then re-read it a few years ago, after reading a handful of books about the seige of Sarajevo in the '90s and it rang truer than, say, your standard Mad Max-ish style post-apoc. People are still trying to go to work, read books, get laid, raise children, move to nicer apartments. It also connected deeply with a sort of post-9/11 mood that was in the air in NYC when I revisited the book.

Those these are pretty personal reasons and I could see how the idea of a march through all 900 pages of could bore the crap out of many. If I didn't happen to have those connections in my mind, I wouldn't have given it a second thought.

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No, that's a really good reason by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:35:34 AM EST
I'm seeing something else in it now. Maybe I'll try it again - not right now though.

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You make it sound like Hemmingway [nt] by lm (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:43:43 AM EST


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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I Never Thought of the Connection by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #23 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 09:06:12 AM EST
Delany's style seems to 1960s hippy to carry the comparison too far, but there is a certain level where they meet - sort of the melancholy persistence of an injured population.

I think that's the real difference between many post-apoc tales and Dhalgen. Instead of horror or action or heroism being the main emotional register, it is the sad endurance of the mundane.

One of the scenes I most remember from the book is where one of the characters survives whatever weird hell befell the title city, only to die accidentally falling down an elevator shaft in his apartment building.

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Olympics by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:10:53 AM EST

As a corollary, it's also lots of variations on crashing. Worth a thought.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
That's what makes it worth watching by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:17:09 AM EST
I'm never that bothered about the Olympics, but the Winter Olympics is great. I love that cross-country skiing and shooting event, lots of opportunity for mishap there.

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biathlon... by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:10:38 AM EST
Strange sport. Makes as much sense as foxhunting to me.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
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Skiing and shooting by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:27:08 AM EST
Go together like...erm....

I dunno much about its history but I wonder if it has anything to do with the Finnish Army?

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Hang on by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #32 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:28:43 AM EST
Yes it does, sort of.

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Did Your Copy of "Legend" by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:35:05 AM EST
Have a handful of short stories in the back?

The American edition with that particular cover art has a few short stories, some of which are these great little gems.

The odd "Witch War" was in there. One of those short stories you wish stretched into a novel because the hook and the images are so good.

It didn't, no by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:42:03 AM EST
Which is a shame. I've been wanting to read some of Matheson's shorts for some time, especially "Duel" seeing as it's the basis for one of my favourite films.

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Sliding is a lazy man's sport by Greener (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:51:27 PM EST
Which is why I'm a skier. I just stand there and let gravity do all the work.

I knew it! by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 11:44:04 PM EST
Never done it myself but I knew it was all lies!

The only skiiers to ever impress me were the Finnish army beating the Soviet Union. Now that's skiing.

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Winter Olympics? | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback